A Buddhist Doctrine of Experience: A New Translation and by Thomas A. Kochumuttom

By Thomas A. Kochumuttom

Giving a brand new translation and interpretation of the elemental works of Vasubandhu the yogacarin, the writer indicates that Yogacara metaphysics is largely almost like that of the early Buddhism. He contends that the Yogacara writings are open to interpretation by way of lifelike pluralism, and therefore demanding situations their conventional interpretation by way of idealistic monism. His translation is devoted to the unique, arguments convincing and constant, and presentation transparent and readable. The texts translated and interpreted are (i) Madhyanta-vibhago-karika-bhasya, (ii) Trisvabhava-nirdesa, (iii) Trimsatika and (iv) Vimsatika. The doctrine of expertise provided by way of those texts will be summarised within the phrases of the writer as stick to: The event of samsara is composed essentially in one's being compelled to view oneself because the grasper (grahaka), the enjoyer (bhoktr), knower (jnatr) of all beings, that are then seen because the graspable (grahya), the relaxing (bhojya), the knowable (jneya). There one can't aid mentally developing the excellence among the topic and the item, the grasper and the graspable, the enjoyer and the enjoyable..."

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Additional resources for A Buddhist Doctrine of Experience: A New Translation and Interpretation of the Works of Vasubandhu the Yogacarin

Sample text

3 But not even once in the four Yogacara works I am studying has the term vijnapti been used to describe the absolute state of reality, nor is there any indication th at the final state of existence has to be defined in terms of vijhdna. Instead, as already observed, the absolute state of reality is defined simply as emptiness, namely the emptiness of subject-object distinction. Once thus defined as emptiness (funyata), it receives a num ber of synonyms,4 none of which betrays idealism. 6 It is obvious from this list of synonyms for emptiness—emptiness which is the same as the thing-in-itself (Tathabhuta-vastu)—-that to con­ ceive the latter in idealistic terms does not occur to the Yogacarins.

D. T. , 1972) p. 280. I cannot, however, agree with Suzuki if he is arguing on the basis of terminology, for the phrases citta-mdtra and vijhapti-mdtra have been synony­ mously used both by Lahkavatdra and the Yogacarins. Suzuki himself has quoted three instances of vijhapti-mdtra and four instances o f prajftapti-mdtra from Lahkavatdra used in the same sense as citta. (See p. 181). And right in the very beginning of his Vimiatika-vrtti V asubandhu declares that for him vijnapti is synonymous with citta.

Consciousness itself, in so far as it is subject o f experience, is non-being. Thus, in short, whatever is referred to as subject or object is mere subjective construction and therefore non-being; the thing-in-itself is neither subject nor object. Above all, w hat is described as ‘subjective construction and therefore non-being’ is only the concept of subjectivity and objectivity, not in any case the thing-in-itself 5. T he M otive i s P ra ctica l R ath er T han T h eo retical The next point I want to emphasize is the fact that the ulti­ mate motive of the Yogacarins in building up their system is religious rather than merely philosophical.

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