By Michael Zimmerman
1. A examine and translation of the Tathagatagarbhasutra; 2. serious and diplomatic versions of the Tathagatagarbhasutra ; The versions [Tibetan and chinese language] contains wide biliographical references and index.
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Additional info for A Buddha within: The Tathagatagarbhasutra: The earliest exposition of the Buddha-nature teaching in India
In the same way that full-fledged tathagatas sit in the flowers, so also, according to the siitra, are buddhas contained in living beings. " However, in order to reach an adequate interpretation of the compound, I need to preface some remarks on the te= garbha, and then give an overview of the range of possible interpretations of the whole compound, in part offered by the texts which succeeded the TGS. " It seems, however, that, starting from this biological background, garbha took on other, less specific senses, such as "the inside, middle, interior of anything, calyx (as of a lotus), ...
Taking it as such, we would have to translate the whole compound in a possessive relation to living beings as: I. "Living beings have an embryo of a tathagata" (tathiigatasya garbho ('sti) yesiirh te tathiigatagarbhiil;). II. (1) " ... have a tathagata in their womb (garbha),,,67 or (2) " ... " III. Or, assuming that garbha can have the meaning "core, essence," as (1) " ... have the tathagata-core" or (2) " ... (l) mirrors the understanding of the Tibetan when rendering the statement cited above as sems can 'di dag ni rtag tu de bzhin gshegs pa 'i snying po (can) yin ....
The main reason, however, was probably the compiler's wish to introduce the te= tathiigatagarbha. We cannot be sure what exactly led to the eminence of the te=. As long as we have no other early text which could have coined the te=, we should assume that it developed in fact from the lotus image in the first stage of the TGS. We can even imagine that the author(s) of the incomplete TGS (without lA) searched for a designation for their new idea of the buddha-nature, and possibly also for a title of the sutra meant to expound their theory.
A Buddha within: The Tathagatagarbhasutra: The earliest exposition of the Buddha-nature teaching in India by Michael Zimmerman