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Book: Setting Out on the Great Way

Chapter: Abhidharma in Early Mahāyāna

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.24516


This chapter argues that Abhidharma as it was developed in Greater Gandhāra, i.e. the northwestern parts of the Indian subcontinent, during the final centuries preceding the Common Era exerted a determining influence on Mahāyāna right from its beginnings. What is more, there are reasons to think that Mahāyāna as it finds expression in the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā and other texts underwent the influence of Abhidharma in that same region.

Chapter Contributors

  • Johannes Bronkhorst ( - jbronkhorst) 'University of Lausanne '