Buddhism Online

Purpose of practising Dhamma
June 1, 2013

A Dhamma Good Morning wishes to you and Homage to Triple Gems..Buddha, Dharma and Sangha!

“Buddha Dharma is meant for everyone…not to oneself only” … if you wish to share you may ..and you are always welcome to share it for your friends and for the good dhamma cause.

As you may be aware that we were having a Dhamma Tour since a sometime and we are in Dhammachakrappavattana Sutta ..Wheel of Dhamma courtesy from Most Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw. Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu!



When the yogi by noting ‘seeing’ at the moment of sight becomes convinced of the true nature of impermanence, suffering and anatta (non-self), he will not be blinded by the delusion of permanence, happiness and self in the sense doors and sense objects such as eye, visual object, eye-consciousness, etc., He is momentarily free from avijjã (ignorance or delusion). Having seen reality as it is and being free from delusion, no pleasurable feeling arises towards these objects. This is then the temporary cessation or fading away of craving. Through the fading away of craving, upãdãna clinging, kãma and sankhãra which come trailing after it cannot arise. Consequently, viññãna, nãma rupa, salãyatana, phassa and vedanã, the unwholesome resultants of kamma and sankhãra, cannot appear. This is how craving together with suffering are momentarily extinguished, that is called momentary cessation or momentary Nibbãna.

In a similar manner, the yogi, by noting ‘hearing’, ‘smelling’, ‘ear-consciousness’, ‘nose-consciousness’, etc., at the moment of hearing, smelling, etc., becomes convinced of the true nature of impermanence, suffering and non-self with respect to ear, sound, nose, taste, etc. He will be free from delusion of permanence, happiness or self in connection with these objects.

Through vipassanã which promotes temporary cessation as higher knowledge is developed, Nibbãna is realized by means of sotãpanna ñãna. Sotãpanna ñãna extinguishes kãma tanhã which can give rise to rebirth in the states of woe. Therefore, the yogi becomes fully liberated from miseries of apãya, the nether world and sufferings of more than seven existences in good states of sensuous sphere (kãmasugati). This is then extinction of suffering as a result of extinction of craving, but it must not be regarded that sotãpanna magga phala takes the cessation of craving as its object of contemplation. It dwells merely on cessation as a result of complete extinction of suffering inherent in the aggregates of nãma, rupa.

When Nibbãna is realized by means of sagadãgami ñãna, grosser forms of sensuous craving together with sufferings of more than two existences in the sensuous planes are extinguished. When Nibbãna is realized through anãgãmi ñãna, subtle forms of sensuous cravings and sufferings of more than one existence in rupa loka (fine material sphere) or in arupa loka (non-material sphere) are extinguished. These are also extinction of suffering as a result of extinction of craving. In these paths also, the mind dwells merely on cessation consequent upon the complete extinction of sufferings inherent in the aggregates of nãma, rupa.

When Nibbãna is realized through arahatta magga ñãna, all forms of craving and all kinds of suffering are completely eradicated. This is also extinction of suffering as a result of extinction of craving. We can summarise:

1 When craving is eradicated, suffering is extinguished.

Only when craving is completely eradicated, true liberation from suffering is achieved. Escape from suffering obtained through other means is not true liberation, but just temporary relief because in due course, there is recurrence of suffering. For example, take stretching the limbs to relieve stiffness due to bending. The ache is temporarily removed through stretching, only to return as tiredness. Likewise, stiffness due to prolonged sitting may be relieved by standing up or walking about only to be replaced soon by fatigue. When one is assailed by hunger, the suffering may be relieved by partaking of some food, but the trouble will start again after a lapse of a few hours. Illness or disease may be cured with suitable medical treatment, but other ailments are bound to arise sooner or later to start giving trouble again.

Difficult circumstances of living may be solved by engaging in suitable employment or business which may prove so successful and prosperous that one may come to occupy a very high position in one’s profession or become a very rich man. Yet with the vissicitudes of life, one may fall down from the high position or become poverty-stricken. Even if the whole life has been smooth and just plain sailing, one inevitably faces suffering at the time of death. As a result of meritorious deeds such as giving alms, observing moral precepts, one may be reborn a human being in happy prosperous circumstances or one may be born as a powerful celestial king. Yet when the wholesome effects of previous good deeds become exhausted, a return to miserable existences is inevitable. If one strives for a happy and long existence by means of the rupa jhãna and arupa jhãna of the concentration meditations, one may indeed attain the rupa brãhma world and arupa brãhma world where one may live happily for many world cycles. The wholesome merits of the jhãnas will become exhausted when the time comes. Then one faces the possibility of descending once again into miserable lower existences, as for instance, the experience of the young female pig mentioned in the chapter on samudaya saccã.

Thus, unless craving is completely eradicated, no form of liberation is a guaranteed, true liberation. Complete and permanent liberation from all kinds of suffering is achieved only when craving has been entirely extinguished. Thus the Buddha taught ‘tassayeva tanhãya asesa virãga nirodhã’, that eradication, extinction of tanhã is the truth of cessation of suffering.

This is in accordance with the doctrine of dependent origination which states that when the causative conditions such as ignorance, etc., cease, their resultant effects, sankhãras, etc., also cease. Thus in the Anguttara Pãli text, it is taught: “What, Bhikkhus, is the noble truth of cessation of suffering? Through the total fading away and extinction of ignorance (which has been dealt with in connection with samudaya saccã) sankhãras kamma (formations) are extinguished; through the extinction of sankhãras kamma, the resultant viññãna for new existence, is extinguished; through the extinction of viññãna, the mental and physical existences are extinguished; through the extinction of mental and physical existences, salãyatana (the six organs of senses) are extinguished; through the extinction of six organs, phassa (sensorial impressions due to contact between sense organs and sense objects) are extinguished; through extinction of sensorial impressions, vedanã (feeling of sensations) is extinguished; through extinction of feeling, craving is extinguished; through extinction of craving, clinging (attachment) is extinguished; through the extinction of clinging, process of becoming is extinguished; through extinction of process of becoming, rebirth is extinguished; through extinction of rebirth, death and decay, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair are extinguished. Thus takes place the extinction of this whole mass of mere suffering, which is neither soul entity nor does it have any connection with sukha (happiness). This, bhikkhus, is called the noble truth of extinction of this mass of mere suffering.”

In the above text, the sequence of cessation, for example, through extinction of ignorance, kamma formations are extinguished, is given in a serial order to demonstrate the correlation of each cause with its effect. But the important point to note is that once the ignorance fades away, vanishes, all its resultant effects such as sankhãra, etc., become extinguished.

The Pãli words nirodha or nirodho in the texts connote cessation only, not the place of cessation nor the condition of cessation. Although commentaries mention nirodha figuratively as a place of cessation or condition of cessation, it must be carefully observed that its true meaning is non-arising of inter-related conditions of cause and effects such as avijjã, sankhãra, viññãna, etc., their total cessation, annihilation, cutting off, in other words the Noble Truth of cessation of suffering or Nibbãna.

We have sufficiently dealt with the truth of cessation of suffering. For further details, reference may be made to the book ‘Concerning Nibbãna’. We shall now go on to exposition of the Noble Truth of the Path leading to the Cessation of Suffering.


© 2008 -2021  Buddhism Online | Homepage