And indeed this does become a problem, which is why I think people studying Mahayana should have some background in Theravada first.Heavenstorm wrote:The problem with Buddha nature is that it might invoke the idea of "Buddha soul" or underlying hidden ultimate reality beneath Samara, similar to the Brahman & Maya theory in the Vedas. Then that will be a problem as it stands against the doctrine of Anatta.withoutcolour wrote:Hi all,
I was confused to find that the concept of buddha-dhatu (buddha nature) is only recognized in Mahayana buddhism (according to Wikipedia, which is ever-so-reliable ) ... but that the word Tathāgatagarbha can be interchangeable. Is this correct? Would the idea of the "womb of the buddha" be equivalent to "buddha nature"?
The Mahayana answer as I understand it is that Buddha Nature is unconditioned, unfabricated, etc. or in other words, anything you can say about Nibanna/Nirvanna you can also say about Buddha nature. Mahayana still teaches anatta/anatman of course, so the teachings are held up against each other. Though it still looks very confusing and from a Theravada point of view is, as you indicate below, perhaps unecessary. Not all Mahayana schools use it, BTW.
My interpretation is that it was teaching developed for people who were scared off by the anatta/anatman teachings. (Again, a not unbiased interpretation - and without too many Mahayanists here to be able to defend their doctrines - keep that in mind.)Personally, I see anatta and other two marks of existence as being a self sufficient mean to Satipatthana. Why include an extra dimensional level of complexity and mental attachment?