Author: G C Nayak
Publisher: Indian Institute of Advanced Study
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8179890663
The present work is an analytical philosophic enterprise dealing with a specific topic, viz. nirvana, in Candrakirti's Prasannapada, which represents and is a standing testimony to the Buddhist critical philosophy par excellence. A unique revolution in the world of thought has been brought about by Acarya Candrakirti, the great Prasangika Madhyamika thinker of 7th century C.E., through his theory of nirvana as sarva/nirvasesa Kalpanaksaya (cessation of essentialist thought-constructions/speculative picture-thinking) developed in his magnum opus, Prasannapada, thus giving the idea of nirvana a novel turn, viewing it from a fresh perspective.
The idea may have had its basis in Mula Madhyama Karika/Madhyamaka Sastra of Nagarjuna, the unique philosophical master-mind of the world of 2nd century C.E., and of course in the enlightenment of the Buddha, the credit goes to the author of this volume, however, for bringing to the fore the genius of Candrakirti in working out the theoretical and practical implications of this idea by a rigorous analysis of the logic of essences (Svabhava) and allied concepts. A critical and comparative study of nirvana of Prasannapada with that of early Buddhism on the one hand and of nirvana with the concept of Vedantic moksa on the other as well as points of comparison and contrast brought out with such pioneers of Western thought as Aristotle and Wittgenstein are features of special interest in the volume, meant for promoting a greater clarity in understanding.
Introduction : The Concept of Freedom
Nirvana as Kalpanaksaya
Nirvana in Early Buddhism and in Prasannapada
Some Theoretical and Practical Implications