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Patisambhidāmagga as an Early Exegetical Work of Theravāda Buddhism


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Kardaš, Goran. (2013). Patisambhidāmagga as an Early Exegetical Work of Theravāda Buddhism. Filozofska istraživanja, 33(1). pp. 139-150. ISSN 1848-2309

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Patisambhidāmagga is probably the earliest extant exegetical work of Theravāda Buddhism. In this article three fundamental concepts of early Buddhist philosophy are thematized which probably originated in this work namely, the four types of discriminating knowledge (patisambhidāñāna), the theory of momentariness (khanavāda) and the concept of “own nature” (sabhāva). The first concept lays down possibly the earliest hermeneutical tool for approaching Buddha’s doctrine. The second one introduces the idea of “change of that which stands” (thitassa aññathattam) within the general Buddha’s teaching on impermanence (anicca) of all phenomena thus starting the classical early Buddhist theory of momentariness of all dhammas. Finally, the work mentions for the first time the concept of sabhāva (own nature) which became the most controversial concept within the Buddhist philosophy in general. In this article it is shown, however, that this concept does not yet have its classical connotations but is synonymous with the usual early Buddhist notion of atta (self), i.e. ‘empty of own nature’ simply means canonical ‘empty of self and what belongs to self’.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: lakkhana (characteristic), patisambhidāñāna (discriminating knowledge), sabhāva (own nature), suñña (empty), theravāda, momentariness
Subjects: Philosophy
Indology and Indoiranistics
Departments: Department of Indology
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2015 12:03
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2015 12:03

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