Saturday, 26 March 2011

Samkhatā dhammā asamkhatā dhammā


The term Dhamma is used for all dispositions (saMkhatA) and the non-disposition (asaGkhatA). Whatever is subjected to causality is called dispositions or formations. Nibbāna the only thing that is not subject to causality is called non-disposition of non-formation. The ∂hAtukAthaprakaraNa defines the samkhatā dhammās in the following way.

ßaMkhatA dhammA paJcahi khandhehi dvAdasAyatanehi aTThArasahi dhAtUhi saGgahIta.

=Dispositions comprise with five aggregates, twelve faculties and eighteen elements.”

According to the same source, the nibbāna is the only non-formed Dhamma and it comprises with one faculty (dhammāyatana) and one element (dhammadhAtu).

åsaGkhatadhamma no kenaci khandhehi ekenAyatanena ekAya dhAtuyA saGgahIta.”

=The non-formed Dhamma comprises no with any aggregate but with one faculty and one element.”

As we saw above the term dhamma has been used to give many meanings in the Tipitaka, all such meanings are not given here. As Professor Wilhelm Geiger noted once there is no any other word in Pāli like the term dhamma into which giving a specific meaning is very difficult. 

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