Seventeen thought moments

Discussion of Abhidhamma and related Commentaries

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SarathW
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Seventeen thought moments

Postby SarathW » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:37 am

Did Buddha talk about seventeen thought moments? If so can you give me the link for the related Sutta.
Thanks

For the benefit of the beginner please read the attached link, to learn about seventeen thought moments.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el322.html

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mikenz66
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Re: Seventeen thought moments

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:16 am

Hi SarathW,

There are two issues here:

1. Did the Buddha teach the Abhidhamma? This is a debate which belongs outside this particular forum, in The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

2. Where are the mind-moments spelled out (in the Abhidhamma itself, or in the Commentaries)?

I don't know the answer to the second question, since I only have a copy of the Comprehensive Manual of the Abhidhamma, which is a late commentary [See: viewtopic.php?f=18&t=826 for an on-line version]. I hope someone can chip in and inform us.

:anjali:
Mike

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retrofuturist
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Re: Seventeen thought moments

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:29 am

Greetings,

mikenz66 wrote:2. Where are the mind-moments spelled out (in the Abhidhamma itself, or in the Commentaries)?

In asking a similar question once I was advised that it's the commentaries only, as distinct from the Abhidhamma Pitaka.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"When we transcend one level of truth, the new level becomes what is true for us. The previous one is now false. What one experiences may not be what is experienced by the world in general, but that may well be truer. (Ven. Nanananda)

“I hope, Anuruddha, that you are all living in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, blending like milk and water, viewing each other with kindly eyes.” (MN 31)

Never again...

Nyana
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Re: Seventeen thought moments

Postby Nyana » Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:50 am

retrofuturist wrote:In asking a similar question once I was advised that it's the commentaries only, as distinct from the Abhidhamma Pitaka.

Yes, the theory of momentariness is absent from the Abhidhammapiṭaka. David Kalupahana, Buddhist Philosophy: A Historical Analysis:

    It is significant that the Abhidhamma pitaka of the Theravadins makes no mention of either the theory of atoms or the theory of moments. They are certainly not found in either the Pali Nikayas or the Chinese Agamas.

Buddhaghosa seems to have acknowledged this as well. Kalupahana continues:

    In his commentary on the Dhammasangani, Buddhaghosa makes a very important remark regarding the theory of moments. He says: "Herein, the continued present (santatipaccuppanna) finds mention in the commentaries (atthakatha); the enduring or long present (addhapaccuppanna) in the discourses (sutta). Some say that the thought existing in the momentary present (khanapaccuppanna) becomes the object of telepathic insight" (DhsA, p. 421). According to this statement, it was 'some people' (keci) who spoke about the momentary present; it was found neither in the discourses nor in the commentaries preserved at the Mahavihara which Buddhaghosa was using for his own commentaries in Pali.

Of course, this hasn't stopped people from reading a theory of momentariness into the Abhidhammapiṭaka.

SarathW
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Re: Seventeen thought moments

Postby SarathW » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:38 am

Hi Mike
What a debate!
Thanks for the link. You said
“This whole thread is starting to puzzle me. It seems clear that the translation of many technical points in the Suttas is only possible with a careful reading of commentaries and a lifetime of study.”

I wish to add that by practicing and experience oneself will find the answer. By the way I do not venerate books. For me it is not possible to understand anything in this world by only reading a book. To me it is the difference between a medical student and the practicing doctor.

I have read Narada’s Manual of Abhidhamma many times in conjunction with N.G.K Mendis “The Abhidhamma in Practice”. Though it is not easy to read I think every Buddhist should read them.

In regard to seventeen thought moment, I do not think that Buddha ever will teach something like that, as it is make the Dhamma even harder to understand. However I am not prepared to throw it out the window yet. When I was eleven years old I remember my brain was ticking very fast, when thought occurred to me. I never bother to count them because I thought it was normal!

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el322.html
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/abhidhamma.pdf


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