Sandhi-nirmocana Sūtra

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The ‘Elucidation of the Intention’, an important Mahāyāna sūtra in ten chapters which contains the earliest presentation of the essentials of Yogācāra Buddhism. Dating from around the late 2nd century, it is a highly philosophical work which may be viewed as a corrective to certain misguided interpretations of the earlier Prajnā-pāramitā Sūtra corpus. The sūtra is evidently a composite of three separate sections placed together during the course of the 2nd century ce, and reaching its final form early in the 3rd century. The work introduces the key concepts of the ‘storehouse consciouness’ (ālaya-vijñāna), the ‘three natures’ (tri-svabhāva) and the ‘Three Turnings of the Wheel’ (the last notion originating in the Buddha's first sermon). Although no Sanskrit version survives, there are five Chinese translations and one in Tibetan.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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