Information about Abhidhamma

Discussion of Abhidhamma and related Commentaries

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EternalHindu
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Information about Abhidhamma

Post by EternalHindu » Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:08 am

Hii,
What is Exactly Abhidhamma?
Abhidharma or Abhidhamma are ancient Buddhist texts which contain detailed analytic reworkings of doctrinal material appearing in the Buddhist sutras, according to schematic classifications.

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Information about Abhidhamma

Post by JamesTheGiant » Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:11 am

Magnificent, EternalHindu! EternalHindu has made the Dhamma clear in many ways, as though he were turning upright what had been overthrown, revealing what was hidden, showing the way to one who was lost, or holding up a lamp in the dark for those with eyesight to see forms.

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mikenz66
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Re: Information about Abhidhamma

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:49 am

EternalHindu wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:08 am
Hii,
What is Exactly Abhidhamma?
Abhidharma or Abhidhamma are ancient Buddhist texts which contain detailed analytic reworkings of doctrinal material appearing in the Buddhist sutras, according to schematic classifications.
Here is a short summary. It is important to distinguish between the Canonical Abhidhamma and the later developments:
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=2119#p478684

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markandeya
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Re: Information about Abhidhamma

Post by markandeya » Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:25 pm

The Dharma Theory
Philosophical Cornerstone of the Abhidhamma

Y. Karunadasa

Introduction

During the first two centuries following the Buddha’s parinibbana there took place, within the early Buddhist community, a move towards a comprehensive and precise systematization of the teachings disclosed by the master in his discourses. The philosophical systems that emerged from his refined analytical approach to the doctrine are collectively called the abhidhamma. Both the Theravada and sarvastivada , the two major conservative schools in the early sangha, had their own abhidhammas, each based on a distinct abhidhamma pitaka. It is likely too that other schools had also developed philosophical systems along similar lines, the records of them did not survive the passage of time.

All the different modes of analysis and classification found in the abhidhamma stem from a single philosophical principle, which gave direction and shape to the entire project of systemization. This principle is the notion that all the phenomenon of empirical existence are made up of a number of elementary constituents, the ultimate reality is behind the manifest phenomena. These elementary constituents, the building blocks of experience are called dhammas. The Dhamma theory is not merely one principle amongst others in the body of Abhidhamma philosophy but the base upon which the entire system rests. It would thus be quite fitting to call this theory the cornerstone of the abhidhamma. But the dhamma theory was intended from the start to be more than a mere hypothetical scheme. It arose from the need to make sense out of experiences in meditation and was designed as a guide for meditative contemplation and insight. The Buddha had taught that to see the world correctly is to see-not persons and substances- but bare phenomenon (suddhadhamma) arising and perishing in accordance with their conditions. The task the abhidhamma specialists set themselves was to specify exactly what these ”bare phenomena” are and to show how they relate to other “bare phenomena” to make up our “common sense” picture of the world.

The dhamma theory was not peculiar to any one school of Buddhism but penetrated all the early schools, stimulating the growth of their different versions of the abhidhamma. The sarvastivada version of the theory, together with its critique by the madhyamikas, has been critically studied by a number of modern scholars. The Theravada version, however, has received less attention. There are sound reasons for believing that the Pali abhidhamma pitaka contains one of the earliest forms of the dhamma theory, perhaps even the oldest version. This theory does not remain static but evolved over the centuries as Buddhist thinkers sought to draw out the implications of the theory and to respond to problems it posed for the critical intellect. Thus the dhamma theory was repeatedly enriched, first by the abhidhamma commentaries and then by the later exegetical literature and the medieval compendia of abhidhamma, the so called “little finger manuals ” such as the adbhidhammatthasangaha, which in turn gave rise to their own commentaries.

In the present paper I will attempt to trace the main stages in the origin and development of the dhamma theory and to explore its philosophical implications. Part one will discuss the early version of the theory as represented by the abhidhamma pitaka at this stage the theory was not yet precisely articulated but remained in the background as the unspoken premise of abhidhamma analysis. It was during the commentarial period that an attempt was made to work out the implications of early abhidhamma thought, and it is the development that I will treat in part 2. Finally in part 3, I will discuss two other topics that received philosophical study as a consequence of the dhamma theory, namely the category of the nominal and conceptual ( pannatti ) and the theory of twofold truth. Both of these were considered necessary measures to preserve validity of the dhamma theory in relation to our routine, everyday understanding of ourselves and the world in which we dwell.

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dharmacorps
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Re: Information about Abhidhamma

Post by dharmacorps » Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:49 pm

Depending on what tradition you follow, it is a part of the Pali Canon you don't read :stirthepot:

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mikenz66
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Re: Information about Abhidhamma

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:10 pm

Here's a link to the article:
The Dhamma Theory
Philosophical Cornerstone
of the Abhidhamma
by
Y. Karunadasa
Buddhist Publication Society
Kandy • Sri Lanka
The Wheel Publication No. 412/413
Published in 1996
https://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh412_Karuna ... hamma.html
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Meezer77
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Re: Information about Abhidhamma

Post by Meezer77 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:36 pm

Why are some groups opposed to the Abhidhamma?

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Information about Abhidhamma

Post by JamesTheGiant » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:13 pm

Meezer77 wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:36 pm
Why are some groups opposed to the Abhidhamma?
Because it was made up hundreds of years after the time of the Buddha. This is an historical fact.

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robertk
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Re: Information about Abhidhamma

Post by robertk » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:15 pm

JamesTheGiant wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:13 pm
Meezer77 wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:36 pm
Why are some groups opposed to the Abhidhamma?
Because it was made up hundreds of years after the time of the Buddha. This is an historical fact.
And you know this fact, how?

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Information about Abhidhamma

Post by JamesTheGiant » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:34 pm

robertk wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:15 pm
JamesTheGiant wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:13 pm
Meezer77 wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:36 pm
Why are some groups opposed to the Abhidhamma?
Because it was made up hundreds of years after the time of the Buddha. This is an historical fact.
And you know this fact, how?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abhidha ... ka#Origins
Scholars, however, generally date the Abhidhamma works to originating some time around the third century BCE, 100 to 200 years after the death of the Buddha. Therefore, the seven Abhidhamma works are generally claimed by scholars not to represent the words of the Buddha himself, but those of disciples and scholars.[6] Rupert Gethin however said that important elements of Abhidhamma methodology probably go back to the Buddha's lifetime.[7] A. K. Warder and Peter Harvey both suggested early dates for the matikas on which most of the Abidhamma books are based. Abhidhamma started out as elaboration of the suttas,[dubious – discuss] but later developed independent doctrines.[8]

As the last major division of the canon, the Abhidhamma Pitaka has had a checkered history. It was not accepted as canonical by the Mahasanghika school[dubious – discuss][2][9] and several other schools[dubious – discuss].[10] Another school included most of the Khuddaka Nikaya within the Abhidhamma Pitaka.[2] Also, the Pali version of the Abhidhamma is a strictly Theravada collection, and has little in common with the Abhidhamma works recognized by other Buddhist schools.[11] The various Abhidhamma philosophies of the various early schools have no agreement on doctrine[12] and belong to the period of 'Divided Buddhism'[12] (as opposed to Undivided Buddhism). The earliest texts of the Pali Canon have no mention of (the texts of) the Abhidhamma Pitaka.[13] The Abhidhamma is also not mentioned in some reports of the First Buddhist Council, which do mention the existence of the texts of the Vinaya and either the five Nikayas[14] or the four Agamas, although it may be noted that the Venerable [Sariputta] foremost in Abhidhamma had passed on before the Buddha, before the First Council took place[citation needed].[15] Other accounts do include the Abhidhamma.[16]

In the Theravadin Abhidhamma Pitaka, unlike the Abhidharma Pitaka of the Sarvastivada school, ontological theorizing is absent, and the question of ontological status of dharmas remains a moot point. The notion of sabhava (Sanskrit: svabhava) is only utilized in late Theravadin texts.[17] The doctrine of momentariness is also a late addition to Theravada thought.[18] It only appears at the time of Buddhaghosa.[19]

SarathW
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Re: Information about Abhidhamma

Post by SarathW » Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:28 am

Meezer77 wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:36 pm
Why are some groups opposed to the Abhidhamma?
Because they have not studied it well.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

markandeya
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Re: Information about Abhidhamma

Post by markandeya » Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:34 am

robertk wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:15 pm
JamesTheGiant wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:13 pm
Meezer77 wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:36 pm
Why are some groups opposed to the Abhidhamma?
Because it was made up hundreds of years after the time of the Buddha. This is an historical fact.
And you know this fact, how?
Because some scholar said it who doesnt even practice Buddhism :coffee:

It wasnt made up it was compiled over time , probably very carefully and with skill as the sanghas developed.

Abhidharma even by the name doesnt mean made up, its not theory, these words are only used and philosophy because English doesnt have the right equivalents.

TRobinson465
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Re: Information about Abhidhamma

Post by TRobinson465 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:39 am

I do consider Wikipedia to be fairly reliable, as I looked into some of their policies and found that they have pretty sufficient safeguards against info that is bogus. Especially on pages that would attract a lot of viewers. But itd be great to see why these scholars believe this. As unlike a lot of the pages in wikipedia, the citations provided in this particular section do not have any links for me to dig deeper into this issue.
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"Go forth, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction." - First Khandhaka, Chapter 11, Vinaya.

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pilgrim
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Re: Information about Abhidhamma

Post by pilgrim » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:19 am

This is very informative and deserves a larger audience.

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robertk
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Re: Information about Abhidhamma

Post by robertk » Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:19 am

Scholars, however, generally date the Abhidhamma works to originating some time around the third century BCE, 100 to 200 years after the death of the Buddha. . The earliest texts of the Pali Canon have no mention of (the texts of) the Abhidhamma Pitaka.[13]\
And these scholars are thought to be more reliable than the ancient monks. They dig a deep hole and their disciples are all too willing to jump in it.

So...These scholars seem unaware that various classifications exist . It is true that mostly Abhidhamma is classified as Pitaka, but also it is classified under Khuddhaka, and also under Veyyakarana
The Attahasalini (expositor) p. 32:

"Which is the Khuddaka Nikaya? The whole of the Vinaya-pitaka, Abhidhamma pitaka and the fifteen divisions excluding the four nikayas" p35 "thus as rehearsed at the [first]council the Abhidhamma is a Pitaka by Pitaka classification, khuddaka -nikaya by Nikaya clasification, veyyakarana by part-classification and constitues two or three thousand units of text by classification of textual units"


It is certainly mentioned in other sections of the Tipitaka.
Majjhima Nikaya
Mahagosingha sutta
"
the talk of two Bhikkhus on the Abhidhamma, each asking and answering the other without faltering is in accord with the Dhamma"

Vinaya pitaka
"If without any intention of reviling the Vinaya one were to instigate another saying -'pray study the suttas or gathas or Abhidhamma first and afterwards learn the vinaya' there is no offense"
So according to Wiki scholars a hundred or two hundred years after the Buddha the sangha got together and decided that there needs to be more than a Dvipitaka. How did it work?

"Hey fellows, I don't like having only 2 pitakas, let's have a Tipitika, we should add in an extra Pitaka"
"We can pretend it was recited at the first council"


"But venerable sir, already there has been schisms, how would we get other sects to agree to add this?"
"oh no problem, send a messenger and tell them they can make up their own Abhidhamma. As long as they at least agree to say that it was recited at the first council"
"you are wise, venerable sir"

A dissenting voice: "but sir , slandering the Buddha is a serious offense"

"The Buddha is long gone, we can do and say as we wish. There are only tens of thousands of Theravada bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis - including thousands of arahats - at this time in India. It should be easy to get their consent to slipping in this extra Pitaka"
"I just hope a few thousand years from now scholars don't pick up on our little game".

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