Publication of Dhamma Topics and their Analysis

I recently published a text and translation of Arthaviniścayasūtram, a Sanskrit discourse which collects some of the most important teachings found in the early tradition. The work itself struck me as being one of the finest collections of early Buddhist material that I have come across, and I thought therefore to produce a Pāḷi collection based on the same topics, but an expanded version with extra sections, that included other important teachings, and with a rearrangement of some of the topics.

In this new selection we first have seven Dhamma topics, then seven topics concerning meditation, in the middle the 37 Factors of Awakening, a new section with Abhidhamma-type topics, and then a series of seven topics concerning the special qualities of the Buddha.

As with the Sanskrit text, there are three basic ways of presenting the topics: simple lists, extended analytic lists, and lists followed by analyses, or further definitions. In the Sanskrit text these were roughly equal (8, 10, 9). But in this collection I have tried to give more details by including definitions, sometimes from sources other than those that the lists themselves come from.

The material has some important characteristics, which are also found throughout the texts, and which it is well to point out here: they include mapping items against each other, repetition and contextualising. One strategy is to map teachings against other teachings, and play them out, so that in the first of the sections presented here, for instance, the Three Marks of Existence are mapped against the Five Components, and show how the components are affected by the marks teachings.

Repetition is a hallmark of the early teachings, so that a teaching is often repeated with small, but sometimes interesting, variations that help bring out the deeper meaning of that particular teaching. Teachings which otherwise stand in their own right are often included within other teachings, and then throw light both on the new subject, by explaining it, or helping to analyse it, and on the original teaching which is shown as having relevance in a new context.

Here is a summary of the material:

Dhamma Topics
1. The Three Marks: from Alagaddūpamasuttaṁ, MN 22
2. The Four Noble Truths: from Khandasuttaṁ, SN 56.13
3. The Four Factors of a Stream-Enterer: from Saṅgītisuttaṁ, DN 32
4. The Five Components that provide Fuel for Attachment: from Khandhasaṁyuttaṁ, SN 22.56
5. The Six Elements: from MN 140, Dhātuvibhaṅgasuttaṁ
6. The Ten Types of Wholesome Deeds: from Cundasuttaṁ, AN 10.176
7. The Twelve Factors of Conditional Origination: from Vibhaṅgasuttaṁ, SN 12.2

Meditation Topics
8. The Four Absorptions: from Jhānavibhaṅgo (Vibh. 12)
9. The Four Formless Attainments: from Uposathasuttaṁ, An 4.190
10. The Four Spiritual States: from Vatthasuttaṁ, MN 7
11. The Four Ways of Practice: Vitthārasuttaṁ, AN 4.162
12. The Four Cultivations of Meditation: from Samādhibhāvanāsuttaṁ, AN 4.41
13. The Ten Thoughts: from Dasadhammasuttaṁ, AN 10:48
14. The Sixteen Modes of Mindfulness while Breathing: from Ānāpānasatisuttaṁ, MN 118

Awakening Topics
15. The Four Ways of Attending to Mindfulness: from Satipaṭṭhānasuttaṁ, MN 10 and Satipaṭṭhānavibhaṅgo (Vibh. 7)
16. The Four Right Endeavours: from Satipaṭṭhānasuttaṁ, MN 10, from Nettippakaraṇaṁ, Hāravibhaṅgo
17. The Four Bases of Spiritual Power: from Iddhisaṁyuttaṁ, SN 51.1
18. The Five Faculties: from Indriyasaṁyuttaṁ, SN 48.9
19. The Five Strengths: from Balasaṁyuttaṁ, SN 50.1
20. The Seven Factors of Awakening: from Bojjhaṅgasaṁyuttaṁ, SN 46.4 and Ānāpānasatisuttaṁ, MN 117
21. The Noble Eightfold Path: from Saccavibhaṅgasuttaṁ, MN 141

Abhidhamma Topics
22. The Two Aspects of Sense Desires: from Mahāniddesapāḷi
23. The Three Thoughts: from Dhammasaṅgiṇīpāḷi
24. The Six Designations: from Puggalapaññattipāḷi
25. The Seven Underlying Tendencies: from Yamakapāḷi
26. The Twenty-Two Triads: from Dhammasaṅgiṇīpāḷi
27. The Twenty-Four Conditions: from Paṭṭhānapāḷi
28. The Seventy-Three Knowledges: from Paṭisambhidāmagga

Buddha Topics
29. The Four Confidences: Vesārajjasuttaṁ, AN 4.8
30. The Four Analytical Knowledges: from Milindapañhā, 4.1
31. The Ten Strengths of a Realised One: from Sīhanādasuttaṁ, AN 10.21
32. The Eighteen Qualities of a Buddha: from Dīghanikāyaṭṭhakathā on Saṅgītisuttaṁ
33. The Thirty-Two Marks of a Great Man: from Brahmāyusuttaṁ, MN 91
34. The Sixty-Two Ways of Deportment: from Brahmāyusuttaṁ, MN 91
35. The Eighty Secondary Characteristics: from Milindaṭīkā.

There are three distinct versions of the material, the main one is a Text and Translation, which presents the material line-by-line with its translation, meant for the Pāli student and scholar (versions: html, pdf, flipbook and mp3 of the Pāli text).

There is also an English Only edition, which includes a reading of the translation (versions: html, pdf, flipbook, epub , mobi and mp3 of the English text).

The 3rd edition is Pali Only, which is meant for those trying to learn select passages from the texts (versions: html, pdf, flipbook and mp3 of the Pāli text).

 

 

Dhamma Topics and their Analysis

 

 




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