55.   Che-she Sect

55.   Che-she Sect

55.1   Name

Chu-she [Ѫ] is transliterated from the Sanskrit word 'Kosha', which means 'Store'. As the principal text of this sect at the time of establishment was a shastra written by Vasubandhu (316-396 AD) called Abhidharma-kosha Shastra, the sect was thus named after it.

55.2   Development

It was a classical school modified from the Indian doctrinal 'Realistic School'. Abhidharma-kosha was brought to China and translated by Paramartha in 6th century, who was regarded as the founder. The shastra was later re-edited and re-translated by another great master Hsuan-tsang [ȮN]. This sect was eventually became merged with Fa-hsiang [k] sect.

55.3   Principal Text

The sect was inspired by Abhidharma-kosha written by Vasubandhu, the brother of Asnaga, and a native of Purushapura. It was translated in Chinese by Paramartha in 6th century. Another translated text was done by Hsuan-tsang in Tang Dynasty.

55.4   Main Doctrines

  1. Before Vasubandhu was converted to Mahayana by his brother Asanga, he was an ordained monk of Sarvastivada school. i.e. Realistic, or 'All-thing-exist' school in Kashmir. The Abhidharma-kosha was actually an outline of the philosophy of a group of Sarvastivada scholars. 'Abhi' means 'towards -- towards Four Noble Truths and Nirvana'. 'Dharma' means 'doctrine -- doctrines of Four Noble Truths and Nirvana'. 'Kosha' means 'store'.
  2. There are 9 chapters in Abhidharmaa-kosha. It emphasizes that all Dharmas are existent in real state as the karma of sentient beings never extinguish. They all abide by the law of cause and effect. For human beings, they have no real self amongst all Dharmas, as their existence is not permanent and depends on the amalgamation and dispersion of conditions.
  3. There are 4 kinds of Conditional Causation or Dependent Origination, according to the doctrine of Hua-yen [Y] sect. Che-she sect adopted that the conditions of reincarnation arise under the influence of Karma. In Abhidharma-kosha, all Dharma are classified into 75, which include Five Skandhas, Twelve Bases, Eighteen Realms, etc. Each of them is elaborated in full details. Moreover, the Four Noble Truths are explained in 16 different aspects, each truth bearing 4 different aspects.
  4. Above all, the ultimate objective of this sect is to achieve Arhatship and enter the state of Nirvana.