Is it correct to say that the buddhasasana (the teaching of the Buddha) is conditioned and impermanent in contrary with Dhamma itself which is unconditioned and permanent.


Is it correct to say that the buddhasasana (the teaching of the Buddha) is conditioned and impermanent in contrary with Dhamma itself which is unconditioned and permanent.


Sasa = verb (Teach)

Sasana = noun (Discipline&Doctrine;teaching)

Dhamma = Discipline&Doctrine

BuddhaSasana = Discipline&Doctrine of the Buddha

Sutta. Tī. Pā. Udumbarikasuttaṃ:

Let a sensible person come—neither devious nor deceitful, a person of integrity. I teach (aham-anusāsāmi) and instruct them doctrine (Dhamma). By practicing as instructed they will realize the supreme end of the spiritual path in this very life, in seven years.

Ahaṃ pana nigrodha evaṃ vadāmi etu viññū puriso asaṭho amāyāvī ujujātiko ahamanusāsāmi ahaṃ dhammaṃ desemi yathānusiṭṭhaṃ tathāpaṭipajjamāno yassatthāya kulaputtā sammadeva agārasmā anagāriyaṃ pabbajanti tadanuttaraṃ brahmacariyapariyosānaṃ diṭṭhe va dhamme sayaṃ abhiññā sacchikatvā upasampajja viharissati satta vassāni .

Dhamma in your context is a part of Buddhasasana. To consider abot it, the Buddha taught in Sutta. Ma. Mū. Cūḷasaccakasuttaṃ:

'Form is inconstant. Feeling is inconstant. Perception is inconstant. Fabrications are inconstant. Consciousness is inconstant. Form is not-self. Feeling is not-self. Perception is not-self. Fabrications are not-self. Consciousness is not-self. All conditioners are inconstant. All phenomena (Dhamma) are not-self.' This, Aggivessana, is the way in which I discipline my disciples; this part of my instruction is generally presented to my disciples."

rūpaṃ bhikkhave aniccaṃ vedanā aniccā saññā aniccā saṅkhārā aniccā viññāṇaṃ aniccaṃ rūpaṃ bhikkhave anattā vedanā anattā saññā anattā saṅkhārā anattā viññāṇaṃ anattā sabbe saṅkhārā anattā sabbe dhammā anattāti evaṃ kho ahaṃ aggivessana sāvake vinemi evaṃbhāgā ca pana me sāvakesu anusāsanī bahulā pavattatīti.

By above Sutta:

  1. All aggregates are conditioners (each others) because they are same inconstant.
  2. All aggregates are Dhamma because both of them are same not-self.
  3. So some Dhamma, Nibbāna and Sammati, is not conditioned and not inconstant.

    -Nibbana is not conditioned, not constant, and not-self. It is reality which never arising, no aggregates at all. It's real because it is the opposite of all aggregates, not based on any aggregates. People can access Nibbana by the complete Vipassana, Magga.

    -Conception, Sammati, is not conditioned, not constant, and not-self. It is unreal and never arise, just imagination based on aggregates. Every people can access Sammati. Some people can use Sammati in meditating Lokiya-Jhāna to avoid craving in aggregates, but it is impermanent avoidance because minds create Sammati from thinking of aggregates, therefore it is possible to crave aggregates again in the future, so Sammati is not the perfect opposite of aggregates. However Lokiya-Jhāna is still important for Vipassanā meditation.

  • 1
    I think that dhamma is usually translated "doctrine", i.e. "what is taught", isn't it -- whereas vinaya is "discipline". So dhammavinaya, "the doctrine and the discipline".
    – ChrisW
    Nov 3 '19 at 14:04
  • Thank you so much
    – Bonn
    Nov 3 '19 at 17:01
  • 2
    Did you try to answer the other part of the question -- about whether the dhamma and/or sasana are "conditioned and impermanent", or whether they are "unconditioned and permanent"?
    – ChrisW
    Nov 3 '19 at 18:24
  • I edited the answer about that topic. At first, I decide to avoid writing about it because I often write like this and it seems no one understand it. It's too hard, however it is a core of Phenomena (all things).
    – Bonn
    Nov 4 '19 at 5:04

sāsana (lit. 'message'): the Dispensation of the Buddha, the Buddhist religion; teaching, doctrine.

Navaṅga-buddha (or satthu)-sāsana, the ninefold Dispensation of the Buddha (or the Master) consists of Suttas (Sutta), mixed prose (geyya), exegesis (veyyākaraṇa), verses (gāthā), solemn utterances (udāna), sayings of the Blessed One (itivuttaka), birth stories (jātaka), extraordinary things (abbhutadhamma), and analysis (vedalla). This classification is often found in the Suttas (e.g. M. 22). According to the commentaries, also the Vinaya and the Abhidhamma Piṭaka are comprised in that ninefold division (see Aṭṭhasālinī Tr., I, 33). It is a classification according to literary styles, and not according to given texts or books. https://www.budsas.org/ebud/bud-dict/dic3_s.htm


Yes. Is it correct to say that the Buddha Sasana (the teaching of the Buddha) is conditioned and impermanent. For example, there are many puthujjana who do not follow the Buddha's Teaching and say all things exist due to mind, including when they falsely translate Dhammapada Verses 1 & 2. This shows the Buddha Sasana is conditioned & impermanent.

Mara.... Your serried squadrons, which the world with all its gods cannot defeat, Now I’ll break with wisdom sharp, as with a stone a raw clay pot.

With all mind’s thoughts within the range, with well-established mindfulness, I’ll travel on from state to state many disciples leading out.

They, both diligent and resolute carry on my Sāsana, and though you like it not, they’ll go to where they do not grieve.

Snp 3.2

Both for those who proclaim it And for those who listen to it, Confident in the Sublime One’s teaching (sāsane), The supreme good is fully purified As they live diligently in the teaching (sāsane).

Iti 98

‘Oh, if I’d only live for another day and night, I’d focus on the Buddha’s instructions and I could really achieve a lot.’

‘aho vatāhaṃ rattindivaṃ jīveyyaṃ, bhagavato sāsanaṃ manasi kareyyaṃ, bahu vata me kataṃ assā’ti

AN 8.73

Where as, in contrary, the Dhamma itself is unconditioned and permanent, as follows:

Mendicants, whether Realized Ones arise or not, this law of nature persists, this regularity of natural principles, this invariance of natural principles...

Uppādā vā, bhikkhave, tathāgatānaṃ anuppādā vā tathāgatānaṃ, ṭhitāva sā dhātu dhammaṭṭhitatā dhammaniyāmatā

AN 3.136

In other words, the Dhamma always exists, even when there is no mind to experience it. Even if there were no Arahants and the world was 100.0% puthujjana, the Dhamma would continue to exist; but unknown & in secret.


Cool question

buddhasasana (the teaching of the Buddha) is conditioned and impermanent in contrary with Dhamma itself which is unconditioned and permanent.

As i see it, yes it would be an agreeable expression and would be with sutta support as something like this. * When Alara Kalama & Uddaka Ramaputa speak of their Dhamma, to be directly realized, they are speaking of their highest concentration attainments, this is not a point of controversy afaik, people agree that that is the meaning.

"I thought: 'It wasn't through mere conviction alone that Rama declared, "I have entered & dwell in this Dhamma, having realized it for myself through direct knowledge." Certainly he dwelled knowing & seeing this Dhamma.' So I went to Uddaka and said, 'To what extent did Rama declare that he had entered & dwelled in this Dhamma?' When this was said, Uddaka declared the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception.

  • Further Buddha says;

"Then the thought occurred to me, 'This Dhamma that I have attained is deep, hard to see, hard to realize, peaceful, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. [3] But this generation delights in attachment, is excited by attachment, enjoys attachment. For a generation delighting in attachment, excited by attachment, enjoying attachment, this/that conditionality & dependent co-arising are hard to see. This state, too, is hard to see: the resolution of all fabrications, the relinquishment of all acquisitions, the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding. And if I were to teach the Dhamma and others would not understand me, that would be tiresome for me, troublesome for me.'

"Just then these verses, unspoken in the past, unheard before, occurred to me:

'Enough now with teaching what only with difficulty I reached. This Dhamma is not easily realized by those overcome with aversion & passion.

What is abstruse, subtle, deep, hard to see, going against the flow — those delighting in passion, cloaked in the mass of darkness, won't see.' "As I reflected thus, my mind inclined to dwelling at ease, not to teaching the Dhamma.

Imo here Buddha speaks of the Dhamma as meditative attainment to be attained, to known and seen, surpassing all other, which is the unconditioned element. Also as a teaching to the extent of unconditioned.

Based on this direct knowledge he proclaims that there are two elements; conditioned and the unconditioned (many elements sutta mn115). Also referred to as 'a quality' mn 43;

"One knows a quality that can be known with the eye of discernment."

I skip the part equating these so dont take my word for it

So there are two contexts he speaks of teaching the Dhamma and the Dhamma to be realized to the extent of the unconditioned.

Given that the referent for 'unconditioned' is a single element it would not include what is thought or taught about the element it would follow that Buddhasasana is impermanent and the Dhamma he realized is unconditioned.

Dhamma is also refered to as 'Akalika~ timeless' but there are several fitting interpretations for this afaik.


Based on the following verse I would say "Buddhs Sasana" is not the same as Buddha Dhamma.

"Sabba papassa akaranam Kusalassa upasampadha Sachitta pariyodapanam Etam buddhanu sasanam" I asked a similar question in Dhamma Wheel.


  • It appears my answer is incorrect.
    – SarathW
    Nov 4 '19 at 2:12

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