There is one thing in the foregoing account given by Tao-hsiian of the history of the Lankavatara that requires notice: that there was another school in the study of the sutra than the one transmitted by Dharma and Hui-k'e. This was the
idealism. The line of Hui-k'e belonged to the Ekayana school (一乘) of Southern India which was also the one resorted to by Dharma himself when he wanted to discourse on the philosophy of Zen Buddhism. To this Ekayana school belong the Avatamsaka and the Sraddhotpanna as well as the Lankavatara properly interpreted. But as the latter makes mention of the system of the eight Vijnanas whose central principle is designated as Alayavijnana, it has been used by the Yogacara followers as one of their important authorities. (p. 54-55) schoolof Yogacara
The doctrine expounded in the Lankavatara and also in the Avatamsaka-sutra is known as the Cittamatra and never as the Vijnanamatra or Vijnaptimatra as in the Yogacara
and Vasubandhu. Throughout the Lankavatara no mention is made of "vijnanamatra," but either "vijnaptimatra," or "prajnaptimdtra," and they are used synonymously. […] Where the triple world (tribhavam) is said to be nothing but vijnapti or prajnapti, it means that the world is mere subjective construction, having no reality or selfsubstance (svabhdva). The doctrine of Cittamatra, (mind-only, or pure-mind-only), as advocated in the Lankavatara, however, differs from this in that it does not deny the existence of mind itself, from which the objective world appears with all its forms of particularisation. schoolof Asanga
I cannot conclude this study without referring, though casually, to the difference between the doctrine of Cittamatra and that of Vijnaptimatra (or Vijnanamatra), the latter being the thesis of the Yogacara school of Buddhism which was founded principally by Asanga and Vasubandhu. […] How is the Cittamatra of the Lankavatara to be distinguished from the Vijnanamatra?
Or are they the same, only differently designated? The following is given more to elucidate -the Lankavatara position than to give a definite answer to the question. It is a most significant question deserving a fuller treatment than we may discuss here.
The doctrine persistently maintained in the Lankavatara is Cittamatra or Cittadrisyamatra, and not Vijnana- or Vijfiapti-matra, which, according to Asanga and Vasuban- dim, is "Idam sarvam vijnaptimdtrakam,"1 meaning by idam that which is discriminated as "This is the self" and "That is an external reality," that is, this world where the subject is distinguished from the object, or, to use Buddhist terminology, the triple world including both samskrita and asamskrita. It is true that Citta is quite frequently identified with Vijnana or Vijnapti as in the following gatha, in which this identification is explicitly referred to:
"Mind (citta), discrimination, representation (vijnapti), the will (manas), consciousness (viJnana), the storage (dlaya), that which makes the triple world,—all these are synonyms of mind (citta)." But when the word "Cittamatra" is used, this Citta has a specific sense to be distinguished from the empirical mind which functions as Manas and Vijnana. As I have repeatedly remarked, the Citta in the Lankavatara is the principle of mentality, and when it is said that there is the "Mind-only," this mind includes"not only the empirical mind but that which constitutes the very basis of discrimination. The mind is what is left behind when all forms of discrimination are rejected as leading to spiritual bondage and defilement. It is thus something that has been here even prior to all discrimination, that is, even before the duality of subject and object had come to exist.The Lankavatara does not advocate nihilism pure and simple; it tries to take hold of somewhat beyond this world of particularisation. When one has actually taken hold of it by sheer act of intuition which is made possible by the working of non-discriminative wisdom (avikalpa-Jnana) ,3 or supreme wisdom (drya Jnana) ,4 or superior knowledge (prajfid) in the inmost recesses of consciousness (pratydtmagocara), the Lankavatara calls it the Mind (citta). And as there is nothing subjective or objective besides this Mind, the Cittamatra or "Mind-only" theory is now positively established. The philosophy, if there is any such thing in the Lankavatara, is ontology and not epistemology. Whereas the doctrine of Vijnaptimatra is epistemological.
In the Lankavatara no reference is made to the Vijnapti except probably once, but rather to the Prajnaptimatra view of the world; and even in the latter case the reference is negligible, considering that the weight of the whole discourse in the Lankavatara falls on the Cittamatra and not on the Prajfiaptimatra or Vijnaptimatra or Namamatra or Vikalpamatra. The sutra does not linger long on the question of the world being merely a name or a representation, but it exhausts its powers of persuasion to convince the reader that the world is Mind itself, and that it is only by realizing this truth in one's own inner consciousness that enlightenment ensues. The transcendental mind, or Mind itself, or "Mind-only" is thus made the chief subject of the text. In this it varies from the teaching of the Yogacara: the latter emphasises the process of transformation which takes place in the Alayavijnana, and it naturally makes most of the aspect of existence which is to be considered merely ideational. It does not go further on to say that there is the "Mind-only" as the principle of unification in which all representations (vijnapti) „ cogitations (manana), discriminations (vikalpa), and a world of particulars (vishaya), leave no traces. According to Sthiramati's commentary, the Trimsika is regarded as written for those who do not understand truthfully (yathabhutam) what is meant by Cittamatram, but this does not mean that the Cittamatra is the Vijiiaptimatra. The former may be based on the latter, or we can say that when the Cittamatra is declared as a fact of intuitive knowledge, the doctrine of Vijnaptimatra logically follows from this realisation. The Trimsika may thus form a part of the Lankavatara's philosophical foundation, but we must not overlook the fact that there is a conceptual difference between the theme of the Lankavatara and the Yogacara's psychological or rather epistemological interpretation of existence.
D.T. Suzuki's translation: