“The Tathāgatagarbha is separate from any characteristic of the conditioned. The Tathāgatagarbha is eternal and unchanging. Therefore, the Tathāgatagarbha is the basis, the holder, and the foundation. World-Honored One! It is not separate, not severed, not liberated, and not different from the inconceivable Buddha-dharmas. World-Honored One! That which is severed, liberated, and different from the extrinsic conditioned dharmas, and yet is the basis, holder, and foundation [of the conditioned dharmas] is the Tathāgatagarbha.”
The Lion's Roar of Queen Srimala, the Single-Vehicle Great Expedience, the Corrective and Extensive Sutra [Srimaladevi Simhanada Sutra]
Translation of the scriptural passage was adapted from Diana Paul's rendition, p.45. [Paul, D. (2004). The Sutra of Queen Srīmālā of the Lion's Roar. Berkeley, CA: Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research.]
If there were no Tathāgatagarbha as the supporting basis,no dharma could exist. The Tathāgatagarbha is the basis;the Tathāgatagarbha is the holder. What does it hold? Itholds the five aggregates and the karmic seeds, includingall wholesome or pure seeds perfumed by wholesome orpure deeds, and all unwholesome seeds by unwholesomedeeds. Therefore, it is called the holder. […] It is said that“the Tathāgatagarbha is the foundation” because it canestablish all dharmas; if it were not for theTathāgatagarbha’s true existence, no dharma could ever beestablished.
A Discourse on the Srimaladevi Simhanada Sutra,Vol. 5, pp. 271-274