Dignaga & Dharmakirti

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  • 8/23/2019 Dignaga & Dharmakirti





    C O - E D I T O R S - I N - C H I E F

    Gregory Schopen RogerJacksonIndiana University Fairfield University

    Bloomington, Indiana, USA Fairfield, Connecticut, USA

    E D I T O R SPeter N. Gregory Ernst Steinkellner

    University of Illinois University of ViennaUrbana-C hampa ign, Illinois, USA Wien, Austria

    Alexander W. Macdonald Jikido TakasakiUniversite de Paris X University of Tokyo

    Nanterre, France Tokyo, JapanBardxvell Smith Robert ThurmanCarleton College Amherst CollegeNorthfteld, Minnesota, USA Amherst, Massachusetts, USA

    A S S I S T A N T E D I T O RBruce Cameron Hall

    College of William and Ma ryWilliamsburg, Virginia, USA

    Volume 9 1986 Number 2

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    C O N T E N T S

    I . A R T I C L E S1. Signs , M emo ry an d His tory : A Ta ntr ic Budd his t

    Th eor y o f Sc r ip tu ra l T ransm iss ion , by Janet Gyatso 72. Symbol ism of the Bu ddh is t Stupa, by Gerard Fussman 373. T h e Identif icat ion of dG a' rab rd o r je ,by A. W. Hanson-Barber 5 54 . An A pp roa ch to Do gen 's Dia lec tica l Th in k i ngand Method of Ins tan t ia t ion , by Shohei Ichimura 655. A R ep ort on Religious Activity in Cen tral Ti bet ,October , 1985 , by Donald S. Lopez, Jr. a n dCyrus Stearns 1016. A Stu dy of th e Earliest Garbha Vidhi of theShingon Sect , by Dale Allen Todaro 1097. O n the So urce s for Sa skya Panclita 's N ote s on th e"bSam yas D ebate ," by Leonard W.J. van der Kuijp 147

    II . B O O K R E V I E W S1. The Bodymind Experience in Japanese Buddhism:A Phenomenological Study ofKukai and Dogen,by D. Sha ne r(Will iam W ald ron ) 1552. A Catalogue ofthe s Tog Palace Kanjur,by Ta deus z Skorupsk i

    (Bruce C am ero n Hal l) 156

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    3 . Early Buddhism and Christianity: A Comparative Study ofthe Founders' Authority, the Com munity, andthe Discipline, by Cha i-Shin Yu(Vijitha Ra japak se) 1624 . The Heart ofBuddhist Philosophy: Dinndgaand D harmakirti, by A m a r S ingh(Richard Hayes) 1665. Shobogenzo: Zen Essays by Dogen, t ransla ted byT h o m a s C l e a r y(Steven H ein e) 1736. Studies in C h 'an and Hua-yen, edi ted byRo ber t M. Gim el lo an d P e te r N. Grego ry( J o h n j o r g e n s e n ) 1 7 77. The Tantric Distinction, by Je f frey H op kin s(Bru ce Bu rril l) 181Jef f rey Hopkins Repl iesBruce Burr i l l RepliesN O TE S AN D NE W S [2 i te m s] 189

    L I ST O F C O N T R I B U T O R S 191

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    166 J I A B S V O L . 9 N 0 . 2The Heart of Buddh ist Philosophy: D innaga and Dharmakirti, by A m a rSingh . New D el h i : M u n sh i r am M an o h a r l a l , 1984. xvi + 168 pp.Appendices , g lossary , b ib l iography and indices.

    Th e p u r p o se of the work under r ev iew is to d e m o n s t r a t etha t two of the key f igures in the history of I n d i an B u d d h i s tph i losophy , Dihnaga and D h a r m a k i r t i , w e r e m e m b e r s of theSau t ran t ika schoo l r a ther t han of the Vi jnanavada or any o t h e rMahayana schoo l . In eva lua t ing any t reat ise set t ing out to defendsuch an hypo thes i s , it is i m p o r t a n t to t ake in to considerat ion thefollowing three issues: 1) To wha t ex ten t wou ld cer t a in ty co ncern ing scholastic affiliation of t hese two phi losophers af fect our int e r p r e t a t i o n of their works? 2) To w h a t ex t en t is it possible todec ide the m a t t e r of scholastic affil iation given the ev idence nowavai lable? 3) How well does the t rea t ise be ing exa m ined marsha l lev idence for the conclus ion that it advances? Let us e x a m i n eeach of these issues in t u r n .

    Wo u l d k n o w i n g for cer ta in that Dihnaga and D h a r m a k i r t ibe longed to any given school influence our i n t e r p r e t a t i o n oftheir works? Dr. Singh clearly answers this quest ion st ronglyaff i rmatively, s tat ing (p. 16) t h a t if his thesis is cor rec t " then thehistory of the Buddhi s t Ind ian ph i losophy f rom 5th cen t u r y onward has to be re-wri t ten ." But befo re ag ree ing tha t the scholasticaffiliation of D i h n ag a and D h a r m a k i r t i is a m a t t e r of such radicali m p o r t a n c e , we m u s t ask exact ly what it m e a n s to say t h a t a givenph i losopher be longs to a par t icular school . In the co n t ex t ofIndian Buddhism does scholast ic aff i l iat ion imply that thep h i l o so p h e r so aff i l iated held unswervingly to a given set of well-def ined sec t a r i an dogmas , or d o es it imply merely that he t e n d e dt o ad h e r e to certain intel lectual t rends? Is saying that Dihnagawas a Sau t ran t ika , in o ther words , ana logous to saying that someone i s , for example, a Roman Catho l i c of the Cis t e rc i an Order?O r is it m o r e a n a l o g o u s to say ing tha t someone is p a r t of theh u man i s t mo v emen t ? I n so f a r as there were r igidly defined sectswi th in Indian Buddhism, these sects tended to be def ined according to the body ofvinaya ru l es under which the i r members wereo r d a i n ed . K n o w i n g the set ofvinaya ru les to which Dihnaga wasb o u n d m i g h t be i n t e res t ing in itself, but it would hardly shedany l ight on his invest igat ions in to epis temology or i ndeed in toany subject mat ter o ther than vinaya itself. And so I assume tha tfa r more i l l umina t ing than knowing a t h inker ' s sec t a r i an membersh ip would be so me d e t e r mi n a t i o n of the relatively looselydef ined in t e l l ec tua l movement to which the t h inker be longed .

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    R E V I E W S 167But here we must proceed most caut iously. For , despi te the effor ts of later Indian and Tibetan academics to classify Buddhistdoctr ines into a highly ar t i f icial schema of four schoolstwoHinayana and two Mahayanawi th we l l -de f ined dogmat i c boundar ies , Indian phi losophica l schools were cons tant ly evolving.Par t icular ly in the h ighly crea tive per iod to which V asu ba nd hu ,Dir inaga and Dharmakir t i belonged, i t can pract ical ly be saidthat each of the men whose works survive down to the presentday was a school unto himself. The di f ferences be tween Dir inagaan d Dh arm aki r t i a r e so man y as t o ma ke the i r co m m on m em ber ship in a s ingle "school" a very abs t rac t membership indeed, onebased on l i t t l e more than the fac t tha t both phi losophers addressed approximate ly the same se t of i ssues . L ike any otherabs t rac t ion or genera l iza t ion, the mat ter of the "school" of Vasubandhu, Dir inaga and Dharmakir t i wil l inevi tably fai l to applyper fec t ly to any par t icular member of the shcool or to any par t icular text tha t is de em ed to rep res en t the school . In sho r t ,knowing to which school of thought Di r inaga belonged i s onlyof very limi ted value in he lpin g us un de rs t an d w hat , for exam ple ,he had in mind when he used the te rm svalak$ana. To set t le apro blem of how to in terpr e t a specif ic passag e or how to con s t ruea part icular technical term, we must set s tereotypes aside altogether and engage in the very complex task of textual analys i s .And so , suppos ing tha t S ingh can in some sense prove tha tDir inaga was a Saut rant ika ra ther than a Yogacara , a reasonableresponse would be: "So what?"

    Can one prove scholastic affi l iation? Clearly, if schools aref luid intel lectual t re nd s rath er tha n sects with f ixed do gm aticboundaries , the task of assigning someone to a school is relat ivelya rb i t ra ry . Even dec id ing wh e the r an au tho r was a M ahayan i s tnot is not an easy matter in the absence of some such rel iablecr i ter ion as expl ici t references to texts that only a Mahayanistwould ci te as authori ty. That Kamalasl la is a Mahayanist is easyto de termine , because he makes expl ic i t i ssue of the fac t and hecitessutras t ha t non-M ahayan i s t s p resum ably r e jec ted as spur iou s .But Di r inaga and Dharmaki r t i do not c i te sutras at all as au tho ri ty .What , i f any, sutras they read while not wri t ing works on logicmust be regarded as a mat ter of a lmost pure conjec ture , for i ti s a dear ly he ld doct r ine of the Buddhis t epis temologis t s tha tsutras do no t have an au thor i ty i ndependen t o f r eason anyway .

    As can be seen from al l that I have said up to here, I am atthe outse t ra ther dubious about both the s igni f icance and thepossibi l i ty of anyone's establ ishing Dir inaga 's and Dharmakir t i ' s

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    168 J I A B S V O L . 9 N 0 . 2scholastic aff i l iat ions. Let me nevertheless make an assessmentof S ingh ' s pa r t i cu la r a rguments . His a rguments a r e , unfor tu nate ly , ra th er chaot ica l ly pre sen ted a nd leave the read er confusedas to what is being said and towards what end. But focussing onSingh's treatment of one or two issues may be of value in givingsome indication of the overall value of his work.The centra l a rgument of S ingh 's f i r s t chapter , "The Saut rant ika T rad i t ion ," can be epi tom ized as fol lows. S ince "Din nagais the fol lower, com m enta tor and de fen der o f