The Zen Master Hoshin lived in China many years. Then he returned to the northeastern part of Japan, where he taught his disciples. When he was getting very old, he told them a story he had heard in China. This is the story:
One year on...
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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