The Criticism of Theism in the Sravakabhumi of the Yogacarabhumi

Authors

  • Keiki Nakayama Kyoto University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/rosa.20907

Keywords:

Buddhism, Yogācāra, Yogācārabhūmi, Śrāvakabhūmi, creator, Īśvara

Abstract

According to some Indian theists, Isvara or Brahman is the absolute and the creator of the world, an idea that was criticized by Buddhists from the earliest times. This paper considers how Buddhists, particularly the Yogacara school, refute the existence of God as a creator in connection with practice. It seems that all Buddhist sects prove that no universal creator exists, using logical arguments against non-Buddhists. Previous studies have elucidated the proof of the non-existence of Isvara in the Savitarkasavicaradibhumi section of the Yogacarabhumi, the main Yogacara text. However, little attention has been paid to another section, the Sravakabhumi, in which a yoga practitioner uses logical reasoning (anumana) to deal with the denial of Isvara in the course of his or her practice of impermanence (anitya). The Sravakabhumi, probably completed at the earliest stage of compilation of the Yogacarabhumi, describes the practice that could lead to liberation according to the teaching of the Sravakayana. I demonstrate that the Sravakabhumi treats the denial of Isvara as a part of practice, not just as an intellectual exercise aimed at refuting non-Buddhists, and shows the place of discussion of this topic in Buddhist practice.

Author Biography

Keiki Nakayama, Kyoto University

Keiki Nakayama is a PhD student at Kyoto University. His research interests are Yogācāra philosophy, particularly the idea of impermanence (anitya), and his publications include ‘Mundane Path and Nirvāṇa in the Śrāvakabhūmi of the Yogācārabhūmi’ (Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies 68(3), 2020) and ‘A Preliminary Survey on the Structure of the Paryāyasaṃgrahaṇī: With its Special Focus on the *Pheṇapiṇḍasūtra’ (Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies 69(3), 2021).

References

Primary Sources

Abhidharmakosabhasya (Skt. ed. Pradhan 1967).

Anguttaranikaya (Pali ed. I: Warder 1961).

Dighanikaya (Pali ed. I: Davids & Carpenter 1975; III: Carpenter 1976).

Mahabharata (Skt.ed. Sukthankar 1942).

Mahakarmavibhanga (Skt. ed. Lévi 1932).

Majjhimanikaya (Pali ed. II: Chalmers 1977).

Nyayabhasya (Skt. ed. Thakur 1997).

Svetasvatara Upanisad (Skt. ed. Olivelle 1998).

Yogacarabhumi (Mauli bhumih / Maulyo bhumayah):

Savitarkasavicaradibhumi (Skt. ed. Bhattacharya 1957: 73–232; Ch. T no. 30 (1579) 294b08–328b24, translated by Xuanzang; Tib. D (4035) tshi 37a7–120b2, P (5536) dzi 42b2–137a8).

Sravakabhumi (Skt. ed. Shukla 1973; Ch. T no. 30 (1579) 395c03–477c01, translated by Xuanzang; Tib. D (4036) dzi 1b1–195a7, P (5537) wi 1a1–236a8.

Xianyang shengjiao lun Ch. T no. 31 (1602) 480b12–583b17, translated by Xuanzang.

Secondary Sources

Bhattacharya, Vidhushekhara. 1957. The Yogacarabhumi of Acarya Asanga: The Sanskrit Text Compared with the Tibetan Version. Calcutta: Calcutta University Press.

Bodhi, Bhikkhu. 2012. The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Anguttara Nikaya. Boston, MA: Wisdom Publication.

Carpenter, Estlin J. 1976. The Digna Nikaya, Vol. III. London: The Pali Text Society. (First published in 1911.)

Chalmers, Robert. 1977. The Majjhima-nikaya, Vol. II. London: The Pali Text Society. (First published 1896.)

Chemparathy, George. 1968/69. ‘Two Early Buddhist Refutations of the Existence of Isvara as the Creator of the Universe.’ Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Süd: und Ostasiens und Archiv für indische Philosophie 12/13: 85–100.

China Library of Nationalities & Taisho Universities. 1994. Yujia shi de lun shengwen de fanwen yuanwen yingyinben, (The Facsimile Edition of the ‘Sravakabhumi’ Sanskrit Palm-Leaf Manuscript). Beijing: Minzu chuban she.

Davids, Rhys and Estlin J. Carpenter. 1975. The Digha Nikaya, Vol. I. London: The Pali Text Society. (First published 1890).

De Jong, J. W. 1976. Review of Shukla (1973). Indo-Iranian Journal 18: 307–10.

Deleanu, Florin. 2006. The Chapter on the Mundane Path (Laukikamarga) in the Sravakabhumi: A Trilingual Edition (Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese), Annotated Translation, and Introductory Study. 2 vols. Tokyo: The International Institute for Buddhist Studies.

Eltschinger, Vincent. 2013/14. ‘The Yogacarabhumi against Allodoxies (paravada): 1. Introduction and Doxography.’ Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Südasiens 55: 191–234. https://doi.org/10.1553/wzks2013-2014s191 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1553/wzks2013-2014s191

Enomoto, Fumio. 2009. ‘Shishotai’ no gen’i to Indo bukkyo ni okeru “hijiri”.’ (The Original Meaning of catvary aryasatyani and arya in Indian Buddhism). Indo tetsugaku bukkyogaku 24: 1–19.

Goshima, Kiyotaka. 2002. ‘Juni mon ron’ ni miru shusaishin hiteiron: Ku no yurai o megutte.’ (On Atheism in the Twelve Gate Treatise), Kirisutokyo kenkyu 64 (1): 46–72.

Harvey, Peter. 2009. ‘The Four Ariya-saccas as “True Realities for the Spiritually Ennobled”—the Painful, its Origin, its Cessation, and the Way Going to This—Rather than “Noble Truths” Concerning These.’ Buddhist Studies Review 26 (2): 197–227. https://doi.org/10.1558/bsrv.v26i2.197 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1558/bsrv.v26i2.197

——2013. Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices. 2nd edn. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Hayashima, Osamu. 1990. ‘Ken’yo shogyo ron’ ni okeru ushinron hihan: “Jo mujo bon” dai 14 ge o chushin ni.’ (On the Refutation by the Yogacara School of the View of God Being the Cause of the World). Nagasaki daigaku kyoiku gakubu jinbun kagaku kenkyu hokoku 40: 23–39.

——1997a. ‘Ken’yo shogyo ron’ kenkyu jo.’ (An Introductory Study of the Xianyang shengjiao). Nagasaki daigaku kyoiku gakubu syakai kagaku ronzo 54: 23–38.

——1997b. ‘Ken’yo shogyo ron’ kenkyu jo (Shozen).’ (An Introductory Study of the Xianyang shengjiao (continued)). Nagasaki daigaku kyoiku gakubu syakai kagaku ronzo 54: 39–52.

Hayes, Richard P. 1988. ‘Principled Atheism in the Buddhist Scholastic Tradition.’ Journal of Indian Philosophy 16: 5–28. https://doi.org/10.1007/bf00235404 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00235404

Jackson, Roger. 1986. ‘Dharmakirti’s Refutation of Theism.’ Philosophy East and West 36(4): 315–48. https://doi.org/10.2307/1398992 DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/1398992

Kajiyama, Yuichi. 1989. Studies in Buddhist Philosophy (Selected Papers): Edited on the Occasion of his Retirement from Kyoto University by Katsumi Mimaki et al. Kyoto: Rinsen shoten. (Repr. in 2005.)

Kanakura, Ensho. 1977. Review of Shukla (1973). Suzuki gakujutsu zaidan kenkyu nenpo 14: 115–18. DOI: https://doi.org/10.11619/africa1964.1977.14

Kragh, Ulrich Timme. 2013. ‘The Yogacarabhumi and Its Adaptation: Introductory Essay with a Summary of the Basic Section.’ In Ulrich Timme Kragh (ed.), The Foundation for Yoga Practitioners: The Buddhist Yogacarabhumi Treatise and Its Adaptation in India, East Asia, and Tibet: 22–287. Cambridge, MA: Department of South Asian Studies, Harvard University. https://doi.org/10.1163/15728536-06003007 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/15728536-06003007

Krasser, Helmut. 2002. Sankaranandanas Isvarapakaranasanksepa: mit einem anonymen Kommentar und weiteren Materialien zur buddhistischen Gottespolemik, Teil 2: Annotierte Übersetzungen und Studie zur Auseinandersetzung über die Existenz Gottes. Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1553/3-7001-3024-4

Kumoi, Shozen. 1963. ‘Shukumyoron, muinron, ushinron to bukkyo no hihan.’ (The Doctrine of Former Action, Causelessness and God and its Criticism by Buddhists). In Hajime Nakamura (ed.), Jiga to muga. (Atman and Anatman): 201–25. Kyoto: Heirakuji shoten.

Lévi, Sylvain 1932. Mahakarmavibhanga (La Grande Classification des Actes) et Karmavibhangopadesa (Discussion sur le Maha Karmavibhanga): Textes Sanscrits Rapportés du Népal, édités et Traduits avec les Textes Paralléles en Sanscrit, en Pali, en Tibétain, en Chinois et en Koutchéen. Paris: Librairie Ernest Leroux.

Miyasaka, Yusho. 1984. ‘Ushinron hihan.’ (The Criticism of Theism). In Akira Hirakawa, Yuichi Kajiyama and Jikido Takasaki (eds), Koza daijo bukkyo 9 Ninshikiron to ronrigaku (Mahayana Buddhism 9 Epistemology and Logic): 255–91. Tokyo: Shunjusha.

Mori, Toshihide. 1987. ‘Shomonji’ no shugyodo.’ (The Path of Practice in the Sravakabhumi). Ryukoku daigaku daigakuin kiyo 8: 17–32.

Mukai, Ryo. 1979. ‘“Ken’yo shogyo ron” to “Yugashi ji ron”.’ (The Xianyang shengjiao lun and the Yogacarabhumi). Bukkyogaku 8: 30–68.

Nagashima, Jundo. 2017. ‘The Sanskrit Manuscript of the Sravakabhumi in Comparison with the Chinese and Tibetan Translations.’ In Seongcheol Kim and Jundo Nagashima (eds), Sravakabhumi and Buddhist Manuscripts: 175–89. Tokyo: Nonburusha.

Nakayama, Keiki. 2019. ‘Yugashi ji ron’ “Shomonji” no shudoron ni okeru mujo kansatsu no tokucho to sono ichizuke: Junbi dankai kara syussekendo e.’ (Features and Position of the Meditation on Impermanence in the Cultivation of the Sravakabhumi in the Yogacarabhumi: From the Preliminary Path to the Supramundane Path). Mikkyo bunka 242: 57–82. https://doi.org/10.4259/ibk.68.3_1176 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4259/ibk.68.3_1176

——2020. ‘Mundane Path and Nirvana in the Sravakabhumi of the Yogacarabhumi.’ Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies 68(3): 70–73.

Olivelle, Patrick. 1998. The Early Upanisads: Annotated Text and Translation, South Asia Research. New York: Oxford University Press.

Pradhan, Prahlad. 1967. Abhidharmakosabhasya of Vasubandhu. Tibetan Sanskrit Works Series 8. Patna: Kashi Prasad Jayaswal Research Institute.

Schmithausen, Lambert. 1982. ‘Versenkungspraxis und Erlösende Erfahrung in der Sravakabhumi.’ Epiphanie des Heils: Heilsgegenwart in Indischer und Christlicher: 59–85.

——1987. Alayavijñana: On the Origin and the Early Development of a Central Concept of Yogacara Philosophy. 2 vols. Studia Philologica Buddhica, Monograph Series 4. Tokyo: The International Institute for Buddhist Studies; repr. Tokyo: The International Institute for Buddhist Studies, 2007.

——2007. ‘Aspects of Spiritual Practice in Early Yogacara.’ Journal of the International College for Postgraduate Buddhist Studies 11: 213–44.

Shukla, Karunesha. 1973. Sravakabhumi of Acarya Asanga. Tibetan Sanskrit Works Series vol. 14. Patna: Kashi Prasad Jayaswal Research Institute.

Suguro, Shinjo. 1989. Shoki yuishiki shiso no kenkyu (Studies on the Early Vijñaptimatra Philosophy). Tokyo: Shunjusha.

Sukthankar, Vishnu S. 1942. The Mahabharata, The Aranyakaparvan (Part 1): Being the Third book of the Mahabharata, The Great Epic of India. Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute.

Tamura, Chijun 1971. ‘Purajunakaramati no ushinron hihan.’ (Prajñakaramati’s Criticism of Theism). Nanto bukkyo 27: 1–22.

Thakur, Anantalal. 1997. Gautamiyanyayadarsana with Bhasya of Vatsyayana, Nyayacaturgranthika Vol. I. New Delhi: Indian Council of Philosophical Research.

Ui, Hakuju. 1958. Yugaron kenkyu. (Study on the Yogacarabh?mi). Tokyo: Iwanami shoten.

von Glasenapp, Helmuth. 1966. Buddhism: A Non-Theistic Religion, With a Selection from Buddhist Scriptures. Heinz Bechert (ed.), Irmgard Schloegl (trans.). New York: George Braziller. (Original book: Buddhismus und Gottesidee: Die Buddhistischen Lehren von den überweltlichen Wesen und Mächten und ihre religionsgeschichtlichen Parallelen. 1954. Wiesbaden: Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur in Mainz.)

von Rospatt, Alexander. 1995. The Buddhist Doctrine of Momentariness: A survey of the Origins and Early Phase of this Doctrine up to Vasubandhu. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.

——2004. ‘Impermanence and Time, The Contemplation of Impermanence (anityata) in the Yogacara Tradition of Maitreya and Asanga.’ Anfang und Ende: Ergebnisse und Beiträge des Internationalen Symposiums der Hermann und Marianne Straniak: 75–91.

Walshe, Maurice. 1995. The Long Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Digha Nikaya. Boston: Wisdom Publications. (First published in 1987 under the title of Thus Have I Heard: The Long Discourses of the Buddha.)

Warder, A.K. 1961. The Anguttara-nikaya Part I: Ekanipata, Dukanipata, and Tikanipata. London: The Pali Text Society. (First edited by Richard Morris in 1885.)

Yaita, Hidetomi. 1989. ‘Shomon ji’ ni okeru sanryo setsu.’ (Three Valid Means of Cognition in the Sravakabhumi). Taisho daigaku sogo bukkyo kenkyujo nenpo 11: 78–85.

Yamaguchi, Susumu. 1960. ‘Chugan bukkyo ni okeru ushinron no hihan.’ (Criticism of the Madhyamika School on Theism). Bukkyo to bunka: Suzuki Daisetsu hakase shoju kinen ronbunshu: 68–97. (Repr. in 1973 in Yamaguchi susumu bukkyogaku bunshu ge: 215–49. Tokyo: Shunjusha.)

Yoshimizu, Chizuko. 1996. ‘Samdhinirmocanasutra X ni okeru Yonshu no yukti ni tsuite.’ Samdhinirmocanasutra (On the Four Kinds of yukti in the Tenth Chapter of the Samdhinirmocanasutra). Naritasan bukkyo kenkyujo kiyo 19: 123–68.

Published

2021-11-17

How to Cite

Nakayama, K. . (2021). The Criticism of Theism in the Sravakabhumi of the Yogacarabhumi. Religions of South Asia, 15(1), 32–47. https://doi.org/10.1558/rosa.20907

Issue

Section

Articles