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Щербатской Ф. И. Теория буддистов о душе. I; II // Азиатский сборник. Из Известий Российской Академии Наук. Новая серия = Mélanges asiatiques tirés du Bulletin de l’Académie des Sciences de Russie. Nouvelle Série. Петроград, 1919. С. 823—854; 937—958.


In that magnificent compendium of Buddhist doctrine, which the illustrions Vasubandhu compiled at the close of the Vth Century A. D. under the title of Abhidharmakoça we find attached to the last chapter, as a kind of conclusion of the whole work, a special appendix devoted to the much controverted question about the Buddhist denial of the existence of Soul. The work opens with the statement that in Order to attain Salvation a thorough discrimination of the Elements (dharma) which are active in the process of life is indispensable, and then proceeds to make an exposition of these Elements, their classification and characteristics (I and II chapters). It then goes on in the III chapter to enumerate the different kinds of living beings or worlds produced by the play of the elementary forces just described. The following two chapters (IV and V) are devoted to an investigation into the general cause which brings the world into movement and the special causes that are feeding the process of life (karma and anuçaya). Thus these five chapters represent what may be termed the statics and dynamics of the ordinary world process (duḥkha and samudaya). The remaining three chapters are concerned with the purification of this life or, more precisely, with the pacification of its movement (nirodha and mārga). Chapter VI contains a picture of the Buddhist Saint (āryapudgala) and the last two chapters (VII and VIII) are dealing with the general and the special causes of saintliness, viz. immaculate wisdom (prajnā amalā) and transic meditation (samādhi). Among all the analysed elements of existence no Soul i. e. no permanent principle, representing some unity between the separate elements of life, is mentioned. Consciousness (vijñāna), it is true, occupies a central position, but it is likewise impermanent, and the final extinction of its working is likewise aimed at. Some of the elements necessarily follow upon one another, some are necessarily coexisting i. e. appearing always simultaneously, this process constitutiug tlieir «mutually interdependent origination» (pratītya-samutpāda) or life considered as a play of interdependent elementary forces. In concluding his exposition Vasubandhu feels himself called upon to devote, in the special appendix mentioned above, some considerations to the negative part of the whole System, viz. the negation of Soul...

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