The Chu-she or Kosa (Treasury) School, is the Chinese transmission of the philosophy of the Indian Sarvastivada, or “All-things-exist”, School. This philosophy is concerned with giving a detailed and precise analysis of everything in reality in terms of constituent elements or dharmas. It can thus be understood as an analytic refinement of the doctrine of Dependent Origination (Skt. pratitya-samutpada) taught by the Buddha, and supportive of the teaching of no-self (Skt. anatman).
The Sarvastivada School was influential in the first centuries CE in north India and Central Asia. Its texts were translated into Chinese between 383 and 434 and became the focus of the P’i-t’an scholastic study group. In 563-7 the important Abhidharma-kosa or Treasury of Higher Subtleties by Vasubhandu was translated by Paramartha, and on this text the Chu-she School was founded, thus replacing the earlier P’i-t’an. The School attracted limited attention until the Abhidharma-kosa was retranslated by Hsuan-tsang (ca. 596-664) in 651-654, when he returned from his lengthy pilgrimage to India. The Chu-she was brought to completion by Hsuan-tsang’s pupil K’uei-chi (632-682), and its doctrines became studied in other philosophical schools as one of the fundamental bases of Buddhist thought.
As a philosophical school concerned with the precise description of reality, the Chu-she did not use any symbols.
No contemporary adherents.
Ch'ang-an (present day Hsi-an) in Shensi Province.