UBC’s Tzu-chi Buddhist Studies Forum
Perception, Conceptual Construction and Yogic Cognition:
according to Kamalasila’s Epistemology
Professor Toru Funayama, Kyoto University
4:00-5:30 pm, October 18, 2004
Asian Center, Room 604
The nature of direct perception (pratyaksa) is one of the most important topics in the Logico-Epistemological (pramana) School of Buddhism in India. I will first try to give (more or less) a general explanation as to how direct perception is defined by Kamalasila (ca. 740-795 C.E.), one of the most brilliant scholar-monks of the school after the establishment of the philosophical system by Dharmakirti (ca. 600-660). In the course of this analysis, the relation between direct perception and conceptual construction (kalpana) will also be elucidated. Further, I will point out a few problems underlying in the definition of direct perception, especially in terms of yogic cognition (yogijñana) or perception (yogipratyaksa). My special attention will be directed toward the point as to how one can meditate on the religious truths such as “All beings are momentary” in the form of direct perception without any intervention by conceptual construction.