Vasubandhu's Abhidharmakosa-Bhasya (ca. 380-390), besides its culminating achievement in streamlining the overall structure of the exposition of the preceding Abhidharma manuals, is unmatched by any of the preceding manuals in respect of its comprehensiveness-incorporating all-important Vaibhasika doctrines since the time of the Abhidharma-mahavibhasa-of its excellent skill in definition and elucidation, and of its ability to clarify the difficult point involved in doctrinal disputations.
Added to these qualities is its great value as a brilliant critique and insightful revaluation of all the fundamental Sar-vastivada doctrines developed up to its time.
Since its appearance, it has been used as a standard textbook for the understanding of not only the Abhidharma doctrines but all the fundamental Buddhist doctrines in general.
Translated into Chinese by Paramartha in 563 A.D. and by Hsuan-Tsang in 651-654 A.D., Hsuan-Tsang's disciple P'u-Kuang tells us that in India the Abhidharmakosa-Bhasya was hailed as the 'Book of Intelligence'. In China, Japan and the Far-east, too, the Kosa has generally been highly treasured as a textbook of fundamental importance for Buddhist studies.
Vasubandhu's brilliant critique of the doctrines of the Vaibhasika was answered by the equally brilliant Samghabhadra - a contemporary staunch defender and expounder of the doctrines of the Vaibhasikas - in his masterwork, the Abhidharmanyayanusara, now extant only in Hsuan-Tsang's translation (653-654 A.D.).
The Sanskrit text, considered for a long time to be irremediably lost, was discovered by Rahula Samkrtyayana in 1935 in the Tibetan monastery of Ngor and was published by P. Pradhan in 1967 (1st edition).
Gelong Lodro Sangpo (Jurgen Balzer)-the translator-is a student of the late Ven. Trungpa Rinpoche. Born in 1953, Germany, he received his first ordination in the Karma Kagyu Sangha in 1984, France, and then moved to Gampo Abbey, Canada. From 1985-2002 he served as Secretary of International Kagyu Sangha Association of Buddhist Monks and Nuns and Published its magazine The profound Path of Peace.
He completed the traditional three-year retreat in 1996 and a four-year study retreat in 2003. Hee also served for a few years as Acting Director of Gampo Abbey. He Was one of the Co-founders of Nitartha Institute and is a senior teacher at the Vidyadhara Institute, the monastic college of Gampo Abbey, since its inception.
His focus of the study is on the systematic traditions of Buddhist Abhidharma. In recent years, he has translated and published under the supervision of Prof.Ernst Steinkellner-Erich Frauwallner's The philosophy of Buddhism (Motilal Banarsidass). At present, he is finalizing a translation of various books and articles by La Vallee Poussin and is also engaged in the project of translating the collected writings of Prof.Lambert Schmithausent from German into English.