Vedana, Sankhara and Phasso in dependent origination

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khemindas
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Vedana, Sankhara and Phasso in dependent origination

Post by khemindas »

For example we can see Vedana included as part of Nama in Nama-Rupa and also it's separated as a link, Sankhara also we can find in Nama Rupa as Cetana, and it's also separated as a link, and same with Phasso. According to SN 12.2. So it's not clear why are they separated inside of Nama, and as a links, and what does it mean...
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Volo
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Re: Vedana, Sankhara and Phasso in dependent origination

Post by Volo »

Because they play a prominent role at that time. I think there is an example in the commentaries or in Abhidhamma that when it's said "the king arrives" we should understand that the king never travels along but with a big retinue. In the same way, at the stage of, say, contact, nāma-rūpa doesn't disappear, and corresponding factors are also there, but contact is the most important and determining for arising of the other factors of the sequence, which eventually leads to suffering.
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Re: Vedana, Sankhara and Phasso in dependent origination

Post by khemindas »

Volo wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:13 pm Because they play a prominent role at that time. I think there is an example in the commentaries or in Abhidhamma that when it's said "the king arrives" we should understand that the king never travels along but with a big retinue. In the same way, at the stage of, say, contact, nāma-rūpa doesn't disappear, and corresponding factors are also there, but contact is the most important and determining for arising of the other factors of the sequence, which eventually leads to suffering.
My question rather why why they arise two times in dependent origination. For example contact first time arise as part of nama at fourth link named as namarupa, second time it's arise as sixth separated link. If contact already arised in fourth link, why need to list it again as sixth link? Same for other links
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Volo
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Re: Vedana, Sankhara and Phasso in dependent origination

Post by Volo »

khemindas wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:27 pm My question rather why why they arise two times in dependent origination. For example contact first time arise as part of nama at fourth link named as namarupa, second time it's arise as sixth separated link. If contact already arised in fourth link, why need to list it again as sixth link? Same for other links
Because at nāma-rūpa link the "king" is nāma-rūpa, i.e. new being formed due to previous kamma, and contact is just a part of the "retinue". At the contact link the "king" is contact and other things which are part of nāma-rūpa are "retinue", because at the contact link starts the process of forming new kamma, at which contact with an object is very important. Or in other words you can say that contact at nāma-rūpa and contact at 6th link are two different contacts, occurring at different times.

From all interpretations I've read about DO, the commentarial/Abhidhammic approach of separating 12 links between three lives I find the most convincing.
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Re: Vedana, Sankhara and Phasso in dependent origination

Post by ToVincent »

khemindas wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:27 pm My question rather why why they arise two times in dependent origination. For example contact first time arise as part of nama at fourth link named as namarupa, second time it's arise as sixth separated link. If contact already arised in fourth link, why need to list it again as sixth link? Same for other links
There are indeed two definitions of nāma-rūpa. One in the Agamas (Chinese text), and one in the Nikayas (Pali text).

They are respectively in SA 298, and SN 12.2.
Also, in MN 9 & MĀ 29 (please see Analayo's " A Comparative Study of the Majjhima-nikāya - vol. 1 - page 70 + note # 220, for that matter).

Indeed, the two definitions are complemental, as seen on this visual aid.
https://justpaste.it/1695d


----

The Agama's definition is about the "not yet sensory/existential" khandhas in the nāmarūpa nidāna :

Coactions (determinations, formations)
Consciousness
Feelings
Perceptions

+
Forms (matter) = rūpa

Thank the Sarvāstivādins (translated in Chinese) for that.

-------

While the Nikayas give the following "existential" (that is to say a "satta kind") definition of nāma-rūpa.

What is Name-&-Form?
- Feelings
- Perceptions
- Intentions
- Contact
- Manasikara (mano kṛ),

is Name.

+
Forms (matter) = rūpa

Thank the Theravadins (Pali) for that.
_____

In other words, there is no "contact" (phassa) in the Nāmarūpa nidāna . And never did the Theravadins implied so.
They just gave a definition of phassa pertaining to satta (more properly stated: in saḷāyatana).
The same logic applies to manasi-kara. Manasi (mano) is a purely satta's stuff (exclusively from saḷāyatana) .
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bridif1
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Re: Vedana, Sankhara and Phasso in dependent origination

Post by bridif1 »

Hi Khemindas!

In my opinion, DO is a model created to explain how a past namarupa (tainted by ignorance) gives rise to a new namarupa (tainted as well), after the "contact" link.

If ignorance is still present, the first namarupa includes past kamma. After the physical impingement with the sense-doors, consciousness "alights" in the part of sense-data "indicated" by the habits of intention (as Cetana Sutta says). After this impingement, a new namarupa has arisen, thanks to sense-stimuli and the inertia of past kamma (or the past namarupa).

If ignorance has not been uprooted, this namarupa would be tainted, and after vedana, craving, aversion or ignorance would occur, continuating the cycle of ignorance.

At least, this is my interpretation.

Kind regards!
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Re: Vedana, Sankhara and Phasso in dependent origination

Post by DooDoot »

khemindas wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:31 pm what does it mean...
You went for a walk and saw a pretty flower. Seeing the flower is 'contact' (6th link) and perceiving the flower as 'pretty' is vedana (7th link).

You went for the walk because you were trying to meditate but felt restless. The arising of restlessness was ignorance (1st link).

When the ignorant restlessness arose, the thought also arose: "Go for a walk". That thought: "Go for a walk" was a sankhara (2nd link) born of ignorance (1st link).

There was consciousness of the thought: "Go for a walk" (3rd link).

There was internal mind contact (4th link) with the thought: "Go for a walk". The thought: "Go for a walk" (3rd link) was perceived & felt as pleasant (4th link) & desirable (intention; 4th link). The mind gave attention (4th link) to the thought/sankhara: "Go for a walk" and made the decision or intention (4th link) to go for a walk.

So you decided (4th link) to go for a walk instead of meditating. Instead of having the intention (4th link) to give attention (4th link) to calming the perceived unpleasant (4th link) restlessness (1st link), instead, the restlessness controlled your nama-rupa and you decided to go for a walk instead of meditating.

While you were walking, the eye (5th link) had external contact (6th link) with a flower (5th link) and the flower felt pleasant (7th link).

You were walking & saw (6th link) the flower because you were restless (1st link) and could not abide internally in jhana & nibbana. The inner restlessness (1st link) caused the sankhara/thought (2nd link): "Go for a walk" to arise and caused your nama-rupa (4th link) to generate the intention to engage in seeking external objects (5th & 6th links) of sense gratification (7th link).

Your nama-rupa was unable to have self-control and went for a walk. Your nama-rupa (4th link) was unable to feel & perceive the restlessness (1st link) and the sankhara (2nd link) as unbeneficial, unskilful, not leading to Nibbana, impermanence, etc. Instead of giving appropriate attention (4th link) to calming the ignorance (1st link) & distracting thought (2nd link), instead, the name-rupa gave inappropriate attention (4th link) to the unpleasantness (4th link) of the ignorance (1st link) & distracting thought (2nd link) and generated the inappropriate intention (4th link) to seek external sense objects (6th link).
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Re: Vedana, Sankhara and Phasso in dependent origination

Post by Srilankaputra »

It might be good here to recall the meaning of 'paccaya'
Iti imasmiṃ sati idaṃ hoti,
imassuppādā idaṃ uppajjati,
imasmiṃ asati idaṃ na hoti,
imassa nirodhā idaṃ nirujjhati

This being so, that is;
from the arising of this, that arises,
this not being so, that is not;
from the ceasing of this, that ceases

https://suttacentral.net/ud1.3/en/anandajoti
It is as fuel is to a flame. Fuel and flame occur together but without fuel there is no flame.

Sīlavaṃtaṃ guṇavaṃtaṃ
Puññakkhettaṃ anuttaraṃ
Dullabhena mayā laddhaṃ
Passituṃ vandituṃ varaṃ
Sāriputtādi therānaṃ
āgataṃ paṭipāṭiyā
saddhā sīlaṃ dayāvāsaṃ
Buddha puttaṃ namāmahaṃ
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Re: Vedana, Sankhara and Phasso in dependent origination

Post by DooDoot »

Srilankaputra wrote: Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:26 amIt is as fuel is to a flame. Fuel and flame occur together but without fuel there is no flame.
So how does 'rebirth' occur? How does the flame jump from one (dead) fuel to another (living) fuel? Does the following teaching to Vaccha actually make sense? Can a flame have wind alone as its fuel? Surely, the flame blown by the wind still has some leaf or physical matter as its fuel? :shrug:
“When, Vaccha, a flame is flung by the wind and goes some distance, I declare that it is fuelled by the wind. For on that occasion the wind is its fuel.”

https://suttacentral.net/sn44.9/en/bodhi
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Re: Vedana, Sankhara and Phasso in dependent origination

Post by ToVincent »

It is a great disappointment to see that some people are still confounding & mixing up cetanā (and particularly manosañcetanā,) with saṅkhāra.
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Some working for the Mara's world; some for the Brahma's world; some for the Unborn.
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Those who desire good are few, and those who desire evil are many.
Buddha
(And you just can't imagine how much goodness, those who desire evil, are ready to display - ToVincent).
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Re: Vedana, Sankhara and Phasso in dependent origination

Post by Volo »

DooDoot wrote: Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:08 am There was internal mind contact (4th link) with the thought: "Go for a walk".
You seem somehow to differentiate "internal" contact (with the thought) which you count as nāma-rūpa and "external" (with the flower), which you count as contact. But it doesn't really matter whether the contact is internal or external, because Buddha was talking about 6 (not 5) sense spheres as the 5th link, which means the mind can also make a contact. In your example you have contact at the stage of restlessness (because you need to perceive it), at the stage of thought of going for a walk, but you don't take them as contact, but "postpone" contact to a later stage.
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Re: Vedana, Sankhara and Phasso in dependent origination

Post by Volo »

ToVincent wrote: Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:21 am It is a great disappointment to see that some people are still confounding & mixing up cetanā (and particularly manosañcetanā,) with saṅkhāra.
And what, bhikkhus, are volitional formations? There are these six classes of volition: volition regarding forms, volition regarding sounds, volition regarding odours, volition regarding tastes, volition regarding tactile objects, volition regarding mental phenomena.

katame ca, bhikkhave, saṅkhārā? chayime, bhikkhave, cetanākāyā -- rūpasañcetanā, saddasañcetanā, gandhasañcetanā, rasasañcetanā, phoṭṭhabbasañcetanā, dhammasañcetanā. ime vuccanti, bhikkhave, saṅkhārā.

SN 22.56
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Re: Vedana, Sankhara and Phasso in dependent origination

Post by DooDoot »

Volo wrote: Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:24 am You seem somehow to differentiate "internal" contact (with the thought) which you count as nāma-rūpa and "external" (with the flower), which you count as contact.
I think it matters because I recall the OP question asked about why contact appears twice, namely, both at nama-rupa (4th link) and at phassa (6th link).
Volo wrote: Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:24 amBut it doesn't really matter whether the contact is internal or external, because Buddha was talking about 6 (not 5) sense spheres as the 5th link which means the mind can also make a contact.
Possibly but my personal interpretation is there is an 'internal contact point' that can be used to stop the stream of D.O. flourishing further, particularly towards external involvement. I think the stream is stopped at nama-rupa rather than at, the commonly taught, contact.
Volo wrote: Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:24 am In your example you have contact at the stage of restlessness (because you need to perceive it), at the stage of thought of going for a walk, but you don't take them as contact, but "postpone" contact to a later stage.
No. I don't. The restlessness asava and associated distracting thought are perceived & are an internal contact at the nama-rupa stage. In my personall theory, the restlessness & distracting thought are unwisely felt, perceived, contacted, intended & attended to at nama-rupa.

Thanissaro below offers a similar idiosyncratic explanation but does not mention the contact in nama-rupa or his '4(d)'
As you walk to the door of your parents’ house, thinking about the
situation (2b—verbal fabrication), you pull up memories of things your uncle
has done in the past (2c—mental fabrication). This provokes anger, causing
your breathing to become labored and tight (2a—bodily fabrication). This
makes you uncomfortable (2c—mental fabrication), and you are aware of
how uncomfortable you feel (3—consciousness). Hormones are released
into your bloodstream (4 f through 4i — Form). Without being fully aware that
you are making a choice, you choose (4c—intention) to focus (4e
attention) on the perception (4b) of how trapped you feel in this situation.
Your consciousness of this idea (5 and 6—mental contact) feels oppressive
(7—feeling). You want to find a way out (8—craving).

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... fering.pdf
My personal idiosyncratic interpretation is when a person is meditating (doing satipatthana), such meditation is the contact in nama-rupa (engaged in wisely).

Regards :smile:
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Re: Vedana, Sankhara and Phasso in dependent origination

Post by DooDoot »

Volo wrote: Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:34 am SN 22.56
The above is merely one sutta to probably be examined contextually. Quoting it as relevant to this topic remains unsubstantiated because the word 'sankhara' is used in many diverse ways in the suttas. For example, all five aggregates are called 'sankhara' (SN 22.90), the life force is called 'anu sankhara' (MN 43) and even the breathing is called 'kaya sankhara' (MN 44; MN 118).

Since you, Volo, are a Pali guru, can you explain why saṅkhārā is the only condition in D.O. that is plural; particularly in view of the fact Abhidhamma changed their version into singular to accommodate the Abhidhamma doctrine?
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Re: Vedana, Sankhara and Phasso in dependent origination

Post by justindesilva »

Paticca samuppada conditions life from the past to the present - present - and from the present to the future.
Past is Avidya paccaya sankara. ( sankara here is activity owing to tanha and upadana from the past bhava.
The next consciousness (vingnana) depends on the sankara just mentioned.
It is followed on this condition that nama rupa is formed followed by salayatana with the activity of pancendriya. The activity of pancendriya is a condition at present which involves vingnana with salayatana. This activity of vingnana conditions next contact ( passa) to create vedana that conditions the mind moments to form cetasika ( as klesa) which acts in the formation of karma which conditions next bhava by tanha and upadana.
With upadana is conditioned the future jati that conditions jara marana.
So we see that vingnana that first appeared after sankara had passed away when the 6 th stage of phassa when vingnana appears again with pancendriya.
This is where we have to consider the past present and a future in conditions of DO.
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