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Tathatā (T. de bzhin nyid; C. zhenru) is translated as "thusness", "suchness", etc. It is described variously as true nature, essential nature, a state of being just as it is.[1]

It is a central concept in Tibetan Buddhism and East Asian Buddhism.

The term is sometimes used interchangably with dharmatā.

East Asian Buddhism

A 5th-century Chinese Mahayana scripture entitled "Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana" describes the concept of tathatā as follows:

In its very origin suchness is of itself endowed with sublime attributes. It manifests the highest wisdom which shines throughout the world, it has true knowledge and a mind resting simply in its own being. It is eternal, blissful, its own self-being and the purest simplicity; it is invigorating, immutable, free... Because it possesses all these attributes and is deprived of nothing, it is designated both as the Womb of Tathagata and the Dharma Body of Tathagata.[2]

Scholar R. H. Robinson states:

The Laṅkāvatāra is always careful to balance Śūnyatā with Tathatā, or to insist that when the world is viewed as śūnya, empty, it is grasped in its suchness.[3]


Editor's note: this section needs attention. To be clarified Review-icon.png

While alive the Buddha referred to himself as Tathagata, which can mean either "One who has thus come" or "One who has thus gone",[4] and can be interpreted as "One who has arrived at suchness".

See also


  1. Rangjung a-circle30px.jpg Tathata
  2. Berry, Thomas (1996). Religions of India: Hinduism, Yoga, BuddhismFree registration required. Columbia University Press. p. 170. ISBN 978-0-231-10781-5. 
  3. Robinson, Richard H. (1957). "Some Logical Aspects of Nagarjuna's System". Philosophy East & West. 6 (4): 306. 
  4. Oxford dictionary of Buddhism; P296

External links

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