Vasubandhu on"Momentary Dependent Origination"

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Vasubandhu on"Momentary Dependent Origination"

Postby Sacha G » Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:29 pm

Hello
I found this interpretation of Dependent Origination by Vasubandhu in the Abhidharmakosa.
I think it's all the more interesting as it is a "momentary" interpretation, in a classical (northern) abhidharma text.
"When a person in prey to the kleshas commits murder [for example], the 12 parts are realized in one and the same moment:
1) His error is Ignorance
2. His intention are the Formations
3. His distinct consciousness of a certain object is Consciousness
4. The 4 [other] aggregates co-existing with Consciousness is Name & Form
5. The organs in relation to Name & Form are the six Sense Bases
6. The application of the six Sense Bases is Contact
7. To experience contact is Feeling
8. Desire is Craving
9. The paryavastahans [absenc of shame etc...] associated with Craving are Attachement
10. Bodily and vocal actions proceeding from that are Bhava
11. The production of all these dharmas is Birth
12. Their maturity is old Age and their rupture is Death...."
:group:
Pali and Theravada texts:
http://dhamma.webnode.com
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Re: Vasubandhu on"Momentary Dependent Origination"

Postby cooran » Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:24 pm

Hello Sacha,

Vasubandhu is rather later in Buddhism. He was around in the 5th A.D. He is a Mahayana teacher. In the Jodo Shinshu branch of Buddhism, he is considered the Second Patriarch. In Zen, he is the 21st Patriarch.

If you wish to discuss Mahayana teachings, why not go to our sister site:
http://www.dharmawheel.net/

with metta
Chris
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Re: Vasubandhu on"Momentary Dependent Origination"

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:41 pm

See also: http://dhammawheel.com for some references on where the Theravada Canon and Commentaries contain discussions of momentariness.

E.g. See PP 293 and PP 303 of "A comprehensive manual of Abhidhamma":
http://books.google.com.au/books?id=hxo ... &q&f=false

From Ven Bodhi's notes on page 294:
Teachers explain them by mixing both methods: A mixed treatment of the methods is found in the visuddhimagga, Chapter XVII, where the twenty-four conditional relations are used to elucidate the relationship between each pair of factors in the twelve-fold formula of depending arising.


:anjali:
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Re: Vasubandhu on"Momentary Dependent Origination"

Postby Nyana » Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:59 pm

cooran wrote:If you wish to discuss Mahayana teachings, why not go to our sister site:
http://www.dharmawheel.net/

The Abhidharmakośa & bhāsya are not Mahāyāna texts Chris.

All the best,

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Re: Vasubandhu on"Momentary Dependent Origination"

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:03 am

Hi Geoff,

So this is a summary the Sarvāstivādin Abhidarma that was used by the Mahayana schools?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abhidharma-kosa
Abhidharma-kośa (the compendium of Abhidharma, Tib. chos mngon pa mdzod) is a key text in verse written in Sanskrit by Vasubandhu. It summarizes Sarvāstivādin tenets in eight chapters with a total of around 600 verses. The text was widely respected, and used by schools of Mahayana Buddhism in India, Tibet and the Far East.

:anjali:
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Re: Vasubandhu on"Momentary Dependent Origination"

Postby Dmytro » Mon Sep 05, 2011 4:45 am

Hello,

Sacha G wrote:I found this interpretation of Dependent Origination by Vasubandhu in the Abhidharmakosa.
I think it's all the more interesting as it is a "momentary" interpretation, in a classical (northern) abhidharma text.


At about the same time the "momentary" interpretation was first introduced in Theravada, namely in the text called Sammoha-vinodani:

http://www.buddhanet.net/cmdsg/coarisea.htm#note

Best wishes, Dmytro
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Re: Vasubandhu on"Momentary Dependent Origination"

Postby Nyana » Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:31 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Geoff,

So this is a summary the Sarvāstivādin Abhidarma that was used by the Mahayana schools?

Yeah, the root verses are Sarvāstivāda (Northern cousin of Theravāda), and the commentary (Abhidharmakośabhāsya) is generally considered to be Sautrāntika. It's possible that the doctrine of radical momentariness that was to become a part of Theravāda through the writings of Ven. Buddhaghosa, originated amongst mainland Indian sautrāntikas.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Vasubandhu on"Momentary Dependent Origination"

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:37 am

Greetings Ñāṇa,
Ñāṇa wrote:...and the commentary (Abhidharmakośabhāsya) is generally considered to be Sautrāntika.

Not to doubt you (because matters of this ilk aren't my specialty) but it sounds a little incongruent for them to author an Abhidhamma commentary given that Sautrāntika means "those who rely upon the sutras"!

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


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Re: Vasubandhu on"Momentary Dependent Origination"

Postby Nyana » Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:52 am

retrofuturist wrote:Not to doubt you (because matters of this ilk aren't my specialty) but it sounds a little incongruent for them to author an Abhidhamma commentary given that Sautrāntika means "those who rely upon the sutras"!

Like most things from the classical era it's a complex subject, and labels aren't always accurate. Basically, everyone during that period was thoroughly embedded in the abhidharma thought-world, including the so-called sautrāntika authors. The differences between authors included how much one criticized the Sarvāstivāda tenets, the methods of criticism, and so on. For example, at times the Abhidharmakośabhāsya uses quotations from the sūtras to criticize some of the orthodox interpretations. This is similar to what we see being done these days by sutta oriented Theravāda authors like Ṭhānissaro & Ñāṇananda (who don't necessarily agree with each other even though they are both using a suttantika methodology).
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Re: Vasubandhu on"Momentary Dependent Origination"

Postby Sacha G » Mon Sep 05, 2011 4:52 pm

Thanks to all of you for those very interesting replies.
Sacha
Pali and Theravada texts:
http://dhamma.webnode.com
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Re: Vasubandhu on"Momentary Dependent Origination"

Postby Bankei » Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:16 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
cooran wrote:If you wish to discuss Mahayana teachings, why not go to our sister site:
http://www.dharmawheel.net/

The Abhidharmakośa & bhāsya are not Mahāyāna texts Chris.

All the best,

Geoff


Doesn't non Theravada = Mahayana? :tongue:
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Re: Vasubandhu on"Momentary Dependent Origination"

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:57 am

Bankei wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:
cooran wrote:If you wish to discuss Mahayana teachings, why not go to our sister site:
http://www.dharmawheel.net/

The Abhidharmakośa & bhāsya are not Mahāyāna texts Chris.

All the best,

Geoff


Doesn't non Theravada = Mahayana? :tongue:
Only if you make the really bad mistake of: Theravada = hinayana.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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Re: Vasubandhu on"Momentary Dependent Origination"

Postby DarwidHalim » Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:55 am

Vasubhandu originally doesn't have Mahayana view. In fact, he criticized Mahayana heavily. He wrote several texts against Mahayana.

Due to his brother influence, Asanga, Vasubhandu at the end felt remorse and wanted to cut his tongue. However, due to Asanga, he didn't do it and finally to pay his karma he wrote this abhidharmakosa.

Vasubhandu, finally became the Abbot of Nalanda University.

His life story can be seen here.

http://www.dharmafellowship.org/library ... -part1.htm
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Vasubandhu on"Momentary Dependent Origination"

Postby Alex123 » Sun Oct 30, 2011 2:47 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Ñāṇa,
Ñāṇa wrote:...and the commentary (Abhidharmakośabhāsya) is generally considered to be Sautrāntika.

Not to doubt you (because matters of this ilk aren't my specialty) but it sounds a little incongruent for them to author an Abhidhamma commentary given that Sautrāntika means "those who rely upon the sutras"!

Metta,
Retro. :)


Somewhere I have read that Sautrāntika does not have to mean reliance on suttas as discourses in Sutta-Pitaka. Assuming that Sautrāntika in pali would be suttantika, I propose this alternative:

sutta= a thread; a string; a discourse; an aphorism.

As I understand their Abhidharma from what I've read from others, it teaches momentariness and that somehow cittas pass accumulations from one citta to another. Perhaps they had some sort of a "thread" (a meaning of sutta) that links momentary cittas. Or maybe the process of cittas runs like beads on a thread.
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Re: Vasubandhu on"Momentary Dependent Origination"

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:48 pm

Greetings Alex,

String theory. :tongue:

I don't know enough about the early schools to comment either way on your theory, but thanks for sharing.

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


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Re: Vasubandhu on"Momentary Dependent Origination"

Postby Paññāsikhara » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:50 am

Alex123 wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Ñāṇa,
Ñāṇa wrote:...and the commentary (Abhidharmakośabhāsya) is generally considered to be Sautrāntika.

Not to doubt you (because matters of this ilk aren't my specialty) but it sounds a little incongruent for them to author an Abhidhamma commentary given that Sautrāntika means "those who rely upon the sutras"!

Metta,
Retro. :)


Somewhere I have read that Sautrāntika does not have to mean reliance on suttas as discourses in Sutta-Pitaka. Assuming that Sautrāntika in pali would be suttantika, I propose this alternative:

sutta= a thread; a string; a discourse; an aphorism.

As I understand their Abhidharma from what I've read from others, it teaches momentariness and that somehow cittas pass accumulations from one citta to another. Perhaps they had some sort of a "thread" (a meaning of sutta) that links momentary cittas. Or maybe the process of cittas runs like beads on a thread.


No, that isn't what Sautrantika means. Such a definition is quite a fantasy. The Sautrantikas are "those who take sutra as their pramana".

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Re: Vasubandhu on"Momentary Dependent Origination"

Postby Paññāsikhara » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:53 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Geoff,

So this is a summary the Sarvāstivādin Abhidarma that was used by the Mahayana schools?



Not really. Some did, some didn't. The Yogacara is closest, but even then, didn't really "use" it as such.
And a large amount of Mahayana texts were already composed before it even appeared.

However, because the Tibetan traditions still use it a lot, nowadays people can easily have the idea that
"the Mahayana" used it. In the big picture of things, the Tibetan traditions are only a small part of the
Mahayana traditions in the past, and the present.

~~ Huifeng
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Re: Vasubandhu on"Momentary Dependent Origination"

Postby Paññāsikhara » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:57 am

Sacha G wrote:Hello
I found this interpretation of Dependent Origination by Vasubandhu in the Abhidharmakosa.
I think it's all the more interesting as it is a "momentary" interpretation, in a classical (northern) abhidharma text.
"When a person in prey to the kleshas commits murder [for example], the 12 parts are realized in one and the same moment:
1) His error is Ignorance
2. His intention are the Formations
3. His distinct consciousness of a certain object is Consciousness
4. The 4 [other] aggregates co-existing with Consciousness is Name & Form
5. The organs in relation to Name & Form are the six Sense Bases
6. The application of the six Sense Bases is Contact
7. To experience contact is Feeling
8. Desire is Craving
9. The paryavastahans [absenc of shame etc...] associated with Craving are Attachement
10. Bodily and vocal actions proceeding from that are Bhava
11. The production of all these dharmas is Birth
12. Their maturity is old Age and their rupture is Death...."
:group:


Actually, if one looks into the section on pratitya-samutpada in the Dharma-skandha-pada Abhidharma Sastra, one will find explanations of pratitya-samutpada in both multiple life and present life (momentary) formats. This text is probably the first of the northern tradition Abhidharma sastras, roughly parallel with the Dhamma-sangani / Vibhanga. The contents are a bit of a stick in the eye to people like Buddhadasa who want to argue that the pratitya-samutpada as multiple life explanation is very late - for it obviously is not. But very few people look into this or the other early northern tradition Abhidharma sastras. Vasubandhu is just following the general gist of this whole tradition.

~~ Huifeng
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Re: Vasubandhu on"Momentary Dependent Origination"

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:07 am

Dear Venerable,
Paññāsikhara wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Hi Geoff,
So this is a summary the Sarvāstivādin Abhidarma that was used by the Mahayana schools?

Not really. Some did, some didn't. The Yogacara is closest, but even then, didn't really "use" it as such.
And a large amount of Mahayana texts were already composed before it even appeared.

Thank you very much for the input.

Just to be clear, I do understand that the Abhidharmakosa was a late work.
However, there are two issues here:
1. The influence of the Abhidharmakosa.
2. The influence of the Sarvāstivādin Abhidarma.
I understood that the latter was quite influential in most Mahayana schools. Am I correct in that?

I was also under the (probably mistaken it seems) impression that the Abhidharmakosa was a summary of Sarvāstivādin Abhidarma doctrine in the sense that the Abhidhammatthasangaha is a summary of the Theravada Abhidhamma (as interpreted by the Commentators). But perhaps the Abhidharmakosa is a more "original" work than the Abhidhammatthasangaha?

:anjali:
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Re: Vasubandhu on"Momentary Dependent Origination"

Postby Paññāsikhara » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:19 am

mikenz66 wrote:Dear Venerable,
Paññāsikhara wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Hi Geoff,
So this is a summary the Sarvāstivādin Abhidarma that was used by the Mahayana schools?

Not really. Some did, some didn't. The Yogacara is closest, but even then, didn't really "use" it as such.
And a large amount of Mahayana texts were already composed before it even appeared.

Thank you very much for the input.


Hi Mike!

Just to be clear, I do understand that the Abhidharmakosa was a late work.
However, there are two issues here:
1. The influence of the Abhidharmakosa.
2. The influence of the Sarvāstivādin Abhidarma.

Noted.

I understood that the latter was quite influential in most Mahayana schools. Am I correct in that?

It's particularly influential in Yogacara, because Yogacara is a kind of Mahayana spin off from the Sautrantika, which was a development (or reversion if you like) from the Sarvastivada Vaibhasika movement. But the early Mahayana sutras really don't seem to have been influenced by it. And later stuff is just a merger of a large number of tendencies in Buddhism in India at that time. Influential including contra-influential, right?

I was also under the (probably mistaken it seems) impression that the Abhidharmakosa was a summary of Sarvāstivādin Abhidarma doctrine in the sense that the Abhidhammatthasangaha is a summary of the Theravada Abhidhamma (as interpreted by the Commentators). But perhaps the Abhidharmakosa is a more "original" work than the Abhidhammatthasangaha?


Well, to the Tibetans, they usually consider it as a summary to the Vaibhasika side of things (being those Sarvastivadins who took the Mahavibhasa as their standard). But, this is partly I believe because the Tibetans don't have that much in the way of the older Sarvastivadin material, eg. the seven root sastras, and the Mahavibhasa. So, the Chinese on the other hand, consider the Kosa as a mid-point between the Vaibhasika and Sautrantika approaches. The Chinese have more older material to make this point. Thus, the Kosa was as much a criticism and correction of the Vibhasa as it was a summary.

The Kosa is much closer in time (at least) to the original sastras it is commenting on than the Atthasangaha, which is quite a lot later. And the Kosa is also much longer, four large volumes in English translation may be much smaller than the Vibhasa, but hard to call it a "summary"! haha! The Kosa has debates, discussion, etc., the sort of thing that is absent from the Atthasangaha.

:anjali:
Mike


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