|Dependent Arising : Patticca Samuppada
- By Bhikkhu Bodhi
The Buddha says "One who sees dependent arising sees the Dhamma and one who sees the Dhamma sees dependent arising". The Dhamma is the truth discovered by the Buddha. In his statement the Buddha makes an explicit equation between the profound truth he has realized and dependent arising. Again in describing his own quest for enlightenment, the Buddha says that immediately before his enlightenment, when he was sitting in meditation he began enquiring into the chain of conditioning, seeking the causal origination of suffering, and this inquiry led him to the discovery of dependent arising. So from one angle one can equate the discovery of dependent arising with the attainment of enlightenment itself.
The Buddha says this dependent arising is deep in truth and deep in appearance. It is through not understanding and not penetrating this truth of dependent arising that living beings have become entangled like a matted ball of thread,or have to become like grass and rushes, unable to pass beyond the woeful states of existence, unable to escape from samsara, the cycle of becoming. Thus dependent arising is not only the content of the Buddha's enlightenment, not only a philosophical doctrine, but it is also the truth that has to be realized to gain liberation from suffering. So this is the key not only to the intellectual understanding of the Dhamma, but to the attainment of liberation itself.