Sunday, December 09, 2007

chos mngon pa kun las btus pa - Abhidharma-Samuccaya 1

OK! We will start going through selected parts of Abhidharma-Samuccaya, or chos mngon pa kun las btus pa as it is known in Tibetan. Why? Because we are still on the third noble truth, learning more how suffering could be eliminated.

What is this text? It is a very important text in Tengyur written by Asanga. It is covering the Mahayana Abhidharma. Don't worry, things will be clear in the next postings. Why is this text so important? Because it has a very powerful question and answer format that describes a lot of terms, mind, skandhas (there was a request going more into those), elements, senses, and much, much more. For example, commentaries based on mind and mental functions sometimes use this root text for definitions.

Anyway, what is Abhidharma, or chos mngon pa? chos here means phenomena, dharma, all that exists, inner, outer and so on. mngon pa means to arise, to be visible, higher; in this case Tibetans translated abhi from Sanskrit as mngon pa. So it's meta-physics, or how things really work, or how they exist.

Note that there's also a lower abhidharma, how the non-Mahayana schools describe as things work. This higher abhidharma builds upon that. Usually monks and nuns first study Vasubandhu's Abhidharma-Kosha that covers the basics -- but we will jump into the highest level and learn along the way.

Next, the second part of this title.

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