Volume 30, Issue 3, 2020
Comparative Culture Studies in Philosophy and Aesthetics
Indian Philosophy in China
Was Daśapadārthī 勝宗十句義論 Authored by a Vaiśeika?
Daśapadārthī is a text of Indian philosophy and the Vaiśeṣika school only preserved in the Chinese translation made by Xuánzàng 玄奘 in 648 BC. The translation was included in the catalogs of East Asian Buddhist texts and subsequently in the East Asian Buddhist Canons (Dàzàngjīng 大藏經) despite clearly being not a Buddhist text. Daśapadārthī is almost unquestionably assumed to be written by a Vaiśeṣika 勝者 Huiyue 慧月 in Sanskrit reconstructed as Candramati or Maticandra. But is that the case? The author argues that the original Sanskrit text was compiled by the Buddhists based on previously existing Vaiśeṣika texts for an exclusively Buddhist purpose and was not used by the followers of Vaiśeṣika. That would explain Xuanzang’s choice for the translation as well as the non-circulation of the text among Vaiśeṣikas.