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The Characteristics of Mi Pham’s Commentary on the Dharmadharmatāvibhaṅga

  • 불교학리뷰
  • Abbr : Critical Review for Buddhist Studies
  • 2019, (26), pp.185-205
  • DOI : 10.29213/crbs..26.201910.185
  • Publisher : Geumgang Center for Buddhist Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Buddhist Studies
  • Received : September 18, 2019
  • Accepted : October 12, 2019
  • Published : October 31, 2019

Kim, Seong Ock 1

1동국대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Dharmadharmatāvibhaṅga (Tib. Chos dang chos nyid rnam par ’byed pa) is one of Maitreya’s five works. It is regarded as a representative text of Yogācāra, because it analyzes the characteristics of dharma (法, chos) & dharmatā (法性, chos nyid), and explains its ultimate transformation (轉依). The tibetan monk, Mi pham (’ju mi pham rgya mtsho), defines this text not only as a Yogācāra text but also as a Madhyamaka text in his commentary. In particular, he explains that it corresponds with the union between Yogācāra and Madhyamaka. This is because Yogācāra and Madhyamaka offer commonly accepted interpretations regarding the non-discriminate wisdom, which is the core of Mahāyāna. When the perceived (所取, gzung ba) and the perceiver (能取, ’dzin pa) disappear, a characteristic of the dharmatā, namely suchness (眞如, de bzhin nyid), manifests itself. At this time Mi pham uses the term ‘self-awareness (so so rang gis rig pa)’, which means that self-awareness has been newly added as a way of explaining dharmatā and suchness. In this sense, Mi pham seems to approve of self-awareness on the ultimate levels, as well as the secular levels. But he does not claim it to be the ultimate reality. As long as it is considered to be the ultimate reality, there remains a slight subtle assumption. It must be removed by the logic of emptiness. Breaking down even the slightest subtle assumption is emphasized as a more authoritative teaching, namely ‘the right way of Madhyamaka’. Mi pham acknowledges the difference between Yogācāra and Madhyamaka, but he does not understand that they are actually in conflict with each other. In this way he shows the compatibility between Yogācāra and Madhyamaka, which is a unique feature of Mi pham’s commentary. The way of describing the state of suchness, which is expressed through the negation of something (x) for example ‘non perceived & perceiver’ and ‘no accidental defilements’, can be sufficiently understood as other-emptiness (他空, gzhan stong) as in the Jonang tradition. However Mi pham’s stance is distinguished from the Jonang tradition. Because he does not accept the reality of what remains behind after negation. There is also a corresponding similarity with the Geluk tradition, which claims the self-emptiness (自空, rang stong). But he maintains a different point of view from them by acknowledging the appearance of suchness (=emptiness). A unique feature of Mi pham’s writings is his incredible ability to integrate different systems of thought from the various schools regarding the nature of ultimate truth. This may be one reason for calling him an advocate of non-sectarian movements.

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