The 24 Conditional Relations »

The 24 modes of conditional relations in Buddhism are:

1. Root conditional relation: hetu paccaya
2. Object: árammana
3. Predominance: adhipati
4. Priority: anantara
5. Contiguity: samanantara
6. Co-nascence: sahajáta
7. Mutuality: aññamañña
8. Support: nissaya
9. Decisive Support: upanissaya
10. Pre-nascene: purejáta
11. Post-nascene: pacchájáta
12. Repitition: ásevana
13. Karma: kamma
14. Karma-result: vipáka
15. Nutriment: áhára
16. Faculty: indriya
17. Jhána: Jhãna
18. Path: magga
19. Associaton: sampayutta
20. Dissociation: vippayutta
21. Presence: atthi
22. Absence: natthi
23. Disappearance: vigata
24. Non-disappearance: avigata

(1) Root-conditional relation (hetu-paccaya) is that conditional relation that resembles the root of a tree. Just as a tree rests on its root, and remains alive only as long as its root is not destroyed, similarly all karmically advantageous and disadvantageous mental states are entirely dependent on the simultaneity and presence of their respective roots, i.e, of greed (lobha), hate (dosa), delusion (moha), or greedlessness (alobha), hatelessness (adosa), undeludedness (amoha). For the definition of these 6 roots, s. múla.

"The roots are a conditional relation by way of root for the (mental) phenomena associated with a root, and for the corporeal phenomena produced thereby (e.g. for bodily expression)" .

(2) Object-conditional relation (árammana-paccaya) is called something which, as object, forms the conditional relation for consciousness and mental phenomena. Thus, the physical object of sight consisting in colour and light ('light-wave'), is the necessary conditional relation and the sine qua non for the arising of eye-consciousness (cakkhu-viññána), etc.; sound ('sound wave') for ear-consciousness (sotá-viññána), etc.; further, any object arising in the mind is the conditional relation for mind-consciousness (mano-viññána). The mind-object may be anything whatever, corporeal or mental, past, present or future, real or imaginary.

(3) Predominance-conditional relation (adhipati-paccaya) is the term for 4 things, on the preponderance and predominance of which are dependent the mental phenomena associated with them, namely: concentrated intention (chanda, ), Energy (viriya, ), consciousness (citta) and investigation (vímamsá). In one and the same state of consciousness, however, only one of these 4 phenomena can be predominant at a time. "Whenever such phenomena as consciousness and mental concomitants are arising by giving preponderance to one of these 4 things, then this phenomenon is for the other phenomena a conditional relation by way of predominance" (Patth.). Cf. iddhi-páda.

(4-5) Proximity and contiguity (or immediacy)-conditional relation (anantara and samanantara-paccaya) - both being identical - refer to any state of consciousness and mental phenomena associated with them, which are the conditional relations for the immediately following stage in the process of consciousness. For example, in the visual process, eye-consciousness is for the immediately following mind element - performing the function of receiving the visible object - a conditional relation by way of contiguity; and so is this mind-element for the next following mind-consciousness element, performing the function of investigating the object, etc. Cf. viññána-kicca.

(6) Co-nascence condition (sahajáta-paccaya), i.e. conditional relation by way of simultaneous arising, is a phenomenon that for another one forms, a conditional relation in such a way that, simultaneously with its arising, also the other thing must arise. Thus, for instance, in one and the same moment each of the 4 mental groups (feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness) is for the 3 other groups a conditional relation by way of co-nascence or co-arising; or again each of the 4 physical elements (solid, liquid, heat, motion) is such a conditional relation for the other 3 elements. Only at the moment of conception in the mother's womb does corporeality (physical base of mind) serve for the 4 mental groups as a conditional relation by way of conascence.

(7) conditional relation by way of mutuality (aññámañña-paccaya). All the just mentioned associated and co-nascent mental phenomena, as well as the 4 physical elements, are, of course, at the same time also conditional relation by way of mutuality, "just like three sticks propped up one by another." The 4 mental groups are one for another a conditional relation by way of mutuality. So also are the 4 elements, and also mentality and corporeality at the moment of conception.

(8) Support-conditional relation (nissaya-paccaya). This conditional relation refers either to a pre-nascent (s. 10) or co-nascent (s. 6) phenomenon which is aiding other phenomena in the manner of a foundation or base, just as the trees have the earth as their foundation, or as the oil-painting rests on the canvas. In this way, the 5 sense-organs and the physical base of the mind are for the corresponding 6 kinds of consciousness a prenascent, i.e. previously arisen, conditional relation by way of support. Further all co-nascent (s. 6) phenomena are mutually (s. 7) conditional relationed by each other by way of support.

(9) Decisive-support (or inducement) conditional relation (upanissaya-paccaya) is threefold, namely (a) by way of object (árammanúpanissaya-paccaya), (b) by way of proximity (anantarúpanissaya), (c) natural decisive support (pakatupanissaya). These conditional relations act as strong inducement or cogent reason.

(a) Anything past, present or future, corporeal or mental, real or imaginary, may, as object of our thinking, become a decisive support, or strong inducement, to moral, immoral or karmically neutral states of mind. Evil things, by wrong thinking about them, become an inducement to immoral life; by right thinking, an inducement to moral life. But good things may be an inducement not only to similarly good things, but also to bad things, such as self-conceit, vanity, envy, etc.

(b;) is identical with proximity conditional relation (No. 4).

(c) Faith, virtue, etc., produced in one's own mind, or the influence of climate, food, etc., on one's body and mind, may act as natural and decisive support-conditional relations. Faith may be a direct and natural inducement to charity, virtue to mental training, etc.; greed to theft, hate to murder; unsuitable food and climate to ill-health; friends to spiritual progress or deterioration.

(10) Pre-nascence-conditional relation (purejáta-paccaya) refers to something previously arisen, which forms a base for something arising later on. For example, the 5 physical sense-organs and the physical base of mind, having already arisen at the time of birth, form the conditional relation for the consciousness arising later, and for the mental phenomena associated therewith.

(11) Post-nascence-conditional relation (pacchá-játa-paccaya) refers to consciousness and the phenomena therewith associated, because they are - just as is the feeling of hunger- a necessary conditional relation for the preservation of this already arisen body.

(12) Repetition-conditional relation (ásevana-paccaya) refers to the karmical consciousness, in which each time the preceding impulsive moments (javana-citta, ) are for all the succeeding ones a conditional relation by way of repetition and frequency, just as in learning by heart, through constant repetition, the later recitation becomes gradually easier and easier.

(13) Karma-conditional relation (kamma-paccaya). The pre-natal karma (i.e karma-intentions, kamma-cetaná, in a previous birth) is the generating conditional relation (cause) of the 5 sense-organs, the fivefold sense-consciousness, and the other karma-produced mental and corporeal phenomena in a later birth. - Karmical intention is also a conditional relation by way of karma for the co-nascent mental phenomena associated therewith, but these phenomena are in no way karma-results.

(14) Karma-result-conditional relation (vipáka-paccaya). The karma-resultant 5 kinds of sense-consciousness are a conditional relation by way of karma-result for the co-nascent mental and corporeal phenomena.

(15) Nutriment-conditional relation (áhára-paccaya). For the 4 nutriments, s. áhára.

(16) Faculty-conditional relation (indriya-paccaya). This conditional relation applies to 20 faculties (indriya, ), leaving out No. 7 and 8 from the 22 faculties. Of these 20 faculties, the 5 physical sense-organs (1 - 5), in their capacity as faculties, form a conditional relation only for incorporeal phenomena (eye-consciousness etc.); physical vitality (6) and all the remaining faculties, for the co-nascent mental and corporeal phenomena.

(17) Jhána-conditional relation (jhána-paccaya) is a name for the 7 so-called jhána-factors, as these form a conditional relation to the co-nascent mental and corporeal phenomena, to wit: (1) thought-conception (vitakka), (2) discursive thinking (vicára), (3) interest (píti), (4) Joy (sukha), (5) sadness (domanassa), (6) indifference (upekkhá), (7) Concentration (samádhi).

1, 2, 3, 4, 7 are found in 4 classes of greedy consciousness (s. Tab. I. 22-25); 1, 2, 5, 7 in hateful consciousness (ib. 30, 31); 1, 2, 6, 7 in the classes of deluded consciousness (ib. 32, 33).

This conditional relation does not only apply to jhána alone, but also to the general intensifying ('absorbing') impact of these 7 factors.

(18) Path-conditional relation (magga-paccaya) refers to the 12 path-factors, as these are for the karmically advantageous and disadvantageous mental phenomena associated with them, a way of escape from this or that mental constitution, namely: (1) knowledge (paññá = sammáditthi, right understanding), (2) (right or wrong) thought-conception (vitakka), (3) right speech (sammá-vácá), (4) right bodily action (sammá-kammanta), (5) right livelihood (sammá-ájíva), (6) (right or wrong) Energy (viriya), (7) (right or wrong) mindfulness (sati), (8) (right or wrong) Concentration (samádhi), (9) wrong views (miccháditthi), (10) wrong speech (micchá-vácá), (11) wrong bodily action (micchá-kammanta), (12) wrong livelihood (micchá-ájíva). Cf. magga.

(19) Association-conditional relation (sampayutta-paccaya) refers to the co-nascent (s. 6) and mutually (s. 7) conditioned 4 mental groups (khandha), "as they aid each other by their being associated, by having a common physical base, a common object, and by their arising and disappearing simultaneously" (Patth. Com.).

(20) Dissociation-conditional relation (vippayutta-paccaya) refers to such phenomena as aid other phenomena by not having the same physical base (eye, etc.) and objects. Thus corporeal phenomena are for mental phenomena, and conversely, a conditional relation by way of dissociation, whether co-nascent or not.

(2l) Presence-conditional relation (atthi-paccaya) refers to a phenomenon - being pre-nascent or co-nascent - which through its presence is a conditional relation for other phenomena. This conditional relation applies to the conditions Nos. 6, 7, 8, 10, 11.

(22) Absence-conditional relation (natthi-paccaya) refers to consciousness, etc., which has just passed, and which thus forms the necessary conditional relation for the immediately following stage of consciousness by giving it an opportunity to arise. Cf. No. 4.

(23) Disappearance-conditional relation (vigata-paccaya) is identical with No. 22.

(24) Non-disappearance-conditional relation (avigata-paccaya) is identical with No. 21.

These 24 conditions should be known thoroughly for a detailed understanding of that famous formula of the dependent origination (paticcasamuppáda,)

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