Tape 1 – Unique Nature of Buddhist Philosophy
(Dharma Talk by Ven A Gavasi on 8.10.94 )
Brothers & Sisters, thephilosophy preached by Buddha is unique, it is unique because Buddha found the solutions to suffering by the human being and that solution lies in the human beings and not outside. For 40 years, he lives the life of a prince about 30 years and after that he left the palace and search for the cause of Dukka. He realizes that enjoyment of 6 sense bases as an ordinary being would not direct him to the true nature of this being. And he having lead the life of a prince in the palace up to about 30 years, left the palace on the day his son was born to him. He went to several great thinkers existing at that time, like *Allah-Kalla-Arun-Karam* from whom he learned the development of the mind from one up to the seven absorptions. And from the others the eighth absorption, that is the maximum they would reached in their attainment and they were so much taken abit prince Siddartha attainment that they invited him to live with them and propagate their knowledge to the others.
Buddha found that there was no answer to the question he search for therefore he left them and pursue the other extreme of giving unto suffering to the body which he thought would be a way to realize what this suffering is. For 6 years he suffered, he suffered so much that he was considered to be dead on certain occasions. After 6 years he found there too he cannot find answers to the cause of sufferings. Therefore, he abandon that way of life and follow the middle path. He consumed food sufficient to maintain himself and regain his health. And with that night, he approached the secret bodhi tree and having sat under the bohdi tree decided that he would not leave that place until such time he realized the truth. In fact he took a firm decision that even if his bone and flesh and marrow all that get destroy, he will not get up from that seat until such time he finds the truth. By about midnight, he developed psychic powers, he developed the psychic eye, he also developed the ability to see through his vision the past lives he was born. This convinced him that he was following the right path which will ultimately lead him to understand what suffering is.
From there onwards, he concentrated fully on analysis of this human being, who is this being? That is the question he asked. He has the ability to perform functions with the 6 sense bases. And these are the only functions he can perform. And he went further to ask the question, is it he, the being that is in him that performed the functions? Or the performance of the functions of 6 sense bases are created by other forces, when he probed deeper in this aspect of life, he realizes that there is no such being as such to perform these functions except the thinking process creates thoughts to enable one to perform the activity of the sense bases.
Having realize this, he went to pursue further as he *there* outside force that enables ones to create that thought to perform the activity of the sense base. And he found that there was no such power. Or no such outside force much to create the activity. And he pursued this further and further and he developed in 3 years. He ultimately realized that the so call human being is nothing but the performance of the 6 sense bases, the production of sankhara, the rational activity.
And the volition of activity and that there is no person as such to perform this activity except that they are causally created. Many dwelled on this aspect of perform of the 6 sense bases further, and ultimately realize that these so call human beings, the worldlings, lives in the deception of a creation of a being in him. There is no person as such responsible for the activity except that the perform 6 sense bases of seeing, smelling, tasting, contacting and thinking are causally created.
And ultimately he realized the truth of suffering, in that, there is suffering but there is no sufferer. This suffering is causally created but is delusion that is created by the consciousness, in a way of creating a being, mislead the being to come to the conclusions that he is the order of the 6 sense bases. The probing into this aspect further let him to see, realize the consciousness itself is creating a deception in that being and that deception is existing to create thoughts to perform the activities of the sense bases. The very same mental factor that creates the thoughts, also creates the delusion in the mind of the person who creates the thought that there is a being in him.
And the qualities responsible for this activity are the 5 grasping roots. 5 grasping roots are the very mental factors create thoughts. Then the individual is mislead, that he is seeing something or he is hearing something or experiencing a smell, or experiencing a taste, or contacting something, or thinking of something, in that very thought itself, his conception created, his delusion is created, that there is this being And for the creation of the delusion, the very same mental factor that helps one to create the thought, has created this misconception.
And they are the 5 grasping root of form, grasping root of feeling, grasping root of perception, grasping root of volition activities and consciousness.
The 5 mental factors that causally create the thoughts are:
1)Contact 2)Feeling 3)Perception 4)Volition 5)Attention
These very same mental factors created delusion in the being. He probed very deep into the aspect of the creation of the Concept of Being.
Venerable Bikkus, Brothers & Sisters, the subject of the discourse today is taught by Buddha for the liberation of human being are unique. He did not in any way make us feel that the path that he has shown for the liberation of being is something that he has been bless with or some outside force has don into him in that path. The very life he leads as a prince and subsequently as a Bikku in the sense of the search of the truth and after the realization as Buddha. He always appears before the world as a normal being. He did not indicate that this truth has been revealed to him by any path, any force outside him. He on his own made a great effort, he went before several masters and great thinkers existed at that time, discussed the development of the mind with them, gathered whatever he could from them, and also putting into practice certain systems that existed during that time in order to find out Whether such systems revealed him the truth.
Before that he leads the life as a prince and enjoyed the comfort of life, he was married and a child was born by him, Prince Rahula. Than of course he gave up that life, and at the search of the truth, walked out of the palace, to try for himself to understand the problem of life. There was a practice at that time that giving pain to the body or sufferings to the body will lead to one to the realization of the truth. He tried that for 6 years, he tried that so much that many people thought that he was dead on certain occasions, resulting from severe hunger he went through. And having tried for 6 six years that system too he found that there was no answer to his question. Than he gave up that attempt and leads a normal life for sometime. Having regain his health, he thought he would find a solution to this problem through him, himself, in another words, he thought through this carefully and having seated himself near the Bohdhi tree in Bodigaya there, he developed his mind to the 8th absorption level. He realized and attained the psychic power of seeing things at a distance, he also acquired psychic power to reflect on his past births, these two convinced him immensely that he is on the path. Than what he did was, he analyzed this human being carefully, this human being could perform 6 functions; and they are seeing with his eyes, hearing with his ears, smelling with his nose, experience tasting with the tongue, contacting through the body and think. These are the 6 things this human could do. The world accepted that there was a being within this person, who perform these activities, that is the aspect that he probed into in analyzing the functions of the 6 sense bases.
And in his careful analyses, how did 6 sense bases perform their acts into feeling sense objects from outside and experiencing these objects, he found that it is the creation of the thought that enable one to perform these functions, that thought is created by the mental energy. He also realized that the body composition of elements cannot by itself performed any activities. That all performances by the body are entered by the mind. Than he analyzed carefully the 6 performance by the 6 sense bases, and realized that it is the creation of the thought that enable the sense bases to experience an object. And Buddha with this wisdom pursues it further and found that mental energy in contact with an object through the sense base, performed the activity of the sense base by creation of the thought with the use of the 5 common mental factors. They are contact, feeling, perception, volition and attention. When he analyzed that further, in order to find out whether there was actually a person as such to perform that activity. He found that such a belief is given to a person to experience the sense base activity that there was an order within him who does it. As a desire to all, a delusion is created by the consciousness and in the creation of the delusion he found that very same mental factors that help to perform the activity of the sense base in creation of the thoughts, perform the task of creating this delusion.
Than in analyzing deeply into the activity of this so call functions of the 6 sense bases, he found that every individual creates a world. His world is nothing but a composition of his experience of the 6 sense bases. Now that he realized that each of these functions of the 6 sense bases is performed by the creation of the thought, he realizes it is this very consciousness that creates this so call birth. Is not a person as such within that person to experience this, the consciousness itself creates this situation. And through his wisdom he realizes that the 5 grasping roots are responsible for these activities. The 5 grasping roots that are the mental factors that help one to create the thoughts, create the delusion of the being and made one feel it is that being that sees, hear, smell, taste, contact and think.
He than analyzed the world that is been created by this being and realized that they are nothing but experiences he has gained through the 6 sense bases. 6 sense bases that received objects through the bases itself and that the thought created in the being perform the act of these sense bases. Is causally created he realizes, these so call world that we are living is nothing but a combination of experience through the 6 sense bases that are causally created. What all the worldlings he believed that there is so call being living in this world, and that is himself.
One would ask a question, whether all one that experiences through the 6 sense bases are true, Buddha having realized the true nature of things in the way of that all component things are impermanent, unsatisfactory and do not continue to exist. He realizes that the performance by the consciousness in creating a world around one, to experience the gain by the 6 sense bases is completely delusion. The worldling’s belief in this delusion. One would ask the question if this is the delusion is there a world, if there is no world as such. He further analysis of this subject, to him that each one of us has gone through the capacity and capability creates the worldly around us. The world I live in is different from the world in any other lives in.
Have all that world which we have created around us is a delusion created by the mind, the consciousness. And ultimately realised that this so call worldling is not a being as such; is causally created mass of activities, but the worldling who believes who doesn’t have that amount of understanding and realisation, who picks things on the surface through the 6 sense bases, because of his inabilities to probe into any of these activities in depth, he acts what is on the surface and that there is a being in him. Than Buddha having realised that there is no being but the sufferings that the human being goes through is causally created, he went further to find out the cause or causes of this creation, and the cause again lies in the 6 sense bases. The performance of sense bases, creation of the thought and the creation of the thought is a spontaneous activity of the mind.
When the eyes catches an object, the reflection of that object is casted in the retina. The consciousness appears in the scene and 3 of them, are put togther by the mental factor contact. After that the entire process, that takes place in regards in seeing is a mental process you see; but this consciousness whom which Buddha classify as the *condula* which is capable of creating situations which do not exist. Capable of developing deceptions, in the process of creation of a thought of one form to enable one to see. He has also created the deception, this consciousness that there is a being who sees. And as these beings do earlier, that this so call being created by the consciousness is again the product of the 5 common mental factors. Is the delusions created by the mental factors.
I am in the earlier courses giving you examples of how this creation is done. But in this instance we are not going in deep of this aspect of the subject. We are trying to find out the uniqueness in the philosophy preached by Buddha, in the anaylsis of the creation of the 6 sense bases and their functions. He realises that there is no being as such who sees, who smells, who contacts, who taste, who smells and who thinks. The activities done as cause and effect. The consciousness is responsible for such activities. Now that he has acquired the abitlity to relect to past lives, the question that arose in him maybe that how did this being, the so call being after existance on this earth for a period passes away at his death and what happens to that consciousness, what happens to that being after that. He saw the pass lives as a result of the physic power he developed, there is the birth taking place, being do their complete death of the body which is the composition of the elements; there is a continuity of the consciousness from one world to another.
Buddha analysed this carefully and ultimately found that the cause to this continuity of this consciousness is the desire that one has created. Desire created as a result of experiencing through the eye, hearing through the ears, *….*; these 6 performances that promote desire. He may have probed into the aspect of whether the desire has been introduced by some outside force into this so call being. And he realised that there is no such activities that has occur. There is once the Buddha was questioned by a certain Brahim, as to how did this desire started in the human being or from the day that the human being was equiped with the 6 sense bases and he created attachment to the sense experiences gained through the 6 sense bases, he *faced* desire. And subsequent activities in the way of promoting desire by the human being, created a very firm habit in the human being.
Bearing in mind, Brothers and Sisters, that the spontaneous activities of this consciousness does not create desire. Spontaneous activities of the consciousness only enable the performance of the activity of the sense base. You see thats all, you hear, and you smell, you contact, you think, there is no desire in such activities. The best example I would quote this suppose of this, confusion is the advise given by Buddha to *Mahaya*. When Mahaya met him on the road and requested him to brief this discourse to him. Buddha said Mahaya, see with your eyes and no more, hear with your ears and no more, likewise in regards to other sense bases, don’t pursue that experience further. And Mahaya attained Nibbana.
There are instances where Buddha has clearly indicated that the spontaneous activities of the sense base does not create desire. What happened to the individual, the worldlings is that once he experienced something through the sense base, he goes on thinking about it, if it is something personal which he has experienced, he would create certain sensations. And enjoy it and creating attachment to it; if he experienced something not his taste and he create aversion to it. And these are the two extremes that promote desire, these are the two extreme that feed desire and these are the two extreme that maintained desire, Brothers and Sisters. And what are these extra activities that we got use to perform to create unnecessary thoughts about experiences gained through the sense bases. Afterall the thought is created by see,hear,smell taste, contact and think thats all.
But there is a *lesson* for you to dwell on something on it and go on thinking about it and developing on that; as such it will ultimately lead you to creation of attachment to the obhject or creation of aversion to the object. He than realised this is the cause of desire. It is something that the human being has got used to, it is the defilement that has been introduced by the outside force. And it is this desire that create the suffering in the human being. Desire lead to a birth after death because becoming is the object you of yourself and the continuity of that life further and further and further. So after that when you are about to die, you get *inside* that is in yourself to be born again. You begin to realise that you are dying, and the next desire that arise in you is to reborn again, to become one, to become lead to the rebirth. And the birth that lead to the suffering and therefore desire is the cause for your suffering because desire creates the rebirth.
The question that has to be asked is, there are the suffering that we are under going now, is it a forceful introduction into us by the outside force or creation by us in ourself. That is why the Buddha’s psylosophy is unique, he did not find an outside cause for any of our defilements. He knew when he displeases with so and so and therefore there is this suffering for you. It is your own activities foolishly committed with false conclusions, false beliefs, false misconcepts created by you, yourself, that lead to this sufferings. And with doctrine he preached which is unique because he only shows your path to undo what you have done to yourself. You have done this to yourself and that is why you are suffering, that is why you are being born over and over again in this cycle of birth; but if you realised the true nature of things, as indicated by Buddha rationally, than we have the capacity in us Brothers and Sisters, to end this suffering by getting rid of rebirth.
How? By getting rid of desire. If we probed further into desire, you find that desire is the feeling you get. It arise and past away. How it is it remain in you? You go and pursue in this activity of creation of this feeling of desire in you over and over again. Through your eyes, through your ears, through your nose, through your tongue, through your body, through your mind.
From the time you get up in the morning, up to the time you go to sleep again; one sees activities committed by you gaining experiences from the 6 sense bases and creating desire. These activities has taken roots so much into you that there is no effort on your part to create desire. It automatically created, you don’t know that it happened to you. You did something beautiful, that is thought arose and past away. But you pursue that without your aware at sometime, and think of that beautiful thing you saw, and think of the attract you gain from certain, certain aspect of the beautiful thing and get attract to that, and that is desire. If is something of not your liking, than it think of it and create a certain aversion to it. That is again promoting desire.
( Side B)
*Made it worth*, one would ask the question, why did Buddha place so much emphasises on mindfulness. In the eight-fold path, mindfulness plays a very vital role, mindfulness plays a vital role in 4 foundation of mindfulness, which is the path that lead by Buddha for one to follow to get rid of desire. Why is mindfulness given such prominence in this doctrine? Because it is the forgetfulness that you create freely to promote desire, freely still to promote to *feed* desire, to maintain desire, to forgetfulness, not to be mindful to what you thinking and what you are doing. You are slowly becoming a machine now, performing the same task of feeding desire right through, without a check at all and not being aware that you are doing so. The result is desire is powerful in you. That is why Buddha said be mindful, be mindful, be mindful, mindful of everything you do.
But it be mindful, mindful at that you are aware the true reality of life. That what you see, subject of sufferings. What you experience in the 6 sense bases bear no value at all. They arise and past away. That is the realitic aspect of all these subjects. If that aspect or if that is well planted in you Brothers & Sisters, than you will have no fear at all because when you see something, you really understand the true nature of that object, ie of unsatisfaction. Nothing substantial in that, does not continue to exist, no soul as such. That is the realistic thought that arises in your mind immediately after you see somthing. And what create that frame of mind in yourself, it is the mindfulness.
Well is quite simple Brothers & Sisters, if you are used to habit. The only way to check that habit is to be careful in what you are doing. In not allowing that habit to perform that task of repeating that performance over and over again; you are checking it by mindfulness. And that is what Buddha said. Defilements have been created by you in the mind, and those are not created by the outside forces, yet created by yourself. And those defilements are completely misleading. Leading you along the path, to be born over and over again; and go through this life of suffering.
It is the desire, and Buddha realistically found out that desire is the cause of our suffering. And as I told you suffering is the result of a birth, and desire is the cause of rebirth. Therefore you are born over and over again, as a result of your maintining desire; And why do you maintaining desire, because you are not mindful. Mindful of what? Mindful of the realistic of life. You are just been mislead, you only live on the surface, as an unmindful nature of a being. Therefore the simple solution given by Buddha to this, is be mindful. And he says be mindful of 4 things that leave the creation of desire and the 4 things are: be mindful of the performance activities of your body and that body of another, be mindful of all feelings that you experienced through your 6 sense bases, be mindful of the creation of thoughts, and be mindful in development of Dharma in you, the simple process that he has given us. And the very very simple approach to the solution to this problem of creation of desire.
Now that you are so much used to this pattern of existing of a creating *** **********
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