Tathata, aka: Tathatā, Tathātā; 6 Definition(s)


Tathata means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

'Suchness', designates the firmly fixed nature (bhāva) of all things whatever.

The only passage in the Canon where the word occurs in this sense, is found in Kath. 186 (s. Guide, p. 83).

On the Mahāyana term tathatā, s. Suzuki, Awakening of Faith, p. 53f. (App.).

Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines
context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Tathatā (तथता) refers to the “manner of being” and is mentioned as one of the synonyms of Dharmatā (the ‘dharma-nature’ or ‘true nature’ of dharmas), according to Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter XLIX. Accordingly, “the Tathatā ‘manner of being’ of all dharmas is of two kinds: i) the specific nature (svalakṣaṇa) belonging to each dharma; ii) the dharmatā ‘true nature’. The specific nature belonging to each dharma is, for example, the solidity (khakkhaṭatva) of earth (pṛthivi), the wetness (dravatva) of water (ap-), the warmth of fire (uṣṇatva) of fire (tejas), the mobility (īraṇatva) of wind (vāyu): such natures differentiate dharmas, each of which has its own nature”.

While not seeing permanent dharmas, seeing impermanence (anityatā) is a wrong view (mithyādṛṣṭi). And it is the same for the views of suffering, emptiness, non-self and impurity. That is what is called tathatā. [...] Having acquired this tathatā of dharmas, one penetrates into the dharmadhātu, one eliminates all opinions (vipaśyanā) and does not conceive any further beliefs, for “such is its essence. [...] Finally, to completely penetrate (supravidh-) the dharmadhātu is bhūtakoṭi.

At the moment when dharmas are not yet arisen (ajāta) and at the moment of their arising dharmas are ‘thus’ (tathā). Once arisen, whether they are past (atīta) or present (pratyutpanna), they are are also ‘thus’ (tathā). This sameness of dharmas throughout the three times is called tathatā. In the true nature of dharmas (bhūtalakṣaṇa or dharmatā), the three times are identical and not different. As is said in the Prajñāpāramitā-sūtra in the Jou p’in chapter (Tathatāparivarta): “the past tathatā, the future tathatā, the present tathatā and the tathatā of the Tathāgata are one and the same tathatā and are no different”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
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Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Tathata in Pali glossary... « previous · [T] · next »

tathatā : (f.) reality; such likeness.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Tathatā, (f.) (abstr. fr. tathā›tatha) state of being such, such-likeness, similarity, correspondence Vism. 518. (Page 296)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Tathātā (तथाता).—

1) Such a state, being so.

2) True state or nature, truth.

3) The case being admitted to be as stated.

See also (synonyms): tathātva.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Tathatā (तथता).—f., and tathatva, nt., once tathatvatā (= Pali tathatā, tathatta; note that Pali has actually an adj. and subst. tatha = sacca, Sanskrit satya, true, truth; it has not been noted in BHS; it was probably a Pali back- formation from these nouns, and/or from such Bhvr. cpds. as vi-tatha; BHS also has the more Sktized tathātā, °tva, qq.v., but they are rare), true essence, actuality, truth: (the SP is) asaṃbhinna-tathatā SP 473.8 (prose), unmixed truth (Kern); tathatā bhavet katividhā Laṅk 25.17 (verse); tathatāparivarto nāma AsP 306.1 (title of chapter); anujātas tathatāṃ subhūtiḥ sthaviras tathāgatasya 307.1 (prose), the Elder S. is created after the manner of the truth (true nature) of the T.; and often in the sequel; tathatā tathateti…śūnyatāyā etad adhivacanaṃ Śikṣ 263.1 (prose), ‘truth, truth’—this is a designation for nullity; sāsau paramā (so probably read for ed. sā sauparamā) ta- [Page248-b+ 71] ṭhatā…Bbh 38.26 (prose), this is that supreme truth; tathatāyāṃ tathatvataḥ (…dharmavideśo) LV 437.1 (verse; v.l. tathātvataḥ), in truth, according to reality; both stems together also in tathata-sama tathatvād (dhar- matā) Dbh.g. 26(52).2, alike in true nature according to truth; tathatvāya (i.319.6 °āye) dhārayiṣyanti Mv i.319.6; ii.257.15; iii.337.15 (prose), will hold it fast for truth, make certain that it is true; tathatvāya pratipadyate (Gv °yante) Dbh 19.13; Gv 181.14 (prose); ekā ca tasya (read tasyo; sc. dharmasya) samatā tathatvam SP 128.6 (verse), it has one sameness and true nature; tathatvatāyāṃ (!loc. sg.) pratipanno KP 125.4 (prose), resorted to the truth; tathatā- yāṃ, in truth, AsP 320.15; 321.2 (see pravibhāvayati).

--- OR ---

Tathātā (तथाता).—q.v.: Mvy 1709; 1716; 1721; Vaj 37.3. In Mvy 620 Kyoto ed. also tathātā-, but the true reading is Tathatā(-sthitaniścitta, q.v.).

Tathātā can also be spelled as Tathatā (तथता).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary
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Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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