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The Concept of Personality Revealed Through The Pancanikaya - Ven. Thich Chon-Thien
Institute of Buddhist Studies
Saigon, Vietnam

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.


General introduction:

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 agricultural civilization.

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 Lord Buddha:

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 Gosala): (9)

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 Kātyāyana):

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 four cases.

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, self-controlled, self-established".

All the above Indian thoughts, from Vedic thought, were evaluated and classified in Buddhist text as follows:

-- Eighteen kinds of wrong view concerning the past:

* 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 view.
* 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 present:

* Claimer of nibbāna in the here and now: 5 kinds.

For those 62 kinds of wrong view, Lord Buddha declared:

"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 vadeyyum".) (15)

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 everything.

...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 worthless". (19)

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.


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 antarāyo".) (21)

-- "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 old then.

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 striving". (30)

(" 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 states.

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 life end...

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, nibbāna". (34)

(" 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".) (35)

The Truth of Dependent Origination (Paticcasamuppāda) was described in Kindred Sayings, Vol.II (Samyuttanikāya, Vol.II) as follows:

" 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, pp. 4-5.
(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, pp.295-296.
(29) : "Mahāsaccakasuttam", Majjhima-Nikāya, Vol. I, PTS, London, 1979, pp. 240-241.
(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, pp.166-167.
(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.

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