Bhava doesn't mean 'becoming'

“Becoming” points to the temporary nature of the resultant state of “existence”. “Becoming” is an excellent term describing the illusory constructed state of deluded mental “existence”.

Keep in mind SN 12.15 says “existence” (“atthita”) is a wrong view; that the right view is understanding arising & cessation.

Possibly however I already posted my disagreement with the above:

  1. It seems the Visuddhimagga focused on “becoming” as “bhava”.
  2. It seems the anti-rebirth Thai monk Buddhadasa often used the translation of “existence” for “bhava”.
  3. It seems to make no difference to the orthodox Buddhist viewpoint; which includes “kamma-bhava”.
  4. @Sunyo seems to be inventing a four-lifetime model of DO. :slightly_smiling_face:
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Hello again! First, may I ask, why the silly questions? If we treat each other as equally intelligent beings, it makes for a more civil and enjoyable discussion. :slight_smile:

Anyway, see the reference I gave, DN30, which says the Buddha came from the Tusita heaven to a human bhava. This is not talking about a mind state, for sure. So yes, he was born in the human realm (which is part of the sensual realm), and he had a human body (and human bhava) till he died.

Both the verb and noun are used in other contexts as well. But the thing with context is: we have to actually consider it. :wink: Your quote has no connection with Dependent Arising or bhava. It’s another context altogether, about starting fires. But the suttas I mentioned are about DA. And here these words are about rebirth. I mean, abhinibbati (the noun) is part of the definition of birth, and in DN15 it is used for the embryo arising in the womb. It could hardly be any clearer, I would say.

I didn’t say bhava is rebirth. The part you quoted doesn’t even have the word bhava but punabbhava, which is not exactly the same word. The idea is that a continuation of existence (bhava) after death leads to another birth. As a whole this process is also called punabbhava, which basically means “again life/existence”.

I’m not sure what this has to do with the topic. But in short, I agree with the commentary on SN12.15. Atthitā is the idea of externalism,. it’s about eternal existence. Compare the sutta with SN12.17 which specifically says Dependent Arising is the middle way between eternalism and annihilation, which is the same middle way this sutta mentions.

:question: I’m very confused by all this. Of course I don’t know what everybody throughout all of time has written, which is why I specifically said “generally”. I was also under the impression that Ven. Buddhadasa wrote in Thai, not English. And what does he have to do with the Visuddhimagga? If anyone departs from the Visuddhimagga it was him, not me. Anyway, I’m not concerned with what Buddhadasa said, but by what the Buddha said. :slight_smile:

Too many questions in the following posts for me to all reply to. I’ll just say one reference was wrong, I meant AN3.76 not AN3.67.

Because the fact that you’re saying I may be sabotaging Dhamma practice makes me uninclined to go into your posts any further. Again, I was hoping for a more civil debate. But this discussion has unfortunately already given rise to some wrong speech of the type “I am practicing correctly; you are practicing wrongly.” The type the Buddha said we should avoid.


Hey Ajahn,

At the very least you are saying there is also some sort of bhava devoid of kammic processes, then? But if bhava in Dependent Arising primarily meant some karmic activity, then the cessation of that type of bhava would happen in this life, and arahants would no longer have it. It’s a bit artificial to divide bhava into two types, one that applies to an arahant, and one that does not. Nothing in the suttas really suggests this. They just say bhava ceases at parinibbāna. (Iti44)

And how would the no-kamma bhava of the arahants fall in the explanation given in AN3.76-77, if bhava there includes kamma, as you suggest? Arahants don’t make kamma, so their bhava isn’t included in this sutta, then? In my opinion, their bhava is included, because they live in one of the three realms mentioned. It’s simply the bhava that started when they took rebirth as a result of kamma (and craving) in the past life.

When bhava is actually (kind of) defined, the definition is indeed simpler, and exactly that of life in different realms. But that happens not here, but in suttas such as SN12.2: “And what, bhikkhus, is existence? There are these three kinds of existence: sense-sphere existence, form-sphere existence, formless-sphere existence. This is called existence.”

I don’t think AN3.76-77 are definitions. For starters, they would be much more clumsy and longwinded than the usual definitions we see in the suttas. :slight_smile: I suppose it hinges on the word kittāvatā. Ven. @Sujato translates it as, “How is continued existence defined”. But “defined” often this is not the idea of the word, if ever. (Edit: It depends on how we interpret ‘defined’. Venerable Sujato responded here, and made me change my mind somewhat about kittāvata. I still don’t think it is a definition as I initially interpreted it. But my suggestion below of “how” was going too far the other way. I left my post unchanged, though, because my general thoughts remain the same.)

Take SN12.51 for example: "When a bhikkhu is making a thorough investigation, in what way (kittāvatā) should he thoroughly investigate for the utterly complete destruction of suffering?” Or let’s say “how should he thoroughly investigate?” Now let’s consider AN3.76 with this in mind. I adopted Venerable Bodhi’s translation, but with ‘how’ for kittāvata instead of his ‘in what way’.

“Bhante, it is said: ‘existence, existence.’ How (kittāvatā), Bhante, is there (hoti) existence (bhava)?”

In other words, how does existence happen? How does it come about?

The verb hoti is already awkward for a asking for a definition of a word, which is otherwise done with nominal phrases (without a verb) and using katama, such as Katamo ca, bhikkhave, bhavo? (SN12.2) Or one with the ‘vuccati’: ‘Arahattaṃ, arahattan’ti, āvuso sāriputta, vuccati. Katamaṃ nu kho, āvuso, arahattan”ti? (SN38.2) (Also, questions with the ‘bla, bla, āvūsu, vuccati’ are far from always definitions. See e.g. SN22.21: “Sir, they speak of ‘cessation’. The cessation of what things does this refer to?”.) So, to me hoti asks about how bhava comes to be (or ‘becomes’), which is not an uncommon use ofhoti. And the answer that follows is in line with this, not in line with a definition. So continuing the sutta:

“If, Ananda, there were no kamma ripening in the sensory realm, would sense-sphere existence be discerned?”

We can also translate the verb paññāyetha as “would … occur”, like Ven. Sujato. That’s the implication of the verb in other contexts too. It connects better with the question, “how does existence happen?” The idea is that existence can’t occur without kamma of a past life ripening in the next life. Without kamma that leads to rebirth in the sensory realm, no-one would be born there, and there would be no existence (bhava) there. The text continues:

“No, Bhante.”

“Thus, Ananda, for beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving, kamma is the field, consciousness the seed, and craving the moisture for their consciousness to be established in an inferior realm. In this way there is the production of renewed existence in the future.

The Buddha’s answer to Ananda’s question, “how is there existence?”, ends with, “in this way there is the production of renewed existence (punabbhava) in the future.” This is not a definition, but indeed an answer to how existence comes about—an answer very much in line with all the other discourses. (Unlike the idea of bhava = kamma, which we don’t find anywhere else.) The Buddha answers that bhava (or “renewed existence”, punabbhava) is produced by craving and kamma of the past life. Consciousness being established in a realm refers to rebirth too; it’s consciousness moving on from one life to the next.

This idea of bhava meaning just existence, not kamma, aligns with all the references I started this topic with. For example, MN127 mentions “rebirth in a bhava” (bhavūpapattiyo), which it then explains happens after death, not while alive. Also take AN4.131, bhavapaṭilābhiyāni saṁyojanāni ‘fetters for getting an(other) existence’, which to me makes little sense as “the fetter for getting kamma” or however that would be interpreted in light of the commentary’s idea of kammabhava. This is the sutta on the “in between” lives, which also indicates the bhava one is “fettered to” is that which happens after death, not something that happens while alive. And so forth; see the references I have given when you have the time.

And talking about bhavataṇhā. I would make almost the exact same point you made before, which was good: We crave existence, not some sort of kammic processes within existence, or whatever. And rebirth is the core idea here too, since bhavataṇhā is a form of taṇhā ponobbhavika, ‘craving that leads to rebirth’. Bhavataṇhā is craving for continued existence after death, not craving for something in this life.

I really think the idea of bhava including kamma fits none of the uses of the word bhava in the suttas. It’s the craving and upādāna that are the kammic processes, not the bhava you crave for or take up (upādāna). The idea of bhava in the suttas is much more simple and natural than that of the commentaries. It just means existence as we would use the term in English, not some sort of karmic activity. Bhava is something passive in the suttas, not something active. To include in bhava activities done in this life (kamma) actually has many of the same problems I see with “becoming”, since it’s a movement towards a one-lifetime interpretations of Dependent Arising. (In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was exactly these kinds of commentarial ideas that initially gave rise to the translation “becoming”. Like in Ñaṇamoli’s tl. of the Visuddhimagga, where it is translated ‘becoming’. But in the commentaries that translation works a tad bit better than in the suttas, because it is exactly this context of kammabhava where ‘existence’ doesn’t really work as well, if you ask me.)

I know this interpretation removes some of the daily-life applicability of how you’ve explained DA before. But then DA is an explanation of the second noble truth, which is the craving that leads to rebirth (taṇhā ponobbhavika), not any ordinary type of craving. The craving in DA is for all intends and purposes also taṇhā ponobbhavika, and therefore the bhava that follows craving refers to a next life too, just like in the noble truth. The links of DA from craving till existence present the same idea as the second noble truth, but it uses bhava instead of punabbhava. A minor difference, really, ‘existence’ versus ‘again existence’. The word ‘again’ is effectively implied by context in DA, since bhava there leads to birth.

See also Snp3.12:

Upādānapaccayā bhavo,
Bhūto dukkhaṃ nigacchati;
Jātassa maraṇaṃ hoti,
Eso dukkhassa sambhavo.

Dependent on taking up, there is continued existence.
Having come to be [in the next life], you undergo suffering.
Being born, you will die.
That is how suffering comes to be.

The word bhūta also often refers to birth. Here bhava is best taken as referring to this “coming to be”, i.e. it means continuing to exist after death. It’s again not about kammic processes.

Or consider MN75:

And [when you become a stream enterer] you will think: I have long been tricked, cheated, and deceived by this mind. For what I have been taking up [at rebirth] was just form, feeling, perception, will, and consciousness. And dependent on that taking up of mine, there was continued existence.

The aggregates “start” at birth, which is here effectively equated to bhava. The taking up of the five aggregates results in continued existence after death. Not in some kamma activity.


Yes, exactly! That’s what the suttas say. Bhava and dukkha cease only after this life. :smiley: Iti44 says exactly that, that bhava only ceases at parinibbāna:

What has nothing [of the khandhas] left over [i.e. parinibbāna] pertains to what follows this life, where all states of existence (bhava) cease. (Iti44)

While alive you can’t escape from all that has dependently arisen. Because even if enlightened, you still have the five khandhas, and the five khandhas are dependently arisen through rebirth at the start of life:

"Form, Ananda, is impermanent, constructed, dependently arisen […] [Same for other khandhas.] (SN22.21)

The khandhas and suffering only end at death:

[Sāriputta:] “Then, Venerable Yamaka, how would you answer if people asked you what has become of enlightened mendicants after their body broke down, after death?”

“Venerable, if people asked me that, I would answer: ‘Form, feeling, perception, will, and consciousness are impermanent. What is impermanent is suffering. What is suffering has ceased, has passed away.’”

“Very good, Venerable Yamaka!” (SN22.85)

Enlightened ones don’t have craving and ignorance, sure. But they still have the five khandhas, still have sense contact, still have feelings, still have to die, still have suffering. They still have existence (bhava) too, as I’ve shown in the opening post. The Buddha even specifically said that being an arahant is a type of bhava! And the other things I mentioned (contact, feelings, suffering) are all also specifically said in the suttas to apply to enlightened beings still. So I don’t see how this idea would be “not compatible”.

In fact, it’s exactly because enlightened existence is also still suffering, that you can let go of desire for it. That’s how bhavataṇhā can cease, if you see even the life of an enlightened being as suffering. If you don’t think it’s suffering, you will always crave for it in a subtle way.


I don’t know how to phrase it much clearer than I already did, Ajahn. To be born you need to continue to exist after death. I thought that would be self-explanatory.

It doesn’t really matter whether we define jati as entry in the womb or physical birth. It can probably mean both depending on context. (In MN43 jātaṃ at least refers to physical birth.) The point is, if we take up (upādāna) the aggregates at death, this leads to more existence after death, which will result in birth at some point.

Hence the difference between bhava and punabbhava is small. What the noble truth says (craving that leads to “again existence” or rebirth, which I think you agree means after death) is effectively the same as craving > taking up (or “fuel”) > existence in Dependent Arising.

This is also the use of upādāna in SN44.9:

"And, Master Gotama, when a being has laid down this body but has not yet been reborn in another body, what does Master Gotama declare to be its fuel on that occasion?”

"When, Vaccha, a being has laid down this body but has not yet been reborn in another body, I declare that it is fuelled by craving. For on that occasion craving is its fuel (upādāna).”

About the in-between state, first of all I also don’t think the time in the womb is part of this. The in-between would happen before that already, when one moves from one body to the next. I agree the pragmatic implications of this state are minor. But I’m not limiting bhava to it, so this concern can be dropped. Bhava also continues after birth. Everybody who exists has bhava. I’m including the in-between in bhava, but not limiting it to it.

But talking about rare suttas, can you refer any other suttas than AN3.76-77 to support your ideas? Because if you are right, then that idea is also very rarely found in the suttas, I would say. And how does it work with the normal definitions of bhava in say SN12.2? How is kamma involved there?

With this I disagree, as I hopefully explained properly in my earlier post. If not, let me know. I think seeing it purely as ‘existence’ also gives it a very important function. In fact, that gives it a function. Because the function of kamma is effectively already fulfilled by craving and upādāna, which are the active forces. Bhava is the “passive” outcome of this. And this is functional in Dependent Arising, first because it is existence that beings actually crave for, not birth. Also, it is easier to imagine how craving after death would result in continued existence, compared to imagining how it would lead to birth, say in a womb.

Thanks for a kind exchange, that’s my primary thought. :slightly_smiling_face: At least I learn how the commentaries may have arrived at some of their ideas, because to me it still seems very unintuitive and not in line with common uses of the word bhava. And it misses the connection with the second noble truth.

Also, as a final note, I don’t see how or why bhava, a word that means “to be”, essentially, would be used to convey ideas of “to do” (kamma).


Kittāvatā literally means “to what extent”, or more idiomatically “how is it defined”.

In SN 12.51 the question is:

Kittāvatā nu kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu parivīmaṁsamāno parivīmaṁseyya sabbaso sammā dukkhakkhayāya


To what extent, mendicants, would an inquiring bhikkhu inquire for the complete ending of suffering?

The question is not “how do they inquire?” It is, “how do you define the level of inquiry that is sufficient for the complete ending of suffering?” In other words, “Of those mendicants who are inquiring, how do you define one who is inquiring for the end of suffering?”

I’m sure I could phrase the translation better, but that’s what the sense is.


Thanks bhante. I see. This word always confused me a bit. I stand corrected on that translation issue, and take back that it can mean “how”. But then I still think the text can be interpreted mostly along the lines that I suggested. Namely, the question is not for an exact definition of bhava, but something like “to what extend is there bhava?” or “to what extend does bhava come about?” The answer is the three realms of bhava. And how does that bhava come about? Through kamma and craving. This aligns with how these things are talked about everywhere else. Craving and karma lead to rebirth (punabbhava), i.e. to continued existence (bhava).


I just changed the translation to:

“Mendicants, when a mendicant is inquiring, how do you define when they are inquiring for the complete ending of suffering?”

No, thank you! My goodness, I have improved my translation so much from all the questions on this forum. Even when, as in this case, I don’t really change my mind, I often learn to express myself better.

I mean this comes down to how we define “define”. Which starts to get a little funhouse mirror-games for me.

For me the insight came when I simply realized that to “define” means to “place a limit”, which is pretty much the same thing. but certainly it’s the case that often “definitions” in the suttas are not exactly the kind of thing we’d expect from a definition today.


Right, I see, about ‘definition’. That makes more sense now. I think the English, or my grasp of it, is the issue, then. :slightly_smiling_face: I see the connection with ‘to what extend’ in kittāvatā. So as I read it now, bhava is “defined as” (or limited to) the three realms. Not to kamma or craving, which I still take to be different things. Seeing it like this also aligns it with the more normal “definition” of bhava, as in SN12.2, where it is just the three realms without any mention of kamma.


Right. Perhaps it is a case where the idiomatic English is too far from the underlying meaning. Hmm.


Hi, there’s a sutta isn’t there, in which Buddha reminds people that y’all come from mom and dad.

It’s the female body that at first duplicates the DNA strands in order for cellular division to begin occur. We also know that the egg actively selects sperm on the basis of chemical signalling and “allows it in.” Your birth is most definitely dependent upon and conditioned by other things, and the very first of that would be your mother’s body, with obviously, parental genetics having some say.

Women’s bodies aren’t passive vessels to entered, invaded, bombarded, descended into, etc. by some greater consciousness on its path to Awakening as it kicks them in its traces. You’re born because someone made a choice to have you. And more and more apparently, actually, very specifically you.

Granted, there was a time in the West, at least, in which women were put under and babies were pulled out of their bodies, but it is no longer the case that others can cognize “birth” for us. Maternal health is vitally important to everyone but also very much to your well being, including your capacity to cognize.

Bhava, existence, can most definitely be becoming, whether you like it or not, and a becoming over which you have no control. Be glad. Your mom did good. She considered things and practiced care and restraint. Some make terrible mistakes and many children are born these days with things like FASD.

This is what happens when we don’t want to accept good knowledge about physical reality, for instance, because it doesn’t happen to suit our point of view, inclinations and so forth. We don’t bend ourselves to the discomforts of necessary, active practice toward doing no harm. You don’t need to enter into speculative contemplation to realize DO … with the arising of this … that occurs … with the ceasing of this … that ends.

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Venerable, won’t most people understand “define” as it is used in school? That is, a set of words to memorize because an authority figure told you so?

Even in the hard sciences (even in math!), they don’t tell you how the top scientists argued about a definition for 200 years before they put it in the textbook, where it sits as if it were an self-evident revelation from nature that need not be questioned or investigated.

Personally, I think “to what extent” is better because it is a description of the natural world. On the other hand, definitions can be whatever we want; definitions don’t have to be good descriptions of anything in principle.

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In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stressful.

He says the five clinging aggregates are stressful. Clinging is the craving psychological component. Without clinging the 5 aggregates have nothing to do with dukkha, they just exist and do their own thing.

Well technically we won’t because the knowing faculty will cease :wink:

Personally, I subscribed to your and Ven Sunyo’s interpretation in the past, but it’s too faith based for me, although really this matter is not that significant in the first place, regardless of which interpretation you have, since eitherway, the 3 poison, 5 hindrances, and what we can see here and now needs to be dealt with. Whether there is a little dukkha left over in the end or not, is ultimately not that important unless you’re becoming an Arahant in this life. So while it’s an interesting discussion, it’s not that significant if your goal is to reduce as much of dukkha as you can in your short human life.

And the stoic in me only worries about what they can control not what they can’t control, the pyrrhonist in me only worries about what is knowable (which is very little), the epicurean in me enjoys the rest, and all of the above combined with the Buddhist in me focuses on removing the dukkha that I know exists (pyrrhonist), can be removed (stoic), resulting in sublime joy (epicurean).


Thanks, Erik. Because this is exactly how I interpreted it at first instance. :slightly_smiling_face: But this kind of definition is not what is happening in AN3.76-77. I now understand Ven. Sujato to mean ‘define’ in the sense of “my role is strictly defined”, i.e. limited. The idea seems to be that bhava is “limited” to the three realms. Funny how a single word (kittāvatā) can sometimes be so difficult to grasp. (Hence my earlier wrong suggestion to render kittāvatā as ‘how’.)

I also tend to think “to what extent” is better. The question then is, “To what extent is there existence?” The answer essentially is, to the extent of the three realms, because all kinds of karma that may exist lead to one of those.

Aaaaaaaaanyway. Putting AN3.76-77 aside for the moment, I think the general meaning of bhava is quite clear from the other quotes I’ve given. If AN3.76-77 are indeed somewhat questionable, we should interpret these text in light of the clearer ones, not the other way around. Which is why I still would be happy to see any other sutta references where bhava clearly is some sort of mental process of “becoming” in this life, or where it clearly includes kammic activities. During my search for the term, I didn’t come across any.


PS: @Thito, @Vaddha, @Jasudho: Sorry for ignoring some of y’all. But I don’t want to talk here again on whether enlightened life is still suffering, and how it relates to the upādānakkhandhas. Perhaps another topic? :cowboy_hat_face:


Thanks for taking the time to give such a detailed analysis, @Sunyo. I must admit you make a number of good points. In particular, your analysis of the meaning of AN3.76-77 is interesting. (Although I would have to look at it in a bit more detail to arrive at a final conclusion - one way or the other.)

To me the greatest weakness in your argument is that I do not think it makes a sufficiently good case for why the Buddha uses two words for the rebirth process, that is, both bhava and jāti.

Anyway, here are a few words in response.

Not really. The idea that we create kamma as a result of how we live is also implied by upādāna and the resulting inclination of the mind. I suppose the only difference is which term we use to explain this process. So I don’t have much vested interest in this, which should make it easier for me to let go! :grinning:

Except that in DO ponobhavika is covered by jāti. To my mind, your interpretation makes the distinction between bhava and jāti negligible.

Good one! Sunyo vs. Brahmali: 1 - 0.

Yes, but there needs to be some distinction between bhava and jāti. Otherwise one of them is redundant. In fact your whole argument here and below almost erases the distinction between the two. We need a clear explanation of why the Buddha used the two terms, including the conditional relationship between them.

The ideas of kamma and rebirth are mainstream, intermediate existence is not. True, there are only these two suttas, but they don’t really say anything new. They are just applying an existing scheme to a specific context.

The point here would simply be that as you exist in the sense sphere you tend to make sense sphere kamma. The doing is implied by the existence.


Thank you Venerable. I do not regard my questions as “silly”. It seems you sought to correlate the words “sensual” & “human”, which seems to have no basis in the EBTs; thus giving the impression to imply the Buddha lived a “sensual life”; or otherwise the Buddha was not “human”. While DN 30 seems to have the flavour of late Jataka inspired sutta, I already offered my view that “bhava” in DN 30 may refer to a “mode of behaviour/kamma”, as follows:

In some past births (jatim), past existences (bhavaṁ), past abodes the Realized One existed (samāno) as a human being (manussabhūto). He firmly undertook and persisted in skillful behaviors such as good conduct by way of body, speech and mind…

Similarly, you seemed to offer an idiosyncratic translation of “dukkham” as the characteristic of things; thus stating the aggregates are “suffering” rather than the aggregates “lack a pleasurable nature”. MN 115 seems to make it clear the characteristic of “dukkham” means there is no inherent pleasurableness in conditioned things, as follows:

‘It’s impossible for a person accomplished in view to take any condition as permanent.

‘It’s impossible for a person accomplished in view to take any condition as pleasant.

‘It’s impossible for a person accomplished in view to take anything as self.

MN 115

You seemed to propose an undefined Path that must end the aggregates that is not the destruction of craving. Again, the suttas seem to have only one Path, which is the destruction of craving.

The above give the impression of attempting to give greater scope to Dependent Origination than was originally intended for that Teaching. As stated in my initial replies, there are only three bhava in Dependent Origination:

  1. Sensual
  2. Form
  3. Formless

Dependent Origination does not refer to human bhava. Therefore, DN 30, which seems to be a late Jataka style sutta, is probably unfit for the purpose of explaining bhava in core suttas such as SN 12.2. Regardless, as suggested from the start, the word “bhava” seems too broad to only be about the three ignorant bhava of Dependent Origination; as indicated in Iti 44. In Iti 44, the Arahants abide in the Nibbana With Remainder, which is not sensual, nor form; nor formless. Therefore, it seems when Iti 44 says “all bhava” ends in Nibbana Without Remainder, “bhava” here cannot refer to the three bhava of Dependent Origination but, instead, may simply mean the very broad term “being”. Keep in mind, SN 12.3 literally says Dependent Origination is the wrong path therefore the three bhava in DO cannot apply to Arahants. :slightly_smiling_face:


Dear All,

Please keep the discussion on topic and avoid combative, ad hominem statements. Remember the advice of the Araṇavibhaṅga Sutta (MN 139): Criticize ideas, not people.

With Metta,


A post was split to a new topic: Does kamma mean intention?

I found CurlyCarl’s question to be very relevant and not malicious.

Titho brilliantly wrote how to approach this topic. One should use the Buddha’s teachings for practical purposes. The term becoming moment by moment serves me very well. It shows me that the ego is an illusion. I change my kamme all the time. Kamma has suffering within it. The more emptiness, the less kamma - less suffering. After all, even in the highest states there is kamma that needs to be let go. Thank you for this discussion. Venerable Sunio for the topic. CurlyCarl for good arguments. Thito for wisdom.


Thanks for sharing. I hear what you’re saying regarding the practical aspects of the practice.

At the same time, per a Venerable on another topic: If final Nibbana is the cessation of the Khandas…? A question I've been pondering
"…the aggregates are suffering. If the mind hasn’t seen that, you can aim for the cessation of craving all you want, but attachments and craving for those aggregates will remain. Craving is there because of not understanding suffering. If you understand suffering, craving will automatically disappear, whether you want it to or not. "

This seems to be an important practical point worth considering and which can be verified in practice. Also, as quoted many times, see Iti44.

Yup. The comment was offered lightheartedly… :slightly_smiling_face:

As we know, the Buddha taught over and over again about the necessity of developing dispassion (virāga) for the mind to fully let go – > liberation.

So just for consideration: If the khandhas are seen as “OK in themselves”, a subtle clinging to them can remain which, practically speaking, can be an obstacle to liberation compared to an understanding, for example, that pain (in the kāya, body) is simply pain, pain = dukkha, and it all has to go, (parinibbāna).

As long as the khandas are present, form is present, and pain will be experienced through the khandhas of form, perception, feeling, and consciousness, even without clinging or identification with them.

If the khandhas, in themselves, are not suffering then why not be born again and again without clinging? By this definition, this would be the cessation of dukkha.
Are there any suttas that express this?

Instead, the Buddha’s N8FP is specifically about ending dukkha by ending rebirth.

With respect and all best wishes :pray:

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