Śāntarakṣita’s Criticism of Causal Activity (vyāpāra)



The term nirvyāpāra, which literally means “non-activity”, can be a key point in understanding Śāntarakṣita’s causal theory. It is a necessary step in his argument for the doctrine of Dependent Origination. This paper presents the views of the orthodox Indian schools that endorses the existence of causal activity and examines how Śāntarakṣita establishes the idea of non-activity (nirvyāpāra) mainly by discussing his objection to causal activity. In addition, the paper also briefly investigate the history of the concept of “non-activity” in Buddhist philosophy, trying to show that Śāntarakṣita contributes to this view by explicitly spelling it out and providing a detailed argument for it.


Śāntarakṣita Kamalaśīla Kumārila vyāpāra nirvyāpāra 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PhilosophyChinese Academy of Social SciencesBeijingChina

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