top of page

The Problem Statement


Copyright © 2023 Tomás Morales y Duran. All Rights Reserved


We are going to analyze the problem statement that starts the process of enlightenment of the Buddha, told by himself, collected in several passages of the Majjhima Nikāya:

And what is the ignoble pursuit?


As to this, one susceptible to being born himself, seeks that which is also susceptible to birth. Being susceptible to aging himself, he seeks that which is equally susceptible to aging. Being susceptible to decay himself.... Being susceptible to death itself.... Being susceptible to grief itself.... Being susceptible to defilement himself, he seeks that which is also susceptible to defilement.


Sons and wife are susceptible to suffering, women slaves and men slaves... goats and sheep... roosters and pigs... elephants, cows, horses and mares are susceptible to suffering. All these clingings are susceptible to suffering and being oneself susceptible to suffering one seeks that which is also susceptible to suffering.


And what is noble seeking?

As to this one who can be born for its own sake, having known the disadvantages in that which is also subservient to birth, seeks the unborn, liberation from bondage: the Unconditioned. Being subject to aging for its own sake, having known the disadvantages in what is also subject to aging, it seeks total and absolute liberation from addictions: the Unconditioned. Being susceptible to decay for its own sake, having known the disadvantages in that which is also susceptible to decay, it seeks total and absolute liberation from addictions: the Unconditioned. Being susceptible to death for its own sake, having known the danger in that which is equally susceptible to death, it seeks the immortal, the ultimate shelter from bondage: the Unconditioned. Being susceptible to grief for its own sake, having known the disadvantages in that which is also susceptible to grief, it seeks relief, the ultimate release from bondage: the Unconditioned. Being susceptible to defilement for its own sake, having known the disadvantages in that which is also susceptible to defilement, it seeks the undefilement, the ultimate relief from clinging: the Unconditioned.

This is the noble quest.


Everyone and everything in the world is subject to conditionality, that is, to becoming corrupted, including oneself. The ignoble search is the one that searches in the corruptible, as one who digs in the garbage being himself garbage. The noble quest goes after that which is not subject to condition, which is outside the world, to the Unconditioned: Nibbāna.

Freedom is the goal of the noble quest.

So, he thought:

"Why do I, being susceptible to rebirth, aging, sickness, sorrow, death, and corruption, seek things that have the same nature?".

"Why don't I seek the supreme refuge, uncorrupted, unaging, immortal, eternal, unpainful, uncorrupted, the Unconditioned?"


So he thought that living in a house is cramped and dirty, but the life of someone who has renounced is very open and that it is not easy for someone living at home to lead a life of renunciation completely full and pure, like a polished shell.


"Why don't I shave off my hair and beard, dress in yellowish red robes and move from the home life to the homeless life?".


After a while, being young, with hair as black as coal, possessed of radiant youth, in the prime of his life, though his parents were reluctant wept and mourned, they cut off his hair and beard, put on the yellowish robes, and he left home to live the homeless life, for he wanted to know what is wholesome and good, seeking the highest and noblest peace.

And being evident that the pleasures of the senses end up bringing pain, the future Buddha starts his search with this idea: "pleasure is not gained through pleasure, pleasure is obtained through pain".




10 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comentarios


bottom of page