The Doctrine of Paticcasamuppada

by U Than Daing | 1996 | 18,306 words

This book deals with Paticcasamuppada (‘dependent origination’): a Pali compound consisting of three words: 1) Patticca, which means “because” and “dependent upon”, 2) Sam, which means “well”, 3) and Uppada, which means “arising of effect through cause”. So dependent on ‘cause’ there arises ‘effect’; hence it is known in English as “Law of Depe...

Chapter 7 - Paticcasamuppada Samsara Is Revolving All The Time

When There Is Absence Of Vipassana Meditation

Paticcasamuppada is revolving all the time. With the exception of the period of sleep (when Bhavanga citta prevails) whether one is faced with an agreeable object or disagreeable object, it revolves sometimes with Dosa (Hatred), sometimes with Lobha (Craving) and sometimes with Moha (Delusion).

When Paticcasamuppada revolves with Dosa, Lobha and Moha there arises Akusala citta and one is said to be engaged in Apunnabhisankhara. When one is enjoying oneself with pleasurable surroundings such as in company of his sons, daughters and wife and his possessions or business, the Paticcasamuppada is revolving with Lobha. Sometimes he falls into adverse conditions such as business failures or disobedience of his sons and daughters, then Paticcasamuppada is revolving with Dosa.

When unconsciously or unknowingly he commits wrongfiul actions, this is called revolution of Paticcasamuppada with Moha.

Kusala Sankhara or Punnabhi Sankhara. When meritorious deeds are done with the hope of attaining a higher abode in the next existence, this is called Vitta Kusala (meritorious deeds which will make rounds in Samsara). Any meritorious deeds done without having a knowledge of Dukkha Sacca or done with a view to attaining some reward is Punnabhi Sankhara.

'Avidva Bhikkhave Avijjagato Punnabhi sankharampi Abhisankharoti.
Apunnabhi Sankharampi Abhisankharoti.
Ananjabhi sankharampi Abhisankharoti.
Yatoca kho Bhikkhave Bhikkhuno Avijja Pahina Vijja Uppanna.
So Avijja Viraga Vijjuppada Neva Punnabhi Sankharam Abhisankharoti.'

(Samyutta Nikaya).

'O monks!', the Buddha said,

'he who is devoid of wisdom and replete with Avijja (Ignorance) commits

Punnabhisankhara (meritorious deeds)
Apunnabhisankhara (demeritorious deeds)
and Ananjabhisankhara (Samatha meditation in order to attain higher plane of Brahmaloka).'

'O monks!' in the Bhikkhu Avijja has been abandoned and Vijja has arisen: he being free from Avijja and having Vijja arisen, never commits Punnabhisankhara.

So according to the above statement, he who is devoid of Avijja, free from Avijja and abandons Avijja must be none other than an Arahat. Such an Arahat does not commit Punnabhi sankhara nor is he required to do so, and when he does, this is simply an act without any attendant implications or result Kiriya). (“Kiriya” means just an act or deed without any attendent Lobha (greed) Dosa (Hatred) or moha (Delusion) as such, such acts or deeds are incapable of producing Kammic force.)

Regarding Sotapana, Sagadagami and Anagami, they must do Dana (alms giving) and Sila (moral precepts) more than ever. Therefore it naturally follows that Puthujjana (ordinary worldlings) should give more prominence in alms giving and moral precepts, however it must be borne in mind that Dana and Tanha must not be mixed; Dana and Ditthi must not be mixed; and let it not be dominated by Avijja.

If the question is put as to whether Dana is Kusala or Akusala, the answer must be that Dana is Kusala. The volitional intention to give alms is no doubt Kusala. Lust for attaining a higher plane in the next existence is Tanha, so it is Akusala. Therefore it is a mixture of Kusala and Akusala.

For instance, if I do this alms giving so that I may reap the benefit in the next existence, my action is dominated and influenced by Ditthi which is Akusala, therefore do not let Dana be confused with Tanha and Ditthi, allowing Avijja to dominate. If there is lack of intelligence and knowledge of the proper alms giving or if one is lacking ability to understand and choose the correct resulting benefit this Dana will become Vatta Dana or Punnabhisankhara and result in the revolving process of Samsara.

Therefore it should be noted that it is not the Dana that will prolong the process of Samsara but it is the lack of proper understanding to have the right and correct attitude when Dana is done so that it will become Vivatta Dana.