13. The Four Noble Truths Are Within & Desire

13. The Four Noble Truths Are Within & Desire

By Venerable Amatha Gavesi

Dated: Year 1994

Venerable Bhikkhus, Brothers and Sisters, the subject of the discourse today is in the phantom of body you possess and the consciousness there lies suffering. In the phantom of body and consciousness you possess, there lies the cause of suffering. In the phantom of body and consciousness you possess there lies the cessation of suffering. In the phantom of the body and consciousness you possess, there lies the path leading to the cessation of suffering. This clearly indicate, Brothers and Sisters, that you need not go anywhere, to find out the cause of your suffering, the exact suffering the cause of suffering and how one should end the suffering and the path leading to the suffering, all that is in you. When we speak of Dhamma, listen to Dhamma, they think that Dhamma is away from us, out of us. But all that, we are struggling to achieve is within us. That is why I always say that you are undoing what you have done to yourself. You have done wrong to yourself. As a result you are suffering, as a result you are subject to births, birth after birth, the cycle of births. Why? Because you have not conducted yourself in a manner where you could have avoid this suffering. And the other thing is, if the cause is within you, then you can easily get out of it.  

Buddha says I showed you a path leading to your liberation, but I cannot liberate you because you created the situation for yourself. And the situation I have created is quite different the situation he has created, and quite different situation each one of you have created. In my own way I have created situation where I am now suffering. Each of us are suffering, subject to sickness and the sickness is independent to yourself. So sickness that you are suffering from can be only cured by somebody who can give you the medicine & cure it. Any other person drinking it, or prescribe the medicine to another person, that does not help you. You have to consume the medicine and cure your sickness yourself. Why? Because the sickness is pertaining to each one of you and you have created it yourself within you.  Therefore the specific action you should take in order to get rid of this sickness is the action you should take and more suitable to you. That is something which you must bear in mind. That is why Buddha said in this phantom of body and mind lies the suffering. In this phantom of body and mind lies the cause of suffering, in this phantom of body and mind lies the cessation of suffering, and in this phantom of body and mind lies the path leading to the cessation of suffering. All this clearly indicate that it is something concerning each one of us.

Then the question one should ask is – who subjected yourself to suffering? It is not an outside force, you yourself has created that situation for yourself and every one of us independently has created the situation independent to each other. That is why Buddha says – Be a light unto yourself. Don’t seek refuge from outside because no person outside can help you to get out of this trouble. That is something which you must bear in mind. Therefore effort must come through us to put things right in ourselves. We should not be concern about others. Till such time your sickness is cured by yourself. After curing certainly go to the assistance of others and have compassion towards everybody. Until such time you cure the sickness within you created by you, you have to make the effort yourself.

What is the sickness that you created? You as a human being use the 6 senses bases to commit Sankhara, cause & effect. Its consciousness is gifted to you for that purposes. But you did something wrong there and it is that commitment on your part that create the sickness in you. Example, you saw with your eye an object, a visual object and what did you do after that? You created an attachment to that object, producing thoughts when that object appeal to you and if that object does not appeal to you, you created an aversion to the object.  This unnecessary creation of thoughts & falling into these 2 extremes that lead to the cause of your suffering. Are you the sufferer? There is no sufferer but there’s suffering. It’s the phantom of a body and the mind, there is suffering. Who is there in that phantom of body and mind? There’s no being. There is only mind and matter. Who commit acts? No one commit acts. The body commit acts as directed by the mind. There is no author to such activity, they are all causally created. But you did not have the right understanding of the situation and that resulted in creating wrong impression of your activities. That you and the author of the activities committed these acts and that became a strong belief in you. Who is this author? The author is the owner of this person, this body. He is the person. That’s again a mental creation. You live in this creation you created this person in you and you believe in him. And you committed the acts which are normally causally created but having a false view that the so call being within you committed these acts. Therefore if your phantom of body and mind suffer from something, it’s not you who suffer, it is the body and the mind that suffer for the acts the body and mind committed. Because in that body and mind there is no person as such. Then we ask the question who created this idea of a person in you? The very mental energy or consciousness that created that.

The other interesting to find out why did it create that false impression in you? To enable you to perceive in his world. That object to the creation of the body, that object to the creation of the mind perceive in our own world. With the false view that you are the being who is perpetrating these activities. When in fact and in truth, they are all causally created. That there is no being within you who can claim that ownership to these activities, but in your own impression you created that and you live in it, and you promoted it. So now all your activities are committed by you as ‘You’ is a term referring to this person in you. In there, there is no person in you and in fact there is no person who created this person in you. The mind created this person in you. And now this person commit acts, in three ways he can express certain things, he can think certain things, he can commit acts with his body, all those are sankhara. All causally created activities. Now there is a person now created by you and committing these activities. And this person within you also enjoy what is good, creating the wrong, feeling bad, feeling again what is bad. These are the two extremes he lives in, good and bad. Again mental creations. One end is good, the other end is bad, all mental creations. Now you have this consciousness who’s created this situation for us. But you would ask this question – why he created this situation, this so call being in us when there is no being. Just for the continuity of this life, birth after birth, promotion of this life. And the being is the author of all activity. This being is created by the consciousness as I told you earlier. Reference to, in every thought he created to experience something about the sense base or experience through a sense base, some object of a sense base, this so call person is the person who experience that. This being is imaginary being in you, he pursues what is good, he pursues what is bad and he enjoyed them, what is good, created ill feeling towards what is bad. And Buddha says that it’s these two activities of the mind, good and bad created the desire. Enjoyment of good make him to continue to enjoy good, search for good, hunt for something good, something pleasant, then he enjoy it. In regards to aversion, disappointment. Because of disappointment, he search for more goods. He was disappointed because he expected something to his satisfaction, but he did not get it therefore he was disappointed. That created a bigger urge in him to look for only good things, and he went all out to hunt for something good. Therefore good and bad both promoted desire. Where does it reside, again it’s in the phantom of body and mind, nowhere else. Was it designed to be by some outside force? No, you created that. You maintain it. You live in it. During the span of livelihood, live in these two extremes of aversion & attachment, creating desire and once your span of life is over, then a change will take place as we born to another birth, and you continue to live in that too, in the same frame of mind.

The question will be asked: Why did this worldling pursue the experience of 6 sense birth bases to that extent, of creating satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Why? He wanted therefore he made use of the consciousness only to see, that’s all, only to hear, only to smell, only to contact, only to think. Experience taste, contact and think, that is all. That is the objective. That is what the consciousness is doing to each of us. Then the question is: Why did you create this attachment and aversion? There is always in the human being the desire to enjoy. And he produce feeling of enjoyment, that’s true. To enjoy what is enjoyable and create the aversion to what is not enjoyable. These two extremes he experiences because he pursues the activity of the sense bases beyond the certain limited area. Provision of the consciousness to you is for the sake of performing the activities of the bases & those activities are only confine to enabling to see, hear, smell, taste, contact and think . Why then he then pursue enjoyment? He pursued enjoyment because, attachment produce that pursue. Buddha would ask this question: when did this human being develop this attachment?  Buddha said that on the time he received the 6 sense bases, he’d not only perform the activities of the 6 sense bases but went further in pursuing this object to enjoy. He physically did that. And it is this sense of enjoyment, if it is good he enjoy it, but if it is something not to his satisfaction he disagree with that or create an aversion to it. This unnecessary activity by the consciousness in pursuing this sense base experiences to that in the creating an aversion or attachment that lead to the desire. Is there a person who create the desire? No, there is no person that created the desire. Then why do you pursue the activities of the sense bases? If I say no person created the desire or no person pursue this acts as such, like I explained that to you. The very consciousness that created the attachment to aversion in pursue of the experience he went through by the creation of a mind, thought. That thought that you created in order to experience the sense base activity with the 5 mental factors that create the thought, you also created other aspect to it. That is a person living in you responsible for your activities. If this person is not created in your consciousness, you will only perform the act of what the sense bases wanted you to perform in the way of experiencing the sense base activity, either in the way of hearing, smelling, tasting, contacting and thinking. There wouldn’t have been an urge for you to go beyond that. Buddha says that, there is enjoyment in what is good and what is bad. For what is bad there is aversion, what is good you enjoy, the feeling is there. And the human being feels. And if you analyze that activity carefully, if a human being feels, who is this human being that feels. That is the being that is created by the consciousness, as a delusion in your mind. You as a human being now you always have this feeling that there is a being in you. Who created that? The consciousness created that. It’s a delusion that arises in your mind when you experiences sense base activities. In every experience you go through, this delusion that is created in the mind, in the nature of a being in you, he pursues that experience beyond what is expected. What is expected is for you to see, but he tries to enjoy what he has seen. That which appeals to him as something good to enjoy, that which appeal to him as something bad he create an aversion. And these two activities, at creating an aversion or attachment that created the desire.

One would ask the question for instance if such a delusion is not created in your mind by the 5 mental factors. Would you have cause to that experience you gain through the sense base? No, because the being always enjoys, he feels, feeling is something which is in him. So when he felt something good, he went after it to enjoy it further. When he felt something bad, he went after to create aversion towards it. So it is this so call being that you have created, created the desire. Who created this being – the 5 grasping groups. What are these 5 grasping groups? They are the very quality that created the desire, the mental factors. One would ask the question why should the delusion of that nature be created in us. Because you must bear in mind, that the existence on the earth is to continue, not to discontinue. Continue your life as long as you can all your karmic forces permit you to. And live the worldly way. You are born with the capacity of creating thoughts, with the same capacity you create delusions. For what purpose? To continue in this world. Ask the question if you did not create this being in you, would there be a continuity of your life in this world. Because this is 5 grasping groups that created the desire. It is the 5 grasping groups that created the impression in you that there is a being in you when there is no being at all. And it is these 5 grasping groups when the nature of the being pursue the experiences gained through the 6 sense bases by enjoying what is good and creating hatred towards what is bad. For what purpose was this done? To continue this existence in the world, not for discontinuing it. In this world everything is cleared for continuity. That is the outlook of the production of many things in this world. Therefore you committed the sankharas through the 6 sense bases and thereby producing a being when there is no being at all, and that was for the purpose of continuity.

Sankharas – What did they in return do to you? Sankharas are the activities of the being i.e. seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, contacting & being the 6 sankharas, what were they created for. For continuity. Because these 6 things pursued by this imaginary being created the desire. One would ask the question: If there was no enjoyment as such, if there is no person feeling for what is good and the person feeling for what is bad, in the way of experience these things as experiences by a certain person. Would one have pursued this to that extend of creating aversion or attachment? No. One would ask the question: Is there a being in you? Is there a creation of a being in you and that is … we all know that is a creation.  And nothing but a creation in the mind, because when this creation – the 5 mental factors, produced by consciousness, who is a conjurer. He did the creation for you. And when we summarize who is them? In this phantom of body and mind lies suffering. In this body and mind lies the false notion you have created that there is a sufferer. When in fact & in truth there is no such person as sufferer. Who then is the sufferer that is the delusion created by the consciousness in creating the sufferer? And you grasp this false notion so hard, so firmly that every activity you committed by the body and mind became the activity of this so called being. This being’s enjoyment led you to the creation of desire. What did the enjoyment he made, he did experience. He purse what is good and created an attachment, only imaginary person. He created what is bad and created an aversion. This attachment and aversion produce the desire. This desire is not a thing that is created in the spontaneous activity of the mind in creating a thought for you to see, hear, smell, taste & contact. In that thought there is no desire. In that thought there is no attachment or aversion. In that thought you only get the idea, created idea that this is something to your liking and something not to your liking. And that is all. Because there is no time for one to create the feeling and enjoy or create an aversion to it because after all it is part & parcel of the original thought that you created to enable you to perform the function of the 6 sense bases. It is subsequent thoughts that you created in pursue of attachment, your liking and dislike that created the desire. If desire was part of the original mind, you would have not got rid of desire, because it is something which cannot be done because you as a human being behave and you behave in a pattern is to see, smell, tasting & contact. And in that very act of seeing, tasting, contacting, smelling all these things you see if you have it, creation of this so called being. Then there is no possibility for you to escape because the being has created in the very original thought that you create to experience the bases.  But this is something which is very very conspicuous thing, is not in the original thought to experience the commitment to the bases, it so called desire arises. The desire arises in your subsequent action of thinking about what is good & thinking what is bad. The two things, the feelings indicated to you, it is activity as a mental factor. In the original thought you created to perform the activity of the sense base. Now, you have created the being, he enjoy every experience you gain through your 6 sense bases. Such enjoyment fall into two categories of why the attachment to aversion. And these two things independently produce desire. So what is desire? Desire is something which is not the original quality of the mind. It’s something which your mind is created as a result of a circumstance, something you maintain as cause and effect, therefore desire is something which you can get rid of, without creating any harm to the spontaneous activity of the mind in the way of as per creating a thought and performing the activities of the 6 sense bases. That is all the function, this is something abnormal. Therefore Buddha found a way to help you to get out of this but for that situation there couldn’t have been any help from Buddha to get rid of desire. If desire was an original quality of the mind and desire is subsequently created as a result of your foolishness in doing something which you should not do in the way of pursuing experiences through the sense bases, you created desire unnecessarily. Now what should you do?

Buddha say, get rid of desire. We accept the position that desire is a subsequent creation in the mind. Therefore it is something additional, not something original in the mind. Something additional can be removed. Now, what is the Path shown by Buddha to remove this desire. He said the essential quality is being mindful. Why did he say mindful? Because you have now reached the stage the desire is created not with a purposeful activity on your part, but absent-mindedly. The mind has now, gone along this path of producing desire so long that there is no necessity for one to guide it now. And in your absent-mindedness you make use of your eyes, you make use of your ears, you make use of your body, you make use of your tongue, you make use of your, let’s say, thinking. All that is done in absent-mindedly and in all that activity there is a promotion of desire because the mind is used to that turning in the way of producing desire. Therefore he used the keyword Be Mindful. Don’t allow that to happen. Don’t allow that to happen. Therefore when you see you are mindful, when you hear you are mindful, when you think you are mindful, when you taste you are mindful, when you contact you are mindful, when you produce something, let’s say you think you are mindful. Now you are permitting the mind to go the wrong way. Your mindfulness is always checking it. As a result now mindfulness not your mindfulness not helping the mind to fall into the extremes of either attachment or aversion, create these two things. Thereby what you did was purposeful making use of the mind, mindfully you prevented the creation of more and more attachment and aversion.

I always emphasize that if you want to maintain the gift you have to supply the gift with the necessary food to maintain it. In this instance your mindfulness is checking all activities of the sense bases. And not permitting such activities fall into 2 extremes of creating aversion or attachment which is the cause of desire. There you starve desire. When a certain activity starve as a result of not committing that activity, then there is the natural outcome that activity fading away from your mind. It takes little time. It takes effort. It also should be pursued to that extent of making the mind exists without this activity. This activity is something which the mind has created in addition to the normal functioning, therefore you are interfering with that performance and not allowing that to happen thereby depriving the mind of creating habit in the way of permitting that.  It is that act of creating an aversion or attachment that lead to the feeding of desire. And how would this be done. Buddha says it’s rather difficult for you to do it on your own. Therefore, I teach you to be mindful. Be mindful in all instances. Mindfulness will help you to maintain your mental in such a way not permitting the mind to pursue the line of action to create desire. Not permitting the mind to commit any more desire. Be realistically aware that this is something which the 5 grasping groups have created in your mind. 5 grasping groups are nothing but qualities of the 5 mental factors that create the thought. They are call grasping they are controlled by desire, grouped placed there put together or functions perform their functions in one group. Therefore the 5 grasping groups. Now this activity of checking the mind from permitting the mind to fall into the two extremes of aversion or attachment and thereby committing desire you have now carefully not permitting the mind to act that way and it go on doing that, go on doing that, go on doing that. Then that activity on your part which you are used to in the creation of desire, that activity vanishes from the mind. And desires become weaker and weaker without getting a feed to be active. It’s not being fed by the activity of the mind now. Therefore desire becomes weak. And you get rid of desire. Any habit can be overcome or could be got rid of by you with an effort, any habit. So I consider this desire is also a habit because the pattern it creates, this so called desire in the mind, is the same activity going on repeatedly. Only difference is the sense bases are different. But the activity of attachment to creating aversion or attachment is the same. And this performance repeatedly has created this strong desire in you. Now that you are not performing this activity or not feeding the mind with such activity you have weaken the desire. And it no longer exist.

In this body and mind lies the 8 foundations, the 8 leads to the path you have to pursue to get rid of desire. And in brief and I summarize it I can say, Sila, Samadhi, Panna. Virtue, Concentration and Wisdom. Your Sila is important because after all it is that quality that settles the mind and enables you to make use of your mind to develop it to such an extent to see the depth of anything, not to be just satisfy it what it’s found in the surface, it has that amount of capacity now to see through a thing and understand it’s depth what it is. Samadhi does that. Then concentration is important because it is the concentrated mind that has the depth. Virtue – base on virtue we develop Samadhi.

Which is completely segregated from the body, acting on its own. Now you watch, observe the virtue, develop your samadhi, and what is wisdom that one has to practice? Wisdom of the realities of truth, the realities of life, what are the realities of life? Impermanence, un-satisfaction nature of things and the consciousness and continuity or soullessness. These are the 3 realities of life. In everything we do in anything we are confronted these thing are present. Nothing, there is nothing permanent in this world, everything is subject to change and also there’s nothing substantially something which is changing constantly. And also there is no continuity of any object in the same condition. Soulless as such. These are the three things that you always bear in mind. In the Anicca lies the second and the third therefore if you are conscious of Anicca everything is there. So what do you do with the development of wisdom, in the way of Anicca. And you perform that with you the 6 sense bases, that is the sankharas. Commit to sankara, be fully aware that it is impermanent. Therefore there is no possibility of one following the sankhara and then creating aversion or attachment thereby promoting desire. Promote sankharas, be aware that they are there impermanent. And so are the activities of other sense bases you commit to those activity but fully aware that they are impermanent. Therefore you are not pursuing these activities to create the aversion or attachment that promote desire. All these where? Where do you find them? In your body, phantom of body and mind. Therefore when you consider these doctrine by Buddha, it is not something we can be done by one to another. It is something where you are responsible to look after yourself. Buddha clearly stated that, ‘I can’t make one to enter Nibbana. I have shown the path. It’s for him to follow that path and gain his salvation.’

If in the phantom of body you possess and the mind there is suffering. If in the phantom of body and the mind you possess there is cause for suffering. If in this very same phantom of body and mind there’s cessation of suffering. And if in this very same body and mind there is Sila, Samadhi, the 8 Fold Path. Why are we then conscious so far situation. But this is the sickness which we have, ourselves introduce into ourselves. And this sickness has taken root in us now, we are virtually victims of this sickness. But still you have a chance of changing over, but with that determination and mindfulness. These two will lead you out of the world. Because this is something which you have done to yourselves. It’s not something that happened to you as a result of circumstances but you have done to yourselves. Who created the desire? You created the desire. Why you create desire? By falling into the two extremes of aversion or attachment. Is it part and parcel of your mind? No. Part and parcel of your conscious is to create a thought and then enable to see. But who follow the object of seeing? You follow the object of seeing, which is absolutely unnecessary which you shouldn’t have done. What is the realistic aspect of this object of vision? Impermanence. So if you are aware of this quality of the mind, the qualities of these all component things and all component things are impermanent, and if you treat all these objects as impermanent objects, you wouldn’t have got into these difficulties. Now make amends, after all, all these equipment is in you. Consciousness within you. The performance, the actual 6 sense bases are within you. So at any stage of your life you can change over, to be Buddha. And if you want to pursue the same old way you can do so. You are responsible. There’s no necessity for you to go to another person seeking advice. There’s no necessity for you to get encouragement from another because after all the suffering before you is clear before you and you are suffering. Therefore the objectives are clear, our activities clear, our achievements are clear and also the result is also clear before us. So is your determination. Also your knowledge, that’s very important, you must know and that knowledge and the realistic approach you have to make in regards to this, getting rid of defilements is something which you can yourselves do. Certain amount of guidance can be given by others, but activity has to be committed by you to get rid of that. That is why Buddha said in this phantom of body and mind lies the cause of suffering. In this phantom of body and mind lies the cause of suffering. In the phantom of body and mind lies the cessation of suffering. In this phantom of body and mind lies the path leading to the cessation of suffering. When you take all these four circumstances and having place it before you and consider whether these objectives can be achieved by anybody? It can be achieve by everybody. After all you have the mind. This mind helps you to decide for yourselves what is good and bad. You will not just lead to something bad, it will not just lead to something good. Your decision creates the good and the bad, both. Therefore and if you are suffering, and you feel the suffering, and you feel that you wish to get out of this, after all your path is very clear. Sila, Samadhi, Panna. Apply that and you are sure of the outcome. Why? Why are you sure of the outcome. Because all these reaction in regard to your attainment of Nibbana taking place within you, in your presence. When you take the right actions you see the result. That is why Buddha says The Dhamma is  

Sanditthiko Akaliko

Ehi-passion Opanayiko

Paccattam veditabbo vinnuhi ti

You can yourselves see the result of every action you take. You can yourselves live in it. Benefiting the reaction of the good, the good reaction of the Dhamma in you. You can call another and show here, see I am developing this way. You can’t be forgetful because forgetful you’ll see will lead you to the old way of life. Therefore you must be mindful. And this is something very every intelligent man can practice if he makes an effort. This discourse if you in a quiet moment ruminate on the points I have raised for you to consider, it gives you a certain amount of encouragement, after all I have committed the mistake. I know what the mistake is. I can put that to right. And it is within me the ability to do so. And what is the delay? My delay. Otherwise this moment you can put that to right. Then Buddha says, if you practice the 4 foundations of mindfulness in putting that to practice and effecting that change in you, you are capable of attaining Nibbana within seven days. May you all attain Nibbana.

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