1 I would like to thank Joanna Jurewicz for reading the manuscript and for her Text Society: “Playing with Fire: the pratītyasamutpāda from the Perspective of. The arguments are based on articles by Joanna Jurewicz, which unfortunately I can’t easily access right now, such as “Playing with fire: the. Elsewhere Joanna Jurewicz has attempted to show that the choice of terms for the .. „Playing with Fire: Pratītyasamutpāda from the perspective of Vedic.

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Dhamma Wheel

No commentator is infallible, right? Salayatana six sense-media ; 6. The purpose of this post was essentially to say that whether Gombrich’s theory is true or not, we’re better off not just clipping off the first four nidanas jrewicz some kind of antiquated irrelevancy. Bhava becoming ; In the Rig Veda: This much is consonant with the received tradition.

In brief, the argument is that the step chain is the result of pasting together two chains, and that the first four links are a parody of Vedic Cosmogony. Avijja ignorance ; 2. What he means by “on fire” is that we our experience is burning with desire, with hatred, and with spiritual ignorance.

Jayarava’s Raves: Playing with Fire

This also occured with nama-rupa, it being redefined as mind-matter rather than subject-object. It continues the playig of looking at the way the Buddha drew on the traditions surrounding him, especially the Vedic tradition, of images and concepts with which to communicate his Insight. But whereas the late Vedic tradition contained a notion of absolute consciousness, the Buddha claimed that there is only consciousness of something: It would not be so surprising considering how much Buddhist doctrine is a reworking of preexisting concepts.


The 12 links are one of those things with so many varied interpretations, the more context we have the better off we’ll be. Gombrich has investigated other aspects of this fire metaphor. Desire, ‘the first seed of the mind’, creates consciousness. Also, I do have a copy of the Jurewicz paper, but I don’t know if it would be proper to post it.

It also reassesses the way the received tradition explains some technical terms. Since three of these four vedana, samkhara, and vinnana appear elsewhere in the chain under their usual names, this can hardly be correct. The paper is a not easy to follow: A volitional impulse kama – desire initiates the process of creation.

It is quite plausible, however, that someone failed to notice that once the first four links qith part of the chain, it’s negative version meant that in order to abolish ignorance one first had to abolish consciousness! Maybe that’s only tangential to his argument though. Erich Fauwallner argued long ago that the chain would logically have started with Tanha, in order to match up with the Four Noble Truths, but starting with the sense bases would work equally well.

And, I might add, irony does not plying well. This is important for contemporary Buddhists. Nama-rupa name-and-form ; 5.

This is a brief overview of a more technical and thorough discussion by Professor Gombrich. These are in the process of being published as a book. I think it makes sense. Realising that at this point in the chain there should be a reference to the emergence of the individual person with teh five khandha, the tradition made nama-rupa equivalent to the five khandha by saying that rupa was the first khandha and nama referred to the other four.

No registered users and 4 guests. Upadana clinging ; I have been re-reading the notes from those lectures and wanted to highlight lecture seven which discussed the use of fire as a metaphor by the Buddha. However, it’s hard to do justice to it without typing out several pages of the book Jati birth ; Thich Nhat Hanh “The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees.


In particular where the Buddha used metaphors drawn from the Vedic traditions, there have often be misunderstood by later Buddhists, even in some cases before the canon was written down. There is more hope for a fool than for him. Sankhara mental fabrications ; 3.

As for the rest of Gombrich’s speculations, they are based in a reincarnation interpretation of Dependent Origination rather than a psychological interpretation.

They are the fuel for the burning desire that prolongs our existence. I’ve made several references over the last year and a half to the Numata lectures by Professor Richard Gombrich in In this view clinging would be fuel for becoming, and in my opinion this works much playibg as an explanation of process. Anyone familiar with the discourses of playihg Buddha will most likely juewicz clocked that the Buddha uses fire as a metaphor in several different ways.

Then, at another point, the Buddha produced a different causal chain to ironize and criticise Vedic cosmogony, and noticed that it led very nicely into the earlier chain – perhaps because it is natural for the creation of the individual to lead straight on to the six senses, and these, via ‘contact’ and ‘feeling’, to thirst.

There are many other suttas with quite different formulations, which wait for serious study, for example:.