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On Knowing Reality: The Tattvartha Chapter of Asanga's Bodhisattvabhumi
By: Asanga/Willis, Janice Dean, tr.

On Knowing Reality

Our Price: $18.00
Members Price: $16.20
Author: Asanga
Translator: Janice Dean Willis
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9788120811065

Product Code: 11701

On Knowing Reality is the first English translation with commentary of a crucial chapter of the Bodhisattvabhumi, composed in Sanskrit in the late fourth century by the philosopher-sage Asanga, founder of the Yogacara school of Mahayana Buddhism. The chapter is the core of Asanga's theoretical teachings: it deals with the central epistemological question of how to judge and validate knowledge, and how confusions about "reality" arise.
The Yogacara school has long been considered by scholars, East and West, as advocating a fully idealistic view of reality. But Janice D. Willis argues that Asanga himself had no such intention, and that in fact he rejected idealism as forcefully as he rejected the notion that ordinary beings know things as they really are. Instead, the chapter "On Knowing Reality" shows that Asanga expounded voidness (sunyata), rather than mind (citta), as the only absolute mode of being. He attempted to redefine sunyata in a more positive way than had Nagarjuna and other philosophers of so-called "critical" school, setting up a philosophical scheme to meditate between inexpressible reality and the distortions of ideation and language.
In addition to her translation and extensive commentary, Willis has written an introduction which describes the history of the text and of its author, discusses the place of the Yogacara school in Buddhist philosophical history, and interprets key terms in Asanga's system. The result is a work of fundamental importance to the study of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition.

On Knowing Reality, Asanga, Translated with an Introduction, Commentary and Notes by Janice Dean Willis, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 202 pages, $18.00

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