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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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the third class of the Buddhist sacred books, called Pitakali, or Pitakattayan (q.v.). The Abhidharma contain instructions which are supposed to be addressed to the inhabitants of the celestial worlds. This is accordingly accounted the highest class of sacred books; and the expounders of it are to be held in the highest honor, for it declares pre- eminent truths, as the word itself implies. The books of which it consists contain terms and doctrines with definitions and explanations. The text consists of 96,250 stanzas, and the commentaries of 30,000; so that in the whole, including text and commentary; there are 126,250 stanzas. Early in the present century there arose a class of metaphysicians in Ava called Paraamats, who respected only the Abhidharma, and rejected the other books that the Buddhists considered as sacred, saying that they were only a compilation of fables and allegories. The founder of the sect, Koisan, with about fifty of his followers, was put to death by order of the king."

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Abhidharma'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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