Maṅgala Sutta--Protection with Blessing(吉祥經)

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Nalorakk
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7 purifications

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-11-22, 16:26

A yogi without a teacher’s guidance for practice, it is very important to have some knowledge about the practice. Therefore, here includes a general idea of the process & progress of the stages of practice – the path of purification.

There are seven stages; purification in terms of virtue (sīla), mind (citta), view (ditthi), the overcoming of doubt or perplexity (vicikicchā), knowledge & vision of what is & what is not the path, knowledge & vision of the way, & knowledge & vision. These seven purifications cover all three parts of the 3-fold training in virtue, concentration & discernment (sīla, samādhi & paññā)

There was a discourse in the Majjima Nikāya called Ratha-vinita Sutta-Relay Chariots. In there Ven. Sariputta & Ven. Punna spoke of this list of 7 purifications. Here I give a general outline of this subject from the notes of Dhamma talks by Sayadaw Dr. Nandamalarbhivamsa. People want to know more details about them should read the Visuddhimagga – the Path of Purification by Buddhagosa.


(1) Sīla-visuddhi

Purification of Virtue: It is the purification of verbal & bodily actions.
Nibbāna element is free from all defilements or impurities. So it is called purity-visuddhi. The practice to realize this purity is the path- i.e., the Noble Eightfold Path (magga). Nibbāna nature is intrinsic purity. Therefore to arrive there, these seven processes are the ways of purification. So there are seven stages for it.

To purify oneself from the unwholesome dhammas which soil the virtues (sīla). Bodily & verbal unwholesome actions become purified is purity in virtues (sīla-visuddhi). Some defilements (kilesa) have to purify with virtues. It is purifying with sīla or purification by sīla. What are called virtues? There are quite a few kinds of them, such as five precepts, eight precepts, ten precepts, etc.

The mental volition motivates oneself to abstain from related unwholesome dhammas, is sīla. Not only volition, but the function of abstaining itself is also sīla. As an, e.g. someone encounters a situation for telling a lie, but he does not commit it. Controlling oneself from doing unwholesome things is also sīla. Restraint is a virtue & called samvara sīla. Restraining of the senses is preventing the unwholesome dhammas coming in.

This is practicing with sati (mindfulness). Always one has to be alert with mindfulness. Most people think or know as abstaining from doing wrongs is sīla. This is virati sīla. All volitional motivations are sīla. It needs to understand the foundation of sīla. So that one can look after it. E.g., in the five precepts, the first one is abstaining from taking life. Knowing that much is not enough. It must like a fence stops the cows to come in.

Undertaking the practice of virtues or other things cannot do it in a relaxed way. It must do with great effort or ardently (ātāpī). For different reasons & causes, people are stopping their undertaking of sīla. This is limited sīla. There are levels of sīla; such as give up one’s life for sīla or protecting one’s sīla with life, trainee’s sīla (sotāpanna, once-returner & non-returner) & asekkha’s sīla (the arahant). Virtues (sīla) is the root of wisdom (paññā).

Dhammas are enriching the stability of sīla. These are; indriya samvara sīla – restraining of the senses, this is the exercising with sati. Connection with the mind; right livelihood (sammā-ajiva);

Reflection on the 4 requisites, i.e. robes, food, dwelling & medicine (also may be other things); tolerating, such as cold, heat, hunger, thirst, touch of flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun, reptiles, ill-spoken, etc., avoiding things & matters which can effect sīla, etc..

Therefore sīla is like the root of a tree. Very important for mundane & supramundane matters. Sīla can be easily spoiled. To make it strong & stable needs the power of samādhi to support it. This is the 2nd stage of purity.

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Nalorakk
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Citta-visudhi: Purification of the mind

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-11-22, 16:28

(2) Citta-visudhi: Purification of the mind

__ This is referred to as samatha or samādhi (concentration) practices. Sīla only can purify the bodily & verbal unwholesome actions & not the mind. If the mind is not strong enough or in purity & easily break the precepts. The most important point for samādhi is it supports for discernment (paññā or knowledge).

The Buddha said; “Samahito yathabhūtaṁ pajanati – Someone has samādhi seeing things as it is.” Therefore sīla & samādhi are the two strong roots of a tree to grow. In many suttas, the Buddha referred to right concentration as the four material jhānas (rūpa-jhāna). This was a common process mentioned in the suttas. There was another way for right samādhi. This was paññā based samādhi.

So with momentary samādhi (khanika samādhi) also can develop knowledge. What are the differences between samatha based & vipassanā based samādhi? Samatha based samādhi is pleasant abiding, last longer & comfortable in practice. The commentary gave an example of crossing a river. Samatha based samādhi is like crossing a river by boat & vipassanā based samādhi is like swimming across the river. Both will arrive on the other shore.

Some people doubt the power of vipassanā based samādhi (i.e., khanika samādhi) can lead to realization. There was enough evidence among the yogis of the past & the present day yogis experiences. Every path & fruit has the jhānic power of samādhi. Citta-visuddhi has three kinds of samādhi; khanika samādhi (momentary concentration), upacāra samādhi (access concentration) & appanā samādhi (absorption concentration).

__ After the stage of the purification of the mind comes the 5 stages of the purification of knowledge follow (paññāvisuddhi); these are; the purifications of view (ditthi); the overcoming of doubt (vicikicchā); knowledge & vision of what is & what is not the path; knowledge & vision of the way; and knowledge & vision (Ñānadassanavisuddhi).

We can develop these five stages of purification only in the Buddha Dhamma. Therefore how much fortunate we are if we miss this chance knowingly and become the most foolish & stupid human being in the world.

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Nalorakk
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Ditthivisuddhi: Purification of view

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-11-22, 16:36

(3) Ditthivisuddhi: Purification of view

__ Insight practice (vipassanā) is directly referring to wisdom or knowledge (paññā). There are two basic knowledges for vipassanā practice. These are the discernment of mind & matter (nāmarūpa pariggaha ñāna) & the discernment of the conditions of mind & matter (paccayapariggaha ñāna). In purifications, it referred to ditthivisuddhi & kankhāvitaranavisuddhi (No. 3 & 4 visuddhis).

For these two basic insight knowledge or purities in view & overcoming doubt, the yogis need to do two things. These are; 1. Study or soil of knowledge or field of knowledge (paññā-bhūmi), 2. Developing or exercising (Ñāna-pariseyya).

For doing the practice rightly has to do the study. The yogis need to study about the five khandhas (aggregates), āyatanas (sense bases), dhātu (elements), indriyas (faculties), the four noble truths & dependent co-arising (paticcasamupuda). To have this learning knowledge (sutamaya paññā) need to study many times. Mogok Sayadaw’s Dhamma talks were a very good example for this purpose. After learning & developing or exercising them by practice.

__ The Pali word ditthi meaning is view. In the suttas using by itself usually means the wrong view. Right view is adding sammā in front of ditthi, i.e., sammā-ditthi. Wrong views are many; the main one is the identity view (sakkāya-ditthi). Other wrong views extended from it.

So here purity in view is purified this identity view. Where is this identity view sticking? It is sticking in the five khandhas. Take the five khandhas (body, feeling, perception, volitions & consciousness) as I, me & mine. Therefore we can also take each one of the khandhas as me & mine.

There are 20 types of identity view obtained by posting a self in the four given ways about the five khandhas. Some examples as

[1] regards form as self,
[2] self as possessing form,
[3] form as in self,
[4] self as in form
…..….
[17] regards consciousness as self,
[18] self as possessing consciousness,
[19] consciousness as in self,
[20] self as in consciousness.

There is a very common wrong view take the mind as a self situated in the form (the body), as like a jewel is in a casket. When a person dies & its mind not dies. After death, it leaves the old (dead) body behind & takes a new body, as like changing new clothes. Even some Buddhists believe in this way (including Buddhist monks & it is no need to say other faiths). It is a soul existed theory & view.

It seems they misinterpret or misunderstand the Buddha Dhamma. They are the followers of Bhikkhu Sāti (See – Mahātanhāsankhaya Sutta). The notion obsesses people life: I am forming, the form is mine. As they are living & obsessing by these notions & when any one of the khandhas changes & alters, with these there arise in them sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & despair.

__ Identity view is one of the first three fetters (samyojanas) to be eradicated by the first path (sotāpattimagga). This is the most important fetter has to be eradicated first. With this, self-view or selfishness and beings are easily committing unwholesomeness & heavy evil kammas. The wrong view is related to ignorance (avijjā) or delusion (moha). Right view is related to knowledge (vijjā) or non-delusion (amoha).

Ignorance & craving (tanhā) are the two basic causes for dukkha or the round of existence (saṁsāra). Identity view is ingrained with the coarsest ignorance & craving. With this fetter latent in the heart (mind) the other higher paths of realization are impossible. The most terrible dangers & sufferings it can bring to living beings are the four woeful planes of existence (apāyas).

Therefore the Buddha was strongly urging people to eradicate the first three fetters (samjoyana) urgently in the two discourses; The Clothes & The Hundred Spears Discourses (from Saccasaṁyutta). If one’s clothes or head were ablaze, what should one do about it? It is for sure that everyone will extinguish the fire instantly. But for the Buddha to eradicate, the identity view was more important than the fire burning your body.

With this fire, you will only die for this life. If you are carrying the wrong view with you & will die again & again. Worse than that is will born in hells, as animals & hungry ghosts for uncountable times. Because these places are our frequent homes. Now, most of us are only a short visit here.

Suppose someone with a life span of hundred years & could live up to it. And then someone comes to him & say; “Everyday in the morning I’ll strike you with a hundred spears, also at noon & evening times. In this way, I’ll strike you for 100 years. After 100 years have passed, you’ll realize the Dhamma.”

The Buddha told the monks that it fitted for someone intent on his/her good to accept the offer. The reason behind is the round of existence (saṁsāra) is without discoverable beginning & the first point cannot be discerned of the blows by spears & swords for each living being. (Later Buddhist philosophers postulated some theories on the beginning of saṁsāra & the first point of it & they neglected the Buddha’s words).

__ After study & learning for the field of knowledge on khandhas, āyatana dhātus, etc. & for developing knowledge to exercise or practice them. Here the satipatthāna practice comes in. For purification of view to arise must repeatedly contemplate again & again, until the wrong thinking of me & mine disappear.

Only in this way become purity in view. Self-view (atta ditthi) & identity view (sakkāya ditthi) are the same. They are different only in words.

In the Path of Purification (Visuddhimagga), it suggested the yogi who attained jhānas to contemplate the mind first & then matter (rūpa). It is easier for him because with samādhi power easy to discern the mind. For vipassanā yanika, the yogi must contemplate the matter first. There are many yogis do not have a clear distinction between concept (paññātti) & ultimate reality (paramattha).

A venerable Sayadaw met with Mahasi Sayadaw at his center. At that time Mahasi Sayadawgyi was reading a book on meditation. He said to the Sayadaw that in that book, a yogi was contemplating his body, his head disappeared & it became particles. And then the yogi took it as the insight practice (vipassanā).

Mahasi Sayadaw asked him; “What do you think, this is the concept or ultimate reality?” The Sayadaw answered it as a concept, and Mahasi Sayadaw was agreed with him. And then Mahasi Sayadaw said that many yogis had samādhi, but it did not become the insight of reality (vipassanā paramattha).

In the time of before the Buddha & even now samatha practices existed. These yogis could not overcome or transcend concepts. Only the Buddha arose that vipassanā practice came into existence. In these seven purifications; purification of knowledge has five stages. It starts from the purification of view (ditthivisuddhi) to purification by knowledge & vision (Ñānadassana-visuddhi); i.e., stage 3 to 7.

According to the suttas, Yathābhūta Ñāna – the knowledge of phenomena as it is the discernment of mind & matter (Nāma-rūpapariggaha ñāna). This was taught by the Buddha in the Discourse of the Characteristics of Not-self (Anattalakkhana Sutta). An internationally well-known scholar monk said that some western scholars took the Dhamma in the Visuddhimagga textbook as not talked by the Buddha.

He said that it was wrong (speculation) because it was based on the Buddha’s teachings. People should not criticize blindly. If their speculations were true, they must point out the discrepancies between them. If we ask these people how they had studied many commentarial textbooks. Even some of them were self-learning of the Pali & Suttas by themselves without a teacher.

Ven. Buddhagosa had written details on the purification by knowledge or paññā-sarira (body of knowledge) in his Visuddhimagga text book. These were not his ideas. It was based on the old Pali textbooks handed down from the old generations, he studied & took notes of them, & produced this very important commentary on the practice. Understanding the mind & matter is still not enough yet also have to know about the causes & conditions for them. If not with all the wrong reasoning & speculations will be in the wrong directions.

For some examples; God creates the mind & matter, or it happened without causes, or by the past causes, etc. All these wrong views will make one stray away from the right direction. There are many different causes & conditions; e.g. the past & the present causes & conditions, supporting & producing causes & conditions from the surroundings, etc.

We must know or understand the different causes & conditions from different angles. Knowing only one cause is not complete (Some Buddhists had this idea). Knowing the causes & conditions thoroughly is paccayapariggaha ñāna – discernment of the conditions of mind & matter.

With this knowledge & we do not have any doubts in; “Did I exist in the past?” or “Will I become again in the future?” “Why I am here in the present?” As an, e.g. trees were existed in the past by the causes of soil, water & sunlight, etc. in the present & future also in this way. Knowing the causes & conditions clearly is kankhavitarana visuddhi – purification by overcoming doubt. The level of knowledge increases.

__ Continuing with the insight contemplation & similar fake dhammas of knowledge arise, or encounter.
Because of the samādhi power that some of the phenomena are looking like path & fruit. So yogis can take it as attainments. Yogis cannot distinguish between the real & the fake. So they are making the wrong conclusion & judgments. E.g., the body light comes out.

Because of samādhi, the body disappears & only the mind exists. The whole body & mind become tranquil. These are similar to the path that the yogi thinks it as the attainment. And then he is straying away from the path. If a train strays away from the line will be overturned. And then it cannot go forwards. If the yogi can distinguish between the fake & the real is the purification of path & not-path (maggāmagga ñānadassanavisuddhi). This is the 5th purity.

__ If the yogi is in the right direction & with the practice, knowledge develops step by step. This is the purification of the way (patipadā ñānadassanavisuddhi). This is the 6th purity. From ditthi-visuddhi to patipadā-ñānadassana-visuddhi are the four purification processes by insight. When arriving at the climax, there is an attainment which is not by producing.

This is the purification by knowledge & vision (Ñānadassana-visuddhi). This is the 7th purity. This Pali word is different from the others 5th & 6th purifications & without prefixes, such as maggā-magga & patipadā. The yogi knows that he is on the right direction is the purification of the way. If he continues forwards will arrive at the ending & which is the goal. This is knowledge & vision or knowing & seeing (Ñāna & dassana). What the yogi knows & sees?

Knowing is function & seeing is power. Here not included the prefix words, what were the knowing & seeing? In the patipadā ñānadassana, knowing & seeing the process of the path. Ñānadassana here is knowing & seeing the four noble truths. It is also called Dhamma Eye – Dhamma Cakkhu.

In the Buddha’s First Discourse (Turning the Wheel of Dhamma); the descriptions were, cakkhuṁ udapādi-ñānaṁ udapādi, etc. (There arose in me vision, knowledge, etc.) was referred to the 7th purity or this level. This is knowing & seeing the four noble truths. With the developing of the truth of the path will know the truth of dukkha. With the knowledge of dukkha can abandon the truth of the cause (samudaya) & see the truth of the cessation of dukkha. It happens at the same time. With one functioning & finishing the four tasks. Using of one description; it is knowing & seeing Nibbāna. Therefore, ñānadassana is not vipassanā knowledge & referring to path & fruit (magga & phala). We can say these are the results.

How long it takes the yogi to get the attainment? Nobody can say exactly. It depends on each person. As examples; Tipitaka master Mahā Siva practiced for 30 years. Ven. Anuruddha with samatha practice, he attained divine eye. And then he continued the insight not attained this knowledge & vision. After with the help of Ven. Sariputta & realized it. Attainments are not our concerns. It was like planting a fruit tree. Flowers & fruits appeared were the work of the tree. Doing practice is only our concern. When the time is ripe, it will appear.

For the spiritual faculties to be matured, the yogi must always do the practice. It was like wiping cloth. Washing it only for one time & never again, then it becomes dirtier & dirtier. If we practice always, & it will be in progress. It was also like always washing clothes & bathing.

If not, even we cannot bear our smells. The mind is also in the same way; only then it can be purified. From the purification of view (the 3rd) to knowledge & vision (the 7th purity) which have mentioned above are in general.

__ For the practice, firstly we have to study & learn the Buddha-Dhamma with textbooks or Dhamma talks. Practice under a learned experienced teach is better. If we have doubts & not clear about the Dhamma & practice should ask the teacher. In this way will get the knowledge by learning & listening (sutamaya ñāna).

After this, start with the practice of purification in sīla & mind (samādhi). With the purity in virtue & mind, & develop the insight practice (vipassanā). Some think these processes were Ven. Buddhagosa’s ideas. In the Ratha-vinita Sutta, questions & answers between Ven. Sariputta & Ven. Punna was about these seven purifications.

It was also sure that not all of the Buddha’s teachings could be recorded, and only some of them or the majority of them. If we can accept that the Buddha was the busiest person, his 45 years of teaching could be a lot more. From where we have to start with the purification of view. The objects of insight practice are; the five aggregates, the 12 sense bases & the 18 elements.

Here can be divided into two groups of a yogi; samatha-yanika (samatha based yogi) & vipassanā-yanika (insight-based yogi). If the yogi is samatha-yanika starts with the contemplation of the mind & then later with matter (rūpa). If a vipassanā-yanika he should start with the matter. These were the instructions in the Visuddhimagga. It was handed down by the old generation of teachers.

Teaching is right or wrong; we cannot only confirm by the records. But also we have to take the yogis’ accounts of experiences & results. It is necessary to pay more attention to the important points for contemplation. Starting from the matter is easier because it is more prominent than the mind.

In the Great Elephant Footprint Simile Discourse/Mahā-hatthipadopama Sutta (From Majjima Nikāya), Ven. Sariputta taught the monks on practice was including the four great elements; earth (patthavi), liquid or water (āpo), fire (tejo), wind (vayo) properties & including space (ākāsa) element.

In the sutta, the venerable started with the four noble truths, which were like the footprint of an elephant encompassed all the other animals’ footprints. And all the skillful qualities were included in the four noble truths. It started with the four great elements as contemplation (including space element).

And then continued with the Dependent co-arising (Paticcasamupada). In this sutta, we can find about the five khandhas, āyatana & 18 dhātus. In other suttas, we found the six elements, added with consciousness (viññāna) (e.g., An Analysis of the Properties Discourse, Sutta No. 140, Majjima Nikāya).

__ In the Great Elephant Footprint Simile, the earth element was not referred to the intrinsic nature of hardness, softness, etc. But referred to the bodily parts as hard, solid & sustained by craving (tanhā); head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, etc. Both the internal & external earth elements are simply earth elements.

That should be seen as it is with right discernment. This is not mine; this is not me; this is not myself. When one sees it thus as it is with right discernment. One becomes disenchanted with the earth element & makes the mind dispassionate towards the earth element. Nowadays, in Burma, most yogis talk about between concepts (paññatti) & ultimate reality (paramattha). According to them, the practice has to be on the paramattha. Here in this sutta, the four great elements were using with the concepts of the bodily parts.

Some may think that these are not basic. If the yogis arrive at the level of the arising & passing away of phenomena (udayabbaya ñānam) will penetrate the ultimate reality (paramattha). At the beginning of the practice, talk about the paramattha will not get to the point. And then some of the meditations on the four great elements of the Buddha is becoming critical.

Why did the Buddha teach in this way? Humans attach to things are not paramattha dhammas, e.g. my hairs, my face, etc. They do not attach to the hardness, softness, etc. of the earth elements. Therefore the Buddha was using concepts to dispel the basic concepts. It can be only fallen away by right seeing (yathabhūta).

__ Whatever internal, belonging to oneself as a liquid or watery element; bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, etc. This is called internal water elements. Both the internal & the external water elements are simply water element. That should be seen as it is with right discernment. This is not mine, not me & not myself. When one sees it thus as it is with right discernment, & one becomes disenchanted with the water element & makes the mind dispassionate towards the water element.

__ The internal fire element in oneself is; by which the body is warmed, aged & consumed with fever, what is eaten, drunk, chewed & savor gets properly digested or whatever else internal within oneself is fire, fiery. This is called the internal fire element within oneself.

__ Whatever internal belonging to oneself is wind, windy: up going winds, down going winds, winds in the stomach in the intestines, winds that course through the body, in & out breathing or whatever as internal within oneself is wind, windy. This is called the internal wind element. In this way, the yogi contemplates the four elements to discern them. And then the concepts of person or beings disappear. It was like cutting a cow into pieces & with the piles of flesh, the concept of the cow disappeared.

__ With the great four elements, there are other four elements: color, smell, taste & nutrient. These eight matters are indivisible. They all are together. If talking about the matter, always remember these eight qualities.

Example of an external matter, a bread – we can analyze the four great elements in it. Can see the color with the eye, its smell can be smelled with the nose, can know the taste or flavor, & after eating it, the body receives the nutrient (such as protein, vitamins, etc.). Combined them all are eight matters (rūpa). If they are separated, it does not exist anymore. We have to contemplate this nature.

By doing the exercises & the view of a being will disappear. With concept falling away, the yogi penetrates its essence. After the contemplation of matter, & the yogi continues the contemplation to know the mind. Using the sense bases (āyatana) with contemplation, it becomes clearer. With the contact of the eye & the physical form, seeing consciousness arises. This is the arising of the mind (nāma dhamma). The other sense bases also contemplate in this way. Contemplation of the 18 elements is also in the same way.

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Nalorakk
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Kaṅkhāvitaranavisuddhi: Purification by overcoming doubt

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-11-22, 16:40

(4) Kaṅkhāvitaranavisuddhi: Purification by overcoming doubt

__ Kaṅkha means doubting. The yogi cannot decide whether it is right or wrong. The mind becomes tired of uncertainty. As an example, someone is arriving at the crossed-roads, cannot decide which direction has to follow & stopping there. In the same way with one’s practice cannot conclude & stopping there. Only with right knowing & seeing can overcome the difficulty. Vitarana means overcoming. It is overcoming doubt by knowledge (Not with the blind faith).

To get this knowledge, it needs to know the right causes of the mind & matter. Why have doubts? Some are a connection with the present & others are not. The present can be known by oneself, & also it cannot be by oneself. There are two knowledges, with direct knowledge & inference. Direct knowledge can be known with the body (i.e., with the senses), e.g. someone never eats durian fruits before.

Now if he has the chance to eat one of them will know its taste. The others even he does not eat them, will know its taste with inference. In the same way; this life happens in this way, so be in the past & will also be in the future. If the yogi overcoming doubt with direct knowing & inferences will get this knowledge. How to do it?

We must try to know the causes thoroughly. This is the discernment or knowledge of the conditions of mind & matter (nāmarūpa paccayapariggaha ñānam). What are the mind & matter? With the eyes, ears, nose, tongue & body – the five internal senses & the five external sense objects – physical form, sound…tangible objects are matters. Matters cannot take & know the sense objects. They cannot incline towards the sense objects. Matters (rūpa) is so called because it undergoes & imposes alteration owing to adverse physical conditions such as cold & heat, etc.

In the Saṁyutta Nikāya, the Buddha defined it as deformed or afflicted by cold, heat, hunger, thirst, flies, mosquitoes, wind, sunburn & creeping things.

It changes distinctly, with forms & shapes. All these are matters (rūpa). With the contact of sense objects & sense doors, the knowing mind arises. This is roughly defining. This dhamma (mind phenomenon) is inclining towards the objects or facing towards the objects. Therefore it is called name (nāma) or mind (mind always co-existing with mental factors – cetasikas). As an example, on a quiet night with a bang sound & the mind instantly inclines towards the sound.

The mind with the other objects is also in the same way. Therefore knowing about the sense objects is mind. With the alteration, deformation & infliction are matters. This is a full understanding of the known (ñatapariññā), one understands the five khandhas (mind & matter) in terms of their characteristics, etc. The learning knowledge is also including here. We must try to know them directly with knowledge (ñānam). Knowing that nothing is existing except mind & matter, then it becomes ditthivisuddhi. After that, the yogi continues to investigate why mind & matter arise & how they arise?

If something is happening, we have to search for the causes as to why it arises. It was like after knowing the type of illness & searching for the causes. If the yogi finds out the causes & knows the causes, it becomes discernment of conditions (paccayapariggaha ñānam). By knowing the conditions that the doubt of why it happens is overcome. All of these are knowledge. For talking about roughly on the matter; the conditions are kamma, mind, temperature & nutriment (kamma, citta, utu, āhāra). From the Abhidhamma teaching, we can know it in details.

Here are only four conditions. For example; the eye sensitivity (cakkhu-pasāda) arises by kamma. Therefore if the eye damaged, we cannot restore its vision. But without of kamma & can be restored the vision with the artificial eye, then we have to reconsider for other conditions. Then it will be not by kamma only. Matters which can perform this kind of ability are made by kamma (from the eye to other physical sensitivities).

The mind phenomenon is very strange, indeed. The mind can arise Even sound, e.g. the voice comes out by sadness & the voice comes out by joy are not the same. The mind produces these voices and leading by the mind. The natural sounds from external such as thunder & windy sounds arise by temperature (utu). Sound can be arisen by the mind or temperature (the main factors).

The sounds of animals are mind made. What are the causes of the snoring sound during a sleep? With nutrients or vitamins, the eyes become healthy. All are collectively supporting together for matters. It is similar for a tree to grow there are many conditions. Contemplation & reflection can be taken as meditation.

By doing it will increase knowledge. It is not only closing the eyes & sitting. Thinking & reflecting on the world is meditation. Teaching & listening Dhamma talks are also meditation (see Khemaka Sutta of Saṁyutta-Nikāya). When coming out from the mother’s womb, a child was very small. With foods or nutrients, the body grows up. Eating a lot & it becomes fat. The Buddha had said in a sutta that with the causes of mind & temperature (citta & utu) foods were lacking nutriments & humans beings had short life span & diseases.

__ After the contemplation on the matter & the yogi continues for the mind. How & why mind arises? E.g., seeing consciousness; with the contact of eye & physical object & seeing consciousness arises. The other sense bases also have to be understood in this way. Even we do not know many causes, at least have to know that much.

In the suttas, the Buddha also mentioned in this way. The mind dependents on causes to arise. From where it comes out or does it exist before? None of them are true & it does not hide anywhere. Because of conditions & the effect or result comes to be. Take an, e.g.; Is there any fire in the gas lighter? No, there is not. It only has the conditions for its arising. The mind arises by adding a condition which makes it arising. It was like a guitar; its sound originally not existed.

These two knowledges: the discernment of the mind & matter & its conditions are very important. These are the foundations of insight knowledge (vipassanā ñānam).

Only people have these two knowledges they can be called themselves as true Buddhists. This fact was mentioned by Ledi Sayadaw in some of his writings. That is true because you can not find it in other faiths. These also have a connection with the Dependent Co-arising Teaching (Paticcasamupada).

Therefore Mogok Sayadawgyi after his practice stopped his teaching for Abhidhamma to monks & laypersons. Instead, he focused on the teachings of practice until his final day. Therefore his Dhamma talks are treasures for yogis. I had translated some of them as “Emptiness, Conditioned & Unconditioned.”

__ Using the above two basic knowledges with contemplations, knowledge of comprehension (sammasanañānam) arises. We have to develop this knowledge. Insight knowledge is starting from this knowledge. With the 3rd & 4th purifications, the yogi knows about the natural phenomena & its causes. It is called full understanding of the known (Ñātapariññā).

After that continue the contemplation of full understanding by scrutinization (Tiranapariññā), just knowing them is not enough, if needs to be concluded. For this to be achieved, we have to contemplate it for many times.

There are two ways of contemplation; i.e., in a group or one by one. One by one method is difficult. So, we contemplate it in the group. Contemplate them under the three universal characteristics of impermanence, dukkha & not-self. It can also be contemplated in the past & future periods. But most people think that insight meditation (vipassanā) is only contemplating the present moment. This can be possible only at the higher or developed levels. Before that, we need to contemplate them in the three periods – past, present & future.

If mindfulness & concentration develop & will discern the present moment. We cannot skip over it. (It is the same as the four levels of realization. Everyone – including the bodhisatta has to past through the four levels one by one with the practice).

We need the ability to contemplate the past, present & future of the mind & matter in general. As an example, yesterday, mind & matter were not existing anymore for today. And today mind & matter also will not exist for tomorrow, etc. We can also contemplate a human life span into ten years in groups (i.e., ten years, 20 years, 30 years, etc.).

This is contemplating the changes in matter or body. We can contemplate the changing of the mind. It is very quick indeed, now this, now that, etc. Not only human beings are changing but also period. Because of the period changing that man’s life span & strength is changing & reducing continuously. Time is consuming living beings & making them disappear. It takes out all the freshness, youth & strength from them. Man cannot conquer time (generally speaking).

Birds are dying while flying; men are dying while planning. Who can consume time? This is the fully awakened one – arahant. Now I am writing this is at the beginning of the 2018 new year. The old year of 2017 had gone. Most people do not have a sense of urgency (saṁvega). During the new year, they are out of control by getting lost in the sensual pleasure of eating, drinking & shouting.

What did they achieve during the old last year? If we achieved something wholesome & good, then we should do it better during the new year. Wasting precious time without any wholesome achievements is foolishness. Wholesome dhammas should always be cultivated at any time in any place. A couple from Hong Kong is welcoming the 2018 new year at a meditation retreat in Burma. After that, they will continue the spiritual journey at the holy site of Buddhagaya.

This is welcoming the new year with heedfulness. But the majority are doing it with heedlessness.

With the development of sati & paññā (mindfulness & discernment) arriving at the knowledge of rising & fall of phenomena (udayabbaya ñānam). Here the contemplative mind is sharp enough for the present moment.

The yogi has a strong resolution. And then the ten insight corruptions come in & the yogi can be taken them as realization. Therefore he is stopping there. If he knows these are not representing the end of the way; then he is with the knowledge & vision of what is & what is not the path (maggāmaggañānadassana). With the continued contemplation & at last the yogi is arriving at the end of the spiritual journey. This is the purification by knowledge & vision (Ñānadassana-visuddhi).

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Purification of the Path & Not-Path; Purification of the Way

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-11-22, 16:44

(5) & (6) Purification of the Path & Not-Path; Purification of the Way

There are not much to talk about the 5th purification of path & not-path. When the yogi arrives at the knowledge of rising & fall of mind & matter (udayabhaya ñānam), the ten insight corruptions appear. These are; an aura (obhāso), rapture (piti), tranquillity (passaddhi), resolution (adhimokkha), exertion (paggaha), happiness (sukha), knowledge (ñānam), mindfulness (sati), equanimity (upekkhā) & attachment (nikanti).

If a yogi gets lost in any one of them & become an obstacle to the progress. Because the yogi takes it as the attainment & stops the practice. In Ven. Sayadaw Puññananda’s talk on the seven purifications was mentioning about them.

Every yogi must encounter any of these phenomena. The important point is they should not get lost in these processes. In the insight processes, there are no appearing of bodily form & particles. Paramattha dhammas are arising & passing away by itself & with insight defilement (kilesa) is purified. The mind becomes clear & bright that

[1] aura or light comes out from the body. If samādhi is strong, it also has light. If you encounter them do not think about them & not taking pleasure in them. If not, the practice will go down. By not taking an interest in them & continue with the impermanent process will overcome the problem.

[2] sharp knowledge:
At the beginning of vipassanā practice, it was leading by samādhi that whatever arises knowing them with concepts. This was the task of satipatthāna. Sometimes if the yogi discerned impermanence, the contemplative mind had five path factors (sati, viriya, samādhi, sammāditthi & sammāsankappa).

This period was very short. After that, samādhi led the process again. In these ways sometimes led by samādhi & sometimes became knowledge (discern anicca). And then Sati became strong. Sometimes the mind is clear & sometimes not. When it is clear will discern impermanence. If not clear, only know the arising phenomena with concepts.

This level is still leading by samādhi. With samādhi develop step by step & only seeing anicca. This is leading by discernment (ñāna or knowledge). And then, knowledge becomes pure & sharper. With the better & sharper knowledge cannot discern anicca as separating one by one. Instead, the yogi sees the passing away as a whole. When seeing annica with the strong power of mind or sharp knowledge & he takes it as attainment. At that time the yogi able to contemplate whatever coarse, middle, refined phenomena without failure. The yogi can take pleasure in it. With pleasure, his knowledge declines.

[3] Rapture (piti):
The important point here is whatever the yogi encounters he can solve the problem. Whatever type of contemplation we do or try when discerning anicca all phenomena (body, feeling, mind & dhamma) Are dhamma arising & dhamma passing away? Only saṅkhāra (all conditioned things or the five khandhas) arises & saṅkhāra passing away. With the mind clear & pure, zest appears.

And then the yogi cannot discern anicca which is covered up by rapture. With strong respect on the three treasures (tiratana – i.e., Buddha, Dhamma & Sangha) rapture can arise. With the pervading rapture (pharana piti, which is the piti in jhāna attainment) cannot see impermanence. Without seeing anicca & the yogi thinks it as the ending of anicca, which is Nibbāna. At that time, knowledge goes down. Even some yogis have tears come out. Instantly when rapture arises if he can contemplate it & no problem arises. If not the yogi takes it as the path knowledge & stops the contemplation.

[4] Tranquility (passaddhi):
Mind & body become tranquil. Anyone of the ten corruptions can arise to the yogi. These things are sure to arise for yogis. If not encounter any of them, the mind still not mature yet. After the encounter, it & cannot solve them the yogi will far from Nibbāna. Normally people are burning with the fire of defilements such as greed, ill-will, delusion, sorrow, etc. the mind is not peaceful.

In the same way the body is oppressing by diseases & pains. But when the yogi discerning anicca with the strong power mind he can bear all the pains with equanimity. When the mind & body become tranquil, the mind can fall into one-pointedness (ekaggatā).

Then the yogi cannot hear any external sounds. And no external object disturbs the mind. It is peaceful. At that time anicca disappears & the mind sinks in the tranquillity & take it as the path knowledge. Each yogi experience is not the same. If the yogi can contemplate the arising fake dhamma (i.e., any of the ten corruptions), then contemplate its anicca. If not neglecting it & continue with one’s contemplation.

[5] Happiness (sukha):
From tranquillity, it progresses to the level of happiness then the yogi can maintain the posture for a very long time. Without any pain & aching, the mind feels happiness. At that time sukha replaces anicca & the yogi misses anicca. Also, the yogi not contemplates the arising happiness that knowledge falls.

[6] Resolution or faith (adhimokkha):
With the well discerning of anicca better & better, faith increases (i.e., in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha).
The whole body becomes cool & happy. This cool & happiness come from the faith which covers up anicca. So anicca disappears & the yogi took it as the attainment. With faith, if happiness arises, the yogi should not lose sati & contemplate the arising happiness as anicca.

Or without paying attention to it & continue with one’s practice. (There are two ways to solve the problems; contemplate the coming in corruptions as anicca or neglect it by contemplating one’s meditation object). Therefore in all these situations, sati is very important.

[7] Exertion (paggaha or viriya):
With the progress in the practice, the yogi can contemplate without any difficulty with happiness. So exertion increases & the mind with high spirit. Every time he puts effort and not to miss the point. At that time he could sink in the exertion & forget anicca. This is taking pleasure in exertion.

[8] Mindfulness (sati):
At that time (i.e., insight corruptions period) whatever dhamma arises mindfulness always falls on the object & becomes very strong. It is the kind of heedful mindfulness that even in a dream the yogi not lost his sati. If taking pleasure in strong mindfulness & he will miss anicca. Therefore whatever dhamma arises without letting go of anicca & always alert with sati (i.e., do not change the object and not getting lost in pleasure).

[9] Equanimity (upekkha):
Whatever dhamma arises, it can be contemplated with equanimity. The yogi also can attach to this state & taken it as attainment

[10] Attachment (nikanti):
All the above nine dhammas; light (obhāsa) to equanimity themselves are not defilements (kilesa). The problem is the attachment to all these fake dhammas, i.e., nikanti. These are significantly refined dhammas, and the signs of progress in practice. Every yogi must encounter them (not all).

The problem here is the yogi’s attachment or pleasure in them. It is nikanti or tanhā. Therefore it could hinder the yogi’s practice if they trapped him. So be careful to the refined & subtle experiences with strong & alert mindfulness.

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Purification of the Way

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-11-22, 16:50

(7) Purification of the Way

__ To talk about the purification of the way, we need to know about the ten insight knowledge. These are:

[1] Knowledge of comprehension – Sammasanañānam
[2] Knowledge of rising & fall of formations (khandas) – Udayabbayañānam
[3] Knowledge of the dissolution of formations – bhangañānam.
[4] Knowledge of dissolving things as fearful – bhayañānam.
[5] Knowledge of fearful things as dangerous – ādīnavañānam.
[6] Knowledge of disenchantment with all formations – nibbidāñānam
[7] Knowledge of desire for deliverance – mūncitukamyatāñānam
[8] Knowledge of reflecting contemplation – patisankhāñānam
[9] Knowledge of equanimity towards formations – sankhārupekkhāñānam
[10] Knowledge of conformity – anulomañānam

__ After the 1st & 2nd insight knowledge of comprehension & rise & fall (overcoming the insight corruptions), the yogi arrives on the right path. It now matures & develops with increased strength & clarity. The mature knowledge of rising & fall to the knowledge of equanimity (i.e., the eight knowledges) are referred to as purification of the way.

This is walking in the right way to Nibbāna. From here to the end, will see Nibbāna, which is a purification of knowledge & vision. Between them is a bridge called knowledge of conformity (10th). Between 6th & 7th, purification is a bridge. Why there is a bridge between them? This side & that side are not the same. All the insight knowledges are with conditioned objects (saṅkhāra). Therefore it can be said to have the same object (i.e., saṅkhāra). Crossing from 6th to 7th purification, the object is changed.

These are with saṅkhāra objects & without saṅkhāra objects. Saṅkhāra objects are arising by conditions. Therefore these are impermanent & changing all the times. These are arising & passing away with disappearing. It is stressing dukkha. We cannot do anything for it, therefore not-self (anatta).

At the 6th purification, the yogi has to be practiced for maturity but dealing with unstable phenomena. After crossing over to the other side, no more arising & passing away phenomena. If impermanence exists & dukkha exists. If dukkha exists & anatta exists. The bridge which connects the two is knowledge of conformity – anulomañānam or saccanulomikañānam (also rendered as adaptation).

From knowledge of rising & fall to the knowledge of conformity have nine knowledges. Insight knowledge is at this side & the other side is Nibbāna. For arriving at the other side & have to practice from this side. So it is very reasonable & systematic. Not an imagination & it is very practical indeed. But the yogi is not easy to attain it. He must persevere without giving up the practice.

So the Buddha was encouraging yogis to have the courage & exertion until the bones & skin dried up without giving up. Some people criticize this as mortification in practice. These are lazy people. If it is the right path, then not mortification. The wrong path without any beneficial result can be defined in this way. Also, the Buddha mentioned this way. Doing impossible things are wrong & possible things are right.

At the time of the Buddha, some had attainments easily & some with difficulty. It depended on the person. Not only for common people. In the Buddhavamsa (History of the Buddhas), even bodhisattas were not the same. Some of them went to the garden & asked people to leave. Within a short period of practice & became a Buddha. It was very easy going. It was not like the Buddha Gautama, who had difficulties with hard practice. Some Buddhas did not need to go alms round anywhere. Everyday received foods at the King’s palace. What kinds of prayers, paramis & practices had been done by them before? Everyone would like it.

There are four kinds of a yogi, with their nature of practice & attainment. These are
[1] difficult practice with quick attainment
[2] easy practice with slow attainment
[3] difficult practice with slow attainment
[4] easy practice with quick attainment.

As examples; Mahā-moggallana was in the 1st type, and Sariputta was in the 4th type.

__ After the 5th purification of path & not-path, the yogi continues his contemplation of anicca. The present moment anicca is referred to this level. (i.e., udayabbaya ñānam onwards). Not before, the knowledge of comprehension. Why not seeing or discerning anicca? Because they cannot discern the moment of arising & passing away. E.g., in-breath & out-breath, the whole in-breath & the whole out-breath, each of the process between them have spaces or gaps.

The feelings (vedana) are also the same, with segments between them. Sounds are also the same nature. The first word of the sound or voice disappears & the 2nd word arises, with its disappearance & the 3rd word arises, etc.… It is happening with non-stop continuously like a machine gun. If we listen carefully with observation, & there are many-dek-dek-dek- etc. between them. When with sati & samādhi powers developed will discern them.

Movie film is also another good example. With the slow motions, we can see the movements of the character part by part. The permanent view & thought come in because we cannot discern anicca. It was covered up by the very quick process. Therefore we have to discern the arising & passing away.

We should not follow it with the concept of anicca, anicca, etc. without direct seeing it. Knowing the segments between them is discerning the nature of anicca. Why do not we know dukkha? Because of changing our postures frequently that we do not know dukkha. (i.e., the coarser dukkha)

Why do not we see not-self (anatta)? Because we only see the compactness, solidity, shape & form as a whole. For example, if we analyze a body or a car, will not see them as identity & the solidity of them. They are combined with the many parts of the object & become a body or a car. There are four kinds of compactness; continuity, combination, function & object of compactness.

They have one functioning, one object & one combination that people think of them as self (atta). We must able to contemplate each difference with analysis. With all these compositions that they can move & function. Without it & they cannot function. Take an example of a human being. It is only the Mind & body process. If we separate the mind & body by themselves, it cannot function & move. It will be a dead body. It was like a puppet, without the strings, and it cannot move. For the discerning, we use knowledge or analytical knowledge to separate them, and the nature of not-self appears.

In these ways, we can contemplate the three universal characteristics. We must able to see in details connecting with the sense objects. What are the differences between anicca, dukkha & anatta? It is changing that or unstable that anicca. It is oppressing with the change that dukkha. There is no me & mine that emptiness (suññā) or not follow with one’s wishes that not-self (anatta).

The three words, anicca, dukkha & anatta, refer to the five khandhas. What are the characteristics (lakkhana) referring to? These are referring to their situations. E.g., arising & passing away is its aspect (character or nature). Lakkhana (characteristic) is the sign or mark of the phenomena (dhamma).

Seeing lakkhana is seeing anicca. It cannot be separated, but only explain in this way. They are connected. Therefore anicca, dukkha & anatta are the five khandas. Lakkhanas are their aspects (character or nature). Knowing these clearly & the yogi knows rise & fall (udayabbaya ñānam).

__ If knowledge becomes sharp, even not aware of the arising, the yogi is only seeing them as quickly passing away. He can only can aware of the disappearing or contemplate the dissolution (bhanganupassanā ñānam). It is arriving at the climax of anicca. As an example, the yogi knows the arising & passing away of in-breath & out-breath, & also the following mind knows the contemplative mind.

The meaning here is the contemplated object & the contemplative mind; both of them are passing away. If not the yogi will only take the contemplated object as anicca & the contemplative mind as nicca (permanent) (the Wrong view can be developed from practice by misinterpreting one’s own experience. Some of the wrong views mentioned in the Brahmajala Sutta & some of the new Buddhists ideas and views came from this kind of misinterpretations).

Therefore all the following arising minds are also passing away. A dead body & a living body are the same things. After die or pass away, both of them never come back again. It was like all of them jumping into the abyss, & gone forever. Later arising phenomena are the new ones.

The older ones will never be seen again. Seeing in this way becomes fearful of them. Indeed it is fearful when the khandhas are dissolving. It is the knowledge of dissolving things as fearful (bhayañānam). Only seeing their faults & cannot find any goodness in them. So the yogi sees them as dangerous (ādīnavañānam). And then he becomes disenchanted with them (knowledge of disenchantment with all formations – nibbidāñānam).

This is in the process of letting go of craving & attachment in life or purifying them. And then the yogi wants to cast off the burden of dukkha. This is the knowledge of desire for deliverance (mũncitukamyatā ñānam). Then the yogi reflects on how to let go of them. This is the knowledge of reflecting contemplation (patisankhā ñānam). And then the mind becomes calm & can observe with equanimity, without like or dislike. The yogi arrives at the knowledge of equanimity towards formations. (sankhārupekkha ñānam). Up to this level are different levels of insight knowledge (These are the 6th purification).

__ Change of lineage (gotrabhū) is nothing to do with this side or the other side. This is the point between the bridge. But it sees Nibbāna because it has let go of conditioned objects (saṅkhāra arammanas). Therefore it sees Nibbāna. The change-of-lineage consciousness (gotrabhū citta), having Nibbāna as its object occurs, overcoming the lineage of worldling & evolving as the lineage of the noble one.

Immediately after this, the path of stream-entry arises. It cut off the fetters of wrong views, doubt, & adherence of rites & ceremonies as realization. The yogi becomes a stream-winner (sotāpanna). He has no more than seven lives or existence to come. He is already on the path (8 factors path) & never returns backward.

It means he will never become a worldling (phuthujjana) back again. With the path knowledge arises, the yogi fully understands the truth of dukkha, abandoning the truth of its origin, realizing the truth of its cessation, & developing the truth of the path to its cessation.

This is the yogi seeing the noble truths (4 noble truths) directly. In this Maṅgala Sutta the Buddha not only referred to the first stage of enlightenment – the path of stream-entry, it included all the four stages of attainment, i.e., the stream-enterer (sotāpanna), the once-returner (sakatāgāmī), the non-returner (anāgāmi) & arahant.

But for a stream-enterer, the following attainments are not difficult for him like before. He can continue his practice with the eight path factors & will realize the final Nibbāna (arahantship) by stages. Even the first stage of attainment is the great blessing for the yogi because his dukkha is only seven drops of water if compare with the great volume of water in the great ocean which is dukkha for a worldling. Therefore the Buddha said seeing the noble truths is the highest blessing.

__ Nowadays, Buddhists are encountering the teachings & practices that should endeavor on the Noble Eightfold Path to see the noble truths of ending dukkha. To embark on the practice, it needs strong saṁvega (sense of urgency) for transcending dukkha.

For this purpose, we must Study & contemplate some of the discourses in the Saccasamyutta – Connected Discourses on the Truths. If we know the faults of not seeing the truths (saccas) which bring dangers & sufferings, etc. & the benefits by seeing the truths which bring peace & happiness, etc. This can be only possible by studying Dhamma & contemplation or reflection. In contemplation, we can use current situations around the world.

According to the Buddha now we are in the interim aeon (antarakappa). It is the period required for the life span of human beings to rise from 10 years to the maximum of many thousands of years. And then it falls back to 10 years. Nowadays we human beings are in the period of decline, which is falling back to 10 years of life span. Why does this happen? It is relating to human moral behaviors or cause & effect phenomena.

With immoral behaviours, it is affecting nature & human societies. Now we can observe & see all the human problems & suffering around the world. All sorts of pollution, such as air, water, earth & mind pollutions going on & on. World politics are also not a good sign. A lot of instability & internal wars going on in many parts of the world.

All these wars are becoming longer, dangerous & killing a lot of innocent civilians, creating a refugee crisis in Europe & Africa. Even we have the United Nations to solve all these problems, but it does not have the power to do it. Because it was exploited & misused powers by some of the superpowers which controlled the security council.

These people made all the crises more serious & harming a lot of innocent people. If talking about all the worldly problems, it will never end. And most people already know it. Human destructive power is more & greater because of science & technology developments. Material progress is not a problem. The problem is misusing it. Some natural problems are human beings cannot escape, such as birth, aging, sickness & death. But human-made problems which we can be avoided. To solve human problems have to base on moral virtues as a foundation & not by immoral behaviors.

With the moral foundation, we have to develop the mind. Even interim aeon is like a cycle rising & falling by human behaviours. We can have the chances to change it. It does not mean to change the whole process backward again. We can make it not degenerates very quickly. Because human destiny is in the human mind. Our mind is our creator & not in the external. Everything happens through the law of cause & effect. If human beings have moral behavior & virtues, it will change towards the good direction.

Living beings are wandering in the round of existence with uncertainty. Because most of them cannot control their minds and usually they are following the desire of the unwholesome dhammas. Also, the untrained mind is taking pleasure in unwholesomeness. If we check, nowadays many media will see this point easily. Therefore the Buddha said that most living beings frequent homes were the 4 woeful planes (apāyabhūmi); i.e.

[1] hell (niraya) the place of the most intense suffering,
[2] The animal kingdom,
[3] the sphere of petas (hungry ghosts)
[4] the host of asuras (a group of tormented spirits).

__ There is an important Dhamma for contemplation to develop saṁvega is the four meanings of the truth of suffering (dukkha sacca). These are :
[1] Pilanato (oppressive)
[2] Saṅkhatato (conditioning)
[3] Santapato (burning)
[4] Viparinamāto (change).

The four meanings are connected. The main meaning of dukkha is pilanato – oppressive. The five khandhas are oppressive to one who gets it. The four meanings of dukkha effect on people can be different. One of the very extensive dukkha is conditioning dukkha (sankhatato). This conditioning dukkha is oppressing beings without any rest. If we observe the animals around us also can discern this terrible dukkha.

Most human beings take this dukkha as happiness that even looking for & changing for it. How much stupid, indeed? It is very important to contemplate on dukkha very often as a practice in our daily life, from the experiences within us & with others.

There is no other dukkha greater than clinging to the five khandhas. Therefore the Buddha said or emphasized that he taught only dukkha & the end of dukkha. The past Buddhas were also taught these. In the future to come, all the Buddha will also teach the same things. To penetrate dukkha is more important than anything else. Therefore the Buddha said; seeing the noble truths was the greatest blessing.

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33. Realizing Nibbāna

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-11-22, 17:32

33. Realizing Nibbāna

__ The 32nd blessing is seeing the noble truths, & 33rd realizes Nibbāna. So what are the differences between them? Seeing the noble truths is the 4 Path Knowledge. These are; the Path Knowledge of a stream winner, the path knowledge of a once-returner, the path knowledge of a non-returner & the path knowledge of an arahant.

At the time of thoroughly penetrates the four noble truths & the path knowledge arises. Realizing Nibbāna is the four fruitions (phalas). These are; from the stream-winner to the arahant. After the path knowledge (magga ñāna) & follows by fruition. It is without delay – akaliko.

According to the conditional relations – patthāna, it is anantarapaccayo – proximity condition. This becomes evident by direct yogi’s experience. But some scholars take it as has to wait for sometimes in the future. To acquire for the proficiency has to develop it for sometimes like jhānas. For other dhammas has to wait for sometimes in the future, e.g., the result of dāna.

The attainment of fruition (phala samāpatti) is meditative attainment. A noble disciple can enter into supramundane absorption (lokuttara jhāna) with Nibbāna as an object. To experience the bliss of Nibbāna here & now. The attainment is reached by resolving (adhithana) to attain fruition. And then developing in sequence beginning with the knowledge of rising & fall – impermanence.

In a Dhamma talk by a teacher who mentioned about seeing Nibbāna; “It’s the real cessation of the khandha & also can be checked. Sitting in front of a Buddha statue & resolve. Because after the Path knowledge & come fruition. Therefore the yogi can enter into fruition state (phalasamāpatti). Lord! Let me discerns the cessation of the khandha again. And makes an hour of resolution & sits there. It starts again from rising & fall (impermanence). But the rise & fall process is not becoming increase or decrease as before (i.e., before the Path Knowledge arose in practice). Discerning (seeing) rise & fall for sometimes & it stops happening. But don’t satisfy with it.

Testing for another one & a half hours, and then 2 hours, 3 hours, etc. by increasing the period with resolutions. If, it’s real & you’ll attain it. If it’s fake, then you can’t attain it. Instead, it becomes worse. With more testing & it becomes more significant. The yogi’s in & out breaths are cool with the body. People around him are bitten by mosquitoes but not the yogi in the fruition state. Because of kilesa smell & people are bitten by mosquitoes.”

__ Life is a very heavy burden, physically or mentally. When people are becoming older & older, sick, or near death even become clearer. The mental burden comes from our daily life welfare & for others. These kinds of mental burden are quite a lot & it will never end. Life also has a lot of disturbances & never peaceful.

Ven. Sariputta, after his enlightenment, wanted to put down this body as soon as possible. In saṁsāra, he never had real peace & happiness because of the khandha. He said that even better to carry around the Mount Meru on his back than the khandha. Because when the time comes for the destruction of the world, everything is disappeared.

But not the khandha burden & dukkha for living beings who still have kilesas. Therefore for all noble beings (from the Buddha to sotāpanna) when they had free time preferred to stay in the fruition. They can put down their khandha burdens for sometimes accordingly to their levels. In one of Mogok Sayadaw’s talks on the truth of cessation – nirodha sacca, one is vivekato – the peaceful nature of Nibbāna.

Sayadaw said as follow: “If observing the mind & body with nyan eye, they are in chaos with impermanence (Nyan is in Burmese for knowledge). But if observing Nibbāna, it’s totally clear without anything. Showing it with the practice, it becomes clearer. E.g., if we do the contemplation on feeling (vedanānupassanā), mind (citta) & dhammas are also included. The life span of feeling is only ① & ②. At ① it arises & at ② it disappears.

Asking to contemplate feeling is giving a designation only. Has to contemplate is impermanence.
Feeling arises on the body & the contemplative mind in the heart. At the time of contemplation, it is not there. To discern anicca vipassana has to be put effort, has to think & has to be mindful. Therefore the matter of seeing anicca is necessary to be worked hard & tiresome. At Nibbāna you must answer as it’s not tiresome. At the time of seeing anicca is seeing the chaos. A place without chaos is Nibbāna. With the more mature of insight & it becomes seeing more anicca & chaotic.

There is no need to say about seeing Nibbāna if we can’t discern the chaos of anicca, & even can’t speculate about it. After discerning more & more anicca, the yogi is becoming more wearisome. Only that the mind develops into the knowledge of not wanting it. At the time the yogi can decide for it as real dukkha, then suddenly it ceases with a blip. With the disappearing of kilesa that anicca disappears.

And then the path knowledge sees the clearance (or emptiness). It’s not the mind cutting of kilesas, but the path factors (i.e., the Noble Eightfold Path). The mind includes a conascence condition (sahajātapaccayo). Don’t take Nibbāna as seeing nothingness. The dying out of kilesas has the nature of good looking.

The nature of well being will be attained after the parinibbāna (the passing away of an arahant. Here Sayadaw referred to Kilesa Nibbāna & Khandha Nibbāna). If we look at the 31 realms of existence, will only find out the chaos of anicca made by kilesa. Nibbāna is free from the chaos of kilesa that it has the nature of clearance of things.

__ Nibbāna doesn’t have the kind of mind & body we have. If we ask; is it body or mind? You can answer it as the mind dhamma (nāma-dhamma). It’s not the mind of arising & passing away. It was the place for a practicing yogi to arrive there. This is the place where the dhamma is leading to it. They have to incline towards it. Our mind inclines towards the sense-objects.

For the mind dhamma of Nibbāna, others have to incline towards it. For the attainment of cessation (Nirodha-samāpatti), the yogi’s mind can inclines towards it for seven days. (Sayadaw gave a simile for this). In Mandalay Zay-Cho Bazaar, at the center of it is a clock tower. It was like this clock-tower, from whichever direction the car came, had to look at it. In the same way anyone had arrived there he could not shun away from it. This is the best of the best. At every free time, noble beings used to incline towards it. Why is that? To have peace & comfort. It can give peace & comfort that the place of happiness.

Therefore you can call it as happiness. Every worldly matter gives dukkha (because of the three universal characteristics). But Nibbāna has the characteristic of happiness, peace & joy. Nibbāna has the body or not? If it has the body and must have to be changed.

How could it be without the body? Without any form & sign, but the yogi experienced it with happiness. This is still having the khandha (i.e., when the yogi still alive). It is a very significant place. So, Nibbāna is the holiest element. If without dukkha, the worldlings must also like it. This was the best for the Buddha. Therefore there is nothing better than that.”

__ One of the most important things to understand the Buddha-Dhamma is we cannot take the indirect meanings as direct meanings & vice versa. Especially the teaching on Nibbāna is very difficult to understand. Because it is the supramundane Dhamma, which cannot be expressed in language directly, therefore the Buddha & enlightened beings only could describe it with metaphors or metaphorical terms.

So we have to bear in mind this important point. If not with our ideas & views can create wrong views about Nibbāna. We can see them in the history of Buddhism developed from this point (Even from the Buddha’s time to the present day). These were 62 kinds of wrong views in the Discourse of Nets view. Most of them came from practice & misinterpreted their experiences. Practicing with wrong views cannot develop the path.

In Search of Nibbāna:

The following extraction is from a talk by Mogok Sayadaw on Nibbāna. It is interesting for contemplation.
“In the khandha, there are two noble truths. The physical body or matter (rūpa) is like fuel dukkha sacca (the noble truth of suffering) & perishable. Greed (lobha) is like fire samudaya sacca (the noble truth of the origin of suffering) & also perishable. Therefore we can’t rely on them.

The Buddha was asking the Rohitassa devata to look for Nibbāna in this two armed-length body (or fathom-long body). But only found the perishable dhamma. Matter (rūpa) is body aggregate. Greed (lobha) & path factors (maggaṅga) are aggregate of mental formation (saṅkhārakkhandha).

These are not free from the khandha. In this khandha, only found the three noble truths, and not included Nibbāna. We can’t find Nibbāna here. Why? Because Nibbāna is not connecting with the khandha. If Nibbāna is in the khandha, then it will be perishable. But the Buddha taught that the four noble truths existed in the khandha. Therefore it is sure that Nibbāna not mixed-up with the perishable khandha. Then it will exist outside the khandha.

Even the khandha perishes, it doesn’t. So it is stable Nibbāna (dhuva nibbāna) & happy Nibbāna (sukha nibbāna). Not everyone can see it. Only for someone who learns the method from a teacher & practice will see it. By not wanting the khandha when it ceases & you will see it. After that, it becomes one’s property. If you know, dukkha sacca thoroughly will realize Nibbāna.

It doesn’t mix up with dukkha sacca that it must be sukha sacca. Then it will be only peaceful when you attain it. For a practiser, by not wanting the khandha dukkha sacca & in a blip the khandha disappears & Nibbāna arises.

Something is leaving behind not connecting with the khandha. It will arise only without this khandha. For the practiser, his mind stays with the imperishable. The reason we do not find Nibbāna can not move away from the things covered on it. It exists as external nature. Not as an internal nature (i.e., in the khandha).

Nibbāna is very strange Dhamma. By searching outside the khandha also you can’t find it (i.e., not searching at the right place). E.g., the story of Rohitass devata, & the Buddha taught him to find in the khandha. It existed in the fathom-long body. But it does not exist in the internal & external of the khandha (ajjhattā & bahiddhā).

Why don’t we attain Nibbāna? Because we are taking affection in the perishable nature of the things, e.g. to one own’s khandha, family members, belongings, etc. Only you’ll attain it by not wanting the perishable things. Asking you to contemplate impermanence is let you know about the perishable dhamma (phenomena). First, it has to discern impermanence (annica).

Second, has to disenchant with it. Third, to discern the ending of it. If you want the perishable things, will only get them. By not wanting will get the imperishable Dhamma. If you find out the perishable will get the trace to Nibbāna. By following to the ending of perishable & you will find the imperishable Nibbāna.”

__ At last, I want to present the teaching on Nibbāna from the Dhamma talks given by Sayadaw Dr. Nandamalarbhivamsa. Not complete translations, only extractions. These are very interesting & most of them are from the suttas. There were two kinds of dhamma we could find in some of the suttas. These are; conditioned phenomena (saṅkhata dhamma) & unconditioned phenomenon (asaṅkhata dhamma).

The meaning of saṅkhata is; saṅ = by causes, khata = the products made by the combination of causes. Therefore asaṅkhata means – Dhamma (i.e., Nibbāna) not made by causes.

The Buddha using both of them in the suttas. Using them together was in the Abhidhamma. This was in the Dhamma-saṅganī, the first book of Abhidhamma. Saṅkhata is conditioned phenomena & asaṅkhata is an unconditioned phenomenon. Saṅkhata dhamma is the five aggregates (khandhas). The whole cosmos is the five khandhas. So the human being is the same.

These were explained in general by the Buddha. The wholesome & unwholesome dhammas are in the saṅkhata. These are the four realms; sensuous plane (kāmabhūmi), fine-material plane (rūpabhūmi), immaterial plane (arūpabhūmi) & supramundane (lokuttara), i.e. path knowledge consciousness & fruition consciousness. Free from the causes is Nibbāna (asaṅkhata).

__ In the Asaṅkhatasaṁyutta (Saṁyutta Nikāya), the Buddha called asaṅkhata as the cessation of rāga (lust), dosa (hatred) & delusion (moha). Here, confusion can be come in. Because, the cessation of lust, hatred & delusion is also called the Path Knowledge. The cessation of them is showing the causes. The abandonment is defilement (kilesa) & taking the object is Nibbāna.

All the path knowledge & fruitions (sotāpatti magga to arahatta magga) are taking Nibbāna as an object. By taking Nibbāna as object & kilesa also ceases. Therefore there are levels of Nibbāna & cessation levels of kilesa. In the Kosambi Sutta, from sotāpanna (stream enterer) to anāgāmin (non-returner) are only seeing Nibbāna. It was like seeing the water inside the well by going downwards & still not touching the water yet.

Only the arahant is touching the water & abandoning all kilesa. We can see Nibbāna only with the path knowledge & fruition knowledge. Therefore Nibbāna is very difficult to see it. Because everyone is inside the province of saṅkhata. It can also be guessed by inferring (anumana).

In the Jabukhataka Sutta, Ven. Sariputta also said that the cessation of lust, hatred & delusion was Nibbāna. There are no causes to produce Nibbāna. It does not arise by kamma, mind, temperature & nutrient or sense door & sense object (these are the causes for the body & mind). They do not produce it. Path & fruition consciousness is also in the five khandhas. But they are not in the clinging khandha (i.e., upādānakkhandhā). Clinging khandha is dukkha. Nibbāna is the cessation of clinging khandha (or) dukkha nirodho – the cessation of dukkha.

The cessation of the causes is Nibbāna. Nibbāna is the cessation of both dukkha & samuday (dukkha & its origin – i.e., tanhā). Therefore it can divide into two kinds as the cessation of cause & result, i.e., kilesa & khandha. As examples; two elements of Nibbāna;
(1) the Nibbāna element with residue (sa-upādisesa nibbhānadhātu)
(2) & the Nibbāna element without residue (anupādisesa nibbhānadhātu).

For these 2 Nibbānas took the example of the Buddha. When the Buddha gained enlightenment at the time of under the Bodhi tree was the first kind of Nibbāna element, i.e., the destruction of kilesas, but the physical body was still there. At the old age of 80, after he passed away & there was no more khandhas in the future was the 2nd kind of Nibbāna element.

We can also explain it with the three rounds of existence (3 vattas). These are kilesa vatta, kamma vatta & vipaka vatta. They are cause & result connections. Without kilesa & kamma cannot function. And without both of them & no khandhas arise. The cessation of them is Nibbāna. The living being is the five khandhas. If without khandhas & there is nothing to call about it. But we cannot say Nibbāna has nothing.

__ Khandhas really exist. But their existence & Nibbāna is not the same type. If there is becoming, then also there is no becoming. Without becoming that there are no beginning & end. Therefore Nibbāna has no beginning & end. With the only becoming & you will have them. For example, if you have a wound & it is painful.

After taking treatment with medicine, it is cured & no wound & pain anymore. Therefore the wound & pain disappear is really existed. So Nibbāna is this kind of existence. Therefore dukkha exists & dukkha disappears also exist. If we are thinking about it with craving (tanhā), no-one will want it. Because there is no becoming. People are craving for becoming. Therefore they do not desire for the peaceful element of not becoming. Also, in the Kosambi Sutta, the Buddha said; “Bhavanirodho nibbānam – the cessation of becoming is Nibbāna.” Bhava – existence or becoming is the combination of 3 rounds of existence (3 vattas).

These are; wanting (tanhā or kilesa), action (kamma) & getting (khandha) = existence or dukkha. So it is the same as – dukkhanirodho nibbānam- The cessation of dukkha is Nibbāna. Therefore with the stopping of the causes & the cessation of the effect (result) comes into being. If we contemplate them & it becomes very profound. These are in gists. If we understand dukkha & will understand Nibbāna. If we know existence (bhava) & we know Nibbāna.

The Buddha also taught it in details. Because people could think about it from the points of saṅkhata. Therefore he gave examples of it had no four great elements (mahābhūta rūpa), without the mind (nāma), etc. In ancient India, some took the immaterial jhānas (arūpa jhānas) as Nibbāna. There is neither coming, nor going, nor staying (some Buddhists had these ideas).

There are also some in the Udana Pali – The Buddha’s Exclamations. In one of the suttas, the Buddha said; “There are monks, an unborn (ajātaṁ) – unbecome – unmade – unfabricated….” If it is born, also there is unborn. If there is becoming, also there is unbecoming, etc.…

__ Other teachings on Nibbāna were; viññānam anidassanaṁ & sabbato pabbham. Viññānam anidassanaṁ is translated by Ajahn Thānissaro as consciousness without feature. The usage of this consciousness is significant. Because except in 2 places in the texts cannot find it anywhere. These were in the Kevutta Sutta (Dīgha Nikāya) & Brahmanimantika Sutta (in Majjima Nikāya). People were interpreting it. Differently, that became mistaken about it. Only we know it rightly by consulting other suttas.

Viññānaṁ is the knowing mind. The consciousness here was, Nibbāna could be known only with this significant consciousness, & not by others. Anidassanaṁ here was, not like seeing with the eye. It does not have the beginning & end – anatman.

This word – sabbato pabbhaṁ was used in many books on Nibbāna differently. In the commentary pabba means port. To Nibbāna, there are ways. (as like many ports). These are referring to the 38 ways of meditation (sometimes as 40 types). It can be entered from many sides. In the sub-commentary, pubbhaṁ referred to the light. It means Nibbāna has light.

The problem is, light is matter (rūpa). If Nibbāna has light, & then it becomes matter. These are metaphorical terms & we cannot take it directly. Nibbāna does not have the defilement of delusion (moha – it referred to darkness). So it has the nature of no darkness.

In the simile of the Vipers Discourse (i.e., Asivisopama Sutta – Salāyatana-saṁyutta), Nibbāna was referred to as the other shore. This was also a metaphorical term. Nibbāna has to be taken as the cessation of dukkha & its origin (i.e., khandhas & kilesas). So Nibbāna is the ending of saṅkhata. It is not changing from saṅkhata to asaṅkhata, not a changed element. It was like a wound grew out & cured. If, come from changing & it becomes of the arising dhamma. It is without anicca that there is no beginning nor end.

This was the reason Ven. Sariputta described Nibbāna as real happiness because it had no mind & body. The cessation is a presence phenomenon (atthi). We cannot know Nibbāna with the feeling of saṅkhata by thinking. A human with the thoughts of tanhā (craving) will always be far from Nibbāna. Worldlings do not want Nibbāna, because it has nothing for them. Therefore they are afraid of it.

But the Buddha taught Nibbāna in many ways. He asked people to sit for meditation. Asked them to see the arising & passing away phenomena. Only by seeing dukkha that we do not want it. Nibbāna is unconditioned - asaṅkhata. In Nibbāna, we cannot find the things which are belonging to the conditioned (saṅkhata).

__ In the Jewels Discourse (Ratana Sutta), the following verses were very good examples of Nibbāna. These were;

“Ended the old, there is no new taking birth.
Dispassioned their minds towards further becoming.
They with no seed, no desire for growth
The enlightened, go out like this flame.
This too: an exquisite treasure in the Sangha.
By this truth, may there be well-being.”

The above verses represented Nibbāna as the cessation of kilesa & khandha or dukkha. Whatever cessation may be, all are not becoming (unbecome). Now, we are encountering the perfect & completed teachings (sasāna) of the Buddha and should make an effort in practice. It needs a lot of sustained effort to realize Nibbāna. The following story was good for contemplation.

__ A monk went to the forest for practice. Without success, he gave up the practice & came back to the monastery. The Buddha knew about it & told him. In his dispensation (sasāna), there were monks with a good reputation in their practices. So why he wanted the bad reputation of a lazy monk by giving up his practice & coming back. He was a diligent person in one of his past lives.

In one of their past lives, the bodhisatta was the leader of a merchant group. They were traveling in a desert area. It was so hot in the day time that, they only travelled at night, by following the northern star. One time the guide was fallen into sleep & the group returned to their last camping site. Now they were facing the problem of shortage of water.

The bodhisatta found a plot of earth with grasses overgrown on it. They were trying to dig the ground there. At a depth of 60 armed lengths (180’), they found a slab of rock. They heard the sound of flowing water underneath. Therefore, the bodhisatta asked a very strong young man to break up the rock. At last they got the water. This strong young man was this present monk. Dhamma & water which one was more valuable? With the attainment of Dhamma, he would never die again & peaceful forever.

__ The 30th blessing to 33rd blessings is about sīla, samādhi, paññā & Nibbāna. They are connecting, and also about the four noble truths & the noble eightfold path. For fulfilling these blessings, we need to practice the four satipatthāna.

This is practicing to know about oneself. Whatever happening in the world, whether it is good or bad or neutral, at last ending up with perishing. We are ignorant about ourselves & the natural law with heedlessness. We practice to know & understand the nature of the khandha. People have the delusion that takes the becoming as pleasurable. Whatever situation they are in always happy with it. This is a craving for becoming (bhava tanhā) & view of eternalism (sassata ditthi). Some are craving for non-becoming (vibhava tanhā) & view of annihilationism. They crave for it without any knowledge about it.

Nibbāna means; Ni – clinging & grasping, bhāna – freedom, liberation. Therefore, it means freedom or liberation from clinging & grasping. Beings have the strongest attachment and clinging to themselves – atta tanhā pemaṁ natthi. Some living beings still have attachement to the dhamma – Dhamma raga or Dhamma nandi (e.g., non-returner-anāgāmi). Therefore, the qualities of Nibbāna are:

(1) Freedom from attachment is Nibbāna.

(2) The best real happiness is Nibbāna.

(3) Nibbāna is not in the loka (world), but it transcends it.
Loka – the world – is khandhas, āyatana, dhātus, the all.

(4) Nibbāna can be seen with the mind, i.e., with the path & fruition mind.
Because the mind cannot function without objects. Therefore, Nibbāna can be known by the realization of it. So we do not need to debate & argue about it. It is wasting time & never reaching to the point

(5) It can be realized with the four path knowledge (from sotāpatti to arahatta maggas).

There are two ways to Nibbāna; i.e., samathayanika & vipassanā yanika (based on samatha & insight, respectively). There is nothing more important than the ending of dukkha. Therefore, the Buddha taught that the realization of Nibbāna is the highest protection with a blessing.

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Nalorakk
文章: 401
註冊時間: 2017-03-03, 08:00

34. A mind that, when touched by the ways of the world is unshaken

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-11-22, 17:46

34. A mind that,
when touched by the ways of the world is unshaken

__ The beginning verse – a mind that, when touched by the ways of the world (i.e., the eight worldly dhammas – loka dhamma) is also related to 35, 36 & 37. First, we have to know what are the ways of the world.

There are eight numbers; as pair with positive & negative nature become four pairs. These eight loka dhamma are gain and loss, status and disgrace, praise and censure, pleasure & pain. They are called the failings of the world or 8 worldly conditions (loka dhammas). These worldly failings are more common in human beings than in other beings, & also a very interesting subject for contemplation.

No one can escape from these eight worldly conditions. So, everyone will encounter them. Not affect the mind by them are only the arahant. But with practice, wise reflection & contemplation, we can overcome them without shaking. Most people will think only encounter with the negative things such as loss, disgrace, censure & pain are as failings.

The positive things lead to pleasure & the negative to displeasure (i.e., like & dislike). The positive things are also the same because they have the nature of imperfection & change. Positive things can lead to negative things. E.g., with wealth & power, people can do evil & unwholesome things. The Buddha taught the ways of dealing with them. These were:

(1) Acceptance as these failings of the world cannot be escaped.
(2) Acceptance as these failings of the world are the results of one’s
actions (kamma)
(3) To understand these worldly conditions & their nature with contemplation to overcome them. This 3rd point is more profound & important.

(1) Acceptance of the loka dhamma as part of human society & inescapable. There is a lot of this dhamma in human life & their differences are only in many forms & magnitude (great or small). These always exist in the world, as parts of human nature like birth, old age, sickness & death, & inescapable. In the second discourse of the Loka-dhamma Sutta (Aṅguttara Nikāya), the Buddha said; “These are the eight worldly conditions that spin after the world (i.e., human beings), & the world spins after these eight worldly conditions.”

It was like the law of kamma; the past life kammas (actions) had been done following with living beings & they were also always doing the actions. They are doing these things for the future to come. So, they are cause & effect relationship.

So, living beings cannot separate themselves from kamma that cannot free from the worldly dhamma. Even the Buddha & some of his chief & great disciples could not shun away from them. Once the time the Buddha & monks could not get any food that they had to eat some very coarse foods which were fed for horses. Ciñcamānavikā, who was a devoted pupil of other faith, accused the Buddha of having an affair with her.

Even the Buddha sometimes had sickness with pains. Ven. Mahā-moggallāna, the chief disciple of the Buddha, had been killed by the assassins was also connecting with this worldly dhamma. Once, the Nigantha ascetic planned to kill him. Because they thought the diminishing of their fame & fortune was related to him. So they hired some assassins to kill him. At last Ven. The assassins caught Mahā-moggallāna & he was beaten up until all his bones were broken.

__ Nobody frees or escapes from censure. How to deal with censure is also very important? We do not need to pay much attention to the fools who censure us. But we need to listen & pay attention to the wise & noble people for their censure. After that, we have to correct & improve ourselves. We need to live a life of blamelessness & praise by them.

This exhortation came from the Buddha regarding a layman Atula upasaka. One time he & some followers went to see Ven. Revata who was usually enjoying with his meditation attainments. So he did not give any talk to them. They went to see Ven.

Sariputta & told about Ven. Revata. Therefore Ven. Sariputta gave a long talk to them. They also displeased with it. And then they went to see Ven. Ānanda & reported him the account with Ven. Sariputta. Therefore Ven. Ānanda gave them a short talk. Still, they were displeased with the short talk.

At last they went to see the Buddha. After hearing their report, the Buddha said as followed. Censure & praise were not existing only now. Whether keeping silence or talking a lot or talking with consideration still could not free or escape from censure. At last the Buddha said that even he was not immune from it. Another story was, because of the Buddha’s excellent teachings & well practice of the Sangha & had a lot of support from people. This made other faiths censured them out of jealousy.

So the Buddha taught the monks that whether living alone or with others in the world would encounter pain & pleasure. This was the way of the world. The important cause was not by others nor oneself, but the outcome of receiving the burdened khandhas (This point is important for contemplation).

(2) Acceptance the loka-dhamma as the results of one’s kamma (actions)

__ Usually, people blame others for their sufferings, pain & displeasure. Here, we have 2 points to contemplate the outcomes of kamma. These are the results of the kamma & the existence of the khandhas. The results of kamma are quite an extensive subject. Beings are always creating many different kinds of kamma by bodily, speech & mind. Therefore, the results of them are also many varieties.

These are related to the worldly dhammas. If we experience misfortunes, it is better not to blame others or find faults with others. So, one has the responsibility for them. If we react with anger or ill-will, our situations become worse. With unwise attention (ayoniso), we cannot solve or overcome the problem or situation. We have to contemplate wisely or dealing with them skilfully and then correct oneself.

With the unskilful or unwholesome causes will encounter the negative things. And then, if we respond unskilfully, it will never become better.

(3) To understand the worldly dhammas & its nature with contemplation

__ This point is more important than others. This contemplation came from the 2nd sutta on worldly dhamma in Aṅguttara Nikāya. The gist of it as follows:

The Failings of the World:

__ These & worldly conditions; i.e. gain/loss; status/disgrace; censure/praise; & pleasure/pain spin after the world, & the world spins after these & worldly conditions. For an ordinary uninstructed person (asutava putthujano), there arise these eight worldly dhammas. For a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones (i.e., sutava ariya savako) there also arise these eight dhammas. So what are the differences between them?

The differences are:
When gain arises for an ordinary uninstructed person, and he doesn’t reflect; “Gain has arisen for me. It’s inconstancy (anicca), stressful (dukkha) & subject to change (viparinama).” He doesn’t discern it as it is. (The other dhammas – loss, status….pain also in this way) His mind remains consumed with the gain, loss….etc.

He welcomes the arisen gain & rebels against the arisen loss. (The other pairs – status/disgrace, etc...in this way) As he is thus engaged in welcoming & rebelling, he is not released from birth, aging or death; from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, or despairs.

Now, gain arises for a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones. He reflects; “Gain has arisen for me. It’s anicca, dukkha & viparinama.” He discerns it as it is. His mind doesn’t remain consumed with the gain. (The other dhammas – loss, status, etc.… are also in this way.) He doesn’t welcome the arisen gain or rebel against the arisen loss. (The other pairs, status/disgrace, etc.… also in this way.) As he thus abandons welcoming & rebelling, he is released from birth, aging & death; from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses & despairs. He is released from suffering (dukkha).

__ So, following with the Buddha’s instruction, when we encounter the eight worldly dhamma: gain/loss, status/disgrace, censure/praise & pleasure/pain. We should contemplate them as: these conditions among human beings are impermanent, suffering & subject to change.

People do not know the Buddha’s teachings & without practice, the worldly dhamma overwhelms them. With the positive ones (such as gain), lust (raga), craving (tanhā), attachment (upādāna) overrun their minds. With the negative ones (such as loss), anger (dosa), ill-will, etc. overrun their minds. They cannot free or escape from problems & sufferings.

For someone who knows the Buddha’s teachings by practicing it, will see things & react in different ways. He understands the differences between positive & negative worldly dhammas (e.g., gain & loss). He also sees their common nature (i.e., anicca, dukkha & viparinama). It is the same in vipassanā. Mind & body have a particular nature (visesa lakkhana) & common nature (samaña lakkhana).

The 34th blessing is unshaken, 35th is sorrowless, 36th is dustless & 37th is secure. These qualities & blessings are referred to someone beyond training (asekha - i.e., an arahant). But others also can overcome them temporarily by practice & contemplation.

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Nalorakk
文章: 401
註冊時間: 2017-03-03, 08:00

35. Sorrowless

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-11-22, 18:05

35. Sorrowless

__ Sorrow in the Pali word is called soka. Encounter sorrow things & the mind has displeasure feeling of mental factor is called soka. Every time soka arises, including dosa (hatred). The deep sadness of sorrow is quite common in people of today. Sorrow comes from the loss of one’s loved family member, from lost one’s fortunes & the fortunes of friends, etc.

All these are called soka. Here sorrow (soka) has a connection with loss & pain. The non-returner & arahant overcome sorrow. For others only by practice & wise contemplation. First has to know about the sufferings come from soka so that we can let go off it. Here I want to tell a true story of a man when encountered with death, which created sorrow for him & the family. This story had some good lessons for us to contemplate. I was living on the eastern coast of Taiwan.

On every new year, I use to pay a visit to see my very old mother. For this purpose, I had to stay for a few days in this layman’s home. He was a cigarette smoker. Last year he had found out with the lung cancer of the second stage. Two or 3 years before I urged him to has a medical check-up for lung cancer more than one or two times.

He did not take my suggestions & responded lightly as he would have no problem. This was one of his first great mistakes. He was a successful businessman & dealing with many businesses. Every year during my few days at his home, I was always invited him to discuss the Dhamma & practice.

Even both of us had free time; he never took it seriously. During these few years of our friendship, I always urged him to discuss Dhamma. He came for 2 or 3 times only & never stayed very long. When he came to the eastern coast in his free times to see our group, he only came & paid respect to me. He always discussed & argued about Buddhism with other friends and never with me. So he had very limited knowledge of Buddhism with wrong views which came out from his thinkings.

Thinking of business, money & Buddhism are two quite different things. Someone had success in business with his brain did not mean he was wise & intelligent. No-one can know about Buddhism very well without a good teacher & study. So when death came & knocked on his door, he was fear & frightened. He had to take treatment with chemotherapy for a year without success. Even he lost his faith on the triple gems for his survival. He took refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma & Sangha recently to come out from dangers.

It was the same as like other faiths. Instead of relying on his inner qualities, he turned towards outside power. Instead of using the right view for contemplation, he used the wrong view. At last he had doubt & lost his faith in the Buddha, Dhamma & Sangha. The Buddha was not a savior & also did not has such a thing in nature. He wanted to see me the day before he died. I just came out from the hospital for an operation and rushed to see him. He passed away the next day.

__ What did he learn from his illness & death we did not know? For me, this book came out from the result of his illness. He misused his time, energy & chances for wealth only. Most people may think someone can make a lot of money & success in business is bright, intelligent & smart.

A mind influenced by lust, craving & greed cannot be wise. When illness & death come; money, power & status are becoming useless. After death, we cannot take anything with us except the unwholesome & wholesome actions (their results) will follow us.

A few years ago, a monk who I knew had committed suicide. His old mother also out of grief and sorrow, followed him with suicide. Most people do not want to hear or see old age, sickness & death. They would try to stay away from these things as much as possible. We do not benefit anything by running away from these things. These are natural processes & everyone will encounter it. Public big hospitals are very good for studying & observing these things. In the Aṅguttara Nikāya, there was a discourse by the Buddha for the Five Subjects for Contemplations. These were very important for everyone.

There are five facts that one should reflect very often. These are:
(1) I am subject to aging, have not gone beyond aging.
(2) I am subject to illness, have not gone beyond illness.
(3) I am subject to death, have not gone beyond death.
(4) I will grow different, separate from all that is dear & appealing to me.
(5) I am the owner of my action (kamma), heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, & have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or evil, to that, will I fall heir? The Buddha continued to talk about the reasoning of these reflections.

(1)There are beings who are intoxicated with youth. Because of that, they conduct themselves in a bad way, in body, speech & mind. But when they often reflect on that fact, intoxication with youth will either be entirely abandoned or grow weaker.

(2) There are beings who are intoxicated with health. Because of that, they conduct unwholesome way, in body, speech & mind. With the often contemplation, intoxication with health will either be entirely abandoned or grow weaker.

(3) There are beings who are intoxicated with life. Because of that, they conduct unwholesome way, in body, speech & mind. With the often contemplation, intoxication with life will either be entirely abandoned or grow weaker.

(4) There are beings who feel desire & passion for the things they find dear & appealing. Because of that, they conduct unwholesome way, in body, speech & mind. With the often contemplation, that desire and passion for the things they find dear & appealing will either be entirely abandoned or grow weaker.

(5) There are beings who conduct themselves in a bad way, in body, speech & mind. With the often reflection, their unwholesome actions will either be entirely abandoned or grow weaker.

__ There was another discourse connection with the death in Aṅguttara Nikāya. It was called Fearless Discourse. If we understand why we are fear of death & can know how to deal with it properly & successfully. Without it, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & despair will arise. Janussonin brahmin went to see the Buddha, & said to him as follow.
“I am of the view & opinion that there is no one who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death.”

The Buddha responded as it was not true. Some of them were afraid or in terror of death, & some were not. In truth, the majority of living beings are afraid or fear of death. The Buddha gave four reasons for each of them. The person who is afraid or fear of death:

(1) Someone who has not abandoned passion, desire, fondness, thirst, fever & craving for sensuality. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he is sick, the thought occurs to him as those beloved sensual pleasures will be taken from him, & he will be taken from them. He grieves & is tormented, weeps beat his breast & grow delirious.

(2) Someone who has not abandoned passion, desire, fondness, thirst, fever & craving for the body. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he is sick, the thought occurs to him as his beloved body will be taken from him, & he will be taken from his body. He grieves & is tormented, weeps beat his breast & grow delirious.

(3) Someone who has not done what is good, has not done what is skillful, has not given protection to those in fear, & instead has done what is evil, savage & cruel. There is a bad destination for him after death. For that, he grieves & is tormented, weeps beat his breast & grow delirious.

(4) A person in doubt & perplexity, who has not arrived at certainty about the True Dhamma. (This is a worldling who dies with doubt & wrong view).

__ From above the four reasons, someone afraid or fear of death is, attach to sensuality, to one’s body, done evil things & a worldling dies with doubt & wrong view. So someone who is not afraid or fear of death is the opposite. We had been seen some yogis who died with a smile on their faces (both Theravadin & Mahayanist Buddhists).

Therefore everyone, instead of running away from dukkha or unpleasant things, such as old age, sickness & death, should have intimate knowledge about them. Accept them as reality, natural process & learn how to deal with it skillfully. Only by learning & practicing we can deal with it successfully to overcome sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & despair.

There was a very interesting jataka story related to death. The Buddha in one of his lives as a bodhisatta was a farmer. His family members were; his wife, his son, his daughter, his daughter-in-law & their maidservant. Once he & his son were working in the field & suddenly the son was bitten by a poisonous snake & died.

__ Therefore the bodhisatta sent a message to his family & asked them to come to the field by bringing meal only for one person. The mother knew what happened to her son. After taking his meal, they prepared for the funeral. All five of them did not show any sorrow or grief. This made the King of the 33 gods (Sakka) curious about it & came down to the earth disguised as a human being for inquiry. Each of their answer to Sakka was as followed.

(1) The bodhisatta (the father): It was like a snake changing its skin.
With deep sorrow & crying for the dead one, it brought no benefit to anyone. The dead one also did not know anything for their sorrow & crying. Even the dead body was burnt with fire; it did not feel anything about it.

(2) The bodhisatta’s wife (the mother):
Her son was not invited by them (parents) to come & leave (i.e., by his kamma to be born & to die). Therefore he came to them by himself & left them by himself.

(3) The sister (the bodhisatta’s daughter):
Crying with sorrow brought disadvantages. It made others had worry & concern.

(4) The daughter-in-law (the son’s wife):
Crying with sorrow for the dead was like a child crying for the moon. Expecting or desiring for something which could not be attained was a kind of foolishness & stupidity.

(5) The maidservant:
Crying with sorrow for the dead one was like a pot after broken apart could never come back to normal. So it was useless & unprofitable.

__ If we observe & contemplate; what they had said, these people were not ordinary ones. Their minds were quite mature with the practice of contemplation on death. So worldlings also can overcome sorrow with practice & contemplation. Sorrow arises by wrong view & wrong thinking.

The Buddha gave many ways of Dhamma to deal with kilesa. With regular practice & contemplation, the mind will become mature & easily to overcome their worldly dhamma. With satipatthāna practice also can overcome sorrow & lamentation. At the beginning of the Satipatthāna Sutta,

the Buddha said; “Monks this is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the surmounting of sorrow & lamentation, for the disappearance of dukkha & discontent, for acquiring the true method & realization of Nibbāna.”

Tha-bye-kan Sayadaw gave the example of Mallikā, who was the wife of Bandula. At the time when she was serving the monks with foods & receiving the news of her husband & their 30 sons were killed. She continued to serve the monks without emotion. And suddenly a butter pot fell off & broken. Ven. Sariputta saw it & comforted her. Then she showed the letter to the venerable & said that even she had been overcome sorrow & grief on the death of the family members.

The reason for her sorrowless was coming from her practice. She was already a stream-winner (sotāpanna).

__ Here to include two stories of the Buddha’s two female greate disciples. They were Theri Patācāra & Theri Kisā Gotami. Both of them were suffered from deep sorrow when their beloved ones died.
After meeting with the Buddha overcame their sorrow with Dhamma & practice. And then both became unshaken & sorrowless.

Patācārā:
She had lost her husband & her two sons, as well as her parents & 3 brothers. So she was driven to near insanity. When she met the Buddha, he comforted her with Dhamma. She should not has fear because he could protect & guide her. Throughout saṁsāra (the round of existence), the number of tears she had shed on account of the deaths of the family members was voluminous.

Even it was more than the water of the four great oceans. The Buddha taught her you should not think too much about those who were already gone. Then the Buddha spoke the two following verses.

Verse 288: “Not sons, nor parents & close relatives can protect one
assailed by death; indeed, nobody can give protection.”

Verse 289: “Knowing this, the wise restrained by morality should
quickly clear the hindrances to the path leading to Nibbāna.”

After the discourse, Patācārā attained the Path & Fruit as a stream winner. Later she becomes a bhukkauni. One day she was cleaning her feet with water. As she poured the water for the first time, it flowed only a short distance & disappeared. And then she poured for the 2nd & third time successively & it had the same nature. She came to perceive the three stages in the life of beings. The Buddha knew these all. So using his supernormal power from the Jetavana monastery sent forth his radiance & appeared to her. And then said the following verse.

Verse 113: “Better than living a hundred years without seeing the arising & passing away of the five khandhas is the one who lives a day & discerning of it.”

At the end of the discourse, Theri Patācārā attained arahantship.

Kisā Gotami:
She was from Sāvatthi & a rich man daughter. After she was married & a son was born to her. Unfortunately, her son died just like a toddler. She was stricken with sorrow & grief. She carried her dead son’s body & went about asking for medicine to restore her son’s life.

At last she met with the Buddha for help. He asked her to get some mustard seeds from houses where there had been no death. She could not find a single house where death had not occurred. As soon as she realized this point, her attachment towards her dead son had changed. She discarded the dead body & went back to see the Buddha.

The Buddha said to her; “Gotami, you thought that you were the only one who lost the son. Death comes to all beings. Before their desire is fulfilled, death takes them away.” With this talk, she penetrated the inconstant, suffering & not-self nature of the five khandhas & entered the stream (became a sotāpanna).

__ Later she became a bhikkhuni. One day as she was lighting the lamps & observing the flames flaring up & dying out. The Buddha, through supernormal power, saw her from the monastery, & sent forth his radiance & appeared to her. And asked her to continue the contemplation on the impermanence nature of phenomena. The Buddha spoke the following verse.

Verse 114: “Better than living a hundred years without seeing the Deathless
(i.e., Nibbāna) is the one who lives a day & seeing it.”

At the end of the discourse, Theri Kisā Gotami attained arahantship.

__ Therefore, contemplation on death is a very important meditation subject for everyone to transcend dukkha. If we talk about it from the suttas & stories, there is a lot to say. The weaver girl became a sotapanna before she died with the accident was the outcome of this practice. Her father out of grief for her death, later ordained & practiced became an arahant.

Ven. Yasa in one of his past lives, he was helping to bury & cremated corpses. Because of the frequent contemplation on death, in his last life easily to give up all his wealth & pleasures by seeing the women as corpses. And then he met the Buddha by listening to his talk and attained arahantship. Frequent contemplation can lead to love, compassion & concern for others as we share the same nature.

And then we shall not waste our precious lives & time for many useless things & matters. Instead, we become heedful & diligent in wholesome dhammas. The Buddha’s teachings were always based on right views & right thoughts or thinking. Without it, any experience becomes fruitless & even harmful. We can see many doctors & workers are working with corpses. Do deaths & loathsomeness of the body have any effect on them? Mostly not! In the beginning, it might be unpleasant for them dealing with corpses.

In the long run, it becomes a habit & they used to them. People are doing evil things with wrong views & thoughts, even worse. Battles between drug gangs & terrorists, deaths become their pleasures. Media on violence become a pleasure for a lot of people. This is one of the causes of violence in societies (e.g., gun shootings in the US).

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Nalorakk
文章: 401
註冊時間: 2017-03-03, 08:00

36. Dustless

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-11-22, 18:10

36. Dustless

__ A person mind is dustless. What does it mean? Here dust is a metaphorical term & represents greed (lobha), dosa (hatred) & delusion (moha). These are the three roots of unwholesome phenomena. A dustless mind is free from greed, hatred & delusion, which is an arahant’s mind. A mind frees from defilements is a dustless mind.

There are ten defilements; greed, hatred, delusion, conceit, wrong views, doubt, sloth, restlessness, shamelessness & fearlessness of wrongdoing. The defilements (kilesa) are so called because they afflict & torment the mind. They defile beings by dragging them down to a mentally soiled & deprived condition. There was an interesting story connected with dust. This was the story of Cūlapanthaka.

Ven. Cūlapanthaka:
He was a grandson of a banker of Rājagaha. The banker had two grandsons, Mahāpanthaka & Cūlapanthaka. Mahāpanthaka joined the Buddhist order & over time became an arahant.

Cūlapanthaka also followed him & became a monk. He was born as a dullard because of his past kamma. At the time of the Buddha Kassapa, he had made fun of a very dull monk. This kamma took fruit in this life. Even the slightest fault could become a big result. Therefore we have to be careful about all our actions.

Even he could not memorize a verse in 4 months. His brother Mahāpanthaka was very disappointed with him & asked him to leave the order. About that time, doctor Jivaka came to the monastery & invited the Buddha & Sangha to his house for a meal. Mahāpanthaka was in charge of assigning the monks to meal invitations.

So he left out Cūlapanthaka from the list. When Cūlapanthaka knew this & decided to leave the order. The Buddha knew all about it & asked him not to leave. He then gave him a clean white piece of cloth for the practice.

Instructed him by sitting in front of the Perfumed Chamber (The Buddha’s dwelling place) & rubbed the piece of cloth all the time & repeated the word “rajoharanam” which mean taking on impurity. And then with the monks, the Buddha went to Jivaka’s place.

Meanwhile, Cūlapanthaka went on rubbing the piece of cloth all the times & repeating the word “rajoharanam” like chanting a mantra all the time. This led to samādhi & after some time the piece of cloth became soiled. Cūlapanthaka came to realize the impermanent nature of all conditioned phenomena. From the house of doctor Jivaka, the Buddha knew about the progress of Cūlapanthaka’s practice. He sent forth his radiance & appeared in front of him. The Buddha gave him the following instruction.

“It was not only the piece of cloth was made dirty by the dust, but within oneself also there existed the dust of passion, ill-will & ignorance (raga), (dosa) & (moha). Only by removing these dust of the mind could achieve the goal & attained arahantship.”

Cūlapanthaka got the message & kept on contemplation & in a short time attained arahantship with analytical knowledge. He had ceased to be a dullard & became a dustless person.

__ There was a more important sutta on taintless or dustless. This was in the Majjima Nikāya called Discourse on Taintlessness-Aṅangana Sutta. Ven. Sariputta gave it to the monks. This sutta was very important for all to know it & look after the mind not to be tainted or soiled. Ven. Sariputta explained four types of individual. These are:

(1) A person has mental taints in his mind & does not know about it
(2) A person has mental taints in his mind & know about it
(3) A person has no mental taint in his mind & does not know about it.
(4) A person has no mental taint in his mind & know about it.

__ So, what are the differences & what happened to them? Ven. Sariputta gave the following answers. The first & 3rd persons are inferior because they do not know their situations (i.e., ignorant).
The 2nd & 4th persons are superior because they know their situations (i.e., wise).

(1) The first person who has mental taints & he does not know it. So he will not generate desire, nor make an effort & not develop energy to get rid of that taint. He will pass away with a mind with attachment, anger, bewilderment, taints & impurities. Ven. Sariputta gave the example of a bronze bowl. A bronze bowl was brought from a shop & covered with dust & dirt. The owner did not clean it, unused & discarded in the dust. And then, sometimes later it became more stained & tarnished with dirt.

(2) The 2nd person who has mental taints & he knows it. So, he will generate desire, make an effort & develop energy to get rid of that taint. He will pass away with a mind without attachment, anger, bewilderment, taints & impurities. It was like a bowl covered with dirt & dust. The owner cleaned it, used it & not discarded in the dust. It became cleaner & stainless.

(3) The 3rd person who has no mental taints & he does not know it. So, he will become attentive to what is pleasant & his mind will be corrupted by attachment. He will pass away with a mind of taints and impurities. It was like a bowl quite clean & unstained. But it might be left unused & uncleaned by the owner & discarded in the dust. And then, sometimes later it became more stained & tarnished with dirt.

(4) The 4th person who has no mental taints & he knows it. So, he will not be attentive to what is pleasant & his mind will not be corrupted by attachment. He will pass away with a mind without taints & impurities. It was like a bowl quite cleaned & unstained. It might be put into used & cleaned by the owner & not discarded in the dust. It became cleaner & stainless.

__ Therefore, the first & 3rd persons are living their lives with taint & dying with taints. So they are inferior persons. The 2nd & 4th persons are living their lives without taints & dying without taints. So, both of them are superior persons.

__ What about today, human beings? We can contemplate today world situation with the above standards. Majority of human beings are like the first persons, they have taints & impurities, but they do not know about it. With today world of many different types of media, the minds are more & more tainted & soiled.

Most people are using cell phones or smartphones all the time wherever they are or whatever they are doing. They are more & more like drug addicts. Very few media are wholesome because it does not make money. Business people also know this point. Out of over greedy, they use many different kinds of bait to hook or trap foolish people. Some Buddhist monks & lay people may be like the 2nd person. They know the Buddha’s Teaching & follow it.

The innocent children are like the 3rd person. If we observe today world education systems from family life, school life & social life, even government level we do not know & see much about moral education or ethics. Therefore family, school & society do not know what is wholesome or unwholesome, and they learn everything from the media. With a lot of tainted education, people will have a tainted life. In today world with many social & environmental problems, we know this point very clear.

Buddhist noble beings are like the 4th person (i.e., from the stream winner to the arahant. For the anāgāmin & arahant they do not have any interest in worldly matters. They are immune to it.) Nobody is born as a dustless person. It will be come out by studying & practicing the Buddha’s Dhamma. To achieve the highest blessing & protection, we should not miss this chance. If not saṁsāra will never end for us.

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