Read e-book online Abhidhamma Studies. Buddhist Explorations of Consciousness PDF

By Nyanaponika,Bodhi

ISBN-10: 0861719182

ISBN-13: 9780861719181

The Abhidhamma, the 3rd nice department of early Buddhist instructing, expounds a innovative process of philosophical psychology rooted within the dual Buddhist insights of selflessness and based origination. according to the liberative thrust of early Buddhism, the program organizes the complete spectrum of human recognition round the poles of Buddhist doctrine - bondage and liberation, Samsara and Nirvana - the place to begin and the ultimate target. It thereby maps out, with notable rigour and precision, the interior panorama of the brain to be crossed throughout the sensible paintings of Buddhist meditation.

In this publication of groundbreaking essays, Venerable Nyanaponika Thera, one in every of our age's greatest exponents of Theravada Buddhism, makes an attempt to penetrate underneath the ambitious face of the Abhidhamma and to make its rules intelligible to the considerate reader of at the present time. His aspect of concentration is the realization bankruptcy of the Dhammasangani, the 1st treatise of...

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Sample text

This officially approved recension of the Abhidhamma Piṭaka must mark the terminal point of its development in the Pāli school, though it is conceivable that minor additions were incorporated even afterward. THE ABHIDHAMMA TEACHING The Abhidhamma teaching in the Dhammasaṅgaṇī, the focus of Ven. Nyanaponika’s essays, might be discussed in terms of three interwoven strands of thought: (1) an underlying ontology framed in terms of bare ontological factors called dhammas; (2) the use of an “attribute-mātikā,” a methodical list of contrasting qualities, as a grid for classifying the factors resulting from ontological analysis; and (3) the elaboration of a detailed typology of consciousness as a way of mapping the dhammas in relation to the ultimate goal of the Dhamma, the attainment of Nibbāna.

One of the major projects that the Abhidhamma Piṭaka sets for itself is to collect these various schemes into a systematic whole in which each item has a clearly defined position. To fulfill this aim, the architects of the Abhidhamma did not simply pile up lists but attempted to coordinate them, establish correspondences, and display relationships. Through their research into the dhammas, the Abhidhamma masters discovered that diverse terms used by the Buddha for the pedagogical purposes of his teaching often represent, at the level of actuality, the same factor functioning in different ways or under different aspects.

If I had to single out one strain in Ven. Nyanaponika’s thought as his major contribution to our understanding of the Abhidhamma philosophy, I would choose his emphasis on the inherent dynamism of the original Theravāda version of the Abhidhamma. It is especially necessary to stress this point because the treatment of the Abhidhamma that has come down to us in the medieval manuals can convey the impression that the Abhidhamma is a rigid, static, even myopic system that would reduce the profound, mind-transforming Dhamma of enlightenment to a portfolio of orderly charts.

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Abhidhamma Studies. Buddhist Explorations of Consciousness and Time by Nyanaponika,Bodhi


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