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Twelve links of dependent origination

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* as causal links in the process of rebirth within cyclic existence (''samsara''){{refn|group=lower-alpha|The twelve links explain the process of rebirth and the arising of dukkha.<ref group=web name=brit1>Encyclopaedia Britannica. "Buddhism (religion)," Accessed 25 February 2011.</ref><ref group=web name=edu1>Peter D. Santina, Buddha Dharma Education Association. "Dependent Origination," Accessed 25 February 2011.</ref><ref group=web name=feldman2>Feldman, Christina. "Dependent Origination," Accessed 25 February 2011.</ref>{{sfn|Bhikkhu Thanissaro|2008}} }}
In either case, the relationship between the links (''nidanas'') is not considered to be a linear causal process, in which each link automatically gives rise to the next link. Rather, each link in the process arises in dependence upon multiple causes and conditions.{{sfn|Bhikkhu Bodhi|2005|p=316}} For example, in order for ''ice '' to be created, ''water '' is a necessary condition. But the presence of ''water '' does not automatically create ''ice''. Other conditions, such as a cold temperature, are required. In the same way, within the context of the twelve links, it is possble to prevent certain links in the chain from arising. For example, by developing ''wisdom'' in place of ''ignorance'', or ''non-attachment'' in place of ''attachment'', a link is removed from changing the chain, thus breaking the chain that keeps us bound in the repetitive cylce of birth and death. Thus, it is said, we become ''liberated'' conditions from sufferingwhich they arise.
For example, by developing ''wisdom'' in place of ''ignorance'' (the first link), a link is removed from the chain, thus breaking the chain that keeps us bound in the repetitive cylce of birth and death. Thus, it is said, one can become ''liberated'' from suffering. Within the Theravada Buddhist tradition, the twelve nidanas links are considered to be the most significant application of the principle of dependent origination. Within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the twelve nidanas links are graphically illustrated in the [[Wheel of Life]].
The Buddhist view asserts that while there is no external agent that controls our fate, there are causes and conditions that effect our lives. And these causes and conditions can be known and changed. Thus we have the capacity to change the course of our lives.
[[Ajahn Sucitto ]] states:
[The twelve links of] dependent origination is a profound teaching on how consciousness operates. It presents a series of twelve linked factors that shape and drive the heart, and thereby push us “unconsciously” into suffering. With the aid of this analysis, we can become conscious of this process and break the links in the sequence. It’s almost like cutting an electrical circuit. Anywhere we break it will cut the current and bring about release...
The current that propels the mind into suffering is made of two interconnected forces: ignorance and craving. In dependent origination, these forces act as the necessary conditions that support each of the twelve factors. However, the connection between the factors is not one of an inevitable causal sequence. For example, water is a condition for ice, but by itself doesn’t cause ice—that also depends on temperature. Then again having ears is one condition for enjoying Bach fugues, but it’s not inevitable that having ears will bring a Bach fugue into your mind. In a similar way, the conditionality of dependent origination carries the potential for [[dukkha ]] or its cessation. The essential point in this notion is that not all of these conditions in the sequence are inevitable; they can be changed, or not given a basis for arising, and will thereby bring around a release from suffering.{{sfn|Sucitto|2010|loc=Chapter 5}} }}
[[Thubten Chodron ]] states:
The purpose of this teaching is to put us in touch with our own experience, to help us look at our lives in a very different way than we’ve ever done before, to see that what we’re experiencing now is part of a cycle of many, many lifetimes.
Avidya , in the context of the twelve links, is a fundamental ignorance of the [[four noble truths]] and the delusion of mistakenly perceiving the [[skandhas]] as a self.
{{main|Six ayatanas}}
The six ''sense bases'' or ''sense spheres'' by which the outer world is perceived.  The ''six ayatanas'' are:*''eye sense facultybase'' (Skt. ''cakṣur-āyatana'')*''ear sense facultybase'' (Skt. ''śrotra-āyatana'')*''nose sense facultybase'' (Skt. ''ghrāṇa-āyatana'')*''tongue sense facultybase'' (Skt. ''jihva-āyatana'')*''body sense facultybase'' (Skt. ''kāya-āyatana'')*''mind sense facultybase'' (Skt. ''mano-āyatana'')
These internal sense bases are not the gross organs themselves (e.g., the eye, ear, etc.), but subtle matter within them.{{WOL intro inline}}
The coming together of three factors: the [[Six ayatanas|internal sense base]], the [[Twelve ayatanas|sense object]], and [[VijnanaEighteen_dhatus#Six_channels|sense consciousness (vijnana)]]. For example, ''sparsa'' (contact) is said to occur at the coming together of the eye sense base, a visual object, and the visual sense consciousness.
Steven Goodman writes:
{{quote|Once the direction of situational patterning has proceeded to the point of overt clinging, a process cess of becoming, termed bhava, is initiated. It refers to the new formation of karmic tendencies. It differs from samskara in its temporal reference. Samskara refers to tendencies encies from past situational patternings (lives) which act on the present situation. Bhava, however, refers to the creation of new habits and tendencies which will have their fruition in future experiences.{{sfn|Goodman|1992|loc=Situational Patterning}} }}
====Bhava: lifetime to lifetime====
Steven Goodman writes:
{{quote|This motif refers to the fruition of the last motif. It is the first appearance of new patternings, which may be seen in two ways. It refers to being-in-a-new-situation. It also refers to that which finds itself in a new situation. In a psycho-biological model, jati refers to the birth or emergence of a newborn being, appearing, according to the specific history of patterning, in one of six `lifestyles'.{{sfn|Goodman|1992|loc=Situational Patterning}} }}
====Jati: lifetime to lifetime====
Steven Goodman writes:
{{quote|In a psycho-biological model, jati refers to the birth or emergence of a newborn being, appearing, according to the specific history of patterning, in one of six ''lifestyles''.{{sfn|Goodman|1992|loc=Situational Patterning}} }}
Jeffery Hopkins writes:
The terms for the twelve links in the Pali language are as follows:
{|class="wikitable"! English! Pali
| 1. Ignorance || || (Pali: [[Avijjā]])
| 2. Mental formations/volitions || || (Pali: [[Saṅkhāra]])
| 3. Status consciousness || || (Pali: [[Viññāṇa]])
| 4. "Name" and "Form" || || (Pali: [[Nāmarūpa#Nāmarūpa in BuddhismNama-rupa|Nāmarūpa]])
| 5. The six senses || || (Pali: [[Saḷāyatana]])
| 6. Contact || || (Pali: [[Phassa]])
| 7. Feelings || || (Pali: [[Vedanā]])
| 8. Cravings/longings/desires || || (Pali: [[Taṇhā]])
| 9. Clinging to || || (Pali: [[Upādāna#Buddhism|Upādāna]])
| 10. Generation of factors for rebirth || || (Pali: [[Bhava]])
| 11. Birth || || (Pali: [[Jati (Buddhism)|Jāti]])
| 12. All the sufferings || || (Pali: [[Jarāmaraṇa]])
Dīgha Nikāya, Sutta 14 describes ten links, and in Sutta 15 nine links are described, but without the six sense{{nbhyph}}bases.<ref>Walshe 1996, page 202.</ref>
==Modern academic research==
Some modern scholars have noted inconsistencies in the list, and regard it to be a later synthesis of several older lists.{{sfn|Gombrich|2009}}{{sfn|Shulman|2008}}{{sfn|Jones|2009}}
Contemporary scholar [[Joanna Jurewicz]] has suggested the Buddha was referencing Vedic cosmology when he spoke of the links.{{sfn|Jurewicz|2000}}{{sfn|Gombrich|2009}}{{sfn|Jones|2009}}
:"Without denying the mainstream interpretation, she has shown that the links are in the order that they are and are the specific links that they are, because again, the Buddha was taking off from Vedic cosmology."<ref>{{Citation|last1=Gombrich (b)|first1=Richard|title=Interview by Kathleen Gregory|url=|}}</ref>
:"Recent work by Vedic scholar Joanna Jurewicz, however, suggests that originally the twelve nidānas were a parody of Vedic cosmogony. This scholarship opens the way for renewed exegesis of ''paṭiccasamuppāda'' liberated from Indian Buddhist metaphysics."{{sfn|Jones|2009}}
==See also==
* {{Citation| last =Geshe Sonam Rinchen| year =2006| title =How Karma Works: The Twelve Links of Dependent Arising| publisher =Snow Lion}}
* {{Citation| last =Geshe Tashi Tsering| year =2006| title =Buddhist Psychology: The Foundation of Buddhist Thought| publisher =Wisdom}}
* {{Citation | last =Gombrich | first =Richard | year =2009 | chapter =Chaper 9. Causation and non-random process | title =What the Buddha Thought | publisher =Equinox}}
* {{Citation | last =Goodman | first =Steven D. | year =1992 | chapter =Situational Patterning: Pratītyasamutpāda|title= Footsteps on the Diamond Path (Crystal Mirror Series; v. 1-3) | publisher =Dharma Publishing}}
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* {{Citation | last =Jones | first =Dhivan Thomas | year =2009 | title =New Light on the Twelve Nidanas | journal =Contemporary Buddhism, 10 (2)| volume =10 | issue =2 | pages =241–259 | doi =10.1080/14639940903239793 }}
* {{Citation | last =Jurewicz | first =Joanna | year =2000 | title =Playing with Fire: The pratityasamutpada from the perspective of Vedic thought | journal =Journal of the Pali Text Society |volume=26 |pages=77–103| url=}}
* {{Citation| last=Nanamoli| first=Bhikkhi| year=1991|title=The Path of Purification: Visuddhimagga|publisher=[[Buddhist Publication Society|BPS]] Pariyatti| location= Seattle}}
* {{Citation | last =Shulman | first =Eviatar | year =2008 | title =Early Meanings of Dependent-Origination | journal =Journal of Indian Philosophy |date=2008 |volume=36 |pages=297–317 | url= }}
* {{WOL intro source}}
* {{Citation | last =Thanissaro Bhikkhu | year =1997 | title =Samyutta Nikaya 12.2: Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta, Analysis of Dependent Co-arising | url =}}
[[Category:Buddhist philosophical concepts]]
[[Category:Twelve Links]]
{{WP content|Twelve_Nidānas}}
{{WP-Attrib-url||Wisdom Publications website|Wheel of Life, "Introduction"|authored by Tenzin Gyatso and Jeffrey Hopkins|[ CC-by-NC-ND 3.0]}}

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