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Pratītyasamutpādādivibhaṅganirdeśasūtram The text is a transliteration of Buddhist Sanskrit Texts No. 17 Mahāyāna-sūtra-saṃgrahaḥ (part 1), edited by P.L. Vaidya (Darbhanga, 1961), retrieved from here. Used by permission.01
The Discourse giving the Explanation and Analysis
of Conditional Origination from the Beginning With this discourse should be compared and contrasted Vibhaṅgasuttaṁ from Nidānasaṁyuttaṁ (SN 12.2), which is similar but takes the factors in reverse order to the one adopted here, and is somewhat less elaborate. 02
Text edited by P.L. Vaidya
Pāḷi Parallels and
English Translation by
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I am very grateful once again to Rod Bucknell
who kindly went through the whole work for me
and made a number of useful suggestions and corrections
which has helped clarify the presentation of this work.
Evaṁ mayā śrutam:
Evaṁ me sutaṁ:
This I heard:
ekasmin samaye Bhagavān-Śrāvastyāṁ viharati sma,
ekaṁ samayaṁ Bhagavā Sāvatthiyaṁ viharati,
at one time the Gracious One was dwelling near Śrāvastī, Pāḷi: Sāvatthī; in the translation I use the Sanskrit form of the words.03
Jetavane Anāthapiṇḍakassa ārāme,
in Jeta’s Wood, at Anāthapiṇḍada’s Pāḷi: Anāthapiṇḍika.04 monastery,
mahatā bhikṣusaṁghena sārdham-ardhatrayodaśabhir-bhikṣuśataiḥ. Cf. Pāḷi (Vin PTS 1.243): mahatā bhikkhusaṅghena saddhiṁ aḍḍhatelasehi bhikkhusatehi.05
mahatā bhikkhusaṅghena saddhiṁ aḍḍhatelasehi Sometimes I don’t give a direct translation of the text, but have taken into account the idiom that is found in the texts themselves.06 bhikkhusatehi.
together with a great Community of monks, with twelve-hundred and fifty monks.
Tatra Bhagavān-āmantrayate sma:
Tatra (kho) Bhagavā (bhikkhū) āmantesi:
There the Gracious One addressed (the monks, saying):
“Pratītyasamutpādasya vo bhikṣavaḥ ādiṁ vo deśayiṣyāmi vibhaṅgaṁ ca,
“Paṭiccasamuppādassa vo bhikkhave ādi vo desayissāmi vibhaṅgaṁ ca,
“I will teach you, monks, about conditional origination from the beginning, and its analysis,
tac-chṛṇuta sādhu ca suṣṭhu ca manasikuruta, bhāṣiṣye.
taṁ suṇātha sādhukaṁ ca suṭṭha ca manasikarotha, bhāsissāmi.
listen to it, apply your minds thoroughly and well, and I will speak.
Pratītyasamutpādasya ādiḥ katamaḥ?
Paṭiccasamuppādassa ādi katamaṁ?
What is conditional origination from the beginning?
Yad-uta asmin sati idaṁ bhavati, asyotpādādidam-utpadyate,
Iti imasmiṁ sati idaṁ hoti, imassuppādā idaṁ uppajjati,
This being so that is, beginning with the arising of this that arises,
yad-uta: avidyāpratyayāḥ saṁskārāḥ,
yad-idaṁ: avijjāpaccayā saṅkhārā,
thus: with ignorance as condition there are (volitional) processes,
with (volitional) processes as condition: consciousness,
with consciousness as condition: mind and body,
with mind as condition and body: the six sense-spheres,
with the six sense spheres as condition: contact,
with contact as condition: feeling,
with feeling as condition: craving,
with craving as condition: attachment,
with attachment as condition: continuation,
with continuation as condition: birth,
jātipratyayā jarāmaraṇaśokaparidevaduḥkhadaurmanasyopāyāsāḥ saṁbhavanti,
jātipaccayā jarāmaraṇaṁ, sokaparidevadukkhadomanassupāyāsā sambhavanti,
with birth as condition: old age, death, grief, lamentation, pain, sorrow, and despair (all) arise,
evam-asya kevalasya mahato duḥkhaskandhasya samudayo bhavati.
evam-etassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa samudayo hoti.
and so there is an origination of this whole great mass of suffering.
Ayaṁ vuccati paṭiccasamuppādassa ādi.
This is called conditional origination from the beginning.
What is its analysis?
‘Avidyāpratyayāḥ saṁskārāḥ’ ityavidyā katamā?
‘Avijjāpaccayā saṅkhārā’ iti avijjā katamā?
‘With ignorance as condition there are (volitional) processes’, what is ignorance?
Yat pūrvānte ’jñānam, aparānte ’jñānam, pūrvāntāparānte ’jñānam,
Yaṁ pubbante aññāṇaṁ, aparante aññāṇaṁ, pubbāparante aññāṇaṁ,
Not knowing the past, not knowing the future, not knowing the past and the future,
adhyātmam-ajñānam, bahirdhājñānam, adhyātmabahirdhājñānam,
ajjhattaññāṇaṁ, bahiddhaññāṇaṁ, ajjhattabahiddhaññāṇaṁ,
not knowing the internal, not knowing the external, not knowing the internal and the external,
karmaṇyajñānam, vipāke ’jñānam, karmavipāke ’jñānam,
kammaṇi-aññāṇaṁ, vipākaññāṇaṁ, kammavipākaññāṇaṁ,
not knowing what are (volitional) actions, not knowing results, not knowing (volitional) actions and their results,
Buddhe ’jñānam, Dharme ’jñānam, Saṁghe ’jñānam,
Buddhaññāṇaṁ, Dhammaññāṇaṁ, Saṅghaññāṇaṁ,
not knowing the Buddha, not knowing the Teaching, not knowing the Community,
duḥkhe ’jñānam, samudaye ’jñānam, nirodhe ’jñānam, mārge ’jñānam,
dukkhaññāṇaṁ, samudayaññāṇaṁ, nirodhaññāṇaṁ, maggaññāṇaṁ,
not knowing suffering, not knowing origination, not knowing cessation, not knowing the path,
hetāvajñānam, hetusamutpanneṣu dharmeṣvajñānam,
hetaññāṇaṁ, hetusamuppannesu dhammesu aññāṇaṁ,
not knowing causes, not knowing the origination of causes in things,
kuśalākuśaleṣu sāvadyānavadyeṣu sevitavyāsevitavyeṣu,
kusalākusalesu sāvajjānavajjesu sevitabbāsevitabbesu,
(not knowing what is) wholesome and unwholesome, blameworthy and blameless, what should be practiced and what should not be practiced,
hīnapaṇītakaṇhasukkasapaṭibhāgapaṭiccasamuppannesu dharmesu aññāṇaṁ,
not knowing the despicable and the excellent, the black and the white, those things that are a part of conditional origination,
ṣaṭsu vā punaḥ sparśāyataneṣu yathābhūtasaṁprativedhaḥ iti,
chasu vā puna phassāyatanesu yathābhūtasaṁpaṭivedhaṁ iti,
again (not knowing) the comprehending of the six spheres of contact as they really are,
yad-atra tatra yathābhūtasyājñānam,
yad-atra tatra yathābhūtassaññāṇaṁ,
not knowing here and now (things) as they really are,
adarśanam, anabhisamayaḥ, tamaḥ, saṁmohaḥ, avidyāndhakāram.
adassanaṁ, anabhisamayaṁ, tamaṁ, sammohaṁ, avijjandhakāraṁ.
not seeing, not penetrating, darkness, complete delusion, blind ignorance.
Idaṁ vuccati avijjā.
This is called ignorance.
Saṁskārāḥ This sentence reads: Avidyāpratyayāḥ saṁskārāḥ katame in the original, but this seems to be a scribal error. Another possibility is that it should read: Avidyāpratyayāḥ saṁskārāḥ iti saṁskārāḥ katame.07 katame?
What are (volitional) processes?
Trayaḥ saṁskārāḥ: kāyasaṁskārāḥ vāksaṁskārāḥ manaḥsaṁskārā iti.
Tayo saṅkhārā: kāyasasaṅkhāro vacīsaṅkhāro manosaṅkhāro iti.
There are these three (volitional) processes: bodily (volitional) processes, verbal (volitional) processes, mental (volitional) processes.
‘Saṁskārapratyayaṁ vijñānam-iti’, vijñānaṁ katamat?
‘Saṅkhārapaccayā viññāṇan’-ti, viññāṇaṁ katamaṁ?
‘With (volitional) processes as condition: consciousness’, what is consciousness?
Ṣaḍ vijñānakāyāḥ: cakṣurvijñānaṁ śrotraghrāṇajihvākāyamanovijñānam.
Cha viññāṇakāyā: cakkhuviññāṇaṁ sotaghāṇajihvākāyamanoviññāṇaṁ.
There is a group of six consciousnesses: eye-consciousness, ear-, nose-, tongue-, body-, and mind-consciousness.
‘Vijñānapratyayaṁ nāmarūpam-iti’, nāma katamat?
‘Viññāṇapaccayā nāmarūpan’-ti, nāmaṁ katamaṁ?
‘With consciousness as condition: mind and bodily form’, what is mind?
Catvāra arūpiṇaḥ skandhāḥ.
The four formless constituent groups.
Vedanāskandhaḥ saṁjñāskandhaḥ saṁskāraskandhaḥ vijñānaskandhaḥ.
Vedanākkhandho saññākkhandho saṅkhārakkhandho viññāṇakkhandho.
The feelings constituent group, the perceptions constituent group, the (volitional) processes constituent group, the consciousness constituent group.
What is bodily form?
Yat kiṁcid-rūpam, sarvaṁ tat catvāri mahābhūtāni.
Yaṁ kiṁci rūpam, sabbaṁ taṁ cattāri mahābhūtāni.
Whatever bodily form there is, all of that is (made of) the four great elements.
Catvāri ca mahābhūtānyupādāya itīdaṁ ca rūpam. Text reads: nāma, but this is clearly a mistake.08
Cattāri ca mahābhūtā upādāyaṁ iti-idaṁ ca rūpaṁ.
Attachment to the four great elements, this is bodily form.
Tad ekadhā abhisaṅkhippaṁ nāmarūpan-ti vuccati.
This simply and in short is what is called mind and bodily form.
‘Nāmarūpapratyayaṁ ṣaḍāyatanam-iti’, ṣaḍāyatanaṁ katamat?
‘Nāmarūpapaccayā saḷāyatanan’-ti, saḷāyatanaṁ katamaṁ?
‘With mind as condition and body: the six sense-spheres’, what are the six sense-spheres?
Cha ajjhattikāyatanāni: cakkhu-ajjhattikaṁ āyatanaṁ,
The six internal sense-spheres: the internal eye-sense-sphere,
sotaghāṇajihvākāyamano ajjhattikaṁ āyatanaṁ.
the internal ear-, nose-, tongue-, body-, and mind-sense-spheres.
‘Ṣaḍāyatanapratyayaḥ sparśa iti’ sparśaḥ katamaḥ?
‘Saḷāyatanapaccayā phasso’ ti, phasso katamo?
‘With the six sense spheres as condition: contact’, what is contact?
Ṣaṭ sparśakāyāḥ: cakṣuḥsaṁsparśaḥ,
Cha phassakāyā: cakkhusamphasso,
There is a group of six contacts: eye-contact,
ear-, nose-, tongue-, body-, and mind-contact.
‘Sparśapratyayā vedaneti’ vedanā katamā?
‘Phassapaccayā vedanā’ ti, vedanā katamā?
‘With contact as condition: feeling’, what is feeling?
Tisro vedanāḥ: sukhā duḥkhā aduḥkhāsukhā ca.
Tisso vedanā: sukhā dukkhā adukkhamasukhā ca.
There are three feelings, pleasant, unpleasant, and neither-pleasant-nor-unpleasant.
‘Vedanāpratyayā tṛṣṇeti’, tṛṣṇā katamā?
‘Vedanāpaccayā taṇhā’ ti, taṇhā katamā?
‘With feeling as condition: craving’, what is craving?
Tisrastṛṣṇāḥ: kāmatṛṣṇā rūpatṛṣṇā arūpyatṛṣṇā ca.
Tisso taṇhā: kāmataṇhā rūpataṇhā arūpataṇhā ca.
There are three cravings: craving for the sense-realm, craving for the form-realm, and craving for the formless-realm.
‘Tṛṣṇāpratyayam-upādānam-iti’ upādānaṁ katamat?
‘Taṇhāpaccayā upādānan’-ti, upādānaṁ katamaṁ?
‘With craving as condition: attachment’, what is attachment?
Catvāryupādānāni: kāmopādānaṁ dṛṣṭyupādānaṁ,
Cattāro upādānāni: kāmūpādānaṁ diṭṭhūpādānaṁ,
There are four attachments: attachment to sense pleasures, attachment to views,
attachment to virtue and practice, attachment to self-theories.
‘Upādānapratyayo bhava iti’ bhavaḥ katamaḥ?
‘Upādānapaccayā bhavo’ ti, bhavo katamo?
‘With attachment as condition: continuation’, what is continuation?
Trayo bhavāḥ: kāmabhavaḥ rūpabhavaḥ arūpyabhavaḥ.
Tayo bhavā: kāmabhavo rūpabhavo arūpabhavo.
There are three continuations: continuation in the sense-realm, continuation in the form-realm, continuation in the formless-realm.
‘Bhavapratyayā jātir-iti’ jātiḥ katamā?
‘Bhavapaccayā jāti’ ti, jāti katamā?
‘With continuation as condition: birth’, what is birth?
Yā teṣāṁ teṣāṁ sattvānāṁ tasmiṁs-tasmin sattvanikāye
Yā tesaṁ tesaṁ sattānāṁ tasmiṁ tasmiṁ sattanikāye
For the various beings in the various classes of beings
jātiḥ saṁjātir-avakrāntir-abhinirvṛttiḥ prādurbhāvaḥ,
jāti saṁjāti okkanti abhinibbatti pātubhāvo,
there is birth, being born, appearing, turning up, manifestation,
the acquisition of the constituent parts (of mind and body), the acquisition of the elements,
āyatanapratilambhaḥ skandhānām-abhinirvṛttiḥ jīvitendriyasya prādurbhāvaḥ.
āyatanapatiḷābho, khandhānāṁ abhinibbatti, jīvindriyassa pātubhāvo.
the acquisition of the sense-spheres, the turning up of the constituents (of mind and body), the manifestation of the life faculty.
‘Jātipratyayaṁ jarāmaraṇam-iti’ jarā katamā?
‘Jātipaccayā jarāmaraṇan’-ti, jarā katamā?
‘With birth as condition: old age and death’, what is old age?
Yat-tat khālatyaṁ pālityaṁ valīpracuratā jīrṇatā bhugnatā,
Yan-taṁ khallāṭiyaṁ pāliccaṁ valittacatā jīraṇatā bhoggatā,
Whatever baldness, greying hair, wrinkled skin, agedness, bentness,
crooked-, warped-, twisted-, aging-, hanging-bodiliness,
khulakhulapraśvāsakāyatā purataḥ prāgbhārakāyatā,
khuḍakhuḍapassāsakāyatā purato pabbhārakāyatā,
rheumatic pains in the body, forward bending of the body,
daṇḍaviṣkambhaṇatā dhandhatvaṁ mandatvaḥ,
daṇḍavikkhambhaṇatā thaddatā mandatā,
propping up on crutches, indisposition, slowness,
hāniḥ parihāṇiḥ indriyāṇāṁ paripākaḥ,
hāni parihāni indriyāṇāṁ paripāko,
dwindling away, complete dwindling away, decay of the sense faculties,
paribhedaḥ saṁskārāṇāṁ purāṇībhāvaḥ jarjarībhāvaḥ.
paribhedo sasaṅkhārāṇaṁ, purāṇabhāvo jajjarabhāvo.
breaking up of the processes, elderliness, decrepitude.
Ayaṁ vuccati jarā.
This is called old-age.
What is death?
Yā teṣāṁ teṣāṁ sattvānāṁ tasmāt-tasmāt sattvanikāyāt,
Yā tesaṁ tesaṁ sattānaṁ tamhā tamhā sattanikāye,
For the various beings in the various classes of beings,
cyutiḥ cyavanato bhedaḥ antarahāṇiḥ āyuṣo hāṇiḥ,
cuti cavanatā bhedo antaradhānaṁ āyuso hāniṁ,
there is a fall, a falling away, an internal dwindling away, a dwindling away of the lifespan,
uṣmaṇo hāṇiḥ jīvitendriyasya nirodhaḥ,
uṇhaṁ hāniṁ jīvitindriyassa nirodho,
a dwindling away of the vital heat, a cessation of the life-faculty,
skandhānāṁ nikṣepaḥ maraṇaṁ kālakriyā.
khandhānaṁ nikkhepo maraṇaṁ kālakiriyā.
a throwing off of the constituent parts, a death, a making of time.
Idaṁ vuccati maraṇan-ti.
This is called death.
Idaṁ ca maraṇa pūrvikā ca jarā,
Idaṁ ca maraṇaṁ pubbikā ca jarā,
This death together with the former old-age,
tad-ubhayaṁ ekajjhaṁ abhisaṅkhippaṁ jarāmaraṇam-iti vuccati.
these two together are in short what is called old-age and death.
Ayam-ucyate pratītyasamutpādasya vibhaṅgaḥ.
Ayaṁ vuccati paṭiccasamuppādassa vibhaṅgaṁ.
This is what is called the analysis of conditional origination.
‘Pratītyasamutpādasyādiṁ vo deśayiṣyāmi iti vibhaṅgaṁ ca iti’ vo yad-uktam,
‘Paṭiccasamuppādassa ādi vo desayissāmi iti vibhaṅgaṁ ca iti’ vo yaṁ vuttaṁ,
‘I will teach you, monks, about conditional origination from the beginning, and its analysis’, is what was said to you,
and this is what was said in reply.
The Gracious One said this,
āttamanasas-te bhikṣavo Bhagavato bhāṣitam-abhyanandan.
attamanā te bhikkhavo Bhagavato bhāsitaṁ abhinandaṁ.
and those monks were uplifted and greatly rejoiced in the Gracious One’s words.
The Discourse giving the Explanation and Analysis
of Conditional Origination from the Beginning is Complete
last updated: May 2009