The Self-Rising Nature of Existence and Pain
This sense-consciousness rebounds off,
is the counterpart of
going no further.
It is only this far
that there is birth,
or falling from one condition,
or reappearing in another;
that is to say:
Named-form resulting in sense-consciousness,
and sense-consciousness resulting in named-form,
named-form resulting in the six realms of the senses,
the six realms of the senses resulting in contact,
contact resulting in sense experience,
sense experience resulting in thirst (to get, to get away from),
thirst resulting in stoking the fire (fueling the fire, this is both the preliminaries in pondering, planning, plotting and the acting in thought word and deed with the intent to create experience of existence for the self or another way of thinking of this is that it is the mechanism for own-making (sankharam))
fueling the fire resulting in existence,
existence resulting in birth,
birth resulting in aging, sickness and death,
grief and lamentation,
pain and misery,
This is the Samudaya
of this entire body of pain.
"Samudaya! Samudaya!" -
At that thought, beggars,
there arose a vision into things
not previously cognized,
and knowledge arose,
In the conclusion to both versions, after having pieced together the sequence of dependencies resulting in birth and it's consequent pain, the Buddhas remark: "Samudayo! Samudayo!" and a previously unrealized insight occurs to them.
Since what has just occurred is the sequence of dependencies itself (the Paticca Samuppada) (and thus it, itself, is not the insight that is being referred to as it has been previously realized) what is this insight that they are referring to?
First one must grasp the significance of the originating idea, that is:
Paccudavattati kho idam vinnanam,||
na param gacchati.|| ||
This consciousness rebounds off/evolves into named-form
going no further.
... that for conscousness of existence as an individuality, sense-consciousness and named-forms are interdependent. Picking an arbitrary starting point, consciousness of named forms results in a sequence that when mixed with identification with intent to create experience of existence leads to the formation of consciousness of named forms.
Now 'Samudaya' is usually translated 'arising' or 'coming to be'. But here, as in 'Sankhara' we have an un-accounted-for (in such translations) 'sam.'
Is this 'own'? or 'co-, con-, or com'?
Looking at the point in the sequence named 'upadana', we can see that without fueling the fire the process would come to a halt at this point. When an identified-with previously rolling process (aka a living being) identfies with the intent to create experience of existence through acts of thought, word and deed, the process rolls on. The error is in thinking that this previously identified-with instigator of action is 'the self' or 'a self' or 'belongs to a self'. In that it does not, the process is 'self-' or 'own-rising.' The parts replicate themselves. In that identification with intent to create experience of existence is necessary for the process to continue, it is 'co-arising'. Not 'co' 'you and it' but 'co' 'it and this intent and this identification and this action'. It can be let go without loss of 'self.'
Today [Tuesday, March 17, 2015 4:13 AM] we have these nano-robots that replicate themselves. But for that process to work automatically there was originally built into it the instruction to do that. That is the equivalent of the process of own-making.
In light of the above, the second half of this insight, 'Nirodha! Nirodha!' is not just the seeing of the reverse of the process of the Paticca Samuppada, but the fact that it is done by the ending of the identification of self with the fueling of the process. That it comes to an end of it's own without that input.
In the same way as we can observe the self-replicatiing nano robot and see that we could dismantle the thing and prevent it's self-replication by removing the instruction to replicate, we can remove the self-replicating intent to experience from this process of existing we call life and eliminate the consequent self-identification with it's painful outcome.
By minute examination of everything occuring at the senses (or within the scope of the 4 satipatthanas, or within the scope of the khandhas).
By 'yoniso-manasikara-ing', tracing things back to their points of origin, one can observe the self-replicating process as occuring independent of any 'self,' dependent only on the mistaken view that there is self there (that 'I' will 'die' if I do not act).
By eliminating every activity that is identified with self by filtering every thought, word, and deed through the Magga, The Aristocratic Multi-dimensional High Way.
When one can see that one can opt-out.
Opting out one is free.
Recognizing this freedom as the freedom from Pain that one has been seeking, one is free
and one knows:
"Birth is left behind,
lived was carrying on like Brahma,
done is duty's doing,
no more for me is there being it and at."
Kimhi nu kho sati jara-maranam hoti,||
kim paccaya jara-maranan.|| ||
What now being have we aging and death,
what results in aging and death?
Jatiya kho sati jara-maranam hoti,||
jati-paccaya jara-maranan.|| ||
Birth now being we have aging and death,
birth results in aging and death.
Kimhi nu kho sati jati hoti,||
kim paccaya jati?|| ||
What now being have we birth,
what results in birth?
Bhave kho sati jati hoti,||
bhava paccaya jati.|| ||
Becoming now being we have birth,
becoming results in birth.
'Becoming' is a literal translation of 'bhava' (it could be 'bad-go' or 'pass-vent' or 'pass wind') which is elsewhere translated as 'being' or 'existing' or 'living'. It is what we understand as existing (and there is no 'existing' as we understand it outside of this), which is a process of becoming in the shape of forms of existence such as being human, being a god, etc. It is valuable for insight into the fact that this is a thing which is a self-sustaining process, that the idea of existing or living be seen as becoming.
Kimhi nu kho sati bhavo hoti,||
kim paccaya bhavo?|| ||
What now being have we becoming,
what results in becoming?
Upadane kho sati bhavo hoti,||
upadana-paccaya bhavo.|| ||
Setting up now being we have becoming,
setting up results in becoming.
'Setting up' is what I now suggest is the best translation for 'upadana' (literally: up-given), elsewhere translated Rhys Davids: 'grasping,' Walshe, Bhk. Bodhi: 'clinging,' Bhk. Thanissaro: 'clinging/sustenance,' and myself: 'upholding,' 'support,' 'upkeep,' 'going-after-getting', and more lately following Bhk. Thanissaro 'fueling'. The idea is that after the experience of sensations, and upon the arising of thirst one sets out to get, prepares the way, sets rolling the necessary pre-condtions for attaining, thereby fueling the fire of lust and furthering the effort to get. Setting up is accomplished by wanting/wishing, points of view, performing rites and rituals in the effort to attain experience of self. It is the actions of sankhara-ing.
Kimhi nu kho sati upadanam hoti,||
kim paccaya upadanan?|| ||
What now being have we setting up,
what results in setting up?
Tanhaya kho sati upadanam hoti,||
Thirst now being we have setting up,
thirst results in setting up.
Kimhi nu kho sati tanha hoti,||
kim paccaya tanha?|| ||
What now being have we thirst,
what results in thirst?
Vedanaya kho sati tanha hoti,||
vedana-paccaya tanha.|| ||
Sense-experience now being we have thirst,
sense-experience results in thirst.
'Sense-experience,' (literally the 'thrill given'), takes, at it's most fundamental, three forms: pleasant sensation, painful sensation or sensation that is not painful but not pleasant. Such sensations result from contact with an object perceived to be of a nature corresponding to the sensation, but one experiences unpleasant sensation then perceives what one believes to be an unpleasant object. Sensation is relative to the object only in its results in the next revolution of the cycle and the mind, seeking the object of sensation can be mistaken and instigate on entirely false premises completly disasterous activity. Sensation follows contact. What one experiences as sensation preceeds thirst. 'Preceeds' means it comes before. 'Comes before' means it is already in the past. It is the experience of something that has already happened. Thirst set up on sense experience is chasing the past and results in becoming in the future. The process can be stopped at this point by tracing sense experience back to it's point of origin (yoniso-manasikaro) and seeing that if it is not acted upon it will not result in future sense experience. Experiencing the unpleasant sensation called anger that results from a perception of some injury inflicted on one by some person or event one has the choice of reacting with vengeful, angry, and always mistaken behaviors (setting up further expectations of becoming in an unpleasant situation) or by perceiving the event as over-with, passed, done gone, at that point, letting the sensation die out.
Kimhi nu kho sati vedana hoti,||
kim paccaya vedana?|| ||
What now being have we sense-experience,
what results in sense-experience?
Phasse kho sati vedana hoti,||
phassa-paccaya vedana.|| ||
Contact now being we have sense-experience,
contact results in sense-experience.
Kimhi nu kho sati phasso hoti,||
kim paccaya phasso?|| ||
What now being have we contact,
what results in contact?
Salayatane kho sati phasso hoti,||
salayatana-paccaya phasso.|| ||
The six-realms now being we have contact,
the six-realms results in contact.
'The six-realms' is the literal translation of 'salayatana' which is shorthand for 'the six-realms of the senses': the eye and sights, the ear and sounds, the nose and scents, the tongue and tastes, the body and touches, the mind and all things.
Kimhi nu kho sati salayatanam hoti,||
kim paccaya salayatanan?|| ||
What now being have we the six realms,
what results in the six realms?
Nama-rupe kho sati salayatanam hoti,||
nama-rupa-paccaya salayatanan.|| ||
'Named-shapes' is the literal translation of 'nama-rupa', elsewhere translated: Walshe and Rhys Davids (incorrectly imposing Western philosophical views on the Pali) 'mind-and-body;' Bhk. Bodhi: mentality/materiality (just rephrasing the mistake of 'mind-and-body'); Rhys Davids, Hare, Horner, Bhk. Thanissaro: 'name and form;' Horner: psycho-physicality; Bhk. Punnaji: Entity/Identity (which is excellent if one does not wish to literally follow the Pali); Woodward: Name and visible body complex. It could also, following the Greek, be translated: 'phenomena' phe-nomena: face-name, which is helpful for understanding the meaning. What is it that makes up an experience of sense? The Eye comes into Contact with a visible object. Sense-experience (senstion), and Consciousness of that sense experience are the result. The component parts are the Form (a shape, sound, scent, savour, touch, or mental object) and perception (identification of the object as a shape, sound, scent, savour, touch, or mental object that is pleasant, unpleasant or not unpleasant but not pleasant and as whatever further identifications that object has come to be known by).
Named-shapes now being we have the six realms,
named-shapes result in the six realms.
Kimhi nu kho sati nama-rupam hoti,||
kim paccaya nama-rupan?|| ||
What now being have we named-shapes,
what results in named-shapes?
Vinnane kho sati namarupam hoti,||
Sense-consciousness now being we have named-shapes,
sense-consciousness results in named-shapes.
Vinnana, literally 're-knowing-knowning-knowledge', the awareness of knowing that knowing is occuring. I believe this word also reflects the reality that consciousness as it is experienced by the ordinary individual is not a single act of knowing, but an illusion created by thousands of re-perceptions of a composite of previously perceived sense-objects. In the Patica Samuppada Vinnana, is intimately bound up in the point of view that this consciousness is arising in an individuality known as 'me,' perceiving through the senses.
Kimhi nu kho sati vinnanam hoti,||
kim paccaya vinnanan?|| ||
What now being have we sense-consciousness,
what results in sense-consciousness?
Nama-rupe kho sati vinnanam hoti,||
nama-rupa-paccaya vinnanan.|| ||
Named-forms now being we have sense-consciousness,
named-forms result in sense-consciousness.
Paccudavattati kho idam vinnanam,||
na param gacchati.|| ||
This sense-consciousness rebounds off/evolves into named-form
going no further.
Paccudavattati could also be 'rolls out from/returns to'. The simile given is of two shiefs of wheat which are able to be placed upright only by one leaning on the other. Sense-consciousness needs an object to be conscious of to be consciousness as we know it; named-forms are only such when there is consciousness of them. Part of the idea of 'name' implies a perception of that name. Things have 'names' to their observer. They do not wander around space with a name attached waiting to be made conscious of. They are given names in the process of perception that results in consciouosness of them by an individual. Be careful to note that 'this!' Our term 'consciousness' is not a direct equivalent of the Pali Vinnana, and there is no end of trouble for one conceiving the idea that the Buddha is teaching the eradication of 'consciousness'. For a more detailed discussion of this issue see: Is Nibbana Conditioned see the second part of this discussion.
Ettavata jayetha va jiyetha miyetha va cavetha va upapajjetha va,||
yad idam nama-rupa-paccaya vinnanam,||
tanha paccaya upadanam,||
soka-parideva-dukkha-domanass-upayasa sambhavan.|| ||
Only thus is there birth and with birth aging or death or passing on or appearing,
that is, named-forms resulting in sense-consciousness,
sense-consciousness resulting in named forms,
named forms resulting in the six-realms,
the six-realms resulting in contact,
contact resulting in sense-experience,
sense-experience resulting in thirst,
thirst resulting in setting up,
setting up resulting in becoming,
becoming resulting in birth,
birth resulting in aging and death,
grief and lamentation,
pain and misery,
Understanding this, the Paticca Samuppada, provides the basis for the insight into the knowledge that 'this,' that which we know as 'myself' or 'me,' is a process, a becoming thing. And it is this insight which is essential to have set up to fully appreciate the idea that:
Yam kinci samudaya-dhammam||
sabban tam nirodha-dhamman|| ||
'Whatever there is that is a self-arising thing,
all that is an ending thing.'
and that whatever comes to an end is not the self.