如来藏 – Chinese philosophy and culture

rúláizàng 如来藏

Tathāgatagarbha / Womb of the Tathāgata

一切众生都藏有的成就觉悟的潜能。如来藏为觉悟的可能性提供了本体基础,且在相关经典中,一般认为一切众生都有这种觉悟的潜能,它其实是被淹没的意识本质。由于如来藏与阿赖耶识一样清净圆满,提供了相似的解脱依据,故有时混为一谈。魏晋至隋唐之间,“如来藏缘起”的观念趋于显流,即将如来藏分为真如门和生灭门,前者指寂静的本体,后者指阿赖耶识的作用表象,用以解释性寂的本体何以有缘起生灭的问题。

Tathāgatagarbha refers to the potential to realize the Buddhahood inherent in all sentient beings. As an ontological foundation for Buddhahood, this potential is described in related sutras as the submerged essence of consciousness possessed by all sentient beings. It is sometimes confused with ālāyavijñāna, because both of them, pure and perfect, provide bases for freedom. From the late Wei and Jin dynasties to the Sui and Tang dynasties, the study of “the dependent origination of tathāgatagarbha” became popular. It suggests that the tathāgatagarbha heart of all sentient beings opens two gates: the gate of tathāta (suchness) and the gate of generation and destruction. The former refers to the noumenon of tranquility, while the latter denotes the appearance caused by the functioning of ālāyavijñāna. This explains the reason why the noumenon of tranquility is capable of arising and being extinguished.

引例 Citations:

◎众生如来藏,犹如岩树蜜,结使尘劳缠,如群蜂守护。我为诸众生,方便说正法,灭除烦恼蜂,开发如来藏。(《大方等如来藏经》)

(众生的如来藏,就像岩树上的蜂蜜一般,被各种烦恼纠缠,仿佛有群蜂守护。我为各类众生,用各种巧计开示正法,灭除蜜蜂般的烦恼,好去打开觉悟的宝藏。)

The tathāgatagarbha of all sentient beings gets entangled in afflictions of all kinds, just like the honey on a tree growing among rocks is guarded by a colony of bees. For all sentient beings, I adopt expedient methods to teach the true dharma, to destroy the bees of afflictions, and to uncover their tathāgatagarbha. (Tathāgatagarbha Sutra)

◎本觉隐显为异:藏识在染,名之隐;藏识在果,名之显。非是先染,后随对治,为净法也。故《胜鬘(mán)》言:隐为如来藏,显为法身。此之体义,非用义也。(释慧远《大乘起信论义疏》上之下)

(觉知的本性有隐显的差异:藏识在染污的状态下,就是隐蔽的;在条件成熟的情况下,就是显现的。并不是识本身原来染污,然后通过对烦恼的对治,才成为了清净的本体。因而《胜鬘》上说:隐蔽的状态称作如来藏,显现的状态就是法身。这里指向的是本体[本体没有染净之别,只有隐显状态之别],而不是功用。)

The nature of Buddhahood is hidden on some occasions and manifested on others. It is hidden in a state of pollution and manifested when the time is ripe. Some hold that the sentient being’s nature is originally polluted and attains purity only after afflictions get eliminated, but this is not true. As is mentioned in The Exegesis of Sutra on the Lion’s Roar of Queen Śrīmālā, the hidden nature is called tathāgatagarbha, while the manifested nature is called dharmakāya (the body of dharma). What is referred to here is the noumenon rather than the function. (Shi Huiyuan: The Treatise on the Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana)

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