What makes a text a “commentary”? The question is naif enough to allow for a complicated answer. First of all, let me note the obvious: There is not a single word for “commentary” in Sanskrit, where one needs to distinguish between bhāṣyas, vārttikas, ṭippanīs, etc., often bearing poetical names, evoking Moons, mirrors and the like.
In my previous post on this topic, I had neglected an important source and I am grateful for a reader who pointed this out. The relevant text is a verse of Kumārila’s (one of the main authors of the Mīmāṃsā school, possibly 7th c.) lost Bṛhaṭṭīkā preserved in the Tattvasaṅgraha:
The one who jumps 10 hastas in the sky,
s/he will never be able to jump one yojana, even after one hundred exercises! (TS 3167)
Was Buddhism ever predominant in Tamil Nadu? Which Buddhism? And when?
After my last post on the disappearance of Buddhism from South India, I received two emails of readers pointing to the fact that Buddhism must have been prosperous in Tamil Nadu, given that Dharmakīrti himself was born in Tamil Nadu and that the Maṇimēkalai (a Buddhist literary text in Tamil, datable perhaps to the 5th–7th c.) presupposes a Buddhist community and reuses materials from Śaṅkarasvāmin’s Nyāyapraveśa.
What determines the likelihood of textual reuse to occur? The genre, the time, the personality of the author? And what are the reasons for not naming one’s source?
You can read my views on the written version of the paper presented by Kei Kataoka on apoha (and of the views by Kiyotaka Yoshimizu discussed in it) here, here and here.
A discussion of K. Yoshimizu’s paper (on the chronology of Kumārila and Dharmakīrti) can be found here.
A summary of likes and dislikes of my readers and colleagues can be read here (don’t forget to add your own favs).
The datation of Dharmakīrti is a topic I am not competent enough to speak about, but I will nonetheless try to summarise other people’s arguments.
The departing point is the traditionally accepted date of Dharmakīrti, namely 600–660, settled by Erich Frauwallner mainly on the basis of the reports of Chinese pilgrims,
All nice things come to an end, and so did the IABS conference. Now, many among you will be heading to Heidelberg for the Dharmakīrti Conference. Although I will not be able to attend, I received from K. Yoshimizu his paper for it, with the assent to discuss it here.
Yesterday I missed all talks taking place during my panel, but today I could reconver at least one of them,
I am not completely convinced by the reasons behind the partition in panels and sections here, nonetheless, I heard two interesting papers readers might also find intriguing:
Who invented the apoha theory? If you, like me, are prone to answer “Dignāga” and to add that Dignāga (as shown by Hattori) was inspired by Bhartṛhari’s theory and that Dharmakīrti and Dharmottara later fine-tuned Dignāga’s one, you are ready to have your view challenged by K. Kunjunni Raja’s article in Buddhist Logic and Epistemology (ed. by B.K. Matilal and R.D. Evans, 1986, I am grateful to Sudipta Munsi who sent me a copy of it).