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Element
03 Mar 17, 09:22
Dear forum

The suttas report the Buddha said his teachings of dhamma, including Dependent Origination, were straightforward & directly visible:


Bhikkhus, the Dhamma well proclaimed by me thus is clear, open, evident and free of patchwork.

MN 22 : Alagadd?pamasutta


The Dhamma is well expounded by the Blessed One, directly visible, immediate, inviting one to come and see, applicable, to be personally experienced by the wise.

SN 16.3 : Cand?pam?sutta


I have set forth the Dhamma without making any distinction of esoteric and exoteric doctrine; there is nothing, Ananda, with regard to the teachings that the Tathagata holds to the last with the closed fist of a teacher who keeps some things back.

DN 16 : Maha-parinibbana Sutta

In this thread, I will offer a meditative analysis of Dependent Origination from MN 9, for the purpose of meditative investigation.

The analysis will essentially be the same as offered in Bhikkhu Thanissaro's 'Shape of Suffering':

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/shapeofsuffering.pdf

:peace:

Element
03 Mar 17, 09:56
Ignorance & Taints

There are three taints: the taint of sensual desire, the taint of becoming and the taint of ignorance. With the arising of ignorance there is the arising of the taints.

Not knowing about suffering, not knowing about the origin of suffering, not knowing about the cessation of suffering, not knowing about the way leading to the cessation of suffering — this is called ignorance. With the arising of the taints there is the arising of ignorance.

MN 9

In MN 9, the 1st condition of dependent origination, namely, ignorance, includes within it the 'asava'.

The 'asava' are defilements of: (i) sensual desire; (ii) passion for & past becoming; and (iii) ignorance; which spontaneously or habitually flow out of the mind.

The 'asava', which are translated as 'taints', 'fermentations', 'effluents', 'cankers', 'outflows', etc, are essentially instinctual drives & mechanisms.

Therefore, the 1st condition of ignorance not only refers to 'not-knowing'. It also refers to the fact that when ignorance exists, the instinctual drives of the mind will not be subdued and therefore will spontaneously & habitually flow out as 'asava'.

Meditation: In meditation, when moods or drives spontaneously arise in the mind (such as the five hindrances), these are part of the condition of ignorance. This is to be known with clear-comprehension.

:wheel:

Element
03 Mar 17, 10:50
Sankhara: fabricators

Katame ca bhikkhave saṅkhārā? Tayome bhikkhave, saṅkhārā: kāyasaṅkhāro vacīsaṅkhāro cittasaṅkhāro. Ime vuccanti bhikkhave, saṅkhārā.

And what are fabricators? These three are fabricators: the body fabricator, the verbal fabricator & the mind fabricator. These are called fabricators.

MN 9


Katamo panayye kāyasaṅkhāro, katamo vacīsaṅkhāro, katamo cittasaṅkhāroti? Assāsapassāsā kho āvuso visākha kāyasaṅkhāro. Vitakkavicārā vacīsaṅkhāro. Saññā ca vedanā ca cittasaṅkhāroti.

But what is the body fabricator? What is the verbal fabricator? What is the mind fabricator? In-&-out breathing is the body fabricator. Initial thought & sustained thought are the verbal fabricator. Perceptions & feelings are the mind fabricator.

MN 44


With the arising of ignorance there is the arising of fabricators.

MN 9

The 2nd condition of dependent origination is called 'sankhara', which is often mistranslated as 'volitional formations'. Not only does the word 'volitional' not exist in the Pali, but these 'sankhara' are non-volitional, in that, the same as 'ignorance', they arise spontaneously or habitually.

Thus, Ajahn Sumedho, for example, has called the sankhara 'habitual formations' rather than 'volitional formations'.

Contrary to mainstream Buddhism, many Buddhist teachers such as Bhikkhu Buddhadasa, Nanavira Thera, Katukurunde Nyanananda and even Thanissaro Bhikkhu (in ‘Shape of Suffering’) have correctly identified the ‘sankhara’ in dependent origination as: (i) the in-&-out breathing; (ii) initial & sustained thought; and (iii) perceptions & feelings.

Explicitly, these 'sankhara' or 'fabricators' are exclusively 'internal'. In other words, they do not arise directly from sense experiences of external objects but arise from within the body & mind.

These 'sankhara' are called 'fabricators' because the breathing conditions/affects/fabricates the body (rupa) and the feelings, perceptions & thoughts can condition/affect/fabricate the mind (nama) at the 4th condition of dependent origination (nama-rupa) & also further along in dependent origination.

Therefore, in meditation, these 'sankhara' manifest as 'distracting thoughts' and disturbances of the in & out breathing.

It is important to distinguish between: (a) the moods or energetic drives of the 'asava' (which are connected to 'ignorance') and; (b) the 'sankhara' of inner feelings, perceptions & thoughts and disturbances of breathing (that are conditioned by the prior 'asava').

For example, a mood, drive or urge (such as sensual desire) may arise in meditation however the associated thoughts (sankhara) may be stopped; even though it may take a longer time to calm the mood or propulsion of sensual desire, which may still remain.

Meditation:

1. 'Sankhara' are the most basic or primal level of distracting thoughts, memories or images.

2. 'Sankhara', namely, the 'kaya sankhara', is also the breathing.

3. When the mind is aware of breathing but the breathing is agitated or disturbed, the agitation is conditioned/caused by ignorance & asava.

4. Or when distracting thoughts arise, this arising is also conditioned/caused by ignorance & asava.

5. If the breathing is calmed, this is called 'calming the kaya sankhara', as explained in step 4 of the Anapanasati Sutta.

6. When hindrances arise in meditation, the meditator should try to distinguish between: (a) the mood, drive or asava; and (b) the distracting thoughts ('sankhara'). The mood or drive is 'ignorance-asava' and the thoughts is 'sankhara'.

:wheel:

Element
04 Mar 17, 02:10
Consciousness

There are these six classes of consciousness: eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness, mind-consciousness. With the arising of formations there is the arising of consciousness.

MN 9


'Consciousness, consciousness': Thus is it said. To what extent, friend, is it said to be 'consciousness'?

'It cognizes, it cognizes': Thus, friend, it is said to be 'consciousness.' And what does it cognize? It cognizes 'pleasant.' It cognizes 'painful.' It cognizes 'neither painful nor pleasant.' 'It cognizes, it cognizes': Thus it is said to be 'consciousness.'

MN 43
The 3rd condition of dependent origination is 'consciousness', which is 'cognition', 'experiencing' or 'knowing'.

When ignorant-sankhara arise internally, they become the objects of consciousness or experience.

Further, if the mind (nama) becomes pre-occupied with the ignorant-sankhara, consciousness will also remain pre-occupied with those sankhara, including pursuing related external experiences.

For example, if the sankhara thought & feelings spontaneously arises: "I feel like ice-cream" (which is caused by an asava of sensuality & past becoming), mind-consciousness knows this sankhara & mind-consciousness is also captured or used by this sankhara. If dependent origination continues towards craving & kammic activity (becoming), eye-consciousness continues to serve the sankhara by looking for ice-cream via the eyes in the refrigerator.

Therefore, ignorance causes sankharas to arise and sankharas cause consciousness to arise, i.e., to activate, as described below:


Should consciousness, when standing, stand attached to fabrications, supported by fabrications (as its object), landing on fabrications, watered with delight, it would exhibit growth, increase & proliferation.

SN 22.53


Kamma is the field, consciousness the seed and craving the moisture. The consciousness of living beings hindered by ignorance & fettered by craving is established in/tuned to a lower property.

AN 3.76

Meditation:

1. If the mind knows the breathing (kaya-sankhara) in meditation, this knowing is body-consciousness.

2. If a distracting thought (vaci-sankhara) arises in meditation, mind-consciousness knows or is captured by that distracting thought and the body-consciousness that previously experienced the breathing ceases to function.

3. If the internal sankhara then cause external seeking activity, consciousness will also operate with the eyes, ears, nose & tongue.

:wheel:

Element
04 Mar 17, 03:31
Mentality-Materiality

And what is mentality-materiality (nama-rupa)?

Feeling, perception, volition, contact and attention — these are called mentality (nama).

The four great elements and the material form derived from the four great elements — these are called materiality (rupa).

With the arising of consciousness there is the arising of mentality-materiality.

With the cessation of consciousness there is the cessation of mentality-materiality.

MN 9

'Mentality-materiality' or 'nama-rupa' is the 4th condition of dependent origination & possibly the most misunderstood & debated.

Misunderstanding occurs because: (i) 'nama-rupa' was a key tenet of pre-Buddhist Brahmanism, namely, 'naming-forms'; (ii) in Pali suttas delivered to/composed for Brahmans (e.g. SN 7.6; DN 11; DN 15), the term 'nama-rupa' retains its Brahmanistic meaning as 'name-form'; and (iii) therefore Buddhists overlook the fact that for Buddhist purposes 'nama-rupa' means 'mentality-materiality', as defined in MN 9 & SN 12.2.

This interpretation & translation discrepancy is easily resolved & confirmed by the fact that in the suttas for Buddhists (eg. MN 9; SN 12.2; SN 12.67), consciousness & nama-rupa are said to be interrelated, i.e., they cannot exist without eachother. Whereas in the suttas for Brahmans (e.g. SN 7.6; DN 11; DN 15), it is said there is a luminous or discerning consciousness that exists when nama-rupa stops/ends/is destroyed. This shows 'nama-rupa' for Buddhist practitioners does not mean 'naming-forms' but 'mentality-materiality'.

:wheel:

Returning to dependent origination, 'rupa' or 'materiality' refers to the physical body. When ignorance/asava flow out, the kaya-sankhara (breathing) is disturbed/agitated, which in turn makes the physical body ('rupa') stressed/agitated. This dependent conditioning is easily verified in meditation.

More important to comprehend, 'mentality' or 'nama' refers to the various mental faculties of feeling, perception, volition, (internal) contact & attention. 'Mentality' also includes other mental faculties, such as faith, mindfulness, effort, etc (refer to MN 111).

For example, when a meditator generates the volition/intention to meditate & establishes attention, this is a function of 'nama'. Or when a meditator feels the breathing (kaya-sankhara) is agitated, this feeling is a function of 'nama'. Or when a meditator perceives an ignorant perception (citta-sankhara) is unbeneficial, this wise perception (nama) of an unwise perception (citta-sankhara) is a function of 'nama'. When the meditator decides (nama) to abandon the unwise perception (citta-sankhara) & unwise distracting thoughts (vaci-sankhara) and return to the breathing, this decision or volition is a function of 'nama'.

In terms of practising meditation (which is not dependent origination), 'nama-rupa' is the meditator or 'gatekeeper'. In meditation, nama-rupa together with consciousness experience, manage & calm the sankhara that are generated by ignorance. These are the 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th conditions of dependent origination.

However, it terms of dependent origination, which refers to the origination of suffering, the 'nama-rupa' condition is included to describe how mentality-materiality is overcome by ignorance. When mentality-materiality is overcome by ignorance, there will be no mindfulness & no wisdom and nama-rupa will create volitions/intentions that side with the drives & persuasions of the ignorant sankhara. Instead of perceiving the ignorant sankharas as unbeneficial, the nama-rupa will perceive those ignorant sankharas as worthy of time & energy. Thus consciousness & mentality-materiality will be overcome by ignorance, as described below:


Well, Brahman, when a man dwells with his heart possessed and overwhelmed by sense-desires, and does not know, as it really is, the way of escape from sense-desires that have arisen, then he cannot know or see, as it really is, what is to his own profit, nor can he know and see what is to the profit of others, or of both himself and others. Then even sacred words he has long studied are not clear to him, not to mention those he has not studied.

Imagine, Brahman, a bowl of water mixed with lac, turmeric, dark green or crimson dye. If a man with good eyesight were to look at the reflection of his own face in it, he would not know or see it as it really was. In the same way, Brahman, when a man dwells with his heart possessed and overwhelmed by sense-desires... then he cannot know or see, as it really is, what is to his own profit, to the profit of others, to the profit of both. Then even sacred words he has long studied are not clear to him, not to mention those he has not studied.

SN 46.55

Meditation:

1. It is important to discern 'nama-rupa' is the meditator, which feels, engages in wise perception, wise intentions & applies mindfulness & attention.

2. It is important to discern how 'nama' can feel, perceive, contact, attend to & create intentions towards the ignorant thoughts, perceptions, feelings and disturbances of breathing that are the 'sankhara'.

3. In terms of dependent origination, the arising of 'nama-rupa' means when 'nama-rupa' is overcome by ignorance & thus mindfulness & wisdom are lost.

4. When 'nama-rupa' is overcome by ignorance, it will generate unwise perceptions, give unwise attention and particularly generate unwise intentions.

5. In short, 'intention' or 'volition' first begins to operate in dependent origination at 'nama-rupa' (as specifically described in MN 9).

:wheel:

Element
04 Mar 17, 10:55
When mentality-materiality is overcome by ignorance, there will be no mindfulness & no wisdom and nama-rupa will create volitions/intentions that side with the drives & persuasions of the ignorant sankhara. Instead of perceiving the ignorant sankharas as unbeneficial, the nama-rupa will perceive those ignorant sankharas as worthy of time & energy.
The above is also well-described in MN 19:

1. Nama wisely perceiving & reflecting upon distracting thoughts (vaci sankhara) as unbeneficial:


As I abided thus, diligent, ardent, and resolute, a thought [vaci sankhara] of sensual desire arose in me. I understood thus: ‘This thought of sensual desire has arisen in me. This leads to my own affliction, to others’ affliction, and to the affliction of both; it obstructs wisdom, causes difficulties, and leads away from Nibbāna.’ When I considered: ‘This leads to my own affliction,’ it subsided in me; when I considered: ‘This leads to others’ affliction,’ it subsided in me; when I considered: ‘This leads to the affliction of both,’ it subsided in me; when I considered: ‘This obstructs wisdom, causes difficulties, and leads away from Nibbāna,’ it subsided in me. Whenever a thought of sensual desire arose in me, I abandoned it, removed it, did away with it.

2. Nama ignorantly giving time & energy to unbeneficial thoughts (vaci sankhara), which feeds the cycle of dependent origination towards suffering:


Bhikkhus, whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination (nati) of his mind. If he frequently thinks and ponders upon thoughts of sensual desire, he has abandoned the thought of renunciation to cultivate the thought of sensual desire, and then his mind inclines (namati) to thoughts of sensual desire. If he frequently thinks and ponders upon thoughts of ill will…upon thoughts of cruelty, he has abandoned the thought of non-cruelty to cultivate the thought of cruelty, and then his mind inclines to thoughts of cruelty.

3. Nama wisely not giving time & energy to unbeneficial thoughts (vaci sankhara), which reverses & stops the cycle of dependent origination:


Bhikkhus, whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination (nati) of his mind. If he frequently thinks and ponders upon thoughts of renunciation, he has abandoned the thought of sensual desire to cultivate the thought of renunciation, and then his mind inclines (namati) to thoughts of renunciation. If he frequently thinks and ponders upon thoughts of non-ill will…upon thoughts of non-cruelty, he has abandoned the thought of cruelty to cultivate the thought of non-cruelty, and then his mind inclines to thoughts of non-cruelty.

Note: the Pali word 'namati' used above as 'inclination' of mind.

Thus, the first four conditions of dependent origination might possibly be summarised as: 'ignorance' condition 'sankhara' which condition 'consciousness' which condition 'mental (& bodily) inclination'.

:wheel:

Element
07 Mar 17, 03:06
Before moving on to the 5th (sense spheres) & 6th (sense contact) conditions of dependent origination, a feature of the 4th condition should be reiterated, namely, 'sense contact' is also one of the constituents of 'nama' ('mentality'), the 4th condition.

'Contact' as a constituent of 'nama-rupa' means everything wholesome that can be experienced in formal meditation, such as calming the sankhara (sabba-sankara-samatho) & ending ignorance, is included within the first four conditions.

While wholesome meditation is not dependent origination itself (since dependent origination is about the arising of suffering), having 'contact' within the 4th condition allows the first four conditions to be known & examined clearly.

The breathing that is calmed is the 'kaya sankhara'; vitakka & vicara that are calmed in the 2nd jhana is 'vaci sankhara'; the feelings & perceptions that are calmed in the higher jhanas are 'citta sankhara'; and the greed, hatred & delusion that are calmed are 'ignorance'.

Thus, the suttas say:


There are, bhikkhu, these six kinds of tranquillization. For one who has attained the first jhana, speech has been tranquillized. For one who has attained the second jhana, thought (vitakka) & examination (vicara) have been tranquillized. For one who has attained the third jhana, rapture has been tranquillized. For one who has attained the fourth jhana, in-breathing and out-breathing have been tranquillized. For one who has attained the cessation of perception and feeling, perception and feeling have been tranquillized. For a bhikkhu whose taints are destroyed, lust has been tranquillized, hatred has been tranquillized, delusion (ignorance) has been tranquillized.

SN 36.11

Meditation:

1. Know clearly 'nama-rupa' is the 'meditator' or 'gatekeeper'.

2. Know clearly 'sankhara' is the meditation objects, such as distracting thoughts, breathing, rapture, etc.

3. Know clearly 'consciousness' is the knowing of the 'sankhara'.

4. Know clearly any outflows (asava) of habitual or spontaneous defilements are ignorance.

:peace:

Element
07 Mar 17, 03:35
The 5th & 6th conditions of dependent origination are the six sense spheres & the six sense contacts.


There are these six bases: the eye-base, the ear-base, the nose-base, the tongue-base, the body-base, the mind-base. With the arising of mentality-materiality there is the arising of the sixfold base.

There are these six classes of contact: eye-contact, ear-contact, nose-contact, tongue-contact, body-contact, mind-contact. With the arising of the sixfold base there is the arising of contact.

MN 9

The essential matter of dependent origination is it describes how the sense spheres & sense contact are tainted or clouded by ignorance.

Thus the very important phrase: "ignorant contact" is found in SN 22.81, MN 38, etc.


To an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person, touched by that which is felt born of contact with ignorance (avijjāsamphassa), craving arises. That fabrication is born of that. And that fabrication is inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen. SN 22.81


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 deliverance of mind and deliverance by wisdom wherein those evil unwholesome states cease without remainder. MN 38

The sense spheres & sense contacts will 'arise' ('samudhaya') or become activated & disturbed when the nama-rupa has been overwhelmed by ignorance. Thus, what the phrase: "With the arising of mentality-materiality there is the arising of the sixfold base" means is: "With the arising of ignorant-mentality-materiality there is the arising of an ignorant sixfold base".

:wheel:

One should not be concerned or confused with sutta passages (such as from MN 38 above) that begin/start the dependent origination sequence at sense contact. The important matter is ignorance remains dormant as an underlying tendency in the mind and external sense contacts, such as seeing & hearing, can activate this underlying tendency of ignorance. Thus, ignorance is always the 1st condition of dependent origination, even though sense contacts may activate the underlying ignorance.

Thus MN 148 states:


Dependent on the eye and forms, eye-consciousness arises; the meeting of the three is contact; with contact as condition there arises a feeling felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant. When one is touched by a pleasant feeling, if one delights in it, welcomes it and remains holding to it, then the underlying tendency to lust lies within one. When one is touched by a painful feeling, if one sorrows, grieves and laments, weeps beating one’s breast and becomes distraught, then the underlying tendency to aversion lies within one. When one is touched by a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, if one does not understand as it actually is the origination, the disappearance, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in regard to that feeling, then the underlying tendency to ignorance lies within one.

Bhikkhus, that one shall here and now make an end of suffering without abandoning the underlying tendency to lust for pleasant feeling, without abolishing the underlying tendency to aversion towards painful feeling, without extirpating the underlying tendency to ignorance in regard to neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, without abandoning ignorance and arousing true knowledge — this is impossible.

MN 148

Meditation:

Investigate in actual sense experience how there is sense contact with ignorance & how there is sense contact without ignorance.

:peace:

Element
11 Mar 17, 19:42
There are these six classes of feeling: feeling born of eye-contact, feeling born of ear-contact, feeling born of nose-contact, feeling born of tongue-contact, feeling born of body-contact, feeling born of mind-contact. With the arising of contact there is the arising of feeling.

MN 9


With contact as condition there arises a feeling felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant.

MN 148
The 7th condition of dependent origination is 'feeling' ('vedana'), which refers to feelings of pleasantness, unpleasantness or neither at sense contact.

For example, the sense contact of the warm sun upon the physical body in the morning feels pleasant; or a clear smooth invigorating breath in meditation feels pleasant; or the sight of the body of an animal killed on a road feels unpleasant; or the sight of a strange object never seen before elicits a feeling (mental sensation-reaction) that is neither-pleasant-nor-unpleasant.

Feelings are only feelings or 'sensations'. For example, in SN 22.95, feelings are compare to a bubbles that appear & disappear on the water when it is raining.

In other words, feelings do not include the idea of "I", such as "I feel pleasant; I like this; I dislike that; I feel happy; I am in pain". The idea of "I" is something added onto the feeling later at the 10th condition of dependent origination called 'attachment'.

SN 22.79 states:


And why, bhikkhus, do you call it feeling? ‘It feels,’ bhikkhus, therefore it is called feeling. And what does it feel? It feels pleasure, it feels pain, it feels neither-pain-nor-pleasure. ‘It feels,’ bhikkhus, therefore it is called feeling

MN 38 states:


Delight in feelings is attachment.

When feeling arises in dependent origination, it refers to the arising of feeling together with ignorance.

If feelings are experienced without ignorance, this is not dependent origination but, instead, the practise of the noble eightfold.

Feelings are the most primal 'impact' of sense contacts or sense impressions.

Even the fully enlightened Buddhas experience feelings, as stated in many suttas, such as Iti 44, MN 37 & MN 38:


Here a bhikkhu is an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed, the holy life fulfilled, who has done what had to be done, laid down the burden, attained the goal, destroyed the fetters of being, completely released through final knowledge. However, his five sense faculties remain unimpaired, by which he still experiences what is agreeable and disagreeable and feels pleasure and pain. It is the extinction of attachment, hate, and delusion in him that is called the Nibbāna-element. Iti 44


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 an immeasurable mind, and he understands as it actually is the deliverance of mind and deliverance by wisdom wherein those evil unwholesome states cease without remainder. Having thus abandoned favouring and opposing, whatever feeling he feels, whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant, he does not delight in that feeling, welcome it, or remain holding to it. MN 38

Meditation:

To know feelings & only feelings, the mind must be calm and feel how various sense contacts impact or impress upon the sensitivity of the mind.

:peace:

woodscooter
14 Mar 17, 18:16
Thanks for that very detailed analysis on Dependent Origination, Element.

I think that my understanding is improving. :hands:

Element
15 Mar 17, 10:23
There are these six classes of craving: craving for forms, craving for sounds, craving for odors, craving for flavors, craving for tangibles, craving for mind-objects. With the arising of feeling there is the arising of craving.

MN 9

The 8th condition of dependent origination is 'craving' ('tanha'), which refers to craving for sense objects.

The 8th condition should not be mixed up with the 1st condition, in which the 1st condition includes the sensual desire & craving for becoming that are the in-born underlying tendencies (anusaya) that spontaneously flows out as 'asava'.

As stated, the 8th condition is craving for sense objects, which can include craving towards desires that spontaneously flow out as 'asava'.

Craving is described in many ways, such as craving for sensual pleasures, craving-to-be, craving-not-to-be, greed, lust, hatred, delusion, etc.

Craving is identified in Buddhism as a core problem because craving is the urge that drives life forms, often uncontrollably, to act.

For example, the core problem of addiction is craving.

The suttas state:


Through many a birth in samsara have I wandered in vain, seeking the builder of this house. Repeated birth is indeed suffering! O house-builder [craving], you are seen! You will not build this house again. For your rafters are broken and your ridgepole shattered. My mind has reached the Unconditioned; I have attained the destruction of craving.

Dhammapada 153


Craving is the seamstress. For craving sews the production (abhinibbattiyā) of this or that state of [ego] existence (bhavassa).

AN 6.61


Then two strong men would seize both his arms and drag him to the pit of glowing embers. In that manner, I say, O monks, should the nutriment volitional thought be considered. If the nutriment volitional thought is comprehended, the three kinds of craving are thereby comprehended.

SN 12.63


335. Whoever is overcome by this wretched and sticky craving, his sorrows grow like grass after the rains.

336. But whoever overcomes this wretched craving, so difficult to overcome, from him sorrows fall away like water from a lotus leaf.

342. Beset by craving, people run about like an entrapped hare. Held fast by mental fetters, they come to suffering again and again for a long time.

343. Beset by craving, people run about like an entrapped hare. Therefore, one who yearns to be passion-free should destroy his own craving.

Dhammapada

Similar to 'feelings' ('vedana'), craving is not thought . Craving is an urge, a drive, an energetic propulsion. MN 148 states:


With feeling as a requisite condition there is craving. 'The six classes of craving should be known.'

Nor are thoughts of "I am" craving. Craving is one thing; thoughts of "I am" are another thing. SN 12.12 states:


"Who, O Lord, craves?"

"The question is not correct," said the Exalted One. "I do not say that 'he craves.' Had I said so, then the question 'Who craves?' would be appropriate. But since I did not speak thus, the correct way to ask the question will be 'What is the condition of craving?' And to that the correct reply is: 'Feeling is the condition of craving and craving is the condition of clinging.'"

Meditation:

1. To know craving directly, without thought, the mind ideally is well-developed in concentration & calmness. Small arisings of craving can be observed

2. Otherwise (if the mind is not well-developed), when craving arises, attempt to subdue any thoughts in relation to the craving in order to familiarize the mind with the energy, propulsion, urge & drive of the craving itself.

:peace:

Thinker
20 Mar 17, 09:06
Thank you Element, your explanation is of great help!;D

Element
20 Mar 17, 10:38
Thank you Element, your explanation is of great help!;D

Thank you Thinker.

I will complete the remainder soon.

Kind regards ;D

Element
23 Mar 17, 10:27
Cattārimāni bhikkhave, upādānāni: kāmūpadānaṃ, diṭṭhūpādānaṃ, sīlabbatūpādānaṃ, attavādūpādānaṃ.

These four are attachments: sensuality attachment, view attachment, precept & rituals attachment and doctrine of self attachment.

MN 9

'Attachment' or 'grasping' ('upadana') is the 9th condition of dependent origination. The Pali word 'upadana' means to 'take up' or 'pick up', which is well-described in SN 22.22:


Taking up the burden in the world
is stressful.
Casting off the burden
is bliss.
Having cast off the heavy burden
and not taking up another...

In the most primal sense, SN 12.12 describes 'attachment' as the first arising of 'self-view', when it states a "who" does not exist before clinging:


"Who, O Lord, clings?"

"The question is not correct," said the Exalted One, "I do not say that 'he clings.' Had I said so, then the question 'Who clings?' would be appropriate. But since I did not speak thus, the correct way to ask the question will be 'What is the condition of clinging?' And to that the correct reply is: 'Craving is the condition of clinging; and clinging is the condition of the process of becoming.' Such is the origin of this entire mass of suffering.

While 'self-views' can spontaneously flow-out of ignorance as 'asava' in the 1st condition of dependent origination, such 'self-views' are from previously conditioned attachments.

:wheel:

Importantly, attachment is not necessarily attachment to sensual pleasure, to views & opinions, to precept & rituals and to self-views (as is commonly translated, despite the word 'to' not existing in the Pali), as though the sensual pleasure, views & opinions, precepts & self-view exist prior to the attachment. The suttas state it is the five aggregates that are attached to, as follows:


The Blessed One said, "And what, monks, are clingable phenomena? What is clinging?

Form is a clingable phenomenon. Any desire-passion related to it, is clinging related to it.

Feeling is a clingable phenomenon. Any desire-passion related to it, is clinging related to it.

Perception is a clingable phenomenon. Any desire-passion related to it, is clinging related to it.

Fabrications are clingable phenomena. Any desire-passion related to them, is clinging related to them.

Consciousness is a clingable phenomenon. Any desire-passion related to it, is clinging related to it.

SN 22.121

Therefore, attachment includes creating ideas or notions about 'sensual pleasures' (e.g. 'beauty'; 'deliciousness'; 'sexiness', etc), creating views & opinions, creating rules & rituals and creating self-views about the five aggregates that are attached to.

For example, MN 18 states:


With contact as a requisite condition, there is feeling. What one feels (vedeti), one perceives (labels in the mind). What one perceives (sañjānāti), one thinks about (vitakketi). What one thinks about, one objectifies (papañceti).

Or MN 64 states:


For a young tender infant lying prone does not even have the notion ‘identity,’ so how could identity view arise in him? ... A young tender infant lying prone does not even have the notion ‘teachings,’ so how could doubt about the teachings arise in him? ...A young tender infant lying prone does not even have the notion ‘rules,’ so how could adherence to rules and observances arise in him? A young tender infant lying prone does not even have the notion ‘sensual pleasures,’ so how could sensual desire arise in him?... Yet the underlying tendencies... lie within him.

MN 38 states: "Delight in feelings is attachment". Thus attachment here describes an indulgence in pleasurable feelings fuelled by craving, as described in the 2nd noble truth:


... craving which leads to new becoming, accompanied by delight and lust, seeking delight here and there..

Conclusion:

1. Feeling is the condition of craving and craving is the condition of attachment.

2. Feeling & craving do not contain thoughts. Thoughts occur at attachment.

3. Attachment is not only the mind infatuated with, fixated upon & taking/picking up a sense object or a certain aggregate; attachment is also the mind developing ideas, notions, views & opinions about those sense objects & aggregates, such as they are beautiful or delicious (sensuality), they are good or bad, they should follow certain rules or they are 'selves'.

4. Importantly, attachment is the beginning of suffering or stress. When the mind attaches, mental preoccupation, discomfort or a loss of freedom begins. Thus the 1st noble truth summarises all suffering as attachment to the five aggregates.

In summary, the five aggregates subject to clinging are suffering. MN 56.11

5. This being said, some attachments are easily comprehended to be suffering (for example, seeing your lover flirting with another person). However, for all attachments to be comprehended as suffering or a burden requires a taste of liberation in meditation. In reality, only the non-attached mind that knows freedom can fully comprehend all attachment is suffering.

‘I am’ is a conceiving. Conceiving is a disease, conceiving is a tumour, conceiving is a dart. By overcoming all conceivings, bhikkhu, one is called a sage at peace. MN 140

:peace:

Element
20 Apr 17, 10:25
Next, I will move on to 'birth' ('jati'), the 11th condition of dependent origination.

'Birth' is a most important condition to understand because there are many well-known sutta passages that use the term 'birth', such as:


153. Through many a birth in samsara have I wandered in vain, seeking the builder of this house. Repeated birth is indeed suffering!

154. O house-builder, you are seen! You will not build this house again. For your rafters are broken and your ridgepole shattered. My mind has reached the Unconditioned; I have attained the destruction of craving

Dhammapada


Now this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of suffering: birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering; union with what is displeasing is suffering; separation from what is pleasing is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are suffering.

SN 56.11


When my concentrated mind was thus purified, bright, unblemished, rid of imperfection, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, I directed it to knowledge of the recollection of past abodes/dwellings (nivasa). I recollected my manifold past abodes, that is, one birth, two births, three births, four births, five births, ten births, twenty births, thirty births, forty births, fifty births, a hundred births, a thousand births, a hundred thousand births, many aeons of world-contraction, many aeons of world-expansion, many aeons of world-contraction and expansion: ‘There I was so named, of such a clan, with such an appearance, such was my nutriment, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such my life-term; and passing away from there, I reappeared elsewhere; and there too I was so named, of such a clan, with such an appearance, such was my nutriment, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such my life-term; and passing away from there, I reappeared here.’ Thus with their aspects and particulars I recollected my manifold past abodes.

MN 19

In the Gospel of John in the New Testament of Christianity there is the following passage. The wrong assumption of Nicodemus here can occur to Buddhists about the word 'birth', who may interpret it to be physical.


Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’

John 3

:reading:

Element
20 Apr 17, 10:44
The definition of 'birth' in the Pali is as follows:


Katamā ca bhikkhave, jāti? Yā tesaṃ tesaṃ sattānaṃ tamhi tamhi sattanikāye jāti sañjāti okkanti nibbatti abhinibbatti, khandhānaṃ pātubhāvo āyatanānaṃ paṭilābho, ayaṃ vuccati bhikkhave, jāti.

Below is a collection of translations:


What is birth? 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.

Ñanamoli Thera


And what, bhikkhus, is birth? The birth of the various beings into the various orders of beings, their being born, descent [into the womb], production, the manifestation of the aggregates, the obtaining of the sense bases. This is called birth.

Bhikkhu Bodhi


And what is birth? Whatever birth, taking birth, descent, coming-to-be, coming-forth, appearance of aggregates, & acquisition of [sense] spheres of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called birth.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu


What is birth? It is being born, arising, coming to be among the various groups of sentient beings, the appearance of the various aggregates, the arising of a particular sense door.

Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

These translations in themselves are not exactly clear & can result in many assumptions or inferences. Therefore, it is important to attempt to find a definition and/or common usage of each Pali word to discern the true meaning.

:reading:

Element
20 Apr 17, 11:12
A first key term in the definition of 'birth' ('jati') is 'beings' (sattā), namely, 'sattānaṃ' and 'sattanikāye'.

It may be imagined the term 'beings' ordinarily refers to lifeforms or organisms, such as insects, animals or homo sapiens. However, fortunately, the suttas define exactly what is meant by the term 'a being' or 'sattā':


‘A being,’ lord. ‘A being,’ it’s said. To what extent is one said to be ‘a being’?

Any desire, passion, delight or craving for form, feeling, perception, mental formations &/or consciousness Radha: when one is caught up there, tied up there, one is said to be ‘a being'.

SN 23.2


Why now do you assume ‘a being’? Mara, have you grasped a view? This is a heap of sheer constructions: Here no being is found. Just as, with an assemblage of parts, the word ‘chariot’ is used, so, when the aggregates are present, there’s the convention ‘a being.’

SN 5.10


In human bodies in themselves, nothing distinctive can be found. Distinction among human beings is purely verbal designation….For name & clan are assigned, originating in conventions…Whoever makes his living among men by agriculture is called a ‘farmer’…Whoever makes his living among men by merchandise is called a ‘merchant’…that is how the wise truly see…seers of dependent origination.

MN 98

The suttas also state 'a being' ends by abandoning craving (rather than by the termination of life):


Just as when boys or girls are playing with little sand castles: as long as they are not free from passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for those little sand castles, that's how long they have fun with those sand castles, enjoy them, treasure them, feel possessive of them. But when they become free from passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for those little sand castles, then they smash them, scatter them, demolish them with their hands or feet and make them unfit for play.

In the same way, Radha, you too should smash, scatter & demolish form, and make it unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for form.

You should smash, scatter, & demolish feeling... perception.. fabrications ...consciousness and make it unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for consciousness — for the ending of craving, Radha, is Nibbana.

SN 23.2

Therefore, from the examination of this singe word 'sattā' it appears, according to the Pali suttas, the 'birth' of 'beings' is related to the formation of 'views', 'verbal designations' and 'conventions' based in entrapment in craving (rather than physical birth from a womb).

This seems to be confirmed by SN 22.81, which states:


There is the case where an uninstructed person assumes form, feeling, perception, mental formations &/or consciousness to be a ‘self’. That assumption is a mental formation. 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 mental formation of ‘self’ is born from that. And that mental formation is impermanent, fabricated, dependently arisen. That craving… That feeling… That contact… That ignorance is impermanent, fabricated, dependently arisen.

SN 22.81

:peace:

Element
20 Apr 17, 13:00
Next is the series of terms, namely, sañjāti okkanti nibbatti and abhinibbatti.

A quick search of the suttas finds:

1. No use of the term 'sañjāti' in other contexts. Whilst dictionaries cannot be relied on, a dictionary states:


sañjati
is the P. correspondent of sajati1(sṛj), but Sk. sañj = sajjati (to hang on, cling)

2. 'Okkanti' is found abundantly but not clear, such as in:


This adharmic wielding of weapons,
descended (okkanto) from times of old:
in this are the innocents slain

Snp 2.7


Monks, the eye is inconstant, changeable, alterable. The ear... The nose... The tongue... The body... The mind is inconstant, changeable, alterable.

One who has conviction & belief that these phenomena are this way is called a faith-follower: one who has entered (okkanto) the orderliness of rightness, entered the plane of people of integrity, transcended the plane of the run-of-the-mill...

SN 25.1


Here, bhikkhus, the bhikkhu lacks faith, is not virtuous, has little learning, is lazy and is stupid. Bhikkhus, the bhikkhu endowed with these five things becomes/falls into/is overcome by (okkanto) timid.

AN 5.158

3. 'Nibbati' means 'produced':


It is impossible... a disagreeable result could be produced (nibbatteyya) from good conduct...

AN 1.284


Any kamma, bhikkhus, fashioned through greed, born of greed, caused by greed, originated by greed, ripens (vipaccati) wherever individuality (attabhāvo: lit: 'self-becoming') is produced (nibbattati). Wherever that kamma ripens, it is there that result is experienced, either here & now (diṭṭheva dhamme), later [in this lifetime] (upapajje) or following that (apare pariyāye).

A person unknowing:
the actions performed by him,
born of greed, born of aversion,
& born of delusion,
whether many or few,
are experienced (vedaniyaṃ) right here (idheva):
no other ground is found.

AN 3.34

4. 'Abhinibbatti' similarly means 'produced':


The arising, continuation, production (abhinibbatti) & manifestation in respect to the eye is the arising of suffering.

SN 26.1


Suppose, bhikkhus, an artist or a painter, using dye or lac or turmeric or indigo or crimson, would create the figure of a man or a woman complete in all its features on a well-polished plank or wall or canvas. So too, when the uninstructed worldling produces (abhinibbattento) anything, it is only form that he produces (abhinibbatteti); only feeling that he produces; only perception that he produces; only volitional formations that he produces; only consciousness that he produces.

SN 22.100


By recollecting his ancient maternal & paternal family lineage, his individuality (attabhavassa) is produced (abhinibbatti)...

MN 96 (Element translation)

Bhikkhu Bodhi footnote: 'attabhāvassa abhinibbatti' literally should be: "wherever the reconception of his individuality takes place".

Each of the above terms is used in relation to mental phenomena thus the terms sañjāti okkanti nibbatti and abhinibbatti appear to refer to the mental clinging, conception, development & production of views or ideas of 'beings' (sattā).

:peace:

Element
23 Apr 17, 00:34
Next is the very important phrase 'khandhānaṃ pātubhāvo', which is rarely if ever discussed.

The term 'khandhānaṃ' refers to the five aggregates, namely, body, feeling, perception, mental formations & consciousness. This is straightforward.

However, it is important to mention the suttas refer to two types of five aggregates, namely: (i) mere aggregates unaffected by attachment; and (ii) aggregates affected by attachment; as follows:


Bhikkhus, I will teach you the five aggregates and the five aggregates subject to clinging. Listen to that….

And what, bhikkhus, are the five aggregates? Whatever kind of form there is, whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near: this is called the form aggregate. Whatever kind of feeling there is … this is called the feeling aggregate. Whatever kind of perception there is … this is called the perception aggregate. Whatever kind of mental formations there are … these are called the mental formations aggregate. Whatever kind of consciousness there is, whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near: this is called the consciousness aggregate. These, bhikkhus, are called the five aggregates.

And what, bhikkhus, are the five aggregates subject to clinging? Whatever kind of form there is, whether past, future, or present … far or near, that is tainted, that is clung to: this is called the form aggregate subject to clinging. Whatever kind of feeling there is … that is tainted, that is clung to: this is called the feeling aggregate subject to clinging. Whatever kind of perception there is … that is tainted, that is clung to: this is called the perception aggregate subject to clinging. Whatever kind of mental formations there are … that are tainted, that is clung to: these are called the mental formations aggregate subject to clinging. Whatever kind of consciousness there is, whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near, that is tainted, that is clung to: this is called the consciousness aggregate subject to clinging. These, bhikkhus, are called the five aggregates subject to clinging.

SN 22.48

Since attachment to one or more of the aggregates as "self" began at the 9th condition, it would seem logical the aggregates referred to at the 11th condition of "birth" are aggregates subject to attachment/clinging rather than mere aggregates devoid of self-view.

That MN 64 states a new born child cannot have self-view is another reason showing 'jati' or 'birth' in dependent origination does not refer to physical birth from a womb.

As for mere aggregates unaffected by attachment, this is described in suttas such as SN 22.1, SN 22.85 & SN 22.53:


There is the case where a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — who has regard for noble ones, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma; who has regard for men of integrity, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma — does not assume form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form. He is not seized with the idea that 'I am form' or 'Form is mine.' As he is not seized with these ideas, his form changes & alters, but he does not fall into sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, or despair over its change & alteration.

He does not assume feeling to be the self...

He does not assume perception to be the self...

He does not assume fabrications to be the self...

He does not assume consciousness to be the self

SN 22.1


If, friend Yamaka, they were to ask you: ‘Friend Yamaka, when a bhikkhu is an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed, what happens to him with the breakup of the body, after death?’—being asked thus, what would you answer?

If they were to ask me this, friend, I would answer thus: ‘Friends, form is impermanent; what is impermanent is unsatisfactory; what is unsatisfactory has ceased and passed away. Feeling … Perception … Volitional formations … Consciousness is impermanent; what is impermanent is unsatisfactory; what is unsatisfactory has ceased and passed away.’ Being asked thus, friend, I would answer in such a way.

Good, good, friend Yamaka!

SN 22.85


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 concocting, 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.'

SN 22.53

In conclusion, the term 'khandhānaṃ' found in the phrase 'khandhānaṃ pātubhāvo' should logically refer to 'aggregates' subject to the attachment that arose at the 9th condition because the word 'satta' ('a being'), as previously discussed, is synonymous with 'attachment' ('upadana').

In summary, the definition of 'birth' ('jati') so far appears to be stating the mind produces (abhinibbatti) the view, idea or concept of 'a being' ('satta') from the appearance or manifestation ('pātubhāvo') of the aggregates ('khandhānaṃ').

Thus, as stated in MN 96 and MN 98, the various kinds of 'beings' are conventions mentally/verbally produced & designated from the superficial external 'appearance' ('look') of aggregates:


By recollecting his ancient maternal & paternal family lineage, his individuality (attabhavassa) is produced (abhinibbatti)...

MN 96


In human bodies in themselves, nothing distinctive can be found. Distinction among human beings is purely verbal designation….For name & clan are assigned, originating in conventions…Whoever makes his living among men by agriculture is called a ‘farmer’…Whoever makes his living among men by merchandise is called a ‘merchant’…that is how the wise truly see…seers of dependent origination.

MN 98

:peace:

Element
23 Apr 17, 01:03
The term 'pātubhāvo' is less straightforward. Many translations including this word are difficult to discern in a straightforward manner, which means meaning has been lost in the translation.

Most directly relevant to the term phrase 'khandhānaṃ pātubhāvo' is SN 22.30, which states about each of the five aggregates:


At Savatthi. Bhikkhus, the arising (uppādo), continuation (ṭhiti), production (abhinibbatti) and manifestation (pātubhāvo) of form is the arising of suffering, the continuation of disease, the manifestation (pātubhāvo) of aging-and-death. The arising of feeling … of perception … of volitional formations … of consciousness is the arising of suffering, the continuation of disease, the manifestation of aging-and-death.

The cessation (nirodho), subsiding (vūpasamo) and passing away (atthaṅgamo) of form … of consciousness is the cessation of suffering, the subsiding of disease, the passing away of aging-and-death.

SN 22.30

This same discourse is also found in Chapter 26 of the SN, however in respect to each of the six sense organs, six sense objects, six sense consciousness, six sense contacts and all feelings, perceptions, volitions, cravings, elements & aggregates.


Monks, the arising, continuation, production & manifestation (pātubhāvo) of the ear, ears... sights, sounds... eye-consciousness... contact... feeling... perception... volition... craving ... elements... five aggregates is the arising suffering.

SN 26

Even more interesting & unusual, the same discourse is found at SN 14.36 merely about the four material elements:


At Savatthi. Bhikkhus, the arising, continuation, production and manifestation of the earth element... the water element... the heat element... the air element.... is the arising of suffering, the continuation of disease, the manifestation of aging-and-death.

The cessation, subsiding and passing away of the earth element... the water element... the heat element... the air element is the cessation of suffering, the subsiding of disease, the passing away of aging-and-death.

AN 14.36

Now, a literal reading of each of the above sutta excerpts places them in contradiction to core dhamma principles because the body of suttas clearly state material elements, aggregates or sense spheres in themselves do not result in suffering. In other words, there must be craving & attachment for suffering to occur.

Therefore, the term 'pātubhāvo' ('manifestation'), similar to the term 'abhinibbatti' ('production'), appears to refer to mental actions rather than to the appearance of an infant from its mother's womb.

:peace:

Element
23 Apr 17, 01:25
Researching the word 'pātubhāvo' ('manifestation'; 'appearance') to explore its meaning, it is found in the following contexts & suttas, most notably in the Pātubhāva Sutta in AN 6.96:


Monks, the manifestation of six things is rare in the world, namely:

1. The manifestation of a Tathagata (Buddha).

2. One who can teach the Dhamma & Discipline of a Tathagata.

3. Attainment as a noble (enlightened) disciple.

4. Endowment with unimpaired sense faculties.

5. Being intelligent & astute.

6. Desire for the wholesome Dhamma.

AN 6.96

Similarly, AN 5.144:


The manifestation (pātubhāvo) is five gems in rare in the world. What five? The manifestation of a Tathagata; a person that teaches the Dhamma proclaimed by a Tathagata; a person who understands the Dhamma when taught; a person who practises that Dhamma; and grateful & thankful person. It is the manifestation of these five gems that is rare in the world.

AN 5.144

Other suttas include:


Monks, the manifestation (pātubhāvo) of one person is the manifestation of great vision, of great light, of great radiance; it is the manifestation of the six things unsurpassed; the realisation of the four analytical knowledges; the penetration of the various elements, of the diversity of elements; it is the realisation of the fruit of knowledge and liberation; the realisation of the fruits of stream-entry, once-returning, non-returning and arahatship. Who is that one person? It is the Tathāgata, the Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One. This is that one person

AN 1.175


With the manifestation (pātubhāvo) of a Tathagata, bhikkhus, an Arahant, a Perfectly Enlightened One, comes the manifestation (pātubhāvo) of the seven gems of the factors of enlightenment. What seven? There comes the manifestation of the gem of the enlightenment factor of mindfulness … the gem of the enlightenment factor of equanimity. With the manifestation of a Tathagata, an Arahant, a Perfectly Enlightened One, comes the manifestation of these seven gems of the factors of enlightenment.

SN 46.42


At Savatthī. Bhikkhus, these eight things, developed and cultivated, if unarisen do not arise apart from the appearance of a Tathagata, an Arahant, a Perfectly Enlightened One. What eight? Right view … right concentration. These eight things….”

SN 45.14


If, friends, internally the eye is intact but no external forms come into its range, and there is no corresponding conscious engagement, then there is no manifestation (pātubhāvo) of the corresponding section of consciousness. If internally the eye is intact and external forms come into its range, but there is no corresponding conscious engagement, then there is no manifestation (pātubhāvo) of the corresponding section of consciousness. But when internally the eye is intact and external forms come into its range and there is the corresponding conscious engagement, then there is the manifestation (pātubhāvo) of the corresponding section of consciousness.

MN 28


When the mind is concentration, the Dhamma becomes manifest (pātubhāvo), because of which he is one reckoned as 'one who dwells diligently'.

SN 55.40


And which is painful practice with slow intuition? There is the case where a monk remains focused on unattractiveness with regard to the body, percipient of loathsomeness with regard to food, percipient of non-delight with regard to the entire world, (and) focused on inconstancy with regard to all fabrications. The perception of death is well established within him. He dwells in dependence on the five powers of a learner — strength of conviction, strength of conscience, strength of concern, strength of persistence & strength of discernment — but these five faculties of his— the faculty of conviction, the faculty of persistence, the faculty of mindfulness, the faculty of concentration, the faculty of discernment — manifest (pātubhāvanti) weakly. Because of their weakness, he attains only slowly the immediacy that leads to the ending of the effluents. This is called painful practice with slow intuition.

AN 4.163


When the nature of things becomes really manifest (pātubhāvo)
To the ardent meditating brāhmaṇa,
He dwells dispelling Māra’s army,
As the sun dwells lighting up the firmament.

Ud 1.3


Bhikkhus, when a deva is due to pass away from a company of devas, five prognostic signs appear (pātubhāvo): his flower-garlands wither, his clothes become soiled, sweat is released from his armpits, his bodily radiance fades and the deva takes no delight in his heavenly throne.

Iti 83

From reading the sutta contexts above, it appears 'pātubhāvo' ('manifestation'/'appearance') refers to processes of transformation, be they physical (such as the body sweating, per Iti 83) or mental (such as a person or five aggregates becoming a Buddha or a person manifesting gratitude & thankfulness, per AN 5.144).

:reading:

Element
23 Apr 17, 01:52
Interim conclusion:

So far, from a reading & analysis of the definition of 'birth' ('jati'), the following Pali words appear to have the following meaning:


Katamā ca bhikkhave, jāti? Yā tesaṃ tesaṃ sattānaṃ tamhi tamhi sattanikāye jāti sañjāti okkanti nibbatti abhinibbatti, khandhānaṃ pātubhāvo...

And what, bhikkhus, is birth? The birth, mental conception, development, production & completion of [the view, convention or verbal designation] of beings and various orders/groups of beings based on/from the [various] manifestations of the aggregates....

For example:

* When aggregates have black skin, ignorance produces the view of being call a 'negro' or 'African'; when aggregates have white skin, ignorance produces the view of being called a 'Caucasian'.

* When aggregates have breasts, ignorance produces the view of being called a 'woman'; when aggregates breast feed, ignorance produces the view of a 'mother'.

* When aggregates use a plough & sickle, ignorance produces the view of a being called 'a farmer'; when aggregates wear a blue uniform & a gun, ignorance produces the view of a being called a 'policeman'.

* When aggregates are intimately touched by another set of aggregates, ignorance produces the view a being called 'my lover' or 'my wife' or 'my husband'.

* When aggregates bear other aggregates, ignorance produces the view a being called 'my children'.

* When aggregates look into a mirror, ignorance produces the view a being called 'me'.

* When aggregates manifest love, ignorance produces the view of a being called 'a nice person' or a 'god/angel'.

* When aggregates manifest hate, ignorance produces the view of a being called 'a bad person' or a 'devil'.

Thus, according to SN 22.81, SN 5.10, MN 98 & MN 86, it appears 'birth' ('jati') refers to the mental production of views about 'beings' and different kinds of 'beings'.


He assumes the five aggregates to be 'self'. Now that assumption is a fabrication. 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 the feeling born of contact with ignorance, craving arises. That fabrication is born of that. And that fabrication is inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen. That craving... That feeling... That contact... That ignorance is inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen.

SN 22.81


In human bodies in themselves, nothing distinctive can be found. Distinction among human beings is purely verbal designation….For name & clan are assigned, originating in conventions…Whoever makes his living among men by agriculture is called a ‘farmer’…Whoever makes his living among men by merchandise is called a ‘merchant’…that is how the wise truly see…seers of dependent origination.

MN 98


"Sister, since I was born in the noble birth, I do not recall intentionally killing a living being. Through this may there be wellbeing for you, wellbeing for your baby."

MN 86


Why now do you assume 'a being'?
Mara, have you grasped a view?
This is a heap of sheer constructions:
Here no being is found.

Just as, with an assemblage of parts,
The word 'chariot' is used,
So, when the aggregates are present,
There's the convention 'a being.'

It's only suffering that comes to be,
Suffering that stands and falls away.
Nothing but suffering comes to be,
Nothing but suffering ceases.

SN 5.10

:peace:

The last two words 'āyatanānaṃ paṭilābho' will be explored at a later time.

Element
15 May 17, 10:33
'āyatanānaṃ paṭilābho' are the last two words in the description of 'jati' ('birth').

Ayatanānaṃ refers to the sense spheres, particularly sense objects rather than sense organs.

The sense spheres are defined as follows:


The six internal media (āyatanāni) should be known.' Thus was it said. In reference to what was it said? The eye-medium, the ear-medium, the nose-medium, the tongue-medium, the body-medium, the intellect-medium.

'The six external media (āyatanāni) should be known.' Thus was it said. In reference to what was it said? The form-medium, the sound-medium, the aroma-medium, the flavor-medium, the tactile sensation-medium, the mind-objects-medium.

MN 148

Nibbana, as a mind object, is also an 'ayatana', as follows:


There is, bhikkhus, that base (āyatanā) where there is no earth, no water, no fire, no air; no base consisting of the infinity of space, no base consisting of the infinity of consciousness, no base consisting of nothingness, no base consisting of neither-perception-nor-non-perception; neither this world nor another world nor both; neither sun nor moon. Here, bhikkhus, I say there is no coming, no going, no staying, no deceasing, no uprising. Not fixed, not movable, it has no support. Just this is the end of suffering. Ud 8.1

If 'āyatanānaṃ paṭilābho' referred to the growth or obtaining of sense organs on an embryo, as it is often interpreted, the word used would probably be 'indriya', which is used for the sense organs themselves, as follows:


Friend, there are these five faculties (indriya) each with a separate range, a separate domain, and they do not experience one another's range & domain: the eye-faculty, the ear-faculty, the nose-faculty, the tongue-faculty, & the body-faculty. These five faculties — the eye-faculty, the ear-faculty, the nose-faculty, the tongue-faculty, & the body-faculty — remain standing in dependence on vitality. Vitality remains standing in dependence on heat. Heat remains standing in dependence on vitality.

MN 43

The most important term is 'paṭilābho', with a dictionary meaning as follows:


attainment; acquisition; obtaining; receiving, taking up, acquisition, assumption, attainment

The word 'paṭilābho' is used in the following contexts in the suttas:


Bhikkhus, there are these eight causes and conditions that lead to obtaining (paṭilābhāya) the wisdom fundamental to the spiritual life when it has not been obtained (appaṭiladdhāya) and to its increase, maturation, and fulfillment by development after it has been obtained (paṭiladdhāya). What eight?.... Here, a bhikkhu lives in dependence on the Teacher.... AN 8.2


....verified confidence in the Awakened One... verified confidence in the Dhamma... verified confidence in the Sangha... endowed with virtues that are appealing to the noble ones.... the gaining (paṭilābho) of the four continents [by an emperor] is not equal to one sixteenth of the gaining (paṭilābho) of these four qualities. SN 55.1


There are four acquisitions (paṭilābho) of individuality (attabhāva; self-becoming)... (i) where one’s own volition (attasañcetanā) operates but not the volition of others (parasañcetanā); (ii) where volition of others operates but not the volition of onself; (iii) where volition of both one self & others operates; and (iv) where volition of neither oneself or others operates...the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception.... AN 4.171


There are, bhikkhus, these three perils when mother & son reconnect that the uninstructed worldling speaks of as perils that separate mother & son. What three? (1) “There comes a time when a great conflagration arises. When the great conflagration has arisen, it burns up villages, towns & cities. When villages, towns & cities are burning up, there is sometimes an occasion when the mother finds (paṭilabhati) her son & the son finds (paṭilabhati) his mother. This is the first peril when mother & son reconnect that the uninstructed worldling speaks of as a peril that separates mother & son. AN 3.62


'I have destroyed life, so I am bound for a state of misery, bound for hell'. He acquires (paṭilabhati) such a view. SN 42.8


A monk, having practiced in this way — 'It should not be, it should not occur to me; it will not be, it will not occur to me. What is, what has come to be, that I abandon' — obtains equanimity (evaṃ upekkhaṃ paṭilabhati). MN 106

Conclusion:

It seems the word 'paṭilābho' is used in the Pali suttas to refer to the mind 'acquiring' things, such as wisdom, views, mental states, spiritual qualities &, most relevantly, a sense of 'individuality' or 'personality' (attabhāva) based on the mind's own intentions or the intentions of others (for example, a child acquiring a personality based on the intentions of its parents or people brainwashed by the political propaganda of others).

Therefore, in relation to the term 'birth' ('jati') in dependent origination, the term 'āyatanānaṃ paṭilābho' appears to refer to the mind producing (abhinibbatti) ideas of 'beings' ('sattanam') by 'taking up' or being 'seized' by sense objects.

For example, the mind sees a sense object (ayatana) of five aggregates (khandhānaṃ) carrying a weapon that also manifests (pātubhāvo) anger & rage. The mind is 'seized by' (paṭilābho) or 'takes on/takes up' (paṭilābho) that external sense object (ayatana) & the internal sense object of fear (ayatana) & produces (abhinibbatti) ideas/views of 'a being' ('sattanam') both internally (as 'myself') & externally (a 'murderer'). This is 'birth' of views of 'self' or 'beings' based on the appearance (pātubhāvo) of aggregates (khandhānaṃ) & seizure by/taking on/taking up (paṭilābho) the sense objects (āyatanānaṃ).

Meditation:

Meditation on 'birth' is probably the most difficult. Meditators commonly easily experience the loss of self-view internally however it is more difficult to end self-views externally in respect to external sense objects.

Warning: Don't try this at home ;) but fully enlightened minds (Buddhas) see only aggregates & sense objects rather than "beings" or "persons". Buddhas have ended 'birth' ('jati'). When in a crowd of people, discern how the mind is creating different labels to categorize different people. Then give up those labels & classifications and view those different sense objects as merely objects; merely aggregates (rather than as this & that "person" & "type of person").

This ends the exploration of the word 'jati' in dependent origination. :peace:

Final translation of 'jati':


Katamā ca bhikkhave, jāti? Yā tesaṃ tesaṃ sattānaṃ tamhi tamhi sattanikāye jāti sañjāti okkanti nibbatti abhinibbatti, khandhānaṃ pātubhāvo āyatanānaṃ paṭilābho, ayaṃ vuccati bhikkhave, jāti.

What is birth? It is the birth of [the view/idea of] beings & the various types of beings; its conception, development, production and completion; from the manifestation/appearance/impression of aggregates & the taking up of/acquisition of/seizure by [external & internal] sense objects. This is called birth.

SN 12.2

Element
16 May 17, 09:57
The final condition in the dependent origination of suffering is 'aging-&-death', which is as follows:


And what is aging and death? The aging of beings in the various orders of beings, their old age, brokenness of teeth, grayness of hair, wrinkling of skin, decline of life, weakness of faculties — this is called aging. 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.

MN 9

Due the 'physical nature' of much of the above description (such as brokenness of teeth, grayness of hair, wrinkling of skin, decline of life, laying down of the corpse, etc), it is often argued or interpreted that 'aging-&-death' refers to physical aging & death.

However, as discussed extensively for the condition of 'birth' ('jati'), the central concept in the definition is that of the view of 'beings' ('satta').

Therefore, aging-&-death in dependent origination appears to be another self-view, which finally gives rises to sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & despair and the whole mass of suffering, such as:


When a person looks into the mirror at broken teeth, graying hair, wrinkling skin and thinks: "I am getting old" and suffers about that.


When a wife suffers because her husband says to her: "Your skin is wrinkling & you are not beautiful anymore".



When the laying down of the corpse is seen of: "My mother, my father, my wife, my husband, my child, my friend, my love".

Thus the suttas describe about suffering &, alternately, not suffering:


He assumes form (the body) to be 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.

He does not assume form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form. He is not seized with the idea that 'I am form' or 'Form is mine.' As he is not seized with these ideas, his form changes & alters, but he does not fall into sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, or despair over its change & alteration.

SN 22.1


Long have you experienced the death of a mother. The tears you have shed over the death of a mother while spinning & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — are greater than the water in the four great oceans.

Long have you experienced the death of a father… the death of a brother… the death of a sister… the death of a son… the death of a daughter… loss with regard to relatives… loss with regard to wealth… loss with regard to disease. The tears you have shed over loss with regard to disease while spinning & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — are greater than the water in the four great oceans.

SN 15.3


Lord, how could there not be an aberration in my faculties? My dear & beloved little son, my only child, has died. Because of his death, I have no desire to work or to eat. I keep going to the cemetery and crying out, 'Where have you gone, my only little child? Where have you gone, my only little child?'

That's the way it is, householder. That's the way it is — for sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress & despair are born from one who is dear, come springing from one who is dear.

MN 87


He has been stilled where the currents of conceiving do not flow. And when the currents of conceiving 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 conceiving. ‘I am this’ is a conceiving. ‘I shall be’ is a conceiving. ‘I shall not be’ is a conceiving …. Conceiving is a disease, conceiving is a cancer, conceiving is an arrow. By going beyond all conceiving , he is said to be a sage at peace.

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 conceiving do not flow. And when the currents of conceiving do not flow, he is said to be a sage at peace.

MN 140

In SN 22.85, it seems to be said the idea that a Buddha 'dies' is wrong view. Instead, the right view is the five aggregates end, that is all:


Then, friend Yamaka, how would you answer if you are thus asked: 'A monk, a worthy one, with no more mental effluents: what is he on the break-up of the body, after death?'

Thus asked, I would answer, ‘Form is impermanent… Feeling… Perception… Fabrications… Consciousness is impermanent. That which is impermanent is unsatisfactory. That which is unsatisfactory has ceased and gone to its end.’

Very good, my friend Yamaka. Very good.

SN 22.85

Conclusion:

Dependent origination concludes with aging-&-death, i.e., change-&-loss, causing suffering. Such aging-&-death & suffering can only occur when there is the idea or view of a 'being' ('satta') that is subject to or the object of aging, death & loss.

This ends dependent origination.

:wheel:


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.

And what may be said to be subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement? Spouses & children... men & women slaves... goats & sheep... fowl & pigs... elephants, cattle, horses, & mares... gold & silver are subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement. Subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement 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 aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement.

MN 26