The Investigation of Vijñānapariṇāma in Triṁśikāvijñapti-prakaraṇa
By Shi Ruyuan
In the Chinese Buddhist tradition, the theory of Hsüan-Tsang’s (玄奘) Cheng-wei-shih-lun ( 成唯識論 ) has been considered to be legitimate in regard to Yogācāra philosophy. Cheng-wei-shih-lun is a commentary on Vāsubandhu’s Triṁśikāvijñapti-prakaraṇa and was translated into Chinese around the seventh century CE by Hsüan-Tsang. Even though he claimed that Cheng-wei-shih-lun was not a commentary of a single person, and instead, that it was a combination of ten people’s commentaries, Hsüan-Tsang admitted that among those commen- taries, Dharmapāla’s concept was adopted as authoritative. Recently, the original Sanskrit text of Sthiramati’s Triṁśikāvijñaptibhāśya, one of the ten
commentaries, was found and translated into different modern languages such as French, English, Chinese and Japanese. This discovery provides more access to study Vāsubandhu’s Triṁśikāvijñapti. However, following this remarkable discovery, problems appear due to the fact that there are many con- ceptual differences between these two commentaries, i.e. Sthiramati’s commentary and Cheng-wei-shih-lun. One of the differences which is worth further in- vestigation is the different theories regarding the idea of pariṇāma (transformation) in vijñānapariṇāma. The question is whose explanation is closer to Vāsubandhu’s original meaning. After careful investigation, this paper will prove that in fact, Sthiramati’s concept is more precise in interpreting Vāsubandhu’s philosophy. The methodology for this paper is a textual comparative study. This paper will directly
explore the scriptural contents through the analysis of Sanskrit and Chinese since Sthiramati’s commentary has a Sanskrit version and Dharmapāla’s work exists only in Chinese. After the analysis of the two texts, this paper will trace the theory of Vijñānapariṇāma back to the theory of bīja in the early Sautrāntika school, Abhidharmakośa and Karmasiddhi to see the relationship
between the theory of bīja and Vijñānapariṇāma. Finally, through the inter- comparative study of Sthiramati’s commentary, Dharmapāla’s commentary, and the theory of bīja, the thesis of this paper that Sthiramati’s interpretation of pariṇāma is closer to Vāsubandhu’s original concept can be approached. In the field of Yogācāra study, in regard to this topic, there is ample scholarship which can provide secondary sources to develop this paper. Some of the important scholarship includes “Triṁśikāvijñaptiprakaraṇa” in the Lecture of [[Buddhist
Scripture]] by Yuki-reimon, Dharmapāla and Sthiramati’s Commentaries of Triṁśikāvijñapti-prakaraṇa by Ui-hakuju, The Lecture of Triṁśikāvijñapti prakaraṇa by Inoue-genshin. Moreover, Fujimoto Akira wrote a article “Vāsubandhu’s pariṇāma theory in Triṁśikā ” focusing on Sthiramati’s commentary. The clarification between the different concepts of pariṇāma and vivartta by Kochumuttom is a helpful resource for this paper. Furthermore, some parts of Hsüan-Tsang’s (玄奘) Cheng-wei-shih-lun (成唯識論) have been translated into English by Swati Ganguly. This translation provides a great convenience for studying Dharmapāla. The first verses of Triṁśikā in Cheng-wei-shih-lun (成唯識論) is as follows:
由假說我法 有種種相轉 彼依識所變 此能變為三
Because the idea of self and the elements are false, the phenomenal appearances of all kind arise. These appearances are dependent upon the development of consciousness. This development is of three kinds.1
1 From Ganguly’s English translation (p.75).
In the above Chinese and Sanskrit versions, the Chinese term corresponding to Sanskrit term pariṇāma is 變 (bian). Ganguly translates it as “development”. However, the word “development” does not quiet correspondent to the meaning of the Chinese term “變 (bian)”. That is because “development” emphasizes more the process of the
transformation, and in contrast, the direct translation for “變” (bian) is “becoming” or “changing” which is more in the sense of focusing on the appearance of the consequence. The other translator, Wei- Tat, uses manifestation to interpret “變” (bian). The term manifestation which possesses the sense of making something suddenly appear is a good term to
translate “變” (bian).3 In Williams’ Sanskrit-English Dictionary, there are dozens of English translations for pariṇāma such as change, alternation, transformation, develop- ment, evolution, ripeness, maturity, growing etc.4 Yuki concludes that the possible translations can be grouped into three concepts which are transformation, development and consequence. “Transformation” indicates the changing of the whole into another certain state. “Development” indicates the changing process. “Consequence” indicates the final
state of the change.5 Among these three understanding of pariṇāma, from terminological analysis, the meaning of “變 (bian)” is closer to the third concept for “變” (bian) emphasizing more the final state of the change. In contrast, the other Chinese word “轉 (Zhuan)” which corresponds to pravartate tends to possess the sense of
transformation and development rather than “變 (bian)”. For this reason, instead of “變” (bian), Hua, the scholar who translated Sthiramati’s commentary into modern Chinese, uses “轉化” (Zhuan-hua) to translate pariṇāma in his work The Sanskrit-Chinese translation of Sthiramati’s commentary.6
2 The English translation is by Akira (p.86). 3 Wei Tat. Chen Wei-Shih Lun: Doction of Mere-Consciouses, p.9. 4 Monier-Williams, M. Sanskrit-English Dictionary. p.594. 5 Yuki, Reimon. “Triṁśikāvijñapti-prakaraṇa” The Lecture of Buddhist Scripture, p.87. 6 Hua, T. H. The Translation and Commentary of Sthiramati’s Triṁśikāvijñaptiprakaraṇa. p.18.
Kochumuttom provides another direction for understanding the concept of pariṇāma. In order to show the different concepts of transformation in Indian background, he clarifies the difference between pariṇāma and vivartta by claiming,
“pariṇāma implies transformation of a substratum into different modes of existence, while vivartta implies making some illusions appear.” 7 Evidence for this distinction can also be obtained from the Yogocāramubhumi. In the Bodhisattvabhumi, it says that Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have two kinds of magical powers which are transformation (pariṇāma) and manifestation (nirnāma). On the one hand, transformation means that they are able to transform things into other
different things. On the other hand, manifestation means they are able to cause something which has never existed before to appear. In Chinese translation, again, Hsüan-Tsang uses “變” (bian) to translate pariṇāma and uses “化” (Hua) to translate nirnāma.8 From the content of the text, pariṇāma, here, possesses the sense of suddenly transforming from one appearance to another totally different appearance. Therefore, Hsüan-Tsang’s employment of “變” (bian) for interpreting pariṇāma may indicate a kind of
transformations which emphasizing on a sudden changing of a state to another state. Through terminological analysis, in regard to the term “pariṇāma”, for Sthiramati’s commentary, modern scholars tend to adopt “transformation” to interpret “pariṇāma” according to
the content of his commentary. On the contrary, instead of “ 轉化” (Zhuan-hua) whose meaning is closer to “transformation” or “development”, Hsüan-Tsang (玄奘) preferred to use “變” (bian) to interpret Dharmapāla’s concept of “pariṇāma”. The different choices of terminologies for translating “pariṇāma” indicate the different concepts between Sthiramati and Dharmapāla. One focuses on the process of a gradual transfor-
7 Kochumuttom, T. A. A Buddhist Doctrine of Experience. p. 133. 8 由此神通能轉所餘有自性物，令成餘物，故名能變神境智通。云何能化神境智通品類差別？ 謂若略說，無事而有是名為化。能以化心隨其所欲，造作種種未曾有事，故名能化神境智 通。By means of this magic power, (one) is able to transform all things which possess natures to other different things. Hence, it is called the magic power of transformation
(pariṇāma). What are the various kinds of the magic power of manifestation? In summary, it is called manifestation (nirnāma) because (one is able to make) things which never exist appear. One is able to create various things which never exist before in terms of one’s own will. Therefore, it is called the magic power of manifestation. (T30,493a15).
mation, while another emphasizes on the consequence of a sudden transformation. Before investigating the different concepts between Sthiramati and Dharmapāla, it is necessary to understand the idea of Bīja (seed) in the Yogocāra school. That is because, the idea of the transformation of consciousness (vijñānapariṇāma) corresponds to the idea of the
development or manifestation of seed. The reason that “consciousness” (vijñāna) is able to transform to various phenomenal existences is the function of seeds. Consciousness consists of a great deal of accumulation of seeds. For example, Hsüan-Tsang’s (玄奘) interpreted ālayavijñāna as something which is able to store, able to be stored, and attached to storing.9 The first two interpretations of the three are due to the functions of seeds. That is, ālayavijñāna is like a storehouse which can contain
seeds, and on the contrary, seeds are like stocks which can be amassed in a warehouse. Furthermore, in order to emphasize the close relationship between consciousnesses and seeds, ālayavijñāna is also called the consciousness of all seeds.10 Therefore, the consciousness and seeds are neither the same things nor different things. From the
perspective of the whole accumulation of seeds, it is called consciousness. From the perspective of the function which is able to develop into phenomenal existences, it is called seeds. The relationship between consciousness and seeds can also be described as the relationship between nature and function. Therefore, the transformation of consciousness is exactly the transformation of seeds. In his commentary, Sthiramati explains his idea of pariṇāma with the words:
9 “Cheng-wei-shih-lun” (成唯識論) . Taisho Shinshu Daizokyo. vol 31. p.8a. 10 “Wei-shih-san-si-son” (唯識三十頌). Taisho Shinshu Daizokyo. vol 31. p.60b. 11 Hua, T. H. The Translation and Commentary of Sthiramati’s Triṁśikāvijñaptiprakaraṇa. p.154.
“Becoming different” is the characteristic or nature of transformation (pariṇāma). While the cause is becoming extinct, at that moment, the cause establishes an effect which possesses the different characteristic from its cause. Sthiramati’s illustration can be
concluded into two ideas which are “becoming different” (變異為性) and “the cause and effect at the different moments” (異時 因果). To become different indicates the different characteristics or natures between cause and effect. The different moments of cause and effect indicates that the cause and effect cannot exist at the same time. It is just as Sthiramati’s view that the effect
does not appear until the extinction of the cause (this concept is very different from the theory of Dharmapāla). The two ideas, “becoming different” (變異為性) and “the cause and effect at the different moments” (異時 因果), also indicates that Sthiramati’s concept of pariṇāma focuses more on the process of transformation. According to Cheng-wei-shih-lun (成唯識論), for Dharmapāla, the interpretation of the transformation of consciousness is as follows:
Transformation means that the substance of consciousness manifests itself into two divisions, (namely, the object perceived and perceiving faculty). Both of the object perceived and perceiving faculty arise by means of the self- witness. It is on the basis of these two divisions that Atman and dharmas are established. Without these (two divisions), those two (i.e. Atman and dharmas) have no other basis.13
According to Cheng-wei-shih-lun-su-ji (成唯識論述記), the above commentary referred to both Sthiramati and Dharmapāla. However, this 12 The English is translated by L. Kawamura and unpublished. 13 Wei-tat 11.
interpretation cannot be found in Sthiramati’s Triṁśikāvijñaptibhāṣyam. Hence, the above commentary can only be considered to be Dharmapāla’s interpretation. In this interpretation, Dharmapāla does not provide a clear explanation to the characteristic of transformation, and
instead he merely focuses on the situation when seeds have transformed and become a fruit. However, due to the different emphases, there is no doubt that Dharmapāla has a different viewpoint from Sthiramati regarding the theory of transformation.
In the second chapter of Cheng-wei-shih-lun, Dharmapāla divides the concept of pariṇāma in to two different kinds which are pariṇāma in the state of cause (因能變) and in the state of effect (果能變). Pariṇāma in the state of cause (因能變) refers to the
relationship among the bīja (seeds) in the different moments. A certain seed of a dharma which has not received enough conditions to development (samudācāra 現行) continuously exists in the state of cause through the method that the seeds in the previous moment causes the arising of the seed in the latter moment. Since the previous seed as the cause and the
latter seed as effect exist in the different moment, it is called “the cause and effect at the different moments” (異時因果). Thus, this concept is similar to that of Sthiramati. The second type, pariṇāma in the state of cause (果能變), refers to the relationship between a seed and its fruit (samudācāra 現行). When a seed is supported by sufficient conditions, it will transfer into a fruit or reversely, a fruit also can cause the existence of a seed through the theory of experientially initiated potentialities of experience (vasanā 熏習). Since the seed and its fruit are able to mutually
effect each other, it is called pariṇāma in the state of effect (果能變). Regarding this concept, Dharmapāla adopts a theory from the Mahayana- saṁgraḥa which is that the seed and its fruit must exist in the same moment. Thus, it is also called “the cause and effect
in the same moment” (同時因果). “The cause and effect in the same moment” (同時因果) is one of the six characteristics of seeds in the Mahayanasaṁgraḥa. Those six characteristics of seeds are the momentary vanishment, the togetherness, the continuity, the determination, the necessity of conditions and the causing of self-result. Among them, the togetherness means that the seeds must exist together with its fruit in the same moment. Only under this condition, the seed is able to operate and become
its fruit. In discussing of Vijñānapariṇāma, Dharmapāla tends to focuses on the second type of pariṇāma. That is to say in regard to the concept of pariṇāma, Dharmapāla emphasizes more the consequence of pariṇāma and insists that the cause and effect must exist at the same
moment. In his commentary, Sthiramati also proposes the different kinds of pariṇāma, i.e. pariṇāma in the state of cause (因能變) and in the state of effect (果能變). However, in regard to the pariṇāma in the state of effect, Sthiramati does not mention the togetherness of the seed and its fruit since just like the above analysis, for Sthiramati, the cause must appear at the moment when the cause has gone. Therefore,
in Sthiramati’s theory of pariṇāma, the cause and effect can never be together at the same moment. In order to solve the conflict between Sthiramati and Dharmapāla, an understanding of the early theory of the transformation of seeds in the Sautrāntika school is a good place to begin. The theory of seeds was generated from sectarian
Buddhism and was properly completed during the time between the Abhidharmamahāvibhāśāśāstra and the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā. The most important school that established the theory of seed is the Sautrāntika school. The Sautrāntika school originated from the Sarvāstivāda school, and comparing to other sects, its formation was very late. According to I Bu Jong Lun Lun ( 異部宗 輪論 ), the Sautrāntika separated from the Sarvāstivāda four hundred years after Buddha’s nirvana.14 Because the day of Buddha’s nirvana has not been verified, this
assertion is not helpful for dating the formation of Sautrāntika. However, many different sources indicate that Kumāralāta was the founder of the Sautrāntika.15 In Tāranātha’s History of Buddhism in India, Tāranātha indecated that Kumāralāta was a contemporary of Nāgājuna. In the Mahāvaibhāsika, the 14 「至第四百年初，從說一切有部復出一部，名經量部，亦名說轉部。」(“At the beginning of the fourth-hundred year after Buddha’s nirvana, a sect separated from Sarvāstivāda. It was known as Sautrāntika and was also called Saṃkrāntika.”) Taisho Shinshu Daizokyo. vol 49. p.15b. 15 俱舍論記：「鳩摩邏多…是經部祖師」(T41,35c)。Ju She Lun Ji, “Kumāralāta [...] was the founder of Sautrāntika”. 大唐西域記：「鳩摩邏多…是經部祖師」(T51,942a)。Da Tang Xi Yu Ji, “Kumāralāta [...] was the founder of Sautrāntika”. 成唯識論述記：「鳩摩邏多…名譬喻 師，經部之種族，經部以此說為宗」(T43, 274a)。Cheng Wei Shi Lung Shu Ji, “Kumāralāta was a dārṣṭāntika and belonged to Sautrāntika. Sautrāntika considered his teaching as their main doctrine”.
authors only mention dārṣṭāntika and not Sautrāntika. According to Chinese resources such as Chu San Zhang Ji Ji (出三藏記集), Da Tang Xi Yu Ji (大唐西域 記), Kumāralāta and Nagajuna were in the same contemporary.16 N āgārjuna lived around 150~250 C.E. Thus, the formation of Sautrāntika was probably within the second century C.E. Kumāralāta was considered as the founder of the Sautrāntika school, and since he was adept at using dṛṣṭānta (parable or comparison) to promote
Buddhism, he was called dṛṣṭāntaka. The Sautrāntika sect he founded was also called dārṣṭāntika. 17 According to Abhidharma-nyāyānusāra, Kumāralāta established the theory of bīja to explain the potential power of karma: Dārṣṭāntika claim that just as the theory of a seed (of a plant) causing its fruits, it should be known that the theory of karma causing its fruit is the same. Just as
the seed, the (previous) fruit which caused its existence have perished, is the main cause from which the different dharma (factors) such root, shoot, stem, branch, leaf and so on raise in order after possessing enough conditions. Although the main body of the stream is not stable, it is inheriting and proceeding. At the last state, while encountering another condition, the seed can raise its own fruit. Similarly, karma is the main cause in the continuing stream after the vanishment of the previous fruit which raises the
karma. From the next state, there are different features of dharmas (factors) rising in every state of the continuing stream. Although the main body of the stream is not stable, it is inheriting (its feature from the previous state) and proceeding. At the last
state, while it possesses another condition, it can cause its own fruit. Hence, karma is not the direct causes of its fruit but the power of anyonya (mutual operation) is. 18 16出三藏記集 Chu San Zhang Ji Ji(T55,89a~c), 大唐西域記 Da Tang Xi Yu Ji (T51,942a). 17「經部此有三種：一、根本，即鳩摩邏多。二、室利邏多，造經部毘婆沙，正理所言上座 是。三、但名經部。以根本師造結鬘論，廣說譬喻，名譬喻師，從
所說為名也。其實，總 是一種經部」(續藏經 Xu Zang 83, 215)。 18 「譬喻宗說：如外種果感赴理成，如是應知業果感赴。謂如外種由遇別緣，為親傳因，感 果已滅，由此後位，遂起根、芽、莖、枝、葉等諸異相法，體雖不住而相續轉。於最後位， 復遇別緣，方能為因生於自果。如是諸業於相續中，為親傳因，感果已滅，由此於後自相 續中，有分位別異相法起，體雖不住而相續轉。於最後位，復遇別緣，方能為因生於自
the, seed (bīja), to explain how karma continues to function and eventually causes its own fruit. The function of karma is similar to a seed of a plant. After a seed is sowed, the root, shoot, stem, branch, and leaf of the newly developing plant owes its form and growth to the seed.
Finally, the fruit appears and matures. The function of karma is like this simile. All deeds and thoughts have gone at the moment when they are completed. How can karma cause its fruit, reward or retribution? This simile illustrates that certain qualities come from the previous state, even when the original cause of the state is gone. Finally, under certain circumstances, the fruit will occur. Thus, karma is
the main cause of its fruit but it is not the direct cause. The direct cause to the fruit is the power of the inheriting and proceeding. In this simile, Kumāralāta used the visible theory of a seed as an example to illustrate the invisible karma theory.
Thus, this theory is known as the theory of bīja (seed). Based on this influential theory, other interpreters such as ṇsanga or Vāsubandhu continued to develop bīja theory in more detail. However, the main characteristics of bīja theory have been possessed in
Kumāralāta’s bīja theory. These special features are: 1) Inheriting-continuity, 2) transformation, 3) the function of fruit- rising. In Kumāralāta’s theory, the seed is not stable, instead it is continuously developing. At every moment, a seed is transforming
into another state different from its previous state. It is just like the growing process of a plant. Each state such as such root, shoot, stem, branch, leaf and so on is different from another state. At the final state, a seed has transformed into a totally different state from its
first state. It is the latest state of this transformation which is called fruit. Thus, the cause and effect cannot be in the same moment (i.e. the seed and its fruit cannot exist at the same moment), and the seed cannot suddenly transfer to fruit. Vāsubandhu inheriting Kumāralāta’s
theory has given a more detailed explanation of the three features of a seed in his work the Abhidharma- kośabhāṣya: What dharma (theory) is known as bīja? The nāman (thought) and rupa 果。……如是諸業，亦非親為因，令自果生，然由展轉力」(T29,535a)。
The Investigation of Vijñānapariṇāma in Triṁśikāvijñapti-prakaraṇa 187 (deeds) can cause their own fruits through anyonya (mutual operation). That mutual operation is the operation of saṁtati (continuity), pariṇāma (transformation), and viśeṣa (superiority).
What is the pariṇāma (transformation)? The pariṇāma means that the previous one different from the later one. What is the saṁtati (continuity)? The saṁtati (continuity) is that the actions in present, past, and future are mutual causes and effects. What is the viśeṣa (superiority)? The viśeṣa is the function of raising fruit.19
Inheriting Kumāralāta’s idea, Vāsubandhu directly defined bīja as the function of raising fruit through mutual operation. That is, all deeds and thoughts have the function to cause their fruits. However, they do not directly cause their fruit. They have to follow a certain process of continuity, transformation, and superiority. The continuity means that when all deeds
and thoughts suddenly vanish, there is something continuing. In this continuing stream, each state is the effect of its previous state and is the cause of its later state. The transformation means that in the continuing stream, each state inherits a feature from its previous state and is also distinct from its previous state. The
superiority means that in the final state of this continuing stream, the power is stronger than any previous state and can raise the fruit. From the above illustration, it is known that Vāsubandhu’s concept of seed in the period of the Abhidharmakośabhāṣya still maintained the idea from the Sautrāntika school. That is, the transformation of a seed to its fruit must
proceed through a series of process. In this process, it is impossible for the cause and effect to stay at the same moment. Furthermore, it is also impossible for the seed to suddenly transform to its fruit. What he provides to the theory of seed is to give a clear definition to the seed and in detail, divided the process of transformation of the seed into three steps. Someone may argue that the Abhidharmakośabhāṣya is Vāsubandhu’s early work and considered to be the work belonging to Sectarian Buddhism. After
Vāsubandhu was converted into Mahayana Buddhism by Asaṅga, his ideas might have changed. In order to deal with this argument, it is a good method to investigate the theory of seed in Vāsubandhu’s later work Karmasiddhi. Karmasiddhi was considered to be a Mahayana text in the Chinese tradition. Even though the term “Mahayana” is not addressed in the title in its
Sanskrit version, in the Chinese version, the translator put “Da-Cheng” (Mahayana) in front of Karmasiddhi. The reason that the Chinese tradition considers it to be a Mahayana text is that it has already mentioned ālayavijñāna and considered it as the carrier of seeds. Vāsubandhu divided human mind into different kinds in Karmasiddhi:
There are two kinds of mind. The first kind is called Accumulating- mind for it is the place in which all seeds are accumulated. The second kind is called various-mind for it operates differently due to the different perceived objects.20
Because ādānavijñāna is extremely profound, and subtle and all of the seeds (in it) are just like the stream of waterfall, I (i.e. Buddha) do not demonstrate to the comment people. I worries that they might distinguish and consider it as ātman.21
In his commentary for this verse, Vāsubandhu refers to three terms, ālayavijñāna, ādānavijñāna and vipākaphalavijñāna as the same object. Due to the function of maintaining the physical body, it is called ādānavijñāna; from the perspective of storing all seeds, it is called ālayavijñāna; in terms of being the mature fruit caused by the karma in previous life, it is also called vipākaphalavijñāna. 20 「心有二種：一集起心，無量種子集起處故; 二種種心，所緣行相差別故。」(T31, 784)。
The Investigation of Vijñānapariṇāma in Triṁśikāvijñapti-prakaraṇa 189 Accordingly the above evidence shows there is no doubt the Karmasiddhi is a Mahayana text. In Karmasiddhi, Vāsubandhu intends to establish a theory to explain why the karmas continue maintaining until they obtain rewards after the deeds of body, speed and mind
have completed. Vāsubandhu concludes that the natures of the three karmas are cetanā-viśeṣa. Furthermore, Vāsubandhu tries to combine the theories of ālayavijñāna, cetanā-viśeṣa and seeds in order to make his theory more perfect. Here, the three features of the seed, saṁtati (continuity), pariṇāma (transformation), and viśeṣa (superiority), in Abhidharmakośabhāṣya is again mentioned in establishing his karma theory.
(The seeds) were the impression of cetanāviśeṣa. Meanwhile, ālayavijñāna causes the seeds to continue, transform, and become superior. Due to this process, (the seeds) are able to cause the pleasing or unpleasing fruits in the future.22
The three features of seeds are mentioned again and again in this text. Hence, the three features can be considered to be the special characteristics of Vāsubandhu’s theory of seeds. Through the series of analysis from the Sautrāntika school, the period of the Abhidharmakośabhāṣya to the Karmasiddhi, it is clear that Vāsubandhu’s theory of seed is inherited from the [[Sautrāntika
school]] and maintained the same idea even in the Karmasiddhi. The transformation of a seed to its fruit must go through a series of process. In this process, each state is different from another state. Every state serves as an effect for its previous state and also serves as a cause for its coming state. Therefore, two states cannot exist together at the same moment. That is,
cause and effect cannot stay at the same moment. Again, in this transformation process, it is impossible for the seed to suddenly transform to its fruit. After the analysis of Vāsubandhu’s theory regarding the transformation of seeds, it can be said that Sthiramati’s
“becoming different” (變異為性) and “the cause and effect exist at the different moments” (異時因果). These two features are exactly the features of Vāsubandhu’s theory of transformation of seeds. Sthiramati’s first concept “becoming different” (變異為性) indicates Vāsubandhu’s
concept that the transformation of a seed to its fruit have to proceed through a series of process and in this process, the seed is becoming different at each moment. That is what Vāsubandhu says, “What is the pariṇāma (transformation)? The pariṇāma means that the previous one is
different from the later one.” Sthiramati’s second concept “the cause and effect exist at the different moments” indicates Vāsubandhu’s concept that in the process of transformation, two different states of the a seed cannot exist together at the same moment for every state serves as an effect for
its previous state and also serves as a cause for its coming state. Therefore, it can be said that Sthiramati’s concept of transformation of seeds inherits and keeps the traditional concept from the Sautrāntika school to Vāsubandhu. Dharmapāla’s
theory requires careful analysis in terms of Vāsubandhu’s three features of seeds. Just like the above illustration, Dharmapāla divides the concept of pariṇāma into pariṇāma in the state of cause (因能變) and pariṇāma in the state of effect (果能變). Pariṇāma in the state of cause refers to a seed which has not obtained enough conditions to transform to a fruit. Pariṇāma in the state of effect refers to a seed which is becoming a fruit.
Vāsubandhu’s three features of transformation are continuity, transformation and superiority. Among these three, the idea of transformation refers to a seed which will continue existing before becoming a fruit; one the contrary, the idea of superiority
refers the becoming of a seed into a fruit. Therefore, it is obvious that Dharmapāla’s idea of pariṇāma in the state of cause (因能變) corresponds to Vāsubandhu’s idea of transformation of the three features, and that Dharmapāla’s idea of pariṇāma in the
consciousness]], he emphases the latter one, i.e. pariṇāma in the state of effect ( 果能變). That is why he illustrates, “Transformation means that the substance of consciousness manifests itself into two divisions, (namely, the object perceived and perceiving faculty).” This
citation indicates that when the seeds of consciousness transform to fruit, they will manifest into two divisions. That is to say, Dharmapāla merely focuses on the moment when a seed transforms to its fruit. In other words, he focuses on Vāsubandhu’s idea of superiority
instead of the whole process. In conclusion, through the above comparative study of both terminological and doctrinal analysis, the differences between Sthiramati’s and Dharmapāla’s concept of pariṇāma are clear. Sthiramati’s theory inheriting the traditional theory of
seed from Sautrāntika school to Vāsubandhu emphasizes the whole process of a gradual transformation. On the contrary, Dharmapāla’s theory influenced by ṇsanga has given up the idea of gradual transformation and emphasizes the idea of sudden transformation or
the consequence, i.e. Vāsubandhu’s idea of superiority (viśeṣa). That is why Hsüan-Tsang’s (玄奘) in Cheng-wei-shih-lun (成唯識論) interprets pariṇāma as 變 (bian) instead of 轉化 (Zhuan-hua) since 變 (bian) possessing the meaning of sudden changing from one state to
another state is more suitable to interpret Dharmapāla’s theory than 轉化 (Zhuan-hua). Therefore, it can be said that Sthiramati’s concept of pariṇāma is closer to that of both Sautrāntika and Vāsubandhu.
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