DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

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acinteyyo
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DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby acinteyyo » Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:54 pm

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby daverupa » Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:48 pm

(SN 12.65) may help here:

"Then the thought occurred to me, 'Aging & death exist when what exists? From what as a requisite condition is there aging & death?' From my appropriate attention there came the breakthrough of discernment: 'Aging & death exist when birth exists. From birth as a requisite condition comes aging & death.' Then the thought occurred to me, 'Birth exists when what exists? From what as a requisite condition comes birth?' From my appropriate attention there came the breakthrough of discernment: 'Birth exists when becoming exists. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth... 'Name-&-form exists when what exists? From what as a requisite condition is there name-&-form?' From my appropriate attention there came the breakthrough of discernment: 'Name-&-form exists when consciousness exists. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form.' Then the thought occurred to me, 'Consciousness exists when what exists? From what as a requisite condition comes consciousness?' From my appropriate attention there came the breakthrough of discernment: 'Consciousness exists when name-&-form exists. From name-&-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness.'

"Then the thought occurred to me, 'This consciousness turns back at name-&-form, and goes no farther. It is to this extent that there is birth, aging, death, falling away, & re-arising, i.e., from name-&-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness, from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media..."

The Buddha seems to remark that a conditionless consciousness is impossible, which makes sense given that the Upanisadic quest was for union with just such an eternal consciousness. Thus, his early meditative introspection would have been to seek this eternal thing, and here his breakthrough is that there isn't such (Bhikkhu Bodhi's notes are to this effect).

I've not included the Spk commentary as it's fairly long, but the gist is that avijja and sankhara as the first two links are subsumed under previous links of paticcasamuppada (craving, for example), and so are not explored again here. This explanation sounds strained to me; I expect the swirling interplay of namarupa-vinnana is itself a sankhara, as the Sutta remarks, and that that sankhara is rooted in avijja, and explaining this point evolved into adding two links to paticcasamuppada.

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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:44 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:11 am

Recall, also, my post a while ago pointing out the theory that the 12 step DO was patched together from two parts and that the first four links are a parody of Vedic Cosmogony:
viewtopic.php?f=29&t=7464


:anjali:
Mike

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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:29 am

Greetings mikenz66,

That is a very good point.

In fact, it wasn't until this week that I learned quite how much of the Abhidhamma (and even perhaps the reason for its genesis) was in response to the tradition of Indian Philosophy which asked questions of early Buddhists, many of which the Buddha did not think required an answer - presumably as they did not meet with his teaching standards as outlined in the Simsapa Sutta.

Yet, the questions were asked nonetheless, and the Indian philosophers wouldn't accept noble silence as an 'argument'. The Buddhists would lose face, be accused of not being able to reply (and thereby having their Dhamma "defeated"), and were therefore compelled to frame positive arguments, which they endeavoured to keep consistent with Buddhavacana. It's an interesting thought to consider isn't it - that perhaps the commentarial and Abhidhamma traditions arose not for the purpose of serving the internal interests of Buddhists, but to defend it against irrelevant questioning from outsiders (almost like an extension of the Digha Nikaya). Even in the Buddha's time though, these sectarians were present, and arguments often had to be framed in terms they could understand, in the interests of communication and understanding.

The risk we run is that those whose teachings the Buddha parodied, would later re-infiltrate the teaching as various explanations were imported from the broader Indian Philosophical/Religious tradition (take 'heart-base' as 'mind-base' for an innocuous example, or 'knower of lokas' which ven. Buddhaghosa depicts over several pages as an Indian cosmological understanding... though there are more serious imports, pertaining to matters like consciousness and perception) and the nuanced meanings and explanations of the Buddha get lost in the process under the scaffolding of beliefs, views and explanations.

(And just because I predict someone will accuse me of rampant speculation here, read Ediriwira Sarachchandra's "Buddhist Psychology of Perception" for more details... it traces the evolution of the Buddhist psychology of perception from the earliest suttas through to the latest sub-commentaries, explaining much of what was added, imported or discarded along the way)

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:21 am


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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby Sylvester » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:07 am


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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:09 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby Sylvester » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:17 am


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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby alan » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:39 am

Re-read this just this afternoon.
And was thinking how nice it is to have shed my earlier doubts. I can accept dropping the question.
Sometimes it does seem the commentaries get hung up answering questions that are not valid.

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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby alan » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:53 am

Hi Mike
It's true there are variations on DO presented in SN, but doesn't that reflect the intended audience, and the subtlety of the argument? I enjoy the fact that he came at it from different angles, rather than always repeating a stock argument. Keeps me nimble.
As for Sn, it's true the big ideas are not addressed. But the beauty seems to be the poetic format. It allows discussion of issues that might not otherwise have been addressed...or would not have fit into the stricter format of the main Suttas.

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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:05 am

Hi Alan,

I'm not sure if I was clear.

Regarding DO, the argument presented by Gombrich and others is that the 12-link set is a later creation. I'm not wedded to that idea, but it would certainly save a lot of complicated discussion (by either the Commentaries or by modern writers...) if it were true... The latter part (contact, feeling, craving...) are basically an expansion of the 4NT, and are therefore quite straightforward.

Regarding the Sutta Nipata, there are some very deep Suttas there, as we see in recent Sutta Study posts, and the fact that Ven Nanandanda refers to them a lot in his Nibbana Sermons. From my limited reading I gather that it is possible that they pre-date many of the so-called "main suttas".

:anjali:
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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby Nyana » Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:53 am


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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby Sylvester » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:18 am


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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:06 am


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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby Dmytro » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:11 am



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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby pulga » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:50 pm


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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby acinteyyo » Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:58 pm

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby acinteyyo » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:07 pm

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:02 pm

With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha


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