The Meaning of Anatta - Subject to cause and condition

There is a way to find out whether one knows the truth of realities or not. When a nama or rupa appears through one of the six doors and panna can distinguish between the characteristic of nama and the characteristic of rupa, their characteristics are known as they are. Panna should be able to discern the different characteristics of nama and of rupa when there is seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, experiencing tangible object or thinking. In this way the meaning of anatta can be penetrated; the nama and rupa that appear can be realized as anatta.
When Ananda asked Udayin whether seeingconsciousness arises owing to the eye and visible object, Udayin had no doubt about eyesense and the rupa appearing through the eyes, while seeing at that moment. We read further on in the Sutta that Ananda said:

“Well, if the condition,

if the cause of the arising of seeing-consciousness should altogether,

in every way, utterly come to cease without remainder,

would any seeing-consciousness be evident?”


“Surely not, friend.”

“Well, it is by this method that the Exalted One has explained, opened up,

and shown that this consciousness also is without the self.”
If one really understands that while there is hearing, there is no seeing, one can know the characteristics of realities as they are. When there is thinking about different matters there is no seeing, no hearing. There is only the nama that thinks at such a moment about different subjects. In this way the characteristics of realities can be understood as they are.
As Ananda said to Udayin, seeing arises dependent on eyesense and visible object which appears through the eyes, but, when eyesense and visible object which are impermanent have completely fallen away, how could seeing arise? Seeing must fall away.

Topic 200