What does "arising & passing away" mean?

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

What does "arising & passing away" mean?

Postby dhammapal » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:28 am

Hi,
the Buddha transl. Thanissaro wrote:"And what is the treasure of discernment? There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones is discerning, endowed with discernment of arising & passing away — noble, penetrating, leading to the right ending of stress. This is called the treasure of discernment."
From: Dhana Sutta translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

In the 1932 Pali Text Society translation E.M. Hare's translation is "the way of growth and decay".

Ajahn Chah in The Mindful Way BBC film talked about "living in harmony with nature, contemplating the nature of things to understand that all forms of life degenerate and eventually die, that all life has the characteristic of the breath it rises and it falls, that everything that is born expires. So his suffering diminishes as he knows nothing belongs to him."

I'm thinking that arising and passing away isn't like a flash of lightning. When something passes away it doesn't mean that it is annihilated. There is a meditative attainment called the base of nothingness but it is also impermanent.

What do people think arising and passing away means?

Thanks / dhammapal.
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Re: What does "arising & passing away" mean?

Postby Dmytro » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:25 am

Hi Dhammapal,

dhammapal wrote:"And what is the treasure of discernment? There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones is discerning, endowed with discernment of arising & passing away — noble, penetrating, leading to the right ending of stress. This is called the treasure of discernment."

I'm thinking that arising and passing away isn't like a flash of lightning. When something passes away it doesn't mean that it is annihilated.


It's indeed not like a flash of lightning, it's conditioned arising and passing away, which, in case of the physical body, may take a hundred years.

This precise conditioning of arising and passing away is described, for example, in Nibbedhika sutta:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Best wishes, Dmytro
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Re: What does "arising & passing away" mean?

Postby vinasp » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:23 pm

Hi dhammapal,

This is an interesting passage. For those who may wish to do some research
I would like to provide this additional material.

This passage is found in about forty places in the four Nikaya's.
Here are the first twenty of them:

DN 33.2.1.(16), 33.3.3.(1), 34.1.6.(1), 34.2.3.(1)
MN 53.17, 85.58, 90.10
SN 48.9, 48.10, 48.11; 55.33, 55.37, 55.43
AN 5.2, 5.14,5.47, 5.53, 5.134, 5.135, 5.136; 7.4, 7.6, 7.67 [7.63?]

The Pali is:

idha, bhikkhave, ariyasāvako paññavā hoti udayatthagāminiyā paññāya samannāgato ariyāya nibbedhikāya, sammā dukkhakkhayagāminiyā

"Here, bhikkhus, the noble disciple is wise; he possesses wisdom directed
to arising and passing away, which is noble and penetrative, leading to
the complete destruction of suffering [195]."

[Bhikkhu Bodhi, Connected Discourses, page 1671, SN 48.9]

This particular Sutta is about the five faculties, and the passage quoted
above is the definition of the faculty of wisdom.

The same passage is also found in the lists of "powers" as the power of
wisdom.

In MN 53.11 to 17 it is listed as one of the "seven good qualities" of a
noble disciple. Here Bodhi's translation is slightly different:

"... he possesses wisdom regarding rise and disappearance that is noble ..."

More to follow, Regards, Vincent.
Last edited by vinasp on Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What does "arising & passing away" mean?

Postby pegembara » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:55 pm

Human experience = mind-matter or nama-rupa

Matter - Seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, tactile sensations. Eg. sounds arise and pass away, then an itch A&P etc.

Mind- Perceptions, Feelings and thoughts also arises and passes. eg. one thought, then another etc.

Since all these arise and passes but "you" are still here, these things are not you. Since you have no control over them [ they arise & pass without you choosing] they cannot belong to you.

You see these in vippasana meditation.
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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Re: What does "arising & passing away" mean?

Postby James the Giant » Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:18 pm

There's also a more subtle arising and passing, which is when sense impressions start to arise and pass, come and go, change, flux, very rapidly, like a seethe of bubbles in boiling water, or a shaken can of coke , or a fast flicker of a TV screen. Sounds can break down into tiny individual bits of noise, vision can flicker or kind-of strobe, tactile sensations can become... I dunno, it's hard to describe. Seething.
This can lead to the shocking insight that everything is impermanent, everything (or at least everything we can sense) is constantly changing, arising and passing away both on a mundane and supramundane level.
It's pretty cool.

There's also a stage on the Progress of Insight, the 4th Nana, which is called Knowledge of Arising and Passing. This is the stage where you see into the arising and passing of phenomena I referred to above.

Mahasi Sayadaw on the 4th ñana from here http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/mahasi/progress.html#ch6
at each act of noticing, he sees: "The noticed object, having arisen, disappears instantly." It also becomes clear to him that each object disappears just where it arises; it does not move on to another place.

In that way he understands by direct experience how bodily and mental processes arise and break up from moment to moment. It is such knowledge and understanding resulting from the continuous noticing of bodily and mental processes as they arise and dissolve moment after moment, and the discernment, in separate sections, of the arising and passing away of each of them, while being free from the corruptions, that is called "final knowledge of contemplation of arising and passing away." This is the beginning of "purification by knowledge and vision of the course of practice," which starts from this insight and extends to adaptation knowledge
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: What does "arising & passing away" mean?

Postby Aleksandra » Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:10 pm

"Samudaya - seeing of arising of phenomena, passing away of phenomena, and also the stage of udayabbaya-ñana, the knowledge of arising and passing away of phenomena, all those are spoken of as if they were the same thing. Many people, when they experience the phenomena of arising, and the phenomena of passing in their practice, they refer to it as the knowledge of arising and passing, which is an error.

Before yogi arrives at udayabbaya-ñana, the knowledge of arising and passing, it takes a lot of time. Even to come to samudaya– seeing of arising and seeing of ceasing, the mind has to have calmed down and the yogi has to arrive at purification of view first, and only subsequently he arrives at samudaya. I can’t accept that the person who is doing all sorts of other things can arrive at this level of knowledge within ten days. To think that a person can arrive at knowledge of arising and passing in two, three weeks or so is a joke.

In the Lord Buddha’s time, just by hearing short words of the Buddha, some people arrived at insight and the Satipatthana states in half a day, or one day, in seven days or seven years. Different people can arrive at knowledge in short periods of time as well. In the Lord Buddha’s time there were such individuals."

This is an excerpt from Dhamma talk given by Ven. Pemasiri Thera.
Ven. Pemasiri says that a meditator does not need to know these terms or their meaning, and that having learned theory before gaining certain experience or level in meditation those kind of theory can be a burden as a meditator might just sit there thinking: "is this such and such knowledge, is this such and such state, is this samatha,... vipassana... first jhana...?" One can also attain stages of enlightenment without knowing any of these terms and being able to recognize any of those states and phenomena. Being able to understand those knowledges through thinking is not likely. Once can either experience them in meditation, or 'spontaneously' providing there is existence of the right conditions.
Different teachers teach in different ways and some of them may explain all those terms to a meditator.
Also, we all experience and describe things in different ways, so when talking about things like this, misunderstanding, disagreement and confusion may arise despite us all talking about the same thing.
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Re: What does "arising & passing away" mean?

Postby pegembara » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:02 pm

The Buddha's Teachings are Timeless


"Now, if anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for seven years, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here & now, or — if there be any remnant of clinging/sustenance — non-return.

"Let alone seven years. If anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for six years... five... four... three... two years... one year... seven months... six months... five... four... three... two months... one month... half a month, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here & now, or — if there be any remnant of clinging/sustenance — non-return.

"Let alone half a month. If anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for seven days, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here & now, or — if there be any remnant of clinging/sustenance — non-return.

"'This is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow & lamentation, for the disappearance of pain & distress, for the attainment of the right method, & for the realization of Unbinding — in other words, the four frames of reference.' Thus was it said, and in reference to this was it said."


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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Re: What does "arising & passing away" mean?

Postby vinasp » Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:09 pm

Hi everyone,

idha, bhikkhave, ariyasāvako paññavā hoti udayatthagāminiyā paññāya samannāgato ariyāya nibbedhikāya, sammā dukkhakkhayagāminiyā

"Here, bhikkhus, the noble disciple is wise; he possesses wisdom directed
to arising and passing away, which is noble and penetrative, leading to
the complete destruction of suffering [195]."

The key term is the compound: udayatthagāminiyā.

The PED entry for "udaya" reads:

Udaya [fr. ud + i, cp. udeti] rise, growth; increment, increase; income, revenue, interest A ii.199; Ps i.34; Vv 847 (dhanɔatthika uddayaŋ patthayāna = ānisaŋsaŋ atirekalābhaŋ VvA 336); 8452; DhA ii.270; PvA 146 (ulār vipāka), 273 (˚bhūtāni pañca kahāpaṇa -- satāni labhitvā with interest); Sdhp 40, 230, 258. -- See also uddaya.
-- attha rise and fall, birth & death (to attha;2) M i.356 S v.197 sq., 395; A iii.152 sq.; iv.111, 289, 352; v.15 25. -- atthika desirous of increase, interest or wealth (cp above Vv 847 dhanɔatthika) A ii.199. -- bbaya (ud -- aya vy -- aya) increase & decrease, rise & fall, birth & death up & down D ;iii.223; S i.46 = 52 (lokassa); iii.130 A ii.90; iii. 32; iv.153; It 120; Vism 287; Ps i.54; ThA 90 -- vyaya = ˚bbaya S iv.140; A ii.15 (khandhānaŋ); Dh 113, 374 (khandhānaŋ, see DhA iv.110).[End Quote]

The term "udaya" seems, to me, to refer to a gradual increase over time.

But the meaning in a compound could be different.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: What does "arising & passing away" mean?

Postby vinasp » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:08 pm

Hi everyone,

The only passage that I can find that may help with understanding the
time-scale is this one:

"And what, bhikkhus, is the faculty of wisdom? Here, bhikkhus, the noble
disciple is wise; he possesses wisdom directed to arising and passing away,
which is noble and penetrative, leading to the complete destruction of
suffering. He understands as it really is:'This is suffering.' He understands
as it really is:'This is the origin of suffering.' He understands as it really
is:'This is the cessation of suffering.' He understands as it really is:'This
is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.' This is called the faculty
of wisdom."

[Bhikkhu Bodhi, Connected Discourses, page 1673, part of SN 48.10]

So it seems to mean the understanding of the four truths. That this suffering
has come to be, that is has a certain cause, that it will cease when the cause
is removed, and that there is a practice which will lead to the cessation of
this suffering.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: What does "arising & passing away" mean?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:07 pm

James the Giant wrote:There's also a more subtle arising and passing, which is when sense impressions start to arise and pass, come and go, change, flux, very rapidly, like a seethe of bubbles in boiling water, or a shaken can of coke , or a fast flicker of a TV screen. Sounds can break down into tiny individual bits of noise, vision can flicker or kind-of strobe, tactile sensations can become... I dunno, it's hard to describe. Seething.
This can lead to the shocking insight that everything is impermanent, everything (or at least everything we can sense) is constantly changing, arising and passing away both on a mundane and supramundane level.
It's pretty cool.

As James and others have said, that's certainly what is observed, and described by the Buddha in passages such as this:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness? There is the case where feelings are known to the monk as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Perceptions are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Thoughts are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness.

:anjali:
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