This book is a companion to Bhikkhu Anālayo’s previous study of the Genesis of the Bodhisattva Ideal. In the present book he turns to another important aspect in the development of Buddhist thought: the beginnings of the Abhidharma. Anālayo shows that the two main modes generally held in academic circles to explain the arising of the Abhidharma – the use of lists (mātrḳā) and the question-and-answer format – are formal elements that in themselves are not characteristic of Abhidharma thought. Going beyond the notion that the coming into being of the Abhidharma can be located in such formal aspects, he shows how the attempt to provide a comprehensive map of the teachings gradually led to the arising of new terminology and new ideas. He identifies the notion of the supramundane path as an instance where fully fledged Abhidharma thought manifests in the discourses. Anālayo concludes that what characterizes the Abhidharma is not the mere use of dry lists and summaries, but rather a mode of thought that has gone further (abhi-) than the Dharma taught in the early discourses in general.