The Nirmāṇa-Kāya or Historical Manifestations (Cont.)

  • Alfonso Verdu
Part of the Studies in Philosophy and Religion book series (STPAR, volume 3)


Our effort to detect a pervading “unity-in-the-difference” throughout the apparently disparate and mutually opposing doctrines of the various Buddhist schools is not original. The Hua-yen tradition, together with all the integrationist tendencies of Mahāyāna (Tendai, Shingon, Amidism, etc.), made a point of showing the dialectical vertebration of all the Buddhist theoretical differences in some sort of monolithic historical framework. Thus Hegel’s attempts to sense the heartbeat of “complementarity” in the cultural veins of history had more than one forerunner in the progressive, totalistic conceptions of Buddhism. The ever-moving history of art, religion and philosophy embodies that dialectical pulse which, according to Hegel, “beats” already through the sheer conceptual veins of pure thought itself. We are about to show, however, that the great difference between the Hegelian concept of dialectics and that of the “totalistic” schools of Buddhism lies precisely in the still-intermediating character of the historical events that belong to the nirmāṇa-kāya manifestations. The completion of the dialectical process, which begins in the garbha-ālaya notion of potentiality, takes place beyond the historical accomplishments of the human Spirit; for the totalistic realization of Tathatā transcends the collective, historicistic notion of the Hegelian “absolute spirit.”


Subjective Idealism Integrationist School Middle Path Buddhist Doctrine Positive Integrationism 
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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, The Hague 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alfonso Verdu
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of KansasUSA

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