Why are the three marks (consolidated) not directly included in the Satipatthana Sutta - supposedly the most important of all discourses? Not in the section of principles, but indirectly with regards to the body:

They meditate observing the body as liable to originate, as liable to vanish, and as liable to both originate and vanish.

Perhaps it is due to the later historical ontological organization of those three messages? Any tangential ideas are welcome.

1 Answer 1


While the Satipatthana Sutta is a fake later construction, generally when impermanence is mentioned in a sutta it also infers unsatisfactoriness & not-self because the suttas say: that which is impermanent is unsatisfactory; that which is unsatisfactory is not-self (SN 22.15).


Now, observe that in the realization of impermanence there is the realization of many other things simultaneously. When impermanence is truly seen, this characteristic of impermanence is also the characteristic of dukkham, namely, it is ugly and unbearable. We will see the characteristic of not-self in it, also. Because these things are always changing, impermanent, unsatisfactory, and beyond our control, we realize anatta, also. Then we will see that they are void of selfhood, which is sunnata. We will see that they are just thus like that. Impermanence is just thus, just like that, thusness. And so, tathata is seen as well.

Please understand that the realizations of these truths are interrelated. From seeing impermanence, we see unsatisfactoriness, see anatta, see sunnata; see tathata, and see idappaccayata (conditionality, the law of cause and effect), also. Each continues into the next. A complete realization of impermanence must include un­satisfactoriness, not-self, voidness, thusness, and the law of conditionality. When all of these are seen, then impermanence is seen completely in the most profound way.

Ajahn Buddhadasa

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