Like massive boulders, mountains pressing against the sky, moving in from all sides, crushing the four directions, so aging and death come rolling over living beings: noble warriors, brahmans, merchants, workers, outcastes, & scavengers. They spare nothing. They trample everything.

Here elephant troops can hold no ground, nor can chariots or infantry, nor can a battle of wits or wealth win out.

So a wise person, seeing his own good, steadfast, secures confidence in the Buddha, Dhamma, & Sangha.

One who practices the Dhamma in thought, word, & deed, receives praise here on earth and after death rejoices in heaven.

The Simile of the Mountains

What do you think?

Is the lack of saṃvegaṃ the root cause of not striving after benefical deeds of merits and the path? Is not seeing "dukkha' the cause why the prince in the palast does not really act?

Or do you think that pasada, or such as possible further pleasure, is the root of the sequence at the first place?

And what does the Buddha's insight into dependig co-arising, cause and effect, teaches about that?

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

  • "Is not seeing "dukkha' the cause why the prince in the palast does not really act?" What do you mean by "not really act"? "Or do you think that pasada, or such as possible further pleasure, is the root of the sequence at the first place?" What do you mean with "root of the sequence"? – beginner Oct 13 '17 at 8:54
  • Maybe a rendering "is the root cause of doing merits and develope the path "hope" (pasada) or "fear" (samvega)" makes it understandable for @beginner and maybe others as well, using other terms. – Samana Johann Oct 13 '17 at 9:13

Saṃvega is recorded to have been what motivated Prince Siddhartha when he saw the Four Sights.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote,

The first emotion you're supposed to bring to the training is samvega. That's the emotion Prince Siddhartha felt on seeing the old person, the sick person, and the dead person.

That might be why dukkha is the subject of "first noble truth" in the first sermon.

However, some people say that the noble truths aren't taught to all people: that that's a path which is taught to monks more than to laypeople (and that laypeople are taught, instead, more about morality).

In fact I found it difficult to explain the first noble truth to my Mum -- see How to explain what Buddhism is? -- to which I found this and this to be the two most interesting answers -- firstly that there are different views on what the problem is, second that the first noble truth is more about clinging than about suffering.

I suppose that part of what motivates lay-people to not "follow the path" is a sense of caution, that they should avoid extremes -- a sense of the "middle way", if you like, although with a different definition of what that means (e.g. to layperson it might mean, "with a job and/or family").

Incidentally I would hesitate, I am reluctant, to say that people don't "strive after beneficial deeds of merits" -- although, perhaps you're thinking that you should exhort people to strive.

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  • My person added an answer there. Does Nyom Chris think that such to transport can have it's base on a "live is all about joy" base, or is such merely not possible if not seeing death is near and might approach even today? – Samana Johann Oct 14 '17 at 0:20
  • "life is all about joy" sounds like another extreme. You can't paint an accurate picture with a single brush-stroke! People seem to be motivated partly by necessity (need to cook), partly by love (being kind to family, friends, children, strangers), partly by a desire for social acceptance and approval (making friends, participating in social activities), partly by a desire to learn new facts and skills. – ChrisW Oct 14 '17 at 9:32
  • That's not the question, Chris. The Buddha had no illusions, nevertheless it (path and merits) might follow a "law" a pattern. One does not need to abound anything, answering a question, Nyom @ChrisW, not to speak of taking a question personal. So let's learn new facts with it. And there is no critic on the answer as it is. – Samana Johann Oct 14 '17 at 9:49

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