Sunday, June 26, 2011

Kathavatthu - Appendix I

Points of  Controversy
Subjects of  Discourse


(I. 1., p. 9.)
IN the phrase paramatthena , saccikatthena ,
rendered ' in the sense of  a real and ultimate fact,'  these
two terms are used synonymously. Saccik a is also
stated to be something existent (atthi); and this ' existent,
as being not a past, or future,  but a present existent, is
explained to be vijjamana, sangvijjamana :—some-
thing verifiably  or actually existing (p. 22). Vijjamana,
a very important synonym of  paramattha, means
literally ' something which is being known,' present
participle of  the passive stem vid-ya,
 to be known.' It
is rendered into Burmese by the phrase
 evidently exist-
ing.' Upalabbhati (p. 8, n. 3),
 to be known as
closely as possible,' is the subjective counterpart of  the
existing real. Pa r am a- is, by the Corny., defined  as
 ultimate,' u ttama , a word traditionally defined,  in the
AbhidhanappacUpika-suci,  as that which has reached [its]
highest—ubbhuto atayattham uttamo .
According to Dhammapala, in the KathciTatthu-aniitTka,
p a r a m a means patthana , ' pre-eminent,' ' principal/
because of  irreversibility (a-viparitabhavato ) or/in-
capacity of  being transformed.  And he further  thought
that the reality of  that which is parama depends upon its
being a sense-datum of  infallible  knowledge (avipari -
tassa nanassa visayabhavatthena sacci -
In his Abhidhammattha-vibhavani,
follows  the K.V. Comy., but annexes Dhammapala's

 Comy, on the Compendium  of  Philosophy; see ibid.,  p. ix.

 judged that uttama, applied to parama,
excludes the other meaning of  pamana-atireka, ' sur-
passing in measure.' And he, too, agrees with Dham-
mapala, that a thing is ' ultimate ' because it is incapable
o f  further  transformations,  or of  analysis, and because it
is the sense-datum of  infallible  knowledge.
Attha , in the term paramattha , Europeans usually
render by (
 meaning.' It refers  rather to all that is
meant (meaning in extension, not intension) by any given
word. In its present connection it has nothing to do with
the verbal meaning, import, sense or significance  of  a word.
According to Ariyavagsa, it means either a thing per se
(sabhdra),  or a sense-datum (visaya). In the former  sense,
paramatth a becomes an appositional compound of  two
terms, both applying to one and the same thing. In the
latter sense, the compound is resolvable into paramassa
attho . If,  with Sumangalasami, we read uttamai )
nanam into parama, we get, for  paramattha in this
latter sense, sense-field  of  highest knowledge.
, there are Buddhists in Burma who hold that i f  the
' real' can only be fitly  described in terms of  highest know-
ledge, only a Buddha can know it, and average folk  can
therefore  only know the shadow of  it (paramattha -
chay a). We, i.e., know the phenomenon but not the
noumenon. This transcendentalism, however, is not ortho-
dox doctrine.
Turning finally  to the term saccika , or the more
familiar  sacca,
 this may mean abstract truth ( lak-
khana - saccang), as of  a judgment, or concrete fact
(vatthu-saccang) , as of  a reality.
 ' Truth' by no
means always fits  sacca. See, e.g., our translation of
the Four Ariyan ' Truths,' p. 215 of  the Compendium.  The
Second Sacca is reckoned to be a thing to be got rid of  like

 In the Manisara-manjusa,  Tika  on that Comy,; fifteenth  cen-
tury, A.D.
 Saccam eva saccikaij , Manisara-manjusa.  For English
readers it may be stated that the doubled c (pron. cch) results from
sat-ya .
* P. 188, n. 4.

poison. But we do not wish to discard a Truth. Hence
we have substituted ' fact/  following  Sumangalasami, who
comments on the term ' Ariyan Truths' in the passage
referred  to as meaning 4
 realities' or ' facts'  which
' Ariyanize those who penetrate them/ making them
members of  one stage or another of  the Ariyan Path. Or,
again, ' realities so-called because Ariyans penetrate them
as their own property, or because they were taught by the
greatest of  Ariyans.'
Ariyavaijsa, sub-commenting, holds that sacc a imports
actual existence, not liable to reversion ; for  instance, the
reality of  the characteristics of  fire  or other natural forces.
Finally, in this connection, Ledi Sadaw's disquisition on
conventional or nominal truth and real, ultimate, or philo-
sophical truth in < Some Points of  Buddhist Doctrine
(.JPTS,  1913-14 p. 129) and in his 'Expositions'
(.Buddhist  Review, October, 1915), expanding the section in
the K.V. Corny., (p. 63, n. 2), of  this volume should be
considered. In his own Corny, on the Compendium  of
Philosophy—Paramattlia-dlpanl—he  examines more closely
the terms we are discussing.
 At t ha / he says, ' may
mean: (a)  things per * e (sabhava-siddha) ; or (b)  things
merely conceived (parikappa-siddha) . The former
(a)  include mind, etc., verifiable  existents, severally,  by their
own intrinsic characteristics, and, simply, without reference
to any other thing. The latter (/; ) are not such verifiable
existents. They exist by the mind .. .
 being,' 'person,'
etc., are ' things ' created by mental synthesis.
Of  these two classes, only things per se are termed
paramattha , real. Atth a may therefore  be defined
as that thing which is intelligible to mind and represent-
e e by signs, terms or concepts. Paramatth a is that
reality which, by its truly verifiable  existence, transcends

 See III., p. 81, of  Saya Pye's Tikagyaw  and  Manisaramanjusa.
 Op. et loc. cit. . . . aggalakkhanang viya lokapakati
viya .
 Or ' logical construction,' as Mr. Bertrand Russell would say
(Lowell Lectures, 1914, p. 59).

concepts. . . . Ultimate facts  never fail  those who seek for
genuine insight. Hence they are real. Concepts, on the
other hand, not verifiably  existing, fail  them ' (pp. 14-16).
(I. 1., p. 55.)
IN the passage here quoted from  the Suttas:—'of  con-
ditioned things the genesis is apparent, the passing away
is apparent, the duration (as a third distinct state amidst
change) is apparent'—the three stages of  'becoming' in
all phenomena, always logically distinguishable, i f  not
always patent to sense, are enunciated. That the midway
stage is a constant like the others: that between genesis
and decay there was also a static stage (perhaps only a
zero point of  change), designated as thit i (from
titthati[sTHl] , to stand), was disputed by some—e.g.,
Ananda, the author of  the Ttka  on the three Abidhamma
Commentaries by Buddhaghosa. But the Compendium
itself  states the traditional and orthodox tenet in the case
of  units of  mental phenomena: ' one thought-moment con-
sists of  three time-phases, to wit, nascent, static, and
arresting phases' (In the Sutta the word rendered by ' duration' is not
thiti , but thitanaij , gen. plur. of  thitaij , or static
[thing]. Commentarial philosophy tended to use the
abstract form.  It also distinguished (or commented upon
as already distinguished) two kinds of  duration (or enduring
things): khanika-thiti,
momentary duration,' and
pabandha-thiti , or combined duration. The latter
constitutes the more popularly conceived notion of  j ar a:
decay, old age, degeneration in any phenomenon. The
Puggalavadin was thinking of  this notion when he answered
the first  question.
Now if,  in the Sutta, duration was to be understood as a
static stage between genesis and decay, it would almost
certainly have been named in such an order. But it was
named last. And it may well be that the more cultured Intel-

lect of  the propounder of  the Sutta did not accept the popular
notion of  any real stationariness (thiti ) in a cosmos of
incessant change, but only took it into account as a com-
monly accepted view, expressing it, not as one positive phase
in three positive phases of  becoming, but negatively, as this
' otherness ' of  duration (i.e., a state of  duration other than
genesis and passing away) appears to ordinary intelligence.
(L 6, p. 84 f. )
At first  sight it would appear that the emphasis is on the
first  word : 'everything,' 'all.' This would be the case if
the thesis were here opposed to e k a e c a m atthi : ' some
things exist, some do not,' which is discussed in the next
discourse but one. But the context shows clearly that, in
both these theses, the emphasis is really on the word
'atthi' : 'is,' in the sense of  'exists.'
Now the Burmese translator supplies after  sab bag, a
term which, in Pali, is dhamma- j at aij. This, dis-
connected, is dhammass a jataij : the arising or
happening of  dhamma ; anything, that is, which exists
as a fact,  as opposed to a chimaera, or in the Pali idiom,
a hare's horn. (We use the term ' thing' not in the sense of
substance, or having a substrate, but as anything which is
exhausted, as to its being, by some or all of  the known twenty-
eight qualities of  body or matter, and by the facts  of  mind.
Should sabbang be understood collectively—' all,' or
distributively—' everything' ? Taken by itself,  one of  the
questions in § 1, p. 85 : " Does
 all' exist in all [things] ?"
would incline us at first  sight to the former  alternative, at
least in the case of  the locative term. Yet even here we do
not read the question as: Is there in the whole a whole ?
but as: Does the whole exist in everything, or every part ?
taking the nominative, sabbang , collectively, the locative,
sabbesu, distributively. And the context in general leads
us to the latter alternative. The Sabbatthivadin believes
in the continued existence of  any particular [thing] past,

present, and future.  The Commentator accounted for  this
belief  by that school's interpretation of  this postulate:
No past, present, or future  dhamma' s (facts-as-cognized)
abandon the kh andha-nature (sabbe pi a ti t ad i-
bheda dhamma khandha-sabha vaij na vijahanti) .
Once a dhamma, always a dhamma. The five  aggre-
gates (khandha's), in other words matter-mind, however
they may vary at different  times, bear the same general
characteristics all the time.
Perhaps the following  quotation from  John Locke's critics,
taken from  Green and Grose's Hume,  vol. i., p. 87, may
help to show the Commentator's meaning with reference  to
the rupakkhandha , or material aggregate : ' But of
this (that is, of  another thing which has taken the place of
a previous thing, making an impact on the sensitive tablet
at one moment, but perishing with it the next moment),
the real essence is just the same as the previous thing,
namely, that it may be touched, or is solid, or a body, or a
parcel of  matter; nor can this essence be really lost. . . .
It follows  that real change is impossible. A parcel of
matter at one time is a parcel of  matter at all times.'
Thus, the Sabbatthivadin might say, because a parcel of
matter to which we assign the name 'gold'' was yellow,
fusible,  etc., in the past, is so now, and will be so in future,
therefore  gold c
 exists.' Again, because fire  burned yester-
day, bums to-day, and will burn to-morrow, therefore  fire
In some such way this school had come to believe in the
immutable existence, the real essence of  all or everything,
taken in the distributive sense of  everything without excep-
tion ; but not always excluding the collective sense.
Rupa—e.g. , in § 3 :
 'Do past material qualities exist ?'—
refers  to the rupakkhandha , i.e., in a collective sense.
That, however, does not preclude any one of  the twenty-eight
qualities of  body (Compendium,  pp. 157-160) from  being
taken distributively, or prevent any material object com-
posed of  eight or more of  these qualities from  being discussed

In the heckling dialectic of  the paragraph numbered 22
(p. 89, f.),  we have found  it necessary to supply certain
terms chosen according to the context, and from  the Com-
mentary. The Pali reader should consult the Burmese
edition of  the latter, since there are errors of  printing and
punctuation in that compiled byMinayeff  (PTSedition p.45).
It may prove helpful  i f  we give in English the Burmese
translation of  the Commentary from  p. 45, 1. 18, PTS
edition : ' Athanam Sakavad I : yad i te.' . . .
Theravadin  : '  Let that thing of  yours, which, on becom-
ing present after  having been future,  be taken into account
as " having been, is." And let it equally be spoken of  as
" again having been, is." Then a chimera which, not having
been future  cannot become present, should be spoken of  as
"not having been, is not." But does your chimera repeat
the negative process of  not having been, is not? If  so,
it should be spoken of  as "again not having been, is not." '
The Opponent thinks:
 An imaginary thing cannot,
having been future,  become present, because of  its very non-
existence. Let it then be spoken of  as " not having been, is
not" (" na hutv a n a ho t i nam a tav a hotu." )
But how can such a thing repeat the negative process
(literally £
 state ' : bhavo) ? If  not, it cannot be spoken of
as " again not having been, is not."
The Sabbatthivadin is here and throughout represented
as dealing with mere abstract ideas of  time—i.e., with
abstract names for  divisions of  time—and not with things
or facts.  The object of  the Theravadin, in introducing
imaginary things, is to refute  arguments so based. His
opponent is not prepared to push his abstractions further
by allowing a repetition of  a process which actually never
once takes place.
(Seep. 179, V. 5.)
In this, the earliest Buddhist doctrine of  logical analysis,
the four  branches (or ' Four Patisambhida's), frequently
referred  to are (1) Attha-patisambhida : analysis

of  meanings ' in extension.' (2) Dhamma-patisam -
bhida : analysis of  reasons, conditions, or causal relations.
(3) Nirutti-patisambhida : analysis of  [meanings 'in
intension' as given in] definitions.  (4)Patibhana-pati -
sambhida : analysis of  intellect to which things lmowable
by the foregoing  processes are presented.
1. ' Attha ' does not refer  to verbal meanings. Ledi
Sadaw and U. Pandi agree with us that it means the
' thing' signified  by the term. Hence it is equivalent to
the European notion of  denotation, or meaning in extension.
2. The latter authority holds that dhamma refers  to
terms.  [He has, by the way, a scheme of  correspondence
between the branches of  the literary concept kavi,  and the
above-named branches:—
Attha-kavi ... ... Attha-patisambhida
Suta-kavi  ... ... Dhamma-    "
Cinta-kavi ... ... Nirutti-   "
Patibhana-kavi ... Patibhana  "
suggested by the mutually coinciding features.]  But in
the Abhidhanappadipika-suci,  art. dhamma , this term, in
the present connection, is taken to mean hetu, or paccaya
(condition, or causal relation): hetumhi nanam
dhamma - patisambhidati adisu hetumhi
paccaye .
3. Nirutti (ni [r] : 'de'  utti :'expression') means,
popularly, 'grammar '; technically it is ' word-definition  '
(viggaha , vacanattha) . E.g., Bujjhatiti Buddho
—'Buddha is one who knows'—is a definition  of  the word
'Buddha.' Such a definition  is nirutti , the meaning
being now expressed or uttered. Hence nirutti may
stand for  the European connotation, or meaning in intension.
4. Patibhan a (pati : 're';  bha : 'to beconae ap-
parent ') is defined  in the Abhidhanappadipika-suci:
patimukh a bhavanti , upatthahanti neyya
etenati patibhanaij : 'Patibhana ' means that
by which things knowable (1, 2, 3) become represented,
are present. The representative or ideating processes are

not themselves patisambhida , but are themselves (as
knowables) analyzed in ' analytic insight' (patisam-
Thus the scope of  this classic doctrine is entirely logical.
And while it is regarded as superior to popular knowledge,
it is distinct from  intuition. Men of  the world may develop
it, but not intuition. Ariyans, who attain to intuition,
might not have developed it to any great extent.
Patisambhid a in the Vihhaitf/a.
(PTS edition, chap, xv., p. 293 f. )
The definition  quoted above, § 2, cites this work:
hetumh i nanai j dhamm a patisambhida , p. 298.
In the list of  exegetical definitions  of  the four  branches,
entitled ' Suttanta-bhajaniyag,' we find  (1) Attha-pati -
sambhid a defined  as analysis of  phenomena, dhamma,
or things that ' have happened, become, . . . that are mani-
fest';  (2) dhamma-patisambhida, defined  as knowledge
of  conditions (hetu),  of  cause and effect  (hetuphala),  'of
phenomena by which phenomena have happened, become,'
etc. Thus (1) may be knowledge of  decay and death ;
(2) is then knowledge of  the causes (samitdaya)  of  decay and
death. Similarly for  the third and fourth  Truths (Cessation
and the Path). But (2) may also refer  to the Doctrine, or
Dhamma :—' knowledge of  the Suttas, the Verses,' and the

 Patibhana is here defined  as a technical term of  Buddhist
philosophy. Its popular meaning of  fluency  in literary expression is
well illustrated in the Vangisa  Sangyutta  (i. 187 of  the Nikaya).
Vangisa, the irrepressibly fluent  ex-occultist, is smitten with remorse
for  having, because of  his rhetorical gifts  (patibhana) , despised
friendly  brethren, and breaks forth  once more to express his re-
pentance, admonishing himself—as  Gotama, i.e., as the Buddha's
disciple (Comy.)—to  put away conceit. "When the afflatus  was upon
him in the Buddha's presence, he would ask leave to improvise with
the words : 'It is manifest  [is revealed] to me, Exalted One !' The
response is: 'Let it be manifest  to thee, Vangisa!' And he would
forthwith  improvise verses. Cf.  Pss. of  the Brethren,  p. 395, especially
pp, 399, 404.

Of  the third and fourth  branches, nirutti-patis ° is
always, in this chapter, defined  as abhilapa, or verbal
expression, or statement. And patibhana-patis° is always
defined  as ' knowledge in the knowledges,' as i f  it referred
to psychological analysis.
In the following  section or Abhidhammabhajaniyaij, we
find  an inverted order in branches 1, 2. The dhamma' s
considered are all states of  consciousness. If  they are
moral or immoral—i.e., i f  they have karmic efficacy  (as
causes)—knowledge of  them is called dhamma-analysis.
Knowledge of  their result,  and of  all mi moral or inoperative
states, which as such are results, is called attha-analysis.
As to 3, 4: knowledge o f  the connotation and expression of
dhamma' s as pannatti' s (term-concepts) is nirutti -
analysis. And ' the knowledge by which one knows those
knowledges ' (1-3) is patibhana-analysis.
We are greatly indebted to the kindness of  Ledi Sadaw
Mahathera for  a further  analysis of  Patisambhida :
' In this word, pat i means visum visum (separately,
one after  another); sam means 'well,' ' thoroughly'
bhid a means to 'break up.' Thus we get: Patisam-
bhid a is that by which Ariyan folk  well separate, analyze
[things] into parts.
This, as stated above, is fourfold:
1. Attha-patisambhida includes—(a)Bhasit'attha,
meaning in extension, things signified  bywords; (b)  Pac-
cayup pann' a ttha , things to which certain other things
stand in causal relation; (c) Vipak'attha , resultant
mental groups and matter born of  karma; (d)  Kiriy' -
attha ; inoperative mental properties—e.g., 'advertings'
of  the mind, etc.; (e)  Nibbana , the unconditioned.
2. Dhamma-patisambhida includes—(a)  Bhasita-
dhamma, or words spoken by the Buddha; (b)  Paccaya-
dhamma , things relating themselves to other objects by
way of  a cause; (c)  Kusala-dhamma ; (d)  Akusala -
dhamma , thoughts moral and immoral; (e) Ariya -
magga-dhamma, the Ariyan Path.

3. Nirutti-patisambhida is grammatical analysis
of  sentences.
4. Patibhana-patisambhid a is analytic insight
into the three preceding (1-3).
Further details may be found  in the Commentaries
on the Patisambhidamagga1
 and the Vibhanga.

 This work itself  describes the four  branches with some fulness.
See PTS edition, ii. 147 f .


Post a Comment