As per my understanding the only effort I have to make for the cessation of suffering is to realize the Truth as it removes the ignorance. Once I have removed the ignorance rest of the things happen automatically.

With cessation of ignorance comes the automatic cessation of fabrications. From the cessation of fabrications comes the automatic cessation of consciousness. From the cessation of consciousness comes the automatic cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the automatic cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the automatic cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the automatic cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the automatic cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the automatic cessation of clinging/ sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the automatic cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the automatic cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging-&-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair all cease automatically.

Are there any other choices(other than realizing the Truth) I will have to make for the cessation of suffering? Because as per my understanding cessations are happening automatically once I have realized the Truth.

If anyone is conscious then does it mean he has not realized the Truth? Because realizing the Truth would mean automatic cessation of Consciousness.

Have you met anyone who has realized the Truth but has no intellect consciousness ?

Here is the definition of consciousness :

"And what is consciousness? These six are classes of consciousness: eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness, intellect-consciousness. This is called consciousness.

4 Answers 4


Ignorance does not cause consciousness. In your studies of Buddhism, please avoid this materialistic error many Buddhists have. As a beginning student, it is important to learn the right way, from the beginning. The suttas (SN 22.82) say consciousness is caused (hetu) by the mind-body (nama-rupa).

In reality, dependent origination is describing how ignorance pollutes consciousness, similar to how dirt pollutes pure water or how dust covers a mirror. SN 46.55 provides some good analogies.

This is why there are many suttas that describe how a Buddha has no ignorance but remains conscious, such as SN 22.53, Iti 44 and the end of MN 38.

When ignorance ceases, what occurs to consciousness is it become pure. In other words, what ceases is 'ignorant-consciousness' or ignorant-sense-contact (called avijjā­samphas­sa­jena).

If a monk abandons passion for the property of consciousness, then owing to the abandonment of passion, the support is cut off, and there is no landing of consciousness. Consciousness, thus not having landed, not increasing, not concocting, is released. Owing to its release, it is steady. Owing to its steadiness, it is contented. Owing to its contentment, it is not agitated. Not agitated, he (the monk) is totally unbound right within. SN 22.53

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – user2424
    Commented Aug 15, 2017 at 23:12
  • @Lanka, as I said, this answer is incorrect, and I provided sutta quotation and reference. That comment definitely shouldn't be hidden in chat. Also, do you realize that this answer calls Buddha's words "materialistic error"? (Without any reasoning). I think such unfounded criticism of Buddha's words is not allowed on this site. BTW, calling my comment, as usual without reasoning, "misunderstanding, confusion, materialism & unverifiable superstition" is inappropriate, so I expect such comment should be deleted, not hidden in chat.
    – chang zhao
    Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 0:16
  • @To both of you. This is a Q/A-site, not a discussion-site. Use the Chat Rooms for discussions. If disagreements about Q/A-posts arise use the vote-button. Please remember that this is a site about Buddhism, meaning all affiliations are welcome. Take great care not offend each other, since this is not the purpose of our site - learning and development in the Dhamma is. Also, refer to our Be-nice Policy and Inter-school Communication.
    – user2424
    Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 10:07

I would say that it is not automatic, only the illusions cease. Once the illusions cease, you know how to alleviate the suffering. It is assumed that one is compassionate.


Are there any other choices (other than realizing the Truth) I will have to make for the cessation of suffering?

As long as we use many fabrications to build our reality, we may benefit from making certain choices, e.g. how to deal with those fabrications.

All these choices can lead to the same goal of realizing the Truth. (E.g. certain choices can help us in cleaning our mind from the processes which recreate illusions).

However it's possible indeed to make no other choices than the choice to realize the Truth, and come to the cessation of suffering.

cessations are happening automatically once I have realized the Truth.

Yes, that is so. No ignorance (no limited perception) means no fabrications and so on. But we should understand correctly: it means

no fabrications as "real", "solid" things.

No consciousness as "real thing",

etc. The cessation of ignorance means that the illusory nature of all "real things" is realized.

So they don't limit anything with "walls" of fabrications,

the consciousness doesn't jump from fruit to fruit, etc.

It is said that in awakening six kinds of consciousnesses turn into six kinds of wisdom.

It means that there is no consciousness as something real and existing, but the function of phenomena to be conscious manifest.

If anyone is conscious then does it mean he has not realized the Truth?

When we say "someone is conscious" we speak in terms of existing human being who is conscious. Buddha may appear to us as such being.

To Buddha, however, it may appear that there are no human beings, and no one is conscious. For example, Buddha may see instead of human beings an immense field of intertwined causes and effects.

PS. See some detailed explanations here: Is causation (hetu) in SN 22.82 different to conditions (paccaya) in Dependent Origination?

  • As mentioned yesterday, comment section is not for extended discussion. This goes for both of you. Discussions are useful, but not on the main site, please use our Chat Room; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – user2424
    Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 9:55
  • @Lanka, how can I move comments to chat? I only know that if a thread becomes long enough it moves to chat automatically. Can usual users, not moderators, move offtopic comments to their answers to chat?
    – chang zhao
    Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 16:37
  • Only mod's have permission to manually move comments to chat. If there is anything you need help with, feel free to ask me or ChrisW.
    – user2424
    Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 16:39

The following image comes from this website depicting the twelve links of dependent origination.

What's also nice is that the twelve links have been marked as "past causes", "present effects", "present causes" and "future effects".

According to the third noble truth laid out in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta:

"And this, monks, is the noble truth of the cessation of stress: the remainderless fading & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go of that very craving.

So based on the image below, when craving is ceased, the rest of the "present causes" are terminated, resulting in the "future effects" also being terminated.

However, the "present effects" still persist as long as the Arahant is still alive in the current life.

twelve links of dependent origination

  • I suppose this is one of possible interpretations, Buddha didn't actually teach that.
    – chang zhao
    Commented Aug 15, 2017 at 18:50

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