The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

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

Postby Virgo » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:38 pm

Friends:

The following is a good discussion which I highly recommend. Please enjoy it.

http://www.abhidhamma.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=4

Sincerely,

Kevin

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daverupa
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Re: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

Postby daverupa » Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:12 pm

It's odd to take paramatha sacca as a given when comparing the suttas and the abhidhamma, as that discussion seems to do. I find the abhidhamma's premise that the suttas are in conventional language while it itself is in ultimate language to be woefully unsupported.

I see these abhidhammas as being records of the sorts of discussions Buddhist virtuosos were having amongst themselves as time went on. They respond to context, and in this differ little from any book on the Dhamma which is trying to explain it for a particular audience in a different space-time matrix than the specifically 'Nikayan' worldview.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Kumara
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Re: Ajahn Buddhadasa on Abhidhamma

Postby Kumara » Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:38 am

flaneur9 wrote:2. The word “abhidhamma” is very seldom found in the Vinaya and Suttanta (according to one authority eleven times), and when it is found it is usually paired with the term “abhivinaya.” Since there is and never was an Abhivinaya Piṭaka the context implies that “abhidhamma” here means simply “about Dhamma,” not “higher Dhamma.” In the very few cases where the term clearly refers to the philosophy of the Abhidhamma Piṭaka it is found in relatively very late canonical exegesis of older texts—for example, the Vinaya Suttavibhaṅga and the Mahāniddesa.


Well said. But don't bother trying to convince the abhidhammikas!

Here's what I think: Vinaya simply means discipline. By "abhivinaya", I believe that the Buddha was referring to a higher form of discipline, which is not about mere confirming to rules, but a higher inner discipline. So, parallel to that, "abhidhamma" should mean a higher form of dhamma, but we need not let orthodox thinking influence us to confine our understanding to some sort of mere technical-philosophy. I see it as higher practicable, realisable dhamma.

I sometimes find it funny that while Abhidhammatthasangaha enthusiasts think that they are studying ultimate reality, it is obvious that they are getting themselves involved with more concepts.
I'm not just a monk. I'm a human being. — Sayadaw U Jotika

thomaslaw
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Re: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

Postby thomaslaw » Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:32 am

Dear Dhamma friends,

Regarding the notion/concept of Paramattha shown in Abhidhammattha Sangaha 'Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma', p. 25, I consider that it is very likely that the teachings of Paramattha (and its connection with Pa~n~natti 'Concept') are 'not' supported by the suttas, particularly the SN suttas (cf. Choong MK, The Fundamental Teachings of Early Buddhism, pp. 54, 92, 138 (on 'pa~n~naapeti'), 154).
E.g. the five aggregates (according to the SN suttas) should be seen as they really are as 'void (without reality, rittaka), insubstantial (tucchaka), and lacking essence (asaaraka)' (SN 22.95: PTS, iii, 140-143), because they are phenomena (dhammas) arisen by causal condition ('not' by their own right as 'irreducible' realities/components of existence), having the nature (dhamma) of anicca 'impermanence', nirodha 'cessation' (SN 12.20: PTS ii, 25-27).

Regards,

Thomas

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Alex123
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Re: Ajahn Buddhadasa on Abhidhamma

Postby Alex123 » Tue Oct 07, 2014 2:42 am

Kumara wrote:By "abhivinaya", I believe that .


Just like Abhivinaya does not mean abhivinaya pitaka, same with abhidhamma.
"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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lionking
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Re: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

Postby lionking » Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:44 am

Well, the Buddha insisted on keeping things simple. He said he will only divulge the things essential for enlightenment.

The Dhamma in many ways runs counter to normal human intuition. For example, it says give up creature comforts in order to be free from suffering.

Many struggle to understand the reasoning behind such thinking even now. It does not help confusing more with complexity those who are already confused.

The Pali Tripitaka represents the bare essentials to be on the path. Although over his lifetime many of the wiser monks would have learnt and perhaps inferred the mechanics just by listening to Buddha. Perhaps a select few were taught the higher principles by the Buddha himself.

The first council did not even acknowledge Abhidhamma following Buddha’s policy on keeping it simple. Although by the 3rd council some felt it would be worthy of preservation for future generations.

An example is the 6th sense base – “Thinking”. The Abhidhamma explains the mechanics of "Thinking". It reveals thinking emerges from the heart.

Prevailing mainstream science does not acknowledge thinking as a sensory activity. It considers thinking to be a cognitive function isolated to the brain.

This has been challenged, however. It appears the heart is not only a sensory organ it has a cognitive function.

Recent work in the relatively new field of neurocardiology has firmly established that the heart is a sensory organ and an information encoding and processing center, with an extensive intrinsic nervous system that’s sufficiently sophisticated to qualify as a heart brain. Its circuitry enables it to learn, remember, and make functional decisions independent of the cranial brain. To everyone’s surprise, the findings have demonstrated that the heart’s intrinsic nervous system is a complex, self-organized system; its neuroplasticity, or ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections over both the short and long term, has been well demonstrated.
http://noeticsi.com/thinking-from-the-h ... n-science/


So the Pali Tripitaka is akin to a driving manual. The Abhidhamma is the manual on combustion engine and its principles. All you need for the journey is the driving manual. Although if curiosity arises one may take a peek at the mechanics with the Abhidhamma too.
grr ..

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cjmacie
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Re: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

Postby cjmacie » Tue Jul 12, 2016 11:14 am

postby lionking » Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:44 pm

"Well, the Buddha insisted on keeping things simple. He said he will only divulge the things essential for enlightenment."
As the Buddha saw fit, out of expediency, to concentrate for teaching purposes on a "handful of leaves" compared to all the rest of the forest compost, the vast details of his experience and knowledge, my view is that Abhidhammikers were attempting to "reverse engineer" the distilled teachings towards getting a sense of the whole forest of leaves – at least mapping-out that territory. (Some see the abhidhamma as claiming to be exhaustive, hence hopelessly complex; other modern commentators, e.g. Rupert Gethin, hold that it was understood as illustrative, as demonstration of methodology.)

"So the Pali Tripitaka is akin to a driving manual. The Abhidhamma is the manual on combustion engine and its principles. All you need for the journey is the driving manual. Although if curiosity arises one may take a peek at the mechanics with the Abhidhamma too."
A corrolary viewpoint might be that driving, say, a Formula 1 machine involves a more refined awareness of and sensitivity to the technicalities.

Though the commentaries and sub-commentaries do seem to often spin off in rather dubious directions, obscure corners of esoterica, my sense is the basic abhidhamma texts can be useful supports to bhavana-practice, especially for the more intellectually inclined. That it's all seems extraneously heady, impractical to some doesn't mean that it can't be an aid to refining insight for others.

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lionking
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Re: The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate

Postby lionking » Wed Jul 13, 2016 12:10 am

cjmacie wrote:That it's all seems extraneously heady, impractical to some doesn't mean that it can't be an aid to refining insight for others.


Most certainly. In the case of Abhidhamma it easier to learn it from someone who has already read and understood the material.

Ven Bikkhu Bodhi (101 Abhidhamma) - 1 of 15 in the series of video (The Accompanying Book (Free Download))


Ven Bikkhu Bodhi (202 Abhidhamma) - 1 of 26 in the series of video


Ven Thiththagalle Anandasiri. The young monk here explains it quite well in Sinhala. This video is 1/40 in the series.
grr ..


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