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 [Dhamma Talk]


SN 2.12.25

Sariputta teaches Venerable Bumija who asks about who causes kammic consequences that it is in all cases contact that results in kammic consequences. This is repeated to the Buddha by Ānanda, and confirmed by Gotama and then Gotama goes on to explain that pleasure and pain corespond to the intent with which deeds of body, speech and mind are done. He further explains that intent can originate with the self or with another and can be done by the self either knowingly or without reflection.

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Index of Available translations: [SN 2.12.25]



On Kamma

When one reaches the point where one can see the ever-changing nature of all existing things, and one has not heard the thoughts, and seen that this is the way things are, that is:

"All own-made things change.

All own-made things are essentially Painful.

All things are not-self."

one can come to confusion as to 'who' originates and 'who' experiences deeds and their results.

The opinions can be formed:
"One being does the deed, another experiences the result."
"One and the same being does the deed and experiences the result."
"Both the self and another do the deed and experience the result."
"Neither the self nor another do the deed or experience the result."

SN 2.12.25 clarifies the issues: What is actually the case is that the doing of a deed and the experience of the result are both results of connection (phassa, touch, contact).

Where there are deeds of body, speech, and mind, identified-with consequences are experienced in the form of sensations of pleasure or pain or sensation that is neither painful nor pleasant. Ignorance results in connection to the doing of deeds of body, speech and mind. Connection to the deed results in connection to, being identified with, the experience.

Deeds are instigated connected to (consequent upon) ignorance of the painful consequences.

Deeds are instigated either by the self, or by another. In either case the deed results in being connected to, being identified with, the experience.

Deeds are instigated with self-awareness, or without self-awareness. In either case the deed results in being in connected to, being identified with, the experience.

This is the explanation of the short and long forms of the Paticca Samuppada:

This being, that becomes.

Connected to ignorance there is connection to own-makng,
connected to own-making there is connection to (identification with) consciousness,
connected to consciousness there is connection to name/form,
connected to name/form there is connection to the six sense realms,
connected to the six sense realms there is connection,
connected there are identified-with sensations of pleasure or pain or neither pain nor pleasure arising from sense-experience, and taking form in accordance with the intent connected with the doing of the deed whether done to cause pain, to cause pleasure or to end kamma, and in magnitude relative to the detachment of the doer, the usefulness for detachment of the deed, and the detachment of the recipient of the deed,
connected to sensations there is connection to hungers, (to get, to get away from, to attain Nibbāna)
connected to hungers there is connection to the thinking and pondering, the wishing and wanting, the dreaming of, mooning after, desire for, grasping after, the getting bound up in and to, the intending to get that fuels the fire of existence,
connected to the fuel there is connection to existence,
connected to existence there is connection to birth,
connected to birth there is connection to aging, sickness and death,
grief and lamentation,
pain and misery,
and despair.

From the ending of this, the ending of that.

From the disconnection from ignorance, from seeing things as they are there is disconnection from own-making,
disconnected from own-making there is disconnection from (identified-with) consciousness,
disconnected from (identified-with) consciousness there is disconnection from name/form,
disconnected from name/form, there is disconnection from the six sense-realms,
disconnected from the six sense-realms, there is disconnection from contact,
disconnected from contact there is disconnection from sensations of pleasure or pain or neither pain nor pleasure,
disconnected from sensations there is disconnection from hungers,
disconnected from hungers there is disconnection from fueling the fire,
disconnected from fueling the fire there is disconnection from existence,
disconnected from existence there is disconnection form birth,
disconnected from birth there is disconnection from aging, sickness and death,
grief and lamentation,
pain and misery,
and despair.

Viewing the Paṭicca Samuppada this way, we should go back and revise our thinking of the translation of the P.S. as it is usually put, that is that what nidāna, 'down-bound' (literally); and piṭacca 'rebounding off', 'resulting in,' 'depending on'; means is 'being tied up to or connected to', that is 'identified with'; and what 'arises' means is that there being such a connection to a thing, there is the 'own-arising' — an identified-with-arising — (saɱ-upada) of such. This accounts for the otherwise usually unaccounted for 'saɱ'.

Think of an un-identified with consciousness identifying with consciousness of named-forms, acting to create further identified-with experience and identifying with the resulting phenomena. Think of it as the world occurring and rolling on in front of this unidentified-with consciousness and that a big mistake was made in identifying with that world and an individual in it (contacting it) and which can be corrected only by letting go of this identification (this contact).

The translations have been conditioning us to view the Paṭicca Samuppada from within the personal world, rather than as a process that is occuring externally. This sutta does much to break down that conditioning.

As Ānanda puts it: It is marvelous to think that this whole Damma could be summed up in this one idea that the origin of Pain is Contact. That is, identification with the world and an individual in it.




See also SN 2.12.35,36,37

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