Why Conditioned Phenomena are Impermanent? (Part 1 of 5)


In the Mahayana teachings, we learn not only to get the correct answers, but also to know the reasons “why,” even more so to “verify them.”  

These cultivation steps are called hearing , pondering , cultivating and personal realiziation . Since we are all potential Buddhas, as the Buddha foretold, we should be able to substantiate the cultivation practices. Let’s see why conditioned phenomena are impermanent and we can experience them.

Meanwhile, don’t forget to observe slowly. A sentence: e.g., I enjoy seeing. It consists of nine basic elements to complete the seeing process: a pair of healthy eye-organs, visual object, lighting, proper distance, intention (willingness to see), seeds of eye-vijnana, the conscious mind, Manas (the seventh vijnana) and the Alayavijnana. These elements altogether enable us to see, but, of course, we have never noticed these items at all. Take “lighting” for instance, if we were in complete darkness, could we see? Or “distance”, could we see the closest objects, right in front of our eyes – eyelashes? The same applies to our sense of hearing, smell, etc, we also need conditioning elements, but they are required in various ways from one another depending on the sense-objects. 

We are deeply influenced by all the messages (six sense-objects) received through our sense-roots, and thereby all sorts of sensations are formed by the sixth vijnana (the conscious mind). Here, the functions of the first five vijnanas (the eye-vijnana, ear-vijnana, nose-vijnana, tongue-vijnana and body-vijnana) do only discern their specific objects, and they all have to rely on the conscious mind to participate and fulfill further decisions (pro and con).  

Why should we trifle with such details? 

It is because this is a matter of fact way for everyone to personally see how our daily emotions are formed and composed of via dependent arising dharmas. Mind you, I wrote “emotions,” so these are purely limited to our ups and downs of mental states, our feelings, not including the material world around us. (part 1 of 5)

1 comment:

  1. If we could analyze the excitements and anguish that we possess to the tiniest details, it is exactly the same effect as that of the sea waves that keep pushing forward and fading away on top of the sea surface repeatedly. Our emotions rely on our physical body (form aggregate) and the sensation aggregate, perception aggregate, formation aggregate and vijnana aggregate to actualize.

    The important point here is that we have to establish a correct concept, if something arises dependent on conditions, a condition-arisen dharma, it is essentially an existence without intrinsic nature, and it is impermanent and will eventually cease to exist once the conditions fail to support it any more.

    The sea waves will cease to exist once there is no more sea water. Because it is a dharma of changing, from nothing becomes of something via conditioned elements; then it will change again, from existing to nothing when the conditioned elements disappear. Behind all the arising and ceasing of existence, there is an everlasting entity to support all the phenomena. Otherwise, the whole existence of logic would collapse. Every mortal living being innately possesses his own Alayavijnana, that is why every individual has to cultivate his own path to attain liberation or Buddhahood, the same way as each and every one of us has to take our own lessons to study in life.

    If we are able to fully comprehend the functions of the eighteen sense-realms 十八界, then we will understand that our physical body and the perceptive mind also belong to the condition-arisen dharmas. In other words, the conscious mind that every individual totally relies on while alive exists only one lifetime, it cannot proceed to future lives.

    (part 2 of 5)