An Eleventh-Century Buddhist Logic of 'Exists': Ratnakirti's Ksanabhangasiddhih Vyatirekatmika: Edited with Introduction, Translation from Sanskrit, and Notes

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I. RATNAKIRTI. HIS PHILOSOPHICAL CONGENERS AND ADVERSARIES Ratnakirti flourished early in the 11th century A. D. at the University of Vi- kramasila, a member of the Yogacara-Vijnanavada school oflate Buddhist philosophy. Thakur characterizes Ratnakirti's writing as more concise and logical though not so poetical 1 as that of his guru, Jfianasrimitra, two of 2 whose dicta are focal points of the present work. From a translogical or absolute point of view , Ratnakirti endorses a form of 3 solipsistic idealism. The Sarhtdndntaradu$alJa , his proof of solipsism written from the standpoint ofthe highest truth (paramdrtha), concludes that an exter- nal nonmental continuum is impossible. In ultimate reality the cognizing sub- ject, its act of awareness, and the cognized object coalesce - all are fabrications superposed on what is really an indivisible evanescent now (svalak$alJa). 4 As Ratnakirti's predecessors have put it: There is neither an 'I' nor a 'he' nor a 'you' nor even an 'it'; neither the thing, nor the not-thing; neither a law nor a system; neither the terms nor the relations. But there are only the cognitive events of colourless sensations which have forms but no names. They are caught for a moment in a stream and then rush to naught. Even the stream is a fiction. That sensum of the moment, the purest particular, that advaya, the indivisible unit of cognition, that is the sole reality, the rest are all fictions, stirred up by time-honoured 5 convention of language which is itself a grand fiction.