Jayarava has posted two articles in a series on the scriptural variants of the doctrine of Paticca Samuppada, or Dependent Arising. I consider Paticca Samupadda to be the most important Buddhist doctrine of all, the one on which everything else in Buddhism depends. The diagrams he constructed for this are amazing, chock full of information. Go to his blog, Jayarava’s Raves for the details. A complete mapping of all scriptural references to the doctrine of dependent origination is here.

Personally, I favor the Mahanidana Sutta, which I believe is an attempt to explain how consciousness is formed. It arises dependent on conditions, like everything else, and it’s impermanent, like everything else. This is contrary to the Vedic and Mahayana belief that consciousness is some kind of eternal and thus divine ‘essence’ that precedes all birth and survives death, which would be a form of Atman.



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