The problem of the historical Nagarjuna revisited

by Ian Mabbett

The Journal of the American Oriental Society

Vol.118 No.3 ( July 1998 )


COPYRIGHT 1998 American Oriental Society

            Claims about the life of Nagarjuna are often asserted as if the 
            facts were known and secure, when they are not. Those who explore 
            the evidence in quest of more secure facts come up with 
            contradictory conclusions. 
            Even the century or centuries in which Nagarjuna lived cannot be 
            confidently identified. Scholarly references to Nagarjuna frequently 
            take it as given that he lived in the second century, sometimes 
            specifying the latter half of it.(2) On the basis of the 
            archaeological evidence reported by K. R. Subramanian, whose 1932 
            publication is cited above, Venkata Ramanan drew the conclusion that 
            Nagarjuna flourished within the period A.D. 50-120.(3) A recent 
            account of Buddhist philosophy, by D. Kalupahana, similarly takes 
            Subramanian as an authority, yet (citing Nakamura) assigns Nagarjuna 
            to A.D. 150-250.(4) Shohei Ichimura claims that Nagarjuna lived from 
            about A.D. 50 to about 150.(5) He says: "The earliest dates ever 
            postulated for the times of Nagarjuna were proposed by Prof. H. Ui 
            as A.D. 113 and 213"(6) but as we have seen this is wrong. 
            Substantially later dates also find their protagonists. For example. 
            E. Lamotte was influenced by Chinese evidence, interpreted by him to 
            entail that Nagarjuna's dates were A.D. 243-c. 300.(7) Prima facie, 
            Chinese sources appear more useful than Indian ones (although as we 
            shall see the results for the biography of Nagarjuna are 
            disappointing), and this chronology, supported also by J. May,(8) 
            should not be ignored. 
            Chronologies proposed vary freely between the first and third 
            centuries.(9) One scholar, indeed, has claimed that "we do not think 
            it an impossibility or absurdity to assign to him an age of about 
            two hundred years," and assigns Nagarjuna's life to a period from 
            the early first century B.C. to the early second A.D.(10) 
            Nagarjuna's career has been variously located in widely different 
            parts of India, often in the south (the late Satavahana stronghold 
            along the Krishna, or further north in "Daksinakosala"), but 
            sometimes in the west, the northwest, or the northeast. Again, for 
            some, there is only one Nagarjuna, while for others there are two, 
            three, or four.(11) 
            There is no need, however, to engage in any extended survey of the 
            modern scholarship. It is clear that what has proved "baffling to 
            the most brainy" is the quest for knowledge about Nagarjuna's life. 
            Is the present state of confusion caused by any defect in scholarly 
            method or rigor, or is it caused by the sheer inadequacy of the 
            evidence to support any one convincing interpretation? 
            This question needs to be confronted squarely. If (as I believe) the 
            second answer is the correct one, a demonstration of the limits of 
            the evidence can serve a valuable purpose. The common habit of 
            assigning Nagarjuna to the second century is not properly justified; 
            it is a self-validating majority vote, or a median possibility, 
            rather than a demonstrable probability. I am inclined to believe 
            that Nagarjuna may have lived later, but this cannot be proved; the 
            purpose of the following survey is chiefly to show that claims 
            commonly made are not well founded. 
            This is not, of course, the only sort of purpose that might be 
            served by a study of the sources bearing on Nagarjuna's life. An 
            important set of questions, not addressed here, concerns the role of 
            hagiography in religious history, a topic that has been attracting 
            increasing attention. The treatment of Nagarjuna as a supernatural 
            figure is itself a phenomenon to be investigated.(12) However, my 
            interest is not in those sources which present the fantastic but in 
            those most likely to furnish historical evidence. 
            In what follows, a positive methodological contribution is also 
            intended. It concerns our treatment of the many later works, mostly 
            more or less tantric, which are traditionally credited to 
            "Nagarjuna" but are unlikely to be by the original madhyamika 
            philosopher. The later works in question were written by real 
            people, but it is perhaps an error to suppose that they must all be 
            attributable to some unique individual (or even two or three 
            distinguishable individuals) who happened, confusingly, to have also 
            the name Nagarjuna. Instead of a very small number of authentic 
            Nagarjunas, perhaps we should seek rather a large number of people 
            who played parts in the transmission of a legend. This point will be 
            amplified below. 
            Finally, the present study is also informed by a survey of the 
            results of archaeological research in the sites along the Krishna, a 
            category of evidence which needs to be more closely integrated into 
            the study of Nagarjuna's life than hitherto. 
            For the purpose of this discussion, unless otherwise specified, the 
            name Nagarjuna shall designate the author, whoever he may be, of the 
            Mulamadhyamakakarikas and of whatever other works can be agreed to 
            come from the same writer. The interest here is in the philosopher 
            of Madhyamaka; works of other sorts (tantric or proto-scientific) 
            will be noticed only insofar as they have been held by some writers 
            to share authorship with the Nagarjuna here identified. Where it is 
            necessary to speak of more than one individual possibly bearing the 
            same name, they can be distinguished as Nagarjuna I (the 
            madhyamika), Nagarjuna II, and so forth. 
            Various sorts of evidence will here be given short shrift, on the 
            assumption that there is little to be gained from them. Chronologies 
            based on traditional lineages of teachers in Chinese or Tibetan do 
            not appear promising avenues of enquiry. Tibetan sources in general 
            seem too far removed from the age of Nagarjuna to furnish 
            significant independent evidence. The study of the internal evidence 
            of some philosophical literature (Nyaya, for example), is of a 
            different order, and may raise more questions than it answers; here 
            it is left on one side.(13) 
            A table of all the works traditionally accredited to Nagarjuna would 
            need to include a very large number of texts extant in Tibetan and 
            Chinese, as well as those in Sanskrit, but many of these are not 
            taken seriously and need not concern us. There is no space here for 
            a review of the case for including or excluding particular works in 
            a bibliography of Nagarjuna; we can only note that the attributions 
            of modern scholars all differ, as can be seen from a comparison of 
            the conclusions of a number of writers: Winternitz,(14) 
            Robinson,(15) T. R.V. Murti,(16) D. Seyfort Ruegg,(17) C. 
            Lindtner,(18) and P. L. Vaidya.(19) 
            There is perhaps only a small core of the philosophical texts that 
            clearly belong with the Mulamadhyamakakarikas as the work of one 
            author. Of the works credited to Nagarjuna in the Tibetan tradition, 
            six (the Mulamadhyamakakarikah, Sunyatasaptati, Vigrahavyavartani, 
            Vaidalyaprakarana, Vyavaharasiddhi and Yuktisastika) are listed 
            together as works of Nagarjuna by Buston (thirteenth to fourteenth 
            centuries); these are specifically philosophical works. Elsewhere, 
            as has sometimes been overlooked, he mentions others - the 
            Ratnavali, Sutrasamuccaya, Bodhisambhara[ka], Suhrllekha, and the 
            Svapnacintamaniparikatha.(20) The credentials of the Sunyatasaptati, 
            the Vigrahavydvartani and the Yuktisastika are rarely disputed. It 
            is difficult to study the Vigrahavyavartani, for example, without 
            recognizing the essential identity of thought behind it and the 
            Karikas. The Catuhstava, also commonly attributed to Nagarjuna I, is 
            a special case which will be noticed further below; it is a set of 
            four devotional hymns, thus quite different in genre from the others 
            mentioned, and there is doubt about which particular four hymns 
            constitute it. Also significant is the attribution of the 
            Sutrasamuccaya to Nagarjuna by Santideva in his 
            Bodhicaryavatara,(21) which constitutes a relatively early 
            attribution of one core text. 
            Some of the works traditionally attributed to Nagarjuna (and 
            accepted as his works by C. Lindtner(22)), such as the 
            Bodhicittavivarana and the Vaidalyaprakarana, have had their 
            authenticity seriously questioned.(23) The attribution to Nagarjuna 
            of the Suhrllekha, a manual largely of ethical teachings in the form 
            of a letter to a friend, a king, has been contested.(24) As for the 
            Ratnavali, T. Vetter's analysis of its metrical characteristics and 
            word frequency casts doubt upon it too.(25) 
            Among the miscellaneous works of chemistry and medicine 
            traditionally ascribed to Nagarjuna, it should be noted that the 
            Yogasataka, a medical text, has been accepted by Filliozat,(26) but 
            the attribution is arguably implausible.(27) 
            The Mahaprajnaparamitopadesa has long been treated as an authentic 
            work of Nagarjuna, but in fact is unlikely to be by him despite the 
            weight of tradition; Lamotte originally accepted the tradition but 
            changed his mind before he edited the third volume of his study and 
            The only conclusion that can be advanced here is that relatively few 
            works can be treated with any confidence as authentic creations of 
            the master. These few are written in an abstract, anonymous style. 
            Thus, when we turn to internal evidence for biographical 
            information, there are no very firm conclusions to be drawn, chiefly 
            because the best-attested works are the least chatty. 
            The best sort of source for biographical materials must be sought in 
            other works which refer to Nagarjuna. Let us first consider 
            originally Indian sources (some of which are no longer extant in 
            The Lankavatara, known in Chinese and Tibetan translations, dates 
            from as early as the fifth century. Chapter X was added to it, 
            presumably between 443 and 513 A.D., the dates of the translations 
            of Gunabhadra and Bodhiruci, respectively.(29) It contains an 
            apocryphal prophecy of the Buddha, saying: 
            daksinapatha-vedalyam bhiksuh sriman mahayasaskah nagahvayah sa 
            namna tu sadasatpaksadarakah 165(30) 
            In Vedali [Vidarbha?], in the southern region, there will be an 
            illustrious monk of great renown bearing, indeed, the appellation 
            Naga (or by name Nagahvaya [?]); he will destroy the views of 
            existence and non-existence.(31) 
            The following verse celebrates this "Nagahvaya" as the declarer of 
            Various other sources associate Nagarjuna with Vidarbha, and some 
            have taken the "Vedali" here to refer to it, but this has been 
            disputed.(32) Tibetan tradition picked up the association of 
            Nagarjuna with Vidarbha, but the origins of the tradition are 
            obscure. The present passage is weak evidence. In the Tibetan, the 
            name appears as Vedahi,(33) and P. S. Sastri has argued with 
            abundant reference to local toponyms that a name like Vedali is 
            likely to place Nagarjuna's birthplace in the Andhra country.(34) 
            It has been seriously questioned whether "Nagahvaya" (whether a name 
            in its own right, or a manner of allusion: "called Naga") really 
            identifies our Nagarjuna. Nagahvayah sa namna, of course, may imply 
            that the term ahvaya, "appellation," is part of the name, and from 
            Sumpa and Taranatha we have references to a Nagahvaya who is 
            apparently a disciple of the original Nagarjuna or who is otherwise 
            known as Tathagatabhadra.(35) The doubters may all be wrong; given 
            the fame of Nagarjuna, he rather than anybody else is likely to be 
            given the credit for assailing the concepts of existence and 
            non-existence; and there is some precedent for seeing "called Naga" 
            as a way of referring to him.(36) However, it is clear that the 
            Lankavatara does not offer any potential biographical information 
            beyond the problematic allusion to "Vedali." 
            Also relatively early, but evidence of quite a different sort, is an 
            inscription on a stele originally found on the northwest side of the 
            Jaggayyapeta stupa. This site is on the Krishna. The inscription is 
            on the base of the panel containing a high-relief standing Buddha 
            image. It reads: 
            svasti bhadanta nagarjunacaryyasya sisya[syo] jayaprabhacaryya[h] 
            tacchisyena ca[ndra]prabhena karapitam 
            devamanu[ja]vibhutipurvvakam buddhattva-prapti-nimittam 
            buddha-pratimam pratistha[stha]pitam anumodana [pakse?] kurvvantu 
            sarvve saugaty-agrya[?]nyo pi(37) 
            The somewhat problematic text here incorporates the readings 
            suggested by R. G. Bhandarkar and cited by J. Burgess; the sense of 
            it can be rendered approximately: 
            Salute! The disciple of the Teacher Nagarjuna was the Teacher 
            Jayaprabha. May all beings, even though themselves denied the 
            perfection of Buddhahood, rejoice in sympathy at the Buddha image 
            caused to be made by (Jayaprabha's) disciple Candraprabha, 
            inaugurated for the purpose of the attainment of Buddhahood 
            following upon prosperity in the world of gods and men in the course 
            of a round of births distinguished by the great favors of the real 
            Thus the inscription records an endowment of a Buddha image by an 
            individual whose teacher's teacher was "Bhadanta Nagarjunacarya." 
            This would be exciting if it could easily be made to fit plausibly 
            with other evidence of the individual we are seeking. However, on 
            paleographical grounds the inscription has been dated to about 600 
            by Burgess, to 450-500 A.D. by Ramachandran.(38) A fourth-century 
            date for Nagarjuna, the earliest that could be managed on this 
            evidence, has not been persuasively argued so far, and the allusion 
            in this inscription must remain a mystery for the time being, though 
            there will be occasion to revert to it briefly at the end of this 
            Bana's Harsacarita (seventh century) is the first Sanskrit text to 
            make the link, widespread in the literature, between Nagarjuna and 
            his friend "Satavahana, the lord of the three oceans."(39) The 
            relevant passage tells of the fate of a string of pearls magically 
            made by Vasuki, Lord of Serpents, from the tears wept by the moon: 
            samatikramati ca kiyatyapi kale kadacit tam ekavalim tasman 
            nagarajan nagarjuno nama nagair evanitah patalatalam bhiksur 
            abhiksata lebhe ca / nirgatya rasatalat trisamudradhipataye 
            satavahananamne narendraya suhrde sa dadau tam / sa casmakam kalena 
            sisyaparamparaya katham api hastam upagata.(40) 
            As time passed by, eventually a monk called Nagarjuna was brought to 
            Patalatala [the abode of the nagas among the underworlds] by the 
            nagas, begged this string from the Lord of the Nagas, and received 
            it. Upon his departure from the infernal regions, he gave it to his 
            friend the king called Satavahana, Lord of the Three Oceans, and in 
            the course of time it came to our hand through the lineage of 
            The link with the Satavahanas, obscure though it is, nevertheless 
            constitutes one of our best pieces of evidence about the life of 
            Nagarjuna; it will be taken up again below. The rhetorical character 
            of the Harsacarita, though, makes it unwise to place weight upon its 
            fine detail. 
            Another text of equivocal value is the Mahameghasutra, extant in 
            Chinese and Tibetan versions, though the line of descent of these 
            versions is unclear and there is doubt how far they share a single 
            origin.(41) According to Demieville, this text, which was translated 
            into Chinese by the fourth and fifth centuries, was probably the 
            same as one referred to by Candrakirti in the Madhyamakavatara, 
            where he calls it the Aryadvadasasahasramahamegha, attributing to it 
            the prophecy that Nagarjuna would be born in the future and teach 
            the Dharma.(42) 
            Now, the Chinese text contains a number of spurious prophecies 
            attributed to the Buddha; according to one, the Buddha prophesied to 
            emissaries from the south, coming from the Black Mountain (possibly 
            a reference to the Andhra country and the hills around 
            Nagarjunakonda) that, twelve hundred years after his Nirvana, there 
            would be a great king called ???, soto-p'o-ho-na, EMC 
            sa-ta-ba-xa-[na.sup.h] (reconstructions of Early Middle Chinese 
            follow Pulleyblank), clearly representing "Satavahana." Further, 
            also in south India, a certain "Nagaraja" would be born in a place 
            called Kusumamala or Sumanamala, near the river Supaya, in Surastra, 
            and give his life for the Dharma.(43) This prophecy is of doubtful 
            relevance because it does not specify the name Nagarjuna and offers 
            biographical details not found elsewhere (though the name of the 
            river does roughly correspond to the Tibetan version); the tenuous 
            case for a connection must be built upon Candrakirti's use of the 
            text, if indeed the prophecy in the version of it available to us 
            accurately represents what Candrakirti's source said. 
            According to another prophecy in the Chinese version, the Buddha 
            foretold that seven hundred years after his Nirvana, in the southern 
            kingdom called [Chinese Text Omitted], wu-ming ('no-light', i.e., 
            'dark', = andha, translating andhra), on the south bank of the river 
            [Chinese Text Omitted], hei-an ('black', i.e., Krsna), there would 
            be a town called [Chinese Text Omitted], shou-ku ('ripe-grain', 
            representing Dhanyakataka), and here would reign the king [Chinese 
            Text Omitted] teng-ch'eng ('Equal-ride', = Sadvahana, = Satavahana); 
            he would have a daughter called [Chinese Text Omitted], tseng-chang, 
            'Increase Prosperity', who would become ruler and receive homage 
            from all the world.(44) The Tibetan version, which is evidently 
            based on a variant text, declares that four hundred years after the 
            Nirvana, on the north bank of Sundarabhuti in a country called 
            Rishila in south India, there would be born as a Licchavi, in the 
            time of King Vipatticikitsaka, a monk called Naga who would give his 
            life for the Drarma. Tucci thought that this "Naga" could not refer 
            to Nagarjuna.(45) 
            The Mahameghasutra therefore offers us a "Naga" and a "Nagaraja," 
            named in proximity to a prophecy about a Satavahana ruler at 
            Dhanyakataka. Most authorities have not been impressed by the text 
            as evidence, but Candrakirti's allusion to what appears to be the 
            same work does suggest that, though garbled, it may provide early 
            evidence of a tradition, strong in later centuries, that linked 
            Nagarjuna, the teacher of Madhyamaka, with Satavahana rulers in the 
            The reference in the Tibetan version to a woman later becoming a 
            ruler has been seen as a reflection of the importance of royal women 
            in the culture to which the original text belonged, and Levi points 
            to the prominence of women as donors to Buddhism at Nagarjunakonda, 
            where the Iksvaku dynasty ruled in the third century.(46) 
            Indian sources offer little from this time until about the eleventh 
            century, when their distance from the origins of traditions about 
            Nagarjuna severely limits their usefulness. 
            The Kathasaritsagara, firstly, tells the story of King Long-lived, 
            endowed with all gifts, whose wise minister, Nagarjuna, of 
            bodhisattva origin, was possessed of compassion, generosity and good 
            cirayur namni nagare cirayur nama bhupatih purvam cirayur evasit 
            ketanam sarvasampadam tasya nagarjuno nama bodhisattvamsasambhavah 
            dayalur danasilas ca mantri vijnanavan abhut.(47) 
            According to this story (which became popular in later writings, 
            whatever its origin) Nagarjuna had discovered the secret of 
            immortality and shared it with his royal master; the two of them 
            lived for many centuries, but ultimately a crown prince, greedy for 
            the throne, tricked Nagarjuna into placing himself in the prince's 
            power and submitting to decapitation, and the grief-stricken king 
            died soon after.(48) Here we observe Nagarjuna the magician, the 
            hero of many a legend in the Tibetan and Chinese stories of medieval 
            times, and there is little here of historical significance besides a 
            memory of the fame of Nagarjuna.(49) 
            Kalhana (twelfth century) offers a reference to Nagarjuna as lord of 
            the earth (bhumisvaro) in Kashmir at the time of Huska, Juska, and 
            Kaniska, living in the grove of the six arhants (sadarhadvana): 
            athabhavan svanamankapuratrayavidhayinah huskajuskakaniskakhyas 
            trayas tatraiva parthivah 168 sa viharasya nirmata jusko 
            juskapurasya yah jayasvamipurasyapi suddhadhih samvidhayakah 169 te 
            turuskanvayodbhuta api punyasraya nrpah suskaletradidesesu 
            mathacaityadi cakrire 170 prajye rajyaksane tesam prayah 
            kasmiramandalam bhojyam aste sma bauddhanam pravrajyorjitatejasam 
            171 tada bragavatah sakyasimhasya paranirvrteh asmin mahilokadhatau 
            sardham varsasatam hy agat 172 bodhisattvas ca dese 'sminn eko 
            bhumisvaro 'bhavat sa ca nagarjunah sriman sadarhadvanasamsrayi 
            This tells us that Huska, Juska and Kaniska were three rulers over 
            the three cities that bore their names; the pure-souled Juska 
            founded a vihara as well as Juskapura and Jayasvamipura; these 
            kings, although of Turkish descent, gave themselves to pious deeds, 
            building in Suskaletra and other places foundations such as 
            monasteries and shrines; during their glorious reign Kashmir was 
            mostly dedicated to the Buddhists, whose mendicant lifestyle 
            enhanced their fame; at this period one hundred fifty years had 
            passed since the Parinirvana of the Buddha; and in this country a 
            bodhisattva, Nagarjuna, was the sole sovereign of the earth (eko 
            bhumisvaro), dwelling in the Grove of the Six Arhats. 
            There has been some discussion of the meaning of this lordship,(51) 
            which need not concern us. Nagarjuna did not rule as a lord 
            anywhere; possibly the allusion can be taken to refer to his 
            spiritual eminence, but the character of the passage as a whole 
            should warn us against treating it as historical chronicle based on 
            secure information. If (as we must) we reject the information that 
            at the time in question the Buddha had been dead for a hundred and 
            fifty years, why should we cling to the contemporaneity of a "lord 
            of the earth" Nagarjuna with the Saka kings named? 
            It is possible, indeed, to find historical referents for the kings 
            named; Kaniska could be the rather shadowy Kaniska II, supposed to 
            have been ruling forty-one years after the accession of the dynastic 
            founder and patron of Buddhism, Kaniska I, and the other two kings 
            named could be the former's contemporaries Huviska and Vajeska.(52) 
            Scholars have debated the chronology of Nagarjuna's life in relation 
            to that of Kaniska I, whose reign in the northwest possibly began in 
            A.D. 78;(53) however, there is little point in seeking to secure 
            Nagarjuna's chronology to another which is itself so insecure; the 
            serious doubts about the historical career of any Kaniska II, and 
            about the date of the reign of Kaniska I, make it unwise to rely 
            heavily on the links suggested in Kalhana's poem written a 
            millennium later. 
            Two works which have the character of classical Mahayana texts, but 
            may be spurious, are the Mahabherisutra and the Mahamdyasutra, both 
            of which mention Nagarjuna, but their historical value is 
            A later source, in impure Sanskrit, much used by Tibetan writers in 
            their compilations of Buddhist lore, was the Manjusrimulakalpa. It 
            contains a spurious prophecy by the Buddha: 
            bodhim prapsyati sarvajnim uttamartham acintiyam caturthe varsasate 
            prapte nirvrte mayi tathagate nagahvayo nama sa u bhiksuh sasane 
            'smin hite ratah muditam bhumilabdhas tu jived varsasatani sat 
            mayuri namato vidya siddha tasya mahatmanah 
            nanasastrartkadhatvartham nihsvabhavarthatattvavit sukhavatyam 
            copapadyeta yadasau tyaktakalebarah so 'nupurvena buddhatvam niyatam 
            Four hundred years after the Buddha's Nirvana, there would live a 
            monk named Naga (nagahvaya) who would obtain the muditabhumi and 
            would live six hundred years; he would acquire the Mahamayurividya 
            and know the truth of non-substantiality (nihsvabhavarthatattva). He 
            would go to the heaven Sukhavati on his death and in due course 
            would certainly attain Buddhahood. The Tibetan version represents 
            "Naga" as klu-shes-de-hbod, the equivalent of "Nagahvaya," 'called 
            Naga'; according to Walleser the reference is definitely to 
            Nagarjuna, and this, he thinks, helps to validate the expression 
            nagahvaya as a reference to Nagarjuna where it also occurs in the 
            Lankavatara.(56) It certainly appears plausible, given the reference 
            to this Naga's knowledge of the emptiness of things 
            (nihsvabhavarthatattvavit), to take the passage as an allusion to 
            Nagarjuna the madhyamika. 
            An eleventh-century work based on Indian travels, but not by an 
            Indian, is the account of Al-Biruni (Alberuni), who mentions a 
            famous alchemist named Nagarjuna who lived a century before (i.e., 
            in the tenth century); he came from Daihak near Somnath and was an 
            expert in the science of rasayana and used plants to promote health, 
            longevity, and enhanced sexuality.(57) Reference to the context, 
            which contains various stories of miracles that are repeated 
            uncritically, does not inspire confidence in its historical value. 
            V. W. Karambelkar attaches weight to this evidence, although other 
            authorities do not.(58) What we observe here is an early stage of 
            the myth of Nagarjuna the practitioner of wonderful arts. 
            Thus the evidence from India is disappointing. The stronger sense of 
            history as a record of objective circumstances in China might be 
            thought a more hopeful field to explore. 
            Kumarajiva, firstly, made translations of Buddhist texts very early 
            in the fifth century. From him (whether as author or as translator) 
            or from his disciples comes a short biography of Nagarjuna, the 
            Long-shu p'u-sa chuan, the substance of which is largely mythical, 
            but does offer a chronology: "Since Nagarjuna left the world up to 
            the present, more than a hundred years have passed."(59) However, it 
            is not clear whether these should be seen as words of Kumarajiva, or 
            of an earlier work which he passed on, or of his disciples who 
            edited the material he bequeathed them(60) 
            One disciple of Kumarajiva was Seng-jui, who wrote a preface to the 
            Satyasiddhisastra. This preface is now lost, but according to a 
            passage quoted by Chitsang, Asvaghosa was born 350 years after the 
            Buddha's Nirvana and Nagarjuna was born "in the year 530"; it 
            appears that Nagarjuna's year is dated from Asvaghosa's and thus 
            comes 880 years after the Nirvana.(61) What weight should be 
            attached to the date thus derived (a pedantic calculation shows that 
            it should be A.D. 244, not 243, as is usually advanced) is not 
            clear, for we have no ground for believing that the Chinese 
            possessed Indian records capable of supporting such a precise 
            chronology.(62) As Lamotte acknowledges: "On n'echappe pas a 
            l'impression que toutes ces datations relevent de vues theoriques 
            sur les etapes successives de la Bonne Loi et que, en chronologie 
            absolue, leur valeur est plutot faible."(63) 
            Perhaps the earliest solid piece of biographical information of 
            value comes in the sixth century from the translator Paramartha, who 
            attests the connection between Nagarjuna and a Satavahana ruler that 
            in later writings was to be repeated over and over again.(64) 
            Hsuan-tsang, the famous seventh-century pilgrim, comes next. He 
            visited a place which he identified as the capital of Kosala (i.e., 
            Daksinakosala), the location of which has not been identified with 
            certainty (it might have been in the area of Wairagarh or 
            Bhandak(65)) and claimed that 
            not far to the south of the city is an old sangharama, by the side 
            of which is a stupa that was built by Asokaraja. . . . Afterwards 
            Nagarjuna Bodhisattva (Lungmen-p'u-sa) dwelled in the 
            Nagarjuna had the friendship and patronage of the Satavahana king, 
            who provided him with a residence. Nagarjuna concocted medicines for 
            longevity, through which he and the king lived for centuries until 
            Nagarjuna was decapitated; Hsuan-tsang offers a version of the story 
            of Nagarjuna's end mentioned above. This king is called 
            So-to-p'o-ho, clearly intending the dynastic name Satavahana, as we 
            saw earlier.(67) 
            Traveling three hundred li to the south-west, Hsuantsang came to 
            Po-lo-mo-lo-ki-li (Bhramaragiri), the site of a great vihara made by 
            the king for Nagarjuna by hollowing out the rock in five tiers. The 
            exact location of this vihara cannot easily be identified,(68) but 
            the same recognizable monastery had already been described by 
            Fa-hsien in the fifth century,(69) and in the early eighth century a 
            Korean pilgrim, Hui Ch'ao, passed the same way.(70) Different 
            versions of the Chinese text call the monastery [Chinese Text 
            Omitted], hei feng ('black peak') and [Chinese Text Omitted], also 
            pronounced hei feng, 'black bee', which as has been argued could 
            represent the Sanskrit bhramara, epithet of the Saivite goddess.(71) 
            Some have thought that this monastery bestowed upon Nagarjuna must 
            have been at Nagarjunakonda, but strictly speaking the distances and 
            directions stated in the text do not allow us to place it so far 
            The narrative of Hsuan-tsang's travels resumes with a record of his 
            journey southwards to the Andhra country.(73) It is in this general 
            area, of course, that in the second and third centuries, first, the 
            Satavahanas at Dhanyakataka and, then, the Iksvakus at Vijayapuri 
            ruled at capital cities which could have been centers of patronage 
            for celebrated Buddhist teachers. It is generally accepted that the 
            site of Dhanyakataka was adjacent to the ancient stupa at Amaravati 
            (where according to the much later Tibetan tradition Nagarjuna made 
            benefactions). There are problems in the reconstruction of the 
            history of this area, which have been discussed elsewhere.(74) 
            Elsewhere Hsuan-tsang refers to Nagarjuna as one of "four suns which 
            illumined the world," along with Asvaghosa, Aryadeva, and 
            Kumarabdha,(75) but it is not likely that this allusion can furnish 
            any useful chronological information: the four suns did not shine at 
            the same time.(76) 
            Here it is necessary to revert briefly to the question of Kaniska's 
            relationship with Nagarjuna, mentioned above, for Shohei Ichimura 
            has recently appealed to it and to the "four suns" allusion in 
            making his case that Nagarjuna lived in western India from about 
            A.D. 50 to about A.D. 150.(77) The case for this chronology rests 
            essentially upon the evidence of Hsuan-tsang that Nagarjuna was a 
            contemporary of Asvaghosa, the assumption that Asvaghosa was a 
            contemporary of Kaniska I, and the assumption that this Kaniska's 
            reign was late in the first century.(78) The chronology of Kaniska, 
            as noticed before, is notoriously problematic; so is the 
            relationship of Nagarjuna to Asvaghosa. If we accept the poetic 
            allusion to four suns as serious evidence that Nagarjuna and 
            Asvaghosa were contemporaries, we must find better reasons for 
            heeding it than the earlier evidence of Chi-tsang, according to 
            which, of course, the two cannot be contemporary. 
            One other Chinese pilgrim, the late seventh-century traveler 
            I-ching, shows an interest in Nagarjuna, telling us for example of 
            the master's reputed alchemical wizardry (prolonging his life by 
            breathing water), and linking him with Asvaghosa, Asanga, and 
            Vasubandhu.(79) Further, he quotes the Suhrllekha at some length and 
            identifies the friend to whom it was written as [Chinese Text 
            Omitted], shih-yin-te-chia, EMC [zi.sup.h]-jin-tak-kia, titled 
            So-to-p'o-han-na (spelled as above, but in this text with han 
            represented by [Chinese Text Omitted]).(80) There has been much 
            discussion of the proper Indian restoration of these names;(81) the 
            latter is clearly Satavahana, while the former (variously taken to 
            represent Santaka, Jantaka, Jayandhra, etc.) could possibly be based 
            on the common Satavahana name Satakarni. We may note here that 
            various forms of the name Satakarni (used by many Satavahana rulers) 
            occur in puranic sources, including notably Santikarni, along with 
            such variants as Sata, Sati, Sada and Sataka.(82) 
            These are the main relevant Chinese sources; Tibetan works 
            constitute another category, but despite their importance for many 
            aspects of Buddhist history they must be largely omitted from 
            consideration here for reasons of space. They all stand at a 
            substantial distance in time from the Nagarjuna I whose biography is 
            here in view, and the evidence that they contain must be very 
            indirect. A more substantial review would need to take account of 
            the writings of Buston (1290-1364),(83) 'Goslo-tsa-ba 
            gZon-du-dpal,(84) Taranatha,(85) and Sumpa.(86) Deserving of brief 
            comment is a work by Manluns, who lived in the thirteenth century 
            and described a magnificent stupa in Dhanyakataka where the Buddha 
            was supposed to have preached. This picked up a tradition given 
            currency in Tibet by the Kalacakra Tantra; Manluns took the further 
            step of associating Nagarjuna with construction work at 
            Dhanyakataka: temples to the northwest and southwest of the stupa 
            are attributed to the benefaction of Nagarjuna. This would be 
            important if the stupa described by Man-luffs could be identified 
            with one that actually existed (such as the stupa at Amaravati), 
            particularly since the author claims to have been to India and seen 
            what he describes. Nevertheless, the detailed description that he 
            gives appears to be a fanciful exercise, partly inspired by the 
            Kalacakra Tantra, and cannot with confidence be attached to any 
            known historical site. There are serious objections to any 
            identification, including any along the Krishna River.(87) 
            This summary omits the many references to Nagarjuna as a mahasiddha 
            who accumulated an impressive array of spells and powers, and who 
            figures in many a list of past tantric masters, from which it would 
            probably be vain to attempt any serious reconstruction of his 
            biography. Most of the colorful and entertaining parts of the 
            Nagarjuna evidence, unfortunately, must be omitted from this study. 
            In many respects, the later traditions about a tantric Nagarjuna 
            seem to represent a different person, and many have thought that the 
            historical basis for the tantric legend must have lain in some 
            second individual who lived long after the madhyamika master. For a 
            number of scholars, the solution has seemed to be that two (or more) 
            people called Nagarjuna, one of them a tantric mahasiddha, have 
            become confused in Buddhist tradition.(88) 
            A variety of alchemical and medical treatises - not just tantric 
            works - have been attributed to Nagarjuna, and some have been ready 
            to attribute them to the madhyamika philosopher,(89) while others 
            have considered that perhaps as many as four historical individuals, 
            living at different times, came to be confused.(90) 
            The argument for two (or more) Nagarjunas is basically that the 
            aeuvre and the traditions credited to Nagarjuna point to a 
            madhyamika acarya some time in the first three centuries A.D. and to 
            a tantric mahasiddha, an adept in charms and spells, who would 
            probably have lived later, when tantra flourished.(91) The tantric 
            Nagarjuna can be identified as the founder of the Guhyasamaja 
            system, as the sixteenth mahasiddha, and as the disciple of Saraha 
            or Rahula;(92) it has been pointed out that the Guhyasamaja concepts 
            do not date from before Dharmakirti and have a basis in Yogacara, 
            not Madhyamaka, theory.(93) 
            There are difficulties with the case for plural Nagarjunas; we have 
            to decide which of the facts alleged by tradition about Nagarjuna 
            belong to one, or to another, or to both, or all by sheer 
            coincidence; and in many cases the decision must be arbitrary. 
            Nevertheless, most scholars have accepted that there must have been 
            more than one Nagarjuna behind the traditions. The argument of Jan 
            Yun-hua that, after all, there was only one Nagarjuna(94) is 
            therefore all the more striking. 
            Jan Yun-hua offers several types of evidence which he says suggest 
            that there was no later Nagarjuna. These are directed against 
            specific claims for the existence of a tantric (or a medical) 
            Nagarjuna in some particular later century.(95) However, Jan does 
            not discuss the actual authorship of most of the various later texts 
            attributed by tradition to Nagarjuna - a discussion which is 
            required if the case for the existence of no more than one Nagarjuna 
            is to be sustained. 
            Jan Yun-hua's arguments are salutary in casting doubt on the 
            too-facile theories which seek to identify some particular Nagarjuna 
            II (or III, or IV) in some particular later century. 
            What we need to recognize here is that there are different grades of 
            existence. We should heed the lessons of Madhyamaka logic: that a 
            later Nagarjuna should exist, and that a later Nagarjuna should not 
            exist, are not the only possibilities. There are several grades 
            worth distinguishing: 
            (a) being Nagarjuna originally; 
            (b) taking the name Nagarjuna upon re-ordination; 
            (c) coming to be seen as a reincarnation of Nagarjuna; 
            (d) writing a book which contributes to a tradition that looks back 
            to Nagarjuna, and which subsequently comes to be attributed to 
            (e) not being Nagarjuna in any sense at all. 
            Later Nagarjunas could indeed come into existence, in some sense. 
            After all, there could be two Asvaghosas, two Sarahas or 
            Rahulabhadras, even two Aryadevas and two Vimuktisenas. Tucci points 
            out that, particularly in the tantric tradition, the repetition of 
            names was specially liable to occur. Many siddhas might be seen as 
            incarnations of a single person; further, many Tibetans would take 
            new names upon initiation into new or different schools. 
            This implies that some masters of the Siddha-sampradaya considered 
            themselves or were considered by their disciples as the 
            manifestation (Tib. rnam a'prul) of the first acaryas . . . and were 
            given the same name. This fact explains quite well the contamination 
            which we may trace between the biographical accounts of the older 
            masters as given in the Chinese sources and those preserved in the 
            Tibetan tradition.(96) 
            This much, of course, concerns Tibetan teachers, not Indian. But 
            there is no reason why it should not apply to the later, tantric, 
            forms of Indian Buddhism as well. 
            Few of the Sanskrit sources of Tibetan traditions are preserved, or 
            we would be in a much better position to seek pathways by which 
            genuine historical knowledge was transmitted. But a short Sanskrit 
            work recording alleged teacher lineages, found in Nepal by Tucci, 
            constitutes good evidence that, in the Sanskrit tradition also, 
            teachers in a lineage could be regarded as reincarnations of earlier 
            masters. The work in question(97) shows that one master, Nagarjuna, 
            was held to be reembodied in the persons of a number of later 
            siddhas - Damodara, Advayavajra, and Ratnamati. Further, it shows 
            that teachers could take new names on being initiated in different 
            The tendency here attested may have begun quite early, and it is not 
            surprising that there should be confusing and discrepant traditions, 
            more or less worthless for the purposes of true chronology, 
            describing the place of Nagarjuna in one instruction lineage or 
            There was very possibly, then, one original Nagarjuna, but to him 
            was added a legend which ramified. This legend, in turn, inspired 
            the adoption of the name of Nagarjuna by many later texts written at 
            different times, and likely also by some later teachers in the 
            tantric tradition. In seeking the historical reality of these texts 
            and teachers, therefore, we are not looking for some particular 
            individual who was "the tantric Nagarjuna," or perhaps "the medical 
            Nagarjuna," or "the alchemical Nagarjuna," who happened to have the 
            same name. We are looking for the multiform particular 
            manifestations of a single legend. These later manifestations need 
            not be embodied in any new authentic Nagarjuna. They may be embodied 
            in different ways of using the name. 
            It is necessary to recognize the importance of this perspective. 
            There are implications here for our understanding of Indian views of 
            authorship and tradition, of truth and its expression. It may be 
            appropriate, as a comment on the world view that is here elicited, 
            to cite some comments by Arthur Waley about authorship which, though 
            they concern not India but China, may bear pondering nevertheless: 
            Thus people in early China were used to regarding books as records 
            of traditions. . . . When real authorship began writers should give 
            their books the appearance of being records of ancient things, 
            rather than present their ideas as new and personal discoveries. 
            This was as natural and as inevitable as that the first railway 
            carriages should imitate stage coaches. These early products of 
            authorship were not, strictly speaking, what Western bibliographers 
            call pseudepigraphs. No pretence was made that the books in question 
            were written by the Ancients (though this was often believed in 
            after ages by people who could only think in terms of modern 
            authorship). It was merely pretended that what was now set down had 
            once been taught by such or such an Ancient. Had this method not 
            been adopted the people could not have been induced to read the 
            books, any more than travellers could have been persuaded to enter a 
            railway carriage if it had not looked something like a stage 
            There had to be a single historical figure at the origin of the 
            whole process, and he, we need not doubt, was the author of the 
            Malamadhyamakakarikas. What evidence about him emerges? 
            The link with the Satavahana dynasty is probably the most striking 
            feature. De Jong suggests that Paramartha's reference to the 
            connection, in the sixth century, may be the first occurrence.(99) 
            Hsuan-tsang's So-to-p'o-ho and I-ching's So-to-p'o-han-na evidently 
            represent it phonetically, and the former's, Yin-cheng, 
            'Leading-right', conveys the sense of Sad-vaha. (The actual 
            etymology of the dynastic name, which is Sanskritized from a local 
            language and has been argued by some to represent a trace of a horse 
            cult, does not matter; it is the way the name Satavahana struck its 
            hearers that counts.) The Tibetan bDe.Spyod can be interpreted 
            similarly, though the interpretation is conjectural: the first 
            element means 'happy, good' (= sat), and the second 'walking, 
            conducting oneself' (= vahana). 
            Which Satavahana ruler, if any, is most likely to have been 
            Nagarjuna's patron? Nagarjuna's relationship to early Mahayana 
            literature requires that we should look at the first three centuries 
            A.D. In the course of this period, Satavahana kings lost their early 
            dominions in the west and finished as lords of the lower Krishna 
            region. The chronology of the dynasty, which must be reconstructed 
            from fragmentary epigraphic records and implausible puranic lists, 
            is far from clear, and different authorities differ widely in the 
            dates they suggest for the reigns of rulers; there would be little 
            point in assigning precise dates here. 
            Gautamiputra Satakarni is likely to have reigned around the 
            beginning of the second century;(100) it is said in a Nasik 
            inscription that his horses drank from the three oceans,(101) which 
            recalls the allusion to the Satavahana friend of Nagarjuna in the 
            Harsacarita (noticed above) as "lord of the three oceans," an 
            epithet which has been thought appropriate to a ruler who had an 
            empire in the west as well as the east, if we see in it an 
            exaggerated claim to control the eastern, southern and western 
            coasts of the Deccan. P.S. Sastri has argued that the Ratnavali 
            (assuming it was written by Nagarjuna) contains references to the 
            vilification of Mahayana and appears to be written to a monarch who 
            had reverted to brahmanism; since Gautamiputra Satakarni is referred 
            to in a Nasik inscription as ekabrahmana, this king could be 
            he.(102) (This argument, of course, depends upon the conjunction of 
            several hypotheses.) 
            Several other authorities have argued for Pulumavi II (late second 
            century) or Yajna Sri Satakarni (variously dated in the later second 
            century or at the turn of the third(103)), but the latter of these 
            is the more favored candidate.(104) 
            Vijaya Sri Satakarni, at the beginning of the third century or in 
            its early part, is not frequently given any preference,(105) but it 
            deserves to be noticed that Vijaya is known from an inscription on a 
            limestone pillar recording a Buddhist endowment near Vijayapuri (as 
            it was to become), in the Nagarjunakonda valley.(106) H. Sarkar was 
            led by his archaeological researches at Amaravati and Nagarjunakonda 
            to propose a revision of the late Satavahana chronology: the 
            inscriptions of the last three rulers, Vijaya Satakarni, Candasri, 
            and Pulumavi III, are in different places, and they may have ruled 
            concurrently from different capitals; Vijaya (possibly r. 203-9) 
            could have been the real founder of Vijayapuri, which after his 
            defeat became the Iksvaku capital.(107) (His chronology, however, 
            must be acknowledged to be speculative.) 
            This leads naturally to a consideration of the connection between 
            Nagarjuna and Sri Parvata - a connection widely enough claimed for 
            him in the later sources (such as the Tibetan writers and the 
            The epigraphy of Nagarjunakonda identifies a Sri Parvata at that 
            site, consisting at least of an eminence on a spur projecting into 
            the valley (and possibly more generally of the surrounding 
            heights);(109) some have considered that the name designated the 
            whole Nallamallai range, the hills which surround the Nagarjunakonda 
            valley and extend upstream, to include Sri Sailam (itself sometimes 
            later called Sri Parvata(110)). I. K. Sarma has made a study of the 
            toponym Sri Parvata, and according to him it is clear that in 
            Iksvaku times at least it designated specifically the hill in the 
            Nagarjunakonda valley, though it may subsequently have come to be 
            used more generally.(111) 
            So, on the evidence reviewed above, it is difficult to choose 
            between the region called "Daksinakosala" and the Krishna valley 
            heartland of the latter Satavahana kingdom (supported by the 
            references to Sri Parvata and the Satavahanas). 
            Perhaps we need not choose. The two areas are close enough together 
            for us to conceive of a famous Buddhist teacher moving freely 
            between them; perhaps, for example, he gained fame in Daksinakosala 
            and traveled to the Krishna area (perhaps to Nagarjunakonda) to 
            receive patronage from a ruler there. 
            There is certainly evidence of Buddhist settlement at Nagarjunakonda 
            predating the establishment there of the Iksvaku capital, and it is 
            probably here that we should look for the home of the Aparasaila 
            sect for whose benefit, in the reign of the Iksvaku monarch 
            Mathariputra Virapurusadatta, there was erected the mahacaitya, a 
            dhatugarbha, which must have contributed to the celebrity of the 
            site in the Buddhist world, while the Purvasaila sect had long been 
            established in places further east, primarily at Amaravati. 
            Now, it is possible to indicate a chain of circumstantial 
            connections fastening Nagarjuna to the Nagarjunakonda-Amaravati 
            region in late Satavahana (or possibly Iksvaku) times; it needs to 
            be emphasized at once, though, that the point of this exercise is to 
            show, not that such a theory is correct, but that no others are 
            better. The links are as follows. Despite the austere rationalism of 
            the Mulamadhyamakakarikas and the other philosophical works, 
            Nagarjuna's Dharmadhatustava, if correctly attributed to him, 
            represents a devotional strain of Buddha worship, in which, as Ruegg 
            argues, one can see elements of the tathagatagarbha doctrine.(112) 
            The tathagatagarbha doctrine was emerging in association with 
            devotional Buddhism. Elements of it have been discerned in the 
            Srimalasutra, which has been tentatively attributed to the Buddhists 
            of Iksvaku Nagarjunakonda, partly because of the active role of 
            women as Buddhist donors there and the importance of the ideal woman 
            portrayed in the Srimalasutra.(113) Some of the monasteries of 
            Nagarjunakonda, according to H. Sarkar, represent the early 
            influence of devotional religion with the incorporation of stupas 
            inside vihara enclosures.(114) Nagarjuna is widely held to have 
            resided at Sri Parvata for at least a part of his career, and there 
            was a Sri Parvata at Nagarjunakonda. The Purvasaila sect flourished 
            in the Satavahana dominions in Andhra, particularly at Amaravati, 
            and Candrakirti in his Madhyamakavatara cites verses described as 
            "following the Purvasailas," which indicate the influence of 
            Prajnaparamita ideas and have been associated by La Vallee Poussin 
            with the emergence in the south of the dharmadhatugarbha 
            doctrine.(115) The association of these elements is obviously 
            inconclusive; but it makes as much sense as the other theories that 
            have been advanced about Nagarjuna. 
            At this point we can return to the question who was the "Satavahana" 
            ruler who was Nagarjuna's friend and patron. 
            In the first place, we must not overlook the possibility that the 
            name "Satavahana," so familiar in the Nagarjuna legend, came to be 
            attached by posterity to some shadowy successor, not an actual 
            Satavahana, who ruled in a part of the area whose history was made 
            glorious chiefly by its association with the imperial Satavahanas. 
            It is upon this supposition that one could cling to the 
            Nagarjunacarya of the Jaggayyapeta inscription, which has not so far 
            been allowed to date before the fifth century and points to a 
            fourth- or fifth-century date for Nagarjuna. The supposition would 
            also help us to deal with the claim made in the biography of 
            Nagarjuna attributed (albeit on grounds which we have seen to be 
            insecure) to Kumarajiva: "Since Nagarjuna left the world up to the 
            present, more than a hundred years have passed" - which would point 
            to a late third or possibly early fourth century sponsor for 
            Nagarjuna's activities. 
            Alternatively, we should look for this sponsor among the later 
            Satavahanas, preferably a very late one if we are persuaded that the 
            relevant developments in Buddhist doctrine are to be found among the 
            caitya sects (primarily the Purvasailas and Aparasailas) in the late 
            second and third centuries. Vijaya Sri Satakarni deserves to be 
            considered more favorably than he has been in the past, considering 
            that he was responsible for Buddhist endowments in the 
            Nagarjunakonda valley and has been taken to have established his 
            capital there early in the third century; indeed, there is no reason 
            why Nagarjuna should not have begun his career as a royal protege 
            under Vijaya and subsequently lived under the Iksvakus.(116) The 
            fact that Vijaya reigned for only a short time, while the royal 
            patron of legend lived for several centuries, is of course 
            irrelevant; we are not looking for a ruler who lived for several 
            centuries. We are looking only for a ruler who might have been 
            described by so many different sources in later times as a 
            Satavahana (whether he was one or not). 
            What this enquiry shows is that, however inadequate the evidence for 
            an original madhyamika Nagarjuna I may be, it enshrines memories of 
            a real historical person. 
            The story is quite different when we seek facts about any subsequent 
            Nagarjuna. There is an important methodological point to be made 
            here. If we assume that some particular later Nagarjuna existed, 
            about whom some fact is treated as given (for example, that he was 
            an alchemist), we can treat certain writings as giving information 
            about him; however, if we do not make such an assumption, the 
            writings are not independently capable of constituting good evidence 
            for his existence. That is, the object of our quest may itself be an 
            artifact of the quest (maya or gandharvanagara, so to speak). We 
            must give proper weight to the default hypothesis that the 
            association of the name Nagarjuna with a profusion of tantric and 
            quasi-scientific texts is a demonstration of the absorptive power of 
            the legend originating in a single historical Nagarjuna, the author 
            of Madhyamaka. 
            1 K. R. Subramanian, Buddhist Remains in Andhra (Madras: Diocesan 
            Press, 1932), 62. 
            2 For example, F. J. Streng, in Encyclopaedia Britannica, s.v. 
            Nagarjuna; and in Encyclopedia of Religion, ed. M. Eliade (N.Y: 
            Macmillan, 1987), s.v, Nagarjuna; T. R.V. Murti, The Central 
            Philosophy of Buddhism (London: Allen and Unwin, 1955), 87 f. Murti 
            also states (p. 88) that Nagarjuna was "probably a Brahman from the 
            south who came to Nalanda" (which did not in fact become a center of 
            Buddhist learning until the Gupta period: see A.D. Sankalia, The 
            Nalanda University [Delhi: Oriental Publishers, 1972], 48-59). 
            3 K. Venkata Ramanan, Nagarjuna's Philosophy, as Presented in the 
            Maha-Prajnaparamita-Sastra (Rutland, Vt.: Tuttle, 1966), 30. 
            4 David J. Kalupahana, A History of Buddhist Philosophy (Honolulu: 
            University of Hawaii Press, 1992), 160; H. Nakamura, Indian Buddhism 
            (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1989), 235. This chronology has been 
            accepted by most Japanese scholars (ibid., 236, n. 4). 
            5 Shohei Ichimura, "Re-examining the Period of Nagarjuna: Western 
            India, A.D. 50-150," Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies 40.2 
            (1992): 8-14 (= 1079-73). 
            6 Ibid., 8; cf. the citation, ibid., 14, n. 3; and H. Nakamura, 
            Indian Buddhism, 236, n. 4. 
            7 E. Lamotte, L'Enseignement de Vimalakirti (Louvain, 1962), 74-77. 
            8 J. May, 'Chugan', Hobogirin 5 (1979): 473a, 478b. 
            9 See D. Seyfort Ruegg, The Literature of the Madhyamaka School of 
            Philosophy in India, History of Indian Literature, vol. VII, fasc. 1 
            (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1981), 4f. 
            10 L. Joshi, "Life and Times of the Madhyamika Philosopher 
            Nagarjuna," Mahabodhi 73.1-2 (1965): 46f. 
            11 See for example V. W. Karambelkar, "The Problem of Nagarjuna" 
            Journal of Indian History 30.1 (1952): 21-33; N. Dutt, 
            "Nagarjunikonda and Nagarjuna," Indian Historical Quarterly 7 
            (1931): 636-69. 
            12 The legendary material has been examined by M. Walleser, "The 
            Life of Nagarjuna from Tibetan and Chinese Sources," in Asia Major: 
            Hirth Anniversary Volume, ed. B. Schindler (rpt. Delhi, 1979), 
            421-55; the dynamics of hagiography in relation to Nagarjuna are 
            discussed by Jan Yun-hua, "Nagarjuna, One or More? A New 
            Interpretation of Buddhist Hagiography," History of Religions 10 
            (1970): 139-53. 
            13 The importance of Nyaya principles in the elucidation of 
            Nagarjuna's Vigrahavyavartani has even now perhaps not received all 
            the recognition it deserves. On the relative chronology of Nagarjuna 
            and Nyaya, see J. Bronkhorst, "Nagarjuna and the Naiyayikas" Journal 
            of Indian Philosophy 13 (1985): 107-32; on the dialogue between 
            Nyaya and Madhyamaka see P.S. Sastri, "Nagarjuna and Aryadeva," 
            Indian Historical Quarterly 31.3 (1955): 193-202. 
            14 M. Winternitz, History of Indian Literature, vol. II (Calcutta: 
            Calcutta U.P., 1933), 346f. 
            15 R. Robinson, Early Madhyamika in India and China (Delhi: Motilal 
            Banarsidass, 1976), 26f. 
            16 T. R. V. Murti, The Central Philosophy of Buddhism, 88-91. 
            17 D. Ruegg, The Literature of the Madhyamaka School of Philosophy 
            in India, 8-29. 
            18 C. Lindtner, Nagarjuniana: Studies in the Writings and Philosophy 
            of Nagarjuna (Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag, 1982), 9-18, esp. p. 11. 
            His list of thirteen includes all the most probable works of our 
            Nagarjuna I, but also includes several that other scholars would be 
            unwilling to accept. 
            19 P. L. Vaidya, ed., The Madhyamakasastra of Nagarjuna with the 
            Commentary Prasannapada by Candrakirti (Darbhanga: Mithila Institute 
            of Postgraduate Studies, 1960), xv. 
            20 J. W. de Jong, Review of E. Lamotte, Le Traite de la Grande Vertu 
            de Sagesse de Nagarjuna, III, in Asia Major 17 (1971): 109; Buston, 
            History of Buddhism, tr. E. Obermiller (Delhi: Satguru Publications, 
            1986), I: 50-51, II: 125; cf. T R. V. Murti, The Central Philosophy 
            of Buddhism, 88, 91; D. Ruegg, The Literature of the Madhyamaka 
            School of Philosophy in India, 8-29. 
            21 Bodhicaryavatara 5.106. 
            22 Lindtner, Nagarjuniana. 
            23 See T. Vetter, Asiatische Studien 46.1 (1992): 393. 
            24 Nagarjuna's Letter to King Gautamiputra, with Explanatory Notes 
            based on Tibetan Commentaries, tr. the Ven. Lozang Jamspal et al. 
            (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1978); S. Dietz, ("The Author of the 
            Suhrllekha" in Contributions on Tibetan and Buddhist Religion and 
            Philosophy, ed. E. Steinkellner and H. Tauscher [Wien: Arbeitskreis 
            fur tibetische und buddhistische Studien, 1983], 59-72) considers 
            the metre of the work, the nature of references to Mahayana, and the 
            doctrinal content, and casts doubt on its connection with Nagarjuna. 
            25 C. Lindtner, Nagarjuniana, 163-69; T. Vetter, op. cit. 
            26 J. Filliozat, Yogasataka: Texte medical attribude a Nagarjuna 
            (Pondicherry, 1979). 
            27 K. Zysk, Asceticism and Healing in Ancient India: Medicine in the 
            Buddhist Monastery (N.Y.: O.U.P., 1991), 64, n. 3. 
            28 E. Lamotte, ed., Traite de la Grande Vertu de Sagesse de 
            Nagarjuna (Mahaprajnaparamitasastra), vol. III (chs. XXXI-XLII) 
            (Louvain: Institut Orientaliste de Louvain, 1970); idem, 
            L'Enseignement de Vimalakirti (Louvain: Publications Universitaires, 
            1962), 74-77; and "Der Verfasser des Upadesa und seine Quellen," 
            Nachrichten der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Gottingen, 
            phil.-hist. Kl., 2 (1973): 3-5; J. W. de Jong, review of Le Traite 
            de la Grande Vertu de Sagesse, 105-12. 
            29 M. Walleser, "The Life of Nagarjuna from Tibetan and Chinese 
            Sources," 437; D. T. Suzuki, ed., The Lankavatarasutra (London: 
            Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1932), 226-95. 
            30 For the text, see V. Karambelkar, "The Problem of Nagarjuna," 23. 
            31 See also D. T. Suzuki, Lankavatarasutra, 239f. 
            32 On Vedali and Vidarbha, see P.S. Sastri, "Nagarjuna and 
            Aryadeva?" 193-202; N. Dutt, "Notes on the Nagarjunikonda 
            Inscriptions, I: Nagajunikonda and Nagarjunam," Indian Historical 
            Quarterly 7 (1931): 635, n. 6. 
            33 N. Dutt, "Nagarjunikonda and Nagarjuna," 635, n. 6. 
            34 P.S. Sastri, "Nagarjuna and Aryadeva," 193-96. 
            35 Taranatha, History of Buddhism in India, tr. Lama Chimpa and 
            Alaka Chattopadhyaya (Simla: Indian Institute of Advanced Study, 
            1970), 123, 126; D. Ruegg, "Le Dharmadhatustava de Nagarjuna," 
            Etudes tibetaines dediees a la memoire de Marcel Lalou (Paris: 
            Librairie d'Amerique et d'Orient, 1976), 449, n. 8. 
            36 M. Walleser, "The Life of Nagarjuna from Tibetan and Chinese 
            sources," 439f. 
            37 J. Burgess, Notes on the Amaravati Stupa (Madras: Archaeological 
            Survey of Southern India, 1882), 112 (cf. also, p. 57); T. N. 
            Ramachandran, Nagarjunakonda, Memoirs of the Archaeological Survey 
            of India, no. 71. (Delhi: Archaeological Survey of India, 1953), 
            28f; G. Tucci, Minor Buddhist Texts (Kyoto: Rinsen, 1978), 284. 
            38 See J. Burgess, The Buddhist Stupas of Amaravati and Jagayyapeta 
            in the Krishna District, Madras Presidency (reprint, Varanasi: 
            Indological Book House, 1970). 
            39 Bana, Harsacarita, tr. E. B. Cowell and F. W. Thomas (London: 
            Royal Asiatic Society, 1897), 251f. 
            40 Bana, The Harsacarita of Banabhatta, with Commentary of Sankara, 
            ed. Kasinath Pandurang Parab and Sastri Dhondo Paraguram Vaze 
            (Bombay: Tukaram Javaji, 1892), 282. 
            41 D. Ruegg, "Le Dharmadhatustava de Nagarjuna," 450; G. Tucci, 
            "Animadversiones Indicae" Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 
            n.s., 26 (1930): 144-47. 
            42 P. Demieville, "Sur un passage du Mahameghasutra," appendix 2 of 
            "Les versions chinoises du Milindapanha," Bulletin de l'Ecole 
            francaise d'Extreme-Orient 24 (1924): 218-30. 
            43 P. Demieville, Mahameghasutra, 227. "Supaya" in the text. 
            44 Demieville, Mahameghasutra, 229; cf. K. Satchidananda Murty, 
            Nagarjuna (New Delhi: National Book Trust, 1971-79), 43-44; S. Levi, 
            "Kaniska et Satavahana," Journal asiatique (1936): 117; S. K. 
            Pathak, "Life of Nagarjuna (from the Pag-Sam-Jon-Zang)," Indian 
            Historical Quarterly 30 (1954): 93-95. 
            45 Demiville, Mahameghasutra, 118; Tucci, "Animadversiones" 146-47. 
            46 Levi, "Kaniska" 118-19. 
            47 Kathasaritsagara 41.9-10, ed. Pandits Durgaprasad and Kasinath 
            Pandurang Parab, 3rd ed., rev. by W. L. S. Pansikar (Bombay: Tukaram 
            Javaji, 1915), 188. 
            48 "Thus Nagarjuna went to his fate, prevented by the gods from 
            destroying death": evam nagarjunarabdham martyanam mrtyunasanam / na 
            sodhum devatair yavat so 'pi mrtyuvasam gatah, ibid., 189 (vs. 59). 
            49 Karambelkar, "Problem," 27; cf. J. J. Speyer, Studies in the 
            Kathasaritsagara (Wiesbaden: Sandig, 1968), 163. 
            50 Rajatarangini, ed. Pandeya Ramtej Shastri (Benares: Pandit 
            Pustakalaya, 1960), 1: 168-73. 
            51 Reviewed by S. Levi, "Kaniska," 119. 
            52 K. Venkata Ramanan, Nagarjuna's Philosophy, 28. 
            53 See A. L. Basham, ed., Papers on the Date of Kaniska (Leiden: 
            Brill, 1968); D. Shackleton Bailey, Satapancasatka of Matrceta 
            (Cambridge: C. U. P., 1951); and see other sources cited by D. 
            Seyfort Ruegg, The Literature of the Madhyamaka School, 5, n. 11. 
            54 Mahabherisutra, cited by Buston, History of Buddhism, tr. E. 
            Obermiller (Heidelberg, 1931-32), 129f.; T. Watters, On Yuan 
            Chwang's Travels in India, II (Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 1961), 
            204, n. 3; cf. Joshi, "Life and Times," 46; Murty, Nagarjuna, 45 
            (these two texts, not mentioned in Santideva's Siksasamuccaya, are 
            possibly spurious); Ruegg, "Le Dharmadhatustava," 450. 
            55 Aryamanjusrimulakalpa, part III, ed. T. Ganapati Sastri, 
            Trivandrum Sanskrit Series, 84 (Trivandrum: Government Press, 1925), 
            56 Walleser, "Life of Nagarjuna," 439f.; however, Walleser 
            emphasizes (p. 440) that the text is a late one and unreliable. 
            57 Al-Biruni, Alberuni's India: An Account, tr. E. Sachau (Delhi: 
            Chand, 1964), I: 188f. 
            58 Karambelkar, "Problem," 31-32; P. Kumar, tr., Nagarjuna's 
            Yogaratnamala (Delhi: Nag Publishers, 1980), 18. 
            59 T 2047, 185b 2-3, 186b, cited by E. Lamotte, L'Enseignement de 
            Vimalakirti, 76; cf. Walleser, "Life of Nagarjuna," 444. 
            60 J. W. de Jong, review of Le Traite de la Grande vertu de sagesse 
            de Nagarjuna, 105-6; on the evidence of Hui-yuan see Robinson, Early 
            Madhyamika, 22; cf. Murty, Nagarjuna, 47. 
            61 De Jong, review of Traite, 106. 
            62 Ibid., 110f.; cf. Jan Yun-hua, "Nagarjuna, One or More?" 148-49. 
            The whole question of the date of the mahaparinirvana is again wide 
            open: see, for example, H. Bechert, "Die Lebenszeit des Buddha: Das 
            alteste feststehende Datum der indischen Geschichte?" Nachrichten 
            der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Gottingen, phil.-hist. Kl., 4 
            (1986): 129-84; and Bechert, ed., The Dating of the Historical 
            Buddha, part 1 (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht), 1991. 
            63 Lamotte, Traite, III: liii. 
            64 J. W. de Jong, review of J. Hopkins and Lati Rimpoche, trs., The 
            Precious Garland and the Song of the Four Mindfulnesses (London, 
            1975), in Indo-Iranian Journal 20 (1978): 137. 
            65 It is not clear where the capital of this Kosala would have been. 
            See J. Fergusson, "On Hiouen-Thsang's Journey from Patna to 
            Bhallabhi," Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, n.s., 6 (1875): 
            260; Dutt, "Nagarjunikonda and Nagarjuna," 639; S. Beal, 
            Hsuan-tsang, Si-Yu-Ki, Buddhist Records of the Western World, 2 
            vols. (Boston: Osgood, 1885), II: 209n. 
            66 S. Beal, Si-Yu-Ki, II: 210. On the Chinese transliteration of the 
            name Nagarjuna, see Watters, On Yuan Chwang's Travels, 203. 
            67 Beal, Si-Yu-Ki, 210-12; see p. 210 n. 71; cf. T Watters, On Yuan 
            Chwang's Travels, II: 206-7, referring to the rendering of Sadvaha 
            (= Satavahana) as Yin-cheng, 'Leading-right'. 
            68 Beal, Si-Yu-Ki, 214, n. 80; cf. Karambelkar, "The Problem of 
            Nagarjuna," 23-24; J. Burgess, The Buddhist Stupas of Amaravati, 
            6-7; Jan Yun-hua, "Nagarjunakonda: Note on a New Reference from 
            Chinese Source," Journal of Indian History 48.2 (1970): 415-26. 
            69 Fa-hsien, The Travels of Fa-hsien (399-414 A.D.), tr. H. A. Giles 
            (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1923), 62: "There is a country 
            called Deccan, in which there is a monastery dedicated to Kasyapa 
            Buddha, made by hollowing out a great rock." From the bottom up, 
            these storeys were shaped like an elephant and with 500 chambers, 
            like a lion and with 400, like a horse and with 300, like an ox and 
            with 200, like a pigeon and with 100; a spring of water flowed from 
            the top and was channeled around all the chambers on the way down; 
            there were windows on all storeys. The whole area was now waste and 
            uninhabited, not frequented by Buddhists; cf. Watters, On Yuan 
            Chwang's Travels, II: 207-8, Beal, Si-Yu-Ki, 214, n. 80. 
            70 Jan Yun-hua, "Nagarjuna, One or More?" 144 (citing W. Fuchs, 
            'Huei-ch'ao's Pilgerreise durch Nordwest-Indien und Zentral Asien', 
            Sitzungsberichten der preussischen Alcademie der Wissenschaften, 
            phil.-hist. Kl., 30 [1938]: 437ff, which was not accessible for this 
            71 Watters, On Yuan Chwang's Travels, II: 208; Beal, Si-Yu-Ki, 2: 
            214, n. 80. 
            72 On the discussion of this "Black Peak" monastery, see I. W. 
            Mabbett, "Dhanyakataka," South Asia 16.2 (1993): 33f. 
            73 Beal, Si-Yu-Ki, 217. Dhanyakataka in ancient times was probably 
            at Amaravati, but it is a puzzle why, in this case, Hsuan-tsang - 
            usually so interested in the description of ancient and impressive 
            Buddhist monuments - should omit any mention of the Amaravati stupa. 
            It is possible that, by the seventh century, the name Dhanyakataka 
            should have attached itself to another place, for the whole region 
            was now a peripheral area, far from centers of power. See I. W. 
            Mabbett, "Dhanya kataka." 
            74 Ibid. 
            75 Beal, Si-Yu-Ki, 97f, 302f; T Watters, On Yuan Chwang's Travels, 
            II: 104. 
            76 S. Beal, tr., The Life of Shaman Hwui Li (Delhi: Academica 
            Asiatica, 1973), 199; cf. M. Winternitz, History of Indian 
            Literature, II: 342. 
            77 Shohei Ichimura, "Reexamining The Period of Nagarjuna" 9 (= 
            78 Ichimura does not refer to the passage in the Rajatarangini; he 
            discusses links with Satavahana rulers, and suggests that Nagarjuna 
            wrote the Suhrllekha for a Satavahana king and the Ratnavali for a 
            Mahayana-supporting Saka. (P. S. Sastri, on the other hand, has 
            found reasons for supposing that Nagarjuna wrote the Ratnavali for 
            Gautamiputra Satavahana, supposed to be brahmanical: "Nagarjuna and 
            Aryadeva," 201f.). 
            79 I'-ching, A Record of the Buddhist Religion as Practised in India 
            and the Malay Archipelago (A.D. 671-695), tr. J. Takakusu (Oxford: 
            O.U.P., 1896), 181. 
            80 I-ching, A Record, 158-62. 
            81 Restored as "Jantaka" by Beal, but see de Jong, review of The 
            Precious Garland, 136-39 (particularly n. 18). See also Watters, On 
            Yuan Chwang's Travels, II: 207; Levi, "Kaniska et Satavahana" 107 
            (reading 'Jantaka'); S. Beal, "Some Remarks on the Suhrllekha or 
            Friendly Communication of Nagarjuna Bodhisattva to King 
            Shatopohanna," Indian Antiquary 16 (1887): 169-72; Joshi, "Life and 
            times," 17; M. Walleser, "Die Lebenszeit des Nagarjuna," Zeitschrift 
            fur Buddhismus 6 (1924-25): 95-103, 237-42. 
            82 K. Gopalachari, Early History of the Andhra Country (Madras: 
            Madras U.P.), 38, 47. 
            83 Buston, History of Buddhism. 
            84 G. N. Roerich, The Blue Annals (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 
            85 Taranatha, History of Buddhism in India; The Seven Instruction 
            Lineages, tr. D. Templeman (Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Works and 
            Archives, 1983). 
            86 S. K. Pathak, "Life of Nagarjuna from the Pag Sam Jon Zang," 
            Indian Historical Quarterly 30 (1954): 93-95; cf. Walleser, "Life of 
            Nagarjuna," 422. 
            87 See A. Macdonald, "Le Dhanyakataka de Man-Luns guru," Bulletin de 
            l'Ecole francaise d'Extreme-Orient 57 (1970): 169213, who suggests 
            (p. 187) that the description of the stupa is at least in part 
            influenced not by what was there to be seen but by the Kalacakra 
            Tantra's versions of mandalas of Vajradhatu, Dharmadhatuvagisvara, 
            88 Joshi, "Life and Times," 15-16; Karambelkar, "Problem," 
            28-29; Dutt, "Nagarjunikonda and Nagarjuna," 636-69. 
            89 The Yogaratnamala details experiments in chemistry; its 
            translator, Kumar, argues contra Roy that there is evidence of 
            chemical knowledge at the time of the original Nagarjuna: P. Kumar, 
            ed., Nagarjuna's Yogaratnamala, 18-19. Murty, Nagarjuna, 58, thinks 
            that the madhyamika philosopher might have been also the author of 
            such works: be "dabbled (in alchemy), just as the philosopher 
            Berkeley messed about with tar-water and wrote on its virtues." 
            90 Winternitz, History, II: 343-44, n. 2; cf. Karambelkar, 
            "Problem"; Tucci, "Animadversiones," 143. The centuries of life 
            attributed to him and the succession of careers in different parts 
            of India could, suggests Ruegg, represent the conflation of several 
            different historical individuals: Ruegg, "Dharmadhatustava," 452-53. 
            91 Pathak, "Life," 93-95; Joshi, "Life and Times," 13; K. R. 
            Subramanian, Buddhist Remains in Andhra (Madras: Diocesan Press, 
            1932), 57, n. 2. 
            92 Joshi, "Life and Times," 19. 
            93 Tucci, "Animadversiones" 143f. The date of Dharmakirti is itself 
            not certain. 
            94 Jan Yun-hua, "Nagarjuna, One or More?" 
            95 For example, (1) the failure of Hsuan-tsang to mention a second, 
            tantric, Nagarjuna flourishing in India at the time of his own visit 
            (as postulated for a Nagarjuna II by N. Dutt); (2) the existence of 
            medical treatises in China attributed to Bodhisattva Nagarjuna 
            (Lung-shu p'u-sa) referred to in the seventh century by the Sui shu 
            (too early for the alleged medical Nagarjuna in the eighth century 
            or any later); and (3) the eighth-century master Amoghavajra, who 
            claimed that his instruction lineage passed through Vajrasattva, 
            Bodhisattva Nagarjuna, Acarya Nagabodhi, and Acarya Vajrabodhi, who 
            was Amoghavajra's own teacher (which would imply, since all these 
            were supposed to live for centuries, that the tantric Nagarjuna 
            existed in the early centuries A.D. and thus might not be different 
            from Nagarjuna I). 
            96 Tucci, "Animadversiones," 140. 
            97 Tucci, "Animadversiones" ("A Sanskrit Biography of the Siddhas 
            and some Questions Connected with Nagarjuna"), 138-55; text at pp. 
            98 A. Waley, tr., The Way and its Power (New York: The Grove Press, 
            1958), 102-3. 
            99 De Jong, review of Precious Garland, 137. 
            100 The last quarter of the first century is another possibility; 
            see K. Venkata Ramanan, Nagarjuna's Philosophy, 27. 
            101 Epigraphia Indica 1905-6: 61; cf. H. N. Sastri, The Philosophy 
            of Nagarjuna as Contained in the Ratnavali (Calcutta: Saraswat 
            Library, 1977), 11-12. 
            102 P.S. Sastri, "Nagarjuna and Aryadeva," 193-202. 
            103 Murty, Nagarjuna, 67. 
            104 For Winternitz (History, II: 347), influenced by Taranatha's 
            claim that Nagarjuna was born in the time of Kaniska, Yajna Sri 
            (whose reign Winternitz dates to 166-96) seems right. J. Burgess 
            favors Sri Yajna partly on the strength of his reading of I-ching's 
            Shih-yin-te-chia, though adding that Pulumavi III (dated by him to 
            215-20 A.D.) is just as likely: Burgess, The Buddhist Stupas, 8; cf. 
            Kumar, Yogaratnamala, 23-24. 
            105 M. Walleser, "Die Lebenszeit des Nagarjuna," 100-103, is led by 
            his (in fact implausible) restoration of Jayandhra from I'-ching's 
            Shih-yin-te-chia to favor Vijaya. 
            106 H. Sarkar and B. N. Misra, Nagarjunakonda (Calcutta: Krishna 
            Murthy, 1966), 74. 
            107 H. Sarkar, "The Nagarjunakonda Phase of the Lower Krishna Valley 
            Art: A Study based on Epigraphical Data," in Indian Epigraphy: Its 
            Bearing on the History of Art, ed. F. Asher and G. S. Gai (New 
            Delhi, 1985), 30. 
            108 Joshi, "Life and Times," 16-17; Bailey, Satapancasatka, 7; 
            Walleser, "Life of Nagarjuna," 430; Levi, "Kaniska et Satavahana," 
            109 J. Vogel, "Prakrit Inscriptions from a Buddhist Site at 
            Nagarjunikonda," Epigraphia Indica 20 (1929): 22. 
            110 Murty, Nagarjuna, 62. 
            111 I. K. Sarma, Sri Parvata (unpublished MS, 1989). 
            112 Ruegg, "Le Dharmadhatustava," 448-71. 
            113 A. Wayman and H. Wayman, trs., The Lion's Roar of Queen Srimala: 
            A Buddhist Scripture on the Tathagatagarbha Theory (New York: 
            Columbia U.P., 1974); see the introduction. 
            114 H. Sarkar, Studies in Early Buddhist Architecture of India 
            (Delhi: Archaeological Survey of India, 1966), 78. 
            115 L. de La Vallee Poussin, "Notes de bibliographie bouddhique," 
            Melanges chinois et bouddhiques 1 (1931): 402. 
            116 Some scholars have been inclined to accept that Nagarjuna may 
            have lived under the Iksvakus, whether or not they thought he began 
            his career under an earlier dynasty. Longhurst half-whimsically 
            questioned whether the broken-off head of a Nagarjunakonda statue, 
            portraying a venerable capped figure, might not represent the 
            master: A. H. Longhurst, "Excavations at Nagarjunakonda," 
            Archaeological Survey of India Annual Report, 1927-28, 113-21; K. S. 
            Murty, Nagarjuna, 69, refers to the discovery at Nagarjunakonda in 
            1938 of a purmakumbha containing only two small teeth, which some 
            considered to be relics of the great Acarya. However intriguing, 
            these are both guesses.