AN INTRODUCTION TO ABHIDHAMMA
(Given at Zen Center, San Francisco)
The topic for today is causal relations. This topic is the most important among Abhidhamma subjects and also the most difficult. The books where these relations are taught are the most voluminous. I hope that you remember that there are seven books in Abhidhamma. In the seventh book these Causal Relations are treated. The whole Abhidhamma PiÔaka comprises about 5000 pages in the edition of the sixth Buddhist council in Rangoon. The seventh book alone occupies about 2000 pages. There are five volumes in this seventh book. In this last or seventh book the 24 Causal Relations are treated in the greatest possible detail.
According to the teaching of this book everything in the world is related to some other thing by way of one or more of these 24 modes of relation. The subject of the seventh book is supposed to be thne most profound of the teachings of Abhidhamma.
Immediately after the enlightenment the Buddha spent about eight weeks under and near the Bodhi tree. The Bodhi tree is the tree under which he became enlightened. During the fourth week it is said that the Buddha contemplated the topics of Abhidhamma or on the books of Abhidhamma, one after the other. When he contemplated on the first, second, third and so on, nothing happened. But when he came to the seventh book on the 24 modes of causal relations, rays of six colors emitted from his body and spread in all directions covering the whole world. It is said in the books that the topics taught in the first six books were not deep enough for his super-knowledge, for his omniscience. His super-knowledge was like a whale put in a small tank. It didn't get much opportunity to move about. But when he got to the seventh book, it was like putting the whale in the great ocean. So far as there is ocean the whale can move about. In the same way so far as  there are things to be contemplated his super-knowledge can do so. His super-knowledge got the opportunity to move about freely in the 24 modes of relations. And so his mind became clear and happy. When the mind becomes clear and happy, the heart-base upon which the mind depends also becomes clear. Thus the rays of six colors emitted from his body.
These six colors are represented on the Buddhist flag now accepted by all Buddhists, TheravÈda and MahÈyana. I was very happy to see the Buddhist flag flying at this center. There are five colors and the last color is the combination of the first five. It is not like stripes. You have to mix all these colors and you will get something different. Maybe the person who designed the flag thought it would be nice to put these stripes one by one instead of mixing it together and getting a strange color. This flag was accepted by all Buddhists and now every Buddhist ceremony has these flags.
PaÔÔhÈna was so profound that it was enough for the Buddha's omniscience or super-intellect to move about freely. What does this book teach? I tried to find PaÔÔhÈna in the Buddhist Dictionary, but I did not find that word. Instead under the word 'Paccaya’ some description of PaÔÔhÈna is given. The Buddhist Dictionary was written by the Venerable NyÈÓatiloka. He was a German Buddhist monk. He lived to be very old and died in Sri Lanka.
The word 'Paccaya’ is used for these relations in the book PaÔÔhÈna. 'Paccaya’ means condition."'Condition, is something on which something else the so-called 'conditioned thing, is dependent, and without which the latter cannot be." It is not necessarily a productive cause but something to be depended upon, some condition.
"Manifold are the ways in which one thing, or one occurrence, may be the condition for some other thing or occurrence." There are many  ways in which things are related to each other.
In the PaÔÔhÈna, the last book of the Abhidhamma PiÔaka, comprising six large volumes in the Siamese edition*, these, 24 modes of conditionality are enumerated and explained, and then applied to all conceivable mental and physical phenomena and occurrences, and thus their conditioned nature is demonstrated." In the PaÔÔhÈna all these relations are explained and applied to mental and physical phenomena of every kind.
A knowledg of PaÔÔhÈna is very important for an understanding of relationships between things. For one thing the knowledge of PaÔÔhÈna is important for an understanding of Dependent Origination. The PÈÄi word for Dependent Origination is PaÔicca-samuppÈda. It is translated as Dependent Origination, Conditioned Arising, Conditioned Genesis and so on.
The teaching of Dependent Origination teaches that something is dependent upon some other thing. In other words it teaches that depending upon A, B arises. Dependent upon B, C arises and so on. It does not show us or it does not tell us in what way B is dependent upon A. It does not tell us in what way A and B are related. It just states that B is dependent upon A, C is dependent upon B and so on. That is the teaching of Dependent Origination.
The teaching of Dependent Origination consists of twelve causes, or twelve conditions, or twelve links. Dependent upon ignorance Kamma formations arise; dependent upon Kamma formations consciousness arises  and so on.
If we do not understand PaÔÔhÈna, if we do not understand the causal relations, or if we do not apply our knowledge of causal relations to Dependent Origination, we might misunderstand or we might misinterpret the links in Paticca-samuppÈda. Therefore a knowledge of PaÔÔhÈna is very important in order not to misunderstand the doctrine of Dependent Origination.
For an example we will take the sixth link. That link is depending yupon contact feeling arises. It is the sixth link in the twelve links of Dependent Origination. On the first reading we may think that one thing is the cause of another. We may take it that A produces B, B produces C and so on. Also we may think that A and B belong to different times, that they do not belong to the same time or the same moment. Some links do not belong to different times. They arise at the same time and one is said to be dependent upon another. It is here that the knowledge of causal relations comes to help us understand the relationships between these links.
Depending upon feeling contact arises. 'Contact' means Phassa. It is one of the 52 Cetasikas. Feeling (VedanÈ) is also one of the 52 Cetasikas. One Cetasika depends upon another. Feeling depends upon contact to arise.
You may remember contact and feeling belong to the seven universal mental factors. That means the seven factors that arise with every type of consciousness. Contact and feeling arise together but it is said that feeling arises dependent upon contact. Contact is divided into eye contact, ear contact and so on. Feeling is also explained as feeling arisinq from eye contact, feeling arising from ear contact and so on. Eye contact is the condition for feeling born of eye contact. Eye contact and eye feeling arise at the same
 time. Although they arise at the same time, one is said to be a condition for another. Contact is a condition for feeling, but they arise at the same time. Their relationship is by way of conascence. That means they are existing at the same time. They also have the relationship of mutuality which means depending upon one another. There are other relationships like association and so on. So this link does not mean only that contact and feeling must belong to different times. They can belong to different times as well as the same time. Here for contact and feeling arising at the same moment we can explain their relationship by conascence, mutuality and others.
Eye contact is a condition for feeling arising together with receiving consciousness, investigating consciousness, registering consciousness and so on. In that case they do not arise together at the same moment. Although these moments are very, very brief, they belong to different moments. Eye contact is a condition for feeling arising with receiving consciousness. They do not arise together. There is no relationship of conascence, mutuality and so on. But there is another kind of relationship which is called ,decisive support' or 'sufficing dependence’. In this case eye contact helps feeling to arise although it does not cause feeling to arise. It just helps feeling to arise. They belong to different moments. However in the first case eye contact to eye feeling, they arise at the same moment and they support each other actually. Contact supports feeling and feeling supports contact.
Without the knowledge of causal relations we can go wrong in these links. The knowledge of causal relations is important. It is essential for a correct understanding of Dependent Origination.  We do not find many modern authors who write on Dependent Origination explaining by way of causal relations. As far as I know the Venerable NyÈÓatiloka was the only modern author who explained Dependent Origination with reference to PaÔÔhÈna or causal relations. You may have read books or articles on Dependent Origination, but it is very difficult to find explanations given with reference to causal relations. To understand causal relations you have to understand Abhidhamma. You need a good knowledge of Abhidhamma to be able to explain with reference to PaÔÔhÈna the Dependent Origination.
I say 'modern authors' because in the Visuddhmagga, The Path of Purification, all links are explained with reference to PaÔÔhÈna. Actually Venerable NyÈÓatiloka took the explanations from the Visuddhimagga. If you are interested you may read The Path of Purification. That is the most difficult chapter in the whole book, the chapter on Dependent Origination.
Eye contact is condition for eye feelino by way of conascence, mutuality and others. The same eye contact is condition for feeling arising together with receiving consciousness, investigating consciousness and registering consciousness by way of decisive support or by way of sufficing dependence. It is something like support.
The other links are also to be understood with reference to Patth~ina, not in an identical way. For example depending upon Kamffa formations consciousness arises. The relationship is between Kamma and its results. They belong to different times, maybe hundreds of years apart, but they are linked by Kamma causation or Kamma relation. Without the knowledge of causal relations we cannot say that we fully understand Dependent Origination.
Now we come to the causal relations themselves. There are altogether 24 causal relations treated in the seventh book of Abhidhamma called  the PaÔÔhÈna. We will have to use the Manual of Abhidhamma for the study of the 24 modes of relations. You can also read an explanation of these 24 modes in the Buddhist Dictionary under the word 'Paccayal. Also you can read about them in The Path of Purification.
There are altogether 24 causal relations. The first one is called 'Hetu’, 'Hetu relation’ (root relation). You are familiar with the word 'root' or 'Hetul. What are Hetus? Attachment, hatred, delusion, non-attachment, non-hatred, non-delusion. These six are called 'Hetul. When there are one, two or three of these arising together with a Citta, then these roots are related to the concomitant Citta and others by way of root condition.
Let us take the first Akusala Citta as an example. The first Citta is accompanied by Lobha (attachment). The first Citta arises together with 19 Cetasikas including Lobha. In that case Lobha is the root condition. The Citta and the other Cetasikas are those that are conditioned by Lobha or that are dependent upon Lobha. In this way we have to explain the relation between the conditioning and the conditioned.
The second is 1rammana (object condition). Do you remember how many kinds of objects there are? There are six kinds of objects. I think we discussed this with the thought processes, the conditions necessary, for consciousness to arise. There are six kinds of objects visible object, audible object and so on. There is nothing which is not the object. Everything in the world belongs to this relation or this condition. A flower is an object. A bag is an object. A jug is an object. our minds are objects. Everything is an object. Let us say that we see something, for example a jar. The jar is related to our seeing consciousness by way of object condition.
Number three is predominence (Adhipati); mastery or lordship  over one's own is the meaning. Sometimes Citta is predominant. Sometimes Chanda (conation) is predominant. Sometimes we desire to do something. For example the Bodhisatta had a great desire to become the Buddha. He was ready to walk from this side of the universe to the other side on a path covered with embers. Sometimes Citta can be predominant. Sometimes conation is predominant. Other times Viriya (effort) is predominant. And sometimes PaÒÒÈ (wisdom) is predominant. One of these four can be predominant at a given time. These four are called the predominant conditions,
The fourth is Anantara or contiguity. What is that? The PÈÄi word ‘Anantara’ means no gap. ‘Antara’ means gap and 'Na’ means no so no gap. 'No gap' means following immediately. ‘Anantara condition’ means the preceding one is followed by the succeeding one without any gap or interference. That is called ‘'contiguity’.
The fifth condition is Samanantara. Number five is actually the same as number four. The difference is only in the words, but not in the meaning. The meaning is something like giving chance for others to arise by oneself disappearing. It is something like if I want you to sit in this chair, I will leave this chair. My leaving this chair is a condition for you to sit on this chair. In the same way one Citta is the condition for the following Citta by way of contiguity and immediacy. They are the same.
In the manual it says: "According to Buddhist philosophy one thought moment perishes immediately giving birth to another." Actually it means that one thought moment gives chance to another thought moment to arise.
"The succeeding thought moment inherits all the potentialities of its immediate predecessor." I do not know if this is really true because some thoughts just arise and disappear. They may not have any kind of potentiality. Some like CetanÈ and so on have some kind of potentiality.  It may go on to succeeding moments.
"Perishing preceding states causally relate themselves to immediately following states by means of contiguity and immediacy." It is just giving place or giving chance to others to arise.
Number six is SahajÈta or conascence or arising together. Although they arise together, one is called the 'conditioning' and the other is called the 'conditioned'. For example Citta and Cetasika arise together. When Citta is taken as conditioning, then Cetasikas are taken as conditioned. When one of the Cetasikas is taken as conditioning, then the Citta and the other Cetasikas are conditioned.
Number seven is mutuality or reciprocity. That is AÒÒamaÒÒa, depending one on the other or supporting one another. In order to have the relationship of mutuality there must be conascence. Only those that arise together can be said to have this relation of mutuality. So Citta and Cetasika arise together and support each other. Therefore Citta is related to Cetasika by conascence and mutuality. Cetasika is also related to Citta by conascence and mutuality.
Number eight is dependence or support (Nissaya). Let us look at eye sensitivity and eye consciousness. Eye consciousness depends upon eye sensitivity to arise because if there is no eye sensitivity, there can be no seeing consciousness. Eye sensitivity acts as a support or dependence for eye consciousness. So that is a condition of dependence or a condition of support.
Number nine is powerful dependence (Upanissaya). Dependence is ordinary dependence and powerful dependence is stronger dependence. Powerful dependence is more like fundamental dependence or fundamental support. Dependence (Nissaya) is like secondary dependence.
For example in order for us to eat rice there must be rice. In order to get rice we need soil, we need rainwater, we need the seed  and so on. The soil, rainwater and seed are like powerful dependence here. If we want to eat rice, we have to cook it. We need a pot, water, fuel and fire in order to make rice that we can eat. The pot, the water, the fuel and the fire are like support condition. Powerful dependence is more fundamental than ordinary dependence. I Number 10 is prenascence (PurejÈta). That means the conditioning one arises before the conditioned one. When the conditioned one arises, the conditioning one is still in existence. Please visualize a diagram of the thought process. There are thought moments and there is the object. Let us say this is the first thought process. So there is the visible object and the thought moments. We will take the seeing Citta or eye consciousness. Before eye consciousness arises there was the visible object because visible object came into being three or four moments before seeing consciousness. The visible object arose before the seeing consciousness arises. The visible cbject is still in existence when seeing consciousness arises. The visible object is related to seeing consciousness by way of prenanscence, by way of arising bef-,re and existing at that moment. The same is true for eye sensitivity and eye consciousness. Eye sensitivity is there before the eye consciousness arises. So there is the relation of prenascence.
The eleventh is postnascence (PacchÈjÈta).'Post-nascence’ means that the conditioning thing arises after the conditioned thing, but it relates to the conditioned thing when it arises. Before eye consciousness arises there is eye sensitivity. The eye sensitivity arose before the eye consciousness. It is still in existence when eye consciousness arises. Eye consciousness is related to eye sensitivity by way of postnascence. That means it arises later, after the eye sensitivity and when it arises and is in existence, it supports the eye sensitivity. This is the postnanscence relationship. Almost all Cittas can relate to physical things, to real properties in our bodies by way of post-nascence.
Number twelve is repetition (Œsevana). That is Javana repeating itself seven times or many times. Javana generally repeats itself seven times. First Javana is related to second Javana, second Javana is related to third by way of repetition. They relate not only by repetition but by way of contiguity and immediacy as well. So Javanas relate by way of contiguity, immediacy and also repetition. The relationship of repetition can only be obtained by those who belong to the same genus. That means the relationship is between Kusala and Kusala, Akusala and Akusala, Kiriya and Kiriya.
Suppose in the thought process there are seven Javana moments and that there is consciousness accompanied by attachment. Let us say it is Akusala consciousness. The first Javana is related to the second, the second to the third, the third to the fourth, the fourth to the fifth, the fifth to the sixth, the sixth to the seventh Javana by way of repetition. If the Javanas are Kusala, the relationship is the same. The relation is one of repetition. Only between those of the same genus can there be the relation of repetition.
Number thirteen is Kamma relation, Kamma condition. What did I tell you about Kamma? What is Kamma? CetanÈ, volition concomitant with Kusala and Akusala. There is another kind of Kamma which is called conascent Kamma. It does not produce anything, but it supports by way of Kamma. Here ‘Kamma’ means the producing Kamma as well as the supporting Kamma.
Number fourteen is the result of Kamma (VipÈka). Let us say there is Akusala Kamma and then there is the result of unwholesome Kamma among the eighteen rootless consciousnesses. They are related  by way of Kamma and effect.
Then number fifteen is nutriment (ŒhÈra). Here 'nutriment' means not only physical food but also contact, volition and Citta. They can become the nutriment condition.
Number sixteen is controlling faculty (Indriya). If you do not understand all of these, do not worry. Eye sensitivity is called 'eye faculty' because it controls the seeing function. Eye sensitivity is related to eye consciousness by faculty condition and so on.
Number seventeen is JhÈna. You already know what JhÈna is. The factors of JhÈna are initial application of mind, sustained application of mind and so on.
Number eighteen is Path (Magga) condition. There are eight path factors. Here 'path' does not necessaritly mean right path. We must include wrong path here too. 'Wrong view, is also called 'path'. Wrong view is also included in the path.
Number nineteen is association (Sampayutta). Association is like the relationship of citta and Cetasikas arising together, perishing together, having the same object and having the same basis. So there can be association only between mental things, between Cittas and Cetasikas, not between Citta and material properties (R|pa).
Number twenty is dissociation (Vippayutta). 'Dissociation, means having no characteristic of arising together, perishing together and so on. So between Citta and cetasika on the one hand and R|pa on the other there is this condition of dissociation. Although they may arise at the same time, although some of the material properties are caused by Citta, they are not related by association but by dissociation. They are never said to be  'associated'. 'Association' here means mixing together so that it is difficult to s0y which is which.
Student: They are not associated but they are related?
SayÈdaw: They are related. They are not associated; they are dissociated, but they are related.
Number twenty one is presence (Atthi). 'Presence' means existing. The visible oboject is related to eye consciousness by way of existing because it is existing there and the eye consciousness sees it.
Number twenty two is absence (Natthi). It is the same as number 4 and number 5, contiguity and immediacy. Absence and contiguity mean the same thing here. When it is no longer here, its place is taken by another.
Number twenty three is separation or disappearance (Vigata). Number 22 and number 23 are the same. Only the words are different.
Number twenty four is non-separation (Avigata). Number 24 and number 21 are the same. Non-separation and non-disappearance mean presence or existing.
Altogether we have 24 modes of relations. If we leave out those that are identical, we get 21 conditions. Everything in the world–Citta to Citta, Citta to Cetasika, Cetasika to Citta, Citta and Cetasika to R|pa, R|pa to Citta and Cetasika–all are related by one or more of these conditions.
It is the knowledge of PaÔÔhÈna or relations that can explain these relations between things. It is the most comprehensive and most difficult subject because we need to go back to the previous chapters in Ihe Manual of Abhidhamm in order to fully understand these 24 modes of relations.
We have to understand for each the conditioning Dhammas and the conditioned Dhammas at least. With regard to Hetu, number 1,  what are the conditioning factors and what are the conditioned factors? The six roots are the conditioning factors and the consciousnesses which are concomitant with the six roots and the Cetasikas arising with them and so on are the conditioned. We will have to make a big chart to explain these.
You have to be familiar with all the enumerations given in the previous chapters of the manual. We are not going into so much detail in this class. I just want you to be acquainted with some of the teachings of PaÔÔhÈna so that you will know the importance of PaÔÔhÈna. Also without the knowledge of PaÔÔhÈna it is difficult to fully understand the other teachings of the Buddha.
Now let us apply some of this knowledge to some Cittas, Cetasikas and R|pa. Let us take consciousness as an example. Please visualize the diagram of diagram with you don’t have the diagram with you now. In the thought process there is seeing or eye consciousness. Following it is receiving; following it is investigating; following it is determining; following that are seven moments of Javana. Eye consciousness takes the visible object as object. The fourteen moments of citta in the thought process all take visible object as object. The visible object is related to eye consciousness by how many conditions? By way of pre-nanascence, by way of presence, by way of support or dependence. With eye consciousness seven Cetasikas arise. Eye consciousness is related to the seven Cetasikas by way of arising together or conascence, mutuality, association and presence also, Eye consciousness also depends upon eye sensitivity. Eye sensitivity is related to eye consciousness by way of pre-nascence and dissociation. In this way we can find out how things are related, in what way visible object is related to eye consciousness, in what way eye consciousness is  related to Cetasikas arising together with it and to the material base of it.
This eye consciousness is related to the succeeding receiving consciousness by way of what? No gap or contiguity and immediacy. Eye consciousness is condition as contiguity and immediacy for receiving consciousness. Receiving consciousness has the same relationship with investigating consciousness and so on.
Student: These aren't the usual way we think of causal relationships. They are relationships. They are 24 relationships. They are not all exactly causal.
SayÈdaw: That's right. Yes. In fact there are only a few that can be said to be causal.
Student: With the example that you just gave if you start out with any Citta, Cetasika or R|pa, and if you have an infinite amount of time, you eventually have a network of everything connected with everything. In between you can say there are any number of these types of relations. You get everything that exists eventually.
SayÈdaw: Yes. That's right. You take one and relate it to others. Then you take another one and relate it to some others and so on.
Student: The only three things that are the objects are the relationships of the Cittas, Cetasikas and R|pa. These are what lie in between.
SayÈdaw: Yes because we are dealing with eye consciousness here and this type of thought process. But if we take the Path thought process, the realization thought process, then we will have to take NibbÈna also here.
Let us look now at determining consciousness and Javana consciousness. Determining consciousness is related to Javana consciousness by contiguity and immediacy, but not by repetition. But the first Javana is related to the second Javana by contiguity, immediacy and repetition. The  second Javana relates to the third Javana in the same way and so on. And then the heart-base is related to determining consciousness by prenascence, presence, non-disappearance and also dissociation because it is relationship between matter and mind.
We can pick up anything and explain their relationship with reference to explanations given in the seventh book of Abhidhamma, the PaÔÔhÈna. According to this teaching there is nothing which is not conditioned or that is not related to some other thing. All things in the world are inter-related. This is what the PaÔÔhÈna teaches us.
Student: Are these supposed to be all the types of relationships that there are? There are only 24 or 21?
SayÈdaw: There are only 24 of them treated in the book.
Student: The claim in the Abhidhamma is that this is inclusive. There are no other types.
SayÈdaw: 'That’s right.
In the manual on page 375 there is some correction to be made in the last sentence of the first paragraph. It reads: "As a rule, mind and matter are reciprocally related." It should say that mind and matter are not always reciprocally related. Sometimes they are and sometimes they are not. Often they are not, but sometimes they are. They are reciprocally related at the moment of conception, but at other times they are not. As a rule, mind and matter are not reciprocally related.
In note #24 about ten or twelve lines down we have: "Good environments, early education etc. will serve as a causal relation by way of dependence (Nissaya)." I think it should be sufficing dependence, powerful dependence (Upanissaya), not just Nissaya but Upanissaya.
 On page 377 in note #31 it says: "The controlling factors enumerated in Chapter seven become causally related to the coexistent mental states and material phenomena", Not all controlling factors enumerated in chapter seven become related. It should read: "Some controlling factors".
OK. That's all.
If we come to the chapter on Dependent Origination in the Visuddhimagga, we will have to come back to causal relations.
Student: Do I understand correctly that the mind is not directly inter-related to the physical structure, to the body, that the mind cannot directly influence the body in its functioning? I'm thinking of the power of the mind over the body. Is this fact or fiction?
SayÈdaw: Mind can have power over the body. There are four kinds of material properties. We have learned about that in our talk about material properties. Some material properties are caused by Kamma. Some are caused by Citta. Some are caused by climatic conditions and some are caused by nutriment. Since there are material properties caused by Citta (consciousness), then consciousness can influence the material or physical body. You know good consciousness (Kusala Citta) can produce good material properties. Bad consciousness (Akusala Citta) can produce bad material properties. when you are peaceful, when you are happy, the material properties it will produce will also be good properties. In that way we can say mind can influence the physical body.
That is why there can be self-healing, not healing by others. Disease is nothing but bad material properties. By our peaceful mind, by our powerful mind we produce the good material properties. These good material properties may defeat or attack the bad material properties. If they are strong enough and they win, there can be
 Student: Even cancer can be healed by visualization.
SayÈdaw: That can be.
Student: Why did you qualify It? Why did you say "not always"? I am hearing that you are saying the mind has power over the physical. The mind has power. Did you say "not always, not invariably'? Did I misunderstand?
SayÈdaw: Buddha was a person who had the most powerful mind in the world. He still succombed to death.
Student: He determined by volition that he no longer had to support that. Does this possibility exist with respect to the Avatars such as the Buddha?
SayÈdaw: Buddha is not an Avatar.
Student: What is he? I see him as out of the ordinary. He seems to be on a different wavelength than the people I have known.
SayÈdaw: He is an extraordinary human being.
Student: Yes because he was able to create a religion with many followers. There are many saints who got realization, but they do not create religions that survived the passing of time. Long ago the Buddha was born and died and yet Buddhism exists today. Is he the same as other men and women who got realization? In which way does he differ? Is his soul on the same wavelength as anybody else that realizes god?
SayÈdaw: I don't know. He was just a human being and depending upon his own efforts he became the Enlightened One. He helped many beings to become enlightened. At the end he died. He had this physical body and this physical body cannot last forever because it is subject to the law of change. Even the Buddha cannot avoid dying. The physical body has its own nature and its own physical properties. Not all of them can be controlled by mind. There can be some kind of healing.  That is undeniable. We cannot say however that every disease can be healed. Some can be healed by the power of the mind, but some others cannot be healed.
Student: Is it not a question of Kamma also? Is there not a Kammic element that some get healed and that some do not get healed?
SayÈdaw: There may be some working of Kamma in this case too.
Student: Did Buddha have any Kamma to resolve?
SayÈdaw: No. Buddha had exhausted, had cut off all Kamma, either good or bad.
Student: The fact that he did not cure himself was not a question of any residual Kamma. He was free, totally clean.
SayÈdaw: Even after becoming the Buddha he could not escape the effects of his past Kamma. He still had to enjoy or suffer the consequences of his past Kamma. That is why he was sick. He suffered headaches, backaches and in the end he suffered very severe dysentary. They were all the effects of past Kamma. Even the Buddha could not escape them.
The chief disciple, Venerable MoggallÈna, was clubbed to death by robbers it is said. He could not escape this. He knew that he was going to be beaten to death. He just accepted it and died. The effects of past Kamma, even the Buddha's and Arahants cannot escape.
They do not acquire fresh Kamma. And also the Kamma in the past will not be able to give any results to them after their death because they will no longer be reborn. That is what is meant by 'cutting Kamma’. Actually they go beyond the reach of Kamma. It is like one man comitting some sort of crime here and crossing over to another state. The state authorities here cannot go after him. It is something like that. Buddha and Arahants still have to suffer the consequences of their Kamma in this existence.
Student: I think you said that all action creates Kamma. The question  is whether an Enlightened Being creates Kamma?
SayÈdaw: Every action creates Kamma for those who havw not gotten rid of the roots of good and evil. The Arahants and Buddhas have eradicated the causes of Kamma so that their actions become functional.You are faml~liar with Kiriya Cittas. We studied the Kiriya Cittas. The Arahants and Buddhas may do the same things as we do, but they do not acquire Kamma. They may practice charity and give something to another person, but they do not get Kusala. They are described as the persons who have given up both Kusala and Akusala.
Student: When you say they have cut their Kamma, you mean that they have cut or eliminated their ability to create new Kamma.
SayÈdaw: That's right. Actually they have eradicated ignorance and attachment or craving. These two are the ones that make us want to acquire Kamma. Because we haven't gotten rid of attachment altogether and ignorance altogether, we want to acquire good Kamma, or sometimes when we are misled, we want to acquire bad Kamma. Arahants and Buddhas have eradicated ignorance and attachment altogether. Since there are no roots, there can be no tree. Whatever they do is just an action and does not constitute any Kamma. So every action becomes Kamma and gives results for those who are not Buddhas or Arahants.
Student: How can we break the bonds of attachment?
SayÈdaw: Through meditation.
Student: Only through meditation?
SayÈdaw: It is only through meditation that you can get rid of attachment because attachment is in your mind. Nobody can take that attachment out of your mind. You have to,do it yourself.
Student: It is like an addiction to these people, to,,these things. It is an addiction which has its roots in the mind or in the emotions. Doesn't it have roots in the emotions also? Why are my grandchildren  better than anyone else's children?
SayÈdaw: Because you have attachment.
Student: To get rid of this insidious thing one must meditate. There is nothing else.
SayÈdaw: Right, right.
Students: Thank you very much for your patience.
SÈdhu! SÈdhu! SÈdhu!
I have omitted a long relation of a student's personal problem to the SayÈdaw as it did not relate directly to the topic and he commented very little upon the subject.
* That is the Siamese edition. In the Burmese edition there are five volumes. Siamese letters are much taller than the Burmese letters. They occupy more space.