SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Li, Zijie (2020) 'Fazang’s theory of Zhenru真如 (Skt. Tathatā) and Zhongxing 種姓 (Skt. Gotra): With a focus on the influence of the Ratnagotravibhāga.' Studies in Chinese Religions, 6 (1). pp. 31-48.

Text - Accepted Version
Download (638kB) | Preview


Fazang法藏 (643–712) greatly valued the Jiujing yisheng baoxing lun 究竟一乘寶性論 [Skt. Ratnagotravibhāga; Treatise of the Jewel-nature of Ultimate One] and the Pusa dichi jing菩薩地持經 [Sūtra of Stages of Bodhisattvas]. These two scriptures played a very significant role in Fazang’s theory of tathatā真如, especially his theory of Huayan xingqi華嚴性起 (Arising of nature on Huayan). Similarly, Fazang’s theory of zhongxing種姓 (Skt. gotra) used the Jiujing yisheng baoxing lun and the Pusa dichi jing as its foundation. Clearly, the Jiujing yisheng baoxing lun is one of the most important scriptures for understanding Fazang’s thought. As is widely known, Fazang is one of the most significant figures when discussing the origin and history of rulai zang yuanqi如來藏緣起 (dependent arising of Buddha essence) and zhenru yuanqi真如緣起 (dependent arising of thusness) in Chinese Buddhist history. Therefore, Fazang’s quotations and explanations of the Jiujing yicheng baoxing lun are a necessary step towards the resolution of this difficult problem. The Sanskrit text of the Jiujing yicheng baoxing lun states that there is light of tathāgata (Rulai 如來; One Who Has Thus Come) in the bodies of beings including Mithyātva, which is a quote of the Zhi guangming zhuangyan jing 智光明莊嚴經 [Skt. Sarvabuddhaviṣayāvatārajñānālokālaṃkāra; Sūtra of Decorating Wisdom and Light]. In contrast, the classical Chinese translation clearly states that this is the quote of the Da Fangguang fo huayan jing 大方廣佛華嚴經 [Skt. Avataṃsaka sutra; Flower Garland Sūtra]. Fazang supported the standpoint of the classical Chinese translation of the Ratnagotravibhāga to demonstrate that the Avataṃsaka sūtra is the real resource and foundation of the xingqi性起 (arising of nature) theory of his thoughts on Huayan華嚴.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies > Department of Religions & Philosophies
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BQ Buddhism
ISSN: 23729996
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 06 May 2020 11:33
Related URLs: https://www.tan ... 18&repitition=0 (Publisher URL)
Funders: Other

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item