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Dependent Arising
 
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Dependent Arising

For a week, immediately after the enlightenment, the Buddha sat at the foot of the Bodhi Tree, experiencing the supreme bliss of emancipation. At the end of the seven days he emerged from that concentration (samâdhi) and in the first watch of the night thought over the dependent arising (paticca-samuppâda) as to how things arise (anuloma) thus:

"When this is, that comes to be; with the arising of this, that arises; namely: dependent on ignorance, volitional or kamma formations; dependent on volitional formations, (rebirth or rebecoming) consciousness; dependent on consciousness, mentality-materiality (mental and physical combination); dependent on mentality-materiality, the sixfold base (the five physical sense organs with consciousness as the sixth); dependent on the sixfold base, contact; dependent on contact, feeling; dependent on feeling, craving; dependent on craving, clinging; dependent on clinging, the process of becoming; dependent on the process of becoming, there comes to be birth; dependent on birth arise ageing and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair. Thus does this whole mass of suffering arise."

In the second watch of the night, the Buddha thought over the dependent arising as to how things cease (patiloma) thus: "When this is not, that does not come to be; with the cessation of this, that ceases; namely: with the utter cessation of ignorance, the cessation of volitional formations; with the cessation of formations, the cessation of consciousness....(and so on). Thus does this whole mass of suffering cease."

In the third watch of the night, the Buddha thought over the dependent arising both as to how things arise and cease thus:

"When this is, that comes to be; with the arising of this, that arises; when this is not, that does not come to be; with the cessation of this, that ceases; namely: dependent on ignorance, volitional formations....(and so on). Thus does this whole mass of suffering arise. With the utter cessation of ignorance, the cessation of volitional formations....(and so on). Thus does this whole mass of suffering cease."n17

The Buddha now spent six more weeks in lonely retreat at six different spots in the vicinity of the Bodhi Tree. At the end of this period two merchants, Tapassu and Bhallika, who were passing that way, offered rice cake and honey to the Master, and said: "We go for refuge to the Buddha and to the Dhamma.n18 Let the Blessed One receive us as his followers."n19 They became his first lay followers (upâsakas).


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