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or The Doctrine of Dependent Origination

Chapter 15 - Kamaupadana

Means All Kinds Of Excessive Craving

Kamaupadana here means not only the excessive craving for sensual pleasure. It means also the developed forms of craving for the material and immaterial (rupa and arupa) worlds. Hence, according to Visuddhimagga, the yogi can do away with this inordinate craving only at the last stage of the holy path and it is this craving that lies at the root of every effort to attain rupa or arupa jhana. For ordinary people such jhana means rupa or arupa kammic effort based on sensual craving and this leads to rebirth in rupa or arupa world of Brahmas. From the time of rebirth there arises the ceaseless ageing (jara) of nama rupa or either of the two phenomena of life. The senility of the Brahma is not apparent like that of a human being but still it leads to decay, and when his course is run, he cannot avoid death.

Being free from hatred, the life of a Brahma is not subject to grief, worry, anxiety and so forth; and the lack of physical sensitivity makes him free from physical suffering. He cannot, however, escape birth, old age and death that are inherent in every kind of existence.

So escape from old age and death presupposes the effort to rule out the possibility of rebirth. In order to avoid rebirth, we must seek to avoid wholesome or unwholesome kamma and negation of kammic existence calls for negation of attachment and craving. For this purpose, the mental process must end in feeling and stop short of developing the desire for anything. This denial of desire through the contemplations, anicca, dukkha and anatta of everything arising from the senses is the only way to avoid craving, rebirth and other links in the causal sequence that leads to old age and death. This means the temporary extinction of suffering which the yogi can overcome once and forever when he develops vipassana insight on the holy path.

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