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Canonical Pâli Buddhist Literature of the Theravâda School

Part II - Vibhanga Pali

Book Of Analysis

The second book of the Abhidhamma Pitaka, Vibhanga, together with the first book Dhammasangani and the third book of Dhatukatha, forms a closely related foundation for the proper and deep under- standing of the Buddha's Dharnrna. Whereas Dhammasangani pro- vides a bird's eye view of the whole of the Tika and Duka groups with further systematic arrangements under classified heads, Vibhanga and Dhatukatha give a closer view of selected portions of those groups bringing out minute details

 

Thus, Kotthdsa Vdra in Dhammasangani explains what and how many khanda, ayatana, dhdtu, ahara, indnya, jhananga etc. are includ- ed in the Tika and Duka groups But it does not furnish complete information about these dhammas It is Vibhafiga which provides full knowledge concerning them, stating the exact nature of each dhamma, its constituents and its relationship to other dhammas

The Vibhanga is divided into eighteen Chapters each dealing with a particular aspect of the Dhamma, its full analysis and inves- tigation into each constituent The arrangement and classification into groups and heads follow the same system as in the Dham- masangani Vibhanga may therefore be regarded as complementary to Dhammasangani.

Vibhanga explains comprehensively the following categories of Dhamma

  1. Khandha
  2. Ayatana
  3. Dhatu
  4. Sacca
  5. Indriya
  6. Paticcasamuppada
  7. Satipatthana
  8. Sammappadhana
  9. Iddhipada
  10. Bojjhanga
  11. Magga
  12. Jhana
  13. Appammanna
  14. Sikkapada
  15. Patisambhida
  16. Nana
  17. Khuddhaka vatthu
  18. Dhammahadaya

Each category is analysed and discussed in two or all the three of the following methods of analysis'

Suttanta bhajaniya the meaning of the terms and the classification of the dhammas determined according to the Suttanta method,

Abhidhamma bhajaniya the meaning of the terms and the classification of the dhammas determined according to the Abhidhamma method,

Paflha puccaha, discussions in the form of questions and answers.

It may be seen from the above list of the eighteen categories that they may be divided into three separate groups The first group containing numbers (1) - (6) deals with mental and corporeal consti- tuents of beings and two laws of nature to which they are constantly subjected viz the Law of Irnpermanence and the Law of Dependent Origination The second group containing numbers (7) - (12) is concerned with the practice of the holy life which will take bemgs out of suffering and rounds of existence. The remaining six catego- ries serve as a supplement to the first two groups, supplying fuller information and details where necessary  

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