Showing posts with label Abhidhamma Pitaka. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Abhidhamma Pitaka. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Abhidhamma Pitaka - Patthana

Patthana Pali, the seventh and last book of the Abhidhamma, is called the Maha Pakarana, the ‘Great Book’ announcing the supreme position it occupies and the height of excellence it has reached in its investigations into the ultimate nature of all the dhammas in the Universe.

The Dhammasangani gives an enumeration of these dhammas classifying them under the Tika and Duka groups. Vibhanga analyses them to show what dhammas are contained in the major categories of khandhas, ayatanas, dhatus etc. Dhatukatha studies the relationship of dhammas listed in the Matika with each component of these major categories of khandhas, ayatanas and dhatus. Yamaka resolves ambiguity in the internal and external relationship of each dhamma. Patthana forming the last book of the Abhidhamma brings together all such relationship in a co-ordinated form to show that the dhammas do not exist as isolated entities but they constitute a well ordered system in which the smallest unit conditions the rest of it and is also being conditioned in return. The arrangement of the system is so very intricate, complex, highly thorough and complete that it earns for this treatise the reputation of being deep, profound and unfathomable.

The Buddha's teaching on the conditions for the phenomena of our life has been laid down in the last of the seven books of the Abhidhamma, the "Patthana", or "Causal Conditions and Relations". The Buddha, during the night of his enlightenment, penetrated all the different conditions for the phenomena, and he contemplated the "Dependant Origination" (Paticca Samuppada), the conditions for being in the cycle of birth and death, and the way leading to the elimination of these causes. It is said that the Buddha, during the fourth week after his enlightenment, sat in the "Jewel House", in the north west direction, and contemplated the Abhidhamma. The Abhidhamma was laid down later on in seven books. We read:

... And while he contemplated the contents of the "Dhammasangani" (the first book) , his body did not emit rays; and similarly with the contemplation of the next five books. But when, coming to the "Great Book" (the seventh book) , he began to contemplate the twenty-four universal causal relations of condition, of presentation, and so on, his omniscience certainly found its opportunity therein. For as the great fish "Timirati-pingala" (a giant fish) finds room only in the great ocean, so his omniscience truly finds room only in the Great Book. Rays of six colours- indigo, golden, red, white, tawny, and dazzling- emitted from the Teacher's body, as he was contemplating the subtle and abstruse Dhamma by his omniscience which had found such opportunity....

The teaching of the conditional relations is deep and it is not easy to understand the "Patthana", but we could at least begin to study different conditions and verify them in daily life. Before we knew the Buddha's teachings, we used to think of cause and effect in a speculative way. We may have reflected on the origin of life, on the origin of the world, we may have thought about causes and effects with regard to the events of life, but we did not penetrate the real conditions for the phenomena of life. The Buddha taught the way to develop understanding of what is true in the absolute or ultimate sense. We cannot understand the "Patthana" if we do not know the difference between what is real in conventional sense and what is real in the ultimate sense. Body and mind are real in conventional sense, they are not real in the ultimate sense. What we call body and mind are temporary combinations of different realities which arise because of conditioning factors and then fall away immediately.

They are succeeded by new realities which fall away again, and thus the flux of life goes on. Body, mind, person or being do not exist in the ultimate sense. Mental phenomena, nama, and physical phenomena, rupa, which constitute what we call a "person" are real in the ultimate sense, but they are merely passing phenomena. Ultimate truth is not abstract. Ultimate realities, in Pali: paramattha dhammas, have each their own characteristic which cannot be changed. We may change the name, but the characteristic remains the same. Seeing is an ultimate reality, it experiences visible object which appears through the eyes; it is real for everyone, it has its own unalterable characteristic. Anger has its own characteristic, it is real for everyone, no matter how we name it. Ultimate realities can be directly experienced when they appear through eyes, ears, nose, tongue, bodysense or mind. They arise because of their appropriate conditions.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Abhidhamma Pitaka - Yamaka

The Yamaka (ञमक; Pali for "pairs") is part of the Pali Canon, the scriptures of Theravada Buddhism. It is included in the Abhidhamma Pitaka, which according to the scriptures themselves was taught by the Buddha himself. Scholars do not take this literally, though some have suggested that some central ideas of the Abhidhamma may go back to him.

The book is in ten chapters, each dealing with a particular topic of Buddhist doctrine: roots, aggregates and so on. The treatment is by way of questions and answers: Is X Y? But is Y X? This pairing of converse questions gives the book its name, which means "pair" in Pali. In addition to the identity questions above, the main types are:

For a person (and/or in a place) that X arises/arose/will arise/cease, does/did/will Y ... ?
Does a person who understands X understand Y?

A translation has been published in Malaysia but is probably unobtainable. A detailed outline can be found in Guide through the Abhidhammapitaka by Nyanatiloka.

Download English Abhidhamma Pitaka Yamaka

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Kathavatthu - Appendix III

Points of  Controversy
Subjects of  Discourse

(VII. 1, p. 195.)
This little discourse is interesting for  its bearing on the
historic European controversy between Universals and

Particulars, dating from  Herakleitus and Parmenides, two
and a half  centuries before  the date of  our work, with
the problems: How can the Many be One ? How can the
One be in the Many ? Both the Kathavatthu and its
Commentary oppose the limiting of  groupable things to
mental facts.  If  certain things be counted one by one,
they reach a totality (gananag gacchanti) , say, a totality
of  five.  This total needs a generic concept to express itself.
If  the five  units happen to possess common, say, bovine,
attributes, we apply the concept 'bullocks,' 'cows.' So
with the concept' dog,' which holds together all individuals
possessing canine attributes. Again, if  we were to count by
groups, say, three bullocks and three dogs, the units would
reach the same total. But we should require a more
general, a ' higher' concept—' animal,' or the like—to
include both species. Now whether we have relatively
homogeneous units under a general notion, or relatively
heterogeneous groups under a wider notion, they reach
hereby an abridged statement (uddesAIJ gacchanti )
in the economy of  thought.
The Theravadin, as we have recorded, does not approve
of  the crude rope simile, because the material bond is
necessarily different  from  the mental concept, and the
term, physical and mental, binding units together. Neither
does he altogether disapprove of  the simile, since language,
rooted in sense-experience, compels us to illustrate mental
processes by material phenomena.
(VII. 5.)
Paribhoga is enjoyment. Utility, as ethicists and
economists use the term, is enjoyability, positive benefit.

 It is interesting to compare the ganana (number), sangah a
(class), uddes a (abridged statement), of  fcssa's  Katha-vatthu  with
such disquisitions on number, class, general term, as that by Mr.
Bertrand Russell in his examination of  Frege's Qrundlagen  der
Arithmetic  in ' Our Knowledge  of  the External  World,',  p. 201 L

And the opponents claim that ' there is merit consisting in
the fact,  not that the good deed was done with benevolent
intention, but that the deed done is bestowing enjoyment
or utility.' The orthodox argument seeks only to prove the
unsoundness of  this way of  reckoning merit (for  the doer),
either on grounds of  psychological process [1] or of  ethics
[2, 3]. His own position, stated positively, is that the
donor's will (c e t a n a) or intention is the only standard,
criterion, ultimate court of  appeal, by which to judge of
the merit (to himself)  o f  his act. Posterity may bless him
for  utility accruing to it. But if  he gave as a benefactor
malgre  lui, he will in future  be, not better, but worse off .
(XV. 1, 2.)
The word paccaya,
 used in popular diction, together
with hetu , for  ' cause
 or ' reason why,' is closely akin to
 relation.' lie and pati (p a c c a y a is contracted from
pati-a y a) are coincident in meaning. Ay a is a causative
form  of  i, ' to go,' giving ' go back' for  the Latin [re]latus,
 carry back.' Now£
 relation,' as theory of'  things as having
to do with each other,' put into the most general terms
possible, includes the class called causal relation, viz.,
things as related by way of  cause-effect.  But paccaya ,
as relation, implies that, for  Buddhist philosophy, all modes
of  relation have causal significance,  though the causal
efficacy,  as power to produce the effect ,  may be absent.
To understand this we must consider everything, not as
statically existing, but as 'happening,' or 'event.' We
may then go on to define  paccaya as an event which
helps to account for  the happening of  the paccayup-
panna, ie., the effect ,  or 'what-has-happened-through-the-
paccaya. ' These two terms are thus ? related.' Dropping
our notion of  efficient  cause (A as having power to pro-
duce B), and holding to the ' helping to happen ' notion,

 Pronounce pach-chaya  with the same cadence as ' bachelor.'

we see this recognized in the definition  of  paccay a as
' that which was the essential mark of  helping, of  working
up to (upakaraka), ' namely, to a given happening.
may not produce, or alone bring to pass, that happening ;
but it is concerned therewith.
Calling it the paccaya , A, and the other term, the
other happening, B, the paccayuppanna , and referring
to the twenty-four  classes of  relations distinguished in
Abhidhamma, A may 4
 help ' as being ' contiguous,' 're-
peated,' a
f i
 dominant' circumstance, or by £
 leading towards,'
as ' path ' (magga-paccaya ) or means. But only such
a paccay a as
 will '(cetana ) related, as ' karma,'
 to a
result (v i p a k a), is adequate to produce, or to cause that
result B.
In the expression idappaccayata—' conditionedness
of  this—' this' (ida) refers  to B, but the compound refers
to A: A is the 'paccaya-of-£/us." The abstract form
is only the philosophic way of  expressing paccaya .
The terms discussed above — dhamma-thitata ,
dhamma-niyamata—ar e synonymous with ida p -
paccayata , and mean B is established through A, is
fixed  through A. This does not mean ' is produced (solely)
by A,' but only ' happens whenever A happens,' and
' happens because, inter alia, A happens.' In other words,
by a constant relation between A and B, we are enabled to
infer  the happening of  B from  the happening of  A.
The classification  of  relations by the Hon. B. Russell,
referred  to on p. 294, n. 3, is as follows:—'A  relation is
symmetrical if,  whenever it holds between A and B, it also
holds between B and A;' asymmetrical, 'if  it does not hold
between B and A.' But of  yet greater interest is it to see
this learned author, ignorant to all appearances of  perhaps
one subject only—Buddhist philosophy—generalizing the
whole concept of  causality in terms of  relations, namely,
'that what is constant in a causal law is not ' A or B,

 Buddhist  Psychology,  London, 1914, p. 194 f .
 In the mode called janaka-kamma (reproductive karma).
See Compendium,  loo cit.

' but the relation between A and B . . . that a causal law
involves not one datum, but many, and that the general
scheme of  a causal law will be ' Whenever things occur in
certain relations to each other, another thing, B, having a
fixed  relation to those A's, will occur in a certain time-
relation to them 5
 (op.  cit., 215 f.).  Or again, ' The law of
causation . . . may be enunciated as follows  :—There are
certain invariable relations between different  events,' etc.
(p. 221). These ' invariable relations ' are, for  Buddhists,
the twenty-four  kinds of  paccayas , including the time-
relation, which are conceived, not as efficient  causes, but as
 events' which in happening ' help' to bring about the
correlated event called paccayuppanna .
In the Abhidhmiappadipika-suct  time is defined  under
three aspects:—
1. ' Time is a concept by which the terms of  life,  etc., are
cpunted or reckoned.
2. ' Time is that " passing by " reckoned as " so much has
passed," etc.
3. 'Time is eventuation or happening, there being no
such thing as time exempt from  events."
The second aspect refers  to the fact  of  change or imper-
manence; the third brings up the fact  of  perpetual becom-
ing. Prom perpetual becoming we get our idea of  abstract
time (maha-kala), which is eternal, and lacks the com-
mon distinction of  past, present, future,  but which, to adopt
M. Bergson's phraseology, 'looked at from  the point o f  view
of  multiplicity, . . disintegrates into a powder of  moments,
none of  which endures.'
 . . .
 For the general reader we may state that this valuable book, by
the venerable scholar Subhuti Maha-Thera, published at Colombo
1893, is an Index and Corny, on a work on Pali nouns, written by the
rammarian Moggallana in the twelfth  century A.D.
 Introd.  to Metaphysics,  51

Now it is clear from  the Kathavatthi
 that, for  Budd-
hism, time-distinctions have no objective existence of  their
own, and that reality is confined  to the present. The
past reality has perished; the future  reality is not yet
become. And when Buddhist doctrine says that reality is
present, both these terms refer  to one and the same thing
per se. "When this gives up its reality, it gives up its
presence; when it gives up being present, it ceases to be
Things in time are not immutably fixed.
 In Ledi Sadaw's
words:—As in our present state there is, so in our past has
there been, so in the future  will there be, just a succession
of  purely phenomenal happenings, proceedings, consisting
solely of  arisings and ceasings, hard to discern . . . because
the procedure is ever obscured by our notion of  continuity.'
Thus they who have not penetrated reality c
 see only a
continuous and static condition in these phenomena.'
Now each momentary state or uprising of  mind6
 is logically
complex and analyzable, but psychologically, actually, a
simple indivisible process. There is a succession of  these
states, and their orderly procession is due to the natural
uniformity  of  mental sequence—the Chitta-niyama.
And they present a continuous spectrum of  mind in which
one state shades of f  into another, laterally and lineally, so
that it is hard to say ' where,' or when one ends and the
other begins.
The laws or principles discernible in these mental con-
tinua of  the Chitta-niyama are, according to Buddhist
philosophy, five  of  the twenty - four  casual relations
(paccaya) , to wit, 'contiguity,' immediate contiguity
(in time), absence, abeyance, sufficing  condition. Ex-
plained without such technicalities, the past state, albeit

 See I. 6-8.
 See I. 6, § 5.
 See I. 10.
 ' Some Points of  Buddbist Doctrine,' JPTS,  1918-14, p. 121.
 Ibid.,  155..
 See Mrs. Rh. D., Buddhism,  1912, p. 119, and Ledi Sadaw's
'Expositions' {Buddhist  Beview, October, 1915).

it is absent, gone, has become wrought up into its imme-
diate successor, the present state, as a new whole. These
five  are compared to the five  strands of  a thread on which
are strung the pearls of  a necklace.
 But each indivisible
whole was real only while it lasted.
Matter, no less than mind, is logically resolved into
different  qualities, which we group, classify,  explain. But
nature gives us simple, indivisible wholes, qualities mutu-
ally inseparable, even in a dual existence such as that of
intelligent organisms. The whole is actually indivisible,
body and mind being inseparable.
Now what time is to life,  space is to matter. Space, like
time, is a permanent concept or mental construction, which
constitutes a sufficing  condition for  the movement o f  bodies.
It is void, unperceivable, without objective reality.
(XIX. 7.)
Accant a is ati-anta:
 beyond the end, or the very
last. Like eka n ta, it is rendered by Burmese translators
' true/ and for  this reason : The only assurance we get
from  science that the sun will rise to-morrow, and at
a given time, is our belief  in the uniformity  of  Nature,
a belief  established by past observation yielding no excep-
tion to the rule. The belief  amounts, as we say, to a moral
certainty—i.e., we can act upon it. But since, for  all we know,
some unforeseen  force  may divert the relative positions of
sun and earth, the uniformity  of  physical nature is not an
order of  things which has reached finality  in certainty. In
other words, it is not ' true ' absolutely.

 Cf .  Compendium,  Mrs. Eh. D., Buddhist  Psychology,
1914, p. 194 i
 This, when pronounced atyanta , slips into the full  cerebral
double c (which is pronounced cch). Cf .  paccaya (see Note 11).;

(XI . 7 ; XXIII . 5) .
This word is, according to the Abliidhdnappadlpikasiicl,
derived from  the root 'pad,' 'to go,' through its causal
verb 'padeti,' 'to move or set agoing.' The prefix  'ni '
alters the meaning of  ' being set agoing' into ' being
accomplished' (siddhiy ag). Ledi Sadaw qualifies  this
meaning by ' accomplished by causes, such as karma, etc.'
(kammadlh i paccayeh i nipphaditag) . Now
karma is psychologically reduced to volition (cetana>
Hence anything accomplished by volition is ' accomplished
by causes/ or ' determined/ And i f  karma happens to be past,
the word under discussion implies ' predetermination.' This
term is technically applied to the eighteen kinds of  material
 the remaining ten, in the dual classification  of
matter, being termed anipphannarupa's , or 'un-pre-
The following  quotation from  the Abhidhammavatara
(p. 74 PTS. Ed.) is in point:—'(It may be urged that) if  these
(ten) be undetermined, they would be unconditioned. But
how can they be unconditioned when they are changing
their aspects (vikaratta) ? These (un-) determined, too,
are conditioned. Thus the conditionedness of  the (un-)
determined may be understood.' Prom the Buddhist point
of  view, Nibbana alone is unconditioned. Therefore  the
Conditioned includes both the ' determined' and the
' undetermined.'
The Katha XXIII. 5 indicates the general use of  the
term parinipphanna . The Burmese translators do
not distinctively bring out the force  of  the prefix  'pari. '
A paticcasamuppannadhamma , i.e., anything that
springs into being through a cause, is necessarily con-
ditioned (sankhata). And one of  the characteristic
marks of  the conditioned is impermanence. The universal

 See Abhidhammavatara, loc. cit. ; Compendium,  p. 156.

 Whatever is impermanent is ill'—is a Bud-
dhist thesis. Mind and matter are both impermanent and
are, therefore,  ill. In other words, our personality — or
more analytically, personality minus craving—constitutes
the First Ariyan Fact of  111 . Ill, thus distributed, is
determined. But the opponent errs in regarding the
content of  the term parinipphann a as exhausted by
11 1 proper. By this unnecessary restriction he errs in his
application of  the contrary term aparinipphann a to
other factors  of  life.
Since a Dhamma or phenomenon other than Nibbana is
conditioned, it follows  that each link in the chain of  causa-
tion is conditioned. Takemind-and-body (namarupa):—
this we have shown to be a paticcasamuppann a
because it comes into being through causes. And though
it may also act as a paticcasamuppad a or causal
antecedent in turn, it is not determined as such, i.e., qua
cause. Dhammathitat a is nothing more than a
paticcasamuppad a stated in an abstract form.  Now
in XI. 7 the opponent regards ' the state of  being a cause'
as different  from  the causal element and, therefore,  as
determined separately from  the thing itself.  In other
words, the opponent holds that causality or causation itself,
connoted by the term dhammathitata , is determined.
Again, aniccat a and jarata , as mere aspects of
' determined?
 matter, are two of  the admittedly anipphan-
narupa's . And by analogy, aniccat a of  mind would
be equally undetermined. In fact,  aniccata , as a mere
mark of  the conditioned, is not specially determined, as the
opponent, in XI. 8, would have it to be.
(VIII. 9, § 1, p. 221 f.)
Since sending this discourse to press, we have discovered
that the triad:—'willing, anticipating, aiming' (cetana,
patthana,  panidhi),  so often  in the present work added to

the four other mental activities: 'adverting, ideating,co-
ordinated application, attending,' occurs in the Anguttara-
Nikaya, v. 212 f. E.g. 'when a person has all the
attributes of the Ariyan Eightfold Path, coupled with true
insight and emancipation, whatever he does in accordance
with the rightness of his views, what he wills, anticipates,
aims at, whatever his activities:-all these will conduce to
that which is desirable, lovely, pleasant, good and happy.'

Kathavatthu - Appendix II

Points of  Controversy
Subjects of  Discourse

(II. , 9 , 10. )
The latter term means literally ' beyond-well-making-go,'
and, in this physical sense, is used once or twice in the
Vedas and the Upanisads. Mental activity, however,
borrowed the term now and then in the older Upanisads, so
that the double usage obtained contemporaneously, just as
we speak of  ' getting at,' or ' grasping ' either a book, or a
meaning in it. In Buddhist literature the secondary
psychological, and metaphysical meaning would seem alone
to have survived. Buddhaghosa, commenting on the Dtgha-
Nik.  (i. p. 32: ' samaya '), distinguishes three uses of
the compound term, one of  which is that which is used
in the discourse in question, namely, pativedha , or
penetration, piercing, that is, by, as it were, an in thrust
of  mind. In the opening of  the
 Abhisamaya-vagga, '
Samyutta-Nik.,  ii., 133, it is applied to one who compre-
hends, and is used synonymously with 4
 acquiring a vision
(eye) for  things'; in the 'Vacchagotta-Sangyutta' (ibid.,
iii. 260) it is used synonymously with insight, vision,
enlightenment, penetration. In the Milinda questions,
again, we find  it associated with pativedha: 'Who have
penetrated to a comprehension of  the Four Truths (or
Facts)' (transl. ii. 237). Similarly in the Dhammapada
Comy.: ' Aggasavaka-vatthu(i. 109 f.).
The analytic aspect of  intellectual activity being, as we

have seen, so emphatically developed in the doctrine of
Patisambhida , we are brought up against a dual view
of  cognition in Buddhist philosophy, suggestive of  the
sharper and more systematically worked out distinction in
Henri Bergson's philosophy between Vintelligence—the
mind as analytic—and intuition, or that immediacy of  in-
sight which 4
 by a sort of  intellectual sympathy' lire*,
or recreates that which it is coming-to-know.
In the Ariyan—to resume Dr. Ledi's note on Pati -
sambhida—intuition or insight (ariya-magga-nana)
is accompanied by analysis. In the case of  puthuj -
jana' s ('average sensual folk,'  or it may be clever or
learned, but not truly religious folk),  much analytic insight
may be developed after  adequate studies. But that which
they may thus acquire by sutama y a-nan a (cf .  XX., 3),
i.e., intellect developed by information,  is not so much
a genuine intuitive insight as erudite insight. Thus
in the Commentaries it is said : —" But the worldling
wins no intuitive insight even after  he has acquired much
learning." But there is no Ariyan who has not attained
intuitive insight. And it is peculiarly his to practise that
ekabhisamaya, or penetration into the unity of  the
real and the true, which is arrested and dismembered in
analysis. His endeavour is, in the metaphor of  the
Katha-vatthu  (II. 10), not to be content with the wand,
wooden or gold, o f  language, pointing only at, but never
revealing that which it tries to express, but to enter into
 heap of  paddy or of  gold.' That power of  penetration,
according to Ledi Sadaw (•JPTS1914,  p. 154 L), he can
attain by persistent cultivation transforming  his analytic,
inferential  knowledge. When won, its distinctive quality
is the power of  cognizing the purely phenomenal, the
purely elemental stripped of  the crust of  the pseudo-
permanencies :—' person,' 'being,' 'self,' 'soul,' 'persistent
thing.' The wand of  language points to all these crust-
names. By abhisamaya, pativedha, intuition, he
gets beneath them.

(V. , 4 , p . 17 7 ; YL , 1 , p . 18 5 ; XIII. , 4 , p . 275. )
Niy am a means ' fixity,'  but ni y a ma is 'that which
fixes.'  The former  is derived from  ni-yam-ati , to fix;
the latter from  the causative : niy ameti , to cause to be
fixed.  When the Path—i.e., a certain direction, course,
tendency, profession,  progressive system of  a person's life
—is called sammatta , or, contrariwise, micchatta -
n i y a m a, both forms  are understood in the causal sense.
Thus the former  ' path' inevitably establishes the state of
exemption from  apaya' s (rebirth in misery), and the
latter inevitably establishes purgatorial retribution after
the next death. Niy am a, then, is that by which the
N i y a m a (the fixed,  or inevitable order o f  things) is estab-
lished, or that by which fixity  is brought about, or marked
out in the order of  things.
 (With reference  to the appa-
rently indiscriminate use of  ni y a ma, niy am a—see
p. 275, n. 1—the Burmese are wont carelessly to write the
former  for  the latter, because they always pronounce the
a short and quick.
Our choice of  Assurance may seem to give an undue
subjectivity to the pair of  terms. It is true that it lends
itself  here to criticism. And we confess  that the wr
ish to
get a term with the religious expressiveness that Assurance
bears with it for  readers nurtured in Christian tradition
overbore our first  thought of  choosing certainty, fixity,
fixed  order. We may, however, add to our apology (1) that
in XIX. 7, § 1,
 assurance' is opposed to ' doubt,' which is
unquestionably subjective ; (2) that both ' assurance' and
the Greek plerophoria3
 have both an objective and a sub-
jective import. 'Assurance ' may mean a means or orderly
arrangement through which we attain assured feeling,  say,

 Cf .  Buddhism,  London, 1912, p. 119 f .
 Cf.  English 'drummer,' which gives the sound of  the short
Indian a.
3 See Bom. xiv. 5; Col. ii. 2 ; 1 These. I 5 ; Heb. vi. 11—'to the
full  assurance of  hope to the end.'

about our property. The Greek word is simply a 'full
conveyance,' to wit, of  news or evidence.
We should not therefore  be far  from  the truth in con-
sidering our twin terms rendered by Assurance as the more
subjective aspect of  the Buddhist notion of  course or destiny
popularly and objectively expressed as Path (m a g g a)—
path good or bad:—the Way, narrow or broad, the Path,
hoclos, via, of  Christian doctrine, ' the way of  his saints,'
' the way of  the evil man' of  the Jewish doctrine (Prov.
ii. 8, 12).
(XX L 7, 8. )
The two discourses so numbered deal with the belief  or
disbelief  in a rigid, inexorable uniformity  of  cause and
effect  in the cosmos, as obtaining not only as a general law,
but also in all particular successions of  cause-effect.
In other words, can we predict  for  every phenomenon
(dhamma) , for  every act (kamma), a corresponding,
assignable result ? Is this result the immutable invariable
result of  that  cause ?
The term for  such an immutable fixed  result, for  the
Buddhist, is niyata , an adjectival past participle corre-
sponding to niyama, on which see note A. The idea of
predictability is also taken into account—see the interesting
little discourse, V. 8:—Of  Insight  into the Future—but  the
more prevailing notion qualifying  the belief  in cosmic order
is that of  fixity  and of  flexibility.
The orthodox view is that, in the whole causal flux  of
' happenings '—and these comprise all dhamma ' s, all
kamma's—there are only two rigid successions, or orders
o f  specifically  fixed  kinds of  cause-and-effect.  These are—
(1) The sammatta-niyama ; (2) the micchatta -
niyama . By or in the latter, certain deeds, such as
matricide, result in purgatorial retribution immediately
after  the doer's next death. By or in the former,  the Path-
graduate will win eventually the highest 'fruit'  and

Nibbana. Neither result is meted out by any Celestial
Power. Both results are inherent to that cosmodicy or
natural order which includes  a moral  order  (k a m m a-
niyama) , and which any judge, terrestrial or celestial,
does or would only assist in carrying out. To that a Bud-
dhist might adapt and apply the Christian logion :—'Before
Abraham was, I am'—and say :—' Before  the Judge was,
IT is.' That some happenings are moral, some immoral, is
not so because of  any pronouncements human or divine.
The history of  human ideas reveals mankind as not
creating the moral code, but as evolving morally in efforts
to interpret  the moral order.
But these two fixed  orders do not exhaust the universe
 happenings.' There is a third category belonging to
neither. Hence the objection of  the Theravadin to the
word 'all.' Dhamma ' s is a wider category than
kamma' s or karma. What is true of  dhamma' s is
true of  k a m m a's, for  the former  category includes the
latter. But the line of  reasoning in the discourse on
dhamma' s refers  to mind and matter as exhausting the
universe of  existence.
As regards matter, we may illustrate by a modern
instance. The opponent would maintain that both radium
and helium are substances immutably fixed,  each in its
own nature, because of  the, as yet, mysterious radio-active
properties of  the former,  and because of  the—so to speak
—' heliocity1
 of  the latter. Now the Theravadin would not
know that radium may change into helium. But from  his
general point of  view he would reply that anyway neither
radium nor helium is immutably fixed,  because they do
not belong to either of  the fixed  orders recognized in
his doctrine. Thus would he conclude respecting all
dhamma' s that are not kamma's .
Concerning these, that is, moral and immoral acts, the
opponent submits that the universal law of  causation is
uniform  to this extent, that every kind of  action must
invariably, inevitably have its specific  reaction, that the

 Cf.  Buddhism,  London, 1912, chap. v.

same kamma must have the same effect.  This is accepted
as true in tendency, and as a general theory only. But
whereas Buddhist philosophy did not anticipate the Berg-
sonian insight into the effects  of  vital causes amounting to
new and unpredictable creations,  it did and does recognize
the immense complexity in the eventuation of  moral results.
Kamma's, it teaches, are liable to be counteracted and
deflected,  compounded and annulled in what might be
called the
 composition of  moral forces.'
 Hence there
is nothing rigid, or, as we should say, definitely  predictable,
about their results in so far  as they come under the Third
or residual category mentioned above, and not under either
of  the two ' fixed'niyat  a orders.
(YI. 1, p. 187; XI. 7, p. 261.) i may be used to mean cause. And the yet more
abstract form  thitata , although, in the latter reference,
we have called it ' state of  being a cause,' is used concretely
as in the former  reference  (see n. 2), meaning ' causes'
by which resulting things are established. For in Abhi-
dhamma only bhava-sadhan a definitions—i.e.,  defi-
nitions in terms of'  state,' are recognized (see Convpendmm,
p. 7). Hence dh atu-dhamma-thit a ta becomes that
which, as cause, establishes elements as effects.  Thus it is
applied to each term in the chain o f  causation (paticea -
samuppada) : to ignorance as the cause of  karma
(sankhara's) , to these as the cause of  consciousness,
and so on.
Synonymous with this is the term dhamma-niyamata,
meaning that which as cause invariably Jixes  things, in
our minds, as effects.
Bearing these implications in mind, we may render the
commentarial discussion of  the Sutta-passage (p. 187, § 4,
as follows:  'What I have described above as dhat.u-
dhamma-thitata , or-niyamata, is no other than

 See, e.g., on classes of  karma, Compendium,  p. 148 f

the terms " ignorance," etc. Whether the Tathagata has
arisen or not, volitional actions of  mind (karma) come into
being because of  ignorance, and rebirth -cons cio u sn e ss
comes into being because of  volitional actions of  mind, etc.
Hence in the phrase " because of  ignorance the actions of
the mind," ignorance is termed dhammathitata ,
because, as a cause or means, it establishes the dhamma' s
which are actions of  mind. Or again, " ignorance " is
termed d h a m m a - niyamat a because, as cause or
means, it invariably fixes  or marks them.'
The difference  between the two synonyms would seem
to be that -t hi t at a is objective, -niyamat a is sub-
jective. In other words, the basic principle ' ignorance,'
or any other a n g a in the chain, is there as a cause per se,
whether Tathagatas arise or not. But because of  the
stability of  the law of  causality, or uniformity  in the order
of  phenomena (dhamma-niy am at a), or orderly pro-
gression of  the Norm, we are enabled by the principle of
induction to infer  the effect  from  the cause.
It is clear, from  our Commentary, that dhamma in
this connection means ' effects'  [in the Chain of  Causa-
tion]. Moreover, the Abhidlicmappaddpika-sncl  refers  both
synonyms to effect:—  thita va m dhatii  dhammathitata
dhamma-niy  amat a ddisu  i
 — i.e., ' in the
effect.'  This last term =paticca-mmuppanna, and is op-
posed to paccaya : cause, condition, and paticca -
samuppada : any concrete cause (in the causal formula).
(X. 3, § 4, p. 246.)
Nimitt a is derived by some from  ni + ma, to limit;
and is defined  as ' that which limits its own fruit  (effect)  *:
attan o phaia g nirainatet i (Abhidhanappadipika-
suci). According to this definition  it denotes a causal
factor,  limiting, determining, conditioning, characterizing,
etc., its own effect.
 Hence anything entering into a causal

 Cf .  p. 226, n. l.

relation, by which its effect  is signified,  marked, or charac-
terized, is a nimitta . An object, image, or concept
which, on being meditated upon, induces samadh i
(Jhana) is a nimitt a (see the stages specified  in Com-
pendium,  p. 54). False opinion (ditthi ) engendered by
hallucination concerning impermanence—in other words,
a perverted view of  things as permanent—is a nimitt a
(ibid.,  p. 217). This functions  either as a cause of  ' will-to-
live,' or as a sign of  worldliness. Emancipation from  this
nimitt a is termed animittavimokkh a (ibid.,
p. 216). Again, sexual characters are comprised under
four  heads: linga, nimitta, akappa, kutta, nimitta,
standing for  outward characteristics, male or female  (Bud.
Psy. Eth.,  § § 633, 634).
Later exegeses, deriving the word from  the root mill,
to pour out, are probably derivations d'occasion.
Now in this argument (X. 3) the opponent confuses  the
n a n i m i 11 a [-g a h i]—4
 does not grasp at the general [or
sex] characters of  the object seen, heard, etc.'—of  the
quotation with a nimitta , a synonym, like 'emptiness'
(sunnata ) of  Nibbana. He judges that the Path-
graduate, when he is not -nimitta-grasping, is grasping
the a-nimitta or signless (Nibbana), instead of  exercising
self-control  in presence of  alluring features  in external ob-
jects, whether these be attractive human beings or what not.
According to the Commentary the expression cited,
'does not grasp at, etc.,' refers  'not to the moment of
visual or other sense-consciousness, but to the javana-
kkhana, or moment of  apperception ; hence even in the
worldly course of  things it is inconclusive.' This is made
clearer in the following  discourse (X. 4), where ethical
matters are stated to lie outside the range of  sense-con-
sciousness as such.

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 .

Kathavatthu - Of United Resolve; Bogus Arahants; Self-governed Destiny; Counterfeit States of Consciousness; the Undetermined

Points of Controversy
Subjects of Discourse


1. Of United Resolve.
Controverted Point.—That sexual relations may be entered
upon with a united resolve.1
From the Commentary.—Snch a vow may be undertaken, some
think—for instance, the Andhakas and the Vetulyakas2—by a human
pair who feel mutual sympathy or compassion3 [not passion merely],
and who are worshipping, it may be, at some Buddha-shrine, and
aspire to be united throughout their future lives.
[1] Th.—Do you imply that a united resolve may be
undertaken which does not befit a recluse, does not become
a bhikkhu, or that it may be undertaken by one who has
cut off the root [of rebirth], or when it is a resolve that
would lead to a Parajika offence ?4
Or when it is a resolve by which life may be slain, theft
committed, lies, slander, harsh words, idle talk uttered,
burglary committed, dacoity, robbery, highway robbery,
adultery, sack and loot of village or town be committed . .5
[You must be more discriminating in your use of the
term ' with a united resolve'!]

Ekadhippayo. There is nothing objectionable in the relation
so entered upon, except, of course, for the recluse or a member of
the Order.
See XVII. 6.
Karunna, 'pity,' not the term anukampana , which does
much duty in Buddhism to express affection in social and conjugal
relations. See Ency. Religions, 'Love, Buddhist.' On the belief in
such repeated unions, see Maha Kassapa's legend, Pss. of the Brethren,
p. 359 f., and Bhadda's (his wife's) verses, Pss, of the Sisters, p. 49.
Meriting expulsion from the Order.
Dialogues, i. 69.

2. Of Bogus Arahants.
Controverted Point.—That infra-human beings, taking the
shape of Arahants,1 follow sexual desires.
From the Commentary.—This belief arose in consequence of the
dress and deportment of evil-minded bhikkhus, and is held by some—
for instance, certain of the Uttai apathakas.
[1] Th.—Would you also say that such beings, resem-
bling Arahants, commit any or all such crimes as are stated
above (XXIII. 1) ? You deny; but why limit them to
one only of those crimes ?
3. Of Self-govern ed Destiny.
Controverted Point.—That a Bodhisat (or future Buddha)
(a), goes to an evil doom, (b) enters a womb, (c) performs
hard tasks, (d) works penance under alien teachers of his
own accord and free will.
From the Commentary.—Some—for instance, the Andhakas—-judge
that the Bodhisatta, in the case of the Six-toothed Elephant Jataka2
and others, was freely so reborn as an animal or in purgatory, that
he freely performed difficult tasks, and worked penance under alien
[1] (a) Th.—Do you mean that he so went and endured
purgatory, the Sanjiva, Kalasutta, Tapana, Patapana, San-
ghataka, Roruva, and Avichi hells? If you deny, how can
you maintain your proposition ? Can you quote me a
Sutta to support this ?
[2] (b).—You maintain that he entered the womb of his
own free will.3 Do you also imply that he chose to be
reborn in purgatory, or as an animal? That he possessed

It should be remembered that in a wider, popular sense, any
religieux were—at least, in the commentarial narratives — called
Arahants—i.e., 'worthy ones,' 'holy men.' Cf. Pss. of the Sisters,
p. 130; Dhammapada Commentary, i. 400.
No. 514.
The PTS edition omits Amanta here.

magic potency ? You deny.1 I ask it again. You assent.2
Then did he practise the Four Steps to that potency—will,
effort, thought, investigation ? Neither can you quote me
here a Sutta in justification.
[3] (c).—You maintain further that the Bodhisat of his
own free will performed that which was painful and hard
to do. Do you thereby mean that he fell back on wrong
views such as ' the world is eternal,' etc., or ' the world is
finite,' etc., or 'infinite,' etc., 'soul and body are the same,'
. . . 'are different,' 'the Tathagata exists after death,' 'does
not exist,' ' both so exists and does not,' ' neither so exists
nor does not ' ? Can you quote me a Sutta in justification?
[4] (d).—You maintain further that the Bodhisat o f his
own free will made a series of penances following alien
teachers. Does this imply that he then held their views ?
Can you quote me a Sutta in justification ? . . .

4. Of Counterfeit States of Consciousness.
Controverted Point.—That there is that which is not
(a) lust, (b) hate, (c) dulness, (d) the corruptions, but which
counterfeits each of them.
From the Commentary.—Such are with regard to (a) amity, pity,
approbation ; with regard to (b) envy, selfishness, worry; with regard
to (c) the sense of the ludicrous ; with regard to (d) the suppressing of
the discontented, the helping of kindly bhikkhus, the blaming of the
bad, the praising of the good, the declaration of the venerable Pilinda-
Vaccha about outcasts,3 the declarations of the Exalted Ones about the
incompetent or irredeemable.4 Such is the opinion held, for instance,
by the Andhakas.

Free will, as liberty to do what one pleases through a specific
power or gift, is practically a denial of karma. Hence this question.—
He denies with reference to iddhi as accomplished by practice,
then assents with reference to iddhi as accomplished by merit.--
Vasala. Udana, iii. 6.
Mogha-purisa — e.g., Sunakkhatta, the Licchavi (Digha-
Nik., iii. 27 f.). The term is preceded by khelasika-vadang ,
'declaration about spittle-eaters,' presumably a term of opprobrium,
but the context of which we cannot trace

[1] Th.—Do you imply that there is that which is not
contact, not feeling, not perceiving, not volition, not cogni-
tion, not faith, not energy, not mindfulness, not concen-
tration, not understanding, but which simulates each of
these ?
[2] Similarly for (b), (c), (d).

5. Of the Undetermined
Controverted Point.—That the aggregates, elements, con-
trolling powers—all save 111 , is undetermined.1
From the Commentary.—Such is the opinion held by some—for
instance, certain of the Uttarapathakas and the Hetuvadins. Their
authority they find in the lines :
'Tis simply Ill that riseth, simply Ill
That doth persist, and then fadeth away.
Nought beside Ill it is that doth become ;
Nought else but Ill it is doth pass away.2
[1] Th.—Do you then maintain that [the marks of the
conditioned are lacking in, say, the material aggregate—
that] matter is not impermanent, not conditioned, has not
arisen because of something, is not liable to decay, to perish,
to be devoid of passion, to cessation, to change? Is not
the opposite true ?
[2] Do you imply that only Ill is caused ? Yes ? But
did not the Exalted One say that whatever was impermanent
was Ill ? Hence, if this be so, and since matter is imper-
manent, you cannot maintain that only Ill is determined.
[3] The same argument holds good for the other four
aggregates (mental), for all the mechanism of sense,3 for all
controlling powers.4

Aparinipphanna . See p. 261, n. 6.
Verses of Vajira, Bhikkhuni. Samyutta-Nik., i. 135 ; Pss. of the
Sisters, p. 191. Cf. above, p. 61.
This includes the categories 22-51, enumerated on p. 15 f .
This includes those enumerated (52-73) on p. 16.

Kathavatthu - Three other Arguments; the Unmoral; Correlation by Repetition; Momentary Duration

Points of Controversy
Subjects of Discourse

5. Three Other Arguments: (a) On Attainment of Arahant-
ship by the Embryo; (b) on Penetration of Truth by a
Dreamer; (e) on Attainment of Arahantship) by a
From the Commentary.—The attainment of Arahantship by very
young Stream-winners, [notably the story of] the [phenomenal] seven-
year-old son of the lay-believer Suppavasa,2 led the same sectaries to
believe in even ante-natal attainment of Arahantship.3 They, hold
further, seeing the wonderful feats, such as levitation, etc., that are
experienced in dreams, that the dreamer may not only penetrate the
Truth, but also attain Arahantship.
In all three cases the argument is simply a restatement
of XXII. 4, §3.

6 . Of the Unmoral.
Controverted Point.—That all dream-consciousness is
ethically neutral.
From the Commentary.—From the "Word, ' There is volition, and
that volition is negligible,'4 some—that is, certain of the Uttara-
pathakas—hold the aforesaid view. But this was spoken with refer-

This was a favourite legend. See Pss. of the Brethren, lxx. 'Sivali,'
the child-saint in question ; Jataka, No. 100; Udana, ii. 8 ; Dhamma-
pada Commentary, iv. 192 f. Also on the mother, Anguttwra-Nik.,
ii. 62.
The embryonic consciousness carrying the force of previous,
culminating karma into effect. See previous page, n. 1.
Vinaya, iii. 112, commenting on Vinaya Texts, ii. 226. Abbo-
hari-ka (or -ya), i.e., a-voharika , not of legal or conventional

ence to ecclesiastical offences,1 Although a dreamer may entertain
evil thoughts of murder, etc., no injury to life or property is wrought.
Hence they cannot be classed as offences. Hence dream-thoughts are
a negligible quantity, and for this reason, and not because they are
ethically neutral, they may be ignored.2
[1] Th.—You admit, do you not, that a dreamer may
(in dreams) commit murder, theft, etc. ? How then can
you call such consciousness ethically neutral ?
[2] U.—If I am wrong, was it not said by the Exalted
One that dream-consciousness was negligible? If so, my
proposition holds good.

7. Of Correlation by Repetition.3
Controverted Point.—That there is no correlation by
way of repetition.
From the Commentary.—Inasmuch as all phenomena are momen-
tary, nothing persisting more than an instant, nothing can be so
correlated as to effect repetition; hence there never is repetition.
This is also an opinion of the TJttarapathakas.
[1] Th.—But was it not said by the Exalted One : ' The
taking of life, bhikkhus, when habitually practised and multi-
plied, is conducive to rebirth in purgatory, or among animals,
or Petas. In its slightest form it results in, and is conducive
to, a brief life among men[2] And again : ' Theft,
bhikkhus, adultery, lying, slander, uttering harsh words, idle
talkf intoxication, habitually practised and multiplied, are
each and all conducive to rebirth in purgatory, among animals,
or Petas. The slightest theft results in, conduces to destruc-
tion of property; the mildest offence against chastity gives
rise to retaliatory measures among men; the lightest form
of lying exposes the liar to false accusation among men; the
mildest offence in slander leads to a rupture of friendship

Apatti , explained (after an exegetic fashion) as attang pilanang
pajjatiti, ' is come to infliction of punishments.'
Cf. Compendium, pp. 47, 52.
Asevana. See p. 294, n. 2.

among men ; the lightest result of harsh -words creates sounds
jarring on the human ear; the slightest result of idle talk
is speech commanding no respect1 among men ; the mildest
inebriety conduces to want of sanity among men'?2 [3, 4] And
again: ' Wrong views, bhikkhus, wrong aspiration, effort,
speech, activity, livelihood, mindfulness, concentration—each
and all, if habitually practised, developed, and multiplied,
conduce to rebirth in purgatory, among animals, among Petcis
And again: 'Right views, right purpose, etc, habitually
practised, developed, and multiplied, have their base and their
goal and their end in the Ambrosial'?3

8. Of Momentary Duration.
Controverted Point.—That all things are momentary
conscious units.
From the Commentary.—Some—for instance, the Pubbaseliyas and
the Aparaseliyas—hold that, since all conditioned things are imper-
manent, therefore they endure but one conscious moment. Given
universal impermanence—one thing ceases quickly, another after an
interval—what, they ask, is here the law ? The Theravadin shows it
is but arbitrary to say that because things are not immutable, therefore
they all last but one mental moment.
[1] Th.—Do you imply that a mountain, the ocean,
Sineru chief of mountains, the cohesive, fiery, and mobile
elements, grass, twigs, trees, all last [only so long] in con-
sciousness ? You deny. . . .
[2] Or do you imply that the organ of sight coincides4 for
the same moment of time with the visual cognition ? If
you assent, I would remind you of what the venerable
Sariputta said : 'If, brother, the eye within he intact, but the
object 'without does not come into focus, and there is no eo~
ordinated application of mind resulting therefrom, then a cor-
responding state of cognition is not manifested. And if the

Cf. the positive form of this term in Vinaya Texts, iii. 186, § 8.
Anguttara-Nik., iv. 247.
Samyutta-Nik., v. 54, but the word asevito is wanting.
Sahajatang, 'come into being and cease together.'—Comy.

organ of sight within be intact, and the object without come
into focus? but no co-ordinated application of mind result
therefrom, a corresponding state of cognition is not manifested.
But if all these conditions be satisfied, then a corresponding
state of cognition is manifested '?1
Where now is your assertion about coincidence in time ?
[3] The same Suttanta reference may be cited to refute
you with respect to time-coincidence in the other four senses.
[4] P. A.—But are all things permanent, enduring, per-
during, immutable ?
Th.—Nay that cannot truly be said. . . .
Majjhima-Nik., i. 190.

Kathavatthu - Of the Completion of Life; Moral Consciousness; Imperturbable Consciousness; Penetrating the Truth

Points of Controversy
Subjects of Discourse


1. Of the Completion of Life.
Controverted Point.—That life may be completed without
a certain Fetter-quantity having been cast off .
From the Commentary. — Inasmuch as the Arahant completes
existence without casting of f every Fetter with respect to the range
of omniscience, some, like the Andhakas, hold the aforesaid view,
similar to what has been noticed above (theory of the Mahasanghikas,
XXI. 3).
The dialogue resembles XXI. 3, verbatim.
2. Of Moral Consciousness.
Controverted Point.—That the Arahant is ethically con-
scious when completing existence at final death.
From the Commentary.—Some, like the Andhakas, hold this view
on the ground that the Arahant is ever lucidly conscious, even at the
hour of utterly passing away. The criticism points out that moral
(ethical or good) consciousness inevitably involves meritorious karma
[taking effect hereafter]. The doctrine quoted by the opponent is
inconclusive. It merely points to the Arahant's lucidity and aware-
ness while dying, to his ethically neutral and therefore inoperative
presence of mind and reflection at the last moments of his cognitive
process [javana] . But it was not intended to show the arising of
morally good thoughts.
[1] Th —You are implying that an Arahant is achieving
karma of merit, or karma of imperturbable character;1 that

Or 'for remaining static,' anenjabhisankharang. See the
same line of argument in XVII. 1. The alternatives refer to the
sensuous and to the immaterial planes of existence.

he is working karma affecting destiny, and rebirth, con-
ducive to worldly authority and influence, to wealth and
reputation,1 to beauty celestial or human. . . .
[2] You are implying that the Arahant, when he is pass-
ing away, is accumulating or pulling down, is eliminating
or grasping, is scattering or binding, is dispersing or collect-
ing.2 Is it not true of him that he stands, as Arahant,
neither heaping up nor pulling down, as one who has pulled
down? That he stands, as Arahant, neither putting of f
nor grasping at, as one who has put off? As neither
scattering nor binding, as one who has scattered ? As
neither dispersing nor collecting, as one who has dispersed ?
[3] A.—But does not an Arahant pass utterly away with
lucid presence of mind, mindful and aware ? You agree.
Then is this not ' good ' consciousness ?3

3. Of Imperturbable (Fourth Jhana) Consciousness.
Controverted Point.—That the Arahant completes ex-
istence in imperturbable absorption (anenje).
From the Commentary.—Certain of the Uttarapathakas hold that
the Arahant, no less than a Buddha, when passing utterly away, is in a
sustained Fourth Jhana4 [of the Immaterial plane].
[1] Th.—But does he not complete existence with
ordinary (or normal) consciousness ?5 You agree. How
then do you reconcile this with your proposition ?

Literally, great following or retinue.
2 Cf. I. 2, § 63.
On the technical meaning of 'kusala, a-kusala' (good, bad),
sde above, p. 339, 'From the Commentary.' 'Good' meant 'pro-
ducing happy result.' Now the Arahant had done with all that.
Wherein all thinking and feeling have been superseded by clear-
ness of mind and indifference. See p. 190, n. 2; Dialogues, i. 86 f -
Pakati-ciite—i.e. , sub-consciousness (unimpressed conscious-
ness, bhavangacitta) . All sentient beings are normally in this
mental state. When that ends, they expire with the (so-called act
of) ' decease-consciousness [cuti-citta, which takes effect, in itself
ceasing, as reborn consciousness in a new embryo]. The Arahant's

[2] You are implying that he passes away with an
ethically inoperative consciousness.1 Is it not rather with
a consciousness that is pure ' result[3 ] Whereas accord-
ing to you he passes away with a consciousness that is
unmoral and purely inoperative, I suggest that it is with a
consciousness that is unmoral and purely resultant.
[4] And did not the Exalted One emerge from Fourth
Jhana before he passed utterly away immediately after?2
4. Of Penetrating the Truth.
Controverted Point.—That an embryo is capable of pene-
trating the truth.
From the Commentary.—Some—that is, certain of the UttarsU
pathakas—hold that one who in his previous birth was a Stream-
winner, and remains so, must have [as a newly resultant consciousness]
grasped the Truth while an embryo.3
[1] Th.—You are implying that an embryo can be
instructed in, hear, and become familiar with the Doctrine,
can be catechized, can take on himself the precepts, be

normal mind when on the Arupa plane would be imperturbable. But
the question is asked with reference to the life-plane of all five
aggregates' (not of four immaterial ones only).—Comy.
Kiriyamaye citte . Buddhism regards consciousness, under
the specific aspect of causality, as either (1) karmic—i.e., able to
function causally as karma; (2) resultant (vipaka), or due to karma;
(3) non-causal (kiriya), called here ' inoperative.' Cf. Compendium,
p. 19 f. I.e., certain resultant kinds of consciousness, effects of karma
in a previous birth, can never be causal again so as to effect another
result in any moral order in the sense in which effects may become
causes in the physical order. Again, there are certain ethically neutral
states of consciousness consisting in mere action of mind without
entailing moral consequences. The Buddhist idea is that the normal
flux of consciousness from birth to death, in each span of life, is purely
resultant, save where it is interrupted by causal, or by 'inoperative'
Dialogues, ii. 175.
The Uttarapathakas were perhaps 'feeling out' for a theory of

guarded as to the gates of sense, abstemious in diet, devoted
to vigils early and late. Is not the opposite true ?
[2] Are there not two conditions for the genesis of right
views—' another's voice and intelligent attention?'1
[3] And can there be penetration of the Truth by one
who is asleep, or languid, or blurred in intelligence, or
unreflective ?

Anguttara-Nik., i. 87.

Kathavatthu - Of Buddhas; All-pervading Power; Phenomena (dhamma); Karma

Points of Controversy
Subjects of Discourse

5. Of Buddhas.
Controverted Point— That Buddhas differ one from
another in grades.
From the Commentary.—We hold that, with the exception of
differences in body, age, and radiance,2 at any given time, Buddhas
differ mutually in no other respect. Some, however, like the Andhakas,
hold that they differ in other qualities in general.
[1] Th.—"Wherein then do they differ—in any of the
matters pertaining to Enlightenment?3 in self-mastery?4
in omniscient insight and vision? . . .

6. Of All-Pervading Power.
Controverted -Point.—That the Buddhas persist in all

Some manuscripts read pabhava-mattang , measure of power,
which is scarcely plausible for a Buddhist. Pacceka Buddhas are
presumably not taken into account.
3 See p. 65.
Vasibhava, literally, the state of one who has practice.

From the Commentary.—Some, like the Mahasanghikas, hold that
a Buddha1 exists in the four quarters of the firmament, above, below,
and around, causing his change of habitat to come to pass in any-
sphere of being.
[1] Th.—Do you., mean that they persist2 in the eastern
quarter ? You deny. Then you contradict yourself. You
assent.3 Then I ask, How is [this Eastern] Buddha named ?
What is his family? his clan? what the names of his
parents ? or of his pair of elect disciples ? or of his body-
servant ? What sort of raiment or bowl does he- bear ? and
in what village, town, city, kingdom, or country ?
[2] Or does a Buddha persist in the southern . . .
western . . . northern quarter ? or in the nadir ? or in the
zenith ? Of any such an one I ask you the same ques-
tions. .. . Or does he persist in the realm of the four
great Kings?4 or in the heaven of the Three-and-Thirty?
or in that of the Yama or the Tusita devas ? or in that of
the devas who rejoice in creating,.or of those who exploit
the creations of others ?5 or in the Brahma-world ? If you
assent, I ask you further as before. . . .

7. Of Phenomena.
Controverted Point.—That all things are by nature im-
From the Commentary.—Some, like the Andhakas and certain of
the Uttarapathakas, hold this, judging from the fact that nothing

In the PTS edition for buddh a read buddho atthiti .
Titthanti , lit. 'stand'; the word used in XIII. 1 for 'endure.'
He denies with respect to [the locus of] the historical Sakya-
muni [sic]; he assents, since by his view the persisting is in different
4 On the possible birthplace of these deities, see Moulton, Zoro-
astrianism, 22-27, 242.
Cf. Compendium, p. 140 f.
Niyata. On this term, see above, V. 4; VI. 1. 'Not fixed' ,
below is a -niyato. On the three alternatives in § 1, see Childers's
Dictionary, s.v. rasi. The three are affirmed in Digha-Nik., iii. 217.

[however it may change] gives up its fundamental nature, matter,
e.g., being fixed as matter, and so on.
[1] Th.—Do you mean that they all belong to that Order
of things, by which the wrong-doer is assured of immediate
retribution on rebirth, or to that other Order by which the
Path-winner is assured of final salvation ? Is there not a
third congeries that is not fixed as one or the other ? You
deny. But think. Surely there is? You assent. Then
you contradict your proposition. And you must do so, for
did not the Exalted One speak of three congeries ?
[3] You affirm [as your reason] that matter is fixed as
matter, and that mind (or each mental aggregate) is fixed
as mind. Well, then, under which of those three congeries
do you find them fixed ?1
[4] A. V.—But i f I may not say that matter, or mind
is fixed as matter, or mind respectively, tell me, can body
become mind, can become one of the four mental aggre-
gates, or conversely ? Of course not. Surely then I am

8. Of Karma.
Controverted Point.—That all karmas are inflexible.
From the Commentary.—The same parties hold also this opinion,
judging by the fact that karmas which work out their own effects
under present conditions in this or the next life, or in a posterior series
of lives, are fixed with respect one to the other.
[1,-2] Similar to §§ 1, 2 in the foregoing.
[3] Th.—Do you mean that karma which eventuates in

They are not immutable in badness, nor in goodness, wrongness,
nor rightness. Therefore, since these are the only two categories
admitted as immutable, they must come under the third or mutable
'non-fixed' category or congeries (rasi).
There are two uniformities in Nature, by one of which the worst
offenders are assured of immediate retribution after death, and by the
other of which the Path-winner is assured of final salvation. And
there is a third alternative group which is neither.

this life is a fixed fact as such ? You assent.1 Then does
it belong to either of the fixed orders ? You deny. [Then
it belongs to no fixed order.] The same holds good with
respect to karma, results of which will be experienced at
the next rebirth, or in a succession of rebirths.
[4] A. U.—But you admit, do you not, that none of
these three binds of karma is mutually convertible with
the other two ? How then am I wrong ?

1 This kind of karma, if capable of eventuating at all, [invariably]
works out its effects in this very life; if not, it becomes inoperative
[ahosi-kamma]. So the Theravadin assents.-Comy. That is,
each of these three kinds of karma retains its own characteristics.

Kathavatthu - Of our Religion; Experience as inseparable from Personality; Certain Fetters; Supernormal Potency

Points of Controversy
Subjects of Discourse


1. Of our Religion.
Controverted Point.—That our religion is (has been and
may again be) reformed.1
From the Commentary.—Because after the three Councils at which
the differences in our Religion were settled, some—for instance, certain
of the Uttarapathakas—hold that it has been reformed, that there was
such a person as a Reformer of the Religion, and that it is possible
yet to reform it.
[1] Th.—What, then, has been reformed—the Applica-
tions in Mindfulness ? the Supreme Efforts ? the Steps to
Iddhi ? the Moral Controls ? the Moral Forces ? the Seven
Branches of Enlightenment? Or was that made good
which had been bad ? Or was that which was allied with
vicious things—Intoxicants, Fetters, Ties, Floods, Yokes,
Hindrances, Infections, Graspings, Corruptions—made free
herefrom ? You deny all this, but your proposition [as
stated] implies one or the other.
[2] Or do you mean that anyone has reformed the
religion founded by the Tathagata ? If so, in which of
the doctrines enumerated has he effected a reform ? Again
you deny. .. .
[3] Or if you hold that the religion may again be re-
formed, what in it is there that admits of reformation ?

Literally, 'made new.'

2. Of Experience as Inseparable from Personality.
Controverted Point.—That an ordinary person is not
exempt1 from experiencing the phenomena2 of all the three
spheres of life.
From the Commentary. —That is to say, at one and the same
moment, since his understanding -does not suffice to distinguish the
three kinds. Our doctrine only entitles us to say that the individual
is inseparable from such [mental] phenomena as arise at present in him.
[1] Th.—You imply that an ordinary person is insepar-
able from the contacts, the feelings, perceptions, volitions,
cognitions, faiths, efforts, mindfulnesses, concentrations,
understandings, belonging to all three spheres? You deny;
but what else can you mean?
[2] Again, you imply that when he makes a gift, say,
of raiment, etc , at that moment he is enjoying not only the
giver's consciousness, but also the Rupa-consciousness of
the Four Jhanas, the Arupa-consciousness of the four
[3] Opponent.—But is an ordinary person capable of
distinguishing whether his actions leading to a Rupa-world
or Arupa-world ? If not, then surely he cannot be separated
from actions leading to all three spheres.

3. Of Certain Fetters.
Controverted Point.—That Arahantship is won without
a certain 'Fetter -quantity being cast off .
From the Commentary.—Some—for instance, the Mahasanghikas—
hold this view with respect to the Fetters of ignorance and doubt, for
the reason that eyen an Arahant does not know the whole range of

1 Avivitto, rendered below 'inseparable.'
2 Dhammehi. The Br. translator of the text (unlike the Br.
translator of the Commentary) reads here kammehi (actions), as
in the final sentence of this discourse.

[1] Th.—Do you imply that Arahantship is won without
the extirpation of theory of soul, or doubt, or contagion of
mere rule and ritual, or lust, or hate, or dulness, or indis-
cretion?1 You deny that you do, but your proposition
cannot then be maintained.
[2] Or do you imply that the Arahant is prone to lust,
hate, dulness, conceit, pride, despair, corruption ? Is not
the opposite true of him ? How then can you say there
are certain Fetters he has not cast off?
[3] M.—[If I am wrong, tell me] : does an Arahant know
with the complete purview of a Buddha? You agree he
does not. Hence I am right.

4. Of Supernormal Potency (iddhi).
Controverted Point.—That either a Buddha or his dis-
ciples have the power of supernormally performing what
they intend.
From the Commentary.—'Iddhi' is only possible in certain direc-
tions. It is absolutely impossible by it to contravene such laws as
that of Impermanence, etc.2 But it is possible by iddhi to effect
the transformation of one character into another in the continuity of
anything,3 or to prolong it in its own character. This may be accom-
plished through merit or other causes, as when, to feed bhikkhus, water
was turned into butter, milk, etc., and as when illuminations were
prolonged at the depositing of sacred relies. This is our orthodox
doctrine. But some, like the Andhakas, hold that iddh i may always
be wrought by will, judging by the venerable Pilindavaccha willing
that the palace of the king be all of gold.4
[1] Th.—Do you imply that the one or the other could
effect such wishes as 'Let trees be ever green ! ever bios-

It is curious that the Theravadin does not confine himself to one
or other of the Fetter-categories. However, there was more than one
category, and the'list given may have formed another of them. Cf .
Bud. Psy. Eth., p. 303.
I.e., of Ill (as inseparable from life), and of No-soul, and other
natural laws, as in the text.
Santati . See Compendium, p. 252
Vinaya Texts, ii. 65.

soming ! ever in fruit! Let there be perpetual moonlight!1
Let there be constant safety! Let there be constant
abundance of alms ! Let there be always abundance of
grain' ? [2] Or such wishes as ' Let this factor of con-
sciousness that has arisen [contact, feeling], etc., not cease!'
[3] Or such wishes as ' Let this body, this mind, become
permanent!' [4] Or such wishes as ' Let beings subject to
birth, old age, disaster, death, not be born, grow old, be
unfortunate, die !' All this you deny. "Where then is your
proposition ?
[5] A.—But if I am wrong, how was it that when the
venerable Pilindavaccha resolved: 'Let the palace of Seniya
Bimbisara, King of Magadha, be only of gold!' it was
even so? . . .

Junhang. The Br. translator renders this by 'growth.'