Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository


By 啓 片岡


The present author re-examines the positions of Dharmakīrti as expressed in his earlier works, Pramānavārttika I and II, in particular with regard to the authority of scripture and of the Buddha, thereby shedding light on the possible influence of his opponent, Kumarila. Attention is also paid to theoretical and historical developments beginning from the Nyāyasūtra with Paksilasvvmin's commentary and Dignāga's Pramānasamuccaya. In criticizing omniscience, Kumārila proves that the Buddha, being free from desire, cannot undertake the action of teaching (and therefore his teaching cannot be his own). Dharmakīrti, in his first book, Pramānavārttika I, after formulating Kumārila's syllogism stating that “the Buddha must have desire because he teaches”, criticizes it as a wrong inference of the type known as śesavat. He does this with the intention of criticizing in general Kumārila's understanding of inference. He points out that Kumārila's reason is inconclusive (anaikvntika) because in some cases even compassion may lead one to teach, and so one cannot necessarily infer the existence of a bad desire from the action of teaching. Then in Pramānavārttika II, commenting on the four epithets of the Buddha given in the Mangala verse of Dignāga's Pramanasamuccaya, namely jagaddhitaisin, śāstr, sugata and tayin, Dharmakīrti proves that because of his teaching the Buddha must have compassion. He does so by establishing in order (anuloma) and proving in reversed order (pratiloma) the causal chain of the four: compassion (karunā), repeated practice (abhyāsa), the cognition of the four truths (catuhsatyajnana), and their teaching (upaaeśa). Thus he shows that Kumania's reason “because the Buddha teaches” proves rather the Buddha's compassion. Kumārila criticizes Dignāga's proof of scripture's authority (āgamaprāmānya), which presupposes the Naiyāyika theory of truth, i. e. paratahprāmānya-vāda. In Pramānavārttika I, Dharmakīrti abandons the paratahprāmānya-theory and reinterprets Dignāga's verse following the svatahprāmānya-theory, which is Kumārila's own, and thus defends the authority of the Buddha's teaching. But concerning the authority of the Buddha himself, who is criticized by Kumārila as being not free from desire and not omniscient, Dharmākīrti in Pramānavārttika I does not explicitly prove the Buddha to be omniscient and compassionate. In Pramānavārttika II, however, he introduces two alternative definitions of pramāna from the perspectives respectively of the paratahprdmdnya-theory and the svata hprāmānya-theory. At the same time he identifies the teaching of the four truths (or mārga) as the characteristic feature of a pramāna. Thus he succeeds in proving the Buddha to be a pramāna on the grounds that he fulfils the condition of a pramdna. And he proves the Buddha to be omniscient (in the sense that he knows the most important things, i.e. the four truths) by applying the causal chain ending with the teaching of the four truths

Topics: 仏教論理学, 181.02
Publisher: The Institute of Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo
Year: 2003
OAI identifier:
Provided by: UT Repository

Suggested articles

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.