Similarities between Buddhist concept of Niyama and Regularity-theory

Your thoughts are welcome !

Mind that the fivefold niyama (pañcavidha niyama) concept is not found in the suttas.

It is a late concept, not clearly linked to the noble eightfold path, and is only found in Abhidhamma-related commentaries.

Thank you for replying!

I was aware “pañcavidha niyama” was a late concept. But the concept of Dhamma niyama was spoken by the buddha himself.


At Sāvatthī. “Mendicants, I will teach you dependent origination and dependently originated phenomena. Listen and pay close attention, I will speak.” “Yes, sir,” they replied. The Buddha said this:

“And what is dependent origination? Rebirth is a condition for old age and death. Whether Realized Ones arise or not, this law of nature persists, this regularity of natural principles, this invariance of natural principles, specific conditionality(Uppādā vā tathāgatānaṃ anuppādā vā tathāgatānaṃ, ṭhitāva sā dhātu dhammaṭṭhitatā dhammaniyāmatā idappaccayatā ).

A Realized One understands this and comprehends it, then he explains, teaches, asserts, establishes, clarifies, analyzes, and reveals it.

By the way The noble eightfold path is some times called sammatta niyama. It is a law or regularity of nature that each step of the path conditions the next step until it culminates in right release.


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Not just “niyama” but also “dhamma”!! The word is very much a reference to the ‘truth’ which exists independently from the seeker or revealer of it; a natural law. The so-called “regularity theory” has been around since the time of ancient mythologies and folktales about reality. With the exception of few esoteric cults, every discourse about reality has purported to present and represent the objective and independent truth. This applies even to potmodernism which, when it says that truth is reltive and subjective, presents that truth as permanent and independent.

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