Good Discourse on Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta

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    • #26177

      I just listened to the following discourse by Chaminda Tennakoon. I recommend listening to it. It gives the basic idea embedded in the Tilakkhana (Three Characteristics of Nature):

    • #26196

      I think ‘there is control’ is an extreme view and ‘there is no control at all’ also is an extreme view.

      There is clearly some control over the body. It is not true there is totally no control. We can control moving our arms, legs, urinate, defecate. If it becomes really out of control, we have a problem.

      That there is no controll over mind is also an extreme, i find. We are in control to a certain extent. I can, for example, concentrate on a beautiful female form and arise lust and cause bodily reactions while doing this. If i want i can imagine this or that.

      That we do not have control about anything is also an extreme.

      exactly this middle position makes it so difficult for a human. If we would me totally in controll that would be easy living and if we were totally not in controll too. But it is because we are not totally in control and totally out of controll, that makes being a human confusing. We would lie if we would tell ourselves we are not in control.

      We can control our body, mind, surroundings to a certain extent. We can control diseases, life and death, the nature, all to a certain extent. That also gives us a sense of gratification and gives meaning to live.

      See beings suffering and make ourselves belief we can do nothing because things are out of control is lying.

      Anyway, i do no agree with mr. Tennakoon’s extreme of no control.

      • #26322

        Here the control refers to whether the outside world happens the way you like it to happen or not. Things happen for reasons and not because you want them to happen.
        For example, if one wants to light a fire, he has to provide reasons to light the fire and if he wants to put out the fire, he has to take the reasons away. This is providing reasons for something to happen. This is not the control. If he had control over it there should not be a fire even after providing the reasons for the fire to happen.

        This argument was brought to Lord Buddha in front of all the kings by a Brahma (I think the name was Baka). He argued that there is control and that he can do what he wants because he was a high powered person.
        Lord Buddha asked him if the king wants to kill him (This Brahma) Can he kill him?
        The Brahma did not have an answer because if he said yes, that means he loses the argument in front of the kings and the crowd. If he said no, then the king can order for that to be done. So he lost the argument.

        The point is we can think about lustful thoughts all day long but can we stop thinking about them whenever we want? We should be able to do that if we have control. That is the control. Unless you go to Dyana, you cannot stop getting lustful and hateful thoughts 100%. All one can do is provide reasons or eliminate reasons.

        Like Lal mentioned, if you understand Patichcha Samuppadaya, you get a feeling of how this works. It is all connected and if there is a Raga (lustful) Vinnana, then it will result in Raaga Naama Rupa.

        Try to think of the person who you like most for 2 minutes if you can. But make sure you don’t think about a RED BABOON. See if you can only think about that person and not even focus on any noise you hear.

        What is meant here as control is having total control. Controlling diseases by medication is providing reasons to change the result. This is not the control. Control is not getting any diseases because no one wants diseases. It is about what you really want and what happens. It differs hence why people suffer. If everything was in control, then there won’t be any suffering. But then if one was in control of everything, the others would suffer because they have no control. This is a feature of the world that one needs to realise in order to walk the path of Nivana (cooling down).

        • #26325

          The sutta that Chaminda referring to is “Cūḷasacca­ka Sutta (MN 35)”. It was Brahmin Saccaka (not a Brahma) who argued with the Buddha on whether a “self” (with full control) exists.

    • #26202

      Yes. It is not easy to see “anicca Nature.” It takes a real effort, necessary background knowledge, moral conduct, and many other factors.
      – Again, I am not talking about Sybe or anyone else in particular. This is a general statement that I have made in many posts.

      This is why the Buddha had doubts about how many people can understand his Dhamma “that has never been known to the world.”

      Whether one may grasp the Tilakkhana in this life or not, following even the mundane eightfold path will not go to waste. It is those who have cultivated the mundane path (where the 10 types of miccha ditthi are removed) that are able to comprehend Tilakkhana in this life and start on the Noble Eightfold Path. See, “What is Unique in Buddha Dhamma?

    • #26208

      I think that anicca–in the end we can maintain nothing the way we like–is not difficult to see or understand but it is very difficult to live with, to really accept, to have peace in the heart with it. THAT is very difficult, i find.

    • #26209

      Sybe wrote: “anicca – in the end, we can maintain nothing the way we like – is not difficult to see or understand but it is very difficult to live with, to really accept, to have peace in the heart with it.”

      That is an important point.
      – It is easy to “express in words” what is anicca.
      – However, UNDERSTANDING is different.
      – If one really understood what is meant by anicca, one would “drop everything and work towards stopping the rebirth process.”

      One analogy that I can give pertains to smokers or drug addicts.
      – They have read enough things about how bad those activities are.
      – But they have not COMPREHENDED the consequences of such activities.

      I had a friend who smoked and he and I had many discussions where I tried to persuade him to stop smoking. He was well-educated and knew all about the dangers of smoking. But he thought somehow he would be able to bypass such bad consequences.
      – Later on, he had several surgeries to remove parts of his lungs. In the end, most of his lungs were gone and he was on oxygen. Then he died a miserable death.

      Another example from the Tipitaka is where Ven. Ananda told the Buddha that Paticca Samuppada was easy to understand. But the Buddha admonished that Ven. Ananda was nowhere close to such an understanding. Of course, later on Ven Ananda attained the Arahanthood after comprehending it better.

      By the way, Paticca Samuppada and Tilakkhana are inter-related.
      – The Buddha said that “one who understands Paticca Samuppada understands Buddha Dhamma.”
      – Therefore, it is a good idea to make sure one understands Paticca Samuppada.
      – In essence, Paticca Samuppada explains how one makes one’s own future rebirths in different realms.
      – This is why I am doing a systematic series of posts on that: “Paticca Samuppāda – Not ‘Self’ or ‘No-Self’

    • #26278

      Hi Lal,

      Thanks for the youtube link, it’s a good desana. When I googled Chaminda Tennakoon I didn’t find any info like websites and stuff related to him. Do you have more info on this person?


    • #26280

      Hello Aniduan,

      The following could be his youtube channel:
      Path to Nibbhana

      If not, let me know. I can check with him and find the right one.

    • #26323

      There is a reply from Chaminda (author of the video) to Sybe’s original question, under Sybe’s question.
      – I thought to mention that in case someone did not see that.

    • #26343

      I think ‘there is control’ is an extreme view and ‘there is no control at all’ also is an extreme view.

      Just because you can wash you teeth or workout it does not matter you have control over the body. You wash your teeth you can choke to death by doing that, what kind of control is that? Why people take steroids when working out? Because they do not have control over their body and “try” to fulfill “anatta” (and anicca which leads to dukkha). Just because you can act like it’s superpower. There is no control at all in terms of anatta. The only Atta is Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha which culminates into Nibbana.

      The subtle aspect “anatta” here is lack control in “controlling” the body or mind. Anicca is trying to control in that context to get fulfillment but if you follow Four Noble Truths obviously those things make no sense (you mentioned)

    • #26346

      If there would be no control at all, purification of mind would be impossible. We would have to follow any upcoming impulse. But we do not have to do that. We can practice satipatthana.
      There is some control over the mind and arising phenomena.

      Moreover, this control grows when the mind becomes more purified. A buddha can even transform his body, duplicate it, can travel, can transform in the elements etc.

    • #26354

      Sybe wrote: “If there would be no control at all, purification of mind would be impossible.”

      That is correct. But one needs to realize the following.
      – One gets “full control” only at the Arahant stage.
      – A moral person (without miccha ditthi) has some control.
      – That “limited control” become PERMANENT when one starts comprehending the anicca nature (that there is NOTHING in this world worth craving for). So, at the Sotapanna Anugami stage, one would NOT do “apayagami actions” even under strong temptations. A normal “moral person” is CAPABLE of doing “apayagami actions” under strong temptations. That is the key point.
      – Then as that Sotapanna Anugami makes more progress, he/she will get to higher stages via deeper comprehension of Tilakkhana. Then rebirths in the kama loka, rupa loka, and arupa loka will be stopped in that order. Rebirth process (and ANY suffering) will be over at the Arahant stage.

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