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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

And their mutual dependence Footnote ref 3


The

special feature of sanna is said to be the recognizing (_paccabhinna_) by means of a sign (_abhinnanena_). According to another explanation, a recognition takes place by the inclusion of the totality (of aspects)--_sabbasa@ngahikavasena_. The work of volition (_cetana_) is said to be coordination or binding together (_abhisandahana_). "Volition is exceedingly energetic and makes a double effort, a double exertion. Hence the Ancients said 'Volition is like the nature of a landowner, a cultivator who taking fifty-five strong men, went down to the fields to reap. He was exceedingly energetic and exceedingly strenuous; he doubled his strength and said "Take your sickles" and so forth, pointed out the portion to be reaped, offered them drink, food, scent, flowers, etc., and took an equal share of the work.' The simile should be thus applied: volition is like the cultivator, the fifty-five moral states which arise as factors of consciousness are like the fifty-five strong men; like the time of doubling strength, doubling effort by the cultivator is the doubled strength, doubled effort of volition as regards activity in moral and immoral acts [Footnote ref 2]." It seems that probably the active side operating in sa@nkhara was separately designated as cetana (volition).

"When one says 'I,' what he does is that he refers either to all the khandhas combined or any one of them and deludes himself that that was 'I.' Just as one could not say that the fragrance

of the lotus belonged to the petals, the colour or the pollen, so one could not say that the rupa was 'I' or that the vedana was 'I' or any of the other khandhas was 'I.' There is nowhere to be found in the khandhas 'I am [Footnote ref 3]'."

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[Footnote 1: _Atthasalini_, pp. 109-110; translation, pp. 145-146.]

[Footnote 2: _Ibid._ p. 111; translation, pp. 147-148.]

[Footnote 3: _Samyutta Nikaya_, III. 130.]

99

Avijja and Asava.

As to the question how the avijja (ignorance) first started there can be no answer, for we could never say that either ignorance or desire for existence ever has any beginning [Footnote ref 1]. Its fruition is seen in the cycle of existence and the sorrow that comes in its train, and it comes and goes with them all. Thus as we can never say that it has any beginning, it determines the elements which bring about cycles of existence and is itself determined by certain others. This mutual determination can only take place in and through the changing series of dependent phenomena, for there is nothing which can be said to have any absolute priority in time or stability. It is said that it is through the coming into being of the asavas or depravities that the avijja came into being, and that through the destruction of the depravities (_asava_) the avijja was destroyed [Footnote ref 2]. These asavas are classified in the _Dhammasa@nga@ni_ as kamasava, bhavasava, di@t@thasava and avijjasava. Kamasava means desire, attachment, pleasure, and thirst after the qualities associated with the senses; bhavasava means desire, attachment and will for existence or birth; di@t@thasava means the holding of heretical views, such as, the world is eternal or non-eternal, or that the world will come to an end or will not come to an end, or that the body and the soul are one or are different; avijjasava means the ignorance of sorrow, its cause, its extinction and its means of extinction. _Dhammasa@nga@ni_ adds four more supplementary ones, viz. ignorance about the nature of anterior mental khandhas, posterior mental khandhas, anterior and posterior together, and their mutual dependence [Footnote ref 3]. Kamasava and bhavasava can as Buddhagho@sa says be counted as one, for they are both but depravities due to attachment [Footnote ref 4].


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