As I'm not a scholar in Buddhist literature and history, I usually get my information from various places here and there. Before I knew of the teacher Ven Shravasti Dhammika from http://sdhammika.blogspot.com/, I was a blind Buddhist fanatic. Why I was a blind fanatic is because I wanted to believe in almost everything. I was afraid that if I did not believe in what the source tell me, I will lose out.
- So I believed a source which told me that if I did not read Abhidhamma in this life, I would not be making the best of my opportunity. I hate to make a waste of good opportunities which seem like a bargain to me.
- I believed that an effigy of the Buddha would miraclously be formed at the end of the Buddha sasana when all the remaining relics of the Buddha gathered in Sri Lanka. And that the effigy would 'come alive' to perform the Twin Miracle (I spent ALOT of time searching for the meaning of that) and teach the teachings of the Buddha to the Devas who will be present, before bursting into flames.
- I believed that the Buddha's and his accomplished disciples (including those from much later times) had pearl-like bodily deposits when they were cremated, what we call the holy relics - due to their extraordinarily pure morality.
- I believed that the Buddha did go to heaven for 3 months to teach the 'higher' Dharma to the Devas, because this Abhidhamma needs to be expounded in full at the first time, because humans cannot sit still for 3 months in a time, and because he wanted to re-pay his reincarnated mother.
- I believed that that Mount Meru is where the 4 'world islands' touch each other, and that it connects the physical world to the spiritual realm. That Devas & Asuras reside on the slopes of Mount Meru. I spent alot of my time & energy 'researching' and reading on this Mount Meru too.
The above are just some of the things on Buddhism I believed in as a blind fanatic. On retrospect, I feel rather embarrassed for being childlike and guillible despite my other logical outlooks. From this teacher, I learnt that Buddhist literature have their own timelines.
All I knew was that the Tipitaka had 3 baskets, the Vinaya, the Sutta & the Abhidhamma Pitaka, so I assumed that the Abhidhamma is also taught by the Buddha himself. Although I've read that during the First Council the Vinaya and Suttas were recited, I did not notice the absence of the mention of Abhidhamma. Neither was I capable of telling an estimate timeline for the appearance of the Abhidhamma, that it was a later addition to the Tipitaka.
Although that doesn't mean that I think everything written in there is irrelevent and falsely made-up, I'm very happy to be able to leave it behind. This is a very detailed, microscopic breakdown of all physcial, mental phenomena, types of consciousnous and what not. *Phew!* I can't even tell when I'm greedy, drowsy, angry - fat hope of me trying to distinguish all 52 Cittas (states of consciousnous in Ahbhidhamma).