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By Alex Wayman

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The only disciple whose name is recorded, one of the most famous of all Buddhist teachers, is his younger brother Vasubandhu. In Paramartha's account, Asariga, not long before his death, converted Vasubandhu to the Mahayana and explained the Mahayana doctrine to him. Vasubandhu then proceeded to write commentaries of his own on the Mahayana works and became famous in this field. The Maitreya inspiration of Asariga naturally gave spiritual power to Vasubandhu's school. In turn, the maintenance of the Asariga legend by Vasubandhu and by subsequent teachers doubtless is the basic reason for the translation of Asariga's chief works into Chinese and later into Tibetan, and for the existence even today of the original Sanskrit, either already edited or in manuscript form, of much of his work.

The oldest was or became distinguished from the others by the name AsaIiga, the youngest by the name Virificivasta, the middle son keeping the name Vasubandhu. According to a secondary tradition introduced into China and the chief Tibetan tradition, AsaIiga and Vasubandhu had the same mother; according to the Tibetan Bu-ston, she was a woman of the Brahmaqa caste called *Prasannasila (T. gsal baM tshul khrims). According to the latter source, AsaIiga's father was a K~atriya, while Vasubandhu's was a Brahmaqa.

28 Wayman, "A Report on the Sravaka-bhiimi and Its Author (AsaJiga)," JBRS, 42 (September-December, 1956),324. Literary History 31 (Taisho, 30. 658b-8, 9). lciira. This indicates that Asanga used the latter work as a guide for the organization of material in his Bodhisattvabhumi. grahar;'i part of the Y ogilcilrabhumi. What is the meaning of the expression bodhisattva-pitalca, or bodhisattva-sutra-pi(alca, which occurs at various points in the Bodhisattvabhumi? On pages 156-157 it occurs in a compound with final member miltrlcil.

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