Udayavaya (Udayabbaya) Ñāna – Introduction

February 12, 2016; revised October 23, 2018; re-writte November 23, 2020

The udayavaya ñāna (ñāna pronounced “ngana”; see the pronunciation guide in “Pāli Glossary”) is sometimes referred to as the udayabbaya ñāna.

  • In fact, the actual Pāli word is udayabbaya (I had inadvertently used the Sinhala word udayavaya). A description of the udayabbaya ñāna is in the Paṭi­sam­bhi­dā­magga Pakarana: “1.1.6. Udayab­baya­ñāṇa­niddesa“.
  • However, it is about the arising (uadaya) and destruction (vaya) of a sankata. This is another example of two Pāli words combining to sound differently: udayabbaya.

Pronunciation (udayavaya): 

This series of posts needs to be re-written. It may take some time since I am busy these days with other things.

What is Udaya (Arising)?

1. Things in this world do not arise without causes. Furthermore, many things do not come into existence “in an instant” especially in the human world. There are “opapātika births” that happen within several thought-moments, but that still “develops over that time interval.

  • A good visualization is the “arising of the Sun” in the morning. It emerges gradually over a few hours. Of course, the Sun “came into existence” over millions of years; it started as a collection of stardust and condensed and “ignited” upon reaching a critical mass. That is another version of “arising” for the Sun.
  • A human born as a baby and gradually grows into a stable height that lasts many years.
  • Whether inert or alive, anything comes into existence due to causes.
What Is “Vaya” (Destruction)?

2. Anything that comes into existence in this world WILL be destroyed, without exception. For an inert object that destruction is final.

  • However, there are two meanings when it comes to vaya (destruction) of a “living being.” We can get a good idea by taking an example.
  • A human being is said to die within about 100 years. That “death of a person” is the mundane meaning of vaya for a human.
  • However, that “lifestream” does not end at the death of the physical body. If that human gandhabba has more life left, it will get into a suitable womb and give rise to another human body.
  • Even when that human gandhabba dies, that lifestream will just “switch-over’ to another existence, say a Deva or animal existence, for example.
  • That lifestream will come to an end ONLY at the Parinibbana of an Arahant, i.e., when the rebirth process comes to an end. That is the lokottara (transcendental) meaning of vaya (destruction.)

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