From Buddha-Nature

Tashi Özer's Commentary on the Ratnagotravibhāga[edit]

[[ |300px|thumb]] Dumowa Tashi Özer is one of the articulate Kagyupa commentators on the Ratnagotravibhāga. He received an education in the Geluk and Sakya traditions but is most significantly associated with the two most scholarly Karmapas as a student of the 7th Karmapa, Chödrak Gyatso, and a teacher of the 8th Karmapa, Mikyö Dorje. Tashi Özer's commentary, Heart of the Luminous Sun, was primarily based on the topical outline written by the 3rd Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje.

The commentary provides a concise summary of the two interpretations of the topic of buddha-nature in Tibet. He writes:

In identifying the nature of buddha-nature, in Tibet, there are diverse assertions. The lamas of the Gaden tradition claim that the emptiness of the mind being empty of hypostatic existence, which is a nonimplicative negation, is buddha-nature. The lamas of the Sakya tradition hold that the unity of emptiness and clarity of the mind is buddha-nature. The lord Rangjung Dorje has taught:
This ordinary consciousness itself
Is the sphere of reality, the buddha-nature.
It can neither be made better by enlightened beings
Nor sullied to become worse by sentient beings.
He also states:
Then, if asked: What does buddha-nature refer to? It is as said in the verse:
The luminous nature of the mind
Is immutable like space.
The adventitious impurities such as attachment
Which arise from wrong concepts cannot defile it.

Following Rangjung Dorje's position, the author adopts a zhentong position and argues that buddha-nature is empty of adventitious defilements but is not void of the transcendental qualities of enlightenment. He refutes the claim put forth by others that buddha-nature is a provisional teaching and also the argument that buddha-nature is empty of both its own existence and adventitious defilements.

Weekly quote[edit]