The Nonduality of Nonconceptual Wisdom and Conceptual Cognition: A Study of the Tathāgatagarbha Teaching in the Anūnatvāpūrṇatvanirdeśa-parivarta
Although the doctrine of tathāgatagarbha can be traced to the teaching of an innately pure luminous mind (prakṛtiś cittasya prabhāsvarā) in early Buddhist teachings, the Anūnatvāpūrṇatvanirdeśa-parivarta (AAN) is often considered one of the earliest Buddhist scriptures that explicitly expound the teachings of the tathāgatagarbha.
The central message of the AAN focuses upon the non-increase and non-decrease nature of the dharmadhātu. This brings out the idea of the dharmadhātu as a totality which transcends all dualistic notions. Translated into Chinese by Bodhiruci in 525 CE, the AAN is now extant only in Chinese translation (Taishō no. 668). Unfortunately, no serious studies have ever been conducted on this sūtra in Western scholarship. The precise relationship between the tathāgatagarbha and the two Mahāyāna traditions, Madhyamaka and Yogācāra, is also worth investigating in detail. The thesis will argue that the tathāgatagarbha is not a separate school in Indian Buddhism. It will then study the historical issues relating to the AAN, followed by a philosophical investigation of its teachings. The thesis will also undertake an "external" consideration of the doctrinal relationship between the AAN and a number of sūtras and śāstras. It will also incorporate a study of Bodhiruci (菩提流支), of the Northern Wei (北魏) dynasty, who translated the AAN into Chinese, as well as the first complete English translation of the AAN from its extant Chinese version.
This study may provide an alternative view on the tathāgatagarbha theory. The thesis will argue that the tathāgatagarbha is referring to be an aspect of all experiences. This means that all beings are by nature having a dimension of the mind not fully realized, and it is yogic meditative practices that enable the practitioners to develop an awareness of the enlightenment which is always implicit in our consciousness.
|Citation||Shiu, Henry. "The Nonduality of Nonconceptual Wisdom and Conceptual Cognition: A Study of the Tathāgatagarbha Teaching in the Anūnatvāpūrṇatvanirdeśa-parivarta." PhD diss., University of Toronto, 2005.|