May 17 2012

♦ The svabhāvavāda as expounded in the Skhalita-pramathana-yuktā-hetu-siddhi

One of the works that happens to me to deal with from time to time is the Skhalita-pramathana-yuktā-hetu-siddhi, attributed to Āryadeva. Today I’d like to put forward few considerations on the svabhāvavāda section (pūrvapakṣa only) contained in this writing. In what follows I provide the critical edition, the translation and an explanation of the section: […]


Jan 6 2012

♦ Madhyamakaratnapradīpa: an untraced quotation debating cittamātra from a Candrakīrtipāda’s work

In the 7th chapter of the Madhyamakaratnapradīpa, a work traditionally attributed to Bhāviveka, while discussing some fundamental concepts of the cittamātra doctrine, the author inserts an interesting quotation which is attributed to (the tantric?) Candrakīrtipāda (zLa-ba-grags-pa’i-źal-sṅa-na). Unfortunately, the original text from which the citation was taken remains still untraced. Nevertheless, what is interesting here, is […]


Jun 14 2010

♦ Few considerations on the Buddhist world: loko, lokaḥ, ’jig rten, shì jiàn

The term used by early Buddhists to refer to what we know as “world” is, usually, the Pāli term loko. This word has more or less the same semantic extent of the French monde whose meaning is both «world» and «people» (consider, for instance, the compounds loka-visargaḥ, «distruction of the world» and loka-vikruṣṭaḥ, «offensive for […]


May 26 2010

♦ Some open reflections on Mūlamadhyamakakārikā VIII, 4ab

Let us consider Mūlamadhyamakakārikā VIII, 4ab, where Nāgārjuna seems to accept a sort of “priority” of hetu on both pratyaya and utpanna: hetāv asati kāryaṃ ca kāraṇaṃ ca na vidyate | («when the [primary] cause does not exist, both the effect and the [secondary] cause are not evident»). Jacques May, reflecting on this half a […]


Apr 28 2010

♦ Nāgārjuna on cause/condition: moral implications

According to Nāgārjuna, only a modifiable (not permanently identical with, nor permanently different from, himself/herself) person can be a concrete enjoyer of good and bad results of his/her own actions. But to be modifiable means to lack svabhāvaḥ. Now, to avoid both the svabhāvaḥ and the parabhāvaḥ positions, Nāgārjuna prefers to adopt a “neither A, […]


Feb 8 2010

♦ Nāgārjuna on “cause” and “condition”: pars construens (2)

If it is true that both the Pāli Canon and Nāgārjuna consider the conditional relations on the basis of the positive and negative (α and β) twofold formulae (αβ.1 and αβ.2) (see Nāgārjuna on “cause” and “condition”: pars construens (1)), nonetheless between the two perspectives there is a crucial difference: although, according to SN I, […]


Jan 16 2010

♦ Nāgārjuna on “cause” and “condition”: pars construens (1)

Let us consider the Pāli Canon (see also: A brief note on the distinction between “cause” and “condition” in early Buddhism). The kind of relation indicated by the term “condition” is in the canonical literature pointed out generally in two manners, a positive and a negative one. The (α) positive way runs as follows: imasmiṃ […]


Jan 4 2010

♦ Nāgārjuna on “cause” and “condition”: pars destruens (2)

Let us examine one by one the four alternatives listed by Nāgārjuna in his MMK I,1 (and referred to in Nāgārjuna on “cause” and “condition”: pars destruens (1)).1 (1) The alternative na svatas («not from itself») is clearly the rejection of the Sarvāstivāda-like position. Here Nāgārjuna criticizes the conception of svabhāvaḥ («intrinsic nature»). If the […]


Dec 29 2009

♦ Nāgārjuna on “cause” and “condition”: pars destruens (1)

As far as the causal and conditional dependence between effect and cause is concerned, we have to note that the conception of svabhāvaḥ, and consequently of parabhāvaḥ (as a preliminary discussion see A brief note on the distinction between “cause” and “condition” in early Buddhism), during Nāgārjuna’s times had developed some problematic aspects, which Nāgārjuna […]


Dec 27 2009

♦ A brief note on the distinction between “cause” and “condition” in early Buddhism

When we speak of “relation” in Buddhism, we mainly refer to what in Pāli language is called paṭicca-samuppādo, in Sanskrit pratītya-samutpādaḥ, and in Tibetan rten cing ’brel bar ’byung ba (or, in short, rten ’brel). The term pratītya-samutpādaḥ litterally means «conditioned co-production» or «dependent co-origination», and indicates the particular nature of the relation existing among […]