Dependent Origination (Paṭiccasamuppāda)


This book on Dependent Origination (paṭiccasamuppāda) is a translation of chapter 4 of Buddhadhamma covering perhaps the most subtle and abstruse teaching by the Buddha. Dependent Origination delves into the intricate mental processes that are at play behind volitional activities, states of consciousness, and the shaping of human identity, along with consequent suffering, attachment, and repeated rebirth.

This teaching contains a paradox: to truly understand Dependent Origination is equivalent to understanding the heart of the Buddhist teachings—to be awakened—but the path to awakening begins with ‘right view,’ which includes a preliminary understanding of the laws of conditionality.

Characteristic to his inclusive and integrative style, Ajahn Payutto has based this explanation of Dependent Origination on sources in the Pali suttas, and then woven in references from the Abhidhamma and the commentaries to present a complementary whole.


        Introduction (pdf)

Significance of Dependent Origination

Interpretations of Dependent Origination

Relational Context of Dependent Origination

Orthodox Explanation

Factors of Dependent Origination


General Explanations

Application in Everyday Life

Factors of Dependent Origination

Preliminary Explanation of the Relationship between Factors

Expanded Explanation of the Relationship between Factors

Examples from Everyday Life

Deeper Explanations

Dependent Origination and the Middle Teaching

Dependent Origination in a Social Context

The Link Between the Middle Teaching and the Middle Way

Breaking the Cycle

Dependent Origination and the Four Noble Truths

Appendix 1: Interpretations of Dependent Origination

Appendix 2: ‘Me & Mine’

Appendix 3: Birth and Death in the Present Moment

Appendix 4: Abhidhamma Interpretation of Dependent Origination

Appendix 5: Nirodha (‘Cessation’)

Appendix 6: Concise Definitions for the Factors of Dependent Origination

Appendix 7: Bhava-taṇhā & Vibhava-taṇhā