Dependent Origination (Paṭiccasamuppāda)


This book on Depen­dent Orig­i­na­tion (paṭic­casamup­pā­da) is a trans­la­tion of chap­ter 4 of Bud­dhad­ham­ma cov­er­ing per­haps the most sub­tle and abstruse teach­ing by the Bud­dha. Depen­dent Orig­i­na­tion delves into the intri­cate men­tal process­es that are at play behind voli­tion­al activ­i­ties, states of con­scious­ness, and the shap­ing of human iden­ti­ty, along with con­se­quent suf­fer­ing, attach­ment, and repeat­ed rebirth.

This teach­ing con­tains a para­dox: to tru­ly under­stand Depen­dent Orig­i­na­tion is equiv­a­lent to under­stand­ing the heart of the Bud­dhist teachings—to be awakened—but the path to awak­en­ing begins with ‘right view,’ which includes a pre­lim­i­nary under­stand­ing of the laws of conditionality.

Char­ac­ter­is­tic to his inclu­sive and inte­gra­tive style, Ajahn Payut­to has based this expla­na­tion of Depen­dent Orig­i­na­tion on sources in the Pali sut­tas, and then woven in ref­er­ences from the Abhid­ham­ma and the com­men­taries to present a com­ple­men­tary whole.


        Introduction (pdf)

Significance of Dependent Origination

Interpretations of Dependent Origination

Relational Context of Dependent Origination

Orthodox Explanation

Factors of Dependent Origination


General Explanations

Application in Everyday Life

Factors of Dependent Origination

Preliminary Explanation of the Relationship between Factors

Expanded Explanation of the Relationship between Factors

Examples from Everyday Life

Deeper Explanations

Dependent Origination and the Middle Teaching

Dependent Origination in a Social Context

The Link Between the Middle Teaching and the Middle Way

Breaking the Cycle

Dependent Origination and the Four Noble Truths

Appendix 1: Interpretations of Dependent Origination

Appendix 2: ‘Me & Mine’

Appendix 3: Birth and Death in the Present Moment

Appendix 4: Abhidhamma Interpretation of Dependent Origination

Appendix 5: Nirodha (‘Cessation’)

Appendix 6: Concise Definitions for the Factors of Dependent Origination

Appendix 7: Bhava-taṇhā & Vibhava-taṇhā