Dharma sprzed abhidharmy

Authors

  • Krzysztof Kosior

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.24917/20841043.7.1.1

Keywords:

early Buddhism, Dharma, Abhidharma, philosophy, religion

Abstract

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.

Published

2017-06-01