Since it is on Buddhism, though it is only an outline of it, this book will be incomplete without, at least, the gist of Patthana, the Seventh Book on Buddhist Philosophy, which is one of the most Sacred Books of the Buddhist Canon. The Buddha enjoined His followers to meditate that all things, mental and physical are, as already mentioned, always in a state of flux and here it is proposed to explain as to how things, mental and physical are causally related to one another, i.e. mental to physical, mental to mental and physical to physical, in accordance with that Most Sacred Book and Commentaries on it. It must always be borne in mind that all things in the world have causes and are causally related to one another and that there is no such thing as absolute by itself.
The system of correlation comprises the following relations:
The relation of
- condition or root cause
- object and subject
- immediate contiguity
- sufficing condition
- pre existence
- post existence
- trance (
- the Path
- abeyance and
To explain these one by one:-
1. Condition here means the causal relation by way of condition or root cause. There are six root causes, viz, greed and lust (lobha), anger and hate (dosa), bewilderment and delusion (moha), disinterestedness (alobha), amity (adosa) and non delusion and non bewilderment (amoha).
The first three sets are the opposites of the second three: the former are immoral mental properties which are the sole cause of all evil. The latter are moral mental properties which are the sole cause of all good. In short, immorality results in evil and morality in good. In this, volition or rather will is the determining factor. It is the condition. It is the root cause. As the root of a tree draws up sap both from the soil and water, carries that sap up to the top of the tree and causes the tree to develop, so do greed and lust draw up essence of pleasure and enjoyment from desirable things, conveys that essence to the concomitant mental elements, and at times, till they burst into immoral deeds and bodily and vocal expressions. The same may be said of anger and hate, bewilderment and delusion, disinterestedness, amity and non delusion. It must be noted here that bewilderment and delusion is inherent or present in greed and lust and anger and hate. This is the relation by way of condition or root cause between mental qualities, material qualities and qualities conditioned by material qualities.
2. The relation of object subject is the causal relation of the object of cognition, viz, form, sound, odour, taste, contact and ideas by way of presentation to the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind respectively. Consciousness and all material qualities and qualities conditioned by material qualities are the object of cognition. Even the Transcendental Summum Bonum is the object of cognition by an Elect, i.e., by one who has attained Fruition.
3. The relation of dominance is the causal relation in which one object exercises a dominating influence over the other. The most lovable and regardable objects often exercise a dominating influence over the mind of those who are not in a trance or who have not attained Fruition. There are four kinds of dominance, viz, the dominance of resolution, the dominance of will or intention, the dominance of energy or effort and the dominance of consideration or examination. These exercise dominating influence over the mental and material qualities with which they are associated.
4. The relation of contiguity is the causal relation in which the preceding thing precedes the thing following without any interruption. It is in the process of thought. Every moment of preceding consciousness that has just ceased is causally related to the succeeding consciousness that has immediately arisen by way of relation of contiguity. And this preceding and succeeding relation prevails throughout the whole span of the recurring existences of an individual, right from the untraceable beginning with unbroken continuity.
5. The relation of immediate contiguity is the same as the relation of contiguity in the process of thought except that here it is more immediate than the relation of contiguity.
6. In the relation of coexistence the cause and effect arise simultaneously. All the mental qualities and material qualities and qualities conditioned by material qualities are relating things and related things in this relation of coexistence. They arise simultaneously. To illustrate: when a candle burns, the burning of the candle and the arising of the light and the heat are simultaneous. The rising of the sun is simultaneous with the rising of its heat and light. The burning of the candle and the rising of the sun are causes and the light and the heat are effects and they arise simultaneously. This is the causal relation by way of coexistence.
7. The relation of reciprocity is the causal relation of mental qualities and material qualities and qualities conditioned by material qualities depending on one another as the three sticks are set upright leaning against one another.
8. The relation of dependence is the causal relation in which the relating thing is a ground of support on which the related thing rests just as the tree rests on the earth and the oil painting rests on the canvas. Cognition, feeling, and other mental properties (samkhara) i.e., all mental properties (cetasikas) are causally related to the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and heart respectively by way of dependence.
9. The relation of sufficing condition is similar to the relation of condition except that the sufficing condition is stronger than the mere condition. Consciousness accompanied by moral mental properties is causally related to consciousness accompanied by moral mental properties by way of sufficing condition. To illustrate: through the practice of virtue, one gives charity, observes precepts, practises concentration and meditation. At times, moral is causally related to immoral. To illustrate. One gives charity and thereupon becomes conceited and has wrong views. Immoral is causally related to immoral by way of sufficing condition. To illustrate: Being overwhelmed by greed or anger, one commits murder, theft and so forth. At times immoral is causally related to moral. To illustrate. One has lust for a lover and gives charity and practises virtue. This is byway of sufficing condition. Nutriment, association and environment are also sufficing conditions.
10. The relation of pre existence comprises the relation of dependence and the relation of objective pre existence, i.e., the pre existence of the four primary material qualities, viz., hardness (earth), heat (fire) cohesion (water) and motion (air) and also fourteen secondary material qualities, viz, eye, ear, nose, tongue, body or touch form, sound, smell, taste, female sex, male sex, heart vital force and nutriment. Of these the form i.e., the visible form, sound, smell, taste and touch are causally related by way of objective pre existence to those thoughts which are capable of taking part in the five door process. To illustrate. The sound of violin arises when it is played with a bow. In order that the sound may arise, there must pre exist the violin and its bow. In the same manner, when five objects of sense are presented to their respective sense doors, the thoughts of sense doors arise. These five objects or senses present themselves to the mind simultaneously with the presentation of sense objects to sense doors. Another illustration, in order that a living being may come into existence on earth, there must pre exist the sun and the earth. Of course the living beings come into existence according to the results of their past and present thoughts, deeds and bodily and vocal expressions (kamma). It will be seen here that consciousness cannot arise unless there pre exists the object of sense and sensedoor.
11. The relation of post existence is the causal relation of consciousness and the mental properties that arise only posterior to the arising of the body of the being. Here the consciousness and mental properties assist in the arising of the body of the being which is previous to it. To illustrate. The rain water that falls every subsequent year assists in the growth of such vegetation as has grown up in previous years. In the same way, every posterior consciousness that springs into being is causally related to the still existing things by way of post existence.
12. in the relation of succession, the related thing is causally related to the relating thing by adding proficiency to it. To illustrate. When one does the same thing twice, his first deed adds proficiency to the second deed. Another illustration. When one reads a passage twice he understands it better at his second reading than at the first reading. He understands it still better when he knows the passage by heart. For this reason this relation is even called relation of habitual recurrence. But habit is not always essential in this relation. In the succession of thoughts, the preceding thought adds proficiency to the succeeding thought and this fact bears out the importance of the practice of virtue, concentration and meditation which assist in the arising of Insight.
13. In the relation of Kamma the relating thing, volition or will (cetana), is causally related to its effect, the related thing, which comprises all mental factors and also all material factors born of volition and produced by mind. Volition prompts guides, and regulates all deeds and bodily and vocal expressions
14. in the relation of effect, the resultant consciousness and all its mental properties are mutually related to one another by way of effect. To illustrate. When a person is dying, his past thoughts, past deeds, and past bodily and vocal expressions jointly or severally obtain an opportunity to show their results, and the dying person, without any activity and stimulation on his part but in perfect tranquility feels as if he is doing what he did in the past or he simply sees the symbol of what he did. This is the relation by way of effect, i.e., the effect of his past thought, past deed and past bodily and vocal expressions jointly or severally.
15. In the relation of support, the relating thing which is nutriment is causally related to the related thing which comprises all the states of mind and body of a living being. The nutriment is of four kinds, viz, material food, contact, mind volition and consciousness. These four kinds of nutriment or food enables the kind and body to endure, to develop, to flourish and to thrive by way of support. Contact is a support because it holds up its coexistent things; mind, volition or will, is a support because it gives courage; and consciousness is a support because it precedes, pre dominates and forms the essence of thinking of an object.
16: In the relation of control, the relating thing is causally related to the related thing by three ways of control, viz, the relation of coexistence, the relation of pre existence and the relation of physical life. In the first relation of control, the relating things are physical life, consciousness, feeling, faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration and reason which are all mental properties which coexist with the relating things. In the second relation of control, the relating things are the sensitive qualities of the eye, the ear, the nose, the tongue and the body (touch) which are causally related to the relating things, viz, the eye consciousness, the ear consciousness, the nose consciousness, the tongue consciousness and the body- consciousness. In the third relation of control, the relating thing is the entire material life which is causally related to the related thing which comprises the material qualities which come into existence on account of the result of kamma.
17. In the relation of trance, the relating thing which comprises the seven constituents of trance, viz, (1) applying the mind on the object (2) sustaining the mind on the object (3) thrill of pleasant sensation, (4) joy, (5) grief, (6) hedonic indifference and (7) individualisation is causally related to the related thing which comprises all kinds of conditioned consciousness, all mental properties and material qualities which coexist with the seven constituents.
18. In the relation of the Path (which here means the psychical path) the relating thing, which comprises the twelve fold path constituents, viz, right belief, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration, wrong belief, wrong thought, wrong effort and wrong concentration is causally related to the related thing which comprises conditioned consciousness and mental properties and all material qualities which coexist with conditioned consciousness.
19. In the relation of association the relating thing comprises consciousness and all mental properties which are causally related to the related thing which also comprises consciousness and all mental properties by way of association. In other words, consciousness and mental properties are causally related to one another by way of association. To illustrate. Consciousness of sight, sound, smell, taste or touch arises simultaneously with contact, feeling, perception, volition, oneness of the object, psychic life and attending to the object. These eight mental states are causally related to one another by way of association.
20. In the relation of dissociation, the relating thing comprises the entire mental state, viz, consciousness, perception, feeling and the rest of the mental properties and is causally related to the related thing which comprises all material qualities; also, the relating thing which comprises all material qualities is causally related to the related thing which comprises the entire mental state. In other words, the mental state is causally related to material qualities by way of dissociation and vice versa.
21. The relation of presence is of five kinds, viz, coexistence, pre existence, post existence, edible food or nutriment in the relation of support and physical life in the relation of control.
The relating thing and the related thing in this relation of presence are already mentioned under their respective heads above. Here the relating thing is causally related to the related thing by way of presence. To illustrate. The Himalaya Mountain is causally related to the existence of the rich vegetation on it by its presence. It means that the relating thing exists when the related thing also exists.
22. In the relation of absence, the relating thing and the related thing are the same as in the relation of contiguity which mentioned above and the relating thing is causally related to the relating thing by its absence. To illustrate. The absence of the day assists in the arising of the night or rather the absence of the light is causally related to darkness by way of its absence.
23. In the relation of abeyance, the relating thing and the related thing are the same as in the relation of absence mentioned above and the relating thing is causally related to the related thing by its abeyance. To illustrate. The disappearance of the sunlight after sunset is causally related to the appearance of moonlight by way of its abeyance.
24. In the relation of continuance, the relating thing and the related thing are the same as in the relation of presence which is mentioned above and the relating thing is casually related to the related thing by way of continuance, i.e., continuance of presence. This is highly philosophical. The shortest thought has at least three stages, viz, (1) rising up (2) remaining up and (3) sinking down. The relation of presence in which the relating thing causes the related thing before the relating thing sinks down is the relation of continuance because the relating thing is continuing to sink down when the related thing has arisen. To illustrate. The great ocean causes joy in the fishes, crabs and other animals depending on it, by way of continuance.