Thor bu - Curiosia Indo-Tibetica

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Vilāsavajra's Jñānapāda quotation traced

This has been giving me headaches for a while. As already noted by Anthony Tribe in his thesis (The Names of Wisdom. A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation of Chapters 1-5 of Vilāsavajra's Commentary on the Nāmasaṃgīti, with Introduction and Textual Notes, Oxford 1994), Vilāsavajra quotes Jñānapāda in his Nāmamantrārthāvalokinī, but the verse - to the best of my knowledge (but I'm woefully behind with secondary literature) - remains untraced. Here is the śloka in question (given by Tribe on p. 16 from his Ms. B = NGMPP E 360/16, f. 58r):

tathā coktaṃ Jñānapādaiḥ | 

sambodhicittam utpādya mahāmaitrīprayogataḥ | 
sarvadharmā nirātmāna iti jñātvā vimucyata iti ||

A slight correction based on the Cambridge ms. (Add. 1708, f. 81v): mahāmaitrī- rather than mahāmaitrīṃ

I have browsed through most of Jñānapāda's works, but could not find this verse. Well, it turns out I was looking in the wrong place. This is not from Jñānapāda's Tantric works, but from one placed among the Madhyamaka texts in the Tibetan Canon, the Mahāyānalakṣaṇasamuccaya (Tōh. 3905). This is actually the opening verse:

byang chub yang dag sems bskyed pa'i |
byams pa chen po'i sbyor ba ste |
chos rnams thams cad bdag med pa'i |
zhes bya ye shes mngon par brjod || 

Something has gone terribly wrong with the fourth quarter, but on the whole I would call this a good match.

UPDATE: a fragment of the Mahāyānalakṣaṇasamuccaya is extant in Sanskrit, see Yoshiyasu Yonezawa, "Sanskrit Fragment of the Mahāyānalakṣaṇasamuccaya". In: Journal of Research Society of Buddhism and Cultural Heritage No.7, 1998, 36-65. The Japanese scholar notes that the verse was already noted and transcribed by Sāṅkṛtyāyana (1937:40, n. 4). The reading adopted in these publications is iti jñātvā 'dhimucyate. (Thanks to Harunaga Isaacson and Ryugen Tanemura for the article.)

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