The Nature of Things

The following article is from the Spring, 1950 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.

Emptiness and Essence in the Geluk World

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by William Magee

244 pp., 6 x 9, #NATH $22.95

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The discussion of nature pursued in this book begins with Nagarjuna (first century), founder of the Middle Way School, who refuted a fabricated nature in his Treatise on the Middle in the Analysis of Nature chapter. In that seminal text he puts forth the three basic criteria for nature: it must be something that is non-fabricated, independent, and immutable. Nagarjuna does not explain whether he is speaking of an existent nature, but Candrakirti (sixth century), considered by many to be the founder of the Consequence School, explicitly identifies the triply-qualified nature as emptiness, the reality nature.

In order to give you the full scope of The Nature of Things, we are including the book's table of contents.

THE NATURE OF THINGS

Table of Contents

Conventionsviii

Abbreviations

- æŒæx

PART ONE: THE NATURE OF THINGS

1.

Emptiness and Essence

- æ13

Introduction

- æ13

Emptiness in the Middle Way School

- æ19

2.

Nature in the Consequence School

- æ25

The Meanings of Nature

- æ25

The Scriptural Sources for Nature

- æ29

Nہgہrjuna: the Art of the Treatise

- æ33

Treatise on the Middle Chapter XV

- æ35

3.

Existent Natures

- æ37

Does the Triply-qualified Nature Exist?

- æ37

Does the Reality Nature Exist?

- æ41

The Reality Nature Exists Conventionally

- æ49

The Reality Nature Endowed with the Three Attributes

- æ54

4.

Natures That Do Not Exist

- æ64

What It Means To Exist

- æ64

Twofold Division of the Object-to-be-negated

- æ76

Refuting a Fabricated Nature

- æ79

Heat Is Not the Nature of Fire

- æ83

Categorization of the Three Attributes Into Entity, State, and Certification

- æ87

Confusing a Nature of Things Having the Three Attributes with That Which Is To Be Negated

- æ88

Dzong-ka-ba's Identification of the Object-to-be-negated

- æ91

Innate Versus Artificial Ignorance: Refuting That the Three Attributes Are the Object-to-be-negated Nature

- æ95

Modern Scholars on Nہgہrjuna's Triply-qualified Nature

100

The Independent and Positive Nature

103

Dí_l-bo's Synthesis

104

Refuting the Independent and Positive Nature

109

5.

Nہgہrjuna and His Detractors

116

Trivializing Nہgہrjuna

116

Nہgہrjuna Is Not Primarily Concerned With Refuting Opponents' Views

117

Nہgہrjuna Does Not Employ Axioms but Rather the Putative Consequences of Inherent Existence

120

Nہgہrjuna Does Not Use the Term svabhہva in Several Different Senses

125

Conclusions

127

PART TWO: TRANSLATIONS OF THE TEXTS

131

Document One: Nہgہrjuna's Treatise on the Middle

Chapter XV: The Analysis of Nature

134

Document Two: Candrakirti's Clear Words

Chapter XV: The Analysis of Nature

141

Document Three: Dzong-ka-ba's Ocean of Reasonings

Chapter XV: The Analysis of Nature

159

I. Explaining the Text of the Chapter

160

Refuting That Things Exist By Way of Their Nature

161

Indicating Damage to Existence By Way of an Object's Nature

171

Indicating That if One Propounds Existence by Way of Nature, One Does Not Pass Beyond Holding an Extreme

173

II. Conjoining This With Scriptures of Definitive Meaning

177

III. Condensing the Meaning and Indicating the Title

178

Document Four: Dzong-ka-ba's Great Exposition of the Stages of the Path: The Refutation of an Identification of the Object-to-be-negated That Is Too Narrow

179

First, Refuting the Assertion That the Object-to-be-negated Is That Which Possesses the Three Attributes

179

Second, In Our System the Nature Possessing the Three Attributes Is Emptiness

185

Third, Refuting the Assertion That Reality Is Independent and Positive

190

Document Five: Four Interwoven Annotations :

The Refutation of an Identification of the Object-to-be-negated That Is Too Narrow

193

First, Refuting the Assertion That the Object-to-be-negated Possesses the Three Attributes

194

Second, In Our System the Nature Possessing the Three Attributes Is the Mode of Subsistence, Emptiness

204

Third, Refuting the Assertion That Reality Is Independent and Positive

217

Translation Equivalents

221

Bibliography

229

Index

242

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