I have been having trouble analyzing the Abhidhamma.

Can someone explain all or the main points of the Abhidhamma, but simply, just so I can understand it better as I continue my studies?


5 Answers 5


The best starting point is to read the following summary.The Abhidhamma deals with realities existing in an ultimate sense, called in Pali paramattha dhammā. There are four such realities:

  1. Citta, mind or consciousness, defined as that which knows or experiences an object. Citta occurs as distinct momentary states of consciousness.

2) Cetasikas, the mental factors that arise and occur along with the cittas.

3) Rūpa, physical phenomena, or material form.

4) Nibbāna.


Abhidhamma deals with ultimate realities (Citta, Cetasika, Rupa & Nibbana). There are 121/89 Citta, 52 Cetesika, 28 Rupa. Each Citta contain a combination of Cetesika. Since these lists are long drilling down into the specifics are pretty long, but you can locate more detail resources here: http://www.abhidhamma.com/


Abhidharma is just a compilation of all the technical concepts from suttas.

Buddha spoke about conditioned and unconditioned dharmas - let's create a list. Buddha spoke about five skandhas, let's compile everything he said about each. Buddha spoke about six doors and six bases etc. - let's get those lists.

Like that. It's an extraction and summary of all these ideas.


Jhana master has very fast and powerful mind more than people who still addict 5 strings, coulor sound smell taste touching.

Jhana produces the paññā light which can let the master see the reality easily. However, they can't understand the dependent origination themself without the Buddha.

In Buddha's time, there are many Jhana master's who become Arahanta, especially the Buddha and his genius follower, Sariputta.

This two masters realize how is it important to the understanding in reality for the insight meditation.

So, the core of Abhidhammma is "it is the key of insight meditation." No one can enlighten Nibbana without understand enough the reality in the dependent origination even the Jhana masters because no one can understand Anatta without the dependent origination knowledge.

And Abhidhamma can help about it perfectly. However, it's easier if the student meditate Jhāna to get the paññā light to see the "real" reality, atom and mind process, arising and vanishing trillion times in a second. Then the student can study Abhidhamma easily.

  • Do you have personal experience of jnana?
    – XPD
    Commented Jul 7, 2020 at 19:11
  • Shy >///< I know many Jhana masters, but I still not attain Appana-Jhana. I've started to focus on concentration meditation this year, however I've studied Tipitaka for more than 15 years and I trust Pa-Auk Tawya, Jhana master, for more than 8 years. The first time I read his book 8 years ago, I interjected "This is Tipitaka Memorizer's book. He is the Jhana master and he may be enlightened already". However, my karma blinded to practice myself Jhana, but this year. Lucky karma, at least I understood Tipitaka concept already at that time, so I trust in him without the concentration meditation.
    – Bonn
    Commented Jul 8, 2020 at 0:16

Puthujjanas are obsessed with objects and their fantasy that objects have ''a nature'' (and then that objects have ''a true nature'' hidden from humans) and that when they know this ''hidden nature'' that objects,they will know ''the nature'' of ''reality'', so they try to express what they hear about the dhamma through their cravings for objects and their fantasy that cars, houses, thoughts, the past, the future, videos, paintings, humans, plants, whatever they see in their life have ''a nature''. Their creation is the various Abhidhammas.

All the people who create schools do this and they base their views on ''the true nature'' of things, phenomena, objects and of course when they move on to humans, they love to talk about the self and they even managed to create the wrong view called Pudgalavada. Even the westerns are infatuated with phenomenology and they claim that this close to the dhamma. This is why people love the Abhidhammas and the speculations on the Abhidhammas and hate the dhamma, since the dhamma does not focuses much on anything that is ''Mara's territory'' ( and instead on the citta iteself, sanna, vedana, like here https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn47/sn47.006.than.html), for those people to be pleased by the dhamma and its lack of statements about the usual obsessions on which people will ways speculate :''why there is samsara in the first place'' and what is ''the nature of a things'' and ofc the biggest question for them ''what is the nature of a buddha''.

Since different people always invent different theories, there were plenty of Abhidhammas. Fortunately most of those books have disappeared so you do not have to worry about all the speculations by various people about the nature of ''things''.

For the Abhidhamma by the Mahavihara, ie the theravada today, you can check Bikkhu bodhi courses Abhidhamma Study Retreat'''which he holds each year https://www.youtube.com/user/venbodhi/playlists




You must log in to answer this question.