Dharmakīrti and Taego Boowoo on the Transformation of Consciousness

U, Je-sun / Dongguk Univ.

Ever since the Buddha thought his teaching, the attainment of mokṣa has been the main task for Buddhists to achieve. In the Yogācāra school, it has been understood to result from the transformation of consciousness. This concept has occupied a special position in Buddhist philosophy as the link between theory and practice. The purpose of this paper is to examine the transformation of consciousness in the works of Dharmakīrti who are the representative logician of the Buddhist Pramāna school and Taego Boowoo who are the main Seon master of Korean Buddhism.

This paper shows that Dharmakīrti and Taego shares the same ideas as follows, even though they are different in their time and place as the 7th and 11th centuries, and India and Korea. ① They shares the same idea in terms of why a man should practice the meditation. The purpose of the practice is to save others from their sufferings as well as to be free from all sufferings of his own. ② They has the identical idea on what is the liberation from sufferings. It is the destruction of all kleśas. The means of their removal is to see the selflessness of all in the case of Dharmakīrti, and to see the Buddhahood of our mind in the case of Taego. ③ They has the same epistemological structure in liberation. The practice starts with the words. It is the process of removing conceptual construction (vikalpa) and transforming consciousness into prajñā. It leads to the attainment of mokṣa.