Upanissaya-paccaya, which can be translated as decisive support-condition or strong dependence-condition, occurs when a phenomenon assists another phenomenon by being a powerful inducement. There are three kinds of upanissaya-paccaya:
1. decisive support of object, arammanupanissaya-paccaya
2. decisive support of proximity, anantarupanissaya-paccaya
3. decisive support of natural condition, pakatupanissaya-paccaya
As to strong dependence or decisive support-condition of object, the object is the paccaya, condition, for the citta which experiences it, the paccayupanna dhamma, conditioned dhamma, and that object conditions the citta by way of strong dependence. We see in the "Patthana" (Faultless Triplet, VII, Investigation Chapter, Strong Dependence, §423), that the objects which are the conditioning factors are the same as in the case of object predominance-condition, arammanadhipati paccaya , thus, they have to be desirable objects. The cittas which are conditioned by way of decisive support of object are also the same types as in the case of object predominance-condition. Thus, the realities involved in these two kinds of conditions are the same, but there is a difference in the conditioning force of object predominance-condition and of decisive support-condition of object. In the case of object predominance-condition the desirable object is highly esteemed by the citta and cetasikas concerned so that they give preponderance to it. In the case of decisive support-condition of object the desirable object is a powerful inducement, a cogent reason, for the arising of the citta and cetasikas concerned, which are strongly dependent on that object. Desirable objects which are object predominance-condition can also, at the same time, be decisive support-condition of object, a powerful inducement for the arising of the cittas concerned. Phenomena can be conditioned by several types of conditions at the same time.
Certain objects cannot be object predominance-condition nor decisive support-condition of object, because they are undesirable. Among them is the type of body-consciousness which is akusala vipaka, accompanied by painful feeling. The two types of dosa-mula-citta (one unprompted and one prompted) and the two types of moha-mula-citta (one accompanied by doubt and one accompanied by restlessness) are not desirable objects and thus they cannot be decisive support-condition of object. The akusala cetasikas which accompany dosa-mula-citta, such as regret, jealousy and stinginess, and those which accompany moha-mula-citta are not desirable either, thus, they cannot be decisive support-condition of object. Kusala such as dana or sila which one performed can be object predominance-condition for kusala citta which esteems and gives preponderance to the wholesome deed one performed. The wholesome deed can at the same time also be decisive support-condition of object, it can be a powerful inducement, a cogent reason, for the arising again and again of kusala citta which sees the benefit of kusala.
Kusala which one performed can condition attachment or wrong view, as we have seen, by way of object predominance-condition, and it can also condition attachment and wrong view by way of decisive support-condition of object. It is then a powerful inducement for the arising of attachment and wrong view.
Attachment can be object predominance-condition and also decisive support-condition of object, a powerful inducement for the arising of attachment again and again in the case of all those who have not eradicated attachment.
Akusala cannot be object predominance-condition nor decisive support-condition of object for kusala citta, since kusala citta cannot consider akusala with esteem and high regard.
Desirable rupas which are object predominance-condition can also be decisive support-condition of object for lobha-mula-citta. Beautiful colours or delicious flavours are a powerful inducement for the arising of lobha-mula-citta which wants such objects again and again. As soon as delicious food is on the tongue its flavour is irresistable for attachment. Someone may highly regard the sound of music which is then object predominance-condition for lobha-mula-citta. The sound of music can also be a decisive support-condition of object, a powerful inducement for the arising again and again of lobha-mula-citta, for example, when someone dedicates his whole life to music.
The rupas which are the five sense-bases, the heart-base and the sense objects can be decisive support-condition of object for lobha-mula-citta but, just as in the case of object predominance-condition, they cannot be decisive support-condition of object for kusala citta.
Only the rupas which are "concrete matter", rupas produced by one of the four factors of kamma, citta, temperature or nutrition, can be, just as in the case of object predominance-condition, decisive support-condition of object for lobha-mula-citta.
The objects which are decisive support-condition are a powerful inducement, a cogent reason for the arising of the cittas concerned. However, we should remember that there are also other conditions. It depends on someone's accumulated inclinations whether he has "wise attention" or "unwise attention" to an object. Which objects are powerful inducements for the arising of kusala citta and which objects for the arising of lobha-mula-citta in our life? Most of the time we are intent on acquiring pleasant objects for ourselves, objects which can be a decisive support-condition for clinging. There can be awareness of the realities which appear, also of clinging. We should not ignore clinging or despise it as an object of awareness. It arises naturally in our daily life because there are still conditions for its arising. If we do not know its true nature we will take it for self and then it cannot be eradicated.
Nibbana and the eight types of lokuttara citta which experience it  cannot be object predominance-condition for lobha-mula citta, nor can they be decisive support-condition of object for lobha-mula-citta. We read in the "Patthana" (Faultless Triplet, VII, Investigation Chapter, Conditions, Positive, Classification Chapter, Strong Dependence, §423), that nibbana is related to the eight lokuttara cittas which experience it and also to maha-kusala citta accompanied by panna and maha-kiriyacitta (of the arahat) accompanied by panna, by way of decisive support-condition of object.
The second condition classified under decisive support-condition is proximate decisive support-condition, anantarupanissaya-paccaya. This condition is similar to proximity-condition (anantara-paccaya ). Both conditions pertain to each preceding citta which conditions the succeeding citta without any interval. However, a distinction between these two conditions has to be made. The teaching of proximate decisive support-condition, anantarupanissaya paccaya, stresses the aspect of powerful inducement of the conditioning force in the relationship between the conditioning reality, the preceding citta, and the conditioned reality, the succeeding citta. We read in the Visuddhimagga (XVII, 82) about the difference between the two conditional relations:
... Nevertheless proximity may be understood as the ability to cause the occurrence of an appropriate consciousness arising proximate (next) to itself, and decisive support as the preceding consciousness's cogency in the arousing of the succeeding consciousnesses....
We then read that there can be the arising of citta without root-condition and other conditions, but that citta cannot arise without being conditioned by the preceding citta. Thus, the preceding citta as conditioning factor is a powerful inducement or cogent reason for the arising of the succeeding citta.
The patisandhi-citta, for example, is a cogent reason for the succeeding bhavanga-citta, so that life can continue. If the preceding citta would not be a powerful inducement for the arising of the succeeding citta, there could not be a continuous succession of cittas, even at this moment. In the case of birth as an animal, the patisandhi-citta is akusala vipakacitta, and this citta conditions the succeeding bhavanga-citta by way of proximity decisive-support-condition. The bhavanga-citta is the same type of citta as the patisandhi-citta, it could not change into kusala vipakacitta. Birth as an animal is different from birth as a human being, and the bhavanga-citta which succeeds the patisandhi-citta in the case of these different kinds of births is in conformity with the patisandhi-citta. We can notice that the lives of animals and of human beings are completely different. Beings are born with different potentialities, different capabilities, and these are carried on to the succeeding bhavanga-citta and then to the following cittas which arise in succession throughout life. In between the processes of cittas there are bhavanga-cittas, and they are of the same type as the patisandhi-citta.
There is the arising of seeing and thinking at this moment. They are conditioned by proximate decisive support-condition. Each citta which arises falls away immediately, but it has a conditioning force which is a powerful inducement for the arising of the succeeding citta without any interval. Thus, good and bad qualities can be carried on from moment to moment, they can be accumulated. Attachment has been accumulated from life to life. We think time and again with attachment about honour and all the pleasant things we want to obtain for ourselves. We have an interest in the Dhamma because this has been accumulated. We may have listened to the Dhamma in past lives, but we do not remember this anymore. Interest in the Dhamma and also the inclination to develop right understanding can be carried on from life to life because of proximity decisive support-condition.
In the development of vipassana, insight, there is awareness of whatever reality appears at the present moment. Because of proximity-condition and proximate decisive support-condition citta arises and falls away and is then succeeded by the next citta. At one moment there is seeing, at another moment attachment to visible object, hearing or attachment to sound. Nobody can choose the object of awareness, because realities appear already because of their own conditions. Cittas which arise in a process of cittas do so according to a fixed order which cannot be changed. Each preceding citta is a powerful inducement for the arising of the next citta.
So long as we are in the cycle of birth and death there are conditions for each citta to be succeeded by the next citta. The development of right understanding of the different characteristics of realities as they appear one at a time will eventually lead to the end of the cycle. We confuse the different doorways of sense-doors and mind-door, we do not clearly distinguish between different cittas which experience one object at a time through one doorway. Through the development of right understanding one learns that the doorways and the realities which are dependent on them are different. Seeing is completely different from hearing, it arises because of different conditions, experiences an object different from the object which hearing experiences. The aim of learning about the conditions for the realities which arise is the understanding of the truth of non-self.
We read in the "Kindred Sayings" (IV, Salayatana-vagga, Second Fifty, 5, The Chapter of the Six, §94, Including the Sixfold Sense-sphere) that the Buddha said that when the six spheres of contact (the five senses and the mind) are untamed, unguarded, unwatched, unrestrained there will be dukkha, whereas when they are well tamed, well watched, well restrained, there will be happiness. We read in the verse:
He meets with dukkha, monks, who has not tamed
The sixfold impact of the sphere of sense.
They who have learned the mastery of these,
With faith for comrade,- they dwell free from lust.
Beholding with the eye delightful things
Or things unlovely, let him restrain his bent
To lust for loveliness, and let him not
Corrupt his heart with thoughts of "O, it is dear."
And when, again, sounds sweet or harsh he hears,
Not led astray by sweetness, let him check
The error of his senses. Let him not
Corrupt his heart with thoughts of "O, it is sweet."
If some delightful fragrance meet the nose,
And then again some foul malodorous stench,
Let him restrain repugnance for that stench,
Nor yet be led by lust for what is sweet.
Should he taste savours that are sweet and choice,
And then again what is bitter to the tongue,
He should not greedily devour the sweet,
Nor yet show loathing for the bitter taste.
By pleasures' impact not inebriate,
Nor yet distracted by the touch of pain,
To pain and pleasure both indifferent
Let him be free from likings and dislikes.
Obsessed (by lusts) are others: so obsessed
They know and so they fare. But he dispels
All the world's vulgar fashionings of mind.
And treads the path renunciation-bound.
By contact of these six, if mind be trained,
The heart is never shaken any more.
Overcome these two, O monks,- lust and hate.
Do you pass beyond the bounds of birth and death.
Footnotes and references:
The Pali term upa means strong or powerful, and nissaya means dependence or support.
See Ch 3.
See Ch 3. Kusala citta does not give preponderance, for example, to a pleasant sense object, it is inclined to give it away. Thus, it is not strongly dependent on that rupa as object.
"Concrete matter" are rupas which are produced by one of the four factors with characteristics which can be directly experienced, such as the four great Elements, the sense objects and the sense organs. There are also rupas which are not "concrete matter", anipphanna rupas, non-produced rupas. These are, for example, the special characteristics of rupa which are lightness, pliancy and wieldiness. Or the four characteristics of rupa which are integration, continuation, decay and impermanence of rupa.
There is one type of lokuttara kusala citta and one type of lokuttara vipakacitta arising in the case of each of the four stages of enlightenment, thus there are eight types of lokuttara citta.
See Ch 4.
We also read in other parts of the teachings that the six doors are "guarded" through satipatthana. Only right understanding of the reality which appears can eventually eradicate defilements.