Tattvasiddhi

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The Tattvasiddhi school of Buddhism (Chinese: 成實宗; pinyin: Chéngshí zōng; Japanese pronunciation: Jōjitsu-shū) was a sect of Nikaya Buddhism based on the Tattva Siddhi Sastra by the Indian Buddhist Harivarman (3-4th century CE). It was influential but short-lived in India and had a brief continuation in China and the Asuka and Nara periods of Japan.

Tattvasiddhi Śāstra[edit]

This school was based on the text known as the *Tattvasiddhi[1] (Chinese: 成實論; Japanese pronunciation: Jōjitsu-ron, previously reconstructed as the Sādhyasiddhiśāstra[1]) authored by the Indian master Harivarman (250-350)[2][1] and translated into Chinese in 411 by Kumārajīva.[3] The translation is the only extant version.[1]

A.K. Warder sees this text as outlining the Abhidharma of the Bahuśrutīya school.[4] The Tattvasiddhi's positions are closest to those of the Sautrāntika and Sthavira nikāya. Kumārajīva's student Sengrui discovered Harivarman had refused the abhidharma schools' approach to Buddhist seven times in the text, suggesting a strong sectarian division between them and the Sautrāntikas.[3]

In this text Harivarman attacks the Sarvastivada school's doctrine of "all exists" and the Pudgalavada theory of person. The Tattvasiddhi includes the teaching of dharma-śūnyatā, the emptiness of phenomena.[5] This text also mentions the existence of a Bodhisattva Piṭaka.[6] The central teaching of the text is that dharmas have no substance or substratum, they appear real but they are "like bubbles or like a circle of fire seen when a rope torch is whirled around very quickly."[7] Harivarman writes:

"All parts being analyzed again and again are reduced to atoms which again being broken become non-existent. All things culminate necessarily in the idea of Shunyata."[8]

The Tattvasiddhi outlines a conception of the two truths doctrine, explaining conventional or nominal truth and ultimate truth.[9]

The Tattvasiddhi also outlines the importance of a samadhi which is a "cause of knowledge of things as they are, which is the same as knowledge of Shunyata."[10]

This text was translated into English by N. Aiyaswami Sastri in 1978. [11]

Chinese sect[edit]

Its main initial expounders in China were called the "Three Great Masters of the Liang dynasty": Sengmin (僧旻, 467–527), Zhizang (智蔵) (458–522) and Fayun (法雲, 467–529), who initially interpreted the sect as Mahayana in outlook.[3] The three of them in turn received instructions in this treatise from the monk Huici (慧次, 434–490). The three of them also possibly influenced the writing of the Sangyō Gisho, a sutra commentary supposedly authored by Prince Shōtoku.

Three monks, Zhiyi (531-597), Jizang (549-623) and Jingying, labeled it a Hinayana school; it was Dàoxuān (596-667) who first identified it as Sautrāntika.[3]

Japan[edit]

It was introduced to Japan as Jōjitsu in 625 by the monk Ekwan of Goryeo. In Japan, it was classified as one of the three approaches of East Asian Mādhyamaka instead of a separate lineage.[12] East Asian Mādhyamaka (三論宗 Sanron-shū?) was one of the six Nara sects (南都六宗 Nanto Rokushū?).[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Lopez 2013, p. 180.
  2. ^ Takakusu 2002, p. 74.
  3. ^ a b c d Takakusu 2002, p. 75.
  4. ^ Warder, A.K. Indian Buddhism, page 398.
  5. ^ Skilton, Andrew. A Concise History of Buddhism. 2004. pp. 91-92
  6. ^ Williman, Charles. Dessein, Bart. Cox, Collett. Sarvastivada Buddhist Scholasticism. 1997. p. 9
  7. ^ Petzold, Bruno; The Classification of Buddhism 1995, page 441.
  8. ^ N. Aiyaswami Sastri; Satyasiddhisastra of Harivarman Issue 165 of Gaekwad's oriental series, Oriental Institute, 1978. Length, page 337.
  9. ^ N. Aiyaswami Sastri; Satyasiddhisastra of Harivarman Issue 165 of Gaekwad's oriental series, Oriental Institute, 1978. Length, page 334-335.
  10. ^ N. Aiyaswami Sastri; Satyasiddhisastra of Harivarman Issue 165 of Gaekwad's oriental series, Oriental Institute, 1978. Length, page 361.
  11. ^ N. Aiyaswami Sastri; Satyasiddhisastra of Harivarman Issue 165 of Gaekwad's oriental series, Oriental Institute, 1978. Length, 571 pages.
  12. ^ Takakusu 2002, p. 76.
  13. ^ Lopez 2013, p. 547.

Bibliography[edit]