AKB, Ch. 1, Ver. 3: Exposition of the Elements (Dhatunirdesa); Three types of Abhidharma

Post Reply
User avatar
Grigoris
Former staff member
Posts: 21590
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

AKB, Ch. 1, Ver. 3: Exposition of the Elements (Dhatunirdesa); Three types of Abhidharma

Post by Grigoris »

Purpose for composing the Abhidharmakosa & the need for the
Abhidharma and its first teacher

Apart from the discernment of factors, there are no existing methods [upaya] to
appease [upasama] the defilements [klesa] and it is the defilements which
cause the people [loka] to wander in this great ocean [maharnava] of cyclic
existence [samsara].
So are all practices merely for the sake of perfecting discernment?
"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
User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 11035
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: AKB, Ch. 1, Ver. 3: Exposition of the Elements (Dhatunirdesa); Three types of Abhidharma

Post by Queequeg »

Grigoris wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:36 am
Purpose for composing the Abhidharmakosa & the need for the
Abhidharma and its first teacher

Apart from the discernment of factors, there are no existing methods [upaya] to
appease [upasama] the defilements [klesa] and it is the defilements which
cause the people [loka] to wander in this great ocean [maharnava] of cyclic
existence [samsara].
So are all practices merely for the sake of perfecting discernment?
That's what it seems to say. Discerning the factors, relieves the defilements. Relieving the defilements releases people from samsara.

The echo of the 4NT is there.
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
User avatar
PeterC
Posts: 2620
Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 12:38 pm

Re: AKB, Ch. 1, Ver. 3: Exposition of the Elements (Dhatunirdesa); Three types of Abhidharma

Post by PeterC »

Queequeg wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:13 pm
Grigoris wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:36 am
Purpose for composing the Abhidharmakosa & the need for the
Abhidharma and its first teacher

Apart from the discernment of factors, there are no existing methods [upaya] to
appease [upasama] the defilements [klesa] and it is the defilements which
cause the people [loka] to wander in this great ocean [maharnava] of cyclic
existence [samsara].
So are all practices merely for the sake of perfecting discernment?
That's what it seems to say. Discerning the factors, relieves the defilements. Relieving the defilements releases people from samsara.

The echo of the 4NT is there.
Is it saying that all practices lead to this; or is it saying that any practices aside from the discernment of the factors, though they may be helpful at a relative level, do not lead to liberation? By implication - that one could achieve liberation purely through intellectual analysis?
User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 11035
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: AKB, Ch. 1, Ver. 3: Exposition of the Elements (Dhatunirdesa); Three types of Abhidharma

Post by Queequeg »

PeterC wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:47 pm
Queequeg wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:13 pm
Grigoris wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:36 am So are all practices merely for the sake of perfecting discernment?
That's what it seems to say. Discerning the factors, relieves the defilements. Relieving the defilements releases people from samsara.

The echo of the 4NT is there.
Is it saying that all practices lead to this; or is it saying that any practices aside from the discernment of the factors, though they may be helpful at a relative level, do not lead to liberation? By implication - that one could achieve liberation purely through intellectual analysis?
In one of these threads I asked Malcolm how we can approach the text from a Mahayana perspective. Malcolm pointed out that we need to understand the text on its own terms.

I don't think emptiness is a significant teaching in the AKB, and without emptiness and the wisdom of how things really are, I don't think there is buddhahood. Instead, there is only the possibility of arhatship, and that, I understand, is an awakening that merely (I write that with a wry grin) involves the untangling of confusion and exhaustion of karma, not the full blown understanding of the real nature of dharmas. It would seem to follow that untangling is merely the removal of false ideas about dharmas for the purpose of relieving our grasping of them. Removing false ideas seems to me an analytical practice. Once the dharmas are untangled by analysis, there's nothing to analyze and analysis ends.

I'm operating under the understanding that the Hinayana path employs the strategy of ending samsara by breaking the link between feeling and craving in the 12 linked chain scheme. Once one analyzes dharmas into their constituent dharmas, there is nothing to grasp at, and then nirvana follows in this life, or at most 7 further lives.

My stab at an answer.
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
Malcolm
Posts: 32643
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: AKB, Ch. 1, Ver. 3: Exposition of the Elements (Dhatunirdesa); Three types of Abhidharma

Post by Malcolm »

PeterC wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:47 pm
Queequeg wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:13 pm
Grigoris wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:36 am So are all practices merely for the sake of perfecting discernment?
That's what it seems to say. Discerning the factors, relieves the defilements. Relieving the defilements releases people from samsara.

The echo of the 4NT is there.
Is it saying that all practices lead to this; or is it saying that any practices aside from the discernment of the factors, though they may be helpful at a relative level, do not lead to liberation? By implication - that one could achieve liberation purely through intellectual analysis?
The question of practices for liberation are taken up in vol. 3, chapter 6, The Path. We are light years from that.
User avatar
jake
Global Moderator
Posts: 1454
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:13 pm

Re: AKB, Ch. 1, Ver. 3: Exposition of the Elements (Dhatunirdesa); Three types of Abhidharma

Post by jake »

Malcolm wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:44 pm
PeterC wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:47 pm
Queequeg wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:13 pm

That's what it seems to say. Discerning the factors, relieves the defilements. Relieving the defilements releases people from samsara.

The echo of the 4NT is there.
Is it saying that all practices lead to this; or is it saying that any practices aside from the discernment of the factors, though they may be helpful at a relative level, do not lead to liberation? By implication - that one could achieve liberation purely through intellectual analysis?
The question of practices for liberation are taken up in vol. 3, chapter 6, The Path. We are light years from that.
A bit off topic but as Malcolm has provided this answer "taken up in a much later section" several times I did want to voice that I'm struggling a bit. I'm unable to determine if I struggle with the pedagogical methodology of this text (as well as the formatting from the translator) or if it is because I'm treating the topic/work as a kind of "add-on" and thereby trying to make immediate connections to other concepts I know. By this I mean, instead of recognizing that the Kosa is, for example, an entirely standalone and fully fleshed out school of work/field (e.g. the field of Chemistry) I'm reading and expecting it to be more like taking a seminar course on "French Romanticism" having already had some familiarity with the "English Romantics." With y'alls help and as I slowly read more, I'm realizing it is the former and that my initial conception of reading and absorbing this material over the course of a year is way off base. :) Perhaps I am not alone in this naivety?
User avatar
Grigoris
Former staff member
Posts: 21590
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: AKB, Ch. 1, Ver. 3: Exposition of the Elements (Dhatunirdesa); Three types of Abhidharma

Post by Grigoris »

jake wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 1:47 pmA bit off topic but as Malcolm has provided this answer "taken up in a much later section" several times I did want to voice that I'm struggling a bit. I'm unable to determine if I struggle with the pedagogical methodology of this text (as well as the formatting from the translator) or if it is because I'm treating the topic/work as a kind of "add-on" and thereby trying to make immediate connections to other concepts I know. By this I mean, instead of recognizing that the Kosa is, for example, an entirely standalone and fully fleshed out school of work/field (e.g. the field of Chemistry) I'm reading and expecting it to be more like taking a seminar course on "French Romanticism" having already had some familiarity with the "English Romantics." With y'alls help and as I slowly read more, I'm realizing it is the former and that my initial conception of reading and absorbing this material over the course of a year is way off base. :) Perhaps I am not alone in this naivety?
Actually it is the map of a path towards liberation.
"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
Post Reply

Return to “Abhidharmakosabhasyam Book Club”