revised on 2021-01-27
The Chart of Dependent Arising Process (D.A. Process)
Here onwards will use the short form D.A. for the Dependent Arising Process. Mogok Sayadaw's talks were based on the D.A. process.
For this purpose he constructed a chart which is called the circular chart of the D.A. process. This chart was based on the suttas and commentaries. Therefore to understand more clearer on his talks have to understand this chart. He wrote some verses and explained the teaching systematically (Note: Paṭicca-samuppāda is translated in different ways: 1. Dependent Co-origination; 2. Dependent Arising; 3. Dependent Origination).
The verses on the chart of D.A. process
First verse: Two roots (mūla), 2 truths, 4 groups of layers and 12 factors with its meanings. Three connections, again 2 roots, 3 rounds for existence (vaṭṭas), 3 periods of time, 20 factors of causes and effects, and have to study these 8 points by heart and realize it with practice. This is the liberation from saṁsāra.
Second verse: Base on ignorance (avijjā) and craving (taṇhā), clinging (upādāna), action (kamma) and mind-body arise. Like a tree from a seed, and a seed from a tree, which are connecting without break. With the cause of kamma and mind-body; and with mind-body and kamma arises. In this way these are arising again and again. Contemplating with knowledge as many humans, gods and living beings appear are not by the Mahā Brahma's or God's Creation.
First it needs to learn the 8 points, just mentioned in the first verse, and then to study the 12 factors of D.A. process. By itself it can be a long lecture for many hours. Here only give a short introduction for it. After having the basic ideas on it and we can contemplate to find out more by ourselves. The Buddha's Teachings are always practical and developing wisdom faculty. Faith without wisdom is blind faith and leading to sufferings.
Study of the 8 points
D.A. process is the khandha process. Paṭiccasamuppāda, khandhas and saṁsāra are the same thing.
- Two roots: Ignorance and craving, these are the beginning of the 12 links of the D.A. process. It doesn't mean that it is the first cause. These also have their causes. These are the roots of saṁsāra (rounds of existence), or the root causes of the khandhas. Written in the middle of the circle is like a wheel axle in bold letters as avijjā and taṇhā. They are turning the samsāric wheel on and on non-stop.
- Two truths: It was written in the 1st section bottom layer as samudaya sacca, in the 2nd section as dukkha sacca, and then in the 3rd and 4th section as samudaya and dukkha. saccas respectively. Combine the same together and become 2 truths; i.e., samudaya and dukkha saccas.
- Four groups of layer: In section ①, it's the layer of the past causes. In sec. ②, it's the layer of the present results. In sec. ③, it is the layer of the present causes. In sec. ④, it is the layer of future results. All these are only in different periods of time. With combination become 2 layers of the causes and 2 layers of the results. Sec. ③ also can be written as the layer of the future causes.
There is an arrow from the top of the circle running through to the bottom and separated the circle into two halves. On the right hand side half are the 7 factors of avijjā, saṅkhāra, viññāṇa……. vedanā. These are leading by the past root of avijjā. On the left hand side half are the 5 factors of taṇhā, upādāna, kammabhava, jāti, jara-maraṇa.
These are leading by the present root of taṇhā. Leading by the past root of avijjā are 7 factors and leading by the present root of taṇhā are 5 factors. And totally all are 12 factors. These 12 factors with its meanings will be discussed later.
Vaṭṭa means round of event, moving round in a circle or round of existence. Therefore kilesa vaṭṭa means oppressive dhamma which afflict or torment beings with tiredness and suffering in a circle. In see ① and sec ③ kilesa vaṭṭas are indicating by arrow as avijjā, taṇhā and upādāna.
Kamma vaṭṭa means actions are going on in a cycle. In sec ① and sec ③ the 2 kamma vaṭṭas are indicating by arrow as saṅkhāra and kamma bhava.
Vipāka vaṭṭa means results are going on in a circle. In sec ④ the 8 vipāka vaṭṭas are indicating by arrow as viññāṇa … vedanā, jāti, upapattibhava, jara–maraṇa. In some places not including upapattibhava and mentioned 7 vipāka vaṭṭas only. upapattibhava means khandhas arise or cause by kamma. It seemed to be kammabhava and upapattibhava both related to the Abhidhamma. A Burmese teacher said that jāti must take kammabhava.
Kilesa vaṭṭa and kamma vaṭṭa are the causes for round of existence. And vipāka—is the result of the round of existence. The most fundamental round is the round of defilements (kilesa vaṭṭa).
It's also not knowing what should be known and knowing what should not be known. Avijjā is also called delusion (moha). It has the function of delusion, and also has the nature of covering up.
Therefore avijjā is darkness. Also not knowing what is right and wrong. So it's also called wrong knowledge (micchā ñāṇa).
② Saṅkhāra (Volitional formation)
Here Saṅkhāra means actions condition for khandhas to arise.
③ Viññāṇa (consciousness)
Viññāṇa is knowing. There are 2 types of viññāṇa. Patisandhi viññāṇa rebirth-linking consciousness, consciousness during the pregnancy. And pavutti viññāṇa—consciousness arises in this present life, while still alive. Rebirth-linking consciousness had already gone. Now, we're living with these pavutti viññāṇa.
These are 6 types:
Nearly every living being is alive with these 6 consciousnesses. Except non-percipient beings (asaññasattā) and immaterial beings (arūpabrahmas), they are a little different from the mind-body beings. In every mind moment, it can only arise one consciousness. Because 2 consciousnesses can't arise together at the same moment.
④ Nāma-rūpa/ (Mind-matter)
Nāma—mind has the nature of inclining towards objects. And rūpa has the nature of change. Some examples of mind-matter are:
⑤ Salāyatanaṁ (6 sense—bases)
The meaning of āyatana is dhamma extending the saṁsāra. Therefore the 6 sense—bases; eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind bases are extending the saṁsāra. Eye, ear, nose, tongue and body are 5 material bases. Heart or mind is mind base. Combine both of them become mind and body.
⑥ Phassa (Contact)
There are 6 contacts:
⑦ vedanā (Feeling)
There are six types of feeling according to the six sense-doors. Feelings arise in the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind doors.
Analysis of feeling
⑧ taṇhā (Craving)
taṇhā means wanting, craving; and has 3 types:
The differences between (1) and (2) are; craving for external objects is kamma taṇhā and for the internal khandha is bhavataṇhā. Their nature is greed (lobha).
⑨ upādāna (Clinging)
There are 4 kinds of clinging;
⑩ Kammabhava (existence)
Kammabhava means kammically active process of existence or actions conditioning for existence. In the diagram of the D. A. process, kammabhava at sec ③ was written with incomplete form; such as:
It means Kamma and Bhava could be connected or disconnected. They are still connected for worldlings to sekhas (sotāpanna to anāgāmin); but not for arahants, pacceka-buddhas and Buddhas. Why is that? Because upapattibhava and kammabhava combine together only become completion (upapattibhava—passive or resultant process of existence). For an arahant it's only functional kamma and no more existence. In the original 12 factors of D. A. process was written as bhava only. Under the influence of clinging one engages in actions that are accumulated as kammas.
There are 3 types of kamma;
All these 10 negative kammas are called 10 unwholesome dhamma (akusala dhamma) or 10 duccarita dhamma (misconducts) or 10 apuññābhisaṅkhāra (black kammas). These dhammas can lead to bad destinations (dugati). To avoid them become 10 wholesome dhamma (kusala dhamma) or 10 good conducts (sucarita dhamma) or 10 puññābhisaṅkhāra, (white kammas). These can lead to good destinations (sugati).
The 3 wholesome mental actions (mano kusala kamma)are:
⑪ jāti (Birth)
Getting a new life or khandhas.
There are 4 kinds of births:
Beings also can have different numbers of khandha. Some have 5 khandhas, some have 4 mind khandhas (e.g., arūpabranma) and some only have the physical khandha (e.g., non-percipient beings).
⑫ Jara, maraṇa (Ageing and death)
There are 4 kinds of death
Note on Kammabhava:
On the factor of kammabhava and has mentioned about the bodily action—kāya kamma. It doesn't include taking intoxicants (liquors and drugs). Also, we can't find it in the 10 unwholesome kammas. In the 5 precepts the last one is abstinence from intoxicants.
We know that it's very harmful to human beings and society and no doubts about it. If we break this one precept and can break all the other four. Even the Buddha mentioned about its future result was not good. So why don't we find it in the 10 unwholesome kammas? A Burmese teacher said that it was including in the sexual misconduct.
But he didn't explain the reason. Truly, sexual desire is intoxicating. Because of sexual desire, some had done unlawful and wrong sexual practices. Such as adhamma rāga and micchā dhamma mentioned in some suttas, moral of humans was degenerated when the time came. Nowadays we can see more and more these things in society.
revised on 2021-01-27; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4026&sid=3207e081493aa85b45cac011b736d533 (posted on 2018-12-14)
- Content of "Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw"
- Content of Publications of Ven. Uttamo
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