The Treatise on the Elucidation of the Knowable / The Cycle of the Formation of the Schismatic Doctrines
- About the Book
There are two titles in this volume.
The Treatise on the Elucidation of the Knowable was written in the Yuan Period by the Tibetan 'Phags-pa for the Chinese Crown Prince at the time as an outline of Buddhist thought, and deals with such subjects as the Buddhist view of life and Buddhist cosmology. The teachings set forth are based on the whole on the Abhidharmakosa-bhasya, but there are also to be found ideas peculiar to this work. The title, “Treatise on the Clarification of What is to be Known,” implies that all teachings which it is necessary to know are made clear by the contents of this work. It was originally written in either Tibetan or Mongolian, but only the Chinese translation is extant.
The Cycle of the Formation of the Schismatic Doctrines describes the course of the so-called ‘Basic Schism’ of Buddhism into the Theravada and Mahasamghika Schools, which took place over 100 years after the death of Sakyamuni, and the subsequent division of the Hinayana into 20 minor sects. It is written from the standpoint of the Sarvastivadins, but also describes in detail the doctrinal characteristics of the other sects. This work is thus not only indispensable in the study of the history of sectarian division in Buddhism, but, when one considers that the majority of extant doctrinal treatises of Hinayana belong to the Sarvastivadins, it is also an invaluable source of material in the elucidation of the tenets of sects other than the Sarvastivadins.
- About the Author(s)
Charles Willemen, Translator
Keisho Tsukamoto, Translator