Buddhist Philosophy › Dependent Origination
Courtesy of Himalayan Art Resources
Dependent origination is a most profound,
Cherished treasure among Buddha’s teachings.
Whoever understands it correctly
Sees the Dharma and sees the Tathāgata.
Texts on the subject of dependent origination (pratītyasamutpāda; rten cing 'brel bar 'byung ba) or interdependent arising:
This short text, which appears twice in the Derge Kangyur (Toh 521 & 981), includes the formula of dependent origination, the so-called ye dharma, said to have been told to Śāriputra as an encapsulation of Buddha Śākyamuni's teachings.
This brief text draws on the oral tradition of Patrul Rinpoche to explain three categories of dependent arising found in Longchen Rabjam's Great Chariot: 1) the dependent arising of the fundamental character (gshis) or ground (gzhi) of reality, 2) the dependent arising of saṃsāra, and (3) the dependent arising of nirvāṇa.
In this short annotation commentary, Loter Wangpo explains the nature and subdivisions of dependent origination (pratītyasamutpāda) and identifies the somewhat cryptic numerical references in Nāgārjuna's verses.
In this short text, called Pratītyasamutpādahṛdaya in Sanskrit, Nāgārjuna explains the heart or 'essence' (hṛdaya) of dependent origination (pratītyasamutpāda) in just seven stanzas. He shows how the twelve links of dependent origination can be further condensed into the three categories of afflictions (kleśa), karma and suffering, and how all phenomena, being interdependent, are empty of true existence.