Paving the Great Way: Vasubandhu’s Unifying Buddhist by Jonathan Gold

By Jonathan Gold

The Indian Buddhist thinker Vasubandhu (fourthfifth century C.E.) is understood for his serious contribution to Buddhist Abhidharma notion, his flip to the Mahayana culture, and his concise, influential Yogacara-Vij'anavada texts. Paving the good manner unearths one other size of his legacy: his integration of a number of doubtless incompatible highbrow and scriptural traditions, with far-ranging outcomes for the advance of Buddhist epistemology and the theorization of tantra. such a lot students learn Vasubandhus texts in isolation and separate his highbrow improvement into exact stages. that includes shut reports of Vasubandhus Abhidharmakosabhasya, Vyakhyayukti, Vimsatika, and Trisvabhavanirdesa, between different works, this ebook identifies recurrent remedies of causality and scriptural interpretation that unify certain strands of inspiration less than a unmarried, coherent Buddhist philosophy. In Vasubandhus arms, the Buddhas rejection of the self as a fake building presents a framework during which to explain difficult philosophical concerns, similar to the character of ethical company and subjectivity lower than a extensively causal worldview. spotting this continuity of goal throughout Vasubandhus diversified corpus recasts the pursuits of the thinker and his really cutting edge imaginative and prescient, which prompted Buddhist proposal for a millennium and keeps to resonate with today's philosophical concerns. An appendix comprises broad English-language translations of the most important texts mentioned.

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By Jonathan Gold

The Indian Buddhist thinker Vasubandhu (fourthfifth century C.E.) is understood for his serious contribution to Buddhist Abhidharma notion, his flip to the Mahayana culture, and his concise, influential Yogacara-Vij'anavada texts. Paving the good manner unearths one other size of his legacy: his integration of a number of doubtless incompatible highbrow and scriptural traditions, with far-ranging outcomes for the advance of Buddhist epistemology and the theorization of tantra. such a lot students learn Vasubandhus texts in isolation and separate his highbrow improvement into exact stages. that includes shut reports of Vasubandhus Abhidharmakosabhasya, Vyakhyayukti, Vimsatika, and Trisvabhavanirdesa, between different works, this ebook identifies recurrent remedies of causality and scriptural interpretation that unify certain strands of inspiration less than a unmarried, coherent Buddhist philosophy. In Vasubandhus arms, the Buddhas rejection of the self as a fake building presents a framework during which to explain difficult philosophical concerns, similar to the character of ethical company and subjectivity lower than a extensively causal worldview. spotting this continuity of goal throughout Vasubandhus diversified corpus recasts the pursuits of the thinker and his really cutting edge imaginative and prescient, which prompted Buddhist proposal for a millennium and keeps to resonate with today's philosophical concerns. An appendix comprises broad English-language translations of the most important texts mentioned.

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Extra info for Paving the Great Way: Vasubandhu’s Unifying Buddhist Philosophy

Sample text

As I read this argument, the Buddha seems to assume, furthermore, that it is part of the meaning of each of the three times—past, present, and future—that it is distinct from the other two. Such an assumption also lies behind Vasubandhu’s criticisms of those who accept what he considers muddled or relativistic distinctions between the times. As we have just seen argued from several angles, Vasubandhu also believes that something eternal must never change, and so can never impinge upon a temporal causal series.

Traditionally, Vasubandhu was a Sarv stiv din, then a Sautr ntika, then a Yog c ra. But there is no easy classi catory category, for instance, for the KSP; must we call it “Yog c ra” and not “Sautr ntika” just because it includes mention of the “storehouse consciousness” ( layavijñ na)? To do so is anachronistic, as anyone will admit, since during Vasubandhu’s time, as I have said, the word “Yog c ra” had not yet taken on its distinctive scholastic meaning. It may be said that, though Vasubandhu never used the term to name his own view, he was a crucial player in the formation of what we now call Yog c ra scholasticism.

In that case, it is not past, nor is it future or present. Then you would be saying that since it is unconditioned, it is eternal. 43 If entities are said to exist in past, present, and future, and it is their nature to be a certain kind of entity (say, to be eyes, with certain speci able capacities), then what is it that prevents them from being causes su cient to be called “active”? You cannot say that the necessary conditions are nonexistent, because your view is that everything that has ever existed still exists, and everything that will ever exist already exists.

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