“‘All conditioned things are impermanent’ — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering.” The Buddha

anicca

“‘All conditioned things are impermanent’ — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering.” The Buddha

This is a genuine Buddha quote. It’s from the Dhammapada, verse 277.

“‘All conditioned things are impermanent’ — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering.” The Buddha Click To Tweet

5 thoughts on ““‘All conditioned things are impermanent’ — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering.” The Buddha”

  1. Hi there,

    I don’t understand this quote, would you be able to explain what “All conditioned things” are, with specific reference to the word “conditioned”?

    Please and thank you 😀

    1. Hi, Dominic.

      In Pāli it’s sabbe saṅkhārā aniccā. Saṅkhārā means made (kṛ) together (sam-). It could also be rendered as compounded or confected.

      You could even paraphrase “conditioned” as “created” (although not in a theological sense), because that language is more concrete and easier to understand. So “all created things are subject to dissolution” would be a way of paraphrasing this quote.

      This can be applied on many different levels in our lives. People who are important to us are impermanent things, because they result from many conditions coming together, and those conditions are constantly changing. Our relationships with them are impermanent things for exactly the same reason. What’s the importance of this? Well, most of us are in denial about the reality of death, which means that bereavement comes as a shock. We interpret it as something having gone wrong with the world, when in fact it’s the world behaving in the only way it can. It’s important also because when we don’t recognize something’s transience, assuming it’s going to be around forever, we don’t value it as we should. We take it for granted. And so the Buddha said words to the effect that there are those who don’t realize that we’re all headed to death, but that those who do realize this don’t waste their time arguing.

      Our lives are created from conditions, and are therefore impermanent. Knowing this, what’s important in life? How do you want to spend your time? How do you want to use your energy?

      I hope this helps!

      All the best,
      Bodhipaksa

      1. Actually, everyone does know all things are impermanent but that doesn’t stop us from feeding on them. If you don’t see a better alternative to happiness based on clinging to conditioned things then that is the best course. The Buddha did point out an alternative happiness though which is unconditioned and the Dhamma he taught is an open invitation to make an effort to see if it is true.

        1. I’m not sure I know anyone who is able to comment on behalf of “everyone” 🙂

          I think most people, if you put a gun to their head, would admit that everything is impermanent, but caught up in the vipallasas, we tend, as the Buddha said, to think of the impermanent as permanent. People often think their relationships are “forever,” for example.

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