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  • 1 Zhejiang University, No. 148 Tianmushan, Hangzhou, China
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This essay offers an analysis of “the two-finger” illustration which Bhāviveka discusses in the Vaiśeṣikatattvaviniścaya chapter of the Tarkajvālā, the auto-commentary on his Madhyamakahṛdaya[kārikā], wherein he introduces and criticises the theories of the Vaiśeṣika school. Going through the early Vaiśeṣika literature, I have noticed that these two-finger (dvyaṅgula, two fingers in a unit form, or finger-pair) illustrations only occur in Candrānanda’s Vṛtti, and in a very clear and straightforward manner. As I will point out, it is a mystery and indeed somewhat perplexing that the references to this illustration in the Tarkajvālā are not at all immediately intelligible. This circumstance will be addressed in this essay, where also an interpretation and a solution will be offered. In addition, the relative chronology of Bhāviveka and Candrānanda as well as their contemporaries in around 6th-century India will also be discussed.

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