Abhidharma

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Abhidharma

(ŭb`ĭdŭr'mə) [Skt.,=higher dharma, or doctrine], schools of Buddhist philosophy. Early BuddhismBuddhism
, religion and philosophy founded in India c.525 B.C. by Siddhartha Gautama, called the Buddha. There are over 300 million Buddhists worldwide. One of the great world religions, it is divided into two main schools: the Theravada or Hinayana in Sri Lanka and SE Asia, and
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 analyzed experience into 5 skandhas or aggregates, and alternatively into 18 dhatus or elements. Later schools developed the process of analysis and classification that was called Abhidharma; their treatises were collected in the Abhidharmapitaka, one of the three main divisions of the Pali Buddhist canon (see Buddhist literatureBuddhist literature.
During his lifetime the Buddha taught not in Vedic Sanskrit, which had become unintelligible to the people, but in his own NE Indian dialect; he also encouraged his monks to propagate his teachings in the vernacular.
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, Pali canonPali canon
, sacred literature of Buddhism. The texts in the Pali canon are the earliest Buddhist sources, and for Theravada Buddhists, who claim to conserve the original teachings of the Buddha, they are still the most authoritative sacred texts.
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). The five skandhas analyzed experience to demonstrate the absence of an abiding "self." The categories of analysis were dharmas, or natures, ultimate qualities or principles that arise and pass away in irreducible moments of time. Lists of dharmas varied from 75 to 157, with different schools classifying the dharmas into different groups, and the exact definition of a dharma eventually became the subject of great controversy. The greatest systematizer of Abhidharma thought was Vasubandhu (5th cent. A.D.), who wrote the encyclopedic Abhidharma-kosa or Treasury of Abhidharma.

Bibliography

See H. Guenther, Philosophy and Psychology in the Abhidharma (1957); T. Stcherbatsky, The Central Conception of Buddhism (4th ed. 1970).

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References in periodicals archive ?
Since challenging the Abhidhamma's "quite uncompromising" (178) stance on the impossibility of compassionate killing would be unthinkable, the commentators devised a strategy to disconnect the motivation from the intention by suggesting that the compassionate motivation occurred at some earlier time.
The second chapter, on the seemingly dry and recherche subject of the controversy over Ledi Sayadaw's critique of a commentary of a summary of a set of texts on the canonical Abhidhamma, is a study in rethinking what texts and textual debates do in the world.
Speaking directly to Holder's choice of Sutta(nta)-Pitaka discourses (like the Kalama, Tevijja, and Sigalovada among others), in Pali Buddhist societies these discourses are often included in indigenous anthologies alongside commentaries on the Jatakas and Dhammapada, as well as narrative sections of the Vinaya-Tipiiaka and commentaries on the Abhidhamma. Maintaining the closed integrity of the Sutta(nta)-Tipitaka has been largely a practice of Western scholars of Buddhism.
It's a busy month with the end of vassa (three months' retreat) heralding Abhidhamma day, Parents day and Pavarana - all celebrated on the full moon day (October 6 at 7pm).
All the younger ones are attending classes mostly in Pali and Abhidhamma.
Less a biography than an attempt "to unpack what really counts in a modern form of Theravada Buddhism" (8), The Birth of Insight uses Ledi's life to show how during a period of momentous historical change--namely, British colonization-large segments of Burma's populace took up the study of Abhidhamma literature to fend off what they felt to be the harrowing decline of the sasana.
In chapter 5 Ito addresses the popularity of Buddhist doctrinal studies among Thai lay Buddhists and explores the ideological conflict caused by a controversial lecture on the Abhidhamma that Buddhadasa held in the mid-1960s, and this chapter also deals with the impact of that lecture.
For example, we find excerpts of the seven books of the Abhidhamma Pitaka accompanied by the story of Brah Maleyya Thera together in a single manuscript, since these texts are all traditionally performed at funerals in Thai Buddhism.
the bhikkhunis performed the service for her with the Abhidhamma chanting, and each one of them took turn to give dhamma talk every night.
(2) In the text cited above, we can see four ariyasaccas being analyzed into the categories of wholesome (kusala), unwholesome (akusala), and neither- wholesome-nor-unwholesome (abyakata), the same categories used in Dhammasangani, the first book of Abhidhamma (See Dhs 179-180).
(44) The Abhidhamma suggests that such phenomena do not arise independently.
I think one might add the first work in the canonical Abhidhamma, the Dhamma-sangani.