Maṅgala Sutta--Protection with Blessing(吉祥經)

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Nalorakk
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註冊時間: 2017-03-03, 08:00

28. Seeing contemplative

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-11-21, 14:14

28. Seeing contemplative

__ The Pali word for contemplatives is samana & include the ariyas – noble beings & yogis practice for overcoming defilements. Here include all monks, but also can count sages & wise people. The best samanas to see are arahants & sekhas (one already has the realization of the lower stages, i.e., still in training for full realization).

Seeing contemplatives include asking Dhamma, listening & practicing Dhamma. Seeing noble beings has a great effect on someone. Not only at the time of the Buddha, even today, someone has a strong inclination to Dhamma knows the effects. It makes one’s mind peaceful & changes one’s life. Most people not sensitive & aware of the energies around us either living beings or nature, such as a tree, etc.

I have some of these experiences before. Once in New Zealand, some monks were invited to a house for paritta chanting. A man over 60 died in a hospital with cancer. Before he died said to his wife that he would come back & stay with her. It seemed he was attached to her & the properties left behind. Therefore become a ghost there. Three monks & the car driver went there. As soon as I entered the house & felt a very strong unpleasant & gloomy feeling of the place.

And then a very strong putrid smell arose in the whole room. It smelled to the end of the chanting. After that, it disappeared. After getting out of the house, I asked the other three did they had any smell in the house. Only the senior monk answered as yes. The other two did not aware or feel it at all. This was strange, indeed. It was quite a strong repulsive smell & they did not smell it. In New Zealand, there is some preserved forest with very big & old trees. By walking in there also one can feel the energies of the big trees & forests.

There was an old practicing monk in Taiwan & he was an adept in samādhi. He could be in samādhi state for many days. He passed away at the age of 95 in the samādhi state. After over 20 years of his passing away and I went to his place where he used to sit in samādhi. This was a small room & now became a shrine room with his cane chair which he used to sit samādhi. This room pervades with peaceful energy & one can feel it as soon as there.

__ Seeing contemplatives very often pervade wholesome energies to one’s mind is a blessing. It is also related to the blessing of the association with the wise. Seeing contemplatives (samana) is a higher blessing than associate with good & moral people. By associate with good & moral people, we can also become one of them. Without becoming a good & moral person, we will never interest to see & associate with contemplatives.

By seeing samana, we can learn the higher Dhamma from them & follow the path of transcending dukkha. There were many stories in the suttas on this point. Some lay people by seeing the Buddha or one of his disciples their lives were changed. Some of them before had wrong views with the wrong teachers after seeing the Buddha & his disciples had the right views & even some had the realization of Dhamma.

In the Majjima Nikāya, there was a discourse called Upali Sutta. Upali was a very well known & wealthy lay disciple of Nigantha Nātaputta (The Jain Teacher Mahāvira). He sent Upali to see the Buddha for the argument on certain aspects of the law of kamma. He thought Upali was so bright that & could defeat the Buddha.

Nigantha stressed on the physical & verbal actions being more productive resultant effects. But the Buddha viewed the mental actions (volitions) as the most important factor. The Buddha explained to Upali with examples & converted him. Nātaputta was overwhelmed by intense wrath over the loss of his most prominent lay supporter & then later passed away.

__ Also, there are two suttas in the Majjima Nikāya, about the wandering ascetic Saccaka; Cūlasaccaka Sutta & Mahāsaccaka Sutta. In the first discourse, he was conceited with his skill in debate & went to see the Buddha for debate. The debate was on the topic of atta (self).

Saccaka took the five khandhas (aggregates); body, feeling, perception, mental formation & consciousness as atta (self). It was the self who enjoyed the fruits of good action & suffered the results of bad action. The Buddha refuted his wrong view as the five khandhas were not self (anatta). Because they were subjected to the laws of inconstant, suffering & not self (anicca, dukkha & anatta). Therefore these were not under the control of anyone. At last he was admitted his defeat. He did not become a follower but invited the Buddha & the monks for next day meals.

In the second discourse, after his debate, he met the Buddha again sometimes. He asked the Buddha on the cultivation of mind & body. He knew only the wrong practices by other teachers. Then the Buddha explained to him the various practices he had followed before with mistakes.

At last he found the middle way – The Noble Eightfold Path without a teacher & it led to the realization & became a Buddha. Also, in the end, he did not become a disciple. But with these two meetings or seeing the Buddha & he carried the potential seed of enlightenment with him. According to the commentary, after the Buddha Dhamma flourished in Sri Lanka, he was born there. Later became a monk with the practice & he had the realization as an arahant.

__ Another interesting discourse in the Majjima Nikāya is the Dog-Duty Asectic Discourse (Kukkuravatika Sutta). Two naked ascetics, Punna & Seniya the cow-duty and the dog-duty practisers went to see the Buddha. They asked the Buddha about the results of their practices. They held the wrong views of with these practices could transcend dukkha or after died had good rebirths.

The Buddha told them if they practiced like cow & dog after death became cow & dog. If holding these wrong views would fall into hells. (What about human-dog culture in today world?) They regretted their behaviors, which came from meeting with the wrong teachers. Then the Buddha taught them the four types of action; black, white, mixed (black with white) & neither of them (i.e., The Noble Eightfold Path). At the end of the discourse, Punna became a Buddhist. Seniya became a monk & after with practice, he became an arahant. This discourse is warning us of the consequences of wrong teachings & teachers.

__ Here I want to present a present-day story of an Italian yogi. This came from a Dhamma talk by Ven. U Adiccaransi. Eduardo an Italian who held a Ph.D. degree was practicing mindfulness of breathing every day for two years. According to him, he never missed it & sat for 2 hours. Later he went to Burma & looking for a teacher. And then met with the venerable who was living in a forest & developed his practice. The venerable was a lecturer in Philosophy before & had a wide knowledge of Dhamma. After sometimes under his guidance, Eduardo penetrated anatta doctrine with vipassanā contemplation.

At night time interview, he presented his experience to the teacher. At the end the teacher said; “I think you come to an end. But don’t believe what I say this. You can try it out by yourself.” And then he taught him how to enter into the fruition state. He was succeeded in the test & continued to develop it in Italy. Then he could do it for many hours. Later he wrote a letter to the venerable & said that now he was teaching vipassanā in St. Petersburg in Russia.

There are many things to say about seeing contemplatives, not only on spiritual practices. Monks who are wise & have a lot of knowledge in Dhamma can give a lot of help. There were many teachings by the Buddha on worldly matters. If we carefully study & research will admire & amaze the great wisdom of the Buddha. No human or any living being (i.e., any heavenly being – deva or brahma god) can surpass him.

Many worldly matters & problems which are on family, society, or international levels can be solved with the Buddha’s teachings. This is not an exaggeration. Only that most people do not know his teachings & not using it that all the human problems arise in the world. Most human sufferings are unnecessary, except the natural ones – such as aging, sickness & death. Most human problems & sufferings are mind made. Therefore understanding & penetrating our mind can stop all these unfortunate things to happen. Seeing contemplatives, wise, sages & noble beings is not an ordinary or insignificant matter. It is the highest blessing & protection – to oneself & others.

__ Most human beings are worry & fear about aging, sickness & death. These unpleasant things are part of nature & can teach us a lot about how to live a meaningful life. With proper & wise attention & contemplation can develop our mind & life. From aging, sickness & death can develop love, compassion, kindness, forgiveness & concern for others because we are in the same situations.

When someone is in a situation of terminally ill or dying & good to see the monks or invite them to see the patient or dying person, it can help to alleviate mental suffering & has a good death. In the suttas, the Buddha & some of his great disciples were helping the sick & dying persons, whether monks or lay disciples. There is a sutta in the Aṅgūttara Nikāya called The Unsurpassed Things – Anuttariya Sutta. The meaning of anuttariya is noble because nothing is better than that.

The Buddha taught six kinds of them. E.g., people are looking & choosing the best things. Sometimes the Buddha’s views & worldlings are opposite. The Buddha’s views were always noble & seeing matters in complete & far-reaching. Worldlings not seeing things in the longer terms. Therefore they have short-sighted views, & concern only with the present.

This is one of the most important causes for nowadays human beings (politicians, economists, businessmen, scientists and nearly all walks of life) out of greed and delusion create a lot of problems & sufferings in today world. Wise, sages & noble beings are seeing things & matters in depth with right views.

Worldlings see things & matters superficially with wrong views that take wrong things as right. With different views and have different results. This sutta is interesting & we can learn many things from it. It is also a connection with seeing contemplatives.

The Buddha mentioned six kinds of them. Each kind can divide into two kinds. The Buddha’s views & the views of the worldlings. The six unsurpassed things are:

(1) The unsurpassed sight,
(2) The unsurpassed hearing,
(3) The unsurpassed gain,
(4) The unsurpassed training,
(5) The unsurpassed service,
(6) The unsurpassed recollection.

(1) The unsurpassed sight: dasanānuttariyam

__ With the eyes, we can see many things. But there are also things that cannot see with the normal eyes. Now, with the help of science & technology, we create gadgets, televisions, computers, cell phones, etc. can see more things at any time. What are the things people use to see & watch? These are depending on interest & necessities. There are useful & proper things to see & watch. There are also harmful & improper things to see & watch by wasting precious times. But usually, people want to see harmful & improper things for entertainments at leisure times.

Even there are many accidents when people using cell phones by crossing roads and driving cars. People are too addicted to these things that it becomes a habit & they will use it at any time & any place. It is good to ask a question to oneself. If we are seeing & watching these many things (here not only cell phones & all the other things) what do we get, from it? And what are the benefits? It becomes wholesome or unwholesome?

__ Seeing the Buddha, arahants, noble beings & monks is the unsurpassed sight. From these people, we can gain seven benefits from it. These are for the purification of beings, for the surmounting of sorrow & lamentation, for the disappearance of dukkha & discontent, for acquiring the true method & for the realization of Nibbāna. All of these are true values. If we go & see a white elephant or a lovely panda bear in China, these are just seeing only, and it brings no other benefits to us. There are many worldly phenomena & matters are like this. We waste a lot of money & time for them.

__ In the Buddha Kassapa’s time, our bodhisatta (i.e., the past life of Buddha Gautama) was a young brahman named Jotipala. Even though he was born at the time of a Buddha & quite mature in developing his perfections to become a Buddha (It was already more than four incalculable aeons- asankheyyakappa) but he still did not want to see the Buddha Kassapa & the monks.

Because he was a brahman with his view of Brahmanism, anyhow, his best friend Ghatikāra, the potter forced him to see the Buddha after he was seeing the Buddha & listening Dhamma talk & became a monk. Before Sariputta met the Buddha & he had a wrong teacher named Sanjaya. One day he met Ven. Assaji who was on his alms round. Ven. Assaji’s serenity & graceful deportment attracted Sariputta. So he approached him & asked about his teacher & the teaching. At last Ven. Assaji gave him a short instruction on Dhamma & Sariputta became a stream-winner on the spot.

There was another story about Angulimāla, the notorious robber & murderer who killed people for their fingers. The day he met his mother, he needed only a finger to complete his mission for one thousand fingers. The Buddha knew all these & came in between them. Without seeing the Buddha, he was sure to kill his mother for the finger he needed.

The Buddha saved him for killing his mother. This was a very heavy unwholesome action & would fall into Hell after death. By seeing the Buddha & listening to his teaching, he gave up his evil deeds. Later ordained as a monk & practiced became an arahant. Therefore seeing the samana is the best seeing (dasanānuttariyam) & the highest blessing (Maṅgalam-uttamam).

__ For people who do not have the chances of seeing samanas they need to be very careful how to use the many media. Because there are many unwholesome things & matters are going on. Out of greed & hatred, some foolish people using the media exploit & harm others. Even politicians or some world leaders using them to harm the opposition. With the help of science to harm people are more easier & have great consequences than before.

(2) The unsurpassed hearing: savanānuttariyam

__ We have ears & hear many types of sound & voices. Most people are not using their ears properly or wisely. Therefore there are a lot of noise pollutions going on. Mostly these are artificial sound & voices by men and barking dogs. Even pollution of the ear can be divided into 2; material sound & human voices or speech. In modern-day noise, pollutions are big problems. Human life is not quiet anymore. There are noises or sound from machines, animals (especially dogs barking) & music, etc.

I have no doubt all these noisy & unpleasant sounds harm the physical body if subject too much to them. There were already research or experiment with water to sound noises & voices. Noisy sounds (include violent music), ugly & unwholesome speeches made the water crystals very ugly & disgusting. Gentle, sweet, polite & peaceful sound & speech made the water crystals beautiful & majestic. Worse than these pollutions are speech pollutions from the media; televisions, movies, music, etc.

If we use them in an unwholesome way, one creates unwholesome kammas & also polluted the listener’s mind. It is harmful to both; the entertainers & the viewers. (with hearing & seeing). There are many kinds of harm going on by media which are using by evil people. It is quicker & easier to harm people than before. Now you can kill hundreds of people in a second.

__ Most people like to listen to music & singing. These only give temporary pleasure (i.e., classical music and pleasant music, not include violent music & songs). People want to hear strange things & gossips. Therefore, there are a lot of meaningless entertainments in the media. What benefits we get

From them. Here I want to emphasize, The Burning Discourse in the Salāyatanasamyutta by the Buddha. It was quite suitable for today human beings. Most of our six sense-doors (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body & mind), sight, sound, smell, touch, taste, mental object, six consciousness, six contacts, and the feelings come from these are burning with the fire of lust, hatred & delusion.

The eye & ear are burning with polluted media sound & noises. The nose is burning with polluted air. The tongue is burning with pesticides, many kinds of chemicals & polluted water. The body is burning with the severe climate changes by temperature rising. Our minds are burning with lust, hatred; delusion come from the polluted media & matters. Can these things free us from dukkha? Do these things & matters can reduce our defilements?

There are a lot of things, not helping our many problems & difficulties in life. If we get lost in them, even become harmful. The wholesome things & matters are medicines of the mind & it become educations & the unwholesome ones will become poisons and harm everyone. For living beings, especially humans, seeing & listening are very important parts of our lives. How to use them properly & wisely is very important? The rūpabrahma gods, they use only the eyes & ears. Nose, tongue & body sensations are not useful for them.

Why is that? Because their minds are pure & they only need the eyes to see the Buddha & noble beings, & with ears listen to their Dhamma. These two factors of seeing contemplatives & listening Dhamma are prerequisites for practicing Dhamma, & enlightenment. There were a lot of stories in the suttas mentioned about monks & lay people who met contemplatives & listened to Dhamma & their lives were changed dramatically. For the Buddha, the unsurpassed hearing or noble listening was on Dhamma – Dhamma savanānuttariyam.

(3) The unsurpassed gain – lābhānuttariyam

__ This is a very wide subject to talk about. The Buddha mentioned some of them by common people, such as someone gains a son, a wife, wealth and various goods, etc. There are many kinds human beings want to get or attain. These things are depending on their desire & interest. Some of them are necessary to have & some are not. Some of the things are for pleasure & some are for knowledge. People use money, time & effort to get them. Some of them after attaining, it leads to stress, problems & sufferings; e.g., money, power. Because people cannot use them properly or wisely.

And then by loosing or lost them lead to sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & despair. Nowadays, humans are crazy to get more money. It becomes the mad, mad world. What for? For indulging in sensual pleasure which is low, common, worldly, ignoble and unbeneficial. These made people become more & more discontent. So they do all sorts of things & matters to satisfy their desire & craving. This harm themselves & others, even to nature and environments.

For the Buddha to have or gain faith (saddhā) in the Buddha, Dhamma & Sangha was the unsurpassed thing to have or gain – lābhānuttariyam. Faith in the Buddha’s teaching had levels. It can be blind faith, ordinary faith & confident or conviction (the highest level). The Buddha never encouraged the lowest level of blind faith which could be false or true, & it could be dangerous & harmful, e.g., some modern cults (Faith in religions is a serious matter & we should not take it lightly).

Buddhists should only have ordinary faith & confidence or conviction and not the blind faith. Start the Buddha’s teachings with ordinary faith; it comes from study, research & wise reflection. With this faith can have interest & follow the teachings with the practice. By practice & we have the direct experiences which confirm the truth of the Buddha-Dhamma.

And then will come confident or unshakable true faith. Whatever his religious background, if someone only has blind faith in wrong faith, and then declares has true faith, it will harm himself & others. This point is very important for spiritual people, especially for religious leaders. Only someone who has intelligent faith will have an interest in the Dhamma. Although faith (saddhā) is not included in the Noble Eightfold Path, it has closed relationship with wisdom or discernment or right view. As spiritual faculties, they have to be in balance (i.e., faith & wisdom).

__ In one of Mogok Sayadaw’s talks, he said about faith. [The Buddha answered to some questions put by the fierce spirit Ālavaka were: Through conviction (saddhā) one crosses over the flood (i.e., the flood of the wrong view – ditthoga). Through heedfulness (appamāda – mindful diligence in wholesomeness), one crosses over the rugged sea. Through persistence, one overcomes dukkha. Through discernment, a person is purified.], So the Buddha taught to Ālavaka that with conviction closed the doors to woeful planes.

This is the faith of a stream-winner (sotāpanna), or unshakable faith. By faith, one crosses over the flood of the wrong view. You must believe that it leads to stream entry (sotāpatti magga). Why you do the practice? You do it because believing in the Buddha’s words & the teacher’s words if the Buddha & teacher said that you must see impermanence & with the practice, you will discern it. You discern it because you have practiced with faith. For doing the practice, let faith leads you.

Another point what the Buddha taught was with heedfulness (mindfulness) could cross over the four floods. (i.e., become sotāpanna to arahant). In the round of existences (saṁsāra) the most miserable places are the four woeful planes. The sufferings there are unthinkable. If we get with whatever means for wealth & power will never safe for falling into it. Therefore the Buddha said that faith (saddhā) was the unsurpassed gain – lābhānuttariya.

(4) The unsurpassed training - sikkhānuttariyam

__ This is a very interesting & wide subject need to contemplate thoroughly. There is a lot to say on these matters. Here the Buddha mentioned some of them – train in elephantry, horsemanship, chariotry, archery, swordsmanship and in various fields. Human being quite different from other beings is on knowledge. It starts from birth to death. Humans are a thirst for knowledge. But does everyone get the right knowledge? So learning, training & knowledge are education.

Generally can separate into two groups; unwholesome & wholesome knowledge or educations. Even some worldly wholesome knowledge can become unwholesome by misusing it, e.g., pesticide & other chemicals. Only with the training of the Buddha-Dhamma is becoming perfectly wholesome knowledge. At least a human being knows livelihood. For this purpose, we have to start school education from young. But most human beings neglect the importance of basic education or training, i.e., moral education.

Without this fundamental training, whatever worldly knowledge maybe can lead to problems & sufferings. The world arms industries in many superpowers; U.S, Russia, China, France, etc. based on sciences & technologies. Science, technology & economics should be used for the welfare of the human race to bring, peace, happiness & harmony. Many developed countries use a lot of money, human resources, times & earth resources produce weapons of mass destruction to create problems & conflicts around the world. If humans not using it, what is the point of producing them?

So they have to create problems & conflicts for using it. These leaders & governments create evil kamma for themselves to harm others, but they take it as great fortunes. This money can help poor & underdeveloped countries to have a better life. If we cannot solve the poverty in many countries, & civil wars, refugees & economic migrants problems will never stop. These problems have already happened in across Europe. Competition in nuclear arsenals is also a very stupid & crazy thing a human can do.
It cannot bring anything good to the human race, but only dangers & destruction.

Therefore fundamental knowledge or moral education is extremely important. Without this foundation, even wholesome knowledges can create problems & sufferings to family life & society. So human knowledges are solving poverty & problems & not using it for selfishness, exploitation & harming. Therefore human worldly knowledge has two kinds; wholesome & unwholesome. There is also a special knowledge or transcendental knowledge, or super knowledge only came from a Buddha.

Even wholesome worldly knowledges by using it wrongly, foolishly and stupidly bring a lot of harms, because it is based on craving, greed, ill-will, hatred, delusion, and ignorance. Therefore the Buddha said that all worldly pleasure came from worldly knowledge are low & ignoble. These cannot free one from a round of existence (saṁsāra), not free from dukkha, not make the mind calm & peaceful, cannot develop penetrative knowledge, not lead to right knowing, not leading to the goal of Nibbāna which known by the ariyas. Sometimes people are too ignorant & stupid that they study, learn & imitate everything. There was an interesting ghost (peta) story on this point.

Miserable Strange Ghost:
__ One day Ven. Mahāmoggallāna came down from the Gijjhakūta hill in Rajagaha. On the way, he met a very strange miserable ghost (peta). This peta head was pounding with many iron hammers & he fell on to the ground. And then he became normal again & the ghost got up again. As soon as he got up, all the iron hammers fell on his head again. It went on like this for non-stop. So, the Venerable asked him; “Oh! Man, why are you like a crazy one. Like a deer, the whole body is trembling with fear & running to here & there. Indeed you had done the evil deed in the past & because of that crying loudly with miserable voice. Who are you?”

Before the hammers appeared again & struck his head, he answered to the Ven. As follow;
“I am a peta & because of my evil deed, I had been fallen into hell before. The result of my evil deed is not finished yet. So I have to continue for it as a peta. Every day my suffering is 60,000 iron hammers are falling on my head & breaking it into pieces.” The Ven. asked him; “Of the 3 actions, physical, verbal & mental which action did you commit?” Then the peta described his evil deed. “Ven. Sir, in one of my past lives as a man,

I saw the Paccekabuddha Sunitta. He was in meditation under a tree near the bank of the Ganges River. At that time, I have just learned my skill of throwing pebbles. For testing my skill, I threw a pebble on his head & it broke his head & died on the spot. ( The stone pebble went into the right ear & came out from the left ear. People saw this became very angry & beat him to death.)

Because of this evil deed, now the iron hammers are pounding on my head.” The Paccekabuddha Sunitta was mentioned in the Peta Vutthu two times. Another time was he met a young prince who was conceited & with anger broke his alms bowl. The prince after died & born in hell. After released from hell & born as a peta, and then at last born into a fishing village as a man. From this last life as a human being, he became the arahant Ven. Sanavasi. All these peta stories taught us to see the burdened khandha & its dukkha.

__ This miserable story was warning human beings how to use their many worldly knowledge properly & wisely. Not all worldly knowledges are good to learn. Especially the knowledge of politics, science & economics are very important & should use them properly & wisely. It can bring peace, happiness & progress to the human race. Also, it can lead to the destruction of the human race. We can see this in today world. Even temperature is rising to the destructive level, the leader of super power, out of selfishness & greedy he neglected of the agreement his country had already signed with others to tackle the climate problem.

Whatever someone’s motives are if he did evil deeds himself or asks others to do it, all of them have to bear the results of actions. E.g., a world leader orders to drop a hydrogen bomb on a city. The results of the evil deed not only the pilot who drops the bomb but also the leader & the scientists who create this matter to happens have to bear the evil results.

__ For the Buddha, the unsurpassed training – sikkhānuttariya was in morality, concentration & discernment – sīla, samādhi & paññā. It is called supreme training – adisikkha. Why is that? Because it gives rise to vision, to knowledge, leads to peace, to direct knowledge (i.e., insight), to enlightenment, to Nibbāna. But all worldly knowledges & trainings for craving and indulgence in sensual pleasures lead to sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & the whole mass of sufferings. So the Buddha said that the best & supreme knowledge & training were sīla, samādhi & paññā.

(5) The unsurpassed service - pāricariyānuttariyam

__ There are many ways of supporting with materials to people. Some are doing as a duty & some as a profession. The types of people we need to support or helping are the Buddha & the sangha, parents, family members, relatives, elderly people, sick people (patients), etc. As a profession, we can make money as a livelihood, e.g., doctors, nurses. For the Buddha, the best supporting was to the Buddha & the sangha. Why is that? Buddha, Dhamma & Sangha are the best treasures, refuges & blessings & very rare indeed.

Only a Buddha arises living beings can see the Buddha & Sangha & have the chance to know the Dhamma. How difficult to has the chance for a Buddha to arise it can be imagined? Our bodhisatta (i.e., Buddha Gautama) started his perfections (paramis) during the Buddha Dīpaṅkara’s time. After the Buddha Dīpaṅkara & Buddha Kondaññā arose.

The period between them was one incalculable aeon (asaṅkheyyakappa). After Buddha Kondaññā & Buddha Maṅgala arose. Between them was one incalculable aeon & no other Buddhas. From Buddha Maṅgala to Buddha Anomadassi was one incalculable aeon, between them with three Buddhas.

Buddha Gautama developed his perfections for four incalculable & 100,000 aeons. During three incalculable aeons only 6 Buddhas arose. Today Buddhists of the world should contemplate this point seriously and not wasting our times & chances for the momentary, fleeting pleasure. Supporting for others are wholesome actions & merits. But their qualities are different. So their results are also. By supporting the Buddha & Sangha people could close to them, and learn the Dhamma, by following it, they lived a fruitful life & even could transcend dukkha. It was not only good at the beginning (present life) but also good for the next life & saṁsāra. With the help of the Buddha, Sangha & the Dhamma people developed wisdom.

All the worldly problems & mental sufferings came from not supporting the Buddha & Sangha that we did not have the chances to meet them & learn the Dhamma. So we had wrong teachings & wrong views & based on them by doing a lot of unwholesome actions with mind, speech & body. In the world, what is more, important than quenching of dukkha? This can be possible only with the help of Buddha, Dhamma & Sangha & your inner power & not by God and supernatural beings.

(6) The unsurpassed recollection - anusatānuttariyam

__ There are many things & matters human beings recollect & remember them. Here the Buddha mentioned some of them; someone recollects the gain of a son, a wife or wealth, or various kinds of gain. Because many objects are connecting with the six sense-doors, some living beings, material objects & mental objects. Most of them can be ignoble, lowly & not lead to peace & happiness. These things do not bring benefits to humans if they are recollecting or remembering them with craving, greed, hatred, ill-will, etc.

There are many examples to give, as, e.g. on sensual pleasures & objects; on someone whom one hates; someone has died whom one attached to, etc. We should not use our memory & recollection blindly & without control. If very often, it will become a habit & character. Surely unwholesome dhammas never bring happiness & peace. Near death is very important in one life. Dying moment determines one’s future rebirth.

With a bad memory leads to painful rebirth. With bad recollections defile our mind & increase our defilements. The untrained mind is out of control & running to the past & future things & matters. And then we do not know what the mind is thinking. So we are carrying away by them. We need sati – mindfulness & proper attention. With sati & proper attention, we can develop wisdom.

The things & matters themselves are neither bad nor good. It depends on the mind reaction. But still, we need to practice sense restraints. Because most human beings latent with a thickness of defilements. Kilesa is like a tiger hidden in a bush & waiting for the preys. Without restraint, it will kill us at any time.

__ The Buddha taught us the best recollections were the following ten recollections – anudasānuttariya. These are:

[1] Recollection of the Buddha:
This is one thing that – when developed & pursued – leads solely to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to stilling, to direct knowledge to self-awakening, to Nibbāna.

[2] Recollection of the Dhamma:
This is one thing that – when developed & pursued – leads solely to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to stilling, to direct knowledge to self-awakening, to Nibbāna.

[3] Recollection of the Sangha:
This is one thing that – when developed & pursued – leads solely to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to stilling, to direct knowledge to self-awakening, to Nibbāna.

[4] Recollection of the virtue:
This is one thing that – when developed & pursued – leads solely to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to stilling, to direct knowledge to self-awakening, to Nibbāna.

[5] Recollection of generosity:
This is one thing that – when developed & pursued – leads solely to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to stilling, to direct knowledge to self-awakening, to Nibbāna.

[6] Recollection of the devas:
This is one thing that – when developed & pursued – leads solely to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to stilling, to direct knowledge to self-awakening, to Nibbāna.

[7] Mindfulness of in & out breathing:
This is one thing that – when developed & pursued – leads solely to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to stilling, to direct knowledge to self-awakening, to Nibbāna.

[8] Mindfulness of death:
This is one thing that – when developed & pursued – leads solely to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to stilling, to direct knowledge to self-awakening, to Nibbāna.

[9] Mindfulness immersed in the body:
This is one thing that – when developed & pursued – leads solely to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to stilling, to direct knowledge to self-awakening, to Nibbāna.

[10] Recollection of stilling:
This is one thing that – when developed & pursued – leads solely to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to stilling, to direct knowledge to self-awakening, to Nibbāna.

The ten recollections a set of meditation themes that highlight the positive role, memory & thought play in training the mind. Only 7 of them are recollections (anussati). These are; no. [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6] & [10]. The other 3 are mindfulness practices (sati). The Pali words for mindfulness & recollection are intimately related. (For details on these ten recollections refer to Ajahn Thanissaro Bhikkhu – “A Meditators’ Tools”). All these ten recollections; when developed & pursued, lead solely to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to stilling, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening & Nibbāna that the best recollections or noble recollections.

__ Therefore Buddhists should know the best or noble things & matters to choose & follow them. These are the lessons in our life. The Buddha laid down the standards to distinguish ignoble or noble, low or high, bad or good, not benefit or benefit, etc. These were mentioned in the First Discourse of the Buddha – Setting in Motion the Wheel of the Dhamma. The negative things & matters; which are low, vulgar, the ways of worldlings, ignoble, unbeneficial & painful.

The positive things & matters; which give rise to vision, to knowledge, lead to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment & Nibbāna. For us, the most important standards are things & matters bring benefits, peace & happiness. Nowadays, because of material developments or progress, there are many things & matters; some are good & some are bad. With self & money centeredness – that there are more bad than good.

Therefore we should know the Buddha-Dhamma & doing things rightly & wisely. So seeing contemplatives is an important part of Buddhist life. Therefore the Buddha taught that this was the highest protection & blessing in life. At least the benefit of contact with samanas are we can distinguish unwholesome & wholesome dhammas. Nowadays, even most leaders & politicians do not have this quality. Therefore there is a lot of turmoil going on in some countries.

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Nalorakk
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29. Discussing the Dhamma on timely occasions

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-11-21, 14:27

29. Discussing the Dhamma on timely occasions

__ Practicing of meditation can be started from the 25th blessing of hearing the Dhamma on timely occasions. One of the factors for the realization of Dhamma is listening to Dhamma. Here the blessing is discussing the Dhamma, which has some differences from hearing Dhamma.

But they are closely related. Without hearing Dhamma, we do not know practice & discuss Dhamma with others. Here both sides discuss what they know & do not know yet. In this way, we can part or share knowledge.

It can increase one’s knowledge & progress in practice. Why practicing meditation can be said, start from listening Dhamma on timely occasions? According to the Buddha, Dhammasavana – listening of Dhamma had five factors:
(1) Listening with attention
(2) Taking notes or remembering them
(3) Reflecting on them
(4) Understanding of them
(5) After understanding of them & put it into practice, i.e., sīla, samādhi & paññā.

Discussing of Dhamma also has the five benefits. These are:
(1) Hearing things never heard before
(2) Have clear knowledge
(3) Overcoming doubts
(4) Have right views
(5) One’s mind grows serene.

There is no doubt that discussion or dialogue on Dhamma has great benefits. There were many evidences & stories in the suttas. Even non-Buddhists, i.e., outsiders had great benefits & their lives were changed. Before they had wrong views & after dialogue had the right views & knew how to live their lives. Some even became monks & realized the Dhamma.

__ Dialogue between faiths is also very important. Especially nowadays this is more urgently need. The main goal of all faiths is peace, harmony & happiness. The basic foundation is nearly the same, i.e., morality; to become a good human being. Because of misunderstanding & misinterpretation, one’s own & other faiths create problems & mistrust. There is also conceit – the superior syndrome. Because of this defilement, some people worship the same God, killing & harming other faiths.

Today human morality is going down very quickly like a thermometer. Dialogue between faiths can help to solve the problem of moral degeneration. We can learn from each other & helping each other to solve social problems. In this respect, Buddha-Dhamma can offer a lot. Dialogue between world leaders, politicians, are also very important for their countries stability & the world.

Out of greed & selfishness, some leaders & politicians only make their countries great & not a concern for others. They have ill-will & capitalist syndrome of growth, profits & competition. Greedy, ill-will, envy, avarice, exploitation, etc. will never bring harmony, peace & happiness to one’s own country & the world. Look at today world situations & we know the outcomes & conditions of unwholesome dhamma. A human cannot solve the worldly problems with confrontation & competition. Because greed, ill-will, delusion are the root of all suffering.

Why should politicians & economists destroy themselves & the world just for sensual pleasures? The price for sensual pleasure is far greater than a momentary, fleeting pleasure. They all have to pay for their evil deeds in hell, as animals & ghosts. These are inexpressible sufferings just for sensual pleasures.

__ Dhamma discussion & dialogue are mostly practicing by elderly Buddhists. It has a long tradition by Burmese Buddhists who have some Abhidhamma knowledge. They are arguing on some Abhidhamma Doctrines. Tha-pye-kan Sayadaw said that youth & young people also should practice it. He said we should arrange Dhamma discussion for them. We can say this is a kind of Dhamma education.

It was like the Chinese culture & moral standards. Some Chinese Dynasties followed them were creating prosperity & lasting longer. All the worldly problems & sufferings can be related to not knowing of the Buddha-Dhamma & not practicing it. There was no-one understanding & penetrating the human mind & its nature better than or more complete than the Buddha. The suttas were testified this point. For 45 years he was wandering & staying on the earth to teach every kind & type of human beings.

Sometimes heavenly beings came down to ask him questions to clear about their doubts. Arrange Dhamma discussing among the youth can have great benefits for them. With the knowledge of Dhamma, which represents intelligence & wisdom, they will know what is right & wrong, beneficial & not beneficial, proper & not proper, etc.

They can also have the power of how to deal & solve the problems & difficulties in their life. Dhamma discussing is one of the causes of progress in wisdom. We can see this important point in some suttas. In Dhamma, dialogue & discussing should not make arguments & criticisms. Instead, it should be exchanged with knowledge & learned from each other.

Regarding listen to Dhamma talks, there are some differences. In listening to Dhamma, some of them are we already know. It is also we cannot know more than in the talks if we have doubts and cannot solve the problems. Therefore it is very important to have questions & answers sections after the talks. This practice is quite common in the west, but in Burma does not has this kind of tradition. So Burmese teachers should allow Dhamma listeners, to enrich their knowledge & solve their doubts. Here I want to present the benefit of Dhamma discussion or dialogue from a sutta.

Discourse on Khemaka: Khemaka Sutta.
__ Several older monks were dwelling at Kosambi in Ghosita’s Park. Now on that occasion, Ven. Khemaka was living at Jujube Tree Park, sick & gravely ill. He was at that time an anāgāmi (had the 3rd stage of enlightenment).

In an evening these monks emerged from their practice & asked Ven. Dāsaka (may be the youngest monk) to visit Ven. Khemaka & asked him about his illness. Ven. Khemaka told Ven. Dāsaka that his illness was not better & strong painful feeling (vedana) increased. And then, Ven. Dāsaka returned & reported the news to the older monks.

__ The older monks for the 2nd time sent back Ven. Dāsaka to asked Ven. Khenaka again. There were the five aggregates (khandhas), i.e., form, feeling, perception, volitional formation & consciousness. These were subjected to clinging. They wanted to ask Ven. Khemaka was, did he regard anything as self or as belonging to self among these five aggregates subject to clinging.

Ven. Khemaka’s answer was, he did not regard anything as self or as belonging to self among these five aggregates. And then, Ven. Dāsaka returned & reported the answer.

__ The older monks for the 3rd time sent back Ven. Dāsaka to ask Ven. Khemaka again. If he was not clinging to any of the five aggregates as self or belonging to self, then he was an arahant, one who taints (āsavas) were destroyed.

Ven. Khemaka answered that even though he did not take any of the five aggregates as self or belonging to self, he was not an arahant yet, one who taints were destroyed. But the notion of “I am” had not yet vanished in him about the five aggregates. And he did not regard anything among them as “This I am.”

(According to Mogok Sayadawgyi, Ven. Khemaka was only an anāgāmi; he did not take each of the aggregates as self or belonging to self. But he had not yet eradicated ignorance – avijjā which sustained a residual conceit & desire “I am” about the five aggregates.) And then, Ven. Dāsaka returned & reported the answer.

__ The older monks, after they heard the answer, still not clear what Ven. Khemaka had said before. So they sent back Ven.

Dāsaka to asked for the 4th time; did he speak of form – rūpakkhandha as “I am” or apart from form, as “I am”. The other aggregates also in the same manner. Therefore Ven. Dāsaka returned & asked the question. Then, Ven. Khemaka was leaning on his staff & with Ven. Dāsaka went to see the elders.

__ He explained to the elders that he did not take form as “I am” or apart from the form as “I am”. The other aggregates also in the same way. But he still held the whole five aggregates as “I am”, instead of each of them as “I am”. He gave a simile for this point. There were the scents of blue, red & white lotus. Did the scents belong to petals, or the stalks or the pistils? The right answer was the scent belonged to the flower. In the same way, he did not take any of the five khandhas as “I am”, but to the whole five aggregates as “I am”.

He continued to explain to them. Even though a noble disciple had abandoned the five lower fetters (i.e., anāgāmin, fetters are called samyojana. There are ten fetters:

(1) identity view,
(2) doubt,
(3) the distorted grasp of rules & vows,
(4) sensual desire,
(5) ill-will,
(6) lust for form,
(7) lust for formless,
(8) conceit,
(9) restlessness,
(10) ignorance.

Anāgāmi had eradicated the first five fetters. he was still about the five aggregates subjected to clinging, there lingered in him a residual conceit “I am”, a desire “I am”, an underlying tendency “I am” that had not yet been uprooted. So the yogi had dwelt to contemplate the rise & fall in the five aggregates subjected to clinging & the residual conceit & the underlying tendency “I am”, came to be uprooted.

Ven. Khemaka explained it with a simile. A cloth had become soiled & stained. And gave it to a laundryman. He would scour it evenly with cleaning salt, lye, or cow dung. And then rinsed it in clean water. Even though the cloth became pure & clean, still had the residual smell of cleaning salt, lye, or cow dung. So had to put it in a sweet-scented casket & all the residual smell of salt, lye or cow dung had vanished. In the end, Ven. Khemaka & all the 60 monks became arahants. Because at the same time of Discussing Dhamma, they contemplated their khandhas.

Some points were interesting to contemplate. According to Mogok Sayadawgyi; the first time Ven. Dāsaka went to see Ven. Khemaka, all of the elders were worldlings. After the 2nd time, they were once-returners (sakadāgāmins), because each time they got the answers from Ven. Khemaka & practiced accordingly. After the 3rd time, they did not make very clear about Ven. Khemaka’s answer. Therefore in the 4th time, he went to them & explained Dhamma. In the end, all of them finished the practice.

__ In his commentary on the Maṅgala Sutta, Tha-pye-gan Sayadaw gave the Mahāgosinga Sutta – The Great Gosinga Wood Discourse for the Dhamma Discussing. (from Majjima Nikāya).

Mahāgosinga Sutta
__ At one time, the Buddha & some of his chief & great disciples stayed in the Gosinga Sal Wood. Then in an evening, Ven Mahāmoggallāna, Mahākassapa, Anuruddha, Revata & Ānanda went together to Ven. Sāriputta for his talk. After they arrived there instead of giving his Dhamma talk, first he asked Ven. Ānanda the following question.

The Gosinga forest was beautiful & peaceful at night. The sal trees were in full blooms. The fragrant scent of the flowers diffused in the night. The question was what kind of monk could grace the Gosinga forest. Each of the monks following gave or offered their views accordingly to their outstanding or foremost qualities.

Ven. Ānanda’s Answer:
In this matter, a monk who had heard a great them fluently reflected on them & penetratingly comprehended them with wisdom. That monk taught people (monks, nuns, laymen & laywomen) for the uprooting of latent defilements (kilesa). Such a monk could grace the Gosinga Sal Wood.

Ven. Revata’s Answer (Sariputta’s youngest brother):
In this matter, a monk who delighted in solitary seclusion enjoyed seclusion, constantly strived for tranquillity, endowed with insight & devoted to practice in secluded places. Such a monk could grace the Gosinga Sal forest.

Ven. Anuruddha’s Answer:
In this matter, a monk who could survey a thousand world systems celestial or divine eye which was extremely clear, far more surpassed than the telescopes of the scientists. Such a monk could grace the Gosinga Sal forest.

Ven. Mahākassapa’s Answer:
He was older than the Buddha in age. Because of his background before ordained & austere practices in the holy life, the Buddha took him very highly & praised him a lot. He was the only monk who the Buddha exchanged robes with him. After the Buddha passed away, he preserved his Dhamma for original & pure from the contaminations. Today Buddhists owed him a lot for his effort.

In this matter, a monk who practiced the austerity of forest-dwelling & praised the virtues of it. Taking only food received on the alms round & praised the virtues of it. Wearing discarded pieces of cloth & praised the virtues of it. Keeping only three robes for wear & praised the virtues of it. Who was of few desire & praised the virtues of having only few desire.

Who was contented & praised the virtues of contentment? Who sought seclusion, stayed aloof from people, strived energetically in practice, completely endowed with morality, concentration & wisdom, attained liberation & endowed with the reflective knowledge of that liberation. Such a monk could grace the Gosinga Sal wood.
Ven. Mahāmoggallana’s Answer:

In this matter, two monks were discussing the higher Dhamma. Each asked the other question & each answered questions put by the other without difficulty, as an, e.g. Dhamma Discussions between Ven. Sariputta & Ven. Mahākotthita. Such a monk could grace the Gosinga Sal forest. After he had given his answer and Ven. Mahāmoggallana asked Ven. Sariputta of his view on this matter.

Ven. Sariputta’s Answer:
In this case, a monk who had mastery over his mind that whatever attainment (there are two attainments; i.e., absorptions – jhānas & fruition states – phalas) he wished to enter for at any time & he could do it quite easily. Such a monk could grace the Gosinga Sal wood.

All of them had different answers, but the Taste of Dhamma was only one. They answered them from their characters & preferences. They wanted to know how the Buddha responded to them. So they went to see The Blessed One. The Buddha said that all of them answered properly & praised them. All answers were well spoken & justified. And then, the Buddha gave his view on this matter.

The Buddha’s Answer:
In this case, the monk returned from the round of alms-food & had finished his alms-meal. And then, sat down with crossed legs to practice mindfulness in meditation, satipatthāna bhavana with the determination that he would not get up from sitting until his mind was freed from the clinging of defilements – kilesa. This monk could grace the Gosinga Sal forest.

__ All these kinds of monks mentioned in this sutta still exist into this day. Thanks to the monks who preserved the Dhamma & practices & supported by the laity in Buddhist countries such as Burma & Thailand. Burma continues to produce monks like Ven. Ānanda who can recite the Tipitaka by heart.

Thai forest tradition still produce monks like Ven. Mahākassapa. Burma continues to produce excellent scholars, monks & meditation teachers. So, monks & laity alike can learn the Dhamma & practices, and with many meditations, centers continue to arise. These meditation centers give the chances for anyone who wants to practice to end dukkha in this life, which the Buddha emphasized in his answer.

Even we can say all the human problems & sufferings come from not knowing the Dhamma & not practicing it. So, for every human being nothing is more important than study & practice the Dhamma. Listening & discussing of Dhamma on timely occasions are pre-requisites for it. So, the Buddha said that discussing the Dhamma on timely occasions was the highest protection with a blessing.

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30. Austerity / 31. celibacy

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-11-21, 14:33

30.Austerity / 31.Celibacy

The Pali word tapo or tapa means to extinguish defilements by striving hard. Here translated as austerity. Brahmacariya is celibacy or life of celibacy or holy life. The meanings of tapa & brahmacariya are not much different. According to Tha-pye-gan Sayadaw, here austerity had to take sīla & celibacy as samatha-vipassanā (concentration-insight) practices.

In Pali text, tapa was commenting in many ways; a name for restraint, the ascetic practices (dhutaṅga), energy, patience (khanti), brahmacariya, etc. So here to take both austerity & celibacy as sīla, samādhi & paññā practices or the Noble Eightfold Path. In this Maṅgala Sutta, patience (khanti) is also tapa. The holy life (brahmacariya) is the practices of a monk with celibacy & other holy practices.

In life when an encounter with dangers & sufferings tapa & brahmacariya or sīla, samādhi & paññā are true refuges. Other things & matters are not true refugees, for examples during sickness & dying. In the Sagāthāvagga, Devaputtasamyutta, Subrahmā Discourse; the Buddha said to the young deva (deity) Subrahmā as follow.

Not apart from enlightenment (bojjhangas), austerity (tapa), restraint of the sense faculties (indriya saṁvara) & relinquishing all (sabbanissagga), the Buddha could not see any security for all living beings. Why did the Buddha say these Dhamma to him? There were interesting dhammas we can learn from this discourse.

The stress of the young deity
__ Once the young deity Subrahmā & his thousand celestial nymphs went to a flower garden for amusements. Five hundred nymphs went up to the tree; they plucked the flowers & threw it down for the other nymphs under the tree. They made wreaths of flower and others. Even they may be in singing & dancing with the music.

After sometimes passed by the voices on the trees became silent. Because the nymphs on the tree suddenly expired & they were immediately reborn in the Avici hell. As soon as Subrahmā realized it, he checked with his divine eyes & saw all of them suffering in hell. Therefore, he examined his lifespan & knew that he & the other nymphs would die after seven days. They would encounter the same fate in hell. The young deva was in utter fear & came to the Buddha for help. So the Buddha taught him the Dhamma. Perhaps he had acquired a compelling sense of urgency (saṁvega) during the discourse & established in the fruit of stream-entry.

__ The Buddha taught five natural laws or fixed orders (niyāma). These were;
(1) utu niyāma – fixed order of temperature
(2) bija niyāma – fixed order of genetics
(3) kamma niyāma – fixed order of actions
(4) citta niyāma – fixed order of the mind
(5) dhamma niyāma – fixed order of phenomena.

Exception on kamma niyāma, scientists and psychologists know more or less of the others. Kamma starts the beginning of being life. It decides the inferior & superior, low & high status of a being. It leads or decides a being to degenerate & progress. It creates suffering & happiness of a being, etc. We can find all these important & valuable teachings only in the Buddha Dhamma.

The Buddha divided the kamma in 4 ways with their functions.
(1) Reproductive kamma
(2) Supportive kamma
(3) Habitual kamma
(4) Destructive kamma.

__ Here we have to understand destructive kamma (upaghataga kamma) in 2 ways; positive & negative. For example, a powerful wholesome kamma destroys the unwholesome kamma. Aṅgulimāla – the garland of fingers bandit had killed a lot of people; when he became an arahant, this heavy wholesome kamma destroyed all the results of unwholesome kamma he had done before. For the destructive negative kamma, we can give the example of Devadatta – the Buddha’s cousin.

He had jhāna & psychic power. Later he had ill-will & persuaded the young prince to kill his father King Bimbisara, and then he tried to murder the Buddha & split the sangha. So he lost all his spiritual power & at last fell into Mahāavici hell.

__ Here the 500 nymphs fell into hell was could be had a connection with their past destructive kamma. The law & working of kamma was one of the four inconceivable phenomena. One of the great disadvantages of heavenly realms are the beings there do not have the chances to cultivate goodness or wholesome merits. They only enjoy the wholesome results of their past kammas. Therefore the deities or heavenly beings understand the results or benefits of wholesome kamma more than human beings.

Because human beings cannot see the results directly like deities, other important factors are human beings not only rely on their past kammas but also the present life of their abilities such as right effort & intelligence or wisdom. Right effort & intelligence are more evident than their past kammas for most human beings. Only people who understand the Buddha Dhamma very well no doubt about the importance of the results of past kamma. I had heard a dhamma talk by a Burmese monk on the three creators or Gods. He referred them to kamma, effort & knowledge which represented the three creators.

But most human beings rely on or take refuge in outside powers who or which they have never seen before. Just believe in the words of the prophets or by other mediums. In the Dīgha Nikāya, the first discourse mentioned there was; The Nets of Views Discourse. In there, the Buddha mentioned 62 kinds of wrong views of his time & most of the wrong views were a connection with samatha practices.

On the five khandhas, the Buddha said that consciousness (viññānam) was like a magician. Except for the Buddha & arahants, all living beings have all the inversions (vipallāsa) or some of them. The power is not come from outside but within ourselves. Everyone has the potentiality to transcend things.

__ The 500 nymphs fell into hell by using up all their good past kamma with sensual pleasure in heaven all the time. They did not have the chances to cultivate goodness. So their destructive kamma had the chances to come in so easily. Here another important point to contemplate about was the utter fear of the young deva went to see the Buddha for help.

Why was he so frightened & distressed? Because he had seen the sufferings of hell & after seven days, he would be there. Some human beings seem very good now, but in their past lives, maybe not. Therefore all living beings must pay back their kammic debts in some ways when times are ripe. In saṁsāra living beings are the slaves of kilesa – defilements. They are doing everything with body, speech & mind for the masters. So we all have these kammic debts to pay for.

There are two ways we can pay back our kammic debts; with the khandhas (i.e., body & mind) & the Noble Eightfold Path Factors (i.e., magga or Path Knowledge). By paying back the debts with the khandhas & it will never end. Because we all will continue to create kammas in the rounds of existence. Therefore we all are still in saṁsāra. The best & secure ways to pay the kammic debts is the Path Knowledge or the path factors, which now Subrahmā deva was looking for it.

Dukkha is our great teacher. Because of dukkha sacca the young deva had acquired a compelling sense of great urgency (strong saṁvega) that he met the Buddha for help. It is quite natural for living beings when they are suffered looking for true refuge & help. But how many people have the right search, or know the right ways. Because of their very deep and thick ignorance that beings in saṁsāra were never found the true refuge.

Even nowadays, the Buddha Dhamma is still existing and how many of the world population have it. Only the Buddha appeared in the world beings had the chances for it. Even though still, not many beings had the opportunity to know the Dhamma. The Buddha told him was very clear that he could not help him directly, not falling into hell. Buddha only showed the way to transcend distress.

Every being has the inner power to transcend it if he follows by the Dhamma. Therefore the Buddha taught him; not apart from enlightenment (bojjhangas), austerity (tapa), restraint of the sense faculties (Indriya saṁvara) & relinquishing all (sabbanissagga) that could prevent him falling into hell.

This teaching represented the three training; sīla, samādhi, & paññā. Except that the Buddha could not see any security for all living beings. Therefore the Buddha said that austerity & celibacy were the highest blessing & protection.

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32. Seeing the noble truths

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-11-22, 15:35

32. Seeing the noble truths

__ Seeing & knowing or understanding the 4 Noble Truths is the highest blessing & protection as the Buddha taught. It can be said the greatest blessing & protection of all the others because it transcends dukkha forever. The others are not transcending dukkha, but create good causes for wandering in the round of existence & supporting beings to have better lives.

Before to understand the 4 Noble Truths, have to understand the other truths. These are; samuti sacca (conventional truth) & paramattha sacca (ultimate truth). For this purpose, I will quote from the talk given by Sayadaw Dr. Nandamalarbhivamsa. There are 2 concepts; atthapaññatti – concepts-as-meanings, & nāmapaññatti – concepts-as-names.

Concepts-as-meanings are related to the body & form. Concepts-as-names are related to human voices/languages in symbols or letters. There are also concepts which are non-existence, e.g., turtle hairs, rabbit horns, etc. Except for the concept of non-existence, other concepts are conventional truth. Ultimate truth has four; matter (rūpa), mind or consciousness (citta), mental factors (cetasika) & Nibbāna.

The nature of concepts is when the body or form changes & its name also changes, e.g. cotton becomes a thread, and the thread becomes cloth, etc. Analyze them with knowledge & the names disappear; then these are concepts. As an example, if we took off each part of a car body, then it is not a car anymore.

Objects of ultimate reality are not like this. Even their objects are changed their nature or qualities are not changed. E.g., the earth element in the cotton & the thread are the same; it does not change. The meaning of ultimate reality is unchanging essence. Concepts are true with the general consensus. Ultimate things are true with their nature. Ledi Sayadawgyi divided the ultimate reality into two types;

(1) sabhava paramattha – intrinsic reality or ultimate truth (paramattha sacca)
(2) ariya paramattha – noble reality or noble truth (ariya sacca).

Even paramattha sacca – natural truth, from the point of noble truth, is still wrong. From the viewpoint of ultimate reality; analyze with knowledge and concepts become wrong. Why the Buddha urged people viewed things & matters with ultimate reality. Because viewing with concepts, they cannot abandon craving & clinging,

the three types of feeling (vedana); pleasant, painful & neutral feelings (sukha, dukkha & upekkha vedana) are natural truth. But all of them are the truth of unsatisfactoriness (dukkha sacca). The most pleasant jhānic feelings are also dukkha sacca. Because all of them are within the nature of 3 universal characteristics of inconstant, suffering & not-self, these are noble truth. Therefore from the viewpoint of noble truth, natural truth is still wrong for the ariyas.

In the Abhidhamma, teaching consciousness has 89 types. Combine with the jhānic mind or consciousness & become 121 types of mind. Mental factors are 52 types & it relies on the mind. Matters of forms are 28 types. All the cessation of causes, mind & matter is Nibbāna element. Only all beings arrive at the noble truth & become totally right or perfectly right.

So all living beings within these three levels of knowledge; the lowest, middle & highest. These are common worldlings (puthujjana), learned disciples of noble beings (sutava ariya savakos) & ariyan (noble beings). This point is very important for Buddhists in names. If we cannot become a learned disciple of noble beings and still at the level of common worldling & not a true Buddhist yet, with the practice & penetration of the 4 Noble Truths will become a noble person.

This is the highest blessing. There are two levels of knowledge of the 4 Noble Truths;
(1) Anubodha ñāna – contemplation knowledge.
(2) Pativeda ñāna – penetrative knowledge.

Anu- means contemplate for many times to understand the truth. Pativeda means penetrate thoroughly & there is no more for knowing.

The Four Noble Truths

The Four Noble Truths are true all the times without time limits. These are true at anywhere & for every being. The Four Noble Truths are very profound & only a Buddha has arisen beings have the chances to know & practice them (exclude the Paccekabuddhas – Solitary-buddhas).

The Buddha started his teaching with the 4 Noble Truths in his first discourse. The Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta or Turning the Wheel of Dhamma. The Blessed One was dwelling at Bārānasi in the Deer Park at Isipatana; he delivered this talk to his first five disciples – the pañca-vaggi.

Dhamma-cakka-Wheel of Dhamma has two knowledges in it. These are;
(1) The direct penetrative knowledge of the 4 Noble Truths – pativeda ñānam.
(2) The teaching knowledge of the 4 Noble Truths – Sacca desana ñānam.

Without knowing & direct penetrating the 4 Noble Truths that all living beings are wandering in the round of existence or becoming. The Buddha penetrated the Truths directly by himself (without a teacher) & taught to people. Some people know, but they cannot teach people (e.g., Paccekabuddhas). The Buddha’s pativeda ñānam arose at Buddhagaya under the Bodhi Tree. He delivered his desana ñānam at Isipathana.

The Buddha gave talks for four reasons. These were;
(1) With his wishes.
(2) By the spiritual faculties of beings
(3) Answering the questions
(4) Something happened.

Here he delivered the discourse for the 2nd reason. These teachings were never known & never heard before him. We can say it was new teaching at his time. It was not an easy teaching to come by. To become a Buddha at least it needed four incalculable aeons & ten thousand aeons to fulfilled the perfections (10 paramis). Even in his last life was searching for the truths at a young age with many difficulties (see his autobiography in Mahāsaccaka Sutta & Ariyapariyesana Sutta, both in Majjima Nikāya).

__ At the beginning of the discourse, the Buddha said that there were two extremes should not be followed by monks. In Pali 2 anuyoga; should not be followed & done. In the 2nd time taught about the path should be followed & done.

The Buddha always taught two things; things should not be done first & things should be done in the 2nd. Because when doing wrong things sometimes difficult to change & the consequences are great. Even not doing right things are better than doing the wrong things & matters. In this Maṅgala Sutta, we see this example; not associate with the fools & associate with the wise. What are the two extremes should not be followed?

(1) The pursuit of sensual happiness in sensual pleasures

By pursuing them, people have joy & pleasure in short terms & cannot get any knowledge. To enjoy them the price is also great. In the west people are saying – a slogan, “Life is too short; let's enjoy yourself.” Maybe consumerism comes to existence from this western philosophy.

Extreme economic views & doctrines made the present day world unsustainable in many different ways, morally, socially & environmentally. For money & sensual pleasures, human beings can do everything. The price for all these short or momentary joy & pleasure create a lot of human problems.

Nowadays we are talking about quantity & not quality, even including humans. Therefore there are more rubbish, pollutions & immoral human beings. So hedonism is one of the extremes which relates to pleasant feeling & leads to craving (tanhā) & the source of dukkha. It is the hindrance for higher or spiritual knowledge. It has 5 faults;

hino – which is low;
gammo – vulgar or behavior of common people;
pothujjaniko – the way of worldlings or popularism, people are like slaves for their mind;
anariyo – ignoble or cannot becomes noble person;
anattha – sañhito – unbeneficial or nothing to do with knowledge or Dhamma knowledge.

Why the Buddha took sensual pleasures as lowly? Because animals are also enjoying & looking for it. Even we can see some human beings not better than animals & even can be worse. E.g., some of the indigenous people get money support from government to become lazy, just eating, drinking (alcoholism), sleeping & only for sensual pleasures. Even animals have to search for foods.

(2) The pursuit of self-mortification

The Buddha gave three faults for it; dukkho – which is painful; ignoble; and unbeneficial. This self-mortification are still practicing in India. Some Christians also have their self-mortification practices. What about some common people of nowadays? Some people are not for spiritual purposes, but the connection with sensual pleasure, such as fame & gain.

For examples; sky diving, scaling tall and high buildings, climbing off a snowy mountain, etc. and the results are death, severe injuries, amputations of the bodily parts, etc. If we make a record of human foolishness will never end. Therefore the Buddha said that worldlings were crazy.

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The middle way

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-11-22, 15:41

(3) The middle way – majjhimā patipadā

What is the Buddha’s middle way? If the way or path is true or right, and it is necessary to be sacrificed. It has to be beneficial. Some Buddhists misinterpret it as should not practice very hard to tire oneself. The middle way is not a lazy path. How can we get rid of our super thick glue or ignorance & craving in an easy going way?
These enemies are within us inconceivable round of existence as a latent tendency (anusaya).

__ Before the Buddha, the man had two doctrines (vada); supreme happiness in this life or direct seeing happiness (dittha dhamma-nibbāna, indulgence in sensual pleasure with all possible ways; & torturing the physical body. The Buddha’s middle way is not sitting in the middle of the fence & doing nothing. If it is necessary for happiness, it should be enjoyed. If necessary, for difficulty & hardship also has to encounter it.

There is some happiness necessary for enjoyment. This higher happiness develops knowledge, as, all the jhānic happiness or jhāna practices or samatha practice. If it is beneficial, we should go into hardship. If knowledge can be developed also has to go through it. This is not one sided-view. The Buddha gave the results of the middle way. These are; which gives rise to vision & knowledge (cakkhu karani & ñāna karani), which leads to peace, direct knowledge, enlightenment & Nibbāna.

The Buddha continued to talk about the Noble Eightfold Path, which was the middle way. These are; combined with the natural eight phenomena, & noble practice.

[1] Right view – sammā-ditthia: This is insight practice & process. Seeing the nature of the mind & body process & its universal characteristics. It is not seeing them as man, woman, living being, etc.

[2] Right intention or thought – sammā-sankappo: it supports the right view. These two factors are the leading phenomena of the eight path factors. The extreme ways are leading by wrong views (miccha-ditthi). In doing things, the views should be right is very important. Without the right view will make mistakes & go wrong. The arrangement of the eight path factors is very meaningful & systematic. The natural phenomena are doing their tasks collectively. After the right thought comes right speech.

[3] Right speech – sammā-vācā: after right speech comes right action.

[4] Right actions – sammā-kammanto: with thoughts, speech & action we do our jobs in daily life or livelihoods.

[5] Right livelihood – sammā-ājīvo: without the foundation of virtue (sīla) cannot attain knowledge. Two feet can be stood on the ground; the foundation should be stable & solid. In many discourses, the Buddha emphasized the importance of sīla & its results. Right speech, right action & right livelihood are training in virtue (sīla sikkha).

In discourse, the Buddha taught Mahānāma, his cousin, the benefits of keeping the precepts (sīla) pure. One recollects one’s virtues; untorn, unbroken, unspotted, unsplatter, liberating, praised by the wise, untarnished, conducive to concentration (samādhi). At any time when a disciple of the noble ones is recollecting virtue, his mind is not overcoming with passion, aversion & delusion.

His mind heads straight & gains joy connected with the Dhamma. In one who is joyful, rapture arises. In one who is rapturous & the body grows calm. One whose body is calm & he senses pleasure (sukha). In one sensing pleasure & the mind becomes concentrated. One’s mind with these sīla qualities can endeavor on the meditation practice (both samatha & vipassanā). Doing the practice must have the right effort

[6] Right effort – sammā-vāyāmo: has four factors;
<1> For the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities, that have not arisen….
<2> For the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities, that have arisen….
<3> For the sake of the arising of skillful qualities, that have arisen….
<4> For the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development & culmination of skilful qualities that have arisen.

These four aspects of right effort are also termed
<1> guarding
<2> abandoning
<3> developing &
<4> maintaining.

With the right effort, doing everything must have right mindfulness

[7] Right mindfulness-sammā-sati: It is the most important factor in the practice. There are two mindfulness discourses; Mahāsatipatthāna Sutta in the Digha Nikāya & Satipatthāna Sutta in the Majjima Nikāya. It seems these two are nearly the same except the first one explained the 4 Noble Truths in more detailed. With the right effort & right mindfulness; the mind becomes calm & concentrated, which is,

[8] right concentration – sammā-samādhi. With the middle way or the Noble Eightfold Path, which give rise to vision, knowledge, which lead to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna.

In this discourse, the Buddha taught the five monks on samatha & vipassanā in a gist. In other discourses, the Buddha taught in details. Why did the Buddha not teach the monks in details? Because they were spiritually very matured & no need for detailed explanations.

And then the Buddha continued the 4 Noble Truths one by one.

[1] This is the noble truth of dukkha: (suffering, unsatisfactoriness, stress, etc.)

Birth, aging, illness & death are dukkha. Union with what is displeasing & separation from what is pleasing are dukkha. Not to get what one wants is dukkha. The Buddha started with the coarser one to the refined ones. In brief, the five khandas (mind & body) subject to clinging are dukkha. This last dukkha can be known only with insight knowledge or practice. The other dukkha can be appreciated by contemplation & easy to understand.

[2] The noble truth of the origin of dukkha:
The cause of dukkha is craving (tanhā). It leads to renewed existence, accompanied by delight & lust, seeking delight here & there. These cravings are for sensual pleasure (kāma-tanhā), for existence (bhava-tanhā) & for extermination (vibhava-tanhā). In this sutta mentioned only tanhā. Other suttas are the whole process of Dependent Arising.

[3] The noble truth of the cessation of dukkha:
It is the remainderless fading away or cessation of craving (tanhā). The giving up & relinquishing of tanhā & freedom from tanhā. Dukkha is the cause of tanhā. Therefore, without tanhā is without dukkha. Khandhas are dukkha. So, without tanhā, dukkha & khandas are Nibbāna.

[4] The noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of dukkha:
This is the Noble Eightfold Path.

__ The Buddha continued to talk about the realization of the 4 Noble Truths with the middle way, i.e., the Noble Eightfold Path. Here we need the objects of meditation. Mahāsatipatthāna Sutta comes in here. Samathā & vipassanā practices are mentioned in there. People have interest should study this very important discourse. For vipassanā practice, the objects for contemplation are the five khandas; body, feeling, perception, mental formations & consciousness, in gist mind & body. Satipatthāna discourse mentioned four objects.

(1) Contemplation of the body
(2) Contemplation of the feeling
(3) Contemplation of the mind &
(4) Contemplation of the mind objects.

What do we see & penetrate? The Buddha taught about his realization of the 4 Noble Truths.

(1) Dukkhe ñānam – knowledge of dukkha
(2) Dukkha-samadaye-ñānam – knowledge about the cause of dukkha
(3) Dukkha-nirodhe-ñānam – knowledge of the cessation of dukkha.
(4) Dukkha-nirodhe-patipada- ñānam – knowledge to the way of cessation of dukkha.

All of these are the right views. The first knowledge is seeing the mind & body natural process as dukkha. The meaning of dukkha is; duk – disgusting, dissatisfaction; kha – nothing exists as one thinks, useless, empty.

The five khandhas have these nature. 2nd knowledge is knowing why dukkha arises? The 3rd knowledge is knowing the place of ending dukkha. The 4th knowledge is knowing the way to the ending of dukkha. These are the very high levels of right views. The 4 Noble Truths demonstrate the process of vipassanā practice. With the eight factors working with dukkha & discerning it. The result is abandoning the cause of dukkha & realizing the ending of dukkha.

With the path, consciousness arises & at the same time penetrate the 4 Noble Truths. Is it possible? For example, if we lit candle light, with the light appears & at the same time, darkness disappears, the wick & the oil also burn out. The Buddha continued to talk dukkha. He penetrated dukkha by himself, & not heard from others. The Buddha proclaimed himself as an Awakened. One only when thoroughly penetrated the 4 Noble Truths in its 3 phases & 12 aspects. The 3 phases are;

(1) the knowledge of each truth – (saccañāna). E.g., This is the noble truth of dukkha;
(2) the knowledge of the task to be accomplished with each truth – (kiccañāna). E.g., the noble truth of dukkha is to be fully understood;
(3) the knowledge of accomplishment with each truth – (katañāna). E.g., the noble truth of dukkha has been fully understood.

In simple words, the 3 phases are; study, practice & realization. Three phases apply to the four truths become 12 aspects or modes. The Buddha ended this discourse with the following words; “Unshakable is the liberation of my mind. This is my last birth.

There is no more renewed existence (i.e., has to be taken rebirth again)” Later Buddhists formulated the new idea of the liberated beings as they could come back again & again for others (Worldlings have very strong bhava-tanhā). During the discourse, among the five monks, the oldest monk Kondañña became a sotāpanna – stream-winner.

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Establishing of Mindfulness: Satipatthāna

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-11-22, 15:49

Establishing of Mindfulness: Satipatthāna
__ Satipatthāna Sutta is the direct path to the realization of the 4 Noble Truths. Therefore Buddhists should know this important sutta for the practice. Want to know more detailed on this sutta can read & study the book by Ven. Anālayo, Satipatthāna – The Direct Path to Realization, an excellent book on this sutta. Here I present a general outline from the Dhamma talks by Sayadaw Dr. Nandamalarbhivamsa.

Introduction:
__ What is satipatthāna? To know the exact meaning of this word is valuable. By separating it and becomes two words; sati + patthāna or sati + upatthāna. Satipatthāna was used by the commentary & satiupatthāna was in the suttas. Satiupatthāna is mindfulness staying with the object or presence of mindfulness. Satipatthāna is mindfulness has to stay with the four objects.

Sayadaw translated satipatthāna as establishing of mindfulness. Sati has the meaning of mindful of the object or remembering. So it has two meanings; sati stays with the object & memory. The first one concerns with the present. In the suttas, sati was defined as the wholesome quality, & not used in unwholesome matters.

Then, what about wrong mindfulness-miccha-sati? This is remembering of unwholesome matter. The Buddha emphasized strongly that sati was always needed. It did not like the other four faculties (indriya – spiritual faculty), i.e., conviction, persistence, concentration & discernment. These four need to be balanced.

In the beginning, the Buddha talked about the results of establishing of sati – satipatthāna. This point is very important. Only with results & benefits, people have the interest to do it. There are also dangers & disadvantages by doing things blindly before consideration. There are seven results;

(1) For the purification of beings – the practice purifies the mental impurities, i.e., defilements. So it leads to happiness & peace. Different path knowledge purifies forever of different impurities accordingly, e.g. the first path knowledge (maggañāna) purifies the identity view of the five khandhas, non-returner for hatred, anger, ill-will, etc.

(2) For the surmounting of sorrow & lamentation – soka & parideva:
Soka means lost something & become sorrow & parideva means crying with sorrow. With the practice, surmount these negative mental states. (Here are two results)

(3) For the disappearance of dukkha & discontent (dukkha & domanassa). Here dukkha means bodily dukkha & domanassa means mental dukkha, both mean bodily & mental sufferings. What are the differences between soka & domanassa? They are nearly the same meaning, but differences in aspects. Domanassa is something happening in mind & become discontent. Both of them are feelings of dosa nature. If dukkha arises & follows with domanassa. (Here are two results)

(4) For acquiring the true method:
With the practice arrives on the main road to Nibbāna. It is not easy to arrive on the main road for realization. There are many reasons for it & only the Buddhists know why?

(5) For the realization of Nibbāna:
These results were the guarantee gave by the Buddha.

__ And then the Buddha continued the four satipatthāna in general.
Contemplate the body as the body & not other ways. This is differentiating the object. Sati needs to see a thing as it is. If it is the body, then it is the body. The meaning of pass is contemplating. Samādhi and paññā are including in the contemplating. The factors include are; ātāpī – practicing very hard or perseverance or diligent; sampajãna –knowing, knows knowing the situation of the mind & satima – must have sati.

Natural phenomena are working together. In the contemplation must has these three factors. There are five functional factors – karaka maggaṅga; right view, right thought, right effort, right mindfulness & right concentration. They are working together. What are they pushing away? Or are they overcoming? The hindrances – nivaranas are overcome. They defiled the mind & blockage the knowledge to arise. Therefore wholesome mental states cannot arise.

Here the Buddha was only sorting out two hindrances; desires (abhijjhā) & discontent (domanassa). Abhijjhā here is thinking on objects with greed (lobha). This is not the mental action of covetousness (abhijjhā) which mentioned in the ten unwholesome kammas. The same word but have different meanings. Here is thinking about desirable & pleasant objects.

With the undesirable & unpleasant objects discontent arises. Contemplating with ātāpī, sampajãna & sati, and these hindrances cannot arise, or like or dislike cannot arise. Contemplating feelings, minds & dhammas are also in the same way. In the introduction of the satipatthāna sutta, the Buddha gave the general outline.

__ The reason behind the four objects of satipatthāna is relating to the abandoning of 12 inversions or distortions (vipallāsa) with the body contemplation to see the body nature of without beauty or unattractiveness (asubha). To see the feelings as dukkha. To see the mind as inconstant (anicca). And to see the dhammas as not-self (anatta). And then, distorted knowledge will not arise.

In Buddhist meditation, there are two ways to Nibbāna; start from samatha practice to insight & start with insight (samatha yanika & vispassanā yanika). Among yogis, there are three characters; wisdom, craving & view. These can be divided into weak & strong characters.

For samatha yanika:
Weak in wisdom – Contemplation on the body.
Strong in wisdom – Contemplation on the feeling.
For vipassanā yanika:
Weak in wisdom – Contemplation on the mind.
Strong in wisdom – Contemplation on the dhammas.

Yogis with weak craving (tanhā) contemplate the body.
Yogis with strong craving (tanhā) contemplate the feelings.
Yogis with a weak view (ditthi) contemplate the mind.
Yogis with a strong view (ditthi) contemplate the dhammas.

In one of the suttas in Aṅguttara Nikāya, mentioned the important points in the practice. First abandoning the hindrances, with one of the satipatthāna practice & develop the enlightenment factors, will realize Nibbāna. There are two ways of abandoning the hindrances; with samatha practice & direct satipatthāna practice. The realizations of the yogis are only slow & quick results.

Here Sayadaw remarked the commentaries. He said that the commentarial expositions were the works of teachers who had experienced. And not just only purely scholarly works.

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Contemplation of the body: Kāyānupassanā

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-11-22, 15:53

(1) Contemplation of the body: Kāyānupassanā

__ Anupassanā means contemplate for many times until penetrating the Dhamma. In this body, contemplations were practicing with the 14 types of objects and are divided into six parts.
[1] Mindfulness of Breathing
[2] Postures & Activities (2 parts)
[3] Anatomical Parts & Elements (2 parts)
[4] Nine Contemplations of the Corpse in Decay.

Contemplation or meditation is exercising the mind with the objects of meditation. Let mindfulness stays with the object. First, the Buddha taught Mindfulness of Breathing. Here in & out breaths are objects. Sati only takes the objects, & ñāna (knowledge) knows the object. Both of them are working together.

Next body contemplation is The Four Postures; sitting, walking, standing & lying down. The body cannot survive without changing with the changing of postures that it can survive longer. But for most people not aware of the changes, because of a lack of mindfulness or awareness. They are doing things habitually & the mind is at other places. These are connections with the big postures, & actions. There are also other small activities.

These exercises are in the Mindfulness with Clear Knowing (sati-sampajãna) or mindfulness & clear knowledge (sati-sampajāñña). The instructions for clear knowing are; going forward & returning; looking ahead & looking away; flexing & extending the limbs; wearing clothes & carrying things; eating, drinking & tasting; defecating & urinating; walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, talking & keeping silent.

__ The next two exercises are Anatomical Parts & Elements: Contemplating the anatomical constitution of the body; direct mindfulness to an analysis of the body parts. It listed various anatomical parts, organs & fluids. Review this same body up from the soles of the feet and down from the top of the hair, enclosed by skin, as full of many kinds of impurity.

There are: head-hairs, body-hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, bone-marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, diaphragm, spleen, lungs, bowel, mesentery, contents of the stomach, faeces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, spittle, snot, oil of the joints & urine (can include the brain).

There is a sutta in the Sutta Nipāta called Vijaya Sutta – Victory on Delusion, where a thorough investigation of the body leads from its outer anatomical parts to its inner organ & liquids. The aim of the contemplation described was to reduce one’s attachment to the body.

The sutta itself was a good contemplation on this subject. With the development of medical science, nowadays it is easy to visualize the outer & inner organs. Some people donated their bodies for this purpose. There is a method called plastination of the bodily parts for study.

__ The next exercise is On The Elements; where the body is analyzed into its four elementary qualities. The instruction for this contemplation is; He reviews this same body. However, it is placed, disposed of as consisting of elements.

In this body, there are the earth, the water, the fire & the air elements. Contemplation of the four elements has the potential leads to a penetrative realization of the insubstantial & selfless nature of the body or material reality.

Nine Contemplations of the Corpse in Decay:
__ These are the contemplations of the corpse in 9 stages of changing or decay. So it involves some degree of visualization & reflection. The yogi has to compare his own body with what he would see in a charnel ground. As though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in a charnel ground -

[1] one, two or 3days dead, bloated, livid & oozing matter
[2] being devoured by crows, hawks, vultures, dogs, jackals, various kinds of worms -
[3] a skeleton with flesh & blood, held together with sinews -
[4] a fleshless skeleton smeared with blood, held together with sinews –
[5] a skeleton without flesh & blood held together with sinews -
[6] disconnected bones scattered in all directions -
[7] bones bleached white, the color of shells -
[8] bones heaped up, more than a year old –
[9] bones rotten & crumbling to dust. This body too is of the same nature. It will be like that & it is not exempt from that fate.

These practices highlight two things; the repulsive nature of the body as revealed during the stages of decomposition & death is inescapable destiny for all human beings or living beings.

__ In all these body contemplations, Sadayaw talked about Mindfulness of Breathing more than others. So here I will present only ānāpānasati.

Mindfulness of Breathing
__ In practice, we need diligent (ātāpī). Effort (viriya) has two kinds; bodily & mental efforts (karika viriya & cetasika viriya). Mental effort is more important of the two. The yogi must have continuous effort with seriousness and mind energy. Knowing (sampanjãno) is – always reflecting what one’s is doing & always has an awareness of the mind states. This is the balancing of art in practice.

Protecting the practice is mindfulness (sati). Samādhi (concentration ) & paññā (discernment) are also included. Ātāpī is a right effort (sammā-viriya); sampanjãno is right view (sammā-ditthi) & sati is right mindfulness (sammā-sati). Natural phenomena are doing their jobs. They are not mixed-up. E.g., the eye is doing the job of the eye, the ear also doing the job of the ear,

When we are watching a video. The five path factors (karaka maggaṅga) are working together. Sīla-ethical conducts (precepts) has been undertaken during the practice. After the first path of knowledge, it becomes the eight path factors. And then the ethical conducts become natural sīla.

Sitagu Sayadaw U Ñānissara delivered many talks on the Ānāpānasati Sutta. People interest in details should listen to these talks.

__ For sitting meditation, using a quiet place to sit. The sutta mentioned under a tree or near a tree (rukkhamula), an empty room or place (suññāgaram). Sitting crossed legs with a straight back (in a relaxed way). Sati is taking the meditation object.

Mindful of the breaths at the touching point. This was from the commentary. In the sutta-only mentioned – established mindfulness in front of him. The touching point of the breath can be at the tip of the nostril or upper lip, depend on each person.
[1] Mindful he breathes in, mindful he breathes out

[2] With the development of stage [1]…..
The yogi knows the long in-breath & out-breath, short in-breath & short out-breath.
The progression from knowing longer breaths to shorter breaths reflects the fact that the breath naturally becomes shorter & finer with the continued practice.

[3] He trains thus: I shall breathe in experiencing the whole body. He trains thus: I shall breathe out experiencing the whole body.

In this stage must know the whole body. Here Sayadaw said that some had wrong interpretations & translations. By observing the whole physical body was not ānāpānasati – mindfulness of the breathing. Knowing the whole in-breath & out-breath, from the beginning, middle & the end at the touching point (i.e., at the nostril or upper lip).

At stage [2], the yogi did not know like this. The commentary interpretation was right. According to Sayadaw, traditional interpretations were starting even from the time of the Buddha. By observing the whole physical body & the object is changed (not the breathing anymore).

[4] He trains thus: I shall breathe in calming the bodily formation, He trains thus: I shall breathe out calming the bodily formation.

Here also calming the breath. When the practice is developing, the in & out breaths become refined. And then both of them disappear. In this sutta, the Buddha taught the first tetrad (4 stages) only. It is for the beginner yogis. In the Ānāpānasati Sutta, the Buddha taught 16 stages – the four tetrads. The other 12 stages are for yogis who had developed jhānas (absorption states).

__ After the above four stages, the Buddha continued to teach; “He abides contemplating the body internally; externally & both.” According to the commentary; internal & external bodies were one’s own & others. This is possible for yogis who have developed jhānas.

These things were mentioned in Pha-Auk Sayadaw’s teachings & his yogis’ experiences. (Other ways of explanations see Ven. Analayo’s book on Satipatthāna Sutta). Here Sayadaw proposed his idea on this point. The external body was in & out breaths. The internal body was the mind of knowing the breaths. With progress in the practice, one can know the contemplating mind with another mind.

In this way, the wrong view falls away on the object & the mind. In the Visadhimagga – mentioned contemplating the object & the knowing mind. When you are practicing alone, how can you contemplate others? In the sub-commentary; by contemplating on others even could not develop samādhi.

__ With the continued practice & progress, discerning of the nature of arising & passing away culminates in a comprehensive vision of impermanence. To regard all phenomena as impermanence leads to knowledge & understanding.

Insight into the impermanence of the five khandhas is right view & then leads directly to realization. Natural phenomena are with the arising & there is cessation. Therefore dhammas are not existing by themselves. They exist only by conditions.

More awareness & clinging to nothing: Mahasi Sadayaw wrote in his book. By knowing in this way, there was only body existing & no thought of a person or being. So tanhā & ditthi could not enter the mind. Except knowing the body & not clinging with other thoughts.

To observe objectively, without getting lost in associations & reactions. Freedom from identification enables one to regard any aspect of the experience as a mere phenomenon. And then free from any self-image & attachment. Clingings are falling away. The practice of ānāpānasati comes to succeed. Other body contemplations also have to practice in this way. (Sayadaw explained very short & general for each of the following on the other body contemplations).

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Contemplation of Feelings: Vedanānupassanā

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-11-22, 15:59

(2) Contemplation of Feelings: Vedanānupassanā

__ Feelings arise in all minds. When the mind meets or contacts with an object & has experience. Mind exists with feeling. It feels the taste of the object. This experience is feeling. Perception (saññā) is noting the object & feeling (vedana) feel it. Feelings are three types; good, bad, neither good nor bad or neutral feelings. Vedanānupassanā is contemplating the feeling or experience of the mind. Happy & unhappy are talking about vedana.

In some meditation centers, talking about to contemplate until the feelings are expired or to overcome vedana. Could it be expired? With the mind exists & vedana also exists. Even a very short period of mind (i.e., tadanga) has a feeling (vedana), e.g. – The Path Mind (magga-citta). It experiences Nibbāna as happiness. (Here to overcome vedana means to overcome dukkha vedana with the contemplation. It is possible by practice). Mental factors (cetasika) are the movements of the mind.

So as a function, they are one. Therefore we are using them as mind (citta). There are 52 types of mental factors (cetasikas). From there, the Buddha took out feelings (vedana) as a particular contemplation.

In the Dīgha Nikāya, Sakka-pañhā Sutta, the Buddha also taught Sakka – the deva king on vedana contemplation. There are also suttas in the Vedanasaṁyutta connection with vedana. The Buddha could not talk all about vedana in one sitting. He taught them accordingly with each person & necessity.

Why are we establishing mindfulness (sati)? The only sati takes the object that paññā can know it. Sati cannot know & paññā also cannot take the object. They are working together.

In the contemplation of feelings;
[1] continuous contemplation
[2] to know about feelings rightly or correctly.
To know its intrinsic nature & universal three characteristics of anicca, dukkha & anatta.

__ About the five khandhas (mind & body), the Buddha taught two types; ordinary khandhas or natural khandhas & clinging khandhas (upādānakkhandhā). They are not the same. Clinging khandhas mean, viewing the natural khandhas with wrong view & craving (ditthi & tanhā). These upādānakkhandhās are objects of insight meditation. The Buddha taught them for vipassanā to cure wrong views & thinkings.

In the Bāhu-vedaniya Sutta, the Buddha taught about many feelings. Feelings can be analyzed into three kinds accordingly to their nature; pleasant (sukha), unpleasant (dukkha) & neutral (upekkha) feelings. Firstly, contemplating to see them in the khandha, observe with sati. Can be divided into five types with sense faculties; these are –

[1] pleasant bodily feeling (kayika-sukha),
[2] unpleasant bodily feeling (kayika-dukkha),
[3] pleasant mental feeling (cetasika-sukha),
[4] unpleasant mental feeling (cetasika-dukkha)
[5] neutral feeling.

Pleasant & unpleasant mental feelings are also called – somanassa vedana & domanassa vedana. Feelings arise in the body affect the mind, and vice versa. What are their differences? Both of them are connecting with the mind. Pleasant feeling (sukha vedana) arises in the body & pleasant mental feeling (somanassa vedana) arises in mind. It appears in the body & the mind. It is body origin & effecting the mind.

Mental feelings (cetasika vedana) only arise in mind & not relate to the body directly. It can appear by itself, e.g., smiling. But it can also affect the body. Worldlings (puthujjana) & noble beings (ariyas) are quite different in reaction to feelings. When the body pains & the mind of the worldling also pain. But noble beings are different if the body pains & the mind, not pains.

Without the awareness of feelings, the mind is affecting by greed (lobha) & anger (dosa). If these are happening a lot & it has acceleration and becoming strong & stable as a latent tendency (anusaya). It is latent in mind as defilements.

If have these kinds of experience again, desire & lust arise (kāmarāga). These things are happened because of latent defilements. Therefore anusaya can be said as future defilements. If the causes are there & it can arise. It means, someone has this kind of experience again, this mental state will arise again. If we see something become greedy or angry & if we see it again will arise. Therefore we have to be mindful or aware of them.

No awareness of feelings & not reflect or contemplate them; they are coming again & again. Greed & anger are becoming stronger. Then, we can not liberate from the round of existence (saṁsāra).

It was like a ball rolling among with feelings. Human beings are kicking by dukkha vedana & fall into hell, by sukha vedana become ghosts & by upekkha vedana become animals. Therefore, the Buddha said that the frequent homes of beings were the four woeful planes. In the teaching of Dependent Arising (paticcasamupada), the Buddha taught that feeling (vedana) conditions craving (tanhā).

Why the Buddha not said or mentioned it as anger? Because craving or desire is happening more than anger. E.g., poor people want to be rich & rich people wanting more & more. Only tanhās are coming. Not knowing about neutral feelings (upekkha vedana) & ignorance (avijjā) or delusion (moha) comes in.

__ It is very important to understand the five khandhas thoroughly by contemplation. The physical body & feelings (kāya & vedana) are very interesting subjects. For human beings, the five khandhas are working together in daily life & cannot separate. Human beings are looking after the body the whole time like a slave. These all are conditioned dukkha & without end.

We are even wasting our precious times with sleep also for the body. We are busy every day for the survival of the body. Even we are treating him like a loyal slave; it has no sympathy & gratitude to us. It is oppressing & tormenting us with old age, sickness & death. Conditioned dukkha which connecting to the body is very great indeed. If we understand the conditioned dukkha which binds to the physical body; can be dispassionate & easily let go of it.

Feelings are too important in human life, and it can be said that we are busy for feelings. It is very closely related to the body & the mind. It affects both. We try to get what we like with any cost — and then getting rid of anything that we do not like.

Feelings have a lot of influence on human beings is cannot be denied. Look at what is happening in today world. Many problems & sufferings are going on in the world through feelings. For pleasant feeling or sensual pleasures, human beings try with any mean to make money without any control.

All sorts of pollutions problems going on in societies, natural environments & the earth. For unpleasant feeling or ill-will or hatred that killing & harming a lot of innocent human beings by wars & terrorism. Human life is not secure anymore. There are dangers always waiting for us. If men can control feelings or become the masters of feeling and the world will be a better place to live.

In the contemplation of feeling; when someone feels a pleasant feeling, he knows “I feel a pleasant feeling” with mindfulness (sati) that he knows about it. With unpleasant & neutral feelings also in the same way to know them when they are arising as; “I feel an unpleasant feeling & a neutral feeling, etc.”

In the first part of the instruction, the Buddha taught the three basic kinds of feelings; pleasant, unpleasant & neutral. Because by themselves can lead to realization. In the satipatthāna sutta, after mentioned these 3
basic feelings were followed by an additional subdivision of feeling into worldly (sāmisa) & unworldly (nirāmisa). Therefore totally nine kinds of feelings have to be contemplated, whenever & whatever type of feeling arising.

If we ask the question; “Who is feeling the vedana?” The answer is vedana feels it. Except vedana and no feeler is there. It is just only natural phenomena or natural process. Sense object (ārammana) contacts (phassa) with sense base (vatthu) that we have the feeling to feel or mind arises. There are only causes & effects phenomena exist. Only natural phenomena are arising. This is the right view.

Vedana arises & vedana feels it. Vedana is very important for us because it leads to craving (tanhā). And then, tanhā leads to suffering (dukkha). With tanhā arises & dukkha will arise. If we cannot deal with feelings & cannot escape dukkha.

Because human beings have a strong attachment to vedana that there are a lot of human problems & sufferings exist in the world. It was like a fish craving for the bait & swallowed it that & died painfully. Also, it was like a drop of honey on the edge of a razor blade whoever licking it would suffer painfully. Even we can say human beings are fighting each other for vedana.

After knowing about the intrinsic nature of feelings; come; “He abides contemplating feelings internally, externally, & both.” Vedana in oneself & others are the same kinds of vedana.

With continued practice & discerning the three universal characteristics of vedana; inconstant, dukkha & not-self. First, knowing the arising & passing away of feelings, mindfulness (sati) is always keeping up with feelings that knowledge (ñānam) develops. With the insight knowledges wrong view & craving (ditthi/tanhā) not arise. After sometimes clinging to feelings fall away. And then the mind becomes free (vimokkha).

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Contemplation of the mind :Cittānupassanā

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-11-22, 16:05

(3) Contemplation of the mind :Cittānupassanā

__ In daily life, the minds are arising continuously by knowing the sense objects (arammanas). Starting from the rebirth consciousness, the mind depends on sense objects & mind base (arammanas & vatthu) & is arising continuously. To be aware of them, it needs practice. We are talking about the mind very often. E.g.,

I am angry; but we cannot reflect its nature. The mind changed too fast that the Buddha himself mentioned the difficulty of comparison for it. Therefore we cannot know it with normal mindfulness (sati).

We cannot know about this mind with the same mind. Only can be known with the following mind (another mind). Without knowing & mistakes can come in with clinging & attachment. It is natural that without knowing rightly & problems follow on.

In a sutta in Saṁyutta Nikāya, the Buddha said that people no Dhamma knowledge viewed the mind as stable & always existed. But if they took the body in this way was better. Because it existed for the whole life. Viewing the mind in this way was not proper.

The Buddha gave the following simile. A monkey roaming through a forest grabbed hold of one branch, let that go & grabbed another, & then let that go & grabbed another, etc. In the same way mind or consciousness arises & ceases, & then follows by another mind, etc. by day & by night. Contemplation of the mind is to know the nature of the mind by observing with mindfulness (sati). Let us study the nature of the mind.

In the texts, which described the mind as sometimes included mental factors (cetasika). In the satipatthāna sutta was not talking about the mental factors. Here it referred to the knowing nature of the sense objects. Sometimes mind referred to samādhi (concentration). The mind was governing the world referred to mental factors. In this sutta, the mind knows the objects which are arising from the six sense doors. It is not including feelings, perceptions & mental formations.

The natural phenomenon has its characteristic. Here the mind knows the objects only. So here, the individual character of the mind is knowing. In nature, there are two characteristics;
[1] individual characteristic (sabhāva lakkhana), not relate to others & belong to itself
[2] universal characteristic (samaññā lakkhana).

In vipassanā practice, has to start at individual characteristic. Without starting from here & contemplate impermanence is not knowing. This is only knowing by thinking. Only seeing the real impermanence becomes vipassanā. This will only discern the ultimate reality. Thinking may be right or maybe not.

Right thinking can be a support for the practice. But not knowing the ultimate reality directly. Mind or mental phenomena are bending or inclining towards the sense objects. This is its characteristic. The mind can take the objects from far away. Even a lot of ordinary Buddhists take this point wrongly as the mind can travel very far away. This is similar to the soul or atta.

Two kinds of mind cannot arise together & only one by one. The place of the mind is the heart base or mind base (Heart base was by the commentary & mind base was by the Buddha. In Pali, hadaya & vatthu). This mind base is not existing there. But it is arising there. Experienced meditators knew this point. As an example, the sounds of a guitar are not in the music instrument. The sounds are arising only by plucking or strumming with the fingers.

__ The nature of the mind is inclining towards the sense objects. Vedana is feeling the object with the mind. The mind touches with the sense object is the nature of the contact (phassa). Usually, we are talking about knowing the mind knows the sense objects. E.g., this flower is beautiful. It is too hot. This is talking about contact (phassa), & not about the mind. We are talking about external objects. Forgetting the mind & talking about the objects.

In the contemplation of the mind, the Buddha told us to be aware or mindful of the mind. The mind also mixed with mental factors. All minds know the objects that they are only one nature. Here the Buddha distinguished the minds related to its situations. It can be 16 types. Not necessary everyone has 16 types. The Buddha mentioned it in general. Here, the 16 types of mind & in the other places were not the same; e.g. in the Abhidhammatha Sangaha – Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma.

For contemplation purpose, the Buddha divided it into 16 types. It is like separating the cows with their colors, but all of them are cows. In the same case, all minds, nature is only knowing. The instruction was;
“He knows a lustful mind as a lustful mind, etc.”

If we contemplate only greed or lust, then it becomes contemplation of dhammas. But in the real contemplation, with the discrimination of “Is it the body or the feeling?”, then you miss the point. Not necessary to discriminate in this way. You will be caught up with an object of contemplation.

In the satipatthāna, the Buddha taught the possible four types of object in vipassanā practice (body, feeling, mind & dhamma). We cannot say, I will contemplate the only mind, only feeling, etc. Whatever it is arising, only need to know the arising phenomenon there. Contemplation of the body is existing as form (rūpa) & not mixing with others. But feeling (vedana), mind (consciousness) & dhammas are mixing up together. So it is unnecessary to discriminate them.

In the Visuddhimagga Text & Mahasi Sayadaw, both instructed to contemplate whatever was arising. In the beginning, it is difficult to contemplate all of them. With the practice and it becomes easier.

__ The sixteen states of mind are mundane & not including the supramundane. They are eight categories can be subdivided into two sets. These two sets are ordinary states of mind & higher states of mind. The first set includes unwholesome & wholesome ordinary states of mind. The 2nd set is concerned with the presence or absence of higher states of mind.

Eight categories of ordinary states of mind:
[1] lustful (sarāga)
[2] Without lust (visarāga)
[3] angry (sadosa)
[4] Without anger (visadosa)
[5] deluded (samoha)
[6] Without delusion (visamoha)
[7] contracted or sloth-&-torpor (saṅkhitta)
[8] distracted (vikhitta)

Eight categories of higher states of mind:
[9] great or jhānic mind (mahaggata)
[10] mind without jhānas (amahaggata)
[11] unsurpassable or immaterial jhānas (anuttara)
[12] surpassable or material jhanas (sa-uttara). Here the unsurpassable not include Supramundane. Anuttara & sa-uttara also higher & ordinary wholesome mental states.
[13] concentrated or samādhi mind (samāhita)
[14] without samādhi (asamāhita)
[15] liberated (vimutta)
[16] without liberated (avimutta).

__ Here Sayadaw referred to the liberated mind state is with insight knowledge. E.g., by seeing anicca (inconstant) liberate from nicca (permanent).

__ And then as a 2nd stage; “He abides contemplating the mind internally, externally & then both.” All are the same nature. With the practice, the contemplation sticks with the mind & knowing about it and with the development, discerning the arising & passing away regarding the mind. The mindfulness that there is a mind is established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge. And then the yogi frees from wrong view & craving (ditthi & tanhā), becomes independent and not clinging anything in the world. Now, the mind is free.

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Contemplation of the dhammas – Dhammānupassanā

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-11-22, 16:20

(4) Contemplation of the dhammas – Dhammānupassanā

__ Condensed, the four satipatthāna objects only have mind & body. Contemplation of the body is called rūpapariggaha – discernments of the body. Contemplation of the feelings & mind is called nāmapariggaha – discernments of the mind. Combined the body & the mind contemplations become dhammānupassanā.

In the contemplation of the body – the contemplation is on the real material phenomena. They are arising by causes & conditions. They are originating from kamma, consciousness, temperature & nutriment (kamma, citta, utu, āhāra). Some material phenomena are not by causes, the outcomes of the real material phenomena. They are called non-concrete matters (anipphanna rūpa), as an, e.g. the space element.

There are 28 matters; 18 are concrete & 10 non-concrete matters. In contemplation of matters, only contemplate the 18 concrete matters, e.g., the four great elements. In contemplation of the mind, only contemplate the mundane mind with their mental states. Because they create the suffering of the round of existence.

Among the five path factors (contemplating mind), sati & ñāna (paññā) are the main important factors. Because sati takes the object & ñāna contemplates. The meaning of dhamma is quite extensive. Therefore define its meaning accordingly with its function. If not, it can be confused.

If taking dhamma as nature, then it includes everything, even Nibbāna. The main meaning of dhamma is not a being & not a soul (nisatta & nijiva). Combine with others have to understand as has its nature. So it includes all. Contemplation of dhammas is in 5 sections.

[1] The hindrances (nīvarana)
[2] The aggregates (khandhas)
[3] The sense-spheres (āyatana)
[4] The awakening factors (bojjhaṅga)
[5] The Four Noble Truths (the four ariyasacca).

Why the Buddha only divided these five dhammas? Dhamma is extensive & these only are important. In the world, it is very important to distinguish what is important & what is not or unimportant. Most human beings are wasting their precious times & energies in unimportant things & matters. This point is very important to take care, reflect & act in our daily lives accordingly.

[1] The five hindrances – The 5 Nīvaranas:
__ The 5 hindrances are;
<1> sensual desire (kāmacchanda),
<2> aversion (byāpāda),
<3> sloth-&-torpor (thina-middha),
<4> restlessness-&-worry (uddhacca-kukkucca)
<5> doubt (vicikicchā).

In the practice of samatha or vipassanā to remove them far away is very important. If not, the practice cannot progress. Even wholesome dhammas cannot arise. These hindrances are the causes for the defilement of the mind. It weakens knowledge. Even it can defile the purified mind (e.g., some yogis lost their samādhi which had been developed).

__ For each hindrance, the yogi has to know them in 5 points.—

<1>Sensual desire:

(a) There is sensual desire in me

(b) There is no sensual desire in me.
Contemplate & checking the hindrance. This is not only arising now, but also happen very often. Some ask, this is practice or not. Sayadaw said that this was contemplation. If we do not reflect & check, how do we know it exists or not. With knowledge, we can correct it. This point is very important. Usually, people only are thinking about what things they have or not have? (e.g., money, power, fame…etc.) So people are always thinking with defilements (kilesa)

(c) He knows how unarisen sensual desire can arise or why it happens?
Have to find out the causes. Why it happened, the Buddha not mentioned it here? But he taught in other suttas. E.g., lust arises because of wrong attention (ayoniso) on the beauty of the object. Therefore defilement arises & increases when the problem has arisen.

(d) How can the arisen sensual desire be removed?
When it happens & how to remove it?
Can be removed lust by contemplating the unattractiveness of the object (asubha).

(e) How can a future arising of the removed sensual desire be prevented? The other hindrances are also contemplated in these ways if we can find out the answers & try to remove them. And then contemplating dhammas internally, externally & both. With the development, the yogi discerns the arising & passing away in dhammas, etc.

[2] The aggregates: the Khandhas:
__ The yogi contemplates dhammas in terms of the five aggregates of clinging in the following ways. The Buddha taught three ways; --

<1> Body aggregate (rūpakkhanda)
(a) Such is material form – knowing its nature
(b) Such is its arising
(c) Such is its passing away

__ The other four khandhas of; <2> feeling, <3> cognition <4> volitions & <5> consciousness are also in the same way for contemplations.

[3] Sense-spheres: Āyatanas:
__ The yogi contemplates dhammas in terms of the six internal & external sense-spheres, in the following ways. With the contacts of the six internal sense-spheres (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body & mind) & the six external sense-spheres (forms, sounds, odors, flavors, tangibles & mind objects) the six consciousness arise.

It is not necessary with every contact & fetter (samyojana) arises. If it is arising, then find out the causes. There are ten fetters; belief in a substantial & permanent self; doubt, dogmatic clinging to particular rules & observations, sensual desire, aversion, craving for fine material existence, craving for immaterial existence, conceit, restlessness & ignorance.

The Buddha’s instruction:
“He knows the eye, he knows forms, & he knows the fetter that arises dependent on both, & he also knows how an arisen fetter can arise, how an arisen fetter can be removed & how a future arising of the removed fetter can be prevented.”

The other internal & external sense-spheres also know in this way. The instruction can be put into simple terms.
<1> With the contact of sense doors & sense objects, mind-consciousness arises, etc.
<2> fetters can arise
<3> Why does it happen?
<4> How to remove it?
<5> What has to be done for removing it?

And then the yogi contemplates the dhammas internally, externally & both; seeing the arising & passing away in dhammas, etc.

[4] The awakening factors: Bojjhaṅgas:
__ These are the mental qualities that provide the conditions conducive to awakening. Just as rivers incline & flow towards the ocean, they incline towards Nibbāna. There are 7 bojjhaṅgas;

<1> Mindfulness (sati),
<2> investigation of dhammas (dhamma-vicaya)
<3> energy (viriya),
<4> joy (piti),
<5> tranquillity (passaddhi),
<6> concentration (samādhi)
<7> equanimity (upekkhā).

Why the Buddha taught the bojjhanga dhammas? As a human being, it is very important to know about the unwholesome dhammas. So that we cannot fall into it. Also, as a human being, it is very important to know about wholesome dhamma.

So that we can develop it. If we observe the world today & will know how important these points are (e.g., political conflicts, society problems, immorality, all sorts of pollutions, etc. are happening more than before).

If we know our mind by checking & observing, it becomes clear that what should have to be done & what should not have to be done, what is proper & what is not proper, what is beneficial & what is not beneficial, etc.

The instruction for awakening factors is:

“If mindfulness (sati) is present in the yogi, he knows that mindfulness awakening factor in him. If mindfulness not present in him & knows that also. The yogi knows how the unrisen mindfulness factor can arise. And how the arisen mindfulness factor can be perfected by development.“

The above instruction can be mentioned in simple ways. Contemplate for;
<1> I have sati,
<2> I don’t have sati,
<3> How to make it arises?,
<4> How to develop it?

__ The other six awakening factors are also practiced in these ways after that contemplating dhammas internally, externally & both. With the development, the yogi discerns the nature of arising & passing away in dhammas, etc.

[5] The Four Noble Truths: The 4 Ariyasaccas:

__ The final exercise among the satipatthāna contemplations is the four noble truths. The instruction is:

The yogi knows as it is; “This is dukkha, this is the arising of dukkha, this is the cessation of dukkha & this is the way leading to the cessation of dukkha.”

The four noble truths have been explained quite in details before. Therefore give only a rough idea. In the Buddha’s first discourse, the penetration of the truths had three levels each; study, practice & realization. Only we know the teaching that it can be practiced. With the practice, only one can have the realization.

The Buddha was like a doctor. The four noble truths were like; disease (dukkha), virus (craving-tanhā), health (Nibbāna) & medicine (The path factors).

<1> The first truth of dukkha – Dukkha has to be understood

<2> The 2nd truth of the cause of dukkha – its origination has to be abandoned. Craving/tanhā has to be abandoned.

<3> The 3rd truth of the cessation of dukkha – Its cessation has to be realized. This is the realization of Nibbāna or the ending of dukkha.

<4> The 4th truth of the way to the cessation of dukkha – The practical path to this realization has to be developed.

__ This is the Noble Eightfold Path.Therefore the four noble truths are the outcome of the practice. For the penetration of dukkha thoroughly, one must do the vipassana practice, which is sīla, samādhi & paññā. With the practice going on until to the ending of vipassanā process where dukkha (the five khandhas – mind and body) & the cause (craving/tanhā) are ceased. This is Nibbāna.

The Prediction:

__ Near the end of the satipatthāna discourse, the Buddha gave the prediction or guarantee for the yogis who had practiced diligently without wavering would have the following results. For seven years could be expected final knowledge (arahant) or non-returning (anāgāmi).

Let alone seven years – 6 years – 5 years – 4 years – 3 years – 2 years – one year – 7 months – 6-months – 5 months – 4 months – 3 months – 2 months – one month – half a month and seven days, one of 2 fruits could be expected for him.

These were not exaggerations. The Burmese monk, Soon Loong Sayadaw (1877 - 1952) had his final realization within four months (i.e., from the beginning of the practice to the final realization, four paths & fruits within four months. The year was 1920. For Sayadaw’s life & his practice see Jack Kornfield’s book – Living Buddhist Masters).

__ This section on the 32nd highest blessing of seeing the noble truths is the most important of all the blessings. It is connecting with the whole Buddhist practices to end dukkha. Therefore I want to present more on this section. Actually; 30th blessing – austerity, 31st blessing – celibacy, 32nd blessing – seeing noble truths & the 33rd blessing – realizing Nibbāna are connecting with practices.

Satipatthāna Practice for Everyone:

__ The following Dhamma notes are from the Dhamma talk given by the Ven. Dr. Nandamalarbhivamsa.

Without practicing satipatthāna, no-one can realize paths & fruits (magga & phala). There were enough evidence about this in some suttas. The Nalanda Sutta (from Satipatthāna saṁyutta) & Mahā-parinibbāna Sutta had mentioned this point.

Ven. Sariputta answered to the Buddha was: Every bodhisatta of the past had to abandon the hindrances with samādhi practice, had to concentrate on the satipatthāna practice, and had to develop the awakening factors (bojjhaṅgas) and became a Buddha.

The Buddha accepted his answer. Ven. Ānanda also mentioned the same thing; everyone by abandoning the hindrances, contemplations of the satipatthāna & developing the awakening factors became a noble being. Some writers wrote: “Did satipatthāna cut off the wrong view (ditthi) or craving (tanhā)?”

The Buddha Dhamma is cutting off all defilements (kilesas). The differences were only in the number of defilements which had been abandoned. E.g., the stream-winner (i.e., sotāpanna) has been cut off all wrong views & some amount of greed, anger & delusion. Some amount of greed, anger & delusion here means, these defilements which can send a being to the woeful planes of existence.

Ven. Sariputta asked Ven. Anuruddha as in what extent a yogi could be called a trainee (sekha) (someone realized anyone of the lower stages before the arahantship).

Ven. Anuruddha said that someone had developed some parts of satipatthāna was called a trainee (still in training). And after fully developed, it called one beyond training (asekha – an arahant).

In the Sala Sutta (from Satipatthāna-saṁyutta), the Buddha asked the novices & young monks to practice satipatthāna. What was the reason? For understanding the nature of the body, the feelings, the mind & the dhammas. It was practicing to know about them as it was (yathābhūtam).

For becoming someone beyond training (asekha) had to practise to the point of full understanding. After becoming an arahant also had to practise satipatthāna. For what reason? For peaceful abiding in fruition state (phala samāpatti)

__ In the Aṅguttara Nikāya, there is a section called Satipatthāna Vagga. It has ten suttas. There the Buddha mentioned the reasons for practicing satipatthāna.

<1> For not breaking the five precepts (pañcasīla).

<2> To abandon the five hindrances (pañca-nīvarana). Therefore to remove all unwholesome dhammas is satipatthāna practice.

<3> Sensual objects are binding the mind. To remove them or stay away from them, has to practice satipatthāna.

<4> To cut off the lower five fetters (samyojanas); i.e., identity view, doubt, clinging to particular rules & observances, sensual desire & aversion. This refers to become an anāgāmi (non-returner). These three lower fetters send beings to take rebirth in sensual realms.

<5> To be free from the five destinations (gati); i.e., hells, animals, hungry ghosts (peta), humans & deities. Also called the 31 realms of existence. This refers to become an arahant.

<6> For abandoning of the five kinds of selfishness (macchariya) or avarice (These are: with dwelling place, connections with relatives & supporters, on fortune & wealth, on beauty & fame & with Dhamma).

<7> To cut off the five higher fetters (i.e., the desire for becoming material jhānic gods, & immaterial jhānic gods, conceit, restlessness & ignorance). This refers to become an arahant.

<8> To move away from the barriers of the mind (cetokhila); such as doubts in the Buddha, Dhamma & Sangha& the practice, hate & aversion to one’s companions in practice, etc. With all these barriers in mind & the practice not going smoothly.

<9> There are shackles of the mind (cettovinibandha); such as sensual objects, one’s body, physical forms, material jhānic existences, etc. People have sīla or practicing sīla for the desiring of them. So, it needs to be freed from it. For removing them have to practise satipatthāna.

<10> For extinguishing of bodily dukkha, mental dukkha, sorrow & lamentation.

__ Practicing satipatthāna for these 10 points are connecting with the seven results mentioned in the introductions & the end of the satipatthāna sutta; i.e., for the purification of beings, for the surmounting of sorrow & lamentation, for the disappearance of dukkha & discontent, for acquiring the true method & for the realization of Nibbāna.

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