If ignorance ceases choice will cease but will choice cease entirely or only Choice rooted in ignorance ceases?

My second question is if ignorance ceases will choice cease at the same time or nearly at the same time with short interval or only after death ?

The third question is knowing the root of dependent origination is ignorance then why craving not ignorance become the noble truth of source of suffering ?

The fourth question is why choice can’t cease without ignorance being ceased like how craving could cease without feeling being ceased ?

The fifth question is when ignorance ceases I see that craving ceases too but not feeling so dependent origination should be only ignorance → craving instead of ignorance → choice → consciousness → name and form->feeling, etc, what do you think ?

May you be happy friends :smiling_face_with_three_hearts::smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Is that not Buddha facing the choice to teach or not after his enlightenment.
I think Buddha’s teaching is entirely targeting on avijja related, it is not addressing sphere which is not a problem to start with.
So i guess choices (our internal emotional conflicts, our doubt about what is true), are gone after training.
As to the choices otherwise, Buddha didn’t address. It is not related to end of suffering.


This is the second noble truth. Others ask why suffering is the first noble truth rather than impermanence. The answer to both is that suffering and craving are real human experiences readily identified by the ordinary person, and the four noble truths and noble eightfold path are designed for public consumption. If a practitioner has gone beyond the basic teaching and like the OP begins to investigate the dynamics of the path, what causes actual experience, then they should begin studying the factors of enlightenment and how they interact together. SN 46.53 describes the two characteristics active and passive, which when employed cause direct experience of the path. This will lead them to a practice approach, and DO should be avoided as it will lead down a theoretical path. Rather ignorance should be known as one of the three intoxicant biases, which are progressively eliminated in the system of the ten fetters, where choice (appropriate attention) is the decisive factor:

“He attends appropriately, This is stress… This is the origination of stress… This is the cessation of stress… This is the way leading to the cessation of stress. As he attends appropriately in this way, three fetters are abandoned in him: identity-view, doubt, and grasping at precepts & practices. These are called the fermentations to be abandoned by seeing.”—MN 2

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Hi Jacky and @paul1 I have added the fifth question so please kindly see it again

By Choice I mean deeds or volition or intention which is the second link in dependent origination, I am sorry for the misunderstanding, my English is bad so please ask me if you still are not clear

Thanks Jacky and @paul1
May you all be happy :smiling_face_with_three_hearts::smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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There is no first cause in DO as all are interdependent; Ignorance is the root but Craving conditions Ignorance.
And translation might be an issue; 2nd Nobel Truth what we understand is wider in scope than Craving as it is Samudaya (Attachment to craving/hatred/ignorance/conceit etc.).

Ignorance (cause) conditions Choice (effect) like Feeling (cause) conditions Craving (effect).
Only when “cause” ceases, so does “result”.
I think that cause and effect positions could solve your question.

You sould see DO like a domino; cessation continues from beginning to end if Ignorance stops. (Feelings from Choices also stop.)

Here, the translated word “Choice” for Sankhara might be insufficient.
What we understand on that word “sankhara” is “Making responses (Choices) without wisdom”.

Thanks and regards,

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Oh I see So you think all 12 factors of DO contribute to suffering not just ignorance, don’t you ? That’s interesting and insightful to know, that means DO is a 2 way relationship

I am interested to know your sutta or commentary or sub-commentary source for the above sentence what I know is ignorance conditions craving indirectly via choice->consciousness->name and form->six sense bases->feeling

Source needed here too friend for the Buddha said directly if I am not mistaken that craving is the 2nd noble truth

I think Buddha means explicitly that craving is it instead of attachment to craving if Buddha means attachment to craving then only attachment would be the 2nd noble truth because craving is ok and the problem is the attachment to craving

If I am not mistaken both grasping and attachment is the same thing then craving Condition attachment too, Buddha Don’t need to add attachment on 2nd noble truth since attachment is craving born too

I like to say that ignorance births choice

That’s the question Buddha Don’t have ignorance yet he still have feeling

There are 2 possibilities here it’s either that the feeling that the Buddha feels born from wisdom instead of ignorance or the feeling that the Buddha feels Borns from past choices or past kamma or Maybe others :thinking:

Thanks so you think that choice is just our reaction to our world, isn’t it ? What about volition that’s not triggered by anyone like planning or walking ?

Thanks zawnyunt
May you be happy :smiling_face_with_three_hearts::smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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This is not my thinking; just what I learnt from many monks and what I’ve been using in my meditation.
As DO is the direct words by the Buddha, one should take care in interpretations.
I don’t mean to make a lengthy discussion on it but just to help you in some ways.
For details, scholars like Bhantes are preferred.
Most of my sources are in Burmese language and a few in English (eg. Mahasi Sayadaw and Rector Sayadaw).

Thanks and regards,

To be more specific, what conditions Ignorance is Asava; and Craving for existence is one of Four Asavas.
I just make it short for better understanding. Some teachings in Myanmar refer to Ignorance and Craving as two most fundamental causes.

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Choice (appropriate attention) never ceases:

“An arahant should attend in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self. Although, for an arahant, there is nothing further to do, and nothing to add to what has been done, still these things — when developed & pursued — lead both to a pleasant abiding in the here-&-now and to mindfulness & alertness.”—SN 22.122

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I prefer Burmese sources ,I love the elders the sayadaws :heart_eyes::heart_eyes:, I have read visuddhinanakatha, written by ven mahasi in pali but I read the English version, I also like mahatika a commentary to vissudhimagga

Are you Burmese by any chance ?

Yes Buddha said in the sutta that ignorance is conditioned by asava but asavas are conditioned by ignorance too so for simplicity let’s use ignorance instead of asavas

If I am not mistaken there’s only 3 asavas moha, dosa, lobha or greed, aversion and delusion

Thanks zawnyunt
Studying dhamma with you is such a pleasure
May you and your family be happy :smiling_face_with_three_hearts::smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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So when ignorance ceases Only craving ceases, doesn’t it ?

Why did the Buddha say the choice ceases when ignorance ceases then ?

Thanks Paul
May you be happy :smiling_face_with_three_hearts::smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

"Ven. Nandaka: “This simile, sisters, I have given to convey a message. The
message is this: The substance of the inner flesh stands for the six internal
sense media; the substance of the outer hide, for the six external sense
media. The skin muscles, connective tissues, & attachments in between
stand for passion & delight. And the sharp knife stands for noble
discernment—the noble discernment that cuts, severs, & detaches the
defilements, fetters, & bonds in between.” — MN 146

Similarly, as we noted in Chapter One, when the arahant after full awakening
engages in right mindfulness, it’s with a sense of being disjoined from body,
feelings, mind, and mental qualities. At the same time, he/she continues to
engage in appropriate attention. Although the purpose now is different from
that of an unawakened person, there is a purpose nonetheless.

So even though arahants have completed the duties and tasks associated with
the four noble truths—and have gained access to an unconditioned awareness
outside of the dimension of the six senses—their attention, when sensitive to the
world of the six senses, is still a purposeful activity.
Which goes to show that—both in the course of the path and in its
aftermath—neither mindfulness nor attention plays a purely receptive role. In
line with the Buddha’s depiction of the processes of sensory experience in
general, they act purposefully. This is true whether the mind is engaged in giving
rise to stress, following the path to the end of stress, or sensitive to sensory input
after the experience of total release from stress. "—Thanissaro, “Right Mindfulness.”

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May you answer my questions bhante if you don’t mind @sujato @brahmali @vimala @Pasanna @Akaliko to clear my doubt for my own welfare and happiness :pray::pray:

If the Buddha still alives I would say to him

Tesaṁ no, bhante, bhagavā amhākaṁ tathā dhammaṁ desetu ye amhākaṁ assu dhammā diṭṭhadhammahitāya diṭṭhadhammasukhāya, samparāyahitāya samparāyasukhāyā :pray::pray:
May the Buddha please teach us the Dhamma in a way that leads to our welfare and happiness in this life and in future lives :pray::pray:

But I don’t have the Buddha :sob::sob: i only have you :sob::sob:

Thanks bhante
May bhante be happy :smiling_face_with_three_hearts::smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Hi Alaray,

Question 2

OK, I’ll try to give you some brief answers. To get to grips with this it is necessary to understand the nature of ignorance, avijjā. Ignorance here refers to the fact that you believe there is a desirable future state and that it is in your power to achieve it. This future state refers to any kind of sensory existence we aspire for (kāmachanda) or to any other desired personal state (bhavāsāva). Both of these involve craving. This craving and the belief that you can control your future make you act so as to try to achieve that future. This is saṅkhāra. So the saṅkhāras are all the willed activities we do in the pursuit of creating an imaginary future for ourselves. We are projecting into the future. This creates rebirth and thus the continuation of saṃsāra.

When ignorance is gone, you see that this trying to create a particular future for yourself is a doomed project. You don’t get what you want, and in any case it’s not sustainable. It’s a mirage. Moreover, you see that the whole sense of self that is supposed to make it happen is itself an illusion. When you see this, you stop trying to create an imaginary future. This is what is meant by saṅkhāras coming to an end. You can now see that the saṅkhāras must end immediately when ignorance ceases. This answers your second question.

Question 3

Both craving and ignorance are the root of suffering. They are different ways of looking at the same issue. In the second noble truth the focus is on the rebirth process, which is driven by craving. In dependent origination the focus is on the deeper causes, that is, the cause for craving, which is ignorance. The purpose of the latter is to give us a way out of the problem. The noble eightfold path leads to insight, which eliminates ignorance.

Question 4

Choices can cease without ignorance ceasing, but only temporarily, especially in deep states of samādhi. When you emerge from samādhi, ignorance will ensure that choices are reactivated. In Buddhist writings the term “cease” normally refers to permanent cessation.

Question 5

When ignorance ceases, saṅkhāras cease immediately, but consciousness only cease at death. Because feeling comes after consciousness in the chain, it too only ceases at death.

And yes, you could say that craving ceases when ignorance ceases. In this case grasping (upādāna) and existence (bhava) also cease immediately, whereas rebirth only ceases when you die.

Does this help?

Much metta,
Ajahn Brahmali


Avijja (ignorance) can be used as subjectively and objectively.

Avijja as subjectively meant unconscious. Unconscious act, have desire, clinging (personalize the body), create the outside world etc.

Avijja as objectively meant ignorance. Mainly use by an Arahant to describe common folk that doesn’t understand four noble truth. They act unconsciously due to they are ignorance to four noble truth.

To fully understand dependent of origination, you need to follow noble eightfold path (step by step). Right view, calm action, calm mind, calm knowledge that lead to freedom (fully conscious on all unconscious activities).

When you reach Avijja state (unconcious state) through Jhana progression, and awaken. Then you are awaken on all the activities. You are an Arahant or possibly an Anagami (if there is something leftover).

Again to fully understand dependent origination, one need to follow noble eightfold path step by step.

Hope this is helpful.

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First I want to say thanks a thousand bhante, I can’t thank you enough :sob::sob:

In that case should not DO be ignorance → choice → craving → existence ? :thinking:

I mean if it’s ignorance → choice → consciousness → name and form → contact → feeling → then logically craving must wait for consciousness to cease in order to cease which means that only at death time craving can cease

And bhante could you answer my first question ? I ask this because in many suttas Buddha seems showing sign of making choice for example


Then it occurred to the Buddha,
“This gentleman’s conduct is impressive. Why don’t I question him?”
So the Buddha said to Pukkusāti,

Then the Buddha robed up in the morning and, taking his bowl and robe, entered Sāvatthī for alms.
Then it occurred to him, “It’s too early to wander for alms in Sāvatthī. Why don’t I go to Mallikā’s monastery to visit the wanderer Poṭṭhapāda?” So that’s what he did.

Now I can be wrong here but Buddha seems sometimes overrides his earlier decisions and I think you can’t walk/talk without choice let alone overriding your earlier choice without choice so I want to know whether what I mean by choice is correct or not bhante please guide me :pray::pray: I define choice as planning or intentional kamma I don’t think unintentional kamma is a choice and I don’t think unintentional kamma bears result that’s my current understanding :pray::pray:

Thanks bhante
May bhante be happy :smiling_face_with_three_hearts::smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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thanks Joe I know you created that account just to answer my question may you be successful in your pursuit of life joe, may no obstacle hinders your goal of life

I translate your “awaken all the times” as awareness that nothing is permanent at all times, is my translation correct or do I misunderstand you ?

Is conscious craving or clinging an avijja too ?

May you and your family be happy :smiling_face_with_three_hearts::smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Thanks Alaray for your kind words. May you gain unshakable confidence in triple gems from hearing the true dhamma.

Please note, my understanding and personal experience is different from common translation in various websites. And I’m not claiming, it is right or wrong. Please investigate yourself, as Buddha teaching is Ehipassiko.

Awaken means conscious/aware on subjective/internal experience (panca khandha - cumulative process of perceptions). When one is aware of this process, you are conscious/aware on whatever happen internally in your mind. You don’t focus on whatever happen outside the world from senses. Once you are aware, you are relax, your mind is calm & body is comfortable and happy.

Most people think awareness on the object or the outside world that perceive from our 5 senses + 1 mind sense, but dependent origination is not about awareness of the senses of outside world (that is nothing is permanent), it is beyond from the senses.

For me, dependent of origination occurs simultaneously depends on the 12 conditions and it is independent of time and space. Of course only an Arahant can have a perfectly awakening of the perception process.

Stream Enterer, fully aware of the conducts, hence their moral conduct is perfected, but still have a suffering because they are still not done with their practice.

So for common folk, they can’t be conscious yet. Therefore, they still have avijja. Even a stream enterer still have an avijja, but they know the path of ending suffering fully and independent of teacher. Only Arahant has removed the Avijja fetter.

Anyone who have 4 jhana can fully understand it, you find in Samma Ditthi Sutta (MN 9 edited) explained by Ven. Sariputta. He explained it from 1 condition after another to get a right view.

Do you know why Buddha teach 4 noble truths, because it is easier to understand.

  1. Suffering is Pancupadanakhandha - you cling on internal cumulative of perceptions when you receive outside senses stimulant. Once you cling, you have a suffering/stress.
  2. Source of suffering is Tanha (desire, craving, emotional reaction from feeling).
  3. Ending of suffering is end of tanha (end of desire, end of craving, end of emotional reaction from feeling)
  4. Path to end.

When you cling to craving (i.e. making it as mine), then you have an existence with this current body (bhava). Because of existence of this body, you have a past of birth of current body (jati), current state of body (aging, sick) and future state of the body is death (marana). Hence the mass of suffering is exist.

Do you remember when you are aware that this body is born? Most people they don’t, they just aware people calling you with a name. Then this body become yourself. Hence we need to depersonalize this body.

One more thing, to get a right view, there are 2 conditions: voice of another and focus attention to the source, mind (MN 43). You need to have a mind that is far from senses to understand the Buddha teaching as MN 56 said:

“And when he knew that Upāli’s mind was ready, pliable, rid of hindrances, joyful, and confident he explained the special teaching of the Buddhas: suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the path.”

Do you know what ready mind, pliable mind, rid of hindrances ? It is a mind in Jhana, whether it is 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th. Jhana is purity of mind, unification of minds, free mind from senses. So for me, Jhana is not only sitting in meditation.

Hence, to understand dependent of origination is to understand four noble truths. When you are awaken, that means you have experience free/less of suffering depending on your awakening level.

Let me know if this explain it better.

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Thanks for the insight joe, do you think that feeling is a reaction to contact ?

Oh I see… do you think that any suffering and craving we experience are not ours in the first place and should not be claimed as ours ?

Free mind from sense pleasure or free mind from sense cravings or free mind from senses which one ?

Your words are dense friend, it takes time to analyze all those pure nectars of yours :heart_eyes::heart_eyes:

Thanks friend
May you always be happy

Hi Alaray,

If you want to learn more, you can search for Late Bhante Punnaji in youtube about “Paticca Samuppada (Concise) by Bhante Punnaji”, my understanding and experience fall inline with his explanation.

Note: You may need to hear many times to get what he is talking about. Also don’t look at the figure, look at/hear the teaching if you want to improve. See if it is fall inline with your practice or not. If not, you can certainly throw it away. Likewise for my explaination below :smile:

Cognition of outside environment (contact) is condition for feeling.
→ When you use your 6 senses to cognize the environment (contact), then internally/subjectively in your mind arise a feeling of pleasant, unpleasant and neutral.

Regarding the suffering and craving we experience, nothings are yours. They arise because of the 12 conditions hence dependent origination.

The suffering arise because we think “wrongly”, hence there is a satipatthana (Samma Sati step 7, bring your mind to within / introspection) to “correct” our way of thinking (dhammanupassana - last step of sati). I can explain further, but maybe too much for details.

My understanding about Anatta, you need to have a very clear mind, possibly 4th jhana to analyze the Panca Khandha (for freedom with wisdom as an arahant, or something leftover an Anagamin) or go up to 9th jhana (sanna-vedayita nirodha, SN 41.6) to understand there is no mind (completely stop the mind activity) and only a body (like death body). One who can reach this state and fully understood the whole links is known as freedom by 2 ways.

Free mind means entering a 1st jhana, etc. From sutta about jhana (ex: DN 10), Having withdrawn from senses desires, and evil states of mind, one enters the First jhana…
Note: It is not easy to enter a jhana, you need to have a perfect morality (consciously), and right understanding/view as the foundation.

For Dependent of origination, this is how my current understanding
Again, please investigate, my translation is different from common translation.

‘When this exists, then that is present; When this arises, then that arises. When this doesn’t exist, then that is not present; When this ceases, then that ceases. That is:

-Unconsciousness is a condition for Process Constructions Activities.
-Process Constructions Activities are a condition for perception.
-Perceptions are a condition for Constructed Entity and Identity.
-Constructed Entity and Identity are a condition for Experiencing Six Sense fields.
-Experiencing Six Sense fields are a condition for Cognition of outside environment (Contact).
-Cognition of environment (Contact) are a condition for feelings.
-Feelings are a condition for Emotional Reaction of feelings (craving).
-Emotional Reaction of feelings (craving) are a condition for Personalization of the Subjective experience (clinging, making subjective experience as mine)
-Personalization of the Subjective experience are a condition for Coming into existence imaginary “self” in an imaginary “world”
-Coming into existence are a condition for Birth (past).
-Birth (past) are a condition for Aging (present) and death of the body (future) as well as grief, lamentation, pain, depression, and exhaustion which start this existence in the world.

That is how this entire mass of suffering originates.

-When Unconsciousness fades away with nothing left over, with no emotional desire, and cease, then Process Constructions Activities will cease.
-When Process Constructions Activities cease, then perception will cease.
-When Perceptions cease, then Constructed Entity and Identity will cease.
-When Constructed Entity and Identity cease, then Experiencing Six Sense fields will cease.
-When Experiencing Six Sense fields cease, then cognition of outside environment (contact) will cease.
-When Cognition of outside environment cease, then feelings will cease.
-When Feelings cease, then Emotional Reaction of feeling (craving) will cease.
-When Emotional Reaction of feeling (craving) cease, then Personalization of the Subjective experience (clinging, making subjective experience as mine) will cease.
-When Personalization of the Subjective experience (clinging, making subjective experience as mine) cease, then Coming into existence imaginary “self” in an imaginary “world” will cease.
-When Coming into existence cease, then Birth (past) will cease.
-When Birth (past) cease, then Aging (present) and death of the body (future) as well as grief, lamentation, pain, depression, and exhaustion will cease.

That is how this entire mass of suffering ceases.

Apologize if I miss somethings. Teaching of buddha need to be listen carefully with clear mind, then analyze it again, thinking about it again, pondering about it again, recite it again, etc. Hence it is called a sotapanna (can also be translated as a wisdom enter from Ear)

Hope this help.


DO will become more clear if one meditates.

For example, if one is confused why Ignorance starts DO cycle, he/she can experience by himself/herself while meditating as below:-

The truth is “everything had already gone once you knew it.”
There is nothing. We are just so much used to grasping old-gone things.
Without knowing “it-is-no-longer-there” reality, we react to those already-gone phenomena.
It means “Ignorance conditions Choice (reaction)”.

So, most of the time, whatever we do, all our actions are initiated by Ignorance.

I hope that might help you understand DO more.

thanks and regards,

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