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least, the verdict of a younger worker, now, alas! no more.1 Closer study of the work will, I believe, prove less ungrateful, more especially if the conception of it as a student's manual be kept well in view. The method of the book is explicative, deductive; its object was, not to add to the Dhamma, but to unfold the orthodox import of terms in use among the body of the faithful, and, by organizing and systematizing the aggregate of doctrinal concepts, to render the learner's intellect both clear and efficient.
Even a superficial inspection of the Manual should yield great promise to anyone interested in the history of psychology. When upwards of six years ago my attention was first drawn to it, and the desirability of a translation pointed out by Professor Rhys Davids, I was at once attracted by the amount of psychological material embedded in its pages. Buddhist philosophy is ethical first and last. This is beyond dispute. But among ethical systems there is a world of difference in the degree of importance attached to the psychological prolegomena of ethics. In ethical problems we are on a basis of psychology, depending for our material largely upon the psychology of conation or will, with its co-efficients of feeling and intelligence. And in the
history of human ideas, in so far as it clusters about those problems, we find this dependence either made prominent or slurred over. Treated superficially, if suggestively and picturesquely, in Plato, the nature and functions of that faculty in man, whereby he is constituted an ethical and political animal,' are by Aristotle analyzed at length. But the Buddhists were, in a way, more advanced in the
1 H. C. Warren, 'Buddhism in Translations,' xviii. Cf. Kern, Indian Buddhism,' p. 3.
2 Cf. G. C. Robertson, 'Elements of General Philosophy,' pp. 191, 197; 'Philosophical Remains,' p. 3; A. Bain, 'Moral Science''The Psychological Data of Ethics.' 'Every ethical system involves a psychology of conduct, and depends for its development upon its idea of what conduct actually is' (C. Douglas, "The Philosophy of J. S. Mill,' p. 251).
psychology of their ethics than Aristotle—in a way, that is, which would now be called scientific. Rejecting the assumption of a psyche and of its higher manifestations or noûs, they were content to resolve the consciousness of the Ethical Man, as they found it, into a complex continuum of subjective phenomena. They analyzed this continuum, as we might, exposing it, as it were, by transverse section. But their treatment was genetic. The distinguishable groups of dhamma-of states or mental psychoses'arise' in every case in consciousness, in obedience to certain laws of causation, physical and moral1—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 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,'s 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 Nikayas of the Sutta Pitaka. 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 recognise them. No one acquainted with those books, and with the DhammaSangani, will hesitate in placing the latter, in point of time, after the Nikayas.
On the other hand, the kind of questions raised in our Manual are on a different plane altogether from those raised in the third book in the Abhidhamma Piṭaka, viz., the Katha Vatthu, which we know to have been composed by Tissa at Patna, in the middle of the third century B.c.1 The Dhamma-Sangani 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 Katha Vatthu. It remains altogether, or almost altogether, at the old standpoint of the Nikayas as regards
1 Atthasălini, p. 3; Maha Bodhi Vansa, p. 110.
doctrine, differing only in method of treatment. Katha Vatthu raises new questions belonging to a later stage in the development of the faith.
The Dhamma-Sangani is therefore younger than the 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 Buddha himself. 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 Vansa, 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. 929-939) had a copy of it engraved on gold plates studded with jewels, and took it in procession with great honour to a vihara he had built, and there offered flowers to 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 beautiful 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
1 Mah., ch. 1., vers. 50, 51, 56. 2 Ibid., ch. lxx., ver. 17.
as I have been able to ascertain, of this work, in which the translator was very likely aided by the best scholarship of 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 Nipata, and there are passages clearly of a commentarial nature scattered through the Nikayas. Lastly, there is the interesting fragment of commentary tacked on to the Dhamma-Sangani itself (below, p. 357). 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