Tilakkhana – English Discourses

February 3, 2018; revised February 11, 2020; July 28, 2022 (note on Discourse 4)

Tilakkhana or Three Marks of Existence or Three Characteristics of Nature (anicca, dukkha, anatta) are discussed in detail in a series of five discourses. These are based on the first two suttā (Dhammacakka Pavattana Sutta and the Anatta Lakkhana Sutta) that the Buddha delivered to the five ascetics right after attaining Enlightenment.

  • Only an essential outline is provided in these discourses. There will be five topics (for each discourse) in the “discussion forum” under the forum Three Marks of Existence Discourses, where one can ask any questions/ express opinions.
  • No question is too simple or too hard. We can find more details in other suttā or in Abhidhamma.
  • However, these discourses are not recommended for those who are not familiar with basic concepts in Buddha Dhamma. They might get discouraged. They may want to first get familiar with the basic concepts in “Moral Living and Fundamentals“, “Working Towards Good Rebirths“, and “Bhāvanā (Meditation)” sections.
  • In-Depth analysis at, “Origin of Life.”

Discourse 1 – Nicca, Sukha, Atta (Before understanding anicca, dukkha, anatta, it is necessary to understand the opposites).

Key Relevant Posts:

What is Kamma? – Is Everything Determined by Kamma?

Could Bodily Pain Be Due to Causes Other Than Kamma Vipaka?

Saññā – What It Really Means

Paṭicca Samuppāda – “Pati+ichcha”+”Sama+uppāda

Bhava and Bhavaṅga – Simply Explained!


Discourse 2 – Icca, Nicca, Anicca (February 10, 2018)

Key Relevant Posts:

How to Cultivate the Anicca Saññā – II

Correct Meaning of Vacī Sankhāra

Viññāna – What It Really Means

What are rūpa? – Dhamma are rūpa too!

What is Intention in Kamma?


Discourse 3 – Distorted Perceptions or Saññā Vipallāsa (February 19, 2018)

Key Relevant Posts:

Micca Diṭṭhi, Gandhabba, and Sotāpanna Stage


Discourse 4 – Sakkaya Diṭṭhi – What is “a Person”? (February 27, 2018)

Note:  @34:00 minutes, I said, “Immoral deeds or dasa akusala are done with apuññābhisaṅkhāra or bad thoughts in our minds. Good deeds or kusala kamma are done with puññābhisaṅkhāra.”

  • That should be corrected as, “Immoral deeds or dasa akusala are done with apuññābhisaṅkhāra or bad thoughts in our minds. Good deeds (or puññābhisaṅkhāra) done with the comprehension of the Four Noble Truths/Paṭicca Samuppāda/Tilakkhana become kusala kamma due to that understanding.”
  • See, “Kusala and Akusala Kamma, Puñña and Pāpa Kamma” for a detailed explanation.

Key Relevant Posts:

Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

Udayavaya Nana

What is “San”? Meaning of Sansāra (or Saṃsāra)

Bhūta and Yathābhūta – What Do They Really Mean


Discourse 5 – Tilakkhana and Micca Diṭṭhi (March 2, 2018)

Key Relevant Posts:

Mahā Cattārisaka Sutta (Discourse on the Great Forty)

What are rūpa? – Dhammā are rūpa too!

Anidassana Viññāṇa – What It Really Means

Sankhāra – What It Really Means

Our Two Worlds : Material and Mental

Pabhassara Citta, Radiant Mind, and Bhavaṅga

Nāma & Rūpa to Nāmarūpa

This concludes the series of discourses on Tilakkhana.

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