When does dependent origination actually cease?

I have always found DO in cessation mode difficult to comprehend, and there seem to be a lot of different interpretations around.
Given that Nibbana is described as the cessation of the taints, I assume that the nidanas from tanha onwards cease ( or begin to wind down? ) when Nibbana is attained.
But what about the earlier nidanas in the sequence, ie from sankharas to vedana? They seem to describe the way we experience things, and if they cease, what would be left?

What do you think the full cessation of dependent origination looks like practically speaking, and when do you think it occurs?

If I understand you correctly, upon death of an Arahant the old Kamma come to an end.

The root of these are cut off so as they are seen for what they are: arising and passing, suffering and not-self

Paticcasammuppada is the cycle of rebirth. So with the cessation of avijja in the current lifetime, future rebirth (i.e. the rest of the nidanas) are stopped.

So you don’t think these early nidanas actually cease at the point of Nibbana, it’s more like they are seen clearly and therefore not grasped?

Could you clarify which nidanas you mean by “the rest of the nidanas”? Thanks.

Do you mean that DO doesn’t cease until the death of the Arahant? What about the nidanas of craving and clinging, given that Nibbana is described as cessation of the taints?

Sankhara, vinanna, and so on. By the way if I am not mistaken sankhara here means actions that produce result and vinanna is the first consciousness after rebirth. So with avijja eliminated, future rebirth is also ceased.

I think the closest one gets to answer this is to rest in unknowing about other than it will always happen now.


Nirodha = cessation = 3rd Noble Truth = ceasing order of the DO. This is also the 3rd segment of the progress of insight in EBTs - nibbida, viraga, nirodha. So when avijja is ‘suppressed’ (‘tadanga pahana’) at stream entry, cessation happens- phenomena that arises and passes away, start to fade away and cease completely. If the meditator had the eyes open, nothing would be visible. Especially the stream entrants who can attain jhana can achieve this state of cessation, commentarially known as ’phalasamawata’, when the nomenclature became more well established. This living experience of ‘the fire going out’ ie Nibbana is mentioned here : AN10.6.

This happens during the moment when the Dhamma eye arises, in sotapatti magga but the more longer experience of Nibbana is in Sotapatti phala ie. identifying cessation is more likely to happen at this point. The ‘Body witness’ (kayasakkhi) who experiences Nibbana, is likely to be the same individual. Arahath phala while possibly quite broad would include this meditative (and therefore temporary) experience of Nibbana as well.

With metta

I would say what operates after one become Arahant is the DO in reverse order.

Just to be clear, I am asking what this passage from SN 12.1 means, practically speaking, and when it occurs:

"But with the remainderless fading away and cessation of ignorance comes cessation of volitional formations; with the cessation of volitional formations, cessation of consciousness; with the cessation of consciousness, cessation of name-and-form; with the cessation of name-and-form, cessation of the six sense bases; with the cessation of the six sense bases, cessation of contact; with the cessation of contact, cessation of feeling; with the cessation of feeling, cessation of craving; with the cessation of craving, cessation of clinging; with the cessation of clinging, cessation of existence; with the cessation of existence, cessation of birth; with the cessation of birth, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair cease. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.”

Here’s a good sutta which shows how the ending of craving via the path, leads to cessation.

  1. The Cessation of Craving

“Bhikkhus, develop the path and the way that leads to the cessation of craving. And what is the path and the way that leads to the cessation of craving? It is: the seven factors of enlightenment. What seven? The enlightenment factor of mindfulness … the enlightenment factor of equanimity.

“And how is it, bhikkhus, that the seven factors of enlightenment, when developed and cultivated, lead to the cessation of craving?

“Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of mindfulness … the enlightenment factor of equanimity, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. It is when the seven factors of enlightenment are developed and cultivated in this way that they lead to the cessation of craving.” SN46.27

with metta