SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

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SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:12 pm

SN 12.1 Pañiccasamuppàda: Dependent Origination

Translated by John Ireland


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... passage-16

The Lord said: "Bhikkhus, I will teach you Dependent Arising,[29] listen attend carefully and I will speak."

"Yes, Sir," those bhikkhus replied to the Lord.

The Lord said: "Now what, bhikkhus, is Dependent Arising? With ignorance as condition, bhikkhus, volitional activities come to be; with volitional activities as condition, consciousness comes to be; with consciousness as condition, mind-and-body come to be; with mind-and-body as condition, the sixfold sense-field comes to be; with the sixfold sense-field as condition, contact comes to be; with contact as condition, feeling comes to be; with feeling as condition, craving comes to be; with craving as condition, grasping comes to be; with grasping as condition, becoming comes to be; with becoming as condition, birth comes to be; with birth as condition, aging and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair come to be. That is how there is an origin to this whole mass of suffering. And this, bhikkhus, is called Dependent Arising.

"But from the complete disappearance and cessation of ignorance, volitional activities cease; from the cessation of volitional activities, consciousness ceases; from the cessation of consciousness, mind-and-body ceases; from the cessation of mind-and-body, the sixfold sense-field ceases; from the cessation of the sixfold sense-field contact ceases; from the cessation of contact feeling ceases; from the cessation of feeling, craving ceases; from the cessation of craving, grasping ceases; from the cessation of grasping, becoming ceases; from the cessation of becoming, birth ceases; from the cessation of birth, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair cease.[30] That is how there is a ceasing of this whole mass of suffering."

Notes

29. The doctrine of paticca samuppaada, dependent arising, dependent origination, conditioned genesis or co-production, as it is variously rendered in translation, is the central and most profound teaching of Buddhism, and unique to it. It is the key to understanding the Buddha's teaching and one might say that one's depth of understanding of the paticca samuppaada is equivalent to one's depth of understanding of Buddhism. By obtaining at least an intellectual grasp of its principles everything else should automatically fall into place and to have a full understanding of it implies one would be fully Enlightened. Broadly speaking it is the doctrine of the conditionality of all the phenomena of existence, physical, mental and moral. It shows how everything in the universe arises, is supported and passes away dependent upon a variety of conditioning factors, which themselves are likewise dependent upon other factors. Nothing can exist independently, unrelated to and unaffected by the other phenomena in its environment.

30. Buddhism, being practical uses this principle specifically to show the origin of suffering and its cessation by the removal of its causative and supportive conditions. For this purpose twelve conditioning factors are enumerated beginning with ignorance and defined in SN 12.2.

Traditionally the twelve factors are regarded as spread over the three periods of time or past, present and future lives, and fall into groups as being active or causative and passive or resultant. There are two past active factors, ignorance and volitional activities (factors 1 and 2), giving rise to their results in this life, consciousness, mind-and body, the sixfold sense-field, contact and feeling (factors 3-7). Craving, grasping, and becoming (factors 8 to 10) are the present causative factors with their results in a future life, represented by birth and aging-and-death, etc. (factors 11 and 12). See Dependent Origination, by Piyadassi Thera (The Wheel No. 15 a/b).
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Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:14 pm

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


A summary of the causal chain of dependent co-arising.

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

Dwelling at Savatthi... "Monks, I will describe & analyze dependent co-arising for you.

"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. 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 stress & suffering.

"Now what is aging and death? Whatever aging, decrepitude, brokenness, graying, wrinkling, decline of life-force, weakening of the faculties of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called aging. Whatever deceasing, passing away, breaking up, disappearance, dying, death, completion of time, break up of the aggregates, casting off of the body, interruption in the life faculty of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called death.

"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.

"And what is becoming? These three are becomings: sensual becoming, form becoming, & formless becoming. This is called becoming.

"And what is clinging/sustenance? These four are clingings: sensuality clinging, view clinging, precept & practice clinging, and doctrine of self clinging. This is called clinging.

"And what is craving? These six are classes of craving: craving for forms, craving for sounds, craving for smells, craving for tastes, craving for tactile sensations, craving for ideas. This is called craving.

"And what is feeling? These six are classes of feeling: feeling born from eye-contact, feeling born from ear-contact, feeling born from nose-contact, feeling born from tongue-contact, feeling born from body-contact, feeling born from intellect-contact. This is called feeling.

"And what is contact? These six are classes of contact: eye-contact, ear-contact, nose-contact, tongue-contact, body-contact, intellect-contact. This is called contact.

"And what are the six sense media? These six are sense media: the eye-medium, the ear-medium, the nose-medium, the tongue-medium, the body-medium, the intellect-medium. These are called the six sense media.

"And what is name-&-form? Feeling, perception, intention, contact, & attention: This is called name. The four great elements, and the form dependent on the four great elements: This is called form. This name & this form are called name-&-form.

"And what is consciousness? These six are classes of consciousness: eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness, intellect-consciousness. This is called consciousness.

"And what are fabrications? These three are fabrications: bodily fabrications, verbal fabrications, mental fabrications. These are called fabrications.

"And what is ignorance? Not knowing stress, not knowing the origination of stress, not knowing the cessation of stress, not knowing the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress: This is called ignorance.

"Now from the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications. From the cessation of fabrications 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 stress & suffering."

See also:
SN 12.61; http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
SN 22.5. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:17 pm

SN 12.2, Translated by John Ireland

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... passage-17


"Now what, bhikkhus, is aging-and-death?

"That which, for these and those beings, in this and that group of beings, is aging, becoming old, decayed-ness, graying of the hair, wrinkling of the skin, drawing to an end of the life-span, failing of the sense-faculties: this is called aging.

"That which, for these and those beings, in this and that group of beings, is passing away, breaking up, disappearance, mortality and dying, making an end, the separation of the aggregates, the casting away of the body: this is called death. This is aging and this is death and these, bhikkhus, are called aging-and-death.

"And what, bhikkhus, is birth?

"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.

"And what, bhikkhus, is becoming?

"There are these three becomings: sensuous [-realm] becoming, form [-realm] becoming and formless [-realm] becoming. This, bhikkhus, is called becoming.[31]

"And what, bhikkhus, is grasping?

"There are these four grasping: grasping at sense objects, grasping at [wrong] views, grasping at rituals and observances[32] and grasping at a soul-theory.[33] This, bhikkhus, is called grasping.

"And what, bhikkhus, is craving?

"There are these six groups of craving: craving for visible objects, sounds, scents, tastes, tangible objects, and objects of mind. This, bhikkhus is called craving.

"And what, bhikkhus, is feeling?

"There are these six groups of feeling born of eye-contact and mind-contact, ear-contact, nose-contact, tongue-contact, bodily-contact and mind-contact. This, bhikkhus, is called feeling.

"And what, bhikkhus, is contact?

"There are these six groups of contact: eye-contact, ear-contact, nose-contact, tongue-contact, bodily-contact and mind-contact. This, bhikkhus, is called contact.

"And what, bhikkhus, is the sixfold sense-field?[34]

"Eye-base, ear-base, nose-base, tongue-base, tactile-base and mind-base. This, bhikkhus, is called the sixfold sense-field.

"And what, bhikkhus, is mind-and-body?

"Feeling, perception, volition, contact and attention: this is called mind. The four great elements[35] and the material form assumed by the four great elements: this is called mind-and-body.

"And what, bhikkhus, is consciousness?

"There are these six groups of consciousness: eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness and mind-consciousness. This, bhikkhus, is called consciousness.

"And what, bhikkhus, are volitional activities?

"There are these three volitional activities: a volitional activity of body, a volitional activity of speech, a volitional activity of mind. These, bhikkhus, are called volitional activities.[36]

"And what, bhikkhus, is ignorance?

"Whatever is absence of knowledge[37] into suffering, the origin of suffering, the cessation of suffering and the way leading to cessation of suffering. This, bhikkhus, is called ignorance."

Notes

31. The word "becoming" is used for the Paali bhava, rather than "being" or "existence." The latter words are too static to bring out the meaning which is essentially dynamic. Perhaps "evolving" might be better. It is the unfolding of the effects of past actions (kamma) and the production of new actions. In Buddhism the universe is classified into three realms: (a) the sensuous realm comprising the hells, the animal, ghost, and human worlds and six heavenly or deva worlds; (b) the form realm, a subtler kind of existence enjoyed by the Brahma-gods; and (c) the formless realm, the beings of which do not have material bodies.

32. Siilabbata, an outward show of ritualism and religious observances, such as ritual bathing, fasting, etc., thinking they will bring purity and release of themselves.

33. Attavaada: belief in an eternal and unchanging ego-entity, either included in or independent of mind and body.

34. AAyatana, sphere of sense, basis for sensation. There are twelve aayatana altogether: the five sense organs, their respective objects, and the mind, which is regarded as a sense-organ, its object being ideas or thoughts.

35. The four great elements or qualities of matter are:

the earth-element, solidity, extension in space;
the water-element, cohesion, building matter into mass;
the fire-element, temperature either hot or cold, maturing;
the air-element, motion, vibration.

36. "Volitional activity" is an interpretative rather than a literal translation of the word sa.nkhaara, an important technical term in Buddhist literature. The word means: formation, construction, determinant; either in the active sense of forming or putting together, or passively as what has been formed, put together or compounded. In this context the first meaning in the sense of active, kammic volitions, is intended.

37. Knowledge (ñaa.na) is the understanding arising from training in meditation. It refers specifically to the knowledge gained on entering one of the stages of sanctity: stream-entry, once-returning, never-returning and arahatta or final emancipation.
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Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:19 pm

Ven Nyanatiloka's Dictionary Entry on Dependent Origination

http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... pp%C4%81da
Paticcasamuppāda: 'dependent origination', is the doctrine of the conditionality of all physical and psychical phenomena, a doctrine which, together with that of impersonality anattā, forms the indispensable condition for the real understanding and realization of the teaching of the Buddha. It shows the conditionality and dependent nature of that uninterrupted flux of many physical and psychical phenomena of existence conventionally called the ego, or man, or animal, etc.
...
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Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:37 pm

Greetings,

As someone who subscribes to the non-time-delineated model of dependent origination, I always find it interesting how the "jati" piece is translated. Looking at Thanissaro Bhikkhu's translation, you see an openness to what 'jati' constitutes, and it has very much what one might call an "experiential" bent...

"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.

I don't really want to get into a debate on non-time-delineated vs three-life interpretations, but this is just a warning to be wary of individual translations on key Dhamma matters... seek many translations, many perspectives, and take the time to investigate the key terms for yourself so you're not beholden to one translator's translation. Adhering simply to the interpretation of one translator or teacher, one often comes to regard their translation as obvious or self-evident, and thus shuts the door to translations which may in fact be more accurate and/or beneficial.

After becoming somewhat complacent about his understanding of dependent origination, Ananda said in DN15, "It's amazing, lord, it's astounding, how deep this dependent co-arising is, and how deep its appearance, and yet to me it seems as clear as clear can be." Ananda was rebuked by the Buddha thusly, "Don't say that, Ananda. Don't say that. Deep is this dependent co-arising, and deep its appearance. It's because of not understanding and not penetrating this Dhamma that this generation is like a tangled skein, a knotted ball of string, like matted rushes and reeds, and does not go beyond transmigration, beyond the planes of deprivation, woe, and bad destinations.". If the Buddha had to warn a stream-entrant conversant with the Dhamma thusly, what more of ourselves?

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 tiltbillings » Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:45 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

As someone who subscribes to the non-time-delineated model of dependent origination, I always find it interesting how the "jati" piece is translated. Looking at Thanissaro Bhikkhu's translation, you see an openness to what 'jati' constitutes, and it has very much what one might call an "experiential" bent...

"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.
These two translations are not saying anything differet.
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 retrofuturist » Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:08 pm

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:These two translations are not saying anything differet.

:shrug:

The difference is the establishing of an identity based on dhammas appropriated as "me", "mine" or "I" as a logical progression of endulging in and allowing the previous nidanas to transpire.... versus the arrival of a writhing, screaming, bloody lump of flesh, bones and neurons - a being punished through conception for not having had the werewithal to eradicate ignorance and craving in its past lives.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:22 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:These two translations are not saying anything differet.

:shrug:

The difference is the establishing of an identity based on dhammas appropriated as "me", "mine" or "I" as a logical progression of endulging in and allowing the previous nidanas to transpire.... versus the arrival of a writhing, screaming, bloody lump of flesh, bones and neurons - a being punished through conception for not having had the werewithal to eradicate ignorance and craving in its past lives.

Metta,
Retro. :)
That is what you are reading into it. Either text could be read either way.
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 retrofuturist » Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:29 pm

Greetings Tilt,

Maybe so, but based on my understanding of the English language, Ireland's "being born, conception, reproduction" isn't particularly amenable to the first of the two interpretations. 'Born' perhaps, but not 'conception' or 'reproduction'... which is essentially my point here - if you follow one interpretation only and accept it at face value, you risk (doing as Ananda did and) shutting yourself off to different and/or more subtle interpretations and ramifications. The Buddha isn't here to "whoop our asses" over this, so it's a discipline we have to maintain ourselves, with the support of kalyana mittas and/or a teacher.

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 tiltbillings » Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:28 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

Maybe so, but based on my understanding of the English language, Ireland's "being born, conception, reproduction" isn't particularly amenable to the first of the two interpretations.
Based upon my understanding of Pali as it is actualy used, both translations work for either interpretation, and I see no need to limit myself to one or the other, or to try to massage a translation to fit one or the other interpretation.

The Buddha isn't here to "whoop our asses" over this, so it's a discipline we have to maintain ourselves, with the support of kalyana mittas and/or a teacher.
Huh? Damdifino what you are talking about here.
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 retrofuturist » Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:41 am

Greetings Tilt,

As for myself, after thorough and (still) ongoing investigation of the different perspectives and analyses of various scholars and practitioners, I presently opt for the former interpretation over the latter. I do not attempt to simultaneously and syncretically hold both phenomenological and ontological interpretations of this text as being equally true, apt, or relevant, because I see that one is directly observable and connected to dukkha & nirodha, whereas the other is not.

Whilst the Pali words may be "massaged" (to use your term) in either the phenomenological or ontological direction (as done by Thanissaro and Ireland respectively), I see no reason personally to accept that both of these divergent interpretations were equally intended by the Buddha... much like If someone says, "I see a bat", they're not simultaneously referring to both a winged creature and a wooden instrument of whacking.

tiltbillings wrote:Huh? Damdifino what you are talking about here.

The Buddha's rebuke of Ananda for thinking he had the full extent of D.O. down pat, when he still had more to learn.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:49 am

retrofuturist wrote: I presently opt for the former interpretation over the latter. I do not attempt to simultaneously and syncretically hold both phenomenological and ontological interpretations of this text as being equally true,
You are, without any solid justification so it would seem, assuming that the Ireland translation is somehow or other ontoological and that a 3 life interpretation is somehow or other ontological. And likewise, "after thorough and (still) ongoing investigation of the different perspectives and analyses of various scholars and practitioners," I see no justification for that.
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 tiltbillings » Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:59 am

retrofuturist wrote:Whilst the Pali words may be "massaged" (to use your term) in either the phenomenological or ontological direction (as done by Thanissaro and Ireland respectively), I see no reason personally to accept that both of these divergent interpretations were equally intended by the Buddha... much like If someone says, "I see a bat", they're not simultaneously referring to both a winged creature and a wooden instrument of whacking.
I really should be trotting out a massively huge straw man thingie here. First of all, bat as a club and and bat as a beast are two different words which are homographs. That is not the case in taking the Pali words in question and giving them overlapping translated terminology.

tiltbillings wrote:Huh? Damdifino what you are talking about here.

The Buddha's rebuke of Ananda for thinking he had the full extent of D.O. down pat, when he still had more to learn.
That is nice, but it has nothing to do with what I am saying, since I have never made such a claim. I simply seem to see conditioned co-productrion as being a fair bit broader in scope than you seem to.
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 retrofuturist » Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:02 am

Greetings Tilt,

:lol:

If I took every single opportunity the subject of dependent origination came up on this forum of justifying my position, I would end up writing more on the subject than venerable Nanananda spoke in his Nibbana Sermons.

Moreover, I would rather apply it than justify it.

:meditate:

Therefore, if you wish to discuss the application of it then by all means.

However, if you're requesting some kind of clear and concise logical proof or enlightened yet tidy sound-bite from me that conclusively proves the irrelevance of the ontological interpretation (something that a learned scholar like venerable Nanananda was unable to sum up tidily and succintly in his Nibbana Sermons) then you won't be getting it from me... (yet I think you know that, and I suspect that's the very reason why you asked)

tiltbillings wrote:That is nice, but it has nothing to do with what I am saying, since I have never made such a claim.

You will observe that I introduced the discussion between Ananda and Buddha before you introduced yourself to this discussion. It's not about you.

retrofuturist wrote:I don't really want to get into a debate on non-time-delineated vs three-life interpretations, but this is just a warning to be wary of individual translations on key Dhamma matters... seek many translations, many perspectives, and take the time to investigate the key terms for yourself so you're not beholden to one translator's translation. Adhering simply to the interpretation of one translator or teacher, one often comes to regard their translation as obvious or self-evident, and thus shuts the door to translations which may in fact be more accurate and/or beneficial.

After becoming somewhat complacent about his understanding of dependent origination, Ananda said in DN15, "It's amazing, lord, it's astounding, how deep this dependent co-arising is, and how deep its appearance, and yet to me it seems as clear as clear can be." Ananda was rebuked by the Buddha thusly, "Don't say that, Ananda. Don't say that. Deep is this dependent co-arising, and deep its appearance. It's because of not understanding and not penetrating this Dhamma that this generation is like a tangled skein, a knotted ball of string, like matted rushes and reeds, and does not go beyond transmigration, beyond the planes of deprivation, woe, and bad destinations.". If the Buddha had to warn a stream-entrant conversant with the Dhamma thusly, what more of ourselves?

That's what it's about. If you can find fault with that, then by all means... but that's the point I wanted to make in this topic right there - not embark on another sprawling dog-chasing-its-tail epic, where whatever is said is insufficient to quench the incessant questioning.

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 tiltbillings » Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:19 am

retrofuturist wrote:. . . .
Thank you, I guess, for sharing your opinion.


"Now what is aging and death? Whatever aging, decrepitude, brokenness, graying, wrinkling, decline of life-force, weakening of the faculties of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called aging. Whatever deceasing, passing away, breaking up, disappearance, dying, death, completion of time, break up of the aggregates, casting off of the body, interruption in the life faculty of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called death.

"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.
Looking at the second paragraph in context with the first paragraph. I suppose for the second paragraph to be read in some sort of absolutist phenomenological manner, as you suggest, these words of the first paragraph -- aging, decrepitude, brokenness, graying, wrinkling, decline of life-force, weakening of the faculties of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called aging -- must be given some sort of heavy duty symbolic reading, or they would most assuredly have to be, following your line of thought, ontological.
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 retrofuturist » Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:19 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:aging, decrepitude, brokenness, graying, wrinkling, decline of life-force, weakening of the faculties of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called aging -- must be given some sort of heavy duty symbolic reading, or they would most assuredly have to be, following your line of thought, ontological.

To quote a classic from Ajahn Chah...

"Do not be a bodhisatta; do not be an arahant; do not be anything at all. If you are a bodhisatta, you will suffer; if you are an arahant, you will suffer; if you are anything at all, you will suffer."

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

Therefore, if there is no becoming something, there is no establishing an identity, so in turn, there is no experience of aging-and-decay... there is instead, only the deathless.

Or, back again to Ajahn Chah...

A visiting Zen student asked Ajahn Chah, "How old are you? Do you live here all year round?" "I live nowhere," he replied. "There is no place you can find me. I have no age. To have age, you must exist, and to think you exist is already a problem. Don't make problems; then the world has none either. Don't make a self. There's nothing more to say."

Do not make a self that must be subject to aging-and-decay.

:buddha2:

It's not a case of heavy duty symbolic rendering - it is just the Dhamma being explained at different levels, as per Mike's recent discussion on that topic. To one who takes it as granted that they exist, aging-and-decay can only be fathomed vis-a-vis that very self-same assumed self. Thus, aging-and-death for that cognitively-distorted and self-established "being" is very much experiential. To regard it as ontological is to tacitly assume that the self (to whom aging and decay could occur) really exists, although sabba dhamma anatta.

A question for you, perhaps... if you were to explain jara-marana (again and death) in a manner entirely devoid of implicit reference to a false self, how would you explain it? Consider also whether this explanation would be appropriate to a situation where each of the preceding nidanas, conditioned by avijja, had already transpired?

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 Sylvester » Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:22 am

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.

PS - I keep seeing this "ontological" versus "phenomenological" thingie bandied about quite a fair bit by you. May I enquire in what sense you use it? A popular conception or a specialised nuance? Something to do with atthi/natthi (exists/not exist)? Or some other formulation (as in sakkayaditthi only)? Do bear in mind that the Buddha did not mince around when He made firm ontic commitment propositions. Iddapaccayata is jam-packed with propositions that in Western logic would fit what are known as "existential quantifiers". Should those be interpreted "phenomenologically"? Why should a plain reading be discouraged, when very few of us actually do not hold ourselves in check against any of the 20 sakkayaditthis when discussing dhamma-s?
Last edited by Sylvester on Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:27 am

Greetings,

Sylvester wrote:I don't think it is possible to read jati so metaphorically, when upadana fulfills that function literally in a preceding nidana.

If you wish to accuse it of being a "metaphorical" rendering (I would prefer 'experiential'), you would need to acknowledge that it's a long standing one...

Jāti (in Devanagari: जाति Tamil:சாதி) (the word literally means thus born) is the term used to denote clans, tribes, communities and sub-communities in India. It is a term used across religions. In Indian society each jāti typically has an association with a traditional job function or tribe, although religious beliefs (e.g. Sri Vaishnavism or Veera Shaivism) or linguistic groupings define some jatis. A person's surname typically reflects a community (jati) association: thus Gandhi = perfume seller, Dhobi = washerman, Srivastava = military scribe, etc. In any given location in India 500 or more jatis may co-exist, although the exact composition will differ from district to district.

If you prefer to regard jati ontologically as the arising of flesh, blood, bones, guts and neurons then be my guest. I’m not here to convince you otherwise.

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 tiltbillings » Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:51 am

retrofuturist wrote:If you prefer to regard jati ontologically as the arising of flesh, blood, bones, guts and neurons then be my guest. I’m not here to convince you otherwise.
Just because you call it ontological does not mean that it is. Flesh, blood, bones, etc are all things that can be emprically experienced as dependenly arisen, empty of any abiding substance, empty of any ontological status of being, insight into which is one of the by products of contemplation of the parts of the body.

This -- If you prefer to regard jati ontologically as the arising of flesh, etc -- makes no sense, given that jāti is talking about processes of conditioned becoming.
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 tiltbillings » Thu Nov 24, 2011 6:44 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:aging, decrepitude, brokenness, graying, wrinkling, decline of life-force, weakening of the faculties of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called aging -- must be given some sort of heavy duty symbolic reading, or they would most assuredly have to be, following your line of thought, ontological.

To quote a classic from Ajahn Chah...

"Do not be a bodhisatta; do not be an arahant; do not be anything at all. If you are a bodhisatta, you will suffer; if you are an arahant, you will suffer; if you are anything at all, you will suffer."

In other words, becoming something (bhava) and establishing an identity (jati) is the requisite condition for experience aging-and-decay.
Yes and no. All one has to do is read the Parinibbana Sutta to hear the Buddha talk about his own aging, but being unawakened, ignorant, we do establish what we assume is an identity with what we assume is our body and all that goes with it. And that is the basis for our awakening, seeing the nature of this attachment and the nature of what it we are attached to. And, of course, we cannot put Ajahn Chah’s word into practice by an act of will. We have to start from where we are. There is no place other than that, and as we gain insight we see that there is no ontological being in “our” “aging, decrepitude, brokenness, graying, wrinkling, decline of life-force, weakening of the faculties.

Therefore, if there is no becoming something, there is no establishing an identity, so in turn, there is no experience of aging-and-decay... there is instead, only the deathless.
Of course there is no “the deathless.” Until we awaken, the identity that we imagine ourselves as ontologically being is other than what insight will in time show that it really is. It is the stuff with which we work, and until we awaken, it is that grasping after our supposed identity that impels us forward.

Or, back again to Ajahn Chah...

A visiting Zen student asked Ajahn Chah, "How old are you? Do you live here all year round?" "I live nowhere," he replied. "There is no place you can find me. I have no age. To have age, you must exist, and to think you exist is already a problem. Don't make problems; then the world has none either. Don't make a self. There's nothing more to say."
Do not make a self that must be subject to aging-and-decay.
Yes, absolutely. Precisely my point. And the 12 link paticca-samuppāda describes how the process of self-making works, not only in terms of this life, but also in terms of lifetimes. It is one of the ways of talking about the stuff with which we work, and it is a tool with which we work

It's not a case of heavy duty symbolic rendering - it is just the Dhamma being explained at different levels, as per Mike's recent discussion on that topic.
But do not forget that explaining the Dhamma in terms of different levels does not mean one level is more true or more efficacious than the other:
One who is capable of understanding and penetrating to the truth and hoisting the flag of Arahantship when the teaching is set out in terms of generally accepted conventions, to him the Buddha preaches the doctrine based on sammuti-kathā. One who is capable of understanding and penetrating to the truth and hoisting the flag of Arahantship when the teaching is set out in terms of ultimate categories, to him the Buddha preaches the doctrine based on paramattha-kathā. -- AA. Vol. I, pp.54-55


To one who takes it as granted that they exist, aging-and-decay can only be fathomed vis-a-vis that very self-same assumed self. Thus, aging-and-death for that cognitively-distorted and self-established "being" is very much experiential. To regard it as ontological is to tacitly assume that the self (to whom aging and decay could occur) really exists, although sabba dhamma anatta.
The body of the Buddha grows old and dies. There is no reason to assume that there is any ontological state of being behind that, but we can talk about it. Growing old and dying is a way of talking about the process experienced. Using that language does not necessarily assume an ontology of being. An ontology of being need not be assumed in Ireland’s translation.

A question for you, perhaps... if you were to explain jara-marana (again and death) in a manner entirely devoid of implicit reference to a false self, how would you explain it?
How? No differently than how the Buddha has already done it in the discourse in question, using either translation.
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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