By Bhadantacariya Buddhaghosa, Bhikkhu Ñanamoli
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Additional info for The Path of Purification: Visuddhimagga
6 5 -7 0 R eig n interrupted after 5 m on th s by reb ellio n of B rahm an T issa , fam ine, invasion, and k in g 's exile. 33f. Bhikkhus all d isp erse from Great M onastery to South SL and to India. A-a I 92 Restoration of king after 14 years and return of bhikkhus. 81 Vattagam ani BCE 10 4 -8 8 k ing. A bhayagiri M onastery seced es from Great M onastery and b e co m es sch ism atic. 96 C o m m ittal b y Great M onastery of Pali Tipitaka to w riting for first tim e (away from royal capital).
2) The second is the Abhidhamma Pitaka, notably the closely related books, the Dham m asangani, Vibhanga, Patthana. ) Abhidhammatthasangaha, but they are outside the present scope). The point at issue here is not the muchdebated historical question of how far the Abhidham m a books (leaving aside the Kathavatthu) were contem porary w ith the Vinaya and Suttas, but rather what discernible direction they show in evolution of thought. (1) The Suttas being taken as the original exposition of the B ud d ha's teaching, (2) the A bhidham m a Pitaka itself appears as a highly tech n ical and specialized system atization, or com p lem entary set of m od ification s bu ilt upon that.
In the first century CE, Sanskrit Buddhism (“Hrnayana," and perhaps by then M ahayana) was growing rapidly and spreading abroad. The Abhayagiri M onastery would naturally have been busy studying and advocating some of these weighty developments w hile the Great M onastery had nothing new to offer: the rival was thus able, at some risk, to appear go-ahead and up-to-date while the old institution perhaps began to fall behind for w ant of new m aterial, new inspiration and international connections, because its studies being restricted to the orthodox presentation in the Sinhalese language, it had already done w hat it could in developing Tipitaka learning (on the mainland Theravada was doubtless deeper in the same predicament).