Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies (Indogaku Bukkyogaku Kenkyu)
Online ISSN : 1884-0051
Print ISSN : 0019-4344
ISSN-L : 0019-4344
On a Comparison between “Original Enlightenment Thought” and “Tathagatagarbha Theory”
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2005 Volume 54 Issue 1 Pages 31-36,1238


Mr. Shiro Matsumoto insisted that the “thought of the matrix of the Tathagata” (nyoraizo shiso) is a non-Buddhist teaching because it is dhatu-vada. Upon receiving Mr. Matsumoto's theory, Mr. Noriaki Hakamaya opposed the concept of “original enlightenment.”
I responded to Mr. Hakamaya's opposition, stating that the word dhatu, as found in the “Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana, ” should be interpreted as “the essential truth of things” (shin-nyo) or “dharma body” (hosshin), and that therefore, the concept of dhatu differs from the concept of “original enlightenment.” I requested that Mr. Hakamaya did not use the terms “original enlightenment” and dhatu interchangeably when discoursing on dhatu-vada, as referred to in Mr. Matsumoto's writing. Mr. Matsumoto and Mr. Hakamaya responded to my proposal, defending their views.
At this time, I doubt that “original enlightenment” is dhatu, as found in the “Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana” (Kishin-ron)
The world of truth, which has no emergence and no disappearance, is the world of absoluteness. This human world, which has emergence and disappearance, is the relative world. While describing the Buddha's enlightenment in the relative world (shigaku), the concept of “original enlightenment” is expounded in order to emphasize the contrast between “original enlightenment” in the world of truth (hongaku) and the Buddha's enlightenment during His lifetime in India in the relative world (shigaku). Therefore, dhatu is not “original enlightenment.” This is my counter-response to Mr. Matsumoto and Mr. Hakamaya.

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