Abhidhamma series, no 3.
- Dear friends,
Abhidhamma series, no 3: Dhamma in detail.
In all three parts of the Tipiìaka we are taught about ``dhamma'',
about everything which is real. Seeing is a dhamma, it is real.
Colour is a dhamma, it is real. Feeling is a dhamma, it is real. Our
defilements are dhammas, they are realities.
When the Buddha attained enlightenment he clearly knew all dhammas as
they really are. He taught the ``Dhamma'', the teaching on realities,
to us in order that we also may know dhammas as they are. Without the
Buddha's teaching we would be ignorant of reality. We are inclined to
take for permanent what is impermanent, for pleasant what is
sorrowful and unsatisfactory (dukkha), and for ``self'' what is non-
self. The aim of all three parts of the Tipiìaka is to teach people
the development of the way leading to the end of defilements.
In the Suttanta, the ``Discourses'', the Dhamma is explained to
different people at different places on various occasions. The Buddha
taught about all realities appearing through the ``six doors'' of
eyes, ears, nose, tongue, bodysense and mind. He taught about cause
and effect and about the practice leading to the end of all sorrow.
As regards the Abhidhamma, this is an exposition of all realities in
detail. The prefix ``abhi'' is used in the sense of ``preponderance''
or ``distinction''. ``Abhidhamma'' means ``higher dhamma'' or
``dhamma in detail''. The form of this part of the Tipiìaka is
different, but the aim is the same: the eradication of wrong view and
eventually of all defilements. Thus, when we study the many
enumerations of realities, we should not forget the real purpose of
our study. The intellectual understanding of realities (pariyatti)
should encourage us to the practice (pa.tipatti) which is necessary
for the realization of the truth (pa.tivedha). While we are studying
the different mental phenomena (nåmas) and physical phenomena (rúpas)
and while we are pondering over them, we can be reminded to be aware
of the nåma and rúpa which appear at this moment. In this way we will
discover more and more that the Abhidhamma explains everything which
is real, that is, the ``worlds'' appearing through the six doors of
the senses and the mind.
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