Basic Abhidhamma teachings

Discussion of Abhidhamma and related Commentaries

Moderator: Mahavihara moderator

Basic Abhidhamma teachings

Postby aot » Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:56 pm

somone please link a site where i can find the basic principles. something geared towards a newbie. :D
:anjali:
aot
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 7:20 am

Re: basic teachings

Postby Ben » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:05 pm

Hi aot

There's at least one book on the Abhidhamma in the link in my signature.
Another book I would recommend is 'A Comprehensive Manual of the Abhidhamma' edited by Bhikkhu Bodhi.
Another book some people find useful is Nina Van Gorkom's 'Abhidhamma in Daily Life'. Not having read it, I can't vouch for it.
kind regards

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16066
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: basic teachings

Postby Paññāsikhara » Mon Sep 06, 2010 5:03 am

Dhamma Theory by Prof Y Karunadasa.
One of the best scholars on Theravada Abhidhamma around.
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: Huifeng's Prajnacara Blog.
Paññāsikhara
 
Posts: 980
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:27 am

Re: basic teachings

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:41 am

Thanks Venerable,
Paññāsikhara wrote:Dhamma Theory by Prof Y Karunadasa.
One of the best scholars on Theravada Abhidhamma around.

This is an excellent analysis that seems extremely useful in assisting one do dismiss various assertions by those who argue either for or against the abhidhamma with the point of view that the abhidhamma analysis is about reification of dhammas...

Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10268
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: basic teachings

Postby Prasadachitta » Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:02 pm

Thanks Bhante Paññāsikhara,

I am not quite finished reading it but I concur with Mike. I have generally been interested in using Abhidhamma lists to help me be more discerning about the skillfulness of mental states. I have not been so sure about what kind of philosophical position regarding the status of mental events was being advanced. I dont really care as long as I find the designations useful. Now I can see that If someone is interested in this they will find that the philosophical position is one which is centered upon the usefulness of designations. In other words it seems clear to me now that the reality of Dhammas depends upon their utility in the advancement of awakening and that these texts go no further than that. I will continue reading the rest later but I choose to meditate and go to work now.

Take Care

Gabe
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
User avatar
Prasadachitta
 
Posts: 974
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:52 am
Location: San Francisco (The Mission) Ca USA

Re: basic teachings

Postby Nyana » Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:59 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Paññāsikhara wrote:Dhamma Theory by Prof Y Karunadasa.
One of the best scholars on Theravada Abhidhamma around.

This is an excellent analysis that seems extremely useful in assisting one do dismiss various assertions by those who argue either for or against the abhidhamma with the point of view that the abhidhamma analysis is about reification of dhammas...

Hi Mike & all,

There is no reification of dhammas in the Abhidhammapiṭaka. The classical and medieval ābhidhammika commentaries are another matter. There is a gap in abhidhamma studies between correlating the discourses with the main texts of the Abhidhammapiṭaka, as well as the Paṭisambhidāmagga, the Peṭakopadesa, and the Nettippakaraṇa, one the one hand, and the classical and medieval interpretations of the Abhidhammapiṭaka, etc., on the other. The realist and ontological propositions in Professor Karunadasa's paper which are based on classical and medieval interpretation are not sustainable with reference to the canonical and para-canonical Pāḷi texts themselves.

One of the few studies which even begins to take into consideration the historical development of ābhidhammika ideas in a meaningful way is Early Buddhist Metaphysics: The Making of a Philosophical Tradition by Noa Ronkin.

All the best,

Geoff
Nyana
 
Posts: 2227
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Basic Abhidhamma teachings

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:16 am

Hi Geoff,

Thanks, I'll have look at that later. However, I didn't take Prof Karunadasa's approach to be particularly reified, so I had no problem with it.

I'll await comments on your comments from Ven Huifeng (Paññāsikhara) with interest...

Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10268
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Basic Abhidhamma teachings

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:28 am

Greetings,

mikenz66 wrote:Thanks, I'll have look at that later. However, I didn't take Prof Karunadasa's approach to be particularly reified, so I had no problem with it.

As I understand it, Geoff and Prof Karunadasa are saying similar things. Namely that there is no reification of dhammas in the earliest strata of Abhidhamma documentation, but (without personally confirming, nor denying allegations of reification) the "classical and medieval ābhidhammika commentaries are another matter", as Geoff suggests.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14655
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Basic Abhidhamma teachings

Postby Nyana » Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:01 am

mikenz66 wrote:Thanks, I'll have look at that later. However, I didn't take Prof Karunadasa's approach to be particularly reified, so I had no problem with it.

Hi Mike,

I think you probably understand this already, but I'll add it as a further qualification of my previous comment....

The dhamma is a way, a path coursing away from dissatisfaction and toward authentic liberation. Thus there's always a question of the skillfulness of a presentation, which is informed by the speaker's and the listener's view, and offers the possibility of further informing the listener's view. When we move away from the noble eightfold path embedded in the canon in search of understanding, the possibility arises of encountering self-limiting interpretations either rooted in a desire to set boundaries of orthodox definition not evident in the canon itself, or the opposite desire to discard much if not everything that's not explicitly stated in the suttas (or beyond this, discarding whatever we deem unacceptable in the suttas as well). Either of these moves, if accepted uncritically, can impose conceptual filters upon what we acknowledge as the possible interpretation of our own experience (i.e. view) as well as the path components to be implemented in our practice.

We only need to look at the widespread contemporary emphasis on a path of training and development which doesn't fully embrace the integration of non-carnal joy and pleasure (nirāmisā pīti and sukha), which the discourses tell us are integral sweet fruits of the ascetic life, or alternatively, the uncritical rejection of everything not supposedly uttered by the Buddha, to begin to recognize some of the consequences of accepting self-limiting interpretations of what the noble path "should be."

All the best,

Geoff
Nyana
 
Posts: 2227
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Basic Abhidhamma teachings

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:24 am

Thanks for your thoughts Geoff. Of course, I don't have to tell you that, as we see from these discussions, different, very sincere, monks/scholars/practitioners with lifetimes of experience have different opinions about which things are or are not the path. So I would be foolish to take any particular opinion as the last word...

However, since this is supposed to be an area for the discussion of Classical Abhidhamma and Commentaries, I think we should take any further such discussion elsewhere.

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10268
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Basic Abhidhamma teachings

Postby suanck » Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:01 am

aot wrote:somone please link a site where i can find the basic principles. something geared towards a newbie. :D
:anjali:


A good and easy-to-read Intro:

Peter Della Santina, The Abhidharma, http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/s-abhidham/s-abhi00.htm

Suan.
suanck
 
Posts: 93
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 7:51 am

Re: Basic Abhidhamma teachings

Postby Paññāsikhara » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:20 am

I think that Prof K would probably argue that at no point is the Theravada Abhidhamma, it's commentaries, and sub-commentaries (etc.) is "reified". Though of course, much may hinge on what is actually meant by this term. However, look for his comments on the three types of definitions viz dhammas / sabhava, ie. agent (kattu-), instrument (karana-), and nature (bhava-). Not how these are developed over time.
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: Huifeng's Prajnacara Blog.
Paññāsikhara
 
Posts: 980
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:27 am

Re: Basic Abhidhamma teachings

Postby Nyana » Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:31 pm

retrofuturist wrote:As I understand it, Geoff and Prof Karunadasa are saying similar things. Namely that there is no reification of dhammas in the earliest strata of Abhidhamma documentation, but (without personally confirming, nor denying allegations of reification) the "classical and medieval ābhidhammika commentaries are another matter", as Geoff suggests.

Yes.

Paññāsikhara wrote:I think that Prof K would probably argue that at no point is the Theravada Abhidhamma, it's commentaries, and sub-commentaries (etc.) is "reified". Though of course, much may hinge on what is actually meant by this term. However, look for his comments on the three types of definitions viz dhammas / sabhava, ie. agent (kattu-), instrument (karana-), and nature (bhava-). Not how these are developed over time.

Yes.

mikenz66 wrote:However, since this is supposed to be an area for the discussion of Classical Abhidhamma and Commentaries, I think we should take any further such discussion elsewhere.

Yes.

:anjali:
Nyana
 
Posts: 2227
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am


Return to Abhidhamma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests