The Three Characteristics Of Existence
- As shared by the Buddha...
THE THREE CHARACTERISTICS OF EXISTENCE
All formations are "transient"; all formations
are "subject to suffering"; all things are "without
an Ego-entity." Corporeality is transient, feeling
is transient, perception is transient, mental
formations are transient, consciousness is transient.
And that which is transient, is subject to suffering;
and of that which is transient, and subject to
suffering and change, one cannot rightly say: "This
belongs to me; this am I; this is my Ego."
Therefore, whatever there be of corporeality, of feeling,
perception, mental formations, or consciousness,
whether one's own or external, whether gross or subtle,
lofty or low, far or near, one
should understand, according to reality, and
true wisdom: "This does not belong to me; this
am I not; this is not my Ego."
Suppose, a man who is not blind, were to behold
the many bubbles on the Ganges as they are driving
along; and he should watch them, and
carefully examine them. After carefully examining
them, they will appear to him empty, unreal, and
unsubstantial. In exactly the same
way, does the monk behold all the corporeal phenomena,
feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and
states of consciousness-whether
they be of the past, or the present, or the future,
far, or near. And he watches them, and examines
them carefully; and, after carefully
examining them, they appear to him empty, void, and
without an Ego
Whoso delights in corporeality, or feeling, or
perception, or mental formations, or consciousness,
he delights in suffering; and whoso
delights in suffering, will not be freed from
suffering. Thus I say
How can you find delight and mirth,
Where there is burning without end?
In deepest darkness you are wrapped!
Why do you not seek for the light?
Look at this puppet here, well rigged,
A heap of many sores, piled up,
Diseased, and full of greediness,
Unstable, and impermanent!
Devoured by old age is this frame,
A prey of sickness, weak and frail;
To pieces breaks this putrid body,
All life must truly end in death.