DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

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Assaji
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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Post by Assaji » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:11 am

Hi,
acinteyyo wrote:It seems that the formula presented in this sutta does not depend on avijja and sankhara. It looks like this in short:

nāma-rūpa <-> viññāna <-> nāma-rūpa -> āyatana -> phassa -> vedanā -> tanhā -> upādāna -> bhava -> jāti -> jarā-marana

How is this to be understood?
Buddha taught Conditioned Arising in multiple ways, it's not a theory, but rather a set of instructions.

See: http://dhamma.ru/lib/paticcas.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Conditioned Arising can be dealt with in multiple ways, and different links can be selected for the purpose of its cessation.

Dmytro

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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Post by pulga » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:50 pm

Hi Mike,
mikenz66 wrote:
Getting back to the topic at hand, it's not beyond the realm of possibility that those first few links were "stitched on", and the efforts of those such as Ven Nananada to explain them are unnecessary...
I fully agree with you here. There is a small book, easy to read, and quite insightful (in a mundane way) that contrasts oral cultures and literate cultures entitled Orality and Literacy by Walter J. Ong. I read it some time ago, and it left me wondering about the impact putting the Suttas into writing had on the teaching. It's considered a classic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_J._ ... .281982.29" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Of course it's hard to say whether the stitching occurred during the oral transmission or when the Suttas were being written down, but a lot of them do seem to be formulaic.

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acinteyyo
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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Post by acinteyyo » Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:58 pm

Dmytro wrote:See: http://dhamma.ru/img/paticca.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
This is rather misleading.

I posted these thoughts in another topic, maybe it can be understood this way:
Greetings Retro,
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings acinteyyo,
acinteyyo wrote:nāma-rūpa <-> viññāna <-> nāma-rūpa -> āyatana -> phassa -> vedanā -> tanhā -> upādāna -> bhava -> jāti -> jarā-marana
Sure, but you know what viññāna (and thus anything dependending upon viññāna) is dependent upon don't you?

Metta,
Retro. :)
Yes, according to this sutta viññāna depends on nāma-rūpa. But I think what you suggest is avijja and sankhārā as in the usual 12 link formulation of DO.
There's another sutta (MN38) which describes the conditions upon viññāna arises dependently are the āyatana.
"Bhikkhus, consciousness is reckoned by the condition dependent upon which it arises. If consciousness arises on account of eye and forms, it is reckoned as eye consciousness. If on account of ear and sounds it arises, it is reckoned as ear consciousness. If on account of nose and smells it arises, it is reckoned as nose consciousness. If on account of tongue and tastes it arises, it is reckoned as tongue consciousness. If on account of body and touch it arises, it is reckoned as body consciousness. If on account of mind and mind-objects it arises, it is reckoned as mind consciousness. Bhikkhus, just as a fire is reckoned based on whatever that fire burns - fire ablaze on sticks is a stick fire, fire ablaze on twigs is a twig fire, fire ablaze on grass is a grass fire, fire ablaze on cowdung is a cowdung fire, fire ablaze on grain thrash is a grain thrash fire, fire ablaze on rubbish is a rubbish fire - so too is consciousness reckoned by the condition dependent upon which it arises. In the same manner consciousness arisen on account is eye and forms is eye consciousness. Consciousness arisen on account of ear and sounds is ear consciousness. Consciousness arisen on account of nose and smells is nose consciousness. Consciousness arisen on account of tongue and tastes is taste consciousness. Consciousness arisen on account of body and touch is body consciousness. Consciousness arisen on account of mind and mind-objects is mind consciousness.
This is why I opened another topic. I'm not quite sure how this is to be understood correctly.
I know that "something which depends on something" is a sankhāra, because it's an sankhatā dhamma. So since viññāna depends on nāma-rūpa and nāma-rūpa depends on viññāna, they're both sankhatā dhammā, so one could also say instead of going back to nāma-rūpa from viññāna that it all depends on sankhārā, which finally depends on avijja. But I'm in doubt about that... Is this how it could be understood?

best wishes, acinteyyo
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: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Post by acinteyyo » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:07 pm

daverupa wrote:I expect the swirling interplay of namarupa-vinnana is itself a sankhara, as the Sutta remarks, and that that sankhara is rooted in avijja, and explaining this point evolved into adding two links to paticcasamuppada.
Yep... seems that way...
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: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Post by rowyourboat » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:02 pm

It is best to keep this admonition in mind when dealing with matters of DO. Ven Ananda, a stream entrant, the Buddha's close attendant and collector of the dhamma (dhamma baandagarika) from the Buddha and other Arahanths, speaks prematurely:
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was living among the Kurus. Now, the Kurus have a town named Kammasadhamma. There Ven. Ananda approached the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "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."

[The Buddha:] "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.
Best not to jump into any conclusions that we can understand/edit/leave out bits of the DO. Its full meaning is probably in the realm of a Buddhas knowledge.
:anjali:

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

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acinteyyo
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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Post by acinteyyo » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:57 pm

rowyourboat wrote:It is best to keep this admonition in mind when dealing with matters of DO. Ven Ananda, a stream entrant, the Buddha's close attendant and collector of the dhamma (dhamma baandagarika) from the Buddha and other Arahanths, speaks prematurely:
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was living among the Kurus. Now, the Kurus have a town named Kammasadhamma. There Ven. Ananda approached the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "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."

[The Buddha:] "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.
Best not to jump into any conclusions that we can understand/edit/leave out bits of the DO. Its full meaning is probably in the realm of a Buddhas knowledge.
:anjali:

With metta

Matheesha
:goodpost: thanks for the reminder :anjali:
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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Assaji
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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Post by Assaji » Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:30 am

Hi,
acinteyyo wrote:
Dmytro wrote:See: http://dhamma.ru/img/paticca.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
This is rather misleading.
http://dhamma.ru/lib/paticcas.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; is just a compilation of Conditioned Arising links given in the Sutta.

Ven.Thanissaro Bhikkhu writes:
Another point of disagreement is over the question of how the factors of fabrication and ignorance came to be added to the basic list. Some scholars maintain that this was the result of a temporal development in the Buddha's teachings, either during his lifetime or after his passing away. However, if we examine the content of the added factors, we find that they are simply an elaboration of the mutual dependence between name-and-form and sensory consciousness, and do not add anything substantially new to the list. The three fabrications are simply another way of presenting name-and-form in their active role as shapers of consciousness. Bodily fabrication, the breath, is the active element of "form"; verbal fabrications, directed thought and evaluation, are the active element in the attention and intention sub-factors of "name"; while mental fabrications, feeling and perception, are identical with the feeling and perception under "name." Ignorance, on the other hand, is the type of consciousness that actively promotes inappropriate questioning in the verbal fabrication of evaluation, which in turn can lead to inappropriate attention in the factor of name-and-form.

It may seem redundant to have the factors of name-and-form on the one hand, and fabrications on the other, covering the same territory in two different configurations, but these configurations serve at least two practical purposes. First, the connection between ignorance and inappropriate questioning helps to pinpoint precisely what is wrong in the typical relationship between name-and-form and consciousness. As one modern teacher has put it, the verbal fabrications are the ones to watch out for. Second, the relationship between verbal fabrications on the one hand, and attention and intention on the other, mediated by consciousness, diagrams the double-tiered (and sometimes multi-tiered) relationships among mental events as they breed and feed on one another in the presence of consciousness. In the course of giving rise to suffering and stress, this incestuous interbreeding can fly out of hand, leading to many complex and intense patterns of suffering. However, its double-tiered quality can also be used — as we will see below — to help bring that suffering to an end.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... #part3-h-3" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Writ ... rising.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Metta, Dmytro

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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Post by Sylvester » Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:30 am

So, it's now clear that the Theravadins are divided into 2 camps over the meaning of "sankhara" in the "sankhara paccaya vinnana" nidana.

In the camp exemplified by Ven Nanavira, Ven Nanananda et al, you have the reading that "sankhara" in DO means intention PLUS the 3 sankharas outlined in MN 44.

On the other hand, you have those who argue (eg BB) that this occurence of sankhara in any DO discussion should be limited to sankhara as explained in SN 12.25 meaning only intention/sancetana.

I guess the distinction is important, especially if one's rebirth view happens to align to either of these camps...

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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Post by Assaji » Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:41 am

Hi Sylvester,
Sylvester wrote:So, it's now clear that the Theravadins are divided into 2 camps over the meaning of "sankhara" in the "sankhara paccaya vinnana" nidana.
There's a lot of interpretations. It depends on the basis of reference.

If one refers on the Pali Canon, and particularly its early parts, then one can find the clear explanation in Vibhanga .135 :

Kaayasa~ncetanaa kaayasa"nkhaaro, vaciisa~ncetanaa vaciisa"nkhaaro, manosa~ncetanaa cittasa"nkhaaro. Ime vuccanti “avijjaapaccayaa sa"nkhaaraa”.

http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=5909" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Ven. Analayo gives excellent references to the Sutta:

http://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamburg. ... nkhara.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

When there's no definite textual basis, there happens a "Wild West" of opinions.

Best wishes, Dmytro

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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Post by Sylvester » Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:54 am

Thanks Dmytro.

From the looks of it, the redactors of the Vibhanga were partly inspired by SN 12.25, the Bhumija Sutta.

As I mentioned a little earlier elsewhere, while SN 12.25 uses manosancetana/manosankhara, SN 12.2 (also in the context of discussing "sankhara" within DO) used "cittasankhara". Interestingly, the Vibhanga quote you cited makes reference to "cittasankhara" instead of SN 12.25's "manosankhara".

I think one of the outcomes of reading DO's "sankhara" to mean the 3 sankharas of MN 44, instead of meaning sancetana, would be the suggestion that DO does NOT have a multiple-lifetime application. Instead of reading the first 2 nidanas as being in a past life, interpretations have been advanced that with the cessation of avijja, "conditioned" vedana and sanna (MN 44's cittasankhara) also end at the same time, thereby implying that the dhamma which is sahagata with the "unconditioned" vedana and sanna, ie consciousness, must also be an unconditioned consciousness.

Personally, while I was quite attracted to that interpretation previously, I think it is far easier to say that with the cessation of avijja, comes the cessation of intentions that lead to the establishment of consciousness. The establishment of consciousness is the condition for the descent of Namarupa (per DN 15).

I just find it difficult to dismiss the 3 Lives model, especially in the face of DN 15's discussion of Namarupa. I know Ven Thanissaro attempted to give an innovative reading to iddapaccayata's locative absolute construction, but you demolished that to bits here -

http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 014#p94684" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

(PS - I think the Dutiya Ariyasavaka Sutta should be SN 12.50, instead of SN 2.79?)

I have not seen Ven Nanavira or Ven Nanananda attempt to explain away the temporal future allowances of iddapaccayata.

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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Post by Assaji » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:10 am

Hi Sylvester,
Sylvester wrote:Personally, while I was quite attracted to that interpretation previously, I think it is far easier to say that with the cessation of avijja, comes the cessation of intentions that lead to the establishment of consciousness. The establishment of consciousness is the condition for the descent of Namarupa (per DN 15).
This reminds of Cetana sutta:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I just find it difficult to dismiss the 3 Lives model, especially in the face of DN 15's discussion of Namarupa. I know Ven Thanissaro attempted to give an innovative reading to iddapaccayata's locative absolute construction, but you demolished that to bits here -

http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 014#p94684" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

(PS - I think the Dutiya Ariyasavaka Sutta should be SN 12.50, instead of SN 2.79?)
Well, that's a question of numbering.

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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Post by gavesako » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:05 pm

Unpopular facts about one of Buddhist philosophy’s most popular doctrines
January 27th, 2011 by Eisel Mazard, Guest Contributor · 8 Comments

Discarding Dependent Origination, Returning to the Primary Source of the 12-Links (十二因缘) in Theravada Buddhism.

http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandal ... doctrines/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

-- apparently the whole purpose of this teaching is about the development of the embryo
:thinking:
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

Access to Insight - Theravada texts
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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Post by Sylvester » Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:48 am

gavesako wrote:Unpopular facts about one of Buddhist philosophy’s most popular doctrines
January 27th, 2011 by Eisel Mazard, Guest Contributor · 8 Comments

Discarding Dependent Origination, Returning to the Primary Source of the 12-Links (十二因缘) in Theravada Buddhism.

http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandal ... doctrines/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

-- apparently the whole purpose of this teaching is about the development of the embryo
:thinking:
He's probably over-stating his case, although there is no denying DN 15's treatment of the vinnana-namarupa nidana does look like a literal, not metaphorical, discussion of the foetus and its development. Elsewhere the mutual dependance of the 2 are likened to 2 sheeves of reeds leaning against one another, but DN 15 does take this "vortex" in a more biological sense.

What is glaringly inadequate in Mazard's dismissal of the "3-Lives" model is the fact that he does not address the redundancy of "bhava" in his single-life model - bhava is already embedded in DN 15's vinnana-namarupa nidana, as namarupa's descent is dictated by the sort of bhava the consciousness is established in. There is another major flaw in his entire thesis - his interpretation is based on the silent assumption that each of the nidanas is a condition of "sufficiency", rather than a condition of "necessity".

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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Post by rowyourboat » Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:23 am

Hi Sylvester,

I had this idea (re: redundancies) of the DO, don't know if I am correct..that is that they are a way of bringing all the elements which need to be directly known through practice, into one formulation.

Pre-conscious (thinking of emergence from nirodhasamapatti) Avijja, Sankhara (in the sense of 'indistinct things coming into existence)
Aggregate, element, faculty (ultimate reality): consciousness, name-form, sense-base, contact, feeling
conventional/defilement (internal world/mental): craving, clinging
conventional/'external world (physical)': becoming, birth, suffering

i see the DO as an amazing summary, of the causes of suffering. So I don't think that any one rule (it is just this life, for example) applies.

Could you explain a bit more about necessary condition and sufficient condition?

with metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
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& Upekkha

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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Post by Sylvester » Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:20 am

rowyourboat wrote:Could you explain a bit more about necessary condition and sufficient condition?
Hi Matheesha

Let me try.

A sufficient condition is one whose mere presence will guarantee the "consequence". On the other hand, a necessary condition may or may not be a sufficient condition that will guarantee the "consequence".

A necessary condition is one whose mere absence will guarantee the "consequence" not appearing. On the other hand, a sufficient condition may or may not be a necessary condition for its consequence.

To take a few nidanas as examples -

1. sankhara (as sancetana) is a sufficient condition for vinnana, if one accepts that -
what one intends, there is a support for the establishment of consciousness
: SN 12.38


implies that kamma will lead to rebirth.

2. namarupa and vinnana are clearly in a relationship of mutual necessity, as explained by DN 15's negative cases. It also appears to demonstrate sufficiency, to the extent that consciousness will cause the descent of namarupa.

3. between salayatana and contact, it is not a relationship of sufficiency. Tajjo samanaharo is also required, according to MN 28.

4. between vedana and tanha, again that is not a relationship of sufficiency. Clearly Arahants don't crave, despite feeling pleasant, painful or neutral feelings.

Finally, if we look at the reverse order of DO, we should be able to infer that because the cessation of each paccaya brings about the cessation of its consequence, this must imply that each paccaya in the 11 nidanas are NECESSARY conditions for its consequence. One cannot infer a condition of sufficiency from the reverse order of DO, given that there could be other sufficient conditions that will bring about a consequence.

In other words, some of the nidanas exemplify Necessity only, while others exemplify Sufficiency and Necessity.

Looking at Mazard's treatment, DO seems to operate mechanistically, and dare I say - deterministically. That is the drawback in any interpretation that views the nidanas as conditions of sufficiency - it leads to radical determinism. The problem I have with his rejection of the 3 Lives model is that he does not address the many suttas that clearly link kamma at one moment with "establishment" of consciousness which must occur at a next life, given the mutuality of namarupa with vinnana.

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