Skip to main content Skip to search
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3
<b>Creator's Description</b>: The Tibetan concept of canon and of schools of thought pertaining to Indian Buddhism presents a way of looking at Indian Buddhist texts which has been predominant in modern scholarship. Yet, this notion appears to be anachronistic in that it proposes to think of Indian literature as stratified by canonical groupings of texts and to think of authors as united or opposed by belonging to various schools of philosophical thought at a time in India when no such canon existed and when the literature of the time did not speak of such schools. Would it be possible to move away from the Tibetan concept of Indian Buddhist history and read the Indian literature in novel ways that could reveal the texts' interrelatedness in a manner that would be closer to the environment in which they were written? This article suggests a method of reading such texts comparatively in order to identify the extent to which a series of commentaries can be said to be tied together as forming a single commentarial tradition. It does so by using a snippet of the Middle Way School (Madhyamaka, Dbu ma) and examining the Indian commentaries on the seventeenth chapter of Nāgārjuna's (first to second century CE) Root Verses of the Middle Way School (Mūlamadhyamakakārikā).

<b>Creator's Description</b>: New textual technologies inspire and force interpretive communities to rethink the way a text is perceived and used. Today, the possibilities of computers and the internet lead text-users to digitize materials and make sources searchable. This, in turn, changes the nature of texts, how they are used, and how they are understood. Past technological revolutions have had similar strong ramifications on the history of literature. In Tibet, one such shift was the spread of printing in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Much money, time, and effort had to be invested in transforming handwritten manuscripts to printed texts, which impelled Tibetans to take a new look at the existing literature. Publishers and editors often sat down to reorganize and emend texts of the manuscript tradition in order to make them more reader-friendly, thus justifying the increased circulation of the texts that printing made possible. Yet, modifying the texts also meant changing their significance in terms of how the texts and their authors were subsequently perceived. Relying on redaction and source criticism, the present article analyzes the editorial modifications that were imposed when the collected works of Sgam po pa Bsod nams rin chen, a twelfth-century founder of the Bka' brgyud tradition, were printed for the first time, and reveals the religious and literary ramifications this textual transformation involved. (2013-07-01)