Sunday, June 26, 2011

Kathavatthu - Appendix III

Points of  Controversy
Subjects of  Discourse

(VII. 1, p. 195.)
This little discourse is interesting for  its bearing on the
historic European controversy between Universals and

Particulars, dating from  Herakleitus and Parmenides, two
and a half  centuries before  the date of  our work, with
the problems: How can the Many be One ? How can the
One be in the Many ? Both the Kathavatthu and its
Commentary oppose the limiting of  groupable things to
mental facts.  If  certain things be counted one by one,
they reach a totality (gananag gacchanti) , say, a totality
of  five.  This total needs a generic concept to express itself.
If  the five  units happen to possess common, say, bovine,
attributes, we apply the concept 'bullocks,' 'cows.' So
with the concept' dog,' which holds together all individuals
possessing canine attributes. Again, if  we were to count by
groups, say, three bullocks and three dogs, the units would
reach the same total. But we should require a more
general, a ' higher' concept—' animal,' or the like—to
include both species. Now whether we have relatively
homogeneous units under a general notion, or relatively
heterogeneous groups under a wider notion, they reach
hereby an abridged statement (uddesAIJ gacchanti )
in the economy of  thought.
The Theravadin, as we have recorded, does not approve
of  the crude rope simile, because the material bond is
necessarily different  from  the mental concept, and the
term, physical and mental, binding units together. Neither
does he altogether disapprove of  the simile, since language,
rooted in sense-experience, compels us to illustrate mental
processes by material phenomena.
(VII. 5.)
Paribhoga is enjoyment. Utility, as ethicists and
economists use the term, is enjoyability, positive benefit.

 It is interesting to compare the ganana (number), sangah a
(class), uddes a (abridged statement), of  fcssa's  Katha-vatthu  with
such disquisitions on number, class, general term, as that by Mr.
Bertrand Russell in his examination of  Frege's Qrundlagen  der
Arithmetic  in ' Our Knowledge  of  the External  World,',  p. 201 L

And the opponents claim that ' there is merit consisting in
the fact,  not that the good deed was done with benevolent
intention, but that the deed done is bestowing enjoyment
or utility.' The orthodox argument seeks only to prove the
unsoundness of  this way of  reckoning merit (for  the doer),
either on grounds of  psychological process [1] or of  ethics
[2, 3]. His own position, stated positively, is that the
donor's will (c e t a n a) or intention is the only standard,
criterion, ultimate court of  appeal, by which to judge of
the merit (to himself)  o f  his act. Posterity may bless him
for  utility accruing to it. But if  he gave as a benefactor
malgre  lui, he will in future  be, not better, but worse off .
(XV. 1, 2.)
The word paccaya,
 used in popular diction, together
with hetu , for  ' cause
 or ' reason why,' is closely akin to
 relation.' lie and pati (p a c c a y a is contracted from
pati-a y a) are coincident in meaning. Ay a is a causative
form  of  i, ' to go,' giving ' go back' for  the Latin [re]latus,
 carry back.' Now£
 relation,' as theory of'  things as having
to do with each other,' put into the most general terms
possible, includes the class called causal relation, viz.,
things as related by way of  cause-effect.  But paccaya ,
as relation, implies that, for  Buddhist philosophy, all modes
of  relation have causal significance,  though the causal
efficacy,  as power to produce the effect ,  may be absent.
To understand this we must consider everything, not as
statically existing, but as 'happening,' or 'event.' We
may then go on to define  paccaya as an event which
helps to account for  the happening of  the paccayup-
panna, ie., the effect ,  or 'what-has-happened-through-the-
paccaya. ' These two terms are thus ? related.' Dropping
our notion of  efficient  cause (A as having power to pro-
duce B), and holding to the ' helping to happen ' notion,

 Pronounce pach-chaya  with the same cadence as ' bachelor.'

we see this recognized in the definition  of  paccay a as
' that which was the essential mark of  helping, of  working
up to (upakaraka), ' namely, to a given happening.
may not produce, or alone bring to pass, that happening ;
but it is concerned therewith.
Calling it the paccaya , A, and the other term, the
other happening, B, the paccayuppanna , and referring
to the twenty-four  classes of  relations distinguished in
Abhidhamma, A may 4
 help ' as being ' contiguous,' 're-
peated,' a
f i
 dominant' circumstance, or by £
 leading towards,'
as ' path ' (magga-paccaya ) or means. But only such
a paccay a as
 will '(cetana ) related, as ' karma,'
 to a
result (v i p a k a), is adequate to produce, or to cause that
result B.
In the expression idappaccayata—' conditionedness
of  this—' this' (ida) refers  to B, but the compound refers
to A: A is the 'paccaya-of-£/us." The abstract form
is only the philosophic way of  expressing paccaya .
The terms discussed above — dhamma-thitata ,
dhamma-niyamata—ar e synonymous with ida p -
paccayata , and mean B is established through A, is
fixed  through A. This does not mean ' is produced (solely)
by A,' but only ' happens whenever A happens,' and
' happens because, inter alia, A happens.' In other words,
by a constant relation between A and B, we are enabled to
infer  the happening of  B from  the happening of  A.
The classification  of  relations by the Hon. B. Russell,
referred  to on p. 294, n. 3, is as follows:—'A  relation is
symmetrical if,  whenever it holds between A and B, it also
holds between B and A;' asymmetrical, 'if  it does not hold
between B and A.' But of  yet greater interest is it to see
this learned author, ignorant to all appearances of  perhaps
one subject only—Buddhist philosophy—generalizing the
whole concept of  causality in terms of  relations, namely,
'that what is constant in a causal law is not ' A or B,

 Buddhist  Psychology,  London, 1914, p. 194 f .
 In the mode called janaka-kamma (reproductive karma).
See Compendium,  loo cit.

' but the relation between A and B . . . that a causal law
involves not one datum, but many, and that the general
scheme of  a causal law will be ' Whenever things occur in
certain relations to each other, another thing, B, having a
fixed  relation to those A's, will occur in a certain time-
relation to them 5
 (op.  cit., 215 f.).  Or again, ' The law of
causation . . . may be enunciated as follows  :—There are
certain invariable relations between different  events,' etc.
(p. 221). These ' invariable relations ' are, for  Buddhists,
the twenty-four  kinds of  paccayas , including the time-
relation, which are conceived, not as efficient  causes, but as
 events' which in happening ' help' to bring about the
correlated event called paccayuppanna .
In the Abhidhmiappadipika-suct  time is defined  under
three aspects:—
1. ' Time is a concept by which the terms of  life,  etc., are
cpunted or reckoned.
2. ' Time is that " passing by " reckoned as " so much has
passed," etc.
3. 'Time is eventuation or happening, there being no
such thing as time exempt from  events."
The second aspect refers  to the fact  of  change or imper-
manence; the third brings up the fact  of  perpetual becom-
ing. Prom perpetual becoming we get our idea of  abstract
time (maha-kala), which is eternal, and lacks the com-
mon distinction of  past, present, future,  but which, to adopt
M. Bergson's phraseology, 'looked at from  the point o f  view
of  multiplicity, . . disintegrates into a powder of  moments,
none of  which endures.'
 . . .
 For the general reader we may state that this valuable book, by
the venerable scholar Subhuti Maha-Thera, published at Colombo
1893, is an Index and Corny, on a work on Pali nouns, written by the
rammarian Moggallana in the twelfth  century A.D.
 Introd.  to Metaphysics,  51

Now it is clear from  the Kathavatthi
 that, for  Budd-
hism, time-distinctions have no objective existence of  their
own, and that reality is confined  to the present. The
past reality has perished; the future  reality is not yet
become. And when Buddhist doctrine says that reality is
present, both these terms refer  to one and the same thing
per se. "When this gives up its reality, it gives up its
presence; when it gives up being present, it ceases to be
Things in time are not immutably fixed.
 In Ledi Sadaw's
words:—As in our present state there is, so in our past has
there been, so in the future  will there be, just a succession
of  purely phenomenal happenings, proceedings, consisting
solely of  arisings and ceasings, hard to discern . . . because
the procedure is ever obscured by our notion of  continuity.'
Thus they who have not penetrated reality c
 see only a
continuous and static condition in these phenomena.'
Now each momentary state or uprising of  mind6
 is logically
complex and analyzable, but psychologically, actually, a
simple indivisible process. There is a succession of  these
states, and their orderly procession is due to the natural
uniformity  of  mental sequence—the Chitta-niyama.
And they present a continuous spectrum of  mind in which
one state shades of f  into another, laterally and lineally, so
that it is hard to say ' where,' or when one ends and the
other begins.
The laws or principles discernible in these mental con-
tinua of  the Chitta-niyama are, according to Buddhist
philosophy, five  of  the twenty - four  casual relations
(paccaya) , to wit, 'contiguity,' immediate contiguity
(in time), absence, abeyance, sufficing  condition. Ex-
plained without such technicalities, the past state, albeit

 See I. 6-8.
 See I. 6, § 5.
 See I. 10.
 ' Some Points of  Buddbist Doctrine,' JPTS,  1918-14, p. 121.
 Ibid.,  155..
 See Mrs. Rh. D., Buddhism,  1912, p. 119, and Ledi Sadaw's
'Expositions' {Buddhist  Beview, October, 1915).

it is absent, gone, has become wrought up into its imme-
diate successor, the present state, as a new whole. These
five  are compared to the five  strands of  a thread on which
are strung the pearls of  a necklace.
 But each indivisible
whole was real only while it lasted.
Matter, no less than mind, is logically resolved into
different  qualities, which we group, classify,  explain. But
nature gives us simple, indivisible wholes, qualities mutu-
ally inseparable, even in a dual existence such as that of
intelligent organisms. The whole is actually indivisible,
body and mind being inseparable.
Now what time is to life,  space is to matter. Space, like
time, is a permanent concept or mental construction, which
constitutes a sufficing  condition for  the movement o f  bodies.
It is void, unperceivable, without objective reality.
(XIX. 7.)
Accant a is ati-anta:
 beyond the end, or the very
last. Like eka n ta, it is rendered by Burmese translators
' true/ and for  this reason : The only assurance we get
from  science that the sun will rise to-morrow, and at
a given time, is our belief  in the uniformity  of  Nature,
a belief  established by past observation yielding no excep-
tion to the rule. The belief  amounts, as we say, to a moral
certainty—i.e., we can act upon it. But since, for  all we know,
some unforeseen  force  may divert the relative positions of
sun and earth, the uniformity  of  physical nature is not an
order of  things which has reached finality  in certainty. In
other words, it is not ' true ' absolutely.

 Cf .  Compendium,  Mrs. Eh. D., Buddhist  Psychology,
1914, p. 194 i
 This, when pronounced atyanta , slips into the full  cerebral
double c (which is pronounced cch). Cf .  paccaya (see Note 11).;

(XI . 7 ; XXIII . 5) .
This word is, according to the Abliidhdnappadlpikasiicl,
derived from  the root 'pad,' 'to go,' through its causal
verb 'padeti,' 'to move or set agoing.' The prefix  'ni '
alters the meaning of  ' being set agoing' into ' being
accomplished' (siddhiy ag). Ledi Sadaw qualifies  this
meaning by ' accomplished by causes, such as karma, etc.'
(kammadlh i paccayeh i nipphaditag) . Now
karma is psychologically reduced to volition (cetana>
Hence anything accomplished by volition is ' accomplished
by causes/ or ' determined/ And i f  karma happens to be past,
the word under discussion implies ' predetermination.' This
term is technically applied to the eighteen kinds of  material
 the remaining ten, in the dual classification  of
matter, being termed anipphannarupa's , or 'un-pre-
The following  quotation from  the Abhidhammavatara
(p. 74 PTS. Ed.) is in point:—'(It may be urged that) if  these
(ten) be undetermined, they would be unconditioned. But
how can they be unconditioned when they are changing
their aspects (vikaratta) ? These (un-) determined, too,
are conditioned. Thus the conditionedness of  the (un-)
determined may be understood.' Prom the Buddhist point
of  view, Nibbana alone is unconditioned. Therefore  the
Conditioned includes both the ' determined' and the
' undetermined.'
The Katha XXIII. 5 indicates the general use of  the
term parinipphanna . The Burmese translators do
not distinctively bring out the force  of  the prefix  'pari. '
A paticcasamuppannadhamma , i.e., anything that
springs into being through a cause, is necessarily con-
ditioned (sankhata). And one of  the characteristic
marks of  the conditioned is impermanence. The universal

 See Abhidhammavatara, loc. cit. ; Compendium,  p. 156.

 Whatever is impermanent is ill'—is a Bud-
dhist thesis. Mind and matter are both impermanent and
are, therefore,  ill. In other words, our personality — or
more analytically, personality minus craving—constitutes
the First Ariyan Fact of  111 . Ill, thus distributed, is
determined. But the opponent errs in regarding the
content of  the term parinipphann a as exhausted by
11 1 proper. By this unnecessary restriction he errs in his
application of  the contrary term aparinipphann a to
other factors  of  life.
Since a Dhamma or phenomenon other than Nibbana is
conditioned, it follows  that each link in the chain of  causa-
tion is conditioned. Takemind-and-body (namarupa):—
this we have shown to be a paticcasamuppann a
because it comes into being through causes. And though
it may also act as a paticcasamuppad a or causal
antecedent in turn, it is not determined as such, i.e., qua
cause. Dhammathitat a is nothing more than a
paticcasamuppad a stated in an abstract form.  Now
in XI. 7 the opponent regards ' the state of  being a cause'
as different  from  the causal element and, therefore,  as
determined separately from  the thing itself.  In other
words, the opponent holds that causality or causation itself,
connoted by the term dhammathitata , is determined.
Again, aniccat a and jarata , as mere aspects of
' determined?
 matter, are two of  the admittedly anipphan-
narupa's . And by analogy, aniccat a of  mind would
be equally undetermined. In fact,  aniccata , as a mere
mark of  the conditioned, is not specially determined, as the
opponent, in XI. 8, would have it to be.
(VIII. 9, § 1, p. 221 f.)
Since sending this discourse to press, we have discovered
that the triad:—'willing, anticipating, aiming' (cetana,
patthana,  panidhi),  so often  in the present work added to

the four other mental activities: 'adverting, ideating,co-
ordinated application, attending,' occurs in the Anguttara-
Nikaya, v. 212 f. E.g. 'when a person has all the
attributes of the Ariyan Eightfold Path, coupled with true
insight and emancipation, whatever he does in accordance
with the rightness of his views, what he wills, anticipates,
aims at, whatever his activities:-all these will conduce to
that which is desirable, lovely, pleasant, good and happy.'


Post a Comment