Journal of Indian Philosophy

, Volume 43, Issue 4–5, pp 511–557 | Cite as

Some Problems Concerning Textual Reuses in the Madhyamakaratnapradīpa, with a Discussion of the Quotation from Saraha’s Dohākośagīti

  • Krishna Del Toso


The aim of the present study is to shed light on why the citation taken from Saraha’s Dohākośagīti and occurring in the Madhyamakaratnapradīpa, chapter 7, opens the door to some fundamental reflections concerning the authority and the “nature” of this latter text. On the basis of a historical and doctrinal analysis, here a new interpretation is put forward, according to which the Madhyamakaratnapradīpa should be considered a tenth century CE handbook, written by some unknown Buddhist teacher perhaps as a manual for his lessons. The primary purpose of this teacher seems to have been the discussion—in the light of textual sources compiled up to this time—of the doctrinal and philosophical perspectives contained in the sixth century CE Bhāviveka’s Madhyamakahṛdayakārikā and Tarkajvālā. The Madhyamakaratnapradīpa could have been composed on the basis of notes written down for the benefit of this teacher’s students. Moreover, the analysis of the general style and quotes or references of the text, on the one hand, compared with the passage containing the quote from Saraha, on the other hand, lead us to take seriously into consideration the possibility that the citation borrowed from the Dohākośagīti could have been embedded into the text a little after its composition, by someone different from its original author.


Bhāviveka/Bhavya Tibetan translations Madhyamaka Madhyamakaratnapradīpa Saraha Textual reuse 


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Humanistic StudiesUniversity of TriesteTriesteItaly

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