Four Hundred Verses

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Four Hundred Verses (Skt. catuḥśataka; T. bzhi brgya pa; C. Guang Bai lun ben) - an important Madhyamaka treatise by Aryadeva, who was the main disciple of Nagarjuna. This text covers the main teaching of the Madhyamaka philosophy in sixteen chapters.

Within the Nyingma school of Tibet, it is included among the so-called "Thirteen great texts", which form the core of the curriculum in many Nyingma shedras.

In the East Asian Madhyamaka (Salun) school, the text is counted as part of one of the Three Treatises.[1]

Outline

The text has 16 chapters. The following outline provides preliminary translations of the chapter titles based on the Tibeten text.

  1. rtag par 'dzin pa spang ba'i thabs (the method of abandoning grasping to permanence)
  2. bde bar 'dzin pa spang ba'i thabs (the method of abandoning grasping to happiness)
  3. gtsang bar 'dzin pa phyin ci log spang ba'i thabs (the method of abandoning the error of grasping to purity)
  4. bdag tu 'dzin pa spang ba'i thabs (the method of abandoning the grasping to self)
  5. byang chub sems dpa'i spyod pa (the conduct of a bodhisattva)
  6. nyon mongs pa spang ba'i thabs (the method to abandon the kleshas)
  7. me nyid kyis 'dod pa'i longs spyod la zhen pa spang ba'i thabs (the method of abandoning the craving for sense pleasures...)[incomplete translation]
  8. slob ma yongs su sbyang ba (training in proper conduct for a student)
  9. dngos po rtag pa dgag pa bsgom pa (meditation on refuting the permanence of things)
  10. bdag dgag pa bsgom pa (meditation on refuting the self)
  11. dus dgag pa bsgom pa (meditation on refuting time)
  12. lta ba dgag pa bsgom pa (meditation on refuting wrong views)
  13. dbang po dang don dgag pa bsgom pa (meditation on refuting objects of the sense faculties)
  14. mthar 'dzin pa dgag pa bsgom pa (meditation on refuting the extremes) [to be clarified]
  15. 'dus byas kyi don dgag pa bsgom pa (meditation on refuting the reality of compounded things) [to be clarified]
  16. slob dpon dang slob ma rnam par gtan la dbab pa (ascertaining the teacher and student) [to be clarified]

Outline in Tibeten Uchen script:

༈ རྟག་པར་འཛིན་པ་སྤང་བའི་ཐབས་
བདེ་བར་འཛིན་པ་སྤང་བའི་ཐབས་
གཙང་བར་འཛིན་པ་ཕྱིན་ཅི་ལོག་སྤང་བའི་ཐབས་
བདག་ཏུ་འཛིན་པ་སྤང་བའི་ཐབས་
བྱང་ཆུབ་སེམས་དཔའི་སྤྱོད་པ་
ཉོན་མོངས་པ་སྤང་བའི་ཐབས་
མེ་ཉིད་ཀྱིས་འདོད་པའི་ལོངས་སྤྱོད་ལ་ཞེན་པ་སྤང་བའི་ཐབས་
སློབ་མ་ཡོངས་སུ་སྦྱང་བ་
དངོས་པོ་རྟག་པ་དགག་པ་བསྒོམ་པ་
བདག་དགག་པ་བསྒོམ་པ་
དུས་དགག་པ་བསྒོམ་པ་
ལྟ་བ་དགག་པ་བསྒོམ་པ་
དབང་པོ་དང་དོན་དགག་པ་བསྒོམ་པ་
མཐར་འཛིན་པ་དགག་པ་བསྒོམ་པ་
འདུས་བྱས་ཀྱི་དོན་དགག་པ་བསྒོམ་པ་
སློབ་དཔོན་དང་སློབ་མ་རྣམ་པར་གཏན་ལ་དབབ་པ།

Tibetan text: BDRC icon.png བསྟན་བཅོས་བཞི་བརྒྱ་པ་ཞེས་བྱ་བའི་ཚིག་ལེའུར་བྱས་པ་, bstan bcos bzhi brgya pa zhes bya ba'i tshig le'ur byas pa

Translations

Chinese

The text was translated into Chinese by Xuanzang in approximately 650 CE.[1]

In the East Asian Madhyamaka (Salun) school, the text is counted as part of one of the Three Treatises.[1] In this context:

[The text] is treated as Āryadeva’s own expansion of his ŚATAŚĀSTRA (C. Bai lun; “One Hundred Treatise”); hence, the Chinese instead translates the title as “Expanded Text on the One Hundred [Verse] Treatise.”[1]

English

  • Ruth Sonam, Yogic Deeds of Bodhisattvas: Gyel-tsap on Aryadeva's Four Hundred, Snow Lion, 1994, ISBN 978-1559390194
  • Karen Lang, Aryadeva's Catuhsataka: On the Bodhisattva's Cultivation of Merit and Knowledge. Copenhaven: Akademisk Forlag, 1986

Commentaries

Indian

Chandrakirti wrote a commentary called simply Commentary on the Four Hundred Verses on the Yogic Deeds of Bodhisattvas:

BDRC icon.png བྱང་ཆུབ་སེམས་དཔའི་རྣལ་འབྱོར་སྤྱོད་པ་བཞི་བརྒྱ་པའི་རྒྱ་ཆེར་འགྲེལ་པ་, byang chub sems dpa'i rnal 'byor spyod pa bzhi brgya pa'i rgya cher 'grel pa

Tibetan

Many Tibetan masters wrote commentaries on this text, including: Khenpo Ngawang Palzang, Pöpa Tulku Dongak Tenpé Nyima, Rendawa Shyönnu Lodrö, Gyaltsab Darma Rinchen and Khenpo Shenga.


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Princeton Dict icon 166px.png Robert E. Buswell Jr., Donald S. Lopez Jr., The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism (Princeton: 2014), entry for catuḥśataka
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