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The Concept of Tathāgatagarbha in the Śrīmālādevī Sūtra (Sheng-Man Ching)

Diana Paul
Journal of the American Oriental Society
Vol. 99, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1979), pp. 191-203
DOI: 10.2307/602656
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/602656
Page Count: 13
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Concept of Tathāgatagarbha in the Śrīmālādevī Sūtra (Sheng-Man Ching)
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Abstract

"Tathāgatagarbha" refers to a theory in Mahāyāna Buddhism which interprets the nature of the mind as intrinsically pure (unconditioned) yet defiled (conditioned). The objective of this theory is to link living beings with the Buddha, encouraging them to attain enlightenment. In the Śrīmālādevī-sūtra, a major scriptural authority on Tathāgatagarbha, a correlation between the nature of Emptiness and the nature of mind is explicated. The devlopment of ideas first presented in the Śrīmālādevī-sūtra greatly influenced the evolution of the notion of ālayavijñāna, the key concept in the second major Mahāyāna school known as Vijn̄ãnavāda. It will be demonstrated that Tathāgatagarbha accounts for the possibility of change from a defiled to an enlightened state due to the two dimensions of the inherently pure nature of mind as "embryo" and "womb."

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