This answer includes the following statement:

But some other dharmas are still empty without being dependently originated, like nirodha or tathata.

A comment after the answers gives the following definitions:

nirodha is cessation of suffering (nirvana), and tathata is true reality.

Doesn't the cessation of suffering depend on the existence of suffering, and is therefore dependently originated?

5 Answers 5


The distinction you are making is a lower octave of the ultimate distinction between nirvana and samsara. From the perspective of samsara, nirvana is negation and therefore dualistic and relative. Thus the Buddha says that nirvana is the door to the supermundane, not the supermundane itself, which is transdual.

This led to the distinction between a nirvana attainment that excludes samsara, and a nirvana attainment that includes samsara. One can fall back into nirvana from the former, but not from the latter. Even in the Pali Canon one finds a distinction between nibbana and parinibbana, the latter only being attained at death. From the supermundane perspective, both nirvana and samsara are illusions.

  • +1 thanks for your thoughts. This also shed some more insight to the other answer. At least to me...
    – draks ...
    Nov 3, 2015 at 19:11

Although nirodha is usually translated "cessation", its main meaning is "restraint", "prevention" - e.g. of crime or any undesired activity/outcome. In modern Hindi, nirodh is even used as a word for condom.

If you really think about it, this makes sense. The way cessation of dukkha is achieved is through non-attachment - i.e. non-creation of conditions that make arising of dukkha possible. In other words, non-attachment is prevention of dukkha.

Prevention of X does not depend on existence of X.


I don't know if the word "dependent" is 100% correct. I would say suffering is the supporting condition for cessation.

From Upanisaa Sutta

  • suffering is the support condition for faith
  • faith is the support condition for joy
  • joy is the support condition for delight
  • delight is the support condition for tranquillity
  • tranquillity is the support condition for happiness
  • happiness is the support condition for concentration
  • concentration is the support condition for for knowledge and wisdom for things as they are
  • knowledge and wisdom for things as they are is the support condition for disenchantment
  • disenchantment is the support condition for dispassion
  • dispassion is the support condition for liberation (another word Buddha used for Nirodha or nibbana)
  • Lady Patacara,an arahat in Buddha's time, she was suffered a great deal when her family was killed. This is a classic example of suffering is the supporting condition for Nirodha en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patacara IMO human has just enough suffering (compare to none in heaven and tons in hell) to have faith (or Saddhaa)
    – sargon
    Nov 2, 2015 at 20:01
  • +1 good point, forgot about this!
    – Andriy Volkov
    Nov 2, 2015 at 20:03
  • How does your "support condition" comapre to Theravada's "connection"? BTW: By "dependent" you're referring to the quality of the dharma, right?
    – draks ...
    Nov 3, 2015 at 21:15
  • I just want to say that I'm no expert in Pali.. pretty much self taught. nice catch on "supporting condition"! In pali cannon, Buddha used the word "upanisā" in upanisaa sutta but he used "paccayā" in dependent origination. If you look up in pali-english dictionary, they both have the same meaning "cause, means, support, likeness.. but they are not the same. Tan Thanissaro did a fantastic job using "supporting condition" for "upanisaa" . or i may say, suffering is not always create faith. compare to "paccayā", it has "aways" tone to it. Like, because of birth, death follows, always.
    – user5056
    Nov 4, 2015 at 1:31
  • this demonstrates Buddha's wisdom in using words. He told Ven Anandha that he would meditate, focus on every single world before he said it. He said in all his teachings 40+ years, they match and support each other.
    – user5056
    Nov 4, 2015 at 1:34

Suffering (un-satisfactoriness) is the result of impermanence of Sensations / what is felt and Fabrication in general when Perceived through Mental Distortions when there is a gap between reality and Perception. (In many Suttas, inclusive of the latter, it is mentioned "in short 5 aggregates of clinging is suffering" but in Titth’ayatana Sutta it is mentioned "Now, it is for one who feels that I make known: This is suffering ...")

Nirodha is not creating more un-satisfactoriness through Becoming or creating Fabrications by Distortion through Perception as well as Craving and Clinging.

Nirvana is unconditioned hence non dependent on anything. If it was conditioned it will be unsatisfactory as condition or its existance ceases it also ceases. This leads to a Paradox in the line of thinking in the question as when suffering ceases so does end of suffering.


There is a connection,

If there was no suffering there is no nirodha.

Let me give an explain from a famous teaching from Lord Buddha (The Four Noble Truths)....

  • Suffering exist because of not understanding
  • If the person understood the reality there wouldn't be a suffering in the first place
  • To end the suffering one must first understand
  • If understanding happens in a person's mind he will not suffer anymore!

Lord Buddha said...

  • Everything is born because of reasons

  • Everything exist because of reasons

  • Things will exist only till the reasons exist

  • if you take them away it will not exist anymore

What are the Four Noble Truths - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Noble_Truths

This is the answer to your question and any such questions about connections between things.

  • 1
    "3. To end the suffering one must first understand", but you write that "2. If the person understood". What's the difference in "understanding"?
    – draks ...
    Nov 3, 2015 at 20:33
  • 1
    If the person understood that there is only a functioning mind and a functioning body not a person then it would be the end of suffering but if it was understood the moment he was born he would not know what suffering is. So suffering exist because it was never understood by the person,if he understand it he will suffer no more. i hope i answered your question. please ask any question you have of my answer i am happy to help : )
    – Theravada
    Nov 3, 2015 at 20:52
  • 1
    Did anyone understood [it] the moment he was born? Even for Buddha it took a while...
    – draks ...
    Nov 3, 2015 at 21:13
  • @draks... Exactly,there is no one who has understood it in their first moment.That is why Lord Buddha said birth is suffering because when you are born you start your suffering because you think everything that is picked up by your senses are "You" instead of trying to understand it.
    – Theravada
    Nov 3, 2015 at 23:37

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