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Asaṅga (also called Āryāsaṅga), (c. 300–370 CE) , was an exponent of the yogācāra school of Buddhist philosophy. Traditionally, he and his half-brother Vasubandhu are regarded as the founders of this school.

Born the son of a Kshatriya father in Purushapura (present day Peshawar in Pakistan), Asanga was perhaps originally a member of the Mahīśāsaka or the Mūlasarvāstivāda school but later converted to Mahāyāna;[1] after many years of intense meditation, during which time some traditions say that he often visited Tushita Heaven to receive teachings from Maitreya-nātha. He went on to write many of the key Yogācāra treatises such as the Yogācārabhūmi-śāstra, the Mahāyāna-samgraha and the Abhidharma-samuccaya (refer Abhidharma) as well as other works, although there are discrepancies between the Chinese and Tibetan traditions concerning which works are attributed to him and which to Maitreya-nātha.[2] According to Walpola Rahula, the thought of the Abhidharmasamuccaya is invariably closer to that of the Pali Nikayas than is that of the Theravadin Abhidhamma.[3]

The Tibetan tradition attributes authorship of the Ratnagotravibhaga to him, while the Chinese traditions attributes it to a certain Sthiramati or Sāramati. Peter Harvey finds the Tibetan attribution less plausible.[4]

Asanga is cool

References

  1. ^ 'Doctrinal Affiliation of the Buddhist Master Asanga' - Alex Wayman in Untying the Knots in BuddhismISBN 81-208-1321-9
  2. ^ On Some Aspects of the Doctrines of Maitreya (natha) and the Asanga - Giuseppe Tucci, Calcutta, 1930.
  3. ^ Dan Lusthaus, Buddhist Phenomenology. Routledge, 2002, page 44, note 5. Lusthaus draws attention to Rahula's Zen and the Taming of the Bull.
  4. ^ Peter Harvey, "An Introduction to Buddhism." Cambridge University Press, 1993, page 114.

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