Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Bhavyaviveka, Founder of the Svatantrika Tradition

*Bhavyaviveka, the founder of the Svatantrika tradition of the Madhyamaka school of Buddhism, is believed to have been born in this year.
Bhavyaviveka (or Bhavya) (Chinese清辯 (pinyinQīngbiàn); (c. 500 – c. 578) was the founder of the Svatantrika tradition of the Mādhyamaka school of Buddhism. Bhavyaviveka is one of the first Buddhist logicians to employ the 'formal syllogism' of Indian Logic in expounding the Mādhyamaka which he employed to considerable effect in his commentary to Nagarjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā, entitled the Prajñāpradīpa.

According to one source, Bhavyaviveka was born to the east of Magadha in India of a Kashatriya family. He was ordained by Nagarjuna.
Another source claims he was born of a royal family of "Mālaya-ra" in South India. After becoming a monk he travelled to Madhya-desa ('Middle India') and received teachings on the Mahayana sutras and Nagarjuna's texts from Acarya Samgharakṣita. After this he returned to southern India and became the head of 50 temples and taught extensively.

Bhavya wrote an independent work on the Madhyamaka entitled the Madhyamakahrdaya-karika in which Bhavya in turn wrote an auto-commentary entitled the Tarkajvala (Blaze of Reasoning).

The Prajñāpradīpa is Bhavyaviveka's commentary upon Nagarjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā. The Sanskrit is no longer extant (except for a few embedded quotations in the Prasannapadā, Candrakīrti's commentary of the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā and critique of the Prajñāpradīpa) but is available in both an excellent Tibetan translation, rendered by Jñānagarbha and Cog ro Klu'i rgyal mtshan in the early ninth century. The Sanskrit name has been reconstructed as either Prajñāpradīpa or Janāndeepa (where Janāndeepa may or may not be a Prakrit corruption or a poor inverse-translation, for example).

After the death of Buddhapalita (470–550), Bhavyaviveka refuted his views by writing a commentary on the Root Wisdom called Wisdom Lamp (Janāndeepa) relying on Nagarjuna's teachings. This text laid the foundations for the Svatantrika school of Buddhism.

In the Svatantrika tradition reasoning is used to establish that phenomena (dharmas) have no self-nature, and further arguments to establish that the true nature of all phenomena is emptiness. This school differs from the predominant Prasangika tradition in that the latter refrain from making any assertions whatsoever about the true nature of phenomena.

The designation as Bhavyaviveka as 'founder' of the Svatantrika school is not uncontroversial, not least because the very existence of an independent 'Svatantrika' school in India is not well attested. While it is certain that later Tibetan doxographers divided the Madhyamaka philosophy of Nagarjuna into Svatantrika (other inference) and Prasangkika (consequence), and that this manner of division has currency today in contemporary Tibetan monasteries, other methods of division existed.

In the lineage of the Tibetan Panchen Lamas there were considered to be four Indian and three Tibetan mindstream emanations of Amitabha Buddha before Khedrup Gelek Pelzang, who is recognised as the first Panchen Lama. The lineage starts with Subhuti, one of the original disciples of Gautama Buddha. Bhavaviveka is considered to be the third Indian mindstream emanation of Amitabha Buddha in this line.


No comments:

Post a Comment