Pratityasamutpada’s meaning in English is dependent origination or dependent arising. It is a principle that says everything emerges depending on different causes and conditions. It means nothing is in existence as an alone or independent entity.
Pratityasamutpada is used in the teachings of Buddhism in two ways:
One way is that it says that all things arise due to different causes and conditions on a general level.
Another way is that it is used for a specific implementation of a general principle called the twelve links of dependent origination.
The concept of Pratityasamutpada forms as the foundation for various other important concepts in Buddhism such as four noble truths, karma, and rebirth.
Four Noble Truths:
Buddha’s teachings consist of the Four Noble Truths, which are the truth of suffering, the truth of the cause of suffering, the truth of the end of suffering, and the truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering.
To understand the four noble truths in a simple manner, we can that suffering exists because it has a cause and an end. Suffering doesn’t mean always a negative world outlook but a perspective that shows us the reality of the world as it is and helps us to solve the problems. Following a path to gain pleasure or happiness is conclusively a pursuit. However, the end such as death, aging, and sickness is certain and unavoidable.
Humanity’s sufferings are mentioned in the Four Noble Truths. Suffering can be of any physical or mental. The first truth helps us to identify the existence of suffering. The second truth helps to understand the root cause of suffering. As per Buddhism, desire and ignorance as to the reasons behind suffering. The desire for materialistic goods, immortality, pleasure are something that is endless and leads to suffering. Ignorance is not being connected with the world as it is. Feelings like greed, envy, hatred, anger are all derived due to ignorance of an undeveloped mind that is not accepting the world as it is. The Third Noble Truth says that the end of suffering in this physical or spiritual life can be gained through Nirvana. When one has achieved an excellent state of mind that is free from sufferings and worldly cycles of birth and rebirth, it means that the individual has achieved spiritual enlightenment. The Fourth Noble Truth is a way of living followed in Buddhism which is called as Noble Eightfold Path. To achieve Noble Eightfold Path, the steps are Right Understanding, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration.