AKB, Ch. 1, Ver. 2: Exposition of the Elements (Dhatunirdesa); Three types of Abhidharma

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Grigoris
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AKB, Ch. 1, Ver. 2: Exposition of the Elements (Dhatunirdesa); Three types of Abhidharma

Post by Grigoris »

Abhidharma in the absolute sense: pure understanding
Understanding (prajna), is the discernment
of factors [dharmapravicaya].
Pravicaya is the Sanskrit term for discernment and refers to the ability to distinguish pure from impure, material from immaterial, etc...
2b. [The Abhidharma] is also any understanding and the Treatise which
make one obtain stainless understanding.
...the impure (sasrava) understanding, whether it is
i. innate or natural or acquired at birth
ii-iv. derived from an effort, i.e., from listening, reflection, cultivation
By innate I imagine it is referring to it being a consequence of past effort. I assume this as it is talking about impure understanding and thus cannot be referring to some sort of internal stainless basis/quality.

We also clearly see here that prajna (unafflicted knowledge) is also based on personal effort and study
the Treatise also makes one obtain the pure understanding...
Thus studying the text...
Etymological explanation of dharma and abhi-dharma
[Etymologically,] dharma signifies: that which upholds or sustains (dharana) its own
characteristic or a particular inherent characteristic (svalaksana).

The Abhidharma is called abhi-dharma because it is directed...
1. toward the supreme factor [paramarthadharma], namely, Nirvana
2. toward the characteristics of the factors [dharmalaksana], namely, (i) the
particular inherent characteristics or specific characteristics [svalaksana]
and (ii) the common characteristics [samanyalaksana].
Okay. WTF? Is he saying that dependently arisen objects have inherent characteristics?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde
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jake
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Re: AKB, Ch. 1, Ver. 2: Exposition of the Elements (Dhatunirdesa); Three types of Abhidharma

Post by jake »

Grigoris wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:30 am
The Abhidharma is called abhi-dharma because it is directed...
1. toward the supreme factor [paramarthadharma], namely, Nirvana
2. toward the characteristics of the factors [dharmalaksana], namely, (i) the
particular inherent characteristics or specific characteristics [svalaksana]
and (ii) the common characteristics [samanyalaksana].
Okay. WTF? Is he saying that dependently arisen objects have inherent characteristics?
There is a long end note on this from page 322-324 that I had to read a couple times. But I understood the "inherent characteristics" to be those characteristics that are indivisible from the entity itself. The example given is the color (sorry, colour) blue, this is unique to that dharma. Blue also belongs to a group of dharmas that share a common characteristic, in this case they can be seen.

I'm not sure I follow the "dependently arise objects have inherent characteristics" question.
Malcolm
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Re: AKB, Ch. 1, Ver. 2: Exposition of the Elements (Dhatunirdesa); Three types of Abhidharma

Post by Malcolm »

Grigoris wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:30 am
Abhidharma in the absolute sense: pure understanding
Understanding (prajna), is the discernment
of factors [dharmapravicaya].
Pravicaya is the Sanskrit term for discernment and refers to the ability to distinguish pure from impure, material from immaterial, etc...
2b. [The Abhidharma] is also any understanding and the Treatise which
make one obtain stainless understanding.
...the impure (sasrava) understanding, whether it is
i. innate or natural or acquired at birth
ii-iv. derived from an effort, i.e., from listening, reflection, cultivation
By innate I imagine it is referring to it being a consequence of past effort. I assume this as it is talking about impure understanding and thus cannot be referring to some sort of internal stainless basis/quality.

We also clearly see here that prajna (unafflicted knowledge) is also based on personal effort and study
the Treatise also makes one obtain the pure understanding...
Thus studying the text...
Etymological explanation of dharma and abhi-dharma
[Etymologically,] dharma signifies: that which upholds or sustains (dharana) its own
characteristic or a particular inherent characteristic (svalaksana).

The Abhidharma is called abhi-dharma because it is directed...
1. toward the supreme factor [paramarthadharma], namely, Nirvana
2. toward the characteristics of the factors [dharmalaksana], namely, (i) the
particular inherent characteristics or specific characteristics [svalaksana]
and (ii) the common characteristics [samanyalaksana].
Okay. WTF? Is he saying that dependently arisen objects have inherent characteristics?
In this literature, intrinsic characteristics are real and ultimate, the example given later is the wetness, coolness and limpidity of water. Generic characteristics are not real, being imputations.
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Grigoris
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Re: AKB, Ch. 1, Ver. 2: Exposition of the Elements (Dhatunirdesa); Three types of Abhidharma

Post by Grigoris »

jake wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:26 pm
Grigoris wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:30 am
The Abhidharma is called abhi-dharma because it is directed...
1. toward the supreme factor [paramarthadharma], namely, Nirvana
2. toward the characteristics of the factors [dharmalaksana], namely, (i) the
particular inherent characteristics or specific characteristics [svalaksana]
and (ii) the common characteristics [samanyalaksana].
Okay. WTF? Is he saying that dependently arisen objects have inherent characteristics?
There is a long end note on this from page 322-324 that I had to read a couple times. But I understood the "inherent characteristics" to be those characteristics that are indivisible from the entity itself. The example given is the color (sorry, colour) blue, this is unique to that dharma. Blue also belongs to a group of dharmas that share a common characteristic, in this case they can be seen.

I'm not sure I follow the "dependently arise objects have inherent characteristics" question.
And yet science shows us that if you do not have the corresponding rods and cones (sensory apparatus of the eye) then blue is not blue for you.

So how can it be an inherent characteristic when it is dependently arisen?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde
Malcolm
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: AKB, Ch. 1, Ver. 2: Exposition of the Elements (Dhatunirdesa); Three types of Abhidharma

Post by Malcolm »

Grigoris wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:49 pm
jake wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:26 pm
Grigoris wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:30 am Okay. WTF? Is he saying that dependently arisen objects have inherent characteristics?
There is a long end note on this from page 322-324 that I had to read a couple times. But I understood the "inherent characteristics" to be those characteristics that are indivisible from the entity itself. The example given is the color (sorry, colour) blue, this is unique to that dharma. Blue also belongs to a group of dharmas that share a common characteristic, in this case they can be seen.

I'm not sure I follow the "dependently arise objects have inherent characteristics" question.
And yet science shows us that if you do not have the corresponding rods and cones (sensory apparatus of the eye) then blue is not blue for you.

So how can it be an inherent characteristic when it is dependently arisen?
"Inherent" is really the wrong word here. "Intrinsic" is a little better. In this case, a blue entity possesses the physical properties to reflect blue light, whether one can see it or not. That entity dependently arises in possession of that property. While that entity exists, one of its intrinsic characteristics is to reflect blue light. Intrinsic characteristics do not conflict with dependent origination in Sarvastivada and Sautrantika tenets.

Also "ultimate" in Abdhidharma simply means the cognition left over after one has smashed or analyzed something as far as one can go.
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Re: AKB, Ch. 1, Ver. 2: Exposition of the Elements (Dhatunirdesa); Three types of Abhidharma

Post by Queequeg »

Maybe it makes sense to couple the inherent prajna with inherent characteristics?

In that case, we're not talking about prajna due to past effort - not directly, anyway, but the innate capacity of beings to make distinctions. And that capacity, IIRC, is our innate luminosity. Samsara arises because we misunderstand the real nature of these distinctions we perceive. And the innate characteristics are the real distinctions we perceive, though often misunderstand.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
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