Dhamma in Abhidhamma

What should we understand when being told that a dhamma is a thing established by own-nature (sabhāva-siddha);that it is an existent verifiable by its own distinctive intrinsic characteristics.

Gregory Hamilton Schmidt's picture

Bhikkhu Bodhi

"The dhammas are not noumena hidden behind phenomena, not "things in themselves" as opposed to "mere appearances," but the fundamental components of actuality."

"The familiar world of substantial objects and enduring persons is, according to the dhamma theory, a conceptual construct fashioned by the mind out of the raw data provided by the dhammas. The entities of our everyday frame of reference possess merely a consensual reality derivative upon the foundational stratum of the dhammas. It is the dhammas alone that possess ultimate reality: determinate existence "from their own side" (sariputo) independent of the mind's conceptual processing of the data."

-Abhidhammatha Sangha: A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma

Another great book for delving further into this subject

Gregory Hamilton Schmidt's picture

Ven. Nyanaponika Thera

"dhamma... may well be rendered as 'phenomenon' - if only we keep in mind that in Abhidhammic usage 'phenomenon' must not be thought to imply a correlative 'noumnenon'...."

"The analysis undertaken in the Dhammasangani shows the smallest accessible psychic unit, a moment of consciousness, is as little... as the material atom of modern physics. Like the physical atom, a moment of consciousness is a correlational system of its factors, functions, energies, or aspects, or whatever other name we choose to give to the 'components' of that hypothetical psychic unit. In the Abhidhamma these 'components' are called simply dharma, that is, 'things' or 'states.'"

-Abhidhamma Studies, Ven. Nayanaponika Thera

Great book by the way.