View Full Version : What is "fabrication/formation" in Dependent Origination?

28 Mar 10, 22:58
Neither. The term is "fabricator".

MN44 Culavedalla Sutta wrote:

"Now, lady, what are fabricators?"

"These three fabricators, friend Visakha: bodily fabricator (kaya sankhara), verbal fabricator (vaca sankhara) & mental fabricator (citta sankhara)."

"But what is the bodily fabricator? What are verbal fabricators? What are mental fabricators?"

"In-&-out breaths are bodily fabricators. Directed thought & evaluation are verbal fabricators. Perceptions & feelings are mental fabricators."

"But why are in-&-out breaths bodily fabricators? Why are directed thought & evaluation verbal fabricators? Why are perceptions & feelings mental fabricators?"

"In-&-out breaths are bodily; these are things tied up with the body. That's why in-&-out breaths are bodily fabricators. <u>Having first directed one's thoughts and made an evaluation, one then breaks out into speech. That's why directed thought & evaluation are verbal fabricators</u>. Perceptions & feelings are mental; these are things tied up with the mind. That's why perceptions & feelings are mental fabricators."

28 Mar 10, 23:07
Having first directed one's thoughts and made an evaluation, one then breaks out into speech. That's why directed thought & evaluation are verbal fabricators

The above quote offers the meaning. The fabricators are the cause and the fabrication is the effect.

The breathing in & out is the cause and the state of the physical body is the effect.

Thought is the cause and speech (vaca) is the effect.

Perception & feeling is the cause and the various states of mind (citta), such as greed, hatred, delusion, are the effect.

"Dependent on eye & forms, eye-consciousness arises. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition, there is feeling. What one feels, one perceives (labels in the mind). What one perceives, one thinks about. What one thinks about, one complicates. Based on what a person complicates, the perceptions & categories of complication assail him/her with regard to past, present, & future forms cognizable via the eye.

MN 18 (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.018.than.html)
Our own understanding of paticcasamuppada is still unrefined enough to address the question and so we await commentary from others because our theory is divorced from our meditation experience.

When we calm the breathing and clear the mind, this is the nirodha of ignorance out of consciousness.

Dependent origination is as follows:

Ignorance > kaya sankhara (breathing) > consciousness

Ignorance > vaca sankhara (subtle thought) > consciousness

Ignorance > citta sankhara (subtle perception/conditioned memories) > consciousness

When the sankhara (objects of meditation) are calmed, consciousness becomes clear rather than obscured by ignorance.

Please investigate this in your own practise.

Then you may understand Dependent Origination from practise rather than from books.

"There are, monk, these six quietenings. In him who has attained the first absorption, speech is quietened. Having attained the second absorption, thought-conception and discursive thinking are quietened. Having attained the third absorption, rapture is quietened. Having attained the fourth absorption, inhalation and exhalation is quietened. [5] Having attained the cessation of perception and feeling, perception and feeling are quietened. In a taint-free monk greed is quietened, hatred is quietened, delusion is quietened."

Rahogata Sutta (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn36/sn36.011.nypo.html)


28 Mar 10, 23:14
Next, the fourth khandha, or aggregate of clinging, is called sankhara-khandha. Sankhara in this case has a special meaning. Literally it means to form, but here it specifically means "to form" in a mental way, that is, to think. As a verb, sankhara means to condition, to give rise to or to cause. As a noun, it means "formation," either the act of forming or the state of having been formed or both.


28 Mar 10, 23:16
I would like to take this opportunity to discuss all the meanings of the term "sankhara." This is a very common and important word in the Pali scriptures, but many people have problems with it due to its different uses and meanings. Languages are like that, uncertain and seemingly unreliable. The single word "sankhara" can mean "conditioner," the cause that conditions; it can mean "condition," the result of the action of conditioning; and it can mean "'conditioning," the activity or process of conditioning. We use the same word for the subject of the conditioning, "the concocter," as well as the object, "the concoction." We even use it for the activity, "the concocting," itself. This may be a bit confusing for you, so please remember that "sankhara" has three meanings. The correct meaning depends on the context. This knowledge will be valuable in your further studies.


28 Mar 10, 23:19

In step three - "experiencing all bodies," experiencing both the breath and this flesh-body - each of these three meanings is practiced. First, we contemplate the flesh-body as the thing conditioned by the breath. Then, we see the breath as the conditioner of the flesh-body. Lastly, we observe the activity of conditioning that always exists simultaneously between the two of them. Thus, in the practice of step three we see the conditioner, the condition and the action of conditioning. This conditioning of the body is the physical level of sankhara. We have not yet seen it on the mental level. Step three is this work of seeing these three things together, simultaneously and continuously, within the mind. Then, you will see everything concerning the term "sankhara," especially as it relates to the kaya and its activity, right here in step three. (76)

When we have studied this fact until it is plainly, obviously and universally understood as explained above, then we will be able to experience all three of these facts together in one moment. Even for the duration of just one in-breath, or for just one out-breath, we can experience all three facts in just one stroke of the breath. If we are able to do so, then we have "fully experienced the kaya-sankhara (body-conditioner)" and step three is successfully completed.

The essence of practicing step three is to know that there are two kaya, and to be able to regulate one kaya through the other kaya. That is, we can regulate the flesh-body through the breath-body. Once we are certain or this, once we see it dearly, once we are convinced by our experience of this fact with each in-breath and out-breath, then we have realized success in our practice of step three.


28 Mar 10, 23:21
Now we come to step seven: "experiencing the mindĀ­-conditioner (cittasankhara-patisamvedi)." If we have completed step six successfully, then we know all about the feelings of piti and sukha. What does the arising of piti do to the citta? What does the arising of sukha do to the citta? What kind of thoughts does piti condition? What kind of thoughts does sukha condition? We have noted and scrutinized these effects since steps five and six. Once we come to step seven, it is easy to realize that, "Oh, piti and sukha are mind-conditioners." These vedana are mind-conditioners in the same way that the breath is the body-conditioner. The method of study and observation is the same as in step three. (107)

We have observed that piti is coarse and excited, whereas sukha is fine and peaceful. Thus, when piti conditions or brews up a thought, the thought is coarse. On the other hand, when sukha brews up a thought, it is calm and tranquil. This is how we realize that the vedana condition thoughts. Then we realize that the feelings condition both coarse thoughts and subtle thoughts. We call this activity "conditioning the mind." (108)

When piti is strong, it causes trembling in the body. And if it is very strong the body might even dance or bounce with joy. This feelĀ­ing is coarse and powerful. On the other hand, sukha is calming, soothing, and relaxing. We learn that their characteristics are very different. When piti dominates the mind, it is impossible to think subtle thoughts. We feel a tingling all over; it makes the hair stand up all over our bodies. So we need to be able to control piti. Sukha, however, has advantages. It leads to tranquil, refined states. It can cause subtle, profound, and refined thoughts. It is as if these two feelings are opponents or foes. But that does not matter, for we know how to regulate them. We are able to control them by training according to the method we are now practicing. Just this much is to understand the citta-sankhara reasonably well already.


28 Mar 10, 23:24
Posts are for Sobeh.


29 Mar 10, 04:43





29 Mar 10, 10:16