[Seminar] The Buddhist Concept of Vāsanā: From Abhidharma to Early Yogācāra by GAO Mingyuan (PhD Candidate)


Topic: The Buddhist Concept of Vāsanā: From Abhidharma to Early Yogācāra

Speaker: GAO Mingyuan, PhD Student

Date: 20 November 2019 (Wednesday), 7:00 – 9:00pm (Rescheduled)

Venue: The Buddha-Dharma Centre of Hong Kong, 28/F Pacific Plaza, 410 Des Vouex Road West, Hong Kong

This study aims to investigate the origins of the notion of vāsanā (習氣; bag chags) in Buddhism and its doctrinal development in Abhidharmas and early Yogācāra texts. The notion of vāsanā is not of doctrinal significance in early Buddhism. In the post-canonical period, it came to be employed by Buddhists to indicate the remaining force/energy of habits which still exerts its influence at present. The notion of vāsanā seems to have multiple connotations in various Buddhist traditions. In most cases, it is used negatively such as in the expression "kleśa-vāsanā", which is connected with defilements, and "karma-vāsanā", which is connected with karma. Sometimes, it is also understood in a positive sense, such as in the Pāli expression "pubbe vāsanā vāsitā", which is spoken of in terms of cultivation. The study discusses how different ideas originated from various contexts and how they finally came to be integrated into the Yogācāra doctrinal system.

After introducing his research, the speaker will also share with the audience the methodology of writing a Ph.D. thesis.

All are welcome