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Translations of
EnglishCompendium of Abhidharma
(RR: Daeseung-abidalma-jiplon)
(Wylie: mngon pa kun btus;
THL: ngönpa küntü
Glossary of Buddhism

The Abhidharma-samuccaya (Sanskrit; Wylie: mngon pa kun btus; English: "Compendium of Abhidharma") is a Buddhist text composed by Asanga. The Abhidharma-samuccaya is a complete and systematic account of the abhidharma.

According to Traleg Rinpoche, the Abhidharma-samuccaya is one of Asanga's most essential texts and also one of the most psychologically oriented. It provides a framework, as well as a general pattern, as to how a practitioner is to follow the path, develop oneself and finally attain Buddhahood.[1] It presents the path according to the Yogachara school of Mahayana Buddhism.[1]

Mental factors[edit]

The second chapter of this text enumerates fifty-one mental factors (Sanskrit: caitasikā), divided into the following categories:[2]

  • five ever-functioning factors (Wylie: kun 'gro lnga, 遍行心所, Korean: 변행심소),
  • five ascertaining (object-determining) ones (yul nges lnga, 別境心所, Korean: 별경심소),
  • eleven virtuous (or constructive) emotions (dge ba bcu gcig, 善心所, Korean: 선심소),
  • six root disturbing emotions and attitudes (rtsa nyon drug, 煩惱心所, Korean: 번뇌심소),
  • twenty auxiliary disturbing emotions (nye nyon nyi shu, 隨煩惱心所, Korean: 수번뇌심소),
  • four changeable factors (gzhan 'gyur bzhi, 不定心所, Korean: 부정심소).

Contemporary scholarly analysis[edit]

Contemporary scholar Achim Bayer asserts that the thought of different sections of the Abhidharma-samuccaya might be heterogenous. For example, the important term ālayavijñāna ("Store-house Consciousnesses") appears not more than six times, with all six occurrences in the "Lakṣaṇasamuccaya" section, i.e. within in the first third of the work.[3]


  1. ^ a b Traleg Rinpoche (1993), p.1.
  2. ^ Berzin, Alexander. "Primary Minds and the 51 Mental Factors". studybuddhism.com.
  3. ^ Bayer (2010), p.11.


Further reading[edit]

  • Asanga, Abhidharmasamuccaya: The Compendium of the Higher Teaching (Philosophy), translated by Walpola Rahula, Sara Boin-Webb, Asian Humanities Press, 2001
  • Dan Martin, 'Gray Traces: Tracing the Tibetan Teaching Transmission of the mNgon pa kun btus (Abhidharmasamuccaya) Through the Early Period of Disunity' in Helmut Eimer and David Germano (ed.), The Many Canons of Tibetan Buddhism, Leiden: Brill, 2002