Asanga

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Asanga
Asanga

Asanga (also called Aryasanga), (c 300 - 370 CE) , was an exponent of the yogācāra school of Buddhist philosophy. Traditionally, he and his half-brother Vasubandhu are regarded as the founders of this school.

Born the son of a Kshatriya father in Puruspura (Peshawar) in northernwestern India, Asanga was perhaps originally a member of the Mahīśāsaka or the Mūlasarvāstivāda school but later converted to Mahāyāna; after many years of intense meditation, during which time some traditions say that he often visited Tushita Heaven to receive teachings from Maitreya-nātha. He went on to write many of the key Yogācāra treatises such as the Yogācārabhūmi-śāstra, the Mahāyāna-samgraha and the Abhidharma-samuccaya (refer Abhidharma) as well as other works, although there are discrepancies between the Chinese and Tibetan traditions concerning which works are attributed to him and which to Maitreya-nātha.

The Tibetan tradition attributes authorship of the Ratnagotravibhaga to him, while the Chinese traditions attributes it to a certain Sthiramati or Sāramati. Peter Harvey finds the Tibetan attribution less plausible.

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