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Tipitaka >> Abhidhamma Pitaka >> The Patthanuddesa Dipani
The Buddhist Philosophy of Relations
By Mahathera Ledi Sayadaw, Aggamahapandita, D.Litt.
Translated into English by Sayadaw U Nyana, Patamagyaw of Masoeyein Monastery Mandalay


26. Paccaya-Ghatananaya or the Synchrony of Relations

The synchrony of relations will now be stated.

The concurrence of causal relations in one related thing is called synchrony of relations or paccaya-ghatana. All phenomena are called sa-paccaya (related to causes), sankhata (conditioned by causes), and paticcasamuppanna (arising from a conjuncture of circumstances), because in arising and in standing they coexist with, or have, or are conditioned by, these twenty-four causal relations. What then are those phenomena? They are: one hundred and twenty-one classes of consciousness, fifty-two kinds of mental properties, and twenty-eight kinds of material qualities.

Of these, the one hundred and twenty-one classes of consciousness may be classified into seven, under the category of dhatu (elements):

1. element of visual cognition
2. element of auditory cognition
3. element of olfactory cognition
4. element of gustatory cognition
5. element of tactile cognition
6. element of apprehension
7. element of comprehension.

Of these:

1. the two-fold classes of sight-consciousness are called the elements of visual cognition;
2. the two-fold classes of sound-consciousness are called the elements of auditory cognition;
3. the two-fold classes of smell-consciousness are called the elements of olfactory cognition;
4. the two-fold classes of taste-consciousness are called the elements of gustatory cognition;
5. the two-fold classes of touch-consciousness are called the elements of tactile cognition;
6. "the adverting of mind towards any of the five doors" (pancadvaravajjana) and the two-fold classes of "acceptance of impressions" (sampaticchana) are called the elements of apprehension;
7. the remaining one hundred and eight classes of consciousness are called the elements of comprehension.

The fifty-two kinds of mental properties are also divided into groups:

  • seven universals
  • six particulars
  • fourteen immorals
  • twenty-five radiants.

Of the twenty-four relations:

fifteen relations are common to all the mental states: arammana, anantara, samanantara, sahajata, annamanna, nissaya, upanissaya, kamma, ahara, indriya, sampayutta, atthi, natthi, vigata and avigata.

There is not a single class of consciousness or mental property which arises without the causal relation of arammana (object). The same holds good as regards the remaining causal relations of anantara, samanantara, sahajata and so on.

Eight relations only--hetu, adhipati, purejata, asevana, vipaka, jhana, magga and vippayutta--are common to some mental states. Of these, the relation of hetu is common only to the classes of consciousness conditioned by hetu; the relation of adhipati is also common only to the apperceptions (javanas) coexisting with dominance (adhipati); the relation of purejata is common only to some classes of mind; the relation of asevana is common only to apperceptive classes of moral, immoral, and inoperative consciousness; the relation of vipaka is also common only to the resultant classes of mind; the relation of jhana is common to those classes of consciousness and mental concomitants which come under the name of elements of apprehension and comprehension; the relation of magga is common to the classes of mind conditioned by hetu; the relation of vippayutta is not common to the classes of mind in arupaloka. Only one particular relation of pacchajata is common to material qualities.

Here is the exposition in detail. The seven universal, mental properties are: phassa (contact), vedana (sensation), sanna (perception), cetana (volition), ekaggata (concentration in its capacity to individualise), jivita (psychic life) and manasikara (attention).

Of these, consciousness may be the relation of adhipati; it may be the relation of ahara, and it may also be the relation of indriya; contact is the relation of ahara alone; sensation may be the relation of indriya, and may also be the relation of jhana; volition may be the relation of kamma, and may be the relation of ahara; ekaggata may be the relation of indriya; it may be the relation of jhana; and it may be the relation of magga also; psychic life is the relation of indriya alone; the two remaining states--perception and attention--do not become any particular relation.

Consciousness by way of sight, obtains seven universal mental concomitants, and so they make up eight mental states. All of them are mutually related to one another by way of the seven relations: four superior sahajata and three of the medium sahajatas excluding the relation of dissociation. Among these eight mental states, consciousness causally relates itself to the other seven by way of ahara and indriya. Contact causally relates itself to the other seven by way of ahara; feeling to the rest by way of indriya alone; volition, by way of kamma and ahara; ekaggata, by way of indriya alone; and psychic life to the other seven, by way of indriya. The basis of eye causally relates itself to these eight states by way of six species of vatthupurejata. The present visual objects, which enter the avenue of that eye-base, causally relate themselves to those eight by way of four species of arammana purejata. Consciousness, which is called turning-towards-the-five-doors at the moment of cessation, just before the arising of sight consciousness, causally relates itself to these eight mental states by way of five species of anantara. Moral and immoral deeds which were done in former births, causally relate themselves to these eight resultant states of good and evil respectively, by way of asynchronous kamma. Nescience (avijja), craving (tanha) and grasping (upadana)--which co-operated with volition (kamma) in the past existence, and dwellings, persons, seasons, foods and so forth, of this present life, causally relate themselves to these eight states by way of pakatupanissaya (natural sufficing condition). The six relations-hetu, adhipati, pacchajata, asevana, jhana and magga--do not take part in this class of consciousness, but only the remaining eighteen relations take part. Just as the six relations do not take part--and only the eighteen relations do--in consciousness by way of sight, so do they in consciousness by way of hearing, smell, and so on.

End of the Synchrony of Relations in the Five Senses.

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