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The Abhidhamma in Practice by N.K.G. Mendis of Abhidhamma Practice-Samaññaphala Sutta The Fruits of the Contemplative Life Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu of Sutta Pitaka-Saṅghādisesa [go up] Rules entailing an initial and subsequent meeting of the Sangha of Vinaya Pitaka-Tipitaka The Pali Canon-Indian Politics- BSP Will spring a surprise at state polls -Christians asked to take part in politics -time has come to explore and test new options like the Bahujan Samaj Party-BSP has fielded a community member, Lata Edwin, for the Jhabua seat-Now the Entire People, that is, Sarvajan will be Secure, Well and Happy, no sooner they become the members of Bahujan Samaj Party. No evil force can ever touch them as all of them are Original Ihabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharth - Three Baskets Study Circle -Court dismisses expelled BSP member’s plea
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Springtime blossoms at Haeinsa. Photo Creative Commons License Erik Shin.

Hyoo-Geh-Shil at Haeinsa. Photo Creative Commons License Erik Shin.

Vinaya Pitaka

Rules entailing an initial and subsequent meeting of the Sangha

1. Intentional emission of semen, except while dreaming, entails initial and subsequent meetings of the Community.

2. Should any bhikkhu, overcome
by lust, with altered mind, engage in bodily contact with a woman, or
in holding her hand, holding a lock of her hair, or caressing any of
her limbs, it entails initial and subsequent meetings of the Community.

3. Should any bhikkhu, overcome
by lust, with altered mind, address lewd words to a woman in the manner
of young men to a young woman alluding to sexual intercourse, it
entails initial and subsequent meetings of the Community.

4. Should any bhikkhu, overcome
by lust, with altered mind, speak in the presence of a woman in praise
of ministering to his own sensuality thus: “This, sister, is the
foremost ministration, that of ministering to a virtuous, fine-natured
follower of the celibate life such as myself with this act” — alluding
to sexual intercourse — it entails initial and subsequent meetings of
the Community.

5. Should any bhikkhu engage in
conveying a man’s intentions to a woman or a woman’s intentions to a
man, proposing marriage or paramourage — even if only for a momentary
liaison — it entails initial and subsequent meetings of the Community.

6. When a bhikkhu is having a
hut built from (gains acquired by) his own begging — having no sponsor
and destined for himself — he is to have it built to the standard
measurement. Here the standard is this: twelve spans, using the sugata
span, in length (measuring outside); seven in width, (measuring)
inside. Bhikkhus are to be assembled to designate the site. The site
the bhikkhus designate should be without disturbances and with adequate
space. If the bhikkhu should have a hut built from his own begging on a
site with disturbances and without adequate space, or if he should not
assemble the bhikkhus to designate the site, or if he should have the
standard exceeded, it entails initial and subsequent meetings of the
Community.

7. When a bhikkhu is having a
large dwelling built — having a sponsor and destined for himself — he
is to assemble bhikkhus to designate the site. The site the bhikkhus
designate should be without disturbances and with adequate space. If
the bhikkhu should have a large dwelling built on a site with
disturbances and without adequate space, or if he should not assemble
the bhikkhus to designate the site, it entails initial and subsequent
meetings of the Community.

8. Should any bhikkhu — corrupt,
aversive, disgruntled — charge a bhikkhu with an unfounded case
entailing defeat, (thinking), “Perhaps I may bring about his fall from
this celibate life,” then regardless of whether or not he is
cross-examined on a later occasion, if the issue is unfounded and the
bhikkhu confesses his aversion, it entails initial and subsequent
meetings of the Community.

9. Should any bhikkhu — corrupt,
aversive, disgruntled — using as a mere ploy an aspect of an issue that
pertains otherwise, charge a bhikkhu with a case entailing defeat,
(thinking), “Perhaps I may bring about his fall from this celibate
life,” then regardless of whether or not he is cross-examined on a
later occasion, if the issue pertains otherwise, an aspect used as a
mere ploy, and the bhikkhu confesses his aversion, it entails initial
and subsequent meetings of the Community.

10. Should any bhikkhu agitate
for a schism in a united Community, or should he persist in taking up
an issue conducive to schism, the bhikkhus are to admonish him thus:
“Do not, venerable sir, agitate for a schism in a united Community or
persist in taking up an issue conducive to schism. Let the venerable
one be reconciled with the Community, for a united Community, on
courteous terms, without dispute, with a common recitation, dwells in
peace.”

And should that bhikkhu, thus admonished by the bhikkhus, persist as
before, the bhikkhus are to rebuke him up to three times so as to
desist. If while being rebuked up to three times he desists, that is
good. If he does not desist, it entails initial and subsequent meetings
of the Community.

11. Should bhikkhus — one,
two, or three — who are followers and partisans of that bhikkhu, say,
“Do not, venerable sirs, admonish that bhikkhu in any way. He is an
exponent of the Dhamma. He is an exponent of the Vinaya. He acts with
our consent and approval. He knows, he speaks for us, and that is
pleasing to us,” the bhikkhus are to admonish them thus: “Do not say
that, venerable sirs. That bhikkhu is not an exponent of the Dhamma and
he is not an exponent of the Vinaya. Do not, venerable sirs, approve of
a schism in the Community. Let the venerable ones’ (minds) be
reconciled with the Community, for a united Community, on courteous
terms, without dispute, with a common recitation, dwells in peace.”

And should those bhikkhus, thus admonished by the bhikkhus, persist
as before, the bhikkhus are to rebuke them up to three times so as to
desist. If while being rebuked up to three times they desist, that is
good. If they do not desist, it entails initial and subsequent meetings
of the Community.

12. In case a bhikkhu is by
nature difficult to admonish — who, when being legitimately admonished
by the bhikkhus with reference to the training rules included in the
(Pāṭimokkha) recitation, makes himself unadmonishable, (saying,) “Do
not, venerable ones, say anything to me, good or bad; and I won’t say
anything to the venerable ones, good or bad. Refrain, venerable ones,
from admonishing me” — the bhikkhus are to admonish him thus: “Let the
venerable one not make himself unadmonishable. Let the venerable one
make himself admonishable. Let the venerable one admonish the bhikkhus
in accordance with what is right, and the bhikkhus will admonish the
venerable one in accordance with what is right; for it is thus that the
Blessed One’s following is nurtured: through mutual admonition, through
mutual rehabilitation.”

And should that bhikkhu, thus admonished by the bhikkhus, persist as
before, the bhikkhus are to rebuke him up to three times so as to
desist. If while being rebuked up to three times he desists, that is
good. If he does not desist, it entails initial and subsequent meetings
of the Community.

13. In case a bhikkhu living
in dependence on a certain village or town is a corrupter of families,
a man of depraved conduct — whose depraved conduct is both seen and
heard about, and the families he has corrupted are both seen and heard
about — the bhikkhus are to admonish him thus: “You, venerable sir, are
a corrupter of families, a man of depraved conduct. Your depraved
conduct is both seen and heard about, and the families you have
corrupted are both seen and heard about. Leave this monastery,
venerable sir. Enough of your staying here.”

And should that bhikkhu, thus admonished by the bhikkhus, say about
the bhikkhus, “The bhikkhus are biased through favoritism, biased
through aversion, biased through delusion, biased through fear,
in that for this sort of offense they banish some and do not banish
others,” the bhikkhus are to admonish him thus: “Do not say that,
venerable sir. The bhikkhus are not biased through favoritism, are not biased through aversion, are not biased through delusion, are not biased through fear.
You, venerable sir, are a corrupter of families, a man of depraved
conduct. Your depraved conduct is both seen and heard about, and the
families you have corrupted are both seen and heard about. Leave this
monastery, venerable sir. Enough of your staying here.”

And should that bhikkhu, thus admonished by the bhikkhus, persist as
before, the bhikkhus are to rebuke him up to three times so as to
desist. If while being rebuked up to three times he desists, that is
good. If he does not desist, it entails initial and subsequent meetings
of the Community.

Sutta Pitaka

Samaññaphala Sutta
The Fruits of the Contemplative Life
Translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Translator’s Introduction

This discourse is one of the masterpieces of the Pali canon. At
heart, it is a comprehensive portrait of the Buddhist path of training,
illustrating each stage of the training with vivid similes. This
portrait is placed in juxtaposition to the Buddhist view of the
teachings of rival philosophical teachers of the time, showing how the
Buddha — in contradistinction to the inflexible, party-line approach of
his contemporaries — presented his teaching in a way that was pertinent
and sensitive to the needs of his listeners. This larger portrait of
the intellectual landscape of early Buddhist India is then presented in
a moving narrative frame: the sad story of King Ajatasattu.

Ajatasattu was the son of King Bimbisara of Magadha, one of the
Buddha’s earliest followers. Urged on by Devadatta — the Buddha’s
cousin, who wished to use Ajatasattu’s support in his bid to take over
the Buddha’s position as head of the Sangha — Ajatasattu arranged for
his father’s death so that he could secure his own position on the
throne. As a result of this evil deed, he was destined not only to be
killed by his own son — Udayibhadda (mentioned in the discourse) — but also to take immediate rebirth in one of the lowest regions of hell.

In this discourse, Ajatasattu visits the Buddha in hopes that the
latter will bring some peace to his mind. The question he puts to the
Buddha shows the limited level of his own understanding, so the Buddha
patiently describes the steps of the training, beginning at a very
basic level and gradually moving up, as a way of raising the king’s
spiritual horizons. At the end of the talk, Ajatasattu takes refuge in
the Triple Gem. Although his earlier deeds were so heavy that this
expression of faith could have only limited consequences in the
immediate present, the Commentary assures us that the king’s story
would ultimately have a happy ending. After the Buddha’s death, he
sponsored the First Council, at which a congress of arahant disciples
produced the first standardized account of the Buddha’s teachings. As a
result of the merit coming from this deed, Ajatasattu is destined —
after his release from hell — to attain Awakening as a Private Buddha.



I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Rajagaha, in Jivaka Komarabhacca’s
mango grove, with a large community of monks — 1,250 monks in all. Now
at that time — it being the observance day, the full-moon night of the
water-lily season, the fourth month of the rains — King Ajatasattu of Magadha, the son of Queen Videha,
was sitting on the roof terrace of his palace surround by his
ministers. Then he felt inspired to exclaim: “How wonderful is this
moonlit night! How beautiful… How lovely… How inspiring… How
auspicious is this moonlit night! What priest or contemplative should
we visit tonight who might enlighten and bring peace to our mind?”

When this was said, one of the ministers said to the king: “Your majesty, there is Purana Kassapa,
the leader of a community, the leader of a group, the teacher of a
group, honored and famous, esteemed as holy by the mass of people. He
is aged, long gone forth, advanced in years, in the last phase of life.
Your majesty should visit him. Perhaps, if you visited him, he would
enlighten and bring peace to your mind.”

When this was said, the king remained silent.

Then another minister said to the king: “Your majesty, there is Makkhali Gosala… Your majesty, there is Ajita Kesakambalin… Your majesty, there is Pakudha Kaccayana… Your majesty, there is Sañjaya Belatthaputta… Your majesty, there is Nigantha Nataputta,
the leader of a community, the leader of a group, the teacher of a
group, honored and famous, esteemed as holy by the mass of people. He
is aged, long gone forth, advanced in years, in the last phase of life.
Your majesty should visit him. Perhaps, if you visited him, he would
enlighten and bring peace to your mind.”

When this was said, the king remained silent.

All this time Jivaka Komarabhacca was sitting silently not far from
the king. So the king said to him, “Friend Jivaka, why are you silent?”

“Your majesty, there is the Blessed One, worthy and rightly
self-awakened, staying in my mango grove with a large community of
monks — 1,250 monks in all. Concerning this Blessed One, this admirable
report has been spread: ‘Surely, the Blessed One is worthy and rightly
self-awakened, consummate in clear knowing and conduct, well-gone, an
expert with regard to the cosmos, unexcelled trainer of tamable people,
teacher of beings human and divine, awakened, blessed.’ Your majesty
should visit him. Perhaps, if you visited him, he would enlighten and
bring peace to your mind.”

“Then in that case, friend Jivaka, have the riding elephants prepared.”

Having replied, “As you say, your majesty,” having had five hundred
female elephants prepared as well as the king’s personal tusker, Jivaka
announced to the king: “Your majesty, your riding elephants are
prepared. Do what you think it is now time to do.”

Then the king, having had five hundred of his women mounted on the
five hundred female elephants — one on each — and having mounted his
own personal tusker, set out from the capital in full royal state, with
attendants carrying torches, headed for Jivaka Komarabhacca’s mango
grove. But when the king was not far from the mango grove, he was
gripped with fear, trepidation, his hair standing on end. Fearful,
agitated, his hair standing on end, he said to Jivaka Komarabhacca:
“Friend Jivaka, you aren’t deceiving me, are you? You aren’t betraying
me, are you? You aren’t turning me over to my enemies, are you? How can
there be such a large community of monks — 1,250 in all — with no sound
of sneezing, no sound of coughing, no voices at all?”

“Don’t be afraid, great king. Don’t be afraid. I’m not deceiving you
or betraying you or turning you over to your enemies. Go forward, great
king, go forward! Those are lamps burning in the pavilion hall.”

Then the king, going as far on his tusker as the ground would
permit, dismounted and approached the door of the pavilion on foot. On
arrival, he asked Jivaka: “Where, friend Jivaka, is the Blessed One?”

“That is the Blessed One, great king, sitting against the middle pillar, facing east, surrounded by the community of monks.”

Then the king approached the Blessed One and, on reaching him, stood
to one side. As he was standing there — surveying the community of
monks sitting in absolute silence, as calm as a lake — he felt inspired
to exclaim: “May my son, Prince Udayibhadda, enjoy the same peace that this community of monks now enjoys!”

[The Blessed One said:] “Have you come, great king, together with your affections?”

“Lord, my son, Prince Udayibhadda, is very dear to me. May he enjoy the same peace that this community of monks now enjoys!”

Then, bowing down to the Blessed One, and saluting the community of
monks with his hands palm-to-palm over his heart, he sat to one side.
As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One: “I would like to
ask the Blessed One about a certain issue, if he would give me the
opportunity to explain my question.”

“Ask, great king, whatever you like.”

The King’s Question

“Lord, there are these common craftsmen: elephant-trainers,
horse-trainers, charioteers, archers, standard bearers, camp marshals,
supply corps officers, high royal officers, commandos, military heroes,
armor-clad warriors, leather-clad warriors, domestic slaves,
confectioners, barbers, bath attendants, cooks, garland-makers,
laundrymen, weavers, basket-makers, potters, calculators, accountants,
and any other craftsmen of a similar sort. They live off the fruits of
their crafts, visible in the here and now. They give happiness and
pleasure to themselves, to their parents, wives, and children, to their
friends and colleagues. They put in place an excellent presentation of
offerings to priests and contemplatives, leading to heaven, resulting
in happiness, conducive to a heavenly rebirth. Is it possible, lord, to
point out a similar fruit of the contemplative life, visible in the
here and now?”

“Do you remember, great king, ever having asked this question of other priests and contemplatives?”

“Yes, I do.”

“If it isn’t troublesome for you, how did they answer?”

“No, it’s not troublesome for me wherever the Blessed One — or someone like the Blessed One — is sitting.”

“Then speak, great king.”

Non-action

“Once, lord, I approached Purana Kassapa
and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an
exchange of friendly greetings and courtesies, I sat to one side. As I
was sitting there I asked him: ‘Venerable Kassapa, there are these
common craftsmen… They live off the fruits of their crafts, visible
in the here and now… Is it possible, venerable sir, to point out a
similar fruit of the contemplative life, visible in the here and now?’

“When this was said, Purana Kassapa said to me, ‘Great king, in
acting or getting others to act, in mutilating or getting others to
mutilate, in torturing or getting others to torture, in inflicting
sorrow or in getting others to inflict sorrow, in tormenting or getting
others to torment, in intimidating or getting others to intimidate, in
taking life, taking what is not given, breaking into houses, plundering
wealth, committing burglary, ambushing highways, committing adultery,
speaking falsehood — one does no evil. If with a razor-edged disk one
were to turn all the living beings on this earth to a single heap of
flesh, a single pile of flesh, there would be no evil from that cause,
no coming of evil. Even if one were to go along the right bank of the
Ganges, killing and getting others to kill, mutilating and getting
others to mutilate, torturing and getting others to torture, there
would be no evil from that cause, no coming of evil. Even if one were
to go along the left bank of the Ganges, giving and getting others to
give, making sacrifices and getting others to make sacrifices, there
would be no merit from that cause, no coming of merit. Through
generosity, self-control, restraint, and truthful speech there is no
merit from that cause, no coming of merit.’

“Thus, when asked about a fruit of the contemplative life, visible
here and now, Purana Kassapa answered with non-action. Just as if a
person, when asked about a mango, were to answer with a breadfruit; or,
when asked about a breadfruit, were to answer with a mango: In the same
way, when asked about a fruit of the contemplative life, visible here
and now, Purana Kassapa answered with non-action. The thought occurred
to me: ‘How can anyone like me think of disparaging a priest or
contemplative living in his realm?’ Yet I neither delighted in Purana
Kassapa’s words nor did I protest against them. Neither delighting nor
protesting, I was dissatisfied. Without expressing dissatisfaction,
without accepting his teaching, without adopting it, I got up from my
seat and left.

Purification through Wandering-on

“Another time I approached Makkhali Gosala
and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an
exchange of friendly greetings and courtesies, I sat to one side. As I
was sitting there I asked him: ‘Venerable Gosala, there are these
common craftsmen… They live off the fruits of their crafts, visible
in the here and now… Is it possible, venerable sir, to point out a
similar fruit of the contemplative life, visible in the here and now?’

“When this was said, Makkhali Gosala said to me, ‘Great king, there
is no cause, no requisite condition, for the defilement of beings.
Beings are defiled without cause, without requisite condition. There is
no cause, no requisite condition, for the purification of beings.
Beings are purified without cause, without requisite condition. There
is nothing self-caused, nothing other-caused, nothing human-caused.
There is no strength, no effort, no human energy, no human endeavor.
All living beings, all life, all beings, all souls are powerless,
devoid of strength, devoid of effort. Subject to the changes of fate,
serendipity, and nature, they are sensitive to pleasure and pain in the
six great classes of birth.

“‘There are 1,406,600 principle modes of origin. There are 500 kinds
of kamma, five kinds, and three kinds; full kamma and half kamma. There
are 62 pathways, 62 sub-eons, six great classes of birth, eight classes
of men, 4,900 modes of livelihood, 4,900 kinds of wanderers, 4,900
Naga-abodes, 2,000 faculties, 3,000 hells, 36 dust-realms, seven
spheres of percipient beings, seven spheres of non-percipient beings,
seven kinds of jointed plants, seven kinds of devas, seven kinds of
human beings, seven kinds of demons, seven great lakes, seven major
knots, seven minor knots, 700 major precipices, 700 minor precipices,
700 major dreams, 700 minor dreams, 84,000 great aeons. Having
transmigrated and wandered on through these, the wise and the foolish
alike will put an end to pain.

“‘Though one might think, “Through this morality, this practice,
this austerity, or this holy life I will ripen unripened kamma and
eliminate ripened kamma whenever touched by it” — that is impossible.
Pleasure and pain are measured out, the wandering-on is fixed in its
limits. There is no shortening or lengthening, no accelerating or
decelerating. Just as a ball of
string, when thrown, comes to its end simply by unwinding, in the same
way, having transmigrated and wandered on, the wise and the foolish
alike will put an end to pain.’

“Thus, when asked about a fruit of the contemplative life, visible
here and now, Makkhali Gosala answered with purification through
wandering-on. Just as if a person, when asked about a mango, were to
answer with a breadfruit; or, when asked about a breadfruit, were to
answer with a mango. In the same way, when asked about a fruit of the
contemplative life, visible here and now, Makkhali Gosala answered with
purification through wandering-on. The thought occurred to me: ‘How can
anyone like me think of disparaging a priest or contemplative living in
his realm?’ Yet I neither delighted in Makkhali Gosala’s words nor did
I protest against them. Neither delighting nor protesting, I was
dissatisfied. Without expressing dissatisfaction, without accepting his
teaching, without adopting it, I got up from my seat and left.

Annihilation

“Another time I approached Ajita Kesakambalin
and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an
exchange of friendly greetings and courtesies, I sat to one side. As I
was sitting there I asked him: ‘Venerable Ajita, there are these common
craftsmen… They live off the fruits of their crafts, visible in the
here and now… Is it possible, venerable sir, to point out a similar
fruit of the contemplative life, visible in the here and now?’

“When this was said, Ajita Kesakambalin said to me, ‘Great king,
there is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is
no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no
next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no
priests or contemplatives who, faring rightly and practicing rightly,
proclaim this world and the next after having directly known and
realized it for themselves. A person is a composite of four primary
elements. At death, the earth (in the body) returns to and merges with
the (external) earth-substance. The fire returns to and merges with the
external fire-substance. The liquid returns to and merges with the
external liquid-substance. The wind returns to and merges with the
external wind-substance. The sense-faculties scatter into space. Four
men, with the bier as the fifth, carry the corpse. Its eulogies are
sounded only as far as the charnel ground. The bones turn
pigeon-colored. The offerings end in ashes. Generosity is taught by
idiots. The words of those who speak of existence after death are
false, empty chatter. With the break-up of the body, the wise and the
foolish alike are annihilated, destroyed. They do not exist after
death.’

“Thus, when asked about a fruit of the contemplative life, visible
here and now, Ajita Kesakambalin answered with annihilation. Just as if
a person, when asked about a mango, were to answer with a breadfruit;
or, when asked about a breadfruit, were to answer with a mango. In the
same way, when asked about a fruit of the contemplative life, visible
here and now, Ajita Kesakambalin answered with annihilation. The
thought occurred to me: ‘How can anyone like me think of disparaging a
priest or contemplative living in his realm?’ Yet I neither delighted
in Ajita Kesakambalin’s words nor did I protest against them. Neither
delighting nor protesting, I was dissatisfied. Without expressing
dissatisfaction, without accepting his teaching, without adopting it, I
got up from my seat and left.

Non-relatedness

“Another time I approached Pakudha Kaccayana
and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an
exchange of friendly greetings and courtesies, I sat to one side. As I
was sitting there I asked him: ‘Venerable Kaccayana, there are these
common craftsmen… They live off the fruits of their crafts, visible
in the here and now… Is it possible, venerable sir, to point out a
similar fruit of the contemplative life, visible in the here and now?’

“When this was said, Pakudha Kaccayana said to me, ‘Great king,
there are these seven substances — unmade, irreducible, uncreated,
without a creator, barren, stable as a mountain-peak, standing firm
like a pillar — that do not alter, do not change, do not interfere with
one another, are incapable of causing one another pleasure, pain, or
both pleasure and pain. Which seven? The earth-substance, the
liquid-substance, the fire-substance, the wind-substance, pleasure,
pain, and the soul as the seventh. These are the seven substances —
unmade, irreducible, uncreated, without a creator, barren, stable as a
mountain-peak, standing firm like a pillar — that do not alter, do not
change, do not interfere with one another, and are incapable of causing
one another pleasure, pain, or both pleasure and pain.

“‘And among them there is no killer nor one who causes killing, no
hearer nor one who causes hearing, no cognizer nor one who causes
cognition. When one cuts off [another person’s] head, there is no one
taking anyone’s life. It is simply between the seven substances that
the sword passes.’

“Thus, when asked about a fruit of the contemplative life, visible
here and now, Pakudha Kaccayana answered with non-relatedness. Just as
if a person, when asked about a mango, were to answer with a
breadfruit; or, when asked about a breadfruit, were to answer with a
mango. In the same way, when asked about a fruit of the contemplative
life, visible here and now, Pakudha Kaccayana answered with
non-relatedness. The thought occurred to me: ‘How can anyone like me
think of disparaging a priest or contemplative living in his realm?’
Yet I neither delighted in Pakudha Kaccayana’s words nor did I protest
against them. Neither delighting nor protesting, I was dissatisfied.
Without expressing dissatisfaction, without accepting his teaching,
without adopting it, I got up from my seat and left.

Fourfold Restraint

“Another time I approached Nigantha Nataputta
and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an
exchange of friendly greetings and courtesies, I sat to one side. As I
was sitting there I asked him: ‘Venerable Aggivessana, there are these
common craftsmen… They live off the fruits of their crafts, visible
in the here and now… Is it possible, venerable sir, to point out a
similar fruit of the contemplative life, visible in the here and now?’

“When this was said, Nigantha Nataputta said to me, ‘Great king,
there is the case where the Nigantha — the knotless one — is restrained
with the fourfold restraint. And how is the Nigantha restrained with
the fourfold restraint? There is the case where the Nigantha is
obstructed by all waters, conjoined with all waters, cleansed with all
waters, suffused with all waters. This is how the Nigantha is
restrained with the fourfold restraint. When the Nigantha — a knotless
one — is restrained with such a fourfold restraint, he is said to be a
Knotless One (Nigantha), a son of Nata (Nataputta), with his self perfected, his self controlled, his self established.’

“Thus, when asked about a fruit of the contemplative life, visible
here and now, Nigantha Nataputta answered with fourfold restraint. Just
as if a person, when asked about a mango, were to answer with a
breadfruit; or, when asked about a breadfruit, were to answer with a
mango: In the same way, when asked about a fruit of the contemplative
life, visible here and now, Nigantha Nataputta answered with fourfold
restraint. The thought occurred to me: ‘How can anyone like me think of
disparaging a priest or contemplative living in his realm?’ Yet I
neither delighted in Nigantha Nataputta’s words nor did I protest
against them. Neither delighting nor protesting, I was dissatisfied.
Without expressing dissatisfaction, without accepting his teaching,
without adopting it, I got up from my seat and left.

Evasion

“Another time I approached Sañjaya Belatthaputta
and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an
exchange of friendly greetings and courtesies, I sat to one side. As I
was sitting there I asked him: ‘Venerable Sañjaya, there are these
common craftsmen… They live off the fruits of their crafts, visible
in the here and now… Is it possible, venerable sir, to point out a
similar fruit of the contemplative life, visible in the here and now?’

“When this was said, Sañjaya Belatthaputta said to me, ‘If you ask
me if there exists another world [after death], if I thought that there
exists another world, would I declare that to you? I don’t think so. I
don’t think in that way. I don’t think otherwise. I don’t think not. I
don’t think not not. If you asked me if there isn’t another world…
both is and isn’t… neither is nor isn’t… if there are beings who
transmigrate… if there aren’t… both are and aren’t… neither are
nor aren’t… if the Tathagata exists after death… doesn’t… both…
neither exists nor exists after death, would I declare that to you? I
don’t think so. I don’t think in that way. I don’t think otherwise. I
don’t think not. I don’t think not not.’

“Thus, when asked about a fruit of the contemplative life, visible
here and now, Sañjaya Belatthaputta answered with evasion. Just as if a
person, when asked about a mango, were to answer with a breadfruit; or,
when asked about a breadfruit, were to answer with a mango: In the same
way, when asked about a fruit of the contemplative life, visible here
and now, Sañjaya Belatthaputta answered with evasion. The thought
occurred to me: ‘This — among these priests and contemplatives — is the
most foolish and confused of all. How can he, when asked about a fruit
of the contemplative life, visible here and now, answer with evasion?’
Still the thought occurred to me: ‘How can anyone like me think of
disparaging a priest or contemplative living in his realm?’ Yet I
neither delighted in Sañjaya Belatthaputta’s words nor did I protest
against them. Neither delighting nor protesting, I was dissatisfied.
Without expressing dissatisfaction, without accepting his teaching,
without adopting it, I got up from my seat and left.

The First Visible Fruit of the Contemplative Life

“So, lord, I ask the Blessed One as well: There are these common
craftsmen: elephant-trainers, horse-trainers, charioteers, archers,
standard bearers, camp marshals, supply corps officers, high royal
officers, commandos, military heroes, armor-clad warriors, leather-clad
warriors, domestic slaves, confectioners, barbers, bath attendants,
cooks, garland-makers, laundrymen, weavers, basket-makers, potters,
calculators, accountants, and any other craftsmen of a similar sort.
They live off the fruits of their crafts, visible in the here and now.
They give happiness and pleasure to themselves, to their parents,
wives, and children, to their friends and colleagues. They put in place
an excellent presentation of offerings to priests and contemplatives,
leading to heaven, resulting in happiness, conducive to a heavenly
rebirth. Is it possible, lord, to point out a similar fruit of the
contemplative life, visible in the here and now?”

“Yes, it is, great king. But first, with regard to that, I will ask
you a counter-question. Answer however you please. Suppose there were a
man of yours: your slave, your workman, rising in the morning before
you, going to bed in the evening only after you, doing whatever you
order, always acting to please you, speaking politely to you, always
watching for the look on your face. The thought would occur to him:
‘Isn’t it amazing? Isn’t it astounding? — the destination, the results,
of meritorious deeds. For this King Ajatasattu is a human being, and I,
too, am a human being, yet King Ajatasattu enjoys himself supplied and
replete with the five strings of sensuality — like a deva, as it were —
while I am his slave, his workman… always watching for the look on
his face. I, too, should do meritorious deeds. What if I were to shave
off my hair and beard, put on the ochre robes, and go forth from the
household life into homelessness?’

“So after some time he shaves off his hair and beard, puts on the
ochre robes, and goes forth from the household life into homelessness.
Having thus gone forth he lives restrained in body, speech, and mind,
content with the simplest food and shelter, delighting in solitude.
Then suppose one of your men were to inform you: ‘You should know, your
majesty, that that man of yours — your slave, your workman… always
watching for the look on your face… has gone forth from the household
life into homelessness… content with the simplest food and shelter,
delighting in solitude.’ Would you, thus informed, say, ‘Bring that man
back to me. Make him again be my slave, my workman… always watching
for the look on my face!’?”

“Not at all, lord. Rather, I am the one who should bow down to him,
rise up out of respect for him, invite him to a seat, invite him to
accept gifts of robes, almsfood, lodgings, and medicinal requisites for
the sick. And I would provide him with righteous safety, defense, and
protection.”

“So what do you think, great king. With that being the case, is
there a visible fruit of the contemplative life, or is there not?”

“Yes, lord. With that being the case, there certainly is a visible fruit of the contemplative life.”

“This, great king, is the first fruit of the contemplative life, visible in the here and now, that I point out to you.”

The Second Visible Fruit of the Contemplative Life

“But is it possible, lord, to point out yet another fruit of the contemplative life, visible in the here and now?”

“Yes, it is, great king. But first, with regard to that, I will ask

you a counter-question. Answer however you please. Suppose there were a
man of yours: a farmer, a householder, a taxpayer swelling the royal
treasury. The thought would occur to him: ‘Isn’t it amazing? Isn’t it
astounding? — the destination, the results, of meritorious deeds! For
this King Ajatasattu is a human being, and I, too, am a human being,
yet King Ajatasattu enjoys himself supplied and replete with the five
strings of sensuality — like a deva, as it were — while I am a farmer,
a householder, a taxpayer swelling the royal treasury. I, too, should
do meritorious deeds. What if I were to shave off my hair and beard,
put on the ochre robes, and go forth from the household life into
homelessness?’

“So after some time he abandons his mass of wealth, large or small;
leaves his circle of relatives, large or small; shaves off his hair and
beard, puts on the ochre robes, and goes forth from the household life
into homelessness. Having thus gone forth he lives restrained in body,
speech, and mind, content with the simplest food and shelter,
delighting in solitude. Then suppose one of your men were to inform
you: ‘You should know, your majesty, that that man of yours — the
farmer, the householder, the taxpayer swelling the royal treasury…
has gone forth from the household life into homelessness… content
with the simplest food and shelter, delighting in solitude.’ Would you,
thus informed, say, ‘Bring that man back to me. Make him again be a
farmer, a householder, a taxpayer swelling the royal treasury!’?”

“Not at all, lord. Rather, I am the one who should bow down to him,
rise up out of respect for him, invite him to a seat, invite him to
accept gifts of robes, almsfood, lodgings, and medicinal requisites for
the sick. And I would provide him with righteous safety, defense, and
protection.”

“So what do you think, great king. With that being the case, is
there a visible fruit of the contemplative life, or is there not?”

“Yes, lord. With that being the case, there certainly is a visible fruit of the contemplative life.”

“This, great king, is the second fruit of the contemplative life, visible in the here and now, that I point out to you.”

Higher Fruits of the Contemplative Life

“But is it possible, lord, to point out yet another fruit of the contemplative life, visible in the here and now?”

“Yes, it is, great king. Listen and pay close attention. I will speak.

“There is the case, great king, where a Tathagata appears in the
world, worthy and rightly self-awakened. He teaches the Dhamma
admirable in its beginning, admirable in its middle, admirable in its
end. He proclaims the holy life both in its particulars and in its
essence, entirely perfect, surpassingly pure.

“A householder or householder’s son, hearing the Dhamma, gains conviction in the Tathagata and reflects: ‘Household life is confining,
a dusty path. The life gone forth is like the open air. It is not easy
living at home to practice the holy life totally perfect, totally pure,
like a polished shell. What if I were to
shave off my hair and beard, put on the ochre robes, and go forth from
the household life into homelessness?’

“So after some time he abandons his mass of wealth, large or small;
leaves his circle of relatives, large or small; shaves off his hair and
beard, puts on the ochre robes, and goes forth from the household life
into homelessness.

“When he has thus gone forth, he lives restrained by the rules of
the monastic code, seeing danger in the slightest faults. Consummate in
his virtue, he guards the doors of his senses, is possessed of
mindfulness and alertness, and is content.

The Lesser Section on Virtue

“And how is a monk consummate in virtue? Abandoning the taking of
life, he abstains from the taking of life. He dwells with his rod laid
down, his knife laid down, scrupulous, merciful, compassionate for the
welfare of all living beings. This is part of his virtue.

“Abandoning the taking of what is not given, he abstains from taking
what is not given. He takes only what is given, accepts only what is
given, lives not by stealth but by means of a self that has become
pure. This, too, is part of his virtue.

“Abandoning uncelibacy, he lives a celibate life, aloof, refraining
from the sexual act that is the villager’s way. This, too, is part of
his virtue.

“Abandoning false speech, he abstains from false speech. He speaks
the truth, holds to the truth, is firm, reliable, no deceiver of the
world. This, too, is part of his virtue.

“Abandoning divisive speech he abstains from divisive speech. What
he has heard here he does not tell there to break those people apart
from these people here. What he has heard there he does not tell here
to break these people apart from those people there. Thus reconciling
those who have broken apart or cementing those who are united, he loves
concord, delights in concord, enjoys concord, speaks things that create
concord. This, too, is part of his virtue.

“Abandoning abusive speech, he abstains from abusive speech. He
speaks words that are soothing to the ear, that are affectionate, that
go to the heart, that are polite, appealing and pleasing to people at
large. This, too, is part of his virtue.

“Abandoning idle chatter, he abstains from idle chatter. He speaks
in season, speaks what is factual, what is in accordance with the goal,
the Dhamma, and the Vinaya. He speaks words worth treasuring,
seasonable, reasonable, circumscribed, connected with the goal. This,
too, is part of his virtue.

“He abstains from damaging seed and plant life.

“He eats only once a day, refraining from the evening meal and from food at the wrong time of day.

“He abstains from dancing, singing, instrumental music, and from watching shows.

“He abstains from wearing garlands and from beautifying himself with scents and cosmetics.

“He abstains from high and luxurious beds and seats.

“He abstains from accepting gold and money.

“He abstains from accepting uncooked grain… raw meat… women and
girls… male and female slaves… goats and sheep… fowl and pigs…
elephants, cattle, steeds, and mares… fields and property.

“He abstains from running messages… from buying and selling…
from dealing with false scales, false metals, and false measures…
from bribery, deception, and fraud.

“He abstains from mutilating, executing, imprisoning, highway robbery, plunder, and violence.

“This, too, is part of his virtue.

The Intermediate Section on Virtue

“Whereas some priests and contemplatives, living off food given in
faith, are addicted to damaging seed and plant life such as these —
plants propagated from roots, stems, joints, buddings, and seeds — he
abstains from damaging seed and plant life such as these. This, too, is
part of his virtue.

“Whereas some priests and contemplatives, living off food given in
faith, are addicted to consuming stored-up goods such as these —
stored-up food, stored-up drinks, stored-up clothing, stored-up
vehicles, stored-up bedding, stored-up scents, and stored-up meat — he
abstains from consuming stored-up goods such as these. This, too, is
part of his virtue.

Whereas some priests and
contemplatives, living off food given in faith, are addicted to
watching shows such as these — dancing, singing, instrumental music,
plays, ballad recitations, hand-clapping, cymbals and drums, magic
lantern scenes, acrobatic and conjuring tricks, elephant fights, horse
fights, buffalo fights, bull fights, goat fights, ram fights, cock
fights, quail fights; fighting with staves, boxing, wrestling,
war-games, roll calls, battle arrays, and regimental reviews — he
abstains from watching shows such as these. This, too, is part of his
virtue.

“Whereas some priests and contemplatives, living off food given in
faith, are addicted to heedless and idle games such as these —
eight-row chess, ten-row chess, chess in the air, hopscotch,
spillikins, dice, stick games, hand-pictures, ball-games, blowing
through toy pipes, playing with toy plows, turning somersaults, playing
with toy windmills, toy measures, toy chariots, toy bows, guessing
letters drawn in the air, guessing thoughts, mimicking deformities — he
abstains from heedless and idle games such as these. This, too, is part
of his virtue.

Whereas some priests and
contemplatives, living off food given in faith, are addicted to high
and luxurious furnishings such as these — over-sized couches, couches
adorned with carved animals, long-haired coverlets, multi-colored
patchwork coverlets, white woolen coverlets, woolen coverlets
embroidered with flowers or animal figures, stuffed quilts, coverlets
with fringe, silk coverlets embroidered with gems; large woolen
carpets; elephant, horse, and chariot rugs, antelope-hide rugs,
deer-hide rugs; couches with awnings, couches with red cushions for the
head and feet — he abstains from using high and luxurious furnishings
such as these. This, too, is part of his virtue.

Whereas some priests and
contemplatives, living off food given in faith, are addicted to scents,
cosmetics, and means of beautification such as these — rubbing powders
into the body, massaging with oils, bathing in perfumed water, kneading
the limbs, using mirrors, ointments, garlands, scents, creams,
face-powders, mascara, bracelets, head-bands, decorated walking sticks,
ornamented water-bottles, swords, fancy sunshades, decorated sandals,
turbans, gems, yak-tail whisks, long-fringed white robes — he abstains
from using scents, cosmetics, and means of beautification such as
these. This, too, is part of his virtue.

Whereas some priests and
contemplatives, living off food given in faith, are addicted to talking
about lowly topics such as these — talking about kings, robbers,
ministers of state; armies, alarms, and battles; food and drink;
clothing, furniture, garlands, and scents; relatives; vehicles;
villages, towns, cities, the countryside; women and heroes; the gossip
of the street and the well; tales of the dead; tales of diversity
[philosophical discussions of the past and future], the creation of the
world and of the sea, and talk of whether things exist or not — he
abstains from talking about lowly topics such as these. This, too, is
part of his virtue.

“Whereas some priests and contemplatives, living off food given in faith, are addicted to debates such as these — ‘You understand this doctrine and discipline? I’m
the one who understands this doctrine and discipline. How could you
understand this doctrine and discipline? You’re practicing wrongly. I’m
practicing rightly. I’m being consistent. You’re not. What should be
said first you said last. What should be said last you said first. What
you took so long to think out has been refuted. Your doctrine has been
overthrown. You’re defeated. Go and try to salvage your doctrine;
extricate yourself if you can!’ — he abstains from debates such as
these. This, too, is part of his virtue.

“Whereas some priests and contemplatives, living off food given in
faith, are addicted to running messages and errands for people such as
these — kings, ministers of state, noble warriors, priests,
householders, or youths [who say], ‘Go here, go there, take this there,
fetch that here’ — he abstains from running messages and errands for
people such as these. This, too, is part of his virtue.

“Whereas some priests and contemplatives, living off food given in
faith, engage in scheming, persuading, hinting, belittling, and
pursuing gain with gain, he abstains from forms of scheming and
persuading [improper ways of trying to gain material support from
donors] such as these. This, too, is part of his virtue.

The Great Section on Virtue

Whereas some priests and
contemplatives, living off food given in faith, maintain themselves by
wrong livelihood, by such lowly arts as: reading marks on the limbs
[e.g., palmistry]; reading omens and signs; interpreting celestial
events [falling stars, comets]; interpreting dreams; reading marks on
the body [e.g., phrenology]; reading marks on cloth gnawed by mice;
offering fire oblations, oblations from a ladle, oblations of husks,
rice powder, rice grains, ghee, and oil; offering oblations from the
mouth; offering blood-sacrifices; making predictions based on the
fingertips; geomancy; laying demons in a cemetery; placing spells on
spirits; reciting house-protection charms; snake charming, poison-lore,
scorpion-lore, rat-lore, bird-lore, crow-lore; fortune-telling based on
visions; giving protective charms; interpreting the calls of birds and
animals — he abstains from wrong livelihood, from lowly arts such as
these.

“Whereas some priests and contemplatives, living off food given in
faith, maintain themselves by wrong livelihood, by such lowly arts as:
determining lucky and unlucky gems, garments, staffs, swords, spears,
arrows, bows, and other weapons; women, boys, girls, male slaves,
female slaves; elephants, horses, buffaloes, bulls, cows, goats, rams,
fowl, quails, lizards, long-eared rodents, tortoises, and other animals
— he abstains from wrong livelihood, from lowly arts such as these.

“Whereas some priests and contemplatives, living off food given in
faith, maintain themselves by wrong livelihood, by such lowly arts as
forecasting: the rulers will march forth; the rulers will march forth
and return; our rulers will attack, and their rulers will retreat;
their rulers will attack, and our rulers will retreat; there will be
triumph for our rulers and defeat for their rulers; there will be
triumph for their rulers and defeat for our rulers; thus there will be
triumph, thus there will be defeat — he abstains from wrong livelihood,
from lowly arts such as these.

“Whereas some priests and contemplatives, living off food given in
faith, maintain themselves by wrong livelihood, by such lowly arts as
forecasting: there will be a lunar eclipse; there will be a solar
eclipse; there will be an occultation of an asterism; the sun and moon
will go their normal courses; the sun and moon will go astray; the
asterisms will go their normal courses; the asterisms will go astray;
there will be a meteor shower; there will be a darkening of the sky;
there will be an earthquake; there will be thunder coming from a clear
sky; there will be a rising, a setting, a darkening, a brightening of
the sun, moon, and asterisms; such will be the result of the lunar
eclipse… the rising, setting, darkening, brightening of the sun,
moon, and asterisms — he abstains from wrong livelihood, from lowly
arts such as these.

“Whereas some priests and contemplatives, living off food given in
faith, maintain themselves by wrong livelihood, by such lowly arts as
forecasting: there will be abundant rain; there will be a drought;
there will be plenty; there will be famine; there will be rest and
security; there will be danger; there will be disease; there will be
freedom from disease; or they earn their living by counting,
accounting, calculation, composing poetry, or teaching hedonistic arts
and doctrines — he abstains from wrong livelihood, from lowly arts such
as these.

“Whereas some priests and contemplatives, living off food given in
faith, maintain themselves by wrong livelihood, by such lowly arts as:
calculating auspicious dates for marriages, betrothals, divorces; for
collecting debts or making investments and loans; for being attractive
or unattractive; curing women who have undergone miscarriages or
abortions; reciting spells to bind a man’s tongue, to paralyze his
jaws, to make him lose control over his hands, or to bring on deafness;
getting oracular answers to questions addressed to a mirror, to a young
girl, or to a spirit medium; worshipping the sun, worshipping the Great Brahma,
bringing forth flames from the mouth, invoking the goddess of luck — he
abstains from wrong livelihood, from lowly arts such as these.

“Whereas some priests and contemplatives, living off food given in
faith, maintain themselves by wrong livelihood, by such lowly arts as:
promising gifts to devas in return for favors; fulfilling such
promises; demonology; teaching house-protection spells; inducing
virility and impotence; consecrating sites for construction; giving
ceremonial mouthwashes and ceremonial bathing; offering sacrificial
fires; administering emetics, purges, purges from above, purges from
below, head-purges; administering ear-oil, eye-drops, treatments
through the nose, ointments, and counter-ointments; practicing
eye-surgery (or: extractive surgery), general surgery, pediatrics;
administering root-medicines binding medicinal herbs — he abstains from
wrong livelihood, from lowly arts such as these. This, too, is part of
his virtue.

“A monk thus consummate in virtue sees no danger anywhere from his restraint through virtue. Just as
a head-anointed noble warrior king who has defeated his enemies sees no
danger anywhere from his enemies, in the same way the monk thus
consummate in virtue sees no danger anywhere from his restraint through
virtue. Endowed with this noble aggregate of virtue, he is inwardly
sensitive to the pleasure of being blameless. This is how a monk is
consummate in virtue.

Sense Restraint

“And how does a monk guard the doors of his senses? On seeing a form
with the eye, he does not grasp at any theme or details by which — if
he were to dwell without restraint over the faculty of the eye — evil,
unskillful qualities such as greed or distress might assail him. On
hearing a sound with the ear… On smelling an odor with the nose… On
tasting a flavor with the tongue… On touching a tactile sensation
with the body… On cognizing an idea with the intellect, he does not
grasp at any theme or details by which — if he were to dwell without
restraint over the faculty of the intellect — evil, unskillful
qualities such as greed or distress might assail him. Endowed with this
noble restraint over the sense faculties, he is inwardly sensitive to
the pleasure of being blameless. This is how a monk guards the doors of
his senses.

Mindfulness & Alertness

“And how is a monk possessed of mindfulness and alertness? When
going forward and returning, he acts with alertness. When looking
toward and looking away… when bending and extending his limbs… when
carrying his outer cloak, his upper robe, and his bowl… when eating,
drinking, chewing, and tasting… when urinating and defecating… when
walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, talking, and
remaining silent, he acts with alertness. This is how a monk is
possessed of mindfulness and alertness.

Contentedness

“And how is a monk content? Just as a bird,
wherever it goes, flies with its wings as its only burden; so too is he
content with a set of robes to provide for his body and almsfood to
provide for his hunger. Wherever he goes, he takes only his barest
necessities along. This is how a monk is content.

Abandoning the Hindrances

“Endowed with this noble aggregate of virtue, this noble restraint
over the sense faculties, this noble mindfulness and alertness, and
this noble contentment, he seeks out a secluded dwelling: a forest, the
shade of a tree, a mountain, a glen, a hillside cave, a charnel ground,
a jungle grove, the open air, a heap of straw. After his meal,
returning from his alms round, he sits down, crosses his legs, holds
his body erect, and brings mindfulness to the fore.

“Abandoning covetousness with regard to the world, he dwells with an
awareness devoid of covetousness. He cleanses his mind of covetousness.
Abandoning ill will and anger, he dwells with an awareness devoid of
ill will, sympathetic with the welfare of all living beings. He
cleanses his mind of ill will and anger. Abandoning sloth and
drowsiness, he dwells with an awareness devoid of sloth and drowsiness,
mindful, alert, percipient of light. He cleanses his mind of sloth and
drowsiness. Abandoning restlessness and anxiety, he dwells undisturbed,
his mind inwardly stilled. He cleanses his mind of restlessness and
anxiety. Abandoning uncertainty, he dwells having crossed over
uncertainty, with no perplexity with regard to skillful mental
qualities. He cleanses his mind of uncertainty.

Suppose that a man, taking a loan,
invests it in his business affairs. His business affairs succeed. He
repays his old debts and there is extra left over for maintaining his
wife. The thought would occur to him, ‘Before, taking a loan, I
invested it in my business affairs. Now my business affairs have
succeeded. I have repaid my old debts and there is extra left over for
maintaining my wife.’ Because of that he would experience joy and
happiness.

Now suppose that a man falls sick — in
pain and seriously ill. He does not enjoy his meals, and there is no
strength in his body. As time passes, he eventually recovers from that
sickness. He enjoys his meals and there is strength in his body. The
thought would occur to him, ‘Before, I was sick… Now I am recovered
from that sickness. I enjoy my meals and there is strength in my body.’
Because of that he would experience joy and happiness.

Now suppose that a man is bound in
prison. As time passes, he eventually is released from that bondage,
safe and sound, with no loss of property. The thought would occur to
him, ‘Before, I was bound in prison. Now I am released from that
bondage, safe and sound, with no loss of my property.’ Because of that
he would experience joy and happiness.

Now suppose that a man is a slave,
subject to others, not subject to himself, unable to go where he likes.
As time passes, he eventually is released from that slavery, subject to
himself, not subject to others, freed, able to go where he likes. The
thought would occur to him, ‘Before, I was a slave… Now I am released
from that slavery, subject to myself, not subject to others, freed,
able to go where I like.’ Because of that he would experience joy and
happiness.

Now suppose that a man, carrying money
and goods, is traveling by a road through desolate country. As time
passes, he eventually emerges from that desolate country, safe and
sound, with no loss of property. The thought would occur to him,
‘Before, carrying money and goods, I was traveling by a road through
desolate country. Now I have emerged from that desolate country, safe
and sound, with no loss of my property.’ Because of that he would
experience joy and happiness.

“In the same way, when these five hindrances are not abandoned in
himself, the monk regards it as a debt, a sickness, a prison, slavery,
a road through desolate country. But when these five hindrances are
abandoned in himself, he regards it as unindebtedness, good health,
release from prison, freedom, a place of security. Seeing that they
have been abandoned within him, he becomes glad. Glad, he becomes
enraptured. Enraptured, his body grows tranquil. His body tranquil, he
is sensitive to pleasure. Feeling pleasure, his mind becomes
concentrated.

(The Four Jhanas)

“Quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental
qualities, he enters and remains in the first jhana: rapture and
pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought and
evaluation. He permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very
body with the rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal. Just as if a skilled bathman
or bathman’s apprentice would pour bath powder into a brass basin and
knead it together, sprinkling it again and again with water, so that
his ball of bath powder — saturated, moisture-laden, permeated within
and without — would nevertheless not drip; even so, the monk
permeates… this very body with the rapture and pleasure born of
withdrawal. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture
and pleasure born from withdrawal.

“This is a fruit of the contemplative life, visible here and now, more excellent than the previous ones and more sublime.

“Furthermore, with the stilling of directed thoughts &
evaluations, he enters and remains in the second jhana: rapture and
pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed
thought and evaluation — internal assurance. He permeates and pervades,
suffuses and fills this very body with the rapture and pleasure born of
composure. Just like a lake with
spring-water welling up from within, having no inflow from the east,
west, north, or south, and with the skies supplying abundant showers
time and again, so that the cool fount of water welling up from within
the lake would permeate and pervade, suffuse and fill it with cool
waters, there being no part of the lake unpervaded by the cool waters;
even so, the monk permeates… this very body with the rapture and
pleasure born of composure. There is nothing of his entire body
unpervaded by rapture and pleasure born of composure.

“This, too, is a fruit of the contemplative life, visible here and now, more excellent than the previous ones and more sublime.

“And furthermore, with the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous,
mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters
& remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare,
‘Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.’ He permeates and
pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the pleasure divested
of rapture. Just as in a lotus pond, some
of the lotuses, born and growing in the water, stay immersed in the
water and flourish without standing up out of the water, so that they
are permeated and pervaded, suffused and filled with cool water from
their roots to their tips, and nothing of those lotuses would be
unpervaded with cool water; even so, the monk permeates… this very
body with the pleasure divested of rapture. There is nothing of his
entire body unpervaded with pleasure divested of rapture.

“This, too, is a fruit of the contemplative life, visible here and now, more excellent than the previous ones and more sublime.

“And furthermore, with the abandoning of pleasure and stress — as
with the earlier disappearance of elation and distress — he enters and
remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity and mindfulness,
neither-pleasure nor stress. He sits, permeating the body with a pure,
bright awareness. Just as if a man were
sitting covered from head to foot with a white cloth so that there
would be no part of his body to which the white cloth did not extend;
even so, the monk sits, permeating the body with a pure, bright
awareness. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by pure,
bright awareness.

“This, too, great king, is a fruit of the contemplative life,
visible here and now, more excellent than the previous ones and more
sublime.

Insight Knowledge

“With his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished,
free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to
imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to knowledge and vision.
He discerns: ‘This body of mine is endowed with form, composed of the
four primary elements, born from mother and father, nourished with rice
and porridge, subject to inconstancy, rubbing, pressing, dissolution,
and dispersion. And this consciousness of mine is supported here and
bound up here.’ Just as if there were a
beautiful beryl gem of the purest water — eight faceted, well polished,
clear, limpid, consummate in all its aspects, and going through the
middle of it was a blue, yellow, red, white, or brown thread — and a
man with good eyesight, taking it in his hand, were to reflect on it
thus: ‘This is a beautiful beryl gem of the purest water, eight
faceted, well polished, clear, limpid, consummate in all its aspects.
And this, going through the middle of it, is a blue, yellow, red,
white, or brown thread.’ In the same way — with his mind thus
concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects,
pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability — the monk
directs and inclines it to knowledge and vision. He discerns: ‘This
body of mine is endowed with form, composed of the four primary
elements, born from mother and father, nourished with rice and
porridge, subject to inconstancy, rubbing, pressing, dissolution, and
dispersion. And this consciousness of mine is supported here and bound
up here.’

“This, too, great king, is a fruit of the contemplative life,
visible here and now, more excellent than the previous ones and more
sublime.

The Mind-made Body

“With his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished,
free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to
imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to creating a mind-made
body. From this body he creates another body, endowed with form, made
of the mind, complete in all its parts, not inferior in its faculties. Just as if a man
were to draw a reed from its sheath. The thought would occur to him:
‘This is the sheath, this is the reed. The sheath is one thing, the
reed another, but the reed has been drawn out from the sheath.’ Or as if a man
were to draw a sword from its scabbard. The thought would occur to him:
‘This is the sword, this is the scabbard. The sword is one thing, the
scabbard another, but the sword has been drawn out from the scabbard.’ Or as if a man
were to pull a snake out from its slough. The thought would occur to
him: ‘This is the snake, this is the slough. The snake is one thing,
the slough another, but the snake has been pulled out from the slough.’
In the same way — with his mind thus concentrated, purified, and
bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and
attained to imperturbability, the monk directs and inclines it to
creating a mind-made body. From this body he creates another body,
endowed with form, made of the mind, complete in all its parts, not
inferior in its faculties.

“This, too, great king, is a fruit of the contemplative life,
visible here and now, more excellent than the previous ones and more
sublime.

Supranormal Powers

With his mind thus
concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects,
pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs
and inclines it to the modes of supranormal powers. He wields manifold
supranormal powers. Having been one he becomes many; having been many
he becomes one. He appears. He vanishes. He goes unimpeded through
walls, ramparts, and mountains as if through space. He dives in and out
of the earth as if it were water. He walks on water without sinking as
if it were dry land. Sitting cross-legged he flies through the air like
a winged bird. With his hand he touches and strokes even the sun and
moon, so mighty and powerful. He exercises influence with his body even
as far as the Brahma worlds. Just as a skilled potter or his assistant could craft from well-prepared clay whatever kind of pottery vessel he likes, or as a skilled ivory-carver or his assistant could craft from well-prepared ivory any kind of ivory-work he likes, or as a skilled goldsmith
or his assistant could craft from well-prepared gold any kind of gold
article he likes; in the same way — with his mind thus concentrated,
purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant,
malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability — the monk directs
and inclines it to the modes of supranormal powers… He exercises
influence with his body even as far as the Brahma worlds.

“This, too, great king, is a fruit of the contemplative life,
visible here and now, more excellent than the previous ones and more
sublime.

Clairaudience

“With his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished,
free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to
imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to the divine ear-element.
He hears — by means of the divine ear-element, purified and surpassing
the human — both kinds of sounds: divine and human, whether near or
far. Just as if a man traveling along a
highway were to hear the sounds of kettledrums, small drums, conchs,
cymbals, and tom-toms. He would know, ‘That is the sound of
kettledrums, that is the sound of small drums, that is the sound of
conchs, that is the sound of cymbals, and that is the sound of
tom-toms.’ In the same way — with his mind thus concentrated, purified,
and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady,
and attained to imperturbability — the monk directs and inclines it to
the divine ear-element. He hears — by means of the divine ear-element,
purified and surpassing the human — both kinds of sounds: divine and
human, whether near or far.

“This, too, great king, is a fruit of the contemplative life,
visible here and now, more excellent than the previous ones and more
sublime.

Mind Reading

“With his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished,
free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to
imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to knowledge of the
awareness of other beings. He knows the awareness of other beings,
other individuals, having encompassed it with his own awareness. He
discerns a mind with passion as a mind with passion, and a mind without
passion as a mind without passion. He discerns a mind with aversion as
a mind with aversion, and a mind without aversion as a mind without
aversion. He discerns a mind with delusion as a mind with delusion, and
a mind without delusion as a mind without delusion. He discerns a
restricted mind as a restricted mind, and a scattered mind as a
scattered mind. He discerns an enlarged mind as an enlarged mind, and
an unenlarged mind as an unenlarged mind. He discerns an excelled mind
[one that is not at the most excellent level] as an excelled mind, and
an unexcelled mind as an unexcelled mind. He discerns a concentrated
mind as a concentrated mind, and an unconcentrated mind as an
unconcentrated mind. He discerns a released mind as a released mind,
and an unreleased mind as an unreleased mind. Just as if a young woman
— or man — fond of ornaments, examining the reflection of her own face
in a bright mirror or a bowl of clear water would know ‘blemished’ if
it were blemished, or ‘unblemished’ if it were not. In the same way —
with his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished,
free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to
imperturbability — the monk directs and inclines it to knowledge of the
awareness of other beings. He knows the awareness of other beings,
other individuals, having encompassed it with his own awareness. He
discerns a mind with passion as a mind with passion, and a mind without
passion as a mind without passion… a released mind as a released
mind, and an unreleased mind as an unreleased mind.

“This, too, great king, is a fruit of the contemplative life,
visible here and now, more excellent than the previous ones and more
sublime.

Recollection of Past Lives

“With his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished,
free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to
imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to knowledge of the
recollection of past lives (lit: previous homes). He recollects his
manifold past lives, i.e., one birth, two births, three births, four,
five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, one hundred, one thousand, one
hundred thousand, many aeons of cosmic contraction, many aeons of
cosmic expansion, many aeons of cosmic contraction and expansion,
[recollecting], ‘There I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had
such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure
and pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I
re-arose there. There too I had such a name, belonged to such a clan,
had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of
pleasure and pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that
state, I re-arose here.’ Thus he recollects his manifold past lives in
their modes and details. Just as if a man
were to go from his home village to another village, and then from that
village to yet another village, and then from that village back to his
home village. The thought would occur to him, ‘I went from my home
village to that village over there. There I stood in such a way, sat in
such a way, talked in such a way, and remained silent in such a way.
From that village I went to that village over there, and there I stood
in such a way, sat in such a way, talked in such a way, and remained
silent in such a way. From that village I came back home.’ In the same
way — with his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright,
unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained
to imperturbability — the monk directs and inclines it to knowledge of
the recollection of past lives. He recollects his manifold past
lives… in their modes and details.

“This, too, great king, is a fruit of the contemplative life,
visible here and now, more excellent than the previous ones and more
sublime.

The Passing Away & Re-appearance of Beings

“With his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished,
free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to
imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to knowledge of the
passing away and re-appearance of beings. He sees — by means of the
divine eye, purified and surpassing the human — beings passing away and
re-appearing, and he discerns how they are inferior and superior,
beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate in accordance with their
kamma: ‘These beings — who were endowed with bad conduct of body,
speech, and mind, who reviled the noble ones, held wrong views and
undertook actions under the influence of wrong views — with the
break-up of the body, after death, have re-appeared in the plane of
deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell. But these
beings — who were endowed with good conduct of body, speech, and mind,
who did not revile the noble ones, who held right views and undertook
actions under the influence of right views — with the break-up of the
body, after death, have re-appeared in the good destinations, in the
heavenly world.’ Thus — by means of the divine eye, purified and
surpassing the human — he sees beings passing away and re-appearing,
and he discerns how they are inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly,
fortunate and unfortunate in accordance with their kamma. Just as if there were a tall building
in the central square [of a town], and a man with good eyesight
standing on top of it were to see people entering a house, leaving it,
walking along the street, and sitting in the central square. The
thought would occur to him, ‘These people are entering a house, leaving
it, walking along the streets, and sitting in the central square.’ In
the same way — with his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright,
unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained
to imperturbability — the monk directs and inclines it to knowledge of
the passing away and re-appearance of beings. He sees — by means of the
divine eye, purified and surpassing the human — beings passing away and
re-appearing, and he discerns how they are inferior and superior,
beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate in accordance with their
kamma…

“This, too, great king, is a fruit of the contemplative life,
visible here and now, more excellent than the previous ones and more
sublime.

The Ending of Mental Fermentations

“With his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished,
free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to
imperturbability, the monk directs and inclines it to the knowledge of
the ending of the mental fermentations. He discerns, as it has come to
be, that ‘This is stress… This is the origination of stress… This
is the cessation of stress… This is the way leading to the cessation
of stress… These are mental fermentations… This is the origination
of fermentations… This is the cessation of fermentations… This is
the way leading to the cessation of fermentations.’ His heart, thus
knowing, thus seeing, is released from the fermentation of sensuality,
the fermentation of becoming, the fermentation of ignorance. With
release, there is the knowledge, ‘Released.’ He discerns that ‘Birth is
ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further
for this world.’ Just as if there were a
pool of water in a mountain glen — clear, limpid, and unsullied — where
a man with good eyesight standing on the bank could see shells, gravel,
and pebbles, and also shoals of fish swimming about and resting, and it
would occur to him, ‘This pool of water is clear, limpid, and
unsullied. Here are these shells, gravel, and pebbles, and also these
shoals of fish swimming about and resting.’ In the same way — with his
mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from
defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability —
the monk directs and inclines it to the knowledge of the ending of the
mental fermentations. He discerns, as it has come to be, that ‘This is
stress… This is the origination of stress… This is the cessation of
stress… This is the way leading to the cessation of stress… These
are mental fermentations… This is the origination of fermentations…
This is the cessation of fermentations… This is the way leading to
the cessation of fermentations.’ His heart, thus knowing, thus seeing,
is released from the fermentation of sensuality, the fermentation of
becoming, the fermentation of ignorance. With release, there is the
knowledge, ‘Released.’ He discerns that ‘Birth is ended, the holy life
fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.’

“This, too, great king, is a fruit of the contemplative life,
visible here and now, more excellent than the previous ones and more
sublime. And as for another visible fruit of the contemplative life,
higher and more sublime than this, there is none.”

When this was said, King Ajatasattu said to the Blessed One: “Magnificent,
lord! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was
overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was
lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could
see forms, in the same way has the Blessed One — through many lines of
reasoning — made the Dhamma clear. I go to the Blessed One for refuge,
to the Dhamma, and to the community of monks. May the Blessed One
remember me as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge, from this
day forward, for life.

“A transgression has overcome me, lord, in that I was so foolish, so
muddle-headed, and so unskilled as to kill my father — a righteous man,
a righteous king — for the sake of sovereign rulership. May the Blessed
One please accept this confession of my transgression as such, so that
I may restrain myself in the future.”

“Yes, great king, a transgression overcame you in that you were so
foolish, so muddle-headed, and so unskilled as to kill your father — a
righteous man, a righteous king — for the sake of sovereign rulership.
But because you see your transgression as such and make amends in
accordance with the Dhamma, we accept your confession. For it is a
cause of growth in the Dhamma & Discipline of the noble ones when,
seeing a transgression as such, one makes amends in accordance with the
Dhamma and exercises restraint in the future.”

When this was said, King Ajatasattu said to the Blessed One: “Well,
then, lord, I am now taking leave. Many are my duties, many my
responsibilities.”

“Then do, great king, what you think it is now time to do.”

So King Ajatasattu, delighting and
rejoicing in the Blessed One’s words, rose from his seat, bowed down to
him, and — after circumambulating him — left. Not long after King
Ajatasattu had left, the Blessed One addressed the monks: “The king is
wounded, monks. The king is incapacitated. Had he not killed his father
— that righteous man, that righteous king — the dustless, stainless
Dhamma eye would have arisen to him as he sat in this very seat.”

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted in the Blessed One’s words.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/mendis/wheel322.html

The Abhidhamma in Practice
by
N.K.G. Mendis



This book is not a synopsis of the Abhidhamma which, in itself,
comprises seven volumes of the Pali Canon. Here, some aspects of the
Abhidhamma have been related to practice. If this little book helps the
reader to appreciate that the teachings of the Enlightened One are
never mere theories but always stand to reason and can be verified in
the crucible of his or her experience, then its purpose will have been
served.

The writer wishes to place on record:

  1. The inspiration gained from Dhamma discussions with the Venerable
    D. Piyananada Mahaathera and the Venerable H. Gunaratana Mahaathera,
    respectively the former and present chief incumbents of the Washington
    Buddhist Vihaara in the U.S.A.
  2. The deepest gratitude to the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi of the same
    Vihaara who, with great patience and compassion, gave instruction and
    guidance to get the facts straight and to the present them in a
    readable style.
  3. Grateful thanks to Mrs. Norma Cooke who, with devotion to the Dhamma, typed the manuscript.

— Dr. N. K. G. Mendis
Isaacs Harbour
Nova Scotia
Canada

Namo Sammaasambuddhassa
Namo Saddhammassa
Namo Buddhasanghassa

Homage to the Supremely Enlightened One
Homage to the Sublime Teaching
Homage to the Buddha’s Community of Monks

The Abhidhamma forms the third part of the Pali Canon, the
Tipi.taka. The other two parts are the Vinaya Pi.taka, the code of
discipline for monks and nuns, and the Sutta Pi.taka, which contains
the Buddha’s discourses. The word “Abhidhamma” means the higher
teaching because it treats subjects exclusively in an ultimate sense (paramatthasacca),
differing from the Sutta Pi.taka where there is often the use of
expressions valid only from the standpoint of conventional truth (vohaarasacca).
In the Abhidhamma the philosophical standpoint of the Buddha is given
in a pure form without admixture of personalities, anecdotes, or
discussions. It deals with realities in detail and consists of numerous
classifications. These may at first discourage the prospective student.
However, if one perseveres one will be able to derive much benefit in
life-situations from the practical application of the knowledge gained
through study of the Abhidhamma.

Origins

Theravaada tradition holds that the Buddha conceived the Abhidhamma
in the fourth week after his enlightenment, while still sitting in the
vicinity of the Bodhi tree. Tradition also has it that he first
preached the Abhidhamma to the assembly of deities in the Taavati.msa
heaven; his mother, reborn as a deity, was present in the assembly.
This can be taken to mean that the Buddha, by intense concentration,
transcended the earth-bound mentality and rose mentally to the world of
the deities, a feat made possible by his attainment of higher powers (abhiññaa)
through utmost perfection in mental concentration. Having preached the
Abhidhamma to the deities, he returned to earth, that is, to normal
human consciousness, and preached it to the venerable Saariputta, the
arahant disciple most advanced in wisdom.

From ancient times doubts have been expressed as to whether the
Abhidhamma was really taught by the Buddha. What is important for us is
to experience the realities described in the Abhidhamma. Then one will
realize for oneself that such profound truths can emanate only from a
source of supreme enlightenment, from a Buddha. Much of what is
contained in the Abhidhamma is also found in the Sutta Pi.taka and such
sermons had never been heard by anyone until they were uttered by the
Buddha. Therefore those who deny that the source of the Abhidhamma was
the Buddha will then have to say that the discourses also were not
uttered by the Buddha. At any rate, according to the Theravaada
tradition, the essence of the Abhidhamma, the fundamentals, the
framework, is ascribed to the Buddha. The tabulations and
classifications may have been the work of later scholars. What is
important is the essence; it is this we should try to experience for
ourselves.

The question is also raised whether the Abhidhamma is essential for
Dhamma practice. The answer to this will depend on the individual who
undertakes the practice. People vary in their levels of understanding
and spiritual development. Ideally all the different spiritual
faculties should be harmonized, but some people are quite content with
devotional practice based on faith, while others are keen on developing
penetrative insight. The Abhidhamma is most useful to those who want to
understand, who want to know the Dhamma in depth and detail. It aids
the development of insight into the three characteristics of
existence-impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and no-self. It will be
found useful not only during the periods devoted to formal meditation,
but also during the rest of the day when we are engaged in various
chores. When we experience realities then we are deriving benefit from
the study of the Abhidhamma. A comprehensive knowledge of the
Abhidhamma is further useful to those engaged in teaching and
explaining the Dhamma to others.

The Ultimate Realities

The Abhidhamma deals with realities existing in an ultimate sense, called in Pali paramattha dhammaa. There are four such realities:

  1. Citta, mind or consciousness, defined as that which knows or
    experiences an object. Citta occurs as distinct momentary states of
    consciousness.
  2. Cetasikas, the mental factors that arise and occur along with the cittas.
  3. Ruupa, physical phenomena, or material form.
  4. Nibbaana.

Citta, the cetasikas, and ruupa are conditioned realities. They
arise because of conditions and disappear when their conditions cease
to sustain them. Therefore they are impermanent. Nibbaana is an
unconditioned reality. It does not arise and therefore does not fall
away. These four realities can be experienced regardless of what name
we give them. Any other thing — be it within ourselves or without,
past, present, or future, coarse or subtle, low or lofty, far or near —
is a concept and not an ultimate reality.

Citta, cetasikas, and nibbaana are also called naama. The two
conditioned naamas, citta and cetasikas, together with ruupa make up naama-ruupa, the psycho-physical organism. Each of us, in the ultimate sense, is a naama-ruupa,
a compound of mental and material phenomena, and nothing more. Apart
from these three realities that go to form the naama-ruupa compound
there is no ego, self, or soul. The naama part of the compound is what
experiences an object. The ruupa part does not experience anything.
When the body is injured it is not the body, which is ruupa, that feels
the pain, but naama, the mental side. When we are hungry it is not the
stomach that feels the hunger but again the naama. However, naama
cannot eat the food to ease the hunger. The naama, the mind and its
factors, makes the ruupa, the body, ingest the food. Thus neither the
naama nor the ruupa has any efficient power of its own. One is
dependent on the other; one supports the other. Both naama and ruupa
arise because of conditions and perish immediately, and this is
happening every moment of our lives. By studying and experiencing these
realities we will get insight into: (1) what we truly are; (2) what we
find around us; (3) how and why we react to what is within and around
us; and (4) what we should aspire to reach as a spiritual goal.

Christians asked to take part in politics
Bhopal, Nov 17 (IANS)

As Madhya Pradesh goes to the polls Nov 27,
Archbishop Leo Cornelio of Bhopal has called for greater involvement of
Christians in politics though many others in the community feel the
elections would make little difference to them.

Christians represent one per cent of the state’s six crore (60 million) population.

“Our voice is not heard in the process of decision-making as we are not involved in politics,” Archbishop Cornelio told IANS.

“Had
it not been so, there would not have been 171 attacks on our priests
and religious places in the five years since the Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP) came to power in the state,” he said.

The Christian
community, which is up against militant Hindu outfits and the BJP
government in the face of a spurt in attacks on them, however, does not
feel its involvement can make much difference.

This is because
not a single member of the community was elected to the state assembly
in the 2003 elections and they do not expect the situation to change.

“Other
minority communities like Sikhs have a substantial political
representation despite their minuscule presence in the state as
compared to Christians but we have no representation at all,” says a
community leader.

Though the Christian population in the state
is less than their national average, the community does have a sizeable
presence in cities like Jabalpur, Indore and Bhopal apart from the
western region of the state, especially Jhabua and adjoining areas.

“We
are annoyed as the community finds itself voiceless and the Congress
has not given ticket to any tribal Christian, especially from Jhabua.
We have to have our own political voice, otherwise we cannot survive,”
says Indira Iyengar, president of the Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh
Christian Forum.

“The tribal Christians have suffered the most
during the attacks on the community. We urged the Congress to field
tribal Christian leaders, but to no avail,” she said.

“The
Congress has announced the candidature of Ratnesh Solomon but he is not
a tribal Christian. Now, I think that the time has come to explore and
test new options like the Bahujan Samaj Party.”

“This may indirectly help the BJP but we have already suffered for our blind support to the Congress,” said Iyengar.

She
said her Forum recommended the names of some young tribal leaders to
the Congress for tickets for the Thandla, Petlawad and Jhabua seats,
but it was turned down. As against this, the BSP has fielded a
community member, Lata Edwin, for the Jhabua seat.

Muttungal,
the spokesman of Catholic Church for MP and Chhattisgarh, said with as
many as 171 attacks on Christians in the state, Madhya Pradesh happened
to be the second among all states in the country to have seen the most
number of attacks on the community.

“There appears to be a
political vacuum and though Christians have traditionally voted for the
Congress, the lack of tough action on perpetrators of communal violence
is worrying the community,” he said.

“I don’t think there is any enthusiasm and many will not even exercise their right to vote.”

Christians
have a substantial presence in nearly a dozen assembly constituencies
spread over urban areas of Madhya Pradesh apart from some
constituencies in rural areas of western MP.

Now the Entire People, that is, Sarvajan will be Secure, Well and Happy, no sooner they become the members of Bahujan Samaj Party. No evil force can ever touch them as all of them are Original Ihabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharth
                                           - Three Baskets Study Circle

Court dismisses expelled BSP member’s plea

New Delhi, Nov 17 (IANS) The Delhi High Court
Monday dismissed the plea of an expelled Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)
member Isam Singh, who had challenged his disqualification as member of
the Rajya Sabha.

Justice G.S. Sistani dismissed
Singh’s plea stating that since he had already floated another party
due to which he was expelled from the BSP, his disqualification was
correct.

Singh, elected as a BSP member, had formed Bahujan Kranti Party even before he was expelled from the party Sep 3, 2006.

On
Sep 1, the court had issued notices to the central government, Rajya
Sabha chairman, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Uttar Pradesh Chief
Minister Mayawati after admitting Singh’s plea.

Singh
was disqualified by Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari July 4 after the
privileges committee of the house sent him a report May 22.



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Tipitaka The Pali Canon-Pārājika-8 for Bhikkhunis-Digha Nikaya The Long Discourses-BSP not against upper castes-Leading geologist warns some regions are quake-prone
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8 for Bhikkhunis

Pārājika [go up]

1 [1].
Should any bhikkhunī willingly engage in sexual intercourse, even with
a male animal, she is defeated and no longer in affiliation.

2 [2].
Should any bhikkhunī, in what is reckoned a theft, take what is not
given from an inhabited area or from the wilderness — just as when, in
the taking of what is not given, kings arresting the criminal would
flog, imprison, or banish her, saying, “You are a robber, you are a
fool, you are benighted, you are a thief” — a bhikkhunī in the same way
taking what is not given is defeated and no longer in affiliation.

3 [3].
Should any bhikkhunī intentionally deprive a human being of life, or
search for an assassin for him, or praise the advantages of death, or
incite him to die, saying, “My good man, what use is this evil,
miserable life to you? Death would be better for you than life,” or
with such an idea in mind, such a purpose in mind, should in various
ways praise the advantages of death or incite him to die, she also is
defeated and no longer in affiliation.

4 [4].
Should any bhikkhunī, without direct knowledge, boast of a superior
human state, a truly noble knowledge and vision as present in herself,
saying, “Thus do I know; thus do I see,” such that regardless of
whether or not she is cross-examined on a later occasion, she — being
remorseful and desirous of purification — might say, “Ladies, not
knowing, I said I know; not seeing, I said I see — vainly, falsely,
idly,” unless it was from over-estimation, she also is defeated and no
longer in affiliation.

5. Should any bhikkhunī, lusting,
consent to a lusting man’s rubbing, rubbing up against, taking hold of,
touching, or fondling (her) below the collar-bone and above the circle
of the knees, she also is defeated and no longer in affiliation for
being “one above the circle of the knees
.” [See Bhikkhus’ Saṅghādisesa 2]

6. Should any bhikkhunī, knowing that
(another) bhikkhunī has fallen into an act (entailing) defeat, neither
accuse her herself nor inform the group, and then — whether she (the
other bhikkhunī) is still alive or has died, has been expelled or gone
over to another sect — she (this bhikkhunī) should say, “Even before,
ladies, I knew of this bhikkhunī that ‘This sister is of such-and-such
a sort,’ and I didn’t accuse her myself nor did I inform the group,”
then she also is defeated and no longer in affiliation for being “one
who concealed a fault.” [See Bhikkhus’ Pācittiya 64]

7. Should any bhikkhunī follow a
bhikkhu who has been suspended by a united Community (of bhikkhus) in
line with the Dhamma, in line with the Vinaya, in line with the
teacher’s instructions, and who is disrespectful, has not made amends,
has broken off his friendship (with the bhikkhus), the bhikkhunīs are
to admonish her thus: “Lady, that bhikkhu has been suspended by a
united Community in line with the Dhamma, in line with the Vinaya, in
line with the teacher’s instructions. He is disrespectful, he has not
made amends, he has broken off his friendship. Do not follow him, lady.”

And should that bhikkhunī, thus admonished by the bhikkhunīs,
persist as before, the bhikkhunīs are to rebuke her up to three times
so as to desist. If while being rebuked up to three times she desists,
that is good. If she does not desist, then she also is defeated and no
longer in affiliation for being “a follower of a suspended (bhikkhu).”
(§¶•) 1

8. Should any bhikkhunī, lusting,
consent to a lusting man’s taking hold of her hand or touching the edge
of her outer robe, or should she stand with him or converse with him or
go to a rendezvous with him, or should she consent to his approaching
her, or should she enter a hidden place with him, or should she dispose
her body to him — (any of these) for the purpose of that unrighteous
act (Comm: physical contact) — then she also is defeated and no longer
in affiliation for “(any of) eight grounds.
” (§)

Digha Nikaya
The Long Discourses

The Digha Nikaya, or “Collection of Long Discourses” (Pali digha = “long”) is the first division of the Sutta Pitaka, and consists of thirty-four suttas, grouped into three vaggas, or divisions:

  1. Silakkhandha-vagga — The Division Concerning Morality (13 suttas)
  2. Maha-vagga — The Large Division (10 suttas)
  3. Patika-vagga — The Patika Division (11 suttas)

An excellent modern translation of the complete Digha Nikaya is Maurice Walshe’s The Long Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Digha Nikaya (formerly titled: Thus Have I Heard) (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1987). A fine anthology of selected suttas is Handful of Leaves (Vol. 1), by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (distributed by the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies).

The translator appears in the square brackets []. The braces {} contain the volume and starting page number in the PTS romanized Pali edition.



  • DN 2: Samaññaphala Sutta — The Fruits of the Contemplative Life {D i 47} [Thanissaro].
    King Ajatasattu asks the Buddha, “What are the fruits of the
    contemplative life, visible in the here and now?” The Buddha replies by
    painting a comprehensive portrait of the Buddhist path of training,
    illustrating each stage of the training with vivid similes.
  • DN 9: Potthapada Sutta — About Potthapada {D i 178} [Thanissaro].
    The wandering ascetic Potthapada brings to the Buddha a tangle of
    questions concerning the nature of perception. The Buddha clears up the
    matter by reviewing the fundamentals of concentration meditation and
    showing how it can lead to the ultimate cessation of perception.
  • DN 11: Kevatta (Kevaddha) Sutta — To Kevatta (Kevaddha) {D i 211} [Thanissaro].
    This discourse explores the role of miracles and conversations with
    heavenly beings as a possible basis for faith and belief. The Buddha
    does not deny the reality of such experiences, but he points out that —
    of all possible miracles — the only reliable one is the miracle of
    instruction in the proper training of the mind. As for heavenly beings,
    they are subject to greed, anger, and delusion, and so the information
    they give — especially with regard to the miracle of instruction — is
    not necessarily trustworthy. Thus the only valid basis for faith is the
    instruction that, when followed, brings about the end of one’s own
    mental defilements. The tale that concludes the discourse is one of the
    finest examples of the early Buddhist sense of humor. [This summary provided by Thanissaro Bhikkhu]
  • DN 12: Lohicca Sutta — To Lohicca {D i 224} [Thanissaro].
    A non-Buddhist poses some good questions: If Dhamma is something that
    one must realize for oneself, then what is the role of a teacher? Are
    there any teachers who don’t deserve some sort of criticism? The
    Buddha’s reply includes a sweeping summary of the entire path of
    practice.
  • DN 15: Maha-nidana Sutta — The Great Causes Discourse {D ii 55} [Thanissaro].
    One of the most profound discourses in the Pali canon, which gives an
    extended treatment of the teachings of dependent co-arising (paticca
    samuppada) and not-self (anatta) in an outlined context of how these
    teachings function in practice. An explanatory preface is included.
  • DN 16: Maha-parinibbana Sutta — The Last Days of the Buddha {D ii 72} [Vajira/Story (complete text) | Thanissaro (chapters 5-6)].
    This wide-ranging sutta, the longest one in the Pali canon, describes
    the events leading up to, during, and immediately following the death
    and final release (parinibbana) of the Buddha. This colorful
    narrative contains a wealth of Dhamma teachings, including the Buddha’s
    final instructions that defined how Buddhism would be lived and
    practiced long after the Buddha’s death — even to this day. But this
    sutta also depicts, in simple language, the poignant human drama that
    unfolds among the Buddha’s many devoted followers around the time of
    the death of their beloved teacher.
  • DN 20: Maha-samaya Sutta — The Great Meeting {D ii 253} [Piyadassi | Thanissaro].
    A large group of devas pays a visit to the Buddha. This sutta is the
    closest thing in the Pali canon to a “who’s who” of the deva worlds,
    providing useful material for anyone interested in the cosmology of
    early Buddhism.
  • DN 21: Sakka-pañha Sutta — Sakka’s Questions (excerpt) {D ii 263} [Thanissaro].
    Sakka, the deva-king, asks the Buddha about the sources of conflict,
    and about the path of practice that can bring it to an end. This
    discourse ends with a humorous account about Sakka’s frustration in
    trying to learn the Dhamma from other contemplatives. It’s hard to find
    a teacher when you’re a king.
  • DN 22: Maha-satipatthana Sutta — The Great Frames of Reference (The Great Discourse on the Foundations of Mindfulness) {D ii 290} [Thanissaro].
    This sutta offers comprehensive practical instructions on the
    development of mindfulness in meditation. The Buddha describes how the
    development of continuous mindfulness of the four satipatthana
    (”foundations of mindfulness” or “frames of reference”) — mindfulness
    of the body, of feelings, of the mind, and of mind-objects — can lead
    ultimately to full Awakening. [The text of this sutta is identical to
    that of the Satipatthana Sutta
    (MN 10), except that the Majjhima version omits the exposition of the
    Four Noble Truths (sections 5a,b,c and d in part D of this version).]
  • DN 26: Cakkavatti Sutta — The Wheel-turning Emperor (excerpt) {D iii 58} [Thanissaro].
    In this excerpt the Buddha explains how skillful action can result in
    the best kind of long life, the best kind of beauty, the best kind of
    happiness, and the best kind of strength.
  • DN 31: Sigalovada Sutta — To Sigala/The Layperson’s Code of Discipline {D iii 180} [Narada | Kelly/Sawyer/Yareham].
    The householder’s code of discipline, as described by the Buddha to the
    layman Sigala. This sutta offers valuable practical advice for
    householders on how to conduct themselves skillfully in their
    relationships with parents, spouses, children, pupils, teachers,
    employers, employees, friends, and spiritual mentors so as to bring
    happiness to all concerned.
  • DN 32: Atanatiya Sutta — The Discourse on Atanatiya {D iii 194} [Piyadassi]. One of the “protective verses” (paritta) that are chanted to this day for ceremonial purposes by Theravada monks and nuns around the world. See Piyadassi Thera’s The Book of Protection (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1999).
Abhidhamma Pitaka
Baskets of Abhidhamma

Note: At present there are no translations from the Abhidhamma Pitaka available here at Access to Insight.

The seven books of the Abhidhamma Pitaka, the third division of the Tipitaka,
offer an extraordinarily detailed analysis of the basic natural
principles that govern mental and physical processes. Whereas the Sutta and Vinaya
Pitakas lay out the practical aspects of the Buddhist path to
Awakening, the Abhidhamma Pitaka provides a theoretical framework to
explain the causal underpinnings of that very path. In Abhidhamma
philosophy the familiar psycho-physical universe (our world of “trees”
and “rocks,” “I” and “you”) is distilled to its essence: an intricate
web of impersonal phenomena and processes unfolding at an inconceivably
rapid pace from moment to moment, according to precisely defined
natural laws.

According to tradition, the essence of the Abhidhamma was formulated
by the Buddha during the fourth week after his Enlightenment.1
Seven years later he is said to have spent three consecutive months
preaching it in its entirety in one of the deva realms, before an
audience of thousands of devas (including his late mother, the former
Queen Maya), each day briefly commuting back to the human realm to
convey to Ven. Sariputta the essence of what he had just taught.2
Sariputta mastered the Abhidhamma and codified it into roughly its
present form. Although parts of the Abhidhamma were recited at the
earlier Buddhist Councils, it wasn’t until the Third Council (ca. 250 BCE) that it became fixed into its present form as the third and final Pitaka of the canon.3

Despite its relatively late entrance into the Canon, the Abhidhamma
stands as an essential pillar of classical Theravada Buddhist thought.
Its significance does, however, vary considerably across regional and
cultural boundaries. In Thai Buddhism, for example, the Abhidhamma
(and, for that matter, many of the Commentaries as well) play a
relatively minor role in Buddhist doctrine and practice. In Sri Lanka
and Myanmar (Burma), however, they hold the same venerated status as
the Vinaya and Sutta Pitakas themselves. The modern Burmese approach to
the teaching and practice of Satipatthana meditation, in particular,
relies heavily on an Abhidhammic interpretation of meditative
experience. Regardless of the Abhidhamma’s position on the shelf of
Buddhist canonical texts, the astonishing detail with which it
methodically constructs a quasi-scientific model of mind (enough, by
far, to make a modern systems theorist or cognitive scientist gasp in
awe), insures its place in history as a monumental feat of intellectual
genius.


The Abhidhamma Pitaka is divided into seven books, although it is
the first (Dhammasangani) and last (Patthana) that together lay out the
essence of Abhidhamma philosophy. The seven books are:

  1. Dhammasangani (”Enumeration of Phenomena”). This book enumerates all the paramattha dhamma (ultimate realities) to be found in the world. According to one such enumeration these amount to:

    • 52 cetasikas (mental factors), which, arising together in various combination, give rise to any one of…
    • …89 different possible cittas (states of consciousness)
    • 4 primary physical elements, and 23 physical phenomena derived from them
    • Nibbana

    Availability of English translations:

    • Buddhist Psychological Ethics, translated from the Pali by C.A.F. Rhys Davids (Oxford: Pali Text Society, 1900).
  2. Vibhanga (”The Book of Treatises”). This book continues the analysis of the Dhammasangani, here in the form of a catechism.

    Availability of English translations:

    • The Book of Analysis, translated from the Pali by Ven. U Thittila (Oxford: Pali Text Society, 1969).
  3. Dhatukatha (”Discussion with Reference to the Elements”). A reiteration of the foregoing, in the form of questions and answers.

    Availability of English translations:

    • Discourse on Elements, translated from the Pali by Ven. U Narada (Oxford: Pali Text Society, 1962).
  4. Puggalapaññatti (”Description of Individuals”). Somewhat out
    of place in the Abhidhamma Pitaka, this book contains descriptions of a
    number of personality-types.

    Availability of English translations:

    • A Designation of Human Types, translated from the Pali by B.C. Law (Oxford: Pali Text Society, 1922).
  5. Kathavatthu (”Points of Controversy”). Another odd inclusion
    in the Abhidhamma, this book contains questions and answers that were
    compiled by Moggaliputta Tissa in the 3rd century BCE, in order to help
    clarify points of controversy that existed between the various
    “Hinayana” schools of Buddhism at the time.

    Availability of English translations:

    • Points of Controversy, translated from the Pali by S.Z. Aung and C.A.F. Rhys Davids (Oxford: Pali Text Society, 1915).
  6. Yamaka (”The Book of Pairs”). This book is a logical
    analysis of many concepts presented in the earlier books. In the words
    of Mrs. Rhys Davids, an eminent 20th century Pali scholar, the ten
    chapters of the Yamaka amount to little more than “ten valleys of dry
    bones.”

    Availability of English translations: None.

  7. Patthana (”The Book of Relations”). This book, by far the
    longest single volume in the Tipitaka (over 6,000 pages long in the
    Siamese edition), describes the 24 paccayas, or laws of conditionality, through which the dhammas interact. These laws, when applied in every possible permutation with the dhammas described in the Dhammasangani, give rise to all knowable experience.

    Availability of English translations:

    • Conditional Relations (vol I), translated from the Pali by Ven. U Narada (Oxford: Pali Text Society, 1969). Part I of the Tika-patthana section of the Patthana.
    • Conditional Relations (vol II), translated from the Pali by Ven. U Narada (Oxford: Pali Text Society, 1981). Part II of the Tika-patthana section of the Patthana.
    • A Guide to Conditional Relations, translated from the Pali by Ven. U Narada (Oxford: Pali Text Society, 1978). An introduction and guide to the first 12 pages (!) of the Patthana.

The Abhidhamma Pitaka has a well-deserved reputation for being dense
and difficult reading. The best way to begin studying Abhidhamma is not
to dive right into its two key books (Dhammasangani and Patthana), but
to explore some of the more modern — and readable — commentarial texts.
These will help you get oriented to the Abhidhamma’s challenging
terrain:

  • The Abhidhamma in Practice, by N.K.G. Mendis (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society Wheel Publication 322, 1985).
  • Buddhist Philosophy of Relations, by Ven. Ledi Sayadaw (Wheel publication No. 331; Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1986). An excellent introduction to the Patthana, the most difficult of the Abhidhamma books, which explains each of the 24 conditional relations by which the dhammas interact.
  • Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma, A: The Abhidhamma Sangaha of Acariya Anuruddha, Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, ed. (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1993). This book, an expanded treatment of Ven. Narada’s classic A Manual of Abhidhamma
    (see below), should be required reading for every Abhidhamma student.
    It gives a remarkably lucid and insightful overview of Abhidhamma
    philosophy. Even if you read no further than the Introduction, your efforts will be well rewarded.
  • Dhamma Theory, The: Philosophical Cornerstone of the Abhidhamma, by Y. Karunadasa (Wheel
    publication No. 412/413; Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1996).
    The Dhamma Theory is the fundamental principle on which the entire
    Abhidhamma is based: that all empirical phenomena are made up of a
    number of elementary constituents — dhammas — the ultimate
    realities that lie behind manifest phenomena. This short book offers a
    good overview of the philosophical and analytical methods used in
    Abhidhamma.
  • Guide Through the Abhidhamma Pitaka, by Ven. Nyanatiloka Mahathera (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1983).
  • Manual of Abhidhamma, A: The Abhidhammattha Sangaha
    of Anuruddhacariya

    (fourth edition), translated from the Pali by Ven. Narada Maha Thera
    (Kuala Lumpur: Buddhist Missionary Society, 1979). Available online at » BuddhaSasana.
    A classic work that provides an excellent introduction to the
    essentials of Abhidhamma study. Largely superseded by Bhikkhu Bodhi’s
    expanded and more thoroughly annotated A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma: The Abhidhamma Sangaha of Acariya Anuruddha (see above) but useful in its compactness.
  • Psychology and Philosophy of Buddhism, The: An Introduction to the Abhidhamma, by Dr. W.F. Jayasuriya (Kuala Lumpur: Buddhist Missionary Society, 1988).


Notes

1. Handbook of Pali Literature, by Somapala Jayawardhana (Colombo: Karunaratne, 1994), p. 1.
2. From the Atthasalini, as described in Great Disciples of the Buddha, by Nyanaponika Thera and Hellmuth Hecker (Somerville: Wisdom Publications, 1997), pp. 45-46.
3. The Katthavatthu, composed during the Third Council, was the final addition to the Abhidhamma Pitaka. See Guide Through the Abdhidhamma Pitaka, by Nyanatiloka Mahathera (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1983), p xi.


‘BSP not against upper castes’

Bilaspur: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo and Uttar Pradesh Chief
Minister Mayawati on Sunday said her party is not against the upper
castes as several political parties have been trying to project it.

“The BSP’s policies are never against any caste or community, the
party is committed to the welfare of all sections and castes. Some
other parties are now spreading false rumours that the BSP is against
the upper castes,” she stated at a public rally in Bilaspur.

Ms. Mayawati said, “BSP wants development of all the castes; in
Uttar Pradesh the party has taken care of backward Muslims and we
maintain we will amend the Constitution if we form a government at the
Centre to provide reservation to backward people from the upper castes.”

Leading geologist warns some regions are quake-prone


‘The Indian plate is pushing at about 5 centimetres every year’


Lucknow: Pointing to the geology of the Indian subcontinent, a
leading geologist on Saturday warned that some regions of Himachal
Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh near Nepal could be prone to an
earthquake.


Collision course

Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology Director B. R. Arora who
delivered the 54th Sir Albert Charles Seward Memorial Lecture as part
of the Foundation Day celebrations of the Birbal Sahni Institute of
Palaeobotany here, said the Indian and the Eurasian plates were on a
collision course.

“The youngest mountains of the world, Himalayas, formed as a result
of collision between Indian and Eurasian plate. The Indian plate is
pushing at about 5 centimetres every year but the Eurasian plate is
shifting only about 3 centimetres which leaves a strain of about 2
centimetres,” he said.

This strain is a matter of concern as such strains are released in
earthquakes and there are areas in Himachal, Eastern UP (near Nepal)
and Uttarakhand where a strain has been building but has no history of
earthquakes in the past hundred years, Dr. Arora said.


Research

A centre has been established at Kuttu in New Tehri to research
into the phenomenon and hopefully predict earthquakes, he said. – PTI


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