Uncover Your Forgotten But Never Lost Treasure

If a Bodhisattva intently ponders 
The profound Tathāgata store
Possessed by all sentient beings,
He will quickly attain the unsurpassed Bodhi [i.e. Buddhahood].

– Śākyamuni Buddha
(Mahāvaipulya Sūtra Of The Tathāgata Store)

… [A]s an analogy, a man carries a holy statue in pure gold as he travels to another country. Traveling perilous roads, for fear of bandits, he wraps it in filthy rags to hide it. Then he dies on his way, and his gold statue is discarded in a wilderness. Travelers trample it and say that it is filth. However, someone with the god [i.e. heavenly] eye sees that within the filthy rags is a holy statue in pure gold. He takes it out, and all salute it.

Likewise, good men, I see that as sentient beings with various afflictions transmigrate through countless births and deaths in the long night, the wondrous Tathāgata store [如来藏; Buddha-nature: potential for Buddhahood] in their bodies is stately and pure, no different from me. Therefore, I, the Buddha, expound the Dharma to sentient beings, to enable them to end their afflictions, acquire the pure Tathāgata wisdom, and then transform and guide all others in the world.”

Then the World-Honored One spoke in verse:

… Likewise I use the Buddha eye
To observe sentient beings, and see that,
Fettered by afflictions and evil karmas,
They undergo suffering
through repeated birth and death.

I also see that, in the midst of
Their dirt-like ignorance and afflictions,
Their Tathāgata nature remains
And indestructible.

Having seen this,
I, the Buddha, tell Bodhisattvas that
Their afflictions and evil karmas
Shroud a Tathāgata’s supreme body
[Dharma Body].

They should diligently remove them
To reveal the Tathāgata wisdom
And to be revered by all,
Such as gods, humans, dragons, and ghosts.

– Śākyamuni Buddha  
(Mahāvaipulya Sūtra Of The Tathāgata Store)
Translated by Rulu

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