Dependent Origination applied

  • Post comments:0 Comments
  • Reading time:10 mins read
  • Post category:Kamma

All the major religions of the world possess a certain creation myth…an explanation of how the world came about…as well as what its ending will be….Buddhism too has an conception of how the world came about, but having arisen to a great extent as an opposition to the metaphysical dogmatism of the brahmins…its doctrine of the origination of the world was utterly psychological…that is, it starts right here…each persons own world, now… and being concerned with training rather than with metaphysics, its main agenda is pointing out the fault, as well as how to overcome it.

Here I only show two examples of my own divination of a persons interior, but each person has to find his own example…as mentioned elsewhere, such applications are meant for a person following a certain path in this case the Buddhist path…to show how life-experiences can be processed to gain life-Knowledge and life-wisdom…using the framework of a particular system they are more likely to be remembered

For the uninitiated I only briefly mention the 12 links of dependent origination:

Because of Ignorance (Avijja) ➙ Sankharas (mental formations) will form

Because of Mental formations (Snkharas) ➙ Consciousness comes about

Because of Consciousness ➙ Mind and Matter (Nama-Rupa)

Because of Mind and Matter ➙ 6 Sense Bases (Salayatana)

Because of 6 Sense Bases ➙ Contact (Phassa)

Because of Contact ➙ Feeling (Vedana)

Because of Feeling ➙ Desire (tanha)

Because of Desire ➙ Clinging (upadana)

Because of Clinging ➙ Becoming (Bhava)

Because of Becoming ➙ Birth (Jati)

Because of Birth➙ Old age, disease and Death (Jara, Marana)

Dependent Origination applied

Avijja—ignorance regarding 4 noble truth‐ sankhara ‐ ‘I am always right, ‘the other’ is always wrong’ or ‘I am always more right than others’—viññana‐ consciousness‐ seeing any small weakness there is in ‘forms perceived by the eye’ as ‘The All’ , …if not perceivable,… supporting the positive outcome of ones’ discernment with ‘result provoking’ bodily gestures and speech /…while when ‘perceiving forms internally’….faults can not be discerned, and if there are traces, bodily tensions as well as mental verbalised acts may be used to support the right outcome of ones discernment=nama‐rupa/ salayatana (mind‐body/6 senses)… ➙ pleasant feeling about being right… ➙ clinging to that feeling ➙ being ‘the ever right one’ …one will become that in the future ➙dukkha, dukkha, internally and externally.

But with the removing of that very avijja (especially identity/personality view)…those sankharas also will cease…these kinds of consciousnesses also will cease, that nama‐rupa also will cease…etc….

…with the cessation of these (right) faith arises…with that as condition, (spiritual/right) joy,… with that, (non-self-complacent-) tranquility,…(spiritual) happiness….samma samadhi…seeing things as they really are…liberation…knowledge and vision of liberation

…happy, happy, happy…


Here another example of how it can be applied for understanding in this case another persons world better…

This example is the result of processing a, for the the author difficult person…for the purpose of adopting with greater skill towards the other…thus improving the relationship…it is probably not the best example, but it might serve as a guide as to how to use difficult life situations for understanding the Dhamma on the one hand, as well as how to use this dependent origination for understanding life.

Dependent origination of a teacher

Avijja (not understanding suffering, not seeing the illusory nature in things such as ‘teacher’)

➙ Sankhara-(a certain intention or mental formation…f.ex. intention to become a teacher..or ‘I am a teacher’)

➙ consciousness cognising the world in accordance with that mental formation

➙ Nama-Rupa-(Rupa -what I see (and the way I see it) ….Nama- the way I think about it)

➙ Sphere of six senses (experience of the world with its attached laws….f.ex. as teacher having students…etc.)…

➙ six sense-organs coming in contact with the objects of the six senses (i.e.students)…

➙ experiencing feelings in accordance with that sankhara…when having many students,…pleasant feeling arises, when having only a few students, unpleasant feeling arises–desire arises to have more students, better students,….to be a better teacher, etc.

➙ attachment arises (clinging towards the students, clinging towards being the teacher)

➙becoming more and more in body, speech and mind a complex being of an illusory character

➙rebirth as that…. ➙dukkha, dukkha, dukkha

…but with the cessation of that very ignorance —these formation will cease (wandering thoughts about teacher and students)….this consciousness will cease (seeing things conditioned by the desire to be superior…seeing the people in front as ‘students’ (a concept)…feeling oneself as the teacher (concept), superior etc…leaving a pure consciousness informed by spiritual reasoning/informed by knowledge of the four noble truth—–with that ….Nama-Rupa will cease…(being caught up in formatory thinking (Nama) about oneself as ‘the teacher’ and the other as ‘my student’ (object-base =Rupa))…leaving space for the bare experience of Nama-Rupa (insight into the workings of the mind, insight regarding the world of matter)—-with that…the world as an object of an experiencer ceases ….leaving space for the knowing of the arising and passing of the five aggregates—-with that ….contact as the dividing-line between subject and object ceases….—-with that….greed and hatred ceases—–clinging ceases or does not come about—-with that….there is no inherent existence or becoming of anything or anyone—-no more birth—-no more dukkha, dukkha, dukkha

Another Example

Taking as an example the manner, in which a common person devoted only to success in life, will brush aside any mistake he might make in moral matters and applying the formula of dependent origination to it:

Avijjā …ignorance regarding the 4 noble truth,…ignorance regarding the wholesome and unwholesome…

Sankhārā…”No big problem to do a little unwholesome”…

Viññāna…cognising things according to profitableness (that is exclusively in accordance with physical laws) not according to what is wholesome and what is unwholesome…

Nāma-Rūpa… thinking along the line of profitability …perceiving things and other beings in matters of profitability and non-profitability

Salāyatana…being in a world devoid of true values …but filled only with profitable and unprofitable material things

Phassa…being in constant contact with that world

Vedanā…pleasant feeling when coming in contact with profitable things, unpleasant feelings when coming into contact with unprofitable things

Tanhā…desire for more profitable things, and for not being in contact with materially unprofitable things

Upādāna…giving more and more fuel to that desire

Bhava…sense-sphere becoming….becoming a person of wealth and power, but devoid of true values

Jāti…Birth …as that …

Pain, sorrow, lamentation…and death..are the natural occurrences of any manifest existence and thus, any identification with manifest things results in the experience of them.

Dependent Cessation

But with the removal of this very avijjā (through for example making a decision to follow teachings that come from a higher mind), sankhārās (kammical formation that are entirely sense-sphere oriented) start ceasing. With the ceasing of those sankhārās, the field of consciousness ceases to be merely sense related perceptions. With that, ones life-experiences cease to be entirely meaningless and devoid of value, ones being (bhava) will develop (into the direction indicated by those teachings that one decided to follow), and following that, ones future births will not be random but move into a direction of a goal that becomes clearer in proportion to the cessation of randomness that a person successfully has gotten rid of.

In the example of the person going only after profitableness as mentioned in the previous example, the path and goal will being a worldly path and goal, it will be entirely under the laws of physical existence and thus will result especially in much pain and suffering, when the material that person was identified with, will loose its strength and yield to its own disintegration.

Any Comments? Write them below.