A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma

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A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma is a detailed exposition of the Abhidhammattha-sangaha in the English language.

  • General editor: Bhikkhu Bodhi.
  • Introduction and explanatory guide by Bhikkhu Bodhi and U Rewata Dhamma.
  • Tables and key appendices by U Sīlānanda.

This text is based on an earlier translation (with explanation) of the Abhidhammattha-sangaha by Mathera Naranda. The earlier translation was revised by Bhikkhu Bodhi for the current text.

Publisher's introduction

From the Publisher:

This modern translation of the Abhidhammattha Sangaha (Manual of Abhidhamma) offers an introduction to Buddhism's fundamental philosophical psychology. Originally written in the 11th or 12th century, the Sangaha has served as the key to wisdom held in the Abhidhamma. Concisely surveyed are Abhidhamma's central themes, including states of consciousness and mental factors, the functions and processes of the mind, the material world, dependent arising, and the methods and stages of meditation. This work presents an exact translation of the Sangaha alongside the original Pali text. A detailed, section-by-section explanatory guide and more than 40 charts and tables lead modern readers through the complexities of Adhidhamma. A detailed introduction explains the basic principles of this highly revered ancient philosophical psychology.[1]

Editors preface

From the general editor (Bhikkhu Bodhi):

The present volume contains the Pali text, an English translation, and a detailed exposition of Ācariya Anuruddha’s Abhidhammattha Sangaha, the main primer for the study of Abhidhamma used throughout the Theravada Buddhist world...
The entire work has been structured somewhat in the manner of a classical commentary. Each section contains a passage from the Pali text of the Abhidhammattha Sangaha, followed by an exact translation and then by an explanation of the important terms and ideas occurring in the passage cited. Such an approach is necessary because the Sangaha was composed as a concise, highly terse synopsis of the Abhidhamma, an instruction manual which assumes that a living teacher would flesh out the outline for his students with instruction. Read by itself the Sangaha hovers at the edge of the arcane.
The Introduction, which is again the joint composition of Ven. Rewata Dhamma and myself, is intended to introduce the reader not only to the Abhidhammattha Sangaha but to the entire Abhidhamma philosophy in its broader perspectives and aims as well as to the body of Abhidhamma literature from which the philosophy derives. In the final stage of the preparation of this volume we were fortunate to receive permission from another Burmese Abhidhamma scholar, Ven. U Sīlānanda, to make use of a large number of Abhidhamma tables that he had prepared for his students in the United States. These tables, compressing a vast amount of information into a concise schematic arrangement, will no doubt prove highly effective study aids in grasping the details of the Abhidhamma. To Ven. Sīlānanda also belongs credit for the lists of textual sources for the states of consciousness and the mental factors, included here as appendices.[2]


The full "Introduction" to this text is avaiable online:


  1. A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma, Pariyatti, accessed Aug 2020
  2. Bhikkhu Bodhi 2000, Preface.