Matthew Kapstein mkapstei at MIDWAY.UCHICAGO.EDU
Thu Feb 3 12:35:05 EST 2005

Dear Jonathan,

The issue you raise regarding JayAnanda is one
that has been receiving some (not yet enough)
attention from those working on the transmission
of Indian Buddhism in 10th-12th c. Tibet.
I believe that it was Dan Martin who hit on the designation
of "gray texts" -- works whose credentials as Indian or Tibetan
are not perfectly clear, having been composed on the
margins of the two cultures, whether by Indian visitors to Tibet,
Tibetans in contact with India, or the interaction of the two.
Examples are legion and include many of Atisha's writings,
much of the 84 mahaasiddha corpus of Abhayadatta, the dohas
translated by Vairocanavajra, etc. etc. as well as various
works that are purely Tibetan apocrypha, such as the
*maayaadhvakrama attributed to "Niguma."

But part of the interest in this very considerable body
of material is that Indians really did contribute to it
in various ways, so that the testimony it affords regarding
things Indian cannot be discounted apriori. Much of JayAnanda's
comm. on Candrakiirti can probably be considered in this way.

Going back to Ulrich's original query, however, which concerns
an assuredly Indian figure of speech, might not the
serpent's hood-jewel mentioned here be the vi.saharatak.saka-
cuu.daartnaala.mkaara, mentioned by Kamalashiila (in TSP) and
others as an example of a valuable objective that is practically
impossible to attain? This seems to fit well with the context,
C's magnification of the merit of clarifying Naagaarjuna's
work (and no doubt he's the real naagaraaja in question).
So the markings of real cobras may not be at all at issue.

As to whether JayAnanda's alternative readings here and there have some
merit, perhaps the eventual publication of
the Skt ms of Madhyamakaavataara will shed some light on this.

Matthew Kapstein

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