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'The Doctrine of Paticcasammupada'

U Than Daing


Second Edition, 1996

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What is Paticcasamuppada? 2 Sections, Links, Factors and Periods


Khandha Paticcasamuppada (Present Aspect) 4 How Cycle of Paticcasamuppada starts revolving from Vedana


Revolving of Paticcasamuppada from the Beginning 6 Revolving of Paticcasamuppada from the End
7 Paticcasamuppada Samsara is revolving all the time When there is Absence of Vipassana Meditation 8 The Doctrine of Paticcasamuppada shown in Direct Way (Anuloma)
9 The Circling of Paticcasamuppada because of Avijja and Tanha at the source was the Root Cause 10 How to dismantle and break the spokes, Hubs, Axis, Wheel and Rim of Paticcasamuppada
11 He who follows the Way of Paticcasamuppada follows the way of the Blind. 12 Paticcasamuppada in Reverse Order
13 Sakkaya Ditthi: Its Cause and Consequences 14 Sakkaya Ditthi & How it Arises
15 Vipassana Meditation 16 The Importance of Cittanupassana
17 How to Eliminate Micchaditthi 18 Sassata Ditthi - Uccheda Ditthi: How They can be Eliminated
19 Cittanupassana (Contemplation on Mind) 20 A Certain Puthujjana Monk and the Four Arahats
21 Vedanakkhandha and Paticcasamuppada -



        Paticcasamuppada is Pali language, a combination of three words, i.e. Patticca means because" and "dependent upon." Sam means well, Uppada means arising of effect through cause, so dependent on cause there arises effect, hence it is known in English as Law of Dependent Origination or Cycle of Rebirth.

        In the Law of Dependent Origination there are twelve links which show the process of arising of a sentient being from one phenomenon to another in an endless chain of Samsara.

        Although it starts with Avijja, it is to be noted that Avijja is not the first cause because Samsara is beginningless; the origin of beings revolving in Samsara, being cloaked by Avijja (Ignorance) cannot be discovered. Paticcasamuppada teaches the cycle of rebirth, the cause is both the cause and effect alternately or to be more precise the cause becomes the effect and the effect in turn becomes the cause in the universe of space and time.

        The twelve links are as follows:

        1. Dependent on Avijja (Ignorance) there arises Sankhara (volitional activities).

        2. Dependent on Sankhara there arises Vinnana (consciousness).

        3. Dependent on Vinnana there arises Nama Rupa (Mind and matter).

        4. Dependent on Nama Rupa there arises Salayatana (sixfold sense bases).

        5. Dependent on Salayatana there arises Phassa (contact).

        6. Dependent on Phassa there arises Vedana (feeling).

        7. Dependent on Vedana there arises Tanha (craving).

        8. Dependent on Tanha there arises Upadana (grasping, clinging or attachment).

        9. Dependent on Upadana there arises Bhava (becoming).

        10. Dependent on Bhava there arises Jati (Birth).

        11. Dependent on Jati there arises Jara, Marana, Soka, Parideva, Dukkha, Domanassa Upayasa, old age, death, sorrow, lamentation. pain, grief and despair.

        It is highly desirable that this doctrine in Pali be learnt by heart. Those who have yet to memorise should do so as soon as possible, because it will be considerable assistance to them to grasp the meaning of the doctrine. Some people recite it at the time of paying homage to the Buddha. They may do so if they choose to do, but mere recitation without knowing the purport and significance of the doctrine will not enable him to dispel all sorts of Ditthi which are the soure of danger of falling into Duggati (woeful abode).

        It is easily to be borne in mind that this doctrine is nothing but yourown self, your own khandha, Nama Rupa. Yes, it is much more than that. It shows the causal continuum of your (so called) self, the process of arising and passing away of Nama and Rupa or in other words, the series of sorrow and suffering ad infinftum.

        Paticcasamuppada actually is in itself the cyclic order of arising and passing away of Dhamma or Khandhas. The old phenomenon gives rise to another in an endless continuum. Such phenomenon of arising and passing away is called Paticcasamuppada and Paticcasamuppanna, the function of which no Creator or God could start ot draw to a halt. This functioning is the relinking of Paticcasamuppada. Magga Phala is only Dhamma which can break the link of Paticcasamuppada and when there is no relinking it is called Nibbana.

        This process is only the arising and passing away of Khandhas, Nama Rupa or in other words this is the process of the Law of Causalty in which there is no semblance which can be taken for I, my, self or Ego. There is nothing except the arising and disappearing of Khandhas, Nama Rupa or Ayatana.

        1. By way of Sammuti sacca (conventional truth), men, people, creatures or beings are universally so called and known, whereas Paticcasamuppada doctrine shows that Avijja and Tanha are the beginning of Samara. It should not be compared with the beginning of men or custom or the first cause. In the Ultimate Truth there is no man or mankind or creature and as such it can only be traced back to the Dhamma, i.e. Avijja and Tanha is the beginning of Samsara.

        2. It also shows that it is none other than the continual and endless process of arising and disappearing of Khandhas of the so-called sentient being, commonly known in Sammuti sacca (convertional truth) as man, woman and creature.

        3. It is to be clearly borne in mind that in Paramattha sacca (Ultimate Truth) there is no such thing as man, woman or creature. It is the law that shows, 'When this exists that arises; with the arising of this, that comes to be; when this does not exist that does not come to be.'

        4. It shows the link between Sankhara and Vinnana and Kammabhava and Jati.

        5. It shows the ceaseless rounds of rebirth, Jati (birth) old age, Sickness, and ultimately death. In other word, rebirth, sickness, old age and death are recurring ad infinitum like the tree which bears fruit and the fruit again produces plant, and the plant again bears fruit, and so on and so forth continuing the same process ad infinitum.

        6. It shows that the process of arising and disappearing is nothing but series of sorrow and suffering.

        7. It is just like a heap of the fire and fuel, when the fuel is put the fire is aglow so it is like the fire and fuel; when the fuel is put again the fire continues ot burn and so on and so forth without an end.

        8. By way of Ariya Sacca is only the recurring process of Samudaya Sacca and Dukkha Sacca in an endless continuum.

        9. By way of Vatta (round) there recur ad infinitum three vattas (round), i.e. Kilesa Vatta, Kamma Vatta and Vipaka Vatta. Because of Kilesa Vatta there arises Kamma Vatta and because of Kamma Vatta there arises Vipaka Vatta.

        10. There is only the cyclic order of time and space,i.e., Past, Present and Future. It will be obvious to the reader that the Present becomes the Past of the future which again becomes the Present. Thus the ceaseless process of Samsara goes on indefinitely.






Section IV

Section III

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Section I

Section II

(PS: The '5 Future Casual Continuum' in Section III should read as '5 Present Causal Continuum'.)

       The Diagram may be referred to in going through this chapter.

        a. Right in the middle there are Avijja and Tanha which are called the Roots.

        b. There are twofold Saccas (1) Samudaya and Dukkha. As this is the Vatta Desana the other two Saccas, i.e. Magga and Nirodha are shrouded in Ignorance (Avijja).

        c. There are four sections -

(1) Past Causal Coutinuum,

(2) Present Causal Resultant,

(3) Present Causal Continuum,

(4) Future Causal Resultant.

        d. There are twenty factors -

(1) Past Causal Factors, i.e. Avijja, Sankhara, Tanha, Upadana and Bhava:

(2) Present Result ant Factors, i.e. Vinnana, Namarupa, Salayatana, Phassa and Vedana:

(3) Present Causal Factors, i.e. Tanha, Upadana, Bhava, Avijja and Sankhara: and (4) Future Causal Resultant Factors. i.e. Vinnanam, Namarupa, Salayatana, Phassa, Vedana.

        e. There are twelve links i.e. Avijja, Sankhara, Vinnana, Namarupa, Salayatana, Phassa, Vadana, Tanha, Upadana, Bhava, Jati, Jara, Marana.

        f. Three periods, Past, Present and Future.

        g. Three Vattas, i.e. Kilesa Vatta, Kamma Vatta, Vipaka Vitta.

        h. There are three connections (1) Past Cause and Present Resultant, (2) Present Cause and Present Resultant and (3) present Cause and Future Resultant.

        The Buddha taught Paticcasamuppada in accordance with Khandhas after observing the vanishing or disappearing of the same giving rise to another or in other words according to the law of Causal Continuum with subsequent passing away or dissolution.

        The late Maha Thera Mogok Sayadaw after careful observation of Khandhas drew this Diagram as per attached and as such the Yogi will be able to comprehend the Paticcasamuppada is nothing but his own Khandhas and the Khandhas are nothing but the process of arising and passing away: and the process of arising and passing away is nothing but sorrow and suffering: and sorrow and suffering is nothing but Dukkha Sacca. This is what Khandhas intrinsically are which must be comprehended are cognised by insight knowledge. Only by comprehension and cognition of it the Sassata, Uccheda and Sakkaya Ditthis be eliminated. Therefore the Yogis are urged to try and comprehend what the Khandhas show, reveal, signify and indicate.

        Below is the English rendering of Maha Thera Sayadaw own verse.

        Pivoted on Avijja and Tanha there arise Nama Rupa, because of Upadana and Bhava, just like the seed from the tree and the tree from the seed, the same causal continuum goes on ad infinitun. Because of Nama Rupa there arises Kamma, the True fact of this Causal continuum may be understood and appreciated with wisdom that this is not the work of the Creator-God or Great Brahma.

        Another short verse.

        Two in the Root, two in Sacca

        Four are the Groups;

        Links numbering twelve well.

        Threefold Rounds and same in number connection;

        Three Periods, consisting twenty factors.

        Ananda Thera once said to the Buddha that to him the Doctrine of Paticcasamuppada did not seem to be deep and profound.

        The Buddha replied that the Doctrine of Paticcasamuppada was deep indeed and deep as it appeared and for three times the Buddha forbade him to say so.

        The Buddha said Ananda. It is due to the lack of thorough knowledge and wisdom of penetrating into this doctrine that beings become entangled like a matted ball of thread, like munja grass and rushes, unable to pass beyond the woeful states of existence and samsara, the cycle of rebirths'.

        Hence it is advised that this doctrine be read and studied at the time when one is not occupied with other matters and completely at leisure. It can be said that the following benefits can be obtained by doing so.

        1. When the Yogi fully comprehends the tenor of the doctrine of Paticcasamuppada he will possess the penetrative knowledge of arising and disappearing, that is, when the process of arising of Khandhas is apprehended in accordance with Law of Causality the (Uccheda) Annihilationist Wrong view can be eliminated, and when the process of passing away of old Khandhas and arising of new ones is fully apprehended in accordance with the Law of Causalty the (Sassata) Eternalist Wrong view can be eliminated.

        When the intending Yogi is fully comprehensive and cognisant of the phenomenon of the arising and perishing which is nothing but the process of the cause and effect in which there is neither being, men, women nor self he can be said to be free from the shrouded veil of Atta or Sakkaya Ditthi (Egoism) for a time (Tadanga Pahana).

        2. Paccaya Pariggaha nana (knowledge of Causal Law) can be gained when he is comprehensive of the process of arising and perishing as the result of the Causal Law.

        3. Being fully comprehensive and cognisant that depending on or because of Avijja and Tanha and Sankhara there come into being the Pancakkhandha (5 aggregates or components) I the Yogi can dispel the wrong view of *(1) Issaranimmana Ditthi, *(2) Akiriya Ditthi and *(3) Ahetuka Ditthi.

        4. Right understanding of the doctrine of Paticcasamuppada will enable the Yogi to realise that Khandhas are nothing but cumulative aggregation of the ceaseless process of the arising and perishing of physical and mental phenomena, i.e. Rupa, Vedana, Sanna, Sankhara and Vinnana. Ultimately the Yogi may attain the penetrative insight that after all Pancakkhandha is none other than the great mass of sorrow and suffering.

        When the above four points are fully apprehended by the Yogi of Tadanga pahana (temporarily) he will be free from the danger of falling into the Apayagati (woeful existance in the next existence.)

        Intending Yogis are advised that this doctrine should be fully understood, before they enter into actual meditation so that they may reap the benefits of the first noble, the second, the third and the fourth noble stages according to their Saddha (confidence), Panna (wisdom) and Viriya (effort).

        *(1) Wrong view that the universe is created by a Supreme being,

        *(2) Wrong view that the meritorious deeds and demeritorious deeds will bring about neither merit nor demerit,

        *(3) Wrong view that there is no cause to an effect, All things happen without a cause.Causeless wrong view.



        The Late Maha Thera Mogok Sayadaw had expounded the Khandha Paticcasamuppada for the benefit of the intending Yogis. This can be called a short cut to the contemplation or meditation work for the Yogis because it teaches the present aspects of the working of the doctrine. In other words it enables a Yogi to understand the Khandhas, their beginning, their causes and dissolution. In Pali it runs thus -

        Cakkhunca Paticca Rupeca Uppajjati Cakkhu Vinnanam

        Tinnam Sangati Phasso, Phassa Paccaya Vedana, Vedana Paccaya Tanha, Tanha Paccaya Upadanam, Upadanam Paccaya Bhavo, Bhava Paccaya Jati, Jati Paccaya Jara Marina Soka Parideva Dukkha Domanassa Upayasa Sambhavanti Evametassa Kevalassa Dukkhakhandhassa Samudayohoti

        Sotanca Patticca Saddheca Uppajjati Sota Vinnanam. Ghananca Paticca Gandheca Uppajjati Ghana Vinnanam. Jivanca Paticca Raseca Uppajjati Jiva Vinnanam. Kayanca Paticca Photthabbeca Dhammeca Uppajjati Mano Vinnanam Tinnam .. Samudayohoti

        "Cakkhunca" means eye, "Rupeca" means "visible objects', when the impingement of two phenomena takes place there arises Cakkhu Vinnanam (eye consciousness). It is to be noted that there is, only the arising of eye consciousness in which there is no I, He or She, who sees. There is no seer. There is no I, He or She in the eye or in the visible object. There is neither I, He, nor She in the eye consciousness. Eye consciousness is only eye consciousness, no more or no less and this eye consciousness should not be confused with I, He or She or it must not be personified.

        The combination of eye, visible object and eye consciousness gives rise to contact (phassa) and depending on contact there arises Vedana, and in Vedana there is no I, He, She or You.

        Because of Vedana there arises Tanha, and because of Tanha there arises Upadna (grasping or clinging) and depending on Upadna there arises Kaya Kamma (physical action), Vaci Kamma (verbal action) and Mano Kamma (thought or mental action). Depending on Kammabhava there arises Jati (rebirth). By Jati it may imply. * Apaya Jati (birth in woeful existence)(Nakhasikha Sutta, Samyutta Nikaya.)

        Depending on Jati there arises Jara marana, old age, decay, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despain. Thus there arises the whole mass of suffering.

        "Sotanca paticca saddeca uppajjati" means ear and audible object cause the arising of Sota Vinnana. Similarly Ghananca Paticca, Jivanca paticca, Kayanca Paticca, Mananca Paticca should be under stood with their respective sense doors and objects.

        The aforementioned is the Khandha Paticca Samuppada as expounded by the late Maha Thera Sayadaw.

        For the purpose of clarification and lucidity, it will be better explained in conventional parlance.

        When 'A' sees a beautiful object, he desires: he clings and he makes an effort to obtain. For example, he sees a beautiful object, he wants to have it: this is Tanha because it is the desire to own and he is overwhelmed by the intense desire to possess and clings to it: this is Upadna. Again he makes all sorts of efforts, i.e. mental, verbal and physical, this is Kammabhava.

        The reader is advised to refer to the Diagram and recite the Pali text.

        Kammabhava paccaya Jati means depending on Kammabhava there arises Jati. 'Jati paccaya Jara Marana soka parideva dukkha domanassa upayasa sambhavanti' means because of Jati there arise old age, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair. Thus the train of Paticcasamuppada evolves or in other words this is the evolutionary process of a single train of Paticcasamuppada which is nothing but the arising and disappearing of khandhas and these very Khandhas are nothing but Dukkha itself or the whole train or series of Dukkha.

        It will be obvious to the thoughtful reader how many times in a day do we partake ourselves in his ceaseless process of arising of Tanha, Upadana and Kammabhava or in conventional parlance, we see, we desire and we are overwhelmed by the intense craving and attachment, and for this we commit three kinds of actions, i.e. mental, verbal and physical. In the same manner when we hear something, if we like or enjoy it, it is Tanha, and when we are overwhelmed by the intense craving, it is Upadana, and when we commit three kinds of actions, this is called Kammabhava. The same analogy applies to smelling, tasting, touching and thinking.

        Consciously or unconsciously we fall into these processes from sunrise until we fall asleep.

        The reader should at least turn his attention to the fact that Paticcasamuppada is nothing but his own line of actions and focus his thought once again on Khandhas and see weather his line of action is categorically within this Causal Law and in accordance with the doctrine of Paticcasamuppada.

        If he thinks it is time to bring to a stop his line of actions in accordance with Paticcasamuppada there is the way to get out of Samsara. If he continues to carry on as usual the cycle of Paticcasamuppada will go on and continue its relentless, process of sorrow, suffering, lamentation and despair and the whole mass of Dukkha (suffering).

        When there is impact of 'eye' and 'visible object' there arises 'eye consciousness'. Yogis are advised to observe the 'eye consciousness' whether it still remains, passes away, or vanishes. It will be seen after observation that the same eye consciousness has already passed away or disappeared when it was observed by the observing consciousness. It will be obvious to the observer that the eye consciousness was no more to be found because its arising was momentary. In like manner, whenever there arises eye consciousness or ear consciousness or nose consciousness or tongue consciousness or body consciousness or thought consciousness, the arising must be observed by the next observing consciousness (Knowledge). It is to be borne in mind that when the observing consciousness arises the arising of the eye consciousness or whatever consciousness has already vanished and disappeared because two parallel lines of consciousness never exist.

        'Annam Uppajjate cittan, Annam Cittan Nirujjati'. This means only one consciousness can arise at a time. Therefore, the Yogis are advised to observe or contemplate that whatever Khandha arises, be it Rupa, Vedana, Sanna, Sankhara or Vinnana (consciousness) the arising is only momentary because it arises to disappear or pass away. This is exactly what your, our Khandhas are undergoing. Every arising is momentary. Old Khandha vanishes giving rise to anew and the same process goes on ad infinitum.

        Should a Yogi miss observing or contemplating an eye consciousness, there will arise Tanha and if he misses again observing or contemplating Tanha, there will follow inevitably Upadana (grasping or clinging). He should observe and contemplate on Upadana. If he fails to do so there will follow Kammabhava, and when it arises, Jati, Jara and Marana will inevitably follow. Hence the revolving of Paticcasamuppada ad infinitum.

        Here is another illustration according to the Pali text: 'Sotanca paticca saddesa uppajjati Sota Vinnanam Tinnam Sanghati Phasso Phassa Paccaya Vedana ... hoti.' One hears the call of his little son on his return from school. As soon as he hears it, he feels so anxious to see the son and moreover he is so anxious to hug him and caress and kiss him that he does all the fondling. He may think and say that he does all this because it is his own son and he loves him; there is no offence or sin against him because he does not transgress any moral law. The truth, however, is that the inexorable process of Paticcasamuppada has been going on and continuing its ceaseless cycle.

        To elucidate how Paticcasamuppada starts revolving on hearing the voice of the young son returning from school is: - The voice of the young son is heard and as soon as the voice is heard there arises Tanha (craving) to see, fondle and caress him; because of the craving, there arises the overwhelming desire to fondle and caress the son. This caressing and fondling is Kammabhava. 'Kammabhava Paccaya Jati'; because of Kammabhava birth arises. Reference to the connection between Section III and Section IV of the Diagram will show it. When Kammabhava (Kammic force) arises Jati is bound to follow. 'Kammabalam Sabbhannu Buddhapi PatibhahitumNasakkonti' , even the Buddhas are not able to stop the Kammic forces.

        From dawn to dusk, the process goes on. When an attractive object is seen there arises Tanha (craving) and because of Tanha there arises Upadana; and because of Upadana Kammabhava (Kammic force) arises, and as such the whole train of the cycle of Paticcasamuppada goes on in its ceaseless revolution.

        When a pleasant tune is heard there arises craving and because of craving there arises Upadana, Kammabhava, Jati, Jara, Marana and so on and the whole train of the cycle of Paticcasamuppada goes on in its relentless revolution. Similarly when one smells a pleasant odour, tastes a pleasant taste, touches a pleasant object and reflects a pleasant idea there arises a series of Tanha, Upadana, Kammabhava, Jati, Jara, Marana, Soka, Parideva, Upayasa Dukkha Domanassa and the whole mass of sorrow and suffering.

        If fact whenever a beautiful object, pleasant sound pleasant odour, pleasant taste, pleasant touch, pleasant idea enter through the six sense doors there certainly will arise Tanha and series of other factors. Such series of processes are nothing but Kilesa Vatta which in turn gives rise to Kamma Vatta from which again emanates Vipaka Vatta thus making the round of three Vattas. Reference should be made to the Diagram . Avijja, Tanha, Upadana are Kilesa Vatta while Sankhara and Kammabbava form Kamma Vatta, and Vinnana, Namarupa, Salayatana, Phassa, Vedana Jati Jars Marana constitute Vipaka Vatta.

        Similarly Ghananca paticca, Jivanca paticca, Kayanca paticca and Mananca paticca ............... may be taken as Khandha Paticcasamuppada which should be observed and contemplated by Vipassana meditation; otherwise the whole train of ceaseless process of cycle of Samsara will continue ad infinitum bringing in its wake the whole mass of sorrow and suffering.



        Reference to the Diagram is invited. In Section II, there will be seen Vinnana, Namarupa, Salayatana, Phassa and Vedana.

        Whenever there is a combination of sense door, object and consciousness there arises Phassa which gives rise to Vedana whether pleasant, unpleasant or indifferent.

        To illustrate this: One sees a very beautiful flower and if he is pleased with it he feels a pleasant sensation (Vedana). If there arises in him the desire or craving (Tanha) for it, there inevitably follows Upadana (clinging or grasping). This is where the chain of Paticcasamuppada starts revolving.

        It is to be noted that the Paticcasamuppada does not stop then and there. When Upadana is followed by Kammabhava there inevitably will follow Jati (Rebirth). Reference to Section III and IV of the Diagram will show the connecting link between Kammabhava and Jati.

        This connection means the process of the line of the action of the Paticcasamuppada.

        The Buddha said, 'Where there is Tanha after Vedana, I will never say that Magga, Phala or Nibbana can be realised.'

        'So also where Dosa or Domanassa follows after Vedana, Magga, Phala or Nibbana can never be realised.'

        When it is said that the ceaseless process of Paticcasamuppada continues it means to imply that it is our own Khandha which undergoes the ceaseless process of the cyclic chain of Samsara. Here Khandha does not mean this body which weighs 140/150 lbs; but this is what it means in conventional parlance.

        What Khandha means. When an object (Arammana) enters a sense door (Dvara) there arises Vinnanan or in other words Vinnanakhandha. Whenever there is Phassa there arises Vedana which is Vedanakkhandha. Whenever there is Phassa, there arises Sanna which is called Sannakhandha. Volitional activities (cetana) are called Sankharakkhandha and matter (Rupa) is called Rupakkhandha. The arising of whatever Khandha whether Rupakkhandha, Vedanakkhandha, Sannakhandha, Sankharakkhandha or Vinnanakkhandha is the chain or the process of Khandha which in other words is none other than the Paticcasamuppada which in actual fact is not to be found in Pitaka Books (Pali Canons) or in the mere recitation but in our own Khandha. Where there is a continuation of the Paticcasamuppada or line of actions of Khandhas there is nothing but the whole mass of sorrow and suffering. ('Evametassa Kevalassa Dukkhakkhandhassa Samudayohoti'). In the NiddanaVagga Samyutta, it is said, ' If one leads the life of Paticcasamuppada, he is called Miccha patipada (one who leads wrong life). He who meditates or practises Vipassana is called Sammapatipada (one who leads a righteous life).'

        It may therefore be asserted that he who practises Magga brahmacariya or Vipassana is trying to disconnect or to cut the relinking of Kammic force or Khandha, or in other words he is trying to discontinue Paticcasamuppada. Here reference to the Diagram is invited. Practice of Vipassana is the work of cutting the link between Section III and Section IV or in other words, killing Tanha in order to disallow Kammic force to arise.

        It can also be said that Vipassana meditation is the work which tries to change Vedana Paccaya Tanha into Vedana Paccaya Panna. It is the work which tries to replace Tanha by Vipassanamagga (Vipassana magga means Samma Ditthi, Samma Samkappa, Samma Sati, Samma Samadhi.) after Vedana

        Unless there is Vipassana Magga or Vipassana Meditation, it is peremptory that Tanha will inevitably follow. Nothing else can stop the arising of Tanha. If one follows the way of Patticcasamuppada he will be faced with Samudaya and Dukkha. His companion will be Samudaya and Dukkha. He is just like a stump in Samsara and will ever remain as a stump even when Buddhas appear in the universe.

        Is it the time for the reader to decide, to choose which way, i.e. Magga Phala or the way to remain as a stump of Samsara? Should he be willing to free himself from the whirlpool of Samsara he must follow the way of Magga or in other words he should practise Vipasssana and must try to perceive with insight knowledge the arising and passing away of Vedana by employing five maggangas (Pubbabhaga Magga).

        It must be pointed out here that Vedana is not to be searched here and there as one generally thinks. No, it is not to be sought after. Vedana arises whenever there is an impact of Phassa. One or the other kind of Vedana is always prevalent in us, pleasant or painful, agreeable or disagreeable, different or indifferent, hence it is not necessary to purposely search for Vedana as it is prevalent all the time in one of the six sense doors.

        Vedana shows and reveals to us its presence by arising and vanishing before us. It is for the Yogi to have the insight that Vedana is Anicca or arising or passing away. If the Yogi can apprehend Vedana properly, it can be said that he is out of the boundary of Nicca Sanna (permanence wrong view). He is on the right path when Anicca of Vedana is apprehended by insight Vipassana. 'Vedana Nirodha Tanha Nirodho' means when Vedana is exterminated so is Tanha 'Tanha Nirodha Nibbana', i.e. extermination of Tanha means Nibbana.

       * 'Vedananam Khaya Bhikkhu Niccato Pannibbuto' means when vedana is perceived as most abominable, despicable, detestable and repugnant as a result of intensive and repeated meditation, the desire, longing or lust for any kind of vedana comes to an end or vedana comes to the cessation. (Vedananan Khaya) as such the Bhikkhu (monk) can attain Kilesa Parinibbana.

       * Sutta Nipata



        Due to lack of mindfulness there is failure on the part of the Yogi to contemplate the arising and vanishing of phenomena, i.e. Ruparammana and Cakkhudaara (visible object and eye-door). Similarly the failure to observe and contemplate arising and vanishing of ear consciousness, nose consciousness, tongue consciousness, body consciousness and mind consciousness causes cycle of the chain of Paticcasamuppada to start from the beginning, i.e. Avijja. Shrouded in Avijja one does all sorts of Sankharas (Kayasankhara, vici sankhara, mano sankhara). Avijja paccaya sankhara, sankhara Paccaya vinnanam, Vinnana paccaya Namarupan. It means in its implication the obtaining of Pancakkhandha (5 aggregates or components). Having Pancakkhandha it is bound to obtain Phassa, because of Phassa there will arise Vedana and because of Vedana there will arise Tanha and from Tanha there will arise Upadana, from Upadana there will arise Bhava and from Bhava there will arise Jati and if Jati is obtained all kinds of sorrow the ceaseless chain of Paticcasamuppada starts revolving again.

        Therefore whenever the Yogi is busy with something else or procrastinates and fails to contemplate, or meditate on arising and vanishing, the Paticcasamuppada starts its chain or process from Avijja. This is Miccha patipada and the eight factors are always prevalent, i.e. Vinnana, Namarupa, Salayatana, Phassa, Vedana. Tanha, Upadana, Kammabhava. A reference may be made to the Diagram . When these eight factors are classified by Sacca they fall into Samudaya and Dukkha Sacca only. Samudaya is Fire and Khandha is Fuel, so there is a combination of Fire and Fuel. All along the whole train of Samsara is the combination of Fire and Fuel only. Whenever the Fire loses its intensity the Fuel is replenished again. It is obvious that there was no indication of a single existence all along the Samsara in which even the slightest intention or effort to extinguish the Fire was evidenced. In the present existence those who have a considerable Sadha (confidence) and knowledge to some extent should come to a decision that they will start endeavouring to extinguish Fire by withdrawing the Fuel.



        Series of Dosa (Hatred,) Domanassa (Ill-will) arise on the sight of an enemy or an adversary. To come face to face with him or to speak with him will make him furious. The sound or sight of him is despicable and loathsome Pali text runs: 'Dosa, Soka, Parideva, Domanassa, Upayasa Sambhavanti Eva Metassa Kevalassa Dukkhakhandassa Samudayo hoti.' It means the whole mass of sorrow and suffering arises, hence Paticcasamuppada starts revolving from the end as Pali Text runs, Asava Samudaya Avijja Samudayo because of corruptions, ignorance arises.

        Therefore at the sight of Anittharammana (unpleasant and disagreeable object) if the Yogi fails to contemplate and meditate (i.e. on arising and vanishing) the Paticcasamuppada will start from the end.



        Paticcasamuppada is revolving all the time. With the exception of the period of sleep (when Bhavanga citta prevails) whether one is faced with an agreeable object or disagreeable object, it revolves sometimes with Dosa (Hatred), sometimes with Lobha (Craving) and sometimes with Moha (Delusion).

        When Paticcasamuppada revolves with Dosa, Lobha and Moha there arises Akusala citta and one is said to be engaged in Apunnabhisankhara. When one is enjoying oneself with pleasurable surroundings such as in company of his sons, daughters and wife and his possessions or business, the Paticcasamuppada is revolving with Lobha. Sometimes he falls into adverse conditions such as business failures or disobedience of his sons and daughters, then Paticcasamuppada is revolving with Dosa.

        When unconsciously or unknowingly he commits wrongfiul actions, this is called revolution of Paticcasamuppada with Moha.

        Kusala Sankhara or Punnabhi Sankhara. When meritorious deeds are done with the hope of attaining a higher abode in the next existence, this is called Vitta Kusala (meritorious deeds which will make rounds in Samsara). Any meritorious deeds done without having a knowledge of Dukkha Sacca or done with a view to attaining some reward is Punnabhi Sankhara.

        'Avidva Bhikkhave Avijjagato Punnabhi sankharampi Abhisankharoti. Apunnabhi Sankharampi Abhisankharoti. Ananjabhi sankharampi Abhisankharoti. Yatoca kho Bhikkhave Bhikkhuno Avijja Pahina Vijja Uppanna. So Avijja Viraga Vijjuppada Neva Punnabhi Sankharam Abhisankharoti.' (Samyutta Nikaya). 'O monks!', the Buddha said,' he who is devoid of wisdom and replete with Avijja (Ignorance) commits Punnabhisankhara (meritorious deeds) Apunnabhisankhara (demeritorious deeds) and Ananjabhisankhara (Samatha meditation in order to attain higher plane of Brahmaloka).' 'O monks!' in the Bhikkhu Avijja has been abandoned and Vijja has arisen: he being free from Avijja and having Vijja arisen, never commits Punnabhisankhara.

        So according to the above statement, he who is devoid of Avijja, free from Avijja and abandons Avijja must be none other than an Arahat. Such an Arahat does not commit Punnabhi sankhara nor is he required to do so, and when he does, this is simply an act without any attendant implications or result Kiriya). ("Kiriya" means just an act or deed without any attendent Lobha (greed) Dosa (Hatred) or moha (Delusion) as such, such acts or deeds are incapable of producing Kammic force.)

        Regarding Sotapana, Sagadagami and Anagami, they must do Dana (alms giving) and Sila (moral precepts) more than ever. Therefore it naturally follows that Puthujjana (ordinary worldlings) should give more prominence in alms giving and moral precepts, however it must be borne in mind that Dana and Tanha must not be mixed; Dana and Ditthi must not be mixed; and let it not be dominated by Avijja. If the question is put as to whether Dana is Kusala or Akusala, the answer must be that Dana is Kusala. The volitional intention to give alms is no doubt Kusala. Lust for attaining a higher plane in the next existence is Tanha, so it is Akusala. Therefore it is a mixture of Kusala and Akusala. For instance, if I do this alms giving so that I may reap the benefit in the next existence, my action is dominated and influenced by Ditthi which is Akusala, therefore do not let Dana be confused with Tanha and Ditthi, allowing Avijja to dominate. If there is lack of intelligence and knowledge of the proper alms giving or if one is lacking ability to understand and choose the correct resulting benefit this Dana will become Vatta Dana or Punnabhisankhara and result in the revolving process of Samsara.

        Therefore it should be noted that it is not the Dana that will prolong the process of Samsara but it is the lack of proper understanding to have the right and correct attitude when Dana is done so that it will become Vivatta Dana.



        Reference to the Diagram is invited. This Diagram was devised, worked out and drawn by the late Maha Thera Mogok Sayadaw in accordance with the tenor of the Khandhas (aggregates or components) to show that Paticcasamuppada is nothing but the ceaseless process of (our) own Khandhas, i.e. perishing of the old one, giving place to a new, in other words, Paticcasamuppada is nothing but Causal Continuum of arising and vanishing of physical and mental phenomena.

        'Anamataggo yam Bhikkhave Samsaro Pubba Koti Napannayati, Avijja Nivarananam SattanamTanha SamyojanAnam Sandharatam Samsara tam' (Anamatagga Samyutta)

        It means that the beginning of Samsara is inconceivable. Being shrouded in Avijja (Ignorance) and bound up by Tanha the beginning of beings who are undergoing round of rebirths from one existence to another is incomprehensible. If the bones of a single being were preserved in heaps it will reach the height of Mount Vepunlla. The ascent to its top will take four days. This shows only the bones of a single being. Samsara is so long. When the Samsara is said to be so long, it amounts to saying that the period of suffering is long too and that the cycle of Paticcasamuppada is also long.

        It is said that the beginning of Samsara is Avijja, then the question arises: What is Avijja? ( This should not be confused with the First Cause or being. )

       Avijja is Ignorance of Four Noble Truths (Ariya Sacca)

  •         1. Ignorance of the Cause of Suffering (Samudaya Sacca)
  •         2. Ignorance of the Suffering or Unsatisfactoriness (Dukkha Sacca).
  •         3. Ignorance of the Cessation of Suffering (Nirodha Sacca).
  •         4. Ignorance of the Path leading to the Cessation of Suffering. (Nirodha Gaminipatipada).

        To illustrate: -

        1. It is inherent in every one of us to posses and crave for gold, silver and other material wealth. This craving is the root cause of Dukkha (sorrow and suffering). Lack of knowledge of this is called ignorance of Samudaya Sacca.

        2. Lack of knowledge that our own Khandha (aggregates or components) are the very suffering and sorrow is called Ignorance of Dukkha Sacca.

        3. Lack of knowledge that cessation of all the suffering is the Nirodha Sacca which in other words is Supreme Nibbana is called ignorance of Nirodha Sacca.

        4 Lack of knowledge that the Eightfold Noble Path is the Path leading to the Supreme Nibbana is called ignorance Of Nirodha gamini patipada Sacca.

        Such ignorance is Avijja and all the mental physical and verbal activities arise out of this Ignorance. Therefore the Buddha says' Avijja Paccaya sankhara'. Not knowing the root cause of all sorrow and suffering, all sorts of activities are done or committed for the sake of oneself, one's family, etc. employing all means of contrivances regardless of Kusala or Akusala (wholesome and unwholesome) to amass wealth, to get higher promotion and so on.

        He may say that he is leading a good life as he carries on legitimate trade but from the point of view of Paticcasamuppada he is not breaking the chain of Samsara but he is doing the relinking work of Paticcasamuppada. If and when asked what offence has he done? The answer will be that it cannot be said whether he has committed an offence or not but what can definitely be said is that he has connected the cyclic order of the chain of Paticcasamuppada and is revolving.

        Again in order to attain higher plane in the next existence he does alms giving. This is Kusala Kamma no doubt, nevertheless any meritorious deed done with Avijja, i.e. because it is done without the knowledge of Dukkha Sacca it becomes Punnabhisankhara: 'Avijja Paccaya Kusala Sankhara (Punnabhi). Alms giving as well as keeping Moral Precepts (Sila) are done with a view to attaining higher planes, i.e. to become Deva or Brahma in the next existence. It is also Avijja Paccaya Kusala Sankhara. There is also usual utterance of wishes in the end saying that the wishes be fulfilled. Even if these wishes are fulfilled and they become Devas or Brahmas, the beginning of the next existence is birth (Jati). Jati is nothing but Dukkha Sacca. 'Jatipi Dukkha Sacca' (Dhamma Cakka Pavattana Sutta).

        'Sankhara Paccaya Vinnanam' means because of Sankhara (whether Kusala or Akusala) there arises the Rebirth consciousness. The beginning of every existence is Rebirth Consciousness. The very existence which we are undergoing is nothing but Dukkha (sorrow and suffering), pure and simple although we have been deceived and deluded by Avijja as Sukha (Happiness). Therefore it is up to the Yogi to ponder for a moment whether it is desirable for him to long and wish for higher position in their next existence whenever alms giving or any meritorious deeds are done. The best advice for the Yogi is to strive for the cessation of suffering as rebirth in the form of Deva or Brahma or any form of existence is Dukkha itself and nothing but Dukkha.

        'Vinnana Paccaya Namarupam'; he who begets Jati also begets Nama and Rupa. Reference to Section II is invited. Because of Vinnana there arises Nama and Rupa. It should be scrutinised if there is I, Me or Mine in the Vinnana. In the Nama and Rupa too, scrutiny must be made whether there is any element of personality as I, Me, Mine, He or She.

        Vinnana is the Patisandhi Vinnana and is the beginning of the present existence and in that Vinnana there is no Ego, Self, I, He or You. It is only the outcome of Sankhara.

        In the Namarupa too, careful examination and thorough scrutiny will reveal that there is no element of any personality as Ego, I, Mine Me or He. Neither is there mine nor any possesor. It is only the Resultant Continum of Causal Continuum or Paticcasamuppada.

        'Namarupa Paccaya Salayatanam'. Where there is Nama and Rupa, the phenomenon does not end then and there. Eye, Ear, Nose, Tongue, Body and Mind arise because of Nama and Rupa.

        Eye is the Resultant phenomenon of the Causal Phenomenon in which there is nothing which can be claimed as Ego, I, Mine or Me. It is the Resultant Continuum of the Causal Continuum. It is not I, or My Eye nor my Atta nor Mine.

        Nose. Similarly nose is the Resultant phenomenon of the Causal Phenomenon in which there is nothing which can claim any element of personality, Ego or I, Mine or Atta.

        Tongue and Body and Mind can also be implied and under stood as the foregoing.

        These sense Bases (Salayatana) are six Dhammas which widen the scope of Samsara or in other words they spread out and lengthen the Cyclic Chain Of Paticcasamuppada.

        Eye widens the scope of the Samsara, also Ear, Nose, Tongue, Body and Mind widen the scope of the Samsara. Reference should be made to the Chapter III and check your own self and see for your own self whether or not do you stop just at the sight or at the sound or the smell or the taste, touch or the thought. To illustrate: If you happen to see a beautiful object, do you stop at the sight or do you go a step further and say I like it or I want to have it? You do not stop then and there but will try to have it by one way or the other. This is called the linking of Samsara or elongating the chain of Paticcasamuppada or widening the scope of Samsara. Similarly the remaining five Salayatana may be implied and understood in the same manner.

        'Salayatana paccaya Phasso 'means because of the eye, there arises eye contact. Because of the ear, there arises ear contact: because of the nose there arises nose contact; because of the tongue there arises tongue contact; because of the body there arises touch contact; because of the mind thought contact arises.

        'Phassa paccaya Vedana' means because of contact there arises feeling. Because of eye contact there arises Vedana depending on the eye. In Pali, it is called Cakkhusamphassaja Vedana. Feeling depending on the eye is called Cakkhusamphassaja Vedana * In the same way feelings depending on other sense bases are respectively called Sotasamphassaja Vedana, Ghanasamphassaja vedana, Jivasamphassaja Vedana, Kayasamphassaja Vedana and Manosamphassaja Vedana. Vedana is divided into three kinds, i.e. Sukha, Dukkha and Uppekkha or it is divided into five, i.e. Sukha, Dukkha, Somanassa, Domanassa and Uppekkha Vedana or if again it is subdivided, it will cover a considerable field. However the intending Yogi has to bear in mind that whenever there is contact or impact on six sense bases or doors (Dvara) there appears Vedana of some sort, so it goes without saying that Vedana is not to be sought after purposely, for Vedana of one kind or another is always appearing or prevalent on six sense bases whenever there is Phassa (contact).

        'Vedana paccaya Tanha;' Dependent on Vedana there arises Tanha. If it arises depending on visible object, it is called Rupa Tanha, similarly Sadda Tanha on sound, Gandha Tanha on odour or smell; Rasa Tanha or taste; Photthabba Tanha on contact; and Dhamma Tanha on thought.

        'Tanha Paccaya Upadana' means depending on Tanha there arises grasping, clinging or overwhelming desire or Tanha of greater magnitude. There are four Upadana - Kamupadana (overwhelming sensual desire); Ditthupadana (overwhelming desire for wrong view); Silabba-tupadana (overwhelming desire for wrong practices and observances) and Attavadupadana (overwhelming Egoistic desire).

        "Upadana paccaya Kamma Bhavo" depending on overwhelming desire or grasping there arises Kaya-Kamma (Physical activities); Vavi Kamma (verbal activities) and Mano-Kamma (mental activities). Any of these three activities is called Kamma Bhava which is the last factor in Section III. In the first section, Past Causal Continuum, it is to be understood as Sankhara. According to Abhidhammattha Sangaha it consists of Loki Kusala and Akusala Citta numbering twenty nine.

        'Kammabhava paccaya Jati' means due to Physical, verbal and mental activities there arises Jati (Rebirth consciousness) which is the beginning of the next existence (Patisandhi Vinnana) be it whatever Jati, the beginning is Patisandhi Vinnana (Rebirht consciousness). The Buddha said, ' Jatipi Dukkha' It means jati is Dukkha Sacca whether it is Jati of man, Deva or Brahma. It is for the Yogis to decide at this juncture whether it is worth while to wish and long for the Jati in their next existence. When Jati is begotten what are its implications? What will be the eventual prize? The answer is 'Jati paccaya Jara Marana'. It is obvious that because of Jati, Jara and Marana are begotten or in other words Jati is inevitably followed by old age and death.

        To be more lucid, when one begets Jati, he is followed by old age, disease, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief despair and the whole mass of Dukkha. Reference may be made to the Diagram .

        This is the circumgyration of Paticcasamuppada shown in accordance with the Buddha's teaching.

        * Vedana must not be confused with illness or disease. Feeling is vedana of whatever kind. i.e. Sukha, Dukkha, Somanassa, Domanassa or Upekkha.



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