Co-dependent Origination?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Co-dependent Origination?

Postby piotr » Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:57 pm

Hi,

DarwidHalim wrote:Liberation is natural without any efforts.


The Buddha:

    "Monks, what is the noble eightfold path? Right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

    (...)

    "And what is right effort? There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds, & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen... for the sake of the abandoning of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen... for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen...(and) for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen: This is called right effort.

    — SN 45.8, trans. Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu
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Re: Co-dependent Origination?

Postby Sam Vara » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:23 pm

reflection

The main idea is that there is aversion based on ill will and 'aversion' based on insight. They are fundamentally different. In the practice this can be much more obvious than any possible translation will ever be.


Yes, I agree that this is the central distinction - thanks for reminding me of it.

I'm surprised you say that you are not a native English speaker, by the way!
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Re: Co-dependent Origination?

Postby Nyana » Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:53 pm

vinasp wrote: "If, through revulsion towards the eye, through its fading away and cessation,
one is liberated by nonclinging, one can be called a bhikkhu who has attained
Nibbana in this very life." [Part of SN 35.155]

Passages such as this one compel us to rethink our understanding of Dependent
Origination.

No, they don't.

Here's a suggestion: Set aside this speculative theorizing and practice satipaṭṭhāna.
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Re: Co-dependent Origination?

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:33 am

mikenz66 wrote:And see SN 12.23 Upanisa Sutta: Discourse on Supporting Conditions
"Regarding this knowledge of destruction, I declare that there is a supporting condition without which it does not arise...What is this supporting condition? Liberation... Liberation has a supporting condition...: Dispassion... Dispassion has a supporting condition...: Disenchantment [nibbida]... Disenchantment has a supporting condition...: Knowledge-and-vision-of-things-as-they-are... Knowledge-and-vision-of-things-as-they-are has a supporting condition...: Concentration... Concentration has a supporting condition...: Happiness... Happiness has a supporting condition...: Tranquillity... Tranquillity has a supporting condition...: Rapture... Rapture has a supporting condition...: Joy... Joy has a supporting condition...: Faith... Faith has a supporting condition...: Suffering...Suffering has a supporting condition...: Birth...Becoming... Grasping... Craving... Feeling... Contact... the Six Sense-Bases... Name-and-Form... Consciousness... the (kamma-) formations... Ignorance...

:anjali:
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Re: Co-dependent Origination?

Postby vinasp » Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:08 am

Hi everyone,

This post attempts to demonstrate that there is "desire" for many "things".
I will try to argue, in due course, that this "desire" is more fundamental
than craving, since it is the "root" or origin of many of the things which
craving is said to arise in dependence on.

These twenty-four things comprise what I will call Group A.

Eye, forms, eye-consciousness, eye-contact.
Ear, sounds, ear-consciousness, ear-contact.
Nose, odours, nose-consciousness, nose-contact.
Tongue, flavours, tongue-consciousness, tongue-contact.
Body, tangibles, body-consciousness, body-contact.
Mind, mind-objects, mind-consciousness, mind-contact.

In various discourses this group is extended in one of three ways:

a) The six (or eighteen) kinds of feeling are added after contact.
b) Feeling, perception, volition and craving are added.
c) Everything that arises due to contact is included.

In MN 147.9 we find: "Seeing thus, Rahula, a well-taught noble disciple becomes
disenchanted with the eye, disenchanted with forms, ..."
[ And so forth, for all the items in Group A, together with a type (c) extension.]

" ... and disenchanted with anything comprised within the feeling, perception,
formations, and consciousness that arise with eye-contact as condition."

The Pali word translated as "disenchanted" is - nibbindati: gets wearied of; is
disgusted with. [B. Bodhi, MLDB page 1127.]

So the 'ordinary man' is 'enchanted' with these things, and desires them.
The phrase "seeing thus" refers to seeing "the eye" as impermanent, suffering
and non-self. Seeing "the eye" in this way results in disenchantment. The ordinary
man sees "the eye" as permanent, a source of pleasure, and related to self. This
is why he is enchanted with "the eye", and has desire and lust for it.

"Bhikkhus, when one does not know and see the eye as it actually is ..."
" ... then one is inflamed by lust for the eye, for forms, ..."
"Bhikkhus, when one knows and sees the eye as it actually is ..."
" ...then one is not inflamed by lust for the eye, for forms, ..."
[ And so forth, for all the items in Group A, plus feelings.]
[ MN 149.3 to 149.9 - B. Bodhi, MLDB page 1137-8.]

The Pali word translated as "inflamed by lust" here is:
sārajjati: to be attached to, to be pleased with, (saṃ + raj + ya.

We have already noted SN 27.1 to 27.4 which say that:

" ... desire and lust for the eye is a corruption of the mind."
[ And so forth, for all the items in Group A.]

SN 27.5 to 27.8 speak of "desire and lust" for feeling, perception, volition,
and craving. A bhikkhu must abandon this mental corruption. [Bodhi, 2000, p.1012]

The Pali term translated as "desire and lust" here is - chandarāgo.

In SN 35.28 the items of Group A, plus the eighteen types of feeling are called
"the all", and are said to be "burning":

"Burning with the fire of lust, with the fire of hatred, with the fire of
delusion, ..."
"Seeing thus, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple experiences revulsion
towards the eye ..." [ and all the items in Group A, plus the eighteen feelings.]
"Experiencing revulsion, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion his mind
is liberated. ..." [Bhikkhu Bodhi, Connected Discourses, page 1143.]

Translation notes: rāgaggi: the fire of lust. (m.)
dosaggi: the fire of anger. (m.)
mohaggi: the fire of delusion.
Revulsion = nibbindati: gets wearied of; is disgusted with.
Dispassionate = virāga: dispassionateness; absence of desire. (m.)

In SN 35.76 - Radha (1) [Bodhi], [DPR, SN 35.59], we read:

"Radha, you should abandon desire (chando) for whatever is impermanent. And
what is impermanent? ..." [All the items in Group A, plus the eighteen feelings.]

If we are told to abandon desire for all these things then we obviously do have
such desires. But what exactly are these desires? Take "the eye" for example,
what does it mean that one has "desire and lust for the eye"?

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: Co-dependent Origination?

Postby piotr » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:09 am

Hi Vincent,

vinasp wrote:If we are told to abandon desire for all these things then we obviously do have
such desires. But what exactly are these desires? Take "the eye" for example,
what does it mean that one has "desire and lust for the eye"?


It's desire for seeing. I think that you're stuck with an idea that here „the eye” (cakkhu) is an actual organ. But in fact if you take a look at Pāli you can see that there's more or less clear distinction in terminology between organ & function of an organ.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/12R4 ... eNSqE/edit
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Re: Co-dependent Origination?

Postby vinasp » Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:34 am

Hi piotr,

Quote:"It's desire for seeing. I think that you're stuck with an idea that here „the eye” (cakkhu) is an actual organ. But in fact if you take a look at Pāli you can see that there's more or less clear distinction in terminology between organ & function of an organ."

I cannot read Pali, and have only a small vocabulary at present. I did not even
know that there was another word for "eye".

Your suggestion that cakkhu means "seeing" is an interesting one, and I do not
reject it. However, there do seem to be some problems with such an idea.

1. You are claiming that our current best English translations are seriously in
error with their treatment of these terms. This is possible but would need
to be demonstrated in detail.

2. What about "eye-consciousness"? This is often understood as "seeing". When
it is said that eye-consciouness arises in dependence on the eye and (visible)
form, this would mean that seeing is said to arise in dependence on sight.
But seeing and sight are the same thing.

3. The problem in #2 could be removed by some alternative understanding of
eye-consciousness, by taking it in a cognitive sense, for example.

4. Some of the most puzzling passages about the "eye" do not make any more sense
when we read "eye" as "sight" or "seeing."

Here is SN 35.7

At Savatthi. "Bhikkhus, the eye is impermanent both of the past and the
future, not to speak of the present. Seeing thus, bhikkhus, the instructed
noble disciple is indifferent towards the eye of the past; he does not seek
delight in the eye of the future; and he is practising for revulsion towards
the eye of the present, for its fading away and cessation."

[Repeat for ear, nose, tongue, body and mind.]

" ... and he is practising for revulsion towards seeing in the present, for its
fading away and cessation." [?]

The only understanding of "eye" which could make any sense here would be one
which takes "eye" as something which is non-essential and should be eliminated.

Regards, vincent.
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Re: Co-dependent Origination?

Postby daverupa » Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:00 pm

vinasp wrote: 1. You are claiming that our current best English translations are seriously in
error with their treatment of these terms. This is possible but would need
to be demonstrated in detail.


I understand that Pali translation is already under such scrutiny; "current best English" presupposes the conclusion you wish to reach, so you will want to edit that assumption.

vinasp wrote: 2. What about "eye-consciousness"? This is often understood as "seeing". When
it is said that eye-consciouness arises in dependence on the eye and (visible)
form, this would mean that seeing is said to arise in dependence on sight.
But seeing and sight are the same thing.


Again, "often understood" is a presupposition, and something of an argumentum ad populum.

vinasp wrote: 3. The problem in #2 could be removed by some alternative understanding of
eye-consciousness, by taking it in a cognitive sense, for example.


Or, understand that sight/seeing only occurs with the confluence of the three, and that 'seeing' is not only one of them.

vinasp wrote:4... The only understanding of "eye" which could make any sense here would be one
which takes "eye" as something which is non-essential and should be eliminated.


SN 35.191 wrote:"No, my friend. The eye is not the fetter of forms, nor are forms the fetter of the eye. Whatever desire & passion arises in dependence on the two of them: That is the fetter there.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Co-dependent Origination?

Postby piotr » Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:50 pm

Hi Vincent,

Thanks for your questions. It's always good to verify one's own ideas. So here is my attempt to clarify your doubts about mine.

vinasp wrote:1. You are claiming that our current best English translations are seriously in error with their treatment of these terms. This is possible but would need to be demonstrated in detail.


I don't think that these translations are wrong. For example ‘eye’ is an ambigous term in English (it's the same in my native Polish language, as well as in Pāli). It can refer to eyeball or to eyesight (see this). The same might apply to ‘ear’, ‘nose’, etc. I don't know translators' intentions behind this particular rendering, but I think that it's quite convenient to use ambigous terms in such cases. Translator can use one rendering regardless of the context. As far as I remember it was Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli's aspiration to use only one English term for one term in Pāli.

2. What about "eye-consciousness"? This is often understood as "seeing". When it is said that eye-consciouness arises in dependence on the eye and (visible) form, this would mean that seeing is said to arise in dependence on sight. But seeing and sight are the same thing.


Consciousness (viññaṇa) refers to the mind's knowing faculty in contrast with other aspects of mind, i.e. feeling (vedanā), perception (saññā) and volition (saṅkhāra). So basically it's cognizance. As for sight and seeing they don't need to be the same thing (see this).

4. Some of the most puzzling passages about the "eye" do not make any more sense when we read "eye" as "sight" or "seeing."


I don't see anything puzzling in this quote. Are you familiar with concept of two kinds of extinguishments (nibbāna)? If not, take a look at Iti 44. First kind is an extinguishment with residue (i.e. with unimpared five senses, and with mind lacking of greed, hatred and delusion). Second kind is an extinguishment without residue, that is when ‘residue’ stops functioning and ceases.

The quote seems to imply that a reader knows this two kinds of extinguishments. “Practising for revulsion (nibbidā), dispassion (virāga) and cessation (nirodha) of the present eye” (as I would translate this passage) means that disciple practices dhamma in order to understand things for what they are (yathābhūtañāṇadassana). This is a supporting condition for revulsion. Revulsion is a supporting condition for dispassion. And dispassion is a supporting condition for emancipation (vimutti) (see SN 12.23) which is, I think, a synonym for achievement of extinguishment with residue. And then, when the time comes, after break up of the body, extinguishment without residue takes place — that is ‘eye’ (along with other senses) finally ceases.
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Re: Co-dependent Origination?

Postby Nyana » Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:47 pm

:goodpost:
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Re: Co-dependent Origination?

Postby pulga » Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:39 pm

piotr wrote: I think that you're stuck with an idea that here „the eye” (cakkhu) is an actual organ. But in fact if you take a look at Pāli you can see that there's more or less clear distinction in terminology between organ & function of an organ.


“That in the world by which one perceives the world and conceives conceits about the world is called ’the world’ in the Noble One’s Discipline. And what is it in the world with which one does that? It is with the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind.” (SN 35:116)


I don't think the distinction is so much as between the eye as function and the eye as organ, but between the eye as experienced from the first-person perspective and that of the third-person perspective. So long as we don't start from the third-person perspective in trying to understand the nature of experience, the mamsa-cakkhu is a perfectly valid concept in spatially orienting ourselves in the world. It's that the third-person perspective is ultimately founded upon the first that the quoted passage from the Samyutta is trying to convey paradoxically.
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