Śaṅkaranandana's Anyapohasiddhikarika

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This project entails the study of a late Buddhist philosophical treatise, the Anyapohasiddhikarika (hereafter AASK) that was composed by the Kashmirian logician Sankaranandana (950–1020). As its title suggests, the AASK focuses on the so-called apoha-theory, a theory shaped by the late Epistemological School in order to reassess the Buddhists’ nominalist stand in linguistic and ontological matters. This treatise, of which the 41 gnomic stanzas have been preserved in their Sanskrit original whereas the (auto)commentary remains in Tibetan translation only, has never been edited nor translated by modern scholarship.

Let us mention here but a few points of interest: first, the treatise’s historical situation at the very end of the Indian Buddhist philosophical tradition; second, its author’s confessional stand not as a genuine Buddhist, but as a saivite devotee; third, the favourable or unfavourable echo the work must make to contemporaneous saivite reinterpretations of the apoha-theory; fourth, Sankaranandana’s Tibetan (dGe lugs pa) reputation as an Indian Buddhist realist philosopher (and thus as possibly expounding a heterodox view on apoha); fifth, his strong influence on the Indian scholars and Tibetan translators who made themselves responsible for the "Second Diffusion" of Buddhism in Tibet.

We first intend to edit, both diplomatically (cum facsimile) and critically (in bilingual Sanskrit/Tibetan form), the unique Sanskrit manuscript of the treatise. We shall then proceed to a translation of the stanzas together with detailed exegetical explanations and notes, which we shall base on all extant materials: the commentary in Tibetan, the most relevant passages of which will be translated; Sankaranandana’s own commentary on Dharmakīrti's Pramanavarttika; the main pre-Sankaranandana works devoted to the apoha-theory.

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