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The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate - Page 12 - Dhamma Wheel

The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

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

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:38 am

"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)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

Postby daverupa » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:47 pm

Once again, I heartily recommend Noa Ronkin's as it pertains directly to these issues. It can be heavy reading, but it's well worth the haul.

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Re: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

Postby phil » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:16 am

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

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:23 am

"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)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

Postby 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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Re: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

Postby Alex123 » Fri May 04, 2012 4:28 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Re: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

Postby retrofuturist » Mon May 21, 2012 4:49 am

Greetings,

A brief article of relevance...

Some Evidence Suggesting the Spurious Nature of Abhidhamma Philosophy
by Ven. Paññobhāsa Bhikkhu

http://pathpress.wordpress.com/2012/04/ ... sophy-2-2/

Shared with us courtesy of ven Ñāṇasuci, here: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=12483

EDIT: Whooops, this is the one Alex posted just above. :lol: Sorry about that... well, at least you know who the author is now.

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)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

Postby cooran » Mon May 21, 2012 7:37 am

Realising that the Venerable had limited knowledge of the Abhidhamma, I posted on Dhammastudygroup where there are many members and scholars who are very well versed in the Abhidhamma Pitaka (as well as the other two Pitakas) - including the highly respected author Nina van Gorkom. The discussion is below:

Hello all,

I wonder if those with a little more knowledge than I have would please read and
comment on this article:

Some Evidence Suggesting the Spurious Nature of Abhidhamma Philosophy
by Ven. Paññobhāsa Bhikkhu
http://pathpress.wordpress.com/2012/04/ ... -spurious-\
nature-of-abhidhamma-philosophy-2-2/

with metta
Chris
=======================
Hi Christine,

That is the type of article on the Dhamma that must be expected from a writer
who has no understanding of anatta.

Rather than exposing holes in the Theravada Dhamma, as he has set out to do, he
has exposed only his own lack of understanding.

For example, belief in the absolute reality of the the outer layers of the eye
is atta belief and wrong understanding. That is what this writer obviously has,
so how can he be taken seriously?

For another example, suttas can, in some cases, be taught when the Abhidhamma
has not been taught in the same lifetime. That is because the Abhidhamma has, in
those cases, been taught in previous lifetimes. The writer of your article seems
to think the opposite. He seems to think the teaching of conventional-language
suttas prior to the teaching of Abhidhamma proves that the Abhidhamma was not
part of the Dhamma.

But think of the single-sentence sutta that enlightened Sariputta. According to
this writer's logic, the existence of that sutta would prove there were no other
genuine suttas.

As absurd as the article is, it is no more absurd than any other article on the
Dhamma that is written without right understanding of anatta.

Ken H
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... age/124403
===============================
Re: [dsg] ''Some Evidence Suggesting the Spurious Nature of Abhidhamma Philosophy''

Dear Christine,
I thought of an answer and I think I can send it also to the
venerable one's website.
N: The main question is, how does one see the Abhidhamma: as a book
of abstract classifications or as the study of our life at this
moment? If one merely thinks of a book of classifications doubts may
arise as to the fact whether it is the Buddha's teaching. One may try
to find out its history and there will be no end to argumentations
and discussions.
I would like to have more understanding of my life and I find the
Abhidhamma most helpful in my search for the truth. The Abhidhamma is
not a theory one finds in a textbook; the teaching of the Abhidhamma
is about all the realities that appear at this moment. The Abhidhamma
teaches about seeing, about thinking of what was seen, about all the
defilements arising on account of what is experienced through the
senses and the mind-door.
While we are studying the different mental phenomena (namas) and
physical phenomena (rupas) and while we are pondering over them, we
can be reminded to be aware of the nama and rupa which appear at
that moment. In this way we will discover more and more that the
Abhidhamma explains everything which is real, that is, the
‘worlds’ appearing through the six doors of the senses and the mind.

In the ultimate sense life exists only in one moment, the present
moment. At the moment of seeing the world of visible object is
experienced, at the moment of hearing the world of sound, and at the
moment of touching the world of tangible object. Life is actually one
moment of experiencing an object.

When we are thinking about the world and all people in it, we only
know the world by way of conventional truth. It seems that there is
the world full of beings and things, but in reality there is citta
experiencing different dhammas arising and falling away very rapidly.
Only one object at a time can be cognized as it appears through one
doorway. Without the doorways of the senses and the mind the world
could not appear. So long as we take what appears as a ‘whole’, a
being or person, we do not know the world.

The teaching of the Abhidhamma is mainly by way of ultimate
realities, paramattha dhammas. In order to have understanding of the
Abhidhamma it is essential to know the difference between ultimate
realities, paramattha dhammas, and concepts, pannatti, such as a
person or a tree.

Through the Abhidhamma we are reminded all the time that there is no
person who clings, no person who suffers, that only citta and the
accompanying cetasikas experience different objects, be these
unpleasant or pleasant. There is no person who develops
understanding; understanding, panna, is a cetasika that can only
arise when there are the appropriate conditions for it.

The Abhidhamma teaches us that realities are anattaa, like the whole
of the Tipi.taka. Its teaching is not different from the Suttanta.
With satipa.t.thaana we study the reality appearing at the present
moment. This will lead to detachment.

The prefix ‘abhi’ in abidhamma is used in the sense of
‘preponderance’ or ‘distinction’. ‘Abhidhamma’ means
‘higher Dhamma’ or ‘Dhamma in detail’. We have accumulated so
much ignorance, we need many details in order to understand the truth.
The Seventh book of the Abhidhamma, the book on conditional relations
is of great help to understand that our life is conditioned
realities. Each conditioned reality can exist just for an extremely
short moment. When we understand this it will be easier to see that
there is no self who can exert control over realities.
The sixth book, the Yamaka, has a section on the latent tendencies.
These are accumulated defilements that do not arise but that can
condition the arising of akusala citta. They are called subtle
defilements because they do not arise with the akusala citta, but
they are powerful. Since they have not been eradicated they can
strongly condition and influence our behaviour. They lie dormant in
the citta like microbes infesting the body. So long as they have not
been eradicated we are like sick people, because they can condition
the arising of akusala citta when there are the appropriate
conditions.They can condition the arising of akusala citta even to
the degree of transgression of si¬la at any time, and thus, more
defilements are accumulated again and added to the latent tendencies.
The teaching of the latent tendencies helps us to see why the
defilements in our life are so tenacious, arising again and again,
and why their arising is unforeseeable and uncontrollable.

All the texts of the Tipit¬aka , including the Abhidhamma, are not
meant merely for intellectual study or memorizing, they are directed
to the practice, the development of vipassana. All the
classifications of cittas, cetasikas and rupas are terse reminders of
the truth, they are an exhortation to develop understanding of what
appears at this moment. This is the development of the eightfold Path
leading to the eradication of all defilements.

---------

Nina.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... age/124405
---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: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

Postby retrofuturist » Mon May 21, 2012 8:55 am

Greetings Chris,

Thanks for sharing the perspectives of these Abhidhamma-inspired practitioners.

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)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

Postby cooran » Wed May 30, 2012 7:24 am

Hello all,

Another response worth considering:


Have just got around to reading the article.

The bulk of the article (paragraphs 1 to 5) deals with the evidence supporting
the proposition that "there was no Abhidhamma Piṭaka in the earliest days
of Buddhism" and, accordingly, that "Abhidhamma philosophy was never taught by
the Buddha" (end of paragraph 5).

As a general comment, I would say that the second of those propositions.
("Abhidhamma philosophy not taught by the Buddha") does not necessarily follow
from the first ("no Abhidhamma Piṭaka in the earliest days of Buddhism").

As I see it, regardless of the view one takes on the compilation of the
Abhidhamma Pitaka, there is still the question of whether or not the details of
the Abhidhamma philosophy are a correct description of the way things are. And
this question involves a consideration of whether or not those details are fully
consistent with the other 2 baskets of the Tipitaka.

As the arguments cited in support of the main proposition have all been aired
here before, I'll move on to the rest of the article.

In the final paragraph (paragraph 6) of his article, the Venerable goes on to
assert that certain aspects of the Abhidhamma are contradicted by observations
of science. To support this contention the Ven. considers the Abhidhammic
notions of (a) sense-door consciousness and the manner by which the 5 sense-door
objects are experienced and (b) the rupa-kalapas.

The Ven. seems to prefer modern scientific observations over the Abhidhamma, and
in doing so he also seems to equate certain dhammas with their conventional
counterparts, which in my view is not how they are meant to be understood. I
have selected below one or two passages from paragraph 6 of the article.

In the course of his discussion under (a) (sense-door consciousness), the Ven.
says the following:

"Sensory consciousness is claimed [by the Abhidhamma scholars] to occur in the
sense organs themselves, not in the brain" and "according to the Abhidhamma
scholars, thought arises not in the brain but in a small quantity of variously
colored blood contained in a chamber of the heart."

It seems that the Ven. accepts without question the modern scientific view that
all consciousness arises in the brain. He rejects the possibility of citta
having a base ("vatthu") other than the brain, yet he does not explain why this
could not possibly be the case.

The Ven. goes on to say:
"This belief [of the Abhidhamma scholars] is closely interrelated with the
fundamental concept that all mentality is strictly linear, only one specific
image at a time existing in the mind, arising and passing away spontaneously
through the metaphysical power of kamma. The generally prevalent and empirically
consistent concept of a complex, physical generator of feeling and thought is
quite foreign to Abhidhamma, . .

Here the Ven. seems to reject the Abhidhammic notion of one citta (and one
object) at a time, in favour of the current scientific notion of a "complex,
physical generator of feeling and thought". Again, though, there is no
consideration as to why the Abhidhammic notion could not be the case.

In his discussion under (b) (rupa-kalapas), the Ven. says:

"color, as such, exists only in the mind and is merely a symbolic interpretation
of a certain bandwidth of electromagnetic radiation; . . . odor and flavor exist
only in the mind, and are the result of molecules and ions of certain
configurations interacting with specific neurosensory receptor sites"

The idea that sense-door objects "exist only in the mind" seems to run counter
to the inclusion of those objects among the rupa-khandhas, dhatus and ayatanas
that feature so extensively in the suttas. The Ven. does not say what he
understands the significance of the references to sense-door objects in the
suttas to be.

Specifically, the Ven. does not seem to allow for the possibility of a 5
sense-door object being that which is actually experienced at a moment of
sense-door consciousness and having a unique characteristic (and, as such, not
equivalent to scientific/conventional notions of colour, sound, smell, etc.).

Finally, the Ven. comments on the lack of scientific confirmation of the
existence of rupa-kalapas. He says:
"although rūpakalāpas are declared by the authorities to be ubiquitous
and of appreciable size by modern scientific standards (roughly the size of an
electron according to one authority), no physicist or chemist in a normal,
waking state of consciousness has ever experimentally isolated or otherwise
verified the existence of one"(!!)

Again, modern science as the way to go ...

It seems to me the Ven. may not fully appreciate the significance of the
sense-door objects as pertaining to the present moment and of their
classification in the suttas by way of the khandhas, dhatus, ayatanas, etc.
What is clear, however, is that he is not impressed with the "authorities" or
the "Abhidhamma scholars" (whoever these may be!).

Jon

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... age/124585

with 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: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

Postby mikenz66 » Wed May 30, 2012 8:12 am


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Re: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

Postby Nyana » Wed May 30, 2012 10:05 am


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Re: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

Postby retrofuturist » Wed May 30, 2012 10:25 am

Greetings Geoff,

Are you talking about an evolution of Abhidhamma away from phenomenological cartology, and towards its establishment as a philosophical treatise of ontological views?

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)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

Postby Nyana » Wed May 30, 2012 4:40 pm


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Re: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

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Re: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

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Re: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

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Re: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

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Re: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

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Re: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

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