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Tradition and Innovation in the Consequence School: Nature (rang bzhin, svabhāva/prakṛti) in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism
Author Magee, William Albert (著)
Source Dissertation Abstracts International
Volumev.59 n.2 Section A
PublisherProQuest LLC
Publisher Url
LocationAnn Arbor, MI, US [安娜堡, 密西根州, 美國]
Content type期刊論文=Journal Article
InstitutionUniversity of Virginia
DepartmentDepartment of Religious Studies
Publication year1998
KeywordIndia; Tibet; Middle Way School; Philosophy; religion and theology
AbstractNature (rang bzhin, svabhava/prakrti) is a topic in many Indian and Tibetan philosophical texts. The meaning of nature varies between Buddhist and non-Buddhist scriptures and commentaries and within Buddhism itself. The Katha Upanisad depicts nature as the underlying principle of the universe, and in the Bhagdvad Gita, nature is an aspect of Krsna himself. In some Samkhya texts, nature is a basic principle of the universe, unmanifest but present in all phenomena. Buddhist sutras and treatises, on the other hand, speak of nature in the context of three-nature doctrines (ngo bo nyid gsum, trisvabhava) or the emptiness nature.

Nagarjuna (first century), founder of the Middle Way School (dbu ma pa, madhyamika), refutes a fabricated nature in his Treatise on the Middle (XV)--"Analysis of Nature Chapter" (rang bzhin brtag pa'i rab byed, svabhavapariksa mama prakaranam). He puts forth the three basic criteria for nature: it must be something that is non-fabricated, independent, and immutable. Nagarjuna does not explain whether he is speaking of an existent nature, but Candrakirti (sixth century), considered by many to be the founder of the Consequence School (dbu ma thal 'gyur pa, prasangika-madhyamika), explicitly identifies the triply-qualified nature as emptiness, the reality nature.

Neither Nagarjuna nor Candrakirti clearly describes an object-of-negation (dgag bya, pratisedhya) nature, but such becomes the focus of discussions of nature by Dzong-ka-ba (1359-1417) and Tibetan Consequentialists in his Ge-luk tradition. In the Great Exposition of the Stages of the Path section (and commentary) translated in this dissertation, Dzong-ka-ba (1) explains how the object-of-negation nature cannot be the triply-qualified nature and (2) brings to the discussion a precise identification of the non-existent object-of-negation nature (dgag bya'i rang bzhin) as being a thing's "establishment by way of its own entity" (rang gi ngo bos grub pa). He also refutes the positive and independent nature asserted by Dol-bo Shay-rap-gyel-tsen (fourteenth century).

Although Dzong-ka-ba and his followers do not clearly differentiate between traditional positions and Tibetan innovations--and somewhat misleadingly point to Candrakirti as if he were the author of all their opinions--this dissertation shows that significant exegetical innovation is employed by Dzong-ka-ba to delineate the place of nature in the context of refuting an object of negation that is too narrow.
ISBN9780591764925; 059176492X
Created date1999.10.26
Modified date2022.03.23

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