In the layers of the Yogācārabhūmi divided by L. Schmithausen, we explored the original meaning and origin of ālayavijñāna, only in the layer up to the ‘Proof Portion’ of the Viniścayasaṃgrahaṇī, in which the physical features were conspicuously apparent. First of all, we could see that based on 阿頼耶所蔵 in the Abhidharmamahāvibhāṣāśāstra, which was noted by N. Funahashi as the original form of ālayavijñāna, the two meanings of the word ālaya, the settling place, the attachment, point to a body. As a result, since the technical term “ekayogakṣema” used in the definition of ālayavijñāna in the Saṃdhinirmocanasūtra is based on the idea of āśrayaparivṛtti, ālayavijñāna is the name of a series of āśrayaparivṛtti processes, and the introduction of ālayavijñāna came from the discovery through yoga practice.
“The cessation of the manovijñāna, or consciousness, with the function of conceptualization represents nirvana” (vikalpakasya manovijñānasya vyāvṛttir nirvāṇam), says the Laṅkāvatāra-sūtra (LAS. 126) which is one of the Mahayana scriptures composed under the influence of Yogācāra thought. This statement, however, seems to be confusing, because in the system of the Yogācāra thought nirvana seems at least not to be associated with the cessation of manovijñāna, but should be attained by the conversion of the ālayavijñāna. Thus, some scholars attempted to interpret the meaning of the manovijñāna in this context. Funahashi Naoya was of the opinion that this manovijñāna plays the role of ālayavijñāna. On the contrary, Kubota Chikara reasoned that the function of manovijñāna is not distinguishable from the manas or self conscioussness.
These understandings appear to be dependent on the premise that LAS explicates Mahāparinirvāṇa. However, a few statements in LAS suggest that nirvana in the disputed statement does not indicate Mahāparinirvāṇa but rather the afflictive hindrances (kleśāvaraṇa). Thus, this paper aims to show a probable understanding of nirvana in this statement by considering the explanation of the śrāvakas and pratytekabuddhas’ nirvana, which is described as the cessation of manovijñāna or consciousness in LAS.
The Laṅkāvatāra sūtra (LAS), a Mahāyāna scripture influenced by Yogācāra thought, classifies the eight consciousnesses into two types, namely khyātivijñāna (manifesting consciousness) and vastuprativikalpavijñāna (object-discriminating consciousness). These terms are particular to the LAS.
On the basis of Jñānaśrībhadra’s commentary, modern scholars such as Yasui 安井 and Takasaki 高崎 regard vastuprativikalpavijñāna as manovijñāna (consciousness). However, according to LAS, vastuprativikalpavijñāna is the result of grasping different phenomena, while the function of manovijñāna is grasping an object. Thus, it is hard to consider vastuprativikalpavijñāna as manovijñāna.
While thoroughly analyzing the concept of anādikālaprapañcavāsanā (the habit-energy accumulated by erroneous reasoning since beginningless time), one of the causes of vastuprativikalpavijñāna, Chŏng 鄭 identifies vastuprativikalpavijñāna as ālayavijñāna (store-consciousness), because the LAS describes that ālayavijñāna is precisely under the influence of anādikālaprapañcavāsanā. In addition, Chŏng suggests that the Xianyang shengjiao lun 顯揚聖教論 also shares the same description of ālayavijñāna. Thus, Chŏng concludes that vastuprativikalpavijñāna represents ālayavijñāna. However, since anādikālaprapañcavāsanā is also considered to be the cause of the seven conciousnesses, Chŏng’s argument is not thoroughly convincing.