SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Each week we study and discuss a different sutta or Dhamma text

Moderator: mikenz66

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 19919
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:19 am

Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:aging, decrepitude, brokenness, graying, wrinkling, decline of life-force, weakening of the faculties of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called aging -- must be given some sort of heavy duty symbolic reading, or they would most assuredly have to be, following your line of thought, ontological.
To quote a classic from Ajahn Chah...
"Do not be a bodhisatta; do not be an arahant; do not be anything at all. If you are a bodhisatta, you will suffer; if you are an arahant, you will suffer; if you are anything at all, you will suffer."
In other words, becoming something (bhava) and establishing an identity (jati) is the requisite condition for experience aging-and-decay.

Therefore, if there is no becoming something, there is no establishing an identity, so in turn, there is no experience of aging-and-decay... there is instead, only the deathless.

Or, back again to Ajahn Chah...
A visiting Zen student asked Ajahn Chah, "How old are you? Do you live here all year round?" "I live nowhere," he replied. "There is no place you can find me. I have no age. To have age, you must exist, and to think you exist is already a problem. Don't make problems; then the world has none either. Don't make a self. There's nothing more to say."
Do not make a self that must be subject to aging-and-decay.

:buddha2:

It's not a case of heavy duty symbolic rendering - it is just the Dhamma being explained at different levels, as per Mike's recent discussion on that topic. To one who takes it as granted that they exist, aging-and-decay can only be fathomed vis-a-vis that very self-same assumed self. Thus, aging-and-death for that cognitively-distorted and self-established "being" is very much experiential. To regard it as ontological is to tacitly assume that the self (to whom aging and decay could occur) really exists, although sabba dhamma anatta.

A question for you, perhaps... if you were to explain jara-marana (again and death) in a manner entirely devoid of implicit reference to a false self, how would you explain it? Consider also whether this explanation would be appropriate to a situation where each of the preceding nidanas, conditioned by avijja, had already transpired?

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

Sylvester
Posts: 2205
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am

Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Post by Sylvester » Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:22 am

retrofuturist wrote:In other words, becoming something (bhava) and establishing an identity (jati) is the requisite condition for experience aging-and-decay.
I thought establishing of identity (sakkaya) would be the function of sakkayaditthi, which according to MN 44 would be the work of upadana/clinging with reference to any or all of the aggregates.

Clinging precedes bhava, as the paccaya for bhava. I don't think it is possible to read jati so metaphorically, when upadana fulfills that function literally in a preceding nidana.

PS - I keep seeing this "ontological" versus "phenomenological" thingie bandied about quite a fair bit by you. May I enquire in what sense you use it? A popular conception or a specialised nuance? Something to do with atthi/natthi (exists/not exist)? Or some other formulation (as in sakkayaditthi only)? Do bear in mind that the Buddha did not mince around when He made firm ontic commitment propositions. Iddapaccayata is jam-packed with propositions that in Western logic would fit what are known as "existential quantifiers". Should those be interpreted "phenomenologically"? Why should a plain reading be discouraged, when very few of us actually do not hold ourselves in check against any of the 20 sakkayaditthis when discussing dhamma-s?
Last edited by Sylvester on Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 19919
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:27 am

Greetings,
Sylvester wrote:I don't think it is possible to read jati so metaphorically, when upadana fulfills that function literally in a preceding nidana.
If you wish to accuse it of being a "metaphorical" rendering (I would prefer 'experiential'), you would need to acknowledge that it's a long standing one...
Jāti (in Devanagari: जाति Tamil:சாதி) (the word literally means thus born) is the term used to denote clans, tribes, communities and sub-communities in India. It is a term used across religions. In Indian society each jāti typically has an association with a traditional job function or tribe, although religious beliefs (e.g. Sri Vaishnavism or Veera Shaivism) or linguistic groupings define some jatis. A person's surname typically reflects a community (jati) association: thus Gandhi = perfume seller, Dhobi = washerman, Srivastava = military scribe, etc. In any given location in India 500 or more jatis may co-exist, although the exact composition will differ from district to district.
If you prefer to regard jati ontologically as the arising of flesh, blood, bones, guts and neurons then be my guest. I’m not here to convince you otherwise.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:51 am

retrofuturist wrote:If you prefer to regard jati ontologically as the arising of flesh, blood, bones, guts and neurons then be my guest. I’m not here to convince you otherwise.
Just because you call it ontological does not mean that it is. Flesh, blood, bones, etc are all things that can be emprically experienced as dependenly arisen, empty of any abiding substance, empty of any ontological status of being, insight into which is one of the by products of contemplation of the parts of the body.

This -- If you prefer to regard jati ontologically as the arising of flesh, etc -- makes no sense, given that jāti is talking about processes of conditioned becoming.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Nov 24, 2011 6:44 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:aging, decrepitude, brokenness, graying, wrinkling, decline of life-force, weakening of the faculties of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called aging -- must be given some sort of heavy duty symbolic reading, or they would most assuredly have to be, following your line of thought, ontological.
To quote a classic from Ajahn Chah...
"Do not be a bodhisatta; do not be an arahant; do not be anything at all. If you are a bodhisatta, you will suffer; if you are an arahant, you will suffer; if you are anything at all, you will suffer."
In other words, becoming something (bhava) and establishing an identity (jati) is the requisite condition for experience aging-and-decay.
Yes and no. All one has to do is read the Parinibbana Sutta to hear the Buddha talk about his own aging, but being unawakened, ignorant, we do establish what we assume is an identity with what we assume is our body and all that goes with it. And that is the basis for our awakening, seeing the nature of this attachment and the nature of what it we are attached to. And, of course, we cannot put Ajahn Chah’s word into practice by an act of will. We have to start from where we are. There is no place other than that, and as we gain insight we see that there is no ontological being in “our” “aging, decrepitude, brokenness, graying, wrinkling, decline of life-force, weakening of the faculties.
Therefore, if there is no becoming something, there is no establishing an identity, so in turn, there is no experience of aging-and-decay... there is instead, only the deathless.
Of course there is no “the deathless.” Until we awaken, the identity that we imagine ourselves as ontologically being is other than what insight will in time show that it really is. It is the stuff with which we work, and until we awaken, it is that grasping after our supposed identity that impels us forward.
Or, back again to Ajahn Chah...
A visiting Zen student asked Ajahn Chah, "How old are you? Do you live here all year round?" "I live nowhere," he replied. "There is no place you can find me. I have no age. To have age, you must exist, and to think you exist is already a problem. Don't make problems; then the world has none either. Don't make a self. There's nothing more to say."
Do not make a self that must be subject to aging-and-decay.
Yes, absolutely. Precisely my point. And the 12 link paticca-samuppāda describes how the process of self-making works, not only in terms of this life, but also in terms of lifetimes. It is one of the ways of talking about the stuff with which we work, and it is a tool with which we work
It's not a case of heavy duty symbolic rendering - it is just the Dhamma being explained at different levels, as per Mike's recent discussion on that topic.
But do not forget that explaining the Dhamma in terms of different levels does not mean one level is more true or more efficacious than the other:
One who is capable of understanding and penetrating to the truth and hoisting the flag of Arahantship when the teaching is set out in terms of generally accepted conventions, to him the Buddha preaches the doctrine based on sammuti-kathā. One who is capable of understanding and penetrating to the truth and hoisting the flag of Arahantship when the teaching is set out in terms of ultimate categories, to him the Buddha preaches the doctrine based on paramattha-kathā. -- AA. Vol. I, pp.54-55
To one who takes it as granted that they exist, aging-and-decay can only be fathomed vis-a-vis that very self-same assumed self. Thus, aging-and-death for that cognitively-distorted and self-established "being" is very much experiential. To regard it as ontological is to tacitly assume that the self (to whom aging and decay could occur) really exists, although sabba dhamma anatta.
The body of the Buddha grows old and dies. There is no reason to assume that there is any ontological state of being behind that, but we can talk about it. Growing old and dying is a way of talking about the process experienced. Using that language does not necessarily assume an ontology of being. An ontology of being need not be assumed in Ireland’s translation.
A question for you, perhaps... if you were to explain jara-marana (again and death) in a manner entirely devoid of implicit reference to a false self, how would you explain it?
How? No differently than how the Buddha has already done it in the discourse in question, using either translation.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

dhamma follower
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:48 am

Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Post by dhamma follower » Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:48 pm

Dear all,

The late Mogok Sayadaw was a prominent Meditation Teacher in Burma. His meditation method has become the most widely practiced in Burma today. Dependent Origination was the material on which his teaching method is based. So I think it is fair to offer to the reader here his excellent explanation of this teaching "deep and appear to be deep":

http://www.usamyanmar.net/Buddha/Book/T ... UPPADA.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It appears quite clearly from this reading that D.O can be understood both as a present-time representation of reality and three times model (but in a different way of understanding of the view according to which "jati" means "birth of self"). This is a perspective deeply concerned with the practical purposes of this important teaching.

Bellow is an extract

Paticcasamuppada actually is in itself the cyclic order of arising and passing away of
Dhamma or Khandhas. The old phenomenon gives rise to another in endless
continuum. Such phenomenon of arising and passing away is called
Paticcasamuppada and Paticcasamuppanna, the function of which no Creator or
God should start or draw to a halt. This functioning is the relinking of
Paticcasamuppada, Magga Phala is only Dhamma which can break the link of
Paticcasamuppada and when there is no relinking it is called Nibbana.
This process is only the arising and passing away of Khandas, Nama-rupa or in
other words this is the process of the Law of Causality in which there is no
semblance which can be taken for I, my, self or Ego. There is nothing except the
arising and disappearing of Khandhas, Nama -rupa or Ayatana.
1. By way of Sammuti Sacca (conventional truth), men, people, creatures or beings
are universally so called and known, whereas Paticcasamuppada Doctrine shows
that Avijja and Tanha are the beginning of Samsara. It should not be compared
with the beginning of men or custom or the first cause. In the Ultimate Truth there
is no man or mankind or creature and as such it can only be traced back to the
Dhamma, i.e., Avijja and Tanha is the beginning of Samsara.
2. It also shows that it is none other than the continual and endless process of arising
and disappearing of Khandhas of the so called sentient being, commonly known in
Sammuti Sacca (conventional truth) as man, woman and creature.
3. It is to be clearly borne in mind that in Paramattha Sacca (ultimate truth) there is
no such thing as man, woman, or creature. It is the law that sho ws 'when this exists
that arises; with the arising of this, that comes to be; when this does not exist that
does not come to be.'
Page 23 of 105 A Gift of Dhamma Maung Paw, California
4. It shows the link between Sankhara and Vinnana and Kammabhava and Jati.
5. It shows the ceaseless rounds or rebirth, Jati (birth), old age, sickness and
ultimately death. In other words, rebirth, sickness, old age and death are recurring
ad infinitum like the tree which bear fruit and the fruit again produces plant, and
the plant again bear fruits, and so on and on and so forth continuing the same
process as infinitum.
6. It shows that the process of arising and disappearing is nothing but series of
sorrows and sufferings.
7. It is just like a heap of the fire and fuel, when fuel is put the fire is aglow so it is
like the fire and fuel, when the fuel is put again the fire continues to burn and so on
and so forth without an end.
8. By way of Ariya Sacca is only the recurring process of Samudaya Sacca and
Dukkha Sacca in an endless continuum.
9. By way of Vatta (round) there recur ad infinitum three vattas (round) i.e., Kilesa
Vatta, Kamma Vatta and Vipaka Vatta. Because of Kelisa Vatta there arises
Kamma Vatta and because of Kamma Vatta there arises Vipaka Vatta.
10. There is only the cyclic order of time and space, i.e., Past, Present and Future . It
will be obvious to the reader that the Present becomes the Past of the future which
again becomes the Present. Thus the ceaseless process of Samsara goes on
indefinitely.

Regards,

dhamma follower
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:48 am

Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Post by dhamma follower » Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:56 pm

Sylvester wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:In other words, becoming something (bhava) and establishing an identity (jati) is the requisite condition for experience aging-and-decay.
I thought establishing of identity (sakkaya) would be the function of sakkayaditthi, which according to MN 44 would be the work of upadana/clinging with reference to any or all of the aggregates.

Clinging precedes bhava, as the paccaya for bhava. I don't think it is possible to read jati so metaphorically, when upadana fulfills that function literally in a preceding nidana.
Excellent point!!!

Here is MN 44:
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Sanctuary. Then Visakha the lay follower went to Dhammadinna the nun and, on arrival, having bowed down to her, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to her, "'Self-identification, self-identification,' it is said, lady. Which self-identification is described by the Blessed One?"

"There are these five clinging-aggregates, friend Visakha: form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling as a clinging-aggregate, perception as a clinging-aggregate, fabrications as a clinging-aggregate, consciousness as a clinging-aggregate. These five clinging-aggregates are the self-identification described by the Blessed One."

Saying, "Yes, lady," Visakha the lay follower delighted & rejoiced in what Dhammadinna the nun had said. Then he asked her a further question: "'The origination of self-identification, the origination of self-identification,' it is said, lady. Which origination of self-identification is described by the Blessed One?"

"The craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming: This, friend Visakha, is the origination of self-identification described by the Blessed One."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Regards,

User avatar
Spiny O'Norman
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 8:46 am
Location: Suffolk, England

Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Post by Spiny O'Norman » Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:05 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,
"And what is birth? Whatever birth, taking birth, descent, coming-to-be, coming-forth, appearance of aggregates, & acquisition of [sense] media of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called birth.

Then, by contrast, John Ireland, translates the same tract of text as follows...

"That which, for these and those beings, in this and that group of beings, is birth, being born, conception, reproduction, the appearing of the aggregates, the acquiring of the [sense] bases: this, bhikkhus, is called birth.

... which, dare I say it, has a much more "ontological" bent, being focused on the "(re)birth of a being", rather than regarding jati as a volitional experience.
These descriptions both seem quite ontological to me, as do the descriptions for death. Why would that be a problem?

Spiny

User avatar
Spiny O'Norman
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 8:46 am
Location: Suffolk, England

Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Post by Spiny O'Norman » Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:10 pm

It's probably worth looking at MN9 too:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .ntbb.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:45 pm

Spiny O'Norman wrote: These descriptions both seem quite ontological to me, as do the descriptions for death. Why would that be a problem?
It isn't. One simply needs to recognize that we need to use language with all its limitations, and that that can be done without getting lost in it.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16150
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Dec 10, 2011 8:07 pm

Some note from Bhikkhu Bodhi and the Commentary (Spk).

12.1

BB: Spk says that when it is said, "With ignorance as a condition, volitional formations ...", the meaning should be understand as follows: "It is ignorance and it is a condition, hence 'ignorance-as-condition'. Through that ignorance-as-condition volitional formations come to be".

This explanation suggests that that verb sambhavanti, which in the text occurs only at the end of the whole formula, should be connected to each proposition, thus establishing that each conditioned state arises through its condition.

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16150
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Dec 10, 2011 8:19 pm

12.2

"The passing away of the various beings from the various orders of beings, their perishing, breakup, disappearance, mortality, death, completion of time, the breakup of the aggregates, the laying down of the carcass: this is called death."

Spk: By the terms from "passing away" through "completion of time" he expounds death in worldly conventional terminology (lokasammutiya); by the expressions "breakup of the aggregates" and "the laying down of the carcass" he expounds death in the ultimate sense (paramattha). For in the ultimate sense it is only the aggregates that break up; there is no "being" that dies. When the aggregates are breaking up one says, "A being is dying", and when they have broken up it is said, "The being has died".


"The birth of the various beings into the various orders of beings, their being born, descent [into the womb], production, the manifestation of the aggregates, the obtaining of the sense bases. This is called birth."

Spk: From "birth" through "production" the teaching is conventional (voharadesana): the last two terms are an ultimate teaching (paramatthadesana). For in the ultimate sense it is only aggregates that become manifest, not a being.

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16150
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Dec 10, 2011 8:37 pm

"There are these three kinds of existence: sense-sphere existence, form-sphere existence, formless-sphere existence. This is called existence".

BB: (From Introduction):
Bhava, in the MN translation, was translated as "being". In seeking an alternative, I had first experimented with "becoming", but when the shortcomings in this choice were pointed out to me I decided to return to "existence", used in my earlier translations. Bhava, however, is not "existence" in the sense of the most universal ontological category, that which is shared by everything from the dishes in the kitchen sink to the numbers in a mathematical equation. Existence in the latter sense is covered by the verb atthi and the abstract noun atthita. Bhava is a concrete sentient existence in one of the three realms of existence posited by Buddhist cosmology, a span of life beginning with conception and ending in death. In the formula of dependent origination it is understood to mean both (i) the active side of life that produces rebirth in a particular mode of sentient existence; in other words rebirth-producing kamma; and (ii) the mode of sentient existence that results from such activity.

Spk: In the exposition of existence, sense-sphere existence is both kamma-exisitence and rebirth-existence. Of these, kamma-existence is just kamma that leads to sense-sphere existence; for the kamma, being the cause for rebirth-existence in that real, is spoken of as "existence" by assigning the name for the result to the cause. Rebirth existence is the set of five kammically acquired aggregates produced by that kamma; for this is called "existence" in the sense that "it comes to be there." The same method of explanation applies to form-sphere and formless-sphere existence (except that in formless-sphere rebirth-existence only the four mental aggregates exist).

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16150
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:30 am

"And what, bhikkhus, is name-and-form? Feeling, perception, volition, contact, attention: this is called name. The four great elements and the form derived from the four great elements: this is called form. Thus this name and form are together called name-and-form."

Namarupa (from the introduction):
BB: In the MN translation I had changed Ven Nanamoli's "name-and-form" back to his earlier rendering, "mentality-materiality". In some respects the latter is doctrinally more accurate, but it is also unwieldy, particularly when translating verse, and thus here I return to "name-and-form". The compound was of pre-Buddhist origins and is used in the Upanishads to denote the differentiated manifestation of brahman, the nondual reality. For the sages of the Upanishads, namarupa is the manifestation of brahman as multiplicity, apprehended by the senses as diversified appearances or forms, and by thought as diversified names or concepts (the assignment of names and concepts being understood as grounded in objective reality rather than as the end-product of a purely subjective process). The Buddha adopted this expression and invested it with a meaning consonant with his own system. Here it becomes the physical and cognitive sides of individual existence. In the exression bahiddha namarupa, "external name-and-form" in
SN 12.19 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"When a fool is obstructed by ignorance and conjoined with craving, this body thus results. Now there is both this body and external name-&-form. Here, in dependence on this duality, there is contact at the six senses. Touched by these, or one or another of them, the fool is sensitive to pleasure & pain.
...
we seem to find a vestige of the original meaning --- the world as distinguished according to its appearances and names --- but divested of the monistic implications.

In the Buddha's system, rupa is defined as the four great elements and the form derived from them. Form is both internal to the person (as the body with its senses) and external (as the physical world). The Nikayas do not explain derived form, but the Abhidhamma analyses it into some 24 kinds of secondary material phenomena which include the sensitive substances of the sense faculties and four of five sense objects (the tactile object is identified with three of the great elements --- earth, heat, and air --- which each exhibit tangible properties.). Though I render nama as name, this should not be taken too literally. Nama is the assemblage of mental factors involving cognition: feeling, perception, volition, contact, and attention. These are called "name" because they contribute to the process of cognition by which objects are subsumed under the conceptual designations.

It should be noted that in the Nikayas namarupa does not include conciousness (vinnana). Conciousness is its condition and the two are mutually dependent, like two sheaves of reeds leaning against one another.
SN 12.67 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Conciousness can operate only in dependence on a physical body (rupa) and in conjuction with its constellation of concomitants (nama); conversely, only when conciousness is present can a compound of material elements function as a sentient body and the mental concomitants participate in cognition. Occasionally the texts speak of "descent of consciousness" serving as a condition for name-and-form (SN 12.59); this means that the arrival of the current of conciousness from the past existence into the new one is the necessary condition for the arising of a new psychophysical organism at conception. Sometimes too the texts speak of the descent of name-and -form
e.g. SN 12.64 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nypo.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
this denotes the beginning of sentient life when the current of conciousness, arriving from the previous existence, becomes established under the fresh conditions.

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16150
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: SN 12.1, 12.2 Dependent Origination

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:03 am

"There are these three kinds of volitional formations: the body volitional formation, the verbal volitional formation, the mental volitional formation."

Sankara. From the introduction:
BB: In the MN translation I had changed Ven Nanamoli's experimental rendering of sankara as "determinations" back to his earlier choice "formations". Aware that this word has its own drawbacks, in preparing this translation I had experimented with several alternatives. The most attractive of these was "constructions", but in the end I felt that this term too often led to obscurity. Hence, like the land-finding crow which always returns to the ship when land is not close by (Visuddhimagga 21:65) I had to fall back on "formations", which is colourless enough to take on the meaning being imparted by the context. Sometimes I prefixed this with "volitional" to bring out the meaning more clearly.

BB goes on to enumerate how sankhara is used in different contexts.
As the second factor in the formulation of dependent origination sankharas are the kammically active volitions responsible, in conjunction with ignorance and craving, for generating rebirth and sustaining the forward movement of samsara from one life to the next. Sankhara is synonymous with kamma, to which is it entymologically related, both being derived from karoti. These sankharas are distinguished as threefold by their channel of expression as bodily, verbal and mental (current sutta); they are also divided by ethical quality into meritorious, demeritorious, and impreturbable (SN 12.51). To convey the relevant sense of sankhara here I render the term "volitional formations". The word might also have been translated "activities", which makes explicit the connection with kamma, but this rendering would sever the connection with sankhara in contexts other than dependent origination, which it seems desirable to preserve.

Spk: Volitional formations have the characteristic of forming. The bodily volitional formation is a volitional formation that occurs though the body... [goes on with an enumeration of the Abhidhamma perspective...]

BB: This triad should not be confused with the triad discussed at
SN 41.6 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"There are three fabrications, householder: bodily-fabrications, verbal fabrications, & mental fabrications."
I have added "volitional" to the present set to distinguish them from the other, though the Pali terms are identical. The latter triad is always introduced in relation to the cessation of perception and feeling and is never brought into connection with dependent origination.

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests