1) It is very clear the Sautrāntikas do not accept the Abhidharma treatises of the Sarvāstivādins to be word of the Buddha. If they did, there would be no basis for dispute. This does not however prevent them from accepting that the Buddha taught a subject called "abhidharma," scattered throughout the Agamas.Aemilius wrote: ↑Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:26 amI don't buy that. Before the quoted passage from Bhashyam, Vasubandhu explains even more strongly why Abhidharma was taught by the Bhagavan, his reasoning goes: "To attain enlightenment it is necessary to know the Abhidharma, the Bhagavan Shakyamuni gave his disciples the Doctrine that leads to perfect enlightenment. Therefore he taught the Abhidharma."Malcolm wrote: ↑Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:59 pmHowever, Vasubandhu is merely reporting an opinion that he does not accept, which is clarified by Valle-Poussin in footnote 16, pg. 133: "The word kila shows that Vasubandhu presents here an opinion...that he does not accept. The Abhidharma treatises are not the word of the Master for the Sautrāntikas and for Vasubandhu."Aemilius wrote: ↑Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:49 pm
Vasubandhu writes in Abhidharmakosa-bhasyam page 58 about the origin of Abhidharma (and the views of different schools on it):
"However, the Vaibhashikas explain, the Blessed One spoke Abhidharma in fragments. And in the same as Sthavira Dharmatrata made a collection of Udanas scattered throughout the scriptures, -the Udanavarga (the larger original Dharmapada)-, in this same way the Aryan Katyayaniputra and the other Saints established the Abhidharma (by collecting it into seven Abhidharmas)."
If this is merely the view of the Sarvastivadins, he explains it very clearly, and he also omits mentioning the opposing views.
Poussin writes on page 17 that Sarvastivadins accept the seven Abhidharma treatises as word of the Buddha. On pages 18...20 Poussin explains in detail the argument in Vibhasha how Abhidharma is the word of the Buddha.
I think that Abhidharma carries the spiritual authority of the Buddha, as the Vaibhashikas say.
Why should we discard the very nice miracle of Shakyamuni, when he descended on three kinds of stairs from the Trayastrimsa heaven accompanied by Brahma and Indra, after having taught Abhidharma for his mother (who was reborn there as a deity).
2) The Sarvāstivādins are forced, in the Mahāvibhāṣā, to reconcile the composition of the treatises of Abhidharma by arhats, with the claim that they are also the word of the Buddha. On pg. 19, the Vibhāṣā is quoted, "If this is the case, why does the tradition attribute the writing down of this treatise [the Jñānaprasthāna] to the Āryan Kātyāniputra?" After claiming that the this treatises was indeed the word of the Buddha, the respondent also admits that according to another opinion, the Jñānaprasthāna is just the work of the Āryan Kātyāniputra. Thus, our Vaibhāṣika author attempts to conclude that while the Abhidharma is the word of the Buddha, it is also the work of Āryan Kātyāniputra.
But if we accept this to be case, this is very problematical, because of the number of places in the treatise where Vasubandhu refutes theories which, according to your view, would be theories originally enunciated by the Buddha, thus leaving open the claim that Vasubandhu was rejecting the Dharma.
Further, on pg. 36, Poussin lays out the position of the Sautrāntikas in eleven points of difference, the first of which is the rejection of the authority of the Sarvāstivādin Abhidharma.
The notion that the Buddha taught Abdhidharma to the devas in the desire realm is a Pali tradition connected with the Abhidhamma Pitika, and has no corresponding analogue in Indian Buddhism.
Now, generally speaking, the Sautrāntikas are held to be the higher tenet system, and therefor, in Mahāyāna we also do not accept the authority of the Sarvāstivādin Abhidharma. Further, Mahāyāna has its own Abhidharma, in the form of the now lost Abhidharma Sūtra.