That Which Arises…

From the first sermon of the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni, in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (SN 56.11) :

That is what the Blessed One said. The bhikkhus of the group of five were glad, and they approved his words.

Now during this utterance, there arose in the venerable Kondañña the spotless, immaculate vision of the True Idea: “Whatever is subject to arising is all subject to cessation.”

translation by Ñanamoli Thera

Buddhism as a religion likes to focus on the impermanence of all things. The idea is that anything that arises, both physical and conceptual, are inherently unstable because they arise through other external causes and conditions. Their existence isn’t static; it’s tenuous and subject to change when the external causes and conditions that sustain it also change.

Later Buddhism uses the model of a wave and water to illustrate this. A wave arises when the sea and wind come together, or the sea comes in contact with the shore, but the wave has no separate “waveness”. Its existence depends entirely on the sea, wind and land to sustain it, but they can only sustain it for so long: the wind stops, the wave hits the shore and collapses, etc.

Thus, the famous Diamond Sutra ends with these verses:

All conditioned phenomena
Are like a dream, an illusion, a bubble, a shadow,
Like dew or a flash of lightning;
Thus we shall perceive them.”

Chung Tai Translation Committee

A good reminder from time to time.

Published by Doug

🎵Toss a coin to your Buddhist-Philhellenic-D&D-playing-Japanese-studying-dad-joke-telling-Trekker, O Valley of Plentyyy!🎵He/him

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