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A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma (Vipassana Meditation and the Buddha's Teachings) Paperback – September 1, 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Bhikkhu Bodhi and the others who have contributed to this truly comprehensive manual of the mind have done a masterful job.” —Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., author, Emotional Intelligence


“Bhikkhu Bodhi and the others who have contributed to this truly comprehensive manual of the mind have done a masterful job.” —Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., author, Emotional Intelligence

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
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Product Details

  • Series: Vipassana Meditation and the Buddha's Teachings
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Pariyatti Publishing; Buddhist Publication Society, Sri Lanka edition (September 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1928706029
  • ISBN-13: 978-1928706021
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #286,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I heard that this book is supposed to be an *introduction* to the Abhidhamma. I heard that in Burma, this text must be memorized before one will have the opportunity to study from the Abhidhamma masters. The original canonical Abhidhamma is supposed to go into thousands of pages, with the commentaries adding more pages. However, Acariya Anuruddha managed to squeeze practically ALL of the accumulated and developed Abhidhamma doctrine from the time of Emperor Asoka (3rd century BCE) to the 12th century CE (1500 years!) into about 50 pages!!!
Needless to say, this text was renowned for being not only extremely comprehensive, but incredibly concise (perhaps "compressed" is a better word). Various English translations, most notably the Ven. Narada version came and went. Bhikkhu Bodhi had outdone himself in this translation, since he included extensive diagrams of the matika (matrix) and was also supported by two Burmese monks. His own commentary was extremely helpful in deciphering this heavy, difficult (but not impossible) text.
I don't think there was any topic of the Abhidhamma which was missed in this text. It's all here! Not only are there the categories of consciousness, mental factors, matter, etc., but there are two extremely interesting chapters on the cognitive and rebirth processes. There are also sections on karma, pannati (concepts), and the Unconditioned Itself (Nibbana). Anyone reading this will walk away knowing more about the Abhidhamma than most other people. If you're a meditator, then this book is a MUST because it provides a general framework of study, as well as potential meditation objects.
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Though the advice of Achaan Chah about studying one's own heart rather than Abhidhamma should be kept in mind like a shining star when tackling anything regarding it, still the reading of this book may provide a framework for one's own mind where to insert experiences: one in which conventional items may not be needed for their comprehension.
A final line: of course meditate, let go of the unwholesome factors, cultivate the wholesome ones and purificate you mind, but also consider buying this book and dedicate the high degree of attention it needs to be understood and perhaps the world will look even a little more different than usual afterwards :-)
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Format: Paperback
You need to enter that book slowly and then let it guide you at the pace that will be proper for you. It is long, complex and extremely profound. You may not understand the Pali text but you will understand the commentary and notes. There is, first of all, a vision of the world and of man in the world as a complete continuum of many parameters that create permanent change and movement.

At each moment we lose something and we gain something else. At each moment we may grieve because of the loss, or rejoice because of the gain. Dukkha, the long process of change and decay that leads to death also contains the necessary forces and qualities that our mind can use to gain wisdom and clear knowledge at every moment of this road of decay. And that's the real challenge Buddhism contains.

Every single person, if they want, can decide to use their minds to push away the negative parameters that lock them up in decay, and develop the positive parameters that lead them to realizing that all is change, all is dissatisfaction in a way or another, all is the absence of an eternal godlike soul in us. The only chance we have to evade this path that leads to death is to cultivate our mind and get on the path of mental liberation, of enlightenment, of sukha.

The book contains beautiful pages that are ahead of their times on time, language, the « flippant » personality of a subject that is changing all the time and how he can try to control and dominate the change by preparing his escape from it. This is the paradox of the book . There is no escape from this slow movement towards death through the death of each instant and the birth of the next one. And yet there is a way to go beyond and reach nirvana, a pure mental existence completely oblivious of the world and the body.
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I buy alot of Dhamma books.I think this is one of the best I have ever bought.It is like a hand book.I have been looking for a book like this for a long time.It,s is great!
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Loved it! It is really "comprehensive" as the title indicated. It also comes with many useful tables. A useful tool if you are doing research on the Abhidhamma.
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As far as I know, this is THE Abhidhamma manual for westerners. I think the author has done a good job laying out and explaining this extremely detailed inventory of subjective experience. The reader will need some grounding in the Buddhist way of looking at things - otherwise, it won't make much sense.
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Very well written - Bhikkhu Bodhi does a great job. This si not an easy read for begging Buddhist studies. Save it for after you have some good understanding of Buddha's teachings. It's for the serious student.
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I bought this book for studying Abhidhamma. Is very comprehensive and easy to read and understand. I am very satisfied. Also the BPE label is making a very good job translating texts from the Pali Canon. Good book.
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