Verse I.115

From Buddha-Nature

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Ratnagotravibhāga Root Verse I.115

Verse I.115 Variations

यथाम्रतालादिफले द्रुमाणां
बीजाङ्‍कुरः सन्नविनाशधर्मी
उप्तः पृथिव्यां सलिलादियोगात्
क्रमादुपैति द्रुमराजभावम्
yathāmratālādiphale drumāṇāṃ
bījāṅkuraḥ sannavināśadharmī
uptaḥ pṛthivyāṃ salilādiyogāt
kramādupaiti drumarājabhāvam
E. H. Johnston as input by the University of the West.[1]
ཇི་ལྟར་ཨ་མྲ་ལ་སོགས་ཤིང་འབྲས་ལ། །
ཡོད་པའི་ས་བོན་མྱུ་གུ་འཇིག་མེད་ཆོས། །
ས་རྨོས་ཆུ་སོགས་ལྡན་པའི་ལྗོན་ཤིང་གི། །
རྒྱལ་པོའི་དངོས་པོ་རིམ་གྱིས་འགྲུབ་པ་ལྟར། །
The germs of the seeds in tree fruits such as mango and palm
Have the indestructible nature [of growing into a tree].
Being sown into the earth and coming into contact with water and so on,
They gradually assume the form of a majestic tree.
如種種果樹 子芽不朽壞

種地中水灌 生長成大樹

Le noyau que l’on trouve dans la mangue et d’autres fruits,
A l’inaliénable propriété de germer. Une terre labourée,
De l’eau et d’autres [conditions] concourent alors
À la formation graduelle de la substance du roi des arbres.

RGVV Commentary on Verse I.115

།ཉོན་མོངས་པ་ནི་ཤུན་པའི་སྦུབས་དང་འདྲ་ལ། དེ་བཞིན་གཤེགས་པའི་ཁམས་ནི་ས་བོན་གྱི་མྱུ་གུ་ལྟ་བུ་སྟེ། ཇི་ལྟར་ཨ་མྲ་ལ་སོགས་{br}ཤིང་འབྲས་ལ། །ཡོད་པའི་ས་བོན་མྱུ་གུ་འཇིག་མེད་ཆོས། །ས་རྨོས་ཆུ་སོགས་ལྡན་ལས་ལྗོན་ཤིང་གི། །རྒྱལ་པོའི་དངོས་པོར་རིམ་གྱིས་འགྲུབ་པ་ལྟར། །སེམས་ཅན་རྣམས་ཀྱི་མ་རིག་སོགས་འབྲས་ཀྱི། །ལྤགས་སྦུབས་ནང་ཆུད་ཆོས་ཁམས་དགེ་བ་ཡང་། །དེ་བཞིན་དགེ་བ་དེ་{br}ད་ལ་བརྟེན་ནས། །རིམ་གྱིས་ཐུབ་པའི་རྒྱལ་པོའི་དངོས་པོར་འགྱུར། །ཆུ་དང་ཉི་མའི་འོད་དང་རླུང་དང་ས་དུས་ནམ་མཁའི་རྐྱེན་རྣམས་ཀྱིས། །ཏ་ལ་དང་ནི་ཨ་མྲའི་འབྲས་སྦུབས་གསེབ་ནས་ཤིང་སྐྱེས་ཇི་ལྟ་བར། །སེམས་ཅན་ཉོན་མོངས་འབྲས་ལྤགས་ནང་ཆུད་རྫོགས་སངས་

ས་བོན་མྱུ་གུ་ཡང་། །དེ་བཞིན་དགེ་རྐྱེན་དེ་དང་དེ་ལས་ཆོས་འཐོན་འཕེལ་བར་འགྱུར་བ་ཡིན།

Other English translations[edit]

Obermiller (1931) [6]
The germ of a seed, contained in the fruit
Of the Mango-tree and the like; is of an imperishable nature,
And through cultivation of the ground, water and other (agencies),
Gradually attains the form of a lordly tree.
Takasaki (1966) [7]
Just as the germ of a seed inside the fruit of trees
Of Mango, Tāla, etc. is of an imperishable nature,
And, being sowed in the ground, by contact with water, etc.,
Gradually attains the nature of the king of trees; —
Fuchs (2000) [8]
The seed contained in the fruit of a mango or similar trees
[is possessed of] the indestructible property of sprouting.
Once it gets plowed-earth, water, and the other [conditions],
the substance of a majestic tree will gradually come about.

Textual sources[edit]

Commentaries on this verse[edit]

Academic notes[edit]

  1. Digital Sanskrit Buddhist Canon Unicode Input
  2. Brunnhölzl, Karl. When the Clouds Part: The Uttaratantra and its Meditative Tradition as a Bridge between Sūtra and Tantra. Boston: Snow Lion Publications, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, 2014.
  3. DP read "virtuous" (dge ba) for śubha, which can also mean "beautiful," "pleasant," "good," "auspicious," "prosperous," "pure," and "eminent."
  4. DP ’thon.
  5. It may seem that this example suggests a growing process of the tathāgata heart, just as a germ or a sprout gradually grows into a tree, which entails the need for supporting conditions such as water and sunlight. However, as Zimmermann (2002, 62–64) shows, the explanation of this example in the Tathāgatagarbhasūtra does not understand this to be the primary thrust of the example but rather emphasizes the imperishable nature of the seed and the fact that the result (the tree) is already contained in the seed, both being of the same nature. Also, conditions such as virtue do not produce buddhahood but only serve as conducive factors for its revelation. The same goes for the simile of a cakravartin in the womb of a poor woman. The emphasis is on the nature of a cakravartin’s being unchanging, whether still being in the womb or being a grown-up person, while the growth process of the embryo is not discussed. The stress lies on the stark contrast between the destitute and ugly woman and the glory of the cakravartin king inside her. In addition, the terminology (such as sugatakāya, tathāgata, tathāgatadhātu, and dharmatā) used in the explanation of these two examples is the same as in all the other examples and does not suggest any kind of growing or ripening process. That is, the Tathāgatagarbhasūtra throughout presents the model of the tathāgata heart with its qualities being revealed as opposed to any kind of gradual development. As Zimmermann (2002, 86–87) suggests, the reformulation of the example of the germ growing into a tree in the Uttaratantra could have been due to the concern that the original example’s statement that the result (the tree) is already present in the seed comes too close to the position of satkāryavāda as espoused by the Sāṃkhya School, which is usually rejected by Buddhists as a form of eternalism. That such a concern was definitely present among at least some readers and commentators of the Uttaratantra is evident from the long-lasting and sometimes vicious debates in Tibet about whether a literal understanding of the teachings on buddha nature means falling into a Hinduist view.
  6. Obermiller, E. "The Sublime Science of the Great Vehicle to Salvation Being a Manual of Buddhist Monism." Acta Orientalia IX (1931), pp. 81-306.
  7. Takasaki, Jikido. A Study on the Ratnagotravibhāga (Uttaratantra): Being a Treatise on the Tathāgatagarbha Theory of Mahāyāna Buddhism. Serie Orientale Roma 33. Roma: Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente (ISMEO), 1966.
  8. Fuchs, Rosemarie, trans. Buddha Nature: The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra. Commentary by Jamgon Kongtrul and explanations by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso. Ithaca, N. Y.: Snow Lion Publications, 2000.