Ye Dharma Hetu
It is often used in Sanskrit, but is also found in Canonical Pali texts (Mahāvaggapāli PTS Vinaya Vol 1, pg 40).
It is referred to as the Dependent Origination Dhāraṇī.
These words were used by the Arahat Assaji (Skr: Aśvajit) when asked about the teaching of the Buddha. On the spot Sariputta (Skt: Śāriputra) attained the first Path (Sotāpatti) and later told them to his friend Moggallāna (Skt: Maudgalyayana) who also attained. They then went to the Buddha, along with 500 of their disciples, and asked to become his disciples.
Original Sanskrit textEdit
In Roman transliteration this dhāraṇī is variously transliterated, depending on the language it was written in. In Sanskrit it appears as:
ye dharmā hetu-prabhavā
hetuṃ teṣāṃ tathāgato hy avadat,
teṣāṃ ca yo nirodha
evaṃ vādī mahāśramaṇa
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.
The meaning is:
The Pāḷi commentaries take the first line as pointing to suffering (dukkha), the second to its cause (samudaya) and the third to its cessation (nirodha).
On Buddha imagesEdit
The mantra was often also carved below the images of the Buddha. A Buddhist screen (parikara) and accompanying Buddha image is now preserved at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. While the objects were found in South India, the mantra is given in north Indian 8-9th century script, perhaps originating from the Pala region.
Ye dharmma hetuprabhavā hetun-teṣān-Tathāgata āha,
teṣān-ca yo nirodha evam-vādi Mahāśramaṇaḥ
Ajñānāc-cīyate karmma, janmanaḥ karmma kāraṇam
jñānān-na cīyate karmma, karmmābhāvān-na jāyate.
The additional lines can be translated as
Through ignorance karma is accumulated, the cause of birth is karma.
Through knowledge karma is not accumulated. Through absence of karma, one is not reborn.
- "A New Document of Indian Painting Pratapaditya Pal". The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland (No. 3/4): 103–111. Oct 1965. JSTOR 25202861.
- On the miniature chaityas, Lieut.-Col. Sykes, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Volume 16, By Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland,, University Press, 1856
- Text and Translation of their story: http://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/Texts-and-Translations/Mahakhandhako/41-Sariputta-Moggallana.htm
- Jan Fontein, A Buddhist Altarpiece from South India, MFA Bulletin, Vol. 78 (1980), pp. 4-21, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
- The Malay Peninsula: Crossroads of the Maritime Silk-Road (100 Bc-1300 Ad), by Michel Jacq-Hergoualc’h, BRILL, 2002. p. 213