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Buddhism -Consciousness-only School 唯識宗. Hsuan-Tsang 玄奘 (596?602?-664). I. Sociopolitical influence more than theoretical influence Brought back huge amount of Buddhist works Translation of the works Introduction of Buddhist vocabularies to Chinese life

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buddhism consciousness only school
Buddhism -Consciousness-only School 唯識宗

Hsuan-Tsang 玄奘


I. Sociopolitical influence more than theoretical influence
  • Brought back huge amount of Buddhist works
  • Translation of the works
  • Introduction of Buddhist vocabularies to Chinese life
  • Theoretically, the hair splitting analysis is alien to the Chinese mind, which is more inclined to make synthesis
II. Eight Consciousness

1-5: Five sense consciousnesses

(eye, ear, nose, tongue, body)

眼識,耳識,鼻識,舌識,身識 Third transformation 三能變

different spheres of externalworld the consciousness that discriminates

spheres of objects 了別境識

6: Sense-center consciousness

意識 (forms conceptions)

external world as a whole

7: Thought-center consciousness Second transformation 二能變

末那識 (wills and reasons) the consciousness that deliberates 思量

takes alaya as its object

8: Storehouse consciousness First transformation 初能變

阿賴耶識 alaya. It stores the seed the consciousness whose fruits

in flux, being influenced by (retribution) ripen at later times 異熟

the first 6 consciousnesses

and produces manifestations

Each consciousness is further analyzed into four functional portions: Objective, subjective, self-witnessing, rewitnessing.

Each consciousness is also divided into many sub-categories and elements.

Buddhism -Hua Yan School 華嚴宗The most philosophical Buddhist school in ChinaInterpenetration and mutual identification/inclusion

Treatise on the Golden Lion華嚴金獅子章

Hundred Gates to the Sea of Ideas of the Flowering Splendor Scripture華嚴經義海百門

Fa-tsang 法藏


I. Discussion of the five doctrines
  • Hinayana (Theravada) vs. Mahayana
  • Assessment of different schools: Self-justification through a review of history.
  • An inclusive and developmental approach: Each stage is higher than the one before but contains the insight of the previous one in itself: from simple denial of the reality of characters, to an affirmation of absolute emptiness; from absolute emptiness to the recognition of dependent arising or co-existence; from going beyond dependent arising to sudden enlightenment, from non-attachment to coming to the state of “the all is the one, the one is the all” state of interpenetration and inclusion.
II. Interpenetration and mutual inclusion
  • Hall and Ames: Four kinds of part-whole relations –

a) extrinsic parts and whole – a pile of potatoes.

b) functionally interrelated – an engine and the car.

c) the whole as an archetype and the parts as instances – a chair and "furniture."

d) a part reflects or contains its whole in some adumbrated sense – hologram.

Fa-zhang's Indra’s net example and the hall of mirrors (412).

The gold lion as an illustration:

1. From the relationship between substance/principle (the gold) and characters (the lion)

– The gold has no nature of its own. It shows itself through its form/characters, which is caused by the craftsman. Apart from the gold there is no character of the lion. The interpenetration of the substance and its characters. Neither obstruct the other.

– Each part of the substance (the gold, one, the principle) reflects all the other parts (the parts of the lion, many, dharma, the characters or facts), and all the other parts reflect this part.

– The difference between the substance and characters arises because when we look at the gold, there is no lion but gold, and when we look at the lion, there is no gold but the lion. When one is manifest the other is hidden. When we look at them both, they are both manifest and hidden. (7.5, p. 411-2)

2. From causal relation

– The way that the gold and the lion are formed is done through the mind. (7.10, p. 413)

– The lion (dharma) comes into existence and goes out of existence, linked by their causes. So instances of time (past, present, future) all contain each other. When one arises, all others arise. (7.9, p. 412)

III. Six Characters (section 8)

1. Universality

2. Specialty

3. Similarity

4. Difference

5. Integration

6. Disintegration

Three pairs, all present in the gold lion.

When the holistic vision is attained, one reaches Nirvana.

IV. Four kinds of Causes:

1. Karma causation (业感缘起)

2. Causation by the storehouse consciousness (alaya) (赖耶缘起)

3. Causation by thusness (真如缘起)

4. Dharmadhatu causation (法界缘起)

Daily One-minute Paper

1. What is the big point you learned in class today?

2. What is the main, unanswered question you leave class with today?