The Original Ratnagotravibhāga and Its Yogāçāra Interpretation as Possible Indian Precedents of Gzhan stong ("Empti-ness of Other")

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The Original Ratnagotravibhāga and Its Yogāçāra Interpretation as Possible Indian Precedents of Gzhan stong ("Empti-ness of Other")
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Citation: Mathes, Klaus-Dieter. "The Original Ratnagotravibhāga and Its Yogāçāra Interpretation as Possible Indian Precedents of Gzhan stong ('Empti[ness] of Other')." Hōrin 18 (2015): 119–40.

Article Summary

In his pioneering study of the Ratnagotravibhāga (RGV) TAKASAKI Jikido showed that the standard Indian treatise on tathāgatagarbha consists of different layers and reduced it to what he considered to be the original Ratnagotravibhāga by excluding later strands of the text.[1] Schmithausen continued this "textual archaeology," which left us with an original text of fifteen verses only.[2] While these Ratnagotravibhāga verses (which in the following I shall refer to as "the original" version) support the idea of an already fully developed "buddha-element" (buddhadhātu}[3] in sentient beings, the final (standard) version of the Ratnagotravibhāga and its vyākhyā exhibit a systematic Yogāçāra interpretation of the original tathāgatagarbha theory. The original and final Ratnagotravibhāga represent the prototypes of at least two different gzhan stong interpretations, which mainly differ in whether they restrict or not the basis of emptiness to an unchanging perfect nature. (Mathes, "The Original Ratnagotravibhāga," 119)
  1. TAKASAKI Jikido, A Study on the Ratnagotravibhāga (Uttaratantra) Being a Treatise on the Tathāgatagarbha Theory of Mahāyāna Buddhism, Rome Oriental Series, vol. 33 (Rome: Istituto Italiano per ii Medio ed Estremo Oriente, 1966), pp. 10–19.
  2. Lambert Schmithausen, "Philologische Bemerkungen zum Ratnagotravibhāga," Wiener Zeitschriftfur die Kunde Sudasiens 15 (1971), pp. 123-177, see pp. 123-130.
  3. Used interchangeably with the term tathāgatagarbha in the Ratnagotravibhāga and its vyākhyā