The holy sages enlightened to conditions,
Doze high on mountain peaks alone.
Springtime's flowers wither in the fall,
In a cycle of twelve interconnecting links.
The holy sages enlightened to conditions. Those who become enlightened when a Buddha is in the world are called those "enlightened to conditions." Those who become enlightened when no Buddha is in the world are called "solitarily enlightened ones" because they get enlightened by themselves. They like to doze high on mountain peaks alone. They observe "the blooming of hundreds of flowers in the spring, and the falling of yellow leaves in the autumn," and awaken to the fact that the myriad things are spontaneously produced and extinguished. They cultivate the "twelve interconnecting links," also known as the twelve conditioned causes:
(1) Ignorance. They contemplate to see where ignorance comes from, and why it exists. (2) Activity. With ignorance comes activity. Activity leads to manifestation, which leads to consciousness. (3) Consciousness means discrimination. With thoughts of discrimination, the trouble arises. (4) Name and form are the trouble. Name brings the trouble of name, and form brings the trouble of form. So, name and form are trouble, and trouble is name and form. If you don't understand, then you have the trouble of not understanding, and thus you wish to understand. (5) The six sense organs. With the wish to understand, the six sense organs of eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind come into being. (6) Contact means touching or encountering. Contact occurs because of the desire to know. We seek encounters everywhere, east, west, south, north, above and below. (7) Feeling. After we touch something, there is feeling. Before we run into difficulty, we feel fine. Once we encounter obstacles, we no longer feel fine. (8) Love. When we have feelings, love and attachment arise. Why do people feel insecure? It's because of love. With love comes hate. We like pleasant situations and detest adverse ones. (9) Grasping. When we want to possess the things we love, thoughts of grasping arise. (10) Existence. Why do we want to satisfy our desires? It is because we want to possess things. With that, there is existence. (11) Birth. As soon as the object you want comes into your possession, there will be birth into a next life. (12) Old age and death. Birth is followed by old age and death.