East Asian Madhyamaka

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East Asian Madhyamaka refers to the Buddhist traditions in East Asia which represent the Indian Madhyamaka system of thought. In Chinese Buddhism, these are often referred to as the Sānlùn school (Ch. 三論宗), or "Three Treatise" school, known as Sanron in Japan,[1] although modern scholars think them not an independent sect.[2] The Madhyamaka texts that it was founded on were first transmitted to China in the early 5th century by the Buddhist monk Kumārajīva.[3]

History in China

Founding and early teachers

The name Sānlùn derives from the fact that its doctrinal basis is formed by three principal Madhyamaka texts composed by Nāgārjuna and Āryadeva, which were then translated into Chinese by Kumārajīva.[4] These three foundational texts are:[5]

  • "The Middle Treatise" (Ch. 中論, pinyin: Zhonglun, T. 1564; Skt. Madhyamakaśāstra), comprising Nāgārjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā ("Fundamental Verses on the Middle Way") alongside a commentary by *Vimalākṣa / *Piṅgala (Ch. 青目, pinyin: Qingmu)
  • "The Treatise on the Twelve Gates" (Ch. 十二門論, pinyin: Shiermenlun, T. 1568), allegedly Nāgārjuna's *Dvādaśadvāraśāstra,[6] also reconstructed as *Dvādaśamukhaśāstra [7] or as *Dvādaśanikāyaśāstra[8]
  • "The Hundred[-Verse] Treatise" (Ch. 百論, pinyin: Bailun, T. 1569; Skt. Śatakaśāstra,[9] or Śataśāstra[10]), consisting of a commentary by a certain master Vasu on some verses by Āryadeva.[11]

Sometimes a fourth text is added, changing the collection's title to the "Four Treatises" (Ch. 四論, pinyin: Silun):[12]

  • "Commentary on the Great Perfection of Wisdom" (Ch. 大智度論, pinyin: Dazhidulun, T. 1509; Skt. Mahāprajñāpāramitāupadeśa). Attributed to Nāgārjuna, but disputed by some modern scholars.

Nāgārjuna is traditionally regarded as the Indian founder of the Madhyamaka school in India, while Kumārajīva is traditionally regarded as the founder of Sanlun school in China.[13] Kumārajīva's disciple Sengzhao then continued to promote Madhyamaka teachings, and wrote several works from this standpoint.[14]

Popularization under Jizang

The Three Treatise teachings were first propagated widely by Jizang, a prolific writer who composed commentaries on these three treatises.[15] One of his most famous works is the Erdi Yi (二諦意), or "Meaning of the Two Truths", referring to the conventional and ultimate truths.[16] In one passage of the Erdi Yi, Jizang cites his own teacher, Falang:[17]

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In addition to popularizing Madhyamaka, Jizang also wrote commentaries on the Mahāyāna sūtras such as the Lotus Sūtra and the Vimalakīrti Nirdeśa Sūtra. In addition to Madhyamaka, Jizang also wrote favorably about the Tathāgatagarbha teachings. In all, Jizang wrote nearly fifty books in his lifetime. A selection of his Madhyamaka works is the following:

  • Zhongguanlun Shu (中觀論疏; "Commentary on the Madhyamaka Śastra")
  • Erdi Zhang (二諦章; "Essay on the Two Truths")
  • Bailun Shu (百論疏; "Commentary on the Śatakaśāstra")
  • Shi Er Men Lun Shu (十二門論疏; "Commentary on the Twelve Gates Treatise")
  • Sanlun Xuanyi (三論玄義; "Profound Meaning of the Three Treatises")
  • Erdi Yi (二諦意; "Meaning of the Two Truths")
  • Dasheng Xuanlun (大乘玄論; "Treatise on the Mystery of the Mahāyāna")

Modern Chinese traditions

In the early part of the 20th century, the laymen Yang Wenhui and Ouyang Jian (Ch. Template:Lang) (1871–1943) promoted Buddhist learning in China, and the general trend was for an increase in studies of Buddhist traditions such as Yogācāra, Madhyamaka, and the Huayan school.[18][19]

In the 20th century, while the great monk scholar Venerable Yin Shun was often associated with this school, he himself did not claim such direct affiliation:[20]

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History in Japan

In 625, the Korean monk Hyegwan brought the Sanlun school to Japan, where it was known as Sanron. Like many of the Nanto Rikushū or schools of the Nara period it died out and was absorbed by later sects such as Shingon Buddhism and Tendai.

Notes

  1. "Sanron" in The New Encyclopædia Britannica. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 15th edn., 1992, Vol. 10, p. 421.
  2. 論三論宗從學派到宗的歷程 Template:Webarchive
  3. Liu, Ming-Wood (1994). Madhyamaka thought in China. E.J. Brill, Template:ISBN. p.27
  4. Liu, Ming-Wood (1994). Madhyamaka thought in China. E.J. Brill, Template:ISBN. p.27
  5. Nan, Huai-Chin. Basic Buddhism: Exploring Buddhism and Zen. 1997. p. 91
  6. Cheng, Hsueh-li (2013). Nagarjuna's Twelve Gate Treatise Translated With Introductory Essays, Comments, and Notes. Springer, Template:ISBN. p. 5
  7. Liu, Ming-Wood (1994). Madhyamaka thought in China. E.J. Brill, Template:ISBN. p. 27
  8. Ruegg, David. The Literature of the Madhyamaka School of Philosophy in India, Volume 7.
  9. Lamotte, Etienne. Surangamasamadhisutra. p. 40
  10. Liu, Ming-Wood (1994). Madhyamaka thought in China. E.J. Brill, Template:ISBN. p. 27
  11. Liu, Ming-Wood (1994). Madhyamaka thought in China. E.J. Brill, Template:ISBN. p. 27
  12. Liu, Ming-Wood (1994). Madhyamaka thought in China. E.J. Brill, Template:ISBN. p.27
  13. Nan, Huai-Chin. Basic Buddhism: Exploring Buddhism and Zen. 1997. p. 91
  14. Keown, Damien. A Dictionary of Buddhism. 2003. pp. 251-252
  15. Snelling, John. The Buddhist Handbook: A Complete Guide to Buddhist Schools, Teaching, Practice, and History. 1992. p. 128
  16. Shih, Chang-Qing. The Two Truths in Chinese Buddhism. 2004. p. 36
  17. Shih, Chang-Qing. The Two Truths in Chinese Buddhism. 2004. p. 37
  18. Nan, Huai-Chin. Basic Buddhism: Exploring Buddhism and Zen. 1997. p. 142
  19. Sheng Yen. Orthodox Chinese Buddhism. 2007. p. 217
  20. Yin Shun. 空之探究 (Investigations into Emptiness) 1984. Preface.

References

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  • Gard, Richard (1957). Why did the Madhyamika decline?, Indogaku Bukkyogaku Kenkyu 5 (2), 10-14
  • Brian Bocking (1995). Nagarjuna in China: A Translation of the Middle Treatise (The Edwin Mellon Press).
  • Ming-Wood Liu (1997). Madhyamaka Thought in China (Sinica Leidensia, 30), Brill Academic Pub. Template:ISBN
  • Robert Magliola (2004). "Nagarjuna and Chi-tsang on the Value of 'This World': A Reply to Kuang-ming Wu's Critique of Indian and Chinese Madhyamika Buddhism." Journal of Chinese Philosophy 31 (4), 505–516. (Demonstrates Jizang neither denigrates 'this world' nor deviates from what was mainstream Indian Madhyamikan doctrine.)

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Page is sourced from

www.encyclopediaofbuddhism.org East Asian Madhyamaka