Yogacara Buddhism as a distinct and important school first attracted the attention of Western scholars early in the Twentieth century. The enormity and complexity of Yogacara has posed a daunting, but rewarding challenge to the Western scholars who have attempted to tackle it.
Why did Sakyamuni Buddha, having realized liberation from the world, choose to give up the seclusion of his enlightenment and go forth again into that same world? Why did he take on the task of preaching the content of his realization to all the beings still ensnared in the net of death and re-birth? The early Buddhists seem to have had some difficulty accounting for the apparent paradox in this decision.