15. The All and Desire

15. The All and Desire

By Venerable Amatha Gavesi

Dated: 1994

Venerable Bhikkhus, brothers and sisters, Buddha said, this is everything. What is everything?  Your eyes, your ears, your nose, your tongue, your body and your mind, this is everything.  And Buddha further said if there is any person who says that there is more than these in this world, he said it is just careless use of words only. Because there is nothing beyond this in the world, that is your eyes, your nose, your ears, your tongue, your body and mind. I think we have explained the part played by these 6 sense bases to you earlier. The experience you go through them in the way of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, contacting and thinking are all that you can do.  And if I ask a question, is there anything more than that in this world? Anything more than what you see? Anything more than what you hear? Anything more than what you smell? Anything more than what you taste? Anything more than what you contact through your body? And anything more than thinking? There is nothing more than that in this world. If you say there is something else in this world, well it should be something that your eyes and other sense bases should observe. If there is nothing to observe beyond that, then nothing in this world other than these and this is everything.

Let us take the 2 aspects, this is everything in the worldly way and this is everything also in regard to your attainment of Nibbana. In the worldly way, you live in the world using your eyes, your nose, your ears, your tongue, your body and your mind. You make use of these things, you commit acts through these sense bases and that is your life as a worldling. That is all that you can do and also this compose the world that has been created by you. There is nothing beyond what these 6 sense bases have contributed to create this world by you and you live in that world. So we go deep into that aspect, who create this world around you in the way of seeing, smelling, tasting, contacting and thinking? Your thought! Your thought creates this world around you, nothing else. If that thought arises in you, then we can say you are the creator of this world because it is the thought that enables you to see, enables you to hear, enables you to smell, enables you to taste, enables you to contact and enables you to think. These are the 6 things that your thoughts create for you. If these 6 things are the composition of the world around you, then it is your thought that has created the world. Nothing but your thought, understand this clearly.

Then who is the creator of the world? You! Well, this world you create right around you. All that you see, all that you hear, all that you smell, all that you taste, all that you contact, all that you think. That is the composition of the world you have created around you. Therefore we are safe to say that each of you are a world created by yourself not by anybody else. The world around you therefore it is what you think of.  Is that all you possess? Is that all that you have? That is all you possessed. Now this world has misled you completely. It has attracted your eye, it has attracted your experience through the nose, experience through the ears in the way of sounds and noises. It also has misled you in the way of experiences through the other sense bases.  Realistically, what are they? All that you have contacted through your eyes, all the noises that you have contacted through your ears, all the  smell that you have contacted through your nose, then all the taste that you have experience through the tongue and all the contacts that you had with your body and all the thinking that you had done, what are they? Your creations.  Why do I say your creations?  Because it is your thinking that has created them, it’s your thought. The fact remains that you have created the world around you.  Ask the question; is that a realistic true world? You can yourself solve that question find an answer to that question, is what your thought has created, is it a true world?  If it is a true world, then there is no change taking place in that world. But the fact remains that none of these objects that attracted your sense bases remain the same. There’s a constant change going on, very fast swift change in everything. But can your eye see that change, can your nose observe the inner smells the change going on, can your ear detected that change, can your tongue knows there is a change going on because a taste is but not realistically, why because you accept that taste remains to be there. So are the other experience you gain through your body and mind. So you have create the permanent world around you which no change taking place in all that you experience through your 6 sense bases but realistically and even the scientist of today admit the fact there is not one object that has attracted your sense base remains the same. They are constantly changing at a very very fast speed. So you can challenge yourself, am I seeing the truth or am I seeing something deceptive? You have to admit that you are seeing something deceptive. Then you ask the question, as I see things that are attractive to me, therefore I create a liking for them. But if I see the truth as scientist proved and all Buddha said as impermanent everything in this world, if that I observe with my 6 sense bases, would I have this attraction towards them? No! You will not.  Then you will see a mass of gas changing from one condition to another and no specific object with the shape and form and colour to be seen by you. Then what can you see, you can’t see change all over. Even your body is changing, everything is changing, one mass of gas. Isn’t that scientists have seen with their eyes when they observe something carefully through a microscope. Therefore are you living in truth or are you living in a false creation by your mind? You are living in a false creation by your mind. This creation only shows you something permanent, something not changing. This creation shows you that there is something substantial in everything I see around. A leaf in its proper form, it has its colour, that colour remains and that leaf remains there. You see a flower, the flower is there, it has a colour, it has a beautiful attractive appearance, everything is there. No change I can see any of these things. And that is what you observe realistically or unrealistically. Realistically if you carefully see, all these are constantly changing at a terrific speed, therefore they are impermanent. And that’s a fact that Buddha realized and taught you. Scientists have also accepted that. So if everything around you is, all the objects are constantly changing and subjected to truth, constant movement. Would you call this world which your eyes, ears, nose, body and mind has created true world or a deception? Mind you, Buddha said so that everything is subjected to change and impermanent.  But scientists have proved that there is nothing substantial. Scientists have proved that you can’t touch a thing twice in the same condition. You can’t touch a thing twice at the same spot. You can’t hold anything like that as physical object because there is nothing to hold, it is a mass of gas. That’s what the scientists have proved and that is the truth. And that’s what Buddha said, everything is constantly changing, impermanent.

So my dear brothers and sisters, do you accept what is shown by your eye, will you accept what is shown by your ear? Will you accept what is displayed by you by the nose in the way of smell? Do you accept these experiences gained though the 6 sense bases when the scientists have proved that nothing substantial in any of these things?  There is one mass of gas right round in every aspect because constant changes are going on everywhere and every aspect. And Buddha has 2600 years ago said that everything is impermanent in this world.  So that is the thing that you have to think carefully. You have accepted these things so far though you have listened to so many discourses given here showing you clearly these changes taking place in every object existing in this world and you because Buddha said so therefore you also say yes.  But I am asking you sincerely, have you ever noticed these things with any of your equipment? No!  That is why Buddha said the truth remain that their constantly changing but how can you educated yourself in the truth. And Buddha has shown you the path to educate yourself in the truth. And his path is developed virtue in you, based on virtue, developed your concentration so that your mind will be sharp enough to understand sharp changes taking place in the world around you, that is concentration. And after that, the realistic aspect of the world is always constantly changing, impermanent. You live in that, meditate on that so that you in worldly develop a sense of impermanence in everything around you. You are not deceived by the eye, the eye doesn’t show that. The eye shows you something permanent but you know the truth is impermanent. Though the eye is deceiving you, but you are not going to believe that eye but you realistically understand that everything is impermanent. Therefore the deception created by the eye cannot mislead you. The deception created by your ear cannot mislead you. The deception created by your nose cannot mislead you. The deception created by your tongue cannot mislead you, body cannot mislead you, thinking cannot mislead you because you have educated yourself in the truth and planted that truth well and truly in your mind. What is that truth that you have planted?  Impermanence, everything is impermanent.  You have lived so long in deception, having created a permanent world around you when there is nothing permanent, everything is impermanent. You accepted this creation around you and you have lived in deception, now you are realizing truth is different. Truth is that there is nothing permanent in this world, everything is constantly changing. And now I have realized that I made a mistake and I have educated my mind to see things in that light. What happened to you when you believe this world? What happened to you when you accepted things which your eye as they show you? What happened to you when you accepted things that you experience through your ears, your nose, your tongue, your body and mind? You created liking for those which appeal to you and you create a dislike for those which did not appeal to you. Isn’t that a natural outcome? If you see something beautiful, you like it. If you see something not attractive or something which disturb you because it didn’t appeal to you, dislike it. Therefore you create an aversion to it and this deception that has created in your mind by this world has led you to create this so call desire in you. This desire in you is created by the deception caused by your 6 sense bases.

Desire is created through these 6 sense bases. Desire is created by the mind and the mind create thoughts connected to the 6 sense bases. So your entire problem as devotees trying to find the way out of the so call suffering which has been caused by desire is that you have not realized the true state of things around you. You can well imagine the deception you are in. You also can imagine the state of your mind in believing in something false. You can also well imagine the past you have led having believed these things as they are shown to you and where have you gone in the past?  In the wrong way. What is the wrong way? To continue this so call deceptive life over and over again. The deceptive life, I say deceptive because the bases that are provided to you to experience things outside you completely misled you by showing you something not true. By showing something completely false, fabricated. And who did that? Your sense bases. And who helped you? This mind of yours. Now you have realized the truth, now you are going to turn the other way, so far you have accepted this is all. And in that this is all, you have accepted that all that one can provide you are the 6 sense bases and they have provided you enough. And with their contribution, you have created the world which is a deception. Having realized this deception, now you are making an effort to get out of this.  Why did your eye create the desire?  Because you believe in what the eye showed you and create an attraction to that object and pursued that and enjoy it and create a desire, similarly in respect to other cases also. The nose, the tongue, the body and mind and all that has created a false picture before you, you believe those pictures, you pursued them and you enjoyed them, thinking that what you are doing is the correct thing. Because your eyes, your ears, your nose, your tongue, your body and mind are all created for the world, created for the world of deception, not truth. And you in your innocence fell into that trap and who is your leader now? Mara is the evil one is the leader leading you here and there and everywhere. And you have believed in his creations, in his deception and got completely misled. The result is now that you have believed in these things, you have created a great desire in you which is the cause of birth after birth in this cycle of birth and death. And Buddha who realized this situation showed you a path how you would get out of it. And that path is Virtue, Samadhi and Wisdom.  

Virtue we observe our activities, bodily and our expressions physically. We are careful not to commit anything wrong to harm another. In regard to your virtues, you are aware, satisfied if you observe the 5 precepts. Those are conditions you laid down upon yourself taking a promise that you will conduct yourself in conformity with these conditions laid down. Then this mind of yours have been misled completely by deceptions created all around us. And the ear, the nose, the tongue, the body, the mind, they have contributed to create thoughts led by the deception which are the subject matters of attraction to those sense bases. The world has deceived you with one purpose that is to make you to continue to live in the world, not to part from this world. May we figurative to say it’s Mara’s work. The evil one is doing this for us.  But can the evil one do it if you are doing it when you are responsible for all your activities?  It’s time for us to realize this truth.  There is no necessity further to believe what the atmosphere around you shows you in the way of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting things because they completely show you a deception and make you believe in that deception as something permanent, something satisfactory and something continuing. When in truth, Buddhas are born this Earth periodically and they say we reveal 3 realities in life and that is impermanence, unsatisfactory nature of things and the soullessness. Now you have become a little educated, understood your mistake and now you are struggling to get out of this. Basically, you develop your virtue and you have tried now here while being here and there in Singapore to develop your mind in concentration because a concentrated mind is the mind that can see these things through. Otherwise, with your ordinary mind you accept things on the surface, it has no power to go deep into an aspect and then realize what is within. Therefore you are developing your mind to that state of sharpness so that the mind can show you much more than what is found on the surface. And the wisdom that you have to develop through that mind is impermanence, unsatisfactory nature of things and the soullessness.

Now you are developing that and what did you do with this development?  You deal again with the 6 sense bases in the production of sankhara. You now know that every sankhara that is produced or every let’s say formation which is a product of the 6 sense bases, every formation is not a creation by anybody outside, it is your creation. You created a formation, believe in that everything is permanent, everything is satisfactory, everything is continue to exist, that’s the false belief you have. Therefore you created formations through your eye, formations through your nose, formations through your tongue, formations through your ear, formations through your body, formations through your thinking.  Ask the question if you created those formations completely banking on what your eye has shown you or the other sense bases has directly shown you, have you done the correct thing?  No! Because none of these sense bases are capable of showing you the truth. They themselves have been created to mislead you by showing you the false aspect of things. You believe them naturally, they are your equipment. Therefore you are guided by these equipment and you believe them. There is one about  there’s a great teacher who has taught us the path or shown us the path, he reveals to us that what your eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and the mind have taught you are all false, deceptive. And what is realistic is all those objects that attract these 6 sense bases are impermanent, unsatisfactory and soulless. Now, revise your opinions about all that you observe in this world, everything in this world is impermanent, unsatisfactory and soulless. What you see is also same thing, a deception. What you hear is also a deception. What you smell is also a deception. What you experience as taste also a deception. What you contact is also a deception. What you think is also a deception. In the past you thought all those were true. In the past having accepted those things as true you create an attraction to them, you liked them. And where there was a dislike, you create an aversion to that dislike. It’s attraction that help you to create the attachment to them and also the sudden occasion when you create an aversion to them. Both these contributed to creation of desire. In other words, if I briefly say so, the deception created through your 6 sense bases, you are completely misled. You believe in them, as a result you created desire in you.

Now Buddha has taught you the 3 realities of life, impermanence, unsatisfactory nature of things and soullessness, you now accepted that on the face value of it. You practiced it by developing your mind to a higher state, transcend the mind to a higher state and through the sharpness in the mind, you examine each of these conditions impermanence, unsatisfactory nature of things and the soullessness and you begin to see the truth. In the same way Buddha saw the truth, you also will one day see the truth. Buddha saw the truth on his own effort but you are seeing the truth through the Dhamma way. Therefore Buddha is sammasambuddha, you will be an ordinary Buddha when you realized the truth.

And what is the truth that you are going to realize? Everything in this world around you is impermanent, unsatisfactory and soulless, isn’t that all? In the other way, all that you possess was the worldly way and that is the 6 sense base activities and you believe that, that is the first acceptance of everything in this world. Now you turn the other way, having realized that you have made a mistake, having realized that you have been misled by the six sense bases and having realized that there is truth in what Buddha has taught you and you practiced this truth and realized for yourself that everything in this world is impermanent, unsatisfactory and soulless.

What is the outcome of that attitude of yours?  You will not create desire. You will not create desire after that.  Desire for what? Desire to see things and enjoy things. Desire to smell things and enjoy. Desire to hear things and enjoy. Desire to taste things and enjoy. Desire to contact things and enjoy. Desire to think desirable things. That is the desire you created because you accepted all the false of the 6 sense bases displayed to you which contributed to the creation of the world around you and you believe the world, you live in that world. You pursue those experiences you gained through these 6 sense bases as true and the result was this desire which has been created in your mind as a result of your foolishness. If you were sharp, if you understood the truth that the world is impermanent, unsatisfactory and soulless, you will never create a liking for the one you see, you will never create a liking for those that you experience things as smell. You will never create a liking for the musical notes one produces which are attracted to sense bases but you know that all those are impermanent, unsatisfactory and soulless. Similarly other experiences you gain through the six sense bases. Now you are on the right track, now you are seeing everything in the right way.  What is the right ways you see everything? Everything in this world is impermanent, unsatisfactory and soulless.  When by pursuing that, that intelligent approach, will you again create desire for anything? You will not create desire for what you see, you will never create a desire for what you hear, you will never create a desire for what you taste, you will never create a desire for what you smell, the various smells that you experienced in the past, you created the desire. Now you don’t create the desire because you know that those things are all impermanent, unsatisfactory and soulless. You also will not create a desire for various types of taste that you pursued for sometime ago as something substantial, something you like to enjoy and live but now you see all that was a deception created in your mind. As a result of that realization, now you don’t pursue taste, you don’t pursue contact also and you don’t pursue thinking of these things and creating a world of your own and live in deception. That is all. What is all? Your 6 sense bases.

Your 6 sense bases are all for you to continue a life in this worldly way and suffer. The six sense bases highly understood by you have rejected this so call desire which you ignorantly created in your mind as something very very helpful to you to enjoy life. Now you know that it is one of the worst things that you have done and you effort realistically understand in the production of 6 sense bases, you have dispelled that desire as unnecessary. And what has resulted in you if you dispel desire?  There is no grasping. Grasping of what?  The 5 grasping groups which create that false notion in you that there is a being in you, that’s a false notion. Now you have released that. It is these 5 things put together and firmly built up as a being within you that has created this desire to become, become at your death you like to become again, you aspire to become again, you don’t want to end your life in that manner because it is that deception, that taste of the deception created by the 6 sense bases you thought that the world once upon a time and that deceptive world has created the great desire in you to exist, exist, exist, not to die and pass away and not to be born again, you didn’t like that. But now having realized the truth, seeing things, realizing what they are, their true nature as impermanent, unsatisfactory and soullessness you now know that you have fell into a serious difficulty in the past and Buddha has ultimately saved you and make you to see the truth and realize who you are and the life you led was a life of deception. And with this realization dawning into you, you shunned the becoming, I don’t want to become, becoming is a result of a fictitious creation in you.  Now you see the truth, you see the true nature of yourself, that this is all impermanent, unsatisfactory and soulless. So would you like to have a repetition of this again which are completely deceptive and deceived you right throughout in the past? It is with after much effort, after much development of let us say virtue, concentration and wisdom that you have realized the truth. Having realized the truth, would you grasp again the false fictitious notion created by you as somebody living in this world? There is no one living in this world, you realized now. This so call deception as somebody living in this world with this 6 sense bases at his dispose to enjoy is all false creation. And you do not want to become again. If you become again, you are in for another birth, rebirth. We call that rebirth, that is not a correct term to be used to be born again. You lead life again and start again the deceptive enjoyment you were subject to in the past.

Now you are giving up; giving up what you see as deception; giving up what you heard as deception;

giving up all that you experiencing through your nose as smell all deception; giving up all that you have experienced through your tongue as taste, deception; giving up all that you have experienced through your body as a result of contact, deception; all that your mind could have created in you all that is deception now. Why do you call that deception? Because all these things are impermanent, unsatisfactory and soulless. You gave away to these things considering them to be permanent, satisfactory and enjoyable, existing for a length of time without a change at all, that’s what your eyes show you, that’s what you nose make you to experience, that’s what your ear make you to experience, that’s what the other sense bases make you to experience. You were misled in the past, now you have realized the truth and you are leading your mind now in the correct way in seeing that these 6 sense bases are everything in this world, everything in this world for you to foolishly to continuing in this world as a being. Everything in this world for you to give up these things and finally end your continuity in samsara and gain your liberation, Nibbana. This is everything for us.

If you rightly see through these everything that you possess, then you will not get misled. You will go the right way and end up this everything that has created all this mess to you. On the other hand, if you see them again the same old way you did, that all these created are really your creations and they are substantial, they are of value and they are permanent, they are existing, well again you are getting misled and ultimately there will be another birth. Bear in mind this fact, now all these indicate to you a clear aspect of thinking.  What is that? All these are based on the proper analysis Buddha made about you, in what Dhamma?  In the Dependent Origination. He analyzed all your activities carefully, he gave thought to find out who you were, who we were, who himself was and he realized who he was and who the others were and in that realization, he truly laid down how you are misled completely as a result of the deception created in you and committed all kinds of activities through the 6 sense bases thereby producing consciousness and this aspect of mind and matter, 6 sense bases did that. This very activity of these 6 sense bases ultimately make you to create a desire for each of the experience you gain through them, that is desire. Because you wrongly foolishly assessed the value of each of the contribution by the 6 sense bases, based on the foundation that experience is permanent, satisfactory and continuing when in truth and in fact all those experiences are impermanent, unsatisfactory and soulless.

So now you can find out for yourself, we made a wrong assessment, we believed in that assessment, we accepted that assessment and lived so far on that assessment we have made. Now we begin to realize the true assessment; all this world has created all around us all objects are impermanent, unsatisfactory and soulless. In considering those around you, this entire world, composition of the entire world as something impermanent, you have given the right value to it whereas previously you gave a wrong value, permanent. In considering such experiences as not substantial, we gave the right value to it. But in previously when you lived as an ordinary being, you gave the value as something substantial, something to your benefit, something to your gain. Then you gave false values again of continuity and now you find it is not so, there is nothing continuous, everything is moment to moment changing from one condition to another. Therefore there is nothing substantial in all these activities. This truth must dawn to you.  How does the truth dawn to you? Not by listening, listening alone will not help you to create the truth to understand the truth. What you should do is, now I have placed before you certain facts, some of which need clarification further by you in your own way. Some of these, some of the substances of the talk I gave you today need further consideration by you in your own way by making use of your mind thinking about them.  And that such thought will ultimately help you to overcome certain aspects of what you heard which you found difficult to understand. Now you see that things are coming into proper shape and form. This is what is happening, I couldn’t understand that point there, now I have realized that point as this. And that is the thing, your thinking that will help you ultimately for the wisdom to dawn to you.

Buddha says I became a Buddha because I thought well. If I did not think I would not have been a Buddha.  In the same way, you have before you substance to think, don’t accept them because I said so. I am also saying things because Buddha said so, but I also have thought about these things and realized for myself what they are. Therefore my experience on these things are bigger than your experience because you are just hearing things as they are. Give thought to them in a quiet place somewhere, sit down and think what is this world which I live in, is it a true world? According to my view, according to what the sense bases experiences they show me, they display to me, I find no change in any of these things. I say I see the same thing over and over again, hundred times you look at it, no change at all I observe, but is that the truth?  That is not the truth. Let us keep aside what Buddha has preached, take what science has proved today, science has proved that there is nothing permanent in this world, everything is subject to change. Accept that.  If you need further clarification, go to the laboratory and then try to analyze some of these particles yourself through a microscope. Then you will realize yourself what the scientists say is true. There is no purpose for them to mislead us. They speak the truth whether you accept it or not and they have proved what Buddha said 2600 years ago that everything is subject to constant change in this world. Therefore you accept with your eyes an object because there is no change at all. You see so and so there, I see no change in him, his figures are still there, his shape and form and colour all that remains. But there is a vast change going on which my eyes cannot see. The change is true, now I am accepted things on the surface without observing the change.  Therefore if you challenge yourself, am I seeing the truth or is the realistic the truth? The realistic aspect of the truth because my eyes are not equipped with that extent of seeing changes taking place moment to moment in you. Am I to believe these eyes? No! I have to accept my eyes are weak, it cannot record a change like that. Also if these things are shown in the true way realistically, you will never be living in this world. World is created for you to exist, world is created for you to prolong your life here. World is created so attractive so that you create an attraction to the world and live and enjoy the benefits of such attraction though they are deceptive. That’s not the permanent feature of all these item that I see, their permanent feature is constant change but I see a shape and a form and a colour and a beauty in that. That is the deception created in me, you believe in that deception, you lived in that deception and carry on your life, world forever and ever and ever subjecting yourself to constant suffering.

Now our objective is to get out of this world as early as possible because this world is not a suitable place to live because all around you is misleading. Everything that you observe through the 6 sense bases are showing you a complete false standard, false value, false creation. Complete fabrication by the mind and you shall not prolong your life in this world. As early as possible, realistically, understand the truth and get out of this world. Therefore now you can understand this is all to continuing in this world with the 6 sense bases accepting the display they give you as true. This is all on the other side challenging that experiences you gain through the 6 sense bases as impermanent, unsatisfactory and soulless and accept that. And when you accept this side the false view, you continue to live in this world forever ever and ever and suffer. If you accept the realistic aspect of things that everything is impermanent, subject to constant change and nothing substantial, then you are going to end this existence of yours which is completely a fabrication by the mind and then disappear forever, living in complete rest, undisturbed in the realization of Nibbana.

Thank you very much. That is all.






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