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postgraduate thesis: Divergent doctrinal interpretations on the nature of mind and matter in Theravāda Abhidhamma: a study mainly basedon the Pāli and Siṃhala buddhist exegetical literature

TitleDivergent doctrinal interpretations on the nature of mind and matter in Theravāda Abhidhamma: a study mainly basedon the Pāli and Siṃhala buddhist exegetical literature
Authors
Issue Date2011
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Pilasse, C.. (2011). Divergent doctrinal interpretations on the nature of mind and matter in Theravāda Abhidhamma : a study mainly based on the Pāli and Siṃhala buddhist exegetical literature. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4784942
AbstractThe nucleus of the Therav?da exegetical literature was introduced to Sri Lanka with the introduction of Therav?da Buddhism. It developed in the subsequent centuries. Its extant literature consists of the following works: *Vimuttimagga, Visuddhimagga, A??hakath?-s, ??k?-s, Ga??hipada-s, G??apada-s, Pi?apot/pi?apat-s, and Sannaya-s. These works contain divergent doctrinal interpretations and discussions relating to their authenticity. Many views have been expressed by modern scholars with regard to these divergences. Some scholars believe that they do not greatly affect the Therav?da doctrinal position as they represent minor differences that existed between the exegetes who followed one or the other Therav?da fraternity. But other scholars take a different position. They consider Buddhaghosa, the first P?li commentator, either as the founder of the Therav?da, or as the one who introduced new doctrinal concepts to Sri Lankan Therav?da from Buddhist schools in India. Moreover, some of these scholars believe that the orthodox Therav?da exegesis preserved at the Mah?vih?ra was changed by Buddhaghosa and by his contemporaries and successors. The present study begins with a discussion of the Therav?da exegeses and shows how divergent doctrinal interpretations contributed to their development. It examines divergent Therav?da exegeses as can be gathered from P?li and Si?hala exegetical works. These are arranged here under four main headings: (1) the canonical authenticity of the Abhidhamma-pi?aka: origin of the Abhidhamma and its canonical treatises; (2) Abhidhamma analysis of mind into consciousness (citta) and mental factors (cetasika): history of the notion of momentariness in Therav?da, the static moment of consciousness, some mental factors, such as vitakka, vic?ra, the three virati-s, iss?, macchariya, karu??, and mudit?; (3) cognitive process (cittav?thi): history of the theory of life-continuum (bhava?ga), five-door cognitive process, mind-door cognitive process, different stages of the cognitive processes; (4) analysis of matter (r?pa): number of material dhamma-s, life-span of matter, distribution of primary elements in the physical sense-organs, physical objects and their impingement on the sense-organs, the two faculties of gender, and middha in relation to matter. Divergences on the above teachings have, in fact, existed among the Sri Lankan Therav?dins since the S?ha?a-a??hakath? period. Proponents and opponents of these divergences followed either the Mah?vih?ra or the Abhayagiri. Some of the exegetes of these two fraternities sometimes agreed, and sometimes disagreed. Both parties sought to establish the authenticity of their interpretations on the basis of different authorities, namely, sutta (original discourse), sutt?nuloma (conformity to sutta), ?cariyav?da (teachers’ view), and attano mati (one’s own personal opinion). Influence of non-Therav?da doctrinal interpretations can be discerned in some divergences. Proponents and opponents of these divergences dealt seriously with them. It is not correct to say that Therav?da doctrines of momentariness, life-continuum, and the cognitive process were created by Buddhaghosa, or that they were introduced by him to Sri Lankan Therav?da. They were a part of the Mah?vih?ra exegesis that existed prior to his arrival in Sri Lanka.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectAbhidharma.
Theravāda Buddhism - Sri Lanka.
Dept/ProgramBuddhist Studies

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorPilasse, Chandaratana.-
dc.date.issued2011-
dc.identifier.citationPilasse, C.. (2011). Divergent doctrinal interpretations on the nature of mind and matter in Theravāda Abhidhamma : a study mainly based on the Pāli and Siṃhala buddhist exegetical literature. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4784942-
dc.description.abstractThe nucleus of the Therav?da exegetical literature was introduced to Sri Lanka with the introduction of Therav?da Buddhism. It developed in the subsequent centuries. Its extant literature consists of the following works: *Vimuttimagga, Visuddhimagga, A??hakath?-s, ??k?-s, Ga??hipada-s, G??apada-s, Pi?apot/pi?apat-s, and Sannaya-s. These works contain divergent doctrinal interpretations and discussions relating to their authenticity. Many views have been expressed by modern scholars with regard to these divergences. Some scholars believe that they do not greatly affect the Therav?da doctrinal position as they represent minor differences that existed between the exegetes who followed one or the other Therav?da fraternity. But other scholars take a different position. They consider Buddhaghosa, the first P?li commentator, either as the founder of the Therav?da, or as the one who introduced new doctrinal concepts to Sri Lankan Therav?da from Buddhist schools in India. Moreover, some of these scholars believe that the orthodox Therav?da exegesis preserved at the Mah?vih?ra was changed by Buddhaghosa and by his contemporaries and successors. The present study begins with a discussion of the Therav?da exegeses and shows how divergent doctrinal interpretations contributed to their development. It examines divergent Therav?da exegeses as can be gathered from P?li and Si?hala exegetical works. These are arranged here under four main headings: (1) the canonical authenticity of the Abhidhamma-pi?aka: origin of the Abhidhamma and its canonical treatises; (2) Abhidhamma analysis of mind into consciousness (citta) and mental factors (cetasika): history of the notion of momentariness in Therav?da, the static moment of consciousness, some mental factors, such as vitakka, vic?ra, the three virati-s, iss?, macchariya, karu??, and mudit?; (3) cognitive process (cittav?thi): history of the theory of life-continuum (bhava?ga), five-door cognitive process, mind-door cognitive process, different stages of the cognitive processes; (4) analysis of matter (r?pa): number of material dhamma-s, life-span of matter, distribution of primary elements in the physical sense-organs, physical objects and their impingement on the sense-organs, the two faculties of gender, and middha in relation to matter. Divergences on the above teachings have, in fact, existed among the Sri Lankan Therav?dins since the S?ha?a-a??hakath? period. Proponents and opponents of these divergences followed either the Mah?vih?ra or the Abhayagiri. Some of the exegetes of these two fraternities sometimes agreed, and sometimes disagreed. Both parties sought to establish the authenticity of their interpretations on the basis of different authorities, namely, sutta (original discourse), sutt?nuloma (conformity to sutta), ?cariyav?da (teachers’ view), and attano mati (one’s own personal opinion). Influence of non-Therav?da doctrinal interpretations can be discerned in some divergences. Proponents and opponents of these divergences dealt seriously with them. It is not correct to say that Therav?da doctrines of momentariness, life-continuum, and the cognitive process were created by Buddhaghosa, or that they were introduced by him to Sri Lankan Therav?da. They were a part of the Mah?vih?ra exegesis that existed prior to his arrival in Sri Lanka.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B47849423-
dc.subject.lcshAbhidharma.-
dc.subject.lcshTheravāda Buddhism - Sri Lanka.-
dc.titleDivergent doctrinal interpretations on the nature of mind and matter in Theravāda Abhidhamma: a study mainly basedon the Pāli and Siṃhala buddhist exegetical literature-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4784942-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineBuddhist Studies-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b4784942-
dc.date.hkucongregation2012-

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