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Remarks on Phya pa Chos kyi seng ge and his Madhyamaka Treatises.

In 1995 Leonard van der Kuijp made a photocopy of a manuscript of Phya pa (1) Chos kyi seng ge's dBu ma shar gsum kyi stong thun available in the West. It was the first text by Phya pa ever seen outside of Tibet, and quite a sensation within Tibetan studies; an edition of this text was published in 1999. (2) Meanwhile a number of texts by Phya pa--though most probably not his complete oeuvre--have been discovered in the Fifth Dalai Lama's library at Drepung, and facsimile editions thereof are available in the bKa' gdams gsung 'bum, volumes 6-9, published in 2006. In recent years, this fact led to an increasing interest in Phya pa's works among both Tibetan and western scholars.

Nevertheless, no major study on Phya pa's Madhyamaka interpretation has been published yet; (3) to the best of my knowledge, the excellent work by Kevin Vose, Resurrecting Candrakirti. Disputes in the Tibetan Creation of Prasangika, (4) although it does not deal with Phya pa exclusively, is up to now the only scholarly work that discusses and analyses greater parts of the Shar gsum; it does, however, not take into consideration Phya pa's other treatises. Earlier publications dealing with or touching upon Phya pa (5) concentrate on his contribution to Tibetan logic and epistemology, which was known from quotations and references by other authors, in particular by Shakya mchog ldan (1428-1507), and also more recent works (6) focus on this topic. One short article (in Japanese) deals with Phya pa's interpretation of the Ratnagotravibhaga. (7) Several scholars, however, are recently working on Phya pa's Madhyamaka or have presented papers at conferences on this topic, e.g., Pascale Hugon, Ritsu Akahane, James Blumenthal, Jongbok Yi, and Dorji Wangchuk. Others are touching upon Phya pa in papers dealing with early bKa' gdams pa, like Thomas Doctor, Kevin Vose, or Kazuo Kano. (8)

Still, the studies of his Madhyamaka treatises have not yet advanced to a degree that would allow for a comprehensive survey of his Madhyamaka position. Therefore this paper presents--still, one decade after the first publication of the Shar gsum--only preliminary remarks. It does not touch upon subtle philosophical issues and problems, and it is restricted to basic topics and general observations in connection with the Shar gsum stong thun and the bDen gnyis 'grel ba, a commentary to Jnanagarbha's Satyadvaya-vibhahga (SDV). It also raises the questions--however, without claiming to provide answers--why Phya pa as an Madhyamika has been practically forgotten by the tradition itself, and whether the critique voiced against Phya pa by later dGe lugs pa authors is justified. Based on the two texts mentioned, it also shows Phya pa's (direct or indirect) impact on later--in particular dGe lugs pa--Madhyamaka exegesis.

Although Phya pa Chos kyi seng ge (1109-1169) was arguably one of the leading scholar of his time, only a little biographical data (9) is known apart from the years of his birth and death.

* In the fields of his particular expertise, i.e. Madhyamaka and Pramana, Phya pa Chos kyi seng ge was a disciple of rGya dmar pa Byang chub grags; Padma dkar po even states that he was best of rGya dmar pa's students. (10) Thus he represents--via Khyung Rin chen grags pa and rGya dmar pa--the third generation in the transmission lineage of rNgog Blo ldan shes rab (1059-1109) who is considered as the founder of the Svatatrika tradition in Tibet. (11)

* At the age of twenty he acted as a tutor of important hierarchs like the First Karma pa, Dus gsum mkhyen pa, and Phag mo gru pa at gSang phu sNe'u thog, for several centuries the center of monastic scholarship.

* For 18 years he presided at gSang phu sNe'u thog as abbot. Byams pa kun dga' 'byung gnas in his gSang phu gdan rabs even relates a 35-year period of abbotship. (12) However, as Phya pa passed away at the age of 60, this would mean that he was appointed abbot at the age of 25, which seems rather unlikely.

* Among his disciples we find renowned scholars and teachers like "the eight mighty lions" (seng chen): gTsang nag pa brTson 'grus seng ge, Dan bag pa sMra ba'i seng ge, Bru sha bSod nams seng ge, rMa bya rTsod pa'i seng ge (= rMa bya Byang chub brtson 'grus), rTsags dBang phyug seng ge (a teacher of Sa skya Pandita), Myang bran Chos kyi seng ge, lDan ma dKon mchog seng ge and gNyal pa Yon tan seng ge,

"the four Jo sras": 'Khon Jo sras rtse mo, rNgog Jo sras ra mo, Khu Jo sras ne tso and gNyos Jo sras dpal le, "the four wise ones" (shes rab can): 'Gar dBang grub, Kong po 'Jag chung, Lho pa sGog zan and Bar pu pa,

"the three who attained spiritual realisation" (grub thob): Dus gsum mkhyen pa dPal chos kyi grags pa, Phag mo gru pa and gSal sto sho sgom, and bSod nams rtse mo, the second Sa skya pa hierarch.

* Phya pa Chos kyi seng ge was renowned as a great philosopher and scholar, in particular he was and still is well known for his achievements in logic and for his contributions to the development of bsdus grwa. However, he is never mentioned as a particular great and kind-hearted religious leader.

All of Phya pa's works had been missing for several centuries. They were unknown not only to western scholarly research, but also to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. When listing the works ascribed to Phya pa, already 'Gos lotsava gzhon nu dpal (1392-1481) in his Deb ther sngon po admits that some of them he had not seen personally, but only heard about. He lists the following works: Commentaries on the Five Treatises of Maitreya, Pramanaviniscaya, Satyadvaya-vibhahga, Madhyamakalankara, Madhyamakaloka, Bodhicaryavatara, "and other texts", as well as the respective abridged summaries (bsdus pa), Tshad ma'i Yid kyi mun sel with commentary, Yid kyi mun sel without commentary, a long and a short summary of the Madhyamaka system (dBu ma bsdus pa che chung), and, unseen by 'Gos lotsava, a Phyi nang gi grub mtha' bsdus pa and a Shes bya gzhi lnga'i bshad pa. (13)

In addition, Shakya mchog ldan (1428-1507) mentions a commentary on the Pramana-varttika among Phya pa's works. (14) However, although Phya pa apparently knew the Pramana-varttika, (15) it remains doubtful whether he really did write a commentary on it. (16)

Nevertheless, Shakya mchog ldan seems to be the last Tibetan master who probably knew--and read--Phya pa Chos kyi seng ge; he quotes a passage of some 3.5 folios from the Shar gsum stong thun and refutes it in detail. (17) Of course, Phya pa's works must have been extant during the 17th century, as their manuscripts were discovered in the Fifth Dalai Lama's library, but there is no evidence as to whether or not they were actually read and studied.

By the 19th century they were apparently known only from hearsay, i.e., from references like the one in the Deb ther sgon po. A khu Rin po che Shes rab rgya mtsho (1803-1875) includes Phya pa's works in his Tho yig, (18) which Lokesh Chandra calls an "autochthon bibliography of books which were already rare or of extraordinary value in the Tibetan world". (19) However, one cannot avoid the impression that missing texts, desiderata, are equally included. The texts listed are--with only minor deviations--the same that already 'Gos lotsava had mentioned:
   In the section of "stages of the path, purification of the mind,
   etc." (lam rim blo sbyong sogs kyi skor): a commentary on the
   Bodhicaryavatara; in the Madhyamaka section: commentaries on the
   Satyadvayavibhahga, Madhyamakaloka, Madhyamakalahkara and
   Uttaratantra; a "long" and a "short summary of Madhyamaka" (dBu ma
   bsdus pa che chung); in the Prajnaparamita section: a
   Prajnaparamita commentary (phar phyin tikka); in the section of
   logic and epistemology (rnam 'grel gyi skor): a commentary on the
   Pramanaviniscaya, a Tshad ma'i bsdus pa Yid kyi mun sel together
   with an auto-commentary, a Tshad bsdus Yid kyi mun sel alone
   (rkyang pa), and a Shes bya gzhi lnga'i bshad pa; in the siddhanta
   section: a Phyi nang gi grub mtha'i rnam bzhag bsdus pa. (20)


In the bKa' gdams gsung 'bum (vol. 6: 185--vol. 9: 598) not all the texts are included which are listed above; on the other hand, a number of works are contained which are not mentioned in later sources: (21)

1. dBu ma bden gnyis kyi 'grel ba / dBu ma bden pa gnyis rnam par bshad pa yi ge nyung ngus gzhung gsal bar byed pa.

2. --/ dBu ma bden pa gnyis kyi don bsdus pa.

3 . dBu ma snang ba'i 'grel ba / dBu ma snang ba'i gzhung gi don rigs pa'i tshul dang myi 'gal zhing blo chung bas kyang bde blag du rtogs pa byis pa'i 'jug ngos su sbyar ba.

4. dBu ma rgyan gyi 'grel ba / dBu ma rgyan gyi 'grel pa rgya cher bshad pa.

5. dBu ma'i de kho na nyid bsdus pa / dBu ma de kho na nyid kyi snying po.

The alternative--and apparently more "popular"--title dBu ma shar gsum gyi stong thun is given on the title page. Most probably this treatise represents the longer version of the dBu ma bsdus pa che chung mentioned by 'Gos lotsava and A khu Rinpoche; the shorter version, which is not extant, might have been a "summary" (bsdus don / don bsdus pa), consisting in a structural outline (sa bcad) of the same text.

6. sPyod 'jug bsdus don / Byang chub sems dpa'i spyod pa la 'jug pa'i don bsdus pa.

7. -- / bSlab pa kun las btus pa'i don bsdus pa; a fragment of 13 lines.

8. Theg pa chen po rgyud bla ma'i bsdus (pa'i) don.

9. Theg pa chen po rgyud bla ma'i bstan bcos (kyi tshig dang don gyi) rgya cher bsnyad pa phra ba'i don gsal ba.

10. Theg chen mdo sde rgyan gyi legs bshad yang rgyan nyi 'od gsal ba / mDo sde rgyan gyi bshad pa.

11. Theg (pa) chen (po) mdo sde rgyan gyi lus rnam bshag.

12. Tshad ma rnam par nges pa'i bsdus don.

13. Tshad ma rnam par nges pa'i 'grel ba / Tshad ma rnam par ges pa'i 'grel bshad yi ge dang rigs pa'i gnad la 'jug pa'i shes rab kyi 'od zer.

14. Tshad ma yid kyi mun sel.

15. bDe bar gshegs pa dang phyi rol pa'i gzhung rnam par 'byed pa.

16. So thar mdo'i 'grel ba.

17. 'Od ldan zhes bya ba'i mikk tshig don rab gsal (ba).

18. dGe tshul rnams kyi bslab pa'i rim pa ston pa'i rnam bshad / Thams cad yod par smra ba'i dge tshul rnams kyi bslab pa'i rim pa ston pa'i rnam par bshad pa.

Taking into consideration that Phya pa chos kyi seng ge is renowned mainly for his achievments in the field of logic and epistemology, there are strikingly few works on this topic. In fact, there are only two texts extant: one independant treatise, the Yid kyi mun sel, and one commentary on Dharmakirti's Pramanaviniscaya, the Tshad ma rnam par nges pa'i 'grel ba. A third one, the Shes bya gzhi lnga'i bshad pa, is apparently known only from hearsay; the Yid kyi mun sel without auto-commentary and the Tshad ma rnam par nges pa'i bsdus don have most probably not to be counted as separate works. I am only pointing out this fact, without any attempt to interpeting it, as this, at the present stage, would mean mere speculation.

As a Madhyamika, Phya pa chos kyi seng ge is generally considered to be a strict Svatantrika. However, when using the terms "Prasangika" and "Svatantrika", usually one thinks of this distinction as Tsong kha pa and the dGe lugs pa school make it, who put great emphasis on this issue and its ontological and epistemological implication. During Phya pa's lifetime, it only started to develop, and it was restricted to the methodological question whether aprasanga or svatantra type of reasoning should be used to prove non-substantiality. The ontological and epistemological implications (22) were not yet thought of, and even the definitions of prasanga and svatantra were not the same as in later centuries. (23) At the present stage of research, it is not clear at all whether Phya pa is actually to be classified as a Svatantrika even according to the dGe lugs pa interpretation of the term; this question still has to be clarified in detailed analysis.

Whatever the results of this analysis will be, in general terms, 'Gos lotsava states that Phya pa "wrote many refutations of the works of the acarya Candrakirti", (24) and a similar statement is made also by Shakya mchog ldan. (25) The exegetical tradition that Phya pa follows is clear already from the titles of the works. His only independent Madhyamaka treatise, the dBu ma de kho na nyid kyi snying po or dBu ma shar gsum gyi stong thun, the "Summary of the crucial points (26) (in the teachings) of the three (Svatantrika) Madhyamaka (masters) from the East" (dbu ma [rang rgyud pa] shar gsum), follows the tradition of Jnanagarbha, Santaraksita and Kamalasila. In another explanation, the expression dbu ma shar gsum refers to the main works of these masters, i.e. the Satyadvayavibhahga, Madhyamakalamkara, and Madhyamakaloka (27) Exactly on these texts Phya pa composed his Madhyamaka commentaries. These Indian masters are known to strongly emphasise the strict method of independent syllogism (svatantranumana) in accordance with the tradition of Dignaga and Dharmakirti within Madhyamaka argumentation. Phya pa equals, or even exceeds, them in this respect.

Accordingly, the greater part of his main Madhyamaka treatise, the Shar gsum stong thun, is dedicated to demonstrating the importance of reasoning by means of an independent syllogism (svatantra) and to explaining this syllogism. The overal structure of this text seems to be influenced by Jnanagarbha's Satyadvayavibhahga; it consists of three main sections: "Ascertainment of the objects of cognition" (shes bya nges bar bya ba), Mahayana practice, and buddhabhumi.

The first one, covering some 85% of the entire text, is a discussion of the two realities (bden pa gnyis). It consists of two parts: "Distinction (dbye ba)" and "Definition/ characteristics (mtshan nyid) of the two realities".

The greatest part of this latter section on mtshan nid is dedicated to the "Negation of true(ly established) entities" (yang dag pa'i dngos po dgag pa), consisting of a "Refutation of the object of negation being negated by prasanga" (dgag bya thal 'gyur gyis 'gog pa sun dbyung ba) and a presentation "How an [independent] syllogism negates discursive development" (rjes dpag gis spros pa 'gog pa'i tshul).

The first of these sub-sections comprises as main topics an "Exposition of the opponent's [i.e. the 'Prasangikas'] system" (gzhan kyi lugs dgod pa), discussions why "It is not correct not to accept the use of svatantra" (rang rgyud kyi sbyor ba khas mi len pa mi 'thad pa) and why "A prasanga is unable to negate a realistic position" (thal 'gyur gyis dngos por smra ba 'gog mi nus pa), and a short presentation of Phya pa's own system (rang gi lugs rnam par gzhag pa).

The second sub-section presents mainly a detailed discussion of the independent syllogism suited to proving all-pervading emptiness, structured according to its individual parts: dharmin, sadhya, hetu, paksadharmata and vyapti.

In general, one of the favourite topics of Phya pa Chos kyi seng ge--apparently it could almost be called an obsession--is the classification of prasanga and the svatantra implied by them (rang rgyud 'phangs pa), the respective prasangavparyaya of the Indianpramana tradition. As related by Shakya mchog ldan, he classifies the prasanga into 18 types, five of which do not imply a svatantra as a contra-position, three of which imply a svatantra of "own type" (rang rigs), and ten a svatantra of "heterogeneous type" (gzhan rigs). This classification is taken over by Sa skya Pandita Kun dga' rgyal mtshan (1182-1251) in a slightly extended form, which is handed down by Shakya mchog ldan and Go ram pa bSod nams seng ge (1429-1489). (28)

In both the Shar gsum stong thun and the bDen gnyis 'grel ba, Phya pa refers to this classification in the context of discussing the relation of the two realities, based on the passage of the Samdhinirmocanasutra which teaches four unacceptable consequences--though technically speaking not in the form of prasanga--implied by each of the alternatives in the position that "the characteristic of the conditioned and the characteristic of the ultimate are non-different or different" ('du byed kyi mtshan nyid dang | don dam pa'i mtshan nyid tha dad pa ma yin pa'am | tha dad pa zhes zer ba). (29) Phya pa reformulates the consequences stated in the sutra in the form of a prasanga, and he gives the respective implied svatantra or prasangaviparyaya in each case.

In most of the cases Shar gsum stong thun and in bDen gnyis 'grel ba agree, but in two cases there is a significant divergence.

Under the assumption that the conditioned and the absolute are different (in nature), it follows:

1) "Suchness (tathata) would not negate the proliferation (prapanca) of appearing phenomena."

Shar gsum stong thun does not state the type of the prasanga: "Consequently, someone who understands emptiness does not eliminate the imputation (samaropa) of an (ultimately) real nature on appearing phenomena, because he does not understand their nature." In analogy to the second consequence, it can be taken as a prasanga (with the logical reason) of non-perception of the pervading property (khyab byed mi dmigs pa, vyapakanupalabdhi).

It implies a svatantra with the logical reason of essential property (rang bzhin, svabhava): "He (who understands emptiness) understands their substance [by understanding emptiness], because he removes imputation [of an ultimately real nature] on appearing phenomena through [its] removal by the experience establishing imputation [of an ultimately real nature] as being removed." (30)

Basically the same prasanga is formulated slightly differently in bDen gnyis 'grel ba, but classified as a prasanga with (the logical reason) of perception of what is pervaded by the incompatible ('gal bas khyab pa dmigspa, viruddhavyaptopalabdhi): "The understanding of the absolute as emptiness would not devaluate the imputation of the conventional being of (ultimately) real nature, because something different from the conventional is understood."

It implies a svatantra with the logical reason of [perception of] what is incompatible with the pervading property (khyab byed 'gal ba [dmigs pa], vyapakaviruddha-[upalabdhi]): "Because [by understanding the absolute] the imputation [of an ultimately real nature] on the conventional is devaluated, [understanding the absolute] is not understanding something different from the conventional." (31)

2) "Emptiness would not be suited to being suchness (de bzhin nyid)."

Here, Shar gsum stong thun names a prasanga (with the logical reason) of non-perception of the pervading property (khyab byed mi dmigs pa'i thal ba) and, again, gives the implied svatantra with the logical reason of essential property (rang bzhin gyi rtags):

"Because emptiness did not consist in the nature of appearing phenomena, it would not be the true property (chos nyid) of appearing phenomena."

"Because [imputation of an ultimately real nature] is removed by establishing [emptiness] as true property [of appearing phenomena] through inference; therefore, as it is the true property, [emptiness] is the nature of appearing phenomena'." (32)

bDen gnyis 'grel ba, too, gives the same set of a prasanga with (the logical reason) of perception of what is pervaded by the incompatible ('gal bas khyab pa dmigs pa) and an implied svatantra with the logical reason of [perception of] what is incompatible with the pervading property (khyab byed 'gal ba [dmigs pa]) as in the previous case. Again, apart from the different classification, there is no obvious essential difference from Shar gsum stong thun:

"Consequently, freedom from proliferation would not be the true property of the conventional, because these two are mutually exclusive." "Because [mutal exclusion] is invalidated by ascertaining through inference that [freedom from proliferation] is the true property [of the conventional], (these two) are not mutually exclusive." (33)

The type of prasanga and implied svatantra mentioned by Shar gsum stong thun in these two cases correspond to the fourth (according to Shakya mchog ldan, No 13 in Go ram pa's list) of Sa skya Pandita's "prasangas implying an heterogeneous svatantra (rang rigs 'phen pa)". The type given in bDen gnyis 'grel ba appears, slightly modified, only in Go ram pa's accout (No 12: 'gal ba'i khyab bya dmigs pa--khyab byed dang 'gal ba de dmigs pa). In Shakya mchog ldan's list, we find two pairs that could--possibly--be referred to:

No 5: prasanga with the logical reason of perception of what is pervaded by something incompatible with the essential property (rang bzhin dang 'gal ba'i khyab bya dmigs pa, svabhavaviruddhavyaptopalabdhi)--implied svatantra with the logical reason of perception of the essential property being incompatible with the pervading property (khyab byed dang 'gal ba'i rang bzhin dmigs pa, *vyapakaviruddhasvabhavopalabdhi), No 13: prasanga with the logical reason of perception of the essential property being incompatible with the pervading property (khyab byed dang 'gal ba'i rang bzhin dmigs pa, *vyapakaviruddhasvabhvopalabdhi)--implied svatantra with the logical reason of perception of what is pervaded by something incompatible with the essential property (rang bzhin dang 'gal ba'i khyab bya dmigs pa, svabhavaviruddhavyaptopalabdhi). (34)

According to the formulation, No 5 might be closer to bDen gnyis 'grel ba than No 13, but both of them are listed by Go ram pa separately (Nos 3 and 9), so that an identification of bDen gnyis 'grel ba with either of them does not seem to be justified. (35) Specialists in the field of logic and epistemology will have to decide this question.

3) "For appearing phenomena the mere negation of a real thing would not be suited to being the essential property (svabhava)."

This consequence poses some problems. The text of Shar gsum stong thun appears to be incomplete in the manuscript edited in Tauscher 1999a as well as in the bKa' gdams gsung 'bum, which represents a different manuscript. The latter, however, provides a variant reading, in the light of which my previous attempts to hypothetically reconstruct the original message of the text (36) do not apply any more.

The prasanga can now be read as: "This mere negation of person (pudgala) and entity (dharma) for the conditioned would not be suchness, because [suchness] is different from the conditioned." (37) However, the problem remains that it is called "a prasanga refuting an affirmed pervasion with the logical reason ascertained by valid cognition" (khyab pa khas blangs pa rtags tshad mas nges pa'i sun 'byin pa'i thal ba). Could this be a paraphrase of the technical term "non-perception of the pervading property" (khyab byed mi dmigs pa)? In this case, the addition "ascertained by valid cognition" would be a general rather than a distinctive description of the logical reason, similar to the expression "conventionally proving" (tha snyad sgrubpa) in the same context. (38) The implied svatantra, which is missing here, would have to operate with the logical reason of essential property, just as above.

It would also agree with bDen gnyis 'grel ba, where a prasanga of non-perception of the pervading property is given. The type of implied svatantra is not mentioned, but, again, it should be one with the logical reason of essential property. (39)

4) "The gnosis of the Buddha would be defiled and pure at the same time."

In this case Shar gsum stong thun and bDen gnyis 'grel ba agree on a different type of prasanga, (40) i.e. the one with the logical reason of essential property, implying a svatantra of non-perception of the pervading property (No 2 of Sa skya Pandita's list, No 14 of Go ram pa): "Defilement and purification would occur simultaneously in one mental continuum, because it embraces a 'real thing' as well as perceives emptiness." "Defilement and purification do not occur simultaneously for the Buddha, because this is invalidated by authoritative scripture; therefore the conditioned and emptiness are not seen separately." (41)

bDen gnyis 'grel ba formulates a very similar prasanga and implied svatantra. (42)

With regard to the unacceptable consequences of the assumption that the absolute and the conventional are not different (with regard to the characteristic distinction [ldog pa, vyavrtti]), Shar gsum stong thun and bDen gnyis 'grel ba agree in all four cases.

For consequence 1) "Emptiness would be suited to being cognized by direct perception of ordinary beings," and 2) "Emptiness would be a support (alambana) for the obstructions (avarana)," they both give a prasanga with the logical reason of the essential property (rang bzhin, svabhava) which implies a svatantra with the logical reason of non-perception of the pervading property (khyab byed mi dmigs pa, vyapakanupalabdhi). (43)

For consequence 3) "Also physical (rupin) and non-physical phenomena would be without divisions, because they are non-different from emptiness with regard to the characteristic distinction," and 4) "It would not be necessary to seek emptiness in a way other than through seeing and hearing, viz. through contemplative endeavor, because it is non-different from appearing phenomena with regard to the characteristic distinction," both texts state a prasanga with the logical reason of the perception of what is pervaded by the incompatible ('gal bas khyab pa dmigs pa, viruddhavyaptopalabdhi), and an implied svatantra with the logical reason of perception of what is incompatible with the pervading property (khyab byed 'gal ba dmigs pa, vyapakaviruddhopalabdhi). (44)

The diverging classification of the prasanga for the consequences 1) and 2) of the position that the absolute and the conventional are different in nature could reflect a development in Phya pa's prasanga classification--nothing is known about the relative chronology of his works. However, it could also represent an error of the actual "author" of either text, presumably of the bDen gnyis 'grel ba. The colophons of both the bDen gnyis 'grel ba and its bsDus don say: "composed by the logician monk Chos kyi seng ge" (rig(s) par smra ba'i dge slong Chos kyi seng ges sbyar pa). Nevertheless, there is some evidence that evokes the impression that one of the texts or both are lecture-notes taken by some pupils rather than Phya pa's own writing; of course, there is no "proof" for this--admittedly rather personal and speculative--assumption. If it is correct, it would by no means be a unique situation; several examples are known within the Tibetan tradition, where the explanations of a master were actually written down by a student, and nevertheless the text is transmitted under the authorship of the master. In general, one can conclude nothing from this fact. Here, however, it might have some significance.

The specific classification of the prasanga can serve as one evidence for this assumption, but only if it is viewed in combination with others, e.g., the reference to this classification in a context, where it is obviously out of place.

Within the commentary on SDV 6, the section "Refuting the application of (the term paramarthasatya) to a conceptual basis of characteristics, i.e. an affirming negation" (de mtshan gzhi snang bcas ma yin dgag la 'jug pa dgag pa) (45) has a sub-division: "Proof of paksadharmata" (phyogs chos sgrubpa). Within that, we find a sub-section "Proof by logical argumentation in the case of a different understanding of the meaning of the scriptural authority" (lung gi don gzhan du rtog pa la rigs pas bsgrub pa). "Scriptural authority", in this case, refers to a quotation from the Dharmasahgitisutra: "Not seeing anything/something particular is seeing reality" ('ga' yang mthong med pa ni de kho na mthong ba'o), and the discussion is exactly on the question whether 'ga'yang should be understood as "anything (i.e. everything whatsoever)" or "something particular". In fact it is a discussion on the Yogacara concept of self-perception (rang rig, svasamvedana). (46)

This section, in turn, has a very short sub-section entitled "The prasanga implying [a svatantra] proving pakcadharmata in the (syllogism mentioned before)" (de'i phyogs chos sgrub byed 'phen pa'i thal ba). It consists of nothing but the identification of the passage in SDVV commented on, and the name the particular type of prasanga and implied svatantra:

"To the objection that (cognition) is not established without the projection of aspects, it is replied: 'If one assumes that it [perceives] its own picture ...' [SDVV 157,29f.]. 'Because of the projection of aspects it follows that the object of experience and the experiencing subject are of different substance' is a prasanga with the logical reason of essential property. 'Because they are not of different substance, there is no place for a projection of aspects' is a svatantra (with the logical reason) of non-perception of the pervading property." (47)

This is definitely not the topic here, and the sa bcad heading is equally misplaced in the given context as dealing with the prasanga classification in general. Of course, this judgement is based on a personal impression, and the specific approach to the question might not be particularely "scholarly", but it suggests itself to imagine the concrete "classroom" situation: Phya pa, in the course of discussing the given topic, points out that here, again, it is the case of a prasanga of this and that kind (which they might have talked about the previous day), and the student, knowing the master's obsession, notes down exactly this as the crucial point.

Fortunately, the bDen gnyis bsdus don provides an opportunity to scrutinize suspicions with regard to the overall structure of the bDen gnyis 'grel ba. The bsDus don is nothing but the structural outline (sa bcad) of the SDV(V) according to the interpretation of Phya pa Chos kyi seng ge, or rather, to Phya pa's explanations of of this text. As the example below will demonstrate, it is by no means sure that it is also the structural outline of that bDen gnyis 'grel ba wich is extant among Phya pa's writings. To a large degree, it agrees with the sa bcad of the bDen gnyis 'grel ba, but there are also considerable divergences: sub-divisions mentioned in one text, but not in the other, and diverting titles of the sections, etc. Unfortunately, one of the more essential divergences occurs exactly at this particular section commenting on verse 6 of the SDV; it provides no help at all with the question whether the sa bcad section "de'i phyogs chos sgrub byed 'phen pa'i thal ba" is authentic.

The 'Grel ba does not mention any division for the chapter "Proof by logical argumentation in the case of a different understanding of the meaning of the scriptural authority" (lung gi don gzhan du rtog pa la rigs pas bsgrub pa) as such. It starts with stating the Yogacara position, that 'ga' yang mthong ba med pa means "not seeing parakalpita"--indicated as "[bstan pa]" in the chart below--, and it structures only its refutation, which consists of three parts: "The opponent's position" (gzhan lugs), "It's refutation" (de sun dbyung pa) and "The own position" (rang lugs).

This third section consists of the two main parts mentioned in the bsDus don as the two divisions of the entire chapter: "Refutation of seeing paratantra and parinispanna" (gzhan dbang dang yongs grub gzigs pa dgag pa) (ad SDV 6a-c), and "Refutation of [the assumption] that paratantra belongs to the absolute" (gzhan dbang don dam nyid la dgag pa) (ad SDV 6d).

That means that the initial part containing the presentation and refutation of the opponent's position in the 'Grel ba is included in the first main section of the bsDus don, represented by the first sub-section, "Dispute" (rgol ba). This correspondence between "Dispute" in bsDus don and "Its refutation" (de sun 'byin pa) and "Opponent's position" (gzhan gyi lugs) in 'Grel ba is attested by the use of the same pratlkas of SDV(V) in both texts.

The section "Proof of pervasion" (khyab pa bsgrub pa, 312.23 in 'Grel ba, 132.3 in bsDus don) is not subdivided in 'Grel ba. However, according to the pratikas quoted, together with the first sub-section of the following "It's refutation" (de sun dbyung ba, 312.24), it covers the same passages of SDVV as bsDus don 132.31 to 132.332.

All these details show that the two sa bcad do agree basically, but are considerably divergent with regard to the detailed structure of the text/ lecture. For this fact, two possible explanations are self-suggesting. a) They do not refer to the same lecture. In this case it can be ruled out that both of them are based on an actual "text" composed by Phya pa; one or both of them represent lecture notes by students taken on the occasion of two different lectures of Phya pa on the same topic. b) They do refer to the same lecture, but due to the fact that Phya pa's explanations on this section are quite sophisticated and given from various points of view, coming back to the same passages (+pratikas) several times, his students arrived at different opinions on the actual strucure of the lecture. A third theoretically possible alternative need not be taken into consideration: the two texts are based on different lectures, and confusion about the structure occurs in addition.

Apart from that, the sa bcad of the bDen gnyis 'grel ba show features that would not--again in a personal and unscholarly judgment--be expected with an analytical mind like Phya pa Chos kyi seng ge: The sections de sun 'byin pa ([B]) and de sun dbyung ba ([B] 2) denote exactly the same part of the discussion, and also ... de dgag pa ([B] 133) serves largely the same purpose. This is--at least--clumsy.

However, inconsistencies within a sa bcad are to be found elsewhere, too, and they do not necessarily represent an evidence against Phya pa's direct authorship of the text. In the Shar gsum stong thun, e.g., the sections 112.4 "Presentation of the own system" (rang gi lugs rnam par gzhagpa), 112.5 "Avoiding the (unacceptable) consequence taught in the autoritative scriptures in this (context) (de la lung nas gsungs pa'i thal pa spang ba), and 112.6 "Avoiding the mistake, that the position of the two realities identical in nature (implies) an absolute(ly real) nature" (bden pa gnyis dngos po gcig pa'i phyogs la don dam pa'i dngos po grub par thal ba'i skyon spang ba ) are, in fact, sub-divisions of 112.3 "Negation of (the position that the two realities) are non-different with regard to the characteristic distinction (ldog pa ta dad myed pd dgag pa), rather than sections on the same level. Of course, the respective doubts could be extended to the Shar gsum stong thun as well, but the evidence is certaily not significant enough to justify this.

All the "summaries" (bsdus don) contained in the bKa' gdams gsung 'bum under the authorship of Phya pa show an interesting peculiarity, the "recursive sa bcad". On several occasions, in particular within longer enumerations of divisions, sub and sub-sub-divisions, the titles of the subordinate sections are listed--in a rather unique manner--before the superior one. E.g., in the hypothetical case of a section consisting of four sub-sections, the second of which, in turn, contains three further divisions, and the third of two, a sa bcad in "normal" style would read: x la bzhi | (1)... dang | (2) ... dang | (3) ... dang | (4) ... | gnyis pa la gsum | (21) ... dang | (22) ... dang | (23) ... | gsum pa la gnyis | (31) ... dang | (32) ... | . Here, however, immediately after the announcement of four subsections of the particular chapter, a list of nine headings would follow: x la bzhi | (1) ... dang | (21) ... dang | (22) ... dang | (23) ... kyis/pas | (2) ... dang | (31) ... dang | (32) ... kyis/pas | (3) ... dang | (4) ... |.48

This particular style of sa bcad writing appears in the bDen gynis bsdus don as well as in the rNam nges bsdus don, the sPyod 'jug bsdus don, the small fragment of the bSlab btus bsdus don and also in the rGyud bla ma'i bsdus don, but it is not known--at least not to me--in any other text of the Tibetan exegetical tradition. unless we want to assume that all these bsdus don texts were written down by the same student--I wonder who that might have been--of Phya pa's, who had developed his own individual style of writing sa bcad, the "recursive sa bcad" has to be seen as reflecting a caprice of Phya pa Chos kyi seng ge himself.

As for Phya pa's oeuvre in general, for centuries all of his works have been considered lost; only in the last fifteen years they keep re-appearing, and the question arises, why this might have been so? To the best of my knowledge, there was no politically motivated ban of his works, as was the case with the writings of some Sa skya authors like sTag tshang lotsava etc., or treatises that propagated the gzhan stong theory. Irrelevance, too, can hardly have been the reason. Phya pa's influence on the development of the Tibetan, in particular the dGe lugs pa, Pramana and bsdus grwa traditions is well attested and has been studied by various scholars; but his Pramana works shared the fate of his other writings. Similarly, Phya pa seems to have influenced also the development of Tibetan Madhyamaka exegesis.--The question remains, why was his work forgotten by the local tradition? As stated initially, the present paper does not claim to answer this question. Ronald Davidson, however, provides an answer: "Because of his contrarious [!] disposition, Chapa's ideas were cited later by Sakya Pandita as the preeminent expression of Tibetan doctrinal innovation, which was the kiss of death for Chapa's proposals." (49) A note to this passage refers to two chapters in Jackson 1987, but they do not contain any statement by Sa skya Pandita that could be interpereted in this way. Instead, there is a quotation of Shakya mchog ldan's Rigs gter rnam bshad, which reads: "That reasoning of Phya pa ... ignores all the excellent expositions in the basic treatises and merely puts together with great zeal what had not been expounded." (50)

Regardless of whether Sa skya Pandita or Shakya mchog ldan evaluated Phya pa in this way, it certainly did not mean "the kiss of death" for his proposals. Accusations of that kind were rather frequent at that time, and a very similar statement Shakya mchog ldan make also about Tsong kha pa: "The rin po che Blo bzang . made his own analyses with the argumentations of a logician, and as a support he quoted many passages from authoritative scriptures, which he arranged [according to his intentions], although they did not fit; so he established many tenets with regard to Madhyamaka and Yogacara, Sutra and Tantra, that were previously unknown." (51)

Accordingly, possibly in a direct response to this accusation of Shakya mchog ldan's, when praising the achievements of Tsong kha pa, lCang skya Rol pa'i rdo rje (1717-1780) says: "Thus, this venerable one [Tsong-khapa] . was never tainted by the fault of oversimplification and fabrication; he went back to the thought of each of the founding scholars and adepts and, in addition, he went back to the word of the Conqueror." (52)

Unlike contemporary western universities, where "innovation" is a magic word which opens many doors--to fundings, among others --, middle age Tibetan Buddhist tradition did not appreciate this idea at all. Exegesis had to be an explanation of the Buddha's word and in harmony with the expositions of the teachers of the old days, in particular with the Indian masters. Nevertheless, the great minds of all times were--naturally--innovative.

It is not by chance that here Tsong kha pa is chosen as an example.

He and Phya pa seem to be contrary in their views, the former being a declared Prasangika, the latter an inveterate Svatantrika. However, most probably they are very much alike in many ways. Of course, there are many divergences, e.g., with regard to explaining the Buddha's perception of the conventional, (53) but also agreements on basic questions. Besides, both of them were apparently in opposition to the mainstream interpretations of their times, and both of them were innovative.

Apparently, the dGe lugs pa tradition does not share the opinion that there might be similarities between Phya pa and Tsong kha pa in their Madhyamaka interpretations. Generally, Phya pa is viewed as somebody who represents wrong positions, although he is respected for his achievments on the "path of reasoning".

However, concrete references to Phya pa's Madhyamaka position are primarily to be found within the writings of Shakya mchog ldan. (54) He also quotes and refutes two chapters of Shar gsum stong thun, which discuss why it is not justified not to accept an independent proof and refute the validity of a prasanga in refuting a realistic position. (55)

In dGe lugs pa literature Tsong kha pa (1357-1409) and mKhas grub rje dGe legs dpal bzang (1385-1438) refer to Phya pa; later authors mention his name only in identifying opponents (kha cig) in Tsong kha pa's writings. usually they all do so in rather vague formulations like "somebody like ..." (... la sogs pa; ... lta bu). The following survey does not claim completeness.

* Tsong kha pa: "Phya pa chos kyi seng ge and other Tibetan scholars also said that a svatantra was inappropriate in the case of a [nonexistent] subject imputed by non-Buddhists." (56)

* mKhas grub rje states that "somebody like Phya pa" takes "unreal" (bden med) as "established in reality" (bden grub), because he does not distinguish between "fit to withstand investigation by logical analysis which investigates the absolute" (de kho na nyid dpyod pa 'i rigs pas dpyad bzod) and "established by logical argumentation" (rigs pas grub pa). The same misunderstanding, he says, is also the reason for rNgog lotsava's position that absolute reality is not an object of cognition (don dam bden pa shes bya ma yin).57

* 'Jams dbyangs bshad pa'i rdo rje Ngag dbang brtson 'grus (1648-1721) more or less repeats mKhas grub rje's statement. (58)

When discussing various unacceptable identifications of the basis of distinction (dbye gzhi) ofthe two realities, 'Jams dbyangs bshad pa mentions "objects that are not imputed" (sgro ma brtags pa'i yul). He does not give a name here, but he might refer to Phya pa Chos kyi seng ge (see below).

* A kya yongs 'dzin (1740-1827) mentions Phya pa as a representative of a definition of the object of negation (dgag bya) which is too wide, which leads to taking conventional reality (samvrtisatya) as inexistent. (59)

* Gung thang dKon mchog bstan pa'i sgron me (1762-1823) and Blo gros rgya mtsho (1851-1930 ?), commenting on verse 7 of Tson kha pa's rTen 'brel bstodpa legs bsad snih po, identify "those who untiringly adhered to the path of reasoning" (rigs lam), but could not understand the essence of Madhyamaka with "Phya pa etc." (60)

Tsong kha pa's reference to Phya pa would certainly not represent a major issue of controversy, and, in fact, his evaluation of Phya pa does not appears not to be clearly and fundamentally negative; with his predecessors, it is definitely the case. However, their "accusations" become increasingly vague, the later the authors are, and very strong doubt arises as to whether they really knew Phya pa. The suspicion seems to be justified that they merely repeated standard opinions that were never questioned.

What does Phya pa Chos kyi seng ge himself say on these points? Tsong kha pa's remark that Phya would hold a svatantra as "inappropriate in the case of a [non-existent] subject imputed by non-Buddhists" can certainly not be verified. In his Shar gsum stong thun he takes great pains to demonstrate exactly the opposite. One chapter is entitled "Refutation of (the position) that the object of negation [which is substantiality propagated by realistic systems] is negated by a prasanga" (dgag bya thal 'gyur gyis 'gog pa sun dbyung ba) (61). The position that a svatantra is in-appropriate for doing so is dealt with in the sub-section "Formulation of the opponent's system" (gzhan gyi lugs dgod pa) (62) within that chapter. He even states that a prasanga is "utterly incapable of refuting the object of negation" (dgag bya gtan dgag mi nus pa) (63).

However, the chapter title "Inadmissibility/impossibility of refuting the realists by prasanga" (thal 'gyur gyis dngos por smra ba 'gog pa mi 'thad/nus pa), (64) Shakya mchog ldan quotes with an amendment "... by prasanga alone (thal 'gyur rkyang pas ...)". (65) This would indicate an agreement with Kamalasila's position as it is pointed out by Tsong kha pa in his dBu ma rgyan gyi zin bris, viz. that both methods have to be applied. (66)

One passage in the bDen gnyis 'grel ba points to the same direction. In the course of discussing the second consequence mentioned in SNS to result from the assumption that the conventional and the absolute are different in nature, it reads: "The mutual exclusion (of the conventional and the absolute) is invalidated by the prasanga ... and the thereby implied svatantra ..." (... thal ba dang | de la ... rang rgyud 'phangs pas phan tshun spangs pa la gnod do).

On the other hand, in the context of the first consequence, within the same two lines of the manuscript, apparently the svatantra (alone?) refutes the faulty view: "The svatantra ... implied by the prasanga ... implicitly negates the difference (of the absolute) from the conventional" (... thal bas ... rang rgyud 'phangs pas kun rdzob las gzhan yin pa shugs la khegs ste). (67)

In the context of this paper it would lead too far to discuss in detail Phya pa's understanding of concepts like "fit to withstand investigation by logical analysis which investigates the absolute" (de kho na nyid dpyod pa'i rigs pas dpyad bzod) and "established by logical argumentation" (rigs pas grub pa), and his exact definition of the object of negation. However, no justification for the respective evaluations by mKhas grub rje and A kya yongs 'dzin is evident in Phya pa's writings.

For the time being, let us return to the question of Phya pa's innovations. Regardless of whether or not Davidson's judgment quoted above (see above, n. 49) is to the point, to some extent Phya pa is certainly innovative, just as Tsong kha pa is. Of course, they both do not propagate the same Madhyamaka exegesis, but they are certainly very close with regard to basic ideas, and they both stress the same or similar topics and problems.

In his very basic approach, Phya pa Chos kyi seng ge is not innovative at all. One would rather call him "conservative" in maintaining the exegetical tradition of Jnanagarbha, Santaraksita and Kamalasila, and strictly rejecting the works and the tradition of Candrakirti, which were only recently introduced to Tibet.

His combining Madhyamaka and Pramana methods and ideas, too, is nothing "new". He might exceed his predecessors in this respect, but basically he continues the tradition of the Indian masters mentioned above, and of rNgog lotsava.

At the present stage, his innovations can be seen on two levels, a) structural and b) doctrinal.

a) The overall structure of the discussion of the two realities (bden pa gnyis) that Phya pa set out in his Shar gsum stong thun became the model for all later Tibetan--in particular dGe lugs pa--treatises on this topic:

Distinction of the 2 realities (bden pa gnyis kyi dbye ba)

Basis of distinction (dbye ba'i gzhi)

Mode of distinction (dbye ba'i don), i.e., the discussion of the four possible kinds of difference between the two realities. In this context, Phya pa bases his discussion of whether the two realities are the same or different in nature or with regard to their to the characteristic distinction (ldog pa, vyavrtti) on SNS 3,3-5, and this sutra passage became the locus classicus for this kind of discussion in later centuries, up to the present time.

Ascertainment of the number of realities (grangs nges pa)

Meaning of the terms (ming gi don)

Characteristics of the two realities (bden pa gnyis kyi mtshan nyid).

b) As already stated, a detailed analysis of Phya pa's doctrinal position and, accordingly, an evaluation of his doctrinal innovations are not yet possible. Thus, this paper will concentrate only on very basic concepts. They might appear to be merely formal issues, but each of these topics deals with an essential aspect of a complex ontological system, implies all the other topics, and focuses on the same doctrinal essence; each of them could serve as a complete description of the system.

1) Absolute reality (don dam bden pa, paramarthasatya) is an object of cognition (shes bya). It is not clear whether this position is to be counted as an "innovation", but it certainly is in strict opposition to rNgog lotsava and probably other contemporaries of Phya pa. This topic touches a major ontological issue, as it counts the absolute among the "existing things", and does not only interpret it as a particular way of viewing reality. This question is of major importance also in Tsong kha pa's writings. (68)

2) Identification of the object of negation (dgag bya): In Tsong kha pa's exegesis, this expression turned from a general and neutral term ("that which is to be negated", pratisedhya) into a technical term, denoting everything that is opposed to absolute reality and the cognition thereof. It has to be properly identified in order to arrive at a correct understanding of emptiness (sunyata) (69) In Phya pa's usage of the term, we find first traces of this development.

3) Basis of distinction (dbye gzhi) of the two realities: Apparently, Phya pa was the first one to introduce this category into Madhyamaka exegesis. Again, it is a crucial ontological issue, and, although this point has already been mentiond under the "structural innovations" of Phya pa, it is of doctrinal relevance.

Later discuss in a more or less detailed way what could be taken, and actually is taken, as a basis of distinguishing the two realities. It is not clear in all cases who's position is actually referred to: (70)

* appearance as such (snang ba tsam)--ascribed to rNgog lotsava by 'Jam dbyangs bzhad pa (71)

* the nature of (all entities) from matter to omniscience (gzugs nas rnam mkhyen bar gyi ngo bo)

* objects that are not imputed (sgro ma brtags pa'i yul)--Phya pa (?)

* objects of cognition that are not investigated and analysed (ma brtags ma dpyad pa'i shes bya), "mere entities that are differentiated by means of different sorts of cognition"

* cognition as such (blo tsam)--Sa skya Pandita, Go ram pa

* reality/truth as such (bden pa tsam)

* dependently originated things as such (rten 'brel tsam)

* objects of cognition as such (shes bya tsam)--ascribed to "some (masters) of the old days" (snga rabs pa 'ga' zhig) by Rong ston Shes bya kun rig (1357-1449), and to Pa tshab Nyi ma grags (*1055) by Go ram pa to; Tsong kha pa

If 'Jam dbyangs bzhad pa and Go ram pa are right in ascribing such position to rNgog lotsava and, respectively, to Pa tshab Nyi ma grags, it is, of course, not justified to credit Phya pa with the introduction of the dbye bzhi debate into Madhyamaka exegesis. However, it is doubtful whether these two older masters really did operate with these categories; the respective statements might be correct in essence, but not in detail. (72)

Among these positions, only the one of Phya pa (if he is really referred to in this case) and of Tsong kha pa operate with ontological categories; all the others are mainly epistemological. Tsong kha pa's position has to be stressed in particular. In his exegesis this is an important point, because, in his view, the two satyas should cover everything existent, i.e., all objects of cognition. This is the basis for taking both satyas as "conventually existent" (tha snad du yod pa), i.e. as ontological and not as epistemological categories, with all its implications. This fact becomes clear, e.g., from Sakya mchog ldan's critique on the interpretation of the basis of distinction as "the objects of cognition as such". It argues that "object of cognition" (shes bya) and "existent" (yod pa) have the same range of meaning, whereas conventional reality (samvrtisatya) is not necessarily existent. (73)

Again, we have to ask the question: what does Phya pa really say on that topic? For him, the basis of distinction is "the basis of definition as such" (mtshan gzhi tsam), i.e., the the object of cognition (shes bya) or the object of valid cognition (tshadma'i gzhal bya), or, in other words, "that which is charcterized as an object of cognition". In the Shar gsum stong thun he says:

"It is suitable to take as the realm of mind (blo'i yul) that nature (of things) which is constituted after abolishing its opposite by valid cognition; therefore, the ultimate and the conventional reality have to be distinguished, after taking the mere basis of definition (i.e. that) which is signified as object of cognition, as the basis.

Further, as the characteristic distinction (ldog pa, vyavrtti) of an object of valid cognition (tshad ma'i gzhal bya) is an implying negation, it is only conventional reality; nevertheless it is suiting as the basis of distinction of the two realities, because the basis of definition which is an object of valid cognition pervades all nonimplying and implying negations." (74)

In the introduction to this passage he even uses the same reason that Tsong kha pa gives for taking "objects of cognition as such" (shes bya tsam) as the basis of distinction, however, in a slightly different context:

"As no base of the objects of cognition does exceed the two realities, the meaning of the two realities shall be ascertained correctly by logical argumentation." (75)

Similarly, in the bDen gnyis 'grel ba, the basis of distinction is defined as "an object of cognition", i.e., a basis of definition which is suiting as a support for the conventional designation "definiendum" (mtshon bya) or "object of cognition" (shes bya) (... mtshon bya shes bya'i tha snyad rten du rung ba'i mtshan gzhi shes bya). (76)

"Objects that are not imputed" (sgro ma brtags pa'i yul) are not mentioned. Of course, taking into consideration Phya pa's definition as it is related by Shakya mchog ldan: "(Valid cognition) is pervaded by being a non-erroneous mode of cognition and by being able to eliminate (erroneous) imputation" (77) this is implied, but that does not put it into contradiction with Tsong kha pa's position.

'Jam dbyangs bshad pa is not of this opinion. He argues that in this case also mirage and magical appearance would not fall under "imputed by defective sense faculties". (78) According to dGe lugs pa position they are conventional reality, however, only in their aspect of the "appearing object" (snang yul), not as a "conceptual object" (zhen yul); as such they would be non-existent. Taking this differentiation into consideration, by Phya pa's condition for "valid cognition", i.e. the ability to eliminate imputation, only the appearing object would be excluded from being imputed by defective sense-faculties; the conceptual object would be excluded from being an object of valid cognition and, thereby, from being classified as basis of distinction. That means, Phya pa would be in total harmony with Tsong kha pa, if he would argue in that way; however, he does not. In Svatantrika manner, he distinguishes between correct and wrong conventional reality. So, formally, 'Jam dbyangs bshad pa's critique is correct: with Phya pa's definition of the basis of distinction being valid, mirage etc., indeed, should not depend on "imputation by defective sense faculties".

Either Phya pa uses the term "imputation" in a narrower sense than the dGe lugs pa tradition does, or we have here a case of real inconsistency, a shortcoming of a not yet fully developed system.

4) The difference between the two realities. The relation between the two realities could be:

* Different things (dngos po tha dad pa) with a distinct functional efficiency each, like "pot" and "cloth",

* the "difference of negated identity" (gcig pa bkag pa'i tha dad pa), which means that the one does not have the same nature (bdag nyid) as the other, even though they have no distinct functional efficiencies, like "real" and "unreal",

* "identity in nature and difference with regard to the distinguishing characteristics" (ngo bog cig la ldog pa tha dad pa),

* pseudo-difference (tha dad lta bu), as it is the case with synonyms. (79) The first and the last alternative are merely theoretical and need not be discussed in detail.

The "difference of negated identity" poses a problem, as it sounds like a tautology, and the actual meaning of the term is still unclear. (80) It implies the difference of two things, one of which is unreal, and it means that they are "undeterminable as being the same or different" (de nyid dang gzhan du brjod du med pa, tattvanyatvabhyam anirvacaniya). This explanation is given by Dal po pa She rab rgyal mtshan (1292-1361),81 and he might also be the opponent who uses this definition as an argument. (82)

Although Phya pa propagates this kind of relation in the context of the three kaya of the Buddha, (83) he strictly opposes it with regard to the two realities and Phya pa refutes at length. (84) His main arguments are that under the condition that emptiness and the conventional reality were not identical in nature:

* sunyata [as a synonym of ultimate reality] and conventional reality would not be of identical nature (stong pa nid dang kun rdzob ngo bo gcig ma yin pa). That would mean that things are established as ultimately real, because they were essentially different from their emptiness and there was no connection between these two.

* An emptiness that was of the same nature as the appearing things could not be their ultimate reality (ngo bo gcig pa'i stong pa nid don dam pa'i bden pa ma yin pa). In this case, the realisation of ultimate reality would not be opposed to the concept of and the clinging to ultimately real things; liberation would be impossible, or ultimate reality would not exist at all.

Tsong kha pa, too, discusses this kind of difference in some detail. However, he does not actually refute it, but accepts it as the position of some "masters of the old days" (snga rabspa).

With regard to their own position, however, Phya pa Chos kyi seng ge and Tsong kha agree: the two realities are "identical in nature, but different with regard to the characteristic distinction" (ngo bo gcig la ldog pa tha dad pa).

Phya pa and most of the later dGe lugs pa authors--though not Tsong kha pa --base the respective discussion on the four unacceptable consequences taught in SNS 3, 3-5 for the assuption that the ultimate and the conventional are non-different and for the assumption that they are different. These consequences have already been dealt with (see above pp. 6-10) and need not be repeated here. It has, however, to be noted that SNS speaks only of a position that "the characteristic of the conditioned and the characteristic ofthe ultimate are non-different or different" ('du byed kyi mtshan nyid dang | don dam pa'i mtshan nyid tha dad pa ma yin pa'am | tha dad pa zhes zer ba). Phya pa and the dGe lugs pa authors interpret "non-different" as "non-different with regard to the characteristic distinction" (ldog pa tha dad med pa) and "different" as "different in nature" (ngo bo tha dad).

The passage of SNS, however, leaves room for various interpretations. In later centuries it was used as a scriptural evidence for other positions as well, like the "difference of negated identity" (gcig pa bkag pa'i tha dad) between the two realities, or the two realities being "identical or different in no way whatsoever" (gcig tha dad gang yang ma yin pa). (85)

These few examples might suffice to show that Phya pa did have some impact on the Tibetan Madhyamaka exegese; much more research work is needed to fully understand it. But why has he been neglect for centuries? Is it possible that the Madhyamika Phya pa Chos kyi seng ge was ignored by the later tradition merely because of his "bad reputation" as a strict Svatantrika (even if this reputation might not be fully justified)? Most probably, this question will never be answered.

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Helmut Tauscher

Vienna

(1) Alternative spellings of this name are "Phywa pa" and "Cha pa".

(2) TAUSCHER 1999a.

(3) See TAUSCHER 1999b, 2003.

(4) VOSE 2009.

(5) See e.g. KUIJP 1978, 1983; JACKSON 1987; TILLEMANS 1989; ONODA 1986, 1992; KELLNER 1997.

(6) See several chapters in Hugon 2008a, Hugon 2008b, 2009 and forthcoming a, b, c; STOLTZ 2007 and forthcoming.

(7) KANO 2003.

(8) This information I owe to Pascale Hugon, personal communication.

(9) See KUIJP 1978: 355.

(10) Padma chos 'byung, 190b.

(11) See TAUSCHER 1995, n.4.

(12) See ONODA 1989: 205f.

(13) Blue Annals: 332f.

(14) Tshad ma'i byung tshul: 12.

(15) One verse is quoted in Shar gsum; see Tauscher 1999, n. 91.

(16) Cf. Kuijp 1978: 357.

(17) Lung rigs rgya mtsho rgya mtsho 14: 518,5-522,6; 522,6-533,2.

(18) dPe rgyun dkon pa 'ga' zhig gi tho yig. Don gnyer yid kyi kunda bzhad pa'i zla 'od 'bum gyi snye ma. See Lokesh Chandra 1963: 637ff.

(19) Lokesh Chandra 1963: 629.

(20) Op. cit.: 637-677, Nos. 11076, 11317-11321, 11473, 11803-11806, 11910.

(21) The titles are quoted in the form in which they appear in the catalogue (dkar chag) of the bKa' gdams gsung 'bum and the volume-dkar chag. Alternative titles given in the colophons are separated from the first entry by an oblique. In cases where the difference between dkar chag and colophon consist in merely a few additional syllables, these are given between brackets.

(22) Cf. TAUSCHER 1995: 122f.

(23) On this topic, see TAUSCHER 2003.

(24) Blue Annals: 334.

(25) dBu ma'i byung tshul: 234,6: ... Zla ba'i bstan bcos kyi tshig don gnyis ka la dgag pa'i rnam grangs shin tu mang po yod pa'i bstan bcas mdzad.

(26) On the term stong thun, meaning "summary of the crucial points", cf. the explanation of Tshig mdzod chen mo: gnad don stong phrag du ma thun thun du bsdus pa ste spyi don; vgl. Yoshimizu 1996: 7.

(27) See TAUSCHER 1999b: n. 2 and 3.

(28) See ONODA 1986: 81f. and 1992 85f.

(29) SNS 3. 3-5. For a discussion of the respective passage in the Shar gsum thong thun see TAUSCHER 2003: 213-218.

(30) Shar gsum stong thun: 6,2-7: stong nyid ... 'jal ba po des snang ba la bden pa'i dngos po'i sgro 'dogs mi gcod par thal te snang ba'i bdag nyid mi 'jal ba'i phyir ... sgro 'dogs sel bar grub pa'i myong bas bsal bas snang ba la sgro 'dogs sel bas de'i rdzas 'jal lo.

(31) bDen gnyis 'grel ba: 195,1 (plus insertion in the margin): don dam pa stong pa nyid du 'jal ba des kun rdzob pa 'di dngos por yod pa'i sgro 'dogs la myi gnodpar 'gyur te | kun rdzob kyi bden pa las gzhan 'jal ba'i phyir ... kun rdzob la sgro 'dogs la gnod pas kun rdzob las gzhan 'jal ma yin. For the type of prasanga and implied svatantra, and its origins in Indian Buddhist philosophy, see KAJIYAMA 1998: 133 and 83.

(32) Shar gsum stong thun: 6,10-13: stong pa nyid snang ba'i ngo bor mi gnas pas snang ba'i chos nyid ma yin par 'gyur te ... rjes dpag gis chos nyid du grub pas bsal bas chos nyid yin pas snang ba'i ngo bo yin no.

(33) bDen gnyis 'grel ba: 195, insertion in the margin, 2: spros bral kun rdzob pa'i chos nyid ma yin par thal te | de gnyis phan tshun spangs pa'i phyir ... chos nyid du rjes dpag gis nges pas gnod pas chos nyid yin pas phan tshun spang ma yin.

(34) The translation of the terms follows largely Kajiyama 1998: 84. Shakya mchog ldan lists three more types of prasanga which bDen gnyis 'grel ba could theoretically refer to (Nos 9, 10, 15). However, they include the categories of cause and effect, which do not apply in the context of the relation between the absolute and the conventional; thus, they are not taken into account here.

(35) Cf. Tauscher 2003: 218.

(36) See TAUSCHER 2003: 215.

(37) Shar gsum stong thun: 6,15f.: 'du byed la gang zag dang chos khegs pa tsam de de bzhin nyid ma yin par 'gyur te 'du byed las gzhan yin* pa'i phyir. * 6,16 ma yin; ma is deleded in bKa' gdams gsung 'bum: 7. 22,2.

(38) Cf. TAUSCHER 2003: 214, n. 32.

(39) bDen gnyis 'grel ba: 195,2-4.

(40) Shar gsum stong thun states explicitly only the type of the implied svatantra.

(41) Shar gsum stong thun: 7,3-8: ... kun nas nyon mongs pa dang rnam byang rgyud cig la dus cig du ldan par 'gyur te || bden pa'i dngos por yang zhen la stong pa nyid kyang mthong ba'i phyir ro || ... lung gis gnod pas sangs rgyas la kun nas nyon mongs dang rnam byang dus cig tu myed pas 'du byed dang stong pa nyid so sor gzigs pa myed.

(42) bDen gnyis 'grel ba: 195,4f.: spros bral legs par gzigs pas rnam byang du'ang 'gyur la | kun rdzob spros bral gyis dben pa'i spros bcas gzigs pas kun nas nyon mongs su'ang 'gyur bas | kun nas nyon mongs dang rnam byang dus cig du'ang 'gyur dus cig tu myed par lung nas bshad pas de gnyis phan tshun spangs par ma gzigs.

(43) No 2 in in Sa skya Pandita's list of prasangas implying a heterogeneous svatantra, as related by Shakya mchog ldan. Shar gsum stong thun: 12,1-8; bDen gnyis 'grel ba: 195,7-196,2. The specification khyab byed mi dmigs pa for the implied svatantra of the first consequence is missing in bDen gnyis 'grel ba: 196,1. In the discussion of the second consequence, the text of Shar gsum stong thun is corrupt in Tauscher 1999a: 12,6-8 as well as in the bKa'gdams gsung 'bum vol. 7: 26,3f.: yang stong pa nyid snang ba dang ldog pa tha mi dad pas sgrib pa'i dmigs par 'gyur zhes pa{ 'i} [rang bzhin gyi] thal ba dang sgrib pa'i dmigs pa ma yin pas snang ba dang ldog pa tha mi dad ma yin zhes pa{ 'i/ 'nag rang bzhin gyi thal bas} khyab byed mi dmigs pa'i rang rgyud 'phenpa'o || {...} to be deleted, [...] to be amended; cf. Tauscher 2003: n. 40.

(44) Shar gsum stong thun: 12,9-15; bDen gnyis 'grel ba:196,2-4 (reads khyab byed 'gal ba instead of khyab byed 'gal ba dmigs pa). For the type of pransanga and implied svatantra, see above and n.31..

(45) bDen gnyis 'grel ba: 202,5-213,8.

(46) This discussion poses a general problem. Like Jnanagarbha, also Phya pa opposes the Yogacara position, which interprets 'ga' yang as referring to parakaliptasvabhdva only, and understands it in the strict sense of everything whatsoever". On the other hand, he dedicates much space in his Shar gsum stong thun to refuting the position that the absolute reality is not an object of cognition (don dam bden pa shes bya ma yin) (18,7-22,17), and he strictly defines the objects of cognition as the basis for distinction (dbye gzhi) of the two realities (1,17-2,2; see also below). At the present stage, I am unable to offer a solution for this seeming contradiction.

(47) bDen gnyis 'grel ba: 204,1f.: (gnyis pa ni) rnam pa ma gtad par ma grub po zhe na rang snang par khas len na [SDVV 157,29f.] zhes gsungs te | rnam pa gtad pa'i phyir myong bya myong byed rdzas tha dad par thal zhes rang bzhin gyi rtags kyi thal ba yin la | rdzas tha dad myed pas rnam pa gtad sa myed ces pa khyab byed mi dmyigs pa'i rang rgyud yin no.

(48) This system is described in detail in Hugon 2009: 52ff.

(49) Davidson 2005: 280.

(50) Rigs gter rnam bshad: 473,5: gang yang phya pa'i rigs pa ni || ... || de yis gzhung nas legs bchad nas || kun la yid rton med byas nas || ma bshad nan gyis sbyor bar zad ||; text and translation of Jackson 1987: vol 1, 170f. + n. 20.

(51) Shakya rnam thar 341,6-342,2: rin po che Blo bzangpas ... khong rang gi rtog ge'i rigs pas rnam par dpyad cing |rgyab rten du mi 'grig bzhin du bsgrig pa'i lung mang po drangs nas dbu sems dang | mdo sngags kyi grub pa'i mtha sngon chad ma grags pa'i rnam grangs ches shin du mang po dag 'jog par mdzad do.

(52) mDzes rgyan 303,19-304,4: des na rje btsun 'di nyid kyis ... bla chos dang rang bzo'i nyes pas nam yang ma gos par rang rang gi srol 'byed pa po'i pan grub rnams kyi dgongs pa la gtugs shing de yang rgyal ba'i bka' dang legs par gtugs te ...; translation of Lopez 1987: 269.

(53) See Vose 2009: 57.

(54) See, e.g., Jackson 1987: Vol. 1, 170.

(55) See above, n. 17.

(56) dBu ma rgyan gyi zin bris: 77b5f.: Cha pa la sogs pa bod kyi mkhas pa rnams kyis kyang | gzhan gyis btags pa'i chos can la rang rgyud mi rung bar 'chad do ||; text and translation of Tillemans 1984: 383 and 365.

(57) sTong thun chen mo 145,3f.: de kho na nyid dpyod pa'i rigs pas dpyad bzod dang rigs pas grub pa gnyis ma phye pa'i dbang gis sngon dus kyi mkhen porNgog lo lta bu yang don dam bden pa shes bya ma yin par bzhed pa dang | Cha pa lta bu yang bden med bden grub tu smra ba la sogs pa'i nor pa chen pa rnams byung ba yin no. See Cabezon 1992: 143.

(58) mChan bzhi: 283,5; cf. Tauscher 1995: 165.

(59) Lam rim brda bkrol 167,6ff.; see Tauscher 1995: 166f.

(60) rTen 'brel bstod pa legs boad snih po: v. 7: gzhung lugs mang thos rigs pa'i lam du yang || ngal ba med [corr. : mang] bsten mngon par rtogspa yi H yon tan tshogs kyis mi dman du mas kyang || 'bad kyang rtogs par ma gyur gnas de ni || Drang nges yang snying 421,2f.: ... rigs lam la ngal ba mang du bsten pa Phya pa chos seng sogs sang chen brgyad du grags pa dang ...; cf. Drang nges dka' 'grel 7,2f.

(61) Shar gsum stong thun: 58,7-77,20.

(62) Op.cit.: 58,9-64,15 (61,4-62,14).

(63) Op.cit.: 70,4.

(64) Op.cit.: 70,1-72,15.

(65) Lung rigs rgya mtsho:14, 519,7.

(66) dBu ma rgyan gyi zin bris: 78b1ff. see Tillemans 1984: 384 and 367.

(67) See above and n. 31 and 33.

(68) See Tauscher 1995: 326-341.

(69) Op. cit.: 73-177.

(70) See Tauscher 1995: 181ff.

(71) dBu 'jug mtha' dpyod: 514,1ff.

(72) Cf. Tauscher 1995: n. 374.

(73) Lung rigs rgya mtsho: 15. 3,6ff.; see Tauscher 1990: 42f.

(74) Shar gsum stong thun: 1,17ff.: tshad mas 'gal zla bsal nas rnam par gzhag pa'i ngo bo blo'i yul du byar rung bas shes byar mtshon pa'i mtshan gzhi tsam gzhir byas nas ... don dam pa'i bden pa dang ... kun rdzob kyi bden pa gnyis su dbye'o || de'ang tshad ma'i gzhal bya'i ldog pa ni ma yin dgag yin pas kun rdzob kyi bden pa kho na yin yang tshad ma'i gzhal bya'i mtshan gzhi ni med dgag dang ma yin dgag mtha' dag gi khyab byed yin pas bden gnyis kyi dbye ba'i gzhir 'thad do.

(75) Op.cit.: 1,12f.: shes bya'i sa thams cad bden pa gnyis las ma 'das pas bden gnyis kyi don phyin ci ma log par rigs pas nges par bya ba ste.

(76) bDen gnyis 'grel ba: 194,5f.

(77) See Kuijp 1983, 77-78.

(78) See Tauscher 1995: 116, 247ff.

(79) Shar gsum stong thun: 2,3ff. Tsong kha pa, discussing the same topic in the Lam rim chung ba (300b1ff.) mentions only the first three alternatives.

(80) Cf. Tauscher 1995: 188ff.

(81) bKa' bsduv. 12-14b (366,6-367,2).

(82) Shar gsum stong thun : 3,18.

(83) Op.cit.: 145,14f.

(84) Op.cit.: 2,15-9,17.

(85) Cf., e.g., Tauscher 1995: 191.
Abbreviated sa bead of the chapter lung gi don gzhan du rtogpa la rigs
pas bsgrub pa in the bDen gnyis bsdus don and bDen gnyis 'grel ba

(Figures in round brackets after the section-titles denote the number
of sub-sections mentioned in the text; amendments to the text are
given in square brackets; figures in separated columns indicate the
verses from SDV used as pratlka (pratlkas from SDVV are not
mentioned); the entry "none" denotes that no pratlka is given for the
respective section, neither from SDV nor from SDVV.)

       bDen gnyis bsdus don                  bDen gnyis 'grelba

       lung gi don gzhan an nog pa la rigs pas bsgrub pa (Z/U)

                                     [A bstan pa]

                                     [B] de sun 'byin pa (3)        6a

                                     1. gzhan gyi lugs (3)          6c

                                     1 3. phyogs clios bsgrub pa (3)

                                       133. rtsa ba'i rtags sgrub pa'i
                                         rtags kyi khyab pa sgrub pa
                                         de dgag pa (4)

                                       133.4. rgyu las skyes pa     6d
                                         nyid mi 'tnad pa

                                     2. de sun dbyung ba (4)

                                     24. phyogs chos sgrub byed     6d
                                       kyi khyab sgrub kyi rjes
                                       dpag skyes nas rtsa ba'i
                                       rjes dpag don myed pa

                                     3. rang gi lugs kyi lan gzhag
                                       pa (2)

1. gzhan dbang dang yongs grub       31. rangrig bkag pas gzhan     6c
  gzigs pa dgag pa (3)                 dbang dang yongs grubpa
                                        mlhong ba dgag pa (2)

11. rgol ba                          6a

12. de 'gog pa'i rtags dgodpa        311. rtags dgod pa

13. phyogs chos bsgrub pa (2)        312. phyogs chos bsgrub pa (2)

131. bya byed mtshan nyid pa'i       312.1. rig bya rig byed mtshan
  rigs pa dgag pa                      nyid pa

132. bya byed btags pa pa 7 rigs     312,2, rig bya rig byed btags pa
  pa dgag pa (3)                       ba (4 : 3)

132.3. khyab pa bsgrub pa (3)        312,23. khyab pa bsgrub pa (0)

132.31. rig pa yul can gyi mtshan
  nyid du myi rung ba

132.32. rang fig yui can gyi
  mtshan nyid du myi rung ba

132.33. chos nyid kyi rig pabsun
  phyung ba(4)

132.331. phyogs snga ma

                                     312.24. de sun dbyung ba (3)

132.332. rigs pa snga ma dran pa     312.211. Migcir hstiod pits gnod
  la sbyar ba                          pa

132.333, sgrub byed med      none    312.242. sgrub byed med      none
  pa                                   pa

132.334. don rig pa rnam     none    312.243. gzhan rigs          none
  med pa'i phyogs dgag                 la'ang nag pa mtshungs
  par mi nus pa                        pa

2. gzhan dbangdon dam          6d    32. gzhan dbang don dam        6d
  nyid la dgag pa                      nyid bkag pas gzftan
                                       dbang yongs su grub pa
                                       mthong dgag pa
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Title Annotation:Philosophy and Practice
Author:Tauscher, Helmut
Publication:The Tibet Journal
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9CHIN
Date:Sep 22, 2009
Words:14745
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