tathāgatagarbha) is the innate potential in all living beings to become a fully awakened buddha. This book discusses a wide range of topics connected with the notion of buddha nature as presented in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism and includes an overview of the sūtra sources of the tathāgatagarbha teachings and the different ways of explaining the meaning of this term. It includes new translations of the Maitreya treatise Mahāyānottaratantra (Ratnagotravibhāga), the primary Indian text on the subject, its Indian commentaries, and two (hitherto untranslated) commentaries from the Tibetan Kagyü tradition. Most important, the translator’s introduction investigates in detail the meditative tradition of using the Mahāyānottaratantra as a basis for Mahāmudrā instructions and the Shentong approach. This is supplemented by translations of a number of short Tibetan meditation manuals from the Kadampa, Kagyü, and Jonang schools that use the Mahāyānottaratantra as a work to contemplate and realize one’s own buddha nature.
“Buddha nature” (
“One of the most important texts in the Kagyü tradition is Maitreya’s treatise The Ultimate Continuum. Gampopa himself said that this text, which teaches how buddha nature is present in all sentient beings and unifies the views of sūtra and tantra, is the basis for the practice of Mahāmudrā. Since that time, many great masters have written commentaries on this text, and I am pleased that Karl Brunnhölzl’s new translations of the treatise and of several commentaries are being published in English. I am certain this will bring benefit to many people.”—Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, author of An Ocean of the Ultimate Meaning
“The Uttaratantra is the most important classical text to bridge the sūtras and the tantras and thus is a must-study for those interested in having a complete overview of Buddhadharma. This collection of some important and rare works on this text that specially emphasize its meditation and Mahāmudrā aspects is a great contribution to the Buddhist literature in English. I am grateful to Karl Brunnhölzl for this work, as he is not only a scholar but also an experienced practitioner of these teachings, and has been for many years.”—Ringu Tulku, author of Confusion Arises as Wisdom
Visit our blog to read a guide to the Five Maitreya Texts: the “zip files” of the Mahayana by Karl Brunnhölzl