by Ven. Akiñcano

aniccā vata saṅkhārā, uppādavayadhammino.
uppajjitvā nirujjhanti, tesaṃ vūpasamo sukho”ti.

“Determinations are impermanent; their nature is to appear and disappear.
Having appeared, they cease; relief from them is pleasant.”

mahāparinibbānasuttaṃ (DN 16)

1. The problem with translating uppādavaya as ‘rising and falling’ or ‘arising and passing away’ is that this invites the idea of an observable action, event or process that is currently taking place, or presently enduring. When it said that something is ‘arising’, this usually means that it is changing, insofar as it is becoming more prominent, more intense, more present, in comparison to other things, which, conversely, are becoming less prominent (i.e. they are fading away, falling, etc.) To use the Ven. Ñāṇavīra Thera’s example of ‘seeing a spoon’ (2010: 169), as I focus on the bowl of the spoon, the handle is also present in my experience, but it is ‘less present’ than the bowl. Now I switch my attention to the handle, which I find ‘increases in presence’ as the bowl ‘decreases in presence’. What is being described here is one way in which a thing can change. It can change colour, it can get bigger, it can go cold, it can move, it can stop working, and it can become more or less central in my field of attention.

But none of this is what is meant by uppādavaya. I can only observe changes in things because those things are already there.

For something to be increasing or decreasing in its presence, it must first of all be present.

2. To say that something is rising/falling, arising/passing away, fading in/out, becoming more/less prominent, moving towards/away from me, or increasing/decreasing in presence is to say that while this thing remains the self-same thing, change (rising, fading, moving, etc.) is discerned. This idea, ṭhitassa (‘while remaining the same’) aññathattaṃ (‘change’), appears in four suttas: SN 22.37-8 and AN 3.47-8 (although the last two, which appear as two separate suttas in the Pali Text Society books, are presented as one single sutta in the Wisdom Publications translations). It is what is meant when it is said that something is ‘enduring’.

3. The grammar here also offers us some illumination.

  • ‘It is rising/falling’
  • ‘It is arising/passing away’
  • ‘It is fading in/out’
  • ‘It is becoming more/less prominent’
  • ‘It is moving towards/away from me’
  • ‘It is increasing/decreasing in presence’

All of the above are instances of what linguists (e.g. Comrie 1976, Binnick 1991) call the “progressive aspect”—a verbal construction (‘be’ + present participle (…ing)) that is used to describe an action that is enduring, on-going, in process, unfinished. This is quite appropriate when talking about ṭhitassa aññathattaṃ, but it will not do for any account of uppāda and vaya.

4. We could try to avoid implications of the progressive by translating uppādavaya as ‘rise and fall’, but this does not actually change much since the fact remains that the primary meaning of ‘rise and fall’ is ‘increase and decrease’—and what could this ‘increase and decrease’ be referring to other than presence?

5. The word uppāda can be regarded as synonymous with udaya and samudaya, and the word vaya as synonymous with atthaṅgama and nirodha. I will translate uppāda as ‘appearance’ and vaya as ‘disappearance’.

6. In order to describe the meaning, I must now define the terms ‘appearance’ and ‘disappearance’:

  • The appearance of X is what makes it possible for me to be aware that X is there, presently enduring.
  • The disappearance of X is what makes it impossible for me to be aware of X. If X has disappeared, I cannot imagine X (because X is not there to be imagined).

7. If X had not appeared, it would not be possible for it to be there, presently enduring.

If X had disappeared, it would not be possible for it to be there, presently enduring.

But because X has appeared and it has not disappeared, it is there, presently enduring.

8. Its appearance and its disappearance are the limits of the duration of an enduring thing.

9. This is what is meant by: “Between its appearance and its disappearance, a thing endures” (Ñāṇavīra 2010: 106). But in order to grasp the nature of these limits, it must be understood that Ven. Ñāṇavīra’s statement does not mean anything like: “I observed a thing as it appeared, then I watched it endure for a while, and then I saw it disappear.” I can never directly witness a thing’s appearance or disappearance because neither of these are ever there, presently enduring.

10. Of course, they must be there in some way, otherwise we would not be able to think about them (and this is precisely what we are currently doing). How, then, are they there? To provide a preliminary answer to this question, it can be said that the manner in which they are there is distinguished by the fact that they are not (and can never be) presently there. To be more specific:

  • The appearance can only be there in the mode of ‘it has appeared’.
  • The disappearance can only be there in the mode of ‘it will disappear’.

11. I shall have more to say about this later. For now, though, let us be clear about how the appearance and disappearance should not be understood. The appearance is not an event that took place in the past and the disappearance is not an event that will take place in the future. The appearance is not in the past. The disappearance is not in the future. Things that are in the past and things that are in the future—both of these are found to be present. But a thing’s appearance and disappearance are never there, presently enduring.

12. Its appearance does not take place before the thing endures. Its disappearance does not take place after the thing endures. The relation here is not chronological, but ontological. Its having-appeared and its having-not-disappeared ontologically precede and make possible the duration of a presently enduring thing. Its appearance and its disappearance are the limits of the duration of an enduring thing insofar as they determine the duration by providing the basis that is required for a thing—whether it is past, future or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near (cf. SN 22.59)—to be present.

13. Instead of using the progressive aspect to describe uppāda and vaya (‘it is rising’, ‘it is falling’), I am advocating the use of the perfect aspect (‘have’ + past participle: ‘it has appeared’, ‘it has not disappeared’), which, here in its present form, “relates some [present] state to a preceding situation” (Comrie 1976: 52). If, however, the temporal connotation of the word ‘preceding’ is still creating a distraction, then it will perhaps be instructive to consider the particular usage of the perfect that Heidegger called the “a priori perfect” or the “ontological perfect” (Heidegger 2010: 83, note ‡), which has nothing whatsoever to do with time. Instead, its purpose is to designate the relation between that which is present and something that is a priori, something that is essential, something that is always already operative in a thing in an ontological (not chronological) sense. A thing’s having-appeared and its having-not-disappeared provide the necessary basis that is always already operative, making it possible for this thing to be there, presently enduring.

14. But let us return to X. Because X is there, presently enduring, it is possible (though not necessary) for me to become aware of its presence. This is the pattern we find throughout the Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta (DN 22, MN 10): “While X is there, he knows X is there”. Knowing that X is there, while X is there, presently enduring—this is called sati (‘recollectedness’).

15. So, to summarise, the only reason I can know X is there is because it is already there, presently enduring, and the only reason it is there, presently enduring, is because it has appeared and has not disappeared.

16. This threesome—the appearance, the disappearance, the enduring—is known as the three saṅkhatassa saṅkhatalakkhaṇāni (‘characteristics-of-being-determined of the determined’).

tīṇimāni, bhikkhave, saṅkhatassa saṅkhatalakkhaṇāni. katamāni tīṇi? uppādo paññāyati, vayo paññāyati, ṭhitassa aññathattaṃ paññāyati. imāni kho, bhikkhave, tīṇi saṅkhatassa saṅkhatalakkhaṇānī”ti

“Bhikkhus, there are these three characteristics-of-being-determined of the determined. Which three? Appearance is known, disappearance is known, change while staying the same is known. These, bhikkhus, are the three characteristics-of-being-determined of the determined.”

saṅkhatalakkhaṇasuttaṃ (AN 3.47)

17. Things that are there, presently enduring, are determined as such by these three characteristics-of-being-determined of the determined. This does not mean that these characteristics-of-being-determined of the determined are concerned with what determines this particular thing as this particular feeling, for example, or that particular perception. They are what determines enduring things in general, qua enduring things. How is it that enduring things are known as enduring things? Answer: because of these three determinations—the enduring, the appearance and the disappearance.

These “characteristics whereby what is determined (i.e. a saṅkhata dhamma) may be known as such (i.e. as saṅkhata), concisely indicate the fundamental structure in virtue of which things are things—in virtue of which, that it is to say, things are distinct, one from the other.” (Ñāṇavīra 2010: 47).

18. By applying the basic principle of “Omnis determinatio est negatio” (‘Every determination is a negation’; cf. Ñāṇavīra 2010: 21,48)—a phrase that was coined by Spinoza but adopted by Hegel as the slogan of his own dialectical method and taken to mean that “a thing or concept is determinate only in virtue of a contrast with other things or concepts which are determined in a way that it is not” (Inwood 1992: 78)—it becomes clear that that which determines enduring things qua enduring things are not enduring things. The three characteristics-of-being-determined of the determined (the appearance, the disappearance, the enduring) are not things that endure, and yet they can be known (paññāyati).

Notice here that even the enduring (ṭhitassa aññathattaṃ) does not endure. Why? Because it is the enduring. It is not the enduring that endures. It is the enduring things, the saṅkhatā dhammā, that endure (and appear and disappear).

19. The recognition that there is this fundamental structure because of which things can be there, presently enduring, involves the following insight: anything that I can be aware of fully depends on something that precedes me, something that I cannot possibly control, something that I am utterly incapable of influencing in any way.

20. In (10) it was said that a thing’s appearance can only be there in the mode of ‘it has appeared’, and its disappearance in the mode of ‘it will disappear’. This requires some elaboration. The following question must be addressed: if the phenomena of appearance and disappearance are not things that are there, presently enduring, but, rather, aspects of the structure that makes it possible for things to be there, presently enduring, then how can I possibly discern them?

21. First, it should be stated here that although everything that has been said thus far applies to all things, in order for it to be efficacious, what I am calling ‘X’ or ‘an enduring thing’ should be understood not as the particular thing (dhamma) that is being attended to, but as something that this thing depends on, such as the presently enduring body (kāyānupassanā), feeling (vedanānupassanā) or mind (cittānupassanā). It is saṅkhārā that must be seen as impermanent, not dhammā. “Aniccā vata saṅkhārā”, the Buddha says. “Sabbe saṅkhārā aniccā”.

“To see impermanence in what is regarded as attā, one must emerge from the confines of the individual dhamma itself and see that it depends on what is impermanent. Thus “sabbe saṅkhārā (not dhammā) aniccā” is said, meaning ‘All things that things (dhammā) depend on are impermanent’.”

Ñāṇavīra 2010: 58-9

22. With this in mind, appearance and disappearance can be discerned by reflecting thus:

no c’assa no ca me siyā
na bhavissati na ca me bhavissati

It could not be and it could not be mine
It will not be and it will not be mine

kaccānasuttaṃ (Ud 7.8)

23. This should be interpreted as follows:

  • I am aware that something (the body, the feeling, the mood, etc.) is there, presently enduring. This thing presents itself as ‘mine’. And yet I would not be having this experience of this thing if it had not (independently from me) made an appearance. It is, but it could not be. It could not have appeared—in which case, it would not be mine (because for something to be mine it must, at the very least, be). This first line is a contemplation of the gratuitousness of uppāda.
  • Although this thing has not disappeared (because if it had, I would not be experiencing it), nevertheless, it will (at some point) disappear. For now, though, it is there, presently enduring, with this significance of having-not-yet-disappeared. When it does disappear, it will not be mine (because I cannot own something that is not there). This second line is a contemplation of the inevitability of vaya.

24. Whoever sees the nature of the appearance and the disappearance of an enduring thing that everything else depends on sees what is meant by the standard description of a sotāpanna‘s perception of impermanence (aniccasaññā): “yaṃ kiñci samudayadhammaṃ, sabbaṃ taṃ nirodhadhamma”nti. Whatever has the nature to appear, all that has the nature to disappear. All things have the nature to appear and to disappear. Between their appearance and their disappearance, they endure.

25. Whoever sees the nature of the appearance of an enduring thing sees that this thing has not always been there. In other words, it is anicca.

Whoever sees the nature of the disappearance of an enduring thing sees that this thing will not always be there. In other words, it is anicca.

Whoever sees appearance and disappearance sees aniccatā.

26. It is possible that describing it in these terms (‘has not always been there’, ‘will not always be there’) will encourage the idea that aniccatā is an exclusively temporal affair. But it was said in (12) that the three saṅkhatassa saṅkhatalakkhaṇāni are related to each other not chronologically, but ontologically. And it was said in (13) that the perfect aspect can be used to express such ontological relations. What this means is that ‘it has not always been there’ (which, it will be noted, means the same as ‘it has appeared’) and ‘it will not always be there’ (which can be expressed in the perfect as ‘it has not yet disappeared’ without a change in meaning) are to be taken as ontological descriptions. Whoever sees aniccatā, therefore, sees the fundamental, the a priori, the always already operative structure that is required for a thing to be there, presently enduring—i.e. its appearance (there in the form of ‘it has appeared’), its disappearance (there in the form of ‘it will disappear’ = ‘it has not yet disappeared’) and its duration (there in the form of ‘change with respect to a background of non-change’).

27. Of course, the temporal consequences of aniccatā are quite real. There isn’t anything, says the Buddha at SN 22.97, that is permanent (nicca), constant (dhuva), eternal (sassata), that has the nature to not change (avipariṇāmadhamma), that will remain real forever (sassatisamaṃ tatheva ṭhassati). Nothing lasts forever. But whoever sees the Dhamma, which is sandiṭṭhika (‘evident’ or ‘immediately visible’) and akālika (literally: ‘not time-ish’), sees aniccatā right here and now. He sees that the existence of things depends on a fundamental structure that precedes him, that he cannot possibly control, that he is utterly incapable of influencing in any way. He sees the inherent ontological instability of things that necessitates their finite temporal existence.

28. Let it not be misunderstood what is meant by “fundamental structure”, for this expression can be used to designate two quite different things:

  • Fundamental Structure (note the capital F and the capital S) is the name of the appendix of the Ven. Ñāṇavīra Thera’s Notes on Dhamma, where he provides “an instrument of thought” (2010: 8), “a formal demonstration of certain structural features” (p.237) of our experience, such as intention, reflexion and change. Ven. Ñāṇavīra himself makes it very clear that “an understanding of the Dhamma does not depend on an understanding of Fundamental Structure” (p.263). “[T]here is no need at all,” he says, “for anyone to attempt to follow the formal discussion of FS. And in any case, … this is only indirectly connected with the Buddha’s Teaching proper” (p.261).
  • The three saṅkhatassa saṅkhatalakkhaṇāni constitute the fundamental structure that is required for there to be things. It is the underlying nature of all things. Whoever sees this sees that everything that is there, presently enduring, has the nature to appear and to disappear. This is the meaning intended by Ven. Ñāṇavīra in (17) and the meaning that I have in mind throughout this essay. Fundamental structure in this sense is not only directly connected with the Buddha’s teaching—it is the very essence of it.

29. Whoever sees the Dhamma sees paṭiccasamuppāda, whoever sees paṭiccasamuppāda sees the Dhamma (MN 28). This does not look so different from the sotāpanna‘s exclamation in (24) if it is understood that paṭiccasamuppāda refers to the appearance (uppāda) of something that is supported by (paṭicca) and simultaneous with (saṃ-) the appearance of something else. The anulomaformulation of paṭiccasamuppāda (Ud 1.1) deals with appearance (samudaya); the paṭiloma formulation (Ud 1.2) with disappearance (nirodha). Whoever sees paṭiccasamuppāda sees that this presently enduring thing (e.g. viññāṇa, nāmarūpa, saḷāyatana, phassa, vedanā, etc.), upon which the experience as a whole depends, has the nature to appear and to disappear. To say that something is paṭiccasamuppanna is to say that it is anicca.

jarāmaraṇaṃ, bhikkhave, aniccaṃ saṅkhataṃ paṭiccasamuppannaṃ khayadhammaṃ vayadhammaṃ virāgadhammaṃ nirodhadhammaṃ. jāti, bhikkhave, aniccā saṅkhatā paṭiccasamuppannā khayadhammā vayadhammā virāgadhammā nirodhadhammā. bhavo, bhikkhave, anicco saṅkhato paṭiccasamuppanno khayadhammo vayadhammo virāgadhammo nirodhadhammo. upādānaṃ bhikkhave…pe…. taṇhā, bhikkhave… vedanā, bhikkhave… phasso, bhikkhave… saḷāyatanaṃ, bhikkhave… nāmarūpaṃ, bhikkhave… viññāṇaṃ , bhikkhave… saṅkhārā, bhikkhave… avijjā, bhikkhave, aniccā saṅkhatā paṭiccasamuppannā khayadhammā vayadhammā virāgadhammā nirodhadhammā.

Ageing-&-death, bhikkhus, is impermanent, determined, dependently arisen, its nature is to be destroyed, to disappear, to fade away, to cease. Birth, bhikkhus, is impermanent, determined, dependently arisen, its nature is to be destroyed, to disappear, to fade away, to cease. Being, bhikkhus, is impermanent, determined, dependently arisen, its nature is to be destroyed, to disappear, to fade away, to cease. Assuming, bhikkhus… Craving, bhikkhus… Feeling, bhikkhus… Pressure, bhikkhus… The six domains, bhikkhus… Name-&-matter, bhikkhus… Consciousness, bhikkhus… Determinations, bhikkhus… Ignorance, bhikkhus, is impermanent, determined, dependently arisen, its nature is to be destroyed, to disappear, to fade away, to cease.

paccayasuttaṃ (SN 12.20)

30. SN 22.55 tells us that a sotāpanna who keeps inclining in the direction of “no c’assa no ca me siyā; na bhavissati na ca me bhavissati” can attain anāgāmitā.

rūpaṃ vibhavissatīti yathābhūtaṃ pajānāti. vedanā… saññā… saṅkhārā… viññāṇaṃ vibhavissatīti yathābhūtaṃ pajānāti. so rūpassa vibhavā, vedanāya vibhavā, saññā vibhavā, saṅkhārānaṃ vibhavā, viññāṇassa vibhavā, evaṃ kho, bhikkhu, ‘no cassaṃ, no ca me siyā, nābhavissa, na me bhavissatī’ti — evaṃ adhimuccamāno bhikkhu chindeyya orambhāgiyāni saṃyojanānī”ti. “evaṃ adhimuccamāno, bhante, bhikkhu chindeyya orambhāgiyāni saṃyojanānī”ti.

“He knows the essence of matter thus: ‘It will not be’. He knows the essence of feeling… perception… determinations… consciousness thus: ‘It will not be’. With the non-being of matter, with the non-being of feeling, with the non-being of perception, with the non-being of determinations, with the non-being of consciousness, in this way, bhikkhu, ‘It could not not be and it could not be mine; it will not be, it will not be mine’—inclining in this way, a bhikkhu could cut off the lower fetters.”

udānasuttaṃ (SN 22.55)

31. According to MN 106, if he does not delight in the indifference that he acquires from reflecting in this way, he can attain arahatta. That is to say, this contemplation of the appearance and disappearance of a presently enduring thing with the significance ‘mine’ can lead to the disappearance of the significance ‘mine’.

idhānanda, bhikkhu evaṃ paṭipanno hoti — ‘no cassa, no ca me siyā; na bhavissati, na me bhavissati; yadatthi, yaṃ bhūtaṃ — taṃ pajahāmī’ti. evaṃ upekkhaṃ paṭilabhati. so taṃ upekkhaṃ nābhinandati, nābhivadati, na ajjhosāya tiṭṭhati. tassa taṃ upekkhaṃ anabhinandato anabhivadato anajjhosāya tiṭṭhato na tannissitaṃ hoti viññāṇaṃ na tadupādānaṃ. anupādāno, ānanda, bhikkhu parinibbāyatī”ti.

“Here, Ānanda, a bhikkhu is practising in this way: ‘It could not be and it could not be mine. It will not be, it will not be mine. Whatever there is, whatever exists—that I abandon.’ In this way, he acquires indifference. He does not delight, does not welcome, does not keep holding to that indifference. For him, while he is not delighting, not welcoming, not keeping hold of that indifference, consciousness is not dependent on it, does not assume it. Not assuming, Ānanda, a bhikkhu is extinguished.”

āneñjasappāyasuttaṃ (MN 106)

32. “No c’assa no ca me siyā; na bhavissati na ca me bhavissati.” This tends to be regarded as an obscure, arcane teaching that is extraneous and can be dispensed with. It should now be clear why this could not be further from the truth. Understanding the nature of these presently enduring pañcakkhandhā, their appearance and their disappearance—this is described as the very essence of the Buddha’s teaching.

yadā tathāgato loke uppajjati arahaṃ sammāsambuddho vijjācaraṇasampanno sugato lokavidū anuttaro purisadammasārathi satthā devamanussānaṃ buddho bhagavā so dhammaṃ deseti — ‘iti rūpaṃ, iti rūpassa samudayo, iti rūpassa atthaṅgamo; iti vedanā… iti saññā… iti saṅkhārā… iti viññāṇaṃ, iti viññāṇassa samudayo, iti viññāṇassa atthaṅgamo’ti.

When the Tathāgata—the Arahat, the Perfectly Awakened One, accomplished in wisdom-&-conduct, the Well-Gone One, the unsurpassed knower of the worlds who trains men who want to be trained, the Teacher of gods-&-humans, the Buddha, the Auspicious One—appears in the world, he teaches the Dhamma: ‘Such is matter, such is the appearance of matter, such is the disappearance of matter. Such is feeling… Such is perception… Such are determinations… Such is consciousness, such is the appearance of consciousness, such is the disappearance of consciousness’.

sīhasuttaṃ (SN 22.78)

33. If all that is being said here has been understood correctly, then it should now be clear that the claim of synonymy made in (5) is warranted, and that none of these words have anything whatsoever to do with increasing or decreasing in presence. However, just in case there is still any doubt about the matter, some textual evidence may be provided.

  • When it is said that for an arahat there is avijjānirodha, taṇhānirodha and dukkhanirodha, this obviously does not mean that his ignorance, craving and suffering are decreasing in presence, fading away, becoming less prominent, etc. It means that they have gone, disappeared, ceased.
  • In the general description of paṭiccasamuppāda, uppāda is given as the counterpart of nirodha (“imassuppādā idaṃ uppajjati … imassa nirodhā idaṃ nirujjhati” (e.g. SN 12.37)) and so if nirodha does not mean ‘decreasing in presence’, uppāda cannot mean ‘increasing in presence’.
  • But samudaya is more often used as the counterpart of nirodha, appearing in various different contexts (evametassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa samudayo/nirodho hoti (e.g. SN 12.1), dukkhasamudaya/dukkhanirodha ariyasacca (e.g. SN 56.11), “yaṃ kiñci samudayadhammaṃ, sabbaṃ taṃ nirodhadhamma”nti (also SN 56.11)) and so it too cannot mean ‘increasing in presence’.
  • In the Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta (DN 22, MN 10), a sekha is said to dwell contemplating samudaya, vaya and/or samudayavaya. Vaya, then, the counterpart of samudaya, must mean the same as nirodha.
  • And, finally, whoever is contemplating “iti rūpaṃ, iti rūpassa samudayo, iti rūpassa atthaṅgamo, etc.” (e.g. SN 22.78) is contemplating udayabbaya in the pañcupādānakkhandhā (e.g. DN 14). It is the same thing. Udaya means the same as samudaya, and vaya (the ‘b’ in (b)baya is merely a phonological variation of the ‘v’ in vaya) means the same as atthaṅgama. If, therefore, samudaya does not mean ‘increasing in presence’, neither does udaya, and if vaya does not mean ‘decreasing in presence’, neither does atthaṅgama.

34. The following pairs, then, can be found in various contexts throughout the suttas:

  • uppāda/vaya
  • uppāda/nirodha
  • samudaya/nirodha
  • samudaya/vaya
  • udaya/vaya
  • samudaya/atthaṅgama

They are six different ways of saying the same thing:

  • appearance/disappearance.

35. Reflecting, with the right understanding, on the nature of the appearance and the disappearance of whatever is presently enduring—this is the path to arahatta. It is the path that leads to the disappearance of ‘I am’, the disappearance of greed, aversion and delusion, the disappearance of suffering. An arahat, having walked this path, can no longer imagine suffering because, for him, suffering has disappeared. Ceased. It is not there to be imagined.

pañca kho ime, ānanda, upādānakkhandhā yattha bhikkhunā udayabbayānupassinā vihātabbaṃ — ‘iti rūpaṃ, iti rūpassa samudayo, iti rūpassa atthaṅgamo; iti vedanā, iti vedanāya samudayo, iti vedanāya atthaṅgamo; iti saññā, iti saññāya samudayo, iti saññāya atthaṅgamo; iti saṅkhārā, iti saṅkhārānaṃ samudayo, iti saṅkhārānaṃ atthaṅgamo; iti viññāṇaṃ, iti viññāṇassa samudayo, iti viññāṇassa atthaṅgamo’ti. tassa imesu pañcasu upādānakkhandhesu udayabbayānupassino viharato yo pañcasu upādānakkhandhesu asmimāno so pahīyati.

Ānanda, there are these five assumed aggregates wherein a bhikkhu should dwell contemplating appearance-&-disappearance: ‘Such is matter, such is the appearance of matter, such is the disappearance of matter. Such is feeling, such is the appearance of feeling, such is the disappearance of feeling. Such is perception, such is the appearance of perception, such is the disappearance of perception. Such are determinations, such is the appearance of determinations, such is the disappearance of determinations. Such is consciousness, such is the appearance of consciousness, such is the disappearance of consciousness.’ For him, while he dwells contemplating appearance-&-disappearance in the five assumed aggregates, whatever conceit ‘I am’ there is in the five assumed aggregates, that is abandoned.

mahāsuññatasuttaṃ (MN 122)

tassa pañcasu upādānakkhandhesu udayabbayānupassino viharato na cirasseva anupādāya āsavehi cittaṃ vimuccī”ti.

For him, while he was dwelling contemplating appearance-&-disappearance in the five assumed aggregates, shortly after, by not assuming, the mind was liberated from the outflows.

mahāpadānasuttaṃ (DN 14)


References from Pāli Canon

DN: Dīgha Nikayā
MN: Majjhima Nikayā
SN: Saṃyutta Nikayā
AN: Aṅguttara Nikayā
Ud: Udāna

Other References

Binnick, R. I. (1991) Time and the Verb: A Guide to Tense and Aspect. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Comrie, B. (1976) Aspect: An Introduction to the Study of Verbal Aspect and Related Problems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Heidegger, M. (2010) Being and Time: A Translation of Sein und Zeit. Translated by J. Stambaugh, revised by D. J. Schmidt. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
Inwood, M. (1992) A Hegel Dictionary. Oxford: Blackwell.
Ñāṇavīra Thera (2010) Clearing the Path. Path Press Publications.

One thought on “Uppādavaya

  1. I wanted to express my appreciation for this very clear and helpful article. Thanks a lot Bhante!

    On a side note, one other way of expressing appearance-disappearance I have found recently is ‘udayattha’.
    It seems to be occuring almost exclusively in the description of pañña as one of the seven good qualities or five faculties:
    ‘puna caparaṃ, āvuso, bhikkhu paññavā hoti, udayatthagāminiyā paññāya samannāgato ariyāya nibbedhikāya sammādukkhakkhayagāminiyā.’

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