Dharma sprzed abhidharmy
Keywords:early Buddhism, Dharma, Abhidharma, philosophy, religion
Dharma before the Abhidharma: The paper deals with the issue as to whether early Buddhism can be defined as a philosophy or as a religion. My analysis starts with the definition of the Buddha as the discoverer of the Dharma — the ancient and ennobling path (purāṇa‑, ariya‑magga) — which has made him the exalted teacher of gods and people. Then, after characterizing the possible meanings of Abhidharma in the context of their presence in canonical statements expressing Dharma, I draw conclusions about the connection or lack of connection between philosophy and soteriology in the teaching of the Buddha. Finally, after recalling the canonical statements of Buddha on his status, I conclude that the characterization of early Buddhism as a religion is also questionable.