Vasubandhu - Buddhist Idealism

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After waching some interesting lectures on Eastern Philosophy I came across this Buddhist philospher Vasubandhu who formed the Yogacara or consciousness only school of Buddhism whose philosophy many academics liken to that of George Berkeley. What do you guys think? Is it close to Kastrup's own form of idealism?



Vasubandhu's main Yogacara works (Viṃśatikā and Triṃśikā) put forth the theory of "vijñaptimātra" which has been rendered variously as 'representation-only', 'consciousness-only' and 'appearance-only'. While some scholars such as Lusthaus see Vasubandhu as expounding a phenomenology of experience, others (Sean Butler) see him as expounding some form of Idealism similar to Kant or George Berkeley.[14]

The Twenty verses begins by stating:

In Mahayana philosophy...[reality is] viewed as being consciousness-only...Mind (citta), thought (manas), consciousness (chit), and perception (pratyaksa) are synonyms. The word "mind" (citta) includes mental states and mental activities in its meaning. The word "only" is intended to deny the existence of any external objects of consciousness. We recognize, of course, that "mental representations seem to be correlated with external (non-mental) objects; but this may be no different from situations in which people with vision disorders 'see' hairs, moons, and other things that are 'not there.'"[2]

One of Vasubandhu's main arguments in the Twenty verses is the Dream argument, which he uses to show that it is possible for mental representations to appear to be restricted by space and time. He uses the example of mass hallucinations (in Buddhist hell) to defend against those who would doubt that mental appearances can be shared. To counter the argument that mere mental events have no causal efficacy, he uses the example of a wet dream. Vasubandhu then turns to a mereological critique of physical theories, such as Buddhist atomism and Hindu Monism, showing that his appearance only view is much more parsimonious and rational.[2]

The Thirty verses also outlines the Yogacara theory of the Eight Consciousnesses and how each one can be overcome on the stages of enlightenment, turning consciousness (vijnana) into unmediated cognition (jnana) by cleansing the stream of consciousness from ‘contaminations' and ‘defilements.’ The Treatise on Buddha Nature was extremely influential in East Asian Buddhism by propounding the concept of tathagatagarbha (Buddha Nature).
 
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