Well Explained Reasoning

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The Well Explained Reasoning (Skt. Vyākhyāyukti; Tib. རྣམ་པར་བཤད་པའི་རིགས་པ་, Wyl. rnam par bshad pa'i rigs pa)—a work by Vasubandhu that sets out the principles of exegesis or hermeneutics and teaches how to interpret and explain the content of a sutra. It has five chapters, and in the fourth Vasubandhu refutes the assertion that the Great Vehicle cannot be considered as Buddhism.[1]

It states that sūtras are to be explained according to:

  1. their purpose
  2. their summarized meaning
  3. their sense
  4. their sequence
  5. objections and refutations


Commentaries

  • One Hundred Extracts from the Sūtras for the Principles of Exegesis (Skt. Vyākhyāyukti-sūtra-khaṇḍaśata; Wyl. rnam par bshad pa rigs pa'i mdo sde'i dum bu brgya). A collection of 105 sūtra passages that serve as Vasubandhu's source material.
  • Commentary on the Principles of Exegesis (Skt. Vyākhyāyukti-ṭīkā; Wyl rnam par bshad pa rigs pa'i bshad pa) by Guṇamati (Tib. ཡོན་ཏན་བློ་གྲོས་) (5th century C.E.).

References

  1. Skilling, Peter. Vasubandhu and the Vyākhyāyukti Literature, in the Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, Volume 23, Number 2, 2000, page 334-335.

Alternative Translations

  • Principles of Elucidation (Ron Garry)
  • Reasoned Exposition (Dharmachakra Translation Committee)
  • Rational System of Exposition (Gyurme Dorje)
  • Principles of Exegesis (Peter Skilling)

Further Reading

  • Skilling, Peter. Vasubandhu and the Vyākhyāyukti Literature, in the Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, Volume 23, Number 2, 2000.
  • Cabezon, Jose Ignacio. Vasubandhu's Vyākhyāyukti on the Authenticity of the Mahāyāna Sūtras, in Timm, Jeffrey R, Texts in Context: Traditional Hermeneutics in South Asia. SUNY Press, 1992.
  • Verhagen, Peter C.Studies in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Hermeneutics (4): The Vyākhyāyukti of Vasubandhu Journal Asiatique 293, no. 2 (2005): 559–602.