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The relation of akasa to pratityasamutpada in Nagarjuna’s writings

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dc.contributor.advisor Clasquin, M. (Michel)
dc.contributor.author Mason, Garth
dc.date.accessioned 2013-06-26T08:41:09Z
dc.date.available 2013-06-26T08:41:09Z
dc.date.issued 2012-08
dc.identifier.citation Mason, Garth (2012) The relation of akasa to pratityasamutpada in Nagarjuna’s writings, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <http://hdl.handle.net/10500/9936> en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10500/9936
dc.description.abstract While much of Nāgārjuna’s writings are aimed at deconstructing fixed views and views that hold to some form of substantialist thought (where certain qualities are held to be inherent in phenomena), he does not make many assertive propositions regarding his philosophical position. He focuses most of his writing to applying the prasaṅga method of argumentation to prove the importance of recognizing that all phenomena are śūnya by deconstructing views of phenomena based on substance. Nāgārjuna does, however, assert that all phenomena are empty and that phenomena are meaningful because śūnyatā makes logical sense.1 Based on his deconstruction of prevailing views of substance, he maintains that holding to any view of substance is absurd, that phenomena can only make sense if viewed from the standpoint of śūnyatā. This thesis grapples with the problem that Nāgārjuna does not provide adequate supporting arguments to prove that phenomena are meaningful due to their śūnyatā. It is clear that if saṃvṛti is indiscernible due to its emptiness, saṃvṛtisatya cannot be corroborated on its own terms due to its insubstantiality. But how does viewing phenomena as empty make them meaningful? Scholars who base their understanding of how meaning is established in Nāgārjuna’s thought based on Candrakīrti’s interpretation of his twotruths formulation, which grants both paramārtha and saṃvṛti truths their distinctive truth-values, tend to prove the distinctive truth of saṃvṛti in terms of its linguisticallybased, conventional status.2 I am critical of this approach and argue, instead, that an explanation of how phenomena are meaningful due to their emptiness is found in the Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra’s (PPM)’s use of metaphoricity. Rather than seeing the two truths as distinctive, I argue that saṃvṛtisatya and paramārthasatya both make sense based on their metaphorical relationship in that they are both śūnyatā and that phenomena point to, or are metaphors for, the all-inclusive śūnyatā of reality akin to understanding of ākāśa in the Prajñāpāramitā Sūtras which although experienced cannot be cognitively grasped. en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (v, 208 leaves)
dc.language.iso en en
dc.rights University of South Africa
dc.subject Nāgārjuna en
dc.subject Sūnyatā en
dc.subject Saṃvṛti en
dc.subject Paramārtha en
dc.subject Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra en
dc.subject Metaphoricity en
dc.subject Akāśa en
dc.subject Pratītyasamutpāda en
dc.subject.ddc 294.385
dc.subject.lcsh Nāgārjuna, 2nd cent.
dc.subject.lcsh Buddhist philosophy
dc.title The relation of akasa to pratityasamutpada in Nagarjuna’s writings en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.description.department Religious Studies and Arabic en
dc.description.degree D. Litt. et Phil. (Religious Studies)


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