Dvaya­tānu­passa­nā­sutta & Meaning of āram­bha

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SamKR
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Dvaya­tānu­passa­nā­sutta & Meaning of āram­bha

Postby SamKR » Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:35 am

In Dvaya­tānu­passa­nā­sutta there is the following part:

‘Siyā aññenapi … pe … kathañca siyā? Yaṃ kiñci dukkhaṃ sambhoti sabbaṃ āram­bha­pac­ca­yāti, ayame­kānupas­sanā. Ārambhānaṃ tveva asesa­virāga­nirodhā natthi dukkhassa sambhavoti, ayaṃ dutiyā­nu­passanā. Evaṃ sammā … pe … athāparaṃ etadavoca satthā:

“Yaṃ kiñci dukkhaṃ sambhoti,
Sabbaṃ ārambhapaccayā;
Ārambhānaṃ nirodhena,
Natthi dukkhassa sambhavo.

Etamādīnavaṃ ñatvā,
Dukkhaṃ ārambhapaccayā;
Sabbārambhaṃ paṭinissajja,
Anārambhe vimuttino.

Ucchin­na­bhava­taṇhassa,
Santacittassa bhikkhuno;
Vikkhīṇo jātisaṃsāro,
Natthi tassa punabbhavoti.
https://suttacentral.net/pi/snp3.12


Here "ārambha" occurs a few times and I am very interested to know its meaning.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu translates it as "disturbance" (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html) and I don't think that is a useful translation.

I have found this pdf where it has been translated as "undertakings" (https://ahandfulofleaves.files.wordpres ... ations.pdf).

Another writer Saddhatissa has translated it as "effort" (https://books.google.com/books?id=9U3fA ... d.&f=false).

I did not find Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation. Could anyone help me with its accurate meaning or translation?

Thank you. :anjali:

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Buddha Vacana
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Re: Dvaya­tānu­passa­nā­sutta & Meaning of āram­bha

Postby Buddha Vacana » Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:35 am

The same word appears in three compounds at AN 4.195:

kāya-sam-ārambhapaccayā, vacī-sam-ārambhapaccayā, mano-sam-ārambhapaccayā

Ven. Bodhi translates "because of bodily, verbal, mental undertakings"

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katavedi
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Re: Dvaya­tānu­passa­nā­sutta & Meaning of āram­bha

Postby katavedi » Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:38 pm

K.R. Norman translates it as "exertion", with alternate translation (from either I.B. Horner or Ven. Walpola Rahula) as "tenacity".

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Re: Dvaya­tānu­passa­nā­sutta & Meaning of āram­bha

Postby SamKR » Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:19 pm

Thank you Buddha Vacana and katavedi.

It is funny, when I created the original post yesterday I totally missed to realize that āram­bha (Devanagari: आरम्भ) is a very common word in my own native language (Nepali) and Hindi where it means "initiation" or "beginning". I believe it has the same or similar meaning in Sanskrit too.

However, in the context of the Pali suttas āram­bha might have a slightly different meaning. So far, looking into the various translations, I lean towards "effort", "exertion", "undertaking".

I am interested to know what it means in the context of Dvaya­tānu­passa­nā­sutta (where the Buddha says that suffering arises from āram­bha as a requisite condition, and with the cessation of āram­bha suffering ceases). What does cessation of āram­bha mean?

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katavedi
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Re: Dvaya­tānu­passa­nā­sutta & Meaning of āram­bha

Postby katavedi » Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:19 pm

SamKR wrote:It is funny, when I created the original post yesterday I totally missed to realize that āram­bha (Devanagari: आरम्भ) is a very common word in my own native language (Nepali) and Hindi where it means "initiation" or "beginning". I believe it has the same or similar meaning in Sanskrit too.

That's interesting. I can see the connection to the Pali meaning.

SamKR wrote:I am interested to know what it means in the context of Dvaya­tānu­passa­nā­sutta (where the Buddha says that suffering arises from āram­bha as a requisite condition, and with the cessation of āram­bha suffering ceases). What does cessation of āram­bha mean?

As I understand the meaning, āram­bha in this sutta means to endeavor/strive to acquire something desired or to keep something cherished. It refers to the efforts (mental and physical) involved in obtaining and keeping the objects of desire.

It reminds me of this section from DN15:
... in dependence upon feeling there is craving; in dependence upon craving there is pursuit; in dependence upon pursuit there is gain; in dependence upon gain there is decision-making; in dependence upon decision-making there is desire and lust; in dependence upon desire and lust there is attachment; in dependence upon attachment there is possessiveness; in dependence upon possessiveness there is stinginess; in dependence upon stinginess there is safeguarding; and because of safeguarding, various evil unwholesome phenomena originate—the taking up of clubs and weapons, conflicts, quarrels, and disputes, insulting speech, slander, and falsehoods.


I understand the cessation of āram­bha to mean that there is no more striving based on desire, longing, and grasping. At the heart of this cessation of āram­bha is the cessation of "one who is exerting", or "one who stands to gain or acquire anything at all".

This is a good topic, Sam. Thank you.
“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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katavedi
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Re: Dvaya­tānu­passa­nā­sutta & Meaning of āram­bha

Postby katavedi » Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:27 pm

This definition from the PTS dictionary is interesting, particularly when adding the second definition to the mix:

ārambha
1. attempt, effort, inception of energy (cp. Dhs trsl. 15 & K. S. p. 318
2. support, ground object, thing Ne.70 sq., Ne.107; an˚; unsupported, independent Snp.743 (= nibbāna Snp-a.507). Cp. also nirambha upārambha, sārambha.

Perhaps the exertion to acquire/retain those things that are supports for consciousness? SN 12.38 seems to be relevant here, don't you think?
At Savatthī. “Bhikkhus, what one intends, and what one plans, and whatever one has a tendency towards: this becomes a basis for the maintenance of consciousness. When there is a basis there is a support for the establishing of consciousness. When consciousness is established and has come to growth, there is the production of future renewed existence. When there is the production of future renewed existence, future birth, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

“If, bhikkhus, one does not intend, and one does not plan, but one still has a tendency towards something, this becomes a basis for the maintenance of consciousness. When there is a basis, there is a support for the establishing of consciousness…. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

“But, bhikkhus, when one does not intend, and one does not plan, and one does not have a tendency towards anything, no basis exists for the maintenance of consciousness. When there is no basis, there is no support for the establishing of consciousness. When consciousness is unestablished and does not come to growth, there is no production of future renewed existence. When there is no production of future renewed existence, future birth, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair cease. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.”
“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: Dvaya­tānu­passa­nā­sutta & Meaning of āram­bha

Postby SamKR » Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:50 pm

katavedi wrote:As I understand the meaning, āram­bha in this sutta means to endeavor/strive to acquire something desired or to keep something cherished. It refers to the efforts (mental and physical) involved in obtaining and keeping the objects of desire.


katavedi wrote:I understand the cessation of āram­bha to mean that there is no more striving based on desire, longing, and grasping. At the heart of this cessation of āram­bha is the cessation of "one who is exerting", or "one who stands to gain or acquire anything at all".


Thanks, katavedi. I have similar understanding.

Understanding āram­bha as effort/exertion/striving matches with my practice too:
Any mental effort to retain or resist current experience creates an idea of someone exerting such efforts - and once such an imaginary someone is established there arises an obsessive and compulsive need to make such an effort- and then this vicious circle continues. This vicious circle is the ridge-pole of suffering.

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Re: Dvaya­tānu­passa­nā­sutta & Meaning of āram­bha

Postby ancientbuddhism » Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:29 pm

ārambha [fr. āraddha (pp. of ā + rabh)]: beginning, undertaking (mental disturbance of)

    “Whatever dukkha has arisen is entirely based upon undertakings. With the cessation of undertakings the arising of dukkha cannot exist.

    Yaṃ kiñci dukkhaṃ sambhoti, sabbaṃ ārambhapaccayā;
    Ārambhānaṃ nirodhena, natthi dukkhassa sambhavo
    .”
“I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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