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The term ' ārambaṇa ' is one of the technical terms unique to Buddhism. Being equivalent to Pali ' ārammaṇa ' and Cl. Skt. ' ālambana ' it is usually used in the sense of 'basis of cognition' or 'sense-object', e.g. rūpa as ārambaṇa of cakṣurvijñāna, or dharma as that of manovijñāna. The usual equivalent to this term in Tibetan and Chinese language is ' dmigs pa ' and '所 縁', respectively.
What I am going to examine here is whether or not the same meaning mentioned above can be applied to this term used in the Ratnagotravibhāga (RGV), I, 9.
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In part 1 he has singled out those scriptures that use the term tathāgatagarbha as their principal term and identified three scriptures—Tathāgatagarbha-sūtra, Anūnatvāpurṇatvanirdeśa, and Śrīmālādevīnirdeśa—as the basis for the formation of the tathāgatagarbha theory. Next, he has placed the Mahāyāna Mahāparinirvāṇa-sūtra, which uses the term buddhadhātu for the first time as a synonym of tathāgatagarbha, and associated scriptures in a second group, while in the third group we have the Laṅkāvatāra-sūtra and so on, in which the concept of tathāgatagarbha is identified with ālayavijñana, the basic concept of the Vijñānavāda.
In part 2, he has dealt with the prehistory of the tathāgatagarbha theory in Mahāyāna scriptures that use terms synonymous with tathāgatagarbha, such as gotra and dhātu, tathāgatagotra, tathāgatotpattisambhava, āryavaṃsa, buddhaputra, dharmadhātu and dharmakāya, cittaprakṛti, and so on. The main points made in this work are discussed in the papers that have now been brought together in the present volume.
This volume has for convenience' sake been divided into seven parts according to subject matter. Part 1 presents a textual study, namely, a critical edition of chapter 6 of the Laṅkāvatāra. Part 2 deals with subjects concerning scriptures such as the Laṅkāvatāra, part 3 with technical terms and basic concepts of the tathāgatagarbha theory, part 4 with tathāgatagarbha doctrine in general, and part 5 with Japanese Buddhism and Buddhism in East Asia (on the basis of scriptures translated into Chinese). Part 6 presents a historical survey of Japanese scholarship on Buddhism, and part 7 consists of several book reviews. (Source: Motilal Banarsidass)
The point now I am going to express here is the discovery of the use of a compound noun ' tathāgata-gotra-saṃbhava ' in the Ratnagotravibhāga (Uttaratantra), which seems to be the San-skrit original for '如來性起', one of the important terms in the philosophy of the Hua-yen (華嚴) Sect of Chinese Buddhism, but is actually not found in the Avataṃsaka, the basic scripture for that sect. (Takasaki, para. 1, 48)
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