Foxing lun

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Foxing lun (佛性論), or Treatise on Buddha Nature, is a treatise on Buddha-nature that was influential in Chinese Buddhism.[1]

Traditionally, the text is said to have been composed by Vasubandhu, and translated into Chinese by Paramārtha. However, modern scholars suspect that the text may have been written by Paramārtha himself.[2]

The Princeton Dictionary states:

The text offers a tripartite account of the buddha-nature as “dwelling in itself,” “emergent,” and “attained”... It is also well known for its outline of three aspects of the tathāgatagarbha, as (1) the contained, (2) the concealed or hidden, and (3) the container.[2]

According to Peter Harvey, this text, along with Treatise on Awakening of Faith in the Mahāyāna (Dasheng qixin lun), present tathagatagarbha in cosmological terms.[1] Harvey states:

Here one finds the Tathgata-garbha being portrayed in cosmological terms as the ‘One Mind’ that encompasses the whole of reality, both awakened and unawakened; as a single, universal reality, rather than, as is typical in Indian Buddhism, an aspect of individual beings. This seemingly monistic doctrine is reminiscent of the Brahmanical idea that the Self (Ātman) is identical with Brahman, the sacred, and that ‘everything is Brahman’, and also with Daoist ideas of everything as the play of the Dao (see p. 211).[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Harvey 2013, s.v. Chapter 7.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Buswell & Lopez 2014, s.v. Foxing lun.


Further reading