Abhidharma-kosa

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Abhidharma-kosa

Postby PaulD » Thu Dec 17, 2009 6:36 am

Hi all,

Is the Abhidharma-kosa text accepted by Theravadin Buddhists? Are there any contradictions between the Pali Canon and Abhidharma-kosa?
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Re: Abhidharma-kosa

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 17, 2009 8:22 am

PaulD wrote:Hi all,

Is the Abhidharma-kosa text accepted by Theravadin Buddhists? Are there any contradictions between the Pali Canon and Abhidharma-kosa?

The Kosha presents the doctrines of the Sarvasivadin school and the Abhidharma-kosa-bhasya, its commentary, critiques the Kosha from the standpoint of the Sautrantika school. Both are attributed to Vasubandu.

Where one finds significant differences between the Pali Canon of the Theravadins and the canon of the Sarvastivadins as reflected in the Kosha, is going to be in the Abhidhamma/Abhidharma Pitakas. Rupert Gethin's THE FOUNDATIONS OF BUDDHISM, an inexpensive book well worth getting, will give you a very good idea of the differences.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Abhidharma-kosa

Postby Paññāsikhara » Thu Dec 17, 2009 8:44 am

tiltbillings wrote:
PaulD wrote:Hi all,

Is the Abhidharma-kosa text accepted by Theravadin Buddhists? Are there any contradictions between the Pali Canon and Abhidharma-kosa?

The Kosha presents the doctrines of the Sarvasivadin school and the Abhidharma-kosa-bhasya, its commentary, critiques the Kosha from the standpoint of the Sautrantika school. Both are attributed to Vasubandu.

Where one finds significant differences between the Pali Canon of the Theravadins and the canon of the Sarvastivadins as reflected in the Kosha, is going to be in the Abhidhamma/Abhidharma Pitakas. Rupert Gethin's THE FOUNDATIONS OF BUDDHISM, an inexpensive book well worth getting, will give you a very good idea of the differences.


Probably most of the differences between the Theravada and Sautrantika-Sarvastivada (ie. the Kosa & Bhasya) views are indeed due to their different Abhidhamma / Abhidharma texts.

However, some are due to different suttas / sutras. For example, things like the "intermediate being" (anantarabhava) and "essential purity of mind" (cittaprabhasa).

But, because the Kosa & Bhasya goes for a Vibhajyavada position, ie. that only the present exists, but future and past do not, which is against the Sarvastivada idea and in step with the Theravada, then you'll find a lot of common points between the Theravada and Kosa. After all, a lot of the Sarvastivada ideas and other doctrines all hinge on their "three times exist" (sarvasti) theory. Once the Kosa rejects that, it takes up other positions. For example, the way in which karma is explained over time and multiple lives.

This period of sectarian Buddhism is enormously complex, and it seems that you will seldom find two texts (even in the same school) which are entirely in agreement with each other. Let alone between two groups separated by thousands of miles of the Indian sub-continent.

Happy Kosa-ing. :)
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Re: Abhidharma-kosa

Postby Kare » Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:00 am

A more detailed comparison is found in Herbert V. Guenther, "Philosophy and Psychology in the Abhidharma", which compares the Theravada abhidhamma, the Abhidharmakosha and the Abhidharmasamuccaya.
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Re: Abhidharma-kosa

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:05 am

Kare wrote:A more detailed comparison is found in Herbert V. Guenther, "Philosophy and Psychology in the Abhidharma", which compares the Theravada abhidhamma, the Abhidharmakosha and the Abhidharmasamuccaya.
Which is one of his easier to read books, though out of print. A good place to start, however, would be with Gethin's book.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Abhidharma-kosa

Postby Paññāsikhara » Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:36 am

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Re: Abhidharma-kosa

Postby pt1 » Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:09 am

Thanks very much for giving the sources on differences between abhidhamma/abhidharma.

Best wishes
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Re: Abhidharma-kosa

Postby Dhammanando » Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:36 am

PaulD wrote:Are there any contradictions between the Pali Canon and Abhidharma-kosa?


As well as those mentioned by early posters, there are significant differences in the descriptions of the various paramattha dhammas. Mindfulness, for example, is held by the Theravada to be a beautiful mental factor that arises only with kusala cittas in non-arahants and kriya cittas in arahants. But Vasubandhu treats it as an ethically indifferent factor that may be present with both kusala and akusala cittas.

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Re: Abhidharma-kosa

Postby Paññāsikhara » Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:47 am

Dhammanando wrote:
PaulD wrote:Are there any contradictions between the Pali Canon and Abhidharma-kosa?


As well as those mentioned by early posters, there are significant differences in the descriptions of the various paramattha dhammas. Mindfulness, for example, is held by the Theravada to be a beautiful mental factor that arises only with kusala cittas in non-arahants and kriya cittas in arahants. But Vasubandhu treats it as an ethically indifferent factor that may be present with both kusala and akusala cittas.

Dhammanando


And even more potentially shocking for Theravadin (and Sarvastivadin) Abhidhamma types - nirvana is not a dharma.
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Re: Abhidharma-kosa

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Dec 23, 2009 3:55 am

Paññāsikhara wrote:
And even more potentially shocking for Theravadin (and Sarvastivadin) Abhidhamma types - nirvana is not a dharma.

Shocking, even from the standpoint of the suttas.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Abhidharma-kosa

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Dec 23, 2009 5:04 am

Greetings,

Dhammanando wrote:But Vasubandhu treats it as an ethically indifferent factor that may be present with both kusala and akusala cittas.


I guess it's the old "mindfulness of the sniper" argument.

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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Abhidharma-kosa

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Dec 23, 2009 5:59 am

retrofuturist wrote:
I guess it's the old "mindfulness of the sniper" argument.

Which Mahayanist Alan Wallace tries to use against the Theravada vipassana tradition.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Abhidharma-kosa

Postby Dhammanando » Tue Dec 29, 2009 9:18 am

Paññāsikhara wrote:
Dhammanando wrote:
PaulD wrote:Are there any contradictions between the Pali Canon and Abhidharma-kosa?


As well as those mentioned by early posters, there are significant differences in the descriptions of the various paramattha dhammas. Mindfulness, for example, is held by the Theravada to be a beautiful mental factor that arises only with kusala cittas in non-arahants and kriya cittas in arahants. But Vasubandhu treats it as an ethically indifferent factor that may be present with both kusala and akusala cittas.

Dhammanando


And even more potentially shocking for Theravadin (and Sarvastivadin) Abhidhamma types - nirvana is not a dharma.


For me that disagreement, though it may historically have generated the more noise, nonetheless seems not as momentous as the one regarding mindfulness.

One practising rightly will sooner or later know for herself whether nibbana is the mere absence of kilesas and dukkha (as the Sautrantikas held) or a real dhamma cognized by a supramundane consciousness (as the Theravada holds). An accurate grasp of nibbana isn't needed for realizing it, but only for avoiding mistaking experiences that are not nibbana for nibbana.

But with a wrong conception of sati one won't practise rightly at all.
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Abhidharma-kosa

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Dec 29, 2009 9:30 am

Dhammanando wrote:
But with a wrong conception of sati one won't practise rightly at all.
Bhante, If you and Ven Paññāsikhara could outline the difference between the Theravada and the Kosa position on sati, I would greating appreciate it. I think it would be considerable interest to others as well.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Abhidharma-kosa

Postby Paññāsikhara » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:02 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Dhammanando wrote:
But with a wrong conception of sati one won't practise rightly at all.
Bhante, If you and Ven Paññāsikhara could outline the difference between the Theravada and the Kosa position on sati, I would greating appreciate it. I think it would be considerable interest to others as well.


Would that necessitate the whole background of how each perceives the basic functioning of mental events, too, in relation to mind, objects, etc.?
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Re: Abhidharma-kosa

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:17 am

Paññāsikhara wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Dhammanando wrote:
But with a wrong conception of sati one won't practise rightly at all.
Bhante, If you and Ven Paññāsikhara could outline the difference between the Theravada and the Kosa position on sati, I would greating appreciate it. I think it would be considerable interest to others as well.


Would that necessitate the whole background of how each perceives the basic functioning of mental events, too, in relation to mind, objects, etc.?
Geez. That sound like work. A lot of work, so maybe not.

This is a thingie by Alan Wallace. Curious as to whether he is presenting a kosha view of things

http://www.tricycle.com/a-mindful-balance

whatever the case, it is a shot across the bow of the Theravadin vipassana movement.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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