Is there any evidence which links the Salistamba Sutra with the Mahāsāṃghika?
All i know is that NR Reat suggests it in his translation and reconstruction of the Sanskrit. Not sure exactly what he based it on.
Also, the sutra contains a mention of the “Dharmasarira” (Dharmabody), which might be an early Mahayana element, but could also be a reference to the Mahasamghika idea of Buddha’s transcendental nature (or, at this stage of development, there might have been no difference). My understanding is that the Dharmakaya idea developed from this Mahasamghika idea of the Buddha having a transcendental body.
What, then is the Buddha, the Lord? He who, because he comprehends all dharmas, is called the Buddha, is endowed with the wisdom-eye and the Dharma-body. He sees the dharmas of both the learner and the learned.
How, then, does one see conditioned arising? In this connection, it is said by the Lord:«Whoever sees-this conditioned arising (which is), always and ever devoid of soul, truly undistorted, without soul, unborn,not become, not made, not compounded, unobstructed, inconceivable, glorious, fearless, ungraspable, inexhaustible and by nature never stilled,(he sees Dharma). And whoever sees Dharma (which is) also always and ever devoid of soul… and by nature never stilled, he sees the unsurpassable Dharmabody,the Buddha,by exertion based on right knowledge in clear understanding of the noble Dharma.
It also contains some references to illusion “maya” which again could be a Lokuttaravada or Prajnaptivada derived idea.
So, the attribution does make sense. But it can’t be proved with absolute certainty.