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Template:Buddhist term Idappaccayatā (Pali, also idappaccayata; Sanskrit: idaṃpratyayatā) is a Buddhist term that is translated as "specific conditionality" or "this/that conditionality". It refers to the principal of causality–that all things arise and exist due to certain causes (or conditions), and cease once these causes (or conditions) are removed. This principle is expressed in the following simple formula that is repeated hundreds of times in the Buddhist discourses: Template:Quote

Idappaccayatā (specific conditionality), as expressed in the above formula, is identified as a key expression of the doctrine of pratītyasamutpāda (interdependent origination).

Expression of pratītyasamutpāda

Idappaccayatā (this/that conditionality), as expressed in the this/that formula, is identified as a key expression of the doctrine of pratītyasamutpāda (interdependent origination).Template:Refn For example, Thich Nhat Hanh states:Template:Sfn

The Buddha expressed interdependent Co-Arising very simply: "This is, because that is. This is not, because that is not. This comes to be, because that comes to be. This ceases to be, because that ceases to be." These sentences occur hundreds of times in both the Northern and Southern transmissions. They are the Buddhist genesis.

Rupert Gethin states "..the succinct formula state[s] baldly that the secret of the universe lies in the nature of causality—the way one thing leads to another."Template:Sfn

Equivalence to pratītyasamutpāda

Ajahn Payutto describes idappaccayatā as another name for pratītyasamutpāda.[web 1] Ajahn Payutto provides the following quote from the Pali sutta S. II. 25-6:[web 1] Template:Quote

Direct experience

The Access to Insight glossary emphasizes that idappaccayatā relates to direct experience. The glossary states:[web 2]

This name for the causal principle the Buddha discovered on the night of his Awakening stresses the point that, for the purposes of ending suffering and stress, the processes of causality can be understood entirely in terms of forces and conditions that are experienced in the realm of direct experience, with no need to refer to forces operating outside of that realm.

This/that formula

Translations of this/that formula

There are many translations of the idappaccayatā formula by contemporary scholars and translators. For example, Thich Nhat Hanh translates this expression as follows:Template:Sfn Template:Quote

Contemporary translator Thanissaro Bikkhu provides the following translation:[web 3] Template:Quote

Rupert Gethin translates as follows:Template:Sfn Template:Quote


Thanissaro Bhikkhu analyzes the meaning of the this/that formula as follows:[web 4] Template:Quote

Repetition in the sutras

The formula of idappaccayatā (specific conditionality) is repeated hundreds of times throughout the sutras. Thich Nhat Hanh states: "these sentences occur hundreds of times in both the Northern and Southern transmissions. They are the Buddhist genesis."Template:Sfn


The Pali term idappaccayatā, is composed of three Pali words: ida, paccaya and . Translator Patrick Kearney explains these terms as follows:[web 5] Template:Quote

Ven. Dhammanando provides the following explanation:[web 6] Template:Quote

Alternate translations

The following English terms are used as translations for this term:

  • Causality (Ajahn Brahmavamso)
    • Specific causality - U Thittila (Book of Analysis)
    • Specifically assignable causality - Pe Maung Tin (The Expositor)
  • Conditionality - Jeffrey Hopkins (Tibetan, Sanskrit, English Dictionary)[web 7]
    • This/that conditionality - Thanissaro Bhikkhu
    • Specific conditionality - Ajahn Payutto; Bodhi/Ñāṇamoli (Connected Discourses, Middle Length Discourses etc.)
  • Convergence of conditional factors - Ajahn Payutto
  • Having just these conditions - Jeffrey Hopkins
  • The conditioned nature of things - Maurice Walshe (Long Discourses)
  • This conditioned-ness - Patrick Kearney

See also



Web references




External links

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