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A Brief Retrospective of Western Yogaacaara Scholarship in the 20th Century

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The customary ritual for retrospectives of the sort being presented here is to provide a sort of annotated bibliography, offered more or less in chronological order, with occasional critical comments, brought to a conclusion by raising some issues or questions to be addressed in the future, capped by some encouraging remarks about where to go from here. I will reverse that order and begin with a series of questions, to be followed by the bibliographical overview. The questions should help us quickly gain an appreciation for what scholars have and have not accomplished to date. That, in turn, should provide some critical perspectives for our overview.

Questions: What is Yogaacaara?

The first question that arises when thinking about scholarship on Yogaacaara is: What is Yogaacaara? The fact that no satisfactory answer, unanimously consented to by scholars, exists yet for this question says something about the state of present day Yogaacaara scholarship. I am not even asking about doctrinal or philosophical issues yet, though there is no consensus among scholars on that either. Simply, what are the parameters of Yogaacaara? What does the term include, and what does it exclude? Which Buddhists may we properly call Yogaacaarins?


Should Yogaacaara be confined to the classical orthodox thinkers, namely Asa`nga and Vasubandhu, and their texts? But which are their texts? Scholars have debated that in several ways this century. Which of the texts attributed to Asanga were written by him? The Chinese and Tibetan traditions offer different enumerations. Which are properly attributed to him, and which to his mentor, Maitreyanatha, who, depending on which scholar you read, was either the Bodhisattva residing in Tu.sita heaven, or a human teacher, or a figment of Asanga's imagination, or a devious conceit employed by Asa`nga to lend authority to his works? Much scholarly energy has been spent differentiating Asa`nga from Maitreya, using close examination of the styles, terminology, etc., in his texts, but almost no consideration has been given to the relation between the thinking of Asa`nga and Vasubandhu. Are Asa`nga and Vasubandhu - supposing we can satisfactorily identify which are indeed their works - in agreement on all or most doctrinal matters, or are there differences? This question has not even been entertained by scholars yet. Instead scholars muse about whether there were one or two Vasubandhus. (Have no doubts! There was only one.)

Putting aside the two half-brothers and the question of their works, who else should we include under the rubric of Yogaacaara? Perhaps the classical commentators on Asa`nga and Vasubandhu's works, such as Sthiramati and Dharmapaala? Do their commentaries deviate or otherwise provide elements not found in the works they comment on? Who else might we include? What is the relation between the thought exhibited in Paramaartha's translations, or Hsüan-tsang's translations, and the original thinking of Asa`nga and Vasubandhu?

Have they deviated, and if so, how? How exactly do Hsüan-tsang and Paramaartha differ from each other? Most would agree that all the names mentioned so far properly belong to Yogaacaara (at least at certain stages of their thinking).

Let us rephrase this. Before asking how Yogaacaara differs from non-Yogaacaara schools (which we will return to in a moment), we might first inquire: How much variance exists within Yogaacaara? What are the internal disputes between Yogaacaarins? How do Asa`nga and Vasubandhu differ?

How do they both differ from Sthiramati and Dharmapaala, and how do these latter two differ from each other? What is at issue between the types of Yogaacaara associated with Paramaartha and Hsüan-tsang, and how do each of them differ from the founders? What did Bodhiruci and Ratnamati fight about when translating the Da`sabhuumikasuutra-`saastra (Shih-ti-ching lun) at the beginning of the sixth century? If these questions seem trivial or arcane, consider how important being able to differentiate Bhaavaviveka's interpretation of Naagaarjuna from that of Candrakiirti is to 20th century Madhyamaka studies.

When we wish to think about Madhyamaka in an authentic, traditional way, we have no choice but to enter the Svaatantrika vs. Praasa`ngika controversy; otherwise we are merely musing from our own contemporary vantage points. One might respond that this has become the case with Madhyamaka studies because Western scholars have been deeply influenced by and have adopted Tibetan doxographical attitudes.

That controversy is a cornerstone of the Tibetan understanding of Madhyamaka. Perhaps. However the Chinese tradition preserves and expands on Yogaacaara controversies, yet these have not been adequately explicated as yet, much less become cornerstones of our approach. One could argue that East Asian Buddhism developed largely out of Yogaacaara controversies: the conflict between Bodhiruci and Ratnamati set the tone for 6th century Chinese Buddhism, which Chinese doxographers describe as a doctrinal battleground between northern and southern Ti Lun schools and the She lun school Ñ incidentally, a greatly oversimplified doxography. In the next century Hsüan-tsang introduced his own version of Yogaacaara as he acquired it in India.

He was opposed by those who held to the earlier Yogaacaara theories of Paramaartha, notably Chih-yen and Fa-tsang, the putative Hua-yen patriarchs. The seminal text, Awakening of Faith, was initially taken as a Yogaacaara work, judging from the earliest commentaries, and only later was employed for different ends. Ch'an Buddhism grew out of schools steeped in the La`nkaavataara suutra, which has strong Yogaacaara underpinnings. One could go so far as to argue that 7th and 8th century Chinese Buddhism consisted largely of conflicts between various types of quasi-orthodox Yogaacaara schools and an increasing diversification of Yogaacaara-tathaagatagarbha hybrids, until the latter eclipsed the former.

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Because of this, East Asian Buddhism, with only rare exceptions, is rooted in these tathaagatagarbha hybrids, and it is these anti-Yogaacaara, pro-tathaagatagarbha attitudes that have entered Western scholarship virtually unchallenged until a few Japanese scholars in recent decades raised the specter of Critical Buddhism, for which they have been excoriated by their Japanese and many of their Western colleagues.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves. We still need to define Yogaacaara with more precision. Is it, as textbooks commonly claim, a philosophical school with three distinctive doctrines, namely vijñapti-maatra, trisvabhaava, and eight consciousnesses? Or is it something more than that?

Is it an Abhidharma school, and if so, what is its relation to the Abhidharma of other schools? What is the relation of Yogaacaara to the Buddhist logic tradition? Specifically, should Dignaaga, Dharmakiirti, and their followers be considered Yogaacaarins?

How completely and accurately is Yogaacaara represented in the translations and doxographies of East Asian and Tibetan texts? This is an important question since many crucial Yogaacaara works no longer survive in Sanskrit.

Philosophically, is or is not Yogaacaara a form of idealism? If so, what type of idealism? If not, what is it?

Some of these questions have been raised by scholars, though few of them have been definitively answered. Many of these questions, all of which I would consider extremely basic, have not been discussed at all by Western scholars. This is where Yogaacaara scholarship in the West finds itself at the end of the 20th century.

What Scholars have done


One can point to early in the 19th century as the starting point for Buddhist studies in Europe.[1] While Hsüan-tsang's biography[2]] and travelogue[3] were translated by Stanislas Julien in 1853 and 1857-8,[4] respectively, at that time scholarly interest lay in the historical and ethnographic aspects of these texts, and not in Hsüan-tsang's philosophical concerns. When did Yogaacaara studies begin in the West?

This brings us back to earlier questions, since the answer depends on what we define as Yogaacaara. If, as was mentioned, The Awakening of Faith is taken as a Yogaacaara text, then very likely the first text presenting a Yogaacaara viewpoint to a Western audience was D.T. Suzuki's English translation of the `Sik.saananda version of this text published in 1900. However Suzuki did not present the text in a Yogaacaara light; he evoked different contexts, so Western considerations of Yogaacaara were not engendered.

Western Yogaacaara studies begin with the 20th century. Sylvain Lévi, who was not exclusively a Buddhologist, became interested in A`, the author of the epic life of the Buddha, Buddhacaritam. In 1898 he traveled to Nepal searching for material on A`, and discovered a Sanskrit manuscript of the Mahaayaana-suutraala`nkaara, which he attributed to A`, edited, translated into French, and published from 1907-11 in Journal Asiatique.

On a subsequent trip to Nepal in 1922, he found Sanskrit manuscripts of two texts by Vasubandhu, Vi.m`satikaa and Tri.m`sikaa, the latter with Sthiramati's -tiikaa.

These he published with translations in 1925[5] with a title that translates as "Materials for the Study of the Vijñaaptimaatra system," announcing finally that there was a Buddhist system of Vijñapti-maatra. >From 1934-37, in three volumes, his student, Yamaguchi Susumu, edited and published another of his discoveries, Sthiramati's -tiikaa to the Madhyaanta-vibhaaga, a seminal Yogaacaara text consisting of verses attributed to Maitreya (i.e., Asa`nga), a commentary by Vasubandhu, and a subcommentary by Sthiramati. [6] His subtitle promises a "systematic exposition of Yogaacaara-vijñapti-vaada," offering a new name for this "vaada" or school, Yogaacaara-vijñapti. Lévi, following the title found on Sthiramati's commentary to the Tri.m`sikaa, had only called it Vijñapti-maatra.

At this stage in Buddhist scholarship, driven by a philological Zeitgeist to recover or reconstruct the Ur-text, nothing was as exciting or important as discovering lost Sanskrit texts. While English scholars tended to focus on Theravaada and Paali materials, and German scholars primarily looked to Tibetan materials to help fill the gaps, French scholars were the first to show any appreciation for Chinese materials in their reconstructive endeavors. Lévi's most famous student, the Belgian Louis de la Vallée Poussin, became a great student of many aspects of Buddhism, especially Abhidharma, and published a seven volume French translation of Vasubandhu's pre-Yogaacaara masterpiece, Abhidharmako`sa-bhaa.sya in 1931,[7] using Hsüan-tsang's Chinese version.


A Sanskrit text of the Ko`sa was later found, which differed at many points from Hsüan-tsang's version. Vallée Poussin's major contribution to Yogaacaara studies was his two volume translation of Hsüan-tsang's Ch'eng wei-shih lun, ostensibly a compendium of ten Indian commentaries on Vasubandhu's Tri.m`sikaa,[8] which he published in 1928. His title added a new term for the school, Vijñapti-maatra-taa, even though nothing in the Chinese title suggests the additional abstract noun suffix -taa.[9] Nonetheless, this name has stuck. Western scholars continue to refer to Hsüan-tsang's text by Vallée Poussin's reconstructed title; they often also refer to Yogaacaara in general, especially the Yogaacaara associated with Hsüan-tsang's materials, as Vijñaptimaatrataa. I propose that we return to the label used by Lévi and Sthiramati, simply Vijñapti-maatra, though I will not argue that any further here.

That Vallée Poussin envisioned his project as a recovery or reconstruction of original Sanskrit materials rather than a presentation of Chinese materials is not only evident from his laborious attempts to render all key terms (and some not so key) into Sanskrit in his French translation, but also becomes clear from the 53 page index to his Vijñaptimaatrataa that was published separately in 1948 which indexes only Sanskrit terms and names, and does so in Sanskrit alphabetical order.[10]

His translation of the Ch'eng wei-shih lun was a milestone in many ways. The Yogaacaara works introduced to the West up to that point were shorter pieces, with a more limited scope. Vallée Poussin's Vijñaptimaatrataa-siddhi abruptly introduced the densely rich, complex systematics and vast terminology of advanced Yogaacaara thought, a richness which few Western scholars to this day have actually digested.

What did have an immediate and lasting impact, however, were his extensive efforts to argue that Yogaacaara represented a form of Idealism, an argument that begins on the first page of his translation in an extended note that interrupts the main text. His translation was more interpretation than strict translation, drawing on a variety of sources, from K'uei-chi's commentaries to his vast knowledge of Tibetan sources. Some of these he confined to erudite notes, but often these explanatory materials crept into the actual translation. Wherever he could, he skewered the translation in an Idealist direction.[11] For many decades following, labeling Yogaacaara as a form of Idealism remained unchallenged.


Vallée Poussin's most famous student, Étienne Lamotte, profoundly advanced Yogaacaara studies, and his efforts remain unrivaled among Western scholars. In 1935 he translated the root Yogaacaara sutra, Sa.mdhinirmocana Suutra, into French, using the Chinese and Tibetan versions, since the Sanskrit is not extant.[12] Like Vallée Poussin, he incorporated the Sanskrit equivalents for many terms in his translations. In 1935-36 he published a translation of Vasubandhu's, a proto-Yogaacaara work steeped in Abhidharma categories.[13]

In 1938-39 he published a two volume translation of Asa`nga's Mahaayaanasa.mgraha, again using Chinese and Tibetan versions since this text, particularly pivotal in East Asia, is also not extant in the original Sanskrit.[14] In his later career he branched out into other areas of Buddhist studies,[15] leaving Yogaacaara to other scholars.

In 1930 D.T. Suzuki published Studies in the La`nkaavataara Suutra,[16] followed a few years later by his translation of the sutra itself.[17] Though he excoriates Yogaacaara in his Studies, complaining of its shallowness compared with Zen's "Absolute Idealism," his exposition introduced Western readers to many important Yogaacaara models contained in the sutra. Like Vallée Poussin, his account of Yogaacaara became definitive for several generations of Buddhist scholars.

For instance, Edward Conze's treatment of Yogaacaara in his Buddhist Thought in India is a mere echo of Suzuki.[18] While exuding universalistic rhetoric, Suzuki's treatment is quite partisan, and given his famous disdain for historical context, he ignores the centuries of controversy between orthodox Yogaacaaras and the tathaagatagarbha hybrids which informed his prejudice.

Clarence Hamilton brought out a bilingual edition of Hsüan-tsang's translation of Vasubandhu's Vi.m`satikaa along with K'uei-chi's commentary, Chinese and English on facing pages, in 1938.[19]

The Madhyaanta-vibhaaga began to receive some serious attention in the 1930s. Theodor Stcherbatsky, better known for his works on Madhyamaka and Buddhist logic, loosely translated the first two chapters of the Madhyaanta-vibhaaga into English in 1936.[20] Freidman offered an horrendous rendition of the first two chapters with Sthiramati's -.tiikaa in 1937.[21] Paul O'Brien translated another chapter that appeared in Monumenta Nipponica.[22] This work has yet to receive an adequate translation.

Thomas Kochumuttom translated the first chapter in his Buddhist Doctrine of Experience,[23] and makes frequent reference to Sthiramati's subcommentary. After doing only a partial translation in his dissertation (along with two other texts),[24] Stefan Anacker rendered the entire Madhyaanta-vibhaaga, along with six other texts by Vasubandhu, in 1984.[25] J.W. de Jong offers this comment: "Anacker's translation of the Madhyaanta-vibhaagabhaa.sya is incredibly bad".[26]

Since his is the only complete translation in a Western language, this is lamentable. Incidentally Sthiramati's subcommentary to this text is one of the most neglected jewels of Buddhist philosophical literature, rivaling Candrakiirti in its rhetorical and philosophical mastery. In fact, Sthiramati's style may have served as Candrakiirti's prototype for the Prasannapadaa. This text desperately needs a judicious Western translation so that it can receive the serious attention it deserves.

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Stcherbatsky's student, Eugène Obermiller, contributed to Yogaacaara studies by presenting overviews of Tibetan doxography on Asa`nga especially in his translations and studies of Prajñapaaramitaa texts.[27] Guiseppe Tucci offered translations and analyses of Buddhist logic texts, using Chinese as well as Tibetan and Sanskrit materials,[28] a study of Maitreya and Asa`nga,[29] and an edition of Asa`nga's summary commentary on the Diamond Sutra.[30]

Yogaacaara studies during the period between 1943-73 are summarized by de Jong this way:[31]

The Chinese Buddhist canon has preserved important materials for the early history of the Yogaacaara school. These were studied by P. Demiéville (1954) in a long article on the Yogaacaarabhuumi of Sa.ngharak`sa.[32] The publication by V.V. Gokhale (1947)[33] of fragments of the Sanskrit text of Asa`nga's Abhidharmasamuccaya has led to further studies of this basic Abhidharma work of the Yogaacaara school. Prahlad Pradhan reconstructed the Sanskrit text with the help of Hsüan-tsang's Chinese version (1950),[34] and Walpola Rahula translated the entire work into French (1971).

[35] Paul Demiéville translated a chapter of the Bodhisattvabhuumi from the Chinese (1957)[36] and Nalinaksha Dutt published a new edition of the text (1966).[37] Alex Wayman published Analysis of the `Sraavakabhuumi Manuscript (1961),[38] while Lambert Schmithausen made a very thorough study of a small section of the Yogaacaarabhuumi on Nirvana (1969)[39] .... An excellent survey of the history and doctrines of the Yogaacaara school was made by Jacques May (1971).[40]

Note that the title of May's "excellent survey" recommended by de Jong translates as 'Idealist Buddhist Philosophy.'


The translations by Anacker and Kochumuttom, mentioned above, of key works by Vasubandhu rekindled interest in Vasubandhu's philosophy in the 1980s. While a few voices in this period, such as Alex Wayman and Ueda Yoshifumi, had begun to challenge the labeling of Yogaacaara as Idealism, Kochumuttom did so in the most sustained fashion. Drawing in part on his earlier study of Dignaaga's epistemology, he argued that Vasubandhu would be better understood as a Critical Realist, meaning that while Vasubandhu's epistemology utilizes the types of critiques found in some forms of idealism, his underlying ontology was realist. Nonetheless, many scholars still have not liberated themselves from the idealistic readings.

Lull, or Underground?

Subsequently, Yogaacaara studies, in a sense, went 'underground,' or to be more precise, fewer major books or articles appeared dealing with Yogaacaara. However interest in Yogaacaara remained high, as a number of excellent Ph.D. dissertations on Yogaacaara have been written since the late 1970s. Very few, however, have been published. Perhaps because Buddhist studies in America has given Yogaacaara such a low priority in recent decades, many graduate students who work on Yogaacaara for their Ph.D.s turn to other aspects of Buddhism once they graduate. Sadly, those who stick with Yogaacaara generally do not fare well in the Buddhist academic world.

Specialists in Tibetan Buddhism, Zen, Korean Buddhism, and so on, occupy the highest rungs of departments with Buddhist studies programs or concentrations, but not Yogaacaarins. As academia has, in part, turned against what some term elitism and philosophical snobbery in favor of social science and history approaches increasingly concerned with more popular forms of religious and sociological expression, Yogaacaara, which is a deeply complex, scholastic, philosophical form of Buddhism Ñ that has no vibrant present manifestations, much less current or even recent 'popular' forms Ñ has lost favor.


We should take note of some of the many dissertations dealing with Yogaacaara. Anacker's book began as a dissertation.

Schmithausen's Habilitationsschrift which dealt with Yogaacaara has not been published, but his comprehensive overview of the classical literature on the Aalaya-vijñaana remains the most thorough discussion of this foundational Yogaacaara notion.[41] John Powers translated the Sa.mdhinirmocana Suutra from Tibetan, and managed to produce several books from it: one for the translation itself, one for a Yogaacaara bibliography, one for the analytic survey, and one for commentaries in Tibetan on the text.[42]

Paul Griffiths' dissertation on nirodha-samaapatti was published in 1986.[43] A seminar conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, when Hakamaya Noriaki was a visiting professor, produced a translation of the tenth chapter of the Mahaayaanasa.mgraha, with comparative translations of the Tibetan and Chinese versions, and some portions of the commentaries.[44]

Noteworthy dissertations that have not been published include John Keenan's A Study of the Buddhabhuumyupade`sa: The Doctrinal Development of the Notion of Wisdom in Yogaacaara Thought,[45] translating the text from Hsüan-tsang's Chinese. Keenan has gone on to publish other works on Yogaacaara.[46] One of the finest surveys of the development of Yogaacaara thought is Ronald Davidson's Buddhist Systems of Transformation: Å`sraya-Pariv.rtti/Parav.rtti among the Yogaacaara.[47]

Alan Sponberg's dissertation on K'uei-chi offers a thorough examination of K'uei-chi's life and works, and includes a translation of his "Essay on Vijñaptimaatrataa [sic]" (`s`s`sÑ`s`s, 3rd chapter of T.1861).[48] Though Stanley Weinstein has published one of the only pieces on K'uei-chi in English,[49] his Ph.D. translation of Ryouhen-Sozuu's Kanjin Kakumushou, a seminal Japanese Yogaacaara (Hossou) work, has never been published.[50] Leslie Kawamura translated Sthiramati's commentary on the Tri.m`sikaa for his Masters thesis,[51] and Viniitadeva's commentary on the Tri.m`sikaa for his Ph.D. thesis.[52]

Kawamura has also made works of the great Japanese Yogaacaara scholar, Nagao Gadjin, available in English.[53] Robert Gimello's dissertation on Chih-yen, the Hua-yen patriarch, is one of the best works in English (unfortunately unpublished) on Chinese Buddhist history of the 6th-7th centuries.[54]

Although ostensibly about Hua-yen, this period, as mentioned earlier, was a hotbed of Yogaacaara controversy, and Gimello covers this admirably. Similarly useful for such controversies in the Chinese context is Ming-wood Liu's dissertation on Fa-tsang, the next Hua-yen patriarch.[55]

Chen-kuo Lin's study and partial translation of the Sa.mdhinirmocana Suutra, using the Chinese versions, raises important issues about Yogaacaara hermeneutical thinking.[56] My own dissertation is the distant ancestor for my forthcoming book, Buddhist Phenomenology: A Philosophical Investigation of Yogaacaara Buddhism and the Ch'eng Wei-shih lun (Curzon Press). The entry I wrote for the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (1998) on 'Yogaacaara' offers an alternate to the idealist interpretation.

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Books not derived from dissertations in this period include Diana Paul's study and translation of Paramaartha's Chuan-shih lun, a translation of the Tri.m`sikaa deeply embedded in commentarial glosses.[57] Her attempts at historical and philosophical context are seriously flawed, and she misidentifies portions of the Tri.m`sikaa in her translation.[58]

Kalupahana offered a treatment of Vasubandhu that sounded more like William James than Yogaacaara.[59] A problematic translation of the Vi.m`satikaa and Tri.m`sikaa was published by K. N. Chatterjee,[60] and a somewhat more careful but equally problematic translation of Vi.m`satikaa was published by T.R. Sharma.[61]

Thomas Wood made a valiant if muddled effort to translate and analyze a collection of Yogaacaara texts.[62]

Finally, Swati Ganguly offered an abridged rendition of Ch'eng wei-shih lun, incorporating the comments Hsüan-tsang included in his translation of the Tri.m`sikaa.[63]

I have not discussed in any detail Western studies based primarily on Tibetan sources, such as those by Wayman,[64] Kajiyama,[65] Tatz,[66] Guenther,[67] and so on.[68] Gareth Sparham's Ocean of Eloquence, which translates Tsong kha pa's discussion of Yogaacaara is useful,[69] and recently Jeffrey Hopkins released the first of two projected books comprehensively dealing with Tsong kha pa and the Tibetan interpretations of Yogaacaara.[70]

Now that Western scholars are beginning to look beyond the minority Gelugpa school toward other forms of Tibetan Buddhism, such as Nyingmapa and Dzog Chen -in which Yogaacaara and Chinese Yogaacaara influence is more prevalent - we may expect an increase in interest in Yogaacaara.

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Finally, three years ago I was a member of a panel at the American Academy of Religion devoted to Yogaacaara.

Response to our panel was so overwhelming, that, under the stewardship of Joe Wilson and Chuck Muller, we formed a Yogaacaara seminar, that will continue to convene at AAR meetings to discuss Yogaacaara. The seminar has a web page on which papers have been posted,[71] and an email discussion list, which has so far operated fitfully, but still holds promise.

What has amazed us is the number of people who have expressed great interest in participating in our seminar. What has also been interesting is that those young scholars now coming out of graduate schools specializing in the Buddhist logic tradition are embracing the Yogaacaara identities of the people they are studying. On the perplexing side is the resistance demonstrated by some members of the seminar to Abhidharma. All told, we should be hopeful that Yogaacaara studies will flourish in the 21st century.


[1] This is detailed in de Jong's A Brief History of Buddhist Studies in Europe and America (Tokyo: Kosei, 1997), though his first chapter is titled "The Early Period (300 B.C.-1877). I found de Jong's book very helpful in preparing this paper.

[2](Ta-T'ang) Hsi-yü chi *Ð]*÷j`s`s*Ð^*÷Ë`sÏ`sO , (Great T'ang) Record of Western Regions (T.51.2087).

[3] By Hui-li ºz¥`s (completed by Yen-ts'ung *Luu'U). Ta-t'ang ta-tz'u-en-ssu san-tsang fa-shih chuan *÷j`s`s*÷j`sOÆ*÷*÷T¬`sªkÆv`s

[4] Both published by Imprimerie Impériale, Paris.


[5] Lévi, Sylvain. Matériaux pour l'étude du systeme Vijñaptimaatra. Paris: Bibliothèque de l'École des Hautes Études, 1925.

[6]Madhyaantavibhaaga-.tiikaa de Sthiramati: Exposition systématique du Yogaacaaravijñaptivaada. Nagoya: Hajinkaku, rpt. Tokyo: Suzuki Research Foundation, 1966. There was some initial confusion among scholars as to which levels of the text were authored by whom, but this has been resolved.

[7]L'Abhidharmako`sa de Vasubandhu, traduit et annoté par Louis de la Vallée Poussin. Paris: Paul Greuthner, 1931, 7 vols.

[8] Louis de la Vallée Poussin. Vijñaptimaatrataasiddhi: La Siddhi de Hiuan-Tsang. 2 vols., Paris, 1928. Wei Tat rendered VP's translation into English in Ch'eng Wei-Shih Lun: The Doctrine of Mere Consciousness. [text and translation], Hong Kong, 1973, but eliminated VP's prolific and erudite notes. I argue in my forthcoming Buddhist Phenomenology (Curzon), that Hsüan-tsang was more author than editor, and that the idea that there were exactly ten Indian commentaries from which he drew, rather than a much broader range of Indian texts, is misleading.

[9] At the end of the Chinese text, Hsüan-tsang follows a Buddhist convention and offers several alternative titles, one of which could be rendered Vijñapti-maatra-taa (`s`s`sÑ© ), but why VP singled this one out for the title of his book is unclear.

[10]Vijñaptimaatrataa: Le Siddhi de Hiuan-tsang. Index. Paris: Librarie Orientaliste Paul Geuthner, 1948.


[11] On VP's Idealism, see Andrew Tuck, Comparative Philosophy and the Philosophy of Scholarship: On the Western Interpretation of Naagaarjuna (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990), ch. 2, though in some ways Tuck overstates his case. I also deal with this in my forthcoming Buddhist Phenomenology.

[12]Sa.mdhinirmocana Suutra: L'explication des Mystères. tr. by Étienne Lamotte, Louvain, 1935.

[13] Lamotte's French version has been rendered into English by Leo Pruden: the Treatise on Action by Vasubandhu. Berkeley, CA: Asian Humanities Press, 1988

[14]La somme du Grand Vehicule d'Asa`ng a (Mahaayaanasamgraha) edited and translated by Étienne Lamotte. Louvain-la-Neuve: Universite de Louvain, Institut Orientaliste, Bureaux du Muséon, 1938. 2 vols.

[15] Most notably, his translations of Ta-chih-tu-lun (Le Traité de la Grande Vertu de Sagesse de Naagaarjuna, Mahaaprajñaa-paaramitaa`saastra. 5 vols., vols. 1 & 2, Louvain: Burneux de Muséon, 1944, 1949; vols. 3-5, Louvain: Institut Orientaliste, 1970, 1976, 1980; these have all been republished by Institut Orientaliste), Vimalakiirti (1962, tr. into English by Sara Boin-Webb, The Teaching of Vimalakiirti. London, 1976) and `Suura`ng ama-samaadhi suutras (1965, rendered into English by Sara Boin-Webb, `Suura`ngamasamaadhisuutra: The Concentration of Heroic Progress. Surrey: Curzon Press, 1998).

[16] Suzuki, D.T. Studies in the La`nkaavataara Suutra. Boulder: Prajñaa Press, 1981 rpt.

[17]The La`nkaavataara Suutra. Boulder: Prajñaa Press, 1978, rpt.


[18] Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1967.

[19]Wei Shih Er Shih Lun or The Treatise in Twenty Stanzas on Representation-Only by Vasubandhu. New Haven: American Oriental Society, 1938.

[20] Th. Stcherbatsky, Madhyaanta-Vibhaanga. Osnabrück: Biblio Verlag, 1970 rpt.

[21] Friedman, D.L. Sthiramati Madhyaantavibhaaga.tiikaa. Utrecht: 1937.

[22] O'Brien, Paul Wilfred, S.J. "A Chapter on Reality from the Madhyaantavibhaaga`saastra." Monumenta Nipponica, 9 (1-2), 1953, 277-303.

[23]A Buddhist Doctrine of Experience: A New Translation of the Works of Vasubandhu the Yogaacaarin. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1982.

[24]Vasubandhu: Three Aspects, Madison, University of Wisconsin, 1970.

[25]Seven Works of Vasubandhu: the Buddhist Psychological Doctor. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1984. [translation from Skt. or Tib. of Vaadavidhi, Pañcaskandhaka, Karmasiddhi, Vi`m`satikaa kaarikaa [-v.rtti], Tri.m`sikaa, Madhyaanta Vibhaaga bhaa.sya, Trisvabhaavanirde`sa, + glossary and append. of Skt. text for Vi.m`satikaa, Tri.m`sikaa, Madhyaanta vibhaaga, Trisvabhaavanirde`sa]

[26]Brief History..., p. 109.

HqnhcO l.JPG

[27] Obermiller, E. Prajñaapaaramitaa in Tibetan Buddhism. Harcharan Singh Sobti (ed.). Delhi: Classics India Publications, 1988 rpt.; The Doctrine of the Prajñaa-paaramitaa as Exposed in the Abhisamayaala`nkaara of Maitreya. Talent, OR: Canon Publications, 1984 (rpt. of Acta Orientalia XI, 1932); etc.

[28] Tucci, Giuseppe, The Nyaayamukha of Dignaaga, Taiwan: Chinese Materials Center, 1978 rpt of 1930 Heidelberg ed. [based on Hsüan-tsang's tr., T.1628, consulting Tibetan texts]; Minor Buddhist Texts I and II. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1978 rpt.; "Is the Nyaayaprave`sa by Di.nnaga?," 1923, JRAS: 7-13; "The Vaadavidhi," 1928, Indian Historical Quarterly 4:630-36; Pre-Di`nnaga Buddhist Texts on Logic from Chinese Sources, Gaekward's Oriental Series, 1929; "Notes on the Nyaayaprave`sa by `Saa`nkarasvaamin," 1931, JRAS: 381-413.

[29]On Some Aspects of the Doctrines of Maitreya(natha) and Asa`ng a. San Francisco: Chinese Materials Center, 1975

[30]Vajracchedika: the Tri`satikaayaa.h prajñaapaaramitaayaa.h kaarikaasaptati.h, in Minor Buddhist Texts, ibid.

[31]Brief History... p. 62.

[32] "Le Yogaacaarabhuumi de harak`sa." 1954, BEFEO 44:339-436.

[33] "Fragments from the Abhidarmasamuccaya of Asa`nga," 1947, J. Bombay Br. RAS, 23:13-38.

[34]Abhidharmasamuccaya of Asa`ng a, Visva-Bharati Studies 12, `Saantiniketan, 1950.


[35] Walpola Rahula. Le Compendium de la Super - Doctrine (Philosophie) (Abhidharmasamuccaya) d'Asa`ng a, Paris: École Française d'Extrême - Orient, 1971.

[36] "Le chapitre de la Bodhisattvabhuumi sur la perfection du Dhyaana," Rocznik Orientalisticzny 21:109-28.

[37]Bodhisattvabhuumi.h, being the XVth section of Asa`ng a's Yogaacaarabhuumi. Nalinaksha Dutt, ed., Patna: K.P. Jayaswal Research Institute, 1978 rpt.

[38] Alex Wayman, Analysis of the `Sravakabhuumi Manuscript, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1961.

[39]Der in der Vini`scaya-sa.ngraha.nii der Yogaacaarabhuumi.h. Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1969.

[40] "La philosophie bouddhique idéaliste." 1971, Asiatische Studien 25:265-323.

[41] Schmithausen, Lambert. Ålayavijñaana: on the Origin and the Early Development of a Central Concept of Yogaacaara Philosophy. Tokyo: International Institute for Buddhist Studies, 1987. De Jong (op. cit., pp. 86) incorrectly identifies this work as Schmithausen's Habilitationsschrift.

[42] Powers, John. Hermeneutics and Tradition in the Sa.mdhinirmocana-suutra. Leiden: EJ Brill, 1993;The Yogaacaara School of Buddhism: a Bibliography. Metuchen, N.J.: American Theological Library Association; London: Scarecrow Press, 1991; Two Commentaries on the Sa.mdhinirmocana- suutra by Asa`ng a and Jñaanagarbha. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 1992; Wisdom of the Buddha: the Sa.mdhinirmocana Mahaayaana Suutra. Berkeley, CA: Dharma Publishing, 1995


[43]On Being Mindless: Buddhist Meditation and the Mind-Body Problem, La Salle, IL: Open Court, 1986.

[44]The Realm of Awakening: a Translation and Study of the Tenth Chapter of Asa`ng a's Mahaayaanasangraha, translation and notes by Paul J. Griffiths, Hakamaya Noriaki, John Keenan, et al. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.

[45] Unpub. Ph.D. Dissertation. University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1980.

[46] For instance, Dharmapaala's Yogaacaara Critique of Bhaavaviveka's Maadhyamika Explanation of Emptiness: the Tenth Chapter of Ta-ch'eng Kuang pai-lun shih, commenting on Åryadeva's Catu.h`sataka chapter sixteen. tr. by John P. Keenan. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 1997; and The Summary of the Great Vehicle by Bodhisattva Asa`ng a translated from the Chinese of Paramaartha. Berkeley, CA: Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, 1992.

[47] Ronald Mark Davidson. Buddhist Systems of Transformation: Å`sraya-Pariv.rtti/Parav.rtti among the Yogaacaara, Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Berkeley, 1985.

[48]The Vijñaptimaatrataa Buddhism of the Chinese Buddhist monk K'uei-chi (A.D. 632-682). Unpub. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of British Columbia, 1979. Other works on Yogaacaara by Sponberg include "Dynamic Liberation in Yogaacaara Buddhism." JIABS, 2 (1), 1979, 44-64, and "Meditation in Fa-hsiang Buddhism." in Traditions of Meditation, Peter Gregory (ed.), 1986, 15-43.

[49] "A Biographical Study of Tz'u-en." Monumenta Nipponica, 15, 1-2 (1959) 119-49

Hua-hin 9.jpg

[50]The Kanjin Kakumushou;, unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Harvard, 1965.

[51]A Study of the Tri`m`sikaa-Vijñapti-Bhaa`sya. Unpub. M.A. Thesis, Kyoto University, 1964.

[52]Viniitadeva's Contribution to the Buddhist Mentalistic Trend, [comm. on Tri`m`sikaa] Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Saskatchewan, 1975.

[53]Madhyamaka and Yogaacaara: a Study of Mahaayaana Philosophies. Edited, collated, and translated by L.S. Kawamura in collaboration with G.M. Nagao. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991.

[54]Chih-yen (602-668), and the Foundation of Hua-yen Buddhism, Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Columbia University, 1972.

[55]The Teaching of Fa-tsang - An Examination of Buddhist Metaphysics. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, UCLA, 1979.

[56]The Sa.mdhinirmocana Suutra: a Liberating Hermeneutic. Unpub. Ph.D. Dissertation, Temple University, 1991.

[57]Philosophy of Mind in Sixth-Century China: Paramaartha's 'Evolution of Consciousness.' Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1984.

[58] See my Buddhist Phenomenology, which includes a translation of the sections of Chuan-shih lun directly derived from Vasubandhu's text.


[59] David Kalupahana, The Principles of Buddhist Psychology. Albany: SUNY Press, 1987.

[60] K. N. Chatterjee. Vijñaptimaatrataa-siddhi. Varnasi: Kishor Vidya Niketan, 1980 (includes Devanaagri text).

[61]Vijñaptimaatrataasiddhi (Vi.m`satikaa). Delhi: Eastern Book Linkers, 1993 (includes Devanaagri text).

[62]Mind Only: A Philosophical and Doctrinal Analysis of the VIjñaanavaada. Honolulu: University of Hawai`i Press, 1991.

[63]Treatise In Thirty Verses on Mere Consciousness. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1992 (includes rpts. of the TaishouChinese text).

[64] Many of these have been collected in Alex Wayman, Buddhist Insight. George R. Elder (ed.). Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1984.

[65] For instance, Kajiyama, Yuuichi. "Bhaavaviveka, Sthiramati and Dharmapaala." Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Sud- und Ostasiens und Archiv für Indische Philosophie, #12, 13, 1958, 193-203; "Controversy between the saakaara- and niraakaara-vaadins of the Yogaacaara School - some materials." IBK, 14 (1), 1955-56, 429-418 (26-37); "The Atomic Theory of Vasubandhu, the Author of the Abhidharmako`sa." IBK, XIX (2), March 1971, 1006-1001 (19-24).

[66]Asa`ng a's Chapter on Ethics With the Commentary of Tsong-Kha-Pa, The Basic Path to Awakening, The Complete Bodhisattva. tr. Mark Tatz. Lewiston: Edwin Mellon Press, 1986.

[67] Herbert Guenther and Leslie Kawamura, Mind in Buddhist Psychology. Emeryville, CA: Dharma Publishing, 1975.

[68] More works, such as Lati Rinbochay and Elizabeth Napper, Mind in Tibetan Buddhism, Valois, NY: Snow Lion, 1980, could be mentioned.

[69]Ocean of Eloquence: Tsong kha pa's Commentary on the Yogaacaara Doctrine of Mind. Albany: SUNY Press, 1993.

[70] Jeffery Hopkins, Emptiness in the Mind-only School of Buddhism: Dynamic Responses to Dzong-ka-ba's The Essence of Eloquence: I. Berkeley: University of CA Press, 1999.



By Dan Lusthaus
Florida State University