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The Manual of the Four Noble Truths

Part I - The Burden Of Dukkha In The Brahma World

  1. By way of sankhata at the beginning means: to attain the five khandha of the Brahma world (i.e. to be born in Brahma world), one has to practise for jhana and samapatti in his previous existence, This endeavour to attain such states is the heavy burden of sankhata at the beginning. Such attainments can be achieved only by one who lives in remote places such as in forests and on mountains, and takes severe austerities unbearable for an ordinary man.
  2. By way of santapa in the middle means: when a being achieves the khandha of a Brahma as the resultant effect of his having reached samapatti (attainments) while in the world of men, his body and mind are incessantly burdened by the superiority conceit of 'I am' 'I am.' In the same manner, other evils, such as sassataditthi (eternalist theory), uccheda-ditthi (annihilationist theory), mada (intoxication with sensual pleasures in the Brahma plane), pamada (negligence of the dhamma) and the defilements are burdening him by way of 'santapa' (burning; heat; fire). When a Brahmna is being burdened by the ten kinds of defilements, he does not perceive the weight of that burden. He thinks that it is good and to his liking also. Only when there arise anxiety and repentance, then the weight of the burden caused by defilements becomes apparent. Although a person may not be aware of his being burdened by these kilesa, all those passions that are going to defile his mind are the means of burdening him. As long as that Brahma lives, the groups (khandha) which constitute his existence produce all kinds of defilements and will burden him throughout his life.
  3. By way of viparinama at the end means: the phrase 'in the end the being is burdened by way of viparinama (change)' means the death or dissolution of the five groups of existence pertaining to that being, and that is his viparinama-dukkha (suffering due to change). Because there is the dissolution of that Brahma's body, he will have to be reborn in a lower plane-the sensuous plane. He may gradually go down till he reaches Avici. He may be reborn as a dog, a pig, a bird, a mosquito a gadfly, a louse, a bug and so forth. Thus the five groups of khandha belonging to that Brahma burden him by way of viparinama.

Therefore, that Brahma's body is known as dukkha-sacca inas much as it has the four characteristics--pilanattha, sankhatatta, santapattha and viparinamattha.

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