Materialien zur buddhistischen Psychologie

4. Anatomie des Mentalen: Abhidhamatthasaṅgaha

1. Einführung

von Alois Payer


Zitierweise / cite as:

Payer, Alois: Materialien zur buddhistischen Psychologie. -- 4. Anatomie des Mentalen: Abhidhamatthasaṅgaha. -- 1. Einführung. -- Fassung vom 2007--01-04. -- URL:    

Erstmals publiziert:  2006-12-26

Überarbeitungen: 2007-01-04 [Ergänzungen]

Anlass: Lehrveranstaltung Wintersemester 2006/2007

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0. Übersicht

1. Einführung

Der Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha ist ein extrem kondensiertes Werk mit Merkversen zum Inhalt des gesamten Abhidhamma.

Als Gegenstand (attha) des Abhidhamma werden in Vers 2 die Realitäten im eigentlichen Sinn (paramatthato) genannt:

tattha vuttābhidhammatthā
catudhā paramatthato |
cittaṃ cetasikaṃ rūpaṃ
nibbānam iti sabbathā |2|

2. Die als Titel genannten Gegenstände des Abhidhamma (abhidhammattha) sind im eigentlichen Sinn insgesamt vierfach:

  • Bewusstsein (citta)
  • Begleitzustand des Bewusstseins (cetasika)
  • Materie (rūpa)
  • Nibbāna

Zur Einführung in dieses Werk folgt zuerst eine kurze Darstellung des Abhidhammapiṭaka und seiner einzelnen Werke im Palikanon. Darauf folgt eine Einführung in den Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha und seine Kommentare. Ohne Kommentar oder persönlichen Unterricht durch einen Lehrer ist der Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha als Werk für Anfänger nicht geeignet.

Ich empfehle sehr, das ausgezeichnete Werk von Nyanatiloa, aus dem ich hier zitiere, ganz durchzuarbeiten:

Nyanatiloka <Thera> <1878 - 1957>: Guide through the Abhidhamma-Pitaka : being a synopsis of the philosophical collection belonging to the Buddhist Pali canon ; followed by an essay on the Paticca-Samuppada. -- 4. ed.. - Kandy : Buddhist Publ. Soc., 1983. -- XV, 177 S.

Lesenswert ist auch:

Gorkom, Nina van <1928 - >: Abhidhamma in daily life. -- 2. ed. -- London : Triple Gem Pr., 1990. -- 284 S. ; 19 cm. -- ISBN 1-89763-301-7. -- Online: -- Zugriff am 2006-12-18

"Nina van Gorkom was born in 1928 to a family of socialist intellectuals. Her father was a member of the Dutch parliament. She studied at Leyden University and during this time she became a catholic. In 1952, she married Lodewijk van Gorkom, a Dutch diplomat.

In 1965, Lodewijk was posted to Thailand and Nina started learning Thai language. She took a keen interest in Buddhism, attending classes for foreigners at Wat Mahathat. There she met, in the summer of 1966, Sujin Boriharnwanaket [สุจินต์ บริหารวนเขตต์]. Impressed by the profundity of the Buddhist teachings, she became convinced of the truth of the Buddha's words and later assisted Khun Sujin in discussions about Buddhism for Thai radio stations. These talks were later published as Buddhism in Daily Life, her first book.

Nina and Lodewijk left Thailand in 1970 and lived in Japan, New York, Indonesia (where Lodewijk was the Dutch ambassador) and Austria. Lodewijk retired in 1990 and they now [1999] live in The Hague in Holland. "

[Quelle: Robert Kirkpatrick. -- -- Zugriff am 2006-12-18] 

Eine typische übertriebene Hochschätzung des Abhidhamma, wie sie bei Thervādabuddhisten gängig ist, drückt Egerton C. Baptist aus:

"Abhidhamma is the kernel of Buddhism. And, to gain even a superficial understanding as to what sort of a teaching Buddhism is, one ought to have at least a little knowledge of Abhidhamma. Indeed, even if one were to attain the zenith in other fields of scientific knowledge, he would still not know what truly are ' merits ' and what truly are ' demerits ', what is right and what is wrong, what ought to he abstained from and what ought to be done, and, what ought to be accepted and what ought to be rejected, without even a glimpse into the Abhidhamma, much in the manner that eminent doctors of medicine might disagree in the diagnosis of particular types of illnesses, and eminent lawyers disagree in their findings in cases of crime and murder.

' Anabhidhammiko hi dhammaṃ kathento, ayaṃ sakavādo, ayaṃ paravādo ti na jānāti; sakavādaṃ dīpessāmī ti paravādaṃ dīpeti; paravādaṃ dipessāmī ti sakavādaṃ dīpeti; dhammantaraṃ visanv
ādeti. Abhidhammiko sakavādan sakavādaniyan' eva, paravādan paravñdaniyāmen' eva dipeti; dhammantaran na visaṃvādeti . . .' says the Commentary to the Mahā-Gosiṅqasutta, which being translated liberally means that ' he who is ignorant of Abhidhamma is also ignorant of what are Right Views and what are Wrong Views, of what is Buddhist Philosophy and what is Sophistry. And, in preaching in ignorance, he may preach Buddhist Philosophy as Sophistry, and Sophistry as Buddhist Philosophy, Right Views as Wrong Views and Wrong Views as the Right View. He may get confused, muddled in mind, or mix up the True Dhamma with extraneous things or false Dhamma and the false Dhamma with the True Dhamma. And, that it is the one who is learned, who knows the Abhidhamma alone, who is able to preach Buddhist Philosophy as Buddhist Philosophy, Sophistry as Sophistry, fallacies as fallacies, and, in short, not mix up or pervert the True Dhamma into the false Dhamma, and the False; into the True, and thus mislead others'.

Notwithstanding all this and more that might be said to show what place the Abhidhamma takes in the Philosophy of the Buddha, many folk imagine that they could know Buddhism and its subtle teachings without any knowledge at all of this aspect of the Dhamma. And, naturally, owing to their wrong presumptions, perhaps quite unwittingly, they pervert the True Dhamma into the False and false Dhamma into the True. One may, no doubt, have reached the ultimate in other sciences, but as the sacred Buddhist texts say, ' he who knows not the Abhidhamma, cannot differentiate between Sakavāda and Paravāda, that is to say, cannot separate the True Dhamma from the False, or, '' sift the wheat from the chaff", and, so, as it too often happens, ' sophistry will be preached in the guise of Philosophy ".

For without an investigation into and a knowledge of analysis (sampayoga) and synthesis (saṅgaha) of beings, realities, causes and effects, kamma-deeds, resultants, re-birth, cessation and deliverance, one can surely not become a true and devoted Buddhist who could, with knowledge and understanding, accept the principles of cause and effect, rhyme and reason. He would merely be like the blind man who gets hold of the elephant's tail, ear, leg or trunk, and concludes that that portion he holds is the real elephant, whereas he who is more discerning and fortunate, and makes a careful study, would, while knowing what Buddhism is, also realize what an elephant really is.

Abb.: Die fünf Blinden und der Elefant
[Bildquelle: -- Zugriff am 2007-01-04]

Today the whole world cries in chorus accepting Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, Zoology, Law, Medicine, etc., as faculties that develop the human mind to a very marked degree, but if one of the great Doctors or Professors of these subjects were to gain merely a glimpse into the subtle philosophy of Buddhism, he would himself realize how his own knowledge of even these subjects in which he takes much delight, is, in the light of the vast storehouse of knowledge that is to be gathered through a study of Buddhism, like the light of a firefly before the Light of the Sun.

The ' Right View ' of an unsteady, undevoted Buddhist, known as Kammassakatasammādiṭṭhi (i.e. mere belief in Action and Result, Kamma-Vipāka), can be obtained even during periods known as Abuddhoppādakāla (i.e. when no Buddha-Sāsana is in existence). But, such knowledge comprises merely a segment of 'Right Views', as taught by a Supreme Buddha, because it is not the ' Right View ' that comes through realization of the Four Noble Truths, or, the Ultimate Truth (i.e. Paramattha-Sammā-diṭṭhi). Kammassakatasammādiṭṭhi is not able to deflect the mind from embracing and clinging to the recurring cycles of rebirths, which in their train lead to our also accepting at one time or another, such other Wrong Views as Sassata-diṭṭhi (i.e. the Eternity-belief), Uccheda-diṭṭhi (i.e. the Annihilation-belief), Ahetuka-diṭṭhi (i.e. the fatalistic View that all things arise without a Cause), Akiriyādiṭṭhi (i.e. belief in the inefficacy of good deeds and their opposites), etc., which are some of the most frightful types of Wrong Views that prevail with all their force in Abuddhoppādakāla. Kammassakatasammādiṭṭhi alone, do not help us to avoid re-birth in woeful states of existence. It is only a proper understanding and knowledge of Buddhism and a' Right View ' of the Four Noble Truths and a correct appreciation of ultimate objects (Paramatthadhamma), that saves us from being re-born among Unbelievers or believers in ' Wrong Views ' for an untold number of births, and from committing sin, and being reborn in the frightful states of Woe (i.e. hells) for aeons and aeons of time.

Our duty now, therefore, is to endeavour to realize thoroughly that our present birth among humans today with so much difficulty and attendant with so much good fortune, would be utterly useless and wasted if we fail to take advantage of our present opportunities, and not try to gain a knowledge and insight into what is Name and Form (Nāma-Rūpa), an investigation (into) which alone will enable us to understand clearly the being and reality of this phenomenal world.

What is more, if one is interested in perceiving clearly the greatness and beauty of the Buddha's faculties (Sabbaññutanāṇabala), he should learn the Abhidhamma. For only by so doing would he obtain a steady and firm understanding of Buddhism. Wrong Views, such as ' there is no cause and effect', ' there is no life hereafter ', and beliefs in Eternalism on the one hand and Annihilation on the other, are fast gaining ground today, and it is of utmost importance that we endeavour to save the coming generation from the terrible flood of false and heretical views that are fast sweeping everything before them. This we can do only by making the younger generation real practising Buddhists by teaching them the Philosophy of the Buddha, in clear, precise language that they could understand when they are still young, and not by the mere offer of inducements and gifts, or through fear. For when by their own efforts they thoroughly understand the Sublime Doctrine of the Blessed One, they too would gain a firm faith in and a devotion to the Sublime Teaching, and so seek for their own sakes, to escape from the pitfalls of sin and vice that lie open yawning before them.

That is why, having taken into consideration the world-conditions of today, this humble effort has been made by me, formerly a non-Believer, to present certain aspects of the Abhidhamma to the earnest seeker, not in the language of the scholar, but literally in the garb of the man-in-the-street. For, now, in this little book, designed as it is to meet the needs of the community as a whole, in the Light of the Dhamma there is a sure solution to the riddle of Life and Existence, and the mysteries of nature that were discovered and given free-of-cost to the world by the Blessed One two-thousand-five-hundred and forty-seven years ago, have been brought literally to the door-step of the earnest seeker after Truth. And, to those who have ' eyes to see, and ears to hear ', may this book be of some use, however little it might be, in their journey through the Saṃsāra. That is lay only hope and aim as its author, for I seek no fame and glory for myself."

[Quelle: Baptist, Egerton C.: Abhidhamma (Buddhist metaphysics) for the beginner. -- Colombo : Colombo Apothecaries, [1959]. -- 135 S. -- S. XIV - XVI.]

2. Abhidhammapiṭaka

"Abhidhamma Piṭaka

The third division of the Piakas. It consists of seven books: the

  1. Dhammasaṅgaṇī,
  2. Vibhaṅga
  3. Kathāvatthu,
  4. Puggalapaññatī,
  5. Dhātukathā,
  6. Yamaka and
  7. Paṭṭhāna,

all designated by the name of Pakaraṇa. Only in the Chronicles and the Commentaries is the word used as the title of a third Piṭaka (See the discussion of this in DA.i.15, 18f). In the Canon itself (E.g., Vin.i.64; iii.144; iv.344) the word means "special dhamma," i.e. the Doctrine pure and simple (without admixture of literary treatment or personalities, etc.), and is sometimes coupled with the word abhivinaya (E.g., D.iii.267; M.i.272).  

It has been suggested (New Pāli Dict. s.v.) that, as the word abhidhamma standing alone is not found either in the Sutta Nipāta, the Saṃyutta, or the Aṅguttara, and only once or twice in the Dīgha and Majjhima, it probably came into use only towards the end of the period in which the four great Nikāyas grew up (See Dial.iii.199 on a possible origin of the Adhidhamma).

The Mahāsaṅghikas refused to include the Abhidhamma in the Piṭakas at all, as they did not regard it as the word of the Buddha. (Dpv.v.32-8).

According to the Dīghabhāṇakas the Abhidhamma Piṭaka also included the whole of the Khuddaka Nikāya except the Cariyāpitaka, Apadāna and Buddhavaṃsa (DA.i.15).

According to another division, the five Nikāyas are not divisions of the Dhamma but of the whole Canon, and in the fifth are included both the Vinaya and the Abhidhamma (DA.i.28).

There is a legend recorded by Buddhaghosa that the Abhidhamma was first preached by the Buddha in Tāvatiṃsa at the foot of the Pāricchataka tree, when he was seated on Sakka's throne, during his visit to his mother in Tāvatiṃsa. Later it was taught by him to Sāriputta on the banks of the Anotatta Lake, whither Sāriputta had gone to minister to the Buddha during the latter's visit to Tāvatiṃsa (VibhA. p.1; AA.i.71, etc.).

The legend further relates that after the Enlightenment the Buddha spent the fourth week in the Ratanaghara, revolving in his mind the intricate doctrines of the Abhidhamma in all their details (J.i.78).

According to the Cullavagga version of the Councils (Chaps. xi. and xii; but see DA.i.15 contra) the Abhidhamma Piṭaka was not rehearsed at either Council.

The fact that the Abhidhamma is not mentioned in the suttas and that only Dhamma and Vinaya are usually referred to, only proves that at one time the Abhidhamma did not form a separate Piṭaka. As a matter of fact, it is not held even by the commentators to be the word of the Buddha in the same sense as the suttas. One section of it, the Kathāvatthu (but see Kathāvatthu), was taught only at the Third Council.

As far as we know, the seven books of the Abhidhamma are peculiar to the Theravādins, though there is evidence that other schools, chiefly the Vaibhāsikas (Sarvāstivādins) and the Sautrāntikas, held the Abhidhamma books sacred. See Tārānātha: Geschichte des Buddhismus (56) 156 (296).

As far as the contents of the Abhidhamma are concerned, they do not form a systematic philosophy, but are a special treatment of the Dhamma as found in the Sutta-Pitaka. Most of the matter is psychological and logical; the fundamental doctrines mentioned or discussed are those already propounded in the suttas and, therefore, taken for granted. For a discussion of the contents see article on Abhidhamma in ERE.

Apart from the Commentaries on the seven books, an exegetical work on the whole Piṭaka, called the Abhidhamma Mūlatīkā, was written by Ānanda Vanaratanatissa of the Vanavāsī school in Ceylon.

The Ṭīkā was evidently based on Buddhaghosa's Commentaries, but Ānanda occasionally dissents from Buddhaghosa. The work was written at the request of an Elder, Buddhamitta, and was revised by Mahā Kassapa of Pulatthipura.

An Anutīkā was written by Culla Dhammapāla. Gv.60, 69. For details see P.L.C., pp. 210-12. The Gv. (72) also mentions Abhidhammagandhi, probably a glossary."

[Quelle: Malalasekera, G. P. <1899 - 1973>: Dictionary of Pāli proper names. -- Nachdruck der Ausgabe 1938. -- London : Pali Text Society, 1974. -- 2 vol. -- 1163, 1370 S. -- ISBN 0860132692. -- s. v.]

In der besten Einführung in das Abhidhamma-Piṭaka beschreibt der Autor, Nyanatiloka, den Unterschied zwischen Sutta und Abhidhamma so:

"Regarding the difference between the Sutta and the Abhidhamma, the 'Higher Doctrine', it does not really so much concern the subject, but rather its arrangement and treatment. The subject in both is practically the same. Its main difference in treatment, briefly stated, may be said to consist in the fact that in the Sutta the doctrines arc more or less explained in the words of the philosophically incorrect 'conventional' every-day language (vohāra-vacana) understood by anyone, whilst the Abhidhamma, on the other hand, makes use of purely philosophical terms true in the absolute sense (paramattha-vacana). Thus, in the Sutta it often is spoken of 'individuals', 'persons', of 'I', 'you', 'self, even the rebirth of 'self, etc. as if such so-called individualities really existed. The Abhidhamma, however, treats of realities (paramattha-dhamma), i.e. of psychical and physical phenomena, which alone may be rightly called realities, though only of momentary duration, arising and passing away every moment. For in reality, or in the 'absolute sense' (paramattha), as the expression runs, there does not exist any real, self-dependent, permanent 'entity', no such thing as the so-called 'Ego', but only this ever-changing process of conditionally arising and passing phenomena. Hence, the whole Abhidhamma has to do only with the description, analysis, and elucidation of such phenomena.

While these, phenomena are in the Sutta treated under the aspects of 5 Groups (khandha), i.e. corporeality, feeling, perception, mental formations, and consciousness (rūpa, vedanā, saññā, saṅkhāra, viññāṇa), the Abhidhamma treats them generally under three aspects: consciousness, mental concomitants, and corporeality (citta, cetasika, rūpa).

Before entering into the discussion of the contents of the seven Abhidhamma books, I should wish to point out that the study of the Abhidhamma requires a previous thorough acquaintance with the fundamental teachings and ethical aims of Buddhism; and it is only to them who have fulfilled this preliminary condition that, by thus recapitulating their learning, and by philosophically deepening their insight, the Abhidhamma may prove to be of real benefit."

[Quelle: Nyanatiloka <Thera> <1878 - 1957>: Guide through the Abhidhamma-Pitaka : being a synopsis of the philosophical collection belonging to the Buddhist Pali canon ; followed by an essay on the Paticca-Samuppada. -- 4. ed.. - Kandy : Buddhist Publ. Soc., 1983. -- XV, 177 S. -- S. 2f.]

Hintergrund und Quellen des Abhidhamma sind:

  1. Wachbewusstseinserfahrungen
    1. alltägliche
    2. veränderte
  2. Autorität
    1. des angeblichen oder echten Buddhawortes
    2. [der Kommentatoren]
  3. "Rationale" Durchdringung
    1. Systematisierung unterschiedlicher Aussagen (und Erfahrungen)
    2. Spekulative Auflösung von Fragen und Schwierigkeiten
    3. Konsequenzen aus Überzeugungen und Annahmen
    4. ...
  4. Langeweile der Mönche: Beschäftigungstherapie durch endloses Herunterleiern, Diskussion von mehr oder weniger intelligenten Spitzfindigkeiten u.ä.

2.1. Dhammasaṅgaṇī

"This fundamental first book of the Abhidhamina-Piṭaka, together with the gigantic seventh work, the Paṭṭhāna, constitutes the quintessence of the entire Abhidhamma. We may even say that these two books embody the quintessence of the entire Buddhist doctrine, that is, its two basic teachings of the Egolessness or Emptiness (anattatā, suññatā), and the Conditionality (ida-paccayatā) of all existence. While the first book, Dhammasaṅgaṇī, generally proceeds analytically, dissecting existence into its ultimate constituents which are bare impersonal phenomena (dhammā), the last book, Paṭṭhāna, uses the method of synthesis, showing that all these phenomena are related and conditioned.

According to the Abhidhamma, all phenomena, of existence may be classified under three ultimate terms or Realities (paramattha):

  1. states of consciousness (citta),
  2. mental concomitants (cetasika),
  3. corporeality (rūpa);

to them, as the fourth Reality, Nibbāna is added.

Now, in Dhammasaṅgaṇī, the first three Realities are treated from the ethical, or more exactly, the karmical standpoint, and divide accordingly into

  1. karmically wholesome phenomena (kusala-dhammā),
  2. karmically unwholesome phenomena (akusala-dhammā),
  3. karmically neutral phenomena (avyākata-dhammā),

which make up the first Triad of the Abhidhamma Matrix. Consciousness and mental concomitants may be either karmically wholesome, unwholesome or neutral, whilst corporeality is always karmically neutral; and so is the fourth Reality, Nibbāna.


  1. Part I. of the Dhammasaṅgani, dealing with consciousness and mental concomitants only, divides into the aforementioned sections A, B and C.
  2. Part II is an analysis of Corporeality (belonging to section C), and includes in its first paragraph also Nibbāna, being likewise karmically neutral (see p. 20).
  3. It follows Part III, Summary, and
  4. Part IV Synopsis."

[Quelle: Nyanatiloka <Thera> <1878 - 1957>: Guide through the Abhidhamma-Pitaka : being a synopsis of the philosophical collection belonging to the Buddhist Pali canon ; followed by an essay on the Paticca-Samuppada. -- 4. ed.. - Kandy : Buddhist Publ. Soc., 1983. -- XV, 177 S. -- S. 12.]

2.2. Vibhaṅga

"The second work of the Abhidhamma Piṭaka, the Vibhaṅga, consists of a series of 18 treatises, or vibhaṅgas, all complete in themselves, and independent one of the other. Each treatise, as a rule, consists of 3 parts:
  1. the Sutta-explanation,
  2. the Abhidhamma-explanation, and
  3. a Catechetic Section by way of questions and answers.

By reason of its first 3 treatises, Vibhanga, in a certain measure, is supplementary to Dhammasaṅgaṇī and, at the same time, a foundation to the Dhātu-Kathā. Those 3 treatises namely, are entirely devoted to an exhaustive investigation of three categories of highest importance for a real understanding of Buddhist Philosophy, that is:

  • the '5 Groups' of existence (khandha),
  • the 12 'Bases' (āyatana), and
  • the 18 psycho-physical 'Elements' (dhātu),

with reference to which three aspects, in Dhātu-Kathā all the phenomena of existence are categorized and brought into relationship. Besides, these 3 categories form the subjects of the first 3 chapters of Yamaka, whilst in Puggala-Paññatti they are heading the table of contents (mātikā). Many of the passages in Vibhaṅga are also found in Paṭisambhidā-Magga of the Khuddaka-Nikāya, to which it has a great resemblance, in contents, as well as in arrangement, and both works are often referred to and quoted in Visuddhi-Magga."

[Quelle: Nyanatiloka <Thera> <1878 - 1957>: Guide through the Abhidhamma-Pitaka : being a synopsis of the philosophical collection belonging to the Buddhist Pali canon ; followed by an essay on the Paticca-Samuppada. -- 4. ed.. - Kandy : Buddhist Publ. Soc., 1983. -- XV, 177 S. -- S. 24.]

2.3. Dhātukathā

"This and the following book, Puggala-Paññatti, are in extent the smallest books of the Abhidhamma-Piṭaka. Both, from beginning to end, are written in catechism form.

Dhātu-kathā consists of 14 chapters, with some hundreds of questions and answers. Its full title really would be 'Khandha-āyatana-dhātu-kathā', i.e. 'Discussion with reference! to the groups, bases, and elements' (s. Vibh. I-III), for here all conceivable phenomena are discussed with reference to these three categories, i.e. whether, and in which measure, they are 'included' (saṅgahita), or 'not-included', in these three aspects; whether they are 'associated' (sampayutta) therewith, or 'dissociated' (vippayutta) therefrom.

Now, with this task in view, the whole work has been divided into the following 14 chapters, which, with regard to their subject matter, are forming three distinct groups, to wit:—

  1. Inclusion and Non-Inclusion (saṅgaho asaṅgaho);
  2. Included and Unincluded (saṅgahitena asaṅgahitaṃ);
  3. Unincluded and Included (asaṅgahitena saṅgahitaṃ);
  4. Included and Included (saṅgahitena saṅgahitaṃ);
  5. Unincluded and Unincluded (asaṅgahitena asaṅgahitaṃ);
  6. Association and Dissociation (sampayogo vippayogo);
  7. Associated and Dissociated (sampayuttena vippayuttaṃ);
  8. Dissociated and Associated (vippayuttena sampayuttaṃ);
  9. Associated and Associated (Sampayuttena sampayuttaṃ);
  10. Dissociated and Dissociated (vippayuttena vippayuttaṃ)
  11. Associated with, and Dissociated from, the Included (saṅgahitena sampayuttaṃ vippayuttaṃ);
  12. Included and Unincluded in the Associated (sampayuttena saṅgahitaṃ asaṅgahitaṃ);
  13. Associated with, and Dissociated from, the Unincluded (asaṅgahitena sampayuttaṃ vippayuttaṃ);
  14. Included and Unincluded in the Dissociated (vippayuttena saṅgahitaṃ asaṅgahitaṃ).

Here it should be noted that, in the Abhidhamma, the term "associated" (sampayutta) is reserved for mental phenomena only, namely for those combined in a single moment of consciousness. The term cannot be applied to the combination of material phenomena or their relationship to mental processes or factors (see also p. 125).

The aforementioned 14 headings form the first part of the Matrix or Schedule, with which the Dhātu-kathā starts. In the second part of it, those phenomena are indicated which are the subject of the inquiry as to their inclusion, etc., in the Elements, etc. They consist firstly of 125 phenomena enumerated in the following, and, in addition, of all triads and dyads of the Abhidhamma Matrix.

The 125 phenomena are :

  • 5 Groups of Existence (khandha)
  • 12 Bases (āyatana)
  • 18 Elements (dhātu)
  • 22 Faculties (indriya)
  • 12 (links of the) Dependent Origination (paṭiccasamuppāda)
  • 4 Foundations of Mindfulness (satipaṭṭhāna)
  • 4 Great Efforts (sammappadhāna)
  • 4 Roads to Power (iddhipāda)
  • 4 Absorptions (jhāna)
    4 Truths (sacca)
  • 4 Unbounded States (appamañña)
  • 5 Spiritual Faculties (indriya)
  • 5 Powers (bala)
  • 7 Factors of Enlightenment (bojjhaṅga) 
  • 8 (Factors of the) Path (magga)
  • Sense-impression (phassa)
  • Feeling (vedanā)
  • Perception (saññā)
  • Volition (cetanā)
  • Consciousness (citta) 
  • Determination (adhimokkha)
  • Attentiveness {manasikāra)

The additional inclusion of the triads and dyads among the subjects of inquiry is indicated in the Matrix by a single sentence: "Also the whole Dhammasaṅgaṇī (belongs to) the Matrix of the Dhātu-kathā."

As it will be seen from the following extracts, the respective questions are answered in the text merely by saying how many groups, etc., obtain in the respective case. Where it seemed necessary, the identification of these groups, etc., by name, has been added in brackets by the author. In a number of instances it was not at all easy to find the correct answers to the intricate questions. In fact, the Dhātu-kathā, the Yamaka and the catechetical sections of the Vibhaṅga are partly very severe tests for logical and analytical thought, and for the proficiency in using correctly the fundamental doctrinal terms that are the subject-matter of these treatises."

[Quelle: Nyanatiloka <Thera> <1878 - 1957>: Guide through the Abhidhamma-Pitaka : being a synopsis of the philosophical collection belonging to the Buddhist Pali canon ; followed by an essay on the Paticca-Samuppada. -- 4. ed.. - Kandy : Buddhist Publ. Soc., 1983. -- XV, 177 S. -- S. 52f.]

2.4. Puggalapaññatti

"This smallest of the seven Abhidhamma books appears to be somewhat out of place in the Abhidhamma Piṭaka, as shown, even by its title "Description of Individuals". For it is one of the main characteristics of the Abhidhamma that it does not employ conventional concepts like "individual" (puggala), etc., but deals only with ultimates, or realities in the "highest sense" (paramattha-dhamma), i.e. the mental and material phenomena, and their classifications into groups (khandha), bases, elements, etc. This treatise, however, in accordance with its subject-matter, is written in the conventional language as used in the Sutta-Piṭaka. In fact, most of its contents has literal parallels in the Aṅguttara-Nikāya and the Saṅgīti-sutta of the Dīgha Nikāya.

The treatise is introduced by a Matrix and its first part is suggestive of a formal reason for the inclusion of this book in the Abhidhamma-Piṭaka. The Matrix begins with enumerating six kinds of "descriptions" (paññatti) :
  1. the description of Groups (khandha-paññatti),
  2. of Bases,
  3. of Elements,
  4. of Truths,
  5. of Faculties, and finally,
  6. of Individuals (puggala-paññatti).

The first five fall certainly within the scope of the Abhidhamma, and may well have caused the ascription of the treatise to the Abhidhamma-Piṭaka. These five items, however, appear only in the Matrix which adds only their respective divisions into corporeality-group, etc. There is no detailed treatment of them in the main body of the book. As a reason for that omission, the commentary mentions that the subject-matter of these five "descriptions" had already been dealt with, in full detail, in the respective chapters of the Vibhaṅga.

The Matrix now proceeds to give the headings for the "Description of Individuals". That description divides into 10 chapters, of which the first deals with single individuals, the second with pairs, the third with groups of three, and so forth, up to a tenfold classification. These ten chapters contain 142 groupings of individuals with 386 single individuals which, however, partly overlap. The detailed exposition that follows after the Matrix has the same divisions. It contains not merely brief definitions of the various human types, but also some fairly long descriptions, and a number of beautiful and elaborate similes. Apart from ethical classifications of individuals, a great number of important specifically doctrinal terms concerning human types, are here explained, and among them also such of relatively rare occurrence.

Therefore this little work makes a handy book of reference that will prove very useful in Buddhist studies."

[Quelle: Nyanatiloka <Thera> <1878 - 1957>: Guide through the Abhidhamma-Pitaka : being a synopsis of the philosophical collection belonging to the Buddhist Pali canon ; followed by an essay on the Paticca-Samuppada. -- 4. ed.. - Kandy : Buddhist Publ. Soc., 1983. -- XV, 177 S. -- S. 57f.]

2.5. Kathāvatthu

"This book is ascribed to the Elder Moggali-putta-tissa, who according to tradition compiled it as a polemical treatise against the schismatic monk-groups, or schools, existing in the 3rd century B.C., and recited it at the 3rd Council,, at Pāṭaliputta, the present Patna, convened by king Asoka at about 246 B.C.

This is, in short, what the Commentary to the work tells us abouT the rather confused, and in no way yet settled, history of those schools:—


The Commentary, further, says that, since king Asoka showed great regard for Buddhism and the Buddhist monks, many teachers and adherents of other faiths sought admission to the Order, or stealthily donned the yellow robe, whilst at the same time still continuing their former religious views and practices, as fire- and sun-worship, and the like. After many vain attempts to settle the troubled state of the Buddhist monkhood, and fix the exact Word of the Buddha, king Asoka finally convened the Council at Pāṭaliputta, where the whole Canon was rehearsed, and the present work of Moggali-putta-tissa, the leader of the Council, incorporated in the Abhidhamma-Piṭaka.

The Kathā-vatthu (edited by the Pali Text Society in 2 vols, of altogether 628 pp.) contains 219 controversies, divided into 23 chapters. There is no distinct plan in the grouping of these controversies, neither with regard to the subject-matter, nor with regard to the different schools. The whole seems rather to have grown gradually so that already for this reason one would hesitate to ascribe the entire work to one single author. But the fact that most of the heretical opinions are ascribed to schools, which have come to life several centuries later, I consider a positive proof that Moggali-putta-tissa could not have been the only author of the work.

In the text itself no mention is made of the names of the different schools, to which the manifold theories and speculations are assigned; this is supplied by the Commentary. A great deal of those speculations relate, indeed, to very minor matters, and are often merely one-sided, or misleading, statements; and nearly all of them can be traced back to wrong or inaccurate understanding or the indiscriminate use, of technical terms, or of utterances occurring in the Canon.


The method applied in the discussions is in most cases a purely logical one, as in Yamaka, Nettippakaraṇa, and Peṭakopadesa. As our space is limited, and, besides, the general inquirer into Buddhism is not so much concerned with the mere method, but rather the doctrine itself, I shall give here only a rough idea of the logical treatment of the first and most important dialogue, comprising 69 pages in the PTS edition. Of all the remaining 218 dialogues, I shall give only the substance."

[Quelle: Nyanatiloka <Thera> <1878 - 1957>: Guide through the Abhidhamma-Pitaka : being a synopsis of the philosophical collection belonging to the Buddhist Pali canon ; followed by an essay on the Paticca-Samuppada. -- 4. ed.. - Kandy : Buddhist Publ. Soc., 1983. -- XV, 177 S. -- S. 60 - 62.]

2.6. Yamaka

"Mrs. Rhys Davids, in the preface to her edition of the Pali text, not quite inappropriately calls this book with its ten chapters, the "ten valleys of dry bones," and remarks that its only chance is, to be used,
  1. as a work of reference, and
  2. as a thesaurus of terms, from which a teacher might select,

but it cannot be regarded as a work fit for either reading, or recitation. To me it looks, as if this book was composed for examination purposes, or to get versed in answering sophistical and ambiguous, or captious questions, on all the manifold doctrines and technical terms of Buddhist Philosophy. The questions of identity, subordination, and co-ordination, of concepts are playing a prominent part in our work, which tries to give a logical clarification and delimitation of all the doctrinal concepts, as to their range and contents. It is a work of applied logic, just as Kathā-Vatthu, Netti-ppakaraṇa, etc. Many of its plays upon words, though uttered in the dignified tone of logics, must, at times, appear rather strange. Take, for instance, the question in Chapter II: "Does 'sota' designate the ear-base (sotāyatana, i.e. the organ of hearing) ?" to which the reply comes : "(Not always; e.g.) taṇhā-sota (the 'stream' of craving, sota, here meaning 'stream'— Skr. srotas) is sota, but it is not the ear-base." It is just, as if to the question: "Is hamlet a village:", one should answer; "not always; e.g., Shakespeare's Hamlet is Hamlet, but it is not a village."

That the book is called "The Pairs" (Yamaka), is most probably to be attributed to the dual grouping, of a question and its converse formulation, strictly adhered to, from beginning to end. The first pair of questions of the first chapter, for instance, runs thus: "Are all karmically wholesome phenomena, wholesome roots? And are all wholesome roots, wholesome phenomena?"

The whole work which, in its Siamese edition, comprises 2 large volumes of altogether 1,349 pages, is divided into 10 Chapters of such pairs of questions; and each chapter forms an inquiry into phenomena, by referring them to one special category, namely:

  1. Mūla-Yamaka refers everything to the wholesome, unwholesome, and neutral 'Roots';
  2. Khandha-Yamaka, to the 5 'Groups' of existence;
  3. Āyatana-Yamaka, to the 12 'Bases';
  4. Dhātu-Yamaka, to the 18 'Elements' of psycho-physical life;
  5. Sacca-Yamaka, to the 4 noble 'Truths';
  6. Saṅkhāra-Yamaka, to the bodily, verbal, and mental 'Formations';
  7. Anusaya-Yamaka, to the 7 evil 'Biases';
  8. Citta,-Yamaka, to 'Consciousness';
  9. Dhamma-Yamaka, to the term dhamma, 'phenomenon';
  10. Indriya-Yamaka, to the 22 corporeal and mental 'Faculties'.

The method applied in most of the 10 chapters, is everywhere, more or less, the same, as far as the category in question permits.

Thus, e.g., the chapters II-VI are, as shown here below, divided into 3 sections:

  1. Delimitation of terms,
  2. Process,
  3. Penetration,

with sometimes slightly differing sub-divisions; whilst the remaining chapters are lacking some sections, or follow somewhat different methods, as will be seen later on.

    1. Enumeration of questions (Uddesa-vāra)
      • In positive form
      • In negative form
      • General and particular terms in positive form
      • in negative form
      • etc.
    2. Explanations (Niddesa-vāra)
      • With the same divisions as (I).
    1. Origination (Uppāda-vāra)
      • Present:
        • in positive form
          • with regard to Person
          • Place
          • Person and Place
        • in negative form
          • With the same divisions
      • Past: the same treatment as for the Present
      • Future: do.
      • Present and Past: do.
      • Present and Future: do.
      • Past and Future: do.
    2. Cessation (Nirodha-vāra).
      • Analogous treatment as (I).
    3. Origination and Cessation (Uppāda-nirodha-vāra)
      •  Analogous treatment as (I).
    • Analogous treatment as B (I), but only with regard to person (not to place, etc.)."

[Quelle: Nyanatiloka <Thera> <1878 - 1957>: Guide through the Abhidhamma-Pitaka : being a synopsis of the philosophical collection belonging to the Buddhist Pali canon ; followed by an essay on the Paticca-Samuppada. -- 4. ed.. - Kandy : Buddhist Publ. Soc., 1983. -- XV, 177 S. -- S. 88 - 90.]

2.7. Paṭṭhāna

"This gigantic and most important work of the Abhidhamma-Piṭaka deals with the conditionality and dependent nature of all the manifold corporeal and mental phenomena of existence, which in their combinations are known by the conventional names of 'I', 'person', 'world', etc., but which in the ultimate sense are only just these passing phenomena, nothing more. Hence, this work provides a most complete and detailed elucidation of the Paṭicca-Samuppāda, or Dependent Origination, though here the phenomena, are not arranged according to the 12 links of the Paṭicca-Samuppāda, but with reference to the 24 paccayas, i.e., conditions, or modes of conditionality, as will be seen later on.

The complete text of the work in the Siamese Tipitaka edition comprises 6 vols, of altogether 3,120 pp., whilst the extract in the Pali Text Society's edition contains only 549 pp.

The work begins with an Introduction which contains an enumeration and explanation of the 24 modes of conditionality (paccaya) governing all the manifold phenomena of existence. The main body of the work has 4 great divisions, namely:—
  1. ANULOMA-PAṬṬHĀNA Origination according to the Positive Method.
  2. PACCANIYA-PAṬṬHĀNA -"- Negative Method.
  3. ANULOMA-PACCANIYA-PAṬṬHĀNA. Origination according to the Positive-Negative Method.
  4. PACCANIYA-ANULOMA-PAṬṬHĀNA, Origination according to the Nagative-Positive Method.

In each of these 4 main divisions, the 24 modes of conditionality are applied in due order to all phenomena of existence, presented again by the Triads and Dyads of the Abhidhamma Schedule. Each of these 4 main divisions applies its own particular method (i.e. positive, etc.) in a sixfold way:—

  1. Origination of Triads (Tika-Paṭṭhāna)
  2. Origination of Dyads (Duka-Paṭṭhāna)
  3. Origination of Dyads and Triads combined (Duka-Tika-Paṭṭhāna)
  4. Origination of Triads and Dyads combined (Tika-Duka-Paṭṭhāna)
  5. Origination of Triads and Triads combined (Tika-Tika-Paṭṭhāna)
  6. Origination of Dyads and Dyads combined (Duka-Duka-Paṭṭhāna)

According to the number of Triads and Dyads, Section I has 22 chapters, and Section II has 100 (though in the numbering of the PTS-edition the latter have inadvisedly been contracted to 89). Each of these chapters, again, is divided into a number of subchapters, or vāra. Each such sub-chapter, again forms 4 smaller sections , brought about by that 4 fold method to which fas shown above, the entire work owes its 4 great divisions, namely the positive method, the negative method, the positive-negative method, and the negative-positive method.

Finally each of these 4 smaller divisions, everywhere throughout the whole work, is again divided into paragraphs (§) corresponding with those of the 24 conditions which obtain in the respective case.

This is, in short, the table of contents of the whole work :—

VOL. I (Siamese Edition)


Enumeration and Explanation of the 24 Conditions

      1. The Triad 'wholesome etc.' (Kusala-ttika)
        1. Chapter on being 'dependent' (paṭicca-vāra)
          1. Questions:
            1. positive method
            2. negative method
            3. positive-negative method
            4. negative-positive method
          2. Explanations:
            1. positive method
            2. negative method
            3. positive-negative method
            4. negative-positive method

            (Each of the 4 methods is, in due order, applied to the 24 conditions and thus forms a corresponding number of §§. The question-section is found only in this first chapter).

        2. Chapter on being 'co-nascent' (sahajāta-vāra)
        3. Chapter on being 'conditioned' (paccaya-vāra)
        4. Chapter on being 'supported' (nissaya-vāra)
        5. Chapter on being 'conjoined' (saṃsattha-vāra)
        6. Chapter on being 'associated' (sampayutta-vāra)
        7. Chapter on 'Investigations' (paṇhā-vāra)

        (Each of those chapters has the same division as 1).

      2. 2. The Triad of feelings (Vedanā-ttika)
      3. The Triad 'karmically resultant, etc' (Vipāka-ttika)
      4. The Triad 'karmically acquired, etc' (Upādāna-ttika)
      5. The Triad 'defiled etc' (Sankiliṭṭha-ttika)

        VOL. II

      6. The Triad 'Thought-conception, etc' (Vitakka-ttika)

        (etc, altogether 22 such chapters, each with the same divisions as 1).

        VOL. III & IV

      1. The Dyad 'root and not-root' (Hetu-duka).
      2. The Dyad 'accompanied by root, and unaccompanied by root' (Sahetuka-duka).

        (etc, altogether 100 chapters).

        VOL. V
      (with 132 chapters).
      (with 94 chapters).
      (with 42 chapters).
      (with 48 chapters).

      (II-VI have each the same divisions and subdivisions as I).

      VOL. VI

    (B, C and D have each the same divisions and subdivisions as 1).

Thus, A comprises 5 volumes in the Siamese edition whilst B, C, and D are, in a condensed form, contained in the 6th and last volume.

If the subject of this second (B), third (C) and fourth (D) Paṭṭhāna had been treated with the same copiousness as the first one, the text in the Siamese edition would contain not less than 14,000 pp.

Before entering into a discussion of the contents of the main part of the work, I am giving the reader a full translation of the very important introductory chapter, here and there interspersed, partly with my own explanations, partly with quotations taken from the Commentary, or other parts of the work. This introduction, as already stated above, consists of the enumeration, and subsequent explanation, of the 24 Conditions (paccaya), upon which all the corporeal and mental phenomena are dependent, and which are applied to the existence, or origination, of all the various phenomena treated in our present work."

[Quelle: Nyanatiloka <Thera> <1878 - 1957>: Guide through the Abhidhamma-Pitaka : being a synopsis of the philosophical collection belonging to the Buddhist Pali canon ; followed by an essay on the Paticca-Samuppada. -- 4. ed.. - Kandy : Buddhist Publ. Soc., 1983. -- XV, 177 S. -- S. 114 - 117.]

3. Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha

Abb.: Karton-Leporello-Ausgabe des Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha in Thaischrift, wie er zur Rezitation bei Verdienstzeremonien für Verstorbene verwendet wird.

"A very succinct resume of all the essential doctrines of the Abhidhamma is given in that ingenious little vade-mecum called Abhidhammattha-Saṅgaha, written by Anuruddha who is believed to have lived not earlier than the Eighth Century. In Burma, of one who wishes to study the Abhidhamma it is expected that he first thoroughly learns by heart and masters this short epitome ; once he has mastered it, he will have grasped the whole substance of the Abhidhamma.

By the way, it may here be noted that, just as in the Abhidhamma Piṭaka many terms are being found which one in vain may look for in the Sutta, so again in the Abhidhammattha-Saṅgaha and the commentaries, various other new terms, and even teachings, are introduced. This, however, does not necessarily imply any deviation from the canonical Abhidhamma with regard to its contents, but may show the necessity felt of having terms better fitted for the work of summarizing and systematizing. It would prove of no little interest of having all those technical terms not met with in the earliest books, collected, and chronologically registered."

[Quelle: Nyanatiloka <Thera> <1878 - 1957>: Guide through the Abhidhamma-Pitaka : being a synopsis of the philosophical collection belonging to the Buddhist Pali canon ; followed by an essay on the Paticca-Samuppada. -- 4. ed.. - Kandy : Buddhist Publ. Soc., 1983. -- XV, 177 S. -- S. 2]


"ABHIDHAMMATTHA-SAṄGAHA. This work is a summary (saṅgaha) of the sense or meaning (attha) of Buddhist philosophy (abhidhamma). It is a manual compiled in Pali not earlier than the 8th century A.C., but it came into use as a text book for students of Abhidhamma in the 12th century only. It is a treatise excessively condensed, yet extremely popular as a handbook. "Even at the present day this manual is still held in the highest possible esteem in Ceylon as well as in Burma, and has been more frequently commentated and translated in Burma than any other text of the Abhidhamma." (Winternitz) The author's name is always given as Anuruddha, who, according to Burmese tradition, was a senior monk (thera) in Ceylon residing in Polonnaruwa in the Mūlasoma Vihāra. Nothing more is known of him, except that he was the author of two other books, Paramattha-vinicchaya and Nāmarūpapariccheda, and, perhaps, of the Anuruddha Śataka.

Four sub-commentaries have been written on this compendium, two in Ceylon, Porāṇa-ṭīkā by Nava Vimalabuddhi thera, and Abhidhammattha-vibhāvanī by Sumaṅgala thera, and two in Burma, Saṇkhepa-vaṇṇanā by Saddhamma Jotipāla and a recent work, Paramatthadīpanī Ṭīkā, by Ledi Sayadaw.

Although the Abhidhammattha-saṅgaha covers in its final chapter more or less the same range of subject-matter as Buddhaghosa's Visuddhimagga, the two works can hardly be compared otherwise. For, where the Visuddhimagga treats its subject with an amplitude of interpretation and critical explanation with the assistance of numerous legends and a wealth of historical and mythical detail, the compiler of the Abhidhammattha-saṅgaha is so severely concise in his subject-matter, that one can hardly speak of him as the "author" of the compendium, the work being much more in the nature of an extensive table of contents. Buddhaghosa, moreover, has given us in his Visuddhimagga a practical standard work on the method of developing sainthood by means of virtue and meditation. It is ethical in its end, even when he treats his subject psychologically. Anuruddha in his Abhidhammattha-saṅgaha has given a purely theoretical analysis with a conciseness bordering on the laconic.

The work could be called a Digest, but for the fact that the summary is so compact that it might easily cause some mental indigestion. For here we find in one small volume the whole subject-matter of the Abhidhamma which is contained in seven books on psychological ethics, dealing with consciousness both moral and immoral, as experienced in the various spheres of sense, form, formless and transcendental; its concomitants or mental properties (cetasika), analysed and distributed according to the mental states in which they occur ; the process of cognition detailed in its seventeen thought moments ; the process of becoming or life in the various realms of karma and rebirth ; the many aspects, origins, groups and qualities of matter which may be so subtle that it is mere form (rūpa) ; the laws which govern conditional origination and inter-relationship; and the various stations of mental exercise and spiritual development.

All this is condensed in less than 50 pages of print. Its very terseness does not make it easily intelligible to lay readers, but it should not be forgotten that this book is not one of exposition. The composer himself says in the opening verses:

" Now will I speak in summaries concise of things in Abhidhamma-lore contained ".

And he continues to enumerate the four categories dealt with in this compendium : consciousness (viññāṇa), mental properties (cetasika), material qualities (rūpa) and emancipation (nibbāna). Further, we find that every chapter and section, in which each of these four chief divisions is subdivided, is rounded off with a verse giving the barest outline for purpose of memorising the contents. Thus, the twelve classes of unskilful thought (akusala citta) are to be memorised as follows:

Aṭṭhadhā lobhamūlāni
dosamūlāni ca dvidhā |
mohamūlāni ca dve 'ti
dvādasākusalā siyuṃ ||

(Eight there are with roots in greed,
Twofold those from hateful seed,
Two are in confusion caught,
In all twelve types of sinful thought).

Having dealt summarily with the eighty-nine classes of consciousness (which may be expanded to one hundred and twenty-one by resolving each of the eight kinds of transcendental consciousness into five, thus obtaining forty kinds in place of eight), the Abhidhammattha-saṅgaha passes on to the classification of fifty-two mental properties (cetasika) seven of which are common to each and every thought, six contingent ones, fourteen always linked with unskilful thought and twenty-five common to all aesthetic states of mind. The various combinations of these mental properties constitute a rich variety of mental states or thought processes which makes one admire the keen sense of psychoanalysis at such an early date. For fuller explanation of these mental properties, see CETASIKA.

The next part of the book treats of the concomitants particular to the various states of consciousness. Thus, sense-impressions may be divided according to the six senses and according to the nature of the impression of pleasure, pain, joy, grief and indifference, which again results in a large variety or combinations and mutual exclusions. Thus "among the sense-impressions which are the result of moral deeds (done in a former birth), there is only one kind that is accompanied by pleasurable feeling (kāyika-sukha), and that is tactile impressions " (III, 2).

Another classification of thoughts is shown according to the roots from which a thought originates : greed, aversion, ignorance, disinterestedness, affection and intelligence ; although eighteen kinds of consciousness are mentioned which are not conditioned by any of these roots, i.e., when a thought is not full-grown. For details, see HETU.

This is followed by summaries regarding consciousness under the aspect of function (kicca), of sense-doors or organs (dvāra), of sense objects (ārammaṇa), of sense-bases (vatthu).

Part IV of the Abhidhammattha-saṅgaha deals with the process of cognition and mentions how a single unit of mental activity or thought-moment consists of three time phases, to wit, nascent, developing and breaking off. Seventeen such thought-moments constitute the normal duration of a material phenomenon. It is interesting to note that  Buddhists have come to speak of matter as lasting for seventeen thought-moments". It is not the thought which lasts that long!

Following the analytical process of the birth and the passing of a thought is the next section, dealing with rebirth, i.e., the various planes of life, four types of rebirth, and sixteen kinds of karma resulting in rebirth.

Matter and the twenty-eight material qualities are analysed in Part VI. For details, see RŪPA.

All the distinctive states set forth in this work up to this stage are now in Part VII categorised in different groupings. Here we find first various categories of evil, mixed categories and all that pertains to enlightenment (bodhi).

Part VIII deals with relations, first with the arising and ceasing of relations according to the law of dependent origination (paṭicca-samuppāda) as this is frequently found in the Sutta-piṭaka, and then with the system of correlation, which constitutes the subject-matter of the Patthāna, the last or "Great Book" of the Abhidhamma-piṭaka.

The concluding part treats of mind culture, the forty exercises for meditation (bhāvanā), the states of mental absorption (jh|na), and supernormal intellection (abhiññā), which all lead to pacification (samatha) of the mind. Real insight (vipassanā), however, is attained along the path of purification of morals, of thoughts, of views, of doubts, of discernment, of knowledge and of insight, by concentration on the salient marks or characteristics of impermanence (anicca), conflict (dukkha) and egolessness (anattā).

Emancipation (vimokkha) can be attained through realisation or insight following any one of these three contemplations, which thereby become the cause of emancipation (vimokkhamukha)."

[Quelle: H. G. A. van Zeyst <1909 - 1989>. -- In: Encyclopaedia of Buddhism / ed. by G. P. Malalasekera. -- Colombo : Government Press Ceylon. -- Vol. 1. -- 1961. -- S. 50f.]

3.1. Kommentare zum Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha

"ABHIDHAMMATTHA-SAṄGAHA-(PORĀṆA-)ṬĪKĀ. As a compendium of the vast literature of Buddhist philosophy comprised under the name Abhidhamma, there has been no more useful and used handbook than the Abhidhammattha-saṅgaha (q.v.), which for more than eight centuries now has occupied a unique position as primer and manual for students of psychology and philosophy in Burma and Ceylon. Its excellence as a handbook for further study, and a compendium for ready reference, brought about a considerable amount of exegetical literature, which became all the more necessary owing to the extremely condensed nature of the compendium.

The earliest known attempt in compiling an interpretation of the compendium, without making it a reconstitution of a condensation, is the Abhidhammattha-saṅgaha-ṭīkā which is called the Porāṇa-ṭīkā and ascribed to Vimalabuddhi Thera (Sāsv. 34 : Sāsanavaṃsa Dīpa, v. 1223). In Burma this author is also called Nava Vimalabuddhi, but he is better known in Ceylon as Sāriputta Mahāāsāmi. His pupil too wrote a sub-commentary on the Abhidhammattha-saṅgaha, entitled the Abhidhammattha-vibhāvanī (q.v.), "which still remains in favour both in Burma and in Ceylon " (Pali Literature of Ceylon, 173), whereas the Porāṇa Ṭīkā " is considered quite superannuated " (Compendium of. Philosophy, ix) and so little used, that " this work is not known to exist in Ceylon at present " (De Z. p. 4). Even the very exhaustive Laṅkāvē Puskolapot Nāmāvaliya (K. D. Somadasa) has failed to discover a single manuscript. The Gandhavaṃsa, or History of Books (Minayeff ed.), although far more detailed than either the Sāsanavaṃsa or Sāsanavaṃsadīpa and mentioning names of authors and works of several abhidhammasaṅgaha-anuṭīkās, such as the Dasagaṇḍhivaṇṇanā by Vepullabuddhi and the Maṇisāramañjusā by Ariyavaṃsa, has no reference to the oldest interpretation of the Compendium of Philosophy, the Abhidhammattha-saṅgaha-Porāṇa Ṭīkā.

[Quelle: H. G. A. van Zeyst <1909 - 1989>. -- In: Encyclopaedia of Buddhism / ed. by G. P. Malalasekera. -- Colombo : Government Press Ceylon. -- Vol. 1. -- 1961. -- S. 51.]
"ABHIDHAMMATTHA-VIBHĀVANĪ, a sub-commentary (ṭīkā) on the Abhidhammattha-saṅgaha (q.v.) written in Ceylon by Sumaṅgala Ācariya (Gv. 52). a pupil of Sāriputta Mahāsāmi (in Burma knowm as Nava Vimalabuddhi). Sāriputta's commentary on the same work, called the Abhidhammattha-saṅgaha-Porāṇa-ṭīka (q.v.), became entirely eclipsed by his pupil's exegesis, which is the most popular and most authoritative interpretation of the Abhidhammattha-saṅgaha. In Burma it is known as the " famous Ṭīka " (Ṭīkā gyaw), because of a masterly exposition thereof by Ariyavaṃsa, and is generally well known and quoted as the "Ceylon Commentary ". Earlier, it was known as the "beautiful Ṭīkā " (lakkhaṇaṭīkā, Sāsv. 96), "because the comments in it are so very apt to the subject of discussion" (Pali Literature of Ceylon, 200). A subsequent commentator, Chapaṭa, who also wrote a commentary on the Abhidhammattha-saṅgaha (Sāsv. 116), compared his own modest work, the Sankhepa-vaṇṇanā, to a firefly, whereas Sumaṅgala Ācariya's Vibhāvanī is likened to the moon. But then, he adds slyly, "the moon cannot shine within bamboos ; the firefly can" (Pali Literature of Ceylon, 201).

This late medieval 12th century work consists of 100 ola leaves, 18 inches in length. In this work it is stated that several commentaries have been written on the Abhidhammattha-saṇgaha, with the following titles : Abhidhammattha-saṅgaha-Porāṇa Ṭīkā, by Vimalabuddhi; Abhidhammattha-saṅgaha padārtha-sanne, a Sinhalese paraphrase by the same (here called Sāriputta Mahā Thera) ; Abhidhammattha-saṅgaha-padayojanā, by a Buddhist monk of Lāva (Laos ?).

According to De Zoysa's Catalogue of Pali Manuscripts these are not now extant in Ceylon, and the latest inquiries in this field have not been more successful (K. D. Somadasa : Laṅkāvē Puskolapot Nāmāvaliya)."

[Quelle: Encyclopaedia of Buddhism / ed. by G. P. Malalasekera. -- Colombo : Government Press Ceylon. -- Vol. 1. -- 1961. -- S. 52.]

Zu:  2. Text und Übersetzung von Kapitel II: Cetasikā