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Interpretation of the Tetralemma by Jizang吉藏 and Wonhyo元曉: A View On the Development of Mādhyamika Philosophy in East Asia

中西俊英 1

1東大寺華嚴學硏究所

Candidate

ABSTRACT

The tetralemma 四句 is a method of classification used in ancient India, to investigate various arguments. The NikAyas and Abhidharma-kośa also used this method, making it is one of the most used utilized structures in the Middle Treatise 中論. This paper discusses the usage of this method in East Asian Buddhism, and focuses specifically on (the work of) Jizang 吉藏 and Wonhyo 元曉. Based on the methodology of the Two Truths 二諦, Jizang integrates all of the Buddha’s discourses through using the tetralemma. According to Jizang’s thinking, truth cannot be expressed, and each lemma provides a provisional means to eliminate all human desire and passion. Wonhyo, utilizing Jizang’s approach, uses the tetralemma in harmonizing 和會 (會通), not only the entirety of the Buddha’s teachings, but also all doctrines related to Buddhism. However, the point of view that the tetralamma is a transient means of classification, is seen only minimally in Wonhyo’s work. In addition, a distinguishing feature of Wonhyo’s as that he harmonized all doctrines under the structure of One Mind in Two Aspects 一心二門, as is asserted in the Awakening of Faith 大乘起信論. The nature of the relationship between Wonhyo’s interpretation of the tetralemma, and the Awakening of Faith, remains a matter for further discussion. One explanation for the progressive use of the tetralemma, in connection with interpretation of Mādhyamika philosophy in East Asia, may be that Wonhyo’s work created a watershed for change. This facilitated the evolution of the original tetralemma of India, to what became the distinctive tetralemma of East Asia.

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