Is Ratnākaraśānti a gZhan stong pa?

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Abstract

The doctrinal position of Ratnākaraśānti (ca. 11th century) is a source of great controversy among modern scholars. As diversified as the modern understanding of Ratnākaraśānti’s doctrinal position is the traditional ways in which the gZhan stong view is defined in Tibet. This paper aims to (1) argue, with special attention paid on his presentation of the three natures, that Ratnākaraśānti defines his own doctrine as Rang bzhin gsum gyi dbu ma / *Trisvabhāva- mādhyamika in his “Core Trilogy”: the Prajñāpāramitopadeśa, the Madhyamakālaṅkāropadeśa, and the Madhyamakālaṅkāravṛttimadhyamapratipatsiddhi, (2) demonstrate, by comparing Ratnākaraśānti’s view with that of the orthodox Jo nang authors represented by Dol po pa Shes rab rgyal mtshan (1292–1361) and Tāranātha (1575–1634), that Ratnākaraśānti is arguably a gZhan stong pa in its strictest sense, and (3) problematize Brunnhölzl (Prajñāpāramitā, Indian “gzhan stong pas”, and the beginning of Tibetan gzhan stong, Wiener Studien zur Tibetologie und Buddhismuskunde Heft 74, 2011) and Sponberg’s (Bukkyō bunka kenkyūjo kiyō 21:97–119, 1982) classification of different accounts of the three natures in Indian, Tibetan and Chinese sources.

Keywords

Ratnākaraśānti gZhan stong The three natures *Trisvabhāvamādhyamika 

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Tibetan Studies of Sichuan UniversityChengduChina

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