sundara wrote:Friends,what's a good book on dependent origination, something with a lot of juice and say's everything in detail and it's not vague and doesn't beat around the bush.
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Bhikkhu Bodhi's book The Great Discourse on Causation, The Mahanidana Sutta and Its Commentaries
. (Although it is quoted and footnoted in Huifeng's essay.) A brief passage from the Introduction explains the reason the principle of dependent co-arising is so integral to understanding the Dhamma.
Bhikkhu Bodhi, pg. 1 wrote:When the arahat Assaji was asked to state the Master's message as concisely as possible, he said it was the doctrine that phenomena arise and cease through causes. With a single sentence the Buddha dispels all doubt about the correctness of this summary: "He who sees dependent arising sees the Dhamma, he who sees the Dhamma sees dependent arising" (MN 28; i 191)
The reason dependent arising is assigned so much weight lies in two essential contributions it makes to the teaching. First, it provides the teaching with it primary ontological principle, its key for understanding the nature of being. Second, it provides the framework that guides its programme for deliverance, a causal account of the origination and cessation of suffering. These two contributions, though separable in thought, come together in the thesis that makes the Buddha's teaching a "doctrine of awakening": that suffering ultimately arises due to ignorance about the nature of being and ceases through wisdom, direct understanding of the nature of being.
Later on in the Introduction, Bodhi explains in simple terms what the Buddha viewed as being the primary condition for existence: "The specific condition for existence in both aspects is clinging (upadana
): clinging to sense pleasures (kam upadana
), clinging to views (ditth upadana
), clinging to precepts and observances (silabbat upadana
), clinging to a doctrine of self (attavad upadana
). The first is an intensification of sensual craving, the other three adherences to wrong views. In all its forms clinging has the sense of firm grasping (dalhagahana
). This grasping induces motivated action and thus conditions kamma-existence. It also sustains the rebirth process whereby the accumulated kamma fructifies and thus it becomes a condition for rebirth-existence."
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV