chos mngon pa
Abhidharma, knowledge, 'actual things', metaphysics. [RY]
Abhidharma [undefiled prajna rjes 'brangs dang bcas pa &, manifesting that, the prajnas of hearing and contemplating etc. &, texts showing these, chiefly teaching the precepts of proper prajna, both bka' and commentaries, Abhidharma, knowledge, 'actual things', metaphysics]. [IW]
Abhidharma - knowledge, phenomenology. [JV]
Abhidharma. One of the three parts of the Tripitaka, the Words of the Buddha. Systematic teachings on metaphysics focusing on developing discriminating knowledge by analyzing elements of experience and investigating the nature of existing things. [RY]
One of the Three Baskets of Buddhist teachings.
There are several different explanations of the term abhidharma. Master Vasubandhu explains that it means manifestly directed towards the characteristics of dharmas. He wrote in the Treasury of Abhidharma:
Abhidharma is stainless full knowing, its following included,/ In order to attain it, whatever and whichever treatise.
In this explanation, abhidharma refers both to the undefiled realization of Nobles and to the shes rab and treatises by which one can attain that realization.
Similarly, in the Ornament of the Sutras, Maitreya explains that the word abhi or manifest means seeing or being seen and refers to shes rab.
Master Buddhaghosa, however, explains it as "meaning 'that which exceeds and is distinguished from the Dhamma'... the prefix abhi having the sense of preponderance and distinction, and dhamma here signifying the teaching of the Sutta Piṭaka." Based on such descriptions, some translators translate the term as "higher dharma" or "further dharma." [Excerpted from the Abhidhamma Sangaha: A Compendium of Abhidhamma.]
The abhidharma was first collected in the Seven Treatises of Abhidharma, which compiled and systematized the teachings of the sutras. DKC