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11/24/07
Jhanas-Non-returner-Third Jhana-Basic Vijja Dhammakaya Meditation Practice
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 12:31 pm

Jhanas

Non-returner

Third Jhana

Dhammakaya Anagami (Non-returner) and then a Refined Dhammakaya Anagami whose lap-width, height and sphere diameter measure up to thirty meters or more.

 

Basic Vijja Dhammakaya Meditation Practice:

It is not easy to attain the finer states of life, but it is also not so difficult as to be impossible. It requires peace of mind. Never become emotional or get agitated about anything. That is counter to good concentration of mind. You have to be cool and peaceful. Something good like Dhamma is high level. It always appears with the peaceful person, situation, and mind, never with an unpeaceful mind. The good things, the best things in life, will always come to the peaceful-minded person. If you cannot understand this, just let it pass for the moment. Listen to the rest of the instructions and do what you can.

The Meditation Posture.

Please sit in a regular meditation posture, cross-legged as seen in some images of the Buddha, with the right leg resting upon the left. The right hand rests on the left, palms turned upwards, right index finger just touching the left thumb. The body is upright and the mind fully alert. Take a deep breath and relax the body until you feel comfortable. Close your eyelids lightly, do not press them.

In basic samatha vipassana practice, two aids are used:

1. The repetitive word (parikamma-bhavana)

2. The object of visualization (parikamma-nimitta)

 

The repetitive words are Samma Arahang (for the correct pronunciation please open this sound file), and the object of visualization is a bright, clear, luminous sphere. Using these aids, we shall draw the mind inward along the path to the center of the body. Such concentration allows the mind components of vision, memory, thought and awareness to come together into oneness or ekaggataramana.

The Seven Positions of The Sphere On The Path To The Center of The Body

Position 1: The Nostril Aperture

Concentrate with your mind and visualize until there exists a vision of a bright and clear sphere. Let the sphere appear at your nostril, for ladies at the left nostril and for gentlemen at the right nostril. Fix your attention and rest your mind at the center of the sphere. This is a very bright and clear spot, the size of a grain of sand or needle point. Repeat the words “samma arahang” mentally three times to sustain the bright and clear sphere at the nostril. This is the first position at which your mind is focused.

Position 2: The Eye Socket

Next, mentally move the bright, clear sphere slowly up to rest at the eye socket - ladies to your left eye socket and gentlemen to your right eye socket. While you are slowly moving the sphere with your mind, fix your attention always at the small bright center of the sphere. As the sphere rests at your eye socket, repeat mentally the words “samma arahang” three times. This is the second position.

Position 3: The Center of the Head

Mentally shift the sphere slowly to rest at the center of your head in line with the eyes. Keep the mind constantly fixed at the bright center of the luminous sphere. Repeat to yourself the words “samma arahang” three times to keep the sphere as bright and clear as you can, so that it shines and remains in that position. This is the third position.

Position 4: The Palate Terminus

Roll your eye-balls upward without lifting your head, so that your vision will turn back and inside. Meanwhile, mentally move the luminous and transparent sphere slowly and directly downward toward the palate. Recite to yourself the words “samma arahang” three times, to make the sphere even brighter and clearer, and hold it there. This is the fourth position.

Position 5: The Throat Aperture

Mentally move the bright, clear sphere slowly and directly downward to rest at the throat aperture. Repeat the words “samma arahang” to yourself three times, to keep the sphere bright and clear and hold it steady. This is the fifth position.

Position 6: Center of the Body

Next, slowly move the clear, luminous sphere directly downward, while keeping your attention focused on the bright nucleus at its center. Bring the sphere to rest at the center of the body, where the breath ends, even with the navel. This is the sixth position. Mentally recite the words “samma arahang” three times to keep the transparent sphere bright and luminous, and to hold it steady.

Position 7: Position of Sphere

Now, shift the sphere directly upward about two finger-widths above the navel. This is the center of the body and the seventh position. This is the mind’s permanent resting place. Whenever a person or any other creature is born, dies, sleeps or wakens, the Dhamma Sphere which governs the body arises from this position. The Dhamma Sphere is composed of the Vision Sphere, the Memory Sphere, the Thought Sphere, and the Awareness Sphere. During meditation, the Dhamma Sphere appears to float from the sixth position up to the seventh position. The seventh position is also considered to be the center of the body.

Keep the bright, clear sphere resting at the center of the body in the seventh position. Mentally recite the words “samma arahang” continuously to keep the sphere still and make it become brighter and clearer. Concentrate so that the sphere shines continuously. Focus your mind at the bright center of the sphere, and at the bright center of each successive sphere that emerges. Pay no attention to any external sensation. Let your mind delve deeper and deeper into the successive centers as you recite “samma arahang”, the parikamma-bhavana. Even if ants are climbing all over you or mosquitoes are flying all around, pay no heed. Don’t even pay attention to following the breath.

Bring your mind to rest at the center of the center, by envisioning a bright sphere. Your mind should rest steadily and continuously at the center of the sphere. Do not force the mind too strongly. Over exerting the mind will cause a shift in your meditation and the mind will not be able to see.

Do not use your physical eyes to focus on the vision. The practice is only for your mind. Gently train your mind to see a bright, clear, steady sphere. Mentally observe and focus on the bright clear center. Concentrate on the center of each consecutive sphere that emerges from the preceding one. Do not wander to the left, right, front, rear, top or bottom. Always focus on the center of each new sphere which emerges from the bright shining center. Rest the mind there.

As the mind components of vision, memory, thought and awareness are drawn into oneness, they come to rest at the same center of the body. The meditator will notice a gradual decrease in response to external sensations. With proper concentration, the mind will then fall back to the sixth position.

Then, a bright, clear sphere will emerge at the seventh position. The sphere may be the size of an egg yolk. Smaller ones may look like a star in the sky. Large spheres may be as big as the sun or the moon. This is the sphere of pathama-magga, the preliminary sign of concentration. It is the first step towards the path (magga), fruit (phala), and nibbana. This is also known as the Dhamma Sphere, which makes the human body possible.

When this luminous and clear sphere appears, do not be overjoyed or over-react. If you do, the concentration (samadhi) could loosen and the sphere might disappear. Keep your mind evenly calm in equanimity (upekkha). Hold the mind still, without repeating the parikamma-bhavana (”samma arahang”). Once the sphere of pathama-magga is perceived, there is no need to continue this mental recitation.

Concentrate the mind at the small, luminous, clear center of the pathama-magga sphere. Five smaller spheres will appear within this sphere. One is concentric at the center. The others are in front, at the right, left, and behind, respectively.

These small spheres are the refined centers of the basic elements. In front is the water element, controlling fluids in bodily functions. To the right is the earth element, controlling solid parts. To the back lies the fire element dealing with the body’s temperature and heat. To the left is the wind element, controlling internal movements of gases. At the center is the space element, controlling the various gaps within the body. In the center of the space element is the cognitive element or vinnanadhatu which controls consciousness. Four thin bright, clear lines connect each of the circumferential spheres to the central sphere.

The pathama-magga sphere will appear as reflecting the physical, verbal and mental purification of the meditator. When the mind is at rest, concentrated at the seventh position, it allows all six refined elements to come into unison at this seventh position, the center, where the original dhatu-dhamma was generated.

Once this pathama-magga sphere can be observed, concentrate further at the center of the clear, luminous sphere. When the mind is still and in the right mode, the center will expand, giving rise in its place to a new, more luminous, clear and refined sphere of moral conduct (sila). Through this sphere, we can refine physical, verbal and mental deeds more efficiently and on a deeper level than through common morality. This is the pure sila of kammahana and can be regarded as adhisila or higher (purer) morality. When the mind can remain permanently in the center of this Sila Sphere, the physical, verbal and mental activities and their intentions will always be clean and pure. Higher morality (adhisila) goes together with higher mind (adhicitta), higher wisdom (adhipanya), emancipation (vimutti), and insight (vimutti-nanadassana) or the vision of truth from emancipation.

As the mind stays at rest, still and concentrated further into the center of the sphere of sila, and in the right mode, the center of the sphere will keep on expanding and in its place will appear a new, more luminous, clear and refined sphere of samadhi. This further refines physical, verbal and mental activities. When the mind rests still and deep in samadhi at this stage, it will destroy the Five Hindrances to the attainment of goodness: lust, malice, anxiety, sloth and doubt about practice. This is the commencement of the first state of absorption (pathama-jhana). The mind is now gentle enough for insight practice (vipassana) to develop the wisdom (panya) to know correctly and clearly the Truth of Dhamma. Hence, it is called the adhicitta or higher mind.

Concentrate further and rest still at the center of the center of the Sphere of Samadhi. With the mind at rest, still, and in the right mode, the previous center will expand and a new, more luminous, clear Sphere of Panya will appear in its place.

Similarly, with the mind resting still, concentrated at the center of the Panya Sphere, the Sphere of Vimutti (emancipation) emerges. Let the mind adhere to the center of the Vimutti Sphere, keeping it always luminous and clear. This will destroy the crude desires belonging to human beings such as greed, vengeance and wrong point-of-view.

Hold your mind at rest in the center of the center of the Vimutti Sphere. When the mind is in the right mode, the Sphere of Vimutti-Nanadassana will appear. Concentrate the mind further, resting still at the center of the center of the Vimutti-Nanadassana Sphere.

With the right mode of mind, the center will expand and a Refined Human Form or Panita-Manussakaya will emerge from this center. The Refined Human Form appears identical to the meditator, but is finer than the ordinary form. It sits in the regular meditation posture, facing the same direction as the meditator.

Panita Manussakaya { Refined Human Body }

 

In some cases, a clear crystal Buddha appears with a crown of budding lotus. The Buddha is beautiful, pure, and perfect. This is Dhammakaya.

Dibbakaya 

Crude Celestial Body

Rupabrahmakaya

Crude Form Brahman Body

Anita Rupabrahmakaya

Refined Form Brahman Body

Arupabrahmakaya

Crude Formless Brahman Body

Panita Arupabrahmakaya

Refined Formless Brahman Body

(panita-kaya) is observed, concentrate with all your mind to assume or become such a form (kaya). As the centers of all kayas are concentric, the mind is now right at the center of the new kaya. Concentrate until both the sphere and the kaya are bright and clear. The mind now rests still at the center of the nucleus of the new sphere, so that it is all bright and clear. As new spheres are observed, proceed in the same manner as before through the new spheres of sila, samadhi, panya, vimutti, and vimutti-nanadassana.

The mind now rests still at the center of the small bright nucleus of the sphere of vimutti-nanadassana. Then the nucleus will expand and a new refined form (panita-kaya) will be observed. Dibbakaya arises. When the refined body, panita-dibbakaya arises, detach all your feeling from the present body to assume or become the newly refined one. Concentrate all your attention at the center until the spheres of dhamma, sila, samadhi, panya, vimutti, and vimutti-nanadassana are observed successively.

Dhammakaya-Gotrabhu

Continue to repeat the same procedure for further mental purification through subsequent spheres and kaya. Whenever there rises a more refined body, detach your feeling from the present body and assume or become the new refined one. Concentrate your attention at the center until the spheres of dhamma, sila, samadhi, panya, vimutti, and vimutti-nanadassana are observed.

The rupabrahmakaya appears next, then panita-rupabrahmakaya. Next comes arupabrahmakaya, followed by panita-arupabrahmakaya. Finally, Dhammakaya-Gotrabhu (i.e., wisdom through which a Noble State is developed) is attained and seen. The lapwidth, height and sphere diameter are each nine meters (10 yards). Dhammakaya appear like diamond Buddha statues, crowned with a budding lotus. They are luminous, radiant and as clear as a pure, perfect, first-rate diamond. As you continue to concentrate at the center of the center, more and more refined, purer and purer, larger and larger Dhammakaya will be observed. Follow the same procedure described for previous kaya, concentrating through successive spheres until the next body appears..

he following Dhammakaya will be attained:

Dhammakaya Gotrabhu (Noble-state Wisdom) and then a Refined Dhammakaya Gotrabhu whose lap-width, height and sphere diameter are all nine meters or more.

Dhammakaya Sota (Stream-winner) and then a Refined Dhammakaya Sota whose lap-width, height and sphere diameter are ten meters or more.

Dhammakaya Sakadagami (Once-returner) and then a Refined Dhammakaya Sakadagami whose lap-width, height and sphere diameter are twenty meters or more.

Dhammakaya Anagami (Non-returner) and then a Refined Dhammakaya Anagami whose lap-width, height and sphere diameter measure up to thirty meters or more.

Dhammakaya Arahatta (Perfect One) and then a Refined Dhammakaya Arahatta whose lap-width, height and sphere diameter extend up to forty meters or more.

With all of your mind, become the more and more refined Dhammakaya Arahatta. Rest your mind and keep it still, right at the center of the sphere of the most refined Dhammakaya Arahatta that you can attain. Hold steady until you reach ayatana nibbana, the place or sphere where the most refined Dhammakaya Arahatta can exist in the highest perfection. This is where the arahantas and Lord Buddhas whose Five Aggregates or khandhas have passed away exist forever. It is also called anupadisesa-nibbana or nibbana without residue.

One who has attained Dhammakaya has developed mindful contemplation of physical body, feelings, mental functions and phenomena (dhamma). He or she can cut at least three fetters (sa yojana): the wrong view of perceiving a “self” in the Five Khandhas (sakkayaditthi), uncertainty (vicikiccha), and useless or wrong ritual practices and vows (silabbata paramasa). This meditator can then become a Noble One.

Stages of Sainthood in Theravada Buddhism

 

 

 STAGE  FETTERS TO BE ABANDONED
 Stream-Enterer

 (Sotopana)

(1) Realisation that there is no essence in the 5 heaps of body and mind (body, emotion & mind).

(2) To be convinced that rites and rituals do not lead to enlightenment.

(3) To believe in the Buddha and His teaching.

 

 Once-Returner

 (Sagadagami)

(4) Partial Eradication of Craving and Hatred.
 Non-Returner

 (Anagami)

 

(5) Complete Eradication of Craving and Hatred.
 Sainthood

 (Arahant)

(6) Eradicate attachment to the realms of subtle forms.

(7) Eradicate attachments to the formless realms.

(8) Subdue restlessness of the mind.

(9) Annihilate ego-conceit.

(10)Destruction of ignorance.

 

 
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Jhanas-Arahant-Fourth Jhana-Meditation : Steps in the Buddha’s Discovery -Vipassana Experience
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 12:09 pm

Jhanas

 Arahant

Fourth Jhana

While meditator is practicing meditation, it is better to know how far each one has success in practices. You may use the word “jhana” as a searching through the general web search engine

Meditation : Steps in the Buddha’s Discovery

English for Thai people is a foreign language. It is not second language. Root of Thai language came partly from Pali and Sanskrit so as my name. So I prefer Pali than English sometime.

Meditation practice in the Buddha’s lifetime can be divided into 3 periods. Firstly, the meditation practices that Buddha learned from his teachers before he turned to the Middle Way. Samatha is these kinds of meditation practices. Samatha has another name called Jhana. Some Westerners translated Samatha as concentration but I disagree because Samatha has 8 states and concentration is only a tiny part of all process. Samatha started from one-pointed concentration and end with a formless form of emptiness. The Buddha found that the person who passes the Formless Samatha would reborn in Formless Realm. Formless Realm has no sufferings but after a very long period of time (millions of years and many times of Earth life) the people there will reborn again. So it is not the goal of the Buddha’s practice.

Secondly, the meditation practices that the Buddha himself and his disciples practiced for the enlightenment. The Buddha still practiced Samatha to sharpen and energize his mind. He practiced Samatha forwardly from 1 to 8 state and backwardly from 8 to 1 state as a mind exercise. Furthermore, the Buddha discovered Vipassana as a unique meditation practice of Buddhism. Vipassana was the practice that helped making his Dhamma, ended his suffering and ended his rebirth cycle. Vipassana is the process to apply right understanding to find the truths then gain wisdom as an outcome. There are many applications such as Samatha then Vipassana, Vipassana then Samatha, Samatha in Vipassana, and Vipassana in Samatha. All of these applications are not the same as to hide the sensory and perception as Samatha. Vipassana uses strong power of sensory and perception to empty the cause of suffering and rebirth.

Lastly, the meditation practices that the Buddha and other enlightened persons practiced after the enlightenment. After their liberation through voidness (Sunnata-vimokkha), they had no more truths to be liberated so they concentrated on the void (Sunnata-samadhi) as a kind of practices. This may be similar, as saying that in meditation, there is only reality and no experience of (more) truths. Emptiness is absolutely emptiness not because of there is nothing but there are no human’s words in any dictionary to represent the emptiness and condition of this level. Only the person who attains this level will understand.

There is a kind of emptiness but it is from Moha Samadhi (Fake and not Right Meditation). This kind of practice should be avoided because it starts from no concentration or concentration on nothing then ends at no awareness. It likes day dreaming with blank mind that gains nothing. It may be called the process of endarkenment.

I think it is not easy to know when and where is the end of meditation practice. There were also other meditation practices that the Buddha discovered during his 45 years after his enlightenment. Even the first Jhana is emptiness of some kind. There are many kinds and forms of emptiness that related to the steps of the Buddha’s discovery.




.

Vipassana Experience

Your practice sounds very good and should be the right start, I think. I will share some of my Vipassana experience too.

Vipassana starts without blank screen. It starts by watching to learn the body-mind process so it is better to practice Vipassana in everyday life to have something arisen in the mind. When I finish practicing Samatha, I will continue with Vipassana immediately.

After Samatha, whatever I feel, think, hear, or sense, I will find that its process begins with something arising-staying for awhile-then disappearing. This is anicca then anatta then this cycle will repeat itself again and again. I learn the nature of Anatta.

Next step may be continuing with Anatta until I see and feel that the real nature is not real as I experienced. Everything (at least at this level I will believe that it is everything not almost all things) is Anatta. Then I recall a past experience and think how anatta cause me sufferings. Craving and attachment can not win anatta. So I should extinguish the cause of sufferings, which is at this level, are craving and attachment. This step relates with the 4 noble truths.

Instead of continuing with the 4 noble truths as above, next step may be learning how body-mind process works with the five aggregates. I receive the picture through the eyes (rupa) and translate with my past experience and memory (sanna) then may own thought (sankhara) may bias and ignite the temper (vedana) that I know by my consciousness (vinnana). So after learning how the body-mind process works then I will try to disconnect the process.

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Questionnaire No 1 and Answers of Second Year Diploma Course
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 12:06 am

Question and Answers

MAHABODHI ACADEMY FOR PALI AND BUDDHIST STUDIE (MAPBS)

14 kalidasa Road, Gandhinagar, Bangalore-560009, Karnataka, India

Tel.91-080-6451443, FAX:91-080-22264438 E-mail: mbou@mahabodhi.info,

http://www.mahabodhi.info/

 

Questionnaire No 1 and Answers of Second Year Diploma Course

 

1.                  What are the four Great omens? Since they are common sights, what do they signify to most people?

       The Prince Siddhattha, after enjoying the luxurious pleasures of the King for 13 years, came to the age of twenty-nine. He used to go to the royal garden together with his retinue. On his way to the royal garden, he saw the four great omens, namely an old man, a sick man, a dead man and a recluse. Each of them was created by devas (gods) after an interval of four months. The royal father Suddhodana took measures to prevent the Bodhisatta from seeing these miserable sights with the help of his guards, because he was worried that the Bodhisatta might renounce the worldly life. So the Bodhisatta had never seen the aged, the sick, the dead and the recluse till then. When he saw the four great omens consecutively, he was shocked and remorseful. An idea flashed upon his mind: “I shall also, one day, become old, sick and die.” He could not bring himself to enjoy the luxury and pleasure of the palace. Therefore, he was determined:

         ”I shall renounce the worldly pleasure today to become a recluse like the one whom I had seen.” While he was staying in the royal garden, he was informed that his chief queen Yasodara had given birth to a son and he was startled, thinking; “There appears one more fetter.” And he decided, “I shall renounce the world tonight.”

          He murmured: “This son will hinder me. from renouncing the world just like the Devil Rahu seizing the moon.” That is why the royal son was named Rahula.

2.                  Prince Siddhattha Gotama had never seen these four sights, therefore he was profoundly moved when he encountered them. So intense was his response that he renounced the world and became a homeless monk. Please give your considered opinion as to why he so intensly and uncommonly responded the way he did.

Renunciation

          When he got to the palace from the royal garden, he went to bed early, because he did not want to enjoy the royal entertainment as usual. The lady-attendants fell asleep in the light of scented oil-lamps. They were all asleep - some with their thighs or calves exposed, some with saliva oozing from the corners of their lips, some opening their mouths wide, some snoring and some rolling, turning and talking in their sleep. When the Bodhisatta woke up at midnight, he felt that the sleeping lady-attendants were corpses and he himself were in a cemetery. So he decided to leave the palace at once

3.                  Narrate clearly the various modes of self-mortificationthe Bodhisatta Siddhattha resorted to in keeping with the traditional belief that only through such self-torture or penance a person can attain salvation.

PRACTISING AUSTERITIES

Devas Thought that Siddhattha was dead

         The Bodhisatta left for the groves not far from the southern part of Rajagaha. He placed himself under the guidance of the two ascetic leaders, Alara and Udaka, and practised for Jhana (concentration). He soon gained the mundane jhanic ecstasy. Knowing his capability, the two ascetic leaders made him leader as themselves. But he did not accept their proposals. He decided that the power of his jhanic ecstasy was not the way to attain the omniscience. Thus he proceeded to the Uruvela grove.

          In those days, there prevailed an ideology among the ascetics that one can attain enlightenment only by means of practising strenuous and severe austerities. Hence the Bodhisatta practised them in the Uruvela grove for six years. He took food very sparingly. He undertook the difficult practice very severely, having just a fruit for the whole day. Some times he took no food at all. His flesh and blood dried up because of the severe effort. The thirty-two special bodily marks disappeared and the bright golden complexion became gray also. The skin of the belly stuck to the spinal-cord. His sacred body was reduced to a skeleton. Indeed, he was nearly dying. The skin of the head wrinkled and withered like a little tender gourd dried up in the sun. As he was very frail, he fell down and fainted while walking with the contemplation of breathing-out and breathing-in. Some devasthought that Siddhattha was dead.

4.                  Describe the particular incident with all the details which led to his giving up of the hard penances that he had been practicing for six years.

 

            After having practised austerities for six years, he reflected that he would not be able to attain the awakenment unless he was healthy and strong. So he went round for alms again and followed the Middle Way (Majjhimapatipada). Thus, his complexion became golden and bright again, and he became strong enough to practise the Middle Way. The thirty-two special bodily marks of the greatest man reappeared. The group of five ascetics-Kondanna, Vappa, Bhaddiya, Mahanama and Assaji - had attended to the Bodhisatta while he was practising austerities for six long years. They were looking forward to hear the very first discourse when he attained Buddhahood. Nevertheless, when he partook of food again by going round for alms to sustain himself and followed the Middle Way, they became disappointed with him. So they departed from him and left for the Migadaya (Deer Park).

 

5.                  After he had renounced both the extremes of self-indulgence and self-mortification, what past reminded him as to his future course of action? Quote the actual event.

“The Tathagatha avoids the two extremes
and talks about the Middle Path.
What this is, that is; this arises, that arises.
Through ignorance volitional actions or karmic formations are conditioned.

Through birth, decay, death, lamentation, pain etc. are conditioned.
When this is not, that is not; this ceasing, that ceases.
hrough the complete cessation of ignorance, volitional activities or karmic formations cease. 
Through the cessation of birth, death, decay, sorrow, etc. cease.”

(Samyuktagama, Chapter 12)

6.                  Describe the five dreams the Bodhisatta had on the night before the Awakenment. How did he interpret these dreams.

“When the Tathagata — worthy & rightly self-awakened — was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, five great dreams appeared to him. Which five?

“When the Tathagata — worthy & rightly self-awakened — was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, this great earth was his great bed. The Himalayas, king of mountains, was his pillow. His left hand rested in the eastern sea, his right hand in the western sea, and both feet in the southern sea. When the Tathagata — worthy & rightly self-awakened — was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, this was the first great dream that appeared to him.

“Furthermore, when the Tathagata — worthy & rightly self-awakened — was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, a woody vine growing out of his navel stood reaching to the sky. When the Tathagata — worthy & rightly self-awakened — was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, this was the second great dream that appeared to him.

“Furthermore, when the Tathagata — worthy & rightly self-awakened — was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, white worms with black heads crawling up from his feet covered him as far as his knees. When the Tathagata — worthy & rightly self-awakened — was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, this was the third great dream that appeared to him.

“Furthermore, when the Tathagata — worthy & rightly self-awakened — was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, four different-colored birds coming from the four directions fell at his feet and turned entirely white. When the Tathagata — worthy & rightly self-awakened — was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, this was the fourth great dream that appeared to him.

“Furthermore, when the Tathagata — worthy & rightly self-awakened — was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, he walked back & forth on top of a giant mountain of excrement but was not soiled by the excrement. When the Tathagata — worthy & rightly self-awakened — was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, this was the fifth great dream that appeared to him.

“Now, when the Tathagata — worthy & rightly self-awakened — was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, and this great earth was his great bed, the Himalayas, king of mountains, was his pillow, his left hand rested in the eastern sea, his right hand in the western sea, and both feet in the southern sea: this first great dream appeared to let him know that he would awaken to the unexcelled right self-awakening.

“When the Tathagata — worthy & rightly self-awakened — was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, and a woody vine growing out of his navel stood reaching to the sky: this second great dream appeared to let him know that when he had awakened to the noble eightfold path, he would proclaim it well as far as there are human & celestial beings.

“When the Tathagata — worthy & rightly self-awakened — was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, and white worms with black heads crawling up from his feet covered him as far as his knees: this third great dream appeared to let him know that many white-clothed householders would go for life-long refuge to the Tathagata.

“When the Tathagata — worthy & rightly self-awakened — was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, and four different-colored birds coming from the four directions fell at his feet and turned entirely white: this fourth great dream appeared to let him know that people from the four castes — priests, noble-warriors, merchants, and laborers — having gone forth from the home life into homelessness in the Dhamma & Vinaya taught by the Tathagata, would realize unexcelled release.

“When the Tathagata — worthy & rightly self-awakened — was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, and he walked back & forth on top of a giant mountain of excrement but was not soiled by the excrement: this fifth great dream appeared to let him know that the Tathagata would receive gifts of robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites to cure the sick, but he would use them unattached to them, uninfatuated, guiltless, seeing the drawbacks [of attachment to them], and discerning the escape from them.

“When the Tathagata — worthy & rightly self-awakened — was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, these five great dreams appeared to him.”

7.                  Give the narration of the day he became the Awakened One beginning with his almsround in Senaani village.Describe the way Sujaata prepared her Paayasa.

Sujata’s Offering of Milk-Rice

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Sujata offers the Milk Rice to Siddhatta before his Enlightenment

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Lady Sujata Offers Milk Rice to Siddhatta Bodhisatta

          There was a market town called Sena near Uruvela Grove. Sujata, the daughter of a wealthy man there offered food in oblation to the deva of a banyan tree on the fullmoon day of Kason yearly as all her wishes were fulfilled. On the fullmoon day of Kason of that year, Sujata offered milk-rice together with the gold cup to the Bodhisatta, who was sitting magnificently under the banyan tree. She thought that the guardian deva himself was sitting to receive her offering.

From the day the Great Being had gone forth from the household life until the day depicted in this picture, six years had elapsed. Here he has resumed eating normal food and his body has returned to a normal state. This day was the fifteenth of the waxing moon of the sixth lunar month, 45 years before the Buddha’s passing away [parinibbana]. The lady offering things to the Great Being in the picture is Sujata. She was the daughter of a householder in a village in Uruvela Senanigama. She is offering a dish of Rice Gruel with Milk [madhupayasa], rice cooked with pure cow’s milk. It was a vegetarian food, containing no meat or fish, used especially as an offering to deities.

The Pathamasambodhi states that Sujata had made a prayer to the deity of a certain banyan tree for a husband of equal status and for a son by him. When she had obtained what she wished for, she cooked the milk rice as an offering in thanks. Before the day she was to cook the rice, Sujata had some of her servants lead the herd of 1,000 cows to a forest of licorice grass so that the cows could eat their fill. Then she divided them into two herds of 500 head each, and milked the 500 cows of one herd and fed that milk to the 500 cows of the other herd. She then continued to divide that herd and feed half on the milk of the other half until there were only eight cows left. She then took the milk from those eight cows to make her milk rice.

When the rice was cooked, Sujata sent a servant girl to clean up the area around the banyan tree. The servant girl came back to Sujata with a report that the deity [deva] who was to receive the offerings had materialized, and was already sitting at the foot of the banyan tree. Excited, Sujata lifted the tray of milk rice to her head and carried it to the banyan tree, together with her servant girl. Seeing that it was as her servant had told her, she came forward and proffered the tray of milk rice. The Great Being received it and looked at Sujata. She understood from his look that he had no bowl or any other dish with which to eat the food, and so she made an offering of both the rice and the dish.

Having offered the rice, she walked back to her house, full of happiness, believing that she had made offerings to a deva.

          After the Bodhisatta had cleansed himself in the River Neranjara, he took forty-nine mouthfuls of milk-rice. After he had the food, he placed the gold cup afloat in the river, making the solemn resolution: “If I shall become a Buddha today, may this gold cup float upstream.” The gold cup floated up stream for eighty cubits and then sank down.

8.                  Give an account of the battle with Maara as clearly as possible mentioning the different weapons Maara used.

Vanquishing the Mara

          Then the Bodhisatta stayed the whole day in the Sal grove near Neranjara, reflecting on the constituent parts of the body. In the evening, on the way to the Bodhi Tree, he accepted eight handfuls of grass offered by Sotthiya, the grass-cutter. The Bodhisatta approached the Bodhi Tree from eastward, went around the tree clockwise three times, and scattered the eight handfuls of grass at the foot of the tree. Thereupon, the magnificent jewelled throne, ‘Aparajita pallanka’ appeared marvelously. He sat cross-legged on it, facing eastward with his back against the trunk of the Bodhi Tree.

          Then he made the solemn resolution: “Let my flesh and blood dry up, and let only my skin, nerves and bones remain! Never shall I unfold this cross-legged position until I attain Buddhahood!” Then the Bodhisatta cultivated mindfulness of breathing-out and breathing-in and remained completely absorbed in the fourth jhanic ecstasy.

          On seeing the Bodhisatta seated with firm and solemn resolution, Mara knew that the Bodhisatta would certainly attain Buddha-hood on that day. So he disturbed and fought him, riding Girimekhala elephant and leading numerous fighting forces armed with various weapons. The Mara attacked the Bodhisatta incessantly by creating violent storms, by shoering weapons and hot ash, etc., as if the world were going to be destroyed. The Bodhisatta, however, vanquished him by virtue of the power of Perfections which he had accomplished through four asankhyeyyas and one hundred-thousand worlds. The Bodhisatta repulsed successfully the force of Mara before the sun-set.

9.                  What happened after the victory over Maara? Clearly describe the events from 6pm to 6amthe next morning when he became the Supremely Awakened One. Describe the three Vijjas which led to Awakenment.

The Attainment of Buddhahood

  • Buddha, the Enlightened One

 

         Contemplating on mindfulness of breathing-out and breathing-in and remaining absorbed in the fourth Anapana jhanic ecstasy, the Bodhisatta gained the Pubbenivasanussatinana the higher psychic power to remember past existences of himself as well as of others — during the first watch of the night. In the middle watch of the night, he attained Dibbacakkhunana - the power of supernormal vision to see penetratively things, big or small, far or near, fine or gross like the divine eyes. In the last watch of the night. the Bodhisatta contemplated the “Law of Cause and Effect” and practised insight meditation. Then he fully realized the Four Noble Truths and attained Asavekkhaya or Arahattamagganana — the higher psychic power which enables one to eradicate defilements absolutely.

          As soon as the Bodhisatta gained the Arahatta-magga-nana, he also attained the Omniscience, Sabbannuta-nana, the Fully Enlightenment. He attained Buddhahood at the age of 35. It was Wednesday, the fullmoon day of Kason, in the year 103 Maha Era (589 B.C.). When he became the Enlightened One who was worthy of veneration of all living beings — human beings, devas and brahmas – and was incomparable by gaining Omniscience. All devas and brahmas from the ten-thousand worlds came to pay obeisance to the Buddha delightfully and happily. The earth vehemently trembled and resounded with the roll of thunder bursting loudly in the sky. All flowering plants of the whole world bloomed out of season, as if they were paying homage to the Buddha.

The Virtue of Sabbannuta-nana

         The Buddha gained the great Omniscience, Sabbannuta-nana, in his last existence as he had accomplished the Ten Perfections, the Three Noble Practices and the five Great Sacrifices.By the power of Omniscience, the Buddha knew all things that should be known. He fully realized every phenomenon - both the conditioned and the unconditioned.

          Of all that should be known, the Buddha absolutely knew about each and everything from the beginning to the end. Here are the three attributes of the Omniscience:

  1. Knowing all things to be known without exception.
  2. Knowing the natural tendencies of the person who is going to hear the discourse, and
  3. Knowing how to expound the discourse.

10.              When he won Supreme Awakenment at day break what happened at that historic moment? The Buddha breathed forth two verses found in the Dhammapada. Write down Paali Gaatha and its English rendering. Give your opinion about these two Gathas.

After achieving the supreme Enlightenment, the Buddha, rejoicing at his conquest, uttered the following Verse of Victory.

  1. Anekajati samsaram sandhavissam anibbisam Gahakaram gavesanto dukkha jati punappunam
  2. Gahakarakadittho si Puna geham na kahasi Sabba te phasuka hhagga gahakutam visamkhitam Visankharagatam cittam tanhanam khayam ajjhaga

                  My mind has attained the unconditioned. Achieved is the end of craving.

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