The Meaning of Dhamma, no 4.
As we have seen in the Atthasaalinii, dhamma can also mean hetu:
<Hetumhi ~naa.na.m dhamma pa.tisambhidaa"ti-aadiisu (vibha. 720) hetumhi.
In such passages as ,²Knowledge of root-conditions is analysis of dhamma
-dhamma means root-condition or cause. >
This text refers to the ³Book of Analysis², Vibhanga, the second Book of the
Abhidhamma, which deals with the four analytic insights, patisambhidaa:
1. insight of attha *, result (of a cause).
2. insight of dhamma: condition or cause.
3. insight of nirutti, of the language corresponding to reality, expressing
attha and dhamma.
4. insight of patibhaana: of illumination, of confidence of speech. It is
the knowledge of the three above mentioned knowledges in all details.
(See dict of Ven. Nyanatiloka).
Arahats with the highest distinction were endowed with the four
patisambhidas. There are different degrees of them. The Buddha¹s chief
disciples did not have them in the same degree as the Buddha, and the other
arahats had them in a lesser degree than the chief disciples.
The Vibhanga states according to the knowledge of attha and knowledge of
dhamma with regard to the four Truths:
<Knowledge of suffering (dukkha) is analytical knowledge of consequence
(attha); knowledge of the cause of suffering is analytical knowledge of
origin (dhamma); knowledge of the cessation of suffering is analytical
knowledge of consequence; knowledge of the way leading to the cessation of
suffering is analytical knowledge of origin...>
Thus, in these texts dhamma as hetu, condition or cause has been referred
Also in the ³Pa.tisambhidaamagga², the Path of Discrimination, the four
analytical knowledges have been explained.
In the Anguttara Nikaaya, Book of the Sevens, IV, 37, we read about seven
conditions leading to the four ³analyses². We read at the end:
<Monks, Saariputta is so endowed and abides accepting and realizing by his
own knowledge the four analyses...>
* Attha has many meanings, this word can designate: purpose, meaning, but
also result or consequence.