Today the Buddha Sāsanā (the Buddha's Teaching) is 2,522 years old and has the appearance of being advanced and aged in years. But, owing to its truth and accuracy, the Teaching is better, fresher and brighter than ever.
As man ages, the food he used to take in his youth becomes indigestible. When this happens, he has to choose and partake of such dietetic food as his Khanda (the fivefold aggregates of his psycho-physical make up) can accept. The reason for this is not the indifferent quality of his normal food but the poor state of his digestion.
Similarly, with the ageing of the Sāsanā (Teaching) in these later times, the people's faith in it declines and weakens so that traditional observances like Dāna charity) and Sīla (Morality) no longer suffice to establish such faith. Bhāvanā (meditation) is needed as dietary supplement for proper assimilation of the teaching. This is not due to the indifferent quality of the teaching but to the declining faith of the people today.
It is usual for worldly people believe only when they have experienced, known and seen for themselves, however, just as those who can not believe that man has reached the moon by space. Craft are deficient in scientific knowledge, so also those who lack faith in the Buddha's teaching are low in the level of their religious (spiritual) perception. They need to practise the Buddha's teaching themselves in order to raise the level.
Diet does not mean extra ordinary food. It is just food that one is accustomed to take, but selected for its suitability for one in accordance with what is called sappāya-sampajañña (comprehension of suitability). In the same way, the Buddha has prescribed the dhamma diet for those who are lacking in faith in the three Gems of the Buddhist religion. Those who take this dhamma diet medicine will be cleansed not only of their physical suffering and ailments, but also of the usual mental defilements like greed and anger.
Human suffering in this world is associated with mundane acts of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, thinking, going and coming, performing and speaking.
The best diet-medicine of the Buddha for removing this physical and mental suffering and obtaining immediate relief from the same is described in this booklet and consists of meditation by way of noting all acts of seeing, hearing, walking and so on.
Ability to distinguish between mind and matter by reading, listening to discourse and engaging in discussion is only of a conceptual nature and falls short of personal experiences and knowing through wisdom.
In addition to the general knowledge which may be acquired through learning in the universities of Myanmar and the rest of the world, there is another and deeper kind of knowledge gained in a practical manner through life's experiences.
"Wisdom-knowledge" will conduce several times more to our present and future happiness than "learning-knowledge".
Only practical application of the Buddha's Teaching will mean that we are taking the dhamma-diet medicine given by the Buddha. Only then will we receive the benefit of attaining Nibbāna, the cessation of all Saṃsāric suffering.
The Buddha started to turn the Wheel of the Dhamma 2,567 years ago in order to confer this benefit. Since then the Buddha has preached this Dhamma to the multitudes many times. Whenever somebody who could be liberated appeared, the Buddha did not hesitate to proceed to the home, the workshop or the cultivated field of the person concerned to preach and teach the Dhamma to him. In transmitting the Dhamma thus, the Buddha illustrated his teaching by different examples depending on the occupation and disposition of his hearer.
Some people criticise the Buddha's teaching as being archaic, outmoded and socially deadening; All these criticisms are totally incorrect. In the Buddha-dhamma are there not such suttas (discourses) as Maṅgala Sutta and Saṅgala Sutta which are concerned with social matters? By observing the teaching of these Suttas, human life can be made happy and peaceful. How can the Buddhist injunction to minimize greed and anger and to cultivate loving kindness and compassion, adversely affect human rights? It can only promote them. It will ease the processes of governmental administration and commerce.
Are not bitter scars left behind in today's world by the solution of problems and disputes through war, and is not the final solution only through peaceful negotiation? Then Ven. Mahasī Sayādaw's talks and writings are invariably with the purpose of promoting world and Saṃsāric peace. These talks and writings have already appeared in sixty-eight publications by the seventy fifth years of the Ven. Sayādaw's life:
The present booklet, the latest addition to the above collection of publications owes its origin to the suggestion and request of the Rev. Rewata Dhamma (a Myanmar Buddhist monk who has been preaching Buddha-Dhamma extensively in the west) that the Ven. Sayādaw may prepare some three or four talks to be read as lectures in his coming tour in the west. The following are the five talks prepared in accordance with the above suggestion:
(1) The Noble Teaching of the Buddha
(2) The Teaching of the Buddha Sāsanā
(3) Satipaṭṭhāna Insight Meditation(1)
(4) Satipaṭṭhāna Insight Meditation (2)
(5) The Way to Happiness
Of these talks prepared by the Ven. Mahasī Sayādaw in Myanmar, the first, The Noble Teaching of the Buddha, was translated into English by U Nyi Nyi (Mahasī Yogī), and the rest by U Tha Noe, M.A (Writer).
The Teaching of the Buddha stresses the importance and value of Vipassanā (insight) Meditation and describes how this meditation may be undertaken. It goes on to describe, accurately and clearly, the progress of Vipassanā insight as meditation develops and the gaining of Nibbānic experience through the noble Magga ñāṇa (Knowledge of the Path). The talk is also embellished and deals with forms of modern (Religious and secular) thought to suit the needs of (latter day) listeners.
The Noble Teaching Of the Buddha
Sīlaṃ samādhi paññā ca
Vimutti ca anuttarā
Anubuddha ime dhammā
Gotama Buddha, who is a true refuge for all Buddhists, fully practised and personally experienced the noblest, the loftiest and the most dependable Dhammas comprising Sīla (morality), samādhi (concentration) paññā (wisdom) and vimutti (deliverance). When he has thus practised and discerned all that should be known, preached the same for 45 years to veneyya persons (those who can be instructed) so that they may, like himself, be delivered from all sufferings through practice of these dependable dhammas.
The Boddhisatta had, four asaṅkheyas (aeons) and one hundred thousand world cycles ago, vowed at the feet of Dīpaṅkara Buddha to become a Sammāsambuddha (Supreme Buddha). From that time onwards, the Bodhisatta had fulfilled the pāramīs (perfections of virtue) needed for Buddhahood like dāna (charity), sīla (morality) and so on. 2,562 years ago (according to western reckoning) in this world-cycle, he became the son of King Suddhodāna and Queen Maya. The king-father gave the name of Siddhattha to his child, the Bodhisatta. At the age of 16, he was married to Yasodharā-devī, daughter of king Suppabuddha, and went on enjoying the delights of royalty. When he was 29 years of age he came to realize the ills of old age, sickness and death, and renounced the world in order to find out for himself and others the dhamma that can liberate one from old age, sickness and death.
In his search for the dhamma that frees one from old age, sickness and death, the Bodhisatta practised under the sage Āḷāra who had attained the seven mundane jhānic states (trances of states of mental absorption), and under the sage Udaka who had attained all the eight mundane jhānic states, and himself attained soon the same seven and eight jhānic states respectively. But these jhānic states are incapable of freeing one from old age, disease and death. They can only take one to the arūpa (formless) realms of existence and enable one to live for a long time. When the life span of 69,000 or 84,000 world-cycles is ended, death ensues and takes one back to the human realm, where one is subjected to old age, disease and death like others. It can also send one to the four Apāya (nether) worlds. They are not a dhamma that can release one from old age, disease and death." Thus reflecting, the Bodhisatta gave up these mundane jhānic states and continued the search on his own for the dhamma that would free one from old age, disease and death. Giving up solid food and living on a "handful" of boiled bean soup he continued his search for the noble dhamma through mortification of the body for six years. But he did not find it. Then he gave up this ascetic practice, and resumed taking of such food as he should, and thus regained his strength. Practising ānāpāna meditation (observing the in-breath and the out-breath), he attained the four-rūpa jhānic states. On the basic of there jhānic states, further attained other jhānic states and the higher spiritual powers.
Later on, he came to realize that old age and death are due to rebirth, which in turn is due to desired, clinging and kamma. Desire is caused by Vedanā (feeling) which is looked upon as pleasurable. If this Vedanā is rightly seen as constantly arising and passing away, desire will no longer arise and will come to an end. If desire ends, cling and pleasure-seeking kamma will also come to an end. With the ending of kamma, there will be an end of rebirth along with the suffering of old age and death. Realizing all these facts, the Bodhisatta meditated on the arising and passing away of the five upādānakkhandhās (groups of clinging) so that there may be no occasion for desire and linking to arise.
Upādānakkhandhā means the psycho-physical phenomena that become apparent every time one sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches or thinks, in every act of seeing the eye in which arises seeing becomes apparent, the physical object which is seen becomes apparent and the seeing consciousness also becomes apparent. Along with this consciousness, the feeling of pleasure or non-pleasure at the sight also becomes apparent. The perception (saññā) of what is seen, the encouragement (cetanā) to see, and the attention (mānasikāra) to the sight seen, all these also become apparent. Of these, the eye and the sight constitute rūpakkhandhā (the aggregate of material qualities). These materials qualities are also taken as permanent, pleasing and as a living atta (substantial entity) and are clung to. Because of the clinging, the eye and the sight are called in Pāḷi as Upādānakkhandhā. Because of a similar attachment, the eye-consciousness etc. are also called viññāna upādānakkhandhā, vedanā upādānakkhandhā, saññā upādānakkhandā and saṅkhāra upādānakkhandhā. In brief, the eye and the sight are rūpa (material qualities), the consciousness of sight is nāma (mental quality). There are only these two qualities, material and mental. These phenomena arise every time something is seen, and at every act of seeing they arise and pass away now and then. However, if they are not noted at the time of seeing, they will be taken and clung to as a permanent entity. Thus through this manner of attachment and Kammic act to achieve pleasure, rebirth arise. On account of rebirth, the suffering of old age and death are undergone.
If noting is made at every moment of seeing, the arising and passing away of the five upādānakkhandhās will be realized and attach-mend removed. Thus Kammic act and arising of a new bhavas (existence) will cease resulting in the cessation of the sufferings of old age, disease and death.
In the same way, if the phenomena that arise at the moment of hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and thinking are not noted and awareness of the same is not there, new bhavas will arise and the suffering of old age disease and death will have to be gone through if, on the other hand, the psycho-physical phenomena that arise are noted and perceived rightly, the coming into being of new bhavas will cease, so also the suffering of old age, disease and death.
Thus reflecting on the arising and ceasing of suffering, the Bodhisatta meditated on the arising and passing away of the upādānakkhandhās soon after such meditation, he was freed from the bondage of āsavakilesa (the impurity of the out flows) and became the omniscient Supreme Buddha.
Tassa pañcasu upādānakkhandhesu udayabbayanupassino viharato na cirass' eva anupadaya asavehi cittaṃ vimucci.
Thus has it been preached. This in brief is how the Buddha himself practised so as to be free from sufferings of old age, disease and death etc. and realize the noblest dhammas of Sīla (morality), Samādhi concentration), paññā (wisdom) and vimutti (deliverance). In this manner did the Buddha himself realize the dhamma which is cessation of all sufferings and preach it out of compassion to all beings so that they might like himself come to know and experience the true dhamma which is cessation of sufferings.
Initially the Buddha preached this dhamma to his five disciples-Kondañña, Vappa, Bhaddiya, Mahānāma and Assaji. those five disciples were the ones who had attended. On the Bodhisatta while he was for six whole years practising the austerities, going with out solid food and living merely on a "hand full" of boiled bean soup, they had done so hoping that the Boddhisatta who had shrunken to a mere skeleton of bones and skin would soon (today or tomorrow) attain Buddha-hood, but when the Bodhisatta resumed the taking of solid food again in order to be able to practise ānāpāna meditation, they had lost faith in him, reflecting how he could attain it even while he was practising austerity by abstaining from (solid) food. They considered that the Bodhisatta had deviated from the (true) path that would enable him to realize the noble dhamma. Looking down on the Bodhisatta thus, they had left him and gone to and been living in the Migadaya forest (deer park) near Benares, eighteen yojanas (140 miles) away from Bodhagaya. The Buddha went to Migadaya where they were and sitting at the place they had prepared, asked them to listen to teaching. He said to them, "I have found the dhamma that is death less, and if you practise in accordance with it you will attain the noblest the dhamma that you seek for, Listen!" There upon, the five disciples responded contemptuously thus "Friend Gotama, even while you were practising the austerities by abstaining from solid food, you could not gain the wisdom that is exceptional. How can it be possible that you have gained it now that you have given up this (ascetic) practice?" The Buddha out of compassion repeated thrice his invitation (to listen to his teaching). Thrice did they turn it down. Whereupon the Buddha admonished and warned them thus, "My five disciples, it is not that you have met me only now, you had been with me for full six years attending on me while I was practising the difficult austerities. Did you then hear me saying that I had gained the exceptional dhamma?"
There upon the five disciples, believing that it must be so as the Buddha had said, since he had not said then that he had realized the exceptional dhamma, prepared to listen to the teaching. The Buddha then preached the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, beginning with these words:
Dve' me bhikkhave antā pabbajitena na sevitabba.
To such preaching of the Buddha respectful attention should be paid in accordance with the following statement:
Buddho so bhagavā bodhāya dhammaṃ deseti.
The meaning is this: After realizing the true dhamma himself, the Buddha preached it to veneyya persons so that they may, like himself, come to realize the true dhamma.
I shall now explain a few passages from the Dhammcakksappavattana Sutta, the first preaching of the Buddha.
From the age of 16 till the age of 29, the Bodhisatta Prince Siddattha enjoyed the pleasures of the senses, surrounded by his consort Yasodharā devī and other female companions. Though ordinary people consider these pleasures as delightful, they are neither free from the defiling of new bhavas (existences) accompanied by old age, disease and death, in the eyes of wise and fore-sighted people, there is no satisfaction whatever in the enjoyment of these sensual pleasures. Only that which confers permanent freedom from the saṃsāric sufferings of old age, disease and death and only that which makes for permanent happiness is the loftiest dhamma. This is evidently true if one ponder properly. Renunciation of the worldly life is to gain such permanent happiness. But this lasting happiness would be complete only if there is freedom from the impurities of greed and anger. That is why the Buddha taught that the monk who had gone forth to free himself from these defilements should not indulge in the vulgar enjoyment of sensual pleasures, (this is looked upon as an extreme practice). In conformity with this precept, the Buddha let it be known that he himself had forsaken these sensual pleasures from the age of 29. He also let it be known that his giving up the extreme austerities and taking again such food as he should was not enjoyment of sensual pleasure, but strengthening of his body so that he could properly engage in ānāpana meditation, etc. This fact also deserves respectful acclamation.
Sustaining himself daily on a mere "handful" of boiled bean soup and practising self-mortification for six years without gaining any noble dhamma, the Bodhisatta realized that it was a fruitless exercise that only brought suffering. He, therefore, let it be known that he had forsaken it as being not worth while. The true middle way was found only after the Bodhisatta had given up these two extremes of sensual pleasure and self-torture. What is this middle way? It consists of (1) Sammā Diṭṭhi (Right view), (2) Sammā Saṅkappa (Right thinking or Resolution), (3) Sammā Vācā (right speech), (4) Sammā Kammata (Right action or Right conduct), (5) Sammā Ājīva (Right living or livelihood), (6) Sammā Vāyama (Right effort). (7) Sammā Sati (right mindfulness). (8) Sammā Samādhi (Right concentration).
Of these eight parts of the Path, Sammā Vācā, Sammā Kammanta and Sammā Ājīva are Sīla (morality) Maggaṅgas. If the five precepts are scrupulously observed, Sīla Maggaṅga is accomplished to a resonant extent. But for full, attainment of the Sotāpatti Magga is essential. That is why Sotāpatti Magga and Phala attainer is described as Silesuparipurakari' person who is practising with full accomplishment of morality.
Sammā Vāyāma, Sammā Sati and Sammā Samādhi, these three Maggaṅgas are Sammādhi Maggaṅgas. These Maggaṅgas are reasonably accomplished on the attainment of a jhānic state. But the accomplishment of these Maggaṅgas are really complete only on the attainment of Anāgāmi Magga. That is why the Anāgāmi Magga and Phala attainer is described as "Samādhis-minparipurakari" person, that is, one who is practising with full accomplishment of concentration.
Sammā Diṭṭhi and Sammā Saṅkapa, these two Maggaṅgas are Paññā (Wisdom) Maggaṅgas. While nothing physical and mental phenomena which emerge on every act of hearing, seeing etc. and on realizing their arising and passing away, the Paññā Maggaṅgas along with the basic Sīla and Sammādhi Maggaṅgas are developing. The Bodhisatta was liberated from the āsava-Kilesas (the impure out flows) by Arahatta Maggaṅga and Phala and become the Buddha through observing the arising and passing away of the Upādānakkhandhās (groups of clinging) and developing these eight Maggaṅgas. the Buddha himself found the Right middle way called Majjhimapaṭipada by avoiding the two extremes and developing the eight Maggaṅgas and taught the practise of this middle way which is conducive to the opening of the eye of wisdom and to the attainment of wisdom itself and so on.
Here the eye of wisdom means the act of knowing. This act of knowing is figuratively spoken of as the eye of wisdom because it sees as it with the eye. What kind of knowledge does arise? With every act of seeing, hearing, touching, or knowing, whatever is experienced is only Psycho-physical phenomena, and cause and effect only. It is also personally experienced that there is no permanent atta or self-entity. It is clearly seen with one's own knowledge that there is only an ever-changing flux of non-substantial Psycho-physical Phenomena. These are all matters of personal knowledge and not beliefs held out of deference to one's teachers or blind beliefs accepted out of reverence for the Buddha. That is why the Buddha's teaching is praised as Sandiṭṭhiko, the dhamma that can be personally experienced if practised.
These eight Maggaṅgas are called the Middle Way or Majjhimapaṭipadā which enables extra-ordinary knowledge and insight knowledge that discerns matters that are difficult to know. It is to extinguish all Kilesas (defilements) and to realize Nibbāna. That is why the Buddha let it be known that every body who develops in himself these eight Maggaṅgas called the middle way will, like the Buddha, gain extraordinary knowledge and wisdom resulting in the extinction of all defilements and attain Nibbāna. Accepting and bearing in mind this advice and listening to the very first sermon, Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta preached by the Buddha, Venerable Kondañña was the first human to achieve Sotāpannahood while one hundred and eighty million Brahmā attained Ariya magga (noble path) and phala. As for the devas, innumerable numbers of them achieved this extraordinary dhamma.
I shall now briefly explain these eight maggaṅgas called Majjhimapaṭipadā or the middle way so that my listeners may be able to practise and develop them.
According to Indian practice, the Yogī (Pal-lankaṃ abhujitva) must sit in cross-legged position. This is directed to enable the Yogī to sit for long. According to the practice in this part of the world, one may also sit on a chair (and mediate). (ujum kāyaṃ panidhaya). The upper part of the body must be kept straight. One must not be bent or slack while seated, lest viriya (angry or vigour) be weak (or lacking). One should not sit leaning back either, (Parimukhaṃ satim upathapetva). The meditation, asubha (impurity, loathsomeness) meditation or ānāpāna (observing the in breath and the out breath) meditation, the mind should be so directed, that is, towards the object of meditation). Vipassanā meditation means observing every phenomenon occurring at the six sense-doors. In the beginning, however, it will not be possible to observe each and every phenomenon occurring at the six sense-doors. One should begin with observing the few phenomena that are of a pronounced character. That is why we advise the noting of the rising and falling of the abdomen in the first instance. Direct your attention to the abdomen. You need not observe with the eyes, which should, therefore, be kept closed. While the abdomen rises, note "rising" and while it falls, note "falling". This not to be said verbally, it should only be noted mentally, The name that you utter is immaterial. What is needed is to be aware of the phenomenon as it occurs. That is why try and be continuously aware of both the beginning and the end of the rising as well as of the falling (of the abdomen) This is observing the Vāyo-dhātu (element of motion) as it manifests as tension and movement in the abdomen. While so noting, if a thought arises, it should be noted. This is called cittānupassanā (contemplation on consciousness) according to Satipaṭṭhana desanā (teaching). After noting this thought, go back to the rising and falling of the abdomen. While noting thus, if pain or aching arises in the body, it should be noted "paining, paining" This is vedanānupassanā (contemplation of feeling). Then back to noting the rising and falling. If one hears (something), it should be noted "hearing, hearing", then back to noting the rising and falling, This, in brief, is the method of meditation (to be practised) for about two minutes.
The two minutes are over. Within every minute, 50 or 60 acts of noting are possible. In each act of noting, the dhammas comprising the eight maggaṅgas are taking place. This is how they take place. The effort to note is Sammā vāyama (Right effort). The act of mindfulness is Sammā sati (Right mindfulness). To remain concentrated on the object of mindfulness is Sammā Samādhi (Right concentration). Right effort, right mindfulness and Right concentration, these three are Samādhi Maggaṅga.
Rightly knowing the object noted is Sammā diṭṭhi. When one begins to practise noting thus, this right knowledge is not so evident. Later on, the knowledge becomes evident that there are only mind and matter with every act of noting. Because of the desire to move, motion occurs. Because there is something to be seen, eye-consciousness occurs. Thus the yogī comes to distinguish between cause and effect. Something arises afresh and instantly passes away. This is also evidently noticed. Thus observing that there is a constant flux of arising and passing away (of phenomena), the yogī realizes that everything is impermanent. After the passing away of old rūpas and nāmas, if new ones fail to arise, that is the moment to die. Thus death can come about at any moment. How frighteningly miserable life is. It is also realized that everything happens of its own accord, subject to nobody's control, and, therefore, is anatta (non-self). All these acts of realization are Right Viewing. Inclining the mind to such viewing is sammā Saṅkappa. Sammā diṭṭhi and Sammā Saṅkappa, these two are Paññā (wisdom) Maggaṅgas.
The three Sammādhi Maggaṅgas and the two Paññā Maggaṅgas are described in the commentaries as the five Karaka Maggaṅgas which may be stated as the five workers. In worldly life, where a job can only be finished by five workers as a team, it needs to be done by them unitedly (in Harmony). In the same way, these Maggaṅgas are in harmony with every completed act of noting and knowing. Every time these five Maggaṅgas gather strength through such harmony (or concord), extraordinary vipasanā insight develops.
Next, abstaining from unwholesome bodily acts of killing, stealing, illicit sexual conduct are Sammā Kammanta. Abstaining from verbal acts of telling lies, backbiting, abusing and frivolous talk, Sammā Vācā. Abstaining from unlawful livelihood is Sammā Ājīva. These Maggaṅgas constitute Sīla Maggaṅga. These Maggaṅgas are accomplished with the taking and observing of the precepts. So are they with every act of noting (in meditation). So are the eight Maggaṅgas developed with every act of noting, With the attainment of Nibbāna getting nearer and nearer in the same way as in walking; every step brings one nearer and nearer to one's destination. Just as with the last step you arrive at your destination, so also you attain Nibbāna with the last act of noting.
Therefore beginning with noting the rising and falling of the abdomen, we are to constantly observe the arising of the psychophysical phenomena as much as we can. With such observation, may you develop extraordinary vipassanā insight, rapidly attaining Ariya Magga-Ñāṇa (knowledge of the noble Path) and Nibbāna!
Sādhu! Sādhu! Sādhu!
The Teaching of The Buddha-Sāsanā
etaṃ Buddhāna' sāsanaṃ,
Not to do all evil,
to be full of good,
to completely purify one's mind-
this is the teaching of the Buddha.
This indeed is the sāsanā, the teaching, of all the Buddhas. The evil not to be done, to be abstained from, according to the first of the three teachings, comprises the bad deeds that arise from greed, hatred and ignorance. There are bad deeds of body as well as bad deeds of speech and bad deeds of thought.
Bad deeds of body are killing living creatures, stealing other people's things and having sexual relations with unlawful persons. Only these three are given briefly as bad deeds of body in the commentaries. To abstain from these three bad deeds one needs just to observe the five precepts, one says, "Pānātipātā veramaṇi sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi (I under take the rule of training to refrain from killing of creatures), Addiñadānā veramaṇi sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi (I undertake the rule of training to refrain from stealing things of other people), Kāmesu micchācārā veramaṇi sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi (I under take the rule of training to refrain from sexual immorality)."
Bad deeds of speech are briefly given as, (1) telling lies that cause damage to someone, (2) backbiting speech that can cause dissension among those who are friendly and in harmony, (3) harsh speech, curse, threats, and (4) fruitless speech. Abstention from them is completed when one observes the precept, "Musāvādā veramaṇi sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi (I under take the rule of training to refrain from false speech)".
If one abstains from these seven bad deeds of body and speech, one has abstained from the bad deed of wrong means of livelihood (micchā ājīva) as well.
Why do we have to abstain from these bad deeds? These bad deeds are blameworthy while they arise and they bring bad results when they bear fruit. How? Killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying they are blameworthy things in the eyes of the wise and the Righteous. Creatures have to suffer because of these bad deeds. It is like eating bad food which is a blameworthy act. Because they are blameworthy while they arise, we must abstain from bad deeds. Besides, they bring bad results like being censured in present life. If a person commits a crime, he gets punishment. In future births, too, he goes down to Hell, and suffering great miseries there. Or, he is born a Peta and suffers the miseries of a Peta. Or, he is born an animal and suffers the miseries of an animal. Even if he is born a human being as a result of some good deed, he meets with such miseries as a short life, too much illness, and poverty, as a result of bad deeds. Because they bring such bad results, one has to abstain from bad deeds.
According to the commentaries, the Buddha taught us to refrain from and to get rid of these bad deeds, three bad deeds of body and four of speech, by way of moral habit. But the bad deeds of mind cannot be got rid of by mere moral conduct. Only the good deed of meditation can do that. The ridding of the bad feed of mind can be brought about by developing mediation. If one abstains from doing what ought not to be done by body and from speaking what ought not to be spoken by mouth, one is following the first part of the Buddha's teaching. Not to do all evil.
The good deed to be done, to make become, to increase, in accordance with the second part of the Teaching comprises (1) good deed of giving alms (Dāna), (2) good deed of restraint of body and speech (Sīla), (3) good deed of peace of mind (Samādhi), (4) good deed of insight into the impermanent nature of things and so on (vipassanā) and (2) good deed of the realization of Nibbāna (Ariya-magga). These five in all.
Of the five, the first, giving alms, Dāna, is something everybody knows. Those who believe in and understand Kamma and its results give what they can. The giving, while it is being done, does not bring blame from the wise and the good. They have only to praise it, saying, what a giver for the well being, for the happiness of others! That is we say giving is a good deed. Moreover, when it comes to bearing fruit, giving brings in good results. It brings praise and admiration in the present life, this is plain enough. In future existences, too, it will cause one to arise in the worlds of men and devas, (gods) and bring him such good things as a long life, good looks, good health, and affluence. Because it brings such good results, we say it is a good deed. All good deeds are like that, while they arise, they are blameless. In future, too, they bring happiness. That is why they are called good deeds. It is like taking good food. While it is being eaten, it is blameless. One only praises it. Later, it generates energy and brings good health. All good deeds are just like that. Blameless while being done they all bring good results in the future. Therefore the Buddha taught us to be full of good deeds, to do them, to make them become. A splendid teaching indeed.
The second one, good deed of moral conduct, is the same as "not to do all evil" we talk about in the beginning. But to abstain from evil is blameless, and gives rise to good deed of moral conduct which brings good results. So, to emphasize it, we are again urged to make become this good deed of moral conduct. This advice given to us so that we may become blameless and gain the happiness we want is splendid teaching, too.
With regard to the good deed of concentration, there is calm-concentration (Samatha) and there is insight concentration (Vipassanā). Of the two, regarding calm concentration, there are forty subjects of meditation, including the ten devices, the ten foul things, the ten recollections, and others. Here we have no time to go into details. If you are interested you can read about them in a translation of Visuddhi Magga. However, of the forty, Ānāpāna is easy to understand and can be explained in brief. Some non-Buddhists, too, meditate ānāpāna (respiration). According to Buddha's teaching, it is done like this; Fix your attention on the tip of the nostrils. Every time air comes in or out through the tip of the nostrils you note "It is coming in" or "it is going out". If, while thus noting, the mind wonders away, bring it to the nostrils go on noting. As you go on noting like this, your mind gets fixed to this incoming and out going breath and peace of mind or concentration is developed. Then, all your mental pains and strains are calmed and you feel peaceful and happy. So, this good deed of concentration, while it arise, is blameless and brings happiness. When Jhāna-concentration is developed you will be reborn in your next life in the Brahmā World and live for aeons. If from this Jhāna-concentration you develop insight meditation, you can attain the Ariya Path and Fruition. That is while the Buddha taught us to develop calm-concentration. In-sight concentration belongs to good deed of insight.
The fourth good deed, that of insight, is the good deed by which one sees for oneself the impermanence and so on of mind and matter whenever one sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches or thinks. To Buddhists, development of this good deed of insight is the most important of all only when a person has acquired this good deed of insight will he reach the Ariyan Path and Fruit and attain Nibbāna, the end of all sufferings. Of all worldly good deeds, the good deed of insight is the best. How does one strive to make become this good deed of insight?
Developing Good Deed of Insight
Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta Says;
"..........gacchanto vā gacchāmīti pajānāti" (A bhikkhu when he walks is aware 'I am walking'.)
Accordingly, when you walk, you must concentrate on the lifting of the foot, pushing it forth, and putting it down, and note either "walking" or "right step," "left step," or "lifting" "pushing forward", "dropping" while you are standing, concentrate on the body standing still and note "standing" "standing", or concentrate on the abdomen moving as you breathe and note "rising" "falling". If you sit down, concentrate on how you move from standing to sitting down and note "sitting down, sitting down" When you are seated, you may change the position of your limbs. Note all these movements, thus "bending" "stretching" "moving". When there is no movement, you are quietly settled in your seat, either concentrate on the body staying stiff and note "sitting" "sitting", or the concentrate on the abdomen moving and note "rising" "falling" "rising" "falling". While you are thus noting, your mind will go away somewhere else. Then you note "going away" "thinking" "considering" and so on. You may note using whatever language you are used to. This kind of meditating on the mind is Cittānupassanā, contemplation of the mind. If you note like this, the thinking will not go on. It will cease. Then you can go back to noting the rising and falling of the abdomen as before.
If something painful, something hard to bear comes up to the body, you must note it thus; "feeling pain" "feeling pain". Sometimes the pain grows more acute as you note on, then you will have to endure it as much as you can and go on meditating. If it gets beyond your endurance, you will have to change the position of your limbs. But when you change, note every move beginning with the intension to change. If the pain disappears either as a result of your noting of it or because you have changed the limbs positions, you can return to noting the rising and falling. Here, meditation on the pain is Vedanānuppasanā, contemplation of feeling. When you hear or see some thing, you concentrate on the phenomenon that has appeared and note "hearing" "hearing" or "seeing" "seeing". This kind of noting is meditation about which it is said in Satipaṭṭhān Sutta; "........ Cakkhun ca pajānāti, rūpe ca pajānāti (he understands the eye, and understands the visible form he understands the ear, and the audible sounds) and is called Dhammānupassanā, contemplation of the Dhammas."
Noting and understanding every movement like walking, standing, sitting, laying down, bending, stretching, rising and falling and so on, as we have said, is the good deed of insight called Kāyanupassanā, contemplation of body. Noting "feeling pain" and so on, and understanding all the pleasant, "unpleasant and neutral feeling is the good deed of Vedanānupassanā, contemplation of feelings." Whenever thinking, imaginating, arises noting as "thinking", "imagining" and so on, and understanding every thought or imagination that comes up, is the good deed of insight called Cittānupassanā, contemplation of consciousness. Whenever seeing, hearing and so on arises, noting as "seeing" "seeing" "hearing" "hearing" and so on, and understanding them as a Dhamma is the good deed of insight called Dhmmānupassanā, contemplation of the Dhamma.
As you thus note on and your concentration grow stronger, you understand "that which is cognized is one thing. That which cognizes is another." "You distinguish between matter (rūpa) and mind (nāma). This is Nāmarūpaparicched añāṇa, the knowledge of Determination of Nāma and Rūpa."
As you go on noting, you know for yourself "From the intention to move arises the from movement. From intension to bend arises the form bending. From the intention to stretch arises the form stretching. Because there is visible form, one sees. Because there is eye, one sees. Because there is audible sound, one hears." Because there is ear, one hears because there is notable object, there is noting and so on. You realize how there exist cause and effect only. This full understanding of cause and effect is Paccaya-pariggahañāṇa, Knowledge of discerning of the cause.
After that, as knowledge and concentration gain further strength, you see for yourself how the object noted and the noting of it come up anew and immediately pass away. They come and come up anew and pass and pass away, so they are all impermanent, this you plainly see. This is the good deed of insight called Aniccānupassanā, insight into impermanence. If after the passing away of old rūpas and nāmas new ones fail to arise, that is the moment to die. One can die any moment whenever the rūpas and nāmas pass away. One realizes what a dreadful situation it is, what a suffering. This is the good deed of insight called Dukkhanupassanā, contemplation of suffering. They do not act as you wish them to act. They come and go according to their nature. They are out of your control. So, they are all anatta, not self. This you plainly see. This is the good deed of insight called Anattānupassanā, contemplation of not self.
Of the good deeds of insight, one is Udayabbayañāṇa, the knowledge of Arising and Passing, by which one feels the very rapid arising passing away of things. When this knowledge comes, one finds bright lights all around one. One's whole body feels weightless and one experiences an extreme happiness never before experienced. The mind, too, is in ruptures. One finds that even those illnesses and pains so hard to bear before have now disappeared altogether. When one comes to the Knowledge of indifference to Formations, Saṇkhā-rupekkha-ñāṇa, one finds every act of awareness to be so peaceful and subtle. This is a brief statement of how one experiences extraordinary happiness never before enjoyed, while a good deed of insight arises.
When the insight knowledge of indifference to formations gains strength, the yogī realizes the Nibbāna through the Ariyan Path knowledge. This too is a good deed of Arian Path, that has to be developed. When he has made become the first of the four good deed of the Path-the Sotāpatti Path, its result, Sotāpatti Fruition, followed immediately. Once he had reached Sotāpatti Path and its Fruition and become a Sotapaññā, a streams-winner, he is free forever from the four lower states of Hell Animals, Petas and Asurakāyas. When born man or deva (god) he is born to the higher ranks of man or deva, never to the lower. And these rebirths as man or deva will be seven at most. Within the seven rebirths, by virtue of the good deed of insight, he will reach the Arahat Path and its Fruition and become an Arahat. Once an Arahat, he attains Nibbāna, the end of all sufferings. That is while the Buddha taught us to be full of the good deeds of insight as well as the good deeds of the Ariyan Path.
To thus make become the good deeds of insight and the good deeds of the Ariyan Path is what is meant in the Buddha's teaching; "To be full of good".
The third teaching says, "To completely purify one's mind" To purify completely means to strive to cleanse oneself forever of moral impurities like greed, hatred, and delusion and never let them arise again. This is the same as telling us to develop the good deed of Arahat Path and work for attainment of the Arahat Fruition. To the Arahat who has reached the Arahat Fruition, no matter what cognizable object he meets with, neither passion nor ill will nor delusion arises. Never do these moral impurities arise in him. He is purified forever. This purification comes to one immediately after one makes becomes the good deed of Arahat Path. No other effort need to be made. So to reach the Arahat Path one must develop the good deed of insight.
The Bohisatta himself meditated on the arising and passing away of physical and mental aggregates of grasping, whenever he seeing, hearing, and so on, became manifest. Thus meditating he realizes Nibbāna by means of the Arahat Path, attained the Arahat Fruition and become the Buddha.
The disciples of the Buddha, too, meditated on the arising and passing away of matter and mind in the same way, reached Arahat Path and its Fruition and became Arahats. When a person has become an Arahat, his mind is cleansed of impurities like greed and so on, and is purified. So his mind no longer clings to any object what so ever. Therefore, after the passing away of the last consciousness at death (parinibbāna-Cuti-citta) no new nāma-rūpas, no new aggregates, will arise and he is freed from all sufferings forever.
It is for us to be free forever from the suffering of old age, suffering of illness, suffering of death, suffering of body, suffering of mind suffering of mind-and-matter Saṅkhāras and to gain happiness forever that the Buddha has given us the three Teachings.
Not to do all evil.
To be full of good.
To completely purify one's mind.
Now, in accordance with the three Teachings, let us try some meditation for about five minutes. "... ujum kāyaṃ panidhaya"... (He holds the upper part of his body straight). So, is it with your body from the waist "(upwards erect.)" ... parimukhaṃ satim upwards erect."... "parimukhaṃ statim upatthapetvā" (establishing the mindfulness towards the object which should be noted.) So fix your attention on the abdomen. As there is no need to look, close the eye.
As the abdomen rises, note "rising" As it falls, note "falling" You need not say the words "rising" and "falling" aloud. Just note mentally noting or meditating is trying to understand the arising matter and mind as they really are so, words are not important. What is important is that you know they moving in the abdomen. The moving in the abdomen is called Vāyodhātu in Pāḷi. So, you must mindfully follow this movement from the beginning of the rising to the end of it, and from the beginning of the following to the end of it. When the rising ends the following begins, there is no interval. You will have to mediate continuously.
But in the beginning of the practice your concentration is not strong enough yet. The mind is not stable and may often slip away. Note that wandering mind, too. "Imagining" "thinking" and so on, as the case may be noting this is Cittanupassanā, contemplation of the mind.
When you note thus, the imagining will stop. Then you can go back to the rising and falling. It you feel tired, hot or pain somewhere in the body, note "tired" "hot" "pain" and so on. This is Vedanānupassanā, Contemplation of feeling.
When mindfulness and concentration have grown stronger, the painful feelings during the noting may disappear as if taken away. There have been cases of people who got cured of some incurable illnesses while they were meditating. Very heartening indeed. But we are now meditating for just a few minutes and you will not have to note for long. Just note the pain three or four times and then go back to the rising and falling of the abdomen. If you hear a sound, note "hearing" "hearing" and then go back to the "rising" and "falling". For a few minutes meditation it is sufficient. If you note as I have instructed. Now, please note for about 5 minutes.
Times up. There can be about fifty or sixty acts of noting in a minute. In such act of noting the Dhammas comprising the eight Maggaṅgas are taking place. This is how they take place; the effort to note is Sammā Vāyama-right effort. The act of mindfulness is Sammā sati-right mindfulness. To remain concentrated on the object of meditation is Sammā Samādhi-Right Concentration, these three are Samādhi Maggaṅga.
Rightly understanding the object of meditation is Right view. Meditating for the first time like this, this understanding will not be very clear to you. But after forty, fifty, sixty, hours of meditation, your concentration grows stronger, your mind no longer wanders and it stays just where you are meditating. Then, when you note the rising of the abdomen, you very distinctly see that the rising is one thing and the noting of it is another. When you note the falling, you distinctly see that the falling is one thing and the noting of it is another. When you note "Moving" "and walking" you distinctly see that the moving of the walking is one thing and the noting of it is another. When you note "seeing" you distinctly see that the eye and the visible form are one thing and the seeing and the noting of it are another. When you note "hearing" you distinctly see that the ear and the audible sound are one thing and hearing and the noting of it are another. This briefly is how you develop the knowledge of the Determination of Nāma and Rūpa (Nāmarūpapariccheda-ñāṇa), the knowledge that distinguishes between matter (rūpa) and mind (nāma).
After such understanding, as your concentration and knowledge grow stronger, you again see for yourself. Because of respiration there come to be the forms rising and falling. Because there come to be the forms rising and falling, there comes to be noting as "rising" "falling". Because of the intention to move, you move. Because of the intention to walk, there comes to be noting "moving" "walking" Because there is visible form you see. Because there is the eye, you see. Because you see there comes to be noting as "seeing" "seeing". Because there is audible sound, you hear. Because there is the ear, you hear. Because you hear, there comes to be noting as "hearing". And so on. You see for yourself and realize the cause and the effect. This is Paccaya-Pariggaha-ñāṇa, the Knowledge of Discerning of the Cause. Then again, failure to note the seeing, hearing, and so on, leads one to the delusion that things are permanent, happy, good, and self. This delusion leads one to delight in them. The delight leads one to making an effort to obtain the things one has taken delight in. This action, Kamma, causes one to arise in more and more rebirths. Because of the rebirths one has to go through old age, illness, death, bodily and mental sufferings, wherever one is born. In this way higher wisdom comes to one who is intelligent. This understanding of the relationship between cause and effect in accordance with the law of Dependent Origination (Paṭicca Samuppāda) is again Paccaya-pariggahañāṇa.
After that, as concentration and knowledge grow stronger, you very plainly see how both the object being meditated on and the act of meditating arise and arise and instantly pass and pass away just as you are making note of them. Then you know for yourself; whatever arises and passes away is impermanent, suffering, not-self. Knowing on reflection is Sammasanañāṇa, Knowledge of comprehension. Knowing how things arise and pass away rapidly is Udayabbayañāṇa, the knowledge of arising and passing away. When the Knowledge of arising and passing away is attained, one sees bright lights around, great joy pervades one, both body and mind come to be in immense happiness. When one gains Bhaṅga-ñāṇa, the Knowledge of Passing away, even forms and shapes like arms, legs and body no longer manifest themselves and one finds both the things noted and the noting of them very swiftly passing and passing away. When the yogī gets to Saṅkhārupekkhā-ñāṇa, the Knowledge of Indifference to Formation awareness comes easily without himself making and effort to be aware. It is mere awareness and indifference to formations. One hour, two hours, three hours-and yet the yogī finds that he can sit up and go on meditating, very good it is. Really knowing as instructed above is Right View-sammā-diṭṭhi. Bringing one's mind to really knowing nāma-rūpa as they are is right thinking-Sammā saṅkappa. Right View (sammā diṭṭhi) and right thinking (sammā saṅkappa)-these two are Paññā-Maggaṅga, wisdom part of the Right Path.
The three factors of concentration part of the Right Path and the two factors of the wisdom part of the Right Path are said to be Karaka-maggaṅga; five active parts of the Right Path. In the Commentary they are described as five workers Maggaṅgas, in worldly life if a job can only be done by five workers as a team, it needs to be done by them unitedly (in harmony). In the same way these five active parts of the Right Path are in harmony with every act of noting and knowing. Every time these Five Active Parts (of the Right Path) gather strength through such harmony, extraordinary vipassanā insight develops.
Next abstaining from unwholesome some bodily acts of killing, stealing, and illicit sexual conduct are Sammā Kammanta. Abstaining from verbal acts of telling lies, backbiting, abusing and fruitless speech are Sammā Vacā. Abstaining from wrong means of livelihood is Sammā Ajīva. These three are Sīla maggaṅgas. These Maggaṅgas are accomplished with the taking and observing of the precepts. So are they with every act of noting. So are they eight Maggaṅgas developed with every act of noting, with the attainment of Nibbāna getting nearer and nearer in the same way as in walking; every step brings one nearer and nearer to one's destination, so also the yogī attains Nibbāna with the last act of noting.
So whenever opportunity arises you should meditate on the arising matter and mind, beginning with the rising and falling of the abdomen. By meditating in this way, may you be able to develop different insight knowledge's we have described and very soon attain and realize Nibbāna through the Ariyan Path Knowledge and Fruition knowledge.
Sādhu! Sādhu! Sādhu!
Satipaṭṭhāna-The Only Way
The Blessed One Has Taught Us
Ekāyano ayaṃ bhikkhave maggo sattānaṃ visuddhiyā sokaparidevānaṃ samatikkamāya dukkhadomānassānaṃ aṭṭhaṅgamāya ñāyassaadhigamāya nibbānassa sacchi-kiriyāya, yadidaṃ cattāro satipaṭṭahānā.
This is the only way, monks, that leads to the purification of beings, to the passing beyond sorrow and lamentation, to the cessation of suffering and miseries, to the attainment of the Right Path, and to the realization of Nibbāna; thus; The Four Ways of establishing Mindfulness.
Because there are in them kilesas (moral impurities) like greed and hate, beings do such evils as killing, causing injury, stealing, robbing, and lying. As a result of these evils, they suffer in four states of apāya (lower world). Even if, as a result of some good deed, they are born in the world of men, they suffer such miseries as untimely death, illness and poverty. These impurities cause them to be born again and again and thus to undergo suffering like old age, disease, and death. If one wishes to be free from these sufferings, one must strive to cleanse oneself of these impurities. To clean oneself from moral impurities there is but one way; the way of satipaṭṭhāṇa, in which one contemplates what is going on in one's mind and body. If one desires to get rid of the moral impurities like greed and hate, one has to follow this only way of satipaṭṭhāṇa. "Ekāyana" means "The Only way"-there is no other way, no alternative. If you walk straight on along the only road, you will not go astray, as there is no by road; You are sure to reach your destination. In the same way, as Satipaṭṭhāṇa is the only way and there is no other, if you go on your training yourself in Satipaṭṭhāṇa, you will ultimately attain Arhatship, the noble state of being cleansed once and for all from all impurities, all Kilesas. That is why the Buddha taught us to follow this road of Satipaṭṭhāṇa for the doing away of all Kilesas.
All the former Buddhas, Pacceka-Buddhas ("Silent Buddhas"), and Arahanttas practised this Satipaṭṭhāna Way, were purified and had reached Nibbāna, where all sufferings end. In future too, all the Great Ones will follow this Satipaṭṭhāna Way and reach Nibbāna. In the present world cycle also, the Buddha Gotama and his disciples cleansed themselves of defilements and reached Nibbāna by following this Satipaṭṭhāna Way. This fact was pointed out by Sahampati Brahmā god to the Buddha who agreed to it and preached it to us.
People grieve and bemoan for the loss of their husbands, wives, children, parents, those near and dear to them. They grieve also for the loss of their wealth. They grieve when they are suffering from some kind of disease. Of course, these are dreadful things. How peaceful it would be if there were no such things! Therefore, people should strive to put an end to all these miseries. But they cannot get away from them by just praying to whatever gods there be. Only by training this way of Satipaṭṭhāna can they put and end to all sufferings. During the time of the Buddha, there was a young woman called Paṭācārā, who lost her husband her two sons, her parents, and her brother, all those near and dear to her. She was so overwhelmed with grief that she was driven to madness. One day she came to where the Blessed One was preaching, heard the Lord's Dhamma, took up the Satipaṭṭhāna meditation and them all her sorrows and lamentation came to an end and she gained peace of mind forever.
To day, too, there have been people who have lost sons, husbands, daughters, wives and parents and are also stricken with grief that they cannot eat and sleep. They come to us, and after taking up Satipaṭṭhāna meditation under our guidance, are relieved of their sorrows in a matter of four, five or ten days. The number of such people is now over a thousand.
The practice of Satipaṭṭhāna will lead one to the cessation of sorrows and lamentations not only in this existence but in the existences to come as well. So if you want to put an end to these sorrows and lamentations, you have to take up this way of Satipaṭṭhāna meditation.
Further more, beings in the world are suffering because there exist bodily and mental sufferings. If these bodily and mental sufferings could be removed, they would be able to live in comfort and happiness. Bodily sufferings are those aches and pains in the body, which are caused by diseases, by other people, by climatic condition such as extreme heat or cold, by accidents such as tripping over, being pierced with a thorn, falling of, falling down, and so on. Mental sufferings are distress, sorrow, and such like, which are caused by loss of dear ones, loss of wealth, meeting danger or desires unfulfilled. No one can save beings from these bodily and mental sufferings. Only the practice of Satipaṭṭhāna meditation can bring about a cessation of these ills. There are cases of people who have had worries over their business failures but who find peace of mind by practising Satipaṭṭhāna meditation. In some cases, people who are suffering from incurable diseases are cured of their bodily pains by practising Satipaṭṭhāna meditation. How ever, to do away with bodily and mental sufferings once and for all will be possible only when one has perfected oneself in Satipaṭṭhāna practice and reached the path and Fruition of Arahatship.
Only the Arahat after Parinibbāna (passing away) leaves behind all sufferings, both bodily and mental, for all time. That is why we must follow this Way of Satipaṭṭhāna in order to put an end to all sufferings and enjoy eternal peace.
Beings keep on being reborn and suffering old age, disease and death because there are in them, moral impurities (kilesas) like greed and hate. These kilesas which constitute the cause of suffering can be eliminated only by the Ariyan Path. And the Ariyan Path can be reached only through the practice of Satipaṭṭhāna. Moreover Nibbāna, the end of all sufferings, can be attained only by this way of Satipaṭṭhāna. So, to reach the Ariyan Path which put an end to all Kilesas to attain Nibbāna which means the ceasing of all sufferings, we will have to walk along the Way of Satipaṭṭhāna.
The way of Satipaṭṭhāna consists of four parts-
(1) Kāyānupassanā Satipaṭṭhāna
(2) Vedanānupassanā Satipaṭṭhāna
(3) Citānupassanā Satipaṭṭhāna and
(4) Dhammānupassanā Satipaṭṭhāna.
Of the four, Kāyānupassanā Satipaṭṭhāna is contemplation of the physical aggregate called "body" (Kāya) there are fourteen way of contemplating the body. The first is Ānāpānasati meditation. "Ānāpāna" means breath inhaled and exhaled. Every time air is breathed in and out through the nostrils, one makes note of the inbreathing and out breathing. By so noting, Jhānic concentration is developed and from this Jhāna one cultivates insight into the impermanent nature of mental and physical phenomena. It is explained thus in the commentaries.
The second is contemplation of walking, standing and such like. We will come to this in detail later.
The third is contemplating with four comprehensions. We will come to this later too.
The fourth is contemplating of the thirty two parts of the body such as hair of the head hairs of the body, nails, teeth, skin and so on. When jhānic concentration is developed by contemplating these, insight can be brought about from it.
The fifth is developing insight by contemplating four elements. Again, we will come to this later.
The remaining nine (from the sixth to fourteenth) contemplations are comparing one's body with a dead body to arouse loathsomeness.
Now, we will come to the second of the fourteen contemplations of the body (Kāyānupassanā). "Gacchanto vā gacchāmīti pajānāti" A bhikkhu when he is walking comprehends "I am walking". By this we are taught to note and understand what really is happening whenever a bodily movement takes place.
So, when you walk, you must concentrate on the bodily movement involved in the walking and note "walking, walking". Though it should be taught fully as "I am walking" "I am standing" and so on, to quicken the noting are teaching our disciples to note "walking" "standing" and so on. You note every step from the lifting of the foot to putting it down. Or, you must note "right step, left step" when walking fast. Or lifting, pushing forward, dropping. When you stop walking and stand still, you concentrate on the body that is there standing erect and note unremittingly; "standing standing" When you sit-down you concentrate on the manner the body slumps down and note "sitting, sitting". When you have sat, you may change the positions of your arms, legs or body. Note every change then. If there is no change and you are just sitting there quietly, concentrate on the body sitting stiff and note "sitting, sitting" Your effort may slacken if you are noting only one thing, like sitting. In that case you can combine it with some other things, say, touching with something. You must note "sitting, touching". Better still, as you are sitting, the rising and falling of the abdomen is something very plainly felt. Concentrate on this rising and falling and note "rising," "falling." This amounts to contemplating a bodily movement in the abdomen. Any form of bodily movement should be noted as it has been said;
"Yathā yathā vā pan'assa kāyo panīhito hoti tathātathā naṃ pajānāti, (Whatever the posture of the body is, he is aware of it.)"
This teaching shows that we should note every bodily movement-moving of the limbs, closing and opening of the eyes, moving of the abdomen and so on, and try to perceive it as it really is. That is why we instruct our disciples to begin with noting of the rising and falling of the abdomen, which is plain to all. Those who noted as instructed and gained insight are now more than a hundred thousand.
When you lie down, you have to do so, noting every bodily movement involved. While so lying down you can gain supramundane knowledge. This was what led the Venerable Ānandā to become an Arahat.
One day, exactly three months and four days after the Buddha's parinibbāna, the venerable ānandā was trying to become an Arahat walking up and down since evening. As it is said that he was practising in "Cankama Walk". He must have been noting right step, left step, rising, pushing forward, and dropping, in the manner we have just described above. The whole night he walked and meditated till dawn came near, yet he had not attained the Arahatship he longed for, Venerable Ānandā Thought; "I have done my utmost. I don't think I need to exert harder. Why haven't I attained Wisdom yet the lord has encouraged me with the words, 'Ānandā, you have had sufficient pāramī, perfections. Strive on and you will soon be an Arahat.' Surely these are words of truth. I have been walking the whole night, so, I must have overtaxed my strength and slackened my concentration. That is why I have made no progress. To balance energy and concentration, I will lie down and work." So he entered his room and sat down on a couch. Then he lay down. While he was so lying down, he progressed, stage by stage, along the path of insight and higher wisdom and became an Arahat. That's what we have been talking about noting while lying down and attaining Arahatship before circumstances, enlightenment can be very qui indeed! It is important to note whatever bodily movement there is.
I have said enough on the second Kāyānupassanā meditation. While so noting, you see for yourself and understanding arising and passing away of physical phenomena of your body. That's what is said in the passage.
Samudayadhammānupassi vā kāyasmim viharati, vaya-dhammānupassi vā kāyasmim viharati ("He abides contemplating either the arising or the passing away of things in body or the arising and passing away of things in the body").
When you note, "walking", the walking is rūpa, matter, non-sentient thing, and the noting is nāma, consciousness, that which is sentient. Thus you distinguish between nāma and rūpa. When you note the abdomen "rising" the rising is rūpa and the noting is nāma. You distinguish between nāma and rūpa. Then again, the desire to walk gives rise to the physical act of walking, the desire to stand gives rise to the physical act of standing, and so on and so forth. You make these distinctions and understand things as well as your pāramī (perfection acquired from birth) allows. When you understand these, you understand that there is only this arising and passing away, instant-by-instant, and nothing else. You become detached from them without any delusion that is a self, an atta. You no longer look upon things as permanent, suffering, not self. This is what is said in the scripture; "Anissito ca viharati" (The Bhikkhu abides detached or independent). Once perfection in such knowledge of impermanence and so on you realise Nibbāna and attain the Ariyan Path and its Fruition of Arahatta, you become an Arahat. Once an Arahat you are free from all sufferings after your parinibbāna (passing away). The least thing for your atta it is the Path and Fruition of Sotāpatti. Once a Sotāpanna, a stream winner, you will never be born again in the Apāya or lower state of existence. So, we must to attain at least Sotāpannaship.
The Four sampajaññas
Now we will come to cultivating the four Sampajaññas (comprehensions). They are
(3) Gocara-Sampajañña and
When you are about to do something or say something, you have to consider. Whether it will be useful or not and do or speak only what is useful. Such kind of consideration is Satthakasampajañña. Even if it is useful, you must again consider. Whether it will be suitable or not, and do or speak only what is suitable. This is Sappaya-sampajañña. These two Sampajaññas may be used with profit in worldly matters as well. When meditating, you may wish to do so walking or sitting and come to the decision after considering which is useful and which suitable. Of course, when you are contemplating in earnest, you need not consider these things. You just go on with your noting.
The third one, Gocara-Sampajañña, is, to the meditator, just noting without a let-up the physical and mental phenomena that keep on arising. As you go on meditating with Gocara-Sampajañña, your concentration becomes stronger and you see for yourself the incessant arising and passing away of things. You very clearly understand how impermanent, how miserable, how lacking a self, all psychophysical phenomena are. This understanding is Asammoha-Sampajañña. Asammoha-"with out delusion". Sampajañña "Understanding or comprehension".
This kind of meditating and understanding explained in these words; "Abhikkante patikkante Sampajañña Kari hoti-"both in advancing and retreating, he acts mindfully." We are told by this to note and know every step taken in advancing or retreating. This is noting right step, left step, lifting, pushing forward, and putting down, and so on and so forth, as we have earlier explained. Thus noting what should be noted is Gocaru-sampajañña. As you go on noting, your concentration becomes very strong and you distinguish between rūpa and Nāma. You know the walking in Rūpa and the observing of it is Nāma. You may not be able to say Pāḷi words rūpa and Nāma but if you know the difference between "what-is-to-be-cognized" and "what cognizes" that is enough. Then again you understand that the intention to walk gives rise to walking, walking gives rise to the noting of walking. You distinguish between the cause and effect. Again the intention to walk, the walking and the noting of it-all pass away in no time at all. You understand very clearly how they are impermanent. This understanding of things as they really are is Asammoha-Sampajañña.
Alokite vilokite sampajañña-kari hoti-in looking forward or back ward, he acts mindfully. Whenever you look and see, you must note, "looking", "seeing". This is Gocara-sampajañña. As you note on, you realize how all the looking, seeing, noting pass away instantly. Thus understanding their impermanent nature and so forth is Asammoha-sampajañña. Ordinary people think what they see is lasting, and they think the same of their seeing. This is common illusion. When your concentration is strong, you early perceives for yourself, how the thing seen, and the seeing and noting pass away as instantly as flashes of lighting. Scientist from Europe and America has shown that there are thirty pictures a second being projected on the screen and 50 cycles a second in alternating current. But these rapid changes are not visible to the ordinary human eye; the meditator who has comes to the stage of Bhaṅga-ñāṇa (knowledge of passing away) perceives very clearly how the thing seen, the seeing and the noting pass away swiftly. The greater the perfection, the better you're perceiving that they pass swiftly away. You understand very clearly how all are impermanent, how they all lack happiness, or refuge, how all are mere psychophysical phenomena without a self or an atta. This is Asammoha-sampajañña.
Saminjite pasarite sampajañña-kani hoti-in bending or straightening, he acts mindfully. When you bend or straighten your arms and legs you must note, "bending" "straightening". While noting thus you must bend or straighten very slowly. As you meditate thus you will find all acts of bending and straightening and passing away swiftly. You understand clearly how both the bending, straightening and the noting are Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta-impermanent, suffering and not self, this is Asammohasampajañña.
Likewise in using the robes and bowl, you note and use them. In eating and drinking, you note and eat and drink. In answering the call of nature, you note and do so. You note in falling asleep, awakening, speaking, and so forth. These acts of noting and understanding impermanence and so on are Gocarasampajañña and Asammoha-sampajañña respectively.
The Four Elements
As you go on meditating in the way we have explained, you may come across what feel hard and rigid. Then you know it for Pathavīdhātu, the earth element of solidity. When heat, warmth, or cold is manifest, you know it for Tejo-dhātu, the fire element or temperature. When tenseness, the stiffness, pushing or motion is manifest, you know it for Vāyodhatu, Air element or motion. When fluidity or liquidity is manifest, you know it for Āpodhātu, the water element or cohesion. You clearly perceive that there are only these elements in this material body, there is no self or atta living there in. Again, as these four elements arise and pass away very rapidly you understand how they are Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta-impermanences, suffering, not self. When you know these things as they are and when that knowledge has matured you can realize the Nibbāna by Ariyan Path. You can now become a Sotāpanna, a stream winner, and so on.
Sādhu! Sādhu! Sādhu!
Satipaṭṭhāna-The Only Way
Yesterday we delivered the first part of our lecture on Satipaṭṭhāna. To day we will continue with the second part. Regarding the contemplation of Feelings the Blessed one has said.
Sukhaṃ vā vedanām vedayamā no sukhaṃ vedanām vedayamīti pājanāti, dukkhaṃ vā vedanām adukkhaṃ asukhaṃ vā vedanām vedayama noadukkhaṃ asukkhaṃ vedanām vedayamīti pājanāti.
"(A monk) When feeling a pleasant feeling is aware I feel a pleasant feeling or when feeling a painful feeling; or when the feeling is neither pleasant nor painful is aware I am feeling a natural feeling".
If sensation of tiredness or pain occur in the body while noting the rising and falling (of the abdomen), you should concentrate on this and note "feeling tired" "feeling pain". If the feeling disappeared as you note, you can go back to noting the rising and falling. If the unpleasant sensation increases, you should try to bear them as much as you can. The Myanmar saying "Endurance leads to nibbāna' is a good one to remember when you note the sharp pains. If you bear the pain and go on noting it, the pain often disappears. If it so disappears, you go on with the noting of rising and falling and your insight will make great progress If, however, the pain persists and proves almost unbearable. You may change your posture. But when you change, do slowly and note every move very carefully. This is how one meditates on unpleasant feelings of the body."
As you are noting, unpleasant thoughts, too, may come up in your mind. You may feel miserable or "disheartened " They will very soon pass away as you note on. Then, go back to noting the rising and falling. If a pleasant feeling arises in the body, you note "peasant pleasant" If happiness or joy arises in the mind, you just note "happy, joy" Such happy moods of the mind come to you in torrents when you gain Udayabbaya-ñāṇa, the knowledge of arising and passing away. You will also experience great joy or rapture (Pīti). This, too, you will have to note "rapture" "rapture".
The neutral feeling (Upekkhā), which is neither painful nor pleasant often happens in the mind or in the body. But as a sensation it is hard to discern. Only when concentration is especially strong, will this neither painful nor pleasant neutral feeling come to prominence after the disappearance of pain and before the appearance of pleasure, or after the disappearance of pleasure and before the appearance of pain. You should note this natural feeling, too. It is when the knowledge of the arising and passing away is well developed and the knowledge of Passing Away is gained that the natural felling becomes apparent. More so when the knowledge of Indifference of formations' (Saṅkhārupekkha-ñāṇa) is achieved. In that case you must note this upekkhā, the natural feeling.
When your concentration is very strong and while you note "tired" "hot" "pain", you will find these sensation breaking up into pieces. To ordinary people the tiredness, the hotness and the pain seem to last very long but to the mindful meditator they are just chips, small pieces, fragments, and they do not cause much pain. He feels at ease. If he goes on meditating, even violent pains can be got rid of. So it is said "Samudaya dhammānupassi vā ... vaya dhammānupassi vā ...samudaya-vaya-dhammānupassi vā vedanāsu viharati. "He abides contemplating either the arising or passing away of things in feelings or the arising and passing away of things in feelings."
While thus contemplating the arising and passing away of feelings, one can reach the Ariyan Path Fruition and become a Sotāpanna [or such a one]. And that is Vedanānupassanā Satipaṭṭhāna, Establishing Mindfulness through Contemplation of Feelings.
Contemplation of Mind
Regarding Cittānupassanā, contemplation of mind, it is said; "Sarāgaṃ vā cittaṃ vitaragaṃ cittaṃ ti pājanāti, vitaragaṃ cittaṃ ti pājanāti- (a monk) is aware of a passionate mind as a "passionate mind", of a dispassionate minds as "dispassionate mind" and so on for the sixteen types of mind.
So, if, while you are noting the rising and falling of the abdomen, a passionate mind arises, you must note "passionate mind". As you so note, the passionate mind disappears. Then a dispassionate mind shows up. Note it as "dispassionate mind". In the like manner, if an angry mind arises, note "angry mind". When the angry mind disappears, note the angry mind as well. If there comes up a deluded mind with such wrong thoughts, as "I am permanent", "I am happy", "I is I ", note it as "delusion". Similarly, if a wandering mind appears, note as such. If a lazy mind appears, "lazy". You note whatever mind that appears and are aware of it. When concentration is strong, whenever you note, you will find them arising and passing away, never stopping for a moment. So, "Samudaya dhammānupassi vā cittasamim viharati-he abide contemplating either the arising or the passing away of things in mind. While thus meditating on the arising and passing away of mind, you can reach the Ariyan Path and Fruition and become s Sotapaññā [or such a one]. And that is how one develops Contemplation of Mind."
Contemplation of Dhammas
Now we will come briefly to Dhammānupassanā, contemplation of dhamma. The blessed One has taught Dhammānupassanā in five parts. The first is the contemplation of nīvaraṇas. Nīvaraṇa means "hindrance". What do they hinder? They hinder one from developing concentration, or from developing insight. There are six of them, 1. Kāmacchanda-sensual desire, 2. Vyāpāda-anger 3. Thina-middha. Torpor and sloth. 4. Uddhacca-flurry, 5. Kukkucca-worry, and 6. Vicikicchā-Doubt. In the Pāḷi text Uddhacca and Kukkucca are counted as one, so, there are five only. If you separate. Thina and Middha, there will be seven nīvaraṇas in all.
If, while you are noting rising and falling of the abdomen, sensual desire arises, you must note as sensual "pleasure" "desire" and so forth. That you should so note is pointed out in the text; "santaṃ vā ajjhattaṃ kāmacchandam'atthi me ajjhattaṃ kāmacchando ti pājanāti "a bhikku who has existing in himself a sensual desire is aware " "There is in me a sensual desire as one thus notes, the sensual desire disappears." This appearance of desire, too, should be noted. Sensual desire arises as a result of ignorance, because one has failed to note the first thought. One must understand that this ignorance of the real nature of things gives rise to it. As he meditates and understands the truth, sensual desire causes to arise. This fact, too, should be understood. Once he reaches the Path of Arahatship, he has completely done away with such desires. You must understand that an Arahat is free from such desires. Thus one should know concerning sensual desire.
In this same way, when anger arises, one notes and is aware "I am angry". When one feels dull and lazy, note "I feel dull", "I feel lazy". When one gets flurried, note "I am getting flurried". When he feels worried because he has done or said something wrong, he must note "I am worried". If he harbors doubt about the Buddha or Dhamma, note and be aware of the doubt. One often mistakes doubts for ideas. If a yogī keeps on noting whatever arise in him, the nīvaraṇas are done away with. They come about as a result of ignorance. Once he fully aware of them, they ceases to arise. The Ariyan Path puts an end to them once and for all. While meditating, one understands arising and passing away of the Nīvaraṇa he is noting. This understanding will lead him to the Ariyan Path and its Fruition. This, in brief, is the contemplation of Hindrances.
Contemplation of the Aggregates
As you meditate on matter saying "walking", "standing", "sitting", "rising", "falling", you know for yourself, "This is matter," that which knows not. It arises thus and passes away thus. When you note "pain" "good" "happy" and so on you know for yourself, "this is vedanā, pleasant or unpleasant feeling. It arises thus and passes away thus". When you note "Striving" "acting" "speaking" you know for yourself, "These are activities, Saṅkhāras. They arise thus and they pass away thus". When you note "thinking", "conscious," you know for yourself. "This is citta, mind consciousness. It arises thus and passes away thus." While you meditate in this way on the arising and passing away of rūpa, vedanā and so on, you can reach the Ariyan Path and Fruition and become a Sotāpanna and so forth, (This, in brief, is, although people may not know the Pāḷi technical terms rūpa, vedanā, saññā, saṅkhārā, viññaṇa, if they know matter or what-know-not, feeling, perception, activities, consciousness, that will do.)
Contemplation of Sense Bases
One who, while seeing, notes "seeing" "seeing" has his concentration strengthened and comes to know not only the visible object but also the seeing, as well as the eye, which is the organ of seeing. Of the three, the eye is called Cakkhāyatana, eye organ, eye from which arises seeing consciousness. The visible object is called Rūpāyatana, form organ, from which arises seeing consciousness, The seeing is called Manāyatana, mind organ, from which the act of consciousness (That is Phasa, vedanā and so on). Failure to note what you see, or, even if you note it, to understand the arising and passing, the impermanence and so on, makes arise Samyojanas or fetters such as pleasure in the visible objects. You must know the rising of the fetters, too. If the fetters passes away as a result of your noting it, you must know it, too. Once you reach Ariyan Path, these fetters cease to arise and this, too, you must know, this is how you meditate and understand with regard to seeing.
In the same way, one who, while hearing, notes "hearing" "hearing" understands the form ear and the form audible sound. One who, while smelling, notes "smelling" "smelling" understands the form nose and the form odour. One who, while tasting food, notes "tasting" "tasting" understands the form tongue and the form taste. One, who, while touching, notes "touching" "touching" and so on, understands the form body and the form tangible object. (Meditation on walking, standing, sitting, and rising and such like belong to this contemplation of touch. That is why we say "touching" and so on) One who notes "thinking" "thinking" while he is thinking, understands the form that is the base of consciousness and Dhammāyatana or mental states and the consciousness or manāyatana. If you do not know them as they are, because you have failed to note them, fetters like sensual desire arise in the āyatanas. This arising too, must be noted. If on your timely noting, they pass away, note this, too. When on your reaching the Ariyan Path these fetters cease to arise altogether, you must know it, too.
By noting "seeing" "hearing" and so on, and understanding the real nature of eye, visible object, seeing and so on, you can be on the Ariyan Path and become a Sotāpanna or such a one. (This in brief, is Contemplation of Sense and -Bases. Here, samyojanas of fetters are kilesas or lower natures which, like ropes that bind oxen, bind up to be born again and again in Samsāra. The Round of Rebirth. They are 1. Kāmarāga-sensual passion. 2. Patigha-anger, 3. Māna-pride 4. Diṭṭhi-wrong views, Views that mistake mind and matter for self and so on. 5. vicikicchā-doubt, 6. Sīlabbataparamasa-the delusion that mere rule and ritual other than the Nobel Eight fold Path will save one from Samsāra. 7. Bhava-rāga, craving for existence. 8. Issā-Jealousy. 9. Macchariya-ava rice, 10. Avijjā-ignorance, suffering and not self as permanence, happiness and self. Of these daṭṭhi, vicikicchā sīlabbataparamasa issa, and macchariya are got rid of by Sotāpattimagga, kāma-rāga and avijjā by Arahatta magga.)
Contemplation of Factors of Wisdom
Bojjhaṅga means the factors of wisdom, by means of which one knows Nibbāna. They are seven in number; Sati-mindfulness, Dhamma-vicaya, investigation of the Dhamma, Viriya-energy, Pīti-joy or rupture, Passaddhi-repose, Sammādhi-concentration and Upekkha-equanimity. It is said that if there arises Mindfulness or any of these in one, one is aware of it. If such be absent, 'one is aware of it, too. Factors of Wisdom do not come up to the beginner in meditation. They come only to one who has attained the Knowledge of arising, and passing away, Uddhabaya-ñaṇa, and so on. You go on meditating on matter and mental qualities that keep coming up, in the manner we have talked about in the part on Kāyānupassanā, noting "walking", "standing", "sitting", "bending", "stretching", "rising", "falling", "tired", "hot" and so on and so forth. You attained the Knowledge of arising and passing away when you very quickly and markedly understand the arising and passing away of things. Then every time you note the arising and passing away you are mindful of it. And when you are mindful, you are aware it is Mindfulness. When your concentration slackens and you are not mindful, you are aware there is no mindfulness. Similarly, when there arises the Investigation of Nāma Rūpa, dhamma you are aware it has arisen. When it is absent, you are aware of its absence. Being thus aware, your concentration gets especially stronger, and you go on with your awareness of the arising and passing away of these things, awareness, knowledge, effort, and so on arrives at the Ariyan Path and Fruition and become a sotapaññā or such a one.
(This, in brief, is Contemplation of the Factors of Wisdom.)
Contemplation of the Truth
Regarding the contemplation of the Truths the Exalted one has taught "Idaṃ dukkhaṃ ti yathābhūtaṃ pajānāti, ayaṃ dukkha-samudayo ti yathābhūtaṃ pājanāti, ayaṃ dukkha-niroda ti yathābhūtaṃ pajānā ti, ayaṃ dukkha-nirodo gaminipaṭipadā ti yathābhūtaṃ pājanāti," (He comprehends, as it really is, "this is suffering". He comprehends as it really is, "this is the cause of the arising of Suffering". He comprehends as it really is, "this is the Cessation of Suffering. He is aware, as it really is ", "this is the path leading to the cessation of Suffering")
The material and mental qualities taking place in the body of beings is in reality Sufferings. Why? Because they are the seats of sufferings like physical pain, mental pain, old age, death and so on. Because they are impermanent and death can come any moment. Bodily sufferings like pain and aches come about because there is a physical body and a consciousness. Without a physical body physical pain is quite impossible. Though there is a physical body, If there is no consciousness, pain or suffering is impossible. Why? If a log or a stone or a lump of clay is beaten with a stick struck with a knife, or put fire to, it will suffer no pain because it lacks consciousness. So physical body without consciousness is no cause for physical pain. But beings have got both material form and consciousness. So all manners of physical sufferings arise in them and all manners of mental sufferings arise in them. So these rūpa and nāma in being are sufferings.
Besides, every time we are reborn, we undergo the suffering of old age. The suffering of death and so on, because we have got these rūpa and nāmas which are subject to decay and dissolution. So these rūpas and nāmas are real sufferings and they will not last a second. No, not a tenth of a second or a hundredth. They pass away very rapidly. If no new rūpas and nāmas arise when they pass away, there comes the moment to die. How frightening it is to have to depend for one's bodily support on these rūpas and nāmas which can bring death so suddenly? That is why they are sufferings.
But those who do not meditate on the arising rūpas and nāmas do not understand how soon they pass away and so are not alarmed. Even those who meditate, if they haven't yet realized the fleeting nature of things, will not be afraid. Only the meditator who keeps on meditating without a let-up in walking, standing and so on, the aching, paining and so on, the thinking, imagining and so on will have his Sammādhi strengthened, will realize the fleeting nature of things as he notes, will understand that death can come any moment, only he will be alarmed. What is the seat of pain, misery, old age, death is differing indeed. This he knows for himself and this kind of knowledge is what the Buddha meant when he said; "I dam dukkhaṃ ti yathābhūtaṃ pājanāti-comprehends this is suffering as it really is".
Once you comprehended suffering as it really is, your attachment to these materials forms and mental qualities is eliminated. This is comprehending by eliminating the craving, which is the true cause of suffering. Every time you eliminate the craving, you achieve momentary cessation of suffering. By developing insight path, you achieve knowledge of truth of the path. This is how you understand the four truths every time you meditate on suffering. As you meditate and your insight is perfected, you realize Nibbāna. This is knowing the truth of the Cessation of suffering by the knowledge of right path. By such knowing the realization of the truth of suffering is accomplished, the realization of the truth of cause of suffering too is accomplished by elimination and the development of the right path too is accomplished. When you realize the Four Noble Truths by meditation, you become at least a Sotāpanna and are saved from Apāya states forever. (This is contemplation of the Truth is brief.)
Fruit of Satipaṭṭhāna
The Blessed One has said as regards the fruits one will get from development of Satipaṭṭhāna.
"You hi koci bhikkhave imecattāro satipaṭṭhāne evaṃ bhaveyya, satta vassani satta masani sattahaṃ, tassa dvinnaṃ phalanaṃ annataraṃ phalaṃ patikankhaṃ, diṭṭhe vā dhainme anna sati vā upadisese anāgāmita"
(Whosever, monks, shall practise these four ways of establishing Mindfulness for seven years, nay, even for seven months seven days, shall win one of two fruits; either in this very life he shall win the highest Knowledge, or if there be still some attachment remaining, he shall win the state of Non returner.)
If you cannot become a non-returner as stated above, you can certainly become a Sotāpanna. Many have now realized the path, Fruition and Nibbāna after one or two months of meditating on bodily movements like the abdomen rising and falling, mental states, feelings, or sense organs like seeing and hearing. So, by meditating in this Satipaṭṭhana Way to the best of your ability, may you be able to attain he path and fruition and realize Nibbāna very soon.
Sādhu! Sādhu! Sādhu!
The Way To Happiness
Everyone wants to be happy. What must one do and how should one live to be happy? This everyone should know. Out of compassion for beings the Buddha has taught us "the Way to Happiness." Happiness is of two kinds; happiness in this life and happiness in future life. Happiness in this life can be brought about by Four sampadās, namely. Utthāna sampadā, Arakkha-sampadā, Kalyānamittatā and samajivita.
Of four, Utthana-sampadā means alertness or diligence in doing bussiness. In whatever work you do, be it agriculture, commence, or educational work, you should show your skill and work diligently. If you work like this, you will earn what you deserve. This is obvious enough.
Arakkha-sampadā means wariness, being watchful so that your worldly possessions may not be lost, this too, is obvious.
Kalyānamitta means association with good friends,. Friends who can help you in working for your well being. To have such good friends, it is important that your dealings with people be motivated by mettā, good-will or love, According to the Buddha a good friend has to be one who has the virtues, Saddha (faith), Sīla (morality), Cāga (liberality) and Paññā (wisdom), Why? If the friend lacks in faith, your faith can fail. If the friend lacks in morality, yours can fail. If the friend is not liberal, and is not wise in matter of the law, you too will be lacking in liberality, and higher wisdom.
Samajīvita means right livelihood, or living within your means. You should spend less than your income not more. If possible, you should lay aside a quarter of your income and spend the rest. There are many instances of people who live within their means and become rich. There are likewise many instances of people who become rich by following the other Sampadās explained above.
Therefore, to be well off and be happy, one has to try to live by these Sampadās.
It is more important to be happy in one future lives, throughout Samsāra, the round of rebirth, than to be happy just now, so to be happy through out the round of rebirths, the Buddha has taught us four other Sampadās. They are Saddha-sampadā, sīla-sampadā, Cāgasampadā and Paññā-sampadā.
Of the four, Saddha-sampadā is faith in what one should have faith in, what should one have faith in? One should have faith in the true Buddha, the true Dhamma, the true Sangha, and Kāmma and its effects. The true Buddha has nine virtues. Of the nine virtues one is Arahaṃ. It means one who is cleansed of all kilessas or defilements, greed, hatred and so on, Sammāsambuddha means one who knows the four truths by his own knowledge. Buddha means one who has the virtue of knowing all the dhammas by omniscience and preaching the four truths so that beings too may know them. Once endowed with three virtues, the other six virtues follow. Putting faith in the Buddha with these virtues is true faith. To have such faith is Sanda-sampadas. The true Dhamma is the nine Lokuttarā (super-mudane) dhammas consisting of the four Ariyan Paths. The four Ariyan Fruitions and Nibbāna, and the teaching which makes known these nine to us. These are the true Dhamma.
The true Saṅgha is the order of disciples of the Buddha, who are pursuing the practice of Sīla (morality), Samādhi (concentration), and Paññā (higher wisdom) so that they may be free from all kilesas like greed and hate.
Faith in the true Dhamma and true Saṅgha is true faith. To have such faith too is Saddha sampadā.
Belief in Kamma and its effects, belief that a bad Kamma (deed, action) bring bad fruit and good kamma brings good fruit, is true faith, to have this faith also is saddha-sampadā. To have faith in Kamma and its effect is essential. If one does not believe in Kamma and its effects and wrongly believes that some one will save us or that an Almighty Being is arranging the good and bad results for creatures, one will not do good deeds and will do bad deeds instead.
So, having not done good deeds, he will not enjoy happiness but meet with sufferings, which are the result of bad deeds. It is just like someone who, having eaten bad food instead of good or proper food, has to suffer from illness.
In this connection I will tell you a true story. In the days of the Buddha there was at Sāvatthi a rich Bramhman called Todeyya, who was the king's seer. He had a wealth of 870 million dollars. This Brahmin did not give anything himself and used to speak to those about him. "If you give, you lose what you have. So don't give." He died greatly attached to his wealth and was born a dog at his own house.
One day the Buddha on his round for alms came to that house and entered it as he wanted to preach the true Dhamma to the young man Subha, the son of the Brahmin Todeyya. The dog that was the Brahaman Todeyya in his former birth, came running and then barked at the Buddha. At this the Blessed One spoke to him; "Hey, toeyya, you showed disrespect to me in your former birth, so you have become a dog. Now again you are barking at me and will be reborn in Avīci Hell for this bad action". On hearing this, the dog thought, "the recluse Gotama knows me". Feeling very ill at ease he went to the kitchen and lay down to sleep in the ashes there. Being the young man's pet as he was, he used to sleep in his own comfortable bed. When the young man Subha saw him sleeping thus in the ashes, he inquired into the matter and learnt of everything.
Young Subha said to himself; according to the Brahmaṇa religion, my father must have been born a Brahmā. When the recluse Gotama called the dog "Todeyya he was saying that my father is now born a dog. He speaks whatever comes to his lips" He was offended and came to the Buddha to accuse him of speaking falsehood. He asked the Buddha what he had said and the Buddha told him what he had said. Then, to let the young man know the truth, the Buddha asked him. "Isn't there anything your father hasn't disclosed?" The young man replied that a total of four hundred thousand, one hundred thousand in cash and three hundred thousand in kind, had been missing.
The Buddha said to him, "Feed the dog well and before he falls asleep ask him. He will disclose everything". Subha thought, "If what the recluse Gotama says turns out to be true, I will get the riches. If it is wrong, I can accuse him of falsehood." So he fed the dog and asked him. The dog led him to where the riches were buried. On recovering the riches, Subha said to himself, "The recluse Gotama knows the secrets hidden to us by transmigration. He is indeed the Buddha who knows all the Dhammas." He began to have faith in the Buddha. Later, he came to the Lord with fourteen difficult questions.
His questions are briefly to this effect;
"Why is it that among human beings some live short, some live long, some have poor health, some have good health, some are ugly, some are beautiful, some are friends-less, some have plenty, some are poor, some are rich, some are low-born, some are height-born, some are ignorant, some are intelligent? Why is it there are the low and high states?"
To this the Buddha replied;
"Kammassaka mānava satta Kammadāyāda kammayoni kammabandhu kammappatisarana, kammaṃ satte vibhajati, yadidaṃ hinappa-nitaya"
"Owners of their deeds, young man, are the beings, heirs of their deeds, their deeds are the wombs that bear them, their deeds are their relatives, their deeds are their refuge. Their deeds differentiate the beings into low and high states"
This is a brief statement on how Kamma works. The young man Subha did not understand this brief statement. So he asked the Lord to preach in details, too.
1 & 2 Short and Long Lives.
If a woman or a man kills a living being, as a result of this deed of killing, she or he, the killer, after dying, arises in Apāya state, in hell. If born a woman or man again, she or he will live a short life. One who abstains from killing, after dying, will arise in Deva heaven. If born a man, he will live long.
3 & 4 Sickness and Health.
One who hurts others will arise in Apāya. If born a man he will be full of sickness. If being kind he hurts not, he will be reborn a Deva. If born a man he will be free from sickness and will be healthful.
5 & 6 Ugliness and Beauty
One who is full of anger will arise in Apāya. If born a man he will be ugly. One who controls his anger and shows forbearance will be reborn a deva. If born a man, he will have good looks.
7 & 8 Having Few and Many Friends
If one feels jealous of others people's wealth, he will arise in apāya. If born a man, he will become friendless. If, instead of jealousy, one feels rejoice, he will be reborn a deva. If born a man, he will have many friends.
9 & 10 Poverty and Wealth
If one does not give and prevent others from giving, he will arise in Apāya. If born a man, he will be poor. If one gives, he will be born a deva. When born a man, he will be wealthy.
11 & 12 Low-born and High-born
If brings proud a person does not show respect to whom respect is due, he will be born in Apāya. If born a man, he will be born in the low class. If he shows respect for those to whom respect is due, he will be reborn in a deva. If born a man, he will be born in high class.
13 & 14 Ignorance and Intelligence.
If he never asks questions as to what is good and what is evil (as a result of bad deed, having done or spoken what ought not to have been done or spoken) he will be born in Apāya. If born a man he will become an ignorant person. If he asked "What is good? What is evil? What is to blame? What is blameless? What ought to be done? What ought not to be done? What deed will bring disadvantage and suffering for long what deed will bring advantage and happiness for long?" He will be reborn a deva. If born a man he will be wise and intelligent.
These are seven bad demeritorious deeds that will bring suffering and the seven good (meritorious) deeds that will bring happiness. Here the seven bad deeds arise, when there is no mettā, good will and when anger and others prevails. So, if you keep on cultivating mettā, love or good will, there will be no occasion for the bad deeds to come up, loving kindness.
Everyone wants to be happy oneself, and free from suffering. At the same time he wishes others peace and happiness This is a very good thing indeed and no one can find fault with such a thing. To cultivate mettā, one thinks of men, devas or animals individually or collectively and says in one's mind "May he be Happy!" "May they be Happy!"
You can think of someone or many you see around you and cultivate mettā towards them, "May he be Happy!" "May they be Happy!" This you do in your mind only. If possible, you help them with words of love. If there is something you can do, you do it personally to help them. Even if you can't help them by bodily action or words, you refrain from acting or speaking what should not be done or said. This is cultivating mettā in deeds and words.
Although you may not have seen them, you can think of all beings, men, devas, and animals and wish "May he be Happy!" "May they be Happy!" You cultivate love in mind only. You do this for five minutes, ten minutes, half an hour, an hour, or more, for as long as you can afford. If all goes well, you can gain Jhāna, you will be born in the Brahmā world and live happily there for aeons.
But the Buddha did not want us to rest content with happiness in the Brahmā heaven only. Once an old Brahmin named Dhananjani, while lying on his death-bed, sent for the Venerable Sāriputta to hear the Dhamma from him. The Venerable Sāriputta preached him on how to cultivate mettā, love and karuna, compassion, and so on-a training that can cause one to be reborn in the Brahmā world. Then he returned to his monastery. Dhananjani, the Brahmin meditated on mettā and very soon passed away, as a result of his mettā jhāna he arose in the Brahma heaven. It may not have taken him even an hour, for he died and became a Brahma before the Ven. Sāri-putta had reached his monastery. The Buddha blamed Sāriputta for failing to preach Vipassanā, insight, and for preaching only mettā meditation which can bring about just Brahma-birth. So Sāriputta at once went to the Dhananjani Brahmin and preached him Vipassanā, the Dhamma that will lead one to the Path and Fruition, to Nibbāna. The Brahmin on his part Meditated and realized the Path-Fruition and Nibbāna. Therefore, it is not suitable for us to stop our talk after just speaking about mettā, the practice that can lead one to Jhāna. We will have to talk about vipassanā, the practice that will lead to talk about vipassanā, the practice that will lead one to the Path-Fruition and to Nibbāna. Therefore, it is not suitable for us to stop our talk after just speaking about mettā, the practice that can lead one to Jhāna. We will have to talk about vipassanā, the practice that will lead one to the Path-Fruition and to Nibbāna.
Vipassanā is meditating on the arising and the passing away of the five Upādānakkhandhās and knowing that all are amnicca, dukkha, anatta-impermanent, suffering and not self. Upādāna, grasping, is made of Taṇhā, craving and Diṭṭhi, wrong view, the view there is a living atta, self. The material and mental aggregates grasped by Taṇha and Daṭṭhi are called Upādānakkhandās. These material and mental aggregates manifest themselves when you see, hear, smell, taste, touch, and think.
If one fails to note them as they come up and does not know them as they really are, one mistakes them for permanent things, happy things, good things, attas or souls and clings to them with taṇhā and daṭṭhi. In order that we may not cling to them, we have to note whatever material or mental thing comes up when we see or hear and so on. How must we do it?
In the Sataipṭṭhāna-Sutta we are taught to observe the bodily movement like walking standing sitting and so on and to be aware "walking" "standing" "sitting" and so forth. Pleasant and unpleasant feelings too, we are taught to be aware, "It is a pleasant feeling or good" "It is unpleasant feeling or bad" and so forth. Minds or thoughts, too, we are taught to be aware "It is passionate or "It is dispassionate," "It is anger" or "It is dispassionate", "It is anger" or "It is not anger" and so on. The Dhamma too, we are taught to be aware of. Of these Dhammas, the form eye, the visibles object, the consciousness of "seeing" and so on, manifest themselves whenever you see or hear. So you note "seeing" when you see, hearing" when you hear, and so on. [Though it should be taught fully as "I am seeing", "I am hearing", and so on, to quicken the noting we are teaching our disciples to note "seeing" "hearing" and so on.]
"If you fail to note and do not know them as they really are, when you see or hear, rāga or pleasures in the things seen or sound heard, or dosa or anger" or such kilesas arise moral and immoral deeds. Because of these deeds you may be born in the lower states of Apāya or you may be born a man or a deva and suffer old age, illness, death or such miseries. So, one who fails to meditate on the arising material and mental things and fails to know them as they really are is far away from Nibbāna. This is explained in Mālukyaputta Sutta.
One who makes a habit of noting whatever he sees or hears knows very clearly for himself that things come and go without staying for a moment and comprehends that they are impermanent, suffering mere psycho-physical phenomena without a self. Knowing them as they really are, he lets no chance for the arising of the kilesas such as Rāga, desire for the things seen, dosa, anger about them, and so on. They are calmed in him. Once free from both moral and immoral deeds. So, he is free from suffering of being reborn in lower states and from being reborn in the world of man and gods to suffer old age, illness and death. This is how one gains peace and freedom in connection with one's meditation. When this meditational insight, which brings freedom from sufferings, is fully developed, one realizes Nibbāna, through the knowledge of the path and Fruition of Arahatship. Eventually, one realizes Nibbāna through the Path and Fruition of Arahatship, and puts and end to all sufferings. Therefore, one who meditates on the arising material and mental phenomena to understand them as they really are whenever he sees or hears and so on is near to Nibbāna, the end of suffering. This, too, is explained in Mālukyaputta-Sutta.
Thus, whatever comes up through the six doors or sense organs, like seeing or hearing, we have to note and be aware "seeing" "hearing". But to the beginner to note and aware of every arising is quite impossible. So he must begin with a few things that can be easily discerned. Only then can concentration be developed easily and so can insight knowledge.
Every time you breathe in and breathe out, your abdomen moves, and its rising and falling is quite plain and easy to meditate on. That is why we instruct our disciples to begin our meditating with this; As the abdomen rises, note "rising". As its falls, note "falling". This rising and Falling is vāyo-dhātu, the air element or the element of motion. The word rising and falling does not matter. The point is to discern the material form motion.
If, while noting the rising and falling of the abdomen, any thought or imagination comes up, note "imagining" "thinking". This is Cittānupassanā Satipaṭṭhāna, Contemplation of Mind. After noting the mind, you can go back to noting the rising and falling. If a painful sensation comes up to the body, you have to note it. After that go back to the rising and falling. If there is any bending or stretching of the limbs, you must note "bending" "stretching". Whatever bodily movement there is, you have to note it. This is Kāyānupassanā Satipaṭṭhāna-contemplation of the body. When you see, you must note "seeing" "seeing". When you hear, you must note "hearing" "hearing". This is Dhammānupassanā, contemplation of the mental states.
If you keep on meditating on whatever comes up, your consideration becomes strong. Then you distinguish between rūpa-what is to be cognized and nāma, what cognizes, and you know how cause brings effect and how this cause and effect relation goes on. You know how new things arise and arise, and pass and pass away. Then you plainly see for yourself how things come and go without staying a moment. So all are impermanent. How death can come any moment. So all are suffering. How they happen in spite of yourself. So all are not self. Knowing all these is insight knowledge. While you are thus meditating, and as your insight develops there comes to you, the knowledge of the Ariyan Path and Fruition. If you reach the lowest of the Knowledge of the Path and Fruition of Sotāpatti, stream wining, you are saved from the four lower states of Apāya, for ever. You will be reborn to high and happy lives in the world of men and gods. Within seven births of these happy lives, you will reach the path and Fruition of Arahatship and become an Arahat. After Parinibbāna (or passing away) of the Arahat, no news births, no new rūpas and will be eternal peace.
So, by meditating on the arising material forms and mental qualities beginning with the rising and falling, and making efforts, may you develop the insight knowledge that realizes the impermanent, suffering and not-self nature of the rūpas and nāmas and may you very soon reach the Ariyan Path and fruition and Nibbāna!
Sādhu! Sādhu! Sādhu!