Compendium of the Mahayana: Asanga's Mahayanasamgraha and Its Indian and Tibetan Commentaries By: Asanga and Karl Brunn

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Nicholas Weeks
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Mahayana-samgraha

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:35 pm

Titled A Compendium of the Mahayana in three volumes, tr. by Brunnholz is supposed to come out in a few days.
Volume 1 presents the translation of the Mahāyānasamgraha along with a commentary by Vasubandhu. The introduction gives an overview of the text and its Indian and Tibetan commentaries, and explains in detail two crucial elements of the Yogācāra view: the ālaya-consciousness and the afflicted mind (klistamanas).

Volume 2 presents translations of the commentary by Asvabhāva and an anonymous Indian commentary on the first chapter of the text. These translations are supplemented in the endnotes by excerpts from Tibetan commentaries and related passages in other Indian and Chinese Yogācāra works.

Volume 3 includes appendices with excerpts from other Indian and Chinese Yogācāra texts and supplementary materials on major Yogācāra topics in the Mahāyānasamgraha.
I am only interested in volume one, but see no way to buy a single volume, nor would any dealer want to break it up. Perhaps prices will fall in months ahead.
May all seek, find and follow the Path of selflessness.

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Compendium of the Mahayana: Asanga's Mahayanasamgraha and Its Indian and Tibetan Commentaries By: Asanga and Karl Brunn

Post by Leo Rivers » Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:13 pm

SORRY IF THIS IS OLD NEWS...

Description

The Mahayanasamgraha, published here with its Indian and Tibetan commentaries in three volumes, presents virtually everything anybody might want to know about the Yogacara School of mahayana Buddhism. It discusses in detail the nature and operation of the eight kinds of consciousness, the often-misunderstood notion of "mind only" (cittamatra), dependent origination, the cultivation of the path and its fruition in terms of the four wisdoms, and the three bodies (kayas) of a buddha.

Volume 1 presents the translation of the Mahayanasamgraha along with a commentary by Vasubandhu. The introduction gives an overview of the text and its Indian and Tibetan commentaries, and explains in detail two crucial elements of the Yogacara view: the alaya-consciousness and the afflicted mind (klistamanas).

Volume 2 presents translations of the commentary by Asvabhava and an anonymous Indian commentary on the first chapter of the text. These translations are supplemented in the endnotes by excerpts from Tibetan commentaries and related passages in other Indian and Chinese Yogacara works.

Volume 3 includes appendices with excerpts from other Indian and Chinese Yogacara texts and supplementary materials on major Yogacara topics in the Mahayanasamgraha.
Compendium of the Mahayana Asanga’s Mahayanasamgraha and Its Indian and Tibetan Commentaries, Asanga and Karl Brunnholzl, Snow Lion Publications, Hardcover, 1824 pp, $79.95

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Re: Mahayana-samgraha

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:52 pm

A bit from Brunnholzl's Preface:
Compared to the vast amount of excellent Yogācāra studies and translations in general and this text in particular in Japanese academia, there is a considerable dearth of such studies and translations in the Western Hemisphere. Greatly influenced by Tibetan Buddhist doxography, Western academia appears to have been more infatuated with Indian and Tibetan Madhyamaka in all its ramifications...
I moreover hope that the comprehensive and detailed presentation of the Yogācāra system in MS and its commentaries will serve as a rich buffet that does justice to this great Indian mahāyāna tradition in order to remedy the poor diet of a so-called Mind-Only School (Tib. sems tsam pa) that is always refuted in Tibetan and Tibetan-based doxographies that unanimously consider Madhyamaka as the supreme Buddhist philosophical system.
Interestingly, the (mis)representation of Yogācāra as “Mind-Only” is now almost equally widely accepted in the West, even in some academic settings. The main reasons for this consist of (1) making superficial and out-of-context judgments based on a unidimensional understanding and discussion of what seem to be stereotypical “buzz words” (such as cittamātra), (2) not treating the concepts and explanations of Yogācāra in their own terms, but looking at them through the lenses of other philosophical systems, especially Madhyamaka, and (3) indiscriminately following Tibetan doxographical categories.
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Re: Compendium of the Mahayana: Asanga's Mahayanasamgraha and Its Indian and Tibetan Commentaries By: Asanga and Karl Br

Post by jake » Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:00 pm

Thanks!! Just ordered it. Have you already read it?

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Re: Compendium of the Mahayana: Asanga's Mahayanasamgraha and Its Indian and Tibetan Commentaries By: Asanga and Karl Br

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:59 pm

This Shambhala website gives the TofC to all three vols. plus Brunnholzl's Preface & Introduction, which is enough to attract or scare away one:

https://en.calameo.com/read/0000392574f5a2effb600
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Re: Compendium of the Mahayana: Asanga's Mahayanasamgraha and Its Indian and Tibetan Commentaries By: Asanga and Karl Br

Post by Leo Rivers » Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:06 pm

Brunnholzl's Preface & Introduction, which is enough to attract or scare away one
After putting in one's 20 years in with Wal Mart, once should retire with dignity on their pension to a small one room house in Idaho for a hermitage lasting the rest of their life with these three volumes and a subscription to a monthly bottle of wine from The California Wine Club. :stirthepot:

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Re: Compendium of the Mahayana: Asanga's Mahayanasamgraha and Its Indian and Tibetan Commentaries By: Asanga and Karl Br

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:14 pm

Leo Rivers wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:06 pm
Brunnholzl's Preface & Introduction, which is enough to attract or scare away one
After putting in one's 20 years in with Wal Mart, once should retire with dignity on their pension to a small one room house in Idaho for a hermitage lasting the rest of their life with these three volumes and a subscription to a monthly bottle of wine from The California Wine Club. :stirthepot:
Do not exclude from your ponderings the Mahayanasutra-lamkara (Padmakara version perhaps) and the Bodhisattvabhumi (Engel's translation). The links between all three of these Asanga/Maitreya texts are many.
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Re: Compendium of the Mahayana: Asanga's Mahayanasamgraha and Its Indian and Tibetan Commentaries By: Asanga and Karl Br

Post by Leo Rivers » Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:39 am

It is my impression that these 5 'dharmas of Maitrya' are not neccessarily made from same batter, and comprize snapshots of some rather different mindsets and background sources. What are these texts to each other?

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Re: Compendium of the Mahayana: Asanga's Mahayanasamgraha and Its Indian and Tibetan Commentaries By: Asanga and Karl Br

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:22 am

Leo Rivers wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:39 am
It is my impression that these 5 'dharmas of Maitreya' are not neccessarily made from same batter, and comprize snapshots of some rather different mindsets and background sources. What are these texts to each other?
Here is Brunnholzl on the traditional sequence of study of the Five Books and in the last paragraph a method better suited to we barbarians:

https://www.shambhala.com/a-guide-to-th ... -mahayana/

These five treatises are from Mahasattva Maitreya, a 10th bhumi sage who will be the next buddha in the distant future. To me these Five are from the same source. However Asanga also wrote his own works, perhaps not directly with the inspiration of Maitreya, but since he was a Third bhumi bodhisattva, his works and commentaries are not to be sneezed at.
Tradition says that the Bodhisattvabhumi is his commentary on the Mahayanasutralamkara. The Mahayanasamgraha, this Compendium etc. quotes the Mahayanasutralamkara more than any other, so that is why these three are linked, IMO.

Of course the other writings of Asanga and his half-brother Vasubandhu are also permeated with great wisdom & compassion, so probably have links too. But I am not scholar enough to provide chapters & verse of said connections.
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Re: Compendium of the Mahayana: Asanga's Mahayanasamgraha and Its Indian and Tibetan Commentaries By: Asanga and Karl Br

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:14 am

Forgive me for asking, but I’m genuinely curious. Why put so much time and energy into studying the view of the Chittamatrin school which is just an intermediate view rather than studying the Madhyamika Prasangika school which is Buddha’s ultimate intention and the views that lead to liberation and enlightenment?

Chandrakirti extensively refutes the Chittamatrin view in Guide to the Middle Way, therefore isn’t it better to study Nagarjuna, Chandrakirti, Aryadeva and Shantideva and try to realise the meaning of these teachings?

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Re: Compendium of the Mahayana: Asanga's Mahayanasamgraha and Its Indian and Tibetan Commentaries By: Asanga and Karl Br

Post by smcj » Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:33 am

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:14 am
Forgive me for asking, but I’m genuinely curious. Why put so much time and energy into studying the view of the Chittamatrin school which is just an intermediate view rather than studying the Madhyamika Prasangika school which is Buddha’s ultimate intention and the views that lead to liberation and enlightenment?

Chandrakirti extensively refutes the Chittamatrin view in Guide to the Middle Way, therefore isn’t it better to study Nagarjuna, Chandrakirti, Aryadeva and Shantideva and try to realise the meaning of these teachings?
If that’s how you see it, then that’s how you should study and practice.

I just don’t see Imit that way.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

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Re: Compendium of the Mahayana: Asanga's Mahayanasamgraha and Its Indian and Tibetan Commentaries By: Asanga and Karl Br

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:47 am

smcj wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:33 am
If that’s how you see it, then that’s how you should study and practice.

I just don’t see Imit that way.
Okay, thanks for your answer. How do you see it?

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Re: Compendium of the Mahayana: Asanga's Mahayanasamgraha and Its Indian and Tibetan Commentaries By: Asanga and Karl Br

Post by Astus » Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:56 am

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:14 am
Why put so much time and energy into studying the view of the Chittamatrin school which is just an intermediate view rather than studying the Madhyamika Prasangika school which is Buddha’s ultimate intention and the views that lead to liberation and enlightenment?
It is an intermediate view for those who subscribe to a specific Madhyamaka interpretation. Prasangika is a Gelug idea, so it is quite unrealistic to expect everyone to agree with Tsongkhapa. As for the reason of studying Yogacara, it is the most comprehensive and extensive Indian Mahayana doctrine that there has ever been, so you cannot really go wrong with it. Furthermore, even Tsongkhapa studied Yogacara teachings, so where is the issue here?
Chandrakirti extensively refutes the Chittamatrin view in Guide to the Middle Way
Kicking down straw men is not that difficult.
therefore isn’t it better to study Nagarjuna, Chandrakirti, Aryadeva and Shantideva and try to realise the meaning of these teachings?
Studying Madhyamaka does not mean one cannot study other things as well.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Compendium of the Mahayana: Asanga's Mahayanasamgraha and Its Indian and Tibetan Commentaries By: Asanga and Karl Br

Post by smcj » Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:52 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:47 am
smcj wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:33 am
If that’s how you see it, then that’s how you should study and practice.

I just don’t see In that way.
Okay, thanks for your answer. How do you see it?
I’m a Shentongpa (with some latent Rangtong tendencies).
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)


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Re: Compendium of the Mahayana: Asanga's Mahayanasamgraha and Its Indian and Tibetan Commentaries By: Asanga and Karl Br

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:24 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:14 am
Forgive me for asking, but I’m genuinely curious. Why put so much time and energy into studying the view of the Chittamatrin school which is just an intermediate view rather than studying the Madhyamika Prasangika school which is Buddha’s ultimate intention and the views that lead to liberation and enlightenment?

Chandrakirti extensively refutes the Chittamatrin view in Guide to the Middle Way, therefore isn’t it better to study Nagarjuna, Chandrakirti, Aryadeva and Shantideva and try to realise the meaning of these teachings?
Read Brunnholzl's Preface concerning the limiting orthodox Tibetan view of the Asanga/Maitreya texts.

https://en.calameo.com/read/0000392574f5a2effb600
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Re: Compendium of the Mahayana: Asanga's Mahayanasamgraha and Its Indian and Tibetan Commentaries By: Asanga and Karl Br

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:10 pm

Astus wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:56 am
It is an intermediate view for those who subscribe to a specific Madhyamaka interpretation. Prasangika is a Gelug idea, so it is quite unrealistic to expect everyone to agree with Tsongkhapa. As for the reason of studying Yogacara, it is the most comprehensive and extensive Indian Mahayana doctrine that there has ever been, so you cannot really go wrong with it. Furthermore, even Tsongkhapa studied Yogacara teachings, where is the issue here?

I contest the idea that Prasangika is a Gelug idea. Buddha Shakyamuni taught the Prasangika view when he delivered the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra at Rajagriha. This view was clarified and expounded by Nagarjuna and his spiritual sons. I don't expect everyone to agree with Tsongkhapa but I would expect them to agree with Buddha Shakyamuni, Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti.
Chandrakirti extensively refutes the Chittamatrin view in Guide to the Middle Way

Kicking down straw men is not that difficult.
You seem very dismissive of Chandrakirti's refutation - why?
Studying Madhyamaka does not mean one cannot study other things as well.
Sure, we can study anything, but it's the value of our study that matters. Life is short.

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Re: Compendium of the Mahayana

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:19 pm

One reason to study Asanga/Maitreya teachings is because Nagarjuna was only a first bhumi bodhisattva and Asanga was a third bhumi bodhisattva whose Guru was a tenth bhumi Mahasattva.

Here is our Dalai Lama in his Foreword to Engle's version of the Bodhisattvabhumi:
Ārya Asaṅga is widely accepted to have been a third-ground bodhisattva, which means he had a perfect realization of emptiness.
Last edited by Nicholas Weeks on Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Compendium of the Mahayana: Asanga's Mahayanasamgraha and Its Indian and Tibetan Commentaries By: Asanga and Karl Br

Post by smcj » Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:21 pm

i contest the idea that Prasangika is a Gelug idea
All 4 major schools have Prasangika in their curriculum.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

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Re: Compendium of the Mahayana: Asanga's Mahayanasamgraha and Its Indian and Tibetan Commentaries By: Asanga and Karl Br

Post by Leo Rivers » Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:01 pm

This discussion can go off the rails real easy. My Bad. I should have seen it coming. To clarify. The claims that this or that famous master declared Yogacara to be 'this or that" is a tradition of teaching that lives and breaths within a unique lineage view. So too the claims to "level" any guru supposed to exist at. Did Asanga ever claim this or that attainment? Popular culture in Western Buddhist Circles can mingle these claims as a popular lore. It's a "everybody knows" claim to say the yogacara was an intermediate view. Diverse Chinese and Tibetan masters had diverse views as to where and why views lay on the ladder of enlightened practice. The Flower Garland and Lotus groups had ENTIRELY different rankings of Sutras and views, and the Tibetan lineages varieties on a theme. In Tibet the prasanga [not a Gelug copyright] held sway. In pre 600 CE India and on the Silk Road this Madhymaka vs Yogacara distinction wouldn't even be understood in a mutually exclusive sense. And finally, the Yogacara itself is built on the foundation of the acceptance and analysis of emptiness and all that entails.

If you look at the question of the susbstance of an image, you can have a discussion that needn't end up bickering about superiority, and actually discuss experiential issues. Now back to my question, we can objectively track which texts quote which text and the sequence of elaboration on an idea. How's it looking?

PS: I see this as a history of ideas and practices. I do believe many practice work as advertised. Who can argue against the Law of Impermanence or the Four Immeasurables? :anjali:

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