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we might, exposing it, as it were, by transverse section. But their treatment was genetic. The distinguishable groups of dhamma-approximately, states or mental psychoses"arise" in every case in consciousness, in obedience to certain laws of causation, psychical and moral 1—that is, ultimately, as the outcome of antecedent states of consciousness. There is no exact equivalent in Pali, any more than there is in Aristotle, for the relatively modern term "consciousness", yet is the psychological standpoint of the Buddhist philosophy virtually as thoroughgoing in its perceptual basis as that of Berkeley. It was not solipsism any more than Berkeley's immaterialism was solipsistic. It postulated other percipients 2 as Berkeley did, together with, not a Divine cause or source of percepts, but the implicit Monism of early thought veiled by a deliberate Agnosticism. And just as Berkeley, approaching philosophical questions through psychology," was the first man to begin a perfectly scientific doctrine of sense-perception as a psychologist," 3 so Buddhism, from a quite early stage of its development, set itself to analyze and classify mental processes with remarkable insight and sagacity. And on the results of that psychological analysis it sought to base the whole rationale of its practical doctrine and discipline. From studying the processes of attention, and the nature of sensation, the range and depth of feeling and the plasticity of the will in desire and in control, it organized its system of personal self-culture.
Germany has already a history of psychology half completed on the old lines of the assumed monopoly of ancient thought by a small area of the inhabited world. England has not yet got so far. Is it too much to hope that, when such a work is put forth, the greater labour of a wider and juster initiative will have been undertaken, and the
development of early psychological thought in the East have been assigned its due place in this branch of historical research?
The Date of the Manual.
We can fortunately fix the date of the Dhamma-Sangani within a limit that, for an Indian book, may be considered narrow. Its aim is to systematize or formulate certain doctrines, or at least to enumerate and define a number of scattered terms or categories of terms, occurring in the great books of dialogues and sundry discourse entitled the Nikāyas of the Sutta Piṭaka. The whole point of view, psychological and philosophical, adopted in them is, in our Manual, taken for granted. The technical terms used in them are used in it as if its hearers, subsequently its readers, would at once recognize them. No one acquainted with those books, and with the Dhamma-Sangani, will hesitate in placing the latter, in point of time, after the Nikāyas.
On the other hand, the kind of questions raised in our Manual are on a different plane altogether from those raised in the fifth book in the Abhidhamma-Piṭaka, viz. the KathaVatthu, which we know to have been composed by Tissa at Patna, in the middle of the third century B.C.1 The Dhamma-Sangaņi does not attempt to deal with any such advanced opinions and highly-elaborated points of doctrine as are put forward by those supposed opponents of the orthodox philosophy who are the interlocutors in the KathāVatthu. It remains altogether, or almost altogether, at the old standpoint of the Nikayas as regards doctrine, differing only in method of treatment. The Kathā-Vatthu raises new questions belonging to a later stage in the development of the faith.
The Dhamma-Sangaņi is therefore younger than the
1 Atthasālinī, p. 3; Mahā-Bodhi-Vamsa, p. 110; KV. Cy., Points of Controversy, p. 7.
Nikayas, and older than the Katha-Vatthu. If we date it half-way between the two, that is, during the first third of the fourth century B.C. (contemporary, therefore, with the childhood of Aristotle, b. 384), we shall be on the safe side. But I am disposed to think that the interval between the completion of the Nikayas and the compilation of the Dhamma-Sangani is less than that between the latter work and the Katha Vatthu; and that our manual should therefore be dated rather at the middle than at the end of the fourth century B.C., or even earlier. However that may be, it is important for the historian of psychology to remember that the ideas it systematizes are, of course, older. Practically all of them go back to the time of the Sangha's early editorial work. Some of them are older still.
The history of the text of our Manual belongs to that of the canonical texts taken collectively. There are, however, two interesting references to it, apart from the general narrative, in the Maha Vamsa, which show, at least, that the Dhamma-Sangani was by no means laid on the shelf among later Buddhists. King Kassapa V. of Ceylon (A.D. 929–39) had a copy of it engraved on gold plates studded with jewels, and took it in procession with great honour to a vihāra he had built, and there offered flowers before it.1 Another King of Ceylon, Vijaya Bāhu I. (A.D. 1065-1120), shut himself up every morning for a time against his people in the Hall of Exhortation, and there made a translation of the Dhamma-Sangani, no doubt from Pali into Sinhalese.2
I can testify to the seriousness of the task, and feel a keen sympathy with my royal predecessor, and envy withal for his proximity in time and place to the seat of orthodox tradition. Nothing, unfortunately, is now known, so far as I have been able to ascertain, of his work, in which the translator was very likely aided by the best scholarship of
1 Mah., chap. 1, vv. 50, 51, 56.
2 Ibid., chap. lxx, v. 17.
the day, and which might have saved me from many a doubt and difficulty.
On the Commentaries and the Importance of the
It will be seen from Appendix I. that the last part of the text of our Manual is a supplement added to it by way of commentary, or rather of interpretation and digest. It is, perhaps, not surprising that so much of this kind of material has survived within the four corners of the Pitakas. We have the old Commentary embedded in the Vinaya, and the Parivara added as a sort of supplementary examination paper to it. Then there is the Niddesa, a whole book of commentary, on texts now included in the Sutta Nipāta, and there are passages clearly of a commentarial nature scattered through the Nikayas. Lastly, there are the interesting fragments of commentaries tacked the one on to the Dhamma-Sangani itself (below, p. 357), the other on to the Vibhanga. As these older incorporated commentaries are varied both in form and in method, it is evident that commentary of different kinds had a very early beginning. And the probability is very great that the tradition is not so far wrong when it tells us that commentaries on all the principal canonical books were handed down in schools of the Order along with the texts themselves.
This is not to maintain that all of the Commentaries were so handed down in all the schools, nor that each of them was exactly the same in each of the schools where it was taught. But wherever Commentaries were so handed down, tradition tells us that they were compiled, and subsequently written, in the dialect of the district where the school was situated. From two places, one in India and the other in Ceylon, we have works purporting to give in Pali the substance of such ancient traditional comment as had been handed down in the local vernacular. One of these is the Atthasälini,
Buddhaghosa's reconstruction, in Pali, of the Commentary on our present work, as handed down in Sinhalese at the school of the Great Monastery, the Mahā-Vihāra at Anuradhapura in Ceylon.
The Mahā-Vamsa, indeed, says (p. 251) that he wrote this work at Gayā, in North India, before he came to Anuradhapura. This, however, must be a mistake, if it refers to the work as we have it. For in that work he frequently quotes from and refers to another work which he certainly wrote after his arrival in Ceylon, namely, the Visuddhi-Magga, and once or twice he refers to the Samanta-Pāsādikā, which he also wrote in Ceylon.
The Saddhamma-Sangaha 1 has two apparently inconsistent statements which suggest a solution. The first is that he wrote, at the Vihāra at Gayā, a work called the Uprising of Knowledge (Ñāņodaya), and a Commentary on the DhammaSangaņi, called the Atthasālinī, and began to write one on the Parittas. Then it was that he was urged to go, and actually did go, to Ceylon to obtain better materials for his work. The second is that, after he had arrived there and had written seven other works, he then wrote the Atthasalini. When the When the same author makes two such statements as these, and in close conjunction, he may well mean to say that a work already written in the one place was revised or rewritten in the other.
Dhammakitti, the author of the Saddhamma-Sangaha, adds the interesting fact that Buddhaghosa, in revising his Atthasālini, relied, not on the Maha-Atthakatha in Sinhalese, but on another Commentary in that language called the Maha-Paccari.
We know, namely, that at the time when Buddhaghosa wrote that is, in the early part of the fifth century A.D.— the Commentaries handed down in the schools had been, at various times and places, already put together into treatises
1 Journal of the Pali Text Society, 1888, pp. 53, 56.