Root Cause of Anicca – Five Stages of a Sankata

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    • #21722

      In the post: Root Cause of Anicca – Five Stages of a Sankata, under #3 it is written:

      ‘In “sabbe sankhara anicca…..”, by sankhara what is meant is sankhara AND sankata, everything in this world except “namagotta”, which are just records of events.’

      1a) What about Buddhadhamma? The teachings of Buddha cannot be anicca too, can it? Thus would Buddhadhamma count as asankhara too, if there is such a word?

      1b) Even though knowledge of Buddhadhamma cannot be anicca, yet if we enter a period outside of the Buddha Sasana, for ordinary anariyans, they would fail to hold onto such knowledge. Could the arising and passing away of the knowledge of Buddhadhamma then be considered a sankata in the minds of anariyans, being that it might be connected to the sannakkhanda, sankharakkhandha and vinnanakkhanda of the anariyans?

      Furthermore, under #7, it is written: ‘Understanding these five stages of a sankata is the key to the anuloma nana, without which one cannot get to the sammatta nana, and eventually to Nibbana.’

      2) What does ‘sammatta nana’ mean?

      Thank you very much in advance for your responses to my questions.

    • #21742

      I just revised that post: “Root Cause of Anicca – Five Stages of a Sankata

      There were no major errors, just needed to be updated.

      firewns asked: “1a) What about Buddhadhamma? The teachings of Buddha cannot be anicca too, can it?”

      No. Buddha Dhamma does not belong to the sankhara category. It is NOT anicca. But it belongs to the dhamma category, and hence “anatta (or without substance) AT THE END, after one has attained the Arahanthood.
      – The Buddha said one needs to use Buddha Dhamma to get across the sansaric ocean. But just a raft is a burden to be carried after crossing a river, Buddha Dhamma also needs to be given up after attaining Nibbana.
      – Buddha Dhamma is also a part of this world. The Buddha DISCOVERED it.

      That should answer 1b) too. Once Buddha Dhamma disappears from the world, it is not known to the world until another Buddha appears and discovers it.

      “2) What does ‘sammatta nana’ mean?”

      It should really be ‘sammatta niyama’. I have given the following reference too:
      Sotapanna Anugami and a Sotapanna

    • #21748
      y not

      “Buddha Dhamma…belongs to the dhamma category, and hence “anatta (or without substance) AT THE END, after one has attained the Arahanthood”

      In my opinion a distinction should here be made about Buddhadhamma 1) in its absolute sense and scope and 2) in its relation to an individual being.

      Lal’s quote above refers to the second instance. That being so, yet Buddhadhamma applies for ever and everywhere in ‘this world’ (sansara), irrespective of whether a Buddha appears in any particular’10,000 world system’ to proclaim it. At all other times in that particular world system and in all others where the Dhamma is not being proclaimed, It exists in abeyance, as it were – unmanifest.

      What I mean is that the eternal laws of nature operate whether a Buddha proclaims them or not. In this sense, are they not Atta? – for ever and everywhere valid, albeit in sansara.

      I sense that this is what firewrns was referring to. Please correct me if I misread you, firewrns.


    • #21779

      This is a potentially confusing issue for me, but I will try to explain to the best of my ability what I meant before, and what I mean now. If my views are in error, please help me to correct my ignorance.

      Before, I had indeed thought that a distinction should be made between 1) the Buddhadhamma in its absolute sense and scope, and 2) a sentient being’s knowledge of it. But now I do not think it is necessary.

      Whether it is 1) or 2) as above, it is still anatta. In my opinion, as long as it applies to material or mental phenomena in infinite space or time or consciousness, it is still subject to conditions.

      For example, the links in paticca samuppada (which is the ultimate dhamma niyama) can operate only under suitable conditions, and cease to work for one when one escapes the conditioned to the unconditioned Nibbana.

      Anything that is bound to conditioned materiality or mentality cannot be atta, because it is subject to unexpected change (viparinama) while it is functioning or existing.

      Even if it seems to exist forever, it cannot be said to be atta, for it would be of no essence and would not be able to release us from suffering due to its inherent instability. This also applies to Buddhadhamma, when one has reached the Anagami stage, and would have to give up attachment to it to attain Nibbana.

      I hope this gives a clearer picture of my thoughts.

    • #21782

      firewns said: “For example, the links in paticca samuppada (which is the ultimate dhamma niyama) can operate only under suitable conditions,.”

      This is the key.
      – Those CONDITIONS are related to one’s mindset.
      – A more defiled mindset triggers many paticca samuppada (PS) cycles.
      Each PS cycle ends up in suffering.
      – As one purifies one’s mind (by engaging in true Anapana/Satipatthana), those CONDITIONS will slowly reduce and eventually cease to exist.
      – That is when one attains the Arahant stage. No more suffering after that.
      – But it is step-by-step process.

      That is a very brief summary.

      As I mentioned in the topic, “Akasa dhatu vs vinnana dhatu” a little while ago, the essential steps are in the “Essential Buddhism” subsection.

    • #21784

      Thanks Lal for your thoughts.

      It seems to me that we have to strive hard to stop attachment from doing dasa akusala and cultivating bad gathi at first, and then strive hard to do dasa kusala and cultivate good gathi.

      As beings’ asavas weaken and are eradicated, eventually they even come to realize the futility of being attached to doing good (for even kusala/punna kamma brings with it vipaka that has viparinama nature). Doing good just comes to them naturally, without prompting, and they do it without even a subtle bit of craving for rewards when they achieve Arahanthood. I guess this is the bodily part of what is meant by giving up attachment to the Buddhadhamma in order to attain Nibbana.

    • #21785

      firewns wrote: “I guess this is the bodily part of what is meant by giving up attachment to the Buddhadhamma in order to attain Nibbana.”

      That is right.
      “Attachment to Buddha Dhamma” is not a craving. It is “chanda”, one of the four iddhipada: chanda, citta, viriya, vimansa.

      That “chanda”, comes from understanding of the unfruitfulness (and dangers) in attachment to worldly things (thus extending the rebirth process, where most births are in the apayas).

      Now, some people confuse “chanda” with “kamaccandha”. The latter is one of the five hindrances (panca nivarana) that “cover the mind”.
      Kamaccandha is “kama” + icca + andha, or “blinded by attachment to sense pleasures”.

      Therefore, when one understands the key concepts of Buddha Dhamma, one’s mind will give up kamaccandha AND cultivate chanda (the desire to attain Nibbana and stop future suffering from arising).

    • #47335

      Hi, I’m trying to locate the article “Root Cause of Anicca – Five Stages of a Sankata”
      However, when I try the website, it gives me a search error.  please advise.  

      Thank you again for everything, lal and hela dhamma team/sangha.  I think I need to download an offline copy of this website in case I can’t find articles.


    • #47338

      Hello lodonyo,

      I deleted that post some time back.

      • There are only three stages of a sankhata: arising (uppada),  staying for some time while undergoing change (tithi), and dissolution/destruction (bhanga.)
      • Anything in this world is a sankhata. Any sankhata has the above three properties. That holds for a star like our Sun, Earth, anything on Earth, or even a single citta (loosely translated as a “thought”). 

      Once in a while, I delete or rewrite some posts. Unless a post is deleted, it should be available in the most recent version. If you cannot find one, please ask at the forum as you did.

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