Coëmgenu wrote:Actually, upon rereading the wiki, it appears that a certainly scholar named David Kalupahana believes that the Abhidhamma being refuted by Nagarjuna wasn't even the same Abhidhamma that the modern Theravada sect holds in their canon. Who knows though?
Nagarjuna was responding, not to the Theravada Abhidhamma, but likely to the Mahasanghika and/or the Sarvastivadin Abhidharma texts
We don't know this for sure though, one scholar's opinion doesn't change general academic opinion. It is certainly a possibility, a likely possibility unless someone cares to clarify to me what "prime dhammas" happen to be, and how they are incompatible with śūnyatā.
It is common to refer to the Heart Sutra as a sutra, but it technically isn't one. The fact that its proper Indic name is "Prajñāpāramitāhṛdaya", not ""Prajñāpāramitāhṛdaya Sūtra" is another manifestation of this. Now I'm not one for being persnickety about names, but calling something a sutra, when it isn't, is an unfortunate mishandling of what exactly a "sutra/sutta" is. I don't know how to correct this common misconception. Certainly I could be a grammar Nazi and insist that people simply call it "The Heart", but that is unlikely to convince anyone that it isn't a sutra.
Of course it is a sutra. If you look at the long version of it, It starts with "Thus have I heard."
I subscribe to the Jan Nattier hypothesis as to the material origins of the Prajñāpāramitāhṛdaya, not the traditional narratives, that may be bringing up a point of contention. On terms of traditional Buddhology, the dedication on the Chinese transliteration of the Amoghavajra
manuscript tradition found at Dunhuang pretty much solves the issue of the origins of the Prajñāpāramitāhṛdaya for me, though not necessarily for others, I understand:
(Taisho, no. 256; Stein, no. 700 (London: The British Library), quoted from Tanahashi's The Heart Sutra, pg 68)
Translated, under the imperial command, by Bukong [Amoghavajra], whose posthumous name given by the Emperor is Dabian Zhengguanzhi. Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva had personally taught and bestowed this Sanskrit text to Tripitaka Dharma Master Xuanzang; Bukong has edited it
Although this does not mean I don't think the Prajñāpāramitāhṛdaya is authentic Buddhist (Mahayana) teaching.
The Prajñāpāramitāhṛdaya is preserved in 5 disparate manuscript traditions, the oldest of which are the Horyu-ji
manuscripts. The Horyu-ji
manuscripts group the Prajñāpāramitāhṛdaya with another dharani called the Uṣṇīṣavijaya dhāraṇī
. This is not definitive proof that the Prajñāpāramitāhṛdaya was not originally considered a sutra, but it certainly shows that, in its earliest appearances, it has a tendency to appear in the context of esoteric dhāraṇī chant, and is not listed or accompanied by other sutras.
The oldest manuscript tradition aside, there are 3 main Sanskrit transmissions for this sutra, the Horyu-ji
(c. 600), Amoghavajra
(after 774), and the Nepalese long sutra (c. 1100). Of these, the Nepalese long sutra, which serves as a basis for all of the later Tibetic "long versions" of the Prajñāpāramitāhṛdaya, is the latest and most innovative on terms of adding new material to the text.
Of these only the Horyu-ji
(c. 700) and the Amoghavajra
(after 774) are mostly-the-same. The Nepalese long sutra (c. 1100) (note: this is not Kumārajīva's Pañcaviṁśatisāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra
) is highly innovative (Fumimasa-Bunga Fukui, Comprehensive Study of the Heart Sutra
, quoted in Tanahashi 68).
There are 2-3 Chinese transmissions, the Kumārajīva/Xuanzang
manuscript tradition and the Chinese Amoghavajra
tradition. The modern Chinese Kumārajīva/Xuanzang
manuscript tradition in the Taisho tripitaka has been doctored (and/or plagiarized) (Jan Nattier, The Heart Sutra: A Chinese Apocryphal Text?
, p. 168) in order that it closer resembles Kumārajīva's Pañcaviṁśatisāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra
, of which a section of the modern-day Prajñāpāramitāhṛdaya is a paraphrase.
I am not saying that the Heart Sutra isn't (Mahayana) Buddhist teaching, but the earliest attested manuscript transmissions have features very peculiar for a "sutra" (Nattier 158), including a mantra, Avalokiteshvara-veneration (foreign to all other Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra), the absense of Mañjuśrī, the tutelary deity of the Prajñāpāramitā scriptural tradition, and the replacement of Subhūti with Śāriputra (the Prajñāpāramitā scriptures are traditionally addressed to Subhūti, not Śāriputra).
Similarly the Horyu-ji
manuscript retention opens thusly:
Namas sarvajñāya Āryāvalokiteśvarabodhisattvo gaṃbhīraṃ [...]
Homage to the all-knower noble-Avalokiteśvara-bodhisattva deeply [...]
and the title of the text is given at the end of the Horyu-ji
, traditional for Japanese esoteric dharani chant (Tanahashi 67), it reads thus:
[...] iti Prajñāpāramitāhṛdayaṃ samāptaṃ.
thus wisdom-perfection [is] all-together-obtained/concluded.
Here we lack the identification of the text as a "sutra". Later versions that include text such as "thus I have heard" appear to be a later innovation to what was originally an Avalokiteśvara-venerating-dhāraṇī which contained within itself a loosely paraphrased section of the Pañcaviṁśatisāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra
The Jan Nattier exegesis is available here, for free, if it interests you (http://archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/ojs/ ... /8800/2707