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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


3: Adhipati-Paccaya or the Relation of Dominance

The relation of dominance is of two kinds: the objective dominance and the coexistent dominance. Of these two, what is the relation of objective dominance? Among the objects dealt with in the section on the Arammana-relation there are some objects which are most agreeable, most lovable, most pleasing and most regardable. Such objects exhibit the relation of objective dominance. Here the objects may, naturally, be either agreeable or disagreeable; but by the word 'the most agreeable objects' only those objects that are most highly esteemed by this or that person are meant as exhibiting this relation. Excepting the two classes of consciousness rooted in aversion the two classes of consciousness rooted in ignorance and the tactual consciousness accompanied by pain, together with the concomitants of all these, it may be shown, analytically[6], that all the remaining classes of Kama- consciousness, Rupa-consciousness, Arupa-consciousness and Transcendental consciousness, together with all their respective concomitants and all the most agreeable material qualities, are paccaya-dhamma.

Of these, Kama-objects are said to exhibit the causal relation of objective dominance only when they are highly regarded, otherwise they do not. But those who reach the Jhana stages are never lacking in high esteem for the sublime Jhanas they have obtained. Ariyan disciples also never fail in their great regard for the Transcendental Dhammas[7] they have obtained and enjoyed.

What are the things that are related by this relation? The eight classes of consciousness rooted in appetite (lobha), the eight classes of Kamaloka moral consciousness, the four classes of in-operative Kamaloka consciousness connected with knowledge, and the eight classes of Transcendental Consciousnes--these are the things related by this relation. Here the sixfold mundane objects[8] are causally related to the eight classes of consciousness rooted in appetite. The seventeen classes of mundane moral consciousness are related to the four classes of moral Kama-consciousness disconnected from knowledge. The first three pairs of the Path and Fruit, and Nibbana, together with all those classes of mundane moral consciousness, are related to the four classes of moral Kama-consciousness connected with knowledge. The highest--the fourth stage of the Path and Fruit of Arahantship--together with Nibbana are related to the four classes of inoperative Kama-consciousness connected with knowledge. And Nibbana is related to the eight classes of Transcendental Consciousness.

In what sense is arammana to be understood, and in what sense Adhipati? Arammana is to be understood in the sense of alambitabba (cf. arammana-paccaya) and adhipati in the sense of adhipaccattha. Then what is adhipaccattha? Adhipaccattha is the potency of objects to control those states of mind and mental qualities by which the objects are highly regarded. It is to be understood that the relating things (paccaya-dhamma) of arammanadhipati resemble the overlords, while the related things (paccayuppanna-dhamma) resemble the thralls in human society.

In the Sutasoma Jataka, Porisada, the king, owing to his extreme delight in human flesh, abandoned his kingdom solely for the sake of the taste of human flesh and lived a wanderer's life in the forest. Here the savour of human flesh is the paccayadhamma of arammanadhipati; and King Porisada's consciousness rooted in appetite is the paccayuppana- dhamma. And again, King Sutasoma, having a very high regard for Truth[9], forsook his sovereignty, all his royal family and even his life for the sake of Truth, and went to throw himself into the hands of Porisada. In this case, Truth is the paccayadhamma and King Sutasoma's moral consciousness is the paccayuppannadhamma. Thus must we understand all objects of sense to which great regard is attached.

What is the relation of coexistent dominance? Intention or desire- to-do, mind[10] or will, energy or effort, and reason or investigation, which have arrived at the dominant state, belong to this relation.

What are the things related by this relation? Classes of mind and of mental qualities which are adjuncts of the dominants, and material qualities produced by dominant thoughts are the things that are related by this relation.

In what sense is sahajata to be understood, and in what sense adhipati? Sahajata is to be understood in the sense of sahuppadanattha, and adhipati in the sense of abhibhavanattha. Here, a phenomenon, when it appears not only appears alone, but simultaneously causes its adjuncts to appear. Such a causal activity of the phenomenon is termed the sahuppadanattha. And the term abhibhavanattha means overcoming. For instance, King Cakkavatti, by his own power or merit, overcomes and becomes lord of the inhabitants of the whole continent whom he can lead according to his own will. They also become according as they are led. In like manner, those four influences which have arrived at the dominant stage become lord of, and lead, so to speak, their adjuncts to be at their will in each of their respective functions. The adjuncts also become according as they are led. To take another example, in each of these masses, earth, water, fire, and air, we see that the four elements--extension, cohesion, heat, and motion--are respectively predominant, and each has supremacy over the other three components and makes them conform to its own intrinsic nature[11]. The other three members of the group of four 'elements' also have to follow after the nature of the predominant element. In the same way, these four dominants, which have arrived at the dominant stage through their power, make the adjuncts conform to their own intrinsic nature. And their adjuncts also have to follow after the nature of the dominants. Such is the meaning of abhibhavana. Here some might say: "If these things, leaving out intention, are to be called dominants on account of their overcoming the adjuncts, greed also ought to be called a dominant, for obviously it possesses a more overwhelming power over the adjuncts than intention." But to this we may reply: Greed is, indeed, more powerful than intention, but only with ordinary unintelligent men. With the wise, intention is more powerful than greed in overwhelming the adjuncts. If it is assumed that greed is more powerful, then how should people, who are in the hands of greed, give up the repletion of their happy existence and wealth, carry out the methods of renunciation, and escape from the circle of misery? But, because intention is more powerful than greed, therefore those people who are in the hands of greed are able to give up the repletion of happy existence and wealth, fulfil the means of renunciation, and escape from the circle of misery. Hence, intention is a true dominant,--and not greed. The like should be borne in mind--in the same fashion--when intention is contrasted with hate, and so forth.

Let us explain this more clearly. When there arise great and difficult manly enterprises, the accomplishment of such enterprises necessitates the arising of these four dominants. How? When ill-intentioned people encounter any such enterprise, their intention recedes. They are not willing to undertake it. They leave it, having no inclination for it, and even say: "The task is not within the range of our ability." As to well-intentioned people, their intention becomes full of spirit at the sight of such a great enterprise. They are very willing to undertake it. They make up their mind to accomplish the task, saying: "This has been set within the orbit of our ability." A person of this type is so persuaded by his intention that he is unable to give up the enterprise during the course of his undertaking, so long as it is not yet accomplished. And since this is the case the task will some day arrive at its full accomplishment even though it may be a very great one.

Now, let us turn to the case of men of the indolent class. When they come face to face with such a great task they at once shrink from it. They shrink from it because they foresee that they will have to go through great hardships and also undergo bodily and mental pain if they wish to accomplish it. As to the industrious man, he becomes filled with energy at the sight of it and wishes to set himself to it. He goes on through thick and thin with the performance of the task for any length of time. He never turns back from his exertions, nor does he become disappointed. What he only thinks about is that such a great task cannot be accomplished without unswerving efforts every day and every night. And this being the case, the great task will certainly reach its end one day.

Let us take the case of the feeble-minded. They also turn away when they see such a great task. They will certainly never think of it again. But it is quite different with the strong-minded person. When he sees such a task he becomes highly interested in it. He is quite unable to dispel the thought of it. He is all the time wrapped up in thoughts about the task, and at its bidding sets himself to it for a long time, enduring all kinds of bodily and mental pain. The remainder should hereafter be explained in the same manner as the dominant intention above.

Again a few words about unintelligent men. When they are confronted with such a task they become blinded. They know not how to begin, nor how to go on with the work, nor how to bring it to its end. They feel as if they had entered the dark where not a single light of inclination towards its performance has been set up to guide them. On the other hand--to take the more intellgent case--when a person of this type has to tackle such a great task he feels as if he were lifted up to the summit of his intellect, whereupon he discerns whence to start and whither to end. He also knows what advantage and blessing will accrue to him from its performance. He invents many devices for its easy accomplishment. He continues on with the work for a long time, and so on and so forth. The rest should be explained in the same manner as the dominant effort--only inserting the words 'with an enormous amount of investigation' in place of 'unswerving efforts'.

Thus, when there arise great and difficult manly enterprises, these four dominants become predominant among the means of their accomplishment. Owing to the existence of these four dominants there exist distinguished or dignified persons (personages) such as the Omniscient Buddhas, the Pacceka Buddhas,[12] the most eminent disciples, the great disciples and the ordinary disciples. Owing to the appearance of such personages, there also appear, for the general prosperity and welfare of mankind numerous[13] arts and sciences, as well as general articles of furniture to suit and serve human needs and wants under the canopy of civilization.

End of the Adhipati-Relation.

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