Dependent Origination

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Dependent Origination

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

There seems to be two different understandings of Dependent Origination. One of it being a Three lifes model that can explain rebirth without a permanent self and the other that it does not cover three lives and instead it covers birth of an "I" at every moment and not a rebirth model.

My current opinion it that it could be interpreted as both. Everyday language for the rebirth side and dhamma language for the the view that it covers moments not physical lifetimes so both are equally valid just different in realities

Just wanted to get a discussion going on it as it is an important teaching of Lord Buddha:

"He who sees Dependent Origination sees the Dhamma, and he who sees the Dhamma sees Dependent Origination"
“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised." Verses on the Faith Mind, Sengcan
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Re: Dependent Origination

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

The description of D.O. that appears in the suttas certainly refers to the three lifetime model, as words like "Death" and "Birth" are pretty unambiguous:

"The passing of beings out of the various orders of beings, their passing away, dissolution, disappearance, dying, completion of time, dissolution of the aggregates, laying down of the body — this is called death."

"The birth of beings into the various orders of beings, their coming to birth, precipitation [in a womb], generation, manifestation of the aggregates, obtaining the bases for contact — this is called birth." - Sammaditthi Sutta http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.009.ntbb.html

There's nothing ambiguously metaphorical about it either. Bhikkhu Bodhi pointed out, in his discussion of this Sutta, that when the Buddha spoke in metaphors he was usually explicit about it. We tend not to find anything metaphorical in the Suttas without the Buddha either saying "this is a metaphor for such and such" or using phrases "like" and "as."

There are descriptions as D.O. in mind states that I believe show up in Abhidhamma. But they do not preclude the 3 lifetimes model.

-M
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Re: Dependent Origination

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

meindzai wrote:The description of D.O. that appears in the suttas certainly refers to the three lifetime model, as words like "Death" and "Birth" are pretty unambiguous:



True but the buddha used to types of language, everyday language and dhamma language. Birth in dhamma language just means the birth of "I" at any moment not physical birth, the same for death means death of the "I" at any moment in dhamma language.

Also it states that the cesstation of dependent origination involves the ending of name and form, if this meant literal name and form then the buddha would have died when he became enlightened would he not?
“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised." Verses on the Faith Mind, Sengcan
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:12 pm

haha i just started this thread!!!

can it be deleted?

this too
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the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Element » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

clw_uk wrote:Just wanted to get a discussion going on it as it is an important teaching of Lord Buddha:

"He who sees Dependent Origination sees the Dhamma, and he who sees the Dhamma sees Dependent Origination"

If we read the suttas and ask the question: "What is the essense of Buddhism?", we can only answer it is about emptiness, it is about freeing the mind of "I making" and "my making".
Ananda saw Sariputta coming and said to him: "Friend, Sariputta, your faculties are serene, your facial complexion is pure & bright. In what dwelling has Sariputta spent the day?"

"Here friend, I entered and dwelt in the base of infinite consciousness. Yet friend, it did not occur to me: "I dwelt in the base of infinite consciousness"."

"It must be because I-making, mine-making and the underlying tendency to conceit have been thoroughly uprooted in the Venerable Sariputta for a long time that such thoughts did not occur to him"


SN 21.2

Thus if seeing the Dhamma is seeing Dependent Origination, it must be connected with emptiness. Buddha said:
"Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — are being recited. We will lend ear, will set our hearts on knowing them, will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering.' That's how you should train yourselves."

Ani Sutta
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:15 pm

i dont buy the 3 lifetimes thing, at least not as a hard and fast rule.

from what i've seen the buddha doesnt teach it as taking 3 life times, he mentions rebirth in your quote but not 3 lives.

if kamma has to ripen over 3 lives it becomes impossible to achieve liberation since youre never done in this life time, there's always one more......
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the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby clw_uk » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:18 pm

I see Dependent Origination and emptiness as the same thing.

:namaste:
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Element » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:21 pm

clw_uk wrote:There seems to be two different understandings of Dependent Origination. One of it being a Three lifes model that can explain rebirth without a permanent self and the other that it does not cover three lives and instead it covers birth of an "I" at every moment and not a rebirth model.

In the Parileyyaka Sutta, the Buddha uses the word 'birth', in the Pali specifically 'jati', twice, to describe how the assumption of 'self' comes into being. The Parileyyaka Sutta is about dependent origination.

"Well then — knowing in what way, seeing in what way, does one without delay put an end to the effluents? There is the case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form to be the self. That assumption is a fabrication. Now what is the cause, what is the origination, what is the birth, what is the coming-into-existence of that fabrication? To an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person, touched by that which is felt born of contact with ignorance, craving arises. That fabrication is born of that.
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Element » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:28 pm

Similarly, in the Dhatu-Vibhanga Sutta, the Buddha states one who is free from 'my making' and 'I making' is not subject to birth.

"'He has been stilled where the currents of construing do not flow. And when the currents of construing do not flow, he is said to be a sage at peace.' Thus was it said. With reference to what was it said? 'I am' is a construing. 'I am this' is a construing. 'I shall be' is a construing. 'I shall not be'... 'I shall be possessed of form'... 'I shall not be possessed of form'... 'I shall be percipient'... 'I shall not be percipient'... 'I shall be neither percipient nor non-percipient' is a construing. Construing is a disease, construing is a cancer, construing is an arrow. By going beyond all construing, he is said to be a sage at peace.

"Furthermore, a sage at peace is not born, does not age, does not die, is unagitated, and is free from longing. He has nothing whereby he would be born. Not being born, will he age? Not aging, will he die? Not dying, will he be agitated? Not being agitated, for what will he long? It was in reference to this that it was said, 'He has been stilled where the currents of construing do not flow. And when the currents of construing do not flow, he is said to be a sage at peace.'
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby clw_uk » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:30 pm

That does tie into when i said it can be explained using dhamma language, but can D.O. be used correctly with the three lives model as well?

There are many instances where the buddha uses terms such as "their decent into the womb" for birth. It confuses me why buddha would use everyday language while talking about D.O to bhikkhus unless it can be taking as D.O. being viable as a model for moment to moment birth of "I" and dukkha and the three lives model.
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Element » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:32 pm

Similarly, in the Paccaya Sutta and in the Mahatanhasankhaya Sutta, the Buddha states if dependent origination is discerned, there will be no "I making" and "my making" regarding the past, future or present.

"When a disciple of the noble ones has seen well with right discernment this dependent co-arising & these dependently co-arisen phenomena as they have come to be, it is not possible that he would run after the past, thinking, 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past?' or that he would run after the future, thinking, 'Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?' or that he would be inwardly perplexed about the immediate present, thinking, 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?' Such a thing is not possible. Why is that? Because the disciple of the noble ones has seen well with right discernment this dependent co-arising & these dependently co-arisen phenomena as they have come to be."

After this, in the Mahatanhasankhaya Sutta, the Buddha states:
“Do you speak only of what you have known, seen, and understood for yourselves?” “Yes, bhante.”

“Good, bhikkhus. So you have been guided by me with this dhamma, which is directly visible (sandiññhika), timeless (akàlika), verifiable (ehipassika), leading onwards (opaneyyika), to be individually experienced by the wise (paccattam veditabbo vinnåhi). For it was with reference to this that it has been said: ‘Bhikkhus, this dhamma is directly visible, timeless, verifiable, leading onwards, to be individually experienced by the wise.’
Last edited by Element on Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby clw_uk » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:36 pm

[quote="Element"]Similarly, in the Paccaya Sutta and in the Mahatanhasankhaya Sutta, the Buddha states if dependent origination is discerned, there will be no "I making" and "my making" regarding the past, future or present.

It can also be said that there can be no "I" making when one looks at it via the thre lives model as well.

Im kinda playing devils advocate here really as to me at the moment both seem viable, the non-three lives model more important though.
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Element » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:41 pm

clw_uk wrote: It can also be said that there can be no "I" making when one looks at it via the three lives model as well.

The three lifetimes model includes no place for 'I making' and 'my making'. The tree lifetimes model states contact > feeling > craving > attachment > becoming > birth.

However, playing the Buddha advocate, what is relevant is our seeing. We can see in our own experience "I making" and "my making" arises in our mind after feeling, craving & attachment.

We must verify this for ourself.
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby clw_uk » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:44 pm

So do you agree with me that both ways of looking at it are ok?

My main reason for this topic is to find out why there seems to be a clash between what is the right way to view D.O.
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Element » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:55 pm

meindzai wrote:"The birth of beings into the various orders of beings, their coming to birth, precipitation [in a womb], generation, manifestation of the aggregates, obtaining the bases for contact — this is called birth." - Sammaditthi Sutta http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.009.ntbb.html


For me, the above is mere translation. For example, for me, the translator has already erred by including the term 'womb'.

The various orders of beings are the human, hungry ghost, hell, animal & godly beings. Due to ego becoming based on benevolent love we become a deva. Due to ego becoming based on a strong work ethic & good sila, we become a secure middle-class human being. Due to ego becoming based on strong cravings & addictions, we become a hungry ghost. Due to ego becoming based on ignorance & a lack of virtue, we become an animal. Due to ego becoming based on strong anger, heartbreak or despair, we become a hell being.

Manifestion of the aggregates means the aggregates manifest in a certain way. For example, as a middle-class human being with all the trappings of life, the body walks upright and the mind is proud. As a hell being with anger or despair, the shoulders hunch or the face becomes ugly. We perceive the world as dark, flawed and blameworthy. This is how the aggregates manifest when birth takes place in the various orders of human beings.

This precipitation is not in a womb but precipation my mind & becoming. Buddha said in the Maha-Sihanada Sutta:

"Sariputta, there are these four kinds of generation. What are the four?

Aṇḍajā yoni, jalābujā yoni, saṃsedajā yoni, opapātikā yoni.

Egg-born generation, womb-born generation, moisture-born generation and spontaneous generation.

"What is egg-born generation? There are these beings born by breaking out of the shell of an egg; this is called egg-born generation.

What is womb-born generation? There are these beings born by breaking out from the caul; this is called womb-born generation.

What is moisture-born generation? There are these beings born in a rotten fish, in a rotten corpse, in rotten dough, in a cesspit, or in a sewer; this is called moisture-born generation.

What is spontaneous generation? There are gods and denizens of hell and certain human beings and some beings in the lower worlds; this is called spontaneous generation.

These are the four kinds of generation.
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:56 pm

I agree with you here.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:01 am

Element wrote:
meindzai wrote:"The birth of beings into the various orders of beings, their coming to birth, precipitation [in a womb], generation, manifestation of the aggregates, obtaining the bases for contact — this is called birth." - Sammaditthi Sutta http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.009.ntbb.html


For me, the above is mere translation. For example, for me, the translator has already erred by including the term 'womb'.

The various orders of beings are the human, hungry ghost, hell, animal & godly beings. Due to ego becoming based on benevolent love we become a deva. Due to ego becoming based on a strong work ethic & good sila, we become a secure middle-class human being. Due to ego becoming based on strong cravings & addictions, we become a hungry ghost. Due to ego becoming based on ignorance & a lack of virtue, we become an animal. Due to ego becoming based on strong anger, heartbreak or despair, we become a hell being.

Manifestion of the aggregates means the aggregates manifest in a certain way. For example, as a middle-class human being with all the trappings of life, the body walks upright and the mind is proud. As a hell being with anger or despair, the shoulders hunch or the face becomes ugly. We perceive the world as dark, flawed and blameworthy. This is how the aggregates manifest when birth takes place in the various orders of human beings.

This precipitation is not in a womb but precipation my mind & becoming. Buddha said in the Maha-Sihanada Sutta:

"Sariputta, there are these four kinds of generation. What are the four?

Aṇḍajā yoni, jalābujā yoni, saṃsedajā yoni, opapātikā yoni.

Egg-born generation, womb-born generation, moisture-born generation and spontaneous generation.

"What is egg-born generation? There are these beings born by breaking out of the shell of an egg; this is called egg-born generation.

What is womb-born generation? There are these beings born by breaking out from the caul; this is called womb-born generation.

What is moisture-born generation? There are these beings born in a rotten fish, in a rotten corpse, in rotten dough, in a cesspit, or in a sewer; this is called moisture-born generation.

What is spontaneous generation? There are gods and denizens of hell and certain human beings and some beings in the lower worlds; this is called spontaneous generation.

These are the four kinds of generation.


Hi Element
well what is the problem with womb you do not say specifically why!
all you have said is that you do not like the translation of the verse (with the qualifier in brackets)
some words have the same translation but different meaning or more precisely a different interpretation of meaning which needs qualification
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby clw_uk » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:02 am

I agree with you as well, but the buddha also said in suttas

"What, bhikkhus, is aging-and-death? The aging of the various beings in the various orders of beings, their growing old, brokenness of teeth, greyness of hair, wrinkling of skin, decline of vitality, degeneration of the faculties: this is called aging. The passing away of the various beings from the various orders of beings, their perishing, their break up, disappearance, mortality, death, completion of time, the break up of the aggregates, the laying down of the carcass: this is called death. Thus this aging and this death are together called aging-and-death."

It is hard to read this in dhamma language terms and can be seen to only explain the usual physical ageing and dying. To my knowledge he says this to bhikkhus not to laypersons.
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Element » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:05 am

Manapa wrote:Hi Element
well what is the problem with womb you do not say!

Manapa

The word 'womb' does not exist in the Pali. The translator has added it in.

Kind regards,

Element
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Element » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:09 am

clw_uk wrote:It is hard to read this in dhamma language terms and can be seen to only explain the usual physical ageing and dying. To my knowledge he says this to bhikkhus not to laypersons.

For me, it includes aspects of both mental death and physical death. For example, if we really think 'I am aging', "I am losing my teeth', 'I am dying' when we grow old & die, we are still clinging to life as "I" and "mine". Thus the sutta states:
"Furthermore, a sage at peace is not born, does not age, does not die, is unagitated, and is free from longing. He has nothing whereby he would be born. Not being born, will he age? Not aging, will he die? Not dying, will he be agitated? Not being agitated, for what will he long? It was in reference to this that it was said, 'He has been stilled where the currents of construing do not flow. And when the currents of construing do not flow, he is said to be a sage at peace.'
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