The Tattvasiddhi school of Buddhism (Chinese: 成實宗; pinyin: Chéngshí zōng; Japanese pronunciation: Jōjitsu-shū) was a sect of Nikaya Buddhism influential but short-lived in India that had a brief continuation in China and the Asuka and Nara periods of Japan.

Origin and Chinese translation

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]

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]

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]


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.[4] East Asian Mādhyamaka (三論宗 Sanron-shū) was one of the six Nara sects (南都六宗 Nanto Rokushū).[5]

See also



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