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Jñānaśrīmitra(975/980 - 1025/1030)

Late Indian Yogācāra philosopher and logician of the school of Dharmakīrti at Vikramaśīla monastery, born between 975 and 1000. Within the Yogācāra, he held the so-called “aspectarian” (sākāra) position regarding the nature of cognition, taking a position opposed to that of Ratnākaraśānti. He is credited as the author of twelve treatises, including an important work on apoha, the Apohaprakaraṇa. In his works on logic, he upholds the interpretation of Dharmakīrti by Prajñākaragupta against the interpretation by Dharmottara. (Source: "Jñānaśrīmitra." In The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, 398. Princeton University Press, 2014. http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt46n41q.27.)

On the topic of this person

Philosophical positions of this person

Sākāravāda to be specific.

There are different takes on what is view was:

  • Karl includes him in the category of those assert buddha-nature to be Mind's Luminous Nature. Stating, "Jñānaśrīmitra cites Uttaratantra I.154 and RGVV and explains that real aspects are mental forms that have the nature of being appearances of lucidity (prakāśarūpa), which he equates with buddha nature—the tathāgata element (tathāgatadhātu)." Brunnhölzl, K., When the Clouds Part,pp. 57-58.
  • However, Kano suggests his view is is that buddha-nature shares features (or coincides) with emptiness and is a property (dharma) of the image (ākāra), which in turn is its possessor (dharmin). In this he was a precursor to Ngok's innovative equation of buddha-nature = emptiness. See Kano, K., Buddha-Nature and Emptiness, p. 61.

Affiliations & relations

  • Vikramaśilā · religious affiliation
  • Maitrīpa · student