Why Salayatana is ommitted in this mode of Dependent Origination?

Why Salayatana is ommitted in this mode of Dependent Origination?

"If one is asked, ‘Is there a demonstrable requisite condition for contact?’ one should answer, ‘There is.’

"If one is asked, ‘From what requisite condition does contact come?’ one should say, ‘Contact comes from name-and-form as its requisite condition.’


There are many more alternative models in the suttas! It is “omitted” as well in the Snp4.11. For a big-picture view of all alternative models found on way or the other in the suttas see this chart:


Thank you.
But why in my case?

Why not? :slight_smile:

How can you have contact without Salayatana?

By omitting one is not excluding is he?

Well, it is not a good enough answer for me.

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A is a requisite condition for B and B is a requisite condition for C => A is a requisite condition for C


Salayatana is the biggest problem of any mode of Dependent Origination.
For exapmple take the the standard formula:
Avjjyaya Paccaya Sankhara.
Before Avijja this Namarupa body with six senses is already there.

Say take example of me:
I have my Namarupa body with Salayathana.
I am ignorant of four noble truths.
So I accumulate kamma
As a result of my kamma it produce re-birth consciousness. (attachment and aversion)
Then I crate Nama-rupa (perhaps this is new Nama Rupa)
Then I make Salayatana.??? (this is a problem because I already have my body)

it wouldnt be a big problem if you died between sankharana and vinnana! :grin:


The biggest problem (and the only one you can really do anything about) is ignorance. Everything else is conditioned by ignorance. Apart from cessation of ignorance there is absolutely nothing you can do about this entire mass of suffering. When the root condition falls, the rest falls.


True. But practically, if we think of this like a massive tree, cutting only the root wont work (unlike perhaps in real trees). The cutting starts at all levels from the tips of leaves, to the trunk to the root- what ever we can access using sila, samadhi and panna, as and when they present themselves, in the present.

with metta

This question is discussed by Bucknell in his Conditioned Arising Evolves: Variation and Change in Textual Accounts of the Paticca-samuppada Doctrine:


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i’d consider it just a compact formula, the six sense bases are implied within the name-and-form as its integral part, is it too simplistic an explanation?


Just to clarify, do you mean that internal and external sense bases are themselves forms? I believe such an interpretation is justified.

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well the reasons for my conclusion might be wrong, i meant six sense bases as one of the functions/processes which make up name-and-form or into which it can be broken down

‘Salayatana’ is probably omitted in this mode of Dependent Origination because this mode of Dependent Origination appears to be a later-day concoction for propagation to & conversion of Brahmans.

There have been a number of discussions on Sutta Central, which I recall included Ajahn Sujato’s agreement, that much of the DN, including DN 15, was probably composed for propagation to & conversion of Brahmans.

Thus, nama-rupa in DN 15 appears to have the Brahmanistic meaning. In other words, the ‘salayatana’, most specifically sense objects, are possibly included within ‘form’ (‘rupa’).

In Brahmanism, ‘nama’ was the naming of ‘forms’ (the sense world).

Nāmarūpa-vyākaraṇa (Sanskrit: नामरुपव्याकरण ), in Hindu philosophy, refers to the process of evolution of differentiation into names and forms i.e. to the unfolding of the primal state into the manifest world prior to which unfolding there was nothing that existed… In the Upanishads this term is used to indicate the self-willed manifestation of Brahman under visible and nameable aspects, to the said manifestation into the fictitious plurality of the phenomenal world…

The sage of the Chandogya Upanishad regarded the creation of the universe as a huge chest/egg from a Primeval Being existing as the undifferentiated whole, who alone existed without a second prior to the commencement of the process of creation which was the beginning of the differentiation of the undifferentiated. “The Primeval Being reflected, let me be many, let me produce; having bethought, thus to itself, it produced fire which produced water and from water was produced the Earth (food or matter)” (Chandogya Upanishad VI.ii.1-4). The doctrine of Trivritkarana, the prototype of the doctrine of Panchikarana that tells us how matter came unto existence originating from the primordial five subtle elements , belongs to this Upanishad. From the subtle elements were produced all gross elements, and all matter having names and forms that makes-up the entire universe.



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Let me outline the way I see that this is to be understood. I’m going to be using the Suttanta definition of name & form where name is defined as contact, feeling, perception, intention, and attention, and form is defined as the four great elements.

Now first we need to understand the bi-directional relationship between consciousness and name & form. Let me give a concrete example that will make this relationship clear.

Consider the word “ANICCA”. In order for consciousness of the word “ANICCA” to arise, the name & form of all of the individual letters need to arise separately. A, N, I, C, C, and A are all distinct forms. Contact, feeling, perception, intention, and attention need to arise for each letter in the word separately to identify them. Consciousness of the compound “ANICCA” can only arise taking the (name & form)s of all the individual letters as a condition. So we see that name & form is a condition for consciousness. Similarly the name & form of each individual letter could not have been discerned if consciousness didn’t arise (separately) for each of them. Thus we see that consciousness is a condition for name & form.

Applying this principle to the sense bases: In order for consciousness of “the body” (or any other sense base) to arise, first name & form needs to arise separately for all the different minute parts the body consists of. Then and only then can a body (or any other sense base) be discerned.

This is how the interplay between consciousness and name & form gives rise to the six sense bases. This is how the delineation between the internal and the external is established.

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Hi Sarath,

This is only a problem if you mistake the links of Dependent Origination as a set of sufficient conditions and read them as a process (rather than a set of conditions).

There are two modes of DO in the suttas:
B arises with A as a necessary condition.
If A ceases B ceases.

Note that this does not guarantee that there is A there will be B, but it does guarantee that if A ceases B will definitely cease.

So if there is a sequence:

  • A is a necessary condition for B
  • B is a necessary condition for C
    Then abbreviating it to:
  • A is a necessary condition for C
    is not contradictory.

Thank you Mike
So without Salayatana what sort of contact they are talking here?
Penny did not drop as yet!