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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Bhā-viveka (A.D. c. 490-570)’s Madhyamaka-hṛdaya-kārikā, Tattvajñānaiṣanā, verses 137-266 : an English translation and explanation Watanabe, Chikafumi


The aim of this thesis is an English translation and elucidation of the third chapter, Tattvajnt1naianã, (vv. 137-266 ) of Madhyamaka-hdaya-kãrikt (MHK)of Bhãviveka (A.D. c. 490-570). Bhaviveka was one of the commentators of Madhyamaka-kãrik of Nagarjuna, the founder of the Madhyamika, and, at the same time, was a significant philosopher. MHK is one of Bhãviveka’s most important works. In the MHK, Bhaviveka gives a his own philosophy in chapters 1-3, and thereafter, presents and criticizes Buddhist and non-Buddhist systems opposing Madhyamaka philosophy in chapters 4-9. The Sanskrit text of the third chapter was critically edited and translated into Japanese by Yasunori Ejima. Shotaro lida, also, published a critical Sanskrit edition of verses 1-136 of the same chapter and of the Tibetan text of Madhyamaka-hrdaya-tarkajvala (TJ), a commentary on MHK, corresponding to those verses, and produced an English translation. The main subject of verses 137-256 is “the non-production of all dharmas.” This is also the main subject of Madhyamaka philosophers beginning with Nagarjuna. Many of them tried to explain it by means of their own methods and to examine it from their own viewpoint. Non-production of all dharmas implies the emptiness (unyata) of all entities in our world. The idea of emptiness is, according to the Madhyamikas, basic and very important among the Buddha’s teachings. It can be said that without understanding this idea, no understanding of the philosophy of the Madhyamika is possible. Therefore, I have decided to translate and explain in this thesis Bha-viveka’s views on “non-production of entities.” Nagarjuna, Buddhapalita and Candrakirti used prasañga-anumana in order to clarify the philosophy of emptiness. That is to say, by pointing out the absurdity of the opponent’s opinion, they tried to demonstrate the philosophy of emptiness. In other words, they did not take firm stand on their claims in order to have consensus by other schools. Bhãviveka, on the other hand, was not satisfied with prasaHga-anumana, and tried to clarify the philosophy of emptiness by means of independent syllogism (svatantra-anumãna), including the three modifications: (1) adding of the word paramãrthataz (from the standpoint of the highest truth) to propositions in syllogisms, (2) specification that the negation in syllogisms should be understood as prasajya-pratiedha (the negation of a proposition or the simple negation of a proposition) and (3) the condition that no counter-example (vipaka) is to be given. In other words, he positively demonstrated the philosophy of emptiness by using independent syllogism.

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