Contents

Contents

THE SEVEN STAGES OF PURIFICATION

This is a book born of wide and deep meditative experience, a guide to the progressive stages of Buddhist meditation for those who have taken up the practice in full earnestness.

BẢY GIAI ĐOẠN THANH LỌC

Đây là cuốn sách được hình thành từ kinh nghiệm thiền định sâu rộng, hướng dẫn các giai đoạn tiến bộ của thiền định Phật giáo cho những ai đang tu tập một cách nghiêm túc.

The seven stages of purification provide the framework for the practising disciple’s gradual progress from the cultivation of virtue up to the attainment of the final goal. Integral to the higher stages of purification are the nine types of insight-knowledge, by which the disciple breaks through the delusions covering his mental vision and penetrates through to the real nature of phenomena. In the present book the stages of purification and the insight-knowledges are treated not only with the authors great erudi- tion, but with the clarifying light of actual medi- tative experience.

Bảy giai đoạn thanh lọc cung cấp khuôn khổ cho sự tiến bộ dần dần của người hành giả tu tập từ việc trau dồi đức hạnh cho đến việc đạt được mục tiêu cuối cùng. Tích hợp với các giai đoạn thanh lọc cao hơn là chín loại tuệ minh sát, nhờ đó hành giả phá vỡ những ảo tưởng che phủ tầm nhìn tinh thần của mình và thâm nhập vào bản chất thực sự của các pháp. Trong cuốn sách này, các giai đoạn thanh tịnh hóa và tuệ minh sát được đề cập không chỉ bằng sự uyên bác thâm sâu của tác giả mà còn bằng ánh sáng soi sáng của kinh nghiệm thiền định thực tế.

The author, the late Venerable Matara Sri Nanarama Mahathera, was one of the most respected meditation masters of present-day Sri Lanka, the abbot and meditation master of the Mitirigala Nissarana Vanaya monastery. Though he himself emphasized the practice and teaching of insight meditation (vipassana), his experi- ence, and also this book, extend to serenity med- itation (samatha) as well.

Tác giả, cố Hòa thượng Matara Sri Nanarama Mahathera, là một trong những thiền sư được kính trọng nhất ở Sri Lanka ngày nay, là vị trụ trì và thiền sư của tu viện Mitirigala Nissarana Vanaya. Mặc dù bản thân Ngài nhấn mạnh đến việc thực hành và giảng dạy thiền minh sát (vipassana), nhưng kinh nghiệm của Ngài và cả cuốn sách này cũng mở rộng sang thiền định (samatha).

TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE

If the output of literature on a subject is any indication of the prevailing trends in the reading public, Buddhist meditation is today undoubtedly a subject of wide interest both in the East and in the West. In this field, the West is beginning to look to the venerable traditions of the East to learn more of the techniques and teachings of mind-control. The "supply" of this "know-how" for self-conquest, however, falls far short of the "demand" due to the dearth of meditation masters who can speak with confidence on the subject. It is in this context that the present treatise should prove to be a mine of information for those who cherish higher ideals.

LỜI MỞ ĐẦU CỦA NGƯỜI DỊCH

Nếu các sản phẩm văn học về một chủ đề là bất kỳ biểu hiện nào cho thấy xu hướng phổ biến trong công chúng đọc nhiều thì thiền định Phật giáo ngày nay chắc chắn là một chủ đề được quan tâm rộng rãi cả ở phương Đông lẫn phương Tây. Trong lĩnh vực này, phương Tây đang bắt đầu tìm đến những truyền thống đáng kính của phương Đông để tìm hiểu thêm về các kỹ thuật và lời dạy về kiểm soát tâm. Tuy nhiên, “nguồn cung” “kỹ năng” để tự chinh phục này lại không bằng “nguồn cầu” do thiếu các thiền sư có thể nói chuyện một cách tự tin về chủ đề này. Chính trong bối cảnh này mà cuốn sách được chứng tỏ là một kho tài liệu cho những ai ấp ủ những lý tưởng cao siêu hơn.

The author of this treatise is our revered teacher, the Venerable Matara Sri Ñāṇārama Mahā- thera the meditation master (kammaṭṭhān- ăcariya) of Mitirigala Nissaraṇa Vanaya, at Mitirigala, Sri Lanka. Now in his eightieth year, he is one of the most respected among the meditation masters of Sri Lanka today, both for his all-round knowledge of the techniques of meditation and for his long experience in guiding disciples. Although he himself specialized in the Burmese vipassanā methods and is able to speak with authority on the subject, he does not confine himself to the "pure insight" approach. Though presented succinctly, his treatise covers the entire range of the Seven Stages of Purification and the Insight Knowledges, stressing the value of both samatha (serenity) and vipassana (insight). -

Tác giả của tiểu luận này là vị thầy tôn kính của chúng tôi, Hòa thượng Matara Sri Ñāṇārama Mahā-thera, là thiền sư (kammaṭṭhān-ăcariya) của Mitirigala Nissaraṇa Vanaya, tại Mitirigala, Sri Lanka. Hiện nay ở tuổi tám mươi, Ngài là một trong những thiền sư được kính trọng nhất ở Sri Lanka ngày nay, cả về toàn diện kiến thức về các kỹ thuật thiền lẫn kinh nghiệm lâu năm trong việc hướng dẫn đệ tử. Mặc dù bản thân Ngài chuyên về các phương pháp vipassanā của người Miến Điện và có uy tín để có thể nói chuyện về chủ đề này, nhưng Ngài không tự giới hạn mình vào cách tiếp cận “tuệ giác thanh tịnh”. Mặc dù được trình bày ngắn gọn, luận thuyết của Ngài bao trùm toàn bộ phạm vi của Bảy Giai đoạn Thanh Tịnh hóa và Tuệ Minh Sát, nhấn mạnh giá trị của cả thiền định (samatha) và thiền minh sát (vipassana) tuệ giác (insight)

The treatise grew out of a series of discourses on meditation which our venerable teacher gave to us, his pupils, in 1977. Some of us managed to take down the substance of his talks, which we later put to him and elaborated on with some editorial com- ments. The final result of these labours appeared as the original Sinhala treatise which bore the title Sapta Visuddhiya-hā-Vidarshana-ñāṇa.1

Luận án này bắt nguồn từ một loạt bài giảng về thiền định mà vị thầy đáng kính của chúng tôi đã giảng cho chúng tôi, những học trò của Ngài, vào năm 1977. Một số người trong chúng tôi đã cố gắng ghi lại nội dung các bài nói chuyện của Ngài, mà sau này chúng tôi đã đưa cho Ngài để bổ sung thêm một số bài giảng khác. Kết quả cuối cùng của những công sức này xuất hiện dưới dạng bản luận gốc Sinhala mang tựa đề Sapta Visuddhiya-hā-Vidarshana-ñāṇa.1

The Sinhala work was then translated into an exact English version, which was further polished and edited unti] it took shape as the present treatise.

Tác phẩm Sinhala sau đó được dịch sang một phiên bản tiếng Anh chuẩn xác, được trau chuốt và chỉnh sửa thêm cho đến khi nó thành hình bản luận thuyết hiện tại.

In transforming the spoken discourses into a systematic exposition, to some extent the living spirit of their immediate delivery had to be lost. We have tried to prevent this loss by retaining as many Of the inspirational passages as we could in the body of the text. A few such passages from the early talks had to be removed as being out of place inan expository treatise. But to make these available to the reader, we include them in Appendix 1 under the title: "The Call to the Meditative Life."

Khi chuyển những bài pháp thành một bài thuyết trình có phương pháp, ở một mức độ nào đó, tinh thần sống động của việc truyền tải ngay lập tức chúng đã phải bị đánh mất. Chúng tôi đã cố gắng ngăn chặn sự mất mát này bằng cách giữ lại nhiều đoạn truyền cảm hứng nhất có thể trong phần nội dung của văn bản. Một số đoạn như vậy trong các bài nói chuyện đầu tiên đã phải bị loại bỏ vì chúng không phù hợp với một luận thuyết giảng kinh. Nhưng để cung cấp những điều này cho người đọc, chúng tôi đưa chúng vào Phụ lục 1 với tựa đề: “Lời khuyên cho đời sống thiền định”.

A Pupil
Mitirigala Nissarana Vanaya
Mitirigala,
Sri Lanka
October 25, 1981

1. Published for free distribution by Premadasa Kodituvakku, 38, Rosemead Place, Colombo 7 (1978).

A Pupil
Mitirigala Nissarana Vanaya
Mitirigala,
Sri Lanka
October 25, 1981

1. Được xuất bản để phân phối miễn phí bởi Premadasa Kodituvakku, 38, Rosemead Place, Colombo 7 (1978).

Namo tasa bhagavato arhato
Sammāsambuddhassa

Namo tasa bhagavato arhato
Sammāsambuddhassa

Homage be to the Blessed One, Accomplished
and Fully Enlightened

Con đem hết lòng thành kính làm lễ Đức Bhagavā đó, Ngài là bậc Arahaṃ cao thượng, được chứng quả Chánh Biến Tri do Ngài tự ngộ, không thầy chỉ dạy.

Abbreviations

A.  

Aṅguttara Nikāya (figures refer to number of book (nipāta) and Sutta)

D.  

 Digha Nikāya

Dhp.  

 Dhammapada

Dhp.A..  

 Dhammapadatthakathā (Comm.)

G.S.   

 Gradual Sayings

KS.; 

 (Kindred Saying

M.  

 Majhima Nikayā

MA. ; 

 Majhima Nikayāṭṭhakathā
(Papancasudani)

M.L.S.  

 Middle Length Sayings

Mp.  

 Milindapañha

Pj.  

 Paramatthajotikā

Ps.  

 Patisambhidāmaggā

S.  

 Samyutta Nikaya

Sn.  

 Suttanipata

Thag.  

 Theragatha

Ud.   

 Udana

Vísm.  

 Vísuddhimagga

Abbreviations

A.  

Tăng Chi Bộ Kinh(Những bài kinh sắp theo pháp số (nipāta) and Sutta)

D.  

 Trường Bộ Kinh

Dhp.  

 Kinh Pháp Cú

Dhp.A..  

 Dhammapadatthakathā (Comm.)

G.S.   

  Tăng Chi Bộ Kinh

KS.; 

 Tương Ưng King

M.  

 Trung Bộ Kinh

MA. ; 

 Chú giải Majhima Nikayāṭṭhakathā
(Papancasudani) của Buddhaghosacariya

M.L.S.  

 bản dịch tiếng Anh của bộ Majjhima Nikaya; Trung Bộ Kinh

Mp.  

 Kinh Mi Tiên Vấn Đáp

Pj.  

 Chú giải Tiểu Tụng

Ps.  

 Patisambhidāmaggā Vô Ngại Giải Đạo-

S.  

 Tương Ưng Bộ

Sn.  

 Kinh Tập

Thag.  

 Trưởng Lão Tăng Kệ

Ud.   

 Kinh Phật Tự Thuyết

Vísm.  

 Thanh Tịnh Đạo

References to the Visuddhimagga are to chapter and section number of the translation by Bhikkhu Nanamoli, The Path of Purification, 4th ed. (BPS, 1979)

Những tham khảo đến Thanh Tịnh Đạo là số chương và số phần trong bản dịch của Ngài Bhikkhu Nanamoli, The Path of Purification, 4th ed. (BPS, 1979)

INTRODUCTION (page 12)

The Relay of Chariots

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The path of practice leading to the attainment of Nibbãna unfolds in seven stages, known as the Seven Stages of Purification (satta visuddhi). The seven in order are:

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1. Purification of Virtue (silavisuddhi)
2. Purification of Mind (cittavisuddht)
3. Purification of View (ditrhivisuddhi)
4. Purification by Overcoming Doubt
(kankhavitaranavisuddhi)
5. Purification by Knowledge and Vision of
What is Path and Not-Path
(maggãmaggafianadassanayvisuddhi)
6. Purification by Knowledge and Vision of the Way (patipadäñänadassanavisuddhi)
7. Purification by Knowledge and Vision (ñãnadassanavisuddhi).

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In the attainment of Nibbana itself, our minds are in direct relation to the seventh and last stage of this series, the Purification by Know- ledge and Vision, which is the knowledge of the supramundane path. But this purification cannot be attained all at once, since the seven stages of purification form a causally related series in which one has to pass through the first six purifications before one can arrive at the seventh.

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(page 13)

The only direct canonical reference to the Seven Stages of Purification is found in the Rathavintta Sutta (The Discourse on the Relay of Chariots), the twenty-fourth discourse of the Majjhima Nikãya.2 In the Dasuttara Sutta of the Digha Nikaya (Sutta No. 34), these seven purifi- cations are counted among nine items collec- tively called factors of endeavour tending to purification (parisuddhi-padhaniyanga), the ]ast two of which are purification of wisdom and purification of deliverance. However, this same series of seven purifications forms the scaffold- ing of Bhadantäcariya Buddhaghosas encyclo- pedic manual of Buddhist meditation, the Visuddhimagga. Thus this series serves as a most succinct outline of the entire path a meditator passes through in his inner journey from bondage to liberation.

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In the Rathavinita Sutta, the Seven Stages of Purification are presented through a dialogue in which the questions of the venerable Sariputta are met with striking replies from the venerable Punna Mantäniputta — all meant to highlight some salient features of this teaching:

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(2. Translated by LB. Horner as Middie Length Sayings (M.L.S.), 3 volumes (London: Pali Text Society, 1954-59))

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(page 14)

“Friend, 1s the holy life lived under the Blessed One?”

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“Yes, friend.”

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“Friend, is it for purification of virtue that the holy life is lived under the Blessed One?”

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“Not for this, friend.”

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“Then, friend, is it for purification of mind that the holy life is lived under the Blessed One?”

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“Not for this, friend.”

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“Then friend, is it for purification of view that the holy life is lived under the Blessed One?”

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“Not for this friend.”

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“Then, friend, is it for purification by overcoming doubt that the holy life is lived under the Blessed One?”

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“Not for this, friend.”

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“Then, friend, is it for purification by knowledge and vision of what is path and not-path that the holy life is lived under the Blessed One?”

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“Not for this, friend.”

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“Then, friend, is it for purification by knowledge and vision of the way that the holy life is lived under the Blessed One?”

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“Not for this, friend.”

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(Page 15)

“Then, friend, is it for purification by knowledge and vision that the holy life is lived under the Blessed One?”

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“Not for this, friend.”

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“What, then, is the purpose, friend, of living the holy life under the Blessed One?”

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“Friend, it is for the complete extinc- tion without grasping that the holy life is lived under the Blessed One.”

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'This reply reveals that not even the seventh and last purification is to be regarded as the purpose of living the holy life. The purpose is nothing but the complete extinction of all defilements without any kind of grasping. In other words, it is the attainment of Nibbãna — the Uncompounded Element (asankhata dhãtu).

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To clarify this point further, the venerable Punna Mantãniputta gives the following parable of the Relay of Chariots:

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(page 16) “Friend, it is as though while King Pasenadi of Kosala was staying in Sävatthi, some- thing to be done urgently should arise in Sãketa, and seven relays of chariots would be arranged for him between Sävatthi and Sãketa. Then, friend, King Pasenadi of Kosala, having left Sãvatthi by the palace- gate, might mount the first chariot in the relay, and by means of the first chariot in the relay, he would reach the second chariot in the relay. He would dismiss the first chariot in the relay and would mount the second chariot in the relay, and by means of the second chariot in the relay, he would reach the third chariot in the relay. He would dismiss the second chariot in the relay and would mount the third chariot in the relay, and by means of the third chariot in the relay, he would reach the fourth chariot in the relay. He would dismiss the third chariot in the relay and would mount the fourth chariot in the relay, and by means of the fourth chariotin the relay, he would reach the fiíth chariot in the relay. He would dismiss the fourth chariot in the relay and would mount the fifth chariot in the relay, and by means of. the ñth chariot in the relay, he would reach the sixth chariot in the relay. He would dismiss the fifth chariot in the relay and would mount the sixth chariot in the relay, and by means of the sixth chariot in the relay, he would reach the seventh chariot in the relay. He would dismiss the sixth chariot in the relay and would mount the seventh chariot in the relay, and by means of the seventh chariot in the relay, he would reach the palace-gate in Sãketa.”

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(Page 17)

In the case of the seven purifications, the purity implied is reckoned in terms of the elimination of. the unwholesome factors opposed to each purifi- cation. Purification oƒ Virtue implies the purity obtained through abstinence from bodily and verbal misconduct as well as from wrong liveli- hood. Purtfication oƒ Mind 1s the purity resulting from cleansing the mind of attachment, aversion, inertia, restlessness and conflict, and from secur- ing it against their influx. Purification of View is brought about by dispelling the distortions of wrong views. Purification by Overcoming Doubt is purity through the conquest of all doubts con- cerning the pattern of samsäric existence. Purữfication by Knowledge and Vision of What is Path and Not-Path signifies the purity attained by passing beyond the alluring distractions which arise in the course of insight meditation. Purữfication by Knowledge and Vision oƒ the Way is the purity resulting from the temporary re- moval of defilements which obstruct the path of. practice. And lastly, Purification by Knowledge and Vision is the complete purity gained by erad- icating defilements together with their underlying tendencies by means of the supramundane paths. Purification by Knowledge and Vision consists of the knowledges of the four paths — the path of Stream-entry, the path of Once-return, the path of Non-return and the path of Arahantship.

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(page 18)

CHAPTER I

PURIFICATION OF VIRTUE,
(SILAVISUDDHI)

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Like any other tree, the great tree of the medi- tative life requires roots. The roots of the medita- tive life are Purification of Virtue and Purification of Mind. Unless these two roots are nourished, there will be no progress in meditation.

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The first and most fundamental of the roots is Purification of Virtue. Purification of Virtue consists in understanding and maintaining four types of restraint: (1) observing the precepts one has undertaken and protecting them like ones very life; (2) guarding the six sense- doors without allowing defilements to arise; (3) maintaining a righteous livelihood; and (4) making use of one's requisites of life with Wwise reflection. A meditative monk who lives according to these four ways of restraint will find nothing to get attached to or resent. The meditator, then, is one who has a “light liveli- hood, being light in body and content at heart — free from the burden of ownership as regards anything anywhere between the earth and the sky. Though these four principles were originally prescribed for monks and nuns, lay meditators should adapt them to their own situation.

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(page 19)

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Everyone must have a standard of virtue dedicated to Nibbãna. The standard is relative to his status in life. Monks and nuns are expected to observe the precepts of training given in the two codes of moral discipline making up their respective Pätimokkhas. Male and female novices have to keep the ten pre- cepts as their standard of virtue. Male and female lay-devotees have five precepts as a per- manent standard of virtue in their everyday life. If they are more enthusiastic, they can under- take and keep the “eight precepts with liveli- hood as the eighth,” or the ten lay precepts, or the eight precepts recommended as the special observance for Uposatha days. The texts record several instances of persons who, without previ- ously undertaking any precepts, fulfilled the requirements of the Purification of Virtue by a mere act of determination while listening to a discourse, and even succeeded in attaining the supramundane paths and fruits. We should understand that such persons were endowed with highly developed spiritual faculties and were backed by a vast store of merit lying to their credit since they had already fulfilled the perfections for their respective attainments in the past.

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(page 20)

At the time of attaining the paths and fruits, both monk and layman should be equally developed. in regard to the virtue of sense restraint. This virtue of sense restraint consists in mindfully guarding the six sense-doors — the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind. By means of mindfulness one must prevent the arising of all defilements sparked off by sense experience — all forms of desires, major and minor conflicts, as well as those deceptions which are extremely subtle, rooted in delusion itself, in pure and simple ignorance. Deception is something difficult to understand. But if one mindfully makes a mental note of every object “calling” at the six sense-doors, one can free oneself from deception. The not-knowing and misconceiving of what should be known amounts to delusion.

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By failing to make a mental note of a pleas- ant feeling, one provides an opportunity for lust to arise. Failure to make a mental note of an unpleasant feeling can be an opportunity for the arising of repugnance, while such a failure in regard to a neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant feeling might give rise to deception, delusion or ignorance. Therefore the practice of mentally noting each and every object that calls at the six sense-doors will also be helpful in getting rid of the underlying tendency to ignorance.

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(page 21)

In the case of the pleasant feeling, friend Visäkha, the underlying tendency to attach- ment must be abandoned. In the case of the painful feeling, the underlying tendency to repugnance must be abandoned. And in the Case of the neither-unpleasant-nor-pleasant feeling, the underlying tendency to igno- rance must be abandoned.

Cũlavedalla Sutta, M.I,303

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Before one can establish oneself firmly in virtue, one must understand its significance well. For this purpose, one should study the Description of Virtue in the Visuddhimagga (Chapter I).

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Normally, one protects one's virtue impelled by conscience and shame (hiri, ottappa), which are its proximate causes. A wise man, however, observes virtue purely with the aim of attaining Nibbãna. As a matter of fact, virtue has been defined as the bodily and verbal restraint (the abstention from bodily and verbal misconduct) which comes as a result of listening to and understanding the Dhamma (Ps.L1).

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'There are several grades of virtue, ranked in order of ascending excellence:

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1. thevirtue of an ordinary worlding (.e. one who is not practising to attain the supramundane path);

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(page 22)

2. the virtue of a noble worldling (.e. a worldling practising the course of training to reach the path);

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3. thevirtue of a trainer (i.e. the virtue associated with the four paths and the first three fruits);

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4. thevirtue of a non-trainer (i.e. the virtue consisting in tranquillized purification or virtue associated with the fruit of Arahantship).

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The fourth and last of these is the virtue which comes naturally to Buddhas, Paccekabuddhas and Arahants as a result of their eradication of all defilements.

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Understanding the virtue of fourfold restraint described above, one should protect ones virtue even at the cost of life, being guided by conscience and shame as well as by the ideal of Nibbäna.

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(page 23)

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CHAPTER II

PURIFICATION OF MIND

(CITTAVISUDDHI)

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The bodily and verbal restraint established by puried virtue paves the way for mental restraint, which brings the next stage of purifica- tion, Purfication of Mind. This purification comes through concentration (samädhi), which can be reached by two approaches, the vehicle of. serenity (samathayäna) or the vehicle of insight (vipassanäyäna).

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1. The Obstructions and Aids to Concentration

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A meditator intent on developing serenity con- centration must first make an effort to sever the impediments to meditation. For meditative monks the Visuddhimagga cenumerates ten impediments (palibodhä):

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A dwelling, family and gain,
A class, and building too, as fifth
And travel, kin, affliction, books,
And supernormal powers: ten.3
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3. See Vism.111, 29.56.

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(page 24)

1 Adwelling can be an impediment to one who has many belongings stored there or whose mind is caught up by some business connected with it.

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2. Aƒamily consisting of relatives or sup- porters becomes an impediment for one living in close association with its members.

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3. Gains, in the sense of the four requisites of a monkss life (robes, food, lodgings and medi- cines), oblige him to become involved in associ- ation with laymen.

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4. A class of students is an impediment when it binds the meditator with duties of teach- ing and instruction.

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5. New building work is always an impedi- ment to a meditating monk as it is a responsibil- ity which distracts him.

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6. AjJourney becomes a source of distract- ing thoughts both in the planning and in the actual travel.

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7. Kin or relatives, when they fall sick, sometimes have to be cared for by a monk, a responsibility which again takes him away from meditation.

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8. Ones own iliness or qffliction which calls for treatment is yet another impediment.

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9. Books, in the sense of responsibility for the scriptures, can be a hindrance to some medi- tators.

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(page 25)10. Even the supernormal powers, which are hard to maintain, may be an impediment for one who seeks insight.

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It will be useful to a meditating monk to under- stand beforeEhand the way of tackling the impediments.s Six impediments — dwelling, family, gain, class, kin and fame — can be over- come by giving up attachment to them. Three impediments — building, travel and books — are done away with by not undertaking the activities they imply. Affliction is an impedi- ment to be overcome by proper medical treat- ment with regard to curable diseases. There are some diseases which are of the chronic type. However, whether one's disease turns out to be chronic or even incurable, one should go on meditating in spite of it. Diseases like catarrh, which are rather tolerable, must be subdued with perseverance in meditation. An earnest meditator must not allow iliness to get the better of him. In countless births in samsära one must have been the helpless victim of diseases. So at least now one should make a sincere effort to treat the diseases of the mind even while taking medicines for the diseases of the body. In this way one will succeed in overcoming the impediments so that one can go on with ones meditation.

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14... Alay.meditatorwil ofcourse, not be able to avoid the impediments as Rllyas. 1a monk, but he should try to emulate the monk to the best of hie abily (Ed.}.

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(page 26)

Besides knowing how to cut off the impedi- ments, a meditator should understand the six obstacles (paripantha) and the six cleansings (vodãna). The obstacles are those conditions which mar or retard progress in concentration, the cleansings those which help bring concentra- tion to maturity. The six obstacles are:

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1. the mind hankering after the past, overcome by distraction;

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2. the mind yearning for the future, overcome by hopes and longings;

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3. theinert mind, overcome by lethargy;

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4. the over-anxious mind, overcome by Trestlessness:

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5. the over-inclined mind, overcome by lust;

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6. the disinclined mind, overcome by ill wilI. (Ps.L165)

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Understanding that these six conditions are detri- mental to concentration, one should constantly protect the mind from falling under their influ- ence, for through carelessness, one can lose what- ever concentration one has already developed. Now, let us see how these six states Occur. When the meditator applies himself to his subject of meditation, thoughts relating to that

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(page 27)

subject keep on arising in his mind. And as this train of thought continues to run along the track of the meditation subject, now and then it runs into memories of certain past events in some way related to that subject. Before the meditator is aware of what is happening, the train of thought jumps off the track of meditation and adheres to those past events. It may take some time, even a long time, for the meditator to realize that his mind is no longer on the meditation subject. This tendency for the mind to deviate from the meditation subject greatly impairs the power of concentration, causing distraction. Thus this tendency is a hindrance even to the maintenance of one's concentration, let alone its maturing.

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The second obstacle cited above is the ten- dency of the mind to run toward the future. Very often this tendency takes the form of wishes and aspirations. When desire takes hold of the mind for a long while, it creates a certain mental tremor, and this too undermines concentration.

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The third obstacle is mental inertia, which makes the mind lethargic.

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The ƒourth obstacle is the over-anxious mind. At times the meditator becomes so enthusiastic and strenuous in his efforts that he begins to meditate with excessive zeal. But neither his body nor his mind can stand this overstrung effort. Physically he feels exhausted and some-times has headaches: mentally he becomes very confused, leading to the decline of his concen- tration.

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(page 28)

The ƒïƒth obstacle is the over-inclined state of mind. This state is brought about by lust and results from allowing the mind to stray among Vvarious extraneous thought-objects.

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And the sixth obstacle is the disinclined state of the mind which results from allowing the mind to pursue extraneous thought-objects under the influence of ill will.

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'To protect the mind from lapsing into these six obstacles, one should prevent the mind from pursuing extraneous thought-objects. It is by keeping ones mind aloof from these six obs- tacles that the six occasions for the cleansing of concentration are obtained. In other words, in the very attempt to overcome the six obstacles, one fulfils the six conditions necessary for the Cleansing of concentration. The six cleansings are thus the cleansing of the mind from hanker- ing after the past, from yearning for the future, from lethargy, from restlessness, from lust and from ilI will.

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A certain degree of purification of the mind is brought about by these six ways of cleansing concentration. However, four more auxiliary conditions are necessary to complete this purifi- cation:

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(page 29)

1. The two spiritual faculties, faith and 'wisdom, must be kept in balance.

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2. All five spiritual faculties (faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration and 'wisdom) must function with a unity of purpose.

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3. Theright amount of effort must be applied.

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4. Constant and repeated practice must be maintained.

Ps.L168

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Faith, in this context, means the absence of 'doubts in regard to one's subject of meditation. It is confidence in ones ability to succeed in prac- tice. Wisdom implies the understanding of the purpose of one's meditation. The purpose should be the arousing of the knowledge of mind-and- matter (nãma-rupa). The “right amount of effort is moderate effort. Generally, in the case of serenity meditation (e.g. mindfulness of breathing), three sittings of three hours duration cach would be sufficient practice for a day, whereas in insight meditation, one has to go on mmeditating in all postures throughout the day. By “repeated practice” is meant the arousing of a special ability or a specific tendency by repeat- edly dwelling on some wholesome thought.

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(page 30)
'To develop concentration, all one's actions — large or small — must be done with mindfulness. “One should make a special resolve to do every- thing with the right amount of mindfulness. When each and every act of a meditator is done mindfully, all his actions will begin to maintain a certain level of uniformity. And as this uniform- ity in mindfulness develops, the behaviour of the mmeditators mind will also reach a certain level of Dprogress. Owing to this power, all postures of a meditator will be uniformly smooth and even. His deportment, the inner wealth of his virtues, will be of an inspiring nature.

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At the outset, the task of developing mindful- ness and concentration might appear as some- thing difficult or even unnecessary. One might even become discouraged by it. Understanding this possibility beforehand, one should make a firm determination to persist in ones practice. The progress of a meditator is nothing other than his progress in mindfulness and concentra- tion. When, at the very start, one enthusiastic- ally sets about developing mindfulness, when one makes an earnest effort to apply mindful- ness, one will begin to see how the mind becomes receptive to mindfulness — almost unwittingly. And once one becomes used to it, one will be able to practise mindfulness without any difficulty. One will then come to feel that (page 31) mindfulness is an activity quite in harmony with the nature of the mind. And ultimately, the mmeditator can reach a level at which he can prac- tise mindfulness effortlessly. Not only that, but he will also discover how mindfulness, when developed, overflows into concentration. As mindfulness develops, concentration naturally 'develops along with it. But an unbroken effort is necessary, and if one is to maintain unbroken. mindfulness, one must pay attention to the intervals which occur at the change of postures.

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There are four postures: sitting, standing, walking and lying down. In sitting meditation, the mind becomes calm. But when the medita- tors rise up from their seats, some lose that calm- ness Their mindfulness and concentration disappear. Having gotten up, when they start walking or pacing up and down, they lose even the little calmness they had when standing. Their mindfulness and concentration dissipate still more. Because of this tardy procedure, this lack of unbroken continuous mindfulness, one goes on meditating every day, but makes no worthwhile progress; one stagnates.

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If one is to avoid this serious drawback, one should direct ones attention to every posture- junction. Take, for example, the walking pos- ture. This is a posture which offers an excellent opportunity to arouse the power of concentration. (page 32) Many meditators find it easy to develop concentration in this posture. Suppose one has aroused some degree of mindfulness and con- centration while walking. Now, when one intends to sit down, one should see to it that one 'does not lose what one has already gained. With concentration, one should make a mental note of. the intention of sitting: intending to sit, intend- ing to sit? Then, in siting down also make a 'mental note: “itting, sitting.' In this manner one should maintain unbroken whatever mindful- 'ness and concentration one has already built up, and continue one's meditation in the sitting pos- ture. This practice of making a mental note of both the intention and the act at the posture- junctions enables one to maintain mindfulness and concentration without any lapses.

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In trying to maintain unbroken mindfulness, 'one should consider well the dangers of neglect- ing that practice and the benefits of developing it. To develop mindfulness is to develop heedful- ness, which is helpful to all wholesome mental states. To neglect mindfulness is to grow inheed- lessness, the path leading to all unwholesome states, to downfall. With these considerations, 'one should make a firm determination and really try to develop mindfulness. When mindfulness 'develops, concentration, too, develops. Note that it is the development of mindfulness and concen tration that is called “progress in meditation.” .Always bear in mind the Buddha's words:

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He who has mindfulness is always well; The mindful one grows in happiness. (S.I, 208)

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.A meditator has to pay attention to the applica- tion of mindfulness at all times and under all cir- cumstances. What needs special emphasis here is that the application of mindfulness should be so oriented as to lead one onward to the realiza- tion of Nibbäna. Mindfulness has to be taken up in a way and in a spirit that will effectively arouse the knowledge of the supramundane paths. lt is only then that mindfulness can right- fully be called “the enlightenment-factor of mindfulness” (satisambojjhanga). Such mindful- ness, well attuned to the path, leads to the goal of Nibbäna.

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Meditation is a battle with the mind. Itisa battle with the enemies within — the mental defilements. First of all, one has to recognize that these enemies, while battling among them- selves, are at war with the good thoughts, too. “Love” is fighting with “anger.” “Jealousy” is in complicity with “anger.” “Greed” steps in as an ally to “conceit” and “views.” “Views” and “con- ceit? are mutually opposed, though they both owe their origin to “greed.”

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(page 34)The meditator should understand the nature of these defilements. Mental defilements are a gang of crafty enemies. They create deceptions in the meditators mind even when meditation shows signs of progress. The meditator becomes. happy. But this is a case of subtle deception. Because of his complacency, meditation tends to decline. This is an instance of an enemy mas- querading as a friend.

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Selfdeceptions can occur even when the meditator is engaged in making a mental note. For instance, in mentally noting a painful feel- ing, if he has the intention of putting an end to that pain, hate will nd an opportunity to step in. Similarly, in mentally noting a desirable 'object, the meditator is rather tardy in doing so. This lapse leaves room for greed to creep in. In fact, he deliberately delays the mental noting in order to give an opportunity to his desire. He does this when the object of which he has a mental image happens to be a pleasant one. Sometimes, in such situations, he totally neglects the mental noting. The loss the medita- tor incurs by this neglect is indescribably great.

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Failure to make a mental note of an object as such becomes a serious drawback in the devel- 'opment of one's meditative attention. As soon as one sees a pleasant object, one should make a mental note of it and summarily dismiss it.

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(page 35)Otherwise one will only be courting disaster. Sometimes the meditator will get a mental image of a woman coming so close as to make physical contact with him. On such occasions the meditator has to be alert and heedful in making. a mental note. There are two ways of mental noting:

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(1) While meditating, one hears a sound. If it is a sound which continues for a long while, one should mentally note it twice or thrice (hearing.... thearing').

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(2) While meditating, one hears a sound. If it is possible to continue meditation in spite of that sound, after the initial mental noting, one need not repeatedly make a mental note of it.

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In meditation, one should make a mental note of everything encountered. One should get into the habit of mentally noting whatever comes along — be it big or small, good or bad. To make a mental note of painful feelings with dislike leaves room. for hate, thus one should always exercise equa- nimity in mentally noting these feelings. One should not note them with the idea of getting rid of them. The aim should be to comprehend the nature of phenomena by understanding pain as pain. The same principle applies to a pleasant object giving rise to a pleasant feeling. With Nibbãna as the sole aim, one should learn to make mmental notes of everything with equanimity.

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(page 36)2. The Stages of Concentration

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Purification of Mind is achieved when the degree of concentration becomes sufficiently strong to cause the suppression of the five afflictive defile- ments known as the “five hindrances” (pañca- nữvaranä), namely: sensual desire, ill will, sloth and torpor, agitation and remorse, and doubt.5

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There are three kinds of concentration qualifying as Purification of Mind: access con- centration (upacära-samädhi), absorption con- centration (appanä-saruädhi), and momentary. concentration (khanika-samädhi). The first two are achieved through the vehicle of seren- ity (samatha), the last through the vehicle of insight (vipassanä). Momentary concentration iD0SSesses the same strength of mental unifica- tion as access concentration. Since it is equipped with the ten conditions mentioned above, and holds the five hindrances at bay, it aids the attainment of insight knowledge. However, because it does not serve directly as a basis for jhãna as such, it is not called access concentration.

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5. (1) kămacchnde, (2) vyqpäde, (3) thnamiddha, (4) uddhaccnkukkuEeco, (5) vnikieha.

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(page 37)Here we will discuss the attainment of Puri- fication of Mind vỉa the approach of serenity. The fullest form of this purification is absorption. concentration, which consists of eight medita- tive attainments (attha samäpatti): tour absorp- tions called 7hãnas, and four immaterial states (ãruppas). The two main preparatory stages leading up to a jhãna are called preliminary work (parikamma) and access (upacära).6

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The ordinary consciousness cannot be con- verted into an exalted level all at once, but has to be transformed by degrees. In the stage of preliminary work, one must go on attending to the subject of meditation for a long time until the spirirual faculties become balanced and function with a unity of purpose. Once the spir- itual faculties gain that balance, the mind drops into access. In the access stage, the five hin- 'drances do not disrupt the flow of concentration. The original gross object of meditation is replaced by a subtle mental image called the counterpart sign (patibhäga-nimitta).

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During the access stage, the mind becomes powerfully unified upon its object. When the mind, as it were, sinks into the object, this signals the arising of the jhãnic mind known as absorption. On reviewing the first jhãna, one discovers that it has five distinguishing compo- nents called “jhãna factors,” namely: applied thought, sustained thought, joy, bliss and one- pointedness.7

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6. See Appendix 3 for further detalls.

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(page 38) However, one should not set about the task of reviewing these jhãna factors as soon as one attains a jhãna. To start with, it is advisable to emerge from the jhãna after remaining in it for Just ve minutes. Even this has to be done with an appropriate determination: “I will attain to the first jhãna for five minutes and emerge from. it after five minutes.” Using such a formal deter- mination, one should repeat emerging from the Jhãna and re-attaining it a good many times. TThis kind of practice is necessary because there is a danger that a beginner who remains immersed in a jhäna too long will develop exces- sive attachment to it. This elementary practice is, at the same time, a useful training for mastery. in attaining to and emerging from a jhãna.8

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To prevent any possible distractions and to stabilise the jhãna he has obtained, the beginner should spend his time attaining to and emerging from the jhãna as many times as he can. But on each occasion he should make a fresh determi- nation as to the duration of the jhãna. The number of minutes may be increased gradually. As to the number of times, there need not be any limit. The purpose of this practice is to gain the twin mastery in attaining to and emerging from the jhãna. Mastery in these two respects can be regarded as complete when one is able to remain in the jhãna for exactly the same number. 'of minutes as determined, and is able to emerge from the jhãna at the predeterimined time.

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7. Q) viekke, Ø) vieäre, G3) phí, (4) sukhd, (9) ckqggeti.
8... The ñve knds of mastery: (1) mastery la adverting, (2) mastery ln ataiing,
(3) mastery in resolving, (4) mastey ín emerging, (5) mastery n revieving..

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(page 39) Once this twofold mastery is complete, one should practise for mastery in adverting and reviewing. Of these, the practice of adverting should be taken up first as this enables one to consider the jhãna factors separately. Then one can practise for mastery in reviewing, which is a kind of reflection on the quality of those jhãna factors. As it is impossible to reflect on thejhãna factors while remaining in the jhãna, one has to 'do so only after emerging from it. At the stage of. the first jhãna the principal components are the five mental factors: applied thought, sustained thought, joy, bliss and one-pointedness. If these factors are not clearly distinguishable, the medi- tator should repeatedly attain to and emerge from the jhãna, reviewing it again and again.

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(page 40)

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“Applied thought” (vitakka) is the applica- tion of the mind to the object, the “thrusting” of the mind into the object. “Sustained thought” (vicära) is the continued working of the mind on that same object. The distinction between these two will be clearly discernible at this stage because of the purity of the jhanic mind. The other three factors, joy, bliss and one- pointedness, will appear even more distinc- tively before the mind°s eye.

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It will be necessary to apply one's mind to these three factors a number of times in direct and reverse order so as to examine their qual- ity. It is in this way that one fulfils the require- mments of mastery in adverting and reviewing. In the process of examining the jhäna factors in direct and reverse order, one acquires further mmastery in attaining to and emerging from the jhãna.

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While examining the jhãna factors in this 'Way to acquire mastery in adverting and review- ing, some of the factors will begin to appear as gross because they have a tendency towards the hindrances. Then one comes to feel that one would be better off without these gross factors. At this juncture one should make the following 'determination for the attainment of the second jhãna: “May I attain the second jhãna which is free from the to factors of applied thought and sustained thought and which consists of the three factors — joy, bliss and one-pointedness" 9

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(page 41) After making this determination, the medita- tor again concentrates his mind on the counter-part sign. When his faculties mature, he passes through all the antecedent stages and enters absorption in the second jhãna, which is free from applied thought and sustained thought, and is endowed with purified joy, bliss and one- pointedness. As in the case of the first jhãna, here too he has to practise for the fivefold mas- tery, but this time the work is easier and quicker.

After mastering the second jhãna, the meditator may want to go further along the path of serenity. He sees that the joy (pïti) of the second jhãna is gross, and that above this there is a third jhãna which has bliss and one-pointedness only. He makes the determination, undertakes the practice, and — if he is capable — attains it. After mastering this jhãna in the five ways, he realizes that bliss is gross, and aspires to reach the fourth. jhãna, where blissful feeling is replaced by equanimous feeling, which is more peaceful and sublime. When his practice matures, he enters this jhãna, perfects it, and reviews it.

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9. -- Hemein ourexplanation, we ollow the sÿstem of the suttas. Bút to some. meditators, only applied thought appears as gross, while to others, both: -applied thought and sustained thought appear at onee as gross. Thỉs .diferenee in Judgement is đue to previous experiences in meditation in pastbirths. The distincion between the fourfold reckoning of the jhãnasin. the sutas and the fivefold reckoning in the Abhidhamima Ïs a recognition. of this diference. “So that which s the second ïn the fourfold reckoning beeomes the second and third in the fivefold reckoning by being divided nto two. And those which are the third and fourth n the former reckoning, become the fourth and fiíh in this reckoning. The first remaïns the first in. each case" (Vism. IV, 202)

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(page 42) Beyond the fourth jhäna lie four higher attainments, called “immaterial states” or “immaterial jhãnas,” since even the subtle material form of the jhãnas is absent. These states are named: the base of infinite space, the base of infinite consciousness, the base of nothingness, and the base of neither-perception-nor-non- perception.10 They are attained by perfecting the power of concentration, not through refining the mental factors, but through training the mỉnd to apprehend increasingly more subtle objects of attention.

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10. In Pali: (1) ākāsānañcāyatana, (2) viññāṇañcāyatana, (3) ākiñcaññāyatana, (4) N'eva saññānāsaññāyatana

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CHAPTER ÏlII
PURIFICATION OF VIEW
(DITTHIVISUDDHI)

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(page 43) PuriRcation of Mind is achieved by eliminating the five hindrances through the development of concentration. This can be done through either the vehicle of serenity or the vehicle of insight. The meditator in the vehicle of serenity aims at gaining either access concentration or absorp- tion concentration pertaining to one of the eight levels of attainment — the four jhãnas and the four immaterial states. The vehicle of insight aims at gaining momentary concentration by contemplating changing phenomena with mind- fulness. When Purification of Mind is accom- plished and the mind has become concentrated, the meditator is prepared for insight meditation in order to develop wisdom.

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The first stage of insight meditation is called Purifcaton of View. This purification consists in arousing insight into mind-and-matter (nãmaripa), using the meditation subject as a basis. Here the aspect “matter” (rũpa) covers the physical side of existence, the aggregate of material form. The aspect “mind” (nãma) covers the mental side of existence, the four mental aggregates of feeling,

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(page 44) perception, mental formations and consciousness. Purifcation of View is attained as the meditator goes on attending to his meditation subject with a unified mind equipped with the six cleansings and. the four conditions relating to the development o£ the spiritual faculties. (See pp. 26-29.)

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Now the meditation subject begins to appear to him as consisting of two functionally distinguishable parts — mỉnd and matter — rather than as a single unit. This purification gains its name because it marks the initial breakaway from all speculative views headed by personality view.11 The method employed is a sequence of realizations called “abandoning by substitution of opposites” (tadangappahäna). The abandoning by substitution of opposites is the abandoning of any given state that ought to be abandoned by means of a particular factor of knowledge, which, as a constituent of insight, is opposed to it. It is like the abandoning of darkness at night by means of a light. (See Vism. XXI,112.)

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In the development of insight meditation, there are sixteen kinds oƒ knowledge to be obtained in sequence:

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11. Sakkdyadighi. The false personaliy view is the view of a truly cxistent self related to the five aggregates takes on twenty forms according to 'whether any of the aggregates — form, feeling, perccption, mental formations and consciousness — is regarded a identical twìth selƒ, as belonging to the self, as contained n the self, or as enclosing the seÏf.

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(Dưới đây là đoạn trích dẫn và tóm lượt, và để hiểu rõ hơn xin đọc bài Minh Sát Tu Tập Vipassanā Bhavana, do Tỳ Kheo Pháp Thông dịch. )

(page 45)

1. Knowledge of Delimitation of Mind-and-Matter (Nāmarūpaparicchedañāṇa - Tuệ Phân Biệt Danh-Sắc)

(page 45)

1. Ðây là tuệ, hành giả nhận ra thực tánh pháp trong sát-na hiện tại về thực tánh của Danh (nāma) và Sắc (rūpa). (Nāmarūpaparicchedañāṇa - Tuệ Phân Biệt Danh-Sắc)

2. Knowledge of Discerning Cause and Condition (Paccayapariggahañāṇa - Tuệ Nắm Bắt Duyên Khởi)

2. Trí Tuệ Phân Biệt Nhân Duyên, ở giai đoạn tuệ này, hành giả thấy được cả danh và sắc cùng hiện hữu do nhân và chúng làm duyên cho nhau (Paccayapariggahañāṇa - Tuệ Bắt Khởi Duyên Khởi)

3. Knowledge of Comprehension (Sammasanañaṇa - Tuệ Thẩm Sát Tam Tướng)

3. Tuệ Thầm Sát Tam Tướng (Sammasanañaṇa ) hành giả có thể nhận ra ba đặc tính (tam tướng: vô thường, khổ, vô ngã) trong Danh và Sắc.

4. Knowledge of Contemplation of Arising and Passing Away (udayabbayãnupassanäñäṇa -Udayabbayañāṇa - Sanh Diệt Tuệ )

4. Tuệ Quán Sanh Diệt (udayabbayãnupassanäñäṇa -Udayabbayañāṇa - Sanh Diệt Tuệ ), Ðây là trí tuệ nhận ra sự sanh và diệt của Danh-Sắc, và tính tương tục

5. Knowledge of Contemplation of Dissolution (bhangãnupassanañãṇa - Bhangañāṇa - Hoại Diệt Tuệ)

5. Tuệ Quán Hoại Diệt (bhangãnupassanañãṇa - Bhangañāṇa - Hoại Diệt Tuệ), Tuệ chỉ thấy khía cạnh diệt của Danh và Sắc. Hành giả thấy sự phân tán của năm uẩn bên trong tâm lẫn đối tượng ở bên ngoài. Chẳng hạn, hành giả thấy sắc ngồi diệt và cũng thấy luôn danh biết sắc ngồi diệt nữa.

6. Knowledge of Contemplation of Appearance as Terror (Bhayatupaṭṭhānañāṇa - Kinh Úy Tuệ)

6. Trí Quán Tướng Khủng (Bhayatupaṭṭhānañāṇa - Kinh Úy Tuệ), trí tuệ nhận ra rằng Danh-Sắc quả thật là nguy hại.

7. Knowledge of Contemplation of Danger (Ādīnavānupassanāñāṇa - Quán Hoạn Tuệ)

7. Tuệ Quán Nguy (Ādīnavānupassanāñāṇa - Quán Hoạn Tuệ), tuệ thấy Danh-Sắc như cội nguồn của hiểm họa và nguy hại. Hành giả tuệ tri danh sắc như là mối hiểm họa, và cảm thấy rằng tốt hơn hết là không có Danh-Sắc.

8. Knowledge of Contemplation of Disenchantment (Nibbidānupassanāñāṇa - Yếm Ly Tuệ)

8. Tuệ Quán Ly (Nibbidānupassanāñāṇa - Yếm Ly Tuệ), Ðến Tuệ thứ tám này, một cảm giác yếm ly hay nhàm chán khởi lên đối với Danh-Sắc (năm uẩn). Trong sự nhàm chán này, không có tâm sân, mà chỉ có trí tuệ. Tuệ Yếm Ly này xuất phát từ việc thoát ly khỏi tham ái. Nếu sự thoát ly tham ái được hoàn tất, nó được gọi là Virāga (ly tham). Từ ly tham, dẫn đến giải thoát (vimutti). Giải thoát dẫn đến Niết bàn.

9. Knowledge of Desire for Deliverance (Muñcitukamyatāñāṇa - Dục Thoát Tuệ)

9. Tuệ Cầu Giải Thoát (Muñcitukamyatāñāṇa - Dục thoát Tuệ). Sau khi đã nhận ra sự nguy hiểm và tai hoạ của Danh-Sắc ở Tuệ thứ bảy, và yếm ly ở Tuệ thứ tám, giờ đây hành giả ước muốn mãnh liệt - giải thoát khỏi Danh-Sắc (Dục Thoát Tuệ).

10. Knowledge of Contemplation of Reflection (Paṭisankhānupassanāñāṇa - Giản Trạch Tuệ)

10. Tuệ Quán Tưởng (Paṭisankhānupassanāñāṇa - Giản Trạch Tuệ). Ở Tuệ này, được thúc đẩy bởi ước muốn thoát khỏi Danh-Sắc, hành giả cố gắng tìm cách thoát ly, nhưng vẫn chưa biết phải làm thế nào. Khi vừa nhận ra tam tướng trong Danh-Sắc thì cảm giác thoát ly khỏi nó khởi lên mạnh mẽ hơn.

11. Knowledge of Equanimity about Formations (Sankhārupekkhāñāṇa - Xả Hành Tuệ)

11. Xả Hành Tuệ (Sankhārupekkhāñāṇa) khiến tâm thản nhiên đối với Danh-Sắc phát triển, không còn chấp thủ hay luyến ái đối với Danh-Sắc mà từ lâu chúng ta vẫn nghĩ nó như là "ta", "của ta", "tự ngã của ta" nữa. Tuy nhiên, sự thản nhiên (xả) này được kết hợp với tâm yếm ly.
Hành Xả Tuệ, được phát triển từ Tuệ trước, có năng lực rất mạnh và chính nó thấy rõ được rằng Năm Uẩn (Sankhāra) là vô ngã -- không phải đàn ông, đàn bà, người hay thú gì cả -- và cũng thấy rằng sự sống đang rút ngắn lại, không sớm thì muộn con người cũng phải chết, hoàn toàn không có lạc trong Danh-Sắc.
Khi tâm với trí tuệ nhận ra Danh-Sắc là Không (Suññata), nó không còn quan tâm đến Danh-Sắc nữa, mà chỉ thấy thế gian là rỗng không. Bởi lẽ đó mới gọi là tâm có xả -- không ghét cũng không ưa đối với Danh và Sắc, mà thản nhiên với sự yếm ly. Giờ đây tâm muốn đạt đến Niết bàn, nó không màng đến Danh và Sắc nữa.

12 Knowledge in Conformity with Truth (Conformity Knowledge) (Anulomañāṇa - Thuận Thứ Tuệ)

12 Tuệ Thuận Thứ (Anulomañāṇa - Thuận Thứ Tuệ) giúp hành giả chứng ngộ Tứ Thánh Ðế vì đó là một loại trí tuệ viên mãn.

13. Knowledge of Change-of-Lineage (Gotrabhūñāṇa - Tuệ Chuyển Tộc)

13. Tuệ Chuyển Tộc (Gotrabhūñāṇa - Tuệ Chuyển Tộc), là trí tuệ nảy sanh trong Thánh đạo lộ trình tâm (Maggavīthicitta), nghĩa là lộ trình tâm chuyển sang đạo tuệ (maggañāṇa),

14. Knowledge of Path (Magga-ñāṇa - Ðạo Tuệ)

14. Đạo Tuệ (Magga-ñāṇa - Đạo Tuệ) là trí tuệ phát sanh trong tâm thường được gọi là Maggacitta -- Tâm đạo. Maggacitta phát xuất, hay tiếp nhận duyên trợ tạo của nó từ Chuyển Tộc Tuệ (Tuệ 13). Tuệ này lấy Niết bàn làm đối tượng, giống như Tuệ thứ mười ba, song nó hoàn toàn diệt trừ được những phiền não nào nằm trong phận sự của nó và cả tâm lẫn đối tượng đều thuộc siêu thế.

15 Knowledge of Fruit (Phalañāṇa - Quả Tuệ)

15 Quả Tuệ (Phalañāṇa - Quả Tuệ). Trong Thất Tịnh, Tuệ này là Nñāṇadassana-visudïdïhi, tức Tri Kiến Thanh Tịnh. Khi Tâm Ðạo phát sanh trong Tuệ trước (Ðạo Tuệ) và có Niết bàn là đối tượng, nó hủy diệt hoàn toàn các phiền não, liền đó, ở Tuệ này, tâm quả (phalacitta) khởi lên, hành giả cảm giác một sự an lạc sâu lắng. Kết quả này là quy luật vận hành của pháp (dhammaniyāma), nghĩa là tâm quả luôn luôn sanh tiếp sau tâm đạo vậy. Khi tâm quả phát sanh, có khi xảy ra trong ba sát-na tâm, có khi chỉ có hai. Hành giả thuộc hạng lợi căn (có trí tuệ nhạy bén), với ba sát-na tâm, bỏ qua sát-na Parikamma (Chuẩn bị) và bắt đầu với Upacāra (Cận thánh đạo tâm), tiếp đến Anuloma (Thuận thứ), Gotrabhū (Chuyển tộc), Magga (Ðạo), và Phala (Quả) ba lần, thay vì hai.

16 Knowledge of Reviewing (Paccavekkhanañāṇa - Phản Khán Tuệ)

16 Tuệ Quán (Paccavekkhanañāṇa - Phản Khán Tuệ) Phản Khán Tuệ này phát xuất từ Quả Tuệ thứ 15, và nó trở về trạng thái hiệp thế. Bởi lẽ Niết bàn không còn là đối tượng nên hành giả trở lại tâm hiệp thế (lokiyacitta).
Bậc chứng đắc Tuệ này nếu còn nằm trong ba cấp độ đầu của sự chứng đắc, tức Tu đà hoàn, Tư đà hàm và A na hàm, được gọi là bậc Hữu học (Sekkhapuggala). Nếu là bậc Alahán, ở Tuệ này vị ấy chỉ tác ý đến bốn trong năm pháp trên mà thôi, vì bậc Alahán không còn phiền não nữa. Tuy nhiên, không phải các bậc Hữu học đã đạt đến giai đoạn Tuệ này đều phải tác ý đến tất cả năm pháp kể trên. Một số vị, do tuệ mạnh, chỉ tác ý ba pháp đầu mà không cần phải phản khán lại các phiền não.

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(Dứt đoạn trích dẫn và tóm lượt, và để hiểu rõ hơn xin đọc bài Minh Sát Tu Tập Vipassanā Bhavana, do Tỳ Kheo Pháp Thông dịch. )

(page 46) The series of knowledges arises when the firm and concentrated mỉnd is kept focused on the meditation subject. The first knowledge to arise, the Knowledge of Delimitation of Mind-and- Matter, is obtained with the completion of the first three puriñcations (i.e. Purification of Virtue, Purification of Mind and Purification of View). It is by bringing this first knowledge to maturity in three ways — internally, externally, and both internally and externally — that the Puriication of View is completed. Purification of View is implicit in the Knowledge of Delimitation of Mind-and-Matter, and is reached on. attaining this knowledge. But as yet the insight knowledges proper (vipassanäñäna) have not arisen. The insight knowledges are ten in number, ranging from the Knowledge by Comprehension to Conformity Knowledge. They are founded upon the Purification of View and Puri- fication by Overcoming Doubt, which in turn are founded upon the two roots, Purification of Virtue and Purification of Mind.

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To attain the Knowledge of Delimitation of Mind-and-Matter, the meditator, having purified his mind through the successful practice of concentration, focuses his attention on his meditation subject, which could be a hair, a skeleton, the rising and falling movements of the abdomen. (i.e. the wind-element as a tactile object), or mindfulness of breathing. As he goes on attending to that meditation subject, he begins to understand it as consisting of two aspects — a material aspect and a mental aspect, together called “mind-and-matter” (nãma-rūpa).

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(page 47) As a rule, one first becomes aware of those parts pertaining to the material aspect of the meditation subject. Whatever parts pertain to its mental aspect attract one's attention later. But sometimes both the mental and material aspects become manifest to the meditator at once. The meditator may even feel that the meditation subject is actually impinging on his mỉnd.

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In mindfulness of breathing, for instance, the in-breaths and out-breaths belong to matter while the awareness of them is reckoned as miỉnd. Normally, the in-breaths and the out-breaths strike against the tip of the nose or the tupper lip as they enter and go out. The meditator should pay attention only to the occurrence of in-breathing and out-breathing. He should not follow the in-breaths inside the body or outside it, speculating on what becomes of them, since this will hinder concentration. As the meditator continues to keep his calim mind on the point of contact of the air being inhaled and exhaled (i.e. either at the tip of the nose or on the upper lip), he begins to feel as though his

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(page 48)mỉnd approaches and strikes the meditation subject. This happens at a developed stage in his meditation when he becomes aware of the distinction between mind and matter. The mind has the nature of bending towards or leaping. towards an object. At first, every in-breath and out-breath appears as a compact unit. Later one begins to understand that the breath is a mass or heap. This is Delimitation of Matter. One then understands the awareness of the breath to be a series or “heap” of discrete thought-moments, each one a “heap” or mass of many. mental factors. This is Delimitation of Mind. The ability to understand Mind-and-Matter as a heap necessarily implies the ability to distinguish one thing from another, since a heap is, by definition, a group of things lying one on another.

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This is the preliminary stage of the Knowledge of Delimitation of Mind-and-Matter. At first this understanding is limited to the subject of meditation. Later on it spreads to the other parts of the body connected with the subjects of meditation until it comes to pervade the entire body. Still later the understanding extends outward towards other beings as well as inani- mate thỉngs, since the knowledge, when complete, is threefold: internal, external, and internal-and-external.

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(page 49)CHAPTER IV
PURIFICATION BY QVERCOMING DOUBT
(KANKHÃVITARANAVISUDDHI)

During the time of the Buddha there were ascet- ics who had raised such sceptical doubts about life as: “From where has this being come?” “What is his destiny?” etc. Even among those who could recollect their previous lives there 'were some who constructed misleading specula- tive theories. Some who had gained recollective knowledge and could see a limited number of their past lives went on to fabricate various speculatve views concerning the past that lay beyond their ken. Thus there were theories of a soul and of a creator God, as well as views denying causality and conditionality. Owing to. this điversity of views, sceptical doubt arises like the wavering in the mind of one who has reached a crossroad. The speculative views serve only to perpetuate that doubt.

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These non-Buddhist ascetics had neither a Knowledge of Delimitation of Mind-and-Matter nor a Purification by Overcoming Doubr. They had. attained jhãna basing their thoughts on the soul theory. Due to their lack of understanding, they misinterpreted their meditative experience and became entangled in doubts and wrong views.

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(page 50)To gain freedom from all doubts concerning the nature and pattern of existence, it is necessary. to understand the law of cause and effect, clearly. revealed to the world by the Buddha. This under- standing is called the Knowledge of Discerning Cause and Condition (Paccayapariggahañāṇa - Tuệ Nắm Bắt Duyên Khởi). 'With the maturing of this knowledge the Purification by Overcoming Doubt is brought to completion. Thus the second knowledge is obtained in the process of reaching the fourth purification. This Knowledge of Discerning Cause and Condition is also known as “knowledge of things-as-they-are” (yathäbhũta-ñāṇa), “right vision” (sammädassana) and “knowledge of relatedness of phenomena” (dhamma-tthitiñäna). Some who have had experi- ence in insight meditation in past lives are capable of discerning cause and condition immediately along with their discerning of mind-and-matter.

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Owing to his Purification of View, the medi- tator goes beyond the perception of a “being” or “person.” Advancing to the Purification by Over- coming Doubt, he begins to understand that consciousness always arises depending on a par- ticular sense faculty and a sense object, that there is no consciousness in the abstract. As the Buddha says:

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(page 51) Just as, monks, dependent on whatever condition a fire burns, it comes to be reckoned in terms of that condition(that is to say), a fire that burns dependent on logs is reckoned as a “log-fire”; a fire that burns dependent on fagsots is reckoned as a “faggot-fire”; a fire that burns dependent on grass is reckoned as a “grass-fire”; a fire that burns dependent on cow-dung is reckoned as a “cow-dung- fire”; a fire that burns dependent on rubbish is reckoned as a “rubbish-fire” — even so, monks, consciousness is reckoned by the condition dependent on which it arises. A consciousness arising dependent on eye and forms is reckoned as an “eye-consciousness”; a conscious- ness arising dependent on ear and sounds is reckoned as an “ear-consciousness”; a consciousness arising dependent on nose and smells is reckoned as a “nose- consciousness”; a consciousness arising dependent on tongue and flavours is reckoned as a “tongue-consciousness”; a consciousness arising dependent on body and tangibles is reckoned as a “body- consciousness”; a consciousness arising dependent on mind and ideas is reckoned as a “mind-consciousness.”
Mahäatanhasamkhaya Sutta M.1,259ff.

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(page 52) Thus the meditator understands that eye- consciousness arises because of the eye and a visual object, and that owing to eye-contact there arise feeling, perception, volition and thought. This is a twofold understanding as it concerns thought and its cause, feeling and its cause, perception and its cause, and so on. At this stage it occurs to him that there is no “I” or “person” apart from the four categories: mind and its cause, and matter and its cause.

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The rise and fall of the abdomen now appear to him as an agglomeration of the wind-element. He recognizes the earth-element through the touch sensation at the tip of the nose together with the water-element associated with it. By means of the tactile sensation of warmth and coolness, he recognizes the fire-element. Now' that the miỉnd is free from the hindrances, there. is ample scope for wisdom. He understands that matter also arises due to a cause. If the meditator is wise enough, he will understand that this birth has been brought about by some action (kamma) of the past, and that it is the outcome of craving, ignorance and grasping. Whatever creature he sees is, for him, just another instance' of the four categories: mind and its cause, and matter and its cause.

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(page 53)At this stage one has to step-up one's practice of mindfulness and full awareness. In every instance of a change of posture one should make a mental note of the action, as well as of the intention which impelled that acton. The mental noting should always register the preceding thought as well:

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1. 'intending to stand... intending to stand”
2. *standing... standing'.

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'This method of making a mental note by way o£ cause and effect is helpful in understanding the relationship between the cause and the effect. The condition implied by the Knowledge of Discerning Cause and Condition is already found here. The meditator gradually comes to under- stand that thought is the result and that the object is its cause: “It is because there is a sound. that a thought-oEhearing (an auditory con- sciousness) has arisen....”

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As he goes on making a note without a break, a skilful meditator would even feel as though his noting is happening automatically. It is not necessary to make a special effort to increase one's understanding of mental objects in this way. One should rather understand the objects as and when they come. Any conscious attempt to accelerate the process would only distract the mind from the subject of concentration and thus retard the power of understanding. If the meditator is well read in the Dhamma, he will be able to gain a quicker understanding by reflecting according to the Dhamma. One who is not so well read will take more tỉme to understand.

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(page 54)Some meditators gain the knowledge con- cerning the process of formations at the very outset. A meditator who is well advanced in regard to reflections on the Dhamma can arouse this knowledge while meditating on some subject of meditation, equipped with the Purification of Mind. This kind of knowledge is called the Knowledge of Discerning Mind-and-Matter together with Cause and Condition. That is, miỉnd and matter are understood together with. their cause and condition so that the knowledge of mindand-matter and the knowledge of cause and effect arise simultaneously. By developing this knowledge, the Purification by Overcoming. Doubt is attained.

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One who has reached the stage of Purifica- tion by Overcoming Doubt clearly understands the three phases of the round of becoming — the cycle of defilements, the cycle of action, and the cycle of results:

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The cycle of deñlements (kilesavatfa) includes the defling tendencies of the mind such as ignorance, craving, specula- tỉve views and grasping.

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(page 55)The cycle of action (kammaṭṭhāna) is the functional aspect of those defilements, that is, the mass of actions, both wholesome and unwholesome.

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The cycle of results (vipākavaṭṭi) consists in the pleasant and painful results of those actions.

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This understanding is not based on assumptions. Ttis something that occurs to the meditator as an indubitable experience. At this stage although. real insight still has not yet reached completion, the mỉnd possesses great strength. This is a stage with special significance, since the meditator 'who has come this far becomes a “lesser Stream- enterer” (culla-sotäpanna). If he preserves this knowledge of conditionality intact up to the time of death, unimpaired by doubts and waverings, in his next existence he is certain not to be reborn into the four lower worlds: the hells, the world of afflicted spirits (petas), the animal kingdom, and the world of titans (asuras).

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For one who already possesses the five direct knowledges (abhiñña) — (1) the knowledge of the modes of psychic power, (2) the divine ear-element, (3) the penetration of other minds, (4) the knowledge of recollecting past lives, and (5) the knowledge of the passing away and re-arising of beings — it is sometimes possible,(page 56) on attaining this stage, to see past lives together with their causes and conditions. To some meditators, even the functioning of the internal organs of the body becomes visible. Some have visions of their chilđhood experiences. One who. has no direct knowledge can also arouse memories of his chilđhood and past lives if he dwells immersed in meditation to the exclusion of all 'worldly concerns and extraneous thoughts.

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Samsära — the cycle of recurrent births and deaths — is perpetually kept in motion by speculative views and sceptical doubts. (See Sabbäsava Sutta, M.I,8.) With Purification of View, the mỉnd gains purity by extricating itself from speculative views. With Purification by Overcoming Doubt, the mind becomes pure through the removal of sceptical doubts. The abandonment of views and sceptical doubts at this stage is done merely by the substitution of opposites (tadangappahäna). This abandonment by substitution of opposites is the abandoning of a particular unwholesome thought by means of an antithetical wholesome thought; it can be compared to the dispelling of darkness by lighting a lamp. The abandonment by suppression (vikkhambhariappahäna), accomplished through serenity meditation, is more effective. By means of this method one can sometimes keep the five hindrances sup pressed even for a long time. The abandon- ment by cutting of (samucchedappahäna), accomplished by the supramundane path- knowledge, completely eradicates the defile- ments together with their underlying tenden- cies so that they will never spring up again.

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(page 57)In insight meditation, the underlying tendencies to speculative views and sceptical doubts still persist. They are abandoned as a “cutting off" only by the path of Stream-entry. The erad- ication of the underlying tendencies to defilements in such a way that they will never arise again is a distinctive quality of supramundane states.

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The meditator engaged in cultivating virtue, concentration and wisdom should be as heedful in his task as a farmer diligently busying himsel£ in cultivating his field. What has to be done today must not be postponed for tomorrow: “Procrastination is the thief of time.” The first thing that gives trouble to a meditator sitting down to meditate is his own thoughts. The next troublemaker is pain. To combat thoughts, one has to be skilful in making a mental note of them. When the mind tries to play truant by leaving the meditation subject and going astray, one should make a mental note: 'Mind strays, mỉnd strays° If one goes on with mental noting. throughout the day, one can, to a great extent,(page 58) overcome stray thoughts. But pain is a far more formidable enemy. At first thoughts and pain both keep on troubling the meditator, but when. meditation shows some signs of progress, pain. appears as the more vicious of the two. Yet it has been a matter of experience that when medita- tion is well on its way to progress, one can even. overcome severe pains which earlier seemed insurmountable. Therefore, understanding the secret of success well, one should make such a. firm determination as: “I will not get up from this seat even if my bones break and the joints fall apart.”12

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Then the whole body will cool down, the pain will subside, and one will be able to go on sitting for a longer stretch of time. From that day onwards one will discover the ability to have longer sittings in meditation without pain. A meditator has to arouse the right amount of courage to overcome pain, thinking: “After all, this little suffering is not as oppressive as the suf- fering in hell.” Or, “Let me suffer this little pain. for the sake of the supreme bliss of Nibbãna.” An example is the venerable Lomasanäga Thera who endured piercing cold and scprching heat. Once while he was dwelling in in the Striving- hall in Piyanga Cave at Cetiyapabbata, he spent (page 59) wintry nights in the open air, reflecting on the sufferings in the inter-space hells, without losing. his meditation subject. Again, in summer he spent the daytime sitting in the open air intent on his subject of meditation. When a pupil of his said: “Venerable sir, here is a cool spot. Please come and sỉt here,” he retorted, “Friend, it is pre- cisely because I am afraid of the heat that I sat here” And he continued siting there having reflected on the burning heat in Avici-hell.13
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12. “Let this body breskup, if it must let lumps of flesh lay scattered; let the pair of shins all apart from my knee-joints."(Mudita Thera, Thag. v.312)

13. MA. Commentary on Sabbäsava Sutta.

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(page 59) 'While engaged in insight meditation, attend- ing mentally to sections of formations, a medita- tor sometimes goes through experiences which reveal to him the very nature of formations. 'While sitting in meditation his entire body stiff- ens: this is how the earth-element makes itself felt. He gets a burning sensation at the points of contact: this is a manifestation of the fire- element. He is dripping with sweat: this is an illustration of the water-element. He feels as if his body is being twisted: here is the wind- element at work. These are just instances of the four elements announcing themselves with a “here-we-arel” A meditator has to understand this language of the four elements.

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(page 60)CHAPTER V
PURIFICATION BY KNOWLEDGE AND.
'VISION OE WHAT 1S PATH AND NOT-PATH
(MAGGAMAGGAÑÃNADASSANAVISUDDHI)


The understanding of the distinction between. the direct path and its counterfeit, the misleading path, is referred to as Purification by Knowledge and Vision of What is Path and Not-Path. 'When the meditator arrives at this stage, he has already passed four stages of purification. It is noteworthy that the last three purifications (i.e. Purircation by Knowledge and Vision of What is Path and Not-Path, Purifcation by Knowledge and Vision of the Way, and Puriñcation by Knowledge and Vision) have the qualiication “Knowledge and Vision,” unlike the first four. Hence Purification by Knowledge and Vision of 'What is Path and Not-Path marks a significant turning point in the ascent through the purifications and the knowledges.

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By the time the meditator reaches this Purification by Knowledge and Vision of What is Path. and Not-Path, he has gained a certain degree of clarity owing to his Purification by Overcoming Doubt. Since he has eliminated obstructive views and doubts, his power of concentration is keener than ever. Now his concentration has reached maturity. His mind is virile and ener- getic. He understands the nature of phenomena, manifest to him as mind-and-matter, together with their causes and conditions.

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(page 61)He has also gained two other significant advantages. The first is relief from stray thoughts, especially when he meditates without a break for the whole day; for such a meditator the stray thoughts arise only very rarely, and whereas earlier the stray thoughts that arose used to stay with him for a long while, now he can dismiss them summarily with a mere mental note. The second advantage is a significant reduction in the painful feelings that arise when. siting in meditation; to his great relief, the meditator finds that even though pains arise, he is now able to note them mentally without being distracted so that he can more easily keep his miỉnd on the subject of meditation. Even severe pains now appear to him as normal events rather than disturbances. This is the “conquest of pain,” a victory with a special significance.14 With this new-found strength the meditator carries on mental noting with great precision. Thỉs stage marks the final phase of the Purification by Overcoming Doubt.

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14. In serenly meditation, siting for three hours without beïng harassed by. pain s regarded asthe %conquest of pain.

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1. Knowledge by Comprehension
(Sammasanañäna)

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(page 62)Following the Purifñcaton by Overcoming Doubt, but preceding the next purification, Knowledge by Comprehension sets in, which in turn leads to Knowledge of Arising and Passing. Away. Knowledge of Arising and Passing Away occurs in two phases: an undeveloped phase and a mature phase. In the undeveloped phase certain interesting phenomena occur to the meditator, encouraging in their own right but potential distractions from the correct path of practice; these are called the ten imperfections oƑ insight. It is here that the Purification by Know- ledge and Vision of What is Path and Not-Path. comes in. This purification involves understand- ing that attachment to the ten imperfections of insight is the not-path, and that attending to the process of observation (ie. mental noting) proper to the way of insight, is the path. It is so. named because it purifies the person who attains it of the misconception that the not-path is the path.

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(page 63) Knowledge by Comprehension (also called Comprehension by Groups) is the reflection on formations in terms of their three universal char- acteristics — impermanence (anicca), suffering (dukkha), and not-self (anatta). Such reflection. sets in between the Purification by Overcoming Doubt and the Purifcation by Knowledge and 'Vision of What is Path and Not-Path, but it does not fall into either of these two purifications by way of classification. The improvements in the meditators ability help him in building up his Knowledge by Comprehension which brings the proper understanding of the three characteris- tics. But the range of comprehension this know- ledge involves is not the same for everyone. For some meditators, the comprehension is broad and extensive; for others, its range is limited. The duration of the occurrence of this know- ledge also varies according to the way the forma- tỉons relating to mind-and-matter are reflected upon. The Buddhas comprehension of forma- tions pervaded all animate and inanimate objects in the ten thousand world-systems. The venerable Sãriputta's Knowledge by Comprehen- sion pervaded everything animate and inani- mate in the central region of India. The sutta expressions “all is to be đirectly known” (sabbam abhiññeyyam), and “all is to be fully known” (sabbam pariññeyyam) also refer to Knowledge by Comprehension. Here “all” (sabbam) does not mean literally everything in the world, but what- ever is connected with the five aggregates.

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(page 64) The formula of comprehension given in the Suttas says:

Any form whatever, whether past, future. or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near — all form he sees with right wisdom as it really is (thus): “This is not mine,” “This is not I am,” “This is not my sel£” Any feel- ings whatever... any perceptions what- ever... any formations whatever... any. consciousness whatever, whether past, future or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near — all consciousness he sees with right 'wisdom as it really is (thus): “This is not mine,” “This is not I am,” “This is not myself.” (A.I,171)

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Now, let-us see how an ordinary meditator can apply this formula as a guide to comprehension. Suppose the meditator is keeping his mind on his meditation subject — mindfulness of breath- ng, the rise-and-fall of the abdomen, or some- thing else. By now the subject of his meditation has gone beyond its conventional significance and is seen in terms of its ultỉimate constituents. For instance, if the meditation subject is a hair, t now manifests itself to him as the elements of earth, water, fire, air, colour, odour, flavour and nutritive essence. If the subject is mindfulness of breathing, it clearly appears as mind-and-matter

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(page 65)together with their causes and conditions. Now, as the meditator goes on attending to his medi- tation subject, the arising and the passing away. of those formations become apparent to him. He sees, as a present phenomenon, how the forma- tions of mind-and-matter connected with his subject of meditation keep on arising and passing away and undergoing destruction — all in heaps. The understanding of formations as a heap is followed by the understanding of each of them separately. It is the continuity and com- pactness (ghana) of that which conceals the impermanence of formations.

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To understand them separately, to see the discrete phases within the process, is to under- stand the characteristic of impermanence. The impermanence of formations becomes clear to him in accordance with the saying: “Tt is imper- manent in the sense of undergoing destruction” (Ps.I,53). Once the nature of impermanence is apparent, the painful nature and not-self nature of formations become apparent as well.

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'When he makes a mental note of that under- standing, the range of understanding itself grows wider. This is Knowledge by Comprehen- sion, which comes as a matter of direct personal experience in the present. Based on this experi- ence, he applies the same principle by induction to the past and the future.

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(page 66) He understands by inductive knowledge that all formations in the past were also subject to destruction. When he tunderstands the impermanence of past forma- tions, he makes a mental note of this under- standing as well. It also occurs to him that the same process, will go on in the future. Thus he concludes that all formations in the three periods of time are indeed impermanent. He makes a mental note of this understanding too. As Ít is said: “Understanding conclusively past, future and present states (of the five aggregates) by summarisation (in groups) is Knowledge by Comprehension” (Ps.I,53).

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All three characteristics become clear to him in this way: “It is impermanent because it wears away. It is painful because it is terrifying. It is not-self because it is coreless.” At the stage of the Knowledge by Comprehension, the functioning. of the mind is extremely rapid.

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The three modes of comprehension — by way Of past, future and present — are them- selves sufficient for breaking up the defilements. However, eight additional modes have been. indicated, grouped into four pairs: (1) internal- external, (2) gross-subtle, (3) inferior-superior, (4) far-near.

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(page 67)These eight modes are not apprehended by everyone in the course of reflection on forma- tions. They occur with clarity only to those of keen insight. Together with the three temporal modes, these make up the eleven modes of com- prehension indicated in the formula.15

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'When the meditator attends to his subject of meditation, the materiality connected with it is comprehended by way of the eleven modes. So too are the associated mental aggregates — feeling, perceptions, mental formations and consciousness. Earlier, the meditator regarded consciousness as a compact unit, but now, as comprehension develops, he understands that there are thousands of thoughts — a heap of them occuring in a series, thought after thought. From this the meditator realizes that the thoughts arisen earlier are no longer present and with this conviction the perception of the compactness of consciousness loses its basis. Thus he awakens to the fact of impermanence. Feelings arising in the mỉnd also become mani- fest as a heap — a series of distinct feelings flowing along without a pause. He becomes aware of the fact that a feeling disappears when he makes a mental note of it, and that along with it, the thought connected with the feeling also đisappears. It now dawns on him that the “contact pentad” made up of contact, feeling, perception, volition and consciousness — the primary components of the mind (in mind-and- matter) — are all impermanent.

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15. Those specialised in the Abhidhamma doeuine of “ulimate categories" (paramantha-dhammna) desctibe the secton of [orations according to the .eleven modes gien above. Others are tunable to describe them in đetai! calthough they may comprehend the formrations aecording to those modes,

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(page 68) The meditator first has to reflect on his own set Of five aggregates. At this stage his contem- plation is not confined to his original meditation subject. Rather, contemplation pervades his entire body. He understands the nature of his whole body and makes a mental note of what- ever he understands. Thỉs is comprehension. Not only in regard to his own body, but concerning those of others, too, he gains a similar under- standing. He can clearly visualize his own body, as well as those of others, whenever he adverts to them. Thỉs is Knowledge by Comprehension.

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Some meditators become acutely aware of the frail nature of their body as well. In the Dis- course to Mãgandiya, the Buddha gives the fol- lowing advice to the wandering ascetic Mãgandiya:

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And when, Mãgandiya, you have practised the Dhamma going the Dhamma-way, then, Mãgandiya, you will know for your- self, you will see for yourself, that these (fve aggregates) are diseases, boils and darts. (M.,512)

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(page 69) This again, is a reference to the above- mentioned stage of comprehension. In the Discourse to Dighanakha, the Buddha expounded this method of comprehension in eleven ways:

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But this body, Aggivessana, which has material shape, is made up of the four great primaries, originating from mother and father, a heaping up of rice and rice- gruel, impermanent by nature, of a nature to be rubbed and massaged, fragile and perishable — this body should be regarded as impermanent, as painful, as a disease, a boil, a dart, a calamity, an affliction, as alien, as disintegrating, as void, as not-self. M.1,500

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The Buddha indicated the method of compre- hension in diferent ways, sometimes briefly, sometimes in detail, đepending on the particu- lar disciples power of understanding. The Patisambhidämagga gives forty modes of com- prehension:

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(Seeing) the five agsregates as imperma- nent, as painful, as a đisease, a boil, a dai a calamity, an affliction, as alien, as disi tegrating, as a plague, a disaster, a terror, a menace, as ñckle, perishable, unendur- ng, as no protection, no shelter, no refuge, as empty, vain, void, not-self, as a danger, as subject to change, as having no core, as. the root of calamity, as murderous, as to be. annihilated, as subject to cankers, as formed, as Mãra's bait, as subject to birth, subject to ageing, subject to illness, subject to death, subject to sorrow, subject to. lamentation, subject to despair, subject to. defilement. Ps.II,238

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(page 70)'These forty modes can be distributed among the three characteristics as follows, ten illustrating the characteristic of impermanence, twenty-five the characteristic of suffering, and five the char- acteristic of not-self.

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Impermanence: impermanent, disintegrat- ing, fickle, perishable, unenduring, subject to change, having no core, to be annihi- lated, formed, subject to death.

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Suffering: painful, a disease, a boil, a đart, a calamity, an affliction, a plague, a. disaster, a terror, a menace, no protec- tion, no shelter, no refuge, a danger, the root of calamity, murderous, subject to cankers, Mãras bait, subject to birth, subject to ageing, subject to illness, subject to sorrow, subject to lamentation, subject to despair, subject to defilement.

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Not-self: alien, empty, vain, void, not-self.

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