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Yogachara (Sanskrit: योगाचार, IAST: Yogācāra; literally "yoga practice"; "one whose practice is yoga") is an influential tradition of Buddhist philosophy and psychology emphasizing the study of cognition, perception, and consciousness through the interior lens of meditative and yogic practices. Yogachara was one of the two most influential traditions of Mahayana Buddhism in India, the other being Madhyamaka.
|Part of a series on
Key historical figures
|representation-only, Yoga Practice School, Consciousness-Only School, Subjective Realism, Mind-Only School
(Pinyin: Wéishí Yúqiexíng Pài)
(rnal 'byor spyod pa)
|Du-già Hành Tông
|Glossary of Buddhism
Yogācāra is also variously termed Vijñānavāda (the doctrine of consciousness), Vijñaptivāda (the doctrine of ideas or percepts) or Vijñaptimātratā-vāda (the doctrine of 'mere representation'), which is also the name given to its major epistemic theory. There are several interpretations of this main theory: various forms of Idealism, as well as a phenomenology or representationalism, aimed at deconstructing the reification of our perceptions.
According to Dan Lusthaus, this tradition developed "an elaborate psychological therapeutic system that mapped out the problems in cognition along with the antidotes to correct them, and an earnest epistemological endeavor that led to some of the most sophisticated work on perception and logic ever engaged in by Buddhists or Indians."
While Yogācāra was mainly associated with Indian Mahayana Buddhism from about the fourth century CE onwards, it also included non-Mahayana practitioners of the Sautrāntika school. The 4th-century Gandharan brothers, Asaṅga and Vasubandhu, are considered the classic philosophers and systematizers of this school, along with the figure of Maitreya. Yogācāra continues to be influential in Tibetan Buddhism and East Asian Buddhism. However, the uniformity of a single assumed "Yogācāra school" has been put into question.
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