Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche's Bardo Teachings

Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche

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In one of his final teachings the Buddha introduced the idea of tathagatagarbha, the buddha essence within every sentient being. The teachings make it very clear that tathagatagarbha pervades all beings equally in quantity as well as quality. This primordial essence is never defiled, but it becomes obscured when an individual engages in negative activity and thus accumulates negative karma that prevents him or her from recognizing tathagatagarbha. Such individuals are called sentient beings, while those who recognize buddha essence are called enlightened beings. That recognition is the only distinction between sentient and enlightened beings, for both have an equal quantity and quality of tathagatagarbha. The real purpose of practicing the dharma is to realize the manifestation of buddha essence that we now only glimpse.

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