FIRST & SECOND SERIES
(Lectures by Mahasi Sayadaw on his World Missionary Tour 1979)
Mahasi Sasana Yeiktha, Rangoon, Burma
|1. Introductory Preface by Ashin Kelasa|
|2. The Noble Teaching of the Buddha|
|3. The Teaching of the Buddha-sasana|
|4. Satipatthana - the only Way (I)|
|5. Satipatthana - the only Way (II)|
|6. The Way to Happiness|
|1. Introduction by Mangala U Aung Myint|
|2. The Teaching of the Buddha|
|3. The Method of the Buddha's Practice of Meditation|
|4. The Four Noble Truths|
Today the Buddha Sasana (the Buddha's Teaching) is 2,522 years old and has the appearance of being advanced and aged in years. But, owing to its truth and accuracy, the Teaching is better, fresher and brighter than ever.
As man ages, the food he used to take in his youth becomes indigestible. When this happens, he has to choose and partake of such dietetic food as his khandha the fivefold aggregates of his psychophysical make-up) can accept. The reason for this is not the indifferent quality of his normal food hut the poor state of his digestion.
Similarly, with the ageing of the Sasana (Teaching) in these later times, the people's faith in it declines and weakens so that traditional observances likedana (charity) and sila (morality) no longer suffice to establish such faith. Bhavana (meditation) is needed as dietary supplement for proper assimilation of the Teaching. This is not due to the indifferent quality of the Teaching but to the declining faith of the people today.
It is usual for worldly people believe only when they have experienced, known and seen for themselves. However, just as those, who cannot believe that man has reached the moon by spacecraft are deficient in scientific knowledge, so also those who lack faith in the Buddha's Teaching are low in the level of their religious (spiritual) perception. They need to practise the Buddha's Teaching themselves in order to raise this level.
Diet does not mean extraordinary food. It is Just food that one is accustomed to take, but selected for its suitability for one in accordance with what is called sappaya-sampajanna (comprehension of suitability). In the same way, the Buddha has prescribed the dhamma diet for those who are lacking in faith in the Three Gems of the Buddhist religion. Those who take this dhamma-diet medicine will be cleansed not only of their physical suffering and ailments, but also of the usual mental defilements like greed and anger.
Human suffering in this world is associated will mundane acts of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, thinking, going and coming, performing and speaking.
The best diet-medicine of the Buddha for removing this physical and mental suffering and obtaining immediate relief from the same is described in this booklet and consists of meditation by way of noting all acts of seeing, hearing, walking and so on.
Ability to distinguish between mind and matter by reading, listening, to discourse and engaging in discussion, is only of a conceptual nature and falls short of personal experience and knowing through wisdom.
In addition to the general knowledge which may be acquired through learning in the universities of Burma and the rest of the world, there is another and deeper kind of knowledge gained in a practical manner through life's experiences.
"Wisdom-knowledge" will conduce several times more to our present and future happiness than "learning-knowledge."
Only practical application of the Buddha's Teaching will mean that we are taking the dhamma-diet medicine given by the Buddha. Only then will we receive the benefit of attaining Nibbana, the cessation of all Samsaric suffering.
The Buddha started to turn the Wheel of the Dhamma 2,567 years ago in order to confer this benefit. Since then the Buddha has preached this Dhamma to the multitudes many times. Whenever some body who could be liberated appeared, the Buddha did not hesitate to proceed to the home, the workshop or the cultivated field of the person concerned to preach and teach the Dhamma to him. In Transmitting the Dhamma thus, the Buddha illustrated his teaching by different examples depending on the occupation and disposition of his hearer.
Some people criticise the Buddha's teaching as being archaic, outmoded and socially deadening. All these criticisms are totally incorrect. In the Buddha-dhamma are there not such suttas (discourses) as Mangala Sutta and Singala Sutta. which are concerned with social matters? By observing the teaching of these Suttas, human life can be made happy and peaceful. How can the Buddhist injunction to minimize greed and anger and to cultivate loving kindness and compassion, adversely affect human rights? It can only promote them, It will ease the processes of governmental administration and commerce.
Are not bitter scars left behind in today's world by the solution of problems and disputes through war, and is not the final solution only through peaceful negotiation? Then Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw's talks and writings are invariably with the purpose of promoting world and Samsaric peace. These talks and writings have already appeared in sixty- eight publications by the seventy-fifth year of the Ven. Sayadaw's life:
The present booklet, the latest addition to the above collection of publications owes its origin to the suggestion and request of the Rev. Rewata Dhamma (a Burmese Buddhist monk who has been preaching Buddha-dhamma extensively in the West) that the Ven. Sayadaw may prepare some three or four talks to he read as lectures in his coming tour in the West. The following are the five talks prepared in accordance with the above suggestion;
(I) The Noble Teaching of the Buddha
(2) The Teaching of the Buddha-Sasana
(3) Satipatthana, Insight Meditation (I)
(4) Satipatthana, Insight Meditation (II)
(5) The Way to Happiness
Of these talks prepared by the Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw in Burmese, the first, The Noble Teaching of the Buddha was translated into English by U Nyi Nyi (Mahasi Yogi), and the rest by U Tha Noe, M.A (writer).
The Teaching of the Buddha stresses the importance and value of Vipassana (Insight) Meditation and describes how this meditation may be undertaken. It goes on to describe, accurately and clearly, the progress of Vipassana insight as meditation develops and the gaining of Nibbanic experience through the noble magga nana (knowledge of the Path). The talk is also embellished and deals with forms of modern (religious and secular) thought to suit the needs of (latter-day) listeners.
Because of its undoubted truth based on the above mentioned characteristics, the Buddha-dhamma has stood the test of scrutiny and comparison with the (philosophical) thought and speculation and experiences of other creeds throughout the centuries. There is no doubt that it will retain its brilliance for the future too.
At time and circumstances permitted, the Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw has taught Vipassana Meditation since the year 1939. In the wake of these teachings and instructions, the grateful and convinced disciples of the Sayadaw who themselves had taken up Vipassana Meditation In earnest, had promoted the Buddha Sasana by setting up an International Association for the Propagation of Vipassana knowledge and Practice.
At the time this Association was formed, It was considered to be too ambitious a project and it was doubted if it would be possible to bring about a world-wide coverage of its activities. But through the united efforts of the teachers and the disciples, practical meditators had gradually increased in numbers, with a corresponding accession of believers in the efficiency of this method of Buddhist meditation. Today the Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw's reputation in the sphere of Vipassana Meditation has not only spread throughout the towns and villages of Burma but extended to other parts of Asia, Europe and America, making the Sayadaw internationally renowned. Such renown is primarily attributable to the intrinsic virtue of the Satipatthana method of Vipassana Meditation based on insight and wisdom. This dhamma-wheel is rapid and sharp, strong and fortified, exact, accurate and fitting.
May all beings attain Nibbanic bliss and peace, travelling on the vehicle of the Noble Eightfold Path!
Dighabhanaka, Dighanikayakovida and
Sasana Yeiktha, Hermitage Road, Rangoon, Burma.
Silam samadhi panna ca
Anubuddha ime dhamma
Gotama Buddha, who is a true refuge for all Buddhists, fully practised and personally experienced the noblest, the loftiest and the most dependable dhammas comprising sila (morality), samadhi (concentration) panna (wisdom) and vimutti (deliverance). When he had thus practised and discerned all that should be known he preached the same for 45 years to veneyya persons (those who can be instructed) so that they may, like himself, be delivered from all sufferings through practice of these dependable dhammas.
The Bodhisatta had four asankheyyas (aeons) and one hundred thousand world-cycles ago, vowed at the feet of Dipankara Buddha to become a Sammasamhuddha (Supreme Buddha). From that time onwards, the Bodhisatta had fulfilled the paramis (perfections of virtue) needed for Buddhahood like dana (charity). sila (morality) and so on. 2,562 years ago (according to western reckoning) in this world-cycle, he became the son of King Suddhodana and Queen Maya. The King-father gave the name of Siddhattha to his child the Bodhisatta. At the age of 16, he was married to Yasodhara-devi. daughter of King Suppabuddha, and went on enjoying the delights of royalty. When he was 29 years of age, he came to realize the ills of old age, sickness and death and renounced the world in order to find out for himself and others the dhamma that can liberate one from old age, sickness and death.
In his search for the dhamma that frees one from old age, sickness and death, the Bodhisatta practised under the sage Alara who had attained the seven mundane jhanic states (trances or states of mental absorption), and under the sage Udaka who had attained all the eight mundane jhanic states, and himself attained soon the same seven and eight jhanic states respectively. "But these jhanic states are incapable of freeing one from old age, disease and death. They can only take one to the arupa (formless) realms of existence and enable one to live for a long time. When the life-span of 69,000 or 84,000 world-cycles is ended, death ensues and takes one back to the human realm, where one is subject to old age, disease and death like others. It can also send one to the four apaya (nether) worlds. They are not a dhamma that can release one from old age, disease and death." Thus reflecting, the Bodhisatta gave up these mundane jhanic states and continued the search on his own for the dhamma that would free one from old age, disease and death. Giving up solid food and living on a "handful" of boiled bean soup he continued his search for the noble dhamma through mortification of the body for six years. But he did not find it. Then he gave up his ascetic practice, and resumed taking of such food as he should, and thus regained his strength. Practising anapana meditation (observing the in-breath and the out-breath), he attained the four rupa jhanic states. Ott the basis of there jhanic states, he further attained other jhanic states and the higher spiritual powers.
Later on he came to realize that old age and death are due to rebirth, which in turn is due to desire, clinging and kamma. Desire is caused by vedana (feeling) which is looked upon as pleasurable. If this vedana is rightly seen as constantly arising and passing away, desire will no longer arise and will come to an end. If desire ends, clinging and pleasure-seeking kamma will also come to an end. With the ending of kamma, there will be an end of rebirth along with the suffering of old age and death. Realizing all these facts, the Bodhisatta meditated on the arising and passing away of the five upadanakkhandhas (groups of clinging) so that there may be no occasion for desire and liking to arise.
upadanakkhandhas means the psycho-physical phenomena that become apparent every time one sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches or thinks. In every act of seeing the eye in which arises seeing becomes apparent, the physical object which is seen becomes apparent arid the seeing-consciousness also becomes apparent. Along with this consciousness, the feeling of pleasure or non-pleasure at the sight also becomes apparent. The perception (sanna) of what is seen, the encouragement (cetana) to see, and the attention (manasikara) to the sight seen, all these also become apparent. Of these, the eye and the sight constitute rupakkhandha (the aggregate of material qualities). These material qualities are also taken as permanent, pleasing and as a living atta (substantial entity) and are clung to. Because of this clinging, the eye and the sight are called in Pali as Upadanakkhandha. Because of a similar attachment, the eye-consciousness etc. are also called vinnana upadanakkhandha, vedana upadanakkhandha, sanna upadanakkhandha and sankhara upadanakkhandha. In brief, the eye and the sight are rupa (material qualities), the consciousness of sight is nama (mental quality). These are only these only these two qualities, material and mental. These phenomena arise every time something is seen, and at every act of seeing they arise and pass away now and then. However, if they are not noted at the time of seeing, they will be taken and clung to as a permanent entity. Thus through this manner of attachment and kammic act to achieve pleasure, rebirth arises. On account of rebirth, the sufferings of old age and death are undergone.
If noting is made at every moment of seeing, the arising and passing away of the five upadanakkhandhas will be realized and attachment removed. Thus kammic act and arising of a new bhava (existence) will cease, resulting in the cessation of the sufferings of old age, disease and death.
In the same way, if the phenomena that arise at the moment of hearing, smelling tasting, touching and thinking are not noted and awareness of the same is not there, new bhavas will arise and the suffering of old age, disease and death will have to be gone through. If, on the other hand, the psycho-physical phenomena that arise are noted and perceived rightly, the coming into being of new bhavas will cease, so also the sufferings of old age, disease and death.
Thus reflecting on the arising and ceasing of suffering, the Bodhisatta meditated on the arising and passing away of the upadanakkhandhas. Soon after such meditation, he was freed from the bondage of asava-kilesa (the impurity of the outflows) and became the omniscient Supreme Buddha.
Tassa pancasu upadanakkhandhesu udayabbayanupassino viharato na cirass' eva anupadaya asavehi cittam vimucci
Thus has it been preached. This in brief is how the Buddha him self practised so as to be free from sufferings of old age, disease and death etc, and realize the noblest dhammas of sila (morality), samadhi (concentration), panna (wisdom) and vimutti (deliverance). In this manner did the Buddha himself realize the dhamma which is cessation of all sufferings and preach it out of compassion to all beings so that they might like himself come to know and experience the true dhamma which is cessation of sufferings.
Initially the Buddha preached this dhamma to his five disciples — Kondanna, Vappa, Bhaddiya, Mahanama and Assaji. Those five disciples were the ones who had attended on the Bodhisatta while he was for six whole years practising the austerities, going without solid food and living merely on a "handful" of boiled bean soup. They had done so hoping that the Bodhisatta who had shrunken to a mere skeleton of bones and skin would soon (today or tomorrow) attain Buddhahood. But when the Bodhisatta resumed the taking of solid food again in order to be able to practise anapana meditation, they had lost faith in him, reflecting how he could attain it even while he was practising austerity by abstaining from (solid) food. They considered that the Bodhisatta had deviated from the (true) path that would enable him to realize the noble dhamma. Looking down on the Bodhisattathus, they had left him and gone to and been living in the Migadaya forest (deer park) near Benares, eighteen yojanas (140 miles) away from Bodhgaya. The Buddha went to Migadaya where they were and sitting at the place they had prepared, asked them to listen to his teaching. He said to them, "I have found the dhamma that is deathless, and if you practise in accordance with it you will attain the noblest dhamma that you seek for. Listen!" Thereupon, the five disciples responded contemptuously thus, "Friend Gotama, even while you were practising the austerities by abstaining from solid food, you could not gain the wisdom that is exceptional. How can it be possible that you have gained it now that you have given up this (ascetic) practice?" The Buddha out of compassion repeated thrice his invitation (to listen to his teaching). Thrice did they turn it down. Whereupon the Buddha admonished and warned them thus, "My five disciples, it is not that you have met me only now; you had been with me for full six years attending on me while I was practising the difficult austerities. Did you then hear me saying that I had gained the exceptional dhamma?"
Thereupon the five disciples, believing that it must be so as the Buddha had said, since he had not said then that he had realized the exceptional dhamma, prepared to listen to the teaching. The Buddha then preached the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, beginning with these words:
Dve 'me bhikkhave anta pabbajitena na sevitabba
To such preaching of the Buddha respectful attention should be paid in accordance with the following statement:
Buddho so bhagava bodhaya dhammam deseti.
The meaning is this: After realising the true dhamma himself, the Buddha preached it to veneyya persons so that they may, like himself, come to realize the true dhamma.
I shall now explain a few passages from the Dhammackkapapavattana Sutta, the first preaching of the Buddha.
From the age of 16 till the age of 29, the Bodhisatta Prince Siddattha enjoyed the pleasures of the senses, surrounded by his consort Yasodhara-devi and other female companions. Though ordinary people consider these pleasures as delightful, they are neither free from the defiling suffering of greed and anger nor from the arising of new bhavas (existences) accompanied by old age, disease and death. Thus, in the eyes of the wise and foresighted people, there is no satisfaction whatever in the enjoyment of these sensual pleasures. Only that which confers permanent freedom from the samsaric sufferings of old age, disease and death and only that which makes for permanent happiness, is the loftiest dhamma. This is evidently true if one ponders properly. Renunciation of the worldly life is to gain such permanent happiness. But this lasting happiness would be complete only if there is freedom from the Impurities of greed and anger. That is why the Buddha taught that the monk who had gone forth to free himself from these defilements should not indulge in the vulgar enjoyment of sensual pleasures, (this is looked upon as an extreme practice). In conformity with this precept, the Buddha let it be known that he himself had forsaken these sensual pleasures from the age of 29. He also let it be known that his giving up the extreme austerities and taking again such food as he should, was not enjoyment of sensual pleasure, but strengthening of his body so that he could properly engage in anapana meditation, etc. This fact also deserves respectful acclamation.
Sustaining himself daily on a mere "handful" of boiled bean soup and practising self-mortification for six years, without gaining any noble dhamma, the Bodhisatta realized that it was a fruitless exercise that only brought suffering. He therefore let it be known that he had forsaken it as being not worthwhile. The true middle way was found only after the Bodhisatta had given up these two extremes of sensual plea sure and self-torture. What is this middle way? It consists of (I) Samma Ditthi (Right View), (2) Samma Sankappa (Right Thinking or Resolution), (3) Samma Vaca (Right Speech), (4) Samma Kammanta (Right Action or Right Conduct), (5)Samma Ajiva (Right Living or Livelihood), (6) Samma Vayama (Right Effort), (7) Samma Sati (Right Mindfulness), and (8) Samma Samadhi (Right Concentration).
Of these eight parts of the Path, Samma Vaca, Samma Kammanta and Samma Ajiva are Sila (Morality) Maggangas. If the five precepts are scrupulously observed, Sila Magganga is accomplished to a reasonable extent. But for full accomplishment, attainment of the Sotapatti Magga is essential. That is why Sotapatti Magga and Phala attainer is described as "Silesuparipurakari" person who i s practising with full accomplishment of morality.
Samma Vayama, Samma Sati and Samma Samadhi these three Maggangas are Samadhi maggangas. These Maggangas are reasonably accomplished on the attainment of a jhanic state. But the accomplishment of these Maggangas are really complete only on the attainment of Anagami-Magga. That is why the Anagami Magga and Phala attainer is described as "Samadhisminparipurakari" person, that is, one who is practising with full accomplishment of concentration.
Samma Ditthi and Samma Sankappa, these two Maggangas are Panna (wisdom) Maggangas. While noting physical and mental phenomena which emerge on every act of hearing, seeing etc, and on realizing their arising and passing away, the Panna Maggangas along with the basic Sila and Samadhi Maggangas are developing. The Bodhisatta was liberated from the asava-kilesas (the impure outflows) by Arahatta Magga and Phala and became the Buddha through observing the arising and passing away of the upadanakkhandhas (groups of clinging) and developing these eight Maggangas . The Buddha himself found the right middle way called Majjhima-Patipada by avoiding the two extremes and developing the eight Maggangas and taught the practice of this middle way which is conducive to the opening of the eye of wisdom and to the attainment of wisdom itself and soon.
Here the eye of wisdom means the act of knowing. This act of knowing is figuratively spoken of as the eye of wisdom because it sees as if with the eye. What kind of knowledge does arise? With every act of seeing, hearing, touching or knowing, whatever is experienced is only psycho-physical phenomena, and cause and effect only. It is also personally experienced that there is no permanent atta or self-entity. It is clearly seen with one's own knowledge that there is only an everchanging flux of non-substantial psycho-physical phenomena. These are all matters of personal knowledge and not beliefs held out of deference to one's teachers or blind beliefs accepted out of reverence for the Buddha. That is why the Buddha's teaching is praised as Sanditthiko, the dhamma that can be personally experienced if practised.
These eight Maggangas are called the Middle Way of Majjhima Patipada which enables extraordinary knowledge and insight knowledge that discerns matters that are difficult to know. It is to extinguish all kilesas (defilements) and to realize Nibbana. That is why the Buddha let it be known that everybody who develops in himself these eight Maggangascalled the Middle Way will, like the Buddha, gain extraordinary knowledge and wisdom resulting in the extinction of all defilements and attain Nibbana, Accepting and bearing in mind this advice and listening to the very first sermon Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta preached by the Buddha, Venerable Kondanna was the first human to achieve Sotapannahood while one hundred and eighty million Brahmas attained Ariya magga (noble path) and phala. As for the devas, innumerable numbers of them achieved this extraordinary dhamma.
I shall now briefly explain these eight Maggangascalled Majjhima patipada or the Middle Way so that my listeners may be able to practise and develop them.
According to Indian practice, the Yogi (pallankam abhujitva ) must sit in cross-legged position. This is directed to enable the yogi to sit for long. According to the practice in this part of the world, one may also sit on a chair (and meditate). (ujum kayam panidhaya). The upper part of the body must be kept straight. One must not be bent or slack while seated, lest viriya (energy or vigour) be weak (or lacking). One should not sit leaning back either. (Parimukham satim upathapetva). The mind should be directed towards the object of meditation. Whether it is kasina (an external object) meditation, asubha (impurity, loathsomeness) meditation or anapana (observing the in-breath and the out-breath) meditation, the mind should be so directed (that is, towards the object of meditation). Vipassana meditation means observing every phenomenon occurring at the six sense-doors. In the beginning, however, it would not be possible to observe each and every phenomenon occurring at the six sense-doors. One should begin with observing the few phenomena that are of a pronounced character. That is why we advise the noting of the rising and falling of the abdomen in the first instance. Direct your attention to the abdomen. You need not observe with the eyes, which should therefore be kept closed. While the abdomen rises, note 'rising' and while It falls, note 'falling'. This is not to be said verbally, it should only be noted mentally. The name that you utter is immaterial; what is needed is to be aware of the phenomenon as it occurs. That is why try and be continuously aware of both the beginning and the end of the rising as well as of the falling (of the abdomen). This is observing the vayo-dhatu (element of motion) as it manifests as tension and movement in the abdomen. While so noting, if a thought arises, it should be noted. This is called cittanupassana (contemplation on consciousness) according to Satipatthana desana(teaching). After noting this thought, go back to the rising and falling of the abdomen. While noting thus, if pain or aching arises in the body, it should be noted "paining, paining". This is vedananupassana (contemplation of feeling). Then back to noting the rising and falling. If one hears (something), it should be noted "hearing, hearing". Then back to noting the rising and falling. This, in brief, is the method of meditation (to be practised) for about two minutes. Well, let us meditate in this manner for two minutes.
The two minutes are over. Within every minute, 50 or 60 acts of noting are possible. In each act of noting, the dhammas comprising the eight maggangas are taking place. This is how they take place. The effort to note is Samma Vayama (Right Effort). The act of mindfulness is Samma Sati (Right Mindfulness). To remain concentrated on the object of mindfulness as Samma Samadhi (Right concentration). Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration, these three are Samadhi Magganga.
Rightly knowing the object noted is Samma Ditthi. When one begins to practise noting thus, this right knowledge is not so evident. Later on, the knowledge becomes evident that there are only mind and matter with every act of noting. Because of the desire to move, motion occurs. Because there is something to be seen, eye-consciousness occurs. Thus the yogi comes to distinguish between cause and effect. Something arises a fresh and instantly passes away. This is also evidently noticed. Thus observing that there is a constant flux of arising and passing away (of phenomena), the yogi realizes that everything is impermanent. After the passing away of old rupas and namas if new ones fail to arise, that is the moment to die. Thus death can come about at any moment. How frighteningly miserable life is. It is also realized that everything happens of its own accord, subject to nobody's control, and therefore is anatta (non-self). All these acts of realization are Right Viewing. Inclining the mind to such viewing is Samma Sankappa. Samma Ditthi and Samma Sankappa, these two are Panna (wisdom) Maggangas.
The three Samadhi Maggangas and the two Panna Maggangas are described in the commentaries as the five Karaka Maggangas , which may be stated as the five workers. In worldly life, where a job can only be finished by five workers as a team, it needs to be done by them unitedly (in harmony). In the same way, these five Maggangas are in harmony with every completed act of noting and knowing. Every time these five Maggangas gather strength through such harmony (or con cord), extraordinary vipassana insight develops.
Next, abstaining from unwholesome bodily acts of killing, stealing, illicit sexual conduct are Samma Kammanta. Abstaining from verbal acts of telling lies, backbiting, abusing and frivolous talk, are Samma Vaca. Abstaining from unlawful livelihood is Summa Ajiva. These maggangas constitute Sila Magganga. These maggangas are accomplished with the taking and observing of the precepts. So are they with every act of noting (in meditation). So are the eight Maggangas developed with every act of noting, with the attainment of Nibbana getting nearer and nearer in the same way as in walking; every step brings one nearer and nearer to one's destination. Just as with the last step you arrive at your destination, so also you attain Nibbana with the last act of noting.
Therefore, beginning with noting the rising and falling of the abdomen, we are to constantly observe the arising of the psychophysical phenomena as much as we can. With such observation, may you develop extraordinary vipassanainsights, rapidly attaining Ariya Magga-Nana (knowledge of the noble path), Phala-Nana (Knowledge of the fruition of the path) and Nibbana!
Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!
This indeed is the Sasana, the Teaching, of all the Buddhas. The evil not to be done, to be abstained from, according to the first of the three teachings, comprises the bad deeds that arise from greed, hatred and ignorance. There are bad deeds of body as well as bad deeds of speech and bad deeds of thought.
Bad deeds of body are killing living creatures, stealing other people's things and having sexual relations with unlawful persons. Only these three are given briefly as bad deeds of body in the commentaries. To abstain from these three bad deeds one needs just to observe the five precepts. One says: 'Panatipita veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami (I undertake the rule of training to refrain from killing of creatures), Adinnadana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami (I under take the rule of training to refrain from stealing things of other people), Kamesu micchacara veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami (I undertake the rule of training to refrain from sexual immorality)."
Bad deeds of speech are briefly given as; (1) telling lies that cause damage to someone, (2) backbiting, speech that can cause dissension among those who are friendly and in harmony, (3) harsh speech, curse, threats, and (4) fruitless speech. Abstention from them is complete when one observes the precept, "Musavada veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami (I undertake the rule of training to refrain from false speech)."
If one abstains from these seven bad deeds of body and speech, one has abstained from the bad deed of wrong means of livelihood (miccha ajiva) as well!
Why do we have to abstain from these bad deeds? These bad deeds are blameworthy while they arise and they bring bad results when they bear fruit. How? Killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying — they are blameworthy things in the eyes of the wise and the righteous. Creatures have to suffer because of these bad deeds. It is like eating bad food, which is a blameworthy act. Because they are blameworthy while they arise, we must abstain from bad deeds. Besides, they bring bad results like being censured in present life. If a person commits a crime, he gets punishment. In future births, too, he goes down to Hell, and suffers great miseries there. Or., he is born a Peta and suffers the miseries of a Peta. Or, he is born an animal and suffers the miseries of an animal. Even if he is born a human being as a result of some good deed, he meets with such miseries as a short life, too much illness, and poverty, as a result of bad deeds. Because they bring such bad results, one has to abstain from bad deeds.
According to the Commentaries, the Buddha taught us to refrain from and to get rid of these bad deeds, three bad deeds of body and four of speech, by way of moral habit. But the bad deeds of mind cannot be got rid of by mere moral conduct. Only the good deed of meditation can do that. The ridding of the bad deed of mind can be brought about by developing meditation. If one abstains from doing what ought not to be done by body and from speaking what ought not to be spoken by mouth, one is following the first part of the Buddha's teaching: Not to do all evil.
The good deed to be done, to make become to increase, in accoordance with the second part of the Teaching comprises (I) good deed of giving alms (Dana). (2) good deed of restraint of body and speech (Sila), (3) good deed of peace mind (Samadhi), (4) good deed of insight into the Impermanent nature of things and so on (Vipassana) and (5) good deed of the realization of Nibbana (Ariya-magga). These five in all.
Of the five, the first, giving alms, dana, is something everybody knows. Those who believe in and understand Kamma and its results give what they can. The giving, while it is being done, does not bring blame from the wise and the good. They have only to praise it, saying, "What a giver for the well-being, for the happiness of others!" That is why we say giving is a good deed. Moreover, when it comes to bearing fruit, giving brings in good results. It brings praise and admiration in the present life. This is plain enough. In future existences too, it will cause one to arise in the worlds of men and devas (gods) and bring him such good things as a long life, good looks, good health, and affluence. Because it brings such good results, we say it is a good deed. All good deeds are like that. While they arise, they are blameless. In future, too, they bring happiness. That is why they are called good deeds. It is like taking good food. While it is being eaten, it is blame less. One only praises it. Later, it generates energy and brings good health. All good deeds are just like that Blameless while being done they all bring good results in the future. Therefore the Buddha taught us to be full of good deeds, to do them, to make them become a splendid teaching indeed.
The second one, good deed of moral conduct, is the same as "not to do all evil" we talked about in the beginning. But, to abstain from evil is blameless, and gives rise to good deed of moral conduct which brings good results. So, to emphasize it, we are again urged to make become this good deed of moral conduct. This advice given to us so that we may become blameless and gain the happiness we want is a splendid teaching, too.
With regard to the good deed of concentration, there is calm, concentration (Samatha) and there is insight-concentration (Vipassana). Of the two, regarding calm concentration, there are forty subjects of meditation, including the ten devices, the ten foul things, the ten recollections, and others. Here, we have no time to go into details. If you are interested you can read about them in a translation of Visuddhi Magga. However, of the forty, Anapana is easy to understand and can be explained in brief. Some non-Buddhists, too, meditate on anapana (respiration). According to the Buddha's teaching, it is done like this Fix your attention on the tip of the nostrils, Every time air comes in or out through the tip of the nostrils you note "It is coming in" or "It is going out." If, while thus noting, the mind wanders away, bring it back to the nostrils and go on noting. As you go on noting like this, your mind gets fixed to this incoming and outgoing of breath and peace of mind or concentration is developed. Then all your mental pains and strains are calmed and you feel peaceful and happy So. this good deed of concentration, while it arise, is blameless and brings happiness. When Jhana-concentration is developed, you will be reborn in your next life in the Brahma world and live for aeons. If from this Jhana-concentration you develop insight meditation. you can attain the Ariyan Path and Fruition. That is why the Buddha taught us to develop calm-concentration. Insight concentration belongs to good deed of insight.
The fourth good deed, that of insight, is the good deed by which one sees for oneself the impermanence and so on of mind and matter whenever one sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches or thinks. To Buddhists. development of this good deed of insight is the most important of all. Only when a person has acquired this good deed of insight will reach the Ariyan Path and Fruition and attain Nibbana, the end of all sufferings. Of all worldly good deeds, the good deed of insight is the best. How does one strive to make become this good deed of insight?
Developing Good Deeds of Insight
Satipatthana Sutta says:
" ....gacchanto va gacchami ti pajanati" (A bhikkhu when he walks is aware 'I am walking.')"
Accordingly, when you walk, you must concentrate on the lifting of the foot, pushing it forth, and pulling it down, and note either "walking," "walking" or "right step " "left step." or "lifting," "pushing forward," "dropping." While you are standing, concentrate on the body standing stiff and note "standing." "standing," or concentrate on the abdomen moving as you breathe and note "rising," "falling." If you sit down, concentrate on how you move from standing to sitting down and note "silting down, sitting down." When you are seated, you may change the position of your limbs. Note all these movements, thus "bending, "stretching," "moving." When there is no more movement and you are quietly settled in your seal, either concentrate on the body staying stiff and note, "sitting, sitting," or concentrate on the abdomen moving and note. "rising," "falling," "rising." "filling." While you arc thus noting, your mind may go away somewhere else. Then you note "going away." "thinking," "considering," and so on. You may note using whatever language you are used to. This kind of meditating on the mind is Cittanupassana, contemplation of the mind. If you note like this, the thinking will not go on. It will cease. Then you can go back to noting the rising and falling of the abdomen as before.
If something painful, something hard to bear, comes up to the body, you must note it thus: "feeling pain," "feeling pain." Sometimes the pain grows more acute as you note on. Then you will have to endure it as much as you can and go on meditating. If it gets beyond your endurance, you will have to change the position of your limbs. But when you change, note every move beginning with the intention to change. If the pain disappears either as a result of your noting of it or because you have changed the limb positions, you can return to noting the rising and falling. Here, meditating on the pain is Vedananu passana, contemplation of feelings.
When you hear or see something, you concentrate on the phenomenon that has appeared and note "hearing," "hearing," or "seeing," "seeing." This kind of noting is meditation about which it is said in Satipatthana Sutta: ". . cakkhun ca pajanati, rupe ca pajanati, sotan ca pajanati, sadde ca pajanati" (...he understands the eye, and under stands the visible form .. .he understands the ear, and understands the audible sounds) and is called Dhammanupassana, contemplation of the dhammas.
Noting and understanding every movement like walking, standing, sitting, laying down, bending, stretching, rising, falling, and so on· as we have just said, is the good deed of insight called Kayanupassana, contemplation of body. Noting "feeling pain," and so on, and understanding all the pleasant," unpleasant and neutral feeling is the good deed of Vedananupassana, contemplation of feelings. Whenever thinking, imagining, arises, noting as "thinking," "imagining." and so on, and understanding every thought or imagination that comes up, is the good deed of insight called Cittanupassana~, contemplation of consciousness. Whenever seeing, hearing and so on arises, noting as "seeing," "seeing," "hearing," "hearing," and so on, and understanding them as a dhamma is the good deed of insight called Dhammanupassana, contemplation of the Dhamma.
As you thus note on and your concentration grows stronger, you understand "That which is cognized is one thing. That which cognizes is another." You distinguish between matter (rupa) and mind (nama). This is Namarupa-paricchedanana. the Knowledge of Determination of Nama and Rupa.
As you go on noting, you know for yourself: "From the Intention to move arises the form movement. From Intention to bend arises the form bending. From the intention to stretch arises the form stretching. Because there is visible form, one sees. Because there Is eye, one sees. Because there is audible sound, one hears. Because there Is ear, one hears. Because there Is notable object, there is noting and so on. You realize how there exist cause and effect only. This full under standing of cause and effect is Paccaya-parigghanana, Knowledge of Discerning of the Cause.
After that, as knowledge and concentration gain further strength, you see for yourself how the object noted and the noting of It come up anew and immediately pass away. They come and come up anew and pass and pass away, so they are all Impermanent. This you plainly see. This is the good deed of Insight called Aniccanupassana, Insight into impermanence. If, after the passing away of old rupas and namas new ones fall to arise, that Is the moment to die. One can die any moment, whenever the rupas and namas pass away. One realizes what a dreadful situation it is, what a suffering. This is the good deed of insight called Dukkhanupassana, contemplation of suffering. They do not act as you wish them to act. They come and go according to their nature. They are out of your control. So, they are all anatta, not-self. This you plainly see. This is the good deed of insight called Anattanupassana, contemplation of not-self.
Of the good deeds of insight, one is Udayabbayana, the Knowledge of Arising and Passing, by which one feels the very rapid arising and passing away of things. When this knowledge comes, one finds bright lights all around one. One's whole body feels weightless and one experiences an extreme happiness never before experienced. The mind, too, is in raptures. One finds that even those illnesses and pains so hard to bear before have now disappeared altogether. When one comes to the Knowledge of Indifference to Formations, Sankara-upekkhanana, one finds every act of awareness to be so peaceful and subtle. This Is a brief statement of how one experiences extraordinary happiness never before enjoyed, while a good deed of insight arises.
When the insight knowledge of indifference to formations gains strength, the yogi realizes Nibbana through the Ariyan Path-knowledge. This too is a good deed of Ariyan Path that has to be developed. When he has made become the first of the four good deeds of the Path the Sotapatti Path, its result, Sotapatti Fruition, follows immediately. Once he has reached Sotapatti Path and its Fruition and become a Sotapanna, a stream-winner, he is freed forever from the four lower states of Hell, Animals, Petas and Asurakayas. When born man or deva (god), he is born to the higher ranks of man or deva, never to the lower. And these rebirths as man or deva will be seven at most. Within the seven rebirths, by virtue of the good deed of insight, he will reach the Arahat Path and its Fruition and become an Arahat. Once an Arahat, he attains Nibbana, the end of all sufferings. That is why the Buddha taught us to be full of the good deeds of insight as well as the good deeds of the Ariyan Path.
To thus make become the good deeds of insight and the good deeds of the Ariyan Path is what is meant in the Buddha's teaching: "To be full of good."
The third Teaching says, "To completely purify one's mind." To purify completely means to strive to cleanse oneself for ever of moral impurities like greed, hatred and delusion and never let them arise again. This is the same as telling us to develop the good deeds of Arahat Path and work for attainment of the Arahat Fruition. To the Arahat who has reached the Arahat Fruition, no matter what cognizable object he meets with, neither passion nor ill-will nor delusion arises. Never do these moral impurities arise in him. He is purified forever. This purification comes to one immediately after one makes become the good deed of Arahat Path. No other effort need to be made. So, to reach the Arahat Path one must develop the good deed of insight.
The Bodhisatta himself meditated on the arising and passing away of physical and mental aggregates of grasping, whenever the seeing, hearing, and so on, became manifest. Thus meditating he realized Nibbana by means of the Arahat Path, attained the Arahat Fruition and became the Buddha.
The disciples of the Buddha, too, meditated on the arising and passing away of matter and mind in the same way, reached Arahat Path and its Fruition and became Arahats. When a person has become an Arahat, his mind is cleansed of impurities like greed and so on, and is purified. So his mind no longer clings to any object whatsoever. Therefore, after the passing away of the last consciousness at death (parinibbana-Cuti-citta) no new birth, no new nama-rupas, no new aggregates, will arise and he is freed from all sufferings forever.
It is for us to be freed forever from the suffering of old age, suffering of illness, suffering of death, suffering of body, suffering of mind suffering of mind-and-matter Sankharas and to gain happiness forever that the Buddha has given us the three Teachings.
Not to do all evil,
to be full of good.
to completely purify one's mind.
Now, in accordance with the three Teachings. let us try some meditation for about five minutes. "... ujum kayam panidhaya" .. (he holds the upper part of his body straight). So, sit with your body from the waist upwards erect. ". . . parimukham satim upattha petva" (. . establishing mindfulness towards the object which should be noted). So fix your attention on the abdomen. As there is no need to look, close the eyes.
As the abdomen rises, note "rising". As it falls, note "falling." You need not say the words "rising" and "falling" aloud. Just note mentally .. . Noting or meditating is trying to understand the arising matter and mind as they really are. So, words are not important. what is important is that you know the moving in the abdomen, The moving in the abdomen is called Vayodhatu in Pali. So you must mindfully follow this movement from the beginning of the rising to the end of it. and from the beginning of the falling to the end of it. When the rising end, the falling begins. When the falling ends, the rising begins. There is no interval. You will have to meditate continuously
But in the beginning of the practice your concentration is not strong enough yet. The mind is not stable and may often slip away Note that wandering mind, too, "imagining," "thinking," and so on, as the case may be. Noting this is Cittanupassana. Contemplation of the mind.
When you note thus, the imagining will stop. Then you can go back to the rising and falling. If you feel tired, hot, or pain somewhere in the body, note "tired" "hot" "pain" and so on. This is Vedananupassana. Contemplation of feelings.
When mindfulness and concentration have grown stronger, the painful feelings during the noting may disappear as if taken away. There have been cases of people who got cured of some incurable illnesses while they were meditating. Very heartening indeed. But we are now mediating for just a few minutes and you will not have to note for long. Just note the pain three or four times and then go back to the rising and falling or the abdomen If you hearing a sound, note "hearing," "hearing," and then go back to the rising and falling. For a few minutes' meditation it is sufficient if you note as I have instructed. Now, please note for about 5 minutes
Time's up. There can be about fifty or sixty acts of noting in a minute. In such act of noting the Dhammas comprising the Eight maggangas are taking place. This is how they take place. The effort to note is Samma Vayama, Right Effort; the act of mindfulness is Samma Sati, Right Mindfulness. To remain concentrated on the object of meditation is Samma Samadhi, Right Concentration. Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration; these three are Samadhi Magganga
Rightly understanding the object of meditation is Right View. Meditating the first time like this, this understanding will not be very clear to you. But after forty, fifty, sixty hours of meditation your concentration grows stronger, your mind no longer wanders and it stays just where you are meditating. Then, when you note the rising of the abdomen, you very distinctly see that the rising is one thing and the noting of it is another. When you note the falling, you distinctly see that the falling is one thing and the noting of it is another. When you note "moving' and "walking," you distinctly see that the moving or the walking is one thing and the noting of it is another. When you note "seeing" you distinctly see that the eye and the visible from are one thing and the seeing and the noting of it are another. When you note "hearing," you distinctly see that the ear and the audible sound are one thing and the hearing and the noting of it are another. This briefly is how you develop the knowledge of the Determination of Nama and Rupa (Namarupa-pariccheda-nana), the knowledge that distinguishes between matter (rupa) and mind (nama).
After such understanding, as your concentration and knowledge grow stronger, you again see for yourself. Because of respiration there come to be the forms rising and falling. Because there come to be the forms rising and falling, there comes to be noting as "rising." "falling. Because of the intention to move, you move. Because of the intention to walk, you walk. Because you move and walk, there comes to be noting as "moving," "walking. Because there is visible form you see. Because there is the eye you see. Because you see there comes to be noting as "seeing," "seeing." Because there is audible sound, you hear. Because there is the ear, you hear. Because you hear, there comes to be noting as "hearing," and so on. You see for yourself and realize the cause and the effect. This is Paccaya-pariggahanana, the knowledge of discerning of the Cause. Then again, failure to note the seeing, heating, and so on, leads one to the delusion that things are permanent, happy, good, and self. This delusion leads one to delight in them. The delight leads one to making an effort to obtain the things one has taken delight in. This action, Kamma, causes one to arise in more and more rebirths. Because of the rebirths one has to go through old age, illness, death, bodily and mental sufferings, wherever one is born. In this way higher wisdom comes to one who is intelligent. This understanding of the relationship between cause and effect in accordance with the law of Dependent Origination (Paticca Samuppada) is again Paccaya-pariggaha-nana.
After that, as concentration and knowledge grow stronger, you very plainly see how both the object being meditated on and the act of meditating arise and arise and instantly pass and pass away just as you are making note of them. Then you know for yourself: whatever arises and passes away is impermanent, suffering, not-self. Knowing on reflection is Sammasana-nana, Knowledge of Comprehension. Knowing how things arise and pass away rapidly is Udayabbaya-nana, the knowledge of arising and passing away. When the Knowledge of arising and passing away is attained, one sees bright lights around, great joy pervades one, both body and mind come to be in immense happiness. When one gains Bhanga-nana, the Knowledge of Passing away, even forms and shapes like arms, legs and body no longer manifest themselves and one finds both the things noted and the noting of them very swiftly passing and passing away. When the yogi gets to Sankharupekkha-nana, the Knowledge of Indifference to Formations, awareness comes easily without himself making an effort to be aware. It is mere awareness and indifference to formations. One hour, two hours, three hours and yet the Yogi finds that he can sit up and go on meditating. Very good it is. Really knowing as instructed above is Right View, Samma-ditthi. Bringing one's mind to really knowing nama-rupa as they are is Right Thinking Samma-sankappa. Right View (samma-ditthi) and Right Thinking (samma-sankappa) — these two are Panna-magganga, wisdom part of the Right Path.
The three factors of concentration part of the Right Path and the two factors of the wisdom part of the Right Path are said to be Karakamagga-anga; five active parts of the Right Path. In the Commentary they are described as five workers Maggangas. In worldly life if a job can only be done by five workers as a team, it needs to be done by them unitedly (in harmony). In the same way these five active parts of the Right Path are in harmony with every act of noting and knowing. Every time these Five Active Parts (of the Right Path) gather strength through such harmony, extraordinary vipassana insight develops.
Next abstaining from unwholesome bodily acts of killing, stealing and illicit sexual conduct are Samma Kammanta. Abstaining from verbal acts of telling lies, backbiting, abusing and fruitless speech are Samma Vaca. Abstaining from wrong means of livelihood is Samma Ajiva. These three are Sila Maggangas. These Maggangas are accomplished with the taking and observing of the precepts. So are they with every act of noting. So are the eight Maggangas developed with every act of noting, with the attainment of Nibbana getting nearer and nearer in the same way as in walking; every step brings one nearer and nearer to one's destination, so also the yogi attains Nibbana with the last act of noting.
So whenever opportunity arises you should meditate on the arising matter and mind, beginning with the rising and falling of the abdomen. By meditating in this way, may you be able to develop different insight knowledges we have described, and very soon attain and realise Nibbana through the Ariyan Path Knowledge and Fruition knowledge.
Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!
This is the only way, monks, that leads to the purification of beings, to the passing beyond sorrow and lamentation, to the cessation of sufferings and miseries, to the attainment of the Right Path, and to the realization of Nibbana; thus: The Four Ways of Establishing Mindfulness.
Because there are in them kilesas (moral impurities) like greed and hate, beings do such evils as killing, causing injury, stealing, robbing, and lying. As a result of these evils, they suffer in four states of apaya (lower world). Even if, as a result of some good deed, they are born In the world of men, they suffer such miseries as untimely death, illness, and poverty. These impurities cause them to be born again and again and thus to undergo sufferings like old age, disease, and death. If one wishes to be free from these sufferings, one must strive to cleanse oneself of these impurities.
To cleanse oneself from moral impurities there is but one way: the way of Satipatthana, in which one contemplates what is going on in one's mind and body. If one desires to get rid of the moral impurities like greed and hate, one has to follow this only way of Satipatthana. 'Ekayana" means "The Only Way" — there is no other way, no alternative. If you walk straight on along the only road, you will not go astray, as there is no by-road: You are sure to reach your destination. In the same way, as Satipatthana is the only way and there is no other, if you go on training yourself in Satipatthana, you will ultimately attain Arahatship. the noble state of being cleansed once and for all from all impurities, all kilesas. That is why the Buddha taught us to follow this road of Satipatthana for the doing away of all kilesas.
All the former Buddhas, Pacceka-Buddhas ("Silent Buddhas"), and Arahats practised this Satipatthana way, were purified and had reached Nibbana where all sufferings end. In future too, all the Great Ones will follow this Satipatthana Way and reach Nibbana. In the present world cycle also, the Buddha Gotama and his disciples cleansed themselves of defilements and reached Nibbana by following this Satipatthana Way. This fact was pointed out by Sahampati Brahma-god to the Buddha who agreed to it and preached it to us.
People grieve and bemoan for the loss of their husbands, wives, children, parents, those near and dear to them. They grieve also for the loss of their wealth. They grieve when they are suffering from some kind of disease. Of course, these are dreadful things. How peaceful it would be if there were no such things! Therefore people should strive to put an end to all these miseries. But they cannot get away from them by just praying to whatever gods there be. Only by training in this way of Satipatthana can they put an end to all sufferings. During the time of the Buddha there was a young woman called Patacara, who lost her husband, her two sons, her parents, and her brother, all those near and dear to her. She was so overwhelmed with grief that she was driven to madness. One day she came to where the Blessed One was preaching, heard the Lord's Dhamma, took up the Satipatthana meditation and then all her sorrows and lamentation came to an end and she gained peace of mind forever.
Today, too, there have been people who have lost sons, daughters, husbands, wives and parents and are so stricken with grief that they cannot eat and sleep. They come to us. and after taken up Satipatthana meditation under our guidance, are relieved of their sorrows in a matter of four, five or ten days. The number of such people is now over a thousand.
The practice of Satipatthana will lead one to the cessation of sorrows and lamentations not only in this existence but in the existences to come as well. So if you want to put and end to these sorrows and lamentations, you have just to take up this way of Satipatthana meditation.
Furthermore, beings in the world are suffering because there exist bodily and mental sufferings. If these bodily and mental sufferings could be removed, they would be able to live in comfort and happiness. Bodily sufferings are those aches and pains in the body. which are caused by diseases, by other people. by climatic conditions such as extreme heat or cold, by accidents such as tripping over, being pierced with a thorn, falling off, falling down, and so on. Mental sufferings are distress, sorrow, and such like, which are caused by loss of dear ones, loss of wealth. meeting danger or desires unfulfilled. No one can save beings from these bodily and mental sufferings. Only the practice of Satipatthana meditation can bring about a cessation of these ills. There are cases of people who have had worries over their business failures but who find peace of mind by practising Satipatthana meditation, in some cases, people who are suffering from incurable diseases are cured of their bodily pains by practising Satipatthana meditation. However, to do away with bodily and mental sufferings once and for all will be possible only when one has perfected oneself in Satipatthana practice and reached the Path and Fruition of Arahatship.
Only the Arahat after Parinibbana (passing away) leaves behind all sufferings, both bodily and mental, for all time. That is why we must follow this Way of Satipatthana in order to put an end to all sufferings and enjoy eternal peace.
Beings keep on being reborn and suffering old age, disease and death because there are in them moral impurities (kilesas) like greed and hate. These kilesas which constitute the cause of suffering can be eliminated only by the Ariyan Path. And the Ariyan Path can he reached only through the practice of Satipatthana. Moreover. Nibbana, the end of all sufferings, can be attained only by this Way of Satipatthana. So. to reach the Ariyan Path which puts an end to all Kilesas and to attain Nibbana which means the ceasing of all sufferings. we will have to walk along the Way of Satipatthana.
The Way of Satipatthana consists of four parts:~ (I) Kayanupassana Satipatthana. (2) Vedananupassana Satipatthana, (3) Cittanupassana Satipatthana and (4) Dhammanupassana Satipatthana.
Of the four Kayanupassana Satipatthana is contemplation of the physical aggregate called "body" (Kaya). There are fourteen ways of contemplating the body. The first is Anapanassati meditation. "Anapana" means breath inhaled and exhaled. Every time air is breathed in and out through the nostrils, one makes note of the in-breathing and out-breathing. By so noting jhanic concentration is developed and from this jhana one cultivates insight into the impermanent nature of mental and physical phenomena It is explained thus in the Commentaries.
The second is the contemplation on walking, standing and such like. We will come to this in detail later.
The third is contemplating with four comprehensions We will come to this later too.
The fourth is contemplating of the thirty-two parts of the body such as hairs of the head, hairs of the body, nails, teeth, skin, and So on. When jhanic concentration is developed by contemplating these. Insight can be brought about from it.
The fifth is developing insight by contemplating four elements. Again, we will come to this later.
The remaining nine (from the sixth to fourteenth) contemplations are comparing one's body with a dead body to arouse loathsomeness.
Now, we will come to the second of the fourteen contemplations of the body (Kayanupassana). "Gacchanto va gacchami ti pajanati." A bhikkhu when he is walking comprehends 'I am walking." By this we are taught to note and understand what really is happening whenever a bodily movement takes place.
So, when you walk, you must concentrate on the bodily movement involved in the walking and note "walking, walking" (Though it should be taught fully as "I am walking," 'I am standing" and so on, to quicken the noting we are teaching our disciples to note "walking", "standing" and so on.) You note every step from the lifting of the foot to putting it down. Or, you must note "right step, left step" when walking fast. Or "lifting, pushing forward, dropping." When you stop walking and stand still, you concentrate on the body that is there standing erect and note unremittingly "standing. standing." When you sit down you concentrate on the manner the body slumps down and note "Sitting, sitting." When you have set, you may change the positions of your arms, legs or body Note every change then. If there is no change and your are just sitting there quietly, concentrate on the body sitting stiff and note "sitting, sitting."
Your effort may slacken if you are noting only one thing. like sitting. In that case you can combine it with some other thing, say touching, with something. You must note "sitting, touching." Better still, as you are sitting, the rising and falling of the abdomen is something very plainly felt. Concentrate on the rising and falling and note "rising," "falling". This amounts to contemplating a bodily movement in the abdomen. Any form of bodily movement should be noted as it has been said:
"Yatha yatha va pan' assa kayo panihito hoti tatha tatha nam pajaznati." (Whatever the posture of the body is, he is aware of it.)
This teaching shows that we should note every bodily movement moving of the limbs, closing and opening of the eyes, moving of the abdomen and so on, and try to perceive it as it really is. That is why we instruct our disciples to begin with noting of the rising and falling of the abdomen, which is plain to all. Those who noted as instructed and gained insight are now more than a hundred thousand.
When you lie down, you have to do so, noting every bodily movement involved. While so lying down you can gain supramundane knowledge. This was what led the Venerable Ananda to become an Arahat.
One day, exactly three months and four days after the Buddha's Parinibbana, the Venerable Ananda was trying to become an Arahat walking up and down since evening. As it is said that he was practising in "Cankama walk," he must have been noting right step, left step, raising, pushing forward and dropping in the manner we have just described above. The whole night he walked and meditated till dawn came near, yet he had not attained the Arahatship he longed for. Venerable Ananda thought "I have done my utmost. I don't think I need to exert harder. Why haven't I attained Wisdom yet. The Lord has encouraged me with the words. 'Ananda, you have had sufficient parami, perfections. Strive on and you will soon be an Arahat,' Surely these are words of truth. I have been walking the whole night, so I must have overtaxed my strength and slackened my concentration. That is why I have made no progress. To balance energy and concentration, I will lie down and work." So he entered his room and sat down on a couch. Then he lay down. While he was so lying down, he progressed, stage by stage, along the Path of insight and higher wisdom and became an Arahat. That's what we have been talking about noting while lying down and attaining Arahatship before circumstances; enlightenment can be very quick indeed! It is important to note what ever bodily movement there is.
I have said enough on the second Kayanupassana meditation While so noting, you see for yourself and understand arising and passing away of physical phenomena of your body. That's what is said in the passage.
Samudaya-dhammanupassani va kayasmin viharati, vaya-dhammanupassi va ..... samudaya-vaya-dhammanupassi va kayasmim viharati ("He abides contemplating either the arising or the passing away of things in body or the arising and passing away of things in the body.")
When you note "walking," the walking is rupa, matter, non-sentient thing, and the noting is nama, consciousness, that which is sentient. Thus you distinguish between rupa and nama. When you note the abdomen "rising" the rising is rupa and the noting is nama. You distinguish between rupa and nama. Then again, the desire to walk give rise to the physical act of walking, the desire to stand gives rise to the physical act of standing, and. so on and so forth. You make these distinctions and understand things as well as your parami (perfection acquired in former births) allows. When you understand these, you understand that there is only this arising and passing away instant by instant, and nothing else. You become detached from them without any delusion that there is a self, an atta. You no longer look upon things as permanent, pleasant or good. You know everything as anicca, dukkha, anatta; impermanent, suffering, not self. This is what is said in the scripture: "Anissito ca viharati" (The bhikkhu abides detached or independent.) Once perfected in such knowledge of impermanence and so on, you realise Nibbana and attain the Ariyan Path and its Fruition of Arahatta. you become an Arahat. Once an Arahat you are free from all sufferings after your Parinibbana (passing away). The least thing for you to attain as the Path and Fruition of Sotapatti. Once a Sotapanna, a stream winner, you will never be born again in the Apaya or lower state of existence So. we must strive to attain at least Sotapannaship
The Four Sampajannas (comprehensions)
Now we will come 'to cultivating the four Sampajannas (comprehensions). They are (I) Satthaka-sampajanna. (2) Sappaya-sampajanna, (3) Gocara-sampajanna and (4) Assammoha-sampajanna. When you are about to do something or say something, you have to consider whether it will be useful or not and do or speak only what is useful. Such kind of consideration is Satthakasampajanna. Even if it is useful, you must again consider whether it will be suitable or not, and do or speak only what is suitable. This is Sappayasampajanna. These two Sampajannas may be used with profit in worldly matters as well. When meditating, you may wish to do so walking or sitting and come to a decision after considering which is useful and which is suitable. Of course. when you are contemplating in earnest, you need not consider these things You just go on with your noting.
The third one, Gocara-Sampajanna, is, to the meditator, just noting without a let-up the physical and mental phenomena that keep on arising. As you go on meditating with Gocara-Sampajanna, your concentration becomes stronger and you see for yourself the incessant arising and passing away of things. You very clearly understand how impermanent, how miserable, how lacking a self, all psycho physical phenomena are. This understanding is Asammoha-Sampajanna. Asammoha- "without delusion", Sampajanna- "understanding or comprehension."
This kind of meditating and understanding is explained in these words: "Abhikkante patikkante sampajana-kari hoti both in advancing and retreating he acts mindfully." We are told by this to note and know every step taken in advancing or retreating. This is noting right step, left step, lifting pushing forward, and putting down, and so on and so forth, as we have earlier explained. Thus noting what should be noted is Gocara-sampajanna. As you go on noting, your concentration becomes very strong and you distinguish between Rupa and Nama. You know the walking in Rupa and the observing of it is Nama. You may not be able to say Pali words rupa and nama but if you know the difference between "what-is-to-be-cognized" and "what cognizes", that is enough. Then again you understand that the intention to walk gives rise to walking. walking gives rise to the noting of walking. You distinguish between the cause and the effect. Again, the intention to walk, the walking and the noting of it —- all pass away in no time at all. You understand very clearly how they are impermanent. This understanding of things as they really are is Assamohasampajanna.
Alokite vilokite sampajana-kari hoti -in looking forward or back ward, he acts mindfully. Whenever you look, and see, you must note. "looking", "seeing". This is Gocara-sampajanna. As you note on, you realise how all the looking, seeing, noting pass away instantly. Thus understanding their impermanent nature and so forth is Asammoha— sampajanna. Ordinary people think what they see is lasting, and they think the same of their seeing. This is common illusion. When your concentration is strong, you clearly perceive for yourself, how the thing seen, and the seeing and noting pass away as instantly as flashes of lightning. Scientists from Europe and America have shown that there are 30 pictures a second being projected on the screen and 50 cycles a second in alternating current. But these rapid changes are not visible to the ordinary human eye: The meditator who has come to the stage of Bhanga-nana (knowledge of passing away) perceives very clearly how the thing seen, the seeing and the noting pass away swiftly. The greater the perfection, the better your perceiving that they pass swiftly away. You understand very clearly how all are impermanent, how they all lack happiness, or refuge, how all are mere psycho-physical phenomena without a self or an atta. This is Asammoha-sampajanna.
Saminjite pasarite sampajana-kari hoti; in bending or straightening he acts mindfully. When you bend or straighten your arms and legs you must note "bending," "straightening." While noting thus you must bend or straighten very slowly. As you meditate thus you will find all acts of bending and straightening passing away swiftly. You understand clearly how both the bending, straightening and the noting are Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta—-impermanent, suffering, and not self. This is Asammoha-sampajanna.
Likewise in using the robes and bowl you note and use them. In eating and drinking, you note and eat and drink. In answering the call of nature, you note and do so. You note in falling asleep, awakening, speaking, and so forth. These acts of noting and understanding impermanence and so on are Gocara-sampajanna and Asammoha-sampajanna respectively.
The Four Elements
As you go on meditating in the way we have explained, you may come across what feels hard and rigid. Then you know it for Pathavi-dhatu, the earth element or solidity. When heart, warmth, or cold is manifest, you know it for Tejo-dhatu, the fire element or temperature. When tenseness, stiffness, pushing or motion is manifest, you know it for Vayo-dhatu, Air-element or motion. When fluidity or liquidity is manifest, you know it for Apo-dhatu, the water element or cohesion. You clearly perceive that there are only these elements in this material body, there is no self or atta living therein. Again, as these four elements In this material body, there is no self or atta living therein. Again, as these four elements arise and pass away very rapidly you understand how they are Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta impermanence, suffering, not self. When you know these things as they are and when that knowledge has matured you can realize Nibbana by Ariyan Path. You can now become a Sotapanna, a stream-winner, and so on.
Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!