Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

by Gelongma Karma Migme Chödrön | 2001 | 940,961 words

This page describes “catuhshataka (the four hundreds) by aryadeva” as written by Nagarjuna in his Maha-prajnaparamita-sastra (lit. “the treatise on the great virtue of wisdom”) in the 2nd century. This book, written in five volumes, represents an encyclopedia on Buddhism as well as a commentary on the Pancavimsatisahasrika Prajnaparamita.

Appendix 8 - The Catuḥśataka (the four hundreds) by Āryadeva

Note: This Appendix is extracted from Chapter XXXVI, part 2.I (The five pure aggregates: anāsrava-skandha):

“All dharmas depend on causes and conditions; depending on causes and conditions, they are not autonomous (svatantra); since they are not autonomous, they are not self, and the nature of self is non-existent, as is said in the P’o-wo-p’in (Ātmapratiṣedhaprahraṇa, ‘Chapter on the refutation of the self’): tenth chapter of the Catuḥśataka”.

The Catuḥśataka ‘The Four Hundreds’ by Āryadeva: As its name indicates, this work consisted of 400 stanzas (kārikā) divided up into 16 chapters of 25 stanzas each.

The work exists completely only in Tibetan translation:

1) Bstan bcos bzhi brgya pa zhes baḥi leḥur byas pa (Catuḥśatakaśāstrakārikā), translated by Sūkṣmajāna in India and revised by Sūryakīrti of the Pa-tshab: cf. Tib. Trip., vol. 95, no. 5246, p. 131–1–1 to 139–5–3.

2) Byaṅ chub sems dpaḥi ḥbyor spyod bzhi paḥi rgya cher ḥgrel pa (Bodhisattvayogacaryācatuḥśatakaṭīkā), commentary by Candrakīrti, also translated by Sūkṣmajāna and Sūryakīrti: cf. Tib. Trip., vol. 98, no. 5266, p. 183–4–4 to end.

Sanskrit fragments of the work have been found and edited by Haraprasad Sastri in Memoirs of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, III, no. 8, 1914, p. 449514. See also P. Vaidya, Études sur Āryadeva et son Catuḥśataka, 1923, p. 69–167; G. Tucci, La versione cinese del Catuḥśaka… confrontata col testa sanscrito e la traduzione tibetana, Rivista degli Studi Orientali, X, 1925, p. 521–567; L. de La Vallée Poussin, Le Nirvāṇa d’après Āryadeva, MCB, I, 1931–32, p.130–135; Vidhushekhara Bhattacarya, The Catuḥśataka of Āryadeva, Chap. VII, Proceedings and Transactions of the 4th Oriental Conference, II, 1926, p. 831–871; The Catuḥśataka of Āryadeva, Sanskrit and Tibetan Texts with copious Extracts from the Commentary of Candrakīrti, reconstructed and edited, Part II (Visvabharati Series No. 2, 1931).

The Chinese also translated just the last chapters of the Catuḥśataka:

1) Kouang po louen pen, T 1570. Translation of kārikā no. 291–400 made by Hiuan-tsang at Ta ts’eu ngen sseu, the 10th day of the 6th month of the 1st yong-houei year, i.e., July 13, 650 (cf. K’ai-yuan, T 2154, k. 8, p. 556b21).

2) Ta tch’eng kouang po louen che louen, T 1571. Translation of the same kārikās with commentary by Dharmapāla, begun on the 27th day of the same year, January 20, 651 (cf. K’ai-yuan, T 2154, k. 8, p. 556b22).

The tenth chapter to which the Traité refers here is part of the chapter conserved in the three languages. It is dedicated to refutation of the ātman and entitled Yogācārecatuḥśatake ātmaśuddhyupāyasaṃdarśanaṃ nāma daśamaṃ prakaraṇam in the Sanskrit fragments (cf. Vaidya, o.c., p. 89), Bdag dgag pa bsgom pa pstan pa (Ātmapratiṣedhabhāvanāsaṃdarśana) in the Tibetan versions (Tib. Trip., vol. 95, no. 5246, p. 137–1–5; vol. 98, no. 5266, p. 241–2–6), P’o wo p’in (Ātmapratiṣedhaprakaraṇa) in the Chinese versions (T 1570, k. 1, p. 182c18; T 1571, k. 2, p. 194a27). It is also by the name P’o wo p’in that the Traité cites it here.

In the Madh. vṛtti on Nāgārjuna’s Mūlamadhyamakakārikā, Candrakīrti refers to the Catuḥśataka by Āryadeva in various ways: Uktam Āryadevena (p. 16, 199), Uktam Āryadevapādiḥ (p. 220, 359, 376), Uktam Śatake (p. 173, 351, 372, 378, 396, 505), Śatakaśāstre (p. 506), Śatakaśāstre cāryadevapādair (p. 552). All these references have been identified by L. de La Vallée Poussin in his edition of the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā with comm. by Candrakīrti, 1903 and foll. This is indeed the Catuḥśataka. But the fact of having omitted the numeral catuḥ might lead to confusion because, besides the Catuḥśataka ‘Four Hunderds’, Āryadeva also composed a Śatakaśāstra ‘Treatise in a hundred [kārikās]’, totally unknown in the Sanskrit and Tibetan traditions but which was authorized in China in the school of the Three Treatises.

This Śatakaśāstra by Āryadeva, with a commentary by Vasu-bodhisattva, was translated into Chinese by Kumārajīva under the title of Po louen: T 1569. The translation was done at Tch’ang-ngan in the 6th hong-che year, i.e., in 404 (cf. Tch’ou, T 2145, k. 2, p. 11a21; Li-tai, T 2134, K. 8, p. 79a5). The work has been fully translated into English by G. Tucci, Pre-Diṅnāga Buddhist Texts on Logic from Chinese Sources (Gaekwad’s Oriental Series, vol. 49), 1929, and partially into French by L. de La Vallée Poussin, Le Nirvāna d’après Āryadeva, MCB, I, 1931–2, p. 128–130.

Kumārajīva’s translation is introduced by a preface T 1569, p. 167c–168a; Tch’ou, T 2145, k. 11, p. 77b–c) by his disciple and collaborator Seng-tchao (384–414):

“Eight hundred and some years after the Buddha’s nirvāṇa, a great monastic scholar named T’i-p’o (Deva) composed a treatise in a hundred stanzas, the Śatakaśāstra. This treatise consisted of twenty chapters (prakarṇa) of five stanzas each. It was commented on by P’o-seou k’ai-che (Vasu, the bodhisattva), a scholar who was the authority of his time: “What he says cannot be disputed, what he refutes cannot be re-established.” Kumārajīva, the Indian śramaṇa, translated the last ten chapters of this treatise (i.e., stanzas 51–100).”

It may be noted that the ten chapters of the Śatakaśāstra translated by Kumārajīva deal with the same subject as the eight chapters of the Catuḥśāstra translated by Hiuan-tsang and often carry the same titles. Thus the second chapter of the Śatakaśāstra, entitled P’o chen p’in (T 1569, k. 1, p. 170c11–174b21) correspond to the second chapter of the Catuḥśataka entitled P’o wo p’in (T 1570, k. 1, p. 182c18–183b10). But although the subject is the same, the explanation is quite different.

In citing the P’o wo p’in, the Traité does not refer to a chapter of the Prajñāpāmitā as I [Lamotte] first thought, for no chapter of this name appears in the Tables Comparatives des versions des Prajñāpāramitā prepared by Hikata and added to his edition of the Suvikrāntavikrāmiparipṛcchā. Neither does the Traité refer here to a chapter of the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā (or Madhyamaśāstra) of Nāgārjuna, for chapter XVIII which deals with the ātman is entitled ‘Examination of the ātman’ (Ātmaparīkṣā in Sanskrit, Bdag brtag pa in Tibetan, Kouan-wo in Chinese). The only chapter that enters into consideration here is the Ātmapratiṣedhaprakaraṇa of the Catuḥśataka by Āryadeva.

This citation is of importance because it proves that the first Madhyamika authors (Nāgārjuna, Āryadeva, Rāhulabhadra) were known to the author of the Traité and consequently the latter is later than them:

1) The Mūlamadhyamakakārikās (or Madhyamakaśāstra) of Nāgārjuna are, with the Prajñāpāramitā, the main source of inspiration for the Traité. Sometimes the latter cites entire passages without referring to it by name (e.g., p.1204F seq.), sometimes it gives the title: Madhyamakaśāstra; cf. k. 1, p. 64b11 (above, p. 69F); k. 19, p. 198a5 (above p. 1142F); k. 25, p. 245c7–8; k. 38, p. 338b29.

2) We have seen that it refers to Āryadeva’s Catuḥśataka by designating it simply with the title of a chapter, a strange method of reference but to which it is accustomed.

3) Above (p. 1060–1065F), it has reproduced in its entirety Rāhulabhadra’s Prajñāpāramitāstotra.