A Treatise on the Paramis by Acariya Dhammapala

Is this proof that Nālandā University Master Dharmapala is Acariya Dhammapāla?

Anyways here is the book translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi

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More info that Dharmapala and Dhammapala might be the same person.



I don’t think so, I read Ven dhammapala heavily opposed mahayana

Furthermore is there any reference to parami in paramatthamanjusa ?

Dharmapala of Nalanda was a scholar of Mahayana Yogacara. He was the teacher of Silabhadra, and the one whose views on Yogacara were held as orthodox by Xuanzang.

Looking briefly at this treatise on the paramis, it follows the 10 perfections as seen in Theravada. This is a list of perfections that was unique to Sri Lanka as far as I know, and not found in Indian Buddhism. The easy way to identify this is that the final perfection is upekkha (equanimity).

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It’s a Treatise that can be of same person. There was a time that Mahayana was practiced with Hinayana at Sri Lanka. Maybe he came like Buddhagosa.

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Quote from the book. How come he knew this? :thinking:

But some say there are six. This is said by way of their synthesis, which we will explain below (section xii).>

Did you not read Bhikkhu Bodhi’s introduction? There you’ll find an account of Dhammapāla’s possible sources and influences:

The main Mahāyāna work utilized by the author is the Bodhisattvabhūmi, the fifteenth chapter of the Yogācārabhūmi, a voluminous text of the Yogācāra school ascribed to Maitreyanātha, the teacher of Asanga. The Bodhisattvabhūmi has contributed to the sections on the practice of the pāramīs, particularly the first, on the four shackles to giving, and on the special accomplishments resulting from the pāramīs. The originals, however, have all been divested of their specifically Mahāyāna features to make them fully compatible with the Theravāda perspective. Mahāyāna influence may further be discernible in the emphasis on compassion and skillful means, in the vows to benefit all beings, in the statement that the bodhisattva causes beings “to enter and reach maturity in the three vehicles,” etc.

Though I’m not personally convinced that the venerable’s certitude in this matter is justified. What makes him so sure that Dhammapāla borrowed from Asanga, as opposed to the alternative possibility that both writers were drawing upon notions that were in general circulation at that time?


Thanks. Your right. That’s really possible.

Dharmapala of Nalanda was the abbot of Nalanda Mahavihara. By all accounts he spent his career at Nalanda, and died in northern India. He was a Mahayanist who advocated very specific positions on Yogacara.

The Dhammapala who was the author of this treatise, seems to have been a Theravadin. The treatise reflects a halfway point between conservative Buddhism and Mahayana. But crucially, it’s connected with Theravada doctrines and written in Pali.

Dharmapala / Dhammapala was a common name. There were multiple people with this name even in the history of Theravada.

The thing is that one Dharmapala was living in south India, in a supposed Theravada Vihara according to Wikipedia. I can’t find it.

But from the info I shared above I qoute

This acariya Dhammapala is supposed, though there is no direct evidence for this, to have Iived not long after Buddhaghosa himself. There is only an indirect evidence that we get from their works. Both belong to the same tradition and seem to be drawing upon the same old material. . . So it is very likely that there was not a very long time that elapsed between Buddhaghosa and Dhammapala. When the famous Chinese traveller, Yuan Chuan." speaks of his visit to Kānčipura in South India in or about 640 A. D., he tells us that Kānčipura was the birthplace of Dharmapala. Although there is no definite proof to show that he was the same as our Dhammapala, still it is very likely, fays Dr. Rhys Davids, * that the reference is to our Dhammapala."

And considering this.

Buddhists institutions from Kanchipuram were instrumental in spreading Theravada Buddhism to the Mon people of Myanmar and Thailand who in return spread the religion to the incoming Burmese and Thai people.>