by U Ko Lay | 1993 | 7,776 words
By The Editorial Committee - Translation Section Department for the Promotion and Propagation of the Sasana Ministry of Religious Affairs, Yangoon, Myanmar, 1995 supplied by http://www.nibbana.com This introduction in a way may be regarded as a brief introduction to the Abhidhamma Pitaka as a whole. It is in two parts. The first part is about Abhi...
Of the 22 tikas or triads, 100 dukas or dyads, and 42 Suttantika dukas as listed in the Matika the first two divisions Cittuppada Kanda and Rupa Kanda deal with one and only one category of the dhammas namely, the first tika of Kusala, Akusala and Abyakata dhammas. Cittuppada Kanda contains a thorough investigation into the nature, properties and functions of all mental phenomena that come under the headings of Kusala dhamma, Akusala dhamma and Abyakata dhamma; the Rupa Kanda is concerned with all physical phenomena or Corporeality under the heading of Abyakata dhamma.
The Nikkhepa Kanda, the third division, avoids the elaborate treatment of the first two divisions. While it gives, not too elaborately nor too briefly, summarised analytical statements of all the tikas and dukas so that their contents and significance may become fully comprehensible when this division is read together with the previous two divisions.
In general, all the tikas and dukas are treated in a condensed manner under the following eight heads in this division:
- Classification by way of roots (mula)
- Classification by way of aggregates (khandha)
- Classification by way of doors (dvara)
- Classification by way of field of occurrence (bhumi)
- Classification by way of meaning (attha)
- Classification by way of doctrinal interpretation. (dhamma)
- Classification by way of nomenclature(nama)
- Classification by way of grammatical gender (linga)
Of the first four, viz., mula, khandha, dvara and bhumi, only some apply to certain of the tikas and dukas, but not to all of them. The remaining four, viz., attha, dhamma, nama and linga, however, are applicable to all the tikas and dukas.
Some examples of classification under the eight heads in the Nikkhepa Kanda:
(i) Kusala Dhamma Summarised by Way of Roots (mula)
Kusala dhamma included in the Kusala Tika are shown by way of roots as absence of greed (alobha), absence of hatred (adosa), absence of bewilderment (amoha). Thus, Kusala dhamma which have been so elaborately expounded in the Cittuppada Kanda are shown as originating from just these three roots. It follows that the practical method of developing Kusala Dhamma is to eradicate greed, to eradicate hatred, to eradicate ignorance.
(ii) Kusala Dhamma Summarised by Way of Aggregates (khandha)
Further, it is explained in the text that Kusala dhamma are made up of the four mental aggregates, namely, the aggregate of Sensation (vedanakkhandha) the aggregate of Perception (sannakkhandha), the aggregate of Volitional Activities (sankharakkhandha) and the aggregate of consciousness (vinnanakkhandha). Thus the 21 kinds of Kusala citta and 38 kinds of mental concomitants explained in the Cittuppada Kanda are fully covered under this classification as follows:
- 21 Kusala citta (Aggregate of Consciousness)
- Vedana (Aggregate of Sensation)
- Sanna (Aggregate of Perception)
- the remaining 36 mental concomitants (Aggregate of Volitional Activities)
This second method deals not only with the roots from which the tree of Kusala Dhamma originates, but describes the whole tree.
(iii) Kusala Dhamma Summarised by Way of Doors (dvara)
The Kusala dhamma originating from the three roots, viz., alobha, adosa and amoha, are meritorious actions done through the media of the three doors, physical, verbal and mental. Therefore, 'Kusala dhamma' (meritorious, actions) is not just a technical term in the Pitaka text, but something which can arise out of what one actually does in one's daily life.
Although Nikkhepa Kanda is very brief compared to Cittuppada Kanda, it explains the terms of the Abhidhamma in such a way that a non-scholar can understand them. Just as a tree can be made known by describing its roots, its trunk, and its fruits, so the meaning of 'Kusala dhamma, meritorious actions, is made known by describing its roots (which stand for alobha, adosa, amoha), its trunk (which stands for mental aggregates) and its fruits (which stand for actions). 'Akusala dhamma' is also made known in the same way by describing its roots (which stand for lobha, dosa, moha), its trunk (which stand for mental aggregates), and its fruits (which stand for actions).
In the case of Abyakata dhamma, Vipaka is classified as the Sensuous Sphere resultant, the Fine Material Sphere resultant, the Non-material Sphere resultant and the Supramundane Sphere resultant, and further classified as the four resultant mental aggregates; Kiriya is classified as non-causative action in the Sensuous Sphere, non-causative action in the Fine Material Sphere, and non-causative action in the Non- material Sphere, and further classified as the four non- causative aggregates. All Corporeality as well as Nibbana are in the Abyakata dhamma as they are neither meritorious nor demeritorious.
(iv) Vedana Tika Explained by Way of Field of Occurrence (bhumi)
The exposition of Vedana Tika, the triad of Sensation, which is not directly expounded in the Cittuppada Kanda and Rupa Kanda provides an example of classification by way of field of occurrence. Consciousness and mental concomitants, being the basis or the ground from which Sensation arises, are classified in this division according to the types of Sensation with which they are associated. Thus we have:
- Sukha Bhumi, Consciousness and Mental Concomitants from which arises Pleasant Sensation
- Dukkha Bhumi, Consciousness and Mental Concomitants from which arises Unpleasant Sensation;
- Adukkhamasuka Bhumi, Consciousness and Mental Concomitants from which arises Neither pleasant nor unpleasant Sensation.
The first type, Sukha Bhumi, is subdivided into Kamasukhabhumi (mental factors in the Sensuous Sphere which are associated with pleasure), Rupasukhabhumi (mental factors in the Fine Material Sphere which are associated with pleasure) and Lokuttarasukhabhumi (mental factors in the Supramundane Sphere which are associated with pleasure).
These types of Consciousness and Mental Concomitants are treated in this division only in a summary way, but they can be described more elaborately and fully following the pattern laid clown in the Cittuppada Kanda.
Dukkhabhumi, Consciousness and Mental Concomitants from which arises Unpleasant Sensation, is explained merely as Kamadukkhabhumi, which according to the Cittuppada Kanda means Consciousness and Mental Concomitants of the Sensuous Sphere accompanied by mental and physical suffering.
Adukkhamasukhabhumi, Consciousness and Mental Concomitants from which arises Neither-pleasant- nor-unpleasant Sensation, is subdivided into four categories: Kamaupekkhabhumi, Rupa-upekkhabhumi, Arupa upekkhabhumi, and Lokuttara-upekkhabhumi. Kamaupekkhabhumi means mental factors in the Sensuous Sphere which are associated with equanimity. Rupa-upekkhabhumi means mental factors of the Fifth Jhana of the Fine Material Sphere which are associated with equanimity. Arupa-upekkhabhumi means mental factors of the Fifth Jhana of the Non-material Sphere which are associated with equanimity. And Lokuttara upekkhabhumi means mental factors of the Fifth Supramundane Jhana which are associated with equanimity.