On Buddha essence: a commentary on Rangjung Dorje’s treatise
A Treatise on Buddha Nature by Rangjung Dorje, the third Karmapa, is one of the Kagyu lineage’s oldest and most important texts, belonging to the tradition of the Six Yogas of Naropa. In the nineteenth century Jamgön Kongtrul composed a commentary to it, which Khenchen Thrangu uses as the basis for the teachings in this book. The subject of this famous treatise is buddha essence, the basic nature of all beings. The term is a translation of the Sanskrit tathagatagarbha, or deshek nyingpo (bde-gshegs snying-po) in Tibetan. The Tibetan interprets garbha as “essence” (snying-po), the Innermost part of something. Both terms indicate that our very nature is buddhahoodbuddha essence is possessed not only by enlightened masters, but by everyone.
The path to awakening buddha essence, or buddha nature, is meditation. The practitioner needs to understand not only how to meditate, but also the reasons for meditation, in order to develop insight. This text contains complete instructions on how to discover buddha essence in ourselves.