The Buddha Nature: A Study of the Tathagatagarbha and Alayavijnana


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One of the fundamental tenets of Mahayana Buddhism animating and grounding

the doctrine and discipline of its spiritual path, is the inherent

potentiality of all animate beings to attain the supreme and perfect

enlightenment of Buddhahood. This book examines the ontological

presuppositions and the corresponding soteriological-epistemological

principles that sustain and define such a theory. Within the field of

Buddhist studies, such a work provides a comprehensive context in which to

interpret the influence and major insights of the various Buddhist schools.

Thus, the dynamics of the Buddha Nature, though non-thematic and implicit,

is at the heart of Zen praxis, while it is a significant articulation in

Kegon, Tendai, and Shingon thought. More specifically, the book seeks to

establish a coherent metaphysics of absolute suchness (Tathata),

synthesizing the variant traditions of the Tathagata-embryo

(Tathagatagarbha) and the Storehouse Consciousness (Alayavijnana).

The books’ contribution to the broader field of the History of Religions

rests in its presentation and analysis of the Buddhist Enlightenment as the

salvific-transformational moment in which Tathata ‘awakens’ to itself,

comes to perfect slef-realization as the Absolute suchness of reality, in

and through phenomenal human consciousness. The book is an interpretation

of the Buddhist Path as the spontaneous self-emergence of ’embryonic’

absolute knowledge as it comes to free itself from the concealments of

adventitious defilements, and possess itself in fully self-explicitated

self-consciousness as the ‘Highest Truth’ and unconditional nature of all

existence; it does so only in the form of omniscient wisdom.


About the Author(s)

Additional information

Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions 10 × 11 × 12 cm
Book Author

Brian Edward Brown

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