Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Every one will admit that all the evils in the world are produced by selfish desire. But how this desire or 'thirst' can produce re-existence and re-becoming is a problem not so easy to grasp.

There are four nutriments in the sense of 'cause' or 'condition' necessary for the existence and continuity of beings: ordinary material food, contact of our sense organs (including mind) with the external world, consciousness and volition or will.

Of these four, the last mentioned 'mental volition' is the will to live, to exist, to re-exist, to continue, to become more and more. It creates the root of existence and continuity, striving forward by way of good and bad actions. When one understands the nutriment of mental volition, one understands the three forms of 'thirst'. Thus the terms 'thirst', 'volition', 'mental volition', and 'karma' all denote the same thing: the desire, the will to be, to exist, to re-exist, to become more and more, to grow more and more, to accumulate more and more. This is the cause of the arising of 'dukkha' (suffering and unsatisfactoriness in worldy life).

What the Buddha Taught, Venerable Dr Walpola Rahula

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