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The Consciousness-Only (vijñapti-mātra) School of Chinese Buddhism is a transmission and development of the Consciousness-Only School of Indian Buddhism. Controversies exist regarding to what extent the Indian version was reshaped in China. Historically speaking, there were three major phases of the transmission of Indian Consciousness-Only doctrines: (1) early 6th century, represented by Bodhiruci; (2) mid-6th century, represented by Paramārtha (499-569); (3) mid-7th century, represented by Xuanzang (602?-664) and his disciples, who compiled the Cheng weishi lun (*Vijñapti-mātratā-siddhi) and were later regarded as orthodox. One of the major differences between the Consciousness-Only doctrine transmitted by Paramārtha and that by Xuanzang lies in their reception of Tathāgatagarbha thought. According to Paramārtha, all sentient beings share the Dharma-body of the Buddha and can be properly designated as “Buddha-containing” (tathāgata-garbha), but Xuanzang recognizes the existence of the icchantika-s, namely, a group of sentient beings who will never be enlightened and become Buddhas.

Key works Much about the development of this filed remains murky. Frauwallner 1982 and Otake 2013 touch upon Bodhiruci. Paul 1984聖凱 2006, Keng 2009 and Funayama 2012 focus on Paramārtha. Sponberg 1979 and Lusthaus 2003 discuss the doctrines of Xuanzang and his disciple Kuiji (632-682).
Introductions Gimello 1976 remains a reliable introduction. Lusthaus 2003 is controversial in its interpretation of the Consciousness-Only doctrine of Xuanzang and Kuiji as phenomenology instead of as idealism.
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  1. Eunsu Cho (2004). From Buddha's Speech to Buddha's Essence: Philosophical Discussions of Buddha-Vacana in India and China. Asian Philosophy 14 (3):255 – 276.
    This is a comparative study of the discourses on the nature of sacred language found in Indian Abhidharma texts and those written by 7th century Chinese Buddhist scholars who, unlike the Indian Buddhists, questioned 'the essence of the Buddha's teaching'. This issue labeled fo-chiao t'i lun, the theory of 'the essence of the Buddha's teaching', was one of the topics on which Chinese Yogācāra scholars have shown a keen interest and served as the inspiration for extensive intellectual dialogues in their (...)
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  2. Robert Gimello (1976). Chih-Yeh and the Foundations of Hua-Yen Buddhism. Dissertation, Columbia University
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  3. Imre Hamar (2010). Interpretation of Yogācāra Philosophy in Huayan Buddhism. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 37 (2):181-197.
  4. Peter D. Hershock (2008). Contexts and Dialogue: Yogācāra Buddhism and Modern Psychology on the Subliminal Mind – by Tao Jiang. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 35 (2):371–375.
  5. Tao Jiang (2005). Ālayavijñāna and the Problematic of Continuity in the Cheng Weishi Lun. Journal of Indian Philosophy 33 (3):243-284.
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  6. Whalen Lai (2008). Chinese Buddhist Philosophy From Han Through Tang. In Bo Mou (ed.), Routledge History of Chinese Philosophy. Routledge.
  7. Whalen Lai (1986). The Defeat of Vijñaptimatrata in China: Fa-Tsang on Fa-Hsing and Fa-Hsiang. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 13 (1):1-19.
  8. Whalen Lai (1982). Sinitic Speculations on Buddha-Nature: The Nirvāṇa School (420-589). Philosophy East and West 32 (2):135-149.
  9. Whalen Lai (1977). The Meaning of "Mind-Only" (Wei-Hsin): An Analysis of a Sinitic Mahāyāna Phenomenon. Philosophy East and West 27 (1):65-83.
  10. Chen-Kuo Lin (2010). Truth and Method in the Saṃdhinirmocana Sūtra. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 37 (2):261-275.
  11. Chen-kuo Lin (2010). Truth and Method in the Sūtra. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 37 (2):261-275.
  12. Ming-Wood Liu (1989). The Early Development of the Buddha-Nature Doctrine in China. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 16 (1):1-36.
  13. Ming-Wood Liu (1987). Fan Chen's "Treatise on the Destructibility of the Spirit" and its Buddhist Critics. Philosophy East and West 37 (4):402-428.
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  14. Ming-Wood Liu (1985). The Mind-Only teaChing of Ching-Ying Hui-Yüan: An Early Interpretation of Yogācāra Thought in China. Philosophy East and West 35 (4):351-376.
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  15. Ming-Wood Liu (1985). The Yogācārā and Mādhyamika Interpretations of the Buddha-Nature Concept in Chinese Buddhism. Philosophy East and West 35 (2):171-193.
  16. Dan Lusthaus (2003). Buddhist Phenomenology: A Philosophical Investigation of Yogācāra Buddhism and the Chʼeng Wei-Shih Lun. Routledgecurzon.
  17. Charles Muller, Wŏnhyo's Doctrine of the Two Hindrances (Ijangŭi 二障義).
    as a major force in the establishment of Hua-yen studies in Korea. A major component of Wŏnhyo's career that is sometimes overlooked in these characterizations, however, is the fact that he easily stands as one of the greatest Yogācāra scholars in the entire history of East Asian Buddhism, having demonstrated a mastery of the Yogācāra doctrine equaled by probably no more than three or four individuals in the entire East Asian tradition. 1 Indeed, after (...)
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  18. Jian Ouyang (2011). Ouyang Jian Wen Xuan. Shanghai Yuan Dong Chu Ban She.
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  19. Diana Y. Paul (1984). Philosophy of Mind in Sixth-Century China: Paramārtha's "Evolution of Consciousness". Stanford University Press.
    Of the many translators who carried the Buddhist doctrine to China, Paramartha, a missionary-monk who arrived in China in AD 546, ranks as the translator par excellence of the sixth century. Introducing philosophical ideas that would subsequently excite the Chinese imagination to develop the great schools of Sui and T'ang Buddhism, Paramartha's translations are almost exclusively of Yogacara Buddhist texts on the nature of the mind and consciousness. This first study of Paramartha in a Western language focuses on the Chuan (...)
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  20. Lambert Schmithausen (1987/2007). Ālayavijñāna: On the Origin and the Early Development of a Central Concept of Yogācāra Philosophy: Reprint with Addenda and Corrigenda. International Institute for Buddhist Studies of the International College for Postgraduate Buddhist Studies.
    pt. 1 Text -- pt. 2 Notes, bibliography and indices.
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  21. Zhihua Yao (2009). Empty Subject Terms in Buddhist Logic: Dignāga and His Chinese Commentators. Journal of Indian Philosophy 37 (4):383-398.
    The problem of empty terms is one of the focal issues in analytic philosophy. Russell’s theory of descriptions, a proposal attempting to solve this problem, attracted much attention and is considered a hallmark of the analytic tradition. Scholars of Indian and Buddhist philosophy, e.g., McDermott, Matilal, Shaw and Perszyk, have studied discussions of empty terms in Indian and Buddhist philosophy. But most of these studies rely heavily on the Nyāya or Navya-Nyāya sources, in which Buddhists are portrayed as opponents to (...)
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