The properties of “acquisition” (prāpti) and “non-acquisition” (aprāpti) listed in the dharma-category named “conditionings disjoined from thought” (cittaviprayuktasaṃskāra) are rather abstruse and difficult to understand terms.
The Sarvāstivada school’s view that “acquisition” has real existence was rejected by other schools such as the Dāṛṣṭāntika and Sautrāntika.
Thus what follows aims at exploring the reasons why the Sarvāstivada persisted in upholding this view.
The article begins with a discussion of the formation of the “conditionings disjoined from thought” as one of the five dharma-categories of the Sarvāstivāda school. It then discusses the formation of “acquisition” and “non-acquisition”, arriving at the conclusion that the Sarvāstivāda school argued for the real existence of “acquisition” by appealing to its functions. The article ends with a discussion of these particular functions that are at stake.
In the author’s analysis, the argument for the real existence of the property of “acquisition” put forward by the Vaibhāsika scholars is based on the following characteristics assigned to such property: 1. it functions as a cause for establishing the distinction between the noble ones and ordinary worldlings; 2. it functions as cause for claiming that the pudgala is endowed with properties; 3. it functions as a device for not losing the properties that have been acquired by a dharma; 4. it functions as a mark of knowledge.
cittaviprayuktasaṃskāra; prāpti; aprāpti; vyavasthāhetu; dharmāvipranāśakāraṇa; mark of knowledge; cause for claiming