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