Sarvāstivāda school ［説一切有部］ (; Setsu-issaiu-bu): Also known as Sarvāstivādin school. A major early Buddhist school that broke away from the Sthaviravāda (Pali Theravāda) school. One of the twenty Hinayana schools. Its followers are called Sarvāstivādins. According to The Doctrines of the Different Schools, the schism that formed this school occurred about two hundred years after Shakyamuni’s death. Kātyāyanīputra is often regarded as the founder. The Sarvāstivāda school sets forth the view that everything has an existence of its own. It holds that since living beings are formed by a temporary union of the five components there is no real or permanent self, but that the dharmas, or elements of existence that compose the living being, are real and have their own existence throughout the past, present, and future.
The Sarvāstivādins developed the abhidharma, the section of the canon composed of doctrinal commentaries, to an extent surpassing that of any other Hinayana school. They produced a total of seven abhidharmas, including The Treatise on the Source of Wisdom. Further commentaries were later written on these seven, the most famous of which is The Great Commentary on the Abhidharma, an exhaustive statement of Sarvāstivāda thought. Vasubandhu included the essentials of this work in his Dharma Analysis Treasury. The Dharma Analysis Treasury, however, departs from the traditional Sarvāstivāda position and interprets the school’s doctrine more broadly, drawing on the views of other schools, particularly the Sautrāntika. The Sarvāstivāda school gave rise to a total of nine other schools. It was the most influential school of Hinayana in India, and had an important influence on Mahayana thought as well. Its doctrines were widely studied in China and Japan.