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By Nyanaponika,Bodhi

The Abhidhamma, the 3rd nice department of early Buddhist instructing, expounds a progressive method of philosophical psychology rooted within the dual Buddhist insights of selflessness and established origination. based on the liberative thrust of early Buddhism, the program organizes the total spectrum of human cognizance round the poles of Buddhist doctrine - bondage and liberation, Samsara and Nirvana - the start line and the ultimate target. It thereby maps out, with striking rigour and precision, the interior panorama of the brain to be crossed during the useful paintings of Buddhist meditation.

In this e-book of groundbreaking essays, Venerable Nyanaponika Thera, considered one of our age's greatest exponents of Theravada Buddhism, makes an attempt to penetrate underneath the bold face of the Abhidhamma and to make its rules intelligible to the considerate reader of this day. His element of concentration is the cognizance bankruptcy of the Dhammasangani, the 1st treatise of...

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Additional info for Abhidhamma Studies. Buddhist Explorations of Consciousness and Time

Sample text

The Dhammasaṅgaṇī shows that the entire domain of consciousness in all its diversity is bound into an orderly cosmos by two overarching laws: first, the mundane moral law of kamma and its fruit, which links mundane wholesome and unwholesome states of consciousness to their respective results, the fruits of kamma, the latter included in the class of indeterminate consciousness. The second is the liberative or transcendent law by which certain wholesome states of consciousness—the supramundane paths—produce their own results, the four fruits of liberation, culminating in the attainment of Nibbāna.

Each of the books of the Abhidhamma has its authorized commentary. Since the commentaries on the last five books are combined into one volume, there are three Abhidhamma commentaries: the Atthasālinī (on the Dhammasaṅgaṇī); the Sammoha-vinodanī (on the Vibhaṅga); and the Pañcappakaraṇa-aṭṭhakathā (on the other five books). These commentaries are the work of Ācariya Buddhaghosa, the most eminent of the Pāli commentators. E. to study the old Sinhalese commentaries (no longer extant) that had been preserved at the Mahāvihāra, the Great Monastery, the seat of Theravāda orthodoxy in Anuradhapura.

This unceasing influx of impressions, by sheer weight of number and diversity alone, can be either overpowering and fascinating or else confusing, intimidating, distracting, even dissolving. The only means by which the human mind can assimilate this vast world of plurality (papañca), at least partly, is with the aid of systematic and methodical thought. But systems may also be “aggressive weapons” when wielded by a mind that through its power of understanding tries to control and master the numerous experiences, actions, and reactions occurring in our inner and outer world, subordinating them to its own purposes.

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