Let’s try to understand the object call Vedana (Feelings) in Cause & Effect theory!
We already know that the cause & effect theory is the best dharma to understand this continuous existence properly. That is why it is really important to understand this valuable dharma to become our own savior. Greatest Samma Sambuddha said the Cause & Effect theory is like ocean. We are already step into that ocean and now we discover each wonderful area one by one… If you think about the things you read in these articles with an open mind, you should understand by now that a group of meaningless practices cause to this endless existence of all the worldly beings. And that circle of meaningless practices is what we currently discussing. This scientific method should be understood through our own mind for the success in this Arya path. Even though I write these articles in my best I can’t give you the understanding… that is something you should gain through your own mind by using it openly & wisely.
We can identify 2 kinds of Feelings. Those are Internal / Mental feelings and the other as External / Physical feelings. In Cause & Effect theory the object call “FEELINGS” is quite different than the “Feelings” we know. So mainly through this article I am trying my best to explain this difference as it is really important you to understand correctly.
When we talk about the “Feelings” more, we find Uncomfortable feelings we get through our body. Those feelings we can named as Painful feelings (Dukka Vedana). The uncomfortable feelings which come across the mind we can identify as Grief feelings (Domanassa). As a result of being touch with a spoiled mind the grief feeling / Domanassa exist and you will be able to understand this soon with the information you collect through this article.
Think about a child. Or think about yourself. When you were a child you used to cry… weren’t you? You cried mostly by hurting body than hurting your mind… BUT when you grew up again you have to cry sometimes… BUT mostly by hurting mind / heart than hurting body... am I correct? Isn’t that means the Internal / mental pain grew up with your age? Why? What is the cause? Cause is the IGNORANCE for all these strange behaviors which grow up with our age. As long as the ignorance is there we attract to the pleasant feelings (Sukha Vedana)… we suffer with the unpleasant feelings (Dukka Vedana)… we don’t be confounded with indifferent feelings which we call Upeksha Vedana / equanimity feelings.
Dharma says we should empty the pleasantness of feelings to identify the correct feeling. How we can do that? Empty the pleasantness? You may be wondering how to do that! Dharma says we should identify the pleasant feeling (Sukha Vedana) as painful sufferings, and the unpleasant painful feelings (Dukka Vedana) as sharp hurting tips (like needle point), and the equanimity feelings (Upeksha Vedana) as things which are not the way we want. It’s no use of thinking like this just because it mentioned in dharma. We should use our own mind openly to understand the each fact fully and with that understanding we should think as above.
When say “Passa paccaya Vedana” it explains the Vedana (Feelings) arises as a result of Passa (Contact). But it’s quite difficult to understand the exact meaning behind this phrase through such a small explanation. Isn’t it? So we should clarify what sort of a contact and what sort of feeling mentioned here… I believe you already read the article on “Passa / Contact” and understand the difference between normal “contacts” and the “Contacts” in Cause & Effect theory which cause to sufferings!
“Tatta Katama Salayatana paccaya Passo? (What is 6 Institutes cause to Contact?) – Chakku Sampassayo (visual contact with ignorance), Sota Sampassayo (contact of hearing with ignorance), Ghana Sampassayo (Contact of smelling with ignorance), Jivha Sampassayo (Contact of tasting with ignorance), Kaya Sampassayo (bodily tactile contact with ignorance) and Mano Sampassayo (mental contact with ignorance) Ayang uccati Salayatana paccaya Passo (That what 6 Institutes cause to Contact is)”
This is just a reminder from the previous article to identify what “Contact / Passa” is! I mentioned this explanation again here to show you that it is the same contact cause to Vedana (feelings) which we trying to understand through this article. There are 6 ways of contacts which cause to feelings.
“Tatta Katama Passa paccaya Vedana? (What is Contact cause to Feelings?) – Chakku Sampassaja Vedana (feeling arisen through ignorant visual contact), Sota Sampassaja Vedana (feeling arisen through ignorant contact of hearing), Ghana Sampassaja Vedana (feeling arisen through ignorant Contact of smelling), Jivha Sampassaja Vedana (feeling arisen through ignorant Contact of tasting ), Kaya Sampassaja Vedana (feeling arisen through ignorant bodily tactile contact) and Mano Sampassaja Vedana (feeling arisen through ignorant mental contact) Ayang uccati Passa paccaya Vedana (That what Contact cause to Feelings is)”
Let’s try to understand one by one.
It says “Chakku Sampassaja Vedana (feeling arisen through ignorant visual contact)” in this phrase you can notice the word “Sampassaja” which we already know the meaning as “arisen through Ignorant Contact” so it is not just the contact which we normally know. It is the Contact which arise with the ignorance and cause to endless sufferings… and the Vedana / Feelings also should understand like in the same manner. We discuss about the “Feelings” which cause to endless sufferings and it is not the feelings we normally get to our body or mind as natural feelings. We already understood the difference between the contact & the ignorant contact (Passa & Sangsprasha / Sampassa) through previous article.
When we see the world through an ignorant view we find world as a valuable place to be with … we want to protect out world… we believe our world as a fruitful thing… etc… and we contact the world with those views and feel the world. When we see a form we don’t see just a form… we contact the form as a pleasant , valuable form which have such categories… and this form belongs to me… and belongs to my own people… etc. Likewise when we see a form, listen to a sound, smell a fragrance, taste a taste, feel a touch, with such a view we don’t JUST see or hear or smell or taste or feel things. Our way of contacting has changed… that contact cause to arise strange feelings than the normal feelings… those feelings have exceed the limit and become a special feeling. And the entertainments we gain through those feelings also have exceeded the limit.
Let me take an example…
A person has a $100. And you don’t care about it… coz it’s not yours… even that person lost that $100 you don’t feel anything special… simply you don’t care about anything happen to that $100. But think for a moment that same $100 you got for yourself. And it’s yours now. How many strange feelings arise in you? You think for the things possible to buy from that $100… and you put special attention to protect that $100 of yours… and if you found that is lost you feel sad… if someone stolen you get angry… aren’t you? And now think beyond the $100… think about the thing you already collected to your side… Think about the things you call “I” & “MINE” or “MY SOUL” think about the feeling you gain through those things… and think about the feeling you are going to have when you lose them… is that the same feeling you gain for someone else’s things… someone else’s properties… is that the same feeling you feel when something happen to stranger or stranger’s property?
You collect people… animal… materials & properties to your side by thinking “I” or “MINE” or “MY OWN” you are giving a value to those people… animal… materials & properties… extra value and through that value you gain a special feeling. You feel that you are lucky to have such a valuable treasure with you. You feel that you are the happiest person… you do anything to protect them for yourself. The more you attached more you react when you losing them or when more things adding to your side. When things comes against the way you want you react with hatred… likewise desire, hatred, ignorance all 3 exist when you feel people… animal… materials & properties as “I” or “MINE” “MY SOUL”… and the special feeling you gain through the things which you counted for your side with ignorance is the feeling which cause to endless sufferings. This special ignorant feeling is sometimes a pleasant feeling… sometimes an unpleasant feeling… sometimes middle feeling which we can say as equanimity feeling.
There is again a something special we should understand… the feelings we get to our body are different than the feeling we gain through the ignorance. There are various kinds of feelings or pain we feel through body like headache… stomachache… injuries… etc… those are not the “Feelings” which described in Cause & Effect theory. Cause & Effect theory shows the cause for endless suffering… and most special thing is those causes can cease permanently. So as the “Feeling” described in the Cause & Effect theory… it is possible to cease permanently and ceasing those feelings will helps to cease the endless suffering also. Greatest Samma Sambuddha Said “Passa Nirodha Vedana Nirdho (Cease Contact cause to Cease Feelings)”.
There are many examples in Samma Sambuddhas character to explain the difference of these 2 kinds of feelings. There are many places found in dharma which says that Greatest Samma Sambuddha also get bodily pains… headache… etc… So likewise we can simply understand that the feeling describe in Cause & Effect theory is possible to cease but the pain feelings we get to our body is keep going on as long as we have a body. To stop that we have to stop having a body again… for that we should cease the cause… when “Feelings” which comes with ignorance cease the existence also cease!
So I believe now you are clear with the “feeling arisen through ignorant Contacts”. You happen to CONTACT people, animal, materials, properties in a different way when the view of “I” “MINE” “MY SOUL” is there… then through that contact you feel special feeling which comes with the ignorance and give you pleasant or unpleasant or middle feeling with the things you contact. And that special feeling cause to attach with the things you ignorantly contact and happen to create craving. And when craving is there you happen to attached so tightly and that bond creates the endless suffering & the existence. We can discuss more about this in our next article.
Think about a food we taste. When we eat sugar we feel a sweet taste. When we eat lime or orange we feel bitter taste. Likewise we taste different tastes available in foods when we eat them. Those feelings are not the feelings described in this Cause & Effect.
Imaging when you eat sugar the feel of sweet taste gives you a pleasant feeling. And you want to feel that pleasant feeling again & again by tasting the sweet taste. Coz you felt that taste is good… and better to feel that taste again… when you attach to the world with the feeling of getting the same feeling again & again cause to the Sampassaja Vedana (feeling arisen through ignorant contact. Coz you contacted that taste beyond the limit… you contacted the taste with ignorance… that ignorant contact cause to arise a feeling which is beyond the normal feeling. A feeling with the meaning of comfort… pleasant… should gain again & again… etc... Or else we can identify this feeling as the entertainment we gain through some forms, sounds, fragrances, tastes, touches, thoughts! I believe now you can understand the feelings which arise with ignorance which is beyond the normal feelings. This ignorant feeling can cease.
So what we should understand is Feelings, Cause of the Feelings, Cease of the Feelings, Path to cease feelings! Realizing the four noble truths of Feelings can guide us to the Nirvana.
Through all these articles I explained the view which we should get rid of… to get rid from that view the understanding of Dharma is really highly important. Coz when the understanding arise you don’t have to put extra effort to get rid from the view of “World is better & Fruitful… world is possible to keep the way we want… world is comfortable… it is my soul… it is mine… etc”
When you understand the “Feelings” which arise through the ignorant contact you understand the reason behind these “Feelings”. You happen to understand the ignorant view about world of yours cause to arise such ignorant feelings… when you understand the uselessness of this existence through dharma from that moment on ward you happen to see the world in a different way. You understand the meaninglessness of this world and existence. So you see forms… and you get the contact of seeing forms… but you are not going to contact those forms with ignorance and get the feeling of valuable, fruitful… you hear sound as you contact sounds in the normal way but you don’t have the ignorant ear contact which cause to give a ignorant feeling… you smell fragrances and contact them normally and identify the fragrances but don’t have the ignorant nose contacts… so as to the tastes you tastes and touches you touch… and the thoughts your mind come across…
When the ignorant contact is NOT there so call entertainments also not arise… which means those ignorant feelings are no more there. Likewise we can understand that to cease “Feelings” we should cease “Ignorant Contact”!
Understand the reality of the forms, sounds, fragrances, tastes, touches and thoughts. Think about them wisely. Are they behaving the way you want? Can you keep them exactly the way you want? There is a pleasant feeling or there is a small entertainment you gain through the pleasant forms, sounds, fragrances, tastes, touches & thoughts. To get that feeling… to get that joy for a moment how much effort you have to put? Actually you & I forget the effort we put to gain that joy as we think about the pleasure of that joy. The nature is nothing is available the way we want… it’s not simply possible to keep the things the way we want… even though we like to see a pleasant form every day, that pleasant form also has the same quality of change and destroy one day. We put all the useless effort to entertain our 5 senses in such a world with such things.
We feel that we should protect our eyes, ears, nose, tongue & body. We feel that we should protect the pleasant forms, pleasant sounds, pleasant fragrances, pleasant tastes and pleasant touches. And we do everything possible to protect them. To keep them the way we want. Every worldly being behave in such a manner… but can you? We begin to do something not possible and we invite sufferings. As a result of meaningless effort we swim in the suffering without even knowing that we are sinking. Why sufferings arise? Coz we do something which really is not possible without knowing that it is not possible… or by knowing that it is impossible but the view of “better to try coz I can do it!” feeling is there.
We think when we put people, animal, materials and properties in to the side of “I” or “MINE” or “MY SOUL” we can keep them the way we want. The view of “There won’t be anything against for them as they are mine” agitates us and we do each possible thing to protect which are ours. We carry unlimited sufferings… but we simply can’t see that… why? It’s because of this Feeling of pleasure. We believe this feeling of pleasure as a real pleasure and end up with sufferings.
If we happen to understand that there is nothing to take as a pleasure in these Feelings we understand the meaninglessness of all these worldly things.
A good example will help you to understand more about this feeling of pleasure.
Children play with sands. Girls sometimes pretend they are cooking with the toys they have and they put sand and serve. Boys build the sand castles. They enjoy what they do. They don’t have any clue of time when they enjoying those things… parents scream beware from germs… and they scream to do the homework… but kids don’t care about what they say coz they really enjoying building sand castles or sand cookies. The joy they gain through those activities covered the meaninglessness of their activity. Parents can say don’t do useless things. But for the kid it is really useful for him / her as he / she enjoy through it. The pleasure covered the reality. But when they grew up no one has to say stop building sand castles… or stop coking sand cookies… they stop it. Coz there is no more pleasure in there. They find it useless. Wasting of time… etc… what makes them to feel that there is no more pleasure. The understanding they gain. The understanding guide them to feel the uselessness… meaninglessness in the activities they did with sand and through that feeling they lost the pleasure they gain through those activities. It is the same for dharma. The mentality we improve through the understanding of Anicca (not the way we want) Dukka (Suffering) Anatta (destitute) in FEELINGS helps to cease the “Ignorant Feelings”!
You & I stop running behind the things by understanding the meaninglessness. That mentality helps to stop all those useless things. And through that cause to Feelings ends. When cause is not there… the effect also not there. Then we realize the peacefulness of ceasing feelings. We realize the comfort gain by stopping all the useless activities and effort.
We should remember the evil effect of Feelings… and the good effect we gain through ceasing the Feelings always. It helps to identify the ignorant feelings as soon as they arise and get rid of them with the understanding. That is the greatest Eight Fold path which guides you & me to the Nirvana.
May Triple Gem bless you to realize the Feelings, Cause of Feelings, Cease of Feelings and Path of Ceasing Feelings to attain Nirvana!