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It presents a teaching, delivered in this text by the Buddha to Sariputra, that nirvana is not utter vacuity or the cessation of being, but is the realm of the tathagatagarbha, the unfabricated, utterly pure and everlasting essence of all creatures and beings.
The Buddha links the tathagatagarbha to the spotless immaculacy of the "dharmakaya" (the ultimate true nature of the Buddha) and "dharmadhatu" (the all-pervading realm of dharma) and states:
First, the tathagatagarbha is intrinsically conjoined with pure qualities from time without beginning; secondly, the tathagatagarbha is intrinsically not conjoined with impure qualities from time without beginning; and thirdly, the tathagatagarbha is unchanging sameness throughout the future [...] it is veridical and not delusive, a pure reality that is without separation and exclusion from jnana [knowingness, awareness], an inconceivable 'dharma' [entity] that is the dharmadhatu.
This sutra is notable for its doctrinal closeness, regarding the tathagatagarbha, to the "Srimaladevisimhanada Sutra" (commonly known as the "Srimala Sutra").