Deconstructing and Reconstructing Yogācāra: Ten Levels of Consciousness-only/One-mind in Huayan Buddhism - PDF

IMRE HAMAR Deconstructing and Reconstructing Yogācāra: Ten Levels of Consciousness-only/One-mind in Huayan Buddhism Introduction Huayan tradition is regarded as an heir to the Yogācāra teachings, or more

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IMRE HAMAR Deconstructing and Reconstructing Yogācāra: Ten Levels of Consciousness-only/One-mind in Huayan Buddhism Introduction Huayan tradition is regarded as an heir to the Yogācāra teachings, or more precisely the form Yogācāra took when it was first introduced and interpreted in China by the Dilun and Shelun schools. 1 These schools transmitted not only the Yogācāra teachings, but also the tathāgatagarbha teachings, thus they had to face the problem of solving some philosophical problems inherent in the synthesis of these two teachings. The Dilun and Shelun schools agreed that the final reality behind the world of phenomena is the entirely pure tathāgatagarbha, as identified with the Buddha-nature, while the tainted ālayavijñāna, which includes both pure and impure karmic seeds, plays only a secondary role in the process of phenomenal evolution. 2 This view was challenged by Xuanzang ž ( ) who mastered not only the Sanskrit language in India, but also the Yogācāra philosophy as it was taught at Nālanda university, the center of Buddhist learning at the time. Xuanzang propounded that the final reality is the tainted ālayavijñāna, which turns around (āśraya-parāvṛtti), or transforms, in the state of enlightenment. 3 The Huayan master, Zhiyan ( ), who later was revered as the second patriarch of the Huayan school, was a disciple of Dilun and Shelun masters, thus it is no wonder that he became a defender of his predecessors faith, refuting Xuanzang s new theories. 4 The most efficient way to accomplish his aim was to subordinate Xuanzang s teaching to the tathāgatagarbha teachings in his doctrinal classification (taxonomy of doctrines) (Ch. panjiao µ ). He claimed that these new Yogācāra teachings represented only the elementary teachings of Mahāyāna, while the tenets of the old schools are the final 1 Elsewhere I studied the way Huayan monks used Yogācāra teaching in their exegetical works. See Hamar For the famous Dilun master Jingying Huiyuan s ( ) interpretation of Yogācāra, see Liu For the Shelun master, Paramārtha s ( ) view on consciousness, see Paul For the meaning of turns around, see Hattori Gimello showed that Zhiyan started to write extensively to reach this aim. See Gimello 1976. 54 IMRE HAMAR teachings of Mahāyāna. 5 Later Huayan masters all accepted this pattern, highlighting the importance of the tathāgatagarbha as an existing pure entity or one-mind, which establishes the world of phenomena. However, the way they treated Xuanzang s school, which was called the Faxiang æ school by Fazang æ ( ), the third patriarch, was different. 6 Fazang inherited his master s detestation of this school, but Chengguan ( ?) and Zongmi Ø ( ), probably due to their personal interest, and, mostly, the influence of Chan Buddhism, were much more favorably inclined toward it, often citing the scriptures of this new Yogācāra in their works. 7 In this article, we will discuss the ten levels of consciousness-only as propounded by Fazang, and the ten levels of mind-only which is a modification of Fazang s tenets by Chengguan and Zongmi. Similarly to the well-known fivefold doctrinal classification of Buddhist teachings of the Huayan school (Hīnayāna, elementary, final, sudden, perfect), this is also a paradigm for interpreting Buddhist teachings from the most basic one to the most advanced one, however, this time from the perspective of Yogācāra. As we might expect, we find Xuanzang s teachings at the basic level, the old schools in the middle, and, of course, the Huayan teachings on the top of the list. It is important to note that this description of the levels of consciousness-only is not limited to the old school and new school of Yogācāra, but also includes the teachings of the Huayan school. It sheds light on the way Huayan masters valued their own school in the multiplicity of the Buddhist teachings. We will show that, as mentioned above, we find significant differences between Fazang s and Chengguan s classification. In addition, Zongmi, who elaborates further his master s system, clearly identifies the place of the Chan school in this doctrinal classification. The Original Concept Propounded by Fazang It was Fazang s innovation to formulate the ten levels of consciousness-only; however, he was indebted to Xuanzang s disciple, Kuiji ( ) who, based on his understanding of the Cheng weishi lun ª (Treatise on the Demonstration of Consciousness-Only), advocated the five levels of consciousness-only. 8 These are: (1) consciousness[-only] of rejecting nonexistence and retaining reality (qianxu cunshi shi ž ) 5 For the Huayan way of classification of the teachings, see Liu For a new, challenging view on Fazang and his Buddhist career, see Chen Jinhua s new book, Chen For Chengguan, see Hamar 2002; for Zongmi, see Gregory For Chengguan s application of Yogācāra, see Hamar 2003, Kuiji explains this in the section, The Forest of Definition of Consciousness-only (weishi yilin ã), in his work, Dasheng fayuan zhang ˆ æ ã. T 1861, 45: 258b b 10. DECONSTRUCTING AND RECONSTRUCTING YOGĀCĀRA 55 (2) consciousness[-only] of abandoning the overflowing and keeping the pure (shelan liuchun shi ) (3) consciousness[-only] of the return of branch to root (shemo guiben shi œ ), (4) consciousness[-only] of concealing the inferior and revealing the superior (yinlie xiansheng shi ) (5) consciousness[-only] of rejecting the characteristics and realizing the nature (qianxiang zhengxing shi Ý ) These five levels represent a more and more profound understanding of the teaching of consciousness-only. At the beginning level, one must understand that there are no external objects apart from consciousness. Next, after the rejection of external objects, objects are described as internal objects in order to encourage living beings to contemplate mind to attain liberation. Here, Kuiji cites the concept the three realms are mind-only from the Avataṃsaka-sūtra. At the third step, one realizes that the subject and object of perception rely on consciousness, thus internal objects are also excluded, and the existence of consciousness is underlined. Next, one must see that mental associates are inferior to consciousness, while at the final level one realizes the real nature of the mind. As the teaching of the Avataṃsaka-sūtra was degraded to the second level, Fazang was probably not satisfied with Kuiji s scheme, and felt prompted to put forward his own interpretation of the levels of Yogācāra. His presentation, which arranges the various views from the perspective of Huayan Buddhism, is as follows: 9 (1) the proposition of respect to existence of both object and subject of perception (xiangjian jucun gu shuo weishi É ), (2) the proposition of respect to return of the object of perception to the subject of perception (shexiang guijian gu shuo weishi É ), (3) the proposition of respect to return of the mental associates to the mind (sheshu guiwang gu shuo weishi ), (4) the proposition of respect to return of the branches to the root (yi mo guiben gu shuo weishi œ ), (5) the proposition of respect to return of the characteristics to [Buddha-]nature (shexiang guixing gu shuo weishi Ý ), (6) the proposition of respect to establishment of phenomena through transformation of the Absolute (zhuanzhen chengshi gu shuo weishi ªÍ ), (7) the proposition of respect to perfect interfusion of principle and phenomena (lishi jurong gu shuo weishi Í ), 9 Quotation from Huayanjing tanxuanji ž, T 1733, 35: 346c b 28. For a detailed explanation of Fazang s text, see Nakamura 1991. 56 IMRE HAMAR 1(8) the proposition of respect to mutual inclusion of phenomena (rongshi xiangru gu shuo weishi Í ), 1(9) the proposition of respect to mutual identity of all phenomena (quanshi xiangji gu shuo weishi Í µ ), (10) the proposition of respect to non-obstruction of Indra s Net (diwang wuai gu shuo weishi ý ). The first level admits the existence of the object and the subject of perception. However, objects are not external objects outside the consciousness, but they evolve out of consciousness and are only images resembling objects. The division of perception into two parts, or aspects, was suggested by Nanda, a Yogācāra master of Northern India in the 6th century. In addition to the subject, or seeing part (darśana-bhāga, Ch. jianfen É ), and the object, or seen part (nimitta-bhāga, Ch. xiangfen ), a third part, the self-authenticating part (svasaṃvitti-bhāga, Ch. zizheng fen ), was added by Dignāga, and a fourth part that authenticates the self-authentication (svasaṃvitti-saṃvitti-bhāga, Ch. zheng zizheng fen ) was added by Dharmapāla. 10 Here, Fazang does not refer to the division into three or four parts. He writes: The proposition of respect to existence of both the subject of perception and the object of perception means that [consciousness-only] includes the eight consciousnesses, the mental associates and objects of perception evolved [out of consciousness] as original forms (bimba, Ch. benzhi œ ) and reflections (pratibimba, yingxiang ) completely. Due to the perfuming (vāsanā, Ch. xunxi ) power of the members of existence, etc. the direct, the circumstantial and other retributions are manifested in the three realms. This is discussed extensively, for example, in the Mahāyānasaṃgraha, 11 Vijñaptimātrasiddhi-śāstra, 12 and other treatises. 13 É ã Þ Þ œ ÐÊ Ÿ«Í ˆ ã Fazang divides the objects into two parts, the original forms and the reflections. The original form is the seed of a resembling object in the ālayavijñāna, and the reflection, the resembling object, relies on this original form. 14 Chengguan explains that at this level of Yogācāra both mind and mental associates can be divided into a seeing part and a seen part, and the seeing part is the essential (Ch. dangti ). He concludes that this level represents the correct definition (Ch. zhengyi ) of consciousness-only. 15 This first position of Yogācāra is deconstructed on the second level, as it is shown that the objects, or, more precisely, the images resembling objects, cannot be sepa- 10 See sifen š in Digital Dictionary of Buddhism, Cook 1999: T 1592, (Vol. 31). 12 T 1585 (Vol. 31 ). 13 T 1733, 35: 347a See Nakamura 1975: 1264c. 15 Dafangguang fo huayan jing suishu yanyichao ˆ ², T 1736, 36: 525c DECONSTRUCTING AND RECONSTRUCTING YOGĀCĀRA 57 rated from mind. In other words, the existence of the seen part must be attributed to the seeing part. Fazang writes: The proposition of respect to return of the object of perception to the subject of perception means that [consciousness-only] includes the mind and mental associates, but the objects of perception evolved out of consciousness are not born from different seeds. 16 When the subjectively viewing mind is born, it brings about the arising of reflections. It is explained completely in the Saṃdhinirmocana-sūtra, 17 Vimśatikā, 18 and Ālambana parikṣa É Þ ž É ž Û Þ«Ð The third level is the deconstruction of the previous stage, revealing that not only objects rely on mind, but also mental associates, and consequently, consciousnessonly includes only mind. Fifty-one out of the one hundred dharmas of Yogācāra are regarded as mental associates. There are six groups of mental associates: alwaysactive (sarvatraga, Ch. bianxing ), specific (viniyata, Ch. biejing ), advantageous (kuśala, Ch. shan ), mental disturbances (kleśa, Ch. fannao ), secondary mental disturbances (upakleśa, Ch. sui fannao ), and indeterminate (aniyata, Ch. buding ŠØ). 21 Fazang argues that all of them are dependent on the eight consciousnesses: The proposition of respect to return of the mental associates to the mind means that [consciousness-only] includes the eight consciousnesses. As the mental associates rely on consciousness, they do not have self-essence. They are also manifested by mind. It is discussed in the Mahāyāna-sūtrālaṃkāra Ð Û ÞÍá Û Þ As all the seeds are contained in the ālayavijñāna, and all the seven consciousnesses evolve out of it, with further deconstruction we arrive at the root-consciousness, the ālayavijñāna. Fazang says: The proposition of respect to return of the branches to the root means that the seven evolving consciousnesses are the different functions of root-consciousness, as they do not have distinct essence. The Laṅkāvatāra-sūtra says: The ocean of storehouse-consciousness is ever abiding, but the wind of objects is moving, causing the various waves of consciousness to arise. 24 It also says: Just like the great waves of ocean do not 16 Here I translate Chengguan s version, which is different. ³Þ ž 17 T 675, 676 (Vol. 16 ). 18 T 1590 (Vol. 31). 19 This is Dignāga s work, see T 1624, T 1733, 35: 347a T 1733, 35: 347a See Lusthaus 2002: T 1604 (Vol. 31). 23 T 1733, 35: 347a T 672, 16: 594c ; T 670, 16: 484b 58 IMRE HAMAR have any forms, all consciousnesses and mind are the same. 25 The reality of [forms] cannot be grasped. It explains that there is no distinct wave apart from water. It elucidates that there are no six and seventh consciousnesses apart from root-consciousness. It is extensively discussed above. 26 š œ œ ² ± Þ ã ž «Š ã Š «â œ Û The next stage is the last step in the process of deconstruction, when even ālayavijñāna dissolves, as, finally, it turns out not to have self-essence either, since it is the manifestation of the Buddha-nature, as identified with the tathāgatagarbha. Here, we find the position of the old Yogācāra school in China, which advocates the purity of the final reality. Fazang explains: The proposition of respect to return of the characteristics to [Buddha-]nature means that the eight consciousnesses do not have self-essence, they are only equally manifested by the tathāgatagarbha, and all other characteristics are extinguished. The [Vimalakīrti]-sūtra says: All living beings are endowed with the features of nirvāṇa, they do not extinguish [the afflictions] more. 27 The Laṅkāvatāra-sūtra says: The eight [consciousnesses] have the indestructible feature; it has no features, 28 thus they also do not have features. Similar texts that can become proofs of this are not only one. 29 Ý Î â žµ Š Á ² Š «ª ò Fazang cites from the Laṅkāvatāra-sūtra, but, originally, this stanza referred to the relationship between the seven consciousnesses and the ālayavijñāna. Here is the whole stanza in Suzuki s translation: The Citta, Manas, and Vijñānas are discriminated as regards their form; [but in substance] the eight are not to be separated one from another, for there is neither qualified nor qualifying. 30 They cannot be separated, just like waves cannot be separated from the ocean. However, Chinese commentators explained that this text describes the relationship between the eight consciousnesses and the tathāgatagarbha. 31 As the eight consciousnesses rely on tathāgatagarbha, they do not have their own self-essence, thus they do not have 25 The correct citation is: Like wave of the ocean, there is no distinction, all consciousnesses and mind are similar, there is no difference. æ ö Š T 670, 16: 484b ; æ ö ã Š T 671, 16: 523c 2 3 ; æ ö ã Š T 672, 16: 594c T 1733, 35: 347a It is not cited precisely. The text says: ã²ë ž µ Š Á T 475, 14: 542b T 670, 16: 484b T 1733, 35: 347a See Suzuki 1932: Lengqie abaduoluo baojing zhujie ²ñ T 1789, 39: 354c ; Lenqjiejing tongyi ² T 323, 17: 145c 6 10. DECONSTRUCTING AND RECONSTRUCTING YOGĀCĀRA 59 characteristics just like the tathāgatagarbha. Fazang also understood this stanza this way, thus it could serve as canonical proof for his statement. The sixth level starts a new process in establishing Yogācāra views, that is, the reconstruction of perception. After finding the final source, Fazang emphasizes that this source is not like the tathatā described by the new Yogācāra school. In contrast to the new school which propounds that tathatā is not touched by the world of phenomena, Fazang teaches that tathāgatagarbha plays an active role in establishing the realm of perception, the world of phenomena. 32 He refers to those scriptures that reveal the tathāgatagarbha teachings. He explains: The proposition of respect to the establishment of phenomena through the transformation of the Absolute means that the tahāgatagarbha does not preserve its self-nature, but in accordance with conditions it manifests the eight consciousnesses, the mind, the mind associates, the objects of perception, and various appearances. Thus the Laṅkāvatāra-sūtra says: The tathāgatagarbha, due to the perfuming (vāsanā) of bad habits, is called storehouse-consciousness. 33 The Ghanavyūha-sūtra says: The Buddha said that the tathāgatagarbha becomes ālayavijñāna. 34 The impaired intelligence is unable to know that the [tahāgata]garbha is the ālayavijñāna. It also says: the pure garbha of the tathāgata and the worldly ālayavijñāna are like the ring made of gold: they are mutually not different. 35 In addition, the Śrīmālā-sūtra, the Ratnagotravibhāga-mahāyānottaratantra-śāstra, and the Awakening of Faith, all teach this doctrine. There is not only one proof for it. 36 Ý Î â žµ Š Á ² Š «ª ò The next stage paves the way for the final Huayan view in that it applies the Huayan paradigm of principle and phenomena, and attempts to describe the relationship between the Absolute (the origin of phenomenal world) and the phenomenal world. Fazang says: The proposition of respect to perfect interfusion of principle and phenomena means that the tathāgatagarbha with its whole essence in accordance with conditions accomplishes all phenomena, but its self-nature originally is not born, and is not annihilated. The principle and phenomena interfuse and are not obstructed, thus one-mind and the two truths are not obstructed. The Awakening of Faith says: Relying on one-mind, there are two gates; the first is the gate of Absolute, the second is the gate of saṃsāra. These two gates comprise all dharmas. 37 The Śrīmālādevī-sūtra says: The mind, which is pure by its self-nature, is not-tainted and tainted. It is difficult to understand. It is tainted and not-tainted. It is also difficult to understand. 38 The explanation is as follows: It is not- 32 The active or passive role of tathatā in the evolution of phenomenal world is an essential difference between Xuanzang s school and the earlier Yogācāra school. See Lai 1986; Hamar T 672, 16: 619c 1 5 ; T 670, 16: 510b T 681, 16: 747a 17 ; T 682, 16: 776a T 681, 16: 747a 17 ; T 682, 16: 776a T 1733, 35: 347a T 1733, 35: 347a This is not a precise citation. The sūtra says: Ýá «ë «æ ë Ýá ë Û Þ ë (CBETA, T 353, 12: 222c 3 6 ). 60 IMRE HAMAR tainted and tainted clarifies that the pure [Buddha-]nature in accordance with the tainted [conditions] with its whole essence accomplishes the ordinary world. This is the gate of saṃsāra. It is tainted and not-tainted elucidates that the tainted [conditions] are eternally pure, originally identical with the Absolute truth. This is the gate of the Absolute. This explains that [on one hand] the tainted, which is identical with the pure, does not obstruct the Absolute, but it is eternally ordinary, and [on the other hand] the pure, which is identical with the tainted, does not destroy the ordinary, but it is eternally Absolute. Thus the onemind is not obstructed in having two truths. In order to understand its meaning you must deeply contemplate it. [The Perfection of Wisdom] Sūtra [for Humane Kings Protecting Their Countries] says: In terms of truth they are two, in terms of liberation they are one. 39 The [Mahāyāna-saṃgrahôpanibandhana] treatise says: The cognitive hindrances [cause] extreme blindness, which is the attachment to the discrimination of Absolute and ordinary
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