By Thomas A. Kochumuttom
Giving a brand new translation and interpretation of the fundamental works of Vasubandhu the yogacarin, the writer exhibits that Yogacara metaphysics is largely just like that of the early Buddhism. He contends that the Yogacara writings are open to interpretation when it comes to lifelike pluralism, and hence demanding situations their conventional interpretation when it comes to 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 through those texts will be summarised within the phrases of the writer as persist with: 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 support mentally developing the excellence among the topic and the thing, the grasper and the graspable, the enjoyer and the enjoyable..."
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Additional info for A Buddhist Doctrine of Experience: A New Translation and Interpretation of the Works of Vasubandhu the Yogacarin
7. Such an identification is suggested, for example, by the passage quoted below under note 8. 8. Aparijnata-asal-laksano hi-abh uta-parikalpah kleSa-karma-janma-sanklelaya sampravartate. M V K B T. I. 7. 14 A Buddhist Doctrine o f Experience ultim ate motive of the authors is moral or religious, namely to dissuade the disciples from indulging in the enjoyments of samsara. Therefore, what they are attacking is the graspable-grasper dualism, not the ontological pluralism. 6. T he T h in g s-in -T h em selv es A ré C overed U p b y M en tal C on stru cts As already explained, according to the Yogácárins one in the state of samsara does not experience the things-in-themseJves, bu t only the subjective forms of one’s own consciousness.
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. Their prim ary interest is to explain the samsara experience and to suggest a way out of it. As Sthiram ati puts it, they are concerned about the 1, See below pp.
2 Thus the concepts of both vijhapti and artha turn out to be non-sensical and, therefore, irrelevant, too. Incidentally, it m ust be noted that this is the whole point and central argum ent of the Yogacara philosophy: the entire lot of sarnsara experience hinges on the polar concepts of subjectivity and objectivity (grahakatva and grahyatva) namely th at one is the subject of experience (bhoktr), -while all else are object of one’s experience (bhojya); then the concept of objectivity is proved to be mere imagination, which will in turn prove the concept of subjectivity as well to be mere im agination;3 thus the concepts of subjectivity and objectivity collapsing, the whole samsara experience, too, collapses, and there autom atically results release (mok$a or mukti or nirvana).