Tuvaṭaka Sutta is one of the six discourses delivered by the Lord Buddha at the Mahāsamaya occasion, one full moon day of Nayon, after His achievement of the Supreme Enlightenment. Each discourse is meant to appeal to each type of Devas etc., assembled at the time, varying as to their bent or inclination such as those fond of sensual pleasure-those with bent to intelligence-those bent to faith in Sāsanā-particularly faith in what one has to do. U Paññobhāsa of Kabāaye, in the introduction to the Myanmar version of this Sutta, commented that the Sutta meant to lead the people to be good speedily so as to be relieved from the miseries of the samsāra.
Amongst the six discourses Purābheda Sutta had appeared in print as a result of Mahāsī Sayādawgyī's exposition of the same in the year 1961 at the Mahāsī Yeiktha, Buddha sāsana Nuggaha Organisation.
TUVAṬAKA Sutta had its turn to be taken up by the Mahāsī Sayādawgyī at the request of U HLA MAUNG, the then Director General of the Religious Affairs Department, the Ministry of Home and Religious Affairs, in the year 1976 only.
The sermon of the Sayādawgyī appeared in print in the year 1976. This Sutta is now translated by Dr. Kay Mya Yee, Mahāsī Yogī and founder-member of the Women Devotees Welfare Association, Mahāsī Meditation Centre.
Mahāsī Sayādawgyī's exposition of Buddha Dhamma is always bent towards Vipassanā Meditation. This Sutta was delivered by the Buddha for those Devas etc, who were bent towards faith in the Sāsanā. It would be superfluous for me to expound at length about the excellence of the manner and the matter of the delivery of the Dhamma by the world renounced Rev: Mahāsī Sayādaw. The readers will find out for themselves the clear path the Sayādaw shows by his delivery of the Sutta leading to expulsion of the five papañcas.
The translation from the Myanmar into English is the first attempt made by a woman Yogī from the Mahāsī Meditation Centre. Mistakes in the matter or the manner can be pointed out to the publishers who will be ever ready to take it up at the next edition of the publication.
U Hla Htun
(Delivered on the full moon day of Pyātho, 1337, Myanmar Era, by Mahāsī sayādaw)
The Tuvaṭaka Sutta, instead of the Vibhaṅga Dhamma, would be delivered on this full moon day of Phātho, at the request of U Hla Maung (the then Director General of the Religious Affairs Department). The reason is that many became interested in Purābheda Sutta delivered in 1322 and requested that discourse be printed. And U Hla Maung was one of them and has requested me about three years ago to deliver Tuvaṭaka Sutta and to produce it in book form.
While the Buddha and five hundred Arahats, formerly Sakkyā princes, were residing at Mahāvunna forests, Kapilavutu district, Devas and Brahmās, from ten thousand worlds (Cakkavaḷas), came to adore the Buddha. On this auspicious occasion (Mahāsamaya), the meeting of Devas and Brahmās, after introduction the names and clans of Devas and Brahmās, the Buddha delivered the six Suttas so that they would attain the true Path and the Fruition. These six Suttas are:-
(1) Sammāparibbājaniya Sutta for those who indulged in lust (rāga).
(2) Kalahavivāda Sutta for those who indulged in anger (dosa).
(3) Mahābyūha Sutta for those full of ignorance (moha).
(4) Cuḷabyūha Sutta for those full of reflection (vitakka).
(5) Tuvaṭaka Sutta for those full of faith (saddhā).
(6) Purābheda Sutta for the wise ones.
At the end of each Sutta, not only innumerable Devas and Brahmās became the Never-returner (Anāgāmi), Once-returner (Sakadāgāmi), and Stream-winner (Sotāpanna), but also lakh of crores of Devas and Brahmās attained Arahatship.
Knowing that question and answer method would be more effective, the Blessed One created a self-image, as there was no one who would set highly intelligent questions. He also wished that the created self-image would put such questions to Him.
Tuvaṭaka Sutta was opened with the following question submitted by the created self-image.
(1) Pucchāmi tam ādiccabandhu,
Vivekam santipadañca Mahesī-
Kathaṅ disvā nibbāti bhikkhu,
Anupādiyāno lokasamim kiñci.
The meaning of the above stanza is, "O Lord Buddha, the possessor of such attributes as sīla, etc., allow me to submit the following question. How does a Bhikkhu know the seclusion dhammas (three in number)? How does he know the cessation, namely Nibbāna? And how does he extinguish lust (rāga), etc.?
THE THREE VIVEKAS
The three vivekas (the seclusion dhammas) are: -
(1) Kāya viveka-seclusion of the body. It means to be in seclusion without any company. It is very beneficial in meditation. That is why, for meditation purpose, the Buddha has instructed, (a) Araññagato-go into a forest: (b) Rukkhamūlagato-go to or under a tree; (c) Suññāgāragato-go to a quiet monastery. For an individual who does not indulge in greed, even if he does not practise meditation, to stay in seclusion is very peaceful.
(2) Citta viveka-detachment of the mind. Meaning to be clean and free from defilements (kilesā); to be in the state of profound trance (jhāna), the true path (magga), and the fruition (phala).
(3) Upadhi viveka-Cessation of substratum of being, namely Nibbāna.
The question here is how these three viveka dhammas are comprehended and the defilements extinguished.
The next point is how santipada, the cessation, is comprehended and how does it take place. This is the same as upadhi viveka. In other words, how defilements are extinguished. The 37 Bodhi pakkhiya dhammas destroy the defilements and if one practises the four Satipaṭṭhānas, the four applications of attentiveness, the rest of the Bodhipakkhiya dhammas are covered. Here, in Sāsanayeikthā, the Yogīs practising the four Satipaṭṭhānas are striving for the extinction of the kilesās. It is a good practice.
Not only to extinguish kilesās for a moment, but it is important to up-root them for good. The created self-image made it pertinent in his question by 'anupādiyāno lokasamimkiñci'. It means 'to annihilate kilesā with detachment of the world'.
The world in mundane includes the nether world, the world of human beings, and the world of Devas. But in reality it is just matter (rūpa) and mind (nāma). The question is how to extinguish without clinging to one's rūpa and nāma or the other's, as 'I', 'mine'. The Blessed One answered in five stanzas.
THE BUDDHA'S ANSWERS
The created self-image's question is how one comprehend viveka and santipada, and attain tranquillity. The answer could be simply. 'To comprehend kāya viveka by staying in solicitude; to comprehend citta viveka through the stages of jhāna consciousness, insight meditation consciousness and magga consciousness; upadhi viveka or Nibbāna can be attained by the knowledge of the true path (maggañāṇa). To attain Nibbāna one must practise Satipaṭṭhāna. However, the worthy one indirectly answered as follows:-
(2) Mūlam papañcasaṅkhāya,
Mantā 'asamīti sabba' muparundhe.
YĀ kāci taṇhā ajjhatam,
Tāsam vinayā sadā sato sikkhe.
The first two lines mean 'papañca' the root cause of prolonged rounds of rebirth (samsāra) and conceit such as 'this is I' should be inhibited through comprehensive wisdom, insight meditation and the knowledge of the Noble True Path (ariya maggañāṇa). Chances for their occurrence must not be allowed, destroy them all'. Why the Lord used the indirect method (neyyattha) instead of direct method (nītattha)? Because He knew the dispositions of Devas and Brahmās who have indulged in faith, and that they would be liberated at the end of this meeting.
Cessation by comprehensive wisdom (mantā) i.e. comprehension through the knowledge of insight meditation and the knowledge of the True Path. The three vivekas are inclusive in this indirect answer, namely kāya viveka-the foundation of self-concentration (samādhi) and insight meditation (vipassanā); citta viveka-basic self-concentration consciousness, insight meditation consciousness and the True Path consciousness; upadhi viveka-extinction of kilesā by way of knowledge of the path of the Noble Ones (ariyamaggañāṇa). "Sato sikkhe" in the last line of the above stanza indicates that kilesā is to be extinguished through practice of Satipaṭṭhāna. Thus how the Buddha employed the indirect method. It is very profound.
To summarize the first two lines of the above stanza: the primary root of papañca (evil conditions which prolong samsāra) and conceit (thinking 'this is I') should be comprehended through reasoning, Vipassanā knowledge and the knowledge of the path of the Noble Ones. Opportunities for kilesā must be inhibited and destroyed totally. As this discourse is on how to extinguish papañca, it is known as "Tuvaṭaka Sutta". Grammatically 'Tuva' means 'quick'. "Tuvaṭaka Sutta", therefore, means quick achievement to end the rounds of rebirth.
THE THREE PAPAÑCA DHAMMAS
The three papañca dhammas are lust (taṇhā), conceit (māna), and wrong belief (diṭṭhi). We can see taṇhā all round us. People are discontented with what they have. Even the millionaires are striving to have more and more. Rulers of the countries want to expand their empires by one means or the other. This is the work of taṇhā papañca. Some want to do better than the other. The other propagate their believes.
YOU THINK WHAT YOU BELIEVE IS THE BEST
However much it may be illogical, once you have believed in something you take it as the best and make propaganda for it. This morning I received a letter with no address. In brief the sender of the letter said "Focus your mind on an imaginary small circle with your eyes closed" and he thought that is the best method of all meditation practices. This method is diametrically opposite to the Buddha's teaching. The writer of this letter takes his as the best and that is why he is spreading his views.
Nowadays, some say "There is no need to meditate Samatha and Vipassanā just do as we instruct". There is also "keep your consciousness as it is. It is not necessary to practise meditation. All these are painful". These are just contradictory to the Lord's teaching, namely "you must practise the Eight-fold Noble Paths, practise Satipaṭṭhāna and comprehend the Four Noble Truths". The above mentioned beliefs are false doctrines, and lectures in these beliefs are just propagandas for wrong views.
Any religious discourse not concerning with the knowledge of the Four Noble Truths and the practice of Bodhipakkhiya dhammas and Magga, is wrong faith, wrong belief. Such sermons are propagations for wrong views.
SAMMĀDIṬṬHI IS NOT PROPAGATION
It may be questioned whether the lectures on the true belief are not propagations for belief. No, it is certainly not, because these lectures are based on the knowledge of right belief, sammādiṭṭhi. The wrong belief, micchādiṭṭhi, is the belief for prolongation of existence, namely papañca dhamma. Sammādiṭṭhi, the right belief, is not the papañca dhamma.
Lust (taṇhā), conceit (māna), and wrong belief (diṭṭhi) are the three papañca dhammas, the samsāra prolonging phenomena. The roots of lust and wrong belief are ignorance (avijjā), unwholesome attitude (ayonisomanasikāra), conceit (asamimāna), shamelessness (ahirika), fearlessness (anottappa), restlessness (uddhacca). Note that avijjā causes the arising of pleasure and lust. Whenever you see, hear, smell, taste, touch and think, these actions are incessantly changing. They are impermanent, sufferings, and unsubstantial. However, when one is not mindful of the true nature of these activities at the moment of their occurrence, one takes them wrongly as permanent, pleasant, and substantial. That is ignorance (avijjā) which activates taṇhā papañca, especially lust as a prolonging factor. It is said, therefore, ignorance is the primary root of taṇhā papañca.
It is necessary to understand and extirpate the original root of the prolonging factor, namely avijjā. How to do so? Note the apparent sensations-seeing, etc. Then their true nature will be seen as suffering, etc. Thus the taṇhā papañca leading to the wrong idea of pleasantness, etc. will not assert itself. This is a momentary rejection. When your meditation gains strength, the ariyamagga, the way to Arahatship, arises and thus taṇhā papañca together with its original root, avijjā, is totally extinguished.
Because of the unwholesome attitude (ayonisomanasikāra) the desire for pleasure will arise. So the unwholesome attitude is the root of taṇhā papañca. So also conceit, shamelessness, fearlessness, and restlessness are the causes of taṇhā papañca. These together with the unwholesome attitude must not have a chance to occur. They must be expelled by mindfulness of rūpa and nāma.
These six factors together with avijjā also lead to diṭṭhi papañca, wrong belief prolonging samsāra. At the moment of sight, instead of noting rūpa and nāma, the unwholesome attitude, etc, make one thinks oneself 'I', that is, the wrong view. This diṭṭhī papañca together with its root can be expelled by being mindful of rūpa and nāma.
ASAMI MĀNA, SELF-PRIDE
When one thinks of oneself as "I am clever", "I am noble" "I am powerful", "I am intelligent", it is known as asami māna, taking pride in oneself. We must comprehend and reject it. In the above stanza "sabba" means to inhibit everything, to annihilate all. In other words, to extinguish the root cause of papāñca dhamma, namely avijjā together with asami māna, self-pride or conceit. On their extinction the taṇhā and diṭṭhi papañca dhammas and all kilesās are expelled. Among the kilesās, it is important to extinguish samudaya taṇhā, the original cause of rebirth, sufferings of rūpa and nāma.
PRACTISE TO EXPEL THE LATENT TAṆHĀ
All kinds of taṇhā will rear their heads when it is opportune. In order to reject them one needs to practise mindfulness day and night. If they are not expelled yet by ariyamagga, the Noble True Path, the pleasure and clinging hunger for such pleasure will occur when conditions are favourable. They are latent. On seeing beautiful things, on hearing pleasant sounds, with the taste of good food, etc., taṇhā can occur. All kinds of taṇhā are present in the worldlings. This taṇhā could even compel one to kill his own parents. King Ajātasattu killed his father because of the lust for the kingdom.
Though there in no course sensuous cravings leading to the nether world, but as there is still some weak cravings in a Sotāpanna (Stream winner), he would lead a household life. In the Sakadāgāmi (Once-returner) there is yet subtle sensuous cravings and for the Anāgāmi (Never-returner) there is no more cravings. However, there are still lingering cravings for material and immaterial existences for Anāgāmi. The ordinary worldlings as well as Sotāpanna, Sakadāgāmi and Anāgāmi should, therefore, practise in order to expel these latent taṇhās.
How to practise? sato-be mindful, practise mindfulness. There are four things to be noted. These four are: - (1) physical actions, (2) feeling, (3) ideas and thoughts, and (4) the sphere of phenomenology. Whether it is pleasant, unpleasant or neutral, just note that feeling at the moment of its occurrence. The sphere of phenomenology is very extensive. It is not apparent in physical actions or mental actions, nor in feeling. Seeing and hearing are included in the sphere of phenomenology, so also are likings and anger. The sphere of phenomenology must also be noted whenever they occur.
WHEN TO PRACTISE MINDFULNESS
When it is said to be mindful, is it for a short moment, for a few seconds, a few minutes, or a few hours? No, it is not for so short a time, but it has to be all the time, day and night. In Mahāniddesa Pāḷi, it is said "(one must be) mindful all the time, always, incessantly. In the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, midnight and in the small hours too; during the new moon or the waning moon. All the seasons round. Mindful during the childhood, adolescence, and old age until and unless he has fully established it.
The main point here is, in order not to give chance for the occurrence of taṇhā you should practise and note everytime you see, hear, etc. However, for a beginner he may not be capable of noting every action. It is, therefore, better to note one of the other bodily contact. While sitting you note "sitting", "sitting". If you think noting just "sitting" "sitting", is not so mindful, you can jointly note an outstanding bodily contact along with "sitting", such as "sitting", "touching", "sitting", "touching".
NOTING RISING AND FALLING IS THE BASIC FOUNDATION
Our basic instruction (in Sāsanayeikthā) is to note continuously the rising and falling of abdomen as "rising", "falling". While doing so one may find his mind wandering off, thinking and reflecting; pleasant and unpleasant feelings may arise; hands and legs may have to be moved or changed in position; sight and sound may become apparent. All these should be contemplated. If you should stand up from a sitting position and walk, these bodily actions should be contemplated. When there is nothing in particular to note, focus your mind again on "rising" "falling" and contemplate continuously. When the contemplation becomes stronger, it is instructed to note diligently the arising phenomena. There are thousand who have gained clear insight as they closely followed this instruction. Special method of contemplation is fully discussed in the "Basic Vipassanā" and the "Ariyavāsa Sutta".
In brief, when the truth of the phenomena could not be perceived and contemplated there arises taṇhā, craving for sensuous desire, attachment and pleasure. The chance for the occurrence of taṇhā must be prevented by contemplating the true nature of phenomena, as suffering, impermanence and unsubstantiality. On expelling the latent taṇhā by vipassanā and Arahatta magga, knowledge of the Noble True Path, one becomes and Arhat. However, it is important to comprehend and expel conceit before one has gained Arhatship. This conceit does not arise along with sensuous craving, taṇhā but with pride in wholesome deeds too. It can be mistaken as extinction of taṇhā and one does not realise that one has become conceited. Some people may not think themselves as conceited but take the others, who are disagreeable with them, as conceited. How to comprehend and expel conceit the Blessed One explained and preached as follows:-
BE NOT CONCEITED BY YOUR POSITION AND TEACHER'S POSITION
(3) Yam kiñci dhamma mabhijaññā,
ajjhattam atha vāpi bahiddhā.
Na tena thāmam kubbetha,
na hi sā nibbūti satam vuttā.
Do not think highly of one's position and be conceited. Do not let the attributes of your teachers make you conceited. "I came from a noble class", "I am from the wealthy one", "I am so powerful and have plenty", "I am highly educated", "I can preach", etc. All these may activate one's self-pride. Such things as attainment of extraordinary insight and the possession of supernatural ecstasy would highten one's conceit. The above mentioned causes of conceit can be found with regard to oneself or to one's teachers. These conceits should not be developed especially in those who are in the Order.
In the world, beauty, education, wealth, and prestige are also the causes of conceit. Do not think of oneself or belittle the others. How to constraint such conceits? There are two ways: by paṭisaṅkhāra (reflective contemplation) and by meditation practice. "The present position is the result of the previous kamma and because of the effort put in now. They are not permanent. One day there may be no more prestige. In old age and when you are sick this prestige is of no help to you. You cannot rely on it. You may be well-off in this existence, but may not be sure for the next existence. People reproach the conceited ones, so also the Buddha. If you are disrespectful because of conceit, you may end with sufferings; you may be of low class in the next existence. You may think so highly of yourself, but what is this self? It is just made up of 32 detestable constituents such as hair, body hair, etc. It is the phenomena in the state of flux." Contemplating thus one can reject conceit.
By continuous noting of sight, sound, thoughts, etc. the insight-meditator could deny conceit the chance to assert itself. As soon as the intention to take pride arises in your consciousness, just notice and reject it. If this foremost intention (unwholesome attitude) is noticed, there is no opportunity for the conceit to occur; it is already extinguished.
When noting of the foremost intention fails, conceit will arise. Then take note of it and dispel it. By repeated noting and dispelling Arhatship could be attained and conceit would be entirely extinguished.
Why conceit should be extinguished? Buddhas and the Worthy Ones have never regarded conceit as a peaceful dhamma. Some take conceit in dhamma as wholesome. Especially in the stage of udayabbaya-ñāṇa, the knowledge of gradual arising and dissolution of numerous phenomena, people mistakenly think that is "it", and become conceited. Some thought the observance of moral precepts is enough and never practise insight meditation. Those who are well versed in Abhidhammā and have intellectual knowledge of the analysis of the physical and mental phenomena; those who could preach; those who observe dhutiṅga (certain ascetic practice); those who possess supernatural ecstasy, always think that they have attained the ultimate goal and never thought of practising insight meditation. All these are subtle conceits and those who regard them as the ultimate goal have not attained Nibbāna. They need to practise until tranquillity is achieved.
The highest conceit, as mentioned in Dhammapada (271-2) gāthās, could still bother an Anāgāmi and it is better to practise till one reaches Arhatship. There are three types of conceit to be extinguished and the Enlightened One continued to preach as follows: -
EXTINGUISH ALL THE THREE TYPES OF CONCEIT
(4) Seyyo na tena maññeyya
Nīceyyo atha vāpi sarikkho.
NĀ' tumānam vikappayam tiṭṭhe,
Meaning of the above gāthā is, "Do not be conceited by thinking 'I' m superior because of my position; because of my teacher's". Do not be conceited because you are lower in dignity or because you are on the same level. It is quite obvious to understand one to be conceited being superior or of the same level with the others. This is known as yāthāva māna, natural pride through comparison. It must be dispelled. Though one may not be superior or of the same level and yet one can become conceited by thinking 'I' m superior. I'm of the same level"; this is ayāthāva māna, unnatural pride; obviously this too must be dispelled.
One may question whether such thought as "I'm below their dignity" could be taken as humbleness-nivātoca as mentioned in Maṅgala Sutta. I shall explain. Yes, to be humble with respect to others is, nivāta maṅgalā (to be humble), but it is not nīcamāna i.e. not humbleness with respect to others but it is low and mean comparison with others. To illustrate-a young monk would say "I'm a junior so why should I be so reserve like those elders". "We cannot behave like a Yogī since we are not one". "We are just student-monks, why should we behave like our teacher-monks". "We are just lower class workers, we are not officials or wealthy, but we can maintain our living as it is". In all these instances one takes pride and becomes conceited by being lower than others. That is nīcamāna, taking pride in comparatively low position. All these three types of conceit must be noted and discarded.
All these conceit arise out of attachment to "atta", "self". So the Blessed One exhorted thus "When you come in contact with various sense-objects, never think that 'It is 'I' who see. 'I' who hear". In other words do not take it as "atta", "self".
Non-practitioners of insight meditation always think in terms of "It is I who see it. I see, I hear, etc." on seeing or hearing things. It should not be taken thus. But it is difficult to inhibit such thoughts in the worldlings. Those who are well versed in analytical knowledge and Abhidhammā think in the same way. At the moment of contemplating physical and mental phenomena, one may be free from "atta" attachment. But even then, he could still think "I contemplate, I comprehend". Also those who preach on impermanence, suffering, and unsubstantiality, on rūpa and nāma, while preaching could have the idea "I preach". It is, therefore, not easy to detach oneself from "I" at the moment of seeing, hearing, thinking, etc.
Here is what should be done in order to detach "I". At the moment of seeing, hearing, etc., observe and comprehend the outstanding phenomena. When you indulge in continuous noting and observation, you come to know in your self-wisdom that the eye and form are just sense objects (rūpa) and eye consciousness and the act of knowing are just knowing subject (mind); and that there is no "atta" or "I" as separate entity. On comprehending that the phenomena dissolve immediately at the moment of sight and sound, you would realize the true nature, i.e. they are impermanent, undesirable, unreliable; all are sufferings and unsubstantial. When the true nature dawns on you, you will be also free from the attachment to "I". Not only this wrong belief (diṭṭhi) but also conceit as "I who see" "I who know it" would have no chance to occur and they are extinguished totally. At last the root of conceit could be entirely eradicated by the Path of Worthy Ones. It is to note and observe everytime you see, hear, etc. in order to gain total extinction.
Here, as a model lesson, I would like to mention how the Venerable Sāriputta Thera was free from all types of conceit.
THE VENERABLE SĀRIPUTTA THERA'S CRY OF EXULTATION
At one time, the Venerable Sāriputta Thera, after seeking permission from the Lord Buddha, went on a journey. Many monks accompanied him. A certain monk, on seeing that, became jealous and reported to the Noble One that the Venerable Sāriputta Thera had bumped into him but went on his journey without apologizing. The Lord sent for the Thera and asked him so. The Venerable Sāriputta Thera answered as follows:-
"Your Reverence, one, who has not practised noting and observing the assemblage of elements which is called body, may bump into one's comrade in meditation, and proceed on his journey without apologizing." What he meant to say is since he had fully practised contemplation on the impurity of the body, that instance could not happen to him. Then the Venerable Sāriputta Thera continued:-
"Excretion and all kinds of dirt are thrown on the earth, however, the earth never complains nor detests it. So also, I, your disciple, has developed such attitude as the earth." He meant he could stand anything just like the earth.
"So also water, fire and air never complain nor detest though excretion and all kinds of dirt are thrown into them. I, your disciple, have such attitude like water, fire and air."
"I am just like the piece of cloth which cleans soiled or unsoiled things and never shuddered at it.
"I am as humble as a begger in tatters, who comes into the village to beg." It is a great wonder that the Venerable Sāriputtara Thera, from a very high brahmin caste, was as humble as a beggar, the lowest caste. We should take this lesson and conduct ourselves humbly and speak softly.
Furthermore, he informed the Buddha that his actions were as meek as an ox with broken horns. He abhorred his body like a youth, who had cleaned and anointed himself with sandal wood, loathed the stinking carcass of a dog hung around his neck. He also disliked his body as a man hated the leaking oil pot on his head.
All these presentations by the Venerable Sāriputta Thera explained that he had no conceit whatsoever concerning his body since he had developed abhorrence of it through meditation on the impurity of the body. He was not disrespectful because of conceit. Taking lessons from these, we should expel our conceit.
At the touch with the tip of the Venerable Sāriputta Thera's robe the monk falsely reported that he was bumped into by the Mahāthera. He was jealous of the Mahāthera as majority of the monks followed the latter on his journey and a few were left with the Lord. And just to interfere the Great Thera's journey, he misinformed the Buddha. On hearing the Venerable Sāriputta Thera's explanations, that jealous monk, who had misrepresented the case, became repentant and begged for forgiveness. The Buddha pardoned him and also asked the Mahāthera to do so. The Mahāthera not only pardoned him but also asked for his forgiveness if he (Thera) had done anything wrong to him (monk).
Evil-doers should not delay in asking for forgiveness since it is the conduct of worthy ones. The wicked one has conceit such as not desiring to ask for pardon from so and so person. We should be careful about it.
According to these three gāthās, if papañca dhamma together with its roots, especially lust (taṇhā), and conceit (māna), are expelled all the defilements within the individual would be extinguished, and then all the sufferings would be extinct. That is the keystone, santi-tranquillity. This tranquillity could be apparently notable only within oneself. Hence, the Enlightened One exhorted, in the following gāthā, that one must endeavour to extinguish the defilements within oneself.
(5) Ajjhatta' mevu' pasame,
na aññato bhikkhu santi' meseyya.
natthi attā kuto nirattā va.
All sufferings could be put to an end by internal tranquillity only. Tranquillity could not be gained externally. People search for tranquillity somewhere else outside themselves. The expectation of the salvation by God means looking for peace by the external help. It is quite possible at that time some Devas might think that extinguishing of cycle of existences could be obtained by God's salvation. Lord Buddha preached to seek internal peace but no other kind of peace by external means, in order to expel any doubt in those Devas.
Internal tranquillity could be achieved by the application of attentiveness (Satipaṭṭhāna) which can be carried out only within the individual, not be God nor any saviour. To attain Nibbāna, cessation of all sufferings, one must practise Satipaṭṭhāna which dispel all defilements. One should not seek external salvation or other means rather than practising Satipaṭṭhāna. The inference of the previous three gāthās is that one should practise to extinguish defilements, lust, and conceit within oneself. With the cessation of defilements there exist no "atta" which is thought to experience suffering and satisfactions. Then there also is no more belief that "atta" ceases to exist after death (uccheda diṭṭhi).
The Blessed One continued, "To one whose defilements are internally dispelled, there is left no everlasting "atta" to be attached to. Hence, wherefore the need for the belief of no "atta" after death.
By observing Bodhipakkhiya dhammas and Satipaṭṭhāna, all defilements within oneself are extinguished; therefore, there is left no belief such as that 'I', 'Self' exist (atta diṭṭhi). Conceit such as 'I know', 'I am superior', will disappear. For example, the air, filling the empty space of a bottle, will move out when water takes its place. The latent defilements existing within oneself become less and less active when one practises Bodhipakkhiya dhammas and Satipaṭṭhāna. They are completely dispelled together with atta-diṭṭhi and māna on the full acquirement of insight. Thus there is no place for the belief that "atta" does not exist after death. Since these attachments and beliefs are entirely extinguished, an Arahat needs not worry, desire, etc., that is he is free from all sufferings and lust in the present existence. After the attainment of Nibbāna, all sufferings are annihilated since no more new existence and sufferings occur. Therefore, the important point is to attain internal cessation of defilements by means of practising Satipaṭṭhāna. Comparing the serenity of an Arahat with the calmness of the water in the middle of the ocean, the Buddha delivered his sermon thus:-
AS SERENE AS THE MIDDLE OF THE OCEAN
(6) Majjhe yathā samuddhassa,
ūmi no jāyati thito hoti.
Evam ṭhito anejassa,
ussdam bhikkhu na kareyya kubiñci.
"The middle of the ocean is calm, so is the one who is free from the active cravings. Bhikkhu should not develop lust, etc., internally or externally", is the meaning of the above gāthā. People may not know the calmness of the mid ocean. As this Sutta was for the Davas and Brahmās who know about the ocean very well, it could be easily understood. The mid-ocean can be taken as the middle portion of water lying between the top and bottom layers of the ocean. It can also be the portion of water about 100 or 200 miles away from the shore. It is necessary to practise to be calm as the mid-ocean and free from active lust and cravings; unperturbed to pleasantness or unpleasantness. To practise as aforesaid is "sadā"-day and night, all the time, "sato"-with mindfulness, "sikkhe"-practise; to practise mindfulness day and night, all the time.
HOW TO PRACTISE TO BE CALM AS MID-OCEAN
Note what you see as "seeing", "seeing". However at the beginning one may be able to note only the nature and characteristics of the eye and form. When the contemplation becomes mature, the arising and passing away, the signs of impermanence are comprehended in their true nature. In order to do so one must practise continuously. Practise in the same manner with hearing, smelling, etc. The tactile sensation is very extensive. When you walk, note as "walking"; when you stand as "standing"; when you sit, etc., as "sitting", etc. Each bodily movement must be noted. When you have the sensation of pain, you should note it too. All these are termed as tactile sensation. Again if you reflect, contemplate as "reflecting". Contemplation should be made on agreeable and disagreeable physical sensations and mental feelings. In brief every physical activity and mental activity should be contemplated; pleasant, unpleasant and neutral feelings should be noted; and also the nature of the phenomena should be noticed and comprehended.
When the outstanding phenomena are noticed and comprehended whenever they occur, the concentration will become stronger and one will be able to distinguish through self-wisdom that there are "just sense object, rūpa and knowing mind, nāma in oneself". Thence the relativity of cause and effect is perceived and differentiated through self wisdom. The incessant arising and passing away is also noted. The impermanence (i.e. ceaseless process of arising and vanishing), the sufferings (because of ceaseless arising and dissolution), and the unsubstantiality (as the phenomena act according to their own volition and do not follow one's will) are comprehended through self wisdom. When the insight into impermanence, etc., become nature, there ensues the insight wisdom arising from the Noble Path and its Fruition; that is the realisation of Nibbāna, total annihilation of rūpa and nāma. If one continues Vipassanā meditation in this manner, the Noble Path and its Fruition leading to Arahatship would be attained and then all defilements within oneself would be entirely extinguished. An Arahat with all defilements expunged is serene and unperturbed by pleasant or unpleasant sensations and the vicissitudes of the existence.
If one cannot practise according to the procedure aforesaid, he is creating chances for the growth and development (ussada) of the following seven factors: -(1) lust (rāga), (2) anger (dosa), (3) aversion or delusion (moha), (4) conceit (māna), (5) misbelief (diṭṭhi), (6) defilement (kilesā), and (7) deeds leading to next existence (kamma). The Noble Path and its Fruition could not be gained if these seven factors are allowed to grow and develop.
One will be still effected by the pleasant and unpleasant sensation because lust is not yet discarded before the attainment of Arhatship. It is, therefore, necessary to note without break and contemplate mindfully (sadā sato sikkhe). When you do so the seven factors would not have the opportunity to arise and then they will be extinguished, through the Noble Path of Arhat and its Fruition. With the extinction of active lust one may become serene and calm. Among the seven factors, defilement includes doubt, sloth, restlessness, shamelessness and fearlessness. Growth and development of these seven factors must not be allowed by practising mindfulness. Then the Arhatship is attained and one becomes serene and calm as the mid-ocean where there are no waves.
The gist of the Buddha's answer to the first question is to discard the papañca dhamma together with its roots and by doing so to attain tranquillity. All these sermons are expounded through personal experience and comprehensive insight. Some Devas and Brahmās wanted to know what and how to practise in order to gain insight through personal experience. The Enlightened One, therefore, willed that the created self-image would request Him to deliver such discourse. The created self-image exalted the Lord and requested thus:-
CREATED SELF-IMAGE'S REQUEST.
(7) Akittayī vivaṭacakkhu,
sakkhidhammam parissaya vinayam.
Paṭipadam vamdhi bhaddante,
pātimokkam atha vāpi samādhim.
The created self-image extolled the Buddha and addressed thus, "O Buddha, with open eyes...."
The Buddha is known as the Possessor of five kinds of eyes: (1) Mamsa cakkhu-the physical eye with which the Lord sees everything clearly within the radius of one yūjana, approximately 8 miles. (2) Dibba cakkhu-the divine eye which sees all the universe; it can see where the being, after his death, has gone to take up next existence. (3) Paññā cakkhu-the eye of wisdom i.e. reflective wisdom, Vipassanā insight, knowledge of the Path, insight of the Fruition, and the insight of retrospection. (4) Buddha cakkhu-the eye of the Buddha i.e. His Omniscience. It is the insight into the magnitude of the maturity of sense faculties of all beings and also their desires and inclinations. Thus Buddha taught accordingly and many attained the Noble Path and its Fruition easily. (5) Samanta cakkhu-all-seeing eye or the knowledge of full enlightenment.
The first two lines of the above gāthā denote, "O the Possessor of five kinds of eyes, you've well delivered the dhammas, gained through personal experience and insight wisdom, and those dhammas can expel and destroy all dangers".
What are those dangers? There are two kinds of dangers: - The perceivable dangers such as danger from animals, people (thieves, bad administrators, etc.) and various diseases. Another kind is the unperceivable danger which includes lust, anger, delusion, hatred (kodha), enmity (upanāha), ingratitude (makkha), competition with one higher in position (paḷāsa), jealousy (issā). avariciousness (micchariya), deceit (māyā), pretention (sātheya), disrespect (thambha), challenging (sārambha), pride (māna), conceit (atimāna), vanity (mada), unmindfulness (pamāda). All these are defilements, unwholesome actions and evil deeds. The created self-image continued as follows:-
"You Reverence, please expound on the fundamental practice which you have learned through personal experience and insight, namely the observance of precept of monks (vinaya) and the practice of concentration to obtain mental calmness".
Buddha considering the disposition of the would-be-liberated Devas and Brahmās replied as follows beginning with the faculty of eye.
(8) Cakkhūhi neva lokassa,
gāmakathāya āvaraye sotam.
Rase ca nānugijjheyya,
na ca mamāyetha kiñci lokasamim.
RESTRAIN THE FACULTY OF EYE
The moral precept can be classified into three types, minor morality, middle morality and greater morality. The minor morality deals with abstention from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, back-biting, abusing, destroying seedlings and plants, worthless speech, eating at forbidden hours, attending worldly amusements, beautification, the use of high and ornamented couch, receiving of money and gold, and conducting business. The middle morality is the same as the minor morality but it is supplemented with abstention from saving food. Abstention from unwholesome livelihood such as fortune-telling, medical practices, etc., are included in the greater morality.
According to the dispositions of the Devas and Brahmās attending the sermon at that time, the Lord commenced with the restraint of the faculty of eye, related to the subjugation of senses and the minor morality regulating the conduct of the monks.
"To restrain the faculty of eye" means the Bhikkhu is not to look at things (because it yields worthless results such as lust, greed, etc.), that is looking here and there, looking at men and women. When a Bhikkhu goes into a village or town he must go or sit with down-cast eyes, looking only within the distance of two yards, Devas and Brahmās and also the people adore the Bhikkhus with such restraint of senses.
On seeing things the worldlings remember the forms and images which arouse the defilements. Attachment with lust is also developed due of attraction between opposite sex. There is not much interest in persons of the same sex. The minute details of bodily actions and manners are noticed and remembered very well when a man sees a woman or vice versa. Unpleasant sensations cause hatred even for the opposite sex. All these are due to the lack of restraint of the faculty of eye. Image of men and women and other sensations reappear in reminiscence. Thence the occurrence of attachment and lust or hatred accordingly.
There is no peace of mind when you are angry or full of lust. Upon the affliction of anger and lust one may spend a sleepless night, one may say what is not to be said; one may even commit a crime which brings trouble immediately. And if you murder, steal or lie you will enter the lower world after death. All these are the undesirable results of the indiscipline of the faculty of eye.
The monks, the disciples of the Lord, therefore, on seeing things do not attend themselves to the forms or images; they do not notice the minute details of the bodily actions and manners. They constantly note the apparent phenomena whenever sense of sight occurs. With the deep contemplation, likes and dislikes do not arise as nothing happen beyond the sensation of sight; dissolution (disappearance of phenomena) takes place right at the moment of seeing. Hence, it is comprehended as mere sufferings and unsubstantiality. With the knowledge of the true nature of the phenomena, defilements such as lust and anger are extinguished. Thus the Buddha admonished how to restrain the faculty of eye.
However, it is not so easy to have the experience of the sensation of sight and not to have perception, feeling, etc., At the stages of bhaṅgañāṇa, (the insight into the dissolution of things) according to Satipaṭṭhāna Dhamma you will experience just the sensation of sight personally. Moreover it becomes clearer in the stage of saṅkhārupekhhāñāṇa, i. e. the knowledge arising from viewing things with equanimity. Many Yogīs meditating Satipaṭṭhāna have such experiences that is just the sensation of sight.
Cittagutta Thera, who dwelled in the Kuraṇḍaka cave, Srilaṅka, constrained the faculty of eye not only when he went into the village or town, but also while he was in the cave. Just like the yogīs meditating here contemplate without looking at anything. A meditating Yogī should behave like a blind man though he has eyes, like deaf and dumb inspite of good hearing and speaking and like a weak person although he is strong. There is no need for a Yogī to look around; he must contemplate unceasingly.
Cittagutta Thera never looked at the roof of the cave nor noticed the tree at the entrance of the cave. One day some monks came to visit the cave and appreciated the paintings on the roof of the cave. The Thera said that he had lived there for 60 years and then only due to the monks with good eyesight he came to learn about the paintings.
The King of Mahāgāma requested thrice for the favour of the Thera's visit to his palace, but the Thera did not accept it. Then the king ordered the nursing mothers of the village to which the Thera went for alms-food, not to nurse their babies. Then only the Thera came to the palace for seven days. He blessed "May the king be happy" whether it was the king or queen who paid respect to him. His pupil-monks told him that it was not proper to do so. The Thera replied that he did not differentiate king and queen, meaning that he did not care to look at them.
We should say that Cittagutta Thera's restraint of the faculty of eye is of the highest magnitude. It is a pity that no record had been made though there were some great monks like Cittagutta Thera in Myanmar.
LISTEN NOT TO VILLAGE GOSSIP
The Enlightened One instructed to restrain from listening to the village talks. Village talks are animal talks as commented in the Niddesa Pāḷi. Animal talks are talks related to the worldly things which are contradictory to magga and phala. Such village talks can disturb the concentration, therefore, yogīs are advised not to listen to talks about family affairs, not to read newspapers, etc. Even if you happen to hear just contemplate as "hearing" "hearing".
The Buddha admonished thus, "On hearing sounds do not notice what is said; do not care for the minute details, such as whether the voice is sweet, etc. Let it be just the sensation of sound".
TAKE NO PLEASURE IN TASTE
In order not to take pleasure while taking food, the Lord taught thus, "Take your food by reflecting suitable things". What are the suitable things? How to reflect? That food is taken not for worldly enjoyments, not to be proud of youthfulness, not for beauty, and not for appearance. Food is taken for the subsistence of the body, to be able to move about, to satisfy hunger and to avoid diseases subsequent to hunger. Hunger is the greatest suffering; other diseases are curable to a certain extent but not hunger. Hunger afflicts you in the present existence, in the next existence, and there is no end to it. The attainment of Nibbāna alone can free you from hunger. On the satisfaction of hunger one should follow the virtuous practice according to the Buddha's teachings. Monks who partake of alms food offered by the people but do not lead a virtuous life, are not doing their duties.
REFLECTING ON FOOD AS DETESTABLE
"To go for alms-round in the rain or sun is very troublesome. Going for alms-round is regarded as begging for food by those who have no faith in Buddha's teachings". Thus reflecting, food will no longer be delicious to the monks. Though those who have no faith may treat the monks disrespectfully on their alms-rounds, faithful ones take it as a meritorious deed. Just think how detestable the food would be while it is being chewed and formed into bolus; when it is changed into faecal matter. You would not enjoy the food if you thus reflected while taking food. Even if craving for delicious taste is not totally discarded, it would not be so strong.
TAKING FOOD WITH SATIPAṬṬHĀNA CONTEMPLATION
Another method is to take food with contemplation of Satipaṭṭhāna. This is the best and never enhances the craving for delicious taste. One should be occupied with the contemplation of every detail of his actions when he is partaking food, such as, when he looks at the food, "looking", "looking", "seeing", "seeing"; when he arranges the food with his hand, "arranging", "arranging"; when he brings the food to his mouth, "bringing", "bringing", when he opens the mouth, "opening", "opening", when the food touches the lips, "touching", "touching"; when he closes his mouth, "closing", "closing"; when his hand touches the plate or bowl, "touching", "touching"; while chewing, "chewing", "chewing"; when he knows the taste, "knowing" "knowing"; when he swallows, and the food touches the sides of the throat, "swallowing", "swallowing" "touching", "touching". This is how to contemplate just as one takes food. He should contemplate similarly when he drinks soup, etc. He will no longer enjoy the taste if he contemplates and notes every detail of his actions in eating and drinking. Hence the craving for taste will surely be expelled.
THE PARABLE OF EATING OWN SON'S FLESH
If you have to eat your son's flesh, where is the enjoyment of eating. To that extent you must expel the craving for taste. Once a man and wife together with their young son went to a village. On the way they found that they were short of food. Then the man said that as he could not provide the family, it was better that they killed him and took his flesh as food. The wife also requested the husband to kill her since she was no longer a dutiful wife. Then the two struck an idea of killing their young son, who was too young to know anything and that they could have another son. The little boy was sent to the father who sent him back to the mother. This went on till the little boy dropped dead. Then they proceeded on their journey with their son's flesh as provision. They ate it with tears; how could they enjoy it. It is not a true story but only a parable.
In the same manner while taking food you must not have greed or cravings; by contemplating constantly you could expel; craving for food.
ADVICE FOR NON-MEDITATORS
Aforesaid concerns with the monks who reflect on seeing and eating and the Yogīs who take part in Vipassanā meditation. There will be happiness if the non-meditators also expel the craving for food to a certain extent. The family relationship will be better, if one is not gluttonous. It is also important to abstain from drinking and smoking. In order not to give any trouble to the laymen, the new monk is instructed at the ordination, to be contented with whatever he gets from his alms-rounds. Non-meditators should also expel their desire for food as much as possible.
HAVE NO RELISH FOR ANYTHING
So far the exposition is on the restraint of the faculties of eye, ear and taste. Faculties of smell and touch seem to be left out. So the Lord admonished. "relish nothing in the world". It is to note everything as and when it occurs, in order to discard the cravings.
Tāsam vinayā sadā sato sikkhe.
So as to expel all latent lust (taṇhā) practise noting everything attentively. With the failure of noticing things, likings for them will develop. This liking must be noted till it disappears.
HAVE NO GRIEVANCES FOR MISHAPS
(9) Phassena yadā phuṭṭhassa,
paridevam bhikkhu na kareyya kuhiñci-
bheravesu ca na sampavedheyya.
"He who is practising to be liberated from the rounds of birth, samsāra, will encounter with mishaps. Whereupon he should not come to grief for any reason", said, the above stanza. This is meant for the meditating Yogīs and monks, not for the Devas and Brahmās, for the latter have no reasons to encounter with mishaps. However, the Devas and Brahmās, on hearing that Yogīs and monks did not complain on any kind of sufferings, would adore them. With this adoration and faith, they would attain the stages of Path and Fruition within a short time. Since this Sutta was delivered for those imbued with faith, it had dealt with practices for morality and mental calmness (self-concentration).
If any disagreeable sensations such as, feeling of coldness, hotness, mosquito-bitings, tiredness in the limbs, or pain arise in the body, make no complaints; do not change your posture of the body, but carry on contemplating with patience.
CONTEMPLATE WITH PATIENCE
"O Bhikkhu, in this order a monk is unperturbed with heat or cold, hunger or thirst; or even with mosquito or snake bites. He can also tolerate abusive words and accusations. He has patience for any kind of disagreeable feelings arising in his body. He can even bear with those serious diseases causing death," "admonished the worthy one. People of faith pay high tribute to monks with such practice of tolerance. Some can contemplate even when they are afflicted with near-death pain. People of other faith on seeing such tolerance could not help developing admiration and faith, and also praised the dhamma."
FAITALESS ONES CANNOT LISTEN TO TALKS ON FAITH
Faithless ones take the exercise with tolerance as self-torture and have no faith in it. At that time the Devas and Brahmās on hearing of exercise with tolerance, developed faith and adoration. They were filled with joy and gladness. Buddha delivered this sermon so that the Devas and Brahmās would achieve true wisdom upon noting that this joy and gladness also passed away.
Several yogīs, here, have personal experience of advancement of concentration as the result of exercise with tolerance. The Myanmar proverb, 'Patience begets nibbāna' is well proved in the vipassanā meditation. At the start aches and pains and other disagreeable feelings will arise in the body. Note these feelings without changing the posture of the body. Feelings of aches and pains become more acute, but with stronger meditation they will gradually disappear. In some Yogīs the disagreeable feeling is totally exterminated.
Some instructed to change posture of the body whenever disagreeable feeling arises, since they have not experienced the passing away of these feelings with the maturing of self-concentration. True knowledge of Vipassanā would not be achieved if self-concentration is interrupted with frequent change of body-posture.
DO NOT ASPIRE FOR BETTER EXISTENCE
The Buddha taught not only to tolerate disagreeable feelings but also not to aspire for better existence. Some enter monkhood expecting to have more sensuous pleasure in the world of Devas. During the time of Lord Buddha women believed that their husbands became monks so as to enjoy with more female Devas in their next existence. The ex-wives of Ashin Raṭṭhapāla and Ashin Sudinna enquired how much more beautiful were the female Devas whom they would meet in their next existence. Buddha preached not to aspire for the world of Devas.
HAVE NO FEAR FOR COMING DANGER
Let no fear for forthcoming dangers disturb the meditation practice. In the Mahāniddesa Pāḷi there is mention of (1) dreadful harms such as dangers of tiger and other frightful animals, snakes and decoits. (2) Fright related to rebirth, old age, diseases, death, poor administrators, bad men and natural dangers such as fire, flood, etc. In the Buddha's time many went into wood and practised meditation with no fear of such dangers and harm.
THE STORY OF NOVICE SAMKICCA
In the days of Lord Buddha, a young boy named Samkicca was novitiate under the guidance of the Venerable Sāriputta Thera. He observed the tacapañcaka kammaṭṭhāna, the contemplation of the five impure constituents of the body namely hair, body-hair, finger nail, toe nail, teeth and skin, while he was being shaved and attained arhatship. At another time 30 monks of older age took instruction for meditation from the Enlightened One and asked leave for meditation practice in a certain wood. The Blessed One saw the forthcoming danger, therefore He told them to take leave from the Venerable Sāriputta Thera. The latter also comprehended the danger; hence he sent the young novice Samkicca with the monks because he alone could save the monks from the coming danger.
The thirty monks together with the novice Samkicca went to a certain wood and practised meditation. One night five hundred decoits came and demanded for the life of a monk. Each monk offered himself, but the novice Samkicca requested to let him go and explained the reason why he was sent along with them. The seven years old novice sat meditating while the decoits prepared to sacrifice him. When the leader of the decoits struck him with his long knife, the knife coiled back to the hilt. The same thing happened for the second time. Then only the decoit - leader realized that even the lifeless knife had adoration for a righteous person. He, a man with sense, was so ignorant of such things. Thus repented he asked for forgiveness and all five hundred decoits became monks under the guidance of the novice Samkicca. The novice took leave from the thirty monks and went back to the Venerable Sāriputta Thera with five hundred new monks. When they paid homage to the Enlightened One they were admonished thus: -
Yo ca vassasatam ji ve,
Ekāham jīvitam seyyo,
"A man with no morality and concentration may live for a hundred years; however, a day's life of a man who is endowed with morality and Samatha and Vipassanā jhāna, is much more noble than that hundred years of life."
On hearing this sermon all five hundred new monks attained arhatship. This story is to illustrate that monks in the Buddha's days went into the wood and forests to meditate with no fear of dangers whatsoever. Thus the attribute of the monks, namely 'the ability to meditate unperturbed by the fear of any danger', was exalted by the Buddha so that the faithful ones may gain special insight upon adoration and reverence for such attributes.
TIGER AND THE MONK
At one time thirty monks took instruction from the Lord Buddha and went into a forest to practise meditation. They agreed to stay each in his own place and practise constantly without seeing each other. At dawn one dozing monk was carried away by a tiger. However, so as not to disturb other meditating monks, he did not make even a sound. After fifteen days, when they came out for morality meeting it was noticed that fifteen monks were missing. On learning what had happened, they agreed to let the rest know if someone was snatched by the animal. This act of the monks is praiseworthy because they were not frightened away from their meditation. As usual the tiger came and carried away a young monk. On hearing the shout of the monk the rest came out and gave a chase. The tiger went up a high cliff. Being unable to follow it, they advised the young monk that it was the time for him to prove the special attribute of a monk, meaning to meditate to his utmost.
The young monk meditated earnestly as if nothing had happened to him and just before the tiger devoured his heart he attained Arhatship.
HOW TO DISCARD SUFFERING
In this story and as well as in the other one when the Venerable Tissa Thera broke his own leg as a guarantee (that he would not run away), the feeling of suffering was discarded by means of Satipaṭṭhāna, the one and only way of extermination. The Yogīs, here, have experienced personally the gradual disappearance of the feeling of suffering by practising Vipassanā meditation. If the contemplation is really strong and mature, the feeling of suffering will be totally exterminated. The monk, in the above story, meditated zealously before he was carried away by the tiger and also while he was being eaten, without interruption by the fright of death.
Since the main purpose of meditation is to be liberated from rebirth, old age, disease and death, one should not be shaken by these dangers. Some Yogīs, however, give up practice because of the fear of disease and pain. Some stop meditation fearing that they might drop dead. But Yogīs with mature practice will endeavour to contemplate to be free from these dangers. Just like novice Samkicca and the monks in the story of the tiger and the monk, I advise you to contemplate with no fear of these dangers mentioned above.
In two previous lectures we have finished nine gāthās and to-day we shall start with No. 10 gāthā which deals with the instructions for the monks to be free storing things and other materials.
MUST BE FREE FROM STORING THINGS (SANNIDHI)
(10) Annāna'matho pānānam,
khādanīyānam athopi vatthānam.
Laddhā na sannidhim kayirā,
na ca parittase tāni alabhamāno.
In the above gāthā, Lord Buddha admonished the monks not to keep or store eatables, juices made from fruits and leaves and robes for the next day. If the eatables from the previous day were taken after the next dawn, the monk then has committed an offence which degrades merits; it is permissable to take juice in the afternoon, in the evening and before the next dawn, however if it is taken after the next dawn it is also treated as stored or kept for the next day. So this too is an offence which inhibits meritorious deeds. The following story gives us a very good lesson relating to the above instructions.
STORE NOT EVEN SALT
In one existence, the Bodhisatta was the king of Gandhāra Country (it is in the northwestern part of India near Kashmia). King Gandhāra renounced the world and became a monk. On learning that, his friend King of Videha country followed suit. At one time these two monks practised dhamma together in the Himalaya forest. As they took only fruits and roots with no salt they became undernourished. When they went to a nearby village, the villagers offered them rise and salt with much respect and adoration. One day there was no salt in their alms-food, therefore Videha monk offered Gandhāra monk some salt. Upon which the latter enquired from where he got it. On learning that Videha monk had kept the salt from the previous days, Gandhāra monk reprimanded, "Friend, you have abandoned the bountiful country Videha, with sixteen thousand cities and villages and the treasury full of treasure. Why did you keep this worthless salt just for tomorrow and day after tomorrow?"
Most people could not stand when they are reprimanded though they have fault and like to retort. So also was Videha monk who replied, "Teacher monk, since you have renounced the throne of Gandhāra Country, you have no followers and subjects to be instructed. But how is that you did reprimand me now?"
The Bodhisatta Gandhāra monk explained, "O Videha monk, I have said the truth. Unwholesome practice is not for me. The impurities of misdeeds never exist in me."
Then Videha monk realised the truth and the two monks practised and attained super natural powers and were reborn in the world of Brahmās after their demise. The main theme of this story is that even the monks who were not under the Teachings abstained from storing things. In these days many may take the keeping of salt as not wrong. The monks under the Teaching of the Blessed One, possessed such attributes of less greed, contentment, devoid of defilements and did not store anything for the coming days. Upon learning that more faith and adoration developed in many Devas and Brahmās and they gained special insight wisdom.
With regard to the instruction "store no robes," for less burden a Buddhist monk is advised not to keep more then three pieces of robes. If extra robes were kept, though it is not regarded as an offence, a monk is no longer seen as one practising to lesson the defilements.
Lord Buddha also admonished not to worry even if there was not sufficient food to eat or robes to wear. A monk is to tolerate it by observing Vipassanā meditation or by reflecting thus:-
"Meritorious deeds in my previous existence were not so strong as to let me have enough food and robes. I must strive to exercise as much as possible in this existence. I am better off than those suffering in the lower world. I should be happy when considered in comparison with some people and animals. It is a great reward to be a monk and to have the opportunity to practise meditation".
Just like the Yogīs here, by way of Vipassanā meditation, it is to note when your mind wanders off to the worries and anxieties with regard to insufficiency of food and robes.
THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE AND SELF-CONCENTRATION
(11) Jhāyī na pādalolassa,
virame kukkuccā nappamajjeyya.
appasaddesu bhikkhu vihareyya.
"A monk, who comprehends the perils of samsāra, rounds of rebirth, used to contemplate the image of Samatha object and reaches the stage of trance (jhāna); he used to contemplate the characteristics of impermanency, and attains the jhānic stage of magga and phala. (To be so) He should not move about".
The aforementioned statement means that a monk should be always contemplating in one jhānic stage or another. By contemplating the image of Samatha object one attains the Samatha jhānic stage. Vipassanā jhānic stage could be gained through Vipassanā meditation. It is, therefore advised that one must constantly contemplate one of the followings:-
A kasiṇa object; impurities of the body; inhaled and exhaled breath; 32 constituents of the body; loving-kindness.
By doing so the Samatha jhānic concentration will be achieved. These are the fundamental principles for self-concentration practice leading to magga, phala and Nibbāna.
The other kind of jhānic concentration is Vipassanā, self-concentration, through contemplation on physical and mental phenomena, leading to magga, phala and Nibbanā. Vipassanā, self-concentration is to be attained by noting constantly and attentively (sadā sato sikkhe). By doing so the contemplating mind is concurrent with the object of contemplation, hence no mind wandering for that very moment. The concurrence of the contemplating mind with the object of contemplation is known as vipassanā khaṇika samādhi, momentary self-concentration of insight.
The attainment of vipassanā khaṇika samādhi is explained as follows in Visuddhimagga (Vol.1-281)
After waking up from a jhānic trance, a Yogī will comprehend the passing away and the dissolution of the consciousness during the jhānic trance. The insight into the characteristic of impermanence, etc. enhances the momentary one-pointedness of mind. The one-pointedness of mind, according to the commentary, is the momentary self-concentration of insight. Being free from hindrances, having no interruptions in contemplation, forming one continuous chain of identical thoughts, the mind at this level, ceases to wander as if it has attained appanā samādhi, ecstatic concentration.
For a yogī who "makes his way" to Nibbāna using Samatha as a vehicle, Nibbāna could not be attained without upacāra samādhi (proximate concentration) and appanā samādhi (ecstatic concentration). All the same, a Yogī, with Vipassanā as the framework of contemplation, has never attained Nibbāna in lack of momentary self concentration of insight (Mahātikā Vol.1-15) No-Vipassanā - insight without momentary self concentration of mind. (Mahātikā Vol. 1-11)
Though one may practise Vipassanā meditation by contemplating "standing", "standing", "sitting", "sitting" and so on, if the momentary concentration is not strong enough, he may not comprehend the natural characteristics of rūpa and nāma. In the early stage of meditation, the characteristics of impermanence, etc, are not perceived yet. However, if one contemplates incessantly as "walking", "standing", "sitting", "rising", "falling", when he walks, etc. (according to Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta) the momentary self concentration will gradually mature. Thence the concurrence of the contemplating mind and the object of contemplation. As the momentary self concentration gains strength one will distinctly comprehend the rigidness, force and motion due to the air element while he is noting "walking", etc. Moreover he will also perceive analytically that there is just the phenomena of noting mind and the object of noting i. e. matter. He will further notice the result of the relationship of cause and effect. Thence the continuous arising of sense objects and their dissolution become very distinct and clear as if one is handling it.
At this stage, impermanence as the outcome of dissolution, sufferings because of incessant arising and passing away, and insubstantiality of rūpa and nāma are fully realised. This realisation of the natural phenomena of conditioned existence is due to the strong momentary self concentration. "No Vipassanā insight without momentary self concentration" as stated in Visuddhi Mahātikā, then is an obvious truth.
CONSULTATION WITH VISUDDHI
Some people who are conversant with analytical study by way of Abhidhammā adhere that the characteristics (anicca, dukkha, anatta) of conditioned existence could be perceived, and gain insight through reflection by analytical method. But it is seen that this belief is not in line with the Pāḷi Commentaries which state that sammasana ñāṇa, insight through analytical observation and reflection is developed only after the four forms of purity (purity of morals, purity of mind, purity of views and purity from doubts) are accomplished. Thence the achievement of insight into the arising and passing phenomena. Moreover it is clear that brilliant light, colour, ecstasy, and so forth could not possibly be experienced just through the analytical study by way of Abhidhammā.
In accordance with "jhāyī" in the above gāthā, one is advised to contemplate eight kinds of samatha jhāna and to establish the primary or basic self concentration. If this is unachievable then contemplate and note the arising of rūpa and nāma through the six sense-doors to gain a strong Vipassanā momentary self concentration. So as to accomplish such self concentration one must not move about, but stay in one place and practise meditation calmly. Visiting places instead of meditating, going from room to room and listening to village talks or gossips are counted as indulgence in roving. It is to meditate constantly instead of going to places with no reasons.
RESTLESSNESS OF LIMBS
"Must abstain from restlessness" means to abstain from detestable deeds, unmeritorious deeds. There are three kinds of restlessness in monks; (1) Doubt in doing thing. Monk who abide by the vinaya rules should reflect before doing things. However they should not commit what is doubtful. (2) Remorse over the mistakes one has made, omission and commission. If there is remorse or worry one should note and dispel it. (3) Physical restlessness - shaking legs and hands aimlessly while preaching, listening to the sermon or speaking. It is required to control such restlessness by way of meditation.
"Nappamajjeyya", to be mindful, has a very wide meaning. It is explained thus in Mahānīddesa, "one must act with reverence". In other words, to practise morality, self-concentration and wisdom with reverence. In brief the above gāthā meant to exercise self concentration respectfully. Not only that, it is also to exercise with no interruption, with no pause; to exercise without giving up; to exercise without letting down the desire to meditate; not to leave the meditation practice; not to forget to do meritorious deeds; and to be mindful to accomplish morality, self concentration and wisdom if they are not yet fully accomplished.
Monks who perceive the perils of samsāra should remain in a quiet place. Must be always attentive and mindful so as to enjoy jhānic trance, not to rove about, and to accomplish the three forms of training (morality, self concentration, and wisdom). In order to practise samādhi practice one should approach a quiet place so as to be undisturbed. A quiet undisturbed place is very essential for meditation and if possible it is better to go into a wood. However for security reasons, now-a-days, many meditation centres are opened at suitable places.
(12) Niddam na bhahulikareyya,
jāgariyam bhajeyya ātāpī.
Tandim māyam hassam kiḍḍam,
methunam vippajahe savibūsam.
In Apaṇṇaka Sutta of Aṅguttara Pāḷi, Tikanipāta, it is stated that a monk who is endowed with the three dhammas, is surely on the way to arhatship. These three dhammas are: - (1) Restraints of senses, (2) Moderate in eating, and (3) to be vigilant.
The Pāḷi word "ātāpī" denotes to note with no less zeal and ardour. Defilements will not have any opportunities to assert themselves and tranquillity will be achieved if one observes and notes with diligence. That means defilements will dry up by less sleep and more arduous hours. To be able to meditate incessantly and zealously one should have less sleeping hours and more awakening time. Divide the day into six periods and lay aside one period for sleeping time, the rest must be spent for ardent meditation. Taken from the Jāgariyānuyānuyoga Pāḷi Commentary, Mahāniddesa explained as follows:-
A Bhikkhu, in this order, should keep his mind pure, totally free from hindrances by noting while walking and sitting during the day. So also in the evening (meaning up to 10 p.m.) observe while walking and sitting and thus expel the hindrances. In the night time (i.e. 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.) lie on the right side; note every movement while preparing to lie down and before falling asleep; keep in mind also to wake up at 2 a.m. (to sleep for four hours during the night for health reasons). Wake up in the early morning and keep away the hindrances by noting and observing while walking and sitting.
This is the procedure of practice with vigilance, Jāgariyānuyoga practice. It is quite clear that sleeping time is only for four hours during the night and to get up at 2 a.m. and start noting while walking and sitting. Before walking you stand up from sitting, and also you stand before sitting down from walking, there may be times when you stand for a while. All these must be noted as "standing". During the day and also up to 10 p.m. you should avoid lying down while meditating. Thus you keep vigilance by sleeping less hours and keeping awake more hours. Awakened hours without meditation are undesirable because they enhance the thoughts about various things and thus bring forth immoralities.
To be vigilant and meditating constantly one should expel sloth. Sloth will not be done away by just commanding "not to be slothful", whereas it can be discarded by noting or reflecting energetically as follows:-
(1) "If reborn in the lower world there will be no chance for meditation. Many such existences have been passed. Now everything is feasible for meditation practice, seize this opportunity, let yourself not be a victim of sloth. Laziness will again drag you down to the lower world and then you will suffer for numerous existences". This is how to discard sloth by reflecting on the perils of the nether world.
(2) "In this world people struggle for their daily existence. Though they toil for day and night, sometimes it is not sufficient for a day's life even. What more for months, years, and the whole life time. When you practise meditation, it is not to be sufficient for a day or a month, or for one existence; if circumstances allow you may achieve the higher dhamma within a week or a month or two. This can save you from the lower world and thus sufferings for the whole samsāra is deterred. Let not sloth prey upon you, practise meditation with joy and zeal. If you are reluctant, you will not accomplish the higher dhamma." This is how to reject slot by reflecting upon the benefit of meditation practice.
(3) "This is not the path for the ordinary people. It is the path trodden by the noble ones. One on this path should not be slothful and lazy; one must be energetic and diligent" This is expelling sloth by reflecting upon the Path:
(4) "Those who offer alms-food are not your relatives, they expect no wealth, nor they offer alms-good so that you would enjoy life. 'May he be of good health to practise meditation and be liberated from samsāra. May we also benefit from these good deeds' are their main objectives in offering alms. Hence sloth should be rejected and one should make an effort to practise meditation in order to fulfill their wish". This is how to dispel sloth by returning the good deeds of alms-food offering. In connection with this, I will tell you the story of Ashin Mitta Thera as mentioned in Sutta-mahāvā Commentary (397) etc.
THE STORY OF ASHIN MITTA THERA
An elderly woman disciple was very much devoted to Ashin Mitta Thera who was residing in the farmer's cave. One day, before she left to gather fruits and leaves in the wood, she instructed her daughter to offer the good rice, together with honey, butter and milk if the Thera came for his alms round and also to eat what would be left. As for herself she had taken broken rice and some sour leaves for her lunch. The Thera overheard it while preparing to go for alms round and reproached himself thus, "The old woman ate the left over and also asked her daughter to prepare broken rice gruel with some sour leaves for her lunch. As for your alms-food she has instructed her daughter to offer the best. She does not offer you these things expecting farms, food or clothings from you. What she wishes for is the happiness of human abode, the world of devas and Nibbāna. Are you capable of fulfilling her wishes? In fact you should not receive her alms-food, if you are not free from lust and anger and ignorance". Reflecting thus he put back the alms bowl and contemplated in the cave with the determination that he would not rise until Arhatship was attained. As he had been mindful for certain length of time, he practised meditation and became an Arahat in that very morning.
Then he went to the elderly devotee's house for his alms - food and blessed the daughter "May you be happy", upon offering of food, milk, etc. Arriving back from the wood the elderly woman realized that the Thera has attained Arhatship when she was informed by the daughter that the Thera locked very calm and purified. "Happy is your brother, Thera, in the Buddha's teaching" said she to her daughter.
THE STORY OF PIṆÐAPĀTIKA TISSA THERA
Once, there lived a poor fire - wood seller named Mahātissa in the village of Mahāgāma in Southern Srilaṅkā. So charitable was he that he and his wife offered alms - food to the monks fortnightly. The young monks threw away their (the firewood seller and his wife) alms - food right in front of them saying "They are no good".
Mahātissa was unhappy about it. But they could not offer better alms-food. His wife encouraged him by saying, "Who is said to be poor when he has children. Here is your daughter. Sent her to a house as a maid and we'll get 12 kyats. Buy a milking cow. Then we would be able to offer alms - food with milk". From that day on only the fortunate monks, by drawing lots, received the milk and butter alms food from Mahātissa. He was quite happy about it and went to work at a sugar-cane factory and saved 12 kyats. He went to bring back his daughter.
At that time Piṇḍapātika Tissa Thera was on his way to Tissa Mahāvihāra Pagoda. The firewood seller paid respect and followed the Thera. As mid-day was drawing near, the firewood seller thought "Although I've not brought any food with me there is some money with me. At a village gate I shall buy some food for the Thera". In a moment a man with a food package came along their way. So the poor man requested the Thera to wait a while and went to the man and offered one kyat for his food package. The greedy man refused to sell and asked for more. Finally the poor man paid all his 12 kyats and brought the food to the Thera. When half the food was put in the alms-bowl the Thera closed the bowl. The poor man requested and offered all. Thinking that there might be some reasons the Thera accepted it.
While they proceeded on their journey, the Thera learned the whole story and thought himself, "This man has done what is not easy to be done. As soon as I find a suitable place I must strive for Arhatship at one sitting, let my body, skin, flesh and blood dry up". At the Tissa Mahāvihāra Thera began to practise and attained Arhatship at the dawn of the seventh day. He was very weak and tired. Knowing that he might not live long be requested the monks to gather and asked if there was any doubt in them. They at once realized that the Thera had attained Arhatship and done what he should have done. They wished to know what cause was behind it. After relating the whole story, Thera made a wish that his body may be moved only at the touch of the firewood seller. Then he entered Nibbāna.
On learning the death of the great thera, King Kākavaṇṇatissa come to Tissa Mahāvihāra and prepared for cremation ceremony. Thera's body could not be moved to the funeral pyre. The firewood seller was sent for. By way of paying homage, he lifted the Thera's feet and put them on his head. Thence the body went up and fell on the funeral pyre and was cremated automatically.
The lesson from these two stories is that monks should endeavour to expel sloth in return to the alms-food offered by the lay people. One thing to consider is that by practising meditation there is more benefit for the monks than the people who offered alms-food.
(5) To dispel sloth by reflecting the nobility of the Lord Buddha's inheritance. How to do so. The qualities of ariyā, that is, the inheritance of Lord Buddha. (seven in number) are highly venerable. Now-a-days people crave for the material inheritance only. However, the supramundane inheritance is the most valuable one, the most worthy one. The supramundane qualities will deter rebirths in the lower world. It is of utmost importance to gain the qualities of ariyās such as morality, faith and so on. One should not be slothful if one desires such things. Thus reflecting upon the nobility and worthiness of the Lord's inheritance, sloth must be dispelled (6), (7), & (8). To discard sloth by thinking of the worthiness, nobility, and reverence of Lord Buddha and other Bhikkhus such as Ashin Sāriputta Thera. And also to think of your own opportunity of becoming a monk and its nobility.
These are the eight ways of rejecting sloth by means of reflection. According to insight meditation practice it is to contemplate and expel when you begin to be slack in mindfulness or become lazy, by noting "slacking", "slacking", "lazy", "lazy". Then your contemplation will gain strength.
Some people, though they have done immoral deeds such as theft and murder they pretend to loathe such acts. Some great liars like to impose to abhor lies. These amount to hypocrisy. Some meditating Yogīs would entertain reflective thoughts which they should note and dispel. On questioning by the kammaṭṭhāna teacher, they would not like to admit it. That also is regarded as hypocrisy. If a patient refuses to tell what has happened to him, doctor will have no way to cure him. So also if a Yogī does not inform the teacher what is in his mind, the teacher may not be able to put him on the right track. Buddha, therefore, stated that "One is not cunning, does not hide his faults, is straight-forward and has intelligence. Let him come to take instructions and admonitions. Whereupon within seven days Arhatship is his".
ABSTAIN FROM LAUGHING AND PLAYING
There are six ways of laughing. (1) Smiling with just open eyes (2) Smiling with a glimpse of teeth. These two ways of laughing are also enjoyed by Buddha and Arahats. Smiling for no purpose should be noted and dispelled. (3) Making soft sounds while laughing. Normal people used to laugh this way, but monks should abstain from it, (5) Laughing with tears rolling down. (6) Laughing with the body moving back and forth. These two ways of laughing are often seen in the lesser people, however, they are not to be employed by monks. If there is anything heard or seen to be laughed at note and dispel it. In Iṅguttara Ṭīkā Nipāta (263), Buddha said, "Only the young men laugh making loud noises, baring all the teeth and hands clapping. O monks, due to something or some happiness if you wish to laugh, smiling with just a glimpse of teeth is enough for you".
Physical playing includes playing with life or model horse, elephants, and carriages; and also with cards, chess, etc. Verbal playing means playing tunes, singing, joking and fun-making. All these must be refrained from.
ABSTAIN FROM BEAUTIFICATION AND SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP
Beautification for layman need not be explained here. Monks are not to arrange their robes, alms-bowls, etc. so as to have good appearance, nor their monastery or place where they reside.
Sexual relationship is regarded as the most degrading and immoral act. If a monk has committed sexual intercourse he can never be ordained again. It is a great loss for life and also from the Buddha's Order. Therefore, it should be refrained from at the cost of one's life. Worldlings adored and revered monks, The Lord's sons, on account of their abstention from sexual relationship which is regarded as the most desirable thing by them (worldlings). King Mindon expressed his devotion of the monks, "Just on account of their sexual life, they should be revered".
While the Blessed One was preaching this sermon, the Devas and Brahmās praising, "that they (monks) are clean of sex", became so full of joy and faith that they could easily attain the higher dhammas. With this in view Buddha delivered this sermon.
In brief it is to abstain from laughing, playing, sloth, hypocrisy, and sexual intercourse. Besides the sexual intercourse there are seven minor sex-relationships which were explained thus by Buddha to Jānussoni brahmin.
ABSTAIN FROM THE 7 MINOR SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS
"O Jānussoni brahmin, in this world some monks (samaṇa) and some Brahmins claim that they are clean from sex. However they enjoy rubbing the body with perfumes, soothing massage and nursing by women disciples. In this case their morality is no longer pure as they take sensual pleasure from the physical contact of woman". Nuns as well as women observing moral precepts must refrain from massage and nursing by men, for they amount to minor sexual relationship. There is an exemption if the woman is seriously suffering from illness and there is no female to attend to her.
Second one is laughing together with women. Third minor sexual relationship is the sensual pleasure ensued from gazing at each other between the monk and a woman. Fourthly, when a monk listens to the voices of a woman on the other side of the wall and takes pleasure in it. Listening to radios and tape recording come under this heading. The fifth number is the pleasant feeling by recalling what has taken place (such as talking, laughing, and playing) between him and a woman in the past. Those who turned into monks leaving their families behind should make a special note on this one. Number six is the desire for such enjoyments and pleasures experienced by husband and wife. Lastly, the desire for Deva abode in the next existence by virtue of the merits gained through strict observance of the precepts in the role of a monk in the present life. Many find difficult to refrain from this desire.
Monks who are mindful of the first and foremost purpose of ordination i.e. to be liberated from samsāra will abstain from these minor sexual relationships too. The Samaṇa Deva, when reborn in Tāvatimsā Heaven, after an arduous meditation in his previous existence, looked down upon it just like the champion boxer did on a gold medal as on a bunch of vegetables. The worlds of devas should be underrated in comparison with magga, phala and Nibbāna. Note and dispel such desires as and when they arise.
NO FORIUNE-TELLING AND MEDICATION
(13) Āthabbanam supiṇam lakkhaṇam,
no vidahe athopi nakkhattam.
tikiccham māmako na seveyya.
"Monks with devotion and admiration for Buddha, Dhamma and Saṅgha should not practise āthabbaṇa mantam".
In order to achieve the practice of āthabbaṇa mantam one has to take saltless food; sleep on the grass spread on the ground; and observe the required practice. On the seventh day he has to go to a cemetery and take seven steps according to his prescribed text and recites mantras with waving hands. Thus the accomplishment of the discipline takes place. As commented in Mahā Niddesa Pāḷi, people with the knowledge of this discipline could cast spell of various dangers and diseases upon the enemy's army during the war. It seems to resemble the practice of the ascetics in the days of ancient Pagan. This āthabbaṇa discipline flourished in ancient India; nonetheless it could not stop the Arab and Greek armies to override the country. Moreover India was under the Western rules for many years.
I would like to relate a story, which I heard at the age of 18 years, with regard to coincidence. A man from the village called Myaung Gyi went to a so called magician as an under training. One day a merchant came with valuable presents and asked for a talisman. The teacher told his student to prepare one. Not knowing what to do, he just made a small ring out of a thatch leave and gave it to the merchant. At the end of the year the merchant came back with more valuable gifts believing that his business prospered due to that talisman. It was just a coincidence. The merchant's good business could not possibly be the result of the thatch leave. This is the lesson to learn with reflective reasoning and wisdom. There are many such cases.
Even if there are some possibilities, the Buddha's sons should be respectful to Buddha, Dhamma and Saṅgha and not to involve in anything which is contradictory to the Lord's teachings. Now-a-days some wellknown priests used to give out something as medicine or to avert dangers, evils, etc. This is also not in conformity with the teachings. Monks devoted to the three gems, i.e. Buddha, Dhamma and Saṅgha, should refrain from such practices. Not only that, monks should not engage in fortune-telling, dream interpretation, palm reading and preparation to avert evils and dangers. Moreover monks should not participate in fixing dates and time for weddings and ground-breaking for buildings, according to the occult influence of the stars. In other words monks should not practise as astrologers. Since the scientists and astronomers claim that stars and planets belong to other universe, whether they have anything to do with our world or not the Buddha taught us to observe moral precepts, to develop concentration, and to achieve wisdom with profound faith in kamma and its results.
After renouncing the world of layman there is no reason for monks to engage in worldly affairs. They should practise and contemplate ardently and diligently, to be free from the fetters of samsāra sufferings. Monks must also refrain from medical practices and foretelling on the bird's songs. If the disease is really cured, it means a great meritorious deed; thus there appears to be some exceptions with regard to medical practices among monks. However, monks with earnest faith and devotion for the attributes of Buddha, Dhamma and Saṅgha should attach great significance to the attainment of magga, phala and Nibbāna. Putting aside other unnecessary things, they should endeavour for the accomplishment of sīla, samādhi and paññā.
IMPORTANT TO BE IMBUED WITH PURE FAITH
It is of great significance to be imbued with profound and pure faith in Buddha's teachings, such as "Practise this with regard to morality, exercise thus to gain concentration and wisdom". The function of worldly affairs such as fortune telling, medical practices, etc, cause only degradation of morality; samādhi and paññā could not be attained if there is impurity; with no samādhi and paññā there is little chance of liberation from samsāra. Emancipation and liberation from samsāra result only from pure morality, which in turn brings forth samādhi and paññā. "Not only you alone but also thousands and hundreds could achieve real happiness and be liberated from samsāra upon your preachings and instruction. You can give happiness for a short time, for just one existence, by medication or carrying out the worldly affairs, but not for permanent happiness". To be full of profound and pure faith by thus reflecting should be the aspiration of monks.
A monk is permitted, according to the Vinaya rules, to give medical cares to certain persons, such as his own father, mother, those looking after the father and mother, those serving him, and embryo novices. It is also allowed to dispense medicine to the kith and kins of the monks, down to seven generations. If and when a monk would like to give prescription to other people it must be done through discussion with other monks. Once in Srilaṅka a girl came to Mahāpaduma Thera for a prescription for the Queen of King Vasabha. The Venerable Thera consulted with the other monks. When the Queen regained health they offered three robes (ticīvaram) and three hundred kyats saying, "Please offer flowers". The Venerable Thera received the money and offered flowers to Buddha, thus freed himself from the offence of the Vinaya rules.
To-day's lecture will begin with gāthā 14. Out of 20 gāthās we have finished 13 gāthās in three lectures.
TOLERANCE OF REPROACHMENT AND PRAISE
(14) Nindāya nappavedheyya,
na unnameyya pasamsito bhikkhu.
Lobham saha macchariyena,
kodham pesuṇiyañca panudeyya.
In this gāthā the Buddha preached not to be downhearted upon reproachment nor to be elated on praise and compliments. Undoubtedly people have to face these two worldly dhammas. Nothing is so new. Nonetheless people are shakened and disheartened by reproofs whether it is in connection with worldly affairs or dhamma. In strict sense it is not important to think in terms of worldly affairs, such as class, caste, wealth, education and occupation. Pay no attention to such reproofs; note and discard them upon hearing. One in dhamma, upon hearing words of reproachments with regard to morality (sīla), etc. must reflect upon his faults and short-comings. If there is any, correct it and be happy. Care not the reproachment if you have no faults or impurities "Even the Enlightened One was disparaged. If I have not done any wrong, there is nothing to heed for", reflecting thus one must not be disheartened.
Praise or compliments are welcome even if they are not sincere. That is a wrong attitude. Even if they are sincere one must refrain from being elated. It is just a sound, a natural phenomenon. What is essential is to strive more and more for the endowment of praiseworthy attributes. To be unperturbed and calm upon reproofs and compliments one must endeavour to practise mindfulness.
Upon compliments for accomplishments in scriptures, purity of morality, and achievement of samādhi and paññā, one should make his utmost to attain the higher stage reached by the Noble Ones. Until and unless the attainment of Arhatship, however much they may praise you, just reflect "I have not yet accomplished" and exert for the attainment of Arhatship. Once Arhatship has been attained, there is no need to refrain from elation because there is no more conceit and pride in an Arahat. If not an Arahat yet, one needs to restrain oneself by noting and discarding such elation and pride.
Not to be disheartened when reproached, not elated on praise, but to remain calm and restrained is the symbol and sign of strong samādhi. To be tolerant for both good and bad, to gain equanimity, one must possess peaceful samādhi. Because of greed (lobha) one is perturbed, therefore greed must be also rejected. The covetous desire and greed make one to be proud when praised whereas anger causes dejection when not appreciated. For these reasons greed and anger should be dispelled. To be jealous and miserly is the outcome of greed; to be covetous (macchariyo) or possessive of things and people you loved and cherished is also the result of intolerance or anger. As macchariya is the cause of disturbed mind it should be eliminated. Backbiting, one of the four verbal immoralities, is the act leading to the infringement of morality. Not only that it can result in misunderstanding among the loved ones. Back-biting should also be dispelled.
In Dīghanikāya the moral precept is explained as (pāṇātipātam pahāya) abstention from three ways of bodily immoral behaviour or act and four ways of verbal immoral behaviour. In this Sutta to abstain from sex and impurity (abrahmācariya) is also clearly expressed by the words 'methunam vippajahe'. Gāthā 14 states how to refrain from back-biting (pisuṇavācā). To abstain from telling lies is mentioned in gāthā 17 and how to abstain from the use of harsh words (pharusavācā) are explained in gāthā 18. The remaining precepts are killing, stealing and frivolous talk (samphappolāpa). The statement 'discard greed' means to abstain from stealing and frivolous talks which have greed as the grounding. Killing can be avoided by expelling the causal factors namely anger and hatred. The aforesaid embraces the moral precepts for the abstention of 7 immoralities as mentioned in Dīghanikāya.
GOOD MONKS MUST NOT TRANSACT BUSINESS
(15) Kayavikkaye na tiṭṭheyya,
upavādam bhikkhu na kareyya kuhiñci.
Gāme ca nābhisajjeyya,
lābhakamyā janam na lapayeyya.
The disciples of Lord Buddha, the good monks, the noble ones, are not to engage in agriculture, salary earning jobs, fortune telling, medical practices, business, of any kind, etc. They should not enjoy the proceeds from such occupations. As the Buddha is free from these occupations, so also must His disciples. In Brahmajāla Sutta of Dīghanikāya Sīlakkhandhavagga the morality attributes of the Enlightened One is thus extolled:-
"The monk Gotama refrains from doing business."
So also in Sāmaññaphala Sutta the Buddha preached, "King Ajātasatta, in my Sāsanā (teaching) monks refrain from trading". Since the Mahāsamaya Sutta was delivered during the time between the fourth and fifth lenten periods after the enlightenment there were jus monks and novices. It is, therefore, quite obvious that there was no exchange of things for profit among then, as they were mostly Arahats and Arahats and Ariyas.
It is so adorable and honorable for the monks to be innocent and clean of any business transaction like laymen. Furthermore it is not degrading for the monks for not doing business as the laymen. In Mahāniddesa it would originally mean to say that monks not only refrain from business transaction, but also from exchanging things among themselves for profit. If it is not so, Buddha's restraint from business transaction may mean "restrain from exchanging things among the monks". It will then be the most inappropriate way of interpretation. Therefore "kayavikkaya" in this sutta is to be translated as "Good monks, right disciples of Buddha, are free from trading".
In the present days lay disciples offer robes, etc. to the monks with good faith in 'the morality of the monks' and with the desire for the true happiness of human world, Deva abodes and Nibbāna. They offer things, without using themselves nor giving to their beloved better-halves. Hence the monks should receive and use them for the betterment of the Teaching. It is, however, very sad to learn that some monks sell the robes and save money or buy things such as radios and transmitters for business purposes. To abstain from business transaction is not an impossible thing for a monk because he is fully provided by the lay disciples. The Lord's admonition "to abstain from business transaction" should be complied with as many monks do.
COMMIT NO REPROACHABLE ACTIONS
Reproachable actions and kilesās are of three magnitudes-coarse one, moderate one, and refined one. The coarse ones are killing, stealing, and sexual intercourse (the three physical actions); lying backbiting, abusing and frivolous languages (the four verbal actions); plan to obtain other's possession, motive to kill, disbelief in kamma and kammic results, (the three mental actions) Transgression of the Vinaya rules and training is also inclusive. The three mental actions could be rejected by samādhi and paññā.
The moderate kilesas are three in number; (1) Kāmavitakko-lustful thoughts, (2) Byāpāda vittakko-malevolent thoughts, and (3) Vihiṅsā vitakko-cruel thoughts.
The refined kilesās consist of (1) Ñāti vitakko-thinking of relatives or wishing for their good health and wealth or sorrowing for their mishaps, (2) Janapada vitakko-thoughts of the concerned district, province, country, etc (3) Amara vitakko-self-torture for longevity or immortality (4) Parānudayatā paṭisamyutta vitakko-thought with pity or sympathy on others, (5) Lābhasakkāra siloka paṭisamyutta vitakko-thoughts for receiving charitable gifts, presents, and such. (6) Anavaññatti paṭisamyutta vitakko-to be thought of highly but not to be underestimated. These coarse, moderate, and refined kilesās are to be rejected by means of samādhi and paññā.
These coarse, moderate and refined kilesās are not to occur in the presence or absence of others people, in personal or impersonal affairs. Should they occur, note and dispel them. Thinking that other people may not know, you may plan to commit something whereupon beings with supernatural power and Devas can perceive it. Besides that in order to save guard your dignity you should never allow them to have an upperhand. Moreover because of their ill-results or being the foundation or supporter of immorality they should be rejected.
With the aforesaid statements, it should be considered that the Vinaya rules and training for morality, though not directly discussed in this Sutta, are well treated here. Hence the created self-image's request for instruction on the Vinaya rules is fully answered. "Gāme ca nabhisajjeyya" implies that monks should not have attachment to the village, in other words, monks should not attach themselves to the benefactors.
A monk is happy when his benefactors are well and fine; he is sorry when they are sad and in bad shape; he participates in anything to be done by the benefactors. These behaviours are tantamount to the monk's attachment to the benefactors. The Buddha advised the monks not to have such attachments. The following story is about a young monk with no such attachment (Visuddhimagga Vol. 1-88).
A MONK WHO IS CLEAN OF KULAPALIBODHA
One day, a monk, nephew of Mahāthera of Koraṇḍaka monastery, went to study at Rohaṇa district. On frequent enquiries by the monk's mother, the Thera went to Rohaṇa to bring back the young monk. At the same time the young monk left Rohaṇa with the thought, "I better go back and pay respect to my teacher and also see my mother since I've left them for quite a long time". The two met on the bank of Mahāveligaṅgā river. After learning about each other's purpose of the journey each one proceeded on his way.
The young monk arrived at the Koraṇḍaka monastery on the first day of the lent and he was sent to the monastery built by his father. The next day his father went to the monastery and learned that a guest monk came to stay at his monastery. Then he saw a young monk and requested respectfully, "Your reverence, it is customary for a monk who resides at our monastery, to receive alms-food at our house during the lent and also to take leave from us at the end of the lent".
The monk accepted the request by remaining silent. The benefactor and his wife offered alms-food for the whole lent with respect and faith. At the end of the lent, the monk came to take leave. They requested him to stay a day longer and on the day of departure they offered him alms-food, molasses, oil and a piece of cloth. The monk preached a thanksgiving sermon and went back to Rohaṇa district.
His teacher, the Thera came back after spending the lent and the two met again at the same place as before. The monk related how he was well treated by his parents and offered the Thera the oil and the piece of cloth and the molasses. After paying respect the monk said that as Rohaṇa district was more suitable for him he was going back there.
The monk's mother was expecting to see her son along with the Thera. Upon seeing the Thera alone she wailed at the foot of the Thera taking that her son was dead. "The young monk is not so full of greed that he did not even let his mother know his presence" thought the Thera. Thence he told everything and showed her the piece of cloth the monk had offered him. The mother was so filled with joy and devotion that after turning toward her son's direction, she prostrated herself on her chest and worshipped him with such exaltation. "The Lord had preached rathavinīta practice, nālaka practice, tuvaṭaka practice and mahā ariyavamsa practice just because there are Venerable monks like my son. Look how wonderful a person he is. He has spent three months receiving alms-food at my place and yet never made a mention of being mother and son".
Why the monk in this story did not let the mother know about himself is quite obvious; he was not attached to the family and the relatives at all. And also may be that he wished them have more noble meritorious deeds. Had they known the true fact, the offerings might have been made with the attachment for their son. The charity with the attachment for the son will result in lesser magnitude of merit than those made purely, with sincere adoration and good faith for the monk's honorable morality. The monk's behaviour is very appropriate and highly respectable. The mother's mention of rathavinīta practice, etc. shows that she too was not a person with little knowledge in dhamma. Very few among the laymen and only some monks have knowledge about such practices. Some comments on those practices should be made here.
In the introduction of Rathavinīta Sutta of Mūlapaṇṇāsa Pāḷi the Blessed One enquired the monks from Kapilavattu who came to pay obeisance, about the monk who was complimented for less greed and who also practised and preached others to be so. They replied that Puṇṇa Thera was the one who was in possession of ten kathāvatthus and who also urged the others to conduct themselves according to the ten kathāvatthus. The ten kathāvatthus; the essence of that Sutta, are:-
(1) Appicchakathā, (2) Santuṭṭhikathā, (3) Pavivekakathā, (4) Asamsaggakathā, (5) Vīriyā-rambha padākathā, (6) Sīlasampadākathā, (7) Samādhisam-padākathā, (8) Paññāsampadākathā, (9)Vimutti-sampadākathā, (10) Vimuttiñāṇadassana sampadākathā.
(1) Apicchā-less desirous, not greedy; in Arahats it means to be absolutely free from desire and greed. Atricchatā means the desire to get other's possessions thinking those are better than what one has though they may be the same. It is just like the saying 'to throw away the smoked fish on seeing the fresh one'. That certainly is greed. Again there is pāpicchatā which connotes the desire to be praised for the qualities and attributes one does not have and also to receive and use things which are inappropriate for him. This is ignoble desire. Desire of praise for ones' qualities and abilities and excessive use of things are known as mahicchatā. That also is excessive greed. One with no intention of letting other know about his qualities and attributes and also knows his position is said to be endowed with appicchatā, less greed. If one is free from atricchatā, pāpicchatā and mahicchatā, he is also known as imbued with appicchatā attribute.
Ashin Puṇṇa had such attributes and also urged others to be so. I advise you to practise as Ashin Puṇṇa.
(2) Santuṭṭhi denotes contentment. When a monk is contented with what he has (robes, dwelling place, medicine, alms-food) it is said 'yathālābhasantosa'. 'Yathālābhasantosa' means one is allowed to exchange things which he cannot make use of due of health reasons. For example, a monk can change for a lighter robe as he is not strong enough to wear a heavy one. Thinking that good things are not appropriate for him, he may change them for less good ones. That is known as 'yathāsāruppasantosa'. These are the three forms of contentment which Ashin Puṇṇa had professed and you all are advised to practise accordingly.
(3) paviveka-quietude, seclusion. Seclusion of body (kāyaviveka) is to stay in seclusion with no company. Detachment of the mind (cittaviveka) is to be free from the hindrances and enjoy jhānic and insight consciousness. Extinction of the substratum of being (upadhiviveka) denotes Nibbāna. It is to comprehend these three vivekas and also to urge others to be so.
(4) Asamsagga-not to associate with opposite sex. Attachment for the opposite sex upon seeing each other is called 'dassanasamsagga'. To avoid it stay where you cannot see or if you see pay no heed but contemplate upon it. If one is attached upon hearing his or her voice, or news about him or her, it is 'savanasamsagga'. This also should be just the sense of hearing not beyond that. 'Samullapanasamsagga' is the attachment due to conversation with the opposite sex. This is also to be noted with great care. Attachment arising out of the use of things belonging to men, women and monks among themselves is termed as 'sambhogasamsagga'. 'Kāyasamsagga', attachment due to the bodily contact of opposite sex, which hardly occurs among the monks as it is prohibited by the Vinaya rules. However, this can happen to a monk who is disrespectful of Vinaya rules. One must be detached from these five samsaggas and also preach others to do the same.
TO BE FREE FROM SAMSAGGA AND TO BE DELIVERED IS OF
In connection with these five samsaggas the commentaries state. "Lay disciples entice monks by offering alms-food, etc. Monks also entice lay disciples by giving them flowers and fruits". This explains the enticement and enticed. There is "gāhamuttaka" which means that monk is clean and pure and receives the offerings in accordance with "dakkhiṇeyya"-one who is noble and right to receive-attribute. The layman may try to entice but not the monk, in other words, the monk is innocent in receiving the offerings. On the other hand, the lay man is clean and faithful whereas the monk is not; this is known as "muttagāhakasamsagga". In this case the monk is not innocent. These associations, and connections should be refrained from. The best way of association is to be free from any kind of enticement on both sides and that is known as "muttamuttaka". The story in the commentary runs as follows with regard to these samsaggās.
THE STORY OF CŪḶAPIṆÐAPĀTIYA TISSA THERA
A woman disciple served Cūḷapiṇḍapātiya Tissa Thera for twelve whole years. One day a fire broke out in her village and the other monks went to their benefactors and inquired about the situation and consoled them too. Nowadays, some monks even went to help when there was fire in the villages near their monasteries. It is very proper and laudable in the eyes of the laymen. At that time the other people jeered at the Thera by saying, "Your monk will come just to receive alms-food". Cūḷapiṇḍapātiya Tissa Thera, next day went to the woman disciple who treated him dutifully as before under the shade of a barn. On his return after partaking the food, people made fun by saying, "Didn't we tell you that your monk will come only at the meal time". The woman replied that her monk was all right for her and those other monks did befit them too.
LOFTY BENEFIT OF PURE AND NOBLE CHARITY
The words uttered by the woman are very profound and exact. "When you take refuge in Saṅgha it is done with faith in morality, concentration and wisdom, the attributes of monks. So also are the charitable deeds done. Monks are endowed with morality and such; if offerings are made to them consequences will be happiness along samsāra and the attainment of Nibbāna in the end". Offerings should be made with such faith and belief. Even a spoonful of alms-food, when offered in this manner, may bring forth happiness as the result of being reborn in Devas world. Indaka became a Deva in the celestial abode of Tāvatimsā as the merit of offering a spoonful of alms-food to Ashin Anuruddhā Thera. He was reborn there not as an ordinary Deva, but as powerful as the ones already there. That is the reason why he was seated right near the Buddha when He delivered the sermon on Abhidhammā in the Tāvatimsā Heaven.
For comparison, at that time Aṅkura Deva was at first seated near the Blessed One. He had to make way for the more powerful ones that he finally landed at a place twelve yojanas away from the Lord. In his human existence, Aṅkura gave pompous, elaborate charities for thousands of years. However his meritorious deeds were done outside the realm of Buddha's Sāsanā and offerings were made to the people with no moralities. Since the recipients possessed no attributes of morality, and as such, the benefit was of no great magnitude. Whereas Indaka, though he offered just a spoonful of alms-food, the offering was made to Ashin Anuruddhā Thera who was fully endowed with morality, etc. Thus the consequences were lofty.
The comparison of benefits form the meritorious deeds of Indaka and Aṅkura, made it clear that deeds done with considerations on the attributes of the recipients have superior and noble benefits. The enquiries and help of the monks at the fire mishap, may be worthy of not more than a hundred or a thousand kyats. The woman's (in the above story) offering with thought of attributes of sīla, etc., may bring forth uncountable benefits. She might enjoy the happiness of deva's existence just like Indaka Deva for many times. She may attain tranquillity of Nibbāna with ease. The essential point here is that the short term benefits of the present existence should not be considered. It is to take refuge in the Order with purity and faith in view of the long term benefits i.e. benefits for the whole cycle of samsāra. All these are related to asamsaggakathā.
(5) Vīriyārambhakathā-to practise ardently and assiduously, both mentally and physically. Defilements occurred while walking, should not be still active when one sits down. Defilements at the time of sitting should not be allowed to be present at walking or lying down. They must be rejected diligently at the very moment of occurrence. Practise to be endowed with it (vīriyārambhakathā) and also urge others to do so.
(6), (7) & (8) Sīlakathā, samādhikathā, paññākathā-exercise to be in possession of morality, concentration, and wisdom. The meaning of morality is quite understandable. Concentration here is meant to contemplate till the attainment of jhānic concentration. If it is not yet feasible, then strive for stronger momentary self-concentration of insight (vīpassanākhaṇikasamādhi). With regard to paññā, (wisdom) it is to gain full insight wisdom and thence attain ariyamaggapaññā, wisdom of the noble path. Remember these are the "must" dhammas to be attained in Buddha's sāsanā.
Such talk as "there is no need for meditation" is just not in line with the Buddha's Sāsanā. It is obvious how detrimental these words are to the Buddha's Sāsanā. Just think whether jhānic concentration can be gained without meditation; insight concentration without observing and noting; wisdom of the Noble Path with no Vipassanā. You will find clearly the answers to these as "No". Those who believe in these words "no need for meditation" will not meditate, thence no concentration, no insight wisdom and no knowledge of the Path. Where is the difference between them and those outside the Buddha's Sāsanā. Special attention should be paid in this connection. The main theme of this Rathavinīta Sutta is to practise mindfulness, to be endowed with sīla, samādhi and paññā, and also to preach others to do so.
(9) Vimutti-four states of ariyaphala. To practise and also to urge others to strive for the attainment of these four states of ariyaphala. The endowment of sīla, samādhi and paññā ensures one for "vimutti", the four states of ariyaphala.
(10) Vimuttiñāṇadassana-wisdom or mind's eye which reflects upon the emancipation after the attainment of four ariyaphala states. How this insight is gained is thus mentioned in many Suttas: "Upon emancipation, realization of emancipation occurs in mind consciousness". This knowledge usually appears naturally right after the attainment of ariyaphala. Hence there need no special meditation for such knowledge.
The adoration of the woman disciple of Koraṇḍaka village for her son is with respect to this rathavinīta practice, especially asamsagga practice, non-association with opposite sex, professed by her son. Sambhoga asamsagga (no attachment due to the use of things of each other) out of five asamsaggas; out of enticement and liberation, it is liberation from the attachment to the benefactors, namely that her son was so free from the fetters of the family and parents that he did not even let them know who he was. Bearing these two attributes (namely asamsagga practices) in mind the woman disciple worshipped her son with deep reverence. It is a wonder that this woman disciple had foreknowledge of asamsagga practice. A detailed explanation of "gāhā" and "mutta" are given here so that you all may understand the rathavinīta practice clearly. The reason why the student-monk did not let his mother know that he was her son was because he wished them to be detached and liberated from the fetters. Hence there was detachment on both sides, although he had spent three whole months receiving alms-food from them.
This practice was named after the monk called Nālaka who conducted moneyya practice i.e. the practice for monks or the practice belonging to monks. Nālaka turned a hermit at the instruction of his great uncle, Kaṇhadevila hermit, after the birth of the Boddhisatta (would be Buddha). According to the Suttanipāta commentary he must be quite young for he was playing on the road when his great uncle made him a hermit. Gotama Buddha was about 35 years old after the sermon of Dhammacakka and the young hermit must be about 50 years of age. In compliance to his great uncle's words, he went to the Buddha in Migadāvana, Benares and requested for the instruction of moneyya practice.
The Worthy One delivered the sermon on the moneyya practice in 32 gāthās beginning "I shall expound the moneyya practice for you ....". In early days of Buddha's Sāsanā, many with no faith in this religion, behaved disrespectfully and used ill words towards it. When we started to instruct the Satipaṭṭhāna meditation there were many supercilious comments. Therefore the Blessed One admonished to treat abuse and respect on the same footing i.e. not to be angry when abused and not to be joyous for homage and respect.
It is also required to abstain from sexual intercourse, and to refrain from any other worldly enjoyments. One must not torture others (treat others as you would like to be treated). One must reject desires for what one does not have and avoid attachments for what one has. One should partake only a considerable amount of food. After receiving alms-food one should go to a wood and stay under a tree. One must spend the time by contemplation for mundane and supramundane jhānic states. Go into the village, in the morning, for alms-food, but one must not accept food by invitation from the disciples or food sent in. Go to house in seriatim and act like a dumb, without uttering a word expecting charitable gifts and offerings. Whether good or bad, or upon not receiving alms-food, and must regard them as good and right. One should not reproach for less offerings. There are various magnitudes of conduct (3 in lesser degree and one in higher degree) as taught by an Emancipated One (Buddha). The annihilation of defilements or Nibbāna is attained once, but never twice by an ariyamagga, Path of the Noble Ones, in other words, the annihilation by the first magga is done once, not necessarily twice. Full emancipation is not achieved through annihilating the defilements by ariyamagga for one time only, (meaning full emancipation is attained only by four maggas or annihilation by magga four times.) These two statements are very profound.
In brief a monk is to stay under the same tree or in the same wood just for a day and to receive alms-food from the same village a day not two. Ashin Nālaka conducted himself accordingly going from tree to tree, and wood to wood, village to village and finally became an Arahat. If one conducts this moneyya practice assiduously, he may live for seven months only after the attainment of Arhatship. If one regularly practises it, he may have for seven years and when one practises indolently one may live for sixteen years. Nālaka hermit practised with diligence, therefore, he entered Nībbāna (i.e. Parinibbāna) after seven months, at Hiṅgula mountain.
The woman disciple of Koraṇḍaka village, adored her son with reverence comparing him with Nālaka monk, with respect to detachment of any place. She paid homage to her son with due respect because of tuvaṭaka paṭipadā that is no attachment even for the mother or the village.
MAHĀ ARIYAVAMSA PAṬIPADĀ
This is the conduct of great nobility. There are three forms of contentment in alms-food and contentment in dwelling abodes; the other one is to indulge in meditation. Altogether these four make for Mahā ariyavamsa paṭipadā. In connection with this conduct the Buddha preached as follows:-
"O bhikkhus, in this Order a monk is contented with a pamsukū (an abandoned rag taken from a dust heap) or any other piece of cloth as for his robes. He always appreciates this kind of contentment and never makes any attempt to employ improper ways to obtain robes. He does not worry for not receiving a robe nor he becomes greedy and saves the robes upon receiving it. He always wears them with reflection upon the impurities and exerts for deliverance. He never is conceited for this form of contentment nor reproaches others with regard to lack of this contentment".
To be contented with whatever kind of robes, having no attachments for them, not glorifying oneself or degrading others with respect to this conduct of contentment, making use of it with reflective mind on the impurities are the qualities of one with the ariyavamsa conducts.
To be contented with whatever alms-food and dwelling abodes in the same manner are the two forms of ariyavamsa conducts. Rejoicing in meditation and not to overestimate one-self or to underestimate the others in this connexion is the fourth ariyavamsa conduct.
The woman disciple of Koraṇḍaka village exalted her son-monk with respect to the conduct of contentment in alms-food, robes, and such. It is not inappropriate to mention that she also praised him for his rejoicing in meditation. All these aforesaid are the illustrations for the admonition "gāme ca nābhisajjeyya" no attachment to village.
A VOID PERSUASIVE WORDS FOR CHARITABLE GIFTS
"Say no sweet persuasive words to lay disciples expecting charitable gifts or offerings". Mahāniddesa and its commentaries and also Visuddhimagga, explain how sweet persuasive words are used as "ālapanā lapanā".
"Ālapanā" means to start persuasion by the monks. The monk greets the lay disciples when they come to his monastery with such persuasive words, "What is your purpose of coming? Do you come to invite us? If so, you go ahead and I shall come with the other monks. How many do you wish to invite?". "I'm so and so monk-teacher. King as well as the ministers and councillors pay reverence to me". Thus he glorifies his status and position upon no one's enquiries. This is another way of "ālapanā" persuasion. Telling about oneself when requested is "lapanā". Both forms of persuasive words are not permissable.
Just to entertain the lay disciples and to let them say things is "sallapanā". To address as "The millionaire", "The millowner", "The president, etc." in praise of their position is "ullapanā". These too should not be employed. If one uses such way of addressing with clean conscience, it is excusable, because in the time of Buddha, He Himself addressed the king as "mahārājā, the great king". furthermore a monk may say, "Benefactor, last year about this time offerings were made for the harvest of new crops. Aren't you going to do so this year?" And he may go on entrapping until the disciple promises, "Yes, your reverence". This is known as "unnahanā". Another way of persuasion is on seeing a man with a piece of sugar cane the monk may say, "Where do you get this?". On the reply "From the sugarcane plantation" again the monk asks, "Is the sugar-cane from that plantation good and sweet?". "We must not say offer me sugarcane" said the monk when the man answers, "the taste can be known by crunching it". This way, if trying to persuade one without giving a chance to say "No", is also known "unnahanā". All these forms of persuasions are not appropriate for a monk. "Ukkācanā" implies another kind of praise such as, "The people from this house know me only. They always offer things to me alone". Sweet and gently words should not be spoken with the motive of persuasion.
Another way round is to humble oneself and to compliment the lay disciples by saying, "I enjoy much benefit out of you". "You have fully provided me". "Because of you people give me charities". "I'm known as the teacher-monk of so and so, but not by my own name". "People know me because of you".
Just in contrast to this is to laud oneself and to humble others by saying. "Because of me, you gain a lot of merits; you become faithful disciples who seek refuge in the three Gems, namely Buddha, Dhamma and Saṅgha. You have better conduct by observing the five precepts. I teach you Pāḷi dhamma and also its translation. I make you observe eight precepts. I manage the buildings, and the construction of your monasteries. Because of me you are fortunate to be able to listen to the deep and profound dhamma sermons". this is "lapanā" which should be shunned by the monks.
Sometimes a monk will humble the lay disciples and in another time he may praise them with a clear conscience, loving-kindness, and good wishes for them so that they may gain merits, they may practise meditation, but not with expectations for charities. This way of innocent dealing is not regarded as pretension or persuasion.
This is the last lecture and it will deal with the remaining five gāthās.
(16) Na ca katthiko siyā bhikkhu,
na ca vācam payuttam bhāseyya.
Pāgabbhiyam na sikkheyya,
katham viggāhikam na kathayeyya.
NOT TO BE VAINGLORIOUS
Monks in the Buddha's Order "must be free from boasting and they should absolutely refrain from vainglory for what they have not. They should not be presumptuous for what they have. Some have developed the habit of boasting as if they are from higher and noble class, as if they are of rich family. Monks must abstain from such pretension with regard to worldly aspects. Some pretend as though they are of strict morality, as if they have carried out dutaṅga practices, as if they are highly educated in scriptures and literatures, as though they are endowed with super-natural powers and they have the power to read others' minds. A monk should not have such pretence. Even if one is asked about his qualities and experiences, he should tell them what should be told but not in the sense of blowing one's own trumpet."
Layman who reveres the dhamma should not be pretentious. Whether it is a layman or a monk, he who is honest and straight-forward never pretends nor exaggerates but he is precise and truthful.
"One must never say words inviting charitable gifts of four necessities of a monk". Monks should not casually mention the unavailability of robes, or the monks in their monastery being short of robes, etc. This too should be refrained from. Furthermore a monk should refrain from telling lies, back-biting, abusing, telling or writing legends and fables. He must not deliver sermons with expectation of receiving charitable gifts. In the Samyutta Pāḷi (Vo. I-402-3) it is stated thus:-
A SERMON WHICH IS NOT CLEAN
"O Bhikkhu, a certain monk may preach others harbouring such a thought, 'I hope people will listen to my sermon and become devoted to it. Then as usual they will offer me something. If so it is well and good'. The sermon delivered with this expectation is not clean".
A CLEAN PURE SERMON
"O Bhikkhu, a certain monk may deliver a sermon with this thought in mind: 'This dhamma is well delivered by the Buddha. It has the following attributes, one can presently experience it, one can benefit from it in no time, it is worthy of inviting others to come to study and practise it, it is the one which should be practised so as to be always in one's mind, the noble ones have experienced and comprehended it themselves. After listening to my sermon it would be well and good if they understand and practise accordingly.' When a sermon is delivered because of its goodness and worthiness, with loving-kindness for the people, to save-guard them and to reward them, it is a clean and pure sermon".
When a monk delivers a sermon with clean mind, then only he is free from persuasive words relating to receiving of four necessities, payuttavācā.
NO UNCOUTH PHYSICAL, VERBAL AND MENTAL MANNERISMS
Among the three forms of uncouth mannerisms, the uncouth physical mannerism includes disrespect at the gathering of monks, jostling against the elder monks while walking or standing, standing in front of the elders, sitting at a higher place, covering the head, standing while talking to the elders, talking with waving arms, keeping arms around the knee while sitting in front of the elders. These impudent mannerisms should not be manifested by the monks. Some young monks took up the best places and did not make way when the elders came. This kind of mannerism is also undesirable. Sometimes while partaking food with other monks, a monk may behave in detestable manner, such as spitting, blowing a nose, clearing the throat, etc. These should be carefully avoided too.
The verbal mannerism is explained in terms of talking with no respect to respectable persons and monks. At the gathering of monks, if one wishes to speak, to ask a question, to answer one, or to preach he must first request for permission. If he failed to do so it is regarded as ungraceful. When in a village or town a monk should not ask lay disciples, "What do you have for us? What are you offering us? Is it coffee or tea?" This is not in accordance with the Lord's instruction. This is also uncouth mannerism.
Uncouth mental mannerism means reflecting and thinking of things and experiences without restraint of mind. A monk from a low family thinks himself as the same with the one from a high family. In India and Srilaṅkā there is caste discrimination and a monk from lower caste has to pay respect to the one from higher caste. Even a layman may not respect a monk of low caste whereas a monk from low caste is expected to respect a layman from a high caste. All these are worldly affairs. In fact whoever becomes a monk in the Buddhist Order he is treated as a member of Sakkya family. There is no discrimination of high and low caste. In the Order the differentiation is in the light of seniority of monkhood and the degree of perfection in morality, concentration and wisdom, knowledge of scriptures and accomplishment in meditation.
Uncouth mental mannerism, therefore, should be considered in connection with the magnitude of accomplishment in scriptures. A monk with less knowledge of scriptures may take himself to be on the same footing with the one who is well versed in scriptures. So also with regard to dutaṅga practice and trance. One who turned into monk leaving the family behind may think himself as equals with elder monks who are renowned for their accomplishment in scriptures. Some may even harbour the idea that the others have not achieved as much in meditation practice as they have. Such forward mannerism should be refrained from. Yogīs, practising meditation, will not entertain such mental impudence. Upon gaining the udayabbaya ñāṇa, however, one may think highly of oneself. If this occurs, observe and dispel it.
Moreover there should be no arguments, that is especially when discussing dhamma. The dispute may be about who knows best. For a meditating Yogī it is best not to engage in any disputes or arguments. If there is anything to be argued better stop the discussion or conversation and continue with the contemplation and discard the uncouth thoughts.
(17) Mosavajje na nīyetha,
sampajāno sathāni na kayirā.
Atha jvitena paññāya,
TO ABSTAIN FROM TELLING LIES AND BE NOT CUNNING
The Blessed One admonished that monks should not indulge in telling lies. Gāthā 12 comments on the abstention from deceit (i.e. to cover up one's fault and pretend not to have any). Some are pretentious of qualities that they really do not have, such as to make others believe that he is strict with morality, that he has attained tranquillity, though he possesses none of them. Nowadays, there are people who said that they are free from defilements such as lust, anger, etc. and can keep their mind tranquil and pure, without practising any kind of meditation. This should be seriously considered as to be or not to be treated as cunning. Not a single Buddha had taught nor any commentaries have mentioned that mind could be free of hindrances and be tranquil without practising Samatha or Vipassanā meditation. You shall find the truth from your own experience. It is obvious that the belief in the saying "mind, without practising meditation, can be pure and calm", is merely a sāṭheyya, pretence.
For a meditating Yogī, it is of utmost importance to mention only what one really experiences or comprehends when enquired by the teacher. Lord Buddha, therefore, had explained in Iṅguttara Pāḷi (Vol. 1-57), Mijjhimapaṇṇāsa Pāḷi (298) in connection with five padhāniyiṅga, as follows:-
"One is not conceited, not evasive and cunning. When questioned by the teachers or the wise ones residing in the same place, one should tell the truth".
A person may never gain real samādhi if he pretends to possess such quality. True vipassanā nāṇa, insight wisdom, may never be achieved by one who is arrogant about the comprehension of the analytical wisdom for differentiating rūpa and nāma, the knowledge of arising and passing away of phenomena, the insight into impermanence due to the arising and dissolution. When insight wisdom is not achieved there is no magga phala for such person. Remember this for good.
"Not to be vainglorious because of education, profession, morality training, and not be belittle others too".
When one leads a glorious life or when one is well educated, or when one has accomplished morality training and dutaṅga practice, one is tend to belittle the less fortunate ones. Nowadays, some under the influence of certain sects used to be insolent upon those who are not of the same sect but well endowed with morality, knowledge, dutaṅga practice, and samatha vipassanā meditation. All these are in contravention of the Buddha's Teachings.
(18) Sutvā rusito bhahum vācam,
samaṇānam vā puthujanānam.
Pharusena ne na paṭivajjā,
na hi santo paṭiseni'karontī.
NO HARSH RETORTS FOR IMPEACHMENTS
"Upon impeachment by laymen of monks, a monk should not retort with harsh words".
"Samaṇa", "monk" does not necessarily mean a Buddhist monk, it can be any monk outside the Buddhist's discipline. This Tuvaṭaka Sutta was delivered in the early days of Buddha's Sāsanā, somewhere at the end of the fourth lenten period after the attainment of His Full Enlightenment. At that time many monks, outside the Buddha's Sāsanā, as well as their disciples, kings and brahmins, and also certain Devas who professed their faith impeached the Buddha's Teachings. The Buddha, therefore, has instructed not to retaliate and not to use harsh words in explaining them when necessary.
SELF EXPERIENCE OF TOLERANCE
I started instructing Vipassanā meditation in 1300 (M.E.) at my birth place, Seikkhun village, Shwebo District. The monk from the Headman Monastery which was near the Mahāsī Monastery was not in favour of my teachings. Knowing the magnitude of my learned knowledge in scriptures, he dared not criticize me openly but only at the back of me. Those monks friendly with him and also his lay disciples behaved similarly. I continued with my instruction without retaliating him. Since I was preaching the dhamma through personal experience, there is nothing to be afraid of. The Yogīs and disciples at my monastery increased in number as they gained faith and belief in my teaching through their experience.
The monk of the Headman Monastery after four or five Lenten periods left the monkhood and married a woman. He died after five years.
At the time of my arrival at Yangon, a newspaper ran a critique column on the method of Vipassanā meditation instructed by me. I made no comments. There was also a book "Ariyā-bonthwā Nyanhlegā" (Steps to Ariyā Abode) which criticized the method of Vipassanā meditation instructed by me. A daily newspaper also published articles with criticizing comments on my teaching of Vipassanā meditation. I made no remarks and reflected thus, "This is Buddha's Dhamma and everyone has a claim on it. People who like my instructions will come to me and those in favour of theirs' will go to them." I continued giving instruction on Vipassanā meditation with cool and calm consciousness. I also noticed that there is success in my instruction. The Sāsana Yeikthā, Yangon, was opened with 25 yogīs in 1311 (M.E.). Now in summer there are about 1000 Yogīs and about 200 in winter. It may be the benefit due to a respectful compliance of the Buddha's instruction (na pativujjā) "not to retaliate".
When there are allegations or if you heard someone accusing you never try to retort them in harsh words. If you have to make comments then use only soft and kind words. Wherefore the reason. It is customary not to retaliate for the worthy and noble people who have extinguished defilements. (Bhikkhu or Samaṇa) Monk is one who practises to eradicate defilements and he is a noble person. If one has faithfully practised and exterminated defilements, then he is a true Samaṇa who no longer has any tendencies to retaliate and has a serene mind. Therefore, Samaṇa who claims to be free from defilements is not to retort in harsh words upon being criticised.
(19) Etañca dhammamaññāya,
Vicinam bhikkhu sadā sato sikkhe.
Santīti nibbutim ñatvā,
Sāsane gotamassa na pamajjeyya.
CONTEMPLATE TO NOTE CONSTANILY
The first two lines in this gāthā denote the following meaning: -"Perceiving the perils of samsāra and striving to liberate oneself from samsāra, a Bhikkhu with the comprehensive knowledge of morality, concentration and wisdom, as admonished here, should reflect and practise diligently, noting the arising rūpa and nāma day and night."
The created Self-image had requested the Buddha in gāthā 7 to instruct on Pātimokkha, moral practice and Samatha practice. Accordingly the Blessed One preached the moral practice in gāthā 8 by explaining the subjugation of eye-sense, etc. and also on Samādhi practice by instructing to contemplate into the jhānic state. In gāthā 18 the Lord preached not to use harsh words in retort. Not to be contented by listening and comprehending these instructions and admonitions on moral practice and Samādhi practice but also to exercise them all the time, day and night as mentioned in gāthā 2.
NIBBĀNA, NIBBUTI, SANTI, SANTILAKKAṆĀ
ARE FUNDAMENTALLY EQUIVALENT
The last two lines in gāthā 19 render as follows: -
"After ascertaining that the annihilation of defilements is the peaceful bliss of Nibbāna, (one) should be mindful of the Buddha's Teachings". "Nibbutim" in gāthā 19 is to be taken as "rāgassa nibbutim", meaning that the annihilation of lust, anger, ignorance, etc. is known as "santi", peace. The aforesaid statement indicates that the annihilation of defilements is the peaceful bliss of Nibbāna, which is also termed as "santi" or "santilakkhaṇā" (the characteristics of bliss). The resultants of defilements such as kamma and its work, rūpa and nāma, the conditions of sentient existence and sufferings, are totally extinguished upon the annihilation of defilements. The annihilation of defilements, here denotes the entire extirpation of defilements with no chance of their assertion, due to the merit of the Path of the Noble Ones, ariyamagga. It does not refer to a momentary extinction of defilements. It is to comprehend that "santi" or bliss of Nibbāna is the complete annihilation without any opportunities for the occurrence of defilements. With this comprehension, one is to be mindful and to contemplate until the defilements are extinguished by the Path of the Noble Ones.
This annihilation of defilements is possible only under the Teachings of Gotama Buddha, not under any other teachings. Therefore, the Buddha exhorted, "to practise ardently and diligently" under His Teachings.
The above mentioned admonition of the Buddha is the same as the one in gāthā 5 (ajjhatta me vupasame, na aññato bhikkhu santi me seyya) "Search not outside yourself but try to have internal tranquillity". At that time some people and Devas believed that by professing other faiths, sufferings could be put to an end and attain permanent happiness. Others believed that one can reach heaven by worshipping the god who created them. Some were still doubtful which meant they were not sure of any faith and belief. There will be extirpation of all sufferings if and when one can dispel defilements within oneself by means of ariyamagga, The Path of the Noble Ones. The way to eradicate defilements could be found nowhere but in the Buddha's Teaching. In short "practise diligently and mindfully under the Buddha's Teaching, till the defilements are annihilated by the Path of the Noble Ones".
IS THE EXTINCTION OF DEFILEMENTS APPARENT
AS THAT OF A DYING FLAME
At this juncture it is questionable whether "santi", peaceful bliss or Nibbāna attained after the annihilation of defilements by the Path of the Noble Ones, could be seen apparently as though a flame is snuffed out. Whether one could see the extinction of lust, anger, ignorance, wrong belief and skeptical doubts, in other words the disappearance of lust, etc. from their original places. That is certainly not so. One could not see as such for there is no longer lust, etc. at the time when one approaches the Path of the Noble Ones. On the brink of the attainment of the Path of the Noble Ones, one no longer experiences lust, anger, etc. There is only a chance for their occurrence, but it is not in the form of a flame. The non-existence of the chance for the occurrence of lust, anger etc. beginning with the arising of the Path of the Noble Ones, therefore, could not be apparently seen as the extinction of a flame. How is it perceived then? Just the phenomenon of the non-existence of defilements, rūpa and nāmā, conditions of sentient existence, is perceivable and comprehensible. How it is perceived and comprehended is thus commented in Milinda paññhā (311).
THE REALIZATION OF NIBBĀNA
Tassa tam cittam aparāparam manasikaroto pavattam samatikkamitvā appavattam okkamati; appavattamanuppatto mahārājsa sammāpaṭipanno nibbānam sacchikarotīti vuccati.
The above Pāḷi states, "The contemplating mind of a Yogī who is observing and noting successively, swims out of the stream of unceasingly arising rūpa and nāma and reversing the process of existences reaches a state of non-occurrence. Noble King, Milinda, one who has followed the right method and attained the state of non-occurrence, is said to realize peaceful bliss of Nibbāna".
A Yogī, meditating for the attainment of ariyamagga, should observe and note constantly (as instructed "sato sikkhe") rūpa and nāma, namely consciousness of touch, consciousness of the act of thinking, feeling, seeing, hearing, etc. All these are incessantly arising phenomena, happening successively one after another. All these phenomena of successive and constant arising of thought, feeling. seeing, etc. are known as (pavatta) the stream of consistent arising rūpa and nāma, just like the stream where the new and old water flow continuously. The contemplating mind of Yogī always closely fits in with the stream of consistent arising rūpa and nāma whenever the observation is made and noted. With such contemplation there appears saṅkhārupekkhā ñāṇa (knowledge or insight arising from viewing things with equanimity) and anuloma ñāṇa (knowledge of adaptation) which are very quick and fleeting. Thence the Yogī attains the state of extinction of the stream of rūpa and nāma. The phenomenon of arising and dissolution is no longer experienced, but there is only the phenomenon of entire extirpation of arising rūpa and nāma. That is the tranquillity, Nibbāna. Lust, anger, etc. no longer exist with the annihilation of rūpa and nāma. Hence he who experiences the phenomenon of annihilation of rūpa and nāma is said to realize Nibbāna.
Beginning with the realization of Nibbāna through ariyamagga, certain defilements become totally extinguished as there is no more chance for their occurrence. The realization through sotāpattimagga will relinguish the three samyojanas (fetters), namely (1) sokkāyadiṭṭhi (the heresy of individuality), (2) vicikicchā (skeptical doubt), and (3) sīlabbataparāmāsa (affection of rites). The strong lust, anger and ignorance, which can draw one to the lower world, are also extinguished. Hence a sotāpanna (stream winner) will never commit immoral deeds such as killing, stealing, etc. which land one in the Nether World. He is liberated from the four Nether Worlds and will be reborn in the world of human beings and Devas for seven existences only.
If the realization of Nibbāna is through sakadāgāmimagga (Path of the Once-returner), coarse sensuous cravings (kāmarāga) and coarse ill-will (byāpādā) are eliminated and he will be reborn in the worlds of Devas and human being for two existences at the most.
One who has realised Nibbāna as an Anāgāmi (Never-returner) is emancipated from refined cravings and ill-will and will never be reborn in the worlds of human beings and Devas, but only in Brahmā world of Form and Formless Sphere, from which he will enter Nibbāna.
One who has realised Nibbāna as an Arahat is absolutely free from (samyojanas) fetters such as (rūparāga) craving for material existence, (arūpa rāga) craving for immaterial existence, conceit, etc. Upon the extinction of the existing continuity of rūpa and nāma, there arise no new existence of rūpa and nāma. This extirpation of new existence of rūpa and nāma is known as entering into "Parinibbāna". As there is no rebirth he will completely escape from all miseries and sufferings of old age, sickness, death, etc. If not so, even when reborn in heaven, he will die and reborn again in the world of human beings or Nether World. Then and there he will surely undergo the various physical and mental miseries and sufferings of old age, sickness, death, etc. as he does in the present existence. That is the reason why internally extinction of defilements must be sought after, not the external ones. The method or practice for the absolute annihilation of sufferings from defilements, etc. leading to tranquillity is to be found only in the Buddha's (Sāsanā) Teachings. That is why it is instructed that one should be mindful and diligent under the Buddha's Sāsanā until all the defilements are relinguished by arahattamagga (the Path of the Noble Ones).
THOUGHTS FOR PĀḶI MASTERS
Something to consider at this point is whether "Gotamassa sāsane" was said by the Gotama Buddha Himself or by the created Self-image. In other Suttas, if it was said by the Buddha Himself it was always mentioned as "tathāgata", "satthu". However in this gāthā it was stated as "gotamassa" -- by the Buddha Himself. It is food for thought for the Pāḷi-masters, that is whether it was uttered by the Buddha Himself or it was said by the created Self-image in recommendation to the Buddha. It is more apt to take as a recommendation by the created Self-image extolling the Buddha. But in Mahāniddesa it is commented as "Tenāha bhagavā" meaning "therefore, Buddha said". I have also interpreted accordingly, as the gāthā was uttered by the Buddha Himself.
Instead of "tenāha bhagavā" if it is "tenāha nimmito", it can be explained as "recommended by the created Self-image". It will be more appropriate. It is possible to be so in the original Pāḷi Text. The reason is at the time of crisis in Srilaṅkā, this Mahāniddesa Text was learnt verbatim by one impious monk only. The Vinaya Aṭṭhakathā-Dutiyasikkhā Commentary (274) states that at the orders of Mahātipiṭaka Thera, Mahārakkhita Thera had learned it from the impious monk. considering this statement it is plausible that there might be some errors in the young monk's learning such as "bhagavā" instead of "nimmito".
Moreover the words of created Self-image were uttered according to the wishes of the Real Buddha, just as the Abhidhammā was delivered by the created Self-image in Tāvatimsā Heaven. The words of created Self-image, therefore, are as profound as those of the Real Buddha. The last githā expresses the reasons of (sāsane gotamassa na pamajjeyya) "the diligent practice and mindfulness in the Buddha's teachings", as mentioned in gāthā 19.
(20) Abhibhū hi so anabhibhūto,
sakkhidhamma, manītiha, madassī.
Tasmā hi tassa bhagavato sāsane,
appamatto sadā namassa, manuskkhe.
It will be more apt to translate the word "so" in this gāthā as "that Gotama Buddha" instead of "he who has practised mindfully" which is the version of the ancient teachers. Moreover, I would like to say that this gāthā was said by the created Self-image. The meaning of this gāthā is "Under the Buddha's teaching he who has practised mindfully can overcome the sense-objects, etc." will never be influenced by the six senses. He has achieved the dhamma through personal experience, not by hearsay as "this is so and that is done".
The full explanation of "so" (he who has mindfully practised) would be that normal people, who fail to observe and note the phenomena of the sense-objects upon seeing, hearing, etc., will take pleasure and be absorbed in these good sensual experiences. Therefore they will also suffer from anger and wrath upon the undesirable sensual experiences. However, for the one who is all the time mindful and made contemplation to note whenever he sees, hears, touches, etc., only the phenomena of impermanence, sufferings and insubstantiality are comprehensible. There arises no lust or anger due to those sense-objects. It can be said that the sense-objects could no longer influence him; he has gained insight into the dhamma which could be personally experienced.
The meaning of the last two lines is expressed thus, "Because of the realisation of the dhamma which should be personally realised, (one) under the Buddha's Teaching is mindful all the time and practises with respect and reverence". "To realise what should be realised" refers to the Buddhas and Arahats only. Whether it is necessary to exhort an Arahat to be mindful is questionable. The extract from Majjhimapaṇṇāsa kiṭāgiri Sutta (142) will explain the above question.
Ye te bhikkhave bhikkhū arahanto khīṇāsavā ... pa ... sammadaññāvimuttā, Tathārūpanāham bhikkhave bhikkhūnam na appamādena karaṇīyanti vadāmi. Tam kissahetu, katam tesam appamādena, abhabbā te pamajjitum.
"O Bhikkhus, those Bhikkhus who are arahats, free from all fetters, are liberated by the way of the Path of the Noble Ones, they have known the truth. I have never exhorted those Arahats to be mindful and to practise with diligence because they have been mindful and diligent. They will never be unmindful".
According to this extract it is quite clear that there is no need for the arahats to be reminded to be mindful and diligent. That is why this gāthā should be taken as uttered by the created self-image in recommendation and appreciation of the Buddha. And it should be translated thus:-
"In this Gotama Buddha's Sāsanā (teaching) one should be diligent and mindful. Why is it so? Because Gotama Buddha has defeated all the senses and he is no longer the victim of the six senses. He has personally comprehended the dhamma which cannot be achieved by heresy. "Thus it is said", "So it is heard". He admonishes according to his personal experience after gaining the upperhand over all the senses. He exhorts with full and complete knowledge of the dhamma Enlightened through His personal experience. For these reasons, one under the Buddha's instruction should be mindful and endeavour to practise day and night, the whole time, and to comply with respect and reverence."
This version is more apt. However, at present it is stated as "tenāha bhagavā" in the existing Mahāniddesa pāḷi Text. So I have translated it as if this gāthā was uttered by the Buddha Himself. You have your choice.
The rendition in Myanmar of Tuvaṭaka Sutta is completed here. It remains to explain the commentaries as the conclusion of this lecture.
CONCLUSION BY THE COMMENTARY
In the commentary it is concluded as follows:-
From gāthā (8) "cakkhūhi neva lolassa" pāḷi gives the meaning of "subjugation of eye-sense, etc," that is morality for the subjugation of senses.
In gāthā (10) morality with regard to using four necessities of monk such as alms-food, robes, monastery and medicine, is expounded by instructing not to store or keep away alms-food, etc.
Gāthā (12) deals with abstention from sexual intercourse; and gāthā (14) with back-biting; gāthā (17) to abstain from telling lies. All these indicate the instruction on the pātimokkha sīla. This pātimokkha sīla is briefly mentioned here, those remaining portions of this sīla are dealt with in gāthā (15).
Gāthā (13) refers to ājivapārisuddhi sīla, morality for innocent conduct such as not to engage in learning āthobbaṇa mantras, etc. and in the same gāthā it is advised for one to practise into Samatha and Vipassanā jhānic states, meaning to develop concentration.
In gāthā (19) "vicinam" .. "to investigate and to reason" refers to wisdom and also the words "sadā sato sikkhe" are repeated in this gāthā denoting the three morality trainings. (If this gāthā is treated as uttered by the created self-image, it can be said that it is in recommendation of the Buddha's words).
Gāthā (11, 12) include instructions on "to stay in secluded places, to be vigilant, etc." meant to use things which are in support of sīla, samādhi and paññā and to avoid those which are fruitless. Thus the Buddha had answered completely questions in connexion with moral practices and concentration practices as put by the created self-image. The Blessed One concluded this Sutta with arahatta phala as its climax.
The commentary also mentioned that at the end of this Tuvaṭaka Sutta those Devas and Brahmās who became Arahats numbered in lakhs of crores just like what had happened at the end of the Purābheda Sutta. Countless number of Devas and Brahmās turned into Sotāpanna, Sakadāgāmi and Anāgāmi. Now we come to the conclusion of the lectures on Tuvaṭaka Sutta.