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Why did Nagarjuna and Candrakirti-move into a Vedantic interpretation?

Question,
Am interested to ask why long ago in India did Magarjuna and Candrakurtu- move away from the Understanding of Prasagika which is based on the understanding of the Buddha,
and move towards a Vedantic interpretation?

On the relationship of Advaita Vedānta and Mādhyamika Buddhism by Reynolds, Eric T.

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Isn’t it Nagarjuna? :thinking: :anjal:

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They didn’t move towards Vedanta, not sure why you think that? Where did you get this idea?

Also, neither Nagarjuna nor Candrakirti used the term Prasagika to describe themselves, this is a later Tibetan term.

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I was interested to find this out as I looked up a Text about Nagarjuna called-the Mulamadhyamakakarika,
The text was translated by a Man called David J.Kalupahana and in the Preface he writes about the change which comes about through the practice and understanding of Magarjuna and Candrakirti and how in his opinion it shows the inclination towards a more Mahayana view and a moving away from the traditional view of the Buddha in India at that time.
Was just interested to ask if anyone had an opinion
about this.

The Publisher of the above text is by-
Motilal Banarsidass Publishers,Delhi.
Also,the State University of New York.1986.

Svātantrika and Prāsaṅgika are two words made up by Tibetan Madhyamaka scholasticists while reading Madhyamaka texts. They divvied up the Madhyamakas based on personal preferences and who make more sense to them. To many of them, thinkers like Ven Bhāvaviveka had a second-rate Madhyamaka, and they were called the Svātantrikas. Thinkers like Ven Candrakīrti were preferred, and were grouped into the grouping of “teachers we like better,” or Prāsaṅgika.

The technical differentiation involves who can say “no” to the existence of dharmas more thoroughly. My take on things.

But if Kalupahana says that there was such a thing as Prāsaṅgika in Ven Nāgārjuna’s time (and it is not spelled with an M, it has an N), he is very, very wrong.

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I think you misinterpreted what Kalupahana says in the preface

He only faults Candrakirti for moving away from early Buddhism and towards an interpretation of Nagarjuna which seems to be closer to Vedanta. Now, whether this is true or not depends on how one reads Candrakirti. It’s possible that what Kalupahana is referring to here is how Candrakirti, in interpreting the two truths doctrine, sees conventional truth as being false and unreal. This view is not one which the Buddha taught and does seem more in line with Advaita Vedanta as taught by Gaudapada and Shankara, which teaches that the world is unreal (Maya), and the only reality is Brahman. However, there is no evidence that Candrakirti was influenced by this tradition, which is also idealistic. In fact, he attacked Idealism (of the Yogacara), so I am not sure one can say he moved towards Vedanta.

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Very ironic, since Prāsaṅgika fanboys think that anything Svātantrika is crypto-Vedanta.

Hmm, that doesn’t make much sense. Why would anyone think that?

Because their negations aren’t thorough enough, because they negate merely to affirm, because they secretly believe in a very subtle innate essence/self, etc. I’ll dig up some quotes of Tibetan Prāsaṅgika fanboys talking smack about Svātantrika in a few, hopefully by tomorrow.

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I mean, in the case that they did hold to the existence of some essence, it would be crypto Nyaya or crypto-Sarvastivada, not crypto-Vedanta.

The opposite :

How could Nagarjuna have adopted an interpretation (advaita vedanta) that is posterior to him and inspired by him?

:pray:

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In my experience, the essence/self that they allegedly “crypto-believe in” is either the Brahman or the Ātman. But I need to get these quotes in order to show this. It’s how Madhyamakas throw shade essentially: associate your opponent with Hinduism, particularly Advaita Vendanta.

Yes, I was under the impression that early Mayayana inspired Advaita. A sort of “sunyatising” of Brahman.

MN1
Take an uneducated ordinary person who has not seen the noble ones, and is neither skilled nor trained in the teaching of the noble ones. They’ve not seen good persons, and are neither skilled nor trained in the teaching of the good persons…
…They perceive Brahmā as Brahmā. But then they identify with Brahmā, they identify regarding Brahmā, they identify as Brahmā, they identify that ‘Brahmā is mine’, they take pleasure in Brahmā. … Why is that? Because they haven’t completely understood it, I say…
…They perceive oneness as oneness. But then they identify with oneness … Why is that? Because they haven’t completely understood it, I say…
They perceive diversity as diversity. But then they identify with diversity … Why is that? Because they haven’t completely understood it, I say…

The Realized One, the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha directly knows…Brahmā…the seen … the heard … the thought … the known … oneness … diversity … all … He directly knows extinguishment as extinguishment. But he doesn’t identify with extinguishment, he doesn’t identify regarding extinguishment, he doesn’t identify as extinguishment, he doesn’t identify that ‘extinguishment is mine’, he doesn’t take pleasure in extinguishment. Why is that? Because the Realized One has completely understood it to the end, I say.
Why is that? Because he has understood that relishing is the root of suffering, and that rebirth comes from continued existence; whoever has come to be gets old and dies. That’s why the Realized One—with the ending, fading away, cessation, giving up, and letting go of all cravings—has awakened to the supreme perfect Awakening, I say.

That is what the Buddha said. But the mendicants were not happy with what the Buddha said.

DN1
The Realized One understands this: ‘If you hold on to and attach to these grounds for views it leads to such and such a destiny in the next life.’ He understands this, and what goes beyond this. Yet since he does not misapprehend that understanding, he has realized extinguishment within himself. Having truly understood the origin, ending, gratification, drawback, and escape from feelings, the Realized One is freed through not grasping.

When a mendicant truly understands the six fields of contacts’ origin, ending, gratification, drawback, and escape, they understand what lies beyond all these things.

All of these ascetics and brahmins who theorize about the past or the future are trapped in the net of these sixty-two grounds, so that wherever they emerge they are caught and trapped in this very net.

Suppose a deft fisherman or his apprentice were to cast a fine-meshed net over a small pond. They’d think: ‘Any sizable creatures in this pond will be trapped in the net. Wherever they emerge they are caught and trapped in this very net.’ In the same way, all of these ascetics and brahmins who theorize about the past or the future are trapped in the net of these sixty-two grounds, so that wherever they emerge they are caught and trapped in this very net.

SN22.94
Mendicants, I don’t argue with the world; it’s the world that argues with me. When your speech is in line with the teaching you don’t argue with anyone in the world. What the astute agree on as not existing, I too say does not exist. What the astute agree on as existing, I too say exists…

There is a temporal phenomenon in the world that the Realized One understands and comprehends. Then he explains, teaches, asserts, establishes, clarifies, analyzes, and reveals it.

And what is that temporal phenomenon in the world? Form…Feeling …Perception …Choices …Consciousness is a temporal phenomenon in the world that the Realized One understands and comprehends. Then he explains, teaches, asserts, establishes, clarifies, analyzes, and reveals it.

This being so, what can I do about a foolish ordinary person, blind and sightless, who does not know or see?

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