The class of Buddhist scriptures known as the “Buddha-nature” (tathāgatagarbha) sutras presents a seemingly variant understanding of emptiness, wherein the Buddha Nature, the Buddha and Liberation are seen as transcending the realm of the empty (i.e. of the conditioned and dependently originated). Some scholars, however, view such teachings as metaphorical, not to be taken literally. Other Buddhist monks/scholars disagree with this claim.
The Tathāgatagarbha Sutras portray emptiness in a positive way. The Buddha nature genre of sutras can be seen as an attempt to state orthodox Buddhist teachings of dependent origination using positive language instead, to prevent people from being turned away from Buddhism by a false impression of nihilism.
In these sutras the perfection of the wisdom of not-self is stated to be the true self. The ultimate goal of the path is characterized using a range of…
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