THE DOCTRINE OF PATICCASAMMUPADA
THE DIAGRAM OF
(The '5 Future Casual Continuum' in Section III should read as '5 Present Causal Continuum'.)
THE CIRCLING OF PATICCASAMUPPADA
It is important for the Yogi to know for certain that the real culprits who cause and generate the revolution of the endless process of recurring death of sentient being existence after existence all along the Samsara are none other than Avijja; and Tanha.
With reference to the Diagram , the reader will find right in the middle Avijja and Tanha Avijja, Ignorance, is nescience as to the four Noble Truths. Tanha is craving for anything pleasant that it comes across, hence it behoves the reader or Yogi to bear in mind that the beginning of paticcasamuppada is Avijja and Tanha.
Whenever Khandha comes into being it is followed by old age and death. The culprit who responsible for the building of Khandha must be found out. Now it will be obvious to the Yogi that the real culprits who build Khandhas are Avijja and Tanha. Therefore the root cause must be eradicated in order that no effect will arise.
It is also necessary to find out what the doings of Avijja and Tanha are. As has already been mentioned, Avijja is the nescience of the Four Noble Truths. Tanha is craving for anything pleasant that it comes across. Nay, Avijja; does more than that, for it causes and conditions Sankhara to arise and Tanha. causes and conditions Upadana to arise. Again Sankhara causes and conditions the Present Resultant Continuum, i.e., Vinnana, Namarupa, Salayatana, Phassa and Vedana, or in other words Pancakkhandha (five aggregates or components).
Reference may be made to the Diagram . In Section I, which is called the Past Causal Continuum, there are five factors, viz. Avijja, Sankhara, Tanha, Upadana and Bhava. From this Past Causal Continuum there emanates Section II which is called the Present Resultant Continuum. It is made up of Vinnana, NamaRupa, Salayatana, Phassa and Vedana; and this Present Resultant Continuum is nothing but our own Khandha.
When further scrutinised it will be seen that from Section IIor the Present Resultant Continuum there arises the Present Causal Continuum which may be termed as SectionIII. This Section consists of Tanha., Upadana, Bhava, Avijja and Sankhara. When these are classified by Sacca, they fall into Samudaya Sacca. Again from Section III there emanates the Future Resultant Continuum consisting of Vinnana, Namarupa, Salayatana, Phassa and Vedana, which when classified fall into Dukkha Sacca.
It is obvious now that from the Past Causal Continuum there arises Present Resultant Continuum and from the Present Resultant Continuum again emanates the Future Causal Continuum and from the Future Causal Continuum emanates Future Resultant Continuum, and the Future Resultant again becomes the Past Causal Continuum which gives rise to the Present, the Present to the Future and Future to the Past and so on. Thus the chain of Paticcasamuppada or the Samsara or the process of arising and passing away of phenomena from moment to moment is making its usual cyclic revolution ad infinitum.
By way of Sacca, there arises the recurring process of Samudaya which gives rise to Dukkha, and Dukkha on the other hand, gives rise to Samudaya and so on. In the same way the Past becomes the Present, the Present becomes the Future, the Future becomes the Past and the Past becomes the Present and sort on in endless cyclic order.
Because of Ignorance one does all sorts of wholesome or unwholesome deeds for which he gains nothing but Pancakkhandha (five aggregates or components) which is Dukkha Sacca pure and simple. Again led by Avijja and goaded by Tanha the ordinary wordling commits all sorts of acts for his own material gains or for the benefit of his family which will undoubtedly lead him to Apaya Bhumi. Nay, he also does meritorious acts which may lead him to a higher plane of existence.
To illustrate the daily life. "A" sees; he feels desirous; he is overwhelmed with the desire to own; and eventually he tries to obtain. No doubt he obtains and what he obtains is Jati (according to Paticcasamuppada). When Jati is obtained, it is again dominated and influenced by Avijja; and Tanha.
Thus Section I connects Section IIwhich connects Section III. From Section III there again arises Section IV. In this way, the cyclic order of Paticcasamuppada goes on endlessly forever. It revolves one full fresh circle after the old one and so on the endless process goes on ad infinitum. All ofus had been within this causal nexus without ever having the slightest chance of seeing the way out. Had we done this we would not have been as we are now.
Reference to the Diagram is invited. Readers are asked to see for themselves in what Section they are at the present. The answer invariably will be that they are in the Section II where Vinnana, Namarupa, Salayatana, Phassa, Vedana can be seen, which, when classified, fall into Five Aggregates (Pancakkhandha), and again into Dukkha Sacca.
Dependent on the Past Causal Continuum, i.e. Avijja, Sankhara, Tanha., Upadana and Bhava, there arises Pancakkhandha (Present Resultant Continuum). Therefore Section I II is Samudaya Sacca; while Section II is Dukkha Sacca, and as such there is only the process of Samudaya and Dukkha while Magga and Nirodha Saccas are hidden from the view and these two Lokuttara Saccas are non prevalent and absent from us as we do not try or care to approach any reliable teachers who can lead us to the right path (Ariya Sacca).
Now it is urged to the readers that the decision should be made to attain the two Lokkutara Saccas and embrace the same in our bosom at a time when Sacca sermons were expounded by the late Maha Thera Mogok Sayadaw. It is also behoved that Magga and Nirodha Saccas should be apprehended by the practice of magga Brahma Cariya, practice of Vipassana Meditation so that the spokes, Wheel Rod, Rim, Axis and Hub of Paticcasamuppada can be broken. It also behoves the Yogi to read this Chapter IX over and over again so that he is well conversant with this Doctrine and understand it.
HOW TO DISMANTLE AND BREAK THE
SPOKES, HUB, AXIS, WHEEL ROD AND RIM
You have seen the wheel of a cart. Here you will find the Axle, Box or Hub which is right in the centre. This will be better symbolised as Avijja and Tanha. There are four spokes which represent (1) Kama Punnabbi Sankhara, (2) Rupa Punnabhi Sankhara, (3) Apunnabhi Sankhara and (4) Ananjabhi Sankhara. The Rim of the Wheel represents Jara; Marana. In order to make the wheel strong and durable these spokes are fitted on one end with the Rim and the other fitted into the Axle Box so that the other component parts of the wheel do not give way and fall into pieces. Hence Axle Box, Wheel Rod, Hub, Spokes and Rim, these five component parts form into a complete whole of what may be called a Wheel; when one does meritorious deeds by way of giving alms, keeping moral precepts with a view to gaining higher position as King of the Universe or as King of Deva in Devaloka in his next existence, it means, according to Paticcasamuppada, Punnabhi Sankhara and nothing else. Whereas another one perpetrates demeritorious deeds of all sorts for himself or for his family. This is Apunnabhi Sankhara which will forsooth drive him to the lower plane of existence (Apaya bhumi) comprising Hell, animal world, etc. When one practises Samatha with a view to attaining Rupavacara Bhumi (Brahmaloka); this is called Rupa Punnabhi Sankhara and nothing else; whereas another Rupavacara Yogi being hateful to Rupa and practises Arupavacara Jhana with a view to attaining Arupavacara Brahmaloka (where there is no Rupa but only Four Namakkhandhas.) This is Anajabhisankhara.
Whichever Sankhara is done or perpetrated whether Punnabhi, Apunnabhi or Ananjabhi, their ascent or descent of jourey is circumscribed within the bounds of Jaramarana or in other words they must terminate within the limit of Sankhara Loka or within the domain of Thirty-one planes of existence. Even if one ascends to Rupavacara Bhumi he will not be able to go beyond the Rim of Jaramarana. In the case of another one who attains Arupa Jhana by virtue of his Samatha, his terminus will be up to the same Rim (Jaramarana).
Whatever is done within the realm of Sankhara there is no escape from the clutches of Jaramarana. Hence Rebirth in any sphere, plane or existence is liable to Jaramarana. Therefore Kusala sankhara done in order to attain better position in the next existence will inevitably land at the door step of Jaramarana. There is no exit whatsoever to escape from Jaramarana.
Akusala sankhara, immoral or unwholesome activities, bodily, verbal and mental actions constitute one of the spokes (Apaya bhumi).
Those who are misled into believing that Rupaloka is Nibbana or Arupaloka is Nibbana strenuously practise Jhana and Abhinna. When a Jhanic person concentrates on Rupa as the source of Dukkha, suffering and attains Arupa Jhana, this is also one of the spokes.(Arupabhuma)
Reference may be made to Diagram . There remains the Wheel Rod which represents Asava. According to the pali, 'Asava samudaya avijja Samudayo'; this Asava Wheel Rod must be fitted to the Axle Box with the four spokes which are already fitted in the wheel. Now the Wheel can be revolved. When the Wheel revolves it is inevitable that some spokes will be on the left and the others go down and some spokes will be on the left and the others on the right. Wherever they may be they will never be able to get themselves cleared off the rim. In the way an ordinary worldling happens to be either in Brahmaloka, Devaloka or Manussaloka (this present plane of existence), there is no exit for him from Samsara. This Wheel of Samsara is revolving ceaselessly dragging Pancakkhandha along in its wake. Therefore wherever this Pancakkhandha (five aggregates or components) makes its landing its usual termination is Jaramarana.
Let us again view from the standpoint of Sacca domain. Avijja and Tanha are the culprits who are responsible for the conditioning of Khandhas which and nothing but Dukkha Sacca while Avijja and Tanha are Samudaya Sacca; so all along the Samsara our travelling companions are Samudaya and Dukkha, while Magga and Nirodha Sacca are missing. This is why there is no way of escape from this domain of Samudaya and Dukkha.
Most certainly we have purposely avoided Magga and Nirodha and our valuable time has been spent in lengthening the revolving period of Paticcasamuppada
This is what may be termed as Prolonging the duration of suffering (Dukkha).
Reference to Diagram may be made again. Avijja., Tanha and Upadana are Kilesa Vatta. The ordinary wordling does all sorts of resulting in Kamma Bhava which gives rise to Vipaka Vatta or Pancakkhandha. Thus Kamma Vatta Arises because of Kamma Vatta. This is how there starts again the process of the cyclic order of Samsaraad infinitum.
It will be seen now that from the point of view of Sacca there the round of Samudaya and Dukkha Sacca.
Again when it is viewed from Vatta standpoint there is only the round of Kilesa, Kamma and Vipaka vatta.
When it is again viewed from the standpoint of space and time it will be seen too that there is the rotation of Past, Present and Future.
It is to be carefully noted that only when the chain or link of Paticcasamuppada can be broken asunder we can escape from Samsara vatta. As long as chain of Paticcasamuppada is relinked the longer will be the duration of Dukkha.
If we are anxious to shorten the duration of our Samsara, we must seek the way out of the three Vattas and overcome Samudaya and Dukkha.
In this present existence when there is a great opportunity to gain considerable wisdom regarding Paticcasamuppada and Sacca by listening to the sermons or through reading such books, the Yogi, should come to the decision and break asunder the Rim, Axle Box, Rod or Spokes of the Wheel of Paticcasamuppada.
For the Yogi who is really intent on escaping from Samsara, mere wishes will not enable him to attain Magga and Phala. It is by Vipassana; Contemplation (Eightfold Noble Path) that he can turn over Avijja to Vijja Wisdom and Tanha to Alobha Non-desire and attain the final goal of Emancipation.
In the following chapters the path of Emancipation will appear.
* 1. Kamabhumi. 2 Apayabhumi. 3. Rupa and Arupabhumi.
HE WHO FOLLOWS THE WAY OF PATICCASAMUPPADA FOLLOWS THE WAY OF THE BLIND.
Ignorance of the Four Noble Truths is Avijja; and he whose vision is clouded with Avijja; is called in Pali, Puthujjanna (ordinary untaught worldling).
There are two kinds of worldling Andba and Kalayana. He who is ignorant of Sacca; is called Andba Puthujjana or Blind Puthujjana who though blind is always restless and wants to wander hither and thither.
The Blind Puthujjana being ignorant of Sacca; and in the dark and having no eyesight, there is a pitfall inevitable for him.
With a view to attaining higher position and becoming a Deva or Brahma, in his next existence, he does Punnabhi sankhara (this may be called walking with the right leg).
Again being overwhelmed by the desire to become rich quickly he perpetrates all sorts of Apunnabhi sankhara (immoral deeds) for his own interest or for his family This may be said that he walks with the left leg.
He has done these Sankharas because of Avijja, ignorance of Sacca. Such deeds done by him are likened to the walking of a blind man. Being blind is Avijja being ignorant of Sacca and doing of Kusala sankhara is walking with the left and right leg.
If one gives alms knowing fully well that Pancakkhandha is Dukkha Sacca and is so despicable, detestable and full of suffering and undesirable, then it can be said this is the right way of giving alms because it is done with the knowledge of Sacca that Khandha is nothing but Dukkha Sacca. This kind of alms giving is Vivatta Kusala which does not mix white with black.
When alms giving is done without any expectation or without any wishful hope for better position in the next existence, it is done with the expressed desire for the cessation of the Samsaric force or in other words for the non-attainment of any kind of Khandha; in the next existence, it is Vivatta Kusala Kamma which can shatter away Kammic force.
At this point one may raise a question. Whereas the Samsara is so long and before attaining Nibbana one may happen to fall into poor or needy existence, hence will it not be desirable to wish and long for prosperity and happiness in the higher plane of Devaloka as Prince Deva or King of Universe, etc. in the next existences? (Good deeds always bear good fruits. It means to say that not withstanding Dana, Sila are done without any attendant longing, desire or wishing for better position and prosperity in the next following existences, the good deeds as a matter of course bear fruits. As he soweth so he reaps.)
Here it must be clarified. It is universally believed that it is 'I' who make alms giving and it will be the same 'I' who will reap the benefit of the alms giving in the next existence and in such a belief, there is the idea of 'I' or Ego which is Ditthi or wrong view. When the view that 'I' the giver and the 'I' the reaper of the benefit of merit are the same it amounts to Sassata Ditthi (Eternalistic wrong view). The readers should be very careful of this point because though alms giving is Kusala Kamma, there are two things which are maxed up in the asame Kamma, i.e. the desire to reap the benefit is Tanha and wrong view that 'I' who will reap the benefit is Ditthi (Atta Ditthi and Sassata Ditthi both combined). Such wrong view has been prevalent and dominant in the immemoral therefore it will not easily be eradicated. Here is another explanation.
No doubt alms giving (Dana) is Kusala Kamma, wholesome action, and the desire to attain the higher position is Tanha, hence this Kamma is called Missaka (mixed) Kamma. The mixture of white Kamma and black Kamma, i.e. Kusala Kamma wholesome activity is white and the desire to attain higher position in the next existence is Black Kamma, hence it is called mixed Kamma.
The benefit to be derived from such Kamma is said to be reborn as King of Naga, Royal White Elephant and so on.
Therefore the readers now can come to the decision whether the mixed nature of Kamma is desirable or not. Let us come again to the walking of the Blind. To become blind is the Ignorance of Sacca. Walking with the right and left legs is Punnabhi Sankhara and Apunnabhi Sankhara. Stepping with the right one begets the Khandha of man or Deva which is nothing but Dukkha Sacca. Stepping with the left leg begets Duggati Khandha which is woeful existence.
Hence when the totally blind (Puthujjana) walks regardless of any direction he gets nowhere and when anything is done it is done with Ignorance which leads him to Paticcasamuppada again.
'Sankhara paccaya Vinnanam' means dependent on Sankhara there arises Vinnana. Here Vinnana connotes Patisandhi Vinnana (rebirth consciousness). When the totally blind man walks he slips, falls down and drops into the pit which is Jati (jatipi Dukkha). When Jati is obtained he gets all kinds of suffering because of Patisandhi.
We shall realise it only if we remember how we suffered for nine months in the mother's womb among the urinal and faecal matter sitting with bended knees and body pressed from all sides without even an elbow room of an inch to stretch. 'Sankhara paccaya Vinnanam' means the beginning of this present existence is Jati. Again, ' Vinnana paccaya Namarupam ' means that because of Jati one begets Nama and Rupa which implies that the blind man who falls down and stumbles, gets injury.
It can be metaphorically expressed that when the blind man falls down, it is not an ordinary fall but he falls headlong injuring himself. This means he begets Nama 'injury' and Rupa 'injury' which are nothing but Dukkha (suffering and sorrow). 'Pancupadnakkhandhapi Dukkha'. All the five aggregates or components are Dukkha Sacca.
Again if we proceed further according to 'Nama Rupa paccaya Salayatanan', it will be a good analogy to express that when he gets the injury it becomes septic and spreads all over the body, hence the Eye injury (Cakkhayatana), Ear injury (Sotayatana), Nose injury (Ghanayatana), Tongue injury (Jivayatana), Body injury (Kayayatana) and mind injury (Manayatana).
The Buddha declared that Pancakkhandhas are Injuries, Ailments, Agues, Wounds, Pricking Thorns,etc. etc.
Because of the Eye it has to do the function of seeing. Because of the Ear it has to do the function of hearing. Because of the nose it has to do the function of smelling. Because of the tongue it has to do the function of tasting. Because of the body it has to do the function of touching. Because of the mind it has to do the function of thinking. Wherever or whenever there is the impact of Arammana (object) and Dvara (sense doors) there may arise Lobha, Dosa or Domanassa, Somanassa or Upekkha.
When the blind man walks he makes a false step, stumbles, falls, gets injured and the whole body becomes septic. Again ' Salayatana paccaya Phasso' means the blind man is again being pricked by the thorns: injured, got septic, so he is getting from bad to worse.
The fall is a heavy one: the pain is severe; suffering is severe. Such severity is due to Avijja
With the Avijja at the head and Tanha as a companion, he ordinary worldling perpetrates all sorts of misdeeds under the direction of Tanha (Because of Samudaya, there arises Dukkha).
'Evametassa Kevalassa Dukkhakkhandassa Samudayo hoti' means in the process of Samsara there is nothing but the whole mass and conglomeration of sorrow and suffering.
Again when the blind man goes farther he begets Vedana as the result of being pricked. 'Phassa paccaya Vedana.', Vedana arises whenever and wherever there is impingement of three phenomena: - object, sense door and Vinnana. Vedana arises as and when a visible object is seen, when a sound is heard, an odour is smelled, food is tasted, the body is touched and when an idea is thought of.
We experience the arising of all kinds of Vedana. We are bound to be afflicted with 96 kinds of diseases. TheDiagram will show that the whole of Section II is Dukkha Sacca.
It is only when Avijja becomes Vijja that we shall be able to penetrate and see Dukkha Sacca in its reality, hence, it is said 'Cakkhum udapadi, Nanam Udapadi. Vijja udapadi'
Let us come to the blind man again In order to get relief from his pain and cure his wounds he will seek medicine; though he tries his best to get curative medicine it cannot be supposed that the blind man will come across the right kind of medicine. It means to say that the one shrouded in Avijja; and ignorant of Sacca cannot get the right kind of medicine (Truth).
All along the Samsaric journey the search for the curative medicine has proved to be fruitless and failure in this very existence as in previous existences.
We could not have been any other beings than those who had been ceaselessly whirling in the vortex of the whirlpool of Samsara.
Let us see for ourselves whether or not what has been said is in line with what has happened to us in our wayfaring through Samsara.
Because of Samudaya in the Past Causal Continuum, there is suffering of all kinds in this very existence. This is what actually is the linking of the Cause of suffering and Suffering.
Let us suppose there is Sukha Vedana. Say a family is in a good position with a good income having a house and a car. If he is attached so much to this present position, there arises Tanha in him. Reference to the Diagram is invited. 'Sukha Vedana Paccaya Tanha'. Section II and III are again connected.
Let us come to the blind man again. The blind man searching for some curative medicine will no doubt come across some kind of medicine which is not the right one. He may either take it internally or he may apply it externally whereby instead of getting better, he may be rome worse.
It is said in Paticcasamuppada ' Upadana paccaya Kammabhavo'. It means to say that because of attachment, physical, verbal and mental activities are again perpetrated. He prays and longs for the rebirth in the net existence to become a more prosperous being or Deva prince whenever alms giving is done. Nay, he goes further and prays that his sons, daughters, wife and himself, the whole family, may be together in every existence in future.
This is an example of a common man's falicious activities when ever there is Ignorance of Sacca. It can be compared to the blind man who stumbles, gets sprains and wounds, becomes septic, again being pricked by thorns, he seeks for curative medicine and only gets the wrong one.
All along the Samsaric journey where there is the absence of the knowledge of Sacca the wayfarer is being tossed over and over again in the whirlpool of Samara according to the Law of Dependent Origination. It is obvious that he has never had the slightest knowledge of Magga Sacca, i.e. Samma Ditthi, Samma Samkappa, Samma Vaca, Samma Kammanta, Samma Vayama, Samma Sati and Samma Samadhi.
It can be said that we are fortunate enough to have been able to hear the Sacca Sermons and read books reproduced from the recorded tapes of the late Maha Thera Mogok Sayadaw, forsooth we gain some considerable knowledge of Paticcasamuppada and Sacca from such Sermons.
It is to be urged to the readers to foster the intense desire to set themselves free from the endless chain of Samsara from this very existence as they have been endowed with Saddha (Confidence) and favourably placed with ample opportunity to hear Sacca Dhamma, if they wish, the recorded sermons or read the books reproduced from them. Hearing the sermons from recorded tapes is available in many parts of Myanmar, Mandalay, Mogok, Amarapura and every nook and corner of Burma. Again it is exhorted to the readers with the best of intentions to take advantage of the recorded sermons in which Sacca and Paticcasamuppada Doctrine were expounded by Maha Thera Sayadaw during his life time.
PATICCASAMUPPADA IN REVERSE ORDER
Vipassi Buddha before the attainment of Buddhahood, while as a Bodhisatta was deeply concerned about the great suffering of humanity and went into intensive contemplation as to the root cause of suffering of all sentient beings who were undergoing the ceaseless process of Birth, Old Age, Disease and Death' ad infinitum ' and on how he could be able to attain the wisdom which will enable him to emancipate these beings from the endless process of Birth, Old Age, Disease and Death.
When he saw the endless chain of Samsara he longed and looked forward to the time when he would be in a position to attain the penetrative wisdom to bring to a stop and break the linking of the chain of endless process of birth, old age, disease and death which humanity was undergoing.
He systematically investigated why and wherefore Jati,. Jaramarana were taking place' ad infinitum'
Retrospective investigation was done and step by step meditation was enhanced and eventually he came to the conclusion that the culprit was Avijja which was the root cause of all suffering. Again he practised deep contemplation starting from Jati and Jaramarana in re verse order several times and then starting from the beginning, i.e. Avijja in usual regular order until at last the light of penetrative wisdom dawned upon him enabling him to shatter all Kilesas and uproot Asavas thereby to break as under the chain of the Paticcasamuppada, and finally he attained the Supreme Enlightenment.
In the said manner our Lord Gautama Buddha before he attained Buddhahood while as a Budhisatta was much concerned about the endless suffering of Humanity arising out of Jati and Jara marana, and by means of deep contemplation as to the root cause of human suffering, i.e. endless process of Birth, Old Age, Disease and Death, he finally attained the penetrative wisdom which enabled him to unfathom the whole process of Paticcasamuppada as such he was able to exterminate all the Asavas, Anusayas and Samyojanas and the Bodhisatta eventually attained Supreme Buddhahood.
Whether the Buddhas appear in this world or not there always exists the law of Dependent Origination' Paticcasamuppada' but only at the time of Buddha's appearance was the Doctrine minutely explained and taught that such and such are Jati and Jaramarana; such and such are Kammabhava, Upadana, Tanha, Vedana, Phassa, etc. etc. 'the central core of the doctrine expounded by the Buddha is thus: Whereas this exists that comes to be, with the arising of this that arises. When this does not exist that does not come to be.
Reference to Diagram is invited. In Section IV, the reader will see Jati. Jaramarana which do not come to be without the cause. Jati is the cause and Jaramarana is the Effect. Jati is to be much abhorred. Old age, disease and death are at the back of every one from the day of birth, hence it will be seen that everybody is getting older day after day, month after month and year after year. Old age means loss of youthfulness youthful appearances and youthful characteristics, appearance of grey hair, hard of hearing, poor eye sight, loss of memory difficulty in chewing any hard food due to loss of teeth and inability to walk with the I help of somebody, and the worst of it is that the older he gets the feebler he becomes resulting in the uncontrollable state of discharge of urinal and faecal matters which is frequent, hence he becomes the object of despise and disgust even by his dear and near ones. It is not only in this life that old age, disease, decay and death are everybody's companions but they have been inseparable comrades since the beginning of the Samsara, so is it not the time for us to find the way out to sever the connection with Jati and Jaramarana? We should come to the decision to get out of the reach of such abominable things as old age, disease and death. Let us consider this point. Whither do we go from this old age? Every second, every minute, we are going to Death. We are galloping without a stop to that destination. It is said 'Maranampi Dukkha sacca' which means death is suffering; there is no suffering as great as Death. Just imagine. We are facing old age and, sooner or later, we are bound to face Death at any time of the year, month, or day. We know not from which direction it will come and snatch us.
Has any one of us discovered any hiding place or are we able to bribe the King of Death so that we can be indulging so relentlessly in Lobha (craving), Dosa (Hatred), Mana (conceit)? Is it possible for us to ask for adjournment for a certain date? Is that the reason why we are so much overwhelmed by such Lobha Dosa and Mana? It is now time for us to check ourselves.
Everybody is living with four murderous killers. The killer Pathavi is lying in wait to kill us. If it is in excess or in deficiency our death is sure and certain. Another killer- Apo is watching every opportunity to lay its hand on us and when it is in excess, it is bound to be in abundance of motion and urinary discharge which will ultimately be followed by death. The killer-Vayo is also lying in wait for the opportunity to pounce upon us, so does the killer-Tejo; when a man has an abnormal rise in temperature followed by delirium his condition can cause his relatives great anxiety and eventually put him to death. Be sides those four murderous killers, there are five basic aggregates or components which are also murderous killers Once a monk named Radha asked the Buddha what was meant by Mara (Death). The Buddha replied, 'Rupamkho Radha Maroti Vuccati Vedanakho Radha Maroti Vuccati, Sannakho, Sankharakho, Vinnnamkho Radha Maroti Vuccati.' It means that Rupa (corporeality) is a killer, Vedana (feeling or sensation) etc. etc. All the sentient beings are living with the killers who are waiting for a chance to take their toll.
Having fallen a victim to the first four murderous killers or the other five killers we have to give ourselves up to the killers with great reluctance amidst the wife, children and relatives who are surrounding us at the bedside. Let us again look at Diagram !.
'Jati pacccaya Jaramarana' because of Jati there arises Jaamarana, hence Jati is very dreadful. Jati means the birth of all sentient beings whether men, Devas or Brahmas.
In the Dhamma Cakka-pavattana Sutta, it is said 'Jatipi Dukkha.' It means whether be it Jati of men or Deva or Brahma, Jati itself is Dukkha, is accompanied by Sacca and faces Dukkha Sacca
Because of our ignorance of the Paticcasamuppada, most of us fail into common fallacy and being deluded by the superficial illusory nature of the so called glory and glamour of the monarch of the universe, King of Devaloka, we, the ignorant worldlings, long for and pray repeatedly whenever alms givings are made, to attain such vanities of glory of monarch of universe, King of Devas or Brahma.
According to Paticcasamuppada these existences as universal monarch or King of Devaloka are Dukkha Sacca and are like the place of custody. The Buddha says 'Tayo Bhava Andugharam Viya '. It means be it the existence of man, Deva or Brahma they are just like the place of custody.
Prayers for these boons are just like praying for imprisonment of oneself, for the so called glories in these existences, be it man, Deva or Brahma; are spurious illusory and glamorous.
He who prays for Jati prays for the great precipice into which he will fall headlong from the top.
Jati means rebirth. There is no such unpleasantness or suffering as being in a mother's womb. It is due to the weakness of human memory that one fails to remember the untold misery and suffering for nine months in the extremely narrow and straitened space amidst the urinal and faecal matters. Whether a Cakkavatti (monarch of the Universe), King of Devaloka, the starting point is invariably Jati, hence prayer for a new Jati is just prayer for the Dukkha Sacca
*The late Maha Thera Mogok Sayadaw taught that alms giving or meritorious deeds must be made firstly because of detestation, abhorrence and disgust of this burden of Khandha (five aggregates or components) and secondly with a view to setting oneself free from Jati Jaramarana or to be free from Paticcasamuppada Samsara.( * Maha Thera Mogok Sayadaw used to encourage Dana (alms giving) )
The Buddha said to Ananda, 'O Ananda, of all the faults the attainment of the new Khandha after abandoning the old one is the greatest'
New Khandha means the attainment of new Jati and the attainment of Jati is the attainment of Dukkha Sacca. To pray for whatsoever Khandha is to pray for old age, disease and death. Any kind of Jati must be and has to be confronted with Jara Marana. Some go further and pray for the enjoyment of higher position as the monarch of the Universe and the King of Devaloka again and again. It means they pray for the undergoing of the suffering of Old age, Disease and Death again and again.
This is the way of those who are ignorant of and not conversant with the doctrine Of Paticcasamuppada.
One may ask if Jati arises on its own or haphazardly or is there any root cause of it. Yes, there is, the root cause of Kammabhava which is more dreadful than Jati because it links Section III with Section IV, the Future Causal Continuum. In other words, it causes the new existence or Jati which, as already explained fully in the foregoing chapters is the beginning of suffering. It is the linking medium of the chain of Paticcasamuppada, Kammabhava is nothing but Kayakamma, Vaci Kamma and Mano Kamma (physical, verbal and mental actions) or punnabhi Sankhara, Apunnabhi Sankhara and Ananjabhi Sankhara.
According to the Paticcasamuppada, actions done in the past are called Sankhara and actions done at present are called Kammabhava; they are the same in meaning although different in words.
At this point a little thought should be given as to how many times do we wittingly or unwittingly commit Kayakamma, Vac Kamma and Mano Kamma in a day, say from sunrise to the time of going to bed. The Buddha says, ' Sabbampi Bhavagami Kamman Kammabhavo'. It means whatever we do in this world whether whole some or unwholesome will produce its effect in the next existence, in other words we are the designer of our own destiny for our future exist.
Let us go one step farther back and see whether Kammabhava arises on its own or it arises because of something else. 'Upadana pacccaya Kammabhavo', because of Upadana, there arises Kammabhava, i.e. Kayakamma (physical actions), Vaci Kamma (Verbal actions) and Mano Kamma (mental actions) are done because of Upadana (grasping or overwhelming desire). According to Paticcasamuppada or Patisambhida Magga, Upadana is Samudaya Sacca and Kammabhava is Dukkha Sacca. Then again if we retrogress one step farther and see as to the cause of Upadana we shall find the culprit Tanha 'Tanha pacccaya Upadana' When Tanha becomes stronger it takes the form of Upadana; as Tanha is the cause of Upadana, it is more dreadful and dangerous than Upadana.
It is obvious that from sunrise to midnight or say round the clock there are people coming and going from one place to another, from north to south, from east to west, from one town to another, from one country to another, from continent to continent from one region to another, by various kinds of transport, vehicles, steamers or aeroplanes. Almost all these journeys, travels, flights, voyages are due to or prompted by Tanha (lobha). Being slaves of Tanha (lobha) men are sent to all directions in all climes for various purposes, callings and trades
If prompted by Tanha there is no refusal whether it is at mid night, in the rain, storms, to go to robber-infested places or war zones, the slaves of Tanha will run on whatever errand regardless of any imminent danger Can the slave say, no, to its master Tanha? Never. Tanha is so forceful, influential and impulsive even to make a young baby try and snatch its toy from where it is by rolling its little body, or to make an old person servile under its sway.
It will be better to compare what has been said with what is going on in our own selves. Let us go further back and see whether Tanha arises on its own or it arises because of something. 'Vedana paccaya Tanha, Vedana is the cause of it as Vedana is more obnoxious. Reference to the Diagram is invited. It will be seen that Section II and Section III link Vedana and Tanha. This is the point where the Yogi must disallow Vedana to connect with Tanha or in other words Magganga (Panccangika Magga) must take its place between Vedana and Tanha this means the Yogi must practise meditation at this juncture so that Avijja will become Vijja, "Vijja Udapadi."
The methods of replacing Vedana pacccaya Tanha by Vedana pacccaya Panna will be dealt with in the next chapters.
SAKKAYA DITTHI: ITS CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES
Sakkaya (Sa or Santo, that means which really exists, and Kaya, aggregate) means the five aggregates which really exist. Ditthi means 'wrong view'. These two words constitute Sakkaya Ditthi.
How and in what manner the Wrong View arises? When Pancakkhandha is viewed and taken as personality Ego, I or Me, this is called the Wrong View. Wrong View arises whenever Khandha is taken as personality or when the idea of Ego, Soul, Self or I, comes in. Ditthi is the most deleterious and harmful offence in the thirty one places of existence.( 4 Apayabhumi, 1 Manussa Bhumi, 6 Devaloka, 20 Brahmaloka. ) The Buddha says, 'Vijjanam Bhikkhave Miccha Ditthi Paramani'. This means, of all the offences Micchaditthi (the Wrong View) is the most deleterious and harmful.
In the Anguttara Nikaya, the Buddha says 'Twenty kinds of Sakkaya Ditthi can never lead a being to the Sugati but instead it can lead him down to Duggati (Apaya Bhumi). As the pebbles of the size of a pea can never float on the water so never could a being with Sakkaya ditthi come up and float on the surface of Samsara.'
Sakkaya Ditthi is the breeding and the birth place of the sixty two kinds of Ditthi. Depending on Sakkaya Ditthi all kinds of Ditthi arise, hence the Buddha said, 'Satthiya Viya Omatho, Dashyamanova matthake; Sakkayaditthim Pahanaya, Sato Bhikkhu Paribbhaje'. It means, as a man who has caught fire on his head and being pierced by a spear on the chest so the Bhikkhu who is mindful should try to eliminate Sakkaya Ditthi with all haste.
If a man has Sakkaya Ditthi, there is no doubt that he may attain Sugati Bhumi (pleasurable abode) by doing Dana, Sila and Bhavana, but he could never realise Magga and Phala. He who has Sakkaya Ditthi has no compunction to commit matricide, patricide or even shed the blood of the Buddha. There is no Akusala Dhamma for him which he does not dare to do. It was this very Sakkaya Ditthi which prompted Devadatta to try and assassinate the Buddha by all conceivable means in order to make himself the Buddha.
Prince Ajatasattu being ill-advised by Devadatta into believing that he could never become a king so long as his father King Bimbisara was alive, and being so self conscious to become a king himself in his youth that he had his father killed. It was the Sakkaya Ditthi which prompted him to have his father the old king killed.
It was also Ditthi Vipallasa or Sakkaya Ditthi which caused Patacari (a rich man's daughter) to be in the state of deranged mentality. Being led by the wrong view, after misconstruing and wrongly conceiving Pancakkhandha as husband, son, daughter, father and mother, she reached the state of insanity and consequently became an actute maniac beyond control.
He who has Sakkaya ditthi is just like the kite which would fly only as high as the length of the thread, then it would fall to the ground because it is Sakkaya Ditthi which goes along with it and makes him fall.
The Buddha says, 'Ukkhitta punnatejena, kamarupa gatimgata bhavaggantampi sampatta, puna gacchanti duggatim'. It means that because of Samatha or meritorious deeds one may attain Kamaloka Rupaloka and Arupaloka but he is bound to come down to Duggati again (woeful plane of existence) because of Sakkaya Ditthi which is inherent in him.
From the basic Sakkaya Ditthi branch out other four dreadful and dangerous Ditthis, i.e. Akiriya Ditthi, Nattika Ditthi, Ahetuka Ditthi and Issaraninmana Ditthi.
Akiriya Ditthi: This wrong view advocates that all the deeds, actions, whether physical, verbal or mental, meritorious or otherwise, right or wrong, moral or immoral are devoid of all effects or consequences, fruitless, barren and will amount to nothing.
Ahetuka Ditthi: is the total denial of law of Causality or in other words the view that Animate or Inanimate things or phenomena are fortuitous and events are only chance occurrences which are void of cause.
Natthika Ditthi: is the wrong view which denies both the Law of Causality and the Resultant effect. It emphasizes that all animate or inanimate things are causeless, and deeds good or evil will not bear any fruit and have no meaning and will amount to nothing. Denial of one amounts to denial of the Effect, also denial of one amounts to denial of the other two, and the presence of any one of the Ditthis is more harmful and detrimental than the one who commits Pancanantariya Kamma. Therefore we must be careful lest we might fall wittingly or unwittingly into any of these Niyata Miccha Ditthis.
SAKKAYADITTHI & HOW
While the Buddha was residing at the Veluvana monastery in the Kingdom of Rajagaraha, there was a rich man named Visakha and his wife Dhammadinna; who later became a Bhikkhuni, Visakha was in the habit of visiting the Buddha's monastery for the purpose of hearing the Buddha's sermons every evening. On his return he was met at the door by his lovely wife and went into the house arm in arm. One day, as usual, Dhammadinna waited at the door but the husband with a more dignified air, did not offer his arm to his wife Dhammadinna who was ill at ease at this attitude of her husband. She however kept silent. At bed time Dhammadinna asked Visakha whether there was any such limit on her part as to be so serious and outlandish in his demeanour. The husband replied that there was nothing wrong on his or on her part but that he had attained higher penetrative insight (Anagmi Phala) and that was the reason why his demeanour appeared to be serious. He then told Dhammadinna that all the property can be possessed by her as he renounced all his possessions, and that she could even remarry anybody she chose.
To this Dhammadinna questioned him, 'Brother, you speak of this higher wisdom, is it only confined to men or are women excluded from that higher dhamma?'
The husband said, 'No, sister, the Buddha's dhamma is open to all.'
'Then', said the wife, 'please allow me to go and hear the dhamma.' After a few days Dhammadinna became a Bhikkhuni herself and entered one of the nunneries. To make a long story short, she attained Arahatship eventually.
There arose some questions and answers between Visakha and Bhikkhuni Dhammadinna.
Visakha asked. 'Madam, what is it that the Buddha teaches as Sakkaya?'
Arahat Dhammadinna replied, 'Dayaka Visakha, Five Khandhas are Sakkaya.'
'How and in what manner Sakkaya Ditthi arises?'
'Dayaka Visakha, when Pancakhandha is wrongly viewed, believed and misconstrued as personality, Ego or I, Sakkaya Ditthi arises'.
'Madam, May I ask you again why and for what reasons the Sakkaya ditthi arises?'
'Dayaka Visakha, in this holy order of the Buddha the untaught ordinary ignorant worlding (Puthujjana) who is not in the habit of approaching the Ariya (The accomplished one), is not conversant with the Ariya Dhamma and is discordant to the Ariya Doctrine (Truth); I Secondly, he does not want to approach the virtuous or Holy man, and is not conversant with his sermons, is discordant to them, and as such he looks upon, takes, and misconstrues Rupa (corporeality) as Atta or Ego, and that Atta has Rupa; there is Atta, or Ego in Rupa; Rupa has Atta or Ego.'
In the same manner Vedana is looked upon, Sanna is looked upon, Sankhara is looked upon, Vinnana is looked upon, taken for, misconstrued as Atta or Ego, etc. etc. and that Vinnana has Atta or Ego; there is Atta or Ego in Vinnana; Atta or Ego which has Vinnana.
'Dayaka Visakha, it is, just like the one who is unable to differentiate the burning fire from the flame and takes the flame for burning fire. Similarly the ignorant and untaught worldling who is not in the habit of hearing the preaching of Dhamma and not conversant with it, looks upon, takes for, believes and misconstrues Rupa (matter or corporeality) as I or Ego, Vedana as I or Ego, Sanna as I or Ego, Sankhara as I or Ego, Vinnana as I or Ego. This is how Sakkaya Ditthi arises.'
While the Buddha was residing at the Jetavana monastery, it occurred to a certain monk named Yamaka that when an Arahat died nothing happened, but disappeared and sank into oblivion. He understood and believed in this way and he accordingly spread his belief among the monks. On hearing what he said, the other monks admonished him not to tell what the Buddha did not teach and anything against the doctrine. Yamaka was stubborn and continued spreading his incongruous and profane view which is against the teaching of the Great Teacher. All the other monks being unable to stop him from spreading that blasphemous doctrine went and reported to the Maha Thera Sariputta. Whereupon the Maha Thera out off great compassion went to Yamaka's place and asked whether it was true that he spread such views as are against the teachings of the Buddha. When he admitted the truth of it, the Maha Thera asked, 'O Yamaka, is it true that you are harbouring the wrong view that when an Arahat died nothing happened but simply disappeared and sank into oblivion.'
Yamaka replied in the affirmative. Then Maha Thera again asked, 'O Yamaka, what do you consider this? You may give answer as you please
'Is Rupa enduring everlasting and permanent?' No. Venerable, Sir.'
'Is Vedana enduring, everlasting and permanent? 'No. Venerable, Sir.'
'Is Sanna enduring, everlasting and permanent? 'No. Venerable, Sir.'
'Is Sankhara enduring, everlasting and permanent? 'No. Venerable, Sir.'
'Is Vinnana enduring, everlasting and permanent? 'No. Venerable, Sir.'
'Then, Yamaka, you must look upon Rupa as unenduring and impermanent.' Similarly Vedana, Sanna, Sankhara, Vinnana must be looked upon as unenduring, impermanent and perishing at every moment. 'Now, Yamaka, I will put it to you and you may answer as you please.
'Do you look upon Rupa as an Arahat (Satta)?' 'No, Venerable Sir.
'Do you look upon Vedana, Sanna, Sankhara and Vinnana as an Arahat (Satta)? 'No, Venerable, Sir.'
'Do you look upon Pancakkhandha as Arahat (Satta)? 'No, Venerable, Sir'.
'And Yamaka, with the exception of Pancakkhandha do you look upon anything as an Arahat (satta)? And Yamaka, with the exception of Rupa do you look upon anything as an Arahat?' 'No, Venerable, Sir'
'And Yamaka, with the exception of Vedana do you look upon anything as an Arahat (Satta)? No Venerable, Sir'
'And Yamaka, with the exception of Sanna,Sankhara, do you look upon anything as Arahat (satta)?' 'No, Venerable, Sit'
'And Yamaka, with the exception of Vinnana do you look upon anything as an Arahat (Satta)?' 'No, Venerable, Sir.'
If this be so, Yamaka, will it be proper and expedient for you to say that the Great Teacher taught that when an Arahat who had completely abandoned and uprooted Asavas died nothing happened but simply disappeared and sank into oblivion.' 'No, Venerable, Sir. It is not proper and expedient for me to say so.'
'Now if somebody happened to ask you what became of an Arahat who died, how will you answer?'
'Venerable, Sir. I will answer that Rupa is unenduring transitory and liable to change and impermanent, Vedana., Sanna, Sankhara are also unenduring transient and liable to change and impermanent. Vinnana is unenduring, transient, liable to change and impermanent. Pancakkhandha is unenduring, transitory and liable to change and impermanent.
Maha Thera said, 'Well and good, Yamaka. You have now obtained the right view and have seen things as they really are.
In as much as there is Miccha Ditthi there are two sided wrong views, i.e. the wrong view of taking an Arahat as personality which is Sakkaya Ditthi, and another wrong view that nothing happens at the death of an Arahat but it simply disappears, and sinks into oblivion is Uccheda Ditthi. Over and above these Yamaka looked upon Nibbana as void.
Hence it can be safely ascertained that he who has Sakkaya Ditthi is not capable of apprehending Nibbana. The view that there remains nothing or nothing happens at the death of Arahat amounts to Annihilationist Wrong View (Uccheda Ditthi) which means total annihilation and the state of void in Nibbana. It is so dreadful to have Sakkaya Ditthi because however much one endeavours and maintains strict Vipassana contemplation, the final Emancipation cannot be realised. Such wrong views are prevalent where there is lack of understanding or knowledge of the Paticcasamuppada Doctrine.
Channa Thera was one of the royal attendants who followed the Prince Siddhattha when he renounced the royal palace to seek for the Truth. Channa became a monk some time after the Prince Siddhatha attained Buddhahood. It is remarkable that in spite of his ardent application in Vipassana Meditation he had not been able to attain the first stage in Magga Phala, i.e. Sotapanna. He went around and told the other monks that although he had gained the insight into Anicca and Dukkha, he had never been able to attain Magga Phala. Yes, he endeavoured for over forty years, yet he failed to realise even the first stage in spite of his insight into the arising and passing away of Khandhas. He knew that Rupa was unenduring so were Vedana, Sanna, Sankhara and Vinnana. When it came to Anatta he said he felt as if he were at the edge of a deep precipice and ready to fall at any moment. He went further and said if all five Khandhas were Anatta whom had he to look upon and depend on as a refuge. It is obvious that he relied too much upon Atta, and therefore whenever Anatta was contemplated he became thrilled as if he were on an edge of a precipice. Thus the time went on more than forty years when the Buddha entered into the state of Parinibbanna.
Dejected and remorseful, monk Channa went from monastery to monastery imploring other monks to admonish and counsel him, but to no avail.
At last, it occurred to him that Ananda Thera would be the right person to approach and could lead him to the right path, so he closed his monastery and went to Kosambhi where Ananda Thera resided. On arrival be explained all about himself whereupon Ananda at once understood that it was due to lack of the knowledge of Paticcasamuppada which deterred him, and as such consoled him and taught him the Doctrine of Paticcasamuppada in the same manner as the Buddha taught Kaccayana, son of Mantani.
After being well conversant with the doctrine, monk Channa was able to exterminate and uproot Sakkaya, Sassata and Uccheda ditthis. Thereupon the first Magga and Phala dawned upon him.
It is quite obvious that it was the ignorance of this doctrine which delayed monk Channa for forty years to attain and realise even the first stage.
Needless to say that this doctrine is indispensable to those Yogis who are intent on the Vipassana contemplation. Unless the Yogi is well conversant with this doctrine he will never be able to get the true knowledge of Khandhas (five components) and in the absence of the knowledge of Khandhas, i.e. arising of Khandha and cessation of Khandha the Yogi would not be able to eliminate or exterminate Ditthi which dwells in and is attached to the Khandhas, and where there persists Ditthi, the inevitable and inseparable companions, Avijja and Tanha, will arise and dominate.
Miccha Ditthi, as has been mentioned before, is more harmful and deleterious than Avijja and Tanha because it stands in the way of the first step Sotapanna from which all the higher Magga and Phala will have to start. Moreover Miccha Ditthi is the veritable seed bed for Apaya Bhumi (woeful existence, whereas Tanha does not hinder the ascent to Sugati Bhumi.)
Ditthi is more dreadful and dangerous than Avijja and Tanha because all modes of Avijja and Tanha do not fall under the category which is liable to the danger of falling into the Apaya Bhumi. This Avijja can be uprooted and exterminated only on the attainment of the Arahatta Magga while Tanha can be uprooted in the next lower stage.
Even with the presence of Avijja the lower three Maggaphalas can be attained.
Dayika Visakha, well known donor of Puppharama monastery, was said to have burst into tears at the death of her beloved grandchild, although she was said to have attained Sotapanna Maggaphala, however such Domanassa and Upayasa as occurred to Visakha were not Apayagamaniya i.e., these Domanassa and Upayasa were not liable to fall into Apaya Bhumi.
SATI MONK AND HOW HE HARBOURED THE WRONG VIEWS
This is the story of a certain monk named Sati who was attached to the wrong view that Vinnana (consciousness) was enduring, unchanged and permanent but is was only the body which changed. He told the other monks that was exactly what the Buddha taught. On hearing Buddha's discourse on Ten Jatakas, i.e. Temiya, Janaka, Suvannasama, Bhurida, Campeya, Vidhura, Mahosadha, Nemiya, Narada and Vessantara, he steadfastly held the view that the long line of existences from Temiya to Vessantara was one and the same with the exception of change in the bodies and the Vinnana (consciousness) was one and the same, enduring, changeless and permanent.
He spread his wrong view among the monks who enjoined him that it was not good to abuse the true Dhamma expounded by the Great Teacher. He was stubborn and continued spreading his wrong belief; whereupon the monks, being unable to prevent him, went and reported the whole matter to the Buddha.
The Buddha sent for him and asked whether it was true that he held such wrong views steadfastly. The monk admitted that he held such perverted wrong views. The Buddha said, 'you stupid man, from whom do you ever hear that I have taught such a doctrine? Have I not in diverse ways made clear the conditioned nature of all consciousness? Have I not shown repeatedly that without sufficient cause no consciousness can ever arise?' Have I not taught that Vinnana like all other Dhammas is unenduring, transitory, impermanent, ever changing and cannot continue for two successive moments the same.
The Buddha turning to the monks said, 'Monks whatever consciousness arises, it is only due to a cause. Depending on two things sense door and Aramana (object) consciousness arises. When there is contact of Eye and visible object there arises Eye consciousness. Similarly depending on Ear and sound, nose and smell, tongue and taste, body and touch, mind and idea, there arises Ear consciousness, Nose consciousness, Tongue consciousness, Body consciousness, Mind consciousness, respectively. It is just like the fire burning because of the fuel. It is only through this cause that effect comes to be; if it burns wood it is called wood fire, if it burns cow dung it is called cow dung fire; if it burns bamboo, grass, etc. it will be called accordingly. In the same way, consciousness arises according to its Aramana (object) and Dvara (sense door). Therefore when this exists that comes to be, with the arising of this, that arises. When this does not exist that does not come to be. This is the causally relative series of events according to the Paticcasamuppada. The consciousness of the present life ceases as Cuti Vinnana (Death consciousness) and new consciousness arises in the next existence as Patisandhi Vinnana (Rebirth consciousness). The consciousness of Prince Temiya ceased as Death consciousness at his death and a new consciousness arose and appeared in the following existence as Patisandhi Vinnana. Similarly the consciousness of Prince Janaka, Vidhura, Suvannasama and Vessantara ceased in their respective existences as Cuti Vinnana and new consciousness arose again as Patisandhi Vinnana (Rebirth consciousness) in their respective new existences. If you refer to the Diagram you will see the first link in Section II.
For example, a frog in a story not knowing it was the sermon of the Buddha listened to it because it was clear and pleasant to hear and accidentally met its death under the pointed stick of the cowherd. He became a Devaputta in Tavatimsa devaloka. It must be clearly understood that the consciousness of the frog did not follow to the body of the Devaputta, neither did that consciousness enter his body. It is only the Casual Law. There is no transmigration of soul in Buddhism, neither is there reincarnation which are totally refuted by Buddhism. What actually took place was the Patisandhi Vinnana (Rebirth consciousness) of the Devaputta which was the Effect of the preceding cause that was Cuti Vinnana (Death consciousness) of the past life of the frog. In other words the Patisandhi Vinnana (Rebirth consciousness) of the Devaputta arose depending on the Cuti Vinnana of the frog. It must be fully noted that the Vinnana of the Devaputta and the frog were not one and the same because no soul or Vinnana unites one existence to another. No soul or consciousness passes on to the other consciousness as already mentioned is transitory, impermanent, unenduring and cannot remain for two successive moments the same.
In the same way the most celebrated donor of the Puppharama monastery, Visakha, when died, became Sunimmita, the Queen of Tussita Deva King. Here mention must also be made in the same way as the above cited anecdote that the consciousness of the Dayika Visakha never followed the body of Sunimmita the Queen of Tussita Deva King, nevertheless the Patisandhi Vinnana arose in the new existence because of the preceding Cuti Vinnana (Death consciousness) of Visakha of which Jati is the effect. It must be reiterated that nothing passes from one existence to the other. It is only the function of the Law of Cause and Effect.
Therefore if and when it is wrongly believed, viewed, or mistaken that the consciousness of the present life and the one in the next existence are one and the same, it amounts to Sassata Ditthi; whereas if and when one holds the wrong view that nothing comes to be after the death of a being it amounts to Uccheda Ditthi. It is only the Middle Way which is free from two extremes and can lead to Magga and Phala. When there are obstacles and hindrances in the form of Ditthi, Magga Phala could never be attained, nay, not even the first stage in Magga Phala could be realised in spite of strenuous efforts on Vipassana Contemplation.
Satipatthana Suttas universally known in the Buddhist world. As there are four Satipatthanas, they are like four stairways to a Pagoda. By whichever stairway one uses, the platform of the Pagoda can be reached They are:
It is important to note that by taking up Kayanupassana, one does not exclude the remaining three Anupassanas. The only difference is in emphasis or predominance or propensity. It should be noted that in penultimate para of every chapter of Satipatthana, there are such sentences as Samudaya Dhammanupassiva viharati, Vayadhammanupassiva viharati, samudaya vayadhammanupassiva viharati.' These three points are important factors in Vipassana meditation therefore until and unless these three points are contemplated it will always remain a Satipatthana which means only 'mindfulness' or 'awareness.' It will not come up and develop to the stage of Vipassana. Generally Yogis in spite of their noble intentions and earnestness can be said to be stranded either in mindfulness or one-pointedness of mind (samadhi) which is no doubt necessary up to a certain stage, that is, in building up Samadhi.
Moreover, in the same Sutta, it will be seen that in the ultimate paragraph of every chapter there is a sentence 'Atthi Ka yotiva panassa sati paccuppatthita hoti'. It means, in the Yogi there is only mindfulness or awareness of in and out breathing. There is another sentence, 'Yivadeva Ni namattaya patisatimattaya Anissitosa viharati.' It means, in this Yogi has gradually developed his insight. At this point, the Yogi reaches Vipassana state, therefore he does not look upon Kaya, Vedana, Citta or Dhamma as his nor does he think 'I am meditating. It is I, who meditate, or my concentration is very good, my mindfulness on Anapana is very satisfactory.' 'Naca Kinci loke upadiyati.' The Yogi does not cling to any Kaya, Vedana, Sanna or Sankhara or Vinnana as I, or as my Kaya, or Vedana or Citta.' 'Evampikho Bhikkhave Kaye Kayanupassi viharati.' It means really this is indeed the way that a Yogi meditates on Kayanupassana.
It can be safely said without any prejudice that a close and careful inquiry about the present day Vipassana. meditation will reveal that most of the Yogis reach only halfway because generally the most important point in Satipatthana Sutta has been overlooked, i.e. 'Samudaya Vaya Dhammanupassiva Viharati which is the central core.
According to the late Maha Thera Mogok Sayadaw Satipatthana is divided into three parts:
1. Satipatthana (mindfulness or Awareness);
2. Satipatthana Bhavana (Contemplation on arising and perishing);
3. Satipatthana gaminipatipada (The path leading to the cessation of Sankhara or Arising and Vanishing).
To elucidate: -
The Buddha said to Susima Paribbajaka, 'Susima, Moggova Phalamva Nasamadhi nisandho, nasamakhinisanso, nasamadhi nipphati. Vipassanaya panesa nisandho vipassanayanisanso, vipassanaya nipphatti.' It means, Susima, it is not because of Samadhi that Magga phala are realised and attained but because of Vipassana that Magga phala are realised and attained. It is Vipassana which can only bear fruit, which can only bring about the required result and can be fulfilled by its virtue by which only can the Magga phala be attained.
The Buddha said, 'Pubbhekho Susima Dhammathitinanam pacca nibbidananam,' It means 'O Susima Yathabhutananam (Penetrative knowledge of what actually and really is in our being which is always arising and vanishing) comes first and Nibbidananam follows after that. In other words, the Yogi with his penetrative insight realises firstly that the phenomenon of arising and vanishing is nothing out suffering, and secondly there arises in him the knowledge that the conditioned phenomena are repugnant, disgustful and utterly undesirable.
It is obvious now that the Buddha taught that by two stages of insight the final enlightenment can be realised. Whereas in the Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta the Buddha taught that it can be realized by three stages of Wisdom, Sacca Nana, Kicca Nana and Kata Nana.
Therefore those well intending Yogis are advised not to follow the long and tedious path but to try to take short cut which is taught by the Buddha.
Footnote: The Buddhist doctrine of Rebirth should be fully understood as quite different from the transmigration or Reincarnation because Buddhism totally denies the existence of a transmigrating permanent soul created by God or emanating from Maha Brahma.
THE DOCTRINE OF PATICCASAMMUPADA
MOGOK VIPASSANA YEIKTHA
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