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Sacred Books of the Buddhists
Volume III

Dīgha Nikāya

Dialogues of the Buddha
Part II

Sutta 15

Mahā-Nidāna Suttantaɱ

The Great Discourse on Causation

Translated from the Pali by T.W. Rhys Davids

Public Domain

Originally published under the patronage of
His Majesty King Chulālankarana,
King of Siam
by The Pali Text Society, Oxford

 


[42]

THE doctrine of Paṭicca-samuppāda — that all dhammā (phenomena physical and mental) are paṭiccasamuppannā (happen by way of cause) finds in the following Suttanta the fullest exposition accorded to it throughout the Piṭakas. It is true that for some reason (cf. p. 26, n.1) the Dīghabhānakas (recorders of the Dīgha-Nikāya) excluded the first two of the Twelve Nidānasavijjā, sankhārā — and that, in the Paccayākāra-vibhanga of the Abhidhamma, the formula is reiterated and analysed with greater variety of presentation. But in the present instance the doctrinal contents are more fully worked out. There is another feature in this Dīgha exposition which seems to us of no little significance.

But before discussing this feature, we would point to yet another factor in the statement of the chain of the Nidānas which does not find a place in the Nidāna-Suttanta. This is the schematized, or abstract formula of the whole sequence, showing the logic of it without the contents — 'That being thus, this comes to be, from the coming to be of that, this arises. That being absent, this does not happen, from the cessation of that, this ceases.' (M. II, 32.) In the other Nikāyas the scheme usually precedes the full formula, and in one case where the principle of the latter is called 'the Dhamma,' supersedes the formula. It is on all fours with the modern formulation of the law of causation — 'That every event is the result or sequel of some previous event, or events, without which it could not have happened, and which, being present, it must take place.'

The significant feature is this: — although the formula, as expounded in this Suttanta, ends in the usual way — 'Such is the uprising of this whole body of Ill' — the burden of the Dialogue is in no way directly concerned with Ill, pain or sorrow. In certain other passages, on the other hand, where the Nidāna-chain occurs, dukkha occupies the foreground. Thus in A.I, 177, the formula of the Paṭicca-samuppāda is rehearsed to explain the Aryan Truth of the uprising of Ill.

[43] In M. I, 190 the context of the formula is an exhortation by Sāriputta on the primary importance of a right attitude towards, and understanding of, the nature and causes of Ill, so that the brethren may meet persecutions — ills not due to their own ill deeds — with fortitude and serenity. In the Nidāna Saŋyutta of the Saŋyutta-Nikāya, all the contexts of the formula known to the compilers are grouped together. Of the ninety-three brief Suttas of which this division consists, only one-sixth of those in which the formula occurs, have Dukkha (or its opposite) for their subject. A slightly larger proportion of the Suttas (16) are so many statements upholding the truth of the evolution of phenomena by way of natural causation. That any being exists absolutely and eternally is at the same time denied. And that any being ever perishes absolutely is equally denied. Of the remaining Suttas, four, in which Loka, the world of sense-perception, is substituted in the Paṭicca-samuppāda for Dukkha, belong virtually to the foregoing sixteen. Seven are concerned with rebirth, eight are ethical exhortations to destroy Craving, and thirty-six emphasize the importance of mastering the principle of the Paṭicca-samuppāda. That holds the key to insight; to understand it is therefore the test of true knowledge and sound doctrine. This too is the point in Saŋyutta V, 387-9, where the formula again occurs. Once more, in the very strongly emphasized rehearsal of the formula in the 'Great Taṇha-sankhaya-Sutta' of M. I, 256, the doctrine there inculcated is not in any way hedonistic, sentimental or, directly, moral. It has nothing to say about Dukkha. It is a repudiation of the belief in any permanent, transmigrating intelligent principle (viññāṇa) in man, and the affirmation of the contrary view-that viññāṇa is a contingent phenomenon, a happening by way of cause and effect, something that 'becomes' and dies away.

Dukkha, on the other hand, and the causes of it — 'evam ... samudayo' — holds, in nearly every case, the last word in this notable formula. And according to the Buddhist records, as told in the preceding Suttanta, the fact and sequence of those causes dawn ever on the mind of every Buddha in response to the anguished questionings of his mind brooding over the misery of the world, and of the infinite living and dying in it.

Hence in trying to account adequately for the profound significance and high importance attached by the founders of Buddhism to the doctrine of the Paṭicca-samuppāda, we need to keep in view this dual aspect of it — that it is a way of explaining phenomena, and that the most interesting phenomenon [44] to be explained is that of Dukkha.[1] The latter standpoint is that of man as recipient or percipient, the former, that of man as intellective or interpreting.

Now if to this twofold aspect we add that of man as reacting, by will and deed, to his impressions and his interpretations, and take the Buddha's doctrine of the Eightfold Path, as the corresponding formula, we have not only the whole of Early Buddhism in a nutshell, but also just those points concerning which we find the most emphatic affirmations of Dhamma as Dhamma ascribed to Gotama —

'Both in the past and now do I set forth just this: — "dukkha and the cessation of dukkha."[2]

'Let us put aside questions of the Beginning and the End. I will teach you the Dhamma: — That being thus, this comes to be. From the coming to be of that, this arises. That being absent, this does not happen. From the cessation of that, this ceases.[3]

'There is a Middle Path ... discovered by the Tathāgata (discovered by none but a Tathāgata, S. V, 14) ... this Aryan Eightfold Path ... .'[4] This Path, my friend, is the religious life (brahmacariya).'[5]

These three central tenets are put, by our earliest and best authorities, in these or other words, into the mouth of Gotama himself at the very outset of his career, in his first sermon, as the doctrine of the Four Aryan or Noble Truths. And the Paṭicca-samuppāda, with its positive formula of uprising (Samudaya), and its negative formula of passing away (Nirodha), covers the ground staked out by the second and third of these Truths. It is frequently quoted in this connexion,[6] and its importance in the Dhamma is thereby made the more evident.

But the reason for that importance only becomes clear, when we look away from the dukkha to which the formula is [45] so often applied, away too from the antecedents of dukkha, and consider all that is implied in the Paṭicca-samuppāda by way of method and Weltanschauung.

If we persist in viewing either Dukkha or its causes as the 'secret' of the doctrine, we might omit the formula altogether, since the nature and cause and effect of each nidāna is fully taught in each Nikāya. Nor is the order of sequence the main tenet. Frequent liberties are taken in the Canon with both order and number of nidānas.[7] Nor finally could the arrangement of antecedents and consequences in an iterated rigmarole (convenient for oral transmission) appeal with the runic force of a Shibboleth to a movement of thought like that of Buddhism, any more than would the similarly arranged fragment of formula contained in the Sānkhya Kārikā have appealed, as such, to the followers of that school. No reformers who so carefully purged their literature of all the 'eulalic' reiterations of Om! Hari! and the rest, that so throng the pages of the Upanishads, would care a brass farthing for any 'accumulative jingle' accounting for things after the fashion of the widely spread pre-historic folk-rune, 'The cat began to kill the rat, the rat began to gnaw the rope,' etc. ... 'and so the old woman got home that night.' Evam etassa, etc.

It was not the fact of Dukkha, nor the fairly obvious conditions of birth and so on, leading up to it, that come as a revelation to each Buddha, beneath his Bo-tree. It was the process of samudaya and nirodha as a natural and universal law. 'Coming to pass! Coming to pass! At that thought there arose in me a Vision into things not called before to mind, and knowledge arose, insight, wisdom, light arose.'[8] Not uncaused and casually, nor by the fiat of Icvara — Indra, Soma, Varuna, Brahmā[9] — did events happen, painful or otherwise; not as Job and the Psalmist taught — 'God distributeth sorrows in his anger.'  For 'God is a righteous judge, and God is angry every day.'[10] Events came impelled by preceding conditions, causes that man could by intelligence and good will, study and govern, suspend or intensify.[11]

[46] Thus Buddhaghosa, in explaining the name Paṭicca-samuppāda,[12] points out that it excludes all theories of absolutism, nihilism, chance, irregular causation[13], and indeterminism.[14] And of such theories, it is concerning the implied rejection of the first two that he is most explicit. Namely, that there is no persistent ego reaping results in one life sown as causes in a previous life, and that it is not a different, an alien ego either, which reaps. The latter person (attabhāva) is the resultant, the creature, the 'evolute' of the former. Thus faithfully was the tradition of the Piṭakas preserved, wherein the view of viññāṇa a as a persistent ego was categorically contradicted in the words aneka-pariyāyena paṭiccasamuppanna (causally evolved in various ways). M. I, 256.[15]

Let it be remembered that the 'immanent' absolutism opposed by Buddhism was chiefly the Brahmanic theosophy. According to this, the ¢tman of the individual was not so much an efflux of the World-¡tman, as was the latter immanent in, and identified with, each man-soul. 'In the beginning this world was only Soul, in the shape of a man ... world-guardian, world-lord, this that is My Soul.'[16] 'My Soul' was therefore, in that theosophy, the personal First [47] Cause, and Final Cause. And hence the Paṭicca-samuppāda of Buddhism was as decided a negation of all teleology as was the theorem of Demokritus and his master Leukippus 'that nothing happens by chance, but everything through a cause and of necessity.[17]

Had the fates been kinder to the writings of the Atomist of Abdera, had the 'teleological reaction' not been led by two men of such extraordinary genius as Plato and Aristotle, it is conceivable that the whole philosophy, not to say the Dhamma, of the West, might hate flowed along a channel in which the influence of the mikros and the megas Diakosmos might have brought both that philosophy and that Dhamma more nearly parallel to the informing principle of the Paṭicca-samuppāda. As it happened, Europe learned from Athens compromise and comprehensiveness, learned to believe in a universe governed partly by necessity and partly by chance, learned to combine belief in unchanging natural law with belief in first and final causes.

And so gradually has the realm of regular, causal sequence encroached upon that of the casual and the arbitrary, that on no period in the intellectual development of Europe can we place our finger and say: — Here the concept of a universe governed, as to its every movement and happening, by natural causation, was brought home to the minds of men, — to the mind of one man. There is nothing resembling the intellectual earthquake caused half a century ago by that extension of the law of causation: the theory of evolution. Or was there some such milestone of rational development reached, when Demokritus formulated the philosophy of Atomism, and won renown as a great prophet and teacher of mankind?

In the history of Indian thought, on the other hand, we can point to such an epoch-making crisis, we can discern the significance of the law of universal causation breaking in on a great mind with a flash of intuition. The law, we read, stands as fundamental, whether Tathāgatas have arisen or not. But the Tathāgata penetrates and masters it, and delivers the knowledge thereof to the world.[18]

[48] No such crisis of thought is patent in the literature of the Brahmins, though that literature extends over practically the whole era of Indian culture. Those Upanishads which are ranked as the oldest show a naïf animism: those ranked later reveal thought attained to relative maturity,[19] But there is no evidence of a transition causing a mental upheaval. In the seventy-two stanzas of the S¢nkhya K¢rik¢, again, 25 per cent contain some consciously generalized affirmation respecting cause and effect. The abstract causal concept shows as a well-matured instrument of metaphysical thought. Throughout the Yoga Sûtra too we find allusions to causality as an abstract idea.[20] It is only in the Buddhist Nikāyas that we come up against the actual effort itself of the human mind to get at a more scientific view of world-order, — an effort which is marked with the freshness and vigour of a new fetch of intellectual expansion, and the importance and gravity of which is affirmed with the utmost emphasis, both in the earliest records and in the orthodox literature of ten centuries later.

The significance of the Piṭakas, as the vehicle of this evolutionary cry of travail and new birth, is not minimized by the objection, that a gospel promulgated by laymen (Khattiyas), and preached to the man in the street, would naturally regard, as truths new and wonderful, axioms which, to the more esoteric, philosophical schools of the day, were the commonplaces of dialectical metaphysic. For we have shown that, in the one case where such a school has preserved its ancient literature, we find books of pre-causational and post-causational thought, but nothing indicating that the conviction of a law of universal natural causation was taking birth. The aphorisms, constituting the oldest existing survivals of Yoga and S¢nkhya thought, reveal no inner evolution of philosophic progress, and no traces of early animistic culture such as appear in certain of the Upanishads. Most of the Jain literature still awaits it editor, but we have Dr. Jacobi's learned authority for it, that, in spite of an atomistic theory of some interest, its philosophy was crude, animistic and mere 'common [49] sense.' It is not likely therefore that the Angas which are still inedited will reveal any conception of causation possessing deep philosophical insight. Hence all early Indian literature, for which any such insight is claimed, except that of Buddhism, either shows both the child-like and the more adult stages of thought without the (supremely interesting) transitional stage, or else it has preserved only its more adult records, or else it never had any but adult records to show, i. e. it is later literature only.

Now in the history of philosophy, whether its concepts be sought in the cell and the academy of the originating seer, or in the reaction to his influence in thoughtful and earnest minds, nothing is more illuminating either for chronology or for interpretation, than to catch the intelligence in the act of ascending to a fresh vantage-point in its interpretation of the world —

... dhammamayaṃ, Sumedha
pāsādaṃ āruyha, Samantacakkhu ...
avekkhassu!
[21]

And since no auspicious day amid Egyptian or trans-Aegean ruins has brought back to us Leukippus or Demokritus, the Buddhist Piṭakas, by presenting this evolutionary moment, possess a unique interest for the historian of human ideas: not only in India, but in the entire world of culture.

 


[50]

XV. Mahā-Nidāna-Suttanta

The Great Discourse on Causation

[55] [1][wrrn][wlsh][than][olds] THUS HAVE I HEARD:

The Exalted One was once dwelling among the Kurus.[22]

Now a township of that country is named Kammāssadamma.

And the venerable Ānanda came to where the Exalted One was, bowed in salutation before him, and took a seat on one side.

And so seated he said to the Exalted One: —

Wonderful, lord, and marvellous it is, that whereas this doctrine of events as arising from causes is so deep and looks so deep,[23] to me it seems as clear as clear can be!'

[2][wrrn][wlsh][than][olds] 'Say not so, Ānanda, say not so!

Deep is this doctrine of events as arising from causes, and it looks deep too.

It is through not understanding this doctrine, through not penetrating it, that this generation[24] has become a tangled skein, a matted ball of thread,[25] like [51] to munja-grass and rushes[26] unable to overpass the doom of the Waste,[27] the Woeful Way, the Downfall, the Constant Round [of transmigration].[28]

[3][wrrn][wlsh][than][olds] 'If you, Ānanda, were asked:

"Is old age and death due to a particular cause?"

you should say:

"It is."

And to the question:

"From what cause is old age and death?"

you should say:

"Birth is the cause of old age and death."

'If you, Ānanda, were asked:

"Is birth due to a particular cause?"

you should say:

"It is."

And to the question:

"From what cause is birth?"

You should say:

"Becoming[29] is the cause of birth."

'If you, Ānanda, were asked:

"Is becoming due to a particular cause?"

you should say:

"It is."

And to the question:

"From what cause is becoming?"

you should say;

"Grasping is the cause of becoming."

'If you, Ānanda, were asked:

"Is grasping due to a particular cause?"

you should say:

"It is."

And to the question:

"From what cause is grasping?"

you should say:

"Craving is the cause of grasping?"

'If you, Ānanda, were asked:

"Is craving due to a particular cause?"

you should say:

"It is."

And to the question:

"From what cause is craving?"

you should say:

"Sensation is the cause of craving."

'If you, Ānanda, were asked:

"Is sensation due to a particular cause?"

you should say:

"It is."

And to the question:

"From what cause is sensation?"

you should say:

"Contact is the cause of sensation."

[52] 'If you, Ānanda, were asked:

"Is contact due to a particular cause?"

you should say:

"It is."

And to the question:

"From what cause is contact?"

you should say:

"Name-and-form is the cause of contact."

'If you, Ānanda, were asked:

"Is name-and-form due to a particular cause?"

you should say:

"It is."

And to the question:

"From what cause is name-and-form?"

you should say:

"Cognition is the cause of name-and-form."

'Thus then is it, Ānanda, that cognition with name-and-form as its cause;
name-and-form, with cognition as its cause;
contact, with name-and-form as its cause;
sensation with contact as its cause;
craving with sensation as its cause;
grasping, with craving as its cause;
becoming, with grasping as its cause;
birth, with becoming as its cause;
old age and death, with birth as its cause;
grief, lamentation, ill, sorrow and despair, all come into being.

Such is the coming to pass of this whole body of Ill.

[4][wrrn][wlsh][than][olds] 'I have said that birth is the cause of old age and death.

Now in what way that is so, Ānanda, is to be understood after this manner.

Were there no birth of any sort or kind whatever of any one anywhere —
that is to say, of gods to godhood,
of Gandharvas[30] after their kind,
of Yakshas after their kind,
of goblins[31] after their kind,
of humans to humanity,
of quadrupeds to the animal kingdom,
of birds to winged things,
or of insects to the insect-world —
were there no birth after the several kind of every one of these classes of beings,
then, there being no birth whatever,
would there, owing to this cessation of birth,
be any appearance of old age and death?'

'There would not, lord.'

'Wherefore, Ānanda, just that is the ground, [53] that is the basis, that is the genesis, that is the cause of old age and death, to wit, birth.

[5][wrrn][wlsh][than][olds] 'I have said that becoming[32] is the cause of birth.

Now in what way that is so, Ānanda, is to be understood after this manner.

Were there no becoming of any sort or kind whatever of any one anywhere, that is to say,
no coming to be of any sentient, formed, or formless being,[33]
then there being no becoming whatever, would there, owing to this cessation of becoming,
be any appearance of birth?'

'There would not, lord.

'Wherefore, Ānanda, just that is the ground, that is the basis, the genesis, the cause of birth, to wit; becoming.

[6][wrrn][wlsh][than][olds] 'I have said that grasping[34] is the cause of becoming.

Now in what way that is so, Ānanda, is to be understood after this manner.

Were there no grasping of any sort or kind whatever by any one at anything — that is to say,
no grasping at the things of sense,
no grasping through speculative opinions,
no grasping after mere rule and ritual,
no grasping through theories of soul —
then there being no grasping [54] whatever, would there,
owing to this cessation of grasping,
be any appearance of becoming?'

'There would not, lord.

'Wherefore, Ānanda, just that is the ground, the basis, the genesis, the cause of becoming, to wit, grasping.

[7][wrrn][wlsh][than][olds] 'I have said that craving[35] is the cause of grasping.

Now in what way that is so, Ānanda, is to be understood after this manner.

Were there no craving of any sort or kind whatever by any one for anything —
that is to say, no craving for sights, sounds, odours, tastes, tangibles or ideas —
then there being no craving whatever, would there, owing to this cessation of craving,
be any appearance of grasping? '

'There would not, lord.'

'Wherefore, Ānanda, just that is the ground, that is the basis, the genesis, the cause of grasping, to wit, craving.'

[8][wrrn][wlsh][than][olds] 'I have said that sensation[36] is the cause of craving.

Now in what way that is so, Ānanda, is to be understood after this manner.

Were there no sensation of any sort or kind whatever in any one for anything,
that is to say,
no sensations born of impressions received
by way of sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, or imagination, —
then there being no sensation whatever,
would there, owing to this cessation of sensation,
be any appearance of craving?'

[55] 'There would not, lord.'

'Wherefore, Ānanda, just that is the ground, the basis, the genesis, the cause of craving, to wit, sensation.

 


 

[9][wlsh][than][olds] 'Thus it is, Ānanda, that craving[37] comes into being because of sensation,
pursuit because of craving,
gain, because of pursuit,
decision[38] because of gain,
desire and passion[39] a because of decision,
tenacity because of desire and passion,
possession because of tenacity,
avarice[40] because of possession,
watch and ward because of avarice,
and many a bad and wicked state of things arising from keeping watch and ward over possessions: —
b1ows and wounds, strife, contradiction and retort, quarrelling,[41] slander and lies.

[10][wlsh][than][olds] 'I have said that many a bad and wicked state of things arising from keeping watch and ward over possessions,
blows and wounds, quarrelling and the like, come into being.

Now in what way that is so, Ānanda, is to be understood after this manner.

Were there no watch and ward of any sort or kind whatever by any one over anything,
then there being no watch and ward whatever,
would there, owing to this cessation of watch and ward,
be any coming into being of those many bad and wicked states of things?'

'There would not, lord.'

'Wherefore, Ānanda, just that is the ground, the [56] basis, the genesis, the cause
of blows and wounds, of strife, contradiction and retort, of quarrelling, slander and lies, to wit,
the guarding of property .

[11][wlsh][than][olds] 'I have said that watch and ward is because of avarice.

Now in what way that is so, Ānanda, is to be understood after this manner.

Were there no avarice of any sort or kind whatever in any one about anything,
then there being no avarice whatever,
would there, owing to this cessation of avarice,
be any appearance of watch and ward?'

'There would not, lord.'

'Wherefore, Ānanda, just that is the ground, the basis, the genesis, the cause of watch and ward, to wit, avarice.'

[12][wlsh][than][olds] I have said that avarice is because of possession.

Now in what way that is so, Ānanda, is to be understood after this manner.

Were there no possession of any sort or kind whatever by any one of anything,
then there being no possessing whatever,
would there, owing to this cessation of possession,
be any appearance of avarice?'

'There would not, lord.'

'Wherefore, Ānanda, just that is the ground, the basis, the genesis, the cause of avarice, to wit, possession.'

[13][wlsh][than][olds] 'I have said that tenacity is the cause of possession.

Now in what way that is so, Ānanda, is to be understood after this manner.

Were there no tenacity of any sort or kind whatever shown by any one with respect to anything,
then there being no tenacity whatever,
would there, owing to this cessation of tenacity,
be any appearance of possession?'

'There would not, lord.'

'Wherefore, Ānanda, just that is the ground, the basis, the genesis, the cause of possession, to wit, tenacity.

[14][wlsh][than][olds] 'I have said that tenacity is because of desire and passion.

Now in what way that is so, Ānanda, is to be understood after this manner.

Were there no passion or desire of any sort or kind whatever in any [57] one for anything,
then there being no passion or desire whatever,
would there, owing to this cessation of passion and desire,
be any appearance of tenacity?'

'There would not, lord.'

'Wherefore, Ānanda, just that is the ground, the basis, the genesis, the cause of tenacity,
to wit, desire and passion.

[15][wlsh][than][olds] 'I have said that passion and desire is because of decision.'

Now in what way that is so, Ānanda, is to be understood after this manner.

Were there no purpose of any sort or kind whatever devised by any one for anything,
then there being no purpose whatever,
would there, owing to this cessation of purpose,
be any appearance of passion and desire?'

[61] 'There would not, lord.'

'Wherefore, Ānanda, just that is the ground, the basis, the genesis, the cause of passion and desire, to wit, decision.

[16][wlsh][than][olds] 'I have said that decision is because of gain.

Now in what way that is so, Ānanda, is to be understood after this manner.

Were there no gain of any sort or kind whatever by any one of anything,
then, there being no gain whatever,
would there, owing to this cessation of gain,
be any appearance of decision?'

'There would not, lord.'

'Wherefore, Ānanda, just that is the ground, the basis, the genesis, the cause of decision, to wit, gain.

[17][wlsh][than][olds] 'I have said that gain is because of pursuit.

Now in what way that is so, Ānanda, is to be understood after this manner.

Were there no pursuit of any sort or kind whatever by any one after anything,
then there being no pursuit whatever,
would there, owing to this cessation of pursuit,
be any appearance of gain?'

'There would not, lord.'

'Wherefore, Ānanda, just that is the ground, the basis, the genesis, the cause of gain, to wit, pursuit.

[18][wlsh][than][olds] 'I have said that pursuit is because of craving.

Now in what way that is so, Ānanda, is to be understood after this manner.

Were there no craving of [58] any sort or kind whatever by any one for anything —
that is to say, the lust of the flesh,
the lust of life eternal
and the lust of the life that now is[42]
then, there being no craving whatever,
would there, owing to this cessation of craving,
be any appearance of pursuit?'

'There would not, lord.'

'Wherefore, Ānanda, just that is the ground, the basis, the genesis, the cause of pursuit, to wit, craving.

So now, Ānanda,
these two aspects [of craving]
from being dual
become united through the sensation
[which conditions them].'[43]

[62] [19][wrrn][wlsh][than][olds] 'I have said that contact is the cause of sensation.

Now in what way that is so, Ānanda, is to be understood after this manner.

Were there no contact of any sort or kind whatever between any one and anything whatever, —
that is to say, no reaction[44] of sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch or imagination —
then, there being no contact whatever,
would there, owing to this cessation of contact,
be any appearance of sensation?

'There would not, lord.'

'Wherefore, Ānanda, just that is the ground, the basis, the genesis, the cause of sensation, to wit, contact.'

[20][wrrn][wlsh][than][olds] 'I have said that name-and-form is the cause of contact.

Now in what way that is so, Ānanda, is to be understood after this manner.

Those modes, features, characters, exponents, by which the aggregate called 'name' manifests itself,: —
if all these were absent,
would there be any manifestation of a corre- [59] sponding verbal impression
in the aggregate called [bodily] form?'[45]

'There would not, lord.'

'Those modes, features, characters, exponents by which the aggregate called [bodily] form manifests itself —
if all these were absent,
would there be any manifestation of an impression of sense-reaction[46]
in the aggregate called name?'

'There would not, lord.'

'And if all those modes, etc., of both kinds were absent,
would there be any manifestation
of either verbal or sensory impression?'

'There would not, lord.'

'So that, if all those modes etc., by which name-and-form manifests itself were absent,
there would be no manifestation of contact?'

'There would not, lord.'

'Wherefore, Ānanda, just that is the ground, the basis, the genesis, the cause of contact,[47] to wit, name-and-form.

[60] [21][wrrn][wlsh][than][olds] 'I have said that cognition is the cause of name-and-form.

Now in what way that is so, Ānanda, is to be understood after this manner.

Were cognition not to descend[48] into the mother's womb,
would name-and-form become constituted therein?'[49]

'It would not, lord.'

'Were cognition, after having descended into the mother's womb,
to become extinct,
would name-and-form come to birth in this state of being?'

'It would not, lord.'

'Were cognition to be extirpated from one yet young,
[61] youth or maiden,
would name-and-form attain to growth, development, expansion?'

It would not, lord.'

'Wherefore, Ānanda, just that is the ground, the basis, the genesis, the cause of name-and-form, to wit, cognition.

[22][wrrn][wlsh][than][olds] 'I have said that name-and-form is the cause of cognition.

Now in what way that is so, Ānanda, is to be understood after this manner.

Were cognition to gain no foothold in name-and-form,
would there then,
in the coming years,
be manifested that concatenation of birth, old age, death and the uprising of Ill?'

'There would not, lord.'

'Wherefore, Ānanda, just that is the ground, the basis, the genesis, the cause cognition, to wit, name-and-form.

'In so far only, Ānanda,
can one be born,
or grow old,
or die,
or dissolve,
or reappear
in so far only
is there any process[50] of verbal expression,
in so far only
is there any process of explanation,
in far only
is there any process of manifestation,
in so far only
is there any sphere of knowledge,
in so far only
we go round the round of life
up to our appearance mid the conditions of this world:[51] — in as far as this is,
to wit,
name-and-form together with cognition.'

 


 

[23][wrrn][wlsh][than][olds] 'Now with declarations concerning the soul, Ānanda,
how many such declarations are there?'[52]

[62] Either the soul is declared to have form and to be minute, in the words:

"My oul has form and is minute."

Or the soul is declared to have form and to be boundless, in the words:

"My soul has form and is boundless;"

Or the soul is declared to be formless and minute, in the words:

"My soul is formless and minute."

Or the soul is declared to be formless and boundless in the words:

"My soul is formless and boundless."

[24][wlsh][than][olds] 'And in each case, Ānanda,
he ho makes the declaration,
makes it with regard either to the present life,
or to the next life,
or else his idea is:

"My soul not being like that,
I will refashion it into that likeness."

That being so, Ānanda,
we have said enough about the case
of one who is given to the theories that the soul has form and is minute, ...
has form and is boundless,
and so on.

'In so many ways, Ānanda, are declarations made concerning the soul.'

[25][wlsh][than][olds] 'And in how many ways, Ānanda,
when no declaration concerning the soul is made,[53]
is such declaring refrained from?

Either the soul is not declared to have form and to be minute,
in the aforesaid formula,
or the soul is not declared to have form and to be boundless,
in the aforesaid formula,
or the soul is not declared to be formless and minute,
in the aforesaid formula,
or the soul is not declared to be formless and boundless,
in the aforesaid formula.

[63] [26][wlsh][than][olds] 'And in each case, Ānanda,
he who refrains from making the declaration,
does not make it
with regard either to the present life,
or to the next life,
nor is it his idea:

"My soul not being like that,
I will refashion it into that likeness."

That being so, Ānanda, we have said enough about the case
of those who are not given to theories
respecting the form and dimensions of the soul.

'In so many ways, Ānanda, is there a refraining from declarations concerning the soul.'

[27][wlsh][than][olds] 'And under how many aspects, Ānanda,
is the soul regarded?

The soul is regarded[54] either as feeling, in the words:

"My soul is feeling"

or the opposite, in the words:

"Nay, my soul is not feeling,
my soul is not sentient";

or again:

"Nay, my soul is not feeling,
nor is it non-sentient;
my soul has feelings,
it has the property of sentience."

Under such aspects as these is the soul regarded.

[28][wrrn][wlsh][than][olds] 'Herein, Ānanda, to him who affirms:
"My soul is feeling"
answer should thus be made:

"My friend, feeling is of three kinds.

There is happy feeling,
painful feeling,
neutral feeling.

Of these three feelings, look you,
which do you consider your soul is?"

'When you feel a happy feeling, Ānanda,
you do not feel a painful feeling,
or a neutral feeling;
you feel just a happy feeling.

And when you feel a painful feeling,
you do not feel a happy feeling,
or a neutral feeling,
but just a painful feeling.

And when you feel a neutral feeling,
you do not then feel a happy feeling
or a painful feeling;
you feel just a neutral feeling.

[64] [29][wrrn][wlsh][than][olds] 'Moreover, Ānanda,
happy feeling is impermanent,
a product,[55]
the result of a cause or causes,
liable to perish,
to pass away,
to become extinct,
to cease.

So too is painful feeling.

So too is neutral feeling.

If when experiencing a happy feeling one thinks:

"This is my soul,"

when that same happy feeling ceases,
one will also think:

"My soul has departed."

So too when the feeling is painful,
or neutral.

Thus he who says:

"My soul is feeling,"

regards, as his soul,
something which, in this present life,
is impermanent,
is blended of happiness and pain,
and is liable to begin and to end.

Wherefore, Ānanda,
it follows that this aspect:

"My soul is feeling"

does not commend itself.

[30][wrrn][wlsh][than][olds] 'Herein again, Ānanda, to him who affirms:
"Nay, my soul is not feeling,
my soul is not sentient,"
answer should thus be made:

"My friend, where there is no feeling of anything,
can you there say:

'I am'?"'

'You cannot, lord.'[56]

'Wherefore, Ānanda,
it follows that this aspect:

"Nay, my soul is not feeling,
my soul is not sentient,"

does not commend itself.

[31][wrrn][wlsh][than][olds] 'Herein again, Ānanda,
to him who affirms:
"Nay, my soul is not feeling,
nor is it non-sentient;
my soul has feelings,
it has the property of sentience,"
answer should thus be made:

"My friend, were feeling of every sort or kind to cease absolutely,
then there being,
owing to the cessation thereof,
no feeling whatever,
could one then say:

'I myself am'?"'

'No, lord, one could not.'

[65] 'Wherefore, Ānanda, it follows that this aspect:
"Nay, my soul is not feeling,
nor is it non-sentient;
my soul has feelings,
it has the property of sentience,"

does not commend itself.'

[32][wrrn][wlsh][than][olds] 'Now when a brother, Ānanda,
does not regard soul under these aspects,
either as feeling,
or as non-sentient,
or a having feeling, —
then he, thus refraining from such views,
grasps at nothing whatever in the world;
and not grasping he trembles not;
and trembling not,
he of himself attains to perfect peace.[57]

And he knows that birth is at an end,
that the higher life has been fulfilled,
that what had to be done had been accomplishd,
and that after this present world there is no beyond!

'And of such a brother, Ānanda,
whose heart is thus set free,
if any one should say:

"His creed is that an Arahant[58] goes on after death"

that were absurd.

Or:

"His creed is that an Arahant does not go on ...

does, and yet does not, go on ...

neither goes on nor goes not on after death"

all that were absurd.

Why is that?

Because, Ānanda, whatever verbal expression there is
and whatever system of verbal expression,
whatever explanation there may be,
and whatever system of explanation,
whatever communication is possible
and whatever system of communication,
whatever knowledge there is
and whatever sphere of knowledge,
whatever round of life
and how far the round is traversed,
by mastery over all this
that brother is set free.

But to say,
of a brother who has been so set free [66] by insight:

"He knows not,
he sees not" —

that were absurd!'[59]

 


 

[33][wlsh][than][olds] 'There are seven resting-places for Cognition[60], Ānanda,
and two Spheres[61].

Which are the seven?

'There are beings differing in body and differing in intelligence,[62]
for instance, human beings
and certain of the gods
and some of those in purgatory.

This is the first resting-place for Cognition.

'There are beings differing in body
but of uniform intelligence,
for instance, the gods of the Brahma heaven
who are there reborn by means of the First [Jhāna][63].

This is the second resting-place for Cognition.

'There are beings uniform in body
and differing in intelligence,
for instance, the Luminous Gods.[64]

This is the third resting-place for Cognition.

[67] 'There are beings uniform in body
and of uniform intelligence,
for instance, the All-Lustrous Gods.[65]

This is the fourth resting-place for Cognition.

'There are beings who,
by having passed wholly beyond all consciousness of form,
by the dying out of the consciousness of sense-reaction,
by having turned the attention away
from any consciousness of the manifold,
and become conscious only of
"space as infinite,"
are dwellers in the realm of infinite space.[66]

This is the fifth resting-place for Cognition.

'There are beings who,
by having passed wholly beyond the realm of infinite space,
and become conscious only of
"cognition as infinite,"
are dwellers in the realm of infinite cognition.

This is the sixth resting-place for Cognition.

'There are beings who,
by having passed wholly beyond the realm of infinite cognition,
and become conscious only that
"there is nothing whatever,"
are dwellers in the realm of nothingness.

This is the seventh resting-place for Cognition.

'The Sphere of beings without consciousness.[67]

'Next to that, the Sphere of beings who neither have consciousness nor yet have it not.[68]

[34][wlsh][than][olds] 'Now there, Ānanda
in that first resting-place for Cognition,
of differing bodies and differing intelligences, —
to wit, human beings
and certain of the gods
and certain of those in purgatory —
think you that he who both knows what that state is,
and how it comes to be,
and how it passes away, —
knows too the pleasures of it,
and the miseries[69] of it,
and the way of [68] escape from it, —
think you that it were fitting for such an one
to take delight in it?'[70]

'Nay, lord.'

'And in those other six resting-places for Cognition,
and in those two Spheres, —
think you that he who both knows them for what they are,
how they come to be,
and how they pass away,
knows too the pleasures of therm,
and the miseries of them,
and the way of escape from them, —
think you that it were fitting for such an one
to take delight in them?'

'Nay, Lord.'

'But, Ānanda, when once a brother has understood as they really are
the coming to be
and the passing away,
the pleasures and the miseries of,
and the way of escape from,
these seven resting-places for Cognition,
and these two Spheres,
that brother, by being purged of grasping,
becomes free.

And then, Ānanda, he is called Freed-by-Reason.'[71]

[35][wlsh][than][olds] 'Now these, Ānanda, are the eight stages of Deliverance:[72]

Which are they?

[69] 'Having one's self external form, one sees [these] forms.

This is the first stage.

'Unaware of one's own external form,
one sees forms external to one's self.

This is the second stage.

'"Lovely!" — with this thought one becomes intent.

This is the third stage.

'Passing wholly beyond[73] perceptions of form,
all perceptions of sense-reaction dying away,
heedless of all perceptions of the manifold,
conscious of space as infinite,
one enters into
and abides in
the sphere of space regarded as infinite.

This is the fourth stage.

'Passing wholly beyond the sphere of space regarded as infinite,
conscious of reason as infinite,
one enters into and abides in the sphere of cognition regarded as infinite.

This is the fifth stage.

'Passing wholly beyond the sphere of reason regarded as infinite,
conscious of there being nothing whatever,
one enters into and abides in the sphere of nothingness.

This is the sixth stage.

'Passing wholly beyond the sphere of nothingness;
one enters into and abides in the sphere of "neither-consciousness-nor-unconsciousness"

This is the seventh stage.

'Passing wholly beyond the sphere of "neither-ideation-nor-non-ideation,"[sic]
one enters into and abides [70] in a state of suspended perception and feeling.

This is the eighth stage.

'These, Ānanda, are the eight stages of Deliverance.

[36][wlsh][than][olds] 'Now when once a brother, Ānanda,
has mastered these eight stages of Deliverance in Order,
and has also mastered them in reverse order,
and again, in both orders consecutively,
so that he is able to lose himself in,
as well as to emerge from,
any one of them,
whenever he chooses,
wherever he chooses,
and for as long as he chooses —
when too, by rooting out the Taints,
he enters into and abides in that emancipation of heart,
that emancipation of the intellect
which he by himself,
here in this present world,
has come to know and realize —
then such a brother, Ānanda,
is called
"Free-in-both-ways."[74]

And, Ānanda, any other Freedom-in-both-ways
higher and loftier than this Freedom-in-both-ways
there is not!'

Thus spake the Exalted One.

Glad at heart the Venerable Ānanda delighted in his words.

HERE ENDETH THE MAHĀ NIDANA SUTTANTA

 


[1] It is regrettable that later Buddhist teaching, yielding to this fact of 'interest,' obscured the great causal principle taught by Gotama, through the simile of a wheel, so as to include the vaṭṭa, or round of Saɱsāra. A ladder or stairway (nisseni), like that used to illustrate the way to see Brahma ('Dialogues,' I,308, Tevijja-Sutta), would have been more appropriate.

[2] M. I, 140.

[3] Ib. II, 32. Cf. ib. I, 190, where Sāriputta says — 'The Exalted One has said, that he who sees the Paṭicca-samuppāda, sees the Dhamma, and he who sees the Dhamma sees the Paṭicca-samuppāda.'

[4] Vin. I, 10.

[5] S. V, 15ṁ

[6] e.g. S. II, 14-16, 28, 29, 57-9, 108, 109, 129-31, A. 1,177.

[7] e.g. this Suttanta omits the first two. In 'Dialogues,' I, p. 53 (Brahmajāla S.), the first five are omitted, so also in S. II, 92. S. II, 101, instead of the usual order of the twelve nidānas, gives 3, 4, 2, 11, 12 only, and in this order. In M. I, 191, a different group of antecedents are said to have dukkha as their consequence — desire, attachment, indulgence, lusting after.

[8] See above, p. 26.

[9] See "Dialogues,' I, p. 310.

[10] Job xxi. 17, Ps. vii. 2.

[11] Cf. herewith Prof. Oltramare's 'La Formule bouddhique des douze causes' (Genève, 1909), which we have had the good fortune to read before going to press. 'Le Bouddha a voulu apprendre ... que la misère ne vient point à l'homme de quelque agent externe échappant à sa prise, et qu'elle n'est pas non plus inhérente à une substance immuable, ce qui la rendrait el1e-même incurable. ... Le Pratityasamutpâda est une tentative d'expliquer la qualité de la vie, sans qu'interviennent ni la notion d'âme, ni la notion de Dieu,' etc. And yet to these luminous remarks he prefixes the statement, that the Buddha certainly did not wish to affirm any formula of universal causality, since that theory n'intéresse que l'homme. To us it seems that precisely for this reason it would be the object of the quest of him men called the Naruttama, the Aggapuggala — the supreme Man — whocombined 'philosophical curiosity' or rather, insight, with the practical bent of a saviour of men.

[12] Visuddhi-Magga, ch. xvii.

[13] Visama-hetu-vādo. Warren translates this 'heresy of existences due to an over-ruling power.' Buddhism did virtually reject an Issara, but scarcely in such terms as those above.

[14] Vasavattivādo. Warren has 'self-determining existences.'

[15] Cf. H. Oldenberg, 'Buddha' (London, 1882). 'Where there is no being, but only becoming, it is not substance, but only a law, which can be recognized, as the first and the last.' The significance of the Paṭicca-samuppāda as the discerning of such a law has found adequate emphasis in this scholar's work.

[16] Brhad. Up. I, 4. 1; Kaush. Up. III, 8.

[17] Lange, 'History of Materialism,' I, ch. I. Demokritus flourished apparently about half a century after the Buddha's death. See also Vis. Magga XVII: 'the wheel of becoming is without known beginning, lacking both maker (kārako) ... such as Brahmā ... and percipient (vadako) "I. "For each consequent proceeds by reason of its antecedent.'

[18] S. II, 25.

[19] Cf. Aitareyya Up. 'The ¡tman deliberated: I will send forth worlds — he then formed the person ... he brooded over him, and ... a moulh burst forth like an egg' — with Çvet¢svatara Up. 'Should time, or nature, or necessity, or chance, or the elements, or the Person be considered as the cause?'

[20] In one passage (IV, 11), the statement takes the form of the negative part of the Buddhist formula. 'As the saŋkhāras are collected by cause, effect, substratum, and support, therefore through the absence of these, there is an absence of the saŋkhāras.'

[21] See preceding Suttanta, p. 39 of the text.

[22] The Kurus occupied the country of which Indraprastha, close to the modern Delhi, was the capital. See Rh. D. 'Buddhist India,' p.27ṁ

[23] "Water, muses the Cy., may be shallow and look deep like a pool black with the rotten leaves beneath the surface; it may be deep and look shallow, like the jewel-like translucence of Ganges water; it may be and look shallow, like the contents of a basin; it may be and look deep, like the ocean at the foot of Mount Sineru. But this doctrine is ever and only deep both in substance and appearance.

[24] The Greek ge)nnhma of the Gospels has much the same vague meaning as pajā — offspring, here rendered 'generation.'

[25] A more literal rendering than Warren's picturesque 'entangled warp ... ensnarled web: The similes are drawn from weaving cloth and making nets. The tangle is due to bad workmanship or the teeth of mice; the matting, to grease (kañjiyasuttaṃ), the ball resembling a bird's nest. Both similes are to illustrate the confused state of the popular mind, lost in fallacies of opinion, prejudice and superstition e.g. among the sixty-two heresies of the first Suttanta (Vol. I). Cy.

[26] 'When these are withering and cut in autumn, if gathered up in sheaves wherever they fall, it becomes difficult to extricate stalk from stalk and lay them in parallel order. (Cy.)

[27] Apāya. For the concrete meaning see above, Vol. I, p. 125. In the secondary sense the word is often — quite wrongly, rendered 'hell.' There is no hell, i.e. no existence of unending torment, in Indian thought.

[28] 'These four terms all refer to a change for the worse in rebirth, i.e. to one or other of the four infra-human grades of existence — purgatory, animal kingdom, shades or ghosts, and asuras or fallen angels.

[29] 'The Cy. is at no pains to explain here the staple terms in the chain of causation, the author having expounded them after his fashion in the Visuddhi Magga.

[30] 'The Cy., following S. III, 250, speaks of these beings as fairies residing in the perfumes given out by roots and other parts of trees and flowers, saying nothing of their 'celestial musicianship' (see Hardy, 'Manual of Buddhism,' 43), or of Sakka as their king (see Jāt. VI, 260).

[31] Bhūtā.

[32] Tattha bhavatīti bhavo. 'Here bhavo means one becomes' (so the Vis. Mag. opens its comment) — not atthi, one is. Burnouf, Oldenberg, Warren all choose 'existence.' Winternitz ('Religions-geschichtliches Lesebuch,' p. 236) has Dasein. But the mobile, plastic, evolutionary thing, ever in progress, that life appears as conceived by the Indian, fits ill in the more rigid Western metaphysic of Being. As Buddhist sponsors, possibly also as philosophers, we lost much when we dropped weorthan for becumen, and may envy our German colleagues with their Werden (see Mrs. Rh. D. in 'Buddhism,' March, 1904, pp. 389, 390; Rangoon). Moreover, according to the Vibhanga (p. 137) the bhava which is the cause of birth is not only uppattibhavo, — the becoming which is 'coming into sentient being' of some sort — but also kammabhavo, or the generating of effective actions, effective in good or bad results, or in result which is 'beyond good and bad,' viz. meritorious activity, demeritorious activity, and 'unmoved' or 'static activity' (āneñjabhisankhāro). 'Existence' fits here still worse.

[33] These three exhausted, for the Buddhist, the living universe. See Dh. S., ĪĪ 1281-6 (Trans., p. 334).

[34] Upādāna. See preceding Suttanta, II, 18, and the note there.

[35] Taṇhā. Usually translated 'thirst,' but not used to express physical thirst in the Piṭakas. Dr. Neumann sometimes uses the equivalent (to craving) — Begier. Winternitz has Gier.

[36] Vedanā, which is usually, in the Piṭakas, resolved into feeling, pleasurable, painful, neutral, is here explained in terms of sense reaction to contact. Now the term 'feeling,' in its widest psychological meaning (namely, as consisting essentially in our being affected or acted upon), is able to bear this connotation as well as the more emotional aspect. But since we have the alternative term 'sensation," since Buddhaghosa himself emphasizes the different aspect: dvārato vedanā vuttā ('the vedanā mentioned refers to sense,' Vis. Mag.), — and since other translators are unanimous in using 'sensation,' this rendering is followed here. In Sum. Vil., Buddhaghosa characterizes the term in this passage as vipāka-vedanā, 'resultant vedanā.'

[37] This and the nine following sections constitute a digression in the exposition of the chain which is thus explained by the Cy. Craving may be considered under two aspects; — There is the primordial craving which is the root or base of transmigration (vaṭṭa-mūla-bhūtā purima-taṇhā),and there is craving as manifested in conduct (samudācāra-taṇhā). The former, with the remaining links, is now put aside, 'as if one were putting a clamorous person out of the road, hitting him on the back and seizing his hair.' And the latter is discussed under the twofold subdivision of craving in the quest, and craving in the found quarry — seeking and gloating over.

[38] Vinicchayo, explained as, deciding what to do with one's gains.

[39] Chandarāgo. From these selfish considerations volitions both weak and strong arise. Chando is weak passion (or lust, rāgo).

[40] Macchariyaṃ; the not suffering others to share.

[41] On tuvaṃtuvaṃ, see E. Müller, 'Pali Grammar,' p. 38.

[42] See Rh.D. 'Buddhist Suttas,' p. 148, n. 4. On the three kinds. The Cy. remarks, that the first, kāmataṇhā, means craving for the five classes of sense-objects, the second is the passion characterizing Eternalism; the third, that characterizing Nihilism (see 'Dialogues,' I, pp. 27, 46).

[43] 'These two aspects' (dhammā), i.e. according to the Cy., the two aspects of craving specified above, p. 55, n. 1.

[44] Samphasso.

[45] Rūpakāye adhivacanasamphasso. This and its complement the paṭighasamphasso in 'name' (rendered 'impression of sense-reaction') occur in the Vibhanga, p. 6, as two modes of saññā, or perception, the former being described as refined, subtle, delicate, the latter as gross, coarse, thick. If the psychological comments of Buddhaghosa on these two expressions in the Sammoha-Vinodani and the Sumangala Vilāsinī be a correct guide to the Buddha's utterance, then the passage under consideration reveals what would now be called a psycho-physiological standpoint of much interest. The' modes ... exponents' of 'name' are not physical expressions, but the processes of subjective consciousness, — feelings, perceptions, etc. The consciousness, bent back upon itself — piṭṭhivaṭṭakā hutvā — refoulée sur soí-méme — gives the name to what it finds. The modes, etc., of 'form' are the modes of sensation, by which 'form manifests itself' to the mind, — ' at the mind-door,' as the Cr. has it.

[46] See Dh. S., translation, p. 172, n. 1, 183, n. 1.

[47] i. e. of this twofold contact, as the Cy. points out, of mental object with mind-activity or mind, and of sense-object with sense-organ. Cf. Dh. S., ĪĪ 3-5, and translation, p. 5, n. 2. The former mode of contact is there called ceto-samphasso, manoviññāṇadhātusamphasso.

The Cy. sums up the relation, between nāmarūpa and phasso as follows: — In the channels of the five senses, sight, hearing, etc., by means of visual and other objects, are the 'form,' while the [other four] skandhas, brought into relation therewith, are the 'name'. Thus in a fivefold way is name-and-form the cause of contact. Moreover in the channel of the sixth sense (mano, ideation) its physical basis, — the heart — as well as such corporeal form as becomes its mental object, constitute 'form,' while the related states of consciousness induced, as well as such incorporeal form as becomes its mental object, constitute incorporeal form. Thus in saying that name-and-form is the cause of contact, we must also include contact that is mental (i.e. of ideas). Name-and-form is therefore in many ways the cause of contact. (On the heart, see Dh. S., translation, p. lxxviii; Pras. Up. III, 1, 5.)

[48] The animistic implication adhering to this term (okkamissatha; ava, down + \/Ḥkram, stride) would of course have no significance for Buddhist doctrine. Accordingly it is, in the Cy., paraphrased as follows: — 'having entered, so to speak, and staying (vattamānaṃ = the Latin idiom, versatum est), by means of conception, were not to keep going on.' The contradictory term, vokkamissatha, 'become extinct,' rendered by Warren 'go away again,' is paraphrased nirujjhissatha, and only signifies that the advent is in some way annulled. There is no concept of cognition, as a unity, descending from outside into the womb like a ball into a bag. At Saŋyutta V, 283 we are told of happiness descending on a man, and at Mil. 299 of drowsiness descending into or on to a man. So okkantikā pīti is a standing expression for a particular sort of joy. In each of these cases the bliss, or drowsiness, or joy is supposed to develop from within; and so also here of cognition.

[49] Samucchissatha, derived by Dr. Konow (J.P.T.S., 1908) from sam+ \/Ḥmurch, to thicken, and by him and Warren rendered 'to be consolidated.' So also Oldenberg 'Buddha,' p. 259; and Windisch, 'Buddha's Geburt,' p. 39. The Cy. has kalalādi-bhāvena ... missibhūtaṃ hutvā, 'become mixed with the embryo in its different stages.'

[50] Patho, literally, course, path.

[51] Itthattaṃ paññāpanāya, lit. for the making manifest thusness. Warren's rendering: — 'And it is all that is reborn to appear in the present shape,' — is beside the point, as well as free. Barely stated, the summary amounts to this: — 'Only through cognition, language and bodily form do we live and express ourselves.' The little paragraph contains a great part of modern psychology in the germ-state

[52] The doctrine of origin by way of cause having now been set forth, the following is, according to the Cy., an illustration of how 'this generation has become a tangled skein,' etc., as asserted above (Ī 1). These different impressions as to the nature of the attā (ātman), soul, or mannikin, are, according to the Cy., deductions from Jhāna experience. For instance, in the first 'declaration,' 'he who, on gazing at a particular kasiṇa' (one of ten kinds of objects for inducing meditative rapture); 'gets hold of an after-image where there is no expansion (avaḍḍhitaṃ), and of a consciousness that "it is the soul," declares that it, the soul, has form and is minute' — and so on. Comp. on the whole exposition above Vol. I, pp. 45 foll.

[53] 'Who are they,' asks the Cy., 'who refrain? All ariya-puggalā — noble-minded persons, learned persons: — those who know the Three Piṭakas (by heart), or two, or one, or even only one of the Nikāyas, and can discourse thereon, and are of alert insight. These take the kasiṇas for what they are, and, for them, the constituents of mind (the four khandhas) are such and no more.'

[54] These three forms of the 'individuality-heresy' amount to an interesting and metaphysically more discriminating statement of the oft-quoted theories identifying the soul or mannikin with one or other or the five Khandhas. (See Vin. I, 13 ('Vin. Texts,' I, 100); M. I, 138, 300; S. III, 66; IV, 34, etc.) According to the Cy., the second assertion is the identification with the body (rūpakkhandhavatthukā), which is usualIy placed first; the third assertion includes identification of the soul with the other three Khandhas — with, let us say, thinking and volition.

[55] Saṇkhata, con-fected, composite, the resultant of conditions. The soul, according to the then current animism, was considered to be unique, not a product, not causally modifiable through temporal or spatial conditions. The commentary explains saṇkhata as 'that which, having tnrough such and such causes (lit. doings) come together, is made.'

[56] All the MSS. agree in putting this answer in the mouth of Ānanda, instead of in that of the soul-theorist. And it would be quite like him to rush in, in this way, with his opinion. And so also below.

[57] Parinibkhāyati. Usually rendered 'he attains complete Nirvana' or 'attains Parinirvāna,' or even 'enters Nirvana.' The term is applied to the death of an Arahant, but it is also used to express perfected tranquillity, as in the case of a horse (M. I, 446), or of a man (M. I, 251; S. III, 54). Tradition, as represented by the Cy., did not associate the hour of death with the term, for it says, 'Having thus completely parinibbāna-ed (by extinguishing all evil) he goes on to reflect, " Birth is at an end,", etc.

[58] Tathāgata; perhaps it merely means 'mortal.' See M. I, 542.

[59] The argument in this paragraph seems to have appealed in a special degree to the early Buddhists, for it has been made the basis of a whole Suttanta, the Jāliya (which is itself repeated, occurring first as part of the Mahāli, and then again separately). The main point there emphasized is that the converted man will have gone so far beyond them that all such questions will have ceased to interest him. The two other Suttantas have been translated in full in Vol. I; but see especially pp. 200-5.

[60] The Sangīti Suttanta ('Dialogues,' III) and A. IV, 39, 40 also name seven. S. III, 54 gives only four.

[61] The Pali thus rendered is ṭhiti and āyatanaṃ respectively. The Cy. paraphrases the first by 'this is an equivalent for a setting-up (patiṭṭhāna) of viññāṇa.' Patiṭṭhānaṃ is the affording of a standing-place, resting-place, locus standi, or foothold for. Ṭhiti again, is the term for the central, static moment in any process, contrasting with two others in the same category, viz. inception and dying-out. 'Rest' is not satisfactory, but no English term suggests itself which exactly meets the requirement. For 'sphere' the paraphrase is simply: — 'nivāsanaṭṭhānaṃ,' dwelling-place, ... 'These are included to exhaust [the contents] of the Cycle (saŋsāra), for the Cycle goes not on merely by way of viññāṇa-resting places.'

[62] No two human beings, says the Cy., are ever exactly alike; even in twins that are undistinguishable in likeness of appearance and complexion, there will be some difference in look, speech, gait or carriage.

[63] Cf. Dh. S., ĪĪ 160 ff., 266 ff.; transl., pp. lxxxvii-ix, 43 ff., 72 ff.

[64] Ranking sixth in the heavens of Rūpabrahmaloka.

[65] Ranking ninth in the same.

[66] The Cy. refers the inquirer to the Vis. Mag. for further comment. Cf. next Suttanta, and Dh. S., ĪĪ 265-8; trans., pp. 71-5.

[67] Saññā perhaps awareness would be a better rendering.

[68] The Cy. here includes cognition with awareness, the extreme tenuity or refinement (sukhumattaṃ) of both being in this sphere such that it is as a zero point between presence and absence of either. See passage last cited in previous note.

[69] Or the peril of it (ādīnavo), i. e. the thought of its impermanence, changeableness, etc. Cy.

[70] This standpoint of insight into the limitations of all sentient experience when estimated according to its emotional or hedonistic values is claimed by the Buddha as a monopoly of his own doctrine, distinguishing it from other ethical systems. See his graphic exposition in the Great Suttanta on the Body of Ill; and the passages quoted under Yathābhūtam in the Saŋyutta Index (vol. vi).

[71] Paññā vimutto, i.e. says the Cy. 'emancipated without the aid of the following eight grades of deliverance' — by native insight. So PP. 14, 73. Here, as throughout, when paññā is rendered by 'reason,' it is but a pìs-aller. Paññā is really intellect as conversant with, engaged upon, general truths, and thus comes out as approximately Kant's Vernunft, and Reason as distinct from Understanding, a distinction very general in English and European philosophy. See Dh. S., transl., p. 17, n. 2. By 'emancipated' the Cy. understands 'having effected the non-perpetuity (in rebirths) of name and form.'

[72] Vimokhā. See the following Suttanta, p. 111 of the text; A. IV, 306, 349; Dh. S., ĪĪ 248-50; transl., pp. 63-5. Buddhaghosa's comments on the last citation are approximately the same as those on tbe first three stages here given. Here, too, he explains Release as deliverance from adverse conditions, so that the attention is sustained with all the detachment and confidence felt by the little child borne on his father's hip, his limbs dangling, and no need felt to clutch. In the first stage, Jhāna is induced by intense concentration on the colour of some bodily feature. In the second, the kasiṇa is an object external to one's body. In the third, consciousness of an uprising glamour (around or superseding the kasiṇa) of perfectly pure colour or lustre is meant. The aesthetic suffusion was held to quicken the sense of emancipation from morally adverse conditions analogously to that perception of ethical rapture induced by the Four Divine or Sublime Moods, described in the Mahā Sudassana Suttanta. The Paṭisambhidāmagga is again referred to by the Cy., viz. II, p. 39, in this connexion. The curious thing is that in reply to the question, 'How is there release thus: — "How lovely it is — with this thought he becomes intent?"' — the reply is simply and solely the Formula of the Four Sublime Moods.'

[73] The 4th-7th stages were afterwards known as the Four Āruppa Jānas, or the four Jhānas to be cultivated for attaining to the Formless Heavens (see Dh. S., ĪĪ 265 ff.).

[74] Ubhato-bhāga-vimutto i.e. freed both by Reason and also by the inteliectual discipline of the Eight Stages. According to a scholastic elaboration of the term, emanating from the Giri-vihāra of the great Loha-pāsāda (or Brazen Palace), 'both ways' meant the Four Jhānas and the Āruppa-jhānas. How this can be reconciled with this paragraph — confirmed by PP. 14 and 73 and by M. I, 477-8 is not stated. 'Taints' are the Four Āsavas, rendered 'Intoxicants' above, p. 28, n. 2.


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