Four Hundred Verses

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Aryadeva

Four Hundred Verses (Skt. Catuḥśataka; Tib. བཞི་བརྒྱ་པ་, Wyl. bzhi brgya pa, full title Tib. རྣལ་འབྱོར་སྤྱོད་པ་བཞི་བརྒྱ་པ་, Wyl. rnal 'byor spyod pa bzhi brgya pa) — an important Madhyamika treatise by Aryadeva. It is included among the so-called "Thirteen great texts", which form the core of the curriculum in most shedras and on which Khenpo Shenga provided commentaries.

Outline

The text has 16 chapters:

  1. Showing the Method for Rejecting Belief in Permanence (༈ རྟག་པར་འཛིན་པ་སྤང་བའི་ཐབས་)
  2. Showing the Method for Rejecting Belief in Pleasure (བདེ་བར་འཛིན་པ་སྤང་བའི་ཐབས་)
  3. Showing the Method for Rejecting Belief in Purity (གཙང་བར་འཛིན་པ་ཕྱིན་ཅི་ལོག་སྤང་བའི་ཐབས་)
  4. Showing the Method for Rejecting Egotism (བདག་ཏུ་འཛིན་པ་སྤང་བའི་ཐབས་)
  5. Showing the Acts of a Bodhisattva (བྱང་ཆུབ་སེམས་དཔའི་སྤྱོད་པ་)
  6. Showing the Method for Rejecting the Afflictions (ཉོན་མོངས་པ་སྤང་བའི་ཐབས་)
  7. How to Reject Attachment to the Sensual Pleasures People Desire (མེ་ཉིད་ཀྱིས་འདོད་པའི་ལོངས་སྤྱོད་ལ་ཞེན་པ་སྤང་བའི་ཐབས་)
  8. The Conduct of the Student (སློབ་མ་ཡོངས་སུ་སྦྱང་བ་)
  9. Showing the Realization of the Refutation of Permanent Things (དངོས་པོ་རྟག་པ་དགག་པ་བསྒོམ་པ་)
  10. Showing the Realization of the Refutation of the Self (བདག་དགག་པ་བསྒོམ་པ་)
  11. Showing the Realization of the Refutation of Permanent Time (དུས་དགག་པ་བསྒོམ་པ་)
  12. Showing the Realization of the Refutation of Speculative Views (ལྟ་བ་དགག་པ་བསྒོམ་པ་)
  13. Showing the Realization of the Refutation of the Sense Faculties and Their Objects (དབང་པོ་དང་དོན་དགག་པ་བསྒོམ་པ་)
  14. Showing the Realization of the Refutation of Belief in Extreme Views (མཐར་འཛིན་པ་དགག་པ་བསྒོམ་པ་)
  15. Showing the Realization of the Refutation of Conditioned Things (འདུས་བྱས་ཀྱི་དོན་དགག་པ་བསྒོམ་པ་)
  16. Showing the Discussion between the Teacher and his Student (སློབ་དཔོན་དང་སློབ་མ་རྣམ་པར་གཏན་ལ་དབབ་པ།)

Text

Although the text was originally written in Sanskrit, and later translated into Chinese (the last eight chapters only) and Tibetan, only fragments of the Sanskrit text now remain.[1]

The Tibetan text can be found in the Tengyur, Toh 3865

English translations:

  • Ruth Sonam, Yogic Deeds of Bodhisattvas: Gyel-tsap on Aryadeva's Four Hundred with commentary by Geshe Sonam Rinchen (Ithaca: Snow Lion, 1994), which includes Gyaltsab Darma Rinchen's commentary (see below). Republished as Aryadeva's Four Hundred Stanzas on the Middle Way: With Commentary by Gyel-Tsap (Snow Lion 2008)
  • Karen Lang, Aryadeva's Catuhsataka: On the Bodhisattva's Cultivation of Merit and Knowledge (Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag, 1986). Available here as open source.

Commentaries

Indian

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

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.

Quotations

བསོད་ནམས་ཆུང་ངུ་ཆོས་འདི་ལ། །

ཐེ་ཚོམ་ཟ་བར་ཡང་མི་འགྱུར། །
ཐེ་ཚོམ་ཟ་བར་ཙམ་ཞིག་གིས། །

སྲིད་པ་ཧྲུལ་པོར་བྱས་པར་འགྱུར། །

Those with little merit will not
Even wonder about these things.
But merely to entertain doubts
About samsara will make it fall apart.

Aryadeva, Four Hundred Verses, VIII, 5


བསོད་ནམས་མིན་པ་དང་པོར་བཟློག །

བར་དུ་བདག་ནི་བཟློག་པ་དང༌། །
ཕྱི་ནས་ལྟ་བ་ཀུན་བཟློག་པ། །

གང་གིས་ཤེས་དེ་མཁས་པ་ཡིན། །

At first, turn away from non-virtue,
In the middle, dispel misconceptions of self,
Finally, go beyond all philosophical views—
One who understands this is wise indeed.

Āryadeva, Four Hundred Verses, VIII, 15


དངོས་པོ་གཅིག་གི་ལྟ་པོ་གང༌། །

དེ་ནི་ཀུན་གྱི་ལྟ་པོར་བཤད། །
གཅིག་གི་སྟོང་ཉིད་གང་ཡིན་པ། །

དེ་ནི་ཀུན་གྱི་སྟོང་པ་ཉིད། །

Whoever sees the nature of one thing
Is said to see the nature of everything.
For the emptiness of one thing
Is the emptiness of everything.

Aryadeva, Four Hundred Verses, VIII, 16


References

  1. Karen Lang, Aryadeva's Catuhsataka: On the Bodhisattva's Cultivation of Merit and Knowledge