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How necessary is Abhidhamma study? - Dhamma Wheel

How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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bodom
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How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

Postby bodom » Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:58 pm

How necessary is Abhidhamma study to ones practice? Specifically to a householders practice? Personally for me it seems excessive. It seems to be for the scholars. Maybe i am completely wrong though? I have studied the Nikayas and have really come to the conclusion that book knowledge does not equal wisdom. If book knowledge was all that was needed for enlightenment i would have been there already. Ajahn Chah reiterates this fact over and over in his teachings. For myself i want to experience the peace that the Buddhas path leads to and not just read about it. Is the Abhidhamma for the scholars only? Is there something to be found in it that i have not already learned from the Sutta Pitaka? Will it show me the way to enlightenment anymore than the Suttas will? Should i add more to my already full hands with the Sutta Pitaka? Thanks.

:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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clw_uk
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Re: How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

Postby clw_uk » Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:09 pm

I dont think you need the abhidhamma in order to reach nibbana. The essential teachings for this are in the other parts of the Pali Canon and in my opinion particually the SN and MN which i feel are more enlightening than the abhidhamma. To me the abhidhamma just expands slightly on the buddhas dhamma with the intent of an intellectual understanding of the dhamma.

Ultimately though this is just my opinion, it is for you to decide, i would recomend you read it and then contemplate if what you are reading is helping you reach cesstation or not. If you find it helpful in doing this then use it, if not then leave it.

:namaste:
Last edited by clw_uk on Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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mikenz66
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Re: How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:31 pm

Hi BBB,

I think that how useful it is to you depends to a certain extent what your practise is and how your teachers teach. If your teachers use a lot of Abhidhamma concepts (e.g. they talk about cittas, sense doors, etc) then it's less confusing if you have some idea of the basics. I see it as a more detailed way of classifying experience, an elaboration of the classifications in terms of elements, khandhas, sense bases, dependent origination steps, etc, that appear in the Suttas.

I've only studied summaries such as Abhidhamma in Daily Life by Nina Van Gorkom
http://mail.saigon.com/~anson/ebud/nina ... bhi-00.htm
http://www.zolag.co.uk/ (for PDF).
This introduction:
The Abhidhamma in Practice by N.K.G. Mendis
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el322.html
also looks useful.

Metta
Mike
Last edited by mikenz66 on Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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cooran
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Re: How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

Postby cooran » Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:35 pm

Hello bbb, all,

The Abhidhamma is part of the Pali Canon. It is the third basket of the Tipitaka.
This excerpt from the book by Ven. Nyanaponika may be of assistance.

The Abhidhamma Philosophy ~ Its estmation in the past and its value for the present


~High Esteem of Abhidhamma in Buddhist Tradition
~The Abhidhamma as System and Method
~Clarification of Terms
~Analysis of Consciousness
~The Anatta Doctrine
~Abhidhamma and Meditation
~Abhidhamma: Requirement for the Teachers of Dhamma
~Evaluation of Abhidhamma & Question of its Authenticity
~Concluding Remarks and a Warning
http://www.buddhanet.net/abhidh01.htm

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
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Jason
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Re: How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

Postby Jason » Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:49 pm

"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" ().

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cooran
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Re: How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

Postby cooran » Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:05 pm

---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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retrofuturist
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Re: How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:19 pm

Greetings Chris, all,

Since the topic seems to be seeking to elicit a wide range of opinions, I'm relocating it to the General Theravada discussion forum.

Thanks everyone.

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

Element

Re: How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

Postby Element » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:09 am

Last edited by Element on Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

Postby jcsuperstar » Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:01 am

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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Re: How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

Postby Heavenstorm » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:44 am


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bodom
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Re: How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

Postby bodom » Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:46 pm

Thanks for the replys.

:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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piotr
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Re: How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

Postby piotr » Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:12 pm

Bhagavaṃmūlakā no, bhante, dhammā...

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bodom
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Re: How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

Postby bodom » Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:17 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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Jesse Smith
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Re: How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

Postby Jesse Smith » Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:49 pm

I've kind of avoided exposing myself to Aghidhamma teachings. I can see how I would take what I read and plant it as a preconceived notion in my head. Then, during meditation, I might find myself looking for signs or indications of these preconceived notions, reading into what was going on, instead of just seeing things as they are.

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mikenz66
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Re: How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:54 pm

Hi Jesse,

Did you manage to also avoid hearing the teaching that all of what you are seeing when you meditate is Anicca, Dukkha, and Anatta?

:meditate:

Metta
Mike

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dumb bonbu
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Re: How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

Postby dumb bonbu » Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:47 pm

i find it useful for mindfulness in day to day life. i was, and still am to tell the truth, a bit daunted by it but i think if you take it steadily then it's not quite as intimidating as you may initially believe.
Monks, even if bandits were to carve you up savagely, limb by limb, with a two-handled saw, he among you who let his heart get angered even at that would not be doing my bidding.

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bodom
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Re: How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

Postby bodom » Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:49 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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dumb bonbu
Posts: 27
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Location: Hull, East Yorkshire

Re: How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

Postby dumb bonbu » Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:53 pm

hmm, i'm not sure if i'd used the word excessive though there a lot of terms and groupings that i often lose my way in. redundant...imo, i've found it helpful...i never really got a grip on rebirth (ofcourse, i don't mean to imply that i somehow now have complete understanding, i realise i have a lot to learn) until i read about the cittas.
Monks, even if bandits were to carve you up savagely, limb by limb, with a two-handled saw, he among you who let his heart get angered even at that would not be doing my bidding.

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clw_uk
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Re: How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

Postby clw_uk » Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:31 pm

Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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retrofuturist
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Re: How necessary is Abhidhamma study?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:56 pm

"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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