30 June 2003. pp. 281~310
With the proposition of the "theory of two Vasubandhus" by E. Frauwallner and his disciple Schmithausen, it became no longer possible for researchers in the field of Buddhist studies to avoid an important philological question regarding the works of Vasubandhu: Of those texts that have traditionally been handed down in China and Tibet as works of Vasubandhu, which were in fact ascribable as the real works of Vasubandhu-the-author-of-theAbhidharmakośa? Even though there is general agreement among Buddhist scholars that among Vasubandhu's works the treatise Vyākhyāyukti is one whose study is essential to the understanding of the process of development and transformation in Vasubandhu's thought, the fact is that the work remains for the large part neglected, due to the absence of both the Sanskrit original and the Chinese translation version. Given this situation, I have attempted in this article, to trace and follow up on the process of the unfolding of Vasubandhu's thought from its Abhidharma Buddhism background to its eventual Mahāyāna orientation, based on a detailed analysis of the Vyākhyāyukti, all the while assuming that there was in fact only "one Vasubandhu" all along.In this article, I begin with a philological overview of Vasubandhu's major works as the logical starting point for the study of Vasubandhu's thought. In so doing I bear out the fact that traditional Chinese and Tibetan theories on the facts concerning Vasubandhu's life are closer to the historical truth than the "theory of two Vasubandhus". Methodologically, I take Vasubandhu-the author-of-the Abhidharmakośa-kārikā as my beginning point of reference, and then follow as guideline Vasubandhu's own allusions to related texts. Based on these sources, I draw up a definitive list of Vasubandhu's works, which may be organized as follows:Vasubandhu, the author of the Abhidharmakośa-kārikā went on to write the Abhidharmakośa-bhāṣya, and later the Vyākhyāyukti, the Karmasiddhi, the Pratītyasamutpāda-vyākhyā, in that order.The Vyākhyāyukti is a treatise which sets down the hermeneu- tical guidelines for accepting not only the early Agamas, but also the later Mahāyāna scriptures as the original teachings of the Buddha himself. In the work, Vasubandhu refutes the Hīnayāna claim that the Mahāyānist scriptures cannot be ascribed as having been the actual words of the Buddha, arguing that such Mahāyāna texts as the Prajñāpāramitā-sūtra be accepted as authentic teachings of the Buddha himself, based on the hermeneutical principle of abhiprāya ("hidden meaning"). Moreover, we see that in explicating the hidden meaning contained in the Mahāyāna scriptures, Vasubandhu takes recourse to sutras which allegedly reveal the full intentions of the Buddha (Ch. liao-i ching), such as the Saṃdhinirmocana-sūtra and the Laṅkāvatāra-sūtra, thus introducing Vijñānavādin theories into his system in the process. From this we can gather that Vasubandhu was already making his mark as a thinker belonging to the Mahayana Vijñānavādin school at the time of writing the Vyākhyāyukti. Thus, thanks to the Vyākhyāyukti, we are now able to understand more systematically the beginnings of Vasubandhu's intellectual leanings toward Mahayana, the facts surrounding which we were hitherto only able to glean in fragments through the Abhidharmakośabhāṣya.
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  • Publisher :Korean Association of Buddhist Studies
  • Publisher(Ko) :불교학연구회
  • Journal Title :Korea Journal of Buddhist Studies
  • Journal Title(Ko) :불교학연구
  • Volume : 6
  • No :0
  • Pages :281~310