Dependant Co-Arising

Consciousness leads to Name & Form (mental / physical activity)
Which leads to Contact
Which leads to Feeling.
Which leads to Craving.
Which leads to Clinging.

Seeking

Aquiring

ascertainment (definitively learn)

desire and passion

attachment

possessiveness

stinginess

defensiveness

Which leads to Becoming.
Which leads to Birth.
Which leads to Aging & Death.

Life here in this world, ultimately, can only lead to suffering. Detaching from the world is necessary to be free from suffering.

Here, participating in the world, following ones passions and desires, building and adding to the world will only add fuel to the fire.

Our thoughts are the beginning of our actions.

…this generation is like a tangled skein, a knotted ball of string, like matted rushes and reeds, and does not go beyond transmigration, beyond the planes of deprivation, woe, & bad destinations.

Aging-&-Death
“‘From birth as a requisite condition comes aging-&-death.’

Birth
“‘From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth.’

Becoming
“‘From clinging as a requisite condition comes becoming.’

Clinging
“‘From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging.’

Craving
“‘From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving.’

Dependent on Craving
“Now, craving is dependent on feeling,

seeking is dependent on craving,

acquisition is dependent on seeking,

ascertainment is dependent on acquisition,

desire and passion is dependent on ascertainment,

attachment is dependent on desire and passion,

possessiveness is dependent on attachment,

stinginess is dependent on possessiveness,

defensiveness is dependent on stinginess,

Feeling
“‘From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling.’

Contact
“‘From name-&-form as a requisite condition comes contact.’

Name-&-Form
“‘From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form.’

Consciousness
“From name-&-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness.’

a monk doesn’t assume feeling to be the self, nor the self as oblivious, nor that ‘My self feels, in that my self is subject to feeling,’ then, not assuming in this way, he is not sustained by [does not cling to] anything in the world. Unsustained, he is not agitated. Unagitated, he is totally unbound right within. He discerns that ‘Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.’

The Great Causes Discourse
Mahā Nidāna Sutta (DN 15)

“With what is the world tied down?
With the subduing
of what is it freed?
With the abandoning
of what
are all bonds
cut through?”

The Buddha:

“With desire the world is tied down.
With the subduing
of desire it’s freed.
With the abandoning
of desire
all bonds
are cut through.”

Desire
Icchā Sutta (SN 1:69)

If ignorant fabrications will prevail.

Seek knowledge; look into things yourself with discernment.

If fabrications prevail, ones reality will be based on the fabrications.

Ignorance paves the way to illusion and delusion.

From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact.

Your thoughts are the beginning of your actions.
Obsessions are the consciousness manifest.

From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling.

Emotion / passion

From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving.

Desire

From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance.

Upkeep / maintenance

From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming.

Self Actualization. This is mine. I am this.

From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth.

From birth as a requisite condition, then aging-&-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.

‘How this world has fallen on difficulty! It is born, it ages, it dies, it falls away & rearises, but it doesn’t discern the escape from this stress, from this aging & death. O when will it discern the escape from this stress, from this aging & death?’

“‘Becoming exists when clinging exists.…
“‘Clinging exists when craving exists.…
“‘Craving exists when feeling exists.…
“‘Feeling exists when contact exists.…
“‘Contact exists when the six sense media exist.…
“‘The six sense media exist when name-&-form exists.…
“‘Name-&-form exists when consciousness exists.…
“‘Consciousness exists when fabrications exist.…

From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications.
From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness.
From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form.
From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media.
From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact.
From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling.
From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving.
From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance.
From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming.
From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth.

“‘Becoming doesn’t exist when clinging doesn’t exist.…
“‘Clinging doesn’t exist when craving doesn’t exist.…
“‘Craving doesn’t exist when feeling doesn’t exist.…
“‘Feeling doesn’t exist when contact doesn’t exist.…
“‘Contact doesn’t exist when the six sense media don’t exist.…
“‘The six sense media don’t exist when name-&-form doesn’t exist.…
“‘Name-&-form doesn’t exist when consciousness doesn’t exist.…
“‘Consciousness doesn’t exist when fabrications don’t exist.…

From the cessation of ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications.
From the cessation of fabrications comes the cessation of consciousness.
From the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form.
From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media.
From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact.
From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling.
From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving.
From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance.
From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming.

About Gotama
Gotama Sutta (SN 12:10)

“Monks, there are these four nutriments for the maintenance of beings who have come into being or for the support of those in search of a place to be born. Which four? Physical food, gross or refined; contact as the second; intellectual intention the third; and consciousness the fourth. These are the four nutriments for the maintenance of beings who have come into being or for the support of those in search of a place to be born.

These four nutriments have craving as their cause, craving as their origination, craving as their source, craving as that which brings them into play.

“And this craving has what as its cause, what as its origination, what as its source, what as that which brings it into play? … Feeling.…
“And this feeling has what as its cause…? … Contact.…
“And this contact has what as its cause…? … The six sense media.…
“And these six sense media have what as their cause…? … Name-&-form.…
“And this name-&-form has what as its cause…? … Consciousness.…
“And this consciousness has what as its cause…? … Fabrication.…

Fabrication has ignorance as its cause, ignorance as its origination, ignorance as its source, ignorance as that which brings it into play.

“Thus, from ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications.
“From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness.
“From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form.
“From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media.
“From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact.
“From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling.
“From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving.
“From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance.
“From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming.
“From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth.

“From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.

Nutriment
Āhāra Sutta (SN 12:11)

“Now, then, Master Gotama, does everything exist?”

“‘Everything exists’ is the senior form of cosmology, brahman.”

“Then, Master Gotama, does everything not exist?”

“‘Everything does not exist’ is the second form of cosmology, brahman.”

“Then is everything a Oneness?”

“‘Everything is a Oneness’ is the third form of cosmology, brahman.”

“Then is everything a plurality?”

“‘Everything is a plurality is the fourth form of cosmology, brahman.

Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathāgata teaches the Dhamma via the middle: From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications.

From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness.
From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form.
From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media.
From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact.
From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling.
From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving.
From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance.
From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming.
From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth.

From birth as a requisite condition, then aging-&-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.

Notes

* The Oneness of all being is sometimes taught as a basic Buddhist principle, but this discourse shows that the Buddha himself rejected the idea. It is simply one of the extremes that he avoided by teaching dependent co-arising.

1. The cosmologist (lokāyata) schools of thought reasoned from what they saw as the basic principles of the physical cosmos in formulating their teachings on how life should be lived. In modern times, they would correspond to those who base their philosophies on principles drawn from the physical sciences, such as evolutionary biology or quantum physics. Although the cosmologists of India in the Buddha’s time differed on first principles, they tended to be more unanimous in using their first principles—whatever they were—to argue for hedonism as the best approach to life.

2. On the meaning of “everything” (or “all”—sabba):

“Monks, I will teach you the All. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak.”

The Blessed One said, “What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All.1 Anyone who would say, ‘Repudiating this All, I will describe another,’ if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain and, furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range.”

The Cosmologist
Lokāyatika Sutta (SN 12:48)

The All
Sabba Sutta (SN 35:23)

He reveals it, explains it, makes it plain, & says, ‘Look.’ From birth as a requisite condition comes aging-&-death.

“From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth.…
“From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming.…
“From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance.…
“From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving.…
“From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling.…
“From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact.…
“From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media.…
“From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form.…
“From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness.…
“From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications.

Aging-&-death are dependently co-arisen phenomena: inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen, subject to ending, subject to passing away, subject to fading, subject to cessation.

“Birth is a dependently co-arisen phenomenon.…
“Becoming is a dependently co-arisen phenomenon.…
“Clinging/sustenance is a dependently co-arisen phenomenon.…
“Craving is a dependently co-arisen phenomenon.…
“Feeling is a dependently co-arisen phenomenon.…
“Contact is a dependently co-arisen phenomenon.…
“The six sense media are dependently co-arisen phenomena.…
“Name-&-form is a dependently co-arisen phenomenon.…
“Consciousness is a dependently co-arisen phenomenon.…
“Fabrications are dependently co-arisen phenomena.…

“Ignorance is a dependently co-arisen phenomenon: inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen, subject to ending, subject to passing away, subject to fading, subject to cessation. These are called dependently co-arisen phenomena.

“When a disciple of the noble ones has seen well with right discernment this dependent co-arising & these dependently co-arisen phenomena as they have come to be, it is not possible that he would run after the past, thinking, ‘Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past?’ or that he would run after the future, thinking, ‘Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?’ or that he would be inwardly perplexed about the immediate present, thinking, ‘Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?’ Such a thing is not possible. Why is that? Because the disciple of the noble ones has seen well with right discernment this dependent co-arising & these dependently co-arisen phenomena as they have come to be.”

Requisite Conditions
Paccaya Sutta (SN 12:20)

…the growth & decline, the taking up & putting down of this body composed of the four great elements are apparent. Thus the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person might grow disenchanted, might grow dispassionate, might gain release there.

“But as for what’s called ‘mind,’ ‘intellect,’ or ‘consciousness,’ the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is unable to grow disenchanted with it, unable to grow dispassionate toward it, unable to gain release from it. Why is that? For a long time this has been relished, appropriated, and grasped by the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person as, ‘This is me, this is my self, this is what I am.’ Thus the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is unable to grow disenchanted with it, unable to grow dispassionate toward it, unable to gain release from it.

“It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what’s called ‘mind,’ ‘intellect,’ or ‘consciousness’ by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey, swinging through a forest wilderness, grabs a branch. Letting go of that, it grabs another branch. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. Letting go of that, it grabs another one

“The instructed disciple of the noble ones, (however,) attends carefully & appropriately right there at the dependent co-arising:
“‘When this is, that is.
“‘From the arising of this comes the arising of that.
“‘When this isn’t, that isn’t.
“‘From the cessation of this comes the cessation of that.
“‘In other words:
“‘From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications.
“‘From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness.
“‘From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form.
“‘From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media.
“‘From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact.
“‘From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling.
“‘From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving.
“‘From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance.
“‘From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming.
“‘From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth.
“‘From birth as a requisite condition, then aging-&-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.

“Seeing thus, the instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with form, disenchanted with feeling, disenchanted with perception, disenchanted with fabrications, disenchanted with consciousness. Disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, he is released. With release, there is the knowledge, ‘Released.’ He discerns that ‘Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.’”

Uninstructed
Assutavā Sutta (SN 12:61)

“Monks, the great ocean rising causes the large rivers to rise. The large rivers rising cause the little rivers to rise. The little rivers rising cause the large lakes to rise. The large lakes rising cause the little lakes to rise.

“In the same way, ignorance rising causes fabrications to rise. Fabrications rising cause consciousness to rise. Consciousness rising causes name-&-form to rise. Name-&-form rising causes the six sense media to rise. The six sense media rising cause contact to rise. Contact rising causes feeling to rise. Feeling rising causes craving to rise. Craving rising causes clinging to rise. Clinging rising causes becoming to rise. Becoming rising causes birth to rise. Birth rising causes aging-&-death to rise.

“Monks, the great ocean ebbing causes the large rivers to ebb. The large rivers ebbing cause the little rivers to ebb. The little rivers ebbing cause the large lakes to ebb. The large lakes ebbing cause the little lakes to ebb.

“In the same way, ignorance ebbing causes fabrications to ebb. Fabrications ebbing cause consciousness to ebb. Consciousness ebbing causes name-&-form to ebb. Name-&-form ebbing causes the six sense media to ebb. The six sense media ebbing cause contact to ebb. Contact ebbing causes feeling to ebb. Feeling ebbing causes craving to ebb. Craving ebbing causes clinging to ebb. Clinging ebbing causes becoming to ebb. Becoming ebbing causes birth to ebb. Birth ebbing causes aging-&-death to ebb.”

Rises
Upayanti Sutta (SN 12:69)

“Monks, I will teach you the five aggregates & the five clinging-aggregates. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak.”

“Now what, monks, are the five aggregates?

Form Aggregate

“Any form whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: That is called the form aggregate.

Feeling Aggregate

“Any feeling whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: That is called the feeling aggregate.

Perception Aggregate

“Any perception whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: That is called the perception aggregate.

Fabrication Aggregate

“Any fabrications whatsoever that are past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: Those are called the fabrication aggregate.

Consciousness Aggregate

“Any consciousness whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: That is called the consciousness aggregate.

“These are called the five aggregates.

“And what are the five clinging-aggregates?

“Any form whatsoever—past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near—that is clingable, offers sustenance, and is accompanied with effluents: That is called the form clinging-aggregate.

“Any feeling whatsoever—past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near—that is clingable, offers sustenance, and is accompanied with effluents: That is called the feeling clinging-aggregate.

“Any perception whatsoever—past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near—that is clingable, offers sustenance, and is accompanied with effluents: That is called the perception clinging-aggregate.

“Any fabrications whatsoever—past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near—that are clingable, offer sustenance, and are accompanied with effluents: Those are called the fabrication clinging-aggregate.

“Any consciousness whatsoever—past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near—that is clingable, offers sustenance, and is accompanied with effluents: That is called the consciousness clinging-aggregate.

“These are called the five clinging-aggregates.”

Aggregates
Khandha Sutta (SN 22:48)

“Mahāli, there is cause, there is requisite condition, for the defilement of beings. Beings are defiled with cause, with requisite condition. There is cause, this is requisite condition, for the purification of beings. Beings are purified with cause, with requisite condition.”

“Mahāli, if form were exclusively stressful—followed by stress, infused with stress and not infused with pleasure—beings would not be infatuated with form. But because form is also pleasurable—followed by pleasure, infused with pleasure and not infused with stress—beings are infatuated with form. Through infatuation, they are captivated. Through captivation, they are defiled. This is the cause, this the requisite condition, for the defilement of beings. And this is how beings are defiled with cause, with requisite condition.

“If feeling were exclusively stressful.…

“If perception were exclusively stressful.…

“If fabrications were exclusively stressful.…

“If consciousness were exclusively stressful—followed by stress, infused with stress and not infused with pleasure—beings would not be infatuated with consciousness. But because consciousness is also pleasurable—followed by pleasure, infused with pleasure and not infused with stress—beings are infatuated with consciousness. Through infatuation, they are captivated. Through captivation, they are defiled. This is the cause, this the requisite condition, for the defilement of beings. And this is how beings are defiled with cause, with requisite condition.”

“And what, lord, is the cause, what the requisite condition, for the purification of beings? How are beings purified with cause, with requisite condition?”

“Mahāli, if form were exclusively pleasurable—followed by pleasure, infused with pleasure and not infused with stress—beings would not be disenchanted with form. But because form is also stressful—followed by stress, infused with stress and not infused with pleasure—beings are disenchanted with form. Disenchanted, they become dispassionate. Through dispassion, they are purified. This is the cause, this the requisite condition, for the purification of beings. And this is how beings are purified with cause, with requisite condition.

“If feeling were exclusively pleasurable.…

“If perception were exclusively pleasurable.…

“If fabrications were exclusively pleasurable.…

“If consciousness were exclusively pleasurable—followed by pleasure, infused with pleasure and not infused with stress—beings would not be disenchanted with consciousness. But because consciousness is also stressful—followed by stress, infused with stress and not infused with pleasure—beings are disenchanted with consciousness. Disenchanted, they become dispassionate. Through dispassion, they are purified. This is the cause, this the requisite condition, for the purification of beings. And this is how beings are purified with cause, with requisite condition.”

Notes: Sometimes it is said that people are attached to things because they believe those things to have an inherent essence or existence. Here, however, the Buddha points out that people are attached to things because they pay attention to the pleasure offered by those things, and ignore the stress they cause. If, however, you turn your attention to the stress, you can gain release.

To Mahāli
Mahāli Sutta (SN 22:60)