1. Vaibhashika School


1. Vaibhashika


Sarvāstivāda-Vaibhāṣika or simply Vaibhāṣika, refers to an ancient Buddhist tradition of Abhidharma (scholastic Buddhist philosophy), which was very influential in north India, especially Kashmir.

In various texts this tradition has been referred also as Yukta-vāda (the doctrine of logic), and another name for them was Hetu-vāda.

The Vaibhāṣika School was an influential subgroup of the larger Sarvāstivāda School:

They were distinguished from other Sarvāstivāda sub-schools like the Sautrāntika and the "Western Masters" of Gandhāra and Bactria by their orthodox adherence to the doctrines found in the Mahāvibhāṣa – the Great Compendium of Abhidharma, compiled around 150 CE.

Vaibhāṣika thought significantly influenced the Buddhist philosophy of all major Mahāyāna Buddhist schools of thought and also influenced the later forms of Theravāda Abhidhamma (though to a much lesser extent).

The Sarvāstivāda tradition arose in the Mauryan Empire during the 2nd century BCE, and was possibly founded by Kātyānīputra (ca. 150 B.C.E.).

During the Kushan era, the "Great Commentary" (Mahāvibhāṣa) on Abhidharma was compiled, marking the beginning of Vaibhāṣika as a proper school of thought.

This tradition was well supported by Emperor Kaniṣka, and later spread throughout North India and Central Asia.

It maintained its own canon of scriptures in Sanskrit, which included a 7-part Abhidharma Piṭaka collection.

Vaibhāṣika remained the most influential Buddhist school in northwest India from the 1st – 7th century CE.

Despite numerous variations and doctrinal disagreements within the tradition, most Sarvāstivāda-Vaibhāṣikas were united in their acceptance of the doctrine of "Sarvāstitva" (all exists), which says that all phenomena in the 3 times (past, present and future) can be said to exist.

Another defining Vaibhāṣika doctrine was that of simultaneous causation (sahabhū-hetu), hence their alternative name of "Hetu-vāda".