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Pratityasamutpada

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Overview
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'''Pratityasamutpada''' ([[Sanskrit]]: ''pratītyasamutpāda''; [[Pāli]]: ''paṭiccasamuppāda''), commonly translated as '''dependent origination''' or '''dependent arising''', is the principle that all things arise in dependence upon multiple causes and conditions; nothing conditions–nothing exists as a singular, independent entity.
The term is used in the Buddhist teachings in two senses:
* The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions states: "A key concept in Buddhism...states that all physical and mental manifestations which constitute individual appearances are interdependent and condition or affect one another, in a constant process of arising and ceasing."{{sfn|Bowker|1997}}
* Nan Huai-Chin states: "Buddhist ontology points out that all relative phenomena arise and disappear through processes of cause and effect: this is called "interdependent origination" (Sanskrit: ''pratityasamutpada''; in Chinese ''yuan ch'i''). Accordingly, all such phenomena are dependent on the (temporary) linking of causal factors that bring them into existence and maintain them, and thus they have no stable, absolute identities independent of the web of causation. Lacking absolute independent entities they are said to be inherently empty".{{sfn|Nan Huai-Chin|1994}}
* Paul Williams states: "In the ''[[Mahatanhasankhaya Sutta]]'' the Buddha [stresses] that things originate in dependence upon causal conditioning, and this emphasis on causality describes the central feature of Buddhist ontology. All elements of samsara exist in some sense or another relative to their causes and conditions.{{sfn|Williams|2002|p=64}}
}}{{refn|group=lower-alpha|''Pratityasamutpada'' can also be described as follows: that all phenomena are arising together in a mutually interdependent web of cause and effect. When one cause changes or disappears, the resulting object or phenomenon will also change or disappear, as will the objects or phenomena depending on the changing object or phenomenon.}} A traditional example used in Buddhist texts is of three sticks standing upright and leaning against each other and supporting each other. If one stick is taken away, the other two will fall to the ground. Thich Nhat Hanh explains:{{sfn|Thich Nhat Hanh|1999|p=221-222}}
: ''Pratitya samutpada'' is sometimes called the teaching of cause and effect, but that can be misleading, because we usually think of cause and effect as separate entities, with cause always preceding effect, and one cause leading to one effect. According to the teaching of Interdependent Co-Arising, cause and effect co-arise (''samutpada'') and everything is a result of multiple causes and conditions... In the sutras, this image is given: "Three cut reeds can stand only by leaning on one another. If you take one away, the other two will fall." For a table to exist, we need wood, a carpenter, time, skillfulness, and many other causes. And each of these causes needs other causes to be. The wood needs the forest, the sunshine, the rain, and so on. The carpenter needs his parents, breakfast, fresh air, and so on. And each of those things, in turn, has to be brought about by other causes and conditions. If we continue to look in this way, we'll see that nothing has been left out. Everything in the cosmos has come together to bring us this table. Looking deeply at the sunshine, the leaves of the tree, and the clouds, we can see the table. The one can be seen in the all, and the all can be seen in the one. One cause is never enough to bring about an effect. A cause must, at the same time, be an effect, and every effect must also be the cause of something else. Cause and effect inter-are. The idea of first and only cause, something that does not itself need a cause, cannot be applied.{{refn|group=lower-alpha|Thich Nhat Hanh also refers to this reality of mutual interdependence as 'Interbeing'.}}
* Joseph Goldstein states: "Everything arises from conditions, and in seeing this contingent arising, we see the emptiness of self in the process."{{sfn|Goldstein|2002|p=155}}
* Thanissaro Bhikkhu states: "...taking up the teaching of not-self, shows how dependent co-arising gives focus to this teaching in practice."<ref group=web name=than_great>Bhikkhu Thanissaro, [http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.15.0.than.html Maha-nidana Sutta: The Great Causes Discourse], Access To Insight</ref>
* Lama Zopa Rinpoche states: If the I really were in a particular location in your body or in your mind, as you feel it to be, it would mean the I is truly existent.In that case there would be no way you could use the logic of dependent arising because it wouldn’t be a dependent arising. In other words, if there were an I located somewhere in the body, in the mind or in the association of both the body and mind, if the I that appears to us were true, it would mean that the I is truly existent. If the I were able to be found somewhere, it would mean that it is truly existent. If the I were truly existent there would be no way to apply the logic of dependent arising to it because it wouldn’t exist in that way.{{sfn|Lama Zopa Rinpoche|2009|loc=Kindle Locations 945-949}} }} The concept of ''no-self'' or ''anatman'' or ''emptiness of self'' is that it is not possible to identify an independent, inherently existing self; that the self only exists in dependence upon causes and conditions. This theory can be broken down as follows:{{sfn|Mattis-Namgyel|2010|p=15-19}}
* If you look for the self within the body, you can not find it there, since the body itself is dependent upon its parts.
* If you look for the self within the mind, you can not find it there, since the mind can only be said to exist in relation to external objects; therefore the mind is also dependent upon causes and conditions outside of itself.
* Hence, since the self can not be said to exist within the body or mind, it is said to be "empty of inherent existence".{{sfn|Mattis-Namgyel|2010|p=15-19}}
===Emptiness (sunyata)===
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A classic expression of this relationship was provided by the renowned Indian scholar [[Nagarjuna]] in the twenty-fourth chapter of his ''[[Mūlamadhyamakakārikā|Treatise on the Middle Way]]''; . Nagarjuna stated:{{sfn|Geshe Sonam Rinchen|2006|p=21}}
{{quote|
Whatever arises dependently<br/>
That is not dependently existent,<br/>
For that reason there is nothing<br/>
Whatsoever that is not empty.{{sfn|Geshe Sonam Rinchen|2006|p=21}}
}}
Geshe Sonam Rinchen explains the above quote as follows: "Here Nagarjuna states the Madhyamika or middle way position. Everything that exists does so dependently and everything that is dependently existent necessarily lacks independent objective existence."{{sfn|Geshe Sonam Rinchen|2006|p=21}}
* [http://www.vipassati.ch/ebooks/paticcasamuppada Paticcasamuppada: Practical Dependent Origination by Bhikkhu Buddhadasa]
* [http://www.buddhism-dict.net/ddb/ Digital Dictionary of Buddhism]
* {{LH|http://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-masters/jamyang-loter-wangpo/dependent-origination-commentary|Commentary on Nāgārjuna's Verses on the Essence of Dependent Origination}}
{{Indian philosophy}}

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