རིན་ཆེན་ནམ་མཁའ་ཆུ་དག་བཞིན། རྟག་ཏུ་རང་བཞིན་ཉོན་མོངས་མེད།

“Like that which is precious, the sky and pure water, Mind’s nature is always free of disturbing emotion.” –Geshe Sonam Rinchen, “Sublime Continuum,” in Buddha Nature: Oral Teachings, p. 19

Buddha Nature
sangs rgyas kyi rigs (Berzin)
sangs rgyas kyi rang gi ngo bo (Hackett)

Literally: Buddha caste-trait, Buddha family-trait. A factor imputable on the stained mind of a limited being (sentient being) that transforms into or allows for the attainment of enlightenment. (Berzin Definitions)

Subject Guide Sections

  • Indo-Tibetan Sources 
  • Modern Literature
  • Media and Other Resources

Indo-Tibetan Sources

Tathāgathagarbha Sutra (Uttarātantra Root Text)
‘phags pa de bzhin gshegs pa’i snying po zhes bya ba theg pa chen po’i mdo

  • Grosnick, William H. 1995. “The Tathagatagarbha Sutra.” In Donald S. Lopez, ed., Buddhism In Practice. Princeton University Press. (huntingtonarchive.org)
  • Zimmermann, Michael. 2002. A Buddha Within: The Tathāgatagarbhasūtra: The Earliest Exposition of the Buddha-Nature Teaching in India. International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology, Soka University. (lirs.ru)

Ratnagotravibhāga/Uttarātantra (Sublime Continuum)
Tibetan: ཐེག་པ་ཆེན་པོ་རྒྱུད་བླ་མའི་བསྟན་བཅོས།
Wylie: ​​theg pa chen po rgyud bla ma’i bstan bcos (rgyud bla ma)
Sanskrit | Tibetan

  • Takasaki Jikidō. 2014. A Study on the Ratnagotravibhāga (Uttaratantra) : Being a Treatise on the Tathāgatagarbha Theory of Mahāyāna Buddhism : Including a Critical Introduction a Synopsis of the Text a Translation from the Original Sanskrit Text in Comparision [I.e. Comparison] with Its Tibetan & Chinese Versions Critical Notes Appendixes and Indexes. Motilal Banarsidass. (WorldCat)

Tib: ཐེག་པ་ཆེན་པོ་རྒྱུད་བླ་མའི་བསྟན་བཅོས་རྣམ་པར་བཤད་པ། 
Wylie: ​​theg pa chen po rgyud bla ma’i bstan bcos rnam par bshad pa
Asaṅga and Gyaltsab Je’s Commentary on Sublime Continuum

  • Asaṅga, Dar-ma-rin-chen, Rgyal-tshab-rje (Gyaltsab Je), and Bo Jiang, trans. 2017. The Sublime Continuum and its Explanatory Commentary (Mahāyānottaratantraśāstravyākhyā ; Theg pa chen po rgyud bla ma’i bstan bcos dang de’i rnam par bshad pa). AIBS.  JABL

Contemporary Scholarship

  • Brunnhölzl Karl. 2015. When the Clouds Part: The Uttaratantra and Its Meditative Tradition as a Bridge between Sutra and Tantra. Snow Lion. JABL
  • Bstan-ʼdzin-rgya-mtsho, Dalai Lama XIV, and Thubten Chodron. 2018. Saṃsāra, Nirvāṇa, and Buddha Nature. Wisdom Publications. JABL.
  • Duckworth, Douglas S. 2008. Mipam on Buddha-Nature : The Ground of the Nyingma Tradition. State University of New York Press. JABL
  • Duckworth, Douglas S. 2019. Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy of Mind and Nature. Oxford University Press. JABL
  • Makransky, John J. 1997. Buddhahood Embodied: Sources of Controversy in India and Tibet. State University of New York Press. JABL
  • Rinpoche Thrangu and Ken and Katia Holmes, trans. 1994. The Uttara Tantra, a Treatise on Buddha Nature.  Sri Satguru Publications. JABL  
  • Sonam Rinchen. 2003. Buddha Nature: Oral Teachings. Library of Tibetan Works and Archives. JABL.
  • Tsering Wangchuk. 2017. The Uttaratantra in the Land of Snows: Tibetan Thinkers Debate the Centrality of the Buddha-Nature Treatise. State University of New York Press. (WorldCat)
  • Wangchuk, Tsering. 2009. The Uttaratantra in the Age of Argumentation: Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen and His Fourteenth-Century Interlocutors on Buddha-Lineage. Dissertation University of Virginia.

Media and Other Resources

  • Berzin, Alexander. (n.d.) Commentary on “Uttaratantra” – Dr. Berzin. Study Buddhism by Berzin Archives. studybuddhism.com (audio and transcripts)
  • Bstan-ʼdzin-rgya-mtsho, Dalai Lama XIV. 2019. The Furthest Everlasting Continuum and Three Principal Aspects of the Path by the 14th Dalai Lama. buddhanature.tsadra.org (video)
  • Bstan-ʼdzin-rgya-mtsho, Dalai Lama XIV. (n.d.) Commentary on “Uttaratantra” – The Dalai Lama. Study Buddhism by Berzin Archives. studybuddhism.com (audio and transcripts)
  • Buddha Nature: A Tsadra Foundation Inititive buddhanature.tsadra.org
  • Jinpa, Thupten. 2022. “Tsongkhapa on Emptiness and the Experience of Emptiness.” Conversations on Buddha-Nature with Lopen Dr. Karma Phuntsho. Produced by the Tsadra Foundation Research Department. buddhanature.tsadra.org (video)
  • “Uttaratantra.” Buddha Nature: A Tsadra Foundation Initiative. buddhanature.tsadra.org