The Discourse giving the Explanation and Analysis of Conditional Origination from the Beginning
There the Gracious One addressed the monks, saying: “I will teach you, monks, about conditional origination from the beginning, and its analysis, listen to it, apply your minds thoroughly and well, and I will speak.
“This being so that is, beginning with the arising of this that arises, thus: because of ignorance there are volitional processes, because of volitional processes: consciousness, because of consciousness: mind and body, because of mind and body: the six sense-spheres, because of the six sense-spheres: contact, because of contact: feeling, because of feeling: craving, because of craving: attachment, because of attachment: continuation, because of continuation: birth, because of birth: old age, death, grief, lamentation, pain, sorrow, and despair all arise, and so there is an origination of this whole great mass of suffering.
“What is its analysis?
“Not knowing the past, not knowing the future, not knowing the past and the future, not knowing the internal, not knowing the external, not knowing the internal and the external, not knowing what are volitional actions, not knowing results, not knowing volitional actions and their results, not knowing the Buddha, not knowing the Teaching, not knowing the Community, not knowing suffering, not knowing origination, not knowing cessation, not knowing the path, not knowing causes, not knowing the origination of causes in things, not knowing what is wholesome and unwholesome, blameworthy and blameless, what should be practiced and what should not be practiced, not knowing the despicable and the excellent, the black and the white, those things that are a part of conditional origination, again not knowing the comprehending of the six spheres of contact as they really are, not knowing here and now things as they really are, not seeing, not penetrating, darkness, complete delusion, blind ignorance. This is called ignorance.
“What are volitional processes?
“‘Because of consciousness: mind and bodily form’, what is mind? The four formless constituent groups. Which four? The feelings constituent group, the perceptions constituent group, the volitional processes constituent group, the consciousness constituent group. What is bodily form? Whatever bodily form there is, all of that is made of the four great elements. Attachment to the four great elements this is bodily form. This simply and in short is what is called mind and bodily form.
“‘Because of contact: feeling’, what is feeling?
“‘Because of feeling: craving’, what is craving?
“‘Because of continuation: birth’, what is birth?
“For the various beings in the various classes of beings there is birth, being born, appearing, turning up, manifestation, the acquisition of the constituent parts of mind and body, the acquisition of the elements, the acquisition of the sense-spheres, the turning up of the constituents of mind and matter, the manifestation of the life faculty.
“Whatever baldness, greying hair, wrinkled skin, agedness, bentness, crooked-, warped-, twisted-, aging-, hanging-bodiliness, rheumatic pains in the body, forward bending of the body, propping up on crutches, indisposition, slowness, dwindling away, complete dwindling away, decay of the sense faculties, breaking up of the processes, elderliness, decrepitude. This is called old-age.
“What is death?
“For the various beings in the various classes of beings, there is a fall, a falling away, an internal dwindling away, a dwindling away of the lifespan, a dwindling away of the vital heat, a cessation of the life-faculty, a throwing off of the constituent parts, a death, a making of time. This is called death.