A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma. Edited by Bhikkhu Bodhi. PHILOSOPHY. Pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2. Formats: Trade Paper, PDF, EPUB, Mobipocket. Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma, A- hr { margin-bottom: 15px; } ***Use Add to Cart to download the eBook bundle (PDF, ePub, Mobi) for $ PDF eBook. A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma. Pages · The Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence, Third Edition, assists judges in managing cases.

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This modern translation of the Abhidhammattha Sangaha (Manual of Abhidhamma) offers an introduction to Buddhism's fundamental philosophical psychology. ISBN: (ePub) comprehensive Pali-Burmese Dictionary and as one of the final editors of the Pali Canon and Commentaries. .. annotated translation of the Sangaha, A Manual of Abhidhamma. Now, as the time. A COMPREHENSIVE MANUAL OF ABHIDHAMMA great great essential initial application inferior immaterial sphere investigating javana knowledge material.

This work presents an exact translation of the Sangaha alongside the original Pali text. A detailed, section-by-section explanatory guide and more than 40 charts and tables lead modern readers through the complexities of Adhidhamma. A detailed introduction explains the basic principles of this highly revered ancient philosophical psychology. The Abhidhamma, the third division of the Pitaka, is a huge collection of systematically arranged, tabulated and classified doctrines of the Buddha, representing the quintessence of his Teaching.

Abhidhamma, meaning Higher or Special Teaching, is unique in its abstruseness, analytical approach, immensity of scope and conduciveness to one's liberation. In the Abhidhamma, the Buddha treats the dhamma entirely in terms of ultimate reality paramattha sacca , analyzing every phenomenon into its ultimate constituents. Even in the Abhidhamma Pitaka itself the dhamma theory is not yet expressed as an explicit philosophical tenet; this comes only later, in the Commentaries. Nevertheless, though as yet implicit, the theory still comes into focus in its role as the regulating principle behind the Abhidhamma's more evident task, the project of systemization.

This project starts from the premise that to attain the wisdom that knows things "as they really are," a sharp wedge must be driven between those types of entities that possess ontological ultimacy, that is, the dhammas, and those types of entities that exist only as conceptual constructs but are mistakenly grasped as ultimately real.

Proceeding from this distinction, the Abhidhamma posits a fixed number of dhammas as the building blocks of actuality, most of which are drawn from the Suttas. It then sets out to define all the doctrinal terms used in the Suttas in ways that reveal their identity with the ontological ultimates recognized by the system. On the basis of these definitions, it exhaustively classifies the dhammas into a net of pre-determined categories and modes of relatedness which highlight their place within the system's structure.

And since the system is held to be a true reflection of actuality, this means that the classification pinpoints the place of each dhamma within the overall structure of actuality. The Abhidhamma's attempt to comprehend the nature of reality, contrary to that of classical science in the West, does not proceed from the standpoint of a neutral observer looking outwards towards the external world.

The primary concern of the Abhidhamma is to understand the nature of experience, and thus the reality on which it focuses is conscious reality, the world as given in experience, comprising both knowledge and the known in the widest sense.

For this reason the philosophical enterprise of the Abhidhamma shades off into a phenomenological psychology. To facilitate the understanding of experienced reality, the Abhidhamma embarks upon an elaborate analysis of the mind as it presents itself to introspective meditation.


It classifies consciousness into a variety of types, specifies the factors and functions of each type, correlates them with their objects and physiological bases, and shows how the different types of consciousness link up with each other and with material phenomena to constitute the ongoing process of experience. This analysis of mind is not motivated by theoretical curiosity but by the overriding practical aim of the Buddha's teaching, the attainment of deliverance from suffering.

Since the Buddha traces suffering to our tainted attitudes — a mental orientation rooted in greed, hatred, and delusion — the Abhidhamma's phenomenological psychology also takes on the character of a psychological ethics, understanding the term "ethics" not in the narrow sense of a code of morality but as a complete guide to noble living and mental purification.

Accordingly we find that the Abhidhamma distinguishes states of mind principally on the basis of ethical criteria: the wholesome and the unwholesome, the beautiful factors and the defilements. Its schematization of consciousness follows a hierarchical plan that corresponds to the successive stages of purity to which the Buddhist disciple attains by practice of the Buddha's path. This plan traces the refinement of the mind through the progression of meditative absorptions, the fine-material-sphere and immaterial-sphere jhanas, then through the stages of insight and the wisdom of the supramundane paths and fruits.

Finally, it shows the whole scale of ethical development to culminate in the perfection of purity attained with the mind's irreversible emancipation from all defilements. All three dimensions of the Abhidhamma — the philosophical, the psychological, and the ethical — derive their final justification from the cornerstone of the Buddha's teaching, the program of liberation announced by the Four Noble Truths.

The prominence of mental defilements and requisites of enlightenment in its schemes of categories, indicative of its psychological and ethical concerns, connects the Abhidhamma to the second and fourth noble truths, the origin of suffering and the way leading to its end. And the entire taxonomy of dhammas elaborated by the system reaches its consummation in the "unconditioned element" asankhata dhatu , which is Nibbana, the third noble truth, that of the cessation of suffering.

The Twofold Method The great Buddhist commentator, Acariya Buddhaghosa, explains the word "Abhidhamma" as meaning "that which exceeds and is distinguished from the Dhamma" dhammatireka-dhammavisesa , the prefix abhi having the sense of preponderance and distinction, and dhamma here signifying the teaching of the Sutta Pitaka. Both the Suttas and the Abhidhamma are grounded upon the Buddha's unique doctrine of the Four Noble Truths, and all the principles essential to the attainment of enlightenment are already expounded in the Sutta Pitaka.

The difference between the two in no way concerns fundamentals but is, rather, partly a matter of scope and partly a matter of method. As to scope, the Abhidhamma offers a thoroughness and completeness of treatment that cannot be found in the Sutta Pitaka. Acariya Buddhaghosa explains that in the Suttas such doctrinal categories as the five aggregates, the twelve sense bases, the eighteen elements, and so forth, are classified only partly, while in the Abhidhamma Pitaka they are classified fully according to different schemes of classification, some common to the Suttas, others unique to the Abhidhamma.

The other major area of difference concerns method. The discourses contained in the Sutta Pitaka were expounded by the Buddha under diverse circumstances to listeners with very different capacities for comprehension. They are primarily pedagogical in intent, set forth in the way that will be most effective in guiding the listener in the practice of the teaching and in arriving at a penetration of its truth.

A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma

To achieve this end the Buddha freely employs the didactic means required to make the doctrine intelligible to his listeners. He uses simile and metaphor; he exhorts, advises, and inspires; he sizes up the inclinations and aptitudes of his audience and adjusts the presentation of the teaching so that it will awaken a positive response.

For this reason the Suttanta method of teaching is described as pariyaya-dhammadesana, the figurative or embellished discourse on the Dhamma. In contrast to the Suttas, the Abhidhamma Pitaka is intended to divulge as starkly and directly as possible the totalistic system that underlies the Suttanta expositions and upon which the individual discourses draw. The Abhidhamma takes no account of the personal inclinations and cognitive capacities of the listeners; it makes no concessions to particular pragmatic requirements.

It reveals the architectonics of actuality in an abstract, formalistic manner utterly devoid of literary embellishments and pedagogical expedients. Thus the Abhidhamma method is described as the nippariyaya-dhammadesana, the literal or unembellished discourse on the Dhamma. This difference in technique between the two methods also influences their respective terminologies. In the Suttas the Buddha regularly makes use of conventional language voharavacana and accepts conventional truth sammutisacca , truth expressed in terms of entities that do not possess ontological ultimacy but can still be legitimately referred to them.

Thus in the Suttas the Buddha speaks of "I" and "you," of "man" and "woman," of living beings, persons, and even self as though they were concrete realities.

The Abhidhamma

The Abhidhamma method of exposition, however, rigorously restricts itself to terms that are valid from the standpoint of ultimate truth paramatthasacca : dhammas, their characteristics, their functions, and their relations. Thus in the Abhidhamma all such conceptual entities provisionally accepted in the Suttas for purposes of meaningful communication are resolved into their ontological ultimates, into bare mental and material phenomena that are impermanent, conditioned, and dependently arisen, empty of any abiding self or substance.

But a qualification is necessary. When a distinction is drawn between the two methods, this should be understood to be based on what is most characteristic of each Pitaka and should not be interpreted as an absolute dichotomy.

To some degree the two methods overlap and interpenetrate. Thus in the Sutta Pitaka we find discourses that employ the strictly philosophical terminology of aggregates, sense bases, elements, etc. Distinctive Features of the Abhidhamma Apart from its strict adherence to the philosophical method of exposition, the Abhidhamma makes a number of other noteworthy contributions integral to its task of systemization. One is the employment, in the main books of the Abhidhamma Pitaka, of a matika — a matrix or schedule of categories — as the blueprint for the entire edifice.

This matrix, which comes at the very beginning of the Dhammasangani as a preface to the Abhidhamma Pitaka proper, consists of modes of classification special to the Abhidhamma method. Of these, twenty-two are triads tika , sets of three terms into which the fundamental dhammas are to be distributed; the remaining hundred are dyads duka , sets of two terms used as a basis for classification. For example, the triads include such sets as states that are wholesome, unwholesome, indeterminate; states associated with pleasant feeling, painful feeling, neutral feeling; states that are kamma results, productive of kamma results, neither; and so forth.

The dyads include such sets as states that are roots, not roots; states concomitant with roots, not so concomitant; states that are conditioned, unconditioned; states that are mundane, supramundane; and so forth. By means of its selection of categories, the matrix embraces the totality of phenomena, illuminating it from a variety of angles philosophical, psychological, and ethical in nature.

A second distinguishing feature of the Abhidhamma is the dissection of the apparently continuous stream of consciousness into a succession of discrete evanescent cognitive events called cittas, each a complex unity involving consciousness itself, as the basic awareness of an object, and a constellation of mental factors cetasika exercising more specialized tasks in the act of cognition.

Such a view of consciousness, at least in outline, can readily be derived from the Sutta Pitaka's analysis of experience into the five aggregates, among which the four mental aggregates are always inseparably conjoined, but the conception remains there merely suggestive. In the Abhidhamma Pitaka the suggestion is not simply picked up, but is expanded into an extraordinarily detailed and coherent picture of the functioning of consciousness both in its microscopic immediacy and in its extended continuity from life to life.

A third contribution arises from the urge to establish order among the welter of technical terms making up the currency of Buddhist discourse. In defining each of the dhammas, the Abhidhamma texts collate long lists of synonyms drawn mostly from the Suttas.

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This method of definition shows how a single dhamma may enter under different names into different sets of categories. For example, among the defilements, the mental factor of greed lobha may be found as the taint of sensual desire, the taint of attachment to existence, the bodily knot of covetousness, clinging to sensual pleasures, the hindrance of sensual desire, etc.

In establishing these correspondences, the Abhidhamma helps to exhibit the interconnections between doctrinal terms that might not be apparent from the Suttas themselves. In the process it also provides a precision-made tool for interpreting the Buddha's discourses. The Abhidhamma conception of consciousness further results in a new primary scheme for classifying the ultimate constituents of existence, a scheme which eventually, in the later Abhidhamma literature, takes precedence over the schemes inherited from the Suttas such as the aggregates, sense bases, and elements.

In the Abhidhamma Pitaka the latter categories still loom large, but the view of mind as consisting of momentary concurrences of consciousness and its concomitants leads to a fourfold method of classification more congenial to the system. This is the division of actuality into the four ultimate realities paramattha : consciousness, mental factors, material phenomena, and Nibbana citta, cetasika, rupa, nibbana , the first three comprising conditioned reality and the last the unconditioned element.

The last novel feature of the Abhidhamma method to be noted here — contributed by the final book of the Pitaka, the Patthana — is a set of twenty-four conditional relations laid down for the purpose of showing how the ultimate realities are welded into orderly processes.

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This scheme of conditions supplies the necessary complement to the analytical approach that dominates the earlier books of the Abhidhamma.

The method of analysis proceeds by dissecting apparent wholes into their component parts, thereby exposing their voidness of any indivisible core that might qualify as self or substance. The synthetic method plots the conditional relations of the bare phenomena obtained by analysis to show that they are not isolated self-contained units but nodes in a vast multi-layered web of inter-related, inter-dependent events. Taken in conjunction, the analytical method of the earlier treatises of the Abhidhamma Pitaka and the synthetic method of the Patthana establish the essential unity of the twin philosophical principles of Buddhism, non-self or egolessness anatta and dependent arising or conditionality paticca samuppada.

Thus the foundation of the Abhidhamma methodology remains in perfect harmony with the insights that lie at the heart of the entire Dhamma.

The Origins of the Abhidhamma Although modern critical scholarship attempts to explain the formation of the Abhidhamma by a gradual evolutionary process, [4] Theravada orthodoxy assigns its genesis to the Buddha himself.

According to the Great Commentary maha-atthakatha quoted by Acariya Buddhaghosa, "What is known as Abhidhamma is not the province nor the sphere of a disciple; it is the province, the sphere of the Buddhas. The Atthasalini relates that in the fourth week after the Enlightenment, while the Blessed One was still dwelling in the vicinity of the Bodhi Tree, he sat in a jewel house ratanaghara in the northwest direction.

This jewel house was not literally a house made of precious stones, but was the place where he contemplated the seven books of the Abhidhamma Pitaka. He contemplated their contents in turn, beginning with the Dhammasangani, but while investigating the first six books his body did not emit rays.

However, upon coming to the Patthana, when "he began to contemplate the twenty-four universal conditional relations of root, object, and so on, his omniscience certainly found its opportunity therein. For as the great fish Timiratipingala finds room only in the great ocean 84, yojanas in depth, so his omniscience truly finds room only in the Great Book.

Rays of six colors — indigo, golden, red, white, tawny, and dazzling — issued from the Teacher's body, as he was contemplating the subtle and abstruse Dhamma by his omniscience which had found such opportunity.

This school also had an Abhidhamma Pitaka consisting of seven books, considerably different in detail from the Theravada treatises. According to the Sarvastivadins, the books of the Abhidhamma Pitaka were composed by Buddhist disciples, several being attributed to authors who appeared generations after the Buddha.

The Theravada school, however, holds that the Blessed One himself expounded the books of the Abhidhamma, except for the detailed refutation of deviant views in the Kathavatthu, which was the work of the Elder Moggaliputta Tissa during the reign of Emperor Asoka. This modern translation of the Abhidhammattha Sangaha Manual of Abhidhamma offers an introduction to Buddhism's fundamental philosophical psychology.

Originally written in the 11th or 12th century, the Sangaha has served as the key to wisdom held in the Abhidhamma. Concisely surveyed are Abhidhamma's central themes, including states of consciousness and mental factors, the functions and processes of the mind, the material world, dependent arising, and the methods and stages of meditation. This work presents an exact translation of the Sangaha alongside the original Pali text.

A detailed, section-by-section explanatory guide and more than 40 charts and tables lead modern readers through the complexities of Adhidhamma. A detailed introduction explains the basic principles of this highly revered ancient philosophical psychology.U Rewata Dhamma explaining the basic principles of the.

All three dimensions of the Abhidhamma — the philosophical, the psychological, and the ethical — derive their final justification from the cornerstone of the Buddha's teaching, the program of liberation announced by the Four Noble Truths. Thus in the Suttas the Buddha speaks of "I" and "you," of "man" and "woman," of living beings, persons, and even self as though they were concrete realities. Sri Dhammananda — PDF 7. Having resolved all phenomena into ultimate components analytically it aims at synthesis by defining inter-relations paccaya between the various constituent factors.

Having resolved all phenomena into ultimate components analytically it aims at synthesis by defining inter-relations paccaya between the various constituent factors.

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