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This book is a detailed examination of causal conditioning, the law of cause and effect, analyzing 24 types of conditional relations (paccaya) in relation to the classifications in the matika of the Dhammasangani.
Most causes can be classified as more than one types.
24 conditional relations
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- root or primitive causes (hetu paccaya)
Lobha (attachment), Alobha (anti-attachment), Dosa (aggressiveness), Adosa (anti-aggressiveness or embrace), Moha (ignorance) and Amoha (wisdom), by being the six root or primitive causes, give rise to all thoughts and feelings.
- stimulative causes (arammana paccaya)
External objects and their effects, such as light and sounds, are ones of the causes of thougts and feelings by stimulating a person's sensations.
- dominant causes (adhipati paccaya)
A few mental aspects, such as wish (Chanda) and motivation (Vīrya), are believed to be possible dominant causes in Buddhist Psychology because each of them can profoundly dominate the rest of the mental aspects at one time.
- subsequent causes (anantara paccayo)
Each step or process of a vithi, a mental procedure in Buddhist Psychology, happens in order. One of such steps is a subsequent causes that give rise to a following one.
- continuous causes (samanantara paccayo)
This point is sort of emphasis of the continuity between two successive steps of a vithi.
- Simultaneous or unitary causes (sahajata paccaya)
The pali word saha means "together" and jata means "rise (into existence)." Interpretations of this point can be in two main versions. In the more straightforward one, the causes that rise together and give rise to particular effects together are simultaneous causes. In the broader sense, according to Abhiddhamma, all the variety of physical or mental features are mere manifestations of a number of fundamental physical or mental principles, and hence all of the variety can be unified to a simple group just like the fundamental forces can be unified in electroweak interaction and grand unified theory.
- inter-supportive causes (aññamañña paccaya)
In Abhidhamma, some mental and physical phenomena are inter-supportive causes that can give rise to one another. The relationship of the change of a magnetic flux and that of an electric field could be a good example for this.
- responsible causes (nissaya paccaya)
If one or more processes or phenomena is attributed to a particular cause no matter whether the causality is direct or indirect, that cause is, in Abhidhamma, regarded as a responsible cause.
- super-responsible causes (upa-nissaya paccaya)
- pre-existing causes (purejāta paccaya)
A cause that has risen into its existence before an effect that it gives rise to, it is a pre-existing cause.
- post-existing causes (pacchājā paccaya)
A cause that rises into its existence after a phenomenon that it later supports or maintains, it is a post-existing cause.
- habitual cultivation (āsevana paccaya)
- karma causes (kamma paccaya)
In Theravada Buddhism, the correct meaning of kamma or karma is basically the same as agency in humanism, a purposeful action. If a particular process or phenomena of a person is purposeful enough to cause a consequence (vipāka), it is called a karma causes.
- consequence causes (vipāka paccaya)
- nutritious causes (āhāra paccaya)
Nutrition that serves as fuel or raw material in physiology is nutritious causes.
- controlling faculty (indriya paccaya)
- jhāna – a relation specific to meditation attainments (jhāna paccaya)
- path – a relation specific to the stages on the Buddhist path (magga paccaya)
- association (sampayutta paccaya)
- dissociation (vippayutta paccaya)
- presence (atthi paccaya)
- absence (natthi paccaya)
- disappearance (vigata paccaya)
- non-disappearance (a-vigata paccaya)
- Ronkin, Noa (Fall 2014). Zalta, Edward N. (ed.). "Abhidharma". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.