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Buddhadharma : Summer 2019
BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 47 When We Look Deeply Thich Nhat Hanh THE FIFTY VERSES draw upon the most important streams of Buddhist thought in India, from the Abhidharma teachings of the Pali canon to later Mahayana teachings such as the Avatamsaka Sutra. The development of Indian Buddhist philosophy and doctrine is generally divided into three periods: Source Buddhism, Many Schools Buddhism, and Mahayana Buddhism. I wrote the Fifty Verses to reflect elements from the teachings of all three periods. The Abhidharma is a primary text of Source Buddhism. One hundred and forty years after the Buddha’s parinirvana, the sangha underwent a division into two streams, the Sthaviras and the Maha sanghikas. This marked the transition into the ManySchools period, when eighteen or twenty new schools came into being, due in most cases to disputes about various points of doctrine. From the Sthavi ras later arose two subsects, the Sarvastivadins and the Sautrantikas. The other main branch of ManySchools Buddhism, the Mahasang hikas, was one of the progenitors of the third great phase of Indian Buddhism, the Mahayana. Vasubandhu is regarded as the patriarch and most outstanding figure of the Vijnaptimatra or ManifestationOnly school, which grew out of the Yogacara school of Mahayana Buddhism. He wrote commentaries on Asanga’s work and also composed two seminal treatises on the teachings of the ManifestationOnly school, Twenty Verses on the Manifestation of Consciousness and Thirty Verses on the Manifestation of Consciousness. Because of Vasubandhu’s training in several traditions, we can see how the ManifestationOnly school developed from the Abhidharma SCULPTURE ROBERT MULHOLLAND