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buddhist analysis of matter

buddhist analysis of matter

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Published by: Andy Francis on Mar 21, 2011
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i-
I.
BUDDIDSTANALYSISOF
MATTER
By
Y.
KARUNADASA
,1\
B.
A.
Hons.(Ceylon),Ph.D.(London)
Leclur8l"
in
PaU
dJ
BtlddhWOivilization.Unwll1'sUyoj
Oeylon.
1967
PUBLISHEIIBYTHEDEPARTMENTOFCULTURALAFFAmS,
COLOMBO.
PlWnBD
ATTHBGOVl!iRNUIlNTPRESS,0Bn.01II
 
i"
.··
v-
13~
·4570
M3?
K37
l4
'7
ABSTRACT
TrusstudyconstitutesaninquiryintotheanalysisofmatterasexpressedinthesourcesofTheravadaBuddhism,espeoiallyinthelatersystematizationknownastheAbhidhamma.Theintroductorychapterisdevotedtoanexaminationofthemanysensesandcontextsinwhioh
rUpa--a
termoftenusedinthesenseofmatter-ocoUI'S;thedefinitionof
'T'fjpa
inthesenseofmatter;andthegeneralnatureofthe
rilpa-
dhammas,
Le,
theultimateirreduciblefactorsintowhichmatterisanalysed.These
rupa-dhammas,
twentyeightinall,areolassifiedintotwocategoriesasprima.ryandsecondary.OhapterIIdealswiththosethatconstitutetheprimarycategoryandshowshowtheyrepresentfourfundamentalpropertiesofmatter:solidityandextension,viscidityandcohesion,temperatureofcoldandheat,distensionandmobility.ChapterIIIexaminesthepositionofthesecondary
rUpa-dharnmas
in
relationtotheprimaryandindicateshowsomeitemsoftheformercategorystandforcertainfactsintima.telyconnectedwithmatter.ChapterIVdealswiththosesecondary,
rii,pa-dham11UUJ
whichintheAbhidhammiccommentariescametoberecognizedasentitiespossessingobjectivereality.Thisinvolvesadisoussionoffivematerialsense-organs,fourvarietiesofsense-objects,twofacultiesofsex,thematerialfacultyoflife,thenutritive"quality"ofmatter,andthephysicalbasisofmentalactivity.ChapterVdealswiththosesecondary
rupa-dhammas
whichintheAbhidhammiocommentariescametoberecognizedasnominalentitieswithnoautonomousobjeotivecounterparts.Thisinvolvesadiscussionoftwomodesofself-expression,threecharacteristicsandfourphasesofthematterofthebody,andthespacedelimitedbyma.tter.ChapterVIintroducesthemanywaysinwhichthe
rilpa·dhamma8
aresoughtto
be
classified,andChapterVIIexplainshowtheirinter-dependenceandinter-connectionaresoughttobeestablishedwithreferencetolawsofcausationandconditionality.ChapterVIIIintroducesthetheoryof
rlipa-
kala
pas-theTheravMaformofatomism-andshowshowitpresents
&
closeanalogytoth~atomictheoriesoftheschoolsofSanskritBuddhism.TheoonoludingchapterendeavourstodeterminethephilosophicalandtheethicalbasisoftheBuddhistanalysisofmatter,andtounderstandthewholesubjeot
in
thecontextofBuddhismasareligion.
iii
 
theoryofmomentsandthedenialofmotion,Hereinanattempthasbeenmadetosiftthematerialembodied
in
theworksreferredto,withaviewtopresentingacomprehensiveaccountofthesubject.WhathassofarbeenobservedabouttheTheravadaislesstrueabouttheotherschoolsofBuddhism.ForProf.Stcherbatsky'sworks,notably
TheOentralCon-ception
o/BwldMsm,
Prof.O.K.
J.
Rosenberg'sDie
Probleme
de,.
buddhistischenPhilosophie
(Heidelberg,
1924)
andDr.MoGovern's
AManuiilojBuddhisePhilosophy,
Vol.I(London,
1924),
(e.g.)havegonealongwaytoelucidatingtheBuddhisttheoriesofmatterasexpressed
in
Sanskrit,TibetanandChinesesources.AlongwiththeseshouldbementionedProf.DelaValleePoussin'smonumentaltranslationoftheHiuanTsangversionofthe
AbkidhalrmakoAa,
underthetitle:
I
L'Abhidharma7eoAa,deVas:ubandhu,
Vols.I-VI(Paris,
1923-31).
Withitsvolu-minousnotesandcriticalobservations,'thistranslationhasbecomeanindispensable
Source
bookforastudyofthedoctrinesandtheoriesoftheschools'ofSailskritBuddhism.'AlthoughthepresentstudyisconcernedwiththeBuddhistanalysisofmatteras~xpressedmainlyinthesources
of
TheravadaBuddhism,auattempt
has
beenmade
to
takeintoconsiderationtheparalleldatafound·inthesourcesofnon-Therava.de,schoolsofBuddhism,too.Thishasbeendonewithaviewtobringingthesubjectintoawiderperspectiveandtopresentingitwithagreatermeasureofprecision.Inthisconnection,theemphasishasfallenmoreontheVaibh~ikaandtheSautrantikaschoolsofBuddhism.:TheseweretwooftheleadingHinayanaschoolswithwhomtheTher~vOOinshadmuchin'common.Bothsubscribedtoarealisticviewof'existenCe;theformerhadatendenoytonaiverealismandthelatterapredilectionfor-butcertainlynot
Q,
committal'to-subjectivism.Althoughlessemphatic,thesetwotrendsareobservablewithintheTher80vada.scholastioismitself.InthelaterworksoftheTheravadinsthereisamarkedtendencytodeclareasnominalwhat
in
theearlierarerecognized80Seal.
In
viewofthese
ciroumatances,
itwasdeemedproperthat,inelaboratingtheTherav1i.daanalysisofn:mtter,specialattentionshouldbepaidtothetheoriesand.doctrinesoftheVaibh§,~i.kasandtheSautr~ntikas.TheVijfi.anavadins'denialofmatterdoesnotcome
within
thepurviewof
this
atudy:However,somepassingcommentsontheirattitude'tothesubjectunderconsidera-tionhavebeenmade,whereveritwasleltnecessary.·Imusttakethisopportunityofreoordingmydeepsenseofgratitudeto
my
aciirya,
Dr.
D.Friedman,underwhoseguidancethisstudywaspursued.Hisconstantenoouragement,nolessthanhisvaluablesuggestionsandcriticism,hassustainedmethroughouttheselabours..
l
amalsogratefultotheauthoritiesoftheLondonSchoolofOrientalandAfricanStudiesforgrantingmeaStudentship,whichenabledme'
to
undertakethisstudyasathesisforthedegreeofDoctorofPhilosophy.'.,"initiatedme
into
Buddhisticstudies.IamalsomostgratefultoProt.K.N.Jayatilakaforthedeepandabidinginteresthehastakeninmywork.Imustalsoexpressmygratitudeto
Mr.
N.Amarasinghe,theEditoroftheCeylonNationalBibliography,and
to
Mr.
SiripaJa.Leelaratna,ofthestaffoftheVidyalan-karaUniversityofCeylon,forthehelptheyhavegivenmeingettingthemanusoriptreadyforthepress.Finally,lowe
0.
specialdebtofgratitude
to
theauthoritiesoftheDepartmentofCulturalAifairsforundertakingthepublicationofthisbook,andtotheauthoritiesoftheGovernmentPress,inparticular,to
Mr.
BernarddeSilva.theGovernmentPrinter,lortheinterestandcarewithwhichtheylauncheditthroughthepress.
J
I
Y.KARUNADASA.
1
!I!
:1
I:
II
!Ii
:1
.
,
Inpresentingthisbook,ImustexpressheremyprofoundgratitudetoDr.
Q,
P.Ma.lalasekara,ProfessorEmeritus,Prof.N.A.Jayawickrama,Prof.W.S,Karuna-ratnaand,Dr.D.J.Dhireeekaca=-ellmy
aoary(1.lJ
at:theUniversitrofCeylon~whoDepartmentofPali,UniversityofCeylon,Colombo3.5thMarch,
1967.
,'Vi
vii

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