One day when Fa-yen Wen-i (885-958), one of the well known Chinese Ch'an masters, has ascended his seat. From the assembly, a monk came out and asked:
-What is one drop of water from the fount of Tsao-ch'i?
HOW IS SUFFERING CREATED AND HOW IS IT CEASED?
One day the Buddha was asked by the naked ascetic Kassapa: -Master Gotama, is suffering created by oneself? The Buddha replied: -Not so, Kassapa. -Then, is suffering created by another? -Not so, Kassapa. -Then, is suffering created by both oneself and another? -Not so, Kassapa. -Then, has suffering arisen by chance? -Not so, Kassapa. -Then, is there no suffering? -It is not that there is no suffering, Kassapa; there is suffering. -Then is that Master Gotama does not know and see suffering? -It is not that I do not know and see suffering. -So please, Master Gotama, teach me about suffering. -Kassapa, [if you think,] "The one who acts is the same as the one who experiences," with reference to one who existing from the beginning: "Suffering is created by oneself." When you assert thus, this is called the view of eternalism.
And Kassapa, [if you think], "The one who acts is one and the one who experiences is another," then with reference to one stricken by feeling: "Suffering is created by another." When you assert thus, this is called the view of annihilationism.
Without taking either of those extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma by the middle: "With ignorance as condition, volitional formations [come to be]; with volitional formations as condition, consciouness [comes to be].... Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.
With the cessation of ignorance, cessation of volitional formations; with the cessation of volitional formations, cessation of consciousness.... Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering."
From "Samyutta Nikaya" of the Buddha Adapted from Vietnamese version
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