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Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Bhāvaviveka (Tib. ལེགས་ལྡན་འབྱེད་, Wyl. legs ldan 'byed), aka Bhāviveka (སྣང་བྲལ་, snang bral) or Bhavya (སྐལ་ལྡན, skal ldan) (c.500-570), was a sixth century master of the Svatantrika school of Madhyamika.
He was critical of Buddhapalita’s interpretation of Nagarjuna’s classic work The Root Verses on the Wisdom of the Middle Way, because he believed Buddhapalita should have put forward independent logical arguments, rather than simply pointing out the flaws in others’ positions.
The great master Chandrakirti later defended Buddhapalita’s approach and sought to refute Bhavaviveka. Bhavaviveka: One of the “seventeen great panditas” and early expositor of the Svatantrika Madhyamaka.
- Heart of the Middle Way and its auto-commentary, Blaze of Reason (Skt. Tarkajvāla)
- Madhyamakārtha saṁgarha
- David Seyfort Ruegg, The Literature of the Madhyamaka School of Philosophy in India, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1981
- David Seyfort Ruegg, 'On the Authorship of Some Works Ascribed to Bhā(va)viveka/Bhavya' in The Buddhist Philosophy of the Middle, Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2010
- Lobsang N. Tsonawa, Indian Buddhist Pandits from The Jewel Garland of Buddhist History, Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1985.==Footnotes==
Born to the royal family in Magadha, India, Bhavaviveka studied the Mahayana sutras and Nagarjuna's works under Samgharakshita, a Madhyamika scholar. Later, he wrote The Treatise on the Lamp of Wisdom (Skt Prajna-pradipa ), a commentary on Nagarjuna's Verses on the Middle Way (Madhyamaka-karika), in which he criticized Buddhapalita's method of demonstrating the truth of nonsubstantiality. As a result, the Madhyamika school split into two.
He wrote The Heart of the Middle Way (Madhyamaka-hridaya ) in which he criticized the doctrine of the Vijnanavada, or Consciousness-Only, school. Dharmapala of the Consciousness-Only school retorted Bhavaviveka's criticisms.
Bhavaviveka took the position that all phenomena are interdependent and have no independent existence of their own, or are non-substantial in nature. Dharmapala asserted that phenomena arise from consciousness (vijnana ), which is the only reality. (The Sanskrit words madhyamika and madhyamaka both mean intermediate or middle.)