What are the twelve aspects of dependent-arising (十二缘起)?

#1

I am starting my revision on this subject.

Bookmarking Master Ri-Chang’s intro on twelve aspects of dependent-arising (十二缘起) in hs Lamrim Commentary:

From Track 77b

The second part of the method for developing the mind intent on liberation is to reflect on the twelve aspects of dependent-arising. This topic has four parts:

To Track 78b

Death is the casting aside of the aggregates’ continuum.

And a reminder for me on the twelve aspects:
Chinese:
https://baike.baidu.com/item/十二缘起
English (with the Sanskrit version):
https://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/snapshot05.htm

1 Like
#2

The image representing the twelve aspects of dependent-arising (十二缘起) is important for our understanding of the topic. It can also be called the wheel of life. Note that there are many versions of the image but generally the main points are represented.


taken from: https://bwmonastery.org.sg/lr-wheel-of-life (comes with more explanation there)

Master Ri-Chang starts his discourse on the image at the 13:08 minute mark of his Lamrim Commentary Track 79A starting from the text

(p225) 这张图你们可以仔细地看一下…

#3

Master Sheng Yen makes a connection between the Heart Sutra and the 12 links of dependent arising. He also explains in brief how we transition through a cycle of life.

#4

another segment from Master Sheng Yen:

#5

This line from the Scripture helped me in better understanding the twelve aspects of dependent-arising by categorising each aspect into 3 types: Afflictions, Karma and Suffering.

Referencing Master Ri-Chang’s Lamrim Commentary Track 80B:

【如龙猛菩萨云:“初八九烦恼、二及十为业、余七者是苦。”】

And the translation, also taken from the Commentary:

As the wise Nagarjuna said:
The first (无明, Ignorance), the eighth (爱, Craving), and the ninth (取, Grasping) are afflictions.
The second (行 , Compositional action) and the tenth (有, Existence) are karma.
The remaining seven are sufferings.

  • Note I added the terms in the brackets above.
Love or attachment
#6

My 班长 asked our class to reflect on this passage from the Lamrim (commentary track 81a):

【此中朴穷瓦大善知识,专于十二缘起有支,净修其心,】
这位大善知识专门在这“有支”上面修。
【思惟缘起流转还灭,着道次第。】
因为用了这个功,所以了解了,然后着那个道的次第。关于这几句话,那么文字很容 (p12) 易,你们如果懂得了这个有支,你们去用功的话,立刻相应。否则的话,这两句话也没多大意思。

Why did the great spiritual friend Pu-chung-wa focus on the aspect of Existence (有支) for his mental training rather than starting with the eighth (爱, Craving), and the ninth (取, Grasping) aspects?

Our 班长 didn’t provide her answer and asked us to think about it.

Anyone here can help provide your opinion?

#7

My initial guess was that the Existence aspect (有支) represents our habits (习性) which translates to Karma (业) that will lead to endless rebirth.

So to break this cycle, one way is to work on our habits and this can be done by focusing on the precepts (戒).

However, doing some Googling for other learners’ opinion, I found that there could be another way of interpreting what 专于十二缘起有支 means.

In this blog, this practitioner mentions:

消文者按,「十二緣起有支」即本文下一段所說「十二有支」,此詞舊譯作「十二因緣」,新譯作「十二緣起」,並非特指「十二緣起中的『有』支」
http://blog.xuite.net/rwaylin/twblog/116582248-消文(2010%2F09%2F05)

I read as the term 十二缘起有支 actually refers to the entire twelve aspects of dependent-arising rather than just the Existence aspect (有支).

This explanation is also found here:

I guess I will be bringing this up for discussion in my lamrim class.

#8

Continuing my reading into how to interpret:
【此中朴穷瓦大善知识,专于十二缘起有支,净修其心,】

Further down the Lamrim commentary at track 88A, we find this:

【智然,后有人问汝弟子众,以何为教授中心,则定答为已发神通或见本尊,然实应说于业因果渐渐决定,于所受戒清净护持。】
Ye-shay-bar, if, tomorrow or the next day, someone were to ask all your disciples, “What are you practicing as the core of your personal instructions?” They would answer that it was to attain super knowledges or a vision of their chosen deity. However, they should answer, " It is becoming more and more definite about the causes and effects of karma and, consequently, keeping purely whatever vows I have assumed."

Master Ri-Chang provides in his discourse:

看看,这个地方呢,祖师告诉我们怎么说啊?嘿!妙咧!“实实在在应该说,是业因果渐渐决定。”啊!说经过了正确的认识,现在对业因感得业果的这个道理,由于认真如理地修习,内心上面产生决定不移的见解,这样的这个才是。因为你对这个“如是因感如是果”,正确地了解了,所以你不敢一步乱来,然后呢努力行持。这个时候的戒啊,拼命地护持,于是就能够持戒清净,这个是大祖师的典型的榜样。

I think this ties in quite nicely with how we must contemplate on the aspects of dependent-arising , whether just on the aspect of Existence (有支) or the entire cycle of 十二缘起, to fortify our understanding of Karma or 如是因感如是果 - you reap what you sow.

Thus will push us towards taking on the precepts and holding steadfast to them, knowing that our hardship in keeping to these precepts now will yield immeasurable results for us in the future - following the examples of the past sages!

#9

Master Ri-Chang gives his answer on:

【此中朴穷瓦大善知识,专于十二缘起有支,净修其心,】
这位大善知识专门在这“有支”上面修。
【思惟缘起流转还灭,着道次第。】
因为用了这个功,所以了解了,然后着那个道的次第。关于这几句话,那么文字很容 (p12) 易,你们如果懂得了这个有支,你们去用功的话,立刻相应。否则的话,这两句话也没多大意思。
Why did the great spiritual friend Pu-chung-wa focus on the aspect of Existence (有支) for his mental training rather than starting with the eighth (爱, Craving), and the ninth (取, Grasping) aspects?

The relevant portion of Master Ri-Chang’s discourse starts from Lamrim Commentary Track 100b 19:56 minute:

上一次,我有一个题目,就是讲到十二因缘当中,本来这个十二因缘从这个能生支切断,所谓受缘爱,因为受是前面一重因果。能引到所引,这个能引的因所以感果,是经过这个爱、取、有三支引发以后才会结生,才会感得下一期的生死,所以从一般来说起来,从爱断起。那么,而现在那个第一百八十六页上面说:“朴穷瓦大善知识,专于十二缘起有支,净修其心,”欸,他就妙咧!他修的时候啊,从有支上面修,而不从爱、取上面断,那是什么原因?而且他照着这个思惟缘起流转的道理,及还灭的道理,写了一个道的次第;换句话说,这位大善知识这样做的。那么现在更有意思的是,宗喀巴大师引它来这个地方,所以实际上呢,换句话说,宗喀巴大师也是这样做的。以这么两位大 (p143) 善知识,他一定有他的道理。我跟大家说,你们想想看什么原因?
当然这我了解的话,这个的的确确不要说你们,就我现在来说,我也并不能够很了解,不过把我所体会到的告诉你们一下,那么你们就很清楚、很明白了。

and extending to Lamrim Commentary Track 101b 26:18 minute:

当那个,这个所以整个的问题现起的话,都因为由于这个因感果的这个必然关系。而这个因感果的必然关系的话就是这个“我”,到那个“我”没有的话……。所以,你所以说无明见不到的就是什么东西?就是产生了这个,因为这个东西在,所以啊就这些东西都来了。这个东西,所以真正感得的是什么?十二因缘所感得的,我们也可以说前一支感得后一支,实际上,这个是一支一支的关系,而整个的就是五蕴嘛!只要这个东西拿掉了,这个蕴就断掉了,蕴断掉了,这个色就也就没有了,对吧?欸,好。

Someone posed a question to Master Ri-Chang - a question I had struggled with for quite a while. And Master Ri-Chang answers simply

有人回答说:照理是应该在爱、取上面断,他为什么在有支上断?这什么叫照理不照理,说爱上面,爱、取上面断是一种断法;在有支上面修行,又是一种修行,这两样同样可以的,那么这个道理现在在这个地方说明白。真正断的时候,还是在什么?还是在爱支上面。不过前面那个爱的话呢,是由于说你晓得这个东西,爱的结果是苦啊,所以在这个上面。你现在这个有支上面,你就是真正理路上面很清楚了以后,了解了这个事实以后,经过了这样地思惟观察,所以它比较利。

Master Ri-Chang also provided a summary of how to break out of the cycle of life and death:

如果是无明,你不了解的话,那么必然要感得这样的果,所以引发这个生死的流转。现在呢你了解了,了解了以后就有正确的知见,所谓正知见产生。所以那个时候啊,你所努力把这个事情深入,然后呢这个智慧生起。智慧是无明的正对治,它们两者之间的关系就是这样,有了你就没有我,有了我就没有你,就是这样。所以听闻了正法,然后呢能够如理思惟,正知见产生,然后次第修习,正智现前的时候,无明就破了。无明一破,无明灭则行灭,行灭则识灭,识灭下面整个的没有 (p171) 了,生死就断了。

For follow Lamrim students, I hope you find this portion of the discourse as useful and helpful as I did!
Much gratitude to Master for helping with my understanding.
:pray:

#10

I think the question of what is the Existence aspect (有支) can be summarised by Master Ri-Chang here:

这习惯实际上是什么呢?就是“有”嘛!前面一再说的,这个什么啊?就是这个行薰习识,这个行为不断地薰习,在识田当中留下的影响,这就是习惯。这习性之难改啊!
https://bwmonastery.org.sg/lr102a

#11

Venerable Ru Jun talks about twelve aspects of dependent-arising (十二缘起). I understand it as how contemplating this learning can help us break out of doing bad Karma and also help us sustain doing good Karma.

#12

Master Sheng Yen gives another perspective of the twelve aspects of dependent-arising (十二缘起) - it can be categorised as the cycle of delusion, creating Karma, and suffering.