End of Clinging

“Just so, Anajnda, in one who contemplates the enjoyment of all things that make for clinging, craving arises; through craving, clinging is conditioned; through clinging, the process of becoming is conditioned; through the process of becoming, rebirth is conditioned; through rebirth are conditioned old age and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair. Thus arises the whole mass of suffering again in the future.

“But in the person, Ananda, who dwells contemplating the sorrow of all things that make for clinging, craving ceases; when craving ceases, clinging ceases; when clinging ceases, the process of becoming ceases; when the process of becoming ceases, rebirth ceases; when rebirth ceases, old age and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair cease. Thus the entire mass of suffering ceases.

“Suppose, Ananda, there were a great tree and a man were to come with an axe and basket and were to cut down that tree at the root. After cutting it at the root he were to dig a trench and were to pull out the roots even to the rootlets and fibers of them. Then he were to cut the tree into logs and were then to split the logs and were then to make the logs into chips. Then he were to dry the chips in wind and sun, then burn them with fire, collect them into a heap of ash, then winnow the ashes in a strong wind or let them be carried away by the swift stream of a river.

“Surely that great tree thus cut down at the roots would be made as a palmtree stump, become unproductive, become unable to sprout again in the future.

“Just so, Ananda, in him who dwells contemplating the sorrow of all things that make for clinging . . . the entire mass of suffering ceases.”

from the Samyutta Nikaya,
translated by David Maurice

This excerpt is taken from the book, “Teachings of the Buddha”

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