The Tathāgatagarbha sūtras


I’m currently learning about Dölpopa’s thinking, and I was wondering what you think of the Tathāgatagarbha sūtras?

With mettā. :pray:

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I personally believe that they originated in response to Hindu/Vedic notions about the Atman, and this idea is not unknown even to Mahayana Buddhism; a Chan master whose name I forget apparently taught as much (even as he accepted that the Buddha has preached them).

They’re interesting texts for sure. I see this literature as an attempt to co-opt the positive and popular language of atman used in Brahmanical thought but subvert it for Buddhist ends. As such, they are following a long tradition started by the Buddha, that is, taking common Indian doctrines and giving them a non-substantialist spin. Of course, it does seem that some statements in these texts can be interpreted as positing a kind of self if taken in isolation, which is why there was so much debate in India, China and Tibet about how to interpret them. However as long as we understand them as skillful means there is no fault.