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Anne MacDonald:

"Candrakirtis Madhyamakavatarabhasya: Philologische Probleme"

UE, 5 ECTS, 2 SSt.

Studienplancodes: MATB3b

Termin: Fr, 10:00-11:30, ab 4.11. Ort: IKGA, Apostelgasse 23, 1030 Wien, Seminarraum 2

Online-Anmeldung unbedingt erforderlich! Anmeldezeitraum: 1.9., 8:00 - 30.9., 12:00. Abmeldung möglich bis 21.10., 23:59.

The Madhyamakāvatāra, together with its bhāṣya, an auto-commentary, appears to have been Candrakīrti’s (600-650?) first work on Madhyamaka. The work is extremely important for understanding Candrakīrti’s interpretation of the school’s ethical, philosophical and soteriological stances, and informative as regards the Buddhist and non-Buddhist groups perceived by Candrakīrti to be its opponents. Although the extent of the Madhyamakāvatāra’s renown in India remains unknown, its Tibetan translation, made at the end of the 11th century, achieved great fame in Tibet, serving as a foundational Madhyamaka work that was widely commented on by Tibetan scholars.

The Madhyamakāvatāra and its bhāṣya were accessible for centuries only in Tibetan translation. One Sanskrit manuscript of the Madhyakamāvatārabhāṣya (the Madhyamakāvatāra’s verses are embedded in it) has, however, been discovered. It is being investigated under the “General Agreement” of cooperation between the Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia (IKGA) in Vienna and the China Ti¬betology Research Center in Beijing.

The Madhyamakāvatāra and its commentary’s chapters are structured to accord with the “grounds” or “levels” (bhūmi) of awakening as presented in the Daśabhūmikasūtra. The class will focus on the third chapter, Prabhākarī (the “Luminous”), named after the third level, whose main topic is the perfection of patience. The focus and goal of the class will the editing of the Sanskrit text of this third chapter in the new Madhyakamāvatārabhāṣya manuscript. Participants will learn philological-historical methods and editorial techniques and are encouraged to participate in discussions led by the main editors at the IKGA concerning the chapter’s content and the editorial challenges the manuscript presents.

The class is prüfungsimmanent. Regular attendance is expected.


  • C.W. Huntington, The Emptiness of Emptiness. An Introduction to Early Indian Mādhyamika. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1989.
  • Louis de La Vallée Poussin, “Madhyamakāvatāra: Introduction au Traité du Milieu de l’Ācārya Candrakīrti, avec le commentaire de l’auteur, traduit d’après la version tibétaine.” Le Muséon 8 (1907) 249–317.
  • Louis de La Vallée Poussin, Madhyamakāvatāra par Candrakīrti. Traduction Tibé-tain. St. Petersburg: Imperial Academy of Sciences, 1907–1912.

The course will held in Seminar Room 2 of the Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia (Institut für Kultur- und Geistesgeschichte Asiens [IKGA]), Apostelgasse 23, 1030 Vienna. Start Nov 4.

Institut für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde
Universität Wien

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