Vyākhyāyukti ( Tib. རྣམ་པར་བཤད་པའི་རིགས་པ་, Wyl. rnam par bshad pa'i rigs pa), or Well Explained Reasoning, is a work by Vasubandhu that is preserved only in Tibetan translation. The text 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.
It states that sutras are to be explained according to:
- their purpose (Skt. sūtrānta-prayojana; Wyl. mdo sde 'i dgos pa)
- their summarized meaning (Skt. piṇḍārtha; Wyl. bsdus pa'i don)
- the meaning of the words (Skt. padārtha; Wyl. tshig gi don)
- their sequence and connection (Skt. anusaṃdhi; Wyl. mtshams sbyar ba)
- objections and refutations (Skt. codyaparihāra; Wyl. brgal ba dang lan)
These five topics are discussed in the first four chapters. The fifth chapter is an appendix on the benefits of listening to the dharma.
This text also identifies ten referents for the term dharma in the Buddhist context.
- 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), by Vasubandhu. A collection of 105 sutra 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 Gunamati.
- 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.
- Goodman, Steven (2020), The Buddhist Psychology of Awakening, Shambhala
- Principles of Elucidation (Ron Garry)
- Reasoned Exposition (Dharmachakra Translation Committee)
- Rational System of Exposition (Gyurme Dorje)
- Principles of Exegesis (Peter Skilling)
- Proper Mode of Expression (Goodman, The Buddhist Psychology of Awakening)
- 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.
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