Abhidharmakosa study group?

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Re: Abhidharmakosa study group?

Postby Huifeng » Thu May 13, 2010 4:31 am

Will wrote:Ven Huifeng,

Your site has six papers on Abhidharma - http://wisdom.buddhistdoor.com/huifeng/author/huifeng/

Would one of those, with your help, help us get some basics down?


Unfortunately, probably none of them. They weren't written as intros to a study of Abhidharma, although http://wisdom.buddhistdoor.com/huifeng/ ... bhidharma/ may be an overview of the texts alone (pretty dry and boring!)

Or what do your think of the late Santina's overview? http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/s- ... abhi00.htm


Like most stuff in English, note the first line of Santina's essay:

In this series, I will discuss the philosophical and psychological aspects of Buddhism presented in the seven books of the Abhidharma Pitaka of the Pali canon.

Which is kind of deceptive, because he uses the Skt word "Abhidharma".

A nice read for background on the stuff in general, but better to read the Intro to the Kosa provided in Huseng's links given above. Or the Intro to the Amrtarasa in the link I gave, too. That is Sarvastivada to Sautrantika. That is basically the only stuff relevant to the northern and Mahayana traditions.
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Re: Abhidharmakosa study group?

Postby Indrajala » Thu May 13, 2010 11:12 am

Venerable Huifeng

I think Chapter 3 (The World) might be a suitable place to start as it gives a review of the three realms and the variety of sentient beings.

This isn't an easy text I agree. My prof jokingly said the other day, "Buddhism isn't hard except for the Abhidharmakosa. That's hard to understand. Everything else is easy."

Well, the files are there for people to download and examine. Any ideas of what to do or where to start would be welcome. :reading:
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Re: Abhidharmakosa study group?

Postby Will » Thu May 13, 2010 3:08 pm

My security program says stay away from the download site. But I happen to have a scanned copy myself. So here is the first page of Pruden's Introduction, minus the notes.

1. Origin and Growth of abhidharma.
Today the word abhidharma signifies the third of the Three Pitakas (Skt:
Tripitaka) or collections of scriptures that go to make up the full Buddhist Canon.
These three Pitakas, or collections, are: 1) the Sutras or Agamas, the words of the
Buddha, directed to both laymen and clerics, dealing with a host of different topics:
ethics, philosophical questions, legends and tales, etc.; 2) the Vinaya, directed to the
monks and nuns of the Buddhist Sangha, spelling out the prohibitions to be
followed by the clerics and injunctions on the carrying out of various seasonal
events, adjudicating disputes, the distribution of property, etc.; and 3) the
Abhidharma Pitaka, a number of texts later in compilation than either the Sutra
Pitaka or the Vinaya Pitaka.
If the word abhidharma does not signify the Third Pitaka in its totality, then the
word signifies the contents of this Third Pitaka, its style of thinking and writing,
and thus a certain type of commentarial literature, the Sastras or commentaries on
the Sutras of the Buddha.
Since the Sutras and Vinaya, it is believed, took their essential form before the
Third Pitaka was given its final form, the word abhidharma as used in the Sutras
and in the Vinaya, was a word that did not signify the Third Pitaka. What then did
the word abhidharma signify when it was first used in the Sutras and Vinaya, in the
reputed words of the Buddha?
There are two meanings to the word abhidharma: 1) referring to the Dharma;
and 2) the higher, or superior Dharma.
The first person interested in the etymology of the term abhi-dharma was
N.W. Geiger, in his work, Pali Dhamma (1921), where he states, "abhidhamma
originally mean the highest Dhamma; such is the interpretation of later
commentators, that is, abhidhamma as uttaradhamma." The earliest meaning of
the word abhidhamma, he held, is "concerning the dhamma, or referring to the
dhamma," In the Sutras, indeed,this word always appears in the locative case, as
abhidhamme, ("with respect to Dhamma") and in this manner parallels the form
abhivinaye ("concerningthe Vinaya').
This definition ("concerning the dhamma") was adopted by the Critical Pali
Dictionary (1935,1st edition) where this form was termed (p. 350) a prepositional
compound, and the word itself defined as: "as regards the dhamma."
Revealing one essence: this means the inherently pure, complete, luminous essence, which is pure of its own nature. -- Fa-tsang
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Re: Abhidharmakosa study group?

Postby Indrajala » Thu May 13, 2010 3:10 pm

I've never had problems with Mega Download. It has a lot of ads. I imagine it is black listed because downloading a lot of unknown files could be dangerous.
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Re: Abhidharmakosa study group?

Postby Yogicfire » Thu May 13, 2010 3:28 pm

I just downloaded the pdf file no problems. Thanks for that, Huseng. Much appreciated.

Are all the pages there, though? I was looking at Chapter 3, The World, and it seems to start from p 366. There is a blank page before that...

File: Abhidharmakosa2, Belolvasas 0009. (p 11 of 210).

Are we going to give everyone a few weeks to read a certain part of this chapter? Like a few weeks?

I think we should give it a go, and see how things unfold.

By the way, I am up in Saitama. But, I know of Komazawa, and it has a good reputation.
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Re: Abhidharmakosa study group?

Postby Indrajala » Thu May 13, 2010 3:43 pm

Yogicfire wrote:I just downloaded the pdf file no problems. Thanks for that, Huseng. Much appreciated.

Are all the pages there, though? I was looking at Chapter 3, The World, and it seems to start from p 366. There is a blank page before that...

File: Abhidharmakosa2, Belolvasas 0009. (p 11 of 210).

Are we going to give everyone a few weeks to read a certain part of this chapter? Like a few weeks?

I think we should give it a go, and see how things unfold.

By the way, I am up in Saitama. But, I know of Komozawa, and it has a good reputation.



The actual printed copy has four volumes and the page numbers start where the previous one left off.

If you ever want to come visit Komazawa send me a message. There is a museum on campus of Zen with a number of artefacts on display. The schedule follows the school schedule, which can be a bit irregular. I'll happily show you the place. :smile:

As for the reading I'd say read the introduction first to get an idea of the scope of the text.

I think maybe Chapter 3 would be a good place to start. Cosmology is always fun and under appreciated. :sage:
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Re: Abhidharmakosa study group?

Postby Will » Thu May 13, 2010 3:51 pm

Pruden's remarks on Chapter Three:

Chapter III, the Loka-nirdesa of "Instruction concerning the World"
is a description of the physical world, its inhabitants, and its various
hells and the heavens of the gods.
Some interesting topics are raised in Chapter Three: how rebirth or
transmigration takes place; an analysis of each of the parts of the schema
of dependent origination; whether there can be such a thing as
premature death in a world ruled by karma; the various measurements
of time and space; the cosmic cycle or kalpa; and the career of the
Bodhisattva. There is also a discussion of whether there are one or many
Buddhas in the cosmos, a recurring debate topic in Far Eastern
Buddhism. This chapter also contains a discussion on whether the
intermediate state of existence (antarabhava) exists or not. This
intermediate state is well known to students of Tibetan Buddhism as the
bardo state, a state discussed at length in the Tibetan Book of the Dead.
Chapter III is a very interesting chapter.
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Re: Abhidharmakosa study group?

Postby Indrajala » Sat May 15, 2010 6:08 am

Haven't read that yet. :reading:

It might be a useful read though. :smile:
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Re: Abhidharmakosa study group?

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Sat May 15, 2010 6:26 am

Huseng wrote:Haven't read that yet. :reading:

It might be a useful read though. :smile:


Thanks Huseng :)
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Re: Abhidharmakosa study group?

Postby muni » Sat May 15, 2010 12:37 pm

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Re: Abhidharmakosa study group?

Postby White Lotus » Sun May 16, 2010 6:40 pm

:namaste: Noble Huseng,
it would be fascinating to see what people had to say about it. im sorry though, i must say that people tend not to be willing to commit to such a beneficial project. i tried to follow up on the Platform sutra to no avail. initially people showed interest, but once it came down to study I guess people were a bit busy or lost interest.

i hope that this study gets underway. and ps, thanks for the link.

best wishes, White Lotus.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: Abhidharmakosa study group?

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Sun May 16, 2010 6:45 pm

White Lotus wrote::namaste: Noble Huseng,
it would be fascinating to see what people had to say about it. im sorry though, i must say that people tend not to be willing to commit to such a beneficial project. i tried to follow up on the Platform sutra to no avail. initially people showed interest, but once it came down to study I guess people were a bit busy or lost interest.

i hope that this study gets underway. and ps, thanks for the link.

best wishes, White Lotus.


White Lotus, it's true. It often seems to go that way. I hope this study takes off.
Thanks a lot for your commitment to the Platform Sutra study, I'm sorry that it petered out.

Best,
Laura :)
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Re: Abhidharmakosa study group?

Postby dave » Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:26 am

Hi Huifeng

Very good idea.
I like to join the course if it is beneficial.
Do we know you from E-Sangha? Just my guess.

Namdrol from E-Sangha, did start this course, but didn't continual (I have forseen this in E-Sangha).

Let me first clearify some points before you start with it.
First, the Abhidharma translation is not always very clear and sometimes difficult to understand. (I own the books)
So we are in we need for a teacher who did study the Abhidharma in detail before, in order to get things right and to clearify our doubts.
And last, ones you have started, make sure you will not stop until the full Abhidharma was complete taught. In previous times, I have forseen that Namdrol was not be able to finish the course and I have critizise this several times. Make sure not to copy this misfeature. Even it is free of charge.

Still, it is good idea to teach the Abhidharma!


Sorry for my critical thoughts. Dave
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Re: Abhidharmakosa study group?

Postby mindyourmind » Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:47 pm

Apologies for joining the class late ....I was, um, meditating :stirthepot:

I would regard it as a privilege to learn from you guys here, so count me in, say what where and when.
Ready when you are. :reading:
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Re: Abhidharmakosa study group?

Postby kirtu » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:39 pm

Huseng wrote:The download link for the .pdf files in a .zip file is here:[/size]

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=YHU99QTQ

It is just under 50 megabytes.

I've also included Asanga's work as another reference work one might make use of.

If you're interested please download the file. The introduction is long and will give some good background information on the text.


This is invaluable.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
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Re: Abhidharmakosa study group?

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:40 pm

I downloaded it, it looks fantastic! :namaste:
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Re: Abhidharmakosa study group?

Postby kirtu » Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:19 pm

Huseng wrote:This isn't an easy text I agree. My prof jokingly said the other day, "Buddhism isn't hard except for the Abhidharmakosa. That's hard to understand. Everything else is easy."


Why does your professor say that the Abhidharmakosa is difficult? In general it is just the presentation of Buddhist ontology without recourse to argumentation in order to draw out conclusions (this is true even for the running presentations of the Vaibhasika and Sautantrika POVs with their back and forth). In effect these are a series of in depth presentations of the lower Mahayana positions wrt the concepts of the Buddhist world. So just learning them isn't a problem as humans can absorb and master vast materials. It would be in the discussions on the consequences where there might be issues.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
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Re: Abhidharmakosa study group?

Postby kirtu » Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:30 pm

What I find fascinating is the apparent presention of 6 kinds of Arhats (and not the six kind that I would have proposed just off the top of my head [dry - no siddhis, siddhis, produced from faith, produced from reason ...]) five of which can fall from Arhathood (so this was one of the debates in the Second Council wasn't it?).

In addition the definitions of bodhisattvas. Here the meanings of the 32 major marks of a Buddha come to play. Rather than just a pious accretion, the 32 major and 80 minor marks have a real function and are produced from the karma of the bodhisattva (naturally - but not something people think about usually). So our positive actions really done for the liberation of all beings result in the marks because these result in the establishment of a Buddha body when we attain full Buddhahood.

Finally Namdrol's (and others) terse assertions about mind and discussion between Vajrayana and Zen people over mind. It was clear that we were talking past each other and in some cases the Vajrayana people were talking down to the Zen people. But this definitely establishes that we have different definitions of mind from
the start. So our discussions need to have our terms defined more clearly before Dharma combat (mind in the Abhidharma being defiled instances of thought and mind in Zen just present awareness).

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
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Re: Abhidharmakosa study group?

Postby kirtu » Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:46 pm

Really so many fascinating topics but these all stand out as being directly applicable to our daily lives. The assertion that Stream Enterers who haven't overcome attachments will be plagued by them and that bodhisattvas don't actually strive primarily to overcome defilements. These statements need to be well understood though to avoid making specious claims about our behavior.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
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