Existence and Enlightenment in the Lankavatara sutra by Florin Giripescu Sutton

By Florin Giripescu Sutton

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165, respectively);7 (2) Idiomatic initiating phrases, such as yad ukta1]'! 9 After marshaling all these data, however, Takasaki seems to have changed his conclusion when he says that: 1o 1/ . . the LmikavatiJra was not acquainted with the developed Vijfianavada established by Vasubandhu and that probably the Laflkavafara is located a bit earlier than Vasubandhu. In this conclusion, he is in agreement with David J. Kalupahana, who says the following: 11 The VijiiaptimiJIratiJsiddhi of Vasubandhu represents a systematization of the metaphysical Idealism embodied in the early· Yogacara texts like Safldhinirmocana-siitra and Laflkavafara-siitra, but there is no fresh evaluation of the ideas found in these early texts.

However, according to the text, the Vijfianas do not completely vanish from sight, since they do not really exist in or by themselves, apart from Alaya. In other words! Mind and No-mind, like all other dualities, co-exist interactively, co-dependently, like two sides of the same coin. Therefore, it is further pointed out that all such distinctions are mere conventions, similar to the images appearing in a mirror, in a vision, or a dream, without real existence outside the mental realm (Citta-matra, Vijfiapti-matra).

Ssions were 39 40 EXISTENCE AND ENLIGHTENMENT his most important concerns. And yet, in spite of this emphasis on salvation and his disdain for all philosophical speculation, he could not avoid building his own metaphysical system. For, any ethical formulation (since it cannot float in the air all by itself) presupposes, and indeed requires an underpinning worldview, an ontological vision to s,upport it, that is to give it cosmic stability and validation. This inescapable fact was intuitively felt by the Buddha Sakyamuni when he declared ignorance as the root cause of suffering.

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