How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

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Re: How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:03 am

I really wish to study Abhidhamma seriously. I am not a Theravadan by name but I believe that Abhidhamma is really worthwhile. And as a bonus it's very interesting. I think it was Elohim who gave me a good link that I'd like to post here:
http://www.palikanon.com/english/sangaha/sangaha.htm

Just my two cents Image
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Re: How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:08 am

Greetings Drolma,

Not to dissuade you or anything, it's more of a 'heads up' actually... the Theravadin Abhidhamma is significantly different to the Abhidharma recognised by some of the Maha/Vajra traditions. Don't get confused!

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


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Re: How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:11 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Drolma,

Not to dissuade you or anything, it's more of a 'heads up' actually... the Theravadin Abhidhamma is significantly different to the Abhidharma recognised by some of the Maha/Vajra traditions. Don't get confused!

Metta,
Retro. :)


Ohhhhhh. Thank you very much! I did have the two confused.

:namaste:
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Re: How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

Postby cooran » Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:25 am

Hello all,

Loppon Namdrol (from esangha ) said there are small difference, but that the two Abhidhamma/Abhidharmas teach basically the same thing.

Ven. Nyanaponika Thera says: there is a good chance that the Abhidhamma may again become a living force which stimulates thought and aids the meditative endeavour for the mind's liberation. To achieve that, it is necessary, however, that the Abhidhamma teachings, which are extremely condensed in parts, are not merely accepted and transmitted verbally, but that they are carefully examined and contemplated in their philosophical and practical implications. This again requires the devotion of searching and imaginative minds; and as they will have to work on neglected and difficult ground, they should not lack the courage to make initial mistakes, which can be rectified by discussion and constant reference to the teachings of the Sutta Pitaka.
As to the relation of the teachings of the Abhidhamma to those of the Sutta Pitaka, two very apt comparisons given in a conversation by the late Venerable Pelene Vajiranana, Maha-Nayakathera of Vajirarama, Colombo, may be added, in conclusion:
The Abhidhamma is like a powerful magnifying-glass, but the understanding gained from the Suttas is the eye itself, which performs the act of seeing. Again, the Abhidhamma is like a medicine container with a label giving an exact analysis of the medicine; but the knowledge gained from the Suttas is the medicine itself which alone is able to cure the illness and its symptoms, namely craving rooted in ignorance, and the suffering caused by it.
http://www.buddhanet.net/abhidh10.htm

metta
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Re: How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

Postby kiss » Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:04 pm

hello all, just to share a small excerpt from Nina van Gorkom's Buddhism in Daily Life

Question: Do you not find it difficult to think in terms of “mental states”? Thinking of one’s own mental state might seem an ego-centric attitude.

Nina: Thinking of one’s own mental states is very realistic, because it is the different mental states which make us act in this way or that. Only if we study our mental states and the many factors which cause them to be like this or that, will we be able to understand the deepest motives of our behaviour. We have to start by being aware of our own mental states. This is not egocentric, because we have to understand ourselves first, before we can understand other people.

Through the study of the Abhidhamma one can begin to have more understanding of one’s own mental states. The Abhidhamma is that part of the Buddhist teachings which analyses the different states of mind and which explains in detail about everything which is real. The study of the Abhidhamma helps us to understand which causes bring which effects in our life and in the lives of other people.

Question: Do you find that you can verify the Abhidhamma in your daily life?

Nina: It was a great discovery for me to find that the Abhidhamma can be verified in daily life, although one can in the beginning experience only part of the realities the Abhidhamma explains. At first one might think that the Abhidhamma is too subtle and one might doubt whether it is useful to study the many different degrees of ignorance and wisdom, but one learns that each of these different degrees brings its corresponding result. In studying the Abhidhamma one learns to understand more about other people as well. One learns that people are different because of different accumulations of experiences in the past. Because of these different accumulations people behave differently. At each moment one accumulates new experiences and this conditions what one will be like and what one will experience in the future.

When we understand more about the different accumulations of different people, we are less inclined to judge other people. When we see people paying respect to the Buddha with apparently very little understanding we know that their accumulations are thus and that they are performing a wholesome act according to their ability.
keep it simple, stupid~ my lifehack

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Bhikkhu Tissa dispels some doubts - an invaluable piece of advice to learn from, time to time.
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Re: How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

Postby cooran » Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:31 pm

Thank you kiss. I have met Nina many times in Bangkok and India. She is a lovely person, well versed in the Suttanta, Vinaya and Abhidhamma.

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

Postby kiss » Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:55 am

Chris wrote:Thank you kiss. I have met Nina many times in Bangkok and India. She is a lovely person, well versed in the Suttanta, Vinaya and Abhidhamma.

metta
Chris


wow.. that's so lucky of you. i've read her "Buddhism in Daily Life" and i really need to go through the book a couple of times more because i cannot fully grasp the teachings. Abhidhamma is really too subtle for beginners like me. wonder when i'm able to get to her another book "Abhidhamma in Daily Life" :tongue:
keep it simple, stupid~ my lifehack

keeping it simply said: 'i'm learning from Buddha to be wise and kind'

Bhikkhu Tissa dispels some doubts - an invaluable piece of advice to learn from, time to time.
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