Reply To: Rebirth and apaya


Ahhhh . . . It’s been awhile since that discussion . . . Where I’m at today is that I’m in the process of finding/feeling/seeing that even being in the heavenly realms is still suffering and meaningless/pointless.

If the Buddha or someone made me an offer that

a) If I give up on attaining Nibbana in return I would get to stay in the heavenly realms for 364 days and only go to the apaya’s for 1 day. Or I can stay in the heavenly realms permanently.

b) I’m guaranteed to attain Nibbana if I have to spend 364 days in the apaya’s or a X amount of time in the apaya’s, but I’m guaranteed to attain Nibbana.

I would always choose option B

It’s taught by the noble one’s and Lal has mentioned that one should see suffering based on wisdom and not based on vedana.

Even if we spend 99% of our time in the heavenly realms and if one believes that there’s less “net” suffering because of that. I believe that person is still seeing suffering based on feelings (vedana).

I have contemplated on some of the sufferings that may occur in the heavenly realms. I thought I would share some of these. Some of the things I’m about to share is based on speculations, although not without good reasons, as well more details could be given.

1). There’s a law in economics called “the law of diminishing returns”. I don’t know how applicable that is to our true reality, but that idea / concept resonates with me. Through my own personal experience and observation, to me it seems like the more we keep doing/experiencing the same thing over and over again, no matter how much we like it or enjoy it, the less pleasurable/enjoyable it becomes over time. I believe that’s one of the reasons why we always look for new experiences and such. As well, even if we enjoy/like a particular experience so much that even by experiencing the same thing over and over again and never get bored/sick of it. Eventually we will get old and the five senses starts to decay, we won’t be able to use the five senses like we did when we were younger to get the same enjoyment out of that experience that we like/enjoy so much. So even if our minds like it so much, but eventually our body will not allow us to get the same enjoyment.

This is just speculation, but I believe possibly Deva’s and Brahmins would experience something similar (with their minds). One example of this are stories about the fall of Cakkavatti’s. As well Waharaka Thero mentions about how the brahmas descend to the world to become humans, after the formation of the world. “They recall past memories of how great it would be to be human. They fondly remember human nature and wish to be in that state. This is speculation on my part, but I believe it’s possible that Brahmas in the heavenly realms might even have such thoughts especially when they are near the end of their bhava/jati. What this tells me that even Brahma’s might eventually get bored / unfilled with their jhana’s or whatever it’s that experiencing in the rupa, arupa loka’s and would like to experience kama raga. (Speculation)

When I think / contemplate about sensual pleasures in the heavenly realms, for example as a Deva. Although it might be very enjoyable at the beginning, partying, having sex, seeing beautiful sights, living in a palace etc . . . But if I keep doing these things over and over again, I feel it would become less and less enjoyable as time goes on. Because this is what I can observe when I contemplate and reflect back on my life.

2) Burning from the 11 flames. One would still burn from the 11 flames in the heavenly realms. One could argue that one doesn’t burn from the first 3 flames of raga, dosa, moha in the heavenly realms. But one would still burn from the flame of jati, jara, marana, soka, parideva, dukkha, domanassa, upayasa.

3) Sankata

From my own understanding, I believe it would be very difficult, if not impossible to find other teachers that’s on par / level with Lord Buddha’s. The consistency, details, and clarity of the Dhamma taught by Lord Buddha’s, I simply have no words or believe any words can do justice to describe how intelligent / amazing Lord Buddha’s are.

Just take Sankata and the naming of each of the 5 stages that Lord Buddha uses. I can use this to describe / explain to myself the connection between sankata’s and how it leads to anicca, dukkha, anatta. I hope Lal will eventually fix / write with more details on sankata’s since the post / link “Root cause of Anicca – Five stages of Sankata’s” no longer works and I believe it’s such an important teaching to understand. Anyways to make a long story short, one of the stages of a Sankata is adinava. What I have learned is that one of the ways to understand/see what adinava is, is that Adinava = Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta. From my own understanding, I believe what all living beings experiencing are Sankata’s. So even if one is in the heavenly realms, one would still be experiencing Sankata’s and what is one of the 5 stages of a Sankata? Adinava = anicca, dukkha, anatta.

I consider sankata’s to be a bottle of poison. Being attached to sankata’s is like drinking from a bottle of poison. If one is attached to sankata’s, that’s like drinking from the bottle of poison and one would have to experience the effects of poison or from the sankata perspective, one would have to suffer the bad consequences (adinava) of anicca, dukkha, anatta.

To end this post off, from one of Waharaka’s Thero desana’s, subtitled:

“Atteeyathi was explained as the vexatious nature, then the Lord Buddha showed us what is meant by “Anicca” that is vexation. This unfavorable vexatious nature should be held in contempt and should be ashamed to associate with. This vexatious world should be rejected. If one understands this particular fact, if one understands the nature of vexation, worries and frustration, it becomes clear that one is chasing immense vexation with the wrong impression that one is enjoying gratification.”