Going Off the Map

‘Transcendental Dependent Arising’ in the Nettippakarana


  • Dhivan Thomas Jones University of Chester




Dependent Arising, Nettippakaraṇa, Buddhist hermeneutics


The early Buddhist exegetical text, the Nettippakarana, apparently uniquely, describes the stages of the path as ‘transcendental dependent arising’ (lokuttara paticca-samuppada), in contrast with the twelve nidanas, called ‘worldly dependent arising’ (lokiya paticca-samuppada). A close reading of the Nettippakarana in relation to another, related, exegetical text, the Petakopadesa, reveals that the latter interprets the same stages of the path in a different way. More broadly, while the Petakopadesa takes paticca-samuppada to refer only to the twelve nidanas, the Nettippakarana’s exegetical strategy takes paticca-samuppada to refer to an over-arching principle of conditionality, both ‘worldly’ and ‘transcendental’. This exegesis has proved popular with modern western Buddhist exegetes. 

Author Biography

  • Dhivan Thomas Jones, University of Chester

    Lecturer in Religious and Philosophical Studies, Department of Theology and Religious Studies


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How to Cite

Jones, D. T. (2020). Going Off the Map: ‘Transcendental Dependent Arising’ in the Nettippakarana. Buddhist Studies Review, 36(2), 167-190. https://doi.org/10.1558/bsrv.38816