SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

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Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Postby dhamma follower » Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:48 pm

Dear all,

The late Mogok Sayadaw was a prominent Meditation Teacher in Burma. His meditation method has become the most widely practiced in Burma today. Dependent Origination was the material on which his teaching method is based. So I think it is fair to offer to the reader here his excellent explanation of this teaching "deep and appear to be deep":

http://www.usamyanmar.net/Buddha/Book/T ... UPPADA.pdf

It appears quite clearly from this reading that D.O can be understood both as a present-time representation of reality and three times model (but in a different way of understanding of the view according to which "jati" means "birth of self"). This is a perspective deeply concerned with the practical purposes of this important teaching.

Bellow is an extract

Paticcasamuppada actually is in itself the cyclic order of arising and passing away of
Dhamma or Khandhas. The old phenomenon gives rise to another in endless
continuum. Such phenomenon of arising and passing away is called
Paticcasamuppada and Paticcasamuppanna, the function of which no Creator or
God should start or draw to a halt. This functioning is the relinking of
Paticcasamuppada, Magga Phala is only Dhamma which can break the link of
Paticcasamuppada and when there is no relinking it is called Nibbana.
This process is only the arising and passing away of Khandas, Nama-rupa or in
other words this is the process of the Law of Causality in which there is no
semblance which can be taken for I, my, self or Ego. There is nothing except the
arising and disappearing of Khandhas, Nama -rupa or Ayatana.
1. By way of Sammuti Sacca (conventional truth), men, people, creatures or beings
are universally so called and known, whereas Paticcasamuppada Doctrine shows
that Avijja and Tanha are the beginning of Samsara. It should not be compared
with the beginning of men or custom or the first cause. In the Ultimate Truth there
is no man or mankind or creature and as such it can only be traced back to the
Dhamma, i.e., Avijja and Tanha is the beginning of Samsara.
2. It also shows that it is none other than the continual and endless process of arising
and disappearing of Khandhas of the so called sentient being, commonly known in
Sammuti Sacca (conventional truth) as man, woman and creature.
3. It is to be clearly borne in mind that in Paramattha Sacca (ultimate truth) there is
no such thing as man, woman, or creature. It is the law that sho ws 'when this exists
that arises; with the arising of this, that comes to be; when this does not exist that
does not come to be.'
Page 23 of 105 A Gift of Dhamma Maung Paw, California
4. It shows the link between Sankhara and Vinnana and Kammabhava and Jati.
5. It shows the ceaseless rounds or rebirth, Jati (birth), old age, sickness and
ultimately death. In other words, rebirth, sickness, old age and death are recurring
ad infinitum like the tree which bear fruit and the fruit again produces plant, and
the plant again bear fruits, and so on and on and so forth continuing the same
process as infinitum.
6. It shows that the process of arising and disappearing is nothing but series of
sorrows and sufferings.
7. It is just like a heap of the fire and fuel, when fuel is put the fire is aglow so it is
like the fire and fuel, when the fuel is put again the fire continues to burn and so on
and so forth without an end.
8. By way of Ariya Sacca is only the recurring process of Samudaya Sacca and
Dukkha Sacca in an endless continuum.
9. By way of Vatta (round) there recur ad infinitum three vattas (round) i.e., Kilesa
Vatta, Kamma Vatta and Vipaka Vatta. Because of Kelisa Vatta there arises
Kamma Vatta and because of Kamma Vatta there arises Vipaka Vatta.
10. There is only the cyclic order of time and space, i.e., Past, Present and Future . It
will be obvious to the reader that the Present becomes the Past of the future which
again becomes the Present. Thus the ceaseless process of Samsara goes on
indefinitely.

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Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Postby dhamma follower » Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:56 pm

Sylvester wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:In other words, becoming something (bhava) and establishing an identity (jati) is the requisite condition for experience aging-and-decay.



I thought establishing of identity (sakkaya) would be the function of sakkayaditthi, which according to MN 44 would be the work of upadana/clinging with reference to any or all of the aggregates.

Clinging precedes bhava, as the paccaya for bhava. I don't think it is possible to read jati so metaphorically, when upadana fulfills that function literally in a preceding nidana.



Excellent point!!!

Here is MN 44:
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Sanctuary. Then Visakha the lay follower went to Dhammadinna the nun and, on arrival, having bowed down to her, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to her, "'Self-identification, self-identification,' it is said, lady. Which self-identification is described by the Blessed One?"

"There are these five clinging-aggregates, friend Visakha: form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling as a clinging-aggregate, perception as a clinging-aggregate, fabrications as a clinging-aggregate, consciousness as a clinging-aggregate. These five clinging-aggregates are the self-identification described by the Blessed One."

Saying, "Yes, lady," Visakha the lay follower delighted & rejoiced in what Dhammadinna the nun had said. Then he asked her a further question: "'The origination of self-identification, the origination of self-identification,' it is said, lady. Which origination of self-identification is described by the Blessed One?"

"The craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming: This, friend Visakha, is the origination of self-identification described by the Blessed One."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

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Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:05 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,
"And what is birth? Whatever birth, taking birth, descent, coming-to-be, coming-forth, appearance of aggregates, & acquisition of [sense] media of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called birth.

Then, by contrast, John Ireland, translates the same tract of text as follows...

"That which, for these and those beings, in this and that group of beings, is birth, being born, conception, reproduction, the appearing of the aggregates, the acquiring of the [sense] bases: this, bhikkhus, is called birth.

... which, dare I say it, has a much more "ontological" bent, being focused on the "(re)birth of a being", rather than regarding jati as a volitional experience.


These descriptions both seem quite ontological to me, as do the descriptions for death. Why would that be a problem?

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Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:10 pm

It's probably worth looking at MN9 too:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .ntbb.html
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Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:45 pm

Spiny O'Norman wrote:These descriptions both seem quite ontological to me, as do the descriptions for death. Why would that be a problem?
It isn't. One simply needs to recognize that we need to use language with all its limitations, and that that can be done without getting lost in it.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Dec 10, 2011 8:07 pm

Some note from Bhikkhu Bodhi and the Commentary (Spk).

12.1

BB: Spk says that when it is said, "With ignorance as a condition, volitional formations ...", the meaning should be understand as follows: "It is ignorance and it is a condition, hence 'ignorance-as-condition'. Through that ignorance-as-condition volitional formations come to be".

This explanation suggests that that verb sambhavanti, which in the text occurs only at the end of the whole formula, should be connected to each proposition, thus establishing that each conditioned state arises through its condition.
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Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Dec 10, 2011 8:19 pm

12.2

"The passing away of the various beings from the various orders of beings, their perishing, breakup, disappearance, mortality, death, completion of time, the breakup of the aggregates, the laying down of the carcass: this is called death."

Spk: By the terms from "passing away" through "completion of time" he expounds death in worldly conventional terminology (lokasammutiya); by the expressions "breakup of the aggregates" and "the laying down of the carcass" he expounds death in the ultimate sense (paramattha). For in the ultimate sense it is only the aggregates that break up; there is no "being" that dies. When the aggregates are breaking up one says, "A being is dying", and when they have broken up it is said, "The being has died".


"The birth of the various beings into the various orders of beings, their being born, descent [into the womb], production, the manifestation of the aggregates, the obtaining of the sense bases. This is called birth."

Spk: From "birth" through "production" the teaching is conventional (voharadesana): the last two terms are an ultimate teaching (paramatthadesana). For in the ultimate sense it is only aggregates that become manifest, not a being.
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Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Dec 10, 2011 8:37 pm

"There are these three kinds of existence: sense-sphere existence, form-sphere existence, formless-sphere existence. This is called existence".

BB: (From Introduction):
Bhava, in the MN translation, was translated as "being". In seeking an alternative, I had first experimented with "becoming", but when the shortcomings in this choice were pointed out to me I decided to return to "existence", used in my earlier translations. Bhava, however, is not "existence" in the sense of the most universal ontological category, that which is shared by everything from the dishes in the kitchen sink to the numbers in a mathematical equation. Existence in the latter sense is covered by the verb atthi and the abstract noun atthita. Bhava is a concrete sentient existence in one of the three realms of existence posited by Buddhist cosmology, a span of life beginning with conception and ending in death. In the formula of dependent origination it is understood to mean both (i) the active side of life that produces rebirth in a particular mode of sentient existence; in other words rebirth-producing kamma; and (ii) the mode of sentient existence that results from such activity.

Spk: In the exposition of existence, sense-sphere existence is both kamma-exisitence and rebirth-existence. Of these, kamma-existence is just kamma that leads to sense-sphere existence; for the kamma, being the cause for rebirth-existence in that real, is spoken of as "existence" by assigning the name for the result to the cause. Rebirth existence is the set of five kammically acquired aggregates produced by that kamma; for this is called "existence" in the sense that "it comes to be there." The same method of explanation applies to form-sphere and formless-sphere existence (except that in formless-sphere rebirth-existence only the four mental aggregates exist).
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Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:30 am

"And what, bhikkhus, is name-and-form? Feeling, perception, volition, contact, attention: this is called name. The four great elements and the form derived from the four great elements: this is called form. Thus this name and form are together called name-and-form."

Namarupa (from the introduction):
BB: In the MN translation I had changed Ven Nanamoli's "name-and-form" back to his earlier rendering, "mentality-materiality". In some respects the latter is doctrinally more accurate, but it is also unwieldy, particularly when translating verse, and thus here I return to "name-and-form". The compound was of pre-Buddhist origins and is used in the Upanishads to denote the differentiated manifestation of brahman, the nondual reality. For the sages of the Upanishads, namarupa is the manifestation of brahman as multiplicity, apprehended by the senses as diversified appearances or forms, and by thought as diversified names or concepts (the assignment of names and concepts being understood as grounded in objective reality rather than as the end-product of a purely subjective process). The Buddha adopted this expression and invested it with a meaning consonant with his own system. Here it becomes the physical and cognitive sides of individual existence. In the exression bahiddha namarupa, "external name-and-form" in
SN 12.19 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"When a fool is obstructed by ignorance and conjoined with craving, this body thus results. Now there is both this body and external name-&-form. Here, in dependence on this duality, there is contact at the six senses. Touched by these, or one or another of them, the fool is sensitive to pleasure & pain.
...

we seem to find a vestige of the original meaning --- the world as distinguished according to its appearances and names --- but divested of the monistic implications.

In the Buddha's system, rupa is defined as the four great elements and the form derived from them. Form is both internal to the person (as the body with its senses) and external (as the physical world). The Nikayas do not explain derived form, but the Abhidhamma analyses it into some 24 kinds of secondary material phenomena which include the sensitive substances of the sense faculties and four of five sense objects (the tactile object is identified with three of the great elements --- earth, heat, and air --- which each exhibit tangible properties.). Though I render nama as name, this should not be taken too literally. Nama is the assemblage of mental factors involving cognition: feeling, perception, volition, contact, and attention. These are called "name" because they contribute to the process of cognition by which objects are subsumed under the conceptual designations.

It should be noted that in the Nikayas namarupa does not include conciousness (vinnana). Conciousness is its condition and the two are mutually dependent, like two sheaves of reeds leaning against one another.
SN 12.67 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Conciousness can operate only in dependence on a physical body (rupa) and in conjuction with its constellation of concomitants (nama); conversely, only when conciousness is present can a compound of material elements function as a sentient body and the mental concomitants participate in cognition. Occasionally the texts speak of "descent of consciousness" serving as a condition for name-and-form (SN 12.59); this means that the arrival of the current of conciousness from the past existence into the new one is the necessary condition for the arising of a new psychophysical organism at conception. Sometimes too the texts speak of the descent of name-and -form
e.g. SN 12.64 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nypo.html
this denotes the beginning of sentient life when the current of conciousness, arriving from the previous existence, becomes established under the fresh conditions.
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Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:03 am

"There are these three kinds of volitional formations: the body volitional formation, the verbal volitional formation, the mental volitional formation."

Sankara. From the introduction:
BB: In the MN translation I had changed Ven Nanamoli's experimental rendering of sankara as "determinations" back to his earlier choice "formations". Aware that this word has its own drawbacks, in preparing this translation I had experimented with several alternatives. The most attractive of these was "constructions", but in the end I felt that this term too often led to obscurity. Hence, like the land-finding crow which always returns to the ship when land is not close by (Visuddhimagga 21:65) I had to fall back on "formations", which is colourless enough to take on the meaning being imparted by the context. Sometimes I prefixed this with "volitional" to bring out the meaning more clearly.

BB goes on to enumerate how sankhara is used in different contexts.
As the second factor in the formulation of dependent origination sankharas are the kammically active volitions responsible, in conjunction with ignorance and craving, for generating rebirth and sustaining the forward movement of samsara from one life to the next. Sankhara is synonymous with kamma, to which is it entymologically related, both being derived from karoti. These sankharas are distinguished as threefold by their channel of expression as bodily, verbal and mental (current sutta); they are also divided by ethical quality into meritorious, demeritorious, and impreturbable (SN 12.51). To convey the relevant sense of sankhara here I render the term "volitional formations". The word might also have been translated "activities", which makes explicit the connection with kamma, but this rendering would sever the connection with sankhara in contexts other than dependent origination, which it seems desirable to preserve.

Spk: Volitional formations have the characteristic of forming. The bodily volitional formation is a volitional formation that occurs though the body... [goes on with an enumeration of the Abhidhamma perspective...]

BB: This triad should not be confused with the triad discussed at
SN 41.6 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"There are three fabrications, householder: bodily-fabrications, verbal fabrications, & mental fabrications."

I have added "volitional" to the present set to distinguish them from the other, though the Pali terms are identical. The latter triad is always introduced in relation to the cessation of perception and feeling and is never brought into connection with dependent origination.
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Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:12 am

"And what, bhikkhus, is ignoranc? Not knowing suffering, not knowing the origin of suffering, not knowing the cessation of suffering, not knowing the way leading to the cessation of suffering."

BB: This definition shows that ignorance, as the most basic cause of samsaric existence, is lack of knowledge of the Four Noble Truths. Although in popular accounts ignorance is often identified with the idea of self, the definitions here show that the view of self is an aspect of clinging, with is itself conditioned by craving, while the latter is in turn conditioned by ignorance.
See: AN 10.62: http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pit ... ggo-e.html
[2. Craving]

62. Bhikkhus, a beginning to the craving `to be' cannot be pointed out.-'Before this there was no craving `to be', it occured afterwards. Bhikkhus, it is pointed out: On account of this, there is `craving `to be'.

Bhikkhus, I say, craving `to be' too has a supportive condition. What is the supportive condition for craving `to be'.? Ignorance is the reply. Bhikkhus, I say, even ignorance has a supportive condition. What is the supportive condition for ignorance?
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Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:46 am

mikenz66 wrote:It should be noted that in the Nikayas namarupa does not include conciousness (vinnana). Conciousness is its condition and the two are mutually dependent, like two sheaves of reeds leaning against one another.


What puzzles me is that in some suttas this mutual dependence of vinnana and nama-rupa is described, whereas in other suttas nama-rupa is described as arising in dependence on consiousness, eg in this extract quoted earlier in the thread:

SN 12.2 PTS: S ii 2 CDB i 534 Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta: Analysis of Dependent Co-arising translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
"And what is dependent co-arising? From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form..."

Does anyone know why this is?

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Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Postby pegembara » Sun Dec 11, 2011 5:16 pm

@spiny

I used to be confused too. There are eye, ear, nose, body ... consciousness that arise from contact eg. light hitting eyes, sound waves hitting ear drum, touch sensations etc. Then there is an awareness or "consciousness" of forms, sounds, touch ie. eye consciousness, ear consciousness(vinnana) etc.

Without this awareness or vinnana it is as though there is no form, sounds heard or touch felt which are the objects of experience (namarupa). The vinnana in DO refers to this type of consciousness.

Eg. I am sitting. When I am preoocupied with my thoughts, there is no awareness of sitting. "I" am literally not sitting until "I" bring my attention to sitting. So it literally is body sits but only when awareness of that fact occurs that the thought "I am sitting" appears. It is even more obvious with swallowing.

On the other hand when I put my awareness on say sounds of a bell. The sound comes and goes. Even though I am still aware there is no experience of sound. Awareness/vinnana needs and object/namarupa for an experience to occur. Then comes the sense media : experience of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, body sensations and mental world.

Without this awareness/vinnana there is no experience of sitting,swallowing, sounds, etc. and vice versa.


"Very well then, Kotthita my friend, I will give you an analogy; for there are cases where it is through the use of an analogy that intelligent people can understand the meaning of what is being said. It is as if two sheaves of reeds were to stand leaning against one another. In the same way, from name-&-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness, from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name & form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of suffering & stress.

"If one were to pull away one of those sheaves of reeds, the other would fall; if one were to pull away the other, the first one would fall. In the same way, from the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of consciousness, from the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of suffering & stress."
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:17 pm

Hi Spiny,

It seems clear that the DO sequence is not linear, and that there are a number of variations from the 12-step formula.

See, for example:
DN 15 Maha-nidana Sutta: The Great Causes Discourse
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"If one is asked, 'From what requisite condition does name-and-form come?' one should say, 'Name-and-form comes from consciousness as its requisite condition.'

"If one is asked, 'Is there a demonstrable requisite condition for consciousness?' one should answer, 'There is.'

"If one is asked, 'From what requisite condition does consciousness come?' one should say, 'Consciousness comes from name-and-form as its requisite condition.'

"Thus, Ananda, from name-and-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form. From name-and-form as a requisite condition comes contact. ...


SN 12.65 Nagara Sutta: The City
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
From my appropriate attention there came the breakthrough of discernment: 'Name-&-form exists when consciousness exists. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form.' Then the thought occurred to me, 'Consciousness exists when what exists? From what as a requisite condition comes consciousness?' From my appropriate attention there came the breakthrough of discernment: 'Consciousness exists when name-&-form exists. From name-&-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness.'

"Then the thought occurred to me, 'This consciousness turns back at name-&-form, and goes no farther. It is to this extent that there is birth, aging, death, falling away, & re-arising, i.e., from name-&-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness, from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media... Thus is the origination of this entire mass of stress. Origination, origination.' Vision arose, clear knowing arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before.

:anjali:
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Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:15 pm

Greetings Spiny,

Spiny O'Norman wrote:What puzzles me is that in some suttas this mutual dependence of vinnana and nama-rupa is described, whereas in other suttas nama-rupa is described as arising in dependence on consiousness, eg in this extract quoted earlier in the thread:

SN 12.2 PTS: S ii 2 CDB i 534 Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta: Analysis of Dependent Co-arising translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
"And what is dependent co-arising? From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form..."

Does anyone know why this is?

Because both are true - one does not preclude the other.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:49 am

Among others, Ajahn Payutto http://www.buddhanet.net/cmdsg/payutto.htm,

Offers some alternatives in his book on Dependent Origination http://www.buddhanet.net/cmdsg/coarise.htm

5 Other Interpretations

The description of Dependent Origination given in the previous chapter is that most often found in the scriptures and commentaries. It seeks to explain Dependent Origination in terms of the samsaravatta, the round of rebirth, showing the connections between three lifetimes -- the past, the present and the future.

Those who do not agree with this interpretation, or who would prefer something more immediate, can find alternatives not only in the Abhidhamma Pitaka, where the principle of Dependent Origination is shown occurring in its entirety in one mind moment, but can also interpret the very same words of the Buddha used to support the standard model in a different light, giving a very different picture of the principle of Dependent Origination, one which is supported by teachings and scriptural references from other sources.

The arguments used to support such an interpretation are many. For instance, the immediacy of the end of suffering and the sorrowless life of the Arahant are states which can arise in this present life. It is not necessary to die before realizing the cessation of birth, aging and death, and thus sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair. Those things can be overcome in this very lifetime. The whole of the Dependent Origination cycle, both in the arising of suffering and in its cessation, is concerned with this present life. If the cycle can be clearly understood as it operates in the present, it follows that the past and the future will also be clearly understood, because they are all part of the one cycle.
...
http://www.buddhanet.net/cmdsg/coarise5.htm
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Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:55 am

My main reason for drawing attention to Ajahn Payutto is that the appendix to his book, A problem with the word "nirodha" is particularly relevant to thinking about these suttas. Ajahns Amaro and Pasano quote this in their book "The Island" http://forestsangha.org/index.php?optio ... &Itemid=25

A problem with the word "nirodha"

The word nirodha has been translated as "cessation" for so long that it has become standard practice, and any deviation from it leads to queries. Even in this book I have opted for this standard translation for sake of convenience and to avoid confusing it for other Pali terms (apart from lack of a better word). In fact, however, this rendering of the word "nirodha" as "ceased" can in many instances be a mis-rendering of the text.

Generally speaking, the word "cease" means to do away with something which has already arisen, or the stopping of something which has already begun. However, nirodha in the teaching of Dependent Origination (as also in dukkhanirodha, the third of the Four Noble Truths) means the non-arising, or non-existence, of something because the cause of its arising is done away with. For example, the phrase "when avijja is nirodha, sankhara are also nirodha," which is usually taken to mean "with the cessation of ignorance, volitional impulses cease," in fact means "when there is no ignorance, or no arising of ignorance, or when there is no longer any problem with ignorance, there are no volitional impulses, volitional impulses do not arise, or there is no longer any problem with volitional impulses." It does not mean that ignorance already arisen must be done away with before the volitional impulses which have already arisen will also be done away with.

Where nirodha should be rendered as cessation is when it is used in reference to the natural way of things, or the nature of compounded things. In this sense it is a synonym for the words bhanga, breaking up, anicca, transient, khaya, cessation or vaya, decay. For example, in the Pali it is given: imam kho bhikkhave tisso vedana anicca sankhata paticcasamuppanna khayadhamma vayadhamma viragadhamma nirodhadhamma: "Monks, these three kinds of feeling are naturally impermanent, compounded, dependently arisen, transient, subject to decay, dissolution, fading and cessation."[S.IV.214] (All of the factors occurring in the Dependent Origination cycle have the same nature.) In this instance, the meaning is "all conditioned things (sankhara), having arisen, must inevitably decay and fade according to supporting factors." There is no need to try to stop them, they cease of themselves. Here the intention is to describe a natural condition which, in terms of practice, simply means "that which arises can be done away with."

As for nirodha in the third Noble Truth (or the Dependent Origination cycle in cessation mode), although it also describes a natural process, its emphasis is on practical considerations. It is translated in two ways in the Visuddhimagga. One way traces the etymology to "ni" (without) + "rodha" (prison, confine, obstacle, wall, impediment), thus rendering the meaning as "without impediment," "free of confinement." This is explained as "free of impediments, that is, the confinement of samsara." Another definition traces the origin to anuppada, meaning "not arising", and goes on to say "nirodha here does not mean bhanga, breaking up and dissolution."

Therefore, translating nirodha as "cessation", although not entirely wrong, is nevertheless not entirely accurate. On the other hand, there is no other word which comes so close to the essential meaning as "cessation." However, we should understand what is meant by the term. In this context, the Dependent Origination cycle in its cessation mode might be better rendered as "being free of ignorance, there is freedom from volitional impulses ..." or "when ignorance is gone, volitional impulses are gone ..." or "when ignorance ceases to give fruit, volitional impulses cease to give fruit ..." or "when ignorance is no longer a problem, volitional impulses are no longer a problem."

Even in the forward mode, there are some problems with definitions. The meaning of many of the Pali terms are too broad to be translated into any single English words. For instance, avijja paccaya sankhara also means "When ignorance is like this, volitional impulses are like this; volitional impulses being this way, consciousness is like this; consciousness being this way, body and mind are like this; ..."

http://www.buddhanet.net/cmdsg/coarisea.htm#problem
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Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Postby gavesako » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:08 am

I think this is best explained in reference to the multiple feedback loops which occur in the Dependent Origination formula:
However, one of the many things the Buddha discovered in the course of his awakening was that causality is not linear. The experience of the present is shaped both by actions in the present and by actions in the past. Actions in the present shape both the present and the future. The results of past and present actions continually interact. Thus there is always room for new input into the system, which gives scope for free will. There is also room for the many feedback loops that make experience so thoroughly complex, and that are so intriguingly described in chaos theory. Reality doesn’t resemble a simple line or circle. It’s more like the bizarre trajectories of a strange attractor or a Mandelbrot set.


https://mettarefuge.wordpress.com/2011/ ... casuality/
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Postby pegembara » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:53 am

There is a scope for making choices but there is no absolute freedom. All actions have consequences. One is not free to act as one likes without experiencing the results.

There is no free choice from the point of view of self. The choice given is akin to an armed robber saying, " I am giving you a choice: your money or your life?". Kamma-vipaka is operating at this level.


If we were to apply this analogy to the Buddhist path, the system we’re in is samsara, the round of rebirth. Its resonances would be what the texts called “non-fashioning,” the opening to the uncaused: nibbana. The wall of resistant forces around the resonances would correspond to pain, stress, and attachment. To allow yourself to be repelled by stress or deflected by attachment, no matter how subtle, would be like approaching a resonance but then veering off to another part of the system. But to focus directly on analyzing stress and attachment, and deconstructing their causes, would be like getting on an undeflected trajectory right into the resonance and finding total, undefined freedom.

https://mettarefuge.wordpress.com/2011/ ... casuality/
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:02 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Spiny,

Spiny O'Norman wrote:What puzzles me is that in some suttas this mutual dependence of vinnana and nama-rupa is described, whereas in other suttas nama-rupa is described as arising in dependence on consiousness, eg in this extract quoted earlier in the thread:

SN 12.2 PTS: S ii 2 CDB i 534 Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta: Analysis of Dependent Co-arising translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
"And what is dependent co-arising? From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form..."

Does anyone know why this is?


Because both are true - one does not preclude the other.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Generally in the suttas DO is desribed in terms of one nidana arising ( or ceasing ) in dependence on the previous one. But uniquely vinnana and nama-rupa are described in some suttas as being mutually dependent, and it seems to me that "A arising in dependence on B" has a quite different meaning to "A and B being mutually dependent". Do you see what I'm getting at?

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