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The Noble Eightfold Path-MOST IMPORTANT PRACTICE OF THE BLESSED, NOBLE, AWAKENED ONE TO BE FOLLOWED BY ALL TRUE FOLLOWERS-Wisdom-1)Right View-The Ten Fetters((Sa.myojana)-2) Right Intention(Right Thought)(Sammaa-sankappa)-Ethical Conduct-3) Right Speech(Sammaa-vaacaa)-4) Right Action(Sammaa-kammanta)-5) Right Livelihood(Sammaa-aajiva)-Mental Development-6) Right Effort(Sammaa-vaayaama)-7) Right Mindfulness(Sammaa-sati)- 8) Right Concentration(Sammaa-samaadhi)-Jhaanas-1)Stream-enterer(The Sotapanna)-2)Once-returner-3)Non-returner-4)Arahath
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MOST IMPORTANT PRACTICE OF THE BLESSED, NOBLE, AWAKENED ONE TO BE FOLLOWED BY ALL TRUE FOLLOWERS

Noble Eightfold Path-

Wisdom-

1) Right View

The Ten Fetters

(Sa.myojana)

2) Right Intention

Right Thought

(Sammaa-sankappa)

Ethical Conduct

3) Right Speech

(Sammaa-vaacaa)

4) Right Action

(Sammaa-kammanta)

5) Right Livelihood

(Sammaa-aajiva)

Mental Development

6) Right Effort

(Sammaa-vaayaama)

7) Right Mindfulness

(Sammaa-sati)

  8) Right Concentration

(Sammaa-samaadhi)

Jhaanas

1) Stream-enterer

The Sotapanna or ‘Stream-Enterer’

2)Once-returner

3) Non-returner

4)Arahath

1) Right View

 

The Ten Fetters

(Sa.myojana)

There are ten ‘Fetters’-samyojana-by which beings are bound to the wheel of existence. They are:

Self-Illusion (sakkaaya-di.t.thi)

Scepticism (vicikicchaa)

Attachment to mere Rule and Ritual (siilabbata-paraamaasa)

Sensual Lust (kaamaraaga)

Ill-Will (vyaapaada)

Craving for Fine-Material Existence (ruupa-raaga)

Craving for Immaterial Existence (aruupa-raaga)

Conceit (maana)

Restlessness (uddhacca)

Ignorance (avijjaa).

The Noble Ones

(Ariya-puggala)

One who is freed from the first three Fetters is called a ‘Stream - Enterer’ (in Pali: Sotaapanna) i.e. one who has entered the stream leading to Nibbaana. He has unshakable faith in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha, and is incapable of breaking the five Moral Precepts. He will be reborn seven times, at the utmost, and not in a state lower than the human world.

One who has overcome the fourth and the fifth Fetters in their grosser form, is called a Sakadaagaami, lit. ‘Once-Returner’ i.e. he will be reborn only once more in the Sensuous Sphere (kaama-loka), and thereafter reach Holiness.

An Anaagaami, lit. ‘Non-Returner’, is wholly freed from the first five Fetters which bind one to rebirth in the Sensuous Sphere; after death, while living in the Fine-Material Sphere (ruupa-loka), he will reach the goal.

An Arahat, i.e. the perfectly ‘Holy One’, is freed from all the ten Fetters.

Each of the aforementioned four stages of Holiness consists of the ‘Path’ (magga) and the ‘Fruition’, e.g. ‘Path of Stream Entry’ (sotaapatti-magga) and ‘Fruition of Stream Entry’ (sotaapatti-phala). Accordingly there are eight types, or four pairs, of ‘Noble Individuals’ (ariya-puggala).

The ‘Path’ consists of the single moment of entering the respective attainment. By ‘Fruition’ are meant those moments of consciousness which follow immediately thereafter as the result of the ‘Path’, and which under certain circumstances, may repeat innumerable times during life-time.

For further details, see B. Dict.: ariya-puggala, sotaapanna,etc.

Mundane And Super Mundane Understanding

M.117

Therefore, I say, Right Understanding is of two kinds:

1. The view that alms and offerings are not useless; that there is fruit and result, both of good and bad actions; that there are such things as this life, and the next life; that father and mother, as also spontaneously born beings (in the heavenly worlds), are no mere words; that there are in the world monks and priests, who are spotless and perfect, who can explain this life and the next life, which they themselves have understood: this is called the ‘Mundane Right Understanding’ (lokiya-sammaa-di.t.thi), which yields worldly fruits and brings good results.

2. But whatsoever there is of wisdom, of penetration, of right understanding conjoined with the ‘Path’ (of the Sotaapanna, Sakadaagaami, Anaagaami, or Arahat)-the mind being turned away from the world and conjoined with the path, the holy path being pursued: this is called the ‘Super mundane Right Understanding’ (lokuttara-sammaa-di.t.thi), which is not of the world, but is super mundane and conjoined with the path.

Thus, there are two kinds of the Eightfold Path:

1. The ‘mundane’ (lokiya), practiced by the ‘Worldling’ (puthujjana), i.e. by all those who have not yet reached the first stage of Holiness; 2. The ’super mundane’ (lokuttara) practiced by the ‘Noble Ones’ (ariya-puggala).

Conjoined With Other Steps

Now, in understanding wrong understanding as wrong and right understanding as right, one practices ‘Right Understanding’ (1st factor); and in making efforts to overcome wrong understanding, and to arouse right understanding, one practices ‘Right Effort’ (6th factor); and in overcoming wrong understanding with attentive mind, and dwelling with attentive mind in the possession of right understanding one practices ‘Right Mindfulness’ (7th factor). Hence, there are three things that accompany and follow upon right understanding, namely: Right Understanding, Right Effort, and Right Mindfulness.

Free from All Theories

M. 72

Now, if any one should put the question, whether I admit any theory at all, he should be answered thus: The Perfect One is free from any theory, for the Perfect One has understood what corporeality is, and how it arises and passes away. He has understood what feeling is, and how it arises and passes away. He has understood what perception is, and how it arises and passes away. He has understood what the mental formations are, and how they arise and pass away. He has understood what consciousness is, and how it arises and passes away. Therefore I say, the Perfect One has won complete deliverance through the extinction, fading-away, disappearance, rejection, and getting rid of all opinions and conjectures, of all inclination to the vain-glory of ‘I‘ and ‘mine‘.

The Three Characteristics

A. III. 134

Whether Perfect Ones (Buddhas) appear in the world, or whether Perfect Ones do not appear in the world, it still remains a firm condition, an immutable fact and fixed law: that all formations are impermanent (Anicca), that all formations are subject to suffering (dukkha); that everything is without a Self (an-attaa).

In Pali: sabbe sankhaaraa aniccaa, sabbe sankhaaraa dukkhaa, sabbe dhammaa anattaa.

The word ’sankhaaraa’ (formations) comprises here all things that are conditioned or ‘formed’ (sankhata-dhamma), i.e. all possible physical and mental constituents of existence. The word ‘dhamma’, however, has a still wider application and is all-embracing, as it comprises also the so-called Unconditioned (’unformed’, asankhata), i.e. Nibbana.

For this reason, it would be wrong to say that all dhammas are impermanent and subject to change, for the Nibbaana-dhamma is permanent and free from change. And for the same reason, it is correct to say that not only all the sankhaaras (=sankhata-dhamma), but that all the dhammas (including the asankhata-dhamma) lack an Ego (an-attaa).

S. XXII. 94

A corporeal phenomenon, a feeling, a perception, a mental formation, a consciousness, which is permanent and persistent, eternal and not subject to change, such a thing the wise men in this world do not recognize; and I also say that there is no such thing.

A. I. 15

And it is impossible that a being possessed of right understanding should regard anything as the Self.

Views and Discussions About the Ego

D. 15

Now, if someone should say that feeling is his Self, he should be answered thus: ‘There are three kinds of feeling: pleasurable, painful, and indifferent feeling. Which of these three feelings do you consider as your Self?’ Because, at the moment of experiencing one of these feelings, one does not experience the other two. These three kinds of feeling are impermanent, of dependent origin, are subject to decay and dissolution, to fading-away and extinction. Whosoever, in experiencing one of these feelings, thinks that this is his Self, must after the extinction of that feeling, admit that his Self has become dissolved. And thus he will consider his Self already in this present life as impermanent, mixed up with pleasure and pain, subject to arising and passing away.

If any one should say that feeling is not his Ego, and that his Self is inaccessible to feeling, he should be asked thus: ‘Now, where there is no feeling, is it then possible to say: “This am I?”

Or, another might say: ‘Feeling, indeed, is not my Self, but it also is untrue that my Self is inaccessible to feeling, for it is my Self that feels, my Self that has the faculty of feeling’. Such a one should be answered thus: ‘Suppose that feeling should become altogether totally extinguished; now, if after the extinction of feeling, no feeling whatever exists there, is it then possible to say: “This am I’?”

M. 148

To say that the mind, or the mind-objects, or the mind-consciousness, constitute the Self, such an assertion is unfounded. For an arising and a passing away is seen there; and seeing the arising and passing away of these things, one would come to the conclusion that one’s Self arises and passes away.

S. XII. 62

1t would be better for the unlearned worldling to regard his body, built up of the four elements, as his Self, rather than his mind. For it is evident that the body may last for a year, for two years, for three, four, five, or ten years, or even for a hundred years and more; but that which is called thought, or mind, or consciousness, arises continuously, during day and night, as one thing, and passes away as another thing.

S. XXII. 59

Therefore, whatsoever there is of corporeality, of feeling, of perception, of mental formations, of consciousness whether past, present or future, one’s own or external, gross or subtle, lofty or low, far or near: of this one should understand according to reality and true wisdom: ‘This does not belong to me; this am I not; this is not my Self.’

To show the impersonality and utter emptiness of existence, Visuddhi-Magga XVI quotes the following verse:

Mere suffering exists, no sufferer is found,

The deed is, but no doer of the deed is there.

Nirvana is, but not the man that enters it.

The path is, but no traveler on it is seen’.

Past, Present and Future

D. 9

If now, any one should ask: ‘Have you been in the past, and is it untrue that you have not been? Will you be in the future, and is it untrue that you will not be? Are you, and is it untrue that you are not?’ - you may reply that you have been in the past, and that it is untrue that you have not been; that you will be in the future, and that it is untrue that you will not be; that you are, and that it is untrue that you are not.

In the past only that past existence was real, but unreal the future and present existence. In the future only the future existence will be real, but unreal the past and the present existence. Now only the present existence is real, but unreal, the past and future existence.

M. 28

Verily, he who perceives the ‘Dependent Origination’ (pa.ticca-samuppaada), perceives the truth; and he who perceives the truth, perceives the Dependent Origination.

D. 8

For just as from the cow comes milk, from milk curd, from curd butter, from butter ghee, from ghee the skim of ghee; and when it is milk, it is not counted as curd, or butter, or ghee, or skim of ghee, but only as milk; and when it is curd, it is only counted as curd: just so was my past existence at that time real, but unreal the future and present existence; and my future existence will be at that time real, but unreal the past and present existence; and my present existence is now real, but unreal the past and future existence. All these are merely popular designations and expressions, mere conventional terms of speaking, mere popular notions. The Perfect One indeed makes use of these, without however clinging to them.

S. XLIV 4

Thus, he who does not understand corporeality, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness according to reality (i.e. as void of a personality, or Ego) nor understands their arising, their extinction, and the way to their extinction, he is liable to believe, either that the Perfect One continues after death, or that he does not continue after death, and so forth.

The Two Extremes (Annihilation and Eternity Belief) and the Middle Doctrine

S. XII. 25

Truly, if one holds the view that the vital principle (jiva; ‘Soul’) is identical with this body, in that case a holy life is not possible; and if one holds the view that the vital principle is something quite different from the body, in that case also a holy life is not possible. Both these two extremes the Perfect One has avoided, and he has shown the Middle Doctrine, which says:

Dependent Origination

(Pa.ticca-samuppaada)

S. XII. 1

On Ignorance (avijjaa) depend the ‘Karma-formations’ (sankhaaraa).

On the Karma-formations depends ‘Consciousness’ (vi~n~naa.na; starting with rebirth-consciousness in the womb of the mother).

On Consciousness depends the ‘Mental and Physical Existence’ (naama-ruupa).

On the mental and physical existence depend the ‘Six Sense-Organs’ (sa.l-aayatana).

On the six sense-organs depends ‘Sensorial Impression’ (phassa).

On sensorial impression depends ‘Feeling’ (vedanaa).

On feeling depends ‘Craving’ (ta.nhaa).

On craving depends ‘Clinging’ (upaadaana).

On clinging depends the ‘Process of Becoming’ (bhava).

On the process of becoming (here: kamma-bhava, or karma-process) depends ‘Rebirth’ (jaati).

On rebirth depend ‘Decay and Death’ (jaraa-marana), sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair.

Thus arises this whole mass of suffering. This is called the noble truth of the origin of suffering.

“No god, no Brahma can be called

The maker of this wheel of life:

Empty phenomena roll on,

Dependent on conditions all.”

(Quoted in Visuddhi-Magga XIX).

S. XII. 51

A disciple, however, in whom Ignorance (avijjaa) has disappeared and wisdom arisen, such a disciple heaps up neither meritorious, nor de-meritorious, nor imperturbable Karma-formations.

The term sankhaaraa has been rendered here by ‘Karma Formations’ because, in the context of the Dependent Origination, it refers to karmically wholesome and unwholesome volition (cetanaa), or volitional activity, in short, Karma.

The threefold division of it, given in the preceding passage, comprises karmic activity in all spheres of existence, or planes of consciousness. The ‘meritorious karma-formations’ extend also to the Fine-Material Sphere (ruupaavacara), while the ‘imperturbable karma-formations’ (ane~njaabhisankhaaraa) refer only to the Immaterial Sphere (aruupaavacara).

S. XII. 1

Thus, through the entire fading away and extinction of this ‘Ignorance’, the ‘Karma-formations’ are extinguished. Through the extinction of Karma-formations, ‘Consciousness’ (rebirth) is extinguished. Through the extinction of consciousness, the ‘Mental and Physical Existence’ is extinguished. Through the extinction of the mental and physical existence, the ‘Six Sense-Organs’ are extinguished. Through the extinction of the six sense organs, ‘Sensorial Impression’ is extinguished. Through the extinction of sensorial impression, ‘Feeling’ is extinguished. Through the extinction of feeling, ‘Craving’ is extinguished. Through the extinction of craving, ‘Clinging’ is extinguished. Through the extinction of clinging, the ‘Process of Becoming’ is extinguished. Through the extinction of the process of becoming, ‘Rebirth’ is extinguished. Through the extinction of rebirth, ‘Decay and Death’, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are extinguished. Thus takes place the extinction of this whole mass of suffering. This is called the noble truth of the extinction of suffering.

Rebirth-Producing Kamma

M. 43

Truly, because beings, obstructed by ignorance (avijjaa) and ensnared by craving (tanhaa) seek ever fresh delight, now here, now there, therefore fresh rebirth continually comes to be.

A. III. 33

And the action (kamma) that is done out of greed, hatred and delusion (lobha, dosa, moha), that springs from them, has its source and origin in them: this action ripens wherever one is reborn, and wherever this action ripens there one experiences the fruits of this action, be it in this life, or the next life, or in some future life.

Cessation of Kamma

M. 43

However, through the fading away of ignorance, through the arising of wisdom, through the extinction of craving, no future rebirth takes place again.

A. III. 33

For the actions which are not done out of greed, hatred and delusion, which have not sprung from them, which have not their source and origin in them: such actions, through the absence of greed, hatred and delusion, are abandoned, rooted out, like a palm-tree torn out of the soil, destroyed, and not able to spring up again.

A. VIII. 12

In this respect one may rightly say of me: that I teach annihilation, that I propound my doctrine for the purpose of annihilation, and that I herein train my disciples; for certainly I do teach annihilation-the annihilation, namely, of greed, hatred and delusion, as well as of the manifold evil and unwholesome things.

The Pa.ticca Samuppaada, lit, the Dependent Origination, is the doctrine of the conditionality of all physical and mental phenomena, a doctrine which, together with that of Impersonality (anattaa), forms the indispensable condition for the real understanding and realization of the Buddha’s teaching. It shows that the various physical and mental life-processes, conventionally called personality, man, animal, etc., are not a mere play of blind chance, but the outcome of causes and conditions. Above all, the Pa.ticca-Samuppaada explains how the arising of rebirth and suffering is dependent upon conditions; and, in its second part, it shows how, through the removal of these conditions, all suffering must disappear. Hence, the Pa.ticca-Samuppaada serves to elucidate the second and the third Noble Truths, by explaining them from their very foundations upwards, and giving them a fixed philosophical form.

The following diagram shows at a glance how the twelve links of the formula extend over three consecutive existences, past, present, and future:

Past Existence

1. Ignorance (avijjaa)

Karma Process (kamma-bhava) 5 causes: 1, 2, 8, 9, 10

2. Karma-Formations (sankhaaraa)

Present Existence

3. Consciousness (vi~n~naa.na)

Rebirth-Process (upapatti-bhava) 5 results: 3-7

4. Mental and Physical Existence (naamaruupa)

5. 6 Sense Organs (sa.l-aayatana)

6. Sense-Impression (phassa)

7. Feeling (vedanaa)

8. Craving (ta.nha)

Karma Process (kamma-bhava) 5 causes: 1, 2, 8, 9, 10

9. Clinging (upaadaana)

10. Process of Existence (bhava)

Future Existence

11. Rebirth (jaati)

Rebirth-Process (upapatti-bhava) 5 results: 3-7

12. Decay and Death (jaraa-marana)

The links 1-2, together with 8-10, represent the Karma-Process, containing the five karmic causes of rebirth.

The links 3-7, together with 11-12, represent the Rebirth-Process, containing the five Karma-Results.

Accordingly it is said in the Patisambhidaa-Magga:

Five causes were there in past,

Five fruits we find in present life.

Five causes do we now produce,

Five fruits we reap in future life.

(Quoted in Vis. Magga XVII)

For a full explanation see Fund. III and B. Dict.

Right Intention

Right Thought

(Sammaa-sankappa)

D. 22

What, now, is Right Thought?

  1. Thought free from lust (nekkhamma-sankappa).
  2. Thought free from ill-will (avyaapaada-sankappa).
  3. Thought free from cruelty (avihimsaa-sankappa).

This is called Right Thought.

Mundane And Super Mundane Thought

M. 117

Now, Right Thought, I tell you, is of two kinds:

1. Thought free from lust, from ill-will, and from cruelty-this is called ‘Mundane Right Thought’ (lokiya sammaa-sankappa), which yields worldly fruits and brings good rcsu1ts.

2. But, whatsoever there is of thinking, considering, reasoning, thought, ratiocination, application-the mind being holy, being turned away from the world, and conjoined with the path, the holy path being pursued-these ‘verbal operations’ of the mind (vacii-sankhaaraa) are called the ‘Super mundane Right Thought’ (lokuttara-sammaa-sankappa), which is not of the world, but is super mundane, and conjoined with the path.

Conjoined with Other Factors

Now, in understanding wrong thought as wrong, and right thought as right, one practices Right Understanding (1st factor); and in making efforts to overcome evil thought and to arouse right thought, one practices Right Effort (6th factor); and in overcoming evil thought with attentive mind, and dwelling with attentive mind in possession of right thought, one practices Right Mindfulness (7th factor). Hence there are three things that accompany and follow upon Right Thought, namely: Right Understanding, Right Effort, and Right Mindfulness.

Ethical Conduct

3) Right Speech

Right Speech

(Sammaa-vaacaa)

What now, is Right Speech?

Abstaining from Lying

A. X. 176

1. Herein someone avoids lying and abstains from it. He speaks the truth, is devoted to the truth, reliable, worthy of confidence, not a deceiver of men. Being at a meeting, or amongst people, or in the midst of his relatives, or in a society, or in the king’s court, and called upon and asked as witness to tell what he knows, he answers, if he knows nothing: ‘I know nothing’, and if he knows, he answers: ‘I know’; if he has seen nothing, he answers: ‘I have seen nothing’, and if he has seen, he answers: ‘I have seen’. Thus he never knowingly speaks a lie, either for the sake of his own advantage, or for the sake of another person’s advantage, or for the sake of any advantage whatsoever.

Abstaining from Tale Bearing

2. He avoids tale bearing, and abstains from it. What he has heard here, he does not repeat there, so as to cause dissension there; and what he has heard there, he does not repeat here, so as to cause dissension here. Thus he unites those that are divided; and those that are united, he encourages. Concord gladdens him, he delights and rejoices in concord; and it is concord that he spreads by his words.

Abstaining from Harsh Language

3. He avoids harsh language, and abstains from it. He speaks such words as are gentle, soothing to the ear, loving, such words as go to the heart, and are courteous, friendly, and agreeable to many.

In Majjhima-Nicaaya No. 21, the Buddha says: ‘Even, O monks, should robbers and murderers saw through your limbs and joints, whosoever should give way to anger thereat would not be following my advice. For thus ought you to train yourselves:

‘Undisturbed shall our mind remain, no evil words shall escape our lips; friendly and full of sympathy shall we remain, with heart full of love, and free from any hidden malice; and that person shall we penetrate with loving thoughts, wide, deep, boundless, freed from anger and hatred’.

Abstaining from Vain Talk

A. X. 176

4. He avoids vain talk, and abstains from it. He speaks at the right time, in accordance with facts, speaks what is useful, speaks of the law and the discipline: his speech is like a treasure, uttered at the right moment, accompanied by arguments, moderate and full of sense.

This is called Right Speech.

Mundane and Super Mundane Speech

M. 117

Now, Right Speech. I tell you, is of two kinds:

1. Abstaining from lying, from tale-bearing, from harsh language, and from vain talk; this is called ‘Mundane Right Speech’ (lokiya-sammaa-vaacaa), which yields worldly fruits and brings good results.

2. But the avoidance of the practice of this fourfold wrong speech, the abstaining, desisting. refraining there from-the mind being holy, being turned away from the world, and conjoined with the path, the holy path being pursued-this is called the ‘Super mundane Right Speech’ (lokuttara-sammaa-vaacaa), which is not of the world, but is super mundane, and conjoined with the path.

Conjoined with Other Factors

Now, in understanding wrong speech as wrong, and right speech as right, one practices Right Understanding (1st factor); and in making efforts to overcome evil speech and to arouse right speech, one practices Right Effort (6th factor); and in overcoming wrong speech with attentive mind, and dwelling with attentive mind in possession of right speech, one practices Right Mindfulness (7th factor). Hence, there are three things that accompany and follow upon Right Speech, namely: Right Understanding, Right Effort, and Right Mindfulness.

 

4) Right Action

(Sammaa-kammanta)

A. X. 176

What, now, is Right Action?

Abstaining from Killing

1. Herein someone avoids the killing of living beings, and abstains from it. Without stick or sword, conscientious, full of sympathy, he is desirous of the welfare of all living beings.

Abstaining from Stealing

2. He avoids stealing, and abstains from it; what another person possesses of goods and chattels in the village or in the wood, that he does not take away with thievish intent.

Abstaining from Unlawful Sexual Intercourse

3. He avoids unlawful sexual intercourse, and abstains from it. He has no intercourse with such persons as are still under the protection of father, mother, brother, sister or relatives, nor with married women, nor female convicts, nor lastly, with betrothed girls.

This is called Right Action.

Mundane And Super Mundane Action

M. 117

Now, Right Action, I tell you, is of two kinds:

1. Abstaining from killing, from stealing, and from unlawful sexual intercourse: this is called the ‘Mundane Right Action’ (lokiya-sammaa-kammanta) which yields worldly fruits and brings good results.

2. But the avoidance of the practice of this threefold wrong action, the abstaining, desisting, refraining there from-the mind being holy.  Being turned away from the world, and conjoined with the path, the holy path being pursued-this is called the ‘Super mundane Right Action’ (lokuttara-sammaa-kammanta), which is not of the world, but is super mundane, and conjoined with the path.

Conjoined With Other Factors

Now in understanding wrong action as wrong, and right action as right, one practices Right Understanding (1st factor): and in making efforts to overcome wrong action, and to arouse right action, one practices Right Effort (6th factor); and in overcoming wrong action with attentive mind, and dwelling with attentive mind in possession of right action, one practices Right Mindfulness (7th factor).  Hence, there are three things that accompany and follow upon Right Action, namely: Right Understanding, Right Effort, and Right Mindfulness.

5) Right Livelihood

(Sammaa-aajiva)

What, now, is Right Livelihood?

D. 22

1. When the noble disciple, avoiding a wrong way of living, gets his livelihood by a right way of living, this is called Right Livelihood.

In the Majjhima-Nikaaya, No. 117, it is said: ‘To practice deceit, treachery, soothsaying, trickery, usury: this is wrong livelihood.’

And in the Anguttara-Nikaaya, V. 1 77, it is said: ‘Five trades should be avoided by a disciple: trading in arms, in living beings, in flesh, in intoxicating drinks, and in poison’.

Included are the professions of a soldier, a fisherman, a hunter, etc.

Now, Right Livelihood, I tell you, is of two kinds:

Mundane and Super mundane Right Livelihood

M. 117

1. When the noble disciple, avoiding wrong living, gets his livelihood by a right way of living: this is called ‘Mundane Right Livelihood’ (lokiya-sammaa-aajiva), which yields worldly fruits and brings good results.

2. But the avoidance of wrong livelihood, the abstaining, desisting, refraining there from-the mind being holy, being turned away from the world, and conjoined with the path, the holy path being pursued-this is called the ‘Super mundane Right Livelihood’ (lokuttara-sammaa-aajiva), which is not of the world,  but is super mundane, and conjoined with the path.

Conjoined with Other Factors

Now. in understanding wrong livelihood as wrong, and right livelihood as right, one practices Right Understanding (1st factor); and in making efforts to overcome wrong livelihood, to establish right livelihood, one practices Right Effort (6th factor); and in overcoming wrong livelihood with attentive mind, and dwelling with attentive mind in possession of right livelihood, one practices Right Mindfulness (7th factor). Hence, there are three things that accompany and follow upon Right Livelihood, namely: Right Understanding, Right Effort, and Right Mindfulness.

Mental Development

 

6) Right Effort

(Sammaa-vaayaama)

A. IV. 13, 14

What, now. is Right Effort?

There are Four Great Efforts; the effort to avoid, the effort to overcome, the effort to develop, and the effort to maintain.

I. The Effort to Avoid

(Sa.mvara-ppadhaana)

What, now is the effort to Avoid? Herein the disciple rouses his will to avoid the arising of evil, unwholesome things that have not yet arisen; and he makes efforts, stirs up his energy; exerts his mind and strives.

Thus, when lie perceives a form with the eye, a sound with the ear, and an odor with the nose, a taste with the tongue, an impression with the body, or an object with the mind, he neither adheres to the whole, nor to its parts. And he strives to ward off that through which evil and unwholesome things, greed and sorrow, would arise, if he remained with unguarded senses; and he watches over his senses, restrains his senses.

Possessed of this noble ‘Control over the Senses’ he experiences inwardly a feeling of joy, into which no evil thing can enter.

This is called the effort to avoid

2. The Effort to Overcome

(Pahaana-ppadhaana)

What, now, is the effort to Overcome? There the disciple rouses his will to overcome the evil, unwholesome things that have already arisen; and he makes effort, stirs up his energy, exerts his mind and strives.

He does not retain any thought of sensual lust, ill-will or grief, or any other evil and unwholesome states that may have arisen; he abandons them, dispels them, destroys them. causes them to disappear.

Five Methods of Expelling Evil Thoughts

M. 20

If, whilst regarding a certain object, there arise in the disciple, on account of it, evil and unwholesome thoughts connected with greed, hatred and delusion, then the disciple (1) should, by means of this object, gain another and wholesome object. (2) Or, he should reflect on the misery of these thoughts; ‘Unwholesome, truly, are these thoughts! Blamable are these thoughts! Of painful result are these thoughts!’ (3) Or he should pay no attention to these thoughts. (4) Or, he should consider the compound nature of these thoughts. (5) Or, with teeth clenched and tongue pressed against the gums, he should with his mind restrain, suppress and root out these thoughts; and in doing so these evil and unwholesome thoughts of greed, hatred and delusion will dissolve and disappear; and the mind will inwardly become settled and calm, composed and concentrated.

This is called the effort to overcome.

3. The Effort to Develop

(Bhaavanaa-ppadhaana)

A. IV. 13, 14

What, now, is the effort to Develop? Herein the disciple rouses his will to arouse wholesome things that have not yet arisen; and he makes effort, stirs up his energy, exerts his mind and strives.

Thus he develops the ‘Elements of Enlightenment’ (bojjhanga), based on solitude, on detachment, on extinction, and ending in deliverance, namely: ‘Mindfulness’ (sati), ‘Investigation of the Law’ (dhamma-vicaya), ‘Energy’ (viriya), ‘Rapture’ (piiti), ‘Tranquility’ (passaddhi), ‘Concentration’ (samadhi). and ‘Equanimity’ (upekkhaa).

This is called the effort to develop.

4. The Effort to Maintain

(Anurakkha.na-ppadhaana)

What, now, is the effort to Maintain? Herein the disciple rouses his will to maintain the wholesome things that have already arisen, and not to allow them to disappear, but to bring them to growth, to maturity and to the full perfection of development (bhaavanaa); and he makes effort, stirs up his energy, exerts his mind and strives.

Thus, for example, he keeps firmly in his mind a favorable object of concentration that has arisen, such as the mental image of a skeleton, of a corpse infested by worms, of a corpse blue-black in color, of a festering corpse, of a corpse riddled with holes, of a corpse swollen up.

This is called the effort to maintain.

M. 70

Truly, for a disciple who is possessed of faith and has penetrated the Teaching of the master, it is fit to think: ‘Though skin sinews and bones wither away, though flesh and blood of my body dry up, I shall not give up my efforts till I have attained whatever is attainable by manly perseverance, energy and endeavor.’

This is called Right Effort.

A. IV. 14

The effort of Avoiding, Overcoming,

Of Developing and Maintaining:

These four great efforts have been shown

By him, the scion of the sun.

And he who firmly clings to them,

May put an end to suffering.

 

7) Right Mindfulness

(Sammaa-sati)

What, now, is Right Mindfulness?

The Four Foundations of Mindfulness

(Satipa.t.thaana)

D. 22

The only way that leads to the attainment of purity, to the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, to the end of pain and grief, to the entering upon the right path and the realization of Nibbana, is by the ‘Four Foundations of Mindfulness’. And which are these four?

Herein the disciple dwells in contemplation of the Body, in contemplation of Feeling, in contemplation of the Mind, in contemplation of the Mind-Objects; ardent, clearly comprehending them and mindful, after putting away worldly greed and grief.

1. Contemplation of the Body

(kaayaanupassanaa)

But how does the disciple dwell in contemplation of the body?

Watching Over In- and Out-Breathing

(aanaapaana-sati)

Herein the disciple retires to the forest, to the foot of a tree, or to a solitary place, seats himself with legs crossed, body erect, and with mindfulness fixed before him, mindfully he breathes in, mindfully he breathes out. When making a long inhalation, he knows: ‘I make a long inhalation’; when making a long exhalation, he knows: ‘I make a long exhalation’. When making a short inhalation, he knows: ‘I make a short inhalation’: when making a short exhalation, he knows: ‘I make a short exhalation’. ‘Clearly perceiving the entire (breath-) body, I shall breathe in’: thus he trains himself; ‘Clearly perceiving the entire (breath-) body, I shall breathe out’: thus he trains himself. ‘Calming this bodily function (kaaya-sankhaara), I shall breathe in’: thus he trains himself; ‘Calming this bodily function. I shall breathe out’: thus he trains himself.

Thus he dwells in contemplation of the body, either with regard to his own person, or to other persons, or to both, he beholds how the body arises; beholds how it passes away; beholds the arising and passing away of the body. A body is there-

‘A body is there, but no living being, no individual, no woman, no man, no self, and nothing that belongs to a self; neither a person. nor anything belonging to a person. (Comm.)

this clear awareness is present in him, to the extent necessary for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives independent, unattached to anything in the world. Thus does the disciple dwell in contemplation of the body.

‘Mindfulness of Breathing’ (aanaapaana-sati) is one of the most important meditative exercises. It may be used for the development of Tranquility (samatha-bhaavanaa), i.e. for attaining the four Absorptions (jhana; see “The Four Absorptions” on page 67), for the development of Insight (vipassanaa-bhaavanaa) or for a combination of both practices. Here, in the context of satipa.t.thaana, it is principally intended for tranquillization and concentration preparatory to the practice of Insight, which may be undertaken in the following way.

After a certain degree of calm and concentration, or one of the Absorptions, has been attained through regular practice of mindful breathing, the disciple proceeds to examine the origin of breath. He sees that the inhalations and exhalations are conditioned by the body consisting of the four material elements and the various corporeal phenomena derived from them, e.g. the five sense organs, etc. Conditioned by fivefold sense-impression arises consciousness, and together with it the three other ‘Groups of Existence’, i.e. Feeling, Perception, and mental Formations. Thus the meditator sees clearly: ‘There is no ego-entity or self in this so called personality, but it is only a corporeal and mental process conditioned by various factors’. Thereupon he applies the Three Characteristics to these phenomena, understanding them thoroughly as impermanent subject to suffering, and impersonal.

For further details about Ânaapaana-sati, see M. 118.62: Visuddhi-Magga VIII, 3.

The Four Postures

And further, whilst going, standing, sitting, or lying down, the disciple understands (according to reality) the expressions; ‘I go’; ‘I stand’; ‘I sit’; ‘I lie down’; he understands any position of the body.

‘The disciple understands that there is no living being, no real Ego, that goes, stands, etc., but that it is by a mere figure of speech that one says: “I go”, “I stand” and so forth’. (Comm.)

Mindfulness and Clear Comprehension

(sati-sampaja~n~na)

And further, the disciple acts with clear comprehension in going and coming; he acts with clear comprehension in looking forward and backward; acts with clear comprehension in bending and stretching (any part of his body); acts with clear comprehension in carrying alms bowl and robes; acts with clear comprehension in eating, drinking, chewing and tasting; acts with clear comprehension in discharging excrement and urine; acts with clear comprehension in walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, awakening; acts with clear comprehension in speaking and keeping silent.

In all that the disciple is doing, he has a clear comprehension: 1. of his intention, 2. of his advantage, 3. of his duty, 4. of the reality. (Comm.)

Contemplation of Loathsomeness

(pa.tikuula-sa~n~naa)

And further, the disciple contemplates this body from the sole of the foot upward, and from the top of the hair downward, with a skin stretched over it, and filled with manifold impurities: ‘This body has hairs of the head and of the body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, diaphragm, spleen, lungs, stomach, bowels, mesentery, and excrement; bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, lymph, tears, skin-grease, saliva, nasal mucus, oil of the joints, and urine.’

Just as if there were a sack, with openings at both ends, filled with various kinds of grain-with paddy, beans, sesamum and husked rice-and a man not blind opened it and examined its contents, thus: ‘That is paddy, these are beans, this is sesamum, this is husked rice’: just so does the disciple investigate this body.

Analysts of Four Elements

(dhaatu)

And further, the disciple contemplates this body, however it may stand or move, with regard to the elements; ‘This body consists of the solid element, the liquid element, the heating element and the vibrating element’. Just as if a skilled butcher or butcher’s apprentice, who had slaughtered a cow and divided it into separate portions, were to sit down at the junction of four highroads: just so does the disciple contemplate this body with regard to the elements.

In Visuddhi Magga XIII, 2 this simile is explained as follows:

When a butcher rears a cow, brings it to the place of slaughter, binds it to a post, makes it stand up, slaughters it and looks at the slaughtered cow, during all that time he has still the notion ‘cow’. But when he has cut up the slaughtered cow, divided it into pieces, and sits down near it to sell the meat, the notion, ‘cow’ ceases in his mind, and the notion ‘meat’ arises. He does not think that he is selling a cow or that people buy a cow, but that it is meat that is sold and bought. Similarly, in an ignorant worldling, whether monk or layman, the concepts ‘being’, ‘man’, ‘personality’, etc., will not cease until he has mentally dissected this body of his, as it stands and moves, and has contemplated it according to its component elements. But when he has done so, the notion ‘personality’, etc., will disappear, and his mind will become firmly established in the Contemplation of the Elements.

Cemetery Meditations

1. And further, just as if the disciple were looking at a corpse thrown on a charnel-ground, one, two, or three days dead, swollen up, blue-black in color, full of corruption-so he regards his own body: ‘This body of mine also has this nature, has this destiny, and cannot escape it.’

2. And further, just as if the disciple were looking at a corpse thrown on a charnel-ground, eaten by crows, hawks or vultures, by dogs or jackals, or devoured by all kinds of worms-so he regards his own body; ‘This body of mine also has this nature, has this destiny, and cannot escape it.’

3. And further, just as if the disciple were looking at a corpse thrown on a charnel-ground, a framework of bones, flesh hanging from it, bespattered with blood, held together by the sinews;

4. A framework of bone, stripped of flesh, bespattered with blood, held together by the sinews;

5. A framework of bone, without flesh and blood, but still held together by the sinews;

6. Bones, disconnected and scattered in all directions, here a bone of the hand, there a bone of the foot, there a shin bone, there a thigh bone, there a pelvis, there the spine, there the skull-so he regards his own body: ‘This body of mine also has this nature, has this destiny, and cannot escape it.’

7. And further, just as if the disciple were looking at bones lying in the charnel-ground, bleached and resembling shells;

8. Bones heaped together, after the lapse of years;

9. Bones weathered and crumbled to dust-so he regards his own body: ‘This body of mine also has this nature, has this destiny, and cannot escape it.’

Thus he dwells in contemplation of the body, either with regard to his own person, or to other persons, or to both.  He beholds how the body arises; beholds how it passes away; beholds the arising and passing away of the body. ‘A body is there’: this clear awareness is present in him, to the extent necessary for knowledge and mindfulness; and he lives independent, unattached to anything in the world.  Thus does the disciple dwell in contemplation of the body.

Assured Of Ten Blessings

M. 119

Once the contemplation of the body is practiced, developed, often repeated, has become one’s habit, one’s foundation, is firmly established, strengthened and perfected; the disciple may expect ten blessings:

1. Over delight and discontent he has mastery; he does not allow himself to be overcome by discontent; he subdues it, as soon as it arises.

2. He conquers fear and anxiety; he does not allow himself to be overcome by fear and anxiety; he subdues them, as soon as they arise.

3. He endures cold and heat, hunger and thirst; wind and sun, attacks by gadflies, mosquitoes and reptiles; patiently he endures wicked and malicious speech, as well as bodily pains that befall him, though they be piercing, sharp, bitter, unpleasant, disagreeable, and dangerous to life.

4. The four Absorptions’ (jhana), which purify the mind, and bestow happiness even here, these he may enjoy at will, without difficulty, without effort.

Six ‘Psychical Powers’

(Abhi~n~naa)

5. He may enjoy the different ‘Magical Powers (id.dhi-vidhaa).

6. With the ‘Heavenly Ear’ (dibba-sota), the purified, the super-human, he may hear both kinds of sounds, the heavenly and the earthly, the distant and the near.

7. With the mind he may obtain ‘Insight into the Hearts of Other Beings’ (parassa-cetopariya-~naa.na), of other persons.

8. He may obtain ‘Remembrances of many Previous Births’ (pubbe-nivaasaanussati-~naa.na).

9. With the ‘Heavenly Eye’ (dibba-cakkhu), purified and super-human, he may see beings vanish and reappear, the base and the noble, the beautiful and the ugly, the happy and the unfortunate; he may perceive how beings are reborn according to their deeds.

10. He may, through the ‘Cessation of Passions’ (aasavakkhaya), come to know for himself, even in this life, the stainless deliverance of mind, the deliverance through wisdom.

The last six blessings (5-10) are the ‘Psychical Powers’ (abhi~n~naa). The first five of them are mundane (lokiya) conditions, and may therefore be attained even by a ‘worldling’ (puthujjana), whilst the last Abhi~n~naa is super-mundane (lokuttara) and exclusively the characteristic of the Arhat, or Holy One. It is only after the attainment of all the four Absorptions (jhana) that one may fully succeed in acquiring the five worldly ‘Psychical Powers’. There are four iddhipaada, or ‘Bases for obtaining Magical Powers’, namely: concentration of Will, concentration of Energy, concentration of Mind, and concentration of Investigation.

2. Contemplation of the Feelings

(vedanaanupassanaa)

D. 22

But how does the disciple dwell in contemplation of the feelings?

In experiencing feelings, the disciple knows: ‘I have an agreeable feeling’; or: ‘I have a disagreeable feeling’, or: ‘I have an indifferent feeling’; or: ‘I have a worldly agreeable feeling’, or: ‘I have an unworldly agreeable feeling’, or: ‘I have a worldly disagreeable feeling’, or: ‘I have an unworldly disagreeable feeling’, or: ‘I have a worldly indifferent feeling’, or: ‘I have an unworldly indifferent feeling’.

Thus he dwells in contemplation of the feelings, either with regard to his own person, or to other persons, or to both. He beholds how the feelings arise; beholds how they pass away; beholds the arising and passing away of the feelings. ‘Feelings are there’: this clear awareness is present in him, to the extent necessary for knowledge and mindfulness; and he lives independent, unattached to anything in the world. Thus does the disciple dwell in contemplation of the feelings.

The disciple understands that the expression ‘I feel’ has no validity except as a conventional expression (vohaaravacana); he understands that, in the absolute sense (paramattha), there are only feelings, and that there is no Ego, no experiencer of the feelings.

3. Contemplation of the Mind

(cittaanupassanaa)

But how does the disciple dwell in contemplation of the mind?

Herein the disciple knows the greedy mind as greedy, and the not greedy mind as not greedy; knows the hating mind as hating, and the not hating mind as not hating: knows the deluded mind as deluded and the undeluded mind as undeluded. He knows the cramped mind as cramped, and the scattered mind as scattered; knows the developed mind as developed, and the undeveloped mind as undeveloped; knows the surpass able mind as surpass able and the unsurpassable mind as unsurpassable; knows the concentrated mind as concentrated, and the unconcentrated mind as unconcentrated; knows the freed mind as freed, and the un-freed mind as un-freed.

Citta (mind) is here used as a collective term for the Cittas, or moments of consciousness. Citta being identical with vi~n~naa.na, or consciousness, should not be translated by ‘thought’. ‘Thought’ and ‘thinking’ correspond rather to the ‘verbal operations of the mind’: vitakka (thought-conception) and vicaara (discursive thinking), which belong to the Sankhaara-kkhandha.

Thus he dwells in contemplation of the mind, either with regard to his own person, or to other persons, or to both. He beholds how consciousness arises; beholds how it passes away; beholds the arising and passing away of consciousness. ‘Mind is there’; this clear awareness is present in him, to the extent necessary for knowledge and mindfulness; and he lives independent, unattached to anything in the world. Thus does the disciple dwell in contemplation of the mind.

4. Contemplation of the Mind-Objects

(dhammaanupassanaa)

But how does the disciple dwell in contemplation of mind-objects?

Herein the disciple dwells in contemplation of the mind-objects, namely of the ‘Five Hindrances.’

The Five Hindrances

(niivara.na)

1. He knows when there is ‘Lust’ (kaamacchanda) in him: ‘In me is lust’; knows when there is ‘Anger’ (vyaapaada) in him: ‘In me is anger’; knows when there is ‘Torpor and Sloth’ (thiina-middha) in him: ‘In me is torpor and sloth’; knows when there is ‘Restlessness and Mental Worry’ (uddhacca-kukkucca) in him: ‘In me is restlessness and mental worry’; knows when there are ‘Doubts’ (vicikicchaa) in him: ‘In me are doubts’. He knows when these hindrances are not in him: ‘In me these hindrances are not’. He knows how they come to arise; knows how, once arisen, they are overcome; and he knows how they do not rise again in the future.

For example, ‘Lust’ arises through unwise thinking on the agreeable and delightful. It may be suppressed by the following six methods: fixing the mind upon an idea that arouses disgust; contemplation of the loathsomeness of the body; controlling one’s six senses; moderation in eating; friendship with wise and good men; right instruction. Lust and anger are for ever extinguished upon attainment of Anaagaamiiship; ‘Restlessness’ is extinguished by reaching Arhatship; ‘Mental Worry’, by reaching Sotapanship.

The Five Groups of Existence

(khandha)

And further: the disciple dwells in contemplation of the mind-objects, namely of the five ‘Groups of Existence’.  He knows what ‘Corporeality’ (ruupa) is, how it arises, how it passes away; knows what ‘Feeling’ (vedanaa) is, how it arises, how it passes away; knows what ‘Perception’ (sa~n~naa) is, how it arises, how it passes away; knows what the ‘Mental Formations’ (Sankhara) are, how they arise, how they pass away; knows what ‘Consciousness’ (vi~n~naa.na) is, how it arises, how it passes away.

The Sense-Bases

(aayatana)

And further: the disciple dwells in contemplation of the mind-objects, namely of the six ‘Subjective-Objective Sense-Bases’. He knows the eye and visual objects, ear and sounds, nose and odors, tongue and tastes, body and bodily impressions, mind and mind-objects; and the fetter that arises in dependence on them, he also knows. He knows how the fetter comes to arise, knows how the fetter is overcome, and how the abandoned fetter does not rise again in future.

The Seven Elements of Enlightenment

(bojjhanga)

And further: the disciple dwells in contemplation of the mind-objects, namely of the seven ‘Elements of Enlightenment’, He knows when there is in him ‘Mindfulness’ (sati), ‘Investigation of the Law’ (dhammavicaya), ‘Energy’ (viriya), ‘Enthusiasm’ (piiti), ‘Tranquility’ (passaddhi), ‘Concentration’ (samadhi), and ‘Equanimity’ (upekkhaa). He knows when it is not in him, knows how it comes to arise, and how it is fully developed.

The Four Noble Truths

(ariya-sacca)

And further: the disciple dwells in contemplation of the mind-objects, namely of the ‘Four Noble Truths’. He knows according to reality, what Suffering is; knows according to reality, what the Origin of suffering is; knows according to reality what the Extinction of suffering is; knows according to reality, what the Path is that leads to the extinction of suffering.

Thus he dwells in contemplation of the mind-objects either with regard to his own person, or to other persons or to both. He beholds how the mind-objects arise, beholds how they pass away, beholds the arising and passing away of the mind-objects. ‘Mind-objects are there’: this clear awareness is present in him, to the extent necessary for knowledge and mindfulness; and he lives independent, unattached to anything in the world. Thus does the disciple dwell in contemplation of the mind-objects.

The only way that leads to the attainment of purity, to the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, to the end of pain and grief, to the entering upon the right path, and the realization of Nibbana, is by these four foundations of mindfulness.

These four contemplations of Satipa.t.thaana relate to all the five Groups of Existence, namely: 1. The contemplation of corporeality relates to ruupakkhandha; 2. the contemplation of feeling, to vedanaakkhandha; 3. the contemplation of mind, to vi~n~naanakkhandha; 4. the contemplation of mind-objects, to sa~n~naa- and sankhaara-kkhandha.

For further details about Satipa.t.thaana see the Commentary to the discourse of that name, translated in The Way of Mindfulness, by Bhikkhu Soma (Kandy 1967, Buddhist Publication Society).

Nibbaana Through Aanaapaana-Sati

M. 118

Watching over In - and Out-breathing (aanaapaana-sati), practiced and developed, brings the Four ‘Foundations of Mindfulness’ to perfection; the four foundations of mindfulness, practiced and developed, bring the seven ‘Elements of Enlightenment’ to perfection; the seven elements of enlightenment, practiced and developed, bring ‘Wisdom and Deliverance’ to perfection.

But how does watching over In- and Out-breathing, practiced and developed, bring the four ‘Foundations of Mindfulness’ (satipa.t.thaana) to perfection?

I. Whenever the disciple (1) mindfully makes a long inhalation or exhalation, or (2) makes a short inhalation or exhalation, or (3) trains himself to inhale or exhale whilst experiencing the whole (breath-) body, or (4) whilst calming down this bodily function (i.e. the breath)-at such a time the disciple dwells in ‘contemplation of the body’, full of energy, comprehending it, mindful, after subduing worldly greed and grief. For, inhalation and exhalation I call one amongst the corporeal phenomena.

II. Whenever the disciple trains himself to inhale or exhale (1) whilst feeling rapture (piiti), or (2) joy (sukha), or (3) the mental functions (cittasankhaara), or (4) whilst calming down the mental functions-at such a time he dwells in ‘contemplation of the feelings’, full of energy, clearly comprehending them, mindful, after subduing worldly greed and grief. For, the full awareness of In- and Out-breathing I call one amongst the feelings.

III. Whenever the disciple trains himself to inhale or exhale (1) whilst experiencing the mind, or (2) whilst gladdening the mind, or (3) whilst concentrating the mind, or (4) whilst setting the mind free–at such a time he dwells in ‘contemplation of the mind’, full of energy, clearly comprehending it, mindful, after subduing worldly greed and grief. For, without mindfulness and clear comprehension, I say, there is no Watching over In- and Out-breathing.

IV. Whenever the disciple trains himself to inhale or exhale whilst contemplating (1) impermanence, or (2) the fading away of passion, or (3) extinction, or (4) detachment-at such a time he dwells in ‘contemplation of the mind-objects’, full of energy, clearly comprehending them, mindful, after subduing worldly greed and grief. Having seen, through understanding, what is the abandoning of greed and grief, he looks on with complete equanimity.

Watching over In- and Out-breathing, thus practiced, and developed, brings the four Foundations of Mindfulness to perfection.

But how do the four Foundations of Mindfulness, practiced and developed, bring the seven ‘Elements of Enlightenment’ (bojjhanga) to full perfection?

1. Whenever the disciple dwells in contemplation of body, feelings, mind and mind-objects, strenuous, clearly comprehending them, mindful, after subduing worldly greed and grief-at such a time his mindfulness is undisturbed; and whenever his mindfulness is present and undisturbed, at such a time he has gained and develops the Element of Enlightenment ‘Mindfulness’ (sati-sambojjhanga); and thus this element of enlightenment reaches fullest perfection.

2. And whenever, whilst dwelling with mindfulness, he wisely investigates, examines and thinks over the ‘Law’ (dhamma)-at such a time he has gained and develops the Element of Enlightenment ‘Investigation of the Law’ (dhammavicaya-sambojjhanga); and thus this element of enlightenment reaches fullest perfection.

3. And whenever, whilst wisely investigating, examining and thinking over the law, his energy is firm and unshaken-at such a time he has gained and develops the Element of Enlightenment ‘Energy’ (viriya-sambojjhanga); and thus this element of enlightenment reaches fullest perfection.

4. And whenever in him, whilst firm in energy, arises super-sensuous rapture-at such a time he has gained and develops the Element of Enlightenment ‘Rapture’ (piiti-sambojjhanga); and thus this element of enlightenment reaches fullest perfection.

5. And whenever, whilst enraptured in mind, his spiritual frame and his mind become tranquil-at such a time he has gained and develops the Element of Enlightenment ‘Tranquility’ (passaddhi-sambojjhanga); and thus this element of enlightenment reaches fullest perfection.

6. And whenever, whilst being tranquillized in his spiritual frame and happy, his mind becomes concentrated-at such a time he has gained and develops the Element of Enlightenment ‘Concentration’ (samaadhi-sambojjhanga); and thus this element of enlightenment reaches fullest perfection.

7. And whenever he looks with complete indifference on his mind thus concentrated-at such a time he has gained and develops the Element of Enlightenment ‘Equanimity’ (upekkhaa-sambojjhanga); and thus this element of enlightenment reaches fullest perfection.

The four Foundations of Mindfulness, thus practiced and developed, bring the seven elements of enlightenment to full perfection.

And how do the seven elements of enlightenment, practiced and developed, bring Wisdom and Deliverance (vijjaa-vimutti) to full perfection?

Herein the disciple develops the elements of enlightenment: Mindfulness, Investigation of the Law, Energy, Rapture, Tranquility, Concentration and Equanimity, based on detachment, on absence of desire, on extinction and renunciation.

The seven elements of enlightenment thus practiced and developed, bring wisdom and deliverance, to full perfection.

M. 125

Just as the elephant hunter drives a huge stake into the ground and chains the wild elephant to it by the neck, in order to drive out of him his wonted forest ways and wishes, his forest unruliness, obstinacy and violence, and to accustom him to the environment of the village, and to teach him such good behavior as is required amongst men: in like manner also should the noble disciple fix his mind firmly to these four Foundations of Mindfulness, so that he may drive out of himself his wonted worldly ways and wishes, his wonted worldly unruliness, obstinacy and violence, and win to the True, and realize Nibbana.

8) Right Concentration

(Sammaa-samaadhi)

M. 44

What, now, is Right Concentration?

Its Definition

Having the mind fixed to a single object (cittekeggataa, lit. ‘One-pointed ness of mind’): this is concentration.

‘Right Concentration’ (sammaa-samaadhi), in its widest sense, is the kind of mental concentration, which is present in every wholesome state of consciousness (kusala-citta), and hence is accompanied by at least Right Thought (2nd factor), Right Effort (6th factor) and Right Mindfulness (7th factor). ‘Wrong Concentration’ is present in unwholesome states of consciousness, and hence is only possible in the sensuous, not in a higher sphere.  Samadhi, used alone, always stands in the Sutta, for sammaa-samaadhi, or Right Concentration.

Its Objects

The four ‘Foundations of Mindfulness’ (7th factor): these are the objects of concentration.

Its Requisites

The four ‘Great Efforts’ (6th factor): these are the requisites for concentration.

Its Development

The practicing, developing, and cultivating of these things: this is the development (bhaavanaa) of concentration.

Right Concentration (sammaa-samaadhi) has two degrees of development; 1. ‘Neighborhood Concentration’ (upacaarasamaadhi). which approaches the first absorption without, however, attaining it; 2. ‘Attainment Concentration’ (appanaasamaadhi), which is the concentration present in the four Absorptions (jhana). These Absorptions are mental states beyond the reach of the fivefold sense-activity, attainable only in solitude and by unremitting perseverance in the practice of concentration. In these states all activity of the five senses is suspended. No visual or audible impressions arise at such a time, no bodily feeling is felt. But, although all outer sense-impressions have ceased, yet the mind remains active, perfectly alert, fully awake.

The attainment of these Absorptions, however, is not a requisite for the realization of the four Super mundane Paths of Holiness; and neither Neighborhood-Concentration nor Attainment-Concentration, as such, possesses the power of conferring entry to the four Super mundane Paths: hence they really have no power to free one permanently from evil things. The realization of the Four Supermundane Paths is possible only at the moment of deep ‘Insight’ (vipassanaa) into the Impermanency (aniccataa), Miserable Nature (dukkhataa) and Impersonality (anattataa) of this whole phenomenal process of existence. This Insight, again, is attainable only during Neighborhood-Concentration, not during Attainment Concentration.

He who has realized one or other of the Four Super mundane Paths without ever having attained the Absorptions, is called Sukkha-vipassaka, or Suddhavipassanaa-yaanika, i.e. ‘one who has taken merely Insight (vipassana) as his vehicle’. He, however, who, after cultivating the Absorptions, has reached one of the Super mundane Paths is called Saniathayaanika, or ‘one who has taken Tranquility (samatha) as his vehicle (yaana)’.

For samatha and vipassana see Fund IV. and B. Diet.

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