Tathāgatagarbha from the Perspective of Karma pa Mi bskyod rdo rje as Presented in His Lamp that Eloquently Highlights the Tradition of the Gzhan stong Madhyamaka Proponents

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LibraryArticlesTathāgatagarbha from the Perspective of Karma pa Mi bskyod rdo rje as Presented in His Lamp that Eloquently Highlights the Tradition of the Gzhan stong Madhyamaka Proponents

Tathāgatagarbha from the Perspective of Karma pa Mi bskyod rdo rje as Presented in His Lamp that Eloquently Highlights the Tradition of the Gzhan stong Madhyamaka Proponents
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Citation: Draszczyk, Martina. "Tathāgatagarbha from the Perspective of Karma pa Mi bskyod rdo rje as Presented in His Lamp that Eloquently Highlights the Tradition of the Gzhan stong Madhyamaka Proponents." Hōrin 18 (2015): 141–60.

Article Summary

In his Lamp, Karma pa Mi bskyod rdo rje equates tathāgatagarbha with the dharmadhātu which is realized through self-aware, self-luminous wisdom. He maintains that there is no dependency on extraneous factors; buddha nature, so to speak, is self-sufficient, bringing about its perfect awakening by means of personally experienced wisdom. Tathāgatagarbha is spontaneously endowed with qualities and activities and is permanent in the specific sense that it remains unchanging throughout the three phases and thus its beneficial activities never come to an end. Therefore, the absolute, tathāgatagarbha, being effective, i.e. of benefit, for itself and for others, is empty of afflictions, but not empty of qualities. lt is from this point of view that the text—despite the fact that the term gzhan stong is nowhere to be found—can well be understood as a way of highlighting the intent of the proponents of gzhan stong Madhyamaka. Mi bskyod rdo rje, following the lead of Maitreya-Asaṅga with their cataphatic appraisal of the absolute, equates tathāgatagarbha with the dharmakāya, with the expanse of nirvāṇa, and with perfect awakening replete with qualities. To him this is the essential meaning of Madhyamaka, and it is for this reason that he frequently refers to Asaṅga as the Great Madhyamika. It is against this background that Mi bskyod rdo rje criticizes those Madhyamaka representatives who do not comprehend the meaning of the third dharma cycle and who therefore view tathāgatagarbha and its associated buddha qualities and activities exclusively from the perspective of a non-affirming negation. (Draszczyk, conclusion, 157)