* 1 Etymology and meaning
* 1.1 Conditioned causality, not Newtonian causality
* 2 Dependent origination
* 3 Application in Buddhist teachings
* 4 Understanding within the Buddhist traditions
* 4.1 Theravāda and Sarvāstivāda
* 4.2 Mahayana
* 5 Scholarly interpretations * 6 See also * 7 Notes * 8 Quotes * 9 References
* 10 Sources
* 10.1 Printed sources * 10.2 Web-sources
* 11 Further reading * 12 External links
ETYMOLOGY AND MEANING
Pratityasamutpada (Sanskrit: प्रतीत्यसमुत्पाद) consists of two terms:
* pratitya: "having depended"; it appears in various
Upanishads, such as hymns 4.5.14, 7.68.6 of the
Rigveda and 19.49.8 of
Atharvaveda , in the sense of "confirmation, dependence, acknowledge
The term has been translated into English variously as dependent origination, dependent arising, interdependent co-arising, conditioned arising, and conditioned genesis.
The term may also refer to the Twelve Nidānas , the twelvefold chain that describes the chain of endless rebirth in Saṃsāra (Buddhism) . Generally speaking, in the Mahayana tradition, pratityasamutpada (Sanskrit) is used to refer to the general principle of interdependent causation, whereas in the Theravada tradition, paticcasamuppāda (Pali) is used to refer to the twelve nidanas.
According to Alex Wayman, the idea of "dependent origination" may
precede the birth of the Buddha, and the first four causal links
starting with Avidya in the
Twelve Nidanas are found in cosmic
development theory of the
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad and other older
Vedic texts. Terms synonymous to
CONDITIONED CAUSALITY, NOT NEWTONIAN CAUSALITY
The concept of causality and causal efficacy where "cause produces an effect because a property or svadha (energy) is inherent in something", appears extensively in the Indian thought in the Vedic literature of the 2nd millennium BCE, such as the 10th mandala of the Rigveda and the Brahmanas layer of the Vedas . The Pratityasamutpada doctrine is an extension of this, however pratityasamutpada doctrine asserts neither direct Newtonian-like causality nor a single causality. Rather, it asserts an indirect conditioned causality and a plural causality.
Buddhist thought, states Gethin, does not understand causality in
terms of Newtonian mechanics, where "billiard balls rebound off each
other in an entirely predictable manner once the relevant information
is gathered". The "causal link" propositions in
According to Peter Harvey, Pratityasamutpada is an ontological
principle; that is, a theory to explain the nature and relations of
being, becoming, existence and ultimate reality.
He who sees the Paṭiccasamuppāda sees the Dhamma; He who sees the Dhamma sees the Paṭiccasamuppāda. — Majjhima Nikaya 1.190, Translated by David Williams
Against Harvey's ontological interpretation, Eviatar Shulman argues that "dependent-origination addresses the workings of the mind alone. Dependent-origination should be understood to be no more than an inquiry into the nature of the self (or better, the lack of a self). Viewing pratitya-samutpada as a description of the nature of reality in general means investing the words of the earlier teachings with meanings derived from later Buddhist discourse." Shulman grants that there are some ontological implications that may be gleaned from dependent origination, but that at its core it is concerned with "identifying the different processes of mental conditioning and describing their relations".
According to Stephen Laumakis, pratītyasamutpāda is also an
epistemological principle; that is, a theory about how we gain correct
and incorrect knowledge about being, becoming, existence and reality.
The 'dependent origination' doctrine, states Peter Harvey, "highlights
the Buddhist notion that all apparently substantial entities within
the world are in fact wrongly perceived. We live under the illusion
that terms such as 'I', self, mountain, tree, etc. denote permanent
and stable things. The doctrine teaches this is not so." There is
nothing permanent (anicca ), nothing substantial, no unique individual
self in the nature of becoming and existence (anatta ), because
everything is a result of "dependent origination". There are no
independent objects and independent subjects, according to the
APPLICATION IN BUDDHIST TEACHINGS
The 'dependent origination' doctrine is presented in Vinaya Pitaka 1.1–2, in abbreviated form in Samyutta Nikaya 2.1, 2.19 and 2.76. The doctrine is a key element in other Buddhist teachings.
FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS
The twelve nidanas apply the
The Four Noble Truths are an expression of the principle of dependent origination, states Bhikkhu Thanissaro , because they explain the arising of dukkha which is dependently originated, and the cessation of dukkha by removing the "causes." Others, such as Étienne Lamotte offer a more nuanced view, stating that only the second and third truths in the Four Noble Truths are related to the principle of dependent origination, the first and the fourth truths are mere statements and do not illustrate or apply pratītyasamutpāda doctrine.
Even in the case of those two truths where dependent origination is applied, the order is different; more specifically, the second truth applies dependent origination in a direct order, while the third truth applies it in inverse order. Thus, the Four Noble Truths and the pratītyasamutpāda doctrines are connected, but independent and separate, not implied.
The pratītyasamutpāda doctrine connects the Four Noble Truths to the Twelve Nidanas doctrine of Buddhism, states Ian Harris. The second truth is compatible with the twelve 'dependently originated' links from Avidya to Jaramarana (old-age and death). The third truth is compatible with its reversal, which results from the broken link because of an end to Avidya.
THE TWELVE NIDANAS
Main article: Twelve Nidānas
The Twelve Nidanas are a series of causal links that describe the process of samsaric rebirth and the arising of dukkha. In reverse order they also describe the way to liberation from samsara. Each of the twelve links illustrate "dependent origination", and they explain the process of rebirth and the arising of dukkha. When certain conditions are present, they give rise to subsequent conditions, which in turn give rise to other conditions; these 'conditioned arising' result in the cyclical nature of rebirths and redeaths in Samsara .
The attainment of nirvana, in Buddhist belief, ends the process of rebirth and associated dukkha. It is achieved by breaking a link in the twelve nidanas (links) of conditioned co-arising.
Karma theory of
According to Nagarjuna, the second causal link (sankhara , motivations) and the tenth causal link (bhava , gestation) are two karmas through which sentient beings trigger seven sufferings identified in the Twelve Nidanas, and from this arises the revolving rebirth cycles.
To be liberated from samsara and dukkha, asserts Buddhism, the 'dependent origination' doctrine implies that the karmic activity must cease. One aspect of this 'causal link breaking' is to destroy the "deeply seated propensities, festering predilections" (asavas ) which are karmic causal flow because these lead to rebirth.
LIVES OF A PERSON
The Buddhist mechanistic theory of how karma impacts across multiple lives of a being are explained in medieval Buddhist texts by applying the "dependent origination" doctrine on one life of a single person, two lives of a single person, and three lives of a single person. The "three lives" idea was discussed by Buddhaghosa and Vasubandhu .
The first two nidanas, namely ignorance (nescience) and motivation relate to the previous life and forecast the destiny of the person. The next five dependent arising links in the Twelve Nidanas, go with the person's present destiny, and condition the present life's existence. The next three dependent originations, namely craving, indulgence and gestation foster the fruits of the present destiny, while the eleventh and twelfth nidanas, birth and death destine the next life in Buddhist thought.
The details of the three lives have historically varied between the Buddhist traditions, but they all accept the rebirth and dependent origination doctrines.
UNDERSTANDING WITHIN THE BUDDHIST TRADITIONS
THERAVāDA AND SARVāSTIVāDA
Within the Theravada Buddhist tradition, the twelve nidanas are considered to be the most significant application of the principle of dependent origination. One interpretation holds that the twelve nidanas span three temporal divisions, with the first two nidanas as chains of causation from past lives, the third to the tenth nidanas relate to present life beginning with the descent of consciousness into the womb, and the last two nidanas (birth and death) represent the future lives conditioned by the present causes. These twelve nidanas explain the dependent origination of Skandha (five aggregates). This model is associated with the Theravada scholar Buddhaghosa (c. fifth century AD) of the Sri Lankan Mahavihara tradition and is outlined in his influential Visuddhimagga . Because of his vast influence in the development of Theravada scholasticism, this model has been very influential in the Theravada school. According to Akira Hirakawa and Paul Groner, this "embryological" interpretation which links dependent origination with rebirth was also promoted by the Sarvastivadin school (a north Indian branch of the Sthavira nikāya ) as evidenced by the Abhidharmakosa of Vasubandhu .
Another Theravada interpretation of the twelve links sees them as explaining psychological or phenomenological processes in the present moment. In Buddhaghosa's Sammohavinodani, a commentary to the Vibhanga of the Abhidhamma Pitaka , the principle of Dependent Origination is explained as occurring entirely within the space of one mind moment. According to Prayudh Payutto there is material in the Vibhanga which discusses both models, the three lifetimes model and the phenomenological mind moment model.
This thesis is also defended by Bhikkhu Buddhadasa 's Paticcasamuppada: Practical Dependent Origination. In this interpretation, Birth and Death refer not to physical birth and death, but to the birth and death of our self-concept, the "emergence of the ego". According to Buddhadhasa: "dependent arising is a phenomenon that lasts an instant; it is impermanent. Therefore, Birth and Death must be explained as phenomena within the process of dependent arising in everyday life of ordinary people. Right Mindfulness is lost during contacts of the Roots and surroundings. Thereafter, when vexation due to greed, anger, and ignorance is experienced, the ego has already been born. It is considered as one 'birth'".
The Abhidharmakosa also outlines three other models of the 12 links that were used by the Sarvastivada schools apart from the three lifetimes model:
* Instantaneous – All 12 links are present in the same instant. * Prolonged – The interdependence and causal relationship of dharmas or phenomenal events arising at different times. * Serial – The causal relationship of the twelve links arising and ceasing in continuous series of moments.
Discussing the three lifetimes model, Alex Wayman states that it is
different from the
Vajrayana view, because Theravadins denied bardo or
an intermediate state between death and rebirth. This denial
necessitated placing the first two nidanas of the "dependent
origination" chain into the past life. The Tibetan
Main article: Madhyamaka
In the Madhyamaka, to say that an object is "empty" is synonymous
with saying that it is dependently originated.
Whatever arises dependently
Is explained as empty. Thus dependent attribution Is the middle way.
Since there is nothing whatever That is not dependently existent, For that reason there is nothing Whatsoever that is not empty.
In his analysis, svabhāva is somewhat redefined from the Theravada
interpretation to mean: inherent existence or self-characterization.
* I prostrate to the best of teachers the perfect Buddha, who taught that whatever is dependently arisen is unceasing and unborn, * not annihilated nor permanent, not coming nor going, without distinction or identity and free from conceptual construction. * If all of this is empty neither arising nor ceasing then for you it follows that The Four Noble Truths do not exist. * If the Four Noble Truths do not exist then knowledge, abandonment, meditation and manifestation will be completely impossible. * If these things do not exist, The four fruits will not arise. Without the four fruits, there will be no-one attaining the fruits nor will there be the faithful. * If so, then the spiritual community will not exist nor will the eight kinds of person. If the Four Noble Truths do not exist, there will be no true Dharma. * If there is no doctrine and spiritual community, How can there be a Buddha? If emptiness is conceived in this way the three jewels are contradicted. * Hence you assert that there are no real fruits. And no Dharma. The Dharma itself and the conventional truth will be contradicted. * The Buddha's teaching of the Dharma Is based on two truths: a truth of worldly convention and an ultimate truth. * Those who do not understand the distinction drawn between these two truths do not understand the Buddha's profound truth. * Without a foundation in the conventional truth the significance of the ultimate cannot be taught. Without understanding the significance of the ultimate liberation is not achieved. * By a misconception of emptiness a person of little intelligence is destroyed. Like a snake incorrectly seized or like a spell incorrectly cast. * For that reason—that the Dharma is deep and difficult to understand and learn—The Buddha's mind despaired of being able to teach it."
Dzogchen tradition of Tibetan
* Appearance (relative truth) refers to the concept that all appearances are dependently originated; * Emptiness (absolute or ultimate truth) refers to the concept that the "nature" of all phenomena is emptiness—lacking inherent existence.
In Mipham Rinpoche 's Beacon of Certainty, this relationship is explained using the metaphor of the reflection of the moon in water. According to this metaphor:
* The nature of all phenomena is like the reflection of the moon in water—completely lacking inherent existence. However, * The appearance of the moon in the water is an expression of dependent origination—the appearance is completely dependent upon causes and conditions.
One of the founders of Tibetan Buddhism, Padmasambhava , emphasized his respect for this relationship as follows:
Though my View is as spacious as the sky,
My actions and respect for cause and effect are as fine as grains of flour.
Hua Yen School
Huayan school taught the doctrine of the mutual containment and
interpenetration of all phenomena, as expressed in Indra\'s net . One
thing contains all other existing things, and all existing things
contain that one thing. This philosophy is based in the tradition of
Thich Nhat Hanh
Jay Garfield states that
Mulamadhyamikakarika uses the causal
relation to understand the nature of reality, and of our relation to
it. This attempt is similar to the use of causation by Hume, Kant, and
Schopenhauer as they present their arguments.
The concept of pratītyasamutpāda has also been compared to the Western philosophy of metaphysics , the study of the nature of being and ultimate reality. Schilbrack states says that the doctrine of interdependent origination seems to fit the definition of a metaphysical teaching, by questioning whether there is anything at all. Hoffman disagrees, and asserts that pratītyasamutpāda should not be considered a metaphysical doctrine in the strictest sense, since it does not confirm nor deny specific entities or realities.
Noa Ronkin states that while Buddha suspends all views regarding certain metaphysical questions, he is not an antimetaphysician: nothing in the texts suggests that metaphysical questions are completely meaningless, instead Buddha taught that sentient experience is dependently originated and that whatever is dependently originated is conditioned, impermanent, subject to change, and lacking independent selfhood.
* ^ The term pratītyasamutpāda been translated into English as
conditioned arising, conditioned genesis, dependent arising,
dependent co-arising, or dependent origination
* ^ The pre-Buddhist Vedic era theories on causality mention four
types of causality, all of which
* ^ The Dalai
Lama explains: "In
* ^ Harvey 1990 , p. 54, Quote: "The main concrete application of
the abstract principle is in the form of a series of conditioned links
(nidanas), culminating in the arising of dukkha.".
* ^ Harvey 1990 , p. 54, Quote: "This states the principle of
conditionality, that all things, mental and physical, arise and exist
due to the presence of certain conditions, and cease once their
conditions are removed: nothing (except Nibbana) is independent. The
doctrine thus complements the teaching that no permanent, independent
self can be found.".
* ^ A B Hopkins 1983 , p. 163.
* ^ ऋग्वेद: सूक्तं ७.६८, Rigveda
7.68.6, Wikisource; Quote: उत त्यद्वां
हविर्दे । अधि यद्वर्प
इतऊति धत्थः ॥६॥
* ^ A B Monier Monier-Williams (1872). A Sanskrit-English
Dictionary. Oxford University Press. p. 623.
* ^ Monier Monier-Williams (1872). A Sanskrit-English Dictionary.
Oxford University Press. p. 1078.
* ^ Lopez 2001 , p. 29, Quote: "Dependent origination has two
meanings in Buddhist thought. The first refers to the twelvefold
sequence of causation... The second meaning of dependent origination
is a more general one, the notion that everything comes into existence
in dependence on something else. It is this second meaning that
Rinpoche (2012), Journey to Certainty, Wisdom Publications
Bhikkhu Thanissaro (2008), The Shape of Suffering: A study of
Dependent Co-arising (PDF), Metta Forest Monastery
* Bowker, John, ed. (1997), The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions
Lama (1992), The Meaning of Life, translated and edited by
Jeffrey Hopkins, Wisdom
* Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse (2011), What Makes You Not a Buddhist,
Shambhala, Kindle Edition
* Edelglass, William; et al. (2009), Buddhist Philosophy: Essential
Readings, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-532817-2
* Garfield, Jay L. (1994), Dependent Arising and the Emptiness of
Emptiness: Why did
* ^ spokensanskrit.de, samutpada
* ^ A B Encyclopædia Britannica. "
* Bucknell, Roderick S. (1999). Conditioned Arising Evolves:
Variation and Change in Textual Accounts of the Paticca-samuppada
Doctrine, Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies
23 (2), 311-342
Geshe Sonam Rinchen (2006). How
Karma Works: The Twelve Links of
Dependent Arising. Snow Lion
* Gethin, Rupert (1998). Foundations of Buddhism. Oxford: Oxford
University Press. (Chapter 6, pp. 133–162)
Khandro Rinpoche (2003). This Precious Life. Shambala
* Maha-nidana Sutta * The Shape of Suffering: A study of Dependent Co-arising, Bhikkhu Thanissaro (2008) * The Doctrine of Paticcasamuppada by U Than Daing * A Discourse on Paticcasamuppada by Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw * Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta * Upanisa Sutta translation by Bhikkhu Thanissaro * A Translation and Exposition of the Upanisa Sutta by Bhikkhu Bodhi
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