The Twelve Links of Interdependent Origination

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Wholesome or unwholesome thoughts, speech and bodily deeds. Concious - ness. The 6 consciousnesses; taken as 8 in the Yogacara School. The 5 aggregates that make up name and form: Feeling, perception, intention, contact, attention. Eye, ear, nose, tongue, touch and mental faculty.

Finding The Real End

These are empty. Posited as a mental factor that experiences pleasure, pain and neutral feeling. Pleasure leads to a strong desire for more while pain generates an avoidance desire. A mental factor that increases desire but without any satisfaction. A stronger degree of desire. A period lasting from the time of fully potentialised karma up to the beginning of next lifetime. Birth is any coming-to-be or coming-forth.


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It refers not just to birth at the beginning of a lifetime. The inevitable end-of-life suffering of all beings prior to their rebirth. The order in which they actually occur is 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, as follows: 1. Ignorance 2. Karma formation 3. Consciousness 8. Craving, attachment 9. Clinging, grasping Process of becoming 4. Name and form 5. Six bases, six sources 6. Contact, sense impression 7. Feeling, sensation Birth, rebirth The first of these links is ignorance. Ignorance means not knowing the truth, not understanding the Dharma, ignorance of the four noble truths.

Purpose of studying the 12 links

And the karmic force of these actions conditions the third link in the chain. Because we do not perceive things clearly, because we do not perceive the fact of suffering and its cause and the way out, that force of ignorance conditions the next link in the chain: volitional actions of body, speech, and mind motivated by wholesome or unwholesome mental factors. The third link is rebirth consciousness; that is, the first moment of consciousness in this life. Because ignorance conditioned the energy of karmic activity in our last life, rebirth consciousness arises at the moment of conception.

Personalizing the Twelve Links of Dependent Origination

Volition or intention is like the seed; rebirth consciousness, like the sprouting of that seed — a cause and — effect conditioned relationship. Because of ignorance there were all kinds of actions, all kinds of karmic formations. And because of karmic formations arises rebirth consciousness, the beginning of this life. Because of the first moment of consciousness in this life arise the whole mind-body phenomena, all the elements of matter, all the factors of mind. Finally, because of the mind-body phenomena arising, the sense spheres develop. This is during development of the embryo, before birth.

The Twelve Links of Interdependent Origination

Rebirth consciousness at the moment of conception conditions the arising of mind-body phenomena. Because of that arise all the six spheres of the senses, the five physical senses and the mind, which in turn conditions the arising of contact, contact between the sense organ and its appropriate object: the eye and color, the car and sound, nose and smell, tongue and taste, body and sensation, mind and thoughts or ideas. Contact involves the coming together of an object through its appropriate sense door and the consciousness of either seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, or thinking.

Conditioned by the senses, contact comes into being. Because of the contact between the eye and color, the ear and sound, and the other senses and their objects, there arises feeling. Feeling means the quality of pleasantness, unpleasantness, or neither pleasantness nor unpleasantness involved in every mind moment, in every moment of contact. Whether it is contact through the five physical sense doors or through the mind, feeling is always present, and is called, therefore, a common mental factor.

Conditioned by contact, there arises feeling; that is, the quality of pleasantness, unpleasantness or neutrality. Because of feeling arises craving.

Dependent Origination (The Buddhist TV)

Craving means desiring, hankering after objects. What is it that we desire?

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We desire pleasant sights and sounds, pleasant tastes and smells, pleasant touch sensations and thoughts, or we desire to get rid of unpleasant objects. Desire arises because of feelings. We start hankering after, or wishing to avoid, these six different objects in the world. Feeling conditions desire.

Desire conditions grasping. Because we have a desire for the objects of the six senses, mind included, we grasp, we latch on to, we become attached. Grasping is conditioned by desire.

Because of grasping, again we get involved in karmic formations, repeating the kinds of volitions which, in our past life, produced the rebirth consciousness of this life. Feeling conditions desire, desire conditions grasping, and grasping conditions the continual actions of becoming, creating the energy which is the seed for rebirth consciousness in the next life.

Because of these karmic actions resulting from grasping, again there is birth. Because there is birth, there is disease, there is sorrow. And so the wheel goes on and on, an impersonal chain of causality. It is said that on the night of his enlightenment he worked backward through the Law of Dependent Origination, seeking the place of release.

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Personalizing the Twelve Links of Dependent Origination

Why is there old age, disease and death? Because of birth. Why is there birth?