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The Meaning of Mind in the Mahayana Buddhist Philosophy of Mind-Only (Cittamatra): A Study of a presentation by the Tibetan Scholar Gung-tang Jam-Bay-Yang (Gung-Thang-Jam-Pai-Dbyangs) of Asanga's Theory of Mind-Basis-of-All (Alayavijnana) and Relat
Author Wilson, Joe Bransford
Date1986, 1984
PublisherUniversity of Virginia
Publisher Url
LocationCharlottesville, VA, US [夏律第鎮, 維吉尼亞州, 美國]
Content type博碩士論文=Thesis and Dissertation
InstitutionUniversity of Virginia
DepartmentDepartment of Religious Studies
Publication year1984
KeywordGun-than Dkon-mchog-bstan-pai-sgron-me,; Yid dan kun; gzhii dka gnas rnam par bshad pa mkhas pai jug nog; Dge-lugs-pa (Sect); China; Tibet; Doctrines

The Chittamatra or Mind-Only school of Mahayana Buddhism, is one of the two great philosophical systems of Indian Mahayana Buddhism at its height, the other being Nagarjuna's Madhyamika or Middle Way school. This dissertation is a detailed presentation and examination of one of the central doctrines of this system, the mind-basis-of-all (alayavijnana), as set forth in the literature and oral tradition of the Ge-luk order of Tibetan Buddhism.

The core of the dissertation is an annotated translation of the most extensive of the Tibetan texts on mind-basis-of-all, Gung-tang (')Gon-chok-(')den-(')bay-dron-may's (1762-1823) Explanation of the Difficult Topics of Afflicted Mentality and the Mind-Basis-of-All (Yid dang kun gzhi'i dka' gnas rnam par bshad pa mkhas pa'i 'jug ngog), the textbook for the study of basis-of-all at Go-mang College of Hlasa's Dre-(')bung Monastery. Written in 1798, this work contains both a systematic presentation of these topics and a critical examination of points of controversy raised some four hundred years earlier by (')Dzong-ka-(')ba (')Lo-sang-drak-(')ba (1357-1419), the founder of the Ge-luk Order.

In Chapter One, the centrality of mind in Buddhism is examined and is related to symbols of religious understanding. Chapter Two is an exploration of the role of doctrinal study in Tibetan monasteries of the Ge-luk Order. In Chapter Three, I present the literature upon which Gung-tang draws for his presentation of mind-basis-of-all.

In Chapters Four, Five, and Six, the mind-basis-of-all itself is treated following the presentation made by Gung-Tang. Topics treated include the variety of assertions on numbers of consciousnesses made by the various Buddhist tenet systems, the proper uses of the term 'basis-of-all', defining the mind-basis-of-all, and the basis-of-all as a cognitive entity. The basis-of-all is most importantly a continuously present substratum which provides a mechanism for the preservation and activation of the latencies which determine a sentient being's future experiences.

The bulk of the dissertation is a heavily annotated translation of Gung-tang's textbook; to it is appended a translation of (')Dzong-ka-(')ba's Root Verses on Afflicted Mentality and Mind-Basis-of-All. There is also an appendix in which Buddhist assertions on the person are discussed.
Created date1998.04.28
Modified date2016.03.30

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