[Advaita-l] Vijnanavada and the concept of Alaya vijnana.

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Fri Mar 1 12:36:20 CST 2013

Dear friends,

The scholars have the knack of making simple things difficult and that has been from the time of Vasubandhu down to Dharmakiriti and so on. They discard the old terminologies as being inadequate and that is probably to impress on the layman, by making difficult for the latter to comprehend.. Nagarjuna shouted from the rooftop that Shunyata is not not-existence. This is in line with the illustration of Lord Buddha that when water evaporates it disappears from a vessel and that does not mean that water becomes non-existent, though the empty vessel is left behind.  The Yogachara wanted to become more emphatic saying that there is no loss of information when one dies. The mass of information gathered during the lifetime (through the jnanendriyas) is the "alayavijnana" which goes to the next birth. It will not be wrong to say that in Buddhism what dies is the anatma and what goes to the next birth is the "alayavijnana", which is nothing but the soul or
 "atma" as the Hindus call it.

My two cents please.

Sunil KB

 From: Srikanta Narayanaswami <srikanta.narayanaswami at yahoo.com>
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org 
Sent: Friday, March 1, 2013 5:09 AM
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Vijnanavada and the concept of Alaya vijnana.

There is a concept of Alaya vijnAna in the yOgAchAra school of buddhism. My
question is, is this a standard concept of this school which is accepted by
all? Is there any reference/refutation of this concept in the
shAnkarabhAshya and the sub-commentators of the advaita tradtion?

I also would like to know how it is different from the concept of
mAyA/cosmic-mind of advaita?

Best Wishes,

The Vijnanavada was developed by Vasubandhu in aprrox.300-400A.D.After words this was further developed by Dignaga around 500 A.D.The concept of Dignaga that the word exists internally,'Yad antar jneya rupam tad bahirvat avabhasate"(In his "Alambana Pariksha book"Dignaga writes "Yadantar Jneya rupam tad bahiriva avabhasate"is quoted by Sri.Shankara in BSB under the topic ":Abhavadhikarana"Sri.Shankara criticises this concept of idealistic Mahayana Budhism in this topic.This quotation is quoted by Kumarila Bhatta also in his "Sloka vartikam".This concept was further developed by Dharmakeerthi,and later by Bhavya,Shantaraksita and Kamala shela .This is mentioned brriefly by Sri.Shankara in his BSB after this 'Abhavadhikarana"topic.This is one evidence to show that Sri.Shankara lived during this period.The concept in Buddhism is more intricate and they strive to go further and further into idealism.In advaita the Maya is mere appearance on the substratum
,Brahman.But,in Buddhism it is not merely an appearance but without any subsratum,a nullity.
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