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As most traditional biographies of the Buddha have of sects (Cox, 1998, 145; Anlayo, 2014, 13). According
it, kyamuni spent the last 45 years of his ultimate to C. Cox (1998, 142), early Abhidharma likely con
existence preaching the law (dharma) he had dis sisted not in a set of individual texts such as those
covered in his awakening. Buddhist accounts of we now possess, but rather [in] a type of exegesis
the Buddhas dispensation agree in regarding it as that gradually developed in tandem with distinctive
a therapeutic and pragmatic approach to salvation content, and eventually resulted in an independent
adapted to the language, the religious needs, the branch of inquiry and a concomitant and separate
social and psychological profiles as well as the intel genre of texts. Originally, teachings could have
lectual capacities of the audience. However, while been
such skill in means (upyakaualya) perfectly
presented orally in an abbreviated form appropri
suited the needs of early Buddhism as a missionary
ate for oral transmission, together with an atten
religion, it made a consistent and unitary account
dant elaborating commentary. At the extreme,
of the Buddhist doctrine difficult to provide, due to the texts could be contracted to a skeleton or
the apparent contradictions and competing levels outline format for purposes of preservation in
of truth involved by the rhetorical plasticity of the memory and expanded in oral recitation through
discourses (stra). In other words, the (as tradition the insertion of stock descriptive phrases and
would have it, only apparent) doctrinal diversity of formulaic patterns. (Cox, 1998, 141; Anlayo, 2014,
the Buddhist stras made a s ituation-independent 3637)
description of the Buddhist doctrine, not condi
tioned by any particular audience, a desideratum. This interpretation comes very close to the hypoth
The Abhidharma may have been developed in part esis proposed recently by Anlayo (2014, 5589),
in a quest to meet this need, well before the sec according to whom the early Abhidharma works
tarian fragmentation of the Buddhist community. seem to have grown out of a common nucleus,
Since the Buddhas words were uttered in specific which appears to have been mainly discourse quo
situations, but the truth is context-independent, tations on central themes...combined with a com
Abhidharma texts were considered to be explicit mentarial exegesis.
in meaning (ntrtha) and the interpretations pre According to most Western scholars, Abhi
sented in them were accepted as the authoritative dharma evolved from the practice of formulating
standard by which the stras, which were only matrices, or categorizing lists (mtk), of all topics
of implicit meaning (neyrtha), were to be inter of the teaching arranged according to both numeric
preted (Cox, 1995, 14). and qualitative criteria (Cox, 1995, 1819n29;
Anlayo, 2014, 22n26). As pointed out by Anlayo,
the term mtk derives from mt, mother, and
Origins and Early Development conveys the sense of a succinct list or summary
which can be expanded and serve as the skeleton
of the Abhidharma for a detailed exposition. A textual mtk is thus
comparable to a mother in the sense that it can
From an early date, the Abhidharma likely served as
give birth to a full exposition of a particular topic.
a vehicle for factional identity, and gradually devel
(Anlayo, 2014, 2021)
oped into the privileged expression of Buddhist sec
tarian self-assertion and intersectarian polemics. This includes, on the one hand, lists containing fun
Many among the extant Abhidharma works, both damental concepts under which it was attempted
canonical and commentarial, reflect a clear sense to subsume all the various elements, and on the
of sectarian identity and contentiousness. However, other hand, attribute-mtks reflecting a method
there are reasons to believe that these texts, while consisting of composing a list of attributes and
born in a common project, underwent a complex discussing the nature of the relevant elements
development both before and after the emergence with the aid of this list (Frauwallner, 1995, 45).

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Abhidharma 89
Examples of the first type of matrix include the five This drive towards giving a comprehensive inven
constituents or aggregates (skandha, i.e., corporeal tory of all that there is may have been meant as a
ity [rpa], feeling [vedan], conception [saj], symbolic counterpart of the Buddhas omniscience
conditioning factors [saskra], bare cognition (Anlayo, 2014, 94, 109).
[vijna]), whereas examples of the second type This pre- or proto-Abhidharmic taxonomic
are supplied by dyads (but also triads, tetrads, etc.) organization through lists or matrices (Cox, 1995,
such as corporeal/incorporeal (rpin/arpin), vis 9) is visible in stras using lists to summarize the
ible/invisible (sanidarana/anidarana), and con Buddhas teaching, such as the Sagtistra and
ditioned/unconditioned (saskta/asaskta). An the Daottarastra, both of which arrange their
important taxonomic list or meta-list (Ronkin, items numerically (from ones/monads to tens/
2005, 27) consists of the 37 limbs of awakening decads and ten-times-ten, respectively) and the
(bodhipkikadharma). As Anlayo points out, Arthavistarastra, which organizes its elements
thematically (Anlayo, 2014, 2939; note that the
[t]his basic list [covers] the mental qualities
three stras are ascribed to the Buddhas great dis
that tradition considers crucial for progress to
ciple and Abhidharma specialist riputra; Migot,
awakening; and it is this mtk which accord
ing to the Mahparinirva-stra was taught by 1954, 519532). In addition, numerical and topi
the Buddha just before his passing away, and the cal arrangement was not only meant to organize
mtk that the Psdika-sutta and the Smagma- individual stras, but also to dictate the structure
sutta...recommend for ensuring communal har of entire collections of stras (Cox, 1995, 9), the
mony. (Anlayo, 2014, 50) most famous examples being the Aguttaranikya
or Ekottarikgama grouping, in which the stras
The limbs of awakening include: are classified according to the increasing num
1. four applications of mindfulness (smty ber of the doctrinal items they deal with, and the
upasthna); Sayuttanikya or Sayuktgama, in which the
2. four right exertions (samyak-praha/pradhna); stras are organized according to their respective
3. four bases of supernatural ability (ddhipda); topics. Recent scholarship on the origins of Abhi
4. five faculties (indriya); dharma insists, however, that the use of lists, which
5. five powers (bala); may have characterized the Vinaya (monastic dis
6. seven members of awakening (bodhyaga); cipline) and especially the Prtimoka (disciplin
and ary precepts) at least as much as the Abhidharma,
7. the eightfold noble path (rygamrga). cannot be considered specific to Abhidharma, and
These 37 items are variously described as a pre should rather be interpreted as a common feature
condition for liberation from the fluxes (srava, of oral transmission (Cox, 1995, 8; Anlayo, 2014,
negative pollutants of ones mental stream), as the 2228, 83). In another reference to the wider cultural
cultivation of the path (mrgabhvan), as the jew context, for E. Frauwallner (1995, 40), the Buddhist
els (ratna) of the dharma, and as the quintessence mtks likely were an answer to the Brahmanical
of the Buddhas teaching about which no disagree stras, concisely formulated rules such as those that
ment exists (Gethin, 1992). can be found in the works of various philosophical
According to Anlayo, of decisive influence on schools or in grammatical works, and which, like the
the evolving Abhidharma must have been attempts mtks, require an explanation to be understood.
made According to another hypothesis, the origin of
to be as comprehensive as possible, to supple Abhidharma is not simply to be found in this taxo
ment the directives given in the early discourses nomic approach, but in dialogues concerning the
for progress on the path with a full picture of all doctrine (abhidharmakath), or monastic discus
aspects of the path in an attempt to provide a sion in catechetic style characterized by an exchange
complete map of everything in some way related of questions and interpretative answers intended to
to the path...Equipped with a complete map clarify complex or obscure points of doctrine (Cox,
of the doctrine, the disciples are fortified in 1995, 8; Kimura, 1968, 2743; Sakurabe, 1969, 1329).
their struggle for survival in competition with This hypothesis of the origins of Abhidharma in a
non-Buddhist teachers and in their attempts
certain question and answer format is certainly not
to maintain harmony within the Buddhist fold. incompatible with the idea that it arose from matri
(Anlayo, 2014, 168) ces used to organize concepts, since
90 Abhidharma
[t]he tendency toward organization represented (Cox, 1995, 16n1, 16n7). The great commentator and
by mtk and that toward discursive explana Abhidharma master Vasubandhu (350430 CE[?])
tion represented by abhidharmakath together understands abhi in the sense of directed toward,
constitute the exegetical method characteristic of facing (abhimukha), but dharma in the sense of
mature Abhidharma analysis, and both tenden either nirva (the supreme dharma) or the numer
cies are found in incipient form in Abhidharma ous individual factors of existence making up the
treatises from the earliest period onward. (Cox, world of ordinary experience (AKBh. 2,1011; AKVy.
1995, 9) 9,18ff.). The Vibh compendia, a series of funda
We must remember, however, that whatever we mental Abhidharma commentaries, list 24 interpre
understand to be the origin of Abhidharma, these tations of the word (Watanabe, 1983, 2324). These
origins are not the Abhidharma per se: fall under three major categories: (1) the Abhi
dharma enables one to discriminate and analyze
the two main approaches that have been con the factors according to their generic and particu
sidered as explaining the coming into being of lar inherent characteristics; (2) it enables one to
the Abhidharma the use of mtks and the
suppress non-Buddhist or false Buddhist doctrines
question-and-answer format are features that
and establish the true teaching (see Anlayo, 2014,
are not in themselves necessarily characteristic
124125); (3) it enables one to remove defilements
of Abhidharma thought, however much they may
and progress along the path (T. 1545 [XXVII] 4a12ff.;
have contributed to its formulation. (Anlayo,
2014, 28) T. 1546 [XXVIII] 3c4ff.; T. 1547 [XXVIII] 418a1ff.;
Cox, 1995, 4).
These exegetical, expository(/apologetic) and sote
Meaning and Function of the riological meanings of abhidharma are well in tune
with the six functions ascribed to the Abhidharma
Abhidharma by the early *ryavasumitrabodhisattvasagti (T. 1549
The meaning of the word abhidharma and its two [XXVIII] 733a16ff.; Cox, 1995, 4). Considered in an
components, the prefix abhi and the substantive exegetical perspective, the Abhidharma enables
dharma, seems to have changed according to schol one to discriminate the meaning or nature of dharmas
arly milieu, time and place. The northern Indian as presented in the stras. In its expository func
scholiasts understand abhi in the sense of with tion, the Abhidharma enables one to cultivate the
regard to and dharma in the sense of teaching, four noble truths, enables one to realize the twelve
the compound expression thus meaning with members of dependent origination and depend
regard to the teaching, that is, the study of the Bud ently originated factors, and expounds the mean
dhas teaching. This usage seems to be well docu ing of the eightfold noble path. These three aspects
mented in early Pali literature as well as in most have strong soteriological overtones and obviously
early discourses understanding of the expression impinge upon the properly gnostic and cathartic,
abhidharma (Anlayo, 2014, 7079 and 70n49). The hence salvational, dimensions of the Abhidharma.
later Pali commentators seem to favor an interpre Considered in this perspective, the Abhidharma can
tation of abhi as highest, further, and of dharma be defined as that which analyzes and describes the
as teaching, that is already listed in the important causes of the various factors instrumental in the com
commentary *Abhidharma Mahvibh (T. 1545 plete cessation of defilements and that through
[XXVII] 4b13; Anlayo, 2014, 151n65). According to the cultivation of which one attains nirva. The
this second interpretation, abhidharma consists in factor the cultivation of which brings about nirva
the highest or supreme teaching, that which goes is none other than insight or discernment (praj).
beyond what is given in the Buddhas discourses, in This sixth function of the Abhidharma thus comes
a sense somewhat reminiscent of the term meta very close to a definition provided by the Vibh
physics (Ronkin, 2005, 26). Both interpretations compendia and accepted by most later authorities,
are represented in the Chinese translations of the that is, Abhidharma as the controling faculty of
word: whereas early renderings such as wubifa pure (ansrava) insight together with that which
() reflect an interpretation of abhi as high furthers, is associated with, or contains this pure
est or beyond compare, translations such as insight, hence the Abhidharma treatises them
duifa () and xiangfa () rely on an under selves (T. 1545 [XXVII] 2c23; T. 1546 [XXVIII] 2c27ff.;
standing of abhi in the sense of directed toward T. 1547 [XXVIII] 417b3ff.; also AKBh. 2,3ff.; AKVy.
Abhidharma 91
8,10ff.; T. 1562 [XXIX] 329a29ff.). These various func who, having laid down the numerical series in
tions must be considered as a whole, however, for order to make it easy to learn, remember, study and
teach the Law, taught it in turn to 500 disciples (As
through [the] exercise of completely describing
I.16; Buswell & Jaini, 1996, 80, 1821). This Theravda
the character of each factor in every instance of
position was challenged by those who claimed that
its occurrence, the factors of which experience
is composed can be seen as they actually are, the Kathvatthu, one of the seven treatises alleg
the misconceptions obscuring our perception of edly preached by the Buddha in the Tryastria
experience can be discarded, the factors obstruct heaven, had been composed by the elder Moggali
ing and ensnaring us can be abandoned, and the puttatissa on the occasion of the Second Council at
factors contributing toward liberation can be iso Paliputra (3rd cent. bce). As an answer, the ortho
lated and cultivated. (Cox, 1995, 12) dox Theravdins claimed that while preaching to
his mother, the Buddha had contented himself with
The numerous functions of the Abhidharma are per expounding a mtk of the Kathvatthu, foreseeing
haps best described in a w
ell-known passage from that Moggaliputtatissa would develop the treatise in
the canonical Sarvstivda Vijnakya (see below): full in Paliputra (As I.36; Lamotte, 1976, 201).
Abhidharma is the light of the true doctrine; with While admitting that their seven Abhidharma
out Abhidharma treatises, one would not be able treatises ultimately went back to the Buddha, the
to destroy the darkness surrounding what is to Sarvstivdins and especially the Vaibhikas rec
be known by knowledge. Abhidharma functions ognized that the treatises in question had been
as the pure eye within the mind, as the basis of collected and organized by great disciples of the Bud
all knowledge; it is the sun illuminating the for dha, or, alternatively, that they had been ascertained
est of things to be known, the sword that destroys by later scholiasts such as Ktyyanputra thanks
heretical texts; it constitutes the authority for to their praidhijna, a transtemporal intuition
those who open the eyes of sentient beings and is resulting from the power of their vows...by which
the womb of the Tathgatas; it is the illumination they [were] able to perceive past and future events
in the three realms, the path of the eye of insight; (Cox, 1995, 17n19). Yaomitra (AKVy. 12,27) offers
it is the light of all factors and the ocean of an analogy to the authenticity of the canonicity of
the Buddhas words; it is able to issue forth high the Abhidharma, referring to the Vaibhika claim
est insight and to remove all doubts. (T. 1539 that the case is comparable to that of Dharmatrta
[XXVI] 531a1317; trans. Willemen, Dessein & collecting the udnas (aphorisms) uttered by the
Cox, 1998, v) blessed one to create the Udnavarga. Likewise,
[persons] such as the elder Ktyyanputra gath
Authenticating the Abhidharma ered and fixed the Abhidharma that had been
uttered here and there by the Blessed One in
works such as the Jnaprasthna for the sake of
We do not know whether all groups once pos
the trainees, the Abhidharma which consists in an
sessed their own Abhidharma corpus, but once the
instruction on the characteristics of the factors.
exegetical inquiry that was typical of the earliest,
pre-sectarian Abhidharma had crystallized into
These disciples of the Buddha contented them
sect-specific textual corpora, the authentication
selves, in this scenario, with adding summariz
of these scriptures became an important task for ing stanzas (uddna), dividing the teaching into
those Buddhist denominations that did possess them chapters (skandhaka), and so forth. This strategy
(Lamotte, 1976, 197210; Davidson, 1990, 303305). of authentication likely was facilitated by the fact
The most radical attitude in this regard is the that the name of the scholiast Ktyyanputra
Theravda view, according to which the newly awak (variously dated to the late 1st, to the 3rd, or to the
ened and omniscient Buddha grasped (adhigata) 5th cent. after nirva by Buddhist authorities) was
and collated (vicita) the seven Abhidhamma books very similar to that of Ktyyana, a prominent disci
under the Bodhi tree and subsequently taught ple of the Buddha considered to have played a signif
them to his mother My in the Tryastria icant role at the First Council at Rjagha (Ktyyana
(Pal. Tvatisa, Thirty-three) heaven during a was also famous for having picked out the quintes
three-month rain retreat. Every evening, the Buddha sence of the dharma and submitted this work to the
descended to Lake Anavatapta (Pal. Anotattha) and Buddha, who approved it and labelled it the supreme
repeated the days lesson to his disciple Sriputta law, abhidharma; Lamotte, 1976, 208; Przyluski,
92 Abhidharma
1926, 201, 303). In this picture, the Sarvstivdin [L] 152a5). However, most sources agree that nanda
six-membered Abhidharma (apdbhidharma, himself recited an Abhidharmapiaka of various
i.e., the Jnaprasthna the body [arra] length (including mtks alone) in Rjagha. This
and its six ancillary treatises) was conceived of is true of, among many others, the Vinaya of the
as the (editorial) work of great disciples of the Dharmaguptakas (T. 1428 [XXII] 968b2526), the
Buddha or later authors: Mahmaudgalyyana, Vinayamtk of the Haimavatas (T. 1463 [XXIV]
riputra, Mahkauhila, Vasumitra, Devaarman 818a2829), and late Pali commentaries (Sv I.17;
and Ktyyana/Ktyyanputra (see below). As I.3; Smp I.18). According to the Sarvstivda
Moving yet a step further, the Sautrntikas are Vinaya (T. 1435 [XXIII] 449a19), upon being asked
said to have denied the Abhidharma any indepen by Mahkyapa, nanda revealed that the Buddha
dent authority and regarded the stras alone as had taught the Abhidharma in rvast, and that
authoritative, whence their name (AKVy. 11,2930). [t]he teaching given at that time was that breaches
According to them, the Abhidharma treatises of the five precepts are conducive to rebirth in hell,
were nothing but human compositions. The early whereas keeping the five precepts leads to a heav
5th-century Vaibhika scholiast Saghabhadra
enly rebirth (Anlayo, 2014, 19).
records at least three reasons why his Sautrntika
opponent Vasubandhu (350430 CE?) rejected
the Buddhas authority of the Abhidharma works Extant Abhidharma Texts
(T. 1562 [XXIX] 329c6ff.; Honj, 2010, 181187):
(1) these treatises are traditionally ascribed to dis Only the Theravda has preserved a complete
ciples/authors such as Ktyyana/Ktyyanputra, Abhidhammapiaka in an Indian language (Pali),
(2) the Buddha has advised nanda to rely while the seven canonical abhidharma treatises of
(pratisaraa) on the stras and not on the abhidharma the Sarvstivdins have come down to us almost
(T. 1562 [XXIX] 329c2021), and (3) the Abhidharmas completely in Chinese translation. A very small
of the different Buddhist denominations exhibit portion of them is available in Tibetan, while a few
contradictory positions on one and the same ques scattered Sanskrit fragments have been preserved
tion (for Saghabhadras refutation of the views of (Dietz, 2004). Only minute fragments of canonical
Vasubandhu, see Cox, 1995, 67). The Dpavasas Abhidharma texts of sects other than Theravda
(V.37) Mahsagtikas also regarded the Abhid and Sarvstivda have been preserved: some mate
harma as not the word of the Buddha. rials presumably belonging to the Kyapya tradi
Needless to say, one of the most decisive crite tion are attested (Cox, 2014), and fragments from
ria for scriptural authorization was the recitation- the *riputrbhidharma have been identified in
cum-compilation of a given text or group of texts the Schyen collection (see below).
by a great disciple of the Buddha during the First
Council, held in Rjagha immediately after the
death of the master. According to the Vinayas Theravda canonical Abhidhamma
of the Theravdins, the Mahsakas, and the
Mahsghikas (resp. Vin. ii.287; T. 1421 [XXII] In style and language, the Theravda Abhidhamma
191ac; T. 1425 [XXII] 491c16), the monks assembled in texts markedly differ from the Vinayapiaka and
Rjagha contented themselves with reciting, after Suttapiaka (von Hinber, 1996, 137). Short ques
nanda and Upli, the dharma and the Vinaya, the tions and answers as well as many formulas often
law and the discipline, no mention being made of similar to those found in the Niddesa characterize the
the Abhidharma as an independent third basket Abhidhamma literature. The Abhidhammapiaka
(Kimura, 1968, 2728). According to Anlayo (2014, and its parts are mentioned under this name for
18), the accounts of the first sagti [communal rec the first time in the Milindapaha (12,2113,7). As
itation] in these Vinayas seem to have been finalized there is no corresponding paragraph in the Chinese
at a time when the Abhidharma had not yet become Ngasenabhikustra, the Chinese version of the
a collection in its own right. Other sources such as Milindapaha, the reference to this text may have
the Mlasarvstivda Vinaya and the Aokvadna been inserted only in Ceylon (von Hinber, 1996,
ascribe the compilation of a mtk to the conve 179). The Theravda Abhidhammapiaka con
ner of the first council, Mahkyapa (resp. T. 1451 sists of the seven texts listed and briefly described
[XXIV] 408b211; T. 2042 [L] 113c34; T. 2043 below.
Abhidharma 93
Dhammasagai vedankhandha, sakhandha, sakhrakhandha,
The Theravda Abhidhammapiaka begins with the viakhandha, the aggregates matter (body),
Dhammasagai (alternative title Dhammasagaha; feeling, perception, conditioning factors, conscious
Collection of Dhammas; the form Abhidhamma ness) or the twelve yatanas spheres (of percep
sagai found in some early manuscripts is a mis tion), that is, eye/visible object, ear/sound, and so
nomer). The structure of the text is discussed at forth, up to mind/mental object and so forth. Thus
length by E. Frauwallner (1995, 5386). The absence the Vibhaga systematizes older material drawn
of the traditional introduction (nidna) Thus have from the Suttapiaka.
I heard... in a text considered the word of the The text is divided into 18 chapters with chapters
Buddha (buddhavacana) created a problem for 16 and 715 forming two units expanding on two
Buddhist exegetes. The issue is discussed in the com mtiks. The last three chapters were originally sep
mentary, where various attempts to add a nidna arate Abhidhamma treatises which were subsequently
are mentioned (As 30,1631,16). Usually, the Bud included into the Vibhaga. The arrangement of
dha is reported to have recited the Abhidhamma in chapter 16 (avibhaga; Explanation of Knowl
heaven to his deceased mother and to the gods (see edge) and chapter 17 (Khuddakavatthuvibhaga;
above), and later to have handed it down to Sriputta Explanation on the Small Items) follows the same
(a list of the sequence of teachers and pupils from numerical principle as the Aguttaranikya with
Sriputta up to Mahinda is found in As 32,1220). groups of 110, 18, 36, 72, of which only the first refers
Certain manuscripts of the Dhammasagai even to Abhidhamma matters. Chapter 18 (Dhamma
insert At one time the Lord was residing among hadayavibhaga; Explanation of the Heart of the
the Tvatisa gods... in front of the mtik with Teaching) also begins with a mtik of its own
which the text begins. This abhidhammamtik comprising, again, the five khandhas, the twelve
or abhidhamma list, which also occurs in other yatanas, and so forth. This chapter could be identi
Theravda Abhidhamma texts, comprises the con cal with the Mahdhammahadaya, which, accord
cepts kusala salutary, (morally) good, akusala ing to the Atthaslin, was considered as a possible
(morally) bad, and abykata undetermined, candidate to replace the allegedly noncanonical
immediately followed by the suttantamtik or sut- Kathvatthu (see above).
tanta (stra) list, which is largely based on concepts The Vibhaga shows many similarities with the
taken over from the Sagtisuttanta (i.e. suttanta no. Dharmaskandha, thus connecting early Theravda
33 of the Dghanikya; Anlayo, 2014, 2937). The text and Sarvstivda Abhidharma (Anlayo, 2014, 88;
that follows (Dhammasagai 11599) expands see also below). It is generally considered the oldest
and explains the mtiks. It is divided into four sec text in the Abhidhammapiaka.
tions (kaa): (1) Cittuppdakaa ( 1582; Sec
tion on the Arising of Thoughts), (2) Rpakaa Dhtukath
( 584980, with another mtik, 584594; Sec The Dhtukath (Discussion of the Elements;
tion on Matter), (3) Nikkhepakaa ( 9811367; Frauwallner, 1995, 48f.; von Hinber, 1996, 140)
Summary Section), and (4) Atthuddhrakaa is a brief text which starts from mtiks of con
( 13681599; Commentary Section). The titles of cepts similar to those found in the Vibhaga.
the sections are slightly different in the commentary The Dhtukath bears some similarities with the
(As 6,137,9). As the mtiks located at the begin Sarvstivda Dhtukya and both may ultimately
ning of the text are discussed in sections 3 and 4 go back to the same origin (see below). The trea
only, it is clear that sections 1 and 2 are later addi tise owes its title to the fact that it investigates the
tions. The Dhammasagai is considered the young ways in which different concepts are related to the
est of the texts assembled in the Abhidhammapiaka dhtus or elements. These elements are systemati
(Frauwallner, 1995, 53). cally analyzed as to whether they are included or not
(sagahta/asagahta), associated or dissociated
Vibhaga (sampayutta/vipayutta), in a fourfold way: included
Although the Vibhaga (Explanation; Frauwall with non-included, non-included with included,
ner, 1995, 4348; von Hinber 1996, 138139) included with included, and non-included with
does not begin with a mtik, it presupposes such non-included. This in a way anticipates methods
a list, which can indeed be reconstructed from the of analysis fully developed only in later Buddhist
text itself. Usually the starting point is old canoni scholasticism.
cal lists such as the five khandhas (rpakhandha,
94 Abhidharma
Puggalapaatti Yamaka
The Puggalapaatti (Concept of Person; Frauwall The Yamaka (Pairs; Frauwallner, 1995, 5153; von
ner, 1995, 49ff.; von Hinber, 1996, 141143; Anlayo, Hinber, 1996, 152ff.) is a huge text which would
2014, 52ff.) begins with a mtik partly based on the cover about 2500 pages if it were printed in full.
abhidhammamtik (see above). Various types of According to tradition, it is 25 times longer than
puggalas or individuals, persons are listed in groups the Majjhimanikya. As suggested by E. Frauwall
from 1 to 10. This makes the text formally close to the ner, the title was chosen because two things form a
Aguttaranikya and particularly to the Dasuttara pair when the second thing originates from the first.
suttanta (DN no. 34). When the compiler of the The fairly complicated structure of the Yamaka is
Puggalapaatti drew material from the Suttapiaka, explained in detail at the beginning of the commen
particularly from the Aguttaranikya, he effaced tary. All pairs are discussed at great length with all
the original remembered orality (von Hinber, imaginable combinations being enumerated, which
1996, 55) by removing the address bhikkhave, inspired the following remark to Frauwallner (1995,
o monks, and so on, thus assimilating the text to the 53): This is a particularly glaring example of how
Abhidhamma style. Because he limited his effort to an intrinsically interesting problem can be inflated
reassembling the materials, it is impossible to assign to the point of inanity using the Abhidharma
to the text a place in the history of Abhidhamma. method. Still, a later Theravda Abhidhamma
In spite of a similarity in title, the Puggalapaatti, text contends: The text is succinct to the extreme
which has no parallels outside Theravda, is entirely (Mohavicchedan 279,14).
different from the Sarvstivda Prajaptistra (see
below). Pahna
The Pahna (Basis [of All Other Abhidhamma
Kathvatthu Texts]; Frauwallner, 1995, 50ff.; von Hinber, 1996,
The Kathvatthu (Text Dealing with Disputes; Frau 154 ff.), also known as Mahpakaraa (Large Trea
wallner, 1995, 86ff.; von Hinber, 1996, 144151; for tise), is by far the longest text in the Tipiaka. While
a Japanese translation, see Sat, 1991) is the only explaining the title, the commentary even states
part of the Abhidhammapiaka traditionally dated that the actual length of the text is incalculable. All
(to the time of Aoka, 218 years after the nirva) editions therefore abbreviate, that of the Pali Text
and ascribed to an author, Moggaliputtatissa, who is Society into two volumes; to gain a better picture,
reported to have explained and expanded a mtik it is imperative to use the f ive-volume Burmese edi
of the Kathvatthu originally uttered by the Buddha tion (still abbreviated considerably!). The Pahna
in heaven (see above). This assumption was made begins with the section on Tika or triads followed by
to save the canonicity of the text, which was not the section on Duka or dyads (arranged in the wrong
beyond doubt (As 3,2529; 6,112). In structure and order in the Pali Text Society edition). The Pahna,
content, the Kathvatthu, which consists of strictly which tries to comprehensively explain causal
formalized questions and answers, is quite different ity and thus, in the traditional understanding, to
from the other Abhidhamma texts, because about facilitate the use of the suttantas for Abhidhamma
200 (according to tradition 500) controversial points specialists, does not provide any new insights but
of the Buddhas teaching are discussed (McDermott, endlessly invents new possible combinations of
1975; Ganeri, 2001). The different views are ascribed concepts: method has replaced genuine thought
to specific Buddhist schools by the commentary, (Frauwallner, 1995, 51).
which may be separated from the oldest parts of the One canonical Theravda Abhidhamma text is
Kathvatthu by more than half a millennium. found in the Tipiaka, but outside the Abhidhamma
Although some parts of the Kathvatthu seem piaka: the Paisambhidmagga (also called simply
very old, in particular the discussion on the puggala Paisambhid; Path of Discrimination; Frauwallner,
or person, which exhibits ancient linguistic fea 1995, 8789; von Hinber, 1996, 119120). It is
tures (Norman, 1979) and is close in content to the the only canonical Theravda Abhidhamma text
Sarvstivda Vijnakya (Bronkhorst, 1993), the included in the Khuddakanikya of the Suttapiaka,
specific structure of the text easily allows for addi which seems to have been the only part of the
tions, which are difficult to discern, as remarked Tipiaka still open for additions at the time when the
long ago by La Valle Poussin (1922, 520). Paisambhidmagga was created. The commentary
Abhidharma 95
ascribes this work to Sriputta. According to the shifen apitan lun (; T. 1541; trans.
Dpavasa (Chronicle of the Island [Ceylon]; V.37), Guaprabha and Bodhiyaas); and
the Paisambhidmagga was rejected during the 7. Jnaprasthna/*Aaskandhaka; Ye shes la
Second Council by the Mahsghikas, who would jug pa; Fazhi lun (; T. 1544; trans. Xuan
certainly never accept this typical Theravda text; zang)/Ba jiandu lun (; T. 1543; trans.
the Dpavasas assertion, moreover, is a glaring Saghadeva, Zhu Fonian, and Dharmapriya)
anachronism. The Paisambhidmagga consists Since the Jnaprasthna was recognized as the
of various texts apparently put together more or most important Abhidharma text, it came to be
less at random. Only the first part, the akath known as the body-treatise (kyastra), whereas
(Discussion on Knowledge), which originally might the other canonical texts were referred to as its six
have been a separate work, begins with a mtik; feet (apda), the seven canonical Sarvstivda
the other parts quote and comment on canonical treatises being referred to collectively as the
suttantas. This text, which may have been put Abhidharma with six feet (apdbhidharma). This
together in the 2nd century ce, is perhaps the usage, which is not attested in the Vibh compen
first attempt to create a systematic handbook of dia, finds its first known occurrence in a postscript to
Abhidhamma and is as such a forerunner of Upa the Chinese translation of the *Aaskandhastra
tissas Vimuttimagga (Path to Liberation) and (T. 1543 [XXVI] 887a1924) written in 379 or
Buddhaghosas Visuddhimagga (Path to Purity; 390 ce, very close in time to Kumrajva, whose
Frauwallner, 1995, 8995; von Hinber, 1996, 245 translations of the Mahprajpramitopadea
250). While the Visuddhimagga became the basic (T. 1509) and the *Tattvasiddhi (T. 1646) men
handbook for Theravda (Mahvihra) orthodoxy, tion the apdbhidharma without stating which
the Vimuttimagga enjoyed a wide international rec individual texts are meant (Watanabe, 1954, 36ff.;
ognition, being still in use in 12th-century Bengal Willemen, Dessein & Cox, 1998, 160162). Sthira
(Skilling, 1987, 7, 15). matis commentary on the Abhidharmakoa, the
Tattvrth, however, does not regard the Dhtukya
as a canonical Abhidharma text, and thus enumer
Sarvstivda Canonical Abhidharma ates a total of only six treatises (D 4421, tho 324a2/
P 5875, tho 91a1). Pravardhanas Lakanusri
Only a tiny percentage of the canonical Abhidharma (D 4092, cu 324a2/P 5594, ju 380b4) does like
texts of the Sarvstivda survive in an Indic language. wise. This may explain the absence of citations
With one exception (the Prajapti), all are extant of the Dhtukya in important texts such as the
in Xuanzangs () Chinese translations; two Mahvibh (Cox, 1998, 160n60; see below) and the
(the Prakaraapda and the Jnaprasthna) have Abhidharmakoa (Hirakawa, 1973). When cited in
been translated twice into Chinese. Three sections the Abhidharmakoa, the six treatises are called stras
of the Prajapti are available in Tibetan translation, (benlun []). The chronology of the seven treatises
and one section survives in an 11th-century Chi is difficult to assess. According to Puguang (,
nese translation by Dharmapla (Fahu []) and T. 1821 [XLI] 8b24f.), the chronological sequence
Wejing (). The titles of the seven Sarvstivda of the seven treatises is as follows: Sagtiparyya,
canonical treatises, together with their Tibetan and Dharmaskandha and Prajaptistra (written/edited
Chinese equivalents, are as follows: by direct disciples of the Buddha), Vijnakya
1. Sagtiparyya; Gro bai rnam grangs; Jiyimen (1st cent. after nirva), Prakaraapda and Dhtukya
zulun (; T. 1536; trans. Xuanzang); (early 3rd cent. after nirva), and Jnaprasthna
2. Dharmaskandha; Chos kyi phung po; Fayun (late 3rd cent. after nirva; Cox, 1995, 47n55).
zulun (; T. 1537; trans. Xuanzang); E. Frauwallner (1995, 1314) was inclined to accept
3. Prajaptistra; Btags pa; Shishe zulun ( this relative chronology.
; T. 1538; trans. Dharmapla);
4. Vijnakya; Rnam par shes pai tshogs;
Shishen zulun (; T. 1539; trans. Xuan Sagtiparyya or
zang); *Abhidharmasagtiparyyapdastra
5. Dhtukya; *Khams kyi tshogs; Jieshen zulun The Sagtiparyya, ascribed to Mahkauhila and
(; T. 1540; trans. Xuanzang); riputra in the Indian and Tibetan (Yaomitra, Bu
6. Prakaraa(pda); Rab tu byed pa; Pinlei zulun ston) and the Chinese traditions respectively (Cox,
(; T. 1542; trans. Xuanzang)/Zhong 1998, 177n114), is a commentary on the Sagtistra, a
96 Abhidharma
discourse that, in increasing numerical order (from about 20 percent of the text. This Sanskrit recension,
one to ten), lists 205 major concepts, for example, which seems to differ in structure from the Chinese
the three kinds of training (ik), the four noble version, has been edited by S. Dietz (1984) and
truths (ryasatya), and the five aggregates (skandha; supplemented by K. Matsuda (1986). The treatise
Cox, 1998, 179; for another, Gandhari commentary consists of 21 chapters (Frauwallner, 1995, 1617),
on the Sagtistra, see Cox, 2014, 3639; on a San at the beginning of each of which is quoted a stra,
skrit folio of the Sagtiparyya in the Schyen col followed by explanations of the stras important
lection, see Matsuda, 2002, 239n1). The frame story concepts. E. Frauwallner (1995, 1521) divides the
of the treatise treatise into three sections. The first section com
relates how disputes and schisms arose in the prises 15 chapters providing detailed expositions
Jaina community after the Jinas death due to on the path to liberation and various issues of reli
differing interpretations of the doctrine, and gious praxis. The second section consists wholly of
how riputra, in order to prevent similar dis chapter 16, which deals with 78 defilements and is
putes within the Buddhist community, recited a entitled kudravastuka (miscellany; zashi []).
systematic collection of the Buddhist doctrinal The third section includes the remaining five chap
concepts and how the Buddha approved of and ters dealing with basic doctrinal concepts such as
endorsed riputras recital. (Waldschmidt, 1955, the 22 faculties (indriya), 12 bases (yatana), 5 aggre
299, 309314) gates (skandha), 62 elements (dhtu), and depen
This treatise is generally regarded as the earliest dent origination (prattyasamutpda). Similarities
Sarvstivda Abhidharma text; its historical impor between the Dharmaskandha, the Pali Vibhaga,
tance lies in the fact that it marks the onset of a com and the *riputrbhidharmastra (T. 1548) have
mentarial genre that was to form the Abhidharma been pointed out by various scholars (Fukuhara,
(Cox, 1998, 178). Although the Sagtiparyya shows 1965, 110112, Frauwallner, 1995, 1720). According
nonsectarian features common to ancient Bud to E. Frauwallner, the Sarvstivda Dharmaskandha
dhism, one can find the concept of cessation and the Theravda Vibhaga, two versions of the
through n on-intelligence (apratisakhynirodha). same work, go back to a common ancestor pre
This notion (in Abhidharma technical vocabulary, dating Aokas missions; both of them represent a
this dharma) is characteristic of the Sarvstivda step toward the composition of truly analytical and
(a denomination that is mentioned at the end of scholastic treatises independent of the stras (Cox,
each of the 20 chapters) in that it presupposes the 1998, 187). Let it be noted that the Dharmaskandha
theory that the past, the future, and the present is to be credited with the a ll-important distinction
exist. (Xuanzangs Chinese translation is translated between the path of vision (daranamrga) and the
into Japanese by Watanabe, 1929, and into Ger path of cultivation (bhvanmrga), which would
man by Stache-Rosen, 1968 together with the texts structure all subsequent Sarvstivda, Sautrntika,
extant Sanskrit fragments; newly found fragments and Mahynist accounts of the path to liberation.
of this text are included in Matsuda, 2006; English (We owe an annotated Japanese translation to
summaries of the work are available in Frauwallner, Watanabe, 1930a; English summaries and discus
1995, 1415; Potter, 1996, 203216; Willemen, Dessein sions include Frauwallner, 1995, 1521; Potter, 1996,
& Cox, 1998, 6768; Cox, 1998, 177181.) 179187; Willemen, Dessein & Cox, 1998, 6870;
Cox, 1998, 181189.)
Dharmaskandha or
*Abhidharmadharmaskandhapdastra Prajaptistra or
The Dharmaskandha, which, together with the *Abhidharmaprajaptipdastra
Sagtiparyya, belongs to the earliest stage of the The Prajaptistra, ascribed to Maudgalyyana
Sarvstivda Abhidharma treatises, is considered in in India and to Mahktyyana in China (Cox,
the Indian tradition to have been compiled by the 1998, 189n143), is considered the latest of the three
Buddhas direct disciple riputra, while the Chinese Sarvastivda treatises belonging to this early stage
tradition ascribes it to Maudgalyyana (Cox, 1998, of the overall development of Abhidharma litera
181n126). The full text is extant only in Xuanzangs ture (Sakurabe, 1969, 46). This treatise presents a
Chinese translation. The treatise is also known stra quotation at the beginning of each of the
through 22 Sanskrit folios from a Mlasarvstivda chapters, followed by an account of various topics
recension found in Gilgit (Dietz, 1985), which cover in question-and-answer form. Given the high num
Abhidharma 97
ber of its quotations in the Mahvibh (145), the Vijnakya or
Prajaptistra likely served as a handy sourcebook *Abhidharmavijnakyapdastra
of succinct identifications, definitions, and canoni The Vijnakya is extant only in Xuanzangs
cal references on a variety of topics (Cox, 1998, 197). Chinese translation. Unlike the Sagtiparyya, the
The Prajaptistra surviving in Tibetan transla Dharmaskandha, and the Prajaptistra, this trea
tion possesses three sections: (1) Lokaprajapti tise is not ascribed to a direct disciple of the Bud
(Instruction on the World; Jig rten gdags/btags dha, but to Devaarman (reported to have lived 100
pa; D 4086/P 5587) dealing with Buddhist cosmol years after the parinirva and to have been active
ogy, (2) Kraaprajapti (Instruction about Causes; in Vioka), and it is not a commentary on stra
Rgyu gdags/btags pa; D 4087/P 5588) containing an passages. These features suggest that it is much
account of the Bodhisattva and the wheel-turning later than these three treatises. The Vijnakya is
king (cakravartin), and (3) Karmaprajapti (Instruc divided into 6 parts: (1) Maudgalyyana (an oppo
tion on Karman; Las gdags/btags pa; D 4088/P 5589). nent of unclear affiliation claiming that only the
More than 20 percent of the Lokaprajapti present exists), (2) person (pudgala), (3) causes
has been preserved in its original (Cox, 1998, 191) and conditions (hetupratyaya), (4) condition as
through Sanskrit fragments of Mlasarvstivda object-support (lambanapratyaya), (5) miscellany
provenance (Dietz, 1989). A great majority of the (sakra), (6) accompaniment (samanvgama)
text of the Kraaprajapti has its counterpart in a or possession (prpti). The first two chapters are
seven-fascicle Chinese version (Shishe lun []; polemical, while the other four are systematic,
T. 1538). Louis de La Valle Poussin (1918, 295350) a feature that, together with differences in top
has provided an analysis and selected translations ics, suggests that the Vijnakya is a composite
of the Tibetan Lokaprajapti and Kraaprajapti. text, perhaps compiled, rather than composed, by
In 1922 Taiken Kimura conjectured, on the basis of Devaarman (Cox, 1998, 198). The first chapter con
a close analysis of the citations of the treatise in the tains a controversy on the existence of past, future,
Mahvibh, that the Prajaptistra may origi and present. The second chapter deals with the
nally have had more subdivisions than the three existence of the person (pudgala) and exhibits close
extant sections. These chapters would have dealt similarities with Kathvatthu I.1 (i.e. 169). Chap
with defilements (anuaya), knowledge (jna), ters three through six deal with the nature, arising,
and meditation (sampatti/samdhi). In the mean operation, and transformation of states of thought
time, references to the titles *Anuayaprajapti or consciousness (vijna) (Cox, 1998, 201), a range
(Phra rgyas btags) and *Nmarpaprajapti (Ming of topics that accounts for the title of the work. The
dang gzugs kyi btags) in amathadevas Abhidharma importance of this highly innovative treatise (Frau
koopyik k have come to light (Honj, 1998). wallner, 1995, 3031) is indicated by the fact that it is
These references support Taiken Kimuras sugges cited 39 times in the Mahvibh. The Vijnakya
tion even though, as C. Cox rightly points out (1998, indeed represents a major change, most conspicu
192), the extent to which these eighth-century mate ously in the direction of a systematic theory of cau
rials reflect the original structure of the treatise is sality. (The first two chapters have been rendered
difficult to assess. (In 1995 Takumi Fukuda discov into French by La Valle Poussin, 1925; several parts
ered, in the library of Dh University, Nagoya, of the second chapter have been translated into
a draft of a full Japanese translation of the three English by Fumimaro Watanabe [Watanabe, 1983,
Prajaptis, completed in 1934 by Sei Kat, a graduate 154ff.]; here as elsewhere, we owe an annotated
of tani University, and began to publish it [Fukuda, Japanese translation to Watanabe Baiy, 1931;
19982012]; Aohara has begun to publish a Japanese English summaries and discussions include Frau
translation of the Karmaprajapti [Aohara, 2012a, wallner, 1995, 2831; Potter, 1998, 367374; Wille
2012b, 2013, 2014] in the light of Kats materials; for men, Dessein & Cox, 1998, 7273; Cox, 1998, 197205.)
a Japanese translation of the Chinese version, see
Watanabe, 1930b; Willemen, Dessein & Cox, 1998, Dhtukya or
7071, and Cox, 1998, 189197, provide useful sum *Abhidharmadhtukyapdastra
maries of the text.) The Dhtukya is extant only in Xuanzangs Chinese
translation. This treatise is ascribed to Pra in India
and to Vasumitra in China (Cox, 1998, 206n193), an
attribution that may be due to the close connection
98 Abhidharma
between the Dhtukya and the Prakaraapda, Willemen, Dessein & Cox, 1998, 7172; Cox, 1998,
which was authored by Vasumitra perhaps in the 206212.)
4th century after nirva. The Dhtukya, a work
of the mtk-type accompanied by an explanatory Prakaraapda or
text (Frauwallner, 1995, 21), discusses mind (citta) *Abhidharmaprakaraapdastra
and mental factors (caitta) in question-and-answer The Prakaraapda has survived only in two Chi
form. This treatise is divided into two parts. In the nese translations: Zhong shifen apitan lun (
first part (*mlavastuvarga, fundamental groups), ; T. 1541), translated by Guabhadra
14 groups comprising 91 mental factors are enumer and Bodhiyaas in 435443 ce, and Apidamo pin-
ated and defined, thus creating, and for the first lei zu lun (; T. 1542), translated
time, a system of psychology (Frauwallner, 1995, by Xuanzang in 660 ce. Sanskrit fragments from a
22). The names of these groups with Coxs English commentary on the Prakaraapda have been dis
equivalents are as follows (Cox, 1998, 208209): covered in Turfan, which, besides testifying to the
1. ten factors of great extension (mahbhmika fact that the Vibhs were not the only available
dharma); commentaries on canonical Abhidharma works,
2. en defiled factors of great extension (klea seem to reflect a divergent textual structure (Imani
mahbhmikadharma); shi, 1975). The first chapter, entitled Pacavastuka,
3. ten factors whose extension is that of limited may largely borrow from an independent text, the
defilements (parttakleabhmikadharma); *Pacavastuka, translated into Chinese twice: the
4. five defilements (klea); Apitan wufaxing jing (; T. 1557) by
5. five views (di); An Shigao (), and the Sapoduo zung wushi
6. five factors (dharma); lun (; T. 1556) by Facheng ().
7. five types of contact (saspara); This indicates that some chapters of this trea
8. five controlling faculties (indriya); tise may at first have been composed separately
9.  six varieties of perceptual consciousness (Cox, 1998, 218). The Prakaraapda is attributed
(vijnakya); to Vasumitra in both India and China, but the
10. six varieties of contact (sparakya); Mahprajpramitopadea (T. 1509 [XXV] 70a16f.)
11. six varieties of feelings (vedankya); attributes only four chapters to Vasumitra (chs.
12. six varieties of ideas (sajkya); 47 according to Frauwallners hypothesis), the
13. six varieties of volition (sacetankya); and other four being ascribed to arhats from Kashmir
14. six varieties of craving (tkya). (Cox, 1998, 212). It is considered to be the latest and
In the second part (*vibhajyavarga, analysis, in many ways the most significant of the six feet
in 16 sections), these mental factors are analyzed treatises (see above). The work is quoted no less
according to two kinds of relations, that is, simulta than 106 times in the Mahvibh, which at times
neous mental association (saprayoga) and includ and quite surprisingly rejects the interpretations
edness (sagraha). The Dhtukya was largely of the Jnaprasthna and chooses those of the
incorporated into the Prakaraapda (Frauwallner, Prakaraapda instead (Cox, 1998, 214). The wide
1995, 2527). This may explain why this treatise was reception of the Prakaraapda may be due to its
not cited in the Mahvibh or Abhidharmakoa function as a sourcebook or p roto-compendium
and was not considered canonical by some Indian uniting significant textual materials in a single text
masters (see above, and Cox, 1998, 207). Whatever (Cox, 1998, 215).
the case may be, [t]he importance of the Dhtukya The treatise consists of 8 largely independent
lies in its exclusive focus on mental operations and chapters:
in its efforts to develop a more abstract classification 1. Pacavastuka (Five Groups; very close to the
of, at least, the soteriologically significant mental Pacavastuka);
phenomena (Cox, 1998, 211). (There is an anno 2. Jna (Knowledge; very close to the
tated English translation by Ganguly, 1994, with an Vijnakya);
introduction and a reproduction of the Taish edi 3. yatana (Sense Spheres; very close to the
tion; Watanabe, 1932a, has provided an annotated Pacaskandhaka);
Japanese translation of the Dhtukya; English sum 4. Saptavastuka (Seven Groups; very close to the
maries and discussions of the work are available Dhtukya);
in Frauwallner, 1995, 2128; Potter, 1996, 344358; 5. Anuaya (Contaminants);
Abhidharma 99
6. Sagrahdi (Includedness Etc.); Explaining the structure of these eight chapters
7. Sahasraparipcch (Thousand Question); and in terms of mutual dependence, the Mahvibh
8. Nirvedha (Penetration). (T. 1545 [XXVII] 7a25ff.) states that
One of the most interesting features of the
[t]he first chapter is explained as presenting the
Prakaraapda is its first chapter on the pacavas-
factor of enlightenment, which occurs through
tuka, the fivefold classification of factors that would
the abandonment of defilements (Chapter 2). The
form the foundation of later Sarvstivda classifica abandonment of defilements depends on knowl
tions of factors (Cox, 1998, 215). This method of edge (Chapter 3), and a person who has given up
encompassing and organizing all possible phenom the effects of action (Chapter 4) gives rise to that
ena (Cox, 1998, 220) distributes all factors into cor knowledge that abandons defilements. These
poreality (rpa), mind (citta), mind concomitants varieties of action are dependent upon the four
(caitta), factors dissociated from the mind (citta fundamental material elements (Chapter 5), and
viprayukta), and unconditioned factors (asaskta). most prominent among the varieties of derived
(There is an annotated Japanese translation of the elements are the controlling faculties (Chapter
Prakaraapda by Watanabe, 1932b; English sum 6). The purification of the controlling faculties
maries include Frauwallner, 1995, 3236; Potter, takes place through concentration (Chapter 7),
1996, 375379; Willemen, Dessein & Cox, 1998, 73; and to practice concentration, one must have sur
Cox, 1998, 212221.) mounted false views (Chapter 8).(trans. Cox, 1998,
Jnaprasthna or (The *Aaskandhaka [T. 1543] has been translated
*Abhidharmajnaprasthnastra into Japanese with annotations by Nishi Giy and
As mentioned above, the Jnaprasthna is con Sakamoto Yukio, 1934; Xuanzangs Chinese version
sidered the most important of the seven canonical of the Jnaprasthna [T. 1544] has been translated
Sarvstivda Abhidharma treatises. This is reflected with copious notes and tables by Sakurabe Hajime
in the fact that a vast commentary on this trea and Kaji Yichi, 19962000; parts of the work have
tise, the Mahvibh, was compiled, comprising been translated into French by La Valle Poussin,
200 fascicles in Xuanzangs Chinese translation 1930; 19361937); Hurvitz, 1977, has dedicated a study
(T. 1545) and generally regarded as the definitive to the Jnaprasthna s path to liberation; English
statement of Sarvstivda Abhidharma exegesis summaries include Potter, 1996, 417449; Willemen,
(Cox, 1998, 229). The Jnaprasthna is ascribed to Dessein & Cox, 1998, 7379; Cox, 1998, 221229; the
Ktyyanputra, whose dates are variously given as first two chapters have been retranslated from the
100, 300 or even 500 after nirva (Cox, 1998, 221; see Chinese of T. 1544 into Sanskrit by nti Bhiku
also above). Two Chinese translations are extant, astri, 1955.)
one by Saghadeva, Zhu Fonian () and
Dharmapriya in 30 fascicles (T. 1543; 383 ce), enti
tled *Aagrantha or *Aaskandha(ka), the other
by Xuanzang in 20 fascicles (T. 1544; 657660 ce), Abhidharma Canonical Texts
entitled Jnaprasthna. The two translations differ of Other Sects
in both structure and doctrine and most likely rep
resent distinct Sarvstivda lineages. Sanskrit frag The extent to which Buddhist denominations other
ments have been discovered in Bamiyan and Ku than the Theravdins and the Sarvstivdins pos
(Lvi, 1932, Demiville, 1961). The Jnaprasthna sessed canonical Abhidharma works, and a for-
consists of 8 chapters (*skandhakas) entitled: tiori what these Abhidharmapiakas looked like,
1. *Sakra (Miscellany); is very difficut to assess. As A. Bareau (19471950)
2. *Sayojana (Fetters); has pointed out, there is no compelling reason to
3. Jna (Knowledge); believe that every denomination had developed
4. Karman (Action); an Abhidharmapiaka of its own. Whereas cer
5. Mahbhta (Fundamental Material Elements); tain groups that branched off from a mother sect
6. Indriya (Controlling Faculties); likely kept the latters Abhidharmapiaka with
7. Samdhi (Concentration); and slight adaptations and emendations where neces
8. Di (Views). sary, other groups lacking an independent third
100 Abhidharma
basket may have borrowed one from a geographi Resemblances with the Sarvstivda Dharma
cally close sect. According to Paramrtha, the skandha and the Pali Vibhaga and Puggalapaatti
Smityas, the Dharmottaryas, the Bhadraynyas have long been recognized (Kimura, 1922, 73118). E.
and the aagarikas, the four subsects that Frauwallner has analyzed the *riputrbhidharma
seceded from the Vtsputrya sect, kept the lat in terms of structure and content and as to the way
ters *riputrbhidharma (not to be confounded in which its mtks developed from those of ear
with the homonym Dharmaguptaka work described lier texts. According to him, this treatise of interest
below; the Vtsputrya *riputrbhidharma was ing idiosyncratic character helps us to avoid the
otherwise known as the *Dharmalakabhidharma, one-sided judgements that exclusive observation of
in nine sections), although they deemed it insuf the Abhidharma of the other schools might other
ficient, and completed it here and there with their wise lead us into making (Frauwallner, 1995, 116).
own interpretations of the stras (Demiville, (An annotated Japanese translation was published
19311932, 58). In a similar way, in Sri Lanka and a by Watanabe, 1934; English summaries and discus
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Jetavanyas apparently kept the Abhidharmapiaka 317325.)
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