(Sample Material) UPSC Mains Philosophy (Optional) Study Kit "Indian Philosophy (Buddhist Philosophy)"


Sample Material of UPSC Mains Philosophy (Optional) Study Kit

Topic: Indian Philosophy (Buddhist Philosophy)

MANY scholars are of opinion that the Samkhya and the Yoga represent the earliest systematic speculations of India. It is also suggested that Buddhism drew much of its inspiration from them. It may be that there is some truth in such a view, but the systematic Samkhya and Yoga treatises as we have them had decidedly been written after Buddhism. Moreover it is well-known to every student of Hindu philosophy that a conflict with the Buddhists has largely stimulated philosophic enquiry in most of the systems of Hindu thought. A knowledge of Buddhism is therefore indispensable for a right understanding of the different systems in their mutual relation and opposition to Buddhism. It seems desirable therefore that I should begin with Buddhism first.

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The State of Philosophy in India before the Buddha.

It is indeed difficult to give a short sketch of the different philosophical speculations that were prevalent in India before Buddhism. The doctrines of the Upanisads are well known, and these have already been briefly described. But these were not the only ones. Even in the Upanisads we find references to diverse atheistical creeds. We find there that the origin of the world and its processes were sometimes discussed, and some thought that “ time “ was the ultimate cause of all, others that all these had sprung forth by their own nature (svabhava others that everything had come forth in accordance with an inexorable destiny or a fortuitous concourse of accidental happenings, or through matter combinations in general. References to diverse kinds of heresies are found in Buddhist literature also, but no detailed accounts of these views are known. Of the Upanisad type of materialists the two schools of Carvakas (Dhurtta and SuSiksita) are referred to in later literature, though the time in which these flourished cannot rightly be discovered. But it seems probable however that the allusion to the materialists contained in the Upanisads refers to these or to similar schools. The Carvakas did not believe in the authority of the Vedas or any other holy scripture. According to them there was no soul. Life and consciousness were the products of the combination of matter, just as red colour was the result of mixing up white with yellow or as the power of intoxication was generated in molasses (madasakti). There is no after-life, and no reward of actions, as there is neither virtue nor vice. Life is only for enjoyment. So long as it lasts it is needless to think of anything else, as every thing will end with death, for when at death the body is burnt to ashes there cannot be any rebirth. They do not believe in the validity of inference. Nothing is trustworthy but what can be directly perceived, for it is impossible to determine that the distribution of the middle term (hetu) has not depended upon some extraneous condition, the absence of which might destroy the validity of any particular piece of inference. If in any case any inference comes to be true, it is only an accidental fact and there is no certitude about it They were called Carvaka because they would only eat but would not accept any other religious or moral responsibility. The word comes from caru to eat. The Dhurtta Carvakas held that there was nothing but the four elements of earth, water, air and fire, and that the body was but the result of atomic combination. There was no self or soul, no virtue or vice. The Susiksita Carvakas held that there was a soul apart from the body but that it also was destroyed with the destruction of the body. The original work of the Carvakas was written in sutras probably by Brhaspati. Jayanta and Gunar- atna quote two sutras from it. Short accounts of this school may be found in Jayanta s Nydyamanjari, Madhava s Sarvadarsanasam- graha and Gunaratna s Tarkarahasyadipikd. Mahdbhdrata gives an account of a man called Carvaka meeting Yudhisthira.
Side by side with the doctrine of the Carvaka materialists we are reminded of the Ajlvakas of which Makkhali Gosala, probably a renegade disciple of the Jain saint Mahavira and a contemporary of Buddha and Mahavira, was the leader. This was a thorough going determinism denying the free will of man and his moral responsibility for any so-called good or evil. The essence of Makkhali s system is this, that “there is no cause, either proximate or remote, for the depravity of beings or for their purity. They become so without any cause. Nothing depends either on one s own efforts or on the efforts of others, in short nothing depends on any human effort, for there is no such thing as power or energy, or human exertion. The varying conditions at any time are due to fate, to their environment and their own nature.”

Another sophistical school led by Ajita Kesakambali taught that there was no fruit or result of good or evil deeds ; there is no other world, nor was this one real; nor had parents nor any former lives any efficacy with respect to this life. Nothing that we can do prevents any of us alike from being, wholly brought to an end at death.

There were thus at least three currents of thought: firstly the sacrificial Karma by the force of the magical rites of which any person could attain anything he desired ; secondly the Upanisad teaching that the Brahman^ the self, is the ultimate reality and being, and all else but name and form which pass away but do not abide. That which permanently abides without change is the real and true, and this is self. .Thirdly the nihilistic conceptions that there is no law, no abiding reality, that everything comes into being by a fortuitous concourse of circumstances or by some unknown fate. In each of these schools, philosophy had probably come to a deadlock. There were the Yoga practices prevalent in the country and these were accepted partly on the strength of traditional custom among certain sections, and partly by virtue of the great spiritual, intellectual and physical power which they gave to those who performed them. But these had no rational basis behind them on which they could lean for support. These were probably then just tending towards being affiliated to the nebulous Samkhya doctrines which had grown up among certain sections. It was at this juncture that we find Buddha erecting a new superstructure of thought on altogether original lines which thenceforth opened up a new avenue of philosophy for all posterity to come. If the Being of the Upanisads, the superlatively motion less, was the only real, how could it offer scope for further new speculations, as it had already discarded all other matters of interest? If everything was due to a reasonless fortuitous con course of circumstances, reason could not proceed further in the direction to create any philosophy of the unreason. The magical force of the hocus-pocus of sorcery or sacrifice had but little that was inviting for philosophy to proceed on. If we thus take into account the state of Indian philosophic culture before Buddha, we shall be better able to understand the value of the Buddhistic contribution to philosophy.

Buddha : his Life.

Gautama the Buddha was born in or about the year 560 B.C. in the Lumbini Grove near the ancient town of Kapilavastu in the now dense terai region of Nepal. His father was Suddhodana, a prince of the Sakya clan, and his mother Queen Mahamaya. According to the legends it was foretold of him that he would enter upon the ascetic life when he should see “ A decrepit old man, a diseased man, a dead man, and a monk.” His father tried his best to keep him away from these by marrying him and surrounding him with luxuries. But on successive occasions, issuing from the palace, he was confronted by those four things, which filled him with amazement and distress, and realizing the impermanence of all earthly things determined to forsake his home and try if he could to discover some means to immortality to remove the sufferings of men. He made his “ Great Renunciation “ when he was twenty-nine years old. He travelled on foot to Rajagrha (Rajgir) and thence to Uruvela, where in company with other five ascetics he entered upon a course of extreme self-discipline, carrying his austerities to such a length that his body became utterly emaciated and he fell down sense less and was believed to be dead. After six years of this great struggle he was convinced that the truth was not to be won by the way of extreme asceticism, and resuming an ordinary course of life at last attained absolute and supreme enlightenment There after the Buddha spent a life prolonged over forty-five years in travelling from place to place and preaching the doctrine to all who would listen. At the age of over eighty years Buddha realized that the time drew near for him to die. He then entered into Dhyana and passing through its successive stages attained nirvana. The vast developments which the system of this great teacher underwent in the succeeding centuries in India and in other countries have not been thoroughly studied, and it will probably take yet many years more before even the materials for such a study can be collected. But from what we now possess it is proved incontestably that it is one of the most wonderful and subtle productions of human wisdom. It is impossible to over estimate the debt that the philosophy, culture and civilization of India owe to it in all her developments for many succeeding centuries.

Early Buddhist Literature.

The BuddhistPali Scriptures containthree different collections : the Sutta (relating to the doctrines), the Vinaya (relating to the discipline of the monks) and the Abhidhamma (relating generally to the same subjects as the suttas but dealing with them in a scholastic and technical manner). Scholars of Buddhistic religious history of modern times have failed as yet to fix any definite dates for the collection or composition of the different parts of the aforesaid canonical literature of the Buddhists. The suttas were however composed before the Abhidhamma and it is very probable that almost the whole of the canonical works were completed before 241 B.C., the date of the third council during the reign of King Asoka. The suttas mainly deal with the doctrine (Dhamma) of the Buddhistic faith whereas the Vinaya deals only with the regulations concerning the discipline of the monks. The subject of the Abhidhamma is mostly the same as that of the suttas, namely, the interpretation of the Dhamma. Buddhaghosa in his introduction to Atthasdlinl^ the commentary on the Dhammasangani, says that the Abhidhamma is so called (abhi and dhamma) because it describes the same Dhammas as are related in the suttas in a more intensified (dhammatirekd) and specialized (dhammavisesatthend) manner. The Abhidhammas do not give any new doctrines that are not in the suttas, but they deal somewhat elaborately with those that are already found in the suttas. Buddhaghosa in distinguishing the special features of the suttas from the Abhidhammas says that the acquirement of the former leads one to attain meditation (samadhi) whereas the latter leads one to attain wisdom (panndsampadam). The force of this statement probably lies in this, that the dialogues of the suttas leave a chastening effect on the mind, the like of which is not to be found in the Abhidhammas, which busy themselves in enumerating the Buddhistic doctrines and defining them in a technical manner, which is more fitted to produce a reasoned insight into the doctrines than directly to generate a craving for following the path of meditation for the extinction of sorrow. The Abhidhamma known as the Kathavatthu differs from the other Abhidhammas in this, that it attempts to reduce the views of the heterodox schools to absurdity. The discussions proceed in the form of questions and answers, and the answers of the opponents are often shown to be based on contradictory assumptions.

The suttas contain five groups of collections called the Nikayas. These are (i) Dlgha Nikdya, called so on account of the length of the suttas contained in it; (2) Majjhima Nikaya (middling Nikaya), called so on account of the middling extent of the suttas contained in it ; (3) Samyutta Nikdya (Nikayas relating to special meetings), called samyutta on account of their being delivered owing to the meetings (samyogd) of special persons which were the occasions for them ; (4) Anguttara Nikdya, so called be cause in each succeeding book of this work the topics of discussion increase by one; (5) Khuddaka Nikdya containing Khuddaka patha, Dhammapada, Uddna, Itivuttaka, Sutta Nipdta, Vimdna- vatthu, Petavatthu, Theragathd, Therlgdthd, Jdtaka, Niddesa, Patisambhiddmagga, Apaddna, Buddhavamsa, Carydpitaka.

The Abhidhammas are Patthdna, Dhammasangani, Dhdtu- kathd, Puggalapannatti, Vibhanga, Yamaka and Kathavatthu. There exists also a large commentary literature on diverse parts of the above works known as atthakatha. The work known as Milinda Panha (questions of King Milinda), of uncertain date, is of considerable philosophical value.

The doctrines and views incorporated in the above literature is generally now known as Sthaviravada or Theravada. On the origin of the name Theravada (the doctrine of the elders) Dlpa- vamsa says that since the Theras (elders) met (at the first council) and collected the doctrines it was known as the Thera Vada*. It does not appear that Buddhism as it appears in this Pali litera ture developed much since the time of Buddhaghosa (400 A.D.), the writer of “Visuddhimagga (a compendium of theravada doctrines) and the commentator of Dlghanikdya, Dhammasangani etc.

Hindu philosophy in later times seems to have been influenced by the later offshoots of the different schools of Buddhism, but it does not appear that Pali Buddhism had any share in it. I have not been able to discover any old Hindu writer who could be considered as being acquainted with Pali.

The Doctrine of Causal Connection of early Buddhism

The word Dhamma in the Buddhist scriptures is used generally in four senses: (i) Scriptural texts, (2) quality (guna), (3) cause (hetu) and (4) unsubstantial and soulless (nissatta nijjlva?). Of these it is the last meaning which is particularly important from the point of view of Buddhist philosophy. The early Buddhist philosophy did not accept any fixed entity as determining all reality; the only things with it were the unsubstantial pheno mena and these were called jjharnmas. The question arises that if there is no substance or reality how are we to account for the phenomena? But the phenomena are happening and passing away and the main point of interest with the Buddha was to find out “ What being what else is,” “ What happening what else happens” and “ What not being what else is not.” The pheno mena are happening in a series and we see that there being certain phenomena there become some others; by the happening of some events others also are produced. This is called (paticca- samuppddd) dependent origination. But it is difficult to understand what is the exact nature of this dependence. The question as Samyutta Nikdya (II. 5) has it with which the Buddha started before attaining Buddhahood was this: in what miserable condition are the people ! they are born, they decay, they die, pass away and are born again ; and they do not know the path of escape from this decay, death and misery.

How to know the way to escape from this misery of decay and death. Then it occurred to him what being there, are decay and death, depending on what do they come? As he thought deeply into the root of the matter, it occurred to him that decay and death can only occur when there is birth (janma), so they depend on birth. What being there, is there birth, on what does birth depend ? Then it occurred to him that birth could only be if there were previous existence (bhava). But on what does this existence depend, or what being there is there bhava. Then it occurred to him that there could not be existence unless there were holding fast (updddnd). But on what did upadana depend? It occurred to him that it was desire (tanha) on which upadana depended. There can be upadana if there is desire (tanha). But what being there, can there be desire ? To this question it occurred to him that there must be feeling (yedana) in order that there may be desire. But on what does vedana depend, or rather what must be there, that there may be feeling (vedanaft To this it occurred to him that there must be a sense-contact (phassa) in order that there may be feeling. If there should be no sense- contact there would be no feeling. But on what does sense- contact depend ? It occurred to him that as there are six sense- contacts, there are the six fields of contact (dyatana). But on what do the six ayatanas depend ? It occurred to him that there must be the mind and body (ndmariipa) in order that there may be the six fields of contact; but on what does namarupa depend ? It occurred to him that without consciousness (vinndnd) there could be no namarupa. But what being there would there be vijana. Here it occurred to him that in order that there might be vijana there must be the conformations (sankhdra) 1 . But what being there are there the sarikharas ? Here it occurred to him that the sarikharas can only be if there is ignorance (avijja). If avijja could be stopped then the sankharas will be stopped, and if the sarikharas could be stopped viftflana could be stopped and so on.

It is indeed difficult to be definite as to what the Buddha actually wished to mean by this cycle of dependence of existence sometimes called Bhavacakra (wheel of existence). Decay and death (jaramaran) could not have happened if there was no birth. This seems to be clear. But at this point the difficulty begins. We must remember that the theory of rebirth was on Sankara s bhasya on the Brahma-sutras (n. ii. 19), gives a different interpretation of Namarupa which may probably refer to the Vijnanavada view though we have no means at hand to verify it. He says To think the momentary as the permanent is Avidya; from there come the samskaras of attachment, antipathy or anger, and infatuation ; from there the first vijftana or thought of the foetus is produced ; from that alayavijfiana, and the four elements (which are objects of name and are hence called nama) are produced, and from those are produced the white and black, semen and blood called rupa. Both Vacaspati and Amalananda agree with Govindananda in holding that nama signifies the semen and the ovum while rupa means the visible physical body built out of them. Vijflana entered the womb and on account of it namarupa were produced through the association of previous karma. enunciated in the Upanisads. The Brhadaranyaka says that just as an insect going to the end of a leaf of grass by a new effort collects itself in another so does the soul coming to the end of this life collect itself in another. This life thus presupposes another existence. So far as I remember there has seldom been before or after Buddha any serious attempt to prove or disprove the doctrine of rebirth 1 . All schools of philosophy except the Carvakas believed in it and so little is known to us of the Car- vaka sutras that it is difficult to say what they did to refute this doctrine. The Buddha also accepts it as a fact and does not criticize it. This life therefore comes only as one which had an infinite number of lives before, and which except in the case of a few emancipated ones would have an infinite number of them in the future. It was strongly believed by all people, and the Buddha also, when he came to think to what our present birth might be due, had to fall back upon another existence (bhava). If bhava means karma which brings rebirth as Candraklrtti takes it to mean, then it would mean that the present birth could only take place on account of the works of a previous existence which determined it. Here also we are reminded of the Upanisad note ; as a man does so will he be born “ as Karma (Jrunarbhavajanakam karma) seems to me to suit better than “ existence.” The word was probably used rather loosely for kammabhava. The word bhava is not found in the earlier Upanisads and was used in the Pali scriptures for the first time as a philosophical term. But on what does this bhava depend ? There could not have been a previous existence if people had not betaken themselves to things or works they desired. This betaking oneself to actions or things in accord ance with desire is called upadana. In the Upanisads we read, “ whatever one betakes himself to, so does he work” ( Yatkratur- bhavati tatkarmma kurute, Brh. IV. iv. 5). As this betaking to the thing depends upon desire (trsnd), it is said that in order that there may be upadana there must be tanha. In the Upani sads also we read “Whatever one desires so does he betake himself to” (sa yathdkamo bhavati tatkraturbhavati). Neither the word upadana nor trsna (the Sanskrit word corresponding to tanha) is found in the earlier Upanisads, but the ideas contained in them are similar to the words “kratu” and “kdma.” Desire (tanha) is then said to depend on feeling or sense-contact. Sense-contact presupposes the six senses as fields of operation. These six senses or operating fields would again presuppose the whole psychosis of the man (the body and the mind together) called namarupa. We are familiar with this word in the Upani sads but there it is used in the sense of determinate forms and names as distinguished from the indeterminate indefinable reality. Buddhaghosa in the Visuddhimagga says that by “ Name “ are meant the three groups beginning with sensation (i.e. sensation, perception and the predisposition); by “Form” the four elements and form derivative from the four elements. He further says that name by itself can produce physical changes, such as eating, drinking, making movements or the like. So form also cannot produce any of those changes by itself. But like the cripple and the blind they mutually help one another and effectuate the changes.( But there exists no heap or collection of material for the production of Name and Form ; “ but just as when a lute is played upon, there is no previous store of sound ; and when the sound comes into existence it does not come from any such store ; and when it ceases, it does not go to any of the cardinal or intermediate points of the compass ;...in exactly the same way all the elements of being both those with form and those without, come into existence after having previously been non-existent and having come into existence pass away 5 .” Nama rupa taken in this sense will not mean the whole of mind and body, but only the sense functions and the body which are found to operate in the six doors of sense (saldyatand). If we take namarupa in this sense, we can see that it may be said to depend upon the vinflana (consciousness). Consciousness has been com pared in the Milinda Panha with a watchman at the middle of the cross-roads beholding all that come from any direction. Bud- dhaghosa in the Atthasdlini also says that consciousness means that which thinks its object. If we are to define its characteristics we must say that it knows (vijdnana), goes in advance (pubbah- gama connects (sandhdna), and stands on namarupa (ndmarupa- padatthdnam). When the consciousness gets a door, at a place the objects of sense are discerned (drammana-vibhdvanatthdne) and it goes first as the precursor. When a visual object is seen by the eye it is known only by the consciousness, and when the dhammas are made the objects of (mind) mano, it is known only by the consciousness. Buddhaghosa also refers here to the passage in the Milinda Pahha we have just referred to. He further goes on to say that when states of consciousness rise one after another, they leave no gap between the previous state and the later and consciousness therefore appears as connected. When there are the aggregates of the five khandhas it is lost ; but there are the four aggregates as namarupa, it stands on nama and therefore it is said that it stands on namarupa. He further asks, Is this con sciousness the same as the previous consciousness or different from it? He answers that it is the same. Just so, the sun shows itself with all its colours, etc., but he is not different from those in truth ; and it is said that just when the sun rises, its collected heat and yellow colour also rise then, but it does not mean that the sun is different from these. So the citta or consciousness takes the phenomena of contact, etc., and cognizes them. So though it is the same as they are yet in a sense it is different from them.

To go back to the chain of twelve causes, we find that jati (birth) is the cause of decay and death, jardmarana, etc. Jati is the appearance of the body or the totality of the five skandhas. Coming to bhava which determines jati, I cannot think of any better rational explanation of bhava, than that I have already suggested, namely, the works (karma) which produce the birth. Upadana is an advanced trsna leading to positive clinging. It is produced by trsna (desire) which again is the result of vedana (pleasure and pain). But this vedana is of course vedana with ignorance (avtdyd), for an Arhat may have also vedana but as he has no avidya, the vedana cannot produce trsna in turn. On its development it immediately passes into upadana. Vedana means pleasurable, painful or indifferent feeling. On the one side it leads to trsna (desire) and on the other it is produced by sense-contact (sparsa). Prof. De la Valise Poussin says that Irmlabha distinguishes three processes in the production of vedana. Thus first there is the contact between the sense and the object ; then there is the knowledge of the object, and then there is the vedana. Depending on Majjhima Nikdya, iii. 242, Poussin gives the other opinion that just as in the case of two sticks heat takes place simultaneously with rubbing, so here also vedana takes place simultaneously with sparsa for they are “ produits par un meme complexe de causes (sdmagri)”

Sparsa is produced by sadayatana, sadayatana by riamarupa, and namarupa by vijfiana, and is said to descend in the womb of the mother and produce the five skandhas as namarupa, out of which the six senses are specialized.

Vijana in this connection probably means the principle or germ of consciousness in the womb of the mother upholding the five elements of the new body there. It is the product of the past karmas (sahkhdrd) of the dying man and of his past consciousness too.

We sometimes find that the Buddhists believed that the last thoughts of the dying man determined the nature of his next birth. The manner in which the vijftana produced in the womb is determined by the past vijnana of the previous existence is according to some authorities of the nature of a reflected image, like the transmission of learning from the teacher to the disciple, like the lighting of a lamp from another lamp or like the impress of a stamp on wax. As all the skandhas are changing in life, so death also is but a similar change ; there is no great break, but the same uniform sort of destruction and coming into being. New skandhas are produced as simultaneously as the two scale pans of a balance rise up and fall, in the same manner as a lamp is lighted or an image is reflected. At the death of the man the vijftana resulting from his previous karmas and vijftanas enters into the womb of that mother (animal, man or the gods) in which the next skandhas are to be matured. This vijftana thus forms the principle of the new life. It is in this vijftana that name (ndma) and form (rupd) become associated.

The vijftana is indeed a direct product of the samskaras and the sort of birth in which vijftana should bring down (ndmayati) the new existence (upapatti) is determined by the samskaras 8 , for in reality the happening of death (maranabhavd) and the instil lation of the vijftana as the beginning of the new life (upapatti- bkava) cannot be simultaneous, but the latter succeeds just at the next moment, and it is to signify this close succession that they are said to be simultaneous. If the vijftana had not entered the womb then no namarupa could have appeared*.

This chain of twelve causes extends over three lives. Thus avidya and samskara of the past life produce the vijftana, namarupa, sadayatana, sparSa, vedana, trsna, upadana and the bhava (leading to another life) of the present actual life. This bhava produces the jati and jaramarana of the next life 1 .

It is interesting to note that these twelve links in the chain extending in three sections over three lives are all but the manifestations of sorrow to the bringing in of which they natur ally determine one another. Thus Abhidhammatthasangaha says “ each of these twelve terms is a factor. For the composite term sorrow, etc. is only meant to show incidental consequences of birth. Again when ignorance and the actions of the mind have been taken into account, craving (trmd\ grasping (updddnd) and (karma) becoming (bhava} are implicitly ac counted for also. In the same manner when craving, grasping and (karma ) becoming have been taken into account, ignorance and the actions of the mind are (implicitly) accounted for, also ; and when birth, decay, and death are taken into account, even the fivefold fruit, to wit (rebirth), consciousness, and the rest are accounted for. And thus :

Five causes in the Past and Now a fivefold fruit.

Five causes Now and yet to come a fivefold fruit make up the Twenty Modes, the Three Connections (i. sahkhara and viftnana. vedana and tanha. bhava and jati) and the four groups (one causal group in the Past, one resultant group in the Present, one causal group in the Present and one resultant group in the Future, each group consisting of five modes).”

These twelve interdependent links (dvddasahgd) represent the paticcasamuppada {pratityasamutpdda) doctrines (dependent origination) 3 which are themselves but sorrow and lead to cycles of sorrow. The term paticcasamuppada or pratltyasamutpada has been differently interpreted in later Buddhist literature .

Samutpada means appearance or arising (prddurbhdva) and pra- titya means after getting (prati+i+ya)\ combining the two we find, arising after getting (something). The elements, depending on which there is some kind of arising, are called hetu (cause) and paccaya (ground). These two words however are often used in the same sense and are interchangeable. But paccaya is also used in a specific sense. Thus when it is said that avijja is the paccaya of sarikhara it is meant that avijja is the ground (thiti) of the origin of the sarikharas, is the ground of their movement, of the instrument through which they stand (nimittatthiti\ of their ayuhana (conglomeration), of their interconnection, of their intelligibility, of their conjoint arising, of their function as cause and of their function as the ground with reference to those which are determined by them. Avijja in all these nine ways is the ground of sarikhara both in the past and also in the future, thoug a avijja itself is determined in its turn by other grounds 1 . When we take the hetu aspect of the causal chain, we cannot think of anything else but succession, but when we take the paccaya aspect we can have a better vision into the nature of the cause as ground. Thus when avijja is said to be the ground of the sarikharas in the nine ways mentioned above, it seems reasonable to think that the sarikharas were in some sense regarded as special manifestations of avijja 8 . But as this point was not further developed in the early Buddhist texts it would be unwise to proceed further with it.

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