07: Buddhist Hermeneutics, Scholasticism and Commentarial Techniques

Tue., Aug. 19th, 09:00-18:00


Zhiyi's Rhetorical Strategy: The Usage of Fanben (Returning to the Origin)

Apple, Shinobu (Institute of Oriental Philosophy, Calgary, CAN)

This paper examines the sixth century Chinese Buddhist monk Zhiyi’s (538-597 c.e.) use of the term fanben (反本 returning to the origin) as a commentarial strategy to help his lay followers understand the nuanced and complex context of an advanced meditative procedure, a technique that appropriates and trans-values the term fanben, found in the philosophical and literary milieu of Chinese textual tradition since the time of the Laozi.

The term fanben, often along with huanyuan, is employed in his Liumiaofamen (the Six Subtle Dharma Gates), which is one of Zhiyi’s three major texts of meditative instruction. This text, which was composed for his lay follower, Mao Xi, is an instructional text centering on mindfulness of breathing, a rudimentary meditative technique that appears in various mainstream Buddhist texts, yet was developed by Zhiyi through the Mahayana bodhisattva meditative approach. An introductory description cites the phrase, “toward nirvana of true Dharma jewel, sentient beings enter through various gates,” showing this text is characterized by its accessibility and instructiveness to practitioners including those who do not belong to Buddhist monastic communities.
The use of the rhetorical fanben as an instructive tool is one of the ostensive characteristics not only for those who were not monks, but also for lay people educated in the Chinese literary legacy. In fact, the concept such as “fan (returning) to dao (original primordial state)” and “fan to zhen (true state) and yao (essence)” was already found in the Laozi and the Zhuangzi, respectively, and the compound fanben appears as a fixed term in various texts, such as the Huainanzi, the Chunquifanlu, the Shiji, among others, including Daoist texts, since the beginning of the Western Han dynasty. This fact indicates that Zhiyi’s usage of the terms and concepts of fan and fanben, which have an intellectual heritage accumulated throughout the history of literary and philosophical communities in China, was most likely familiar to educated men contemporary to Zhiyi, such as Mao Xi.

Zhiyi appropriates and trans-values this term fanben to the rhetorical device within the context of his Mahayana meditative practice and sets the usage with a fixed meaning and a function, in particular, in the fifth gate of huan (returning) out of the six gates in his Liumiaofamen, a doctrinal meaning that indicates an awareness of the emptiness of both the cognizer and the cognized, and a practical function that instructs practitioners to overcome the epistemological dichotomy which occurs between the cognizer and the cognized. The fixed usage of this rhetoric is never blurred throughout the ten major repertoires of the six subtle Dharma gates delineated in the Liumiaofamen.
Furthermore, Zhiyi’s style of this rhetorical usage of fanben stands out from any other contemporary Buddhists’ works that use the same compound fanben without a fixed parameter in its usage. Zhiyi’s rhetoric of fanben, which shows a precisely applied doctrinal meaning and a practical function in its usage, is an example of Zhiyi’s noteworthy instructive technique of meditative practice among the sixth century Buddhist communities.

 

Kwamun, a Framework for the Tradition of East Asian Commentarial Literature

Cho, Eun-su (Seoul National University, Seoul, KOR)

As an immense volume of commentarial literature was composed in East Asia, a rich tradition of commentary and analysis unfolded. Kwamun is a methodology and structure that effectively ¬captures this commentarial tradition of analysis and classification. In simple terms, a Kwamun is an analysis of a commentary and scripture in the form of a tree diagram, which reduces a multi-dimensional network of texts, commentaries, and meta-commentaries into two dimensions. Kwamun, or structural outlines, were a tool to better grasp the logical flow of a text or commentary, and were invaluable in reading, studying, and comparing the enormous amount of commentarial literature. The development and formalization of Kwamun in turn stimulated the structural organization and standardization of commentarial literature. I will showcase the results of our project to digitize and analyze over 150 Kwamun, examining their characteristics, forms, choice of subject text, and doctrinal tendencies. By examining the structure of Kwamun and its stages of development, parallels to the structural development in commentarial literature come to light.

The QXL has attracted various monk-scholars in the past to leave many famous commentaries, to which a distinguished mass of kewen diagrams was subsequently composed. In this presentation, I will analyse a few kewen diagrams of the QXL extant and available to show the logical structures that tie the text and its commentaries together, and to illustrate linkages between commentaries and the original referent texts. I would also like to find out the relational connections and hierarchies of the importance among the phrases and concepts appearing in the text. Finally I would like to reveal the various methodological tactics and implicit directions the commentators have intended to be embedded in the commentaries for the readers. Just as the traditional commentators had tried, by analyzing the logical structure of the text, we might find deeper meanings in the text.

 

The Structure of the Dharmadharmatāvibhāga (DhDhV)

Denis, Diane (Université Laval, Ste-Sophie-de-Lévrard, CAN)

This communication is the result of a study (doctoral thesis recently submitted at Laval University, Québec, Canada) which analyses the structure and content of the Dharmadharmatāvibhāgakārikā (DhDhV), one of the five works of Maitreya. The works of Kawamura (1984, 1989 et 1993), Davidson (1985), Cha (1996), Mathes (1996), Robertson (2008) and Brunnhölzl (2012) already provide discussions around the interpretation of this text within the Indo-Tibetan and, more recently, Japanese and Chinese traditions, but questions remain as to the logical structure of this text, its context, as well as to its practical application. Structure The studies and annotated translations conducted to date have mostly focussed on the main topics (ex. āśrayaparāvṛtti, nirvikalpajñāna) as they relate to the Yogācāra or Madhyamaka, or in some cases, as they relate to the Dzogchen tradition, but have not yet clearly shown how they are developed within the structure of the text itself. In this regard, the use of Vasubandhu's Vyākhyāyukti as a method of analysis in order to bring to light the logical sequence of the 57 stanzas of the versified version of this text may be one of the most innovative contributions to the field. Context Between the iiird and the vth century in India, as is shown by Schopen (2005) – not to name Paramārtha (in Rahula 1971) – the “Mahāyāna” was not as widespread as previously assumed, though the impact of the Prajñāpāramitāsūtra literature during this period is undeniable. Therefore, it appears that even without the notion of emptiness being widespread some practioners were necessarily faced with this notion in its most radical expression. Can we then consider the DhDhV as a general response to this situation even before talking about its classification as Yogācāra or Madhyamaka (a much later or specific concern)? What does that change in its interpretation? Relationship between philosophy and practice Most scholars focus on the main topics of this text from a purely philosophical point of view, due to which some questions about the intention of its composition are left without satisfying answers or at least unverified answers. Clues as to what was the intention of this text are given by many Tibetan commentators. These clues then lead to another question: how can a text like the DhDhV (including all its topics) be considered an oral instruction within the Indo-Tibetan tradition today? In order to explore these clues and questions, we use as primary sources Vasubandhu's vṛtti, the Sanskrit fragments, Mipham's commentary and, as secondary sources, the work of two French scholars named Bugault and Droit.

 

What If Madhyamaka Is a Stance? Reflections on Contemporary Buddhist Hermeneutics

Doctor, Thomas (Rangjung Yeshe Institute, Kathmandu University, Kathmandu, NPL)

This paper examines Bastian van Fraassen’s understanding of philosophical positions as stances rather than truth claims, and it explores the relevance of the notion of stance to resolving Nāgārjuna’s seemingly paradoxical “claim of no claim” as expressed in the Vigrahavyāvartanī. In this way I aim to show that a contemporary understanding of positions as clusters of claims and commitments can inform our reading of classical Madhyamaka philosophers. This exercise will, in turn, lead to methodological reflections on the notions of “Buddhist philosophy” and “Buddhist hermeneutics,” spurring a self-critical assessment of their recent developments and applications.

 

The Authority of the Fazang Commentary in the Exegetical Tradition of Qixinlun

Jin, Tao (Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, Illinois, USA)

As one of the most influential works in East Asian Buddhism, the Awakening of Faith in Mahāyāna, or Qixinlun in its popular Chinese abbreviation, is well-known for its long and rich exegetical tradition that started almost as soon as the treatise made its first appearance in 6th-century China. Highlighting this tradition is a 7th-century commentary by the eminent scholar-monk Fazang (643-712), a commentary recognized indisputably as the most authoritative interpretation of the treatise.

While such an authoritative commentary naturally occupies the center of the Qixinlun scholarship, both as a primary source and as a secondary source, scholars have not yet asked what this status of “authority” concretely entails, or in what specific and technical sense the treatise is identified as the “authority” in the interpretation of Qixinlun. This unexplored issue is, however, an important one to the study of Qixinlun, particularly to the study of the transmission of the treatise through its commentators. Facing numerous commentaries (including translations), past and present, east and west, students of Qixinlun must necessarily want to know the main issues, trends and methods that organize this long and rich exegetical tradition, and the role of this most “authoritative” commentary apparently provides indispensable materials for the effort to address such a question.

This paper is thus designed to examine how exactly the Fazang commentary constitutes the “authority” in the exegetical tradition of Qixinlun (i.e., as against its various competing commentaries) and is, in that sense, aimed to contribute to the study of the transmission of the treatise. Textual in nature, this paper is focused specifically on the influence of the Fazang commentary on the formation of the so-called “Shu-ji” lineage, an exegetical lineage of Qixinlun centered on the Fazang commentary (i.e., “Shu” in its Chinese abbreviation ) itself, its Zixuan (965-1038) sub-commentary (i.e., “Ji”), and commentaries that either prepare for, continue, or refine the Fazang work by such famous Qixinlun exegetes as Wonhyo (617-686), Chuan’ao (fl. 9th century), Zongmi (784-841) and Xufa (1641-1728). By asking questions on the selection of exegetical topics, composition of text, and doctrinal interpretation in these commentaries, this study seeks to identify some of the most important ways in which the Fazang commentary dominates, influences and even shapes the exegetical tradition of Qixinlun and, in that sense, constitutes the indisputable authority in its interpretation.

 

Fayun's View on the Lotus Sūtra

Kanno, Hiroshi (Soka University, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo, JPN)

When we turn our attention to extant Chinese exegetical literature on the Lotus Sūtra, the oldest surviving commentary is the Miaofa lianhua jing shu of Zhu Daosheng (ca. 355-434). With the exception of fragments from various Lotus Sūtra commentaries discovered at Dunhuang, the next oldest commentary after the above-mentioned work is the Fahua yiji by Fayun (467-529) of Guangzhai Monastery. The Fahua yiji is a record of Fayun’s discourses on the Lotus Sūtra as recorded by his disciples. Fayun’s studies of the Lotus Sūtra occupied a prominent place in the North-South Dynasties Period prior to the appearance of Jizang (549-623) and Zhiyi (538-597).

This paper considers Fayun’s view on the Lotus Sūtra. It is summarized in the following eight points.

1. Fayun gave a detailed analytic parsing of the entire text of the Lotus Sūtra on the basis of his exact research on it and exerted a great influence on future commentaries.
2. As the Fahua yiji is a record of Fayun’s lectures on the Lotus Sūtra, there are few references to the Mahāyāna Nirvāṇa Sūtra. The indications of later people that Fayun adopted the five-period doctrinal classification might be correct and Fayun’s position that the Lotus Sūtra was inferior in status to the Nirvāṇa Sūtra was founded in the Fahua yiji.
3. As Fayun adopted the doctrinal classification that evaluated most highly the true eternity of the Buddha explained in the Nirvāṇa Sūtra, he did not give high evaluation to the idea of the “age-old existence of the Buddha” explained in the Lotus Sūtra’s 16th chapter (“The Life Span of the Thus Come One”) but did value the idea of the “one vehicle” explained in the second chapter (“Skillful Means”). Further, he showed by the segmentation of the Lotus Sūtra that the idea of “one vehicle” is expounded not only in the second chapter, but also in the Lotus Sūtra in its entirety.
4. When Fayun interpreted the idea of “one Buddha Vehicle,” he valued the theory of provisional wisdom and real wisdom and the theory of cause and effect as the framework for the interpretation of the one vehicle.
5. The theory of provisional wisdom and real wisdom shows that three vehicles and one vehicle are both based on forms of the Buddha’s wisdom, i.e. provisional wisdom and real wisdom, respectively, and distinguishes the ground of formation of the three vehicles from that of the one vehicle.
6. Fayun showed the essence of the idea of one vehicle of the Lotus Sūtra as one cause and one effect, which is subtle cause and subtle effect, and took up the comparison between it and three causes and three effects, which are coarse cause and coarse effect preached in the teachings before the Lotus Sūtra.
7. The theory of cause and effect is an interpretation about an aspect of the teachings expounded by the Buddha. Furthermore, it clarifies the Buddha’s wisdom (provisional wisdom and real wisdom), which is the actual agent of expounding teachings, and through it it illustrates the ground of the Buddha, which expounds subtle cause and subtle effect (one cause and one effect) and coarse cause and coarse effect (three causes and three effects).
8. Fayun thought that the “age-old existence of the Buddha” explained in the Life Span Chapter is different from the true eternity of the Buddha explained in the Nirvāṇa Sūtra.

 

84,000: Calculating the Incalculable from Jingying Huiyuan to Sōboku

Kenney, Elizabeth (Kansai Gaidai University, Kyoto, JPN)

In Buddhist texts, the number 84,000 usually means “very very many, incalculably many.” All major Buddhist dictionaries, traditional or digital, tell us that 84,000 is a symbolic number meant to convey vastness — in effect, not a number at all. The fact that 80,000 is also used with the same meaning would seem to indicate that there are not really 84,000 items, whether illnesses or perfections, to be added up. In fact, however, several Buddhist sutras present simple calculations to arrive at the number 84,000.

The works of Jingying Huiyuan 淨影慧遠 (523-592), a Buddhist scholastic and numero-maniac, include two slightly different calculations for 84,000: one is found in Dashengyizhang 大乘義章, Huiyuan’s encyclopedia of Buddhist doctrine, the other in his commentary on Vimalakīrtisūtra. Interestingly and somewhat contradictorily, in his encyclopedia entry for 84,000, Huiyuan writes, “The sutras have only the number [84,000], and they do not analyze the term.” But elsewhere in the encyclopedia Huiyuan provides a calculation. He cites Bhadrakalpikasūtra 賢劫經 (T. 425) as his source for this calculation, but in fact Huiyuan’s calculation is more complicated than the one in the sutra.

We can find calculations of 84,000 in Dazhidulun 大智度論 [T. 1509] and in works by well-known Chinese Buddhist scholastics, such as Zhiyi 智顗 (538–597), Jizang 吉藏 (549–623), Zhiyan 智儼 (602-668) and Chengguan 澄觀 (738–839). Most of these calculations are somewhat different from and less detailed than Huiyuan’s.

Sōboku 僧僕 (1719-1762), a Japanese Pure Land priest, now virtually forgotten but prominent in his day, made his own investigations into the various calculations of 84,000, using sutras and the works of Chinese scholastics. After studying all the arithmetic, Sōboku wrote, “The words of the sutra are mysterious and profound. If even the ancient worthies could not understand them, then how can we? How regrettable!” Perhaps Sōboku concluded that 84,000 is, after all, incalculable.

The term “Buddhist scholasticism,” as found in the title of this IABS section, usually refers to Indian Abhidharma. Chinese monks like Huiyuan, who made lists, correlated terms, organized doctrines and were not afraid of minutiae, are easily recognized as Abhidharmica scholastics, in spirit if not in name. In contrast, it has scarcely been noted that Japanese Pure Land Buddhist priests during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries engaged in scholastic pursuits, studying topics unrelated to Pure Land scriptures or to Pure Land religious practice.

 

Hermeneutics in Buddhist Śāstras: The Cases of Candrakīrti and Tsong kha pa

Li, Shenghai (Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA)

The extremely wide variety of śāstra in both Buddhist and larger South Asian contexts makes it a very peculiar body of texts to conceptualize. For this reason, previous scholarship has generally avoided the question of śāstra’s identity and prefers to focus on the contents of its numerous instances. In the former subject, the pioneer work of Sheldon Pollock, who identifies the two basic modalities of śāstra as scripture, instantiated by the Veda, and śāstra as technical treatises governing diverse cultural practices and human activities, remains a rare attempt that will serve as our basic reference point. Buddhist catalogs from China beginning from the middle of the first millennium and later from Tibet attest to the inclusion of śāstra as a scriptural category—first replacing Abhidharma as a part in the tripiṭaka scheme, then standing next to the word of the Buddha in the Bka’/Bstan ‘gyur dichotomy. With the rare exception of a few authorities, such as Vasubandhu and Rje btsun Chos kyi rgyal mtshan, who place the sūtras/word of the Buddha within the purview of śāstra, most Buddhist writers view śāstras as interpretive works of human authorship that bear a derivative relation to sūtras. From this specific perspective, Buddhist śāstras function as a bridge between Pollock’s two modalities by remaining derivative or interpretive in relation to scripture, while standing at the head of all forms of knowledge, including the technical treatises in various cultural and practical fields.

This prima facie description, however, does not fully conform to the observation that in the history of Indian and Tibetan Buddhism, śāstras appear to have assumed an increasingly dominant role in the scholastic practices compared with sūtras. In reality, what is secondary has indeed become primary. In arguing for śāstra’s gradual appropriation of a scriptural role, the proposed paper presents two lists of scriptural citations gleaned from (1) Tsong kha pa’s fifteenth-century treatise Lam rim chen mo and (2) Candrakīrti’s seventh-century philosophical commentary Prasannapadā. The Madhyamaka section of Tsong kha pa's comprehensive Buddhist manual predominantly cites from śāstra sources; even the small number of sūtra passages used can mostly be traced in Candrakīrti’s earlier writings, indicating that in this Tibetan case śāstras functioned virtually as the sole textual authority. In contrast, the scriptural citations used in a chapter of Candrakīrti’s Indian work shows an equal attention to both sūtra and śāstra sources. However, in Candrakīrti’s case too, sūtra citations perform the subsidiary role of corroborating the positions taken in the śāstras. The process further places the interpreter in a hermeneutical circle, where “the intention of scripture is ascertained by . . . śāstras composed by the trustworthy beings.” The evidence from Candrakīrti’s and Tsong kha pa’s texts, therefore, suggests that the rising authority of śāstra emerged in a gradual process, in which a śāstric tradition assumed the role of an arbiter in the matter of interpretation, while defining its own practical canon of scriptures and passages as a part of its hermeneutical apparatus.

 

Instances, Principles, Silences: Exemplification in the Vyākhyāyukti

Nance, Richard (Indiana University, Bloomington, USA)

A striking feature of Vasubandhu's Vyākhyāyukti is its reliance on exemplification as a pedagogical device. Over the course of the text—and particularly in its second book—Vasubandhu proceeds to offer brief commentaries on more than 100 short passages drawn from Buddhist sūtra texts. There is no indication that he wants his readers to see these passages as collectively constituting a thematically coherent whole, and in unpacking them, he does not attempt to connect them to one another. Rather, they are treated as isolable passages of authoritative Buddhist teaching on which separable instances of commentary are offered. A would-be commentator, he tells us, should learn from studying these instances how to proceed when confronted with other suutra passages. Vasubandhu clearly sees attention to examples as an important component in the training of those who would be commentators. Notably, however, he does not tie the examples of commentary he offers back to explicitly articulated general rules or principles; although he uses certain techniques repeatedly, he appears reluctant to take these techniques as topics worthy of extended discussion. Attention to this point may tell us something important about Vasubandhu's views on the training of competent commentators—and, by extension, on the way in which he viewed the practice of commentary itself.

 

Relevance and Challenges – Translating Chengguan's Commentaries to the Avatamsaka Sutra

Shi, Guo Cheen (Federal Way, USA)

With the highest compliments from a wide range of sources paid to the Huayan scripture, its interpretations and principles, and a monk who championed many of the most significant doctrines, it is curious and unfortunate that Chengguan’s commentarial literature on The Avatamsaka Sutra (or The Huayanjing, Da Fangguang Fo Huayanjing 大方廣佛華嚴經 Mahāvaipulya Buddhāvataṃsaka Sūtra) [i] is missing in English, in many western academic discourses, and in research where his treatises are duly acknowledged. Huayan Studies in the West abound with intellectual and theoretical crevasses given that Chengguan’s Commentaries to the Huayanjing (or the Commentaries, Da Fangguang Fo Huayanjing Shu 大方廣佛華嚴經疏) [ii] and The Meanings Proclaimed in the Accompanying Subcommentaries to the Huayanjing (or the Subcommentaries, Da Fangguang Fo Huayanjing Shu Yanyi Chao 大方廣佛華嚴經隨疏演義鈔) [iii] are not extant in English and have not been investigated in the West.

Chengguan’s magnum opuses in Chinese are much more important contributions to the religio-philosophical history of Huayan and Buddhism in China than western contemporary scholarship has recognized thus far. As western academicians pay increasing attention to Huayan Studies, and might I say as Huayan Studies continue their evolution here in the West, a complete translation of Chengguan’s key works, and further doctrinal, exegetical, and hermeneutical analyses of them are necessary to fill those gaping holes in Huayan Studies here in the West.
To start this process, this study presents an annotated English translation of one compiled fascicle of Chengguan’s Commentaries and Subcommentaries to The Avatamsaka Sutra, complete with an introduction from its historical, doctrinal, and translational perspectives.


[i] Da Fangguang Fo Huayanjing 《 大方廣佛華嚴經》, Taisho Tripiṭaka 大正新脩大藏經 T10n0279, trans. Siksananda 實叉難陀, (Tokyo: Dazang chuban zhushi huishe 大藏出版株式會社, 1988).
[ii] Chengguan 澄觀, Da Fangguang Fo Huayanjing Shu 《 大方廣佛華嚴經疏 》, Taisho Tripiṭaka 大正新脩大藏經 T35n1735, ed. Dazheng xinxiu dazangjing kanxinghui 大正新修大藏經刊行會 (Tokyo: Dazang chuban zhushi huishe 大藏出版株式會社, 1988).
[iii] Chengguan 澄觀, Da Fangguang Fo Huayaning Suishu Yanyi Chao 《 大方廣佛華嚴經隨疏演義鈔 》. Taisho Tripiṭaka 大正新脩大藏經 T36n1736, ed. Dazheng xinxiu dazangjing kanxinghui 大正新修大藏經刊行會 (Tokyo: Dazang chuban zhushi huishe 大藏出版株式會社, 1988).

 

Reflections towards a Method for the Study of Buddhist Philosophy

Turenne, Philippe (Rangjung Yeshe Institute, Boudhnath, NPL)

This paper provides a critical look at recent resolutions of hermeneutical issues related to the study of Buddhist philosophy and hermeneutics. Although previous scholarship has focused on justifying the validity and legitimacy of the notion of Buddhist philosophy and the project of studying it philosophically, it argues that the issue of how that is best done still needs more reflection. Through a study of selected passages from Madhyamaka literature and how they have been interpreted, the paper argues that the academic study of Buddhist philosophy needs to avoid using philosophy as a method-free discourse, but should rather define precisely what method it follows and what results it can yield, especially given the differences between Buddhist hermeneutical and scholastic cultures and modern approaches to philosophy.

 

Once Again on the So-Called Predicative Ablative

Yagi, Toru (Osaka Gakuin University, Kyoto, JPN)

puthujjano...paṭhaviṃ paṭhavito sañj­ānāti. (MN I 1)

An average person...recognises extension as extension. (Horner)

Buddhaghosa comments on it: tāsu [catubbidhāsu paṭhavīsu] yaṃ kañci ayaṃ puthujjano paṭhavito sañjānāti, paṭhavī ti sañjānāti, paṭhavībhāvena sañjānāti, lokavohāraṃ gahetvā saññāvipallāsena sañjānāti. (MN-a I 25)

This ordinary person recognizes any of those [four types of earths] as earth, i.e. he recognizes it as [follows: This is] earth, he recognizes it [with the quality of being earth, i.e.] to be earth; [in conclusion,] holding on to conventions of the world, he recognizes [it as earth] by perversion of perception.

The so-called predicative ablative is defined by Hinüber as follows: “Der abl. auf -to steht, meist neben dem acc. desselben Wortes, bei Verben des Erkennens, Meinens etc., die in der Regel auch mit einem doppelten acc. verbunden werden können, in der Funktion eines Prädikativums.” To this he footnotes: “WIJ p. 238 erklärt diesen abl. als ‘notion of view point...which seems to be closely related to that of abl. of comparison. They have the sense “in terms ofˮ or “asˮ and can be expressed by periphrasis vasena as well’. Für die letzte Behauptung wird kein Beispiel gegeben; der prädikative Character des abl. ist nicht erkant. Wieso er ‘notion of view point’ bezeichnet und dem abl. comp. nahe steht, bleibt unklar.”

I agree with Hinüber, whose remark leads us to the following questions. 1. Does the suffix -to always correspond to the fifth case ending only, not to the others? 2. If there is a one-to-one correspondence between them, why is the so-called predicative ablative confined to an ablative which ends in -to? For a viewpoint is naturally included in the apādāna (“a point of departureˮ) [in the form of viewpoint] to which the fifth case ending refers. In this paper, basing myself on Aggavaṃsa and Pāṇinīyas, I would like to reconsider these points.

 

The Relation between the Two Types of Object of Negation: Jamyang Shaypa’s Refutation of Taktshang, the Translator

Yi, Jongbok (The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Voorhees, NJ, USA)

In the chapter on the object of negation in his Extensive Explanation of (Candrakīrti’s) “Entry to (Nāgārjuna’s) ‘The Treatise on the Middle’”, Tsongkhapa Losang Drakpa (tsong kha pa blo bzang grags pa, 1357-1419), the founder of the Geluk Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, explains that clear understanding of what to be negated in the course of Buddhist practice is an important step toward realizing suchness. That is, by means of identifying what true existence is, according to Tsongkhapa, one can accurately remove what obscures suchness. Emphasizing the importance of identifying the object of negation, Tsongkhapa presents divisions of the object of negation: An intellectually imbued apprehension of true existence–acquired ignorance through learning tenet systems–­and an innate apprehension of true existence–congenial ignorance of all sentient beings.

Given that, how do these two types of object of negation—the intellectually imbued and innate apprehensions of true existence—relate to each other? Tsongkhapa asserts that the innate apprehension of true existence cannot be undermined by only negating the intellectually imbued apprehension of true existence. Regarding his two objects of negation, the translator Taktshang Sherap Rinchen (1405-?) in the Sakya Sect criticizes this assertion by pointing out two absurdities from his understanding that lay in Tsongkhapa’s presentation of the object of negation:

1. The two modes of apprehension of true existence—the intellectually imbued apprehension of true existence and the innate apprehension of true existence—should be utterly different from each other.

2. Therefore, the reasoning repudiating the intellectually imbued mode of apprehension could not refute the innate mode of apprehension.

Regarding Taktshang’s criticism, this paper will examine Taktshang’s criticism from two directions. First, I will examine the validity of Taktshang’s criticism in accordance with Tsongkhapa’s system. In doing so, I will explain how these two objects of negation are related to each other in Tsongkhapa’s system. Second, this paper will present the way a later Geluk commentarial tradition responds to Taktshang’s criticism. Jamyang Shaypa (’jam dbyangs bzhad pa’i rdo rje, 1648-1721) pedagogically integrates his refutation on Taktshang’s understanding into monastic education in Gomang Monastic College in his Great Exposition of the Middle. By doing so, this paper will explore how a later commentarial tradition in Geluk Sect of Tibetan Buddhism adopts Taktshang's criticism for educational purpose. 


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