by Tripitaka Master Hsuan-Tsang of the Tang Dynasty
         Translation and Explanation by Ronald Epstein

The Author:
By Tripitaka Master Hsuan-Tsang of the T'ang Dynasty

     Tripitaka is  Sanskrit word meaning "three baskets". It refers to the Buddhist canon with its three divisions--sutra, vinaya, and abhidharma. A tripitaka master is one who has thoroughly mastered all three divisions.  Tripitaka Master Hsuan-Tsang was one of the foremost translators of Chinese Buddhist texts and a great enlightened master in his own right. He lived during the early Tang Dynasty, a golden age for Buddhism in China.  During his early years as a monk in China he became aware of a number of doctrinal controversies concerning the Mahayana teachings, particularly those of the Yogacara.  He then decided to journey to India to resolve his own doubts and to bring back authoritative texts that would help establish the correct teachings in China.  After his fourteen (or according to some, seventeen) year journey, he established a translation bureau under imperial patronage.  He succeeded in translating the major Yogacara texts as well as many others.  His teachings and translations served as the foundation for what was considered the orthodox Consciousness-Only School in China.

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