This is as I heard from the Blessed One. At one time, the Blessed One was staying in the city of Uruvelā, on the bank of the river Nerañjarā at the foot of the Bodhi Tree, having just realised supreme enlightenment. There, the Blessed One was sitting cross legged for seven days straight experiencing the peace of liberation.
At the end of those seven days, the Blessed One emerged from that concentration and in the first watch of the night, he reflected on the cause and effect method in forward and reverse order as follows,
“Iti imasmiṃ sati idaṃ hoti, imassuppādā idaṃ uppajjati, imasmiṃ asati idaṃ na hoti, imassa nirodhā idaṃ nirujjhati
When the cause exists the relevant effect exists. With the arising of the cause the relevant effect arises. When the cause doesn’t exist the relevant effect doesn’t exist. With the cessation of the cause the relevant effect ceases.
“Yadidaṃ, avijjā paccayā saṅkhārā. Saṅkhāra paccayā viññāṇaṁ. Viññāṇa paccayā nāmarūpaṁ. Nāma rūpa paccayā saḷāyatanaṁ. Saḷāyatana paccayā phasso. Phassa paccayā vedanā. Vedanā paccayā taṇhā. Taṇhā paccayā upādānaṁ. Upādāna paccayā bhavo. Bhava paccayā jāti. Jāti paccayā jarā maraṇaṁ soka parideva dukkha domanassupāyāsā sambhavanti. Evametassa kevalassa dukkhakhandassa samudayo hoti.
That is, depending on not knowing the four noble truths (ignorance), formation arises. Depending on formation, consciousness arises. Depending on consciousness, mentality and materiality arise. Depending on mentality and materiality, the six sense bases arise. Depending on the six sense bases, contact arises. Depending on contact, feeling arises. Depending on feeling, craving arises. Depending on craving, clinging arises. Depending on clinging, the arranging of kamma arises. Depending on the arranging of kamma, birth arises. Depending on birth, aging, death, sorrow, weeping, pain, sadness, and despair arise. This is the arising of the whole mass of suffering.
“Avijjāyatveva asesa virāga nirodhā saṅkhāra nirodho. Saṅkhāra nirodhā viññāna nirodho. Viññāna nirodhā nāmarūpa nirodho. Nāmarūpa nirodhā saḷāyatana nirodho. Saḷāyatana nirodhā phassa nirodho. Phassa nirodhā vedanā nirodho. Vedanā nirodhā taṇhā nirodho. Taṇhā nirodhā upādāna nirodho. Upādāna nirodhā bhava nirodho. Bhava nirodhā jāti nirodho. Jāti nirodhā jarā maraṇaṁ soka parideva dukkha domanassupāyāsā nirujjhanti. Evametassa kevalassa dukkhakhandhassa nirodho hoti.”
With the cessation of ignorance, formation ceases. With the cessation of formation, consciousness ceases. With the cessation of consciousness, mentality and materiality ceases. With the cessation of mentality and materiality, the six sense bases cease. With the cessation of the six sense bases, contact ceases. With the cessation of contact, feeling ceases. With the cessation of feeling, craving ceases. With the cessation of craving, clinging ceases. With the cessation of clinging, the arranging of kamma ceases. With the cessation of the arranging of kamma, birth ceases. With the cessation of birth, aging, death, sorrow, weeping, pain, sadness, and despair cease. This is the cessation of the whole mass of suffering.
Then, the Blessed One who realised this cause and effect method as it really is spoke the following inspired verse,
The liberated one is energetic and meditates. At the time he is established in the aids to Enlightenment, having scattered the armies of Māra, the evil one, he shines like the sun that illuminates the sky.