Reply To: First noble truth


The critical point is how to “see” the unfruitfulness AND dangers of kama assada instead of seeing their pleasures as we normally tend to do.

The Buddha said to contemplate on the long-term bad consequences (adinava) of kama assada.

Any object in the world that provides such kama assada has anicca, dukkha, viparinama nature.
– That means one CANNOT maintain that to one’s satisfaction in the long run. Thus, it WILL bring suffering in the long-term when it INEVITABLY undergoes its unexpected changes/destruction (viparinama).
– Even if the object itself does not appear to do any of those three, one’s sensory faculties are subjected to those three characteristics.
– For example, a gold ring that one craves may not appear to have anicca, dukkha, viparinama nature during one’s lifetime (unless it is stolen or one may be forced to sell it in an emergency). But the person himself is subjected to the anicca, dukkha, viparinama nature. Thus, there is no escape.

That is a simple analysis.
– A deeper aspect is that as long as one has cravings for such things, one would not be free of the kama loka.
– Of course, one only starts “seeing” this picture (Samma Ditthi) at the Sotapanna Anugami stage.
– Such cravings (or the corresponding wrong “sanna” or the “perception of value”) will be completely removed from the mind only at the Anagami stage.
– However, part of the wrong “sanna” will be removed even at the Sotapanna Anugami stage. That is why one would not do apayagami actions to get such sensory pleasures after the Sotapanna Anugami stage.

Thus anicca nature needs to be contemplated with such examples. Just reading up on anicca, dukkha, anatta is not going to do anything.
– By the way, anatta means that one will never be able to free of the rebirth process as long as one does not see the above picture. One WILL become helpless when one is reborn in an apaya. There is nothing an animal, for example, can do until that life ends (by the life I mean that bhava, which can last thousands of years at a time).