“Key Concepts in Chinese Thought and Culture (81 pieces)” is an important Book Project disseminated by Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. The setting of “Disseminating Key Concepts in Chinese Thoughts and Culture Project” aims to organize key concepts which can reflect the features of Chinese classical culture and the way of national thinking, and can perform Chinese core values, explain and translate objectively and accurately in concise language which is easy to exchange verbally. By this way, chinese voice and stories will be disseminated in international exchanges, that the condition and history of China will be known better by people in the world.
The specialists committee of the project consist of international well-known specialists and scholars. Senior adviser and Art Review Commission of America Arts Research Institute (AARI), Mr. Yu Wentao took part in the review for the final English version. With the authorization, AARI is going to publish the 81 pieces of Key Concepts in Chinese Thought and Culture here.
The term is a translation of the Sanskirt word pratityasamutpada. Yuan(缘) means conditions; qi (起) means origination. That is to say, all things, phenomena, and social activities arise out of the combinations of causes and conditions. They exist the continuous relationship between causes and conditions. Thus all things originate, change, and demise depending upon certain conditions. Dependent origination is the fountainhead of Buddhist thought and forms the common theoretical basis for all Buddhist schools and sects. Buddhism uses this concept to explain everything in the universe, the constant changes of social and spiritual phenomena, and the internal laws of origination, change, and demise.
All things originate out of the combinations of causes and conditions, thus they cannot be regarded as original existence; at the same time, they arise, change, and demise upon certain conditions, so they cannot be said as non-existence. (Sengzhao: Treatises of Sengzhao)