The Kathavatthu is the only book in the whole of the Tipitaka which ascribed to a definite author. Various sects emerged during that time and provided an occasion for the compilation of the aforementioned text. The authorship of this text is ascribed to Thera Moggaliputta Tissea, who flourished during the time of king Asoka (Third century B. C). he presided over the Third Buddhist council at Pataliputta (Patna) which was convened due to the need to established the purity of the canon, which has been imperiled by the rise of different sects and their rival claims and such teaching and practices that had erupt into the Brotherhood and the heretical doctrines preached by sectarians of various descriptions. He succeeded in subduring the heretics and in expelling the sectarians from Buddhist Monastery. There is the mention of a number of debates that had taken place, which find their description in the Katha-vatthu, and the issues that sprang up during that time. It was composed mainly for refuting the views held by non-Theravadic sects. Thera, Tissa tried to establish that the Theravada interpretation was the correct one and the most logical too.
The present Study entitled Kathavatthu' (A Critical and Philosophical Study). This study attempt to analyse those controversies and to find out whether the same are in time with, basic tenets of early Buddhism i.e., is combination of Theravada and Vibhajjavada. An attempt has also been made to analyse and investigate the amount of impact that the great contribution which was by Moggaliputta Tissa is resolving those controversies. The opinion of subsequent scholars on those controversies and their impact on the studies of the present day scholars have also been taking while writing the present book.
Besides this, the author has collected relevant facts from the pitakas as well as the related text e.g., Pali canonical and non-canonical text, Attakathas, Vedas and Upanisads.
The study will surely be of great help to the scholars and students of Buddhism all over the world. Currently she is engaged in translating the book Anandaloke Bengali to Hindi.
The Buddha's statement, "All beings are subject to kamma. They inherit kamma and enjoy various states of existence according to it", ascribed to the Buddha seems to be literally true in my humble case. Having being born in a devoted Buddhist family, I was very much impressed by the Buddhist ideal atmosphere of family from my very childhood. The continuous chanting of the sublime discourses of the Blessed One by my father (late Shri P. R. Barua) and my mother (Smt. Chaya Barua) in my home left bold impression on my mind, though I did not understood the meaning of the gathas and passages recited. In this regard I pay homage to the memory of late Ven. Mahathero Aryavamsa; highest monk of the Maha Bodhi Society who did inspired me to study Buddhism whenever I used to visit the temple along with my parents. Gradually in course of my higher studies there sprang up it seems, the sprout of ancient Indian Wisdom (Buddhism), which had been radiating the minds of millions of people from the hoary past to the present. The inspiration became so powerful and the kammic forces nourished it is such a fine way that I got an opportunity to study the tenets of Buddhism in the Department of Buddhist Studies, University of Delhi at my post graduate and M. Phil. Level.
Thus, I got the opportunity to have an access to the vast treasure of Buddhistic knowledge and lore including Abhidhammic scripture and its subsequent expansion in the form of Atthakathas and so on. It generated in me a thirst for deeper penetration into its immensely rich domain. According I discussed my plan to do further research for my Ph. D. degree in the Department and with the cooperation of the faculty of the Department including Professor Sanghasena Singh, I decided to work on one of the most important treatise of the Abhidhamma Pitaka. This being the Kathavatthu..
The 'Kathavatthu' is the only book in the whole of the tipitaka which is ascribed to a definite author. Various sects emerged during that time and provided an occasion for the compilation of the afore-mentioned text. The authorship of this text is ascribed to Thera Moggaliputta Tissa, who flourished during the time of King Asoka (Third century B. C.). He presided over the Third Buddhist Council at Patalipatta (Patna) which was convened due to the need to establish the purity of the Canon, which had been imperiled by the rise of different sets and their rival claims and such teachings and practices that had erupt into the Brotherhood and the heretical doctrines preached by sectarians of various descriptions. He succeeded in subduing the heretics and in expelling the sectarians from Buddhist monastery.
There is the mention of a number of debates that had taken place, which find their description in the Kathavatthu, and the issues that sprang up during that time. It was composed mainly for refuting the views held by non-Theravadic sects. Thera Moggaliputta Tissa tried to establish that the Theravada interpretation was the correct one and the most logical too.
The 'Kathavatthu' (a critical and Philosophical Study) and its commentary have been studied by a number of Indian and foreign scholars but their studies have become archaic enough to be appreciated in full by the present day readers. Thus, the present work aims at giving a general introduction to various issues that emerged and which had taken place in history of Buddhist schools and sects. The present work is divided into five chapters excluding the introduction.
The First chapter deals with the philosophical background of the text, and its relation with the contents of texts.
The Second Chapter presents a description of the controversies as put forth in the Kathavatthu.
The third Chapter is entitled "The View-points of other Acaryas on the Controversies". It deals with the introduction to and explanation of the viewpoints of Acaryas on those controversies.
The Fourth Chapter deals with the later discussions and debates among scholars of reputes through their writings in English and other languages.
Finally the fifth Chapter provides a brief conclusion which forms some sort of resume to the whole discussion.
The preparation of this work has been possible due to valuable guidance, expedient advice and sincere help of, Professor Sanghasena Singh, formerly of the Department of Buddhist Studies, University of Delhi, Delhi, whose life is also a source of inspiration to me. Indeed the words at my command are inadequate both in forms and spirit to express my deep sense of gratitude to him. Without his help it would not have been possible for me to complete this work.
Further, I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to Professor K. T. S. Sarao, Head of the Department, whose dynamic personality has become a source of inspiration for me the publication of this work.
My thanks are also due to Dr. S. K. Sinha, an eminent scholar of Sanskrit, Linguistics and Buddhology. Though his association with the work has been of a short duration, yet his valuable suggestions in final preparation of the work have been very encouraging and helpful. I also express my thanks to Dr. Priya Sen Singh, who went through the script of the book and made corrections wherever necessary particularly in respect of Romanizing the Pali and Sanskrit words.
I must also thank my publisher Shri Subash Chandra Jain of New Bharatiya Book corporation for this painstaking interest in the publication of this work. I am also thankful to the staff of the Central Library of the Delhi University who were always helpful to land me the precious books which I needed for the work.
Last but not least my heartfelt thanks and appreciations are due to my parents for their constant encouragement to my work. In fact, their affection generated confidence in me to take up a topic of challenging as the present one happens to be. My sorry that I lost my father during the pendency of my work. Had he been alive he would have overjoyed and elated over the completion of my humble work. Now, I am satisfied with the sweet words of my mother alone in this respect. Lastly, I close my remarks with a Buddhistic wish for the well being of all sentient beings: Bhavatu Sabba Mangalam.
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