Dīpasūtra (1st)

Origination

Monks, before my unexcelled full enlightenment, when I was not yet fully enlightened, while alone in seclusion this thought arose in my mind:

“Alas, this world has fallen into trouble, in that it is born, become old, dies, passes away and is reborn, yet these beings do not understand in accord with reality the escape from old age and death.

“Then it occurred to me: ‘When what exists does old age and death come to be? What is the condition for subsequent old age and death?’ When I paid careful attention to this, the breakthrough in accordance with reality arose: ‘When birth exists, old age and death come to be. Birth is the condition for subsequent old age and death.’

“Then it occurred to me: ‘When what exists does birth come to be? What is the condition for subsequent birth?’ When I paid careful attention to this, the breakthrough in accordance with reality arose: ‘When existence exists, birth comes to be. Existence is the condition for subsequent birth.’

“Then it occurred to me: ‘When what exists does existence come to be? What is the condition for subsequent existence?’ When I paid careful attention to this, the breakthrough in accordance with reality arose: ‘When grasping exists, existence comes to be. Grasping is the condition for subsequent existence.’

“Then it occurred to me: ‘When what exists does grasping come to be? What is the condition for subsequent grasping?’ When I paid careful attention to this, the breakthrough in accordance with reality arose: ‘For one who dwells contemplating gratification regarding things that can be grasped at, craving increases. Craving is the condition for grasping. Grasping is the condition for existence. Existence is the condition for birth. Birth is the condition for old age & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, dejection, and anguish to come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.’

“What do you think, monks? …”

“Yes, Venerable Sir.”

“In the same way, for one who dwells contemplating gratification regarding things that can be grasped at, craving increases. Craving is the condition for grasping. Grasping is the condition for existence. Existence is the condition for birth. Birth is the condition for old age & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, dejection, and anguish to come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

“It occurred to me: ‘When what does not exist do old age and death not come to be? Due to the cessation of what do old age and death cease?’ When I paid careful attention to this, the breakthrough in accordance with reality arose: ‘When there is no birth, old age and death do not come to be. Due to the cessation of birth, old age and death cease.’

“It occurred to me: ‘When what does not exist does birth not come to be? Due to the cessation of what does birth cease?’ When I paid careful attention to this, the breakthrough in accordance with reality arose: ‘When there is no existence, birth does not come to be. Due to the cessation of existence, birth ceases.’

“It occurred to me: ‘When what does not exist does existence not come to be? Due to the cessation of what does existence cease?’ When I paid careful attention to this, the breakthrough in accordance with reality arose: ‘When there is no grasping, existence does not come to be. Due to the cessation of grasping, existence ceases.’

“It occurred to me: ‘When what does not exist does grasping not come to be? Due to the cessation of what does grasping cease?’ When I paid careful attention to this, the breakthrough in accordance with reality arose: ‘For one who dwells contemplating impermanence, non-existence, dispassion, cessation, and relinquishment regarding things that can be grasped at, craving ceases. Due to the cessation of craving, grasping ceases. Due to the cessation of grasping, existence ceases. Due to the cessation of existence, birth ceases. Due to the cessation of birth, old age and death cease; and sorrow, lamentation, pain, dejection, and anguish cease. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.’

“What do you think, monks? …”

“Yes, Venerable Sir.”

“In the same way, for one who dwells contemplating impermanence, non-existence, dispassion, cessation, and relinquishment regarding things that can be grasped at, craving ceases. Due to the cessation of craving, grasping ceases. (… as before, up to …) Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.

Then those monks delighted in the Blessed One’s teaching. Having delighted and expressed their gratitude they departed from the Blessed One’s presence.