A SHORT BIOGRAPHY OF THE TRANSLATOR
Born in 1896 at Pyawbwe in Central Burma, Ven. Sayadaw U Thittila (Sețțhila) spend much of his early childhood in and about monasteries. At the end of 15 he become a Sāmanera under Ven. U Kavinda of Padigon, and was ordained Bhikkhu at the age of 20 under the preceptor-ship of Ven. Ādiccavaṃsa. As the result of standing first of all students in Burma, in Pāli, Bhuddhist Philosophy and Literature in the 1918 Government Examinations for Bhikkhus, the Government conferred upon him the title of Pațhamakyaw. Latter at the age of 25 he passed the ancient Mandalay Examinations in accordance with the traditional line of teachers, thereby gaining the title Aphivaṃsapariyattisāsanahitadhammācariya. Subsequent to this he was a teacher and lecturer at the Ashin Ādiccavaṃsa Manastery for 12 years. Latter he spent some years lecturing in Ceylon and India, then in 1938 came to England where he continued to teach and write until 1952. In that year he returned to Burma having been appointed to lecturer in Buddhist Philosophy (Abhidhamma) at Rangoon University, and fulfilled that post for 8 years. In 1956 the Burmese Government conferred upon him the title Aggamapaņḍita for his services to the Dhamma. Since then he has lectured extensively in America, Australia and England.
Long Years ago I had hoped Vibhanga would have been translated by an esteemed scholar in Ceylon. As it turned out, however, the pressure of his academic duties combined with his increasing interest in other fields of Ancient Indian study led to the frustration of my hopes. Later, I came to realize that any satisfactory translation of Vibhaṅga from Pali into English would demand almost full-time attention on the part of the translator. This will become apparent to those who read, as is essential, the Translator's Preface to this present volume and the Introduction. For now, with the Book of Analysis, and after waiting for more than a quarter of a century for a translation of Vibhaṅga, I have the very great pleasure of introducing (though it may be hardly necessary) Sayadaw U Thittila, Paṭhamakyaw Aggamahāpaṅḍita, to our ever expanding number of readers, especially to those who are so anxious to study Abhidhamma which, in this connexion, must be taken to mean the first three books of this Collection: Dhamamasaṅgaṇī, Vibhaṅga and Dhātukathā. That the Pali Text Society is able to add this faithfully executed work of the wonderful and marvellous, acchariya abbhuta. Therefore, together with the satisfaction of furnishing its publiccations with another Abhidhamma translation, the Society has the further honor of adding the venerated name of another Burmese Sayadaw to its list of Abhdhamma translators. For the care, lavishly and minutely bestowed on the translation of this volume, for its clarity of language, its scrupulous precision and consistency throughout, for its trirmph over the difficulties of finding suitable English equivalents for the abounding technical terms, for its refusal to else besides, every student of Abhidhamma will be profoundly grateful to Sayadaw U Thittila and his little band of helpers. This translation together with that of Dhātukathā (Discourse on Elements) go far to show that this portion of the Abhidhamma-piṭaka is not only possible of comprehension, but is possessed of a living and immediate concern to students in the Western world where but a few decades ago it was regarded as ununderstandable and virtually devoid of meaning. Now it shines forth in all its penetrating and practical detail, opening one more door of the rich storehouse of Ancient Indian wisdom to the English-speaking world. The result of a close and concentrated analysis, ascribed to the Buddha, Vibhaṅga is a teaching directed primarily to the elucidation of that otherwise most intractable subject: the workings of the mind of man. Its aim is that each man, profiting from its guidance, may find for himself the way to the supreme goal: Tumhehi kiccaṃ ātappaṃ, akkhātāro Tathāgatā, "yours is the ardour for the task, Tathāgatas are showers (Dh. 276) of the way to free oneself from Māra's bondage " (DhA. iii. 404). And "therein, what is ardour? That which is the arousing of mental energy, toiling, endeavour, aspiring, effort, zeal, perseverance, vigour, stability, unfaltering endeavour, not relinquishing wish, not relinquishing the task, firm hold of the task, energy, controlling faculty of energy, power of energy, right effort"(Vbh. 194)
Throughout history mankind has continually invented philosophies. By means of these he has attempted to explain the reason for his existence. Stimulated by his strong desire to continue to exist after death in this world he has succeeded in devising many different religious or philosophical systems. With these ideas he has tried to satisfy himself that there will be a next world to go to, and in order to support his views he produces arguments or speaks of revelations. In spite of these it can be seen that it is his craving (taṅhā) for further existence that makes him believe so strongly in the ideas he himself has invented. His craving is often strengthened by the alternative theory that death is the absolute end (ucceda diṭṭhi), and in order that there maybe something to continue on from one life to another he says there is a soul or spirit (sakkāya diṭṭhi) which is eternal (sassata diṭṭhi). In this way he satisfies himself that when the body breaks up after death, and consciousness does not seem to exist, there will be a mysterious spark of life which will continue onwards. The Buddha being aware of all these ideas and theories realized the suffering men caused themselves because of their craving. He therefore sought to discover the absolute truth so as to disclose the real facts of existence and how suffering (dukkha) could be overcome. The way in which bodily and mental discomfort in one form or another is always present was understood by many people. The fact that everything is constantly subject to change (anicca) could also clearly be seen; however, if this impermanence was universal then how could the so-called soul be eternal and unchanging? This was a question which needed to be answered. Putting on one side all theories and ideas about the nature of mankind the Buddha saw that a being consisted of two things only. The first of these was material quality (rūpa), the second mental qualities (nāma). He also saw that the mental qualities had four quite different aspects, that is---feeling (vedanā), perceptions (saññā), mental concomitants (saṅkhāra) and consciousness (viññāṇa). Altogether, therefore, only five distinct features could be said to constitute a being. Also it could be seen that each of these was subject to continual change. Was it a soul that caused these these changing aggregates to cling together in such a way that the idea of I, self and separate entity arose. The Buddha saw that it was activity (kamma) in the form of volition (cetanā) based on craving (taṇhā) which bound these aggregates together. Accordingly it was clear that the idea of a separate soul was not necessary, at least during the present life. But what of a future life? As the result of deep consideration of this question the Buddha was able to reconstruct the way in which each of these changing aggregates behaved and reacted with each other. He found that they came to be and passed away in accordance with the fixed laws of the system of Dependent Origination (Paṭiccasamuppāda). In this the idea of a soul was quite unnecessary and the real "creator" was craving( taṇhā) based on ignorance (avijjā). The Buddha was therefore able to say that the whole process of existence, past, future and present occurred strictly in accordance with laws, without the need for a soul or even a creator god. It was during the weeks immediately following his enlightenment that the Buddha considered these deep problems. He analyzed them with the very developed faculties of wisdom and penetration such as only a Fully Enlightened One possesses; also according to tradition it was at this time that he evolved the whole system of analysis which we now know as Abhidhamma. There is no need whatsoever to double the truth of this tradition because by examining carefully the Discourse of the Buddha it can readily be seen that his teaching is built firmly on the basis of his analytical thought of that period. The many theories of existence and life after death which man had thought about up to that time were such that they could be spoken of in fairly general and inexact language. On the other hand the explanations of the Buddha being deep, complicated and profound statements of causal relationships could only be expressed by using exact terms and reasoning. Throughout the long period of teaching which followed his enlightenment the Buddha always spoke in simple language, but in doing so he gave to his words precise meanings so that they could be used to explain things in absolute terms as quite distinct from the common usage of conceptual existence. Abhidhamma, therefore, is this highly analytical and exact aspect of the Buddha's teaching on which his day to day discourse were based. These discourse were always given in a way best suited to the persons addressed, and according to tradition were committed to memory by Ven. Ānanda. Tradition also says that it was Ven. Sāriputa who arranged the many classifications of Abhidhamma in their present form. Again it may be emphasized that there is no sound reason for doubting these traditions, for only disciples of very particular ability and in close association with the Buddha could possibly have collected and arranged his teachings so well. From what has been said it can be seen that it is necessary to study Abhidhamma philosophy in order to gain a proper understanding of the Buddha's teaching. Far from its being a later addition to the Tipiṭaka it is the earliest product of the Buddha's thought immediately following his enlightenment. The teaching given by the Buddha for 45 years was always concerned with the practical approach to the 'Cessation of Suffering'. Nevertheless, whatever he said should be done was always based on the careful analysis of mind and matter into their absolute components or on the systems of Causal Relationships and Dependent Origination. only in the Abhidhamma books are these explained fully. This present volume, Vibhaṅga, explains 18 of these important matters in analytical detail. It follows a particular plan but is arranged in such a way that it shows how the categories enumerated in Dhammasaṅgaṇī are to be applied. It is a book of very great importance to the understanding of much that the Buddha speaks of in the Sutṭapiṭaka, and a knowledge of it together with Dhammasaṅgaṇī is essential before Dhātukathā and the remaining volumes of the Abhidhammapiṭaka can be understood properly. I am much indebted to my great Abhidhamma student friends, Mr. & Mrs. Iggleden---who in fact invited me to translate this book, Vibhaṅga, from the original Pāḷi into English---for all the assistance given me, the interest taken in it, the valuable suggestions they made and for reading through the manuscript. As I translated it while staying with them in their own home at Waltham St. Lawrence, England, they was always available for my assistance. I am particularly most grateful to Mr. Iggleden for writing the introduction, and to Mrs. Iggleden for typing the entire manuscript.
Finally I am deeply thankful to Dr. I. B. Horner, President of the Pāḷi Text Society, for her valuable advice and encouragement in my translating the book.
In writing an introduction to this volume an attempt has been made to try to to rectify the impression that seems to exist in the minds of many as to the nature of Abhidhamma teaching. It has been criticized as being dry, barren and scholastic, that it lacks interest and is of little practical value; in one well known work it was even referred to as, "a valley of dry bones". To speak thus is to take an extremely superficial view of a very large and important section of the whole Buddhist Tipițaka, for it is in fact only by a knowledge of this very Abhidhamma teaching, detailed in the Abhidhamma Pițaka and its Commentaries, that even the Discourse of the Buddha, i.e., the Sutta Piațka, can be understood in their full and proper meaning. The language of the Suttas, or Discourses, is often on first reading almost disarmingly simple; the Buddha, however, when he spoke, weighed carefully the meaning and implication of everything he said, for he had on so many occasions to discuss matters with other teachers of high moral and philosophical accomplishment in which the scope and implication of even a single word could be of the greatest significance. There is no need, therefore, to make any attempt to "justify" the Avhidhamma books, they stand firmly and squarely on their own ground, both in tradition and content, as the basis and proper foundation upon which a correct knowledge and understanding of the Buddha's teaching is built. To say this, though, is not to imply that these Abhidhamma books are simple to read, or that the knowledge the impart is easy to assimilate. Admittedly, it is as difficult as it is extensive, but to those who wish to discover what lies behind the more usually read portions of the Tipițaka there is a mine of really interesting, deeply instructive and systematically arranged material. This, when studied not for its scholastic worth alone but with the proper and intended purpose that its fruits should be used to penetrate to the core of the Buddha's Teaching__i.e, his teaching in terms of ultimates, Abhidhamma,---is absorbing and rewarding to the highest degree. As this volume is a translation from the original Pāļi Text of Vibhaṅga into English, it is clearly intended in the first place for those who are unable to read it in its original language or to refer to its Commentary. It was therefore considered that the most useful type of introduction would be one in which something was said about each separate chapter in the nature of explanation, and to show where possible in the space available that this is not just a book of theory but the record of practical investigation into the manner in which a being function, to what difficulties he is subject and the proper mode of practice for his release from suffering. The aim is also to form a general picture of the whole work to show why this particular collection of subjects in this particular order was included in this volume. In the absence of a translation of the Commentary there was also perhaps a need to explain just a little of what is implied by the somewhat terse sentences and word definitions of the original. Ideally, each volume of the Abhidhamma Piṭaka should be studied in proper order and in detail, under a skilled teacher, so that a comprehensive knowledge of the whole Buddhadhamma is gained. This is not easily achieved, but it is hoped that this introduction will throw some light on the fact that the so-called "valley of dry bones" is no skeleton, that it it by no means a dead and sure foundation upon which the Buddha's extremely active and practical teaching is based. The Abhdhamma Piṭaka, the third section of the Pāḷi Tipiṭaka, consists of seven books. The first three of these, viz., Dhammasaṅgaṇī, Vibhaṅga and Dhātukathā, form a closely integrated group interpretation of the teachings of the Buddha. The first of these volumes to be translated into English was in 1904 under the title, 'Buddhist Psychological Ethics'. The third volume, Dhātukathā, was translated in 1962 in this present series under the title, 'Discourse on Elements', by Ven. Sayadaw U Nārada, a well known lecturer and teacher of Abhidhamma in Rangoon. The second volume, Vibhaṅga, is the subject of this translation, and ti is perhaps fitting that its relationship to these other two works should be explained. It has been said elsewhere that Vibhaṅga is virtually a rearrangement of the material already stated in Dhammasaṅgaṇī. If this were so then its existence as a separate book would not be justifiable, it must therefore be assumed, as also it is a fact, that the contents of Vibhaṅga although related in certain direct ways to Dhammasaṅgaṇī is separate from it and deals with matters not included in it. First it is necessary to explain briefly what is the purpose of Dhammasaṅgaṇī. In the English translation it is known as, 'Buddhist Psychological Ethics', this however is not a translation of its title but more a guide to the nature of much of its mode of expression, it is more nearly rendered by, 'Compilation of States'. The main body of the work deals with the enumeration and definition of the various methods, in groups of three (Tika) and in group of two (Duka), by which the whole analytical teaching of the Buddha maybe expressed in accordance with his different modes of analysis. Thus to quot the first of the Triplets, it defines in detail good states (kusaladhammā), bad states (akusaladhammā), neither good nor bad states (abyākatadhammā). Then follow a further 21 Triplets of which the final defines states visible and impinggent (sanidassanasappaṭighadhammā), states not visible but impingent (anidassanasappaṭighadhammā), states not visible and not impingent (anidassasanāppaṭighadhammā). It should here be mentioned that the term 'states' (dhammā) is used in perhaps a broader sense than is usual in English, for not only does it refer for example to discrete states of consciousness whose mental concomitants (cetasikā), but also to those same mental concomitants themselves. Moreover, material quality (rūpa), the four great essentials (mahābhūta), the dependent material qualities (upādāya rūpa) and even Nibbāna asakhata dhamma) are included within this term. Discussion of these 22 Triplets constitutes nearly three quarters of the whole volume, and most of the remainder defines in detail the one hundred Couplets of which the first is, "States that are roots (hetudhammā)", "States that are not roots (na hetudhammā)" and the last, "States that are cause of bewailing (saraṇadhammā)". This compilation of Triplets, together with certain other matters contained in Dhammasaṅgaṇī, gives a bare statement with definitions of what it is necessary to be familiar with in order to gain a full and proper understanding of what is applied in the more general statements made by the Buddhha in the course of his teaching. There were, however, a number of topics to which the Buddha devoted particular attention is some of his discourses, to which could be afforded a special degree of further analysis to demonstrate that whereas a general statement of a subject could be made that was a perfect and correct statement in itself, further inquiry into that subject would show that in the light of other statements made by him the Buddha could demonstrate that statement of general truth to be also one of particular truth. Vibhaṅga deals specifically with a number of these topics, showing in some both the method of analysis and the definitions used by the Buddha in general discourses (Suttantabhājanīya) and the technical analysis and definitions (Abhidhammabhājanīya) used when the same matter was discussed from a strictly philosophical aspect. Coupled with his there is in a large number of the chapters a special section entitled Interrogation (Pañhāpucchaka), which shows in detail how each of the special terms used are to be defined within the framework of Triplets and Couplets previously enumerated in Dhammasaṅgaṇī. It should always be remembered that at the time of the Buddha, India stood at a very high level of civilization, and that its philosophers were specialists to a supreme degree in matters of analysis, logic and argument. The Buddha, therefore, in the course of his forty-five years of teaching, was called upon not only to give discourses to general audiences of lay people, but to show to philosophers of the highest standard of learning and ability that the views they held were capable of being disproved in accordance with strict philosophical analysis. The terminology he used, therefore, needed to be precise in statement, exact in definition and capable of being expressed within whatever framework of classification it was necessary to use to show what was Right View (Sammādiṭṭhi), and what was False View (Micchadiṭṭhi). Abhidhamma books show these methods of classification as determined by the Buddha and used by him to demonstrate both generally and in analytical ex-attitude the profundity of truth in the whole of his teaching. The title chosen for this translation is, "The Book of Analysis", as being a translation of the term Vibhaṅgappakaraṇa. The work itself is divided into eighteen chapters, each of which is called a Vibhaṅga, or analysis. Thus the opening chapter entitled, "Analysis aggregates" deals exhaustively with each of the five aggregates (khandha), explaining the extent and limitation of the various aspects into which each individual term is analyzed. The Buddha in his method of teaching would never permit of loose to be mindful of and examine with detachment the constituent parts of the body or the rising and passing away of conscious states, such examination must be done thoroughly so that the exact structure of those states may be understood and eventually their true nature comprehended. As to the mode of translation employed, attempt has been made to give as literal a rendering of the Pāḷi as the grammatical structure of English will allow, and to include in each sentence equivalents for every word of importance in the corresponding passage of the original. To achieve this, style has in many cases had to be sacrificed in order that the more terse manner of the original may be sustained. It had also frequently been found necessary to employ phrases of a more or less explanatory nature as translations of otherwise single Pāḷi terms. This has been done where a purely literal rendering could easily obscure the proper meaning. It is hoped that the index to this work will indicate where this has had to be done. On first examining the chapters in Vibhaṅga it is not easy to see the reason behind the order in which they are placed; if, however, the two works Dhammasaṅgaṇī and Vibhaṅga are considered together, a general plan does emerge. In Dhammasaṅgaṇī the aim has been to compile and to classify under particular group headings the various states (dhammā) comprising all mental and material conditions. The outline of this universal system of classification exists as the mātika--or matrix--that is the purpose of Dhammasaṅgaṇī. In Vibhaṅga the field of research in narrowed to particular topics, but the same basis of analysis is retained as an important aspect of every subject to which it is applied. When making a survey of Vibhaṅga it will be seen that there are eighteen separate chapters some of which possess three main sections, viz.,
"Analysis According to the Discourses", "Analysis According to Abhidhamma" and "Interrogation", while others contain only two main sections, vis.,
"Analysis According to Abidhamma" and "Interrogation", or, alternatively, "Analysis According to the Discourses" and "Analysis According to Abhidhamma".
Finally, certain Vibhaṅgas have none of these particular sectional division, but adopt either numerical or subject headings. Examination of the distribution of these chapter structures gives a first clue to the reason for their order, and shows that they are divided into groups which commence with chapters having three main sub-divisions, and ending where appropriate either with two main sections or with chapters possessing their own special internal structure. On this basis the complete work separates into three major divisions as follows: Division 1 Vibhaṅgas 1-4 inclusive, each having three modes of analysis: i.e, Discourses, Abhidhamma and Interrogation. Vibhaṅga 5 having two modes of analysis: i.e., Ahidhamma and Interrogation. Vibhaṅga 6 having two modes of analysis: i.e., Discourses and Abidhamma. Division 2 Vibhaṅgas 7-13 inclusive, each having the three modes of analysis: i.e., Discourses, Abhidhamma and Interrogation. Vibhaṅga 14 having two modes of analysis: i.e., Abhidhamma and Interrogation. Vibhaṅgas 16-18 inclusive, which have either purely numerical or subject sub-divisions.
The first major division deals with the mental and material structure of beings, and shows two invariable and dependent origination.
The Second division deals with the various aspects of skillful practice which release beings from those processes. The third major division forms in some respects an appendix to the other two, in that it analyses subjects which though implicit in them yet need further expansion and are not so readily dealt with in the manner of the earlier divisions. In connection with the relationship between Dhammasaṅgaṇī, Vibhaṅga and Dhātukathā, it should here be added that although Vibhaṅga devotes an entire section to analysis of the elements (dhātu) the subject is of itself of such an intricate and far reaching nature that the Buddha gave particular and detailed attention to its technicalities. It is this great expansion of the analysis of elements that bears the tile Dhātukathā, and forms the third volume of this important trilogy.
ANALYSIS OF THE AGGREGATES(KHANDHAVIBHĀNGA)[កែប្រែ]
Returning now to the first major division consisting of six Vibhaṅgas which deal with the mental/material structure of beings, together with the conditions and forces to which they are subject. According to the teaching expounded by the Buddha, beings, so-called, no matter to which plane of existence they belong, are not possessed of any permanent identity, individuality, self, soul or spirit, but are to be considered only as temporary manifestations of several constitutions or aggregates which in themselves though constantly changing the expression 'rebirth' is frequently existence is reborn into a future existence by virtue of there being a soul or spirit as the factor providing inherent continuity. It is that, after a period during which a group of aggregates have exhibited their continuity of process in mutual association, they separate; and, according to their several qualities at the moment of separation, associate again with other appropriate aggregates to produce in a perfectly automatic way a new being, which, although having no direct relationship to its predecessor, by way of a permanent unchanging soul or spirit, is nevertheless the direct outcome of resultants of the activities of that predecessor, and so on. From this very cursory statement of the process of serial existence it is to be appreciated that while this current of constant change takes place there is, by definition, no stability of any kind, and that a so-called being of such structure cannot be regarded as steady, reliable, peaceful, permanent, not subject to change, not subject to ageing, death, sorrow, lamentation, physical pain, mental pain or despair. The first Vibhaṅga, Analysis of the Aggregates (Khandha-Vibhaṅga) illustrates in detail the nature of the fivefold primary analysis of a being. One of its purposes is to show to those who may accept the idea of the existence of a soul or spirit as a constituent part of a being that such a concept is unnecessary to the understanding of the structural nature of beings. It is to show that whatever may be observed or formulated from the behavior of beings, either in general or in particular, is classifiable under one or other of the five aggregates, viz., the aggregates of material quality, feeling, perception, mental concomitants and consciousness. No quality or feature that is in any way discernible falls outside this fivefold system of classification. This first chapter, then, deals with these five covered by each. It demonstrates that each is complete in itself and that in function and manifestation they are mutually exclusive. At this point something should be said concerning the three main types of analysis into which the various Vibhaṅga are divided, and of which this first chapter is a representative example. As indicated earlier the system sub-divides into three categories, viz., Analysis According to the Discourse (Suttantabhājanīya), Analysis According to Abidhamma (Abhidhammabhājanīya) and Interrogation (Pañhāpucchaka). This first major division opens with an analysis of the five aggregates according to the manner of the Discourse. What is this manner? First of all it will have been noticed in the course of examining the many discourses of the Sutta Piṭaka that the method adopted by the Buddha in delivering a discourse almost always involves analysis of the basic subject into its component parts. This analytical method is indeed a primary characteristic of the Buddha's Teaching, and is the foundation of his method of training to enable beings gradually, by the process of the elimination of loose thinking, to be able to see things as they really are (yathābhūtaṃ). It will be remembered that at the time of the Third Council, during the reign of the Emperor Asoka, the Ven. Moggaliputtatissa, in questioning the many bhikkhus as to the nature of the Buddha's Teaching, accepted only those who stated that teaching to be one of analysis, and that one who adhered to and proclaimed that teaching was a Vibhajjavādin--an analyst. Analysis According to the Discourses as exemplified in Vibhaṅga, therefore, is a method of breaking down a subject into its component parts, followed by a system of word definitions such as is to be found in many parts of the Sutta Piṭaka. How then does this differ in method from the second form, Analysis According to Abhidhamma? The difference lies in the nature of the basic terms used to analyse the subject concerned. The Sutta method of examination depends on an explanation of the subject in terms of conventional language such as might easily be understood by the average audience. Thus, in the case of the Vibhaṅga on aggregates, each of the aggregates is first examined in terms which bear reference to its relationship with other qualities. The type of relative qualities referred to are as to whether the subject of the examination is in the past, present or future, whether it is internal or external, gross or subtle, superior or inferior, distant or proximate, consists of the four great essentials and their dependent qualities, and so on. In other words the subject is classified in terms of everyday description such as those in which we usually consider the objects surrounding us, such as are recognized by the ordinary man as being straightforward, relatively simple, not subject to wide misinterpretation, and which are readily understood by the large majority of people without there being conflict of opinion as the validity of the classification. It is an examination in terms of the obvious qualities which an object possesses and which enable it to be considered, compared or classified on a similar level with other objects. It is the primary method of examination which must be observed before any deeper or more searching inquiry is made. It may be argued that, when compared with the very searching and accurate system for the classification of objects and substances exact. The answer to this is that it was not the Buddha's intention to concentrate on the precise classification of objects in terms of their physical qualities, but view them in terms necessary for the proper understanding of their position and value in the psycho-ethical sphere. Nevertheless, in order to introduce the idea of precision to the minds of those whom he taught, the Buddha, even in this preliminary type of analysis, used a system of word explanations and definitions in which the terms examined could clearly be seen to act as collective synonyms, expressing all the shades of meaning inferred by the many alternatives included. Thus, by first making use of the Suttanta method of classification, the object under examination is put into a correct perspective with other objects,
Feeling (vedanā). This existence, then, is proceeding in just the same way as did the previous on in the past. Moreover, if we look forward and consider in this same existence the final three causes, viz., Craving (taṇhā), Attchment (upādāna) and Becoming(bhava), which we have already seen are nothing but ignorance and activities, we can but infer that here are the activities the resultants of which will create further existence. How better could this be stated than to say of that future life, "There will be(11) Birth(jāti), and because of that there will be (12) Ageing and Death(jarāmaraṇa) ". To think for a moment will be to realize that this future life, this birth, ageing and death, is only another way of sating that there will be a repetition of all the eight causal relationships of Group B which we first referred to as the mode of past existence, then as the mode of present existence. Now we see also that it is the mode for future existence. Therefore, whether we express the past, the present or the future by any one of the three modes, each is acceptable, and although the usual convention is to represent the past by terms of Group A, the present by Group B and the future by Group C, yet as life succeeds life in an infinite continuity of pasts, presents and futures they each express in three ways the chief characteristics and manifestations of any one existence. However, if these groups are correctly interpreted the processes which we call past life, present life and future life are seen to have no break whatsoever. It is an apparently endless continuity of process which is to be broken only by the utter destruction and rooting out of ignorance and craving. Thus far in Suttanta analysis the causal process has referred to the broad issue of existence in terms of life spans; however, for such a process as this to be stated by the Buddha to be a universal causal law it must be capable of being applied in a much narrower and more specific manner to be able to support so significant a claim. At the time the Buddha, interest in the analysis of the processes and meanings of mental states was of the greatest importance not only to those who had given up the householder's life to follow the Buddha but also to the members of the many important heretical sects current at that time. All were ready and eager to discuss with skill not only such general statements, but to pinpoint particular and minute aspects of mental states to determine if these also could be shown to be subject to any such control of law. It is to this aspect of investigation that the whole of the second section of the analysis of causal relations is devoted. Analysis According to Abhidhamma re-states Paṭiccasamuppāda as it applies in detail to each of the bad (akusala) states, to each of the good(kusala) states, and also to those states which being the resultants of other active states are in themselves neither good nor bad (abyākatā). This means many re-statements of the causal law in which factorial variations of some of the individual nidānas are given. Basically, however, all the conscious states dealt with are treated on a system of sixteen fundamental statements of the causal law. To deal with these in any detail at this time would be quite out of the question, but the whole system of analysis with its very specific definitions is designed to show that in the same way as the general cyclic continuity of process, stated in the Suttana analysis, applies to existence as a whole, so also the arising of one state of consciousness as being dependent for its coming to be on the resultant of a preceding state, and that the resultant of that present state is to be the root cause of a future conscious state, demonstrates the action of that same law. Paṭiccasamuppāda exemplifies most clearly the self-containedness of the Buddha's teaching. External agency does not come into the question of existence, either in its broadest or in its most detailed aspects. All is the working of Causal Relationship, continuity. Only the Buddhas have shown how this continuity is to be broken. This is the essence of their Teaching: The Cause of Suffering is craving; if craving is destroyed utterly the continuity is broken; this is the end of Suffering; but, as is so frequently reiterated throughout Vibhaṅga, "...by hard practice and knowledge slowly acquired".