Vasubandhu (Skt.; Tib. དབྱིག་གཉེན་, Yiknyen; Wyl. dbyig gnyen) numbers among the ‘Six Ornaments’, the greatest Buddhist authorities of Ancient India. He was the younger brother of Asanga, and composed The Treasury of Abhidharma (Skt. Abhidharmakosha), a complete and systematic account of the Abhidharma, the peak of scholarship in the Fundamental Vehicle. Later he followed the Mahayana Yogachara view, and wrote many works, such as Thirty Stanzas on the Mind (Trimsikavijñapti-karika).
Vasubandhu was a prolific author and wrote texts on a wide variety of subjects, his most famous work being the Abhidharmakosha. A set of eight texts are referred to as the Eight Prakarana:
- A commentary on The Ornament of the Mahayana Sutras
- A commentary on Distinguishing the Middle from Extremes
- A commentary on Distinguishing Dharma and Dharmata
- Well Explained Reasoning
- Treatise on Karma
- Analysis of the Five Skandhas
- Twenty Stanzas
- Thirty Stanzas
He famously had four students who were more learned than himself: Sthiramati, who was more learned in Abhidharma; Dignāga, who was more learned in Pramāṇa; Guṇaprabha, who was more learned in the Vinaya; and Arya Vimuktasena, who was more learned in Prajñāpāramitā. These students are not necessarily considered to be his direct students, but perhaps more in the sense that they followed in his lineage.
- Lobsang N. Tsonawa, Indian Buddhist Pandits from The Jewel Garland of Buddhist History, Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1985.
- Stefan Anacker, Seven Works of Vasubandhu: The Buddhist Psychological Doctor, Motilal Banarsidass, 2nd Edition, 2002, ISBN 978-8120802032