BUD 630 Buddha Nature:
Luminous Heart of the Tathagata

Intermediate Curriculum

Course Credits: 2 credits
Course Code: BUD 630

Self-paced online course
Semester course: Currently not open.


Course Description:
This course is an overview of the Tathagatagarbha, or Buddha Nature tradition, the view of the luminous essence of awakening, the heart of goodness shared by all beings. Our exploration will rely on the key section of Uttaratantra of Maitreya (ca. 4th century) which establishes Buddha nature through three reasonings, its ten facets, nine analogies and five reasons why it is necessary to teach it.

Prerequisite: Though any student may take any intermediate course at any time, it is recommended that students complete the Foundation Curriculum before beginning the Intermediate Curriculum, then take all four intermediate courses in the order of:

  • BUD 601 Chittamatra Philosophical Tradition: Appearances are Mere Mind
  • BUD 610 Madhyamaka Philosophical Tradition: Not Even a Middle
  • BUD 620 Paths and Bhumis: The Path to Enlightenment
  • BUD 630 Buddha Nature: Luminous Heart of the Tathagata

Self-paced online course: Jirka Hladiš,
Fall 2019: Jirka Hladiš

Meeting times:
The 2019 fall course will meet on Mondays from September 16–December 9, 2019 (no class on October 21, 2019). Class is broadcast 7:00pm-9:00pm Mountain Time and can be reviewed on the online campus at your convenience.

The Self-Paced Online Course meets at your convenience!

What You’ll Learn:

  • The element: three reasons the element is present in all sentient beings
  • Ten aspects of the element
  • Nine examples explaining why the defilements are to be purified though the essence is unchanging
  • Five reasons why it is necessary to explain the element

Required Texts

  • Buddha Nature: The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra with Commentary, by Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Thaye, tr. by Rosemarie Fuchs, Snow Lion Publications, 2000
  • Commentary on the Fourth Vajra Point in the Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, Nitartha Institute Publications

Available for purchase by emailing bookstore@nitarthainstitute.org.

If there are further questions about texts, please write to publications@nitarthainstitute.org.

Mode of Instruction: Self-paced online course and Semester course
Self-Paced Online Course (SPOC):
As part of our online campus, this course is also available as streaming video and as downloadable audio.  There are also posted study questions, recommended readings, exam questions and the ability to contact a distance learning advisor with questions. You will receive an email providing information about accessing the online course within a week of registering.

For questions about taking this course as a Self-Paced Online Course, contact SPOC Coordinator Jenny Shu at jshu@nitarthainstitute.org.

Semester course:
Weekly classes led by Nitartha Institute faculty. Click here for current semester course information).

Self-paced online course
Semester course: Currently not open