Ja 95 The Story about King Mahāsudassana

In the present the Buddha is coming to the end of his life, and chooses to pass away in Kusinārā, a small town that had been great in the past, but was now in decline. He tells the story of a past life when he was a great king who also choose to pass away in the very same town (full story).

1. Aniccā vata saṅkhārā, uppādavayadhammino,
Uppajjitvā nirujjhanti, tesaṁ vūpasamo sukho ti.

Things are impermanent, their nature is arising and decay, after arising they cease, the stilling of them is happiness.

In this connection, things are impermanent, good queen Subhaddā, however many causes of whatever kind have come together, such things as the constituent parts, sense spheres are processes, all of them are certainly impermanent. Of these, form is impermanent, feelings are impermanent, perceptions are impermanent, processes are impermanent, consciousness is impermanent. The eye is impermanent, forms are impermanent, the ear is impermanent, sounds are impermanent, the nose is impermanent, odours are impermanent, the tongue is impermanent, tastes are impermanent, the body is impermanent, touches are impermanent, mind is impermanent, thoughts are impermanent. Whatever treasure there is, with consciousness, without consciousness, all of that is impermanent. Thus, grasp this: “Things are impermanent.”

Why? Their nature is arising and decay. All of these have the nature of arising, and also have the nature of decay, their natural state is coming into being and breaking up, therefore they are impermanent, so it should be understood.

Since they are impermanent, therefore after arising they cease, after arising, and also persisting, they cease. All of these coming into being, are known as arising, and breaking up they are known as ceasing. They, when arising certainly persist, when persisting they certainly break up, certainly not without arising they persist, and also there is certainly no persistence without breaking up. Thus all things having these three characteristics, they right there and then cease. Therefore they are all impermanent, momentary, transient, inconstant, fragile, unstable, shakeable, non-lasting, on the move, temporary, without essence, like an illusion, mirage, bubbles, in the sense of temporary. In these, good queen Subhaddā, how could the perception of happiness arise?

Understand it like this: the stilling of them is happiness, from the stilling of all the rounds. The stilling of them is called Nibbāna, from this one thing there is happiness, from another thing there is not what is called happiness.