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tathagatagarbha Buddha-nature or the seed of enlightenment. "Tathagata-garbha" means "Buddha Womb/ Buddha Matrix" or "Buddha Embryo", and this notion is explicated by the Buddha in the "Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra" as the "True Self" within all sentient beings - the unconditioned, boundless, nurturing, sustaining, deathless and diamond-like Self of Buddha, which is indiscernible to worldly, unawakened vision as a result of the masses of negative mental states and general moral taints which envelop it.

The Tathagatagarbha Sutra presents the Tathagatagarbha as a virtual Buddha-homunculus, a fully wisdom-endowed Buddha seated majestically within the body of each being - beyond all moral contamination -, clearly visible only to a perfect Buddha. This is the most "personalist" depiction of the Tathagatagarbha encountered in any of the chief Tathagatagarbha sutras. Other Tathagatagarbha sutras view the Buddha-garbha in a more abstract, less precisely defined, manner. But all are agreed that the Tathagatagarbha is an immortal transcendental Essence and that it resides in every single being.


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