Since I took up education in Buddhism, I must say my favourite subject of them all is the Doctrine related subject. Simply fascinated by the Buddha’s teaching and really admire his wisdom in able to break down the analysis so well, in so many ways, just to make sure his followers are able to understand them…
The 12 links of dependent origination is one great example!
(Also click here to read the Maha-nidana Sutta)
From my simple understanding as a lay person, I find the links simply logical and make sense.
Imagine the links as your lifetime(s):
1. Due to IGNORANCE, before understanding the Dhamma,
2.Through VOLITIONS, which are the intentions of my actions (wholesome and unwholesome) unknowingly that created my past kamma (actions) resulting my present and future vipaka (fruits of my actions)
3. The reason of my actions started with CONSCIOUSNESS
4. The moment I am conscious, I open my eyes and MIND AND MATTERS (the object) will appear in front of me.
5. Quickly my 6 SENSES will detect the object
6. Making CONTACT via the 6 senses of sight, smell, sound, taste, feel and past memories of experiences of the similar situation
7. FEELING will be aroused
8. If pleasant feelings, it will lead to CRAVINGS
(to me, unpleasant feelings will lead to cravings for pleasant feelings to avoid the present unpleasant ones eg. a dire strait poor person will abhor poorness and seek means and ways to be wealthy)
9. What we crave, we will normally CLING or be attached to it
10. Due to us not able to let go, we will want to come back for more ~ resulting BECOMING
11. That will lead to BIRTH
12 Which is subject to SUFFERINGS of grief, lamentation, sickness, old age and death
and the link re-links to ignorance until we find wisdom in understanding the Dhamma and learn about the 12 links ….
The links are in a circle and can begin at any one point.
Since item 1 causes item 2 and so on, the destruction of item 1 will destroy item 2 etc too.
And if one is to ask why are we born into the world, Buddha says it is because of CLINGING or ATTACHMENTS. Hence, in Buddhism, we learn to let go ~ not to cling to anything, anyone or any situation or any feelings …
If we can cut out CRAVING, we will cut off CLINGING and we will have nothing to want to come back for. Thus, we will not link to BECOMING in SAMSARA (cycle of death and rebirth).
(Of course we have to learn more before we can really get out of Samsara ya … look out in later blog posts lah! )
Understand (better) now?