Seven Treatises

 

Classification of Phenomenon:

This book is divided into four chapters;

  1. Consciousness (Citta)
  2. Matter(Råpa)
  3. Summary (Nikkhepa)
  4. Elucidation (Atthuddhàra)

The 22 Triplets (Tika Màtikàs) and the 100 Couplets (Duka-Màtikàs), which comprise the quintessence of the Higher Doctrine, are explained in this book. The major part of the book is devoted to the explanation of the first triplet— Wholesome Phenomena (Kusalà Dhammà), Unwholesome Phenomena (Akusalà Dhammà) and Unanswerable Phenomena (Avyàkatà Dhammà).

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Divisions:

There are eighteen divisions in this book. The first three divisions, which deal with Aggregates (Khandha), Sense-spheres (âyatana) and Elements (Dhàtu), are the most important. The other chapters deal with Truths (Sacca), Controlling Faculties (Indriya), Causal Genesis (Paccayàkàra), Foundations of Mindfulness (Satipaññhàna), Supreme Efforts (Sam- mappadhàna), Means of Accomplishments (Iddhipàda), Factors of Wisdom (Bojjhaïga), Ecstasies or Absorptions (Jhàna), Illimitables (Appamanna), Paths (Magga), Precepts (Sikkhàpada), Analytical Knowledge (Patisambhidà), Wisdom (Nana), Minor Subjects (Khuddakavatthu), and Essence of Truth (Dhammahadaya).

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Discussion with reference to Elements:

This book discusses whether Phenomenas (Dhammas) are included or not included in, associated with, or dissociated from, Aggregates (Khandha), Bases (âyatana), and Elements (Dhàtu).

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Designation of Individuals:

In this book instead of dealing with various Phenomenons (Dhammas), it deals with various types of individuals. There are ten chapters in this book. The first chapter deals with single individuals, the second with pairs, the third with groups of three, etc.

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Points of Controversy:

The authorship of this treatise is ascribed to venerable Moggalliputta Tissa Thera, who flourished in the time of King Dhammàsoka. It was he who presided at the third Conference held at Pàñaliputta (Patna) in the 3rd century B.C. This work of his was included in the Abhidhamma Piñaka at that Conference.

The Atthasàlinã Commentary states that it contains one thousand Suttas: five hundred orthodox and five hundred heterodox. In extent it is about the size of the Dãgha Nikàya.

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The Book of Pairs:

It is so called owing to its method of treatment. Through- out the book a question and its converse are found grouped together. For instance, the first pair of the first chapter of the book, which deals with roots, runs as fol- lows: Are all wholesome phenomenon wholesome roots? And are all wholesome roots wholesome phenomenon?

This book is divided into ten chapters—namely;

Roots (Måla), Aggregates  (Khandha), Bases (Ayatana), Elements (Dhàtu), Truths (Sacca),  Conditioned Things (Sankhàra), Latent Dispositions (Anusaya), Consciousness (Citta), Phenomena (Dhamma), and Controlling Faculties (Indriya).

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The Book of Causal Relations:

This is the most important and the most voluminous book of the Abhidhamma Piñaka. One who patiently reads this treatise cannot but admire the profound wisdom and penetrative insight of the Buddha. There is no doubt of the fact that to produce such an elaborate and learned treatise one must certainly be an intellectual genius.

The term Paññhàna is composed of the prefix “pa”: various, and “thàna”: relation, or condition (paccaya). It is so called because it deals with the 24 modes of causal relations and the Triplets (Tika) and Couplets (Duka), already mentioned in the Classification of Phenomenon, and which comprise the essence of the Higher Doctrine treatises. These will be explained in a subsequent chapter.

The importance attached to this treatise, also known as the Great Book (“Mahà Pakarana) And while Buddha contemplated the contents of the Classification of Phenomenon, His body did not emit rays, and similarly with the contempletion of the next five books. But, when coming to the Great Book, He began to contemplate the 24 universal causal relations of condition, of presentation, and so on, His omniscience certainly found its opportunity therein.

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