The nearly complete manuscript (codex unicus) – folio 2 is missing – of Candrakīrti's Madhyamakāvatārabhāṣya contains 97 folios (end 98a2) and is written by one hand in Old Nepālī. The quality of the manuscript is mediocre and some passages are illegible. The aim is a diplomatic and critical edition of the text to be published in the series "Sanskrit Texts from the Tibetan Autonomous Region" published jointly by the China Tibetology Publishing House and the Austrian Academy of Sciences Press. The edition is being carried out in cooperation with Dr. Xuezhu Li from the China Tibetology Research Center, Beijing.
Edition and Translation of Candrakīrti’s Prasannapadā, Chapter 1
The first chapter of the Prasannapadā (PsP), Candrakīrti's Commentary on Nāgārjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā, was originally critically edited by Louis de La Vallée Poussin based on three paper manuscripts and published in the Bibliotheca Buddhica between 1903 and 1913 (Volume IV). Since it was impossible for La Vallée Poussin to correct many of the unreadable passages he found in the manuscripts, or to reconstitute the text of their shared gaps, attempts were made in the last quarter of the 20th century to find further manuscripts of the work, notably by J.W. de Jong and Akira Saito. MacDonald's own manuscript research led to the discovery of nine more paper manuscripts and a palm leaf manuscript dating to the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, respectively. A second palm leaf manuscript of the PsP was transcribed by Y. Yonezawa; in 2011 MacDonald was given access to Yonezawa's transcription of the first chapter. These valuable manuscript finds enabled a new edition of this important Madhyamaka work, long awaited by scholars in the field, and also augmented our knowledge of the history of Buddhist philosophy in general.
- In Clear Words. The Prasannapadā, Chapter One. Vol.I: Introduction, Manuscript Description, Sanskrit Text. Vol.II: Annotated Translation, Tibetan Text. [Sitzungsberichte der philosophisch-historischen Klasse 863; Beiträge zur Kultur- und Geistesgeschichte Asiens 86]. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, 2015. (Order here or download the open access version.)