Details of Karma: The Vaibhashika Presentation

At the end of the fourth century CE, Vasubandhu systematized the Vaibhashika presentation of karma, which had first been formulated in The Great Extensive Commentarial Treatise, compiled in the early second century CE at the Fourth Buddhist Council. Thus, Vasubandhu accepted that the karmic impulses in actions of the mind are the mental factor of a compelling urge (sems-pa, Skt. cetanā) and that the karmic impulses in actions of the body and speech are compulsive revealing forms (rnam-par rig-byed-kyi gzugs, Skt. vijñaptirūpa) and, in many cases, invisible nonrevealing forms (rnam-par rig-byed ma-yin-pa’i gzugs, Skt. avijñaptirūpa). Vasubandhu elaborated on the three types of karmic impulses in the context of his extensive presentation of the full scope of the Vaibhashika assertions about existence, cognition and the path to liberation.