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Journal of Indian Philosophy
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.267
Number of Followers: 11  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1573-0395 - ISSN (Online) 0022-1791
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2469 journals]
  • The Idea of Text in Buddhism: Introduction

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      PubDate: 2022-08-12
       
  • Art and Performance in the Buddhist Visual Narratives at Bhārhut

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      Abstract: Abstract The reliefs carved on the vedikā of the Bharhut stūpa in the Satna District of Madhya Pradesh are some of the earliest artworks extant in India to articulate the Buddha’s life stories and the essence of his teaching in a complex visual form. This article proposes that the reliefs from Bharhut depicting episodes from Śākyamuni’s life and jātakas were informed by narrative practices established in the traditions of Buddhist recitation and performance. The inscriptions engraved on the Bharhut vedikā that function as labels for scenes, characters, and places, point to the use of specific storytelling strategies attested in oral recitation and picture scrolls that likely existed as aide-memoire.
      PubDate: 2022-06-16
       
  • Flowers Perfume Sesame: On the Contextual Shift of Perfuming from
           Abhidharma to Yogācāra

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      Abstract: Abstract In the Abhidharma texts, that flowers perfume sesame is used as a simile describing the mechanism of perfuming (vāsanā/paribhāvanā) in the context of meditative cultivation. According to the Sarvāstivādins, the meditative perfuming requires the co-existence of the perfumer and the perfumed. In comparison, the Yogācāra-vijñānavādins employ the same simile to explain their doctrine of the perfuming of all dharmas in ālayavijñāna, which demands the bīja as the perfumed and the manifested dharmas as the perfumer to be simultaneous. My hypothesis is that the Yogācāra idea of the perfuming of all dharmas is derived from the Abhidharma doctrine of meditative perfuming through the Sautrāntika theory of perfuming in non-concentrated (asamāhita) state. The idea of equating vāsanā and bīja probably took place under the doctrine of successive causality during the sectarian communication among the Sarvāstivādins, the Dārṣṭāntika-Sautrāntikas, and the early Mahāyānists. The Vaibhāṣika principle of simultaneous perfuming, which requires that the perfumed must co-exist with the perfumer, makes it possible in the Yogācāra-vijñānavāda that a bīja in ālayavijñāna is simultaneous with its manifestation.
      PubDate: 2022-05-31
      DOI: 10.1007/s10781-022-09511-7
       
  • Saṅghabhadra’s and Śubhagupta’s Defence of Atomism, Their
           Similarities and Differences

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      Abstract: Abstract As Buddhist externalists, both Saṅghabhadra and Śubhagupta claim the existence of an external object on the basis of atomism. In this paper, I will show the interrelationship between Saṅghabhadra’s and Śubhagupta’s atomic theories. Regarding the ontological status of the aggregation of atoms, both of them agree on a Vaibhāṣika principle that the aggregation of atoms, as a real substance, can serve as an object-support (ālambana) of cognition. Based on this principle, their similarities can be further explicated from three aspects. Regarding epistemology, Śubhagupta differs from Saṅghabhadra on the cognitive process of the awareness of something blue. For Saṅghabhadra, a gross object is grasped by non-conceptual sensory consciousness because it is a real entity aggregated by atoms. Through the function of vitarka of sensory consciousness, an object with its essential nature, i.e., the colour blue, is distinguished from other entities. Then, it is known as the notion ‘blue’, which is a mere provisional existence, through the conceptual thought of mental consciousness. However, for Śubhagupta, a coarse object such as something blue is only a mental error of conceptual construction.
      PubDate: 2022-05-26
      DOI: 10.1007/s10781-022-09510-8
       
  • On the function of saṁhitā in the Saṁhitā
           Upaniṣad

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      Abstract: Abstract The Saṁhitā Upaniṣad [SU] is a little-known Vedic text that presents ‘typical’ Upaniṣadic teachings on the truth of identity alongside seemingly out-of-place descriptions of rites used to protect oneself against enemies and even against death. The difference between these contents is striking, but what it has to tell us about the SU’s main concerns is vulnerable to historical and text critical methods that rely on structure, style, and linguistic archaism to divide texts into discrete strata. What if the modern text critical practice of individually identifying and classifying textual contents obscures the use and meaning of the word saṁhitā in the SU' Is it possible that the SU’s diverse contents are intrinsically related' This article explores these questions through a close examination of a sequence of passages illustrating the contrast that has led previous scholars to see the SU as miscellaneous in character and lacking internal coherence. Through this examination, I identify a wider context for saṁhitā in the specific relationship the SU depicts between the person (puruṣa) and speech (vāc). I argue that the SU’s treatment of saṁhitā draws upon an understanding of recitation in the perspective of one’s vulnerability and the dynamics involved in developments of personhood. These findings allow the SU to emerge as an intriguing and coherent text that merits closer examination and establishes a promising approach for the study of the R̥gvedic Āraṇyakas.
      PubDate: 2022-05-25
      DOI: 10.1007/s10781-022-09509-1
       
  • The Ocean of Yoga: An Unpublished Compendium Called the
           Yogārṇava

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      Abstract: Abstract The Yogārṇava (‘the ocean of yoga’) is a Sanskrit compendium on yoga that has not been published, translated or even mentioned in secondary literature on yoga. Citations attributed to it occur in several premodern commentaries and compendiums on yoga, and a few published library catalogues report manuscripts of a work on yoga called the Yogārṇava. This article presents the results of the first academic study of the text. It has attempted to answer basic questions, such as the work’s provenance and textual sources. The authors then discuss the importance of the Yogārṇava within the broader history of yoga based on their identification of citations and parallel verses in other Sanskrit texts and a detailed analysis of the Yogārṇava’s content.
      PubDate: 2022-05-07
      DOI: 10.1007/s10781-022-09504-6
       
  • Bhaṭṭa Jayanta on Epistemic Complexity

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      Abstract: Abstract This essay seeks to characterize one of the leading ideas in Bhaṭṭa Jayanta's Nyāyamañjarī, the fundamental role that the idea of complexity plays in its theory of knowledge. The appeal to the causally complex nature of any event of valid awareness is framed as a repudiation of the lean ontology and epistemology of the Buddhist theorists working in the tradition of Dharmakīrti; for Jayanta, this theoretical minimalism led inevitably to the inadmissible claim of the irreality of the world outside of consciousness. In countering this Buddhist position, Jayanta adopts some of his opponents’ characteristic terminology, most notably in his use of sāmagrī, “causal complex” itself. He resituates this borrowed vocabulary within a strong appeal to the theory of the kārakas or the semantic roles detailed by grammarians since the time of Pāṇini. Possibly borrowing this sāmagrī-kāraka amalgam from the Buddhist grammarian-epistemologist Jinendrabuddhi, Jayanta uses it as a point of departure for a sustained attack on the views of Dharmottara, who Jayanta understood as offering the most advanced and most problematic Buddhist philosophical position available in his time and place.
      PubDate: 2022-04-20
      DOI: 10.1007/s10781-022-09506-4
       
  • Frozen Sandhi, Flowing Sound: Permanent Euphonic Ligatures and the Idea of
           Text in Classical Pali Grammars

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      Abstract: Abstract Pali classical grammars reflect a specific idea of what Pali Buddhist texts are. According to this traditional idea, texts are mainly conceived as sound and therefore the initial portions of every grammar deal with sound and sound ligature or sandhi. Sandhi in Pali does not work as systematically as it does in Sanskrit and therefore Pali grammarians have struggled with the optionality of many of their rules on sound ligature. Unlike modern linguists, however, they identify certain patterns of fixed or frozen sandhis that are often associated to the formulas of Pali prose. This paper focuses on these specific frozen sandhis in Pali prose and their connection to the nature of Pali literature broadly. The main working hypothesis is the following: in the same way that certain frozen sandhis in verse obey metrical patterns, frozen sandhis in prose suggest that Pali speech-sounds are subordinated to formulaic rhythmic structures.
      PubDate: 2022-04-07
      DOI: 10.1007/s10781-022-09508-2
       
  • Killing as Orthodoxy, Exegesis as Apologetics: The Animal Sacrifice in the
           Manubhāṣya of Medhātithi

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      Abstract: Abstract Deeply rooted in the Vedic tradition, animal sacrifice is a controversial issue associated with a larger discourse of violence and non-violence in South Asia. Most existent studies on Vedic killing focus on the polemics of ritual violence in six schools of Indian philosophy. However, insufficient attention has been paid to killing in Dharmaśāstric literature, the killing that is an indispensable element of a Vedic householder’s life. To fill in the gap, this paper analyzes the animal sacrifice in the Manubhāṣya of Medhātithi, perhaps the most influential exegesis of the Mānavadharmaśāstra. As an important but understudied Dharmaśāstric exegesis, the Manubhāṣya provides insights on how dharmaśāstrins as protagonists of Vedic tradition understand ritual killing while dialoguing with other traditions in the complex religious landscape of the ninth century Kashmir. By investigating Medhātithi’s commentary on Mānavadharmaśāstra 5.22–56, this paper interrogates how Medhatithi interprets sacrificial killing, and how his interpretation assists to buttress the authority of the Vedic tradition represented by the root text. I argue that Medhātithi’s exegesis of killing serves as apologetics that re-establishes the Vedic sacrificial tradition, which is challenged by popular non-Vedic practices. This study intends to contribute to a better understanding of animal sacrifice situated at the intersection of Vedic, Purānic and Tantric strands, and the way in which Dharmaśāstric exegesis as apologetics engages in the negotiation of violence.
      PubDate: 2022-04-02
      DOI: 10.1007/s10781-022-09507-3
       
  • Nāgārjuna’s Negation

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      Abstract: Abstract The logical analysis of Nāgārjuna’s (c. 200 CE) catuṣkoṭi (tetralemma or four-corners) has remained a heated topic for logicians in Western academia for nearly a century. At the heart of the catuṣkoṭi, the four corners’ formalization typically appears as: A, Not A (¬A), Both (A &¬A), and Neither (¬[A∨¬A]). The pulse of the controversy is the repetition of negations (¬) in the catuṣkoṭi. Westerhoff argues that Nāgārjuna in the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā uses two different negations: paryudāsa (nominal or implicative negation) and prasajya-pratiṣedha (verbal or non-implicative negation). This paper builds off Westerhoff’s account and presents some subtleties of Nāgārjuna’s use of these negations regarding their scope. This is achieved through an analysis of the Sanskrit and Tibetan Madhyamaka commentarial tradition and through a grammatical analysis of Nāgārjuna’s use of na (not) and a(n)- (non-) within a diverse variety of the catuṣkoṭi within the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā.
      PubDate: 2022-03-05
      DOI: 10.1007/s10781-022-09505-5
       
  • Naming the Seventh Consciousness in Yogācāra

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      Abstract: Abstract The Yogācāra School presents the seventh consciousness as the internal mental faculty of the sixth consciousness. According to the Hīnayāna tradition, the internal faculty is called manas, so the complete compound word referring to the seventh consciousness is manovijñāna. Thus, in the Yogācāra system the seventh and sixth consciousnesses are both named manovijñāna. In order to resolve the confusion of the homonyms, one of them must be adjusted. Based on the Tibetan term, nyon yid rnam par shes pa, some scholars recently claimed that the seventh consciousness could be called kliṣṭamanas. However, in the Cheng Weishi Lun, Xuanzang proposed that the seventh consciousness is also reasonably named akliṣṭamanas when referring to the pure Buddha, and therefore it is better to simply term the seventh consciousness “manas”. On the other hand, some Indian ancient Yogācāra theorists suggested that the word manovijñāna should be used to name the seventh consciousness, while the sixth consciousness would in that case be called dharmavijñāna. However, that solution was rejected by Cheng Weishi Lun. Through contextual analysis, utilizing the method of the Indian Śāstra of Vaiyākaraṇa, this article puts forward an innovative way to solve the difficult problem of homonymity: denoting the seventh consciousness as pradhānamanovijñāna (最勝末那識) based on the unique meaning of manas advocated by Yogācāra School itself.
      PubDate: 2022-03-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10781-021-09487-w
       
  • Meditation, Idealism and Materiality: Vivid Visualization in the Buddhist
           ‘Qizil Yoga Manual’ and the Context of Caves

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      Abstract: Abstract This paper examines the topic of Yogācāra idealism through a little studied Buddhist meditation manual, the so-called ‘Yogalehrbuch’ or ‘Qizil Yoga Manual’, a primarily Buddhist Sarvāstivāda Abhidharma text with Mahāyāna Yogācāra strands. What does this unique Central Asian text say about Buddhist meditation practices called yogācāra or yoga' It centres on methods of vivid visualization that are somewhat specific to the Central Asian region of Kucha on the Silk Road. To understand the Manual’s practice and definition of yogic meditation, this paper considers how some of the hyper-real visualizations in the dhātuprayoga section relate the mind to reality and whether Yogācāra meditation can be said to propose idealism as a metaphysical theory about the nature of reality. The paper also asks whether neurocognitive research insights can be useful in understanding what some regard as a ‘hallucination-like’ quality of some visualizations, which destabilise distinctions between appearances and reality. Furthermore, it argues that analyzing the materiality of meditation, particularly the environment of the cave, helps us to better understand the text’s techniques of yogic visualization. The paper concludes that the ‘Qizil Yoga Manual’ facilitates soteriological idealism and suggests that factoring in the material contexts of meditation is useful, both in deciphering the text’s meditation methods and in discussing the metaphysical theory of idealism.
      PubDate: 2022-02-25
      DOI: 10.1007/s10781-021-09495-w
       
  • Nothing but Gold. Complexities in Terms of Non-difference and Identity.
           Part 3. Permanence, Properties Plexuses and Subtleties in Mutual Exclusion
           

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      Abstract: Abstract This paper investigates Vācaspati Miśra’s remarkably complex argumentative architecture in support of non-difference by means of a microsimulation model, the classical gold-crown case. A full range of positions, including instantaneism, transformative continuum, indeterminate common basis reference, difference and non-difference coordination, etc., is put under the scrutiny of the Vācaspati Miśra’s dialectic effort. The possibility of coexistence of multiple properties with a single referent is then formally explored. The analysis is carried out in compliance with the ‘Navya-Nyāya Formal Language’ extensional set-based approach and its non-predicative, and variables free, relational syntax. Repeatable modules and structures of reasoning are identified and designed in the form of hypothesis frameworks, axioms and theorems to allow more accurate inferences, in particular regarding transformation and permanence, together with possible or impossible plexuses of properties. Identity and difference qua mutual absence are thoroughly defined with the aid of these formal tools, which conjointly might cast new light on the heuristic and expressive power of Navya-Nyāya logic, as well as on the theoretical potentialities of the non-dualistic account.
      PubDate: 2022-02-21
      DOI: 10.1007/s10781-021-09498-7
       
  • The Kinpusen Himitsuden: Text as a Kaleidoscope of Ritual Platforms

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      Abstract: Abstract This article explores the narrative potency and ritual efficacy of a medieval Japanese esoteric Buddhist text in relation to the process of awakening and the construction of imperial legitimation, perceived as two interrelated objectives. Entitled the Kinpusen himitsuden, ‘The Secret Transmission of the Golden Peak’, the text was written by the Shingon monk Monkan Kōshin in 1337, soon after the outbreak of the civil war, at the stronghold of the southern court in Yoshino. The text is treated here as a complex ritual platform of metamorphosis and empowerment, intermingling the local cultic structure and the esoteric Buddhist ritual stage of the imperial court as well as realities internal and external to the text, which mutually inform and impregnate one another. Focusing on the articulation of a rock—the body/abode of Zaō, a tutelary mountain deity—we explore its transformation from the site of a local legend of apparition into a Buddha, an object of contemplation, the centerpiece of the imperial stage and a mold for the practitioner’s liturgical body, an achievement allowed by the text taken as a transformative agent. We demonstrate that as an epitome of esoteric Buddhist power, Zaō becomes the source of the emperor’s renewed authority as a Buddhist king, and that in turn, the emperor’s participation in the semiotic sphere of the text endows the deity with sovereign power. As such, this article shows that rather than a vessel of knowledge, the text-as-an-event, is a powerful mechanism of transformation.
      PubDate: 2022-01-30
      DOI: 10.1007/s10781-021-09496-9
       
  • Bending Minds and Winning Hearts: On the Rhetorical Uses of Complexity in
           Mahāyāna Sūtras

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      Abstract: Abstract Mahāyāna sūtras are obviously texts in the conventional sense of the word, but how they work as texts, the purposes they serve, and the manner in which they are constructed have so far attracted comparatively little sustained theoretical attention of the sort that goes beyond specific examples. This paper addresses itself to two well-known formal features of this voluminous genre which have yet to receive the critical reflection they deserve. The first is a pervasive self-referentiality, taking various forms, some of them fairly straightforward, even banal, others highly challenging and paradoxical in their effect. The second feature is the use of formulas and lists, not singly, but in combination, in a way which expands a theme along two or more axes or vectors concurrently. These two features, while by no means exhaustive of all the things that make Mahāyāna sūtras the distinctive type of scripture they are, provide evidence of a passion for complexity which seems to be part of their DNA. Intensely generative of ever greater amounts of text, these features blur and even erase the boundaries between the creators of texts, the writers and speakers, and their consumers, the readers and hearers. In this paper they are explored with special reference to a small number of sūtras, some of which are demonstrably early productions of the Mahāyāna movement.
      PubDate: 2022-01-28
      DOI: 10.1007/s10781-021-09502-0
       
  • Is Word-Meaning Denoted or Remembered' Śālikanātha’s Cornerstone
           in Defence of Anvitābhidhāna

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      Abstract: Abstract The role of memory in one’s cognition of sentential meaning is a pivotal topic in Indian philosophical debates on the nature of language. The Bhāṭṭa Mīmāṃsakas claim in their doctrine of abhihitānvaya that words denote word-meanings which in turn lead one to sentential meaning, with memory playing only a limited role in this process. The Prābhākara Mīmāṃsakas however assign memory a central role and assert that each word in a sentence denotes the connected sentential meaning. This paper is a philosophical and philological study of the arguments presented by the influential Prābhākara thinker Śālikanātha in his Vākyārthamātṛkā-I (VM-I) in order to substantiate the role of memory as part of the doctrine of anvitābhidhāna. The VM-I commences these discussions with an objection of the Bhāṭṭa pūrvapakṣin against this Prābhākara doctrine (often quoted even in recent scholarship), and thereafter proceeds to refute this objection by demonstrating the role of memory, specifically in regard to word-meaning. Śālikanātha lays out his refutation by means of several layers of intricate argumentation, and this paper attempts to follow the text closely and present cogently his philosophical reasoning. The aim of this paper is thus to not only demonstrate the early pre-empting of this Bhāṭṭa objection by Śālikanātha himself but also his own responses to this, thereby enabling one to understand with greater clarity a cornerstone of the elaborate doctrine of anvitābhidhāna.
      PubDate: 2022-01-27
      DOI: 10.1007/s10781-021-09503-z
       
  • Early Buddhist Texts: Their Composition and Transmission

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      Abstract: Abstract This article discusses the composition and transmission of early Buddhist texts with specific reference to sutras. After briefly summarizing the main reasons why it is likely that these oral compositions were designed to be memorized and transmitted verbatim, I will discuss the main types of changes that these texts underwent in the course of their transmission and the reasons such changes occurred, then attempt to give an account of the challenge that change, particularly intentional change, posed to the oral transmission of fixed, memorized texts.
      PubDate: 2022-01-26
      DOI: 10.1007/s10781-021-09499-6
       
  • The Marvel of Consciousness: Existence and Manifestation in
           Jñānaśrīmitra’s Sākārasiddhiśāstra

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      Abstract: Abstract This paper considers Jñānaśrīmitra’s defense of manifestation (prakāśa) as the criterion of ultimate existence (paramārthasat). In the first section, "Asatkhyāti and Adhyavasāya: making sense of manifestation as the criterion of the real", I show the way that, in response to Ratnākaraśānti’s Nirākāravāda, Jñānaśrīmitra argues for a sharp distinction between manifestation and determination (adhyavasāya) in an effort to establish that the manifestation of something unreal (alīka, asat) is incoherent. The unreal, he thinks, is only ever determined; it is never manifest to consciousness, properly speaking. In the second section, “To be manifest is to be locked away in a single awareness-event”, I turn to one of the consequences of this view that Jñānaśrīmitra embraces: what manifests is only what appears in a single moment of conscious awareness. In the third section, “The scope of neither-one-nor-many: Jñānaśrīmitra’s Interpretation of PV 3.220–221”, I consider one of the problems this raises: how is it that an appearance with mutually opposed parts (a so-called citrākāra, for instance a variegated butterfly’s wing that is both blue and yellow) manifests in one and the same unitary moment of awareness' Jñānaśrīmitra solves this problem by appealing to the nature of manifestation and its distinction from determination: what is manifest, even if it is variegated, is nondual and indivisible; distinctions arise only on the basis of determination. I trace the details of this solution in the context of his discussion of an important pair of verses from Dharmakīrti. Finally, in the last section, “The marvelous nonduality of variegated awareness-events”, I turn to the surprising buddhological consequences of this solution.
      PubDate: 2022-01-23
      DOI: 10.1007/s10781-021-09501-1
       
  • Fragments from the Ājīvikas

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      Abstract: Abstract The paper examines available references to the Ājīvikas that are often identified by scholars, notably by Basham (1951), as genuine quotations from Ājīvikas’ lost works. In addition, the paper analyses some additional material not previously indentifed as possible quotations relevant to Ājīvikism. Unfortunately, none of such references seem to be genuinely derived from an Ājīvika source: All of such passages or verses previously considered genuinely taken from Ājīvika literature turn out to have been composed by non-Ājīvika authors and usually derive either from Jaina works or from fables and narrative literature. There is no clear proof that the Ājīvikas developed their own Sanskrit literature (in addition to Prakrit works), much less philosophical literature in Sanskrit. Further, the faithfulness and reliability of reports of the Ājīvikas and paraphrases of their views cannot be assessed with any certainty.
      PubDate: 2022-01-22
      DOI: 10.1007/s10781-021-09494-x
       
  • The Dzokchen Apology: On the Limits of Logic, Language, & Epistemology
           in Early Great Perfection

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      Abstract: Abstract This article examines the translator, Rongzom’s (fl. late 11th/early 12th c.), scholastic philosophical defense of early Dzokchen (rdzogs pa chen po) or “Great Perfection.” As our earliest instance of religious apologia in Tibet, this examination contributes to a growing body of knowledge about the Tibetan assimilation of post-tenth century of Vajrayāna Buddhism and the indigenous response to the forces of cultural transformation shaping the late eleventh/early twelfth century Tibet. Traditional authorities and academics have identified Dzokchen as a Tibetan tradition of Buddhism that drew intense criticism at the time from renaissance agents. This paper explores the primary Tibetan response by describing Rongzom’s philosophical defense of Great Perfection. As such, it illuminates the intellectual and ideological context of the milieu as it evinces Rongzom’s innovation and mastery of Indian systems of logic, language, and epistemology in the Dzokchen approach to the Buddhist path.
      PubDate: 2021-11-22
      DOI: 10.1007/s10781-021-09492-z
       
 
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