LA VALLÉE POUSSIN, Louis Étienne Marie de

LA VALLÉE POUSSIN, Louis Étienne Marie de. Liège 1.1.1869 — Bruxelles 18.2.1938. Belgian Indologist, a specialist of Buddhism and History. Professor in Ghent. Son of a French father, Gustave de La VP, and Belgian mother, Marie Pauline de Monge, both of families with great scholarly interests. Educated in Liège from 1881, in 1884-88 studies at Liège University. Ph.D. 1888 Liège.  In 1888-90 at Leuven, where he started Sanskrit, Pāli and Avesta under de Harlez and Colinet, then further studies under Lévi and Henry in Paris (1891–92), now also taught Sanskrit at Liège. In 1893-94 taught comparative grammar of Greek and Latin at Ghent Uni­ver­sity, now also studied Buddhist Sanskrit under Kern at Leiden. From 1894 Professor of Sanskrit and comparative linguistics at Ghent. During WW I in England (Cambridge). In consequence of the language dispute of the university he had to give up his chair in 1929. His last years the great scholar lived in Brussels, still teaching some students. Married.

LVP was one of the greatest scholars of Buddhist literature and thought. Though himself a Catholic Christian, he was fascinated by Buddhist scholasticism. Beside Sanskrit and Pāli he also knew Tibetan and Chinese. His special interests can be given in periods: 1892-96 Bodhicaryāvatāra, 1901-05 Prajñākaramati, 1903-07 Mādhyamika, 1905-08 conciles and redaction of the canon, from 1912 Vasubandhu, but all the time with many further interests, generally dogmatics and lexicography. He was also a noted historian and a sharp critic. Among his students were Mansion and Lamotte.

Publications: Diss. La doctrine du salut dans le bouddhisme postérieur. Liège 1888.

– With G. de Blonay: “Contes bouddhiques: La légende de Çakkupala. La légende de Meddhakhuṇḍali”, RHR 26, 1892, 180-200.

Études et textes tantriques: Pañcakrama. 56 p. Recueil de travaux … Univ. de Gand 16. Gand & Louvain 1896.

Edited: Bodhicaryāvatāra. 1898; Pañjikā. 605 p. B.I. Calcutta 1901-05 (the comm. of Prajñākāramati on the Bodhi­caryāva­tāra).

Bouddhisme, études et matériaux (Ādikarmapradīpa, Bodhicaryāvatāraṭīkā). 417 p. Mém. Acad. R. Belg. 55. Bruxelles 1898; Id. (La théorie des douze causes). Gand 1913 (with the Tibetan text of the Śālistambasūtra).

– “Dogmatique bouddhique I-II.”, JA 9:20, 1902, 237-306 & 10:2, 1903, 357-450.

Edited: Mūlamadhyamakakārikās (Madhyamikasūtras) de Nāgārjuna. Publ. avec la Prasannapadā, commentaire de Candrakīrti. 665 p. B.B. 4. St.P. 1903-13.

– “Le bouddhisme et les évangelies canoniques à propos d’une publication recente”, Revue Biblique intern. N.S. 3, 1906, 353–381; “L’Histoire des religions de l’Inde et l’Apologétique”, Revue des Sciences Philosophiques et Théologiques 6, 1912, 490–526.

Edited in Tibetan: Mādhyamakāvatāra par Candrakīrti. 427 p. B.B. 9. St.P. 1907-12; Nyāyabindu and Vinītadeva’s Commentary. 1907; with tr. “Vasubandhu, Viṁśaka­kārikāprakaraṇa. Traité de vingt ślokas, avec le commentaire de l’auteur”, Le Muséon 13, 1912, 53-90.

Translated: Bodhicaryāvatāra. Introduction à la pratique des futurs Bouddhas. Poème de Çāntideva. 144 p. P. 1907.

Bouddhisme: opinions sur l’histoire de la dogmatique. 417 p. P. 1909; Buddhism. L. 1909; Notions sur les religions de l’Inde: Védisme et Brahmanisme. 1-2. 127+126 p. P. 1909-10; The Way to Nirvāṇa. 172 p. Cambridge 1917.

– “Documents sanscrits de la seconde collection M. A. Stein”, JRAS 1911, 759-777, 1063-1079; 1912, 355-377; 1913, 569-580; other articles on Central Asian Sanskrit fragments in JRAS, etc.

Edited with E. J. Thomas: Mahāniddesa1-2. L., PTS 1916-17.

Translated: Vasubandhu: Abhidharmakosa. 1-6. 1923-31, new ed. Mélanges chinois et bouddhiques 16. Bruxelles 1971-80; English translation by L. M. Pruden. 1-4. Berkeley 1988-90; Hiuan-tsang, Vijñaptimātrasiddhi. 1-2. 432 p. P. 1928.

Nirvāṇa. 23+194 p. Études sur l’histoire des religions 5. P. 1925; La morale bouddhique. 16+256 p. P. 1927; Le dogme et la philosophie du bouddhisme. 4+213 p. Études sur l’histoire des religions 6. P. 1930.

– Translated from Chinese: “Controverse du Temps et du Pudgala dans le Vijñānakāya”, Études Asiatiques 1, 1925, 342-472; “Documents d’Abhidharma sur le Nirvāṇa et les Asaṁskṛta”, BEFEO 30, 1930, 1-28, 247-298; “Doc. d’Abhidh. sur la doctrine des refuges et le corps de l’Arhat”, Mél. chinois et bouddhiques 1, 1931-32, 65-125; “Doc. d’Abhidh. sur la controverse du temps et des vérités”, Mél. chinois et bouddhiques 5, 1937, 1-188.

Indo-européens et Indo-iraniens, l’Inde vers 300 av. J.-C. 345 p. Histoire du Monde 3. P. 1924, new ed. 407 p. P. 1936; L’Inde aux temps des Mauryas et des barbares grecs, scythes, parthes et Yue-tchi. 376 p. Histoire du Monde 6:1. Paris 1930; Dynasties et Histoire de l’Inde depuis Kanishka jusqu’aux invasions musulmanes. 20+396 p. Ibid. 6:2. P. 1935.

– “Madhyamaka”, Mél. chinois et bouddhiques 2, 1933, 147 p.

Numerous articles in JA, Le Muséon, JRAS, IA, IC, ERE, IHQ, JRAS, Bull. d’Acad. Belg., etc.

Catalogue of the Tibetan Manuscripts from Tun-huang in the India Office Library. Edited by A. F. Thompson. 18+299 p. Oxford 1962.

Sources: *M. Lalou & J. Przyluski, Mélanges chinois et bouddh. 6, 1939, 5-10; *Lalou, Bibl. bouddh. 21-23, 1955; Ét. Lamotte, BEFEO 38, 1938, 478-483 and *Annuaire de l’Académie royale de Belgique 131, 1965, 145-168; *N.N. Law, IHQ 16, 1940, i–xiv (with Bibl. & Photo); Masson-Oursel, JA 230, 1938, 287-290; P. Servais, D.O.L.F. 571; *C. Vielle, Nouvelle B.N.B. 10, 2010. 122–124 and Indianisme et bouddhisme à Louvain, de Félix Nève à Étienne Lamotte (https://dial.uclouvain.be/pr/boreal/object/boreal%3A226663/datastream/PDF_01/view) with photo; *bibliography by Lamotte in Revue des Alumni de la Fondation Universitaire 4:3, 1933, and in *Mélanges chinois et bouddh. 23, 1955; Wikipedia (Englush & French); photo in Sardesai.

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