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Ālayavijñāna from a Practical Point of View

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Abstract I

n 1987, Lambert Schmithausen published an important extensive monograph on the origin of alayavijnana (Alayavijnana: On the Origin and the Early Development of a Central Concept of Yogacara Philosophy). In his opinion, the introduction of alayavijnana was closely linked to nirodhasamapatti, but it was not meditative experience itself that directly lead to the introduction of this new concept. Rather, according to Schmithausen, it was dogmatic speculation on a sutra passage about nirodhasamapatti. My own hypothesis is that the introduction of alayavijnana was more directly based on meditative

experiences. Focusing on the “Proof Portion” of the Viniscayasamgrahani of the 'Yogacarabhumi, the present paper examines this hypothesis. My examination reveals that alayavijnana is the physiological basis of the body, and as such it is correlated to the state of the body and mind. When one's body and mind are transformed from an inert to a well-functioning state through meditative practice, the transformation seems to hinge on the transformation of alayavijnana itself. It appears that Yogacara meditators intuitively realized this mechanism at the stage of darsanamarga. This paper also responds to some points raised by Schmithausen on my hypothesis in his recent monograph on early Yogacara (The Genesis of Yogacara-Vijnanavada: Responses A Japanese version of the first portion (Introduction, §§1-2.6, Conclusion) of this paper has been published in Toyo no shiso to shukyo (Thought and Religion of Asia), no. 33 (2016),

under the title “Aa raya shiki setsu no jissenteki haikei ni tsuite”


(On the Practical Background of Alayavijnana), and a Japanese version of the second portion (§3) has appeared in Indo ronrigaku kenkyu (Indian Logic), no. 8 (2015), under the title “Yugashijiron Shoketsujakubun ni okeru araya shiki no daiichi ronsho no kaishaku ni tsuite” (On the Interpretation of the First Proof of Alayavijnana in the Viniscayasamgrahani of the Yogacarabhumi) . and Reflections, 2014). Through these discussions, this paper sheds light on the importance of the correlation between body and mind in meditative contexts and proposes that this was the key issue in the introduction of the alayavijnana theory.

Keywords alayavijnanaYogacarabhumi • dausthulya • prasrabdhi • ekayogaksema • mind-body correlation


Introduction


In 1987, Lambert Schmithausen published an important extensive monograph on the origin of alayavijnana, entitled Alayavijna: On the Origin and the Early Development of a Central Concept of Yogacara Philosophy (Schmithausen [1987] 2007, hereafter, Alayavijnana). In his opinion, the voluminous Yogacarabhumi is a compilation of heterogeneous materials and can be roughly analyzed into three layers:

1) Parts of the “Basic Section,” in particular, the Sravakabhumi, the Bodhisattvabhumi, and the Vastusamgrahani, which do not refer to alayavijnana.
2) The rest of the “ Basic Section,” which sporadically refers to alayavijnana but not to the Samdhinirmocanasutra.
3) Viniscayasamgrahani, which discusses alayavijnana in detail and presup¬poses the Samdhinirmocanasutra. (Alayavijnana, §1.6.6, my paraphrase)

In this model, the Samdhinirmocanasutra falls between layers two and three, so the oldest source that discusses alayavijnana is layer two, namely (portions of) the “ Basic Section.” Thus, according to Schmithausen, the original context of the introduction of alayavijnana must be sought in layer two. Schmithausen believes that a passage that shows the original context of alayavijnana must satisfy the following two criteria:


(1) It must show that the introduction of a new type of vijnana became inevitable, or there must be clear evidence that such a new type of vijnana was directly experienced.


(2) It must explain why the new vijnana is called alayavijnana. (Alayavijnana, §1.7, my paraphrase)


In his opinion, such a passage, which he calls “the Initial Passage,” is found in the Samahita bhumih of the Basic Section of the Yogacarabhumi. nirodham samapannasya cittacaitasika niruddha bhavanti / katham vijnanam kayad anapakrantam bhavati / tasya hi rupisv indriye\sv avi [parinatesu pravrttivijnanabijaparigrh-tam alayavijnanam anuparatamm bhavati ayatyam tadutpattidharmatayai \/[ (Quoted from Alayavijnana, en. 146, emphasis added [similarly below])


When [a person] has entered [[[Absorption]] into] Cessation (nirodha[[[sama]]- patti]), his mind and mental [factors] have ceased; how, then, is it that [his] mind (vijnana) has not withdrawn from [his] body?—[Answer: No problem;] for [in] his [case] alayavijnana has not ceased [to be present] in the material sense-faculties, which are unimpaired: [[[alayavijnana]]] which com¬prises (/possesses/ has received) the Seeds ofthe for

thcoming [[[forms]] of] mind (pravrttivijnana), so that they are bound to re-arise in future (i.e., after emerging from absorption). (Alayavijnana, §2.1) Schmithausen points out that this passage presupposes the Mulasarvastivada version of the Dharmadinnasutra, which states that in nirodhasamapatti, “vijnana has not withdrawn from the body” (vijnanam casya kayad anapakrantam bhavati)? Since, however, nirodhasamapatti is by definition an unconscious state, the vijnana that remains in the body in nirodhasamapatti cannot be one of the conventional six vijnanas or their associates. This problem necessitated the introduction of a new, subliminal type of vijnana, namely, alayavijnana (Alayavijnana, §2.3'. The “Initial Passage” also accounts well for what Schmithausen believes to be the original meaning of alayavijnana, “the mind sticking [in the material sense-faculties]” (ibid., §2.7, my paraphrase; note that the material sense-faculties as a whole constitute our sentient body'.


According to Schmithausen, the original alayavijnana was merely a hypostatization of bijas of the pravrttivijnanas and was not a veritable vijnana endowed with cognitive functions (ibid., §2.13.1). It kept the body alive and retained bijas of thepravrttivijnanas during nirodhasamapatti so that the pravrttivijnanas could re-arise later (ibid., §2.5'. In other words, it functioned as a kind of “gap-bridger” (ibid., §2.13.6). Thus, in Schmithausen's understanding, the introduction of alayavijnana was closely linked to nirodhasamapatti, but it was not meditative experience itself that directly triggered the introduction of this new concept. Rather, according to him, it was dogmatic speculation on the exegetical problem regarding the canonical suatra, the Dharmadinnasutra, that made the introduction of this new concept inevitable (§7.4).


I cannot properly summarize the entirety of this very rich monograph here, but Schmithausen's arguments in this book are definitely well documented and very solid. Not surprisingly, this work has prompted further investigations into the origin of alayavijnana by other scholars, most notably Matsumoto Shiroa (2004) and Hartmut Buescher (2008). I myself have published a brief synoptic article on this matter in Japanese (Yamabe 2012). Recently, Schmithausen published a voluminous and very detailed response to these arguments (2014, hereafter “Genesis”). Partly referring to this work, at the 17th Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies held at the University of Vienna (August 18-23, 2014), I presented my own hypothetical view on the origin of alayavijnana, mainly based on Yamabe (2012) (which is just a preliminary presentation of my working hypothesis in Japanese) with more supporting materials. Due to time constraints, however, in that presentation I had to keep to a minimum my responses to Genesis. Since I was given more time at the international workshop held at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen, entitled “Yogacara Buddhism in Context: Approaches to Yogacara Philosophy throughout Ages and Cultures” (June 19-20, 2015), I could present my view with more detailed responses to Schmithausen's comments on Yamabe (2012). The present article is a revised and expanded version of the paper I gave at the Munich workshop.


Before entering into a substantial discussion, I have to admit that I have been heavily influenced by Schmithausen's meticulous work for many years. Thus, my own view is not too radically different from his. I also think that meditation was behind the introduction of alayavijnana, and I further believe that the relationship between alayavijnana and the body was very important, as pointed out by him. Our main difference lies in my suspicion that the introduction of alayavijnana was more directly based on meditative experiences.


Another point made in Yamabe (2012) is that the Basic Section may not be the only portion of the Yogacarabhumi in which the original context of alayavijnana could be located. “The Initial Passage” is rather “isolated” (in the sense that the surrounding portions do not discuss alayavijnana) and does not seem to me to reveal the full background of the introduction of this new concept. The oldest systematic discussion of this concept in the Viniscayasamgrahani (which Schmithausen calls the “Vin[iscaya-]S[am]g[rahani] alay[avijnana]. Treatise” [§1.5]) should be given more attention, even if it is later than the Basic Section. This is because the people who introduced this innovative concept might not have revealed everything they had in mind from the outset (see Yamabe 2012, p. 202). In Genesis (§8.2), Schmithausen agrees with my suggestion on this point.


1 The Proof Portion


In the “VinSg alay. Treatise,” in particular in its first section, “the Proof Portion,” physiological maintenance of the body (upadana, in Schmithausen's translation, “biological appropriation”) is clearly the predominant function of alayavijnana. As Schmithausen has already shown, four out of the eight proofs (i, vi, vii, viii) concern this aspect of alayavijnana. Here, I discuss the first and the eighth proofs. The first proof is as follows:


(i) kena karanenasrayopadanam na yujyate / aha—pancabhih karanaih / tathahi (a) alayavijnanam purvasamskarahetukam11 / caksuradipravrttivijnanam punar vartamanapratyayahetukam / yathoktam — indriyavisayamanaskaravasad vijfiananam pravrttir bhavatiti vistarena / idam prathamam karanam / (b) api ca kus'alakusalah sad vijnanakaya upalabhyante / idam dvitiyam karanam / (c) api ca sannam vijnanakayanam sa jatir nopalabhyate yavyakrta vipaka- samgrhita syat / idam trtiyam karanam / (d) api ca pratiniyatasrayah sad vijnanakayah pravartate, tatra yena yenasrayena yad vijnanam pravartate tad eva tenopattam syad avasistasyanupattateti na yujyate, upattatapi na yujyate vijnanavirahitataya / idam caturtham karanam / (e) api ca punah punar asrayasyopadanadosah prasajyate / tathahi caksurvijnanam ekada pravartate ekada na pravartate evam avasistani / idam paficamam karanam / ... (Hakamaya [1978] 2001, p. 328; here and below I omit the hyphenation.)


(Question:) For what reason is the appropriation of the body (asrayopadana) not reasonable [without alayavijnana]? Answer: For five reasons, namely: (a) Alayavijnana is caused by prior karmic acts (samskara) whereas the visual and other [types of] functional consciousness (pravrttivijnana) are caused by present conditions (pratyaya). As has been said: “Consciousness operates based on a sense faculty (indriya), cognitive objects (visaya), and attention (manaskara),” and so on. This is the first reason. (b) Further, the six groups of consciousness are observed to be wholesome or unwholesome. This is the second reason. (c) Also, among the six groups of consciousness, the kind that would be comprised in morally neutral maturation is not observed. This is the third reason. (d) In addition, the six groups of consciousness operate [based on] distinct bases. With regard to this, it is not reasonable that only the specific [basis] by which it operates is appropriated by that [[[consciousness]]] and that the remainder is not appropriated. Even if [the remainder] is appropriated, this is not reasonable, because [it is] separate from [that type of] consciousness [in question]. This is the fourth reason. (e) Further, the fallacy of repeated appropriation of the body will result [without alayavijnana], for the visual and other [types of sense-]consciousness sometimes operate and sometimes do not. This is the fifth reason. .


Regarding this proof, my interpretation is slightly different from Schmithausen's. I shall discuss this point in detail later (§3). For now, suffice it to say that the main point of this proof is upadana, which in this context, I believe, means physiological maintenance of the body. Particularly noteworthy in this proof is point (d), which clearly implies that alayavijnana maintains not only any particular sense faculty but also the whole body. On this last point, Schmithausen and I agree.


The eighth proof reads as follows:


(viii) kena karanenasaty alayavijnane cyutir api na yujyate / tathahi cyavamanasya vijnanam urdhvadeham va sitikurvad vijahati, adhodeham va / na ca manovijnanam kadacin na pravartate / ato 'py alayavijnanasyaiva dehopadanakasya vigamad dehasitata upa[la]bhyate dehapratisamvedana ca / na tu manovijnanasya / ato 'pi na yujyate // (Hakamaya [1978]2001, p. 337) For what reason is death not reasonable without alayavijnana? This is because the consciousness of a dying person leaves the top or bottom of the body cooling down the respective portions, but it is not the case that manovijnana ever fails to operate. For this reason also, because this very alayavijnana that appropriates the body leaves [it], the cooling and senselessness of the body is observed, not because manovijnana [leaves the body]. Therefore, [[[death]]] is not reasonable [without alayavijnana].


The interpretation of the line na ca manovijnanam kadacin na pravartate is difficult. Tibetan translations of the Vniscayasamgraharii and the Abhidhar- masamuccayabhasya1'1 and Chinese translations of the Viniscayasamgrahani W^, the Xianyang shengjiao lun and the Abhidharmasamuc- cayabhasya support the double negation. Thus, it is difficult to doubt the Sanskrit text here.


In Yamabe (2012), p. 216: en. 52 I tried to read this double negation in the sense of partial negation (“It is not the case that manovijnana never operates”). On the other hand, logically the point of this proof must be that “alayavijnana can leave the body little by little, while this is not possible for manovijnana (in other words, partial negation is possible only with alayavijnana and not with manovijnana)” (Yamabe 2015a, p. 159).


On this matter, I referred to Speijer ([1886]1973) in Yamabe (2016) (pp. [8]-[9]). Regarding repeated negations, Speijer makes the following observations: na tatra kascin na babhuva tarpitah (Ramayana 2.32.46) means “there was no one there but was made content” ([1886]1973, §406), but in fn. 4 to the same section, he states, “nadya bhoksye na ca svapsye na pasye na kadacana [[[Ramayana]] 3.47.8] is an instance of emphatic denial by means of repeating the negation, unless the reading be false and we must read na pasye ca kadacana.” Based on these observations, two opposite interpretations of the line in question seem possible, namely, strong affirmation, “it is, however, not the case that manovijnana ever fails to operate,” or emphatic denial, “manovijnana, however, never operates.”


Scriptures also say: “When various types of sentient beings are born or die, they definitely stay distracted but conscious, not unconscious or concentrated.” If this [[[alaya]]-]vijnana did not exist, the mind at the moments of birth and death [mentioned in these scriptural passages] could not exist. Therefore[, alaya- vijnana must exist]. Namely, upon birth and death, the body and mind are unclear and, as in a dreamless sleep or in a complete faint, clear functional consciousness definitely does not operate. Also, in these moments, the modes of cognition (akara) and the cognitive objects (alambana) of the six types of functional consciousness are unperceivable. Therefore, as in unconscious states, they definitely do not operate. The modes of cognition and the cognitive objects of the six types of functional consciousness must always be perceivable as in other states.


I believe the meaning is as follows: When one is about to be born or die, one's cognitions are unclear. Thus, the six types of clear functional consciousness (including manovijnana), whose cognitive functions are always perceivable, cannot arise. Therefore, what makes sentient beingsconscious” as stated in these scriptural passages must be alayavijnana. Since just after the quoted portion the Cheng weishi lun mentions gradual cooling down of the body either from the top or bottom at the moment of death (T31:17a13-14), the context is the same as that of the eighth proof of the Viniscayasamgrahani. Thus, based on Speijer's observation and the Cheng weishilun passage, I tentatively interpreted the line in question, na ca manovijnanam kadacin na pravartate, as “but manovijnana never operates” in Yamabe (2016) (pp. [8]-[9]) and in the original draft for the present article.


This interpretation, however, met with critiques of several scholars. Ogawa Hideyo pointed out that the Ramayana 3.47.8ab quoted by Speijer, nadya bhoksye na ca svapsye na pasye na kadacana, reads in Tokunaga Muneo's electronic text (available at http://gretil.sub.uni-goettingen.de/gretil/1_sanskr/2_epic/ramayana/ ram_03_u.htm, accessed March 8, 2018) as nadya bhoksye na ca svapsye na pasye 'ham kadacana (3.45.8ab in this version). Thus, Speijer's reservation applies, and this line cannot be quoted as an example of emphatic denial by means of repeated negations. On the other hand, Lambert Schmithausen and Daniel Stuart suggested the possibility of the following interpretation: “it is not the case that manovijnana is sometimes inoperative” (i.e., it is always operative; this would agree with the first interpretation of Speijer). Schmithausen further pointed out that the Chinese


translations of the relevant line of the Viniscayasamgrahani by Paramartha ( M iSFiii' “manovijnana is always in the body,” T 31:1019a22 [No. 1584]) and by Xuanzang “it is not the case that this manovijnana sometimes

fails to operate,” see nn. 18-20 of this paper) both support this interpretation. According to the detailed description of the process of death and rebirth in the Manobhumi, manovijnana seems operative just before death and throughout the process of reincarnation because the being sees various visions and also has emotional reactions (Yamabe 2013, pp. 612-654). The Cheng weishi lun also says (just after the passage quoted above):

Because the sixth mental consciousness (manovijnana) does not stay in the body, because its cognitive object is unfixed, and because it always continues [to operate] universally relying on the body, coldness should not be gradually experienced based on the [[[mental consciousness]]]. The statement that manovijnana always continues to operate seems to contradict the above quotation from the same text (T31:16c23-28 [No. 1585]). Perhaps a clear manovijnana does not operate but an unclear one keeps operating, or the Cheng weishi lun has some internal inconsistency. Not everything is clear, but many of the relevant passages strongly suggest that manovijnana is always operative even in one's dying process. Thus, in this article I would like to adopt tentatively the translation given above (“it is not the case that manovijnana ever fails to operate”).

In any case, when one reads this eighth proof in the Viniscayasamgrahani in conjunction with the relevant passages from the Manobhumi (see Yamabe 2013), the Mahayanasamgraha, §I.42, and the Cheng weishi lun (T31:16a23-17a22), the point of this proof must be that when one is about to die, alayavijnana, not manovijnana, leaves the body little by little, and the body becomes cold in the places that alayavijnana has already left. This again clearly indicates that in ordinary states alayavijnana physiologically maintains the whole body and keeps the body warm. Thus, both the first and the eighth proofs seem to presuppose that alayavijnana pervades the whole body. This point is expressly stated in Yogaacaara texts, including Sthiramati's Pancaskandhakavibhasa: kayo 'tra sendriyam sariram / samantam hi sariram vyapyalayavijnanam vartate / (Pancaskandhakavibhasa, Kramer ed., 106.11-12)


Here, “body” means the body endowed with sensory faculties, for alayavi- jnana operates pervading the whole body.


2 The Sixth Proof and the Meaning of “ Bodily Sensations


Another noteworthy statement is found in the sixth proof:


(vi) kena karanenasaty alayavijnane kayiko 'nubhavo na yujyate / tathahy ekatyasya yoniso va 'yoniso va cintayato va 'nuvitarkayato va samahitacetaso vaa 'samaahitacetaso vaa ye kaaye kayanubhava utpadyante 'nekavidhaa bahunaa- naprakaras te na bhaveyur upalabhyante ca / tasmad apy asty alayavijnanam // (Hakamaya [1978]2001, pp. 335-336)

For what reason is bodily sensation not reasonable without alayavijnana? This is because various and multifarious bodily sensations arise in the body of a person who is thinking or pondering properly or improperly, whose mind is concentrated or not. These [[[sensations]]] would not exist or be observed [without alayavijnana]. For this reason also, alayavijnana exists.

This proof states that since there is alayavijnana, manifold bodily sensations are experienced regardless of the state of the conscious mind, which, in light of such expressions as “thinking” (cintayatah) and “pondering” (anuvitarkayatah), must primarily refer to manovijnana.


2.1 Prasrabdhi


Here, what is particularly problematic is the compound samahitacetasah (“for someone whose mind is concentrated”). According to the Abhidharma/Yogaacaara system, kayavijnana does not operate from the second dhyana upward, so the explanation of bodily sensations presents a difficulty. On this point, one might refer to the following line from the commentary on the sixth proof in the Yuqieshidilun luezuan by Cien ^®: (T43:172b1-10 [No. 1829])

The Dharma Master says that the bodily sensation [here] means the sensation caused by meditative ease (prasrabdhi) in contact with the body. This statement attributed to the “Dharma Master” (in this context, Xuanzang

is noteworthy. Namely, if we follow this interpretation, alayavijnana is somehow linked to the feeling of ease (prasrabdhi) experienced in meditation. Using a Chinese commentary for interpreting an Indian text might be somewhat problematic, but Xuanzang's view may well have been based on the information he had obtained in India and should not be treated lightly. We should further note that, as Schmithausen has already pointed out, a somewhat comparable statement is found in the Abhidharmasamuccayabhasya as well, which actually is a quotation from the Xianyang shengjiao lun (T31:487a3-6; concerning the priti-sukha in the first and second dhyanas):


pntih katama / ya parivrttairayasya pravrttivijfianasrita cittatustih cittaud- bilyam cittaharsah cittakalyata satam veditam vedanagatam / sukham katamat / yah parivrttairayasyalayavijnanairita asrayanugraha airayahladah satam veditam vedanagatam iti / (Tatia ed., §61H(iii) [61.1-5], corresponding to Yugagyoa Shisoa Kenkyuakai ed., 409.11-15).

What is gratification? The satisfaction, delight, rapture, and soundness of mind based on the pravrttivijnanas of [a practitioner] whose personal basis has been transformed. It is pleasant feeling subsumed under vedana. What is bliss? The benefit and pleasure of the body based on the alayavijnana of [a practitioner] whose personal basis has been transformed. It is pleasant feeling subsumed under vedana.

Here the expression parivrttasrayasya, “of [a practitioner] whose personal basis has been transformed,” indicates that this is a discussion of the state achieved through the practice of meditation. In the early model of asrayaparivrtti found in the Sravakabhumi, dausthulya is replaced by prasrabdhi in this way: tatrasrayanirodhah prayogamanasikarabhavananuyuktasya yo dausthulyasa- hagata asrayah, so \[ nupurvena nirudhyate, prasrabdhisahagatas casrayah parivartate / (Quoted from Sakuma 1990a, p. 434, fn. 3, corresponding to Shukla ed. 283.6-8; Sakuma 1990b, 17.7-9; T30:439a19-21). In the [preceding passage], the extinction of the personal basis [means that] for a person engaged in the practice of preliminary meditation, the personal basis accompanied by inertness gradually disappears, and the personal basis accompanied by ease evolves.

In the Xianyang shengjiao lun quotation in the Abhidharmasamuccayabhasya, the word prasrabdhi does not appear. Nevertheless, priti and sukha there clearly refer to the meditative comfort one feels in mind and body respectively, and sukha is based on alayavijnana. If so, it is certain that in the Yogaacaara School people somehow linked meditative comfort to alayavijnana.

In the Abhidharma and Yogaacaara literature, asraya without contextual specifi-cation often means “body.” In the Xianyang shengjiao lun passage also, the asraya juxtaposed with citta is most likely used in that sense. This also suggests that asrayaparivrtti is not only spiritual but also physical transformation.

However, as early as the Pravrtti Portion, alayavijnana is said to be associated only with neutral (aduhkhasukha) sensation (Hakamaya [1979]2001: §1.2.(b)B.4.). If so, the link between “various and multifarious bodily sensations” (in the sixth proof) or sukha (in the Xianyang shengjiao lun passage) and alayavijnana is problematic. Further, the mental functions associated with alayavijnana are considered very subtle, and thus any sensation associated with it might not be something a practitioner could be easily aware of, as Schmithausen points out (Genesis, §8.3).


2.2 Upadana


Regarding the expression alayavijnanasrita, “based on alayavijnana,” in the Xianyang shengjiao lun pasage, the explanation of the Chinese commentary, the Yuqielun ji (T42:595c2-8 [No. 1828]), might give us some clue:

If one is at a stage of distracted mind and [discursive] thought, since there is dlayavijnana that appropriates (zhichi ^W) the five sense faculties and the seeds of the bodily sensations associated with the five [[[sense]]] vijnanas, bodily sensations can arise if one encounters external objects. If one's mind is concentrated, the five [[[sense]]] vijnanas do not operate in a conscious concentration (samadhi). If an external object is in contact with the body, the neutral sensation of alayavijnana perceives it there, and it is called bodily sensation. Also, since alayavijnana appropriates the five sense faculties in concentration and the seeds of bodily sensations associated with the five [[[sense]]] vijnanas, if an external object is in contact with the body, bodily sensations associated with the five [[[sense]]] vijnanas arise based on the sense faculties.


This is a fairly doctrinal argument and may not directly reflect actual practice. Nevertheless, the idea that alayavijnana “appropriates” (or, maintains [zhichi ^W, *a-da-] ) the five sense faculties, and that based on these sense faculties bodily sensations arise is noteworthy. Unlike samprayukta, which is a technical term meaning the association between a vijnana and its mental functions (caitta, caitasa dharmah), asrita may have a broader meaning. Therefore, if alayavijnana maintains the body, and if the maintained body makes the perception of meditative comfort possible, presumably that kind of indirect dependence could also be asrita. At least that kind of understanding is suggested by this Chinese commentary. If we follow this interpretation, even if the meditative comfort is not directly associated with alayavijnana, it could still be “based on” alayavijnana in an indirect way.


Regarding the significance of (upa-)a-da-, we should further refer to the Abhidharmic definition of upatta, “appropriated.” upattam iti ko 'rthah / yac cittacaittair adhisthanabhavenopagrhitam anugra- hopaghatabhyam anyonyanuvidhanat / yal loke sacetanam ity ucyate / (Abhidharmakosabhasya, Pradhan ed., 23.16-17)


What does “appropriated” mean? [It means] something that is taken hold ofas the [[[physical]]] basis [of a being] by [his/her] mind and its functions because [the physical basis and the mind and its functions] are consonant with each other in terms of benefit and harm. [This is] what is called “sentient” in the world.

See also a more directly relevant passage from the *Pancavi-jnanakayasamprayukta-manobhumi-viniscaya.

de la rnam par shes pa gnas pa dang mi gnas pa ni zin pa'i gzugs gang yin pa de ni rnam par shes pa gnas pa zhes bya ste / de yang rnam par shes pa dang 'dres pa grub pa dang bde ba gcig pa'i don gyis 'jug pa gang yin pa dang / tshor ba rnams skye ba'i rten du gyur pa gang yin pa'o // de las bzlog pa ni ma zin pa yin par rig par bya'o / (Pek. Sems-tsam, Zi 41b1-2; D. Sems-tsam, Zhi 39a4-5)

Within that [[[rupa-skandha]]], [there are rupas] inhabited by vijnana and not inhabited by vijnana. Regarding this [[[Wikipedia:distinction|distinction]],] appropriated rupas are called [[[rupas]]] inhabited by vijnana. These [[[rupas]]] are those that are mingled with vijnana and arise in the manner of sharing the same destiny [with vijnana] (ekayogaksema) and those that become the basis for generating sensations (vedana). Contrary to those should be understood to be the uappropriated [[[rupas]]].

It is likely that the sixth proof in the Vinisscayasamgrahani presupposes this kind of system. Since the mind “appropriates” (upa-a-da-) the body, the body remains sentient and becomes the basis for generating sensations. If so, the interpretation of the Yuqielun ji is in agreement with Indian sources. The sixth proof does not necessarily mean that alayavijnana itself directly experiences (or is associated with) various sensations. Rather, it may merely mean that since alayavijnana physiolog-ically maintains the body and keeps it sentient, various bodily sensations become indirectly possible.


2.3 Ekayogaksema


Another noteworthy point of these quotations is that they consider the states of the body and mind to be correlated. This mind-body correlation in terms of benefit and harm (anugrahopaghata) is referred to as ekayogaksema or anyonyayogaksema in Yogaicaira texts. In the following example, anugrahopaghata and anyonyayo- gaksema are clearly connected:

cittavasena (citta=alayavijnana) ca tan (=kalala-rupam) na pariklidyate, tasya ca anugrahopaghatac cittacaittanam anugrahopaghatah / tasmat tad anyonyayogaksemam ity ucyate / (Quoted from Alayavijnana, en. 184, corresponding to Manobhumi [[[Yogacarabhumi]], Bhattacharya ed., 24.16-17]) By the power of the mind (alayavijnana), that [[[body]] of the kalala] does not decay, and due to the benefit and harm of that [[[kalala]]], the benefit and harm of mind and its functions [are brought about]. Therefore, they are said to share the same destiny.

In this passage, the context is a description of an embryo just after conception. Thus, it has no direct relevance to meditation. However, in some contexts, anugraha is expressly linked to prasrabdhi.

anugrahikah prasrabdhih, tayaa kaayacittaanugrahakaranaat / (Abhidharmasamuc- cayabhasya, Tatia ed., §92(iv)(b), p.87; Yugagyo Shiso Kenkyukai ed., 565.6; T31:740a22-23)

“What benefits” means meditative ease, because [[[meditative]] ease] benefits the body and mind. Also, regarding upaghata (or a similar word), we can find this statement (though this one is less clear than the previous line): fefi^M^, (Xianyang shengjiao lun, T31:484c28)

In regard to the classification of dausthulya, in kamadhatu, dausthulya is gross and harmful.

Both prasrabdhi and dausthulya have explicitly practical connotations. Recall also that in the Xianyang shengjiao lun (cited in the Abhidharmasamuccayabhasya) passage on priti and sukha quoted above, meditative sukha was defined as asrayanugraha, “benefit to the body.” Thus, it is likely that anugraha and upaghata shared by the body and alayavijnana can refer to meditative ease and non- meditative inertness. I suspect that this mind-body correlation is relevant to the mind-body transformation in the process of asrayaparivrtti.


2.4 Dausthulya and Prasrabdhi


Accordingly, my understanding is that alayavijnana physiologically maintains the body and keeps it sentient and thus indirectly makes various bodily sensations possible. I think if we understand the relevant passages this way, it also solves Schmithausen's question. As I have briefly mentioned (§2.1), he argues that according to the Sravakabhumi, prasrabdhi becomes intensive and easily perceiv¬able as meditation progresses, as seen in this passage: tasyaivam atapino viharato yavad viniya loke \' [ bhidhyadaurmanasyam purvam eva samyakprayoga\sa[marambhakale suksma \cittaikagrata kaaya[ cittaprasirabdhir [ca] durupalaksya pravartate / yaa tatra siamatham vaa bhaavayato vipasiyanaam vaa prasvasthacittataa prasvasthakaayataa cit- takayakarmanyata, iyam atra kayacittaprasrabdhih / tasya saiva suksma cittaikagrata cittakayaprasrabdhis cabhivardhamana audarikam supalaksyam cittaikaagrataam \ citta[ kaayaprasirabdhim aavahati, yaduta hetu- paramparyadanayogena, tasya nacirasyedanim audariki cittakaya¬prasrabdhis cittaikagrata ca supalaksyotpatsyatiti ... (Sravakabhumi, Sakuma 1990b, Part 2, 26.3-27.1 [§G.2], referred to by Schmithausen [Genesis, §8.3, fn. 30])


For the [[[practitioner]] who is] thus eagerly practicing, when he first undertakes the correct preliminary practice as soon as he has removed desire and dejection with regard to the world, subtle mental concentration [and] not easily perceivable meditative ease of the body and mind arise. There, the soundness of the body and mind, namely the well-functioning state of the mind and body of [the practitioner] who is practicing calming or contemplation, is the meditative ease of the body and mind here. The same subtle mental concentration and the meditative ease of the mind and body of the [[[practitioner]]], while increasing, bring about intensive and easily perceivable mental concentration and the meditative ease of the mind and body. Namely, in the manner of successive causality, intensive and easily perceivable meditative ease of the mind and body and mental concentration will now arise for him shortly. According to Schmithausen, this description does not fit well with alayavijnana, “which is essentially subtle and hard to perceive, inaccessible to a person who has not yet seen the Truth(s)” (Genesis, §8.3).


As we have discussed above, however, this does not create a problem, since, in my understanding, alayavijnana by itself does not necessarily perceive various sensations. As Schmithausen points out, the Viniscayasamgrahani states that alayavijnana is not accessible for those who have not seen the Truth(s). My suspicion is that what practitioners realize at darsanamarga is not merely the comfortable sensations in their body and mind, but also the existence of a hidden physiological basis that makes the bodily and mental sensations possible. I shall come back to this point later. This passage from the Mahayanasamgraha is also relevant here:


yang gnas ngan len gyi mtshan nyid dang / shin tu spyangs pa'i mtshan nyid do // gnas ngan len gyi mtshan nyid ni nyon mongs pa dang nye ba'i nyon mongs pa'i sa bon gang yin pa'o / shin tu spyangs pa'i mtshan nyid ni zag pa dang bcas pa'i dge ba'i chos kyi sa bon gang yin pa ste / de med du zin na rnam par smin pas gnas kyi las su mi rung ba dang / las su rung ba'i bye brag mi rung bar 'gyur ro / (Mahayanasamgraha, §I.61A [[[Nagao]] 1982, pp. 54-55])

  • punar dausthulyalaksanam prassrabdhilaksanam ca / dausthulyalaksanam yat klesopaklesabijam / prasrabdhilaksanam yat sdsravakusaladharmabijam / tasminn avidyamane vipakasrayasya karmanyakarmanyaviseso na yujyate / (Reconstruction by Aramaki Noritoshi [[[Nagao]] 1982, p. 55]; partly emended by the present author)

Also, [there is alayavijnana] characterized by inertness and ease. [Alayavi- jnana] characterized by non-meditative inertness (dausthulya) is that which holds the seeds of primary and secondary defilements. [[[Alayavijnana]]] characterized by meditative ease (prasrabdhi) is that which holds the seeds of defiled wholesome dharmas. If this [[[Wikipedia:distinction|distinction]]] does not exist, the distinction between the well-functioning (karmanya) and not well-functioning (akarmanya) [states of the] maturation-body is not reasonable.

Thus, the akarmanya and karmanya states of the body are based respectively on the dausthulya and prasrabdhi phases of alayavijnana. Since akarmanya and karmanya must be very concrete states of the body that are commonly experienced, this seems to be a concrete statement based on practitioners' actual experience.

However, since dausthulyalaksana and prasrabdhilaksana are tied here to klesopaklesabija and sasravakusaladharmabija respectively, this may seem to be a doctrinal statement rather than a practical description.

Here, it is important to note that bija as a technical term does not refer to some sort of material grain found in our body. It refers to the overall state of our personal (especially physical) existence. When our body is regulated by meditation and is well functioning (karmanya), it does not give rise to klesas, but when it is still uncontrolled and not well-functioning (akarmanya), it does produce klesas, as stated in this passage:

... etac caiva katham bhavisyaty esam prahrnah klesa esam aprahrna iti / praptau satyam etat sidhyati tadvigamavigamat / asrayavisesad etat sidhyati / asrayo hi sa aryanam darsana- bhavanamargasamarthyat tatha paravrtto bhavati yatha na punas tat- praheyanam klesanam prarohasamartho bhavati / ato 'gnidagdhavrihivad abijibhute asraye klesanam prahrnaklesa ity ucyate / (Abhidhar- makosabhasya, Pradhan ed., 63.17-20; see also Yamabe (1997), pp. 197¬198; 444, en. 26) [Question: If there is no prapti (acquisition) as one of the cittaviprayukta- samskara,] how [do you explain] the distinction between those who have abandoned defilements (klesa) and those who have not? If prapti exists, [the distinction] is made in terms of the association with or separation from the [[[prapti]]].


[Answer:]This[distinctionbetweennobleandordinaryones]ismadeintermsof the distinct states ofthe “bases” (asrayavisesa). [This distinction is possible] because the “basis” (asraya) of noble ones is transformed (paravrtta) by the power of the paths of seeing and practice (darsanabhavanamarga), so that [the “basis”] is no longer capable ofgenerating the defilements to be abandoned by the [[[paths of seeing]] and practice]. Therefore, when one's “basis” has ceased to be the seedofdefilements (abijibhute asrayeklesanam), likeagrainofriceconsumedby the fire, [that basis] is called that which has abandoned defilements. As I have already mentioned, “basis” (asraya) without contextual specification frequently refers to the body. If so, I believe these passages show that Buddhist meditation is not merely a mental practice. It is to a large degree a bodily practice as well. The above passage from the Abhidharmakosabhasya would not presuppose alayavijnana, but in the system of Yogaacaara, in which alayavijnana is closely linked to asraya and maintains it, the transformation of asraya is naturally inseparable from the transformation of alayavijnana.


2.5 On the Problem of “Direct Perception


In a former article (Yamabe 2012, p. 204), I referred to the following passage from the Nivrtti Portion: de de ltar zhugs shing nyan thos kyi yang dag pa nyid skyon med pa la zhugs sam / byang chub sems dpa'i yang dag pa nyid skyon med pa la zhugs te chos thams cad kyi chos kyi dbings rtogs par byed pa na / kun gzhi rnam par shes pa yang rtogs par byed de / der kun nas nyon mongs pa thams cad la yang dag par 'dus par blta zhing / de nang gi so so'i bdag nyid la phyi rol gyi mtshan ma'i ching ba dang / nang gi gnas ngan len gyi 'ching bas bdag nyid bcings pa rtogs par byed to // (Nivrtti Portion, §I.5.(b)B.2. Hakamaya [1979]2001, p. 405)

  • sa evam pravistah siraavakasamyaktvaniyaamam vaavakraamya bodhi- sattvasamyaktvanyamam va sarvadharmadharmadhatum pratividhyaty alayavijnanam ca pratividhyati / sa ca tatra sarvan samklesan samastatah pasyati pratyatmam / atmanam bahyanimittabandhanena cadhyatmadausthulyabandhanena ca baddharn pratividhyati / (Reconstructed in collaboration with Aramaki )

Thus having realized [the truths], [the practitioner] attains the certitude of the supreme good (i.e., darsanamarga) for sravakas or for bodhisattvas and intuitively sees the Dharmadhaatu of all the elements and alayavijnana. There, he in person sees all the defiled elements comprehensively. He intuitively sees himself to be bound by external bonds of cognitive appearances and internal bonds of non-meditative inertness (dausthulyabandhana). Schmithausen notes the following points regarding this passage. In the Nivrtti Portion, alayavijnana is defined as duhkhasatya in the present life, what causes samudayasatya in the present life, and what causes duhkhasatya in the future life. If so, since darsanamarga is traditionally defined as the first direct comprehension of the four aryasatyas, it is natural that the Nivrtti Portion states that alayavijnana is directly perceived at darsanamarga. Thus, he suspects that this statement was a prescriptive one based on the doctrinal framework of the Nivrtti Portion, rather than a description of actual experience (Genesis, §8.3).

Considering the usage of prasrabdhi and dausthulya in the Yogaacaara literature, however, I have a contrary impression. I feel that this Nivrtti Portion passage was a description of practitioners' actual experience. The passages I have discussed in this paper indicate rather strongly that prasrabdhi and dausthlya were something practitioners experienced directly in their practice. To be sure, prasrabdhi and dausthulya themselves were well-known from early on and nothing novel, but, in my opinion, what the Yogaacaara practitioners realized anew was that the root of the prasrabdhi and dausthulya that they experienced was in a latent physiological substratum supporting their body and mind.


2.6 Meditative Comfort Pervading the Whole Body


The fact that some of the eight proofs presuppose that alayavijnana pervades the entire body might be connected with the old notion that piti (priti) and sukha pervade the whole body in meditation. For example, the Kayagatasatisutta states: Puna ca param, bhikkhave, bhikkhu vivicc' eva kaamehi vivicca akusalehi dhammehi savitakkam savicaram vivekajam pitisukham pathamajjhanam upasampajja viharati. So imam eva kayam vivekajena pitisukhena abhisandeti parisandetiparipureti parippharati, nassa kinci sabbavato kayassa vivekajena pitisukhena apphutam hoti. (Kayagatasatisutta, Maphima-Nikaya, No. 119, PTS ed., 3:92.23-28) Further, monks, a monk, having been separated from lusts and unwholesome dharmas, attains and stays in the first [stage of] meditation endowed with gross and subtle thought, arising from the separation, and accompanied by gratification and bliss. He makes the gratification and bliss arising from the separation flow round, permeate, fill, and pervade his body. No part of his whole body is not pervaded with gratification and bliss arising from the separation. As Anailayo (2014) has pointed out, the physical aspect is very important in the four stages of dhyana. In this context, the body clearly plays a positive role. We should also note that the Xianyang shengjiao lun passage (quoted in the Abhidharmasamuccayabhasya) that ties sukha to alayavijnana is a discussion of the priti-sukha in the first and second dhyanas. I think the experience of priti-sukha filling the body in meditation may well have been behind the idea that alayavijnana fills the whole body.


3 The First Proof Reexamined


Finally, let us return to the interpretation of the first proof. Schmithausen analyzes the first proof into these three portions (Alayavijnana, §9.2, my paraphrase):

i.a-c: Appropriating the body at the moment of conception.
i.d: Keeping it appropriated as a whole.
i.e: Keeping it appropriated throughout life.

Namely, Schmithausen understands the first three arguments of this proof in the context of reincarnation. On the other hand, in earlier articles (Yamabe 2012, pp. 186-187; Yamabe 2015a, pp. 139-145), I have expressed a view that the first proof does not concern conception. In my opinion, purvasamskarahetuka, “caused by prior karmic acts,” does not refer to the process of reincarnation from the former life to the present life. It merely shows that the basic nature of alayavijnana is predetermined by one's previous karma, and thus it does not change much throughout this life.

Schmithausen disagrees with my view (Genesis, fn. 1277[1.]). In his opinion, since the eighth (last) proof concerns death, it is natural that the first proof concerns conception. Also, since one of the present conditions for “the traditional set of vijnanas” (pravrttivijnanas), namely indriya, is missing at the moment of pratisandhi, the argument (i.a) fits perfectly well with the moment of conception.


3.1 Material Supporting Schmithausen's View


Schmithausen quotes the Pancaskandhakavibhasa (Kramer ed., 107.3-6) and points out thatthis proofwas understood in the context ofpratisandhi by Sthiramati (Genesis, fn. 1277[2.]). Table 1 juxtaposes the relevant passages from Viniscayasamgrahani and Pancaskandhakavibhasa. Undoubtedly, the Pancaskandhakavibhasa here presupposes the entirety of the first proof in the Viniscayasamgrahani. It is also clear that portion (a) of the Pancaskandhakavibhasa links argument (a) of the first proof to the moment of conception. This passage from the Pancaskandhakavibhasa would indeed support Schmithausen's argument.  

Table 1 Discussions of purvasamskarahetuka in the Viniscayasamgrahani and the Pancaskandhakavibhasa The first proof (Viniscaysamgrahani, loc. cit.) Pancaskandhakavibhasa (a) alayavijnanam purvasamskdrahetukam / caksuradipravrttivijnanam punar vartamanapratyayahetukam / yathoktam - indriyavisayamanaskaravasad vijnananam pravrttir bhavatlti vistarena / idam prathamam karanam / (a) tac ca yat purvasamskarahetukam sukrasonitasammurcchitavasthayam bhavam upai datte / tad evai maranait kai yopaidaitrtvenesyate / na caksuradivijnanani tatprsthalabdham va manovijnanam, tesam tata urdhvam vartamanacaksura dipratyayanimittatvait / (107.3-6)


Alayavijnana is caused by prior karmic acts whereas the visual and other [types of] functional consciousness are caused by present conditions. As has been said: “Consciousness operates based on a sense faculty, cognitive object, and attention,” and so on. This is the first reason. What has been caused by prior karmic acts (vipaka = alayavijnana) appropriates existence at the stage of merging of the semen and blood. The same [[[alayavijnana]]] is recognized as what appropriates the body until death. It is not the visual and other [types of sense] consciousness or the subsequent mental consciousness, because they depend on present conditions such as the visual sense faculty after that [[[moment]] of conception].

(b) api ca kusaldkusaldh sad vijnanakaya upalabhyante / idam dvitlyam karanam / (b) na ca tatranyan manovijnanam samskairahetukam, tasya kusalaku salatvat / samskairahetukam hy ekaintenavyakrtam, vipaikatvait / vipakas ca na vicchinnah sandhlyate, caksuradivat / (107.6-9) Further, the six groups of consciousness are observed to be wholesome or unwholesome. This is the second reason. In that situation, mental consciousness other [than alayavijnana] cannot be what has been caused by prior karmic acts, because it is either wholesome or unwholesome. What has been caused by karmic acts is always neutral, because it is karmic maturation. And karmic maturation is understood to be uninterrupted unlike the visual and other [types of consciousness].


(c) api ca sannam vijnanakayanam sajatir nopalabhyate ya 'vydkr^avipdka samgrhlta syat / idam titiyam. karanam / Also, among the six groups of consciousness, the kind that would be comprised in morally neutral karmic maturation is not observed. This is the third reason. (c) na calayavijnanad anyad ekantendvydkr^ajatTyam upalabhyate yad vipakavijnanatvena parikalpyate // (107.9-10) And no exclusively morally neutral type, which is considered to be the consciousness of karmic maturation, can be observed other than alayavijnana.

(d) api ca pratiniyatdsraydh sad vijndnakdydh pravartante, tatra yena yenasrayena yad vijnanam pravartate tad eva tenopattam syad avasiistasyainupaittateti na yujyate, upaittataipi na yujyate vijnanavirahitataya / idam caturtham karanam / In addition, the six groups of consciousness operate [based on] distinct bases. With regard to this, when a certain [type of] consciousness operates [based on its] individual basis, it is not reasonable that only that [type of consciousness] is appropriated by that [basis] and that the remainder is not appropriated. Even if [the remainder] is appropriated, this is not reasonable, because [it is] separate from the consciousness. This is the fourth reason. (d) api ca pratiniyatasrayapravrttatvat sannam vijnanakayanam vicchedapravrttatvaic ca na sarvasyaisirayasyopaidainam prasajyate / tathaihi yena yenasrayena yad vijnanam pravartate, sa eva tenopattah syat, avasiistasyainupaittatvam vijnanavirahitatvat / (107.11-14)

In addition, because the six groups of consciousness operate [based on] distinct bases, and because their operation can be interrupted, it follows that the whole personal basis cannot be appropriated. Namely, when a certain [type of] consciousness operates [based on its] individual basis, only that [particular basis] would be appropriated by that [type of consciousness] but the remainder would be unappropriated because [it is] separate from [that type of] consciousness.  


The first proof (Viniscaysamgrahani, loc. cit.) Pancaskandhakavibhasa

(e) api ca punah punar asrayasyopadanadosah prasajyate / tathahi caksurvijnanam ekada pravartate ekada na pravartate evam avasistani / idam pancaman karanam /

Further, the fallacy of repeated appropriation of the body will result [without alayavijnana], for the visual and other [types of sense-]consciousness sometimes operates and sometimes do not. This is the fifth reason. (e) tatha caksuradivijnanam vicchedena punah punah pravartata iti tadaissrayasya punah punar updddnadosaprasahgah / (107.14-15) Likewise, because the visual consciousness and so forth re-arise again and again after interruptions, the fallacy of repeated appropriation of its basis will result.

— (f) tasmad alayavijnanam eva pratisandhau kayam upaidattea ai maranaic ca samastakaiyaissrayena pravartata iti tad eva pratisandhibandhat prabhrty a maranat kayam upadatta (text, upadatta) ity adanavijnanam ity ucyate // (Pancaskandhakavibhasa, Kramer ed., 107.16¬108.2, quoted in Genesis, fn. 1281) Therefore, since only alayavijnana appropriates the body at [the moment of] conception and operates as the basis of the whole body until death, and since the same [[[vijnana]]] appropriates the body starting [the moment of] conception until death, it is called adanavijnana. aSic. Sandhi not observed

We should further note that there is a problematic line in argument (d) of the Viniscayasamgrahani noted by Hakamaya ([1978]2001, pp. 355-356, en. 49; 359): tad eva tenopattam syad, which literally would mean that vijnana (neuter) is appropriated by asraya (masculine). However, it is a standard tenet that vijnana appropriates asraya, and it is difficult to reverse this relationship (Yamabe 2002, p. 366; 2015a, p. 169, nn. 9-10). Moreover, if we interpret the line as “vijnana is appropriated by the asraya,” the word “remainder” (avasista) in the following line (avasistasyanupattateti na yujyate, upattatapi na yujyate vijnanavirahitataya) must logically refer to “the other vijnanas.” This amounts to saying, “The other vijnanas are separate from vijnana,” which does not seem reasonable. In the Pancaskan- dhakavibhasa, on the other hand, this line reads: sa eva tenopattah syat, which should mean that asraya (masculine) is appropriated by vijnana (neuter). Obviously the latter reading makes better sense. Either the Pancaskandhakavibhasa retains the original reading, or Sthiramati rectified the inattention to gender in the Viniscayasamgrahani. In either case, Sthiramati's statement is definitely significant.


3.2 Material Supporting Yamabe's View


My own interpretation (Yamabe 2012, p. 214, en. 27; see also Yamabe 2015a, pp. 142-143) was based on the passage from the Cheng weishi lun shown in the middle column of Table 2).

This Cheng weishsi lun passage also shares a few key expressions with the first proof and thus is definitely relevant. What is characterized as vipaka in this passage is the neutral sensation associated with alayavijnana, but since alayavijnana and the associated mental functions share the basic characteristics, the same character-ization also applies to alayavijnana itself. Vipaka is of course determined by one's former karma, but I believe the main point of this passage is not the karmic continuity between the former and present lives, but the unchanging, stable nature of the sensation associated with alayavijnana (and of alayavijnana itself). Once a determinative karma (aksepaka-karma) has brought about its maturation (vipaka), its nature does not change throughout a person's lifetime. On the other hand, pravrttivijnanas depend on present conditions and thus are constantly changing and unstable. It seems to me that the point of the first proof of the “Proof Portion,” is that such unstable vijnanas cannot maintain the body throughout a lifetime. Only the stable alayavijnana is capable of that function.

We should further note that the Pancaskandhakavibhasa itself also includes a similar statement, as shown in the right column of Table 2. Here, Sthiramati states that since alayavijnana is caused by former karmic acts, it is always vipaka only and is morally neutral. This is close to my view that the expression purva(karma) samskarahetuka refers to the stability of its fruition rather than the karmic continuity between the previous and present lives. Thus, I believe that these later testimonies are equivalent. There is, indeed, a passage that supports Schmithausen's interpretation, but my interpretation is also supported by the tradition. Therefore, we cannot decide conclusively based on these later interpretations. We need to return to the original text, the Viniscayasam- graham, itself.


3.3 Two Types of Upadana


Before discussing the first proof itself, I shall review some key concepts. As shown in the Mahayanasamgraha, §I.5, there are two types of upadana in the Yogaacaara system: ci'i phyir len pa'i rnam par shes pa zhes bya zhe na / (a) dbang po gzugs can thams cad kyi rgyu yin pa dang / (b) lus thams cad nye bar len pa'i gnas su gyur pa'i phyir te / 'di ltar (a) tshe ji srid par rjes su 'jug gi bar du des dbang po gzugs can lnga po dag ma zhig par nye bar gzung ba dang / (b) nying mtshams sbyor ba sbrel ba na yang de mngon par 'grub pa nye bar 'dzin pa'i phyir lus  Table 2 The first proof in the Viniscayasamgrahani compared with the Cheng weishi lun and the Pancaskandhakavibhasa The First Proof (loc. cit.) Cheng weishi lun (T31:11c29-12a8 [No. Pancaskandhakavibhdsd (Kramer ed., 1585]) 93.1-6)

The mode of cognition (akara) of this [[[alaya]]-]vijnana is extremely unclear. It cannot discriminate the modes of favorable and unfavorable objects and subtly and coherently continues to operate. For this reason, [[[alayavijnana]]] is only associated with neutral sensation (upeksa vedana). This associated sensation is also karmic maturation (vipaka) only. It operates following the determinative karma (aksepa- karma) in a former life and does not depend on present conditions. Because it operates following the power of [former] wholesome and unwholesome karma, it is only neutral sensation.b Unpleasant and pleasant sensations are derivatives of karmic maturation (vipakaja) and are not genuine karmic maturation. Because they depend on present conditions, they are not associated with this [[[alayavijnana]]]. Also, because this [[[alaya]]-]vijnana is always free from transformation, sentient beings always take it to be their inner self. If it is associated with unpleasant and pleasant sensations, it has transformation. Why can [[[sentient beings]]] take it to be [their] self? Therefore, it is only associated with neutral sensation. pravrttivijnanam kusalaklistdvydkrta- jatiyam, alayavijnanam tv ekaaafiyam / tatra na tavat kusalakusalajatiyam kussalaakussalair asamprayogaat / tad dhi pancabhir eva sarvatragais caitasaih samprayujyate, manaskarasparsavedanasanjnacetanabhih / alayavijnanam sasamprayogam purvakarmasamskarahetukatvad ekaantena vipaka evety avyakrtajatiyam eva //

Functional consciousness [belongs to] the wholesome, defiled, or neutral class, but alayavijnana [belongs to] one class. There, in the first place, [[[alayavijnana]] does] not [belong to] the class of wholesome or unwholesome, for it is not associated with wholesome or unwholesome [[[elements]]]. This is because it (alayavijnana) is associated only with the five omnipresent (sarvatraga) mental functions, namely attention (manaskara), contact (sparsa), sensation (vedana), ideation (sanjna), and volition (cetana). Since alayavijnana, together with its associates, is caused by karmic acts in a previous [[[life]]], it is invariably karmic maturation only and [belongs] only [to] the neutral class. gzung ba yin te / de lta bas na de len pa'i rnam par shes pa zhes bya'o / (Mahayanasamgraha, §I.5 [[[Nagao]] 1982, p. 11] )

  • kim karanam adanavijnanam ity ucyate / — (a) sarvarupindriyopadanatvena (b) sarvatmabhavopadanairayatvena ca / tathahi (a) tena panca rupindriyany upadiyante 'vinasaya yavad ayur anuvartate / (b) pratisamdhibandhe ca tadabhinirvrttyupadanatvenatmabhava upadiyate / evam tad idanavijfianam ity ucyate / (Reconstruction by Aramaki found in Nagao 1982, pp. 11-12, slightly modified by the present author)

[Question:] For what reason is [[[alayavijnana]] also] called adanavijnana? [Answer:] (a) [[[Alayavijnana]] is called adanavijnana] because it appropriates all the material sense faculties, and (b) because it is the basis for appropriating all [types of] bodies. Namely, (a) the five sense faculties are appropriated by it so that they do not perish throughout the duration of life, and (b) at [the moment of] conception, the body is appropriated by means of appropriating its actualization. Thus, it is called adanavijnana. Namely, (a) the appropriation of the body throughout life, and (b) the appropriation of a [new] form of existence at the moment of conception. Here, the second type of appropriation refers to the crucial moment of pratisandhi at which a new form of existence is assumed. In that sense it is different from the first type of upadana, which refers to the maintenance of the body one has attained at the moment of conception.


3.4 Paul Griffiths' Interpretation


Regarding the first proof of the Viniscayasamgrahani, Paul Griffiths (1986, p. 98) says (emphasis added): Yet if this is true, and if a complete account of conscious experience (the ‘functioning consciousnesses') can be given without reference to past events, then no place is allowed for the causal efficacy of karma, of actions performed in the past. And this in turn would mean that no account could be given of why a particular individual ‘appropriates' or takes on a particular body, rather than some other, when reborn, since the event of being reborn cannot involve any of the six functioning consciousnesses and thus has to be explained by the causal efficacy of past actions. And it is here that the store-consciousness comes in as an explanatory category, for it is the store-consciousness, caused as our text says by ‘prior karmic formations,' which can provide a locus for karmic effect and thus an explanation of how the rebirth process occurs.


Thus, in his opinion the point of this proof is the causal link between the past life to the present one. In his understanding, the explanation of the causal link between the past karma (cause) and the new existence (effect) is impossible without alayavijnana. Once a being has entered the womb, no alteration of the type of existence is possible. So, clearly he understands that this proof discusses the moment when a new type of existence is taken hold of. In other words, in his understanding, this proof refers to the second type of upadana of the Mahayanasamgraha, §I.5.

As Schmithausen points out while discussing Matsumoto's argument, in the first proof of the Viniscayasamgrahani, at least points (d) “appropriation of all the sense faculties” and (e) “continuous appropriation” of the first proof clearly refer to the first type of appropriation in the Mahayanasamgraha, §I.5 (the appropriation of the body throughout life [Genesis, §233 ]). It is strange that Griffiths does not consider this possibility at all. As I have pointed out, it is noteworthy that the word pratisandhi, or any similar expression, does not appear at all in the first proof (see Yamabe 2012, p. 187). Also, Griffiths argues that “the event of being reborn cannot involve any of the six functioning consciousnesses,” but according to the detailed description of the process of rebirth in the Manobhumi of the Basic Sectio n of the Yogacarabhumi, at least manovijnana and caksurvijnana are operative during the period of antarabhava. See the following quotations: tasya ca divyacaksur iva caksur na vyaahanyate yaavad upapattyaayatanaat / (Manobhumi [[[Yogacarabhumi]], Bhattacharya, ed.], 19.9; Yamabe (2013), p. 619) His eyes, which are like divine eyes, reach as far as the place of his [[[Wikipedia:future|future]]] rebirth without being obstructed. sacet stri bhavitukamo bhavati puruse samragah samvasecchotpadyate / sacet puruso bhavitukaamo bhavati tasya striyaam samragah samvaasecchotpadyate / tatas tatsamipam ca gacchati / striyai ca stryapagamanecchotpadyate purusasya ca purusaipagamanecchai /(Manobhumi [[[Yogacarabhumi]], Bhat- tacharya, ed.], 23.6-9;

If [the being to be reborn] desires to become female,passion driving to intercourse arises toward the man. If [it] desires to become male,passion driving to intercourse arises in it for the woman. Thereupon, it approaches them, and for [a being who would become] female, the wish to be away from the woman arises, whereas for [a being who would become] male, the wish to be away from the man [arises]. Here, the first passage clearly shows that a being sees things during the period of antarabhava, while the second one states that the being develops passion (samraga) just before entering the womb, which means that its manovijnana is operative then. Thus, we cannot simply assert that pravrttivijnanas are not involved in the process of rebirth. The role of pravrttivijnanas in the process of rebirth is not entirely clear, but in any case Griffiths' attempt to understand the entirety of the first proof in the context of causal link in the process of rebirth would be difficult for the reasons stated above.


3.5 Lambert Schmithausen's Interpretation


Meanwhile, Schmithausen's argument needs to be treated separately from Griffiths', but he also understands that the first half of the first proof (arguments a-c) refers to the situation just after conception. As we have seen, such an interpretation did exist in later Yogaacaara tradition in India, but a different interpretation also existed. Therefore, we cannot determine the interpretation of the first proof based on these later interpretations and need to come back to the first proof itself. When I reread the first proof keeping Schmithausen's comments in mind, I still do not think that it refers primarily to the process of reincarnation or the moment of conception.

First, as I have already stated, pratisandhi is not mentioned at all in this proof. This point should not be treated lightly. Then, regarding argument (a) of the first proof, it would be a matter of course that the surface layers of mind (i.e., pravrttivijnanas) are not (at least, fully) operative in early stages of pregnancy because the sense faculties are still not formed. If so, obviously pravrttivijnanas cannot physiologically maintain the body. To my mind, it does not make much sense to discuss something self-evident. On the other hand, in the context of daily cognition after birth, it is meaningful to compare pravrttivijnanas, which depend on present conditions and are changeable, and alayavijnana, which is predetermined by past karma and is unchangeable. If we interpret argument (a) this way, we can easily understand that such pravrttivijnanas change their moral nature depending on present conditions (argument [b]) and are often interrupted (argument [e]), again depending on present conditions. Thus, we can understand the entirety of the first proof coherently.

In addition, Schmithausen understands arguments (b) and (c) also as referring to the situation just after conception. Here also, since (at least most of) the pravrttivijnanas are not operative yet, it does not seem reasonable to discuss the moral nature of something nonexistent, or to discuss whether or not it is karmic maturation. It makes much better sense in the daily context after birth, in which pravrttivijnanas routinely arise. Considering these points, I believe the most natural interpretation of the first proof is that it compares the functions and characteristics of the pravrttivijnanas and alayavijnana during one's lifetime after birth. In this way, we can understand the entirety of the first proof in one context, namely physiological maintenance of the body throughout life (primarily after birth), and the arguments of this proof can be understood coherently. The fact that this proof is the first of the eight proofs does not necessarily mean that it is connected to the first moment of life. It does not seem to me that the eight proofs are arranged in such a systematic way.


I should add, however, that my statement in Yamabe (2012) was primarily directed at Paul Griffiths. I cannot agree with his interpretation for the reasons stated above. However, we cannot treat Schmithausen's argument in the same way. Schmithausen translates the second type of appropriation in the Mahayanasam- graha, §I.5 as “taking hold of a new existence/body,” “appropriating a new body” (Genesis, §130.2.3; §202; §233) and so forth, but in Genesis, fn. 1277 under discussion, he uses the expression, “‘biological' appropriation of the body.” Thus, it is certain that he understands all parts of the first proof as discussions of the first type of appropriation in the Mahayanasamgraha, §I.5. (This point is expressly stated not only in §233, quoted above, but also in §235 of Genesis).

If I can understand Schmithausen's argument this way, it may not fundamentally contradict my own view. Once a vijnana has merged with the (still undeveloped) body (i.e., the embryo), the same basic mechanism of physiological maintenance would operate, and this mechanism lasts until the moment of death. I have no theoretical reason to rule outthis interpretation. Thus, though I understand the firstproofprimarily to refer to the mechanism of upadana after birth, theoretically it should be possible to extend the same mechanism to the embryonic stage as well. In that sense, my understanding might not be so radically different from Schmithausen's. 

I believe the same interpretation is also supported by the Mahayanasamgraha, §I.35, which clearly discusses a situation after reincarnation. nyin mtshams sbyor ba sbrel zin pa rnams kyi dbang po gzugs can 'dzin par byed pa yang de las gzhan rnam par smin pa'i rnam par shes par mi 'thad de / de ma yin pa'i rnam par shes pa gzhan rnams ni (i) gnas so sor nges pa dang (ii) mi brtan pa'i phyir ro // rnam par shes pa med pa'i dbang po gzugs can ni mi rung ngo // (Nagao 1982, p. 38 [numbering added, also to the following two paragraphs])

  • baddhapratisamdhinam ca rupindriyasamparigrahakam vipakavijfianad anyan nopapadyate / (i) pratiniyatasrayatvad (ii) adhruvatvac ca tadanyavi- jnananam / na ca rupindriyany avijfianani yujyante / (Aramaki's reconstruc¬tion in ibid.)

For those who have already been reincarnated, [a vijnana] other than the vipakavijnana that takes hold of the material sense faculties is not possible,


(i) because the other vijnanas have distinct bases and (ii) are unstable. Material sense faculties without vijnana are not reasonable.


Here, the two italicized reasons seem to presuppose respectively arguments (d) and (e) of the first proof, and thus this passage also likely presupposes the first proof. In the Mahayanasamgraha, the process of transition from antarabhava to conception is discussed in the preceding §I.34, and the interdependence of vijnana and namarupa in the subsequent §I.36. Thus, both the context and the content of §I.35 itself clearly show that this section concerns conception. However, since this is a discussion “for those who have already been incarnated,” conception has already taken place. This cannot be a discussion of the moment of taking hold of a new existence. Because the process from antarabhava to pratisandhi is already explained in detail in §I.34, the context does not require a discussion of the same issue in §I.35. Therefore, we cannot interpret §I.35 in the sense of the second appropriation of §I.5 (acquisition of a new existence).

Vasubandhu's commentary on this portion is concise but clear: nying mtshams sbyor ba sbrel zin pa zhes bya ba ni bdag gi lus rab tu thob pa'o / de las gzhan zhes bya ba ni kun gzhi rnam par shes pa ma yin pa ni gzhan pa ste / gzhan rnam par shes pa drug po rnams ni gnas so sor nges pa dang g.yo ba'i phyir ro / ji ltar mig gi rnam par shes pa gnas so sor nges pa yin pa bzhin du rna ba'i rnam par shes pa la sogs pa lhag ma rnams kyi yang rna ba la sogs pa dbang po gzugs can rnams ni rten yin no / des na gal te rnam par Pek. ba. shes pa de dag gi rang rang gi gnas blangs par gyur la / rnam par shes pa de rnams 'gags par gyur pa na thob pa'i mig la sogs pa rnams rul par 'gyur ro // (Mahayanasamgrahabhasya, §I.35, Pek. Sems-tsam, Li 159b7-160a2; D. Sems-tsam, Ri 135b2-4)


“One who has already been reincarnated” means one who has acquired an atmabhava. As for the phrase “other than,” [[[vijnanas]]] other than alaya- vijnana are “others,” because the other six vijnanas have distinct bases and are changeable. As visual consciousness has its distinct basis, for the remaining auditory and other types of consciousness, material sense faculties like ear are the bases. Therefore, if these types of consciousness appropriate their own respective bases, when these types of consciousness cease, the sense faculties appropriated [by them] will perish. (Translated from the Tibetan version) Thus, “distinct bases” refer to the caksus corresponding to caksurvijnana, srotra corresponding to srotravijnana, and so forth (as the Upanibandhana poits out, manas is not physical, so what is at issue here must substantially be the relationship between the five vijnanas and the five indriyas). “Unstable” means that these five vijnanas can be interrupted. Here, since the five indriyas are not formed in the early stages of pregnancy, the five sense vjnanas naturally do not arise. Since what has not arisen in the first place cannot be interrupted, if we follow these commentaries, the discussion in §I.35 must mainly refer to the stage in which the five indriyas have already been formed (primarily after birth), even if the starting point is just after conception. About this, Nagao states: “After an embryo is conceived, whether it is in the womb or is already born, there is a physical body, which is represented by the five sense faculties (five indriyas)” (1982, p. 199). This understanding is basically 

Table 3 The fourth proof in the Vini scayasa mgrahani compared with the Pancaskandhakavibhasa


The fourth proof of the Viniscayasamgrahani Pancaskandhakavibhasa (Kramer, ed.) (Hakamaya [1978]2001, p. 333) santananuvrttisb ca / atra hy alayavijnanam nikaiyasabhaigaintaresu pratisandhim upaidaiyac yaivac cyutim taivat ksanaprabandhapravaihena vartate, na tv antarantara vicchidyate, pravrttivijnanavat / (93.7-9) “[[[Alayavijnana]]] operates continually.” Because, having been conceived in another [new] category of beings (nikayasabhaga), alayavijnana operates continually as a series of moments until death. It is not interrupted occasionally unlike functional consciousness.

tathahi caksurvijnananantaram srotradivijnanany utpadyante, srotravijnananantaram caksuradivijnanani / evam ghranadivijnananantaram iti vistarena vaicyam / (93.9-12) For example, auditory and other types of consciousness arise just after visual consciousness, visual and other types of consciousness just after auditory consciousness. Likewise, it should be said that just after olfactory and other types of consciousness, and so forth. tathaihi kusialainantaram akusialam utpadyate, akusialainantaram kusialam, tadubhayainantaram avyakrtam, hlnadhatukanantaram madhyadhatukam, madhyadhatukanantaram pranitadhatukam, evam pranitadhatukanantaram yavad dhinadhatukam, saisravainantaram anai sravam, anaisravainantaram saisravam, laukikainantaram lokottaram, lokottarainantaram laukikam / na ca tesaim tathai bijatvam yujyate / dirghakalasamucchinnapi ca samtatis cirena kailena pravartate, tasmaid api na yujyate /

This is because an unwholesome [[[element]]] arises just after a wholesome [[[element]]], a wholesome [[[element]]] just after an unwholesome [[[element]]], a neutral [[[element]]] just after both [[[wholesome]] and unwholesome elements], what belongs to the middle realm just after what belongs to the inferior realm, what belong to the superior realm just after what belongs to the middle realm. Similarly up to what belongs to the inferior realm just after what belongs to the superior realm. A pure [[[element]]] just after a defiled [[[element]]], a defiled [[[element]]] just after a pure [[[element]]], a supramundane [[[element]]] just after a mundane [[[element]]], a mundane [[[element]]] just after a supramundane [[[element]]]. These [[[elements]]] in this manner cannot be the seeds of one another. Even if interrupted for a long time, a stream resumes even after a long interval. For this reason also, this is not reasonable. tathai kusialainantaram akusialam utpadyate, akusialainantaram kusialam, tadubhayainantaram avyakrtam hinadhutukanantaram madhyadhatukam, madhyadhatukanantaram pranitadhatukam, pranitadhatukanantaram apramtadhatukam, aprarntadhatukanantaram madhyadhatukam iti vistarena vaicyam / naipy ekam dravyam ai maranaid anuvartata iti // (93.12-16)

Likewise, it should be said that an unwholesome [[[element]]] arises just after a wholesome [[[element]]], a wholesome [[[element]]] just after an unwholesome [[[element]]], a neutral [[[element]]] just after both [[[wholesome]] and unwholesome elements], what belongs to the middle realm just after what belongs to the inferior realm, what belong to the superior realm just after what belongs to the middle realm, what belongs to an inferior realm just after what belongs to a superior realm, what belongs to a middle realm just after what belongs to an inferior realm, and so forth. It is not the case that one substance continues until death.


accurate, and Schmithausen expresses a similar view (Genesis, §234 ). On this point, I have no objection. I would like to reiterate, however, that the Mahayanasamgraha, §I.35 does not discuss the process of rebirth from antarabhava to pratisandhi. If, as I understand, this portion is closely tied to the first proof in the Viniscayasamgrahani, Griffiths' understanding is not tenable for this reason also. Finally, I juxtapose the portion of the Pancaskandhakavibhasa that immediately follows the portion quoted above (in Table 2) with the fourth proof in the Viniscayasamgrahani in Table 3.

The purport of the Pancaskandhakavibhasa here is that alayavijnana keeps operating without interruption from conception till death. According to argument (e) of the first proof in the Viniscayasamgrahani, this is a prerequisite for the physiological maintenance of the body. Therefore, this passage from the Pancaskandhakavibhasa is in line with what we have already seen. What is noteworthy here is the last portion. Here the Pancaskandhakavibhasa very likely refers to the fourth proof of the Viniscayasamgrahani. The purport of the fourth proof, however, is that the pravrttivijnanas cannot be the seeds of one another, but the main point of the Pancaskandhakavibhasa here is the continuous operation of alayavijnana. Clearly the contexts are different. This example suggests that Sthiramati does not always faithfully convey the original meaning of the Yogacarabhumi. If so, his statement may not always be an authoritative standard for interpreting the Yogacarabhumi.


3.6 My Interpretation of the First Proof Based on the foregoing discussions, my interpretation of the first proof is as follows. I understand that the first proof of the Viniscayasamgrahani compares the functions and characteristics of the pravrttivijnanas and alayavijnana primarily in a daily context after birth and argues that only alayavijnana can physiologically maintain the body. What is at issue here is not the causal link between the previous life and the present one. Neither the content of the first proof itself nor the interpretations of later Yogaacaara literature supports Griffiths' interpretation. Nevertheless, once alayavijnana is merged with the body, basically the same mechanism of physiological maintenance of life should operate for both an undeveloped embryo and a developed body after birth. Therefore, it is possible that the situation just after conception is also implied by the first proof, and it is presumably for this reason that the Mahayanasamgraha, §I.35 reflects such an understanding. Since the Mahayanasamgraha was truly an influential text in Indian Yogaacaara, similar interpretations seem to have been inherited by the Pancaskan- dhakavibhasa and later by Tsong-kha-pa. If so, Schmithausen's and my views on this matter may not be as radically different as they seem.


Tentative Conclusions

In the foregoing discussions, I have made the following observations:
(1) Alayavijnana physiologically maintains the whole body and keeps it sentient. Alayavijnana pervades the whole body.
(2) Alayavijnana is somehow linked to meditative ease (prasrabdhi) and non- meditative inertness (dausthulya) in the body and mind.
(3) Alayavijnana and the body are correlated in terms of benefit (anugraha) and harm (upaghata).
(4) This correlation is observable in meditative context as well.
(5) When the asraya (body) is transformed, it no longer gives rise to klesas.
(6) The transformation of the body from the akarmanya phase to the karmanya phase seems to be based on the transformation of alayavijnana from the dausthulya mode to the prasrabdhi mode.

(7) Alayavijnana is unperceivable unless one enters darsanamarga.
(8) Alayavijnana is directly perceived at darsanamarga in conjunction with dausthulyabandhana.
Taking all these points together, I strongly suspect that alayavijnana is not only a subconscious layer supporting the surface mind but also a latent physiological basis supporting the body. When the body and mind are transformed, this transformation is based on and linked to the transformation of that physiological basis. The transformation of body and mind from a state of dausthulya to a state of prasrabdhi was well known from early on. What Yogaicaira practitioners discovered anew was that behind this transformation, there is a subconscious and physiological root that makes the transformation possible.
The passages collected in this paper seem to me to point to that direction. Needless to say, this is just a preliminary hypothesis, and much more research will be required to examine its validity.

Acknowledgement This paper is based on the presentation I made at the international workshop, entitled, “Yogaicaira Buddhism in Context: Approaches to Yogaicaira Philosophy throughout Ages and Cultures,” held at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Miinchen on June 19-20, 2015. I thank Professor Jowita Kramer, Ms. Constanze Pabst von Ohain, and Mr. Marco Walther for organizing this fruitful workshop and for inviting me as one of the keynote speakers. Discussions with participants of the workshop, in particular with Professors Lambert Schmithausen and Daniel M. Stuart, were highly helpful for improving this paper. Professors Ogawa Hideyo and Matsumoto Shiro and the two anonymous reviewers gave me helpful comments. I further thank Professor Robert Kritzer for kindly checking the English of this paper. I thank Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Miinchen for providing travel expenses for attending this workshop. The research for this article was funded by Waseda University Grant for Special Research Projects (Project Number: 2015S-020) and JSPS Kakenhi Grant (Project Number:

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.


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94 As seen above (fn. 83), kayavijnana might be an exception.




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