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Madhyamika and Yogacara (A Study of Mahayana Philosophies)

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About the Book According to I. Ching's report from India (A.D. 691), Mahayana Buddhism was divided into two schools, the Madhyamika and the Yogacara. The articles presented in this volume have one thing in common. Each one is a step towards establishing the relational nature between Madhyamika and Yogacara. That is, according to Professor Nagao, the two traditions are not separate and independent but each augment the other. The Madhyamika thought of sunyata was extended by the Yogacara by their...
About the Book

According to I. Ching's report from India (A.D. 691), Mahayana Buddhism was divided into two schools, the Madhyamika and the Yogacara. The articles presented in this volume have one thing in common. Each one is a step towards establishing the relational nature between Madhyamika and Yogacara. That is, according to Professor Nagao, the two traditions are not separate and independent but each augment the other. The Madhyamika thought of sunyata was extended by the Yogacara by their system of the Three-nature theory that depended upon a logic of convertibility. Throughtout these papers, Professor Nagao's constant effort is to synthesize the two systems.

The book is divided into Sixteen chapters. They are Ch.1 Buddhist Subjectivity ; Ch.2 An Interpretation of the term "Samvrti" (Convention) in Buddhism ; Ch.3 The Boddhisattva Returns to this World ; Ch.4 The Silence of the Buddha and its Madhyamic Interpretation ; Ch.5 What Remains in Silnyata : A Yogacara Interpretation of Emptiness ; Ch.6 The Buddhist World view as Elucidated in the Three-nature Theory and Its Similies ;_Ch.7 Connotations of the World Asraya (Basis) in the Mahayana Siitralankara; Ch.8 Usages and Meanings of Parinamana ; Ch. 9 Taranquil Flow of Mind : An Interpretation of Upeksa ; Ch.10 On the Theory of Buddha Body (Buddha Kaya) ; Ch.11 Logic of Convertibility ; Ch.12 Ontology in Mahayana Buddhism ; Ch.13 From Madhyamika to Yogacara : An Analysis of MMK, XXIV.18 and MV, 1.1-2 ;

About the Author

Gadjin M. Nagao is Professor Emeritus of Buddhist Studies at Kyoto University, Japan. He is, the author of The Foundational Standpoint of Madhyamika Philosophy. Leslie S. Kawamura is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Introduction

Professor Gadjin M. Nagao has devoted his life study to the investigation of the development of Madhyamika and YogAcara Buddhism. The articles presented in this volume have one thing in common. Each one is a step towards establishing the relational nature between Madhyamika and Yogacara. That is, according to Professor Nagao, the two traditions are not separate and independent but each augment the other. The Madhyamika thought of sunyata was extended by the Yogacara by their system of the Three-nature theory that depended upon a logic of convertibility. Through-out these papers, Professor Nagao's constant effort is to synthesize the two systems.

Professor Nagao's contributions to the academic world are many, but what becomes evident in the papers presented here is his original thought on the logic of convertibility. This manner of thinking, which results from understanding the Three-nature theory of Yogacara Buddhism, is soteriologically the only method by which one can argue for a "systematic development" in Mahayana thought in India. But in what way or manner did Professor Nagao reach such an insight? The best presentation of his thoughts on this matter is found in his own "Introduction" to his book Chakan to Yuishiki (Madhyamika and Yogacara). Therefore, I shall give an interpretation of the book's contents.

Professor Nagao begins his introduction by reflecting on his papers written during the last forty years. He humbly states that it is difficult to reach the inner alcove of Madhyamika and Yogacara thought. He feels somewhat pretentious in giving his book the title Madhyamika and Yogacara for that reason, but in spite of the fact that he may not have the full capacity to argue for the synthesis between Madhyamika and Yogacara,. he still attempts to complete the task.

While he was a student, Professor Nagao was attracted to the study of the text, The Awakening of Faith in Mahayana. However, when he tried to make that study his thesis topic, he quickly realized that such a study would require competence in the elements of the Vijnanavada school. In haste, he began to read Sthiramati's Sanskrit text, Trimsika; this was his first introduction to Vijnanavada thought. This led to the realization that one would have to go back to Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka system. This was natural and logical. Professor Nagao's claim is that he has wandered in and out of the two schools, and he thinks that he will probably continue to do so until he dies. Therefore he gives the title Chakan to Yuishiki (Madhyamika and Yogacara) to his book.

In order to pursue his inquiry deeper into these schools of thought Professor Nagao knew that a knowledge of Classical Chinese alone was insufficient. He knew that he would have to go back to the Sanskrit language; also he saw the need to consult the Tibetan canon. Thus, he began his study of the Mandycina-samgraha in 1939 and brought it to a successful completion by publishing volume one of the work in 1982 and volume two in 1987. These two volumes will certainly become the definitive study of Asanga's text in the years to come. However, in the interval, from 1939, Nagao's interest was directed to a study of Lamaism in Mongolia, which ultimately led him to the study of Tibetan Buddhism. Out of these studies, he was able to acquire considerable knowledge regarding Madhyamaka philosophy. He did not anticipate much with regard to Yogacara. He then turned to a study of the Madhydruavibhaga. As a graduate student, he joined the publication workshop of Sthiramati's Madhyamtavibhaga-tika, an old manuscript that was deciphered and edited by Professor S. Yamaguchi. Thus, he not only had the chance to study the Madhydritavibhaga extensively but he also had the opportunity to compile the index to the text, which was appended to the edition. He devoted himself for several years to the study of the Mahayana-satralarnkcira. He then began his research on Asanga's Mahayana-sarpgraha and on Tsong-kha-pa's Lam-rim-chen-mo simultaneously in 1939. The latter study resulted in a Japanese translation and analysis of the "Vipagyana" chapter of the Lam-rim-chen-mo in 1954, and as mentioned above, his former study resulted in a two-volume publication of Asanga's work. His study of the Mahayana-siitralartzkara finally crystalized with the compilation of the Index to the Mahayana-satralanikara, part one, Sanskrit- Tibetan-Chinese in 1958 and part two, Tibetan-Sanskrit and Chinese-Sanskrit in 1961. He began work on deciphering and editing for the first time an old Sanskrit manuscript of Vasubandhu's Madhyantavibhaga-bhasya brought back from Tibet by the Reverend Rahula Sankrityayarn, which was stored in the K. P. Jayaswal Research Institute in Patna, India. lie completed and published his edition of the text in 1964.

When watching the moves of the players in a game of chess, it is easy to observe that the players match strength with each other at every move. Even though one of the players may seem to have an edge on the other, when a play takes place, the locus of power seems to shift. For Professor Nagao, his study of the Madhyamika and Yogacara schools gave him the same challenges. When he devoted himself to Madhyamaka studies, he was touched by the vast scenery of the world of Enlightenment. When he absorbed himself in the texts of the Yogacara (i.e., Vijnanavadins), the same scenery became manifest from a different perspective. One of Professor Na-gao's mentors was the late Professor S. Yamaguchi (1895-1976) who published his great work Bukkyi ni okeru U to Mu no Tairon (The Controversy Between Existence and Non-existence in Buddhism). Upon reading this book, Professor Nagao was agonized by the question of "existence" and "non-existence." Which was the correct view—the "non-existence" stand of the Madhyamika or the "existence" stand of the Yogacara? On what do they take their stand? How was it possible to synthesize the tactful and polished logic of the two schools that pressed on relentlessly. He felt that there should be a limit to incapacitation. It seemed reasonable even from a historical perspective that the Yogacara developed and was systematized by succeeding and taking a stand on the Madhyamika philosophy of sunyata (emptiness). If it is possible to synthesize "existence" and "non-existence," then would it not follow that such a synthesis must have been already present in its evolution and growth? However, in spite of that, there does not seem to be an end to the conflict between existence and non-existence; this held just as true for Bhavaviveka as it did for Dharmapala, and Candrakirti. On the other hand, however, if there were no controversy might that not have been the degeneration of Buddhism? In short, it seemed to Professor Nagao that the rivalry between the thoroughness of the middle path, direct perception, and religiosity of the Madhyamika and the systematization of the cognition theory, intellect, and praxis of the Yogkara was not only suggestive of but also disclosed the paradoxical nature of man that follows him into eternity.

In rereading some of his old manuscripts, Professor Nagao found him-self feeling great pains of anxiety, especially with regard to those papers t e had written prior to World War II. The realization that his thinking had not changed much since times of old and that the same thoughts occurred repeatedly in his papers made him feel that little progress had been made. Still, he re-examined his old papers, improved on their style, updated the language, modified them slightly, and collected them into his book. As in-adequate as that process might have seemed, he chose to include those papers in his book because they contained the theories that were to become the basis for his later thoughts.

Preface

According to I-ching's report from India (A.D. 691), Mahayana Buddhism was divided into two schools, the Madhyamika and the Yogacara. The Madhyamaka (middle) philosophy, founded on Nagarjuna's (A.D. second to third century) philosophy of absolute negation (lanyard), is really a remarkable and probably one of the greatest achievements in the history of Buddhism. It is my contention, however, that it was brought to completion by the Yogacara, especially through the works of Asanga and Vasubandhu (A.D. fifth century). They complemented the lanyard philosophy with various positive theories such as the theory of consciousness-only, the three-nature theory, the theory of Buddha's body, and so on. The Yogacara theories are said to be "positive" because by accepting the negative idea of lanyard as a whole, the Yogacara established the positive affirmative aspect of lanyard (abhavasya bhavah). During the later centuries, Indian Buddhism (as well as Tibetan Buddhism) focused its attention on only the Madhyamika school as the main stream of Buddhism while it overlooked the Yogacara as an independent school. In spite of that, ideas and terminologies created by the Yogacara school continued to influence the development of Buddhism in India (also in Tibet) for a long time, and it can be said further that, without the effort and achievement of the Yogacara, which complemented the Madhyamika, Mahayana Buddhism would not have reached its present perfection.

My study has been focussed on these two schools for more than forty years. Some of the papers found in this collection were written very early in my career and consequently show certain inadequacies; however, as they contain important aspects of the development of my thought, they have been included here. The paper "Logic of Convertibility," for instance, ex-plains the fundamental idea of "convertibility" that has been and still continues to be of great concern to me. The papers written later presuppose, more or less, this idea of convertibility and it is foundational to the ideas discussed there.

In more recent years, I discuss the two notions of "ascent and descent," and show how they apply to our interpretation of the various teachings found in Buddhism. The two notions have appeared, although only vaguely, in earlier papers from time to time, but it is only in recent days that it became evident that the two notions of ascent and descent were convenient ways for gaining a proper understanding of the various doctrinal meanings. In fact, it can be said that Mahayana thought is characterized as such when they are present, even though they are opposites and indicate contrary directions. That is, when these two notions are found within a certain Buddhist system, the criterion for discerning whether that system is Mahayana or not is established.

The Madhyamika, more than the Yogacara, seems to have been studied rather widely by western scholars. This is probably owing to the fact that sunyata is in sharp contrast to Western ontological ideas. However, Yogacara thought is no less important than Madhyamika ideas, and consequently, the readers will find that more attention has been paid to the Yogicara in this book.

My study has been philological rather than philosophical. By the term philological, I do not mean to imply a purely linguistic investigation, but rather, I refer to the process of interpreting a text as faithful as possible. This means that I have interpreted the purport of those treatises through the acarya's own words, and thus, I avoided the danger of being too speculative.

Many kalyatiamitras helped me in preparing these papers by either translating them or improving my English. My hearty thanks go to, among others, the Reverend Yoshiaki Fujitani, Professor Norman Waddell, Professor John Keenan, Ms. Michele Martin, et al. My special gratitude is due to Professor Leslie S. Kawamura for his tireless effort in translating and editing this book. If these papers are helpful to my readers concerning their understanding of Buddhism, I shall be satisfied.

**Contents and Sample Pages**










Item Code: NAS054 Author: Gadjin M. Nagao and Leslie S. Kawamura Cover: HARDCOVER Edition: 1992 Publisher: Sri Satguru Publications ISBN: 8170303109 Language: English Size: 8.50 X 5.50 inch Pages: 318 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 0.47 Kg
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