Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sanskrit usages: ācārya -2

As already hinted at in a previous post, the author of the Tarkajvālā (a commentary on the  Madhyamahṛdayakārikā by Bhāviveka) calls the author of the text he is commenting upon “ācārya”. In order to show that this is no evidence for the fact that the Tarkajvālā has not been authored by Bhāviveka (who would then refer to himself as ācārya), Olle Qvarnström refers to a passage in the Abhidharmakoṣabhāṣya where Vasubandhu refers to himself as ācārya (ucyata ity ācāryavacanam darśayati, Abhidharmakoṣabhāṣya 8,9). See Olle Qvarnström, Hindu Philosophy in Buddhist Perspective. The Vedāntatattvaviniścaya chapter of Bhavya's Madhyamahṛdayakārikā, Lund 1989: 21.
However, Helmut Krasser (Bhavya and Dharmakīrti Relationship, forthcoming), thinks (out of stronger evidences too) that it is more likely to imagine that the Tarkajvālā has been written by (a) student(s) of Bhāviveka, taking notes during his teacher's explanations. Hence, ācārya would refer to his own teacher, against some evidences summed up in a previous post on this argument. Krasser further suggests that it would be worthwhile to examine whether even the Abhidharmakoṣabhāṣya has been “written down by Vasubandhu himself or explained to some students. Such a study certainly should include passages such as samāpta ānuṣaṅgikaprasaṅgaḥ”.
Last but not least, Krasser refers that “another example where the 'author' in the commentary refers to himself as ācārya is, as mentioned in Seyfort Ruegg ([On the authorship of some works ascribed to Bhāvaviveka/Bhavya in D.S.Ruegg and L. Schmithausen (eds.) Earliest Buddhism and Madhyamaka, Leiden] 1990:64 and n. 20) found in Haribhadrasūri's Anekāntajayapatāka”. The discussion should/might be enlarged in order to consider the numerous instances of autocommentaries where the author of the text is referred to as if it where someone else (see, e.g. Utpaladeva's Īśvarapratyabhijñākārikāvṛtti).
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