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What Is Abhidhamma?

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Q : What is Abhidhamma?
The Buddha preached “Abhidhamma” in the plane of Tavatimsa for three months especially dedicated to his mother Deva and the rest Devas and Bhahmas from the whole universe. At that time, the Buddha preached by very wide and very details way. Buddha repeated it to Ashin Sariputtaya by shortest way. Ashin Sariputtaya handed it on to five hundred of his disciples not too long and not too short. This way is what we have been learned in nowadays.

According to tipitaka, Abhidhamma is the third great division of the pitaka. It is enormous collection of systematically arranged and classified doctrines of the Buddha. The word “Abhidhamma” is combination of “Abhi” and “Dhamma”. The prefix “Abhi” means excellent, preponderant, distinct, etc.. “Dhamma” is “The teachings of the Buddha”. Therefore, “Abhidhamma” means “Excellent teaching of the Buddha”. Abhidhamma is more preponderant, more excellent than Suttanta Pitaka for the following reasons. (1) It is composed of 42000 Dhammakkhandas whereas Suttanta Pitaka and Vinaya Pitaka are only 210000 Dhammakkhandas each.

(2) In Suttanta, the Buddha takes into consideration the intellectual level of the audience and their attainments in parami. Therefore, he uses the conventional terms making references to persons and objects. But in Abhidhamma, the Buddha analyzed every phenomenon into its ultimate constituents. All conventional terms are uncovered into their owns ultimate elements which are precisely defined and systematically arranged. Thus why it also called Paramattha Desana.

(3) In Suttanta, the Buddha preaches Dos and Don’ts. In Abhidhamma, the Exalted one teaches about only nature of elements. Don’t care about human and their characteristics, emphasized in actual nature of all elements. So it can called yathadhamma desana.

There are seven treatises in Abhidhamma- namely,
(1) Dhamma Sangani
The main body of the Dhammasangani is in four parts. It contains the detailed...