Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

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Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta
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Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta »

Just recently, a thought occured to me that it is very fortunate for me to have some chances to get in touch with a little bit of Abhidhamma, making things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma readings. This thought formed after seeing the instances that even those very great minds of these (and recent) days who seemed not wanting to rely on abhidhamma usually ended up walking hazardously & laboriously on explanation about the attainments, on the verge of apparently contradicting the Buddha's teachings.


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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

Post by Ceisiwr »

It is useful, yes.
“When serenity is developed, what purpose does it serve? The mind is developed. And when the mind is developed, what purpose does it serve? Lust is abandoned.”

“When insight is developed, what purpose does it serve? Wisdom is developed. And when wisdom is developed, what purpose does it serve? Ignorance is abandoned."


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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

Post by SarathW »

Agree.
The knowledge of Abhidhamma is a great asset to a Dhamma teacher.
It even helps any person who likes to analyse the Dhamma in detail.
The drawback of Abhidhamma is you can confuse the teaching which has to be realised with experience mixed with intellectual realisation.
A person who relies only on Abhidhamma is in great danger than a person who rely upon only Sutta.
The best in my opinion is that you have to learn both.
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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta »

SarathW wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:46 pm Agree.
The knowledge of Abhidhamma is a great asset to a Dhamma teacher.
It even helps any person who likes to analyse the Dhamma in detail.
The drawback of Abhidhamma is you can confuse the teaching which has to be realised with experience mixed with intellectual realisation.
A person who relies only on Abhidhamma is in great danger than a person who rely upon only Sutta.
The best in my opinion is that you have to learn both.
:goodpost:
Mahasi Sayadaw would agree with you on that point, imo. In the book "Atthakatha Saṅgāyana: Analysing (Auditing/investigating/Checking?)* the Saṅgāyana" [my translation from burmese book], which is a collection of his talks in the later part ? of Sixth Buddhist Council, regarding "Investigating/Analyzing" into Atthakathas, he said [my translation]:
  • ... furthermore, as for Abhidhamma, it is purely the domain of panna. There is no mentioning of how to practice sila and samadhi. So, with pure Abhidhamma, it would not be possible to practice even sila and samadhi.
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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

Post by Eko Care »

SarathW wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:46 pm A person who relies only on Abhidhamma is in great danger than a person who rely upon only Sutta.
What are the reasons for mentioned additional danger apart from the dangers common to both approaches?

(Generally a highly-Abhidhamma-person tend to use Visuddhimagga and at least some suttas.)
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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

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Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 5:25 pm Just recently, a thought occured to me that it is very fortunate for me to have some chances to get in touch with a little bit of Abhidhamma, making things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma readings. This thought formed after seeing the instances that even those very great minds of these (and recent) days who seemed not wanting to rely on abhidhamma usually ended up walking hazardously & laboriously on explanation about the attainments, on the verge of apparently contradicting the Buddha's teachings.
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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

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Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 5:25 pm Just recently, a thought occured to me that it is very fortunate for me to have some chances to get in touch with a little bit of Abhidhamma, making things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma readings.
The Book of Analysis

17. Analysis of Small Items
17.1. Singlefold Summary

Pride of birth; pride of clan; pride of health; pride of youth; pride of life; pride of gain; pride of being honoured; pride of being respected; pride of prominence; pride of having adherents; pride of wealth; pride of appearance; pride of erudition; pride of intelligence; pride of being a knowledgeable authority; pride of being (a regular) alms collector; pride of being not despised; pride of posture (bearing); pride of accomplishment; pride of popularity; pride of being moral; pride of jhāna; pride of dexterity; pride of being tall; pride of (bodily) proportion; pride of form; pride of (bodily) perfection; pride; heedlessness; (mental) rigidity; rivalry; wish for the best; wish for the most; bad wish; foppery; presumption; personal vanity; discourteous living; tedium; apathy; restlessness; after meal drowsiness; mental sluggishness; guile; insinuating talk; signifying; defamation; seeking gain with gain; the conceit thus, “I am better”; the conceit thus, “I am equal”; the conceit thus, “I am inferior”; of one who is better the conceit thus, “I am better”; of one who is better the conceit thus, “I am equal”; of one who is better the conceit thus, “I am inferior”; of one who is equal the conceit thus, “I am better”; of one who is equal the conceit thus, “I am equal”; of one who is equal the conceit thus, “I am inferior”; of one who is inferior the conceit thus, “I am better”; of one who is inferior the conceit thus, “I am equal”; of one who is inferior the conceit thus, “I am inferior”; conceit; excessive conceit; inordinate conceit; self-disrespect conceit; over-estimating conceit; self-conceit; false conceit; thinking about relatives; thinking about (one’s) district; thinking about (how to) not die and/or eel wriggling; thinking associated with sympathy for others; thinking associated with gain, being honoured, fame; thinking associated with being not despised.

(Here Ends) Singlefold (Summary)
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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings Eko Care,

Can you please explain how the above list "makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma"? To me it just seems like a long list, serving no actual functional purpose. What does one actually do with such a list?

Please advise. :thanks:

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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

Post by Eko Care »

Therein what is “pride”? That which is pride, being proud, state of being proud, conceit, being conceited, state of being conceited, loftiness, haughtiness, (flaunting a) flag, assumption, desire of consciousness for a banner. This is called pride.
...
Therein what is “heedlessness”? Wrong bodily action or wrong verbal action or wrong mental action or the succumbing and repeated succumbing of consciousness to the five strands of sense pleasures or not working carefully, not working constantly, working spasmodically, being stagnant, relinquishing wish, relinquishing the task, non-pursuance, non-development, non-repetition, non-resolution, non-practising, heedlessness in the development of skilful dhammas; that which is similar, heedlessness, being heedless, state of being heedless. This is called heedlessness.
The Book of Analysis
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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

Post by SarathW »

Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 3:08 am
SarathW wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:46 pm Agree.
The knowledge of Abhidhamma is a great asset to a Dhamma teacher.
It even helps any person who likes to analyse the Dhamma in detail.
The drawback of Abhidhamma is you can confuse the teaching which has to be realised with experience mixed with intellectual realisation.
A person who relies only on Abhidhamma is in great danger than a person who rely upon only Sutta.
The best in my opinion is that you have to learn both.
:goodpost:
Mahasi Sayadaw would agree with you on that point, imo. In the book "Atthakatha Saṅgāyana: Analysing (Auditing/investigating/Checking?)* the Saṅgāyana" [my translation from burmese book], which is a collection of his talks in the later part ? of Sixth Buddhist Council, regarding "Investigating/Analyzing" into Atthakathas, he said [my translation]:
  • ... furthermore, as for Abhidhamma, it is purely the domain of panna. There is no mentioning of how to practice sila and samadhi. So, with pure Abhidhamma, it would not be possible to practice even sila and samadhi.
:heart:
Interesting. However this statement seems contradictory as you can't have Panna without Sil and Samadhi.
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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

Post by DooDoot »

Eko Care wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 3:02 amPride of birth... the conceit thus, “I am better”... eel wriggling...
While the above could be found in any reasonable secular dictionary, what does the Abhidhamma mean by the term "pride of birth" ("jātimado")? Is it pride of gushing out or being pushed out of a vagina, soaked in fluid & blood? Or does it mean pride of individual social identity, such as pride of being Brahmin, warrior, merchant, Welsh, English or Singhalese? :shrug:
Now this word jati has many meanings. For in the passage 'he recollects one birth, two births, etc', it is becoming. In the passage 'Visakha, there is a kind (jati) of ascetics called Niganthas (Jains)', it is monastic order. In the passage 'birth is includes in two aggregates', it is whatever is formed. In the passage 'his birth is due to the first consciousness in the mother's womb' (Vin.i,93), it is rebirth-linking. In the passage 'as soon as he was born (sampatijata), the Bodhisattva' (M.iii,123) it is parturition [childbirth]. In the passage 'one who is not rejected and despised on the account of birth', it is clan. In the passage 'sister, since i was born with noble birth', it is the Noble One's virtue.

Buddhaghosa - Visuddhimagga
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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

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Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 5:25 pm Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma
:roll: Since ignorance is an underlying tendency (anusaya), it appears sankhara is not necessary a condition for ignorance. How does the "authoritativeness" of the Abhidhamma explain this? :shrug:
With ignorance as condition there is a (volitional) process, also with a (volitional) process as condition there is ignorance, with a (volitional) process as condition: consciousness, also with consciousness as condition: a (volitional) process, with consciousness as condition: mind, also with mind as condition: consciousness, with mind as condition: the sixth sense sphere, also with the sixth sense sphere as condition: mind, with the sixth sense sphere as condition: contact, also with contact as condition: the sixth sense sphere, with contact as condition: feeling, also with feeling as condition: contact, with feeling as condition: craving, also with craving as condition: feeling, with craving as condition: attachment, with attachment as condition: craving, with attachment as condition: continuation, with continuation as condition: birth, with birth as condition: ageing, death, and so there is an origination of this whole mass of suffering.
:thinking: Above & below each condition mutually conditions the later & former, except for becoming, birth & aging-death. This is confusing to me rather than "makes things really easy". How does the "authoritative" Abhidhamma or its Commentaries explain this? :shrug: :thanks:
With attachment as condition: ignorance, with ignorance as condition there is a (volitional) process, with a (volitional) process as condition: consciousness, with consciousness as condition: mind, with mind as condition: the sixth sense sphere, with the sixth sense sphere as condition: contact, with contact as condition: feeling, with feeling as condition: craving, with craving as condition: attachment, with attachment as condition: continuation, with continuation as condition: birth, with birth as condition: ageing, death, and so there is an origination of this whole mass of suffering.
:roll: The below appears contrary to sutta.
Herein, what is ‘with birth as condition: ageing, death?’

There is ageing, there is death.

Herein, what is ‘ageing?’

For various things (there is) ageing, agedness, the dwindling away of the life span: this is said to be ‘ageing’.

Herein, what is ‘death?’

For various things (there is) destruction, decay, a breaking up, a complete breaking up, impermanence, a disappearance: this is called ‘death’.

Thus, this is ageing and this is death, this is said to be ‘with birth as condition: ageing, death’.

https://suttacentral.net/vb6/en/anandajoti
The suttas are very clear "death" ("marana") does not occur to a Buddha or Arahant. Therefore, it appears in the suttas "marana" cannot mean the ending of the life span. The Dhamma in sutta explains "death" is the death of "beings". "Beings" are defined in SN 23.2 and SN 5.10. How does the "authoritativeness" of the Abhidhamma explain this? :shrug: :thanks:
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Last edited by DooDoot on Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:59 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

Post by robertk »

DooDoot wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:32 am
:roll: The below is contrary to sutta therefore appears to be secular heresy. It is secular heresy because it can be found in any secular dictionary. It appears to lead to misunderstanding rather than understanding Dhamma.
Herein, what is ‘with birth as condition: ageing, death?’

T

https://suttacentral.net/vb6/en/anandajoti
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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

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robertk wrote: Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:43 am Mod note: Calling a section of the Abhidhamma 'secular heresy' is not permitted in this forum. Future breaks of forum rules may result in a suspension.
If you wish to query the quote that is fine here.
But if the aim is to discredit that is better done in the Early Buddhism forum.
Not so fast. I checked the rules as you were posting and amended my post. :smile:
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Re: Abhidhamma makes things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma

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Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 5:25 pm Just recently, a thought occured to me ...
Abhidhamma also appears to have its own versions of Dependent Origination with only "nama" rather than "namarupa". For example:
2. Abhidhammabhājanīya

2.1. Paccayacatukka

Avijjāpaccayā saṅkhāro, saṅkhārapaccayā viññāṇaṁ, viññāṇapaccayā nāmaṁ, nāmapaccayā :shock: chaṭṭhāyatanaṁ, chaṭṭhāyatanapaccayā phasso, phassapaccayā vedanā, vedanāpaccayā taṇhā, taṇhāpaccayā upādānaṁ, upādānapaccayā bhavo, bhavapaccayā jāti, jātipaccayā jarāmaraṇaṁ. Evametassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa samudayo hoti.

Tasseva arūpāvacarassa kusalassa kammassa katattā upacitattā vipākaṁ sabbaso ākiñcaññāyatanaṁ samatikkamma nevasaññānāsaññāyatanasaññāsahagataṁ sukhassa ca pahānā …pe… catutthaṁ jhānaṁ upasampajja viharati, tasmiṁ samaye kusalamūlapaccayā saṅkhāro, saṅkhārapaccayā viññāṇaṁ, viññāṇapaccayā nāmaṁ, nāmapaccayā chaṭṭhāyatanaṁ, chaṭṭhāyatanapaccayā phasso, phassapaccayā vedanā, vedanāpaccayā pasādo, pasādapaccayā adhimokkho, adhimokkhapaccayā bhavo, bhavapaccayā jāti, jātipaccayā jarāmaraṇaṁ.
Evametassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa samudayo hoti.

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Is this solipsism or Yogacara mind-only doctrine? :shrug: How does this "authoritative" Abhidhamma make things really easy regarding interpretations of Dhamma, such as "namarupa"? Thanks :thanks:
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