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or The Doctrine of Dependent Origination

Chapter 9 - Contemplation And Extinction

So with the total extinction of tanha that results from vedana, there is the extinction of upadana which means the extinction of all the consequences of craving. Contemplation of anicca, dukkha and anatta ensures the partial extinction of tanha, upadana, kamma, rebirth, etc. The object of vipassana practice is to put an end to defilements and samsaric suffering. So it is a matter of paramount importance that deserves the attention of everyone who seeks total liberation. Without this practice, pleasant or unpleasant feeling at every moment of seeing, etc., is bound to lead to craving, kamma and rebirth.

The consciousness involved in every moment of seeing is due to avijja and sankhara in the previous existence. Seeing occurs together with vinnana, nama rupa, ayatana, phassa and vedana. The scriptures treat each of these dhammas separately in terms of their causal relations, but in fact they do not arise separately one after another. If vinnana arises from sankhara, it arises together with its respective nama rupa, ayatana, phassa and vedana. All of these dhammas are the results of the past kamma sankhara. They are termed vipaka vatta which means round or cycle of resultants. The round of defilements viz., ignorance, craving and clinging produce round of kamma viz., kamma and sankhara which leads to round of resultants viz., consciousness, nama rupa, sense organs, contact, feeling which again give rise to the round of defilements.

The arising of these five resultants at the moment of seeing means to most people simply just seeing. In fact, seeing is the product of vinnana, nama rupa, ayatana, phassa and vedana as are other psycho physical events such as hearing, smelling and so forth.

Seeing involves consciousness together with mental advertence (manasikara), volition (cetana), etc., plus the eye organ which comprises the nama rupa. It also involves four ayatanas viz., eye sensitivity, visual object, eye consciousness and mental advertence (dhammayatana). Contact with the visual object is phassa and the pleasantness or unpleasantness that the object causes is vedana. Hence all the five resultants are bound up with every moment of seeing. The same may be said of other phenomena that arise from hearing, smelling and so forth.

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