Using audio version (visually impaired ) of Payutto’s Buddhadhamma. is this one big volume or written separately.? I noticed he had a criticism of the abhidhamma but mentions the commentaries often. is he using both and the suttas? Or just the suttas in his writings ? I’m extremely new to these writings and probably be back with more questions…
It was indeed printed as one big volume, though it was written in stages. Many of the individual chapters were printed as booklets while Ven Payutto was writing the big tome.
Payutto has a moderate early Buddhism perspective. He is influenced by Buddhadasa, but is not so confrontative.
He is a very respected mainstream figure in Thailand, and it is best to look at him as someone who was attempting a “middle way” between the incendiary claims of Buddhadasa and the classical tradition; a reformer not a revolutionary.
As such, he will make use of Abhidhamma and commentaries, he is not opposed to them, but he always tries to place the suttas foremost.
I believe Ven Payutto is still alive, no?
If you wish to start “smaller”, this is all sutta based by Payutto: Contents
Merely the (very excellent ) Introduction about the five constituents of life shows some use of Abhidhamma, such as “sabhava” in the footnote. Having finished a rapid light browse, the Venerable is using Sutta, Abhidhamma, Commentary and seems like everything else including the kitchen sink
Page 8 quite traditional interpretation of nama-rupa: both mind and matter, both mentality (nāma-dhamma) and corporeality (rūpadhamma).
Page 17 interesting point: Sati is generated from within an individual, relying on the power of volition, even when sense objects are not immediately manifest. Because it is a volitional response to sense objects it is classified as a mental formation (saṅkhāra).
Page 19 wisdom is classified among the mental formations (saṅkhāra).
Page 21 strange paragraph: The commentarial texts, including the Visuddhimagga,17 explain the distinction between perception (saññā), consciousness (viññāṇa), and wisdom (paññā) in this way: perception (saññā) simply recognizes the properties of a sense object, say that it is ‘green’ or ‘yellow’; it is unable to understand the characteristics of impermanence, dukkha, and nonself. Consciousness (viññāṇa) also knows the object’s properties (of ‘green’, ‘yellow’, etc.), and it is able to understand the characteristics of impermanence, dukkha, and nonself (it understands according to the counsel and guidance by wisdom). But it cannot deliver one to the actualization of the Path (i.e. to the realization of the Four Noble Truths). Wisdom, however, accomplishes all three: it knows the properties of sense objects, it discerns the three characteristics, and it enables the actualization of the Path.
Page 26 At the beginning of the Buddha’s explanation of the first noble truth, he defines suffering by citing various examples and circumstances, which are easily recognizable and a part of people’s everyday lives. At the end of this discussion, however, he summarizes the entirety of suffering into the single phrase: ‘the five aggregates of clinging (upādāna-khandha) are suffering’
Page 114: The Paṭisambhidāmagga offers a concise definition for dukkhatā [2nd of the Three Characteristics]: something is considered dukkha ‘in the sense that it is subject to danger’. The most complete compilation of definitions for dukkha in the commentaries is as follows: 1. Abhiṇha-sampatipīḷanato: because it is continually oppressed; it is subject to constant pressure due to arising and dissolution; there is persistent friction amongst component parts or amongst associated conditions; 2. Dukkhamato: because it is ‘hard to endure’; it is not durable; it is unable to be sustained in an original state; it is obliged to change, become otherwise, and lose identity as a consequence of arising and ceasing; 3 Dukkha-vatthuto: because it is a foundation for suffering; it is foundation for a state of pressure and stress. In relation to human beings, this means that it produces various kinds of affliction, e.g. pain, discomfort and distress; 4 Sukha-paṭikkhepato: because it opposes pleasure (sukha; ‘happiness’). The natural conditions of pressure, friction, and instability oppose or obstruct ease and comfort. In order to obtain pleasure, people must strive to regulate certain factors. Essentially, pleasure exists only as a feeling (vedanā). The basic condition is that of dukkha – pressure, tension and friction – which is an attribute of all formations
Page 117: As quoted above, the Paṭisambhidāmagga defines dukkha in the context of the Three Characteristics as ‘subject to danger’ . In the section explaining the Four Noble Truths (ariya-sacca), it defines dukkha – the first of the Noble Truths – in four ways. Something is identified as dukkha in the sense that it is oppressed (pīḷanaṭṭha), constructed (saṅkhataṭṭha), burns (santāpaṭṭha) , and changes (vipariṇāmaṭṭha). These four definitions of dukkha can also be used in the context of the Three Characteristics .
Page 118: Simply speaking, the dukkha of the Three Characteristics, which is a condition inherent in nature, in some circumstances becomes the dukkha of the Four Noble Truths. When people lack an understanding of this primary, naturally-occurring dukkha and deal with it inappropriately, it turns into a personal problem.
Page 123: seems like commentary view of 1. Dukkha-dukkhatā; 2. Vipariṇāma-dukkhatā; 3. Saṅkhāra-dukkhatā
Page 162 is a questionable Buddhadasa-ism: Many statements by the Buddha in the Suttanipāta describe arahants – those who have realized the goal of the holy life – as being without attā and nirattā. Arahants have neither a ‘self’ nor an ‘absence of self’. The Mahāniddesa defines the word attā as ‘a belief in self’ (attadiṭṭhi) or ‘a belief in an enduring eternal self’ (i.e. an eternalist view). It defines nirattā as an adherence to an annihilationist view. Another definition of attā is ‘something grasped’, and another definition for nirattā is ‘something to be relinquished’. Therefore an arahant does not believe in a self or in an absence of self (an annihilation of self). An arahant neither clings to anything nor needs to get rid of anything. The Mahāniddesa explains further that whoever clings must have something to relinquish, and whoever has something to relinquish must be clinging. An arahant has transcended both clinging and relinquishing.
from Page 233: so many versions of Dependent Origination
Here’s another link https://buddhadhamma.github.io/
Seems like he prefers Buddhadasa’s interpretation of Dependent Origination
fixed that, thanks for the tip.