By Michael Zimmerman
1. A learn and translation of the Tathagatagarbhasutra; 2. severe and diplomatic variations of the Tathagatagarbhasutra ; The variants [Tibetan and chinese language] contains large biliographical references and index.
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Extra resources for A Buddha within: The Tathagatagarbhasutra: The earliest exposition of the Buddha-nature teaching in India
I therefore conjecture that when looking for a relatively fitting setting for the eight similes, the compiler decided to arrange the description of the fading flowers (taken from a different context) into an introduction to the similes. But then he was forced to coppose parts OM and IB (without the sentences including tathiigatagarbha) in order to explain plausibly the relation between the scenery and the eight similes,t,starting with the honey in the honeycomb. ). Most likely, this newly created first simile did not include a verse portion.
Isaacson kindly drew my attention to three relatively late passages: one in the Yogaratnamiilii, a commentary on the Hevajratantra, where garbha in the term vajragarbha is synonymized as hrdaya (David L. Snellgrove, The Hevajra Tantra, A Critical Study, Part 2: Sanskrit and Tibetan Texts, London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1959, p. 136); the second, in Ratnilkarasanti's as yet unpublished Muktiivali, another commentary on the Hevajratantra, where the same gloss is given (National Archives, Kathmandu, MS 4-19 = Nepal-German Manuscript Preservation Project Reel No.
Secondly, the highly unexpected nature of the simile is meant to induce one to believe that the hidden buddha-nature will one day be revealed even in a sentient being who hardly anybody would think capable of becoming a buddha. The role of the divinity which in the upamiina advises a person to look for the nugget and clean it, is filled in the upameya by the Dharma-teaching Tathiigata. The topos of a hidden treasure beneath the house of some poor person for the unknown buddha-nature in living beings is, with some variations, also found in the Mahiiparinirviir;asiitra.