Beautiful Breath wrote:I have a good grasp of the Prasangika school over the last 20 years or so. I'm really interested in know more re this. Do you have any links I may find out more?
What I said above requires differentiating between (1) the contents of the Pāli Abhidhammapiṭaka, and (2) the Pāli commentarial (Aṭṭhakathā) and sub-commentarial (Tīkā), etc., interpretations of the Abhidhammapiṭaka and the Suttapiṭaka. The vast majority of available resources and studies on the Abhidhamma don't make this differentiation. Therefore, to do so you would need to read the Abhidhammapiṭaka texts themselves and form your own conclusions.
The Abhidhammapiṭaka texts don't explicitly make statements that entail metaphysical realism. The Abhidhammapiṭaka doesn't even refer to conditioned phenomena as paramattha dhammā or paramattha sabhāva. The former does occur once in the Kathāvatthu but it's hardly a ringing endorsement for how this notion of paramattha dhamma later came to be applied and interpreted.
However, the Pāli commentaries and other post-canonical treatises are closer to Vaibhāṣika tenets in many respects than even to Sautrāntika tenets (e.g. in the Visuddhimagga Buddhaghosa explicitly argues against nibbāna being just a designation). Therefore, one would be rather hard-pressed if attempting to reconcile this strata of post-canonical commentary with Madhyamaka.
As for English language translations, most of the seven Abhidhammapiṭaka texts have been translated and published by the Pali Text Society. I would recommend reading U Thiṭṭila's translation of the Vibhaṅga first, followed by U Kyaw Khine's translation of the Dhammasaṅganī (not published by PTS). These books are expensive, but if you have access to a library with an inter-library loan service you should be able to acquire copies that way.The Book of Analysis
, translated by Ven. U Thiṭṭila.The Dhammasaṅganī: Enumeration of the Ultimate Realities
, translated by U Kyaw Khine (Volume 2
To begin to get some idea of what the Pāli Abhidhammapiṭaka is like, here is the Satipaṭṭhānavibhaṅga
from the Vibhaṅga, translated by Ven. Ānandajoti.
If you can read Pāli, the entire Tipiṭaka in Roman script is available online here: http://www.tipitaka.org/romn/
. Other scripts here: http://tipitaka.org/