Indian transplants: tathāgatagarbha and Yogācāra
The Dilun described the ten stages through which a bodhisattva proceeded on the way to nirvāṇa, and Vasubandhu’s exposition of it highlighted aspects most in accord with the tenets of the Yogācāra school (see Buddhism, Yogācāra school of; Vasubandhu).
While translating, an irreconcilable difference of interpretation broke out between the two translators, Bodhiruci and Ratnamati. Bodhiruci’s reading followed a relatively orthodox Yogācāra line, while Ratnamati’s interpretation leaned heavily toward a Buddhist ideology only beginning to receive attention in China, tathāgatagarbha thought.
Bodhiruci went on to translate roughly forty additional texts, and was later embraced by both the Huayan and Pure Land traditions as one of their early influences (see §§8, 10). Ratnamati later collaborated with several other translators on a number of other texts.
Both sides attempted to ground their positions on interpretations of key texts, especially the Dilun.
five sensory consciousnesses;
Since, like a stream, the ālaya-vijñāna is reconfigured each moment in response to constantly changing conditions, it is not a permanent self, although, being nothing more than a sequential chain of causes and effects, it provides sufficient stability for an individual to maintain a sense of continuity.
According to classical Yogācāra texts, the mind (that is, ālaya-vijñāna and the mental events associated with it) is the problem, and enlightenment results from bringing this consciousness to an end, replacing it with the Great Mirror Cognition (ādarśa-jñāna);
instead of discriminating consciousness, one has direct immediate cognition of things just as they are, as impartially and comprehensively as a mirror. This type of enlightenment occurs during the eighth stage according to the Dilun and other texts.
The term tathāgatagarbha (in Chinese, rulaizang) derives from two words: tathāgata (Chinese, rulai) is an epithet of the Buddha, meaning either ‘thus come’ or ‘thus gone’; garbha means embryo, womb or matrix, and was translated into Chinese as zang, meaning ‘repository’.
Over time the concept expanded and came to signify the original pristine pure ontological Buddhaness intrinsic in all things, a pure nature that is obscured or covered over by defilements (Sanskrit, kleśa;
The battle between the pure and impure, light and dark, enlightenment and ignorance, good and evil and so on, took on such epic proportions in Chinese Buddhist literature that some scholars have compared it to Zoroastrian or Manichean themes, though evidence for the influence of those religions on Buddhist thought has been more suggestive than definitive (see Manicheism; Zoroastrianism).
In their classical formulations the ālaya-vijñāna and tathāgatagarbha were distinct items differing from each other in important ways – for instance, enlightenment entailed bringing the ālaya-vijñāna to an end, while it meant actualizing the tathāgatagarbha;
For his followers the most important of his translations was the She dasheng lun (Sanskrit title, Mahāyānasaṃgraha), or Shelun, a quasi-systematic exposition of Yogācāra theory by one its founders, Asaṅga.
LUSTHAUS, DAN (1998). Buddhist philosophy, Chinese. In E. Craig (Ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Routledge. Retrieved May 21, 2013, from http://www.rep.routledge.com/article/G002SECT4