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Abhidharma (Sanskrit) or Abhidhamma (Pali) are ancient (3rd century BCE and later) Buddhist texts which contain detailed scholastic reworkings of doctrinal material appearing in the Buddhist sutras, according to schematic classifications. The Abhidhamma works do not contain systematic philosophical treatises, but summaries or abstract and systematic lists.

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Abhidhamma (Pali) [from abhi towards, with intensified meaning + dhamma law, religion, duty from the verbal root dhri to hold fast, preserve, sustain] The supreme dhamma or law as expounded in the third and last portion of the Pali Tipitaka (Sanskrit Tripitaka) or "three baskets" of the canonical books of the Southern School of Buddhism. The Abhidamma-pitaka, which deals with profound metaphysical themes, is believed to be the source from which the Mahayana and Hinayana got their fundamental doctrines.
Abhidamma (Sanskrit abhidharma) is defined by Buddhaghosha as "that higher law (dharma) which goes beyond (abhi) the popular or common law."

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