seeking the path
all things have release as the heart; all things are swallowed up in the deathless; all things are ended in extinction. The meaning of dhammå in this text is less easy to determine precisely than in those considered first. Desire, in one way or another, is the root condition of all sentient existence; and feeling, as the Buddha explains at length in the Mahå Nidåna Suttanta (D⁄gha, 15), is the source of ta~hå, or craving, which is responsible immediately for much of the suffering of this existence, and more remotely for rebirth in the next. But sabbe dhammå, although it undoubtedly refers to sentient existence in general, has a more definite meaning. ‘All things—sabbe dhammå—are born of attention’ and ‘originate with contact’, and they are therefore not separate from consciousness; for when there is no consciousness there is neither attention nor contact. Furthermore, concentration, mindfulness, understanding, and release, all of them relate only to the mind. A meaning of dhammå that suggests itself as valid throughout this Sutta is ‘experiences’, understood in a wide sense to include all mental events: without experiences there is no sentient existence; experiences are not separate from consciousness; and also, concentration and other mental states are experiences in the sense intended here. Nibbåna, the deathless, brings all experiences to an end. ‘All things—sabbe dhammå—are born of attention’: so it was said above. This leads us to another Sutta. Catunnaµ bhikkhave satipa††hånånaµ samudayañca atthagamañca desissåmi, taµ su~åtha. Ko ca bhikkhave kåyassa samudayo. Åhårasamudayå kåyassa samudayo, åhåranirodhå kåyassa atthagamo. Phassasamudayå vedanånaµ samudayo, phassanirodhå vedanånam atthagamo. Nåmar¨pasamudayå cittassa samudayo, nåmar¨panirodhå cittassa atthagamo. Manasikårasamudayå dhammånaµ samudayo, manasikåranirodhå dhammånaµ atthagamo ti. (Satipa††håna Saµyutta, 42) I shall teach, monks, the origination and the passing away of the four stations of mindfulness; listen to it. And what, monks, is the origination of the body? With the originating of sustenance there is the originating of the body; with the cessation of sustenance there is the passing away of the body.
Published on Jun 26, 2013
Part B includes two early essays (Nibbana and Anatta and Sketch for a Proof of Rebirth) as well as notes from a Commonplace Book and Margina...