by Gelongma Karma Migme Chödrön | 2001 | 940,961 words
This page describes “the system in the abhidharma of the sarvastivadins” as written by Nagarjuna in his Maha-prajnaparamita-sastra (lit. “the treatise on the great virtue of wisdom”) in the 2nd century. This book, written in five volumes, represents an encyclopedia on Buddhism as well as a commentary on the Pancavimsatisahasrika Prajnaparamita.
Vijñānakāya, T 1539, k. 3, p. 547b22–c4 (cf. Kośa, II, p. 299 as note; Prakaraṇapāda, T 1541, k. 4, p. 645b6–7; T 1542, k. 5, p. 712b12–13; Jñānaprasthāna, T 1543, k. 1, p. 773a13–14: 774b22–775a9; T 1544, k. 1, p. 920c5–921a10.
Mahāvibhāṣā, T 1545, k. 21, p. 109a20–28; k. 16, p. 80a17–22.
Abhidharmahṛdayaśāstra of Dharmaśrī, T 1550, k. 1, p. 811c1–5, 812a19–25 Transl. I. Armelin, p. 68–69, 72); Saṃyuktābhidharmasāra of Dharmatrāta, T 1552, k. 2, p. 883a3–4; Abhidharmāmṛtarasa of Ghoṣaka, T 1553, k. 1, p. 970a16–b14 (transl. J. Van den Broeck, p. 123–126); Prakaraṇābhidharmāvatāra of Skandhila, T 1554, k. 2, p. 988a21–c24 (transl. M. van Velthem, p. 71–74.
Kośa, II, p. 244–331; Nyāyānusāra, T 1562, k. 15–20, p. 416b–456a.
The sources mentioned here outline the Sarvāstivādin-Vaibhāṣika concepts on causality: Not only are the saṃskṛtadharmas hetupratyayasamutpanna – which is a tautology – but they depend on a precise number of causes and conditions, namely, the 4 pratyayas and the 6 hetus. This does not mean that any dharma indiscriminately is the product of 4 pratyayas: some depend on 4 pratyayas, others on 3, others on 2, but none depend on one single pratyaya. And it is the same in regard to the 6 hetus: there is no single unique cause on which the totality of dharmas depends and this observation excludes the intervention of a Deity unique to the process of causality.
The play of the 6 hetus is pretty much confused with that of the 4 pratyayas and is only the doublet of them. This complicates the task of the exegetists when they treat them conjointly. The early masters often limited themselves to speaking of the 4 pratyayas.