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Okay, I know that anything that come into existence has a cessation..

So, how did this world of suffering begin?

Or, if you say it never began and it's ever existent, why would it need to exist? What's the cause that's made this material world?

If you say that the cause is the Karma of a being, how come Karma come into existence? (By existence, I mean to ask why does Karma exist?)

What's the ultimate cause or factor for existence or emergence of corporeality?

I'm not trying to argue or quarrel, but I'm searching for answers from the point of view of Buddhism.

I accept that these kind of questions and answers doesn't lead to cessation of pain or suffering, as the Buddha said, but I'm just eager to know :)

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Buddhism does not answer such questions, since they do not lead to Nibbana. The Buddha said himself, that he teaches only the cessation of suffering.

It's not that these questions are not important or interesting, they certainly are, but they will not lead one to Nibbana. They will only distract and agitate the mind, leaving it unfit for practice.

If you really want to know the answers to these questions, not only intellectually but experientially, then you have to become a fully enlightened Buddha (Sammāsambuddha). Then you will be able to know everything, that there is to know.

The questions you mention, fall under the "Four Imponderables (Acinteyyas)":

The four imponderables are identified in the Acintita Sutta, Anguttara Nikaya 4.77, as follows:

The Buddha-range of the Buddhas [i.e., the range of powers a Buddha develops as a result of becoming a Buddha];

The jhana-range of one absorbed in jhana [i.e., the range of powers that one may obtain while absorbed in jhana];

The [precise working out of the] results of kamma;

Speculation about [the origin, etc., of] the cosmos is an imponderable that is not to be speculated about.

These are questions that the Buddha did not answer. Only a fully enlightened Buddha can know the answer to these questions and the questions themselves.

  • Is there really some reason to think that a "fully-enlightened Buddha" will or can know the answers to this or any question like this? Why? Shall we accept their contention for it once having said they won't speak on it? – Troll Nov 26 '17 at 4:50
  • The answer to this question can be found by undertaking the practice of insight meditation (together with the rest of the Noble Eightfold Path). – Lanka Nov 27 '17 at 13:00
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Looks like you misunderstand Shunyata (Voidness, Emptiness, Hollowness). Shunyata is not nothingness, it is lack of solidity. It is interdependence. Famous Zen teacher Thích Nhat Hanh coined a new term for this, "interbeing". In Emptiness, everything is relative, so there is no absolute reliable reference point you can measure everything against.

So the question of coming into existence is irrelevant. Existence and non-existence is a term that applies to individual phenomena. But in context of studying the true nature of things - Emptiness - individual phenomena are not truly individual - they are interdependently arisen and interdependently existing. They appear when their causes and conditions come together. They exist while their causes and conditions are together. They disappear when their causes and conditions go apart.

This world of suffering is a subjective world, a set of experiences, that arises in dependence on causes and conditions - just like any other phenomena. The main condition for the world of suffering is ignorance. Particularly ignorance of Emptiness.

The history and evolution of this material world is a subject of study in the fields of physics and astrophysics. This is not what Buddhism is about.

Karma is the chain of causes and effects, coming from beginningless times. Individual karma exists because of appropriation of these causes and effects as "I", "me", "mine".

The material cause of corporeality of living beings is a subject of study in the fields of biology and genetics. This is not what Buddhism is about. The phenomenal cause is self-identification with a living organism.

  • Quoting this: "The history and evolution of this material world is a subject of study in the fields of physics and astrophysics.", my question is not "HOW" things came, but "WHY" things came initially.. According to my view, there must have been a period or time where there would have been no cause and no effect, maybe before the world came.. So, at that time, what would have caused the interdependent arising or interdependent existence of material world, and why interdependence would/should have arisen at that time? Thanks BTW for your answer :) – Gokul NC Oct 27 '15 at 13:32
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    "there must have been a period or time where there would have been no cause and no effect, maybe before the world came" - but why? – Andrei Volkov Oct 27 '15 at 13:52
  • What else could have be been then, before the existence of the current existence? All can I think of what could have been existed that the beginning is 'nothing', because 'something' cannot suddenly come into existence from 'nothing' – Gokul NC Oct 27 '15 at 15:05
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    According to Buddhism, there is no single "something" with well-defined spatial or temporal boundaries - just a bunch of Emptiness/Interbeing - without beginning. – Andrei Volkov Oct 27 '15 at 17:29
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Friend, you are asking the question of all questions.

Even if I would be explaining to you in eternity how this material world came into existence, you would not know how this material world came into existence.

Even if I used the most profound poetry of all the universe and you would be listening to this very same poetry in eternity, you would not know how this material world came into existence.

There are times when the mind is confused with research: "I'll try to find out how this material world came into existence." and the answer is never found.

There are times when the mind is confused with wrong view: "Oh I know how this material world came into existence!" and the answer is never found.

If I were to give you an answer, I would just confuse you.

In confusion, you'll never find the answer to your question.

That's why the answer to your question must be silence. Nothing else but silence.

There is a path which will lead you to the answer you're seeking.

And what is this path?

It's the path leading to the cessation of suffering.

When suffering and its cause are fully known and this very same cause is removed, everything is known, even the answer to the question you're seeking.

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I will jump in and you can downvote if my answer is not suitable, I am not in a Buddhist tradition. But perhaps it offers something for the Asker, and maybe for others. It might not be part of the Cessation of Suffering as such, but when a question lodges in someone's awareness, often it is good to simply address it and move on.

One of the leaders of a retreat I attended that I found helpful said, "The Void can't know itself." That is a statement to ponder. I find it to be useful. It speaks to the arising of Experience (all that we see) from non-experience. As I read the answers that were already posted, I realized something new. Andrei gave a very good answer that addressed the several questions of the Asker, and he said (if I may quote him) "The main condition for the world of suffering is ignorance. Particularly ignorance of Emptiness." As I read this, my thought was:

The Void knew nothing at the beginning, because there was nothing to know. So, "wishing" to know, it created Experience. But it could only proceed in ignorance, for every step of the way, it knew only what it had learned so far. Thus, Ignorance is unavoidable and inevitable at the start, and we must learn to overcome it.

I hope that this is a helpful contribution. Peace.

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    Your answer seems to be like the answer given by the Vedas of Hinduism.. The 'Void' that you use turns out to be like 'God' in the Vedas. As far as I know (or understood) Buddhism, it doesn't seem to tell anything like "The Void can't know itself.". Thanks for your time BTW :) – Gokul NC Oct 27 '15 at 13:22
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    I didn't study Hinduism, or the Vedas. Perhaps there is a relationship there, but I am indifferent to the idea of whether "God" exists as a being of any sort, or if there is simply infinite potential in the Void - including the potential for awareness, and self-awareness. It really doesn't affect anything one way or the other, and as you might be saying, pursuit of a supreme being can be a digression from self-knowledge. (or a help) – user2341 Oct 28 '15 at 0:34
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    "It really doesn't affect anything one way or the other, and as you might be saying, pursuit of a supreme being can be a digression from self-knowledge. " Thanks :) Maybe that is why Buddha neither wanted to talk about Its Existence or Its Non-Existence.. Great! – Gokul NC Oct 28 '15 at 10:33
  • I am always happy to dispense great wisdom : ) – user2341 Oct 28 '15 at 12:32
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Okay, I know that anything that come into existence has a cessation..

So, how did this world of suffering begin?

By creating everything.

Or, if you say it never began and it's ever existent, why would it need to exist? What's the cause that's made this material world?

Creation- Create 'objects' as relative to the 'subject'.

If you say that the cause is the Karma of a being, how come Karma come into existence? (By existence, I mean to ask why does Karma exist?)

It's relations.

What's the ultimate cause or factor for existence or emergence of corporeality?

Same reason used to create or emerge that gives feeling of existence.

I'm not trying to argue or quarrel, but I'm searching for answers from the point of view of Buddhism.

In Buddhism main reason is 'Avijja' and the process is 'patichchasamuthpada'.

I accept that these kind of questions and answers doesn't lead to cessation of pain or suffering, as the Buddha said, but I'm just eager to know :)

By questioning can get rough idea of the solution. By practicing the correct path will lead to cessation of creation(patichchsamuthpada).

  • "By creating everything." -What created everything ? "Creation- Create 'objects' as relative to the 'subject'." Where did 'subject' come from when there was nothing? "It's relations." - What relation can it have before/during there was nothing? "Same reason used to create or emerge that gives feeling of existence." Where did that reason arise from when there was nothing? Sorry for too many questions, but I don't seem to get it – Gokul NC Oct 27 '15 at 15:15
  • @GokulNC Take 'Table' as an object. From what it create(relative to)? – Shrawaka Oct 28 '15 at 0:36
  • @GokulNC Gosh, you must be an NT. You sound exactly like my friend the other day... "Mind is not Buddha. Knowledge is not the Way." So, in order to know, stop trying to know, the mind cannot grasp the mind. – user2341 Oct 28 '15 at 0:37
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    Mind is create relative to objects('Namarupa'), and objects create relative to Mind('Vinnana'). In the presence of delusion('Avijja')... Those who know about tables will see tables. – Shrawaka Oct 28 '15 at 0:44
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About the beginning of Suffering

Here's the thing that you must understand. There are certain things that Lord Buddha tried and ignored.One of which is the beginning.One like you Lord Buddha took interest in the matter and tried looking back at the beginning,i'm sure you know that lord Buddha's mind is the fastest.Lord Buddha looked back in time so long there is no number in our current number system to be given (that time is often given in a form of an idiom).Lord Buddha came to a conclusion in the end that the time itself is too far old,so old that it would be a huge waste of time to look back completely. Then Lord Buddha continued to add that the immense time he looked back is not even close to a Beginning,and said any normal being trying to reach the answer of this question would most likely end up going crazy.Lord Buddha instructed his followers to never try to find a beginning to the suffering,because it doesn't profit the way to nirvana and can't be reached.

About Karma

Karma is not a variable in physics.I know we talk about things like time coming to existence but the reality is unlike time karma does not need anything for it's existence.For example when Buddhism talk about destruction of this universe (Buddhism has explanations and predictions about the end of this universe and the new beginning),The human realm will have its destruction along with the destruction of Brahma and Deva realms,Even many hells will see the end.But a single hell would still be functioning (You see ,everything else is no more but karma still exists.) Buddhism describe Karma as nature (Like Temperature/Gravity) because it is how things happen (things need it but it doesn't need things).Because Karma is not a thing made of materials it is a function.

Refer these links...

http://mahamevnawa.com/Amadahara_FrnDw/Mp3_JeewanandaThero/65_Lokawaboda_Sutta.mp3

http://mahamevnawa.com/Amadahara_FrnDw/Mp3_JeewanandaThero/57_Life_Forever.MP3

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One answer to the question "How did this material world come into existence" might be that the world comes into existence as a result of Pratītyasamutpāda.

Part of that theory is The Twelve Nidanas:

The Twelve Nidanas are a series of causal links that describe the process of samsaric rebirth and the arising of dukkha. In reverse order they also describe the way to liberation from samsara.[note 2] When certain conditions are present, they give rise to subsequent conditions, which in turn give rise to other conditions, resulting in the cyclical nature of life in Samsara.

The Twelve Nidanas include:

  1. Ignorance (Pali: Avijjā)
  2. Mental fermentations/volitions (Pali: Saṅkhāra Sanskrit: Saṃskāra)
  3. Status consciousness (Pali: Viññāṇa)
  4. "Name" and "Form" (Pali: Nāmarūpa)
  5. The six senses (Pali: Saḷāyatana)
  6. Contact (Pali: Phassa)
  7. Feelings (Pali: Vedanā)
  8. Cravings/longings/desires (Pali: Taṇhā)
  9. Clinging to (Pali: Upādāna)
  10. Generation of factors for rebirth (Pali: Bhava)
  11. Birth (Pali: Jāti)
  12. All the sufferings

One point of view I think is that the world comes into existence because of birth.

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Ultimate reality isn't voidness, it has both the character of voidness and the character of things - in Shitou's terminology 'sameness' and 'difference'.

See his poem 'Sandokai': https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandokai

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Bhante Punnaji explains that what are are activities (events) are assumed as entities (in the process of recognition).

When we talk about the world we're still thinking in terms of entities. Not in terms of processes.

What is experienced in the world is sensations, feelings and the pictures that appear. From sensations, feelings, and the picture, in the process of recognition, conceptual entities are created.

The Buddha only talks about how these 5 come about (picture, sensations, feelings, impulses, and perception) and how they cease.

As I understand, the thirst and passion that occur dependent on them lead to existence, birth, death, and all the suffering in life.

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There is good reason that the Buddha is said to have been silent on this matter. There is no evidence that there was a coming into existence, rather an indiscernible precursor of states without apparent origins. We can see these states receding into the past, but we cannot see any indicators of origination.

Therefore, until such a time as relevant evidence is presented supporting any such manifestation, there is no need to attempt to explain it, mark its timing, or fit it with any other topics relevant to the Dharma.

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How did this material world come into existence if the ultimate reality is voidness?

By touch (of avijja - not knowing as things realy are), phenomenas experiances comes into play.

As for the subsequences:

Thing exist is one extrem, things do not exist another, aviding extrems, the Tatagathas teaches the middle path.

Now on that occasion the wanderers of other persuasions had come together in a gathering and were sitting, discussing many kinds of bestial topics, making a great noise and racket. They saw Anathapindika the householder coming from afar, and on seeing him, hushed one another: "Be quiet, good sirs. Don't make any noise. Here comes Anathapindika the householder, a disciple of Gotama the contemplative. He is one of those disciples of Gotama the contemplative, clad in white, who lives in Savatthi. These people are fond of quietude and speak in praise of quietude. Maybe, if he perceives our group as quiet, he will consider it worth his while to come our way." So the wanderers fell silent.

Then Anathapindika the householder went to where the wanderers of other persuasions were staying. On arrival he greeted them courteously. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the wanderers said to him, "Tell us, householder, what views Gotama the contemplative has." …Views … Having seen this well with right discernment as it actually is present, I also discern the higher escape from it as it actually is present."

Why? Because

"It's just as if a man were wounded with an arrow thickly smeared with poison

And at least

"What is the All? …

[Note: This is a gift of Dhamma and not meant for commercial purpose or other low wordily gains by means of trade and exchange.]

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