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In What Sense Jñeyāvaraṇa Is a Mahāyāna Idea? According to Xuanzang’s Vijñānavādan in the Cheng Weishi Lun

  • Lawrence Y. K. Lau
Chapter
Part of the Dao Companions to Chinese Philosophy book series (DCCP, volume 9)

Abstract

This article is to provide a concise, yet comprehensible, explanation for the concept of obstructions of knowledge (jñeyāvaraṇa) of East Asian Sākāra-vijñānavāda, mainly according to Xuanzang’s Cheung Weishi Lun, the encyclopedic commentary on Vasubandhu’s Triṃśikā. The Cheung Weishi Lun is the major text for Sākāra-vijñānavāda tradition. Among the existing materials in Sanskrit, Tibetan and Chinese, very likely East Asian Sākāra-vijñānavāda is the major tradition able to provide a clear, detailed and comprehensible interpretation on jñeyāvaraṇa. In this article, jñeyāvaraṇa is explained in terms of three perspectives: first, the argumentation that counters epistemological realism, from an idealistic standpoint; second, the theoretical description about the relationship between the Vijñānavāda doctrine of eight consciousnesses (vijñāna) and jñeyāvaraṇa; third, various levels of jñeyāvaraṇa on the path (mārga) and stage (bhūmi) that are explained within the framework of ten obstructions (āvaraṇa). The concepts of five sciences (pañca vidyā) and omniscience (sarvajñā), along with jñeyāvaraṇa, are used to approach the Universal (Mahayana) horizon.

Keywords

Xuanzang Obstruction of knowledge jñeyāvaraṇa pañca vidyā sarvajñā Sākāra-vijñānavāda 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence Y. K. Lau
    • 1
  1. 1.Fudan UniversityShanghaiChina

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