The Meaning of Dependent
II.1.1: CAUSE - CAUSAL LAW - CAUSAL
HAPPENING - THINGS AS HAVING CAUSALLY HAPPENED.
To understand well the doctrine of Dependent Origination,
which is out of all extremes of point of view, the writer thinks one needs to grasp the
meaning of its details.
What is cause?
When this thing is present, that thing exists;
When this thing is not present, that thing does not exist.
"This thing" is called the cause of "that
thing". In other words, the cause of one thing is the main element that determines
its presence. For example, the seed of a mango is the cause of a mango-tree. According to
Lord Buddha's teachings, a seed of a mango is called the chief cause (Paccaya or hetu);
the other elements or causes making up the mango-tree are called causes (nidāna or
paccaya). In Pāli language, the Chief cause is called "hetu",
"samudaya", the other causes are called "paccaya"
or"nidāna" (meaning condition). Both the chief cause and other cause are called
What is the causal Law? (or Law of Dependent
Lord Buddha taught:
" Conditioned by ignorance, activities come to
pass; conditioned by activities, consciousness comes to pass; conditioned by
consciousness, name - and - form come to pass; conditioned by name - and - form, the six
senses come to pass; conditioned by six senses, touch comes to pass; conditioned by touch,
feeling comes to pass; conditioned by feeling, craving comes to pass; conditioned by
craving, grasping comes to pass; conditioned by grasping, becoming comes to pass;
conditioned by becoming, birth comes to pass; conditioned by birth, old age and death,
grief, lamentation, suffering, sorrow, despair come to pass. Such is the uprising of this
entire mass of ill. This, brethren, is called "Causal happening".
But from utter fading away and ceasing of ignorance
[comes] ceasing of activities; from ceasing of activities [comes] ceasing of
consciousness; ...; from ceasing of birth [comes] ceasing of old age and death, ...
despair. Such is the ceasing of this entire of ill". (1)
(" Avijjāpaccayā, bhikkhave, sankhārā //
sankhārapaccayā vinnānam//vinnānapaccayā nāmarupam//nāmarupapaccayā salāyatanam
//salāyatanapaccayā phasso//phassapaccayā vedanā// vedanāpaccayā tanhā //
tanhapaccayā upādānam // upādānapaccayā bhavo // bhavapaccayā jāti //
jātipaccayā jarāmaranam soka - parideva - dukkhadomanassupāyasā sambhavanti //
Evametassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa samudayo hoti // Ayam vuccati, bhikkhave,
samuppādo // //
Avijjaya tveva asesavirāganirodhā
sankhāranirodhovinnānanirodho//vinnānan-irodhā nāmaruųpanirodho //
nāmaruųpanirodhā salāyatananirodho // salāyatananirodhā phassanirodho //
phassanirodhā vedanānirodho // vedanānirodhā tanhānirodho // tanhānirodhā
upādānanirodho // upādānanirodhā bhavanirodho // bhavanirodhā jātinirodho //
jātinirodhā jarāmaranam soka - pari - deva - dukkha... nirujjhanti // Evam-etassa
kevalassa dukkh-akkhandhassa nirodho hotii ti // //"). (2)
What is causal happening?
--" What, brethren, is causal happening?
Conditioned by rebirth is decay - and - death -whether,
brethren, there be an arising of Tathāgatas, or whether there be no such arising, this
nature of things just stands, this causal status, this causal orderliness, the relatedness
of this or that. Concerning that the Tathāgata is fully enlightened, that He fully
understands. Fully enlightened, fully understanding He declares it, sets it forth,
manifests, explains; makes it plain, saying "behold" ! Conditioned by rebirth is
decay - and - death, conditioned by becoming is rebirth, ..., conditioned by ignorance are
activities. Whether, brethren, there be an arising of Tathāgatas, or whether there be no
such arising, this nature of things just stands,...". (3)
(" Katamo ca, bhikkhave, paticca-samuppādo
//jātipaccayā, bhikkhave, jarāmaranam uppādā vā Tathāgatānam anuppādā vā
Tathāgatānam // thitā va sā dhātu dhammatthitatā dhammaniyāmatā idappaccayata//
//Tam Tathāgato abhisambujjhati abhisameti // abhisambujjhitvā
bhisametvā ācikkhati deseti pannāpeti patthapeti
vivarati vibhajati uttāniė - karoti passathāti cāha // Jātipaccayā, bhikkhave,
jārāmaranam // ... //avijjāpaccayā bhikkhave, sankhārā uppādā vā Tathagatānam
anuppadā vā Tathāgatānam // thitā va sā dhātu dhammatthitatā dhammaniyāmatā
idappaccayatā // tam Tathāgato abhisambhujjhati abhisameti // ... "). (4)
What are things as having causally happened?
--" And what, brethren, are things as having
causally happened? Decay - and - death is impermanent, conditioned, arisen causally, is by
nature withering away, passing away, fading away, coming to an end. So too is birth,
becoming, grasping, craving, feeling, contact, sixfold sense, name - and - form,
cousciousness, activities, ignorance. These, brethren, are called things as having
causally conditioned". (5)
(" Katame ca, bhikkhave, paticcasamuppannā dhammā
// // Jarāmaranam bhikkhave, aniccam sankhatam paticcasamuppannam hayadhammam vayadhammam
virāga dhammam nirodhadhammam // Jāti, bhikkhave, aniccā... // Bhavo, bhikkhave,
anicco... // ... // Avijjā, bhikkhave, aniccā sankhatā paticcasamuppannā khayadhammā
vayadhammā virāgadhammā nirodhadhammā //ime. vuccanti, bhikkhave, paticcasamuppa-nnā
dhammā // "). (6)
As shown in the Buddha's teachings quoted above, every
existing thing is conditioned. In fact, it is but the presence of conditions originating
it, so it is selfless or unsubstantial. A man also is an existing thing, so it is
conditioned and selfless. Those who can see this truth of Dependent Origination, see
existing things; those who can see existing things, see the principle of Dependent
Origination. And those who can see those things, see Lord Buddha Himself, as He said:
" Hush, Vakkali ! What is there in seeing this
vile body of mine? He who seeth the Norm, Vakkali, he seeth me; he who seeth me, Vakkali,
he seeth the Norm". (7)
(" Alam, Vakkali, kim te iminā putikāyena ditthena
//Yo kho, Vakkali, dhammam passati so mam passati // yo mam passati so dhammam passati
" This was said by Lord Buddha: "Whoever sees
conditioned genesis sees dhamma, whoever sees dhamma, sees conditioned genesis. These are
generated by conditions; that is to say, the five groups of grasping. Whatever among these
five groups of grasping is desire, sensual pleasure, affection, catching at, that is the
uprising of anguish. Whatever among these five groups of grasping is the control of desire
and attachment, the ejection of desire and attachment that is the stopping of anguish. Up
to this point, your reverences, much has been done by the monk". (9)
(" Yo paticcasamuppādam passati so dhammam passati,
yo dhammam passati so paticcasamuppaādam passati. Paticcasamup-pannā kho pan' ime
yadidam panc' upādānakkhandhā. Yo imesu pancas' upādānakkhandhesu chando ālayo
anunayo ajjhosānam so dukkhasamudayo, yo imesu pancas'upādānakkhandhes
chandarāgavinayo chandarāgapahānam so dukkhanirodho. Ettāvatā pi kho, āvuso
bhikkhuno, bahu katam hoti".) (10)
The above quotations in the opinion of the author point
out three very important things, which are:
-- The truth of everything, of Dependent Origination and
of the Tathāgatas are the same. In other words, there exists only one Noble truth for all
Dhammas in this universe.
----What is called a man is nothing but the five
aggregates of grasping (pancas' upādanakkhandhā) which are conditioned and therefore
So, the Buddhist concept of personality must be derived
from the above two doctrines.
-- Suffering of men or the cessation of men's suffering
(or happiness) actually is the uprising or stopping desires for the five aggregates. This
discovery is very useful to educators in building up a course of education for the
happiness of men.
In addition to the above things, another point should be
noticed: the meaning of "seeing conditioned genesis" is to be understood as the
result of the control of desire for and attachment to the five aggregates. It requires
one's mind to be educated, trained, cultivated. In other words, it requires a way of
II.1.2: THE MEANING OF THE TWELVE
At first, a man needs to grasp the meaning of each element
of the Dependent Origination which is always mentioned as including twelve causes:
Ignorance (Avijjā), Activities (Sankhāra), Consciousness (Vinnāna), Name - and - Form
(Nāma - Ruųpa), Six bases (Salāyatana), Touch (Phassa), Feeling (Vedana). Craving
(Tanhā), Grasping (Upādāna), Becoming (Bhava), Birth (Jāti), Old - age and Death,
Grief, Lamentation, Illness, Sorrow and Despair (Jarā - Marana...).
However, in some places, Lord Buddha presentedthe
Dependent Origination in a simpler form of eight, nine, or ten elements as follows:
" Thus, Ānanda , mind - and - body conditions
consciousness and consciousness conditions mind -and - body, mind - and - body conditions
contact, contact conditions feeling, feeling conditions craving, craving conditions
grasping, grasping conditions becoming, becoming conditions birth, birth conditions aging
- and - death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and distress. Thus this whole mass of
suffering comes into existense". (11)
(" Iti kho, Ānanda, nāmaruųpa - paccayā
vinnānam, vinnāna- paccayā nāmaruųpam, nāmaruųpa- paccayā phasso, phassa -
paccayā vedanā, vedanā -paccayā tanhā, tanhā- paccayā upādānam, upādāna-
paccayā bhavo, bhava- paccayā jāti, jāti - paccayā jarā - maranam, jarā - marana-
paccayā soka- parideva - dukkha- domanassupāyāsā sambhavanti. Evametassa kevalassa
dukkhakkhandhassa samudayo hoti".) (12)
The above quotation shows that there are only eight
elements existing in the Dependent Origination. Below is the quotation presenting only ten
" Then, monks, the Bodhisatta Vipassė thought:
"This consciousness turns back at mind - and- body,
it does not go any further. To this extent there is birth and decay, there is death and
falling into other states and being reborn, namely: mind - and- body conditions
consciousness and consciousness conditions mind - and - body, mind - and - body conditions
the six sense bases, the six sense bases conditions contact, contact conditions feeling,
feeling conditions craving, craving conditions grasping, grasping conditions becoming,
becoming conditions birth, birth conditions aging and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain,
grief and distress. And thus this whole mass of sufferings takes its origin". (13)
(" Atha kho, bhikkhave, Vipassissa Bodhisattassa
etadahosi: "Paccudāvattati kho idam vinnānam nāmaruųpamhā, nāparam gacchati.
Ettāvatā jāyetha vā jėyetha vā mėyetha vā cavetha vā uppajjetha vā yadidam
nāmarupa - paccayā vinnānam, vinnāna- paccayā nāmaruųpam, nāmaruųpa- paccayā
salāyatanam, salayatana paccayā phasso, phassa - paccayā vedanā, vedanā -paccayā
tanhā, tanhā- paccayā upādānam, upādana - paccayā bhavo, bhava paccayā jāti,
jāti - paccayā jarā - maranam soka- parideva- dukkha - domanassa - upāyāsā
sambhavanti. Evam- etassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa samudayo hoti".) (14)
The simplest form taught by Lord Buddha is as follows:
"What brethren, is the arising of ill? Because of
sight and visible objects, visual consciousness arises; contact is the clash of the three;
feeling is conditioned by the contact, craving by the feeling. This, brethren, is the
arising of ill".(15)
(" Katamo ca, bhikkhave, dukkhassa samudayo //
cakkhum ca paticca rupe ca uppajjati cakkhuvinnānam//tinnam sangatiphasso//
phassa-paccayā vedanā // vedanā paccayā tanhā // Ayam kho, bhikkhave, dukkhassa
samudayo // //"). (16)
The above teaching contains only five elements of the
Dependent Origination. In fact, it depends on the places where Lord Buddha felt necessary
to present it in what form (eight, nine, ten, five or twelve elements or more). Below is
the form presented in twenty three elements.
"Now, therefore, brethren, activities are in
causal association with ignorance, consciousness is in causal association with activities,
name - and - form with consciousness, the sixfold sense sphere with name - and - form,
contact with..., feeling with..., craving with..., grasping with..., becoming with...,
birth with..., sorrow with birth, faith with sorrow, joy with faith, rapture with joy,
serenity with rapture, concentration with serenity, the knowledge and vision into things
as they really are with concentration, repulsion with the knowledge and vision...,
passionlessness with repulsion, liberation with passionlessness, knowledge about
extinction [of intoxicants] with liberation". (17)
("Iti kho, bhikkhave, avijjuøpanisā sankhārā
//sankhāruøpani sāmvinnānam// vinnānuøpani-sam nāmaruøpam // nāmaruøpuøpanisam
salāyatanam // salāyatanuøpaniso phasso // phassuøpanisā vedanā // vedānuøpanisā
tanhā // tanhuøpanisam upādānam // upādānuøpaniso bhavo // bhavuøpanisā jāti //
jātuøpānisam dukkham // dukkhāpanisā saddhā // saddhuøpanisam pāmojjam //
pāmojjuøpanisā pėti // pėtuøpanisā passaddhi // passaddhuøpanisam sukham //
sukhuøpaniso samādhi // samadhuøpanisam yathābhutamnānadassanam//
yathābhuøtan-ānadassanuøpanisā nibbidā // nibbiduøpaniso virāgo virāguøpanisā
vimutti // vimuttuø panisam khaye nānam //"). (18)
Among the different forms of the Dependent Origination
presented in Suttapitaka, the form of twelve elements is understood as the most typical
form to be examined in this work.
The above quotations, regardless of the forms of
expression, all introduce the mental process operating from ignorance (avijjā) to
suffering (dukkha) or to the knowledge about extinction of suffering as well as the truth
of men, life and their relationship. This will be discussed in details next.
What is ignorance? -- Lord Buddha defined:
" Nescience concerning ill, its rise, its
cessation and concerning the way going to the cessation of ill. This is called
("Katamā ca, bhikkhave, avijjā // // Yam kho,
bhikkhave, dukkhe annānam dukkhasamudaye annānam dukkhanirodhe annānam
dukkhanirodhagāminiyā patipadāya annānam// Ayam, vuccati, bhikkhave, avijiā //
Nescience concerning ill, its rise, ... means nescience
concerning the Four Noble Truths, law of Kamma, and the Dependent Origination is
In the Discourse of Sammāditthi (Majjhimanikāya, Vol.I.,
PTS, London, 1987, p.70). Mahāthera Sāriputta, the chief disciple of Lord Buddha,
" When, your reverences, a disciple of the aryans
comprehends the cankers thus, comprehends the uprising of the cankers thus, comprehends
the stopping..., comprehends the course leading to the stopping...,he having got rid of
all addiction to attachment, having dispelled addiction to shunning, having abolished
addiction to the latent view "I am", having got rid of ignorance, having made
knowledge arise, is here-now an end-maker of anguish..." (21)
(" Yato kho āvuso ariyasāvako evam āsavam
pajānāti, evam āsavanirodham pajānāti, evam āsavanirodhagāmini - patipadam
pajānāti, so sabbaso rāgānusayam pahāya patighānusayam pativinodetvā asmiėti
ditthimānānusayam samuhanitvā avijjam pahāya vijjam uppādetvā ditthe va dhamme
dukkhass' antakaro hoti".) (22)
Mahāthera Sāriputta's definition means that conception
of "I am" or "I was" or "I will be" or conception of
personality which is this or that, is ignorance. And it is ignorance which is the
fountain-head of wrong thoughts, activities and suffering. It is the operation of
ignorance which leads to Activities, Conciousness, Name - and - Form, the Sixfold sense
sphere, Touch, Feeling, Craving, Grasping, Becoming, Birth, Old-age and Death ..., and
therefore each element of the above means suffering; man or life means suffering.
What are activities? -- Lord Buddha said:
" These are three activities: those of deed,
speech and mind. These are activities". (23)
("Tayo me, bhikkhave, sankhārā kāyasankhāro
vacėsankhāro cittasankhāro // Ime vuccanti, bhikkhave, sankhārā //"). (24)
This teaching means all the activities of a whole man are
of sankhāra. Another time, Lord Buddha taught:
" And what, brethren, are the activities? They are
these seats of will: the will for sights, the will for sounds, for smells, for tastes, for
touches, and for mental images. These, brethren, are the activities". (25)
("Katamā ca, bhikkhave, sankhārā // chayime,
bhikkhave, cetanākāyā // ruųpasancetanā saddasancetanā gandhasancetanā
rasasance-tanā photthabbasancetanā dhammasancetanā ime vuccanti, bhikkhave, sankhārā
In this quotation, sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touches
and mental images are what makes up the phenomenon, and the Activities (sankhāra) appears
as the mental forces of it. The world people see really is the world created by the
Activities, and is the result of what people call "Will to live".
Activities have another meaning as shown below:
"That which we will, and that which we intend to
do, and that wherewithal we are occupied. This becomes an object for the persistence of
Consciousness; the object being there, there comes to be a station of Consciousness.
Consciousness being stationed and growing, there comes to pass descent of name - and -
shape; because of name - and - shape, sense; because of sense, contact; ... Such is the
uprising of the entire mass of ill.
Even we do not will nor intend to do, yet if we are
occupied about something, this too results in the same. But if we neither will, nor intend
to do, nor are occupied about something, there is no becoming of an object for the
persistence of consciousness. The object being absent, there comes to be no station of
consciousness. Consciousness not being stationed or growing, there comes to pass no
descent of name - and - shape; hence cessation of sense..., of contact... of feeling... of
craving... of becoming... of birth... of decay- and death. Such is the cessation of this
entire mass of ill". (27)
(" Yanca, bhikkhave, ceteti yanca pakappeti
yanacaanuseti // ārammanam etam hoti vinnānassa thitiyā // ārammane sati patitthā
vinnānassa hoti// tasmim patitthite vinnāne virulhe nāmaruųpassa avakkanti hoti // //
Nāmaruųpapaccayā salāyatanam // ... pe...Evam etassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandh-assa
samudayo hoti // //
No ce, bhikkhave, ceteti no ca pakappeti atha ce anuseti
// ārammanam etam hoti vinnānassa thitiyā // ārammane sati patitthā vinnānassa hoti
// // Tasmim patitthite vinnāne viruųlhe nāmaruųpassa avakkanti hoti // //
Nāmaruųpapaccayā salāyatanam // pe... // Evam etassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa
samudayo hoti // //
Ya ca kho, bhikkhave, no ceteti no ca pakappeti no ca
anuseti // ārammanam etam no hoti vinnānassa thitiyā //... pe ... // Evam etassa
kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa nirodho hotė ti //"). (28)
This quotation says to us Activities are one's Kamma which
is the cause of sufferings in this life and the cause of taking rebirth.
What is consciousness? -Lord Buddha taught:
" These are the six groups of consciousness:
Eye - consciousness, ear - consciousness,
smell-consciousness, taste - consciousness, touch -consciousness, and mind -
("Katamanca, bhikkhave, vinnānam // Chayime,
bhikkhave, vinnānakāyā // Cakkhuvinnānam sotavinnānam ghānavinnānam jivhāvinnānam
kāyavinnānam manovinnānam // Idam vuccati, bhikkhave, vinnānam //") (30)
It is explained that:
" And why, brethren, do you say Consciousness?
One is conscious, brethren. Therefore the word
"Consciousness" is used. Conscious of what? of [flavour] sour or bitter, acrid
or sweet, alkaline or non - alkaline, saline or non - saline. One is conscious, brethren.
That is why the word "Consciousness" is used". (31)
("Kinca, bhikkhave, vinnānam vadetha //
vijānātėti kho, bhikkhave tasmā vinnānamti vuccati // kinca vijānāti // ambilam pi
vijānāti // tittakam pi vijānātiė // katukam pi vijānāti madhukam pi vijānāti /
khārikam pi vijānāti // akhārikam pi vijānāti // lonakam pi vijānāti // alonakam
pi vijānāti // vijānātėėti kho, bhikkhave, tasmā vinnānan ti vuccati //").
The commentators of Suttas explained the word
- It means awareness (Sanjānāti ). -
- It means discrimination (Vijānāti ). -
- It means decision (Pajānāti ).
Being conscious of the six sense - objects, as LordBuddha
affirmed, is the source of man's knowledges, man's attachment to the world and man's
sufferings. It conditions name - and - form and other elements, so it is recognized as the
subject of cognition, the object of cognition and the content of it. It exists in all
mental, oral and bodily activities.
What are Name-and-Form? - Lord Buddha defined:
" Feeling, Perception, Will, Contact, work of
mind; this is called Name.The four great elements and the form derived from them; this is
called form. This is the Name, this is the Form called Name-and-Form". (33)
("Katamanca, bhikkhave, nāmarupam // Vedanā sannā
cetanā phasso manasikāro // idam vuccati nāmam // Cattāro ca mahābhuøtā catunnanca
mahābhuøtānam upādāya ruøpam idam vuccati rupam // Iti idanca nāmam idanca
ruųpam//Idam vuccati nāmaruųpam //".) (34)
Feeling, Perception, Will, Contact, Work of mind, from the
above teaching, are of the aggregates of Feeling, Perception, Will and Consciousness; Form
is Form Aggregate. Name - and - Form are therefore the five Aggregates of man
In the discourse of Mahānidāna (Length Sayings -
Dėghanikāya), Lord Buddha gave more explanation:
" I have said that cognition is the cause of
Name-and-Form. Now in what way that is so, Ānanda, is to be understood after this manner.
Were cognition not to descend into the mother's womb, would Name-and-Form become
constitued therein? - It would not, Lord. Were cognition, after having descended into the
mother's womb, to be extinct, would Name-and-Form come to birth in this state of being? It
would not, Lord. Were cognition to be extirpated from one yet young, youth or maiden,
would Name-and-Form attain to growth, development, expansion? - It would not, Lord.
Wherefore, Ānanda, just that is the ground, the basis,
the genesis, the cause of Name-and-Form, to wit, cognition". (35)
("Vinnāna - paccayā nāma - rupan ti" iti kho
pan'etam vuttam, tad Ānanda iminā p'etam pariyāyena veditabbam yathā vinnāna -
paccayā nāma - rupam. Vinnānam va hi Ānanda mātu kucchim na okkamissatha, api nu kho
nāmarupam mātu kucchismim samucchissathāti ?".
" No h'etam, bhante".
" Vinnānam va hi Ānanda mātu kucchim okkamitvā
vokkasissatha, api nu kho nāma - rupam thattaāya abhinibbattissathāti?".
" No h'etam bhante".
" Vinnānam va hi Ānanda, daharass" eva sato
vocchijjissatha kumārassa vā kumārikāya vā, api nu kho nāma ruųpam vuddhim,
'No h'etam bhante?'. '
Tasmāt ih' Ānanda es'eva hetu etam nidānam esa samudayo
esa paccayo nāma rupassa, yadidam vinnānam".) (36)
In the relationship of the twelve elements of the
Dependent Origination, as disclosed in the quotations mentioned above it will not be right
to say that Name - and - Form and Consciousness are the same or different from each other,
because they really are not entities having a fixed nature, but relate closely to each
other: In consciousness (or Cognition) exist the other eleven elements; also in Name - and
- Form exist the other eleven ones. Both come from Ignorance and both lead to suffering.
Sixfold sense sphere (Salāyatana):
What is sixfold sense sphere?
" The sense of eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and
mind. This is called sixfold sense". (37)
("Katamanca, bhikkhave, salāyatanam //
cakkhāyatanam sotāyatanam ghānāyatanam jivhāyatanam kāyāyatanam manāyatanam /Idam
vuccati, bhikkhave, salāyatanam //"). (38)
Saying the sixfold sense sphere means saying the meeting
of the six sense - organs and the six sense objects. When this meeting appears,
Consciousness appears; so the sixfold sense sphere itself implies ignorance and suffering.
What is Contact? The Buddha declared :
" There are these six groups of contact; eye-
contact, ear - contact, nose - contact, tongue - contact, body - contact, and mind -
contact. This is called Contact". (39)
("Katamo ca, bhikkhave, phasso // Chayime,
bhikkhave,phassakāyā // Cakkhusamphasso sotasamphasso ghānasamphasso jivhāsamph-asso
kāyasamphasso manosamphasso // Ayam vuccati, bhikkhave, phasso /".) (40)
Contact is only the meeting of three elements: sense
organ, sense object and the consciousness regarding to the sense organ. This also means
the meeting of the subject of cognition, the object of cognition and the content of
cognition. Contact is therefore the manifestation of consciousness or ignorance, or
What is feeling? - Similarly, Lord Buddha taught:
"There are these six groups of feeling: feeling that
is born of eye - contact, feeling that is born of ear -contact, feeling that is born of
nose - contact, feeling that is born of tongue - contact feeling that is born of body -
contact, feeling that is born of mind - contact. This is called feeling". (41)
("Katamā ca, bhikkhave, vedanā // Chayime,
bhikkhave, vedanākāyā // cakkhu - samphassajā vedanā // sotasamphassajā vedanā
//kāyasamphassajā vedanā // manosamphassajā vedanā//Ayam vuccati, bhikkave, vedanā
There are three kinds of feeling as they are often
introduced in many discourses recorded in Pancanikāya: happy feeling, painful feeling and
The happy feeling always produces more craving or desire
in one's mind. The painful one always produces anger. The last one always fosters
illusion. Feeling is, therefore, the source nurturing desire, anger and illusion. It
really is the maker of rebirth and suffering.
What is craving? - Lord Buddha showed:
" There are these six groups of craving: craving for
things seen, for things heard, for odours, for tastes, for things tangible, for ideas.
This is called craving". (43)
("Katamā ca, bhikkhave, tanhā // Chayime,
bhikkhave, tanhākayā // Ruâpatanhā saddatanhā gandhatanhā rasatanhā
photthabbatanhā dhammatanhā // Ayam vuccati, bhikkhave, tanhā //". (44)
In the discourse of Right View (Sammādi-tthisuttam),
Mahāthera Sāriputta mentioned three groups of craving as follows:
" And what, your reverences, is the uprising of
anguish? That craving which is connected with again - becoming, accompanied by delight and
attachment, finding delight in this and that, namely the craving for sense pleasures, the
craving for becoming, and the craving for annihilation-this, your reverences, is called
the origin of anguish". (45)
(" Katamo c'āvuso, dukkhasamudayo: Yā'yam tanhā
ponobhavikā nandirāgasahagatā tatratatrābhinandinė, seyyathėdam : Kāmata-nhā
bhavatanhā vibhavatanhā, ayam vuccat'āvuso dukkhasamudayo".) (46)
Craving for pleasures means craving for the satisfaction
of forms, sounds, odours, tastes and touches. This means sensual pleasures.
Craving for becoming (bhava) means craving for existence,
survival in good states of life, or in happier and more delicate states of existence.
Craving for annihilation means craving for non - existence
because of the tiresome existence.
As everybody can experience in his daily life, one comes
into existence to live with his thirst for happiness and pleasures derived from the six
sense - objects. But, unfortunately, everything , every pleasure changes from moment to
moment, and this brings man doleful sufferings and makes man's desires burst into flames.
The more his desires burst into flames, the more suffering he experiences... This says
that craving means the root cause of suffering, or suffering itself.
What is grasping? - The Buddha said:
" There are the four graspings; grasping of desire,
grasping of opinion, grasping of rule and ritual, and grasping of soul - theory.This is
called grasping". (47)
(" Katamanca, bhikkhave, upādānam // Cattarimāni,
bhikkhave, upādānāni // Kāmupādānam ditthupādānam sėlabbatupā-dānam
attavādupādānam // Idam vuccati, bhikkhave, upādanam //".) (48)
The truth of suffering of life forces men to grasp their
desire and what they desire for as a means to look for happiness. Men then come to
consider their desire and thought as what of their Self, and consider their Self true.
This phenomenon produces the grasping of desire, opinion and soul-theory and strengthens
ignorance and suffering. On the other hand, their "self - thought" also produces
craving for and grasping of things.
What is becoming? It is defined that:
" There are these becomings: becoming in Kāma
(worlds), becoming in Rupa (worlds), and becoming in Aruøpa (worlds)". (49)
("Katamo ca, bhikkhave, bhavo // Tayo me, bhikkhave,
bhavā // Kāmabhavo ruųpabhavo arųpabhavo//Ayam vuccati, bhikkhave, bhavo".) (50)
Becoming means existence. It shows states in which beings
exist. Kāma worlds are the worlds where beings desire for forms, sounds, smells, tastes
and touches. Ruøpaworlds are states where beings desire for delicate forms, existence and
survival. Aruøpa worlds are spheres where beings are tired of sensual desire and even
desire for existence; they tend to desire for non - existence.
Becoming is therefore the manifestation of craving.
What is birth? It is explained as follows.
" That which, of this and that being in this or
that group, is birth, continuous birth, descent, reproductive, appearance of component
factors' acquiring of sense - spheres. This is called birth".(51)
(" Katamā ca, bhikkhave, jāti // Yā tesam
sattānam tamhi tamhi sattanikāye jāti sanjāti okkanti abhinibbatti khandhānam
pātubhāvo āyatanānam patilābho//Ayam vuccati, bhikkhave, jāti//".) (52)
For human beings, the appearance of name - and - form, or
the five aggregates, is called birth. So, birth is the appearance of ignorance and
Old Age and Death (Jāra - marana):
" What is old age and death? - It means that:
"That which, of this or that being, in this and that group, is decay, drecrepitute,
breaking up, hoariness, wrinkling of skin, shrinkage of a life - span, over - ripeness of
faculties: this is called old - age. That which of this or that being from this or that
group, is falling or decease, separation, disappearance, mortality or dying,
accomplishment of time: separation of component factors, layingdown of the carcase: this
is called death. Thus, it is this decay and this dying that is called old - age and
("Katamanca, bhikkhave, jarāmaranam // Yā tesam
tesam sattānam tamhi tamhi sattanikāye jarā jėranatā khandiccam pāliccam
valittaccatā āyuno samhāni indriyānam paripāko // ayam vuccati jarā // Yam tesam
sattānam tesam tamhā tamhā sattanikāyā cuticavanatā bhedo antaradhānam maccumaranam
kālakiriyā khandhānam bhedo kalebarassa nikkhepo // idam vuccati maranam // Iti ayanca
jarā idanca maranam // Idam vuccati, bhikkhave, jarāmaranam //".) (54)
Old - age - and - death itself is suffering to men. It is
the image of destruction of conditioned things which is contrary to men's desire for
survival. Thus, it seems so terrible to everybody.
Above are meanings of the twelve elements of Dependent
Origination explained by Lord Buddha. The operation of those elements will make up what is
called the whole existence of a man that the writer is going to examine.
II.1.3. THE OPERATION OF THE TWELVE
ELEMENTS OF DEPENDENT ORIGINATION.
Under the Bodhi - tree, Lord Buddha thought:
* Without birth, suffering cannot come into existence;
* Without becoming, birth cannot come into existence;
* Without grasping, becoming cannot be present;
* Without craving, grasping cannot be present;
* Without feeling, craving cannot be present;
* Without contact, feeling cannot be present;
* Without sixfold sense sphere, contact cannot be present;
* Without name - and - form, sixfold sense sphere cannot be present;
* Without consciousness, Name - and - form cannot be present;
* Without activities, consciousness cannot be present;
* Without ignorance, activities cannot be present;
So, Ignorance is the source of life stream of suffering.
But it is conditioned, not the first cause of life as Lord Buddha said:
"Monks, the extreme point of ignorance is not
apparent, so that one may say: "ignorance was not before; it has since come to
be". And this statement, monks, is made. Nevertheless, this thing is apparent:
ignorance is conditioned by this or that". (55)
("Purimā, bhikkhave, koti na pannayati avijjāya
"ito pubbe avijjā nāhosi, atha pacchā sambhavė ti, evan c'etam, bhikkhave
vuccati. Atha ca pana pannāyati "idappaccayā avijjā'ti".) (56)
Ignoring that everything is conditioned is ignorance.
Supposing that everything has its own self which ispermanent is ignorance. From this
ignorance, a man comes to attach to that imaginary self, and again produces ignorance and
nurtures it. From this wrong view and thought, he comes to look for the truth of his self,
and the first cause of the world. His self - thought makes arise his craving, ill - will
and illusion which are the motives of his mental, bodily, and oral activities. This causes
him so much trouble.
When his self-thought operates, consciousness must be
present and operates; this operation requires the presence of the subject of cognition
(meaning consciousness), the object of cognition (meaning name - and - form, or sixfold
sense sphere, or the outer world) and the meeting of that subject and object (meaning
Touch) is present. At that moment, feeling immediately appears. So, all the elements:
ignorance, activities, consciousness, name - and - form, six fold sense sphere, touch and
feeling co - exist in any process of mental operation.
Feeling includes mental reaction which is craving or ill -
will or illusion, or two of these three things. Craving itself implies grasping (or
attachment to things). They are boundless, and manifest under endless forms. This requires
the existence of the worlds or tibhava. In short, when a man' self - thought operates,
twelve elements of the Dependent Origination all are present. These elements are selfless
and impermanent, so they lead the man to unsatisfied feeling.
Therefore, a man is nothing but the operation of those
twelve elements leading to suffering, if his mind isdominated by self - thought. In the
case of non - self thought, or the realization of Dependent Origination, operates in his
mind, this operation will lead to the destruction of those twelve elements, or the
destruction of suffering. Then the man appears as the one of non - self regard to things,
and of happiness in the here - and -now. He actually proves that the long cherished dream
of him and of education comes true.
It is, in reality, self - thought or non - self - thought
of men which creates all values of things, gives estimate to them, and opens the course of
human beings' culture. The current culture, in general view, has been made up and
controlled by self - thought (or avijjā) which has produced a multitude of points of view
on life, on universe and human values, and also individual, social crises. The solutions
to these crises may be found in the operation of non - self thought coming from the wisdom
regard of Dependent Origination which will be mentioned in next part of this work (II.2.).
(1) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II., PTS, London, 1990, pp
(2) : Samyutta-Nikāya, Vol. II, PTS, London, 1989, pp 1-2.
(3) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II,..., p. 21.
(4) : Samyutta-Nikāya, Vol. II,..., p. 25
(5) : Kindred Sayings, vol. II,..., p. 22.
(6) : Samyutta-Nikāya, Vol. II,..., p. 26
(7) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. III, PTS, London, 1992, p. 103.
(8) : Samyutta-Nikāya, Vol. III, PTS, London, 1975, p. 120.
(9) : Middle Length Sayings, Vol. I, PTS, London, 1987, pp. 236-237.
(11) : "The Great Discourse on Origination", Long Discourses, tr. by Maurice
Walshe, Wisdom Publications, London, 1987, p. 50.
(12) : "Mahānidāna Suttanta", Digha-Nikāya, Vol. II, PTS, London, 1982, pp.
(13) : "Great Discourse on Subline Story",..., p. 211.
(14) : "Mahāpadāna-Sutta", Dėgha-Nikāya, Vol. II, PTS, London, 1982, pp.
(15) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II, PTS, London, 1990, p. 50.
(16) : Samyutta-Nikāya, Vol. II, PTS, London, 1989, p. 72.
(17) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II,..., pp. 26-27.
(18) : Samyutta-Nikaya, Vol. II,..., pp. 31-32.
(19) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. Ii,..., p. 4.
(20) : Samyutta-Nikāya, Vol. II,..., p. 4.
(21) : "Discourse on Right View", Middle Length Sayings, Vol. I, PTS, London,
1987, p. 70.
(22) : "Sammāditthisuttam Navamam", Majjhima Nikāya, Vol. I, PTS, London,
1987, p. 55.
(23) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II,..., p. 4.
(24) : Samyutta-Nikāya, Vol. II,..., p. 4.
(25) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. III, PTS, London, 1992, p.53.
(26) : Samyutta-Nikāya, Vol. III, PTS, London, 1975, p. 60.
(27) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II, PTS, London, 1987, p. 46.
(28) : Samyutta-Nikāya, Vol. II, PTS, London, 1989, p. 66.
(29) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II,..., p. 4.
(30) : Samyutta-Nikāya, Vol. II,... p. 4.
(31) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. III,... p. 74.
(32) : Samyutta-Nikāya, Vol. III,... p. 87.
(33) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II,..., p. 4.
(34) : Samyutta-Nikāya, Vol. II,... p. 3-4.
(35) : "Great Discourse on Origination", Long Discourses, tr. by Maurice
Walshe,..., p. 226
(36) : "Mahānidāna-Sutta", Dėgha-Nikāya, Vol. II, PTS, London, 1982,
(37) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II,..., p. 4.
(38) : Samyutta-Nikāya, Vol. II,... p. 3.
(39) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II,..., p. 4.
(40) : Samyutta-Nikāya, Vol. II,..., p. 3.
(41) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II,..., p. 4.
(42) : Samyutta-Nikāya, Vol. II,... p. 3.
(43) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II,..., p. 4.
(44) : Samyutta-Nikāya, Vol. II,... p. 3.
(45) : "Discourse on Right View", Middle Length Sayings, Vol. I, PTS, London,
1987, p. 60
(46) : "Sammāditthi-Sutta", Majjhima Nikāya, Vol. I, PTS, London, 1976, pp.
(47) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II,..., p. 4.
(48) : Samyutta-Nikāya, Vol. II,... p. 3.
(49) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II,..., p. 3.
(50) : Samyutta-Nikāya, Vol. II,..., p. 3.
(51) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II,..., p. 3.
(52) : Samyutta-Nikāya, Vol. II,..., p. 3.
(53) : Kindred Sayings, Vol. II,..., p. 3.
(54) : Samyutta-Nikāya, Vol., II,..., pp. 2-3.
(55) : Gradual Sayings, Vol. V, PTS, London, 1986, p. 78.
(56) : Anguttara-Nikāya, Vol. V, PTS, London, 1958, p. 113
| Part 1.2 | Part 2.1 | Part 2.2 |
Part 3.1 | Part 3.2 |
Part 4.1 | Part 4.2 | Part 5.1 | Part 5.2 | Biography | Contents
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