The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

A forum for members who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the Pali Canon and associated Commentaries, which for discussion purposes are both treated as authoritative.

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Nyana
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Re: The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

Post by Nyana » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:01 am

mikenz66 wrote:Perhaps someone with better historical knowledge than me can explain whether the Adhidhamma Commentaries were assembled by Ven. Buddhaghosa, or by someone else.
The main Abhidhammapiṭaka commentaries (Aṭṭhakathā) are traditionally attributed to Buddhaghosa. However, some modern scholars have questioned attributing these commentaries to Buddhaghosa.

All the best,

Geoff

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phil
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Re: The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

Post by phil » Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:46 am

I think there is doubt about the word "realities" so is "dhammas" less problematic? I personally prefer dhammas.

And I ask again, is there any difference between seeing-consciousness and form as described for example in SN35 on the ayatanas and seeing consciousness and visible object as described in Abhihdamma or commentaries? If there is a significant difference, I need to know, please advise, thanks.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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legolas
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Re: The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

Post by legolas » Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:00 am

phil wrote:I think there is doubt about the word "realities" so is "dhammas" less problematic? I personally prefer dhammas.

And I ask again, is there any difference between seeing-consciousness and form as described for example in SN35 on the ayatanas and seeing consciousness and visible object as described in Abhihdamma or commentaries? If there is a significant difference, I need to know, please advise, thanks.
Abhidhamma's take on "realities" or "dhamma's" appear so far removed from anything within the suttas that I would'nt know where to begin to answer your question. I guess that because I am a bit stupid I will have to just follow the Buddha's words and not attempt to understand the "Higher" teachings as represented within the Abhidhamma. The point about them being "Higher" is attributed to Abhidhamma scholars and not myself.
In a similar vein - a lot of the deeper teachings within the sutta's are aimed at people who have attained some jhana and are able to differentiate mind states and see rising and falling with a calm and contented mind that is open to seeing DO in operation. Perhaps because people were trying to understand these "difficult" suttas without having jhana, they came up with a scholastic framework that they could operate within.

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phil
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Re: The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

Post by phil » Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:40 am

ok,thanks anyways Legolas...can anyone else clarify in which ways seeing consciousness and its object are taught differently in Abhidhamma and the commentaries than in the suttas? I chose seeing as it is certainly a form of consciousness that we all have unlimited opportunities to develop understanding of...if Abhidhamma and the commentaries steer us away from rather than towards a better understanding of the Buddha's teaching on the sense doors it should be clarified explicitly, thanks!
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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phil
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Re: The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

Post by phil » Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:28 pm

phil wrote:ok,thanks anyways Legolas...can anyone else clarify in which ways seeing consciousness and its object are taught differently in Abhidhamma and the commentaries than in the suttas? I chose seeing as it is certainly a form of consciousness that we all have unlimited opportunities to develop understanding of...if Abhidhamma and the commentaries steer us away from rather than towards a better understanding of the Buddha's teaching on the sense doors it should be clarified explicitly, thanks!
I guess the answer to my question would include some reference to sense door processes, the 17 cittas per arisen rupa etc so it could be said the process is explained in more detail than in the suttas. people pf this day and age with all our hunger for immediate results will reject a teaching that can't be confirmed through lobha rooted demands for "confirmation through experience" and that is natural based on the way we appreciate Kalama sutta for example but I think it shows a kind of recklessness to reject an entire basket of the tipitika and commentaries becaise it can't yet synch with our feeble understanding...

As the title of this thread says many are so comfortable declaring that their understanding is superior to that of the commentators, a little odd, but people are driven for results in this day and age, enough said.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

Jhana4
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Re: The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

Post by Jhana4 » Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:43 am

An interesting title for a thread.

As far as the commentaries, other tradtions, other meditation techniques, other philosophies, science, psychology, etc have to go, there is IMHO, a question to ask.

Is it possible for anyone in the centuries following the Buddha to have a good idea?
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

pabhaata
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Re: The Commentaries are unreliable: I know better

Post by pabhaata » Sat Dec 07, 2013 9:25 am

commentaries are very useful when we are trying to study the suttas. the commentaries give a more detailed or more clear explanation of some terms that are used in the suttas. they bring about a depth in understanding a sutta that one is trying to analyse/ comprehend - this happens 99% of the time ( at least in my case). so what matters is that it allows me to savour the taste of the sutta much more.
in the beginning, one can just refer to the commentaries to find a more detailed explanation of some word in the sutta that one has difficulty in understanding. then they can make more and more use of the commentaries as they get comfortable with it.
i think it is better to use the commentaries as reference books to comprehend the terms used in the main canon.

regarding abhidhammattha sangaha - it is a sub commentary (tika). it was complied by Aniruddha thera in Kaveripattanam ( now near Chennai in South India). you can refer the Wheel Publication No. 124/ 125. the thorough study of abhidhammattha sangaha gives a good foundation to proceed to learn the other books of Abhidhamma. otherwise it is very cumbersome. it is like a briefing given before the major venture into the big books of Abhidhamma.

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