Ignorance or craving as the cause of suffering?

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kverty
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Ignorance or craving as the cause of suffering?

Post by kverty »

According to the four noble truths, craving is the cause of suffering and by removing all forms of craving - craving for sensual pleasure, craving for existence and craving for non-existence - we become liberated.

According to dependent origination, the first link in the round of births and the root cause for all suffering is ignorance, thus suffering is due because we lack insight into the marks of all phenomena namely anicca, dukkha and anatta.

Can someone please clarify? If ignorance is removed then all forms of craving is immediately eradicated? If all forms of craving is eradicated then ignorance is completely removed? Or is it both? Suffering may be caused by either ignorance or craving, by removing either root we become liberated?
santa100
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Re: Ignorance or craving as the cause of suffering?

Post by santa100 »

A few points to keep in mind and the answer will become clearer:
1. While tanha/craving is the principal condition for the existence of suffering, it's not the one and only condition.
2. Avijja/ignorance and its twelve links of DO should be seen as cyclical instead of a linear start-to-end fashion. That's why you see many graphical demonstration of DO in the form of a spinning wheel with 12 spokes.
From the info. above, it should be clearer now to see that avijja, tanha, and even the rest of the 12 links all lead to suffering. While avijja serves as the basis for the arising of tanha, the eventual eradication of both would require persistent effort to remove them in tandem: by observing the precepts, practicing meditation, and be heedful in one's act, speech, and thought, one removes tanha; and by frequent reflection/contemplation into the 3 characteristics of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and non-self, one removes ignorance.
R1111 = rightviewftw
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Re: Ignorance or craving as the cause of suffering?

Post by R1111 = rightviewftw »

I think Delusion is a more valid primary root of Suffering rather than Craving. Question becomes thus "why do we crave?"
Because of delusion Liking arises, because of liking arises Craving. Craving leads to Birth, Old Age, Sickness and Death and all impermanent phenomena are cause for suffering when clung to. No craving without clinging, no clinging without delusion about impermanence, appropriation/self-identification and desirability of phenomena, no delusion without defilements.

Ignorance is also cause for suffering because Ignorance leads to decisions that give one over to negligence. Negligent person suffers because he seeks pleasure and refuge in wrong things and foolishly suffers the consequences and can in this way be said to be destroyed by Mara because of Ignorance, Is
Is ignorance, the greatest corruption.
Having abandoned this corruption,
Monks, remain corruption-free!
Dhammapada

So it is the last thing to go, as far as corruption in a person and in this way can be said to be the cause of suffering. However imo we can still ask "What is cause of Ignorance?" and answer with Delusion probably. We can also ask what is the meaning of corruption and answer with Defilement, reason for defilement is again Delusion, askin what is primary cause of Delusion? Im not sure what is correct answer is but i will give my best guess,

It seems to me that Non arising of knowledge is the cause of Delusion as far as we can know. What is the reason for non Arising of Knowledge (About Nibbana Element)? A: Wrong Sila, Wrong Meditation and Wrong View. Reason for this is again Delusion. The Tathagatha couldnt see the beginning of Samsara, the more he looked the more was created afaik.

I think these questions can be like chicken and the egg thing because Abandonment of delusion can be said to be same thing as Attainament of Arahantship resulting in Abandonement of Ignorance, therefore also implying Abandoment of Craving (for immaterial existence) and clinging to the World. So its really difficult for me to imagine exactly how those came to be, are interconnected and in which order they are abandoned, maybe the Tipitaka or Visuddhimagga has some relative info somewhere.
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Re: Ignorance or craving as the cause of suffering?

Post by jagodage »

Dear friends

2 ed Noble truth say craving is the cause of Dukka

By removing craving one can attain Final Goal.But removing craving(Thanha)is most diffucilt task in human life.

But if we can start by removing Ignorance instead of Craving the task of removing Thanha is less burdensome.

That is one of the reason that DP start with Ignorance(Aviddya).If we can develop Knowledge(Viddya) in place of Ignorance,we can reach Final Goal.

The nature of Final Goal is Yatha Butha Ghana , Tri Lakkana,Samma Ditti,Panchas Kannda.

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Re: Ignorance or craving as the cause of suffering?

Post by form »

Theory will be just theory.

Eventually, one will need direct seeing to make the breakthrough. And I am talking in theory as of now.
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Re: Ignorance or craving as the cause of suffering?

Post by DooDoot »

The four noble truths was the 1st sermon & an introductory teaching. The cause of suffering was taught as craving. Later, dependent origination taught in more detail that the cause of craving is ignorance. In AN 3.61, dependent origination is taught as being the 2nd noble truth:
And what, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of the origin of suffering? With ignorance as condition, volitional activities come to be; with volitional activities as condition, consciousness; with consciousness as condition, name-and-form; with name-and-form as condition, the six sense bases; with the six sense bases as condition, contact; with contact as condition, feeling; with feeling as condition, craving; with craving as condition, clinging; with clinging as condition, existence; with existence as condition, birth; with birth as condition, old age and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, dejection, and anguish come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering. This is called the noble truth of the origin of suffering.

https://suttacentral.net/en/an3.61
If ignorance is removed then all forms of craving is immediately eradicated because ignorance is the cause of craving. But if all forms of craving are removed, ignorance is not necessarily completely removed because craving can be removed intentionally, i.e., via an act of will, rather than via insight. To conclude, in Buddhism, it appears it is not possible to completely eradicate the tendency to craving without ending ignorance.
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2600htz
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Re: Ignorance or craving as the cause of suffering?

Post by 2600htz »

kverty wrote: Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:49 am According to the four noble truths, craving is the cause of suffering and by removing all forms of craving - craving for sensual pleasure, craving for existence and craving for non-existence - we become liberated.

According to dependent origination, the first link in the round of births and the root cause for all suffering is ignorance, thus suffering is due because we lack insight into the marks of all phenomena namely anicca, dukkha and anatta.

Can someone please clarify? If ignorance is removed then all forms of craving is immediately eradicated? If all forms of craving is eradicated then ignorance is completely removed? Or is it both? Suffering may be caused by either ignorance or craving, by removing either root we become liberated?
Hello:

What you are ignoring are the 4 noble truths and how the process of dependent origination works.
When there is no more ignorance about this, you are then able to let go of craving and experience the cessation of suffering.

So they are conjoined, if there is ignorance, there is craving, if there is craving, there is ignorance.

Regards.
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Re: Ignorance or craving as the cause of suffering?

Post by pegembara »

kverty wrote: Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:49 am According to the four noble truths, craving is the cause of suffering and by removing all forms of craving - craving for sensual pleasure, craving for existence and craving for non-existence - we become liberated.

According to dependent origination, the first link in the round of births and the root cause for all suffering is ignorance, thus suffering is due because we lack insight into the marks of all phenomena namely anicca, dukkha and anatta.

Can someone please clarify? If ignorance is removed then all forms of craving is immediately eradicated? If all forms of craving is eradicated then ignorance is completely removed? Or is it both? Suffering may be caused by either ignorance or craving, by removing either root we become liberated?
Desire/craving is also because we have not realised that all phenomena are unsatisfactory but viewed them as permanent, desirable and ownable. It all revolves around this "liberating" insight or freedom from delusion.
"Bhikkhus, when a noble follower who has heard (the truth) sees thus, he finds estrangement in form, he finds estrangement in feeling, he finds estrangement in perception, he finds estrangement in determinations, he finds estrangement in consciousness.

"When he finds estrangement, passion fades out. With the fading of passion, he is liberated. When liberated, there is knowledge that he is liberated. He understands: 'Birth is exhausted, the holy life has been lived out, what can be done is done, of this there is no more beyond.'"

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Re: Ignorance or craving as the cause of suffering?

Post by Saengnapha »

Craving is the most immediate and accessible form of ignorance that we have. The Buddha was practical. When you begin to be disenchanted by craving, the domino effect will be in place, knocking off all forms of ignorance through disinterest or dispassion.
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Re: Ignorance or craving as the cause of suffering?

Post by Spiny Norman »

kverty wrote: Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:49 am Can someone please clarify? If ignorance is removed then all forms of craving is immediately eradicated? If all forms of craving is eradicated then ignorance is completely removed? Or is it both? Suffering may be caused by either ignorance or craving, by removing either root we become liberated?
The proximate cause of suffering is craving ( second Noble Truth ), while the root cause is ignorance ( dependent origination ).
Last edited by Spiny Norman on Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ignorance or craving as the cause of suffering?

Post by Spiny Norman »

santa100 wrote: Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:30 pm 2. Avijja/ignorance and its twelve links of DO should be seen as cyclical instead of a linear start-to-end fashion. That's why you see many graphical demonstration of DO in the form of a spinning wheel with 12 spokes.
I can see bhava as being cyclical, but not DO as a whole.
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Re: Ignorance or craving as the cause of suffering?

Post by santa100 »

Spiny Norman wrote: Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:53 am
santa100 wrote: Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:30 pm 2. Avijja/ignorance and its twelve links of DO should be seen as cyclical instead of a linear start-to-end fashion. That's why you see many graphical demonstration of DO in the form of a spinning wheel with 12 spokes.
I can see bhava as being cyclical, but not DO as a whole.
Please explain why you don't see DO as being cyclical?
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Re: Ignorance or craving as the cause of suffering?

Post by Sam Vara »

santa100 wrote: Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:55 pm
Spiny Norman wrote: Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:53 am
santa100 wrote: Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:30 pm 2. Avijja/ignorance and its twelve links of DO should be seen as cyclical instead of a linear start-to-end fashion. That's why you see many graphical demonstration of DO in the form of a spinning wheel with 12 spokes.
I can see bhava as being cyclical, but not DO as a whole.
Please explain why you don't see DO as being cyclical?
I don't wish to speak for Spiny, of course, but I have seen different delineations or presentations of DO (i.e. as opposed to seeing DO as an object of direct personal perception). Some of them present a cyclical process, whereas others don't. I don't recall seeing a cyclical presentation among the suttas, so I can't favour a cyclical presentation over others.
santa100
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Re: Ignorance or craving as the cause of suffering?

Post by santa100 »

Sam Vara wrote: Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:15 pm
santa100 wrote: Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:55 pm
Spiny Norman wrote: Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:53 am

I can see bhava as being cyclical, but not DO as a whole.
Please explain why you don't see DO as being cyclical?
I don't wish to speak for Spiny, of course, but I have seen different delineations or presentations of DO (i.e. as opposed to seeing DO as an object of direct personal perception). Some of them present a cyclical process, whereas others don't. I don't recall seeing a cyclical presentation among the suttas, so I can't favour a cyclical presentation over others.
Hold on, so you're saying that DO is strictly and exclusively a kind of momentary thing, like all 12 links happen in 1 single life-time? See Ven. Bodhi's comment in "Connected Discourses" below:
The three-life interpretation of dependent origination has sometimes been branded a commentarial invention on the ground that the suttas themselves do not divide the terms up into different lifetimes. However, while it is true that we do not find in the suttas an explicit distribution of the factors into three lives, close examination of the variants on the standard formula lend strong support to the three-life interpretation. One example is 12:19, where ignorance and craving are first assigned jointly to a past life, giving rise to a new life lived in a conscious body with its six sense bases; and then, in the case of the fool (but not the wise man), ignorance and craving again function as joint causes in the present life to bring about renewed birth and suffering in the future life. A close examination of other variants in this samyutta would also establish that the series of terms extends over several lives.
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Re: Ignorance or craving as the cause of suffering?

Post by Sam Vara »

santa100 wrote: Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:55 pm
Hold on, so you're saying that DO is strictly and exclusively a kind of momentary thing, like all 12 links happen in 1 single life-time?
No, I'm not saying that at all. I'm saying that I haven't seen evidence in the suttas that the Buddha was talking about a cyclical process. My point is not about the duration of the process (i.e. three lives, one life, or instantaneous) but about the shape of the process (i.e. whether it is a cycle.)
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