Question 5 – What causes deliberated decision
Note: Deliberated decision can also be expressed as Firm Opinions or Views. The term in the sutta is vinicchaya-vitaka. This is out state of being,our personality as an individual and also our personality of a greater identity. Such as our ethnic race, culture, nationality, religions etc.
In the previous post, this deliberated decision creates a system of beliefs in each one of us. Our identity. Our ego. Some people deliberated and decided there is a soul and God must be white. Some concluded You Only Live Once (YOLO) All this form the basis which leads to craving or hankering of certain stimulants that further solidify the adopted position or views.
So Sakka press on and asked, what causes the creations of all these Firm opinions?
Buddha: “Illusory perception associated with craving, aversion and ignorance”
Put simply, our senses and perceptions are simply the result of interactions between our sense organ and the environment. To begin with, our organs are imperfect (example, we can only see certain wave-length). So our perceptions are already flawed, not the complete Truth. Coupled by ignorance (example when we look at something, we only conceive the thing as it is and cannot appreciate the process behind its formation. We also fail to see that object as constantly decaying and changing. That is just the tip of the iceberg. Therefore, our perception is unreliable and what we experience is an illusion. On top of that, we also establish a Firm opinion of an Ego / persona / soul within us. All these and more causes a Big Confusion or Craziness. aka the great illusion. Our current views and beliefs are built upon all these. Thus the imaginary self interact with an illusory experience grasping without stopping.
Question 6, 7 & 8 – How do we stop all these?
Sakka proceed to ask the golden question of how Illusory perception associated with craving, aversion and ignorance will cease. Buddha replied thus;
Agreeable experience (Enjoyable) is of two sorts, I tell you, deva-king: to be pursued & not to be pursued.
Disagreeable experience (Unenjoyable) is of two sorts: to be pursued & not to be pursued.
Neither agreeable nor disagreeable experience (Neutral) is of two sorts: to be pursued & not to be pursued.
Of the above experiences (Agreeable, non-agreeable & neutral) , those that leads to wholesome and meritorious mentality should be pursued whereas experiences that leads to unwholesome and demeritorious mentality should be avoided.
Of those experience that leads to Wholesomeness and meritoriousness,
they may be accompanied by directed thought & evaluation or free of directed thought & evaluation.
Those that are free of directed thought & evaluation is more refined.
Sakka, King of Devas, a practitioner, who practices thus,is one who works out the extinction of illusory perceptions associated with craving, conceit and wrong views that prolongs the suffering in samsara, thus leading to Nibbana where all perceptions cease.
At that moment, after Buddha pronounced the above stanza, Sakka attained the Stream-entry Fruition. He saw the path of Dharma clearly.
When that occurred, the “old”Sakka passed away and a “New” Sakka is reborn. In this manner, Sakka prolonged his life as King of Devas and he became a Buddhist too.
After Sakka succeeded in his objective, he raised further questions. This time round, as a Buddhist disciple and about putting forth the practice.
Note: According to Buddhist scriptures, the heaven of Sakka is constantly defending themselves from the attacks of Asuras (another class of being) So the subject of war is constantly weighing on their mind.
From the Q&A, we witness how the Truth is universal in different circumstances and how Buddha skifully lead Sakka’s mind to see the cause of suffering and how to end it.
May all be well and Happy. World peace!