Abhidharmakosha by Vasubandhu


Abhidharmakośa of Vasubandhu

Abhidharmakośa, the famous fundamental treatise of 5th century by Vasubandhu, explaining the fundaments of system of knowledge according to Vaibhāṣika tradition of Buddhism is here.

The main points of study here are the theory of dharma or elements of existence, perception of reality through indriyas (faculties), the notion of karma in the light of teaching about dharmas, path to liberation – Abhidharma or dharma Nirvāṇa, 6 fields of existence (lokas) and other topics.

While the author Vasubandhu in current work explains the fundamental tenets from the viewpoint of an Ancient school of Theravada Buddhism, it is also recommended to people practicing Tibetan or Mahāyāna Buddhism –

Abhidharmakośa has been translated in Tibetan and Chinese very long time ago and always been the starting point of Buddhism studies in Mahāyāna institutions as well.


Translated from Chinese and Tibetan sources by Louis de la Vallee Poussin, 1923 and translated from French to English by Leo M. Pruden.

Except of this translation a few other fragmentary translation attempts has been recorded, which is given in italics as alternative translations of Abhidharmakośa by Vasubandhu next to the main translation, where it was the case:

Chapter 1 – H (italics): translation by Bruce Cameron Hall.

Chapter 2 – J (italics): translation by Subhadra Jhā (from Sanskrit)

Chapter 3 – R (italics): translation of several verses by Geshe Michael Roach (from Tibetan)       

and S (italics): by Susan Stalker.

Chapter 4 – R (italics) by Geshe Michael Roach (from Tibetan)

Chapter 8 & 9 closing verses – translation by Fyodor Shcherbatskoy.

Also the original Sanskrit text of Abhidharmakośa is provided.