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THE PHILOSOPHY OF BUDDHISM

Erich Frauwallner
translated into English from the 4th German edition (1994)
which remains unchanged from the 3rd edition (1969) examined by the author

translated by
Gelong Lodrö Sangpo

under the supervision of
Professor Ernst Steinkellner

May 2007

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The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner

DEDICATED
TO MY ESTEEMED FRIEND
ÉTIENNE LAMOTTE

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The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner

Introduction..........................................................................................................................................................................
A.

1

The teaching of the Buddha ......................................................................................................................................................5
AA. The Buddha (ca. 560-480 B.C.E.) ..................................................................................................................................5
AB. The proclamation of the Buddha.................................................................................................................................5
ABA. The sermon of Benares (DharmacakrapravartanasÒtra) .....................................................................6
ABB.

The Buddhist path of liberation ......................................................................................................................8

ABB.1.

From the “Kandaraka Sutta” (Majjhima Nik›ya 51)................................................................8

AC. Questions which the Buddha did not answer .......................................................................................................1 0
ACA. finanda [Sa˙yutta Nik›ya 44, 10]..............................................................................................................1 0
ACB.

The SÒtra of Vatsagotra and the Fire (Aggivacchagottasuttanta) [Majjhimanik›ya
Sutta 72] ................................................................................................................................................................1 1

ACC. The SÒtra of the Bearer of the Burden (Bh›rah›rasÒtra)......................................................................1 5
AD. The tenet of dependent origination...........................................................................................................................1 6
ADA. The Account of Enlightenment (Bodhikath›; Mah›vagga I, 1)..........................................................1 7
ADB. The Great SÒtra of the Foundations of Origination (Mah›nid›nsuttanta; Dıghanik›ya
XV)

......................................................................................................................................................................1 8

ADC. The SÒtra of Dependent Origination (Pratıtyasamutp›dasÒtra) .....................................................2 4
ADD. From Vasubandhu’s “Commentary to the SÒtra of Dependent Origination”
(Pratıtyasamutp›davy›khy›).......................................................................................................................2 6
ADE. The SÒtra of the young Rice plant (⁄›listambasÒtra)...........................................................................2 9
B.

The Dogmatics (Abhidharma) of the Hınay›na ............................................................................................................3 6
BA. The rise of the Buddhist Schools................................................................................................................................3 6
BB.

The principal philosophical doctrines of the Sarv›stiv›da............................................................................3 7
BBA.

The principal philosophical thoughts ........................................................................................................3 7

BBA.1.

The denial of a soul, of a self .............................................................................................................3 7

BBA.1.1.

From “The Questions of Menandros” (Milindapañh›)..............................................3 9

BBA.1.2.

Vasubandhu the Younger (ca. 400-480 C.E.)....................................................................4 6

BBA.2.

BBA.1.2.1.

A soul does not exist (AbhidharmakoŸa III, v. 18-24).....................................4 7

BBA.1.2.2.

From “Refutation of the Person” (Pudgalaprati˝edhaprakara˚a).............5 2

General views associated with the doctrine of the denial of a soul ....................................5 8

BBA.2.1.

First general view: All entities lack a solid permanent core.....................................5 8

BBA.2.1.1.

(A) Discussion of this first general view in the field of material
elements ...........................................................................................................................5 9

BBA.2.1.2.

(B) Discussion of this first general view in the field of psychology ...........6 0

BBA.2.1.3.

A substance does not exist (AbhidharmakoŸa III, ad v. 100)........................6 1

BBA.2.2.

Second general view: The momentariness of all things..............................................6 2

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The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner

BBA.2.2.1.
BBB.

The fundamental concepts ..............................................................................................................................6 7
BBB.1.

The Dogmatics of the Sarv›stiv›da ...............................................................................................6 7

BBB.1.1.
BBB.2.

BBC.

C.

The momentariness of entities (AbhidharmakoŸa IV, v. 2-3).......................6 4

From the “Treatise on the Five Aggregates” (Pañcaskandhaka) ............................6 8

The Dogmatics of the Sautr›ntika ..................................................................................................7 3

BBB.2.1.

The seemingly and the truly real (AbhidharmakoŸa VI, verse 4)............................7 5

BBB.2.2.

The nature of acquisition (AbhidharmakoŸa, II, verse 36) ........................................7 6

The doctrine of liberation of the Hınay›na ..............................................................................................7 8

BBC.1.

Suppression through knowledge (AbhidharmakoŸa, I, verse 6) ..........................................8 1

BBC.2.

Nirv›˚a as non-existence (AbhidharmakoŸa II, verse 55) .....................................................8 2

BBC.3.

From “Establishment of the Truth” (Tattvasiddhi)..................................................................8 4

The schools of the Mah›y›na ...............................................................................................................................................8 9
CA. Main elements in the development of the Mah›y›na........................................................................................8 9
CAA. The new goal of liberation .............................................................................................................................8 9
CAB.

The philosophical doctrine of a highest being and of the unreality of the phenomenal
world......................................................................................................................................................................8 9

CAC. The new buddhology ........................................................................................................................................9 0
CB. The beginnings of the Mah›y›na .............................................................................................................................9 0
CC. The oldest literary documentation of the Mah›y›na........................................................................................9 1
CCA. The Prajñ›p›ramit› literature and its philosophical doctrines .......................................................9 1
CCA.1. Central philosophical thought: the concept of a highest being..............................................9 2
CCA.2. The unreality of the phenomenal world and its relationship to the highest being ........9 3
CCA.3. From the “Perfection of Insight in Eight Thousand Lines” (A˝˛as›hasrik›
Prajñ›p›ramit›) ....................................................................................................................................9 4
CCB.

From the “Jewel Heap” (RatnakÒ˛a)........................................................................................................102

CD. The Madhyamaka school.........................................................................................................................................106
CDA. N›g›rjuna (ca. 200 C.E.) ...............................................................................................................................106
CDA.1. The works of N›g›rjuna..................................................................................................................106
CDA.2. The philosophical system of N›g›rjuna ....................................................................................106
CDA.2.1. The unreality of the external world ................................................................................106
CDA.2.1.1. The phenomenal world as dependent origination.........................................107
CDA.2.1.2. The relativity of opposing terms and the middle way.................................107
CDA.2.1.3. N›g›rjuna’s concept of intrinsic nature (svabh›va) and the
emptiness of the phenomenal world...................................................................108
CDA.2.1.4. The highest and the restricted truth ....................................................................109
CDA.2.1.5. The nature of the phenomenal world is diversity (prapañca)...................109

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CDA.2.2. The highest reality.................................................................................................................109
CDA.2.2.1. Distinction from the phenomenal world: free from diversity,
extinction, peace, etc. ................................................................................................109
CDA.2.2.2. Identity in nature of the phenomenal world and nirv›˚a...........................109
CDA.2.3. Doctrine of liberation...........................................................................................................110
CDA.3. Introduction to sections of the Madhyamakak›rik›.............................................................110
CDA.3.1. Chapter I: Examination of causes (Pratyaya-parık˝›) .............................................110
CDA.4. From the “Mnemonic Verses of the Middle Doctrine” (Madhyamak›rik›) ................112
CDA.4.1. Chapter 15: Examination of intrinsic nature (svabh›va-parık˝›).......................114
CDA.4.2. Chapter 18: Examination of the self (›tma-parık˝›).................................................116
CDA.4.3. Chapter 24: Examination of the noble truths (›rya-satya-parık˝›) ....................118
CDA.4.4. Chapter 25: Examination of nirv›˚a (nirv›˚a-parık˝›) .........................................123
CDA.5. Introduction to sections of the Vigrahavy›vartanı................................................................126
CDA.6. From the “The Quarrel =Averting” (Vigrahavy›vartanı)..................................................127
CDA.7. Introduction to the sections of the Ratn›valı............................................................................130
CDA.8. From the “Garland of Jewels” (Ratn›valı)...............................................................................133
CDB.

firyadeva (Beginning of 3rd century C.E.) ...............................................................................................139

CDB.1. Introduction to the sample from the Catu¯Ÿataka..................................................................139
CDB.2. From the “Treatise in Four Hundred Stanzas” (Catu¯Ÿataka)..........................................140
CDC. Buddhap›lita (ca. 5th century C.E) .............................................................................................................142
CDC.1. Introduction to the sample from the MÒlamadhyamakav¸tti ...........................................142
CDC.2. From the “Commentary to the Mnemonic Verses of the Middle Doctrine”
(MÒlamadhyamakav¸tti)................................................................................................................142
CDD. Bh›vaviveka (middle of 6th century C.E.)................................................................................................144
CDD.1. Introduction to sample from the Prajñ›pradıpa .....................................................................144
CDD.2. From the “Shining Light of Insight”............................................................................................145
CDD.3. From the “Jewel in the Hand” (Tchang tchen) (T 1578, pp. 276a3-377b11) .................149
CDE.

Candrakırti (7th century C.E.)......................................................................................................................154

CDE.1. The works of Candrakırti ...............................................................................................................154
CDE.2. Introduction to the sample from the Prasannapad› ..............................................................154
CDE.3. From the “Clearly Worded” (Prasannapad›)..........................................................................155
CDE.4. Introduction to the sample from the Madhyamak›vat›ra .................................................157
CDE.5. From the “Introduction to the Madhyamaka Doctrine” (Madhyamak›vat›ra)........159
CE. The school of S›ramati .............................................................................................................................................164
CEA.

S›ramati (ca. 250 C.E.)..................................................................................................................................164

CEA.1.

From the “Elucidation of the Seed of the (Three) Jewels” (Ratnagotravibh›ga).........165

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CF. The school of the Yog›c›ra......................................................................................................................................171
CFA. The beginnings of the Yog›c›ra school: the Yog›c›rabhÒmiŸ›stra ............................................171
CFA.1. The divisions of reality {sections 1-8}.........................................................................................171
CFA.2. The determination of the nature of reality: non-duality & the middle way & the
constitution of the nature of reality {sections 9 –13} .............................................................172
CFA.3. The proof of the unreality of the phenomenal world {section 14}.....................................173
CFA.4. The 2 proofs of the unreality of the designations {sections 15-16} ...................................174
CFA.5. The 2 errors & the false and correct view of reality {sections 17-19}..............................174
CFA.6. From the “Stage of the Bodhisattva” (BodhisattvabhÒmi)..................................................175
CFB.

The Sa˙dhinirmocanasÒtra.......................................................................................................................180
CFB.1.

The doctrine of the threefold nature of things in Chapt. VI..................................................180

CFB.2.

The doctrine of the threefold essencelessness of entities in chapt. VII and its
relation to the doctrine of the Prajñ›p›ramit› and of the M›dhyamikas .....................182

CFB.3.
CFC.

From the “Elucidation of the Secret Meaning” (Sa˙dhinirmocanasÒtra)....................183

Maitreyan›tha (ca. 300 C.E.) ......................................................................................................................191

CFC.1.

The works of Maitreyan›tha.........................................................................................................191

CFC.2.

The first philosophical system of the Yog›c›ra: the doctrine of Maitreyan›tha........192

CFC.2.1.

The highest being as the center of the system...............................................................192

CFC.2.2.

The highest being and the phenomenal world.............................................................193

CFC.2.3.

The false conception and the deception of the phenomenal world, etc................193

CFC.2.4.

The doctrine of liberation ...................................................................................................194

CFC.2.4.1.

Non-conceptual knowledge and liberation......................................................194

CFC.2.4.2.

Buddhology and the highest being.......................................................................195

CFC.2.5.
CFC.3.

The doctrine of Maitreyan›tha and the Madhyamaka doctrine ..........................196

Introduction to the samples from the Mah›y›nasÒtr›la˙k›ra .......................................196

CFC.3.1.

From the “Ornament of the SÒtras of the Mah›y›na”
(Mah›y›nasÒtr›la˙k›ra) .................................................................................................200

CFC.4.

Introduction to samples from the Madhy›ntavibh›ga ........................................................207

CFC.5.

From the “Elucidation of the Middle and of the Extremes” (Madhyantavibh›ga) ....210

CFD. Asaºga (ca. 315-390 C.E.) ............................................................................................................................213
CFD.1.

The works of Asaºga........................................................................................................................213

CFD.2.

The philosophical system of Asaºga ..........................................................................................214

CFD.2.1.

Adoption of old concepts and development of new psychological concepts ....214

CFD.2.2.

The appearance of the phenomenal world: the doctrine of the three
characteristics.........................................................................................................................214

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CFD.2.2.1.

The dependent characteristic.................................................................................215

CFD.2.2.2.

The imagined and the perfect characteristic....................................................216

.................... The mental complex in relation to the phenomenal world........... Chapter three: Proof of the unreality of the external world: impossibility of the concept of an atom...... The works of Vasubandhu the Elder and Vasubandhu the YoungerError! Bookmark not defined..... The mental complex and the seeds of permeation............4.............2...............................1............ Canonical texts (Tripi˛aka):....................232 CFE....................... The doctrine of the Buddha ........1................................................233 CFE....3............................................. Synopsis of the doctrines of the “Twenty Verses” and “Thirty Verses” .....................................................................235 CFE...................E.....................2.............. in Twenty Verses” (Vi˙Ÿatik› Vijñaptim›trat›siddhi) ............................................................232 CFE........................................ CFG................................................2....... The doctrine of liberation ...................................2..................1.................219 CFE..............271 DA......................... 480-540 C....235 CFE......................................................................E...........................3...................... ⁄›listambasÒtra:............259 CFF..........................254 CFF................... Chapter two: Answers to objections based on scripture (verses 8-10) ......231 CFE.....) ............................5...................236 CFE................... Milindapañh›: .......................260 Sthiramati and Dharmap›la (middle of the 6th century C.... Vasubandhu the Elder (ca....................234 CFE.... Asaºga’s Buddhology .................271 DBA...............262 CFG...........................................271 DBB.....................................................................218 CFD.................................................................. CFE.............E........... From the “Summary of the Mah›y›na” (Mah›y›nasa˙graha) ........... Chapter four: Refutation of various objections (verses 16-21) ............................................................................ etc... Sources and Literature.1.................................................................................................... 320-380 C................. Dign›ga (ca.....6....... (verses 11-15) .....2.................................................................................................................................................................2......216 CFD................235 Introduction to the Vi˙Ÿatik› Vijñaptim›trat›siddhi.2.......) ..272 DBC.............4................................................................................................................................................................. General...................... Pratıtyasamutp›dasÒtra:........................................................... highest reality and other beings .......... B.....................217 CFD.........2.....................3................3.......... From Hiuan-tsangs “Proof that (Everything) is Mere Cognizance” (Tch’eng wei che louen)..........................272 DCA...... From the “Compendium of the Means of Valid Cognition” (Pram›˚asamuccaya) ....272 vii ............4......................1....... The Dogmatics of the Hınay›na.................... Chapter One: Doctrine of the unreality of the external world and answers to objections based on reasoning (verses 1-7)....... The doctrine of liberation ............. CFE...........................3.........2.....................................239 “Proof that (Everything) is Mere Cognizance.................. in Thirty Verses” ...... CFE..........................................................................237 CFE.......................... Pratıtyasamutp›davy›khy›:...............The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner CFD........3................................... A............................) ....3......................... “Proof.....3....................... Introduction to the Tri˙Ÿatik› Vijñaptim›trat›siddhi................3..............................................................242 CFE........................................ Introduction to the translated sections of the Mah›y›nasa˙graha.............................265 D.272 DBD....................................................271 DB........253 CFE.............................. The mental complex as three transformations of cognition ........ that (Everything) is Mere Cognizance..4..............................................................................................................272 DC...4..

.............................................................................................................. Vasubandhu.........................................275 DDA...................................................................274 DDA................................... Ratnagotravibh›ga: .......................................... Prasannapad›: .. Sa˙dhinirmocanasÒtra:.. The school of the Yog›c›ra............. General................................273 DDA... Tchang tchen (Hastaratna ?) ......................... Asa∫ga..5.............................3............................2...................................................280 ....................277 DDC... RatnakÒ˛a (K›Ÿyapaparivarta): ....................... S›ramati........... Harivararman......................................................................... The Schools of the Mah›y›na........................................................................................................................................ Prajñ›pradıpa:.......................................5...................................................................................... Tch’eng wei che louen:.............3..........................................4....................................... 2...................................................................................3..............................................................................2...............................274 DDA........................................................1........................................................... A˝˛as›hasrik› Prajñ›p›ramit›: ...................................................................2..278 E.................................................................................................................276 DDB.... Vasubandhu the Younger: ........ Hiuan-tsang................275 DDA..............................................................................................5................................... Tattvasiddhi: .....7.....................1...............................................................................................................................................278 DDC........... Tri˙Ÿik›: ..1................................................1....................274 DDA......................... AbhidharmakoŸa: .............273 DDA................................................................279 EB...............................................................................................2.............................................................................................275 DDA....................8...... Mah›y›nasÒtr›la˙k›ra: ......................... The doctrine of the Buddha ...................... BodhisattvabhÒmi:.....1.................. firyadeva: Catu¯Ÿataka: ....... Madhyamak›vat›ra: .................3........................278 DDC................................................................................. Candrakırti:....................276 DDA.............273 DCB..279 EA......................................................................................277 DDC....5...............................2............................276 DDC................................................................1................................. The Madhyamaka School ............................. MÒlamadhyamakav¸tti:........................................................ Dign›ga......................................273 DCB........................................................................276 DDC...............................277 DDC................................ viii A............ Pram›˚asamuccaya: .....2............8...273 DDA........... Madhy›ntavibh›ga: ............................ Mah›y›nasa˙graha:. N›g›rjuna: .. 1....................................................................................1........ Vi˙Ÿatik›: .....................................................273 DCC....3........................................... The school of S›ramati .........3.......2....273 DD.....................................276 DDB.................................................................................... Ratn›valı: .............................. Buddhap›lita..........................................................................1.......................................................................................................277 DDC...............4. Pañcaskandhaka:............................................................276 DDC.......................................277 DDC......................................................................3............................................................................................................ Madhyamakak›rik›: . Bh›vaviveka.............................................................................................................277 DDC.............. Vigrahavy›vartanı: ....6.............275 DDA..6.................The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner DCB.......................................... 3...................................................................3... Supplementary remarks .......................................................... Maitreyan›tha: ..........277 DDC................................................................................276 DDA.........274 DDA....7.............8...............................................................275 DDA............

................................The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner EC...... By Erich Frauwallner Appendix II: Bibliography of Erich Frauwallner Appendix III: Sources and Literature (after the fourth edition) ix . The school of S›ramati ..................................................................................................................................................... The schools of the Mah›y›na .................. The school of the Yog›c›ra.......................................281 EDA.............................................. B.........281 EDC...................................................... 3...... The Madhyamaka school.....282 AppendixI: Amalavijñ›na and filayavijñ›na............................................................ The Dogmatics of the Hınay›na................................................................. 1.................................281 EDB..........280 ED............................................ A Contribution to the Epistemology of Buddhism............... 2..............................

The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner x .

 Mensching. B. such as the doctrine of the momentariness of all entities or the denial of the existence of a soul. tried to accurately prove its unreality. the study of these translations is so laborious that they are seldom heard of beyond specialized circles. in both works take up only a modest space and the development of philosophical thoughts is not pursued further. Darmstadt 1955. however. edited by E..2 The present work is intended to provide this opportunity. ausgewählt und eingeleitet von G. Through the use of selected texts. In spite of its great importance. in collaboration with I. Most importantly. the schools of the Mah›y›na raised the fundamental question of the reality of the phenomenal world. Snellgrove. they contributed decisively to the elaboration of the epistemology and logic which reached their full flowering at the end of the classical period of Indian philosophy and which belong to the most significant contributions of Indian philosophy in general. the philosophy of the Buddhists exerted a strong influence on the following period. created a carefully thought-out epistemological idealism in order to establish their view. D. An opportunity for a wider circle of readers to familiarize themselves with the world of ideas of the Buddhist philosophers without great hardship still does not exist. Some sources have in fact been translated. The purely philosophical texts. 1 . but as they make up only a small part of an extensive literature. the general development of Indian philosophy had led to the formation of complete philosophical systems. Texte. Waley. the Ved›nta above all having derived lasting stimulation therefrom.INTRODUCTION1 by Erich Frauwallner The systems of the Buddhists occupy a leading position in Indian philosophy. In addition. in the 50’s] appeared which contain a selection of Buddhist texts in translation. A satisfactory presentation is lacking and the sources themselves are scarcely accessible to those unfamiliar with the original languages. Conze. however. and Buddhistische Geisteswelt. In addition. when. At the same time. Horner. Buddhist Texts through the Ages. New York 1954. only with great difficulty could one gain from them a general overview. however. Buddhist philosophy is still little <2> known in wider circles. in the course of the last centuries before the Common Era. 2 Two works have recently [i.e. Square brackets ([ ]) indicate additions by the translator. the Buddhists also began to develop their old doctrine into a system. Both provide well-selected samples from all layers of Buddhist literature. Philosophical Library. vom historischen Buddha zum Lamaismus. A. the intention is to provide an initial introduction which should subsequently facilitate further more 1 Angle brackets (< >) throughout the translation indicate the German page numbers of Frauwallner’s Die Philosophie des Buddhismus (4th edition). At that time they had already developed specific noteworthy views. Although the Buddha himself proclaimed exclusively a doctrine of liberation and scarcely ever expressed his view on the philosophical questions of his time.

What is most important for us. insofar as it was used in <3> discussions with other schools. not so much intended to record the fundamental doctrines but rather the systems in their totality. it must be said of Buddhist works. What we are left with from this period. but have selected philosophically valuable sections and arranged them according to pertinent viewpoints so that the reader may easily follow the development of the individual thoughts. the study of all of these works is. Neither are the kind of presentations we might wish for. the broad strokes. A translation must pass on the contents of the original as accurately as possible to the reader who 3 Translating Indian commentaries instead of presenting one’s own explanations has the disadvantage that these commentaries themselves often require an explanation and quite frequently read foreign thoughts into these texts. and of polemic works. and in particular the details and formulations of disputed points peculiar to each school that so easily vanish from memory. The polemic texts. First the reader is oriented by a brief synopsis about the author and his teachings. Doing so was a matter of oral instruction. as. however. however. <4> I have chosen to counter all these difficulties in the following way. In addition. In the Indian philosophy of the older period with which we are dealing exclusively. The mnemonic texts provide key words for the memory in the most concise form which were meant to be handed down together with oral explanations and which therefore are almost incomprehensible without such explanations. I have. I will not render large sections of text in their entirety. Finally. the spoken word always predominated in the philosophical and religious life of India. also. become less important than the details to which the dispute has turned its focus. insofar as it was meant for the intramural use of the schools.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner detailed study. in the midst of which that which is philosophically valuable is almost completely squashed. that large parts of them are philosophically without interest. must in both cases first be extracted from the texts through hard work and must all too often be inferred from isolated comments and indications. great difficulties associated with such an undertaking. with which the reader must be familiar if he wants to properly understand the particular discussions. consists essentially of originally orally transmitted mnemonic sayings and verses. made more difficult for the reader because of the hitherto unavailability of a sufficient presentation of the Buddhist philosophy—one which could supply the prerequisites necessary to put these texts into proper perspective and to comprehend them. on the other hand.3 As for how exactly this is carried out. There are. the reader must first gain most of the necessary prerequisites through his own efforts. In this case the fundamental issues. 2 . I would like to note that I differentiate strictly between translation and explanation. They were as well. In such cases we are faced primarily with discussions of the practice-oriented path of liberation in which technical details are presented and elaborated upon in wearisome depth. usually continue old debates already in progress for generations. placed particular emphasis on the explanation of the texts. The texts and their detailed elucidation then follow. there are very few texts that were intended to set forth the doctrines of the different systems for outsiders. overall. Instead.

3 . II. Frauwallner. I have. therefore. included in parentheses in order to avoid errors and ambiguities. The elucidations themselves are rather extensive. I. translated everything as a matter of principle. Band 1953. familiar to only a very few readers. therefore. express my own views. then it determines it deliberately as a mental phenomenon to which very definite qualities belong and which is essentially different from consciousness. First and foremost. I have distinguished here as well between translation and explanation. Historically. Otto Müller Verlag. These elucidations are not intended to be a thorough scholarly commentary. then the translation should not feign smoothness and clarity. I have avoided the use of terms from the European philosophical terminology because. As we are concerned here with a language which is. I have made an effort to adhere to the same translation of a given term throughout this book. Band 1956. Salzburg.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner is not familiar with its language. The exact philosophical meaning will become apparent from the comments. it designates it earlier as sa˙jñ›. and later as sa˙vit. however convincing they often appear on first sight. To give just one example. I have preferred to give a single uninterrupted explanation instead of disconnected separate comments. of course. I have chosen translations which express roughly the same as what the word in question means at first glance for the Indian. In my opinion. Above all. Further. and I have placed this explanation at the beginning of the text. I have made an effort to adhere throughout to the Indian characterization of the thoughts and to reproduce it as accurately as possible. for only in this way is a correct understanding of this foreign world of ideas possible. In doing so. My Geschichte der indischen Philosophie4 [History of Indian Philosophy] and separately published scholarly treatises detail the 4 E. as a rule they mislead and arouse false ideas. Geschichte der indischen Philosophie. If the original is solemn and longwinded. Otherwise it is not a translation but a reworking. to be exact. much remains a matter of personal view. Indian terms are. but it is my hope that they contain everything necessary for an initial understanding of the texts. Additionally. I. even the Indian who familiarizes himself with a philosophical system must first get to know the terminological meaning of the different terms. but Buddhist philosophy is also cognizant of the term consciousness. especially those related to the concise mnemonic texts. the term ground-cognition (›layavijñ›na) of the Yog›c›ra school tempts one immediately to translate it as ‘subconsciousness’. the translator must capture this distinction and should not blur it. If it now designates the ground-cognition as cognition (vijñ›na) and <6> not as consciousness. the retention of the original terms was not a possibility. then the translation can only be solemn and longwinded. The translator must reproduce unaltered even logical mistakes made by the author. In such cases. <5> As to the difficult issue of rendering the philosophical terminology. in contrast to that of classical philosophy. however. To point them out and to explain them is a matter for the elucidation. As far as possible. I have proceeded in the following way. If the original is difficult and obscure. Indeed. in a field as little examined as that of Buddhist philosophy.

basing himself on the Mah›prajñ›p›ramitopadeŸa. consider it to be a work of the great N›g›rjuna. Erich Frauwallner <9> 5 Cf. note 4. it seems justifiable to me to assume actual foreign origin and a different author. 6 P. P. Hamburg 1951. In a work such as the present one. Up to now. however. 377- 390. that the most important scriptures handed down under the name of Asaºga fall into two groups that differ sharply7 from each other in their philosophical views and are unrelated in juxtaposition to one another. Demiéville has recently. that it will prove its worth as an initial introduction and that it will enable the reader <8> to gain an initial overview so that. the personal name Maitreyan›tha is entirely plausible and has actually been attested to. demonstrated in great detail that. ein Beitrag zur Erkenntnislehre des Buddhismus. like to briefly deal with two points. however. If. should his interest continue. La Yog›c›rabhÒmi de Saºgharak˝a. at the same time.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner reasoning underlying these views. 148-159. 7 Cf. In addition. the great Madhyamaka teacher N›g›rjuna has been considered to be a southern-Indian. This is correct insofar as this work must actually have originated in the north-west. I hope. Asiatica. pp. that a philosopher may change his views in the course of his life. there is no place for a discussion of differing views. Appendix I. É. Hanoi 1954. Sur la formation du Mah›y›na. 381. it will provide him with the prerequisites to delve into the works of the Buddhist philosophers themselves. Lamotte. Beiträge zur Indischen Philologie und Altertumskunde.] 4 . however. according to Indian tradition. I do not. Leipzig 1954. by contrast. and hence I continue to adhere to the old view. it is also only a modest sampling of an extensive literature. tradition traces the works of the one group back to foreign inspiration. Demiéville. I find rather. p. tome XLIV. do not take the legend as my starting-point in this case. Geburtstag dargebracht. I would. It is likewise quite possible and understandable that the later tradition saw this Maitreyan›tha or. It is possible in and of itself.6 I. in this regard. as the bodhisattva and that the legend originated in this way. in brief.5 recently advocated the view that N›g›rjuna was active in the north-west of India. Festschrift Friedrich Weller. the works attributed by some scholars to a teacher of Asaºga’s named Maitreyan›tha were revealed to Asaºga by the Bodhisattva Maitreya. that <7> the belief in such revelations was quite common in Buddhist circles at that time and that nothing entitles us to deduce from this tradition a historical teacher of Asaºga’s named Maitreyan›tha. A second point concerns the distinction between Asaºga and his teacher Maitreyan›tha. Maitreya. however. [Cf. É. the contrast is so stark and. however. Walther Schubring zum 70. also my essay Amalavijñ›nam und filayavijñ›nam. Within that restriction. Bulletin de l’École Française d’Extrême-Orient. I would like to emphasize that the present work restricts itself exclusively to the Buddhist philosophy of India in the classical period. Finally. pp. Lamotte.

thus following the evidently seemingly incorrect chronology of the Singhalese histories with a dating the Buddha to which gives the dates of the Buddha as 624-544 B. Göttingen 1991-1998). the Buddha is not far removed from the most recent doctrines of the Upani˝ad period. however. From a temporal and spatial point of view. to use the Buddhist expression. however. Philosophical matters restrict themselves for him to a few trains of thought and tenets that provide the theoretical foundation for his path of liberation. It is nowadays mostlygenerally accepted that the Buddha's life timeda has to should be lowered changed by approximately 100 years to 460-380 B. THE TEACHING OF THE BUDDHA AA. he set in motion the wheel of the teachings.)8 Following the teachings of the Upani˝ads. 1988.).C. according to Indian 8 [The date of the Buddha was the subject of a special conference. the period was imbued with a profound striving for liberation that had the widest circles in its grip and most especially reached the nobility. much had changed in the interval. At the same time. the legendary protector of Y›jñavalkya. he is imbued with a passionate urge to find liberation from the suffering of existence. 3 vols. repelled him. The momentum and the initial enthusiasm of the Upani˝ad period had evaporated. 560-480 B. the proceedings Heinz Bechert (ed.C.C. The squabblings of rival schools had replaced the enthusiastic proclamation of the ›tman-doctrine. For a summary of the editor's opinion. THE PROCLAMATION OF THE BUDDHA At the forefront of the proclamation of the Buddha stands the sermon of Benares in which.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner A. cf. And yet. Heinz Bechert. on the other hand. He saw in them a mistaken path leading away from the actual goal of liberation and this determined his attitude towards philosophy for the duration of his life. lived and was active was not far from the country of Videha where Janaka. <10> As far as possible. AB. that his teaching deserves special consideration. Above all.] 5 . Thus he proclaims the path of liberation which he himself discovered through personal experience. The temporal separation is also likely not very great. The country where he was born. Just as. 1982. 29-36. The philosophical teaching activities of his time. The stimulus that originated from him. pp.E. Modern Contemporary Buddhists celebrated in 1956 the 2500 years jubilee commemoration of the Buddha's Parinirvana in 1956. “The Date of the Buddha Reconsidered. The Buddha was admittedly not a philosopher in the proper sense but the proclaimer of a doctrine of liberation.. and such important philosophers later joined their systems with his proclamation. was so strong. he rejects theoretical discussions providing only the reasons for entanglement in the suffering of existence and the possibility of liberation in a few formulaic sentences.” Indologica Taurinensia 10. tradition next informs us about the teaching of the Buddha. The Dating of the Historical Buddha. Both had a decisive effect on the personality of the Buddha. THE BUDDHA (CA. had ruled. in Hedemünden near Göttingen (cf. Large numbers of teachers were traversing the country preaching their different doctrines.

The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner

mythology, a miraculous wheel rolls in front of a universal king, showing the path of his
victorious advance towards the conquest of the earth, so, through this sermon, the Buddha set in
motion the wheel of the teachings which rolled victoriously over the earth from then on. This
sermon is addressed to the five disciples who had accompanied the Buddha during the period of
his striving but had then turned away from him when he gave up excessive mortification as
useless, accusing him of having turned towards a life of ease. The opening words of the sermon
allude to this. The proclamation of the four noble truths which according to the early view
makes up the core of the liberating cognition, then follows. The sermon has the following
wording:
ABA.

THE SERMON OF BENARES (DHARMACAKRAPRAVARTANASÚTRA)9
Thereupon the Exalted One addressed the group of five monks:
“Monks, one who has renounced the world should not adhere to the following two extremes.
Which two? On the one hand, with regard to desires, to the devotion to the pleasure of desires
which is low, vulgar, worldly, unworthy of a noble one and which does not lead to the goal,
and on the other hand, to the devotion to self-mortification which is painful, unworthy of a
noble one and which does not lead to the goal. Without following either of these extremes,
monks, the Perfected One realized the middle way, which brings about vision and brings about
knowledge, and which leads to calming, to special knowledge, to enlightenment, to extinction
(nirv›˚a). What, <11> monks, is this middle way which the Perfected One has realized, which
brings about vision and brings about knowledge, and which leads to calming, to special
knowledge, to enlightenment, to extinction? It is the noble eightfold path, namely, right view,
right thought, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right striving, right mindfulness,
and right concentration. This, monks, is the middle way, which the Perfected One has realized,
which brings about vision and brings about knowledge, and which leads to calming, to special
knowledge, to enlightenment, to extinction.
Furthermore, monks, this is the noble truth of suffering. Birth is suffering, old age is suffering,
sickness is suffering, death is suffering, to be united with what is unpleasant is suffering, to be
separated from what is pleasant is suffering, if one wants something and does not get it, that
also is suffering; in brief, the five groups of grasping (up›d›naskandha)10 are suffering.
Furthermore, monks, this is the noble truth of the origin of suffering. It is the thirst (t¸˝˚›)
leading to rebirth that, accompanied by delight and passion, finds enjoyment here and there,
namely, thirst for desire, thirst for becoming, thirst for annihilation.

9

[For the selected texts and their sections cf. "Sources and Literature", pp…..???]

10

The five groups which form the worldly personality (see p. ???; S. 26) are so called because the thirst for

existence is directed towards them and clings to them.

6

The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner

Furthermore, monks, this is the noble truth of the cessation of suffering. It is the cessation of
thirst through complete passionlessness, giving up, refusing, emancipation, and not holding on
to it.
Furthermore, monks, this is the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering. It is
the noble eightfold path, namely, right view, right thought, right speech, right conduct, right
livelihood, right striving, right mindfulness, and right concentration. <12>
‘This is the noble truth of suffering, this is the noble truth of the origin of suffering, this is the
noble truth of the cessation of suffering, this is the noble truth of the way leading to the
cessation of suffering’: thus, monks, in regard to things unheard before, there arose in me the
sight, there arose in me the understanding, the insight, the knowledge, the seeing.
‘Suffering, this noble truth, must be recognized; the origin of suffering, this noble truth, must
be avoided; the cessation of suffering, this noble truth, must be realized; the way leading to the
cessation of suffering, this noble truth, must be practiced’: thus, monks, in regard to things
unheard before, there arose in me the sight, there arose in me the understanding, the insight,
the knowledge, the seeing.
As long, monks, as I did not possess in full clarity this threefold knowledge and vision with its
twelve aspects in regard to these four noble truths, so long, monks, did I not claim to have
attained the highest perfect enlightenment in this world with its heavenly gods, lords of death,
and Brahma-gods, and among these beings with its ascetics and brahmins, with its gods and
humans.
But, monks, since the time when I possessed in full clarity this threefold knowledge and vision
with its twelve aspects in regard to these four noble truths, since that time, monks, do I claim
that I have attained the highest perfect enlightenment in this world with its heavenly gods,
lords of death, and Brahma-gods, and among these beings with its ascetics and brahmins, with
its gods and humans. And there arose in me the knowledge and vision: Unshakable is the
liberation of my mind; this is my last birth; from now on there is no rebirth.” <13>
Thus the Exalted One spoke. The group of five monks joyfully hailed the discourse of the
Exalted One.
***
In view of the great importance tradition accords the four noble truths, this proclamation’s lack
of content is striking. In it, not much more is said than that existence is full of suffering, that the
origin of suffering is desire and that the cessation of suffering occurs through the annihilation of
desire by means of the noble eightfold path. In particular, the explanation of the noble eightfold
path is scanty, offering only unelaborated general concepts, nothing clearly graspable. The
sermon of Benares is therefore best seen as a kind of programmatic announcement, a framework
to be completed and fleshed out through subsequent more detailed teachings. And the Buddha
did indeed richly provide such additions in the course of his long teaching activity. First and
7

The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner

foremost, a detailed presentation of the path of liberation exists, which is repeated in numerous
Buddhist canonical texts and which contains precise, detailed instructions. According to this
presentation, the path of liberation appears to be roughly as follows:
ABB.

THE BUDDHIST PATH OF LIBERATION
To begin with, the disciple who renounces the world and goes forth from home into
homelessness, trusting in the word of the Buddha, must observe a number of moral precepts.
This is followed next by the guarding of the senses, i.e., he should not, through sense
impressions, allow himself to become excited and carried away by passion. Thirdly comes the
practice of mindfulness and awareness, according to which whatever one does and refrains from
doing must always occur with a clear awareness of its meaning and consequences. These are all
preparations of a general nature. Only through them does the disciple become able to enter the
path of liberation in its stricter sense. This path is—in the Indian tradition—a path of yoga,
i.e., through inner concentration, the mind is gradually brought into a state of increased lucidity
in which it is able to cognize every intended object through direct vision with complete clarity
and certainty. To this end, the disciple sits down in a solitary place with crossed legs in the
customary yoga-position and <14> first makes an effort to overcome the five mental hindrances.
He then makes his way through the four stages of meditation, through which the Buddha
himself originally discovered the liberating cognition, until, at the fourth and last stage, he has
gained the desired clear vision. This he then directs first towards his own fate in earlier births,
towards the law of the cycle of existences in general as it rules the entire world. Finally, he
directs it towards the four noble truths themselves. He is now able, through his own vision, to
recognize them as true with, complete certainty through his own vision. As a result of this,
passion and ignorance which have held him in the cycle of existences until now, vanish.
Liberation is won and he becomes aware that he is liberated. This most important part of the
path of liberation has the following wording:

ABB.1.

FROM THE “KANDARAKA SUTTA” (MAJJHIMA NIKfiYA 51)
Armed with this noble group of moral precepts, with this noble guarding of the senses and with
this noble mindfulness and awareness, (the disciple) seeks out a secluded dwelling, a forest, the
foot of a tree, a mountain, a ravine, a mountain cave, a charnel ground, a wilderness, a place in
the open air or a heap of straw. On returning from his almsround, he sits down, after his meal,
with crossed legs, holding his body erect, while establishing mindfulness.
After he has abandoned greed for this world, he abides with a mind free from greed; he
purifies his mind from greed. Having abandoned malice and anger, he abides with a mind free
from malice; concerned about the welfare of all living beings, he purifies his mind of malice
and anger. Having abandoned rigidity and languidness, he abides [with a mind] free from
rigidity and <15> languidness; with a clear consciousness, mindful and aware, he purifies his
mind of rigidity and languidness. Having abandoned agitation and remorse, he remains
8

The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner

without agitation; with a mind inwardly calmed, he purifies his mind of agitation and remorse.
Having abandoned doubt, he remains free from doubt; not in the dark about the wholesome
factors, he purifies his mind of doubt.
Having abandoned these hindrances and having recognized the weakening disturbances of the
mind, through separation from desires and separation from unwholesome factors, amid
contemplation and reflection, he attains the satisfaction and ease born through this separation,
and he remains therein. This is the first stage of meditation.
After contemplation and reflection have come to rest, he attains inner calm and one-pointedness
of mind and in this way—free from contemplation and reflection—the satisfaction and ease born
through this concentration, and he remains therein. This is the second stage of meditation.
After turning away from satisfaction, he remains in equanimity, mindful and aware and
experiences ease through his body. This state is that of which the noble ones say: “He has
equanimity, is mindful and remains at ease.” This is the third stage of meditation.
Having abandoned ease and discomfort—contentedness and discontentedness having already
previously disappeared—, he attains, free from discomfort and ease, pure equanimity and
[pure] mindfulness, and he remains therein. This is the fourth stage of meditation.
His mind having thus become collected, purified, cleansed, unblemished, free from
disturbances, supple, effective, firm and unshakable, <16> he directs it to the cognition of the
recollection of previous births. He recollects many former births, one birth, two births, three
births, four births, five births, ten births, twenty births, thirty births, forty births, fifty births, a
hundred births, a thousand births, a hundred thousand births, numerous periods of cosmic
destruction, numerous periods of cosmic creation, numerous periods of cosmic destruction and
creation. “Here I had this name, belonged to such a lineage and such a caste, had such
sustenance, experienced such pleasure and suffering, lived for so-and-so long; here I passed
away and there I was reborn. There I had this name, belonged to such a lineage and such a
caste, had such sustenance, experienced such pleasure and such pain, lived for so-and-so long;
there I passed away and there I was reborn.” Thus he recollects many former births with all
their circumstances and particulars.
His mind having thus become collected, purified, cleansed, unblemished, free from
disturbances, supple, effective, firm and unshakable, he directs it to the cognition of the passing
away and reappearance of beings. He sees with the divine, purified, superhuman eye how
beings pass away and reappear, and he recognizes beings that are low and high, beautiful and
ugly, that are on the good course and on the bad course, as they return each according to their
deeds: “These beings are endowed with bad conduct of body, with bad conduct of speech, with
bad conduct of mind, they criticize the noble ones, maintain false views and perform deeds
which are based on these false views. <17> After the disintegration of the body, after death they
proceed on the wrong track, on the bad course, to their down-fall, to hell. These beings, on the

9

The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner

other hand, are endowed with good conduct of body, with good conduct of speech, with good
conduct of mind, they do not criticize the noble ones, have right views and perform deeds
based on these right views. After the disintegration of the body, after death they proceed on a
good course, a heavenly world.” Thus he sees with the divine, purified, superhuman eye how
beings pass away and reappear and he recognizes beings that are low and high, beautiful and
ugly, on the good course and on the bad course, as they return each according to their deeds.
His mind having thus become collected, purified, cleansed, unblemished, free from
disturbances, supple, effective, firm and unshakable, he directs it to the cognition of the
vanishing of the negative influxes (›srava). “This is suffering”, he knows in accordance with
truth. “This is the origin of suffering”, he knows in accordance with truth. “This is the cessation
of suffering”, he knows in accordance with truth. “This is the way leading to the cessation of
suffering”, he knows in accordance with truth. “These are the (negative) influxes”, he knows in
accordance with truth. “This is the origin of the (negative) influxes”, he knows in accordance
with truth. “This is the cessation of the (negative) influxes”, he knows in accordance with truth.
“This is the way leading to the cessation of the (negative) influxes”, he knows in accordance
with truth. By knowing such, envisioning such, his mind is liberated from the (negative)
influxes of desire, from the (negative) influxes of becoming, from the (negative) influxes of
ignorance. In the liberated one there arises the knowledge of his liberation: “Rebirth is
destroyed, <18> the holy life is accomplished, the duty is fulfilled; there is no more returning to
this world.” Thus he knows.
***
As we have already noted, the Buddha rejected philosophical questions insofar as they do not
immediately concern the path of liberation. This is particularly true in the case of the questions
about the existence and nature of the soul and about one’s fate after death. He does not answer
these questions in the negative. He does not, for example, deny the existence of the soul and he
does not teach that nirv›˚a is annihilation. On the contrary, much suggests that he tacitly
presupposed views similar to those developed in the final stage of the fire doctrine of the
Upani˝ads. He does not address these questions, however, remaining silent about them because
they “do not lead to turning away (from the mundane), to passionlessness, to cessation (of the
transient), to calming, to special knowledge, to enlightenment, to extinction”. In the rare cases
where he is persuaded to speak, however, he expresses himself to the effect that the nature of
the soul and the state of the liberated one are inconceivable and inexpressible. The following
two texts may convey some sense of the Buddha’s behavior in this regard.
AC.

QUESTIONS WHICH THE BUDDHA DID NOT ANSWER

ACA.

fiNANDA [SA±YUTTA NIKfiYA 44, 10]
(On one occasion the Exalted One was dwelling at R›jag¸ha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrel’s
Feeding Place.) At that time the wandering monk Vatsagotra betook himself to where the

10

The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner

Exalted One resided. Having gone there, he exchanged greetings with the Exalted One and,
after having exchanged greetings and friendly words, he sat down to one side. Sitting to one
side, the wandering monk Vatsagotra spoke to the Exalted One as follows: “Is there, O
Gautama, a self (›tm›)?”
When this was said, the Exalted One was silent.
“Then, is there, O Gautama, no self?”
Again, the Exalted One was silent. Then the wandering monk Vatsagotra rose from his seat and
departed. <19>
Then, not long after the wandering monk Vatsagotra had left, the Venerable finanda said to the
Exalted One the following: “Why, O Lord, did the Exalted One not answer the question
addressed to him by the wandering monk Vatsagotra?”
“If, finanda, in regard to the question, whether there is a self, I had answered the wandering
monk Vatsagotra: ‘There is a self’, then, finanda, I would have sided with the ascetics and
brahmins who teach eternity. And if, finanda, in regard to the question, whether there is no
self, I had answered the wandering monk Vatsagotra: ‘There is no self’, then, finanda, I would
have sided with the ascetics and brahmins who teach annihilation. If then, finanda, in regard to
the question, whether there is a self, I had answered the wandering monk Vatsagotra: ‘There is
a self’, would it have helped me to bring forth [in Vatsagotra] the knowledge that all entities are
not the self?”
“No, O Lord.”
“And if, finanda, in regard to the question, whether there is no self, I had answered the
wandering monk Vatsagotra: ‘There is no self’, then, finanda, it would have caused (the
wandering monk) Vatsagotra, who is already bewildered, even more bewilderment: ‘It seemed
that my self existed formerly, but now, does it no longer exist?’ “
ACB.

THE SÚTRA OF VATSAGOTRA AND THE FIRE
(AGGIVACCHAGOTTASUTTANTA) [MAJJHIMANIKfiYA SUTTA 72]
Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Exalted One was dwelling at ⁄ravastı in Jetavana, the
Gardens of An›thapi˚˜ada. At that time the wandering monk Vatsagotra betook himself to
where the Exalted One resided. Having gone there, he exchanged greetings with the Exalted
One and, after having exchanged greetings and friendly words, <20> he sat down to one side.
Sitting to one side, the wandering monk Vatsagotra spoke to the Exalted One as follows:
“How is it, O Gautama? Does the Lord Gautama hold the view that the world is eternal, that
only this is true and everything else is erroneous?”
“No, Vatsa, I do not hold the view that the world is eternal, that this alone is true and
everything else is erroneous.”

11

I do not hold the view that the world will end. O Gautama? Does the Lord Gautama hold the view that the world will end. that this alone is true and everything else is erroneous?” “No. O Gautama? Does the Lord Gautama hold the view that the world is unlimited. he does not accept them?” “ ‘The World is eternal’. to passionlessness. Vatsa. whether he neither exists nor does not exist. O Gautama? Does the Lord Gautama hold the view. whether the Perfected One exists after death. O Gautama? Does the Lord Gautama hold the view that the world will end. to 12 . Vatsa. Vatsa.” *** The same is repeated regarding all the other questions and then Vatsagotra ends with the following words: “What defect does the Lord Gautama see in these [speculative] views that. Vatsa. full of distress. Vatsa. Vatsa. I do not hold the view that the world will end. <21> that this alone is true and everything else is erroneous?’ you answer: ‘No. a shivering of a view. is a thicket of a view.’ In regard to the question: ‘How is it then. I do not hold the view that the world is unlimited. this [speculative] view. that this alone is true and everything else is erroneous?” “No. whether he does not exist. altogether. that this alone is true and everything else is erroneous. full of despair. that this alone is true and everything else is erroneous. that this alone is true and everything else is erroneous?” “No. that this alone is true and everything else is erroneous. full of torment and does not lead to turning away. I do not hold the view that the world is eternal.” “How is it then.” “How is it then. I do not hold the view that the world is limited. that this alone is true and everything else is erroneous’. a fetter of a view. it is full of suffering. whether he both exists and does not exist. that this alone is true and everything else is erroneous?’ you answer: ‘No. a wilderness of a view. and the Buddha’s answer always remains the same.” *** This is followed by questions about whether the soul and the body are the same or whether they are different. that this alone is true and everything else is erroneous. a cramp of a view.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner “How is it then. O Gautama? Does the Lord Gautama hold the view that the world is limited. Then Vatsagotra says: “In regard to the question: ‘How is it. that the world is eternal.

does a monk whose mind is thus liberated arise (again)?” “Arising. O Gautama.’ Here. to enlightenment. does he not arise (again)?” “Not arising. this is consciousness. this is cognition. does not apply. I do not accept them. O Gautama. O Gautama. Vatsa. does not apply.” “But then. a view is foreign to the Perfected One.” “But then. Vatsa. to extinction.” “Then does the Lord Gautama hold any [speculative] view?” “Vatsa. does he neither arise nor not arise (again)?” “Neither-arising-nor-not-arising. altogether. does he not arise (again)?’ you answer: ‘Not arising. does a monk whose mind is thus liberated arise (again)?’ you answer: ‘Arising. these are the formations. this is the disappearance of sensation. does not apply. Vatsa.’ And in regard to the question: ‘But then. O Gautama. Thus. this is the disappearance of the formations. the same is repeated regarding all the other [speculative] views. Vatsa. does not apply. this is the origin of sensation.’ In regard to the question: ‘But then. O Gautama.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner cessation (of all worldly things). the Perfected One is completely liberated through the vanishing. does not apply. I have now fallen into ignorance. does he arise and not arise (again)?” “Arising and not arising. this is the disappearance of consciousness. the giving up <22> and rejecting of all the opinions. I say. to calming. to special knowledge. does he neither arise nor not arise (again)?” you answer: ‘Neither-arising-nor-not-arising. this is the disappearance of cognition.” “In regard to the question: ‘But where. and then the Buddha ends: “This defect. this is the disappearance of corporeality. the cessation. has understood the following: This is corporeality (rÒpa).” “But where. Vatsa. O Gautama.” 13 . for the Perfected One.’ In regard to the question: ‘But then. this is the origin of corporeality.” “But then. does not apply. all the worries. O Gautama. and all the burdens caused by the notions of ‘I’ and ‘mine’. O Gautama. Vatsa. do I see in these [speculative] views that. here I have fallen into bewilderment. Vatsa. this is the origin of cognition. Vatsa. this is the origin of the formations. the refusal. this is the origin of consciousness. does not apply.” *** Again. Vatsa. Vatsa. does he arise and not arise (again)?’ you answer: ‘Arising and not arising. does not apply. this is sensation. and the clarity which I had gained through the previous conversation with Lord Gautama has now been lost.

consciousness. how would you.” “If. for the fire has consumed the fuel of grass and wood by means of which it was burning. if one wished to describe him—are given up. sensation. sensation. like a palm tree pulled out of the ground. O Gautama. answer this question?” “If. Vatsa. and [the tree] then stood there pure as heartwood.” “Just so. Vatsa. Vatsa. without sustenance. the bark and dry dead bark fell off. the fire in front of me were to go out. O Gautama. O Gautama.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner “Enough with ignorance. who follows another rule and <23> another teaching. sublime. in future no longer subject to coming into existence. without branches and leaves. and. more [fuel] was not supplied and thus. consciousness.” “If someone were to ask you now: ‘By what means is this fire burning that is burning in front of you?’ How would you. immeasurable <24> and difficult to fathom like the ocean. subtle. someone were to ask you now: ‘In which direction did the fire that went out in front of you go. enough with bewilderment! This teaching. Vatsa. ‘neither-arising-nor-not-arising’ does not apply. is profound. answer this question?” “This does not apply. the branches and the leaves fell off from it. comprehensible only to the wise. formations. ‘arising and not arising’ does not apply. Vatsa. [this teaching] is difficult to understand for you who holds other views. somebody would ask me: ‘By what means is this fire burning. if a fire were burning here in front of you. Vatsa. and cognition. inaccessible to reasoning. to the west. the fire in front of you were to go out. a fire were burning in front of me. Vatsa. without bark and dry dead bark and without sapwood. formations. Vatsa.” “If now. O Gautama. O Gautama. that is burning in front of you?’ I. Therefore. What do you think. the wandering monk Vatsagotra said the following to the Exalted One: “Just as if.’?” “If.” In answer to this speech. due to impermanence. I would know: ‘A fire is burning here in front of me’. difficult to understand. just so the proclamation of 14 . the Perfected One is profound. Free from any reckoning in terms of corporeality. annihilated and. peaceful. who indulges in other [things] and delights in other [things]. I will now address counter-questions to you. would you know: ‘This fire in front of me has gone out. a great Ÿ›la tree stood near a village or market-town. difficult to see. ‘Arising’ does not apply. answer as you see fit. and cognition—by means of which one might describe the Perfected One. and the sapwood fell off. it is defined as having gone out. Vatsa. I would know: ‘This fire in front of me has gone out’. to the east. uprooted. corporeality. Vatsa. would answer: ‘This fire which is burning in front of me is burning by means of the fuel of grass and wood’. to the north or to the south?’. would you then know: ‘A fire is burning in front of me’?” “If. O Gautama. ‘not arising’ does not apply.

the cessation. What five? Corporeality as a group of grasping. one should not newly take it up again. O Gautama. the burden. accompanied by delight and passion. What is the taking up of the burden? It is the thirst that leads to rebirth. from today onward and for the rest of my life. THE SÚTRA OF THE BEARER OF THE BURDEN (BHfiRAHfiRASÚTRA) Thus have I heard. whose life lasts so-and-so long.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner the Lord Gautama stands there pure as heartwood. A well-known example of this is the following short sÒtra. who is of such and such family. one were to set upright what is bent down or were to reveal what has been hidden or were to show the path to one who is lost or were to carry an oil-lamp in the dark so that all those who have eyes can see the forms (of things). <25> ACC. accompanied by delight and passion. the disappearing of the thirst that leads to rebirth. that. avoided speaking of a self or a soul. without branches and leaves. May Lord Gautama consider me.. What is the laying down of the burden? It is the complete abandoning.” *** Lastly it should be briefly noted that although as a rule the Buddha adhered strictly to the attitude discussed here and. the laying down of the burden and the bearer of the burden. the Gardens of An›thapi˚˜ada. wonderful. O Gautama! Just as if. above all. in the teaching and in the community of monks. is descended from such and such a lineage. without bark and dry dead bark and without sapwood.e. as a lay follower who has taken his refuge in him. This is what is called the burden. Who is the bearer of the burden? This should be answered in the following way: the person. experiences such pleasure and such suffering. the shaking off. O Gautama. that. sensation as a group of grasping. nonetheless. speaks of a personality (pudgala). The heavy burden brings great suffering. the rejecting. the ceasing. finds enjoyment here and there. who will live for so-and-so long and whose lifetime is so-and-so limited. here and there one does also find texts that contradict it. the vanishing. The dispute between the later schools is connected with this. the taking up of the burden. On one occasion the Exalted One was dwelling at ⁄ravastı in Jetavana.” <26> Then the Exalted One added the following verse: “If one has laid down the heavy burden. consciousness as a group of grasping. that venerable one who has such and such a name. the taking up of the burden. There the Exalted One spoke to the monks: I will expound to you. What is the burden? The five groups of grasping (up›d›naskandha). just so Lord Gautama has proclaimed the teaching in manifold ways. eats such food. formations as a group of grasping and cognition as a group of grasping. the laying down of the burden and the bearer of the burden. the laying down 15 . So listen and pay thorough and good attention. in which the Buddha. I take refuge in Lord Gautama. I will speak to you. monks. contrary to his usual habit. the refusal. Wonderful. i. finds enjoyment here and there.

is to demonstrate that these five groups are not the true self. a distinction was made between thirst aroused by sense-objects and thirst directed towards one’s worldly existence. corporeality (rÒpa). This third form never gained any great importance. and was soon dropped. namely. was drawn upon in order to explain entanglement in the cycle of existences. then there is no further rebirth. The second form of thirst comes into being as follows. and that this [concept] was tied to the concept of thirst. was that a second concept. since striving for annihilation is just as much a mistaken path for one seeking liberation as is striving for the continuation of life. What followed naturally from this was to find the cause of entanglement in worldly existence in the lack of this cognition. the senses come in contact with their objects. In this way. on the other hand. all impermanent and all belonging to this world. however. One of the most important points of the Buddha’s sermon. The Buddha. When.e. it was customary to see the means of release in knowledge above all. If one clearly cognizes the remaining objects.e. however. Later. has shown that the worldly personality is in truth only a combination of different kinds of factors (dharma). we have not discovered more in this regard than that thirst is the cause of suffering. this concept was developed further. in a liberating cognition. the thirst for annihilation (vibhavat¸˝˚›) was also placed beside these. some material. Whoever—as is usual among ordinary human beings—nonetheless takes them to be the self. Far more important. the so-called thirst for [objects of] desire (k›mat¸˝˚›) arises. that of ignorance. comes to cling to them. Since Buddhism likewise made liberation dependent on the attainment of a liberating cognition. This attachment to the worldly personality is one of the most important causes for constantly being reborn and this is the second form of thirst. First and foremost. The monks joyfully hailed the speech of the Exalted One. i. Thus it came about that ignorance was placed next to thirst as a cause of entanglement in the cycle of existences. it also could not avoid this conclusion.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner of the burden brings great joy. THE TENET OF DEPENDENT ORIGINATION We turn now to the actual philosophical tenets of Buddhism. some mental. One must annihilate all thirst. sensations arise and these awaken desire. its interpretation 16 . the foundation of the path of liberation. formations (sa˙sk›ra).. The development of the concept of thirst demonstrates some remarkable thinking. then all formations vanish. the <27> so-called thirst for becoming (bh›vat¸˝˚›). Beginning with the oldest teachings of the Upani˝ads. and cognition (vijñ›na).” Thus spoke the Exalted One.. He distinguished five groups (skandha) of such factors. that is. sensation (vedan›). Thus emerged the most important theoretical tenet which Buddhism in its oldest form produced. however. Occasionally a third form of thirst. consciousness (sa˙jñ›). AD. therefore. i. Taking the worldly personality to be the true self (›tm›) is particularly fateful for one’s entanglement in existence. In the sermon of Benares. in ignorance. The examples that follow are intended to present this tenet. The two were united when a continuous chain of causes and effects was devised to explain both the arising of entanglement and the ever recurring rebirth. the famous tenet of dependent origination (pratıtyasamutp›da).

name and form. birth. through the cessation of contact. the Exalted One. Here I have chosen examples more generously. at least to a modest extent. In view of this. distress and despair. dependent on cognition. dependent on volitional formations. to show how this tenet. old age and death. <29> through the cessation of the sixfold sphere. through the cessation of cognition. sensation ceases. dependent on birth. MAHfiVAGGA I. but also because it has been dealt with quite often and explained in most diverse ways in Europe. dependent on name and form. then all his doubts disappear since he understands the factors together with their causes. dependent on sensation. through the cessation of name and form. in the … night.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner and its development. through the cessation of becoming. dependent on thirst. pain. through the cessation of birth. through the cessation of sensation. dependent on grasping.” *** This text presents the tenet of dependent origination in its customary form. volitional formations (sa˙sk›ra) come into being. 1) At that time the Buddha. distress and despair cease. contact. When the Exalted One had understood this matter. the volitional formations cease. Then. not only because of the significance due this tenet itself. through the cessation of the volitional formations. old age and death. Here. grasping. the suffering of existence is traced back through a twelve-membered chain of causes and effects to ignorance 17 . The following examples. was dwelling at Uruvilv› on the bank of the river Nairañjan› at the foot of the tree of enlightenment just after he had attained enlightenment. dependent on becoming. birth ceases. he spoke the following words: “Truly. and describes how he spent a long time in contemplation. sorrow and lamentation. The Exalted One then sat cross-legged for seven days in one and the same position at the foot of the tree of enlightenment while experiencing the ease of liberation. through the cessation of thirst. the Exalted One contemplated dependent arising in the forward and in reverse order: Dependent on ignorance. becoming. Legend places the discovery of the tenet of dependent origination as early as when the <28> Buddha had only just attained enlightenment. Through the cessation of ignorance due to complete passionlessness. through the cessation of grasping. mulling it over again and again. THE ACCOUNT OF ENLIGHTENMENT (BODHIKATHfi. are intended. the sixfold sphere ceases. Thus the cessation of this whole mass of suffering comes about. it is said: ADA. becoming ceases. on the other hand. dependent on the sixfold sphere. cognition. the sixfold sphere. when the factors (dharma) come into view for the striving and pondering brahmin. name and form cease. pain. cognition ceases. sorrow and lamentation. contact ceases. grasping ceases. and its interpretation. Thus the origin of this whole mass of suffering comes about. are presented in the Buddhist tradition itself. dependent on contact. sensation. thirst ceases. thirst.

Sitting to one side. This [interpretation] has already begun in the oldest parts of the Buddhist canon and continues through the dogmatics of the later schools. there is a market-town of the Kurus <31> named Kalm›˝adamya. i. THE GREAT SÚTRA OF THE FOUNDATIONS OF ORIGINATION (MAHfiNIDfiNSUTTANTA. i. Individually. which like a subtle body is the bearer of rebirth. and finally also the sixfold sphere. After arriving there and having greeted the Exalted One. it is noticeable that two causes of rebirth. the sense-organs of the new being which thus enters into existence.. always been considered to be obscure and difficult. Sensations of various kinds come into being and rouse the passions. If this new being is now born. and thereby leads to renewed bondage and new existence. the members of this causal chain are to be understood approximately as follows: The last cause of entanglement in the cycle of existences is. foremost being the thirst that clings to sense-pleasures and to the supposed self.. Then the venerable finanda betook himself to where the Exalted One resided. at least a few short examples of this development are presented. in which the Buddha explains the causal chain to him. birth and entanglement in the suffering of existence come about and so it goes. Firstly. There. the venerable finanda spoke as follows to the Exalted One: 18 . this has led to the fact that people have occupied themselves with it again and again and have repeatedly attempted to interpret it anew. two descriptions of how worldly existence comes about are given. therefore. ADB. This tenet has. On one occasion the Exalted One was dwelling in the land of the Kurus. as Buddhist texts say. for as long as the liberating cognition and the annihilation of thirst do not put an end to the cycle [of existence]. Together with the important position that it holds within the proclamation of the Buddha. In the following. in the course of time.e. Once again. the four noble truths. It cannot be denied that this tenet of dependent origination shows some obscurities. DÊGHANIKfiYA XV) 1 Thus have I heard. ignorance. Cognition. and accordingly. being unaware of the liberating cognition. Indeed. are strung together quite superficially. ignorance and thirst. he sat down to one side. Subsequent to cognition. in fact. In the person who does not possess this cognition volitional formations directed toward the senseobjects and the worldly personality come into being.e.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner as the last cause. the body and mental factors—as this is what is meant by name and form—develop. considerably broader meaning was ascribed to it and fundamental philosophical significance attributed to it. Noteworthy about this is that in this conversation the causal chain ends with cognition. that grasps them. in an endless chain. or. driven by these volitional formations. enters into a new womb after death. as mentioned. The first of these comes from the old canon and comprises a conversation between the Buddha and his favorite student finanda. then the <30> fateful contact of the sense-organs with their objects occurs.

’ And if the person asking says: ‘On what is name and form dependent?’ then the answer should be: ‘Name and form is dependent on cognition. these beings – tangled like a thread. finanda.’ And if the person asking says: ‘On what is birth dependent?’ then the answer should be: ‘Birth is dependent on becoming. it is asked: ‘Is grasping dependent on anything?’ then the answer should be: ‘Yes. finanda! This dependent origination. finanda.’ If.’ And if the person asking says: ‘On what is grasping dependent?’ then the answer should be: ‘Grasping is dependent on thirst. finanda. it is asked: ‘Is old age and death dependent on anything?’ then the answer should be: ‘Yes. finanda.’ If. finanda. it is asked: ‘Is birth dependent on anything?’ then the answer should be: ‘Yes. therefore.’ And if the person asking says: ‘On what is becoming dependent?’ then the answer should be: ‘Becoming is dependent on grasping. And because they do not understand and do not penetrate this doctrine.’ If. it is asked: ‘Is sensation dependent on anything?’ then the answer should be: ‘Yes. O Lord. and like blades of grass – are not able to pass beyond the wrong track.’ And if the person asking says: ‘On what is sensation dependent?’ then the answer should be: ‘Sensation is dependent on contact. the bad course. finanda. the down-fall.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner “It is wonderful.’ 11 The sixfold sphere is skipped here.’ And if the person asking says: ‘On what is thirst dependent?’ then the answer should be: ‘Thirst is dependent on sensation.” “Do not say that. 19 . finanda. the cycle of existences. And yet it seems to me as if it were clearly right before my eyes.’ <32> If. 2 If. finanda! Do not say that.’11 If. it is astonishing.’ And if the person asking says: ‘On what is contact dependent?’ then the answer should be: ‘Contact is dependent on name and form. finanda. finanda. it is asked: ‘Is name and form dependent on anything?’ then the answer should be: ‘Yes.’ And if the person asking says: ‘On what is old age and death dependent?’ then the answer should be: ‘Old age and death is dependent on birth.’ If. it is asked: ‘Is thirst dependent on anything?’ then the answer should be: ‘Yes. it is asked: ‘Is contact dependent on anything?’ then the answer should be: ‘Yes. is profound and it appears profound.’ If. how profound this dependent origination is and how profound it appears. O Lord. covered with pustules. it is asked: ‘Is becoming dependent on anything?’ then the answer should be: ‘Yes. finanda.

would one. finanda.’ And if the person asking says: ‘On what is cognition dependent?’ then the answer should be: ‘Cognition is dependent on name and form. dependent on grasping. dependent on thirst. 4 It has been said: ‘Dependent on birth. of anybody and anywhere. after the cessation of birth. 6 Furthermore.’ <33> 3 Thus. grasping did not exist. then. old age and death. if. thirst.. of birds as birds. grasping after moral behavior and after vows.e. of yak˝as as yak˝as. dependent on birth. grasping after views. not at all and in no way. it is asked: ‘Is cognition dependent on anything?’ then the answer should be: ‘Yes. after the cessation of becoming. birth did not exist.’ Now. finanda. that is. namely. If. finanda. grasping. dependent on name and form. grasping after the doctrine of a personal self. cognition is dependent on name and form. this the foundation. becoming did not exist at all. old age and death comes into being. finanda. and name and form dependent on cognition. that is. birth did not exist at all. of anybody and anywhere. O Lord. dependent on becoming. distress and despair. birth. that is. of anybody and anywhere. contact comes into being. finanda. finanda.” “Therefore. observe birth?” – “No. of humans as humans. dependent on sensation. how old age and death comes into being dependent on birth should be understood in the following way. dependent on contact. becoming. it has been said: ‘Dependent on becoming. would one. then. this the origin and this the cause of birth. 5 Furthermore. observe old age and death?” – “No. a becoming in the sphere of desire. Thus the origin of this whole mass of suffering comes about. of ghosts as ghosts. birth. O Lord. not at all and in no way. this the foundation. namely. dependent on old age and death. becoming did not exist. how birth comes into being dependent on becoming should be understood in the following way. of gandharvas as gandharvas. if. of reptiles as reptiles.’ Now. this here is the ground. it has been said: ‘Dependent on grasping. If. i.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner If. grasping 20 . then. becoming comes into being. If.’ Now. grasping after [objects of] desire. and if birth of such and such beings as this and that did not exist. namely. of quadrupeds as quadrupeds. pain. if. a becoming in the sphere of the material and a becoming in the sphere of the immaterial.” “Therefore. sorrow and lamentation. of gods as gods. how becoming comes into being dependent on <34> grasping should be understood in the following way. namely. finanda. this here is the ground. birth comes into being. not at all and in no way. sensation comes into being. this the origin and this the cause of old age and death. becoming.

dependent on acquiring. not at all and in no way. squabbling and discord. slander and lying. O Lord. thirst did not exist. thirst comes into being. it has been said: ‘Dependent on thirst.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner were not to exist at all. namely. 8 Furthermore. sensation. namely.” “Therefore. thirst did not exist. grasping comes into being. namely. striving. <35> that is. 7 Furthermore. grasping. this the foundation.” “Therefore. O Lord. thirst did not exist at all. judgment. this here is the ground. thirst for forms. due to defending.’ Now. how thirst comes into being dependent on sensation should be understood in the following way. disastrous things. If. of anybody and anywhere. this the origin and this the cause of grasping. observe thirst?” – “No. observe becoming?” – “No. seeking. thirst. sensation arisen through the contact of the body. thirst for tangibles and thirst for things (dharma). finanda. sensation arisen through the contact of the tongue. the taking up of sticks. finanda. thirst for odors. sensation arisen through the contact of the (organ of) smell. the taking up of weapons. miserliness. this the origin and this the cause of becoming. dependent on seeking. of anybody and anywhere. this here is the ground. that is. observe grasping?” – “No. if. Then the text continues: 21 . dependent on judgment longing and delight. namely. dependent on longing and delight. then. sensation did not exist at all. namely. dependent on thirst. dependent on striving. if. sensation arisen through contact of the (organ of) hearing. If. defending. it comes to many evil. sensation arisen through the contact of the mind. thirst for sounds.” *** The listed terms are then explained in the same way as the members of the causal chain. dependent on miserliness. O Lord. quarrelling and fighting. thirst for tastes. this the foundation. this here is the ground. 9 Thus. thirst comes into being. it has been said: ‘Dependent on sensation. finanda. finanda. dependent on sensation. after the cessation of sensation. finding. after the cessation of grasping. acquiring.’ Now. not at all and in no way. would one. how grasping comes into being dependent on thirst should be understood in the following way. dependent on <36> finding.” “Therefore. this the origin and this the cause of thirst. finanda. would one. then. sensation arisen through contact of the eyes. would one. after the cessation of thirst. this the foundation.

contact of the eye. contact of the (organ of) smell. if these appearances. signs. finanda. this the foundation. that is. finanda. if. marks and indications through which the conglomerate of form is expressed. finanda. would one then. signs. contact of the (organ of) hearing. would one then observe contact?” – “No. not at all and in no way.” “Therefore. finanda. observe sensation?” – “No. signs. <37> appearances. in regard to the conglomerate of form. contact of the tongue. signs. the appearances. this the origin and this the cause of sensation. O Lord. marks. contact. contact did not exist at all.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner 19 “Furthermore. namely. name and form. and indications did not exist. it has been said: ‘Dependent on cognition. marks. sensation comes into being. and indications did not exist. this the foundation. it has been said: ‘Dependent on contact. 20 Furthermore. marks and indications through which the conglomerate of names is expressed. contact of the body and contact of the mind. if these appearances. signs. 22 .” “And if. name and form come into being. the appearances. in regard to the conglomerate of names. O Lord. this here is the ground. of anybody and anywhere. namely. namely. but also the designating and thinking of an object signifies a contact which is only of a different kind than the contact of material objects which mutually resist each other. marks. how contact comes into being dependent on name and form should be understood in the following way: If. finanda. and indications did not exist. would one. if these appearances.’ Now. signs. marks. contact comes into being. this here is the ground. if these appearances. then. it has been said: ‘Dependent on name and form. and indications did not exist. would one then. finanda. If. marks and indications through which the conglomerate of name and the conglomerate of form is expressed. observe contact through resistance?” – “No. would one then observe contact through designation or contact through resistance?” – “No. observe contact through designation12?” – “No. signs. <38> 21 Furthermore. how sensation comes into being dependent on contact should be understood in the following way. marks and indications through which name and form are expressed.” “And if. this the origin and this the cause of contact.’ Now.’ Now. finanda. O Lord.” “Therefore. the appearances. after the cessation of contact.” “And if. contact did not exist. signs. O Lord. how name and form come into being dependent on cognition should be understood in the 12 For the old Buddhist dogmatics not only perception. O Lord.

through which cognition finds a sphere. cognition comes into being. finanda. passes away and rearises. name and form. old age and death?” – “No. O Lord. The next example we provide shows how the tenet of dependent origination is treated in the oldest dogmatics. This is.” “Therefore. this here is the ground. namely. the so-called beginning (›di). cognition were annihilated in the boy or girl. finanda.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner following way. that through which one is reborn. a possibility of indication. The text is presented as a discourse of the Buddha. 22 Furthermore. finanda. this here is the ground.” “Therefore. namely. If. and the explanation (vibhaºga). this the origin and this the cause of name and form. then.” “And if. finanda. while they are still small.” *** With that the explanation of the causal chain concludes and the text moves on to other subjects. finanda. O Lord. The text. a possibility <39> of explanation. through which the course of the world proceeds. but at this point this has already become a mere formality. how cognition comes into being dependent on name and form should be understood in the following way. finanda. would one then in future observe a coming into being of the origin of the suffering of birth. The presentation itself is broken into two parts. it has been said: ‘Dependent on name and form. 23 . flourish and fully mature?” – “No. however. cognition. would then name and form develop into this being?” – “No. this the origin and this the cause of cognition. The explanation is short and dry in the style of the ancient scholasticism. namely. If. ages and dies.’ Now. cognition did not find any support in name and form. would then name and form mass together in the mother’s womb?” – “No. after it has entered into the mother’s womb.” And if. cognition were not to enter into the mother’s womb. cognition. through which there is a possibility of designation. in order to describe the being. would then name and form grow. was widely esteemed and formed the basis for the elucidation of this doctrine in the dogmatics of the classical period. O Lord. should leave again. this the foundation. finanda. name and form together with cognition. which expresses the tenet itself. this the foundation. O Lord.

cognition comes into being. not knowing suffering. cognition. old age and death. to be attended to and not to be attended to. not knowing the doctrine. dependent <40> on cognition. This is called the beginning of dependent origination. dependent on contact.’ Of what type is cognition? There are six groups (k›ya) of cognitions: cognition by means of the eye. non-seeing. not knowing the community. name and form comes into being. dependent on thirst. not knowing what is outer. formations come into being’. by means of the (organ of) smell. with twelve hundred and fifty monks. delusion. that arises. not knowing the factors arisen through the causes. not knowing the future. not knowing deeds and their ripening. Specifically. dependent on sensation. not knowing cessation. by means of the body and by means of the mind.’ Of what type are the formations? There are three formations: formations of body. So listen and pay thorough and good attention. ‘Dependent on cognition. dependent on name and form. darkness. dependent on ignorance. name and form. not knowing wholesome and unwholesome. THE SÚTRA OF DEPENDENT ORIGINATION (PRATÊTYASAMUTPfiDASÚTRA) Thus have I heard. sensation. There the Exalted One spoke to the monks: “I will explain to you. non-vision. dependent on grasping. when this exists. low and high. Which four? The group of sensation. On one occasion the Exalted One was dwelling at ⁄r›vastı in Jetavana. distress and despair. birth. Of what type is ignorance? Not knowing the past. that comes to be. ‘Dependent on formations. by means of the tongue. Thus the origin of this whole great mass of suffering comes about. dependent on the sixfold sphere. not knowing the path. pain. dependent on becoming. not knowing the past and future. thirst. the Gardens of An›thapi˚˜ada with a great gathering of monks. due to the arising of this. dependent on formations. dependent on birth. not knowing the causes. sorrow and lamentation.’ What is name? The four nonmaterial groups (skandha). the beginning and the explanation of dependent origination. grasping. ignorance. formations of speech and formations of mind. <41> ‘Dependent on ignorance. contact. monks. Not knowing what is in accordance with truth with regard to this and that. cognition by means of the (organ of) hearing. black and white dependently originated factors along with their classification. not knowing what is inner. blameworthy and blameless. the group of consciousness. not knowing deeds. the 24 . not knowing the Buddha. becoming.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner ADC. this is called ignorance. not knowing their ripening. obscurity. or also [not knowing] the six spheres of contact with regard to their understanding in accordance with truth. What is the explanation? ‘Dependent on ignorance. not knowing what is inner and outer. not knowing the origin. What is the beginning of dependent origination? Specifically. formations come into being. the sixfold sphere. I will speak. formations (sa˙sk›ra) come into being.

are called old age and death.’ Of what type is becoming? There are three types of becoming: becoming in the sphere of desire. wearing out and decay of the sense-organs. the taking on of the elements (dh›tu). and the group of cognition. bound together as a unit. This death and the previously mentioned old age. and grasping of the doctrine of a self. Of what type is death? It is the passing away of this and that being from this and that group of beings. being stooped. and of the mind. their perishing. grasping of moral conduct and vows. frailty. ‘Dependent on sensation. their emerging. of the tongue. birth comes into being.’ Of what type is grasping? There are four kinds of grasping: grasping of desires. of the body. clumsiness. old age and death come into being. ‘Dependent on thirst. of the body. This form and the previously mentioned name.’ What is the sixfold sphere? The six inner spheres. ‘Dependent on name and form. the emerging of the groups. this is called old age. this is called death. being covered with wrinkles. grey hair. being hunched like a gabled roof. of the tongue. and becoming in the sphere of the immaterial.’ Of what type is thirst? There are three kinds of thirst: thirst <42> for desires. the becoming visible of the life-organ. wasting away. sensation comes into being. grasping comes into being. ponderousness. and of the mind.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner group of formations. painful sensation. wheezing breath of the body. the fading away of the life-span. the taking on of the spheres (›yatana). death. becoming comes into being. contact of the (organ of) smell. thirst comes into being. the dying. the inner sphere of the eye. the casting away of the <43> groups. and neither-painful-nor-pleasurable sensation. are called name and form. having the limbs covered with black spots. the four great elements and whatever is based on the four great elements. the taking on of the groups (skandha). contact of the (organ of) hearing. the sixfold sphere comes into being. becoming in the sphere of the material. their disintegration. their becoming visible. the fading away of the life heat. contact comes into being. of the (organ of) smell. 25 . the inner sphere of the (organ of) hearing. thirst for the material. ‘Dependent on contact. fading away. aging and decline of the formations.’ Of what type is contact? There are six groups (k›ya) of contact: contact of the eye. bound together as a unit.’ Of what type is old age? Baldheadedness. their being born. ‘Dependent on becoming. ‘Dependent on the sixfold sphere. and thirst for the immaterial. their disappearance. supporting oneself with a stick. ‘Dependent on grasping. What is form? Everything that is matter.’ What is birth? It is the birth of this and that being in this and that group of beings. grasping of views. the cessation of the life-organ. ‘Dependent on birth. their embodiment.’ Of what type is sensation? There are three sensations: pleasurable sensation.

FROM VASUBANDHU’S “COMMENTARY TO THE SÚTRA OF DEPENDENT ORIGINATION” (PRATÊTYASAMUTPfiDAVYfiKHYfi) “Dependent on sensation. whether sensations of pleasure alone bring about thirst. the material and the immaterial. In addition. thirst for the existence of the self—which accompanied by the innate afflicted view of a self indiscriminately dominates the stream of the groups (skandha) filled with the threefold 13 The point is to show that painful sensation also brings about thirst for pleasure.” Painful sensation is therefore also the condition of thirst for pleasure. that it is exclusively thirst for that [painful sensation]?13 Pleasurable sensation is the cause of thirst to be connected with it and not to be separated from it. Here. is the condition of thirst to be connected with it and not to be separated from it. Further. ADD. in consideration of the particular dispositions of those to be instructed. or. this is hereby set forth. the Exalted One taught the classification of thirst based on the distinction between (the spheres) of desire. one more short example to illustrate how this text was explained in the classical period of the Buddhist systems. it also shows how sacred texts were drawn on extensively for the purpose of exposition. Following a brief elucidation of the concept of thirst. I will render a section which comprises the explanation of thirst. accompanied by the defilements (kleŸa). What I have said to you: ‘I will explain to you the beginning and the explanation of dependent origination’. and similar issues. This explanation comes from a commentary by the famous ecclesiastical master Vasubandhu. thirst belongs to the same sphere as the sensation on which it is dependent. neither-painful-nor-pleasurable [sensation] is the cause of thirst that delights in this state. Vasubandhu goes on to discuss various questions. but [he did not teach] <44> its nature.” Here too. etc. thirst comes into being. this is as [explained] previously … (there follows a brief linguistic-grammatical explanation). The text gives one a good idea of the commentarial literature of the classical period in general. In particular.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner This is called the explanation of dependent origination. he delights in the pleasure of desire. in the case of a particular meditation. how their contradictions were noted and how one tried to resolve them. in people who are not free from passion related to the sphere of desire. *** Now.” Of what type is thirst? There are three kinds of thirst. the sphere of the material or the sphere of the immaterial.” Thus spoke the Exalted One. the Exalted One has said: “Contacted by painful sensation. (Objection:) Why is it not said of the thirst related to painful sensation. the younger. … Thirst oriented towards the three spheres has been designated in this way. Indeed. It is a longing. 26 . adhering and attachment. respectively. and that. painful [sensation] is the cause of thirst not to be connected with it and to be separated from it. The monks joyfully hailed the Exalted One. or. to whom we will later repeatedly refer.

the expression ‘formations’ designates the view of a self based on conceptions which right after is equated with the grasping of the doctrine of a self. precisely because the seed is absent or destroyed. a shoot does not appear even if the conditions.. the Exalted One has said: “Dependent on sensation.”14 This [afflicted view of a self] is also equivalent to the grasping of the doctrine of a self. Further. finanda. then thirst does not necessarily have to appear. (Answer:) It is said: “Rain depends on clouds. is the ground of thirst. in spite of the presence of the condition. because he does not see the way out. O Lord. are present. etc. (Question:) Why does it not appear? (Answer:) <46> Because certain counteragents are there.” Yet.” Further: “What. if its seed is absent or destroyed. monks.” Dependent on this indiscriminately dominating thirst for the existence of the self. ignorance is the cause.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner sensation—is based on sensation. thirst arises and from that the formations. this entire stream of sensations is its dominant cause. (Objection:) If thirst is dependent on sensation. And regarding this [afflicted view of a self]. therefore. so that [thirst]. For instance.” Further: “Whoever experiences [the sensation of] pleasure and does not properly discern the sensation. its seed is removed from its basis. some people then develop an afflicted view of a self based on conceptions. again exclusively. monks. then it would follow that the saint is also tainted with thirst because every person has sensations.” In some places. if there is sensation. pp. (Objection:) In some places the Exalted One has exclusively pointed out ignorance as the cause of thirst: “Ignorance. To be precise. Indeed.) (Objection:) If. such as the field.” Thus. otherwise. contact: “There are six groups 14 Here. must it necessarily rain? In the same way. say: ‘I am’ where there is no sensation and where one who senses is not observed?” – “No. thirst arises. thirst depends on the threefold sensation. Hence the Exalted One gave a more precise explanation in another passage: “Dependent on sensation that arises from ignorance and contact. monks. 27 . in him passion entrenches itself. since how. does not occur. (Question:) Why then is a more precise explanation not also given in the present case? (Answer:) Because here in the treatment of the subject. if there is a cloud. Just so. or destroyed. which has arisen from ignorance and contact. it is said in the Great Discourse of the Foundations <45> of Origination: “Could one. water. ignorance is the foundation. it would follow that the contentedness that accompanies release from the mundane cannot exist. this applies to pleasurable sensation belonging to one’s own personality-stream. why is it said then: “Passion attaches itself to pleasurable sensation?” (Answer:) Because [passion] has [pleasurable sensation] as its object-support and occurs in association with it. it is presupposed that ignorance is the common condition of the formations. Accordingly. G 41f. not every [sensation] is the cause of thirst but only that which is not properly understood. could the grasping of the doctrine of a self in dependence on thirst come about? (cf. is the nourishment of the thirst for becoming? To that one should answer: ‘Ignorance’.

a contradiction of the following sacred texts would result: “Repugnance attaches itself to painful sensation. This came about in the following way: Because the tenet of dependent origination follows a series of causes and effects over several births. there is no contradiction. ignorance is mentioned. With respect to sensation. then the general cause of thirst is intended. each group of consciousness.. Philosophically much more important. the instruction is not meaningless since the instruction is given in this form—in accordance with our previous exposition—in order to teach the specific cause of thirst.” Here. If the intention is to teach the exclusivity of both. though. Further. the causal condition and the similar and immediately preceding condition would not be possible. (Objection:) If with the words: “Dependent on sensation. then the instruction is meaningless. then sensation can be neither the causal nor the similar and immediately preceding condition. Therefore. however.” etc. and: “In one who is filled with joy the mind collects itself. it came to appear as if it described the worldly personality itself in the different stages of its existence. etc. if one assumes no <48> exclusivity whatsoever. there is no such exclusivity. in the tenet of dependent 15 I. then both faults would follow. on the contrary. on the other hand. the thirst arisen through contact of the eye. In addition. in one and the same stage and given the same ignorance. the whole worldly personality was dissolved into a stream of perpetually changing phenomena. Finally. the intention is to teach the exclusivity of that which is caused.. If.. in the course of the development of the doctrine of the impermanence of all entities.. one no longer saw. (Answer:) Here. [This is so] since in all three spheres of existence the thirst of that stage to which the sensation belongs appears in the person subject to delusion. a difference in thirst appears due to a difference in the sensation. the contacts to be experienced as pleasurable. The same applies to contact.. nor the object-support condition for other factors.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner (k›ya) of thirst. How does this not contradict <47> the sacred texts? (Answer:) Because of the difference in intentions. If. that is. is the new meaning that was gradually attributed to it in the course of time. Nonetheless. etc. the special cause is intended.e. In addition. 28 . and because sensation is the main cause given that thirst appears due to the connection. each group of corporeality is dependent on contact. etc. etc. in one who is filled with joy the factors calm themselves”. if with it one wants to say that exclusively sensation causes thirst. thirst comes into being” the intention is to teach the exclusivity of the cause. or. other causes of thirst. with pleasurable sensation. that exclusively thirst is caused by sensation. are dependent on the difference in sensation. with respect to the occurrence of thirst.” Further: “Each group (skandha) of sensation. Thus when.15 then the aforementioned faults would follow. for instance. *** The examples rendered thus far have demonstrated the detailed interpretation and scholastic explanation of the tenet of dependent origination. etc. This completes the explanation of thirst. its strength and its weakness. Finally. sensation is exclusively indicated as the cause.

when the school of the M›dhyamikas made the first attempt. which was now designated as the inner causal chain. It was. from the awn the flower. from the flower the fruit. I have not reproduced the text in its entirety but only the section in which inner and outer dependent origination are described and contrasted. THE SÚTRA OF THE YOUNG RICE PLANT (⁄fiLISTAMBASÚTRA) This dependent origination arises. the tenet of dependent origination became the dominating law of the whole phenomenal world and the philosophical expression of its nature. the sprout cannot arise … etc. does not carry any specific Mah›y›na features. The tenet of dependent origination. from the bud the awn. because of two. it is to be viewed as twofold: outer and inner. As an expression of the impermanence and emptiness of the whole phenomenal world. Furthermore. from the stalk the node. examples for this development too will be provided. G 171ff. we will present only one text that shows how the old causal chain was expanded into a universal law of causality. in particular. In order not to become too detailed. not left at that. from the leaf the shoot.). moreover.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner origination. <50> What then is the connection of causes with respect to outer dependent origination? From the seed arises the sprout. Hence. Tradition designates it as a Mah›y›na text and. from the sprout the leaf. it is presented as spoken by Maitreya. One considered it rather to be the law that rules the entire development of this personality-stream itself and gives expression to its form of existence. the law according to which entanglement and liberation from the cycle of existences take place. In terms of content. Here though.. however. 29 . outer causal chain was placed. The text in question is the so-called ⁄›listambasÒtra. The impermanence and perpetual change of entities applies not only to the worldly personality but also to the external world. The tenet of dependent origination as the expression of the worldly personality will be discussed in the section on the denial of the self (pp. from the node the bud. In this way. Because of which two? Because of the connection of causes and because of the connection of conditions. G 77ff. however. although these sections do also contain something of interest. ADE. <49> it proceeded from this doctrine and deduced from it not only the impermanence but also the emptiness of all worldly entities. and thus the law of dependent origination was transferred onto it as well. in fact. in bold reasoning. In the following. from the shoot the stalk. the Mah›y›nistic character of the work is limited to details.). If the seed is not present. a second. Next to the previous causal chain. An introductory general section and an explanation of the old causal chain in the presentation of the inner dependent origination have been omitted. to prove the unreality of the external world. it will be dealt with in the section on the Madhyamaka school (pp. the future Buddha. up to16 … if 16 Even the old Buddhist texts abbreviate the frequently occurring repetitions in this way.

the development of the fruit occurs.” And yet when these conditions are present.. fire. not created by another. the emergence of the sprout from the seed does not take place. if the outer earth element is absent and likewise if the elements of water. up to … and the season element does not think: “I bring forth the effect of transformation in the seed. … etc. through the coming together of all [of this]. and the season are absent. through the coming together of the <52> elements of earth. In this. the coming forth of the fruit takes place. not created by god. Hence. water. the wind element brings forth in the seed the effect of opening. however. up to … if the flower is present.” And yet the sprout develops and manifests if the seed is present … etc. Also. ether. as the seed vanishes. wind. In this the seed does not think:17 “I bring forth the sprout”. The connection of causes with respect to outer dependent origination is to be viewed in this way. the seed is present. not derived from a primal matter. up to … if the flower is present. and also is not arisen without a cause.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner the flower is not present the fruit cannot arise. Nonetheless. up to … as the flower vanishes. ether. the earth element does not think: “I bring forth the effect of cohesion in the seed”. The connection of conditions with respect to outer dependent origination is to be viewed in this way. in other words. fire. Through the coming together of which six elements? Through the coming together of the elements of earth. and the sprout does not think: “I have been brought forth through these conditions. as the seed vanishes. wind. fire. and the season. up to … the flower does not think: “I bring forth the fruit”. the fruit develops and manifests. the ether element brings forth in the seed the effect of not obstructing and the season element brings forth in the seed the effect of transformation.. not created by both.” The seed also does not think: “I bring forth the sprout”. the water element brings forth in the seed the effect of moistening. and the sprout does not think: “I have been brought forth by the seed” … etc. the development of the sprout occurs … etc. nor dependent on a single origin. and the fruit does not think: “I have been brought forth by the flower. this sprout is not created by itself. ether. <51> In this. If these conditions are not present. so is the connection of conditions with respect to outer dependent origination to be viewed. as the seed vanishes. If. not transformed by time. 30 . and season. the sprout’s emergence from it takes place.. the earth element brings forth in the seed the effect of cohesion. How is the connection of conditions with respect to outer dependent origination to be viewed? Through the coming together of six elements. water. the fire element brings forth in the seed the effect of maturing. the coming forth of the sprout takes place.. 17 With this it is emphasized that the entirety of worldly events occurs without a thinking subject. the coming forth of the sprout takes place. … etc. wind.

at the same time. wind. [but] as the emergence of a great effect from a small cause and as succession of something homogeneous. not as annihilation. Why not as annihilation? Because the sprout arises neither from the previously annihilated nor from the not-annihilated seed. volitional formations come into being … etc. up to … as birth is present. however. Therefore. old age and death would not be observed. old age and death develop and manifest. at the same time. The sprout. not as annihilation. and volitional formations do not think: “We have been brought forth by ignorance” … etc. not as eternal. <53> In the same way. Through the coming together of which six elements? Through the coming together of the elements of earth. fire.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner In this. as the emergence of a great effect from a small cause. Therefore. the sprout arises.. Why not as eternal? Because the sprout is something other than the seed. In this. not as transition. Therefore. Rather. not as transition (sa˙kr›nti). Which five? Not as eternal. volitional formations develop … etc. Therefore. water. up to … if birth is present. ignorance does not think: “I bring forth volitional formations”. the sprout arises. and old age and death do not think: “We have been brought forth by birth. How is the connection of conditions in regard to inner dependent origination to be viewed? Through the coming together of six elements. emerges neither from the annihilated seed nor from the not-annihilated seed. inner dependent origination arises because of two. so is the fruit it brings forth. that is. Why not as transition? Because the sprout is something other than the seed. ether. Because of which two? Because of the connection of causes and because of the connection of conditions. outer dependent origination is to be viewed in five ways. Therefore.” And yet if ignorance is present. volitional formations develop and manifest. As. Thus is outer dependent origination to be viewed in five ways. and consciousness. Why as the emergence of a great effect from a small cause? Because a small seed is sown and brings forth a great fruit. just as the arms of a scale rise and fall at the same time.. for the sprout is not that which the seed is. ignorance is present. Why as succession of something homogeneous? As is the seed which is sown.. What then is the connection of causes with respect to inner dependent origination? Dependent on ignorance. old age and death develop. up to … dependent on birth. The connection of causes with respect to inner dependent origination is to be viewed in this way.. … etc. the seed vanishes and. so is the connection of conditions in regard to inner dependent origination to be viewed. Still. the seed vanishes and. up to … if birth did not exist. old age and death comes into being. volitional formations would not be observed … etc. up to … and birth does not think: “I bring forth old age and death”. for the sprout is not the same as the seed. <54> 31 . If ignorance did not exist. as succession of something homogeneous.

the element of water. likewise when the elements of water. not subject to vanishing. Then the text continues: Thus. not the being.” And yet. not the eunuch. not subject to cessation. this twelve-membered dependent origination—mutually caused and mutually conditioned.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner What is the element of earth with respect to inner dependent origination? That which. the arising of the body takes place through the coming together of all [of these]. neither created nor uncreated. and of cognition are absent. of wind. of fire. not the woman. not the soul. *** There follows an explanation of the twelve members of the causal chain. drunk. not the child. the element of water does not think: “I bring forth in the body the effect of a closer consolidation”. drunk. brings about its solidity is called the earth element. the element of fire. neither without cause nor without condition. not the woman. not experiencing. not mine. the element of wind does not think: “I bring forth in the body the effect of exhalation and inhalation”. not the human. Therefore. not the being. chewed and consumed is called the fire element. through the cohesion of the body. I bring forth its solidity”. not subject to annihilation. not I. That in the body which brings about the inner hollowness is called the ether element. the arising of the body does not take place. not the soul. when these conditions are present. not I.—flows like a river uninterrupted since beginningless time. That in the body which digests what is eaten. nor anything else. likewise. the element of earth does not think: “Through the cohesion of the body. neither impermanent nor permanent. not mine. In this. just so when the inner earth element is absent. That which brings forth the effect of a closer consolidation in the body is called the water element. the element of wind. the element of cognition is not the self. In this. not the man. the earth element is not the self. 18 Name and form are compared to two bundles of reeds that mutually support each other. the element of ether does not think: <55> “I bring about in the body the inner hollowness”. not the human. and also the body does not think: “I have been produced through these conditions. the element of ether. nor anything else. that mental cognition connected with the five groups (k›ya) of cognition and endowed with (negative) influxes (›srava) is called the cognition element. not the child. not the man. the element of cognition does not think: “I bring forth in the body name and form”. That in the body which brings forth the effect of exhalation and inhalation is called the wind element. of ether. That in the body which—like (two) bundles of reeds18 (leaning against one another)—brings forth the sprout of name and form. not the eunuch. chewed and consumed”. not the living being. the arising of the body takes place. the element of fire does not think: “I am digesting what is eaten. If these conditions are not present. not the living being. 32 .

nor dependent on a single origin. Thus. If these causes are not present. Just as when one sees the reflection of a face in the clear disk of a mirror. 33 .” And yet the seed of cognition grows. *** Next follows the way in which the different kinds of cognition arise through the connection of different conditions. and ignorance sows the seed of cognition. still these four members of this twelve-membered dependent origination function as cause for a combined effect. the face does not thus pass into the disk of the mirror. thirst. not transformed by time. not subject to cessation <56>—flows like a river uninterrupted since beginningless time. the deed brings forth in the seed of cognition the effect of the field. and insofar as it enters here and there into the sphere of arising. Thus. ignorance also does not think: “I am sowing the seed of cognition”. not derived from a primal matter. like a seed. are like the ether and are in their nature constituted like an illusion. no one passes away from this world nor do they arise elsewhere. deeds and defilements generate the seed of cognition. like a field. are without attachment.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner And even though this twelve-membered dependent origination—mutually caused and mutually conditioned. the deed does not think: “I bring forth in the seed of cognition the effect of the field”. the deed is cause. deed and fruit are observed. Yet. brings forth the sprout of name and form in the mother’s womb. this sprout is not created by itself. and yet deed and fruit are observed because the causes and conditions are not absent. the development of the seed of cognition does not come about. deed. neither created nor uncreated. the seed of cognition. because the causes and conditions are not absent. not experiencing. moistened by the wetness of thirst and sown by ignorance. In this. as a result of the union of father and <57> mother at the time of readiness to conceive and through the coming together of the remaining conditions. not created by god. and also is not arisen without a cause. no factor passes over from this world into that world. cognition is cause. Also. not subject to annihilation. like defilements (kleŸa). not created by another. thirst also does not think: “I am moistening the seed of cognition”. Thus. thirst moistens the seed of cognition. it brings forth in the mother’s womb the sprout of name and form. neither impermanent nor permanent. ignorance and thirst are cause. This although the factors are without a master and are not mine. and cognition. Nonetheless. insofar as it—accompanied by lust—enters here and there into the sphere of arising. Which four? Ignorance. and the seed of cognition also does not think: “I have been brought forth through these conditions. because the causes and conditions are not absent. not created by both. In this. not subject to vanishing. neither without cause nor without condition. resting in the field of deeds. Then the text continues: Therein. To be precise. Still the face is observed because the causes and conditions are not absent.

The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner Just as when the moon disk moves along four thousand miles high yet one sees the reflection of the moon in a small vessel of water. inner dependent origination is to be viewed in five ways. 34 . Why as the succession of something homogeneous? Just as the deed that is done is to be experienced. Why not as transition? Since from a dissimilar class of beings there come forth homogeneous groups in another birth. correctly proclaimed by the Exalted One. unarisen. in this way—in accordance with reality. and views it as untrue. are without attachment. in accordance with truth and without error as unborn. not as annihilation. in the same way. yet with the completeness of the causes and conditions it does burn. just as the arms of a scale rise and fall at the same time. the groups ending with dying vanish. still the moon disk is observed because the causes and conditions are not absent. the seed of cognition generated through deeds and defilements. not as transition. because the causes and conditions are not absent. since the groups ending with dying are not the same as the groups involved with arising. are like the ether and are in their nature constituted like an illusion. as the emergence of a great effect from a small cause. fearless. Why as the emergence of a great effect from a small cause? Because a small deed is carried out and <59> the ripening of a great retribution is experienced. incessantly as without a soul and free from a soul. Therefore. uncreated. Rather. In this. Therefore. Why not as eternal? Because the groups (skandha) ending with dying are other groups than those involved with arising. sees this dependent origination. To be precise. with right insight. without obstruction. the moon disk has not thus descended from that position. and at the same time the groups involved with arising appear. nor has it passed into the small vessel of water. so is the ripening that is felt to be experienced. This although the factors are without a master and are not mine. not as eternal. Whoever. hollow. Therefore. without obstacle. not as annihilation. Rather. Thus is inner dependent origination to be viewed in five ways. The connection of conditions with respect to inner dependent origination is to be viewed in this way. not to be snatched away. friendly. venerable ⁄›riputra. Therefore. <58> insofar as it enters here and there into the sphere of arising. [but] as emergence of a great effect from a small cause and as the succession of something homogeneous. Why not as annihilation? Because the groups involved with arising appear neither after the previous annihilation of the groups ending with dying nor without their annihilation. imperishable and by nature not coming to rest. as the succession of something homogeneous. the groups ending with dying vanish and the groups involved with arising appear. Which five? Not as eternal. Therefore. unfabricated. Just as a fire does not burn due to the absence of the causes and conditions. brings forth the sprout of name and form in the mother’s womb. not as transition.

empty and without self. as a sickness. With this we conclude at the same time the series of texts intended to elucidate the tenet of dependent origination. In doing so we have already gone far beyond the doctrine of the Buddha himself and have arrived in the midst of the period of the later systems. It is therefore time to stop and move on to the presentation of these systems.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner as deception. as evil. or was I not in the past? Who was I in the past? How was I in the past?” He does not reflect upon the future: “Will I be in the future. entirely removed like the top of a palm tree. that are connected with the doctrine of a being.—whatever is done and not done. in its nature no longer appearing and in the future no longer subject to arising and cessation. without a core. *** This is followed by several concluding sentences. <61> 35 . as an abscess.—does not reflect upon the past: “Was I in the past. as impermanent. <60> that are connected with the doctrine of a personality. completely recognized. all that is given up by him at that time. that are connected with the doctrine of a soul. as a tumor. or will I not be in the future? Who will I be in the future? How will I be in the future?” And he does not reflect upon the present: “What is this? How is this? Who are we? Who will we be? From whence has this being come? Where will it end up when it passes away from here?” The views which some ascetics and brahmins will separately maintain in the world—that are connected with the doctrine of a self. that are connected with auspicious signs and sayings. as painful.

in the farthest north and south. led to the broadening and transformation of the traditional doctrines. the most significant system. were the schools of the center. under the manifold influences of the contemporary philosophical systems. though. This development was immensely rich and diverse. By far the most significant. which spread out from Mathur› over the whole northwest and found strong support in KaŸmır in particular. comprehensively listed and classified the related terms. a kind of scholasticism of liberation seems to have evolved which occupied itself in greater detail with the process of liberation and. since by that time the Buddhist community had divided itself into numerous schools. schools of a more conservative character formed.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner B. It was this school that created the most comprehensive and. was the school of the Sarv›stiv›dins. also often called Vaibh›˝ikas. played a role. the so-called Group of the Elders (Sthavira). THE DOGMATICS (ABHIDHARMA) OF THE HÊNAYfiNA In the presentation of the doctrine of the Buddha. Once this development was under way. in terms of content. Far more important was the formation of schools among the large western group of the Sthaviras. The Mah›s›˙ghikas <62> were centered in the east [of Central India] and they gradually spread along the [eastern] coast far to the south. Anything beyond this he rejected as unnecessary and misleading. realistic spirit that shoves all mystical aspects into the background. each of which. to a greater or lesser extent. Even early on. Next to this 36 . Characteristic of this school in particular is a sober. The important school of the V›tsıputrıya-S›˙matıyas was based here in western Central India. schools. In the outskirts. in Indian fashion. in the assessment of the four stages of meditation which the Buddha taught and which here have become almost incidental to [the process of] liberation. the questions which the Buddha himself had set aside—questions about the true self and about the nature of liberation—attracted interest and led to serious philosophical discussions. Eventually. the natural need to penetrate the traditional teaching as thoroughly as possible and to further expand it. He occupied himself with theoretical questions only to the extent necessary to establish and support his doctrine of liberation. At first. THE RISE OF THE BUDDHIST SCHOOLS Then. in Magadha. the actual philosophical questions were also not left alone. He held fast to this attitude throughout his life and certainly his stance with respect to these things continued to have its effect for some time after his death. the homeland of Buddhism. BA. a group by the name of the Great Community (Mah›s›˙ghika) had split off from the rest. in the course of which they divided into several. the doctrine was developed into a complete system beyond these first approaches. however. not least because their literature has to a large extent survived in the original language. probably mostly local. In particular. Intellectually prominent. however. we have seen that the Buddha himself refused to answer purely philosophical questions. This is evident. for example. however. as we will see. Among them the school of the T›mrapar˚ıyas of Ceylon occupies a special position.

This was not. After all. Everything related to this world is full of suffering and thus it is essential to search for a way out of this suffering. I use the system of the Sarv›stiv›da as a basis. After his death.1. OF A SELF The most unique and momentous thought in the system of the Sarv›stiv›dins is the denial of a soul. however. to thereby completely deny the existence of a soul. this school follows the system of the Sarv›stiv›dins which it develops along more advanced lines. which extended over nearly a millennium. To a large extent as well. the impetus for this was provided by the Buddha himself.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner sobriety. He never tires of emphasizing again and again that none of the five groups (skandha) that constitute the worldly personality can be held to be the self. THE PRINCIPAL PHILOSOPHICAL THOUGHTS BBA. however. and in the end a denial of the soul was read into them. Precisely. the cause of this development was much deeper. however. for liberation. a matter of simply misunderstanding of the master’s words. one of the main points of his sermon was to show that the worldly personality is not the self. THE DENIAL OF A SOUL. still largely unclear. From the point of view of doctrine. Finally. The Sautr›ntikas are above all nominalists as opposed to the realism of the Sarv›stiv›dins and also of the VaiŸe˝ikas. BB. however. the development and history of which is. goes back to the Buddha himself. and only occasionally provide a glimpse of the doctrines of the other schools. we are dealing here with exceptionally unyielding material. I will restrict myself to picking out the essentials. In addition. In the following. the one-sidedly negative formulation of his statements began to have an effect. The philosophically meaningful is embedded in a flood of dry scholasticism <63> which can hardly be of interest to a broader circle of readers. On the contrary. this doctrine of the soul was one of the points on which he persistently remained silent. no longer faced with the master himself but merely the words handed down from him. one which. It was certainly not his intention though. of a self. a very specific feature enters the picture. THE PRINCIPAL PHILOSOPHICAL DOCTRINES OF THE SARVfiSTIVfiDA It is quite impossible to present here even an approximate picture of this rich development. Here. we must mention the school of the Sautr›ntikas. in all probability. I begin with a discussion of the principal philosophical thoughts: <63-109> This is followed by a presentation of the fundamental concepts on which the system of the school is based: <109-126> A brief description of the doctrine of liberation forms the conclusion: <126-142> BBA. stands an incredible boldness of thinking which does not shy away from the most daring assumptions in order to satisfactorily answer the questions raised. therefore. All earthly things are full of suffering because they are 37 . research has not yet provided the prerequisites for this. on the other hand. To this end. In addition. it being the most significant. The basic phenomenon from which the proclamation of the Buddha proceeds is the fact of suffering.

” – “Therefore. but are only a loose conglomeration of such changing phenomena. their lack of a solid core. Specifically. and placed the list of them at the head of the system. Of particular significance is the way in which he establishes that the five groups (skandha) are not the self. but only continuously changing processes. a term used since the early days of Buddhism to indicate all objects of cognition.” The same questions and answers are asked and given regarding the four other groups. so that all entities which seem to exist longer. This applies quite universally but especially also to all those factors that are the ultimate causes from which the phenomenal world is constructed. provided the impetus for the proclamation of his doctrine. which originally arose from a feeling and an immediate perception. [and] which is translated into English as “factors” [and into German usually as “Gegebenheiten” or “Daseinselemente”]. only a sequence of such moments which follow one after the other as in a film and. is it suffering or pleasure? “ – “Suffering. O Lord. after all. there is no substance but only autonomous. in reality. of a substance. This knowledge of impermanence. The Buddha himself had already strongly emphasized that there is no enduring center to mental events. The Sarv›stiv›da does not accept any duration within change. are. This view is now systematically and universally followed through. <64> O Lord. The knowledge of the impermanence of all earthly things is thus the fundamental view from which the Buddha begins and which. the dogmatics of the Hınay›na—when it elaborated the old doctrine into a system—had brought these ultimate components of the phenomenal world together. this is my self’?” – “No. through their similarity. the 38 . <65> From this. this is me. Like all philosophical systems of the classical period.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner impermanent. According to what has been said thus far. the extreme schools of the Sarv›stiv›dins and the Sautr›ntikas go so far as to assert that everything exists for only a moment and then ceases immediately. He asks: “What do you think. O monks? Is form permanent or impermanent?” – “Impermanent. Indeed. closely connected with that. of that which is impermanent. create the appearance of being one and the same entity. The essential point is that no entity has an eternal existence. rather every entity sooner or later vanishes while another takes its place. All entities which appear in our experience have no solid core. According to the systems of Buddhism in their heyday. The crucial point in this is that there is an actual arising and ceasing and not just a mere transformation. has—as so often happens in the course of development—now gradually been elaborated into a systematic. There is no enduring bearer in which all changes take place but just a continuous succession/change of impermanent phenomena. full of suffering and subject to change. O Lord. impermanent properties. strictly formulated doctrine. all these factors were named by the general expression ‘dharma’. can one maintain the view: ‘This is mine. two essential characterizations ensue for all entities of the phenomenal world. and it is from impermanence first and foremost that the Buddha derives the fact of suffering.” – “But what is impermanent. namely. ordered them into groups. Later we shall have to return to the details of this doctrine. according to the classical dogmatics of the Hınay›na. their impermanence and.

in the end. that the groups (skandha) of the worldly personality are not the self.” At this the minister Demetrios (Devamantiya) brings it to the king’s attention that a respected Buddhist teacher by the name of N›gasena has recently arrived in ⁄›kala. possibly a later addition. therefore. 1. Having betaken himself there. [this doctrine] finally developed into a consistent denial of any kind of soul.E. This view of all factors constitutes the so-called dharma-doctrine in which we may see not what is central to the classical dogmatics of Hınay›na Buddhism but certainly one of its characteristic features. about which the Buddha and his first disciples held a reverent silence. With its lively narrative and skilful and interesting treatment of the questions raised. And after having <67> exchanged 39 . the ecclesiastical language of the Ceylonese school.1. he expresses a desire to converse with some monk or ascetic about philosophical questions. 1. and Menandros makes his way to him.C. the account begins with a description of the city of ⁄›kala. and a Buddhist monk by the name of N›gasena. It was written in a northwest Indian dialect. Menandros is very experienced in philosophical questions and skilful and clever in disputation. § 36 Then king Menandros betook himself to where the venerable N›gasena was residing. is most strictly followed through. is unknown to the sober realism of the school. towards the end of the 2nd century B. It is established philosophically within the framework of common views.C. are translations into P›li. as were originally also the canonical works of the Sarv›stiv›dins. All that remains. N›gasena is able to address the questions of the king and immediately makes a deep impression on him. having inspected his army and seeing that the day was still young. But Yuvala is unable to answer the king’s questions and Menandros laments disappointedly: “Empty indeed is India! Empty talk indeed is India! The ascetic or brahman does not exist who would be capable of conversing with me and dispelling my doubts. One day. Following a historical preamble. however. BBA.1. starting from ⁄›kala—today’s Si›lkßt in the Punjab—briefly created a powerful empire. Here. FROM “THE QUESTIONS OF MENANDROS” (MILINDAPAÑHfi) II.E. And since a transworldly being. the work is among the best creations of the old Buddhist literature. Within this broad framework stands the doctrine of the Sarv›stiv›din that a soul or a self does not exist. The oldest work to articulate the denial of the soul in detail and in full clarity is the so-called Questions of Menandros (Milindapañh›).The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner impermanence of these factors and the fact that they are empty appearances without a solid core.. His ministers bring him to a Buddhist monk named Yuvala (fiyup›la). The work <66> obviously originates from a time when the memory of Menandros was still vivid. The content of this work consists of a discussion between the Greek King Menandros who. the teaching of the Buddha. and into Chinese. and then turns to king Menandros (Milinda). presumably from the 1st century B. he greeted the venerable N›gasena. forms one of their essential characteristics.

and sand. O great king. Then King Menandros spoke to the venerable N›gasena as follows: “By what name is the venerable one known? What name does the master bear?” “I am known by the name of N›gasena. O N›gasena. your body tires. accustomed to royal luxury. master. there is no doer or initiator of good and bad deeds. master. O great king. So. and no admission into the monks’ order. you speak falsely. no teacher. pebbles. who gives you the necessary supplies. O N›gasena.’ Is it right to approve of that?” Then king Menandros said the following to the venerable N›gasena: “If. the fruit. at midday you walk about on the heated ground. O great king. and extinction (nirv›˚a)? Who kills? Who steals? Who carries on unchastely? Who lies? Who drinks intoxicating beverages? Who commits the five sins. nevertheless.” “Is the chariot box the chariot?” – “No. a mere name. if you say: ‘There is no N›gasena’. Vırasena or Si˙hasena. seat and bed. And if you say: ‘My fellow-brethren address me as N›gasena. then explain the chariot to me.” “So if. that are immediately followed by retribution? There is thus nothing good. there is nothing bad. on the hot sand. by stepping on the rough gravel. a lie.” “Is the flag-pole the chariot?” – “No. this is only an expression. master. a designation. O great king. you came in a chariot. O great king. If. my fellow-brethren address me as N›gasena. then he would commit no murder thereby.” Then the venerable N›gasena said the following to king Menandros: “You are. master. your mind becomes sullen and a bodily sensation accompanied by pain stirs. master. if one speaks of N›gasena. even though [one’s] father and mother give names such as N›gasena. to extremely great luxury.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner friendly words of greeting. O great king. who in that case is N›gasena? … Therefore.” Then King Menandros spoke as follows: “Listen to me.” “Is the axle the chariot?” – “No. a personality is not to be observed. O great king’. There would be among you. no master. I came in a chariot. almsfood. he sat down to one side and also the venerable N›gasena returned the greeting in a way that put king Menandros in a friendly mood. there <68> is no fruit or ripening of good and bad deeds and if someone were to kill you. did you come on foot or in a vehicle?” “I do not travel on foot. O great king.” “Are the wheels the chariot?” – “No. master. ⁄Òrasena. a manner of speech. therefore. Is. But. monastic robes. and medicines for caring for the sick? Who uses them? Who holds the moral precepts? Who practices contemplation? Who realizes the path. your feet hurt. an indication.” 40 . you five hundred Greeks and you eighty thousand monks! This N›gasena here speaks as follows: ‘A personality is not to be observed here. the pole the chariot?” – “No. since a personality is not to be observed here. O N›gasena.

urine. flesh. As you are. the foremost king in all of India. faeces. do you understand the chariot. pus. flag-pole. are pole.” *** The king then asks N›gasena if he would be willing to have a detailed discussion and. he invites him home to his palace. chariot box. fat.” “Wonderful it is. so one speaks in everyday life of a being when the groups (skandha) are present’. O great king. however. If the Buddha were here. the mere name ‘N›gasena’ is used. stomach. phlegm. synovial fluid. on corporeality. you came in a chariot. teeth. lymph. reins. the designation. O great king. master. then explain the chariot to me’. excellent. Brilliant answers have you given to my questions. This doctrine shows itself here 41 . the name ‘chariot’ is used. nasal mucus. reins. O great king.” “So. yoke. skin. saliva. lungs. a personality is not to be observed here. O N›gasena. the five hundred Greeks shouted their applause to the venerable N›gasena and said the following to king Menandros: “Now talk. if you can!” Then. pleura. Excellent. wheels. axle. bones. master. O great king. blood. the indication. O N›gasena! Brilliant answers have you given to my questions. king Menandros said the following to the venerable N›gasena: “I speak no lie. however I may ask and ask. master. entrails. O great king. liver. based on the hair of the head. marrow. axle. wheels. a lie. when N›gasena agrees.” “So. the brain in the head. nails. he cannot come up with a chariot. O great king. chariot box. N›gasena. The nun Vajr› also expressed this in the presence of the Exalted One with these words: ‘Just as the word chariot is used when the parts (of a <70> chariot) are put together.” “So. wheels. and cognition the expression. master. in my case. consciousness. you five hundred Greeks and you eighty thousand monks! This king Menandros here speaks as follows: ‘I came in a chariot. spleen. formations (sa˙sk›ra). he would applaud you. among them once again the question of the denial of a soul. O great king. and goad the chariot?” – “No. Based on pole. you speak falsely. and flag-pole the expression. yoke.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner “Is the yoke the chariot?” – “No. O great king. kidneys. axle. body hair. I do not see <69> a chariot. It is then right to approve of that?” At these words. In reality. intestines. Just so.” “Splendidly. tears. flag-pole.” “Is the goad the chariot?” – “No. bile.” “Are the reins the chariot?” – “No. the manner of speech. the manner of speech. of whom are you afraid that you tell a lie? So listen to me. and goad?” – “No. O great king. O N›gasena! Astonishing it is. sinews. What then is the chariot here? Therefore. chariot box. sensation. is the chariot apart from pole. sweat. master.’ And upon my request: ‘If. heart. the designation. N›gasena comes and a long dialogue develops in the course of which the most diverse points of Buddhist doctrine are discussed. the indication.

are you. foremost of which is how it is possible to regard the continuously changing groups as the same personality and how. From this follows a series of questions.19 this [one]. O great king. the five groups (skandha) which continuously cease and arise anew. another than the mother of the little lump. master. 2.19 this [one]. no father. foolish and lying on my back.19 this [one]. no craftsman. another than the mother of the small child and this [one].e.” “If that is so. if one would ask you in this way?” “The elder spoke: “I. master. the stream of the continuously changing groups is related to the tenet of dependent origination. master. II. O great king. no teacher. under these circumstances. it would burn all night. now that you are grown. O great king. no virtuous one. What appears as a worldly personality is only name and form. another was the small tender boy. master.” “If. Based on this same body all these (stages of development) are coalesced into a unity. is he who is born (again) the same or another?” “The elder replied: “He is neither the same nor another. 1 . O master. some man were to light a lamp. then [it would follow that] there is no mother.” “Now. and no sage. But what would you say. Finally. is the flame during the first watch of the night the same as that during the middle watch of the night?” – “No. i. O great king.” “Give an example. <71> foolish and lying on his back. There is no permanent soul. another than the mother of the little ball. the same as you were when you were a small tender boy. was the small. and now I am the adult.” “Give an example. O great king. another than the mother of the adult? Is not he who is learning a craft another than he who has learned it? And is not he who is committing a crime another than he whose hands and feet are being cut off?” “No.” 19 Different stages of development of the embryo. foolish and lying on your back?” “No.” “What do you think. which is the law that governs this unending change. for example. the responsibility for good and bad deeds and their retribution is possible. would it burn all night?” – “Certainly. 42 .The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner already in its fully developed form.. Or is not the mother of the little flake19 another than the mother of the little bubble. and another am I now that I am grown. § 55 The king spoke: “N›gasena. N›gasena answers these questions by means of a number of ingenious allegories. tender boy.

[the stream] is neither the same nor another that ends up in the final coalescence of consciousness.” “If. through these deeds. one accomplishes good or bad deeds and. master. someone were to say: ‘The fresh milk is the same as the curdled milk. for example. since it burned all night based on the same support. and the owner of the mangoes were to seize him and bring him before the king: ‘Your majesty. so to speak. O great king. O master. curdled milk into fresh butter and fresh butter into clarified butter.” “Is it the same name and the same form that are reborn?” “No. Thus. The one that arises is another than the one that ceases. the lamp during the first watch of the night another than during the middle watch of the night. then is one not relieved of the bad deeds?” The elder replied: “If one were not reborn. if he spoke thus?” “No. § 60 The king spoke: “N›gasena. O great king. master. if then. then one would be relieved of the <73> bad deeds.” “Just so. 2. O great.” “Give another example. for example. Since.” “If. freshly drawn milk were to transform itself into curdled milk. O great king. O great king. [the milk] turned into them. another name and another form is reborn.” “Was then. the same as the fresh butter and the same as the clarified butter’. with this name and this form.” “Give an example. this 43 . Thus. The one that arises is another than the one that ceases. would he speak rightly.” “Just so. [the stream] is neither the same nor another that ends up in the final coalescence of consciousness. it is not the same name and the same form that are reborn.” “You are right. however. O great king. Without an earlier or a later. the stream of the factors continues. Without an earlier or a later. so to speak. one is reborn. O great king. master.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner “And is the flame during the middle watch of the night the same as that during the last watch of the night?” – “No. Based on the same support. in the course of time. some man were to steal mangoes from another man. [the stream] continues. and this another than during the last watch of the night?” – “No. O great king. [the stream] continues. who is reborn?” The elder spoke: “Name and form. are reborn. one is thus not relieved of the bad deeds. the stream of the factors <72> continues. it is not the same name and the same form that are reborn. O great king.” “If. N›gasena” … II. king. O great king. However. 6. O great king.

have you set the village on fire?’ and he were to answer as follows: ‘I have not set the village on fire. and the burning lamp were to set the straw on fire. and the burning house were to set the village on fire. O great king. fellow.” “For what reason. O master.” 44 . master. and the quarrelling parties were to come to you. one accomplishes good or bad deeds. regardless of the first mango. one is not relieved from the bad deeds.” “If.” … II. O great king. in whose favor. O great king.” “Just so. O great king. O great king. for example. O great king. still this fire has indeed arisen from that one. would this man. the burning straw were to set the house on fire. deserve punishment because of the last mango. some man were to go up into the attic with a lamp and were to eat there. mind and mental factors. Thus. The fire of the lamp by whose light I was eating was another than the fire that set the village alight’. and he were to speak as follows: ‘Your majesty. therefore. the man would. § 62 The king spoke: “N›gasena. with this name and this form. even though the name and form which end with death may be other than the name and form at birth. O great king.” … “You are right.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner man has stolen mangoes from me’. N›gasena. 8.” “For what reason?” “Even though he may speak so. yet these have arisen from those. you have spoken of name and form. for the mangoes that he planted are others than the mangoes I have taken. I have not stolen this man’s mangoes. and through these deeds another name and another form is reborn.” “Why?” “Even though he may speak thus.” “Just so. indeed deserve punishment?” “Certainly.” … “Give another example. is therein name. he would deserve punishment. would you <74> decide the case?” “The villagers. N›gasena.” “Give an example. are supported by one another and therefore arise only as a unity. master. 2. is name or form alone not reborn?” “These factors. is therein form and the subtle. and the villagers were to seize this man and speak to him as follows: ‘Why. And thus one is not relieved from the bad deeds. What therein is name and what is form?” “The coarse material. I do not deserve punishment’.

O great king. dependent on sensation. O great king. Thus. dependent on thirst. name and form. for example. This is how this has come about for a long time. 3. O great king. you have said: ‘An earlier termination is not to be observed.” II. grasping. the future time and the present time.” “You are right.” “Give another example. of the future time and of the present time is ignorance. is there an end to this series?” “No. dependent on the sixfold sphere. 3. for example. old age and death. 9.” “You are right. N›gasena. an earlier termination of all of this time is not to be observed. then also form would not arise. for both egg-yolk and egg-shell are supported by one another and therefore their arising takes place only as a unity. pain. the sixfold sphere. the egg-yolk did not arise from a hen. dependent on grasping. a man sows a small seed in the earth.” “If. you have spoken of ‘a long time’. and a sprout arises from it which in turn comes to growth. O great king. distress and despair. sorrow and lamentation. § 63 The king spoke: “N›gasena. § 64 The king spoke: “N›gasena. for example. thirst. which in turn comes to growth. dependent on becoming. and then he again takes the seed and sows it. dependent on volitional formations. master. dependent on ignorance. and bears fruit. contact.” “If. for both name and form are supported by one another and therefore their arising takes place only as a unity.’ Give an example of this.” 45 . master. N›gasena. dependent on name and form. O great king. § 65 The king spoke: “N›gasena.” <75> II. O great king. 1. becoming. sensation. an earlier termination is also not to be observed.” II. flourishing and maturity. Just so. O great king. from the hen the egg. dependent on contact. is there an end to this series?” “No. if name did not arise. and bears fruit. dependent on cognition. from the egg <76> the hen and again from the hen the egg arises. 2. volitional formations arise. flourishing and maturity.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner “If. dependent on birth. what is the root of the past time. and a sprout arises from it. with respect to time. cognition. birth.” “Just so. 2. What is it that is called time?” “The past time. what is the root of the future time and what is the root of the present time?” “The root of the past time. then the egg-shell would not arise.

However. We have no information about his origins. is set down in the tenet of dependent origination. one might easily form a distorted judgment. 467–473). however. he himself is not a strict adherent of the school. who summoned him to their court in Ayodhy›. the composition of the AbhidharmakoŸa (The Treasury of Dogmatics) in which he gave the dogmatics of the Sarv›stiv›da its final form. and Narasi˙hagupta B›l›ditya (ca. He enjoyed the favor of the Gupta rulers. His teacher was a certain—relatively unimportant—Buddhamitra.E.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner “Just so. By contrast. 455–467). The details of the reproduced section should be clear from what has been said up to now. the most famous S›˙khya teacher of his time.” *** Now we come to the presentation of the form which the doctrine of the non-existence of a soul took on in the fully developed system of the Sarv›stiv›dins. but Vasubandhu himself soon gained great esteem. we skip over the older representatives of the school and turn immediately to the man who gave the system its definitive and final form. his formulation of it is recent. than those of the great masters of the Mah›y›na. BBA.E. The foundations of the doctrine which he presents are ancient. One thing should. to be precise. 400-480 C. Vasubandhu is the great systematizer of Buddhism. the brother of Asaºga. His greatest achievement is. an earlier termination is also not to be observed. comes from the third book of the AbhidharmakoŸa in which the structure of the cosmos and the fate of sentient beings in the cycle of existences is presented. despite the fact that Vasubandhu gave the classical presentation of the dogmatics of the Sarv›stiv›dins. also. with respect to time. which is then discussed and explained in detail. the entire system of the school is summarized in just under 600 stanzas with unsurpassed precision and clarity.) Vasubandhu the Younger was born about 400 C. In this work. and finally. but merely the five groups (skandha). he died in Ayodhy› at the advanced age of 80. How these groups move from one existence to another in an uninterrupted stream until liberation. The answer is: Not a soul. the question of what it is that wanders in the cycle of existences is raised. Skandagupta Vikram›ditya (ca. His significance as a philosopher is difficult to judge at present as the milieu in which he is found is as yet too little known. On the contrary. The following section which deals with the non-existence of the soul. O great king. Vasubandhu first achieved fame through his successful debate against Vindhyav›sin. 46 . N›g›rjuna and Asaºga.1. <77> as is clearly expressed in his own commentary to the AbhidharmakoŸa.2. In so doing. more recent. not be forgotten if one wishes to judge him properly: he belongs to the later period of the school. and calls for no further explanation. This is Vasubandhu whom I will call Vasubandhu the Younger to distinguish him from the Mah›y›na teacher Vasubandhu. VASUBANDHU THE YOUNGER (CA. he leans strongly toward the Sautr›ntikas. In this context. Should one lose sight of this.

the stream (of moments) is capable of moving to another place. However. Hence it is established that. They are.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner BBA. A SOUL DOES NOT EXIST (ABHIDHARMAKO⁄A III. What is the nature of the self which you accept? A person. In accordance with the great or 20 The school of the Sarv›stiv›dins assumes an intermediate existence between two births. (However. the eye. 18 The self does not exist. who believe in a self (›tman). 19 In accordance with their projecting cause. enters again into another world. v. 18-24) About this. say: ‘If you accept a being (sattva) that wanders to the other world. (Opponent:) Should one assume that the groups wander from this world into another world? (Answer:) The groups vanish every moment. the non-Buddhists. not capable of movement. (the complete causal chain follows). Thus it is not an error if one speaks of wandering.” (Opponent:) Of what kind is the self that you do not reject? (Answer:) The mere groups … If by the name self one designates the mere groups.) … influenced by deeds and defilements. in terms of their long or short duration.1. the Exalted One has said: “Deeds exist and their ripening exists.2. but a doer who abandons these groups and assumes other groups is not observed apart from the law of factors (dharmasa˙keta). (they) do enter into the mother’s womb. then the self which we assume is established. the same holds for the groups. then we do not reject that. V. who abandons these groups <78> and assumes other groups certainly does not exist because it cannot be observed like (visible) form. then that comes into existence. the stream of the groups enters into the mother’s womb through the influence of the defilements and deeds.1. although it vanishes every moment. the stream (of the groups) grows in sequence and. 47 . The streams of the groups induced (by the deeds) are not all the same. the author says: v.” In order to refute that. due to the arising of this.20 Just as with a light. although a self does not exist. through the influence <79> of the defilements and deeds. etc. therefore. Besides this. like a light. an internal agent. through the stream of the intermediate existence (antar›bhavasa˙tati). this law of factors says: If this exists. that arises. because the deeds inducing the lifespan differ.

third. Then the body decays. etc. from this develops the little ball and from the little ball the little lump. Or.22 however. the body with its limbs. since birth is based on causes. nails. Once again defilements arise and deeds accumulate. that sprouts.) has. Then the mother and other women take [the new-born]. But if the beginning is without a cause. the little lump. There is. the little ball. If. As before. in succession. of which we are speaking. 22 If they were without causes. etc. <81> In the same way as when the seed perishes. nurse it with mother’s milk. they would arise everywhere and at all times. Then experienced women insert their hands with small sharp knives into the mother’s womb..” That is to say. the stream (of the groups) of the intermediate existence arises once again and it enters anew into another world. fifth. etc. Thus the wheel of becoming is without a beginning. the causes fall away. in which the impurity of the womb and the torment of birth are described in Buddhist fashion with painful vividness. fourth. liquid and solid food. Then the embryo gradually evolves in the womb until the stage of development in which the material sense-organs and their bearers are fully developed. the birth is without difficulty. second. there are five different stages of development: first. They put butter in its mouth. The stream of the groups. an end as a result of the disappearance of the causes. If it is assumed that there is a beginning.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner little strength of the inducing deeds. the material sense-organs. By means of the pressure of the winds that arise through the ripening of the deeds. wash and <80> dry it.and body-hair. It is thus certainly not the case that the factors come into being without a cause. on the other hand. therefore. they later then evolve in sequence. etc. Birth is again the cause of the coming into being of the defilements and deeds. moreover. already been previously repudiated. 21 The following sentences. cut off limb after limb and pull them out. arise from seeds. etc. in the mother’s womb. And from these defilements and deeds. birth arises anew. In this way. Then it evolves until the state of maturity of its senses. the little bubble. the sprout also by necessity does not arise. then the little bubble. then the beginning must be without a cause. The doctrine of an eternal cause (god. the little flake. is spread over three births. are abbreviated. birth and death are certainly without a beginning. What is meant by ‘in sequence’? As is stated in the holy scripture: “At first. Just so. One sees through the relationship to place and time.. and their bearers.21 Sometimes the embryo dies in the mother’s womb. Consequently. the defilements and deeds are the cause of birth.. arises through fire. The sentence stands as absolutely justified. the little flake arises. Then the limbs develop and after that. the change through heat (p›kaja).. the embryo now turns in the mother’s womb and faces the gate of birth. then everything else must arise also from itself. as their cause. the head. either through the mother’s inappropriate eating habits or through its own previous bad deeds. and gradually it becomes accustomed to eating fine and coarse. birth as an effect must by necessity come to an end. 48 .

The twelve members are: 1. he dies prematurely. becoming. contact. then he is called complete. namely. The first includes the beginning. (Question:) Are all eight members of the middle completely present in each being in a single birth or not? (Answer:) They are not all present. the end. ignorance. G. which consists of twelve members and three sections. the middle. with that. thirst. There it states (S.? v. along the way. 12. 5. That is to say. 10. For The Great SÒtra of the Foundations of Origination (above S. old age and death. The three sections mentioned are: i. flourishing and to fully maturity or not?’ – ‘No. 7. 38. Why then was it said that there are eight members? With regard to the complete (person). the second the end. 11. and eight to the middle. 8. 23 I. ignorance through sensation.” Occasionally. cognition.e. ???): “The Buddha spoke to finanda: ‘If cognition did not enter into the womb. 3. and the remaining eight to the middle. 30. and to the end those that form the cause [of dependent arising] in the previous birth. … etc.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner v. 9. the past. and iii. not if. to be precise. namely. By this is meant: If a person (pudgala) passes through all the stages of development. name and form. both sections then include beginning and end with their effect or their cause. and eight in the middle. from thirst up to old age and death. it is said that dependent origination consists of only two sections.23 What is the nature of these members. etc. two each at the beginning and at the end. Ignorance and volitional formations belong to the beginning. old age and death to the end. grasping. and these are three births. ???) teaches only with regard to the person in the sphere of <82> of desire that all (members) are present. the sixfold sphere. 6. … would then name and form come to growth. 20 This is the dependent origination. ii. nor [if he abides] in the sphere of the material or sphere of the immaterial. 24 The word ‘state’ is added because it is always thought that the five groups in this or that state make up the respective member of dependent origination. birth. there are twelve. birth. The end includes the last five members. 49 . The beginning includes the first seven members. What does it mean that the twelve members are spread over the three sections? Two members each belong to the beginning and the end. ignorance. the future and the present. and in regard to the complete (person). to the beginning are related those members that represent the effect [of dependent arising] in the next birth. G. 21 Ignorance is the state24 of the previous defilements. volitional formations. sensation. 4. O Lord’. the beginning. 2..

The state in which the coming together of the triad has occurred. already exists from the instant of rebirth. etc. summed up: “The king comes”.. The state in which passion for sensual enjoyments. 23 Sensation. appears. this state is called ‘thirst’. The state in which the eye. 22) and before the arising of the sixfold sphere. this state is called ‘sensation’. etc. in the person who exerts himself to obtain sensual enjoyment.. is given the name sixfold sphere. (they are) name and form. Subsequent to that (v. occurs.25 but in view of the fact that they now appear to be in their complete state. is summed up the name ‘contact’. but in which one does not yet strive for them. Contact. deeds in the previous life up to the ripening of the current fruit is summed up by the name ‘volitional formations’ … The groups at the time of rebirth (pratisa˙dhi) are cognition. This. since they appear through the influence of ignorance.. and with it also the tactile sense-organ. because they constantly occur together with ignorance. six are spoken of. Just as when one speaks of the coming of the king. The five groups in the state of the single instant of rebirth in the womb are called ‘cognition’. One says only. suffering. The states in the time after the rebirth of cognition and before the arising of the six spheres are summed up by the name ‘name and form’. Here it should actually be said “before the arising of the four spheres”. Thirst. in the one who desires sensual enjoyments and copulation. 50 . but in which the different causes of the threefold sensation have not yet been cognized. Grasping.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner The state of all the defilements in the previous life up to the ripening of the current fruit is summed up by the name ‘ignorance’. but in which <84> the passion for sexual union has not yet arisen. etc. object. before copulation. The state in which the different causes of the threefold sensation have been cognized. together with the thirst for copulation. because the king has precedence. The volitional formations are the state of the previous deeds. <83> The state of the good. 25 Because thinking and the body. before the coming together of the triad. has arisen but the sense-organ. and cognition have not yet come together. it is in no way stated that his entourage is not coming. before the ability to cognize the causes of pleasure. v.

the denial of a soul has received its starkest form. besides the three types of conditioned entities (sa˙sk¸ta) and the unconditioned entities (asa˙sk¸ta). Old age and death reach as far as sensation. If. If. The future ‘birth’ member therefore corresponds to the current ‘cognition’ [member].The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner If one exerts oneself and runs all over in order to obtain the various objects of sensual enjoyment. Specifically. We are informed about the doctrines of the S›˙matıyas through a work of their own. meant to serve as a refutation of the different doctrines that accept a soul. In addition. According to the doctrine of the S›˙matıyas. due to this exertion. after the passing away from this life. p. This person is neither the same as the groups nor different from them. which even went so far as to assert the existence of a person (pudgala). *** Further explanations of dependent origination follow. A few brief sections from this work that will give some idea of the 51 . there is—as a fifth entity—the ‘inexpressible’ (avaktavya). name and form. Of course. The state of gradual maturation after the moment of birth up to the future sensation is summed up by the name ‘old age and death’. In the school of the Sarv›stiv›da. which he appended to the AbhidharmakoŸa. preserved in a Chinese translation. 24 If one accomplishes deeds that bear their fruit in a future birth. the sixfold <85> sphere. based on texts such as The SÒtra of the Bearer of the Burden (Bh›rah›rasÒtra). Vasubandhu composed a small work. rendered above (S. and sensation in the present existence. then this state is called ‘birth’. but above all and primarily against the S›˙matıya-doctrine of the existence of a person. In sharpest contrast to the Sarv›stiv›dins stands the southern neighboring school of the V›tsıputrıya-S›˙matıya. then the text moves on to other topics. ???). It is thus directed against the soul-doctrine of the S›˙khya and of the VaiŸe˝ika. the S›˙matıyanik›yaŸ›stra (Treatise of the S›˙matıya-school). the Refutation of the Person (Pudgalaprati˝edhaprakara˚a). thus inexpressible. contact. which principally deals with the doctrine of the person. then this state is called ‘becoming’. we have Vasubandhu’s polemic at our disposal. one accumulates deeds that bring about a fruit in a future birth. v. Old age and death thus correspond to the four members. otherwise known as the person. it is neither permanent nor nonpermanent. due to the force of these deeds one is reborn again in a new existence. then this is becoming. all of the other Buddhist schools also occupied themselves with this question and arrived at a variety of solutions. The new rebirth (pratisa˙dhi) is birth. 25. then this state is called ‘grasping’. This is the explanation of the nature of the twelve members.

it was customary at the time to characterize any relationships. Through the belief in a self. Of course. this inexpressibility is not the same as the inexpressibility of the highest being which remains inconceivable to all human ways of thinking. like the five material senseorgans. As for the assertion that the five material sense-organs are apprehended through inference. will be translated in the following. then. it was said that the universal (s›m›nya) is neither different nor not-different from the particulars. In his refutation Vasubandhu now tries to force his opponent to define this relationship more clearly.. in this case the seed. attention.2. the view prevails that. etc. like the six sense-objects26 and the mental organ. in the S›˙khya and in Kum›rila’s Mım›˙s›. 27 Even if a field. the 26 As Buddhism puts the mental organ on equal footing with the sense-organs. all the defilements arise. the S›˙matıyas declared the person to be neither different nor not-different from the groups. but assume that there is a real self which is distinct from the groups. are present. the cycle of threefold becoming rolls on. when a sprout arises from a seed. namely.27 Likewise. and liberation is not possible. it counts six sense-organs and six sense-objects. is also present.1. 52 . but that it does arise if the latter is not absent as. If. however. or it would have to be apprehended through inference. which one was unable to determine clearly. do not consider it as a designation for the stream of the groups (skandhasa˙t›na). is directed against the determination of the <86> person as inexpressible. object. and demonstrates that any attempt to ascribe a clear content to the words is bound to fail. water. in spite of the presence of the general causes. BBA. <87> the self were by nature a separate real thing like the other factors. FROM “REFUTATION OF THE PERSON” (PUDGALAPRATI¡EDHAPRAKARA≤A) Can there be no liberation on another path than this? Certainly not. where no hindrance appears. Similarly.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner doctrine of the S›˙matıyas and at the same time show how the Sarv›stiv›da dealt with it. etc. All those outside this doctrine (of Buddhism) who assume a self. (Question:) How can one recognize with certainty that the designation ‘self’ indicates only the stream of the groups and not a self as an entity of its own? (Answer:) Because there is no true [direct] perception or inference with respect to this assumed self that is distinct from the groups. the sprout only arises if its particular cause. cognition does not occur among the blind. Thus. it is observed that in spite of the presence of the causes light.2. Rather.. as being neither this nor that and thus as inexpressible. in general. for example. it would have to be apprehended either through [direct] perception. The first translated section which is also the beginning of the work. For what reason? Because the view is obscured by the erroneous belief in a self. an effect does not arise if its particular cause is absent.

sound. How is the mark of that which exists as a thing (dravyasat) distinguished from the mark of that which exists as a designation (prajñaptisat)? If we are dealing with separate things. If. only ‘based on’ the inner groups—belonging to the present and appropriated (up›tta)29—can one speak of a person. it must be something unconditioned (asa˙sk¸ta). are termed ‘appropriated’. this in turn coincides with our assertion. on the other hand. (Opponent:) The person of which I speak does not exist.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner deaf. Rather. just as [the notion of] milk.28 The assumption that [the person] is a thing is therefore meaningless. etc. then it must be distinct from the groups. then this is the mark of that which exists as a thing. either as a real thing or as a designation. being eternally unchanging. then it is <89> established that the person exists only as a designation. etc. it is.30 28 Because. both means of knowledge are completely absent. (Answer:) This is the speech of one who is blind. From this it can be seen with certitude that there is a particular cause that is absent or not absent. which in turn coincides with the view of the non-Buddhists. In this sense then. (only) a designation. Otherwise. If ‘based on’ means something like “referring to” (›lambya) the groups and the person thus comes about by referring to the groups. be purposeless. as in the case of [visual] form. In the case of a self distinct from the groups.. comes about in reference to (visible) form. on the other hand. This particular cause is the sense-organ of the eye. etc. for whom the subject-matter has not yet become clear. It would. etc. 30 Also in this case. If.. the not-deaf. as you explain. etc. it would be completely uninvolved in the course of the world 29 To a Buddhist the organs—along with the matter which goes with them—that belong to a personality- stream. etc. If. the person exists only as a designation. one speaks of the inference of the material sense-organs. if it has a real nature. etc. we are dealing only with an aggregation. by nature. it must necessarily have a cause. a thing. but that it does occur among the not-blind. one must consider whether (this person) is a thing <88> (dravya) or a mere designation (prajñapti). moreover. (Opponent:) What errors ensue if one regards (the person) as a thing or as a designation? (Answer:) If it is. on the other hand. as in the case of milk. From this we can recognize with certainty that a self as a real entity does not exist. ‘based on’ means something like “[causally] dependent upon” (pratıtya) the groups and one thus speaks of a person as being [causally] dependent upon the groups. by nature. for I still don’t understand what you mean by the words ‘based on’ (up›d›ya). 53 . because it has its own nature as do the different groups themselves. In addition. Here. then this is the mark of that which exists as a designation. The school of the V›tsıputriyas now assumes that a person exists which is by nature neither one with the groups nor distinct from them. then the same error follows for that person.

if one is speaking of fire. by nature. the fuel could not be hot. In 31 Under the influence of fire. fire arises in dependence upon fuel. the fire. then it would follow that the person is. subject to annihilation. among the eight atoms which form the molecule of wood. that is. since. And if fire were one with fuel.e. In the same way. one cannot speak of the presence of fire. this [blazing object] burns or consumes that object because it changes the later moments in its stream relative to the earlier ones. In this. if the fire were distinct from the fuel. (Answer:) In that case. if [the person] were one with the groups.31 And although both consist of eight things32 by nature. one says in everyday life that the fire is based on fuel. to say that it is based on fuel? Because in the absence of fuel. How then? Just as in everyday life one speaks of fire based on fuel. the other things are called ‘fuel’. 33 I. because of <91> the difference in their marks. <90> (Opponent:) In everyday life.. (Opponent:) With regard to the blazing wood. distinct from the groups. For this reason. 32 Cf. blazing object that consumes is called ‘that which burns’. therefore. everyone knows that the non-blazing object that is consumed is called ‘that which is burned’. which are called ‘fuel’ and ‘fire’. the person assumed by you is based on the groups as is the fire on the fuel. then it would have to be eternal by nature. ??? what has been said about the doctrine of the elements. the other seven the fuel.. extremely hot. if it were distinct from the groups. so that I can understand what it means that fire is based on fuel. (Answer:) But then you would have to explain in turn what that which is burned and that which burns are. 97. And. (Answer:) If the fire is actually based on it. And this is so. one cannot speak of a person. the fuel is neither distinct from the fire nor one with it. etc. the stream of moments of the wood gradually turns into ashes. (Opponent:) What is there to say? If I must say something. just as sour milk and vinegar arise in dependence upon sweet milk and wine. Why is it possible. and that the bright. since. it follows that it is not eternal.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner (Opponent:) This is not how we speak about this. that is. S. the fuel. then it is distinct from the fuel because the later fire and the earlier fuel each belong to distinct times. the tangible (named) heat is called ‘fire’. therefore. in the absence of groups. but it must stand as established that they are different in nature. the heat-atom represents the fire. however. then that which is burned is the fuel and that which burns is the fire. To be more precise. you must first state clearly what fire is and what fuel is. then it must absolutely be said that it arises dependent upon the groups and is. p. 54 . In addition. If. The person is also neither distinct from the groups nor one with them.33 (Answer:) In that case fire and fuel are indeed simultaneous. then that which is burned would also be that which burns.

the nature of that which is hot must be clearly stated. and without this resulting in an error. also absent. could not be hot. you have raised the objection that the fuel. can therefore not be substantiated through argument and counterargument. With that. The assertion that one speaks of the person based on the groups. by nature. by nature. you apparently presuppose that it is by nature distinct from the groups. when it blazes brightly. Here. concludes from precisely this that the person has no real existence but only a nominal existence. For. *** The next section that we render is directed against the doctrine of the perceptibility of the person. the fuel cannot serve as cause for the fire. however.34 If. In addition. Therefore your explanation is also not correct. You do not. with respect to your own assumption. Everything else connected with heat is given the designation ‘hot’. since both arise at the same time from their own causes. Furthermore. on the other hand. 55 . (Answer:) In that case.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner which case. must also be given the designation hot. Further. since indeed both arise simultaneously. on the other hand. Further. by nature. just as one speaks of the fire based on the fuel. just as when the fuel is not present. the tangible (named) heat is designated as the cause of the name ‘fire’. or that the groups are the bearer (of the person). you must consequently assume that. In other words. then also that which is different. this cannot be refuted by any logic. the fire is. you must explain once again what is meant by “based (on fuel)”. as is said in 34 Since. it is obviously admitted that the fuel is called ‘hot’ although it is distinct from the fire. at the same time. that it therefore. allow these assumptions. the person is. Vasubandhu. however. the fuel consists of the other seven atoms of the wood-molecule. is called ‘fuel’ and. what is meant by “based (on fuel)” would once again need to be explained.. if it were distinct from the fire. etc. How then can one object that there is a problem? (Opponent:) The wood. the person must [then] necessarily be one with the groups of corporeality. also not present.. you offer the explanation that that which is hot is that which <92> is connected with heat. If you offer the explanation that that which is hot is the tangible (named) heat. Neither can the fuel be designated as the cause of the name ‘fire’. (Answer:) Then you must assume that the person arises at the same time as the groups. because. ‘fire’. The S›˙matıyas maintain namely that subsequent to the perception of the sense objects the person is also perceived. if the groups are absent. according to the above assumption. indeed. Only the tangible (named) ‘heat’ then is designated as the actual ‘fire’. etc. then the fuel is not hot because its nature is of a different kind. (Opponent:) The statement that the fire is based on fuel means that both arise at the same time or that (the fuel) is the bearer (of the fire). how can you assert that one speaks of the fire based on fuel.

attention.. But one cannot say that it is one with the factors or distinct from them. then one says that the milk. He further shows that impossible consequences follow from the opponent’s assumption. cf. the visual cognition cognizes the (visible) form. Otherwise it would follow that the milk is nothing but the four (sense-objects). based on the totality of (visible) form. etc.. on the other hand. or that. (Answer:) If that is so. 117. then one also cannot say that the (visible) form is distinct from the eye. etc. p. it means that. just like light.. it then <94> subsequently apprehends the presence of the person. If. etc. etc. Thus one says that (the person) is cognized by the mental cognition. subsequently apprehends the presence of the milk. or that it is not comprised of them. and if at the same time one cannot say that [the person] is distinct from the (visible) form. at the time that it cognizes the tangible. that is. the mental cognition cognizes the factors. at a particular time. the visual cognition. you have said: “If. etc. because the eye. etc. as a designation but not as real. just as.. etc. is cognized by the visual cognition. the person can also be perceived. etc... is then the perception of the (visible) form also the perception of the (person). Further. is cognized by the tactile cognition. the person can also be perceived? If it means that the (visible) form is the cause of the perception of the (person). or is it a matter of a distinct perception? 35 The five types of cognition via the senses and the mental cognition. Moreover. then one can speak of the person assumed (by you)—just as one does of milk. one speaks of milk. Therefore one says that (the person) is cognized by the visual cognition. but one cannot say that it is one with the tangible or distinct from it. is a cause of the perception of the (visible) form. below S.. it then subsequently apprehends the presence of the person. does not exist as a real thing (dravyata) but only as a designation (prajñaptita). it must be stated which of the six types of cognition35 cognizes the person.—only as a designation. then one says that the milk.” What does this statement mean? Does it mean that the (visible) form is the cause of the perception of the person. it then subsequently apprehends the presence of the person. in other words. etc. (Opponent:) All six types cognize it. at a particular time. at a particular time. but one cannot say that it is one with the (visible) form or distinct from it … etc. at the time when the (visible) form is perceived.. (through the other types of cognition) up to … If. ??? 56 . How so? If. subsequently apprehends the presence of the milk. But one cannot say that [the person] is one with the (visible) form or distinct from it … etc. at the time that the (visible) form is perceived. Thus it is established that one speaks of the presence of the person as a designation based on the totality of the groups. in everyday life. at the time that it cognizes the (visible) form. If.. up to … And if the tactile cognition.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner India. the visual cognition <93> cognizes the (visible) form.

a taste of how the two adversaries use the texts of the holy scripture to support their assertions. the burden is explained as the five groups of grasping. p. or that the designation for it refers only to the (visible) form. since after all the ascertainment of their presence necessarily depends on the ideas? If. The same objections can be raised (with respect to the other sense-objects) up to the factors. ???). therefore. however. then one is forced to accept that its nature is precisely this (visible) form. in order to counter this: Just as one cannot state definitely that the (person) is one with the (visible) form or distinct from it. can one ascertain the presence of the (visible) form and of the person without these two sorts of ideas. cannot at the same time also be the bearer of the burden. why then has the Exalted One spoken as follows: “I will explain to you. Vasubandhu’s reply shows how the Sarv›stiv›dins tried to explain this document away. etc. then they are inexpressible and belong to the same group as the person but not among the conditioned factors. 29. lastly. or the earlier from the later. 37 In the sÒtra itself. there can be no such ideas as: “Such is the (visible) form” and “Such is the (person)”. *** The third and last section which we present gives. the same holds for the <95> examination of the two kinds of perceptions. such a thing has never been seen. monks.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner If the perception of the (visible) form is also the perception of the (person). (Opponent:) If only the five groups of grasping are called ‘person’. you contravene your own system. (Answer:) In that case. since they could not deny in itself the message of this widely recognized text. the laying down of the burden and the bearer of the burden”? (Answer:) For what reason should the Buddha not have spoken in this way? (Opponent:) Because the burden cannot be called the ‘bearer of the burden’. it is a matter of a distinct perception.36 If you do this. How then. 57 . These. the taking up of the burden. on the other hand. just as yellow is distinct from blue. In that case. 36 If the perceptions are neither distinct nor indistinct from each other. (The opponent) says. you cannot place perception among the conditioned (sa˙sk¸ta). until now. The S›˙matıya quotes The SÒtra of the Bearer of the Burden (Bh›rah›rasÒtra) translated above (S. the burden.37 (Answer:) Why not? (Opponent:) Because. then (the person) must be distinct from the (visible) form because the perception is chronologically separate.

With very few exceptions. Hence it is included <96> in the groups. when it was a matter of trying to clarify their nature—as real things.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner (Answer:) In that case.2. (Opponent:) Why not? (Answer:) Because. In addition.2. BBA. Opinions then differed. led an existence of their own. the taking up of the burden could then also not be included in the groups. It is expressed in the endeavor to place fleeting individual phenomena in the foreground and is apparently based on the attempt to emphasize the impermanence of all things. 58 . in opposition to the VaiŸe˝ika system as its doctrine of categories was being created. of considering everything—even properties. it was necessary to take a stand on this new doctrine. differentiated things and their properties. explained a little later in the sÒtra that [the person] designates only—according to the general custom—”that venerable one who has such and such a name”. It must thus be conceded that (the bearer) is to be found in the groups. still prevalent at that time. because until now it has never been seen that a burden takes itself up. expressible. And the same holds for the ‘bearer of the burden’.1. …. eternal and real. It is said in the sÒtra. from one another as two different forms of existence. no real person. in a clear philosophical insight. Only later.. Besides. Specifically. which. by nature. etc. A tendency towards [this view] is already apparent very early on and probably goes back to the Buddha himself. therefore. GENERAL VIEWS ASSOCIATED WITH THE DOCTRINE OF THE DENIAL OF A SOUL FIRST GENERAL VIEW: ALL ENTITIES LACK A SOLID PERMANENT CORE We turn now to the general views that appear to be connected with the doctrine of the denial of a soul and constitute its broader framework. however. The first of these is the view that all entities lack a solid permanent core. that thirst is called the ‘taking up of the burden’. BBA. And the earlier moments are called ‘bearer of the burden’ because they entail the later ones. not eternal and not real. the Buddha himself. such a thing has never been seen. There is. A rough idea of this doctrine is as follows. similarly. did these first attempts develop into a clearly defined philosophical doctrine. the five groups of grasping are given the name ‘burden’ because they mutually weigh upon each other. In addition. as it were. as autonomous attributes without a bearer. The endeavor to make individual phenomena [more] autonomous was favored by the ancient method. the Buddhist schools decided to oppose <97> the VaiŸe˝ika doctrine of substances and their qualities with the doctrine of the factors (dharma). substance and quality. fearing that the person might be regarded as inexpressible. however. when the VaiŸe˝ika. specifically so that one might recognize that the person is. you also cannot speak of any ‘inexpressible thing’. in particular.

The entire material world is built from these atoms. Accordingly. Naturally. The VaiŸe˝ika. it was also necessary to cope with the old conception of the elements. 59 . namely. only elements in the philosophical sense. according to the widespread view. it was taught that these entities consist of atoms. these properties are usually mentioned alone without reference to the [invisible] elements. earth. wind. however. The things of the external world are therefore not composed of elements but are formed from atoms of color. etc. in addition to the five properties which. hardness-. The diversity of individual materials derives from the predominance of this or that property atom. however.] are not properties that adhere to the elements. wetness-.e. sound. one was primarily concerned with the five properties which were from early on held to be the objects of the sense-perceptions. Since early on. as one said. one fell back on the following idea. 38 (Visible) form (rÒpa) includes color and shape 39 But these are. Only with regard to the number and distribution of these qualities were there differences of opinion. it was explicitly taught that [visible form. i. for example. and wind. but rather autonomous entities. heat-. heat to fire. the molecule therefore consists of a minimum of eight [types of] atoms. Buddhism also taught that the atomic properties of the elements never occur alone as single atoms but always combined into molecules. Now it was said that the so-called four elements were nothing other than these same properties. What in everyday life is called [element. fire.39 At the same time. What then are these elements? To explain this. namely. water. In the doctrinal discourses of the Buddha. odor. And as the doctrine of atoms. and motion to wind.1. therefore. each of which is joined as support. fire. etc. earth. and all the other systems followed the VaiŸe˝ikas in this. the elements. which may occasionally be joined by further atoms.2. With that these four properties were classified within the ‘tangible’ and of course the idea/theory of atoms was also applied to them. odor. after all.]. the properties of the elements never appear in isolation. by one atom of each of the four elements.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner BBA. water. the external world was of interest only insofar as it affects the person and arouses sensations and passions. correspond to the five sense-organs. a second set of characteristic properties had been attributed to the elements.. in this case. the widely known four elements. as it were. Now. taste. therefore. Since sound occurs only occasionally. and motion-atoms. (A) DISCUSSION OF THIS FIRST GENERAL VIEW IN THE FIELD OF MATERIAL ELEMENTS In the field of the elements. was adopted.e. taste. created and propagated in the meantime. each molecule contains one property atom of each type [i. and tangibility. (visible) form. wetness to water.. More specifically.] is a mixture of different atoms whereby the name adheres to the colorand shape-atoms. solidity to earth. <98> The four elements are. visible form. and tangibility. since for the Buddha.1. are often mentioned in the doctrinal discourses of the Buddha. taught that each element unites several qualities within itself. as objects of the sense-perceptions. since.38 sound..

against the VaiŸe˝ika doctrine of the elements. Buddhism was initially close to these schools and we still find clear traces that cognition (vijñ›na) was originally thought of as such a “mental organ”. for which every whole is a loose aggregation of different factors and nothing more. As is usual in India for such a stage of development. which transferred all mental processes to the field of matter. the Buddhists are influenced by this same attitude. the ultimate components of matter. Other schools. therefore. what exists is not just an accumulation of atoms. the discourses of the Buddha already show the unmistakable tendency to render the individual mental processes as being autonomous. the discussion is limited to polemics in which each party holds stubbornly on to 60 . wherever a solid core or a permanent nature seemed to show itself in individual entities. the later dogmatics taught precisely and unambiguously that all mental processes <99> are not properties of some kind of “mental organ”. however. the center of this complex. in the doctrine of the universal (s›m›nya). by Vasubandhu’s time this development was already long completed and had become dogmatically fixed. Buddhism set its own doctrine in which the concept of a [permanent] ‘substance’ was eliminated and a loose association of autonomous property atoms took the place of [permanent] substance atoms with their numerous qualities. Here as well. assemble into one overall mental process.2. We cannot provide here a detailed sampling of texts for all of these doctrines and their development.1. Also in this case. so to speak. but that something new arises from their conjunction. The same point of view was. which is an undivided whole. Here the VaiŸe˝ika taught that all mental processes are qualities of the soul. a loose association of autonomous factors takes the place of the [permanent] mental substance with its numerous qualities. according to VaiŸe˝ika doctrine. in greater numbers. In later times. BBA. is inherent in individual entities and bestows on them their homogeneous character. that general entity which. Nothing remains of the original nature of cognition other than that it constitutes. saw in them properties of one or more “mental organs”. but rather separate autonomous factors which.2. This denial of a [permanent] substance is the most important fundamental decision of the Buddhist dogmatics in this field. in the case of all things constituted of atoms. whereby the concept of a ‘substance’ is deliberately eliminated. The old schools accept a kind of universal to only a very limited extent. This view as well is rejected by Buddhism. In any case.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner In this way then. it was categorically denied. But here as well. (B) DISCUSSION OF THIS FIRST GENERAL VIEW IN THE FIELD OF PSYCHOLOGY The development of the doctrine in the field of psychology was no different. This was especially so for the VaiŸe˝ika doctrine of the whole (avayavin). In this the VaiŸe˝ika asserted that. such as the S›˙khya. also extended to all similar cases. to the extent that it must be included in every mental process and that the other factors associate themselves with cognition. Likewise.

etc. since if one observes them. the atoms also perish [at the destruction of the cosmos]. With this. Similarly. which would be impossible if its substance continued to exist unchanged. the atoms which continue to exist as eternal substances. despite the fact that.e. 100) Moreover. this impression is based on the fact that the appearance.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner the <100> view adopted and seeks to defend it in every possible way. (Opponent:) The atoms belong to the substance (dravya) and are distinct in nature from the qualities (gu˚a). when an object is burned. in which Vasubandhu concisely discusses the doctrine of the [permanent] substance. Finally. The arguments he advances in doing so are essentially the following: A substance does not exist because. remains the same in the stream of the moments. if (visible) form perishes. i. according to VaiŸe˝ika doctrine. A SUBSTANCE DOES NOT EXIST (ABHIDHARMAKO⁄A III. <101> BBA. etc. we do not perceive a substance apart from them. although nothing persistent exists that could be given the name “row”. even though such a case seems to occur in regard to the firing of clay pots where. according to the VaiŸe˝ika doctrine. the substance can be perceived through the eye sense-organ as well as through the sense of touch.. the arrangement of the parts of the pots. Further.3. This. Therefore. The section rendered comes specifically from the last section of the AbhidharmakoŸa’s third book which gives an account of the periodic destruction of the cosmos.. (Answer:) The difference in nature between the two is by no means to be considered as established. the cosmos only dissolves into its constituent components. in their substance. For Buddhists. the doctrine of the momentariness of entities. apparently stay the same. in your 61 . AD V. one does not find a separate [substance] earth. they must not necessarily vanish at the same time. color] of the atoms change while the pots. although we do perceive the properties of the elements.1. it makes for difficult and laborious reading and is hardly of interest to wider circles of readers. the otherwise unchanging qualities [i. Vasubandhu breaks off the discussion and returns to his main topic. Therefore.2.e. apart from the (visible) form. etc. according to the VaiŸe˝ika doctrine. in reality. This provides Vasubandhu with an opportunity to briefly discuss the concept of [permanent] ‘substance’. for example. Thus they are not distinct in their nature. the object disappears along with its qualities.. Although such polemic often contributed to a clearer view of things and to a more accurate formulation of the doctrines. this means a complete destruction of the phenomenal world whereas. we think we are always seeing one [and the same] row of ants. (visible) form. etc. with a trail of ants. Thus I restrict myself here to rendering a short section of the AbhidharmakoŸa. the name ‘atom’ refers to (visible) form. Further. however. I then immediately move on to the next point.

and the things that cease and arise anew with every moment. The ashes arise while the piece of wood vanishes. the cognition ‘wool’. So enough with the prolix polemic against this system! BBA. however.2. since the more clearly one became aware of the lack of any solid core in things. brought with it the idea of complete annihilation.e. As is so often the case.2. etc. then. the distinction was made between things that exist for some time before they are annihilated. But who would want to collect these ramblings which are senseless as those of a fool. The impermanence of all things was thus not perceived as a mere transformation. Buddhism thought differently.. these are the same extreme schools that had also formulated the denial of a soul in the starkest terms. since ashes seemed to be something completely different from wood. 62 . the impermanence of which was already especially emphasized by the Buddha. on the other hand. the more forcibly one was driven also to assert the momentariness of all things. particularly the Sarv›stiv›dins and the Sautr›ntikas who led in this development. had in mind the image of a lump of clay which becomes a pot and finally breaks into shards.] is the idea of the momentariness of all things. the cognition also does not appear. “All entities lack a solid permanent core”. How then are (visible) form and the tangible distinct from it? Since.. therefore. any change will easily appear as merely a transformation of the state of this substance. arises based only on the particular (visible) form. Others. At first. the sound of a bell and also all mental factors. since if one does not see the shape. the view of the S›˙khya who. particularly the V›tsıputrıya-S›˙matıyas. just as with a row [of ants]. When the qualities which have been changed through heat (p›kaja) arise. This was. Characteristically enough. The connection is unmistakable. This.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner own system it is accepted that the earth. opium. etc.. such as wood. To one who accepts a [permanent] substance. furthermore—when wool. This gave the impression of stuff which persists through all transformations while the transformations themselves appeared as a mere change in the state [of this stuff]. despite of their emphasis on the eternal flux of all things. Many schools remained at this state of the doctrine. As already noted. The S›˙khya. the cognition ‘pot’ or ‘bowl’ occurs due to the similarity in shape. eventually went so far as to assert the momentariness of all things. the basic conception <102> referred to [by the traditions] was decisive in its development and elaboration. etc. is perceived through the eye and the body.. in its doctrine of a constant change of all things. but as a complete annihilation in the course of which the annihilated entity is replaced by something completely new. as emphasized already by the Buddha. The doctrine was thus expressed accordingly. such as the flame of a lamp. the starting point for this was the impermanence of all that is worldly. SECOND GENERAL VIEW: THE MOMENTARINESS OF ALL THINGS The second important general view which is closely connected to the preceding one. are burned—the corresponding cognition no longer exists. cotton. [i. Here the basic conception referred to the image of wood being consumed by fire. however. etc.

40 persists. If. pp. who recognize as autonomous factors only properties without any bearer. because [annihilation] as a mere non-existence cannot be the effect of a cause. Vasubandhu puts forth three inferences. and gradual decay must appear as such a series of annihilation and becoming. Otherwise. since. 40 [See Gerald James Larson: Classical S›˙khya. any transformation of these properties necessarily means a complete ceasing and a new arising. and this must apply to every kind of transformation. according to this doctrine. This provides the impetus to prove to an opponent who asserts the existence of movement the momentariness of all things. even growth. they cannot move. 7-14. The essence of things themselves is impermanence. as every movement takes time. the conception of the annihilation of things also shifted. An Interpretation of its History and Meaning. the discussion basically revolved around the establishment of the momentariness of things in opposition to the V›tsıputrıyas and in opposition to the non-Buddhist schools. impermanence lies in the very nature of entities. then they must immediately vanish.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner nevertheless taught that there was something enduring within change. With this. on the other hand. The constant arising and ceasing is therefore not brought about by external causes but lies in the nature of things. The first is as follows: The annihilation of entities cannot be brought about by an external cause. in all transformations it is only the qualities (dharma) of things <103> that vanish. like the frames of a film. The occasion for the discussion is provided by the question of movement. with only details remaining in dispute between the Sarv›stiv›dins and the Sautr›ntikas. This state of affairs is thus also reflected in the textual example which we will render in the following. According to S›˙khya doctrine then. the eternal primal matter. Indeed. primarily the VaiŸe˝ika. To the opponent who appeals to the apparent fact that fire annihilates wood. The Sarv›stiv›da thus adopts the view that there is in reality no movement.] 63 . like the Buddhist schools. instead. And so the doctrine was expressed accordingly. This then is the stage of development that the doctrine had reached by Vasubandhu’s time. The fire merely sees to it that the stream of moments of the wood does not continue any further. just the stream of moments which. arises in always changing form. because if things are in fact momentary. Vasubandhu responds that this [latter cognition] is not direct perception but an inference which as such is not necessarily conclusive. to each of which he appends a refutation of the opposing objections. as this nature is present from the outset. however. aging. the wood is already ceasing and arising in an uninterrupted sequence before it is consumed by the fire. For those. What appears to us as movement is. The development itself was essentially complete. <104> To this end. whereas the bearer of these qualities (dharmin). The explicit expression of the doctrine of the momentariness of all things thus signified only a final logical step. taken from the fourth book of the AbhidharmakoŸa.

The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner The second inference says: If the annihilation of entities is indeed based on whatever causes. from this location they are not able to arrive at another… . but ceasing as a non-existence is not an effect and thus it also has no cause. If they arise in a particular place. since the ceasing has no cause. at the same time. Now.1. etc. (Opponent:) Can it not be observed in everyday life that fire-wood. This provides an opportunity to clarify the role of fire in such cases. Finally. V. be the cause of their ceasing. In this way.2. if they do not cease right at the start. immediately cease and come to nothing. it cannot possibly be correct that their nature changes. however. Then. 2-3) What is a moment? That which ceases immediately after the acquisition of its self (›tmal›bha). is subject to annihilation through connection with fire? And certainly there is no other means of valid 41 In Buddhist philosophy of that time. then neither can this happen later. then the view that they cannot arrive at another location can be justified. this occurs in such a way that [fire] constantly brings about ever new changed moments in the stream of moments of those objects. [Vasubandhu] rejects the causes assumed in these cases by the opponent. If. the ceasing of the conditioned factors has no cause. Why? That which has a cause is an effect. (Answer:) They cannot be the same and be called changed. To the Buddhist way of thinking. the third inference is based on the view that fire brings about the gradual transformation of the objects exposed to it. therefore. v. (Opponent:) They change later and then they can cease. since later they are of the same kind as before. then such causes would have to be operative everywhere and thus also in the case of mental factors. they later come to an end. 64 . Vasubandhu then closes with a brief summary of the results of his line of argument.41 A factor to which is attributed such a moment is called <105> momentary… . Thus... fire is the cause of the arising of these moments and cannot. (Opponent:) If the conditioned factors are momentary. after having acquired their self. (Answer:) The assertion that the conditioned factors are momentary is established. All conditioned factors must. the concept of arising is expressed in this way. In other words. BBA. (the conditioned factors) cease when they have just barely arisen. etc. then they also cease in this place.2. THE MOMENTARINESS OF ENTITIES (ABHIDHARMAKO⁄A IV. for. the momentariness of which the opponent himself accepts. Thus. 2 d because they certainly do cease afterwards. we can see from this that they are already ceasing earlier.

again. one cannot conceive of doubt and certainty. This is not correct. or is it not seen because the previously arisen fire-wood. medium or great— v. however.—which are opposite to each other in their characteristics—as existing simultaneously.. etc. furthermore. etc. v.. Therefore.. after the connection with fire. Therefore the ceasing of fire-wood has also no cause. it is. 3 b 42 The opponent himself assumes that the light of a lamp or the sound of a bell are momentary and cease by themselves. But how can an unclear homogeneous factor annihilate a clear homogeneous factor? And by what means. it is not an effect. does a later strong cognition or a later loud sound cease? … If. if the ceasing of the fire-wood has a cause. 3 a then no ceasing can be without a cause. a new arising simply does not occur. ceases by itself and does not arise again later.e. etc. etc.. then. observed that cognition. In everyday life. and is thus no longer present. (Answer:) In that case the following should be considered: Is the fire-wood. etc. Furthermore. the VaiŸe˝ika) assume that the earlier cognition and the earlier sound cease through the later cognition and the later sound. flame. rather. after a clear cognition or a clear sound. as is the case with the flame of a lamp or the sound of a bell due to the connection with the wind or with the hand?42 This matter must therefore be proven by inference. love and hatred. an unclear cognition or an unclear sound immediately arises. (Opponent:) How can this be inferred? (Answer:) As we have said before: The ceasing has no cause because. 65 . just as arising has a cause and is not without a cause. Some (i. not seen because it ceases through the connection with fire. etc.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner cognition superior to sensory perception.. and sound cease on their own every moment without a different cause. (Answer:) How is it recognized that fire-wood. The wind or the touch of the hand therefore do not annihilate them. the connection with fire is the cause for the ceasing of the fire-wood. <107> because the two [cognitions] do not exist simultaneously. ceases through the connection with fire? (Opponent:) Because one no longer sees the fire-wood. suffering and pleasure. as non-existence. it is not correct that without exception the ceasing of the factors <106> has no cause. with respect to the changes brought about through heat (p›kaja)—which are slight.. One might also assume that. After all.

with respect to the arising of the different flames of a fire. like the movement of the flames in a prairie fire. this is not possible. they cease as soon as they have arisen. Through their ceasing as soon as they have arisen. however. etc. etc. 43 The changes brought about through heat gradually become ever greater. the power of the fire element (present in water) increases. the erroneous idea of movement arises when the factors arise in different immediately one another succeeding places <109> one another. It is <108> not possible. The same fire. Based on this line of proof. The same thing or something similar to that which is the cause of the arising of the medium and great changes is therefore also capable of being the cause of the ceasing of the slight and medium changes. as they are momentary. Given that. and water.. snow. as well as the nonexistence of something. being totally reduced.. sun. or if we take momentariness into account. caustics. induced by a connection with ashes. But with respect to the other causes of the changes—brought forth through heat—which according to his view are not momentary. there can by necessity be no movement. a similar fire to that which brought about the first changes then also annihilates them in order to bring about the next ones. 44 With respect to fire which the opponent also considers to be momentary. the view of their momentary ceasing is established. On the contrary. In addition. could one conceive of a difference in the causes of arising and ceasing?44 (Opponent:) Still it is observed that boiling water decreases in amount and disappears.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner the cause of arising would also have to be the cause of ceasing. that which brings about the medium and great changes is also that which annihilates the slight and medium changes. he can see the causes of arising and fading away in the different moments of the fire. earth. Thus the cause of the arising would also have to be the cause of the ceasing. this is what is called the ‘effect of the connection with fire’. it ceases to renew itself. Rather. How then with regard to the changes in fire-wood. The increase of the fire element makes it so that the mass of water arises in ever smaller quantity in each of its subsequent states until. and brought forth through heat. But since they cease on their own. caused through the connection with fire and brought forth through heat. one can conceive of a difference in the generating and annihilating causes. In this case. there is definitely no movement. or the causes of the ceasing and of the arising could not be different. the factors cease on their own because they are impermanent. What is the ‘effect of the connection with fire’ in this case? (Answer:) Through the connection with fire. Thus the ceasing of the factors does not have a cause. 66 . that the existence. is based on the same or a similar cause.43 Why? In the case of the changes in fire-wood.

when the Buddha spoke of the contact of the sense-organs with its objects. in the absence of a better alternative. and thus a brief rendering [of this list] will most certainly be of benefit. The pursuit of systematics. Thus we regularly encounter attempts to establish agreement with these old divisions in works that contain the list of factors. however. When. and so. As this list is. when necessary. This was all that could be found. had already early on lead to the fact that different philosophical schools attempted to summarize as lists the basic elements out of which the world is composed according to their view. matter (rÒpa). at its core. the Sarv›stiv›dins chose the following division: According to them. In addition. no usable comprehensive division in the canon. This division was. These concepts are summarized in the list of factors (dharma). typical for all the schools. it illustrates well the ideas with which philosophical thinking of those days was operating. we devoted ourselves to a presentation of the principal philosophical thoughts to dominate the system of the Sarv›stiv›da. In addition. The following should. and this they did. the designations sa˙sk¸ta (the formed) and asa˙sk¸ta (the unformed) – which we translate as ‘the conditioned’ and ‘the unconditioned’ – were used. to the use of the five groups (skandha)—into which the Buddha had divided the worldly personality—as divisions. 67 . as did the VaiŸe˝ika the list of its categories (pad›rtha). not used freely and without due consideration as there was a need to somehow rely on the words of the Buddha in this. the list of the factors was forced into the Procrustean bed of these old divisions and. cognition.1. and combined all of them into the group of the so-called eighteen elements (dh›tu). when necessary. so strongly pronounced among the Indians. In doing so. since the Buddha had no interest in such things. their original meaning was broadened thereby. THE FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS BBB. they also felt the need to put together such lists. or. therefore. for which. he had summarized the six sense-organs and their six objects as the twelve spheres (›yatana). as one preferred to say in this context. and thus the S›˙khya put out its series of twenty-five principles (tattva). There was. We now move on to give an overview of the concepts on which the world view of the Sarv›stiv›da is based. be noted about the origin and structure of this list. At first one could only resort. the Buddhist schools set out to develop their doctrine into complete systems. however. This custom was taken over by the later systems. he occasionally placed next to these twelve spheres the six forms of cognitions arising from them. however. following the established Buddhist forms of expression.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner BBB. Lastly. <110> the factors associated with the mind or the mental factors (cittasa˙prayukta dharma or caitta) and the factors dissociated from the mind (cittaviprayukta dharma). THE DOGMATICS OF THE SARVfiSTIVfiDA In the previous section. The impermanent or conditioned was further divided into four groups. the mind (citta). all factors are divided into the impermanent and the permanent. the factors summarized here are mentioned repeatedly here and there.

This is. In it. but the similarity to the dogmatics of the Sarv›stiv›da <111> is so great that this is not problematic. What are the four great elements? The earth element. 2. The conclusion consists of the enumeration of a series of definitions.1. the group of sensation (vedan›). In the end. 4. In the following. Vasubandhu adheres to the list of factors which the famous Yog›c›ra teacher Asaºga had formulated. What is the group of matter? The four great elements and the matter dependent on the four great elements.1. the organ of the tongue. therefore. similar to that in the first book of the AbhidharmakoŸa. the unconditioned factors are placed within the twelve spheres. and clarifies their relationship to the five groups. and as he later shaped the dogmatics of the Yog›c›ra school. their system served him as a model. the organ of the (sense of) smell. the group of formations (sa˙sk›ra). BBB. What is the matter dependent on the four great elements? The organ of the eye. As even its title indicates. however. the group of cognition (vijñ›na). and 5.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner Our next presentation relies once again on a work of Vasubandhu’s. the organ of the (sense of) hearing. and the organ of 68 . the group of consciousness (sa˙jñ›). <112> What is the water element? Liquidity. the presentation in Vasubandhu’s Pañcaskandhaka harks back to the dogmatics of the MahıŸ›saka. follows the system of the Hınay›na school of the MahıŸ›saka for his list. 3. the water element. the so-called Pañcaskandhaka. the fire element. What is the wind element? Easy mobility. FROM THE “TREATISE ON THE FIVE AGGREGATES” (PAÑCASKANDHAKA) As the Exalted One has said in summary. What is the earth element? Solidity. he originally belonged to this school. Asaºga. the sphere of the factors. the mental factors and the factors dissociated from the mind—with the exception of sensation and consciousness which comprise groups of their own—within the group of formations. Before his conversion to the Mah›y›na. specifically. in his work Vasubandhu primarily discusses the five groups (skandha). the mind within the group of cognition. and the naming of the factors to which they apply. the group of matter (rÒpa). I translate individual sections of the work and follow them with the necessary explanations. What is the fire element? Heat. a Mah›y›na work. in particular because of the exemplary clarity and conciseness which distinguish this work. The discussion of the individual factors is broken into these divisions as follows: The material factors are discussed within the group of corporeality. Lastly. on his part. and the wind element. It will thus suffice for us to point out the most important deviations. He then briefly mentions the twelve spheres and the eighteen elements. there are five groups: 1.

The ancientness of the list. heavy. hunger. sour. and (visible) form which is information (vijñapti). The concepts of information and non-information belong to the doctrine of deeds (karma). What is the organ of the (sense of) smell? The subtle matter which has smell as its object. it consists of the other dependent tangibles apart from the four great elements <113> and is divided into that which is soft. salty. (visible) form which is shape. What is the matter of non-information (avijñapti)? The matter which arises through information (vijñapti) or concentration (sam›dhi) and is neither visible nor impenetrable. is noteworthy. hard. and thirst. smell. it generally needs no further explanation. it is divided into the (visible) form which is color. 46 Cf. it is divided into sound caused by the appropriated great elements. It is a case of non-information when someone accumulates good or bad deeds without at the same time saying 45 The remaining tangibles are the four great elements. hunger and thirst. pungent. Information is any manifestation of one’s will through words or actions that entails merit or demerit. 88 (???). light. What is taste? The object of the tongue. taste. and sound caused by both (kinds of) great elements. it is divided into sweet. What is smell? The object of the organ of the (sense of) smell. What is (visible) form? The object of the eye. sound caused by the non-appropriated46 great elements. for example.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner the body. (visible) form. What is the organ of the tongue? The subtle matter which has taste as its object. bitter and astringent taste. it is divided into pleasant smell. What is sound? The object of the (sense of) hearing. note 2 (???). *** This presentation of the material factors differs only insignificantly from the doctrine of the Sarv›stiv›dins and after what we have already said about the doctrine of the elements above (S. For it still considers the most diverse things. What is the one part of the tangible? The object of the body. one part of the tangible.45 and the matter of noninformation (avijñapti). What is the organ of the body? The subtle matter which has the tangible as its object. What is the organ of the (sense of) hearing? The subtle matter which has sound as its object. 69 . cold. as distinct material entities. 100 ff. p. unpleasant smell and neutral (= indifferent) smell. the compilation of which dates back to a very early time. ???). What is the organ of the eye? The subtle matter which has (visible) form as its object. sound.

3. In any case. 4. shame. five are all-pervasive. malevolence. […] What is the group of formations? The remaining mental factors. 1. but which can occur alongside good 70 . five are bound to specific objects. hypocrisy. then another five factors. and 3. envy. His list coincides almost completely with that of the Sarv›stiv›dins. 2. miserliness. 5. diligence. and 4. eleven are good. attention. contemplation. Pain is that at whose arising the wish to be separated from it exists. 3. pain. Vasubandhu attempts to give as complete a compilation of all mental phenomena as possible. 19. hatred. spitefulness. harmoniousness. 12. ignorance. 2. passion. conviction. negligence. (erroneous) view. 7. 7. 15. non-violence. 8. and 5. 2. 3. equanimity. desire-to-do. Vasubandhu first gives the five factors that accompany every mental process. 13. 3. concentration. 2. therefore. 11. 14. only the way it is divided is different. 9. 9. dissimulation. recollection. 10. 2. 1. 10. moral character of the mental processes. the root of good absence of greed. pride. will. consciousness. 8. wantonness. and lastly. the occurrence of which is conditioned by the objects of the process of cognition. another four that are not bound to a specific. Contact. anger. thoughtlessness. *** Definitions of the individual mental factors follow. apart from sensation and consciousness. 6. faith. deceitfulness. forgetfulness. 4. These are of no great interest [here] and can thus be omitted. and 6. reflection. Of these mental factors. <114> What are the remaining mental factors? The factors dissociated from the mind. resentment. the root of good absence of hatred. 3. the next ones are secondary defilements and four are unbound. shamelessness. 1. insight. reserve. lack of faith. What is the group of consciousness? The apprehending of the various marks of objects. neither-pain-nor-pleasure. doubt. laziness. 4. agitation. In the section translated. The series of the non-material factors follows: What is the group of sensation? The three feelings (anubhava): 1. 1. 18. distractedness und 20. Pleasure is that at whose fading away the wish to remain connected with it exists. 2. 5. 4. attentiveness. 5. unrestraint. regret. not be considered further. 3.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner corresponding words or performing corresponding actions. 4. and 5. and the formations dissociated from the mind. six are defilements. Neither-pain-nor-pleasure is that in whose presence both wishes are absent. 16. languidness. pleasure. rigidity. the root of good absence of delusion. 17. 1. sensation. 2. these subtly elaborated ideas fall outside of the scope of this presentation and will. 6. And which are these? 1. and 11.

That the prominence of the good factors and of the defilements is common to both divisions. and twenty secondary defilements. according to the AbhidharmakoŸa. matter. • The ‘absorption of non-consciousness’ and the ‘absorption of suppression’ refer to two stages of absorption. and they cannot be clearly determined as either distinct or not-distinct from them [i.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner as well as bad or morally undetermined mental factors. six defilements. distinguishes ten mental factors of the extended domain (mah›bhÒmika) which accompany every mental process and correspond to the first two groups of the Pañcaskandhaka. • The arising and ceasing of things. as well as ten good factors of the extended domain. On the other hand. the life organ (jıvitendriya). as in the Pañcaskandhaka. the four unbound factors. The listing itself agrees with that of the AbhidharmakoŸa with the sole exception of ‘worldliness’. impermanence. the group sentences. By contrast. the absorption of suppression (nirodhasam›patti). <116> *** Here. the state of non-consciousness (›sa˙jñika). specifically. This latter group of factors is particularly characteristic of the Sarv›stiv›dins’ way of thinking and of the antiquity of their system. duration.. etc. which the Sarv›stiv›dins do not recognize but consider to be a type of non-acquisition. of mind and of the mental factors. <115> In between there are three groups of factors that determine the moral character of the mental processes. the system of the Sarv›stiv›dins.]. their duration and gradual aging are caused by specific factors that combine with them and induce these processes. two bad factors of the extended domain. And which are they? Acquisition (pr›pti). the definitions of the individual factors follow. a primitive realism that assumes a corresponding reality in the external world for all of these concepts has not been transcended. is easily understandable since the whole psychology of these schools is directed towards the goal of liberation and is intended to facilitate the explanation of the process of liberation.e. worldliness (p¸thagjanatva) and so forth. we see the serious effort to trace back to their factual basis all the concepts being dealt with. the ‘state of non-consciousness’ to existence in a realm of gods in which the 71 . the absorption of non-consciousness (asa˙jñ›sam›patti). It begins as follows: What are the formations dissociated from the mind? They are mere designations (prajñapti) based on various states of matter. the group phonemes. The division of the Pañcaskandhaka is distinctly clearer and more advanced. homogeneity of beings (nik›yasabh›ga). birth. the group of words. aging. On the one hand. eleven good factors. again. The definitions of the individual mental factors are followed by the discussion of the factors dissociated from the mind. a large number of factors from the sphere of the limited defilements and finally. six defilements of the extended domain.

are absent in the worldly being. ‘sentences’. autonomous factors. To wit. instead. ‘acquisition’ serves to explain the binding of certain factors to a particular person and the ‘homogeneity of beings’ was intended to explain the fact of belonging to a certain group of living beings. which alone is of greater interest. Buddhism distinguishes thus between noble ones (›rya) who have entered into the path of liberation and worldly beings for whom <117> this is not the case. • ‘Acquisition’ and ‘homogeneity of beings’ are reminiscent of the VaiŸe˝ika concepts. What is the unconditioned? Space (›k›Ÿa). Vasubandhu also adds the mind accompanied by defilements (kli˝˛a˙ manas) and the fundamental cognition (›layavijñ›na). however.e. and indeed these two types of cognition are the only ones which he treats in greater detail. olfactory cognition. Vasubandhu does not share these Sarv›stiv›da views. they are restricted only to sentient beings. suppression without knowledge (apratisa˙khy›nirodha). in accordance with the view of the Sautr›ntikas and Yog›c›rins. they are independent factors. This. We will need to discuss this in more detail in what follows. is explained based on three special factors which prevent the occurrence of the mental factors. specifically. • As for ‘worldliness’. as are also the material or mental factors. In addition. i. In contrast to the VaiŸe˝ika. gustatory.. From the discussion of the twelve spheres and the eighteen elements which comes next. however. ‘worldliness’. For him. 72 . As a start. it includes the six types of cognition which correspond to the different sense-organs and which are thus designated as visual cognition. This concludes the presentation of the five groups. auditory cognition. tactile cognition. too. But as these same two will be brought up in the presentation of the Yog›c›ra doctrine. ‘acquisition’ of the quality of connection and ‘homogeneity of beings’ of the category of the universal. Certain factors. they are not forms of existence of a different status. we can refrain from a discussion of them here. and suchness (tathat›). the formations dissociated from the mind are not real. In accordance with the Yog›c›ra doctrine. instead they exist only as designations (prajñaptita). What is space? That which provides space to matter. and mental cognition. the possession of which constitutes the noble one. we will select only the section on the unconditioned factors. and this very absence is in turn caused by a specific factor. and ‘phonemes’ are also considered to be separate factors which trigger the corresponding cognitive processes in connection with a specific sound. suppression through knowledge (pratisa˙khy›nirodha). • ‘Words’. in relation to which their assumption proved to be particularly necessary. and he expresses this in the first sentence of this section.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner mental processes are suspended. The next section deals with the group of cognition.

It may happen that certain factors do not arise in a personality-stream because the causes for them are not present. and we will need to discuss it further since it elicits liberation and is therefore also referred to as extinction. we must bear in mind that the Sarv›stiv›dins hold it to be a truly existing factor. His disciple ⁄rıl›ta gave the school its fundamental comprehensive dogmatics and a second disciple. The latter is particularly important. each of these [scenarios] is occasioned by specific factors which. the details of its development remain unclear. through their connection with the personality-stream. We already had occasion several times to note where Vasubandhu deviates from the orthodox doctrine of the Sarv›stiv›dins and follows the doctrine of the Sautr›ntika. According to the doctrine of the Sarv›stiv›dins. With respect to space. Further. the essencelessness of the factors. as we will yet see. <118> What is suppression through knowledge? A suppression which is separation. BBB. or. and which are called suppression without knowledge. the following may be said.. prevent the arising of the other factors. [although] a counteragent (pratipak˝a) to defilements is not present. Harivarman. In his lists. Vasubandhu was the first to replace them with suchness in general. as nirv›˚a. Finally.e. What does this mean? That the groups do not arise at all because a counteragent to the defilements is present. it signifies the true nature of things and. is also worth mentioning as he is the only 73 . With regard to the two suppressions. The school itself was founded by Kum›ral›ta who was active in northwest India in the second half of the 3rd century C. suppression through knowledge. the knowledge of the noble truths as counteragent to ignorance and the rest of the defilements entails that these no longer occur in the personality-stream and that this [stream] is finally completely interrupted. THE DOGMATICS OF THE SAUTRfiNTIKA Different reports about the precursors of the Sautr›ntika school exist. in view of the great importance of this latter doctrine to the logico-epistemological school of <119> Buddhism. Asaºga still distinguishes the suchness of the good [factors]. i. the suchness of the bad [factors]. as for suchness. and its first beginnings seem to reach back a rather long way. however.2. represents the highest being in the Mah›y›na. It is foreign to the Sarv›stiv›da. and thus it seems appropriate. The Sautr›ntika and Yog›c›ra were the first to view it as mere emptiness.E. to say a few words about this school here. the Sarv›stiv›da recognizes only the first three. *** Of these four unconditioned factors. What is suchness? The nature (dharmat›) of the factors. What does this mean? That the groups do not arise at all. and the suchness of the indeterminate factors in the manner of the MahıŸ›saka.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner What is suppression without knowledge? A suppression which is not a separation (visa˙yoga).

but they systematically transcend the primitive realism of the Sarv›stiv›da. the Tattvasiddhi (Proof of the Truth). when dealing with purely external combinations of things. they also find the designations to be based in the nature of things. in which case the words and ideas do not have a precise correspondence in a [real] thing. In later times. the powers (Ÿakti) of things play a role in this. has survived. in regard to details. Just as. And even though. for example. on the other hand. 74 . real. when the words and ideas are attached to just this combination and its form and where. This is justifiable insofar as they state that many factors of the Sarv›stiv›dins exist only as designations (prajñaptita). for example. he shows great independence. Space. Finally. it is most notably Vasubandhu the Younger who tends strongly in the direction of the Sautr›ntika. as such. we will discuss the Sautr›ntika view of nirv›˚a. in contrast to the realism of the Sarv›stiv›da. of course. within the presentation of the doctrine of liberation. they by no means deny any real basis for these designations. That is to say. As we will see. which idea the logical school then further expanded upon. they are no longer referring to them. this was taken so far as to include all cases where a combination of different things was presupposed. even if one was able to disassemble them not in practice but only theoretically. between things that exist only from a conventional stand point and things that are. one shied away from assuming a whole or a universal as the basis for the words and ideas in question. in case of the dissolution of this combination and the disappearance of this form. With this. such as a forest or an army. as an example of the <120> treatment of terms taught by the dogmaticians of the Sarv›stiv›da. Often. and a number of its ideas persisted there. This is. and. they see as mere emptiness and the suppressions as mere annihilation. they are used here to make a distinction within the phenomenal world itself. however. But here. in accordance with their own doctrine. Indeed. I will first present a text which illustrates what it means that something exists only as designation. The Sautr›ntikas are often called nominalists. The present text.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner representative of the school from whom a treatise. The first of these concerns things that exist as composites. The same view was extended to all cases that concern a combination of parts. especially. these two concepts are of great importance in the Mah›y›na and they serve to characterize the phenomenal world and true existence. therefore. but it strongly influenced the logico-epistemological school. this tendency is so strongly expressed—especially in his commentary to the AbhidharmakoŸa—that he was just called “the Sautr›ntika” by his opponents in the camp of the orthodox Sarv›stiv›dins. At present we know nothing about a continuation of this school. after a pot is smashed. a case similar to that in the VaiŸe˝ika and related systems in which. shows an attempt within the Hınay›na to come to terms with these concepts whereby they naturally conceived of them quite differently. specifically. The first text is taken from the sixth book of the AbhidharmakoŸa and deals with the question of the seemingly or restricted real (sa˙v¸tisat) and the truly real (param›rthasat). one speaks only of shards and no longer of a pot. [this point of view] was taken much further. As a sample of these lines of thought. A discussion of acquisition (pr›pti) then follows.

therefore. etc. for example. once it is demolished or as soon as one has excluded what is other by means of thought. As it is with form (rÒpa). The opposite of this is truly real (param›rthasat). in another SÒtra. The same applies to a [piece of] cloth. then this is true and not false. etc. Then. the discussion of the truths is finished. these things exist. by means of thought.1. etc. for example. by means of thought. it was assumed that no real things are present that correspond to the words and ideas. the cognition of it continues to occur. etc. and because it is thus designated. etc. Because the cognition of the object does not vanish when it is demolished and when what is different is excluded by means of thought. This object is thus to be considered as truly real. moreover. in what are understood. then it is seemingly real (sa˙v¸tisat). a break had been made with the fundamental realism which demanded a real correlate for all words and ideas. With this. he has said that there are two kinds of truths. So because the (object in question) is completely real. etc. And just as they are apprehended by any other kinds of knowledge. <123> 75 . one speaks of the presence of form. BBB. as with a pot in regard to which. Only their constituents are real. so they are called truly true.. based on the truly real. in everyday life. then it is likewise seemingly real. etc. moreover. The same applies to fire. only seemingly.. only from the point of view of everyday life. VERSE 4) The Exalted One has thus said that there are four truths. If an object is the opposite of that. the restricted truth (sa˙v¸tisatya) and the highest truth (param›rthasatya). it is called truly real.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner Such a case was seen.2. In this way. then this object is to be considered as seemingly real. THE SEEMINGLY AND THE TRULY REAL (ABHIDHARMAKO⁄A VI. however. fire. And the doctrine of things that exist only as designations (prajñaptisat) rests on this view. the cognition of the pot no longer occurs. etc. If the cognition of an object no longer occurs as soon as it is demolished. they are called seemingly true. it is called seemingly real. then this is true and not false. then it is called truly real. <121> but which the Buddhist schools saw as a mixture of various kinds of atoms. the smell. The ancient masters give the following explanation: Just as the factors are apprehended by supramundane knowledge and the subsequently acquired correct worldly knowledge. as elements: water. If. if it is smashed and only the shards are present. one speaks of the presence of a pot. the cognition of which continues to occur. in the case of an object.. If further. or if one excludes what is different. if one splits it down to the atoms. as in the case of water of which the cognition no longer occurs if one has excluded the form. What is the mark of these two truths? The verse text says: (v. as long as the demolition or the exclusion of the object concerned has not yet taken place. and thus one speaks of seeming truth. 4) If the cognition of an object no longer occurs. The same applies to sensation. just like a pot or water. [the object] is designated as such and such following the usual ways of thinking and speaking. its cognition <122> no longer occurs. If. etc. Now. as soon as one has excluded what is other by means of thought. in accordance with common usage. And thus one speaks of the highest truth.. Instead. In all of these cases..

In his view. this would not be possible in the assumed case. what does birth (j›ti) or the birth of birth (j›tij›ti) bring about?50 Further. and its cause. the qualities of a thing are not present and [acquisition] therefore is not possible. etc. 50 According to the doctrine of the Sarv›stiv›dins. with individuals who are bound by all the fetters.47 <124> (Opponent:) ‘Acquisition’ is what the cause of the arising of the factors is named. etc. at other times.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner *** The next section shows how the concepts of the Sarv›stiv›dins were reinterpreted in their meaning by the Sautr›ntikas according to their way of thinking. primarily defilements and good factors.48 And how then could factors arise which have not yet been acquired or which have been abolished through a change of the sphere [of existence] or through passionlessness?49 (Opponent:) The simultaneously arising acquisition is their cause. (Answer:) In that case. the factor birth (j›ti) is the cause of the arising of things (see S. the diversity of the weak. so that it consequently is considered to be either defiled or virtuous. BBB. p. 76 . etc. nor their effect. It is taken from the second book of the AbhidharmakoŸa and deals with acquisition (pr›pti). ???). the unconditioned factors. However. 114f. Vasubandhu makes an effort to show that such an entity. as the unconditioned cannot arise. (Answer:) Then there could be no [acquisition] of the unconditioned. suppression through knowledge and suppression without knowledge. medium or strong 47 The means of valid cognition are [direct] perception and inference. the seed of that particular factor and enables the personality-stream to produce [this factor] at the appropriate time.. connect with the personality-stream by means of acquisition. sound. Acquisition. 48 According to the doctrine of the Sarv›stiv›dins. THE NATURE OF ACQUISITION (ABHIDHARMAKO⁄A. nor inferred.—when these factors are not active—also determines the person’s character. hatred. etc. is neither perceived as is (visible) form. etc. Thus it is also this constitution that is referred to when one speaks of acquisition which therefore exists only as designation and not really as a distinct entity. II. the (sense of) hearing. the aforementioned facts rest instead on a specific constitution of the personality-stream which makes up.. as with (visible) form. to a personality-stream.. named ‘acquisition’. In contrast to this doctrine and in accordance with the Sautr›ntikas. It thereby causes these factors to occur in this personalitystream at the appropriate time and. According to the doctrine of the Sarv›stiv›dins. 49 Since before their arising there also exists no acquisition which could cause it. as with the eye. VERSE 36) How can one assert that a distinct thing (dravya) named ‘acquisition’ exists? … For since neither its intrinsic nature is observed.. is the birth of birth.2.. does not exist. this is a distinct entity which binds specific factors. as is the eye. or with passion. so to speak.2. in turn. however.

The roots of good are then cut through.e. in which case acquisition is not the cause of arising. one says that he does not possess them.) does not differ.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner arising defilements would not be possible. it is said that he has not abandoned them. ‘acquisition’ exists. the personality-stream). through the worldly path. one says that someone possesses the factors arisen without effort if the capability of the bearer to be their seed is not impaired. of him it is said that he possesses them. then [the distinction] results from its having disappeared or not disappeared. 77 . then. of him it is said that he does not possess them. those which one possesses from birth. 51 Cf. in fact. and those which are obtained through exertion. whoever has not abandoned them. the distinction: “These are noble ones and these are worldly individuals” would not be possible. with noble ones who entertain worldly thoughts and with worldly individuals. Then. If. (Answer:) This (distinction) can also rest on the difference of whether one has abandoned the defilements or not. on the other hand. Or. on the other hand. his capability to be a seed has been impaired. In the case of the (factors) arisen through effort. one says that someone possesses them once they have arisen and the capacity of the <126> personality-stream to manifest them at will is not subject to any obstruction. [these defilements] arise out of that from which this diversity is derived. i. One should know specifically that this occurs through erroneous view. like a grain of rice burned by fire.. Incidentally. In the case of the noble ones. then one says that he has abandoned the defilements. Whoever has abandoned them. for instance. if it is impaired. as far as the good factors are concerned.e. since indeed acquisition (i. (Opponent:) Who says that acquisition is the cause of arising? (Answer:) Then what is it? (Opponent:) It is the cause of the distinction [between states].. the presentation of the doctrine of liberation which follows below. their cause. (Opponent:) And how is it possible to say that the former have abandoned the defilements and that the latter <125> have not abandoned the defilements? If.e. become such that he can no longer be the seed of defilements. in the opposite case. So if a bearer has in this way. they are twofold: arisen without effort and arisen through effort. there were no acquisition. the bearer has been transformed through the path of vision and of contemplation51 such that the thus to be abandoned defilements can no longer rearise. (Answer:) It results from the difference in the bearer (i. Here. or if.. the capacity to be the seed of good factors is never completely annihilated in the personality-stream.

they have no effect. exert their power only if they are morally determined. and not a distinct thing. which culminates in the intuitive clear comprehension of the four noble truths. acquisition and its negation. … Therefore. the task remains of. moreover. in the course of time and through a course of development which we can not pursue in detail here. for example. commencing with the path of vision (darŸanam›rga). the doctrine of liberation took on the following form. Whoever strives for liberation <127> from the pain of the cycle of existences must therefore first remove the defilements. discussing the elaboration of the doctrine of liberation in the Hınay›na. Since beginningless time. Then the deeds lose their power and the cycle of existences comes to an end. The cessation of defilements is reached by the path of liberation. which is not impaired and is strong at the time when the capacity takes effect. living beings have been entangled in the agonizing cycle of existences and they wander restlessly from birth to birth. (Opponent:) And what is this so-called stream of moments? (Answer:) The formations belonging to the three stages of time. (Opponent:) What is this so-called transformation? (Answer:) The alteration of the stream of moments. For the Sarv›stiv›dins. 78 . BBC. These flow finally into one’s own direct clear comprehension (abhisamaya) of these truths. THE DOCTRINE OF LIBERATION OF THE HÊNAYfiNA Finally. at least briefly. the search for the nature of liberation touches upon the most crucial philosophical problems. Their being morally determined results from their connection with the good and bad mental factors. they are capable of directly or indirectly bringing forth a specific effect. attentive inhalation and exhalation. After various preparatory practices. in four stages. insofar as.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner So. driven by the power of deeds (karma). With this the path of liberation in its stricter sense—that which leads to the removal of defilements—begins. is that which receives the designation possession (= acquisition). non-acquisition. which play an important role in Buddhism even at its earliest. one considers the revealed four noble truths ever more penetratingly. one begins with the four awakenings of mindfulness (sm¸tyupasth›na). is certainly a factor by designation only but not a factor in the manner of a (real) thing. however. Otherwise. above all with the defilements. among them. Given the central position of this doctrine in Buddhism. the seed which is not completely removed. insofar as they are related to one another as cause and effect. due to a special transformation of the stream of moments. And. Next come the factors conducive to penetration (nirvedhabh›gıya) wherein. it is referred to again and again. (Opponent:) What is this so-called seed? (Answer:) Name and form. Deeds.

on the other hand. It is true that the removal of ignorance can only occur through the cognition of the noble truths. For the noble one who has already envisioned the noble truths. is distinguished from the cognition relative to the two higher spheres. however. however. On this twofold path. This path of contemplation is itself also twofold. but the worldly individual can and should also fight against the passions. whereas before he was a worldly individual (p¸thagjana). Thus for each truth. however. the most important part of the path of liberation has been traveled. The first consist in imperfect cognition. With the 79 . and the others are passions. along with the path of vision which eliminates ignorance a path of contemplation (bh›van›m›rga) was discerned which is supposed to aid in the fight against the passions. two types of defilements. the cognition of the noble truths brought him liberation as well. Aside from the supramundane (lokottara) path taught by the Buddha. This mundane path of contemplation can. It had been recognized. all defilements opposed to its cognition are removed in one moment. <128> With this. he had already completely eradicated all passions on the mundane path of contemplation. the Buddha himself is the most outstanding example of this. one contemplates the pain of existence and turns away from the world. within the path of liberation. it consists of the repeated contemplation of the noble truths. one obtains the acquisition (pr›pti). With the clear comprehension of the noble truths. the path of vision and the path of contemplation—whether mundane or supramundane—it is therefore possible to annihilate all <129> defilements. in fact. Accordingly. in a second moment. the firm possession of this cognition. this process of clear comprehension of the noble truths is divided into sixteen moments. Indeed. a distinction that has its original equivalent in the doctrine of the Buddha in which. one comes to a total of sixteen moments in all for all four truths. The disciple has now become a noble one (›rya). that cognition alone is ineffective against the passions. [complete] liberation has not yet been gained as there are. And. since for each truth the cognition relative to the lowest world sphere. also be entered before the path of vision. that is.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner According to the dogmatics. which then also gradually affects the passions and annihilates them. there is also a mundane (laukika) path of contemplation on which. the passions. in the twelve-membered causal chain. the sphere of desire. They must rather be fought through continuous habitually ongoing influence. at the moment of enlightenment. the sphere of the material and the sphere of the immaterial. in other words. independent of the proclamation of the Buddha. Noteworthy and characteristic of the sober spirit of the school therein is that the path of vision does not necessarily require the practice of the stages of meditation as taught by the Buddha. for example. imperfect cognition can be eliminated through the clear comprehension of the noble truths. then. before his enlightenment. Thus. suffering is traced back to two roots: ignorance and thirst. cannot. Of these two groups. and that the clear comprehension of the noble truths itself—in spite of its supranatural clear-sighted character—can occur at a preliminary stage of these stages of meditation. therefore. The fight against the passions is not only possible for the noble one. since. first.

with the elimination of one defilement. reasoning could already revert to familiar pathways. The passage of the AbhidharmakoŸa which includes the doctrine of suppression through knowledge. however. as demanded by the logic of the system. is nothing other than a factor like all the others which connects with the personality-stream and so exerts its effect. must therefore be a factor that exists as a thing. Now the question arises. and a second factor. however. the connection of which with the personality-stream leads to the defilements and all defiled factors being eliminated from it and no longer being able to arise within it. nirv›˚a is an unconditioned factor which bears the name ‘suppression through knowledge’ because it occasions the vanishing of the defilements based on the cognition of the noble truths. Finally. At the same time. This was necessitated. by the numerous scriptural passages which describe nirv›˚a as eternal and imperishable. liberation. <130> We have already encountered this conception of nirv›˚a in Vasubandhu’s Pañcaskandhaka where it appears among the unconditioned factors under the name ‘suppression through knowledge’ (pratisa˙khy›nirodha). nirv›˚a. were once again decisive. With this. Nirv›˚a. the numerous scriptural passages characterizing nirv›˚a as the cessation of suffering and the vanishing of desire. however: What is liberation. was considered to be the cause of non-affiliation. An inconceivable highest being remains unknown to the spirit of the school. In this way then. like any other object of cognition. ‘non-acquisition’ (apr›pti). though. The factor ‘acquisition’ (pr›pti). was known.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner annihilation of the defilements. which turns away from all mysticism. all would be eliminated and hence liberation would already be attained. It is determined as separation (visa˙yoga) because it eliminates the defilements and the defiled factors from the personality-stream. we must note that there is not just one such suppression through knowledge. The same doctrine is also found in the AbhidharmakoŸa. According to this doctrine. nirv›˚a? It is precisely in the answer to this question that the sober realistic spirit which characterizes the scholasticism of the Sarv›stiv›da now shows itself more clearly than anywhere else. it also shows the unwavering consistency with which a once-adopted path was adhered to and followed to its end. than to assume that nirv›˚a is a similar type of factor. And this was. or as the Buddha calls it. how nirv›˚a was defined. according to the dogmatics of the Sarv›stiv›da. therefore. But how is this factor to be defined more exactly? Here. deeds lose their effectiveness and liberation comes about. in fact. Nirv›˚a must then be something that eradicates desire from the personality-stream and prevents the arising of other painful factors. The only difference to arise was that it was classed with the unconditioned factors and not the conditioned ones. but as many as there are defilements that are to be eliminated from the personality-stream since otherwise. extinction. has the following wording: 80 . Nothing was more obvious. the strange seeming fact comes about that. which causes the affiliation of specific factors with the personality-stream.

Thus for them as well. Suppression through knowledge’ is the separation from the contaminated (s›srava) factors. from the Sarv›stiv›din view which they recast in accordance with their own intentions. but they define it independently after their own fashion.. The Sautr›ntikas also deviated from the doctrine of the Sarv›stiv›dins in this point. but the deviations in the conception [of nirv›˚a] by the other schools were manifold and in some cases considerable. the practice of the rest of the counteragents (pratipak˝a)52 would be pointless. With this we have discussed the ‘suppression through knowledge’. They do not. as in so many other cases. and that it itself is not the homogeneous cause of something else. shared by the other schools. What does this mean? (Answer:) This statement means that it does not have a homogeneous cause (sabh›gahetu). (Objection:) But it is said: Suppression is non-homogeneous (asabh›ga). however. the realization of the suppression of all defilements would follow from the realization <131> of the suppression of the defilements to be removed through the clear comprehension of suffering. of the rest of the factors counteracting the defilements.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner BBC. as so often. The suppression acquired thereby is ‘suppression through knowledge’ … (Question:) Is ‘suppression through knowledge’ one and the same for all contaminated factors? (Answer:) No.e. There are as many separating things as there are connected things. In which case. since. as did the Sarv›stiv›din system as a whole.1. thus a form of insight (prajñ›). It is true that its effects made themselves felt outside the school as well. SUPPRESSION THROUGH KNOWLEDGE (ABHIDHARMAKO⁄A. however. otherwise. 52 I. however.. etc. but it does not (mean) that nothing at all exists that is homogeneous to it. (Question:) Then what is it? (Answer:) (It is) in each case different. The Sautr›ntika view of the nature of nirv›˚a is a logical extension of their general point of view. nirv›˚a is ‘suppression through knowledge’. content themselves with the primitive realism of the Sarv›stiv›da who sees in this suppression a distinct entity. *** This idiosyncratic Sarv›stiv›din conception of the nature of nirv›˚a was not. They start. 81 . Knowledge refers to the cognition of the noble truths of suffering. VERSE 6) Suppression through knowledge’ is separation (visa˙yoga). We will now examine their view a little more closely. I.

BBC.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner ‘Suppression through knowledge’ thus exists in the fact that the defilements and the defiled factors no longer arise in the future. VERSE 55) The Sautr›ntika teachers say: Everything unconditioned (asa˙sk¸ta) does not really exist because it is not. They struggle. can one think of a non-arising. 82 . A non-arising is.. however.2. Thus they concluded that nirv›˚a is a non-existence. do not exist at all. this then is called ‘suppression through knowledge’ … (Objection:) If nirv›˚a is a mere non-arising. they must exist as we state something (about them). 54 I.e. how can this be reconciled with the wording of the sÒtra? The sÒtra says. future and present suffering. It is said. <132> This doctrine of the Sautr›ntika is dealt with in a long discussion in the second book of the AbhidharmakoŸa in which Vasubandhu first briefly renders the doctrine of the Sautr›ntikas and then defends it against the objections of the Sarv›stiv›dins. for example.. by nature. like form. a separate real thing … If the already arisen burden (anuŸaya) and existence is annihilated and through the power of knowledge. desirelessness54 is by far the foremost”? How can one non-existent factor be put forth as foremost among non-existent factors? (Answer:) We are not saying. Only in regard to something in the future. then this is called ‘casting off form’ and [complete] ‘understanding of form’” etc. as was customary. etc. with the problem of how a non-existence can be an object of knowledge and how statements about it are possible. maintains. with passages from the sacred scriptures. namely: “If one practices. the Exalted One has also said: “You should cast off desire for form. in particular. The meaning the sÒtra is intended to convey is that one casts off the defilements which are based on past and present suffering. they lead to the casting off of past. then why does the SÒtra say: “Of all the factors that exist. that a previous non-existence and a later non-existence of sound exists.. but not in regard to something of the past and present. NIRVfi≤A AS NON-EXISTENCE (ABHIDHARMAKO⁄A II. Accordingly. a mere non-existence. is the casting off of past and present suffering to be understood … (Objection:) If the unconditioned factors. sensation.e. however.. a mere nothing.53 Just so then. a new one no longer arises. do not exist at all. nirv›˚a. and they did not shy away from stating this matter-of-factly. whether caused or uncaused. that the unconditioned factors. the same is said of the other groups in the same wording. there is still no contradiction in terms of meaning. If you cast off desire. and cultivates the five faculties (indriya). one 53 I. Rather. in the same way up to cognition. Here we would like to offer a sampling of this discussion. <133> and for this reason it is called the ‘casting off of suffering’.” This casting off is nirv›˚a. however. by nature. How then is there no contradiction? (Answer:) Although this wording does exist. in fact. By contrast. The opponents are working in part.

etc. then nirv›˚a cannot be designated as the noble truth of the cessation (of suffering) because it does not exist. This is the advantage. this is to be seen in the same way. But if you assume that (the unconditioned) is real. in contrast to the Sarv›stiv›dins. (Objection:) If the unconditioned factors. as. Desirelessness is in fact called the ‘complete non-existence of all that is harmful’..57 … 55 The dogmatics of the Sarv›stiv›da usually equates the noble truths with their concrete content. but as mere non-existence. the view of its existence is established. 83 . It is. How so? It has.. the ear. (Answer:) May the gods know whether they wish to uphold (this doctrine). That is.56 (Opponent:) What disadvantage is there if we assume that the unconditioned has its own real existence? (Answer:) But what advantage does that have? (Opponent:) If we assume it.] form. also praise a non-existence. does the expression ‘noble truth’55 mean? Does this expression not mean something non-erroneous? The noble ones do not see existence and non-existence erroneously. And this is the most excellent among every nonexistence that there is. and that is the disadvantage. nor does it produce an effect which <135> can be perceived. it can neither be perceived through the senses nor deduced through inference. to be praised as foremost in order to bring forth joy and delight in it in the disciples. (Objection:) If the unconditioned factors represent a mere non-existence. if it can be upheld at all. What then is objectionable in this conception of the noble truths? (Question:) How can this non-existence be put forth as the third noble truth? (Answer:) Because the noble ones see and teach it immediately after the second. therefore. [for example. therefore. by nature. One can. then the doctrine of the Vaibh›˝ika is upheld. This will be examined later in the discussion of the past and the future. (Answer:) In the fact that it is based on a non-existence as object. therefore. neither a distinct nature which can be perceived. therefore. first of all. <134> (Answer:) What. it follows that it is the third. 57 I. then this is an empty imagination. If. like the eye. etc. the noble ones see in suffering only suffering and they see in the nonexistence of suffering only non-existence. sensation. 56 The Sautr›ntikas.e. namely. there is no fault. then the knowledge of the ether or of nirv›˚a would have to be based on a non-existence as object. one speaks of the existence of the unconditioned.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner cannot say that the non-existence exists and that. consider the past and the future not as real. without exception do not exist.

so was the liberation of the mind.3. only the groups were annihilated. the monk attains nirv›˚a in this life. another Sautr›ntika. but not a distinct entity. the non-rearising of a new suffering. How can (nirv›˚a) bring forth a knowledge if it is not a (real) factor? 58 I. an existence was no longer present. the appeasement. i. will have his say. that is the peaceful. the sÒtra’s comparison is easily explained: “Like the extinction (nirv›˚a) of a lamp. the nirv›˚a…” From this. The truth of suffering.. Further. 59 The verse refers to the death of the Buddha.e.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner (Objection:) As the sÒtra says. the annihilation. Nirv›˚a must therefore also be real.. How [then] can one speak of an attainment in reference to a non-existence? (Answer:) One speaks of an attainment of nirv›˚a because one attains the counteragent (pratipak˝a)58 and thereby obtains a bearer (= personality-stream) which is opposed to the defilements and rebirth. 1.”59 The meaning of this sÒtra is: Just as the extinction of a lamp is only the fading away of the flame of the lamp. the vanishing. the removing. BBC. namely. the desirelessness. further. etc. Harivarman. 84 . In addition. the annihilation. that is the exalted. the non-appearing. The (noble) truth of the cessation (of suffering) is called nirv›˚a. 2. the knowledge of nirv›˚a is also called knowledge of annihilation. is real. the desirelessness. the abandoning of all afflictions (upadhi) and complete vanishing of thirst. *** To conclude then. in the same way the mind of the Exalted One attained liberation. the aforementioned student <136> of Kum›ral›ta.. there is a passage of the sacred scripture which shows that the nature of nirv›˚a consists only of a non-existence. FROM “ESTABLISHMENT OF THE TRUTH” (TATTVASIDDHI) (Question:) Does nirv›˚a not really exist? (Answer:) One speaks of nirv›˚a based on the total annihilation of the groups. the factors which constitute the noble path and which annihilate the defilements. A sÒtra says: “The complete casting off of existing suffering. the sinking.e. So what is supposed to exist therein! (Question:) (You ask) how one recognizes that nirv›˚a is real. the non-grasping. He is perhaps even clearer and more precise than Vasubandhu in his statements.

(if you say) that nirv›˚a does not exist. why then is it called ‘without marks’? As the sÒtra states: “The ascetic observes the abandoning of the marks of (visible) form” etc. in the sÒtra the Buddha says to the monks: “There are factors that are born. there is also a specific factor with the name nirv›˚a.” Here. the sÒtra states: “One should bring annihilation to mind. conditioned. there is no factor that embodies 60 For nirv›˚a is generally considered to be permanent and unchanging. ‘self’ indicates the nature of the factors. the Buddha says in the Bahudh›tuka-sÒtra: “The sage recognizes the conditioned and the unconditioned in accordance with truth. the sÒtra states: “There are only two kinds of factors. then one cannot designate the vanishing and the annihilation of the groups as nirv›˚a. So if nirv›˚a is a (real) factor. nirv›˚a alone is the most excellent. Further. annihilation. conditioned factors and unconditioned factors. then one cannot see that it is without nature because this <138> factor is not subject to annihilation.” 6. then one says that one sees that they have no self. 7. annihilation. for example.. Further. <137> Nirv›˚a is permanent” etc. Further. Further. If. The conditioned factors are subject to becoming.” The unconditioned is nirv›˚a. Further. Further. How can one designate something which is recognized through correct knowledge as non-existent? 9. 3. unconditioned. in the same way up to cognition. what it is.60 As long as a pot exists. (Answer:) 1. If one does not see a nature in the factors. one would have to point out its nature.. in addition to the groups.” 4. the sÒtras state again and again: “All formations are impermanent. The unconditioned factors are not subject to becoming. if there is a nirv›˚a. the sÒtra states: “Of all factors that exist. all factors are without a self. Further. Further. it states: “Form is not permanent because form is annihilated. passing away and transformation while they last. nirv›˚a is peaceful. unarisen. there is no passage in the sÒtras that explicitly states that nirv›˚a is not a (real) factor. brought-about. then what should one bring to mind? 8. arisen.” 5.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner 3. up to “he observes the abandoning of the marks of the factors. 2. vanishing. 85 . the absorption which is focused on nirv›˚a is called ‘without marks’ (›nimittasam›dhi). whether conditioned or unconditioned. From this it can be seen that it is only a creation of your own thoughts. and there are factors that are unborn. passing away and transformation while they last. not-brought-about.” 4. Further. Further. If the marks of a factor exist.” But if it is not a (real) factor.

the annihilation of the factors. desirelessness. there is the breaking of a pot and the felling of a tree. unconditioned factor. one cannot speak of nirv›˚a as long as the formations still exist. (Question:) Is there then no nirv›˚a? (Answer:) It is not the case that there is no nirv›˚a. 8. The knowledge of annihilation of which you speak presents no difficulties.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner the vanishing of the pot. a <139> robe is annihilated.. by nature. etc. i. the disappearance of thirst. that it is called nirv›˚a. Just so. Further. Thus. for example. is ‘suppression through knowledge’. annihilation. one says. Further. Incidentally. one speaks of nirv›˚a. if a rebirth no longer occurs. but according to the doctrine of the opponent. *** So we have seen that according to the Sarv›stiv›dins liberation nirv›˚a. etc. etc. How so? Since. a separate factor of vanishing does not exist. the peaceful [abode]. So what factor exists beyond this which could be called vanishing? [This factor] cannot be called real.. These are just not real separate factors. etc. in fact. for example. a knowledge (relating to that) arises. the annihilation of suffering is not designated as a further separate factor. It is just not a real factor. that an unborn. one recognizes the absence of this object. exists. It is thus impossible to designate non-existence as existence here. unarisen. but this does not imply a separate factor ‘felling’. Because if there were no nirv›˚a. that combines with the personality61 Nirv›˚a is. 7. Only if the already arisen thirst is annihilated and the not yet arisen one does not arise does one then speak of vanishing. It is based on annihilation that one speaks of nirv›˚a. the casting off of afflictions (upadhi).. would also have to exist. as soon as the formations are no longer present. What you have said in regard to the other (noble) truths. 5. then this is the highest abode. then birth and death would last forever and there would be no liberation at all. In the same way. nirv›˚a.” Here. the calm.61 Only once the pot vanishes can one speak of the vanishing of the pot. it has existed eternally and thus before the factors have yet been annihilated. The sÒtra states namely: “Monks. a distinct factor in the manner of a thing. In addition.. the annihilation of this suffering and the non-arising of a new suffering is spoken of. The same applies to the felling of a tree. if this suffering falls into annihilation and new suffering does not arise. In the case of the felling of a tree. The non-existence of the factors of the five groups is called nirv›˚a. since [it is] because the formations are annihilated (in it).e. thus. an annihilation of suffering exists. Just as when a specific object is no longer present. has already been answered. What factor exists beyond this which could be called nirv›˚a? 6. the knowledge arises in this case based on the formations. Therefore there are no difficulties whatsoever. since otherwise. separate factors of the annihilation of the robe. If. 86 . no separate factor exists from then on. ‘existence’ is only another name for ‘factor’. not-brought-about.

therefore. they move on to the time-stage of the past. They are just at different stages of time. 87 . the present life expires. If. With the attainment of the liberating cognition. It is not annihilated but it is appeased. No further rebirth occurs and liberation is attained. and which has even given it its name: the doctrine (v›da) that everything exists (sarvam asti). or because it was not within the scope of the usual lines of thought to examine things from that perspective. whereby its value changes but [the stone itself] always remains the same. as long as. Thus in the personality stream as well. According to this doctrine. not yet really been answered herewith. given these assumptions. [however. the general knowledge of the doctrine makes it possible for us to answer this question as well and in the following way: According to the doctrine of the Sarv›stiv›dins. therefore. under the influence of the defilements. According to the doctrine of the Sautr›ntikas. when they cease. are different. we must call on a doctrine considered to be one of the most characteristic of the school. whether because on this point the attitude of the Buddha himself continued to have an effect. one obtains ‘suppression through knowledge’. not a real arising and ceasing. just as one shifts a counting stone from the compartment for ones into the compartment for tens and hundreds. Rather. It ends in a deathlike state. including those past and future. The question of the nature of liberation and. however. but just a wandering of the already existing factors from one stage of time to the other. of the state of the liberated one has. Both views are completely clear and understandable <140> from within the respective systems. although it is true that for them ‘suppression through knowledge’ is not a factor in its own right. liberation brings annihilation? To answer this. in particular. into the past. a distinct factor that combines with the personality-stream and prevents any further arising of the defilements. the deeds lose the power to bring forth new factors. the personality-stream does not continue. Their view of the nature of ‘suppression through knowledge’ indicates no real fundamental difference. since suppression through knowledge is only a factor that leads to liberation. According to what has been said thus far. The becoming and fading away of things is. The texts. liberation now signifies that the personality-stream is interrupted and does not continue any further.] it is nothing other than this nonarising of the defilements and of rebirth. as we have seen. are silent about the state of the liberated one. Nevertheless. hence a mere non-existence. not only do the present factors exist. As soon as the defilements no longer arise. but not liberation itself. the factors do not arise and fade away.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner stream and prevents the arising of defilements and thereby a new rebirth. the deeds (karma) are active and entanglement in the cycle of existences continues. that it passes. The seemingly newly arising factors <141> wander from the time-stage of the future to the time-stage of the present and. but all [do]. This means. Does this now mean that. the worldly personality consists of a stream of factors which constantly cease and arise anew. however. The conclusions for the doctrine of the Sautr›ntikas. It is rather an actual stream which flows from the future into the past. however. once and for all. however. since the personality stream is interrupted.

the Mah›y›na. deny that what is in the past and the future exists. of which the Sautr›ntikas in particular. What is even more peculiar. And from these schools of thought then arose the movement which led Buddhism to its highest flowering and to which we will now turn. we are dealing only with particular trends in Buddhism. For them only what is present is real. in the case of the schools of <142> the Sarv›stiv›dins and Sautr›ntikas. complete annihilation. According to the Sautr›ntika then. there were other trends that differed from the aforementioned strongly. The Sautr›ntikas. Hence we are faced with the peculiar fact that a doctrine of liberation holds up a death-like state as its goal. with extreme trends. liberation is complete annihilation. Something else. is the same. were not widespread and merged early on with other schools. however. We should not. forget that. the becoming and ceasing of the factors is not a wandering from time-stage to time-stage but a real arising and a real annihilation. that upon its interruption the personality-stream ceases to exist. <143> 88 . But the outcome. It follows from this. indeed.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner through the liberating cognition the personality-stream is transformed in such a way that the defilements can no longer arise in it. is crucial. and that is. however. in spite of their important intellectual accomplishments. Thus for them. the interruption of the personality-stream. and only this non-arising is regarded as ‘suppression through knowledge’. however. in contrast to the Sarv›stiv›dins. this doctrine was able to win a huge following and achieved incomparable successes. in some cases even to the point of total direct opposition. Besides these.

And thus the new doctrine that was supposed to save many was designated as the great vehicle (Mah›y›na). It is from these circles that the Mah›y›na emerged. however. THE NEW GOAL OF LIBERATION Therein there were several currents which united into the great movement of the Mah›y›na. In this way. also provided the ground for the development of new philosophical thoughts. It was already customary to compare the doctrine with a raft which carries the disciple across the dangerous stream of existence to the safe shore of nirv›˚a. one’s own liberation and to remain in the cycle of existences in order to be able to save others. MAIN ELEMENTS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE MAHfiYfiNA CAA. They wished also to bring salvation to others and they put forth as the highest goal to become a Buddha oneself. Indeed. but which was religiously all the more important and which also gave the whole movement its name—concerns the doctrine of liberation. THE PHILOSOPHICAL DOCTRINE OF A HIGHEST BEING AND OF THE UNREALITY OF THE PHENOMENAL WORLD The same circles. However. by comparison. beyond that. a tendency became apparent to consider this [highest] being as being the only true one and to declare everyday life. The impetus for this was largely twofold. whereas one was little 89 . There were always many members of the community for whom the experience of absorption was the essential point and who were more or less indifferent to dogmatic scholasticism. This is most evident in the relegation of the practices of absorption to the background and the denial of a highest being. and. as trivial and as a mere appearance. and these were understandably more likely to be found in the circles of mystics than among the sober scholastics. CAB. the previous path of liberation was named the small vehicle (Hınay›na). clear but also cold intellect. even to renounce. at first. as so readily with mystics. the strong mystical element that was always powerful in Buddhism and that ultimately originates from the Buddha himself. THE SCHOOLS OF THE MAHfiYfiNA The trends of the Hınay›na that we discussed in the last section are characterized first and foremost by the fact that they are ruled by the sober. The first of these—which we need only mention briefly since it is philosophically unimportant. could not simply be eliminated. The Buddha had with his teaching shown the path on which one finds liberation from the cycle of existences for oneself. The mystics who practiced absorption and experienced nirv›˚a even in this body would not let go of their belief in a highest being which they themselves had experienced in the state of absorption. And thus primarily the former became the bearers of the new trend.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner C. This new goal of liberation <144> naturally demanded a great capacity for enthusiasm and willingness to make sacrifices. CA. But over time this was not enough for the enthusiastic followers. the formation of philosophical doctrines came about of which the focus was the questions of the highest being and of the reality of the external world. by contrast.

• the new buddhology. hence primarily the schools of the northwest. philosophically insignificant and need only occasionally be touched upon. Of course. THE BEGINNINGS OF THE MAHfiYfiNA The earliest beginnings of the Mah›y›na developed while still within the framework of the old schools of the Hınay›na since the new goal of liberation did not represent a fundamental opposition. This literature is. Any follower of the old schools could resolve to become a Buddha himself without deviating from the doctrine of his school. In consequence of the new goal of liberation the view on the personage of the Buddha also shifted. lastly. Only when the Mah›y›na developed complete doctrinal systems which were in some cases in sharp contradiction to the systems of the Hınay›na. In particular. for the most part. in fact. therefore. not all Hınay›na schools provided equally favorable possibilities of emergence for the Mah›y›na. And it is. here that we find the various rudiments of the new development. All the more important then are the philosophical doctrines which are among the most significant [contributions] that Indian philosophy produced and with which we will therefore have to be primarily concerned. The buddhology will be discussed only insofar as it is closely tied to the philosophical doctrines and thus suitable to complete their depiction. as an embodiment of the highest being. CB. These three elements. Thus a specific buddhology developed which anchored in the new philosophical doctrines. the southern schools in the territory of 90 . were decisive in determining and dominating the development of the Mah›y›na: • the new goal of liberation. The multiplicity of the Buddhas gained special importance. CAC. did the formation of independent schools of the Mah›y›na come about. The historical personality became less important than the dogmatic concept. for the most part let the views of the Hınay›na scholasticism stand unchanged and adopted them when necessary. <145> The presentation of this new path forms the topic of an entire literature. lastly. • the philosophical doctrine of a highest being and of the unreality of the phenomenal world and. Far better were the conditions in the east in the circles of the Mah›s›˙ghika. by a third [element]. the new goal of liberation led to the advancement of a new path of liberation which was discussed in a hugely prolific scholasticism of liberation and elaborated down to the smallest detail. Of these. The Buddha now appeared as a supranatural being whose activity reaches far beyond the limits of a single worldly existence. Most unfavorable were likely the schools which were the principal upholders of Hınay›na-scholasticism.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner concerned with the constitution of the phenomenal world itself and. THE NEW BUDDHOLOGY This was joined.

and everywhere the miraculous and the measureless dominate. Occasionally. The often quite lively frame narratives have been replaced by formulaic settings. In this way a nearly unfathomable number of such works was gradually accumulated. that is. <147> there is first and foremost a Prajñ›p›ramit› in Eight Thousand Lines (A˝˛as›hasrik›). One then sought to remove the difficulties that arose from putting completely different doctrines into the mouth of the Buddha in the following way. individual titles also appear. The rest are intended for hearers who are not yet capable of grasping the complete truth. THE PRAJÑfiPfiRAMITfi LITERATURE AND ITS PHILOSOPHICAL DOCTRINES I begin with a group of works that carry the common name Prajñ›p›ramit› (Perfection of Insight). From ancient time the Buddha was famed for his ability to adapt his teaching to the powers of comprehension of his audience. Consequently I provide only a few samples from the oldest period which are important for the understanding of the origin of the Mah›y›na doctrines. primarily of course the new sÒtras. This possibility for interpretation was then widely put to use and eventually a whole series of stages of various doctrinal proclamations came to be distinguished. we find a colorless. They can. the present description is intended to primarily introduce the philosophers that can be grasped as persons. It is therefore not possible here to give even an approximate idea of this literature.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner the findhra empire and close to the old capital Dh›nyaka˛aka on the lower reaches of the K¸˝˚› proved to have tendencies towards the new movements. therefore. uniform lecture. From the beginning. these sÒtras differ starkly from the sÒtras of the old canon. but must rather be interpreted accordingly. not be taken literally. The audience is largely composed of supranatural beings and thousands and millions <146> of future Buddhas. The sÒtra literature of the Mah›y›na is exceedingly abundant. proclaimed the complete truth. discourses whose words are put into the mouth of the Buddha since. and then I turn immediately to the historically graspable representatives of the different doctrines. In reference to this it was now said that only a part of the traditional sÒtras. however. completely new doctrines are being taught. Inwardly and outwardly. a Prajñ›p›ramit› in Twenty-five Thousand Lines (Pañcavi˙Ÿatis›hasrik›). It is this land that could most convincingly claim to be the birthplace of the Mah›y›na. and are meant to lead them on the right path. and a Prajñ›p›ramit› in a 91 . new works were constantly created and the old ones expanded and reworked. but precisely the oldest and most important works of this group carry just the general name and are distinguished only according to their length. To be exact. but moreover. of Bodhisattvas. one tried to connect the new doctrine with the authority of the Buddha. In place of sermons intended for a specific audience and circumstance. of course. CCA. In terms of content. CC. THE OLDEST LITERARY DOCUMENTATION OF THE MAHfiYfiNA The oldest literary documentation of the Mah›y›na are sÒtras.

the inconceivability and indeterminability of the highest being is most strongly emphasized. uncountable and unequalled. CCA. It is boundless. and thus spatially unbounded. also without beginning. unmeasurable. Anyone approaching these works unprepared will initially be astonished and perhaps disappointed. it is by nature pure (viŸuddha) and apart (vivikta) from all characterizations.. however. In them the doctrine of the unreality of the external world is expressed for the first time. i. Moreover.1. Tradition. It is unthinkable. In brief. Specifically. CENTRAL PHILOSOPHICAL THOUGHT: THE CONCEPT OF A HIGHEST BEING The idea of a highest being is central.e. unweighable. Due to its boundlessness and inconceivability it is readily compared to empty space. It is therefore also unimaginable (avikalpa) and within it as well no processes of cognizance take place. The home of the Prajñ›p›ramit› literature may be the land of findhra. as with most of the Mah›y›na sÒtras. from the A˝˛as›hasrik› Prajñ›p›ramit›. Later as well. the school of the M›dhyamikas. at least. and thus exists outside of the three periods of time. Thus at least a few short samples from one of the oldest texts. The founder of the Madhyamaka school. However. reports that one of the southern schools of the Mah›s›˙ghika possessed a Prajñ›p›ramit› in the vernacular. without center and without end. they have always belonged to the most sacred and most esteemed texts of the Mah›y›na. a Bodhisattva. without start. it is primarily the following thoughts that are present in the oldest texts. however. will be presented. 92 . In general. take up a relatively large amount of space and form their actual core. Their historical importance is. It is without arising and without ceasing. however. N›g›rjuna. much in the old texts was reworked and changed and new texts were created. uncreated (ak¸ta) and unchanging (avik›ra). In terms of content. given that the doctrines expressed in them seem strange and nearly unintelligible at first. Only very rarely—in connection with an old view which appears here and there in the canon and which was later taken up by the Mah›sa˙ghikas <148> —is it designated as stainless and luminous mind (prabh›svara˙ cittam). They had a decisive influence on the emergence of the first important Mah›y›na school. and has not come into existence at all (anabhinirv¸tta). It is. The philosophical sections. the texts dealt primarily with the career of a future Buddha. seems to have been of particular importance in the development and propagation [of the Prajñ›p›ramit› literature]. it is pointed out again and again that no characterizations of any kind apply to it. extremely great. it is not simply taken over here but rather has been uniquely shaped through personal experience and couched in specific forms of expression. This is the age-old idea alive in India since the time of the Upani˝ads.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner Hundred Thousand Lines (⁄atas›hasrik›). In accordance with the general state of development in the context of Buddhism. without present and without finish.

without arising and ceasing. At every attempt. As the nature of all entities. all likewise already used in the Hınay›na. and also does not. this highest being is also the nature of the Buddha (tath›gatatva). but this presents difficulties. But as the things are unreal and apart from all signs. They are unthinkable. The expressions ‘nature of factors’ (dharm›˚›˙ dharmat›) and ‘element of factors’ (dharmadh›tu). as compared to the true being which they have experienced in the state of absorption.2. ‘signless’ (›nimitta) and the wishless (apra˚ihita). no characterizations of any kind apply to them. Whether it is recognized or not. CCA. They are unborn and uncreated. This is not further explained since this view apparently rests on the sense—so alive among mystics—of the vanity of everything worldly. as it were. That which we believe we have recognized is mere words (n›madheyam›tra) and resembles a magical illusion (m›y›). the designations ‘emptiness’ (ŸÒnyat›). In this way the statements about the phenomenal world coincide with those about the highest being and the things seem themselves to be the highest being. and does not decline if it is not taught. More characteristic and also very popular is the designation ‘suchness’ (tathat›). although in a different sense. although more seldom. They are namely free (virahita) and apart (vivikta) from any ‘intrinsic nature’ (svabh›va). It is omniscience (sarvajñat›) and the perfection of insight (prajñ›p›ramit›). They are therefore nothing. the non- 93 . Still more distinctive. And they are unlimited and without past. It does not flourish if it is taught. This non-reality of the phenomenal world is expressed quite sharply and starkly. Thus it is necessary to determine the relationship between the two. It is not bound and not released. THE UNREALITY OF THE PHENOMENAL WORLD AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO THE HIGHEST BEING In contrast to this stands the phenomenal world which is not real. and their importance is accentuated <149> by the fact that they and their contemplation are known as the ‘gates to liberation’ (vimok˝amukha). [They are distinctive here] because the indeterminability of the highest being is most strongly emphasized in these concepts. produce any effect. are. future and present. not at all and in no way. Things do not exist and cannot be established. a dream and a mere echo. for its part. not stained and not purified. The characterizations attributed to the highest being such as. ‘pinnacle of the real’ (bhÒtako˛i). often appear as designations for the highest being. it can only be said that they are different and yet not different. and. and which here seems to express the inconceivable nature of the highest being equal only to itself and which later was seen as an expression for its unchangingness. which appears first in canonical scriptures. that is. uncountable and unequalled. and their nature (prak¸ti) is a non-nature (aprak¸ti). lastly. from the ‘intrinsic nature’ of that which characterizes (lak˝a˚a) and that which is characterized (lak˝ya). unmeasurable. moreover.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner A further consequence of this is that it is also untouched by all events within the phenomenal world. for example. unweighable. does not affect it.

The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner arising and non-ceasing. and when. like 94 . the highest being itself is not the same as the five groups. And yet [the characterizations] and the five groups are not two. These doctrines are. masters of themselves. they appear as fragmentary single thoughts and points of views. liberated insight. These are in essence the philosophical doctrines of the older Prajñ›p›ramit› texts. For this reason. however. A good example of this is provided by the very beginning of the A˝˛as›hasrik› Prajñ›p›ramit›. As already mentioned. for example. Once the Exalted One was dwelling at R›jag¸ha on G¸dhrakÒ˛a [Vulture Peak] Mountain together with a great gathering of monks. is. FROM THE “PERFECTION OF INSIGHT IN EIGHT THOUSAND LINES” (A¡≥ASfiHASRIKfi PRAJÑfiPfiRAMITfi) From chapter I Thus have I heard.3. with a liberated mind. the phenomenal world is not real and all characterizations related to it are invalid. Even the thought that entities are natureless and empty. as mentioned above. support oneself with it and tarry within it. Every grasping to words (n›man) and signs (nimitta). any attempt to capture the highest being in concepts and words entails entanglement and should be abandoned. but it is also not to be sought outside of them. already clinging. indeed their mere usage. In order to free oneself from this illusion. it resembles a magical illusion. a Bodhisattva liberates beings. with twelve hundred and fifty monks. as it occurs in the state of absorption. The text is as follows: CCA. This naturally makes the thoughts more difficult to comprehend. there is no attainment and beholding of the truth. The enormously difficult task of a Bodhisattva consists in remaining in the phenomenal world in order to fulfill his task and yet to maintain this apartness. Even the turning of the wheel of the doctrine by the Buddha does not apply. one should not entertain it. on the false ideas of worldly individuals. The only correct conduct is to remain in complete apartness (viviktat›) and non-perception (anupalambha). all saints (arhan). and how are we supposed to deal with it? The answer is: [The phenomenal world] is based on an illusion. like well-trained horses. whose (negative) influxes had vanished. One should not cling to it. as they are relevant to the conduct of a Bodhisattva. How then under these circumstances does the phenomenal world come about. <150> Now since. In the same way. this is the same as when a magician allows his self-created illusions to disappear. There is still a sense of wrestling with the thoughts and their expression. And here this finds expression in the fact of lapsing into stark formulations that surprise the hearer and <151> remain incomprehensible to him at first. who were free of defilements. In the end. however. not presented in a coherent manner. are not [the same as] the five groups [that arise and fade away]. There is in addition a certain archaic quality [to these texts]. since this is and remains the principal subject of the texts. there is also no bondage and no liberation and all concepts connected with liberation are futile. mysticism always loves the mysterious. This explains the oddity and the difficulty of these texts.

through the power of the Buddha.—regarding the perfection of insight of the Bodhisattvas. If he abides in this way.—regarding the perfection of insight of the Bodhisattvas. it is no real cognition. I also do not see. This is the instruction in the perfection of insight. does not collapse. in the course of this training. Therefore. If. then this Bodhisattva. who had attained their goal. does the expression ‘Bodhisattva’ serve as designation? I do not see. For what <153> reason? Because this thought is no thought.62 for the nature of mind (citta) is luminously pure (prabh›svara). Then the Exalted One spoke to the venerable elder SubhÒti: “Recall. that is. “ Then the venerable ⁄›riputra spoke to the venerable SubhÒti as follows: “Does. arrive at the perfection of insight. nor observe nor see a Bodhisattva or a factor called ‘Bodhisattva’. not broken. with the exception of one single person. But since cognition in its apparent form is not real. venerable SubhÒti. who had accomplished what was to be accomplished. SubhÒti. arrive at the perfection of insight.’ Here. the venerable finanda. if the backbone of his thinking is not removed. O Exalted One. observe nor see a ‘perfection of insight’. this great being. exist at all?” 62 The thought of enlightenment (bodhicitta) is a moment of cognition (citta = vijñ›na). since I neither find. non-cognition. moreover. with respect to such words. fall into dismay. O Exalted One. in whom the fetters [binding them] to existence had vanished. the great beings—how the Bodhisattvas. This is to be understood to be the perfection of insight of this Bodhisattva. and instruction. 95 . of this great being. then he should train himself in such a way that. who had attained the highest perfection of control of the entire mind. become alarmed. the great beings. he also does not entertain an opinion with respect to the thought of enlightenment (bodhicitta). teaching. the great beings. shake and begin to quiver. moreover. hence. O Exalted One. the great beings—how the Bodhisattvas. spoke to the Exalted One as follows: “The Exalted One <152> spoke in the following way: ‘Recall. For what factor. a great being. any factor called ‘Bodhisattva’.” Then the venerable SubhÒti. a Bodhisattva. walks in the perfection of insight and practices in the perfection of insight. if he does not tremble. who had done what was to be done. whose minds were liberated through right knowledge. O Exalted One. then this is his instruction and his teaching. nor find. any factor by the name ‘perfection of insight’. the expression ‘Bodhisattva’ is used. is to be taught the perfection of insight. this thought of which (you say) that it is no thought. O Exalted One. the mind of a Bodhisattva does not founder. O Exalted One.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner great serpents. SubhÒti. who had cast off the burden. to what kind of Bodhisattva should I instruct or teach and about what kind of ‘perfection of insight’? If.

SubhÒti. is an infinite perfection. is a limitless perfection through the limitlessness of form. spoke: “Thus it is. venerable SubhÒti. way. is an infinite perfection.] This perfection of insight. KauŸika. the perfection of insight. you have demonstrated this splendidly. with respect to this being no thought (acittat›). the concept of a being (sattva) is discussed in addition and it is shown to be empty and vain. KauŸika. In the 96 . KauŸika. spoke to the venerable SubhÒti as follows: “This perfection of insight. the ruler among the gods. the venerable SubhÒti said the following to the venerable ⁄›riputra: “Can one. with respect to this being no thought (acittat›).” SubhÒti spoke: “But if.” Then the venerable ⁄›riputra applauded the venerable SubhÒti: “Splendid. of formations and of cognition. is a great perfection through the greatness of form. when you ask: ‘Does this thought of which (you say) that it is no thought. thus it is. an existence or non-existence cannot be found or observed. From chapter II In answer to these words. KauŸika. KauŸika. is an immeasurable perfection. In the same way.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner In answer to these words. venerable ⁄›riputra. The first section discusses the perfection of insight and in particular its infinity. After that. of consciousness. exist at all?’ “ In answer to these words venerable ⁄›riputra said the following to venerable SubhÒti: “Of what kind. of formations and of cognition. venerable ⁄›riputra. noble SubhÒti. and unimaginable (avikalpa) is the being no thought. For what reason? The perfection of insight. is a limitless perfection. venerable SubhÒti. This perfection of insight. the perfection of insight. KauŸika. [This perfection of insight. is a great perfection. you who have been designated by the Exalted One as the most excellent among those who abide in the state without quarrel. noble SubhÒti. This perfection of insight. is a great perfection through the greatness of sensation. venerable ⁄›riputra. This perfection of insight. The perfection of insight. then is your question justifiable.” The elder. find or observe an existence or non-existence?” ⁄›riputra spoke: “No. venerable SubhÒti. is a great perfection. is this being no thought?” SubhÒti spoke: “Unchanging. This perfection of insight. The perfection of insight. noble SubhÒti.” *** Now I will provide a few more examples of how the ideas presented above are dealt with in the same text. KauŸika. In the same. is a limitless perfection. is an immeasurable perfection through the immeasurability of form. in the same terms as the highest being. since the perfection <154> of insight is identical in nature with the highest being. noble SubhÒti. This perfection of insight. KauŸika. of consciousness. is an immeasurable perfection. is an immeasurable perfection through the immeasurability of sensation. KauŸika. KauŸika. ⁄akra.

of formations and of cognition. KauŸika. is an infinite perfection through the infinity of form. and for no non-factor does the term ‘being’ serve as a designation. the perfection of insight. consciousness. way. KauŸika. a middle. is an infinite perfection due to the infinity of beings (sattva). The perfection of insight due to the infinity of the object-support. a limitless perfection. SubhÒti. a beginning. KauŸika. and as a beginning. all factors are infinite and unlimited. and an end are namely not to be observed. formations. and no end are to be observed. in this way. an infinite perfection. is a limitless perfection through the limitlessness of <155> sensation. spoke: “Not because of the impossibility of counting. and an end are not to be observed. For what reason? With respect to beings. spoke: “What do you think. the perfection of insight <156> is an infinite perfection. Why. the perfection of insight. Just so. KauŸika. an infinite perfection. KauŸika. of formations and of cognition. The term ‘being’ is used as an adventitious designation. Further. KauŸika. KauŸika. At the same time. beings are infinite and unlimited. spoke to the venerable SubhÒti as follows: “In what respect. the perfection of insight due to the infinity of beings is an infinite perfection. In the same way. KauŸika. KauŸika. For what reason? With respect to form. ‘It is a limitless perfection’ and ‘It is an infinite perfection. is. a middle. The perfection of insight. is the perfection of insight due to the infinity of beings an infinite perfection?” The elder. the ruler among gods. Further. and an infinite perfection. KauŸika. for what factor does the term ‘being’ serve as a designation?” ⁄akra spoke: “For no factor. KauŸika. therefore the perfection of insight is an infinite perfection. KauŸika. KauŸika. SubhÒti. of consciousness.” ⁄akra spoke: “Then in what respect.’’ Therefore. is the perfection of insight due to the infinity of beings an infinite perfection?” The elder. Therefore. venerable SubhÒti. because. is the perfection of insight an infinite perfection due to the infinity of the object-support? Because. for all factors no beginning. The perfection of insight due to the infinity of the object-support. is. a beginning. the perfection of insight is a great perfection.” Then ⁄akra. a middle. of consciousness. nor because of the magnitude of counting is the perfection of insight due to the infinity of beings an infinite perfection. one does not entertain the thought: ‘[The perfection of insight] is a great perfection. noble SubhÒti. and an end are not to be observed in them. no middle. an immeasurable perfection. it is used as baseless 97 .The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner same. KauŸika. KauŸika. KauŸika. KauŸika. noble SubhÒti. a beginning.’ One does not entertain the thought: ‘It is an immeasurable perfection’. with respect to sensation. is an infinite perfection due to the infinity of the objectsupport (›ramba˚a). and an end are not to be observed. and cognition. The perfection of insight. The perfection of insight. in this way. a middle. KauŸika. therefore.. is an infinite perfection through the infinity of sensation. KauŸika.

Something that is empty. cannot be defiled. 22) deals with the question of the coming about of the phenomenal world and tries to show that it is based only on a fallacy. O Exalted One. O Exalted One. Beings walk for a long time in the belief in an ‘I’ and in the belief in a ‘mine’. how is it then. <157> did any kind of proclamation of beings take place here?” ⁄akra spoke: “No. any kind of being arisen. SubhÒti. the Exalted One spoke to venerable SubhÒti as follows: “What do you think. do beings walk for a long time in the belief in an ‘I’ and in the belief in a ‘mine’?” SubhÒti spoke: “Thus it is.” *** The next section (chapt. with a sonorous voice for as many cosmic aeons as the Ganges river contains grains of sand. something that is empty. however. no factor is to be observed. will it be annihilated or is it being annihilated?” ⁄akra spoke: “No. O Exalted One. the perfectly Enlightened One should utter the word ‘being’ with the sound of infinite speech. will it arise or is it arising. what kind of infinity of beings is there? If. how is it then. cannot be purified. something that is apart. spoke: “What do you think. And so. that the idea of the defilement of beings comes about. because of that. understand the meaning of these words? Explain it. KauŸika.” 98 . Or how should we.” SubhÒti spoke: “In this way then. KauŸika. noble SubhÒti. the Saint. that the idea of the purification of beings comes about? For something that is apart. KauŸika. O Exalted One. will attain or is attaining the highest perfect enlightenment. explain it. Something that is apart <158> or something that is empty does not attain the highest perfect enlightenment. O Exalted One. thus it is. SubhÒti. O Exalted One.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner designation. the Perfected One. KauŸika. cannot be purified. are apart [from characterizations] and all factors are empty. Except for [apartness and] emptiness. O Perfected One. O Perfected One!” In answer to these words. From chapter 22 SubhÒti spoke: “If all factors. O Exalted One. O Exalted One.” SubhÒti spoke: “Where no proclamation of beings took place. has it been annihilated. which has attained. is the infinity of the perfection of insight due to the infinity of beings to be understood. noble SubhÒti. For what reason? Because beings are pure from the beginning and purified from the beginning. The elder. it is used as a designation without an objectsupport. KauŸika. has. cannot be defiled. O Exalted One. it is used as essenceless designation. O Exalted One. O Exalted One. the perfection of insight due to the infinity of beings is an infinite perfection.

there is no being that is liberated. SubhÒti. 1) presents the comparison of the phenomenal world and especially also. of the process of liberation. The idea of the defilement and the purification of beings. SubhÒti. died. he makes this crowd of people disappear again. For what reason? This nature of things (dharmat› dharm›˚›m). If. does a Bodhisattva. Beings travel in the cycle of existences due to the belief in an ‘I’ and due to the belief in a ‘mine’. a great being. SubhÒti. with a magical illusion. and yet no one is purified by this. SubhÒti? Has anybody thereby been killed. is a Bodhisattva. is the belief in an ‘I’ and the belief in a ‘mine’ empty?” SubhÒti spoke: “They are empty. What do you think now. Say. The idea of the purification of beings. SubhÒti.” The Exalted One spoke: “Just so.’ And yet there is no one by whom they are to be led to liberation. comes about in this way. they are empty. SubhÒti. has the thought: ‘Immeasurable beings are to be led by me to liberation. O Exalted One. Nevertheless. and no being by whom it is led to liberation. armed with a great armor?” The Exalted One spoke: “A Bodhisattva. <159> A Bodhisattva. O Exalted One. even though all factors are apart and all factors are empty. Still he leads these many beings to liberation. O Perfected One. and yet no one is defiled by this. and after he has created them. From chapter 1 Then the venerable SubhÒti spoke to the Exalted One as follows: “It is said. comes about in this manner. lead immeasurable and innumerable beings to liberation. then the idea of a belief in an ‘I’ and a belief in a ‘mine’ does not come about.” The Exalted One spoke: “What do you think. a skilled magician or magician’s apprentice at a great crossroads creates a great crowd of people. do beings travel in the cycle of existences due to the belief in an ‘I’ and due to the belief in a ‘mine’?” SubhÒti spoke: “Thus it is.” *** The following section (chapt. <160> been destroyed or been made to disappear by anyone?” SubhÒti spoke: “No. and no one who is to be led to liberation. ‘armed with a great armor. O Exalted One. then there is purification. O Perfected One. And yet there is no being that is liberated and no being 99 . If one does not assume beings and does not cling to them. on the other hand. is based on the nature of a magical illusion. for example. then the defilement takes place. a great being. O Exalted One. a great being. In which manner. walks in the perfection of insight. SubhÒti. If one assumes beings and clings to them. O Exalted One. SubhÒti. SubhÒti.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner The Exalted One spoke: “What do you think. thus it is. a great being who walks in this way. innumerable beings are to be led by me to liberation. armed with a great vehicle’.” The Exalted One spoke: “Then the idea of the defilement of beings comes about in this way. SubhÒti. SubhÒti. one assumes nothing and clings to nothing.

If one thinks of future factors that they are future factors. If one thinks of past factors that they are past factors. the Perfectly Enlightened One based on a mark (nimitta). one thinks about the thought of enlightenment: ‘This is the first thought of enlightenment’. At the same time. In the same way. KauŸika. that form is empty is clinging. is it clinging?” SubhÒti said: “If. 100 . then one has to teach. there are so many types of clinging. be it by the noble son. who are within the great vehicle. more subtle types of clinging. venerable ⁄›riputra. rouse and inspire him in accordance with the truth. then also. the Saint. a Bodhisattva. noble SubhÒti. is this clinging?” SubhÒti spoke: “The thought. does not tremble. you who teaches the Bodhisattvas. venerable ⁄›riputra. is to be regarded as armed with a great armor. this Bodhisattva. be it by the noble daughter. a faithful noble son or noble daughter observes the Perfected One. <161> Then ⁄akra. shake and begin to quiver. Exalted One”.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner by whom it is led to liberation.or herself and leads others in the manner approved by the Buddha (to the highest perfect enlightenment). splendid. then this is clinging.’ But the nature of mind cannot be directed. then this is clinging.” “Good. lead. he avoids all these millions of types of clinging. includes valuable remarks about the nature of things and the highest being. For in this way. SubhÒti. From chapter 8 Then the venerable ⁄›riputra spoke to the venerable SubhÒti as follows: “Of what type. the thought that sensation. about these millions of types of clinging! I wish therefore to proclaim to you yet other. SubhÒti. The Exalted One spoke as follows: “Here. the venerable SubhÒti answered the Exalted One. But for as many marks as exist. formations. the ruler among gods. And if one thinks that an individual who is within the vehicle of the Bodhisattvas earns such and such an amount of merit through the first arousing of the thought (of enlightenment). then this is clinging. If one thinks of present factors that they are present factors. then it is directed (towards the highest perfect enlightenment) with the thought: ‘I direct it towards the highest perfect enlightenment.” *** In conclusion. KauŸika. tries to lead. when he hears the exposition of this teaching. If then. SubhÒti.” Then the Exalted One applauded the venerable SubhÒti: “Splendid. then. SubhÒti. consciousness. and cognition are empty is clinging. rouse and inspire him. the great beings. For what reason? Because clinging. this great being. the noble son or noble daughter does not harm him. I will finally render a section which deals with clinging to objects of the phenomenal world and which. spoke to the venerable SubhÒti as follows: “How. if one teaches another about the highest perfect enlightenment. So listen and pay thorough and good attention! I will speak to you. venerable SubhÒti. a great being. Therefore. SubhÒti. then this is clinging.

And what is apart from the three time periods cannot be directed. “ The Exalted One spoke: “The perfection of insight. O Exalted One. O Exalted One. accompanied by rejoicing and by the object of rejoicing (towards the highest perfect enlightenment). O Exalted One. that is. neither past. is. In later times. is a non-nature.” *** These examples will suffice to give at least a brief glimpse of the rich literature of the Prajñ›p›ramit›-texts. an entire group of sÒtras was brought together under this name and within this group the old text was given the title “K›Ÿyapa-section” (K›Ÿyapaparivarta). future. the Saint.” SubhÒti spoke: “Therefore. all factors have not been seen by the Perfected One. however. the Saint. SubhÒti. I pay my respect. he directs this (root of good). And this apartness by nature of all factors is the perfection of insight. nor heard. By thinking: ‘I rejoice <162> in the uncontaminated qualities of the past. SubhÒti spoke: “Profound. nor present. and this non-nature is their nature.” SubhÒti spoke: “The perfection of insight. is only one. the Perfectly Enlightened One. nor cognized. the Saint. In this way. 101 . for their nature is a non-nature and the non-nature is their nature. an idea is developed in detail which was of decisive importance to 63 This is the name of the old sÒtra. And this nature of all factors. with the thought: ‘I will direct this root of good towards the highest perfect enlightenment’.” <163> The Exalted One spoke: “Because. But that which is neither past. SubhÒti.” The Exalted One spoke: “All factors. is apart from the three time periods. O Exalted One. the Perfectly Enlightened One. future. The nature of factors. From the wealth of the remaining old Mah›y›na sÒtras I select as a sample only a single work. nor present. the factors are by nature nothing. SubhÒti. are also apart by nature. is apart by nature. is the nature of factors. SubhÒti. For what reason? Because all factors. nor thought of. is profound by nature. there are not two natures of factors. Therefore. future and present exalted Buddhas’. SubhÒti. And it is neither seen. to the perfection of insight.63 This work owes its special significance to the fact that in it.” SubhÒti said: “The perfection of insight. all factors have not been seen by the Perfected One.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner results from the mark. have been seen as uncreated by the Perfected One. SubhÒti. because it is apart by nature. for the first time. cannot serve as a mark or as an object-support. SubhÒti. SubhÒti. SubhÒti. because all factors have only one sign (lak˝a˚a). “ The Exalted One spoke: “Because of their apartness. the Jewel Heap (RatnakÒ˛a). for the nature of all factors. For what reason? Because. the Perfectly Enlightened One. SubhÒti. signlessness. SubhÒti. O Exalted One. is profound by nature. all of these millions of types of clinging have been avoided. because it is pure by nature.

as it steers the middle course between the extremes of a life of ease and of excessive asceticism. K›Ÿyapa. In the RatnakÒ˛a. of no import for us here. The Buddha himself had called his doctrine the middle way. The rejection of opposites is wide-spread in the philosophical world of thought in India <164> and especially since the time of the Upani˝ads. it is common in attempts to determine the highest being. nor as a person. and therefore still falls within the period before the creation of the Madhyamaka system by N›g›rjuna. K›Ÿyapa. nor as a soul. FROM THE “JEWEL HEAP” (RATNAKÚ≥A) § 52 “A bodhisattva. This concept was also quickly shored up by philosophical conceptions. CCB. § 53 102 . we find here a train of thought which is systematically followed through. who wishes to train himself in this proclamation of the doctrine. The RatnakÒ˛a belongs to the oldest Mah›y›na sÒtras. in which the Buddha rejects the views that everything exists and that nothing exists as extremes and opposes to them his doctrine as the middle doctrine. and the thoughts themselves are more deeply developed and better elaborated. regarding factors in accordance with truth. What. The right contemplation of the highest being consists precisely of the fundamental negation of all opposing characterizations.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner the appearance of the Madhyamaka system. then. K›Ÿyapa. In addition. the non-participation of the highest being in any process of the phenomenal world is also emphasized in the strongest forms. this is called the middle way. brings about the most fateful bondage. however. nor as humans. In itself this is nothing new. it represents a fundamental advance. is right effort towards the doctrine? <165> Regarding all factors in accordance with truth. the middle way. The stern exhortation is also spoken not to adhere to conventional concepts since exactly this essencelessness of entities when taken as a doctrine in the conventional sense. to reject all determinations based on opposed concepts. nor as a man. In contrast to the disjointed and mysteriously abruptly expounded teachings of the Prajñ›p›ramit›. the great Jewel Heap. It was translated into Chinese as early as the 2nd century C. next to this basic idea. they are not regarded as a self. the idea of the middle way. is regarding all factors in accordance with truth? If. that is. Similar ideas also appear in the Prajñ›p›ramit› works. As early as in the canon we find a discourse. In passing it should also be noted that a large part of the work deals with questions about the doctrine of liberation which are.E. K›Ÿyapa. the Instruction of K›ty›yana (K›ty›yan›vav›da). K›Ÿyapa. however. In comparison to the works of the Prajñ›p›ramit› literature. nor as a human being. this thought is accorded its full significance and deliberately made the central point. must apply right effort towards the doctrine. and this alone is the right doctrine. What. if they are not regarded as a being. The idea of the middle way therefore decisively determines the entire formation of the doctrine here. however.

that is another extreme. K›Ÿyapa.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner This also. if sensation. K›Ÿyapa. K›Ÿyapa. § 57 ‘Self’ (›tman). the regarding of factors in accordance with truth. ‘Non-permanent’. contaminated and uncontaminated. is called the middle way. the middle way. the regarding of factors in accordance with truth. K›Ÿyapa. Not-adopting. not-communicating. K›Ÿyapa. conditioned and unconditioned. unshowable. without support and without sign. is called the middle way. and the element of wind are not regarded as permanent nor as non-permanent. ‘Incorrect cognition’. K›Ÿyapa. the regarding of factors in accordance with truth. 103 . K›Ÿyapa. that is one extreme. § 56 ‘Permanent’. ‘Non-self’ (nair›tmya). the regarding of factors in accordance with truth. without support. that. unshowable. Where there is. K›Ÿyapa. § 54 If the element of earth is not regarded as permanent and not as non-permanent. that is another extreme. that is one extreme. ‘defilement’ is one extreme. K›Ÿyapa. K›Ÿyapa. is called the middle way. ‘purification’ another extreme. with respect to all factors. no mind and no thinking and no cognition. <167> § 60 ‘Existence’. if the element of space and the element of cognition are not regarded as permanent and not as non-permanent. K›Ÿyapa. the element of fire. without cognition. § 58 ‘Correct cognition’ (bhÒtacitta). the regarding of factors in accordance with truth. and cognition are not regarded as permanent nor as non-permanent. without cognition. formations. What lies in the middle between these two extremes. K›Ÿyapa. K›Ÿyapa. that. that is another extreme. is formless. This. What lies in the middle between these two. not-expressing these two extremes. the self and the non-self. without appearing image. then. is called the middle way. is the middle way. the permanent and the non-permanent. is called the middle way. mundane and supramundane. ‘Non-existence’. K›Ÿyapa. K›Ÿyapa. if the element of water. is formless. is called. that is a second extreme. then this. consciousness. K›Ÿyapa. This. this is one extreme. blameworthy and blameless. and without sign. § 59 Likewise. without appearing image. wholesome and unwholesome. the viewing of the factors in accordance with truth. If form is not regarded as permanent nor as non-permanent. the regarding of factors in accordance with truth. that is one extreme. What lies in the middle between these <166> two. K›Ÿyapa. K›Ÿyapa. the regarding of factors in accordance with truth. this is called the middle way.

contact. through the cessation of name and form. This regarding. but. through the cessation of sensation. the sixfold sphere. that. through the cessation of ignorance the volitional formations cease. thirst. the factors themselves are unformed. old age and the cessation of old age are not two things and do not constitute a duality. dependent on becoming. And this cognition. birth. sensation and the cessation of sensation. through the cessation of grasping. K›Ÿyapa. the factors themselves are unarisen. sorrow and lamentation. is called the middle way. that one does not make the factors unborn through not being born. name and form and the cessation of name and form. rather.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner § 61--62 That which I have also told you. through the cessation of contact. thirst. rather. birth. dependent on cognition. the regarding of factors in accordance with truth. <169> rather. old age and death. pain. § 63 This also. old age and death. dependent on birth. but. rather. becoming. grasping.—that dependent on ignorance. and that thus the origin of this whole great mass of suffering comes about. dependent on name and form. Likewise. And this cognition. further. K›Ÿyapa. name and form. the factors themselves are essenceless. that one does not make the factors wishless through the wishless. the cognition and the cessation of cognition. that one does not make the factors signless through the signless but. but. grasping. through the cessation of thirst. cognition. rather. through the cessation of cognition. the sixfold sphere and the cessation of the sixfold sphere. sensation. pain. through the cessation of the sixfold sphere. through the cessation of birth. rather. dependent on sensation. formations and the non-formations (asa˙sk¸ta). is called the middle way. the regarding of factors in accordance with truth. dependent on thirst. becoming. dependent on volitional formations. the regarding of the factors in accordance with truth. rather. and that thus the cessation of this whole great mass of suffering <168> comes about—in this. name and form. is called the middle way. the sixfold sphere. the factors themselves are unborn. cognition. volitional formations (sa˙sk›ra) come into being. sensation. § 64 104 . becoming and the cessation of becoming. through the cessation of becoming. is the middle way. the factors themselves are empty. and that one does not make the factors essenceless through essencelessness (asvabh›vat›). knowledge and ignorance are not two things and do not constitute a duality. that one does not make the factors unformed through non-formation. but.—that one does not make the factors empty through emptiness but. thirst and the cessation of thirst. dependent on the sixfold sphere. the regarding of factors in accordance with truth. dependent on grasping. that one does not make the factors unarisen through non-arising. the factors themselves are wishless. birth and the cessation of birth. distress and despair. K›Ÿyapa. K›Ÿyapa. dependent on contact. through the cessation of the volitional formations. but. sorrow and lamentation. K›Ÿyapa. K›Ÿyapa. grasping and the cessation of grasping. contact. the factors themselves are signless. contact and the cessation of contact. distress and despair.

would be even more serious. K›Ÿyapa. <170> emptiness is the way out for all types of beliefs. The sickness of this man in whom the medicine drives out all pathogens yet itself remains in the stomach and does not come out. however. however. Whoever believes in emptiness. K›Ÿyapa.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner Further. I call lost and completely lost to this doctrine. For what reason? For all types of beliefs. emptiness is indeed the way out. emptiness does not lead to the destruction of the person. Whoever. those. itself empty. The views about the unreality of the external world and about the nature of the highest reality had already taken shape and different fundamental lines of thought were clearly and systematically followed through. It is empty at the beginning. K›Ÿyapa. K›Ÿyapa. mountain of gods. K›Ÿyapa. With this. This task was first undertaken by a man who is one of the most important figures in Buddhism and in Indian philosophical history as a whole: N›g›rjuna. 105 . empty at the end and empty at the present. Turn towards emptiness. no philosophical system has yet been created. The profession of the belief (d¸˝˛i) in a person—may this [belief] be as large as Sumeru. him I call incurable. K›Ÿyapa. however. who turn towards emptiness by conceiving of emptiness. and not towards the person! Those. rather. K›Ÿyapa. would this sick person be freed from sickness?” He said: ‘No. Emptiness is.—is better than the belief in emptiness in a person who entertains this afflicted view.” *** These examples from the old sÒtra literature show how far the philosophical development of thoughts in the Mah›y›na had already advanced by the beginning of the common era. K›Ÿyapa. believes in emptiness however. Exalted One. for example.” The Exalted One spoke: “Just so. a man were sick and the physician were to give him a medicine and this medicine were to drive out the agents of disease yet itself remained in the stomach and did not come out – what do you think. K›Ÿyapa. how will he find the way out? § 65 If. K›Ÿyapa.

his home was Vidarbha. He also developed and determined the decisive fundamental concepts of the Madhyamaka school. It is not a systematically presented complete edifice. NfiGfiRJUNA (CA. to give an exact proof of the unreality of the external world. an entire literature has been put under his name which includes not only works that wrongly bear his name. THE PHILOSOPHICAL SYSTEM OF NfiGfiRJUNA As we have already noted. the founder of the first philosophical school of the Mah›y›na. Far greater though is the number of works the authorship of which remains questionable and must still be clarified. THE MADHYAMAKA SCHOOL CDA. He did try.) The life of N›g›rjuna.2. THE WORKS OF NfiGfiRJUNA Just as uncertain as the reports about his life are those about his literary activity. he replaces the mere assertions of the Prajñ›p›ramit› with proper inferences in that he demonstrates in bold logic that the most ordinary concepts of daily life are impossible. today’s Ber›r in Central India. the views that he maintained look roughly like this: CDA. but also works of other <171> authors with the same name. In addition.E. 200 C. To be precise. In the course of time. The basic text of the Madhyamaka school. His time was not yet ripe for such system. Systematically arranged. mean a system in the later sense. so that only by conjecture can we sift out the little that is genuine. I provide samples only from two works the genuineness of which seems assured to me. In the following selection I will therefore present primarily sections from the Madhyamakak›rik›. The following brief presentation of N›g›rjuna’s doctrine is also based exclusively on the Madhyamakak›rik›. It is not only that legend has made him into a magician and alchemist. THE UNREALITY OF THE EXTERNAL WORLD His main goal is the proof of the unreality of the external world. Next to it stand a number of works the genuineness of which is highly probable. that had merely been asserted in the Prajñ›p›ramit›. He spent the last days of his life on [mount] ⁄rı Parvata on the banks of the K¸˝˚› (Kistna). N›g›rjuna was the first to create a Mah›y›na philosophical system.1. however.1. but he seems to have spent the greatest part of his life in South India. This does not. CDA. where he enjoyed the favor and friendship of one of the last kings of the ⁄›tav›hana dynasty.2. the Madhyamakak›rik› (Mnemonic Verses of the Middle Doctrine). If then we are to trust tradition. in the findhra empire. is so overgrown with legends that it is difficult to peel it down to a historical core. CDA. is generally considered to be his work. the school of the M›dhyamika. but reports about other persons of the same name are also merged with the traditional accounts of him.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner CD. however. and that the phenomenal 106 .

The nature of the world was seen above all in the continuous becoming and ceasing that is ruled by the law of dependent origination.1. In his principal work. for example. of permanence and impermanence. nevertheless. N›g›rjuna laid down a definite fundamental view of the nature of the phenomenal world. the Madhyamakak›rik›. etc.. following the example of the RatnakÒ˛a. For this reason then. its impermanence had stood in the foreground. both do not apply. an effect also cannot exist. THE PHENOMENAL WORLD AS DEPENDENT ORIGINATION First and foremost.1.1. Then follows a long series of similar inferences which at first bewilder and nearly stupefy. is meant to show that neither an arising nor a passing away is possible.2. N›g›rjuna makes a link to the proclamation of the Buddha who himself designated his doctrine as the middle way. this very law of dependent arising appeared to be the appropriate formula with which to express the nature of the phenomenal world and he therefore also related his inferences to this dependent origination. A cause. One of the views with which N›g›rjuna prefers to work is the relativity of opposing concepts. CDA.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner world as it presents itself to us. THE RELATIVITY OF OPPOSING TERMS AND THE MIDDLE WAY As for the concepts on which our conception of the phenomenal world is based and whose impossibility N›g›rjuna tried to prove. returning again and again. But there is. A cause can therefore not exist as long as the effect does not exist. such that their initial effect is bewildering. On closer inspection. in the middle way. The true doctrine consists rather in the rejection of both opposites. and asserts that he is proclaiming the genuine doctrine of the Buddha. he pours out a whole abundance of such inferences before the reader. when considering the external world.2. prefers to choose opposed pairs of concepts. however. no absence of a core of firm views underlying this bewildering abundance. From this N›g›rjuna draws the conclusion. For such concepts are mutually dependent on one another because the one is possible only if the other is also given. N›g›rjuna.2. is a cause only with respect to an effect. N›g›rjuna replaces that with dependent origination (pratıtyasamutp›da). CDA. Neither [N›g›rjuna] nor his 107 . With this. his system is also called the middle doctrine. the Prajñ›p›ramit› had selected such concepts rather arbitrarily. <172> Since the Buddha’s time. MadhyamakadarŸana. Without a cause. however. that the corresponding entities cannot really exist because the existence of the one always presupposes the existence of the other. Dependent origination is unreal to him since the opposing possibilities of becoming and ceasing. firm fundamental views appear also here. The Prajñ›p›ramit›—when the subject of the phenomenal world came up—had usually spoken of the five groups. is impossible. <173> however. The fundamental inference from which he starts. For N›g›rjuna then. exactly because it rests on these concepts.

 unreal. pp.e. (The Numata Yehan Lecture in Buddhism. at the same time. N›g›rjuna’s arguments and their often surprising logic and style have been subject to a great number of studies recently. Tillemans: Trying to be Fair to M›dhyamika Buddhism. pp. The present error is basically only due only to an assumed congruence between language and reality which. The University of Calgary 2001. It can only be assumed that he considered this error to be one along the lines of some classical sophistic arguments (cf. Journal of Indian Philosophy 22. neither say that entities exist nor that they do not exist. The things of the phenomenal world are empty. at N›g›rjuna’s times. Richard Robinson: Some Logical Aspects of N›g›rjuna’s System. Winter 2001) Calgary.1. 64 [Frauwallner actually never explained in writing what kind of error exactly he thought to underlie he thought was the error underlying N›g›rjuna’s conclusion.. A good survey and balanced summary is in Tom J.2. 220. It is therefore permanent and imperishable. to bring the nature of the phenomenal world as he sees it into sharper focus. Johannes Bronkhorst: The Correspondence Principle and its Impact on Indian Philosophy. Both are opposites. They are therefore without a nature. however. F. became the decisive expression for the nature of the phenomenal world: emptiness (ŸÒnyat›). because they are subject to constant becoming and ceasing.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner contemporaries were able to recognize the error underlying this conclusion. had still not been clearly understood as a silent presupposition underlying such arguments (cf. The truth lies in the middle. in a similar vein. 1-29. intrinsic nature means.. are natureless. therefore. a characterization comes to the fore which in the Prajñ›p›ramit› was still only one among many. pp. a being in and of itself and conditioned only by itself. and that it is not subject to passing away because its existence is not dependent on anything else.] 108 . It just does not exist intrinsically. This argument of the unreality of entities enables him. Still more important is N›g›rjuna’s characteristically developed concept of an intrinsic nature (svabh›va). 91-109. From this. David Seyfort Ruegg – Lambert Schmithausen. 1994. 224] CDA. With this. however. cannot possess an intrinsic nature. however. 1996. a good one being his “On some non-formal aspects of the proofs of the Madhyamakak›rik›s”. NfiGfiRJUNA’S CONCEPT OF INTRINSIC NATURE (SVABHfiVA) AND THE EMPTINESS OF THE PHENOMENAL WORLD. independent from everything else.3. pp. Indo-Shisßshi KenkyÒ 8. in emptiness. For N›g›rjuna. in: Earliest Buddhism and Madhyamaka.64 [See F 176. 299-378). Examples of closer analyses of N›g›rjuna’s arguments can only be found so far only in some papers by Claus Oetke. in the middle way. Eds eds. 291-308. Richard Hayes: N›g›rjuna’s Appeal. Philosophy East and West 6. 1957. We can. which for N›g›rjuna. it follows that such an intrinsic nature has not arisen because it cannot be caused. 1-19). The unreality of the phenomenal world does not mean that it does not exist [at all]. pp. Both are mistaken. i. Leiden 1990. in accordance with the Indian meaning of the word. And so N›g›rjuna draws the conclusion that entities of the phenomenal world.

5. makes the phenomenal world as we know it possible in the first place. CDA. since these all belong to the phenomenal world. since existence and non-existence. however. Therein the manifoldness of appearances and the law of dependent origination are thus set aside.1. nor a community. And here lies one of the germs of the later doctrine which sees in the phenomenal world a creation of cognition. however.2. CDA. THE HIGHEST REALITY DISTINCTION FROM THE PHENOMENAL WORLD: FREE FROM DIVERSITY. If things possessed an intrinsic nature. all our conceptions which feign the phenomenal world for us. In particular.2.2. CDA.2. In terms of the restricted truth then. From the point of view of the highest truth (param›rthasatya) which applies exclusively to the highest reality though. but which do not apply to the highest reality since this is free of all diversity. Not. The phenomenal world therefore does exist and it exists in accordance with its own fixed laws. without ending and also is not permanent. He does not speak of an element of the factors (dharmadh›tu). The nature of the phenomenal world is the diversity (prapañca). there is neither a Buddha.2. It is by nature peaceful (Ÿ›nta). As to the highest reality.1. belong to the world of dependence.4. And so it is that N›g›rjuna. just as does the Prajñ›p›ramit›. N›g›rjuna had less that was new and original to say about it than about the phenomenal world. they could. The world of dependence is based on manifoldness which diversity provides. as noted. neither arise nor cease. it is neither existent nor non-existent. truth in terms of the highest reality. he avoids the positive expressions and designations that appear in the Prajñ›p›ramit›. EXTINCTION. Only because of their unreality can the entire course of the world unroll in accordance with the law of dependent origination. IDENTITY IN NATURE OF THE PHENOMENAL WORLD AND NIRVfi≤A In this way. but only of extinction. The latter is without arising and passing away. however. however. but a restricted truth (sa˙v¸tisatya). nirv›˚a. THE HIGHEST AND THE RESTRICTED TRUTH That it is so constituted.2. the events of the world and. rest on diversity.1. of a suchness (tathat›). a concept not further analyzed by N›g›rjuna. THE NATURE OF THE PHENOMENAL WORLD IS DIVERSITY (PRAPAÑCA) A second view about the nature of the phenomenal world is worth mentioning. even though it is not fully developed by N›g›rjuna. but appears as significant for the first time. nor a doctrine.2. the same statements ensue about nirv›˚a as about the nature of the phenomenal world.2. Most importantly. in particular. nirv›˚a is free from all diversity and so offers no basis for our concepts and is thus unimaginable and inexpressible. Thus also a certain truth is allowed to it. comes to assert 109 . ETC. PEACE. Most importantly. as opposing concepts. Furthermore.2. the Buddhist path of liberation <174> and the proclamation of the Buddha have validity. CDA.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner CDA.

that nirv›˚a is nothing separate per se that one attains by freeing oneself from the phenomenal world. the cognition of the emptiness of all entities is the cause of liberation and provides the impetus for an unfolding of the process of liberation as it was conceived of until now. Here we begin with the first chapter which contains the basic proof of the impossibility of any arising. are also valid for nirv›˚a. The chapter is. at the same time. N›g›rjuna now says that with the abolition of diversity as it results from the emptiness of all entities the bottom is taken of all ideas concerned with the entities of the phenomenal world. Nirv›˚a and phenomenal world are. With this. CDA.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner the unity of the phenomenal world and nirv›˚a. at first to his principal work. free from all opposing characterizations and therewith also the ending of the diversity of appearances and hence. According to the old Hınay›na doctrine. the belief in an ‘I’ also becomes futile. so to speak. These are the essential features of N›g›rjuna’s views as they appear in the presentation of the Madhyamakak›rik›.. nirv›˚a. and with it the efficacy of deeds vanishes and rebirth comes to an end. N›g›rjuna solved this question very simply. as it is in truth. The phenomenal world and nirv›˚a are one and the same. at the same time. As with most Buddhist works.e. It remains only to briefly add how the process of liberation presents itself within the phenomenal world. just two forms of appearance of the same nature. in a soul.2. <175> valid for the nature of things (dharmat›). the true teaching of the Buddha. INTRODUCTION TO SECTIONS OF THE MADHYAMAKAKfiRIKfi CDA. at the same time briefly presents what constitutes the essential content of the work: namely. and the efficacy of the deeds on the defilements—in particular on the mistaken belief in an ‘I’. N›g›rjuna is also not afraid to emphasize this sameness of nature most emphatically and most sharply. The same characterizations. however. liberation. wherein liberation lies according to N›g›rjuna’s doctrine. Thus. 110 . rebirth depends on deeds. DOCTRINE OF LIBERATION This tells us.3. this very Madhyamakak›rik›. <176> a good example of N›g›rjuna’s logic which. in the end. made a deep impression because of its surprising boldness.3. but which.1. There is not the least difference between them. however. CHAPTER I: EXAMINATION OF CAUSES (PRATYAYA-PARÊK¡fi) We turn now to N›g›rjuna’s works themselves. is based to a great extent on sophisms. like the sophisms of the Eleatic Zenon. From this it follows. dependent origination (pratıtyasamutp›da) as the nature of the phenomenal world. free from conditionality and dependency. this is premised with a stanza of homage to the Buddha which.3. CDA. That which in conditionality and dependency constitutes the phenomenal world is. i. It rather consists only in the fact that the deception of the phenomenal world is no longer perceived as the diversity on which it is founded is appeased. it is true. however.

. in one verse each. concerning the dominant cause. against the different kinds of causes accepted by the Hınay›na dogmatics. 6]. nor from something other. that which is produced. to refute the opponent’s doctrine of causes. the immediately preceding cause (samanantarapratyaya). according to the Buddhist doctrine of the momentariness of all entities. he notes [v. firstly. cannot take place before the following moment has arisen. to be precise. The cause. can be neither existent nor non-existent. as presupposed for the moment. As proof of this statement. nor from neither.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner The actual presentation begins [v. there are four kinds of causes: The cause (hetu) or generative cause. the doctrine of the Hınay›na dogmatics. By this is to be understood. he bases himself [v. that if the effect. then nothing exists any longer that could be a cause. The next verse [v. Against the cause or generative cause. According to this doctrine. it would be useless. the causes can have neither an effect nor be without an effect. vice versa. An effect. he again uses [v. if it has arisen. and. The passing away. and which. on the other hand [v. i. therefore. neither from itself. since as the cause of something non-existent. N›g›rjuna thus bases himself here on the relativity of opposing concepts which makes the occurrence of one dependent on the occurrence of the other. To this belong all things which enable the arising of an effect through their mere existence. as he says [v. But as long as the effect does not exist. As refutation of the immediately preceding cause. however. Finally. according to which the factors are without object-support. things also cannot arise from something other. is to be seen as its cause. nor existent-and-non-existent. Finally [v. not be a cause. As long as their own nature is not present. And as the cause of an already existing effect. 7-10] turns briefly. 10]. however. 4]. And thus before the arising of the effect no cause can exist. 9] on the definition of the opponent who designates the passing away of the preceding moment as cause of the following one. But. he refers to the—to be established in more detail 111 . Cause is what one calls that on which an effect depends. Consequently. N›g›rjuna then [v. nor from both. is not present in the causes. it also cannot depend on anything. the dominant cause (adhipatipratyaya). 5] the relativity of concepts. the object-support (›lambana) or the object of knowledge. then of course a productive cause is also impossible. it would. Things cannot arise from themselves because their own nature. another nature cannot exist. as stated. 8] to a saying [Wort] of the Buddha in the Prajñ›p›ramit› texts. <177> At first N›g›rjuna presents general objections to this doctrine. in connection with the afore-mentioned. he refers [v. 7]. 1] with the fundamental assertion that there is no arising. 2] provides a brief proof. the moment in the stream of moments of a thing which immediately precedes the moment considered to be the effect. since any other nature is only possible in contrast to one’s own nature. can have neither something existent nor something nonexistent as its effect. in order to prove the impossibility of an arising.e. Then [v. 3] he moves on. can neither have causes nor can it be without a cause. With respect to the object-support.

however. If [v. 14]: If. without unity and without manifoldness. 265 For the intrinsic nature of entities is not present in the causes. one assumes that the effect is contained in the causes. the effect is neither contained nor not contained in the causes. who had primarily the material cause in view. as the peaceful appeasement of diversity (prapañca). nor from both. 3 There are four causes. 11] adopts the point of view that the effect exists neither in the combined nor in the individual causes. therefore. 4 65 [Frauwallner switched stanzas 2 and 3. I pay homage. the immediately preceding. 11-14) appear to be directed against the doctrine of causality of the S›˙khya and the VaiŸe˝ika. so how then can one assert that the effect has their nature? N›g›rjuna then concludes [v. N›g›rjuna now first [v. If. the cause [or generative cause]. have any things ever arisen anywhere. do have no intrinsic nature on their own. The following verses (v. And if there is no effect. then there is also no cause.] 112 . They themselves. There is no fifth cause. he asks further [v. the most excellent of teachers. without cessation and not eternal. arise only from certain things as cause and not also from others. therefore. then the same applies already for these causes. FROM THE “MNEMONIC VERSES OF THE MIDDLE DOCTRINE” (MADHYAMAKfiRIKfi) CHAPTER I: [Examination of Causes] To the Buddha who has proclaimed dependent origination as being without annihilation and without arising. and the dominant cause. without coming and without going. such that it is impossible to assert that the existence of one thing depends on the existence of another. nor without cause. no intrinsic nature is <179> present. And even if this should take place.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner later—essencelessness of all things which does not permit one to speak of their existence.4. 1 Neither from itself. on the other hand. 12]. then there is no effect at all. the object-support (condition). and thus has their nature. then also no extraneous nature is present. and of which the S›˙khya taught that <178> the effect already pre-exists in the cause. 13]. and poses the question as to how something can arise from causes in which it is not contained. nor from something other. whereas the VaiŸe˝ika asserted the opposite. CDA. etc. why does it then. to Him.

of what use then is the cause? 7 If neither an existent [factor] nor a non-existent [factor]. annihilation does not come about. on the other hand. 5 That upon which the arising of a (thing) depends. that is considered to be its causes. why then does it not also arise from non-causes? 13 If the effect consists of the causes. from whence should an object-support then come? <180> 9 As long as the factors have not arisen. should these not be non-causes? 6 A cause is appropriate to neither an existent nor a non-existent object. The causes likewise are not without an effect. if [the object] is non-existent? If. The immediately preceding condition is therefore not possible. But as long as [this thing] does not arise. it does exist. it is taught that it is without object-support. even without being present. it is inadmissible to say: When this exists. But how should that which is not contained in the causes arise from the causes? 12 But if the effect. with respect to things without intrinsic nature. nor an existent and non-existent factor arises. For whose cause is it.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner The effect has no cause. but they also do not have an effect. that comes to be. then what should be the cause? 10 Since. 11 Neither in the individual nor in all the causes is the effect contained. If. But if it is without objectsupport. But the effect also does not exist without a cause. which originates from the causes that do not consist of themselves. then the causes do not consist of themselves. consist of the causes? 14 113 . there is no existence. for so long. annihilation has taken place. How then can the effect. arises from the causes. however. why. how then is a productive cause possible? 8 About the existing factor.

in particular. that an intrinsic nature cannot arise and hence cannot exist in the phenomenal world. N›g›rjuna starts from the concept of intrinsic nature and asserts. the socalled Instruction of K›ty›yana (K›ty›yan›vav›da). must be <182> rejected because the heresies of eternality and annihilation result from them. in the concept of intrinsic nature or own-being lies. then eternality follows from that. 1]. there is also no non-existence. it necessarily follows that in the phenomenal world—the basic law of which is represented by dependent origination—an intrinsic nature is impossible. If. the core of the proclamation of the Buddha with respect to the phenomenal world. 3] from the opposition of concepts he draws the further conclusion that without an intrinsic nature there also cannot be an extraneous nature (parabh›va). The rejection of existence as well as of non-existence [v. This sÒtra mentions the two opposed statements: “It exists” and “It does not exist”. he notes that from the existence of an intrinsic nature its eternality follows. and this occasions a few further comments. <181> I select only one. however. the fifteenth. This means that it is dependent on and conditioned by nothing else. and without existence. And. as we have already stated. First [v. however. 7] a famous sÒtra from the old canon. 5] is. no effect that consists of causes. because it is unchanging. And as confirmation of this. For the Indian. 8]. then how can there be causes and non-causes? CDA. in which N›g›rjuna tries to prove the most diverse concepts of common life to be contradictory and impossible. it further follows from this that it can neither arise nor cease. N›g›rjuna therefore briefly examines these two doctrines. and in the absence of an intrinsic nature. since these two statements are keywords in the canon for the two views which the Buddha branded as the worst heresies. For [v. because nothing is there that could change. of the self. for N›g›rjuna. Indeed [v. 4] without an intrinsic and extraneous nature. 9].1. one says that something was and is no more. In the chapter before us. first of all [v. and none that does not consist of causes.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner There is. N›g›rjuna cites [v. on the other hand. CHAPTER 15: EXAMINATION OF INTRINSIC NATURE (SVABHfiVAPARÊK¡fi) From the numerous following chapters. Then [v. no transformation is at all possible in the case of an existing intrinsic nature. then the heresy of annihilation results. because the intrinsic nature cannot change. existence and non-existence. 10]: Both. the doctrine of eternality (Ÿ›Ÿvatad¸˝˛i) and the doctrine of annihilation (ucchedad¸˝˛i). But if there is no effect. But [v. 114 . because in it a particularly important concept comes up for discussion: the concept of intrinsic nature (svabh›va).4. 11] if one assumes that something exists by nature. From this. [the idea] that something exists only in itself and through itself. therefore. any existence (bh›va) at all is impossible. Then he concludes [v.

For a being-different of the nature (prak¸ti = svabh›va) can never come about.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner CHAPTER XV: [Examination of Intrinsic Nature] 1 An arising of intrinsic nature through causes and conditions is not possible. an existence and a non-existence. from this results the view of annihilation. therefore. how could there be an existence without an intrinsic nature and extraneous nature? For only if an intrinsic or extraneous nature is present. from this results the belief in eternality. 9 If there is no nature. “It does not exist”. <183> 7 In the Instruction of K›ty›yana. 8 If existence exists by nature. For people call non-existence the being-different of an existence. 3 How could there be an extraneous nature if there is no intrinsic nature? For the intrinsic nature of an extraneous nature is called extraneous nature. For. affirm neither existence nor non-existence. does an existence come about. if intrinsic nature were to arise from causes and conditions. A judicious person should. then there is no non-existence of the (thing in question). do not see the truth in accordance with the teaching of the Buddha. 4 Further. then non-existence also cannot be. 11 115 . then it would be created. 6 Those who see an intrinsic nature and an extraneous nature. has rejected both statements: “It exists” and “It does not exist”. who knows existence and non-existence. of what should the being-different then come about? And if there is a nature. 2 But how could a created intrinsic nature exist? For intrinsic nature is nothing made and is not dependent on something other. the Exalted One. how then is a being-different possible? 10 “It exists”. 5 But if there is no existence.

 4-5]: With the vanishing of the belief. 2] if there is no self. as far as the establishment of liberation is concerned. 6] N›g›rjuna makes a few more comments on the proclamation of the Buddha. he proclamation of the Buddha includes all four statements. but existed previously”. there that a self neither exists nor does not exist. The first of these is the 18th chapter. He [v. according to their power of comprehension and the stage which they have attained. of course. The conceptions themselves rest on the deceptive diversity of the phenomenal world (prapañca). The Buddha speaks in various ways. Next [v. CDA.2. 116 . But [v. 8] repeats the same thoughts in a general form. other important topics come up for discussion. He then continues [v. consequently it is eternal. not expressible. no different from nirv›˚a. CHAPTER 18: EXAMINATION OF THE SELF (fiTMA-PARÊK¡fi) I now present a few more chapters in which. Thus the doctrine of the emptiness of all things is the last cause of liberation. the fateful belief in an ‘I’ and in a ‘mine’—the principal cause for entanglement in the cycle of existences—is invalidated. The statements are intended for different hearers who. lies beyond the sphere of human cognition and can therefore also not be captured in words. The reasoning begins [v. This true nature itself [v.4. one must also not believe in a person freed from a belief in an ‘I’ and in a ‘mine’. 5] now connects this with his own view. are to be gradually led to true cognition of the nature of the self. the defilements and deeds are abolished. negation. there that there is no self. affirmation. 7] is. We will encounter the same line of thinking—as hinted at here—in more detail in the first chapter of the Ratn›valı (Chain of Jewels) to be rendered later. since the actual nature of things.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner Because what exists by its intrinsic nature cannot not exist. and these are matched with the mental capacity of the hearers. here of a self. affirmation and negation. however. and neither affirmation nor negation. There cannot be an ›tman. along with the refutation of various concepts. with the old Hınay›na doctrine. With respect to the things of the phenomenal world. and with this. 3] that. a self. 1] in N›g›rjuna’s customary manner. birth no longer comes about and liberation takes place. N›g›rjuna quickly interjects [v. at the same time. contains valuable statements about the proclamation of the Buddha and the true doctrine. This corresponds. N›g›rjuna then [v. annihilation follows from this. then there also is no mine. The belief in an ‘I’ and in a ‘mine’ rests on conceptions. because it can neither be identical with the groups (skandha) nor <184> different from them. If on the other hand one says: “It does not exist now. The reasoning of this chapter as such concludes with this. The latter is abolished through the knowledge of its emptiness. which is devoted to the refutation of the concept of ›tman and.

who have found enlightenment for themselves alone. in the form which presents the true teaching of the Buddha. like nirv›˚a. birth disappears. 12] he concludes with the comment that—even during times when no Buddha appears and the tradition is extinct among the disciples—this eternal doctrine survives among the Pratyekabuddhas. one is freed from the belief in a ‘mine’ and the belief in an ‘I’. there what is nameable also ends. 7 Where the sphere of cognition ends. 3 There is. whence should there be a mine? As a result of invalidation of self and mine. These [originate] from diversity. <186> 5 Through the disappearance of deeds and of defilements. that is. 4 If the ideas of ‘mine’ and ‘I’ have vanished outwardly and inwardly. and is therefore unimaginable and cannot be communicated. liberation occurs. and with its disappearance. That there is neither an ‘I’ nor not an ‘I’ has been taught by the Buddha. 10] he summarizes the cognition of the nature of the phenomenal world briefly once again in the only form in which it can be expressed and in which it was already expressed in the introductory verse of the entire work. then it is subject to arising and fading away. But diversity is abolished through emptiness. 6 That there is an ‘I’ has been proclaimed. Whoever believes that they see someone who is free from the belief in a ‘mine’ and an ‘I’. 117 . then grasping is abolished.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner The true nature of things is [v. Then [v. without arising and without annihilation. CHAPTER XVIII: [Examination of the Self] 1 If the self is the same as the groups. sees falsely. then it does not have the characteristics of the groups. Then [v. 9]. free from the diversity which <185> characterizes the phenomenal world. however. 2 If there is no self. no one present who is free from the belief in a ‘mine’ and the belief in an ‘I’. however. That there is no ‘I’ has been taught. Deeds and defilements originate from conceptions. For the nature of factors (dharmat›) is. If it is distinct from the groups.

 4]. the cessation of suffering. the restricted truth and the real truth. suffering. both true and not true. that is the teaching of the Buddha. In addition. Thus it is not annihilated. 11 No unity and no multiplicity. And without a Community and a Doctrine [v. With this [v. unimaginable and without manifoldness. cannot exist. there is no Doctrine. then there is no Community. suffering should be recognized. peaceful. that is the nectar of the teaching of the protector of the world. The path of liberation [v. Of these four truths [v. namely that he enters the stream leading to liberation (srota›panna). All this is not possible if the four noble truths do not exist. and that he becomes a perfect saint (arhan). there are also no disciples who are striving for this reward or who have already attained it. 9 Not to be recognized through extraneous help.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner 8 That everything is true. that he no longer returns (an›g›min). And if there are no such disciples [v. without the four noble truths. As a result of that. that is the characteristic of reality (tattva). CDA. the fourfold reward promised to the disciple also fails to appear. <187> 12 If no Buddhas appear and the disciples have vanished. the Buddha. With this.3. [This opponent] says: If there is no arising und fading away. 3]. Two types of truths [v. N›g›rjuna answers [v. not diversified through diversity. CHAPTER 24: EXAMINATION OF THE NOBLE TRUTHS (fiRYA-SATYAPARÊK¡fi) The following chapter contains N›g›rjuna’s doctrine of the twofold truth. that he returns only once more to the cycle of existences (sak¸d›g›min). but it is also not eternal. its cessation realized and the path leading to it practiced. the threefold foundation on which Buddhism rests is destroyed. there is no Buddha. its origin should be avoided.4. 10] belongs to 118 . 2]. then the four noble truths. however. 7] that all this is based only on a misunderstanding on the part of the opponent who understands the doctrine of emptiness wrongly. 8] must be distinguished. not true. that is. 1] with an attack by the opponent who raises the objection that the assertion of the emptiness of all things undermines the foundation of the Buddhist doctrine. the origin of suffering. without annihilation and also not eternal. then the cognition of the Pratyekabuddhas appears of its own accord. and the path leading to the cessation of suffering. It begins [v. and neither true nor not true. 5]. 10 What arises dependent on another is not the same as the other and is also not distinct from it.

CHAPTER XXIV: [Examination of the Noble Truths] 1 (Opponent): If all this is empty and there is no arising and passing away.e. the noble Doctrine does also not exist. on the other hand [v. if you assert emptiness. avoiding. Then he shows [v. 15]. you deny the three jewels (the Buddha. and realizing are not possible. Only if entities are empty. 40]. And if the reward is absent. recognizing. then the non-existence of the four noble truths would ensue for you. then there is no Community. An intrinsic nature. everything else possible [v. 13]. is an arising and ceasing and. 6 And you make impossible the presence of the reward. is possible only because of emptiness. everything that people do and not do. 3 Since this does not exist. beginning with the four noble truths. And resulting from the absence of the noble truths. and which thus also made the Buddha at first hesitant about the proclamation of his doctrine. the Doctrine. 20-39] in detail that everything set forth by the opponent. i. <189> 5 But if there is no Doctrine and no Community. then how shall there be a Buddha? Therefore. This provides the occasion to point out [v. and the Community). he concludes with the statement that only a correct understanding of dependent origination makes the understanding of the noble truths possible. Finally [v. 7 119 . 4 If these eight kinds of persons do not exist. the fourfold reward of the noble ones does not exist. of right and wrong and. These discussions are—after what has been said already—easily understandable and do not need any further explanation..The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner the sphere of the restricted truth and has its validity therein. 11] the dangers entailed by a wrong understanding of the doctrine. All of the opponent’s objections <188> are in fact turned back on him. then there are no abiders in the reward and no strivers toward it. 14]. practicing. 18]. in general. with it. without an intrinsic nature. 2 Due to the non-existence of the four noble truths. Next N›g›rjuna himself goes on the offensive [v. can neither arise nor cease. Emptiness and dependent origination are thus one and the same and are mutually dependent [v.

on the restricted truth of ordinary life and on the real truth. 11 Wrongly understood. 15 By transferring your own faults onto us. Oxford University Press. he always comes up one short. But you point to him that the one he is accusing you of stealing is in fact the very one he is riding but has forgotten to count. has forgotten the horse.66 16 66 [“Here is the idea behind this image. <190> 12 Thus also the sage (the Buddha) shied away in his mind from proclaiming the doctrine because he considered how difficult this doctrine is for the foolish to understand. you are like someone who. And if one does not apprehend the real. As he rides around and counts his horses. Therefore you object. emptiness. a standard trope in classical Indian rhetoric: A man with a herd of horses thinks that he is missing one and accuses you of having stolen it.” The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way: N›g›rjuna’s MÒlamadhyamakak›rik›. Whoever does not accept emptiness. 14 Whoever accepts emptiness. the real cannot be taught. like a snake unskillfully seized or a wrongly cast spell. as for the criticisms you raise against emptiness. 8 The doctrinal proclamation of the Buddha is based on two truths. emptiness brings the fool to ruin. then nirv›˚a cannot be attained.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner (Answer:) To this we say: You do not know the purpose of emptiness. while sitting on a horse. and the meaning of emptiness. 10 If one does not base oneself on ordinary understanding (vyavah›ra). nothing proves to be possible. Translation and commentary by Jay L. 13 Further.] 120 . Garfield. the faults that ensue do not apply to us and they also do not appear with respect to that which is empty. 9 A person who does not understand the difference between these two truths does not understand the profound truth (tattva) in the teaching of the Buddha. for him. 1995. everything proves to be possible for him.

there is also no factor which is not empty. ceasing and reward. there is also no arising (of suffering). [Emptiness] is merely a designation dependent on some foundation and it is the middle way. 21 How can there be suffering that is not dependently arisen? For suffering is what one calls the impermanent. 17 you deny effect and cause. 25 If there is no suffering. and no cessation. 22 Further. <191> 19 Because there is no factor which is not dependently arisen. [the impermanent] does not exist. then it is not possible to practice it. how should something arise that is present by its intrinsic nature? Thus for the person who denies emptiness. agent. action and deed. then for you there can be no intrinsic nature. 24 If there is an intrinsic nature of the path. if you assert the intrinsic nature. you make cessation (of suffering) impossible. 23 There is no cessation of suffering if it exists by its intrinsic nature. Therefore. no origin.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner If you are of the opinion that things exist by their intrinsic nature. 20 If all of this is not empty and there is no arising and ceasing. then you view the things as being without causes and without conditions. then the non-existence of the four noble truths results for you. to what cessation of suffering should the path lead? <192> 26 If (suffering) is not recognized in its intrinsic nature. arising. how can it then later be recognized? Or would intrinsic nature remain?[ES]/Or would intrinsic nature not remain? [LS] [Oder beharrt etwa das eigene Wesen nicht]? 121 . But in the presence of an intrinsic nature. 18 It is dependent origination which we designate as emptiness. But if the path is practiced.

if there is a reward for you that is induced by right and wrong. avoidance. 30 And due to the absence of the noble truths. for you there is a reward even without right and wrong. 32 For you. For how shall one act on something non-empty? An intrinsic nature can. if you deny the emptiness of dependent origination. 33 Further. and practice are also not possible. not be handled. and likewise the fourfold reward of the noble one. then how is the reward that is arisen from right and wrong not empty? 36 Further. 28 After all.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner 27 In the same way as recognition. it follows for you that the Buddha is independent of enlightenment. you make everything that people do and not do impossible. But if there is no Doctrine and no Community. then how shall there then be a Buddha? 31 Further. the noble Doctrine does also not exist. 29 But if there is no reward. 34 In addition. and for you there is no reward that is induced by right and wrong. no one who is not enlightened by nature will attain enlightenment on the path of the Bodhisattva. no one will ever do right or wrong. then there are no abiders in the reward and no strivers toward it. realization. however. <193> even if he strives for enlightenment. 35 Or. If these eight kinds of persons do not exist. how is it possible for the person who assumes an intrinsic nature to later attain a reward which by its intrinsic nature is not attained. after all. then there is no Community. 37 122 . and it follows for you that enlightenment is independent of the Buddha.

The examination leads to the result that none of the four possibilities applies.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner For the person who denies emptiness. there is action even without it having begun. nirv›˚a would be subject to old age and death. existence and non-existence. 4] to investigate whether it is to be viewed as existence. and no abandonment of all defilements. unmoved (kÒ˛astha) and free from all varying states. Nirv›˚a [v. 9] the important comment that nirv›˚a is just the other aspect of the phenomenal world. 11]. the refutation of the views that nirv›˚a is both existence and nonexistence and neither existence nor non-existence follows. 2] again that this difficulty arises precisely in the instance that things are not empty because precisely then a becoming and ceasing is not possible.4. it would arise from causes and it would not be independent. 38 In the presence of an intrinsic nature. As existence. I will present the 25th chapter which deals with nirv›˚a. there is nothing to do. both as existence and non-existence. and because in that case it would likewise not be independent. 1] with the objection that if all entities are empty there is nothing through the cessation of which one attains nirv›˚a. the cessation. After provisionally establishing what tradition says about nirv›˚a. 7] cannot be considered as non-existence because non-existence presupposes existence. 40 Whoever sees dependent origination (correctly).4. in which conditionality and dependency have been abolished. is neither impermanent nor permanent and neither arises nor ceases. at one and the same time. N›g›rjuna responds [v. <194> 39 If (everything) is not empty. Here. and there is an agent even without him doing anything. and the path. that it can neither be given up nor attained. he begins [v. In the first case liberation would be. CDA. no putting an end to suffering. 3] then proceeds to determine the nature of nirv›˚a. it begins [v. the origin. CHAPTER 25: EXAMINATION OF NIRVfi≤A (NIRVfi≤A-PARÊK¡fi) Lastly. Similar to the previous chapter. He [v. with the highest reality. namely. which contradicts tradition. sees suffering. 10] that nirv›˚a can neither be existence nor non-existence because the Buddha taught that there is no becoming and ceasing in nirv›˚a. or as neither existence nor non-existence. Then he adds [v. non-existence. In similar fashion [v. that is. then there is no acquisition of the non-attained. N›g›rjuna interjects [v. the world would have to be not arisen and not ceased. <195> nirv›˚a would not be independent 123 .

 21] quickly rejects the other heretical doctrines which are dismissed in the canon along with the views about the existence and non-existence of the Liberated One. CHAPTER XXV: [Examination of Nirv›˚a] 1 (Opponent:) If all this is empty and there is no arising and ceasing. in your opinion. be established? N›g›rjuna then refers [v. For there is no existence without old age and death. and. unreal. 24]: In the mere vanishing of all perceptions and in the ending of the deceptive diversity of the phenomenal world. 22]: Of what does liberation consist. indeed [v. that is. that he at one and the same time exists and does not exist. 4 Nirv›˚a is. So [v. two opposites such as existence and non-existence cannot come together to find a unity. which is neither existence nor non-existence. 16] by what means shall a nirv›˚a. through the abandonment or annihilation of what does nirv›˚a result? 3 Not abandoned and not attained. would arise from causes [v. it is already stated (cf. if neither an existence nor a non-existence which can be negated. 14]. Nirv›˚a [v. these statements do not even apply when he is still alive. but rather nirv›˚a and the cycle of existences are one? N›g›rjuna answers [v. not annihilated and not arisen – this is called nirv›˚a. above S. 12].The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner [v. 17] to the proclamation of the Buddha in confirmation of his assertion. 19ff. In the texts of the old canon. and that.. 18]. through the abandonment or annihilation of what does nirv›˚a result? <196> 2 (Answer:) If all this is not empty and there is no arising and ceasing. In reality. 15] cannot be considered neither as existence nor as non-existence. 13]. a doctrine has never been proclaimed by the Buddha. in your opinion. then. 5 124 . first of all. however. ???) that it cannot be said of the Liberated One that he exists. 19-20] the decisive statement about the relationship of nirv›˚a to the phenomenal world: Both are one and the same. or that he neither exists nor does not exist. N›g›rjuna then [v. all these views are wrong and meaningless given that all things are empty. then. not interrupted and not eternal. since the Buddha’s path of liberation is also not real. permanent or impermanent. has been established. if there is no nirv›˚a which can be attained. that he does not exist. Next follows [v. And now one last question [v. This is thus established. no existence because it would follow from this that it bears the characteristics of old age and death. finally [v. That the world is limited or unlimited. Not the least difference exists between them. pp.

For nowhere is there an existence that is not conditioned. 10 For the master (the Buddha) has called it the abandonment of becoming and ceasing. insofar as it is unconditioned and independent. 7 If nirv›˚a is not an existence. 12 If nirv›˚a were both existence and non-existence. then nirv›˚a would not be independent. 6 If nirv›˚a were an existence. designated as nirv›˚a. then nirv›˚a would be something conditioned (sa˙sk¸ta). <197> 9 Conditioned and dependent coming and going (in the cycle of existences) is. there also is no non-existence. then how could it be a non-existence? For where there is no existence. 13 How could nirv›˚a be both existence and non-existence? For nirv›˚a is not conditioned. and existence and non-existence are conditioned. For those are both dependent. then how would nirv›˚a be independent? For there is no existence that is independent. then how would nirv›˚a be independent? For there is no nonexistence that exists independently. 15 The assumption that nirv›˚a is neither an existence nor a non-existence is possible if an existence and non-existence is established. <198> 125 . like light and darkness. And this is not possible. From this it results that nirv›˚a is neither an existence nor a non-existence. 14 How could nirv›˚a be both existence and non-existence? For the two cannot be united in one place. 11 If nirv›˚a were both existence and non-existence.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner If nirv›˚a were an existence. then liberation would be existence and nonexistence. 8 If nirv›˚a were a non-existence.

Since if everything is empty and without intrinsic nature. Nowhere has the Buddha proclaimed any doctrine to anyone. what is both limited and unlimited. and that neither of the two is the case.. all factors are empty. what is both eternal and not eternal. then the proofs which he brings forward are also empty 126 . what is unlimited. what is eternal and what is not eternal. His inexorable logic which stops at nothing and proves everything to be without intrinsic nature. it cannot be recognized that he does not exist. etc.. that both is the case. are based on a nirv›˚a. Not the slightest thing exists which separates the two from each other. and it cannot be recognized that he does not exist. what is then limited. INTRODUCTION TO SECTIONS OF THE VIGRAHAVYfiVARTANÊ I now follow with two brief samples from two of N›g›rjuna’s other works. the diversity is appeased. 19 The cycle of existences is not different from nirv›˚a and nirv›˚a is not different from the cycle of existences. it cannot be recognized that the Exalted One exists.5. and what is neither limited nor unlimited? <199> 23 What is the same and what is different. 22 If. etc. CDA. has brought on the criticism that he thereby cuts away the ground beneath his own feet. a beginning and an end. and about its eternity. however. 20 The limit of nirv›˚a is also the limit of the cycle of existences. and that neither of the two is the case. 18 Even when he is still alive. and what is neither of these two? 24 All perception ceases. and peace prevails. then by what means does one recognize that it is neither existence nor non-existence? 17 It cannot be recognized that the Exalted One exists after death.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner 16 If there is a nirv›˚a which is neither existence nor non-existence. that both is the case. 21 The views about (the state) after death. the limit (of the world).

given the absence of an intrinsic nature for all things. The opponent’s next objection [v. conform only to the world of illusion and serve to refute it alone. this is not correct. Then he accuses his opponent of not correctly understanding the doctrine of the emptiness of things. including the thesis that all things are empty. 21] that the absence of intrinsic nature in his words only <200> confirms the absence of intrinsic nature for all things. They do not comprise any positive assertions of his own. is also effective. and hence only abolishes his refutation but not the refutation of the opponent. N›g›rjuna replies [v. 4] anticipates N›g›rjuna’s reply. in particular in his unwavering logical consistency. however. are able to bring forth their various effects within the phenomenal world. so his line of argument. To the objection that his refutation of the intrinsic nature of all things is empty and therefore not conclusive. The following samples are taken only from the second part. No statement can therefore be regarded as his thesis. N›g›rjuna opposes these criticisms in a separate work. There was no need to render the corresponding sections of the first part since. N›g›rjuna’s line of arguments is also without intrinsic nature. 22]. for every new point to which he turns.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner and therefore prove nothing. 29] that he does not put forward any positive thesis at all. Emptiness is identical in nature with dependent origination [v. N›g›rjuna might answer that the same applies to the refutation of this refutation through the opponent. in spite of its emptiness. According to the opponent. FROM THE “THE QUARREL AVERTING” (VIGRAHAVYfiVARTANÊ) You have said at first: v. Only through the emptiness of all things are dependent origination. the first of which comprises the attacks of the opponent. since the assertion that all entities are empty is exclusively N›g›rjuna’s statement. It is one of his best works and shows him at his most idiosyncratic. and therefore proves nothing. All of the opponent’s attacks are therefore invalidated because they could only apply to such assertions. N›g›rjuna replies [v. whatever we do and not do and thus any line of argument at all possible. the Vigrahavy›vartanı (The Quarrel Averting). His fundamental attitude towards the questions raised can be drawn from these samples. in spite of their emptiness. who does not admit this thesis. 1 127 . And neither can the faults arising therefrom apply to him. 23] through comparing it to a man created by means of a magical illusion who stops the action of a second man likewise created through a magical illusion.6. the second their refutation. CDA. All his lines of argument. And as the entities of the phenomenal world. The first objection [v. It consists of a verse-text with N›g›rjuna’s own commentary and is divided into two parts. He elucidates this [v. N›g›rjuna briefly reviews the opponent’s objection. 1] of the opponent says that. so he says.

because they are dependently arisen. and if they are also not present separately.. by reason of its being without intrinsic nature. conditions. they are called empty. that is. Thus it is established that my words also are without intrinsic nature. nose. if they are not present in the conditions. If you therefore have said: By reason of the emptiness of your words. empty and by reason of its emptiness. and so forth. skull. wind. and their totality. tongue. 22 To wit. nor in a separate state. If my words are not present in the causes. 21 If my words are not present in either the causes. hauling wood. and milk. etc. But just as my words are empty by reason of their being without intrinsic nature. whether conjoined or separate. then they are without intrinsic nature and due to their being without intrinsic nature empty. Further: v. then this is not correct. that is.” The dependent origination of things is in fact their emptiness. etc.. although it is arisen dependently and is therefore empty. How so? By reason of their being without intrinsic nature. If entities were to exist by their intrinsic nature. Things that are dependently arisen <202> are without an intrinsic nature because they lack an intrinsic nature. How so? Because they are dependent on causes and conditions. hauling earth. Without understanding the emptiness of entities and without knowing the meaning of emptiness. then the emptiness of things is indeed established precisely because of its being without intrinsic nature. and their totality. nevertheless proves the lack of intrinsic nature for things. the throat. 128 .The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner If. for a thing that arises independently is without intrinsic nature. lips. you have undertaken to present a criticism. the dependent origination of entities is called emptiness. teeth. likewise this address of mine. so are all things empty by reason of their being without intrinsic nature. But this is not the case. palate. that they are empty. if they are not present in the totality of these two. that is. that is. But just as a chariot. nevertheless exert their different effects. clothes. (by saying): “By reason of the emptiness of your words. and because they are without intrinsic nature. protecting against cold. and heat. in the chest. pots. there is no intrinsic nature. if you have said: Your address is. The emptiness of my words is thus established by reason of their being without intrinsic nature. your words are without intrinsic nature. Therefore they are without intrinsic nature. and in the exertions (prayatna). distinct from the causes. Thus. then they also would exist regardless of causes and conditions. holding honey. in the great elements. And since they are without intrinsic nature. then your own words are without intrinsic nature and not capable of refuting an intrinsic nature. the emptiness of all things does not apply. To this we reply: <201> v. water. although they are dependently arisen and therefore empty of an intrinsic nature. conditions. But a refutation of the nature of things is not possible with your natureless words. for all entities everywhere.

That is not correct. then this fault would result therefrom for me.67 the objection applies to you but not to me. based on the characteristic of the thesis. How—if all entities are empty. and the person who fends him off is likewise empty – just so it is possible to refute the intrinsic nature of all things by means of my empty words.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner it is not possible to refute the intrinsic nature of all things by means of it. then this is not correct. the person created through miraculous power. and the person who fends him off is likewise empty. completely appeased and isolated by nature—should there be a thesis? How should the characteristic of the thesis apply to it? And how should the fault produced by the applicability <204> of the characteristic of the thesis ensue? Thus if you have said: The fault applies only to you because (for you) the characteristic of the thesis applies. 29 If I were to advocate any thesis. Therefore no fault applies to me. then this is not correct. 67 Since the statement. <203> who is fended off is empty. But I do not advocate any thesis. and the fault arising therefrom would. Thus if you have said: By reason of the emptiness of your words. 4 One might think that the same holds good for the refutation of the refutation. Just as a person created through miraculous power fends off another person created through miraculous power. who comes along for a particular purpose. To this we say: v. If I were to advocate any thesis. But I advocate no thesis. that all things are empty. is. In this way. 129 . 23 Just as a person created through miraculous power fends off a person created through miraculous power or a magical being fends off a person brought forth through his own magic. the magical person who is fended off is empty. as you have said. result for me. or as a magical person brought forth by a magician fends off another magical person who comes along for a particular purpose – in all this. … You have also said: v. the refutation of the intrinsic nature of all things is not possible. then the characteristic of the thesis could apply to me. Further: v. then this is not correct. so it is with this refutation. considered to be your assertion. by definition.

or from both is not possible. the ethical life of the believer which brings him happiness and well-being is described. 4] a twofold goal of the doctrine is set up: well-being through piety. 1-3] are offered. with this. INTRODUCTION TO THE SECTIONS OF THE RATNfiVALÊ Lastly. experiences fear. ???). 31]. At the same time [v. and deeds and birth come to an end. on the five groups. pp. And the following text sample is taken from the much more extensive and more important of the two works. and liberation. 29]. This indicates the basic reasoning with which N›g›rjuna introduces his principal work (see above S. the belief in an ‘I’ vanishes. Then he returns [v. The Ratn›valı is no systematic presentation of N›g›rjuna’s doctrines. Then [v. That [v. however. for it is this very belief that leads to the accomplishment of deeds and to rebirth. For just as [v. This is explained in more detail. based on a mirror. the belief in an ‘I’ and in a ‘mine’ is the principal cause of entanglement in the cycle of existences. among the works attributed to him. moral admonitions in particular are given much attention. to a king composed in verse. 38]. But purely philosophical sections are also interspersed that are highly significant in terms of content and that form a valuable complement to the exposition of his other works. 6-24]. one believes that one sees one’s reflection which. 176ff. 35]. To begin a few introductory words [v. I present a sample from a more easily understandable work of N›g›rjuna.7.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner CDA. he takes this opportunity to point out that unreality is not a nonexistence but signifies a neither-existence-nor-non-existence. And indeed [v. the belief itself <205> in turn rests on the external world. from the Ratn›valı. because. 40] a self and the 130 . tradition informs us that N›g›rjuna was friends with a king from the SouthIndian ruling house of the ⁄›tav›hana. upon hearing the true doctrine. 37] through recognition of the unreality of dependent origination. we find two that constitute admonitory letters. The unreality of dependent origination and thus of the external world results. The means for this are faith and insight [v. in the same way. The beginning consists of the observation (v. In this way [v. which one thinks one perceives. based on the groups. It proceeds from one topic to another without strict organization of the subject matter.. Then the presentation moves on to the doctrine which leads to liberation. or from something other. First [v. Liberation takes place [v. 25) that the fool experiences fear if he hears that a self and a mine neither exist nor will exist. As we have already mentioned. and with this the philosophical part of the chapter begins. however. the cycle in which in mutual dependence continuous rebirth occurs is closed. the Suh¸llekha¯ (Letter to a Friend) and the Ratn›valı (Chain of Jewels). that is. 27]. is nothing real. from the fact that an arising of things either from itself. and therein. 5]. one believes in a self. On the other hand [v. 39] to his initial remark that the fool. And in fact. It is one such section from the first chapter of the work that I render in the following.

the causal arising is not real because the cause cannot be a cause. While something real is seen more accurately on closer inspection. one can no more speak of non-existence 131 . The second [phrase] he relates to the arising of one thing from something other. its existence cannot be asserted. on closer inspection. In the first case. the simultaneity of cause and effect is also impossible.e.. 55] just as. 48] had expressed dependent origination in the words: “When this exists. Then N›g›rjuna briefly points out the moral significance of the different views. 54] are. an arising is indeed present. on the other hand [v. likewise [v. The phenomenal world resembles a mirage that appears as water. The doctrine of non-existence [v. the most peculiar feature of this doctrine of liberation is discussed. The doctrine of existence [v. 176f. no light can arise as long as the lamp is not there. in the phenomenal world as it appears to us. that arises” (cf. the long is also not possible without something short because both mutually condition each other. 42) follows. Therefore. Finally [v. Then follows a more thorough discussion of the question of how the phenomenal world is <206> to be considered neither as existent nor as non-existent. and if one takes this into consideration. a new line of thinking (v. the cause cannot exist prior to the effect because the concept of the cause also presupposes the effect (cf. And since. in the case of the mirage. And therefore. then one will not believe in non-existence. The true doctrine steers clear of these opposites. It was already indicated in the preceding verses that the unreality of the external world does not signify a non-existence. 45]. he asks. it ceases. 44] admits the effectiveness of the deeds and leads to reward in a favorable rebirth. since the deception of the mirage as <207> such is present. 56]. At the same time [v. the second makes a bringing forth impossible. one will also not believe in existence.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner groups do not exist for the liberated one has already been acknowledged. nirv›˚a is to be considered as neither existence nor nonexistence. 51] as the arisen things within this phenomenal world cease again. however. ???). Why then. Likewise [v. its non-existence cannot be asserted. N›g›rjuna relates the first [phrase] to the relativity of the opposed concepts: something short can only exist relative to something long. an illusion and unreal. because there is no water there. Likewise. And [v. however. 52). due to the arising of this. cannot be perceived from close up. in the case of the phenomenal world. the water of the mirage. 53]. 46] it arises from causes. p. i. that it teaches neither an existence nor a non-existence. above S. Since [v. Both [i... The doctrine of neither-existence-nor-non-existence. the phenomenal world. the water of the mirage and the phenomenal world] [v. avoids both and leads to liberation. just as through a lamp light arises. ???). proves to be different than it appears on first sight. 47]. Following this (v. N›g›rjuna uses an example to elucidate how neither existence nor nonexistence applies with respect to the phenomenal world. above S. that comes to be. along with the causes. On the other hand. The first contradicts the relativity of the opposed concepts. 50]. But [v. whether it exists prior to the effect or simultaneous with it. to be precise. 43] denies the reality of good and bad deeds and leads to punishment in an unfavorable rebirth.e. therefore. should one experience fear about the fact that they are also not really present in this world? Next. one cannot speak of non-existence. The old sÒtras [v. pp. 39.

 64] identical in nature with nirv›˚a. Finally though [v. the same deductions could be drawn for each of its parts. nothing partless exists. 68]. one would likewise have to infer the belief in existence from the denial of non-existence. 73]. if from the denial of existence. 102ff. the concept of the moment itself presents difficulties as well. This last remark allows N›g›rjuna to make the statement [v. since the ceasing of a moment presupposes a preceding arising and abiding. one should not deduce any type of negativism. 67]. answered only with silence since this question proceeds from completely false presuppositions. N›g›rjuna then concludes [v. 70] what is more. It is noted in passing (v. on the other hand. N›g›rjuna now asserts that these three stages of time are not real. the momentary things also cannot be real. Consequently [v.. middle. arising. Arising and ceasing cannot be real because there is no abiding. because it lies outside of the three stages of time. from the denial of existence and nonexistence. there is no aging. 69]. and death. which goes beyond existence and non-existence and which alone leads to liberation. since. because only in this way is the presupposed becoming-different possible during abiding. But [v. since all things are subject to a continuous change. In addition [v. however. ???). cannot be real and is therefore [v. since they cease either completely or partially in every moment. In addition. 58) that. just as in the case of an unchanging abiding. With that. old age. the old Buddhism distinguishes three characteristics (lak˝a˚a) or stages of time. Thus abiding is also determined as becoming-different during abiding. A complete ceasing. impossible. 74] with a few general remarks about the significance of this doctrine and about the danger of a false understanding by fools. And [v. [the moment] would not be a unity. and it is thus with good reason and complete justification that the Buddha to the question of whether the world has an end. 66] an abiding is excluded due to the momentariness of things (cf. On the other hand. N›g›rjuna now offers new proofs of the unreality of the phenomenal world. cannot be observed. Existence and non-existence are therefore relative concepts as well and thus not real. pp. no real destruction of worldly existence takes place. also with respect to liberation. Then a new line of thinking (v. due to the multitude of its parts. These correspond to birth. With respect to entities. just like existence and non-existence. as such. 72] that non-existence is possible only through the destruction of an existence or in opposition to it. 63) comes up. the contradiction arises that the same thing ceases and does not cease at the same time. He proves this as follows [v. this discussion is finished and the chapter concludes [v. however. and ceasing. <208> [the moment] would fall into three parts and would no longer be a moment. beginning. and end are relative concepts and. On the other hand [v. 65]. In the case of a partial ceasing.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner than of existence. 71]. abiding. above S. Further [v. one were to derive the belief in a non-existence. belongs exclusively to the proclamation of the Buddha. In that case. and that the phenomenal world also. in the case of a complete ceasing. 62] this section with the remark that this doctrine. 132 . Unity and multitude are themselves again relative concepts.

although faith precedes it. for. I will present to you. The means for this are.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner CDA. briefly summarized. <210> 28 133 . nothing is mine and nothing will be mine”. for the doctrine bears fruit in a worthy recipient of the good doctrine. later. who is freed from all faults. through insight one cognizes in accordance with truth. 5 Through faith one obtains merit. has said that the creatures are brought about through the belief in an ‘I’ and are accompanied by belief in a ‘mine’. *** Next follows a brief description of the virtuous life which should be lead based on faith. 26 The thought: “I do not exist and will not exist. however. liberation as the highest good. the highest good comes about. the exclusively good doctrine. O king. Insight is. 4 Well-being is considered as flourishing. the vanishing of fear for the wise.8. Then the text continues: 25 Of the doctrine that leads to the highest good and which is subtle and profound to see. then one later arrives at the highest good. 27 He who proclaims exclusively that which is wholesome for the creatures. adorned with all virtues. if flourishing has been attained. omniscient. 2 that your merit may increase. faith and insight. the more important of the two. <209> 3 Where merit first flourishes. means fear for the fool. the Victorious Ones (= the Buddhas) have said that it causes trembling in the fools who are unable to hear it. FROM THE “GARLAND OF JEWELS” (RATNfiVALÊ) CHAPTER I 1 After I have paid homage to the sole friend of all beings (= the Buddha).

based on the groups. consisting of three sections. 33 And just as. 31 Just as. the belief in an ‘I’ becomes invalid and thereby. there is a ‘mine’. the reflection of one’s own face is not seen. and this in all three time periods. in terms of true knowledge. without the help of the mirror. in fact. like a firebrand whirled around in a circle. 134 . false. in fact. 36 This wheel of the cycle of existences. <211> 35 As long as the belief in the groups exists. the groups arise. again deeds and birth arise from it. and as this [reflection] is. But how can something.” this is erroneous from the point of view of the highest truth. in reality. circles by mutually causing itself. having no beginning. deeds and birth. and no middle. But if the belief in an ‘I’ exists. 37 Since it (= the dependent becoming of the cycle of existences) cannot come about from itself. so. the belief in an ‘I’ vanishes. truly rise up? 30 If one has seen that the groups are untrue. 32 just so. the reflection of one’s own face is seen. then the groups no longer come about. in truth. since. exactly as with the reflection of one’s own face. neither exists nor does not exist. 34 After the noble finanda had attained the eye of the doctrine through hearing this fact. he himself repeatedly proclaimed this fact to the monks. based on a mirror. But if the belief in an ‘I’ vanishes. nothing. without the help of the groups.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner “There is an ‘I’. the belief in an ‘I’ is observed. 29 From the belief in an ‘I’. from something other and from both. the seed of which is false. This belief in an ‘I’ is. both do not exist. so long also does (the conception) “I” exist. nothing. but it is. (the conception) of an ‘I’ is not observed. no end. one recognizes that the world. 38 In that one views the arising of causes and effects and likewise their fading away in this way.

there is the arising of that. <213> because neither the designation nor a real arising is observed. a favorable rebirth). if the long exists. Due to the arising of this. in brief. 47 The cause is. and is designated as a ‘correct view’.e. also not a non-existence. though it may have arisen earlier or it may have arisen at the same time. since existence and non-existence are appeased. in brief. 45 Through knowledge one transcends sin and merit. that there is no reward of deeds. and is designated as a ‘false view’. no cause. much less an existence.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner 39 If somebody who is thoughtless hears this doctrine. 44 The view of existence says. does not frighten you. [This view] is meritorious and entails the good path (i. that exists. And if one sees the cessation together with its cause. being afraid of the state of fearlessness. just as the short [exists]. one transcends non-existence. however. Why then does it cause you fear. [This view] is nonmeritorious and leads along a bad path (to an unfavorable rebirth). in fact. if one says that it does not exist here? 41 In the case of liberation. 40 That this will all not exist in nirv›˚a. that there is a reward of deeds. If such a liberation is welcome to you. The vanishing of the conceptions of existence and non-existence is called nirv›˚a. which leads to the vanishing of all suffering. just as light [arises] due to the arising of the lamp. And thus this is called by the good ones ‘liberation from the bad (path) and from the good path’. existence is not asserted. then he trembles in his ignorance.. 135 . there is no I and no groups. why then is an elimination of the I or of the groups undesired by you? <212> 42 Nirv›˚a is. 46 If one sees the causally dependent arising. 48 If this exists. 43 The view of non-existence says.

Whoever does not cling to either. 57 Whoever believes in non-existence walks the bad path. so it is not seen when it is near because it is signless (animitta) like the mirage. 52 A form glimpsed from a distance is seen clearly when it is near. Whoever believes in existence. holds that the water does not exist. If the mirage were water. succumbs to (the belief in) non-existence due to delusion.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner 49 But as long as the short does not exist. So long as the delusion exists. accepts its ceasing which results from diversity. the light also does not arise. which resembles a mirage. One is thus liberated. walks the good path. since one no longer clings to either. when he is there. 55 If someone thinks of the mirage: “This is water”. one is not liberated. because he recognizes how it really is. one does not assert existence. 58 If someone who rejects existence and non-existence because he recognizes how it really is. that it exists or that it does not exist. 56 Likewise it is a delusion if one thinks of the world. why is it not seen when it is near? 53 The way this world is seen from far off. in accordance with actuality. 51 And in that one. why does he not succumb to (the belief in) existence? 59 136 . <214> 54 Just as the mirage resembles water but is not water and is not real. And if the lamp has not arisen. non-existence is not asserted in that one accepts the actuality (y›th›bhÒtya) of this world sprung from diversity. however. the long is by nature not present. 50 If one sees the arising of cause and effect in this way. arrives at liberation. then he is a fool. so the groups resemble the I but are not the I and are not real. walks towards it and then.

no going. whether they teach such a transcendence of existence and non-existence. there is. in truth. then how is there an aging? But if it is not momentary due to its constancy. then how is there an aging? 69 137 . 63 The world does not cease. from his dismissal of existence. non-existence would implicitly ensue. is designated as the gift of the doctrine and as profound. if a change is continually occurring? If no change occurs. How should there. no engagement. Jainas. in fact. (just as well. how. be something arisen. It is. no coming. the followers of the doctrine of a person and of the groups. should there be a being-different? 67 Something can be momentary because it ceases partially or entirely. remaining and annihilated? <216> 66 How should there be a non-momentary thing. however. impossible in both cases because it contains a contradiction and is not to be observed (?). therefore. in truth. does not come and does not remain even for a moment. But why does existence not ensue from the dismissal of non-existence? <215> 60 If the belief in non-existence implicitly ensues for those who know of no thesis. also no arising and no annihilation. VaiŸe˝ikas. 62 Know thus that this elixir of deathlessness of the teaching of the Buddha which transcends existence and non-existence.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner One might think that. since in both there is. then why are they not. 68 If a thing is entirely momentary. and no thought in reliance on enlightenment. and no abiding? 65 As there is no abiding. How then should it be real since by nature it is outside of the three time periods? 64 What difference is there in truth. including the S›˙khyas. between the world and nirv›˚a. in fact.) designated as followers of the belief in existence? 61 Ask people.

which is profound and does not hold onto anything. 71 Nothing can be single. if it contains several parts. Since the moment consists. <218> 138 . so also a beginning and a middle must be assumed. Thus the Victorious One (= the Buddha) chose to remain silent on the question of whether the world has an end. middle. act in such a way that you are not brought to ruin by those who are lost. the enlightened ones. of three parts. the world cannot last for just a single moment. therefore. the being beginning.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner As a moment has an end. a ceasing of the world does not. beginning. who gladly cling to something and who have not transcended existence and non-existence. 76 Of this doctrine which is free from anything to which one could cling. <217> 72 A non-existence can only exist through the destruction of or in opposition to an existence. in truth. 70 Further. foolish people. who have seen the truth. But how is the destruction or the opposite possible if there is no existence? 73 Consequently. 77 And since they come to ruin because they fear the state of fearlessness. have said that it is free of anything to which one could cling (an›laya). 74 The Omniscient One is recognized as truly omniscient by the informed because he has not imparted this profound doctrine to unsuitable people. and end are to be considered in the same way as the moment. with respect to extinction. O king. Also. There also is no multitude without singularity. just as there is no non-existence without existence. apply. are afraid and therefore come to ruin. middle or end is not possible either through itself or through something other. Therefore. But something without parts does not exist. 75 Of this doctrine which leads to the highest good. they also bring others to ruin.

And that which is combined. But since philosophically he presents nothing fundamentally new. to be precise. on the other hand. firyadeva came from Ceylon. For this reason he is an important source of the views of the opposing schools of his time. 139 . 16] ensues from the VaiŸe˝ika doctrine of movement. moreover. Whereas N›g›rjuna namely. He agrees with N›g›rjuna in all essential views. for this. This. 14]. is refuted. so he infers. a few verses from his most extensive work. according to which the movement of an entity consists in the fact that with its anterior parts it establishes new spatial connections. but goes beyond him in his style of presentation. we must necessarily assume different sides of this atom in the different directions. At the same time. A further reason [v. again presupposes the presence of parts. does not apply to the whole. also called Deva for short. is. is not. According to tradition. [With firyadeva]. on the other hand.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner CDC. INTRODUCTION TO THE SAMPLE FROM THE CATUØ⁄ATAKA In [this treatise] firyadeva opposes the VaiŸe˝ika’s doctrine of atoms according to which all material entities are composed of atoms. But [v. it dissolves earlier connections. cannot be eternal. A further reason [v. according to the VaiŸe˝ikas. In addition [v. the Catu¯Ÿataka (The Treatise in Four Hundred Stanzas). the minute sphericity (p›rim›˚˜alya) that distinguishes the atoms. with its posterior parts. with one part of its nature. What is reported about his life is completely legendary. firyadeva now states [v.E. But that which has several sides also has several parts. with another. the refutation of the doctrine of atoms. however. we have the rare case that a significant student appears to be in complete agreement with his teacher and complements him most successfully. With this.) Next to N›g›rjuna stands his great student firyadeva. To be precise. I choose. in consideration of space a brief sample of his style should suffice here. by nature. 12] that which. that with each attempt to conceive of an atom. In particular. is a cause. that the atoms as cause and the whole as effect cannot have the same extension. works with abstract inferences that remain general. assumed by the opponent. fiRYADEVA (BEGINNING OF 3RD CENTURY C. <219> results from the fact that one atom cannot occupy the same place as another atom. combined. the substance and the qualities of the whole are formed from the substance and the qualities of the atoms. these entities are not simply an aggregation of atoms but rather the atoms form a new whole that is different from them. firyadeva considers the disputed views thoroughly and deals with them in all detail. 15] why the atoms must consist of particles is. 13] that the atoms do not make up the whole which represents their effect with their entire nature. especially in his basic treatise. CDC. the eternality of atoms.1.

that which has no middle and that which has no end. <220> 13 The sphericity of the cause is not present in the effect. formed from them—also calls on the Buddhist doctrine of causality according to which the arising of an effect presupposes the annihilation of its cause (cf. cause and effect. FROM THE “TREATISE IN FOUR HUNDRED STANZAS” (CATUØ⁄ATAKA) Chapter IX: [Refuting permanent entities] 12 That of which one part is a cause. whereas. with the statement that eternal. Finally [v. atoms and whole. cannot be proven and that consequently the doctrine of the Buddha also speaks of no such atoms.. such as the opponent accepts. 17 That which has no beginning. is invisible. Because the atom thus has parts. a perfect partlessness would render the atom completely invisible. according to the VaiŸe˝ika doctrine. Who can see it? 140 . 18b]. Moreover [v. therefore. it is visible. 18]. pp. therefore the atom is designated as non-atom. firyadeva—against the VaiŸe˝ika conception of atoms and of the whole. and something manifold cannot be eternal. as the VaiŸe˝ika doctrine assumes. while another part is not a cause. 16 Seizing what is in front and abandoning what is behind – one for whom these two do not take place cannot be going (= moving). Thus the atoms cannot combine with their entire nature (into the whole). have the same extension.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner In addition [v. 19]. above S. could not occupy the same place. CDC. is thus manifold. He concludes [v. ???). 15 That which has an eastern side has also an eastern part. which likewise contradicts the assumed eternality of the atoms. Thus it is also not accepted that both. 101ff. 14 It is not accepted that the place of one atom is also the place of another.2. cause and effect. materially impenetrable atoms. 17]. at least to the supranatural perception of a yogin.

and how they dealt with the Yog›c›ra doctrine. more tenable proofs be put forth [See F 173. The great successes of the Yog›c›ra school forced the older school to take a stand on this new doctrine. in the meantime. 141 . <221> *** As far as the further development of the Madhyamaka doctrine after N›g›rjuna and firyadeva is concerned. The Yog›c›ra school had gone beyond the Madhyamaka in particular in that it explained the coming about of the phenomenal world through a kind of epistemological idealism and therewith answered the most important question that the Madhyamaka had left open. There were. which proved themselves to be disputable fallacies for the most part. the school of the Yog›c›ra. in the field of logic. and the blossoming of the second great Mah›y›na school.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner 18 The cause is destroyed through the effect. For the Madhyamaka system did not present. to be precise. If. as did the other schools. two things that initiated this: The advances that had been made. it confined itself at its core to a few metaphysical fundamental views which stood unchanged since N›g›rjuna’s time. the effect is not there where the cause is to be found. a complete world view that could be amended and corrected. Further. thus the cause is not eternal. the later development of the Madhyamaka school is best described by showing how their most important representatives related to these two points: how they took into account the advances of logic. this was determined through external circumstances. 176]. 19 An impenetrable eternal thing is nowhere to be observed Thus the Buddhas have never designated atoms as eternal. Under these circumstances. in place of N›g›rjuna’s deductions. nonetheless. The advances in the field of logic necessitated that. a sort of development came about within the school. rather. we find here no development of the same type as with the other schools.

One after the other he discusses the four possibilities of arising rejected by N›g›rjuna. would indeed always be present. 1 142 .The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner CDD. since then everything could arise from everything. since then the objections brought forth against the individual assumptions would apply to both. whose occurrence must be awaited. the first important personality of the Madhyamaka school. And they do not arise without cause.e. 5TH CENTURY C. that is.. something else as another. Things do not arise from themselves because it would be pointless for something already existent to arise once more. In doing so he held himself on principle to N›g›rjuna’s approach of advancing no assertions of his own. ???). was Buddhap›lita who probably belonged to about the 5th century C. INTRODUCTION TO THE SAMPLE FROM THE MÚLAMADHYAMAKAV¿TTI His presentation is clear in its details and needs no elaborate elucidations. since then everything could arise from everything at any time. (Answer:) To this. as one extraneous thing is. from something other.2.1. He did this by showing that undesired conclusions follow (prasaºga) from the assertions of the opponent.E) After firyadeva. via deductio ad absurdum. BUDDHAPfiLITA (CA. [Things] do not arise from something other. who opened up new avenues. is necessary and since then all effort would be pointless as everything would any way come about even without cause.] from itself. indeed. it needs to be shown how it is a mere manner of speaking (vyavah›ram›tra) when one speaks of <223> an arising. To be precise. CDD. 178. in that he composed a commentary to N›g›rjuna’s Madhyamakak›rik› in which he tried to support the latter’s assertions through more thorough and more tenable <222> reasonings. FROM THE “COMMENTARY TO THE MNEMONIC VERSES OF THE MIDDLE DOCTRINE” (MÚLAMADHYAMAKAV¿TTI) CHAPTER I (Opponent:) First. I choose for this purpose the commentary to the first verse of the k›rik› (see above S. [i. It was Buddhap›lita who was the first to take into account the advances in logic. A brief example from his commentary will suffice to give an impression of his method. their own self. as.E. since the establishment of the impossibility of any arising became more and more the basic proof on which the refutation of the external world by the Madhyamaka school was primarily based. They do not arise from both. hence. but confined himself to proving the opponent’s assumptions to be impossible. from both and without cause. no cause. CDD. p. just as much. and since then they would have to arise at all times because the cause. the first thing to be said is: v.

How so? From itself means the same as from one’s own self. things arise not from their own selves because their arising would be pointless. it proves in all four cases to be impossible. something already present should nonetheless arise. If. <224> 143 . If namely. and since the fault would ensue that all efforts would be pointless. Thus first of all. first of all. And hence. some thing arises. from itself and something other. nor from something other. or without cause. and since an endless arising would result. Since therefore the arising of entities is not possible in any way.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner Neither from itself. there is no reason for things that in themselves are already present to arise again. then the arising of this thing takes place from itself. If one now examines (these four possibilities). And this [conclusion] is undesired. Further. if one speaks of their arising. then it would never not arise. nor from both. That is. they also do not arise without cause since it would follow from this. But they also do not arise from something other. things do not arise from themselves. And finally. from something other. however. have any things whatsoever ever arisen anywhere. it is a mere manner of speaking. they do not arise. How so? Because it would follow from this that everything could arise from everything. they do not arise from themselves and something other at the same time since both faults would ensue. that everything could always arise from everything. nor without cause. Now.

and by no means only Buddhist.E. shortly before.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner CDE. as the custom of the logicians demands. As to his logical innovations. In the statement that things do not arise from themselves. like Buddhap›lita. hence reason and consequence. Prajñ›pradıpa (Shining Light of Insight). does not exist. for him. as Bh›vaviveka is incomparably more detailed than Buddhap›lita and as this section sufficiently characterizes his way.e. and this earned his school the name of the Sv›tantrika-M›dhyamikas. CDE. As an example of his methodology. the decisive impetus came. led Buddhist logic to its full height and had precisely laid down out of what members an inference has to consist and what conditions the individual members must fulfill. Bh›vaviveka innovated by considering the logical advances of his time as well as by utilizing Yog›c›ra ideas. He sought to extract from N›g›rjuna’s words the members for such an inference and from this he put together a formal inference in conformity with the required conditions and which he defended against all possible objections. BHfiVAVIVEKA (MIDDLE OF 6TH CENTURY C. in which the quality that proves and is to be proven. But I render only the first section of this explanation. to prepare his inferences and to derive them from N›g›rjuna’s words. Things—he names as example the inner spheres—do not in truth arise from themselves because they are already present. first cites N›g›rjuna’s verse which he will discuss. as he remarks. from the fact that Dign›ga had.. then puts forward his consequences in full independence. reason and example. 144 . Whereas Buddhap›lita. Any thing. the explanation of the first verse of the k›rik›. whereas the followers of Buddhap›lita were designated as Pr›saºgikas [Consequentialist]. just as for Buddhap›lita. He lived in the middle of the 6th century C. however. the greatest innovator in the history of the school. he proceeded as follows.1. a defense of the individual members of the inference against possible objections. and joins <225> to it a few specific explanations. the refutation of the arising of entities from themselves. like the cognitive capacity. There follows. The most important condition which the reason must fulfill is that it is absent from what is dissimilar (vipak˝a). the most famous representative. I present a sample from his principal work. he reads into the words “from themselves” that [they] are already present beforehand. and to be precise. at that time. to be exact. can serve as example.) The next Madhyamaka teacher of note is Bh›vaviveka or Bh›viveka. and was a contemporary and opponent of Dharmap›la. i. of the Yog›c›ra school in N›land›. something that is in truth arisen. thoroughly and in detail. schools. In contrast to Buddhap›lita therefore—who was content to lead the opponent ad absurdum—he advanced autonomous (svatantra) inferences.E. into thesis. he divides it properly. This is self-evident in the case in question since something dissimilar. INTRODUCTION TO SAMPLE FROM THE PRAJÑfiPRADÊPA Bh›vaviveka. namely. which he regards as a reason. Then he proceeds to advance the formal inference. He also dealt with the doctrines and objections of other. appear connected. his great commentary to N›g›rjuna’s Madhyamakak›rik›. Bh›vaviveka begins even here. Bh›vaviveka took advantage of this.

every cognition already exists as a seed. FROM THE “SHINING LIGHT OF INSIGHT” CHAPTER I Of those who assert an arising. v. is asserted by no one. i. and he also deals in the same way with all other assertions put forward in N›g›rjuna’s verses. (Opponent:) First of all. nor from something other. the general thesis is put forward.2.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner Bh›vaviveka then rejects an objection by the S›˙khya. in accordance with the Yog›c›ra doctrine he has adopted. With this Bh›vaviveka’s own line of argumentation is concluded and he proceeds to reject Buddhap›lita’s line of argumentation as being inadequate.e. and that. as a latent impression before its <226> arising. This then is the manner in which Bh›vaviveka explains N›g›rjuna. you wish to prove that. as this is in fact the case and is also that which our doctrine says. finally. nor without cause. If.e. an arising from the nature of the cause—whether it has its own or another nature—is yet to be refuted (cf. they do not arise from themselves. others. then it becomes clear that an arising in each mode is impossible. some say that the entities arise from themselves. besides. on the other hand. from both. is present in [cognition]. 241f. i.. 2 and 3 of N›g›rjuna). According to S›˙khya doctrine. the already being existent. And since. without cause. the effect is already present in the cause. if (these views) are examined in accordance with logic and tradition. With this. every deductio ad absurdum implies that the opposite of that which is proven to be impossible is true.e. (N›g›rjuna) says: v. others. arise from themselves. the reason. what does “neither from itself” signify here? 145 . it is like breaking down an open door. that he does not deal with the objections of the opponent and that. cognition thus indeed already exists before its arising. some. So if that is what your proof is saying. then you entangle yourselves in a contradiction. Bh›vaviveka rejects this objection with the remark that his inference is meant to be general and without the alternative put forward by the opponent. since in the stream of cognition. i. ???). If this is taken into consideration. However. insofar as they are a cause. nor from both.. His reasons are that Buddhap›lita does not present a formal inference with the members. Finally. he also justifies the use of cognitive capacity as an example. therefore. 1 Neither from itself.. insofar as they are an effect. pp. it can serve as an example. from something other. CDE. The S›˙khya then says: That things. have any things whatsoever ever arisen anywhere. something existent arises from something existent. we will see in the discussion of Candrakırti (see below S. How Buddhap›lita’s followers faced up to these criticisms. In this sense..

(Opponent:) The reason. The example is based on the properties to be proven and the proving. it means insofar as they have the nature of the cause. or insofar as they have the nature of the cause? What follows from this? If it means insofar as they have the nature of the effect. there would be a deviation from one’s own system. because no reason and no example is stated and because the objections advanced by the opponent are not refuted. we reject an arising. because they already exist. whether this (cause) now has an own or another nature. because it is not proven that it is not present in the dissimilar [cases] (vipak˝a). If. in truth. and through this. that includes all objects. (Answer:) The not-being-present needs not to be considered.. there results in contrast to the statement before us. Thus here.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner (Answer:) <227> The words “have any things whatsoever ever arisen anywhere. For it follows from tradition. a contradiction since everything which arises after it has already existed in the form of the cause. that is: The entities arise from something other because their arising has a 146 . Since the intended subject is not proven by a mere thesis. the affirmation is the essential point. a thesis and a reason of opposing content. then only something already proven is proven. the existence. To this. because we oppose the very arising from itself. since with the words “from itself” it is stated that one’s own self already exists. because in this the negation is the essential point and the intention is therein to call forth the nonconceptual knowledge (nirvikalpaka jñ›na). others (= Buddhap›lita) give the following explanation: Things do not arise from their own self because their arising would be pointless and because an endless arising would result. since it concerns an undesired consequence (prasaºga). If. [the negation] also implied an exclusion (paryud›sa). The existence of the cognitive capacity is incontestable.. i. through the removal of the net of all conceptions. because it is also included insofar as it bears the characteristic of force (i. [Answer:] This is off the point. and because. there is no fault. “From itself” means the same as “from one’s own self”.e. on the other hand. [Answer to the S›˙khyas:] This is not valid. with regard to content. like cognitive capacity. For a bearer of properties proven to possess the properties to be proven and the proving. then the words “things have not arisen” would teach non-arising in positive form. The negation “not from itself” is to be seen in the sense of a simple negation (prasajyaprati˝edha). in the potential state). also as far as the nature of the cause is concerned. the existence is to be considered as reason here. the formal inference reads as follows: These inner spheres (›yatana) arise. since (something dissimilar) does not exist. then this is. and <228> in all (similar cases). is an example. is no reason.” are to be related to the individual (parts of the thesis). Against this some S›˙khyas object: “What is the sense of this thesis? Does it mean that (things do not arise) from themselves insofar as they have the nature of the effect. Further. on the other hand. since with this [negation]. that he who engages in the non-arising of form (rÒpa) does not engage in the perfection of insight … To that end.e. not out of themselves.

But in principle. In the Madhyamaka system. and on this he was therefore most vehemently attacked by the representatives of this school. As early as N›g›rjuna. then no clear break was thereby made vis-à-vis the M›dhyamikas. the following should be considered. although with certain alterations. And that would mean a contradiction to one’s system. they offered several advantages. To express it in the terminology of the schools. since N›g›rjuna’s time. On this question. therefore. so strongly and uncompromisingly developed and emphasized that it was impossible to reconcile the character of cognition with it. In their fundamental views. They were also conceivable for the M›dhyamikas and by their farther state of advancement. one decided favorably. For every doctrine that considers the world to be a conception. – The situation was different for Bh›vaviveka. on the other hand. Bh›vaviveka’s decision was made accordingly. and this is what the Yog›c›rins did. For him. the M›dhyamika and Yog›c›ra are not naturally in necessary contradiction. Therefore on this point. The same goes for the richly developed psychology and the doctrine of liberation based on which the Yog›c›rins created in compliance with this fundamental concept. the inconceivability and indeterminability of the highest reality had been. And thus. the thought suggests itself to ascribe the character of cognition to the highest reality. however. And this is what Bh›vaviveka did. within the Yog›c›ra school there were a number of different opinions about this. so that the thought of making use of these advantages suggested itself. For Bh›vaviveka. And as this idea was systematically elaborated by the Yog›c›ra school and made into the fundamental idea of their doctrinal structure. A dispute arose around this. With this he achieved a considerable enrichment of his own doctrine by valuable concepts. and he could do this without infringing on the principles of his own doctrine. But this did not come about entirely without difficulties. To understand this discussion. cognition belongs to the sphere <230> of the phenomenal world. *** Philosophically far more important than Bh›vaviveka’s logical innovations is his discussion <229> of the doctrine of the Yog›c›ra. it was not easy to harmonize this with the sharply emphasized ungraspable nature of the highest reality that stands above all worldly determinations. a certain degree of reality accrues to it. according to the Yog›c›ra school.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner point and because their arising comes to an end. 147 . However. And as we will see. and there was one point in particular around which these difficulties set in. he decided in favor of his own doctrine and thereby remained a faithful follower of N›g›rjuna. Bh›vaviveka differed from the Yog›c›rins. cognition belongs to the sphere of restricted truth (sa˙v¸tisatya) and has nothing to do with the highest reality. He took over the Yog›c›ra school’s psychology and the doctrine of liberation based on it. cognition belongs to the dependent characteristic (paratantralak˝a˚a) and. we find the idea that the phenomena of the external world are to be considered as conceptions.

but for him the path of contemplation with regard to the conceptions that are to be removed is adapted to the Madhyamaka doctrine. To understand it. all coarse external phenomenal forms and the conceptions tied to them disappear.. But this cognition that rejects both opposites. According to Yog›c›ra doctrine. above S. at the same time. is a conception and must be overcome. According to the Yog›c›ra doctrine. I render in the following a piece of an original work of Bh›vaviveka’s. The outcome of this contemplation is that. the practitioner comes to the cognition that cognition of the emptiness of all entities is also a conception that. likewise. 2] of the contemplation. pp. however. This work briefly summarizes the doctrines of the Madhyamaka school as understood by Bh›vaviveka. And with this he attains the last and highest stage. ???). The main part consists of the refutation of the reality of the external world in two broadly discussed formal inferences. existence and nonexistence. emptiness and non-emptiness. this also. shows clearly the difference between the views of Bh›vaviveka and the Yog›c›rins.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner As an example of these views. The conclusion consists of a description of the path of liberation and of the highest cognition. The Yog›c›rins also speak of this non-conceptual knowledge. therefore. through the two preceding inferences. he must hold to the determinations of emptiness as given in the Prajñ›p›ramit› texts. the practitioner arrives at the third stage of contemplation in which any content of cognition is eliminated. and. but in particular. finally. that is. The first stage [v. Specifically. 128f. impedes the highest liberating cognition and must. I render the better part of this section since it offers an unusually good presentation of the principal philosophical thoughts of the Mah›y›na path of liberation from the point of view of the Madhyamaka doctrine and. the other the unreality of the unconditioned factors (asa˙sk¸ta dharma). be removed. The same is true for Bh›vaviveka. According to the old view. he enters the middle way (madhyam› pratipat) as described in the RatnakÒ˛a SÒtra. of which one proves the unreality of the conditioned factors (sa˙sk¸ta [dharma]). And so [v. He consequently contemplates—again following the Prajñ›p›ramit› texts—things also no longer as empty and continues this contemplation until the conception of emptiness vanishes as well. non-conceptual knowledge (nirvikalpaka jñ›na). In that he thus contemplates things neither as empty nor as not empty. the following should be noted. But here opinions differ. as cognition. as empty. the starting point consists of the cognition of the unreality of the external world. gained through instruction. the sÒtras to which he refers are those which were mainly honored by the Madhyamaka school. In the second stage [v. from the Jewel in the Hand (Tschang tschen). For Bh›vaviveka. this path of contemplation has the purpose of gradually removing all conceptions that make up the content of <231> worldly cognition. 1] of this path of contemplation consists in the fact that the practitioner contemplates all phenomena of the phenomenal world as unreal. Contemplation (bh›van›) must still be joined with it (cf. 3]. as such. such cognition alone does not suffice for liberation. non-conceptual knowledge also bears the 148 . in this.

by nature. they are. Since they are apart. there is no engagement even though one speaks of engagement.3. he apprehends. he must remove this image through truthful contemplation of its emptiness. But although he may have apprehended emptiness on the ladder of knowledge won through hearing. Non-conceptual knowledge is. so long as the power of contemplation (bh›van›) is absent. Since they are without a sign. therefore. signless. he apprehends the conditioned and unconditioned appearing forms as does someone with an eye disease (taimirika) whose eyes are freed and cleared of the coarse cloudiness caused by the eye disease. he now makes an effort to practice the power of contemplation. they are. non-conceptual knowledge has shed even the character of cognition and is. (In doing so). they possess no real sign (nimitta). Since they are not arisen. the defilements that attach themselves to them do not arise at all. Since they are signless. he removes the coarse images so that they no longer appear. he apprehends all factors (in the following way): Since they are without an intrinsic nature. As it is stated already in the sacred texts. with respect to the saint on this stage. Since they are free from contamination by a sign. In that power of contemplation grows in this way. Since they are empty.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner character of cognition. they are not impermanent. he endeavors to practice contemplation. They are not painful. the emptiness of the unconditioned (factors) assumed by himself and by others. In other words. Thus. CDE. Since their intrinsic nature does not arise. he no longer sees the appearing images which he previously apprehended. 2 149 . so that it no longer appears. by means of correct inference. They are. Thus they are peaceful. PP. therefore. 1 In doing so. they are apart. That is. empty. In this form. this last cognition consists. Just as. as he says elsewhere. he is still not capable of clearing away the obstructions (›vara˚a) that must be removed. Thus they are unwished for. in the absence of any cognition. rather. They are not without a self. they are nothing <233> for which one yearns. 276A3377B11) After the practitioner has removed all objections in this way. as long as a conditioned or unconditioned image (nimitta) of any kind is present which appears with interruption or without interruption. the emancipation from any error. According to him. even <232> though one speaks of knowledge. this is not the case. the sole sign of which is signlessness. And this is the highest. the nonduality of all factors can be apprehended through contemplation. just as the engagement of the saint consists in the absence of any engagement. they are not arisen. designated as knowledge only in a figurative sense. Thus. the silence of the saints. Since they are not arisen. According to Bh›vaviveka. FROM THE “JEWEL IN THE HAND” (TCHANG TCHEN) (T 1578. no knowledge. however. without a sign. there is no longer any appearing form in which he moves. moreover.

the stream of his mind—because the conceptions of emptiness. tastes. the concentrations. of vigor. the right efforts. the unlimited knowledges. free of both extremes. Whether it be the image of the conditioned or the image of the unconditioned. he is now able to remove the conceptions of emptiness. the eye. the ten powers. etc.. formations. of absorption and of insight. sounds. and thus it is called “without cognition”. of patience.. Thus he makes a sincere effort to consider the following: “From the standpoint <234> of the highest truth. Because it is essenceless. no cognition arises that has this [image] as its object. the members of enlightenment. there is nothing on which one could base oneself. whether it be something conceived or non-conceived. he sees it neither as empty nor as non-empty. etc. the awakenings of mindfulness.” [The middle way] is. This middle way. the constituents of miraculous power. the powers. it is called “without sign”. conception or nonconception – a cognition that shows such an image does not occur therein. all tangibles.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner Although he has now come to the point of not abiding by these (images). the perfections of generosity. with respect to objects which are by nature empty. thus that is likewise so. the ear. he sees it neither as pleasurable nor as painful. the members of the [noble] path. nevertheless.. like a conjuror’s illusion. because it does not know of any abiding. he views corporeality as neither eternal nor non-eternal. and omniscience neither as being eternal nor as non-eternal. Because it is formless and because the conceptions of existence. is called “formless” because due to the two above rendered inferences the forms of the conditioned and the unconditioned no longer appear. And by removing these. are absent from it. <235> the gates of the power of recollection. therefore. consciousness. he sees it neither as sign nor as non-sign. capable of removing both extremes. it is called “without image”. conceptions of emptiness. since they arise from causes. the meditations. the body. he sees sensation. he wishes to remove them. etc. still appear—remains. Since he thus recognizes that the occurrence of conceptions of emptiness. are likewise not real. called “undemonstrable”. is shapeless and there is no determination or sign in it. he sees it neither as peaceful nor as non-peaceful. etc. he is able to bring about and further the middle way. connected with a certain striving (›bhoga) and therefore does not yet attain immovability. the tongue. he sees it neither as self nor as non-self. he no longer regards the factors under the form of their emptiness. Because it is formless. Since it is free of any image of existence or non-existence. in this way. etc. cognition.” In that he practices contemplation in this way. and he sees it neither as apart nor as non-apart. Therefore. Accordingly it is said in the Perfection of Insight (Prajñ›p›ramit›): “If he engages himself properly. prevent the supranatural non-conceptual insight. Therefore. and nothing that is based upon it. and the mind. the absorptions of the formless sphere. etc. the nose. the faculties. he avoids the two extremes of emptiness and non-emptiness. the qualities unique to the Buddha. of moral conduct. he sees it neither as wished for nor as unwished for.” As the (practitioner) is... Thus. the supranatural knowledges. Likewise. etc. the certainties. 150 . and all factors. etc. all (visible) forms. etc. it is called “without support”. there is no factor at all whose characteristic could be demonstrated by saying: “This is so. odors.

is the object-support (of cognition) and. and he becomes aware of the true nature of the factors. a long citation from a sÒtra follows. the ‘conception according to its intrinsic nature” (svabh›vavikalpa) is the basic form that also appears in other processes of cognizance. nonconceptual knowledge. What lies in the middle between these two. the truthful contemplation of the nature of all factors”. the Buddha said to K›Ÿyapa (above S. such or such a conception no longer appears. etc.e. Thus he attains the unmoving consciousness based on that [awareness] and abides in the stream of the knowledge of the intrinsic characteristic (svalak˝a˚a). as such. and. It arises. that is a second. ???): “Knowledge and ignorance are not two things and do not constitute a duality. *** Again. non-conceptual knowledge. pp. without support. ‘Non-existence’. He... Likewise. without image. unmoving.” 3 While the (practitioner) is able in this way to remove both extremes. 165f. the practitioner] and he makes an effort to practice the contemplation. is accompanied by the conception according to its intrinsic nature (svabh›vavikalpa). that is one extreme. to practice the unmistaken view of emptiness. then this is the <237> supramundane. the twofold utterance of the voice and of the mind simultaneously comes to a standstill. The correct cognition of this is called the middle way. therefore—just like the other cognitions that belong to sensory perception and are accompanied by conceptions—cannot be considered as supramundane. without cognition. the above mentioned conceptions are not present. then the text continues: The Yog›c›rins hold the following view: “If all conceptions of something grasped and a grasper are removed.” Others.. in connection with the image of a signless object. say: If this knowledge arises. Because he removes them. non-conceptual insight. Of them. ‘Non-eternal’. that is formless. ???): “‘Eternal’. up to “‘existence’. quickly removes the mentioned causes. nevertheless he does not bring the nature of emptiness to his consciousness at all.68 is caused. the Exalted One said to K›Ÿyapa (cf. above S. assumed by them. this is one extreme. Further. without image.. he abides by the conception that arises with regard to the view of non-duality. pp. A firm view of reality arises in him [i. indeed. the highest reality. and free from any diversity. Now he recognizes that this view of non-duality is also an obstacle for the peaceful abiding in the supramundane. etc. who examine this correctly. therefore. undemonstrable. 151 . <236> That is called the middle way. which are otherwise considered as non-conceptual. without sign. however. therefore.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner Accordingly. then. and without sign. Although he makes an effort.—just like the 68 Buddhist scholasticism distinguishes several kinds of conceptions. the signless and designationless suchness (tathat›). 167f. that is a second”.

no other types of cognitions arise either.” Further. Why? Everything that is seen is false. just like them. And since the causes and conditions are absent. With respect to the signless nature of the objects. nor cognition. then he attains the true proclamation of the Perfected One. nor thinking. a sÒtra says: “Exalted One. as the subject-matter of cognition. in the Question of MañjuŸrı (MañjuŸrıparip¸cch›) it is said: “What does he see who sees the (noble) truths?” – The answer states: “There is no factor of any kind that can be seen. then. the Exalted One has said: “What is called apprehension in accordance with truth? – The complete non-apprehending of all factors. If he is able to engage himself without engagement in this way. the proclamation of the Perfected One. “seeing the truth”. For these reasons both (assumptions) are not incontestable. it is asked: “Is there someone who sees the equality of all factors?” – The answer states: “There is no one who sees the equality. This is called correct engagement in non-conceptual insight. then it would no longer be the eye of insight. in the Question of MañjuŸrı (MañjuŸrıparip¸cch›) it is said: “What is it that the eye of insight (prajñ›cak˝u) regards?” The answer states: “If something were present that it regards.” Further. one speaks of apprehension in accordance with truth. how should a Bodhisattva practice so that he attains. it is said in the sÒtra: “What is in this connection the truth in the highest sense? – To this. All difficulties and faults.” The expressions “apprehension in accordance with truth”. the Perfectly Enlightened One? – O brahman.” Further.” <238> According to these reasons and these sacred texts. it is asked: “How does one make an effort to practice seeing?” – The answer states: “If one knows that there is no factor of any kind and thinks and reflects in this way. Accordingly. Thus one makes no further effort to examine and to explain. Since this eye of insight is free from conceptions. it does not regard the conditioned and also does not regard the unconditioned since everything unconditioned does not fall into the sphere of this eye of insight. if the 152 . there is no direct apprehension. the Perfectly Enlightened One. say: According to the truth in the highest sense. non-conceptual knowledge is not real because it has arisen from causes. those who correctly examine. neither mind. nor knowledge moves. it is faulty. through the highest. such a supramundane. a sÒtra says: “The Exalted One does not see enlightenment at all. With that. Because there is. Accordingly.” Further. that is called the apprehending in accordance with truth. then the result is that equality is not seen. whatever they may be. and “seeing” all have one and the same meaning. like a person created by magic. perfect enlightenment.” In addition. however. In one who practices contemplation. If there is nothing that is seen. these views must be discarded. But if it is a knowledge that removes such views. no direct apprehension. then one is making the effort to practice seeing. it is <239> asked: “When has one realized seeing?” – The answer states: “If one contemplates the equality of all factors. Accordingly. knowledge has no access. then one speaks of seeing the truths. are to be removed due to correct contemplation. Further.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner other object-supports—cannot be considered as highest reality.” Further. all such views are swept out of the way. For if there is something that is seen.

engages neither in the arising nor engages in the fading away. if he engages neither in absorption nor in concentration. he also does not. and if he engages neither in knowledge nor in calling to mind. <241> *** With the innovations discussed here. if he engages neither in patience nor in vigor. if he engages neither in the contaminated nor in the uncontaminated. this is called the silence of the saints. if he engages neither in the mundane nor in the supramundane. if he engages neither in what is seen nor in what is heard. If one recognizes this.” Such an engagement in insight is called the silence of the saints. if he engages neither in the connection. Bh›vavivaka had gone far beyond anything that had hitherto existed and this led to a backlash. if he engages neither in generosity and renunciation nor in moral <240> conduct and discipline. further. if he engages neither in birth and death nor in extinction. then he does not regard them as separate from the body. Accordingly. the Perfectly Enlightened One through the highest perfect enlightenment. if he engages neither in the apartness nor in the non-apartness.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner Bodhisattva. From these inferences and sacred texts results. regard the knowledge and vision by way of sensory perception. he regards them in the way that he sees them neither as duality nor as non-duality. nor in the nonconnection. just as the Buddha taught them is called the preaching of the doctrine. if one examines them accurately. and what is cognized. He was attacked more vehemently by the Yog›c›ra teachers than any other representative of his school. if he engages neither in the conditioned nor in the unconditioned. then he attains the true proclamation of the Perfected One. what is thought. and he does not regard the body as separate from the factors. at that time. And because he does not regard them. that it is impossible to make the intrinsic nature of all that is conditioned and unconditioned into the intrinsic nature of the objects of mind or of insight. (the practitioner) calls to mind these factors with his body. then the sunshine of clear insight chases away all the darkness of delusion. the principal representative of which was Candrakırti. if the Bodhisattva engages thus without engagement. if he engages neither in the good nor in the bad. And while he regards them in this way. if he engages neither in the blameworthy nor in the blameless. if he engages neither in insight nor in understanding. be they accompanied by conceptions or free from conceptions. Rather. a countercurrent arose. a sÒtra says: “The true proclamation of the thirty-seven factors conducive to enlightenment. 153 . If. And also within the school itself as well. subsequently.

He has. however. refers to his Madhyamak›vat›ra. Candrakırti first makes a few explanatory remarks about N›g›rjuna’s verse and. for a detailed proof of the theses put forward therein. first and foremost. called Prasannapad› (The Clearly Worded). the most important is his great commentary on N›g›rjuna’s Madhyamakak›rik›.1. he saw in the formulation of formal inferences by Bh›vaviveka an aberration and an offense against N›g›rjuna’s principle that M›dhyamikas should not advance any thesis of their own. and from this broad discussion is taken the brief selection which I present to serve as an example. represented the school with all the know-how of his time and with great success. ensues that we should not expect to find in him something significant. From both shall be presented one sample each. First. He drew support therefore from Buddhap›lita. which illuminates simultaneously Candrakırti’s approach to logic and his relationship to the Yog›c›ra school. as is demanded by a proper inference. These attacks encompass three points. new and original.2. From this fundamental approach. while he most vehemently opposed Bh›vaviveka. He deals with this question in detail in his commentary to the first verse of the Madhyamakak›rik›. free from all more recent expansions and distortions. Besides this. 154 . His principal effort was directed at reestablishing N›g›rjuna’s doctrine in its purity. CANDRAKÊRTI (7TH CENTURY C. whom he saw as his model. an independent work should be mentioned. the correct method is that of Buddhap›lita who does indeed refute the opponent by means of deductio ad absurdum. Firstly. Bh›vaviveka criticizes Buddhap›lita for not stating a reason and an example.) Candrakırti is the most significant personality of the Madhyamaka school in the 7th century. he is entitled to a place here. the Madhyamak›vat›ra (Introduction to the Madhyamaka Doctrine). CDF. He then immediately cites Buddhap›lita’s explanation and defends it against Bh›vaviveka’s attacks.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner CDF. where his approach to the question of logic is concerned. – Candrakırti answers that the deductio ad absurdum is entirely sufficient for the refutation of the opponent and thus a proper inference is unnecessary. his activity was confined almost exclusively to the composition of commentaries. <242> In his opinion. CDF. but in doing so avoids any assertion of his own. however. in which he defends Buddhap›lit› against Bh›vaviveka’s attack.E. THE WORKS OF CANDRAKÊRTI Of Candrakırti’s commentaries. and since he belongs among the best known and most mentioned representatives of the school. INTRODUCTION TO THE SAMPLE FROM THE PRASANNAPADfi The text does not offer any difficulties. in contrast to most of the great Madhyamaka teachers. And it is characteristic that.

nor without cause. in other words. etc. have any things ever arisen anywhere … (Opponent): If one states that they do not arise from themselves. which already exist in themselves. the arising from something other will yet be refuted. The line of argumentation according to which an arising from itself is impossible is found in the Introduction to the Madhyamaka Doctrine (Madhyamak›vat›ra). In addition. ???). – Candrakırti replies that. therefore. no need [Anlass] for things. nor from something other. If. p. The Master Buddhap›lita says on the other hand (see above S. in addition. where it is said (chapter VI v. could be conceived from something other. 223. ???): Things do not arise from themselves because their arising would be pointless. nevertheless. to arise again. 1 Neither from itself. But in no mode is it possible. and since. 228. The further extensive discussions which he ties to this are without general interest and are therefore not rendered. There is. then it would never not arise.. The answers clearly show Candrakırti’s fundamental stance. that is. <244> In opposition. etc. (N›g›rjuna) says: v. Bh›vaviveka’s third criticism states that from a deductio ad absurdum it follows that the opposite of the refuted thesis is correct. Bh›vaviveka’s second criticism is also invalidated. With this in mind. <243> CDF. This is inappropriate. and that. 8): With respect to the arising of same from same. the M›dhyamika starts from the assumptions of the opponent and not from his own views. a M›dhyamika. the resulting consequences as well apply only to the opponent and not to himself. in such cases. there is no advantage. With this. to arise. that Buddhap›lita does not refute the opponent’s objections. and because the error of consequences that are too far reaching would result. the opponent. however. a renewed arising of something already arisen. Since Buddhap›lita does not put forward a thesis of his own. is nonsensical. on the other hand. some (= Bh›vaviveka) raise the following objections (see above S. because no reason and no example is stated and because the objections put 155 . according to the testimony of firyadeva and N›garjuna. from both. or without cause. should put forward no thesis of his own. FROM THE “CLEARLY WORDED” (PRASANNAPADfi) CHAPTER I The arising that the opponents assume could be conceived from itself.3. then the unwanted consequence follows that they arise from something other. cannot bring forward any objections which needed to be refuted. nor from both. (Answer:) This does not follow since a simple negation (prasajyaprati˝edha) is intended to be expressed. p. something already existent were.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner In addition.

Since this is not the case. so that there is still reason to state a cause and an example? If. to refute him is. namely: Things arise from something other because their arising has a point. no error applies to me. be it existence.. We see no point in the renewed arising of something already existent. and. firyadeva says (Catu¯Ÿataka XVI v. not possible however long [one tries]. then this error would result from it for me. Does the opponent now not agree. however. then. in his shamelessness. But the renewed arising of something already arisen appears also unwanted by yourself. when it is shown to him in this way. Accordingly. there result. But we will not debate with a madman. and because their arising finds an end.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner forward by the opponent are not rejected. for a M›dhyamika to formulate an autonomous inference of his own since he does not admit any thesis. Therefore. Therefore. Since after all. first of all: “Because no reason and no example is stated”. etc. 30 If I were to apprehend anything. However. We regard all of these objections as unjustified. your assertion is impossible and contradicts your own assumptions. <245> The good master thus only shows his fondness for inferences when he puts forward an inference even where it is not appropriate. but rather see (that) an infinite regress (anavasth›) results. ???): v. an infinite regress is unwanted. v. ???): “What is the sense of this assertion? Does it mean that (things do not arise) from themselves insofar as they have the nature of the effect. however. How so? If you say. against which the S›˙khyas bring forth their objections by saying (see above S. Why? Because we ask the opponent who assumes an arising from itself. But I do not hold any thesis. or both existence and non-existence. the opponent does not admit defeat even when shown that he contradicts his own assumptions. pp. 25) Whoever holds no thesis. pp. an thesis and a reason of opposing content. non-existence. Further. since it is a matter of an unwanted consequence (prasaºga). “from itself” is given as a cause. This would signify a contradiction of one’s own system. 203f. if the M›dhyamika does not put forward any autonomous inference.. what point it serves if something already existent arises again. 228f. or insofar as they have the nature of the cause? <246> What follows from this? If it means insofar as they have the nature of the effect. then I would put forward and refute theses based on objects observed through sensory perception. It is also said in The Quarrel Averting (Vigrahavy›vartanı) (see above S. It is not fitting. he will also not admit defeat when reason and example are given. then this is not appropriate. likewise. then only 156 . in contrast to the statement in question. then what has he to do with the autonomous inference: “The inner spheres do not arise from themselves”. no reproach applies to me. 29 If I were to hold any kind of thesis. this means that the same arises.

then this is fine with us. Rather. no objections brought forth by the opponent ensue for the Master Buddhap›lita. and which. but not us.” What do we have to do with the reason?: “Because they already exist”. Philosophically most important is the sixth chapter which deals with the sixth of these stages. his stance is one of a fundamental rejection of any adoption of Yog›c›ra ideas. so that we [would] then have the trouble of having to invalidate this proving of what has been proven or the contradiction with regard to content. therefore. why should the Master Buddhap›lita. or which contains a contradiction with regard to the content. This work discusses the career of a Bodhisattva in connection with the old doctrine of the ten stages (bhÒmi) that a Bodhisattva must pass through. because to bring forth an <247> unwanted consequence has the exclusive purpose of refuting the thesis of the opponent. who follows the unmistaken doctrine of the Master N›g›rjuna. makes up more than half of the entire work. the polemic against Bh›vaviveka is also absent. the opponent encounters the various objections. insofar as they have the appropriate capacity for expression. in the section which discusses the Yog›c›ra doctrine. in accord with his fundamental attitude.4. 157 . words are not persecutors that rob the speaker of his freedom. after all. which only proves what is already proven.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner something already been proven is proven. Indeed. no contradiction to our own doctrine results. As this question is central to the discussion with the Yog›c›ra school. on the other hand. Therefore. then this is. the view opposed to the unwanted consequence in no way necessarily results from it. on which the Bodhisattva gains the perfection of insight. in accordance with its importance. he goes beyond Bh›vaviveka. In the main question though. as to whether cognition is to be regarded as real or whether it belongs to the unreal phenomenal world. because we do not put forward any thesis of our own and. on the other hand. CDF. if he holds up un unwanted consequence to the follower of the doctrine of an intrinsic nature (of things)? For. because the opposite of the unwanted consequence is correct. they depend upon that which the speaker wishes to express. If. with regard to the content. it means insofar as they have the nature of the cause. … The view opposed to the unwanted consequence concerns the opponent exclusively. he agrees with him. therefore. the Introduction to the Madhyamaka Doctrine (Madhyamak›vat›ra). make contestable statements so that the opponent might be able to find an opportunity for an attack? And why should the view opposite to the unwanted consequence result for the proponent of the doctrine of the essencelessness (of things). INTRODUCTION TO THE SAMPLE FROM THE MADHYAMAKfiVATfiRA The section which I render in the following comes from Candrakırti’s great original work. he also does not have to invalidate them. If. Since. he sees no need to take up a position against Bh›vaviveka and indeed. a contradiction since everything which arises after it was already existent in the form of the cause. *** As for Candrakırti’s relationship to the Yog›c›ra school. Thus. in this respect. It is divided into three parts.

to show that not only the external world but the entire phenomenal world is unreal. [The section is] prefaced [v. The second combats the false belief in a self. it is the <248> proof—which also stands at the beginning of N›g›rjuna’s principal work—that indeed any kind of arising is. 45-47]. Now here Candrakırti’s polemic sets in and. various examples that were intended to show that cognition is also possible without really existing external objects and among these examples the most popular was. Candrakırti answers: We can also remember the objects seen in a dream. but because the perceived (visible) form and the eye jointly bring about a visual 158 . 50]. discusses the sixteen kinds of emptiness which are already enumerated in the Prajñ›p›ramit› texts and also otherwise often dealt with. and the same applies for cognition during <249> the waking state. but thoroughly elaborated. first and foremost. cognition is just as unreal as its object. whereas the Yog›c›ra school asserts only the unreality of the external world but accepts the processes of cognizance as real. they used. in many ways questionable inferences—as N›g›rjuna had brought them forward—is given up. line of argument. Candrakırti’s polemic begins. The bewildering wealth of. and in their place is a single. in reality. various digressions are woven in. they had to adopt different methods. the Yog›c›rin formulates his doctrine more precisely: In a dream. to be precise. whereby the image is erroneously projected as external. In Candrakırti. the dream. so also the objects which we believe we see in the waking state are not real. he tries. Hence he says: Your example proves nothing because in a dream not only the seen objects but cognition as well is unreal. in this case also. by a brief rendering of the tenets of the opponent which are to be refuted. in accordance with the afore-mentioned fundamental view of the M›dhyamikas. He elaborates this further as follows: According to the Buddha’s doctrine—as it is valid for all Buddhist schools—perception does not arise from the fact that someone sees. impossible. 49]: Cognition in a dream is real because we can remember it. it is not a matter of [sensory] perception but of mental cognition (manovijñ›na). 48]. In contrast to this. The third. Thus. among which is a broad refutation of the Yog›c›ra doctrine.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner The first contains the proof of the unreality of the external world. The Yog›c›ra replies [v. once again. In order to prove the unreality of the external world. I have translated only the verses of this part without Candrakırti’s explanation. to be exact. In this line of argument. They said: Just as cognition in a dream shows the most diverse objects that do not in reality exist. according to general custom. the Yog›c›rins could not use N›g›rjuna’s line of argument since this serves as proof that the entire phenomenal world is unreal. In doing so. and from this the following brief sample is taken. finally. Next [v. Now [v. The proof of the unreality of the external world shows the same development that we could see in Bh›vaviveka’s Jewel in the Hand. because they are easily understandable on the basis of the later presentation of the Yog›c›ra doctrine. 51] to [the view] that. Candrakırti holds fast [v.

the cognition cannot be real. understands. from whose rendering. then the entire example loses its meaning.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner cognition. With that. and it lies. all three factors. exists. on which the processes of cognizance are based. 53] of the example of the opponent from his own perspective: Just as in a dream. 47 Hence. 52]. 46 Just as waves arise out of the great ocean through the impetus of the wind. Now. Now. just so the same factors appear—in the case of cognition during the waking state—at first as real. we must refrain. including the mental cognition [v. It arises without something external which is grasped. For.5. this line of thinking comes to an end and Candrakırti moves on to the next arguments of his opponent. however. it exists. CDF. And furthermore. mere cognition arises out of the so-called fundamental cognition that contains all seeds through its own power (Ÿakti). by nature. appear as real. Candrakırti cites a few references from the sacred scripture and then he concludes by interpreting and making use [v. they are recognized as unreal. the dependent nature (paratantrarÒpa). since he does not see a grasper without something grasped. the unreality of the objects of waking awareness can no longer be proved thereby since. that the threefold existence (= the triple world) is only cognition. who has reached the understanding that reality <250> is only cognition. indeed. its own object is presupposed to be real. if the (visible) form and the eye are not real. For then. whereas upon waking. outside the sphere of all diversity (prapañca). This is valid for all six types of cognitions. FROM THE “INTRODUCTION TO THE MADHYAMAKA DOCTRINE” (MADHYAMAKfiVATfiRA) [CHAPTER SIX] 45 The Bodhisattva abiding within insight. then. nothing changes in this regard if one points out that the (visible) form is only an object of the mental cognition as a constituent of the sphere of factors (dharm›yatana). of course. which follow in a long series. the mental cognition of the dream is also real. which forms the foundation of all things that exist merely as designation. To this is to be said: 48 a 159 . just like the (visible) form and mind. if one were to infer from this that. in the same way. But one who wakes from the dream of ignorance realizes that these too are unreal.

Since. etc. in order to apprehend it. since: 49 a-b If mind exists. (The opponent) says: As in a dream. then. How so? Just as you remember: “I have seen”. according to our view. existed in the dream. But if this cognition does not exist. therefore. the object must necessarily exist due to the existence of the memory of the perception of the object. then. (48 b) How so? (In answer.. upon waking. this cognition must of necessity be accepted. one could not remember what was perceived in the dream. the groups of the five (sense-) cognitions cannot come about. But this is not the case because. not correct that cognition exists without an external (object). likewise. one dreams—deceived by sleep—of a herd of raging elephants within the house. So 160 . no external object exists. (48 c-d) <251> According to our view. because a dream is remembered in the waking state. Now. But they are not [actually] present in any way.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner The mind exists without something external – as where? This is to be examined in detail. In order to show that this is also not sound. or the cognition also does not exist. (48 b) If one sleeps in a tiny room. then it is the same for the external object. the visual cognition would also have to exist. the mind in a dream also does not exist.) he says: Since. the cognition that bears the form of the raging herd of elephants exists no more than the object. just so there is also the memory of the external object. then there is no example accepted by both parties. But this is also not correct. (49 c-d) As the mind exists due to the memory of the perception in the dream. and it is. therefore. thus your example is not valid. the (author) says: This is to be investigated. one might think that if there were no erroneous cognition in the dream. (Opponent:) If the (visible) form (rÒpa) of the elephants. because it is not arisen. within the bewilderment of sleep.

etc. And as these three. nevertheless. etc. so the apprehension of an object in a dream. so it is also the case here (in the waking state). so also no mind arises. do not arise. the ear. as here. the form of the elephants. these three appear together. a visual cognition does not exist in any way. only the cognition arises without anything external existing. Sound. a real subject-matter cannot be established as untrue. And. up to mind. we were to accept it in order to refute the doctrine of the opponent. it is also impossible that mental cognition exists in a dream. If.e. also does not exist. In a dream. all three.. these three are also perceived together. (Opponent:) The (visible) form belonging to the sphere of the factors is recognized by the mental cognition. the eye. so 52 a also the other groups of three. since with an example.. it is not at all correct that the cognition is without an object. the (visible) form and the mind. (51 c-d) As with the perception of a (visible) form. the object of the eye and the cognition arising out of them.. Thus. a mental cognition cannot arise. eye and visible form do not exist. so also visual cognition does not exist. Even if therefore an external (visible) form (rÒpa) does not exist. the Yog›c›ra] hold: Because a visual cognition is not possible in sleep. auditory cognition. <252> But the mental cognition exists. Since 51 a-b as. Therefore. the subject-matter of which is not established as untrue. for you [i. the three do not exist in any case. through that which is 161 . etc.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner 50 if you [i. (Answer:) It is not like this. however. because in a dream. But the mental cognition is there. Therefore. so it is also the case here. no external object arises in the dream. and this does exist in a dream.. are untrue. no (object) exists. then the example of the dream loses its meaning.” In a dream. which could be apprehended as the visual sphere (›yatana). all these groups of three are untrue. And.e. the Yog›c›ra]. (Answer:) This is also not correct because. Therefore. just as in a dream.. as its appearing form in the dream is conceived as external. etc. Thus. the eye. in sleep. and because it does not exist. there can be no objection to the appearing form of cognition being conceived as external. the sphere of the <253> factors and mental cognition are included in the words “ear. because in dreams these three are altogether untrue. it follows from this—since.

sense faculties. who attempted. it is the same if one awakens from the sleep of delusion. Hence. so also here in the waking state. No one is born and no one dies. it is not correct that cognition (alone) exists without external (objects). <255> Tibet’s great apostle ⁄›ntirak˝ita (middle of the 8th century) deserves particular mention along with his student KamalaŸıla. as long as he does not awaken. As for someone who is considered to be awake—although he is submerged in the sleep of ignorance—because he is free from the sleep that is different from that [sleep of ignorance]. <254> All these factors are like foam or a (hollow) bamboo reed. Of their better-known representatives from the later period. ⁄›ntideva (around 700 C.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner proved. the non-proved is proved—that also in the waking state. Thus. the object. so—as the Perfected One has taught—the factors are made up. all factors are without intrinsic nature. since he observes it. And so forth. Hence. and cognition are untrue. and also the sense faculties. because due to the sleep of ignorance he dreams a dream. 162 . No being.E. things are untrue and the mind does not exist. the triad is present. it is also rightly stated: Just as living beings created through a magical illusion appear to be perceived. the corresponding triad exists. This is to be understood in this way. and no individual is to be apprehended. since they do not have an [existing] object. like a magical illusion and like a dream Further: The entire course of existence is like a dream. *** With this we conclude our overview of the development of the Madhyamaka school. Now in a dream—regarding the cognition of the individual who dreams the dream— 53 a-b —just as here in the waking state—. (53 c-d) As for one who has awakened from sleep the triad seen does not exist. (the author) says: Just as in a dream. (52 b-d) Just as in a dream. so are they also in the waking state. but in truth are not real. no soul. so for those who are not free from sleep and who have not arisen from the dream state. We have therefore said that regarding the cognition in the waking state the entire triad is not arisen. do not exist.) is more significant as a poet than as a philosopher. so for those who have completely shaken off the sleep of ignorance and who have brought to mind the element of the factors (dharmadh›tu) in direct perception. this triad—although by its intrinsic nature not arisen—exists. Just as this triad does not exist upon waking. the triad does not exist.

are based to a great extent on the ideas of the Madhyamaka school. It should still be mentioned. a blending of the Madhyamaka. with their mystical cults and magical rites. After him the school produced no further significant personalities and gradually became extinct on Indian soil. that the tantric schools of Buddhism.with the Yog›c›ra-doctrine. however.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner in the style of Bh›vaviveka. 163 .

But historically. The doctrine that is set down in these works stands in strong contrast to the Prajñ›p›ramit› and to N›g›rjuna. it is called element (dh›tu) or. it is impure. This highest being is stainless (amala) or luminous mind (prabh›svara˙ cittam). element of the factors (dharmadh›tu). is the most well-known in Europe. spheres (›yatana) and elements (dh›tu) out of which the phenomenal world is composed. which is preserved only in Chinese translation. therefore. after its most important representative. and completely pure only in Buddhas. by defects (mala) as well as by advantages (gu˚a). But usually.E. bliss. We are in possession of two of his works. purity. though. in noble ones. S›ramati is more significant. 250 C. Among the works of this school. are attributed to it. we must mention. 164 . Whereas there. CEA. The more important is the Ratnagotravibh›ga (Elucidation of the Germ of the [Three] <256> Jewels). S›ramati deals primarily with the highest being. and permanence. The title of the second. it is also innate in all living beings and they all. so that it finally recedes entirely into the background and disappears almost into nothingness.) According to tradition. partly pure and partly impure. Through incorrect thinking (ayoniŸomanask›ra). the four perfections. true element (param›rthadh›tu). It is also designated as suchness (tathat›). SfiRAMATI (CA. In particular. Therefore. attributed to an AŸvagho˝a. It is not at all inconceivable. the school of the Yog›c›ra. in India at least.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner CE. but first and foremost because it strongly influenced the actual founder of the Yog›c›ra school. at least briefly. But whereas the defects are adventitious (›gantuka) and do not affect its nature. possess the germ (gotra) of buddhahood. and element of the Buddhas (buddhadh›tu). it is not impossible that this work actually originated in China. Indeed. Since the highest being is omnipresent. In ordinary individuals. only S›ramati will be briefly taken into account here. not just because it is itself noteworthy and demonstrates the multiplicity of currents in the Mah›y›na. a small school which I name. Maitreyan›tha. to be exact. mostly called Uttaratantra (The Ultimate Doctrine). He had a long lasting effect whereas the Mah›y›naŸraddhotp›daŸ›stra. self. The highest being is the foundation of the entire phenomenal world. which for him has a decidedly positive character and a strong similarity to the world soul of the Ved›nta. the unreality of the external world is the focus of interest and the inconceivability of the highest being is most strongly emphasized. is usually rendered as Dharmadh›tvaviŸe˝at›Ÿ›stra (Treatise on the Non-difference of the Element of Factors). soon disappeared. THE SCHOOL OF SfiRAMATI Before we proceed to the examination of the second great Mah›y›na school. the advantages are inseparably connected with its nature. like the rays with the sun. but is characterized by clearly distinctive qualities. It deserves mention. more precisely. the school of S›ramati. the Mah›y›naŸraddhotp›daŸ›stra (The Treatise on the Development of the Mah›y›na Faith). the deeds and defilements (karmakleŸa) arise and through these the groups (skandha). S›ramati came from Central India and lived not long after N›g›rjuna.

which two are therefore identical in nature (I. v. 3-7) describes buddhahood as the highest being. which is compared with the creation of the world. is only seemingly (true) (samv¸tik›ya) and relates to the body of doctrine as does the [moon’s] reflection in water to the moon. 84 and 87). in the noble ones in partly pure [form]. His worldly body (rÒpak›ya). Through them. 49-63) deals with the arising of the phenomenal world out of the highest being. on the other hand. the highest being thus also constitutes buddhahood as well as liberation.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner In its completely pure form it is thus buddhahood (buddhatva). therefore. The bodies of the Buddha possess the various qualities and advantages ascribed to it by dogmatics. which appears in twofold form. The next series of verses (II. first the wind arises. v. In terms of the details. and eighteen qualities unique to the Buddha. and in the Buddhas in completely pure form. In its pure form. 1-4). this brief indication must suffice here. v. v. is the highest being. innate in all living beings. The true nature of the Buddha. 53-64) deal with the activity of the Buddha whose uniqueness is elucidated by comparison with the activity of the god Brahman and of the sun. It possesses the thirty-two marks that distinguish a great man in Indian mythology. in the worldly persons in impure [form]. All this is elaborated in great length. in particular. according to Buddhist doctrine. CEA. but without striving (›bhoga) and without the highest being—that makes up his body of doctrine—moving [in any way] or suffering any kind of change. that of defilements and that to what is to be known. FROM THE “ELUCIDATION OF THE SEED OF THE (THREE) JEWELS” (RATNAGOTRAVIBHfiGA) Chapter I 49 165 . This is [the Buddha’s] body of doctrine (dharmak›ya).1. v. and extinction (nirv›˚a). The body of the doctrine is attained through the liberation of the highest being—innate in beings— <258> from all adventitious stains. four fearlessnesses. Lastly. finally the earth. The second series of verses (I. The two obstructions mentioned here. then the water and. 40-47) deals with the highest being as the germ of buddhahood. the final series of verses (IV.). recur in the doctrine of the Yog›c›ra school and are explained there (S. 267 and 300f. Dogmatics attributes to it ten powers. The worldly body arises in the cycle of existences through the ripening of deeds. few explanations are necessary. The first series of verses (I. wherein. which alone is genuinely true (param›rthak›ya). etc. <257> the noble truth (›ryasatya). yet. The following translated samples are taken from various parts of the Ratnagotravibh›ga and are meant to illustrate the doctrines outlined above. and the two forms of releasing knowledge. There follows a description of the two bodies of the Buddha (III. A continuous translation of longer sections is not advisable due to the affected and unmethodical arrangement of the text. v. he brings about the liberation of beings.

so the fires of death. 52 As. The nature of mind. however. so the sense faculties arise and vanish in the unconditioned element. water. sickness.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner As space. spheres. so this (element) that exists everywhere in beings. <259> 54 As space has never yet been consumed by fires. and earth. however. […] 51 Since it is connected in an adventitious way with defects and endowed by nature with advantages. the nature (of mind) that is without root and without foundation is akin to the element of space. elements. due to its subtlety. Space. the omnipresent space does not become polluted. and old age do not consume this [element]. the groups. so the element. 56 Likewise. consisting of the natural stainlessness of the mind. 59 Incorrect thinking is to be seen as akin to wind. before and after. and elements are to be seen as akin to the element of earth. pervades everywhere. 53 As worlds arise and vanish everywhere in space. 58 Groups. 55 Earth is based on water. and sense faculties are based on deeds and defilements. wind on space. by nature free from conceptions. Deeds and defilements are always based on incorrect thinking. Deeds and defilements of embodied beings are to be seen as akin to the element of water. 57 Incorrect thinking is based on the purity of mind. 60 166 . is not based on the elements of wind. is not based on all the factors. is not polluted. water on wind. the constitution of unchangingness accrues to it. pervades everywhere.

[… …] 40 If the element of the Buddha did not exist. just as this [“water” of deeds and defilements] is created and destroyed.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner Incorrect thinking adheres to the nature of mind. which arises from false conceptions. no condition and no totality (of causes and conditions). 47 The element of beings. never suffers any change. and enlightened ones is not different. it is the other way around. then there would be no weariness with suffering and there would be no wishing. the defects and the suffering of existence as well as the advantages and bliss of extinction are seen. Truly free from error and free from diversity are the perfected ones. 41 If the germ (gotra) exists. They arise and vanish. just like the element of space. spheres. […] 84 167 . experience a defiling. 63 This luminous nature of mind.. For those who have seen the truth (the noble ones). no vanishing and no abiding. no arising. Defilements and deeds originate from incorrect thinking. of bodhisattvas. noble ones. however. 62 The nature of mind. etc. just like the sky. 46 Worldly individuals are trapped in error. it does. respectively. <260> 61 The groups. and perfectly pure. the beholders of <261> truth have proclaimed that this germ of the Buddhas (jinagarbha) is present in (all) living beings. In (those) in whom the germ is absent. impure and pure. and of the perfected ones is designated. this is not the case. as impure. no desire and no aspiration for extinction. and elements originate from the “water” of deeds and defilements. knows no cause. […] 45 Since the suchness of worldly individuals. Through the adventitious pollution of passion.

because they are unreal by nature. is covered by the adventitious obstructions of defilements and <262> to what is to be known—as by the cloak of a dense veil of clouds. are uncreated and are inseparably attached to him. and the removal of stains along with their permeation. are thus designated as being like clouds. […] 87 Enlightenment.] buddhahood and extinction. as is taught. in all aspects. which outnumber the [grains of] sand on the banks of the Ganges. is thus. 5 It is endowed with all the luminous qualities of a Buddha. by twofold knowledge and separation. [i. is luminous in nature. This fruit is divided into sixty-four qualities. there is no extinction apart from buddhahood because the qualities are inseparable from it. one and the same. 4 Buddhahood is conditioned by inseparable bright qualities and is characterized. 7 The cause of the removal of both obstructions is assumed to be the two knowledges. all-pervading and adventitious. […] Chapter III 1 The true body and the seemingly [real] body based on it serve the benefit of oneself and the benefit of others. which—endowed with all the stainless qualities of a Buddha—is eternal.. the nonconceptual [knowledge] and the subsequently attained knowledge.e. like the rays from the sun.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner Since this is the body of doctrine. the perfected one. in truth. as are sun and space. the noble truth. and true extinction. which like the sun and space. according to whether it is based on separation or on the ripening (of deeds). lasting and imperishable. is attained due to knowledge that consists of the nonconceptual distinction of the factors. 6 The obstructions of the defilements and to what is to be known. […] Chapter II 3 Buddhahood which. <263> 168 .

free of conceptions. he is. of a great man. in the assemblies. free of conceptions. the sage (= the Buddha). by means of the rays of the splendid doctrine affects the lotuses of those worthy of instruction. without departing his Brahman abode. effortlessly shows his appearance in all the worlds of the gods. 54 in the same way. [he is like] the moon in water. without departing from the body of doctrine is. in relation to the hindrances of ignorance. through its simultaneously radiated rays wakes some lotuses and ripens others. the sage. 55 As Brahman does not depart his palace. […] 59 As the sun. but still the gods see him always in the sphere of desire and the sight of him takes away their delight in sense objects. 60 so the sun of the Perfected One. The foundation of the fortune of others is the body of the worldly truth (s›˙ketika). 4 Through the possession of the powers. and yet those worthy of instruction see him always in all worlds and the sight of him removes all of their stains. 3 The first body is connected with the qualities based on separation.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner 2 The true body of the sage (= the Buddha) is the foundation of one’s own fortune. through his created (appearances). effortlessly visible in all realms to those worthy of instruction. etc. through his twofold appearance. <264> so the Perfected One does not depart from the body of the splendid doctrine. […] 169 . the second with the marks based on ripening.. like a lion. Through the qualities unique to the Perfected One. the powers. is like a thunderbolt. he is like the sky. Through the possession of the fearlessnesses. […] Chapter IV 53 As Brahman.

in this world. the sun. and shines.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner 63 In that the sun of the Buddha spreads out ever lasting over the entire vault of the sky of the element of factors. as it rises. according to what they deserve. one after the other. illuminates the whole world with the spread of its thousand rays. on the highest. its (rays) fall on the mountains of those worthy of instruction. 170 . so the sun of the Buddha shines one after the other on the crowds of beings. 64 As. the middle and the lowest mountains.

It distinguishes the [true] existence (bhÒtat›) of the factors and their totality (sarvat›). in addition. At the same time. I will render a sample from them. later. It bears this name because in the circles from which it arose. the school of the Yog›c›ra. In this the career of the Bodhisattva is described with untiring imagination in all its details and with bewildering and nearly stupefying elaborateness. The oldest part may be the BodhisattvabhÒmi (The Stage of the Bodhisattva). A few isolated sections are inserted. <265> we must understand yoga in a general sense: the entire striving. Even early on. The first is superficial and insignificant.1. all-encompassing system finally arose. 171 . Here. In this way a great.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner CF. it begins with different divisions of reality. THE DIVISIONS OF REALITY {SECTIONS 1-8} The subject of the rendered section is reality (tattv›rtha or tattva). Therein. The description of the path that a Bodhisattva has to travel. And since they give a good idea of the trains of thought from which the development of the Yog›c›ra system began. written in a peculiar. in and of itself. the practice of yoga played a special role. however. various philosophical lines of thinking emerge alongside this. however. In doing so. the significance of the philosophical insights in question to the career of the bodhisattva is still broadly elaborated. But probably it is a work of the school. was naturally always the central interest to all the Mah›y›na schools. such abbreviations seem to be appropriate. In accordance with the extrinsically scholastic manner that characterizes the entire work. CFA. although at first to a modest extent. Important teachers. since the work is. And since. THE SCHOOL OF THE YOGfiCfiRA We turn now to the most important Mah›y›na school. complicated and longwinded style. THE BEGINNINGS OF THE YOGfiCfiRA SCHOOL: THE YOGfiCfiRABHÚMI⁄fiSTRA The most characteristic work produced by the old Yog›c›ra school is the Yog›c›rabhÒmiŸ›stra (Treatise of the Stages of the Application of Yoga). a Bodhisattva. the practice and activation of all virtues demanded of a future Buddha. Tradition names as [its] author the heads of the school. the philosophical completely recedes behind the tropically proliferative scholasticism of liberation. It is one of the typical gigantic works that Indian excessiveness so readily created. by which [distinction] apparently the extent of the sphere of reality is meant. which are also of philosophical significance. blended and broadened these with various other suggestions. whose development extended over several generations. <266> CFA. Maitreya and Asaºga. I abridge and render only the philosophically most important pieces. it was elaborated and described in a wildly imaginative way that surpasses anything similar.

THE DETERMINATION OF THE NATURE OF REALITY: NON-DUALITY & THE MIDDLE WAY & THE CONSTITUTION OF THE NATURE OF REALITY {SECTIONS 9 –13} Next follows the actual determination of the nature of reality and. In the Hınay›na (cf. and so it was taught that the obstruction of defilements is removed by recognizing the essencelessness of the worldly personality (pudgalanair›tmya). a second obstruction was adopted. It is this [establishment] that is the basis of the present distinction of a third and fourth reality which we thus encounter here for the first time. was strongly inclined to see the core of the liberating cognition in the non-existence of a worldly personality. by becoming aware of the essencelessness of the factors (dharmanair›tmya). however. Noteworthy. 126ff. although still extrinsic. the object of knowledge through which the obstruction to what is to be known is removed. the obstruction of defilements (kleŸ›vara˚a) was spoken of. however. and this was called the obstruction to what is to be known (jñey›vara˚a). each of which seemed so important. for the third is the object of knowledge through which the obstruction of defilements is removed. Both cognitions. a new fundamental understanding has been reached. is the distinction between the third and the fourth reality. to which much importance was attached: the understanding of the essencelessness of the phenomenal world. It was.] that is. N›g›rjuna had done this. This is simple and nothing special. and this was done in the following way. The first. But this double hindrance naturally demanded for its removal a twofold liberating cognition. It is explained that the nature of reality is based on non- 172 . 175f. Now. only natural that a role in liberation was attributed also to this understanding. ???) in that he made the cognition of the non-existence of a worldly personality dependent on the cognition of the essencelessness of the phenomenal world. [The Hınay›nist. This distinction is based on an important further development of the doctrine of liberation. is the second division. as we have seen above (S. the obstruction to what is to be known [is removed]. there is a fourfold reality or truth in accordance with the mode of cognition of which it is the object. the first [reality] is the object of the view of all ordinary individuals. Two causes <267> of entanglement in the cycle of existences were distinguished. the process of liberation had been conceived in such a way that the defilements are removed through the cognition of the four noble truths. thus of the opinio communis. and that thereby the deeds lose their power and the chain of rebirths comes to an end. CFA. is the defilements and. To be precise. ???). therefore. with this. the philosophically most important part of this section. however. the second is the object of rational knowledge. According to this. hence. which prevents the correct cognition of what is to be cognized. But this did not suffice in the long run. besides this.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner More important. the fourth.2. on the other hand. Now. had to be brought out equally as causes of liberation. above S. This twofold establishment of the bondage and liberation gradually gained general acceptance. in accordance with the views existing up until then.

With this. in the BodhisattvabhÒmi. In particular.e.3. We should not regard reality as existent because our conceptions are unreal. of which reality is free. the following should be considered. on the other hand. But here a new content is attributed to it. to be precise. [i. at that time. and they called such things existent only by designation (prajñaptisat). one was not yet able to distinguish between perception and conceptual thinking as two distinct forms of cognition. but is itself free from all conceptions. presuppose that these lines of thinking were already known at the time. pp. [i. likewise. is real.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner duality. – According to N›garjuna. But non-existence. The duality.. The deception of a phenomenal world as taught by N›g›rjuna has been replaced by the world as conception. is the middle way and the correct doctrine which helps bodhisattvas to achieve the highest enlightenment. an old idea is taken up..e. The highest being. – N›g›rjuna stated that existence does not apply because the diversity which is ruled by the law of dependent origination is not real. it is maintained that the appearances themselves are conceptions and as such unreal. THE PROOF OF THE UNREALITY OF THE PHENOMENAL WORLD {SECTION 14} Next there follows an attempt to prove the supposed nature of reality. <268> – Now. – Here. is existence and non-existence which is also N›g›rjuna’s primary concern. that reality is free of existence and non-existence. With this. This proof conforms to the new view and proceeds quite differently than N›g›rjuna. but that non-existence also does not apply because [the latter] is not completely non-existent. one had come to understand that not all objects of our cognition are real. 119f. We must.] the same fundamental thought. we have seen (S. because the entity in itself on which the conceptions are based is real and is not to be denied. whereas the highest being remains inaccessible to all conceptions. In order to understand it. the Sautr›ntikas taught that we also speak of things that do not have a corresponding entity in the real world. Existence does not apply [to reality] because our conceptions of the things. In the discussion of Hınay›na doctrines. CFA. in spite of a few noteworthy attempts. But we should also not explain it as non-existent. with which we have already become acquainted in the RatnakÒ˛a and in N›g›rjuna. that. on which the conceptions are based. which we project onto them. through the proof of the unreality of the phenomenal world. This view. are unreal. The doctrine of non-duality is now elaborated in this sense. ???). the thought appears that these things are the object of our conceptions. which avoids both extremes of existence and non-existence. Besides.] is given a different form. is that which stands behind these conceptions and is their basis.. an important shift has taken place. does not apply because the ungraspable thing in itself (vastum›tra). But to this we must also add the following: In those days. They were rather considered as processes of cognition that belong together and are of 173 . therefore. the things of the phenomenal world are unreal because they do not conform to the demands of logic.

not real and cannot be real is established in two ways.4. is real. it was concluded that the appearing forms expressed through the designations were also only attributed to the things by us but that they are. therefore. hence. because a thing cannot have many natures. <269> And since it is we who attribute the designations given to the things by the words. in this way. If the designations and appearing forms which we attribute to the things made up their nature. therefore. various appearing forms. regard all of them as unreal. we were to assume that the things already possess the nature in question before we make the imputation. non-existent and. not real. on the other hand. the designations and the appearing forms connected with them cannot belong to the nature of the things and are. our own conceptions. however. But it would be equally false to deny (apav›da) everything. THE 2 PROOFS OF THE UNREALITY OF THE DESIGNATIONS {SECTIONS 15-16} That the designations are. however. 174 . CFA. If.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner the same type. there is a thing in itself (vastum›tra). no justification for seeing the nature of the thing only in one of these appearing forms. is easily comprehended and needs no further elucidation. But we have no reason and. with this. THE 2 ERRORS & THE FALSE AND CORRECT VIEW OF REALITY {SECTIONS 17-19} A longer section then follows which. But this is not the case. One believed then to observe that every process of cognition is accompanied by words. with this. connected them with these. Firstly. in fact. then the conceptions connected with the designations in question would have to appear even before we have imputed these designations to the things and have. The second reason is the following. in reality. the nature of reality under discussion—more clearly expressed—is represented in the following way. Consequently. This imputation (sam›ropa) of designations is thus false.5. also the imputation would be impossible since any basis for it is absent. We must. then before this imputation occurs the things would be essenceless. From this it was concluded that all cognition is not only necessarily connected with words but also conditioned by them. with it. since the thing in itself which underlies the designations and makes the imputation possible in the first place. which is. We impute on it the various designations (prajñaptiv›da) and thereby the related appearing forms. be it by actual speaking or by mind-speech (manojalpa). Underlying all appearances. after what has been said so far. we impute various designations to each thing and. But they cannot all belong to the nature of the thing. completely ungraspable and inexpressible. Accordingly. <270> CFA.

based on knowledge that is in accordance with convention. it is twofold. because it is impervious to correction. that is called reality accepted in the [ordinary] world. {2} Reality is. custom. above S.. in brief: “This is this and not something else. have a shared view with respect to any given thing.6. again. The first error. [true] existence and totality <271> are. 169f. with respect to the earth: “This is earth and not fire”. in which one believes exclusively in existence. [it is] the totality (sarvat›) of the factors. in the fact that the appearing forms. Finally. pp. divided according to its varieties. to be considered as reality. vehicles. CHAPTER IV {1} What is reality? In brief. the error of one-sided affirmation and the error of one-sided negation. but the very expressing of it by the use of the word emptiness already shows the connection with the old one. And just as in the RatnakÒ˛a and in N›g›rjuna. consists in the fact that one also regards the thing in itself as unreal. tastes. consists. or tradition. We are concerned here with the two errors which one may make with respect to the view of reality if one misses the correct middle way. tangibles. FROM THE “STAGE OF THE BODHISATTVA” (BODHISATTVABHÚMI) [FROM] SECTION 1 [AND 2] .] when all ordinary people. the range of knowledge purified of the obstruction of defilements. this thing then. this is so and not some other way”. Then the presentation moves on to other topics. In conclusion an attempt is made to support the presented doctrine by means of passages from the sacred scripture. further. and just as with earth. 175 . imputed upon the thing in itself. ornaments … with respect to pleasure and pain: “This is pain and not pleasure” and “This is pleasure and not pain”. CFA. wind. with respect to visible forms. in brief. ???) and only reshapes them in accordance with the new views. {3} [As for the first. water. This idea. The second. This is not rendered here. and the range of knowledge purified of the obstruction to what is to be known.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner [This section] also starts from thoughts already found in the RatnakÒ˛a and in N›g›rjuna (cf. fourfold: what is accepted in the [ordinary] world. which is the object of a very particular view accepted by all ordinary people through their own conception based on a handed down opinion by means of a continuous tradition. and 180ff. here too it is explained that the second error is by far the more fatal. [it is] their [true] existence (bhÒtat›). and accepted without having been pondered. are regarded as real. with respect to food and drink. In this way. so with respect to fire. sounds. for example. habit. in which one believes exclusively in non-existence. odors. what is accepted based on rational arguments. With respect to the manner of existence of the factors. according to the new view. the false and correct view of reality is discussed as the false and correct view of emptiness. weighed and investigated. is elaborated in the new sense. With respect to the extent of their existence.

] what is the reality which is accepted based on rational arguments? A recognizable thing which by sensible people who are skilled in what is reasonable.That is that highest suchness (tathat›). is this reality? (It is that reality). 69 The vision of the noble truths is designated as unstained knowledge. by such people. which is the sphere and object of unstained knowledge. realizes the nature of designations free of conceptions as completely the same (?). through insight connected with the arising and ceasing of the dependently arisen formations.69 of the knowledge which brings about unstained knowledge and of the worldly knowledge of all Hearers (Ÿr›vaka) and Solitary Buddhas (pratyekabuddha) attained subsequent to the unstained knowledge. that is. (That reality. in the face of which the correct distinction of all factors yields and to which it does not extend. the unsurpassable [suchness]. {5} [As for the third. (thus.) is proven and established—with the help of <272> the means of valid cognition. then). knowledge is purified of the obstruction of defilements and.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner {4} [As for the second. and the path. inference and authoritative tradition. then. {8} What. in view of the inexpressible nature of all factors. in him arises this knowledge [purified of the obstruction of defilements] as soon as he sees them. on which their own insights are valid and which is connected with the sphere of worldly people and with methodical investigations. that is called reality which is the sphere of knowledge purified of the obstruction of defilements. By means of this object-support. 176 . are versed in methodical investigation and belong to a level governed by logic.] what is the reality which is the sphere of knowledge purified of the obstruction of defilements? (That reality).—as an object of clearly determined knowledge through demonstrations. sensory perception. <273> based on the constant contemplation of the non-existence of a person apart from the groups. that is called reality accepted based on rational arguments. who are clever. the origin.] what is the reality which is the sphere of knowledge purified of the obstruction to what is to be known? A hindrance to knowledge with respect to what is to be known is called obstruction. who know logic. the cessation. is this reality? The four noble truths: the suffering. {7} [As for the fourth. then. in future. (that knowledge) which is aimed at penetrating into the essencelessness of factors. proofs and rational arguments. Hence one speaks of a reality which is the sphere of knowledge purified of the obstruction of defilements. Whoever clearly distinguishes and sees these four noble truths. a thing which. is to be regarded as that reality which is the sphere of knowledge purified of this obstruction to what is to be known. which is completely pure and which. which is the sphere and object of knowledge freed from the obstruction to what is to be known. This seeing of the truths arises in turn in Hearers and Solitary Buddhas when they perceive only the groups and do not perceive a self as an object distinct from the groups. which is the sphere and object of the knowledge of the Bodhisattvas and exalted Buddhas. remains in this state of unobstructedness. which forms the limit of the knowable. {6} What.

which is free from the abovementioned existence and from this non-existence. in regard to the characteristic of reality. {13} This insight is. and the tangible. from both of these. from existence and nonexistence. body. or “nirv›˚a”. or what is thought over in the mind and pondered. as above. e. the bad or the undetermined. e. tongue. etc. this world or that world. non-existence is the thinglessness and signlessness of the designation “form” etc. taste. formations. This true nature of all factors is. not as an intrinsic nature and not as a sphere or object—separate and distinct from it—of speech. and cognition. and which is. the root of the diversity of all conceptions. which has been conceived by people in this way for a long time. {15} If. arising or passing away. what is attained and explored. the good. finally. That being the case. a precious means for the attainment of the highest perfect enlightenment … {14} Through what kind of rational arguments. for the people. is to be regarded as a mere designation. for people. But it is also not not present at all. [Likewise] the knowledge of the Bodhisattvas. up to.g. Existence and non-existence are designated as duality. existence is that which is determined as the nature of designations (prajñaptiv›dasvabh›va). is to be regarded as being aimed at this reality. This nature of the factors. both. what is past. the nature of things is not present as it is expressed. nirv›˚a. {11} Therein. constituted in this way and attached. This non-dual is the middle way. in this case. future or present. sun and moon. further. nose. the designation “nirv›˚a”. fire and <274> wind.. finally. consciousness. thought of and cognized.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner {9} Further. up to. the dependently arisen. if it is not present as [it is expressed] and yet is not not present at all? It is present free from the false view that consists of the affirmation of something unreal. odor. to be regarded exclusively as the sphere of nonconceptual knowledge. up to. is called existence. can the nature of all factors be recognized as inexpressible? Every designation of the intrinsic characteristic (svalak˝a˚a) of the <275> factors. and mind. further. the eye or the ear.. That is called non-existence. all factors and each thing were so constituted as the expression used for these factors and this thing. and free from the false view that consists of the denial of something real.g. it should be understood—in view of its determination— as being called forth by non-duality. visible form or sound. The completely pure knowledge of the exalted Buddhas is to be regarded as being aimed at this reality. based on which the designations could be used. it is present. that is the non-dual. a single factor and a single thing would have many and different 177 . heard. corporeality or sensation. {10} Therein. the conditioned or the unconditioned. included within the characteristic of the factors. {12} The thing. then.. “corporeality” or “sensation”. finally. to designations. brought about on the path of training. is free from both extremes and is designated as the unsurpassable. for the bodhisattva. what is seen. the entire and complete non-existence and non-presence of a foundation for the designations. earth or water.. But how is it present.

however. by attributing to them something unreal. sensation. etc. And if no attribution of the designation takes place. the errors due to which one is to be regarded as having fallen away from the rule of this doctrine because one attributes something unreal to a thing such as corporeality. But if the intrinsic nature is absent. as long as the attribution of the designation has not yet taken place. If. by means of many expressions. and <276> then the designation would be attributed to it at will. and to the essence of all factors and all things. but not the other remaining designations. however.. the nature of all factors is to be recognized as inexpressible. on the other hand. which as support is the occasion for the designation and which in its inexpressible self is truly real.. these have already been described. up to. nirv›˚a. constitution and to the essence of this factor and this thing. made known. and [2] he who invalidates the thing. which is only a designation in its nature. on the other hand. 178 . {16} If. for this reason and because of these rational arguments. all designations do not belong. to the nature. before the attribution of the designation. finally.. Thus. further. one should know that they have fallen away from the rule of this doctrine: [1] he who—with respect to factors. clarified and explained previously. With respect to these many and different designations. appear. which as foundation is the occasion for the designation. Thus. corporeality already had the nature of corporeality and subsequently. either as in whole or in part. then it is also not possible that the factor or the thing has the designation as its nature. Why. this will I now state. he who overturns everything. etc. etc. Hence. It does not. And as for corporeality. the cognition of corporeality would appear. by denying it and saying: “It does not exist at all. before the attribution of the designation.—clings to their specific characteristic. etc. and with respect to a thing.. to a single factor and a single thing. corporeality. etc.” As for the errors <277> that follow first from attributing something unreal. {17} Of the following two. so also does this apply to the rest of the factors mentioned. such as visible form. in this case. such as corporeality. at first the thing would be present. a fixed rule cannot be found according to which a particular single designation belongs to the nature. has fallen away from the rule of this doctrine by denying the thing in itself in factors such as visible form. this thing and this factor would be without an intrinsic nature.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner intrinsic natures. etc. namely. the above-mentioned factors. this nature of corporeality were to be additionally attributed to corporeality by means of the designation. For what reason? Since many and different designations are attributed (up›c›ra). in this case even without this attribution of the designation “corporeality” with respect to the factor designated as corporeality and the thing designated as corporeality. had the designation as their nature. then the designation—for which the thing (in this case) is lacking—would not be possible. to the constitution.

Hence.. He will not oppose and will not delude another who seeks the doctrine and who seeks liberation from suffering. they thus deny both reality and designation. with respect to factors such as (visible) form.. is possible if. connected with emptiness and intended with a specific meaning—because they do not correctly understand and do not correctly comprehend the meaning of what is taught as it is. not for this reason be reborn in bad forms of existence. he is to be regarded as an arch-denier. certain people. For just as the designation as “person” is possible if the groups. {18} But in what way is emptiness wrongly comprehended? If a particular ascetic or brahmin does not accept that of which something is empty and also does not <279> accept that which is empty. the bestowing of the designation as “factor”. what is then supposed to be empty. denies the thing in itself. If. exist but not if they do not exist. where and of what? Also. in the same way. this designation also does not exist at all because the thing in itself as the foundation of the <278> designation is absent. for he plunges himself into ruin. since it has no foundation. neither reality nor designation. that is the truth. In this sense. everything is absent. then this type of emptiness is called wrongly comprehended. therefore. one is reborn in bad forms of existence. therefore. because (such a person) denies designation and reality.. And one is lax in the observation of the precepts. And because he is such a denier. that which is empty is present. etc. etc. and also both together. on the other hand. If. corporeality. the Exalted One has said: “Better that someone here believes in a person than that someone wrongly comprehends emptiness. And he will not be lax in the observation of the precepts. but he will help him toward the doctrine and the truth. advocate—as a result of a simply unskillful attempt at consideration—the following view and following doctrine: “All of this is mere designation. such as (visible) form. intelligent fellow disciples should not talk to him and should not associate with him. sees correctly”. then he merely deludes himself about that which is to be known. but he will not deny all that is to be known. and also those people who approve of his views are plunged into ruin. after having heard the sÒtras belonging to the Mah›y›na—which are difficult to understand. who adheres to the doctrine and seeks liberation from suffering. the thing in itself exists but not if it does not exist. since then the bestowing of the designation would be without a thing. One plunges another. For this reason.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner For him who. for these (people). etc. then. Through a wrong comprehension of emptiness. For what reason? If that of which something is empty is not present. into ruin. profound. He will. then the designation also does not exist. but on the other hand. with respect to the factors (visible) form. For when a thing does not exist for the designation. and whoever sees thus. then emptiness is possible. on the other hand. since then the designation as “person” would be without a thing.. even all that is to be known is denied. one is deluded about the thing that is to be known. Indeed. etc. the 179 . In this way then has he who denies the real thing fallen from the rule of the doctrine. How then should reality be mere designation? – In this way. both are not possible.” For what reason? If a person believes in a person.

namely. CFB. this given thing designated as (visible) form. to a certain extent. With the doctrine of the nature of reality.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner emptiness of a something of itself is not possible. This occurred only with the doctrine of the threefold characteristic. With regard to this work. Now.. is empty of the nature of the designation as (visible) form. unerring penetration of emptiness. then true suchness. In a thing designated as (visible) form.. connected with that. etc. while in the more recent ones the new philosophical thoughts and the scholasticism of liberation of the Yog›c›ra school find expression. one of the fundamental doctrines of the system was created. reflects the course of the general development of the school. the inexpressible nature. the Sa˙dhinirmocanasÒtra (Elucidation of the Secret Meaning). namely. in what way is emptiness correctly comprehended? If something is regarded as empty of that which is not present in it. THE SA±DHINIRMOCANASÚTRA As in the Madhyamaka school. etc. Its oldest parts completely adhere to the manner of the Prajñ›p›ramit› texts. and I choose for this purpose a work that was especially esteemed <280> and that most strongly influenced the development of the school. is truthfully understood. as its nature. 180 . as we have come to know it in the BodhisattvabhÒmi. is not present. the doctrine of their threefold essencelessness. It had. well-discerned through correct insight. etc. and.1. etc. But what is left of this thing designated as (visible) form. when nothing is inserted and nothing eliminated. yet that which is then left is truthfully recognized as being present here. Therefore. etc. however. VI The section rendered in the following contains a doctrine characteristic of the Yog›c›ra school throughout the entire duration of its existence. for example. and it had clothed this view in the form of the old doctrine of the middle way. This is called correctly comprehended emptiness. {19} But. then this is called truthful. if the unreal is not attributed and the real is not denied. THE DOCTRINE OF THE THREEFOLD NATURE OF THINGS IN CHAPT. the doctrine of the threefold nature or the threefold characteristic of the things. not yet found the form in which it was to find continuing validity. it is also interesting that it still shows clearly traces of its gradual formation and so. the sÒtra literature also plays a great role in the Yog›c›ra school particularly in the earlier period. A sample of this should thus also be given. if nothing is added and nothing taken away. etc? That which forms the basis of the designation as (visible) form. The BodhisattvabhÒmi had taught that the phenomenal world is mere conception. and we find several important thoughts first expressed in sÒtras. the present thing in itself and the mere designation of the thing in itself. CFB.—as we have called it above—a factor which has the designation as (visible) form. In this way then is emptiness wrongly comprehended. but that an ungraspable and inexpressible thing in itself underlies it. if one truthfully recognizes these two.

The first nature was called the imagined nature (parikalpita svabh›va) because these appearing forms are mere conception. liberation. It distinguished first and foremost between things as they appear to us and things as they really are. The Sa˙dhinirmocanasÒtra itself does not completely succeed in clearly carrying the idea through. second. The appearing forms belonging to conception are thus the factor. the appearing forms which we attribute to things. the things insofar as they are free from these appearing forms. are without essence. therewith. Only the view of the phenomenal world as a state of defilement and of the highest being as a state of purification were incorporated into the firm views of the [Yog›c›ra] system. the things insofar as they present themselves to us in these appearing forms. on the knowledge of how they really are. particularly strongly pronounced in the Yog›c›ra school. The threefold break-down of reality it gives is. askew and has presented difficulties time and again. This twofold nature of things is now caused by the fact that. [they] are free from [the appearing forms]. one distinguished a threefold nature <281> (svabh›va) or a threefold characteristic (lak˝a˚a) of things: first. the cycle of existences. It is said that through correct insight into the imagined nature the factors are recognized as being without characteristic or without a sign since the appearing forms belonging to conception. the presence or absence of which conditions the twofold nature of things. Then it is explained through examples. And thus. are attributed to them. VI) translated below. the perfect nature (parini˝panna svabh›va) because it represents the highest being in its purity. whereas. 181 . liberation. the dependent nature (paratantra svabh›va) because the phenomenal world presents itself to us in this form and its most essential characteristic is the dependent origination. to be precise. the appearing forms that in reality belong to conception. in the first case. That is the doctrine of the threefold nature of the entities as the Sa˙dhinirmocanasÒtra presents it. This was important from the point of view of the doctrine of liberation. finally. third. This threefold assumption did not last.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner The Sa˙dhinirmocanasÒtra chose another form for this. that through correct insight into the dependent nature the factors are recognized in the state of defilement (sa˙kleŸa) since the dependent nature represents the nature of the phenomenal world and. the threefold nature is finally considered from yet another point of view. this doctrine of the threefold nature of things is thus expounded. but the systematic found therein conformed to the Indian style of tending towards numerical categorization. therewith. hence. the third. this doctrine quickly gained irrevocable acceptance [within the Yog›c›ra school]. with regard to the doctrine of liberation. the second. on the view of things as they appear rests entanglement in the cycle of existences. and. In the first part of the section of the Sa˙dhinirmocana (= chap. First the doctrine itself is briefly formulated. since. however. They were therefore placed as a third [nature] next to [this twofold nature] and. in the second case. In concluding. It superseded the doctrine of the nature of reality from the BodhisattvabhÒmi and became a firm tenet of the Yog›c›ra system. and that through correct insight into the <282> perfect nature the factors are recognized in the state of purification (vyavad›na) since the perfect nature corresponds to the highest being and.

[the highest reality] retains a decidedly positive character. p. for a specific audience. VII AND ITS RELATION TO THE DOCTRINE OF THE PRAJÑfiPfiRAMITfi AND OF THE MfiDHYAMIKAS The subsequent second part of the translation (= chap. ???) that. but only of an essencelessness in a specific respect. first and foremost. in this context. so that the highest reality. For the Yog›c›rins. namely. Thus far. in N›g›rjuna this [highest reality] is beyond all conceptions and determinations and. of a threefold essencelessness. and this position of N›g›rjuna is followed through and held with a logical consistency never again achieved. however. is completely relegated into the background here and the highest reality is designated by other names such as. clearly conceivable connection takes the place of the mystical unity of the cycle of existences and nirv›˚a as N›g›rjuna had taught it. corresponding to the threefold nature of things: 182 . however. No unbridgeable gap exists. one is dealing with texts that do not proclaim the full truth but that were rather revealed by the Buddha with a particular purpose. that were closely connected with the Madhyamaka school. cloaked in silence. It was said that the Buddha. Far more essential is. as suchness (tathat›). THE DOCTRINE OF THE THREEFOLD ESSENCELESSNESS OF ENTITIES IN CHAPT. In spite of all external connections to and all reliance of the old Yog›c›ra school upon the doctrine of the Prajñ›p›ramit› and of the M›dhyamikas. and which they also recognized as Buddha words. we have pointed out only the difference which lies in the fact that the Yog›c›rins replaced N›g›rjuna’s doctrine of the deception of the phenomenal world with the view of the world as conception. in the school of the Yog›c›ra. dominating everything in N›g›rjuna. From this important consequences ensue for the relationship of <283> the highest reality to the phenomenal world. spoke explicitly of the emptiness and essencelessness of all entities. was thinking not of a complete essencelessness. and a firm. indeed. in spite of all emphasis on its inexpressibility. This separates the schools of the M›dhyamikas and Yog›c›rins more clearly than anything else and also determines their quite different development. they resorted to the favorite assumption (cf. nearly disappears into nothingness.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner CFB. with these works. a great difficulty resulted from this difference. the doctrine of the threefold essencelessness. particularly the Prajñ›p›ramit› works. cannot even be designated as existent or non-existent. the difference in the view of the highest reality. whereby the threefold nature of things is considered from the viewpoint of a threefold essencelessness. Whereas. to be precise. internally there is a deep contrast. This doctrine as well has its special significance and its deeper background. It is also explicitly stated that only in the form in which it appears to us does the highest reality not exist and that on the other hand it does exist as something in itself. The numerous sÒtras. VII) deals with the counterpart to the doctrine of the threefold nature of things. above S. How was this to be reconciled with their own positive position on the phenomenal world and its underlying reality? In order to get around this difficulty.2. Nothing is more characteristic than that the concept of emptiness (ŸÒnyat›). 146.

the Bodhisattva Gu˚›kara asked the Exalted One: “Exalted One. the essencelessness of all things as expounded in the Prajñ›p›ramit› was explained from the point of view of the Yog›c›ra.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner The first essencelessness is essencelessness in terms of a characteristic or in terms of a sign (lak˝a˚ani¯svabh›vat›). In the following translation. because only the highest being in the state of purification is to be regarded as highest truth. As the name indicates. 183 . It corresponds to the imagined nature as this has no intrinsic characteristic (svalak˝a˚a) and. with this. O Exalted One. based on the fact that things arise not from themselves but from other causes. in turn. essencelessness <284> in terms of the highest truth is also connected with both. still. CFB. FROM THE “ELUCIDATION OF THE SECRET MEANING” (SA±DHINIRMOCANASÚTRA) CHAPTER VI 1 At this. The second is essencelessness in terms of arising (utpattini¯svabh›vata). because the two represent the highest being in the state of defilement and of purification. it is related to the highest being. The perfect nature. It refers to the dependent nature and is established. can be considered as essencelessness in terms of the highest truth because the highest truth consists precisely in the selflessness or essencelessness of the factors (dharmanair›tmya). the question is first raised why the Buddha taught the doctrine of the essencelessness of all things. And since the highest being is connected with the dependent as well as with the perfect nature. While true that this doctrine did not prove fruitful for the development the system’s ideas. it was continually preserved and remained firmly connected with the doctrine of the threefold nature. By means of this doctrine of the threefold essencelessness. an essencelessness in terms of the highest truth can be spoken of with respect to the dependent nature. how the Buddha leads beings to liberation through this doctrine is broadly elaborated. the doctrine of the threefold essencelessness is expounded and briefly explained and. with a few alterations. no essence. To be precise. following that. finally. The third essencelessness. In what way. apparently in reliance upon Madhyamaka thinking. are the bodhisattvas experienced in the characteristic of the factors? And for what reason does the Perfected One designate the bodhisattvas as experienced in the characteristic of the factors?” <285> 2 When he had said this. the Exalted One spoke as follows to the Bodhisattva Gu˚›kara: “Gu˚›kara. one speaks of bodhisattvas who are experienced in the characteristic (lak˝a˚a) of the factors. you ask the Perfected One about this matter for the welfare of many individuals. Then.3. is essencelessness in terms of the highest truth (param›rthani¯svabh›vat›).

7 Like [the defect of] an eye disease. Like the images of strands of hair. Gu˚›kara. 70 The connection between word and object rests. Gu˚›kara.. finally. according to Buddhist view. 3 Gu˚›kara. that is. for the benefit. <286> 6 What. that comes to be. 5 What. red or white appear to such a (person) due to the eye disease. Gu˚›k›ra. dependent on ignorance. and the perfect characteristic (parini˝pannalak˝a˚a). – etc. excellent! Then listen. there are three characteristics of factors. out of compassion for the world. which is the imagined characteristic of the factors? It is any attribution of a name and a convention70 for the factors in terms of their nature or distinction. that arises. up to – thus the origin of this whole great mass of suffering comes about. of blue. due to the arising of this. Gu˚›kara. the recognition of [this suchness] by the bodhisattvas as a result of their energy and correct observation (yoniŸomanasik›ra). that is. is the dependent characteristic of factors? It is the dependent origination of the factors. formations come into being. for the welfare and for the well-being of creatures. when this exists. What are these three? The imagined characteristic (parikalpitalak˝a˚a). on human convention (sa˙keta). so is the perfect characteristic to be seen. sesame seeds. in order to indicate them in day to day language. the errorless object of the same eye when the eye of the same person has been cleared and freed of the [defect of] the eye disease. Excellent. in the eye of a person who suffers from an eye disease. so is the dependent characteristic to be seen.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner for the well-being of many individuals. the dependent characteristic (paratantralak˝a˚a). so is the imagined characteristic to be seen. Gu˚ak›ra. And like the real sphere. including gods and humans. is the perfect characteristic of factors? It is the suchness of factors. 184 . the establishment of the highest perfect enlightenment through establishment of the practice of this recognition. yellow. I will explain experience in the characteristic of the factors to you. 4 In this. and. bees.

p. 71 The underlying view is that all conceptions and words leave imprints in the cognition. And the perfect characteristic is recognized in that one relies on not viewing the dependent characteristic as the imagined characteristic. as with a transparent crystal. If it comes in contact with something yellow. so the perfect characteristic is to be seen. As the transparent crystal itself. in terms of the imagined characteristic. it fools beings. it fools beings. 10 In this. the permeation71 through the use of language. so the dependent characteristic is to be seen. As the transparent crystal. These imprints. Cf. in terms of its characteristic as sapphire. <287> it appears like gold. Gu˚›kara. 185 . the imagined characteristic is recognized in that one relies on the names connected with the images. If this [crystal] comes in contact with something blue. insofar as the dependent characteristic. and in that it is mistaken for a sapphire. then it appears like a sapphire. The dependent characteristic is recognized in that one relies on the view of the dependent characteristic as being the imagined characteristic. they recognize the factors without characteristic in accordance with truth. which belongs to the imagined characteristic. then it appears like an emerald. are in place of words and conceptions. so with the dependent characteristic. Gu˚›kara. in that the bodhisattvas recognize the imagined characteristic in the dependent characteristic in accordance with truth. <288> 11 Now. is not permanently and perpetually given and is without essence. is not permanently and perpetually given and is without essence. Gu˚›kara. later. so with the dependent characteristic. ruby. corresponding conceptions again arise. it fools beings. 9 As with the transparent crystal. If it comes in contact with something red. and in that is mistaken for an emerald. If it comes in contact with something green. and in that it is mistaken for a ruby. emerald or gold. called permeation (v›san›). emerald or gold.. is to be seen. 328f. the contact with the color. and in that it is mistaken for gold.. below S. ???. from which. ruby. the erroneous apprehension of it as sapphire. it appears like a ruby.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner 8 It is the same. Gu˚›kara. As with the transparent crystal. it fools beings. the apprehension of it as the imagined characteristic is to be seen. in regard to this.

overcome by heedlessness. the characteristic of defilement and the characteristic of purification in accordance with truth in that they recognize. He has proclaimed the characteristic of arising. and because they attain the factors in the characteristic of purification in that they abandon the factors in the characteristic of defilement. they recognize the factors in the characteristic of defilement (sa˙kleŸa) in accordance with truth. etc. then one abandons the factors in the characteristic of defilement. they abandon the factors in the characteristic of defilement.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner In that bodhisattvas recognize the dependent characteristic in accordance with truth.. the characteristic of perishing. they attain the factors in the characteristic of purification. therefore. Lazy individuals. realization. the imagined characteristic. He has proclaimed understanding. the following reflection came to my mind: The Exalted One has proclaimed the intrinsic characteristic (svalak˝a˚a) of the [five] groups in many ways. the bodhisattvas are experienced in the characteristic of the factors. If one abandons the factors in the characteristic of defilement. so he has proclaimed [the intrinsic characteristic. and practice. dependent origination and the sustenances (›h›ra). because the bodhisattvas recognize the absence of the characteristic. avoidance. <289> 12 After that. [because] they abandon the factors in the characteristic of defilement in that they recognize the factors without characteristic in accordance with truth. fluctuating by nature. one attains the factors in the characteristic of complete purity. the Exalted One spoke the following stanzas at that time: If one recognizes the factors without characteristic. of] the spheres. then he does so for this reason. And in that bodhisattvas recognize the perfect characteristic in accordance with truth. once when I was dwelling alone in solitude. CHAPTER VII 1 Then the Bodhisattva Param›rthasamudgata spoke as follows to the Exalted One: “Exalted One. the dependent characteristic and the perfect characteristic in accordance with truth. Thus. The Exalted One has proclaimed the intrinsic characteristic of the truths in many ways. are pitiable. 186 . who do not appreciate the faults of the formations and are lost in the unstable factors. Just as with the groups. the abandonment and realization. and if the Perfected One designates the bodhisattvas as experienced in the characteristic of factors. In that bodhisattvas recognize the factors without characteristic in the dependent characteristic in accordance with truth. they recognize the factors in the characteristic of purification (vyavad›na) in accordance with truth. And in that they abandon the factors in the characteristic of defilement. Gu˚›kara.

the diversity of the [sense-]elements. 187 . the Exalted One spoke to the Bodhisattva Param›rthasamudgata as follows: “Param›rthasamudgata. peaceful from the very beginning and completely extinct by nature?’ “ 2 When he had said this. that is. peaceful from the very beginning and completely extinct by nature? I ask the Exalted One about this matter: ‘With what hidden intention has the Exalted One proclaimed that all factors are without essence. excellent! Param›rthasamudgata. that all factors are unborn. for the benefit. peaceful from the very beginning and completely extinct by nature. thus it is called essencelessness of the factors in terms of characteristic. you ask the Perfected One about this matter for the welfare of many individuals. that all factors are unborn. With what hidden intention has the Exalted One proclaimed that all factors are without essence. For what reason? – Because this [imagined characteristic]. for the well-being of many individuals. 5 What. … And yet. <290> peaceful from the very beginning and completely extinct by nature. He has proclaimed the manifoldness of the [sense-]elements. Excellent. with regard to the threefold essencelessness (ni¯svabh›vat›) of the factors.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner The Exalted One has proclaimed the intrinsic characteristic of the [sense-]elements in many ways. your reflection is good and has come about correctly. unceasing. to the essencelessness <291> in terms of arising ( u t p a t t i n i ¯ s v a b h › v a t › ) and to essencelessness in terms of the highest truth (param›rthani¯svabh›vat›). the abandonment. for the welfare and for the well-being of creatures. in terms of its characteristic. That also is excellent. I will explain to you with what hidden intention I have proclaimed that all factors are without essence. 4 What in this. the Exalted One has proclaimed that all factors are without essence. including gods and humans. is essencelessness of the factors in terms of characteristic? It is the imagined characteristic. out of compassion for the world. Param›rthasamudgata. with regard to the essencelessness in terms of characteristic (lak˝a˚ani¯svabh›vat›). is essencelessness of the factors in terms of arising? It is the dependent characteristic of these factors. Param›rthasamudgata. that all factors are unborn. unceasing. Param›rthasamudgata. 3 Param›rthasamudgata. is based on names and convention and is not based on an intrinsic characteristic (svalak˝a˚a). I have proclaimed that all factors are without essence. that all factors are unborn. unceasing. Then listen. and realization. unceasing.

i. 8 With respect to this threefold essencelessness. And this [selflessness] is the highest truth. Like a magical illusion. Further. unceasing. 72 I.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner For what reason? – Because this [dependent characteristic] arises through the power of extraneous conditions and not out of itself. that grows in empty space from nothing. And like space which emerges from the mere essencelessness (= the non-existence) of matter and extends everywhere. called essencelessness in terms of the highest truth... because the highest truth emerges from the essencelessness of all factors. peaceful from the very beginning and completely extinct by nature. 6 What.e. For what reason? – With regard to the factors. a flower. The dependent characteristic is not the object-support of purification.73 Param›rthasamudgata. this I have proclaimed as the highest truth. I have proclaimed that all factors are without essence. Param›rthasamudgata. For what reason? – That which is the object-support (›lambana) of purification72 with respect to the factors. so is one part of the essencelessness in terms of the highest truth to be seen insofar as it emerges from the selflessness of factors and extends everywhere. In this. with respect to the essencelessness in terms of characteristic. the selflessness of the factors (dharmanair›tmya) is designated as their essencelessness. 7 Like a skyflower. thus it is called essencelessness of the factors in terms of arising. 188 . are also natureless due to the essencelessness in terms of the highest truth. so is the essencelessness in terms of arising to be seen and is one part of the essencelessness in terms of the highest truth to be seen. Therefore. I have proclaimed that all factors are unborn. so is the essencelessness in terms of characteristic to be seen. it is called the essencelessness in terms of the highest truth. 73 The favorite Indian example of something completely unreal is the skyflower.e. to which the process of purification of liberation applies. likewise. the perfect characteristic <292> of the factors is. therefore it is called essencelessness of the highest truth. Param›rthasamudgata. is essencelessness in terms of the highest truth? The dependently arisen factors which are without essence due to the essencelessness in terms of arising.

their mind becomes permeated by these designations according to the use of language. And through the connection with the designations according to the use of language and through the imprints (anuŸaya) of the designations according to the use of language. peaceful from the very beginning and completely extinct by nature. in terms of their nature. I have proclaimed that all factors are unborn. As they now cling to this [characteristic of the imagined nature]. <294> 10 I have. But that which is permanently and perpetually given as nature of the factors and is unconditioned. that they cling to the imagined nature with regard to the dependent and perfect nature. What has not been born and is not ceased is peaceful from the very beginning. unceasing. with regard to the dependent and perfect nature. as something distinct [from the dependent and perfect nature] and because they see the dependent nature and the perfect nature. And because it is free from all defilements. with respect to the essencelessness in terms of characteristic. Thus with respect to the essencelessness in terms of the highest truth that emerges from the selflessness of factors. peaceful from the very beginning and completely extinct by nature. unceasing. 189 . peaceful from the very beginning and completely extinct by nature. In the manner that they designate the [dependent and the perfect nature] according to the use of language. it is. therefore. a dependent nature is produced (again) in the future due to this cause and this condition. But what has not been born. is permanently and perpetually given. beings attribute the imagined nature onto the dependent and the perfect nature and. 9 Further. has also not been born. as something distinct [from the imagined nature]. What is peaceful from the very beginning is completely extinct by nature. I have proclaimed that all factors are unborn. in terms of its nature. unceasing. in that there is nothing that still must be brought to complete extinction. As the nature of the factors (dharmadharmat›).The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner For what reason? – Because that which does not exist in terms of an intrinsic characteristic. Param›rthasamudgata. unconditioned and completely free from the defilements. Param›rthasamudgata. in addition. namely. I have proclaimed that all factors are unborn. On the contrary. according to the use of language (vyavah›ra) designate the dependent and the perfect nature according to the characteristic of the imagined nature. not proclaimed the threefold essencelessness because the beings in the realm of beings see the imagined nature. is also not <293> ceased. it is also peaceful from the very beginning and completely extinct by nature. that is—because it is unconditioned—also unborn and unceasing. For what reason? – Because the essencelessness in terms of the highest truth which emerges from the selflessness of factors. they cling to the characteristic of the imagined nature. with respect to the essencelessness in terms of the highest truth emerging from the selflessness of factors. What is completely extinct by nature. Thus.

The beings who.” *** In conclusion. For this reason.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner And this forms the foundation so that they become defiled by the defilement of the defilements. there is no second. although they are extinct. does not travel the path to ruin. are difficult to find. It ends with the words: 24 Then at that time the Exalted One spoke the following stanzas: The factors are without essence. that they become defiled by the defilement of deeds and by the defilement of birth. There is only one purification. This is the one path of purification. since they have not succeeded in leaving the cycle of existences. I proclaim this one vehicle. among demons or among humans. <296> 190 . all factors are extinct by nature: What sensible person would speak in such a way without hidden intention? The essencelessness in terms of characteristic. equal and undifferentiated. the factors are peaceful from the very beginning. and that they roam around for a long time in the cycle of existences wandering either among hell beings. the casting away of suffering and defilements. However. The uncontaminated realm of the liberated ones is subtle. *** A long description of how beings reach liberation through the doctrine of the threefold essencelessness of the <295> factors follows. among ghosts. attain nirv›˚a for themselves alone. It is the fulfillment of all wishes. the Bodhisattva Param›rthasamudgata speaks again and once more summarizes the doctrine as he has understood it. steadfastly and compassionately do not abandon beings. the essencelessness in terms of arising and the essencelessness in terms of the highest truth. Yet. those who. are innumerable. The sensible person who recognizes in this the hidden intention. the factors are unborn. the lasting treasure. the factors are unceasing. among gods. inexpressible. this have I proclaimed. inconceivable to thought. this is not to say that there are no beings of various lineages (gotra). It is without duality. in this realm of beings. among animals.

In the present case. ???). we have pointed out the lavishly developed scholasticism of liberation. Tradition reports that the head of the Yog›c›ra school. justified in seeing in their author a historical personality other than Asaºga. who was probably known by the name—transmitted several times—of Maitreyan›tha. By no means can we speak here of a philosophical system. Similar traditions are quite common. whereas the Mah›y›nasÒtr›la˙k›ra—in close connection with the structure of the BodhisattvabhÒmi (The Stage of the Bodhisattva. therefore. we are dealing here only with the initial stages of a development of philosophical thoughts that completely recede behind the liberation theory and practice. In doing so. 265. he just 191 . <297> The first two of the above-mentioned works are such ala˙k›ras. we have become acquainted with valuable philosophical lines of thinking. Maitreyan›tha has only partially merged the immense and in many ways reluctant mass of material into a unity. This was—similarly to the Madhyamaka school—only created through the activity of a significant personality. but otherwise with great freedom—discusses the subjects treated therein. the Abhisamay›la˙k›ra tries to systematically and lucidly summarize the path of liberation as described in the Pañcavi˙Ÿatis›hasrik› Prajñ›p›ramit› (The Perfection of Insight in Twenty-five Thousand Lines. because the doctrines expounded in them show clearly distinct peculiarities that distinguish them evidently from Asaºga’s own works. 300 C. But Asaºga cannot be the author of these works. but philosophical works just like any others. For the most part.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner CFC. however. CFC. Asaºga. These showed several points of contact with the beginnings of the Madhyamaka school. in this case this personality seems to have been Maitreyan›tha. written for the most part in verse and loosely connected with authoritative texts. MAITREYANfiTHA (CA. In addition.. and who was only later seen as the well-known Bodhisattva. Nevertheless. We are. however. see above S. pp. as one would expect. and • the Madhy›ntavibh›ga (Elucidation of the Middle and the Extremes). To be precise. • the Mah›y›nasÒtr›la˙k›ra (The Ornament of the SÒtras of the Mah›y›na). p. 146f.) Up to now we have discussed the beginnings of the Yog›c›ra school.1. Buddhists designated as ala˙k›ra (“ornament”) works that. ???). Both works thus represent an attempt to bring order into the jumble of the older scholasticism of liberation. This attempt succeeded only to a limited extent.E. provided explanations and augmentations to these. however. received teachings from the Bodhisattva Maitreya in Tu˝ita heaven and that Maitreya also revealed various works to him. see above S. to be exact. it is striking that the works attributed to Maitreya are not sÒtras. but above and beyond that. THE WORKS OF MAITREYANfiTHA Maitreyan›tha’s most frequently mentioned works are • the Abhisamay›la˙k›ra (The Ornament of Clear Comprehension). contained much that was new and significant.

are added the fundamental doctrines of S›ramati. have been merged into a unity. indeed. even though it does not. which in fact deal essentially with the scholasticism of liberation. without achieving a real unity. developed clear philosophical views. a real philosophical system. which the deception of the phenomenal world entails. Maitreyan›tha also. forms one essential constituent. in particular the doctrine of the three characteristics.2. <298> S›ramati’s doctrine of the highest being. augmented and enriched through Maitreyan›tha’s own thoughts. in this way. And. is of a similar type. rely externally on an older text.1. Here as well. important subjects of the doctrine are treated in such a way that the traditional views are arranged into the scheme of an external division. CFC. This whole then. as do both of the ala˙k›ras. which are readily connected to each other and join together in forming one great whole. to put forth his doctrine as the true middle way in the place of the Madhyamaka doctrine. it becomes apparent that always the same underlying views are present. is merely adventitious (›gantuka) and cannot touch its essence. This highest being is the only thing in the world that really exists. To these views.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner arranged them in terms of an external division and. For even though in his works. THE FIRST PHILOSOPHICAL SYSTEM OF THE YOGfiCfiRA: THE DOCTRINE OF MAITREYANfiTHA Seen on a large scale.2. which are also common to the Madhyamaka school. In particular. which he mostly calls the element of the factors (dharmadh›tu) and less frequently. shaped the thoughts more clearly. The third work. like water. in doing so. the highest being is mind (citta) and is brightly luminous (prabh›svara). the Madhy›ntavibh›ga. 192 . As for S›ramati for Maitreyan›tha also. All defilement. THE HIGHEST BEING AS THE CENTER OF THE SYSTEM In the center of his system stands the highest being. Finally. all kinds of ideas have also been taken from the Madhyamaka school. To this are added the philosophical views of the older Yog›c›ra school. philosophical views come up for discussion only occasionally and in single disconnected sections. Besides these imperfect attempts to master the recorded masses of the scholasticism of liberation. Maitreyan›tha’s doctrine is an ingenious edifice in which all sorts of older doctrines along with valuable thoughts of his own. together with its buddhology. and is also the basis of the deception of the phenomenal world. It itself is inexpressible (anabhil›pya) and without diversity (aprapañc›tmaka). Maitreyan›tha again and again makes an effort to give his statements the form of the middle doctrine and. In particular though. we may consider to be the doctrine of Maitreyan›tha and to be the first philosophical system of the Yog›c›ra school. however. He speaks of emptiness (Ÿunyat›) only in connection with the Madhyamaka doctrine. it is pure by nature (prak¸tiviŸuddha). gold or space. primarily the doctrine of the pure mind. CFC. suchness (tathat›).

2. the false conception. as seed or element (dh›tu). their relationship is such that they are neither distinct nor not distinct.. By doing so. it can be designated neither as existent nor as nonexistent. He is not content with this. Just as such [an illusion]. on some sort of basis.e. simulates something that does not exist in reality. On the contrary. Consequently. however. as the older Yog›c›ra school has already done. that it is conception. however. so it is also with the phenomenal world. THE FALSE CONCEPTION AND THE DECEPTION OF THE PHENOMENAL WORLD. The highest being—as already stated—is itself mind and is. In this. but goes significantly further. According to Maitreyan›tha. i. in Madhyamaka <299> style. inherent in all beings. the question of who the bearer of the conception is and how it comes about had not been asked. [the highest being] is also not changed in its nature through the purification of defilement.2.2. The latter is thus unreal with regard to what it simulates. through comparison to a magical illusion (m›y›). Maitreyan›tha says. CFC. its defilement and purification are of fundamental importance since bondage and liberation. it displays the image of the various things of the phenomenal world. the highest being constitutes the nature of the factors (dharmat›). CFC. and the entire deception of the phenomenal world in general are based on them. a creation of our cognition. To be precise. he focused on the idea of false conception74 (abhÒtaparikalpa). these are based on the highest being and cannot exist separately. reflects the various things of the phenomenal world. i. too.] 193 .. It comes about in the following way. THE HIGHEST BEING AND THE PHENOMENAL WORLD The phenomenal world encompasses all of the factors (dharma).3. all factors are just such mirror images. In order to explain the deception of the phenomenal world. Up to now. From this element. Real entities outside of cognition do not exist at all.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner thus. Nevertheless. but even though Frauwallner qualifies this term at once and in the next paragraph. instead it is at once existence and non-existence. of a cognition that conceives something unreal. among Buddhist schools. 74 [Obviously. the false conception emerges. The character of the phenomenal world itself is best elucidated. For him this false conception is the foundation of the entire phenomenal world. ‘unreal conception’ would be the literal translation of “unwirkliche Vorstellung”. ETC. and here he develops his most valuable original thoughts. Rather. but it is real as semblance. No real things correspond to these mirror images in conception. Maitreyan›tha did this. the “unreal” in this translation could be read as a statement about the status of the conception itself. Other comparisons which elucidate its nature are the deception which a good painting produces. or a dream. Thus. it is a wide-spread view that the cognition of a thing comes about through the mind taking on its form. For.e.

for Maitreyan›tha. only a concession to the tradition of the school without in any way fruitfully influencing his own lines of thinking. And after he has thus recognized the unreality of object and subject. is the perfect characteristic. that he occasionally states explicitly that the defilements (kleŸa). has heard and correctly comprehended the Mah›y›na doctrine. and <301> these views have philosophical significance as well. no cognition can exist. it is stated. objects. on the other hand. as Maitreyan›tha expresses it. he occasionally distinguishes—as do most Buddhist schools—between mind (citta) and mental factors (caitta). which displays these images. the knowledge next results that cognition also cannot be real because. however. It is thus one of its characteristic marks that <300> it continually simulates a duality (dvaya). it also reflects the subject.2. Thus he says that conception reflects. In addition. as we have met it in the Sa˙dhinirmocanasÒtra. According to these views. This is the so-called non-conceptual knowledge. But he does not elaborate on this any further. however. however. Occasionally.4. and conception (vikalpa). in other words the highest being underlying the false conception in its pure form. that the adoption of this doctrine of the three characteristics is.2. view (udgraha). all duality of conception vanishes and the element of factors itself is seen. is the dependent characteristic. it is clearly noticeable. are mere appearing forms of the mind.1. the absence of duality. Finally. in particular. liberation occurs in the state of absorption by means of non-conceptual knowledge (nirvikalpaka˙ jñ›nam) after the bodhisattva has obtained the necessary merit and knowledge and. objects and beings. as thinking (manas). In this.4. on the other hand. While he usually only speaks of the false conception. Maitreyan›tha dealt with the traditional scholasticism of liberation of the Yog›c›ra school in great detail. It is noteworthy. on the one hand. At the same time. Maitreyan›tha makes the attempt to further structure this duality. Maitreyan›tha clothes all of these views of the phenomenal world and the highest being in the form of the doctrine of the three characteristics. that it appears. without an object. however. The false conception itself. Accordingly. as words. on the one hand. In other passages. THE DOCTRINE OF LIBERATION CFC. His views concerning the constitution of the mental organism are also fragmentary. In addition. From this. is 194 . He does not seem to have formed firm views in this respect. CFC. the self and cognition. What is important here most especially. which are usually counted as mental factors. he also developed his own clear views about the decisive mental processes pertaining to liberation. and bodies.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner The false conception not only reflects the objects of the seeming external world. and can therefore not be real. the images reflected as duality in conception are the imagined characteristic. NON-CONCEPTUAL KNOWLEDGE AND LIBERATION As far as the doctrine of liberation is concerned. he first recognizes that all objects of cognition are accompanied by words and conditioned by words. the mind gathers itself in the element of highest being that is its basis (cittasya svadh›tau sth›nam). the apprehended as well as the apprehending (gr›haka). It displays.

The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner that thereby also the sameness (samat›) of the element of the factors in all beings is recognized. From the point of view of buddhology. he explains the significance of this combined activity by comparison to rivers which only fully show their value as dwelling-places for beings when their waters unite in the ocean. It is noteworthy. corresponding to the goal <302> of the Mah›y›na. it does not appear as brightly luminous mind but rather as similar to a world soul which pervades everything in its activity. On this issue. in this connection. and that a multiplicity can be spoken of only with respect to the earlier embodiment. of the adventitious defilement of worldly existence. Liberation itself consists in the fact that. at the same time. If it does not manifest everywhere in its activity. the defilement that conditions entanglement in cyclic existence is removed so that the element of factors. The doctrine of the state of the Liberated One is for Maitreyan›tha thus connected with buddhology. no multiplicity is possible. through non-conceptual knowledge. It is not an all at once process but one that takes place in stages over long periods of time. which is inherent in all beings. however. On the other hand. the consequential view that. This process is called transformation of the basis (›Ÿrayapar›v¸tti). gained in the state of absorption.] emerge with regard to the highest being. however. without anything that could signify a bondage. the second makes possible the teaching and. thereby. as a result by another knowledge (p¸˝˛halabdhajñ›na) which also remains in the ordinary state of consciousness. Its activity is uninterrupted and all-encompassing. 195 . CFC. the liberation of other beings. on the one hand. in other words. to the numerous stages of the path of liberation as elaborated by the old scholasticism of liberation. Further.2. It is eternal and omnipresent. omniscience and buddhahood. Our presentation thus returns to the point from which it started. inherent in all beings. that its activity occurs without striving (yatna). with regard to the unity of the stainless element of factors. liberation is gained and. reaches its own natural purity. is further followed. Likewise. features other than we have first discussed [S. Maitreyan›tha professes. A special question arises as to how the personage and the multiplicity of the Buddhas is to be reconciled with the buddhahood that is based only on the highest being.2. As buddhahood. this is due to the corruptness of beings. Since liberation consists of the purification of the element of the factors. 298ff. as indeed he does all the processes leading to liberation. philosophically insignificant and need not be taken into consideration here. he does actually take into account the multiplicity of Buddhas practically and explains their combined activity by comparison to the combined activity of sunbeams. Maitreyan›tha connects it. its activity is manifold and inexhaustible like a light that shines without becoming exhausted. And while the first brings about one’s own liberation. This complicated scheme is. the Liberated One belongs to the pure highest being. without effort (›bhoga) and without egotism.4. This non-conceptual knowledge. BUDDHOLOGY AND THE HIGHEST BEING With the last and final transformation of the basis.

the concepts of the Madhyamaka system. are the marks of the Buddha and are unique to him. in chapter 1 of the Madhy›ntavibh›ga translated below.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner Maitreyan›tha also refers several times to the good or white qualities which. it must be noted that he is also acquainted with the doctrine of the three bodies of the Buddha so widespread in the Mah›y›na <303> which. In this. wherever an opportunity presents itself. although in reality it is not defiled. CFC. I have refrained from a more thorough sequential explanation. with a view of their relativity. and elucidated only a few points where it seems necessary since after the preceding presentation. v. because always in a certain sense. by equating his highest being with emptiness (ŸÒnyat›). although in reality it does not exist. above all. This is elucidated using the examples of a magical illusion <304> and of the deception produced by a good painting. The phenomenal world is perceived. 16-19) deals with the nature of the phenomenal world and the highest reality. 196 . by adopting and incorporating. CFC. He offers such a middle view in his doctrine through the negation of the two extremes at every possible opportunity with respect to the most varied of concepts. which can serve as a good example of this entire way of approach and to which may be thus referred. I have selected and meaningfully arranged verses from different chapters of the work in order to elucidate the most significant tenets. INTRODUCTION TO THE SAMPLES FROM THE MAHfiYfiNASÚTRfiLA±KfiRA The first of the following translated samples is taken from the Mah›y›nasÒtr›la˙k›ra. by seeking to give his doctrine the form of the middle way. This he does in spite of all the differences in view. for example. Space and clear water that is only outwardly cloudy. according to the old doctrine.2. has more theological than philosophical interest and hence need not be taken into consideration here. he does not deny the respective extremes on principle. however.3.e. In doing so. because both do not apply in any way. The first series of verses (XIII. Finally. as the Madhyamaka school originally does. there is lastly the fact that he tried as far as possible to merge the views of the Madhyamaka school with this and in this way tried to replace and supersede the Madhyamaka doctrine. THE DOCTRINE OF MAITREYANfiTHA AND THE MADHYAMAKA DOCTRINE This is in outline the doctrine of Maitreyan›tha. The highest reality is purified. however. but. i. As an essential feature. The most systematic attempt of this application of the middle way is found.. since Maitreyan›tha himself does not give a continuous presentation and too much that is philosophically insignificant is woven in.5. serve as examples. Rather he denies their one-sided affirmation. A translation of continuous sections was out of the question. the opposite also applies. most of this should be readily understandable.

e. Thus. e. in particular. [2] neither right or false conception by which are understood the processes of cognition which prepare for the liberating cognition. The magician does not after all bring the deception about out of nothing. v. the defilements which are said not to be independent factors but only appearing forms of the mind. then the appearance of duality vanishes. This is illustrated through the example of leather which. In addition. A magical illusion exists. a piece of wood. 31-35) deals with conception and how it emerges.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner The second series of verses (XI. 17-18) allude to the supranatural power gained by the ascetic subsequent to the liberating cognition about the phenomenal world. and thus they lose the character of a conception. v. the imagined characteristic is the conceived image in which object-referent and name mutually condition each other. If they are turned towards the highest object accessible to them. refers to the doctrine of the threefold characteristic and is easily understandable from the sections translated of the Sa˙dhinirmocanasÒtra (VI. 14-18]. [3] non-conception. is cited. or through the example of a bent rod which becomes straight under the influence of heat.g. They display the appearance of duality without containing an actual duality. Next [v. in all beings. the good and bad mental factors are mentioned.. is classified as follows: [1] false conception by which is meant the ordinary processes of cognition. By way of explanation. i. The next series of verses (XI. Here. To be precise. Maitreyan›tha applies the middle doctrine’s way manner of approach to this view of the phenomenal world. Ordinary conceptions emerge from their element. One should thus neither one-sidedly state that it exists nor that it does not exist.. they give a brief definition of this threefold nature according to Maitreyan›tha. as soon as the so-called transformation of the basis (›Ÿrayapar›v¸tti) takes place with the purification of the element of the factors. i. the fact that people who have been deceived by a magical illusion are able. above S.. which is to be seen neither as conception nor as nonconception. 19-21]. In this. the emergence of the deception of the phenomenal world is elucidated by means of the example of a magical illusion. [4] the resulting knowledge belonging to the ordinary state of consciousness. ???). the entire sphere of the phenomenal world which is indeed nothing but conception. 197 . from the element of the factors which is inherent as a seed. The subject of the next three verses (XI. loses its hardness and becomes soft. 39-41) is the doctrine of the threefold nature of things. First. by directing them towards their element. p. it is true. And the same applies to the phenomenal world. is easily understandable. the last two verses (v. as support and just causes it to appear in a different form.e. the non-conceptual <305> knowledge (nirvikalpaka jñ›na). abandoned and purified. after the vanishing of the deception. given appropriate treatment. but rather he takes some real object. and. as an appearance but not as a real thing. finally. to deal with its origins just as they please. 288. 13-23) begins with a short description of the nature of the highest reality. perhaps as an elephant. v. 11. which brings liberation. Following that [v. the statement that it must be recognized.

First [v. Maitreyan›tha begins once again to expound his own views. Now there follows (v. 3-4]. 5] is also joined the doctrine that liberation and the cycle of existences are in reality one and the same. 1]. These are old lines of thought that reach far back to the canonical texts. the chapter presents in concise terms a good summary of the essential features of the processes of liberation according to Maitreyan›tha’s view. Only the statement that the highest reality is not purified and. finally. and conception. with this. To the thought that the belief in a self is a mere error and that liberation. The first five verses lean heavily on Madhyamaka lines of thinking. it is not peaceful since it is defiled through adventitious stain. is discussed in nearly as broad a manner as in N›g›rjuna. In between are interspersed comments from the perspective of the middle way. and it is existence. and body. I present this brief chapter in full because it corresponds to the section of the BodhisattvabhÒmi partially translated above and shows how Maitreyan›tha follows this work only superficially and very freely expresses his own thoughts in the comments attached to it. <307> This too corresponds to the doctrine of the Prajñ›p›ramit› and the Madhyamaka school. is defined here according to the middle doctrine (cf. Then [v. therefore. object-referent. First. the section from the Madhy›ntavibh›ga translated below). Thus. and something else that could be the self does not exist. Furthermore. nevertheless. people are unable to recognize that things are painful and thus cannot be the self. view. yet even that is not the case since the factors are also not real. It is non-existence. The perfect characteristic. [v. and that all things. <306> The next series of verses [v. the belief in a self. as the cause of entanglement in the cycle of existences. 2]. there is no self. The decisive 198 . the nature of which consists in the absence of the duality of object and subject. indeed. are called forth by each other only in accordance with the law of dependent origination. Finally. consists simply of the extinction of this error. People experience suffering because they feel it and they do not experience it because they do not understand it. which retains the style of the Prajñ›p›ramit› texts. and it is peaceful. it unites in itself existence and non-existence. a definition of the highest reality is given. since this duality does not exist. in spite of its nature as mind. whereby each of these appears to be triply divided: the object into name. For they consist only of factors. without an active self being behind them. 6) the presentation of the process of liberation itself and. 1-10] forms the VIth chapter of the Mah›y›nasÒtr›la˙k›ra. [This belief] is a mere error since neither it nor the five groups are the self. Further. and that he hears and correctly comprehends the Mah›y›na doctrine. since this non-existence exists. it lacks the nature of conception. including the mental factors. under its influence.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner The dependent characteristic is the false conception which displays the twofold appearance of object and subject. even though the attainment of liberation by means of the path shown by the Buddha is taught. becomes purified refers again to the fact that it is pure by nature and merely adventitiously stained. Nevertheless [v. since it is pure by nature. They are tormented by it but also not tormented because. he mentions the preparatory stages which consist of the bodhisattva obtaining the necessary accumulation of good deeds and knowledge. the subject into mind.

The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner

process of cognition begins with his becoming aware that all conceived images—hence, all
objects of cognition—are accompanied by words and are conditioned by words and are thus
unreal. Through this he comes to the insight [v. 7] that nothing exists but the cognition that
displays the appearance of the objects, and, following that, by freeing himself from the duality
of subject and object, he arrives at the direct seeing of the highest reality. In detail [v. 8], this
last step takes place in such a way that, with the disappearance of the object, the subject as well
is invalidated. With this, insight into the unreality of duality is gained and the highest
cognition, which consists of the direct clear comprehension of the nondual highest reality,
occurs. This highest cognition brings with it [v. 9] that the equality of the element of factors,
which is one and the same in all beings, is recognized. And in that it removes all stains that
cause entanglement in the cycle of existences, it leads to liberation. The last verse [v. 10]
mentions as a kind of supplement, that on this stage the bodhisattva also recognizes the doctrine
of the Buddha as mere conception, based on the element of factors and, that henceforth, he
quickly acquires the countless virtues that make him a Buddha.
As a last sample from the Mah›y›nasÒtr›la˙k›ra, several groups of verses from the IXth chapter,
which deals with buddhahood, follow. First (v. 11-12), buddhahood is praised as the refuge for
all beings and its attainment is briefly described. In this, the following points are emphasized:
[i] the prerequisite is the removal of both of the obstructions, the obstruction of defilements and
the obstruction to what is to be known, which occurs gradually through numerous <308>
eliminations. [ii] Buddhahood itself is based on the transformation of the basis which brings
about the purification of the element of factors, and which is distinguished through the qualities
unique to the Buddhas, that—in accordance with their moral character—are called white factors.
[iii] The path to this is, finally, the non-conceptual knowledge unafflicted by stains, which
brings with it omniscience.
The remaining groups of verses are easily understood and need no thorough explanation. They
deal with (v. 15-17) the omnipresence of buddhahood, and explain through examples, why
[buddhahood] does not become apparent everywhere. Then, it is mentioned that the activities of
the Buddhas are without effort (›bhoga), in other words, without inner bondage (v. 18-19), and
that they occur uninterruptedly (v. 20-21). Following this, (v. 26) it is established why one can
speak neither exclusively of a unity nor of a multiplicity of the Buddhas, and why thus in a
certain sense, both apply. Further, through the comparison with sunbeams, the uniformity of
their activity is explained (v. 29-31), which is without any selfishness (v. 32) and which extends
to everything as long as the corruptness of beings is not in the way (v. 33-34). One verse (v. 37)
shows that buddhahood, as the pure form of the element of the factors, is inherent in all beings
as a seed. A further series of verses deals, once again, with the activity of a Buddha. It describes
(v. 51) how the one Buddha displays a thousandfold activity in numberless world spheres and
yet by his actual nature remains immovable. It emphasizes again (v. 52-53) how the activity of
the Buddha takes place without inner involvement and effort. Using the example of a lamp, it
illustrates (v. 54) how the nature of the Buddha, in spite of all that it radiates, does not exhaust

199

The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner

itself. Finally, through comparison with the ocean, it explains (v. 55) how the element of factors,
as sphere of the Buddha, does not become full and does not increase in spite of the influx
resulting from the continual purification and liberation of so many beings. The last series of
verses (v. 82-85), once again by means of an example, shows finally how the activity of the
Buddha comes into full effect only through <309> its unity in buddhahood.
CFC.3.1.

FROM THE “ORNAMENT OF THE SÚTRAS OF THE MAHfiYfiNA”
(MAHfiYfiNASÚTRfiLA±KfiRA)
CHAPTER XIII:
[The nature of the phenomenal world and the highest reality.]
16
Perception, without existing factors, and purification, without existing defilements, are to be
regarded like a magical illusion, etc., and like space, [respectively].
17
Just as in a properly painted picture, there exists no height and depth and yet they are seen, so
in false conception, there is never and in no way a duality, and yet it is seen.
18
Just as water that has been churned up and then again calmed, the clarity does not arise from
elsewhere, but only a separation of the dirt takes place, this same principle applies also to the
purification of one’s own mind.
19
The opinion is accepted that the mind is by nature continuously clear and only becomes clouded
through adventitious flaws. Apart from the mind that is based on the nature of factors
(dharmat›citta), there is no other mind whose clarity by nature is taught.

CHAPTER XI:
[The nature of the highest reality]
13
Reality is continuously free from duality; it is, however, the foundation of error. It cannot be
<310> expressed in any way and is, by nature, without diversity. It must be recognized,
abandoned and purified, is considered to be stainless by nature and its purification from
defilements is considered to be similar to space, to gold, and to water.
14

200

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There is nothing in the world [of beings] that is other than it, and still, the entire world [of
beings] is deluded about it. Why does this peculiar kind of delusion of people that clings to the
non-existent and completely disregards the existent, come about?
15
Like a magical illusion [as cause], so the false conception (abhÒtaparikalpa) is explained. Like the
effect of the magical illusion, so the deception of duality is explained.
16
Like the non-existence of the one [i.e., the effect of the magical illusion] in the other
[i.e., magical illusion as cause], so the highest truth is accepted. Just as with the perception of
this [effect of the magical illusion], however, so (it is with) the restricted truth .
17
Just as with the vanishing of the ([effect of the] magical illusion) the (true) constitution of its
cause (nimitta) is apprehended, so with the transformation of the basis (›Ÿrayapar›vrtti) (the true
constitution) of the false conception is apprehended.
18
And just as people, when they are freed from error, deal with this cause just as they please, so,
if due to the transformation <311> the error has vanished, it is in the power of the ascetic to
proceed just as he pleases.
19
The corresponding shape is there, yet [real] existence is not present. Thus, with regard to a
magical illusion, etc., one speaks of existence and non-existence.
20
In this, existence is not non-existence and non-existence is not existence. However, with regard
to a magical illusion, etc., one asserts the non-difference of existence and non-existence.
21
Likewise the appearance of duality is there, yet [real] existence is not present. Thus, with regard
to (visible) form, etc., one speaks of existence and non-existence.
22
In this, existence is not non-existence and non-existence is not existence. However, with regard
to (visible) form, etc., one asserts the non-difference of existence and non-existence.
23
This [non-difference] is assumed in order to reject the two extremes of affirmation and negation
and in order to reject the way of the small vehicle (Hınay›na).

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[…]
[Conception and how it emerges]
31
The entirety of the knowable is explained as false conception, as neither false nor right
[conception], as non-conception and as neither-conception-nor-non-conception.
32
From their element (dh›tu) emerge the conceptions which show the appearance of duality, are
accompanied by ignorance and defilements in their <312> working, and are free from a real
duality (dvayadravya).
33
They, [i.e., those conceptions,] attain their most excellent object-support if one practices directing
them toward their element, since they then appear without the appearance of duality, like a
piece of leather or a rod.
34
It is maintained that the mind that displays the appearance of duality also displays the
appearance of greed, etc., and the appearance of faith, etc. A defiled or good factor distinct from
this does not exist.
35
The mind thus becomes apparent in that it displays manifold appearances and manifold
appearing forms. Existence and non-existence thus concerns the image, and not the factors.
[…]
[The doctrine of the threefold nature of things]
39
The appearance of the object-referent and of the name—which correspond to the name and
object-referent—which is the object (nimitta) of the false conception, that is the imagined
characteristic.
40
The false conception which is characterized by the apprehended and the apprehending, and
respectively displays a threefold appearance, that is the dependent characteristic.
41
Non-existence and existence, the equality of existence and non-existence, not peaceful and
peaceful, and non-conception that is the perfect characteristic. <313>

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CHAPTER VI:
[Bondage and the essential features of the processes of liberation]
1
It is not existent and not non-existent, it is not such and not otherwise, it does not arise and does
not pass away, it does not decrease and does not increase, it is not purified and yet is purified –
that is the mark of the highest truth.
2
The belief in a self itself does not have the mark of the self, just as little as the world of suffering
does (du¯sa˙sthitat›), since [the latter] is of another type [than the self]. Something other than
these two does not exist, however. Thus, [the belief in a self] is an error. Consequently,
liberation is the simple extinction of this error.
3
Why do people who are merely in error not recognize the eternally painful nature (of things)?
They experience it and they do not experience it. They are tormented and not tormented by
suffering. They consist of the factors and they do not consist of them.
4
Why do people, even though they have the dependently originated before their eyes, believe
that it has arisen through something else? What peculiar kind of delusion is this that they do not
see what exists and see what does not exist?
5
In reality, there is also no difference here at all between peace (i.e., nirv›˚a) and birth [sa˙s›ra].
And yet, for those who perform good deeds, the attainment of peace through the extinction of
birth is taught. <314>
6
After he has collected an unlimited accumulation of knowledge and merit, the Bodhisattva,
having attained full clarity through reflection on the doctrinal texts, recognizes that the
apprehension of the object-referents is dependent on language.
7
After he has recognized the object-referents as mere language, he abides in the mere mind
which displays their appearance, and the element of the factors becomes apparent to him.
Through this, he is liberated from the characteristic of duality.
8

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For in that he recognizes through his intelligence that something other than the mind does not
exist, he thereby also recognizes the non-existence of the mind. And having recognized the
non-existence of duality, the intelligent person abides in the element of factors that is not
affected by it.
9
Through the power of non-conceptual knowledge which everywhere and always accompanies
sameness (sama), the dense heap of faults, that has collected in him, is, for the sensible person,
removed, as is poison by a strong antidote.
10
After he has gained full clarity about the good doctrine proclaimed by the sage (the Buddha),
the steadfast one directs his mind to the underlying element of the factors. He recognizes, then,
that the <315> (entire) tradition (sm¸tigati) is mere conception, and in this way he quickly
reaches the other shore of the ocean of virtues.

CHAPTER IX:
[The nature of buddhahood]
11
As long as the world exists, buddhahood is accepted as the great refuge of all beings so that
they turn away from all misfortune and so that all good fortune is bestowed upon them.
12
This buddhahood, in which the seed of the obstructions of defilements and the obstruction to
what is to be known—which constantly adheres to beings since beginningless time—has
vanished as a result of extremely abundant rejections of all kinds, consists of a transformation of
the basis, which is associated with the most excellent virtues consisting of white factors. To be
more precise, [buddhahood] is attained by the way of knowledge that is free from conceptions,
has an extremely broad scope and is completely pure.
13
Dwelling therein, the Perfected One surveys the world as if he were standing on a high
mountain. He feels compassion for people who take pleasure in peace (i.e., nirv›˚a), how much
more so for other people, who take pleasure in becoming [sa˙s›ra].
[…]
15
As it is thought about space, that it is constantly all-pervasive, so it is thought about
(buddhahood), that it is constantly all-pervasive. And just as space is everywhere present in the

204

the activities of the Victorious Ones (the Buddhas). a disappearing and arising of the activities (of people) constantly takes place. and in connection with an earlier body. <317> like space. so [buddhahood] is everywhere present in the crowds of beings. the activities of people can be seen uninterruptedly. 30 205 . <316> 16 Just as the image of the moon does not appear if the vessel of water is broken. there is no unity and no multiplicity. so [can be seen] uninterruptedly. so the Buddhas display their activities without any effort on their part. 18 Just as sound emanates from (celestial) musical instruments. 17 Just as fire flares up in one place. 21 And just as. so. […] 29 Just as innumerable rays. […] 26 In the unstained element of the Buddhas. so should it be understood about the Buddhas. in the uncontaminated element. but goes out in another. so the image of the Buddha does not appear in corrupt beings.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner crowds of (visible) forms (rÒpa). 19 And just as a precious gem displays its luster without exerting itself. that now they appear and now they do not appear. in space. constantly bring forth one and the same effect and illuminate the world. 20 Just as. without their being struck. an arising and ceasing of the activities of the Buddhas takes place. so the doctrine emanates from the Buddha without any effort on his part. because of bodilessness. in the uncontaminated element. united in the disc of the sun. in space.

The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner

so, in the unstained element, an immense number of Buddhas is assumed who, united in their
activities, bring forth one and the same effect and call forth the light of knowledge.
31
Just as with the radiating of one single sunbeam, all of the sunbeams radiate, so is the radiating
of the knowledge of the Buddhas to be understood.
32
Just as, in the working of the sunbeam, there is no selfishness, so, in the working of the
Buddhas’ knowledge, there is no selfishness.
33
Just as the world is illuminated by the sunbeams, whose glow the sun emits at once, so all that
is knowable is illuminated at once by the knowledge of the Buddhas.
34
And just as it is thought that sunbeams are hindered by clouds, etc., so the corruption of beings
constitutes a hindrance to [illumination by] the knowledge of the Buddhas. <318>
[…]
37
Suchness, – which is no different in all (beings) –, if it has become pure, represents
buddhahood. Therefore, all embodied (beings) carry the seed of it within them (tadgarbha =
tath›gatagarbha).
[…]
51
Here, (the Buddha) shows the wheel of the doctrine in many hundred of ways, there, the
disappearance of birth, there, manifold defects through births, here, perfect enlightenment,
there, nirv›˚a; and that again and again. In doing so, he does not move from his place and yet
he accomplishes everything.
52
In doing so, the Buddhas think: “This one is ripe for me. This one I must ripen. This one will
now be ripened.” [Thus even] without an act of will (sa˙sk›ra = abhisa˙sk›ra), by virtue of the
white factors (i.e., the virtues of the Buddha), people everywhere in all parts of the world, reach
ripening through the three gates (of the three vehicles).
53
Just as, through the emission of its extensive bright rays, the sun is active without effort in the
ripening of seeds everywhere in all parts of the world, so, through the emission of the rays of

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the doctrine, the sun of the (Buddhas’) doctrine that preaches peace (i.e., nirv›˚a) is active in the
ripening of beings everywhere in all parts of the world.
54
Just as from one light an extremely great, boundless and immeasurable abundance of light
emanates without <319> it thereby exhausting itself, so, from a Buddha, an extremely great,
boundless and immeasurable abundance of ripening emanates without him thereby exhausting
himself.
55
And just as the great ocean does not become saturated by the waters and is not increased by the
influx of the extensive clear waters, so the element of the Buddhas is not saturated and is not
increased by the constantly arriving influx of purity. This is the greatest marvel.
[…]
82
As long as they do not sink underground, rivers, that each have a distinct bed and distinct
water, that each carry only a little water and accomplish their effect separately, are of use to
only a few beings living in the water.
83
If, however, they have reached the ocean and all now have one bed and one great body of
water, and together accomplish one effect, then they are constantly of great use to the great
mass of beings living in the water.
84
Likewise, as long as they have not reached buddhahood, the sages, who have each their own
distinct abode and distinct opinion, who possess little insight and each pursue separately their
own activity, are constantly of use to only a limited number of beings.
85
If, however, they have reached buddhahood and all have the same abode, possess the same
great insight <320> and together perform the same activity, then they are constantly of use to a
great crowd of beings.
CFC.4.

INTRODUCTION TO SAMPLES FROM THE MADHYfiNTAVIBHfiGA
The second translated sample presents the philosophically most important parts of the
first chapter of the Madhy›ntavibh›ga. This chapter contains Maitreyan›tha’s discussion of the
Madhyamaka doctrine. He goes about this by giving his doctrine the form of the middle way as
he understands it, and tries thereby to correct and to complement the Madhyamaka doctrine.

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Accordingly, he also chooses a new name for his doctrine and does not speak of the middle
way, but calls it the doctrine of the middle and the extremes. Essential, in this connection, is that
in which he believes to find the middle way between the extremes and his incorporation of the
concept of emptiness (ŸÒnyat›).
The first two verses, already present his view of the middle way. N›g›rjuna had seen the
middle way in the fact that both extremes, existence and non-existence, do not apply to the
phenomenal world because both are, in and of themselves, not possible (cf. e.g., the translation
of the 15th chapter of the Madhyamakak›rik›, above S. 180ff., pp. ???). Besides this, however, we
already find in N›g›rjuna the tendency to establish the denial of the two extremes by stating
that neither of them applies exclusively since, in a certain sense, the other is also valid (cf. e.g.,
Ratn›valı I, v. 42 ff., above S. 212, p. ???).
The Yog›c›ra school decided in favor of this view. Thus in the above translated section of the
BodhisattvabhÒmi (S. 283f., pp. ???), we have found the middle way explained in such a way that
one cannot speak of an existence of the phenomenal world because it is mere conception and,
therefore, unreal, but that one can just as little speak of a non-existence, since the highest being,
which is the basis [of the phenomenal world], is real.
And the same view holds for Maitreyan›tha, except that with him it appears in a somewhat
more complicated form since he does not—as does the BodhisattvabhÒmi—have only the
phenomenal world and the highest being in view, but takes into account the three
characteristics which the Sa˙dhinirmocanasÒtra had taught. <321> Of these three characteristics,
the imagined characteristic is pure conception, the dependent and perfect characteristic are the
highest being in its defiled and its purified forms. Accordingly, the doctrine of the middle way
takes the following form for Maitreyan›tha: He sees the imagined characteristic in the duality of
subject and object, which conception displays to us. The dependent characteristic is, for him, the
false conception which is, indeed, afflicted with the deception of duality. The perfect
characteristic, finally, is the highest being, insofar as it is free from this deception. He speaks
thus of non-existence or emptiness, but later equates this (v. 13-14) explicitly with the highest
being, that is, with the element of factors. In this then, the duality of subject and object does not
exist, since it is mere conception. On the other hand, the non-existence [of duality], that is, the
highest reality, and the false conception, which is based on this do exist. With respect to the
phenomenal world, therefore, one should not speak of existence, since duality does not exist,
and one should not speak of non-existence since emptiness and the false conception do exist.
And this is the true middle way.
Maitreyan›tha then (v. 3-4) elucidates the central concept of the false conception (abhÒtaparikalpa),
starting from which he explains the entire phenomenal world, and following that (v. 5), he
briefly presents the relationship to the doctrine of the three characteristics. The false conception
consists in the fact that cognition arises by displaying the appearance of object and subject. But a
real object does not exist. And, without an object, no subject can exist either. This is the same
inference that recurs in the description of the liberating cognition, and which we have thus
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already encountered above. It follows from this, however, that all cognition is merely a
conception of something unreal. This unreality is, then also concisely defined in terms of the
middle way. The conceived does not exist in the way it appears because in reality it does not
exist. But it is also not completely non-existent because it exists as a conception. However, just as
N›g›rjuna teaches, bondage and liberation and, with this, <322> the entire course of the world
are based on this deception of the conception, since liberation consists only in the extinction of
this deception. This false conception is, in terms of the doctrine of the three characteristics, the
dependent characteristic; its object, that is, the duality of subject and object, is the imagined
characteristic; and the non-existence of this duality, as it ensues from liberation, is the perfect
characteristic.
The next two verses (v. 6-7) elaborate in greater detail on the briefly mentioned establishment
of the unreality of conception. From the insight that only the cognition as having the
[appearing] form of the objects is perceived, there arises the knowledge that no object-referents
are perceived. But from the fact, that no object-referents are apprehended, there arises the
further consequence that also no cognition can be perceived since, without object-referents, there
is no cognition. The seeming perception is, therefore, in reality a non-perception. But because
both exist, – the non-perception in accordance with the actual facts, and the perception, since,
indeed, the unreal conceptual image is perceived, – perception and non-perception are the
same. And with that, the relative view in terms of the middle way is once again woven in.
A few remarks on the psychological foundation of the false conception follow in two verses (v. 89). Corresponding to the general Buddhist view, this psychological foundation consists of the
mind or cognition and the mental factors belonging to it, both of which are classified in terms of
the three world spheres. Of these, the mind recognizes the given object in general, whereas the
mental factors grasp its distinctive features. The interpretation of the second verse is difficult
since Maitreyan›tha hints at his views rather than expressing them and later interpreters have
read Asaºga’s psychology into his words. A number of things point to the fact that
Maitreyan›tha distinguishes two forms of cognition, of which the first merely conveys the
appearance of the object, whereas the second allows for the awareness of [the object’s]
perception. The first, would thus correspond to the object part, the second to the subject part of
the false conception. <323>
In the original, two verses then follow which enumerate the forms of defilements that condition
the entanglement in the cycle of existences, using the superficial systematic often found in
Maitreyan›tha. With this, the first half of the chapter is finished.
The second half, which now follows, deals with emptiness (ŸÒnyat›) or the highest being. After a
brief account of the outline of this section, Maitreyan›tha first (v. 13) gives a definition of
emptiness. In this, he repeats the determination of the perfect characteristic given at the
beginning of the chapter [v. 1] which, as we know, corresponds with the highest being, but he
formulates it somewhat more pointedly in terms of the middle way. In accordance to [this

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determination], emptiness is the non-existence of duality and the existence of this non-existence,
i.e., it has a positive character. It is not a mere absence but an essence characterized by the
absence of duality. As a result of that, in terms of a relative way of looking at things, it can be
designated neither as existent nor as non-existent, and with this the middle way is once again
preserved. Important, but not further elaborated, is the determination contained in the last part
of this verse. It refers to the relationship of the highest being to the phenomenal world, in other
words, of the nature of factors (dharmat›) to the factors (dharma). According to Maitreyan›tha, this
relationship is such that the two are neither distinct nor one.
The next two verses (v. 14-15) enumerate the different names by which emptiness is also
designated, and explains them. It is called suchness (tathat›) because it never changes. It is called
pinnacle of the real (bhÒtakoti) because it is free from any error. It is called the signless (›nimitta)
because it is without any sign. It is called the highest truth (param›rthat›), because it is the object
of the knowledge of the Noble Ones. And it is called element of factors (dharmadh›tu) because
the qualities (dharma) of the Noble Ones are based on it.
Subsequently, Maitreyan›tha discusses emptiness from the point of view of bondage and
liberation (v. 16), that is, in exactly the same way as in his other works where he uses the
designation ‘element of the factors’. <324> [Emptiness] is, accordingly, either stained or
unstained. It is stained if it is defiled through connection with the defilements. It is unstained if
it is purified through the removal of the defilements. This defilement and purification, however,
does not affect the nature [of emptiness] and does not cause any change in it since it is pure by
nature, and all stains are only adventitious, as is the case with water, gold or space (cf. above
Mah›y›nasÒtr›la˙k›ra XI, v. 13). The verses that now follow in the original (v. 17-20) are an
insertion, in which Maitreyan›tha enumerates the sixteen types of emptinesses which are taught
in the Prajñ›p›ramit›. Then he continues (v. 21-22): The defiled form of emptiness must exist,
because otherwise there would be no entanglement in the cycle of existences. The purified form
must exist, because otherwise no liberation would be possible. It is, therefore, relatively seen,
neither defiled nor undefiled, neither pure nor impure. Thus here also the principle of the
middle way holds.
CFC.5.

FROM THE “ELUCIDATION OF THE MIDDLE AND OF THE EXTREMES”
(MADHYANTAVIBHfiGA)
CHAPTER I
1
False conception exists. There is no duality therein. There is, however, emptiness therein. And
in the latter, there is also that [false conception].
2

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Hence, everything is taught neither as empty nor as not-empty, due to existence [of the false
conception], to non-existence [of duality], and to existence [of that non-existence]. And this is the
middle way.
3
Cognition arises in that it reflects object-referents, beings, the self, and perception. It has no
object, however, and because this [object] is absent, [cognition] itself is non-existent. <325>
4
Hence, the character [of the four appearances of cognition] as false conception is established
because it is not thus, but is also not completely not. It is maintained that liberation (occurs) due
to its vanishing.
5
The imagined, dependent and perfect characteristic has been taught on the basis of the object,
the false conception, and the non-existence of duality.
6
Based on perception, non-perception arises. Based on non-perception, non-perception arises.
7
Hence, it is established that the nature of perception is non-perception. Because of that, it should
be known that non-perception and perception are the same.
8
The false conception is the mind and the mental factors which belong to the three realms. In
this, cognition is the seeing of the object. The mental factors are directed toward its distinctive
features.
9
[There are two forms of cognition:]
One is the cognition which takes note [of an object] (pratyayavijñ›na), [i.e., the object part,] the
other is the cognition which experiences (aupabhogika), [i.e., the subject part]. In this, the mental
factors promote (preraka) determination (pariccheda) and experience (upabhoga).
[…] <326>
13
The non-existence of duality and the existence of [this] non-existence is the characteristic of that
which is empty. (It is thus) neither existence nor non-existence, characterized neither by
distinctness nor through unity.
14
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Suchness, the pinnacle of the real, the signless, the highest truth, and the element of the factors,
these are, in brief, the synonyms of emptiness.
15
The meaning of these synonyms results respectively from the fact [that emptiness] is not
different, is without error, is the suppression of (signs), is the sphere of the Noble Ones and is
the cause of the qualities of the Noble Ones.
16
[Emptiness] is defiled and pure or stained and unstained. It is assumed that its purity is similar
to the purity of the element of water, of gold, and of space.
[…]
21
If this [emptiness] were not defiled, all beings would be liberated. If this [emptiness] were not
pure, every effort would be fruitless.
22
It is (therefore) neither defiled nor undefiled, neither pure nor impure.

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CFD.

ASA∫GA (CA. 315-390 C.E.)
The most important personality of the Yog›c›ra school is Asaºga, the great student of
Maitreyan›tha. Asaºga <327> was born towards the beginning of the 4th century C.E. as a son
of a distinguished brahmin in Puru˝apura ([modern] Pesh›war). Initially, he belonged to the
Hınay›na school of the MahıŸ›saka, but turned later towards the Mah›y›na. The influence of
his teacher Maitreyan›tha was decisive for him. Maitreyan›tha imparted his works to Asaºga,
who partly commented on them himself and partly passed them on to his brother Vasubandhu
so that he could write the commentaries to them. The later legend had it—once the personality
of Maitreyan›tha was forgotten—that Asaºga received these works from the future Buddha
Maitreya in Tu˝ita heaven. It was further important to the development of the school that
Asaºga succeeded in winning over to his doctrine his younger brother Vasubandhu, who then
developed an extremely extensive and successful activity in the service of his new conviction.
According to a later tradition, Asaºga died at the age of seventy-five years.
In spite of his being a student of Maitreyan›tha and in spite of the latter’s strong influence on
him, Asaºga did accomplish significant achievements of his own, to be precise, two things in
particular. Through his adoption and incorporation of the Hınay›na dogmatics, he developed
the Yog›c›ra system in such a way that it could place itself in every respect on equal terms with
the great Hınay›na schools of that time. Further, he firmly incorporated the mass of the old
scholasticism of liberation into his system, which Maitreyan›tha had not succeeded in doing. In
this way, he established a unified system of doctrines that has in its essential aspects remained
enduringly valid.

CFD.1.

THE WORKS OF ASA∫GA
Of Asaºga’s numerous treatises the following are particularly important:

The Abhidharmasamuccaya (Compendium of the Dogmatics), in which, in reliance on the
Abhidharma of the MahıŸ›saka, he gave the Yog›c›ra school its fundamental
dogmatics.

The Hien yang cheng kiao louen (Proclamation of the Noble Doctrine, as a makeshift
commonly called firyadeŸan›vikhy›pana or, in brief, Vikhy›pana, (since the original title is
not known), which is preserved only in Chinese, a systematic <328> summary of the
doctrines of the gigantic Yog›c›rabhÒmiŸ›stra (see above S. 265f., pp. ???)

The Mah›y›nasa˙graha (Summary of the Mah›y›na), the philosophically most significant
work, in which he gives a systematic presentation of the fundamental doctrines of his
system.

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CFD.2.
CFD.2.1.

THE PHILOSOPHICAL SYSTEM OF ASA∫GA
ADOPTION OF OLD CONCEPTS AND DEVELOPMENT OF NEW
PSYCHOLOGICAL CONCEPTS
Most characteristic of Asaºga’s system is, as already mentioned, the adoption of the concepts of
Hınay›na dogmatics. This shows is especially evident in the psychology. Maitreyan›tha’s pure
cognition, from which mistaken conceptions originate, is replaced in Asaºga by the complex of
mental factors as taught by the Hınay›na school, that is, the mind, i.e., the six kinds of
cognition already found in the canon, and the mental factors associated with it. To this is added
thinking (manas), as the bearer of self-consciousness, and, what is especially important, the
fundamental cognition (›layavijñ›na).
The latter has the following origin. Since, according to general Buddhist doctrine, the mental
factors have only a moment’s duration and immediately after their arising pass away again, the
question soon arose as to how, in cases where an interruption of consciousness takes place, the
stream of cognition can continue again later. For this reason, several schools of the Hınay›na,
among them the MahıŸ›saka, had assumed a form of cognition which underlies the conscious
forms of cognition and remains uninterrupted for the entire cycle of existences or, at least, from
birth until death.
In Asaºga, the place of this cognition is now occupied by the fundamental cognition. And
indeed, this assumption was all the more necessary for him, since the Yog›c›ra school
recognized nothing besides cognition that could have served it as its bearer or could have called
it forth. Asaºga thus connects with this yet another doctrine, which perhaps also had a
predecessor in the MahıŸ›saka school, namely, the doctrine of the seeds (bıja) or of the
permeation (v›san›) of the fundamental cognition. According to this doctrine, every process of
cognition leaves behind an imprint in the fundamental cognition. It permeates it, as it were,
like an odor does a piece of cloth, and these imprints are capable of—without the stimulus of an
external object—later bringing about a <329> cognition of the same kind, so that, in a
beginningless uninterrupted succession of cognition and imprints, the appearance of the
phenomenal world arises without any real entities existing outside of cognition. Asaºga also
explains the operation of deeds (karma) through similar imprints.

CFD.2.2.

THE APPEARANCE OF THE PHENOMENAL WORLD: THE DOCTRINE OF
THE THREE CHARACTERISTICS
Out of these mental factors, the appearance of the phenomenal world is constituted in the
following way: The concept of the false conception, so fundamental for Maitreyan›tha, is
insignificant for Asaºga, and is only very superficially incorporated into his doctrine. In contrast
to Maitreyan›tha, on the other hand, the doctrine of the three characteristics provides him with
the firm fundamental framework.

214

The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner

CFD.2.2.1.

THE DEPENDENT CHARACTERISTIC
Of these three characteristics, the dependent characteristic, being fundamental, is central. It
consists of the different types of cognizance75 (vijñapti) [see below] that emerge from the
fundamental cognition; and to be exact, Asaºga recognizes eleven such types:
1. - 3. cognizance of the body, of the embodied and of the one who enjoys, [i.e., the six
sense-organs],
4.

cognizance of what is enjoyed by the preceding [cognizances], [i.e., the six objects],

5.

cognizance of the enjoyer, [i.e., the six consciousnesses],

6.

cognizance of time,

7.

cognizance of number,

8.

cognizance of place,

9.

cognizance of language,

10. cognizance of difference between oneself and others, and
11. cognizance of the good and bad destinies, of passing away and arising.
These eleven types of cognizance encompass all the forms in which the phenomenal world
presents itself, and in that they emerge in this form from the fundamental cognition, the image
of the phenomenal world arises.
The distinction of object and subject, so strongly emphasized by Maitreyan›tha, is accomplished
by Asaºga in the following way. He does not speak of the apprehended and the apprehending
(gr›hyagr›haka), but rather, with respect to cognition, distinguishes between an image part
(nimittabh›ga) and a seeing part (darŸanabh›ga), that correspond to the object and subject. Both,
the image part and the seeing part, are included in the types of cognizance enumerated above,
in the following way, to be exact: According to old Buddhist doctrine, three factors must be
present in every process of cognizance: the object, the sense-organ, and the corresponding
cognition, and thus, the canon taught a group of <330> eighteen so-called elements (dh›tu) that
encompasses the six sense-organs with the corresponding six objects and six types of cognition.
But for Asaºga, who does not recognize an external world, all of these eighteen elements are
just types of cognizance and, as such, contained in the above enumerated eleven types. To be
exact, they constitute their actual core, whereas all others are only variations (prabheda) of them.
In this, the cognizance of the body, of the embodied, and of the one who enjoys encompass the
six sense-organs, the cognizance of what is enjoyed the six objects, and the cognizance of the
enjoyer the six types of cognition.

75

[Later, Vasubandhu will say: "Mind (citta), thinking (manas), cognition (vijñ›na), and cognizance (vijñapti)

are synonyms." (Cf. S. 366, p. …]

215

since for him.2. and the third. not every cognition is conception. the image of the object. Admittedly. the second. are reflected in the cognizance. of which the first displays the image of the sense-organ.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner Hence. without really existing. and that which displays the image of the corresponding cognition represents the seeing part and. represents the image part and. as it were. the subject. The perfect characteristic. has resulted here in old and new ideas mixing freely with each other. as everywhere. THE DOCTRINE OF LIBERATION The peculiarity of Asaºga’s view finds especially clear expression in the doctrine of liberation. So much for the dependent characteristic. The cognizance of thinking (manovijñapti) forms the foundation here. finally. What is important and new is only his view of conception. With respect to mental cognition.2. is non-conceptual knowledge (nirvikalpakajñ›na). every cognition is accompanied by conception (vikalpa) but that the actual conceiving character belongs to mental cognition alone. THE IMAGINED AND THE PERFECT CHARACTERISTIC Of the imagined and of the perfect characteristic. three types of cognizance always arise at the same time. The cognizance of mental cognition itself (manovijñ›navijñapti) constitutes the seeing part. In this. becomes conscious that. The decisive step. without 216 . CFD. that which displays the image of the object. consists of all six external <331> elements or spheres. In Asaºga the essential aspects of the path of liberation agree with Maitreyan›tha. into a unified picture. But if we pick out the sections in which Asaºga expresses his own thoughts. In this. in respect to every process of cognizance. In this. like Maitreyan›tha. on the other hand. the cognizance which displays the image of the sense-organ.2. however. can only say that the imagined characteristic consists of objects which. since the endeavor to incorporate the entire traditional material into his system and to treat it as a whole. from the cognizance of visual form (rÒpavijñapti) up to the cognizance of the factors (dharmavijñapti). the object of the process of cognizance. for Asaºga.3. but only mental cognition (manovijñ›na). a number of things have remained uneven and there are also some contradictions. This knowledge first recognizes the unreality of the objects of cognizance. the situation is more difficult. hence. CFD. then the objections vanish and everything merges easily and consistently with the views rendered thus far. These types of cognizance together make up conception and it is on them that the imagined characteristic is based. hence. forms. again. Especially important therein is the hearing of and the correct view of the Mah›y›na doctrine. appear three types of cognizance connected with one another. he again follows a wide-spread view of the Hınay›na schools that. indeed. The image part. Asaºga. the image of the corresponding cognition. the foundation. He begins with the preparation which consists primarily of the accumulation of merit and knowledge. consists in the complete absence of these objects.2.

since the latter is defiled. The process is then as follows. It does. the transformation of the basis (›Ÿrayapar›v¸tti) is initiated. This permeation does not belong to the fundamental cognition. however. CFD. The first acquisition of non-conceptual knowledge represents the path of vision (darŸanam›rga). In this way. a second. for Asaºga. but the complex of mental factors. the entire defiled part completely vanishes and only the pure part remains. The further development in the course of the path of liberation now proceeds in such a way that the defiled part becomes increasingly weaker. purer component develops in the dependent characteristic. They are followed by the remaining pure factors. with it. At the same time. whereas this permeation and. here as well it is not the highest being on which Asaºga bases his conception. And with this. which brings the transformation of the basis <332> to completion after the last obstructions have been destroyed in the diamond-like concentration (vajropamasam›dhi).4. lean on the fundamental cognition. which maintains the acquired insight even in the ordinary state of consciousness. The latter are extremely numerous as Asaºga here too integrates all that the old tradition had to offer. directly beholds the highest being. It ends finally in such a way that the fundamental cognition and. Likewise. this corresponds to the old Hınay›na view that had seen the body of doctrine in the pure factors. their bearer is the mental complex as taught by him. they take place within the highest being which is indeed the stainless mind. the ten perfections <333> of power (vaŸit›) play a central role in a way. for Maitreyan›tha. Non-conceptual knowledge is followed by the subsequent knowledge (p¸˝˛halabdhajñ›na). through the hearing and correct view of the Mah›y›na doctrine. and. the possession of which makes the Buddha a Buddha. an permeation (v›san›) arises which is an outflow of the highest being. the entire pure part gains more and more strength. the removal of the obstructions begins. together with the qualities characteristic of the Buddha. the body of doctrine (dharmak›ya) of the Buddha consists of the pure factors that remain after the transformation of the basis. Typical is the way Asaºga. finally. The path of contemplation (bh›van›m›rga) which extends over a long period of time continues this process. This is the abovementioned transformation of the basis. But all 217 . and. the path of completion (ni˝˛h›m›rga). with it. First. From [this permeation]. non-conceptual knowledge emerges which is likewise supramundane. Thus. with this. explains these processes psychologically. ASA∫GA’S BUDDHOLOGY Asaºga’s buddhology also corresponds to this view of the process of liberation. On this. and it is also followed by all uncontaminated factors which the bodhisattva acquires in the course of his striving.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner objects. in contrast to Maitreyan›tha. while [the permeation] itself is uncontaminated (an›srava) and supramundane (lokottara). Whereas. which he gains with the attainment of enlightenment. Accordingly. Finally. In terms of details. leads to the goal and with this liberation is achieved. mere cognition also becomes invalid. liberation is attained.2. he elaborates in detail on the doctrine of the three bodies of the Buddha. in addition to the defiled fundamental cognition and everything that belongs to it.

Of these. ???). this cognizance is mind-speech and. the image part consists of word and object. which describe the course of the non-conceptual knowledge. it also must possess these two parts. The first paragraph begins with a precise determination of the permeation through hearing the Mah›y›na doctrine and of the corresponding cognizance from a psychological point of view. To be exact. In order to establish the unreality of the objects of cognizance. The thirteenth paragraph teaches an image part and seeing part of the fundamental cognition based on the consideration that. i. pp. (ii) The permeation of the belief in a self appears separately.e. 268f. hence here. Paragraphs seven through nine. In the essential aspects. of the Mah›y›na texts and their content. INTRODUCTION TO THE TRANSLATED SECTIONS OF THE MAHfiYfiNASA±GRAHA In the case of Asaºga.. the distinction of the three types of permeation in the second paragraph should be highlighted as characteristic for Asaºga. since it shows up again in the works of Vasubandhu which will be rendered later. I do not consider the doctrine of the fundamental cognition and the permeations. as cognition.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner this has little philosophical significance and can—like the scholastic embellishment of the path of liberation—be left aside. he uses the old Yog›c›ra doctrine of mind-speech and of the necessary connection of the objects with words. provide a good example of the way in which Asaºga weaves together the varied traditional material and joins it with his own ideas to form a whole. as cognition. According to this determination. (iii) The permeation of the members of existence. The translated parts of the 2nd chapter deal with the doctrine of the three characteristics and especially with the manner the phenomenal world is built up from the eleven types of cognizance. in particular.. with non-conceptual knowledge. according to the old Yog›c›ra doctrine (see above S. 300f. finally. the so-called defiled mind (kli˝˛a˙ mana¯). indeed. In this regard. are necessarily connected with words.3. the translated sections are in general easily understandable so that a few comments will suffice. consists of an image part and a seeing part. In this. and he constantly weaves in material from the old scholasticism of liberation that offers nothing to the philosophically interested reader. (i) the permeation of speech belongs to the bulk of the conceptions which. he follows the doctrine of Maitreyan›tha (cf. longer continuous sections from his treatises are not suitable as translated samples. since his writing is long-winded and complicated. in particular. ???). After what has been said. finds its expression. CFD. corresponds to the form of knowledge in which the ripening of deeds. in accordance with the significance attributed to the selfconception and since it is linked with its own form of cognition. Thus I present a selection of single sections in which are expressed those of his views that have been portrayed above. <334> The rendered sections from the 3rd chapter deal with the path of liberation. above S. pp. With this he connects the doctrine of the four examinations and the four 218 .

What is this [cognizance]? 1. FROM THE “SUMMARY OF THE MAHfiYfiNA” (MAHfiYfiNASA±GRAHA) CHAPTER II [The Characteristic of the Knowable (Jñeyalak˝a˚a)] §1 How should the characteristic of the knowable be seen? It is.  cognizance of the enjoyer [i. one should bear in mind how he tries to harmonize the course of the processes with the doctrine of the three characteristics. non-conceptual knowledge. 4. 5. [i. CFD. In addition..e. in summary. 2.. The dependent characteristic.3. which deal with the transformation of the basis and with the body of the doctrine of the Buddha. since. the flamingo has the ability to separate the milk from this mixture while drinking. what is the dependent characteristic? The cognizance that has the fundamental cognition as its seed and which belongs to the false conception (abhÒtaparikalpa). the six consciousnesses].e. for example. with respect to the comparison to milk and water.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner truthful cognizances. cognizance of what is enjoyed by the preceding [cognizances] [i. Finally. however. cannot be connected with words because they do not correspond to each other. the perfect characteristic. The 8th chapter deals exclusively with non-conceptual knowledge. the six objects]. it is to be noted that milk and water are seen as a typical image of a harmonious combination and that. the imagined characteristic. several words can be used for one and the same thing and. and of the one who enjoys. of the embodied. Finally. 219 . taken from the scholasticism of liberation. threefold: 1. cognizance of the body.. and 3. §2 In this regard. in this regard. . thus. the six senseorgans]. Here again Asaºga bases himself on the old Yog›c›ra doctrine of the dependence of the conceived objects on the connection of phonemes in words. according to Indian belief. The supramundane mind is.4. I have tacked on a few paragraphs from the 1st chapter which <335> elucidate more precisely the doctrine of the transformation of the basis. The attempt in the seventh paragraph to establish the inexpressibility of the true nature of things is noteworthy. [the nature of this one thing] is inexpressible through words. there is nothing in particular to note. The true nature of things.e. § 11). Of the 9th and 10th chapter. and adds his own reasons as well (§ 8 beginning = 2nd chapter. One should bear in mind only that in the buddhology the old doctrine of the highest being resounds again and again.

cognizance of place. the cognizance of what is enjoyed by the preceding [cognizances]. cognizance of time. By the cognizance of what is enjoyed by the preceding [cognizances] are to be understood the six outer sense-elements. 220 . of the embodied. of (visible) form. of the eye. cognizance of the good and bad destinies. corresponding to birth from an egg. courses (gataya).76 wombs (yonaya).. (On the other hand). etc. § 1]. 7. cognizance of difference between oneself and others. § 1]. Cognizance of the difference between oneself and others is arisen from the seed of the permeation of the belief in a self (›tmad¸˝˛iv›san›). Cognizance of the good and bad destinies. cognizance of number. 9. what is the imagined characteristic? The appearance of this mere cognizance as an object-referent. are the dependent characteristic. and four wombs. are denoted as false conception of the dependent characteristic. from sweat or through miraculous sudden appearance. 8.e. § 2]. as mere cognizance. belong to the false conception and are the basis of the non-existent. cognizance of language. All the realms [of the world]. the cognizance of time. an animal or a hell being. cognizance of the body.e. §3 In this regard [i. that are contained in these types of cognizance. erroneously appearing things. §4 In this regard [i. a Buddhist distinguishes five courses. of the embodied. 76 As types of existence. from the embryonic membrane. and of the one who enjoys.. the cognizance of number. 10. a human. and of the one who enjoys. the cognizance of place. these types of cognizance (themselves). the cognizance of language are arisen from the seed of the permeation of speech (abhil›pav›san›). In this regard. etc. insofar as they. of passing away and arising is arisen from the seed of the permeation of the members of existence (bhav›ºgav›san›).. and 11. by the cognizance of the body. of passing away and arising. are to be understood the six inner sense-elements.. <336> the cognizance of the enjoyer. i.e. even though no object-referent exists. what is the perfect characteristic? The complete non-existence of the mark of an object-referent in the dependent characteristic. existence as a god.e. <337> §5 In this regard [i.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner 6.76 and defilements. a ghost.

. the cognizance of what is enjoyed by the preceding [cognizances] and the cognizance of the enjoyer arise in unison and simultaneously in any body? (Answer:) So that birth and the experience (of the deeds) can be completely accomplished. [7] Because the sphere of living beings is immeasurable. The term “etc. which one suffers. etc. the cognizance of time. etc. The other types of cognizances are to be regarded as variations of these types of cognizance. so <338> it does not take place in those who are not awakened through the knowledge of the truth. [10] Because the varieties of the grasped experience are immeasurable. [9] Because the expressions that communicate the mutual activities. a house. the image of various object-referents appears. a sound. but does in fact so in those who are awakened through the knowledge of the truth. [6-11]. In a dream. a forest. only cognizance exists. and of the one who enjoys. a taste.. (above. arise? (Answer:) [6] Because the chain of the cycle of births that has existed since beginningless time knows no interruption. a tangible. no object-referent exists. a mountain. a land.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner By the cognizance of the enjoyer are to be understood the six sense-elements. at the same time. Based on this example.”. not also the insight arise that it is nothing but cognizance? (Answer:) It does arise for those who are awakened through the knowledge of the truth. etc.) is to be understood such that a magical illusion. yet. but does in fact arise in the waking state. and. it can be recognized that. §6 (Opponent:) What example do you have for the assertion that these types of cognizance are mere cognizance. an odor. (Question:) Why do the various types. (Opponent:) If. etc. even though no object-referent is present and only cognition exists. of a (visible) form. and an optical illusion can also be regarded as examples. and because the varieties of birth. [11] Because the varieties of the experience of the desired and undesired ripening of the fruit of deeds are immeasurable. a mirage. also in the waking state in all instances only cognizance exists.. why does then here. as with respect to a dream. § 11 221 . old age and death. […] § 10 (Question:) Why do the cognizance of the body. in all instances. for example. as in a dream. Just as this insight does not arise in a dream. can be regarded as an example. of visual cognition. of the embodied. are immeasurable. [8] Because the sphere of the surrounding world (bh›janaloka) is immeasurable. are immeasurable. etc. because no object-referent exists? (Answer:) A dream.

a verse states: Just this. [while] the cognizance of the mental cognition along with its basis should be regarded as its seeing [part].. the duality and the multitude. thus it is called dependent. In this way. since they arise in various forms. based on [the dependent nature].The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner (Question:) How can it be established that these [six] types of cognizance are mere cognizance? (Answer:) In brief. then why is it imagined. cognizance). then all other types of cognizance form the cognizance of its image. and iii. they function as the basis. These types of cognizance are in fact all. are its image and the cognition of these is its seeing … etc. etc. is endowed with image and seeing. and why is it called imagined? 222 . because a multitude arises at the same time. up to … since the tactile cognition is its seeing. of the object-referents. ii. is freed from these. because a duality is given. since there is no object-referent. […] § 13 If the cognizance of the fundamental cognition is seen as cognizance of an object-referent. The cognizance of thinking has—from the cognizance of the eye up to the cognizance of factors—everything as image and the cognizance of mental cognition as seeing. […] § 15 (Question:) If the dependent nature is the mere cognizance that forms the basis for the appearance of object-referents. thus it is dependent on conditions. Since the types of cognizance that form the image are the occasion for the arising of the seeing. because only they exist. (that is. etc. The cognizance of the eye. (Question:) If the imagined nature is the appearance. since there is no object-referent. And because once <340> it is arisen it is itself unable to exist for longer than a moment. About this. why then is it dependent and why is it called dependent? (Answer:) Because it arises from the seed of its own permeation. since (visible) form. For one who has entered into the mere mind. since they are endowed with an image (nimitta) [part] and a seeing (darŸana) [part].. which do not exist as object-referents. it is certain that only cognizance exists. in three ways: i. <339> only this. because the mental cognition is conception and arises in the form of all types of cognizance. do the yogis wish to understand. when this [seeing] arises in the form of the object-referent..

and [6] what is the imputation (sam›ropa) by which [the imagination] conceives? (Answer:) [Imagination] conceives in that it [1] finds its object-support in a name. In a certain sense. it is called conceptual imagination. thus it is perfect. and because it conceives in that it forms in every way. [3] what is the clinging to [the marks]. in a certain sense it is imagined and in a certain sense it is perfect. § 16 (Question:) If conceptual imagination exists. thus it is imagined. what is that which is imagined and what is the imagined nature? (Answer:) The mental cognition is the conceptual imagination (parikalpa) since it is accompanied by conceptions (vikalpa). the dependent nature is dependent. And because it is the object-support of purity [i. [2] what is the grasping of the marks. is the imagination.e. [5] expresses itself through the four manners of expression of the seen. thus it is called imagined. [Mental cognition] arises from the seed of its own permeation of speech (abhil›pav›san›) and it arises from the seed of the permeation of speech of all types of cognizance. (Question:) If the perfect nature is characterized by the total non-existence of the (imagined nature) [in the dependent nature]. and why is it called perfect? (Answer:) Because it does not change. Hence it arises with the conceptions of innumerable forms of appearing. then. The <341> dependent nature is that which is imagined. thus it is called perfect in the sense of culmination. the thought of. And because it relies only on imagination. how then is it perfect..The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner (Answer:) Because it is the occasion for the arising of the errors which consist of the imaginations of the mental cognition with their innumerable forms of appearing. and the cognized) and [6] imputes existence to a nonexistent object-referent. [3] clings to [the marks] by means of views. [2] grasps the marks in the dependent nature. [4] expresses itself in speech through reflection. [4] what is the expression of speech. What.. then also the imagined and an imagined nature exist. (the heard. the aspect in which the dependent nature is imagined is the imagined nature … (Question:) How does imagination conceive? [1] What is the object-support. (Question:) In what sense is the dependent nature called dependent? 223 . a purified mind] and represents the culmination of all good factors. [5] what are the manners of expression (vyavah›ra). since a specific characteristic [of the imagined nature] does not exist. etc. § 17 (Question:) Is this threefold nature of distinct or of non-distinct kind? (Answer:) It is to be designated neither as distinct nor as non-distinct. And finally.

that is connected with seeing. and [4] into the path of conclusion. is a seed. [3] into the path of cultivation.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner (Answer:) Because it is dependent insofar as it arises from the dependent seed of the permeation.. §3 Where does he enter? With the aid of this mind-speech. corresponding to the apprehended thing. §2 Who is it who enters into the characteristic of the knowable? A bodhisattva. <343> […] §7 By what means and how does he enter? 224 . How. who has won t h e favor of innumerable embodiments of the Buddha. that displays the image of doctrinal texts and their content and that arises from the doctrine of the great vehicle. whose foundation is permeation through extensive hearing [of the doctrine of the great vehicle]. the characteristic of the knowable has been discussed. he devotes himself to the instruction that all factors are mere cognizance. is the entry into the characteristic of the knowable to be seen? It consists of mind-speech [i. (Question:) In what sense is [the dependent nature] called imagined? (Answer:) Because it is the occasion for the conception and is conceived through it. and who has fostered the roots of good through extraordinary devotion and has in this way accumulated a rich store of merit and knowledge. which does not belong to the fundamental cognition. then. (Question:) In what sense is [the dependent nature] called perfect? (Answer:) Because in the way as it is imagined. which belongs to right attention. [3] because he practices the antidote to all obstructions. but.e. and [4] because he is free from obstructions. like the fundamental cognition. and is connected with seeing. [2] because he recognizes this [instruction] in accordance with truth. <342> […] CHAPTER III [Entry into the Characteristic of the Knowable (Jñeyalak˝a˚apraveŸa)] §1 With this [i. whose mind stream is permeated through extensive hearing of the doctrine of the great vehicle..e. chapter II]. [1] because. displays upon its arising the form of doctrinal texts and their content. [2] into the path of vision. he enters [1] into the stage of the engagement of devotion. it does not exist at all. mental consciousness].

But how does he enter into the perfect nature? 225 . In that the bodhisattva makes an effort to enter into mere cognizance. that displays the image of doctrinal texts and their content and that is connected with seeing. and 3. In the case of the rope. he enters into the imagined nature. of the thing. the truthful knowledge of the name. of the designation of the nature. object-referent.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner He enters 1. With regard to mindspeech then. the examination of the name. since it has color. due to the four examinations (parye˝a˚›). taste and the tangible as its mark. and the particularities. the reality of the six appearing forms is dismissed. in other words. due to the four truthful knowledges (yath›bhÒtaparijñ›na). as with the apprehension of the snake. and of the designation of the particularities. he enters into the dependent nature. (1) because the six object-referents: name. of the object-referent. and (3) because they arise in that they simultaneously display the image of multiform object-referents. of the designation of the nature and the designation of the particularities. due to the four examinations and the four truthful knowledges—of mind-speech which displays the image of phonemes and object-referents—he enters into mere cognizance. 2. And in that he enters into mere cognizance. (2) because they present themselves as the apprehended and apprehending things. that belongs to right attention. … In this way. he recognizes in mind-speech. which displays the six appearing forms of phonemes and object-referents. the snake is a deception because it does not exist. the nature. <344> are not object-referents. (2) into the duality endowed with image and seeing. that the names consisting of phonemes are mere mind-speech. due to mind-speech. so—based on the apprehension of the perfect nature—the apprehension of mere cognizance is made to disappear. designation of the particularities. that is. since all these cannot be perceived. if one traces it back to its subtle appearing form. etc. §8 How does this entry into mere cognizance take place and what does it resemble to? He enters (1) into mere (cognizance). which appears in the form of phonemes and objects-referents. that arises from the permeation through hearing. Those who have recognized the object-referent thus discard the apprehension of the snake which does not exist and remain with the apprehension of the rope. and (3) into the multiformity. odor. He recognizes that the object-referents based on the phonemes are likewise mere mind-speech. that is. And he recognizes that the nature and the particularities of the names and the object-referents are mere designations. §9 In that the bodhisattva thus enters into the mind-speech characterized by the appearing object. designation of the nature. He enters as in the case of a rope that in the dark appears as a snake. And just as—based on the apprehension of color.—also the apprehension of the rope is dismissed. But the latter also is a deception.

If then with regard to all object-referents.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner He enters in that he eliminates the comprehension of mere cognizance. due to the sameness of the perceived and the perceiver. is the excellence of the highest insight to be seen? Non-conceptual knowledge is to be seen as the excellence of the highest insight. Once the bodhisattva has caused the comprehension of an [existing] object-referent to disappear. and nothing else. which serves as object-support. […] CHAPTER VIII [Training in Highest Insight (Adhiprajña˙ Ÿik˝›)] §1 With this [i. the bodhisattva enters into the perfect nature.e. <346> §6 The appearing aspect of the non-conceptual knowledge of the bodhisattvas is the signlessness of the knowable. then.e. […] §3 The bearer of the non-conceptual knowledge of the bodhisattvas is [1] not mind and [2] yet mind. is the (object-referent) resulting from the connection. he remains in the mere non-conceptual name and remains in such a way that he directly observes the element of factors. then... because [the bearer] [1] recognizes no object-referent and [2] yet has emerged from it (i. there arises within this bodhisattva the non-conceptual knowledge of sameness. 226 . then the mind-speech that originates from the permeation of the doctrinal texts that have been heard. §4 The basis of the non-conceptual knowledge of the bodhisattvas is [1] the permeation through hearing connected with speech [about the great vehicle] and [2] the right attention. <345> Consequently. has no possibility of arising in the form of all the object-referents. The object-referent that results from the connection of the phonemes with one another. §7 The conceived is the nature resulting from the connection [of the phonemes]. In this way. How. the excellence of the highest mind has been discussed. §5 The object-support of the non-conceptual knowledge of the Bodhisattvas is the inexpressible nature of things and suchness constituted by selflessness (nair›tmya). from mind). it also does not arise in the form of mere cognizance. chapter VII].

e. without giving up the cycle of existences. then. Thus. A designation however. the excellence of the highest insight has been discussed. • the basis is this dependent nature insofar as [the dependent nature] encompasses both parts.. is the excellence of abandonment to be seen? The abandonment of the bodhisattvas consists of the non-abiding nirv›˚a (aprati˝˛hitanirv›˚a).77 Its mark is the transformation of the basis which consists of the fact that while defilement has been abandoned. • the cycle of existences [sa˙s›ra] is the dependent <347> nature insofar as [the dependent nature] constitutes the defiled part. […] CHAPTER X [The Knowledge of the Fruit (Phalajñ›na)] §3 77 The nirv›˚a which does not exclude further activity in the cycle of existences for the benefit of beings. does not exist (in the factors). because an opposition exists [between designation and designated entity]. knowledge is not engaged in the designated. non-conceptual knowledge] arises and becomes its pure part. one still remains.. 227 .e. chapter VIII]. • the transformation consists of the fact that this dependent nature gives up its defiled part when its counteragent [i. Therein. […] CHAPTER IX [Abandonment.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner If a designation does not exist. How. • the nirv›˚a is [the dependent nature] insofar as [the dependent nature] constitutes the pure part. […] § 13 The final stage of the non-conceptual knowledge of the bodhisattvas consists of the attainment of the pure three bodies [of a Buddha] and in the attainment of the perfected powers. everything is inexpressible. Fruit of the Three Trainings (Phalaprah›˚a)] §1 With this [i.

because it has cast off the dependent characteristic which forms the defiled part that contains all obstructions. and of multiplicity and unity)… 4. of the conditioned and unconditioned. it is distinct. Its characteristic is that its nature consists of white factors because it has obtained the ten perfected powers (vaŸit›) through the completion of the six perfections (p›ramit›) … 3. Its characteristic is non-duality (i. 2. is the cause of defilement. and because it does not fall into the realm of logical thinking. Its characteristic is eternality. which serves to destroy the subtle obstruction difficult to destroy. which contains all the seeds.e. Its characteristic is the transformation of the basis. and because its activity is never completed. and has become the pure-part-forming dependent characteristic that has gained mastery over all factors through becoming free from all obstructions. But since innumerable bodies do reach perfect enlightenment. because it is the effect of a previous vow. <348> §4 Further. … CHAPTER I [The Basis of the Knowable (Jñey›Ÿraya)] § 45 (Opponent:) If the maturation-cognition (i. the fundamental cognition as the result of the maturation of deeds).. because pure suchness must be experienced by oneself (praty›tmavedya). briefly summarized. because it is unequalled in the world. Immediately following that concentration. through the energetic accumulation of the stores (of knowledge and merit) on all stages (bhÒmi).e. [the body of doctrine] is not distinct. Its characteristic is inconceivability through thinking. and activity are not distinct. one is freed of all obstructions and thus obtains thereby the transformation of the basis.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner What is the characteristic of the body of doctrine (dharmak›ya) of the Buddhas? One should know that. 5. how can then it be the seed of its counteragent. that is. […] §8 (Question:) Is the body of doctrine of the exalted buddhas distinct or is it not distinct? (Answer:) Since basis. because it is characterized through pure suchness. being free from the duality of existence and non- existence. goal. how is the body of doctrine first obtained through contact? Through the non-conceptual [knowledge] and the knowledge subsequent to this which are directed at the summarized doctrine of the great vehicle. through the fivefold energetic contemplation. of the supramundane mind (lokottara citta)? The 228 . and through the diamond-like concentration (vajropamasam›dhi). its characteristic is fivefold: 1..

e. just as milk and water. how can the one [i. and cultivating entail a strengthening.. it belongs to the body of doctrine of the prospective bodhisattvas and it belongs to the body of liberation of the disciples and solitary buddhas. should be regarded as the seed of the body of doctrine.] coexist like milk and water. namely. belong to the fundamental cognition. mediate or strong. it is an outflow of the supramundane. in whatever bearer it may adhere.e. moderate and strong in turn. it is the counteragent to the outburst of the defilements. And since. based upon a moderate permeation. the counteragent to the bad course (in the cycle of existences). a permeation by it does not exist. Since it is the counteragent of the fundamental cognition. which is an outflow of the completely pure element of factors. by nature. something different. on the other hand. § 47 Based upon a weak permeation. As it now develops as weak. it belongs to the fundamental cognition. belong to the fundamental cognition. even though it is mundane. has become seedless and is completely eliminated. the seed of the permeation through hearing. the permeation through hearing adheres in the maturation-cognition since it arises simultaneously together with it. it constitutes the seed of <350> the supramundane mind. by nature. Although it is mundane. which contains all the seeds. instead it belongs to the body of doctrine and to the body of liberation. (Answer:) <349> [The supramundane mind] arises from the seed of the permeation through hearing. it does not. the 229 . But if no permeation exists. completely pure element of factors. It fosters the connection with the buddhas and bodhisattvas. § 49 (Opponent:) If the fundamental cognition and that which is not fundamental cognition [i. the permeation through hearing.. what should then be regarded as the bearer of this seed of the permeation through hearing? (Answer:) Until the enlightenment of the buddhas. reflecting. to the same extent the maturation-cognition diminishes and the basis is transformed. whether weak. how can it then be the seed of the counteragent of this [fundamental cognition]? If. since it is the seed of the counteragent of this [fundamental cognition].The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner supramundane mind is. there arises a moderate permeation. however. Thus it does not belong to the fundamental cognition. Even if this supramundane mind has not yet arisen. there arises a strong permeation since hearing. it does not belong by nature to it. Thus. and the counteragent which makes all bad activity disappear. then the maturationcognition. § 46 (Opponent:) Does this permeation through hearing belong by nature to the fundamental cognition or not? If. Once the basis is completely transformed. § 48 In this. then it must be stated from which seed it arises. It does not.

The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner fundamental cognition. [whereas the (permeation through hearing) which is not fundamental cognition completely develops]? (Answer:) Just as the milk is extracted from water by a drinking flamingo… 230 .] completely disappear.

his note to the revised edition. Its content is the proof of the unreality of the external world. as such. S. These two works are considered to be the best summaries of the most important philosophical tenets of the school. 320–380 C. yet this difficult question cannot be discussed further here. the other in thirty (Tri˙Ÿik›). CFE. 425. but in particular. consists only of the verse-text. I render them in full in the following.) AND THE YOUNGER (CA.)78 The most famous personage of the Yog›c›ra school. The second work. next to Asaºga. Florin Deleanu: The Chapter on the Mundane Path (Laukikam›rga) in the ⁄r›vakabhÒmi. is his younger brother Vasubandhu. 2 Vols. for which he wrote so many works that he received the name “master of a thousand doctrinal treatises”. It contains a dogmatics of the Yog›c›ra doctrine in a most concise form. Cf. in the introduction to the two works selected here.E. in thirty verses. his fame is based on his commentaries to some of the most important Mah›y›na sÒtras. 400–480 C. with the original section title "Vasubandhu der Ältere". the first. According to legend. in twenty verses. THEIR WORKS Vasubandhu’s writings include numerous commentaries to the works of Maitreyan›tha and Asaºga. VASUBANDHU THE ELDER (CA. he is said to have died before Asaºga. In my opinion. 78 [While Frauwallner. ???. I preface them with just a brief synopsis of the most important views they contained. Vasubandhu the younger is their author. the author of the AbhidharmakoŸa. Of these two works. the brother of Asaºga. In addition. He originally belonged to the Hınay›na school of the Sarv›stiv›dins and had already made a name for himself through the composition of numerous treatises when he was won over to the Mah›y›na by Asaºga. presents them as being authored by Vasubandhu the Younger in accordance with his theory of two Vasubandhus. and numerous commentaries on them have been written. 207 in particular). It is considered to be the last work of Vasubandhu who is thought to have died before it was possible for him to write the intended commentary.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner CFE. follows the traditional account which reckons with one Vasubandhu as the author of all works attributed to this name. A Trilingual Edition. They have.1. one of which is in twenty verses (Vi˙Ÿatik›).] 231 . The external tradition does not permit a decision as to whether these two works come from Vasubandhu. or from Vasubandhu the younger. and for a recent survey of the issue of two Vasubandhus cf. also includes an auto-commentary by Vasubandhu himself. Corresponding to their importance. two smaller works are preserved under the name Vasubandhu which both go by the title Vijñaptim›trat›siddhi (Proof that [Everything] is Mere Cognizance). Tokyo: The International Institute for Buddhist Studies 2006: 186-194 (with notes 206. always enjoyed great esteem. p. Frauwallner. He then with great enthusiasm offered his <351> services to his new faith.E.

we find. The old scholasticism of liberation has completely disappeared. the following features are characteristic of them. Being itself the result of previous deeds and non-conscious. therefore. [5] their moral character and. it is a true cognition and as such has its object. namely the entire surrounding world (bh›janaloka) in addition to one’s own body. Finally. Further. from beginningless time. The mental complex. but. Yet. which pointed the way for later development while quite often closer contact with Sautr›ntika views is apparent. (ii) thinking and (iii) cognizance of objects. 232 . agreement in the essential points. consists of three appearing forms or. morally undetermined. not afflicted with defilements and is neither good nor bad. is it extinguished. The philosophical interest is decidedly predominant. this object is not brought into consciousness through the fundamental cognition. Its essential task is to function as the bearer of all of the seeds of the diverse permeations. is. transformations (pari˚›ma) of cognition. it is. and [7] duration of their arising. It is thus ripening (vip›ka) or retribution. The fundamental cognition (›layaviñ›na). SYNOPSIS OF THE DOCTRINES OF THE “TWENTY VERSES” AND “THIRTY VERSES” In general.1. finally. the doctrine contained in the two works amounts to the following. in addition. Further. Vasubandhu thus advocates—as did already Asaºga before him. as foundation of the entire mental complex and essential bearer of the mundane personality. the fundamental cognition is also accompanied by mental factors (caitta). as cognition. he deals with [1] their nature. parts of it are raised into consciousness only secondarily. THE MENTAL COMPLEX AS THREE TRANSFORMATIONS OF COGNITION In its particulars. in its constitution. To this are added unique new thoughts. thus those imprints from which the diverse forms of cognition emerge. All the <352> greater. a precision and taut conciseness is reached. to be precise. on which the entire phenomenal world rests. Vasubandhu discusses each of them systematically. so long as the cycle of existences endures. which the Hınay›na dogmatics knew only in its greatest heyday.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner CFE. in the uninterrupted stream of cognizance. [6] the exact time. as the essential bearer of mundane existence. CFE. As to its occurrence. since it remains non-conscious. only by those which accompany every cognition and are called all-pervasive <353> (sarvatraga). Only in the state of sainthood. in the shaping [of the material]. are the deviations with respect to the doctrine of the phenomenal world. [4] the mental factors that accompany them. finally.2. when the transformation of the basis (›Ÿrayapar›v¸tti) has taken place.2. and [3] their object. In this regard. by the way—the bold thought that the entire phenomenal world is already the creation of the subconsciousness and that. to be sure. through the remaining processes of cognition. It is. on the other hand. as Vasubandhu expresses it. conditioned by the deeds that have brought about the existence in question and which in this way determine the manner of being of this existence. In the psychology which Asaºga had first created. however. a greater deviation from Asaºga and a reliance on the views of Maitreyan›tha are noticeable. it exists. [2] their support. These are the (i) fundamental cognition.

Its support is to be seen in the seed of the permeation. <354> the all-pervasive ones. disastrous character. It can be accompanied by any of the mental factors known to the dogmatics of the Yog›c›ra (cf. p. but especially by four defilements that follow the mistaken conception of the self and lend it its unique. The different object-referents. in other words. are its object. better fitting division into two groups. The seeds of permeation stored in the fundamental cognition are crucial to its activity. ??? the rendering of Vasubandhu’s Pañcaskandhaka). 113ff. therefore. the different types of sensory cognizance arise each time that the conditions for their arising are present. pp. for which—corresponding to its importance—a continuously active form of cognition of its own is assumed. to be specific. by nature. Vasubandhu does not divide [these seeds of permeation] into three groups (see above S. which seem to belong to the external world and are reflected in it. thus when being anaesthetized. it is undetermined since the good and bad mental factors which entail good or bad retribution are absent from it. at times singly. in the absorption of suppression (nirodhasam›patti) and finally. at the same. He distinguishes. in the case of fainting. Cognizance of the objects (vi˝ayavijñapti). has it as its object. the six types of cognition which. ???) in the manner of Asaºga. but can also be undetermined.2. those bound to specific objects. THE MENTAL COMPLEX AND THE SEEDS OF PERMEATION Of these three transformations of cognition is composed the mental complex on which the entire phenomenal world rests. in the state of non-consciousness (›sa˙jñika) which Buddhism ascribes to a certain realm of gods. the secondary defilements. The permeation of the twofold apprehension is brought about through the separate processes of cognizance 233 . in accordance with the old doctrine. in the absorption of non-consciousness (asa˙jñisam›patti). the defilements. mentation or supposing. For it is the bearer of the fateful mistaken conception of a self. finally. the volitional processes take place which constitute the deeds and determine the further course of the cycle of existences. Finally. The fundamental cognition is. be temporarily interrupted even earlier. between the permeation of the twofold apprehension (gr›hadvayav›san›) and the permeation of the deeds (karmav›san›). from which it has emerged. with regard to the occurrence of the different types of cognizance of the objects. the good ones. and. Mental cognition is always present except in the state of unconsciousness. however.2. It can. It is supported by the fundamental cognition from which it originates. Thinking is accompanied by the five all-pervasive mental factors. It exists throughout the entire cycle of existences and is extinguished once and for all only—as is the fundamental cognition—through the transformation of the basis in the state of sainthood.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner Thinking (manas) is. encompasses all the remaining processes of cognizance. It is thus good as well as bad. are named after the six sense-organs. the foundation of this conception of a self. that is. 333. In [this cognizance]. above S. in the state of the absorption of suppression (nirodhasam›patti) and in the supramundane non-conceptual knowledge (nirvikalpakajñ›na). at times concurrently. CFE. Morally. but gives instead a simpler.. to be exact. and the unbound mental factors. but it is defiled.

The doctrine that everything is mere cognizance thus does not mean that the sole real entity is cognizance as it appears to us [in conceived form]. the latter is rather of the same type as the sensory cognition which it follows. It is differentiated from [sensory cognition] only through the fact that it consciously apprehends the corresponding object-referent. and determines the general development of the mental complex and. The permeation of deeds is. What is cognized. that. And this is. that is the multiplicity of cognizing subjects and their relationship to one another. It is. by nature. must be given along with an object and cognition so that a process of cognition can come about. HIGHEST REALITY AND OTHER BEINGS According to Vasubandhu. <355> Every cognition is. conditioned by deeds. Instead. according to the old canonical doctrine. the apprehended and the apprehending is established. Further. the apprehended and the apprehending are not. Vasubandhu takes it to be the seed of permeation from which the corresponding cognition originates. embodied by two distinct cognitions to which. as Asaºga assumed.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner which seem to recognize an apprehended and an apprehending and which is itself. in a specific form. and is thus by nature recollection. all of which are real. in itself a conception. which. the relationship to the highest reality is clarified. Above all else. With this. Since every cognition is. corresponding to the sense-organ. Also important is Vasubandhu’s insight that every cognition. For Vasubandhu. as soon as it itself becomes an object. the relation of different living beings to one another rests upon the fact that the distinct streams of cognition. a third is added. it is noteworthy that Vasubandhu raises the question of the multiplicity of living beings. the destiny in the cycle of existences. with this. with regard to the sense-organ. as the name says. is thus not its true nature. it is also the principal cause—when a fundamental cognition. in turn. In his view. It displays the same image as this [sensory cognition].2. In this. In addition. has been the bearer of a specific existence. in this way. the highest reality. CFE. a conception (vikalpa) that conceives something unreal. but rather a conception like any other. the true nature of [cognizance] which remains forever inaccessible to our mundane cognizance. as bearer. of a different kind. the special role that Asaºga ascribes to the mental cognition falls away. then. rather. This “unreal” is the duality of the apprehended and the apprehending (gr›hyagr›haka). In other words. the appearance of the phenomenal world comes about as follows. THE MENTAL COMPLEX IN RELATION TO THE PHENOMENAL WORLD. With this. appears in conceived form. everything is united in one cognition. are able to causally influence one another in their course. with this activity of the mental complex. this cognition itself displays the image of an object which is held to exist externally. precisely. able to bring forth similar cognitions. to arise as the bearer of a new existence.3. <356> 234 . comes to an end—for a new fundamental cognition.

in the customary way. that is in its true nature. When the disciple has turned away from the object and cognition. he infers. the undefiled element (an›sravo dh›tu). Through this. THE DOCTRINE OF LIBERATION With respect to the doctrine of liberation. however. and the mental complex dissolves. From the impossibility of the knowable. why do we then see them only at a specific place and at a specific time? (3) Why do we all see them and not just some of us? (4) And how are they able to bring forth certain effects? 235 . the invalidity of cognition. as Maitreyan›tha had called it. With this. while he attempts in a new and unique way to determine the nature of this belief as the attribution of an extraneous essence (upac›ra). four points were of concern [v. In the establishment of the unreality of the external world. he is concerned only with the fundamental philosophical idea which he takes over essentially just as Maitreyan›tha had created it and Asaºga had it retained (see above S 300f. from the twofold bondage which consists of the false belief in a self and in factors. which at the same time is the body of doctrine (dharmak›ya) of the Buddha. he has attained the supramundane. mirage. he then abides in cognition as such. Accordingly. he takes a very different route. from the apprehended and the apprehending. as it appears to us. is completely dropped and he attempts to prove the impossibility of matter through examining the concept of the atom. CFE. 1] by stating the tenet with a reference to the sacred scripture and by referring to these examples. and so forth. the highest reality.3. <357> In the meantime. is the non-perception (anupalambha) of any object in the ordinary sense. 2]. pp. indeed. INTRODUCTION TO THE VI±⁄ATIKfi VIJÑAPTIMfiTRATfiSIDDHI CHAPTER ONE: DOCTRINE OF THE UNREALITY OF THE EXTERNAL WORLD AND ANSWERS TO OBJECTIONS BASED ON REASONING (VERSES 1-7) I now move on to the discussion of the Vi˙Ÿatik› Vijñaptim›tratasiddhi. at the same time. the union with the highest reality. the transformation of the basis (›Ÿrayapar›v¸tti) takes place. liberation is attained.1. non-conceptual knowledge (nirvikalpakajñ›na) which. As proof. however. sensory illusion.2. one was content to point to dream. The dependence of entities on words. Vasubandhu begins [v. only a creation of our own conception. while returning to the idea that cognition.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner CFE.4. and 331f. Vasubandhu starts. is [in reality] only conception. It was asked: (1-2) If the entities that we see are. In this way. With respect to the process of liberation itself.. that is.3. In particular. The doctrine of the unreality of the external world originally emerged directly from the experience of meditation. the twofold bondage through the false belief in a self and in factors is destroyed. above all. with which Asaºga had worked. ???). according to old custom. the opposing side had brought forth various objections that needed to be addressed. CFE.

and thus they are unable to quench their thirst. he gives the example of the spirits of the dead. 4b]. that. 5]. Vasubandhu gives another example in which all four points apply. these guardians of hell are. CFE. if an external world does not exist? To this Vasubandhu gives the answer [v. not just a few of them. therefore. 5-7] the doctrine of the Sarv›stiv›dins who see the guardians of hell as formations of the inanimate elements. Finally [v. he relies on the principle. in fact. the simpler one takes precedence. 3]. to be specific [v. by hunger and thirst.2. since after all his line of argument is primarily directed against the followers of the Hınay›na. generally accepted in Indian philosophy. Vasubandhu thus felt compelled to answer to various objections. all spirits of the dead who are subject to the effect of the same deeds are subject to this illusion. namely. he opposes the doctrine of the Mah›s›˙ghikas and S›˙matıyas who saw in the guardians of hell real living beings. as a result of their deeds. Nevertheless. <358> At first. 8] which had already long been customary in the Mah›y›na: The doctrine of the six outer and six inner spheres was proclaimed by the Buddha with the specific purpose of first leading a specific audience not yet capable of apprehending the complete truth one step further. above all. 3] points out that the dream images also appear at a specific place and a specific time and that they are capable of bringing forth an effect [v. He first [v. quite controversial among the Buddhist schools and different opposing views existed. In this. however. for among the diverse types of rebirth the Buddhists accept also existence as spirits of the dead or ghosts (preta). the discussion moves on to a new question: Why did the Buddha speak of the six outer spheres (›yatana). which appear in this guise through the deeds of the damned.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner Vasubandhu answers with counter-examples [v. CHAPTER TWO: ANSWERS TO OBJECTIONS BASED ON SCRIPTURE (VERSES 8-10) With the opponent’s reference to sacred scripture.3. with which Vasubandhu commences. are seen by all and not just by some. be better to assume that their effect—in the guise of a conception—also appears in cognition and not in the external world. With respect to the fact that everyone sees the same things [v. but only the conception of the damned. These roam about on earth and are tormented. Against this second view he remarks that the effect of the deeds is based on the permeation (v›san›) or the imprints which they leave behind in cognition. 4]. it would. 3-4] where he also makes use of views that are only valid for Buddhists. To be specific. 236 . for example the nocturnal emission. According to Sautr›ntika doctrine. This is based upon the fact that. not real. of several possible theories. they believe to see pus and filth in rivers—which for humans carry clear water—. and the damned feel the torment which they cause them. the guardians of hell who guard and torment the damned. they appear at a specific place and at a specific time. and then [v. This doctrine of the guardians of hell was.

CHAPTER THREE: PROOF OF THE UNREALITY OF THE EXTERNAL WORLD: IMPOSSIBILITY OF THE CONCEPT OF AN ATOM. since if cognizance. Vasubandhu’s own proof of the unreality of the external world. to the realization of the essencelessness of the personality (pudgalanair›tmya) (cf. in fact. had been rendered impossible by the advances in epistemology that had taken place in the meantime. on principle. v. discards—instead he had in mind the continuous existence of the stream of cognizance and wanted to prevent his audience from believing that at death an interruption of existence. ???).3. With this doctrine of the spontaneously appearing beings.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner As a similar example [v.). they do indeed exist by this inexpressible nature. p. Vasubandhu answers [v. of which Vasubandhu is thinking here in particular. If this has taken place [v. to be exact.e. This also applies to mere cognizance. 9]. which only the Buddhas can totally recognize. however. by means of this doctrine that the individual processes of cognizance come about through the combined activity of object and sense-organ and are not the work of a uniform cognizer. For. therefore. he did not intend to affirm the existence of an external world. 8]. however. which Buddhism equates with the concept of a soul and. 11ff. <360> Vasubandhu. among others. i. This too does not by any means not exist at all. as we conceive it. and the beings of the intermediate existence (antar›bhava) between the end of one life and the beginning of a new re-embodiment. would be invalid. Likewise [v.3. but rather he had in mind the appearing image in cognizance and the seed from which it arises. 10]. to bring those hearers who are not yet mature enough for the doctrine of the essencelessness of all factors. of deriving the unreality of things from their necessary connection with words. The Buddhist dogmatics namely accepts living beings that are not born. ETC. the opponent raises another objection: If all factors are without essence. 21). and intended. would have a real object and the doctrine that cognizance exists only on its own. he points to the doctrine of spontaneously appearing beings (upap›duka sattva). 267. occurs. but rather appear independently and spontaneously. were real. the actual center-piece of the presentation follows. They just do not exist in the form in which ordinary people conceive them. To these belong. first [v. CFE.. then so is mere cognizance. with the <359> doctrine of the six outer and six inner spheres. without an [external] object. the hell beings. with this. if it recognized another [cognizance] (cf. to this S. therefore. some of the gods. (VERSES 11-15) Next (v. 10]. takes a completely different route. the hearers come to the insight that there is no self and no soul. he 237 . then a cognizance. it does not. it cannot exist and it is meaningless to teach it. and with it an annihilation. absolutely necessary. through the doctrine that everything is mere cognizance. the Buddha did not intend to affirm at all the existence of living beings—a concept. 10]. The old idea in the BodhisattvabhÒmi with which Asaºga had still worked. This assumption is. exist in the form in which ordinary people conceive it. Now [v. they can be led to the complete truth of the essencelessness of all factors. then. 10] that essencelessness of the factors does not mean that they do not exist at all.

if six atoms approach an atom from all six sides so as to combine with it. and thus a combination of however many atoms would never be any larger than a single atom. then even less so do the individual atoms. 14]. The assumption of a combination. And here also the subterfuge that it is not the individual atoms but rather their conglomerates that produce shadow and resistance is of no use since. however. On the whole. on the other hand [v. Such partless atoms are. 12]. as stated. for. matter. As soon as the atom has different sides. Further. And this is also not affected [v. The opponent then also advances the objection that this entire line of argument which should prove the unreality of the external world. the combination of which is quite impossible. since it was unanimously rejected by all of the Buddhist schools. other atoms do not encounter anything beyond the single <361> point. but rather conglomerates that combine with each other. for the conglomerates are nothing other than the atoms. for example. they all touch it at one and the same place. but must instead be divided into parts. not at all necessary to take a combination into account. And. Furthermore [v. as the VaiŸe˝ikas taught. It is [v. 12]. finally [v. impossible. since it starts 238 . He quickly passes over the view of the VaiŸe˝ikas. at the same time.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner bases himself. that would offer resistance and prevent their collapsing into the first atom. In this. as he explains further. ???). fails due to difficulties with the concept of the atom. 11] with Vasubandhu stating three possibilities for things of an external world. indivisible. His principal idea is that spatially extended things cannot be a unity. Vasubandhu adds. This continues until only atoms remain. 13] by the assumption of the Kashmirean school of the Sarv›stiv›dins that it is not the single atoms. does not strike at the heart of the matter. or [2] a multiplicity of individual atoms or [3] a combination of atoms. 14]. then the atom has parts and is no longer an atom. it has parts and is no longer an atom. and if they touch it at six different places. then they all collapse into a single atom. A multiplicity is out of the question since single atoms cannot be perceived. which are partless and. They are either [1] a whole (avayavin) consisting of atoms but being distinct from the atoms. however. in firyadeva (see above S. be illuminated and not illuminated. and with this an external world cannot exist. on the impossibility of the concept of the atom. in particular. If. some features are reminiscent of older lines of thinking as we have seen them. therefore. And therefore.. however. pp. 218f. his presentation is new and unique. the opponent himself admits that his conglomerates are nothing other than the combined atoms. if the conglomerates do not combine. any shadow is impossible because partless atoms cannot. The presentation begins [v.

according to the above-mentioned characteristic. 16) refers to sensory perception which is accepted by all schools as the most authoritative means of valid cognition (pram›˚a). finally. How can we. 16]—following on Hınay›na views. from the principle that that to which different definitions apply. 96ff. • He concludes. p. • Further. etc. become conscious of perceiving an object-referent through the senses if it does not in reality exist? In his answer [v. which we investigate to see if it occurs in atomic form or as a unitary whole. does this characteristic then consist? The opponent answers: Of the fact that [matter] is—in accordance with its affiliation with the six outer spheres—the object of the eye or of another sense and is characterized as color. asks the opponent [v. and in particular the Sautr›ntika doctrine—Vasubandhu distinguishes between the actual perception and the subsequent mental cognition. The first of these (v. the actual line of argument ends.e. he starts [v. and thus has the character of a recollection. like any mental cognition is 79 With regard to the view.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner only from the external form of matter and not from its characteristic (lak˝a˚a). though he does also draw on definitions of a rather superficial type. Vasubandhu replies: But it is exactly this color. That it is not possible as an atom has already be shown. • [Also. • He states that the earth cannot be a unit because—when gradually being traversed—it is partly traversed and partly not traversed.. of the same type. above S. 15].79 To this. with the remark opposed to the <362> opinion of the opponent that only the characteristic (lak˝a˚a) determines the nature of things. separate objects cannot—at the same time—be found on a unitary surface. or the surface would have to be—at one and the same time—covered and not-covered by them. i. 16-21]. several. from that which constitutes its nature. and hence it is itself thereby refuted. for they either would have to collapse into one. of which they consist. by the way. With this. we could not—at one and the same time—apprehend its front and not its back. not only Buddhism accepts—would have to be just as visible as the coarse ones. and which. CHAPTER FOUR: REFUTATION OF VARIOUS OBJECTIONS (VERSES 16-21) There then follows. similar to the Buddhist refutation of the VaiŸe˝ika doctrine of the whole (avayavin).3. that the characteristic qualities alone make up matter. Of what.. CFE. in conclusion. ??? 239 . Only through this mental cognition—which displays the same image as the perception. he says.4. which is the object of the eye. is. In order to prove the impossibility of a unitary whole. the refutation of a series of objections by opponents [v. since the matter. the invisible subtle water beings—which. 1.] with respect to a truly unitary thing. cf. Vasubandhu asks. In this case. cannot be a unit. 16].

do good and bad actions in a dream not entail the same retribution as good and bad deeds performed in the waking state. it does not have the same consequences. interaction and verbal communication with each other is not possible. however. according to the doctrine of the momentariness of all entities. shows the image of the object-referent. at the same time. is neither perceived nor. How. 17]. with respect to the dream. itself. Vasubandhu again bases himself on the view of the influence of distinct streams of cognizance on one another. pp. the answer is [v. it is. to be exact. then. It is directed against the comparison with the dream and asks. that we also only recognize the unreality of the object-referents seen in a dream once we have awakened from sleep.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner accompanied by conception—does one become conscious of perceiving the object-referent. indeed. If [v. which.. 19) follows which again has to do with the influence of living beings on one another. hence. Likewise. 337f. Secondly [v. through the supramundane non-conceptual knowledge (nirvikalpaka jñ›na). the opponent refers to the fact that this mental cognition must be based on a perception which. The next objection [v. Vasubandhu answers that the individual streams of cognizance which represent the various persons are able to influence each other as a dominant condition and that in this way they determine each other’s development. the perception itself is already past. to be specific. The third objection (v. however. and. merely a matter of processes that take place in one’s own cognition. he teaches that a specific process of cognizance in the stream of cognizance of the killer influences the stream of cognizance of the killed individual in such a way that he counteracts the life-sustaining forces and thus brings about the interruption 240 . an objection follows which we have already encountered in Asaºga (see above S. in both cases. we recognize the unreality of the object-referents seen in the waking state only once we have awakened. In his answer. The answer is that an action in a dream is weakened by the dullness of sleep and for this reason. exists. itself. As a result of the momentariness of all cognition. 16 and 17] that it can just as easily be based on a perception that. supposing that merely cognizance exists. 17]. we automatically recognize that the seen object-referents are not real. could this consciousness of the perception establish the existence of an object-referent. it is possible that one living being kills another. how. ???). from the sleep of delusion that keeps ordinary people biased. again presupposes the existence of the object-referent. without the latter really existing. An objection (v. it says. 18] is again dependent on the comparison with the dream and refers to the Indian doctrine of the efficacy of deeds (karma). the same applies to the perceived object-referent itself. at the time of this mental cognition. whereas this is not the case in the waking state. 18) raises the question of how people can influence each other if an external world does not exist and. if. it concerns the question of how. <363> Vasubandhu answers in the same way as Asaºga. as in a dream. Why.

what acts of violence (da˚˜a)80 entail greater offences. Vasubandhu refers to this and the authority of the Buddha in order to show that mere thoughts can bring about the deaths of even numerous living beings. and when it comes again to a battle between the gods and giants (asura). To support this. about the question of what deeds. while the king of gods. This [sÒtra] recounts a conversation of the Buddha with the householder Up›li. 20]. that it was not the anger of the seer that directly brought about the death of all these living beings. their anger strikes Vemacitra. he rejects a further objection to the effect. p. ???). taken from an old canonical text. those through thoughts. the Buddha could not have cited this event as an example for the fateful effect of mere thoughts. influence the mind of another in the most diverse ways. 6. and (ii) the myth of the defeat of the king of giants Vemacitra. that it was caused by supramundane beings who were kindly disposed towards the seers and executed their will. To this end. Among the supranatural capabilities 80 The Jaina tradition uses the expression yoga. 241 . <365> a rain of stones and fire strikes their country and destroys all life. Then [v. Indra. how he is mistreated by King Pradyota of Ujjayinı and then thinks about leaving the order to find revenge at the head of an army. he says. For this reason. which we call death. (i) the legend of Mah›k›ty›yana and S›ra˚a. But Mah›k›ty›yana dissuades him by allowing him to foresee in a dream the failure of the enterprise. Vasubandhu quotes a saying of the Buddha. but rather. through their mere thinking. and how as punishment. Among the examples that he gives in order to show that much more serious damage can be caused through thoughts than through deeds. In this connection [v. While the Jainas consider the act of violence through deeds to be the most serious. he refers back to the <364> general Indian belief that demonic beings (piŸ›ca) and individuals endowed with miraculous power can. it has yet to be proven that the mental influence so discussed can go so far as to be able to bring about the death of another living being. The myth of the king of giants Vemacitra recounts how he impolitely treats saintly seers living in the forest when visiting them and bluntly refuses their request for his protection. the Buddha decides in favor of the act of violence through thoughts. In this case. he brings in examples from legend and myth. the so-called Up›li-SÒtra. As proof of this influence of one stream of cognizance on another. he is defeated by Indra. we find various myths which recount how kings insult or kill ascetics who are capable of miracles.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner of the stream of cognizance. a follower of the Jaina doctrine. as it is stated here following the Jaina way of speaking. 21) which takes up again a thought that has already been touched upon in another context (above S. Finally comes a last objection (v. 20]. specifically. meets them in the most courteous way. or. through words or through deeds. 359. The first tells how the prince S›ra˚a became an ascetic and student of the great monk Mah›k›ty›yana.

Its nature. etc. what we recognize here. this world consisting of the three realms is mere mind. also in this case. The stream of cognizance of another is. What does this mean? If there is no object-referent such as (visible) form. (iii) non-restriction with regard to a specific stream of cognizance. since whether we recognize our own mental processes or those of another. 2 If the cognizance is not brought about through an object-referent. Vasubandhu answers that.81 The word “mere” serves to exclude external objects-referents. the work ends and tying in with the last thoughts. however.. The true nature of things remains—here as everywhere—inaccessible to our cognizance and is exclusively the sphere of knowledge of the Buddhas. and cognizance (vijñapti) are synonyms. however. just as somebody suffering from an eye disease sees non-existent hairs. then (i-ii) restriction with regard to place and time. Hence. an objection is made: v. by saying that he has presented the doctrine of mere cognizance to the best of his abilities. <366> CFE. but also the mental factors (caitta) accompanying the mind. “PROOF THAT (EVERYTHING) IS MERE COGNIZANCE.] etc. he would neither be able to fully recognize nor fully present since its true nature is not graspable in the forms of our cognizance and is accessible only to the supranatural knowledge of the Buddhas. cognition (vijñ›na).The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner which the disciple gains in the course of his practices of absorption. and the cognizance of (visible) form. 22]. real.4. arises without being brought about by an object-referent such as (visible) form. IN TWENTY VERSES” (VI±⁄ATIKfi VIJÑAPTIMfiTRATfiSIDDHI) CHAPTER I In the Mah›y›na. Vasubandhu concludes [v. Against this. 1 All this is mere cognizance. therefore.. “Mind” signifies here the mind along with its associates. sons of the Victorious One. etc. and (iv) the production of an effect is unfounded. such a cognizance would have a real object. [moon. v. not only the mind that is real. 242 . is only the conceived appearing form which belongs to the illusion of the phenomenal world. it is taught that the world consisting of the three realms is mere cognizance because in the SÒtra it says: “Truly. thinking (manas). and this contradicts the assertion that only mere cognizance exists without any object. With this. because the non-existing object-referents are reflected (in it). etc. no real object exists. Buddhism also acknowledges the ability to recognize processes in the mind of another. as with all factors. why does it 81 It is.” Mind (citta)..

etc. 4 The bringing about of an effect as in the case of nocturnal emission. 3 The being restricted with regard to place and time is established as in the case of a dream. And they are seen in this specific place at a specific time and not always.. women. which does not exist. certain things such as bees.. clothes. (Answer:) It is not correct that they are unfounded. and not only in some. etc. With this. that are guarded by men with sticks and swords.. are seen in a specific place and not everywhere.—as with nonexisting (things)—the being restricted with regard to place and time. all see a river filled with pus. 243 . etc. the not being restricted with regard to a specific mind and the bringing about of an effect would be unfounded. etc. appear only in the mind of someone suffering from an eye disease. therefore.. while other [food. etc. even without an existing object-referent.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner then arise in a specific place and not everywhere? Why does it arise in this [specific] place at a specific time and <367> not always? Why does it arise without a definite restriction in the mind of all those who are present at this time in this [specific] place. excrement. etc. gardens.. seen by those suffering from an eye disease not bring about the effect of [actual] hairs. The spirits of the dead who are in the same state of the ripening of their deeds..] do bring it about? Why does a city of Gandharvas (fata morgana). bees. the object-referent of such a cognizance does not exist. not bring about the effect of an [actual] city. etc.] do bring it about? Why do food. while other [cities] do bring it about? If.. v. weapons. men. are seen by all of them simultaneously. likewise.. this is what is indicated by the word “etc. drink. drink. 3 Since rivers of pus.” With this. How? In a dream. while other [hairs. the restriction with regard to place and time is established even without an object-referent. 3 Further. they also see [rivers] filled with urine. v. then. and not in other people? Why do the hairs. just as hairs. the not being restricted with regard to a specific stream of cognizance as in the case of spirits of the dead. etc. And in the same way as they see a stream filled with pus. it is established that even when no object-referent exists.. since: v. not bring about the effect of [actual] food and drink. as seen in a dream. How is it established? <368> v. cognizance need not be restricted with regard to a specific stream of cognizance. etc. etc. and not just one of them. poison. “Is established” continuous to be applicable.

as well as iron mountains. the restriction with regard to place and time. The guardians of hell. and just as little that of the spirits of the dead [as guardians of hell]. 4 Again. shape. v. Therefore. is not possible. it would be impossible to distinguish between hell beings and guardians of hell. everything as in the case of the hells. Hence. how could they torment others in this situation? But if they are not hell beings. are to be considered as established. do not experience the torments of hell. if they were of the same shape. in fact.. <369> also in other cases. Also. and they enjoy the pleasure which arises there. it is established that they are tormented by the guardians of hell merely through the influence of the similar ripening of their deeds. experience the torments of hell. if they all tormented each other.. and to be precise. and strength and tormented each other. etc. because they do not experience the pain arising there. the restriction with regard to place and time. all four mentioned facts. and since. Just as in sleep. etc. Further. a nocturnal emission. are established through different examples respectively. on the other hand. in a specific place and at a specific time—the word “etc.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner “Is established” is to be added. be hell beings because they no not. as in heaven. and is tormented by them.. (Objection [by the Mah›sa˙ghikas and S›˙matıyas]:) Why do you not assume that the guardians of hell and these dogs and crows are living beings? (Answer:) Because it is impossible.. Rather. all of [the hell beings see them] and not just one of them.. they would not experience fear in the same way. the rebirth of neither animals nor spirits of the dead is <370> possible (in the hells). in the hells.. there arise from the elements certain formations. the stated [four] facts. which show a certain color. [Position of the Sautr›ntikas:] Just as it is established that in the hells the hell beings see the guardians of hell. that come and go—. (Answer from the point of view of the Sarv›stiv›dins:) v. due to the deeds of the hell beings. animals and certain types of spirits of the dead can also be reborn as guardians of hell. etc. moreover. etc. etc. likewise. takes place even without sexual union. although there are no guardians of hell. “Is established” is to be added.” indicates that they also see dogs and crows. like those. And if they themselves could not bear the torment of fire on the burning iron ground. then how can they be reborn in hell? (Objection:) How then can animals be reborn in heaven? In that case. etc. They cannot. Animals that are reborn in heaven are born there as a result of deeds which lead to the pleasure of the environment there. stature. 5 A rebirth of animals in the hells. 4 Since one sees the guardians of hell. 244 . etc.. How is it established? v. marked by the outflow of semen.

. also its fruit appears. etc. 7 You conceive of the permeation of the deeds in one place and the fruit in another.. and that the thorns in the iron ⁄›lmalı forest seem to turn up and down. namely in view of the fact that that the mind stream will not be interrupted in the future. (Answer:) That is no reason. then the Exalted One would not have taught the existence of the sphere of (visible) form. (Vasubandhu’s answer [to the Sarv›stiv›dins]:) v. It is. i. not at all nonexistent. etc. however. or that one sees mountains. existed and not the object-referent of (visible) form. and strength. like swinging their arms.. etc. What then is this intention? v. Just as the Exalted One taught with a specific intention that spontaneously appearing beings exist. 6 If you maintain that. where the permeation is not? <371> CHAPTER II (Opponent:) The reason is sacred tradition. in accordance with the saying: “A living being and a self do not exist. They are. just like (the existence) of the spontaneously appearing beings. The permeation of the deeds adheres to the stream of cognizance and nowhere else though.. 8 The existence of the sphere of (visible) form. etc. was taught with a specific intention. and that out of consideration for the people to be advanced by this doctrine. the Exalted One has taught the existence of the sphere of (visible) form. likewise.e. therefore. through the deeds of the (hell beings). 9 245 . a corresponding change of the cognition? For what reason do you conceive the fruit there.. in the shape of rams. what we see are only causally conditioned factors”. and which receive the name ‘guardians of hell’. to be exact.. etc. For what reason do you do not assume (the fruit) there where the permeation (resides)? You conceive that—through the deeds of the hell beings—elements in hell arise and change in such a way. Why then do you not maintain that there where the permeation resides. And they change in such a way that they seem to perform various movements. out of consideration for the people to be advanced by it. then why do you not assume the same for cognition? Why do you not assume that their cognition changes in this way through their deeds? Why do you conceive of elements? v. since: v. etc. to bring about fear. come and go. If only the cognition that displays the image of the (visible) form. etc. elements arise there and do change in such a way. a statement with a specific intention.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner stature.

and the image that it shows (in this). The same applies for all types of cognizance up to the cognizance of the tangible. then one attains the understanding of the essencelessness of the factors. does not exist. up to – thinker does not exist. if it is taught. has gained the capacity to bring forth the respective cognition in the next moment.82 <372> This seed. 10 In this way one attains the understanding of the essencelessness of the personality. If the doctrine is expounded in this way. but that a uniform seer. and the image which [the cognizance] displays (in this).. <373> “In the other way” means. How can you then assert it? (Answer:) One does not attain the understanding of the essencelessness of the factors in that one thinks that a factor does not exist at all. from which a cognizance emerges. If one recognizes that the six types of cognition each arise from two (spheres). That is. from which every cognition arises. which displays the image of the tangible. the Exalted One has designated these two as the sphere of the body and respectively of the tangible. which displays the image of (visible) form. then the mere cognizance also does not exist. This then is the intention in question here. finally. which arises in that it displays the image of the factors. these two the sage has designated as its double sphere. belonging to this cognizance. then those who should be cultivated by the doctrine of the essencelessness of the personality. then. and the image. that (everything) is mere cognizance. etc. What is the advantage of expounding the doctrine based on this intention? v. in other words. 10 If. hearer – etc. This seed. but only v. arises from its seed as soon as this latter has reached a specific state of transformation (pari˚›maviŸe˝a). arises from its seed as soon as this latter has reached a specific state of transformation. 246 . on the other hand. etc. then. but that. attain the understanding of the essencelessness of the personality.. one in fact attains the understanding of the essencelessness of the personality. (visible) form. belonging to this cognizance. characterized as (visible) form. a cognizance.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner Its own seed. How does one then come to the understanding of the essencelessness of the factors? By recognizing that everything that we see is mere cognizance. v. 10 82 The seed or impression in the subconsciousness. the doctrine is expounded in the other way. which [the cognizance] displays (in this). (Objection:) If a factor does not exist at all. the Exalted One has designated these two as the sphere of the eye and respectively of (visible) form. What does this mean? Cognizance. on the other hand. a factor. ripens gradually through continuous transformation until it..

but that these (spheres) which are individually the object of the cognizance of (visible) form.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner according to the conceived nature.] is neither an object-referent as a unit nor as a multitude of atoms.. If the position of one atom were. etc.. because the cognizances would have an object-referent. which is the object of the Buddhas. cannot be an object-referent. For. the (position) of all six.e. because one atom would not extend beyond the other. in terms of the nature which fools conceive as the apprehended and the apprehending. then all would be located in the same position and the whole conglomeration would thus be only <375> the size of one single atom. 12 In the case of a simultaneous connection from (all) six sides with six atoms. And also the (atoms). because the atoms. all six are located in the same position. but not according to the inexpressible nature. a unit cannot be an object-referent because a whole that is different from the parts can nowhere be grasped. or these same atoms in a state of aggregation. and not in that one completely denies its existence. How is it not proven? Because v. on the other hand. otherwise. a six-partedness of the atoms results. etc. then the conglomeration would be only the size of one atom. The essencelessness of the factors exists according to the conceived nature.. one cognizance would have another cognizance as its object-referent and it would. cannot be grasped individually. Consequently. since the single atom is not proven. not be proven. etc. nor—as these [atoms]—in a state of aggregation. What does this mean? The sphere of (visible) form. do not (in reality) exist? (Answer:) Because v. because in the position of one (atom) no other can be. which is individually the object-referent of the cognizance of (visible) form. at the same time. 247 . 11 [the sphere of (visible) form. that (everything) is mere cognizance. CHAPTER III (Opponent:) But how can it be known that the Exalted One taught the existence of the spheres of (visible) form. First. one comes to the understanding of the essencelessness of all factors. and in that one asserts (in this sense) that (everything) is mere cognizance. etc. <374> with this intention. one attains the understanding of the essencelessness of mere cognizance according to the nature conceived by another cognizance. therefore. Just as little can a multitude. which the VaiŸe˝ika conceive—or a multitude of atoms. Likewise.—like the whole. in a state of aggregation. is either a unit. no conglomeration would be visible.. etc. i. because the atom as a single thing is not proven. etc... If.

(Opponent:) Why do you not assume that shadow and obstruction belong to the conglomeration and not to the atom? (Answer:) Do you. up to … the downward situated spatial part is different. 14 That which is divided in spatial parts. accumulations also do not combine with each other. as an individual thing. But if it does not encounter resistance. then [the atoms] do not belong to it. be the size of just one atom. Thus. that the combination of the atoms does not come about due to the partlessness. v. because they are partless. Since the atom then has no other part where if one [atom] moved there. with respect to the accumulation. is not proven. therefore. how then at sunrise <376> does a shadow appear on one side and light on the other side? Since there is after all no other part which the light could not reach. 248 . you also do not admit a combination. they do. which of course has parts. then what is combined in the aggregation? But then it is also not the partlessness due to which the combination of the atoms does not come about. if a division according to spatial parts exists. Whether. so say the Vaibh›˝ikas of KaŸmır. perhaps.. How then. therefore. then it is proved that they do not belong to it. since. then—as we already have said—all (atoms) would occupy the same position and every accumulation would. 14 Or how could there be shadow and obstruction? If in the case of the individual atom. When aggregated. The eastern spatial part of the atom is namely different … etc. If you assume that the conglomeration is nothing other than the atoms. assume that the conglomeration to which they supposedly belong is something other than the atoms? No. then you cannot say. the atom.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner (Opponent:) The individual atoms do not combine with one another. Thus it is said: If the conglomeration is nothing other. If. (Answer:) But the accumulation of atoms is nothing other than they themselves. this mistake need not necessarily have to result. combine with one another. which indeed consists of these (parts). there were no division according to spatial parts. Thus. form a unit? v. And how does the obstruction of one atom by another take place if a division according to spatial parts is not assumed. furthermore. 13 If the atom thus does not combine. can not possibly be a unit. can the atom. it would encounter the resistance of another. a combination of atoms is assumed or not: v. however.

however. For it investigates. because everything would be traversed in a single step. sensory perception is the most important. if no objectreferent exists.. whether just this blue. etc. then there would be no gradual movement on earth. and thereby it is established that (everything) is mere cognizance. indeed.. the faults have already been discussed. such as elephants.. since they have the same constitution as the coarse ones. is not possible. How then can one see the two as separate? And how. can that which is both connected and unconnected with both of them be a unit. considers only the difference in shape. yellow. For. Finally. then it is also not established that (visible) form. (Opponent:) And what follows from that? (Answer:) In the case of the multitude. and the non-perception of the subtle do not take place. is the object of the eye. a simultaneous apprehension and nonapprehension. a gradual movement. the characteristic? (Opponent:) The being-the-object for the eye. blue. Therefore. <378> CHAPTER IV (Opponent:) Existence or non-existence is determined based on the means of valid cognition. If it is assumed that the object of the eye. then.. could not be found. as long as the characteristic of (visible) form. etc. something is apprehended that is free of them. etc.. not established. If it is not established. how does this cognizance come about: “I have perceived this through the senses”? 249 . insofar as it is not disconnected. <377> v.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner (Opponent:) The question as to whether atom or accumulation. in the gap (between the two). and this is.e. represents one single thing. as a unit. is a uniform thing or a multitude. where the one is. But of all means of valid cognition.. etc.. etc. which is regarded as the object of the eye. etc. a division according to atoms must certainly be assumed. (Answer:) But this is exactly what our reflection deals with. For an apprehension and non-apprehension of the same (thing) at the same time. But what is the point of this reflection. and the blueness. is not refuted? (Answer:) What is. no walking.. on the other hand. in one (thing). yellow. several separate (things). etc. 15 In the case of the unit. Further. horses. etc. Hence. if a difference of things is assumed to be due exclusively due to a difference in characteristic and for no other reason. the existence of several separate (things). etc. there would be no non-perception of the subtle water beings. There would be no simultaneous apprehension of the front part and non-apprehension of the back part. i. the other would also have to be.. since.

—originates. Thus the perception of the objectreferent is not established through the arising of the recollection. Likewise. (Answer:) This is not conclusive.. etc. one does not recognize the non-existence of the objects seen in sleep. at this time. 16 The cognizance of sensory perception (pratyak˝abuddhi) comes about as in sleep.. 9] how a perception that displays its image (arises).The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner (Answer:) v. We have discussed how even without an object-referent. 17 As long as one has not awakened. occurs. then people would likewise recognize on their own its non-existence. the object-referent is not seen at the time when [the cognizance of sensory perception] appears. v. How then can the (corresponding object-referent) be regarded as being perceived through the senses. (Opponent:) If just as in sleep perception does not have a real object-referent as object also in the waking state. a mental cognizance—which is connected with recollection. (Answer:) It is not established that a perceived object-referent is recollected. For this reason. the people who are sunk in the sleep of the permeations arisen from the habit of false conceptions. is past? (Opponent:) Something that is not perceived. Further. as has already been shown previously [i. Thus there must definitely be a perception of the object-referent and that is vision. the object-referent is not seen because this ascertainment is brought about by mental cognition and the visual cognition is.e. are not able to truthfully 250 . a cognizance that displays its image—a visual cognition. etc.. and who. the corresponding (visible) form or the corresponding taste. past. the (visible) form. see an unreal object-referent. Even without an object-referent. in verse 3]. 17 We have discussed [v. as in sleep. especially by a follower of the doctrine of the momentariness of all things. Thus it is not correct that just as in sleep every perception of an object-referent does not have an object. displays the same image and conceives the (visible) form. for: <379> v. From this cognizance. since: v. etc. which represents the object [of vision]. in the meantime. is regarded as being perceived through the senses. for whom. is not recollected by the mental cognition. So how can it be regarded as being perceived through the senses? At the time when the cognizance of sensory perception: “This I have perceived through the senses”. etc. 17 From this (originates) recollection.—arises. But this is not the case.

18 the mind in sleep is obstructed by dullness. or (like such changes). non-conceptual knowledge. as soon as they have awakened through the acquisition of the counteragent to [this vision of an unreal object-referent]. that is. the cognizance which displays the image of the objectreferent arises based on a specific transformation of their stream of cognizance. with respect to beings.. a specific cognizance in another stream of cognizance arises. Thus through a specific cognizance in one stream of cognizance. Hence. in the future. This is the cause of it. then why are [they] affected by the sin of the destruction of life? (Answer:) v. the supramundane. in the same desired or undesired fruit? (Answer:) Because v. (Opponent:) If just as in a dream the cognizance in the waking state has no object-referent. etc.. just as through the power of thought of a PiŸ›ca. and not through a specific object-referent.. 19 Death is a change based on a specific cognizance of another. then how does <381> the death of sheep. through realizing <380> the pure mundane knowledge which follows. etc. The respective mutual determination of cognizance takes place in all beings due to the fact that their cognizances influence one another. (Opponent:) If. and not based on a specific object-referent. etc. or the defeat of Vemacitra through the embitterment of the thoughts of the forest-dwelling seers. take place which are slaughtered by shepherds? Or if their death is not caused by the shepherds. like the seeing of dreams by S›ra˚a under the influence of the noble Mah›k›ty›yana. changes occur in others. (a change such as) loss of memory.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner recognize the non-existence of [an object-referent] as long as they have not awakened. (Opponent:) If all this is mere cognizance and no one has a body or a voice. through the power of thought of persons endowed with miraculous powers. the situation is the same. the seeing of dreams or possession by ghosts and demons. (takes place) in others. 18 The mutual determination of cognizance takes place through mutual influence. they truthfully recognize the nonexistence of the object-referent. then how is it possible that the connection with bad and good friends and the hearing of good and bad teachings determine the cognizance of beings where in fact this connection and this doctrine do not exist? (Answer:) v. and not the existence of an object. through the 251 . Just as by the power of thought of a PiŸ›ca. in the same way. then why does good and bad conduct in the sleeping and not sleeping person not result. etc. such as loss of memory.. However. hence the fruit is not the same.

The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner influence of a specific cognizance of a particular person. [then] how is it.” v. how are they then knowers of another mind? If. (then how do you assert. How does this also not correspond to reality? v. how the Da˚˜aka forests. that only cognition without an object-referent exists?) (Answer:) v. 252 . do the knowers of another mind then know the other mind or do they not know it? What follows from that? If they do not know it. how could the emptiness of the Da˚˜aka forest through the anger of the seers have occurred. <383> Because [the knowledge of one’s own mind] does not know [this mind]. If. 21 Because [the knowledge of one’s own mind] does not know (one’s mind). Gautama. householder. v. and that they were not killed through the embitterment of the thoughts of the seers. (Opponent:) If this is all mere cognizance. [that it occurred] through the embitterment of the thoughts of the seers. it is proven through the death of so many beings due to the mere embitterment of their thinking. Both [knowledge]. the M›taºga forests and the Kaliºga forests became empty and cleansed?” and that he answered: “I have heard. therefore. and. which we call death. 20 Or how would the great sinfulness of the act of violence through thought be proven? If it is assumed that the beings living therein were eradicated by superhuman beings who were friendly towards the (seers). you do not accept that the death of beings takes place under the influence of a specific cognizance of another. How so? Just as the knowledge of one’s own mind. 20 Otherwise. on the other hand. since they display incorrect appearing images. (then we refer to the fact) that the <382> Exalted One—in order to prove the great sinfulness of the act of violence through thoughts—asked the householder Up›li: “Did you hear. as it is the domain of the Buddha. 21 The knowledge of the knowers of another mind does not correspond to reality. proven that the act of violence through thought is far more sinful than the act of violence through body and speech? On the other hand. the interruption of the homogeneous stream of cognizance takes place. In this way. in this case. this is to be understood. through this. however. as it is in its inexpressible nature the domain of the Buddha. a change occurs in others which counteracts the life organ. they do know it. do not correspond to reality because they have not given up the conception of an apprehended and an apprehending.

(v. 7). CFE. 253 . In the present case. 2-5) the expression ‘site’ designates the environment (bh›janaloka). since Vasubandhu did not leave behind a commentary to it. which encompasses everything knowable in every shape knows no limits. By ‘appropriation’. In any form. This question was discussed a great deal with regard to all factors by Buddhist scholasticism. i. 1] with a brief reference to the twofold cause of entanglement in the cycle of existence. the domain? v. the domain of the exalted Buddhas. which in reality does not befit it. appropriated by the personalitystream. consists of only thirty verses. Of whom then is it. v. indeed. 22 I have composed this “Proof that (Everything) is Mere Cognizance” according to my abilities. it is. since this remains unconscious. Non-conceptual knowledge is designated as the supramundane path (v. Equanimity as a sensation is neither pleasure nor suffering and befits the fundamental cognition. The only thing new in this regard is that he determines the nature of this error more precisely as an attribution (upac›ra). since these appear to be incorporated into and. since nearly everything needed for its understanding can be drawn from the brief introductory overview of Vasubandhu’s views. is unfathomably profound. 5-8) includes. [i]  In the description of the fundamental cognition. through it a nature is <384> attributed to a thing.5. because this [knowledge] constitutes the supramundane part of the path of liberation. Nevertheless. the belief in a self and the belief in factors. however. a more thorough explanation is unnecessary. Vasubandhu then describes one after the other these three appearing forms of cognition. the translation of which I now present. [ii] The description of thinking (v. since their knowledge. but is without philosophical interest.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner Regarding this (doctrine) of the mere existence of cognizance which..e. Vasubandhu begins [v. it cannot be grasped by thoughts of someone like me. the attributed nature is the self and the factors. in a way. because it is not the object of logical thinking. in its entirety. In any form. besides the other determinations. 22 It is the domain of the Buddha. [Mere cognizance] cannot. with its innumerable particular statements. an additional brief comment on the domain to which the defilements accompanying thinking belong. the body and sense-organs are to be understood. It is attributed to the different appearing forms of cognition. be completely grasped by thoughts. INTRODUCTION TO THE TRI±⁄ATIKfi VIJÑAPTIMfiTRATfiSIDDHI The Tri˙Ÿik› Vijñaptim›trat›siddhi.

the doctrine of liberation (v. the imagined <385> nature is natureless because no intrinsic characteristic befits it. Only if every object and. the dependent nature. which takes place in a variety of ways. The false conceptions of the belief in an I and in factors and the permeations caused thereby—on which the entanglement in the cycle of existences rests—disappear only through the direct clear comprehension of mere cognizance by virtue of non-conceptual knowledge. 283f. all conceptions of objects must be removed.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner [iii] In the description of the cognition of objects (v. 279ff.. with this. CFE. To this end. does one become directly aware of mere cognizance in its true inexpressible form. 8-16). rests finally on the fact that it is the highest reality and that the latter consists of the essencelessness of the factors (cf. 14) and are designated as twofold. pp. an object is still remaining. After a few verses on the character of cognition as conception and on the operation of permeation.. Noteworthy is only the comment (v. And this transformation is threefold: <386> 2 254 .e. for the Buddha. the cognition also has disappeared. because it does not exist in itself but is dependent on others. and the further comment that the dependent nature cannot be correctly understood if one has not first recognized the perfect nature. without adding anything essentially new. In conclusion. 22) with respect to the doctrine of the threefold nature. above.). which Vasubandhu designates here by an old expression—already used by Maitreyan›tha—as badness (dau˝˛hulya). that the perfect nature is neither distinct nor non-distinct from the dependent nature—which is reminiscent of how Maitreyan›tha determined the relationship between the nature of factors (dharmat›) and the factors (cf. the four unrestrained mental factors are enumerated as two pairs (v. p. ???). This is the supramundane non-conceptual knowledge—according to ordinary cognition a non-perception—in which the mental factors have also disappeared. The essencelessness of the perfect nature. above S. ???)—. a brief account of the doctrine of the threefold nature of things and their threefold essencelessness (v. with the object. THAT (EVERYTHING) IS MERE COGNIZANCE. liberation and the entrance into the highest being. 20-25) is given. It is thus also not sufficient to think in the ordinary forms of our cognition that everything is mere cognizance because. As for the threefold essencelessness.6. which for the ordinary disciple is the body of liberation (vimuktik›ya). 323. the body of the doctrine (dharmak›ya). S. IN THIRTY VERSES” 1 The attribution of an I and of factors. “PROOF. Vasubandhu follows the old doctrine as it was presented in the Sa˙dhirmocanasÒtra (see above S. In this. 26-30) follows. i. concerns the transformation of cognition. they can be defiled and undefiled. With this. This leads to the transformation of the basis and the disappearance of the twofold bondage by the belief in an I and the factors.

and has three sensations. in the absorption of suppression. conviction. 6 is constantly accompanied by the four defilements that are contaminated and indeterminate are designated as belief in a self. It does not exist in a saint. This is good. and on the supramundane path. attention. 8 This is the second transformation.. diligence. pride in the I.e. 11 the triad of absence of greed. and (iii)  cognizance of objects. contact. are the good [mental factors]. – Further. and love for the I. bad and neither of the two. etc. Those bound to specific objects are inclination. 5 Its disappearance occurs in the state of sainthood. the seeds and the body endowed with the five sense-organs] and the site [i. <387> 9 [Perception] is accompanied by the all-pervasive mental factors. the appropriation [i. modesty. and non-violence. It is constantly associated with contact. by good [mental factors]. by those bound to specific objects. shame. harmoniousness. Likewise contact. hate. The third is the perception of the sixfold object. etc. delusion. in an unconscious form. delusion about an I.. etc. 255 . (ii) thinking. maturation is the so-called fundamental cognition.. and recollection. it is uncontaminated and indeterminate. the environment]. 7 and belong to the (domain) in which one is born. along with concentration and insight. by defilements and secondary defilements. sensation. equanimity along with heedfulness. like a river. The defilements are passion. and [is constantly accompanied] by the other (mental factors).The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner [it is] called (i) maturation. etc. Based on it and taking it as its object-support. 4 The sensation therein is equanimity.e. Faith. It propagates itself in an uninterrupted flow. The latter contains all of the seeds 3 and recognizes. the cognition called thinking develops which has the act of mentation as its nature. Of these. 10 The first are contact. consciousness and will.

and further. and doubt. brings forth the (fundamental cognition) as a new ripening. [i. <389> 256 . (false) view. spitefulness. 21 The dependent nature. That which is conceived by it. in fact. 22 Thus. 18 The cognition. forgetfulness. And again. The perfect (nature) is [the latter’s] constant freedom from the former [i. drowsiness. just like the waves on the water. contemplation and reflection. unrestraint.. shamelessness. lack of faith. except in the state of unconsciousness. etc. miserliness. anger and grudge. now that conception arises. dissimulation 13 along with deceitfulness. 19 When the previous maturation is exhausted. Through mutual influence the transformation develops now this way. and further. These are the secondary defilements and the (last) two pairs are each twofold. laziness. the imagined nature]. remorse and rigidity. hypocrisy. the permeation of the deeds. As long as the former is not seen.e.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner 12 pride. The latter does not exist. [the perfect nature] is to be designated neither as distinct nor as not distinct from the dependent nature. 14 distractedness. that does not exist. the latter is not seen. good and bad]. <388> 16 The mental cognition always arises. wantonness. Thus. so that now this. 20 All things that are conceived through any kind of conception form the imagined nature. contains all seeds. the two absorptions. 17 This [threefold] transformation of cognition is conception. along with the permeation of the twofold apprehension [i.. and thoughtlessness. 15 Depending on the presence of the conditions. rigidity (= anaesthetization) and that fainting in which the mind is suspended. now that way. envy. on the other hand. like impermanence. the object-aspect and the subject-aspect]. agitation. negligence.e.. malevolence. all this is mere cognizance. is the conception arisen from conditions. five types of cognition arise in the fundamental cognition at the same time or not.e.

<390> the transformation of the basis through the removal of the twofold badness (dau˝˛hulya). Its classics are Dign›ga (6th cent. i. since. in which the mind has disappeared (acitta). blissful [element]. it is the supramundane knowledge. A further essencelessness results from the fact. *** With Vasubandhu. in particular. It did continue to flourish for a long time and. it also does not apprehend the (cognition). of special importance is that the logico-epistemological school of Buddhism. 26 As long as cognition does not abide in mere cognizance.. Further. 24 The first [nature] is essenceless according to its characteristic. This [reality] is also suchness. one does not abide in mere (cognizance) since one holds something before oneself. arose from a combination of Yog›c›ra.) and Dharmakırti (7th cent. We do not have room here to pursue its further development in detail. The second. knowledge does not perceive an object-support. because it is such at all times. the perfect nature) is the highest reality (param›rtha) of the factors. 29 This is that non-perception. This is the so-called body of) the doctrine of the great sage. in addition. on the other hand. the Yog›c›ra school reached its apex. mere cognizance.e. And it is.).The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner 23 With a view toward the threefold essencelessness of this threefold nature the essencelessness of all factors has been taught. 30 It is the uncontaminated element. 27 Also through the perception that (all) this is mere cognizance.and Sautr›ntika-thoughts. because it has no independent existence. so long does the burden (anuŸaya) of duality [in apprehension] not disappear. then it stands firm in mere cognition. the unthinkable. 28 If. the 6th century is rich in renowned representatives of the school and significant works. resulting from the absence of that which is apprehended. imperishable. salutary. It produced a rich literature and maintained a leading position up to the beginning of 257 . 25 that it (= the third. which constitutes one of the highest points of the entire Indian philosophy. This is the body of liberation.

258 . we will offer a taste of how Vasubandhu’s epistemology was further developed after his time. though. None of this can be taken into account here.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner the 2nd millennium. In just a brief example.

. As we have seen (above S. as he says. Dign›ga was an extremely prolific author. that recognizes an object. which forms the subject of the following translated sample. Dign›ga distinguishes between two appearing forms of cognition.)83 Dign›ga came from South India. Over and above that. among others. displays only the appearing form of the object. the Mah›s›˙ghika had held the view that cognition becomes aware of itself. which became the fundamental work of the new school. which reflects itself in [cognition]. Most significant. Following upon this. He wrote. among others. a concise commentary on the AbhidharmakoŸa <391> of Vasubandhu the Younger and a brief summary of the doctrine of the Prajñ›p›ramit›. He taught only. through which he became the founder of the logico-epistemological school of Buddhism. and cognition’s own appearing form. DIGNfiGA (CA. Nevertheless. the question had been raised as to how one becomes aware of a cognition. He spent some time in N›land›.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner CFF. Hence. in his view. a second cognition follows. Later. pp. the awareness. however. 759-841. that has this cognition itself as an object. 480-540 C. can. without explicitly distinguishing between two parts of cognition. and initially belonged to the sect of the V›tsıputrıyas. however. in the Sautr›ntika style. that cognition reflects the object. which were allotted to two distinct knowledges. the centre of Buddhist learning. His logical doctrines cannot be touched upon here. and. he finally summarized his doctrines in the extensive Pram›˚asamuccaya (Compendium of the Means of Valid Cognition). then the cognition. Different doctrines had been put forward. After he had written numerous smaller treatises. that recognizes [this cognition] itself. the cognition’s own appearing form. 83 [See: Erich Frauwallner: “Dign›ga. his distinction between perception and conception is particularly important. in the way that a lamp not only illuminates objects but also itself. in Vasubandhu also the thought appears that cognition itself becomes the object of another cognition. sein Werk und seine Entwicklung”. and. in Kleine Schriften: pp. the doctrine of the different parts of cognition. 329f. the appearing form of the recognized object. <392> The following section from the Pram›˚asamuccaya contains then Dign›ga’s arguments for this doctrine. if the cognition of the object. he also acknowledges a third appearing form. Now. Even early on in the schools of the Hınay›na. were his logical writings. an image part and a seeing part. In the epistemological field. Asaºga had in fact distinguished within cognition. he turned towards the north and converted to the Yog›c›ra school. he spent in Orissa. Dign›ga took over this view and taught the selfawareness (svasa˙vitti) of cognition as its third appearing form. thirdly. Also.] 259 . In this he starts from the case that among the cognitions that succeed one another uninterruptedly in the stream of cognition and of which each has only the duration of a moment—upon one cognition. three appearing forms are combined in a cognition. The rest of his life. The appearing form of the object. from the region of K›ñcı. the awareness. ???).E. Vasubandhu had abandoned this idea.

not recognize it as a cognition of the corresponding object. would result. is to be added.. The same thing results from the fact that one recollects later the perception of an object. Thus. The self-awareness of cognition can also be inferred from recollection. v. <393> CFF. if one can recollect both the object as well as its perception. In addition. 12 And from the recollection afterwards. a recollection of the perception arises afterwards. however. in an endless series. if one became aware of it. [This second cognition] would.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner likewise. and. and each following cognition would not display the image of the object of the preceding cognition. displays the image of this cognition resembling the object and its own image. display only this appearing form. the first cognition to have only its own appearing form. a (visible) form. that each cognition becomes aware of itself. if one has perceived it. the twofoldness of cognition results. Therefore. as well as with respect to the object. hence. the assumption. For this is only possible. on the other hand. then for this other cognition the same would have to apply. Since if one became aware of it through another cognition. Otherwise. The cognition of the cognition of this object. 11 From the distinctness of the cognition of the object and of the cognition of this (cognition). presupposes both appearing forms of the corresponding knowledge. a regressus in infinitum. the twofoldness of cognition is established. if the cognition of the object were to display only the form of the object or its own form. that of the object and its own.. 260 . which. the twofoldness of cognition is established. then also the following cognitions would not display the object’s form and could. since just as one can only recollect an object. FROM THE “COMPENDIUM OF THE MEANS OF VALID COGNITION” (PRAMfi≤ASAMUCCAYA) CHAPTER I (Opponent:) How can it be recognized that cognition has two forms? (Answer:) v. Also because with respect to the cognition. Hence. i. hence. on the other hand. because it would not have this as its object. again. etc. since one cognition always recognizes only the previous one. one could never move on to the cognition of another object. can only proceed through the corresponding cognition itself. The cognition of an object.1. if one has been perceived it. also be only a cognition of the object and no different from the first. is established as absolutely necessary. displays the object’s image and its own. so one can also only recollect a cognition. therefore. the twofoldness results. then the cognition of the cognition of the object would be no different. This becoming aware. Were.e. the first cognition must contain both appearing forms.

recollection of the seeing of an object does not occur. the cognition is also perceived through another cognition. (Answer:) That is not correct. 261 . And if this [cognition] is thus also perceived through another cognition. etc. (Opponent:) Just like (visible) form. Without perception. How? Since with respect to this cognition as well. If the cognition is perceived through another cognition. under these circumstances. Since if cognition is perceived through another cognition. since: v. etc. Why? <394> Since in the case of something not perceived. 13 In the case of perception through another cognition. recollection occurs. [then] an endless series would result.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner Also the self-awareness. this [recollection] does not occur. just like the recollection of a (visible) form. no moving on to another object would take place. a self-awareness of cognition must certainly be assumed. a recollection of the latter must also be observed. Thus.. later. observed. an endless series would result. however. In addition. then. The latter is.

using the commentaries of ten Indian authors. at 32 years of age. Its most renowned representative is a student of Gu˚amati. a South Indian. Hiuan-tsang thus seems to base himself less on Shiramati’s own works than on that what he has learned as the doctrine of his school in India. the following sample deals with the doctrine of the parts of cognition. Alongside the N›land› school stands the school of Valabhı in K›thi›v›r. without [any] parts being explicitly distinguished. next to Dharmap›la. He spent his youth in the South. Commentaries were written to the works of Asaºga and Maitreyan›tha. He died very early.E.E. the latter wrote an extensive commentary to Vasubandhu’s Tri˙Ÿik›. where he brilliantly advocated the Yog›c›ra doctrine in teaching and in writing. who. in the homeland of Buddhism. often does not agree with what we find expressed in Sthiramati’s own works. he also mentions Sthiramati’s opinion quite regularly. Dharmap›la. Sthiramati. only a few works have been preserved. and. three parts were assumed. Numerous significant representatives <395> created an abundance of works. It would therefore be wise for us to see in the doctrines which he attributes to Dharmap›la <396> and Sthiramati. according to which the image of the object appears in cognition. STHIRAMATI AND DHARMAPfiLA (MIDDLE OF THE 6TH CENTURY C. As we already have stated. in particular. This was also the view of Sthiramati. in his time was considered the most significant representative of he Yog›c›ra school. The center of this lively literary activity was the famous Buddhist university of N›land›. According to the reports of Hiuan-tsang. not so much the personal views of these men as the doctrines of their schools. the son of a minister from K›ñcı in South India. As representative of the N›land› school.) In conclusion. Our principal source for this time and. for the two schools of N›land› and Valabhı. I present another translated sample from Vasubandhu’s school. who in the first half of the 6th century moved from N›land› to Valabhı. But in particular. yet besides it also considers again and again the different deviating views.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner CFG. The following translated sample then is taken from this work.. in particular. however. It was founded by Gu˚amati. In it he generally follows the doctrine of Dharmap›la. 262 . the most diverse views on this subject prevailed: Some held to Vasubandhu’s view. stands out. For the most part though. but later made his way to N›land›. that that which Hiuan-tsang cites as Sthiramati’s opinion. is the famous Chinese pilgrim Hiuan-tsang (602 to 664 C. in Northern India. After his return from India. since.). Vasubandhu’s Vi˙Ÿatik› and Tri˙Ÿik› Vijñ›ptim›trat›siddhi constituted the starting point for numerous explanatory writings in which Vasubandhu’s system was further elaborated and augmented. Similar to the translated sample from Dign›ga. following Dign›ga’s method. however. It should be noted in this regard. the Yog›c›ra school enjoyed a great flowering particularly in the 6th century. of the once so rich literature.

Consequently. Only the awareness part falls in the domain of the dependent nature (paratantra svabh›va) and is real. but they continue to exist also in the liberated one. takes up Asaºga’s thought. the appropriation [i.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner Dharmap›la. the image and seeing parts are mere cognizance. only the awareness part is real. Hence. For Dharmap›la. Dharmap›la. that all of these views have the same meaning. (ii) According to Dharmap›la.e. but merely of appearing forms of cognition.e. which he attempts as much as possible to unify in that he starts from the simplest view and advances to the most difficult and tries to show. This difference of opinion has its deeper reasons: Sthiramati follows the view of Maitreyan›tha and Vasubandhu. For Dharmap›la. in the case of liberation in connection with the transformation of the basis (›Ÿrayapar›v¸tti). added yet a fourth part. therefore. According to Dharmap›la.. the environment]”. and nothing but suchness remains. all of the parts are real. according to which every cognition is conception. This difference of opinion also has its effect with respect to the doctrine of liberation. in concluding. that conception befits only thinking. finally. The image and seeing part of all these forms of knowledge belongs to the dependent nature and are real. – First a brief explanation of the individual words is given. 263 . and elaborates further on this. discusses the doctrine of its parts. all cognition disappears since it is only cognizance. where the connection to Maitreyan›tha and Asaºga is once again apparent: For <397> Sthiramati. perhaps following Dign›ga. *** The first section of the translated sample comes from the commentary to the third verse of the Tri˙Ÿik› and deals with the words “(the fundamental cognition) recognizes. the seeds and the body endowed with the five sense-organs] and the site [i. for Sthiramati the entire phenomenal world is mere conception. on the other hand. Then Hiuan-tsang moves on to the question of the appearing form (›k›ra) of cognition and. reality befits [the phenomenal world]. the image part and seeing part of every cognition belongs to the imagined nature (parikalpita svabh›va) and are not real. all forms of cognition undergo a transformation.. in an unconscious form. But the contrast between Sthiramati and Dharmap›la in this field rests less on the number of the assumed parts than on the following: (i) According to Sthiramati. it is according to his doctrine just not a matter of an external world. in doing so. the imagined nature includes only the characteristic that is attributed by the mental cognition (manovijñ›na) and by thinking (manas) to the objects of the other forms of cognition. For this he uses material of the most diverse origins.

.] follow two scholastic discussions: The first deals with the question of what the object-support (›lambana). the image of the object in the cognition. the outer object is to be regarded as the object-support. their object-support. the appearing form (›k›ra). is Hiuan-tsang’s addition. itself. and their substance. and the seeing part as the nature. Likewise. themselves. On the other hand. The proof of the existence of the awareness part. in terms of their character.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner 1. on the other hand. etc. are of course different. since in both. we are dealing with discussions which already date from the Hınay›na dogmatics. The last sentence. and at the same time it becomes necessary to assume an additional third part of cognition. In both cases. For in this case. and the substance (dravya) of cognition is. its object. the object-support. in other words. The second deals with the question of how mind and mental factors relate with each other with respect to their point of support. is the same as in Dign›ga. namely. the objectsupport. however. According to this latter. appears in cognizance. of sensation. that which is apprehended (›lambya) and the apprehending (›lambaka). that is. the sense-organ. sensation. no reason would exist for the particular cognizance to recognize exactly this object and no other. All of this shifts as soon as one denies the existence of external objects. likewise. Likewise. for each cognition. which provides the object of the process of cognition. [in the third paragraph. The point of support of cognition and of the mental factors belonging to it is the same. 2. and the appearing form. The appearing form. the sense-organ. Without this image. their <398> appearing form. that is. the character of cognition. the seeing part as the appearing form and the awareness part as the nature. The point of support. sensation. the image of the object in cognition. etc. the image part is to be regarded as the object-support. the awareness part. The establishment of the existence of the image of that which is apprehended is the same as that already current in the Hınay›na school of the Sautr›ntikas. that is. and. and their existence is established. are the same in terms of number. In the second paragraph. thus. that is. is the same for the mind and the mental factors. the first paragraph describes according to Vasubandhu’s own doctrine. Hiuan-tsang starts from the Hınay›na view of the reality of the external world. the outer object. is different. etc. the activity of cognition. how the image of the object. in this case. 3. which designates this process of cognizance as the seeing part. Without speaking of any parts. cognition. that without it no recollection of mental processes would be possible... that is. its activity. The characteristic of that which apprehends must be given in order for cognition to take place at all. thus. Next. and its actual nature. the image part as the appearing form. since they all show up individually. while cognition and the mental factors. which is briefly indicated on this occasion. two parts of cognition are distinguished. that is. for each cognition. 264 .

One can. as awareness it is sensory perception. and so the circle is closed and an endless series—as Dign›ga had feared it (cf. The fourth part. one did not speak of cognition in general. like any such. the second part is sensory perception. 393. With respect to mental cognition. This results in only two parts. 10). 5. and thus a means of valid cognition. as inference. must have a result. as a kind of supplement. In this way. <400> CFG. it can.e. the form in which the doctrine of the objectsupport. a means of valid cognition. but <399> of the means of valid cognition. it is not. finally. FROM HIUAN-TSANGS “PROOF THAT (EVERYTHING) IS MERE COGNIZANCE” (TCH’ENG WEI CHE LOUEN) What is the appearing form and the object-support of this cognition [i. For in the circles of the logicians and epistemologists to which Dign›ga belonged. It addition. would have to be recognized by another part. be classed as the seeing part. p. all of the parts can be regarded as a unity since their nature as cognizance is the same. S.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner Since Dign›ga was the one who decisively shaped the doctrine of the three parts of cognition. and. as apprehending. Hiuan-tsang also offers. as with every part of cognition. This leads to the assumption of a fourth part of cognition which recognizes the awareness part. since they both are awareness. The fourth paragraph offers Dharmap›la’s view. ???)—is avoided. 4. to show how the different views of the number of the parts of cognition can be harmonized with each other: The last two parts can be regarded as a unity. He teaches a fourth part of cognition. only three parts remain. because this latter part is already recognized by the third and thus there remains nothing more to recognize. since one tried first and foremost to determine these. that is. finally. in turn recognized by the awareness part. the fundamental cognition]? The answer reads: 265 . since they can all. v. The last paragraph tries. it should also be noted. the seeing part the means of valid cognition and the awareness part is the result. on the other hand. however. thus. likewise be a means of valid cognition. by the way. In addition. the question was formulated differently: First of all. these three are then apportioned to the three parts of cognition in the following way: The image part is the object. As recollection. And one inquired about the object of the means of valid cognition (prameya). about these means themselves (pram›˚a) and about their result (pram›˚aphala). that with respect to sensory cognition. also view the last three parts as a unity. According to the verse cited from Dign›ga (Pram›˚asamuccaya I.1. This itself is. The reasons that lead him to this are that the awareness part. And. for its part. Everything else is easily understandable.. appearing form and substance of cognition appears in Dign›ga. recognizes only the third part and not the second part. the awareness of the awareness.

The image of the characteristic of the apprehending is called the seeing part. the permeation by mark. then they could not apprehend the object which is their object-support. every defiled cognition displays the image of the characteristic of the apprehended (›lambya) and the apprehending (›lambaka).e. Appropriation is twofold. [The fundamental cognition] has its object-support in this transformation. then they could not apprehend. 266 . These two are appropriated by cognition. By “body endowed with the organs”. like the ether. is to be understood the cognitive activity of the maturation-cognition that is directed to its object-support. or each of them would have to apprehend all of the (objects).. the material organs and the bearer of the sense-organs is to be understood. because with its help the former’s appearing form (= the cognizance) comes into existence. because cognition has its appearing form in cognizance. For if the mind and the mental factors did not display the characteristic of the apprehended. would likewise apprehend. i. its inner transformation into the seeds and the body endowed with the sense-organs. 3 It recognizes. integrated into its nature. Appropriations and site are the object-support (of cognition). “Site” means location. since their own object is like the others and the others are like their own. By “seeds”. the appropriation and the site. the environment.. and conception is to be understood.. And if the mind and the mental factors did not display the characteristic of the apprehending. Cognizance (vijñapti) is its appearing form. because it is the location of all beings. name. This activity of cognizance belongs to the seeing part. §1 At the time that through the power of the causes and conditions the fundamental cognition arises— according to its nature. its outer transformation into the environment occurs.. <401> §2 At the time that it arises according to its nature. etc. The same is true of the (mental) factors connected with it. (i) the seeds and (ii) the body endowed with the sense-organs. etc.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner v. because they share its fate. in this regard.e. By cognizance. or the ether. i. The image of the characteristic of the apprehended is called the image part. in an unconscious form.

the substance. then they must have four parts. etc. perceived objects do not exist. the same sense-organ. and the nature. say that the image part is the object-support (of cognition).The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner Mind and mental factors must thus necessarily possess this double characteristic. who admit that outside of cognition there are no objects as objectsupport. three parts. just as objects not previously seen can of course not be recollected. (ii) the means of valid cognition. since the nature of cognition. the same appearing image. thus each have at the time of their arising. The means of valid cognition and its results are to be found in the appearing forms of that which apprehends and in awareness. etc. If this [part] did not exist. like all others. the awareness-awareness part. the mind and the mental factors have the same point of support. nothing separate from each other. The <402> substance. This [nature] is the awareness part. Likewise. differs. of sensation. as the fourth.. it must. on the other hand. it is stated in a verse of the Compendium of the Means of Valid Cognition (Pram›˚asamuccaya): The appearing image. Also. In this. three parts as above and. the same object-support. that is. the same appearing image. therefore. although the same in terms of number. Accordingly it also says in the SÒtra: Everything is mere perception. because the activity of cognition. since it is a part of the mind.. and the same appearing form.—which forms the foundation of the image [part] and the seeing part. §3 Those who assume that there are objects as object-support outside of cognition. say that the external object is the object-support (of cognition). one could not recollect the mind and the mental factors. of becoming aware. that is. the 267 . Those. In this. differs in terms of characteristic. that displays itself. The perceiving and the perceived part appear separately for themselves. if correctly examined. Further. differs in terms of characteristic. differs. <403> §4 But if the mind and mental factors are considered in detail. the seeing part the appearing form. and (iii) the result of the means of valid cognition are to be distinguished. since the characteristic of cognition. the awareness part would have to have no result. since (i) the object of the means of valid cognition. of sensation.—the substance. of sensation. bring the third part to awareness? In other words. if the latter would not exist. This triad is. although the same in terms of number. etc. and because the image part and the seeing part must necessarily have one nature as foundation. whereas all means of valid cognition necessarily have a result. the image part the appearing form and the seeing part the substance. For who would. The mind and mental factors. Accordingly. be brought to awareness. that is. because [the seeing part] is the characteristic of the nature of the mind and of the mental factors. is the object of the means of valid cognition. The appearing form differs. the same object-support. the mind and the mental factors have the same point of support. is a different one.

because it has nothing more to do. Seeing has manifold variations. Therefore. They also can be summarized as two. since the last three are all contained in the seeing part. This verse means: The mind of beings is composed of two types of parts. non-means of valid cognition. sensory perception or inference. Consequently. the seeing part cannot bring the third to awareness. And they are neither one nor separate. that which apprehends. but not the second. a sensory perception. All of these. The third and the fourth parts both belong to sensory perception. All parts. it is stated in a verse of the Laºk›vat›ra: While it is attached to its own mind. The mind and the mental factors are composed of four parts. the mind develops by displaying an outer object. it is valid that everything is mere cognizance. since the seeing part sometimes does not belong to the means of valid cognition. It can be perception. or also inference. §5 These four parts can also be summarized as three. Consequently. that there is only the mind. the flaw of an endless series does not apply. as they are. the first two are outer. because the nature of awareness is. But that which is seen does not exist. Thus. by nature. it is stated in a verse of a sÒtra: The mind of beings is of two types.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner seeing part cannot be the result of the third. Indeed the expression ‘seeing’ means that which apprehends. it is not. The first is only an object-support. seeing is namely the seeing part. both (the apprehended and the apprehending): In this. Accordingly. simultaneously. they can also be summarized as one. inner and outer. it is stated that there is merely mind. are entangled in the apprehended and <404> the apprehending. The awareness-awareness part apprehends only the third. means of valid cognition. Finally. Likewise. because their nature is not different. be they inner or outer. it is stated in numerous passages. For with the expression “only mind”. The last three are. 268 . The third part apprehends the second and the fourth. They are at once the apprehended and the apprehending. necessarily. It is a means of valid cognition or else. Therefore. are entangled in the apprehended and the apprehending Seeing has many manifold variations. the second part apprehends only the first. the last two inner (parts). In this. the mental factors are included. since the fourth is contained in the awareness part. Of these four parts.

 ???). it would not be justifiable to state that merely cognizance exists.e. an opponent puts forth the objection. and the mere multitude are designated as dependent. § 11 and § 2.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner The appearing form of cognition is thus cognizance. It is just not external. that … the eleven types of cognizance belong to the dependent (nature). since the objects are also real. see above S. the first belongs to the school of Sthiramati. 338f. only cognition itself exists. unity and difference. in this case. that. etc. when they arise. these two parts are considered to exist. but. ???). i. Then follows <406> Dharmap›la’s view. as established. *** What is the characteristic of the imagined nature. First. in fact. Then. although by nature a unity. Based on these [causes] conception erroneously assumes a real existence and nonexistence. pp. but rather within cognition. Also the treatise says. both at once. however. These twofold opposites are called imagined. the doctrine of Sthiramati is formulated. and neither of both. pp.. as duality. The nature. It is noteworthy here. and 335. The entire phenomenal world is mere appearance. based on conditions.. According to this. This nature is thus in no way non-existent and is called dependent. that shows how the doctrine of the unreality of the phenomenal world presents itself according to the view of the two schools [of Sthiramati and Dharmap›la]. that is. the second to the school of Dharmap›la. cognition develops into the phenomenal world. *** I follow with a few more sentences from the commentary to verse 20. <405> and in Dharmap›la to Asaºga (Mah›y›nasa˙graha II. And cognizance is the seeing part of cognition. Scripture states in fact that the mere means of valid cognition. According to him. arises. As an assumption. on which these two (parts) rest. and how does it differ from the dependent nature? Some hold that the mind and mental factors belonging to the three spheres. as the apprehended and the apprehending. appear. see above S. which illuminate the difference in view with respect to the reality of the parts of cognition. This characteristic is called imagined. that the adduced references to scripture in Sthiramati lead back to Maitreyan›tha (Madhy›ntavibh›ga I. as a seeing part and an image part. the mere duality. Others hold that the two parts into which every mind and its mental factors transform themselves through the power of permeation. This [world] is therefore real. 269 . arise from causes and are thus likewise dependent. I render one paragraph from the end of the treatise. not. *** As conclusion. due to beginningless unreal permeation. 324f. Of the views presented.

as well as cognition. 1 [According to one opinion. bring about through this defilements and deeds. and unreal or real like the cognition itself. etc. separate from the nature of cognition. which offers no point of attack for such an objection. but the objects are. In this. does not belong.. suchness. the image part. the inner objects are also not unreal. because fools mistakenly believe in objects. as does the nature of cognition. which develops based on cognition. the mental factors are also indicated by the expression “cognition”. <408> 270 . at the same time. sink into the cycle of existences and do not attempt through contemplation of the mind to get out. as it would be assumed that cognitions as well as the inner objects are real. (since it is not cognition). so that they find liberation from the cycle of existences through contemplation of the mind. but does not deny the inner objects. hence. 3 (Opponent:) If therefore. The true nature of cognition is. Only through the power of permeation.. Otherwise. also outside. and then the author concludes by once again returning to the view of Sthiramati. Likewise. is by nature cognition. however. it has been proclaimed that merely cognizance exists. there are no factors of their own. it would not be proven that everything is mere cognizance. does the image of several parts arise. to the dependent (characteristic) and is not real. how then do you only state. Thus. Also. the image part and the seeing part of cognition are arisen from causes. etc. but not by assuming that the inner objects just like the outer do not exist at all. that merely cognizance exists.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner This objection is at first countered from the point of view of Dharmap›la. Since otherwise. 2 Or. Because one could possibly fall victim to the mistake that they are outside. out of compassion for them. They are thus both dependent. it has just been taught that merely <407> cognizance exists.] the image part. The expression “mere (cognizance)” refutes only outer objects. and not the objects too? (Answer:) Cognition is only inside. suchness would also have to be unreal. because the mind is necessarily associated with the mental factors.

6. I cite the P›li texts according to the Pali Text Society. numerous partial translations exist in diverse languages. in addition. Oxford 1951.The sermon of Benares = Mah›vagga I. Watanabe. 10 (Vol. The best edition of the Chinese translations is found in the Taishß edition of the Chinese Tripi˛aka. Tokyo 1924-29.85 T: The most important texts are translated in the Sacred Books of the Buddhists and in the Translation Series of the Pali Text Society. Glasenapp. ES. recently. ed. 346ff. The rendered sections are taken from the following texts: . pp. in the Tibetan bka’ ‘gyur (Kanjur). 84 ES: References to chapter titles need to be checked again in case they were altered. and also numerous fragments of the canons of other schools. C. CANONICAL TEXTS (TRIPI≥AKA): S: The canon of the Ceylonese branch of the school of the Sthavira (P›li canon). 400f. only a few texts of the old canon were included. London 1882ff. by H.). sein Leben. DB. . it is probably best to purify this bibliography accordingly? 85 In the following. THE DOCTRINE OF THE BUDDHA DBA. SOURCES AND LITERATURE84 (S = source material. Buddha. I have no survey here at the lake. seine Gemeinde. de La Vallée Poussin. I. H. Bern 1950. by J. Ui and others. are preserved in the original. E = editions. T = translations) DA. Oldenberg. Buddhism its Essence and Development. Der Buddhismus in Indien und im fernen Osten. a new edition with translation is being published in Paris. Sendai 1934. ed. Opinions sur l’histoire de la dogmatique. I. pp.). the Chinese translations according to the Taishß edition of the Tripi˛aka. besides this. Le dogme et la philosophie du Bouddhisme. Conze. 20/21). Paris 1925. L. IV. the Tibetan translations according to the Complete Catalogue of the Tibetan Buddhist Canons. 483ff. 271 . Regamey. Takakusu and K. E: The authoritative edition of the P›li canon was undertaken by the <409> Pali Text Society. No. Paris 1930. E. pp.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner D. v.. .1. London. Stuttgart und Berlin 1923. the most important texts exist in Chinese translations which go back to different schools.). 17-29.finanda = Sa˙yuttanik›ya XLIV.2 ES: After purifying the table of contents. Berlin-Zürich 1936. For the Tibetan translations one is generally dependent on the Tibetan blockprints. —. Bouddhisme. A.The Buddhist path of liberation = Majjhimanik›ya 51 (Vol. . seine Lehre.The SÒtra of Vatsagotra and the Fire = Majjhimanik›ya 72 (Vol. GENERAL H. Buddhistische Philosophie (Bibliographische Einführungen in das Studium der Philosophie.

 3.The Great SÒtra of the Foundations of Origination = Dıghanik›ya XV. 211. translations.The Account of Enlightenment = Mah›vagga I. – The translation corresponds to Tucci pp. A Fragment from the Pratıtyasamutp›da of Vasubandhu (Journal of the <410> Royal Asiatic Society 1930. PRATÊTYASAMUTPfiDASÚTRA: S: Sanskrit original. translation. Chin. Oxford 1890 and 1894. P. . Tib. Théorie des douze causes. Trenkner. Finot. Die Fragen des Königs Menandros. T. Chin. London 1928. vol. E: In L. 1-9 und 19-22. k. Berlin 1907. ⁄fiLISTAMBASÚTRA: S: Sanskrit original. MILINDAPAÑHfi: S: P›li Text. (Contains the Tibetan text and a reconstruction of the Sanskrit original on the basis of the numerous fragments).The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner . Nr. p. Demiéville. Schrader. translation. Tib. T. 3995. 611-23). five Chin. Paris 1923. W. by V. 1670 a and b. pp. DBC. 124. N. Les questions de Milinda (Collection des Classiques de l’Orient. PRATÊTYASAMUTPfiDAVYfiKHYfi: S: Fragments of the Sanskrit original. pp. 1-3. pp. T: T. 616-19. The Questions of King Milinda (Sacred Books of the East. P. pp. Two Brick Inscriptions from N›land› (Epigraphia Indica XXl/1931-32. The newly found Sanskrit original was not available to me. 35-36). translation. DBB. being Dialogues between King Milinda and the Buddhist Sage N›gasena. . 1-258). 99. B. vol. Nr. 1. 8). 210. de La Vallée Poussin. Chakravarti. 68ff. Tucci. E: The Milindapañho. tome 24/1925. O. translation. T. Les versions chinoises du Milindapañha (Bulletin de l’École Française d’ExtrêmeOrient. 272 . F. 708-712. Nr. 19a15–b1). DBD.The SÒtra of the Bearer of the Burden is translated according to the Chinese of Tsa a-han (T. 193-199). DC. THE DOGMATICS OF THE HÊNAYfiNA DCA. E: G. ed. s. L. Rhys Davids. Tib. Gand 1913. translation. – My translation follows the inscriptively preserved Sanskrit text.

 158. Vol. VASUBANDHU THE YOUNGER: DCB. pp. L’AbhidharmakoŸa de Vasubandhu.20 (II. 6. 34a12-35a3 (II. T. . translation. 56-65). 1646. 181ff. k. 9. 47b24-48c8 (in La Vallée Poussin III. 67c11-68b1 (IV. pp. My translation follows the Chinese version. TATTVASIDDHI: S: Chin.A Substance does not Exist = T. pp. pp. Paris-Louvain 1923-1931 (according to the Chinese translation of Hiuan-tsang). 224-228.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner DCB. 1558. 30. translations.. 12. de La Vallée Poussin in Mélanges chinois et bouddhiques. k. DD. 4-8).15-161.1.).From “Refutation of the Person” = T. k. 66c15-23 (III.. 208-210. S. 73-102).. 13. so far only the verse text has been published by V. T: L. six Chin. pp.The Momentariness of Things = T. 1558. No. the oldest from the years 172 and 179 C. translation.The Nature of Acquisition = translated according to the incomplete edition of the Tibetan text in the Bibliotheca Buddhica XX. k. 153b12-c12. . – The translated parts correspond to the following sections: <411> . HARIVARARMAN. A¡≥ASfiHASRIKfi PRAJÑfiPfiRAMITfi: S: Sanskrit original. k. 220. Gokhale. . The rendered section (k. THE SCHOOLS OF THE MAHfiYfiNA DDA. XX.A Soul does not Exist = T. 6 vols. k. k. – Of the newly found Sanskrit original. Buddh.E. 213f.The Suppression through Knowledge = Bibl. DCB. T. Tib. 538-555 and T. 22.8-10. . PAÑCASKANDHAKA: S: Chin. de La Vallée Poussin. 12. 139ff. pp. 9. pp. translation. 1558. The Text of the AbhidharmakoŸak›rik› of Vasubandhu (Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. translation.11 (I. translation. p. 273 . 116b10-29 (VI. pp. 29. ABHIDHARMAKO⁄A: S: Sanskrit original.The Seemingly and the Truly Real = T. k. 152b24-153b2. . 4089-4090. DCC. . Nr. 1. pp. pp. Tib. Tib.Nirv›˚a as Non-existence = T. T.). 230ff. p. 155a23-b9 (IX. pp. No. THE MADHYAMAKA SCHOOL DDA. pp. traduit et annoté. 238ff.). two Chin. 1558-1560. 256f. T. pp. 1558. 16. 278-286). 8f. p. pp.). pp. N.. 368c13-369a27) was also translated by L. 1612.2. V. . 22/1946. 1558. translations. pp. 1558.1.). 4059. V/1936-37. pp.

Göttingen 1914 (partial translation).17 (T. Bd. L. Traité de N›g›rjuna pour écarter les vaines discussions. T: M. de La Vallée Poussin. chap. Jayaswal and R›hula S›ºk¸ity›yana. Die buddhistische Philosophie in ihrer geschichtlichen Entwicklung. 20. Vol. p. No. E: A. 7.E. E.20 (T. with the Author’s own Commentary (Appendix to the Journal of the Bihar and Orissa Research Society. III). by Unrai Wogihara. Calcutta 1888. 224.8-192. 6. in an incomplete Central Asian manuscript.-Petersbourg 1913. <413> translation. 430b23-c22).12-400. MADHYAMAKAKfiRIKfi: S: Sanskrit original. 1. and T. the oldest from the years 178-184 C. 224.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner E: Rájendralála Mitra. – E: K. 3. 3. chap. pp. translation (with the commentary by Ts’ing mou). RATNAKÚ≥A (Kfi⁄YAPAPARIVARTA): S: Sanskrit original. 2. Tokyo 1932-35. 22. Gruppe 8). Teil: Die Mittlere Lehre (M›dhyamakaŸ›stra) des N›g›rjuna. 427c2-13). 190. DDA. k.2. Walleser. Prajñ› P›ramit›. translations. See also under Candrakırti. Tib. with some <412> improvements. although with deviations in wording): chap. k. rendered according to the Chinese version.1-47. pp. St. translation.10 (T.12 (T. T: Susumu Yamaguchi. chap. VIGRAHAVYfiVARTANÊ: S: Sanskrit original. – The following sections were translated according to the edition of R›jendral›la Mitra (all of which are also included in the Chin.3. 43. die Vollkommenheit der Erkenntnis (Quellen der Religionsgeschichte. k. p. 8. von Staël-Holstein. T. No. Patna 1937. a Mah›y›nasÒtra of the RatnakÒ˛a Class. 3824. in Tibetan and in Chinese. Shanghai 1926. 45. translation from 179 C. Tib. 1-86). printed. XXIII. translation. 2. four Chin. in: Haribhadras Abhisamay›la˙k›r›loka¯. Ash˛asáhasriká a Collection of Discourses on the Metaphysics of the Maháyána School of the Buddhists (Bibliotheca Indica 110). k. k. T: M. T. DDA.3. Tib.2. pp. 224. traduit et annoté (Journal Asiatique. The K›çyapaparivarta. 462a23-b14).. 112. 1564. 274 . Walleser. Chin. pp. chap. ed.12.E.3. Part. 1.. 350-352. 425c4-426a4). translation No. p. 310. NfiGfiRJUNA: DDA. MÒlamadhyamakak›rik›s de N›g›rjuna avec la Prasannapad› Commentaire de Candrakırti (Bibliotheca Buddhica IV). Chin. DDA. tome 215/1929.20 (T. 3. p.13-21. 399. rendered according to the Tibetan version. 224. pp. pp.1. T. Nr. 224. 3828 and 3832. Heidelberg 1912. pp.-6. 1. Heidelberg 1911. k. 1. Teil: Die mittlere Lehre des N›g›rjuna. 1631. 87. 1. Vigrahavy›varttanı by fich›rya N›g›rjuna. P. edited in the original Sanskrit. 442b26-c20).

translation. 3853. L’auteur du Joyau dans la main. 60-138). PRAJÑfiPRADÊPA: S: Chin. Tib.5. E: M. Tib. Walleser. No. MÚLAMADHYAMAKAV¿TTI: S: Tib. 275 . TCHANG TCHEN (HASTARATNA ?) S: Chin. DDA. Vigrahavy›vartanı by N›g›rjuna. fiRYADEVA: CATUØ⁄ATAKA: S: Fragments of the Sanskrit original.3. T. 2). Vol. pp. translation. Tucci.7. Part II (Visva-Bharati Series No. 3842. tibetische Übersetzung (Bibliotheca Buddhica XVI). BUDDHAPfiLITA. Walleser. translation <414> T. pp. T: L. 307- 325 and 1936. Le Joyau dans la main (Mélanges chinois et bouddhiques II/1932-33.3. Nr. XLIX). 237-252) (k.4. pp. Translation from the Chinese and Tibetan Text (In PreDiºn›ga Buddhist Texts on Logic from Chinese Sources. reconstructed and edited. MÒlamadhyamakav¸tti. Gaekwad’s Oriental Series No. translation. 1566. III/1914. Tib. Calcutta 1914 (incomplete). E: M. translation. DDA. RATNfiVALÊ: S: Fragments of the Sanskrit original. II. T: G. La versione cinese del Catu¯çataka di firyadeva confrontata col testo sanscrito e la traduzione tibetana (Rivista degli Studi Orientali X/1923-25. Studi Mah›y›nici I. No. Catu¯Ÿatik› by firya Deva (Memoires of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. 3846. Calcutta 1931. DDA. de la Vallée Poussin. E: G. a Commentary on the Madhyamaka SÒtra (Bibliotheca Indica 226). Prajñ›-Pradıpa¯.-Petersburg 1913-14 (incomplete). E: Harapras›d Sh›strı. The Catu¯Ÿataka of firyadeva. No. Sanskrit and Tibetan Texts with copious extracts from the commentary of Chandrakirtti. Madhyamaka. III. Baroda 1929. 2 [beginning] and 4. 8. 1570. DDA. Tucci. T. 1. partial Chinese translation. Vidhushekhara Bhattacharya. S. DDA.6. pp. translation. Tucci. translation. BHfiVAVIVEKA. pp. 1578. 449-514). 4158.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner G. T. Sanskrit text with English translation). The Ratn›valı of N›g›rjuna (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 1934. 521-590). No. 1656. Chin.

CANDRAKÊRTI: DDA. Übersetzung und Anmerkungen (Polska Akademja UmiejetnoŸci. No. introduction au traité du milieu de l’fic›rya Candrakırti. de la Vallée Poussin. Chin. T: E. a statement of the whole course of the Bodhisattva (being fifteenth section of Yog›c›rabhÒmi). BODHISATTVABHÚMI: S: Sanskrit original.24-48. No. 1611. 4024. XII bis XVI). T. 3860. 3861-62. Ausgewählte Kapitel aus der Prasannapad› (V. Einleitung. Tib. traduit d’après la version tibétaine (Muséon VIII/1907. The Conception of Buddhist Nirv›˚a. H. Krakow 1931. DDB. 1581 and 1582.8. translation.1. translations. Madhyamak›vat›ra par Candrakırti. 35-50. 4037.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner DDA. T. E: L. pp. SfiRAMATI. translation. Patna 1950. 14). The Ratnagotravibh›ga Mah›y›nottaratantraŸ›stra (The Journal of the Bihar Research Society.8. k. 276 . DDC. – Translated was pp.1 and 43.2. being a Manual of Buddhist Monism. XXXVI. 271-358. Madhyamak›vat›ra. BodhisattvabhÒmi. Stcherbatsky. pp. 1579. avec le commentaire de l’auteur.1. Johnston. E: Unrai Wogihara. MADHYAMAKfiVATfiRA: S: Tib. THE SCHOOL OF SfiRAMATI DDB. XI/1910. 249-317. E: E. Prace komisji orjentalistyczney No. St. pp. translation. T: —. Schayer. Obermiller. pp. 235-328) (incomplete).1. Leningrad 1927 (contains a translation of the 1st and 25th chapters). No. THE SCHOOL OF THE YOGfiCfiRA DDC. 37. Tokyo 1930-36. RATNAGOTRAVIBHfiGA: S: Sanskrit original. The Sublime Science of the Great Vehicle to Salvation. PRASANNAPADfi: S: Sanskrit original. T: Th. 2. translation. The Work <415> of firya Maitreya with a Commentary by firy›saºga. T. No. E: See N›g›rjuna. traduction tibétaine (Bibliotheca Buddhica IX). Tib. three Chin. 3. Tib. St. Vol. translated from the Tibetan with introduction and notes (Acta Orientalia IX/1931.8. translation. Part I).6. Pétersbourg 1912. 81-306). XII/1911. DDA.

 159 & 190). recueil de travaux publiés par les membres des Conferences d’Histoire et de Philologie. Asaºga. 675-679. translation. T. MAHfiYfiNASÚTRfiLA±KfiRA: S: Sanskrit original. exposition systematique du Yog›c›ravijñaptiv›da. No. Lamotte.3. translations. Paris 1907-1911. Tib. 1588--1590. L’explication des Mystères. Discourse on Discrimination between Middle and Extremes. E: Susumu Yamaguchi. T. No. translation.2. three Chin. Lamotte. fasc. translation. Tib. E: É. <416> Nagoya 1934. Tib. und Vidhushekhara Bhattacharya and G. Mah›y›na-SÒtr›la˙k›ra. Louvain-Paris 1935. No. 2e série. SA±DHINIRMOCANASÚTRA: S: Five Chin. translation. Sa˙dhinirmocanasÒtra. Tib. DDC. T. Madhy›ntavibh›gasÒtrabh›˝ya˛ık› of Sthiramati. T. translated from the Sanskrit (Bibliotheca Buddhica XXX). sciences historiques et philologiques. Tome II. Tome I. translation. VASUBANDHU DDC. Stcherbatsky. 1604. 34e fasc. VI±⁄ATIKfi: S: Sanskrit original.). 4056 up to 4057. translation.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner DDC. Tucci.1. translations. T. No. ascribed to Maitreya and commented by Vasubandhu and Sthiramati. Madhy›ntavibh›ga˛ık›. Part I (Calcutta Oriental Series.4. Nagoya 1934 (contains the Tibetan and the Chinese translations with the commentary by Vasubandhu). Sthiramati. Chin. DDC. E: É. 1592-1594 and 1596. translations. MADHYfiNTAVIBHfiGA: S: Sanskrit original.3. 4021. Pien tchong pien louen. E: Sylvain Lévi. ASA∫GA. MAHfiYfiNASA±GRAHA: S: Four Chin.2. édité et traduit (Bibliothèque de l’École des Hautes Études. 4048.5. La Somme du Grand Véhicule d’Asaºga (Mah›y›nasa˙graha). texte tibétain édité et traduit (Univ. No.3.1. London 1932. Madhy›ntavibhaºga. Versions tibétaine et chinoise (Hiuan-tsang). Leningrad 1936 (was not available to me). two Chin. 277 . de Louvain. Louvain 1938. 4020.5. MAITREYANfiTHA: DDC. 106. Traduction et commentaire (Bibliothèque du Muséon 7). T: Th. 24). fragments of the unpublished Sanskrit original in: Susumu Yamaguchi. Tib. – My translation follows the Tibetan. translations. exposé de la doctrine du Grand Véhicule selon le système Yog›c›ra. No. DDC. 1599-1600. DDC.

 234-268. Paris 1928-1929. DDC.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner E: Sylvain Lévi. PRAMfi≤ASAMUCCAYA: S: Tib. Vijñaptim›trat›siddhi.2. Vijñaptim›trat›siddhi. L. Vi˙Ÿatik› et Tri˙Ÿik› (Bibliothèque de l’École des Hautes Études. 245). de la Vallée Poussin. Matériaux pour I’étude du système Vijñaptim›tra (Bibliothèque de I’École des Hautes Études. Heft). ≥ıka and Notes edited and restored into Sanskrit. with V¸itti. 1585. 1586-1587. DDC. Jakobi. Diºn›ga’s Pramana Samuccaya (Chapter 1). pp. Stuttgart 1934 (contains. 7. 53-90) (Tibetan text with translation). Paris 1932 (contains a translation of the Vi˙Ÿatik› and Tri˙Ÿik›). translation. H. Premiere Série: Mémoires-Tome I & V). T. HIUAN-TSANG. de la Vallée Poussin. 260). T. DDC. Vasubandhu.7. two Chin. translation. E: H. Paris 1925. T: L.. T: Sylvain Lévi. 4203-4204. No. fasc. Tib. E: See Vi˙Ÿatik›. Junyu Kitayama. Metaphysik des Buddhismus (Veröffentlichungen des Orientalischen Seminars der Universität Tübingen. translations. fasc. Vi˙Ÿatik›k›rik›prakara˚a traité des vingt Ÿlokas avec le commentaire de l’auteur (Muséon XIII/1912.5. original. T: See Vi˙Ÿatik›.-R. la Siddhi de Hiuan-tsang. Mysore 1930 (completely unusable). Stuttgart 1932. TCH’ENG WEI CHE LOUEN: S: Chin. DIGNfiGA. deux traités de Vasubandhu. traduite et annotée (Buddhica. No. TRI±⁄IKfi: S: Sanskrit original. pp. 7. Tri˙Ÿik›vijñapti des Vasubandhu mit Bh›˝ya des fic›rya Sthiramati <417> (Beiträge zur indischen Sprachwissenschaft und Religionsgeschichte. <418> 278 . a translation of the Vi˙Ÿatik›). Heft). 4055.6. Rangaswamy Iyengar.

Stuttgart 1964 (in: Religionen der Menschheit. E. London 1962. first and foremost the Burmese Cha˛˛hasaºg›yana edition. in the meantime. With this the Tibetan canon is no longer available only in rare original block prints. Suzuki. Lamotte. in Patna. Bd. Der indische Buddhismus. Histoire du Bouddhisme Indien. a new edition of the Taishß edition of the Chinese Tripi˛aka is currently in publication. SUPPLEMENTARY REMARKS More than fifteen years have passed since the present book was written. and were thus saved for research. First. I would also like to mention the extensive work of Ét. its Essence and Development. Buddhism. 43). 13: Die Religionen Indiens III). in the ‘N›land›-Devan›garı-P›li-Series’ under the supervision of Bhikkhu J. Bareau. v. I would like to note the following: a 13th edition of Oldenberg’s book was published in 1959 with an afterword by H. EA. is also available in German translation under the title Der Buddhismus. their publication proceeds only very slowly. It contains a reduced photographic reproduction of the Peking blockprint of 1737 C.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner E. Unfortunately. another work of a general nature by E. Buddhist Thought in India. A detailed catalogue and index to the latter was published in 1962. is particularly valuable and welcome. – The series of ‘Buddhist Sanskrit Texts’.E. Kashyap. among others. a complete edition of the P›li canon was published in N›land›. taken from the copy at the Otani University in Kyoto. particular importance is also to be attributed to the ‘Tibetan Sanskrit Works Series’. GENERAL With respect to presentations of a general nature. 279 . published by the Kashi Prasad Jayaswal Research Institute. in addition to an appraisal of Oldenberg’s achievements. published 1957 by the Tibetan Tripitaka Research Institute in Tokyo under the supervision of Daisetz T. contains supplements and additions. the large text editions should be mentioned: In the years 1956-61. The previous editions served as the basis. During this time numerous specialized works have appeared. Further. des origins à l’ère ⁄aka. works which had been out of print for centuries and which <419> are now once again available. Conze’s book. Although it deals only briefly with Buddhist doctrine within the larger framework. the manuscripts of which were obtained or photographed in Tibet by R›hula S›ºkrity›yana. Also. Louvain 1958 (Bibliothèque du Muséon. Stuttgart 1953 (UrbanBücher 5). published in Darbhanga by the Mithila Institute of Postegraduate Studies and Research in Sanskrit Learning. Wesen und Entwicklung. Conze has been published. It contains. – The edition of the ‘Tibetan Tripitaka’. In it Buddhist works appear. is also very commendable. vol. A corresponding edition of the P›li commentaries is planned. Finally. a good general presentation is offered by A. – Further. Glasenapp that. so that it seems advisable to point out at least the most important thereof.

critically edited with notes and introduction. With regard to what they do offer that is of philosophical importance. In addition.und Ostasiens.] 280 . these works are extremely unyielding and scarcely of any interest to wider circles. Pradhan. are retranslations from the Chinese and are not very reliable. New Delhi 1994. as I have previously mentioned in this book. THE DOGMATICS OF THE HÊNAYfiNA A. by P. vol. ed. 86 [Frauwallner’s third volume was never written. Aiyaswami Sastri. Vol. Patna 1967 (Tibetan Sanskrit Works Series Vol. The work was published by Padmanabh S. it contains only a retranslation from the Tibetan. Adyar was published in 1950. A. the <421> orthodox doctrine of the Sarv›stiv›dins. in terms of content and form. In contrast to Vasubandhu’s tendency towards the Sautr›ntika. No. THE DOCTRINE OF THE BUDDHA For the canonical texts translated in this section. Les sects bouddhiques du Petit Véhicule. I would like to limit myself to refer to the <420> above mentioned collective editions of the canons.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner EB. For an edition of some remaining essays and a survey of the complete plan of Fr. the manuscript findings in Tibet did not produce anything worth mentioning.86 The Sanskrit text of Vasubandhu’s AbhidharmakoŸa was at last published just recently. However. In particular. Patna 1959 (Tibetan Sanskrit Works Series. – Frauwallner’s Abhidharma-Studien were continued until 1973 and subsequently collected and published in English: Studies in the Abhidharma Literature and the Origins of Buddhist Philosophical Systems. Erich Frauwallner’s Posthumous Essays. – An edition of the ⁄›listambasÒtra. 7/1963 and 8/1964). SUNY Press. to my Abhidharma Studies (Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Süd. Bd. Translated from the German by Jayandra Soni. Bareau has published a series of works on the doctrines of the different schools of the Hınay›na which are to be considered as fundamental. Translated by Sophie Francis Kidd. Aditya Prakashan. EC. B. 8).’s “History” cf. for his part. by N. Albany 1995. parts of a work from the school of Sa˙ghabhadra were also found. Abhidharmadıpa with Vibh›˝›prabh›v¸tti. What is of importance is that among the manuscripts in Tibet. Jaini. 76). (The Adyar Library Series. As far as the Abhidharma works of the older period are concerned. 38) should be mentioned. I refer the reader to my presentation in the 3rd volume of my History of Indian Philosophy which I hope to finish before too long. AbhidharmKoshabh›˝ya of Vasubandhu. Sa˙ghabhadra holds. The editions that have appeared lately in India. 4). Saigon 1955 (Publications de l’École Française d’Extrême-Orient. and until then.

Datar in a separate study (A study of the first chapter of Buddhap›lita MÒlamadhyamakav¸tti. Buddhica. accompagnés d’une introduction. pp. pp. Stcherbatsky and St. was published by P. From him. L. 8/1964. From Candrakırti’s Prasannapad›—only individual chapters of which had earlier been translated. 1re série. A new edition of the text of the A˝˛as›hasrik› Prajñ›p›ramit›. a translation of the A˝˛as›hasrik› Prajñ›p›ramit›. being a Treatise on the Tath›gatagarbha Theory of the Mah›y›na Buddhism. THE MADHYAMAKA SCHOOL As for the Prajñ›p›ramit› literature. 129-139). EDB. Seyfort Ruegg. THE SCHOOL OF SfiRAMATI With respect to the Ratnagotravibh›ga. It also includes in the appendix. 7/1963. that is so important for this school. 9. Paris 1959). The first chapter of Bh›vaviveka’s Prajñ›pradıpa was translated by Y. Kunst was published (in: Mélanges chinois et bouddhiques. 2. W. an extensive study by J. one must point out the works of E. Torino 1961. Bd. we also have. Takasaki has been published which is of the utmost importance for the assessment of the text: A Study on the Ratnagotravibh›ga (Uttaratantra). Roma 1966 (Serie Orientale Roma 33). Vaidya as nr. pp. was brought out by P. Gnoli. of chapters 2-4. pp. Catu¯stava. in addition to the works by Th. Lamotte (in: Mélanges chinois et bouddhiques. Further. N›g›rjuna. the 17th chapter by Ét. 9/1951. 4 of the Buddhist Sanskrit Texts. 99-152). Vol. documents et travaux. May (Candrakırti. to be exact. Darbhanga 1960. pp. 284 of the Bibliotheca Indica. 10 of the Buddhist Sanskrit Texts. after the first edition of the Vigrahavy›vartanı by K. A new edition of N›g›rjuna’s Madhyamakak›rik›. will soon appear in a book by D. as well as the commentary by Haribhadra. Conze in particular. To be exact. S›ºkrity›yana. selected essays by E. Jayaswal and R. Johnston and A. Vaidya as nr. 23-24 and 26-27 by J. 2.and Gotra theory. together with the commentary by Candrakırti. which was published in Calcutta 1958 as Nr. we must mention R. the Vigrahavy›vartanı as well as the Ratn›valı. The first chapter of Buddhap›lita’s V¸tti¯ <422> was dealt with in the meantime by I. A collection of his most important essays was recently published under the title Thirty years of Buddhist studies. de Jong (Cinq chapitres de la Prasannapad›. t. 1. 265-288)—we now have also translations of the other chapters. 100-130). vol. 6-9. Schayer already noted. traduzione e note. de notes et d’une édition de la version tibétaine. Madhyamakak›rik›. a far better critical edition by E. introduzione. Oxford 1967. 11. H. of chapters 18-22 by J. L. Kajiyama (Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Süd. – A detailed presentation on the Tath›gatagarbha. vol. Vigrahavy›vartanı. 26/1951.und Ostasiens. Collection Jean Przyluski. Darbhanga 1960. P. 4/1936. Prasannapad› Madhyamakav¸tti. 37-62 and Bd. Conze.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner ED. Moreover. douze chapitres traduits du sanskrit et du tibétain. among others. <423> 281 . THE SCHOOLS OF THE MAHfiYfiNA EDA. Paris 1950). t. Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Asiatic Society.

Of Asaºga’s works mentioned in this book. 9 and 14. a translation of the text by E. 62. Introduction and translation from the original text. Vol. ed. An edition with the commentary by Haribhadra was brought out by G. pp. With respect to these works. Wayman’s opinion. vol. Roma 1954 (Serie Orientale Roma 6). Part I. Vol. In the meantime. Darbhanga 1960). In addition. 8/1960. This contains the first five sections of the work. a Buddhist philosophical treatise edited for the first time from a Sanskrit manuscript. Tucci (Gaekwad’s Oriental Series. THE SCHOOL OF THE YOGfiCfiRA A new edition of the BodhisattvabhÒmi by N. the Abhidharma Samuccaya of Asanga. Likewise. so far The Yog›c›rabhÒmi of fic›rya Asaºga. in Maitreyan›tha. E. Kyoto 1955): The Dharmadharmat›vibhaºga and the Dharmadharmat›vibhaºga-v¸tti. 17). 3. 7) appeared in Patna 1966. Conze has appeared: Abhisamay›la˙k›ra. Pensa published an older commentary than Haribhadra’s. I am sticking to my own view that the Yog›c›rabhÒmi is a gradually developed work of the school. by Pralhad Pradhan. Yamaguchi (Studies in Indology and Buddhology. important new publications should be mentioned. Berkeley and Los Angeles 1961 (University of California publications in Classical Philology. The 13th section.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner EDC. was taken on for publication by A. Stcherbatsky and E. under the title The Sacittik› and Acittik› BhÒmi and the PratyekabuddhabhÒmi (Sanskrit texts) by A. large parts of the other sections of the Yog›c›rabhÒmi have been found among the Buddhist Sanskrit manuscripts photographed by R›hula S›ºkrity›yana in Tibet. Of these. Wayman. Vorträge. Obermiller as nr. Vol. has been published. by Vidhushekhara Bhattacharya. which happened to be included in the manuscript of the ⁄r›vakabhÒmi. 11/1932-1933. Contrary to A. Vol. The text of the Abhisamay›la˙k›ra. 379-375) have appeared. the ⁄r›vakabhÒmi. Haribhadra’s own commentary is printed again in the edition of the A˝˛as›hasrik› Prajñ›p›ramit› by P. Tokyo 1964. The Dharmadharmat›vibhaºga and of the corresponding commentary by Vasubandhu occurred in the felication volume for S. L. Vaidya (Buddhist Sanskrit Texts No. ed. <424> with the Tibetan translation was already published in 1929 by Th. and refer for this to L. 4. Nozawa of the Tibetan translation—together with a fragment of the Sanskrit text—of another work by Maitreyan›tha. <425> Santiniketan 1950 (Visva-Bharati Studies 12) has been published in the 282 . 23 of the Bibliotheca Buddhica. Wogihara (Tokyo 1932-1935). Baroda 1932) and by U. we must see a historical personality to whom a number of works are to be ascribed which are connected by the same characteristic views and therefore allow the conclusion of identical authorship. Schmithausen’s Zur Literaturgeschichte der älteren Yog›c›ra-Schule (Orientalistentag 1968 Würzburg. The publication by J. and the text of the short sections 8. Nagao Madhy›ntavibh›ga-bh›˝ya. In addition. With Abhisamay›la˙k›ravrtti di firya-Vimuktisena. An edition of the Sanskrit text of the Madhy›ntavibh›ga together with the commentary by Vasubandhu appeared in G. Calcutta 1957’. Dutt (Tibetan Sanskrit Works Series. Obermiller had given a presentation of the doctrine in Acta Orientalia. Zeitschrift der DMG-Supplementband). Wayman (Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies. So far only the Analysis of the ⁄r›vakabhÒmi manuscript by A. I am sticking to the view that. primo abhisamaya. Wayman. Roma 1967 (Serie Orientale Roma 37) C. M.

the AbhidharmakoŸa. This commentary itself has.und Ostasiens. the first part has. 11/1967. 83-164). Karmasiddhi. In any case. from the Sanskrit fragments and the Tibetan versions translated and annotated by Masaki Hattori. pp. 47). <426> 283 . Sautr›ntika-Voraussetzungen in Vi˙Ÿatik› und Tri˙Ÿik› (Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Süd. Of Dign›ga’s principal work. 3/1959. That which is missing in the manuscript has been retranslated from the Chinese and Tibetan. appeared under the title Dign›ga. pp. L. served as valuable aid in this. not been published so far. being the Pratyak˝apariccheda of Dign›ga’s Pram›˚asamuccaya. Sthiramati’s commentary. cf. in the meantime.und Ostasiens. the Pram›˚asamuccaya. Massachusetts 1968 (Harvard Oriental Series. 109-136). Dign›ga’s smaller works are printed at the end of my essay Dign›ga. Bd. Vi˙Ÿatik› und Tri˙Ÿik› clearly belong to one and the same sequence of development. Vol. further examinations seem to confirm my assignment of these to the younger Vasubandhu. sein Werk und seine Entwicklung (Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Süd. however. This edition is based on an incomplete manuscript of the Sanskrit text. which was also found in its Sanskrit original by R›hula S›ºkrtiy›yana. Bd. although not always satisfactorily.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner meantime. Cambridge. On Perception. With respect to Vasubandhu’s Vi˙Ÿatik› and Tri˙Ÿik› Vijñaptim›trat›siddhi. Schmithausen.

ZII 4. Wien - (unpublished). 1-45.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner F. WZKM 32. WZKS 1978. 136-139. usu tragico. 51-67. - Untersuchungen zum Mok˝adharma. WZKM 34. APPENDIX II:87 BIBLIOGRAPHY OF ERICH FRAUWALLNER88 Abbreviations: JAOS Journal of the American Oriental Society WZKM Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlands WZKS Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Südasiens ZDMG Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenländischen Gesellschaft ZII Zeitschrift für Indologie und Iranistik 1921 De synonymorum. 1-5. JAOS 45. for an alphabetical list of which cf. 1925 - Untersuchungen zum Mok˝adharma. 57- - 68. 1929 - Bemerkungen zu den Fragmenten Dign›gas. WZKM 36. Das Verhältnis zum Buddhismus. quibus animi motus significantur. Dissertation. 1926 Untersuchungen zum Mok˝adharma. Untersuchungen zu den älteren Upani˝aden. pp. pp. 179-206. pp. 1930 87 ES: Just on fixing the form: I think it would be good to follow Fr:’s usage to use not italics for all titles (books and articles. 88 [This bibliography is based on the one by Franco-Preisendanz (reference???) that excludes book reviews. pp. It ould be easy to change if somebody objected. Die nicht-s›˙khyistischen Texte. WZKM 33. pp. although it is not current US-practice. Die s›˙khyistischen Texte.] 284 . - 1927 - Zur Elementenlehre des S›˙khya. pp.

1942 285 . (Kurzfassung) ZDMG 92/Heft 2/3. Text und Übersetzung. Text und Übersetzung. pp. WZKM 45. - Zu den Fragmenten buddhistischer Logiker im Ny›yav›rttikam. Übersetzung. Text. WZKM 40. Leipzig. 263-278. I. I. pp. WZKM 38. Dharmakırti. Übersetzung. 1933 - Beiträge zur Apohalehre. pp. 229-234. 1934 - Dharmakırtis Sambandhaparık˝›. 217-258. 237-242. pp. I. 1939 - Der arische Anteil an der indischen Philosophie. WZKM 37. Bh›van›. WZKM 43. 1937 - Zu den Fragmenten buddhistischer Autoren in Haribhadras Anek›ntajayapat›k›. pp. 1935 - Beiträge zur Apohalehre. - Beiträge zur Apohalehre. 65-74. II. WZKM 46. Dharmakırti. WZKM 40. - Dharmottaras K˝a˚abhaºgasiddhi¯. 1936 - Beiträge zur Geschichte des Ny›ya. 267–291. pp. Übersetzung und Erläuterungen. 261-300. 281-304. 247-285. 259-283. Festschrift für Moriz Winternitz. I. WZKM 41. - Der arische Anteil an der indischen Philosophie. WZKM 42. (Fortsetzung). WZKM 39. Jayanta und seine Quellen. 233-287. I. Dharmakırti. pp. pp.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner - Dign›gas filambanaparık˝›. 93-102. Dharmottara. pp. - Beiträge zur Apohalehre. 212-252. Zusammenfassung. - Dign›ga und Anderes. 1938 - Bh›van› und Vidhi¯ bei Ma˚˜anamiŸra. WZKM 44. pp. 51-94. WZKM 42. I. WZKM 44. pp. WZKM 37. 1932 - Jñ›naŸrı. pp. *9*-*10*. - Beiträge zur Apohalehre. pp. Dharmakırti. pp. 174194. pp. pp.

Actes du IVe Congrès International des Sciences Anthropologiques et Ethnologiques. (Kurzfassung) ZDMG 96/Heft 3. 158-169. Band. pp. Also. das S›˙khya und das klassische Yoga-System. Anthropologie Religieuse. 2. 240-261. Leipzig. *40–42*. ZDMG 105 (1955): Bericht über die - Mitglieder-Versammlung der D. der Buddha und der Jina. Vienne 1952. (Bonner Orientalistische Studien. III. 65-85. 120-132. 1956 89 LS: What does the “*” business signify??. Studia Indologica. 192-197. Tome 2. See above. 1952 - Die buddhistischen Konzile. - Die ceylonesischen Chroniken und die erste buddhistische Mission nach Hinterindien. 142-154. pp. H. Supplements to Numen. 286 . pp. Festschrift Friedrich Weller zum 65. Walther Schubring zum 70. 1954 - Die Reihenfolge und Entstehung der Werke Dharmakırti’s. pp. Salzburg. Serie Orientale Roma Vol. Vorträge der - Berliner Orientalistentagung. 148-159. pp. - Roma. I. 55-56. hrsg. Asiatica. 3). 1955 Der Stand der Erforschung der indischen Philosophie. Juli 1955 in Hamburg. Schaeder. 89 - 1944 Die Bedeutung der indischen Philosophie. Beiträge - zur indischen Philologie und Altertumskunde. Bonn. pp. (2nd newly composed edition by Andreas Pholus. Der Orient in deutscher Forschung. pp. 1951 On the Date of the Buddhist Master of the Law Vasubandhu. M. Festschrift für Willibald - Kirfel. Candramati und sein DaŸapad›rthaŸ›stram. Leipzig. ZDMG 102. Geburtstag. why not two * here. Aachen 2003). 1953 - Geschichte der indischen Philosophie.und NeuIndische Studien 7). Die Philosophie des Veda und des Epos.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner Die Bedeutung der indischen Philosophie. Leiden. Gesellschaft am 31. (Alt. Die Anthropologie des Buddhismus. H. pp. pp. Hamburg. Geburtstag dargebracht. - Vol. Amalavijñ›nam und filayavijñ›nam.

pp. Serie Orientale Roma VIII. Auflage. Villa Hügel. pp. 147-151. Auflage. das System der Jaina. unveränd. 239-243. durchges. 2.. Jg. 97-98. pp. Akad.-hist. WZKS 3. - The Earliest Vinaya and the Beginnings of Buddhist Literature. 2. Akad. WZKS 5. East and West 7. (2nd newly composed edition by Andreas Pohlus. pp.-15. (2. - Geschichte und Aufgaben der Wiener Indologie. - Vasubandhu’s V›davidhi¯. Texte der indischen Philosophie. 95-103. Berlin 1969. Roma. - The Editions of Mallav›dı’s Dv›daŸ›ranayacakram. Berlin. 287 . 1960 - Das Eindringen der Sprachtheorie in die indischen philosophischen Systeme. pp. 83-164. WZKS 2. WZKS 5. 84-139. 113-124. WZKS 1. 1958 - Zur Erkenntnislehre des klassischen S›˙khya-Systems. Klasse der Österr.. 77-95. Jahrhundert. Wiss. Philosophische Studientexte. - Geschichte der indischen Philosophie. pp. pp. 4. pp. gegenüber der 3. WZKS 4. Band. pp. Anzeiger der phil. Bd. 1961. d. pp. 10. 49-67.6. Verhandlungen der Indologischen Arbeitstagung in Essen-Bredeney. 309-312. Berlin 1994). - Sprachtheorie und Philosophie im Mah›bh›˝yam des Patañjali. Die naturphilosophischen Schulen und das VaiŸe˝ika-System. Stuttgart. 1961 - Mım›˙s›sÒtram I. pp. - Die Philosophie des Buddhismus. - Landmarks in the History of Indian Logic. Aachen 2003). 119-123.-hist. 125-148. Salzburg. 1956. Anzeiger der phil. pp. Göttingen. Wiss. WZKS 1. Klasse der Österr. 1959 - Dign›ga. 104-146. 92-118. Auflage. der Materialismus. Nr. sein Werk und seine Entwicklung. 13. 6-23. Die Philosophie im XX. 3. Jg. - Zu den buddhistischen Texten in der Zeit Khri-Sroº-Lde-Btsan’s. - Indische Philosophie. unveränd. Berlin 1958. WZKS 1. IndologenTagung 1959. 1. Nr. Juli 1959. 1957 - The historical data we possess on the Person and the Doctrine of the Buddha.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner - Die Anfänge der indischen Logik (Auszug aus dem Vortrag). d. durchges. WZKS 4. - Devendrabuddhi. pp. Wien. pp.

pp. 1965 - Prabh›kara Up›dhy›ya. WZKS 7. - Der ursprüngliche Anfang der VaiŸe˝ika-SÒtren. pp. Wien.-hist. 1970 - Die Lehre von der zusätzlichen Bestimmung (up›dhi¯) in GaºgeŸa’s Tattvacint›mani¯. Wiss. Seminar on Aspects of Religion in South Asia. d. pp. 20-36. 1967 - Raghun›tha ⁄iroma˚i (1. Vorträge und Schriften. 59-99. Kl. - Kum›rila’s B¸ha˛˛ık›. pp. - Raghun›tha ⁄iroma˚i (2. Wiss. 198-226. WZKS 11. 1971 288 . Jahrgang 10 (1961).und Ostasiens. d. d. d. Band. Pañcaskandhakam und Pañcavastukam. - Mahatma Gandhi. Wien. Ak. Wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg. - Preface to a reprint of H. f. Das R›m›ya˚a. Die kanonischen Abhidharma-Werke. WZKS 10.. 2.. 140-208 1968 - Materialien zur ältesten Erkenntnislehre der Karmamım›˙s›. pp. Heft 78. 86-207.. School of Oriental and African Studies. 21-31. 161-208.hist. pp. Kulturen Süd.. WZKS 14. Kl. 1963 - Abhidharma-Studien. Deutsche Akad. Darmstadt. 1966 - Raghun›tha ⁄iroma˚i. Heft 9). Österr. (Veröffentl. Sprachen und Kulturen Süd. Komm. (Veröffentl. Wien. d. pp. Abh. f. 78-90. Band. 1964 - Abhidharma-Studien. Die geistig-politischen Profile der Gegenwart in Asien. pp. Jacobi. Fortsetzung). Österr.. Komm. WZKS 6. II. Sitzungsber. phil. V-VIII. London (hectographic reproduction). Abh. 259. WZKS 9. Wiss.. Sprachen u. 1962 - Aus der Philosophie der Ÿivaitischen Systeme. 1410-1412. Fortsetzung). Berlin.und Ostasiens. Heft 6). Sitzungsber. die Entwicklung eines indischen Philosophen. I. WZKS 8. 2..The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner - Dign›ga. zu Berlin. Eine Auswahl von Vorträgen der Seminare der Österreichischen Unesco-Kommission. phil. 266. pp.. pp. Ak.

Nachrichten der Akademie der Wiss.90 - Abhidharma-Studien. Glasenapp-Stiftung Vol. phil. Tom I-II. pp. 1971 Nr. Vol. 165-167. Der Abhidharma der anderen Schulen (Fortsetzung). Der Abhisamayav›da¯. - Historia filozofii indyjskiej. Ed. Akad. Klasse. 22. - Zum V¸ttik›ragrantha¯. 6.. Tr. 1999). Wiss. Der Abhidharma der anderen Schulen. in Göttingen.-hist. WZKS 17. Sitzungsberichte Band 588 = Veröffentlichungen der Kommission für Sprachen und Kulturen Südasiens Heft 26. Klasse. Klasse.1 LS new: did you intend to delete pp. Delhi. Beiträge. Vols. 91 Warszawa. 289 . and the l is crossed through. (Reprints 1984. 1994 90 LS: Franco-Preisendanz give no page numbers. WZKS 16. V. I: Aufsätze. Przelozyl Leon Zylicz. Wiss. Eine entwicklungsgeschichtliche Studie. Werba. 115-127.-hist. 1993. pp. Wien. pp. II: Philosophische Texte des Hinduismus. Österr. Ed. IV. Sitzungsberichte Band 438 = Veröffentlichungen der Kommission für Sprachen und Kulturen Südasiens Heft 19. 1997. or did you want to keep both numbers?? 91 LS: Need different font: Z has a dot over it. I. Ernst Steinkellner. pp. Phil. Ed. Der Sarv›stiv›da¯. III. 115-127 [3]-[15]. phil. Wiesbaden.M. 1972 - Abhidharma-Studien.The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner - Die Entstehung der Buddhistischen Systeme. d. 95-152. pp.. WZKS 16. 97-121. You give pp. V. 69-121. Akad. - History of Indian Philosophy. Vol. IV. Skizzen. Gerhard Oberhammer and Ernst Steinkellner. Bedekar. WZKS 15. 1992 - Nachgelassene Werke. Should we add the page numbers? ES. Österr. 1973 - Abhidharma-Studien. Wien. d. in your Studies of Abhidharma Literature. 1984 - Nachgelassene Werke. 115-127. I and II. 1982 - Kleine Schriften. Tr.-hist. Jg. Gerhard Oberhammer and Chlodwig H.

SUNY Series in Indian Thought: Texts and Studies. (Transl. Sophie Francis Kidd under the supervision of Ernst Steinkellner. of - Nachgelassene Werke I. New York. Tr. 1995 - Studies in Abhidharma Literature and the Origins of Buddhist Philosophical Systems. Transl. Jayendra Soni. Geisteskultur Indiens. 1984).The Philosophy of Buddhism by Erich Frauwallner Erich Frauwallner’s92 Posthumous Essays. Aachen. 290 . Delhi.1-2. Needs to be confirmed. Klassiker der Indologie 4. 92 LS: Correction from Web. 2003 - New edition of Geschichte der indischen Philosophie by Andreas Pohlus.