Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
User avatar
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:15 pm
Location: Tampa, FL

Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta

Postby MahamevnawaFlorida » Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:27 am

Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta: Analysis of Dependent Co-arising

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."

User avatar
Posts: 14897
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:38 am

See the discussion on this thread: ... 53#p160642


User avatar
Spiny Norman
Posts: 4792
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Spam, wonderful spam

Re: Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:43 am

As a general observation I still struggle to see how such passages can be interpreted in a purely psychological way.
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

Posts: 2205
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am

Re: Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta

Postby Sylvester » Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:58 am

Spiny Norman wrote:As a general observation I still struggle to see how such passages can be interpreted in a purely psychological way.


While I'm a big fan of the 3-Lives interpretation, I have to note that one of the alternative DA presentations is amenable to the psychological interpretation. That would be DN 15 where you have this summary exposition on nāmarūpa -

‘‘‘Nāmarūpapaccayā viññāṇa’nti iti kho panetaṃ vuttaṃ, tadānanda, imināpetaṃ pariyāyena veditabbaṃ, yathā nāmarūpapaccayā viññāṇaṃ. Viññāṇañca hi, ānanda, nāmarūpe patiṭṭhaṃ na labhissatha, api nu kho āyatiṃ jātijarāmaraṇaṃ dukkhasamudayasambhavo [jātijarāmaraṇadukkhasamudayasambhavo (sī. syā. pī.)] paññāyethā’’ti? ‘‘No hetaṃ, bhante’’. ‘‘Tasmātihānanda, eseva hetu etaṃ nidānaṃ esa samudayo esa paccayo viññāṇassa yadidaṃ nāmarūpaṃ. Ettāvatā kho, ānanda, jāyetha vā jīyetha [jiyyetha (ka.)] vā mīyetha [miyyetha (ka.)] vā cavetha vā upapajjetha vā. Ettāvatā adhivacanapatho, ettāvatā niruttipatho, ettāvatā paññattipatho, ettāvatā paññāvacaraṃ, ettāvatā vaṭṭaṃ vattati itthattaṃ paññāpanāya yadidaṃ nāmarūpaṃ saha viññāṇena aññamaññapaccayatā pavattati.

“It was said: ’With consciousness as condition there is name & form.’

“It was said: ’With name & form as condition there is consciousness.’ How that is so, Ananda, should be understood in this way: If consciousness were not to gain a footing in name & form, would an origination of the mass of suffering—of future birth, aging, and death—be discerned?”

“Certainly not, venerable sir.”

“Therefore, Ananda, this is the cause, source, origin, and condition for consciousness, namely, name & form.

“It is to this extent, Ananda, that (1) one can be born, age, and die, pass away and re-arise, to this extent that (2) there is a pathway for designation, to this extent that there is a pathway for language, to this extent that there is a pathway for description, (3) to this extent that there is a sphere for wisdom, to this extent that the round turns for describing this state of being, that is, when there is name & form together with consciousness.

I've added in the numbering to show what I think are the 3 distinct senses carried by nāmarūpa in DN 15. In particular, the 2nd sense which looks more sophisticated than rebirth is given an expanded treatment in DN 15's vortex of impingement contact (paṭighasamphassa) and designation contact (adhivacanasamphassa) and how name and form/appearance have a foot in each respectively. See BB's comments from Mike's post at - viewtopic.php?f=25&t=10553&start=20#p163308

"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 ... .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.

It appears that the interior world (ie the what happens after the initial contact) as depicted in DN 15 is also amenable to the older Indian sense of nāmarūpa being descriptive of the "sign" of the contact (ie the name and appearance of the contact). The psychological sequel to the initial bare contact (paṭighasamphassa) is discussed by DN 15 giving an example of wrong naming (adhivacanasamphassa) when the person delineates a "Self". As an example -

"Now, the one who, when delineating a self, delineates it as possessed of form and finite, either delineates it as possessed of form and finite in the present, or of such a nature that it will [naturally] become possessed of form and finite [in the future/after death], or he believes that 'Although it is not yet that way, I will convert it into being that way.' This being the case, it is proper to say that a fixed view of a self possessed of form and finite obsesses him.

The underlined word is anuseti, the verb for the noun anusaya (latent tendency). As far as I can see, the 3 principal anusayas generate unwholesome psychological states of lust, anger and self-appropriation.

So, at least at one point in DA, the merry-go-round between consciousness and nāmarūpa carries a psychological potential, on top of the more explicit rebirth description.


Return to “General Theravāda discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: SarathW, Tlu82 and 57 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine