Thursday, 31 March 2011

Buddhist Explanation of Causality of Twelve Limbs in forward (anuloma) and Reverse (patiloma) Orders


The causality of twelve-fold limbs (dvAdasaGgapaTiccasamuppaAda) in Buddhist teachings attempted to explain the reason and function of samsaric life of the beings who are circling. This theory of Buddhism was different from two other religious philosophical theories that prevail at the time of the Buddha. One system of thought in the Buddha’s contemporary society depends on divine creation (îssaranimmAnavAda) is explained the reasons for the origin and function of life. The other system upheld a rival theory and they said that the life is born without causes. The theory given by the Buddha is considered to be in the middle position in contrast to above mentioned two views.

      This arose as question when the ascetic Gotama was searching for the truth. Like some of the other thinkers, he wanted to reveal a time in which the life with suffering would be ended. The Buddhavagga of SN that the six Buddhas before the Gotama had began their search for truth with this question the Buddha are as Vipassa, ßikkI, Vessabhu, Kakusanda, KoNAgama, Kassapa and including Gotama is seven. The suttas in the ßaMyuttanikAya, that is referred to above and says that the Bodhisattas considered the fact of life in reverse order. That is the theory of discovering unknown facts from the known facts. So the bodhisatta considered first the factors of life thereon he realized that birth, decay, diseases and death are to be unavoidable factors of life and they come one after the other always depending on previous one. In that way, decay is there because of birth, diseases are there because of decay, and death is there depending on diseases if it happens in natural order. When they are considered in reverse order it is realizable that when there is no birth, no decay etc. thus the causality which determines continuity was clarified. Then the unknown factors were realized taking the paTiccasamuppAda as the basic theory. Birth is there when there is becoming (bhava), becoming is there when there is grasping (upAdAna), grasping is there when there is craving (taNhA), craving is there when there is feeling (vedanA), feeling is there when there is contact (phassa), contact is there when there are six faculties (salAyatana), six faculties are there when there are name and form(nAma rUpa), name and form are there when there is consciousness (viJJAna), consciousness is there when there is mental formation (saMkhAra), and the mental formation is there when is ignorance (avijja).

      We read two discourses, one in the ∂IghanikAya the µahAnidAnasutta and the other in the µajjhimanikAya the µahAtaNhAsankhayasutta, which explain the causality in both these orders. The knowledge of these two functions has been explained in many places with the following sentence.

      “Pubbe ananussutesu dhammesu cakkhuM udapAdi, JANaM udapAdi, paJJA udapAdi, vijjA udapAdi, Aloko udapAdi
=Formerly, when the truth is well heard there is arising of eye, arising of knowledge, arising of wisdom, arising of higher knowledge, arising of light in the truths. 

      In the ñagarasutta of SN the Buddha makes a very significant statement on the paTiccasamuppAda.
      “Evameva kho ahaM bhikkhave addasaM purANaM maggaM purANaJjasaM pubbakehi sammAsambuddhehi anuyAtaM, katamo ca so bhikkhave purANamaggo, purAnaJjaso pubbakehi sammAsambuddhehi anuyAto ayameva maggo

=O monks! Thus I found an ancient path which was followed by the fully enlightened ones in that past, which is the path … is the noble path itself.
      In the PaJcabhayaverasutta of SN the Buddha explains how the noble disciples will gradually realize the noble path according the knowledge of dependent origination.

1.   Having seen the dependent originality of ethical factor he refrains from five unethical behaviours given in the paJcasIla and he will cultivate the good qualities that are contrary to five misbehaviours.

2.   He becomes endowed with the factors of stream-entry:
i.          He realizes adequacy of the Buddha as the teacher and he finds no for another teacher.
ii.          He realizes the meaningfulness of realizing the nibbAna
iii.         He justifies usefulness of following the greater nobles
iv.         He lives with proper, bodily, verbal and mental conduct or he is endowed with morality applicable to nobles (ariyakantasIla).
3.   Striving to achieve wisdom on existence becomes his aims of life. Since then, (from the attainment of sotapanna).

      One who is endowed with these three qualities is free from five fears. The five fears are:
1.   Afraid of reborn in the state of loss (niraya)
2.   Afraid of reborn in animal world (tiraccAnagati)
3.   Afraid of reborn in the world of hungry ghost (petaloka)
4.   Afraid of reborn in lower states (apAyaduggati)
5.   Afraid of not attaining nibbAna (sotapannaM saMsArabhayato mutto).

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