Schmithausen, Lambert, 1987. Alayavijnana: On the origin and the early development of a central concept of Yogacara philosophy, (Studia philologica Buddhica. Monograph series), International Institute for Buddhist Studies.
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Mario D’Amato , in his review of Hartmut Buescher’s The Inception of Yogacara-Vijnanavada, introduces Lambert Schmithausen’s masterworks Alayavijnana: On the origin and the early development of a central concept of Yogacara philosophy in this way:
“Briefly, Schmithausen’s aim in his Alayavijnana is to identify the first passage in which the concept of alayavijnana was introduced. Schmithausen specifies two criteria for identifying such a passage: that the exegetical situation presented a problem that could not be addressed with the current models of consciousness, making it inevitable that a new form of consciousness had to be introduced; and that it seems plausible that the term alayavijnana would have been chosen for this new form of consciousness. Schmithausen argues that the problem that makes a new concept inevitable centers on the meditative “attainment of cessation” (nirod- hasamapatti) – a state in which intentional mental events are held to cease, making it difficult, in light of various other Buddhist commitments, to explain how a series of such mental events can then resume for a subject emerging from this state. Schmithausen’s thesis is that the “initial passage” introducing the concept of alayavijnana occurs in the Samahita Bhumi of the Basic Section* of the vast Yogacarabhumi, where the new concept is invoked to address precisely such a problem. Buescher’s aim here, then, is to argue that Schmithausen’s presumed “initial passage” is not actually the earliest extant passage in which alayavijnana was presented.”
For those unfamiliar with the text it is the foundation of the classic Yogacara school of Asangha and Vasubandhu and is the text that the famous Chinese Buddhist master Hsuan-tsang traveled all the way to India to obtain for translation and teaching.
Personally I can recommend this book as one of the classics of Yogacara scholarship, particularly because in discussing the various sections of the Yogacara-bhumi, a kind of Buddhist yoga practitioners encyclopedia, he is pointing out that various sections could've reasonably been the work of pre-Mahayana authors as well as authors who were moving gradually in stages into the Mahayana. This is because Yogacara simply means “yoga virtuoso”. And in arguing each section from different perspectives you literally are engaging in a dialogue of those different points of view using the same words. For someone wanting to learn how to think like one of these Mahayana Buddhist yoga virtuosos, this is a clear and very self explanatory way to explore those depths.
* The Yogacara-bhumi is comprised of the “basic section” of the 17 Bhumi, (which includes the sravaka bhumi, the pratiyikabuddha- bhumi), and the bodhisattva-bhumi), and 4 supplemental texts.