On the Alayavijñana in the Awakening of Faith Comparing and Contrasting Wonhyo and Fazang’s Views on Tathagatagarbha and Alayavijñana
The Awakening of Faith, one of the most seminal treatises in East Asian Buddhism, is well-known for its synthesis of the two Mahayana concepts of¯ tathagatagarbha¯ and alayavijñana.¯ Unlike early Yogacara texts, such as the¯ Yogacarabhumi¯ , in which alayavijñana is described as a defiled consciousness, the Awakening of Faith explains it as a“ synthetic”consciousness, in which tathagatagarbha¯ and the defiled mind are unified in a neither-identical-nor-different condition. East Asian Buddhist exegetes noted the innovative explanation of the Awakening of Faith and compiled the commentaries, among which Huayan master Fazang’s (643–712) commentary had a profound effect on the process of the establishment of the treatise as one of the most representative tathagatagarbha¯ texts in East Asia. However, as scholarly perceptions that the commentators’ interpretations do not always represent the Awakening of Faith’s tenets themselves have grown, the propriety of relying on Fazang’s commentary for understanding the treatise has also been questioned. What attracts our attention in this regard is that the Silla scholar-monk Wonhyo’s (617–686) commentaries, which are known˘ to have significantly influenced Fazang’s, present very different views. This article demonstrates that two distinct interpretations existed in Wonhyo’s days for˘ tathagatagarbha¯ and alayavijñ¯ ana¯ of the Awakening of Faith, by comparing Wonhyo and Fazang’s commentaries, and further considers the˘ possibility that the Awakening of Faith’s doctrine of alayavijñ¯ ana¯ is not doctrinally incompatible with that of early Yogacara on the basis of Wonhyo’s view on˘ alayavijñ¯ ana¯ .
The Treatise on the Awakening of Faith According to the Mahayana¯ (C. Dasheng qixin lun 大乘起信論, hereafter, the Awakening of Faith), one of the most seminal treatises in East Asian Buddhism, is well-known for its synthesis of the two Mahay¯ ana concepts of¯ tathagatagarbha¯ (“womb of Tathagatas”,¯ viz., the potential to achieve buddhahood) and alayavijñ¯ ana¯ (“storehouse consciousness”, viz., the fundamental mind of a sentient being). Unlike early Yogacara texts, such as the¯ Yogacarabhumi¯ , in which alayavijñana¯ is described as a defiled consciousness, the Awakening of Faith explains it as a “synthetic” consciousness, in which tathagatagarbha¯ and the defiled mind are unified in a neither-identical-nor-different condition. East Asian Buddhist exegetes, who noted the innovative way of explanation of the Awakening of Faith, compiled commentaries, and among them, Huayan 華嚴 master Fazang’s 法藏 (643–712) Dasheng qixinlun yiji 大乘起信論義記 (hereafter, Yiji), had a profound
However, as scholarly recognition that the original tenets of the Awakening of Faith should not directly be identified with the commentators’ interpretations has grown, the prevailing reliance on Fazang’s commentary in understanding the Awakening of Faith has also been questioned. For instance, Kashiwagi Hiro states, in the preface of his extensive research on the¯ Awakening of Faith, that the theories of the Awakening of Faith that were discussed by later Chinese Buddhist scholars are the so-called “ideas of the Awakening of Faith (起信論思想)”, rather than the original teaching of it (Kashiwagi 1981, p. 4). Indeed, the dharma characteristics school (C. faxiang zong 法相宗), the Yogacara school of¯ Dharmapala’s (ca. 6th century CE; C. Hufa¯ 護法) line, which Fazang attempts to reconcile in the Yiji with the Madhyamaka teaching of Bhavaviveka’s (ca. 500–570; C. Qingbian¯ 淸辯/清辨) line, had not even spread to China when the Awakening of Faith was compiled.
The fact that Fazang’s commentary is no more taken as the ‘standard text’ for understanding the Awakening of Faith leads us to reconsider the doctrinal significance of other commentaries. In this regard, particular attention is given in this paper to the Silla master Wonhyo’s˘ 元曉 (617–686) commentaries, the Kisillon so起信論疏 and the Taesung kisillonpy˘ olgi˘ 大乘起信論別記 (hereafter, Pyolgi˘ ), which are known to have substantially influenced Fazang’s Yiji, but hold a distinctly different position than it. By comparing Wonhyo and Fazang’s commentaries of the˘ Awakening of Faith, this article seeks to demonstrate that the Awakening of Faith’s notions of tathagatagarbha¯ and alayavijñ¯ ana¯ may be understood in a different
1 The predominant recognition of the Awakening of Faith as a so-called “tathagatagarbha¯ text” owes evident debts to Fazang’s identification of the treatise as “the teaching of the dependent origination of tathagatagarbha¯ ” (C. Rulaizang yuanqi zong 如來藏緣起宗) in his fourfold doctrinal taxonomy (C. jiaopan 敎判) of Buddhist teachings. Based on Fazang’s interpretation, the thought of tathagatagarbha¯ has been regarded as a separate doctrinal system from the two major Mahayana traditions,¯ Madhyamaka and Yogacara, especially by Japanese scholars. For instance, Katsumata Shunkyo argues that Indian Mahayana¯ Buddhism cannot be explained merely in terms of the antagonistic evolution of the two doctrinal systems of Madhyamaka and Yogacara, by saying that Fazang’s recognition of the teaching of the dependent origination of¯ tathagatagarbha¯ (C. Rulaizang yuanqi zong 如來藏緣起宗) separately from Madhyamaka and Yogacara shows his impartial perspective on Indian Buddhism¯ (Katsumata 1961, pp. 593–94). Takasaki Jikido also admits that the present distinction of the tathagatagarbha¯ thought as a separate doctrinal system from Yogacara is based on the traditional way of thinking that has been formed through Huayan¯ doctrines (Takasaki 1960, p. 280).
way than what has broadly been accepted so far by relying on Fazang’s commentary. I shall discuss that while Fazang takes the position that despite its neither-arising-nor-ceasing nature, tathagatagarbha¯ interacts directly with the arising-and-ceasing mind, Wonhyo considers that tathagatagarbha, which¯ has a twofold nature, interacts with the arising-and-ceasing mind on the one hand, but on the other, preserves the neither-arising-nor-ceasing nature. Based on Wonhyo’s understanding, I shall also˘ suggest a possible doctrinal compatibility between the Awakening of Faith and the early Yogacara, which¯ has been dismissed among scholars.
In the Awakening of Faith, alayavijñ¯ ana¯ is defined as a unification of the neither-arising-nor-ceasing (mind of suchness) (viz. tathagatagarbha¯ ) and the arising-and-ceasing (mind) in a neither-identical-nordifferent condition. Such exegetes as Wonhyo and Fazang both find the doctrinal origin of this˘ unique nature of alayavijñ¯ ana¯ in the Lankavatara Sutra¯ . In the same manner as the Awakening of Faith, the Lankavatara Sutra¯ explains the consciousness of a sentient being as having not only a phenomenal (or defiled), but also a ‘true’ or ‘real’, nature. In Gun. abhadra’s four-fascicle recension of the Lankavatara Sutra¯ , the consciousness is described as consisting of three kinds of mental attributes; that is, [[[self]]] true character (C. [zi]zhenxiang [自]眞相), karmic character (C. yexiang 業相), and evolving character (C. zhuanxiang 轉相). Likewise, Bodhiruci’s ten-fascicle version presents these three characters of the consciousness with slightly different names: the consciousness of wisdom character (C. zhixiangshi 智相識), the consciousness of karmic character (C. yexiangshi 業相識), and the consciousness of evolving character (C. zhuanxiangshi 轉相識). While the first character of the three, the (self) true character (or self-character) or the consciousness of wisdom character, corresponds to the true nature of the consciousness, the other two correspond to the phenomenal nature. Wonhyo also indicates that the˘ (self) true character among the three characters of the four-fascicle recension is also referred to as the self-character (C. zixiang 自相) in the 10-fascicle edition. Consulting the Lankavatara Sutra¯ in commenting alayavijñana¯ of the Awakening of Faith, Wonhyo and Fazang both explain the first character of˘ the three kinds of mental attributes described in the Lankavatara Sutra¯ as the neither-arising-nor-ceasing mind, viz., tathagatagarbha¯ , of alayavijñana¯ .
Although Wonhyo and Fazang both consider the neither-arising-nor-ceasing nature of˘ alayavijñ¯ ana¯ as tathagatagarbha¯ by relying on the Lankavatara S utra , the next passage of Wonhyo’s˘ Kisillon so suggests that the two commentators did not agree in their views on tathagatagarbha¯ . In response to the question of whether or not the self-character (K. chasang 自相), i.e., tathagatagarbha¯ , of the consciousness arises due to defiled conditions, Wonhyo answers by introducing three types of views on the mind-essence˘ (of the self-character) (K. chasang [simch’e] 自相[心體]) , as follows: Question: Should it be said that the self-character of this consciousness arises just due to defiled conditions, or that it does not conform to the conditions? If it arises just due to defiled conditions, then when defiled conditions are exhausted, the self-character should disappear; if the self-character does not conform to defiled conditions and thus does not disappear, then it would naturally exist by itself (K. chayonyu˘ 自然有). Again, if the self-character also disappears [as in the former case], then it amounts to nihilism; likewise [if] the self-character does not disappear [as in the latter case], in turn it amounts to eternalism.
Answer: Some say: The mind-essence of alayavijñ¯ ana¯ is ripened (K. isuk 異熟, vipaka¯ ) dharma, which is produced by karmic afflictions. Therefore, when karmic afflictions are exhausted, the base consciousness (K. ponsik 本識; viz. alayavijñ¯ ana¯ ) disappears altogether. At the resultant [stage of] Buddhahood, however, there exists the pure consciousness that corresponds to the great perfect mirror cognition (K. taewon kyongji˘ 大圓鏡智, adars´a-jñ¯ ana¯ ), which has been attained from the two types of practice, practice of merits and wisdom. Thus, the minds in the both cases have identical meaning. Based on this meaning, the mind is said to be consistent until the resultant [stage of] Buddhahood.
Some say: The mind-essence of self-character moves its essence, and [this] is raised due to nescience (K. mumyong˘ 無明, avidya¯). This means that the serene [[[mind-essence]]] is moved and raised, not that nothing turns to something. [In other words, this mind-essence should be what originally exists, not what arises from nothing.] Therefore, the moving of this mind is what is caused by nescience, and is called the karmic character. This moving mind is basically the mind in itself, which is also called self-character. The nature of self-character is not involved with nescience. However, this mind, which is moved by nescience, also has the implication that [[[karmic seeds]] inherent in the mind continuously] produce the same types [of seeds]. Thus, although not falling into the fallacy of “naturally [[[existing]] by itself],” it still has the nature of non-ceasing. When nescience is exhausted, the moving character [of the mind] accordingly ceases, and [yet] the mind returns to the original basis by going after the initial enlightenment (K. sigak 始覺). [Therefore, the mind-essence of this mind does not cease.]
Some say: Both of the two masters’ views have a reasonable basis, because both rely on the teachings of the sacred scriptures. The former master’s view coincides with the tenets of the Yogacarabhumi¯ , and the latter’s with that of the Awakening of Faith. However, one should not take the meanings in a literal sense. Why? If the meaning of the former teaching is taken in a literal sense, then this would be attachment to dharmas (K. pop ajip˘ 法我執, dharma-graha¯ ); if the meaning of the latter teaching is taken in literal sense, this would be called attachment to self (K. in agyon˘ 人我見, atma-gr¯ aha¯ ). Again, if one attaches to the former meaning, one would fall into nihilism; if one attaches to the latter meaning, one would fall into eternalism. [Therefore,] one should know that the two meanings may not be taught.
[However,] although they may not be taught, they may also be taught, because although they are not like [what it means], they are not unlike [what it means] either. According to the first view, the mind-essence of the alayavijñ¯ ana¯ is described as what is subject to arising-and-ceasing in accordance with karmic afflictions. It is regarded as being produced by karmic afflictions and disappears when they are exhausted. By contrast, in the second view, the mind-essence is neither-arising-nor-ceasing. The mind-essence, or self-character, should originally exist (viz., does not arise from nowhere), and moves its essence when being prompted by nescience; however, with nescience exhausted, the mind returns to the original basis (viz., does not cease).
In the third view, the first and second views are both accepted in that they have a reasonable basis, which relies on the sacred scriptures. This position might seem idiosyncratic at first, since the two former views take contrasting positions. In fact, the first and second views are respectively attributed to the Yogacarabhumi¯ and the Awakening of Faith, which are generally considered to take distinct or even incompatible doctrinal positions on a concept such as alayavijñ¯ ana¯ . According to this third view, however, the real messages of the two teachings should not be assumed merely by their literal expressions. In other words, if properly understood beyond their literal meanings, the first and second views may both be accepted without any doctrinal conflict. It may then be said that in this view, the mind-essence—i.e., tathagatagarbha¯ —has a twofold nature, though in a somewhat paradoxical way; that is, the nature of arising-and-ceasing and neither-arising-nor-ceasing.
Wonhyo advocates the third view that the mind-essence—i.e.,˘ tathagatagarbha¯ —of alayavijñana , has a twofold nature. When taken in their literal senses, the nature of arising-and-ceasing of the first view and the nature of neither-arising-nor-ceasing of the second should be seen as two distinct natures, which are incompatible for one single mind of alayavijñ¯ ana¯ . In the same vein, the teachings of the Yogacarabhumi and the Awakening of Faith would be two incompatible doctrinal positions, because their explanations of a concept such as alayavijñ¯ ana¯ , as mentioned above, conflict with each other. However, when considered beyond the literal meanings, these two seemingly opposite natures may be taken as compatible as a twofold nature of one single mind of alayavijñana . The teachings may have literal meanings, and may also mean what is beyond the literal meanings. In this regard, the Yogacarabhumi and the Awakening of Faith’s positions on alayavijñ¯ ana¯ need not be seen as doctrinally conflicting with each other. It is a well-known fact that Wonhyo seeks to reconcile the early Yogacara texts with the¯ Awakening of Faith in the Kisillon so and the Pyolgi.˘
What should be noted, particularly in terms of our current issue, is that this passage reveals that there were two different views, thatis, these condandthethird, onthemind-essence(i.e., tathagatagarbha¯ ). According to the typical understanding, based on Fazang’s interpretation of the Awakening of Faith, tathagatagarbha is considered neither-arising-nor-ceasing. This way of understanding seems¯ very similar to the second view. However, there was another view on tathagatagarbha¯ , the third view that tathagatagarbha¯ has the twofold nature of not only neither-arising-nor-ceasing but also arising-and-ceasing, and this view was advocated by Wonhyo.˘
Wonhyo’s twofold view on˘ tathagatagarbha¯ is also evident in his interpretation of the concept of [original] enlightenment (C. [ben]jue, K. [pon]gak [本]覺), one of the two aspects of alayavijñ¯ ana¯ presented in the Awakening of Faith, along with non-enlightenment (C. bujue, K. pulgak 不覺). It is stated in the Awakening of Faith that (original) enlightenment indicates the mind-essence that is freed from deluded thoughts, implying that original enlightenment has the same connotation as tathagatagarbha¯ . Wonhyo˘ also says that it has a twofold meaning, just in a way that recalls the aforementioned twofold nature of the mind-essence; in his answer to the question of whether the reason why the mind-essence is called original enlightenment is because it lacks non-enlightenment or because it has the function of illumination of awakening, Wonhyo answers by saying that original enlightenment has a twofold˘ meaning, original enlightenment and initial enlightenment (C. shijue, K. sigak 始覺), as follows:
Question: Is the reason why the mind-essence is called original enlightenment is because it lacks non-enlightenment or because it has the function of illumination of enlightening (K. kakcho 覺照)? If it is called original enlightenment only because it lacks non-enlightenment, then it would not have the [function of] illumination of enlightening. If then, it should be non-enlightenment. If it is called original enlightenment only because it has the function of illumination of enlightening, then I am not sure if all defilements are eradicated from this [original] enlightenment. If defilements have not been eradicated, then [in turn] it would not have the function of enlightening; if the defilements have been eradicated, then sentient beings should never exist. Answer: [The reason why the mind-essence is called original enlightenment is] not only because it lacks non-enlightenment, but also because it has the function of illumination. Because it has the [function of] illumination, defilements can be also eradicated. What does this mean? When enlightenment that comes after delusions is considered to be called enlightenment, initial enlightenment has [the meaning of] enlightenment, while original enlightenment does not. When the original lack of delusion is said to be called enlightenment, original enlightenment is enlightenment, but initial enlightenment is not. The [[[Wikipedia:matter|matter]] of] eradicating defilements [may be discussed] likewise. When eradication of previously exiting defilements is called eradication, initial enlightenment has the [function of] eradication, but original enlightenment does not. When the original lack of defilements is called eradication, original enlightenment refers to eradication, but initial enlightenment does not. Viewed from this [[[latter]]] way, [[[defilements]]] are originally eradicated, and thus originally there is no ordinary being, just as stated in the passage below, “all sentient beings are originally consistently abiding (C. changzhu, K. sangju 常住) within the dharmas of nirvana and bodhi.” However, although it is said that original enlightenment exists and thus originally there is no ordinary being (凡夫), there is not yet initial enlightenment and thus originally there are ordinary beings. Therefore, there is no fallacy [between the two cases]. If you [take only one aspect and] claim that because there is original enlightenment, originally there are no ordinary beings, then there would not be initial enlightenment at last. If then, on what basis could ordinary beings exist? If those [[[ordinary beings]]] do not have initial enlightenment at last, then there would be no original enlightenment, [which is contrasted to initial enlightenment,] then on basis of what original enlightenment can it be said that there is no ordinary beings?17 Wonhyo argues that the mind-essence is called original enlightenment because it has the meaning˘ of not only original enlightenment, as represented in the literal expression of original enlightenment, but also initial enlightenment. On the one hand, original enlightenment has the meaning of the original lack of non-enlightenment and, in this sense, all sentient beings are considered as constantly abiding. On the other hand, original enlightenment is called as such because it has the function of illumination of enlightening, explaining the presence of ordinary beings. Two seemingly contrasting characters are both accepted as the twofold aspect of original enlightenment, i.e., tathagatagarbha¯ . Here again, Wonhyo˘ takes original enlightenment not just in the literal sense, but in the sense beyond literal expression.
One might indicate that the division of (original) enlightenment into original and initial enlightenment is already stated in the Awakening of Faith and Fazang also provides a proper explanation of them in his commentary. However, a comparison of Wonhyo and Fazang’s explanation on the˘ two types of original enlightenment, original enlightenment that is pure in nature (C. xingjing benjue,
K. songjong pongak˘ 性淨本覺) and original enlightenment that conforms to impurity (C. suiran benjue, K. suyom po’gak˘ 隨染本覺), discloses that their views on original enlightenment are not identical, but rather implies a significant difference. In the Kisillon so, Wonhyo addresses these two types of original˘ enlightenment as the basis of the twofold aspect of (original) enlightenment, which have just been discussed above, original enlightenment and initial enlightenment, respectively.18 In other words, Wonhyo explains each side of the twofold aspect of original enlightenment in a separate way, by relating˘ them to each type of original enlightenment among the two; that is, the original enlightenment that is pure in nature and the original enlightenment that conforms to impurity.
This respective interpretation of the twofold meaning of original enlightenment may also be applied back to the twofold nature of the mind-essence, the nature of neither-arising-nor-ceasing and arising-and-ceasing. Then, it seems that in Wonhyo’s interpretation of the˘ Awakening of Faith, the terms that have the connotation of tathagatagarbha¯ , such as the mind-essence or original enlightenment, have a twofold nature/meaning, each side of which has a distinct meaning/nature. In Wonhyo’s commentary on the˘ Nirvana Sutra, the Yolban chongyo˘ 涅槃宗要, original enlightenment that conforms to impurity appears with a slightly modified name, as the nature of realization that conforms to impurity (K. suyom haes˘ ong˘ 隨染解性).19 Given this, we may presume that in Wonhyo’s works, the two terms—nature of realization (K.˘ haesong˘ 解性) and original enlightenment—are distinguished from each other, with different implications.
17 See the Pyolgi˘ T1845:44.230b02-18: 問。為當。心體只無不覺故名本覺。為當。心體有覺照用名為本覺。若言只無不覺名本覺者。可亦無覺照故是不覺。若言有覺照故名本覺者。未知此覺為斷惑不。若不斷惑則無照用。如其有斷則無凡夫。答。非但無闇。亦有明照。以有照故。亦有斷惑。此義云何。若就先眠後覺名為覺者。始覺有覺。本覺中無。若論本來不眠名為覺者。本覺是覺。始覺則非覺。斷義亦爾。先有後無名為斷者。始覺有斷。本覺無斷。本來離惑名為斷者。本覺是斷。始覺非斷。若依是義。本來斷故。本來無凡。如下文云。一切眾生。從本已來。入於涅槃菩提之法。然雖曰有本覺故本來無凡。而未有始覺故。本來有凡。是故無過。若汝。言由有本覺本來無凡。則終無始覺。望何有凡者他。亦終無始覺則無本覺。依何本覺以說無凡.
18 See the Kisillon so T1844:44.211c26-212a01: 總說雖然。於中分別者。若論始覺所起之門。隨緣相屬而得利益。由其根本隨染本覺。從來相關有親疎故。論其本覺所顯之門。普益機熟不簡相屬。由其本來性淨本覺。等通一切無親
疎故. 19 See the Yolban chongyo˘
Although Fazang likewise mentions the two types of original enlightenment in the Yiji, it does not seem that he recognizes any distinction between them, because he often interchangeably uses the terms “original enlightenment” and “nature of realization”, which are distinguished by Wonhyo as the˘ two types of original enlightenment: the original enlightenment that is pure in nature and the nature of realization that conforms to impurity.20 For instance, in explaining original enlightenment as the cause of uncontaminated (C. wulou 無漏, anasrava¯ ) dharmas along with the conditions of permeation from learning (C. wen xunxi 聞熏習, s´ruta-vasan¯ a¯), Fazang draws on a passage from Paramartha’s¯ commentary on the Mahay¯ anasam¯ . graha, in which the nature of realization, not original enlightenment, is presented as the cause of sainthood, together with the permeation from learning.21 This shows that Fazang identifies original enlightenment with the nature of realization. Faznag also uses these two terms side by side in a compound word, as if the words have the same meaning.22 Most of all, he clearly identifies these two concepts in the Huayan wujiao zhang 華嚴五敎章 by saying that the nature of realization mentioned in Paramartha’s commentary on the¯ Mahay¯ anasam¯ . graha refers to the original enlightenment of the Awakening of Faith. Given all of this, it does not seem that Fazang distinguishes the two types of original enlightenment in the same way as Wonhyo does. Although˘ Fazang addresses the two types of original enlightenment, it is apparent that he does not see any valid distinction between them. Rather, it seems that these two terms just refer to two names given to tathagatagarbha¯ , which has only one (not a twofold) nature, merely by depending on whether or not it is combined with the arising-and-ceasing mind. In fact, just as Fazang identifies the two types of original enlightenment, Fazang describes tathagatagarbha¯ as having one, not a twofold, nature. Unlike Wonhyo, as discussed above,˘
who considers the mind-essence, i.e., tathagatagarbha¯ , to have a twofold nature of arising-and-ceasing and neither-arising-nor-ceasing, Fazang says that the tathagatagarbha¯ has only the one nature of neither-arising-nor-ceasing. This implies, along with his identification of the two types of original enlightenment, that, for Fazang, tathagatagarbha¯ and other concepts that have an equivalent connotation, such as original enlightenment, do not have a twofold meaning/nature, but only one. I have mentioned that among the three views introduced by Wonhyo on the mind-essence, the second view is very˘ similar to Fazang’s interpretation of tathagatagarbha¯ as neither-arising-nor-ceasing. It seems very likely then that Wonhyo introduced the second view by keeping in his mind an exegete such as Fazang.˘
21 See the Ru lengqiexin xuanyi 入楞伽心玄義 T1790:39.431c11-14: 由習氣海中有帶妄之眞。名本覺。為無漏因。多聞熏習為增上緣。或亦聞熏與習海合為一無漏因。梁論云。多聞熏習與本識中解性和合。一切聖人以此為因. “In the ocean of habituated tendencies (vasan¯ a¯), there is the truth that assumes delusion, and it is called original enlightenment. [This] constitutes the cause of uncontaminated [[[dharmas]]] (anasrava¯ ), while permeation from great learning works as auxiliary conditions. Otherwise, permeation of hearing combined with the ocean of habituated tendencies serves as the one cause of uncontaminated [[[dharmas]]]. [Therefore] Paramartha’s commentary on the¯ Mahay¯ anasam¯ . graha states that permeation from great learning is combined with the nature of realization in the base-consciousness, and this is taken as the cause of all sainthood.”
Wonhyo and Fazang’s distinct views on˘ tathagatagarbha¯ are also reflected in their understanding of alayavijñ¯ ana¯ . As mentioned above, alayavijñ¯ ana¯ is defined in the Awakening of Faith as a unification of the neither-arising-nor-ceasing (mind of suchness, viz. tathagatagarbha¯ ) and the arising-and-ceasing mind in a neither-identical-nor-different condition. Wonhyo accounts for the unification of these two˘ minds in alayavijñana as twofold, namely, in a non-identical (K. piil 非一) condition on the one hand, and in a non-different (K. pii 非異) condition on the other hand, in a similar way to how he considers tathagatagarbha¯ to have a twofold nature. It may be said that there are two (viz., non-identical) minds in alayavijñ¯ ana¯ , that is, the neither-arising-nor-ceasing mind and the arising-and-ceasing mind; however, the mind-essence of these two minds are not separated (viz., non-different) and thus constitute one single mind. This mind, which has the two minds and yet is not separated, is called alayavijñana .
The twofold condition of alayavijñ¯ ana¯ is explained by Wonhyo as a logical consequence that˘ follows when two mistaken views are removed; the view that the neither-arising-nor-ceasing mind (viz., tathagatagarbha¯ ) is either identical with or different from the arising-and-ceasing mind (viz., phenomenal mind). Wonhyo also gives a warning, in this regard, of nihilism and eternalism in a similar˘ way to how he does in discussing the twofold nature of tathagatagarbha¯ , mentioned above. The view that they are identical would end up with nihilism because the mind-essence, or tathagatagarbha¯ , should also disappear when the arising-and-ceasing mind is eradicated; the view that they are different would amount to eternalism because the mind-essence, which would be regarded as just neither-arising-nor-ceasing, could not move along in accordance with various conditions. The logical basis of this twofold condition of alayavijñ¯ ana¯ , in this sense, may be traced back to the twofold nature of tathagatagarbha¯ . Viewed from the perspective of the neither-arising-nor-ceasing nature, tathagatagarbha¯ is distinct from the arising-and-ceasing mind and thus their unification in alayavijñ¯ ana¯ will also be in a non-identical condition. In this case, alayavijñ¯ ana¯ may not be seen as identical to (or not-different from) tathagatagarbha¯ . By contrast, from the perspective of the arising-and-ceasing nature of tathagatagarbha¯ , it may be said to accord with the arising-and-ceasing mind and accordingly, their unification will be in a non-different condition. In this case, alayavijñ¯ ana¯ is viewed as identical to (or not-different from) tathagatagarbha¯
. On the basis of this twofold unification in alayavijñ¯ ana¯ , Wonhyo also explains the˘ Lank˙ avat¯ araS¯ utra¯ ’s inconsistent statements on the relationship between alayavijñ¯ ana¯ and tathagatagarbha¯ . The Lankavatara Sutra is well-known for taking an ambiguous position on the relationship between alayavijñ¯ ana¯ and tathagatagarbha¯ . Alayavijñ¯ ana¯ is sometimes equated with tathagatagarbha¯ , thereby implying that it is pure; at other times, it is regarded as separate from it, with the connotation that it is impure.
Wonhyo seeks to resolve this problem by drawing upon the twofold condition of the˘ alayavijñ¯ ana¯ . When the neither-arising-nor-ceasing mind (viz., tathagatagarbha¯ ) and the arising-and-ceasing mind are unified in a non-identical condition, the alayavijñ¯ ana¯ is described as separated from the tathagatagarbha¯ . On the contrary, when they are unified in a non-different condition, alayavijñ¯ ana¯ and tathagatagarbha¯ are identified with each other. In Wonhyo’s view, if the˘ tathagatagarbha¯ did not have a twofold nature, but had only one nature of neither-arising-nor-ceasing, the unification, if ever, between tathagatagarbha¯ and the arising-and-ceasing mind would only occur in a non-identical condition, and tathagatagarbha¯ could not move along in accordance with the arising-and-ceasing mind.
Fazang’s view on alayavijñ¯ ana¯ is quite different from Wonhyo’s. I have mentioned that Fazang only˘ accepts the unitry nature of tathagatagarbha¯ : the nature of neither-arising-nor-ceasing. Then, the two fold unification in alayavijñana should occur between the neither-arising-nor-ceasing tathagatagarbha¯ and the arising-and-ceasing mind; Fazang does not need the twofold nature of tathagatagarbha¯ to explain the twofold unification in alayavijñ¯ ana¯ . When considered from Wonhyo’s perspective,˘ the unification of the neither-arising-nor-ceasing tathagatagarbha¯ and the arising-and-ceasing mind constitutes only one side of the twofold unification, that is, the unification in a non-identical condition. In Fazang’s view, however, the tathagatagarbha¯ , which only has the nature of neither-arising-nor-ceasing, still moves itself and produces the arising-and-ceasing [[[phenomena]]], and is unified with the arising-and-ceasing mind in a neither-identical-nor-different condition. The former activity of the tathagatagarbha¯ , the activity of moving itself and producing the arising-and-ceasing, is well-known as the dependent origination of tathagatagarbha¯ (C. rulaizang yuanqi 如來藏緣起) or the dependent origination of Thusness (C. zhenru yuanqi 眞如緣起); the latter activity of its unification with the arising-and-ceasing mind in a neither-identical-nor-different condition as the unification of truth and delusion (C. zhenwang hehe 眞妄和合).
The doctrine of dependent origination of tathagatagarbha¯ (or Thusness) means that all of the phenomenal world is evolved from tathagatagarbha¯ (or Thusness). This doctrine is often regarded as deviating from, or even contradictory to, the position of the early Yogacara tradition,¯ according to which the evolution of the phenomenal world typically occurs from alayavijñ¯ ana¯ , an arising-and-ceasing (viz., conditioned, C. youwei 有爲, sam. skara¯ ) dharma, not from tathagatagarbha¯ or Thusness, neither-arising-nor-ceasing (viz., unconditioned, C. wuwei 無爲, asam. skara¯ ) dharma. In East Asia, however, as Fazang’s interpretation of the Awakening of Faith was established as the most influential commentary of the treatise, the theory of the dependent origination of tathagatagarbha¯ was also predominantly accepted as a doctrinal frame for understanding it. In the four-fold taxonomy (C. jiaopan 敎判) of Buddhist teaching, which Fazang explicates at the beginning of the Yiji, texts such as the Awakening of Faith and the Lankavatara Sutra are attributed to the fourth and highest level as the teaching of the dependent origination of tathagatagarbha¯ (C. Rulaizang yuanqi zong 如來藏緣起
宗). According to this doctrine, tathagatagarbha¯ , despite its neither-arising-nor-ceasing nature, directly participates in such an activity as the dependent origination. Fazang declares that the teaching of the dependent origination of tathagatagarbha¯ indicates the doctrine of interfusion and non-obstruction between the principle and phenomena (C. lishi rongtong wuai shuo 理事融通無說), implying that a direct interaction occurs between the principle (C. li 理; viz., tathagatagarbha¯ ) and phenomena (C. shi 事; viz., the arising-and-ceasing). Indeed, Fazang states that the tathagatagarbha¯ of this teaching, which conforms to (phenomenal) conditions to constitute the alayavijñ¯ ana¯ , refers to the principle and it penetrates into phenomena (C. liche yushi 理徹於事). In Fazang’s view, the tathagatagarbha¯ ’s interaction with the arising-and-ceasing mind, which is described in the Awakening of Faith, is none other than a direct interaction between principle and phenomena.
The unification of truth and delusion refers to the unification of the tathagatagarbha¯ (viz., truth) and the arising-and-ceasing mind (viz., delusion) in a neither-identical nor-different condition. Fazang used this term to account for the unification of the two minds in the alayavijñ¯ ana¯ , and afterwards, it came to be adopted widely throughout East Asia, along with its connotation. As a result, the alayavijñ¯ ana¯ of the Awakening of Faith is generally called the consciousness in which truth and delusion are unified (C. zhenwang hehe shi 眞妄和合識). Fazang’s view on the twofold unification in the alayavijñ¯ ana¯ might not appear different from Wonhyo’s in its appearance; just as Wonhyo does,˘ Fazang also explains the Lankavatara Sutra ’s equivocal statements regarding the relationship between tathagatagarbha¯ and alayavijñ¯ ana¯ 36 in terms of the twofold unification in alayavijñ¯ ana¯ . However, the implications of the twofold unification in Fazang’s view are different from those in Wonhyo’s.˘ Unlike Wonhyo, who explains each side of the twofold unification respectively based on the twofold˘ nature of the tathagatagarbha¯ , Fazang interprets this twofold unification in the alayavijñ¯ ana¯ as a single state, in which the truth and delusion are interfused to each other. In other words, for Fazang, the neither-identical-nor-different condition of the unification is a new state in the unitary condition,
which is distinguished from both the non-identical condition and the non-different condition. Although the neither-identical-nor-different condition of alayavijñ¯ ana¯ may be called ‘twofold’ merely based on its formal division into ‘not-identical’ and ‘not-different’, it does not mean that it has two distinct aspects, because the tathagatagarbha¯ has a unitary, not twofold, nature. This interfused state of the unification of the tathagatagarbha¯ and the arising-and-ceasing mind in alayavijñana is known by Fazang as “the unification of truth and delusion”, and is explicated in his comments on alayavijñ¯ ana¯ , as follows: As for the above statement, “This consciousness has two natures [of the enlightenment and the non-enlightenment],” the “natures” are somewhat difficult [to understand] and now I summarize the [entire] passage above and below to briefly describe the meaning. For the rest of the passages, one will then understand it when [later] reading it. As for what [it is like, it is] as follows: Thusness (C. zhenru 眞如) has two aspects. One is the aspect of unchangeability (C. bubian yi 不變義), and the other is the aspect of conforming to [changing] conditions (C. suiyuan yi 隨緣義). Nescience (C. wuming 無明, avidya¯) also has two meanings. One is the aspect of emptiness that lacks the essence (C. wuti jikong yi 無體即空義), and the other is the aspect of functioning that forms phenomena (C. youyong chengshi yi 有用成事義). Truth (C. zhen 眞), [i.e., Thusness] and delusion (C. wang 妄), [i.e., nescience] constitute the abode of Thusness (C. zhenrumen 眞如門) on the basis of the former aspects, and constitute the abode of arising-and-ceasing (C. shenmiemen 生滅門) on the basis of the latter aspects. [The two latter aspects, that is,] Thusness that conforms to conditions (C. suiyuan zhenru 隨緣眞如) and nescience that forms phenomena (C. chengshi wuming 成事無明) each also have two aspects. One is the aspect of opposing itself and according with the other (C. weizi shunta yi 違自順他義), and the other is the aspect of opposing the other and according with itself (C. weita shunzi yi 違他順自義). In the case of nescience [that forms phenomena], the first [aspect of] opposing itself and according with the other has two further aspects. One is [the aspect of] being capable of refusing [[[language]]] expositions to reveal the virtuous merits of the nature [of Thusness] (C. nengfanduiquan shixinggongde 能反對詮示性功德), and the other is [the aspect of] being capable of knowing the meaning of names to accomplish pure functions (C. nengzhimingyi chengjingyong 能知名義成淨用). The [second aspect of] opposing the other and according with itself also has two aspects. One is [the aspect of] covering truth (C. fu zhenli 覆眞理), and the other is [the aspect of] forming delusory mind (C. cheng wangxin 成妄心). In the case of Thusness [that conforms to conditions], the [aspect of] opposing the other and according with itself has also two aspects. One is [the aspect of] reversing delusion and defilements to reveal its own merits (C. fanduiwangran xianzide 翻對妄染顯自德), and the other is [the aspect of] internally perfuming nescience to arouse pure functions (C. neixunwuming qijingyong 內熏無明起淨用). [The aspect of] opposing itself and according with the other has also two aspects. One is the aspect of hiding its true essence (C. yinzizhenti yi 隱自眞體義), and the other is the aspect of manifesting delusive dharmas (C. xianxianwangfa yi 顯現妄法義).
Among the four aspects for each of the truth and delusion, on the basis of [the two aspects, that is,] the aspect of refusing [[[language]]] expositions to reveal [the virtuous merits] in case of nescience and the aspect of reversing delusion to reveal merits in case of Thusness, one can come to have original enlightenment. On the basis of [the two aspects, that is,] the aspect of being capable of knowing the meaning of names in case of nescience and the aspect of internally perfuming in case of Thusness, one can come to have initial enlightenment. In addition, on the basis of [the two aspects, that is,] the aspect of covering the truth in case of nescience and the aspect of hiding the essence in case of Thusness, one can come to have the original non-enlightenment (C. genben bujue 根本不覺). And, on the basis of [the two aspects, that is,] the aspect of forming delusion in case of nescience and the aspect of manifesting delusion in case of Thusness, one can come to have the derivative no-enlightenment (C. zhimo bujue 枝末不覺).
In this abode of arising-and-ceasing, [the nature of] the truth and delusion is briefly divided into four aspects, but in detailed level, there are eight aspects. When [paired aspects from Thusness and nescience] are unified to constitute the dependent origination, there are four divisions, namely, two for enlightenment and two for non-enlightenment. When the origin and its derivatives are not separated from each other, there are only two divisions, namely, enlightenment and non-enlightenment. When [they are all] interfused to encompass each other, there are only one, namely, the abode of arising-and-ceasing of the one mind (C. yixin shengmie men 一心生滅門).
Figure 1. The unification of truth and delusion in Fazang’s commentary of the Awakening of Faith . As seen in Figure 1, the mutual interfusion between Thusness and nescience represents a state, in which truth and delusion, are intricately interconnected to constitute alayavijñ¯ ana¯ . For Fazang, the neither-identical-nor-different state of the unification in alayavijñ¯ ana¯ is not dividable into two aspects of the non-identical condition and the non-different condition; rather, it is a unitary state called ‘synthetic’ consciousness. It was due to this interpretation that the concept of alayavijñ¯ ana¯ of the
Awakening of Faith has been regarded as doctrinally incompatible with that of early Yogac¯ ara Buddhism.¯ The ‘synthetic’ structure of the alayavijñ¯ ana¯ , in which the neither-arising-nor-ceasing tathagatagarbha¯ is directly interacting with the arising-and-ceasing mind, is simply incongruous with the early Yogac¯ ara’s¯ understanding of tathagatagarbha¯ or Thusness as the unconditioned dharmas, which never take part in any phenomenal activity. Moreover, the alayavijñ¯ ana¯ in this ‘synthetic’ state has a metaphysical implication, which is generally not accepted in Buddhist tradition. It might be said that Fazang succeeded in compromising the contemporary doctrinal tension by interpreting alayavijñ¯ ana¯ of the Awakening of Faith as the ‘synthetic’ consciousness, in which the neither-arising-nor-ceasing mind and the arising-and-ceasing mind are interpenetrated to each other. However, as far as Fazang’s claim that tathagatagarbha¯ and the phenomenal world, or Thusness and nescience, are unified in one state has a metaphysical connotation, his interpretation of alayavijñ¯ ana¯ also remains odd from the general standpoint of Buddhist tradition.
4. Concluding Reflections
The Awakening of Faith has been considered to doctrinally deviate from the early Yogacara because of its innovative description of alayavijñ¯ ana¯ as the ‘synthetic’ consciousness, in which the tathagatagarbha¯ and the phenomenal mind are unified. This way of understanding has mostly been based on Huayan exegete Fazang’s commentary, according to which Thusness and nescience, truth and delusion, or principle and phenomena, are interpenetrated in the alayavijñ¯ ana¯ . The question of how the neither-arising-nor-ceasing tathagatagarbha¯ can participate in the arising-and-ceasing activities of the phenomenal world still remains a problem innate to Fazang’s interpretation. In comparison, Wonhyo’s˘ commentaries of the Awakening of Faith suggest an alternative view on the alayavijñ¯ ana¯ . By considering the twofold nature of tathagatagarbha¯ , which includes not only the neither-arising-nor-ceasing nature, but also the arising-and-ceasing nature, Wonhyo explains how˘ tathagatagarbha¯ keeps its neither-arising-nor-ceasing nature on the one hand, and also engages itself in the phenomenal world on the other hand. On the basis of this understanding the tathagatagarbha¯ , the unification of the tathagatagarbha¯ and the arising-and-ceasing mind in alayavijñ¯ ana¯ is also explained in a twofold way—the unification in a not-identical condition on the one hand, and in a not-different condition on the other hand. In this way, Wonhyo explains doctrinal compatibility between the˘ alayavijñ¯ ana¯ of the Awakening of Faith and that of the early Yogacara, and based on his perspective on the¯ tathagatagarbha¯ and the alayavijñ¯ ana¯ , we may see a possible doctrinal connection between the Awakening of Faith and the early Yogacara.¯
Kisillon so 起信論疏. T1844.
Lengqie abatuoluo baojing 楞伽阿跋多罹寶經 T670.
Ru lengqiexin xuanyi 入楞伽心玄義 T1790.
Taesung kisillon py˘ olgi˘ 大乘起信論別記 T1845.
Yolban chongyo˘ 涅槃宗要 T1769.
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