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The True Nature of Existence —
Anicca, Dukkha and Anatta

5 of 5

Qualities of the Dharma
The Four Noble Truths
The Noble Eightfold Path
The True Nature of Existence
  The Five Aggregates of Clinging
  Anicca, Dukkha and Anatta
  Dependent Arising
  Kamma, Nibbana and Rebirth
  Kamma
  Rebirth
 

Nibbana

Meditation
The Sangha
The Buddhist Sangha


 

 

Anatta, Dukkha and Anatta — a path to liberation

The Buddha teaches that the way to the end of dukkha is through understanding. Not understanding the real nature of existence we remain tied to dukkha.

Due to our craving, clinging and attachment, we cling to body and mind, seeing them as permanent, pleasurable and self. We interpret them as I, mine and myself. From these erroneous notions all sorts of defilements arise. Greed arises as the drive to acquisition. We want to grab hold of more power, more pleasure, higher  status. The deluded notion of self gives rise to anger and hatred towards what opposes  ourself. It causes the arising of selfishness, jealousy, pride, vanity, competitiveness. At the deepest level the ideas of permanence, pleasure and selfhood sustain the round of  samsara.

Liberation lies in the realization of these three marks of existence: impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and selflessness.

When we get tired of running in pursuit of the objects of our desire, of  trying to substantiate our sense of selfhood, then we turn away and seek the way to liberation. The Buddha points out that liberation lies precisely in the realization of these three marks of existence: impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and selflessness, by looking at our experience with insight. When we stop identifying ourselves with the five  aggregates, we see them as not mine, not I and not self. Then we become detached from the five aggregates and with detachment there comes liberation. That is the end of dukkha, the goal of the teaching.