From Buddha-Nature


'phags pa blo gros rgya mtshos zhus pa zhes bya ba theg pa chen po'i mdo
D152   ·  T400

This sūtra details the story of the bodhisattva Sāgaramati and his questioning of the Buddha. A couple of the Buddha's responses to the bodhisattva are quoted at length in the Ratnagotravibhāga, which explain how bodhisattvas utilize the afflictions to anchor them to saṃsāra in order to benefit sentient beings. However, since the afflictions are merely adventitious, these bodhisattvas are not affected by them and they are, likewise, able to mature sentient beings who can also be cleansed of these adventitious afflictions to reveal the innate purity of the mind.

Description from When the Clouds Part

This sūtra[1] is quoted twice in RGVV[2] in the context of the tathāgata heart’s phase of being a bodhisattva. The first quote describes how bodhisattvas deliberately retain certain afflictions in order to be reborn in saṃsāra and yet are not harmed by these afflictions. The second quote uses the example of the purification of a precious beryl that had been lying in the mud for many years. This example, the sūtra says, illustrates that bodhisattvas see the natural luminosity of the mind of sentient beings, which is obscured by adventitious afflictions but never tainted in its essence (this is repeated once elsewhere). By virtue of that, they give rise to the mind-set for purifying the minds of sentient beings and liberating them. Elsewhere, the sūtra says that the dhātu of sentient beings is primordially pure and that what is called a "sentient being" refers simply to mistakenness, ignorance, saṃsāric existence, craving, being ensnared by views, and improper mental engagement. The text also states that bodhisattvas constantly give rise to compassion, make efforts, and dedicate their own virtues and those of others so that the lineage of the three jewels does not become interrupted. Otherwise, this sūtra does not contain elements of the teachings on buddha nature. (p. 47)
  1. D152 (115 folios) as well as Taishō 397 (5) and 400.
  2. J47–50.

Text Metadata

Other Titles ~ ārya-sāgaramati-paripṛcchā-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra
Text exists in ~ Tibetan
~ Chinese
Canonical Genre ~ Kangyur · Sūtra · mdo sde · Sūtranta
Literary Genre ~ Sūtras - mdo

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