Timeless model of Paṭiccasamuppāda

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vinasp
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Re: Timeless model of Paṭiccasamuppāda

Post by vinasp » Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:20 am

Hi acinteyyo,

Quote: - "The timeless model doesn't view DO as a process that evolves where there are only some of the links given in a particular moment or timespan, but instead assumes that all the links can be known and seen in their mutual dependence here and now."

Yes. I like this way of understanding DO.

None of the twelve items are past or future in the sense of not being in the present. They are the past-in-the-present, and the future-in-the-present.

The self-and-world that we create is past, present, and future, together in every moment.

Do you mean that all the links can, in principle, be known and seen here and now, but that this is very difficult to do?

Do you mean 'known' when you say 'seen', is this one thing or two things?

Is this knowing conceptual or non-conceptual, or both?

With kind regards, Vincent.

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Re: Timeless model of Paṭiccasamuppāda

Post by acinteyyo » Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:09 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Thanks for that Acinteyyo.
Can you explain how this timeless model might play out in terms of experience?
Well, I can try. The thing is seeing DO is seeing Dhamma and the worldling, being a worldling cannot see the dependence of the links. Would he or she really break through and see their relation he or she would not be a worldling anymore and became a noble one.

What I want to point out is that we cannot assume that we simply take a look at our experience without the factor of ignorance. The worldling cannot take what he or she experiences at face value because it is distorted by ignorance. Whenever the worldling tries to step back and observe he takes the ignorant viewpoint with him and this very problem prevents him from actually seeing the dependence he tries to observe.

As Ven. Nanavira put it: "Subjectivity is a parasite on experience."

Now the only thing I see myself able to tell you on how the timeless model might play out in terms of experience is that it is directly concerned with yourself. Birth, ageing, sickness and death get their significance from the relation to oneself. ("only the vertical view directly into the abyss of ones own existence") Since ignorance is involved in every layer it has to be uprooted all at once. I cannot give you a more detailed explanation yet, because I'm not experienced enough. All I can say is that whenever DO is considered in parts, ignorance is present and prevents us from seeing it as it is. This has to be understood. As long as one believes one could observe contact, feeling and so on without ignorance being involved, one does not even scratch the surface.
mikenz66 wrote:Would a "timeless" meditator do the same sort of exercises, but experience the unfolding of DO in some subtly different way? Or would they do something different?

And what about the variant sequences? Does a "timeless" meditator always see a 12-link chain, or do they see other variations?

:anjali:
Mike
Let's assume your "timeless meditator" would be an appropriate label, then I would say he does the same sort of exercises, but not to experience the unfolding of DO because that is not possible as long as he remains being a worldling. As soon as DO becomes appearant the meditator ceases to be a worldling and becomes at least a sotapanna. What the worldling is able to experience are individual links of DO flawed by ignorance but he is unable to see the full picture. Nevertheless this is the way to break through and realize DO some day.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Re: Timeless model of Paṭiccasamuppāda

Post by acinteyyo » Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:16 pm

vinasp wrote:Hi acinteyyo,

Quote: - "The timeless model doesn't view DO as a process that evolves where there are only some of the links given in a particular moment or timespan, but instead assumes that all the links can be known and seen in their mutual dependence here and now."

Yes. I like this way of understanding DO.

None of the twelve items are past or future in the sense of not being in the present. They are the past-in-the-present, and the future-in-the-present.

The self-and-world that we create is past, present, and future, together in every moment.
We're in agreement here.
vinasp wrote:Do you mean that all the links can, in principle, be known and seen here and now, but that this is very difficult to do?
Simple answer, yes.
vinasp wrote:Do you mean 'known' when you say 'seen', is this one thing or two things?
One and the same thing. Truely seeing is knowing.
vinasp wrote:Is this knowing conceptual or non-conceptual, or both?
This knowing is non-conceptual, but you can put it into more or less adequate concepts afterwards of course.
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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equilibrium
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Re: Timeless model of Paṭiccasamuppāda

Post by equilibrium » Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:53 pm

atemporal: (adj) existing or considered without relation to time.

DO is conditioned as it is part of the path.....headed by "Ignorance".....therefore it is considered existing by run-of-the-mill person.....or
DO goes "beyond" the current boundary/condition/plane of existence.....another dimension if you like.....where DO has no relation with time.....non-existent.
DO certainly has a structure.....chain link structure. (conditioned)

It is said somewhere....."a Buddhist study/practice for so long just for this moment in time."

DO isn't really dependent origination.....is it?.....You see.....
Dependent has an origination.....cannot exist by itself.....hence DO.
Origination is the source/core that creates the Dependent.....hence DO.
Ignorance is the boundary line.....not knowing.....so.....dependent is the "body" and origination is the "mind".....and "that" which is under ignorance is the mind.

Let me share with you some pieces of text. (The Dhammapada: 154): It is the mind that is freed.
O house-builder, you are seen! You will not build this house again. For your rafters are broken and your ridgepole shattered. My mind has reached the Unconditioned; I have attained the destruction of craving.
(Under iti 72 escape): Form is the body while formlessness is the mind.....this is why there is "this" and "that".....cessation is the reaching of the unconditioned.
This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "There are these three properties for escape. Which three? This is the escape from sensuality: renunciation.[1] This is the escape from form: formlessness. And as for whatever has come into being, is fabricated & dependently co-arisen, the escape from that is cessation. These are the three properties for escape."
(Under Nibbana as Living Experience): Beyond "space/time" is another dimension here. Beyond "causality" is breaking the cause & effect cycle of rebirth.....detached/released from it.
Existence in the world implies time and space. One exists within a particular period in a particular space or locality. If one passes beyond time and beyond space, it is not possible to speak of existence with reference to such a one. To speak of both time and space one needs a point of reference, e.g. A is 50 years old. This means 50 years have passed since the event of A's birth. If A is not born, it is impossible to speak of "time" or existence with reference to him. Similarly with space. Without points of reference it is not possible to grasp space. There is a definite distance between any two specific points. Nor can one speak of direction without a point of reference. When the notion of "I," which is the point of personal reference, is eradicated, one goes beyond time, beyond space, and beyond causality.
(Under Wings to Awakening): A different dimension.
.....if we take as our frame of reference the world as it is directly experienced — rather than a world conceived somehow as separate from our experience of it — we have to see the processes of the mind as prior to the objects they process. References in the texts to the larger frame of space and time provide examples to illustrate particularly subtle points in the immediate present and serve as reminders that the pattern of events observed in the present moment has implications that cover the entire cosmos.
Once these insights are gained on the level of radically immediate experience, one realizes that they have implications for the larger time frame of the whole process of transmigration and one's entire experience of the cosmos as well. The process of stress arising and passing away in the present is precisely the same process as that of living beings arising and passing away on the cosmic scale. One sees that one has participated in this process from an inconceivable beginning in time; one knows — now that the process has been disbanded — that one has found the end of the cycle of rebirth. This is because, in entering radically into the present moment by stripping away all clinging, one ultimately steps out of the dimensions of time and the present; having done so, one can see the totality of what it means to be in those dimensions.

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Re: Timeless model of Paṭiccasamuppāda

Post by SamKR » Sat Mar 26, 2016 4:07 pm

I may not have clearly understood atemporal DO as explained by Nanavira, Buddhadasa, Nanananda, or some members of this forum but personally I understand atemporality in this way:

1) "Timelessness" in the context of DO means that time is irrelevant to DO. Whether you understand DO in time or not in time, it does not matter - as long as you understand irrelevancy of time and "when this is that is...when this is not that is not...". For example, with the arising of birth there is death. This death due to birth need not necessarily be understood in a sequence in time. It can be understood in the sense that when there is birth there must be death; or with birth, death applies. This death could be immediate, in future or in the past too - it does not matter; all it matters is that with birth there must be death. Time is totally irrelevant.

2) Time itself is a sankhara, a result of ignorance. We are obsessively attached to the concept of time. We find it extremely difficult to conceive anything not in time. So, as long as there is ignorance we tend to necessarily understand DO in time. DO is understood with time-irrelevancy when there is no ignorance (perhaps at least up to some degree). So, for an Arahant (from his/her perspective) as soon as birth is ended, death is ended; it does not have to be one after another in time (But from a puthujjana's perspective there is death of a person who became an Arahant). In other words, when birth is ended there must be no death left (in past, present or future); death no longer applies. Yes, there still is disintegration of body, but to an Arahant he is not the body while to a Puthujjana an Arahant is the body.

3) "When this is that is...when this is not that is not..." means that this is necessary and sufficient condition for that. There is no need of any other factor like "time". This means time is totally irrelevant to understand DO.

(I personally prefer "this, this" to "this, that" irrespective of what Pali grammar says. It is because "this, that" fabricates a distance or time between this and that. In direct experience there is only this and this and this...)

(Please notice, I am not saying that there is no (concept of) time, or that DO cannot be understood in time, or that DO understood as a sequence in time is totally wrong).

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katavedi
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Re: Timeless model of Paṭiccasamuppāda

Post by katavedi » Sat Mar 26, 2016 6:09 pm

SamKR wrote:...
Very well put, SamKR.
“But, Gotamī, when you know of certain things: ‘These things lead to dispassion, not to passion; to detachment, not to attachment; to diminution, not to accumulation; to having few wishes, not to having many wishes; to contentment, not to discontent; to seclusion, not to socializing; to the arousing of energy, not to indolence; to simple living, not to luxurious living’ – of such things you can be certain: ‘This is the Dhamma; this is the Discipline; this is the Master’s Teaching.’”

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Re: Timeless model of Paṭiccasamuppāda

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:19 pm

Hi Acinteyyo, Thanks for the reply.
acinteyyo wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Thanks for that Acinteyyo.
Can you explain how this timeless model might play out in terms of experience?
Well, I can try. The thing is seeing DO is seeing Dhamma and the worldling, being a worldling cannot see the dependence of the links. Would he or she really break through and see their relation he or she would not be a worldling anymore and became a noble one.

What I want to point out is that we cannot assume that we simply take a look at our experience without the factor of ignorance. The worldling cannot take what he or she experiences at face value because it is distorted by ignorance. Whenever the worldling tries to step back and observe he takes the ignorant viewpoint with him and this very problem prevents him from actually seeing the dependence he tries to observe.
Yes. Certainly. I would point out, however, that this is something that all interpretations have in common. It's made very clear in the suttas, abhidhamma, etc.
acinteyyo wrote: As Ven. Nanavira put it: "Subjectivity is a parasite on experience."
Can't disagree with that!
acinteyyo wrote: Now the only thing I see myself able to tell you on how the timeless model might play out in terms of experience is that it is directly concerned with yourself. Birth, ageing, sickness and death get their significance from the relation to oneself. ("only the vertical view directly into the abyss of ones own existence") Since ignorance is involved in every layer it has to be uprooted all at once. I cannot give you a more detailed explanation yet, because I'm not experienced enough. All I can say is that whenever DO is considered in parts, ignorance is present and prevents us from seeing it as it is. This has to be understood. As long as one believes one could observe contact, feeling and so on without ignorance being involved, one does not even scratch the surface.
Yes, that's very true. Penetrating ignorance is not going to be easy. I don't think anyone claims it's easy to do such observations without ignorance being involved.
acinteyyo wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Would a "timeless" meditator do the same sort of exercises, but experience the unfolding of DO in some subtly different way? Or would they do something different?

And what about the variant sequences? Does a "timeless" meditator always see a 12-link chain, or do they see other variations?

:anjali:
Mike
Let's assume your "timeless meditator" would be an appropriate label, then I would say he does the same sort of exercises, but not to experience the unfolding of DO because that is not possible as long as he remains being a worldling. As soon as DO becomes appearant the meditator ceases to be a worldling and becomes at least a sotapanna. What the worldling is able to experience are individual links of DO flawed by ignorance but he is unable to see the full picture. Nevertheless this is the way to break through and realize DO some day.
Yes, that one needs the insight into DO to understand it, and when one has it, one doesn't need the theory anymore, makes any interpretation of DO (again this is all standard stuff) somewhat frustrating to talk about.

What you've said above is useful. The emphasis that one must keep firmly in mind the role of ignorance is something that is easy to forget (due, I guess, to ignorance :)). Also the emphasis that one needs to get the "whole picture" for liberation.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Timeless model of Paṭiccasamuppāda

Post by Sylvester » Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:16 am

Hi Sam

Some considerations -
SamKR wrote: 1) "Timelessness" in the context of DO means that time is irrelevant to DO. Whether you understand DO in time or not in time, it does not matter - as long as you understand irrelevancy of time and "when this is that is...when this is not that is not...". For example, with the arising of birth there is death. This death due to birth need not necessarily be understood in a sequence in time. It can be understood in the sense that when there is birth there must be death; or with birth, death applies.
If the above bits are an articulation of DO, we run into problems with some of the other bits. For example, at the link connecting feelings with craving, you'd up saying -

"With feeling, there is craving"
or
"With feeling, there must be craving".

This doesn't tally with the entire SN 35, SN 36.6 and MN 148 where craving is optional even if one is confronted by feelings. Likewise, the existence of the six senses does not inevitably give rise to contact; the attainment of Cessation would contradict the claim.

So, since my examples would imply that DO would be an irregular phenomenon if interpreted in such a fashion, does this mean that besides the sati series and the asati series, there should be a 3rd sequence to take care of these irregularities? By this I mean -

1. the sati series is "imasmiṃ sati idaṃ hoti" - which you would render as "when this is that is"
2. the asati series is "imasmiṃ asati idaṃ na hoti" - which you would render as "when this is not that is not".

The phenomenon in MN 148 fits into neither articulation of DO and Cessation, since sense restraint would have to operate on the basis that "imasmiṃ sati idaṃ na hoti", which we would have to translate as "when this is that is not". But, such a Truth has never been articulated in the suttas, which suggests that the interpretation you offer might have difficulties.

Why interpret the existential locative absolute clause imasmiṃ sati as "when this is", when grammarians treat it as "On condition that this exists"? The "when" used in the English translations might be just an idiomatic rendering, such as "The dough rises when I add yeast". Yeast does not guarantee fermentation of the sugar; it's just one of several necessary ingredients.

In fact, none of the Chinese translations that I've encountered for the Agamas show that they understood imasmiṃ sati to be a temporal 'when'. They render it as "if this exists". This agrees with how the suttas present this locative absolute as meaning "only if this exists", based on the proposition that it is impossible for 'that' to hoti/come to be, if there is no 'this'.


:anjali:

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Re: Timeless model of Paṭiccasamuppāda

Post by Ceisiwr » Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:41 am

Sylvester -
"With feeling, there is craving"
or
"With feeling, there must be craving".

This doesn't tally with the entire SN 35, SN 36.6 and MN 148 where craving is optional even if one is confronted by feelings. Likewise, the existence of the six senses does not inevitably give rise to contact; the attainment of Cessation would contradict the claim.
Isn't it the case that craving always follows feeling if there is also the element of ignorance and that it's only when ignorance has been eradicated that we can have feeling without craving?

I'm not really seeing a problem here, where am
I going wrong?

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Re: Timeless model of Paṭiccasamuppāda

Post by Sylvester » Sun Mar 27, 2016 3:27 am

Well, as MN 148 puts it, freedom from craving (no matter how brief and ad hoc it is) is also available to anyone. No distinction is made between worldlings and noble ones. Plus, you have the rather odd situation posited by MN 44 that the respective anusayas do not anuseti (lie with) their corresponding feelings in the jhanas. Do we need to write a 3rd formulation of DO for this scenario that is like the imasmiṃ sati idaṃ na hoti permutation above?

Once a Stream Winner has awakened to the Truths, avijjā is gone. Yet, some forms of craving will still afflict the trainees until arahanta. For the trainee and the worldling, what immediately determines if craving arises or not is not the presence of Ignorance and feelings in some structural fashion, but whether or not one is established in sense restraint (for the grosser forms of craving) and in the satipaṭṭhānas (for the anusayas) and the jhanas (for the most subtle affective dispositions).

You may not realise it, but when you interpret DO in the fashion you have done, you are borrowing an Abhidhammic model of hetu (cause), rather than the suttanta method where hetu and paccaya are synonyms for necessary condition. The Abhidhammic model is predictive/prospective, the suttanta model is retrospective. Rather than looking at the abstract statements of idappaccayatā, look at how the suttas apply idappaccayatā.

For example -
“Sāriputta, do you see: ‘This has come to be’? Sāriputta, do you see: ‘This has come to be’?”

“Venerable sir, one sees as it really is with correct wisdom: ‘This has come to be.’ Having seen as it really is with correct wisdom: ‘This has come to be,’ one is practising for the purpose of revulsion towards what has come to be, for its fading away and cessation. One sees as it really is with correct wisdom: ‘Its origination occurs with that as nutriment.’ Having seen as it really is with correct wisdom: ‘Its origination occurs with that as nutriment, ’ one is practising for the purpose of revulsion towards its origination through nutriment, for its fading away and cessation. One sees as it really is with correct wisdom: ‘With the cessation of that nutriment, what has come to be is subject to cessation.’ Having seen as it really is with correct wisdom: ‘With the cessation of that nutriment, what has come to be is subject to cessation, ’ one is practising for the purpose of revulsion towards what is subject to cessation, for its fading away and cessation. It is in such a way that one is a trainee.

SN 12.31
or this -
When those recluses and brahmins who are speculators about the past, speculators about the future, speculators about the past and the future together, who hold settled views about the past and the future, assert on sixty-two grounds various conceptual theorems referring to the past and the future—that too is from contact as condition. That they can experience that feeling without contact—such a case is impossible.

DN 1
The problem with the Phenomenological application of DO, IMHO, is that it takes the pithy doctrinal statements of DO at face value and starts from 'this' to 'that'. However, if you look at how the suttas record DO being applied, the order is reversed - it does not ask if A causes B, but it asks - "B having come to be, what is its hetupaccaya?".

That has a totally different outcome to the enquiry.

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Re: Timeless model of Paṭiccasamuppāda

Post by Polar Bear » Sun Mar 27, 2016 3:34 am

Sylvester wrote: Once a Stream Winner has awakened to the Truths, avijjā is gone.
Isn't avijjā only abandoned by the arahant since it is the tenth fetter?
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Re: Timeless model of Paṭiccasamuppāda

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Mar 27, 2016 3:49 am

Sylvester wrote: The problem with the Phenomenological application of DO, IMHO, is that it takes the pithy doctrinal statements of DO at face value and starts from 'this' to 'that'. However, if you look at how the suttas record DO being applied, the order is reversed - it does not ask if A causes B, but it asks - "B having come to be, what is its hetupaccaya?".

That has a totally different outcome to the enquiry.
I guess rendering it in idiomatic English is hard. We usually see:
With ignorance as condition, volitional formations come to be; with volitional formations as condition, consciousness; with consciousness as condition, name-and-form; with name-and-form as condition, the six sense bases; with the six sense bases as condition, contact; with contact as condition, feeling; with feeling as condition, craving; with craving as condition, clinging; with clinging as condition, existence; with existence as condition, birth; with birth as condition, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering. This, bhikkhus, is called dependent origination.
https://suttacentral.net/en/sn12.1/4.38-" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
For those of us brought up on math and logic:
"Ignorance is a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for volitional formations."
would be OK, but it's a bit of a mouthful.
The Pali is delightfully compact, isn't it?
Avijjāpaccayā saṅkhārā;
= Ignorance-requisite volitional formations.
So the red words in the following are arbitrary, and should not be taken too seriously?
With ignorance as condition, volitional formations come to be;
Would a good idiomatic rendering be this?
Volitional formations have ignorance as a condition.
:anjali:
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Re: Timeless model of Paṭiccasamuppāda

Post by Sylvester » Sun Mar 27, 2016 3:52 am

Hi polarbear101

Indeed, it is listed as such in the standard listing of the 5 higher fetters.

But, what do we make of the definition of avijjā as not knowing the 4 Truths : SN 38.9? And how should we view those sets which define Stream Entry as realisation of the 4 Truths, eg SN 12.41, SN 55.5?

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Re: Timeless model of Paṭiccasamuppāda

Post by Polar Bear » Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:05 am

Sylvester wrote:Hi polarbear101

Indeed, it is listed as such in the standard listing of the 5 higher fetters.

But, what do we make of the definition of avijjā as not knowing the 4 Truths : SN 38.9? And how should we view those sets which define Stream Entry as realisation of the 4 Truths, eg SN 12.41, SN 55.5?
I'm not entirely sure. Are we dealing here with an irreconcilable contradiction or or two different orders of ignorance? Or something else?
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Re: Timeless model of Paṭiccasamuppāda

Post by Sylvester » Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:09 am

mikenz66 wrote: For those of us brought up on math and logic:
"Ignorance is a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for volitional formations (to (come to) be)."
would be OK, but it's a bit of a mouthful.
I couldn't have put it better. :thumbsup:

Avijjāpaccayā saṅkhārā;
= Ignorance-requisite volitional formations.
So the red words in the following are arbitrary, and should not be taken too seriously?
With ignorance as condition, volitional formations come to be;
Would a good idiomatic rendering be this?
Volitional formations have ignorance as a condition.
The words in red are necessary in English and are a good rendering of the Pali. This is how -

Avijjāpaccayā : note that paccaya has been inflected into the ablative paccayā, so that means that you have to furnish a preposition in English to account for the ablative. As noted here - http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 40#p375179" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;, this is an ablative of cause. So, you can translate it as "With ignorance as condition" or "From ignorance as condition". The Chinese Agama translations use the latter. Your translation is logically equivalent to the standard translation.

As for the next clause with just one word saṅkhārā, there must be a verb. But Pali, being a zero-copula language, does not need to insert hoti/is/comes to be into the clause. You can see this beautifully illustrated here -
Sāvatthiyaṃ viharati. “Saṃyojaniyesu, bhikkhave, dhammesu assā­dānupas­sino viharato taṇhā pavaḍḍhati. Taṇhāpaccayā upādānaṃ; upādānapaccayā bhavo; bhavapaccayā jāti; jātipaccayā jarāmaraṇaṃ soka­pari­deva­duk­kha­do­manas­supāyāsā sambhavanti. Evametassa kevalassa duk­khak­khan­dhassa samudayo hoti.

At Savatthī. “Bhikkhus, when one dwells contemplating gratification in things that can fetter, craving increases. With craving as condition, clinging comes to be; with clinging as condition, existence; with existence as condition, birth; with birth as condition, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.
Notice how sambhavati is used as a synonym for the silent hoti?

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