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The Dhammasaṅgaṇī (Pāli; lit. 'Collection of Dhammas'), also known as the Dhammasaṅgaha, is a Buddhist scripture, part of the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism. It is the first of the seven texts of the Abhidhamma Pitaka.[1]

TypeCanonical text
Parent CollectionAbhidhamma Pitaka
PTS AbbreviationDsp
Pāli literature

The book begins with a matika (Pali for "matrix"), which is a list of classifications of dhammas, variously translated as ideas, phenomena, states, patterns etc. The text lacks a nidana, though the commentaries record that attempts were made at creating one that depicted the Buddha preaching the Abhidhamma in one of the heavenly realms.[1] Theravada tradition attributes the Dhammasaṅgaṇī to Sariputra, who is held to have recited the Abhidhamma as part of the sutta texts at the First Buddhist Council, and regards it as one of the canonical teachings that Mahinda brought to Sri Lanka from the empire of Asoka.[1] Its title is abbreviated 'Dhs' in Pāli scholarship.[1]


Following the matika, the main body of the book is in four parts, as follows.

  • The first part deals with states of mind, listing and defining factors present in them.
  • The second deals with material phenomena, classifying them numerically, by ones, twos etc.
  • The third part applies the material in the first two to explaining the classifications in the matika.
  • The fourth does likewise, but in a different and sometimes more detailed way, and omitting the sutta method 2-fold classifications. This fourth part is mostly omitted from the old translation, only a few extracts being included. The new translation is complete.

Rhys Davids (1900) divisions of the text are as follows:

Book I.
The Genesis
of Thoughts
Part I.
Good States
of Consciousness

Ch. I. The Eight Main Types of Thought relating to the Sensuous Universe
Ch. II. Good in relation to the Universe of Form (ruupaavacara-kusala.m)
Ch. III. Good in relation to the Universe of the Formless (aruupaavacara-kusala.m)
Ch. IV. Degrees of Efficacy in Good relating to the Three Realms
Ch. V. Thought engaged upon the Higher Ideal (lokuttaram citta.m)

Part II.
Bad States
of Consciousness

Ch. VI. The Twelve Bad Thoughts (dvaadasa akusalacittaani)

Part III.
Indeterminate States
of Consciousness

Ch. I. On Effect, or Result (vipaako): A. Good Karma. B. Bad Karma
Ch. II. Action-thoughts (kiriyaa)

Book II.
[No parts]

Ch. I. Exposition of Form under Single Concepts (ekaka-niddeso)
Ch. II. Categories of Form under Dual Aspects — positive and negative
Ch. III. Categories of Form under Triple Aspects
Ch. IV. Categories of Form under Fourfold Aspects
Ch. V. Category of Form under a Fivefold Aspect
Ch. VI. Category of Form under a Sixfold Aspect
Ch. VII. Category of Form under a Sevenfold Aspect
Ch. VIII. Category of Form under an Eightfold Aspect
Ch. IX. Category of Form under a Ninefold Aspect
Ch. X. Category of Form under a Tenfold Aspect
Ch. XI. Category of Form under an Elevenfold Aspect

Book III.
The Division
Part I.
[No title]

Ch. I. The Group of Triplets (tika.m)
Ch. II. The Group on Cause (hetu-gocchaka.m)
Ch. III. The Short Intermediate Set of Pairs (cuulantara-duka.m)
Ch. IV. The Intoxicant Group (aasava-gocchaka.m)
Ch. V. The Group of the Fetters (sa~n~nojana-gocchaka.m)
Ch. VI. The Group of the Ties (gantha-gocchaka.m)
Ch. VII. The Group of the Floods (ogha-gocchaka.m)
Ch. VIII. The Group of the Bonds (yoga-gocchaka.m)
Ch. IX. The Group of the Hindrances (niivarana-gocchaka.m)
Ch. X. The Group on Contagion (paraamaasa-gocchaka.m)
Ch. XI. The Great Intermediate Set of Pairs (mahantara-duka.m)
Ch. XII. The Group on Grasping (upaadaana-gocchaka.m)
Ch. XIII. The Group on the Corruptions (kilesa-gocchaka.m)
Ch. XIV. The Supplementary Set of Pairs (pi.t.thiduka.m)

Part II.
The Suttanta
Pairs of Terms
[No chapter titles]


Several English translations are available, including:

  • The Dhammasangani, edited by Edward Müller, 1885, published for the Pali Text Society, by H. Frowde in London
  • A Buddhist Manual of Psychological Ethics, tr C. A. F. Rhys Davids, Royal Asiatic Society, 1900; reprinted with corrections, Pali Text Society,[2] Bristol
  • Tr U Kyaw Khine, Department for the Promotion and Propagation of the Sasana, Rangoon, ?1996; reprinted by Sri Satguru Pubns, Delhi, 2 volumes

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Von Hinüber, Oskar (1997). A Handbook of Pali Literature (1st Indian ed.). New Delhi: Munishiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd. pp. 65=68. ISBN 81-215-0778-2.
  2. ^ http://www.palitext.com

External linksEdit