Dependent Origination

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Cittasanto
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Re: Dependent Origination

Post by Cittasanto » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:56 pm

I agree with you here.
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: Dependent Origination

Post by Cittasanto » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:01 am

Element wrote:
meindzai wrote:"The birth of beings into the various orders of beings, their coming to birth, precipitation [in a womb], generation, manifestation of the aggregates, obtaining the bases for contact — this is called birth." - Sammaditthi Sutta http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .ntbb.html
For me, the above is mere translation. For example, for me, the translator has already erred by including the term 'womb'.

The various orders of beings are the human, hungry ghost, hell, animal & godly beings. Due to ego becoming based on benevolent love we become a deva. Due to ego becoming based on a strong work ethic & good sila, we become a secure middle-class human being. Due to ego becoming based on strong cravings & addictions, we become a hungry ghost. Due to ego becoming based on ignorance & a lack of virtue, we become an animal. Due to ego becoming based on strong anger, heartbreak or despair, we become a hell being.

Manifestion of the aggregates means the aggregates manifest in a certain way. For example, as a middle-class human being with all the trappings of life, the body walks upright and the mind is proud. As a hell being with anger or despair, the shoulders hunch or the face becomes ugly. We perceive the world as dark, flawed and blameworthy. This is how the aggregates manifest when birth takes place in the various orders of human beings.

This precipitation is not in a womb but precipation my mind & becoming. Buddha said in the Maha-Sihanada Sutta:
"Sariputta, there are these four kinds of generation. What are the four?

Aṇḍajā yoni, jalābujā yoni, saṃsedajā yoni, opapātikā yoni.

Egg-born generation, womb-born generation, moisture-born generation and spontaneous generation.

"What is egg-born generation? There are these beings born by breaking out of the shell of an egg; this is called egg-born generation.

What is womb-born generation? There are these beings born by breaking out from the caul; this is called womb-born generation.

What is moisture-born generation? There are these beings born in a rotten fish, in a rotten corpse, in rotten dough, in a cesspit, or in a sewer; this is called moisture-born generation.

What is spontaneous generation? There are gods and denizens of hell and certain human beings and some beings in the lower worlds; this is called spontaneous generation.

These are the four kinds of generation.
Hi Element
well what is the problem with womb you do not say specifically why!
all you have said is that you do not like the translation of the verse (with the qualifier in brackets)
some words have the same translation but different meaning or more precisely a different interpretation of meaning which needs qualification
Last edited by Cittasanto on Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: Dependent Origination

Post by clw_uk » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:02 am

I agree with you as well, but the buddha also said in suttas

"What, bhikkhus, is aging-and-death? The aging of the various beings in the various orders of beings, their growing old, brokenness of teeth, greyness of hair, wrinkling of skin, decline of vitality, degeneration of the faculties: this is called aging. The passing away of the various beings from the various orders of beings, their perishing, their break up, disappearance, mortality, death, completion of time, the break up of the aggregates, the laying down of the carcass: this is called death. Thus this aging and this death are together called aging-and-death."

It is hard to read this in dhamma language terms and can be seen to only explain the usual physical ageing and dying. To my knowledge he says this to bhikkhus not to laypersons.
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Element

Re: Dependent Origination

Post by Element » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:05 am

Manapa wrote:Hi Element
well what is the problem with womb you do not say!
Manapa

The word 'womb' does not exist in the Pali. The translator has added it in.

Kind regards,

Element

Element

Re: Dependent Origination

Post by Element » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:09 am

clw_uk wrote:It is hard to read this in dhamma language terms and can be seen to only explain the usual physical ageing and dying. To my knowledge he says this to bhikkhus not to laypersons.
For me, it includes aspects of both mental death and physical death. For example, if we really think 'I am aging', "I am losing my teeth', 'I am dying' when we grow old & die, we are still clinging to life as "I" and "mine". Thus the sutta states:
"Furthermore, a sage at peace is not born, does not age, does not die, is unagitated, and is free from longing. He has nothing whereby he would be born. Not being born, will he age? Not aging, will he die? Not dying, will he be agitated? Not being agitated, for what will he long? It was in reference to this that it was said, 'He has been stilled where the currents of construing do not flow. And when the currents of construing do not flow, he is said to be a sage at peace.'

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Re: Dependent Origination

Post by clw_uk » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:18 am

True it can be taken in this way but he does seem to be meaning it more literally.

What is your view on how D.O. can be ended? This is another point where the two view on it seem to clash. For example Bhikkhu Buddhadasa states that by meaning mindful of feelings and not letting it turn to craving that D.O. can be stopped but I have read another view by Ajham Brahm that this is wrong as one can only break it via uprooting ignorance.

For me I see Bhikkhu Buddhadasa as correct as it is ignorant to let feelings go onto craving as craving is dukkha.
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Re: Dependent Origination

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:28 am

Greetings clw_uk,

The ending of craving and the ending of ignorance go hand in hand.

One cannot uproot all craving unless one has uprooted all ignorance.

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)

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Re: Dependent Origination

Post by Will » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:36 am

Bhikkhu Bodhi has an older translation and commentary here: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el277.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

His one volume version of the Samyutta Nikaya gives a newer translation, where he titles it as the Proximate Cause sutta - page 553 ff.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

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Re: Dependent Origination

Post by clw_uk » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:38 am

That is how i percieved it but a have seen what appears to be a critique by ajham brahm that mindfulness of feeling to prevent craving can stop D.O. is false.

"Some Western Buddhists have proposed that the 'forward' order of Paticca-samuppada can be halted by 'cutting' the process between vedana and tanha. Often I have heard some suggest that rebirth can be avoided through using sati (mindfulness) on vedana to stop it generating tanha and the following factors of Paticca-samuppada. This is, in my understanding, misconceived on two grounds.
First, the 'forward' order of Paticca-samuppada was never intended to demonstrate how the process should be 'cut'. The 'forward' order is only meant to show how the process continues. The teaching on how the process is 'cut', or rather ceases, is the purpose reserved for the 'reverse' order of Paticca-samuppada or `Dependent Cessation'.
Secondly, even though vedana does not inevitably produce tanha, because it is not a sufficient condition, it is well stated by The Buddha that only when avijja ceases once and for all does vedana never generate tanha ! This means that one doesn't `cut' the process using sati on vedana. Sati is not enough. The process stops from the cessation of avijja, as Dependent Cessation makes abundantly clear. The cessation of avijja is much more than the practice of sati."

http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... NATION.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Unless im misreading him.
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Re: Dependent Origination

Post by Cittasanto » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:47 am

clw_uk wrote:That is how i percieved it but a have seen what appears to be a critique by ajham brahm that mindfulness of feeling to prevent craving can stop D.O. is false.
Hi Clw
I hate to say it but look at his newsletter about the Satipatthana Sutta!
then look at what he says the suttas say and look at the suttas!

I like Ajahn Brahm but he made me look at my understanding of the satipatthana Sutta in a poor light which under closer evaluation I found not warented!

just to emphisise I like and enjoy his teachings and have them bookmarked
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: Dependent Origination

Post by clw_uk » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:50 am

I too enjoy his teachings, i think he has a great way of putting teachings accross, just in relation to his writting on D.O. im not 100% sure.

In relation to an earlier comment, about kamma if it can cover three lives. Doesnt it say that when one achieves arahantship that all previous kamma becomes null and void (this is off the top of my head)
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Re: Dependent Origination

Post by Ben » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:55 am

Hi all

This is what Bhikkhu Bodhi says about the three-liftimes model in 'A comprehensive manual of the Abhidhamma'.
The first section is the quote from Acarya Anuruddha's Paccayasangaha in the Abhidhammatthasangha, followed by Venerable Bodhi's comments:
iv. Categories of Analysis
It should be understood that there are three periods, twelve factors, twenty modes, three connections, four groups, three rounds, and two roots.

v. The Three periods
How? Ignorance and kammic formations belong to the past; birth and decay-and-death belong to the future; the intermediate eight factors belong to the present. Thus there are three periods.

Guide to v. 5

When the twelve factors are dividied into three periods of time, this should be seen as a mere expository device for exhibiting the causal structure of the round of existence. It should be not taken to imply that the factors assigned to a particular temporal period operate only in that period and not on other occassions. In fact, the twelve factors are always present together in any single life, mutually implicative and interpenetrating.

-- Bhikkhu Bodhi, (2000) A comprehensive manual of the Abhidhamma: the abhidhammattha of Acariya Anuruddha, BPS/Paryiatti, p. 299
Kind regards

Ben
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Re: Dependent Origination

Post by Element » Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:02 am

clw_uk wrote:True it can be taken in this way but he does seem to be meaning it more literally.

What is your view on how D.O. can be ended? This is another point where the two view on it seem to clash. For example Bhikkhu Buddhadasa states that by meaning mindful of feelings and not letting it turn to craving that D.O. can be stopped but I have read another view by Ajham Brahm that this is wrong as one can only break it via uprooting ignorance.

For me I see Bhikkhu Buddhadasa as correct as it is ignorant to let feelings go onto craving as craving is dukkha.
The Buddha spoke about how to end dependent origination in the Mahàtanhàsankhaya Sutta and elsewhere.
“On seeing a form with the eye, he is not passionate for it if it is pleasing; he is not angry at it if it is displeasing. He lives with attention to body established, with an immeasurable mind and he understands realistically the deliverance of mind and deliverance by wisdom wherein those evil unwholesome states cease without remainder. Having abandoned favouring and opposing, whatever feeling he feels - whether pleasant or painful or neither-pleasant-nor-painful - he does not delight in that feeling, welcome it, or remain holding to it. As he does not do so, delight in feelings ceases in him. From the cessation of his delight comes cessation of clinging; from the cessation of clinging, the cessation of becoming; from the cessation of becoming, the cessation of birth; from the cessation of birth, ageing-&-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair cease. Thus is the cessation of this entire mass of suffering.

“On hearing a sound with the ear ... On smelling an odour with the nose ... On tasting a flavour with the tongue ... On touching a tangible with the body ...

On knowing a phenomenon with the mind, he is not passionate for it if it is pleasing; he is not angry at it if it is displeasing. He lives with attention to body established, with an immeasurable mind and he understands realistically the deliverance of mind and deliverance by wisdom wherein those evil unwholesome states cease without remainder. Having abandoned favouring and opposing, whatever feeling he feels - whether pleasant or painful or neither-pleasant-nor-painful - he does not delight in that feeling, welcome it, or remain holding to it. As he does not do so, delight in feelings ceases in him. From the cessation of his delight comes cessation of clinging; from the cessation of clinging, the cessation of becoming; from the cessation of becoming, the cessation of birth; from the cessation of birth, ageing-&-death sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair cease. Thus is the cessation of this entire mass of suffering.

Element

Re: Dependent Origination

Post by Element » Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:16 am

clw_uk wrote:For example Bhikkhu Buddhadasa states that by meaning mindful of feelings and not letting it turn to craving that D.O. can be stopped but I have read another view by Ajham Brahm that this is wrong as one can only break it via uprooting ignorance.
CLW

All of the links of dependent origination are imbued with ignorance and ignorance functions on many levels.

For example, there is ignorance regarding the Four Noble Truths. When we understand the Noble Truths, we are mindful at feelings to stop craving & attachment as Buddhadasa said.

However, understanding life comprises of much more than non-craving and non-attachment. Thus, as wisdom grows, we end dependent origination at ignorance.

For example, we can watch TV, see war in Gaza and stop craving & attachment by being mindful at contact, by practising "just seeing, just hearing, just smelling, etc,..". This method, whilst rooted in the Noble Truths, has the flavour of concentration.

Whereas, if we watch TV and through wisdom understand deeply the causes & conditions that lead to the Gaza War, we can end craving, attachment & suffering through the power of wisdom. That is, we end dependent origination at ignorance.

The Lord Buddha taught both methods in the suttas. For example, in the Chachakka Sutta the Buddha focuses on contact (but of course includes wisdom).

However, as you correctly said, both methods require wisdom. Both methods are essentially the same because contact in dependent origination is always ignorant contact.
To an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person, touched by that which is felt born of contact with ignorance, craving arises. That fabrication of self is born of that.

SN 22.81

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Re: Dependent Origination

Post by stuka » Sun Jan 18, 2009 3:23 am

Manapa wrote:
clw_uk wrote:That is how i percieved it but a have seen what appears to be a critique by ajham brahm that mindfulness of feeling to prevent craving can stop D.O. is false.
Hi Clw
I hate to say it but look at his newsletter about the Satipatthana Sutta!
then look at what he says the suttas say and look at the suttas!

I like Ajahn Brahm but he made me look at my understanding of the satipatthana Sutta in a poor light which under closer evaluation I found not warented!

just to emphisise I like and enjoy his teachings and have them bookmarked
I have seen another of Brahmavamso's writings entitled "Some Notes on Paticcasamuppada" or similar. One could fill the "examples" section of the Fallacyfiles website out of this work.

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