The Teachings of Phra Ajaan Mun Bhuridatta Thera
by Phra Ajaan Mun Bhuridatta Thera | 1995 | 9,299 words
Translated from the Thai by Thanissaro Bhikkhu Copyright © 1995 Metta Forest Monastery PO Box 1409, Valley Center, CA 92082 For free distribution only. You may reprint this work for free distribution. You may re-format and redistribute this work for use on computers and computer networks provided that you charge no fees for its distribution or us...
The seven books of the Abhidhamma, except for the Patthana (The Book on Origination), are finite in scope. As for the Patthana, it is anantanaya, infinite in scope. Only a Buddha is capable of comprehending it in its entirety. When we consider the Pali text, which begins hetu paccayo, we find that the cause (hetu) that acts as the primal sustaining factor (paccaya) for all things in the cosmos is nothing other than the heart. The heart is the great cause -- what is primal, what is important. All things apart from it are effects or conditions. The remaining factors mentioned in the Patthana, from arammana (objective support) to aviggata (not without) can act as sustaining factors only because the great cause, the heart, comes first. Thus mano, discussed in S 4; thitibhutam, which will be discussed in S 6; and the great cause discussed here all refer to the same thing. The Buddha was able to formulate the Dhamma and Vinaya, to know things with his ten powered intuition, and to comprehend all knowable phenomena, all because the great cause acted as the primal factor. His comprehension was thus infinite in scope. In the same way, all of the disciples had this great cause acting as their primal factor and so were able to know in accordance with the Buddhas teachings. This is why the Venerable Assaji, the fifth of the five brethren, taught Upatissa (the Venerable Sariputta),
Whatever dhammas arise from a cause... This great cause being the important factor, the primal factor, then when the Venerable Assaji reached this point -- the great cause -- how could the Venerable Sariputtas mind help but penetrate down to the current of the Dhamma? -- for everything in the world comes about due to the great cause. Even the transcendent dhammas are reached by the great cause. This is why the Patthana is said to be infinite in its scope. Whoever trains the heart, the great cause, until it is clear and dazzling, is capable of knowing everything of every sort infinitely, both within and without.