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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Aryasanga

(Āryāsanga) (T)(Chagpa-Thog-Med) (c. 410-500). Also known as Asanga. Tradition has it that Aryasanga was the founder of the Yogacara or Naljorchodpa School in Buddhism. Not a great deal is known about his life, but it is said that he meditated in a cave for twelve years with no apparent progress and then gained enlightenment by his compassionate care for a maggot ridden dog.

Helena P. BLAVATSKY has stated that Aryasanga came from SHAMBALLA (Sk. Śambhala) and that he was said to have been taught the Ancient Wisdom by the MAITREYA Buddha, the Buddha of the Sixth race (CW XIV:451).

Extant works include Uttaratantra tr. by E. Obermiller, (reprinted by Canon Pubs., Talent, Oregon, 1985), Diamond Sutra Commentary, tr. by G. Tucci in Minor Buddhist Texts, (vol. 1, Rome, 1956).

One of his important teachings is Alaya-Vijñana which is the store-consciousness that underlies the continuity of personal experiences in time and through many lives.

Blavatsky refers to two Aryasangas in The Secret Doctrine. “Aryāsanga was a pre-Christian Adept and founder of a Buddhist esoteric school, though Csoma di Köros places him, for some reasons of his own, in the seventh century A.D. There was another Aryasanga, who lived during the first centuries of our era and the Hungarian scholar most probably confuses the two” (SD I:49-50, fn.). See ALAYA-VIJÑANA.

P.S.H.

 

 

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