Abhidhamma Studies: Buddhist Explorations of Consciousness by Nyanaponika Thera

By Nyanaponika Thera

The Abhidhamma, the 3rd nice department of early Buddhist educating, expounds a innovative method of philosophical psychology rooted within the dual Buddhist insights of selflessness and established origination. in line with the liberative thrust of early Buddhism, the program organizes the total spectrum of human realization round the poles of Buddhist doctrine - bondage and liberation, Samsara and Nirvana - the start line and the ultimate objective. It thereby maps out, with extraordinary rigour and precision, the interior panorama of the brain to be crossed throughout the useful paintings of Buddhist meditation.

In this publication of groundbreaking essays, Venerable Nyanaponika Thera, certainly one of our age's most efficient exponents of Theravada Buddhism, makes an attempt to penetrate underneath the bold face of the Abhidhamma and to make its rules intelligible to the considerate reader of at the present time. His element of concentration is the recognition bankruptcy of the Dhammasangani, the 1st treatise of the Abhidhamma Pitaka. Basing his interpretation at the distinctive checklist of psychological components that the Abhidhamma makes use of as a advisor to mental research, he launches into daring explorations within the a number of dimensions of conditionality, the character of cognizance, the temporality of expertise, and the mental springs of religious transformation. leading edge and wealthy in insights, this e-book doesn't basically open up new avenues within the educational research of early Buddhism. by way of treating the Abhidhamma as a fountainhead of proposal for philosophical and mental inquiry, it demonstrates the ongoing relevance of Buddhist idea to our such a lot astute modern efforts to appreciate the elusive but so intimate nature of the brain.

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GTer-bdag gling-pa in turn offered a last service for the pontiff, performing rites for him in the Potala on the 24th day of the 8th month of 1681, a little before his passing away, and on the following day consecrated a large number of paintings and statues of tutelary divini­ ties in the private apartments of the Dalai Lama;12 If we know of no antecedents to the m Thong-ba don-ldan, we must impute their existence. Whether we consider the manuscript to be a precise manual of ritual practice, or a work of art—and it is certainly both of these, neither could appear at such a pinnacle of perfection, without a long period of elaboration and distillation.

Firstly, it was written for all those who wished to do drawings and paintings of heavens and deities according to the Dalai Lama’s visionary experiences, and the descriptions of them given in these sections of the rGya-can were too long and the language was too difficult for artists to understand. Secondly, the visionary experiences described in those sections were not always in chronological order, and the Dalai Lama felt that it was necessary to put them into the right sequence. Four historical personages are mentioned in the colophon of which we have made a translation below.

4 G. B£guin, Les mandaia himalayens du M u see Guimel, Paris 1981, b o s 40-45, ‘Aires sacrificielles’. 1656, Rituei Enin mine, con­ tains 32 diptych and triptych illustrations, with explicative notices in dbu-med Tibetan on each one, giving the source in the rGya-can, and the function o f the ritual, 5 Byang-gter sgrub*skor rnam-gsmn i phurpa I bKa ’-brgy-ad khro-TOi I tshe-bdag / skang-gso I lha-bsangs togs-kyi gtor-dpe I 6 For example, T. Skorupski, Tibetan Amulets, Bangkok 3983. 7 I thank F.

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