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Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Abhidharma

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Siddhartha Gautama, the historical Buddha, died more than 2,500 years ago. As far as scholars can ascertain, he never wrote his teachings down, but instead traveled widely in what is now northern India, teaching to merchants, peasants, kings, courtesans, monks, nuns, and others as the occasion arose. After his death, a community of followers was left to make sense of the many things he had said. They started by memorizing and reciting teachings, and eventually codified the important points and began the process of organizing and clarifying. One result of this centuries long process was the Abhidharma, a collection of doctrinal investigations and commentaries on the original teachings. This excellent, in-depth entry from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, presents the history and content of these complex texts, including ideas about time, the nature of human beings, causation, and the Buddhist schools trenchant epistemological analysis of the self. For readers who would like to explore the depths of Buddhist philosophy, this resource provides an excellent introduction, as well as links to supplemental material.
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Classification
GEM Subject
Date Issued
2010
Language
Scout Publication
Date of Scout Publication
2016-05-13
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