This article is a study of the nature of “obstruction of knowledge” (jñeyāvaraṇa) as presented in East-Asian Vijñānavāda and in Indo-Tibetan Mādhyamika. It is the second and conclusive part of my research on this topic and it aims at answering the following questions: (a) Is jñeyāvaraṇa afflicted or non-afflicted? (b) If it is afflicted, in what sense is it afflicted, and how is it related to misconception (avidyā) and non-afflicted not-knowing (akliṣṭa-ajñāna)? (c) How is the problem of the nature of jñeyāvaraṇa related to the distinctive agendas of Hināyāna and Mahāyāna Buddhism?
This study compares and contrasts the following two pairs of key concepts: firstly, avidyā and ajñāna, and, secondly, akliṣṭa-avidyā and akliṣṭa-ajñāna, as presented in Sanskrit and Tibetan sources. The article is divided into two parts. Part one addresss the issue of akliṣṭa-avidyā in the East-Asian traditions, part two in the Indo-Tibetan Mādhyamika tradition. I will also compare akliṣṭa-avidyā to the concept of akliṣṭa-ajñāna in the Vijñāptivada, in order to discuss the debate between East Asian Vijñāptivāda and Indo-Tibetan Mādhyamika on whether the essence of jñeyāvaraṇa is contaminated or uncontaminated. The present article includes four sections: (6) the Tibetan translation of Candrakīrti’s Madhyamakāvatāra and bhāṣya, and the interpretation of early Gelukpa Mādhyamika scholars; (7) the Grub mtha’ rin po che’i phreng po; (8) akliṣṭa-avidyā in Indo-Tibetan Mādhyamika; (9) ’Jam dbyangs bzhad pa ngag dbang brtson ’grus’s doubting.
jñeyāvaraṇa; avidyā; ajñāna; akliṣṭa-avidyā; akliṣṭa-ajñāna