Points of Controversy

15.2. Of Reciprocal Correlation

Controverted Point: That whereas actions are conditioned by ignorance, we may not stay that ignorance is conditioned by actions.

Theravādin: But is not ignorance coexistent with action? If so, here is a reciprocal correlation namely, of coexistence.

Again, “grasping is conditioned by craving.” Now, is it wrong to say that craving is conditioned by grasping? Yes, you say. But the argument above is valid here also.

Mahāsaṅghikas: “Birth, bhikkhus, is conditioned by decay and death, the tendency to become is conditioned by birth.”

Is the Suttanta thus?

Theravādin: No.

Mahāsaṅghikas: Neither is the reciprocal conditioning correlation between ignorance and activities reciprocal, nor that between craving and grasping.

Theravādin: “Mind and body, bhikkhus, are conditioned by rebirth-consciousness, and this by mind and body.”

Is the Suttanta thus?

Mahāsaṅghikas: Yes.

Theravādin: Then the conditioning relation may be reciprocal.