Treatise on the Establishment of Truth
Treatise on the Establishment of Truth, The
成実論 (Skt Satyasiddhi-shastra; Chin Ch’eng-shih-lun; Jpn Jojitsu-ron )
A work by Harivarman of India translated into Chinese by Kumarajiva in the early fifth century. It is the primary text of the Establishment of Truth (Chin Ch'eng-shih; Jpn Jojitsu) school and contains a detailed discussion of the four noble truths.
The work consists of five sections, which respectively cover the following topics:
(1) The three treasures of the Buddha, the Law, and the Samgha, or Buddhist Order. This section also gives a brief explanation of the four noble truths.
(2) The first of the four noble truths, that all existence is suffering. This section regards the five components of life— form, perception, conception, volition, and consciousness—as suffering.
(3) The second of the four noble truths, that suffering is caused by craving. This section regards karma and earthly desires as the causes of suffering.
(4) The third of the four noble truths, that suffering can be eliminated.
This section asserts that one can attain nirvana by discarding three kinds of attachment: attachment to the self, attachment to the dharmas (elements of existence), and attachment to emptiness. If one abandons attachment to, i.e., recognizes the emptiness of, the self and the dharmas, then one seems to have attained emptiness, but if one has attachment to emptiness, it is not emptiness at all. One must also abandon that attachment, in other words, surrender the awareness of emptiness. This section also explains two levels of truth, worldly truth and supreme truth. Worldly truth acknowledges the temporary existence of things and recognizes eighty-four dharmas, which are divided into five categories. The supreme truth is that all existence is empty and without substance. (5) The fourth of the four noble truths, that there is a way or path to eliminating the cause of suffering. This section explains meditation and the wisdom arising from it and expounds twenty-seven stages of practice that lead one to eliminate suffering and attain nirvana.