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Element
21 Oct 10, 05:02
Dear forum

I recently read this sutta for the first time.

I found it interesting because it simply describes Dependent Origination in four links and uses the simple word 'acquisition' (upadhi).

For me, 'acquisition' is to take possession of or appropriate things and regard them as "I", "me" or "mine".




SN 12.66 - Sammasa Sutta - Exploration

Bhikkhus, do you engage in inward exploration?

Here bhikkhus, when engaged in inward exploration, a bhikkhu explores thus:

There are many diverse kinds of suffering that arise in the world [headed by] aging-and-death.

What is the source of this suffering, what is its origin, from what is it born and produced? When what exists does aging-and-death come to be? When what does not exist does aging-and-death not come to be?

As he explores he understands thus:

This suffering has acquisition as its source, acquisition as its origin; it is born and produced from acquisition. When there is acquisition, aging-and-death comes to be; when there is no acquisition, aging-and-death does not come to be.

Then, engaging further in inward exploration, he explores thus:

What is the source of this acquisition, what is its origin, from what is it born and produced? When what exists does acquisition come to be? When what does not exist does acquisition not come to be?

As he explores he understands thus:

Acquisition has craving as its source, craving as its origin; it is born and produced from craving. When there is craving , acquisition comes to be; when there is no craving, acquisition not come to be.

Then, engaging further in inward exploration, he explores thus:

When craving arises, where does it arise? When it settles down, upon what does it settle?

As he explores he understands thus:

Whatever in the world has a pleasant and agreeable nature: it is here that this craving arises when it arises; it is here that it settles when it settles down. And what in the world has a pleasant and agreeable nature? The eye has a pleasant and agreeable nature in the world; it is here that this craving arises when it arises; it is here that it settles when it settles down. So too the ear, the nose, the tongue, the body and the mind have a pleasant and agreeable nature in the world; it is here that this craving arises when it arises; it is here that it settles when it settles down.

Bhikkhus, whatever ascetics and brahmins regard that in the world with a pleasant and agreeable nature as permanent, as happiness, as self, as healthy, as secure; they nurture craving. In nurturing craving, they nurture acquisition. In nurturing acquisition, they nurture suffering. In nurturing suffering, they are not freed from birth, aging and death; they are not freed from sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair; they are not freed from suffering, I say.

Bhikkhus, whatever ascetics and brahmins regard that in the world with a pleasant and agreeable nature as impermanent, as suffering, as not-self, as a disease, as fearful; they have abandoned craving. In abandoning craving, they abandon acquisition. In abandoning acquisition, they abandon suffering. In abandoning suffering, they are freed from birth, aging and death; they are freed from sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair; they are freed from suffering, I say.

Suppose, bhikkhus, there was a bronze cup of a beverage having fine colour, aroma and taste but it was mixed with poison. Then a man would come along, oppressed and afflicted by the heat, tired, parched and thirsty. They would tell him: "Good man, this beverage in the bronze cup has a fine colour, aroma and taste but it is mixed with poison. Drink it if you wish. If you drink it, it will gratify you with its colour, aroma and taste but by drinking it you will meet with death or deadly suffering." Suddenly, without reflecting, he would drink the beverage - he would not reject it - and thereby he would meet death or deadly suffering.

Suppose, bhikkhus, there was a bronze cup of a beverage having fine colour, aroma and taste but it was mixed with poison. Then a man would come along, oppressed and afflicted by the heat, tired, parched and thirsty. They would tell him: "Good man, this beverage in the bronze cup has a fine colour, aroma and taste but it is mixed with poison. Drink it if you wish. If you drink it, it will gratify you with its colour, aroma and taste but by drinking it you will meet with death or deadly suffering." Then the man would think: "I can quench my thirst with water, whey, porridge or soup, but I should not drink that beverage, since to do so would lead to my harm and suffering for a long time". Having reflected, he would not drink the beverage but would reject it. Thereby he would not meet death or deadly suffering.

~~~

Excerpts from translation by Bhikkhu Bodhi


;D

Element
21 Oct 10, 06:10
Dear forum

Today, I read SN 12.69 for the first time.

What I found interesting was, instead of describing Dependent Origination exclusively in a linear way, the sutta also describes Dependent Origination in a 'three dimensional way', that is, in terms of a 'building up' and 'shrinking' of the various mental & physical causes & conditions.

For example, ambiguous terms such as 'birth' are not described as static or temporal. Rather, they 'surge' and 'recede'.




SN 12.69 - Upayanti Sutta - The Surge

Bhikkhus, the ocean surging causes the rivers to surge; the rivers surging cause the streams to surge; the streams surging cause the lakes to surge; the lakes surging cause the pools to surge.

So too, ignorance surging causes formations to surge; formations surging causes consciousness to surge; consciousness surging causes mind-body to surge; mind-body surging causes the six sense spheres to surge; the six sense spheres surging causes contact to surge; contact surging causes feeling to surge; feeling surging causes craving to surge; craving surging causes clinging to surge; clinging surging causes becoming to surge; becoming surging causes birth to surge; birth surging causes aging-and-death to surge.

Bhikkhus, the ocean receding causes the rivers to recede; the rivers receding cause the streams to recede; the streams receding cause the lakes to recede; the lakes receding cause the pools to recede.

So too, ignorance receding causes formations to recede; formations receding causes consciousness to recede; consciousness receding causes mind-body to recede; mind-body receding causes the six sense spheres to recede; the six sense spheres receding causes contact to recede; contact receding causes feeling to recede; feeling receding causes craving to recede; craving receding causes clinging to recede; clinging receding causes becoming to recede; becoming receding causes birth to recede; birth receding causes aging-and-death to recede.

~~~

Excerpts from translation by Bhikkhu Bodhi
(but with 'mind-body' replacing 'name-and-form')

The description on SN 12.69 is similar to MN 149 (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.149.than.html), which states:



For him — infatuated, attached, confused, not remaining focused on their drawbacks — the five clinging-aggregates head toward future accumulation. The craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now this & now that — grows within him. His bodily disturbances & mental disturbances grow. His bodily torments & mental torments grow. His bodily distresses & mental distresses grow. He is sensitive both to bodily stress & mental stress.

For him — uninfatuated, unattached, unconfused, remaining focused on their drawbacks — the five clinging-aggregates head toward future diminution. The craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now this & now that — is abandoned by him. His bodily disturbances & mental disturbances are abandoned. His bodily torments & mental torments are abandoned. His bodily distresses & mental distresses are abandoned. He is sensitive both to ease of body & ease of mind.

MN 149



;D

McKmike
21 Oct 10, 14:46
:good:
Hi Element

The great delight of the Buddha's teaching is that as you practice more deeper levels of meaning arise, bit like layers in an onion

I have always considered Dependant Origination as a description of the process of the mind body continuum, based on ignorance mental formations are constructed, the conciousness recognises the criteria for the formation, for instance in my case a craving for peanuts, peanuts occur in conciousness and mind body (Namma- rupa) in attuned via the six sense doors to peanuts ( a definite surge in my case) contact follows with a pleasant feeling, craving most definitely follows, quickly accompanied by Clinging, which triggers the anticipation of becoming, which triggers birth in the form of peanut consumption, quickly followed by suffering in my case in the form of severe indigestion.

With more wiser mental formation my ignorance is dispelled a little and the knowledge of the suffering my peanut addiction causes, ignorance recedes, mental formation for peanuts is modified, conciousness recedes etc....

So for me SN 12.69 resonates with and helps me understand a little more perhaps
Thanks for bringing it up as a thread

McKmike

Sobeh
21 Oct 10, 16:22
The links in paticcasamuppada are structural, not temporal; paticcasamuppada is not a process that takes place over time.

Element
21 Oct 10, 22:17
...quickly followed by suffering in my case in the form of severe indigestion.

Hi McKmike

Your example was lucid, apt & a generator of a very deep chuckle.

Kind regards

;D

McKmike
22 Oct 10, 12:31
The links in paticcasamuppada are structural, not temporal; paticcasamuppada is not a process that takes place over time.


Hi All
Thanks for the reply from Sobeh, I must confess my ignorance and ask if any one could elaborate on the structural nature of Dependant Origination against the temporal process explanation

Sobeh
22 Oct 10, 16:16
Two points, generally:

(1) Paticcasamuppada is akalika. This word is "non-time", usually translated as timeless (but since such a rubric would render anatta as "selfless", I use 'non-' to conserve the Pali structure in English.) Paticcasamuppada does not operate over time, but is instead characterized by non-time.

(2) Sotapanna are the first of the Noble Sangha members, and one of their qualities is seeing paticcasamuppada directly, as opposed to theoretically. It is the difference between reading about the fudoza posture, and reflecting on ones posture while sitting in fudoza. By way of contrast, one quality which is not required for sotapanna is knowledge of past abodes, or past lives. Thus, a sotapanna can see paticcasamuppada without recourse to the past.

The second point is a little obtuse, but the trend should be apparent. Nanavira offers a fuller discussion here (http://nanavira.xtreemhost.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=47&Itemid=75).

Element
22 Oct 10, 21:42
Paticcasamuppada is akalika. This word is "non-time", usually translated as timeless (but since such a rubric would render anatta as "selfless", I use 'non-' to conserve the Pali structure in English.) Paticcasamuppada does not operate over time, but is instead characterized by non-time.

Sobeh

What do you actually mean by 'non-time'? What practical application does this have?

Kind regards

;D

BTW: I have always regarded 'akalika' to mean 'immediately effective'. The Buddha advised all of his Dhamma, not just Paticcasamuppada, has the quality of 'akalika'. For me, this means when it is practised, it brings immediate results or benefits.


[size=10pt]Sandiṭṭhika [cp. BSk. sandṛṣṭika Divy 426] visible; belonging to, of advantage to, this life, actual

It is welcome as a friend, beautifully told & its blessings are immediate: sv' akkhāta, sandiṭṭhika, akālika, ehipassika etc

Pali Dictionary

It is welcome as a friend [ehipassika], beautifully told [sv' akkhāta] & its blessings [sandiṭṭhika] are immediate [akālika]

Sobeh
23 Oct 10, 01:11
What temporal succession is akālika? For an ariyasāvaka, paticcasamuppāda is a matter of direct reflexive certainty: the ariyasāvaka has direct, certain, reflexive knowledge of the condition upon which birth depends. He has no such knowledge about re-birth, which is quite a different matter. He knows for himself that avijjā is the condition for birth; but he does not know for himself that when there is avijjā there is re-birth. (That there is re-birth, i.e. samsāra, may remain, even for the ariyasāvaka, a matter of trust in the Buddha.)

The ariyasāvaka knows for himself that even in this very life the arahat is, actually, not to be found (cf. Khandha Samy. ix,3 <S.iii,109-15> ...), and that it is wrong to say that the arahat 'was born' or 'will die'. With sakkāyanirodha there is no longer any 'somebody' (or a person—sakkāya, q.v.) to whom the words birth and death can apply. They apply, however, to the puthujjana, who still 'is somebody'. But to endow his birth with a condition in the past—i.e. a cause—is to accept this 'somebody' at its face value as a permanent 'self'; for cessation of birth requires cessation of its condition, which, being safely past (in the preceding life), cannot now be brought to an end; and this 'somebody' cannot therefore now cease. Introduction of this idea into paticcasamuppāda infects the samudayasacca with sassataditthi and the nirodhasacca with ucchedaditthi. Not surprisingly, the result is hardly coherent. And to make matters worse, most of the terms—and notably sankhāra (q.v.)—have been misconceived by the Visuddhimagga.

Deshy
24 Oct 10, 13:16
For me, 'acquisition' is to take possession of or appropriate things and regard them as "I", "me" or "mine".

Great. With that explanation the sutta makes sense. Thanks

Btw. from where do you read the SN? I bet you are reading a hard copy of Bodhi's translation?

Snowmelt
24 Oct 10, 13:40
If we are refraining from considering the question of whether rebirth exists, can we assume that "aging-and-death" is simply a metaphor for impermanence?

Sobeh
24 Oct 10, 16:36
Aging-and-death is actually one phrase among many in the standard formula for the 12th link of paticcasamuppada which gets summed up as "this whole mass of suffering". It isn't a metaphor for anicca, its a description of dukkha.

Element
24 Oct 10, 19:35
Hi

I am inclined to agree with Snowmelt's point of view but also agree with Sobeh's point of view.

For me, the last link is suffering (sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, despair, etc,) that is inseparable from impermanent occurences (such as aging-and-death). In my opinion, for suffering to occur, I think impermanence must come into play somewhere, as described in the Nakulapita Sutta (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.001.than.html):


Ven. Sariputta said: "Now, how is one afflicted in body & afflicted in mind?

"There is the case where a person assumes form (the body) to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form. He is seized with the idea that 'I am form' or 'Form is mine.' As he is seized with these ideas, his form changes & alters, and he falls into sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress & despair over its change & alteration.

;D

clw_uk
26 Oct 10, 17:00
I see ageing and death as the result of grasping and the birth of me or mine. For example if one grasps the body then there is birth of "I am the body". There is then association with that which is impermanent and ages and dies. This leads to dukkha of not wanting to age and die etc


Bit of an oversimplication of course

stuka
26 Oct 10, 17:30
Is the "acquisition" here the same word in Pali as that of MN 117?:

""And what is right view? Right view, I tell you, is of two sorts: There is right view with fermentations [asava], siding with merit, resulting in the acquisitions [of becoming]; and there is noble right view, without fermentations, transcendent, a factor of the path. "

Element
26 Oct 10, 21:04
Hi Stuka

It is the same word, namely, 'upadhi'.

Kind regards

;D


SN 12.66

Idaṃ kho dukkhaṃ upadhinidānaṃ upadhisamudayaṃ upadhijātikaṃ upadhipabhavaṃ.

This suffering has acquisition as its source, acquisition as its origin; it is born and produced from acquisition.


MN 117

Katamā ca, bhikkhave, sammādiṭṭhi? Sammādiṭṭhiṃpahaṃ bhikkhave, dvāyaṃ [two] vadāmi – atthi, bhikkhave, sammādiṭṭhi sāsavā puññabhāgiyā upadhivepakkā

And what is right view? Right view, I tell you, is of two sorts: There is right view with fermentations, siding with merit, resulting in acquisition.


MN 26

Kiñca, bhikkhave, jātidhammaṃ vadetha? Puttabhariyaṃ, bhikkhave, jātidhammaṃ, dāsidāsaṃ jātidhammaṃ, ajeḷakaṃ jātidhammaṃ, kukkuṭasūkaraṃ jātidhammaṃ, hatthigavāssavaḷavaṃ jātidhammaṃ, jātarūparajataṃ jātidhammaṃ. Jātidhammā hete, bhikkhave, upadhayo. Etthāyaṃ gathito mucchito ajjhāpanno attanā jātidhammo samāno jātidhammaṃyeva pariyesati.

And what may be said to be subject to birth? Spouses & children are subject to birth. Men & women slaves... goats & sheep... fowl & pigs... elephants, cattle, horses, & mares... gold & silver are subject to birth. Subject to birth are these acquisitions, and one who is tied to them, infatuated with them, who has totally fallen for them, being subject to birth, seeks what is likewise subject to birth.

;D

stuka
27 Oct 10, 03:52
Fascinating:



This suffering has acquisition as its source, acquisition as its origin; it is born and produced from acquisition. When there is acquisition, aging-and-death comes to be; when there is no acquisition, aging-and-death does not come to be.





"And what is right view? Right view, I tell you, is of two sorts: There is right view with fermentations [asava], siding with merit, resulting in the acquisitions [of becoming]; and there is noble right view, without fermentations, transcendent, a factor of the path. "




Fascinating indeed.