Tag Archives: David Friedmann


When one considers Asanga and Vasubandhu and their connection with the Yogācāra, it needs to be stated that they stressed their basic position as Vijñaptimātratā, wherein the emphasis was placed on a form of an epistemic-proposition that elaborates on perceptual-errors that blocks the path to higher self-realization. In this sense its primary focus is more of a soteriological-formulation than an exclusively “mind-only” proposition. Thus, Vijñaptimātratā became known as the fundamental philosophical principle of a “Classical- Yogācāra” as articulated by Asanga and Vasubandhu. In particular, Vasubandhu, in his Madhyāntavibhāgabhāṣya, or commentary on the Madhyāntavibhāga, put the Vijñaptimātratā-construct to work wholeheartedly. Likewise, the Madhyānta-vibhāgaṭīkā, or subcommentary on both the Madhyāntavibhāga+bhāṣya composed by Sthiramati, also puts emphasis on that Vijñaptimātratā formulation. While Stcherbatsky includes both the MAVBH and MAVT in his translation, someone else writing simultaneously at the same time (unbeknownst to both men), the Dutch scholar David Lasar Friedmann, placed a greater emphasis on the Sthiramati Madhyāntavibhāgaṭīkā. It’s interesting to note that when Friedmann heard that the famous Russian Buddhologist was translating the same work, he was about to abandon his efforts when he was persuaded by Stcherbatsky to continue his noble effort. We will also be utilizing Friedmann’s excellent work as it nicely and refreshingly compliments Stcherbatsky’s translation. read more

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