Bhante falls silent, and looks on with a smile.
After a few moments, he asks: “What do you hear?”
There is a bird singing in the distance.
“Did it start singing only now?”
It probably had started earlier (and now that I am listening to the tapes as I transcribe this, I know that it had started many minutes earlier).
“It must have been singing all this while, but only now…” I say.
“Only now did the attention went there.”
“There you have tajjo samannāhāra! So is it only because of the sound of the bird that you heard it? Didn’t you hear it only after I stopped talking? There could be other reasons too: had there been louder noises, you may not have heard it. So we see that it is circumstantial. That is why we mentioned in our writings: everything is circumstantial; nothing is substantial
Sherab wrote:.... "the All" is indirectly implied.
Sherab wrote:All Buddhists would agree with that. But that is not the topic of discussion.
"Now whoever should speak thus: 'Setting aside this All I will proclaim another All,' it would be mere talk on his part and on being questioned he would be unable to proceed and in addition, vexation will befall him. For what reason? It would not be within his scope, bhikkhus.
“One has to ask: why did the Buddha say ‘manopubbaṇgamā dhammā, manoseṭṭhā manomayā’ (Mind precedes all dhammas. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought – Dhp 1)? One has to admit that the Dhamma is mano-mūlika. But again, the mind is just one of the senses. What we have here is just a self-created problem. We discussed how existence is a perversion. The arising of dhammas is also the arising of dukkha. Not realizing this, some go looking for the truth among ‘things’.
“The search goes on because of delusion, and it is fruitless because they are chasing illusions. Dhammas, things, are all fabricated. They are all relative. They are all results of maññanā (ideation). Just as those who were entrenched in self-view saw the Buddha as a nihilist, those who are entrenched in materialism cannot grasp the Buddhist philosophy
The sutta is a wonderful revelation about what we take as a ‘thing’. It is not something existing on its own in the world but a result of many psychological causes. But when we say that, we are accused of being viññāṇavādins and suññatavādins
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