Two Prolegomena to Madhyamaka Philosophy: Candrakirti's Prasannapada Madhyamakavrttih on Madhyamakakarika 1.1 and Tson kha pa Blo bzan grags pa/rGyal tshab Dar ma rin chen's dKa' gnad/gnas brgyad kyi zin bris: Annotated Translations. Studies in Indian and Tibetan Madhyamaka Thought, part 2.

Author:Vose, Kevin
Position:Book review
 
FREE EXCERPT

Two Prolegomena to Madhyamaka Philosophy: Candrakirti's Prasannapada Madhyamakavrttih on Madhyamakakarika 1.1 and Tson kha pa Blo bzan grags pa/rGyal tshab Dar ma rin chen's dKa' gnad/gnas brgyad kyi zin bris: Annotated Translations. Studies in Indian and Tibetan Madhyamaka Thought, part 2. By DAVID SEYFORT RUEGG. Wiener Studien zur Tibetologie und Buddhismuskunde, vol. 54. Vienna: ARBEITSEREIS FUR TIBETISCHE UND BUDDHISTISCHE STUDIEN UNIVERSITAT WIEN, 2002. Pp. xiv + 299. [euro]31.50.

This study is conceived of as part two of Ruegg's 2000 publication, Three Studies in the History of Indian and Tibetan Madhyamaka Philosophy, which consisted of a short history of Tibetan Madhyamaka up to the time of Tsong kha pa (1357-1419), a survey of Madhyamaka views on "theses" and "philosophical positions," and an examination of Tsong kha pa's method of supporting his Madhyamaka positions with Dharmakirtian epistemological theory. The present work proceeds in two "Sections" of roughly equal length, these being heavily annotated translations of the first section of Candrakirti's Prasannapada and the dKa' gnad brgyad kyi zin bris, rGyal tshab dar ma rin chen's record of his teacher Tsong kha pa's instructions on the "eight critical points" differentiating Prasangika Madhyamaka from its Svatantrika counterpart. These two texts cover a wide range of topics from the vantage points of two original thinkers and may serve as "Prolegomena" to an Indian and a Tibetan reading of Prasangika Madhyamaka. The work includes Ruegg's substantial introductions to both pieces and concludes with extensive indices (pp. 281-99) of Indian and Tibetan personal names, Indian and Tibetan texts, and Sanskrit and Tibetan terminology.

With these two translations Ruegg attempts to serve both a philological and a philosophical audience. To accomplish this he provides copious references to the Sanskrit and Tibetan source texts and lengthy expository footnotes. This procedure differs greatly from contemporary translation series, such as the Clay Sanskrit Library and Wisdom Publication's Classics of Indian Buddhism, which focus on "accessible" and "readable" translations, "free of commentary." Of course, these series are not likely to include works like the Prasannapada that were written with a terseness of style that assumes a shared philosophical background and, consequently, beg for explication. Two sets of complaints might be lodged against Ruegg's procedure: one might argue that the...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP