Wonhyo (元曉, 617-686) composed Neungga-Jongyo (楞伽宗要) before his commentary on the Awakening of Faith in the Mahāyāna (henceforth AFM) and he has a deep understanding of the thought of the Laṅkāvatāra-sūtra (henceforth LAS). When he annotated the AFM, Wonhyo mainly referred to the LAS for the interpretation of the Gateway of the Mind as Arising and Ceasing (xinshengmie men 心生滅門). This means that Wonhyo based his interpretation of the Theory of Mind and Cognition (心識說) in the AFM, on the LAS. This can specially be confirmed by the intensive citation from chapter two and chapter six of the existing Sanskrit text of the LAS. Chapter two of the LAS is the section which explains the unique theory of mind and cognition and chapter six is the section which explains the sameness between the Tathāgatagarbha and the ālayavijñāna for the first time.
This paper examines the specific aspects of the citation of the LAS. It focuses on the citation of phrases from the LAS, which are used to comment on the two sentences of the Gateway of the Mind as Arising and Ceasing in the AFM. As a result, Wonhyo changed the meaning of the text by partially quoting from a longer sentences and paragraphs and interpreting differently from the original concept of the Sanskrit text defferently. On the one hand, he used a terminology which was added only to the Chinese translations of the LAS that are not found in the original Sanskrit text. And the other hand, by relying on the context of the Chinese translations of LAS, which are completely different from the original Sanskrit text, and by selectively citing from a long paragraph, the initial meaning is lost. He then used these Chinese translation as evidence in his arguments.
Through this citation method, the scriptures of the LAS have digressed from the context of the original text, and have been diversely transformed, reinterpreted or even distorted. For example, the word originally meaning the relative generic feature (jātilakṣaṇa) is translated to mean the ‘True Nature of Things (zhenxiang 眞相)’, which in turn is used to mean the ‘True Aspect of the ālayavijñāna (zhenshi 眞識)’ in contrast to the ‘Deluded Mind (wangshi 妄識)’. And the word meaning the continuity within the process of reincarnation, is transformed to mean of ‘the Not-Arising and Not-Ceasing (busheng bumie 不生不滅)’, instead of the Arising and Ceasing (shengmie 生滅). And finally, the term defining the Samādhi, is translated into the ‘Singleness of Mind (yixin 一心)’, and then used as evidence of the possession of two aspects of the ‘Singleness of Mind’, which are the Gateway of the Mind as Suchness (xin zhenru men 心眞如門) and the Gateway of the Mind as Arising and Ceasing.
Wonhyo’s citation of LAS might be an example of the East Asian transformation process relating to the understanding and interpretation of the Sutra compiled in India.