Verse I.117

From Buddha-Nature
Ratnagotravibhāga Root Verse I.117

Verse I.117 Variations

र्यद्वत् तालफलाम्रकोशविवरादुत्पद्यते पादपः
सत्त्वक्लेशफलत्वगन्तरगतः संबुद्धबीजाङ्‍कुर-
स्तद्वद्वृद्धिमुपैति धर्मविटपस्तैस्तैः शुभप्रत्ययैः
ryadvat tālaphalāmrakośavivarādutpadyate pādapaḥ
sattvakleśaphalatvagantaragataḥ saṃbuddhabījāṅkura-
stadvadvṛddhimupaiti dharmaviṭapastaistaiḥ śubhapratyayaiḥ
E. H. Johnston as input by the University of the West.[1]
ཆུ་དང་ཉི་མའི་འོད་དང་རླུང་དང་ས་དུས་ནམ་མཁའི་རྐྱེན་རྣམས་ཀྱིས། །
ཏ་ལ་དང་ནི་ཨ་མྲའི་འབྲས་སྦུབས་གསེབ་ནས་ཤིང་སྐྱེ་ཇི་ལྟར་བར། །
སེམས་ཅན་ཉོན་མོངས་འབྲས་ལྤགས་ནང་ཆུད་རྫོགས་སངས་ས་བོན་མྱུ་གུ་ཡང་། །
དེ་བཞིན་དགེ་རྐྱེན་དེ་དང་དེ་ལས་ཆོས་མཐོང་འཕེལ་བར་འགྱུར་བ་ཡིན། །
Just as, through the conditions of water, sunlight, wind, earth, time, and space,
A tree grows forth from within the sheath of palm fruits and mangos,
So the germ in the seed of the perfect buddha lodged inside the peel of the fruit of sentient beings’ afflictions
Will grow into the shootof dharma through such and such conditions of virtue.
依地水火風 空時日月緣

多羅等種內 出生大樹王
一切諸眾生 皆亦復如是
煩惱果皮內 有正覺子牙
依白淨等法 種種諸緣故
次第漸增長 成佛大法王

L’eau, la lumière du soleil, le vent, la terre, le temps et l’espace
sont autant de conditions
Qui, sous la peau des fruits du palmier ou du manguier,
coopèrent à la naissance d’un grand arbre.
De même, sous la peau du fruit des émotions qui affectent les êtres,
loge la graine de la bouddhéité parfaite
Différentes conditions vertueuses permettront de voir
le germe du Dharma pendant qu’il croît.

RGVV Commentary on Verse I.117

།ཉོན་མོངས་པ་ནི་ཤུན་པའི་སྦུབས་དང་འདྲ་ལ། དེ་བཞིན་གཤེགས་པའི་ཁམས་ནི་ས་བོན་གྱི་མྱུ་གུ་ལྟ་བུ་སྟེ། ཇི་ལྟར་ཨ་མྲ་ལ་སོགས་{br}ཤིང་འབྲས་ལ། །ཡོད་པའི་ས་བོན་མྱུ་གུ་འཇིག་མེད་ཆོས། །ས་རྨོས་ཆུ་སོགས་ལྡན་ལས་ལྗོན་ཤིང་གི། །རྒྱལ་པོའི་དངོས་པོར་རིམ་གྱིས་འགྲུབ་པ་ལྟར། །སེམས་ཅན་རྣམས་ཀྱི་མ་རིག་སོགས་འབྲས་ཀྱི། །ལྤགས་སྦུབས་ནང་ཆུད་ཆོས་ཁམས་དགེ་བ་ཡང་། །དེ་བཞིན་དགེ་བ་དེ་{br}ད་ལ་བརྟེན་ནས། །རིམ་གྱིས་ཐུབ་པའི་རྒྱལ་པོའི་དངོས་པོར་འགྱུར། །ཆུ་དང་ཉི་མའི་འོད་དང་རླུང་དང་ས་དུས་ནམ་མཁའི་རྐྱེན་རྣམས་ཀྱིས། །ཏ་ལ་དང་ནི་ཨ་མྲའི་འབྲས་སྦུབས་གསེབ་ནས་ཤིང་སྐྱེས་ཇི་ལྟ་བར། །སེམས་ཅན་ཉོན་མོངས་འབྲས་ལྤགས་ནང་ཆུད་རྫོགས་སངས་

ས་བོན་མྱུ་གུ་ཡང་། །དེ་བཞིན་དགེ་རྐྱེན་དེ་དང་དེ་ལས་ཆོས་འཐོན་འཕེལ་བར་འགྱུར་བ་ཡིན།

Other English translations[edit]

Obermiller (1931) [6]
Conditioned by water, the light of the sun,
By air, soil, time, and space,
From the rind of the Mango’s and Palmyra’s fruit
There springs forth a tree;
Like that the Germ of the seed of the Buddha,
Concealed in the peal of the fruit of a living being's passions,
Can thrive when the Highest Truth is revealed by this and that condition.
Takasaki (1966) [7]
Conditioned by water, by the light of the sun,
By air, soil, time and space,
From within the husk of the fruit of the Tāla or mango
There comes out a tree;
Similarly, the germ of the seed of the Buddha,
Residing within the bark of the fruit, the defilements of living beings,
Thrives by the help of this and that virtue,
Resulting in the tree of the Highest Truth.
Fuchs (2000) [8]
By means of water, sunlight, wind, earth, time, and space, the necessary conditions,
the tree grows from within the narrow shroud of the fruit of a banana or mango.
Similarly the fertile seed of the Perfect Buddha, contained within the
fruit-skin of the mental poisons of beings,
also grows from virtue as its necessary condition, until the [shoot of]
Dharma is seen and augmented [towards perfection].

Textual sources[edit]

Commentaries on this verse[edit]

Academic notes[edit]

  1. Digital Sanskrit Buddhist Canon Unicode Input
  2. Brunnhölzl, Karl. When the Clouds Part: The Uttaratantra and its Meditative Tradition as a Bridge between Sūtra and Tantra. Boston: Snow Lion Publications, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, 2014.
  3. DP read "virtuous" (dge ba) for śubha, which can also mean "beautiful," "pleasant," "good," "auspicious," "prosperous," "pure," and "eminent."
  4. DP ’thon.
  5. It may seem that this example suggests a growing process of the tathāgata heart, just as a germ or a sprout gradually grows into a tree, which entails the need for supporting conditions such as water and sunlight. However, as Zimmermann (2002, 62–64) shows, the explanation of this example in the Tathāgatagarbhasūtra does not understand this to be the primary thrust of the example but rather emphasizes the imperishable nature of the seed and the fact that the result (the tree) is already contained in the seed, both being of the same nature. Also, conditions such as virtue do not produce buddhahood but only serve as conducive factors for its revelation. The same goes for the simile of a cakravartin in the womb of a poor woman. The emphasis is on the nature of a cakravartin’s being unchanging, whether still being in the womb or being a grown-up person, while the growth process of the embryo is not discussed. The stress lies on the stark contrast between the destitute and ugly woman and the glory of the cakravartin king inside her. In addition, the terminology (such as sugatakāya, tathāgata, tathāgatadhātu, and dharmatā) used in the explanation of these two examples is the same as in all the other examples and does not suggest any kind of growing or ripening process. That is, the Tathāgatagarbhasūtra throughout presents the model of the tathāgata heart with its qualities being revealed as opposed to any kind of gradual development. As Zimmermann (2002, 86–87) suggests, the reformulation of the example of the germ growing into a tree in the Uttaratantra could have been due to the concern that the original example’s statement that the result (the tree) is already present in the seed comes too close to the position of satkāryavāda as espoused by the Sāṃkhya School, which is usually rejected by Buddhists as a form of eternalism. That such a concern was definitely present among at least some readers and commentators of the Uttaratantra is evident from the long-lasting and sometimes vicious debates in Tibet about whether a literal understanding of the teachings on buddha nature means falling into a Hinduist view.
  6. Obermiller, E. "The Sublime Science of the Great Vehicle to Salvation Being a Manual of Buddhist Monism." Acta Orientalia IX (1931), pp. 81-306.
  7. Takasaki, Jikido. A Study on the Ratnagotravibhāga (Uttaratantra): Being a Treatise on the Tathāgatagarbha Theory of Mahāyāna Buddhism. Serie Orientale Roma 33. Roma: Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente (ISMEO), 1966.
  8. Fuchs, Rosemarie, trans. Buddha Nature: The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra. Commentary by Jamgon Kongtrul and explanations by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso. Ithaca, N. Y.: Snow Lion Publications, 2000.