ASYMMETRY between pleasure and pain in rebirth cycle

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    • #41355

      The following chart composed by LayDhammaFollower:

      ASYMMETRY between pleasure and pain in rebirth cycle

      LDM spent a lot of time preparing the above chart. It is a good indication of his understanding of many concepts.

      One point he has tried to point out requires a detailed explanation, and he has quoted the relevant post.
      To briefly state:
      All beings spend over half of a maha kappa in Brahma realms above the Abhassara Brahma realm.
      – A maha kappa is divided into four asankheyya kappas.
      (i) Living beings live only one asankheyya kappa on Earth, like now.
      (ii) The Earth is destroyed in the next asankheyya kappa.
      (iii) The earth remains in that state (with no Earth and all beings living in Brahma realms) during the next asankheyya kappa.
      (i) in the fourth asankheyya kappa, the Earth re-forms, and at the end, most living beings in Brahma realms start coming to the Earth as humans.
      – It is during mostly one asankheyya kappa (i above) that living beings spend most of their time in the apayas. But it is many billions of years in duration. As we know, a given living being spends MOST OF THAT TIME in the apayas.
      – Thus, even though over half of a maha kappa is relatively free of suffering, there is still unbearable suffering lasting many billions of years per each maha kappa. And that process will continue forever unless one attains Nibbana (Arahanthood)!

      Please read the chart carefully and make comments/questions.

      Much merits to LDF and his family for his ongoing efforts!

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #41358

      Thank you, Lal, For Sharing the chart with everyone.

      I request you to delete the above comment #41357;

      I found a better way to communicate those same points.


      Everyone knows that human bhava is rare, but logically seeing that is a bit hard. Buddha gave some very radical analogies for rebirths in human or higher realms. (Which are Good bhava in conventional sense.)

      There are four POSSIBLE cases in that document regarding bhava to bhava transition for ALL lifestreams.

      All of us are in one of those four cases. Those who are ariya are ofcourse on path to get rid of bhava all together.

      However, for everyone else who hasn’t yet understood 4NT/PS/Tilakkhana and their inter-connections, are not yet free from bad bhava in (apāyā are bad bhava and “dukha” in conventional sense; all bhava are “dukkhā” in ultimate sense;)

      We can start with any one of the four cases in rebirth cycle. But, because, good to bad bhava transition is extremely common and bad to good bhava is extremely common. Balance is ALWAYS extremely tilted towards birth in bad bhava. One WILL end up in apāyā without a doubt (for anariya). But that requires a bit more contemplation of four cases.


      Dukkhā has infinite shapes and forms.

      Future birth suffering, present birth suffering.

      Mental/physical suffering.

      Suffering due to Unsatisfactory experiences.

      (For example no matter how much food, sex, music, TV, knowledge one has it won’t ever fulfil the senses. Because neither sense objects nor senses themselves are satisfactory or can be satisfied.

      (This is the one word summary of mental suffering.)

      Suffering of birth and death.

      Suffering due to three kinds of dukkhā.


      All aspects are not and cannot be covered in one chart.

      Chart demonstrates the unfixable problem of suffering.

      That problem (old age, illness and death and all the “dukkhā” associated with any birth anywhere at any time) has no permanent solution, other than removing root causes due to which problem arise in first place. (i.e. Removing bhava/jati by removing tanha/san by removing avijjā through lokottara eightfold path starting with sammā diṭṭhi)

      Buddha said that even if your head was on fire, your house was burning, instead of fixing that you should contemplate the 4NT and tilakkhana. That would be more useful.

      It is not just inspiring saying, there is deep reason behind it. (Which I realised recently.)

      Reason is that problems that comes after birth are unfixable problem. (Cannot be permanently fixed and can neither be prevented permanently)

      So, root problem is birth anywhere at all (not just in human bhava), ALL OTHER PROBLEMS COMES DUE TO HAVING BIRTH IN FIRST PLACE.

      Efforts put towards solving right problem is right efforts. (Right problem= Elimination of bhava/jati.)

      Efforts put towards solving wrong problem is wrong efforts. Because it cannot be cured/prevented permanently as long as rebirth is there. Inevitably, There will be similar problem at in future lives too.

      (So, basically, Any problem that comes after birth is not a problem we should focus on too much and if possible should try to focus full time on right problem by becoming monk. You lost everything you did in infinite previous lives anyways. Living require only four necessities.)

      This why buddha said to contemplate on 4NT/Tilakkhana even when we have life threating danger. Because, that will give us vision of what is real problem and what is not a real problem.


      As discussed in discussion thread of Aggañña sutta;

      Even 9 months of pleasure vacation pales in comparison to one day of harsh intense suffering.


      All pleasures in saṁsāra are filled with dukkhā …


    • #42111

      LDF mentioned:

       – “To understand how rebirth is full of suffering read this single page document

       – “Even 9 months of pleasure vacation pales in comparison to one day of harsh intense suffering

      It’s kinda interesting that this was brought up because several years back on here, I mentioned and we discussed something similar.

      In addition to what has been mentioned by LDF and others, I thought I would share a recent realization / understanding that I have come to that’s related to this discussion and hope it can help others in any way.

       – “Suffering due to unsatisfactory experiences

       – “sense objects nor senses themselves are satisfactory or can be satisfied

      I’m currently on vacation traveling aboard. On a long distance flight, I was able to fly business class due to my wife work benefits. For the last few days, I have been living in luxury, doing luxurious things. I’m sure many others would like to be in the position that I’m currently in on this trip and in my lay life.

      I would rate my lay life a 9 / 10, with 10 being the best life one could possibly live. It’s somewhat difficult for me to express everything that I would like to in words on how I exactly feel about all of this. What I can say is that I still carry out kama raga due to my anusaya’s, asava’s and gati. Even experiencing all the assada’s and sukha vipaka’s on my current trip and in my lay life, a part of me finds it all stressful, vexing, unfulfilling and meaningless.  

       – “All pleasures in saṁsāra are filled with dukkha

      Based on “part of me or in back of my mind” I really don’t see the point of hoping or wanting to continue seeking pleasant / pleasurable experiences or sukha vipaka’s in this world, even from the heavenly realms. If I could spend 99.99% of my “all” my bhava’s / jati’s in the sugati’s (rupa and arupa loka’s) instead of attaining nibbana, I would not want to make such deal / trade. But that’s only possible when I have broken all the 10 fetters.

      Why I would say something like this is because my current understanding / view is that any assada or sukha vedana / vipaka’s experienced doesn’t really relieve one of dukkha. It only temporary relieves or covers up the hidden or not evident dukkha that one goes through. It’s like taking a pain killer for chronic pain.

      I believe it’s evident, easy to see and understand dukkha and sukha based on vedana, but more difficult with wisdom. To me, seeing and understanding dukkha with wisdom means to see dukkha as a process or mechanism rather than just based on (vedana) feelings. Based on this scrutiny, to me it doesn’t really make sense that I would want to continue the samsara journey even if I could spend 99.99% of my bhava’s / jati’s in the sugati’s.

      I believe the only time when one is really free from dukkha is when one’s thoughts are of kusala (with lokuttara samma ditthi) or on nibbana. So even if one is vacationing or existing in the sugati’s without thoughts of kusala or nibbana, are they really free from dukkha during those times / moments? Thinking or seeing based on vedana would seem so but if it’s based on wisdom, I would not believe so.

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