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).

References in periodicals archive ?
7) Indeed, in the Abhidharma texts of comparable antiquity, there was already evidence for the application of this established norm, (8) which both Mahayana and early Buddhist authors observed.
This very concern is what gives sense to the Abhidharma (and general Buddhist) project of the purification of self-interested constructions of objects as so valorized: human epistemic agents have it in their power to cognize the nature of such objects as ultimately devoid of any inherent quality of aversion or attraction.
Text, History, and Philosophy: Abhidharma Across Buddhist Scholastic Traditions
According to some Abhidharma traditions," wrote Hayes, "one of the last obstacles that a person overcomes on the road to liberation is maana, usually translated as pride.
En cuanto a las fuentes primarias, cabe resaltar que el capitulo se centra en el llamado budismo temprano, en particular en una seleccion de pasajes extraidos de la literatura de los "discursos" (nikaya), asi como en la apropiacion escolastica que la escuela sarvastivada emprendio del canon del Abhidharma (por ejemplo, el Abhidharmakosa del filosofo Vasubandhu).
Abhidharma Buddhism claims that each dharma as a series of experiences is self-sufficient but impermanent hence antithetical to Brahman.
Vasubandhu, filosofo indio que vivio alrededor del siglo iv de nuestra era, fue un monje budista educado en la escolastica sarvastivada (una de las 18 escuelas en las que se escindio el budismo temprano), cuyas ensenanzas compendio y sometio a critica en una obra enciclopedica titulada Tesoro del Abhidharma (Abhidharmakosa).
Whatever its origins, it is a remarkable text that presents a new perspective on the nature of phenomena and proposes a revolutionary break with the Buddhist psychology set forth by the traditional Abhidharma schools.
There are also a considerable number of fragments belonging to the Samghabhedavastu and the Civaravastu of the Mulasarvastivadin, and Sutras corresponding to parts of the Chinese Samyuktagama, as well as fragments of the Vasubandhu's Abhidharmakosha and -bhashya, and over 50 Abhidharma texts.
The Tibetan Buddhist cosmology is influenced by two schools of thought--the Abhidharma ("super Dharma") system, which believes in a flat earth with four corners and around which the sun and other planets revolve, and the Kalachakra ("wheel of time") system, which teaches a cyclic time of universes with no beginning or an end.
The Abhidharma, the earliest compilation of Buddhist philosophy and psychology, still remains the basis for both Theravadin and Mahayana Buddhism after a millennium and a half, while our modern neurology textbooks are out of date almost as soon as they are written.
Even physical "racial" characteristics, while they might mark a person as exotic (such as the "red-mustached Abhidharma master" in fifth century Jiangnan), were not a barrier to becoming Chinese, and could be viewed as surprisingly inessential.