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Paticca-samuppāda

Paticca-samuppāda (Pāli; Skt., pratītya-sa-mutpāda). A key concept in Buddhism, variously translated—e.g. ‘dependent origination’, ‘conditioned genesis’, ‘interconnected arising’, ‘causal nexus’. It states that all physical and mental manifestations which constitute individual appearances are interdependent and condition or affect one another, in a constant process of arising (samudaya) and ceasing to be (nirodha). The analysis is laid out in, e.g., Saṃyutta Nikāya 2. 1–133 and Dīgha Nikāya 2. 55–71. The ‘knitting-together’ which constructs appearances and activities in the realm of samsāra is the twelve-link (nidāna) chain of paticca-samuppāda, which leads inevitably to entanglement and dukkha (the cessation of dukkha being the unravelling of the chain in reverse order): (i) ignorance, avidyā leads to (ii) constructing activities, samskāra, to (iii) consciousness leading into another appearance/birth, vijñāna, to (iv) nāma-rūpa, name and form of a new appearance, to (v) the sense awareness of the six object realms, to (vi) contact with those environments, to (vii) sensation and feeling, vedanā (see SKANDHA), to (viii) craving, tṛṣṇa, to (ix) clinging on to life and further life in a new womb, upādāna, to (x) further becoming and appearance, bhāva, to (xi) birth, jāti, to (xii) old age, senility, and death.

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