The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
|Articles by alphabetic order|
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- Analysis of the Five Skandhas
- Thirty Stanzas
- Treatise on Karma
- Treatise on the Three Natures
- Twenty Stanzas
- Well Explained Reasoning
He famously had four students who were more learned than himself: Sthiramati, who was more learned in Abhidharma; Dignāga, who was more learned in Pramāṇa; Guṇaprabha, who was more learned in the Vinaya; and Arya Vimuktasena, who was more learned in Prajñāpāramitā.
- Stefan Anacker, Seven Works of Vasubandhu: The Buddhist Psychological Doctor, Motilal Banarsidass, 2nd Edition, 2002}}
Vasubandhu (Sanskrit: वसुबन्दु; traditional Chinese: 世親; pinyin: Shìqīn; Tibetan: དབྱིག་གཉེན་, Wylie: dbyig gnyen) (fl. 4th c.) was an Indian Buddhist monk, and along with his half-brother Asanga, one of the main founders of the Indian Yogācāra school.
Dissatisfied with those teachings, he wrote a summary of the Vaibhashika perspective in the Abhidharmakośa in verse and an auto-commentary, the Abhidharmakośa-bhāsya, which summarized and critiqued the Mahāvibhāsa from the Sautrāntrika viewpoint.
Most influential in the East Asian Buddhist tradition have been Vimśatikāvijñaptimātratāsiddhi, the "Twenty Verses on Representatio Only" and the Triṃśikā-vijñaptimātratā, the "Thirty Verses on Representation-only".
These two texts are companions. Vasubandhu also wrote a large number of other works, including:
- Commentary to the Mahāyāna-samgraha
- Daśabhūmika-bhāṣya (Ten Stages Sutra)
- Mahāyāna śatadharmā-prakāśamukha śāstra
- Amitayus sutropadeśa
- Discourse on the Pure Land
- Vijnaptimatrata Sastra
- Karmasiddhiprakarana (A Treatise on Action)
And Buddhist logic
- A Method for Argumentation (Vāda-vidhi) is the only work on logic by Vasabandhu which has to any extent survived. It is the earliest of the treatises known to have been written by him on the subject.
The title, "Method for Argumentation", indicates that Vasabandhu's concern with logic was primarily motivated by the wish to mould formally flawless arguments, and is thus a result of his interest in philosophical debate.
Erich Frauwallner, a mid-twentieth century Buddhologist, sought to distinguish two Vasubandhus, one the Yogācārin and the other a Sautrāntika, but this view has largely fallen from favour in part on the basis of the anonymous Abhidharma-dīpa, a critique of the Abhidharmakośa which clearly identifies Vasubandhu as the sole author of both groups of writings.
According to Dan Lusthaus, "Since the progression and development of his thought ... is so strikingly evident in these works, and the similarity of vocabulary and style of argument so apparent across the texts, the theory of Two Vasubandhus has little merit." There is no scholarly consensus on this question at present.
He had an older brother, Asanga. In the central Indian city of Ayodhya, he studied the doctrine of the Sarvastivada school and lectured on The Great Commentary on the Abhidharma, the primary text of that school.
Vasubandhu at first criticized Mahayana, but later converted to it through the influence of his brother Asanga, whom he assisted thereafter in promoting the Yogachara, or Consciousness-Only, school of Mahayana.
Among those that have survived are The Twenty-Stanza Treatise on the Consciousness-Only Doctrine, The Treatise on the Ten Stages Sutra, The Treatise on the Lotus Sutra, The Commentary on "The Summary of the Mahayana," and The Treatise on the Buddha Nature.
He is counted as the twentieth of Shakyamuni's twenty-three, or the twenty-first of his twenty-four, successors.