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Lead Paragraphs 
The leading section was not worded well enough to present the subject appropriately. It was ambiguous and confusing, making it seem to be an obscure concept or theory in Buddhism. It is important to specifically mention what Dependent origination does not mean, precisely because different people interpret it in entirely different ways, confusing the subject beyond its real scope. For a philosophy like Buddhism, it is necessary to have a clear, precise explanation of doctrine, that is rigorously consistent with the Buddha's teachings.
It is incorrect to assume that all theories regarding Paticcasamuppada can be given equal authenticity - they are all theories about something specific that the Buddha taught. It is therefore essential to correctly represent the Buddha's explanation according to the Pali Canon and Theravada first, and then give alternative presentations and speculations by later Buddhists like the Mahayana and Tibetan Buddhists.
The lead paragraph had references to the question of whether it can considered Buddhist metaphysics or not, but does not present the scholarly opinions along with the primary sources on Buddhism. Scholarly opinions count, but only as a secondary means to understand the context of the primary sources, and since different scholars can have differing opinions on the same matter, it is imperative to understand the import of the primary source first and then the scholarly opinions.
That said, the question of metaphysics is relevant to this topic in so far as paticcasamuppada resolves a dichotomy between determinism and free will, (see articles on Compatibilism, Libertarianism (metaphysics)). But it is clearly not a speculative philosophy of beings, supernatural, cosmology or complex theories of self, life, purpose etc. So this distinction needs to be made clear to the readers.
Above all, the lead paragraph should mention the relevance of this topic to Buddhists and any other readers alike.
User:BalajiRamasubramanian 20:11, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Overview section 
The overview needed a lot of rewriting. I have separated the earlier text of the Overview to "Theory" and will edit it later, and have given a detailed separate explanation of the principle from basics to show the relevance of this topic to everyone.
User:BalajiRamasubramanian 20:12, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Theory section 
The following lines in this section don't make any clear sense
- The illuminated mind, on the contrary, does not apply the conceptual categories of "being" and "non-being" to the things of experience. All things in the conventional reality arise, remain and cease in relation to other things
They reduce the articles's readability.
Transcendental section 
Thanks Kukku - that is better than my earlier hash. The transcendental section doesn't actually fit underneath the madhyamaka section very well, and though the facts may well be good, I am concerned about the interpretations- things like 'quanta' really seem out of place, even in metaphoric terms. (20040302 09:49, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC))
Edits to the last para. were made just to attempt to make it a bit more easy to read. I also replaced the elements of causality as [cause,effect] rather than [actor,action,acted-upon] - please revert, edit, destroy as you see fit, Kukku. (20040302 11:49, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC))
I am concerned about the very western term: Transcendental, to me it reduces Buddhist philosophy to Platonic/Cartesian/Kantian ontologies and would bring all the baggage that rests with Transcendentalism onto the Buddhist doorstep. Is there no better term? Or can we cite the school/translation school who uses it? (20040302 22:50, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC))
- Big cheesy grin. Great. (20040302 23:46, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC))
is it a "contribution to metaphysic" ? at least, the bramajala suta should be mentionned
what about the time : past-present-future in the dependant origination ? i think this interpretation is quite "modern" , i mean not at the beginning. Per exemple, the Buddhagosa 's Visuddhimagga does not mentions this version.
Hi, I've redirected Upadana here, because I think it is related. We're trying to take care of every article in Wikipedia:2004 Encyclopedia topics, and that was one. Can someone familiar, create a sentence or so in this article on Upadana? Thanks - Taxman Talk 15:39, July 16, 2005 (UTC)
- OK I take that back, there are more facets to upadana than just Buddhism. But if someone can help with it that would be great. - Taxman Talk 15:45, July 16, 2005 (UTC)
I have made some additions to the page adding formula tables, additional formula references and some notes. There is more to be done before the article is balanced. I will add some further text soon.
First time I've added notes to a talk page. Don't know if I have done it correctly. We will see. stray 16:08:00, 2005-08-05 (UTC)
Also added some content to Upadana page. This needs more work before its acceptable. It's just a stub at the moment. Will work on that too in the next few days. stray 16:10:52, 2005-08-05 (UTC)
Pali expression for paticca-samuppada 
I think right Pali expression for paticca-samuppada is paţicca samuppāda. Isn't it?
lt.wikipedia.user.Gyvas (firstname.lastname@example.org) 2006-March-09
Hi all, thank you for the great work you are doing on these Buddhist articles.
The term "metaphysics" makes me pause and I'd like to hear your thoughts:
It is fundamental to any Buddhist outlook ... that one of the root delusions that afflicts all non-buddhas is the innate tendency to reify. But that tendency is raised to high art by metaphysics. Nagarjuna intends his attack to strike both at the prereflective delusion and at its more sophisticated philosophical counterpart. But in doing so, he is not denying, and is in fact explaining, the nonmetaphysical part of our commonsense framework -- that part that enables us to act and to communicate and, especially for Nagarjuna, to practice the Buddhist path." - Jay Garfield, "The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way," page 314.
Kalupahana (difficult read, more scholastic!) also stresses Nagarjuna's empirical approach -- "essence is nowhere evident, cannot be located, etc." -- and I don't think we would call empiricism metaphysical, would we?
Maybe the problem is that "metaphysical" has multiple meanings,
and I am reacting from the more common interpretation which makes your sentence suggest that Buddhism is new-agey or magical. But everything I read in these Nagarjuna studies emphasizes that dependent co-origination (aka emptiness) was the primary tool in undoing existing metaphysical notions of inherent existence -- reification -- in all its myriad forms.
Anyway, that's what struck me on an initial read. Dav1d 20:24, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
- Dictionary.com defines metaphysics as follows:
1. the branch of philosophy that treats of first principles, includes ontology and cosmology, and is intimately connected with epistemology. 2. philosophy, esp. in its more abstruse branches. 3. the underlying theoretical principles of a subject or field of inquiry.
- The quote from Garfield indicates that Nagarjuna has issues with metaphysics that indulges the tendency to reify. Garfield also states:
- "We are now in a position to characterize explicitly the emptiness of causation, and the way this doctrine is identical with the doctrine of dependent origination from conditions adumbrated in this chapter. It is best to offer this characterization using the via media formulation most consonant with Nagarjuna's philosophical school. We will locate the doctrine as a midpoint between two extreme philosophical views. That midpoint is achieved by taking conventions as the foundation of ontology. . . . And so the claim that dependent arising itself is empty will turn out to be the claim that the emptiness of phenomena is itself empty - the central and deepest claim of Madhyamika ontology." Ontology is one of the principle concerns of metaphysics by definition. It need not be positivist. Sylvain1972 (talk) 14:23, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
- I also believe that the word is incorrect, but it is sourced. Mitsube (talk) 19:01, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
- Anything can be sourced on Wikipedia. The question then shifts to whether the material is relevant, accurate, timely, and reliable/authoritative. Sylvain1972 has not explained this addition to the lead section or how it is supposed to summarize the currrent article. I have asked this user to do so multiple times, and I see nothing but quotes and personal interpretations and observations. If I may ask again, Sylvain1972, could you please explain, using your own words, why you added this material to the lead section, and what part of the article it summarizes? Thank you. Viriditas (talk) 11:44, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
- I also believe that the word is incorrect, but it is sourced. Mitsube (talk) 19:01, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
- Just by chance today I was reading "Buddhists, Brahmans, and Belief," by Dan Arnold, a Buddhologist at Columbia University, and discovered the book has a subchapter called "MMK 24.18 and Chandrakirti's Metaphysical Claim: 'Relative Indication' as an Example of Dependent Origination." Sylvain1972 (talk) 19:51, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
- Great. Now can you, in your own words, explain why you added it to the lead? What part of the article does it summarize? I think you know very well that what you are doing is extremely controversial, and I have questioned your motivations for doing it. What are you trying to achieve with your addition? The source does not even say the doctrine is metaphysical; It proposes the idea that it could be depending on how one defines the term, metaphysics. Why is this in the article? From where I stand, it appears you are engaging in a subtle form of POV pushing. Viriditas (talk) 11:55, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
- Just by chance today I was reading "Buddhists, Brahmans, and Belief," by Dan Arnold, a Buddhologist at Columbia University, and discovered the book has a subchapter called "MMK 24.18 and Chandrakirti's Metaphysical Claim: 'Relative Indication' as an Example of Dependent Origination." Sylvain1972 (talk) 19:51, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
I have removed the material again. At least three editors in this section have expressed legitimate concerns. Please do not add it back into the article without obtaining consensus first. Thank you. Viriditas (talk) 12:16, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
- Since the material was added back in again without discussion, I have now tagged the article. To recap:
- 1. The lead section is a summary of the main points of the article. It is not the place to introduce new information.
- 2. The sources used to support the addition of "metaphysics" to the lead section do not actually support this material, and appear to be the opinion and the interpretation of the editor who is adding them. If they were to appear in the lead section, they would have to reflect some kind of treatment in the body of the article.
- 3. Sylvain1972's interpretation of the Garfield material is just that, an interpretation, and that is essentially original research. Viriditas (talk) 13:27, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
- 4. I have yet to see a single source that supports the statement "it is an important part of metaphysics" nor do I see how or why that statement is relevant to the lead section or to this topic. Viriditas (talk) 13:32, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
There is nothing controversial about describing pratītyasamutpāda as Buddhist metaphysics. I've provided three sources already, and will now add another. As I mentioned above, "Buddhists, Brahmans, and Belief," by Dan Arnold, a Buddhologist at Columbia University, has a subchapter called "MMK 24.18 and Chandrakirti's Metaphysical Claim: 'Relative Indication' as an Example of Dependent Origination." As the title would suggest, he uses the term metaphysics throughout to discuss Chandrakirti (and Nagarjuna's) treatment of dependent origination. This is mainstream scholarship by a leading scholar. I'm restoring the phrase.Sylvain1972 (talk) 14:31, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
- It is extremely controversial, as pratītyasamutpāda is not considered a metaphysical concept in Buddhism. Please stop trying to force your own POV into the article. Furthermore, the sources do not say what you think they say, and you are interpreting them and cherry picking them to promote a particular POV. Use the talk page to persuade and convince others, and try to form a consensus. That is how Wikipedia works. It does not work through edit warring and POV pushing. If you continue to do this, this issue will be escalated to the highest levels. Viriditas (talk) 14:35, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
This is not my personal POV. As the source I just included indicates, this is a view held my the most respected Buddhologists. As Arnold writes, "What is significant for the reconstruction of Chandrakirti's as transcendental arguments is that, understood as a properly metaphysical claim, this pint is such as to require his rejection of Dignana's demands for a specifically a posterori justification. That is, Candrakirti's characteristically Madhyamika claim is in the end (and most bascially) a claim simply to the effect that things exist only in relationship." It is not necessary to form consensus to add material that is clearly and properly cited, as the example I have just provided is. Even if the prior citations were not definitive (although I would argue that they are sufficient), the example I have just provided is.Sylvain1972 (talk) 14:48, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
- What you have writtten above is simply not true and I cannot imagine what is behind your reasoning. Sylvain1972, you were asked in three separate instances to explain your edits. You failed to do so. In three separate instances you have pushed a POV into this article without consensus insisting on promoting a POV that is not supported by the sources you cite. I must ask you again, why are you doing this? What is your motivation? What idea are you trying to get across? I have repeatedly explained to you that unique concepts do not go into the lead section. The lead section is a summary of the article. It is not for people to edit war their chosen POV and use as a trophy case. I simply do not understand what could possibly motivate you to do this. What can it possibly be? How can I support your position when you refuse to explain it? How can I support your proposal when you haven't proposed it? How can you possibly expect me or anyone else to support your additions when you refuse to discuss them? Saying this is "mainstream scholarship by a leading scholar" does not lend any support or weight to your non-existent argument, and the sources do not support your claims. Please take a break from edit warring and understand that in order for your material to stay in the article, you need to work with other editors and form a consensus. Currently, Mitsube and I are in agreement that the metaphysical concept does not belong in the lead section. In my opinion, if you were to actually develop a well sourced section that explored this concept, it just might find its way into the lead section. But right now, I do not understand why you are doing this or what is motivating you. It's almost like you lack the ability to control your behavior. Can you please explain? Inclusion is not determined merely because you think you are right. You have to work with other editors. This is not Sylvain-pedia. This is Wikipedia, and you must not continue to push your POV here. Viriditas (talk) 14:52, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
- As the record here indicates, I have consistently supported my edits on the talk page here with reasoned explanations. I just provided an additional valid source, with a quotation from it.Sylvain1972 (talk) 15:00, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
- "Views held my the most respected Buddhologists" is not a valid argument. It is your opinion that we must accept what you are saying because you claim the highest authorities in Buddhism are saying it is true. Not only is that completely false to begin with, but it directly contradicts the Buddha himself, which is even more ironic. I don't know what to make of you, Sylvain1972, but perhaps ignoring you for a bit is the best answer, as I cannot believe a word you say right now. Pratītyasamutpāda is most certainly not a metaphysical concept, and I challenge you to prove otherwise. Forcing your opinion into the article against the protestations of others is not a valid "proof". Viriditas (talk) 15:04, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
- As the record here indicates, I have consistently supported my edits on the talk page here with reasoned explanations. I just provided an additional valid source, with a quotation from it.Sylvain1972 (talk) 15:00, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
- I have provided a new source, the Arnold book, and described it clearly with a quotation. You don't have to take my opinion on the matter, because you have the source that I have provided which clearly supports the edit. Sylvain1972 (talk) 15:07, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
- You gave an incomplete quote, leaving out the fact that the author was defining the word "metaphysical" in a way specific to his paper: . Also in your new attempt you are ignoring my statement above, that a metaphysical claim of Chandrakirti (who misinterprets Nagarjuna, see for example Lusthaus' Buddhist Phenomenology, page 272, also extensive discussion in Kalupahana's work on the MMK) is not definitive. To top it off you are now ignoring the opposing reliable source I found, which states that the idea is not metaphysical. Now that these new facts have come to light, the word does not belong in the introduction. Mitsube (talk) 15:16, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
- I did not see a new source from you, as you did not introduce it in talk. As far as Chandrakirti goes, it is Lusthaus who is very much in the minority opinion on this and other issues. Chandrakirti is the definitive interpreter of Nagarjuna in the Tibetan tradition, which is the only extant tradition that still studies his work. As your source indicates, pratītyasamutpāda in not metaphysics "in the sense that it does not affirm or deny some super-sensible entities or realities"--but that is a very specific definition of metaphysics. Mirriam-Webster defines metaphysics as "a division of philosophy that is concerned with the fundamental nature of reality and being and that includes ontology, cosmology, and often epistemology." This fits the description of pratītyasamutpāda perfectly. It is true that metaphysics is sometimes defined otherwise, but those other definitions are not normative. I believe the evidence supports a qualified use of the term in the introduction, with a section added to disambiguate the issue based on various sources. That seems to me a reasonable compromise. Sylvain1972 (talk) 15:28, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
- It is not true that Lusthaus is in the minority opinion on this in scholarship (or on anything else). Lusthaus and Kalupahana agree, and though you can probably find Garfield supporting the dogmatic Tibetan line. In any case, Tibetan Buddhists form a small minority of Buddhists. It is not true that the Tibetan tradition is the only extant one which studies Nagarjuna's work. There are East Asian commentaries as well. Regarding your own original research linking a definition of metaphysics to the concept, that is your own research. My opinion is that there cannot properly be an ontology or a metaphysics if there is no acceptance of a concept of "being." The problem seems to be that the word "metaphysics" comes from the context of Western philosophy, and its appropriateness in the context of dependent arising is disputed. While I agree that a section to disambiguate the issue would not be inappropriate, as it stands now I do not believe that the introduction should link the terms "dependent arising" and "metaphysics." Mitsube (talk) 15:39, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
- Lusthaus is of the minority opinion in saying that Chandrakirti distorts Nagarjuna. I have not submitted original research, I submitted a perfectly legitimate source for my claim - the Arnold book. I have provided you with the word for word definition of metaphysics straight from the dictionary - if you choose to define it differently, then you are the one submitting original research. You have the Arnold reference and quote, and I could certainly provide more, and this merits the inclusion of this view in the article.
- A second fine source for this view is "Early Buddhist Metaphysics: Making Of A Philosophical Tradition" by Noa Ronkin. As the title suggests, Ronkin considers pratītyasamutpāda a metaphysics. I can provide ample support from this book as well. Ronkin is an Oxford-educated scholar who teaches Buddhist Studies at Stamford University. Her background is in Theravada Buddhism, so it demonstrates that this view is not limited to Tibetans. Sylvain1972 (talk) 16:43, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
- Ronkin's book is about Theravadin Abhidhamma, which could accurately be called metaphysical, but which is also specific to one sect and does not fall under "dependent arising" as laid out in the nikayas/agamas. About Lusthaus the page I mentioned contains only a repudiation of Chandrakirti's interpretation of one line; Chandrakirti gives an absolutist interpretation of it. Lusthaus says that he won't take a stand on Kalupahana's repudiation of Chandrakirti as a whole. Mitsube (talk) 05:53, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
- The Abhidhamma does indeed discuss "dependent arising" as laid out in the sutras--our last conversation was about precisely that. The Sarvastivadin Abhidharma, which was inherited by the Tibetan tradition, treats it similarly. For both of these schools the Abhidharma is considered the primary interpretation of the sutric materials it covers. In any case, I have presented ample evidence that many scholars consider pratītyasamutpāda a metaphysics.Sylvain1972 (talk) 13:45, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
WP:LEAD does not require everything in the lead to be elaborated later in the article. "The lead serves both as an introduction to the article below and as a short, independent summary of the important aspects of the article's topic." I don't understand why this mention of metaphysics has generated such heat here, but Sylvain1972 has been working reasonably here, and the personal attacks directed against him are unmerited. Bertport (talk) 01:28, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
Also, "some argue" does not constitute weasel words when citations are provided that show who argues. In that case, "some argue" serves a useful function of qualifying the statement with the implication that not everyone would argue the same way. Bertport (talk) 01:31, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
- As I have indicated in my edit summaries, if the word were an accurate description it would be appropriate in the lead regardless of the body, but it is not appropriate. Mitsube (talk) 05:53, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
The mention of metaphysics is heated here because people normally consider metaphysics to refer to something beyond the normal direct experience (as in the literal meaning of metaphysics - "beyond physics"). If by "metaphysics" one means to think of supernatural, speculation of being, non-being, absolutism, and other cosmological, theological and philosophical positions, that would not apply to Paticcasamuppada.
But metaphysics also deals with the question of determinism and free will. Are all phenomena a result of a causal chain of events or other phenomena, perfectly deterministic without any interference from anything at all? If the universe is deterministic, (based on natural laws without bending) then do beings have a free will to act as they wish at different moments, or is their will also a causal consequence of other natural phenomena? This question has puzzled philosophers for ever and while it may seem confusing, it is quite possible for both free will and deterministic laws to exist at the same time, in the framework of paticcasamuppada.
Paticcasamuppada cannot be considered to be entirely empirical, because it is something that is not known by secondary means (such as external measuring instruments), but only by the mind. In other words, if empirical knowledge can consist of knowledge directly known through the mind as a primary source of knowledge, paticcasamuppada can be considered a set of empirical laws governing the nature of dukkha. User:BalajiRamasubramanian 20:50, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
A thought on Suffering: Reading these articles on Buddhism, I am abhored by the assumption that suffering is the default state of life and that it is caused by desires and attachments. Wouldn't anyone favor a more egocentric model? According to the line of thinking of individualism and objectivism, suffering is a state resulting from the failure of an individual to develop the ego through expression of the individual's own passions. Hence birth and living are not suffering themselves, but humans enter the world operating without suffering and begin to experience it only if they are unable to develope their egos and manifest their identities. Look at an infant baby: they are the manifestation of happiness, curiosity and creativity - anything but suffering. I appreciate any responses to these thoughts. Simiam Ghan
- Buddhism does not say that suffering is the "default state of life", but it does say that we tend to suffer and that it is caused by desire, or trishna (to thirst, to crave. someone needs to update and disambiguate the wiki page...). This in turn, if satisfied, causes one to clutch and hang on to something, this clutching is called Upadana. But you must analyze it further and ask, "Clutching to what?" Well, to anything, when you say for example, "I *must* survive", that is an example of clutching, or "I *must* win this race". The idea is that if you live life in earnest, trying to make something permanent out of an impermanent and constantly changing world (Buddhist doctrine of Anicca), life will be a drag and you will be bound to be disappointed. Then Buddhism goes further and says that trishna is caused by Avidya, or ignorance. In other words, we clutch to thinks because we do not realize the truth, that everything in the world is impermanent, that the world isn't "serious", that you are not an ego isolated in a bag of skin, trapped in an alien world, and finally that the ego is ultimately unreal. Hope that helps! Itistoday 15:27, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
- But listen to an infant baby and the first thing heard is protest at what must be suffering. -- cuddlyable3
AS OF 7-12-2006: the link "Digital Dictionary of Buddhism (log in with userID "guest")" takes the reader to a 404 error page.
I think what really needs to be clarifed is the distinction between legitimate, healthy pain that needs to be attended to as much as we would attend joy, and senseless pain or suffering; neurosis.
- dukka is basically existencial suffering, pain is sensory stimuli, dukka is how we react to all sensory stimuli (in Buddhism, "senses" includes "thoughts"). You're refering to hedonism as ideal, which honestly doesn't stand to even basic argumentations. You want "unsatiable thirst" (tr.s.n.a) as ideal, good luck with that!--Esteban Barahona (talk) 20:32, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
WikiProject class rating 
This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 16:22, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Sylvain, could you give the quotes you are using in these edits: ? In the work cited Vasubandhu is not speaking for any currently extant Buddhist school, and I'm also concerned that the understanding of the twelve nidana cycle happening on short time scales should be properly represented. Mitsube (talk) 20:22, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
- Vasubandhu is still the authoritative voice on Abhidharma for all but the Theravadin tradition, and their views are also in accord with his on this matter. The Theravadin tradition relies on the the Visuddhimagga for an explanation, and the Visuddhimagga provides the 3 lives model in chapter XVII. As Bhikkhu Bodhi writes, “The Nikayas themselves do not give any systematic explanation of dependent origination the way one might expect a college textbook to do. Thus, for a clear explanation, we must rely on the commentaries and expository treatises that have come down from the Early Buddhist schools. Despite minor differences in details, these concur on the general meaning of this ancient formula . . . [describes three lifetime model] From the above, we can see that the commentarial interpretation treats the twelve factors as spread out over a span of three lives” (In the Buddhas Words, pgs 313-314)
- The Abhidharmakosha remains the authoritative work studied by all non-Theravadin who still study abhidharma.
- The Kosha passage I cited, in part:
- "The series of skandhas develops in three existences, 20a. Pratityasamutpada or dependent origination has twelve parts in three sections or time periods.152 The twelve parts of dependent origination are ignorance (avidya), the samskaras, the consciousness, namarupa, the six ayatanas, contact, sensation, desire, attachment, existence, birth, and old age and death. 20b. Two for the first, two for the third, and eight for the middle. Ignorance and the samskdras existed in a past existence, birth and old age and death will exist in a future existence, and the eight other parts exist in the present existence."
- After discussing this normative interpretation at length, he mentions the momentary interpretation and describes it briefly over the course of a paragraph at the end of the section. As Bhikku Bodhi states, the commentarial traditions of all schools have always considered the three lifetime model definitive. Sylvain1972 (talk) 14:59, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
- No problem! It's common for teachers nowadays to teach the momentary version, and there is some basis for it in the commentarial tradition (the Kosha, at least, I'm not sure about the Visuddhimagga). But it was never traditionally seen as an alternative, more like a supplement.Sylvain1972 (talk) 13:42, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
- In the abhidhamma section. I don't know of any scholar who mentions this, but there may well be one. The separate lives interpretation is also canonical, in the Patisambhida, though detail was only worked out explicitly later. Note that there's a difference between 3-lives interpretations. AK makes all 12 links temporally successive, while VM groups some as simultaneous. Peter jackson (talk) 10:00, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
Quote from Bhikku Bodhi 
I would like it if someone could include any or all of this quote from bhikku bodhi in his book, 'In the Buddha's Words'. It is about dependent origination, but it pertains to this same self vs. not-self argument:
'Several suttas hold up dependent origination as a "teaching by the middle". It is a "teaching by the middle" because it transcends two extreme views that polarize philosophical reflection on the human condition. One extreme, the meta-physical thesis of eternalism, asserts that the core of human identity is an indestructible and eternal self, whether individual or universal. It also asserts that the world is created and maintained by a permanent entity, a God or some other metaphysical reality. The other extreme, annihilationism, holds that at death the person is utterly annihilated. There is no spiritual dimension to human existence and thus no personal survival of any sort. For the Buddha, both extremes pose insuperable problems. Eternalism encourages an obstinate clinging to the five aggregates(skhandas), which are really impermanent and devoid of a substantial self; annihilationism threatens to undermine ethics and to make suffering the product of chance. Dependent origination offers a radically different perspective that transcends the two extremes. It shows that individual existence is constituted by a current of conditioned phenomena devoid of a metaphysical self yet continuing on from birth to birth as long as the causes that sustain it remain effective. Dependent origination thereby offers a cogent explanation of the problem of suffering that on the one hand avoids the philosophical dilemmas posed by the hypothesis of a permanent self, and on the other avoids the dangers of ethical anarchy to which annihilationism eventually leads.' --Bhikku Bodhi
If someone could include some or all of this, if they feel it is pertinent, that would be a great help, as i do not feel yet comfortable editing articles.
- The Buddha was not concerned with ontology. He put it aside. He was not interested in arguing about it. Mitsube (talk) 20:31, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
- I am sure you agree that Pratītyasamutpāda is an article on Buddhism, not just Buddha. The Buddhist movement includes many innovative interpretations of Lord Buddha's activities and speech, many of which may be questionable, but it doesn't stop them from being Buddhist. See WP:RNPOV. However, and more to the point, the reference given for the statement (n the article) "The Buddha actualized that there were two truths; the conventional truth and the ultimate truth." is unfounded. Garfield says nothing like that on p297. On the other hand, the two truths formulation is central to all Mahayana schools; for all Mahayanists, Buddha did (either directly or indirectly) teach the two truths. Indeed, the basis of the two truths is not much different from the distinction between the world being obscured by Anatta and the world as it appears to those who are free from such obscurations, so the Mahayanists may have a point. Also, and I consider this to be very important regarding the balance of the Pratītyasamutpāda article, Pratītyasamutpāda is absolutely central to the Mahayana 'middle way' / Madhyamaka tradition; so many individuals who are wishing to learn more about the term are likely to be investigating works by (or derived from) Nagarjuna's tradition. MMK 24.18 epitomises this. I shall modify the article accordingly. (20040302 (talk) 11:52, 9 January 2010 (UTC))
- Sounds good. The two-truths idea may be consistent with what the Buddha was teaching, but it isn't particularly useful outside of an intellectual context. These ideas arose later with professor-monks. Mitsube (talk) 02:48, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
Dependent_origination needs rewrite 
Having looked at both the current Dependent_origination section and past one, I see that both of them are really not very good. The current section more or less completely ignores any views other than those of the Mahayana, and is strongly biased towards a rather loose interpretation of the Madhyamikas. Some of the citations are likewise incorrect, or misapplied.
The original section went on about the great web of things, missing the 'normal' point of Pratītyasamutpāda, which is that it is the mechanism by how ignorance keeps us locked into samsara. At least the current section succeeds in this, however it is written using concepts that are solely applicable to the Mahayana schools, which isn't really acceptable for a general article about Pratītyasamutpāda Secondly, if we were to acknowledge it as a Mahayana / Madhyamaka view of Pratītyasamutpāda, then it is completely weird and unacceptable not to include MMK 24.18, and then to explain something about how different interpretations of just this one verse has had such a strong effect on the various Mahayana traditions, or at least to indicate how the Madhyamaka (following Nagarjuna) use Pratītyasamutpāda to demonstrate Anatta. Moreover, to be complete, it would be good to talk about the links with dependant origination and dependant designation. (20040302 (talk) 12:17, 9 January 2010 (UTC))
- I strongly agree, except one thing, which is about anatta. The Buddha said to hold the view "I have no self" is a mistake. Anatta only means that no phenomenon is really "I" or "mine". That's it. The philosophical use of the word is later and may be at odds with what the Buddha was actually teaching, namely "Suffering and its ending". Mitsube (talk) 02:44, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
- It is also a mistake (and more to the point, meaningless) to hold the view "I have no self" regarding the Madhyamaka tradition. Your interpretation of Anatta, however, is provocative and appears contradictory: If no phenomenon is really "I", then you are saying that there is nothing which is really "I", and therefore "I" does not really exist. If you accept that objects are divided into things that exist (eg a pot) and things that don't exist (eg unicorns, or mermaids, or Santa) then the "I", according to you, does not exist and you would be a nihilist; whereas if you are saying that "I" exists, then you are a positivist. A lot of what you may call 'philosophy' was really much more to do with finding a way to communicate ideas carefully; I believe that the purpose of Nagarjuna and his followers was to deliver a non-philosophical - even anti-philosophical - explanation for anatta, albeit written in a language understood by philosophers of their time. Understanding the nature of Anatta is essential to the path of awakening.
- If we examine the ending of suffering which, as you rightly say, is the teaching of Lord Buddha in accordance with the four noble truths then we see he taught us the path to the ending of suffering (the fourth noble truth). The path that he disclosed was, essentially, the eightfold path, which is often (especially in the Mahayana) categorised into the three higher trainings of Śīla, Samādhi, Paññā. Meditating on Paññā is, basically, developing insight into the three marks of existence (in the Pali canon, Buddha tells us: “All these aggregates are anicca, dukkha and anatta.”) which tie us to Samsara due to the twelve Nidānas of Pratitya-samutpada. Therefore Anatta, as one of the three marks of existence, is central to Buddhism, Buddha's teachings, and Buddhist practice. The problem that Nagarjuna faced in his day was that there were many followers of Buddha, and teachers of Buddha's path, whose views of Anatta fell into nihilism or positivism. What he wanted to do was to demonstrate that Buddha's word was truth, and that it was unambiguously true.
- When we look at the path, specifically of meditating on, for instance, impermanence, it's important to know how to meditate on them in a manner that will make a difference. So, if we just sit there without thinking, we are not engaging with the object (impermanence); we need to think about our experience of impermanence, the ramifications of impermanence, the nature of impermanence, and the pervasiveness of impermanence. By familiarising ourselves with impermanence we are gradually able to overcome our engagement with the world as if things within it were permanent; there will be a direct effect; what starts off as an intellectual idea will become a part of our reality - especially if we strengthen the basis of our meditation through sila and samadhi. For me, there is no mystery, magic, philosophy, or complexity in that. But for it to be efficacious, it is imperative that we understand just exactly what impermanence means. If, for instance, we think that impermanence only implies change (such as a river changes) but no ending, then our view of impermanence is not complete. Likewise if we believe that impermanence only implies ending but no change, the our view of impermanence is also not complete. So it is important for us to understand what these things mean in a precise and very clear manner. We need to think about something and study it in order to understand it; we then need to continually familiarise ourselves with it in order to know it, or realise (make it real for us) it.
- In the Pali canon Lord Buddha does not directly speak much about Anatta, but he speaks enough for us to understand what he means. What Nagarjuna and his followers did was to uncover the precise meaning of Anatta without falling into nihilism or positivism, using language to cut through language, using philosophy to cut through all philosophies without anxiety, confusion, or ambiguity. To accuse Nagarjuna of being a philosopher monk as opposed to, say, a meditator monk is to completely mistake him. (20040302 (talk) 14:22, 10 January 2010 (UTC))
- I do not except that "objects" are divided into "things that exist" and "things that don't exist". The statement is full of reification. Self is a process. It neither exists in the way we think of existence nor doesn't exist in that same way. As the Buddha says in the Kaccaanagotta Sutta, to one who sees the world with discernment, "exists" and "doesn't exist" do not occur. The Buddha does not discuss objects, but processes. He refers specifically to "I-making". As we closely examine any phenomenon, we realize that it is not really intrinsic to the self we continuously construct. That is what anatta means. It is taught so that one can grow dispassionate and liberate the mind. Upon the destruction of craving and clinging, the mind has been cleansed of the skandhas. Pure awareness arises that is separate from them; they continue to operate properly in their own sphere. This awareness is free of all duality, including self and not-self. Nibbana is never said to be either self or not-self in the early texts. Nagarjuna's work may be a useful antidote to certain highly intellectual theories but beyond that it is a hindrance, in my view. Also the division of the path into sila samadhi and pannya is done in Theravada circles too. Are you going to address the problems you have rightly pointed out? Mitsube (talk) 22:51, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
- We better agree to disagree about Nagarjuna. Suffice to say that for Buddhism, Nagarjuna is a central and important historical figure.
- Regarding the change, I am not sure that I am qualified or experienced enough to be able to succinctly delineate the meaning of Pratītyasamutpāda in a manner that successfully covers every tradition of Buddhism without dispute. Maybe you and I could begin to work on it together? (20040302 (talk) 23:47, 10 January 2010 (UTC))
Also regarding dependent origination and anatta I believe they were different teachings. Equating the two was done in a different place and time in a different philosophical milieu. Mitsube (talk) 21:35, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
- I am unable to remove what I disagree with without removing the entire section, which I believe is counter-productive. Secondly, our beliefs are not relevant to WP. What is uncontroversial is that Lord Buddha taught dependent origination and anatta; likewise it is indisputable that the Mahayanists, such as Nagarjuna (who is a central and important historical figure in Buddhism), definitively equated pratītyasamutpāda with Anatta. MMK24:18 famously says "Whatever is dependently co-arisen / That is explained to be emptiness. That, being a dependent designation, / Is itself the middle way." (Garfield's translation).
- Dr Rahula has been published saying: "Some people think that Voidness or Sunyata discussed by Nagarjuna is purely a Mahayana teaching. It is based on the idea of Anatta or non-self, on the Paticcasamuppada or the Dependent Origination, found in the original Theravada Pali texts". I am no scholar of Pali, or Theravada; who am I to argue against Dr Rahula here? Rahula is strongly suggesting that equating anatta with pratītyasamutpāda predates Nagarjuna and the Mahayana traditions. If you wish to dispute this, can you find suitable published references? (20040302 (talk) 09:53, 12 January 2010 (UTC))
- Anatta is always used with reference to a person, i.e. that is not me or mine. This passage is typical: "Whatever has been brought into being, is fabricated, willed, dependently originated, that is inconstant. Whatever is inconstant is stress. Whatever is stress is not me, is not what I am, is not my self. Having seen this well with right discernment as it has come to be, I also discern the higher escape from it as it has come to be." AN 10:93. The term "svabhava" (or the Pali version of it) doesn't occur in the early texts. It was a concept from a later time. There isn't a discussion, as far as I know, of "things out there" being "empty" of their own "self". In fact, I think that that analysis doesn't really work, because the "things our there" are in fact entwined with our experience of them. I believe this is actually mentioned in a sutta in the MN. I will try to add it. I do have something in a secondary source about anatta being different from dependent origination and I will try to find it. Mitsube (talk) 20:45, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
"This passage is typical: "Whatever has been brought into being, is fabricated, willed, dependently originated, that is inconstant. Whatever is inconstant is stress. Whatever is stress is not me, is not what I am, is not my self. Having seen this well with right discernment as it has come to be, I also discern the higher escape from it as it has come to be." AN 10:93.". Well, as I understand that citation, it may read as "whatever is ... dependently originated ... is not me, is not what I am, is not my self." which would follow very closely to Nagarjuna's assertion, as well as Dr Rahula's remark. Therefore it should be quite safe to say that the equation of Anatta with Pratītyasamutpāda is a Buddhist one, not just a Madhyamaka Buddhist one. Also, if you accept the gist (if not the term itself) of the two truths as being Buddha's teaching, then maybe we can keep the salient passage, but merely de-emphasise the term as a specific point. E.g. "Buddha taught that due to ignorance, the way in which we normally see the world does not make it easy for us to perceive it as Pratītyasamutpāda, which leaves us grasping at suffering and it's causes. But by training ourselves to perceive it, we are able to free ourselves completely from the endless cycle of suffering." That seems okay to me. Thoughts? 20040302 (talk) 23:58, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
- I think we may characterize the Buddha as being concerned only with phenomena (things that appear to the mind) and opposed to speculation regarding existence or non-existence of noumena (things as they exist "from their own side"). Anatta is about phenomena from the perspective of the perceiving subject, but it seems to me that Nagarjuna applies it to noumena "from their own side" as well, and I think that is a dangerous move because noumena are never clearly understood, being just fuzzy concepts. But if Kalupahana reads him correctly, he was only attacking specific notions of noumena that had arisen among heterodox professor-monk Buddhists, and so in that he was doing a useful service. The Buddha told people to view (meditative) experience in terms of the four noble truths; how is there stress in my mind, what is causing it, how could it be ended, how can I make that happen. Viewing things in terms of not being truly existent "from their own side" is quite different. It lacks the immediacy, the intuitive and emotional approach that is needed, I would think.
- Regarding dependent origination, I am not quite sure how to present it. It seems to me that the twelve-factors comprise all of the Buddha's teachings on dependent origination. He repeatedly gives the twelve factors as a definition of dependent origination, and they are explained as the causal process behind the whole mass of stress. So if I am correct in this, the Buddha was only concerned with the dependent co-arising of stress. He was not at all concerned with ontology, only phenomenology. Even the Kaccaanagotta Sutta makes this point; to one who sees the world with right view (and is in the proper frame of mind), existence and non-existence would not occur; one categorizes experience rather in terms of the four noble truths. Relevant here is also sannya (naming khandha), called equivalent to papanca (making manifold, proliferation). We get raw incoming sense data, then fashion things out of it, and then cling to them. Whether or not the raw sense data corresponds to noumena is irrelevant. Mitsube (talk) 23:07, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
- See below regarding the terminology of phenomena/noumena. I just think it's a bad idea to use that terminology on a talk page unrelated to Kant. Western philosophy has moved on quite a bit since Kant, and the dichotomy plays no part in modern Western philosophy or Buddhism either. I am not convinced that Buddha was concerned with either ontology or phenomenology; I believe his concern was about eliminating suffering. I would guess that any emphasis on mental constituents in Buddha's teaching is primarily because consciousness is a one of the three bases of suffering (along with ignorance and karma). (20040302 (talk) 13:32, 15 January 2010 (UTC))
'Phenomena' has to go 
'phenomena' as a term is far too suggestive of Kantian ontologies/metaphysics, and, in light of early kantian misinterpretations of Pratītyasamutpāda, is more likely to reinforce that relationship than to be accepted as merely meaning something that appears to the mind, which itself has dangerous connotations of idealism. The last thing that we want is people coming away from the article thinking that Buddhism offers nothig more than some form of proto-Kantian doctrine, with implications of noumena or idealism (as I understand it, Buddha rejects the idealism/materialism debate). If Buddha talked in normal language, then so should we. I would also assert that the word 'object' isn't a good alternative as it tends to imply a Cartesian subject-object dichotomy which is just as likely to cause more confusion. 'Thing' is not so bad, except it is occasionally interpreted solely within the scope of form alone. 'Dharma' would only be understood by well taught Buddhists; at the moment, I prefer 'thing' as it is a commonly used word with benign connotations. --20040302 (talk) 00:26, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
- I wonder why you feel a need to qualify 'as they appear to the mind' to 'thing'; first of all, the mind is a dharma just like any other. Likewise, we are talking about the complete domain of every and any constituent of the entire material and mental world. As I said earlier, I do not think that Lord Buddha was interested in any idealism/materialism debate, and likewise I doubt he was interested in debates, philosophies or metaphysics concerning subject/object or phenomenon/noumenon dichotomies either. --20040302 (talk) 12:57, 15 January 2010 (UTC)
- I don't know about the mind being a dharma. Dharma often means object of mental consciousness. I think we are in agreement that the Buddha was not interested in philosophical debates. My point is that Nagarjuna was interested in that and so to equate his thinking with the Buddha's is not accurate. "As they appear to the mind" indicates a certain fuzziness, which is appropriate. Mitsube (talk) 22:48, 15 January 2010 (UTC)
- I would be very interested if you can find any reference in any of Lord Buddha's teachings that suggest that dharmas do not include the mind. My reading is that he does his best to say that there's nothing special about the mind - consciousness merely arises due to contact. Secondly, I do not consider fuzziness a desirable or appropriate thing when it comes to the teachings of Lord Buddha. Do you feel that it was his purpose to be fuzzy? I do not. --20040302 (talk) 00:44, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
on dependent origination 
In the book, A Simple Path, His Holiness the Dalai Lama explains the concept of dependent origination quite well (among other things). I think that would be a very good reference for someone having the time to add such material to this article. --Neptunerover (talk) 05:50, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
- I also have great faith in His Holiness, but we must be able to demonstrate that the concept that he delineates belongs to Buddhism in general, and not only that, but that it is demonstrably so.--20040302 (talk) 00:49, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
- My problem is that I tend not to delineate the differences between this truth and that truth. I forget that there are different streams of Buddhism who see themselves as different. I therefore may have misplaced my suggestion. My search for DO led me to this article where the information seemed overly complicated as far as the specifics I was after (I'm always after the simple path). I see that I'm probably looking in the wrong spot in Buddhism. Luckily my ignorance is not of the type to attempt rewriting an article because of something I perceive. Thanks. --Neptunerover (talk) 02:49, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Contributions made by User:18.104.22.168 
I am not convinced that the contributions to Pratītyasamutpāda made by user:22.214.171.124 are any better than what was originally there. It is important to bear in mind that the article must represent all the different schools and traditions of Buddhism, and likewise it must be well cited.
The idea that Pratītyasamutpāda is a rephrasing of the idea that "Everything is interconnected" is somewhat reductive, and is not demonstrated by the quote that was taken from the S.N. Nidana Samyutta - which itself only asserts causality. Pratītyasamutpāda most normally refers to the construction of the Twelve Nidānas, which is generally undisputed by all schools.
- Agreed. I've reverted the changes for now, but we should reflect on them and consider improving the section. /ninly(talk) 22:51, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Recent addition by User:126.96.36.199 
Everything is interconnected. Everything affects everything else. Everything that is, is because other things are. This is the teaching of panicca-samuppada. No beings or phenomena exist independently of other beings and phenomena. All beings and phenomena are caused to exist by other beings and phenomena. Further, the beings and phenomena thus caused to exist cause other beings and phenomena to exist. Things and beings perpetually arise and perpetually cease because other things and beings perpetually arise and perpetually cease. All this arising and being and ceasing go on in one vast field or nexus of beingness. Same arguments as above apply. (20040302 (talk))
Hello Mitsube I think we do need to look at these important sentences again.
Just so we know what we're talking about:
06:42, 22 February 2010 edit: Common to all schools of Buddhism, it is the name for the mechanism by which beings are tied to samsara. 03:21, 22 February 2010 edit: Common to all schools of Buddhism, it states that phenomena arise together in a mutually interdependent web of cause and effect. It commonly refers in particular to the mechanism by which beings are tied to samsara.
First, I think we can leave that it is common to all schools of Buddhism. This point is made when we say that it is a cardinal doctrine.
Secondly, I agree with your emphasis that it is a name, but I disagree with your acceptance of the previous version which states that it is the means 'by which beings are tied to samsara'.
Consider this: We can't say that the illusions of a magician are the means by which the audience is deluded - because then it implies that the magician must be deluded. We can say that the audience is deluded because they do not realize the nature of the illusion they are witnessing - as soon as a member of the audience realizes the true nature, they cease to be deluded.
As in the Sunyatasaptati 'Conceiving as real the things
That are taught by the Teacher to be ignorance
It is from this that the twelve links arise.'
Samsara operates according to the laws of cause and effect. But as to the observer, he is still able to realize the delusory nature of samsara. If this were not the case, there could be no liberation for beings.
Your edit has removed the crucial point that phenomena are dependent on one another for their arising. We can't simply talk about the soteriological implications of this doctrine. That's jumping too far ahead. We need to describe its nature.
"It is a name given by the historical Buddha to the arising of samsaric phenomena in mutual dependence on one another."
Note that I've used the indefinite article 'a' - there are many names for this truth.
I'm not sure I want to risk expanding on this further, if it is even necessary. Subsequent sections have a lot to say on the subject.
I hope you find my proposal acceptable and that it addresses your original concerns. I think it should float for any school of Buddhist thought. I appreciate all efforts to provide a better definition. Aero13792468 (talk) 20:08, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
- Thanks for your edit and your thoughts, but I disagree. I have reverted it until we can come to a consensus. I explain why.
- You disagree with It is the mechanism by which beings are tied to Samsara. I am assuming that is because you are unfamiliar with the idea that Pratītyasamutpāda is the name for the what is described in the Twelve Nidānas. We read on that article The Twelve Nidānas reveal the origins of phenomena, and the feedback loop of conditioning and causation that leads to suffering in current and future lives. Teachings on 12N make it clear that there are three underlying pins to the suffering of all beings: Karma, Consciousness, and Ignorance. We cannot cease the stream of consciousness, we cannot break the universal law of Karma, but we can destroy ignorance, and so therefore there is a Path (The 4th Noble Truth). This is why it is both meaningful and uncontentious to state that Pratītyasamutpāda is the mechanism which ties all beings to samsara.
- You assert The arising of samsaric phenomena in mutual dependence on one another. What this does not state is the underlying message of causality, which is simple and straightforward. Even more important is that Pratītyasamutpāda is not about physics, it's about liberation. Buddha's interest is to liberate us from suffering - so he describes the mechanism by which we are tied to Samsara.
- I am yet to find a classical source for the assertion that (outside of causality, and the 12N) Pratītyasamutpāda asserts the idea of the interconnectedness of all things, which is what you appear to be trying to get towards. You are not alone in thinking this. I am already involved in a discussion with User talk:188.8.131.52 (remember that that is a user page) on the issue.
- Okay, now I want to point out why I am convinced that It is the mechanism by which beings are tied to Samsara is not only correct, but it is necessary. When we talk in general about Buddhism, it's going to be very difficult to reach any assertion which covers every school of Buddhism across every culture and timeline. Therefore, it's necessary for us to make early statements about these things which are completely uncontentious. The fact that the 12N are called Prat. is uncontentious, and there isn't any school that deny the 12N or Prat. (though the importance of such may be diminished). Also, the whole point if the 12N is that it shows how we are tied to samsara.
- On a doctrinal note, we know that Lord Buddha was not interested in metaphysics or philosophy. He was interested in liberating us from suffering. (recall the metaphor of Buddha as a doctor on the battlefield pulling an arrow out of a wounded soldier). He was not interested in whether or not the world is all internconnected (and neither was Nagarjuna or the Madhaymaka movement - who do some pretty amazing things with demonstrating that Pratītyasamutpāda entails Sünyata, and vice versa). (20040302 (talk))
- We need to be specific in our arguments. If you say it is a 'mechanism' you need to show that it is a mechanism. If you say it concerns 'beings' you need to show that it concerns beings. If you say 'tied' you need to show that 'beings' are 'tied' to 'samsara' by this 'mechanism'. I know it sounds ridiculous for those who haven't undergone formal study, but this is the only way to reach scholarly consensus on something of this profundity. Yes, the message may get a bit lost under this tower of pedantry, but it would not lose its meaning. I understand your concerns, but this is just one of those subjects in Buddhism that will either stay brief, cute and perhaps a little obscure, or it will expand into a monster. As you have aligned yourself to the wiki manifesto not to support a socio-political agenda, these are the only options available.
- Now then. In the Nidanasamyutta, Buddha speaks about conditions. "Bhikkhus, I will teach you dependent origination and dependently arisen phenomena. Listen and attend closely, I will speak."
- He then describes the former, ending with the words "Thus, bhikkhus, the actuality (tathatA) in this, the inerrancy (avitathatA), the nototherwiseness (anan~n~athatA), specific conditionality (idappaccayatA): this is called dependent origination" (The meanings of these are explained briefly in the commentary.) Buddha then goes on to describe the latter - dependently arisen phenomena. Buddha enumerates the twelve nidanas in both cases, but it is in the second that he specifically says "These, bhikkhus, are called the dependently arisen phenomena."
- Here we see the difference between the principle and the gross manifestations. It is here that Ananda in the Mahanidana Sutta forgets himself, because he presumes that his understanding of the manifestations is enough.
- "Do not say that, Ananda, do not say that! This dependent origination is profound and appears profound. It is through not understanding, not penetrating this doctrine that this generation has become like a tangled ball of string..."
- Note that it is not dependent origination per se which binds, but a lack of understanding.
Aero, I am not going to revert the entire text, not because you are right, but because this has become a double revert, and therefore we need to reach a consensus before we consider editing it further. Instead, I will move the article back to something that neither of us find contentious. The part that is commented out is "in mutual dependence on one another". You and I both wish to arrive at consensus. We will not arrive at it by mud-flinging.
Regarding the methods of arriving at consensus, I suggest that you have a swift (re-)read of the policy documents here. Most especially Wikipedia:Verifiability, Wikipedia:Original Research and Wikipedia:Cite_sources#How_to_present_citations). I agree that I did not source my tex, but neither did you, and that's why we are here.
- 'With this supporting argument I submit the same definition. Please revert only those changes you disagree with.
- Aero, I am not going to revert the entire text, not because you are right, but because this has become a revert-cycle (aka edit war), and therefore we need to reach a consensus before we consider editing it further. Instead, I will move the article back to something that neither of us find contentious. The part that is commented out is "in mutual dependence on one another". You and I both wish to arrive at consensus. We will not arrive at it by mud-flinging.
- Regarding the methods of arriving at consensus, I suggest that you have a swift (re-)read of the policy documents here. Most especially Wikipedia:Verifiability, Wikipedia:Original Research and Wikipedia:Cite_sources#How_to_present_citations). I agree that I did not source my tex, but neither did you, and that's why we are discussing this. In general, as you may know, citation from sutra is not considered ideal as a source in Wikipedia (They are primary sources). I will endeavour to provide scholarly sources that state something reasonably meaningful for the opening paragraph.
- My primary contention is that the phrase in mutual dependence on one another implies some sort of strong interconnectedness which is not found in the sutra that you cite. I have no disagreement with the idea of dependant arising indicating that all products arise from causes and conditions, but as far as I am aware:
- The idea that causes are dependant upon their effects belong only to Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka movement, and therefore does not pervade all of Buddhism.
- The idea that there is interdependance between my finger and alpha centauri is not established in Buddhism, but is too easily read from that phrase. (20040302 (talk) 10:03, 24 February 2010 (UTC))
- You are saying that "...the sequence of factors should not be regarded as a linear causal process in which each preceding factor gives rise to its successor through the simple exercise of efficient causality. The relationship among the factors is always one of complex conditionality rather than linear causations as mutuality (when two factors mutually support each other), necessary antecedence (when on factor must be present for another to arise), distal efficiency (as when a remotely past volitional formation generates consciousness in a new life), etc." to quote Bhikkhu Bodhi. And I agree. But we need to state that there is a dependence. An inherent reciprocity is not, I concede, a teaching of the 1st turning of the wheel. Let's leave it out.
- I've replaced 'samsaric' with the more contextually edifying descriptor 'conditioned'.
- 'Giving a name to' is what you do to babies. This doesn't seem to fit the pre-eminence Lord Buddha attaches to the doctrine when he says that 'whether there is an arising of Tathagatas or no arising of Tathagatas, that element still persists, the stableness of the Dhamma, the fixed course of the Dhamma, specific conditionality." 'A term used to describe' is perhaps more appropriate.
- I'm still not happy. It's really amazing how it defies any attempt at reducing its scope. The 12 nidanas even appear as a gross overstatement of the atomistic 'when this exists, that comes to be, with the arises of this, that arises...'
- The magic is that he doesn't say what 'this' or 'that' is. Its left completely open. As his teaching to Ananda shows, Lord Buddha recommended contemplating the 12 nidanas as a way to teach dependent origination by example. But the principle is always superior to the phenomena it rules. So in places we find 12 transcendent nidanas, or 10 nidanas, or we find cause and effect, or subject and object etc etc - whatever example best suits the context. For some beings there is no gestation, so the teaching on 12 nidanas would not help. If we look even further it appears the Dharmadhatu acts as a unary nidana, being the source (nidana) of all phenomena.
- Anyway. I'm guessing for most Bhikkhus the doctrine of nidanas was the most appropriate way to present and give form to the teaching.
- I did find the words of the Buddha Vipassi in DN,ii36 which read 'the conditioned nature of things, or dependent origination'.
- So shall we start with "It is a term used by the Buddha to describe the conditioned nature of things." We can hardly go wrong with this. Here we can avoid the error of restricting the phenomenal domain of its influence.
- Finally, you could still say that we should qualify the speaker as 'Buddha Vipassi' since it would not be right to take this primary source and extrapolate it as the words of Shakyamuni Buddha, since he was only quoting Buddha Vipassi. Well, quite honestly, I'm not going to do that. It would just be too obscure. This article is the work of the people who put it together, whatever sources we choose to use and however close we may get to the ideal/idol of NPOV. Aero13792468 (talk) 22:27, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
- Apologies if this was addressed above and I've missed it, but do we really need the "used by the [historical] Buddha" part at all? Whether or not this may be true (and I'm not addressing the Buddha's or scriptural historicity here), it's a term used much more broadly than that – it's used in much of Buddhist discourse, practice, and beyond. "It is a term used to describe the conditioned nature of things" seems to me sufficient and perhaps superior. Stuff about scriptural origin and provenance should go, to my mind, to a more specialized section ("Origin of the term" or some such).
- The only value in us saying anything at all is in pointing out the dependent connections. So our use of the term is dependent on its origination from the Buddha. If you cut the scriptural authority off, it becomes like so much hot air. The statement would fall into the extreme of eternalism - "It is". Scriptural authority is as important in wiki or the OED as it is in Buddhist scholarship.Aero13792468 (talk) 20:28, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
- Absolutely not. Scriptural authority is only important in a Buddhist context, which Wikipedia is not. Yet I would not accept "It is" either. Wikipedia's purpose here is to describe Buddhist ideas from a neutral point of view which, while not necessarily discounting scriptural authority, cannot subscribe to it, either. Essentially, for the purpose of an article like this one, it doesn't matter what the historical Buddha said – and anyway we cannot assert (according to WP's standards of verifiability) whether the sutras accurately reflect the historical Buddha's words. What is important is that this doctrine comes from such-and-such a sutra or sutras, which are accepted by Buddhist adherents as authoritative. /ninly(talk) 15:15, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
- I am in general agreement with the changes. I have amended the actual article text to say "arise and disappear through processes of cause and effect", as this is what the reference is actually cited as saying, and I believe that arise together in a mutually interdependent web of cause and effect is an (WP:OR) interpretation that is not cognate with the phrase found in the text. I remain unconvinced that we should abandon the 12N in the first paragraph - I believe that there is a strong link between the two which should not be evaded, even if we agree (and I would) that the usage of Pratītyasamutpāda extends beyond the 12N in eg the Madhyamaka. (20040302 (talk) 08:41, 25 February 2010 (UTC))
- Sorry but that doesn't follow. The citation explains that phenomena are interdependent (word present in citation) within a web of causation (phrase present in citation) in which they have no discrete independent identity. It is mutual interdependence which is behind the reality of non-identity (anatta) and in turn emptiness (sunyata). Your re-rendering does not reflect the citation's meaning at all and misses entirely the technical basis for the philosophical corollaries. 184.108.40.206 (talk) 12:37, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
- I hear you. I have amended the article only to remove the term "mutually" which is the specific word that I find contentious (and therefore OR) without scholarly citation, and it is not found in the citation given. (20040302 (talk))
This citation - I have some issues with it. Firstly, the speaker contradicts wikipedia rules of weasel words. 'Buddhist Ontology points out that' is meaningless. Who is 'Buddhist Ontology'? We're already losing definition in talking about 'Buddhist schools'. Does every school have a spokesperson? I don't think so. We should be citing individuals and works that cite individuals with as few translations in-between as possible.
The web / net nomenclature (also introduced in the text) is Mahayana only.
The "Wise human beings" do such and such 'voice of God' style of writing is not appropriate for wiki articles, and the wholesale replacement of major portions of text without reason I feel is unacceptable. I'm reverting all edits by 220.127.116.11. I'm sorry 20040302 but this means yours too. Please consider the edits that have transpired before adding your own.Aero13792468 (talk) 20:28, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
- Regarding "the usage of Pratītyasamutpāda extends beyond the 12N", of course. In the early texts the Buddha says that all things that have come to be are dependently originated. And the idea that the "cause" is dependent upon its "effect" is obvious; it's only a "cause" because there is an "effect". Mitsube (talk) 04:45, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
And in my opinion, the Heart Sutra only makes sense if you put quotation marks around most of the nouns in it. It is a warning against conceptual realism, like in the Vajira Sutta (and other places). In order to make sense of the Vajira Sutta one has to also read the Satta Sutta. Mitsube (talk) 09:49, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
- My first impression is to agree with you. /ninly(talk) 21:48, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Beeblebrox added an unclear template, and it's true – I think this article would be unhelpful at best and confusing/discouraging at worst to someone without knowledge of jargon and technicalities of Buddhist philosophy. Approaching this one word at a time, starting with the intro:
- I think Mitsube's suggestion above might help. Start with English and a short section after the TOC break with information about the Sanskrit word and its form in other languages would go a long way toward clearing up the intro for more introductory material. This is not parallel with some other terms, but since there's little doubt what the translation (whichever we use) refers to, I think it's appropriate here to use one of the more common English translations.
- The word samsaric is likely opaque to many readers, and I think it's unnecessary in this context. It may not be 100% accurate, but something like worldly or perceived might be better for the introduction. Intricacies can be worked out later.
- I took an initial stab at reorganizing the first two sections after the intro. I cut a lot, but tried to leave the references in appropriate places, as I'm not sure exactly what supported what. Please feel free to expand or restore text where you feel it necessary (or take out what isn't), but I thought way too much of the article was about 4NT and N8P, trying to "set up" a grand rhetorical introduction to the article's actual subject, which could probably be addressed a lot more directly. Again, just trying to be bold, while leaving us something to work with. Response or differing attempts are welcome. /ninly(talk) 21:50, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
- There is consensus above to move it to "Dependent origination". Could someone do this? Mitsube (talk) 21:39, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
Merge request 
Does anyone have thoughts on merging Twelve Nidanas with this article? The IP user who suggested the merge has not provided any supporting discussion that I have found. There was discussion at Talk:Twelve Nidanas a few years back about keeping that article distinct, but I don't know what kind of consensus that notion had.
I don't feel very strongly either way (although I think both articles need improvement), but if it's not going to be discussed at all I will remove the merge-request tags.
Relatedly, I'm not too crazy about way the articles now suggest that most interpretations of the twelve nidanas are an essential misinterpretation of the Mahanidana Sutra. It's not an uninteresting suggestion, but it strikes me as a non-neutral POV, and the quoted reference looks a blog – not a scholarly or other reliable source. The same material is contained, pretty much verbatim, at Twelve Nidanas. /ninly(talk) 23:01, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
- If Buddha said "Now monks, I will teach you dependent origination' and then the same for the nidanas, then I say go for it. Aero13792468 (talk) 22:10, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
You're correct that a better published source should trump a blog... but if there is no better published source available, you should give due consideration to a blog that so extensively proves its case through primary sources (and, indeed, enough secondary sources to keep you entertained). In terms of the huge bulk of material in these articles (to be merged) that is now duly flagged as having no cited source at all (and needing one!) it certainly seems unreasonable to marginalize a semi-published source of this kind. While you're correct to complain that a blog isn't a "real" publication... the other "interpretations" being quoted here often do not come from "real" publications, either (certainly not scholarly ones). Ninly, You had a look at this article, raised in the wikipedia articles mentioned (and now slated to merge), but did you take the time to read it? http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala/2011/01/27/unpopular-facts-about-one-of-buddhist-philosophys-most-popular-doctrines/ —Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 05:25, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
- If you want your work to be taken seriously you need to publish it in a peer-reviewed journal. Once someone of standing gives their opinion on your work, then the Wikipedia editors will see that its not just a lot of nonsense, and the controversies could be added to the page. Registering with Wikipedia will also help your case. Aero13792468 (talk) 20:17, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
- Seriously? Seriously, five seconds of google-work reveals that the same author has got peer-reviewed publications, although this one the article links to isn't one of them: https://profiles.google.com/118222702679452306115/about
- (The problem with peer-reviewed publications is that they're harder to read than material that's dumped onto the internet for free download... perhaps that's why Wikipedia articles are so rarely influenced by them?)
- Seriously? Who can take this wikipedia article seriously? Looks like both the articles on Pratītyasamutpāda and the separate one on Twelve Nidānas (that is separate for no clear reason) have been revised to minimize this source. Like it or not, the source is really clearly based on primary source texts, whereas most of the material in this Wikipedia artice isn't.
- Seriously? If you go through and delete all of the material that is now flagged as either original research or citation needed think about how little would remain of this article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 09:57, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
- I agree that the Eisel Mazard article is a valid source. However, there is a very good reason for keeping the two articles separate: in Mahayana traditions the scope of pratītyasamutpāda encompasses more than just the 12 nidanas. It held to be the etiology of all of the phenomenal world, at the level of samvrti. Mazard is discussing only the Pali sources, so he does not address this.Sylvain1972 (talk) 18:39, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
- As Sylvain states, the scope of pratītyasamutpāda is far greater than merely the 12 nidanas. The wisdom focus of Gelukpa, Sakya and most Kargyu academic study and literature concerns Madhyamaka and is (and has been for at least 700 years, with a vast corpus of associated literature) the examination of pratītyasamutpāda as a proof of establishing emptiness, based on the commentarial works of Candrakirti et al. Moreover the distinctions between (and development of) dependant arising and dependant designation would be hard to make if we conflated pratītyasamutpāda with the 12 nidana alone. OTOH I certainly agree that the 12 Nidana interpretation of pratītyasamutpāda is indeed unnecessarily redundant. If this article were to become a disambiguation page, (which is more or less what it is, with additional materials), then the interplay between the Pali and later Mahayana commentaries would be less prominent. One of the challenges for the editors of the Mahayana sections is the immense amount of literature available that discusses such areas as Pratītyasamutpāda and the many historical and deeply complex debates that have engaged Tibetan scholars for centuries. (20040302 (talk))
- I also agree with Sylvain. These are definitely separate topics. The twelve nidanas are one method for understanding interdependent arising (pratītyasamutpāda) but there are other methods as well, such as contemplating on the four extremes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dorje108 (talk • contribs) 00:59, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
- For further clarification, the Dalai Lama (Jeffrey Hopkins translator) identifies different levels of understanding of dependent arising:
- Thus, there is one level of dependent-arising that is concerned with causality, in this case the twelve branches, or links, of dependent arising of life in cyclic existence... Then there is a second, deeper level of dependent arising that applies to all objects; this is the establishment of phenomena dependent upon their parts... There is a third, even deeper level, which is the fact that phenomena are merely imputed by terms and conceptuality in dependence upon their basis of imputation. (Dalai Lama (1992). The Meaning of Life, translated and edited by Jeffrey Hopkins. Wisdom. p. 36)
- I think it is clear from all of the above comments that the merge request should be removed from the Twelve nidanas article. _ Dorje108 (talk) 21:20, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
- For further clarification, the Dalai Lama (Jeffrey Hopkins translator) identifies different levels of understanding of dependent arising:
Requested move 
Anti-Mahayana polemic pulled from technical note 
All notions of self are included here ranging from the then extant views contained in the Upanishads, to the later views. Even notions that the body or the ego are not the self and that there is a higher, more refined self, whether as the Supreme Self of Vedanta or as the womb of the Tathagata of the Mahayana are essentially notions of self that fall under one of these categories. For example, the Vedantic notion is that of a formless and infinite self. The Mahayana notion is that of a formless but finite self. Some Mahayana traditions don't explicitly consider the womb of the Tathagata to be a self, but nevertheless, they consider it a persisting entity in all beings and in this sense it therefore is a clinging to self-view (sakkaya ditthi).
This article is still written by people who are only experts of their own views. In the above text, which has been excised, there are no basic citations that demonstrate any support for the assertion that Mahayana traditions as a whole cling to some form of self-view. Actually, it reveals a lack of study regarding the Mahayana traditions, all of whom assert Pratītyasamutpāda, and all of whom have faith in the four noble truths. A qualifying counter-example to the text above is the Madhyamaka tradition, which denies the objective (essence-holding) self, as well as all other phenomena; the only self that exists is the one used to indicate the difference between 'me' and 'you' - a conventional, unphilosophical, nominal self. It is true that other traditions accuse the Madhyamaka of being nihilists, but that is because for them they believe that some form of essential existence is necessary in order for Karma to function.
IMO, a lot of the technical notes and the basic text has been written over the last two years with a rather narrow, and in some places bigoted, view without much in the way of references or background to contextualise it. Buddhism is vast, deep, and multi-faceted. (20040302 (talk))
Note on terminology 
I've noticed that some Theravada-based texts use the term paticcasamuppāda to refer specifically to the twelve nidanas. For example:
- Walpola Sri Rahula (1974). What the Buddha Taught. Grove Press. Kindle Location 791.
- Even this ‘thirst’, taṇhā, which is considered as the cause or origin of dukkha, depends for its arising (samudaya) on something else, which is sensation (vedanā), and sensation arises depending on contact (phassa), and so on and so forth goes on the circle which is known as Conditioned Genesis (Paṭicca-samuppāda)...
- Sucitto, Ajahn (2010-09-14). Turning the Wheel of Truth: Commentary on the Buddha's First Teaching (p. 65). Shambhala Publications. Kindle Edition.
- The sequence of dependent origination works in two directions: when ignorance arises and we act on that, suffering follows; when ignorance ends, so does craving and every kind of inner pain, shadow, and stress.
In contrast, in the Mahayana tradition, the term typically refers to the broader topic of interdependence and emptiness. I assume that the term can also be used in a broader context in the Theravada tradition, as well. But in any case, some clarification of this terminology will be needed within both articles (i.e. Pratītyasamutpāda and Twelve nidanas). - Dorje108 (talk) 15:46, 30 December 2011 (UTC)