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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:31 am 
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Why has the Sarvastivada Abhidamma recieved more attention in academic studies than the Theravadin? It would seem that since the Theravadin Abhidamma still possesses a living tradition it would be better suited for study?

Lotwell


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:49 pm 
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There have been some studies of Theravāda Abhidhamma, or that include significant references to the Theravāda Abhidhamma. A few examples are:

Buddhist Analysis of Matter by Y. Karunadasa.
The Dhamma Theory: Philosophical Cornerstone of the Abhidhamma by Y. Karunadasa.
The Theravāda Abhidhamma: Its Inquiry Into the Nature of Conditioned Reality by Y. Karunadasa.
Early Buddhist Metaphysics: The Making of a Philosophical Tradition by Noa Ronkin.
A Study of the Five Aggregates in Theravāda Buddhism by Mathieu Boisvert.
A Critical Analysis of the Jhānas in Theravāda Buddhist Meditation by Ven. Gunaratana.
The Buddhist Path to Awakening. A Study of the Bodhi-Pakkhiyā Dhammā by Rupert Gethin.
The Notion of Diṭṭhi in Theravāda Buddhism by Paul Fuller.

Also, almost the complete Theravāda Abhidhammapiṭaka has been translated into English, as well as some of the commentaries on the Abhidhammapiṭaka texts.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:13 pm 
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lotwell wrote:
It would seem that since the Theravadin Abhidamma still possesses a living tradition it would be better suited for study?


Less contention in studying something that is not a living tradition, perhaps? I'm not sure there is more study of the Abhidamma, that would take a study to answer. If there is, might it be that the Sarvāstivādin Abhidharma adds to, rather than replaces, the Abhidamma?

:namaste:

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:05 am 
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lotwell wrote:
Why has the Sarvastivada Abhidamma recieved more attention in academic studies than the Theravadin? It would seem that since the Theravadin Abhidamma still possesses a living tradition it would be better suited for study?

Lotwell


I would actually say that the Theravada Abhidhamma has received more attention than the Sarvastivadin Abhidharma. For example, all seven Theravada Abhidhamma texts have been translated at least once, along with other similar literature, eg. the Visuddhimagga, the Sangaha, etc. Of the seven Sarvastivadin Abhidharma texts, only one or two have English translations.

However, the post Vaibhasika material, mainly (semi-) Sautrantika, such as the Kosa, has received huge attention. But, this is not strictly Abhidharma, although many read it as such. In fact, if one reads the Nyananusara, it is obvious that the Vaibhasika Abhidharmikas thought that the Kosa misrepresented the Abhidharma.

Reasons? Later Sautrantika material such as the Kosa is very influential in classical Indian Buddhism. Also, there are Sanskrit versions. The Theravada Abhidhamma is in Pali. Most of the actual Sarvastivada Abhidharma material is only in Chinese. Also, the heavy weight of Tibetan Buddhism in looking at classical Indian Buddhism - the Tibetan traditions have the Kosa, know of but do not have the Sarvastivada material per se, and haven't really heard of the Theravadin Abhidhamma.

All these are fairly standard biases of the majority (though not all) of modern Western academic studies of Indian Buddhism.

~~ Huifeng

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Last edited by Huifeng on Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:06 am 
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viniketa wrote:
... If there is, might it be that the Sarvāstivādin Abhidharma adds to, rather than replaces, the Abhidamma?



No, not at all, not even close.

Parallel traditions.

~~ Huifeng

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:02 am 
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Huifeng wrote:
However, the post Vaibhasika material, mainly (semi-) Sautrantika, such as the Kosa, has received huge attention. But, this is not strictly Abhidharma, although many read it as such. In fact, if one reads the Nyananusara, it is obvious that the Vaibhasika Abhidharmikas thought that the Kosa misrepresented the Abhidharma.

Reasons? Later Sautrantika material such as the Kosa is very influential in classical Indian Buddhism. Also, there are Sanskrit versions. The Theravada Abhidhamma is in Pali. Most of the actual Sarvastivada Abhidharma material is only in Chinese. Also, the heavy weight of Tibetan Buddhism in looking at classical Indian Buddhism - the Tibetan traditions have the Kosa, know of but do not have the Sarvastivada material per se, and haven't really heard of the Theravadin Abhidhamma.


Venerable,

Would you say that, when it comes to Sravakayana Abhidharmic influences, Chinese Buddhism leans more towards orthodox Sarvastivada Abhidharma, or also relies a lot on the Kosa?

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 5:04 am 
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pueraeternus wrote:
Huifeng wrote:
However, the post Vaibhasika material, mainly (semi-) Sautrantika, such as the Kosa, has received huge attention. But, this is not strictly Abhidharma, although many read it as such. In fact, if one reads the Nyananusara, it is obvious that the Vaibhasika Abhidharmikas thought that the Kosa misrepresented the Abhidharma.

Reasons? Later Sautrantika material such as the Kosa is very influential in classical Indian Buddhism. Also, there are Sanskrit versions. The Theravada Abhidhamma is in Pali. Most of the actual Sarvastivada Abhidharma material is only in Chinese. Also, the heavy weight of Tibetan Buddhism in looking at classical Indian Buddhism - the Tibetan traditions have the Kosa, know of but do not have the Sarvastivada material per se, and haven't really heard of the Theravadin Abhidhamma.


Venerable,

Would you say that, when it comes to Sravakayana Abhidharmic influences, Chinese Buddhism leans more towards orthodox Sarvastivada Abhidharma, or also relies a lot on the Kosa?


Well, very few if any do anything straight Abhidharma at all now, or for the last 1000 yrs or so. Though, from people like Yin Shun and the like, then they'll look at all of them. They tend not to have the everything-is-in-the-Kosa attitude that I often see in the West (due to the above reasons). If they want Vaibhasika, then it's the Vibhasa, for example. If they want Sautrantika, then it's the Kosa, its commentaries, and the like.

And in terms of influence, then it's usually contra Abhidharma, rather than from Abhidharma. The Mahaprajnaparamita Upadesa (Dazhidu lun) has a huge amount of Abhidharma material, a not-quite-orthodox Kasmir Vaibhasika but more Gandharin flavor, at that. But then, it's all shot down in a blaze of Madhyamaka. And those other early Madhyamaka texts, eg. the Zhong lun, have a lot of varied Abhidharma material in them too, likewise Jizang and his line. And also the *Satyasiddhi (Chengshi lun), which is sort of Mahasamghika on top of Vaibhasika / Sautrantika stuff.

It's all there, and it depends on the text, the author, and so forth, whether it's classical and modern Chinese Buddhism.

And now, because more stuff from the Pali is available in Chinese (or Japanese), modern Chinese Buddhism can also consider that, too. It's wide open, and getting wider.

~~ Huifeng

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 5:22 am 
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Thanks Venerable, for the detailed reply!

Hopefully with the growing influence of China, there will be greater interest, focus and resources on academic research of the rich and varied heritage of Chinese Buddhism.

In terms of Sravakayana Abhidharma, I guess the next logical area of focus in translating into English and academic research would be the Mahavibhasa, especially given the trailblazing work done by Ven. Dhammajoti.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:08 pm 
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Huifeng wrote:
viniketa wrote:
... If there is, might it be that the Sarvāstivādin Abhidharma adds to, rather than replaces, the Abhidamma?



No, not at all, not even close.

Parallel traditions.

~~ Huifeng


Thank you for the correction, Venerable. I knew someone would lop that branch off as soon as I climbed out on it. :smile:

So, I go back to look at sources. I suppose there are more recently studies that have been done since Warder, Potter, etc., but I'm not sure if new evidence has been found that suggests that the three major lines Abhidhamma/Abhidharma development did not come from common, earlier sources. The three lines Potter discusses are the Abhidhammapiṭaka and the Sarvāstivādin and Yogācāra Abhidharma: http://books.google.com/books?id=pH8ZCC ... ma&f=false

:namaste:

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:01 am 
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viniketa wrote:
Huifeng wrote:
viniketa wrote:
... If there is, might it be that the Sarvāstivādin Abhidharma adds to, rather than replaces, the Abhidamma?



No, not at all, not even close.

Parallel traditions.

~~ Huifeng


Thank you for the correction, Venerable. I knew someone would lop that branch off as soon as I climbed out on it. :smile:

So, I go back to look at sources. I suppose there are more recently studies that have been done since Warder, Potter, etc., but I'm not sure if new evidence has been found that suggests that the three major lines Abhidhamma/Abhidharma development did not come from common, earlier sources. The three lines Potter discusses are the Abhidhammapiṭaka and the Sarvāstivādin and Yogācāra Abhidharma: http://books.google.com/books?id=pH8ZCC ... ma&f=false

:namaste:


The idea of the Sariputra abhidharma Astra as proto or parallel to the Vibhanga and Dharmaskandhapada remains. But that is not what to seemed to be saying in your previous post.

~~ Huifeng

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:11 am 
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Huifeng wrote:
The idea of the Sariputra abhidharma Astra as proto or parallel to the Vibhanga and Dharmaskandhapada remains. But that is not what to seemed to be saying in your previous post.


My previous post was unclear, as was my memory... hence the return to sources. Indeed, given Potter, the 'Theravada' Abhidamma seems to have been the most advanced. Thank you, Venerable.

:namaste:

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:00 am 
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While we're on the subject, I'd like to draw everyone's attention to:
http://www.gampoabbey.org/kosha-resources.php

Abhidharmakośa-Bhāṣya of Vasubandhu
The Treasury of the Abhidharma and its (Auto)commentary


Translated into French by Louis de La Vallée Poussin
Annoted English Translation by Gelong Lodrö Sangpo
With a New Introduction by Bhikkhu KL Dhammajoti
Four Volumes: 2898 pages Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass 2012


I already have my own copies - four massive tomes - from Bhante Dhammajoti. :)

~~ Huifeng

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:05 am 
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While on advertising mode:

http://www.buddhism.hku.hk/Publications.html

Stuff from Prof. Bhante KL Dhammajoti on Sarvastivadin and related Abhidharma,
and Prof. Y Karunadasa on the Theravada Abhidhamma.

See also: http://www.scribd.com/doc/106679207/Bhi ... Abhidharma
Though note that this is the Third Edition only, the Fourth Edition is already out, slightly better formatting, but not much difference at all. (Except correcting some of my editorial screw ups...)

~~ Huifeng

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:31 am 
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Huifeng wrote:
Translated into French by Louis de La Vallée Poussin
Annoted English Translation by Gelong Lodrö Sangpo
With a New Introduction by Bhikkhu KL Dhammajoti
Four Volumes: 2898 pages Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass 2012[/i]


*salivate* *slurp*

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If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

- The Open-Ended Proof from The Panoplia Prophetica


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:52 am 
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lotwell wrote:
Why has the Sarvastivada Abhidamma recieved more attention in academic studies than the Theravadin? It would seem that since the Theravadin Abhidamma still possesses a living tradition it would be better suited for study?

Lotwell


Sarvastivada abhidharma is more interesting, and it is a living tradition, sarvastivadin works and influence were transmitted to Tibet, China, Mongolia, Japan, Korea, etc...

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