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CONTENT

I.

INTRODUCTION

01

II.

THE TITLE OF THE TEXT

02

II.

THE DATE AND THE AUTHOR OF THE MANUAL

03

III.

SCHEME OF CLASSIFICATION IN THE DHAMMASANGANI

04

IV.

SCHEME OF CLASSIFICATION IN THE DHAMMASANGANI

05

a).

Cittuppda Kaa

b).

Rpa Kaa

c).

Nikkhepa Kaa

d).

Ahakath Kaa- Division of Additional Elucidations

V.

THE STYLE

16

VI.

CONCLUSION

16

BIBLIOGRAPHY

18

INTRODUCTION
cittavibhatti rpaca nikkhepo atthajotangambhra nipua hnatampi buddhena desita
The Dhammasagai plays the main role among all the other Abhidhammic texts
preceding all of them or taking the first place in the series of the seven books. 1 The
Dhammasagai constitutes the nucleus of the seven books.2 It gives, from the point of view
of psychological ethics, an analysis of 'what we find within us, around us and what we
aspire to find. 3 The first book, the Dhammasaga, is the fountainhead of the entire
system.4This also has indigenous characteristics to attract the special attention of the scholars.
Dhammasagani, depending on the early Buddhist conceptions of five aggregates etc. analyses
the world of experience into mind, mental concomitants and material elements. 5 Its in the
common sense that, in a textual study, a particular book should be studied in respect to five
aspects. They are, sa- the name, nimitta-the aim or the objective of it, kattra- the author,
(kla- some consider the time period as well), parima- the contents in respect to the
quantity and payojana- the utilities of it. There fore, the aim of this study is to trace the
information regarding the following subtitles related to the Dhammasagai.
I.

The title and the objective of the text-sa-nimitta

II.

The date and the author of the manual-(kla)-kattra

III.

The schema of classification in the Dhammasagai & the Contents of it- parima

G.P. Malalasekara, The Dictionary of Pli Proper Names, Asian Education Services, 2003, p. 1149
Kogen Mizuno, The Seven books of the fundamental Abhidhamma: Encyclopedia of Buddhism; G.P. Malalasekara
Gov. of Ceylon, 1961, p76
3
Com. of philos. xviii
4
Bodhi, Bhikkhu, ed. A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma. Kandy: BPS, 1993, 2007 P1i text, translation,
and explanation of Abhidh-s, p 11
5
Sumanapala Galmangoda, Reality The Abhidhammic analysis, Saraswathi Publications, Divulapitiya, 2008, p. 16
2

IV.

The Style.

V.

The Discussion: Highlighting the usefulness of the manual- payojana

II.

THE TITLE OF THE TEXT

According to P.V. Bapat & R.D. Vadekar,


the title of the book Dhammasangai (and not Dhammasanga as some
texts read) means the enumeration of the Dhammas by way of 'questions
and answers'.
He further states some other analysis of Kikvtti as well. He has traced to Pini on
this study quoting the idea of Prof. D. Kosambi for better understanding of the word and
says that we are indebted to him for this interpretation based on Pini. His analysis goes as
Pi 3.3.110, the word sangai means sanganan, sanganik.
Following the interpretation of gai as gaan, or gaik, we may be
justified

in

interpreting

the

word

sangai as

sangaan or

sangaik.6
In the mean time, Bhikkhu Bodhi translates the title as Enumeration of
Phenomena 7 without going into detailed analysis. More over, the first English
translation of the Abhidhamma texts, Vol. xii has connoted the title as Compendium of
States or Phenomena.
Based on these interpretations, the conclusion can be drawn that, however, the manual
bears an analytical phenomena that they are the special information of an advanced

P.V.Bapat & R.D. Vadekar, Abhidhammapiake Dhammasagai, Introduction, Bhandarkar Oriental series No 02,
1st edition, Poona, 1940, p xii
7
Bodhi, Ibid, see the Introduction, p. 11

examination of psychological ethics existed in fourth century to sixth century BC. This
conclusion may not be fitting due to the lack of details regarding the content of the text,
there fore, they are studied in following chapters.
b.

THE OBJECTIVES OF THE DHAMMASAGANI


This massive treatise, the Dhammasagani, proper introduces the classification

of phenomena, containing detailed enumeration of all phenomena with an analysis of


consciousness (citta) and its concomitant mental factors (cetasikas).The Dhammasangani
provides a bird's eye view of the whole of the tika and duka groups with further systematic
arrangements under classified heads whereas Vibhanga and Dhatukatha give a closer view of
selected portions of those groups bringing out minute details.

II.

THE DATE AND THE AUTHOR OF THE MANUAL.

According to Rhys Davids, the date of the manual is placed at a time after the Nikyas. He
further states thus in his introduction.
On the other hand, the kind of questions raised in our Manual are on a different
plane altogether from those raised in the third book in the Abhidhamma Piaka,
viz., the Kathvatthu, which we know to have been composed by Tissa at Patna,
in the middle of the third century B.C. The Dhammasagani does not attempt to
deal with any such advanced opinions and highly-elaborated points of doctrines
, differing only in method of treatment. The Kathvatthu raises new questions

belonging to a later stage in the development of the faith. The Dhamma-Sagani


is therefore younger than the Nikyas, and older than the Kath Vatthu.8
He has further discussed on this matter deeply and has commented focusing the definite time of
the manual as time in between the middle than at the end of the fourth century B.C., or even
earlier. In spite of the fact, the Dhammasagani has some traces in later times in Sri Lanka,
during the times of King Kassapa (A.D. 929-939) who had a copy of it engraved on gold plates
studded with jewels and another King called Vijayabhu I (A.D. 1065-1120) too. Therefore, In
fact, the manual does not belong to such later periods as it has to be originated far more ahead
than that of the mentioned time. Perhaps, this may be a discussion or a discourse uttered by the
Buddha and, the disciples may have developed it in to the level of prominent book for the future
generations. It is considered that Ven. Sriputta is the author of all the Abhidhammic texts too. If
we accept this, he is the author of this treatise. Some tries to put the authority on the Buddha
himself making the whole Abhidhamma authentic. It should be noted that, certainly, Ven.
Moggaliputtatissa, the author of Kathvatthu, must not be the author of the Dhammasagani and
the evident fact is that this great wisdom has originated in developed minds of Arahants.

III.

SCHEME OF CLASSIFICATION IN THE DHAMMASANGANI

The Dhammasangani begins with a mtik (translated as matrix) which lists classifications of
dhammas (translated as phenomena, ideas, states, etc). The mtik starts with 22 threefold
classification, such as good/bad/unclassified, and then follows with 100 twofold classifications
according to the Abhidhamma method. Many of these classifications are not exhaustive, and
8

The Dhammasagani, Introductory Essay and notes by Rhys Davids, Royal Asiatic Society, 1900, pp. xviii.

some are not even exclusive. The mtik ends with 42, twofold classifications according to the
sutta method; these 42 are only used in the Dhammasangani, whereas the other 122 are used in
some of the other books as well.
Based on these Mtiks of Tikas and Dukas, the Dhammasangani is divided into four Divisions:

(i) Cittuppada Kaa- Division on the arising of consciousness and mental concomitants.
(ii) Rupa Kaa- -Division concerning corporeality.
(iii) Nikkhepa Kaa- Division that avoids elaboration.
(iv) Atthakatha Kaa- Division of Supplementary Digest

On the other hand, the major part of the book is devoted to the explanation of the first triplet
kusal dhamm, akusal dhamm and abykat dhamm. In extent the book exceeds thirteen
Bhnavras9 (recitals), (i.e., more than 104,000 letters).
Of the four divisions, the first two, namely, Cittuppada Kaa- and Rpa Kaa- form the
main and the essential portion of' the book. They set the model of thorough investigation into the
nature, properties, function and interrelationship of each of the dhammas listed in the Matik, by
providing a simple analysis and review of the first Tika, namely, the Kusala Tika of Kusala,
Akusala and Abykata Dhamma. Cittuppada Kaa deals with a complete enumeration of all
the states of mind that come under the headings of Kusala and Akusala; the Rupa Kanda is

Bhnavra = 250 verses: 1 verse = 4 lines: 1 line = 8 letters. One Bhnavra, therefore, consists of 8000 letters

concerned with all states of matter that come under the heading of Abykata; mention is also
made of Asakhata Dhatu (Nibba) without discussing it.

IV.

THE FOUR CHAPTERS

a).

Cittuppda Kaa
The Cittuppada Kaa first gives a statement of the types of Consciousness arranged under

the three heads of the first Tika, namely, (i) Kusala Dhamma i.e., Meritorious Consciousness and
its concomitants (ii) Akusala Dhamma i.e., De-meritorious Consciousness and its concomitants
(iii) Abykata Dhamma i.e., Indeterminate Consciousness and its concomitants. The list of
mental concomitants for each dhamma is fairly long and repetitive.

The statement of the types of Consciousness is followed by identification of the particular


type, e.g. Kusala Dhamma, in the form of question and answer, with regard to the plane or
sphere (bhmi) of Consciousness: Kmvacara, sensuous plane; Rpvacara, plane of form;
Arpvacara, plane of no-form; Tebhmaka, pertaining to all the three planes; or Lokuttara,
supra mundane, not pertaining to the three planes.

The type of Consciousness for each plane is further divided into various kinds e.g., there
are eight kinds of Kusala Dhamma for the sensuous plane: first Kusala Citta, second Kusala
Citta etc.; twelve kinds of Akusala Citta; eight kinds of Ahetuka Kusala Vipka Citta and eight
kinds of Sahetuka Vipka Citta under the heading of Abykata Dhamma.

Then these various kinds are further analyzed according to:

(i) Dhamma Vavatthna Vra e.g., the particular quality, whether accompanied by joy etc.
i.e., somanassa, domannassa, sukha, dukkha or upekkha.

(ii) Kohsa Vra, the grouping of dhammas. There are twenty three categories of
dhammas which result from synthetically grouping of dhammas into separate categories such as
khandhas, yatanas, dhtus etc.

(iii) Suata Vra, which lays stress on the fact that there is no 'self' (atta) or jva behind all
these dhammas; they are only composites, causally formed and conditioned, devoid of any
abiding substance. The same method of treatment is adopted for the akusala and abykata types
of Consciousness.

b).

Rpa Kaa

Because Dhammasangai treats all the dhammas (nmas as well as rpas) in the same
uniform system of classification, Rpa Kaa is only a continuation of the distribution of the
Dhamma under the heads of the first Tiks which begins in the first division, Cittuppda Kaa.
In the Cittuppda Kaa, the enumeration of the Dhamma under the head 'Abykata' has been
only partially done, because abykata type of Dhamma includes not only all the states of mind
which are neither meritorious nor de-meritorious but also all states of matter and the Asakhata
Dhtu or Nibbna. The portion of Dhamma under the heading of Abykata, which has been left
out from cittuppda Kanda is attended to in this Kaa.

The method of-treatment here is similar, with the difference that instead of mental
concomitants, the constituents of matter, namely, the four primary elements and the material

qualities derived from them with their properties and their relationships are analyzed and
classified.

c).

Nikkhepa Kaa
mlato khandato vpi- dvrato vpi bhmito
atthato dhammato vpi-nmato vpi lagato
nikkhipitv desitatt nikkhepoti vuccati

The Nikkhepa Kaa, the third division, gives, not too elaborately nor too briefly, the summary
of distribution of all the Tiks and Dukas, so that their full contents and significance will become
comprehensible and fully covered. Further, it holds explanations of all the terms in Abhidhamma
matrix and Suttanta matrix. There are seven divisions.

i.

mla

ii.

skandha

iii.

bhmi

iv.

attha

v.

dhamma

vi.

nma

vii.

linga

This chapter avoids the elaborate treatment of the first two divisions. While it gives, not too
elaborately nor too briefly, summarized analytical statements of all the tikas and dukas so that

their contents and significance may become fully comprehensible when this division is read
together with the previous two divisions.

In general, all the tikas and dukas are treated in a condensed manner under the following
eight heads in this division:

(i) Classification by way of roots (mla)

(ii) Classification by way of aggregates (khandha)

(iii) Classification by way of doors (dvra)

(iv) Classification by way of field of occurrence (bhmi)

(v) Classification by way of meaning (attha)

(vi) Classification by way of doctrinal interpretation. (dhamma)

(vii) Classification by way of nomenclature(nma)

(vii) Classification by way of grammatical gender (linga)

Of the first four, viz., mla, khandha, dvra and bhmi, only some apply to certain of the
tikas and dukas, but not to all of them. The remaining four, viz., attha, dhamma, nma and linga,
however, are applicable to all the tikas and dukas. Some examples of classification under the
eight heads in the Nikkhepa Kaa:

(i) Kusala Dhamma Summarised by Way of Roots (mla)

Kusala dhamma included in the Kusala Tika are shown by way of roots as absence of greed
(alobha), absence of hatred (adosa), absence of bewilderment (amoha). Thus, Kusala dhamma
which have been so elaborately expounded in the Cittuppda Kanda are shown as originating
from just these three roots. It follows that the practical method of developing Kusala Dhamma is
to eradicate greed, to eradicate hatred, to eradicate ignorance.

(ii) Kusala Dhamma Summarized by Way of Aggregates (khandha)

Further, it is explained in the text that Kusala dhamma are made up of the four mental
aggregates, namely, the aggregate of Sensation (vedankkhandha) the aggregate of Perception
(sakkhandha), the aggregate of Volitional Activities (sakhrakkhandha) and the aggregate
of consciousness (vinakkhandha). Thus the 21 kinds of Kusala citta and 38 kinds of mental
concomitants explained in the Cittuppada Kanda are fully covered under this classification as
follows:

(a) 21 Kusala citta (Aggregate of Consciousness)

(b) Vedan (Aggregate of Sensation)

(c) Sa (Aggregate of Perception)

(d) The remaining 36 mental concomitants (Aggregate of Volitional Activities)

This second method deals not only with the roots from which the tree of Kusala Dhamma
originates, but describes the whole tree.

(iii) Kusala Dhamma Summarized by Way of Doors (dvra)

10

The Kusala dhamma originating from the three roots, viz., alobha, adosa and amoha, are
meritorious actions done through the media of the three doors, physical, verbal and mental.
Although Nikkhepa Kaa is very brief compared to Cittuppda Kaa, it explains the terms of
the Abhidhamma in such a way that a non-scholar can understand them. Just as a tree can be
made known by describing its roots, its trunk, and its fruits, so the meaning of 'Kusala dhamma,
meritorious actions, is made known by describing its roots (which stand for alobha, adosa,
amoha), its trunk (which stands for mental aggregates) and its fruits (which stand for actions).
'Akusala dhamma' is also made known in the same way by describing its roots (which stand for
lobha, dosa, moha), its trunk (which stand for mental aggregates), and its fruits (which stand for
actions).

In the case of Abykata dhamma, Vipka is classified as the Sensuous Sphere resultant, the
Fine Material Sphere resultant, the Non-material Sphere resultant and the Supra mundane sphere
resultant, and further classified as the four resultant mental aggregates; Kiriya is classified as
non-causative action in the Sensuous Sphere, non-causative action in the Fine Material Sphere,
and non-causative action in the Non- material Sphere, and further classified as the four noncausative aggregates. All Corporeality as well as Nibba are in the Abykata dhamma as they
are neither meritorious nor de-meritorious.

(iv) Vedan Tika Explained by Way of Field of Occurrence (bhmi)

The exposition of Vedan Tika, the triad of Sensation, which is not directly expounded in the
Cittuppda Kaa and Rpa Kaa provides an example of classification by way of field of
occurrence. Consciousness and mental concomitants, being the basis or the ground from which

11

Sensation arises, are classified in this division according to the types of Sensation with which
they are associated. Thus we have:

(a) Sukha Bhmi, Consciousness and Mental Concomitants from which arises Pleasant
Sensation

(b) Dukkha Bhmi, Consciousness and Mental Concomitants from which arises Unpleasant
Sensation;

(c) Adukkhamasuka Bhmi, Consciousness and Mental Concomitants from which arises
Neither pleasant nor unpleasant Sensation.

The first type, Sukha Bhmi, is subdivided into Kmasukhabhumi (mental factors in the
Sensuous Sphere which are associated with pleasure), Rupasukhabhumi (mental factors in the
Fine Material Sphere which are associated with pleasure) and Lokuttarasukhabhumi (mental
factors in the Supra mundane Sphere which are associated with pleasure). These types of
Consciousness and Mental Concomitants are treated in this division only in a summary way, but
they can be described more elaborately and fully following the pattern laid clown in the
Cittuppada Kanda.

Dukkhabhmi, Consciousness and Mental Concomitants from which arises Unpleasant


Sensation, is explained merely as Kmadukkhabhumi, which according to the Cittuppda Kaa
means Consciousness and Mental Concomitants of the Sensuous Sphere accompanied by mental
and physical suffering.

12

Adukkhamasukhabhmi, Consciousness and Mental Concomitants from which arises Neitherpleasant- nor-unpleasant Sensation, is subdivided into four categories: Kmaupekkhbhmi,
Rpa-upekkhbhumi, Arupa upekkhbhumi, and Lokuttara-upekkhbhumi. Kmaupekkhbhumi
means mental factors in the Sensuous Sphere which are associated with equanimity. Rupaupekkhbhumi means mental factors of the Fifth Jhana of the Fine Material Sphere which are
associated with equanimity. Arupa-upekkhabhumi means mental factors of the Fifth Jhana of the
Non-material Sphere which are associated with equanimity. And Lokuttara upekkhbhumi means
mental factors of the Fifth Supramundane Jhna which are associated with equanimity.

d).

Ahakath Kaa- Division of Additional Elucidations

Ahakath Kaa, the last division of the book, is of the same nature as the third division,
giving a summary of the dhammas under the different heads of the Tika and the Duka groups.
But it provides it in a more condensed manner, thus forming a supplementary digest of the first
book of the Abhidhamma for easy memorizing. The Mtika consists altogether of one hundred
and twenty two groups, of which the first twenty two are called the Tikes or Triads, those that are
divided under three heads; and the remaining one hundred are called the Dukas or Dyads, those
that are divided under two heads.

Examples are:

(a) Kusala Tika: dhammas (i) that are moral, kusala,

(ii) that are immoral, akusala,

(iii) that are indeterminate, abykata.

13

(b) Vedan Tika: dhammas that are associated (i) with pleasant feeling, a

(ii) with painful feeling,

(iii) with neutral feeling.

Examples of Dyads are:

(a) Hetu Duka: dhammas

(i) that are roots, hetus

(ii) that are not roots, ne-hetu.

(b) Sahetuka Duka: dhammas

(i) that are associated with the hetus

(ii) that are not associated with the hetus.

The Mtika concludes with a list of the categories of dhamma entitled Suttantika Mtika
made up of' forty two groups of dhamma found in the suttas. In the Mtika of Dhammasagani
there are 22 tikas, 100 dukas and 42 Suttantika dukas. Of these, the Kusala Tika, meritorious
triad, is shown in detail in the Cittuppda Kaa and the Rpa Kanda. The other tikas and dukas
together with the Kusala Tika are dealt with in a summarized way in the Nikkhepa Kaa. Thus
the treatment of tikas and dukas can be said to be Complete in the first three divisions.

But, merely indicating for instance as in the Nikkhepa Kaa, the meaning of tikas and dukas
may not be sufficient for a full understanding of some tikas and dukas without enumeration in
14

detail. The enumeration of mind, mental concomitants and Corporeality can be found in the
Cittuppda Kaa and Rpa Kaa, but they are Spread throughout these divisions, Therefore it
is not easy for the student to know the enumeration of the categories in each tika or duka. This
enumeration is done for some of the important tikas and dukas in the Ahakath Kaa.
For instance, in the Nikkhepa Kanda, Consciousness and mental concomitants in Vedan Tika
are treated collectively by way of bhmis (field of occurrence) or by way of khandhas
(aggregates). But in the Aakath Kaa, we find that mental factors associated with pleasure,
mental factors associated with mental and physical, suffering, and mental factors associated with
equanimity are shown in detailed enumeration.

In the same way the Nikkhepa Kaa deals with the mental factors of the Vitakka Tika
collectively and they are explained by way of field of occurrence and by way of aggregates. In
the Ahakath Kanda, the Vitakka Tika is elucidated by detailed enumeration of the mental
factors associated with vitakka (initial application of the mind) and vicara (sustained application
of the mind), the mental factors not associated with vitakka but only associated with vicra, and
the mental factors not associated with both vitakka and vicra.
The same may be said of the treatment of the rammaa Tika. The Nikkhepa Kanda provides
only the bare definition for some of the categories contained in the classification of these tikas,
without giving the elucidation and enumeration of the mental factors involved. The Atthakath
Kanda treats them more fully, giving an enumeration of the mental factors of Consciousness and
mental concomitants that are involved in each case. For example, in dealing with the
Parittrammaa Tika, the mental factors involved in the categories of (a) Sensual things which

15

are the objects of attention, (b) Sublime things which are the objects of attention, (c) Nibba
which is the object of attention are enumerated in the Ahakath Kanda.

It may be stated that the Atthakath Kaa serves as an indispensable guide to the
understanding of the Dhammasangani.

V.

THE STYLE.

The very title of the book then explains the style also. We find a question like katame dhamm
kusal followed by a detailed answer at the end of which comes the concluding expression like
ime dhamm kusal. This style has become so much ingrained in the mind of the author or
authors that even when the answer refers to more than one factor10.

VI.

CONCLUSION

Evidently, it is clear that, Dhammasagani gives detailed descriptions basically on


Citta-Cetasika and dhammas. In the Dhammasagani, these realities are treated from
the ethical or karmical standpoint.

11

As far as the characteristic and the styles are

concerned, it can be noted that the text bears the features of the earl Buddhism. In
addition to that, the method of definition and explanation adopted in the book also keep
this idea true. According to the contents of the book, in fact, it has become the first book
among the other Abhidhammic texts due to the value added in the detailed analysis of
the book. Having placed the first in the list, it generally proceeds to lead the reader into
wide (not narrow) point of view regarding the whole Abhidhammic philosophy. An
important point to note is that, the Dhammaagani gives all sorts of psychological
10
11

P.V.Bapat & R.D. Vadekar, Ibid, p xii


Kogen Mizuno, Ibid, p76

16

phenomena (besides from the material phenomena) to wide open the mind of worldly
people, having encouraged them towards the ultimate goal, the attainment of Nibba.
Besides, the author also gives priority for the grammatical analysis in the chapter named
padabhjanya giving some synonyms and antonyms etc. Therefore, the text proves the
grammatical knowledge of the author too. It can be concluded that the Dhammasagani
is praiseworthy of all the respects as a philosophical , psychological and as well as a
grammatical book.

17

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18

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19

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20

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21

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