Jewels from the Treasury: Vasubandhu’s Verses on the Treasury of Abhidharma and the Commentary Youthful Play

This book contains a translation of one of the greatest presentations of abhidharma in any tradition: “Vasubandhu’s Verses on the Treasury of Abhidharma,” along with the Ninth Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje’s

clear and concise explanation of it, “Youthful Play,” translated by David Karma Choephel.

Jewels from the Treasury, Vasubandhu’s Verses on the Treasury of Abhidharma

Youthful Play, commentary by the Ninth Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje,
translated by David Karma Choephel

September 2012
ISBN: 978-1-934608-25-8
hardcover, 6 x 9 in., 684 pages

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Though the abhidharma is recognized as one of the major topics of the Buddhist teachings, up until now there have been few translations of any of the great texts on it available in a Western language. This book contains a translation of one of the greatest presentations of abhidharma in any tradition: Vasubandhu’s Verses on the Treasury of Abhidharma, along with the Ninth Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje’s clear and concise explanation of it, Youthful Play. Taken together, these two works give a thorough explanation of the abhidharma of the foundation vehicle as taught in the northern Buddhist traditions that spread to Tibet as well as to China and other East Asian countries. Indeed, this text will be helpful for those studying the abhidharma of all traditions. This book gives thorough explanations of all the fundamental concepts and terms found in the Buddhist teachings. Beginning from the aggregates, sense bases, and elements, it presents the nature of the phenomena we experience, describes the karma and afflictions that create suffering, and shows the factors of the path that leads to liberation. In this way, it is like an encyclopedia of Buddhism that thoroughly explains the the meaning of the many different technical terms found in the sutras, vinaya, and other Buddhist teachings if you are wondering what something you have read in a Buddhist text really means, there is a good chance it is explained in this book. It thus provides an invaluable aid to students who want to deepen their understanding not only of the abhidharma but of all the Buddhist teachings. (This publication was made possible with the generous support of Tsadra Foundation.)

Buddhadharma, The Best Buddhist Books of 2012; review in the Winter Buddhadharma 2013; review in Gazelle, UK, 2012.

  • From karma to states of meditation, world systems to the workings of our minds — Vasubandhu’s Treasury of Abhidharma examines the key topics of Buddhism carefully, thoroughly, and concisely. The Ninth Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje’s commentary elucidates Vasubandhu’s text in a way that is accessible to those new to abhidharma studies and also satisfying to those seeking a deeper understanding. Both texts are capably translated by David Karma Choephel, whose rendering of the root verses in meter is both melodic and mnemonic. Whether we are interested in madhyamaka studies or practicing mahamudra, studying Jewels from the Treasury will provide us with insight into the topics that are the foundation of all the Buddhist systems of philosophy and meditation.
    –Elizabeth M. Callahan

  • Of these three trainings, the primary one for destroying the afflictions and attaining the ultimate result is the superior training in full knowing. Developing this training depends mainly on the pitaka of abhidharma, and that in turn depends mainly on the treatises of abhidharma. Of all these treatises, the easiest and clear- est is the Treasury of Abhidharma, so if you study the Treasury, it will bring great benefit.
    –Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche

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