Quotes from The Saṃyukta Āgama, Vol. 14
Susima reported to the Buddha, "How could these sanghas claim to know Nirvana when they have not attained any state of samadhi?”
At Susima’s request, the Buddha guided him to examine each phase of the Twelve Links of Dependent Arising in countering the flow of cyclic existence, starting with the last link, “death.”
“With birth, as requisites come aging and death. Therefore, aging and death are inseparable from birth. The same is true of birth, becoming, grasping, craving, sensation, contact, six sense bases, name and form, consciousness, formation, and ignorance. With ignorance, as a requisite comes formation. Does formation come into existence, exempt from ignorance?”
Susima replied, “As such, World-Honored One! As a requisite for ignorance comes formation; never exempt from ignorance can formation come into existence.”
Buddha told Susima, "There will be no aging and death without birth; that is, if birth ceases, can aging and death cease?"
"As such, World-Honored One! There will be no aging and death without birth; therefore, aging and death will cease if birth should cease," Susima replied to the Buddha.
Hence, the Buddha asked Susima, “If that is your understanding and how you see the Dharma of Dependent Arising, can you then be able to abandon the cravings and unwholesome dharmas of the desire realm, carry on the practice so as to be liberated and eventually fully, securely abide by the liberation state?”
Susima replied, “This is not it, World-Honored One!”
Buddha told Susima: “One must understand the origin of the Dharma to be able to comprehend nirvana.”