Volition

A forum for members who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the Pali Canon and associated Commentaries, which for discussion purposes are both treated as authoritative.

Moderator: Mahavihara moderator

Volition

Postby clw_uk » Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:03 pm

In the Sm - Book of Causation it says:

"Bhikkhus, what one intends, and what one plans, and whatever one has a tendency towards: this becomes a basis for the maintenence of consciousness. When there is a basis, there is a support for the establishing of consciousness"

I always read that consciousness it dependent on six sense bases but the above qutation states it is because of volitional action that there is consciousness.

Is this because voltion is counted as something the mind-base can have contact with and thus consciousness or am i getting it totally wrong?
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
User avatar
clw_uk
 
Posts: 3479
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: Volition

Postby cooran » Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:41 pm

Hello clw_uk, all,

I understand that this is from one of the Suttas in the Nidanasa.myutta Book 12 and is on Page 576 of my copy of The Connected Discourses of the Buddha by Bhikkhu Bodhi.
SN 12.39 Volition (2)
"At Saavatthi. "Bhikkhus, what one intends, and what one plans, and whatever one has a tendency towards: this becomes a basis for the maintenance of consciousness. When there is a basis, there is a support for the establishing of consciousness. When consciousness is established and has come to growth, there is a descent of name-and-form. (note 115) With name-and-form as condition, the six sense bases [come to be]; with the six sense bases as condition, contact; with the contact as condition, feeling .... craving.... clinging .... existence .... birth; with birth as condition, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering. "

Note 115: See 12:12 where the production of future renewed existence is placed between consciousness and the six sense bases. Taken in conjunction, the two suttas imply that the 'descent of name-and-form" and the 'production of future renewed esistence" are interchangeable (this in spite of the commentarial predilection for always seeing the latter as kammically active existence). Spk states that there is a "link" (sandhi) between consciousness and name-and-form; thus on this interpretation consciousness denotes the kammically generative consciousness of the previous existence, name-and-form the beginning of the present existence. It seems to me, however, more likely that vi~n~naa.na straddles both the past life and the present life, as the principle of personal continuity.

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7534
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Volition

Postby Element » Sat Jan 17, 2009 10:07 pm

clw_uk wrote:In the Sm - Book of Causation it says:

"Bhikkhus, what one intends, and what one plans, and whatever one has a tendency towards: this becomes a basis for the maintenence of consciousness. When there is a basis, there is a support for the establishing of consciousness"

I always read that consciousness it dependent on six sense bases but the above qutation states it is because of volitional action that there is consciousness.

Is this because voltion is counted as something the mind-base can have contact with and thus consciousness or am i getting it totally wrong?

Hi CLW,

To me, this quote is about delight & attachment. It is about when the mind or consciousness absorbs into things and becomes engrossed with them. Like watching television and becoming mentally engrossed & absorbed in a football match, dramatic movie or something.

In SN 22.53, there is a converse quote. This converse quote is not about the cessation of consciousness but about the liberation of consciousness.
"If a monk abandons passion for the property of consciousness, then owing to the abandonment of passion, the support is cut off and there is no landing of consciousness. Consciousness, thus not having landed, not increasing, not concocted, is released. Owing to its release, it is steady. Owing to its steadiness, it is contented. Owing to its contentment, it is not agitated. Not agitated, he (the monk) is totally unbound right within. He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'"

Thanissaro Bhikkhu


Bhikkus, one who is engaged is unliberated; one who is disengaged is liberated. Consciousness, while standing, might stand engaged with form; based upon form, established upon form, with a sprinkling of delight, it might come to growth, increase and expansion.

Bhikkhus, if a bhikkhu has abandoned lust for the form element, with abandoning of lust the basis is cut off: there is no support for the establishing of consciousness.

When that consciousness is unestablished, not coming to growth, nongenerative, it is liberated. By being liberated, it is steady; by being steady, it is content; by being content, he is not agitated. Being not agitated, he personally attains Nibbana. He understands: 'Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being'.


Bhikkhu Bodhi


With metta,

Element
Element
 

Re: Volition

Postby clw_uk » Sat Jan 17, 2009 10:16 pm

Thank you both for replying i think i understand it a lot better now


Metta
Craig :smile:
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
User avatar
clw_uk
 
Posts: 3479
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: Volition

Postby Element » Sat Jan 17, 2009 10:32 pm

Chris wrote:When consciousness is established and has come to growth, there is a descent of name-and-form.

This is a funny translation when read literally as usually done. Usually, the suttas mention the descent of consciousness. However here, we have a body-mind floating in space, ready to descend. I think the translation regarding the word 'descent' requires some investigation here:
Tasmiṃ patiṭṭhite viññāṇe virūḷhe nāmarūpassa avakkanti hoti.


From DN 15
Viññāṇañca hi, ānanda, mātukucchismiṃ na okkamissatha, api nu kho nāmarūpaṃ mātukucchismiṃ samuccissathā’’ti?

If consciousness were not to descend into the mother's womb, would name-and-form take shape in the womb?"

‘Viññāṇañca hi, ānanda, mātukucchismiṃ okkamitvā vokkamissatha, api nu kho nāmarūpaṃ itthattāya abhinibbattissathā’’ti?

If, after descending into the womb, consciousness were to depart, would name-and-form be produced for this world?"
Element
 


Return to Classical Theravāda

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests