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Yogacara Vasubandhu’s Phenomenological Idealism

A Buddhist Theory of Consciousness by: Shruti Kapur

This book is a comparative study of the phenomenology of Yogacara Vasubandhu and that of the German philosopher Edmund Husserl having the focus on the understanding of the deeply inner nature of consciousness or mind. It asserts that the Yogacara philosophy is much richer and comprehensive than the Western phenomenology, particularly the Husserlian phenomenology.

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ISBN: 9788124611586
Year Of Publication: 2022
Edition: 1st
Pages : xxii, 305
Bibliographic Details : Bibliography, Index
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 23
Weight: 580

Overview

This book is a comparative study of the phenomenology of Yogacara Vasubandhu and that of the German philosopher Edmund Husserl having the focus on the understanding of the deeply inner nature of consciousness or mind. It articulates that the Yogacara philosophy is much richer and comprehensive than the Western phenomenology, particularly the Husserlian phenomenology.
Later Vasubandhu’s philosophical orientation was idealist in Indian sense or a phenomenologist in Husserlian sense. His Mahayana Yogacara idealism is based on Asanga’s seminal text Sandhinirmocanasutra and his own Vijnaptimatratasiddhi (Vimsatika and Trimsika together) along with his exploration of the intrinsic theory of consciousness or mind. For one to have a clear-cut understanding of Vasubandhu, the book follows the Husserlian phenomenological approach as a philosophical methodology and also used select terminology wherever required.
This book is expected to be highly useful for students, researchers and teachers in the area of Indian/Buddhist philosophy.

This book is a comparative study of the phenomenology of Yogacara Vasubandhu and that of the German philosopher Edmund Husserl having the focus on the understanding of the deeply inner nature of consciousness or mind. It asserts that the Yogacara philosophy is much richer and comprehensive than the Western phenomenology, particularly the Husserlian phenomenology.

 

Contents

Preface

Abbreviations

1.Introduction: A Historical Transition of Vasubandhu’s Philosophy         

Buddhism: An Overview

An Introduction to Vasubandhu

Vasubandhu’s Formative Years

Controversy Pertaining to Vasubandhu’s Teachers

Nature and Classification of Dharmas

List of Conditioned Elements of  Existence (Samskrta Dharmas)

List of Unconditioned Elements of Existence (Asamskrta Dharmas)   

Reason for Vasubandhu’s Shift from Hinayana to Mahayana

The Early Buddhist Literature (Sutra/Sutta)

Causality: The Fundamental Doctrine of Buddhism

Meaning of the Term Vinnana (Vijnana)

Kinds of Vinnana

Vinnana as Underlying Sentience or Consciousness

Vinnana as Cognitive Consciousness

Causal Interrelatedness between the Twin Aspects of Vinnana

Dharma (Dhamma): Its Varied Meanings in Buddhism

Meaning of the Term Abhidharma (Abhidhamma)

The Mission Plan of Abhidharma

Abhidharma Literature (Scholastic Treatises)

Theravada Abhidhamma

Sarvastivada Abhidharma

Abhidharmakoaa: Its Meaning and Contents

Sarvastivada–Vaibhasika School: All-Exists-Theorists

Literature of Sarvastivada School

The Doctrines Floated by the Sarvastivadins

The Theory of Possession or Ownership (Prapti)

The Doctrine of Momentariness in Sarvastivada School

Four Kinds of Sarvastivadins

Dharmatrata

Ghosaka

Vasumitra

Buddhadeva

Sautrantika (Darstantika) School

Doctrines Propounded by the Sautrantikas

The Doctrine of Momentariness

The Theory of Seed (Bīja)

A Glance at the Three Different Philosophical Perspectives of Vasubandhu

Vasubandhu: A Sarvastivada–Vaibhasika and Sautrantika

Vasubandhu: A Yogacara–Vijnanavadin

2. A Philosophical Debate between Yogacara Vasubandhu and the Buddhist Realists

Preamble

Objection 1: Spatial Regularity (Desa-niyama)

Reply

Objection 2: Temporal Regularity (Kala-niyama)

Reply

Objection 3: Public Shareability and Causal Continuity (Santana-niyama)

Reply

Objection 4: Functional Causal Action

(Krtya-kriya-niyama)

Reply

An Evaluation of Vasubandhu’s Arguments

Vaibhasika’s Realist Response

Yogacara Vasubandhu’s Response

Vaibhasika’s Realist Response

Yogacara Vasubandhu’s Response

Vaibhasika’s Realist Response

Yogacara Vasubandhu’s Response

Vaibhasika’s Realist Response

Yogacara Vasubandhu’s Response

Sautrantika Position

Yogacara Vasubandhu’s Objection

Sautrantika Reply

Yogacara Vasubandhu’s Response

Sautrantika Reply

Yogacara Vasubandhu’s Response

Upapadukasattvadesana

Abhipraya

Prayojana

Badhaka-pramana

Agama Badha

Yukti Badha

Discourse on the Twelve Sense Spheres (Ayatana) Abhipraya

Sautrantika Questions

Vasubandhu Explains Ayatana Desana

Vijnaptimatrata Desana

3. Nature and Modes of Consciousness in the Trimsika       

Introduction

Significant Key Questions

Meaning and Classification of Consciousness (Vijnana) Traditional Buddhist Classification: Early Abhidharma Classification of Consciousness by Yogacarin Asanga and Vasubandhu

Three-layered Structure of Consciousness

Storehouse Consciousness (Alaya-vijnana): The First Transformation

Etymological Roots of Alaya

Various Translations of Alaya-vijnana

Three Interpretations of Alaya-vijnana

Four Aspects of Alaya

Nature of the Five Omnipresent Factors

Svarupa/Svabhāva of Alaya-vijnana

Contribution of Alaya-vijnana Principle to Vijnanavada

Alaya-vijnana: Its Active and Passive Modes

Cessation (Nivr̥tti) of Alaya-vijnana

Alaya-Vijnana vs Absolute Flow of  Consciousness

Thinking Consciousness (Mano–nama-vijnana): The Second Transformation

Four Aspects of Ego Consciousness

Cessation (Nivrtti) of Klista-manovijnana

Active Consciousness (Pravr̥ttivijnana): The Third Transformation

Mind and Mental Concommitants (Citta and Caitta or Caitasika)

Metaphors of “River” and “Ocean”

Reciprocal Relationship between Alayavijnana and Pravrttivijnana

The Internal Consciousness (Manovijnana)

Refutation of Eternalism (Sasvatanta)

Criticism of Externalist Realist

Refutation of Annihilationism

(Ucchedanta, Apavadanta)

4. Vasubandhu’s Theory of Trisvabhava

Introduction

The Three Natures of Consciousness (Trisvabhāva)

The Imagined Nature (Parikalpita Svabhava)

The Dependent Nature (Paratantra Svabhava)

The Consummate Nature (Pariniṣpanna Svabhava)

Interrelatedness between the Three Natures of Consciousness

Theory of Trilaksana in the Sandhinirmocanasutra

Simile of the Classical Indian Roadside Magic Show

Vasubandhu Explains Nihsvabhavata

Vasubandhu’s Tri-nihsvabhava Theory

The Path of Purification or Perfection (Ksanti)

Laksana Nihsvabhavata

Utpatti Nihsvabhavata

Paramartha Nihsvabhavata

5.Variety of Idealism: Western and Indian

What Is idealism?

Mind-boggling Views of Idealism

Plato’s Idealism

Descartes’ Problematic Idealism

Metaphysical Theory

Privileged Epistemic Position of Mind

Wax Analogy: Melting of the External Object

Representation Theory of Sense Perception

External Things: “A Great Propensity to Believe” Argument

Berkeley’s Idealism

What Is the Treatise All About?

Argument against Materialism

The Master Argument

Rejection of the Theory of Abstraction

Kant’s Transcendental Idealism

Kant’s Refutation of Idealism

Husserl’s Direct Realism-cum-Transcendental Idealism

Realist-Idealist Controversy about Husserl

Transcendental Idealism of Vedanta

Synthesis of Realism and Idealism in the Brhadaranyaka Upanisad

Sankara’s Strong Sense of Philosophical Idealism

6. Phenomenology of Consciousness: A Comparative Study of Yogacara Vasubandhu and Husserl

Is Yogacara Vasubandhu a Phenomenologist?

What Does Phenomenology Mean?

Human Life as an Embodied Consciousness

Vasubandhu’s Thought-continuity and Methodology

Denial of the Duality within Experience

Two-tiered Hermeneutic Strategy

Vijnapti Matra and Nirvanic Freedom

The Problem of Temporal Synthesis and Continuity

Vasubandhu

Phenomenological Modes of Consciousness

Husserl on Temporal Synthesis and Continuity

7. Conclusion: A Critical Estimate

Bibliography

Index

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“Yogacara Vasubandhu’s Phenomenological Idealism”

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