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The Buddhist Philosophy of Relations

Paṭṭhānuddesa Dīpanī

by

Ledi Sayādaw Mahāthera

Translated by
Sayādaw U Nyāna

Buddhist Publication Society
Kandy • Sri Lanka

The Wheel Publication No. 331/133

First BPS edition: 1986

SL ISSN 0049-7541

Digital Transcription Source: Buddhist Publication Society.

For free distribution. This work may be republished, reformatted, reprinted and redistributed in any medium. However, any such republication and redistribution is to be made available to the public on a free and unrestricted basis and translations and other derivative works are to be clearly marked as such and the Buddhist Publication Society is to be acknowledged as the original publisher.


Contents

Foreword
Translator’s Preface to the First Edition

The Buddhist Philosophy of Relations

The Exposition of Relations (Paccayattha Dīpanī)

1. Hetu-paccaya: The Relation by Way of Root
2. Ārammaṇa-paccaya: The Relation of Object
3. Adhipati-paccaya: The Relation of Dominance
4. Anantara-paccaya: The Relation of Contiguity
5. Samanantara-paccaya: The Relation of Immediate Contiguity
6. Sahajāta-paccaya: The Relation of Co-Existence
7. Aññamañña-paccaya: The Relation of Reciprocity
8. Nissaya paccaya: The Relation of Dependence
9. Upanissaya-Paccaya: The Relation of Sufficing Condition
10. Purejāta-paccaya: The Relation of Pre-Existence
11. Pacchājāta-paccaya: The Relation of Post-Existence
12. Āsevana-paccaya: The Relation of Habitual Recurrence
13. Kamma-paccaya: The Relation of Kamma
14. Vipāka-paccaya: The Relation of Effect
15. Āhāra-paccaya: The Relation of Food
16. Indriyā-paccaya: The Relation of Control
17. Jhāna-paccaya: The Relation of Jhāna
18. Magga-paccaya: The Relation of Path
19. Sampayutta-paccaya: The Relation of Association
20. Vippayutta-paccaya: The Relation of Dissociation
21. Atthi-paccaya: The Relation of Presence
22. Natthi-paccaya: The Relation of Absence
23. Vigata-paccaya: The Relation of Abeyance
24. Avigata paccaya: The Relation of Continuance

The Synthesis of Relations (Paccaya-sabhāga)
The Synchrony of Relations (Paccaya-ghaṭana-naya)

Synchrony of Relations in the Five Senses
Synchrony of Relations in Consciousness Not Accompanied By Hetu
Synchrony of Relations in the Immoral Classes of Consciousness
Synchrony of Relations in the Radiant Classes of Consciousness
Synchrony of Relations in the Groups of Material Qualities

The Meaning of Paṭṭhāna


Foreword

The author of the present treatise, the Venerable Ledi Sayādaw, was one of the most eminent Burmese Buddhist scholar-monks of recent times. Born in the Shwebo District of Burma in 1846, by the time he passed away in 1923 he had written over seventy manuals on different aspects of Theravada Buddhism and established centres throughout Burma for the study of Abhidhamma and the practise of insight meditation. His profound erudition, original thinking and lucid writings have won him the esteem of the entire Buddhist world.

The Paṭṭhānuddesa Dīpanī is Ledi Sayādaw’s treatment of one of the most difficult and complex subjects of Theravada Buddhist thought—the philosophy of conditional relations. The Paṭṭhāna, the seventh and last book of the Abhidhamma Piṭaka, works out the system of relations in six large volumes. In the present slim volume the Venerable Ledi Sayādaw has extracted the essential principles underlying this vast system and explained them concisely but comprehensively, with lucid illustrations for the Paṭṭhāna’s twenty-four conditional relations.

An English translation of the Paṭṭhānuddesa Dīpanī by the Sayādaw U Nyāna, a direct disciple of the author, was published in Rangoon in 1935. This translation, with a few minor changes, appeared serialised in the Burmese Buddhist journal The Light of the Dhamma, and later was included in a collection of Ledi Sayādaw’s works, The Manuals of Buddhism (Rangoon: Union Buddha Sāsana Council, 1965). A Thai reprint of the latter work (Bangkok: Mahāmakut, 1978) was used as the basis for the present edition, which reproduces the original with a few minor alterations of style and choice of renderings.

In including the Paṭṭhānuddesa Dīpanī in The Wheel series, the publishers recognise that the treatise will not be easy reading even for those seriously involved in Abhidhamma study. However, since copies of the earlier editions are now almost impossible to obtain, it was felt that the value and importance of this work for understanding the Buddhist philosophy of conditionality justify its being re-issued. As the treatise presupposes prior familiarity with the Abhidhamma gained elsewhere, footnotes have been kept minimal; if footnotes had been added to elucidate every difficult point, the annotations would have become unmanageable. The original translator had chosen to retain much of the Pali terminology in the exposition, and this edition follows suit. Since the author’s own explanations make the meanings of the Pali terms very clear, the reader who is keen on study should not find this a serious obstacle, and moreover will be able to deal with them more precisely in the original than in make-shift English renderings.

Readers who wish to extend their knowledge of the Abhidhamma in connection with the present work would do best to turn to the classical summary of Abhidhamma thought, the Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha. This has been published by the BPS in an English translation by the Venerable Nārada Thera as A Manual of Abhidhamma. The first two volumes of the Paṭṭhāna itself have been published by the Pali Text Society under the title Conditional Relations, translated by the Paṭṭhāna Sayādaw, U Nārada.

Nyanaponika Thera

Translator’s Preface to the First Edition

Buddhism views the world, with the exception of Nibbāna and paññatti[1] as impermanent, liable to suffering, and without soul-essence. So Buddhist philosophy, to elaborate the impermanency as applied to the Law of Perpetual Change, has from the outset dissolved all things, all phenomena both mental and physical, into a continuous succession of happenings of states of mind and matter, under the Fivefold Law of Cosmic Order (niyāma). The happenings are determined and determining, both as to their constituent states and as to other happenings, in a variety of ways, which Buddhist philosophy expresses by the term paccaya or “relations.” One complex happening of mental and material states, with its three phases of time—genesis or birth, cessation or death and a static interval between—is followed by another happening, wherein there is always a causal series of relations. Nothing is casual and fortuitous. When one happening by its arising, persisting, cessation, priority, and posteriority, is determined by and determining another happening by means of producing (janaka), supporting (upatthambhaka), and maintaining (anupālana), the former is called the relating thing (paccaya-dhamma), the latter the related thing (paccayuppanna-dhamma), and the determination or the influence or the specific function is called the correlativity (paccayatā). As the various kinds of influence are apparently known, the relations are classified into the following twenty-four kinds:

  1. hetu—condition or root
  2. ārammaṇa—object
  3. adhipati—dominance
  4. anantara—contiguity
  5. samanantara—immediate contiguity
  6. sahajāta—coexistence
  7. aññamañña—reciprocity
  8. nissaya—dependence
  9. upanissaya—suffering condition
  10. purejāta—pre-existence
  11. pacchājāta—post-existence
  12. āsevana—habitual recurrence
  13. kamma—kamma or action
  14. vipāka—effect
  15. āhāra—food
  16. indriya—control
  17. jhāna—absorption
  18. magga—path
  19. sampayutta—association
  20. vippayutta—dissociation
  21. atthi—presence
  22. natthi—absence
  23. vigata—abeyance
  24. avigata—continuance.

These twenty-four relations are extensively and fully expounded in the seventh and last of the analytical works in the Abhidhamma Piṭaka of the Buddhist Canon, called the Paṭṭhāna (“The Eminence”) or the Mahāpakararaṇa (“The Great Treatise”).

The well-known Ledi Sayādaw Mahāthera, D. Litt., Aggamahāpaṇḍita, has written in Pali a concise exposition of these relations known as Paṭṭhānuddesa Dīpanī, in order to help those who wish to study the Buddhist philosophy of relations expounded in the Paṭṭhāna. In introducing these relations to the student of philosophical research before he takes the opportunity of making himself acquainted with the methodological elaboration of correlations in the Paṭṭhāna, the Mahāthera deals with the subject under three heads:

  1. The Paccayattha-dīpanī or the analytical Exposition of Relations with their denotations and connotations.
  2. The Paccayā-sabhāga or the Synthesis of Relations.
  3. The Paccayā-ghaṭanānaya or the Synchrony of Relations.

The following translation has been undertaken with the hope of rendering the Ledi Sayādaw’s work intelligible to the English student. If the present translation makes any contribution to the advancement of learning and knowledge in the matter of apprehending the general scheme of causal laws in terms of ’relations’ in the field of Buddhist philosophy, the translator will deem himself well rewarded for his labour. It may, however, be necessary to mention here that the original form, sense, and meaning of the Venerable Author are, as far as possible, cautiously preserved; hence the literal character of the translation—if it appears so—in some places. Nevertheless, the translator ventures to hope that any discrepancy that may have crept in, will be accordingly overlooked.

In conclusion, it is with great pleasure that I express my indebtedness to U Aung Hla, M.A. (Cantab.), Barrister-at-Law, who has very kindly, amidst his own many duties, taken the trouble of revising the manuscript and has also helped me in getting it through the press and in the correction of the proofs. My thanks are also due to Sayā U Ba, M.A., A.T.M., for his valuable assistance, and to the printers for their courtesy and cooperation.

Last, but not least, I must gratefully acknowledge the timely help from U Ba Than and Daw Tin Tin, of Rangoon, who have voluntarily and so generously undertaken to meet the cost of publication of one thousand copies of the book, which but for their kind suggestion, would not have materialised in this form.

Sayādaw U Nyāna

Masoyein Monastery,
Mandalay West, Burma
February, 1935
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The Buddhist Philosophy of Relations

The Exposition of Relations (Paccayattha Dīpanī)

1. Hetu-paccaya: The Relation by Way of Root

What is the hetu-relation? It is greed (lobha), hate (dosa), delusion (moha), and their respective opposites: non-greed or dispassionateness (alobha), non-hate or amity (adosa) and non-delusion or intelligence (amoha). All are hetu relations.

What are the things that are related by these hetu relations? Those classes of mind and of mental qualities that are in coexistence along with greed, hate, delusion, dispassionateness, amity and intelligence, as well as the groups of material qualities which coexist with the same—these are the things that are so related. All these are called hetu-paccayuppanna-dhamma, since they arise or come into existence by virtue of the hetu-relation.

In the above exposition, by “the groups of material qualities which co-exist with the same” are meant the material qualities produced by kamma at the initial moment of the hetu-conditioned conception of a new being, as well as such material qualities as may be produced by the hetu-conditioned mind during the lifetime. Here by “the moment of conception” is meant the nascent instant of the rebirth-conception, and by “the lifetime” is meant the period starting from the static instant of the rebirth conception right on to the moment of the dying-thought.

In what sense is hetu to be understood? And in what sense paccaya? Hetu is to be understood in the sense of root (mūlattha); and paccaya in the sense of assisting in (upakārattha) the arising, or the coming to be, of the paccayuppanna-dhamma of these two the first is the state of being a root pertaining to the root greed and so on, as shown in the Mūla-yamaka. We have illustrated this point in the Mūlayamaka Dīpanī by the simile of a tree. However, we shall deal with it here again.

Suppose a man is in love with a woman. Now, so long as be does not dispel the lustful thought, all his acts, words and thoughts regarding this woman will be cooperating with lust (or greed), which at the same time has also under its control the material qualities produced by the same thought. We see then that all these states of mental and material qualities have their root in lustful greed for that woman. Hence, by being a hetu (for it acts as a root) and by being a paccaya (for it assists in the arising of those states of mind and body) greed is hetu-paccaya. The rest may be explained and understood in the same manner—i.e. the arising of greed by way of desire for desirable things; the arising of hate by way of antipathy against hateful things; and the arising of delusion by way of lack of knowledge respecting dull things.

Take a tree as an illustration. We see that the roots of a tree, having firmly established themselves in the ground, draw up sap from the soil and water, and carry that sap right up to the crown of the tree; thus the tree develops and grows for a long time. In the same way, greed, having firmly established itself in desirable things, draws up the essence of pleasure and enjoyment from them and conveys that essence to the concomitant mental elements, till they burst into immoral acts and words. That is to say, greed brings about transgression as regards moral acts and words. The same is to be said of hate, which by way of aversion draws up the essence of displeasure and discomfort, and also of delusion, which by way of lack of knowledge nurtures the growth of the essence of vain thought on many an object.

Transporting the essence thus, the three elements—greed, hate, and delusion—operate upon the component parts, so that they become happy (so to speak) and joyful at the desirable objects, etc. The component parts also become as they are operated upon, while the co-existent material qualities share the same effect. Here, from the words “it conveys that essence to the concomitant mental elements,” it is to be understood that greed transports the essence of pleasure and enjoyment to the concomitant elements.

Coming now to the bright side—suppose the man sees danger in sensual pleasure and gives up that lustful thought for the woman. In doing so, dispassionateness (alobha) as regards her arises in him. Before this, there took place impure acts, words and thoughts having delusion (moha) as their root, but for the time being these are no longer present and in their place there arise pure acts, words and thoughts having their root in dispassionateness. Moreover, renunciation, self-control, jhāna-exercise or higher ecstatic thoughts also come into being. Dispassionateness, therefore, is known as hetu-paccaya; it being a hetu because it acts as a root, while it is a paccaya because it assists in the arising of the concomitants. The same explanation applies to the remainder of dispassionateness and also to amity and intelligence, which three are the opposites of greed, hate and delusion respectively.

Here, just as the root of the tree stimulates the whole stem and its parts, so it is with non-greed. It dispels the desire for desirable things and having promoted the growth of the essence of pleasure void of greed, it nurtures the concomitant elements with that essence till they become so happy and joyful that they even reach the height of jhānic path, or fruition-pleasure. Similarly, amity and intelligence respectively dispel hate and delusion with regard to hateful and dull or delusive things, and promote the growth of the essence of pleasure void of hate and delusion. Thus the operation of the three elements (alobha, adosa and amoha) lasts for a long time, making their mental concomitants happy and joyful. The concomitant elements also become as they are operated upon, while the co-existent groups of material qualities are affected in the same way.

Here the word lobha-viveka-sukha-rasa is a compound of the words lobha, viveka, sukha and rasa. Viveka is the state of being absent. Lobha-viveka is that which is absent from greed, or the absence of greed. Lobha-viveka-sukha is the pleasure which arises from the absence of greed. Hence the whole compound is defined thus: Lobha-viveka-sukha-rasa is the essence of pleasure derived from the absence of greed.

What has just been expounded is the Law of Paṭṭhāna in the Abhidhamma. Turning to the Law of Suttanta, the two elements of delusion and greed, which are respectively termed nescience (avijjā) and craving (taṇhā), are the sole roots of all the three rounds of misery. [2] Hate, being the incidental consequence of greed, is only a root of evil. The two elements of intelligence and dispassionateness, which are respectively termed wisdom and the element of renunciation, are the sole roots for the dissolution of the rounds of misery. Amity, being the incidental consequence of non-greed, is only a root of good. Thus the six roots become the causes of all the states of mind and body, which are either co-existent or non-co-existent. Now, what has been said is the Law of Suttanta.

End of the Hetu-relation.

2. Ārammaṇa-paccaya:The Relation of Object

What is the ārammaṇa-relation? All classes of consciousness, all states of mental concomitants, all kinds of material qualities, all phases of Nibbāna, all terms expressive of concepts, are ārammaṇa-relations. There is, in fact, not a single thing (dhamma) which does not become an object of mind and of the mental elements. Stated concisely, objects are of six different kinds: visible object, audible object, odorous object, taste object, tangible object and cognizable object.

Which are those things that are related by the ārammaṇa-relations? All classes of mind and their concomitants are the things that are related by the ārammaṇa-relations. There is indeed not a single class of consciousness that can exist without its having an existing (bhūtena) or non-existing (abhūtena) object (bhūtena and abhūtena may also be rendered here as ’real’ and ’unreal,’ or as ’present’ and ’non-present,’ respectively).

Here the present visible object is the ārammaṇa paccaya, and is causally related to the two classes, good and bad, of consciousness of sight. Similarly, the present audible object is causally related to the two classes of consciousness of sound; the present odorous object to the two classes of consciousness of smell; the present taste object to the two classes of consciousness of taste; the present three classes of tangible object to the two classes of consciousness of touch; and the present five objects of sense to the three classes of consciousness known as the triple element of apprehension. [3] All these five objects of sense—present, past or future—and all objects of thought present, past, future or outside time are ārammaṇa-paccaya and are causally related, severally, to the seventy-six classes of consciousness known as mind-cognitions (or elements of comprehension). [4]

In what sense is ārammaṇa or ’object’ to be understood, and in what sense paccaya? Ārammaṇa is to be understood in the sense of ālambitabba, which means that which is held or hung upon, so to speak, by mind and mental elements. Paccaya is to be understood in the sense of upakāraka, which means that which assists or renders help (in the arising of paccayuppanna-dhamma).

Concerning the word ālambitabba, the function of the ālambana of minds and their mental factors is to take hold of or to attach to the object. For instance, there is in this physical world a kind of metal which receives its name of ayokantaka (literally, ’iron-desire’), lodestone, on account of its apparent desire for iron. When it gets near a lump of iron, it shakes itself as though desiring it. Moreover, it moves itself forward and attaches itself firmly to the iron. In other cases, it attracts the iron, and so the iron shakes itself, approaches the lodestone, and attaches itself firmly to it. Here we see the power of the lodestone, which may be taken as a striking representation of the ālambana of mind and the mental factors.

The mind and its concomitants not only attach themselves to objects, but at the stage of their coming into existence within a personal entity, rise and cease every moment while the objects remain present at the avenues of the six doors. [5] Thus the rising and ceasing is just like that of the sound of a gong, which is produced only at each moment we strike its surface, followed by immediate silence. It is also like that of the sound of a violin, which is produced only while we move the bow over its strings and then immediately ceases.

To a sleeping man, while the life continua are flowing (in the stream of thought), kamma, the sign of kamma and the sign of the destiny awaiting him in the succeeding life—which had distinctly entered the avenues of the six doors at the time of approaching death in the preceding existence—are ārammaṇa-relations, and are causally related to (the nineteen classes of), consciousness known as the life-continuum (bhavaṅga).

End of the Ārammaṇa-relation

3. Adhipati-paccaya: The Relation of Dominance

The relation of dominance is of two kinds: objective dominance and co-existent dominance. Of these two, what is the relation of objective dominance? Among the objects dealt with in the section on the ārammaṇa-relation, some objects are most agreeable, most lovable, most pleasing and most esteemed. Such objects exhibit the relation of objective dominance. Objects may, naturally, be either agreeable or disagreeable, but only the most agreeable objects—those objects most highly esteemed by this or that person—exhibit this relation. Excepting the two classes of consciousness rooted in aversion, [6] the two classes of consciousness rooted in ignorance and the tactual consciousness accompanied by pain, together with the concomitants of all these, it may be shown, analytically, that all the remaining classes of kāma-consciousness, rūpa-consciousness, arūpa-consciousness and transcendental consciousness, [7] together with all their respective concomitants and all the most agreeable material qualities, exhibit the causal relation of objective dominance.

Of these, sense-objects are said to exhibit the causal relation of objective dominance only when they are highly regarded, otherwise they do not. But those who reach the jhāna stages are never lacking in high esteem for the sublime jhānas they have obtained. Ariyan disciples also never fail in their great regard for the transcendental states [8] they have obtained and enjoyed.

What are the things that are related by this relation? The eight classes of consciousness rooted in greed (lobha), the eight classes of kāmaloka moral consciousness, the four classes of inoperative kāmaloka consciousness connected with knowledge, and the eight classes of transcendental consciousness—these are the things related by this relation. Here the six mundane objects [9] are causally related to the eight classes of consciousness rooted in greed. The seventeen classes of mundane moral consciousness are related to the four classes of moral kāma-consciousness disconnected from knowledge. The first three pairs of the path and fruit and Nibbāna, together with all those classes of mundane moral consciousness, are related to the four classes of moral kāma-consciousness connected with knowledge. The highest—the fourth stage of the path and fruit of Arahantship—together with Nibbāna are related to the four classes of inoperative kāma-consciousness connected with knowledge. And Nibbāna is related to the eight classes of transcendental consciousness.

In what sense is ārammaṇa to be understood, and in what sense adhipati? Ārammaṇa is to be understood in the sense of ālambitabba (see ārammaṇa-paccaya) and adhipati in the sense of dominance. Then what is dominance? Dominance is the potency of objects to control those states of mind and mental qualities by which they are highly regarded. It is to be understood that the relating things (paccaya-dhamma) of ārammaṇādhipati resemble the overlords, while the related things (paccayuppanna-dhamma) resemble the thralls in human society.

In the Sutasoma Jātaka, Porisāda the king, owing to his extreme delight in human flesh, abandoned his kingdom solely for the sake of the taste of human flesh and lived a wanderer’s life in the forest. Here the savour of human flesh is the paccaya-dhamma of ārammaṇādhipati and King Porisāda’s consciousness rooted in greed is the paccayuppana-dhamma.

And again, King Sutasoma, having a very high regard for Truth [10] forsook his sovereignty, all his royal family and even his life for the sake of Truth, and went to throw himself into the hands of king Porisāda. In this case, Truth is the paccaya-dhamma and King Sutasoma’s moral consciousness is the paccayuppanna-dhamma. Thus must we understand all objects of sense to which great regard is attached.

What is the relation of co-existent dominance? Intention or desire-to-do, mind [11] or will, energy or effort, and reason or investigation, which have arrived at the dominant state, belong to this relation.

What are the things related by this relation? Classes of mind and of mental qualities which are adjuncts of the dominants, and material qualities produced by dominant thoughts, are the things related by this relation.

In what sense is co-existent (sahajāta) to be understood, and in what sense dominance (adhipati)? Co-existent is to be understood in the sense of ’co-producing,’ and dominance in the sense of ’overpowering.’ Here, a phenomenon, when it appears, does not appear alone, but simultaneously causes its adjuncts to appear. Such a causal activity of the phenomenon is termed the co-producing. And the term ’overpowering’ means overcoming. For instance, King Cakkavatti, by his own power or merit, overcomes and becomes lord of the inhabitants of the whole continent, whom he can lead according to his own will. They also become according as they are led. In like manner, those four influences which have arrived at the dominant stage become lords of their adjuncts, which they lead according to their will in each of their respective functions. The adjuncts also follow according as they are led. To take another example, in each of these masses—earth, water, fire and air—we see that the four elements—extension, cohesion, heat and motion—are respectively predominant, and each has supremacy over the other three components and makes them conform to its own intrinsic nature. [12] The other three members of the group of four elements also have to follow after the nature of the predominant element. In the same way, these four dominants, which have arrived at the dominant stage through their power, make the adjuncts conform to their own intrinsic nature. And their adjuncts also have to follow after the nature of the dominants. Such is the meaning of overpowering.

Here some might say: “If these things, leaving out intention, are to be called dominants on account of their overcoming the adjuncts, greed also ought to be called a dominant, for obviously it possesses a more overwhelming power over the adjuncts than intention.” But to this we may reply, “Greed is indeed more powerful than intention, but only with ordinary unintelligent men. With the wise, intention is more powerful than greed in overwhelming the adjuncts. If it is assumed that greed is more powerful, then how could people, who are in the hands of greed, give up the repletion of their happy existence and wealth, carry out the methods of renunciation, and escape from the circle of misery? But because intention is more powerful than greed, those people who are in the hands of greed are able to give up the repletion of happy existence and wealth, fulfil the means of renunciation and escape from the circle of misery. Hence intention is a true dominant, and not greed.” The like should be borne in mind—in the same fashion—when intention is contrasted with hate, and so forth.

Let us explain this more clearly. When there arise great and difficult manly enterprises, the accomplishment of such enterprises necessitates the arising of these four dominants. How? When ill-intentioned people encounter any such enterprise, their intention recedes. They are not willing to undertake it. They leave it having no inclination for it, and even say, “The task is not within the range of our ability.” As to well-intentioned people, their intention becomes full of spirit at the sight of such a great enterprise. They are very willing to undertake it. They make up their minds to accomplish the task saying, “This has been set within the orbit of our ability.” A person of this type is so persuaded by his intention that he is unable to give up the enterprise during the course of his undertaking, so long as it is not yet accomplished. And since this is the case the task will someday arrive at its full accomplishment even though it may be a very great one.

Now let us turn to the case of men of the indolent class. When they come face to face with such a great task they at once shrink from it. They shrink from it because they foresee that they will have to go through great hardships and also undergo bodily and mental pain if they wish to accomplish it. As to the industrious man, he becomes filled with energy at the sight of it and wishes to set himself to it. He goes on through thick and thin with the performance of the task for any length of time. He never turns back from his exertions nor does he become disappointed. What he only thinks about is that such a great task cannot be accomplished without unswerving efforts every day and every night. And this being the case, the great task will certainly reach its end one day.

Let us take the case of the feeble-minded. They also turn away when they see such a great task. They will certainly never think of it again. But it is quite different with the strong-minded person. When he sees such a task he becomes highly interested in it. He is quite unable to dispel the thought of it. He is all the time wrapped up in thoughts about the task, and at its bidding sets himself to it for a long time, enduring all kinds of bodily and mental pain. The remainder should hereafter be explained in the same manner as the dominant intention above.

Again, a few words about unintelligent men: When they are confronted with such a task, they become blinded. They know not how to begin, nor how to go on with the work, nor how to bring it to its end. They feel as if they had entered the dark where not a single light of inclination towards its performance has been set up to guide them. On the other hand—to take the more intelligent case—when a person of this type has to tackle such a great task he feels as if he were lifted up to the summit of his intellect, whereupon he discerns whence to start and whither to end. He also knows what advantage and blessing will accrue to him from its performance. He invents many devices for its easy accomplishment. He continues on with the work for a long time, and so on and so forth. The rest should be explained in the same manner as the dominant effort—only inserting the words “with an enormous amount of investigation” in place of “unswerving efforts.”

Thus, when there arise great and difficult manly enterprises, these four dominants become predominant among the means of their accomplishment. Owing to the existence of these four dominants, there exist distinguished or dignified persons (personages) such as the Omniscient Buddhas, the Pacceka Buddhas, [13] the most eminent disciples, the great disciples and the ordinary disciples. Owing to the appearance of such personages, there also appear, for the general prosperity and welfare of mankind, numerous arts and sciences, as well as general articles of furniture to suit and serve human needs and wants under the canopy of civilization.

End of the Adhipati-relation.

4. Anantara-paccaya: The Relation of Contiguity

What is the anantara-paccaya? All classes of consciousness and their mental concomitants which have just ceased (in the immediately preceding instant) are anantara-paccaya. Which are those that are related by this paccaya? All classes of consciousness and their mental concomitants which have just arisen (in the immediately succeeding instant) are related by this paccaya.

In one existence of a being, the rebirth-consciousness is related to the first life-continuum (bhavaṅga) by way of contiguity, and the first life-continuum is again so related to the second life-continuum, and so on with the rest.

Now with reference to the text, “When the second immoral consciousness arises to the Pure (those of Pure Abodes, i.e. suddhāvāsa), etc.” which is expounded in the Dhamma-Yamaka, the ninth chapter of the Sixth Book of Abhidhamma, we understand that as he becomes aware of his new body, the first process of thought which occurs to a being in his new life is the process of immoral thought accompanied by a strong desire to live the new life, with the idea, “This is mine; this am I; this is myself.” When this process is about to occur, the life-continuum vibrates first for two moments. Next comes the mind-door apprehension, and then follows a series of seven apperceptives (javana), accompanied by a strong desire to live the new life. Thereafter, life continua begin to flow again. In fact, this being [14] does not know anything of his present new life he lives, reflecting on what he had experienced in the previous existence. The basis of mind, however, is too weak, so that the object also cannot be clearly reflected. The object being thus indistinct, there generally arise only such classes of consciousness as are conjoined with perplexity.

After two months or so from the time of impregnation, during which period the individual is gradually developing, the controlling powers of the eyes, ears, etc. complete their full development. But there being no light, and so on, in the womb of the mother, the four classes of cognition—visual auditory, and so on—do not arise. Only the tactile cognition and the mind-cognition arise. The child suffers much pain and distress at every change of the mother’s bodily posture, and much more so while he is being born. Ever after he has come into the outer world, he has to lie very feebly on his back until the delicate body becomes strong enough (lit. reaches the state of maturity) to bear itself. During this period, he cannot cognize present objects, but his mind generally turns towards the objects of his previous existence. If he comes from the hell world, he generally presents an unpleasant face, for he still feels what he had experienced in the hell world. If he comes from the abode of devas, his pleasant face not only shines with smiles, but in its joyous expression of laughter, he shows his happiness at some thought of the objects of the deva world.

Furthermore, the members of his body steadily become stronger, and his sense-impressions clearer. So he is soon able to play joyfully in his own dear little ways. A happy life is thus begun for him, and he begins to take an interest in his new life. He takes to and imitates his mother’s speech. He prattles with her. Thus his senses almost entirely turn to the present world, and all his recollections of the previous life fade away. That is to say, he forgets his previous existence.

Do all beings forget their previous existences only at this period of life? No, not all beings. Some who are very much oppressed with the pain of conception forget their previous existences during the period of pregnancy, some at the time of birth, some as the aforesaid period, some during the period of youth, and some in old age. Some extraordinary men do not forget for the whole of their lifetime, and there are even some who are able to recollect two or three previous existences. They are called jātissara-satta, beings gifted with the memory of their previous existences.

Now, to return to our subject: Though the six-door processes of thought begin to work after the child has been born, yet the six-door processes work themselves out in full action only when the child is able to take up present objects. Thus, in every process of thought, every preceding consciousness that has just ceased is related to every succeeding consciousness that has immediately arisen, by way of contiguity. And this relation of contiguity prevails throughout the whole span of the recurring existences of an individual, right from the untraceable beginning, with unbroken continuity. But only after he has attained the path of Arahantship and has entered the khandha-parinibbāna (i.e. the final extinction of the five aggregates) does this continuum break, or more strictly speaking, cease forever.

Why is anantara so called, and why paccaya? Anantara is so called because it causes such states of phenomena as are “similar to itself” to succeed in the immediately following instant. Paccaya is so called because it renders help. In the phrase similar to itself, the word “similar” is meant to express similarity in respect of having the faculty of being conscious of an object. And sārammaṇa means a phenomenon which does not occur without the presence of an object. So it has been rendered as “similar in respect of having the faculty of being conscious of an object.”

Also the above explanation expresses the following meaning: Though the preceding thought ceases, the faculty of consciousness does not become extinct until it has caused the succeeding thought to arise.

Here it should be borne in mind that the series of paccaya-dhamma of this relation resembles a series of preceding mothers, and the series of paccayuppanna-dhamma resembles a series of succeeding daughters. This being so, the last dying thought of an Arahant should also cause the arising of a rebirth-consciousness. But it does not do so, for at the close of the evolution of existence all activities of volitions and defilements (kamma-kilesa) have entirely ceased, and the last dying-thought has reached the final, ultimate quiescence.

End of the Anantara-relation.

5. Samanantara-paccaya: The Relation of Immediate Contiguity

The classification of the paccaya-dhamma and paccayuppanna-dhamma of this relation are all of them the same as those of the anantara-paccaya.

In what sense is samanantara to be understood? Samanantara is to be understood in the sense of “thorough immediateness.” How? In a stone pillar, though the groups of matter therein seem to unite into one mass, they are not without the material quality of limitation or space which intervenes between them, for matter is substantial and formative. That is to say, there exists an element of space, called mediacy or cavity, between any two units of matter. But it is not so with immaterial qualities. There does not exist any space, mediacy or cavity between the two consecutive groups of mind and mental concomitants. That is to say, those groups of mind and mental concomitants are entirely without any mediacy, because the mental state is not substantial and formative. The mediacy between two consecutive groups of mind and mental concomitants is also not known to the world. So it is thought that mind is permanent, stable, stationary, and immutable. Hence, samanantara is to be understood in the sense of “thorough immediateness.”

Anantarattha has also been explained in the foregoing relation as attano anantare attasadisassa dhammantarassa uppādanatthena that is because it causes such states of phenomena as are similar to itself to succeed in the immediately following instant. This being so, some such suggestion as follows might be put forward. At the time of sustained cessation (nirodhasamāpatti), [15] the preceding consciousness is that of neither-consciousness-nor-unconsciousness, and the succeeding consciousness is that of the ariyan fruit. Between these two classes of consciousness, the total suspension of thought occurs either for one day, or for two, or three ... or even for seven days. Also in the abode of unconscious beings, the preceding consciousness is that of decease (cuticitta, the dying-thought) from the previous kāmaloka; and the succeeding one is that of rebirth (paṭisandhicitta) in the following kāmaloka. Between these two classes of consciousness, the total suspension of thought of the unconscious being occurs for the whole term of life amounting to five hundred kappas or great aeons.

Hence, is it not correct to say that the two classes of preceding consciousness are without the faculty of causing to arise something similar to themselves in the immediately following instant? The reply to this is: No, they are not without this faculty. The faculty has only been retarded in its operation for a certain extended period, through certain highly cultivated contemplations and resolutions. When the preceding thoughts cease, they cease together with the power, which they possess, of causing something to arise similar to themselves. And the succeeding thoughts, being unable to arise in continuity at that immediate instant, arise only after the lapse of the aforesaid extent of time. It cannot be rightly maintained that the preceding thoughts do not possess the faculty of causing to arise something similar to themselves, or that they are not anantara relations only because of a suspension of operation of the faculty. For we do not say that a king has no armies when they are not actually in a battle or in the very act of fighting, or while they are roaming about not being required to fight by the king, who at such time may say, “My men, it is not the proper time for you yet to fight. But you shall fight at such and such a time.” We do not then say that they are not armies or that they have no fighting qualities. In precisely the same way, the relation between the two aforesaid preceding thoughts is to be understood.

Here some might say, “It has just been said in this relation that both the relating and the related things, being incorporeal qualities having no form whatever and having nothing to do with any material quality of limitation (space) intervening between, are entirely without mediacy or cavity. If this be so, how shall we believe the occurrence at every moment of the arising and ceasing of consciousness, which has been explained in the ārammaṇa-paccaya by the illustration of the sound of a gong and of a violin?” We may answer this question by asserting the fact, which is quite obvious in the mental world, that the various classes of consciousness are in a state of continual flux, i.e. in a continuous succession of change. It has also been explained, in detail, in the essays on Citta Yamaka. [16]

End of the Samanantara-relation.

6. Sahajāta-paccaya: The Relation of Co-Existence

The classifications of the paccaya and paccayuppanna-dhamma of this relation will now be dealt with. All co-existent classes of consciousness and their mental concomitants are each mutually termed paccaya and paccayuppanna-dhamma. So also are the mental aggregates of rebirth and the physical basis of mind which co-exists with rebirth; and so also are the Great Essentials mutually among themselves. All the material qualities born of kamma at the moment of rebirth, and all the material qualities which are born of mind during life at the nascent instant of each momentary state of consciousness which is capable of producing material quality, are merely termed the paccayuppanna-dhamma, of that co-existent consciousness. All the material qualities derived from the Great Essentials are, however, termed the paccayuppanna-dhamma of the Great Essentials or the four Great Primary Elements (mahābhūta)—earth, water, fire and air, representing the properties of extension, cohesion, heat, and motion.

In what sense is sahajāta to be understood, and in what sense paccaya? Sahajāta is to be understood in the sense of co-existence, and paccaya in the sense of rendering help. Here, co-existence means that when a phenomenon arises, it arises together with its effect; or, in other words, it also causes its effect to arise simultaneously. Such is the meaning of co-existence implied here. For example, when the sun rises, it rises together with its heat and light. And when a candle is burning, it burns together with its heat and light. So also, this relating thing, in arising, arises together with related things. In the above example, the sun is like each of the mental states; the sun’s heat is like the co-existing mental states; and the sun’s light is like the co-existing material qualities. Similarly, the sun is like each of the Great Essentials, its heat like the co-existing Great Essentials, and its light like the co-existing material qualities derived from them. In the example of the candle, it should be understood in a similar way.

End of the Sahajāta-relation.

7. Aññamañña-paccaya: The Relation of Reciprocity

What has been spoken of as the paccaya-dhamma in the classifications of the relation of co-existence is here (in this relation) the paccaya as well as the paccayuppanna-dhamma. All states of consciousness and their mental concomitants are, reciprocally, the paccaya and the paccayuppanna-dhamma; so are the co-existing Great Essentials; so are the mental aggregates of rebirth; and so is the basis of mind or heart-base, which co-exists with the mental aggregates of rebirth.

As to the sense implied here, it is easy to understand. However, an illustration will not be uninteresting. When three sticks are set upright leaning against one another at their upper ends, each of them depends on, and is depended on by, the other two. As long as one of them remains in such an upright position, so long will all remain in the same position. And, if one of them falls, all will fall at the same time. Exactly so should this relation of reciprocity be understood.

Here, if any one should assert that the mental properties are not able to arise without consciousness rendering them service as their base, we would acknowledge that this is so. Why? Because the function of knowing is predominant among the functions of contact, and so forth, of the mental properties, and in the Dhammapada as expounded by the Omniscient Buddha, “mind is predominant” (manopubbaṅgamā dhamma, etc.). And again if anyone holds that consciousness also is not able to arise without the mental properties as a correlative, we will support this view. For the mental properties are concomitant factors of consciousness; therefore, consciousness also is not able to arise without its accompanying mental properties. In a similar way are the four Great Essentials to be understood. But the material qualities derived from them should not be counted as concomitant factors, for they are only derivatives. Then are the material qualities of life and those born of food not concomitant factors, seeing that they can exercise, individually, the causal relation of control and that of food? No, they are not. They may be taken as concomitant factors only when the development is in full swing, but not when things are only at the state of genesis. In this relation of reciprocity, the arising of concomitants at the stage of genesis is a necessary factor.

End of the Aññamañña- relation.

8. Nissaya paccaya: The Relation of Dependence

The relation of dependence is of three kinds: co-existent dependence, basic pre-existent dependence, and basic objective pre-existent dependence.

Of these, what is the relation of co-existent dependence? The relation of co-existent dependence embraces all those that are already comprised in the relation of co-existence. Hence the classifications of relation and related things ought here to be understood in the same way as those that have already been set out in the section on the relation of co-existence.

And what is the relation of basic pre-existent dependence? There are six bases—eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and heart. These six bases, during life, are causally related, by way of basic pre-existent dependence, to the seven elements of cognition. The material base itself pre-exists and serves as a standing ground or substratum, and it is therefore called “basic pre-existent dependence.” Here “basic” is so called because of its being a standing ground or substratum for mind and mental properties. “To pre-exist” means to exist beforehand—one thought-moment earlier than its related thing.

Here the rebirth consciousness arises in dependence upon the heart-base [17] that co-exists with it, for there is no pre-existent physical base at that moment. And the first life-continuum arises in dependence upon the same heart-base which co-exists with the rebirth-consciousness. The second life-continuum arises also in dependence upon the heart-base which co-exists with the first life continuum, and so on with the rest, that is, the third life continuum arises in dependence upon the heart-base that co-exists with the second life-continuum, and so on and on, until comes the moment of death. Thus should be understood the basic pre-existent dependence which relates to the two elements of cognition, the element of apprehension and the element of comprehension.

Just as a violin sounds only when the violin-bow moves across its strings, and not otherwise, so also the five senses awaken only when the five kinds of sense objects enter the five avenues known as five bases, and not otherwise.

The impression is possible only at the static period of the object and of the base. On account of the impression, the life continuum vibrates for two moments; and, on account of the vibration of the life-continuum, apprehension occurs. On account of apprehension, the five sense-cognitions are able to arise. Therefore, the five sense-bases (eye, ear, etc.) which have arisen at the nascent instant of the past sub-consciousness, are the basic pre-existent dependence of the five elements of sense-cognition.

Now, at the time of death all the six bases come into being only at the nascent instant of the seventeenth sub-consciousness, reckoned backward from the dying consciousness. No new bases occur after that seventeenth sub-consciousness. So, at the time of death, all subconsciousness, all six-door-process-cognitions and consciousness of decease arise in dependence upon these, their respective bases that came into being together with the seventeenth sub-consciousness which had arisen previously to them. This is the causal relation of basic pre-existent dependence.

What is the causal relation of basic objective pre-existent dependence? When one is reflecting and holding the view that “My mind locates itself in dependence upon matter which is mine, or I, or myself,” through craving; conceit, and error; or when one is reasoning or speculating thus: “My mind locates itself in dependence upon matter which is impermanent, ill, and no soul,” there arise mind door cognitions, such as determining, and so forth. During that time, each of the material bases becomes the standing ground for, and also the object of, each of the mind door cognitions. Therefore, such and such a heart-base is causally related to such and such a consciousness and its concomitants, by way of basic objective pre-existent dependence. This is the causal relation of basic objective pre-existent dependence. Hence the relation of dependence is of three different kinds.

Here, the dependence by way of Suttanta should also be mentioned. We know that men, animals, trees, and so forth, stand or rest on the earth; the earth in turn, on the great mass of air; and the air, on the limitless, empty space underneath. We also know that men establish themselves in houses; bhikkhus in vihāras or monasteries; devas in celestial mansions; and so on with the whole universe. Thus should we understand that everything is causally related to something else by way of dependence.

End of Nissaya-relation.

9. Upanissaya-Paccaya: The Relation of Sufficing Condition

The relation of sufficing condition is of three kinds: objective sufficing condition, contiguous sufficing condition and natural sufficing condition. Of these three, the first is the same as objective dominance, and the second as contiguity.

What is natural sufficing condition? All past, present and future, internal and external, classes of consciousness together with their concomitants, all material qualities, Nibbāna and concepts (paññatti) are natural sufficing conditions, severally related, as the case may be, to all the present classes of consciousness and their concomitants.

Here, the Buddha who passed away and has entered Nibbāna, his Dhamma, the Fraternity of his sanctified disciples, and the successions of the recognised Fraternity, are causally related to us, of later generations, by way of natural sufficing condition for the cultivation of good. In the same way, our forefathers, in their respective capacities as parents, teachers, wise monks and brahmins, eminent philosophers, and powerful and august kings, are also causally related to the succeeding generations by way of natural sufficing condition, either for the cultivation of good or of evil, or for the experience of pleasure or of pain. For this reason they established or propounded various laws and sayings, moral and immoral, and also worldly institutions—both for the welfare and otherwise of the succeeding generations.

The future generations also follow their paths and adopt their customs by doing acts of charity, by observing the precepts, and so forth, by practising the moral and social laws of the world, by adhering to various religious beliefs, by taking up various kinds of occupations, by studying various branches of arts and science, by governing hamlets, villages and towns, by being agriculturists in the field and on the farm, by digging lakes, ponds and wells, by building houses, by making carriages and carts, by building boats, steamers and ships, and by seeking for and accumulating wealth, such as silver, gold, precious, stones, pearls, and so forth and so on. Thus the world has developed unceasingly.

The future Buddha (Metteyya), his Dhamma and his Fraternity are natural sufficing conditions, being causally related to the present generation, for the acquirement of virtues and the gaining of merit. Supremacy, wealth, power, prosperity—which are to be gained in the future—are also natural sufficing conditions, related to the present generation for the putting forth of efforts of all sorts. The acquirement of happy existence and wealth and the attainment of path, fruition and Nibbāna, which are to be enjoyed in the future, are also natural sufficing conditions related to the present generation of men for the development of such forms of merit as charity, virtue and so on.

With the hope of reaping crops in winter, men till the soil and sow seeds in the rainy season, or they do various kinds of work which incur labour and intellect, with the hope of getting money upon their completion of the work. Now, the crops to be reaped and the money to be got, are future natural sufficing conditions, related to the acquisition of crops and money. In the same manner, most people in the present life do many good deeds, realising that they will reap the fruits of their deeds in some life hereafter. In this case, the fruits which will be reaped in future are future natural sufficing conditions, related to the deeds done in the present life. Deeds done before are also past natural sufficing conditions, related to the fruits which are to be reaped in the future. Thus we see that the future natural sufficing condition is as large and wide as the past.

The present Buddha, his Dhamma, and so on, are present natural sufficing conditions, being related to the present living men, devas and Brahmas, and so are living parents to living sons and daughters, and so on. The present natural sufficing condition is thus obvious and easy to understand.

Internal natural sufficing conditions are those that exist in an animate person, such as the Buddha, and so forth. External natural sufficing conditions are conditions, such as lands, mountains, rivers, oceans and so on, which serve as resting places for the existence of life (sentient beings); or such as forests, woods, trees, grasses, grains, beans and so forth; or such as the moon, the sun, the planets, the stars and so on; or such as rain, fire, wind, cold, heat, and so forth, which are useful and advantageous to life in one way or another. All these are the more powerful sufficing conditions, either for the accomplishment of good or for the spreading of evil, either for the enjoyment of pleasures or for the suffering of pains. Those with an earnest desire to enter Nibbāna in the present life work out the factors of enlightenment and those with an ardent hope to enter Nibbāna in the lives to come when Buddhas will appear, fulfil the perfections. Here, Nibbāna is the more powerful sufficing condition for the cultivation of these tasks.

A large variety of concepts or names-and-notions, commonly employed or found in the teachings of the Buddha, are also sufficing conditions for the understanding of many things.

In fact, all conditioned things here come to be only when there are present causes or conditions for the same, and not otherwise. And they stand only if there are present causes for their standing; otherwise they do not. Therefore, causes or conditions are needed for their arising as well as for their maintenance. However, Nibbāna and concepts are unconditioned things, without birth and genesis, everlasting and eternal. Therefore no causes are needed for their arising and maintenance. [18]

The moral is causally related to that which is moral by way of sufficing condition. A clear exposition of this is given in the Paṭṭhāna, where it is said: “Through faith one gives charity, observes the precepts, and so on.” Similarly, the immoral is causally related to immoral—and unspecified or amoral [19] to amoral—by way of sufficing condition is made clear by these expositions: “Through lust one commits murder, theft and so on” and “Through suitable climate and food, one enjoys physical health and so forth.” The moral is also causally related to that which is immoral by way of more powerful sufficing condition. This is to be understood from the following exposition: “One may give charity and thereupon exalt oneself and revile others. In the same manner, having observed the precepts, having attained concentration of mind, and having acquired learning, one may exalt oneself and belittle others.”

The moral is also causally related to that which is amoral by way of more powerful sufficing condition. All good deeds done in the four planes (these four planes are the spheres of kāma, rūpa, arūpa and lokuttara), and all actions connected with doing good, are related, by way of more powerful sufficing condition, to amorals of the resultant kind, producible at a remote period. Those who practise for the perfection of charity suffer much physical and mental pain. Similarly, those who practise for such other perfections (pāramitā) as morality, abnegation, wisdom, perseverance, patience, sincerity, resolution, love, and resignation, suffer the same. It is likewise with those who practise the course of jhāna and magga (meditative absorption and the path).

Immorals are also causally related, by way of more powerful sufficing condition, to morals. For instance, some on this earth, having done wrong, repent their deeds and better themselves to shun all such evil deeds, by cultivating such moral acts as engaging in charity, observing the precepts, practising jhāna and magga. Thus the evil deeds they have done are related, by way of stronger sufficing condition, to the moral acts they cultivate later.

Immorals are also causally related, by way of more powerful sufficing condition, to amorals. For instance, many people in this world, having been guilty of evil deeds, are destined to fall into one of the four planes of misery, and undergo the pains of suffering which prevail there. Even in the present life, some, through their own misdeeds or the misdeeds of others, have to bear a great deal of distress. Some, however, enjoy a large variety of pleasures with the money they earn by their misconduct. There are also many who suffer much on account of lust, hate, error, conceit, and so forth.

Amorals are also causally related by way of more powerful sufficing condition to morals. Having become possessed of great wealth, one engages in charity, practises for the perfection of good morals, fosters wisdom and practises the religious exercises in a suitable place, such as a monastery, a hollow place, a cave, a tree, a forest, a hill, or a village, where the climate is agreeable and food is available.

Amorals are also causally related by way of more powerful sufficing conditions to immorals. Being equipped with eyes, many evils are born of sight within oneself. A similar explanation applies to our equipment with ears, etc., so also as regards hands, legs, swords, arms, etc. It is thus that sufficing condition is of three kinds.

Sufficing condition by way of Suttanta may also be mentioned here. It is found in many such passages in the Piṭakas as, “through intercourse with virtuous friends,” “through association with sinful companions,” “by living in the village,” “by dwelling in the forest,” and so forth. In short, the five cosmic orders (pañca-niyāma-dhammā) are the stronger sufficing conditions relating to the three worlds—the animate world, the inanimate world, and the world of space—to go on unceasingly through aeons of time. This also has been expounded at length by us in the Niyāma-dīpanī[20]

Why is ārammaṇūpanissaya so called? It is so called because the dominant object acts as a main basis for subjects (ārammaṇika).

Why is anantarūpanissaya so called? It is so called because the preceding consciousness acts as a main basis for the arising of its immediately succeeding consciousness. The preceding consciousness is just like the mother, and the succeeding one like the son. Here, just as the mother gives birth to the son, who owes his existence to her in particular, so also the preceding consciousness gives birth to the succeeding one, which owes its existence particularly to its predecessor.

Why is pakatūpanissaya so called? It is so called because it is naturally known to the wise as a distinct sufficing condition. Here, something further is required to be said. The influence of a sufficing condition in contiguity pervades only its immediate successor, but that of a natural sufficing condition can pervade many remote ones. Therefore, what in this present life has been seen, heard, smelt, tasted, touched and experienced in days, months, years, long gone by, takes form again at the mind door, even after a lapse of a hundred years, if a sufficient cause is available. And so people remember their past, and can utter such expressions as “I saw it before,” “I heard it before,” and so on. Those beings, whose birth is apparitional, [21] also remember their former existences; likewise, some among men, who are gifted with the memory of their former existences, can do so. If one out of a hundred thousand objects experienced before be met with afterwards, many or, it may be, all of them reappear in the process of thought.

End of the Upanissaya-relation

10. Purejāta-paccaya: The Relation of Pre-Existence

The relation of pre-existence is of three kinds: basic pre-existence, objective pre-existence, and basic objective pre-existence.

Of these, the first and the last have already been dealt with under the heading of Nissaya in the foregoing section on the Nissaya-relation.

Objective pre-existence is the name given to the present eighteen kinds of material qualities of the determined class (nipphanna). Of these, the present five objects (visible form, sound and so forth) are causally related, always by way of objective pre-existence, to those thoughts which are capable of taking part in the five-door processes. Just as the sound of the violin only arises when it is played with a bow, and the sounding necessitates the pre-existence of both the violin strings and the violin bow, so also those thoughts which take part in the five door processes spring into being owing to the presentation of the five objects of sense at the five doors, which are no other than the five bases. The presentation is possible only when the door and the object are in their static stages.

Those five objects not only present themselves at the five doors of the five senses at that static period, but they also present themselves at the mind-door. On this account, the life-continuum vibrates for two moments, and then ceases; and the cessation of the life-continuum gives rise to a consciousness-series. This being so, the consciousness-series in any process cannot arise without the pre-existence of the objects and of the bases. The eighteen kinds of determined material qualities are either past, because they have ceased, or future, because they have not yet arisen, or present, inasmuch as they are still existing. All of them, without distinction, may be objects of the mind-door cognitions. But among them, only the present objects act as objective pre-existence. And if a thing in any distant place or concealed from sight, itself existing, becomes an object of mind, it also may be called a present object.

End of the Purejāta-relation.

11. Pacchājāta-paccaya: The Relation of Post-Existence

Every posterior consciousness that springs into being causally relates to the still existing group of prior corporeal qualities born of the four origins [22] (kamma, citta, utu, āhāra), by way of post-existence, in helping them to develop and thrive (vuddhi-virūḷhiya). For example, the rainwater that falls every subsequent year, renders service by way of post-existence to such vegetation as has grown up in previous years, in promoting its growth and development.

Here, by “every posterior consciousness” is meant all classes of consciousness beginning from the first life-continuum to the final dying-thought. And, by “prior corporeal qualities” is meant all corporeal qualities born of four origins starting from the group of material qualities born of kamma, which co-exist with the rebirth-conception.

The fifteen states of the life-continuum, starting serially from the first life-continuum which has arisen after the rebirth-conception, causally relate by way of post-existence to the group of material qualities born of kamma, which co-exist with the rebirth-conception. As to the rebirth-conception, it cannot be a causal relation by way of post-existence, for it co-exists with the group of corporeal qualities born of kamma. Similarly, the sixteenth life continuum cannot become a causal relation by way of post-existence, for it comes into existence only when that group of material qualities reaches the stage of dissolution. Therefore, these are the fifteen states of the life-continuum which causally relate as above.

At the static moment of the rebirth-conception, there spring up two groups of material qualities, born of kamma and born of temperature, [23] and the same at the arrested moment. But at the nascent moment of the first life-continuum, three groups spring up: that born of kamma, that born of temperature, and that born of mind. When oja (the nutritive essence) of the food eaten spreads all through the body, the corporeal nutritive essence absorbs the stimulant and produces a group of material qualities. From that time onward, the groups produced by the four origins spring up incessantly, like the flame of a burning lamp. Leaving out the nascent moment, so long as these groups stand at their static stage, every one of the posterior fifteen classes of consciousness renders them help by way of post-existence.

Vuddhi-virūḷhiya means “for the gradual development and progress of the series of corporeal qualities born of the four origins.” Therefore, if they, the four kinds of corporeal groups, are repeatedly related by (lit., do repeatedly obtain) the causal relation of post-existence, then they leave behind them, when their physical life-term has expired, a powerful energy—an energy adequate to produce the development, energy—an energy adequate to produce the development, progress and prosperity of the subsequent series of groups.

End of the Pacchājāta-relation.

12. Āsevana-paccaya: The Relation of Habitual Recurrence

The forty-seven kinds of mundane apperception (javana) comprising the twelve classes of immoral consciousness, the seventeen mundane classes of moral consciousness, and the eighteen classes of inoperative consciousness (obtained by excluding the two classes of consciousness, called ’turning towards,’ āvajjana, from the twenty, are here termed the causal relation of habitual recurrence. When any one of these arrives at the apperceptional process (i.e., the sequence of seven similar states of consciousness in a process of thought), every preceding apperception causally relates itself by way of habitual recurrence to every succeeding apperception. The related things, paccayuppanna-dhamma, comprise the succeeding apperceptions as stated above, as well as the four paths.

In what sense is the term āsevana to be understood? It is to be understood in the sense of habituating by constant repetition or of causing its paccayuppanna-dhamma to accept its inspiration, for them to gain greater and greater proficiency, energy and force. Here “proficiency” (paguṇabhāva) means the proficiency of the succeeding apperceptional thoughts in their apperceptive functions and stages, just as one who reads a lesson many times becomes more proficient with each new reading.

Parivāso literally means perfuming, or inspiring. Just as a silk cloth is perfumed with sweet scents, so also is the body of thought, so to speak, perfumed, or inspired, with lust, hate, and so forth; or with non-lust (arajjana), amity (adussana), and so on. Although the preceding apperception ceases, its apperceptional force does not cease, that is, its force pervades the succeeding thought. Therefore, every succeeding apperception, on coming into existence, becomes more vigorous on account of the habituation of the former. Thus the immediately preceding thought habituates or causes its immediate successor to accept its habituation. However, the process of habitual recurrence usually ceases at the seventh thought, after which either resultant thought-moments of retention follow, or subsidence into the life-continuum takes place.

Here, habitual recurrence, as dealt with in the Suttanta too, ought to be mentioned. Many passages are to be found in several parts of the Sutta Piṭaka. Such are: satipaṭṭhānaṃ bhāveti: one cultivates the earnest applications in mindfulness; sammāppadhānaṃ bhāveti: one cultivates the supreme effort; sati-sambojjhaṅgaṃ bhāveti: one cultivates mindfulness, a factor of enlightenment; dhammavicaya-sambojjhaṅgaṃ bhāveti: one cultivates the “investigation of truth,” a factor of enlightenment; sammādiṭṭhiṃ bhāveti: one cultivates the right view; Sammāsaṅkappaṃ bhāveti: one cultivates right aspiration and so on. In these passages, by bhāveti is meant to repeat the effort either for one day, or for seven days, or for one month, or for seven months, or for one year, or for seven years.

Moral and immoral actions, which have been repeatedly performed, cultivated or done many times in former existences causally relate by way of habitual recurrence to moral and immoral actions of the present existence for their greater improvement and worsening respectively. The relation which effects the improvement and the worsening, respectively, of such moral and immoral actions at some other distant time or in some future existence is called sufficing condition, but the one which effects this only during the apperceptional process is called habitual recurrence.

In this world, many incidental results or consequences are clearly seen to follow upon great achievements in art, science, literature and so forth, carried out continuously, repeatedly and incessantly in thought, word and deed.

As such a relation of habitual recurrence is found among all transient phenomena, strong zeal and effort, exerted for a long period of time, have developed to such a high degree that many great and difficult labours have reached complete accomplishment and even Buddhahood has been attained.

End of Āsevana-relation.

13. Kamma-paccaya: The Relation of Kamma

The relation of kamma is of two kinds: co-existent kamma and asynchronous kamma.

Of these two, all volitions, moral, immoral, and amoral, which consist of three time-phases, constitute the causal relation of co-existent kamma. Their related things are: all classes of consciousness and their mental concomitants in co-existence with volition, material qualities born of kamma which arise simultaneously with the rebirth, conception, and material qualities produced by mind during the term of life.

Past moral and immoral volitions constitute the causal relation of asynchronous kamma. Their related things are the thirty-seven classes of mundane resultant consciousness and their mental concomitants, and all the mental qualities born of kamma.

Why is kamma so called? It is so called on account of its peculiar function. This peculiar function is nothing but volition (or will) itself, and it dominates every action. When any action of thought, word, or body takes place, volition (or will) determines, fashions, or causes its concomitants to perform their respective functions simultaneously. For this reason, volition is said to be predominant in all actions. Thus kamma is so called on account of its peculiar function. Or, to define it in another way, kamma is that by which creatures do (or act). What do they do then? They do physical work, vocal work, and mental work. Here, by physical work is meant standing, sitting, and so forth; stepping forward and backward, and so on; and even the opening and the shutting of the eye-lids. Vocal work means producing vocal sounds. Mental work means thinking wisely or badly, and, in short, the functions of seeing, hearing, and so forth, with the five senses. Thus all the actions of beings are determined by this volition. Therefore it is called kamma.

Sahajāta is that which comes into being simultaneously with its related things. Sahajātakamma is a co-existent thing as well as a kamma. Sahajātakamma-paccaya is a causal relation standing (to its effects) by way of co-existent kamma.

Nānākkhaṇika is a thing differing in point of time from its effects. That is to say, the time when the volition arises is one, and the time when its effects take place is another, or, in other words, the volition is asynchronous. Hence asynchronous volition is a volition that differs in point of time from its effects. So nānākkhaṇika-kamma-paccaya is a causal relation standing (to its effects) by way of asynchronous kamma. The volition which co-exists with the ariyan path, only at the moment of its ceasing, immediately produces its effect, and so it also is asynchronous.

Here, a moral volition such as predominates in charity, for instance, is causally related to its co-existent mind and mental qualities, together with the material qualities produced by the same mind, by way of co-existent kamma. It is also causally related, by way of asynchronous kamma, to the resultant aggregates of mind and material qualities born of that kamma, which will be brought into existence at a distant period in the future. Thus a volition, which is transmuted into a course of action entailing moral and immoral consequences, is causally related to its related things by way of two such different relations at two different times.

In this asynchronous kamma relation, the kamma signifies quite a peculiar energy. It does not cease, though the volition ceases, but latently follows the sequences of mind. As soon as it obtains a favourable opportunity, it takes effect immediately after the dying-thought has ceased, by transmuting itself into the form of an individual in the immediately following existence. But if it does not obtain any favourable opportunity, it remains in the same latent mode for many hundreds of existences. If it obtains a favourable opportunity, then what is called sublime kamma takes effect, upon the next existence in the Brahma-loka, by transmuting itself into the form of Brahma-deva, and it is so matured that it exhausts itself at the end of this second existence, and does not go any further.

End of Kamma- relation.

14. Vipāka-paccaya: The Relation of Effect

Thirty-six classes of resultant consciousness and their concomitants are the relation of effect. As they are mutually related to one another, the related things embrace all of them, as well as the material qualities born of kamma at the time of conception, and those produced by the resultant consciousness during life.

In what sense is vipāka applied? It is applied in the sense of vipaccana, which means a change of state from infancy or youth to maturity. Whose tenderness and maturity are meant? What is meant by the former is the infancy of the past volition, which is known as asynchronous kamma. By maturity, also, is meant the maturity of the same kamma.

Here, it should be understood that each volition has four avattha or time-phases: cetanāvattha or the genesis of volition; kammāvattha, or the continuance of volition, nimittāvattha, or the representation of volition; and vipāka-vattha, or the final result. Here, although the volition itself ceases, its peculiar function does not cease, but latently follows the series of thought. This is called kammāvattha, or the continuance of volition.

When it obtains a favourable opportunity for fruition, the kamma represents itself to the person about to die. That is to say, he himself feels as if he were giving charity, or observing the precepts, or perhaps killing some creatures. If this kamma fails to represent itself, a symbol of it is represented. That is to say, he himself feels as if he were in possession of the offerings, the gifts, the weapons, and so on, or anything with which he had committed such kamma in the past. Or, sometimes, there is represented to him the sign of the next existence where he is destined to open his new life. That is to say, such objects as the abodes or palaces of the devas or the fires of the niraya-worlds, or anything else which will be his lot to obtain or experience in the existence immediately following, enters the fields of presentation through the six doors. These are called nimittāvattha; the representation of the volition.

Now, how are we to understand the vipākāvattha? If a person dies with his attention fixed upon one of these three classes objects, either on the kamma itself, or on the sign of it, or on the sign of destiny, it is said that kamma has effected itself, or has come to fruition, in the immediately new existence. It has transmuted itself into a personality, and appears, so to speak, in the form of a being in the new existence. This is called the vipākāvattha or the final result. Here, in the first three āvattha the volition is said to be in the state of infancy or youth. [24] The last one shows that the volition has arrived at maturity, and can effect itself. Therefore, as has been said, vipaccana means a change of state from infancy or youth to maturity. Thus vipāka is the name assigned to the states of consciousness and their concomitants, which are the results of the volitions, or to the matured volitions themselves.

Just as mangoes are very soft and delicate when they are ripe, so also the resultant states are very tranquil, since they are inactive and have no stimulus. They are so tranquil that the objects of sub-consciousness are always dim and obscure. On reviving from sub-consciousness, one has no consciousness of what its object was. For this reason, there is no possibility of occurrence of a process of thought, which can reflect the object of the sub-consciousness thus: “Such and such an object has been met with in the past existence,” although in sleep at night the sub-consciousness takes for its object one of the three classes of objects (kamma, the symbols of kamma, and the symbols of one’s future destiny), which had been experienced before, at the time of approaching death, in the immediately preceding existence. Hence it is that one knows nothing about any object from a past existence, either in sleep or in waking. Thus the mutual relationship by way of inactivity, non-stimulation and tranquillity is termed the function of vipāka.

End of Vipāka-relation.

15. Āhāra-paccaya: The Relation of Food

The relation of food is of two kinds: material and immaterial. Of these, material food connotes the nutritive essence (or what is called edible food), which again is subdivided into two kinds: internal and external.

All the natural qualities born of the four causes, [25] pertaining to those creatures who live on edible food, are here the paccayuppanna-dhamma related to the two kinds of material food.

As to immaterial food, it is of three different kinds: contact, volitional activity of mind, and consciousness. These kinds of immaterial food, or paccaya-dhamma, are causally related to the co-existent properties, both mental and material, which are their corresponding paccayuppanna-dhamma.

In what sense is āhāra to be understood? Āhāra is to be understood in the sense of holding up strongly, which means causing to exist firmly. That is to say, a relating thing nourishes its related thing so as to enable it to endure long, to develop, to flourish, and to thrive, by means of support. Though the causal relation of food possesses a producing power, the power of support is predominant here.

Here, the two material foods are called āhāra, because they strongly hold up the group of the internal material qualities born of the four causes, by nourishing them so that they may exist firmly, endure long, and reach uncurtailed the bounds (or limits) of their life-term. Contact is an āhāra also, because it strongly holds up its co-existent things, and enables them to stand firmly and endure long by nourishing them with the essence extracted from desirable and undesirable objects. Volitional activity of mind, or (in a word) will, is an āhāra in that it furnishes courage for the execution of deeds, words, and thoughts. And consciousness is an āhāra also, inasmuch as it predominates in all thinking about an object. These three immaterial foods, in supplying nourishment to the co-existent mental qualities, also effect the co-existent material qualities.

Āhāra here may also be explained after the Suttanta method. Just as birds, ascertaining where their quarters are, fly with their wings through the air from tree to tree and from wood to wood, and peck at fruits with their beaks, thus sustaining themselves through their whole life, so also beings—with the six classes of consciousness, ascertaining objects, with the six kinds of volitional activity of mind, persevering to get something as an object; and with the six kinds of contact, making the essence of objects appear—either enjoy pleasure or suffer pain. Or, solely with the six classes of consciousness, comprehending objects, they avail themselves of forming or becoming, body and mind. Or, solely with the contacts, making objects appear in order that feelings may be aroused through the same, they cultivate craving. Or, committing various kinds of deeds through craving accompanied by volitions, they migrate (so to speak) from existence to existence. Thus it should be understood how extensive the functioning of the different foods is.

End of the Āhāra-relation.

16. Indriyā-paccaya: The Relation of Control

The relation of control is of three kinds: co-existence, pre-existence and physical life (rūpajīvita).

Of these, the paccaya-dhamma of the first kind [26] are the fifteen co-existent controls, namely, life, consciousness, pleasure, pain, joy, grief, equanimity, faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, wisdom, the thought: “I shall-come-to-know-the-unknown (Nibbāna),” the thought: “I know,” and the thought: “I-have-known.” The paccayuppanna-dhamma are their existent properties, both mental and material.

The paccaya-dhamma of the second kind are the five sense organs: the eye, the ear, the nose, the tongue, the body. The paccayuppanna-dhamma are the five classes of sense consciousness together with their concomitants.

The paccaya-dhamma of the third kind is only one, namely, physical life itself. And all kamma-born material qualities, with the exception of physical life itself, are its paccayuppanna-dhamma.

In what sense is indriya to be understood? It is to be understood in the sense of “exercising control over.”

Over what does it exercise control? It exercises control over its paccayuppanna-dhamma.

In what function? In their respective functions. Psychic life exercises control over its co-existent mental properties in infusing life, that is, in the matter of their prolongation by continuity. Consciousness exercises control in the matter of thinking about an object. The functioning of the rest has been explained in our recent Indriya-Yamaka-Dīpanī.

Here some may ask a question like this: “Why are the two sexes—the female and the male—which are comprised in the category of controls, not taken in this relation as paccaya-dhamma? “ The answer is: Because they have none of the functions of a paccaya. A paccaya has three kinds of functioning, namely, producing, supporting and maintaining. Here, if A is causally related to B in B’s arising, A’s functioning is said to be that of producing; for had A not occurred the arising of B would have been impossible. The functioning of anantara may be instanced here. Again, if A is causally related to B in B’s existence, development and prosperity, A’s functioning is said to be that of supporting; for if A did not happen B would not stand, develop and flourish. The relation of pacchājāta will serve here as an example. And if A is causally related to B in B’s prolongation by continuity, A’s functioning is said to be that of maintaining; for if A did not exist, B’s prolongation would be hampered, and its continuity would also be broken. The functioning of physical life will illustrate this.

Now the two sexes do not execute any one of the above three functions. Therefore, they are not taken as a paccaya-dhamma in this relation of control. If this be so, must they still be called controls? Yes, they must be called controls. Why? Because they have something of controlling power. They control the body in its sexual structure (liṅga), in its appearance (nimitta), in its character (kutta), and in its outward disposition (ākappa). Therefore, at the period of conception, if the female sex is produced in a being, all its personality—i.e. the five aggregates produced by the four causes (kamma, and so forth)—tends towards femininity. The whole body, indeed, displays nothing but the feminine structure, the feminine appearance, the feminine character, and the feminine outward disposition. Here, the female sex does not produce those qualities, nor support them, nor maintain them. But when the body (i.e. the five aggregates) has come into existence, the sex exercises control over it as if giving it the order to become so and so. All the aggregates also develop in conformity with the sex, and never out of conformity. Such is the controlling power of the female sex in the feminine structure. In the same manner the male sex exercises control in the masculine structure. Thus the two sexes have controlling functions in the structures, and hence they may be called controls.

With regard to the heart-base, though it acts as a base for the two elements of mind-cognition, it does not control them in any way, for whether the heart is limpid or not, the elements of mind-cognition in a person of well-trained mind never conform to it.

End of the Indriya-relation.

17. Jhāna-paccaya: The Relation of Jhāna

The seven constituents of jhāna are the paccaya-dhamma in the relation of jhāna. They are: vitakka (initial application), vicāra (sustained application), pīti (pleasurable interest), somanassa (joy), domanassa (grief), upekkhā (equanimity) and ekaggatā (unification of mind, concentration in the sense of capacity to individualise). All classes of consciousness except the five senses, along with their concomitants and material qualities in co-existence with the seven constituents, are the paccayuppanna-dhamma here.

In what sense is jhāna to be understood? Jhāna is to be understood in the sense of closely viewing or actively looking at, that is, going close to the object and looking at it mentally. Just as an archer, holding the arrow firmly in his hand making it steady, directing it towards the mark, keeping the target in view, and attentively aiming at it, sends the arrow through the bull’s eye of a small distant target, so also a yogi or one who practises jhāna, directing his mind towards the object, making it steadfast; and keeping the object in view, thrusts his mind into it by means of these seven constituents of jhāna. Thus, by closely viewing them, a person carries out his action of body, word and mind without failure. Here, “action of body” means going forward and backward, and so forth; “action of word” means making vocal expressions, such as the sounds of the alphabet, words and so forth; “action of mind” means being conscious of objects of any kind. So no deed, such as giving charity or taking life, can be executed by a feeble mind lacking the necessary constituents of jhāna. It is the same with all moral and immoral deeds.

To have a clear understanding of its meaning, the salient characteristic mark of each constituent of jhāna should be separately explained. Vitakka has the characteristic mark of directing the concomitant properties towards the object, and it therefore fixes the mind firmly on the object. Vicāra has the characteristic mark of reviewing the object over and over, and it thus attaches the mind firmly to the object. Pīti has the characteristic mark of creating interest in the object, and makes the mind happy and content. The three kinds of feeling, i.e. joy, grief and indifference, have the characteristic marks of feeling the object, and they also enable the mind to experience the essence of desirable, undesirable, and neutral objects. Ekaggatā has the characteristic mark of concentration and it also keeps the mind steadfastly fixed on the object.

End of the Jhāna-relation.

18. Magga-paccaya: The Relation of Path

The twelve path-constituents are the paccaya-dhamma in this relation of magga. They are: right views, right aspiration, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right endeavour, right mindfulness, right concentration, wrong views, wrong aspiration, wrong endeavour, and wrong concentration. There are, however, no distinct mental properties to which to assign the terms wrong speech, wrong action and wrong livelihood. These are but other names for the four immoral aggregates (akusala-khandha) which appear under the names of lying and so forth. Therefore, they are not taken as distinct path constituents. All classes of consciousness and mental concomitants conditioned by hetu, and all material qualities in co-existence with the hetu-conditioned mind, are paccayuppanna-dhamma.

In what sense is magga to be understood? It is to be understood in the sense of path, that is, as the means of reaching the realm of misfortune or the realm of Nibbāna. The eight path-constituents (right view and so on) lead to Nibbāna. The four wrong path-constituents lead to the realm of misfortune.

Now the functioning of jhāna is to make the mind straight, steadfast, and ecstatic [27] in the object. “Ecstatic mind” means mind that sinks into the object like a fish in deep water. The functioning of magga is to make kammic volition in the “way-in” to the circle of existence, and meditative volition in the “way-out” of the circle, straight and steadfast. It makes them issue in a course of action, develop, flourish and prosper, and reach a higher plane. This is the distinction between the two relations.

Here the kammic volition which can produce a rebirth—since it has been worked out in moral and immoral acts such as taking life, and so forth—is spoken of as “a pathway of kamma.” And the meditative volition, which arrives at the higher stages—that is, which proceeds through a succession of stages from the sensuous stage to the transcendental one by the power of an orderly succession of training-practices, even within the brief period occupied by one bodily posture, is spoken of as “attaining to different stages.“

To understand this relation, the characteristic mark of each of the path-constituents should also be separately explained in the manner shown in the Relation of Jhāna.

End of the Magga-relation.

19. Sampayutta-paccaya: The Relation of Association

The relations of association and dissociation form a pair. So also do the relations of presence and absence, and of abeyance and continuance. These three pairs of relations are not special ones. They are only mentioned to show that, in the foregoing relations, some paccaya-dhamma causally relate themselves to their paccayuppanna-dhamma by association and others by dissociation; some by presence and others by absence; some by abeyance and others by continuance.

Here also in such passages as “atthī ti kho, Kaccāna, ayaṃ eko anto; natthī ti kho dutiyo anto ti” [28] the words atthi and natthi are meant to indicate the heretical views of eternalism and annihilationism. Therefore, in order to prevent such interpretations, the last pair of relations is mentioned.

All classes of consciousness and mental properties mutually relate themselves to one another by way of association. In what sense is sampayutta to be understood? Sampayutta is to be understood in the sense of association or coalescence by the four associative means, namely, simultaneous arising, simultaneous cessation, the same base, and the same object. Here, by “coalescence” what is meant is that the consciousness of sight coalesces with its seven mental properties so thoroughly that they are all ’unitedly’ spoken of as sight. These eight mental states are no longer spoken of by their special names, for it is indeed a difficult matter to know them separately. The same explanation applies to the other classes of consciousness.

End of the Sampayutta-relation.

20. Vippayutta-paccaya: The Relation of Dissociation

The relation of dissociation is of four different kinds: co-existence, basic pre-existence, basic objective pre-existence, and post-existence. Of these four, the paccaya and paccayuppanna-dhamma of the co-existent dissociation may be either mental or physical in accordance with what has been shown in the relation of co-existence. Therefore a mental is causally related to a physical by way of co-existent dissociation, and vice versa. A mental here, when spoken of as a paccaya means the four mental aggregates, namely, feeling, perception, mental functions and consciousness during life; and a physical, when spoken of as paccayuppanna, means material qualities produced by mind. Again, a physical when spoken of as a paccaya means the heart-base at the moment of conception, and a mental when spoken of as paccayuppanna means the four mental aggregates belonging to rebirth.

The remaining three kinds of dissociation have already been explained.

End of the Vippayutta-relation.

21. Atthi-paccaya: The Relation of Presence

The relation of presence is of seven different kinds: co-existence, basic pre-existence, objective pre-existence, basic objective pre-existence, post-existence, material food, and physical life-control.

Of these, the relation of co-existent presence is that of mere co-existence. A similar interpretation should be made for the remaining six, for which the equivalent relations that have already been explained are to be referred to. The classifications of relating and related things have already been dealt with above in each of the relations concerned.

Why is atthi-paccaya so called? Atthi-paccaya is so called because it causally relates itself to its effect by being present along with the effect in the three phases of each moment: nascent, static, and dissolution.

End of the Atthi-relation.

22. Natthi-paccaya: The Relation of Absence

23. Vigata-paccaya: The Relation of Abeyance

24. Avigata paccaya: The Relation of Continuance

The relation of absence is the same as the relation of contiguity; so is the relation of abeyance. The relation of continuance is the same as the relation of presence. The words atthi and avigata have the same meaning; so also the words natthi and vigata.

End of the Natthi, the Vigata, and the Avigata-relations.

End of the Exposition of Relations.
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The Synthesis of Relations
(Paccaya-sabhāga)

The relation of sahajāta (co-existence) may be specified as being of fifteen kinds, i.e. four superior sahajāta, four medium sahajāta, and seven inferior sahajāta. The four superior sahajāta comprise ordinary sahajāta, sahajāta: nissaya (dependence-in-co-existence), sahajātatthi (co-existent presence), and sahajāta-avigata (co-existent continuance). The four medium sahajāta comprise aññamañña (reciprocity), vipāka (effect), sampayutta (association), and sahajāta-vippayutta (coexistent dissociation). The seven inferior sahajāta comprise hetu (condition), sahajātādhipati (co-existent dominance), sahajāta-kamma (co-existent kamma), sahajātāhāra (co-existent food), sahajātindriya (co-existent control), jhāna, and magga (way).

Rūpāhāra, or material food, is of three kinds: rūpāhāra (ordinary material food), rūpāhāratthi, and rūpāhāravigata. Rūpa-jīvitindriya, or physical life-control, is of three kinds: rūpa-jīvitindriya, jīvitindriyatthi, and rūpa-jīvitindriya-avigata.

The relation of purejāta (pre-existence) may be specified as of seventeen kinds: six vatthu-purejāta (basic pre-existence), six ārammaṇa-purejāta (objective pre-existence), and five vatthārammaṇa-purejāta (basic objective pre-existence). Of these, the six vatthu-purejāta are vatthupurejāta, vatthu-purejāta-nissaya, vatthu-purejātindriya, vatthu-purejāta-vippayutta, vatthu-purejātatthi, and vatthupurejāta-avigata. The six ārammaṇa-purejāta are: ārammaṇapurejāta, some ārammaṇa, some ārammaṇādhipati, some ārammaṇa- ārammaṇūpanissaya, ārammaṇa-purejātatthi, and ārammaṇa-purejāta-avigata. The word “some” in “some ārammaṇa,” and so forth, is used in order to take in only the present nipphanna-rūpa (material qualities determined by kamma and environment). The five vatthārammaṇa-purejāta are vatthārammaṇa-purejāta, vatthārammaṇa-purejāta-nissaya, vatthārammaṇa-purejātavippayutta, vatthārammaṇa-purejāta-nissaya, vatthārammaṇa-purejāta-vippayutta, vatthārammaṇa-purejātatthi, and vatthārammaṇa-purejāta-avigata.

The relation of pacchājāta or post-existence may be specified as of four kinds: pacchājāta, pacchājāta-vippayutta, pacchājātatthi, and pacchājāta-avigata.

The relation of anantara (contiguity) is of seven kinds: anantara, samanantara, anantarūpanissaya, āsevana, anantara-kamma, natthi, and vigata. Of these, anantarakamma is the volition which appertains to the ariyan path. It produces its effect, i.e. the ariyan fruit, immediately after it ceases.

There are five relations which do not enter into any specification. These are: the remaining ārammaṇa, the remaining ārammaṇādhipati, the remaining ārammaṇūpanissaya, all pakatūpanissaya, and the remaining kind of kamma which is asynchronous kamma.

Thus the relations expounded in the Paṭṭhāna (Treatise) are altogether of fifty-four kinds.

Of these relations, all species of purejāta, all species of pacchājāta, material food, and physical life-control are present relations. All species of anantara and of nānākkhaṇika-kamma are past relations. Omitting Nibbāna and term-and-concept (paññatti), the relations of ārammaṇa and pakatūpanissaya may be classified under the three periods of time: past, present and future. But Nibbāna and term-and-concept are always outside time.

These two things—Nibbāna and concepts—are both termed appaccaya (void of causal relation), asaṅkhata (unconditioned). [29] Why? Because they are absolutely void of becoming. Those things or phenomena which have birth or genesis are termed sappaccaya (related things), saṅkhata (conditioned things), and paṭiccasamuppanna (things arising from a conjuncture of circumstances). Hence those two things, being void of becoming and happening, are truly termed appaccaya and asaṅkhata[30]

Among things related and conditioned, there is not a single phenomenon which is permanent, lasting, eternal and unchangeable. In fact, all are impermanent, since they are liable to dissolution. Why? Because in coming into existence they are related to some causes, and their causes are also not permanent.

Are not Nibbāna and concepts paccaya-dhamma or relating things? Are they not permanent and lasting? Yes, they are, but no phenomenon happens entirely through Nibbāna or concepts alone as sole cause. Phenomena happen through, or are produced by, many causes which are not permanent and lasting.

Those things which are not permanent are always distressing and hurtful to beings with the three kinds of afflictions. Therefore, they are looked upon as ill by reason of their being dreadful. Here the three kinds of afflictions are dukkha-dukkhatā (ill due to suffering), saṅkhāra-dukkhatā (ill due to conditioning), and viparināma-dukkhatā (ill due to changeability). All things are impermanent, and are dissolving at every moment, even while one occupies one posture. [31] Therefore, how can there be any essential self or core in creatures and persons, even though all their life through they imagine themselves to be permanent? Everything is also subject to ill. Therefore, how can there be any essential self or core in creatures and persons who are under the oppression of ills and who nevertheless yearn for happiness? Hence all things are void of self by reason of the absence of a core.

To sum up, by expounding the twenty-four relations, the Buddha reveals the following facts: all conditioned things owe their happening and becoming or existence to causes and conditions, and none to the mere desire or will or command of creatures. And among all the things subject to causes and conditions, there is not one that comes into being through a few causes. They arise, indeed, only through many causes. Therefore this exposition reaches its culminating point in revealing the doctrine of no-soul.

End of the Synthesis of Relations
[Top]


The Synchrony of Relations
(Paccaya-ghaṭana-naya)

The concurrence of causal relations in one related thing is called synchrony of relations. All phenomena are called sappaccaya (related to causes), saṅkhata (conditioned by causes), and paṭiccasamuppanna (arising from a conjuncture of circumstances), because in arising and in standing they are conditioned by these twenty-four causal relations. What, then, are those phenomena? They are: one hundred and twenty-one classes of consciousness, fifty-two kinds of mental properties, and twenty-eight kinds of material qualities.

Of these, the one hundred and twenty-one classes of consciousness may be classified into seven, under the category of elements (dhātu):

  1. element of visual cognition (cakkhuviññāṇadhātu)
  2. element of auditory cognition (sotaviññāṇadhātu)
  3. element of olfactory cognition (ghāṇaviññāṇadhātu)
  4. element of gustatory cognition (jivhāviññāṇadhātu)
  5. element of tactile cognition (kāyaviññāṇadhātu)
  6. element of apprehension (manodhātu)
  7. element of comprehension (manoviññāṇadhātu)

Of these:

the two classes of sight-consciousness are called the element of visual cognition;

the two classes of sound-consciousness are called the element of auditory cognition;

the two classes of smell-consciousness are called the element of olfactory cognition;

the two classes of taste-consciousness are called the element of gustatory cognition;

the two classes of touch-consciousness are called the element of tactile cognition;

the adverting of mind towards any of the five doors (pañca-dvārāvajjana) and the

two classes of acceptance of impressions (sampaṭicchana) are called the element of apprehension;

the remaining one hundred and eight classes of consciousness are called the element of comprehension.

The fifty-two kinds of mental properties are also divided into four groups:

  1. seven universals
  2. six particulars
  3. fourteen immorals
  4. twenty-five radiants. [32]

Of the twenty-four relations, fifteen relations are common to all the mental states: ārammaṇa, anantara, samanantara, sahajāta, aññamañña, nissaya, upanissaya, kamma, āhāra, indriya, sampayutta, atthi, natthi, vigata and avigata. There is not a single class of consciousness or mental property which arises without the causal relation of ārammaṇa (object). The same holds good as regards the remaining causal relations of anantara, samanantara, sahajāta and so on.

Eight relations only—hetu, adhipati, purejāta, āsevana, vipāka, jhāna, magga and vippayutta—are common to some mental states. Of these, the relation of hetu is common only to the classes of consciousness conditioned by hetu; the relation of adhipati is also common only to the apperceptions (javana) co-existing with dominance (adhipati); the relation of purejāta is common only to some classes of mind; the relation of āsevana is common only to apperceptive classes of moral, immoral, and inoperative consciousness; the relation of vipāka is also common only to the resultant classes of mind; the relation of jhāna is common to those classes of consciousness and mental concomitants made up of the elements of apprehension and comprehension; the relation of magga is common to the classes of mind conditioned by hetu; the relation of vippayutta is excluded from the classes of mind in arūpaloka; only one particular relation, pacchājāta, is common to material qualities.

Here is the exposition in detail. The seven universal mental properties are: phassa (contact), vedanā (feeling), saññā (perception), cetanā (volition), ekaggatā (unification of mind), jīvita (life) and manasikāra (attention).

Of these, consciousness may be the relation of adhipati; it may be the relation of āhāra, and it may also be the relation of indriya; contact is the relation of āhāra alone; feeling may be the relation of indriya, and may also be the relation of jhāna; volition may be the relation of kamma, and may be the relation of āhāra; ekaggatā may be the relation of indriya; it may be the relation of jhāna, and it may be the relation of magga also; jīvita is the relation of indriya alone; the two remaining states—perception and attention—do not become any particular relation.

Synchrony of Relations in the Five Senses

Consciousness by way of sight obtains seven universal mental concomitants, and so they make up eight mental states. All of them are mutually related to one another by way of the seven relations: four superior sahajāta and three of the medium sahajāta excluding the relation of dissociation. Among these eight mental states, consciousness causally relates itself to the other seven by way of āhāra and indriya. Contact causally relates itself to the other seven by way of āhāra; feeling to the rest by way of kamma and āhāra; ekaggatā by way of indriya alone; and jīvita to the other seven, by way of indriya. The basis of eye causally relates itself to these eight states by way of six species of vatthu-purejāta. The present visual objects, which enter the avenue of that eye-base, causally relate themselves to those eight by way of four species of ārammaṇa-purejāta. The consciousness of turning-towards-the-five-doors, at the moment of cessation just before the arising of sight consciousness, causally relates itself to these eight mental states by way of five species of anantara. Moral and immoral deeds which were done in former births causally relate themselves to these eight resultant states of good and evil respectively, by way of asynchronous kamma. Nescience (avijjā), craving (taṇhā) and grasping (upādāna)—which co-operated with volition (kamma) in the past existence—and dwellings, persons, seasons, foods and so forth, of this present life, causally relate themselves to these eight states by way of pakatūpanissaya (natural sufficing condition). The six relations—hetu, adhipati, pacchājāta, āsevana, jhāna and magga—do not take part in this class of consciousness, but only the remaining eighteen relations take part. Just as the six relations do not take part—and only the eighteen relations do—in consciousness by way of sight, so do they in consciousness by way of hearing, smell, and so on.

End of the Synchrony of Relations in the Five Senses.

Synchrony of Relations in Consciousness Not Accompanied By Hetu

There are six mental properties termed particulars (pakiṇṇaka): vitakka (initial application), vicāra (sustained application), adhimokkha (decision), viriya (effort), pīti (pleasurable interest) and chanda (desire-to-do). Of these, initial application takes part in the relation of jhāna and in the relation of magga. Sustained application takes part in that of jhāna alone. Effort takes part in the relation of adhipati, in the relation of indriya, and in the relation of jhāna. Desire-to-do takes part in the relation of adhipati. Decision does not take part in any particular relation.

The ten concomitants—the seven universals and initial application, sustained application, and decision from the particulars—obtain in the five classes of consciousness, i.e. turning-towards-the five-doors, the twofold class of acceptance, and the twofold class of investigation accompanied by equanimity. They form eleven mental states in one combination. Jhānic function obtains in these five classes of consciousness. Feeling, unification (ekaggatā), initial application, and sustained application perform the function of jhāna relation. Consciousness turning towards the five-doors belongs to the inoperative class, and so does not obtain in the relation of vipāka. Asynchronous kamma serves in place of upanissaya. So, leaving out jhāna from, and inserting vipāka in, the relations which have been shown above are not obtainable in the five senses, there are also six unobtainable and eighteen obtainable in the consciousness of turning-towards the five-doors. As for the remaining four resultant classes of consciousness, by omitting vipāka, five relations are unobtainable, and by adding vipāka and jhāna, nineteen are obtainable.

Investigating consciousness accompanied by joy obtains eleven mental concomitants, namely, the above ten together with pleasurable interest. With the consciousness of turning-towards-the-mind-door, eleven concomitants co-exist, and they are accompanied by effort. They make up twelve mental states together with the consciousness. Twelve concomitants, i.e. the above ten together with pleasurable interest and effort, co-exist with the consciousness of aesthetic pleasure. They make up thirteen mental states in combination with the consciousness. Of the three classes of investigating consciousness, the one accompanied by joy has one more mental property (i.e. pleasurable interest) than the other two, in respect of the jhāna factors; therefore, the unobtainable five and the obtainable nineteen relations are the same as in the two classes of investigating consciousness accompanied by equanimity. In the consciousness of turning-towards-the-mind-door, the predominant property is merely effort, which performs the functions of indriya and jhāna, but not the functions of adhipati and magga. This consciousness, being of the inoperative class, does not obtain the vipāka relation. Therefore, the unobtainable six including vipāka, and the obtainable eighteen including jhāna, are the same as in the consciousness of turning-towards-the-five-doors. The relation of vipāka is also not obtained in the consciousness of aesthetic pleasure, since it belongs to the inoperative class. But being of the apperceptive class, it obtains the relation of āsevana. Therefore, five relations including vipāka are not obtainable, and nineteen relations including āsevana are obtainable.

End of the Synchrony of Relations in Consciousness
Not Accompanied By Hetu.

Synchrony of Relations in the Immoral Classes of Consciousness

There are twelve classes of immoral consciousness: two rooted in nescience, eight rooted in greed, and two rooted in hate. There are fourteen immoral mental properties: moha (delusion,) ahirika (shamelessness), anottappa (recklessness of consequences), and uddhacca (distraction)—these four are termed the delusion-quadruple; lobha (greed), diṭṭhi (wrong view), and māna (conceit)—these three are termed the greed-triple; dosa (hate), issā (envy), macchariya (selfishness), and kukkucca (worry)—these four are termed the hate-quadruple; thīna (sloth), middha (torpor), and vicikicchā (perplexity)—these three are termed the miscellaneous-triple. Of these, the three roots—greed, hate, and delusion—are hetu relations. Error is a magga relation. The remaining ten mental properties do not become any particular relation.

Here, the two classes of consciousness rooted in delusion are: consciousness conjoined with perplexity and consciousness conjoined with distraction. With the first of these two, fifteen mental concomitants co-exist. There are the seven universals, initial application, sustained application, effort (from the particulars), the delusion-quadruple, and perplexity (from the immorals). They make up sixteen mental states in combination with consciousness. In this consciousness, i.e. the consciousness conjoined with perplexity, the relations of hetu and magga are also obtained.

That is, delusion acts as the hetu relation; initial application and effort as the magga; and, as to ekaggatā (unification of mind), as its function would be interfered with by perplexity, it does not perform the functions of indriya and magga, but it does the function of jhāna. Therefore, the three relations (adhipati, pacchājāta, vipāka) are not obtainable; and the remaining twenty-one are obtainable in this consciousness which is conjoined with perplexity.

In consciousness conjoined with distraction, there are also fifteen mental properties—omitting perplexity and adding decision. They also make up sixteen mental states together with the consciousness. In this consciousness, ekaggatā performs the functions of indriya, jhāna and magga. Therefore, three relations are not obtainable, whereas twenty-one are obtainable.

Seven universals, six particulars, the delusion-quadruple, the greed-triple, sloth and torpor—altogether twenty-two in number—severally co-exist with the eight classes of consciousness rooted in greed. Among these, the two roots—greed and delusion—are hetu relations; and the three mental states—desire-to-do, consciousness itself and effort—are adhipati relations. Ārammaṇādhipati is also obtained here. Volition is the relation of kamma. The three foods are the relations of āhāra. The five mental states—mind, feeling, unification, life and effort—are relations of indriya. The five jhāna factors, i.e. initial application, sustained application, pleasurable interest, feeling and concentration, are jhāna relations. The four magga constituents, i.e. initial application, concentration, error, and effort, are magga relations. Therefore only the two relations (pacchājāta and vipāka) are not obtained. The remaining twenty-two are obtained.

End of the Synchrony of Relations
in the Immoral Classes of Consciousness.

Synchrony of Relations in the Radiant Classes of Consciousness

There are ninety-one radiant classes of consciousness. They are: twenty-four radiant classes of kāma consciousness, fifteen classes of rūpa-consciousness, twelve classes of arūpa-consciousness and forty classes of transcendental consciousness. Of these, the twenty-four radiant classes of kāma-consciousness are: eight classes of moral consciousness, eight classes of radiant resultant kind, and another eight classes of radiant inoperative kind.

There are twenty-five kinds of radiant mental properties: alobha (non-greed or dispassionateness), adosa (non-hate or amity), amoha (non-delusion or intelligence)—these three are termed moral hetusaddhā (faith), sati (mindfulness), hiri (prudence), ottappa (discretion) tatramajjhattatā (balance of mind), kāyapassaddhi (composure of mental properties), cittapassaddhi (composure of mind), kāyalahutā (buoyancy of mental properties), cittalahutā (buoyancy of mind), kāyamudutā (pliancy of mental properties), cittamudutā (pliancy of mind), kāyakammaññatā (fitness of work of mental properties), citta-kammaññatā (fitness of work of mind), kāya-pāguññatā (proficiency of mental properties), citta-pāguññatā (proficiency of mind), kāyujukatā (rectitude of mental properties), cittujukatā (rectitude of mind), sammā-vācā (right speech), sammā-kammantā (right action), sammā-ājīva (right livelihood)—these last three are called the three abstinences; karuṇā (compassion) and muditā (sympathetic appreciation)—these last two are called the two illimitables.

Of these, the three moral hetu are hetu-paccaya. Amoha appears under the name of vīmaṃsā in the adhipati relation; under the name of paññā in the indriya relation; and under the name of sammā-diṭṭhi in the magga relation. Saddhā or faith is the indriya relation. Sati or mindfulness is satindriya in the indriya relation, and sammā-sati in the magga relation. The three abstinences (right speech, right action and right livelihood) are magga relations. The remaining seventeen mental states are not particular relations.

Thirty-eight mental properties enter into combination with the eight moral classes of kāma-consciousness: seven universals, six particulars, and twenty five radiants. Of these, pleasurable interest enters into combination only with the four classes of consciousness accompanied by joy. Non-delusion also enters into combination only with the four classes connected with knowledge. The three abstinences enter into combination only when moral rules or precepts are observed. The two illimitables arise only when sympathising with the suffering, or sharing in the happiness, of living beings. In these eight classes of consciousness, the dual or triple roots are hetu relations. Among the four kinds of adhipati, i.e. desire-to-do, mind, effort, and investigation, each is an adhipati in turn. Volition is the relation of kamma. The three foods are the relations of āhāra. The eight mental states, i.e. mind, feeling, concentration, life, faith, mindfulness, effort and intelligence, are relations of indriya. The five jhāna factors, i.e. initial application, sustained application, pleasurable interest, feeling and concentration, are relations of jhāna. The eight path-constituents, i.e. intelligence, initial application, the three abstinences, mindfulness, effort and concentration, are relations of magga. Therefore, only the two relations of pacchājāta and vipāka are not obtained in these eight classes of consciousness; the remaining twenty-two are obtained. The three abstinences do not obtain in the eight radiant classes of inoperative consciousness. As in the moral consciousness, two relations are unobtainable and twenty-two are obtainable here. The three abstinences and the two illimitables also do not obtain in the eight radiant classes of resultant consciousness. The relations unobtainable are three in number, namely, adhipati, pacchājāta and āsevana; the remaining twenty-one are obtainable.

The higher classes of rūpa, arūpa and transcendental consciousness do not obtain more than twenty-two relations. The synchrony of relations should be understood as existing in the four moral classes of kāma-consciousness connected with knowledge. If this be so, then why are those classes of consciousness more supreme and transcendental than the kāma-consciousness? Because of the greatness of āsevana. They are fashioned by marked exercises, and so āsevana is superior to them; for this reason, indriya, jhāna, magga and other relations also become superior. When these relations become supreme—each higher and higher than the other—those classes of consciousness also become more supreme and transcendental than kāma-consciousness.

End of the Synchrony of Relations
in the Radiant Classes of Consciousness.

Synchrony of Relations in the Groups of Material Qualities

There are twenty-eight kinds of material qualities.

A. Four essential material qualities:
  1. the element of solidity (paṭhavī)
  2. the element of cohesion (āpo)
  3. the element of kinetic energy (tejo)
  4. the element of motion (vāyo)
B. Five sensitive material qualities:
  1. the eye (cakkhu)
  2. the ear (sota)
  3. the nose (ghāna)
  4. the tongue (jivhā)
  5. the body (kāya)
C. Five material qualities of sense-fields:
  1. visible form (rūpa)
  2. sound (sadda)
  3. odour (gandha)
  4. taste (rasa)
  5. the tangible (phoṭṭhabba[33]
D. Two material qualities of sex:
  1. female sex (itthibhāva)
  2. male sex (puṃbhāva)
E. One material quality of life (jīvita)
F. One material quality of heart-base (hadaya-vatthu)
G. One material quality of nutrition (āhāra)
H. One material quality of space (ākāsadhātu)
I. Two material qualities of communication:
  1. intimation by the body (kāyaviññatti)
  2. intimation by speech (vacīviññatti)
J. Three material qualities of plasticity:
  1. l. lightness (lahutā)
  2. pliancy (mudutā)
  3. adaptability (kammaññatā)
K. Four material qualities of salient features:
  1. integration (upacaya)
  2. continuance (santati)
  3. decay (jaratā)
  4. impermanence (aniccatā)

Of these, six kinds of material qualities—the four essentials, the material quality of life, and the material quality of nutrition—causally relate themselves to the material qualities. Here also the four essentials are mutually related among themselves by way of five relations: sahajāta, aññamañña, nissaya, atthi, and avigata; and they are related to the coexistent material qualities derived from the latter by way of four relations, i.e. excluding aññamañña in the above five. The material quality of life causally relates itself to the co-existent material qualities produced by kamma by way of indriya. The material quality of nutrition causally relates itself to both the co-existent and the non-co-existent material qualities which are corporeal by way of āhāra.

Again, thirteen kinds of material qualities causally relate themselves to the mental states by some particular relations. These material qualities are: the five kinds of sensitive material qualities, the seven kinds of sense-fields, and the heart-base. Of these, just as a mother is related to her son, so also the five kinds of sensitive material qualities are causally related to the five sense-cognitions by way of vatthu-purejāta, by way of vatthu-purejātindriya, and by way of vatthu purejāta-vippayutta. And just as a father is related to his son, so also the seven sense-fields are causally related to the five sense-cognitions and the three elements of apprehension by way of ārammaṇa-purejāta. In the same way, just as a tree is related to the deva who inhabits it, so also the heart-base causally relates itself to the two elements of apprehension and comprehension by way of sahajāta-nissaya at the time of rebirth, and by way of vatthu-purejāta and of vatthu-purejāta-vippayutta during life.

There are twenty-three groups of material qualities. They are called groups (kalāpa) because they are tied up with the material quality of production (jāti-rūpa) into groups, just as hair or hay is tied up with a string. [34] Of these, the eight kinds of material qualities, such as the four essentials—colour, odour, taste, and nutritive essence—make up the primary octad of all material qualities.

There are nine groups produced by kamma: the vital-nonad, the heart-decad, the body-decad, the female-decad, the male-decad, the eye-decad, the ear-decad, the nose-decad, and the tongue-decad. Of these, the primary octad together with the material quality of life is called the vital-nonad. This primary nonad together with each of the eight material qualities, i.e. heart-base and so forth, makes up analogously the other eight decads, i.e. base-decad, and so forth. Here the four groups—vital-nonad, body-decad, and two-fold sex-decad—locate themselves in a person, pervading the whole body. Here vital-nonad is the name of the maturative fire (pācakaggi) and of the bodily fire (kāyaggi). The maturative fire is that which locates itself in the stomach and matures or digests the food that has been eaten, drunk, chewed and licked. The bodily fire is that which locates itself by pervading the whole body, and it refines the impure bile, phlegm and blood. Through the inharmonious action of these two elements, people become unhealthy, and by their harmonious action they become healthy. It is this dual fire (or that vital-nonad) that gives life and good complexion to people. The body-decad makes available pleasurable and painful contact. The two-fold sex-decad makes available all the feminine characteristics to females and all the masculine characteristics to males. The remaining five decads are termed partial decads. Of these, the heart-decad, locating itself in the cavity of the heart, makes available many various kinds of moral and immoral thoughts. The four decads, i.e. eye-decad and so forth, locating themselves respectively in the eye-ball, in the interior of the ear, in the interior of the nose, and on the surface of the tongue, make available sight, hearing, smell, and taste.

There are eight groups produced by mind. The first four are the primary octad, the sound-nonad, the nonad of body communication, the sound-decad of speech-communication. Taking these four together with lightness, pliancy and adaptability, they make up another four: the undecad of plasticity, the sound-dodecad of plasticity, the dodecad of body-communication together with plasticity, and the sound-tredecad of speech communication together with plasticity. The first four are termed primary groups, and the last four are termed plastic groups.

Of these, when the elements of the body are not working harmoniously, only the four primary groups occur to a sick person. His material qualities then become heavy, coarse and inadaptable, and consequently it becomes difficult for him to maintain the bodily postures as he would wish, to move the members of the body, and even to make a vocal reply. But when the elements of the body are working harmoniously—there being no defects of the body, such as heaviness and so on, in a healthy person—the four plastic groups come into existence. Among these four, two groups of body communication occur by means of mind or by moving any part of the body. The other two groups of speech communication occur also on account of mind, when wishing to speak; but when non-verbal sound is produced through laughing or crying, only the two ordinary sound-groups occur. At other times the first two groups, the primary octad and the sound-nonad, occur according to circumstances.

There are four groups produced by physical change: the two primary groups (the primary octad and the sound-nonad) and the two plastic groups (i.e. the undecad of plasticity and the sound-dodecad of plasticity). Now this body of ours maintains itself right on throughout the whole life, through a long course of bodily postures. Hence, at every moment, there occur in this body the harmonious and inharmonious workings of the elements, through changes in the postures, through changes in its temperature, through changes of food, air, and heat, through changes of the disposition of the members of the body, and through changes of one’s own exertion and of others. Here also, when working harmoniously, two plastic groups occur; and when working inharmoniously, the other two primary groups occur. Of the four groups, two sound groups arise, when there occur various kinds of sound other than that produced by mind.

There are two groups produced by food: the primary octad and the undecad of plasticity. These two groups should be understood as the harmonious and inharmonious occurrences of material qualities produced respectively by suitable and unsuitable food.

The five material qualities, namely, the element of space and the four salient features of matter, lie outside the grouping. Of these, the element of space lies outside the grouping because it is the boundary of the groups. As to the material qualities of the salient features, they are left aside from grouping because they are merely the marks or signs of conditioned things through which we clearly know them to be really conditioned things.

These twenty-three groups are available in an individual. The groups available in external things are only two, which are no other than the two primary groups produced by physical change. There are two locations of material qualities, the internal and the external. Of these two, the internal location means a sentient being and the external location means the earth, hills, rivers, oceans, trees, and so forth. Therefore we have said that, in an individual twenty-three groups, or all the twenty-eight kinds of material qualities, are available.

Now the rebirth-conception and its mental concomitants are causally related to the groups produced by kamma at the moment of conception by way of six different relations, the four superior sahajāta, vipāka, and vippayutta. But to the heart-base alone, they are causally related by seven relations: the above together with the relation of aññamañña. Among the mental states at the moment of rebirth, the roots are causally related by way of the hetu relation; the volition by way of āhāra; the controls by way of indriya; the jhāna constituents by way of jhāna; and the path-constituents, by way of magga, to the kamma-produced groups. The past moral and immoral volitions are causally related by way of kamma alone. The first posterior life-continuum, the second, the third, and so on, are causally related to the prior material qualities produced by kamma, by way of pacchājāta. By “pacchājāta” are meant all the species of pacchājāta. The past volitions are causally related by way of kamma alone. Thus the mental states are causally related to the material qualities produced by kamma by fourteen different relations. Here, ten relations are not obtained: ārammaṇa, adhipati, anantara, samanantara, upanissaya, purejāta, āsevana, sampayutta, natthi and vigata.

During the term of life, mental states capable of producing material qualities are causally related to the co-existent material qualities produced by them, by five different relations: the four superior sahajāta and vippayutta. Among these mental states: hetu are causally related by way of hetu, the dominances by way of adhipati, the volition by way of kamma, the resultants by way of vipāka, the foods by way of āhāra, the controls by way of indriya, the jhāna factors by way of jhāna, the path-constituents by way of magga, to the mind-produced material qualities. All the posterior mental states are causally related to the prior material qualities produced by mind by way of pacchājāta. Thus the mental states are causally related to the material groups produced by mind by fourteen different relations. Here also ten relations are not obtainable; ārammaṇa, anantara, samanantara, aññamañña, upanissaya, purejāta, āsevana, sampayutta, natthi and vigata.

During a lifetime, starting from the static phase of conception, all mental states are causally related both to the material groups produced by food and to those produced by physical change solely by way of pacchājāta. Here again, by “pacchājāta” are meant all the four species of pacchājāta. The remaining twenty relations are not obtainable.

Among the twenty-three groups of material qualities, the four essentials are mutually related among themselves by way of five different relations: four superior sahajāta and one aññamañña; but to the co-existent derivative material qualities they are related by way of the four superior sahajāta only. The material quality of nutritive essence is causally related by way of āhāra, both to the co-existent and the non-coexistent material qualities which are corporeal. The material quality of physical life in the nine groups produced by kamma is causally related only to the co-existent material qualities by way of indriya. Thus the corporeal material qualities are causally related to the corporeal material qualities by seven different relations. As for the external material qualities, they are mutually related to the two external groups produced by physical change, by way of five different relations.

End of the Synchrony of Relations
in the Groups of Material Qualities.
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The Meaning of Paṭṭhāna

The meaning of the term paṭṭhāna also will now be explained: padhānaṃ ṭhānaṃ ti paṭṭhānaṃ.Paṭṭhāna is the pre-eminent or principal cause,” In this definition padhāna means “pre-eminent” and ṭhāna means “condition” or “cause.” Hence the whole expression means the preeminent cause, the actual cause or the ineluctable cause. This is said having reference to its ineluctable effect or result. [35]

There are two kinds of effect, the direct and the indirect. By “the direct” is meant the primary or actual effect, and by “the indirect” is meant the consequent or incidental effect. Of these two kinds, only the direct effect is here referred to as ineluctable, and for this reason: that it never fails to arise when its proper cause is established or brought into play. And the indirect effect is to be understood as eluctable since it may or may not arise even though its cause is fully established. Thus the ineluctable cause is so named with reference to the ineluctable effect. Hence the ineluctable or principal cause alone is meant to be expounded in this “Great Treatise (Mahāpakaraṇa).” For this reason the name paṭṭhāna is assigned to the entire collection of the twenty-four relations, and also to the “Great Treatise.”

And now, to make the matter clearer and simpler: Say that greed springs into being within a man who desires to get money and grain. Under the influence of greed, he goes to a forest where he clears a piece of land and establishes fields, yards and gardens, and starts to work very hard. Eventually he obtains plenty of money and grain by reason of his strenuous labours. So he takes his gains, looks after his family, and performs many virtuous deeds, from which also he will reap rewards in his future existences. In this illustration, all the mental and material states co-existing with greed are called direct effects.

Apart from these, all the outcomes, results and rewards, which are to be enjoyed later on in his future existences, are called indirect effects. Of these two kinds of effects, only the former is dealt with in the Paṭṭhāna. However, the latter kind finds its place in the Suttanta discourses: if this exists, then that happens; or, because of the occurrence of this, that also takes place. Such an exposition is called “expounding by way of Suttanta” In fact, the three states (greed, hate and ignorance) are called the hetu or conditions, because they are the roots whence spring the defilements of the whole animate world, of the whole inanimate world, and of the world of space. The three other opposite states (dispassionateness, amity, and intelligence) are also called hetu or conditions, since they are the roots whence springs purification. In the same manner the remainder of the relations are to be understood in their various senses. Thus must we understand that all things that happen, occur, take place, or produce changes, are solely the direct and indirect effects, results, outcomes, or products of these twenty-four relations or causes.

Thus ends the Paṭṭhānuddesa Dīpanī, “The Concise Exposition of the Buddhist Philosophy of Relations,” written by The Most Venerable Ledi Araññavihāravāsi Mahāthera of Monywa, Burma. [Top]


Notes

  1. Paññatti means concept or idea. The venerable author's and the translator's view that concepts are not subject to impermanence is not supported by the canonical texts nor by the ancient commentaries. (Editor) [Back]
  2. The three rounds of misery are: the round of defilements (kilesa-vaṭṭa), the round of kamma (kamma-vaṭṭa) and the round of kamma-result (vipāka-vaṭṭa), See Path of Purification (Visuddhimagga), tr. Ñāṇamoli, Ch. XVII, para 298. [Back]
  3. The triple element of apprehension is the threefold mind-element (mano-dhātu); the consciousness which adverts to the five sense objects (pañca-dvārāvajjana), and the two which receive them (sampaṭicchana) by way of wholesome-result or unwholesome-result. [Back]
  4. Mano-viññāṇa-dhātu: this includes all classes of consciousness dealt with in the Abhidhamma except the ten kinds of sense-consciousness and the threefold mind-element. [Back]
  5. The six doors of the senses—mind, in Buddhist philosophy, being the sixth sense. [Back]
  6. Unprepared (spontaneous—asaṅkhārika) and prepared (prompted—sasaṅkhārika). [Back]
  7. Sense-sphere consciousness, fine-material consciousness, immaterial consciousness and supramundane consciousness. [Back]
  8. Supramundane. states (lokuttara-dhamma) are here meant, i.e. the four pairs made up of the four stages of the path with the fruit and Nibbāna. (Translator) [Back]
  9. Sights, sounds, odours, savours, contacts, ideas. [Back]
  10. Truth here means the sincerity of the promise he had given. (Translator) [Back]
  11. Mind here refers to one of the apperceptions which are usually fifty-five in all, but in this connection we must exclude the two classes of deluded consciousness as well as aesthetic pleasure. The other three dominants are their own concomitants. (Translator) [Back]
  12. In no mass of earth, water, fire or air do these 'elements' exist in a state of absolute purity. The other 'elements' are always present, but in a very subordinate proportion. [Back]
  13. That is, those who attain Nibbāna unaided. [Back]
  14. Ledi Sayādaw here seems to explain the life term of a womb-born being. [Back]
  15. Nirodha-samāpatti has been rendered as “sustained cessation.” Here the cessation is that not only of consciousness but also of mental concomitants and mental qualities born of mind. (Translator) [Back]
  16. Perhaps this essay is in the Sayādaw's Yamaka-puccha-visajjana or in London Pāḷi Devī Visajjana Pāḷi (which might be identical with the former). The latter consists of answers to questions by Mrs. C.A.F. Rhys-Davids about knotty points, etc, in the Yamaka and was published in the article “Some Points in Buddhist Doctrine” and “A Pali Dissertation on the Yamaka” in the Journal of the Pali Text Society, 1913–14 and also in an appendix to Mrs. Rhys-Davids’ translation of the Yamaka. (BPS Ed.) [Back]
  17. “Heart base” (hadaya-vatthu) is a figurative expression for the physical base of mental activities. It is not the physical heart that is meant. (Editor) [Back]
  18. That is to say, Nibbāna and concepts (or more properly, concept-terms) do not enter time, and therefore are not subject to time's nature—change. They do not arise; therefore, they do not cease. They are “everlasting and eternal” in the sense of being extra temporal, not in the vulgar sense of being endlessly continuous in time. (Translator) [Back]
  19. Here abyākatā is rendered as “unspecified or amoral.” It is explained in the commentary as kusala-akusala-bhāvena akathitā, añña-bhāvena kathitā, i.e. not to be called either moral or immoral, but to be called “apart-from both,” i.e. morally unspecified. The abyākata dhammas are all classes of resultant and inoperative consciousness and all material qualities, as well as Nibbāna. (Translator). Other suggested renderings: karmically indeterminate or karmically neutral. (Editor) [Back]
  20. Niyāma-dīpanī was written by the late Ven. Ledi Sayādaw and translated into English by Ven. U Nyāna and Dr. Barua. [Back]
  21. Beings whose coming into existence takes place in any other mode than the ordinary one of birth from parents; what occidentals might call 'supernatural beings' though not all of them are to be understood as superior to man in any vital respect. Many are inferior to man, in power and faculty, as well as in the opportunities open to them of winning Nibbāna. (Translator) [Back]
  22. Here, the origins of material qualities are meant. The four are kamma, mind, temperature and nutriment. [Back]
  23. Here, utu (lit., season) has been rendered as temperature. It may also be rendered by popular acceptance as physical change, caloric energy, heat and cold etc. [Back]
  24. Ledi Sayādaw has not explained the cetanāvattha. But it is easy enough to understand, since it is the commission of the initial volition or kamma. (Translator) [Back]
  25. The four causes (or origins) are (1) kamma, (2) citta (consciousness), (3) utu (temperature), (4) āhāra (nutriment). [Back]
  26. Of these, the last three are confined to the supramundane (lokuttara) alone. And of these three, the first is the knowledge pertaining to the first path, the second that pertaining to the last three paths and the first three fruitions, and the third that pertaining to the last fruition only. [Back]
  27. Standing out of, or going beyond, its normal mode. [Back]
  28. “Certainly, O Kaccāna, (the self) exists is one extreme, and (the self) does not exist is the second extreme” (SN 12:15). This is a passage where the problem of soul, self or ego is discussed as to its existence or non-existence as a real personal entity. [Back]
  29. Here, the word appaccaya is not a kammadhāraya compound, but is of the bahubbīhi class; thus: natthi paccayā etesan-ti appaccayā. Asaṅkhata is a kammadhāraya compound; thus: saṅkhāriyante ti saṅkhatā; na saṅkhatā ti asaṅkhatā. [Back]
  30. See note to Preface. (Editor) [Back]
  31. There are four postures: sitting, standing, walking and lying down. [Back]
  32. Sobhana, also translated as beautiful or lofty mental properties. (Editor)) [Back]
  33. In computing the number of material qualities, the tangible is generally omitted, since the physical objects of body-sensitivity are identical with the aforementioned elements of solidity, kinetic energy and motion. When these three elements are considered, seven qualities of sense fields are counted. (Editor) [Back]
  34. Ledi Sayādaw here makes the number of groups twenty-three instead of twenty-one, as in the Compendium of Philosophy (Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha), tr. by S. Z. Aung (PTS), p. 164. He also makes the groups of material qualities produced by thought number eight instead of six, as in the Compendium; thus they are here increased by two. (Cf. Paramatthadīpanī, page 273.) (Translator) [Back]
  35. Elsewhere I have rendered the word paccayuppanna as “related thing. [Back]

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