chapter  5
Systematization: Yog-c-ra
Pages 35

Yogacara is by no means a unified school as it has developed in multiple directions throughout history. Contemporary scholars in the West tend to distinguish the logic school represented by Dignaga and his followers from the traditional idealistic system of Yogacara. This doxographical distinction has its root in Tibetan Buddhism, where Buddhist logic (tshad ma) is separated from Buddhist idealism (sems tsam). Having little knowledge about Buddhist logic, contemporary Chinese Yogacara scholars such as Ouyang Jian attempt to distinguish wei-shi , or Buddhist idealism, from a more Abhidharmaoriented tradition, which Ouyang Jian calls fa-xiang (dharmalakSaNa). But this distinction does not make too much sense in a Chinese context because the Chinese Yogacara school represented by Xuanzang and Kuiji, while naming themselves the Faxiang school, undoubtedly adhered to the Buddhist idealism or wei-shi, which became an alternative label for this school. On the other hand, the conflict between the so-called old and new Yogacara in China was almost inevitable. The new school refers to the school of Xuanzang, while the old one is represented by Paramartha, a sixth-century Indian missionary to China. Xuanzang’s introduction of the new Yogacara attempted to dismiss the old one. But, ironically, the new Yogacara school itself became one of the most short-lived Chinese Buddhist schools. The Yogacara teachings of Paramartha, on the contrary, had continuously influenced Chinese Buddhists by providing the theoretical foundation for the formation of the indigenous Chinese Buddhist schools including Huayan, Chan and, to some extent, Tiantai.1