Abhidharmakosa-Bhasya of Vasubandhu (4 Vols.): The Treasury of the Abhidharma and its (Auto) Commentary

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Vasubandhu’s Abhidharmakosa-Bhasya (ca. 380-390), besides its culminating achievement in streamlining the overall structure of the exposition of the preceding Abhidharma manuals, is unmatched by any of the preceding manuals in respect of its comprehensiveness-incorporating all important Vaibhasika doctrines since the time of the Abhidharma-mahavibhasa-of its excellent skill in definition and elucidation, and of its ability to clarify the difficult point involved in doctrinal disputations.

Added to these qualities is its great value as a brilliant critique and insightful revaluation of all the fundamental Sar-vastivada doctrines developed up to its time.

Since its appearance, it has been used as a standard textbook for the understanding of not only the Abhidharma doctrines but all the fundamental Buddhist doctrines in general.

Translated into Chinese by Paramartha in 563 A.D. and by Hsuan-tsang in 651-654 A.D., Hsuan-tsang’s disciple P’u-kuang tells us that in India the Abhidharmakosa-Bhasya was hailed as the ‘Book of Intelligence’. In China, Japan and the Far-east, too, the Kosa has generally been highly treasured as a textbook of fundamental importance for Buddhist studies.

Vasubandhu’s brilliant critique of the doctrines of the Vaibhasika was answered by the equally brilliant Samghabhadra – a contemporary staunch defender and expounder of the doctrines of the Vaibhasikas – in his masterwork, the Abhidharmanyayanusara, now extant only in Hsuan-tsang’s translation (653-654 A.D.).

The Sanskrit text, considered for a long time to be irremediably lost, was discovered by Rahula Samkrtyayana in 1935 in the Tibetan monastery of Ngor and was published by P. Pradhan in 1967 (1st edition).

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Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions 10 × 11 × 12 cm
Book Author

Gelong Lodro Sangpo, Bhikkhu K. L. Dhammajoti

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