31 October 2015

Mūlamadhyamaka-Kārika 17.6

tiṣṭhaty ā pākakālāc cet karma tan nityatām iyāt |
niruddhaṃ cen niruddhaṃ sat kiṃ phalaṃ janayiṣyati ||

If an action persists till the time of ripening, that would be permanence.
If it has ceased, then being ceased, what fruit will be produced?

This verse from Nāgārjuna's Mulamadhyamaka-Kārikā (MMK 17.6) is important because it shows that the standard versions of pratītyasamutpāda and karma are mutually contradictory. Pratītyasamutpāda says the conditioned cannot persist after the condition has ceased (asya nirodhād idam nirudhyate) while karma requires the conditioned arise long after the condition has ceased. This problem, which I call Action at a Temporal Distance, drives a good deal of innovation the Abhidharma period and after as Buddhists realise the problem exists and try to invent ways around it. For some descriptions of this problem and the proposed solutions, see my collection of essays on karma and rebirth.

28 October 2015

Sanskrit Pratītyasamutpāda (Dependent Arising) Formula

yaduta asmin satīdaṃ bhavaty
asyotpadād idam utpadyate |
yaduta asmin asatīdaṃ na bhavaty
asya nirodhād idaṃ nirudhyate ||

यदुतास्मिन्सतीदं भवत्यस्योत्पदादिदमुत्पद्यते ।
यदुतास्मिनसतीदं न भवत्यास्य निरोधादिदं निरुध्यते ॥

26 October 2015

Pratītyasamutpāda in Sanskrit

A photo posted by jayarava (@jayarava) on

17 October 2015



Seed syllable of the 
Prajñāpāramitāhṛdaya (Heart Sutra)
combines dhiḥ and mma 
with short i as per modern 
Shingon interpretations