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I found a dhamma riddle below.

What do we think it means?

enter image description here

2

The first one represents desire, grasping something whose roots are impermanent.

The next ones look like Tathagatagarbha.

  • 1
    OK. ChrisW gets the prize because he appeared to provide a good answer using wisdom & reasoning. Well done. Saddhu. – Dhammadhatu Jul 11 '17 at 21:17
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Some of these pictures are found in Teaching Dhamma by Pictures By Ven. Buddhadasa Bhikkhu with the meaning. Following are the relevant pages:

Dependent Origination

Dependent Origination

  • You cheated!! Your answer does not count! You spoiled the fun, naughty Suminda! – Dhammadhatu Jul 11 '17 at 21:12
  • Ah, but the guidelines of a 'good answer' state that one should avoid: "Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references...". – GVCOJims Jul 13 '17 at 18:18
  • Honorable Dhammadhatu, I think you are just unhappy because he 'spoiled your fun'! :>) Oh, and does 'based on opinion' include giving answers 'using wisdom & reasoning' without explaining the reasoning? Perhaps a question for another thread? Best, Jim – GVCOJims Jul 13 '17 at 18:28
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Āvuso Suminda found a published answer.

While it may sound strange of me to disagree with the author, I prefer:

  1. The elephant is the ignorant mind with three asava (taints), per MN 9.

  2. The frog (croaking) is vedana or feelings.

  3. The snake is craving.

  4. The bird is self-becoming (bhava) attached to (upadana) five branches (khandha) being chewed up by birth, aging, illness & death (impermanence).

What I find particularly profound or explanatory by the pictures is how dependent origination is not depicted as 'linear' but as something 'growing', 'building' or 'compounding' from within, with all conditions 'co-dependently-arising-together'.

1

The foot print of the elephant is able to contain the foot print of all other animals.

MN 28 - Maha-hatthipadopama Sutta: The Great Elephant Footprint Simile.

Ven. Sariputta said: "Friends, just as the footprints of all legged animals are encompassed by the footprint of the elephant, and the elephant's footprint is reckoned the foremost among them in terms of size; in the same way, all skillful qualities are gathered under the four noble truths. Under which four? Under the noble truth of stress, under the noble truth of the origination of stress, under the noble truth of the cessation of stress, and under the noble truth of the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.

and:

Dependent Co-arising

"Now if internally the eye is intact but externally forms do not come into range, nor is there a corresponding engagement, then there is no appearing of the corresponding type of consciousness. If internally the eye is intact and externally forms come into range, but there is no corresponding engagement, then there is no appearing of the corresponding type of consciousness. But when internally the eye is intact and externally forms come into range, and there is a corresponding engagement, then there is the appearing of the corresponding type of consciousness.

"The form of what has thus come into being is gathered under the form clinging-aggregate. The feeling of what has thus come into being is gathered under the feeling clinging-aggregate. The perception of what has thus come into being is gathered under the perception clinging-aggregate. The fabrications of what has thus come into being are gathered under the fabrication clinging-aggregate. The consciousness of what has thus come into being is gathered under the consciousness clinging-aggregate. One discerns, 'This, it seems, is how there is the gathering, meeting, & convergence of these five clinging-aggregates. Now, the Blessed One has said, "Whoever sees dependent co-arising sees the Dhamma; whoever sees the Dhamma sees dependent co-arising. And these things — the five clinging-aggregates — are dependently co-arisen. Any desire, embracing, grasping, & holding-on to these five clinging-aggregates is the origination of stress. Any subduing of desire & passion, any abandoning of desire & passion for these five clinging-aggregates is the cessation of stress. And even to this extent, friends, the monk has accomplished a great deal.

"Now if internally the ear is intact...

"Now if internally the nose is intact...

"Now if internally the tongue is intact...

"Now if internally the body is intact...

"Now if internally the intellect is intact but externally ideas do not come into range, nor is there a corresponding engagement, then there is no appearing of the corresponding type of consciousness. If internally the intellect is intact and externally ideas come into range, but there is no corresponding engagement, then there is no appearing of the corresponding type of consciousness. But when internally the intellect is intact and externally ideas come into range, and there is a corresponding engagement, then there is the appearing of the corresponding type of consciousness.

"The form of what has thus come into being is gathered under the form clinging-aggregate. The feeling of what has thus come into being is gathered under the feeling clinging-aggregate. The perception of what has thus come into being is gathered under the perception clinging-aggregate. The fabrications of what has thus come into being are gathered under the fabrication clinging-aggregate. The consciousness of what has thus come into being is gathered under the consciousness clinging-aggregate. One discerns, 'This, it seems, is how there is the gathering, meeting, & convergence of these five clinging-aggregates. Now, the Blessed One has said, "Whoever sees dependent co-arising sees the Dhamma; whoever sees the Dhamma sees dependent co-arising." And these things — the five clinging-aggregates — are dependently co-arisen. Any desire, embracing, grasping, & holding-on to these five clinging-aggregates is the origination of stress. Any subduing of desire & passion, any abandoning of desire & passion for these five clinging-aggregates is the cessation of stress.' And even to this extent, friends, the monk has accomplished a great deal."

That is what Ven. Sariputta said. Gratified, the monks delighted in Ven. Sariputta's words.

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