abhidhamma

Where members are free to take ideas from the Theravāda Canon out of the Theravāda framework. Here you can question rebirth, kamma (and other contentious issues) as well as examine Theravāda's connection to other paths
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clw_uk
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abhidhamma

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:54 pm

How do you all view it? Something that was taught by the buddha or something that was a latter addition?

Also do any of you feel that it contradicts the pali canon on some points?
The dogmatists have claimed to have found the truth, others say that it cannot be apprehended; the Sceptics continue the search.
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Ben
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Re: abhidhamma

Postby Ben » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:00 pm

Hi Craig

Apparently the Abhidhamma was accepted as Buddhavacana at the first Buddhist Council.
How do I view it? Given my exposure is via Bhikkhu Bodhi's 'A comprehensive manual of the Abhidhamma', the writings of Ledi Sayadaw and a couple of chapters from Nina Van Gorkom, I view it very positively.

As for whether the Abhidhamma was composed by the Buddha or by Sariputta, I think is by and large irrelevant.
Metta

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: abhidhamma

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:46 pm

Not read it or and commentary for it, but if it works for someone then it works!
“Mendicants, these two [types of persons] defame the Tathāgata.
(The mendicants asked) What are the two [types of persons]?
(The Lord Buddha responded) The malicious, or the inwardly angry, and the one with (blind) faith or the one who holds things incorrectly.
Mendicants, these two [types of persons] defame the Tathāgata.”
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.
"Others will misconstrue reality based on personal perspectives, firmly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our personal perspectives, nor firmly holding them, but easily discarded."

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clw_uk
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Re: abhidhamma

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:52 pm

I have no strong reason to discount it, however i do feel that it seems to stray a bit off into metaphysical speculation
The dogmatists have claimed to have found the truth, others say that it cannot be apprehended; the Sceptics continue the search.
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Ben
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Re: abhidhamma

Postby Ben » Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:38 am

Hi Craig

If you take the view that the Abhidhamma was either composed by the Buddha or Sariputta or later highly realised writers then there is nothing speculative about it. The great thing about the Dhamma is that it has been tested for the last 2,500 years. If the abhidhamma was found to be a work of fiction, it would have been discounted as such by many through out its history.
Kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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Paul Davy
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Re: abhidhamma

Postby Paul Davy » Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:50 am

Greetings Craig,

My perspective is that the Abhidhamma Pitaka constitutes a Dhamma Theory that attempts to systemise the teachings of the Buddha (as recorded in the Sutta Pitaka) in such a way that they capture the technical essence of the teachings without reference to conventional concepts or references to self. Quite possibly it was a reaction to heretical monks and rival early schools who insisted on the existence of some kind of atta, puggala etc. In turn, the Abhidhamma would be classified as Buddha Word because it was well spoken.

Origins aside, I think it's a very valuable and complementary tool for understanding the doctrines of anatta and anicca. My concerns about it are when it extends beyond the scope of the suttas, presumably to fill certain gaps in a well-rounded and comprehensive Dhamma Theory that couldn't be satisfactorily answered by the suttas alone. Using the Simsapa Sutta as a guide, I believe that things that the Buddha didn't teach can be safely left to one side, so whilst I find the Abhidhamma interesting and insightful, it doesn't play a central role in my practice or understanding of the Dhamma.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Having understood name-and-form, which is a product of prolificity,
And which is the root of all malady within and without,
He is released from bondage to the root of all maladies,
That Such-like-one is truly known as 'the one who has understood'."
(Snp 3.6)

"Whether I were to preach in brief, Sāriputta, or whether I were to preach in detail, Sāriputta, or whether I were to preach both in brief or in detail, Sāriputta, rare are those who understand." (A I 333, Sāriputtasutta)

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Re: abhidhamma

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:19 am

clw_uk wrote:I have no strong reason to discount it, however i do feel that it seems to stray a bit off into metaphysical speculation

In what sense is it metaphysical? It seems to me to be simply a (much) more detailed set of lists (than aggregates, elements, sense bases, etc) to classify experience. Meditation approaches such as those taught by Mahasi Sayadaw, U Pandita, etc (which includes many western"vipassana" or "insight" teachers) make quite a lot of use of the concepts.

Abhidhamma in Daily Life by Nina Van Gorkom, is a relatively practical introduction.
http://mail.saigon.com/~anson/ebud/nina ... bhi-00.htm
There is a PDF version here:
http://www.zolag.co.uk/

Metta
Mike

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Jason
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Re: abhidhamma

Postby Jason » Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:42 am

clw_uk,

clw_uk wrote:How do you all view it? Something that was taught by the buddha or something that was a latter addition?

Also do any of you feel that it contradicts the pali canon on some points?


Personally, I think that the Abhidhamma Pitaka is essentially a systematization of certain concepts and terms found throughout the Sutta Pitaka — with additional concepts and terms added in for logical consistency — which was possibly intended to act as a pedagogical tool, as well as an attempt to describe the ultimate nature of reality. Many scholars also agree that the Abhidhamma Pitaka was a later addition to the original teachings that gradual developed over several centuries. This is not only evident from the fact that the Abhidhamma utilizes words that are found nowhere else in the Canon, but also from the fact that each school had their own version (some even rejecting it altogether). As such, I do not think that the Abhidhamma Pitaka as we know it today was taught by the Buddha, although I do think that parts of it may have been.

Jason
Last edited by Jason on Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" (AN 7.58).

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meindzai
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Re: abhidhamma

Postby meindzai » Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:05 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Craig,

My perspective is that the Abhidhamma Pitaka constitutes a Dhamma Theory that attempts to systemise the teachings of the Buddha (as recorded in the Sutta Pitaka) in such a way that they capture the technical essence of the teachings without reference to conventional concepts or references to self. Quite possibly it was a reaction to heretical monks and rival early schools who insisted on the existence of some kind of atta, puggala etc. In turn, the Abhidhamma would be classified as Buddha Word because it was well spoken.

Origins aside, I think it's a very valuable and complementary tool for understanding the doctrines of anatta and anicca. My concerns about it are when it extends beyond the scope of the suttas, presumably to fill certain gaps in a well-rounded and comprehensive Dhamma Theory that couldn't be satisfactorily answered by the suttas alone. Using the Simsapa Sutta as a guide, I believe that things that the Buddha didn't teach can be safely left to one side, so whilst I find the Abhidhamma interesting and insightful, it doesn't play a central role in my practice or understanding of the Dhamma.

Metta,
Retro. :)


If I had bothered to come up with a well formulated opinion about Abhidhamma, it probably would have sounded something like this. :)

Except for the fact that right now it's playing a pretty significant role in my understanding, because it seems to be cementing the tiny little gaps in my knowledge between certain areas.

-M

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clw_uk
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Re: abhidhamma

Postby clw_uk » Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:47 pm

Thank you all for your replies :smile:

Is there anywhere you can view or buy it online?
The dogmatists have claimed to have found the truth, others say that it cannot be apprehended; the Sceptics continue the search.
Sextus Empiricus

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Re: abhidhamma

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:21 pm

clw_uk wrote:Thank you all for your replies :smile:

Is there anywhere you can view or buy it online?


the only Full version of the actual text I know of is at the Pali Text Society
but I don't know for certain
“Mendicants, these two [types of persons] defame the Tathāgata.
(The mendicants asked) What are the two [types of persons]?
(The Lord Buddha responded) The malicious, or the inwardly angry, and the one with (blind) faith or the one who holds things incorrectly.
Mendicants, these two [types of persons] defame the Tathāgata.”
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.
"Others will misconstrue reality based on personal perspectives, firmly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our personal perspectives, nor firmly holding them, but easily discarded."

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clw_uk
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Re: abhidhamma

Postby clw_uk » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:24 pm

Thanks Manapa :smile:

Metta
Craig
The dogmatists have claimed to have found the truth, others say that it cannot be apprehended; the Sceptics continue the search.
Sextus Empiricus

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Paul Davy
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Re: abhidhamma

Postby Paul Davy » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:46 pm

Greetings Craig,

As for materials on line, this is probably as good a starting point as any.

A Manual of Abhidhamma by Narada
http://mail.saigon.com/~anson/ebud/abhisgho/abhis00.htm

Bhikkhu Bodhi has since refashioned this manual and published it in book form under the title "A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma".

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Having understood name-and-form, which is a product of prolificity,
And which is the root of all malady within and without,
He is released from bondage to the root of all maladies,
That Such-like-one is truly known as 'the one who has understood'."
(Snp 3.6)

"Whether I were to preach in brief, Sāriputta, or whether I were to preach in detail, Sāriputta, or whether I were to preach both in brief or in detail, Sāriputta, rare are those who understand." (A I 333, Sāriputtasutta)

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Re: abhidhamma

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:53 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Craig,

As for materials on line, this is probably as good a starting point as any.

A Manual of Abhidhamma by Narada
http://mail.saigon.com/~anson/ebud/abhisgho/abhis00.htm

Bhikkhu Bodhi has since refashioned this manual and published it in book form under the title "A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma".

Metta,
Retro. :)

you know i just realized that 15 mins ago when i was holding both books in my hand....
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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clw_uk
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Re: abhidhamma

Postby clw_uk » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:54 pm

Hi Retrofuturist,

Thanks for the link, i do have a copy of the manual by bhikkhu bodi, i was looking to get a copy of just the text.
Thanks for your advice though :smile:

:namaste:
The dogmatists have claimed to have found the truth, others say that it cannot be apprehended; the Sceptics continue the search.
Sextus Empiricus

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Paul Davy
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Re: abhidhamma

Postby Paul Davy » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:56 pm

Greetings Craig,

The Abhidhamma is a full Pitaka, with several extensive volumes.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Having understood name-and-form, which is a product of prolificity,
And which is the root of all malady within and without,
He is released from bondage to the root of all maladies,
That Such-like-one is truly known as 'the one who has understood'."
(Snp 3.6)

"Whether I were to preach in brief, Sāriputta, or whether I were to preach in detail, Sāriputta, or whether I were to preach both in brief or in detail, Sāriputta, rare are those who understand." (A I 333, Sāriputtasutta)

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clw_uk
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Re: abhidhamma

Postby clw_uk » Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:11 pm

Oh lol :jumping:
The dogmatists have claimed to have found the truth, others say that it cannot be apprehended; the Sceptics continue the search.
Sextus Empiricus


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