Cover of The Summary of the Great Vehicle
BDK America
Publish Date: 
Bodhisattva Asaṅga
John P. Keenan


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This fourth-century "Compendium of the Mahayana" attempts to systematize Buddhist thought into a unified whole from the standpoint of the Yogācāra (Mind-Only or Consciousness-Only) School. Complete in one volume.

The classic argument for the basic Yogācāra themes on conscious interiority, attempting to reinterpret within this context the general Mahayana teachings of emptiness and dependent co-arising.


Taishō 1593

Volume 30

The Summary of the Great Vehicle (Revised Second Edition)

The Summary of the Great Vehicle, sometimes called the “compendium of the Mahayana,” presents an attempt to systematize Buddhist thought into a united whole from the standpoint of the Mind-Only School (Vijñānavāda). The essentials of Mahāyāna Buddhism are arranged under ten headings, to each of which is devoted a single chapter. This work became the basic text of the She-lun School in China (Shoron in Japan) , which takes its name from a shortened version of the Chinese name of the work. 

Skt. Mahāyānasaṃgraha, composed by Asaṅga. Translated into the Chinese by Paramārtha as She dasheng lun (攝大乘論). 3 fascicles.

Table of Contents

A Message on the Publication of the English Tripiṭaka    NUMATA Yehan    v
Editorial Foreword    MAYEDA Sengaku    vii
Publisher’s Foreword    Francis H. Cook    ix
Translator’s Introduction    John P. Keenan     xiii

The Summary of the Great Vehicle

  • Preface to the Summary of the Great Vehicle 3
  • Introduction: The Chapter Titles of the Excellent Teaching on Support 9
  • Chapter I. The Support for the Knowable 13
  • Chapter II. The Distinguishing Characteristics of the Knowable 37
  • Chapter III. Entry into the Distinguishing Characteristics of the Knowable 61
  • Chapter IV. The Distinguishing Characteristics of the
  • Cause and Result of This Entry 71
  • Chapter V. The Distinguishing Characteristics of the Diverse Practices in Regard to Entering the Cause and Result 79
  • Chapter VI. The Distinguishing Characteristics of Learning Discipline 85
  • Chapter VII. The Distinguishing Characteristics of Thought Training 87
  • Chapter VIII. The Distinguishing Characteristics of Learning Wisdom 91
  • Chapter IX. The Distinguishing Characteristics of Quiescent Abandonment as a Result of the Trainings 99
  • Chapter X. The Distinguishing Characteristics of the Excellence of Wisdom 103

Notes 121
Glossary 125
Bibliography 135
Index 137
A List of the Volumes of the BDK English Tripi†aka (First Series)