Re: [INDOLOGY] Question: 360 non-Buddhist schools in Bhāvaviveka

Matthew Kapstein mkapstei at
Sun Nov 1 02:21:45 UTC 2015

Dear Anna and all,

It should be noted that Bhāviveka's list was copied into numerous
Tibetan works of the Grub-mtha' (siddhānta) genre with no effort to
explain much of it. More problematic is the likelihood that some Tibetan
authors drew selectively on the list and then invented explanations. So
Tibetan sources are not, so far as I know, likely to shed much light
on the many obscure items mentioned.

David has suggest that Mīmāmsā works might help. My own hunch is that
early Jaina doxographical writings might be of use. Given my limited
knowledge of this material, I can't offer much more than this, but even
relatively early Jaina works such as the Isibhāsiya involve very intricate
classifications of rival schools of thought, exemplifying the kind of
complexity that seems to be in the background of Bhāviveka's work.
A much less elaborated early Buddhist parallel would be the
Pāli Brahmajālasutta with its list of 62 views, some of which perhaps
found their way into the Tarkajvāla as well.

I hope this helps to some small extent -- the problem is an interesting one
and I wish you all success,

Matthew Kapstein
Directeur d'études,
Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes

Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies,
The University of Chicago

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