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Abhidhamma

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ABHIDHAMMA, the name of one of the three divisions into which the Buddhist scriptures are divided (see BUDDHISM). It consists in the Pali Canon of seven works: 1. Dhamma sangani (enumeration of mental states). 2. Viblianga (analysis). 3. Kathd-vatthu (subjects of discussion). 4. Puggala-paiinatti (on classes of individuals). 5. Dheitu-kathei (on mental elements). 6. Yamaka (pairs of ethical states). 7. Pattheina (relations of ethical states). These have been published by the Pali Text Society, and the first, third, and fourth have been translated (see below). Most of the works consist of the analysis and classi fication of psychical states from an ethical standpoint, but the Katha-vatthu gives a list of dogmas disputed between the eighteen. sects. The Ceylon Chronicles say that it was spoken or promul gated (not composed) by Tissa Moggaliputta at the third council in 247 B.C. As Mrs. Rhys Davids has shown, it mush have been compiled gradually. It is probably one of the latest of the works, but none of them are primitive, and some schools, according to Taranatha, denied that Abhidhamma was the word of Buddha. The oldest name for this literature is meitika, "lists," i.e. of the questions discussed, and it is mentioned under this name in several parts of the canon, but from this nothing can be inferred as to the age of the extant works. The Sarvastivada school had a similar set of seven works, which exist now only in a Chinese version. They have been analysed by Prof. Takakusu in the article mentioned below. The subject was first examined by Burn ouf, who relied on the Mahayana canon as found in Tibetan, in which Abhidharma (Pali, Abhidhamma) is represented by the Prajii apeiramitei and such works. These teach a doctrine of nega tivism, or as Prof. Stcherbatsky terms it, relativity, and hence Abhidharma was translated "metaphysics." But this is quite ab sent from the earlier schools, in which the term means "higher dharma." See Buddhist Psychology, translation of Dhamma-sangani, and Points of Controversy, translation of Katha-vatthu, by Mrs. Rhys Davids (1900 and 1915) ; E. Burnout, Introduction a l'histoire du bouddhisme indien (1845) ; Taranatha, Geschichte des Buddhismus, translated by A. Schiefner, St. Petersburg, 1869; "On the Abhidhamma books of the SarVastivadins," by Prof. Takakusu, in Journal of the Pali Text Society, 1905 ; Designation of human types, translation of Puggala-paiiiiatti, by B. C. Law (1924). (E. J. T.)

pali, translation, prof and ethical