culaavuso wrote:Are anusaya fed or starved through intentional action? Are the āsavā fed or starved through intentional action? If the future condition of the anusaya and āsavā depends on our present intentions, as the notion of right effort seems to suggest, then to what extent should the anusaya and āsavā in the present be viewed as the result of past intentions?
I think the citations furnished by daverupa would furnish the answer. This issue of the connection between defilements and intentions is also hinted at in MN 19 -
Yaññadeva bhikkhave bhikkhu bahulamanuvitakketi anuvicāreti tathā tathā nati hoti cetaso.
Whatever a monk keeps pursuing with his thinking & pondering, that becomes the inclination of his awareness.
So, to your 1st and 2nd queries, I would say that for the most part, an anusaya
is indeed fed and starved through intentional action. But that does not seem to be a universal truth, as suggested by AN 3.101 -
Tasmiṃ pahīne tasmiṃ vyantīkate athāparaṃ dhammavitakkāvasissanti. So hoti samādhi na ceva santo na ca paṇīto na paṭippassaddhiladdho na ekodibhāvādhigato, sasaṃkhāraniggayhavāritavato. Hoti so bhikkhave samayo, yaṃ taṃ cittaṃ ajjhattaññeva santiṭṭhati, sannisīdati, ekodihoti, samādhiyati. So hoti samādhi santo paṇīto paṭippassaddhiladdho ekodibhāvādhigato, na sasaṃkhāraniggayhavāritavato.
When he is rid of them, there remain only thoughts of the Dhamma. His concentration is neither calm nor refined, it has not yet attained serenity or unity, and is kept in place by the fabrication of forceful restraint. But there comes a time when his mind grows steady inwardly, settles down, grows unified & concentrated. His concentration is calm & refined, has attained serenity & unity, and is no longer kept in place by the fabrication of forceful restraint.
Ven T's translation
This contrast between the samādhi
which is sasaṃkhāraniggayhavāritavata
, versus the more refined and unified samādhi
which is na sasaṃkhāraniggayhavāritavata
is not unique to the Pali suttas. The Chinese parallel to AN 3.101 in SA 1246 also speaks of this distinction, where sasaṃkhāraniggayhavāritavata samādhi
is rendered as 三昧有行所持 (the samādhi
which is controlled/held up with sankhāra
What this does suggest is that defilements that hinder meditation can eventually be starved to the point that Right Effort drops out of the picture, when the inclination of the mind has built up enough momentum to be (for want of a better word) "good". Leaving aside how the Comy is forced to interpret tena
in MN 44 as an instrumental involving supramundane jhanas, MN 44 also suggests that each of the jhāna
attainments are bereft of specific anusaya
, principally, I suspect due to the absence of intentions in the jhānas
Re your 3rd query -
...to what extent should the anusaya and āsavā in the present be viewed as the result of past intentions?
I think the idea that best accounts for these would be better known as the mūlā
(roots) of lobha (greed), dosa (aversion/hate) and moha (delusion). Again I turn to SN 12.38. Having established that the structure of the sutta precludes the verb anuseti
from being synonymous with either ceteti
, we are then left to ask, where else can the anusaya
come from, if they are not present intentions?
I suspect the reason why Ven T has elected to translate anuseti
with the more active sense of "obsesses" lies in this aspect of his model of the formations and kamma. See his translation of this passage of AN 6.63 -
Cetanāhaṃ bhikkhave kammaṃ vadāmi, cetayitvā kammaṃ karoti kāyena vācāya manasā.
Intention, I tell you, is kamma. Intending, one does kamma by way of body, speech, & intellect.
He has translated cetayitvā
as a gerund, but the more common use of -tva
is as an absolutive, such as BB's translation "Having intended...".
This simultaneity sense that informs his model of the anusaya
seems to stem from his interpretation of the locative absolute formula used in idappaccayatā
. Since sati
is the locative form of a present participle, he says that -
The Buddha expressed this/that conditionality in a simple-looking formula:
(1) When this is, that is.
(2) From the arising of this comes the arising of that.
(3) When this isn't, that isn't.
(4) From the stopping of this comes the stopping of that.
— AN 10.92
There are many possible ways of interpreting this formula, but only one does justice both to the way the formula is worded and to the complex, fluid manner in which specific examples of causal relationships are described in the Canon. That way is to view the formula as the interplay of two causal principles, one linear and the other synchronic, that combine to form a non-linear pattern. The linear principle — taking (2) and (4) as a pair — connects events, rather than objects, over time; the synchronic principle — (1) and (3) — connects objects and events in the present moment. The two principles intersect, so that any given event is influenced by two sets of conditions: input acting from the past and input acting from the present. Although each principle seems simple, the fact that they interact makes their consequences very complex [§10].http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... index.html
IMHO, this is wrong, on 2 counts. On doctrinal grounds, this interpretation contradicts the 2 Ariyasavaka Suttas (SN 12.49 - 50). On grammatical grounds, he is ignoring the distinction in Pali grammar between locative absolutes from present participles of action verbs versus existential verbs (such as atthi
that gives us santa
Dependant Origination is not a process model; all of the relationships in there are logic statements of what is necessary to cause something. Time has no place in the formula, which therefore makes DO very amenable to being applied across any length of time. The reason why the process model has crept into the interpretation of DO lies in the scattering of alternate formulations which use hetupaccaya
, instead of just paccaya
. Any good Abhidharmika would insist that hetu
must be given its special and distinct meaning as proximate cause, thereby leading to DO being used as a process model. I follow the interpretation that hetu
has been included in some alternate formulations as a redaction device using the waxing syllables rule, such that the rhythm simply reinforces paccaya
, without disturbing the main meaning of paccaya
as necessary condition.