The aim of Mahayana teachings is for everyone, out of compassion for all sentient beings, to attain Buddhahood. The reason one can attain Buddhahood is that one possesses the Tathagata store (tathagata-garbha), which is one’s inherent pure mind or Buddha nature.
The Introduction chapter of this book, Rulu’s seventh, explores the origin of the concept of the Tathagata store, and discusses how teachings on the Tathagata store have come to be accepted in China as the mainstream of Mahayana teachings and a distinct school of thought, standing apart from and along with the Madhyamaka School and the Yogacara School. Highlights of teachings on the Tathagata store presented in this chapter include why all sentient beings possess the Tathagata store, meanings of the dharma body and its four virtues, a comparison between the self claimed by those on non-Buddhist paths and a true self taught by the Buddha, meanings of one’s Buddha nature, and how one’s Tathagata store and alaya consciousness (alaya-vijnana) are unified.
This book presents the English translations of six sutras selected from the Chinese Buddhist Canon. The Mahavaipulya Sutra of the Tathagata Store gives a basic teaching and describes by nine analogies that one’s Tathagata store is shrouded by one’s afflictions. The Sutra of Neither Increase Nor Decrease reveals that the Tathagata store is a Tathagata’s dharma body, and that the realm of sentient beings neither increases nor decreases. The Sutra of Shrimala’s Lion’s Roar gives teachings on one’s afflictions that shroud one’s Tathagata store and inspires all sentient beings to ride the One Vehicle to attain Buddhahood. The Mahayana version of the Sutra of Angulimalika reveals that as one’s Tathagata store transcends all dharmas, all dharmas are one’s Tathagata store. The Sutra of the Unsurpassed Reliance teaches one to rely on one’s Tathagata store in order to walk the bodhi path to Buddhahood. The Sutra of the Vajra Samadhi reveals that one’s inherent awareness, the pure awareness of one’s true mind, has a mass of benefits. This book will benefit readers at all levels and can serve as a basis for scholarly research.