DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
User avatar
acinteyyo
Posts: 1055
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:48 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Neuburg/Donau, Germany

Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby acinteyyo » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:57 pm

rowyourboat wrote:It is best to keep this admonition in mind when dealing with matters of DO. Ven Ananda, a stream entrant, the Buddha's close attendant and collector of the dhamma (dhamma baandagarika) from the Buddha and other Arahanths, speaks prematurely:

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was living among the Kurus. Now, the Kurus have a town named Kammasadhamma. There Ven. Ananda approached the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "It's amazing, lord, it's astounding, how deep this dependent co-arising is, and how deep its appearance, and yet to me it seems as clear as clear can be."

[The Buddha:] "Don't say that, Ananda. Don't say that. Deep is this dependent co-arising, and deep its appearance. It's because of not understanding and not penetrating this Dhamma that this generation is like a tangled skein, a knotted ball of string, like matted rushes and reeds, and does not go beyond transmigration, beyond the planes of deprivation, woe, and bad destinations.


Best not to jump into any conclusions that we can understand/edit/leave out bits of the DO. Its full meaning is probably in the realm of a Buddhas knowledge.
:anjali:

With metta

Matheesha

:goodpost: thanks for the reminder :anjali:
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

:anjali:

User avatar
Dmytro
Posts: 1161
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:24 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine
Contact:

Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby Dmytro » Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:30 am

Hi,

acinteyyo wrote:

This is rather misleading.


http://dhamma.ru/lib/paticcas.htm is just a compilation of Conditioned Arising links given in the Sutta.

Ven.Thanissaro Bhikkhu writes:

Another point of disagreement is over the question of how the factors of fabrication and ignorance came to be added to the basic list. Some scholars maintain that this was the result of a temporal development in the Buddha's teachings, either during his lifetime or after his passing away. However, if we examine the content of the added factors, we find that they are simply an elaboration of the mutual dependence between name-and-form and sensory consciousness, and do not add anything substantially new to the list. The three fabrications are simply another way of presenting name-and-form in their active role as shapers of consciousness. Bodily fabrication, the breath, is the active element of "form"; verbal fabrications, directed thought and evaluation, are the active element in the attention and intention sub-factors of "name"; while mental fabrications, feeling and perception, are identical with the feeling and perception under "name." Ignorance, on the other hand, is the type of consciousness that actively promotes inappropriate questioning in the verbal fabrication of evaluation, which in turn can lead to inappropriate attention in the factor of name-and-form.

It may seem redundant to have the factors of name-and-form on the one hand, and fabrications on the other, covering the same territory in two different configurations, but these configurations serve at least two practical purposes. First, the connection between ignorance and inappropriate questioning helps to pinpoint precisely what is wrong in the typical relationship between name-and-form and consciousness. As one modern teacher has put it, the verbal fabrications are the ones to watch out for. Second, the relationship between verbal fabrications on the one hand, and attention and intention on the other, mediated by consciousness, diagrams the double-tiered (and sometimes multi-tiered) relationships among mental events as they breed and feed on one another in the presence of consciousness. In the course of giving rise to suffering and stress, this incestuous interbreeding can fly out of hand, leading to many complex and intense patterns of suffering. However, its double-tiered quality can also be used — as we will see below — to help bring that suffering to an end.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... #part3-h-3
http://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Writ ... rising.pdf

Metta, Dmytro

Sylvester
Posts: 1655
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby Sylvester » Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:30 am

So, it's now clear that the Theravadins are divided into 2 camps over the meaning of "sankhara" in the "sankhara paccaya vinnana" nidana.

In the camp exemplified by Ven Nanavira, Ven Nanananda et al, you have the reading that "sankhara" in DO means intention PLUS the 3 sankharas outlined in MN 44.

On the other hand, you have those who argue (eg BB) that this occurence of sankhara in any DO discussion should be limited to sankhara as explained in SN 12.25 meaning only intention/sancetana.

I guess the distinction is important, especially if one's rebirth view happens to align to either of these camps...

User avatar
Dmytro
Posts: 1161
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:24 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine
Contact:

Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby Dmytro » Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:41 am

Hi Sylvester,

Sylvester wrote:So, it's now clear that the Theravadins are divided into 2 camps over the meaning of "sankhara" in the "sankhara paccaya vinnana" nidana.


There's a lot of interpretations. It depends on the basis of reference.

If one refers on the Pali Canon, and particularly its early parts, then one can find the clear explanation in Vibhanga .135 :

Kaayasa~ncetanaa kaayasa"nkhaaro, vaciisa~ncetanaa vaciisa"nkhaaro, manosa~ncetanaa cittasa"nkhaaro. Ime vuccanti “avijjaapaccayaa sa"nkhaaraa”.

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=5909

Ven. Analayo gives excellent references to the Sutta:

http://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamburg. ... nkhara.pdf

When there's no definite textual basis, there happens a "Wild West" of opinions.

Best wishes, Dmytro

Sylvester
Posts: 1655
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby Sylvester » Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:54 am

Thanks Dmytro.

From the looks of it, the redactors of the Vibhanga were partly inspired by SN 12.25, the Bhumija Sutta.

As I mentioned a little earlier elsewhere, while SN 12.25 uses manosancetana/manosankhara, SN 12.2 (also in the context of discussing "sankhara" within DO) used "cittasankhara". Interestingly, the Vibhanga quote you cited makes reference to "cittasankhara" instead of SN 12.25's "manosankhara".

I think one of the outcomes of reading DO's "sankhara" to mean the 3 sankharas of MN 44, instead of meaning sancetana, would be the suggestion that DO does NOT have a multiple-lifetime application. Instead of reading the first 2 nidanas as being in a past life, interpretations have been advanced that with the cessation of avijja, "conditioned" vedana and sanna (MN 44's cittasankhara) also end at the same time, thereby implying that the dhamma which is sahagata with the "unconditioned" vedana and sanna, ie consciousness, must also be an unconditioned consciousness.

Personally, while I was quite attracted to that interpretation previously, I think it is far easier to say that with the cessation of avijja, comes the cessation of intentions that lead to the establishment of consciousness. The establishment of consciousness is the condition for the descent of Namarupa (per DN 15).

I just find it difficult to dismiss the 3 Lives model, especially in the face of DN 15's discussion of Namarupa. I know Ven Thanissaro attempted to give an innovative reading to iddapaccayata's locative absolute construction, but you demolished that to bits here -

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=6014#p94684

(PS - I think the Dutiya Ariyasavaka Sutta should be SN 12.50, instead of SN 2.79?)

I have not seen Ven Nanavira or Ven Nanananda attempt to explain away the temporal future allowances of iddapaccayata.

User avatar
Dmytro
Posts: 1161
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:24 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine
Contact:

Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby Dmytro » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:10 am

Hi Sylvester,

Sylvester wrote:Personally, while I was quite attracted to that interpretation previously, I think it is far easier to say that with the cessation of avijja, comes the cessation of intentions that lead to the establishment of consciousness. The establishment of consciousness is the condition for the descent of Namarupa (per DN 15).


This reminds of Cetana sutta:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

I just find it difficult to dismiss the 3 Lives model, especially in the face of DN 15's discussion of Namarupa. I know Ven Thanissaro attempted to give an innovative reading to iddapaccayata's locative absolute construction, but you demolished that to bits here -

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=6014#p94684

(PS - I think the Dutiya Ariyasavaka Sutta should be SN 12.50, instead of SN 2.79?)


Well, that's a question of numbering.

User avatar
gavesako
Posts: 1416
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:16 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: England

Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby gavesako » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:05 pm

Unpopular facts about one of Buddhist philosophy’s most popular doctrines
January 27th, 2011 by Eisel Mazard, Guest Contributor · 8 Comments

Discarding Dependent Origination, Returning to the Primary Source of the 12-Links (十二因缘) in Theravada Buddhism.

http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandal ... doctrines/

-- apparently the whole purpose of this teaching is about the development of the embryo
:thinking:
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

ajahnchah.org - Teachings of Ajahn Chah in many languages
Dhammatube - Videos on Buddhist practice
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts

Sylvester
Posts: 1655
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby Sylvester » Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:48 am

gavesako wrote:Unpopular facts about one of Buddhist philosophy’s most popular doctrines
January 27th, 2011 by Eisel Mazard, Guest Contributor · 8 Comments

Discarding Dependent Origination, Returning to the Primary Source of the 12-Links (十二因缘) in Theravada Buddhism.

http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandal ... doctrines/

-- apparently the whole purpose of this teaching is about the development of the embryo
:thinking:


He's probably over-stating his case, although there is no denying DN 15's treatment of the vinnana-namarupa nidana does look like a literal, not metaphorical, discussion of the foetus and its development. Elsewhere the mutual dependance of the 2 are likened to 2 sheeves of reeds leaning against one another, but DN 15 does take this "vortex" in a more biological sense.

What is glaringly inadequate in Mazard's dismissal of the "3-Lives" model is the fact that he does not address the redundancy of "bhava" in his single-life model - bhava is already embedded in DN 15's vinnana-namarupa nidana, as namarupa's descent is dictated by the sort of bhava the consciousness is established in. There is another major flaw in his entire thesis - his interpretation is based on the silent assumption that each of the nidanas is a condition of "sufficiency", rather than a condition of "necessity".

rowyourboat
Posts: 1949
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: London, UK

Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby rowyourboat » Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:23 am

Hi Sylvester,

I had this idea (re: redundancies) of the DO, don't know if I am correct..that is that they are a way of bringing all the elements which need to be directly known through practice, into one formulation.

Pre-conscious (thinking of emergence from nirodhasamapatti) Avijja, Sankhara (in the sense of 'indistinct things coming into existence)
Aggregate, element, faculty (ultimate reality): consciousness, name-form, sense-base, contact, feeling
conventional/defilement (internal world/mental): craving, clinging
conventional/'external world (physical)': becoming, birth, suffering

i see the DO as an amazing summary, of the causes of suffering. So I don't think that any one rule (it is just this life, for example) applies.

Could you explain a bit more about necessary condition and sufficient condition?

with metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

Sylvester
Posts: 1655
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby Sylvester » Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:20 am

rowyourboat wrote:Could you explain a bit more about necessary condition and sufficient condition?


Hi Matheesha

Let me try.

A sufficient condition is one whose mere presence will guarantee the "consequence". On the other hand, a necessary condition may or may not be a sufficient condition that will guarantee the "consequence".

A necessary condition is one whose mere absence will guarantee the "consequence" not appearing. On the other hand, a sufficient condition may or may not be a necessary condition for its consequence.

To take a few nidanas as examples -

1. sankhara (as sancetana) is a sufficient condition for vinnana, if one accepts that -

what one intends, there is a support for the establishment of consciousness
: SN 12.38


implies that kamma will lead to rebirth.

2. namarupa and vinnana are clearly in a relationship of mutual necessity, as explained by DN 15's negative cases. It also appears to demonstrate sufficiency, to the extent that consciousness will cause the descent of namarupa.

3. between salayatana and contact, it is not a relationship of sufficiency. Tajjo samanaharo is also required, according to MN 28.

4. between vedana and tanha, again that is not a relationship of sufficiency. Clearly Arahants don't crave, despite feeling pleasant, painful or neutral feelings.

Finally, if we look at the reverse order of DO, we should be able to infer that because the cessation of each paccaya brings about the cessation of its consequence, this must imply that each paccaya in the 11 nidanas are NECESSARY conditions for its consequence. One cannot infer a condition of sufficiency from the reverse order of DO, given that there could be other sufficient conditions that will bring about a consequence.

In other words, some of the nidanas exemplify Necessity only, while others exemplify Sufficiency and Necessity.

Looking at Mazard's treatment, DO seems to operate mechanistically, and dare I say - deterministically. That is the drawback in any interpretation that views the nidanas as conditions of sufficiency - it leads to radical determinism. The problem I have with his rejection of the 3 Lives model is that he does not address the many suttas that clearly link kamma at one moment with "establishment" of consciousness which must occur at a next life, given the mutuality of namarupa with vinnana.

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 14815
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:38 am

Greetings Sylvester,
Sylvester wrote:The problem I have with his rejection of the 3 Lives model is that he does not address the many suttas that clearly link kamma at one moment with "establishment" of consciousness which must occur at a next life, given the mutuality of namarupa with vinnana.

It is not necessary that the "establishment of consciousness... must occur at a next life, given the mutuality of namarupa with vinnana" at all.

How does ear-consciousness come to be established, how does eye-consciousness come to be established? By being conscious of (by placing attention on, as part of nama) sensory input.

Since when, in "many suttas", is consciousness understood as rebirth-linking consciousness rather than with reference to the six sense-bases?

SN 35.93: Dvaya Sutta — A Pair (current Study Group topic)
viewtopic.php?f=25&t=8242

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

Sylvester
Posts: 1655
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby Sylvester » Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:23 am

Hi retro

To answer that question, firstly I need to understand how you understand the term Namarupa in the context of DN 15. To make myself clear, does eg ear-consciousness descend into the womb in the context of DN 15?

From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form.' Thus it has been said. And this is the way to understand how from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form. If consciousness were not to descend into the mother's womb, would name-and-form take shape in the womb?


What does the context of the descent of Namarupa (namarupassa avakkanti) in SN 12.39 mean in your understanding of Namarupa? See -

What one intends, and what one plans and whatever one has a tendency towards: this becomes a basis for the maintenance of consciousness. When there is a basis, there is a support for the establishing of consciousness. When consciousness is established and has come to growth, there is a descent of name and form.


I hope you are not suggesting that we read this passage to mean that namarupa descends over and over and over and over in one lifetime.

How would you interpret "establishment" in light of this passage from SN 12.64 -

Monks, if there is lust, or delight, or craving for edible food *, consciousness is established therein and grows.
Where consciousness is established and grows, there is the descent of name-and-form.
Where there is the descent of name-and-form, there is the growth of formations.
Where there is the growth of formations, there is further rebirth.
Where there is further rebirth, there are further birth, decay and death.
Where there are further birth, decay and death, bhikshus, I say that it is accompanied by sorrow, by anguish, by despair.

* repeated for contact, intention and vinnana


Bear in mind the special temporal allowances of the locative absolute that governs iddapaccayata, which could have easily been abrogated had the redactors used the genitive absolute.

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 14815
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:51 am

Greetings Sylvester,

Sylvester wrote:To answer that question, firstly I need to understand how you understand the term Namarupa in the context of DN 15. To make myself clear, does eg ear-consciousness descend into the womb in the context of DN 15?

That's why I emphasised "many suttas", since DN15 is the only one I'm aware of to make this representation. It's a dubious interpretation too, because if you assume consciousness to mean rebirth-consciousness, and nama-rupa to mean mind-and-body, then there is absolutely nothing that can be done in this lifetime to bring cessation to them through the cessation of ignorance. Nothing to be done about the whirlpool of nama-rupa and vinnana other than to accept it as being a proxy for a sentient being.

It would appear that DN 15 is the first attempt to smuggle transmigration into the Buddha's teaching of dependent origination, something which would later be done independently of the suttas through the scholastic tradition. Virtually anything worth knowing in the Digha Nikaya can be found already in more reliable teachings in the Majjhima and Samyutta Nikayas. There are many, many suttas in those 2 volumes alone which accurately portray dependent origination without presenting it in such a way as to introduce religionists from other soul-based teachings to the Dhamma (as was the purpose of the DN, as observed by Bhikkhu Bodhi, amongst others).

Sylvester wrote:What does the context of the descent of Namarupa (namarupassa avakkanti) in SN 12.39 mean in your understanding of Namarupa? See -

What one intends, and what one plans and whatever one has a tendency towards: this becomes a basis for the maintenance of consciousness. When there is a basis, there is a support for the establishing of consciousness. When consciousness is established and has come to growth, there is a descent of name and form.

I hope you are not suggesting that we read this passage to mean that namarupa descends over and over and over and over in one lifetime.

Of course I am, because that's precisely what happens. Have you never, during meditation, observed the interplay between nama-rupa and vinnana? Never seen how tendencies (intentions) repeatedly carry attention to certain subjects of consciousness?... fashioning obsessions?...

How would you interpret "establishment" in light of this passage from SN 12.64 -

Monks, if there is lust, or delight, or craving for edible food *, consciousness is established therein and grows.
Where consciousness is established and grows, there is the descent of name-and-form.
Where there is the descent of name-and-form, there is the growth of formations.
Where there is the growth of formations, there is further rebirth.
Where there is further rebirth, there are further birth, decay and death.
Where there are further birth, decay and death, bhikshus, I say that it is accompanied by sorrow, by anguish, by despair.

* repeated for contact, intention and vinnana

What a daft translation. "Edible food", how incongruent :( Try "nutriment" and then refer to how nutriment is defined in the suttas. Given that "bhava" also seems to be translated as "further rebirth", I pay no heed to this translation, let alone what it might say regarding "establishment".

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 10831
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: New Zealand

Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:57 am

Hmm, interesting questions here.

Perhaps one could separate the two questions:
1. DO itself (can) involve(s) rebirth.
2. The ceasing of DO halts rebirth.

Browsing through the Nidana Vagga http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... tml#nidana I would have great difficulty arguing against the latter. Some commentators do argue against the former without arguing against the latter (E.g. Ven Nanananda, who does discuss that DN 15 section somewhere in his Nibbana seminars --- I'm sure Retro can find us the quote...).

:anjali:
Mike

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 14815
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Apr 30, 2011 4:06 am

Greetings Mike,

Regarding point 2, the cessation of ignorance brings an end to bhava and jati, regardless of how they are translated.

In other words... bhava, by any definition, or jati, by any definition... neither apply once ignorance ceases.

Accordingly, I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who argued against point 2.... it's point 1 that's the contentious one.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 10831
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: New Zealand

Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 4:31 am

Hi Retro,

Are there not some who argue that there is no post-mortem rebirth? That there is no wheel of samsara (Samsara-cakka/bhava-cakka http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Buddhist.Dictionary/dic3_c.htm#cakka). Those people might argue against point 2.

:anjali:
Mike

Sylvester
Posts: 1655
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby Sylvester » Sat Apr 30, 2011 4:43 am

Fair enough, retro. At least you don't shy away from reading DN 15's descent of namarupa as a possible exposition post-dating the Buddha.

As for the "edible food" translation for SN 12.64, how do you propose to translate "kabaḷīkāra ahara", where "kabaḷīkāra ahara" is said to be the "XXXX nutriment"? Clearly kabaḷīkāra is an adjective to the noun "ahara", so what is it, when it is definitely not a noun as you propose?

Rejecting "edible food" for "nutriment" is not particularly helpful, since SN 12.64 goes on to discuss the 3 other nutriments, ie contact nutriment (phassa ahara), volition nutriment (manosancetana ahara) and consciousness nutriment (vinnana ahara) (see the little asterisk in the citation above). It's the same list of ahara found in SN 12.11. The "establishment" of consciousness based on kabaḷīkāra ahara is repeated verbatim for each of the other 3 ahara as a peyyala.

Given that "bhava" also seems to be translated at "further rebirth", I pay no heed to this translation, let alone what it might say regarding "establishment".


I'm not sure I understand what you are suggesting above. The term used in SN 12.64 was the technical punabbhava, which is then followed by birth (jāti). The Pali says -

Yattha atthi nāmarūpassa avakkanti, atthi tattha saṅkhārānaṃ vuddhi. Yattha atthi saṅkhārānaṃ vuddhi, atthi tattha āyatiṃ punabbhavābhinibbatti. Yattha atthi āyatiṃ punabbhavābhinibbatti, atthi tattha āyatiṃ jātijarāmaraṇaṃ.


Doesn't look like there was any confusing the 3 Bhava with popping-out-of-the-oven Jati.

If it is not too much trouble, what do you understand by the suttas' references to "consciousness is established" (viññāṇaṃ patiṭṭhitaṃ)? I will lay my cards on the table in stating that my interpretation of the suttas as plainly presenting DO on a multiple lifetimes model in fact turns on the suttas (other than DN 15) which discuss the "establishment" of consciousness. But do share with us how you actually interpret and understand consciousness being established. This is important, otherwise we would have no common vocabulary or even understanding of this process.

Have you never, during meditation, observed the interplay between nama-rupa and vinnana? Never seen how tendencies (intentions) repeatedly carry attention to certain subjects of consciousness?... fashioning obsessions?...


I hope by now, it should be obvious from my posts, that I'm disinclined to discuss the Dhamma by reference to experiential testimony. I trust you will not object if we confine this discussion to the textual testament?

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 10831
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: New Zealand

Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 4:58 am

Perhaps Retro follows Ven Nanananda, Nibbana Sermon 4 (Vol 1 here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katukurunde_Nanananda_Thera#Published_Work)

Not that I completely follow the argument... :thinking:
It should be clearly understood that the passage of con-
sciousness from here to a mother's womb is not a movement
from one place to another, as in the case of the body. In reality,
it is only a difference of point of view, and not a transmigra-
tion of a soul. In other words, when consciousness leaves this
body and comes to stay in a mother's womb, when it is fully
established there, `that' place becomes a `this' place. From the
point of view of that consciousness, the `there' becomes a `here'.
Consequently, from the new point of view, what was earlier a
`here', becomes a `there'. What was formerly `that place' has
now become `this place' and vice versa. That way, what actu-
ally is involved here, is a change of point of view. So it does
not mean completely leaving one place and going to another, as
is usually meant by the journey of an individual.

The process, then, is a sort of going round and round. This
is all the more clear by the Buddha's statement that even con-
sciousness is dependently arisen. There are instances in which
the view that this selfsame consciousness fares on in saṃsāra
by itself, tadevidaṃ viññāṇaṃ sandhāvati saṃsarati, anaññaṃ,
is refuted as a wrong view.

On the one hand, for the sustenance and growth of name-
and-form in a mother's womb, consciousness is necessary. On
the other hand, consciousness necessarily requires an object
for its stability. It could be some times an intention, or else
a thought construct. In the least, it needs a trace of latency, or
anusaya. This fact is clear enough from the sutta quotations
we brought up towards the end of the previous sermon. From
the Cetanāsutta, we happened to quote on an earlier occasion,
it is obvious that at least a trace of latency is necessary for the
sustenance of consciousness.

When consciousness gets established in a mother's womb,
with this condition in the least, name-and-form begins to grow.
It grows, at it were, with a flush of branches, in the form of the
six sense bases, to produce a fresh tree of suffering.
...

:anjali:
Mike

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 14815
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Apr 30, 2011 5:02 am

Greetings Mike,
mikenz66 wrote:Are there not some who argue that there is no post-mortem rebirth? That there is no wheel of samsara (Samsara-cakka/bhava-cakka http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Buddhist.Dictionary/dic3_c.htm#cakka). Those people might argue against point 2.

I assumed that if they didn't believe in post-mortem rebirth, then they would accept that there would be no rebirth, with or without ignorance.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 14815
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Apr 30, 2011 5:20 am

Greetings Sylvester,

Sylvester wrote:The term used in SN 12.64 was the technical punabbhava, which is then followed by birth (jāti).

Well, that's fine then... repeated becoming, leading to being thus born into an identity.

Sylvester wrote:If it is not too much trouble, what do you understand by the suttas' references to "consciousness is established" (viññāṇaṃ patiṭṭhitaṃ)?

A particular consciousness is formed. It has arisen and come into focus. Or to quote venerable Nanananda, courtesy of Mike... "consciousness necessarily requires an object for its stability. It could be some times an intention, or else a thought construct. In the least, it needs a trace of latency." It is not transmigration. :(

Sylvester wrote:This is important, otherwise we would have no common vocabulary or even understanding of this process.

The understanding comes from studying the Dhamma and observing these processes within the domain of experience. Is what is said in the suttas true? How else to know than to validate against one's experience? "Well-proclaimed, truly, is this Lord's Teaching, visible here and now, timeless, inviting inspection, leading onward, to be realised by the wise each one for himself"

Sylvester wrote:I hope by now, it should be obvious from my posts, that I'm disinclined to discuss the Dhamma by reference to experiential testimony. I trust you will not object if we confine this discussion to the textual testament?

This isn't intended to be some kind of deep meditative "experiential testimony", it's simply about what the suttas teach us. If the suttas are not to be understood with respect to our experience, then how are they to be understood? Are they to be understood instead as abstract metaphysical doctrines detailing the transmigration of consciousness? How can that Dhamma be applied - how can that Dhamma be liberative? You do believe the Dhamma is for liberation, don't you? What I said is certainly nothing you could not observe yourself, were you to sit mindfully for one minute, observing consciousness and its arising. You don't need to wait lifetimes to see it - Dhamma is akaliko (timeless). Observe it and you will see that it is as per what I quoted from venerable Nanananda.

However, if you believe the nama-rupa/vinnana combination is just a proxy for a sentient being, then perhaps you won't see the value in this observation, and so be it. For me, the Dhamma is to be used, not merely circumambulated or as fodder for building conceptual scaffolding. If this is an independent scholastic exercise you're asking me to engage in, where I have to ignore what is "visible here and now", then I have no interest.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)


Return to “General Theravāda discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine