What is the Paṭiccasamuppādavibhaṅga (Abhidhamma) teaching?

Note: Originally this was intended for a topic but in writing it I pondered it but since I wrote it i thought to post it.

Dear D&D forum

In a previous topic about the Paṭisambhidāmagga, Bhante Sujato briefly posted:

Bhante Sujato’s response above concurred with my basic point that for “jati” the Abhidhamma Vibhanga refers to the “birth of things (dhammanam)” rather than the “birth of beings (sattanam)” per the Suttas.

I had my reservations about Bhante’s Sujato summation above because:

  • In 2.4. The Mutuality Tetrad, the Vibhanga say for each condition, except birth & death, with ignorance as a condition, there is sankhara, with sankhara as conditioned there is ignorance, etc, etc, etc. In other words, if the Vibhanga is saying “birth” is a mental phenomena then it seems there would be no reason to exclude applying the “mutality” to birth & also to death.

However, in reviewing the Vibhanga, (here: SuttaCentral), it says, according to Abhidhamma:

  • “Bhava”, in every case, including when there is “supramundane” jhana, is defined at the four mental aggregates.

  • “Death” includes the common terms (but which are not found in the Sutta definition of marana) of khayo vayo aniccatā.

  • Mundane & supramundane streams of Dependent Origination all result in: "the arising of this whole mass of suffering” (but not sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & despair), which means: "Thus is the combination (saṅgati), the assemblage (samāgamo), the collocation (samodhānaṁ), the appearance (pātubhāvo) of this whole mass of suffering. Therefore this is called “thus is the arising of this whole mass of suffering”. "

So, to me, its difficult to theorize what the four mental aggregates being “bhava” is supposed to mean; apart from attachment leads to attachment to & obsession with the mental aggregates. :saluting_face:

Then I guess this “bhava” leads to the “birth” of “things” as “phenomena”, which then is subject to “death”, which is “impermanence (aniccata)”. Thus, per the doctrine of the Three Characteristics, whatever is impermanent, including to the supramundane mind, is “dukkha” (which is why sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & despair is not mentioned).

If anyone is interested in this; what do we think about this? What is the Paṭiccasamuppādavibhaṅga of the Abhidhamma teaching? :thinking: