The Tree of Wisdom : She-Rab Dong-Bu
The She-rab Dong-bu (Tree of Wisdom) is a metrical translation in Tibetan of a Sanscrit ethical work entitled Prajnya Danda, written by Nagarjuna who flourished in the fourth century of the Buddhist era. Nagarjuna's primary contribution to Buddhist philosophy is in the use of the concept of sunyata, or "emptiness," which brings together other key Buddhist doctrines, particularly anatman "not-self" and pratityasamutpada "dependent origination," to refute the metaphysics of the Sarvastivada and Sautrantika (extinct non-Mahayana schools). For Nagarjuna, as for the Buddha in the early texts, it is not merely sentient beings that are "selfless" or non-substantial; all phenomena are without any svabhava, literally "own-being," "self-nature," or "inherent existence" and thus without any underlying essence. They are empty of being independently existent; thus the heterodox theories of svabhava circulating at the time were refuted on the basis of the doctrines of early Buddhism. This is so because all things arise always dependently: not by their own power, but by depending on conditions leading to their coming into existence, as opposed to being. As part of his analysis of the emptiness of phenomena in the Mulamadhyamakakarika, Nagarjuna critiques svabhava in several different concepts. He discusses the problems of positing any sort of inherent essence to causation, movement, change and personal identity. Nagarjuna makes use of the Indian logical tool of the tetralemma to attack any essentialist conceptions.
- Paperback | 44 pages
- 152.4 x 228.6 x 2.54mm | 117.93g
- 02 Jun 2015
- United States
- black & white illustrations