Author Topic: How are sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & despair produced?  (Read 1212 times)

Offline Issa

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Saṃyutta Nikāya 22

Connected Discourses on the Aggregates

43. With Yourselves as an Island

At Savatthi. “Bhikkhus, dwell with yourselves as an island, with yourselves as a refuge, with no other refuge; with the Dhamma as an island, with the Dhamma as a refuge, with no other refuge. When you dwell with yourselves as an island, with yourselves as a refuge, with no other refuge; with the Dhamma as an island, with the Dhamma as a refuge, with no other refuge, the basis itself should be investigated thus: ‘From what are sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair born? How are they produced?’

“And, bhikkhus, from what are sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair born? How are they produced? Here, bhikkhus, the uninstructed worldling, who is not a seer of the noble ones and is unskilled and undisciplined in their Dhamma, who is not a seer of superior persons and is unskilled and undisciplined in their Dhamma, regards form as self, or self as possessing form, or form as in self, or self as in form. That form of his changes and alters. With the change and alteration of form, there arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair.

“He regards feeling as self … perception as self … volitional formations as self … consciousness as self, or self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in self, or self as in consciousness.  That consciousness of his changes and alters. With the change and alteration of consciousness, there arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair.

“But, bhikkhus, when one has understood the impermanence of form, its change, fading away, and cessation, and when one sees as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘In the past and also now all form is impermanent, unsatisfactory, and subject to change,’ then sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair are abandoned. With their abandonment, one does not become agitated. Being unagitated, one dwells happily. A bhikkhu who dwells happily is said to be quenched in that respect.

“When one has understood the impermanence of feeling … of perception … of volitional formations … of consciousness, its change, fading away, and cessation, and when one sees as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘In the past and also now all consciousness is impermanent, unsatisfactory, and subject to change,’ then sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair are abandoned. With their abandonment, one does not become agitated. Being unagitated, one dwells happily. A bhikkhu who dwells happily is said to be quenched in that respect.”

http://suttacentral.net/en/sn22.43


 :buddha:

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: How are sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & despair produced?
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2014, 04:30:38 am »
What this means is that taking our body and mental activity (form, feeling, perception, formations and sense consciousness) to be our self causes suffering (sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair).  Why?  Because they are impermanent.

It does not necessarily mean that there is no self.  It just means our body and it's mental activity are not fit to be regarded as self for the very reason that they are subject to change, dissolution and death.

Offline von bek

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Re: How are sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & despair produced?
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2014, 09:53:00 am »
No self in the aggregates. No self beyond the aggregates.

All conditioned things are impermanent.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 09:55:25 am by von bek »
Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Samma-Sambuddhassa

Offline Issa

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Re: How are sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & despair produced?
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2014, 01:24:47 pm »

It does not necessarily mean that there is no self.

Is the 'self' outside of the five aggregates? If not, is the idea of 'self' related to one the aggregates?


« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 01:28:03 pm by Issa »

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: How are sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & despair produced?
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2014, 11:05:55 pm »

It does not necessarily mean that there is no self.


Is the 'self' outside of the five aggregates? If not, is the idea of 'self' related to one the aggregates?


Here's what the Buddha says:

Quote
Were form self, then:
1.  This form would not lead to affliction, and
2.  One could have it of form: 'Let my form be thus, let my form be not thus.'

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.059.nymo.html


So if something is self, then:

1.  It would not lead to dukkha/affliction.
2.  You would have absolute power of that domain to the point where you can say of it - let it be like this and not like that.

If you think about it, it makes sense - because anything that is really you - you would have absolute, natural, inherent control over it.  And if something is not you - then of course you can't control it, e.g., the trees are not you - so that's how you know that the trees are not self.

Problem comes to our body and mental processes - we usually assume that these are our self because we have partial control over them (but not full, naturally, absolute control over them).  So we assume that our body and our thinking are us.  But they do not satisfy the Buddha's 2 criteria for self because:

1.  The body leads to the affliction of pain
2.  You can't say of the body - let it not get sick, let it not get old, let it not die - because it still will.

You can apply the same method of reflection of the rest of the 5 skandhas/aggregates.

The key point is that:

1.  Self is not in anything compounded or created or that is born.  Because anything compounded or created will undergo impermanence - namely change disintegration, destruction and death.  And when the decay and destruction/death occur - that's when suffering occurs.

2.  Since all the aggregates are compounded - they will all undergo decay and destruction - so they are not fit to be regarded as self.  In fact, anything impermanent is not worthy to be regarded as self.

From the same Sutta:
Quote

"Now is what is impermanent, what is painful since subject to change, fit to be regarded thus: 'This is mine, this is I, this is my self'"? — "No, venerable sir."
« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 11:16:08 pm by Optimus Prime »

Offline Issa

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Re: How are sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & despair produced?
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2014, 12:57:18 am »

1.  Self is not in anything compounded or created or that is born.  Because anything compounded or created will undergo impermanence - namely change disintegration, destruction and death.  And when the decay and destruction/death occur - that's when suffering occurs.
Thanks. But I have never heard before that in Buddhism (rather than in Hinduism) that the idea of 'self' is not in anything compounded or not something born. I read Nibbana is unborn but I also read in SN 22.81 that 'self' is a mental formation (sankhara) that is 'born'. Maybe you can look it up.

Regards.  :namaste:

Offline NepalianBuddhist

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Re: How are sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & despair produced?
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2014, 02:50:04 am »
I think its either/or dukkha of humanity or human nature.

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: How are sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & despair produced?
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2014, 01:31:15 am »
But I have never heard before that in Buddhism (rather than in Hinduism) that the idea of 'self' is not in anything compounded

Well, you've got to ask yourself is something compounded permanent or impermanent?

 


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