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The Triṃśikā-vijñaptimātratā (Sanskrit; traditional Chinese: 唯識三十論頌; pinyin: Wéishí sānshí lùn sòng; Japanese: Yuishiki sanjūronju; Korean: 유식삼십송), also known simply as the Triṃśikā or occasionally by is English translation Thirty Verses on Manifestation Only, is a brief poetic treatise by the Indian Buddhist monk Vasubandhu. It was composed in the 4th or 5th century CE and became one of the core texts for the Yogācāra school of Mahāyāna Buddhism. In it he touches on foundational Yogācāra concepts such as the storehouse consciousness, the afflicted mental consciousness, and the three natures, among others. Together with the Vimśatikā form a standard summary of Vasubandhu's understanding of Yogācāra.[1]

Manuscripts and translations[edit]

The Triṃśikā was translated into Chinese by Xuanzang in 648 CE at Hongfu Monastery. It was also translated into Tibetan in antiquity. A version in the original Sanskrit also survives.[1]


In India, the most influential commentary on the Triṃśikā was written by Sthiramati in the 6th century. According to Xuanzang, who studied the Triṃśikā at Nalanda in the 7th century under Śīlabhadra, there were 10 known prose commentaries on the text. These were by Sthiramati, Dharmapala of Nalanda, Nanda, Citrabhānu, Guṇamati, Jinamitra, Jñānamitra, Jñānacandra, Bandhuśrī, Śuddhacandra, and Jinaputra. Xuanzang initially intended to translate all of these, but on the advice of his students, especially Kuiji, Xuanzang instead chose to combine them into a single text that focused primarily on Dharmapala's commentary. He did so because his teacher Śīlabhadra was a student of Dharmapala, and thus Xuanzang believed Dharmapala's interpretation to be the most accurate. Among the others commentators, Xuanzang most often included excerpts from Sthiramati, Nanda, and Citrabhānu, but usually only to provide contrast with Dharmapala. The result of this work was the Cheng Weishi Lun, which became the most important text for the tradition of East Asian Yogācāra. Xuanzang's student Kuiji in turn created his own commentary on this text, the Cheng weishi lun shuji.[1]

After Xuanzang's pilgrimage, Indian commentary on the Triṃśikā continued to be produced. In the late 7th century or early 8th century, Vinītadeva, also working at Nalanda, produced commentaries on both the Triṃśikā and the Vimśatikā which survive in Tibetan translation and some Sanskrit fragments.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Buswell, Robert Jr; Lopez, Donald S. Jr., eds. (2013). Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. p. 180, 291, 923–924. ISBN 9780691157863.
  2. ^ Jaini, Padmanabh S. (1985), "The Sanskrit Fragments of Vinītadeva's "Triṃśikā-ṭīkā"", Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 48 (3): 470–492, doi:10.1017/S0041977X00038441, JSTOR 618497

External links[edit]