[Video] The Second Noble Truth Of Samudaya – The Arising Of Dukkha

This is the next video in our series on mastering orthodox meditation.  In the previous video, we covered the First Noble Truth of Dukkha, or stress, or un-satisfactoriness.


In this video we’ll look at the arising of or the cause of Dukkha, stress and unsatisfactoriness.


Video Notes:


  1. The most popular and well known definition of the Second Noble Truth is:
    1. ‘It is this “thirst” (craving, tanha) which produces re-existence and re-becoming (ponobbavika), and which is bound up with passionate greed (nandiragasahagata), namely, (1) thirst for sense-pleasures (kama-tanha), (2) thirst for existence and becoming (bhava-tanha) and (3) thirst for non-existence (self-annihilation, vibhavatanha).’
    2. It’s this thirst, desire, greed or craving manifesting itself in different ways that gives rise to all forms of suffering and the continuity of beings
      1. So “thirst” is not the first or only cause of the arising of Dukkha, but it’s the most obvious and immediate thing
    3. Thirst
      1. Desire for and attachment to
        1. Sense pleasure
        2. Wealth and power
        3. ideas
        4. Ideals
        6. Opinions
        7. Theories
        8. Conceptions
        9. Beliefs
      2. The Buddha said that all the problems in the world, from the smallest to the biggest are caused by this thirst
        1. “The world lacks and hankers and is enslaved to “thirst” (tanhadaso)…”
  • This desire or thirst can also produce existence and re-becoming (ponobhavika)
  1. The 4 nutriments (ahara) that are necessary for the existence and continuity of beings:
    1. Material Food
      1. Contact of sense organs with the external world
        1. Consciousness

Mental volition or will

  1. Mental volition is the will to live, to exist to continue and to become more and more
    1. It creates the root of existence and continuity by struggling forward
    2. It is the same as “volition” (cetana)
    3. The terms thirst, volition, mental volition and kamma (volitional action – not all action nor the result of kamma) all imply the same thing
      1. The desire, the will to be, to exist, to re-exist and become more and more, to grow and accumulate more

This is the cause of the arising of dukkha and is found in he aggregate of mental formations – one of the 5 aggregates which constitute a being

  1. “Rebirth”
    1. A human being is only a combination of physical and mental forces or energies
    2. Death is the total non functioning of the body
    3. Do all of these energies stop?
      1. No
      2. Will, volition, desire, thirst to exist, to continue, to become more is a tremendous force that moves whole lives, worlds and existences
      3. This force does not stop with the death of the body
        1. It continues manifesting itself in another form, producing re-existence
      4. If there is no permanent self soul or atman, what is it that can re-exist or be reborn after death?
        1. Life is a combination of the 5 aggregates (physical and mental energies)
          1. They are born and die every moment

“When the aggregates arise, decay and die, O Bhikkhu, every moment you are born, decay and die”

  1. Even in this life we go on without a permanent self or soul, and after death these forces continue without a self or soul behind them
    1. Physical and mental energies which make up the being have within themselves the power to take a new form, grow gradually and gather force
  2. Since nothing is permanent or unchanging, nothing passes from one moment to the next
    1. Nothing permanent or unchanging can pass from one life to the next
    2. It is a sequence that continues unbroken, but changes every moment
      1. It is nothing but movement
      2. It’s like a candle flame that burns through the night

It’s not the same candle flame and it’s not another

  1. A person dies and reborn elsewhere but is not the same person or another person
    1. It is just the continuity of the same sequence
    2. The difference between death and birth is only a thought moment
      1. The last thought moment of this life conditions the first thought moment of the so called next life

During the life, one thought moment conditions the next thought moment

  1. The question of life after death is not a great mystery according to the Dhamma, and it’s not worth worrying about this problem
  1. As long as there is “thirst” to be and become, the cycle of continuity (samara) goes on
    1. It can only stop when its driving force, this thirst is cut off through wisdom which sees Reality, Truth, Nibbana



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