Whether a Buddha arises in the world or not, it remains a fact that all conditions are impermanent and unsatisfactory. Whether a Buddha arises in the world or not, it remains a fact that craving is the cause of suffering. If no Buddha arises in the world, no one knows the right path leading to the cessation of suffering and the realisation of nibbāna. When a Buddha awakens to the truth, he points out a path that was lost and unknown to gods and mankind. The Buddhadhamma is the teaching that points out that path.
Teaching on morality is the basic path — the foundation on which concentration and wisdom can develop. Without the profound teaching of the Buddha on insight meditation, the Noble Path leading to nibbāna cannot be found. Morality, generosity, reverence, etc., lead only to the celestial realms and the happy course of existence, avoiding hell and other realms of intense suffering. Without the higher teachings on insight, no one can find the right path to nibbāna — not even Brahma gods or ascetics like Ālāra and Udaka who gained very deep concentration.
All conditioned things are impermanent and unsatisfactory (). Nibbāna is unconditioned so is not impermanent. However, it is also without self. All phenomena, both unconditioned and conditioned phenomena, are without self: “Sabbe dhammā anattā'ti.” ()
‘To associate with the wise, even only on one occasion is of great advantage;
to associate with the foolish even on many occasions is of no benefit.’
‘One should associate with the wise and listen to their teaching;
one who does will become noble-minded,
no harm comes from learning the teaching of the wise.’
‘The splendid royal chariots, once so beautiful, grow old and decay,
but the teaching of the wise is ageless and never changes,
this is what the wise talk about among themselves.’
‘The sky is very far from the earth, and the earth is very far from the heavens,
but farther apart than these are the teaching of the wise and the teaching of the foolish.’
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)