Samudaya - Second Noble Truth, Cause of sorrow, suffering

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The cause of sorrow, suffering is desire. Desire can be divided into three.


  1. Desire for sense-pleasures, lustfulness (Kama Thanha).
  2. Desire for existence (Bhava Thanha).
  3. Desire for total extinction at death, self annihilation (Vibhava Thanha).


Desire causes all varieties of sorrow, and being born again and again. According to Buddhism, every cause is associated with each other. Therefore, there is no one cause. The cause of desire is aggregate of sensations mentioned before. The centre of desire is the concept of "I" which is originated due to ignorance.

We like to bring comforts to our six internal sensory organs. So, it is the cause of the origination of desire. We like to see attractive scenes, eat tasty foods, feel nice feelings, etc. We always expect them. Our minds are full of desire. Desire contains lust for sensuality, riches, power, ideas, debates, beliefs and attitudes. From small problems arisen in home to wars among countries, the cause is obviously desire.

How does desire cause re-birth? It can be explained by the knowledge of results of action and reincarnation.

We have an idea, lust for existence in the environment, existence again and again in the world, and re-birth. This is an action of our mind. So, it causes results like existence, re-birth. This is one of the causes of sorrow, and include in aggregates of mental formations mentioned before.

The cause of sorrow, suffering is not outside of suffering. It is in suffering. Relieving from sorrow and suffering too are in sorrow, suffering. All of these are inside us. If there is an origin, there must be a cause of destruction in that origin.

Desire is an action of mind. It results mundane existence. The enlightened one has no desire. So, such a person has no existence after death.

Every voluntary action has a result. Good actions cause good results while bad actions cause bad results. This is a theory. Even after death, actions which were done before death can cause results.

Life consists of a collection of physical and mental energies. Death is complete cessation of functions of the body. After death, desire (idea) exists. So, it causes re-birth.

Lord Buddha said "if there is a mass originated due to a reason, it changes moment to moment then, and it will be destroyed. Even you change moment to moment; you are dying moment to moment. You are being born moment to moment ".

If we can live without a stable life, stable body, we can think that there may be some energy even after death.

There is no any immortal, stable anything going from one generation to another generation. There is no complete similarity between the dead person and the person who will be born again after death. He is not a totally different person too from the previous one. He is a continuation of a generation.

What we think at the last moment of our lives becomes the cause of the next life. Until desire to birth, existence is in our minds, we exist in cycle of transmigration having sorrow, suffering continuously.

When we destroy this energy called desire, we can recognize the truth and can attain nibbhana, an enlightened state. Then, there is no any re-birth, sorrow or suffering.