By Johannes Rahder
Philosophy East & West
V. 5 (January 1956)
This Indian Buddhist philosophical treatise of the first half of the 4th century has come to us only in the Chinese translation of Kumarajiva (Taisho Daizokyo, Taisho Chinese Buddhist Canon, Tokyo, 1926, Vol. 32, pp.239-373; Nanjio No. 1274 成實論 Ch'eng Shih Lun). Its study may contribute to a more satisfactory definition of the terms Hiinayaana and Mahaayaana in the field of metaphysics, epistemology, and logic.
Takakusu (The Essentials of Buddhist Philosophy, pp.74-79), following the Chinese learned monks Chi-tsang (549-623) and Tao-hsuan (596-667), classified Harivarman's work as Hinayanistic, but Sakaino Koyo, author of a 2-volume history of Chinese Buddhism (Tokyo, 1927), has pointed out its predominantly Mahayanistic features in an article contributed to the anniversary volume for the late expert on Chinese Buddhism, Tokiwa Daijo (Tokyo, 1933).
The earlier Chinese monks, like Chih-tsang (458-522), Seng-jou, and Hui-Tz'u, minimized the difference between Nagarjuna's Mahayana and Harivarman's doctrines of the Middle Way, nominalism (a development of the Praj~naptivada and Sautrantika schools), upaya, the pre-eminence of the truth of annihilation among the Four Noble Truths, and relativistic dialectics. The founder of the Chinese San Lun sect has been strongly influenced by his study of Harivarman.
This founder is Seng-lang, who came from Korea to China between 494 and 497. [[N. Aiyaswaami `Sastri Santiniketan) is preparing a translation of the Satyasiddhi-sastra. He points out in his article on "Nagarjuna and Satkaryavada of the Sankhyas" (Sino-Indian Studies, Vol. 4, pp.47-50) that the Satyasiddhi-sastra rejects the theory that the effect exists in a potential state in its cause. He refers to the Satyasiddhi-sastra in notes of his recent translation of Nagarjuna's Dvada`samukha-sastra, Visvabharati Annals, Vol. 6, pp.165-231 (Santiniketan, 1954).