Talk:chos kyi dbyings
In the Great Vehicle, dharma expanse is generally considered equivalent to the ultimate truth. It is also equivalent to the term dharma nature (dharmata), but stresses the spacious quality of the experience of Noble equipoise.
The word dhatu in the Sanskrit compound dharmadhatu also has the sense of cause or potential. (In other contexts dhatu is often translated as element.) However, this sense does not carry over well into English, so it seems better to follow the lead of the Tibetan translators and translate it as dharma expanse.
It seems preferable to use actual English words to the Sanskrit as much as possible, and so dharma expanse is preferable to dharmadhatu. Although one could translate it as "phenomenal nature," it is necessary to use the word dharma in order to maintain the relationship between this word and the words dharma, dharma nature, and dharma base (chos, chos nyid, chos can). Although the word dharma itself is Sanskrit, it is commonly accepted in English and found in dictionaries whereas dharmadhatu is not. Whether you say dharma expanse or dharmadhatu, the meaning will not be apparent to beginners without explanation, but the term dharma expanse gives more information to English speakers about the nature of the experience than does dhatu. DKC