The Wings to Awakening

PART III iii. THE SECOND AND THIRD TRUTHS

As noted under III/H/i, the third noble truth is identical with the successful performance of the duty appropriate to the second. Thus these two truths are best discussed together.

Passage §210 gives the short definition of the second noble truth:

Now what is the noble truth of the origination of stress? The craving that makes for further becoming-accompanied by passion and delight, relishing now here and now there-i.e., craving for sensuality, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming.
Craving for sensuality, here, means the desire for sensual objects. Craving for becoming means the desire for the formation of states or realms of being that are not currently happening, while craving for non-becoming means the desire for the destruction or halting of any that are. "Passion and delight," here, is apparently a synonym for the "desire and passion" for the five aggregates that constitutes clinging/sustenance [III/H/ii].

Passage §210 also gives the short definition of the third noble truth:
And what is the noble truth of the cessation of stress? The remainderless fading and cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, and letting go of that very craving.

The extended passages that make up the remainder of §210 make the point that craving must be brought to cessation right at the objects where it arises, i.e., by realizing that those objects are unworthy of craving.
The longer definitions of the second and third noble truths center on dependent co-arising, a detailed map of how craving arises and how it can be brought to cessation by undercutting its preconditions. This map is the most complex teaching in the Canon. In a famous passage [§231], Ven. Ananda comments on how clear the doctrine of dependent co-arising seems to him, and the Buddha replies:

Don't say that, Ananda. Don't say that. Deep is this dependent co-arising, and deep its appearance. It's because of not understanding and not penetrating this Dhamma that this generation is like a tangled skein, a knotted ball of string, like matted rushes and reeds, and does not go beyond the cycle of the planes of deprivation, woe, and bad destinations.

Nevertheless, although no explanations can be expected to give a full and final understanding of the process of dependent co-arising, they can provide tools that the meditator can use to probe the process in the course of training the mind and come to an understanding for him or herself. The passages in this section help to provide that set of tools.

A few general points about dependent co-arising are important to understand before going into the details. To begin with, dependent co-arising is often presented in the texts as an expansion of the general principle of this/that conditionality [§211], which we have already discussed in the Introduction. Here we will recapitulate some of the essential points. This/that conditionality is expressed in a simple formula:

"(1) When this is, that is.
(2) From the arising of this comes the arising of that.
(3) When this isn't, that isn't.
(4) From the stopping of this comes the stopping of that."

This formula is non-linear, an interplay of linear and synchronic principles. The linear principle-taking (2) and (4) as a pair-connects events over time; the synchronic principle-(1) and (3)-connects objects and events in the present moment. The two principles intersect, so that any given event is influenced by two sets of conditions, those acting from the past and those acting from the present. Because this is the pattern underlying dependent co-arising, it is a mistake to view dependent co-arising simply as a chain of causes strung out over time. Events in any one category of the list are affected not only by past events in the categories that act as their conditions, but also by the on-going, interacting presence of whole streams of events in those categories. All categories can be present at once, and even though two particular conditions may be separated by several steps in the list, they can be immediately present to each other. Thus they can create the possibility for unexpected feedback loops in the causal process. Feeling, for instance, keeps reappearing at several stages in the process, and ignorance can contribute to any causal link at any time. The importance of these points will become clear when we examine how to disengage the causal network so as to realize the third noble truth.

Because new input into the causal stream is possible at every moment, the actual working out of this/that conditionality and dependent co-arising can be remarkably fluid and complex. This point is borne out by the imagery used in the Canon to illustrate these teachings. Although some non-canonical texts depict dependent co-arising as a circle or a wheel of causes-implying something of a mechanical, deterministic process-the Canon never uses that image at all. Instead it likens dependent co-arising to water flowing over land: lakes overflow, filling rivers, which in turn fill the sea [§238]; while the tides of the sea rise, swelling the rivers, which in turn swell the lakes [S.XII.69]. This imagery captures something of the flow of give and take among the factors of the process. A more modern pattern that might be used to illustrate dependent co-arising is the "strange attractor": an intricate, interwoven pattern that chaos theory uses to describe complex, fluid systems containing at least three feedback loops. As we will see below, the number of feedback loops in dependent co-arising is far more than three.

The fluid complexity of dependent co-arising means that it is inherently unstable, and thus stressful and not-self. Although some non-Theravadin Buddhist texts insist that happiness can be found by abandoning one's smaller, separate identity and embracing the interconnected identity of all interdependent things, this teaching cannot be found in the Pali Canon. The instability of conditioned processes means that they can never provide a dependable basis for happiness. The only true basis for happiness is the Unfabricated. The Pali discourses are quite clear on the point that the fabricated and Unfabricated realms are radically separate. In M.1 the Buddha strongly criticizes a group of monks who tried to develop a theory whereby the fabricated was derived out of the Unfabricated or somehow lay within it. Stress, he says, is inherent in the interdependent nature of conditioned phenomena, while the Unfabricated is totally free from stress. Stress could not possibly be produced by absolute freedom from stress. Because the nature of conditioning is such that causes are in turn influenced by their effects, the Unfabricated could not itself function as a cause for anything. The only way the Unfabricated can be experienced is by using fabricated, conditioned processes (the Wings to Awakening) to unravel the network of fabricated, conditioned processes (dependent co-arising) from within. To do so, one needs to know the individual factors of dependent co-arising and the patterns in which they depend on one another.

These factors come down to the five aggregates. In fact, the entire pattern of dependent co-arising is a map showing how the different aggregates group, disband, and regroup in one another's presence in a variety of configurations, giving rise to stress and to the cosmos at large [§212]. As we have mentioned earlier, one of the most basic features of the Buddha's teachings is his confirmation that the knowable cosmos, composed of old kamma [§15], is made up of the same factors that make up the personality [§213]; and that the interaction of the aggregates, as immediately present to awareness in the here and now, is the same process that underlies the functioning of the knowable cosmos as a whole [§§212-15]. As a result, the descriptions of dependent co-arising slip easily back and forth between two time scales-events in the present moment and events over the vast cycle of time. It is important to remember, though, that the Buddha discovered this principle by observing events in the immediate present, which is where the individual meditator will have to discover them as well. Thus the practice takes the same approach as phenomenology: exploring the processes of conditioning from the inside as they are immediately experienced in the present moment. This is why the pattern of dependent co-arising lists factors of consciousness-such as ignorance, attention, and intention-as prior conditions for the experience of the physical world, for if we take as our frame of reference the world as it is directly experienced-rather than a world conceived somehow as separate from our experience of it-we have to see the processes of the mind as prior to the objects they process. References in the texts to the larger frame of space and time provide examples to illustrate particularly subtle points in the immediate present and serve as reminders that the pattern of events observed in the present moment has implications that cover the entire cosmos.

Given the fluid, complex nature of the basic causal principle, it should come as no surprise that the Canon contains several variations on the list of basic factors and configurations in dependent co-arising. Like the seven sets in the Wings to Awakening, these different lists offer the meditator a variety of ways to approach the complexities of the causal stream and to gain a handle on mastering them. The most basic list is found in §228 and §231, which give the factors-starting with the stress of aging and death, and then working backwards-as follows:

Aging and death require birth (i.e., rebirth). If there were no birth, there would be nothing to set in motion the processes of aging and death. Here and in the following causal links, "birth," "aging," and "death" denote not only the arising, decay, and passing away of the body, but also the repeated arising, decay, and passing away of mental states, moment-by-moment in the present. In fact, during the third watch on the night of his Awakening, the Buddha probably focused on present mental states as his primary examples of birth, aging, and death. From them he gained insight into how these processes functioned in the cosmos as a whole.

Birth depends on becoming. If there were no coming-into-being of a sensual realm, a realm of form, or a formless realm, there would be no locus for rebirth. Again, these realms refer not only to levels of being on the cosmic scale, but also to levels of mental states. Some mental states are concerned with sensual images, others with forms (such as form jhana), and still others with formless abstractions, such as the formless jhanas. The relationship between birth and becoming can be compared to the process of falling asleep and dreaming. As drowsiness makes the mind lose contact with waking reality, a dream image of another place and time will appear in it. The appearance of this image is called becoming. The act of entering into this image and taking on a role or identity within it-and thus entering the world of the dream and falling asleep-is birth. The commentaries maintain that precisely the same process is what enables rebirth to follow the death of the body. At the same time, the analogy between falling asleep and taking birth explains why release from the cycle of becoming is called Awakening.

Becoming requires clinging/sustenance. The image here is of a fire staying in existence by appropriating sustenance in the act of clinging to its fuel. The process of becoming takes its sustenance from the five aggregates, while the act of taking sustenance is to cling to these aggregates in any of four forms of passion and delight mentioned in III/H/ii: sensual intentions, views, precepts and practices, or theories about the self. Without these forms of clinging, the realms of sensuality, form, and formlessness would not come into being.

Sustenance requires craving. If one did not thirst (the literal meaning of tanha, or craving) for sensuality, for becoming, or for non-becoming, then the process would not appropriate fuel.

Craving requires feeling. If there were no experience of pleasant, painful, or neither-pleasant-nor-painful feelings, one would not thirst for continuing experience of the pleasant or for cessation of the unpleasant.

Feeling requires contact. Without contact there would be no feelings of pleasure, pain, or neither-pleasure-nor-pain.
Contact requires name-and-form. "Form" covers all physical phenomena. "Name" here is defined as feeling, perception, contact, attention, and intention. Without these phenomena, there would be nothing to make contact.
Name-and-form requires consciousness of the six sense fields. Without this kind of consciousness, the physical birth of the individual composed of the aggregates would abort, while on the level of momentary mental birth there would be nothing to activate an experience of the aggregates.

Consciousness of the six sense fields requires name-and-form. Without name-and-form, there would be no object for this type of consciousness.

In §228, Ven. Sariputta points out that the entire process of dependent co-arising relies on the mutual dependency of name-and-form on the one hand, and sensory consciousness on the other. This mutual dependency is actually composed of many feedback loops, which can get quite complex. If either of the two factors is pulled away from the other, the whole edifice falls down. For this reason, as we shall see when we discuss the cessation of stress, this mutual dependency is one of the primary points for focusing attention in disbanding the causal process.

Other lists of the factors in dependent co-arising expand on this basic list. The most common list adds the factors of the six sense fields between contact and name-and-form, and then states that sensory consciousness requires the three types of fabrication-bodily, verbal, and mental-while these fabrications in turn require ignorance of the four noble truths [§§211, 218]. There is some disagreement over the meaning of the three types of fabrication in this list. One passage in the Canon [§223], which seems to treat fabrications as they are immediately experienced in the present, defines bodily fabrication as the breath, verbal fabrication as directed thought and evaluation, and mental fabrication as feeling and perception. Other passages [such as §225], which seem to regard fabrications as they function over time, simply class these three types of fabrication as to whether they are meritorious, demeritorious, or imperturbable (i.e., pertaining to the four levels of formless jhana). If we regard these two definitions as typical of the dual time frame of dependent co-arising, there is no conflict between them.

Another point of disagreement is over the question of how the factors of fabrication and ignorance came to be added to the basic list. Some scholars maintain that this was the result of a temporal development in the Buddha's teachings, either during his lifetime or after his passing away. However, if we examine the content of the added factors, we find that they are simply an elaboration of the mutual dependence between name-and-form and sensory consciousness, and do not add anything substantially new to the list. The three fabrications are simply another way of presenting name-and-form in their active role as shapers of consciousness. Bodily fabrication, the breath, is the active element of "form"; verbal fabrications, directed thought and evaluation, are the active element in the attention and intention sub-factors of "name"; while mental fabrications, feeling and perception, are identical with the feeling and perception under "name." Ignorance, on the other hand, is the type of consciousness that actively promotes inappropriate questioning in the verbal fabrication of evaluation, which in turn can lead to inappropriate attention in the factor of name-and-form.
It may seem redundant to have the factors of name-and-form on the one hand, and fabrications on the other, covering the same territory in two different configurations, but these configurations serve at least two practical purposes. First, the connection between ignorance and inappropriate questioning helps to pinpoint precisely what is wrong in the typical relationship between name-and-form and consciousness. As one modern teacher has put it, the verbal fabrications are the ones to watch out for. Second, the relationship between verbal fabrications on the one hand, and attention and intention on the other, mediated by consciousness, diagrams the double-tiered (and sometimes multi-tiered) relationships among mental events as they breed and feed on one another in the presence of consciousness. In the course of giving rise to suffering and stress, this incestuous interbreeding can fly out of hand, leading to many complex and intense patterns of suffering. However, its double-tiered quality can also be used-as we will see below-to help bring that suffering to an end.

Passage §227 adds yet another factor to the list, pointing out another way of looking at the mutually dependent relationships that feed the process of dependent co-arising: ignorance requires the effluents (asava) of sensuality, becoming, views, and ignorance, while these effluents in turn require ignorance of the four noble truths. These added factors point to one of the ways in which the process of dependent co-arising is self-sustaining. Sensuality and views are forms of clinging/sustenance, while becoming is a result of clinging/sustenance. Ignorance as an effluent is nowhere defined in the discourses to differentiate it from simple ignorance, and in fact the distinction may simply be one of role, with both forms of ignorance denoting a state of awareness out of touch with the four noble truths. When ignorance is entwined with the feelings that result from contact, it forms the requisite condition for clinging/sustenance and becoming; together, all of these factors act as impulses that "flow out" of the process and then return to reinforce the ignorance that provides the requisite condition for fabrications, consciousness, and name-and-form, thus fueling another round in the process leading to further becoming and stress.

The self-sustaining nature of dependent co-arising makes it easy to see why many non-canonical texts explain it as a wheel. However, the many openings for feedback loops among the various factors-creating smaller cycles within the larger cycle-make the process exceedingly complex. This explains why stress and suffering are so bewildering. If they were a simple cycle, there would be little or no variety to the sufferings of living beings, and the process of suffering would be easy for everyone to predict and understand.
Some of the feedback loops that make stress so complex are explicitly mentioned in the texts [§§227-28]. Others are implicit in the fact that particular factors-such as feeling and contact-keep re-appearing at different points of the process of dependent co-arising. Feeling is perhaps the most important of these. The stress that forms the final factor of dependent co-arising can be experienced as a feeling, which can then re-enter the causal stream at the factor of fabrications (as a mental fabrication), name-and-form (as an instance of name), or at feeling itself. If it re-enters at feeling, it would then directly condition further craving, which in turn would create a positive feedback loop, leading to increased stress and pain. On the other hand, if the stress re-enters the stream at name-and-form, it could be subjected either to unskillful intentions and inappropriate attention, or to skillful intentions and appropriate attention. The former pair would simply aggravate the stress and pain, whereas the latter pair would weaken the tendency to craving, and thus act as a negative feedback loop, alleviating the conditions that would lead to further stress and pain or eliminating them altogether.

This shows that these feedback loops, instead of being a mere curiosity in the formal structure of dependent co-arising, actually help to explain the wide variations in the way living beings experience stress. They also help explain the possibility of the cessation of stress. The elements of contact, intention, and attention under the factor of "name" are especially important in opening up this latter possibility. As we noted in I/A, this is the factor of dependent co-arising that intersects with the teachings on kamma and skillfulness. Contact-here, apparently, meaning contact with consciousness-forms the precondition for kamma [§9]. Intention lies at the essence of the kamma that keeps the cycle of rebirth in motion. Through appropriate attention-the right way of looking at things and focusing on appropriate questions about them-kamma can be trained to be skillful and thus lead away from stress rather than toward it. For this reason, any feedback loop that does not pass through the factor of name-and-form will tend simply to continue the problem of stress and pain, whereas any loop that does lead through this factor allows for the possibility for using appropriate attention to weaken the process or disband it entirely.

In feeding the loops of dependent co-arising through the factor of name-and-form, the factor of fabrication plays an especially important role. As we have noted in III/E, the practice of jhana focused on the breath gathers all three forms of fabrication-bodily, verbal, and mental-into a single whole. In doing so, it takes all the aggregates that play a variety of roles in the pattern of dependent co-arising, and gathers them into a configuration where appropriate attention can conveniently focus on all their interactions at once. To express this in terms of the four noble truths, it takes the aggregates that make up the first noble truth and gives them a role in the fourth [III/H/i]. In this way, the double-tiered relationship mentioned above-between name-and-form on the one hand, and fabrications on the other-can be put to use in disbanding, rather than compounding, the causal network leading to suffering and stress. In terms of meditation practice, this double-tiered relationship corresponds to the five factors of noble right concentration [§150]. The three types of fabrication cover the same ground as the four levels of jhana, while the sub-factor of attention under "name" forms a separate tier of mental activity that allows one to monitor one's practice of jhana and to develop it as a skill [II/G]. As the process of developing skill becomes more and more refined, this tier of attention turns into the fifth, reflective level of noble concentration that allows one to analyze the state of jhana while it is present, and thus to develop a sharpened discernment of its fabricated nature. As passage §172 shows, one begins to see that jhana is composed not only of such "fabrication" sub-factors as directed thought, evaluation, feeling, and perception, but also of sensory consciousness and such "name" factors as attention, intention, and contact. In other words, the boundary line between the different tiers of mental activity begins to break down. This allows for the conflation of discernment and concentration noted in II/H and III/H, in which concentrated discernment begins to take its own workings as its object. As discernment in the role of "object" short-circuits with discernment in the role of "approach" [II/B], then contact between the factors of name-and-form on the one hand, and sensory consciousness on the other, ceases in a state of clear knowing. In the image of Ven. Sariputta [§228], one of the two sheaves of reeds is pulled away, and the entire edifice of suffering based on them comes tumbling down.

Another crucial point to note in understanding how to disband the workings of dependent co-arising is that the relationships between particular factors and their neighbors in the list are not all the same. In some cases, factor x is a sufficient cause for factor y. What this means is that whenever x occurs, y will always have to follow. An example is the relationship between contact and feeling, or between clinging and the remaining factors leading up to stress. Whenever there is contact in the presence of consciousness, there will have to be feeling. Whenever there is clinging, there will have to be becoming and stress. Thus it is impossible to cut the process at these links. However, there are other cases where x is a necessary cause, but not a sufficient one, for y. In other words, x has to be present for y to occur, but y does not have to follow every time there is x. Examples would include the link between consciousness and name-and-form, between feeling and craving, and between craving and clinging. In each of these cases there has to be an added factor-the presence of ignorance, the most subtle and basic of the roots of unskillfulness-for x to give rise to y.
This fact is what opens the way for appropriate attention to bring about the end of suffering and stress. At the same time it determines precisely what that way must be. An analysis of how this happens will reveal in a nutshell the convergence of many of the themes of this book: the role of the three levels of frames-of-reference practice [II/B], and by extension the three levels in the development of concentration [III/E] and discernment [III/H]; the way in which the principles of this/that conditionality and skillfulness [I/A] apply to the practice; and the way in which the duties appropriate to the four noble truths-comprehending stress, abandoning its origination, realizing its cessation, and developing the path [III/H/i]-in practice are one.

The nutshell is this: If each factor in dependent co-arising were a sufficient cause for the following factor, the pattern would be absolutely deterministic and there would be no way out. However, in cases where the link between x and y is necessary but not sufficient, then in terms of this/that conditionality, the x factor is input from the past-even if only a split-second past-whereas ignorance is the input from the present needed to give rise to y. Thus the strategy of the practice must be to use appropriate attention to eliminate ignorance in the presence of x. To do this, one must focus on comprehending the aggregate that functions as x-or, in the case of the craving/clinging link, that functions as the potential object of x. At first this means learning to focus on the aggregate in and of itself. Then, to overcome the unskillfulness inherent in ignorance, one must gain practical familiarity with the aggregate in its role as a factor in the skillful practice of jhana [§173]. As this approach attains a state of mastery, one turns one's powers of discernment on the "how" of the approach to the practice, taking it as the "what" or object of investigation, until one can see the aggregate even in this role in terms of the four noble truths [III/H/i]. The more precise and comprehensive this knowing, the less craving is produced; the less craving produced, the fewer the effluents that cloud one's knowing. With the culmination of totally clear knowing, ignorance is totally wiped out, together with its attendant craving, and thus the present input that maintained the cycle is ended. This forms the point of non-fashioning at which the cycle breaks down, and where stress and suffering cease.

Modern practice traditions differ as to which links in dependent co-arising they focus on in order to bring about the cessation of craving and thus realize the third noble truth. For the purposes of this essay, we will discuss three of these links as they relate to the three different lists of factors mentioned above. These different points of focus are best regarded as alternative options for tackling the problem of stress and its cessation. All are equally valid, and so it is up to the individual meditator to choose whichever focus seems most congenial and comprehensible, and to follow it through.

The first list of the factors of dependent co-arising, which takes the process down to the mutual dependence of consciousness and name-and-form, emphasizes precisely that link: how name-and-form depends on consciousness, and how consciousness relates to name-and-form. Passage §233 treats this point in detail, using the term "fabrication" to cover attention, intention, and contact. In practical terms this approach focuses on the question of how consciousness relates to its objects, making use of skillful intention and appropriate attention (in terms of the four noble truths) as the approach to help peel away any sense of passion or desire for name-and-form. Once the more blatant forms of passion and desire have been eliminated, this approach then peels away passion and desire even for the approach of skillful intentions and appropriate attention themselves. Consciousness-thus deprived of its support in name-and-form either in terms of objects or approaches [II/B]-has no basis for proliferation and so is released. Passages related to this perspective on Awakening include §§233, 234, and 239.

As for the second list, which traces the pattern of dependent co-arising down to fabrication and ignorance, we have already noted that this is simply an explanation of a particular type of relationship between consciousness and name-and-form. We have also noted [III/E] that all three types of fabrication, in their present aspect, are brought together in the experience of jhana based on the breath. Thus the question here is how to master jhana to the point where one can step back in the fifth factor of five-factored noble concentration [§150] so as to overcomes one's ignorance of the willed and fabricated nature of jhana or of any views and assumptions-based on inappropriate attention-that might underlie the attainment of jhana [§237]. With the cessation of ignorance, there is nothing willed or fabricated to form a station of consciousness. At this point of non-fashioning-where there is no sense of one's doing anything, or of anyone else's doing anything [§229]-nothing is created for the sake of further becoming or non-becoming. As a result, consciousness is released. Passages related to this perspective on Awakening include §§225-26.

In the third list of dependent co-arising, which traces the pattern to the mutual dependence of ignorance and the effluents, the focus is on the acts of clinging/sustenance and the resultant states of becoming that, conditioned by ignorance, breed more ignorance. The difficulty in focusing on becoming is that its apparent opposite, non-becoming-the suppression or prevention of the change inherent in becoming-can also act as an object of craving leading to further becoming [§§221-22]. Thus the question is how to focus on the drawbacks of sensuality and becoming without falling into the reverse trap of willing non-becoming. As §182 shows, this requires seeing the drawbacks of all willed states, regardless of whether the will is aimed at fostering change or preventing it. Once the mind has abandoned all such states, the only alternative left open is the equipoise of non-fashioning, the threshold to the Unfabricated. Passages related to this perspective on Awakening include §§221-22.

Although these three points of focus differ in emphasis, in essence they come down to different aspects of the same approach. In every case, one must use skillful intentions and appropriate attention to undercut craving and ignorance regarding the five aggregates so that no fabrications will be activated for the sake of further becoming. This lack of activation-the moment of non-fashioning-releases consciousness from the aggregates, both in their role as objects of consciousness and in their role as the intention and attention that served as the approaches to release. The differences among the points of focus lie primarily in the questions they ask in framing a view of the problem at hand. In this we see the true function of the teaching of dependent co-arising in practice: as a guide to appropriate attention. Not only does the teaching provide a direct way of viewing experience that avoids useless questions of being and non-being [§186], self and other [§228-230], it also gives a framework for inspiring alternative ways of asking appropriate questions about the crucial junctures in the conditioned flow of phenomena in and of themselves. As with all of the Buddha's teachings, once the processes of discernment inspired by the teaching of dependent co-arising have fully performed their function, the teaching itself is transcended in the release of consciousness.

Once consciousness is released from the objects that bring sensory consciousness into play [§232], all that remains is "consciousness without feature, without end, luminous all around" [§235]. This consciousness-which lies beyond "the extent to which there are means of designation, expression, and description...the extent to which the sphere of discernment extends, the extent to which the cycle revolves for the manifesting (discernibility) of this cosmos" [§231]-is the experience of the goal. There is some question as to whether the goal can be equated with the third noble truth. Some passages in the Canon [S.XLIII.1-44; S.XXII.86] would seem to indicate yes; others [such as Sn.V.6; MFU, p. 28; and especially the ending to M.27], no. This contradiction can be resolved by noting that the full realization of the third noble truth and the experience of the goal are two different things so intimately related that the one can not be experienced without the other. Their relationship can be compared to noticing a long-overlooked valuable in the course of cleaning one's yard. The act of cleaning is not the same as the valuable, but only in the course of doing the former thoroughly and attentively can the latter be found. As one modern teacher has said, the fact that the third noble truth involves a duty means that it is part of fabricated reality, whereas the goal at the end of the path is absolutely unfabricated. Free from all acting and doing, it pertains to an entirely different dimension, and thus-although found in the same spot as the truth of cessation-it is something utterly beyond and unbound.

From the time of Awakening to that of death, there remains a sense of dissociated contact between the inner and outer sense media that comprise the Awakened One's old kamma [§15] and his/her only remaining experience of the stress inherent in the dimensions of time and the present: contact, in that there is sensitivity to pain and pleasure in these things; dissociated, in that the passion and delight, the fetters, defilements, and attachments in between the inner and outer sense media are totally severed by discernment [M.146; MFU, p. 113]. Old kamma thus runs through the pattern of dependent co-arising from name-and-form and consciousness up through feeling, but-without the fashioning factors of ignorance and craving-the feeling of pain and pleasure does not feed back into any causal patterns that would lead to further becoming [§219] or any renewed kamma. The texts liken this state to a fire that has gone out, but whose embers are still glowing and warm [Thag.XV.2; MFU, p. 34]. Eventually, old kamma runs out at the death of the Awakened One, and there is a total Unbinding like that of a fire so completely released from its fuel that the embers have grown thoroughly cold. Although this analogy may sound negative in terms of modern ideas about the workings of fire, in the Buddha's time it was recognized as an image, not of extinction or annihilation, but of freedom so unlimited and irreversible that it cannot be described.

§ 208. If its root remains
undamaged and strong,
a tree, even if cut,
will grow back.
So too if latent craving
is not rooted out,
this suffering returns
again
and
again.
DHP.338

§ 209. Gandhabhaka: It would be good, lord, if the Blessed One would teach me the origination and ending of stress.
The Buddha: If I were to teach you the origination and ending of stress with reference to the past, saying, 'Thus it was in the past,' you would be doubtful and perplexed. If I were to teach you the origination and ending of stress with reference to the future, saying, 'Thus it will be in the future,' you would be doubtful and perplexed. So instead, I-sitting right here-will teach you sitting right there the origination and ending of stress. Listen and pay close attention. I will speak.

Gandhabhaka: As you say, lord.

The Buddha: Now what do you think: Are there any people in Uruvelakappa who, if they were murdered or imprisoned or fined or censured, would cause sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, or despair to arise in you?

Gandhabhaka: Yes, there are....

The Buddha: And are there any people in Uruvelakappa who, if they were murdered or imprisoned or fined or censured, would cause no sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, or despair to arise in you?
Gandhabhaka: Yes, there are....

The Buddha: Now what is the cause, what is the reason, why the murder...of some would cause you sorrow...and the murder...of others would cause you no sorrow...?

Gandhabhaka: Those...whose murder...would cause me sorrow...are those for whom I feel desire and passion. Those...whose murder...would cause me no sorrow...are those for whom I feel no desire or passion.
The Buddha: Now, from what you have realized, attained, plunged into right now in the present, without regard to time, you may draw an inference with regard to the past and future: 'Whatever stress, in arising, arose for me in the past, all of it had desire as its root, had desire as its cause. Thus desire is the cause of stress. And whatever stress, in arising, will arise for me in the future, all of it will have desire as the root, will have desire as its cause. Thus desire is the cause of stress.'

Gandhabhaka: Amazing, lord. Stupendous. How well the Blessed One has put it: Whatever stress, in arising, arose for me in the past, all of it had desire as its root, had desire as its cause. Thus desire is the cause of stress. And whatever stress, in arising, will arise for me in the future, all of it will have desire as the root, will have desire as its cause. Thus desire is the cause of stress. I have a son, lord, named Ciravasi, who lives far away from here. When I get up in the morning, I send a man, saying, 'Go, learn how Ciravasi is doing.' And as long as that man has not returned, I am simply beside myself, [thinking], 'Don't let Ciravasi be sick!'

The Buddha: Now, what do you think: If Ciravasi were to be murdered or imprisoned or fined or censured, would you feel sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair?

Gandhabhaka: If my son Ciravasi were to be murdered or imprisoned or fined or censured, my very life would be altered. So how could I not feel sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair?

The Buddha: ...And what do you think: Before you had seen or heard of Ciravasi's mother, did you feel desire, passion, or love for her?

Gandhabhaka: No, lord.

The Buddha: And after you had seen or heard of Ciravasi's mother, did you feel desire, passion, or love for her?

Gandhabhaka: Yes, lord.

The Buddha: Now, what do you think: If Ciravasi's mother were to be murdered or imprisoned or fined or censured, would you feel sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair?

Gandhabhaka: If Ciravasi's mother were to be murdered or imprisoned or fined or censured, my very life would be altered. So how could I not feel sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair?

The Buddha: Thus by this line of reasoning it may be realized how stress, when arising, arises: All of it has desire as its root, has desire as its cause. Thus desire is the cause of stress.
S.XLII.11

§ 210. Craving and Its Cessation. Now what is the noble truth of the origination of stress? The craving that makes for further becoming-accompanied by passion and delight, relishing now here and now there-i.e., craving for sensuality, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming.

And where does this craving, when arising, arise? And where, when dwelling, does it dwell? Whatever is endearing and alluring in terms of the world: that is where this craving, when arising, arises. That is where, when dwelling, it dwells.

And what is endearing and alluring in terms of the world? The eye is endearing and alluring in terms of the world. That is where this craving, when arising, arises. That is where, when dwelling, it dwells.

The ear....The nose....The tongue....The body....The intellect....
Forms....Sounds....Smells....Tastes....Tactile sensations....Ideas....
Eye-consciousness....Ear-consciousness....Nose-consciousness....Tongue-consciousness....Body-consciousness.... Intellect-consciousness....

Eye-contact....Ear-contact....Nose-contact....Tongue-contact....Body-contact.... Intellect-contact....
Feeling born of eye-contact....Feeling born of ear-contact....Feeling born of nose-contact....Feeling born of tongue-contact....Feeling born of body-contact.... Feeling born of intellect-contact....

Perception of forms....Perception of sounds....Perception of smells....Perception of tastes....Perception of tactile sensations....Perception of ideas....

Intention for forms....Intention for sounds....Intention for smells....Intention for tastes....Intention for tactile sensations....Intention for ideas....

Craving for forms....Craving for sounds....Craving for smells....Craving for tastes....Craving for tactile sensations....Craving for ideas....

Thought directed at forms....Thought directed at sounds....Thought directed at smells....Thought directed at tastes....Thought directed at tactile sensations....Thought directed at ideas....

Evaluation of forms....Evaluation of sounds....Evaluation of smells....Evaluation of tastes....Evaluation of tactile sensations....Evaluation of ideas is endearing and alluring in terms of the world. That is where this craving, when arising, arises. That is where, when dwelling, it dwells.

This is called the noble truth of the origination of stress.

And what is the noble truth of the cessation of stress? The remainderless fading and cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, and letting go of that very craving.

And where, when being abandoned, is this craving abandoned? And where, when ceasing, does it cease? Whatever is endearing and alluring in terms of the world: that is where, when being abandoned, this craving is abandoned. That is where, when ceasing, it ceases.

And what is endearing and alluring in terms of the world? The eye is endearing and alluring in terms of the world. That is where, when being abandoned, this craving is abandoned. That is where, when ceasing, it ceases.

The ear....The nose....The tongue....The body....The intellect....

Forms....Sounds....Smells....Tastes....Tactile sensations....Ideas....

Eye-consciousness....Ear-consciousness....Nose-consciousness....Tongue-consciousness....Body-consciousness.... Intellect-consciousness....

Eye-contact....Ear-contact....Nose-contact....Tongue-contact....Body-contact.... Intellect-contact....
Feeling born of eye-contact....Feeling born of ear-contact....Feeling born of nose-contact....Feeling born of tongue-contact....Feeling born of body-contact.... Feeling born of intellect-contact....
Perception of forms....Perception of sounds....Perception of smells....Perception of tastes....Perception of tactile sensations....Perception of ideas....

Intention for forms....Intention for sounds....Intention for smells....Intention for tastes....Intention for tactile sensations....Intention for ideas....

Craving for forms....Craving for sounds....Craving for smells....Craving for tastes....Craving for tactile sensations....Craving for ideas....

Thought directed at forms....Thought directed at sounds....Thought directed at smells....Thought directed at tastes....Thought directed at tactile sensations....Thought directed at ideas....

Evaluation of forms....Evaluation of sounds....Evaluation of smells....Evaluation of tastes....Evaluation of tactile sensations....Evaluation of ideas is endearing and alluring in terms of the world. That is where, when being abandoned, this craving is abandoned. That is where, when ceasing, it ceases.

This is called the noble truth of the cessation of stress.
D.22

§ 211. And what is the noble method that is rightly seen and rightly ferreted out by discernment? There is the case where a noble disciple notices:
When this is, that is.
From the arising of this comes the arising of that.
When this isn't, that isn't.
From the cessation of this comes the cessation of that.
In other words:
From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications.
From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness.
From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form.
From name-and-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media.
From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact.
From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling.
From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving.
From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance.
From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming.
From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth.
From birth as a requisite condition, then aging and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress and suffering.

Now from the remainderless fading and cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications. From the cessation of fabrications comes the cessation of consciousness. From the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-and-form. From the cessation of name-and-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress and suffering.

This is the noble method that is rightly seen and rightly ferreted out by discernment.
A.X.92

§ 212. Monks, I will teach you the origination and disappearance of the world. Listen and pay close attention. I will speak.
What is the origination of the world? In dependence on the eye and forms there arises eye-consciousness. The coming together of these three is contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair come into play. This is the origination of the world. (Similarly with ear, nose, tongue, body, and intellect.)

And what is the disappearance of the world? In dependence on the eye and forms there arises eye-consciousness. The coming together of these three is contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. Now from the remainderless fading and cessation of that very craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress and suffering. This is the disappearance of the world. (Similarly with ear, nose, tongue, body, and intellect.)
S.XXXV.107

§ 213. A certain monk: 'The world, the world (loko),' it is said. To what extent does the word 'world' apply?
The Buddha: It disintegrates (lujjati), therefore it is called the 'world.' Now what disintegrates? The eye disintegrates. Forms disintegrate. Eye-consciousness disintegrates. Eye-contact disintegrates. And anything that arises in dependence on eye-contact, experienced as pleasure, pain, or neither-pleasure-nor-pain, that too disintegrates.

The ear disintegrates. Sounds disintegrate....
The nose disintegrates. Aromas disintegrate....
The tongue disintegrates. Flavors disintegrate....
The body disintegrates. Tactile sensations disintegrate....
The intellect disintegrates. Ideas disintegrate. Intellect-consciousness disintegrates. Intellect-contact disintegrates. And anything that arises in dependence on intellect-contact, experienced as pleasure, pain, or neither-pleasure-nor-pain, that too disintegrates.
It disintegrates, therefore it is called the 'world.'
S.XXXV.82

§ 214. Ananda: Concerning the brief statement made by the Blessed One, after which he entered his dwelling without expounding the detailed meaning-i.e., 'I do not say that the end of the world is to be known, seen, and reached by traveling. But neither do I say that there is a making an end of stress without having reached the end of the world'-I understand the detailed meaning of this statement to be this:

That by means of which one has a perception of world, a concept of world with regard to the world: that, in the discipline of a noble one, is called the 'world.' Now, by means of what does one have a perception of world, a concept of world with regard to the world? By means of the eye...the ear...the nose...the tongue...the body...the intellect one has a perception of world, a concept of world with regard to the world.
S.XXXV.116

§ 215. Now what, monks, are the 44 bases for knowledge? Knowledge with regard to aging and death, knowledge with regard to the origination of aging and death, knowledge with regard to the cessation of aging and death, knowledge with regard to the path of practice leading to the cessation of aging and death. (Similarly with birth, becoming, sustenance/clinging, craving, feeling, contact, the sixfold sense media, name-and-form, consciousness, and fabrications.)

And what is aging and death? Whatever aging, decrepitude, brokenness, graying, wrinkling, decline of life-force, weakening of the faculties of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called aging. Whatever deceasing, passing away, breaking up, disappearance, dying, death, completion of time, break up of the aggregates, casting off of the body, interruption in the life faculty of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called death. From the origination of birth comes the origination of aging and death. From the cessation of birth comes the cessation of aging and death. And just this noble eightfold path is the path of practice leading to the cessation of aging and death....

Now when the noble disciple discerns aging and death in this way, discerns the origination of aging and death in this way, discerns the cessation of aging and death in this way, discerns the path of practice leading to the cessation of aging and death in this way, that is his knowledge of the Dhamma (principle). By means of this principle-seen, understood, not limited to time, attained, plunged into-he draws out inferences with regard to the past and future: 'Whatever priests and contemplatives in the past comprehended aging and death...the origination of aging and death...the cessation of aging and death...the path of practice leading to the cessation of aging and death, all comprehended them as I do now; whatever priests and contemplatives in the future will comprehend aging and death...the origination of aging and death...the cessation of aging and death...the path of practice leading to the cessation of aging and death, all will comprehend them as I do now.' This is his knowledge of consistency.

Now, when these two knowledges of the noble disciple-knowledge of principle and knowledge of consistency-are pure and clear, he is called a noble disciple, consummate in view, consummate in vision, attained to this true Dhamma. He is said to see this true Dhamma, to be endowed with the knowledge of one in training, endowed with the clear knowing of one in training, attained to the stream of the Dhamma, a person of penetrating noble discernment who stands knocking at the door to the Deathless.
(Similarly with the remaining links down to fabrications.)
S.XII.33

§ 216. Sariputta: Now, the Blessed One has said, 'Whoever sees dependent co-arising sees the Dhamma; whoever sees the Dhamma sees dependent co-arising.'
M.28

§ 217. I will teach you dependent co-arising and dependently co-arisen phenomena. Listen and pay close attention. I will speak....
Now what is dependent co-arising? From birth as a requisite condition comes aging and death. Whether or not there is the arising of Tathagatas, this property stands-this regularity of the Dhamma, this orderliness of the Dhamma, this this/that conditionality. The Tathagata directly awakens to that, breaks through to that. Directly awakening and breaking through to that, he declares it, teaches it, describes it, sets it forth. He reveals it, explains it, makes it plain, and says, 'Look.' From birth as a requisite condition comes aging and death.
(Similarly down through the causal stream to:)

From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. Whether or not there is the arising of Tathagatas, this property stands-this regularity of the Dhamma, this orderliness of the Dhamma, this this/that conditionality. The Tathagata directly awakens to that, breaks through to that. Directly awakening and breaking through to that, he declares it, teaches it, describes it, sets it forth. He reveals it, explains it, makes it plain, and says, 'Look.' From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. What's there in this way is a reality, not an unreality, not other than what it seems, conditioned by this/that. This is called dependent co-arising.
And what are dependently co-arisen phenomena? Aging and death are dependently co-arisen phenomena: inconstant, compounded, dependently co-arisen, subject to ending, subject to passing away, subject to fading, subject to cessation. (Similarly down through the causal stream to:)

Ignorance is a dependently co-arisen phenomenon: inconstant, compounded, dependently co-arisen, subject to ending, subject to passing away, subject to fading, subject to cessation. These are called dependently co-arisen phenomena.

When a noble disciple has seen well with right discernment this dependent co-arising and these dependently co-arisen phenomena as they are actually present, it is not possible that he would run after the past, thinking, 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past?' or that he would run after the future, thinking, 'Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?' or that he would be inwardly perplexed about the immediate present, thinking, 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?' [§51]

Such a thing is not possible. Why is that? Because the noble disciple has seen well with right discernment this dependent co-arising and these dependently co-arisen phenomena as they are actually present.
S.XII.20

§ 218. Now what is becoming? These three are becomings: sensual becoming, form becoming, and formless becoming. This is called becoming.

And what is clinging/sustenance? These four are clingings: sensuality clinging, view clinging, precept and practice clinging, and doctrine of self clinging. This is called clinging.

And what is craving? These six are classes of craving: craving for forms, craving for sounds, craving for smells, craving for tastes, craving for tactile sensations, craving for ideas. This is called craving.

And what is feeling? These six are classes of feeling: feeling born from eye-contact, feeling born from ear-contact, feeling born from nose-contact, feeling born from tongue-contact, feeling born from body-contact, feeling born from intellect-contact. This is called feeling.

And what is contact? These six are classes of contact: eye-contact, ear-contact, nose-contact, tongue-contact, body-contact, intellect-contact. This is called contact.

And what are the six sense media? These six are sense media: the eye-medium, the ear-medium, the nose-medium, the tongue-medium, the body-medium, the intellect-medium. These are called the six sense media.
And what is name-and-form? Feeling, perception, intention, contact, and attention: This is called name. The four great elements, and the form dependent on the four great elements: This is called form. This name and this form are called name-and-form.
And what is consciousness? These six are classes of consciousness: eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness, intellect-consciousness. This is called consciousness.
And what are fabrications? These three are fabrications: bodily fabrications, verbal fabrications, mental fabrications. These are called fabrications.

And what is ignorance? Not knowing stress, not knowing the origination of stress, not knowing the cessation of stress, not knowing the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress: This is called ignorance.
S.XII.2

§ 219. When a fool is obstructed by ignorance and conjoined with craving, this body thus results. Now there is both this body and external name-and-form. Here, in dependence on this duality, there is contact at the six senses. Touched by these, or one or another of them, the fool is sensitive to pleasure and pain. When a wise person is obstructed by ignorance and conjoined with craving, this body thus results. Now there is both this body and external name-and-form. Here, in dependence on this duality, there is contact at the six senses. Touched by these, or one or another of them, the wise person is sensitive to pleasure and pain. Now what is the difference...here between the wise person and the fool?...

In the wise person that ignorance has been abandoned and that craving has been destroyed. Why is that? The wise person has practiced the holy life for the right ending of stress. Therefore, at the break-up of the body, he is not headed for a [new] body. Not headed for a body, he is entirely freed from birth, aging, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair. I tell you, he is entirely freed from stress.
S.XII.19

§ 220. Becoming. Ananda: This word, 'becoming, becoming'-to what extent is there becoming?

The Buddha: If there were no kamma ripening in the property of sensuality, would sensual becoming be discerned?

Ananda: No, lord.

The Buddha: Thus kamma is the field, consciousness the seed, and craving the moisture. The consciousness of living beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving is established in (tuned to) a lower element. Thus there is the production of renewed becoming in the future. If there were no kamma ripening in the property of form, would form becoming be discerned?

Ananda: No, lord.

The Buddha: Thus kamma is the field, consciousness the seed, and craving the moisture. The consciousness of living beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving is established in (tuned to) a middling element. Thus there is the production of renewed becoming in the future. If there were no kamma ripening in the property of formlessness, would formless becoming be discerned?

Ananda: No, lord.

The Buddha: Thus kamma is the field, consciousness the seed, and craving the moisture. The consciousness of living beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving is established in (tuned to) a refined element. Thus there is the production of renewed becoming in the future. This is how there is becoming.
A.III.76

(The discourse immediately following this is identical to this except that the phrase, 'the consciousness of living beings...is established,' changes to, 'the intention and determination of living beings...is established.')
A.III.77

§ 221. I have heard that on one occasion, when the Blessed One was newly Awakened-living at Uruvela by the banks of the Neraņjara River in the shade of the Bodhi tree, the tree of Awakening-he sat in the shade of the Bodhi tree for seven days in one session, sensitive to the bliss of release. At the end of seven days, after emerging from that concentration, he surveyed the world with the eye of an Awakened One. As he did so, he saw living beings burning with the many fevers and aflame with the many fires born of passion, aversion, and delusion. Then, on realizing the significance of that, he on that occasion exclaimed:

This world is burning.
Afflicted by contact,
it calls disease a 'self.'
By whatever it construes [things],
that is always otherwise.

Becoming otherwise,
the world is
held by becoming
afflicted by becoming
and yet delights
in that very becoming.
Where there's delight,
there is fear.

What one fears
is stressful.
This holy life is lived
for the abandoning of becoming.

Whatever priests or contemplatives say that liberation from becoming is by means of becoming, all of them are not released from becoming, I say.

And whatever priests or contemplatives say that escape from becoming is by means of non-becoming, all of them have not escaped from becoming, I say.

This stress comes into play
in dependence on acquisitions.
With the ending of all clinging/sustenance,
there is no stress coming into play.

Look at this world:
Beings, afflicted with thick ignorance,
are unreleased
from delight in what has come to be.
All levels of becoming,
anywhere,
in any way,
are inconstant, stressful, subject to change.

Seeing this-as it actually is present-
with right discernment,
one abandons craving for becoming,
without delighting in non-becoming.
From the total ending of craving
comes fading and cessation without remainder:
Unbinding.

For the monk unbound,
from lack of clinging/sustenance,
there is no further becoming.
He has vanquished Mara,
won the battle.
Having gone beyond all levels of being,
he's Such.
UD.III.10

§ 222. Overcome by two viewpoints, some human and divine beings adhere, other human and divine beings slip right past, while those with vision see.

And how do some adhere? Human and divine beings delight in becoming, enjoy becoming, are satisfied with becoming. When the Dhamma is being taught for the sake of the cessation of becoming, their minds do not take to it, are not calmed by it, do not settle on it, or become resolved on it. This is how some adhere.

And how do some slip right past? Some, feeling horrified, humiliated, and disgusted with that very becoming, delight in non-becoming: 'When this self, at the break-up of the body, after death, perishes and is destroyed, and does not exist after death, that is peaceful, that is exquisite, that is sufficiency!' This is how some slip right past.

And how do those with vision see? There is the case where a monk sees being as being. Seeing being as being, he practices for disenchantment with being, dispassion toward being, cessation of being. This is how those with vision see....

One who, having seen
what has come to be
as what has come to be,
has gone beyond being,
and is released in line
with things as they are,
through the exhaustion of craving for becoming.

The monks who have comprehended being-
free from the craving to go
from becoming to becoming;
with the non-becoming
of what has come to be-
come to no further becoming.
ITI.49

§ 223. Fabrications. Visakha: And what, lady, are bodily fabrications, what are verbal fabrications, what are mental fabrications?
Sister Dhammadinna: In-and-out breathing is bodily, bound up with the body, therefore is it called a bodily fabrication. Having directed one's thought and evaluated [the matter], one breaks into speech. Therefore directed thought and evaluation are called verbal fabrications. Perception and feeling are mental, bound up with the mind. Therefore perception and feeling are called mental fabrications.
M.44

§ 224. When there is a body, pleasure and pain arise internally with bodily intention as the cause; or when there is speech, pleasure and pain arise internally with verbal intention as the cause; or when there is intellect, pleasure and pain arise internally with intellectual intention as the cause.

From ignorance as a requisite condition, then either of one's own accord one fabricates the bodily fabrication on account of which that pleasure and pain arise internally, or because of others one fabricates the bodily fabrication on account of which that pleasure and pain arise internally. With alertness...or without alertness one fabricates the bodily fabrication on account of which that pleasure and pain arise internally. (Similarly with verbal and intellectual fabrications.)

Now, ignorance is bound up in these things. From the remainderless fading and cessation of that very ignorance, there no longer exists [the sense of] the body...the speech...the intellect on account of which that pleasure and pain internally arise. There no longer exists the field, the site, the dimension, or the issue on account of which that pleasure and pain internally arise.
S.XII.25

§ 225. If a person immersed in ignorance fabricates a meritorious fabrication, his consciousness goes on to merit. If he fabricates a demeritorious fabrication, his consciousness goes on to demerit. If he fabricates an imperturbable fabrication, his consciousness goes on to the imperturbable. When ignorance is abandoned by a monk, clear knowing arises. From the fading of ignorance and the arising of knowledge, he neither fabricates a meritorious fabrication nor a demeritorious fabrication nor an imperturbable fabrication. Neither fabricating nor willing, he is not sustained by anything in the world. Unsustained, he is not agitated. Unagitated, he is totally unbound right within. He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'
Sensing a feeling of pleasure, he discerns that it is fleeting, not grasped at, not relished. Sensing a feeling of pain....Sensing a feeling of neither-pleasure-nor-pain, he discerns that it is fleeting, not grasped at, not relished. Sensing a feeling of pleasure, he senses it disjoined from it. Sensing a feeling of pain....Sensing a feeling of neither-pleasure-nor-pain, he senses it disjoined from it. When sensing a feeling limited to the body, he discerns that 'I am sensing a feeling limited to the body.' When sensing a feeling limited to life, he discerns that 'I am sensing a feeling limited to life.' He discerns that 'With the break-up of the body, after the termination of life, all that is experienced, not being relished, will grow cold right here, while the corpse will remain.'

Just as if a man, having removed a heated jar from a kiln, were to place it on level ground: Any heat in the jar would subside right there, while the fired clay would remain. In the same way, when sensing a feeling limited to the body, he discerns that 'I am sensing a feeling limited to the body.' When sensing a feeling limited to life, he discerns that 'I am sensing a feeling limited to life.' He discerns that 'With the break-up of the body, after the termination of life, all that is experienced, not being relished, will grow cold right here, while the corpse will remain.'

How do you construe this, monks? Would a monk whose effluents were ended fabricate a meritorious or a demeritorious or an imperturbable fabrication?

No, lord.

With the total non-existence of fabrications, from the cessation of fabrications, would consciousness be discernible (manifest)?

No, lord.

(And similarly down to:) With the total non-existence of birth, from the cessation of birth, would aging and death be discernible?

No, lord.

Very good, monks. Just so should you construe it. Just so should you be convinced. Just so should you believe. Do not be doubtful, do not be uncertain. This, just this, is the end of stress.
S.XII.51

§ 226. What is willed, what is arranged, and what lies latent: This is a support for the stationing of consciousness. There being a support, there is a landing of consciousness. When that consciousness lands and grows, there is the production of renewed becoming in the future. When there is the production of renewed becoming in the future, there is future birth, aging and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress.

If nothing is willed, if nothing is arranged, but something lies latent: This is a support for the stationing of consciousness....Such [too] is the origination of this entire mass of stress.

But when nothing is willed, arranged, or lies latent, there is no support for the stationing of consciousness. There being no support, there is no landing of consciousness. When that consciousness does not land and grow, there is no production of renewed becoming in the future. When there is no production of renewed becoming in the future, there is no future birth, aging and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, or despair. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress.
S.XII.38

§ 227. Sariputta: Now what is ignorance, what is the origination of ignorance, what is the cessation of ignorance, and what is the way of practice leading to the cessation of ignorance?

Not knowing stress, not knowing the origination of stress, not knowing the cessation of stress, not knowing the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress: This is called ignorance. From the origination of effluents comes the origination of ignorance. From the cessation of effluents comes the cessation of ignorance. And just this noble eightfold path is the way of practice leading to the cessation of ignorance....

Now when a noble disciple discerns ignorance in this way, discerns the origination of ignorance in this way, discerns the cessation of ignorance in this way, and discerns the way of practice leading to the cessation of ignorance in this way, then-having entirely abandoned the latent tendency to passion, having abolished the latent tendency to irritation, having uprooted the latent tendency to the view and conceit 'I am,' having abandoned ignorance, having given rise to clear knowing-he puts an end to stress in the here and now. It is to this extent that the noble disciple is a person of right view, his views straightened, endowed with perfect confidence in regard to the Dhamma, having arrived at this true Dhamma....

Now what are effluents, what is the origination of effluents, what is the cessation of effluents, and what is the way of practice leading to the cessation of effluents?

These three are effluents: the effluent of sensuality, the effluent of becoming, the effluent of ignorance. From the origination of ignorance comes the origination of effluents. From the cessation of ignorance comes the cessation of effluents. And just this noble eightfold path is the way of practice leading to the cessation of effluents....

Now when a noble disciple discerns the effluents in this way, discerns the origination of effluents in this way, discerns the cessation of effluents in this way, and discerns the way of practice leading to the cessation of effluents in this way, then-having entirely abandoned the latent tendency to passion, having abolished the latent tendency to irritation, having uprooted the latent tendency to the view and conceit 'I am,' having abandoned ignorance, having given rise to clear knowing-he puts an end to stress in the here and now. It is to this extent that the noble disciple is a person of right view, his views straightened, endowed with perfect confidence in regard to the Dhamma, having arrived at this true Dhamma.
M.9

§ 228. Maha Kotthita: Now tell me, Sariputta my friend: Are aging and death self-made or other-made or both self-made and other-made, or-without self-making or other-making-do they arise spontaneously?

Sariputta: It's not the case, Kotthita my friend, that aging and death are self-made, that they are other-made, that they are both self-made and other-made, or that-without self-making or other-making-they arise spontaneously. However, from birth as a requisite condition comes aging and death.
(Similarly with birth, becoming, sustenance/clinging, craving, feeling, contact, the six sense media down to:)

Maha Kotthita: Now tell me: Is name-and-form self-made or other-made or both self-made and other-made, or-without self-making or other-making-does it arise spontaneously?

Sariputta: It's not the case that name-and-form are self-made, that it is other-made, that it is both self-made and other-made, or that-without self-making or other-making-it arises spontaneously. However, from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form.

Maha Kotthita: Now tell me: is consciousness self-made or other-made or both self-made and other-made, or-without self-making or other-making, does it arise spontaneously?

Sariputta: It's not the case that consciousness is self-made, that it is other-made, that it is both self-made and other-made, or that-without self-making or other-making-it arises spontaneously. However, from name-and-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness.

Maha Kotthita: Just now I understood what you said as...from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form...from name-and-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness. Now how is the meaning of what you said to be understood?

Sariputta: Very well then, my friend, I will give you an analogy; for there are cases where it is through the use of an analogy that intelligent people can understand the meaning of what is being said. It is as if two sheaves of reeds stood leaning against one another. In the same way, from name-and-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness, from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form. From name and form as a requisite condition come the six sense media....Thus is the origination of this entire mass of stress.

If one were to pull away one of those sheaves of reeds, the other would fall; if one were to pull away the other, the first one would fall. In the same way, from the cessation of name-and-form comes the cessation of consciousness, from the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-and-form. From the cessation of name-and-form comes the cessation of the six sense media....Thus is the cessation of this entire mass of stress.
S.XII.67

§ 229. People are intent on the idea of
'made by me'
and attached to the idea of
'made by another.'
Some do not realize this,
nor do they see it as a thorn.

But to one who sees,
having extracted this thorn,
[the thought] 'I am doing,' doesn't occur;
'Another is doing,' doesn't occur.

This human race is possessed by conceit,
bound by conceit,
tied down by conceit.
Speaking hurtfully because of their views
they do not go beyond transmigration.
UD.VI.6

§ 230. The Buddha: "From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications....From birth as a requisite condition, then old age and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress and suffering."

When this was said, a certain monk said to the Blessed One: "Which aging and death, lord? And to whom does this aging and death belong?"

"Not a valid question," the Blessed One said. If a monk were to ask, 'Which aging and death? And to whom does this aging and death belong?' and if a monk were to ask, 'Is aging and death one thing, and does it belong to someone/something else?' both of them would have the same meaning, even though their words would differ. When a monk is of the view that the soul is the same as the body, there is no leading the holy life. And when a monk is of the view that the soul is one thing and the body another, there is no leading the holy life. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata points out the Dhamma in between them: From birth as a requisite condition comes aging and death."

"Which birth, lord? And to whom does this birth belong?"

"Not a valid question," the Blessed One said.
(Similarly with all the requisite conditions down to fabrications.)

"....Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata points out the Dhamma in between them: From ignorance as requisite condition come fabrications. Now from the remainderless fading and cessation of that very ignorance, every one of these writhings and wrigglings and wigglings-'Which aging and death? And to whom does this aging and death belong?' or 'Is aging and death one thing, and does it belong to someone/something else?' or 'The soul is the same as the body,' or 'The soul is one thing and the body another'-are abandoned, their root destroyed, like an uprooted palm tree, deprived of the conditions of existence, not destined for future arising."
(Similarly with all the requisite conditions down to fabrications.)
S.XII.35

§ 231. Ananda: It is amazing, lord, it is astounding, how deep this dependent co-arising is, and how deep its appearance, and yet to me it seems as clear as clear can be.

The Buddha: Don't say that, Ananda. Don't say that. Deep is this dependent co-arising, and deep its appearance. It's because of not understanding and not penetrating this Dhamma that this generation is like a tangled skein, a knotted ball of string, like matted rushes and reeds, and does not go beyond the cycle of the planes of deprivation, woe, and bad destinations....
'From birth as a requisite condition come aging and death.' Thus it has been said. And this is the way to understand how from birth as a requisite condition come aging and death. If there were no birth at all, in any way, of anything anywhere...in the utter absence of birth from the cessation of birth, would aging and death be discerned?'

Ananda: No, lord.

The Buddha: Thus this is a cause, this is a reason, this is an origination, this is a requisite condition for aging and death, i.e., birth. (Similarly for the rest of the stream of requisite conditions down to contact.)

'From name-and-form as a requisite condition comes contact. Thus it has been said. And this is the way to understand how, from name-and-form as a requisite condition comes contact. If the qualities, traits, themes, and indicators by which there is a description of name-group (mental activity) were all absent, would designation-contact with regard to the form-group (the physical body) be discerned?

Ananda: No, lord.

The Buddha: If the permutations, signs, themes, and indicators by which there is a description of form-group were all absent, would resistance-contact with regard to the name-group be discerned?

Ananda: No, lord.

The Buddha: If the permutations, signs, themes, and indicators by which there is a description of name-group and form-group were all absent, would designation-contact or resistance-contact be discerned?

Ananda: No, lord.

The Buddha: Thus this is a cause, this is a reason, this is an origination, this is a requisite condition for contact, i.e., name-and-form.
'From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form.' Thus it has been said. And this is the way to understand how from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form. If consciousness were not to descend into the mother's womb, would name-and-form take shape in the womb?

Ananda: No, lord.

The Buddha: If, after descending into the womb, consciousness were to depart, would name-and-form be produced for this world?

Ananda: No, lord.

The Buddha: If the consciousness of the young boy or girl were to be cut off, would name-and-form ripen, grow, and reach maturity?

Ananda: No, lord.

The Buddha: Thus this is a cause, this is a reason, this is an origination, this is a requisite condition for name-and-form, i.e., consciousness.

'From name-and-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness.' Thus it has been said. And this is the way to understand how from name-and-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness. If consciousness were not to gain a foothold in name-and-form, would a coming-into-play of the origination of birth, aging, death, and stress in the future be discerned?

Ananda: No, lord.

The Buddha: Thus this is a cause, this is a reason, this is an origination, this is a requisite condition for consciousness, i.e., name-and-form.

This is the extent to which there is birth, aging, death, passing away, and re-arising. This is the extent to which there are means of designation, expression, and description. This is the extent to which the sphere of discernment extends, the extent to which the cycle revolves for the manifesting (discernibility) of this world-i.e., name-and-form together with consciousness.
D.15

§ 232. It is in dependence on a pair that consciousness comes into play. And how does consciousness come into play in dependence on a pair? In dependence on the eye and forms there arises eye-consciousness. The eye is inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise. Forms are inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise. Thus this pair is both fleeting and unsettled-inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise. Eye-consciousness is inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise. Whatever is the cause, the requisite condition, for the arising of eye-consciousness, that is inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise. Having arisen in dependence on an inconstant factor, how could eye-consciousness be constant? (Similarly with the ear, nose, tongue, body, and intellect.)
S.XXXV.93

§ 233. One attached is unreleased; one unattached is released. Should consciousness, when taking a stance, stand attached to [a physical] form, supported by form [as its object], established on form, watered with delight, it would exhibit growth, increase, and proliferation. Should consciousness, when taking a stance, stand attached to feeling...to perception...to fabrications... it would exhibit growth, increase, and proliferation. Were someone to say, 'I will describe a coming, a going, a passing away, an arising, a growth, an increase or a proliferation of consciousness apart from form, from feeling, from perception, from fabrications,' that would be impossible.

If a monk abandons passion for the property of form...feeling...perception... fabrications...consciousness, then owing to the abandonment of passion, the support is cut off, and consciousness is unestablished. Consciousness, thus unestablished, not proliferating, not performing any function, is released. Owing to its release, it stays firm. Owing to its staying firm, it is contented. Owing to its contentment, it is not agitated. Not agitated, he [the monk] is totally unbound right within himself. He discerns that, 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'
S.XXII.53

§ 234. There are these four nutriments for the establishing of beings who have taken birth or for the support of those in search of a place to be born. Which four? Physical food, gross or refined; contact as the second, consciousness the third, and intellectual intention the fourth. These are the four nutriments for the establishing of beings or for the support of those in search of a place to be born.

Where there is passion, delight, and craving for the nutriment of physical food, consciousness lands there and grows. Where consciousness lands and grows, name-and-form alights. Where name-and-form alights, there is the growth of fabrications. Where there is the growth of fabrications, there is the production of renewed becoming in the future. Where there is the production of renewed becoming in the future, there is future birth, aging, and death, together, I tell you, with sorrow, affliction, and despair.

Just as-when there is dye, lac, yellow orpiment, indigo, or crimson-a dyer or painter would paint the picture of a woman or a man, complete in all its parts, on a well-polished panel or wall, or on a piece of cloth; in the same way, where there is passion, delight, and craving for the nutriment of physical food, consciousness lands there and grows...together, I tell you, with sorrow, affliction, and despair.
(Similarly with the other three kinds of nutriment.)

Where there is no passion for the nutriment of physical food, where there is no delight, no craving, then consciousness does not land there or grow....Name-and-form does not alight....There is no growth of fabrications....There is no production of renewed becoming in the future. Where there is no production of renewed becoming in the future, there is no future birth, aging, and death. That, I tell you, has no sorrow, affliction, or despair.

Just as if there were a roofed house or a roofed hall having windows on the north, the south, or the east. When the sun rises, and a ray has entered by way of the window, where does it land?

On the western wall, lord.

And if there is no western wall...?

On the ground, lord.

And if there is no ground...?

On the water, lord.

And if there is no water...?

It does not land, lord.

In the same way, where there is no passion for the nutriment of physical food... consciousness does not land or grow....That, I tell you, has no sorrow, affliction, or despair.
(Similarly with the other three kinds of nutriment.)
S.XII.64

§ 235. Consciousness without feature,
without end,
luminous all around:
Here water, earth, fire, and wind have no footing.
Here long and short
coarse and fine
fair and foul
name and form
are, without remnant,
brought to an end.

From the cessation of [the activity of] consciousness,
each is here brought to an end.
D.11

§ 236. Where water, earth, fire, and wind have no footing:
There the stars do not shine,
the sun is not visible,
the moon does not appear,
darkness is not found.
And when a sage, an honorable one,
through sagacity
has known [this] for himself,
then from form and formless,
from pleasure and pain,
he is freed.
UD.I.10

§ 237. Then Ven. Ananda, together with a group of monks, went to where the Blessed One was staying in Palileyyaka, at the root of the Auspicious Sal Tree, and on arrival, after bowing down to him, sat down to one side. As they were sitting there, the Blessed One instructed, urged, roused, and encouraged them with a talk on Dhamma.

Then this train of thought appeared in the awareness of one of the monks: 'Now I wonder-knowing in what way, seeing in what way, does one without delay put an end to the effluents?'

The Blessed One, perceiving with his awareness the train of thought in the monk's awareness, said to the monks, 'I have analyzed and taught you the Dhamma, monks. I have analyzed and taught you the four frames of reference, the four right exertions, the four bases of power, the five faculties, the five strengths, the seven factors of awakening and the noble eightfold path....And yet still there appears this train of thought in the awareness of one of the monks: "Now I wonder-knowing in what way, seeing in what way, does one without delay put an end to the effluents?"

'Well then-knowing in what way, seeing in what way, does one without delay put an end to the effluents? There is the case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person...assumes form (the body) to be the self. That assumption is a fabrication. Now what is the cause, what is the origination, what is the birth, what is the coming-into-existence of that fabrication? To an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person, touched by that which is felt born of contact with ignorance, craving arises. That fabrication is born of that. And that fabrication is inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen. That craving...That feeling... That contact...That ignorance is inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen. It is by knowing and seeing in this way that one without delay puts an end to the effluents.

'Or he doesn't assume form to be the self, but he assumes the self as possessing form...form as in the self...self as in form...or feeling to be the self...the self as possessing feeling...feeling as in the self...self as in feeling...or perception to be the self...the self as possessing perception...perception as in the self...self as in perception...or fabrications to be the self...the self as possessing fabrications...fabrications as in the self...self as in fabrications...or consciousness to be the self...the self as possessing consciousness...consciousness as in the self...self as in consciousness.

'Now that assumption is a fabrication. What is the cause...of that fabrication? To an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person, touched by the feeling born of contact with ignorance, craving arises. That fabrication is born of that. And that fabrication is inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen. That craving...That feeling...That contact...That ignorance is inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen. It is by knowing and seeing in this way that one without delay puts an end to the effluents.

'Or...he may have a view such as this: "This self is the same as the cosmos. This I will be after death, constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change." This eternalist view is a fabrication....Or...he may have a view such as this: "I would not be, neither would there be what is mine. I will not be, neither will there be what is mine." This annihilationist view is a fabrication....Or...he may be doubtful and uncertain, having come to no conclusion with regard to the true Dhamma. That doubt, uncertainty, and coming-to-no-conclusion is a fabrication.

'What is the cause...of that fabrication? To an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person, touched by what is felt born of contact with ignorance, craving arises. That fabrication is born of that. And that fabrication is inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen. That craving...That feeling...That contact...That ignorance is inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen. It is by knowing and seeing in this way that one without delay puts an end to the effluents.'
S.XXII.81

§ 238. The ending of the effluents is for one who knows and sees, I tell you, not for one who does not know and does not see. For one who knows what and sees what?...'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance. Such is feeling.... Such is perception....Such are fabrications....Such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.' The ending of the effluents is for one who knows in this way and sees in this way. [§§30; 149; 170; 173; 199-207]

The knowledge of ending in the presence of ending has its prerequisite, I tell you. It is not without a prerequisite. And what is its prerequisite? Release... Release has its prerequisite, I tell you. It is not without a prerequisite. And what is its prerequisite? Dispassion....Disenchantment....Knowledge and vision of things as they actually are present....Concentration....Pleasure....Serenity.... Rapture....Joy....Conviction.... Stress....Birth....Becoming....Clinging....Craving....Feeling....Contact....The six sense media....Name-and-form....Consciousness....Fabrications....Fabrications have their prerequisite, I tell you. They are not without a prerequisite. And what is their prerequisite? Ignorance....

Just as when the gods pour rain in heavy drops and crash thunder on the upper mountains: The water, flowing down along the slopes, fills the mountain clefts and rifts and gullies. When the mountain clefts and rifts and gullies are full, they fill the little ponds. When the little ponds are full, they fill the big lakes...the little rivers...the big rivers. When the big rivers are full, they fill the great ocean. In the same way:

fabrications have ignorance as their prerequisite,
consciousness has fabrications as its prerequisite,
name-and-form has consciousness as their prerequisite,
the six sense media have name-and-form as their prerequisite,
contact has the six sense media as its prerequisite,
feeling has contact as its prerequisite,
craving has feeling as its prerequisite,
clinging has craving as its prerequisite,
becoming has clinging as its prerequisite,
birth has becoming as its prerequisite,
stress and suffering have birth as their prerequisite,
conviction has stress and suffering as its prerequisite,
joy has conviction as its prerequisite,
rapture has joy as its prerequisite,
serenity has rapture as its prerequisite,
pleasure has serenity as its prerequisite,
concentration has pleasure as its prerequisite,
knowledge and vision of things as they actually are present has concentration as its prerequisite,
disenchantment has knowledge and vision of things as they actually are present as its prerequisite,
dispassion has disenchantment as its prerequisite,
release has dispassion as its prerequisite,
knowledge of ending has release as its prerequisite.
S.XII.23


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