- The Concept of Personality
Revealed Through The Pancanikaya
- Ven. Thich Chon-Thien
- Part One: General Introduction
- I.2 Chapter 2
- Dependent Origination as the
Ultimate Truth of Life
As usual, before coming to examine the
ultimate truth Lord Buddha Gotama realized in the sixth century B.C. it is worthwhile to
mention Indian society and thought before His advent.
I.2.1 : INDIAN SOCIETY AND THOUGHT BEFORE
THE ADVENT OF LORD BUDDHA.
Indian society is the one which gave birth
to one of the oldest civilization of the world. It was at first a "Bronze Age"
formed about 3,000 B.C. according to the archaeological information. The settled people in
India, such as Mundian, Sumerian,......, especially Dravidian, were possible to form an
agricultural civilization called the indus civilization. According to A.K. Warder, in his
book titled "Indian Buddhism" (Delhi 1991, p.17), this civilization spread
Eastwards into the Ganges valley and South-East across Gujarat. Its main centres were two
great cities, one in Punjab, and the other in Sindh. Mentioning the religion of Indus
people, Warder wrote:
"In religion the Indus people appear to have had a
cult of a Great God, some of whose characteristics suggest that he was the prototype of
the modern S ųiva (who has always been especially popularamong the Tamils): on the one
hand he seems to symbolize creation and fertility, on the other hand he may appear in the
role of an ascetic, or a yogi developing his supernatural powers". (1)
In the period of time from the 16th
century B.C. to the 13th century B.C., the Indus civilization came to collapse when the
Ariyan people possibly from the Caucasia (belonging to Armenia, U.S.S.R.) entered India.
They passed Hindu - Kush mountains, arrived at Punjab. Here the Dravidians firmly fought
against the Aryan, but they failed. The Ariyans turned to be influenced by the
agricultural civilization of the Dravidians; they followed the way of life of the
Dravidians, settled in villages, towns and cities. The Dravidian, on the other side, were
influenced by the thoughts of the Ariyan as nomads. These two civilizations were combined
and made up in a new one during the period of time of the "Iron Age", around
1,000 B.C. to 800 B.C..Regarding this historical event, A.K. Warder wrote:
"According to the archaeological evidence Aryan
people entered India at the time of the collapse of the Indus civilization (about 1,600
B.C.). In fact they were probably barbarian invaders who conquered the Indus people and
destroyed their cities. These Aryan spoke an early form of Sanskrit called
"vedic" after the earliest extant Indian texts (the Veda) which can at present
be read. The earliest of these Vedic texts of the Aryans were perhaps composed two or
three centuries after theconquest". (2)
Dr. Chandradhar Sharma claimed that:
"The Vedas are the oldest extant literary moment of
the Aryan mind. The origin of Indian philosophy, as an autonomous system, has developed
practically unaffected by external influences. Unfortunately our knowledge of the Vedic
period is, even to this day, too meagre and imperfect". (3)
The thoughts introduced in the Vedas,
especially in the Rig-Veda were therefore under the colours of the Aryans. They seemed to
have originated from the Caucasia of the very old days, from the places where the Aryan
nomads paused after they passed many mountainous regions, lonely deserts or immense
plateaus, in shining sky, heavy rains, snowy storms, or under the torches flickering in
late nights. Those thoughts are of the boundless and powerful universe which relates to
human beings. They became more and more practical and closer and closer to men when they
mentioned gods of earth, of trees, of cows of the Dravidians in the very old time of the
A.K. Warder added:
"During the period of the Paurava Empire the ancient
Vedic texts were collected, many more were composed, and older and newer texts were formed
into a Canon of scriptures collectively called the Veda. In actual fact there was not a
single Canon, but several recensions belonging to as many schoolsof priests....... The
canon is therefore the collected learning of the brahmans or priests. It consists of
poetry, songs, ritual and philosophy". (4)
There were a lot of changes in Indian
society in the beginning of the "Iron Age", so A.K. Warder continued:
"From the Veda effectively codified under the
Pauravas, and from the compositions attributed to this group of thinkers of about the 9th
century B.C., orthodox and conservative thought in India has since derived its religion,
its ritual, its philosophy, its heroic epic, its ancient historical traditions, its laws,
its geometry, its astronomy and its linguistic science. All this constitutes what is
generally known as "Brahmanism; as a civilization, a way of life, a religion and much
else. In a sense this formative of Brahmanism was a "heroic period" that of the
most famous heroes celebrated in the epic". (5)
Here, the earliest period of time of the
Vedas may be called the Vedic period, and the next period of time, when the Indian
thoughts became more practical and scientific, the Post Vedic period. The Indian thought
of these two periods are described clearly by Benimadhab Barua in his work titled "A
History of Pre-Buddhistic Indian Philosophy". It may be summarized as follows: (6)
-- At the early time of Indian culture, Vedic Sages opened
the pages of hymns mentioning cosmological problems and considering water as the original
matter ofthings. Then another question arose: What came into being immediately after water
before created things?
For this question, Aghamarsana, who was
known as the first philosopher of India, replied: that was the year, the time principle
which is the lord of birth and death.
-- Heranyagarbha said it was the Golden germ.
-- Narayana claimed it was Purusa. Etc.
Then, again another question was put up:
from what did water spring up?
-- Ghamarsana said it was from night or chaos.
-- Prajapati Paremesthin replied: I may know it, or
perhaps I may know it not.
-- Brahmanaspati claimed: it was from nothing.
-- Anila's answer was from Air element.
And so forth...
The philosophical questions gradually came
into being after the Vedic period of time. They became clearer and clearer, and more and
more scientific. This clearly tells us that the conception of selfness of things were more
and more emphasized. From the philosophical question asked from the early time of the
Vedas: How can I unite with nature, god or Brahman? came to the question asked by later
Brahmana teachers that: Who am I? (or Who is he?).
The answer to this question related to
metomophosis from a physical or organic man to a physiological man, then to a
psychological man, then to a metaphysical man, then lastly to a spiritual or religious
ethical man (7).
-- I am Naramaya: I am an individual being as all animals
on earth and all creatures of the air are. All organic or inorganic beings are formed from
Purusa (the Sun or the solar substance).
-- I am Annamaya (embryonic man): a man is composed of
food or five elements, produced from the essence of food digested by the father
communicated to the mother and established in the womb.
-- I am Pranamaya (physiological man): a man born of the
parents, brought forth by the mother, a living body, that is to say, a body imbued with
life, composed of food or elements nourished by food, reduced at death to an anatomical
man, a corpse dissolved hereafter into elements or returned to the physical world.
-- I am Manomaya (psychological man): is a conscious
individual who can perceive through the senses, who dreams, imagines, thinks, fells, wills
and who perceives duality and plurality among things.
-- I am Vijnānamaya (metaphysical man): a man who is
endowed with nothing but the inherent conscious sentient principle or soul, a thinker who
realizes the unity of cause in the variety of appearance.
-- I am Ānandamaya (spiritual or religious - ethical
man): a blessed soul united with divine. It seems to appear to us that early Vedic sages
lived very naturally and closely to nature - this relates to the way of life of the Aryans
as nomads -. The limit between man and nature didn't appear clear. Their philosophical
questions were therefore centered on "who is he?" and"How can I unite with
him?" But after that period of time, the Brahmana teachers turned to think and think
of the "I" (the first person), of the self of things as entities, then the
colours of Indian thoughts started turning practical - this relates to the settled way of
life of the agricultural civilization of the Dravidian. This is the reason why the author
of this work call this period of time of Indian philosophy the Post Vedic philosophy. This
period existed until the time when the six Schools of thought appeared.
Six Schools of thought under the time of
Under the time of Lord Buddha, the Masters
of the Six Schools of thought in India were best known. They all opposed to the doctrine
taught by Lord Buddha, and were classed by Buddhists as the Six Heretics or Sophists
(cha-titthiyā). They were known as Purana kassapa, Makkhali Gosāla. Ajita kesa -
Kambala, Pakudha Kaccāyana, Sanjaya Belatthaputta and Nigantha Nātaputta.
Purana Kassapa: (8)
He was known as a naked ascetic, died in
572 B.C...His doctrine, according to the Sutta of Samannaphala (Length Sayings, Vol.I), is
called Akiriyavāda, or Ahetuvāda (the doctrine of non-action). For him, when we act or
cause other to act, it is not the soul that acts or cause others to act. The soul really
is passive (niskriya), out of the result of good or bad actions - the reality is also
beyond both good and evil.
Makkhali - Gosāla (or Maskarin
In the Jaina Bhagavati sutra and
itscommentary,Makkhali Gosala theory is summed up as the doctrine of transformation, but
in Buddhist texts, Sāmannaphalasuttam, it is considered as "theory of purification
through transmigration (samsāra - suddhi). For this point of view, both fools and wise
alike will reach perfection by gradual transformation. All beings will attain, and must
attain, perfection in course of time.
Ajita Kesa - Kambala: (10)
His philosophy is materialism, it may be
called annihilationism or non-eternalism. He claimed that there is no individuality after
death. When a living body constituted of the four elements dies, earth element returns to
the earth, water to the water, heat to the fire, air to the air, and the sense faculties
pass into space. Everybody ceases to be after death.
Pakudha Kātyayana: (11)(orKakuda
Hisphilosophy is seen in
sāmannaphalasu-ttam as the doctrine of seven categories (satta - kāya - vāda); in Jaina
sutra Kritanga it is described as the doctrine of soul as a sixth (atma - sastha - vāda).
For his view, there is no act of killing, or hearing, knowing, or instructing in reality.
That is only the act of separating from one another the elements constructing their
organic unity. When a man with a sharp sword cleaves a head in twain, he does not thereby
deprive anyone of life, a sword only penetrated into the interval between seven elementary
substances. This way of reasoning is very dangerous. It can cause men to destroy ethics
and make disorder of society.
Sanjaya Belatthaputta (12):
Sanjaya Belatthaputta is classed by
Buddhist text as the best known sceptic. He was a master of Sāriputta, the chief of
disciples of Lord Buddha, before the latter became a disciple under the guidance of Lord
Buddha. His doctrine is known as Agnostics, Sceptics or Eel Wrigglers. Lord Buddha says,
when Sanjaya and his disciples are asked a question on this or that, they equivocate and
wriggle like an eel and their reason will fall into one or another or all of the following
Case 1 and 2:
We neither know the good (kusala) nor the evil (akusala)
as it really is. In such case, if we make a positive declaration either with regard to
good or evil, we may be led away by conceit or pride, or influenced by ill-will and
resentment. Under these conditions we may be proved wrong, and that may cause us the pain
of remorse and ultimately a hindrance to the tranquility we aim at. Or in the second
place, we may fall into a grasping condition of heart (upādana) which will culminate in a
similar disturbance of peace.
Case 3 and 4:
We neither know the good nor the evil as it really is.
There are persons who are clever, subtle, expert, controversialists, hair splitters (vāda
- vedhi - rupa), who go about, as it were, shattering the dogmas of others. But we, on the
other hand, are dull and stupid. Hence, if we make a definite statement with regard to
good or evil, they may join issue with us, ask us for reasons, and point out our errors.
This may cause us as before, the pain toremorse and disturb our imperturbability. Thus,
fearing being wrong in an expressed opinion, the falling into a grasping condition of
heart, or the joinder of issue, we declare nothing to be either good or evil, but on a
question being put to us on this or that, we answer thus:
-- Is A B? -- No.
-- Is A not B? -- No.
-- Is A both B and not B? -- No.
-- Is A neither B nor not B? -- No.
Such is a reason of a wriggling eel !
Nigantha Nātaputta: (13)
Nigantha Nātaputta's doctrine is
described in Samannaphalasuttam as fourfold self - restraint. When he was asked by King
Ajātasattu that, "Can you, Nigantha Nātaputta, point to such a reward visible here
and now as a fruit of the homeless life?" Nigantha Nātaputta said, your majesty here
a Nigantha is bound by a fourfold restraint. What four? He is curbed by all curbs,
enclosed by all curbs, cleared by all curbs, and claimed by all curbs. And as far as a
Nigantha is bound by this fourfold restraint thus the Nigantha is called self-perfected,
All the above Indian thoughts, from Vedic
thought, were evaluated and classified in Buddhist text as follows:
-- Eighteen kinds of wrong view concerning
* Eternalism: 4 kinds of wrong view.
* Partly Eternalism and partly non-eternalism: 4 kinds of wrong view.
* Finitism: 2 kinds of wrong view.
* Infinitism: 2 kinds of wrong view.
* Eel wrigglers: 4 kinds of wrong view.
* Chance - originationism: 2 kinds of wrong view.
-- Thirty nine kinds of wrong view
concerning the future.
* Conscious post - mortem survival: 16 kinds of wrong
* Unconscious post - mortem survival: 8 kinds of wrong view.
* Neither - conscious nor - unconscious post - mortem survival: 8 kind of wrong view.
* Annihilationism: 7 kinds of wrong view.
-- Five kinds of wrong view concerning the
* Claimer of nibbāna in the here and now: 5 kinds.
For those 62 kinds of wrong view, Lord
"This, monks, the Tathāgata understands: these view
points thus grasped and adhered to will lead to such and such destinations in another
world. This the Tathāgata knows, and more, but He is not attached to that knowledge. And
being thus unattached He has experienced for himself perfect peace, and having truly
understood the arising and passing away of feelings, their attraction and peril and the
deliverance from them, the Tathāgata is liberated without remainder. These, monks,
arethose other matters profound, hard to see, hard to understand, peaceful, excellent
beyond mere thought, subtle, to be experienced by the wise, which the Tathāgata having
realized them by his own superknowledge, proclaims, and about which those who would
truthfully praise the Tathāgata would rightly speak". (14)
(" Tayidam, bhikkhave, Tathāgato pajānāti:
"Ime ditthāna evam gahitā evam paramatthā evam gatikā bhavissanti evam
abhisampārayāti". Tanca Tathāgato pajānāti, tatoca uttaritaram pajānāti, tanca
pajānanam na parāmasati, aparāmasato c'assa paccattam yeva nibbuti viditā, vedanāna
samudayanca atthagamanca assādanca ādiėnavanca nissarananca yathābhuųtam viditvā
anupādā vimutto, bhikkhave, Tathāgato.
" Ime kho te, bhikkhave, dhammā gambhiėrā duddasā
duranubodhā santā panitā atakkāvacarā nipunā panditavedaniėyā ye Tathāgato sayam
abhinnā sacchikatvā pavedeti, yehi Tahtāgatassa yathābhuccam vannam sammā vadamānā
Evaluation of Indian thought by Indian
thinkers: S. Radhakrishnan, a contemporary Indian thinker, gives an evaluation of Indian
thoughts in his work titled "Indian philosophy" that :
" The Indian never felt that the world was a field of
battle where men struggled for power,wealth and domination. When we do not need to waste
ourenergies on problems of life on earth, exploiting nature and controlling the forces of
the world, we begin to think of the higher life, how to live more perfectly in the spirit.
Perhaps an enervating climate inclined the Indian to rest and retirement. The huge forests
with their wide leafy avenues afforded great opportunities for the devout soul to wander
peacefully through them, dream strange dreams and burst forth into joyous songs... It was
in the asramas and tapovanas or forest hermitages that the thinking men of India meditated
on the deeper problems of existence". (16)
S. Radhakrishnan added:
" The philosophic attempt to determine the nature of
reality may start either with thinking self or the objects of thought. In India the
interest of philosophy is in the self of man where the vision is turned outward, the rush
of Fleeting events engages the mind. In India " Atmamam viddhi", know the self,
sums up the law and the prophets. Within man is the spirit that is the center of
...Indian psychology realized the value of concentration
and looked upon it as the means for the perception of the truth". (17)
S. Radhakrishnan's comments, as quoted
above, are so clear and interesting.
Generally, the essence of Indian thought
is so. On the basis of that thought, the author thinks, a good courseof Indian education
might be built.
Ancient Indian education:
Let's now follow the assessment of S.D.
Dev, in his book entitled "Education and Career":
" The Vedas construed man a spark of the divine,
potential God. Education made man the meeting point of Heaven and Earth. In the
Upanishadic language the task of education was to draw out the lustre of the heavenly fire
and to fill the Earth with it. According to Badarayana of the Brahma Sutra the purpose of
education was to produce men of wisdom, holiness and sanctity... Aim of education in
Ancient India has, however, been character building to increase strength of mind with a
view to expand one's intellect, to enable the people to stand on their own feet and to
produce men of wisdom, holiness and sanctity". (18)
S.D. Dev also wrote:
" The Indian seers clearly perceived that education
is necessary for man to lead an ideal life. Aim of education in ancient India was to train
the boys and girls to take initiative, to accept discipline, responsibility and
leadership, to behave, to appreciate the difference between right and wrong and be
familiar with accepted social and moral codes of behaviour and finally to possess a
healthy sense of the richness of his country's past history, to enable him to serve his
fellow men and women...
The illumination, insight and guidance whicheducation
gives to us effects a complete transformation. "If one human being is superior to
another", says a Vedic thinker, "It is not because he possesses an extra hand or
eye, but because his mind and intellect are sharpened and rendered more efficient by
education. Devoid of education, says Bhartrihari, we are mere beasts; education elevates
us into human beings. Life without education is, therefore, utterly futile and
From what S. Radhakrishnan and S.D. Dev
expressed, as quoted above, the author recognizes that the central point of the thought
and education of ancient India lies in the self of human being where exists wisdom or the
spirit that is the center of everything. This is also a crucial point, in the author's
opinion, opening a new course of modern education or culture for peace and happiness of
men. However, "What is that true self", and "how to cultivate, or produce,
wisdom from that true self" are other problems. It is the same for the way of
meditation: one may ask: What is that way of meditation? What people could get from it?
The right answer for those questions still existed as a dream of India until the time when
Lord Buddha Gotama attained Enlightenment under the "Bodhi - tree" at Bodh Gaya.
Then the great dream of great India really came true.
As the discourse of Brahmajāla said, the
Indian sages and thinkers were obsessed by their attachment to knowledges and feelings
therefore they couldn't know and see truth and the Way to Truth. Only Lord Buddha did not
attach to His knowledge and feeling, so He realized Truth, Enlightement. This fact will be
examined in next part.
I.2.2 : LORD BUDDHA'S WAY TO THE NOBLE
About Lord Buddha Gotama:
The man who realized Noble Truth and
became the Buddha was the prince, Siddhattha by name. He was born in 624 B.C. according to
the source of information taken from the World Buddhist Conference held in Tokyo in 1952 -
at the park Lumbini in the Kingdom of Nepal of today. His father, Suddhodana, belonging to
Khattiya social class, Sākya family, was the king of Kapilavatthu. His mother, the queen
Mahāmāyā, died a week after giving birth to Him. Right after the birth, a wise sage,
named Asita, read His body and foretold in general that: there were thirty two special
marks on His tiny body which say that He would lead His homeless life as a wandering monk
and would become a fully - enlightened Buddha, a teacher of Gods and Men.
The discourse of Nālaka of Suttanipāta
(Khuddakanikāya Collection) recorded Asita's words as follows:
-- Then remembering his own migration he was displeased
and shed tears; seeing this the sakyas asked the weeping Isi whether there would be any
obstacle in the prince's path ?". (20)
(" Ath' attano gamanam anussaranto akalyaruøpo
galayati assukāni, disvāna Sakyā isim avocumrudantam: "no ce kumāre bhavissati
-- "Seeing the Sakyas displeased the Isi said: I do
not remember anything (that will be) unlucky for the prince, there will be no obstacles at
all for Him, for this is no inferior (person). Be without anxiety". (22)
(" Disvāna Sakye isimavoca akalye: "nāham
kumāre ahitam anussarāmi, na cāpi - m - assa bhavissati antarāyo, na orak' āyam,
adhimanasā bhavātha".) (23)
-- "This prince will reach the summit of perfect
enlightenment. He will turn the wheel of the Dhamma, he who sees what is exeedingly pure
(i.e. Nibbāna), this prince feels for the welfare of the multitude,and his religion will
be widely spread". (24)
(" Sambodhiyaggam phusissat' āyam kumāro, so
dhammacakkam paramavisuddhadassė vattes' āyam bahujanahitānukampi, vitthārik
assa bhavissati brahmacariyam".) (25)
-- "My life here will shortly be at an end, in the
middle (of His life) there will be a death for me; I shall not hear the Dhamma of the
incomparable one, therefore I am afflicted, unfortunate and suffering". (26)
(" Mamanca āyu na ciram idhāvaseso, ath' antarā me
bhavissati kālakiriyā, so' ham na sussam asmadhurassa dhammam, ten' amhi atto
vyasanagato aghāvė".) (27)
Siddhattha grew up to be a very splendid
young man, was good at His studies, excellent at all kinds of sportsand martial arts, was
very handsome, just and kind. He married Yasodharā, the most beautiful girl of His time,
when he was eighteen years of age. His only son, Rāhula, was born when He was twenty nine
years of age.
Siddhattha made four fateful trips to the
outside world, out of the Kingdom. On the first trip, He met an old man; on the second, a
sick man; on the third, a corpse being carried away to be cremated on the burning ghat;
and on the fourth, a wandering holy monk. He did receive a vital shock on the above trips
which made Him come to the most important decision of His life: He left His throne for
leading His life as a wandering ascetic monk to look for truth. He was twenty nine years
He came to study under two most
distinguished Samana teachers of the time: Ālāra Kālāma and Uddaka Rāmaputta. Ālāra
kākāma taught Him how to attain the jhāna of Nothingness; Uddaka Rāmaputta taught Him
how to attain the jhāna of Neither perception nor non - perception. He obtained in a
short period of time what Alāra and Uddaka obtained, but He was still unsatisfied with
His attainment, because He knew he was then hindered by ignorance (avijjā)
Siddhattha then went into the jungle near
Uruvelā and practised the forms of asceticism with the sage Kondanna and his four
friends. He spent six years living alone and naked in forests, slept on beds of thorns,
burned in the heat of midday sun, and suffered cold at night, until the day He starved
Himself into a state of extreme emasculation. In this period of time of
practisingasceticism, there were three thoughtful images arising in His mind once. They
were recorded that:
"Moreover, Aggivessana, three similes occurred to me
spontaneously, never heard before: It is as if there were a wet sappy stick placed in
water; then a man might come along bringing any upper piece of fire stick and thinking:
"I will light a fire, I will get at". What do you think about this, Aggivessana?
could that man,... light a fire, could he get heat ?" - No good, Gotama.
In like manner, Aggivessana, whatever recluses or
Brahmanas dwell not aloof from pleasures of the sense that are bodily, then if that which
is for them, among the sense pleasure, desire for sense pleasure, infatuation with sense
pleasure, fever for sense pleasure if that is not properly got rid of subjectively nor
properly allayed, whether these worthy recluses and brahmans experience feelings which are
acute, painful, sharp, severe, they could not become those for knowledge, for vision, for
the incomparable self - awakening, and whether these worthy recluses and brahmans do not
experience feelings which are acute, painful, sharp, severe, they could not become those
for knowledge, for vision, for the incomparable self - awakening. This, Aggivessana, was
the first parable that occurred to me spontaneously, never heard before.
Then, Aggivessana, a second parable occurred to me
spontaneously, never heard before. It is as if, Aggivessana, a wet sappy stick were placed
on dry ground, far from water...Then, Aggivessana a third parable occurred to me
spontaneously, never heard before. It is as if, Aggivessana, a dry sapless stick were
placed on dry ground, far from water,...
In like manner, Aggivessana, whatever recluses or brahmans
dwell aloof from pleasure of sense that are bodily, then if that which is for them, among
the sense - pleasures, desire for sense pleasures, affection for..., infatuation with...,
thirst for...,fever for sense pleasures - if this is well got rid of subjectively, well
allayed, then whether these worthy recluses and brahmans experience feelings that are
acute, painful, sharp, severe, indeed they become those for knowledge, for vision, for the
incomparable self - awakening; and whether these worthy recluses and brahmans do not
experience feelings that are acute, painful, sharp, severe, indeed they become those for
knowledge, for vision, for incomparable self - awakening. This, Aggivessana, was the third
parable that occurred to me spontaneously, never heard before". (28)
("Api-ssu mam, Aggivessana tisso upamā patibhamsu
anacchariyā pubbe assutapubbā: Seyyathā pi, Aggivessana, allam kattham sasneham udake
nikkhitam, atha puriso āgaccheyya attarāranim ādāya; aggim abhinibbattessāmi, tejo
pātukarissāmėti Tam kimmannasi, Aggivessana: api nu so puriso amum allam kattham
sasnehamudake nikkhittam uttarāranim ādāya abhimanthen-to aggim abhinibbatteyya tejo
pātukareyyāti. No h'idam, bho Gotama, tam kissa hetu: adum hi, bho gotama, allam kattham
sasneham, tanca pana udake nikkhittam, yāvad eva ca pana so puriso kilamathassa
vighātassa bhāgė assāti - Evameva kho, Aggivessana, yehi keci samanā vā brāmanā
vā kāyena c'eva kāmehi avupakatthā viharanti, yoca nesam kāmesu kāmacchando
kāmasneho kāmamucchā kāmapipāsā kāmaparilāho so ca ajjhattam na suppahėno hoti na
suppatippassaddho, opakkamikā ce pi te bhonto samanabrāmanā dukkhāti pāpā katukā
vedanā vediyanti abhabbā vā te nānāya dassanāya anuttarāya sambodhāya, no ce pi te
bhonto samanabrāhmanā opakkamikā dukkhāti akatukā vedanā vediyanti abhabbā vā te
nanāya dassanāya anuttarāya sambodhāya... Aparā pi kho mam, Aggivessana, dutiyā
upamā patibhāsi anacchariyā pubbe assutapubbā:... Aparā pi kho mam Aggivessana
tatiyā upamā patibhāsi...") (29)
Then He practised holding breath for a
long time until there were violent pains in His body and head. He realized this way of
practising could not answer to his main problem; if He went on abusing His body in that
way, He would die before He could find the answer. He then took food again in order to
have enough strength to make a new start of practice. His five fellow asceticswitnessed
His change and declared, "Gotama has taken the easy life !" then they
kept themselves far away from Him.
Siddhattha was then so lonely in the midst
of the immense ocean of sufferings of birth and death. He started thinking again and again
of a middle way between the luxurious and the ascetical ways that He had not practised. He
recalled an incident during a "ploughing Festival" when, as a child of six or
seven years old, He sat under a rose - apple tree and entered meditative absorptions. He
said to himself that, "Might that be the way to Enlightenment ?"
Siddhattha went on to Uruvelā and stopped
at a place nowadays called Bodh Gaya in the modern Indian state of Bihar, He determined to
sit under the Bodh-tree and practised his own way of meditation until He could find the
exact answer to the question of dealing with suffering in life.
The discourse of Ariyapariyesana recorded:
_" Then I, monks, a quester for whatever is good,
searching for the incomparable, matchless path to peace, walking on tour through Magadha
in due course arrived at Uruvelā, the camp township. There I saw a delightful stretch of
land and a lovely wood land grove, and a clear flowing river with a delightful ford, and a
village for support nearby. It occurred to me, monks, "Indeed it is a delightful
stretch of land... Indeed this does well for striving of a young man set on
striving". So I, monks, set down just there, thinking,"Indeed thisdoes well for
(" So kho aham, bhikkhave, kim kusalagavesė
anuttaram santivarapadam pariyesamāno Magadhesu anupubbena cārikam caramāno yena
Uruvelā senānigamo tadavasarim Tatth'addasam ramanėyam bhumibhāgam pāsādikan ca
vanasandam, nadin-ca sandantim setakam supatittham ramanėyam samantā ca gocaragāmam.
Tassa mayham, bhikkhave, etadahosi: Ramaniėyo vata bhuųmibhāgo pāsādiko ca vanasando,
nadė ca sandati setakā supatitthā ramanėyā, samantā ca gocaragāmo, alam vat'idam
kulaputtassa padhānatthikassa padhānāyati. So kho aham, bhikkhave, tatth'eva nisėdim,
alam - idam padhānāyati".)
After entering deep into meditative
concentration (samādhi), He practised insight meditation (vipassānā) and thereby
attained three special kinds of knowledges (Tevijjā)
1) He remembered many former existences of Him self.
2) He gained knowledge of the workings of kamma: How those
who acquire bad results of kamma by doing evil actions are born in miserable states, and
how those who acquire good results of kamma by doing good actions are born in happy
3) He gained the third and highest knowledge of the
destruction of the cankers (or taints, or defilements: āsavas). Three āsavas are often
mentioned: sensual desire, desire for existence and desire for non-existence.
These three perfect knowledges appeared in
the last night when Siddhattha attained Enlightenment under the Bodhi-tree as the Bhaya
bheravasyttam (Majjhimanikāya, Vol.I.)
-- "Thus with mind composed, quite purified, quite
clarified, without blemish, without defilement, grown soft and workable, fixed, immovable,
I directed my mind to the knowledge and recollection of former habitations: I remembered a
variety of former habitations, thus: one birth, two births, three..., four..., a
hundred..., a hundred thousand births and many an eon of integration - disintegration;
such an one was I by name, having such and such a clan, such and such a colour, so was I
nourished, such and such pleasant and painful experiences were mine, so did the span of
This brahman, was the first knowledge attained by me in
the first watch of the night; ignorance was dispelled, knowledge arose, darkness was
dispelled, light arose, even as I abided diligent, ardent, self-solute.
-- Then with mind composed quite purified,...I directed my
mind to the knowledge of the passing hence and the arising of beings...I comprehend that
beings are mean, excellent, comely, ugly, well-going, ill-going, according to the
consequences of their deeds, and I think: Indeed these worthybeings who were possessed of
wrong conduct in body, who were possessed of wrong conduct of speech, who were possessed
of wrong conduct of thought, scoffers at the ariyans, holding a wrong view, incurring
deeds consequent on a wrong view - these, at the break up of the body after dying, have
arisen in a sorrowful state, a bad bourn, the abyss, Niraya Hell. But those worthy beings
who were possessed of good conduct in body,...of speech,...in thought, who did not scoff
at the ariyans, holding a right view... at the breaking up of the body after dying, have
arisen in a good bourn, a heaven world... This, brahman, was the second knowledge attained
by me in the middle watch of the night; ignorance was dispelled, knowledge arose..."
" Then with mind composed, quite purified, .. I
directed my mind to the destruction of the cankers. I understood as it really is: this is
anguish, this is the arising, this is the stopping of anguish, this is the course leading
to the stopping of anguish.
I understood as it really is: There are the cankers, this
is the arising of the cankers,...this is the course leading to the stopping of the
cankers. Knowing this thus, seeing thus, my mind was freed from the canker of sense
pleasures,... from the canker of becoming,... from the canker of ignorance... This,
brahman, was the third knowledge attained byme in the last watch of the night; ignorance
was dispelled, knowledge arose, darkness was dispelled, light arose even as I abided
diligent, ardent, self-resolute". (32)
(" So evam samāhite citte parisuddhe pariyodāte
anangane vigatupakkilese mudubhuųte kammaniye thite ānejjappatte
pubbenivāsā-nussatinānāya cittam abhininnāmesim. So anekavihitam pubbenivāsam
anussarāmi, seyyathidam:ekampi jātim dve pijātiyo, ... jātisatasahassampi, anekepi
samvattakappe aneke pi vivattakappe; amutr' āsim evannāmo evamgotto evam vanno
evamahāro evam sukhadukkhapatisamvedė evamāyupariyanto, so tato cuto amutra udapādim,
tatra p'āsim evannāmo evamgotto evamvanno evamāhāro evam sukhadukkhapativediė
evamāyupariya-nto, so tato cuto idhupapanno ti. Iti sākāram sauddesam anekavihitam
pubbenivāsam anussarāmi. Ayam kho me, brāhmana rattiyā pathame yāme pathamā vijjā
adhigatā. Avijjā vihatā vijjā uppannā. Tamo vihato āloko uppanno. Yathā tam
appamattassa ātāpino pahitattassa viharato.
" So evam samāhite citte parisuddhe pariyodāte
anangane vigatupakkilese mudubhuųte kammaniye thite ānejjappatte sattānam
cutuapapatananāya cittam abhininnāmesim. So dibbena cakkhunā visuddhena
atikkantamānusakena satte passāmi cavamāne upapajjamāne...
" So evam samāhite citte parisuddhe...
abhininnāmesim. So,idam dukkhanti yathāb-hutam abbhannāsim .Ayam dukkhasamudayo ti
yathābhuųtam abbhannāsim. Ayam dukkhanirodhoti yathābhutam abbhannāsim. Ayam
dukkhanirodhagāmini patipadāti yathābhuø-tam abbhannāsim....
Ayam kho me, brāhmana, rattiyā pacchime yāme tatiyā
vijjā adhigatā, avijjā vihatā vijjā uppannā, tamo vihato āloko uppanno. Yathā tam
appamattassa ātāpino pihatattassa viharato".) (33)
The above attainment of the Noble Truth
was also recorded in the discourse of Ariyapariyesana as follows:
"It occurred to me, monks: This Dhamma won to by me
in deep difficult to see, difficult to understand, tranquil, excellent, beyond dialectic,
subtle, intelligible to the learned. But this is a creation delighting in sensual
pleasure, delighted by sensual pleasure, rejoicing in sensual pleasure, this were a matter
difficult to see, that is to say, causal uprising by way of condition. This too were a
matter difficult to see, that is to say, the tranquillising of all the activities, the
renunciation of all attachment, the destruction of craving, dispassion, stopping,
(" Tassa mayham, bhikkhave, atadahosi: Adhigato kho
me ayam dhammo gambhėro duddaso duranubodho santo panėto atakkāvacaro nipuno
panditavedaniėyo. Ālayarāmā kho panāyam pajā ālayaratā ālayasammuditā.
Ālayarāmāya kho panapajāya ālayaratāya ālayasammuditāya duddasam idam thānam
yadidam idappaccayatā paticcasamuppādo, idam-pi kho thānam duddasam yadidam
sabbasankhārasamatho sabbupadhipatinissaggo tanhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānam".)
The Truth of Dependent Origination
(Paticcasamuppāda) was described in Kindred Sayings, Vol.II (Samyuttanikāya, Vol.II) as
" Then to me, brethren, came this thought: "What
now being present, does decay - and - death come to be ? What conditions decay - and -
death ? Then to me thinking according to law came to pass comprehension of insight: let
there be birth, then there is decay - and - death. Decay - and - death is conditioned by
birth... let there be ignorance, then activities come to be, activities are conditioned by
ignorance. Such verily is this "activities are conditioned by ignorance", and
the rest. Even so is the coming to be of this entire mass of ill.
Then, brethren, to me came the thought: What now being
absent, does decay - and - death not come to be ? From the ceasing of what is there
ceasing of decay - and - death?
Then to me, thinking according to law, came to pass
comprehension of insight: let there be no birth, then decay - and - death ceases. From
ceasing of birth comes ceasing of decay - and - death.
And thus also came to me comprehension of insightinto the
like concerning birth, becoming, grasping, craving, feeling, contact, sense, name - and -
form, consciousness, activities, ignorance. Such verily is this "ceasing of
activities because ceasing of ignorance, and the rest. Even so is the ceasing of this
entire mass of ill". (36)
"Tassa mayham, bhikkhave, etadahosi // kimhi nu kho
sati jarāmaranam hoti kimpaccayā jarāmarananti // Tassa mayham bhikkhave, yoniso
manasikārā ahu pannāya abhisamayo // jātiyā kho sati jarāmaranam hoti
jātipaccayā jarāmaranan ti // .
Iti hidam avijjāpaccayā sankhārā // sankhārapaccayā
vinnānam // pe // Evam etassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa samudayo hoti //
Tassa mayham, bhikkhave, etadahosi // Kimhi nu kho asati
jarāmaranam " na hoti kissa nirodhā jarāmarananirodhoti // Tassa mayham,
bhikkhave, yoniso manasikārā ahu pannāya abhisamayo // jātiyā kho asati
jarāmaranam na hoti jātinirodhā jarāmarananirodhoti //
Tassa mayham, bhikkhave, etadahosi // Kimhi nu kho asati
jāti "na hoti // bhavo // upādānam // tanhā // vedanā / phasso //
salāyatanam // nāmaruųpam // vinnānam / sankhārā na honti // kissa nirodhā
sankhāranirodho ti //
Tassa mayham, bhikkhave, yoniso manasikārā ahu pannāya
abhisamayo // Avijjāya kho asatisankhārā na honti avijjānirodhā sankhāranirodho ti
// ... (37)
Evametassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa nirodho hoti //
So, Dependent Origination realized by Lord
Buddha Gotama, which had not been heard before in India, is a very special doctrine
determining the difference between Buddhism and other religions and philosophies. It is
this which opens what is called Buddhist Pāli Tipitaka or Pāli Suttapitaka in a narrow
meaning. It is this which shows the truth of men and nature, and the truth of men's
suffering and the way of ceasing it. Therefore, it may be considered as the source of a
good course of education or culture suggesting a new course of research for the true
meaning of personality which says that the meaning of Dependent Origination really is the
Buddhist concept of personality; to understand what a man really is, one should understand
what Dependent Origination is. It is unnecessary to examine separately the concept of man
as the existence of the Four Elements (Catu-dhātu), or as a Satta, a puggala, attā, jiva
etc. which denote, ego-entity', because all these concepts are implied in the term
Nāma-ruųpa, the fourth element of the Dependent Origination - This is what the author is
going to discuss about in next chapters.
(1) : A.K. Warder, "Indian Buddhism", Motilal
Banarsidass Publishers, Pvt. LTD. Delhi, 1991, p.18.
(2) : Ibid. p.18.
(3) : Chandradhar Sharma, A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy, Motilal Banarsidass
Publishers, Pvt. LTD, Delhi; 1991, p.18.
(4) : Ibid., p.20.
(5) : Ibid., p.21.
(6) : Benimadhab Barua, A history of Pre-Buddhistic Indian Philosophy, Motilal Banarsidass
Publishers, Delhi, Varanasi, Patna, 1970; p.6.
(7) : Ibid., p. 45.
(8) : Ibid., p. 277.
(9) : Ibid., p. 304.
(10) : Ibid., p. 293.
(11) : Ibid., p. 281.
(12) : Ibid., p. 325.
(13) : Ibid., p. 378.
(14) : " The Discourse on The Supreme Net," Long Discourses, tr. by Maurice
Walshe, Wisdom Publication, London, 1987, p.87.
(15) : " Brahmajāla-sutta", Dėgha-Nikāya, PTS, London, 1975, p. 36.
(16) : S. Radhakrishnan, Indian Philosophy, Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1989, p. 22.
(17) : Ibid., p,.28.
(18) : S.D. Dev, Education and Career, Printed in India, Printing Press, New Delhi-110005,
(19) : Ibid., pp. 8-9.
(20) : " The Discourse on Nālaka," Suttanipata, verse No. 691, tr. by F. Max
Muller, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, Delhi, 1992, p.125.
(21) : "Nālakasuttam Nitthitam", Sutta-nipāta, Khuddaka-Nikāya, PTS, London,
1990, p.134, verse No. 691.
(22) : "The Discourse on Nālaka",..., verse No. 692, p.125.
(23) : "Nālakasuttam Nitthitam",..., p. 134, verse No.692.
(24) : "The Discourse on Nālaka",..., verse No. 693, p.125.
(25) : "Nālakasuttam Nitthitam",..., p.134, verse No.693.
(26) : "The Discourse on Nālaka",..., verse No. 694, p.125.
(27) : "Nālakasuttam Nitthitam",..., p.135, verse No.694.
(28) : "Mahāsaccakasuttam", Middle Length Syings, Vol. I, PTS,London, 1987,
(29) : "Mahāsaccakasuttam", Majjhima-Nikāya, Vol. I, PTS, London, 1979, pp.
(30) : "the Discourse on Ariyapariyesana", Middle Length Sayings, Vol. I., PTS,
London, 1987, pp.28-29.
(31) : "Ariyapariyesana-sutta", Majjhima-Nikāya, Vol.I, PTS, London, 1979,
(32) : "The discourse on Bhayabherava", Majjhima-Nikāya, Vol. I, PTS, London,
1987, pp. 28-29.
(33) : "Bhayabherava-sutta",Majjhima-Nikāya, PTS, London, 1979, pp.22-23.
(34) : "The Discourse on Ariyapariyesana",..., pp. 211-212.
(35) : "Ariyapariyesana-sutta",..., p. 167.
(36) : Kindred Sayings , Vol. II, PTS , London , 1990, pp.6-7.
(37) : Samyutta-Nikāya, Vol. II, PTS, London,1989, pp. 10-11.