第 6 頁 (共 6 頁)
Purification of the Way
發表於 : 2019-11-22, 16:50
(6) Purification of the Way
To talk about the purification of the way, we need to know about the
Ten insight knowledge. These are:
 Knowledge of comprehension – Sammasanañānam
 Knowledge of rising & fall of formations (khandas) – Udayabbayañānam
 Knowledge of the dissolution of formations – bhangañānam.
 Knowledge of dissolving things as fearful – bhayañānam.
 Knowledge of fearful things as dangerous – ādīnavañānam.
 Knowledge of disenchantment with all formations – nibbidāñānam
 Knowledge of desire for deliverance – mūncitukamyatāñānam
 Knowledge of reflecting contemplation – patisankhāñānam
 Knowledge of equanimity towards formations – sankhārupekkhāñānam
 Knowledge of conformity – anulomañānam
After the 1st & 2nd insight knowledge of comprehension & rise & fall (overcoming the insight corruptions), the yogi arrives on the right path. It now matures & develops with increased strength & clarity. The mature knowledge of rising & fall to the knowledge of equanimity (i.e., the eight knowledges) are referred to as purification of the way.
This is walking in the right way to Nibbāna. From here to the end, will see Nibbāna, which is a purification of knowledge & vision. Between them is a bridge called knowledge of conformity (10th). Between 6th & 7th, purification is a bridge. Why there is a bridge between them? This side & that side are not the same. All the insight knowledges are with conditioned objects (saṅkhāra).
Therefore it can be said to have the same object (i.e., saṅkhāra). Crossing from 6th to 7th purification, the object is changed. These are with saṅkhāra objects & without saṅkhāra objects. Saṅkhāra objects are arising by conditions. Therefore these are impermanent & changing all the times. These are arising & passing away with disappearing. It is stressing dukkha. We cannot do anything for it, therefore not-self (anatta).
At the 6th purification, the yogi has to be practiced for maturity but dealing with unstable phenomena. After crossing over to the other side, no more arising & passing away phenomena. If impermanence exists & dukkha exists. If dukkha exists & anatta exists. The bridge which connects the two is knowledge of conformity – anulomañānam or saccanulomikañānam (also rendered as adaptation).
From knowledge of rising & fall to the knowledge of conformity have nine knowledges. Insight knowledge is at this side & the other side is Nibbāna. For arriving at the other side & have to practice from this side. So it is very reasonable & systematic. Not an imagination & it is very practical indeed. But the yogi is not easy to attain it. He must persevere without giving up the practice.
So the Buddha was encouraging yogis to have the courage & exertion until the bones & skin dried up without giving up. Some people criticize this as mortification in practice. These are lazy people. If it is the right path, then not mortification. The wrong path without any beneficial result can be defined in this way. Also, the Buddha mentioned this way. Doing impossible things are wrong & possible things are right.
At the time of the Buddha, some had attainments easily & some with difficulty. It depended on the person. Not only for common people. In the Buddhavamsa (History of the Buddhas), even bodhisattas were not the same. Some of them went to the garden & asked people to leave. Within a short period of practice & became a Buddha. It was very easy going. It was not like the Buddha Gautama, who had difficulties with hard practice.
Some Buddhas did not need to go alms round anywhere. Everyday received foods at the King’s palace. What kinds of prayers, paramis & practices had been done by them before? Everyone would like it. There are four kinds of a yogi, with their nature of practice & attainment. These are
 difficult practice with quick attainment
 easy practice with slow attainment
 difficult practice with slow attainment
 easy practice with quick attainment.
As examples; Mahā-moggallana was in the 1st type, and Sariputta was in the 4th type.
After the 5th purification of path & not-path, the yogi continues his contemplation of anicca. The present moment anicca is referred to this level. (i.e., udayabbaya ñānam onwards). Not before, the knowledge of comprehension. Why not seeing or discerning anicca? Because they cannot discern the moment of arising & passing away. E.g., in-breath & out-breath, the whole in-breath & the whole out-breath, each of the process between them have spaces or gaps.
The feelings (vedana) are also the same, with segments between them. Sounds are also the same nature. The first word of the sound or voice disappears & the 2nd word arises, with its disappearance & the 3rd word arises, etc.… It is happening with non-stop continuously like a machine gun. If we listen carefully with observation, & there are many-dek-dek-dek- etc. between them. When with sati & samādhi powers developed will discern them.
Movie film is also another good example. With the slow motions, we can see the movements of the character part by part. The permanent view & thought come in because we cannot discern anicca. It was covered up by the very quick process. Therefore we have to discern the arising & passing away.
We should not follow it with the concept of anicca, anicca, etc. without direct seeing it. Knowing the segments between them is discerning the nature of anicca. Why do not we know dukkha? Because of changing our postures frequently that we do not know dukkha (i.e., the coarser dukkha)
Why do not we see not-self (anatta)? Because we only see the compactness, solidity, shape & form as a whole. For example, if we analyze a body or a car, will not see them as identity & the solidity of them. They are combined with the many parts of the object & become a body or a car. There are four kinds of compactness; continuity, combination, function & object of compactness.
They have one functioning, one object & one combination that people think of them as self (atta). We must able to contemplate each difference with analysis. With all these compositions that they can move & function.
Without it & they cannot function. Take an example of a human being. It is only the Mind & body process. If we separate the mind & body by themselves, it cannot function & move. It will be a dead body. It was like a puppet, without the strings, and it cannot move. For the discerning, we use knowledge or analytical knowledge to separate them, and the nature of not-self appears.
In these ways, we can contemplate the three universal characteristics. We must able to see in details connecting with the sense objects. What are the differences between anicca, dukkha & anatta? It is changing that or unstable that anicca. It is oppressing with the change that dukkha. There is no me & mine that emptiness (suññā) or not follow with one’s wishes that not-self (anatta).
The three words, anicca, dukkha & anatta, refer to the five khandhas. What are the characteristics (lakkhana) referring to? These are referring to their situations. E.g., arising & passing away is its aspect (character or nature). Lakkhana (characteristic) is the sign or mark of the phenomena (dhamma).
Seeing lakkhana is seeing anicca. It cannot be separated, but only explain in this way. They are connected. Therefore anicca, dukkha & anatta are the five khandas. Lakkhanas are their aspects (character or nature). Knowing these clearly & the yogi knows rise & fall (udayabbaya ñānam).
If knowledge becomes sharp, even not aware of the arising, the yogi is only seeing them as quickly passing away. He can only can aware of the disappearing or contemplate the dissolution (bhanganupassanā ñānam). It is arriving at the climax of anicca. As an example, the yogi knows the arising & passing away of in-breath & out-breath, & also the following mind knows the contemplative mind.
The meaning here is the contemplated object & the contemplative mind; both of them are passing away. If not the yogi will only take the contemplated object as anicca & the contemplative mind as nicca (permanent) (the Wrong view can be developed from practice by misinterpreting one’s own experience. Some of the wrong views mentioned in the Brahmajala Sutta & some of the new Buddhists ideas and views came from this kind of misinterpretations).
Therefore all the following arising minds are also passing away. A dead body & a living body are the same things. After die or pass away, both of them never come back again. It was like all of them jumping into the abyss, & gone forever. Later arising phenomena are the new ones.
The older ones will never be seen again. Seeing in this way becomes fearful of them. Indeed it is fearful when the khandhas are dissolving. It is the knowledge of dissolving things as fearful (bhayañānam). Only seeing their faults & cannot find any goodness in them. So the yogi sees them as dangerous (ādīnavañānam). And then he becomes disenchanted with them (knowledge of disenchantment with all formations – nibbidāñānam).
This is in the process of letting go of craving & attachment in life or purifying them. And then the yogi wants to cast off the burden of dukkha. This is the knowledge of desire for deliverance (mũncitukamyatā ñānam). Then the yogi reflects on how to let go of them.
This is the knowledge of reflecting contemplation (patisankhā ñānam). And then the mind becomes calm & can observe with equanimity, without like or dislike. The yogi arrives at the knowledge of equanimity towards formations. (sankhārupekkha ñānam). Up to this level are different levels of insight knowledge (These are the 6th purification).
Change of lineage (gotrabhū) is nothing to do with this side or the other side. This is the point between the bridge. But it sees Nibbāna because it has let go of conditioned objects (saṅkhāra arammanas). Therefore it sees Nibbāna. The change-of-lineage consciousness (gotrabhū citta), having Nibbāna as its object occurs, overcoming the lineage of worldling & evolving as the lineage of the noble one.
Immediately after this, the path of stream-entry arises. It cut off the fetters of wrong views, doubt, & adherence of rites & ceremonies as realization. The yogi becomes a stream-winner (sotāpanna). He has no more than seven lives or existence to come. He is already on the path (8 factors path) & never returns backward.
It means he will never become a worldling (phuthujjana) back again. With the path knowledge arises, the yogi fully understands the truth of dukkha, abandoning the truth of its origin, realizing the truth of its cessation, & developing the truth of the path to its cessation.
This is the yogi seeing the noble truths (4 noble truths) directly. In this Maṅgala Sutta the Buddha not only referred to the first stage of enlightenment – the path of stream-entry, it included all the four stages of attainment, i.e., the stream-enterer (sotāpanna), the once-returner (sakatāgāmī), the non-returner (anāgāmi) & arahant.
But for a stream-enterer, the following attainments are not difficult for him like before. He can continue his practice with the eight path factors & will realize the final Nibbāna (arahantship) by stages. Even the first stage of attainment is the great blessing for the yogi because his dukkha is only seven drops of water if compare with the great volume of water in the great ocean which is dukkha for a worldling. Therefore the Buddha said seeing the noble truths is the highest blessing.
Nowadays, Buddhists are encountering the teachings & practices that should endeavor on the Noble Eightfold Path to see the noble truths of ending dukkha. To embark on the practice, it needs strong saṁvega (sense of urgency) for transcending dukkha. For this purpose, we must
Study & contemplate some of the discourses in the Saccasamyutta – Connected Discourses on the Truths. If we know the faults of not seeing the truths (saccas) which bring dangers & sufferings, etc. & the benefits by seeing the truths which bring peace & happiness, etc. This can be only possible by studying Dhamma & contemplation or reflection. In contemplation, we can use current situations around the world.
According to the Buddha now we are in the interim aeon (antarakappa). It is the period required for the life span of human beings to rise from 10 years to the maximum of many thousands of years. And then it falls back to 10 years. Nowadays we human beings are in the period of decline, which is falling back to 10 years of life span. Why does this happen? It is relating to human moral behaviors or cause & effect phenomena.
With immoral behaviours, it is affecting nature & human societies. Now we can observe & see all the human problems & suffering around the world. All sorts of pollution, such as air, water, earth & mind pollutions going on & on. World politics are also not a good sign. A lot of instability & internal wars going on in many parts of the world.
All these wars are becoming longer, dangerous & killing a lot of innocent civilians, creating a refugee crisis in Europe & Africa. Even we have the United Nations to solve all these problems, but it does not have the power to do it. Because it was exploited & misused powers by some of the superpowers which controlled the security council.
These people made all the crises more serious & harming a lot of innocent people. If talking about all the worldly problems, it will never end. And most people already know it. Human destructive power is more & greater because of science & technology developments. Material progress is not a problem. The problem is misusing it. Some natural problems are human beings cannot escape, such as birth, aging, sickness & death. But human-made problems which we can be avoided.
To solve human problems have to base on moral virtues as a foundation & not by immoral behaviors. With the moral foundation, we have to develop the mind. Even interim aeon is like a cycle rising & falling by human behaviours. We can have the chances to change it. It does not mean to change the whole process backward again.
We can make it not degenerates very quickly. Because human destiny is in the human mind. Our mind is our creator & not in the external. Everything happens through the law of cause & effect. If human beings have moral behavior & virtues, it will change towards the good direction.
Living beings are wandering in the round of existence with uncertainty. Because most of them cannot control their minds and usually they are following the desire of the unwholesome dhammas. Also, the untrained mind is taking pleasure in unwholesomeness. If we check, nowadays many media will see this point easily. Therefore the Buddha said that most living beings frequent homes were the 4 woeful planes (apāyabhūmi); i.e.
 hell (niraya) the place of the most intense suffering,
 The animal kingdom,
 the sphere of petas (hungry ghosts)
 the host of asuras (a group of tormented spirits).
There is an important Dhamma for contemplation to develop saṁvega is the four meanings of the truth of suffering (dukkha sacca). These are
 Pilanato (oppressive)
 Saṅkhatato (conditioning)
 Santapato (burning)
 Viparinamāto (change).
The four meanings are connected. The main meaning of dukkha is pilanato – oppressive. The five khandhas are oppressive to one who gets it. The four meanings of dukkha effect on people can be different. One of the very extensive dukkha is conditioning dukkha (sankhatato).
This conditioning dukkha is oppressing beings without any rest. If we observe the animals around us also can discern this terrible dukkha. Most human beings take this dukkha as happiness that even looking for & changing for it. How much stupid, indeed? It is very important to contemplate on dukkha very often as a practice in our daily life, from the experiences within us & with others.
There is no other dukkha greater than clinging to the five khandhas. Therefore the Buddha said or emphasized that he taught only dukkha & the end of dukkha. The past Buddhas were also taught these. In the future to come, all the Buddha will also teach the same things. To penetrate dukkha is more important than anything else. Therefore the Buddha said; seeing the noble truths was the greatest blessing.
33. Realizing Nibbāna
發表於 : 2019-11-22, 17:32
33. Realizing Nibbāna
The 32nd blessing is seeing the noble truths, & 33rd realizes Nibbāna. So what are the differences between them? Seeing the noble truths is the 4 Path Knowledge. These are; the Path Knowledge of a stream winner, the path knowledge of a once-returner, the path knowledge of a non-returner & the path knowledge of an arahant.
At the time of thoroughly penetrates the four noble truths & the path knowledge arises. Realizing Nibbāna is the four fruitions (phalas). These are; from the stream-winner to the arahant. After the path knowledge (magga ñāna) & follows by fruition. It is without delay – akaliko.
According to the conditional relations – patthāna, it is anantarapaccayo – proximity condition. This becomes evident by direct yogi’s experience. But some scholars take it as has to wait for sometimes in the future. To acquire for the proficiency has to develop it for sometimes like jhānas. For other dhammas has to wait for sometimes in the future, e.g., the result of dāna.
The attainment of fruition (phala samāpatti) is meditative attainment. A noble disciple can enter into supramundane absorption (lokuttara jhāna) with Nibbāna as an object. To experience the bliss of Nibbāna here & now. The attainment is reached by resolving (adhithana) to attain fruition. And then developing in sequence beginning with the knowledge of rising & fall – impermanence.
In a Dhamma talk by a teacher who mentioned about seeing Nibbāna; “It’s the real cessation of the khandha & also can be checked. Sitting in front of a Buddha statue & resolve. Because after the Path knowledge & come fruition. Therefore the yogi can enter into fruition state (phalasamāpatti). Lord! Let me discerns the cessation of the khandha again. And makes an hour of resolution & sits there.
It starts again from rising & fall (impermanence). But the rise & fall process is not becoming increase or decrease as before (i.e., before the Path Knowledge arose in practice). Discerning (seeing) rise & fall for sometimes & it stops happening. But don’t satisfy with it. Testing for another one & a half hours, and then 2 hours, 3 hours, etc. by increasing the period with resolutions.
If, it’s real & you’ll attain it. If it’s fake, then you can’t attain it. Instead, it becomes worse. With more testing & it becomes more significant. The yogi’s in & out breaths are cool with the body. People around him are bitten by mosquitoes but not the yogi in the fruition state. Because of kilesa smell & people are bitten by mosquitoes.”
Life is a very heavy burden, physically or mentally. When people are becoming older & older, sick, or near death even become clearer. The mental burden comes from our daily life welfare & for others. These kinds of mental burden are quite a lot & it will never end. Life also has a lot of disturbances & never peaceful.
Ven. Sariputta, after his enlightenment, wanted to put down this body as soon as possible. In saṁsāra, he never had real peace & happiness because of the khandha. He said that even better to carry around the Mount Meru on his back than the khandha. Because when the time comes for the destruction of the world, everything is disappeared.
But not the khandha burden & dukkha for living beings who still have kilesas. Therefore for all noble beings (from the Buddha to sotāpanna) when they had free time preferred to stay in the fruition. They can put down their khandha burdens for sometimes accordingly to their levels. In one of Mogok Sayadaw’s talks on the truth of cessation – nirodha sacca, one is vivekato – the peaceful nature of Nibbāna.
Sayadaw said as follow: “If observing the mind & body with nyan eye, they are in chaos with impermanence (Nyan is in Burmese for knowledge). But if observing Nibbāna, it’s totally clear without anything. Showing it with the practice, it becomes clearer. E.g., if we do the contemplation on feeling (vedanānupassanā), mind (citta) & dhammas are also included. The life span of feeling is only ① & ②. At ① it arises & at ② it disappears.
Asking to contemplate feeling is giving a designation only. Has to contemplate is impermanence. Feeling arises on the body & the contemplative mind in the heart. At the time of contemplation, it is not there. To discern anicca vipassana has to be put effort, has to think & has to be mindful.
Therefore the matter of seeing anicca is necessary to be worked hard & tiresome. At Nibbāna you must answer as it’s not tiresome. At the time of seeing anicca is seeing the chaos. A place without chaos is Nibbāna. With the more mature of insight & it becomes seeing more anicca & chaotic.
There is no need to say about seeing Nibbāna if we can’t discern the chaos of anicca, & even can’t speculate about it. After discerning more & more anicca, the yogi is becoming more wearisome. Only that the mind develops into the knowledge of not wanting it. At the time the yogi can decide for it as real dukkha, then suddenly it ceases with a blip. With the disappearing of kilesa that anicca disappears.
And then the path knowledge sees the clearance (or emptiness). It’s not the mind cutting of kilesas, but the path factors (i.e., the Noble Eightfold Path). The mind includes a conascence condition (sahajātapaccayo). Don’t take Nibbāna as seeing nothingness. The dying out of kilesas has the nature of good looking.
The nature of well being will be attained after the parinibbāna (the passing away of an arahant. Here Sayadaw referred to Kilesa Nibbāna & Khandha Nibbāna). If we look at the 31 realms of existence, will only find out the chaos of anicca made by kilesa. Nibbāna is free from the chaos of kilesa that it has the nature of clearance of things.
Nibbāna doesn’t have the kind of mind & body we have. If we ask; is it body or mind? You can answer it as the mind dhamma (nāma-dhamma). It’s not the mind of arising & passing away. It was the place for a practicing yogi to arrive there. This is the place where the dhamma is leading to it. They have to incline towards it. Our mind inclines towards the sense-objects.
For the mind dhamma of Nibbāna, others have to incline towards it. For the attainment of cessation (Nirodha-samāpatti), the yogi’s mind can inclines towards it for seven days. (Sayadaw gave a simile for this). In Mandalay Zay-Cho Bazaar, at the center of it is a clock tower. It was like this clock-tower, from whichever direction the car came, had to look at it.
In the same way anyone had arrived there he could not shun away from it. This is the best of the best. At every free time, noble beings used to incline towards it. Why is that? To have peace & comfort. It can give peace & comfort that the place of happiness.
Therefore you can call it as happiness. Every worldly matter gives dukkha (because of the three universal characteristics). But Nibbāna has the characteristic of happiness, peace & joy. Nibbāna has the body or not? If it has the body and must have to be changed.
How could it be without the body? Without any form & sign, but the yogi experienced it with happiness. This is still having the khandha (i.e., when the yogi still alive). It is a very significant place. So, Nibbāna is the holiest element. If without dukkha, the worldlings must also like it. This was the best for the Buddha. Therefore there is nothing better than that.”
One of the most important things to understand the Buddha-Dhamma is we cannot take the indirect meanings as direct meanings & vice versa. Especially the teaching on Nibbāna is very difficult to understand. Because it is the supramundane Dhamma, which cannot be expressed in language directly, therefore the Buddha & enlightened beings only could describe it with metaphors or metaphorical terms.
So we have to bear in mind this important point. If not with our ideas & views can create wrong views about Nibbāna. We can see them in the history of Buddhism developed from this point (Even from the Buddha’s time to the present day). These were 62 kinds of wrong views in the Discourse of Nets view. Most of them came from practice & misinterpreted their experiences. Practicing with wrong views cannot develop the path.
In Search of Nibbāna
The following extraction is from a talk by Mogok Sayadaw on Nibbāna. It is interesting for contemplation. “In the khandha, there are two noble truths. The physical body or matter (rūpa) is like fuel dukkha sacca (the noble truth of suffering) & perishable. Greed (lobha) is like fire samudaya sacca (the noble truth of the origin of suffering) & also perishable. Therefore we can’t rely on them.
The Buddha was asking the Rohitassa devata to look for Nibbāna in this two armed-length body (or fathom-long body). But only found the perishable dhamma. Matter (rūpa) is body aggregate. Greed (lobha) & path factors (maggaṅga) are aggregate of mental formation (saṅkhārakkhandha).
These are not free from the khandha. In this khandha, only found the three noble truths, and not included Nibbāna. We can’t find Nibbāna here. Why? Because Nibbāna is not connecting with the khandha. If Nibbāna is in the khandha, then it will be perishable.
But the Buddha taught that the four noble truths existed in the khandha. Therefore it is sure that Nibbāna not mixed-up with the perishable khandha. Then it will exist outside the khandha. Even the khandha perishes, it doesn’t. So it is stable Nibbāna (dhuva nibbāna) & happy Nibbāna (sukha nibbāna).
Not everyone can see it. Only for someone who learns the method from a teacher & practice will see it. By not wanting the khandha when it ceases & you will see it. After that, it becomes one’s property. If you know, dukkha sacca thoroughly will realize Nibbāna.
It doesn’t mix up with dukkha sacca that it must be sukha sacca. Then it will be only peaceful when you attain it. For a practiser, by not wanting the khandha dukkha sacca & in a blip the khandha disappears & Nibbāna arises.
Something is leaving behind not connecting with the khandha. It will arise only without this khandha. For the practiser, his mind stays with the imperishable. The reason we do not find Nibbāna can not move away from the things covered on it. It exists as external nature. Not as an internal nature (i.e., in the khandha).
Nibbāna is very strange Dhamma. By searching outside the khandha also you can’t find it (i.e., not searching at the right place). E.g., the story of Rohitass devata, & the Buddha taught him to find in the khandha. It existed in the fathom-long body. But it does not exist in the internal & external of the khandha (ajjhattā & bahiddhā).
Why don’t we attain Nibbāna? Because we are taking affection in the perishable nature of the things, e.g. to one own’s khandha, family members, belongings, etc. Only you’ll attain it by not wanting the perishable things. Asking you to contemplate impermanence is let you know about the perishable dhamma (phenomena). First, it has to discern impermanence (annica).
Second, has to disenchant with it. Third, to discern the ending of it. If you want the perishable things, will only get them. By not wanting will get the imperishable Dhamma. If you find out the perishable will get the trace to Nibbāna. By following to the ending of perishable & you will find the imperishable Nibbāna.”
At last, I want to present the teaching on Nibbāna from the Dhamma talks given by Sayadaw Dr. Nandamalarbhivamsa. Not complete translations, only extractions. These are very interesting & most of them are from the suttas. There were two kinds of dhamma we could find in some of the suttas. These are; conditioned phenomena (saṅkhata dhamma) & unconditioned phenomenon (asaṅkhata dhamma).
The meaning of saṅkhata is; saṅ = by causes, khata = the products made by the combination of causes. Therefore asaṅkhata means – Dhamma (i.e., Nibbāna) not made by causes.
The Buddha using both of them in the suttas. Using them together was in the Abhidhamma. This was in the Dhamma-saṅganī, the first book of Abhidhamma. Saṅkhata is conditioned phenomena & asaṅkhata is an unconditioned phenomenon.
Saṅkhata dhamma is the five aggregates (khandhas). The whole cosmos is the five khandhas. So the human being is the same. These were explained in general by the Buddha. The wholesome & unwholesome dhammas are in the saṅkhata.
These are the four realms; sensuous plane (kāmabhūmi), fine-material plane (rūpabhūmi), immaterial plane (arūpabhūmi) & supramundane (lokuttara), i.e. path knowledge consciousness & fruition consciousness. Free from the causes is Nibbāna (asaṅkhata).
In the Asaṅkhatasaṁyutta (Saṁyutta Nikāya), the Buddha called asaṅkhata as the cessation of rāga (lust), dosa (hatred) & delusion (moha). Here, confusion can be come in. Because, the cessation of lust, hatred & delusion is also called the Path Knowledge. The cessation of them is showing the causes. The abandonment is defilement (kilesa) & taking the object is Nibbāna.
All the path knowledge & fruitions (sotāpatti magga to arahatta magga) are taking Nibbāna as an object. By taking Nibbāna as object & kilesa also ceases. Therefore there are levels of Nibbāna & cessation levels of kilesa. In the Kosambi Sutta, from sotāpanna (stream enterer) to anāgāmin (non-returner) are only seeing Nibbāna. It was like seeing the water inside the well by going downwards & still not touching the water yet.
Only the arahant is touching the water & abandoning all kilesa. We can see Nibbāna only with the path knowledge & fruition knowledge. Therefore Nibbāna is very difficult to see it. Because everyone is inside the province of saṅkhata. It can also be guessed by inferring (anumana).
In the Jabukhataka Sutta, Ven. Sariputta also said that the cessation of lust, hatred & delusion was Nibbāna. There are no causes to produce Nibbāna. It does not arise by kamma, mind, temperature & nutrient or sense door & sense object (these are the causes for the body & mind). They do not produce it. Path & fruition consciousness is also in the five khandhas. But they are not in the clinging khandha (i.e., upādānakkhandhā).
Clinging khandha is dukkha. Nibbāna is the cessation of clinging khandha (or) dukkha nirodho – the cessation of dukkha. The cessation of the causes is Nibbāna. Nibbāna is the cessation of both dukkha & samuday (dukkha & its origin – i.e., tanhā). Therefore it can divide into two kinds as the cessation of cause & result, i.e., kilesa & khandha. As examples; two elements of Nibbāna;
(1) the Nibbāna element with residue (sa-upādisesa nibbhānadhātu)
(2) & the Nibbāna element without residue (anupādisesa nibbhānadhātu).
For these 2 Nibbānas took the example of the Buddha. When the Buddha gained enlightenment at the time of under the Bodhi tree was the first kind of Nibbāna element, i.e., the destruction of kilesas, but the physical body was still there. At the old age of 80, after he passed away & there was no more khandhas in the future was the 2nd kind of Nibbāna element.
We can also explain it with the three rounds of existence (3 vattas). These are kilesa vatta, kamma vatta & vipaka vatta. They are cause & result connections. Without kilesa & kamma cannot function. And without both of them & no khandhas arise. The cessation of them is Nibbāna. The living being is the five khandhas. If without khandhas & there is nothing to call about it. But we cannot say Nibbāna has nothing.
Khandhas really exist. But their existence & Nibbāna is not the same type. If there is becoming, then also there is no becoming. Without becoming that there are no beginning & end. Therefore Nibbāna has no beginning & end. With the only becoming & you will have them. For example, if you have a wound & it is painful.
After taking treatment with medicine, it is cured & no wound & pain anymore. Therefore the wound & pain disappear is really existed. So Nibbāna is this kind of existence. Therefore dukkha exists & dukkha disappears also exist. If we are thinking about it with craving (tanhā), no-one will want it. Because there is no becoming.
People are craving for becoming. Therefore they do not desire for the peaceful element of not becoming. Also, in the Kosambi Sutta, the Buddha said; “Bhavanirodho nibbānam – the cessation of becoming is Nibbāna.” Bhava – existence or becoming is the combination of 3 rounds of existence (3 vattas).
These are; wanting (tanhā or kilesa), action (kamma) & getting (khandha) = existence or dukkha.
So it is the same as – dukkhanirodho nibbānam- The cessation of dukkha is Nibbāna. Therefore with the stopping of the causes & the cessation of the effect (result) comes into being. If we contemplate them & it becomes very profound. These are in gists. If we understand dukkha & will understand Nibbāna. If we know existence (bhava) & we know Nibbāna.
The Buddha also taught it in details. Because people could think about it from the points of saṅkhata. Therefore he gave examples of it had no four great elements (mahābhūta rūpa), without the mind (nāma), etc. In ancient India, some took the immaterial jhānas (arūpa jhānas) as Nibbāna. There is neither coming, nor going, nor staying (some Buddhists had these ideas).
There are also some in the Udana Pali – The Buddha’s Exclamations. In one of the suttas, the Buddha said; “There are monks, an unborn (ajātaṁ) – unbecome – unmade – unfabricated….” If it is born, also there is unborn. If there is becoming, also there is unbecoming, etc.…
Other teachings on Nibbāna were; viññānam anidassanaṁ & sabbato pabbham. Viññānam anidassanaṁ is translated by Ajahn Thānissaro as consciousness without feature. The usage of this consciousness is significant. Because except in 2 places in the texts cannot find it anywhere.
These were in the Kevutta Sutta (Dīgha Nikāya) & Brahmanimantika Sutta (in Majjima Nikāya). People were interpreting it. Differently, that became mistaken about it. Only we know it rightly by consulting other suttas.
Viññānaṁ is the knowing mind. The consciousness here was, Nibbāna could be known only with this significant consciousness, & not by others. Anidassanaṁ here was, not like seeing with the eye. It does not have the beginning & end – anatman. This word – sabbato pabbhaṁ was used in many books on Nibbāna differently.
In the commentary pabba means port. To Nibbāna, there are ways. (as like many ports). These are referring to the 38 ways of meditation (sometimes as 40 types). It can be entered from many sides. In the sub-commentary, pubbhaṁ referred to the light. It means Nibbāna has light.
The problem is, light is matter (rūpa). If Nibbāna has light, & then it becomes matter. These are metaphorical terms & we cannot take it directly. Nibbāna does not have the defilement of delusion (moha – it referred to darkness). So it has the nature of no darkness. In the simile of the Vipers Discourse (i.e., Asivisopama Sutta – Salāyatana-saṁyutta), Nibbāna was referred to as the other shore.
This was also a metaphorical term. Nibbāna has to be taken as the cessation of dukkha & its origin (i.e., khandhas & kilesas). So Nibbāna is the ending of saṅkhata. It is not changing from saṅkhata to asaṅkhata, not a changed element. It was like a wound grew out & cured. If, come from changing & it becomes of the arising dhamma. It is without anicca that there is no beginning nor end.
This was the reason Ven. Sariputta described Nibbāna as real happiness because it had no mind & body. The cessation is a presence phenomenon (atthi). We cannot know Nibbāna with the feeling of saṅkhata by thinking. A human with the thoughts of tanhā (craving) will always be far from Nibbāna. Worldlings do not want Nibbāna, because it has nothing for them. Therefore they are afraid of it.
But the Buddha taught Nibbāna in many ways. He asked people to sit for meditation. Asked them to see the arising & passing away phenomena. Only by seeing dukkha that we do not want it. Nibbāna is unconditioned - asaṅkhata. In Nibbāna, we cannot find the things which are belonging to the conditioned (saṅkhata).
In the Jewels Discourse (Ratana Sutta), the following verses were very good examples of Nibbāna. These were;
“Ended the old, there is no new taking birth.
Dispassioned their minds towards further becoming.
They with no seed, no desire for growth
The enlightened, go out like this flame.
This too: an exquisite treasure in the Sangha.
By this truth, may there be well-being.”
The above verses represented Nibbāna as the cessation of kilesa & khandha or dukkha. Whatever cessation may be, all are not becoming (unbecome). Now, we are encountering the perfect & completed teachings (sasāna) of the Buddha and should make an effort in practice. It needs a lot of sustained effort to realize Nibbāna. The following story was good for contemplation.
A monk went to the forest for practice. Without success, he gave up the practice & came back to the monastery. The Buddha knew about it & told him. In his dispensation (sasāna), there were monks with a good reputation in their practices. So why he wanted the bad reputation of a lazy monk by giving up his practice & coming back. He was a diligent person in one of his past lives.
In one of their past lives, the bodhisatta was the leader of a merchant group. They were traveling in a desert area. It was so hot in the day time that, they only travelled at night, by following the northern star. One time the guide was fallen into sleep & the group returned to their last camping site. Now they were facing the problem of shortage of water.
The bodhisatta found a plot of earth with grasses overgrown on it. They were trying to dig the ground there. At a depth of 60 armed lengths (180’), they found a slab of rock. They heard the sound of flowing water underneath. Therefore, the bodhisatta asked a very strong young man to break up the rock.
At last they got the water. This strong young man was this present monk. Dhamma & water which one was more valuable? With the attainment of Dhamma, he would never die again & peaceful forever.
The 30th blessing to 33rd blessings is about sīla, samādhi, paññā & Nibbāna. They are connecting, and also about the four noble truths & the noble eightfold path. For fulfilling these blessings, we need to practice the four satipatthāna. This is practicing to know about oneself. Whatever happening in the world, whether it is good or bad or neutral, at last ending up with perishing.
We are ignorant about ourselves & the natural law with heedlessness. We practice to know & understand the nature of the khandha. People have the delusion that takes the becoming as pleasurable. Whatever situation they are in always happy with it. This is a craving for becoming (bhava tanhā) & view of eternalism (sassata ditthi). Some are craving for non-becoming (vibhava tanhā) & view of annihilationism. They crave for it without any knowledge about it.
Nibbāna means; Ni – clinging & grasping, bhāna – freedom, liberation. Therefore, it means freedom or liberation from clinging & grasping. Beings have the strongest attachment and clinging to themselves – atta tanhā pemaṁ natthi. Some living beings still have attachement to the dhamma – Dhamma raga or Dhamma nandi (e.g., non-returner-anāgāmi). Therefore, the qualities of Nibbāna are:
(1) Freedom from attachment is Nibbāna.
(2) The best real happiness is Nibbāna.
(3) Nibbāna is not in the loka (world), but it transcends it.
Loka – the world – is khandhas, āyatana, dhātus, the all.
(4) Nibbāna can be seen with the mind, i.e., with the path & fruition mind.
Because the mind cannot function without objects. Therefore, Nibbāna can be known by the realization of it. So we do not need to debate & argue about it. It is wasting time & never reaching to the point
(5) It can be realized with the four path knowledge (from sotāpatti to arahatta maggas).
There are two ways to Nibbāna; i.e., samathayanika & vipassanā yanika (based on samatha & insight, respectively). There is nothing more important than the ending of dukkha. Therefore, the Buddha taught that the realization of Nibbāna is the highest protection with a blessing.
34. A mind that, when touched by the ways of the world is unshaken
發表於 : 2019-11-22, 17:46
34. A mind that, when touched by the ways of the world is unshaken
The beginning verse – a mind that, when touched by the ways of the world (i.e., the eight worldly dhammas – loka dhamma) is also related to 35, 36 & 37. First, we have to know what are the ways of the world.
There are eight numbers; as pair with positive & negative nature become four pairs. These eight loka dhamma are gain and loss, status and disgrace, praise and censure, pleasure & pain. They are called the failings of the world or 8 worldly conditions (loka dhammas). These worldly failings are more common in human beings than in other beings, & also a very interesting subject for contemplation.
No one can escape from these eight worldly conditions. So, everyone will encounter them. Not affect the mind by them are only the arahant. But with practice, wise reflection & contemplation, we can overcome them without shaking. Most people will think only encounter with the negative things such as loss, disgrace, censure & pain are as failings.
The positive things lead to pleasure & the negative to displeasure (i.e., like & dislike). The positive things are also the same because they have the nature of imperfection & change. Positive things can lead to negative things. E.g., with wealth & power, people can do evil & unwholesome things. The Buddha taught the ways of dealing with them. These were:
(1) Acceptance as these failings of the world cannot be escaped.
(2) Acceptance as these failings of the world are the results of one’s
(3) To understand these worldly conditions & their nature with contemplation
to overcome them. This 3rd point is more profound & important.
(1) Acceptance of the loka dhamma as part of human society & inescapable
There is a lot of this dhamma in human life & their differences are only in many forms & magnitude (great or small). These always exist in the world, as parts of human nature like birth, old age, sickness & death, & inescapable.
In the second discourse of the Loka-dhamma Sutta (Aṅguttara Nikāya), the Buddha said; “These are the eight worldly conditions that spin after the world (i.e., human beings), & the world spins after these eight worldly conditions.”
It was like the law of kamma; the past life kammas (actions) had been done following with living beings & they were also always doing the actions. They are doing these things for the future to come. So, they are cause & effect relationship.
So, living beings cannot separate themselves from kamma that cannot free from the worldly dhamma. Even the Buddha & some of his chief & great disciples could not shun away from them. Once the time the Buddha & monks could not get any food that they had to eat some very coarse foods which were fed for horses. Ciñcamānavikā, who was a devoted pupil of other faith, accused the Buddha of having an affair with her.
Even the Buddha sometimes had sickness with pains. Ven. Mahā-moggallāna, the chief disciple of the Buddha, had been killed by the assassins was also connecting with this worldly dhamma. Once, the Nigantha ascetic planned to kill him. Because they thought the diminishing of their fame & fortune was related to him. So they hired some assassins to kill him. At last Ven. The assassins caught Mahā-moggallāna & he was beaten up until all his bones were broken.
Nobody frees or escapes from censure. How to deal with censure is also very important? We do not need to pay much attention to the fools who censure us. But we need to listen & pay attention to the wise & noble people for their censure. After that, we have to correct & improve ourselves. We need to live a life of blamelessness & praise by them.
This exhortation came from the Buddha regarding a layman Atula upasaka. One time he & some followers went to see Ven. Revata who was usually enjoying with his meditation attainments. So he did not give any talk to them. They went to see Ven. Sariputta & told about Ven. Revata. Therefore Ven. Sariputta gave a long talk to them. They also displeased with it.
And then they went to see Ven. Ānanda & reported him the account with Ven. Sariputta. Therefore Ven. Ānanda gave them a short talk. Still, they were displeased with the short talk.
At last they went to see the Buddha. After hearing their report, the Buddha said as followed. Censure & praise were not existing only now. Whether keeping silence or talking a lot or talking with consideration still could not free or escape from censure.
At last the Buddha said that even he was not immune from it. Another story was, because of the Buddha’s excellent teachings & well practice of the Sangha & had a lot of support from people. This made other faiths censured them out of jealousy.
So the Buddha taught the monks that whether living alone or with others in the world would encounter pain & pleasure. This was the way of the world. The important cause was not by others nor oneself, but the outcome of receiving the burdened khandhas (This point is important for contemplation).
(2) Acceptance the loka-dhamma as the results of one’s kamma (actions)
Usually, people blame others for their sufferings, pain & displeasure. Here, we have 2 points to contemplate the outcomes of kamma. These are the results of the kamma & the existence of the khandhas. The results of kamma are quite an extensive subject.
Beings are always creating many different kinds of kamma by bodily, speech & mind. Therefore, the results of them are also many varieties. These are related to the worldly dhammas. If we experience misfortunes, it is better not to blame others or find faults with others. So, one has the responsibility for them.
If we react with anger or ill-will, our situations become worse. With unwise attention (ayoniso), we cannot solve or overcome the problem or situation. We have to contemplate wisely or dealing with them skilfully and then correct oneself. With the unskilful or unwholesome causes will encounter the negative things. And then, if we respond unskilfully, it will never become better.
(3) To understand the worldly dhammas & its nature with contemplation
This point is more important than others. This contemplation came from the 2nd sutta on worldly dhamma in Aṅguttara Nikāya. The gist of it as follows:
The Failings of the World:
These & worldly conditions; i.e. gain/loss; status/disgrace; censure/praise; & pleasure/pain spin after the world, & the world spins after these & worldly conditions. For an ordinary uninstructed person (asutava putthujano), there arise these eight worldly dhammas. For a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones (i.e., sutava ariya savako) there also arise these eight dhammas. So what are the differences between them?
The differences are:
When gain arises for an ordinary uninstructed person, and he doesn’t reflect; “Gain has arisen for me. It’s inconstancy (anicca), stressful (dukkha) & subject to change (viparinama).” He doesn’t discern it as it is. (The other dhammas – loss, status….pain also in this way) His mind remains consumed with the gain, loss….etc.
He welcomes the arisen gain & rebels against the arisen loss. (The other pairs – status/disgrace, etc...in this way) As he is thus engaged in welcoming & rebelling, he is not released from birth, aging or death; from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, or despairs.
Now, gain arises for a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones. He reflects; “Gain has arisen for me. It’s anicca, dukkha & viparinama.” He discerns it as it is. His mind doesn’t remain consumed with the gain. (The other dhammas – loss, status, etc.… are also in this way.) He doesn’t welcome the arisen gain or rebel against the arisen loss. (The other pairs, status/disgrace, etc.… also in this way.)
As he thus abandons welcoming & rebelling, he is released from birth, aging & death; from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses & despairs. He is released from suffering (dukkha). So, following with the Buddha’s instruction, when we encounter the eight worldly dhamma: gain/loss, status/disgrace, censure/praise & pleasure/pain.
We should contemplate them as: these conditions among human beings are impermanent, suffering & subject to change. People do not know the Buddha’s teachings & without practice, the worldly dhamma overwhelms them.
With the positive ones (such as gain), lust (raga), craving (tanhā), attachment (upādāna) overrun their minds. With the negative ones (such as loss), anger (dosa), ill-will, etc. overrun their minds. They cannot free or escape from problems & sufferings.
For someone who knows the Buddha’s teachings by practicing it, will see things & react in different ways. He understands the differences between positive & negative worldly dhammas (e.g., gain & loss). He also sees their common nature (i.e., anicca, dukkha & viparinama). It is the same in vipassanā.
Mind & body have a particular nature (visesa lakkhana) & common nature (samaña lakkhana). The 34th blessing is unshaken, 35th is sorrowless, 36th is dustless & 37th is secure. These qualities & blessings are referred to someone beyond training (asekha - i.e., an arahant). But others also can overcome them temporarily by practice & contemplation.
發表於 : 2019-11-22, 18:05
Sorrow in the Pali word is called soka. Encounter sorrow things & the mind has displeasure feeling of mental factor is called soka. Every time soka arises, including dosa (hatred). The deep sadness of sorrow is quite common in people of today. Sorrow comes from the loss of one’s loved family member, from lost one’s fortunes & the fortunes of friends, etc.
All these are called soka. Here sorrow (soka) has a connection with loss & pain. The non-returner & arahant overcome sorrow. For others only by practice & wise contemplation. First has to know about the sufferings come from soka so that we can let go off it. Here I want to tell a true story of a man when encountered with death, which created sorrow for him & the family.
This story had some good lessons for us to contemplate. I was living on the eastern coast of Taiwan. On every new year, I use to pay a visit to see my very old mother. For this purpose, I had to stay for a few days in this layman’s home. He was a cigarette smoker. Last year he had found out with the lung cancer of the second stage. Two or 3 years before I urged him to has a medical check-up for lung cancer more than one or two times.
He did not take my suggestions & responded lightly as he would have no problem. This was one of his first great mistakes. He was a successful businessman & dealing with many businesses. Every year during my few days at his home, I was always invited him to discuss the Dhamma & practice.
Even both of us had free time; he never took it seriously. During these few years of our friendship, I always urged him to discuss Dhamma. He came for 2 or 3 times only & never stayed very long. When he came to the eastern coast in his free times to see our group, he only came
& paid respect to me. He always discussed & argued about Buddhism with other friends and never with me. So he had very limited knowledge of Buddhism with wrong views which came out from his thinkings. Thinking of business, money & Buddhism are two quite different things. Someone had success in business with his brain did not mean he was wise & intelligent.
No-one can know about Buddhism very well without a good teacher & study. So when death came & knocked on his door, he was fear & frightened. He had to take treatment with chemotherapy for a year without success. Even he lost his faith on the triple gems for his survival. He took refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma & Sangha recently to come out from dangers. It was the same as like other faiths. Instead of relying on his inner qualities, he turned towards outside power. Instead of using the right view for contemplation, he used the wrong view.
At last he had doubt & lost his faith in the Buddha, Dhamma & Sangha. The Buddha was not a savior & also did not has such a thing in nature. He wanted to see me the day before he died. I just came out from the hospital for an operation and rushed to see him. He passed away the next day.
What did he learn from his illness & death we did not know? For me, this book came out from the result of his illness. He misused his time, energy & chances for wealth only. Most people may think someone can make a lot of money & success in business is bright, intelligent & smart.
A mind influenced by lust, craving & greed cannot be wise. When illness & death come; money, power & status are becoming useless. After death, we cannot take anything with us except the unwholesome & wholesome actions (their results) will follow us. A few years ago, a monk who I knew had committed suicide. His old mother also out of grief and sorrow, followed him with suicide.
Most people do not want to hear or see old age, sickness & death. They would try to stay away from these things as much as possible. We do not benefit anything by running away from these things. These are natural processes & everyone will encounter it. Public big hospitals are very good for studying & observing these things.
In the Aṅguttara Nikāya, there was a discourse by the Buddha for the Five Subjects for Contemplations. These were very important for everyone. There are five facts that one should reflect very often. These are:
(1) I am subject to aging, have not gone beyond aging.
(2) I am subject to illness, have not gone beyond illness.
(3) I am subject to death, have not gone beyond death.
(4) I will grow different, separate from all that is dear & appealing to me.
(5) I am the owner of my action (kamma), heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, & have my actions as my
Arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or evil, to that, will I fall heir?
The Buddha continued to talk about the reasoning of these reflections.
(1) There are beings who are intoxicated with youth. Because of that, they conduct themselves in a bad way, in body, speech & mind. But when they often reflect on that fact, intoxication with youth will either be entirely abandoned or grow weaker.
(2) There are beings who are intoxicated with health. Because of that, they conduct unwholesome way, in body, speech & mind. With the often contemplation, intoxication with health will either be entirely abandoned or grow weaker.
(3) There are beings who are intoxicated with life. Because of that, they conduct unwholesome way, in body, speech & mind. With the often contemplation, intoxication with life will either be entirely abandoned or grow weaker.
(4) There are beings who feel desire & passion for the things they find dear & appealing. Because of that, they conduct unwholesome way, in body, speech & mind. With the often contemplation, that desire and passion for the things they find dear & appealing will either be entirely abandoned or grow weaker.
(5) There are beings who conduct themselves in a bad way, in body, speech & mind. With the often reflection, their unwholesome actions will either be entirely abandoned or grow weaker.
There was another discourse connection with the death in Aṅguttara Nikāya. It was called Fearless Discourse. If we understand why we are fear of death & can know how to deal with it properly & successfully. Without it, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & despair will arise.
Janussonin brahmin went to see the Buddha, & said to him as follow. “I am of the view & opinion that there is no one who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death.” The Buddha responded as it was not true. Some of them were afraid or in terror of death, & some were not. In truth, the majority of living beings are afraid or fear of death. The Buddha gave four reasons for each of them. The person who is afraid or fear of death:
(1) Someone who has not abandoned passion, desire, fondness, thirst, fever & craving for sensuality. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he is sick, the thought occurs to him as those beloved sensual pleasures will be taken from him, & he will be taken from them. He grieves & is tormented, weeps beat his breast & grow delirious.
(2) Someone who has not abandoned passion, desire, fondness, thirst, fever & craving for the body. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he is sick, the thought occurs to him as his beloved body will be taken from him, & he will be taken from his body. He grieves & is tormented, weeps beat his breast & grow delirious.
(3) Someone who has not done what is good, has not done what is skillful, has not given protection to those in fear, & instead has done what is evil, savage & cruel. There is a bad destination for him after death. For that, he grieves & is tormented, weeps beat his breast & grow delirious.
(4) A person in doubt & perplexity, who has not arrived at certainty about the True Dhamma. (This is a worldling who dies with doubt & wrong view).
From above the four reasons, someone afraid or fear of death is, attach to sensuality, to one’s body, done evil things & a worldling dies with doubt & wrong view. So someone who is not afraid or fear of death is the opposite. We had been seen some yogis who died with a smile on their faces (both Theravadin & Mahayanist Buddhists).
Therefore everyone, instead of running away from dukkha or unpleasant things, such as old age, sickness & death, should have intimate knowledge about them. Accept them as reality, natural process & learn how to deal with it skillfully. Only by learning & practicing we can deal with it successfully to overcome sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & despair.
There was a very interesting jataka story related to death. The Buddha in one of his lives as a bodhisatta was a farmer. His family members were; his wife, his son, his daughter, his daughter-in-law & their maidservant. Once he & his son were working in the field & suddenly the son was bitten by a poisonous snake & died.
Therefore the bodhisatta sent a message to his family & asked them to come to the field by bringing meal only for one person. The mother knew what happened to her son. After taking his meal, they prepared for the funeral. All five of them did not show any sorrow or grief. This made the King of the 33 gods (Sakka) curious about it & came down to the earth disguised as a human being for inquiry. Each of their answer to Sakka was as followed.
(1) The bodhisatta (the father): It was like a snake changing its skin.
With deep sorrow & crying for the dead one, it brought no benefit to anyone. The dead one also did not know anything for their sorrow & crying. Even the dead body was burnt with fire; it did not feel anything about it.
(2) The bodhisatta’s wife (the mother):
Her son was not invited by them (parents) to come & leave (i.e., by his kamma to be born & to die). Therefore he came to them by himself & left them by himself.
(3) The sister (the bodhisatta’s daughter):
Crying with sorrow brought disadvantages. It made others had worry & concern.
(4) The daughter-in-law (the son’s wife):
Crying with sorrow for the dead was like a child crying for the moon. Expecting or desiring for something which could not be attained was a kind of foolishness & stupidity.
(5) The maidservant:
Crying with sorrow for the dead one was like a pot after broken apart could never come back to normal. So it was useless & unprofitable.
If we observe & contemplate; what they had said, these people were not ordinary ones. Their minds were quite mature with the practice of contemplation on death. So worldlings also can overcome sorrow with practice & contemplation. Sorrow arises by wrong view & wrong thinking.
The Buddha gave many ways of Dhamma to deal with kilesa. With regular practice & contemplation, the mind will become mature & easily to overcome their worldly dhamma. With satipatthāna practice also can overcome sorrow & lamentation. At the beginning of the Satipatthāna Sutta,
the Buddha said; “Monks this is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the surmounting of sorrow & lamentation, for the disappearance of dukkha & discontent, for acquiring the true method & realization of Nibbāna.”
Tha-bye-kan Sayadaw gave the example of Mallikā, who was the wife of Bandula. At the time when she was serving the monks with foods & receiving the news of her husband & their 30 sons were killed. She continued to serve the monks without emotion. And suddenly a butter pot fell off & broken.
Ven. Sariputta saw it & comforted her. Then she showed the letter to the venerable & said that even she had been overcome sorrow & grief on the death of the family members. The reason for her sorrowless was coming from her practice. She was already a stream-winner (sotāpanna).
Here to include two stories of the Buddha’s two female greate disciples. They were Theri Patācāra & Theri Kisā Gotami. Both of them were suffered from deep sorrow when their beloved ones died. After meeting with the Buddha overcame their sorrow with Dhamma & practice. And then both became unshaken & sorrowless.
She had lost her husband & her two sons, as well as her parents & 3 brothers. So she was driven to near insanity. When she met the Buddha, he comforted her with Dhamma. She should not has fear because he could protect & guide her. Throughout saṁsāra (the round of existence), the number of tears she had shed on account of the deaths of the family members was voluminous.
Even it was more than the water of the four great oceans. The Buddha taught her you should not think too much about those who were already gone. Then the Buddha spoke the two following verses.
Verse 288: “Not sons, nor parents & close relatives can protect one
assailed by death; indeed, nobody can give protection.”
Verse 289: “Knowing this, the wise restrained by morality should
quickly clear the hindrances to the path leading to Nibbāna.”
After the discourse, Patācārā attained the Path & Fruit as a stream winner. Later she becomes a bhukkauni. One day she was cleaning her feet with water. As she poured the water for the first time, it flowed only a short distance & disappeared. And then she poured for the 2nd & third time successively & it had the same nature. She came to perceive the three stages in the life of beings.
The Buddha knew these all. So using his supernormal power from the Jetavana monastery sent forth his radiance & appeared to her. And then said the following verse.
Verse 113: “Better than living a hundred years without seeing the arising & passing away of the five khandhas is the one who lives a day & discerning of it.”
At the end of the discourse, Theri Patācārā attained arahantship.
She was from Sāvatthi & a rich man daughter. After she was married & a son was born to her. Unfortunately, her son died just like a toddler. She was stricken with sorrow & grief. She carried her dead son’s body & went about asking for medicine to restore her son’s life.
At last she met with the Buddha for help. He asked her to get some mustard seeds from houses where there had been no death. She could not find a single house where death had not occurred. As soon as she realized this point, her attachment towards her dead son had changed. She discarded the dead body & went back to see the Buddha.
The Buddha said to her; “Gotami, you thought that you were the only one who lost the son. Death comes to all beings. Before their desire is fulfilled, death takes them away.” With this talk, she penetrated the inconstant, suffering & not-self nature of the five khandhas & entered the stream (became a sotāpanna).
Later she became a bhikkhuni. One day as she was lighting the lamps & observing the flames flaring up & dying out. The Buddha, through supernormal power, saw her from the monastery, & sent forth his radiance & appeared to her. And asked her to continue the contemplation on the impermanence nature of phenomena. The Buddha spoke the following verse.
Verse 114: “Better than living a hundred years without seeing the Deathless
(i.e., Nibbāna) is the one who lives a day & seeing it.”
At the end of the discourse, Theri Kisā Gotami attained arahantship.
Therefore, contemplation on death is a very important meditation subject for everyone to transcend dukkha. If we talk about it from the suttas & stories, there is a lot to say. The weaver girl became a sotapanna before she died with the accident was the outcome of this practice. Her father out of grief for her death, later ordained & practiced became an arahant.
Ven. Yasa in one of his past lives, he was helping to bury & cremated corpses. Because of the frequent contemplation on death, in his last life easily to give up all his wealth & pleasures by seeing the women as corpses. And then he met the Buddha by listening to his talk and attained arahantship.
Frequent contemplation can lead to love, compassion & concern for others as we share the same nature. And then we shall not waste our precious lives & time for many useless things & matters. Instead, we become heedful & diligent in wholesome dhammas.
The Buddha’s teachings were always based on right views & right thoughts or thinking. Without it, any experience becomes fruitless & even harmful. We can see many doctors & workers are working with corpses. Do deaths & loathsomeness of the body have any effect on them? Mostly not! In the beginning, it might be unpleasant for them dealing with corpses.
In the long run, it becomes a habit & they used to them. People are doing evil things with wrong views & thoughts, even worse. Battles between drug gangs & terrorists, deaths become their pleasures. Media on violence become a pleasure for a lot of people. This is one of the causes of violence in societies (e.g., gun shootings in the US).
發表於 : 2019-11-22, 18:10
A person mind is dustless. What does it mean? Here dust is a metaphorical term & represents greed (lobha), dosa (hatred) & delusion (moha). These are the three roots of unwholesome phenomena. A dustless mind is free from greed, hatred & delusion, which is an arahant’s mind. A mind frees from defilements is a dustless mind.
There are ten defilements; greed, hatred, delusion, conceit, wrong views, doubt, sloth, restlessness, shamelessness & fearlessness of wrongdoing. The defilements (kilesa) are so called because they afflict & torment the mind. They defile beings by dragging them down to a mentally soiled & deprived condition. There was an interesting story connected with dust. This was the story of Cūlapanthaka.
He was a grandson of a banker of Rājagaha. The banker had two grandsons, Mahāpanthaka & Cūlapanthaka. Mahāpanthaka joined the Buddhist order & over time became an arahant.
Cūlapanthaka also followed him & became a monk. He was born as a dullard because of his past kamma. At the time of the Buddha Kassapa, he had made fun of a very dull monk. This kamma took fruit in this life. Even the slightest fault could become a big result. Therefore we have to be careful about all our actions.
Even he could not memorize a verse in 4 months. His brother Mahāpanthaka was very disappointed with him & asked him to leave the order. About that time, doctor Jivaka came to the monastery & invited the Buddha & Sangha to his house for a meal. Mahāpanthaka was in charge of assigning the monks to meal invitations.
So he left out Cūlapanthaka from the list. When Cūlapanthaka knew this & decided to leave the order. The Buddha knew all about it & asked him not to leave. He then gave him a clean white piece of cloth for the practice.
Instructed him by sitting in front of the Perfumed Chamber (The Buddha’s dwelling place) & rubbed the piece of cloth all the time & repeated the word “rajoharanam” which mean taking on impurity. And then with the monks, the Buddha went to Jivaka’s place.
Meanwhile, Cūlapanthaka went on rubbing the piece of cloth all the times & repeating the word “rajoharanam” like chanting a mantra all the time. This led to samādhi & after some time the piece of cloth became soiled. Cūlapanthaka came to realize the impermanent nature of all conditioned phenomena.
From the house of doctor Jivaka, the Buddha knew about the progress of Cūlapanthaka’s practice. He sent forth his radiance & appeared in front of him. The Buddha gave him the following instruction. “It was not only the piece of cloth was made dirty by the dust, but within oneself also there existed the dust of passion, ill-will & ignorance (raga), (dosa) & (moha).
Only by removing these dust of the mind could achieve the goal & attained arahantship.” Cūlapanthaka got the message & kept on contemplation & in a short time attained arahantship with analytical knowledge. He had ceased to be a dullard & became a dustless person.
There was a more important sutta on taintless or dustless. This was in the Majjima Nikāya called Discourse on Taintlessness-Aṅangana Sutta. Ven. Sariputta gave it to the monks. This sutta was very important for all to know it & look after the mind not to be tainted or soiled. Ven. Sariputta explained four types of individual. These are:
(1) A person has mental taints in his mind & does not know about it
(2) A person has mental taints in his mind & know about it
(3) A person has no mental taint in his mind & does not know about it.
(4) A person has no mental taint in his mind & know about it.
So, what are the differences & what happened to them? Ven. Sariputta gave the following answers. The first & 3rd persons are inferior because they do not know their situations (i.e., ignorant). The 2nd & 4th persons are superior because they know their situations (i.e., wise).
(1) The first person who has mental taints & he does not know it. So he will not generate desire, nor make an effort & not develop energy to get rid of that taint. He will pass away with a mind with attachment, anger, bewilderment, taints & impurities.
Ven. Sariputta gave the example of a bronze bowl. A bronze bowl was brought from a shop & covered with dust & dirt. The owner did not clean it, unused & discarded in the dust. And then, sometimes later it became more stained & tarnished with dirt.
(2) The 2nd person who has mental taints & he knows it. So, he will generate desire, make an effort & develop energy to get rid of that taint. He will pass away with a mind without attachment, anger, bewilderment, taints & impurities. It was like a bowl covered with dirt & dust. The owner cleaned it, used it & not discarded in the dust. It became cleaner & stainless.
(3) The 3rd person who has no mental taints & he does not know it. So, he will become attentive to what is pleasant & his mind will be corrupted by attachment. He will pass away with a mind of taints and impurities. It was like a bowl quite clean & unstained. But it might be left unused & uncleaned by the owner & discarded in the dust. And then, sometimes later it became more stained & tarnished with dirt.
(4) The 4th person who has no mental taints & he knows it. So, he will not be attentive to what is pleasant & his mind will not be corrupted by attachment. He will pass away with a mind without taints & impurities. It was like a bowl quite cleaned & unstained. It might be put into used & cleaned by the owner & not discarded in the dust. It became cleaner & stainless.
Therefore, the first & 3rd persons are living their lives with taint & dying with taints. So they are inferior persons. The 2nd & 4th persons are living their lives without taints & dying without taints. So, both of them are superior persons.
What about today, human beings? We can contemplate today world situation with the above standards. Majority of human beings are like the first persons, they have taints & impurities, but they do not know about it. With today world of many different types of media, the minds are more & more tainted & soiled.
Most people are using cell phones or smartphones all the time wherever they are or whatever they are doing. They are more & more like drug addicts. Very few media are wholesome because it does not make money. Business people also know this point. Out of over greedy, they use many different kinds of bait to hook or trap foolish people.
Some Buddhist monks & lay people may be like the 2nd person. They know the Buddha’s Teaching & follow it. The innocent children are like the 3rd person. If we observe today world education systems from family life, school life & social life, even government level we do not know & see much about moral education or ethics.
Therefore family, school & society do not know what is wholesome or unwholesome, and they learn everything from the media. With a lot of tainted education, people will have a tainted life. In today world with many social & environmental problems, we know this point very clear. Buddhist noble beings are like the 4th person (i.e., from the stream winner to the arahant.
For the anāgāmin & arahant they do not have any interest in worldly matters. They are immune to it.) Nobody is born as a dustless person. It will be come out by studying & practicing the Buddha’s Dhamma. To achieve the highest blessing & protection, we should not miss this chance. If not saṁsāra will never end for us.
發表於 : 2019-11-22, 18:30
To understand secure or security before: we need to understand what is insecure or insecurity? The Pali word khemaṁ is for secure. Something secure is safety or protected from dangers & harms. So insecure is not safe or not protected from dangers & harms. Man has body & mind. For ordinary people, the body affects the mind, & vice versa.
If we have the physical body, it will never be secure. At least it will never escape from aging, sickness & death. Even the Buddha & other noble beings could not escape from the dangers & harms done by others. Mara – the evil one, Devadatta, Ciñcamānavikā, etc. harmed the Buddha by physically & verbally.
Mahāmogallana was killed by the bandits. Mahakala upasaka – a stream-winner (sotāpanna) was beaten to death by people who accused him as the thief. (In one of his past lives out of lust for a woman & with fault accusation he killed the woman’s husband & took her by force. This evil action following him up to this life & he had to pay for his kammic debt. How many times in saṁsāra others killed him in this way nobody knows?)
Why all living beings have no security in the rounds of existence? There are many reasons for it. The most important reason is loka dhammas are following behind everyone. Every being wants happiness & security. But everyone in the rounds of existence had done all sorts of kammas.
Most beings cannot control their minds because they do not have the chances to meet the Buddha, Dhamma & Sangha. They do not know the Dhamma & without any practice. Majority of people are chasing the worldly dhamma (loka dhamma) & at the same time, these dhammas are following or chasing them. It was like they & the loka dhammas were playing hide & seek games. Noble beings are not playing hide & seek game with the worldly dhamma. Only they still have the physical bodies that cannot escape from them.
So here the 37th protection with a blessing on security is not the physical body, but the mind. Especially it is the mind of an arahant. It is like the other blessings; 34th is unshaken, 35th is sorrowless & 36th is dustless are representing the arahant’s mind. Even though the physical body of the arahant is still not secure, his mind is secure.
Only by passing away into Nibbāna element that Buddha & arahants were secure. Therefore the khandhas are the source of insecurity. So every being with the khandhas will never be in the security. There are four bonds (yoga) which bind the beings that making them unsafe.
These are the causes of suffering for the khandhas. These are the bond of sensual desire (kāmayoga), the bond of attachment to existence (bhavayoga), the bond of wrong views (ditthiyoga) & the bond of ignorance (avijjāyoga). If combined, become greed (lobha), wrong views (ditthi) & delusion (moha), the 3 unwholesome mental states. The same defilements (i.e., bonds) are also called taints (āsavā) & floods (oghā).
The four taints; the taint of sensual desire (kāmāsava), the taint of attachment to existence (bhavāsava), the taint of wrong views (ditthāsava) & the taint of ignorance (avijjāsava).
The four floods; the floods of sensual desire, attachment to existence, wrong views & ignorance (kāmogho, bhavogho, ditthogho & avijjhogho). These are called floods (ogha) because they sweep beings away into the ocean of existence. They are also called bonds (yoga) because they yoke beings to suffering & do not allow them to escape.
Therefore, a mind that, when touched by the ways of the world (loka dhamma), is unshaken; sorrowless, dustless & secure is the arahant’s mind. All these mind qualities only come by practice. Even ordinary Buddhists who know the Dhamma & practice can develop it into certain levels. So that we can overcome the loka dhamma or reduce their powers which affect our minds.
The Buddha ended his discourse on Blessing of Protection with the following verse:
when acting in this way,
people go everywhere in well being:
This is their highest protection with a blessing.
This is the power of the pure & free mind. There is no protection with blessing higher than that. The Buddha delivered the discourse on Blessings & gave the right answers from the mundane levels to supramundane level to the deities was quite amazing. Except for a Buddha, nobody could give this kind of teaching.
So, truly, he was the teacher of gods & human beings. I am sure everyone wants blessing & protection. Everyone has to start with oneself first. The Buddha’s teaching was on man or mind centered, not on God or gods centred. If on God or gods centred human beings cannot solve any problem & correct the ills of the world.
Therefore, all the teachings are practical & applicable. Only we study it & follow it with an unwavering mind. Without developing within oneself, we cannot protect ourselves & others. Each person has to do his duty rightly & skilfully so that problems will be solved. With the right & wise educations only we can solve the human problems from the family, society & government levels to international level.
We can help & save human beings only with wholesome education. Not by inventing new things based on greed, hatred & delusion. Unwholesome dhammas never bring happiness & peace to human beings. These are the outcomes of the today world situation.
In my introduction, I had mentioned about the Metta Sutta and the Khandha Sutta in this Protection with Blessing. But I was carried away by the Mańgala Sutta, alone. The Metta and the Khansha Suttas are about loving-kindness or friendliness. It was also a very important Dhamma in the Buddha’s Teaching. It should be had its collections and contemplation.
Therefore because of space, I will leave it out here. Metta is urgently needed for today world. If we observe the current situations of the world, we can know this point. We human beings are not only cruel, harmful, and violent to fellow men but also animals and natural environments. The important role of metta is also evident in the ten perfections (paramis) of the Bodhisatta path as the 9th perfections (metta parami).
It also includes in the four divine abodes (Brahmavihara) as the first one; i.e., loving-kindness, compassion, appreciative joy, and equanimity (metta, karuna, mudita, and upekkha). After the Four Noble Truths, these are the second important dhammas which should be developed.
So, here I will only mention metta and its opposite dhammas of anger, hatred, ill-will, etc. for just in a gist. If the majority of human beings can develop the four divine abodes, the Earth will become a Heaven. In the Metta Sutta of Ańguttara Nikāya, the Buddha mentioned the eleven benefits gained by a person who cultivated and developed metta. These are;
(1) one sleeps well,
(2) one wakes up happily,
(3) one does not have bad dreams,
(4) one is pleasing to human beings,
(5) one is pleasing to spirits and deities,
(6) deities protect one,
(7) fire, weapons and poisons do not injure one,
(8) one mind easily becomes concentrated,
(9) one’s facial complexion is clear and serene,
(10) one dies without confusion,
(11) after death one can take rebirth in the Brahma World.
The opposite of metta is dosa (anger, hatred). The Buddha mentioned the seven faults of anger in the Ańguttara Nikāya.
The Angry Person: “ An angry person is ugly and sleeps poorly. Gaining a profit, he turns it into a loss, having done damage with words and deeds. A person overwhelmed with anger destroys his wealth. Maddened with anger, he destroys his status. Relative, friends, and colleagues avoid him. This person on the break-up of the body, after death, reappears in the plane of deprivation, the bad bourn, the lower realms, in hell.”
“An angry person doesn’t know his benefit and doesn’t see the Dhamma. A man conquered by anger is in a mass of darkness. He takes pleasure in bad deeds as if they were good. But later, when his anger is gone, he suffers as if burned with fire. When anger spreads, a man becomes angry; he has no shame, no fear of evil, is not respectful in speech. For a person overcomes with anger, nothing gives light.”
And then, the Buddha mentioned the deeds that brought remorse by anger. “ An angry person kills his father, kills his mother, kills a noble being, and kills ordinary people. It’s because of a mother devotion that one sees the world, yet an ordinary angry person can kill this giver of life.
Like oneself, all beings hold themselves most dear, yet an angry person deranged can kill himself in many ways, with a sword, taking poison, hanging himself by a rope. Doing these things that kill beings, and do violence to himself, the angry person doesn’t realize that he’s ruined.”
The Buddha reminded us clearly about the nature of anger, and its results were quite frightening. We can see its great impact on human sufferings in modern day human history; such as 911, many terrorist activities, many wars in the middle east, etc.
Why these unfortunate things happen to human beings continuously? Because most human beings do not know the law of kamma. Even if they know it, they have more faith in God than natural law. So they do not take responsibility and do not know how to solve the problems.
There was a true story that happened in Iran a few years ago. This incident was mentioned in the BBC radio program- Th Outlook. It was interesting and food for our heart. A young man was chasing a beautiful young woman. She rejected his proposal. Out of anger and hatred, he threw acid on her face when she was on her way back home.
We can imagine how much suffering and difficulties she had to go through after that tragedy. Later the young man who committed the evil crime was due to punishing with the Islamic Law (It seemed to be not with the criminal code). The day when the criminal was brought into justice, the young woman had to throw acid on the man’s face.
The criminal kneeled in front of her and asked forgiveness and a pardon. She was in hesitation for a while. Therefore her brother wanted to come in punished the man on her behalf. At last, she decided to forgive and pardon him. She had made the right decision.
In our life nothing is happening by chance or created by God. In this life, she had to pay back her kammic debt with the physical body. If she used the tit-for-tat punishment or revenge, the problem would never end. Both of them will continue to suffer in the future to come. (See Israel and Palestinian Conflict).
Hatred cannot overcome with hatred. Tit-for-tat cannot solve the problem. All the evil methods make the problem becomes worse. If both of them had strong grudges which came from their past lives and it would be ended here. The young woman did the right thing with courage and had a noble heart.
The Buddha said in the Dhammapada; Verse 223: “Conquer the angry one by loving-kindness; the wicked one by goodness; the stingy one by the generosity and the liar by speaking the truth.” The above verse has a lot of connections and benefits for today world. A lot of cruelty and violence in today world that we need metta.
A lot of poisoning going on in the food chains, air-water-earth pollutions that we need goodness. A lot of protectionism and selfishness in today world economics and politics that we need generosity. In today world politics, governments, and leaders; we can see many liars, and it is necessary that they should speak the truths.
The verse also talked about greed, anger, delusion the three unwholesome roots and their opposite three wholesome roots non-greed, non-anger, and non-delusion. With the only wholesome dhamma, one can protect oneself and others. Therefore the Buddha said in the Sedaka Sutta, Samyutta Nikāya; “the way of protecting others and oneself is with patience, harmlessness, loving-kindness, and sympathy.”
The. Young Iranian woman did not know the Buddha Dhamma. But she followed the way of protecting the young man who wanted to destroy her with patience, harmlessness, metta, sympathy, and forgiveness, and also at the same time protecting herself from the future dangers and sufferings (i.e., kammic consequences).
If we study the Mańgala Sutta thoroughly, the 6th blessing of directing oneself rightly (atta-sammā-panidhi) is the most important one. It can affect this life and future life to come. All the other following blessings are depending on it. If we contemplate on this factor or cause will have a lot of insight.
Everyone without directing oneself rightly will lead to downfall. And by directing oneself rightly will lead to progress and happiness. When every baby comes into this human world is innocent and neither bad nor good. But it does not mean that the mind is pure. It has latent defilements within it when children are young easy to train and educate them in the right and wholesome directions.
So that the children in their childhood and later grown up they can continue to develop and direct themselves. There are two matters every human being cannot escape or run away from it, i.e., the law of kamma and education, either we know it or not.
There are unwholesome kammas and wholesome kammas. In the same way, there are unwholesome educations and wholesome educations. These two things are connected. Unwholesome education will lead to unwholesome kamma. Wholesome education also will lead to wholesome kamma. The unwholesome ways are the path to degeneration.
The wholesome ways are the path to progress. Before we discuss the two kinds of education with two babies, first should know the qualities and behaviors of bad and good persons. It was mentioned by the Buddha in the - Shorter Discourse on the Full-Moon Night- Cūlapunnama Sutta (Majjima Nikāya).
Bad Person and Good Person
The bad person does not know about the bad and good persons (i.e., foolish). But the good person does know about the bad and good persons (i.e., wise).
The bad person has seven bad qualities;
(1) no faith,
(2) no shame and
(3) no fear of wrongdoing,
(6) forgetful and
Here the more important point on no faith is a bad person not believe in the law of kamma. He is unlearned means no knowledge about the Buddha Dhamma. The important point is he does not know morality. The important point on laziness is not making an effort to become a good person. Here forgetful is doing bad things and not doing good things. In this way, he is wasting his life and time. He behaves in the following ways;
(1) He associated with bad people,
(2) he wills as a bad person,
(3) he counsels with bad people,
(4) he speaks like a bad person,
(5) he acts as a bad person,
(6) he has the views of a bad person,
(7) he gives the gifts in a bad way.
(1) He associated with bad people who have the above seven qualities.
(2) he wills for his affliction, for others and both.
(3) he counsels for his affliction, for others and both.
(4) he speaks the false speech, malicious speech, harsh speech, and gossip.
(5) he kills living beings, takes what is not given, misconducts in sensual pleasure (i.e., sexual misconducts and consumes intoxicants)
(6) he holds the following views;
There is nothing given; nothing offered, nothing sacrificed, no fruits or results of good or bad actions, no this world and another world, no father and mother, no being reborn, no good and virtuous people who realize by knowledge and know the worlds.
(7) he gives the gifts to people what is to be discarded, with the view of no results, without respect and carelessly.
All the actions of a bad person are connecting with the ten unwholesome actions (10-akusala dhammas). So after his death, he will be born in the hell or animal world.
A good person has seven good qualities; he has faith, shame, and fear of wrongdoing, who has learned, energetic, mindful, and wise.
Good person behaviors are the opposite of a bad person. So it is no needs to be mentioned here again. A good person on the dissolution of the body, after death, reappears in the destination of good persons, or gods. He has greatness among human beings and gods.
The Buddha distinguished a bad person and a good person with the five precepts, also with the unwholesome and wholesome dhammas. A person inferior to a bad person is; he does not have the five precepts, and he has the ten unwholesome dhammas. He encourages others to do the same things.
The Pali word for human is manussa, and it bears the meaning of a noble mind with metta and karuna (loving-kindness and compassion). The English word of humanity is the quality of being kind, thoughtful, and sympathetic. So everyone can decide himself as he is a human or a beast?
We could make a comparison with two babies; one was educated with the unwholesome ways and the other with the wholesome ways. When they were born into this world, both were innocent and ordinary babies because of the two different ways of education that their lives were quite different.
The first child→ with unwholesome education → becomes a small person → a bad person→ a useless person → an evil person → a criminal → after death → to a painful existence.
The second child→ with wholesome education →becomes a good person → a good-hearted person → a wise person → a noble person → after death → to a good existence or end dukkha.
The above cause and effect relationships are only in general or roughly.
I am quite sure; all parents will want their children to become a good-hearted, wise, and noble person. No parents would want their children to become an evil person and a criminal.
If anyone desires of the bad results, then he or she is a crazy or an abnormal person. I say this because if we observe all the situations around the world and could see the craziness and abnormality of human beings.
We can roughly divide education into four types or levels compare with the four stories building. These are;
(1) family level,
(2) school level,
(3) society level,
(4) religious level.
Among them, the first level of family education is the foundation and the most important one. If the foundation is not good and unstable, the other levels also become hopeless. It was like the four stories building. If the foundation is going wrong, all the others will crumble down. It was the same as the first blessing in the Mańgala sutta- Not association with the fools and association with the wise.
Without these first blessings and the others are impossible. Nowadays the education at the school level only teaches for certificates, for livelihood, profession, and status. The teachers and schools neglect the moral education. In the past teachers also had the duty to teach their students to become a good and moral person.
Education at the society level is more complex and extensive, including all the media, mediums of the people and surroundings. For today modern men they were to be very careful about them. We cannot follow them blindly as the majority of people — the saying of Ven. Sariputta’s former teacher was quite true.
There are more foolish people than wise people. Why is that? It needs a lot of teaching, training, and practice to become a good, moral, wise, and noble person. To become a foolish man, you do not need to teach and train him. The untrained mind is usually taking pleasure in unwholesome things and matters.
Undefiled things do not make money, and defiled things easily make money. We need to be intelligent and wise. Today a lot of social problems and sufferings were connecting with them-- the media. The last level of religious education is also very important. We cannot take it lightly. It can change our whole life dramatically, either wholesome or unwholesome.
Most religions teach people to be a good or moral person. It is very important not to misinterpret one’s religion and in the name of religion for harming others. We should not be deceived by any cult religion which could be dangerous, harmful, and ruined one’s life.
The Buddha Dhamma is more like education than religion because there was no creator in the Buddha’s teachings. It is on mind centered or man-centered teaching and about the natural laws and phenomena which scientists try to discover. It is not based on superstitions and supernatural.
It can be proved by direct experiences, and workable in everybody’s daily life. So it is very practical and the most closest to human beings. You are always living with him from birth to death in the whole of samsara, but you never know and understand him, which is the mind.
By understanding the Buddha Dhamma and our mind, we can know how to behave, conduct, and live a fruitful life. We can also deal with and solve a lot of human problems and sufferings. These four types of education are connected and mutually supporting.
If we can deal with education in family life successfully and the others become easier and smoother.
Everyone comes into this human world, his or her first teacher is the parents, especially and importantly for the mother. Therefore woman folks have the most important role, duty, and responsibility for the human race for harmony, peace, and happiness, even for human survival. A good, intelligent, and wise mother can look after the child with wholesome teachings and training and brings her child becomes a good, kind, wise, and noble person.
Without proper, right, and wise teaching and training, everyone will go his or her own way. Nowadays, this happens more than before. Most children are taught and trained by many kinds of medium. Thinking about mothers, there was a true story which had a strong impact on my heart.
In Australia, there was a young westerner born without both arms and both legs. His parents, importantly the mother, brought him up until he married a young Chinese beautiful woman and had a baby of his own. One can imagine the difficulties and mental suffering the mother had gone through for her child. It might be for over twenty or thirty years looking after her son day in day out every day with patience, love, sympathy, and concern.
She had to do everything for him. It seemed to me she was not only a good mother but also a good teacher. Under her guidance, he overcame all the difficulties and problems courageously. He seemed to be happy and joyful with his life. With the merit of his mother, he had the chance to meet a good wife who also had the quality like his noble mother. Both women sacrificed their lives for an unfortunate person.
There was also a negative story which happened in Taiwan some years ago. A severe earthquake struck Taiwan in the year of 1999. A young woman was buried under the rubble. After she was rescued, she both legs was severely injured that both legs had to be amputated from the knees down.
She had a young child. After the incident, her husband ran away by leaving her behind with the child. What a cruel and selfish person? This was the sign of lust, not metta. Therefore all mothers can make this human world to become a better place like a Heaven.
The last thing I want to end my contemplation is about the pollutions and the environmental problems. We human beings are unnecessary over-indulgence in the sensual pleasure that the Earth is on the brink of destruction. Now we are arriving at a crucial point.
Human beings are polluting the earth at an alarming rate. Now, if we do not quickly solve the temperature rising problem, many natural disasters and dangers are waiting for us to appear. Nowadays, human beings are like a silly crow in the following Jataka story.
The Silly Crow and The Dead Elephant:
In the Arindama Jataka, the Bodhisatta was the king Arindama. Sonaka was a brahmin and a friend of the Bodhisatta. Later he left the Bodhisatta and became a solitary buddha (Paccekabuddha). The king was over-indulgence in sensual pleasure until his old age. Sonaka- the solitary -buddha came to the king and taught him to renounce the world and became an ascetic. One of his teachings was as follow.
A dead elephant was floating down the Ganges River to the sea. A crow flying nearby saw it and perched on the dead body, pecking it with its beak and ate the flesh and drank the blood. The crow after filling his stomach, instead of flying away, he continued to follow with the carcass along the river.
The crow thought; “This is a great fortune to me. I don’t need to find for food anymore. This will be enough for my whole life.” He stayed with it, and when he hungry, he ate the flesh, when thirsty he drank the blood.
Therefore the silly crow and the carcass were carrying down by the river until near the seashore. At that time if the crow was leaving in the carcass and flew away, he could save his life. Instead, he was clinging to the sensual pleasure of the flesh that he was carried away towards the sea.
The carcass also became rotten, and at last, it was fallen apart. At that time, the silly crow became aware of the danger and tried to fly away. But he could not see the seashore, at last, became tired and was fallen into the sea water. He became the food of the sea creatures.
Today human beings are at a critical point. If we are continued polluting the earth and the environments we all would be ended up like the silly crow. Some might think (i.e., politicians, scientists, economists, business people, etc.) they could run away from the dangers and disasters because they have the power, wealth, and worldly knowledge. At the time of in dangers and all would be fought each other for survival and security.
Today human beings are very greedy for fame, power, wealth, and sensual pleasure without limit. It was like drinking the salty water, with more drinking become more thirsty. Greed, lust, sensual pleasure are like this and never give us contentment and satisfaction. Instead, it creates more and more problems and sufferings if we are without the restraint of the senses. Tanhā-craving nature is difficult to know because of its pleasant feeling. It is difficult to give up and ensnare human beings under the guise of a friend. We are like the slave in the following story.
How much do you own and need?
A very wealthy landowner told his slave. “I’ll give you some lands, but there is one condition. You have to run across this land as far as you can from here until where you stop. All this stretch of land will become your property.” Therefore the slave ran very fast out of greed until he was tired. But he was very greedy and whispering himself as; “Not enough yet. Don’t stop. Not enough yet…” and he was continuing in the running.
At last, after a long distance, he became overtired, short of breath, collapsed and he died on the spot. The landowner dug a pit of six feet by three feet on the same spot and put the corpse therein and said these words-“You only valued this much.” And then he buried him there.
In this story, the landowner is tanhā (craving, greed, lust.) The slave is the majority of nowadays human beings. Even this small piece of ground becomes impossible for most people because they all will be cremated and become nothing. So human beings own nothing.
They came to this world naked and empty-handed and will leave here also with naked and empty-handed. But one thing is very sure; they inevitably have to carry the kammic results with them. These kammic results are their only real properties. There is also a Judgment Day. The kamma Judge will make the following verdicts-
(1) you take rebirth as a chicken (for someone who crazy for fame, power and wealth which is tanhā represents the cock),
(2) you take rebirth as a snake (a cobra) (for someone who has strong anger, hatred, ill-will which is dosa and it represents the snake,
(3) you take rebirth as a pig (for someone foolish and stupid which is delusion, and it represents the pig). This kind of Judgment Day will be sure to come and not otherwise.
Therefore everyone has a good opportunity coming to this human world should not create unwholesome kammas with greed, hatred, and delusion. All these unwholesome dhammas are sure to harm oneself and others. Instead, we must use this precious life to do all good for oneself, and others are the right things to do.
In this way, we protect oneself and protecting others, including nature. Every human being has the duty and responsibility to look after and protect our mother Earth and its nature from destruction. In this way, we can leave this beautiful Earth unharmed for our human generations.