Abhidharmasamuccaya: The Compendium of the Higher Teaching (Philosophy)

Overview

There are two systems of Abhidharma, according to Tibetan tradition, lower and higher. The lower system is taught in the Abhidharmakosa, while the higher system is taught in the Abhidharmasamuccaya. Thus the two books form a complimentary pair.

Asanga, author of the Abhidharmasamuccaya, is founder of the Yogacara school of Mahayana Buddhism. His younger brother Vasubandhu wrote the Abhidharnmakosa before Asanga converted him to Mahayana Buddhism. Yet the Kosa is written in ...

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Overview

There are two systems of Abhidharma, according to Tibetan tradition, lower and higher. The lower system is taught in the Abhidharmakosa, while the higher system is taught in the Abhidharmasamuccaya. Thus the two books form a complimentary pair.

Asanga, author of the Abhidharmasamuccaya, is founder of the Yogacara school of Mahayana Buddhism. His younger brother Vasubandhu wrote the Abhidharnmakosa before Asanga converted him to Mahayana Buddhism. Yet the Kosa is written in verse, usual for Mahayana treatises, while the Samuccaya follows the traditional prose and answer style of the older Pali Abhidharma texts.

Walpola Rahula, in preparing his 1971 French translation of this Mahayana text from the Sanskrit, Chinese, and Tibetan, has brought to bear on its many technical terms his extensive background and great expertise in the Pali canon. J. W. de Jong says in his review of this work:"Rahula deserves our gratitude for his excellent translation of this difficult text."

Sara Boin-Webb is well known for her accurate English translations of Buddhist books from the French. She has now made accessible in English Rahula's French translation, the first into a modern language, of this fundamental text."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780895819413
  • Publisher: Jain Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/2001
  • Edition description: JAIN PUBLISHING COMPANY
  • Pages: 354
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

Abbreviations
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Asanga
Abhidharmasamuccaya
The Translation
I The Compendium of Characteristics (Laksanasamuccaya)
Sect. 1 Three Dharmas (skandha, dhatu, ayatana) 1
Sect. 2 Division of Aspects (prakaraprabheda) 29
Grouping (samgraha) 71
Conjunction (samprayoga) 74
Accompaniment (samanvagama) 77
II The Compendium of Determining (Viniscayasamuccaya)
Determining the Truths (Satyaviniscaya)
Sect. 1 Duhkhasatya 81
Sect. 2 Samudayasatya 94
Sect. 3 Nirodhasatya 133
Sect. 4 Margasatya 140
Determining the Teaching (Dharmaviniscaya)
Determining Acquisitions (Praptiviniscaya)
Sect. 1 Definition of Individuals (pudgalavyavasthana) 196
Sect. 2 Definition of Comprehension ( abhisamayavyavasthana) 218
Determining Dialectic (Samkathyaviniscaya) 242
Glossary: Sanskrit-English 257
App Review by J.W. de Jong 291
Index 301
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2001

    A Mahayana Abhidharma

    If you have ever wondered about the Mahayana Abhidharma, this book is for you. I mean, if everything is ultimately empty like Mahayana Madhyamaka teaches, or if everything is just thought like Mahayana Yogacara teaches, why bother with the detailed technicalities of the Abhidharma? Well, Asanga, founder of the Yogacara branch of Mahayana, must have thought there was good reason to do so, or he would never have bothered to write this book! There is a story about Asanga and his younger brother Vasubandhu. Vasubandhu had written the Abhidharmakosa, which went on to become the classic of 'Hinayana' Abhidharma. Later on, after talking with his older brother Asanga, Vasubandhu converted to Mahayana. He was so mortified at what he had earlier taught, with his great eloquence, that he decided to cut out his tongue. Asanga dissuaded him from doing so, telling him to use his eloquence to spread the Mahayana. So goes the story. Asanga had by then apparently already written the Abhidharmasamuccaya. But despite the story, this book seems to have a lot in common with his brother's Abhidharmakosa. I guess that is because the Abhidharma, whether Hinayana or Mahayana, contains the basic teachings of the Buddha. I do get the sense that the Abhidharmakosa is a compendium of the basic Buddhist teachings that was skillfully put together, after these teachings were sorted out, by a brilliant thinker, Vasubandhu; while the Abhidharmasamuccaya is a compendium of the basic Buddhist teachings that was put together by a practiced meditator, Asanga. Both of these books are heavy going, but nonetheless fascinating to read and compare.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2009

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