මුල් පිටුව | බොදු පුවත් | කතුවැකිය | බෞද්ධ දර්ශනය | විශේෂාංග | වෙහෙර විහාර | ඉංග්‍රිසි ලිපි | පෙර කලාප | දායකත්ව මුදල් |


The law of dependent origination

By K. D. Buddhima Hansinie Subasinghe

No god No Brahma can be found
No matter of this wheel of life
Just bare phenomenon roll
Depend on conditions all
(Vissdhi Magga)

“The law of dependant Origination”, well you might wonder as to what this law is because, this law that I am referring to is quite different to the law that you might have thought as a whole system of rules that everyone in a country or a society must obey as it is generally what we refer to as a law in our day to day lives. On the other hand, according to Buddhism, we say that Lord Buddha has taught us certain doctrines which we should understand and practise and it is then that we can achieve our ultimate goal, the eternal bliss Nibbana. But, we never state that Lord Buddha has given us certain rules as such which one should look into. Still, when we actually consider deeply into Lord Buddha’s teaching of analytical doctrine of mental faculties and elements, Abhidhamma, we come across the law of cause and effect in which Lord Buddha explained in 3 levels which are the Four Noble Truths Chatu Ariya Sacca, The Law Of Dependant Origination - Patticcasamuppada, and The Philosophy of Conditional Relations - Pattanaya.

In fact, the Abhidhamma Pitaka as a whole explains nothing but the two main doctrines, the phenomenality suggesting the impersonality which teaches the concepts such as ‘I’ or ‘You’ does not really exist and everything is made up of just two main ingredients Nama or mind and Rupa or matter where Nama are the mental factors and rupa is the physical appearance and the second doctrine is the conditionality of all existence.

Patticcasamuppada, the Law of Dependant Origination or the Buddhist Law of causation of phenomena of suffering explains that the life or the world is built on a set of relations in which the arising and the cessation of factors depend on some other factors which condition them. Moreover its also a discourse on the process of birth and rebirth depicting how life and phenomena arise without a primary cause. Therefore, the principle of the Law of Dependant Origination can be represented in a four step formula as follows.

“When this is present, that is present
From the arising of this, that arises
When this is absent, that is absent
On the cessation of this, that ceases”

Supportive conditions

Therefore, this law emphasizes an important principal that all phenomena in this universe are relative, conditioned states meaning created by a cause or causes and do not arise independently of supportive conditions. As a result, a phenomenon arises due to the aggregation of conditions and cease when the conditions supporting its arising no longer sustain it. Therefore, the Law of Dependant Origination is an equivalent to the Einstein’s Theory of Relativity which is the fact that everything is nothing more than a set of relations. The fundamental principle that lies behind the Law of Dependant Origination is therefore, the Law of Cause and Effect.

In order to illustrate the nature of Dependant Origination, I’d like to take the example of a flame of an oil lamp which burns depending on the oil and the wick. When the oil and wick are present the flame of the oil lamp burns and if either of them is absent the flame will cease to burn. Therefore, Lord Buddha has explained the doctrinal formula in twelve phenomena formed into eleven steps in pairs as follows:

1. Avijja paccaya sankhara - Dependant on ignorance arise wholesomeand unwholesome kammic formations

2. Sankhara paccaya vinnanam - Dependant on Kammic formations ariseconciousness

3. Vinnana paccaya nama-rupam- Dependant on consciousness arise mindand matter

4. Nama-Rupa paccaya Salayatanam - Dependant on mind and matter arise thesix sense bases

(The five physical sense organs and theMind)

5. Salayatana paccaya Phassa - Dependant on six sense bases arisesensorial and mental contact

6. Phassa paccaya vedana - Dependant on contact arise feelings orsensations

7. Vedana paccaya tanha - Dependant on feeling arise craving

8. Tanha paccaya Upadhana - Dependant on craving arise desire forgrasping and


9. Upadhana paccaya Bhava - Dependant on desire arise kamma bhavaleading to a new existence.

10. Bhava paccaya Jati - Dependant on kamma bhava arises re-birth

11. Jati paccaya jara, marana, soka parideva, dukka, domanassa upasaya -

Dependant on rebirth arise decay, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, despair and thus arises the wholemass of suffering

Primary cause

Now, I’m sure you intend to know how this principle of dependant origination is applied to the process of suffering and re-birth and why we are continuously roaming in Samsara. But, you should not be mistaken by the fact that it describes the evolution of the universe and avijja or ignorance is the primary cause as everything arises due to a preceding cause and there is certainly no primary cause.

Therefore, the Patticcasamuppada explains the arising, existence, and continuity of life over a period of three life times which is the past, present and future life. Here, Avijja or ignorance causes wholesome and unwholesome mental factors to arise referring to the volitional activities performed in the previous births which is due to the ignorance of the fact of suffering, cause of suffering, cessation of suffering and the path leading to the cessation of suffering - The four Noble truths - Chatu Ariya Sacca or the lack of realisation of reality “Yata Bhuta Nana Dassana.”

Through ignorance good or evil deeds are performed. Therefore, due to the accumulation of Kamma it leads to the genesis of a re-linking consciousness or Patisandhi Vinnana which is the very first manifestation of a new birth. Re-birth occurs in different planes of existence such as the sense-sphere (Kamavachara), Fine-material sphere (Rupavachara), Immaterial sphere (Arupavachara) and Supramundane or Lokutara sphere.

When consciousness, mental and physical phenomena, the six sense bases, contact, sensation, desire, clinging and becoming are taken into account, they are considered as the results or vipaka of the actions or kamma performed in the present life.

In fact, depending on the Patisandhi vinnana mind and matter arise which means that the factors develop with the physical, mental and sex elements and the life starts once again. And gradually at the next stage, based on the elements of mind and matter, the six sense organs develop in the foetus and they receive external objects. Therefore, by the union of the sense organs and objects it produces a thought moment and with the arising of sense organs arises contact with sights, sounds, smells, tastes, tactile objects and mental objects. Each object has a pleasant, unpleasant or a neutral feeling so, dependant on contact arises sensations or feelings which can be categorized to sukkha or pleasant, dukka or unpleasant or upekkha or neutral.

Unpleasant objects

Gradually due to the feeling or sensations arise the attraction or greed towards pleasant objects and repulsion or aversion towards unpleasant objects. Therefore as a result of feeling arises desire where one desires for beautiful sights, sounds, smells, tastes, tactile and mental objects and this in turn causes the development of attachment and clinging. Now, because of this clinging and attachment the next life is conditioned and arises becoming. Finally, there arises a form of energy which gives rise to re-birth and if a conception takes place in the mothers womb, the aggregates or skhandhas come into being, and the bases or ayathanas appear and this whole process is called re-birth (bhava).

Then, finally dependant on birth, arises decay and death followed by sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair which forms the whole mass of suffering and belongs to the future life.

We should therefore, have the motivation to open up our mind doors when the key is in our hands and understand the true nature of mind by analyzing the attitudes of mind. Finally by practicing the Noble Eightfold path, eradicating the ignorance of the Four Noble Truths, understanding the Tri Lakkhana anitta (impermanence), dukkaha (suffering) anathma (no-self) and practicing meditation, one can certainly realize the real objective state, which is deathless, absolutely endless, non-conditioned, incomparable, highest eternal bliss Nirvana.

Jigccha parama roga - Samkara parama dukkha
Etam natva yatabhutam - Nibbanam Paramam Sukham

Hunder is the greatest disease, Aggregates are the greatest suffering

Knowing this, as it really is - Nibbana. The bliss supreme.

May all beings realize this and acquire the eternal bliss of eternal happiness, so follow this message of all Buddhas.

“Sabba papassa akaranam
Kusalassa upasampada
Sacitta pariyodapanam
Etam Buddhanusasanam.”

May all beings be well and happy!

දුරුතු පුර අටවක පෝය

දුරුතු පුර අටවක පෝය දෙසැම්බර් 24 වන දා බ්‍රහස්පතින්දා පූර්වභාග 10.17 ට ලබයි. 25 වන දා සිකුරාදා අපරභාග 11.40 දක්වා පෝය පවතී. සිල් සමාදන්වීම දෙසැම්බර් 24 වන දා බ්‍රහස්පතින්දාය.

මී ළඟ පෝය දෙසැම්බර් 31 වන දා බ්‍රහස්පතින්දාය.

පොහෝ දින දර්ශනය

First Quarterපුර අටවක

දෙසැම්බර් 24

Full Moonපසෙලාස්වක

දෙසැම්බර් 31

Second Quarterඅව අටවක

ජනවාරි 07

New Moonඅමාවක

ජනවාරි 14

2009 පෝය ලබන ගෙවෙන වේලා සහ සිල් සමාදන් විය යුතු දවස

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