The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
BudSas
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Re: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

Post by BudSas » Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:09 am

TheDhamma wrote: In my opinion, I agree with you, that the Katthavathu is post-Canonical. But perhaps the entire Abhidhamma is post Canonical, much like the Commentaries. It does not appear to have been recited at the First or Second Council, but it could still be some worthy and beneficial material, in the same way that the Visuddhimagga is.
Thanks. Just a humble thought:

- To me, the Abhidhamma of both Theravada and non-Theravada schools -- in a way -- is similar to Euclidean geometry we learnt at highschool, which is based on a number of axioms. It's not the absolute truth, but it has wide applications in our mundane, day to day activities.

BDS

pt1
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Re: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

Post by pt1 » Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:14 am

pt1 wrote:
TheDhamma wrote: By process of elimination, the best possible argument that the Abhidhamma may have been recited at the First Council would come from your no. 2 above. If it could be shown that Abhidhamma was considered a part of the Khuddaka Nikaya at that time, then the statement that the five Nikayas were recited could include the Abhidhamma.
Yeah, again, the problem is how to show that? I mean, the atthasalini quote says so explicitly that abhidhamma is classified as khudaka nikaya, but if one discards atthasalini, then are there any other ancient Pali sources that say so? At the moment, I'm not familiar with any.
Hi all, an update to the above post of mine - I came upon a really interesting quote from commentary to Mahaparinibbana sutta - what seems interesting about it is that these appear to be the actual words of the Buddha, so not commentators nor Buddhaghosa - this quote comes from DSG post 102106:
From the beginning of part 6 of the Mahaparinibbana Sutta, the last words of the
Buddha, transl. by Sister Vajiraa and Francis Story (BPS):

"Now, the Blessed One spoke to the venerable Aananda saying: 'It may be,
Aananda, that to some among you the thought will come: 'Ended is the word of the
Master; we have a Master no longer.' But it should not, Aananda, be so
considered. For that which I have proclaimed and made known as the Dhamma and
the Discipline, that shall be your Master when I am gone."

From the commentary to the last sentence above, taken from the beginning of Ch
VI, Commentary on the Mahaaparinibbaana Sutta, transl. by Yang-Gyu An (PTS) in
"The Buddha's Last Days":

" 'That which was taught and made known (pa~n~natta)': The Dhamma is both taught
and made known. The Vinaya is also both taught and made known. 'Made known'
means set up, established.
'That is your teacher, after I am gone': The Dhamma and the Vinaya are your
teacher after I am gone. While I remained alive, I taught you: 'This is slight
(lahuka); this is serious (garuka); this is curable (satekiccha); this is
incurable (atekiccha); this is what is to be avoided by the world (loka-vajja);
this is what is to be avoided by specific precept (pa~n~natti-vajja); this
offence (aapatti) is removable in the presence of an individual (puggala) this
offence is removable in the presence of a group (ga.na); this offence is
removable in the presence of the Order (sa"ngha).' Thus concerning the subject
matter handed down as seven groups of offences (aapatti-kkhandha), I have taught
what is called the Vinaya: the Khandhaka, the Parivaara and the two Vibha"ngas.
All of that, the basket of the Vinaya, will perform the role of Teacher for you
when I attain parinibbaana.

"And during my life, I have taught these: the four foundations of mindfulness
(satipa.t.thaana), the four right efforts (sammapphadhaana), the four roads to
supernormal power (iddhipaada), the five spiritual faculties (indriya), the five
mental powers (bala), the seven factors of enlightenment (bojjha"nga), the noble
eightfold path (magga). In various ways I have analysed these doctrinal matters
and have taught the basket of Suttanta. All of that basket of Suttanta will
peform the role of Teacher for you when I attain parinibbaana.

"And during my life, I have taught these: the five aggregates, twelve sphere
(aayatana), eighteeen elements (dhaatu), four truths (sacca), twenty-two
faculites (indriya), nine causes (hetu), four foods (aahaara), seven contacts
(phassa), seven feelings (vedanaa), seven perceptions (sa~n~naa), seven
intentions (cetanaa), seven thoughts (citta). And here too, a certain number of
things are of the sensual realm (kaamaavacara), a certain number are of the form
realm (ruupaavacara), and a ceertain number are of the formless realm
(aruupaavacara); a certain number are included (pariyaapanna), a certain number
are not included (apariyaapanna); a certain number are mundane (lokika), a
certain number are supramundane (lokuttara).

"I have analysed these things in detail and taught the Abhidhamma-pi.taka,
which is adorned by the Mahaapa.t.thaana with its countless methods and
its twenty-fourfold complete origin (samantapa.t.thaana). All of that,
the basket of the Abhidhamma, will perform the role of the Teacher for you
when I attain parinibbaana.

" Thus all of this has been told and discussed for forty-five years from my
enlightenment to my parinibbaana; three baskets, five Nikaayas, nine
branches (a"nga), eight-four thousand groups of dhamma: these are the
major divisions. Thus these eighty-four thousand groups of dhamma remain.
I alone attain parinibbaana, and now I alone advise and instruct. After I
have attained parinibbaana, these eighty-four thousand groups of dhamma,
will advise and instruct you.

"Thus giving many reasons, the Blessed One advised: 'It is your Teacher after I
am gone....' "
Aside from the point that the quote again supports the classical position regarding abhidhamma, it particularly leaves me wondering how much of the commentarial materials are in fact direct quotations of the Buddha, which apparently don't appear in the suttas, and why they were not included in the suttas but left in the commentaries...

Back to the topic, regarding the above mentioned divisions of the teachings into 3 pitakas, etc, apparently the same point is mentioned in the introductory chapter to every major commentary by Buddhaghosa (to each of the 4 nikayas and vinaya) where he traces the commentaries to originate at the first council based on the Sinhala materials available to him at the time (one particular that I can confirm is from Bahiranidana - introductory chapter to vinaya commentary, Samantapasadika, where the same thing is said about the 3 pitakas, 5 nikayas, 9 angas and 84 thousand groups of dhamma). Anyway, didn't want to bother you all with these, as many of you probably wouldn't be interested in what Buddhaghosa had to say, but the above one seemed ineresting enough, apparently being the Buddha's words.

Best wishes

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Re: what is difference between suttas and Abhidamma

Post by alan » Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:26 am

Lots of monks analyzing ideas to death instead of putting them into practice.

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tiltbillings
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Re: what is difference between suttas and Abhidamma

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:25 am

alan wrote:Lots of monks analyzing ideas to death instead of putting them into practice.
Not necessarily. Do you know that the authors of the Abhidhamma Pitaka texts did not use these texts, or did not intend these text, to be put into practice?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: what is difference between suttas and Abhidamma

Post by alan » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:35 am

Not sure what you mean. Your response is kind of slippery.

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tiltbillings
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Re: what is difference between suttas and Abhidamma

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:41 am

alan wrote:Not sure what you mean. Your response is kind of slippery.
You are seemingly dismissing the Abhidhamma as "Lots of monks analyzing ideas to death instead of putting them into practice" and I am asking, in turn, you how do you know that is the case, particularly in relation to the Abhidhamma Pitaka texts.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

alan
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Re: what is difference between suttas and Abhidamma

Post by alan » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:49 am

Are you on the prowl? I'm not going to get caught up in that.

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tiltbillings
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Re: what is difference between suttas and Abhidamma

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:57 am

alan wrote:Are you on the prowl? I'm not going to get caught up in that.
It is a reasonable question in response to what is obviously a negative statement by you: "Lots of monks analyzing ideas to death instead of putting them into practice". Your choice to respond to it or not, but if you do not want the question, don't make the statement (if you are unable or unwilling to back it up).
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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tiltbillings
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Re: what is difference between suttas and Abhidamma

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:19 am

cooran wrote:Hey guys,

This is the Classical Mahavihara Theravada - Abhidhamma sub-forum. Not the Dhamma-free-for-all section.

Alan, if you want to debate the third Pitaka of the Buddhist Canon, please go to this thread:

The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=2169" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

with metta
Chris
I am not debating. I am asking for clarification of a statement that seemed inappropriate to this section.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: what is difference between suttas and Abhidamma

Post by Sylvester » Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:23 am

tiltbillings wrote:
alan wrote:Lots of monks analyzing ideas to death instead of putting them into practice.
Not necessarily. Do you know that the authors of the Abhidhamma Pitaka texts did not use these texts, or did not intend these text, to be put into practice?

Ahh, might that be the "apologetics" offered in terms of the rationale for the Abhidhammic bifurcation of its method into synthesis and analysis, and the intended audiences of each method?

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Re: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:38 am

Greetings,

Speaking of synthesis and analysis, here's a tract of text from a book I like. It's not specifically about Abhidhamma, but it seems like food for thought...
Follow Your Heart, Andrew Matthews, p119-120 wrote:
"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." (John Muir).

Since the seventeenth century, science has taken the (Sir Isaac) Newtonian approach, i.e. if you want to understand anything, you break it into pieces, and examine the pieces. If you still don't understand, break it into smaller bits... go from molecules and atoms to electrons, to quarks and bozons... and eventually you'll understand the universe. Really?

Take a Wordsworth poem and divide it into prepositions and pronouns, then break the words into letters. What more do you understand about the poem? Analyse the "Mona Lisa" into brushstrokes.

Science has done wonders for us, but it's one side of the spectrum. Science dissects. The intellect pulls things apart. The heart brings things together.

There are questions to which information and intelligence have no answers. When you analyse your friends, you lose sight of their beauty. When you analyse and dissect the universe, you separate yourself. When you empathise, you see the larger picture, and you feel closer. Care and you are instantly connected. Everything in the cosmos is connected. The more we break things down, the more we lose the essentials.

The opposite of analysis is synthesis. Health comes from looking at things as a whole - looking at your body as a whole, looking at humanity as a whole.
Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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daverupa
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Re: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

Post by daverupa » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:47 pm

Once again, I heartily recommend Noa Ronkin's Early Buddhist Metaphysics as it pertains directly to these issues. It can be heavy reading, but it's well worth the haul.
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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phil
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Re: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

Post by phil » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:16 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Speaking of synthesis and analysis, here's a tract of text from a book I like. It's not specifically about Abhidhamma, but it seems like food for thought...
Follow Your Heart, Andrew Matthews, p119-120 wrote:
"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." (John Muir).

Since the seventeenth century, science has taken the (Sir Isaac) Newtonian approach, i.e. if you want to understand anything, you break it into pieces, and examine the pieces. If you still don't understand, break it into smaller bits... go from molecules and atoms to electrons, to quarks and bozons... and eventually you'll understand the universe. Really?

Take a Wordsworth poem and divide it into prepositions and pronouns, then break the words into letters. What more do you understand about the poem? Analyse the "Mona Lisa" into brushstrokes.

Science has done wonders for us, but it's one side of the spectrum. Science dissects. The intellect pulls things apart. The heart brings things together.

There are questions to which information and intelligence have no answers. When you analyse your friends, you lose sight of their beauty. When you analyse and dissect the universe, you separate yourself. When you empathise, you see the larger picture, and you feel closer. Care and you are instantly connected. Everything in the cosmos is connected. The more we break things down, the more we lose the essentials.

The opposite of analysis is synthesis. Health comes from looking at things as a whole - looking at your body as a whole, looking at humanity as a whole.[/quote

Metta,
Retro. :)
Hi Retro
I
"Looking at your body as a whole" is an exercise in delusion, it isn't connected to any kind of Buddhist wisdom, it's a kind of vipalassa, The Buddha spares us from that sad trap, even in the suttanta. Abhidhamma helps take us even further away
from that, thanfully.
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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Re: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:23 am

Greetings Phil,
phil wrote:"Looking at your body as a whole" is an exercise in delusion, it isn't connected to any kind of Buddhist wisdom
Really?

What about this from the Anapanasati Sutta, then? http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the entire body.... He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.'"

"On whatever occasion the monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world, on that occasion his mindfulness is steady & without lapse. When his mindfulness is steady & without lapse, then mindfulness as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development."
Or this from the Kayagata-sati Sutta - http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"Furthermore, quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, he enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. He permeates & pervades, suffuses & fills this very body with the rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal. Just as if a skilled bathman or bathman's apprentice would pour bath powder into a brass basin and knead it together, sprinkling it again & again with water, so that his ball of bath powder — saturated, moisture-laden, permeated within & without — would nevertheless not drip; even so, the monk permeates... this very body with the rapture & pleasure born of withdrawal. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal. And as he remains thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, any memories & resolves related to the household life are abandoned, and with their abandoning his mind gathers & settles inwardly, grows unified & centered. This is how a monk develops mindfulness immersed in the body.

"And furthermore, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. He permeates & pervades, suffuses & fills this very body with the rapture & pleasure born of composure. Just like a lake with spring-water welling up from within, having no inflow from the east, west, north, or south, and with the skies supplying abundant showers time & again, so that the cool fount of water welling up from within the lake would permeate & pervade, suffuse & fill it with cool waters, there being no part of the lake unpervaded by the cool waters; even so, the monk permeates... this very body with the rapture & pleasure born of composure. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture & pleasure born of composure. And as he remains thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, any memories & resolves related to the household life are abandoned, and with their abandoning his mind gathers & settles inwardly, grows unified & centered. This is how a monk develops mindfulness immersed in the body.

"And furthermore, with the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.' He permeates & pervades, suffuses & fills this very body with the pleasure divested of rapture. Just as in a lotus pond, some of the lotuses, born & growing in the water, stay immersed in the water and flourish without standing up out of the water, so that they are permeated & pervaded, suffused & filled with cool water from their roots to their tips, and nothing of those lotuses would be unpervaded with cool water; even so, the monk permeates... this very body with the pleasure divested of rapture. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded with pleasure divested of rapture. And as he remains thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, any memories & resolves related to the household life are abandoned, and with their abandoning his mind gathers & settles inwardly, grows unified & centered. This is how a monk develops mindfulness immersed in the body.

"And furthermore, with the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither-pleasure-nor-pain. He sits, permeating the body with a pure, bright awareness. Just as if a man were sitting covered from head to foot with a white cloth so that there would be no part of his body to which the white cloth did not extend; even so, the monk sits, permeating the body with a pure, bright awareness. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by pure, bright awareness. And as he remains thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, any memories & resolves related to the household life are abandoned, and with their abandoning his mind gathers & settles inwardly, grows unified & centered. This is how a monk develops mindfulness immersed in the body.

"Monks, whoever develops & pursues mindfulness immersed in the body encompasses whatever skillful qualities are on the side of clear knowing. Just as whoever pervades the great ocean with his awareness encompasses whatever rivulets flow down into the ocean, in the same way, whoever develops & pursues mindfulness immersed in the body encompasses whatever skillful qualities are on the side of clear knowing.
So... is that synthesis or analysis?

When devoted to analysis over synthesis, is it any wonder that some Abhidhammikas are so insistent about the virtual impossibility of jhana in the current age?

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

Post by fragrant herbs » Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:14 pm

I am reading the book, Buddhist Warfare. The use of the Abhidharma has been used by Thai monks to support the belief that they can kill. My question is, if Buddha in other texts says that it is wrong to go to war, such as this one below, can we then say that perhaps the Abhidharma is not Buddha'sf words? (Please, no Mahayana teachings in for a reply. thanks)

“When a warrior strives & exerts himself in battle, his mind is already seized, debased, & misdirected by the thought: 'May these beings be struck down or slaughtered or annihilated or destroyed. May they not exist.' If others then strike him down & slay while he is thus striving & exerting himself in battle, then with the breakup of the body, after death, he is reborn in the hell called the realm of those slain in battle. But if he holds such a view as this: 'When a warrior strives & exerts himself in battle, if others then strike him down & slay him while he is striving & exerting himself in battle, then with the breakup of the body, after death, he is reborn in the company of devas slain in battle,' that is his wrong view. Now, there are two destinations for a person with wrong view, I tell you: either hell or the animal womb."- Buddha (Samyutta Nikiya XL11 Pali Canon)

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