The tathāgatagarbha or buddha nature doctrine is centered on sentient beings’ potential for buddhahood—sometimes understood in the sense that all beings already contain a “buddha within.” This notion is found through various strands of early Mahāyāna sources that, notwithstanding their complex and interwoven development, came to share enough common features to summarize them under the doxographical category of Tathāgatagarbha.
The chapters contained in this volume represent the latest research into buddha nature theory that covers a range of topics across major Buddhist traditions. These contributions were originally presented as papers during the symposium “Tathāgatagarbha across Asia: The Reception of an Influential Mahāyāna Doctrine in Central and East Asia,” held at the University of Vienna in 2019. This symposium brought together academic scholars focusing on religio-historical developments of buddha nature theory as well as traditional teachers and monastics who offered emic perspectives on the relevance of the concept within the context of their own tradition. The resulting volume, therefore, aims at contributing to the overall better understanding of tathāgatagarbha doxography, both historically and in living Buddhist communities.