Dependent Origination

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Dependent Origination

Postby rowyourboat » Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:56 pm

I must say I dont see anything in the mahanidana sutta which contradict the dhamma vinaya. It does talk of several lifetimes and this understanding is integral to the destruction of the cycle of samsara which the buddha talks of in many places. Ven Ananda is a stream entrant (he just had difficulty becoming an arahanth) and in the Mahanidana sutta he almost boasts that he sees the DO very well. I think he really does see the DO as a stream entrnat but the Buddha admonishes him because there is great depths of the DO which cannot be discerned without special abilities. Yet even a lesser understanding of the DO is admirable. The buddha even goes as far as to ask the monks to atleast take it on faith in the nidanasamyutta. So my understanding is that the Mahanidaana DO is a deep special understanding the buddha had while lesser degrees that stream entrants have is also adequate ('the DO: cause-effect, no cause- no effect', namely ...12 steps; 'whateevr is subject to arise is subject to cessation' -hearing this alone was enough for Ven sariputta to become a stream entrant)
With Metta

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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Element » Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:13 pm

Will wrote:
Fundamental Attitudes

4. Before I turn to examine specific points in Ven. Nanavira's Note I wish to focus on one discomfiting consequence entailed by his insistence that his view of paticca-samuppada is exclusively and absolutely correct. The three-life interpretation of paticca-samuppada has been maintained by the Theravada tradition virtually from the time that tradition emerged as a distinct school. It goes back long before the time of Buddhaghosa's commentaries and can be found already in near-definitive form in the Vibha"nga of the Abhidhamma Pitaka and the Patisambhidamagga of the Sutta Pitaka, works dating from around the 3rd century BC. Further, this interpretation, in its essential outlines, is by no means peculiar to the Theravada school. It was also shared, with minor differences in details, by the early rivals of the Theravada, the Sarvastivada and Mahasanghika, which suggests that at least in outline this way of explaining paticca-samuppada already preceded the first schisms. The same three-life division can be found in the works of the great Madhyamika philosopher Nagarjuna (e.g. in his Muula Madhyamika Karika, chapter 26), and is also held in the present day by the Mahayana schools that have inherited the exegetical methodology of ancient Indian Buddhism.

In contrast, Ven. Nanavira's view of paticca-samuppada, as pertaining solely to a single life, appears to be without a precedent in the tenet systems of early Buddhism. Thus, when Ven. Nanavira holds that he has correctly grasped the Buddha's intention in expounding PS, this implicitly commits him to the thesis that the entire mainstream Buddhist philosophical tradition has utterly misinterpreted this most fundamental Buddhist doctrine, and had already done so within two centuries after the Master's demise. While it is not altogether impossible that this had occurred, it would seem a lapse of an astonishing magnitude on the part of the early Buddhist community.

The Lord Buddha himself advised his Dhamma would last five hundred years.

[Removed snide comment about Bhikkhu Bodhi – Dhammanando]
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Element » Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:16 pm

gabrielbranbury wrote:How confident are we in our verification? When it comes to actually identifying "self view" and craving and attachment are we actually finding a consistently discernible phenomena? Are we certain that our discernment criteria apply to the whole mass of what causes suffering or just a portion of it?

Hello Gabriel

It appears your mind still has doubt. The Buddha taught doubt is a fetter.

Best wishes

Element
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Element » Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:29 pm

Will wrote:Thus, when Ven. Nanavira holds that he has correctly grasped the Buddha's intention in expounding PS, this implicitly commits him to the thesis that the entire mainstream Buddhist philosophical tradition has utterly misinterpreted this most fundamental Buddhist doctrine, and had already done so within two centuries after the Master's demise.

This is difficult for many to accept. We can consider comparing it to the current world economic crisis. Allegedly, the financial industry was replete with financial experts, many pocketing many millions, even billions of dollars a year in salaries and bonuses due to their expertise.

Or when Buddhists read the Bible, they say: "St Paul corrupted the teachings of Jesus and the various Christian counsels moulded it to their agendas. Christianity is not what Jesus intended and taught". Now St Paul arose in the very life time of Jesus and was a contemporary with the apostles of Jesus. If we read the Bible, we will read the disputes of doctrine St Paul had with some of the apostles and the brother of Jesus, namely, James. This occured during the lifetime of Jesus (that is, if we hold Jesus lived and returned to India).

However, as Buddhists, we think about our own religion: "It is pure and uncorrupted".

On dependent origination, Buddha taught as follows.
“Bhikkhus, knowing and seeing in this way, would you say: ‘The Teacher is respected by us. We speak as we do out of respect for the Teacher’?”

“No, bhante.

“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 (paccattaü veditabbo vinnuhi). 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.’

Mahàtanhàsankhaya Sutta
Last edited by Element on Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Will » Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:46 pm

element: Lastly, on dependent origination...


Really? Truly? You promise? Lastly :twothumbsup:
This noble eightfold path is the ancient path traveled by all the Buddhas of eons past. Nagara Sutta
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Element » Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:51 pm

Will wrote:Really? Truly? You promise? Lastly :twothumbsup:

Will

Please remember, ignorant craving is the cause of dukkha. Buddha said:
"Therefore, Ananda, engage with me friends and not as opponents. That will be for your long-term well-being & happiness.

"I won't hover over you like a potter over damp, unbaked clay goods. Admonishing again & again, I will speak. Urging you on again & again, I will speak. Whatever is of essential worth will remain."

Maha-suññata Sutta
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Prasadachitta » Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:12 pm

Element wrote:
gabrielbranbury wrote:How confident are we in our verification? When it comes to actually identifying "self view" and craving and attachment are we actually finding a consistently discernible phenomena? Are we certain that our discernment criteria apply to the whole mass of what causes suffering or just a portion of it?

Hello Gabriel

It appears your mind still has doubt. The Buddha taught doubt is a fetter.

Best wishes

Element


No doubt! :lol:

But I see a difference between skeptical doubt and a healthy willingness to work on our sense of discernment in terms of the qualities of that which is to be cast aside and that which is to be cultivated.

Metta

Gabriel
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:17 pm

Dear Element,
Element wrote:The Lord Buddha himself advised his Dhamma would last five hundred years. Thus, who would be more likely to be correct. The Lord Buddha with his supernormal attainments and perfect wisdom or Bhikkhu Bodhi [...] ?

The question could be asked about anyone posting on this board.
"If a person has conviction, his statement, 'This is my conviction,' safeguards the truth. But he doesn't yet come to the definite conclusion that 'Only this is true; anything else is worthless.' To this extent, Bharadvaja, there is the safeguarding of the truth. To this extent one safeguards the truth. I describe this as the safeguarding of the truth. But it is not yet an awakening to the truth.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Metta
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Element » Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:21 pm

gabrielbranbury wrote:But I see a difference between skeptical doubt and a healthy willingness to work on our sense of discernment in terms of the qualities of that which is to be cast aside and that which is to be cultivated.

Best to work on our convoluted speech.
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Element » Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:24 pm

mikenz66 wrote:The question could be asked about anyone posting on this board.
"If a person has conviction, his statement, 'This is my conviction,' safeguards the truth. But he doesn't yet come to the definite conclusion that 'Only this is true; anything else is worthless.' To this extent, Bharadvaja, there is the safeguarding of the truth. To this extent one safeguards the truth. I describe this as the safeguarding of the truth. But it is not yet an awakening to the truth.

Mike

This is not the matter I was raising. Your quote is irrelevent. The primary matter is what one has experienced for oneself.

Regards

Element
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:40 pm

Dear Element,
Element wrote:This is not the matter I was raising. Your quote is irrelevent. The primary matter is what one has experienced for oneself.

Since it is difficult for me to apply the advice elsewhere in the Canki Sutta to you (or anyone else on this Forum) I am puzzled why you expect everyone to accept that your particular experience trumps everyone else...
"There is the case, Bharadvaja, where a monk lives in dependence on a certain village or town. Then a householder or householder's son goes to him and observes him with regard to three mental qualities — qualities based on greed, qualities based on aversion, qualities based on delusion: 'Are there in this venerable one any such qualities based on greed that, with his mind overcome by these qualities, he might say, "I know," while not knowing, or say, "I see," while not seeing; or that he might urge another to act in a way that was for his/her long-term harm & pain?' As he observes him, he comes to know, 'There are in this venerable one no such qualities based on greed... His bodily behavior & verbal behavior are those of one not greedy. And the Dhamma he teaches is deep, hard to see, hard to realize, tranquil, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. This Dhamma can't easily be taught by a person who's greedy.
...

Metta
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Element » Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:46 am

mikenz66 wrote:Since it is difficult for me to apply the advice elsewhere in the Canki Sutta to you (or anyone else on this Forum) I am puzzled why you expect everyone to accept that your particular experience trumps everyone else...

Hi Mike

Again, for me, your point is irrelevant. The point I am making is to discuss the matter from personal experience.

I have mentioned my personal experience. One player in a game cannot "trump" another.

Kind regards,

Element
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Prasadachitta » Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:10 am

Element wrote:
gabrielbranbury wrote:But I see a difference between skeptical doubt and a healthy willingness to work on our sense of discernment in terms of the qualities of that which is to be cast aside and that which is to be cultivated.

Best to work on our convoluted speech.


There is much to be worked on. I guess you did not understand me then.

Metta

Gabriel
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:31 am

Dear Element,
Element wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:The point I am making is to discuss the matter from personal experience.

I have mentioned my personal experience. One player in a game cannot "trump" another.

That is exactly my point. You seem to expect everyone else to concede to your personal experience and disregard their personal experience, the personal experience of their teachers, and the various commentators from the time of the Buddha to the present day who you disagree with.

This leaves us with very little to discuss, since these conversations seem to go:
Poster A: "Venerable XXX says YYY."
Element: "That disagrees with my experience therefore Venerable XXX is mistaken."

This is a very different response from what I am used to hearing from teachers who I respect, who might say something Along the lines of: "I have not experienced it quite how Ven XXX is expressing it. My view is AAA. Perhaps Venerable XXX is referring to BBB, or perhaps I'm not understanding him clearly."

Metta
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby clw_uk » Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:53 pm

I know its been a while since there has been posts on this thread but I had a bit of a breakthrough in reguard to Dependent Origination today that I thought I would share.

It doesnt seem that Lord Buddha meant it to be understood by three lifetimes but as something that happens right now. Heres my reason for thinking this.


The Buddha teaches that the way to Enlightenment is through the four foundations of mindfulness. Essentially the aim of this is to see the truth of Anatta and become disspassionate, which leads to liberation.

In order to see anatta one first needs to know of self view comes about. This is taught to us in the extracts from the following suttas

Discourse on the Destruction of Craving:

On seeing a form with the eye, he lusts after it if it is pleasing, he dislikes it if it is unpleasing, He abides with Mindfulness of the body unestablished, with a limited mind, and he does not understand as it actually is the deliverence of mind and deliverence by wisdom wherein those evil unwholesome states cease without remainder. Engaged as he is in favouring and opposing whatever feeling he feels, whether pleasant or painful or neither pleasant-nor-painful he delights in that feeling, welcomes it and remains holding to it. As he does so, delight arises in him. Now delight in feelings is clinging. With clinging as condition, being, with being as condition, birth; with birth as condition, ageing and death, sorrow, lamention, pain, grief and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this mass of suffering.



It states quite well here how delight leads to craving, being, birth ......
Since he is already born physically this passage refers to arising of self view, from feeling.

Also is the extract from the Culavedalla Sutta

Lady, identity is said. What is call identity by the Blessed one?

Friend Visakha, these five aggregates affected by clinging are called identity by the blessed one.


And

Lady, origin of identity, what is called the origin of identity by the blessed one?

Friend Visakha, it is craving which brings renewal of being, is accompanied by delight and lust, and delights in this and that; that is, craving for sensual pleasures, craving for being and craving for non-being.



Identity and Identity view, the sense of self, arises from feeling accompanied by delight. This is because feeling leads to craving, clinging, becoming, birth. The birth of self.

This is why the Buddha taught the four foundations of mindfulness because they lead to dispassion with the aggregates. It leads to dispassion in reguard to feeling and delight in reguard to the aggregates and so the end of self view, the realisation of not-self.

On seeing a form with the eye, he does not lust after it if it is pleasing, he does not dislike it if it is unpleasing, he abides with Mindfulness of the Body established, with and immeasureable mind, and he understands as it acctually is the deliverance of mind and deliverance by widsom wherein those evil unwholesome states cease without remainder. Having thus abandoned favouring and opposing, whatever feeling he feels, whether pleasant, painful or neither painful-nor-pleasant, he does not delight in that feeling, welcome it or remain holding to it. As he does not do so, delight in feeling ceases in him. With the cessation of his delight comes cessation of clinging, with the cessation of clinging comes the cessation of being, birth, ageing and death, sorrow, lamenation, pain, grief and despair. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering


With the end of feeling is the end of craving, the end of clinging, becoming, birth, ageing and death, this whole mass of suffering. This is dependent origination realised in this moment and stopped in this moment.


To me Dependent Origination cannot be interpreted via three lives, it was meant to be seen in this moment so one can be set free from dukkha.

:namaste:
“ 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
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:07 pm

Greetings,

Yes, I concur.

It still works as a "three lives" model but some of the valuable lessons are lost if it is done so... or at least require an exorbitant level of interpolation in an attempt to restore them.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby clw_uk » Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:36 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Yes, I concur.

It still works as a "three lives" model but some of the valuable lessons are lost if it is done so... or at least require an exorbitant level of interpolation in an attempt to restore them.

Metta,
Retro. :)



Yes I agree, much is lost when it is taught as spanning three lives. It removes much of it from the present and it becomes a distant thing. The buddha only taught it to be realised in this moment to put an end to dukkha.

Ultimately the three lives model comes from an attempt to explain how rebirth can happen with Anatta. However in the suttas I have not come accross one where the Buddha explains how rebirth happens, instead he just states that it will happen if nibbana hasnt been realised and this is only when teaching to lay people or to other wanderers, brahmins etc. He never used Dependent Origination to explain rebirth, he only taught and explained it in order for his followers to put an end to dukkha in this moment.

Its not to say that rebirth does or does not happen, just that Dependent Origination has nothing to do with rebirth from what is taught in the suttas.
“ 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
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Element » Sat Feb 07, 2009 11:25 pm

:namaste:
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:04 am

Greetings,

clw_uk wrote:Its not to say that rebirth does or does not happen, just that Dependent Origination has nothing to do with rebirth from what is taught in the suttas.

:clap:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby atulo » Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:44 pm

Interesting, but nobody looked into Notes on Dhamma. Here are two pages from the book:
A NOTE ON PATICCASAMUPPÁDA
Shorter Notes :: PATICCASAMUPPÁDA
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