Aryadeva’s Catuhsataka and the work of Nagarjuna provided the philosophical foundation for most of the Mahayana Buddhism that followed. Like Nagarjuna’s Mulamadhyamakakarikas, it too was commented upon by Vijnanavada or Idealist thinkers as well as by those of the Madhyamaka, or “Middle Way” school. The sixth-century commentators Dharmapala (and Candrakirti) interpreted the Catuhsataka in a very different, but philosphically rich way. The former saw it as only refuting ascriptions of imagined natures (parikalpitasvabhava) to phenomena while leaving real natures untouched, the latter interpreted Aryadeva’s work as a thorough going rejection of all real intrinsic natures (svabhava) whatsoever. Tom Tillemans’ 1990 doctoral thesis is reprinted. He discusses key themes in Dharmapala and Candrakirti philosophies, and also translates two chapters of their respective Catuhsataka works. Both commentaries had a significant influence on the development of Buddhism. While Candrakirti was an important source for Tibetan development, Dharmapala played a key role in the differentiation between Vijnanavada philosophies and Madhyamaka.
Materials for the Study of Aryadeva, Dharmapala and Candrakirti
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