PUÑÑYA KAMMA KUSALA DHAMMA AND THE PATH TO SOTAPATTHI PALA
Compiled from discourses by
Most Venerable Maha Pragñaya
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Also, please note that not part of this translation shall be re-translated into sinhala or any other language as such efforts could lead to distortions of the pristine Buddha Dhamma which will result in unfathomable consequences per Sanghabedha Sutta found in the Anguththara Nikaya – Dasaka Nipatha.
February 25th, 2019
First Edition: March 2019
Publisher: Parama Nibbana Dhammayathanaya
159, New Tangalle Road
Tel: +94 41 222 7688
Email: [email protected]
Dr. Gamini Randeni
BSc, MSc, MA (Ed), PhD RPN
Retired Professor Faculty of Health
Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Langley, British Columbia
Mrs. Irma West, Vancouver, Canada
TABLE OF CONTENTS
4.5.3. Maranānussathi Practice 32
4.5.4. Buddhānussathi Practice 35
1. PINA AND KUSAL
You are gifted to be born into this life as a human being and as someone who has the opportunity to listen to pristinely pure Siri Sadthdhamma. Many people do numerous meritorious deeds (pinkam = puññya kamma). Others do kusala dhamma. In common usage, it seems that these two words, merits (pina) and kusala, have been assigned distorted meanings. It must be said that pina is one thing and kusala is another. The following is a quote uttered by the Buddha.
Sabba pāpassa akaranan – kusalassa upasampadā
Sachitta pariyo dapanan – ætan Buddhānusāsanan
A clear and pure path to Nibbana is prescribed through this stanza. Before Prince Siddhartha Gothama became the Samma Sambuddha, people had been familiar with meritorious deeds. At the time of the Buddha, people practiced approximately 64 oriental religions such as Jaina, Upanishad, Veda, Shiva etc., as stated in the Brahmajala Sutta expounded by the Buddha. In each of those religions, conventionally, there was an accepted tradition of engaging in meritorious deeds. Its acknowledged that meritorious deeds are taking place during Buddha eras as well as non-Buddha eras. However, a Buddha appears in this world not to teach people only to engage in meritorious deeds but to help people comprehend the condition of “kusalassa upasampadā” and achieve the purity of mind by uprooting all kilesa (raga, dvesha and moha) and forsaking them. Therefore, pina and kusalassa upasampadā are two distinctly different activities. They are not the same.
2. KUSALA DHAMMA
The word kusala in Magadhi language is comprised of two words. The Magadhi configuration of ku + sala is as follows. The word ku represents defilements. Dirt or kunu are, in other words, all kilesa. Kilesa are mental fabrications of defilements based on anusaya and āsaya. Anusaya and āsaya arise due to volitional activities (sankhāra) based on sam = san = loba, dvesha and moha which are presented as three categories for easy comprehension. They are as follows:
- Bodily/physical volitional action/tendencies (kaya sankhāra), verbal volitional actions/tendencies (vachie sankhāra) and volitional actions/tendencies arise in the mind (mano sankhāra)
- Past volitional actions/tendencies (athita sankhāra), present volitional actions/tendencies (varthamana sankhāra) and future volitional actions/tendencies (anagatha sankhāra)
- Deep rooted evil tendencies (apunyabhisankhāra), deep rooted puññya energy (puññyabhisankhāra)anddeep-rooted volition for dhyana (anijjabhisankhāra).
All 9 types of sankhāra that are loba, dvesha and moha based cause prolongation of samsaric existence and must be uprooted from the mind to attain enlightenment (Nibbana).
The word sala means shedding off or cleansing. Then, kusala means in Magadhi language shedding off all types of kilesa and sankhāra without harboring them in one’s mind (ku+sala; ku= dirt + sala= shedding off). Discarding them from the mind without the possibility for re-emergence is achieved through uprooting the three tendencies loba, dvesha and moha as and when they arise in the mind. As loba, dvesha and moha mental tendencies are gradually uprooted from the mind, the void is to be filled by associating and absorbing mettan, karunan, mudithan and uppekkha into the mind. This process facilitates not only the eradication of these three tendencies from the mind but also prevents their re-emergence. When loba, dvesha and moha tendencies dissipate, mettan, karunan, mudithan and upekkha mental qualities get consolidated in the mind. The terms veetha ragee, veetha dveshie and veetha mohie and the words lobakkháya, dveshakháya, and mohakháya refer to mental states resulting from gradual uprooting respectively of loba, dvesha and moha tendencies. This essentially means attaining the state of lasting deliverance from kilesa (samma) or arahanthood. This is the workings of kusala dhamma.
3. KUSALASSA UPASAMPADĀ
The Magadhi word kusalassa is comprised of two words kusala + assa. The word kusala has been described above. In Magadhi language assa means to associate. If follows, then that the meaning of kusalassa is to associate the process of shedding off all kilesa /sankhāra or discarding without harboring them in one’s mind.
The word upasampadā in Magadhi language is comprised of three words (upa +sam + padā). Upa means total dedication. Sam represents mental accumulations of kilesa by loba, dvesha and moha tendencies. Padā means path to identify and discard. Thus, upasampadā means dedicated to identifying and discarding defilements caused by sam.
By considering artha, dhamma and nirutthi, it can be stated that pina denotes a puññya kamma whereas kusala denotes kusala dhamma. Please note the distinction between kamma and dhamma. The term kamma associates with actions that prolong samsaric existence whereas dhamma associates only with cessation of samsaric existence. For these above reasons, pina or puññya kamma and kusala or kusala dhamma have distinctly different meanings and thus it is erroneous to use the two words interchangeably or ponder them as the same.
The dhamma, expounded by a Buddha after reaching the Buddhahood, never recommended shunning away from meritorious deeds or puññya kamma. In Nanda sutta, Buddha stated “Madame Nanda, one must do meritorious deeds”. Buddha never rejected meritorious deeds or merit (pina). Pina is described as hadayan punāthi puññan (hadayan = heart; punāthi = filled with; puññan= merits, pina or pleasantness). Neither did the Buddha exclude it, nor did HE drop it or remove it. However, the Buddha clearly and explicitly stated that one will not be able to attain Nibbana or achieve 37 attributes (bodhipakshika dhamma) required to uproot sam only by practicing meritorious deeds.
Today, there is a new context added to this theme of pina and kusala. Some say that there is no necessity to do meritorious deeds, but only by practicing meditation, one can attain Nibbana. This position stems from their lack of understanding of the meaning of the Magadhi term bhāvanā. Therefore, one must contemplate how pina, kusala, sila, samadhi, pañna and bhāvanā are prescribed into a patipada to help attain Nibbana and how to complete the patipadā. The patipadā which helps one to complete trisikkha – sila, samadhi and pañna is comprised of three attributes sanvara, sansindeema and samma which in other words are known as satara sanvara sila, samatha & vipassana bhāvanā along with ariya attangiko maggo. All these attributes are necessary not only for the attainment of Nibbana, andall four maga pala, but alsoto trigger and stimulate āsavak-khya gñana and to eradicate all kilesa totally, shedding them through the practice of anuppāda niroda, the practice that stops kilesa from taking root in the mind. Therefore, the Buddha, during his time, did not throw away any meaningful or beneficial attributes practiced by other religions. These attributes essentially constitute the process of kusalassa upasampadā.
The Buddha elucidated to mankind, a “never before heard dhamma”, of which people had no knowledge prior to the enlightenment of the Buddha. This never before heard dhamma was kusalassa upasampadā. It means, in other words, dedicated to total removal of roots of defilements by cutting off sam through separating, shedding and eradication (upasampajja viharathi). Therefore, to experience kilesa as kilesa, realistically comprehending kilesa roots born in the mind, comprehending akusala as akusala, and kusala as kusala constitute the essence of the dhamma elucidated by the Buddha.
Kusalan pajanāthi – Kusala mǔlan pajanāthi
Akusalan pajanāthi – Akusala mǔlan pajanāthi.
These are the four steps that the Buddha elucidated as a guide to attain Nibbana. However, HE did not discard or reject meritorious deeds. HE never said not to do such activities. HE only articulated the fact that meritorious deeds alone will not help one to attain Nibbana. However, beings with a mind often do many meritorious deeds. Prior to the Buddha era, people were engaged in such activities in return for gains. As clearly portrayed in the Brahmajala Sutta promulgated by the Buddha, people do merits in anticipation of reaching the state of brahma, divinity, or to achieve rich royal or mundane prosperity in this life (dittadhamma vedaneeya) or in future births. This had been the sole aim of all theosophical religions. All religions believe in a permanent state of brahma, divinity or heaven (theology). According to Buddha desana there is no permanency in any existences of brahma, divinity or heaven. Without meritorious deeds, pleasure (prasada) does not arise in the mind. One cannot
experience pleasure, delight (pramoda) and bliss (adimokka) in the absence of meritorious deeds. Thus, the Buddha had recommended people to engage in meritorious deeds as a consequential vehicle to attain Nibbana by purifying the mind through uprooting tendencies of kilesa through the process of kusalassa.
3.1. TRANSFORMING PUÑÑYA KAMMA TO KUSALA DHAMMA
The Buddha recommended something that goes beyond puññya kamma. To get the maximum benefit of being born in the human realm, it is important to think that whenever a meritorious deed is completed, it must be converted into a meaningful kusala dhamma. The Buddha provided a guide on how to convert a completed meritorious deed or puññya kamma into kusala dhamma as a patipadā. This is unique to Buddha dhamma.
Puññya kamma generated through meritorious deeds are helpful in resolving two issues that hinder the attainment of Nibbana. These two are past samsaric dues and duty to help samsaric relatives and friends (those in need) to heal from their existential predicaments.
Therefore, firstly its paramount for one to think of paying all past samsaric dues to all those who in this infinite samsaric existence until present, had helped one, had any relationship with and had supported one in any way major or minor when doing a puññya kamma. Not only past samsaric dues can be paid off by extending (pin pathurava), dedicating (pin pihituva) and bestowing (pin anumodana) puññya energy (puññya=merits) and be liberated from such relationships but also requesting past relatives and friends to liberate one from their relationships. This is an aspect of kusalassa upasampadā.
Secondly, it’s necessary to help samsaric relatives and friends (those in need) to heal from their existential predicaments. Often, past samsaric relatives and friends anticipate that their relative who is born as a human being will transfer puññya energy for them to heal. A myriad of relatives and friends from one’s past existences who are born in woeful states of pætha (beings who are waiting to receive puññya energy) and butha (beings who are waiting to be born and receive puññya energy) realms wait relentlessly to receive puññya energy from their human relatives. Since they cannot perform any puññya kamma by themselves, they necessarily depend on their samsaric relatives. Thus, when one is born in the human realm, it becomes one’s duty to transfer puññya energy for the well-being and healing of past samsaric relatives and friends. This transfer of puññya energy must also be intended to free them completely from their woeful state of existence. This is also part of the process of kusalassa upasampadā.
To facilitate the transfer of puññya energy and to secure it’s reception by past relatives, the meritorious deed must be completed with a mind free of raga, dvesha and moha while flushing one’s heart with pleasure (prasada) enabling the extension (pin pathurava), dedication (pin pihituva) and bestowing (pin anumodana) puññya energy (puññya=merits). The extension, dedication and bestowing of puññya energy generated through such an activity must always be intended for those who are in need. These three aspects pave the way for the transformation of puññya kamma or meritorious deed into kusala dhamma. This transition, if occurred through the principles of gift (chago), unfastening from relationship (patinissaggo), liberation (mutthi), devoid of attachment (analayo), without even traces (assesa) of raga (viraga) and ceassedwheeling of thoughts (nirodho), certainly becomes kusalassa upasampadā.
At present more, devotees of Mahayana Buddhism and the so-called Theravada Buddhism in Helabima do meritorious deeds more than ever with ambitious prayers based on expectations to achieve divinehuman prosperity, to encounter “Maître, The Buddha”, or to become attractive, prosperous and rich like Visaka, Nanda, Mallika, Sumana and Sunanda”. Making such a statement after a meritorious deed has become a tradition. When devotees complete a meritorious deed at home and the monk did not make a statement in the above context, the devotees believe that this meritorious deed has no meaning.
At present people seems to have adopted the following position that is misleading and erroneous. There are no devoted Buddhists offering alms and performing meritorious deeds in any other country in the world than in this country Sri Lanka (Siv Helaya). Its apparent from the so-called Buddhist radio and television media that to a large extent Buddhist devotees are both ignorant and imprudent as evidenced by their anticipation for divine-human prosperity. Therefore, when one does a meritorious deed, one must establish a mind free of defilements. For example, no matter who thinks what, if one builds a ward in a hospital or constructs a building for a school or otherwise contributes to a Buddhist temple, it becomes a meritorious deed because it was built by spending one’s own money. One will inherit its effects and there is no question about it. If one wishes or anticipates some returns on this generated merit, one will receive it as well. Politicians do meritorious deeds to gain votes. This too is a meritorious action, but it remains an aspiration. It delays the attainment of Nibbana. Likewise, if one performs meritorious deeds in helping others in the pretext of publicity of name and lineage, puññya energy is generated, but there will be no kusala due to egotism (māna). Thus, it becomes a meritorious deed without possibility of being transformed to kusala. One must hence understand that accumulated puññya energy will cause one to go adrift between kāmaloka and sugathiloka. Many others do meritorious deeds not to channel votes or for publicity for the lineage, but with the sole purpose of writing it in a book of merits (pin potha) to secure divine human prosperity, royal prosperity, crop resources and wealth for future births. This too is a wrong approach. Since this results in a pleasurable mental state, what is anticipated could be eventually received. Each time when these kinds of meritorious deeds are performed, it delays Nibbana not only because one gets shackled to infinite samsara but also causes a prolongation of samsara. Therefore, in such cases puññya energy will not be translated into kusala and there is no kusalassa upasampadā.
It must be noted that any actions that cause prolongation of the samsaric journey constitute akusala kamma. In a similar manner, when one with a mind free of kilesa performs a meritorious deed with the intention of detachment (nissarana) along with mental purification (adyasaya) or helping others through transferring merits within the framework of “chago patinissaggo muththi analayo”, generated puññya energy can be effectively transferred as intended and such an action translates into kusala dhamma. It will be helpful and propel one toward the attainment of Nibbana. These things must be contemplated by every person. Thus, it is quite immoral to execute meritorious deeds for publicity, gains, competition, and fashion. At present, people perform competitive katina ceremonies which is wrong and immoral. Thus, they constitute not only akusala kamma, but they ultimately turn into immoral deeds. Therefore, if one wants to perform meritorious deeds, one must establish a mind free of 3 fetters (raga, dvesha and moha) and then radiate puññya energy with determination (satyak-kriya) to extend, dedicate and bestow it on all the departed relatives and non-relatives alike, equally and indiscriminately. It follows then that without performing conventional meritorious deeds or spending a lot of money, one can transfer merits with a mind free of raga, dvesha and moha and turn meritorious actions into kusala dhamma; to achieve the intended state of “Sabba papassa akaranan – kusalassa upasampadā” by uprooting all kilesa.
Thus, it is important to understand that one is compelled to do these erroneous orthodox and customary practices because this nation and Theravada Buddhism embraced them due to the influence of Jaina religion and Mahayana Buddhism. Therefore, they remain as puññya kamma but devoid of kusala dhamma. Then such activities are not helpful means to attain Nibbana. If one understands this, one can perform a meritorious deed in support of uprooting all kilesa from the mind and utilize the generated puññya energy or mental energy to attain Nibbana. It follows then that one must do meritorious deeds in future. However, it must be performed in a manner to fulfil the condition “Sabba papassa akaranan – kusalassa upasampadā” and complete kusala dhamma. If one executes meritorious deeds with the above knowledge, one’s action will get translated into kusala dhamma and if not, it will get translated into akusala kamma that prolongs one’s samsaric journey infinitely.
4. THE PATH TO SOTĀPATHTHI OR STREAM WINNER STATUS
Through this discourse, I intend to discuss the four factors required to attain the state of Sotāpaththi or to become a stream winner along the dhammanudhamma patipada (magga chariya) as expounded by the Buddha. If a being is born in the human realm and can listen to unadulterated pristine Siri Sadthdhamma such a being is able not only to achieve the four prescribed requirements, but also will have the capacity to attain the state of Sotāpaththi in this life itself. If such a being abides by the path to Sotāpaththi, and treads the path precisely, this being will certainly achieve the state of stream winner. Therefore, all humans must contemplate to reap the true benefits of being a human in this Buddha era by completing the four prescribed necessary requirements needed to attain the Sotāpaththi state. Before attempting to reach the four prescribed requirements, one must complete the following 4 necessary preconditions.
4.1. PRECONDITIONS FOR THE PATH OF SOTĀPATHTHI
There are four preconditions to qualify for the path to Sotāpaththi pala. They are as follows:
- Pathirupa desa vāsocha
- Pubbecha katha puññathā
- Atta sammā panidicha
- Ariya saćcāna dassanan
Once the above four preconditions are met, such a person must receive the parathogoshaka prathya from a Kalyāna Mitta. In Magadhi language, parathogoshaka prathya means hearing pristinely pure Buddha dhamma (unadulterated) directly through one’s ear by sitting within the range of the pure aura (free of raga, dvesha and moha) radiated from a kalyāna mitta who essentially has attained Sotāpaththi pala or higher level of purity in mental states such as once returner (sakadāgami), none returner (anāgāmi) or fully enlightened (arahanth).
Upon receiving of parathogoshaka prathya, the person must complete the four prescribed steps for Sotāpaththi pala as indicated below for its attainment.
- Association of Kalyāna Mitta
- Listen to unadulterated pristine Siri Sadthdhamma
- Treading the dhammanudhamma patipada (magga chariya).
Buddhists know that Samma Sambuddha and Pascheka Buddha will attain all maga pala through their own penetrative wisdom without any external assistance. However, for the attainment of Arahath Buddhahood or arahanthood, one must complete the required conditions and tread the path of Sotāpaththi and attain its fruition- the “Sotāpaththi Pala”, as the first step. Therefore, if one pursues the magga chariya to attain Nibbana, one must complete the following conditions:
- Pathirupa desa vāsocha
- Pubbecha katha puññatha
- Atta sammā panidicha
- Ariya saćcāna dassanan
Firstly, one must understand the meaning of pathirupa desa vāsocha. According to Buddha desana the planet earth is divided in to three sectors.
- Pathirupa desa
Pathirupa Desa is the land where the buddha shakthi (in Magadhi language the word Buddha is comprised of Bu+uddha; Bu = raga bava, dvesha bava and moha bava; bava = defiling tendencies in the mind; uddha = uprooting; and shakthi = energy) is centered or concentrated. It’s also known as madya mandala or center circle. If one can be living in the land which belongs to the center circle or having born in the land which belongs to the center circle or being able to be present on the land at the center circle, one is not only fortunate and blessed but also could get assimilated to the Buddha shakthi according to Buddha desana. This is a requirement for one to attain Sotāpaththi Pala as stated in the Maha Parinibbana Sutta.
If one is born anywhere in the lands identified as aparāparantha, such a person can also come to the pathirupa desa and obtain the parathogoshaka prathya from a Kalyāna Mitta. However, lands characterized as sunāparantha are places where Buddha shakthi can never be obtained. Unless a person who is born and living in sunāparantha visits the lands in madya mandala, and listens to pristine Buddha dhamma, that person cannot achieve the conditions referred to as pathirupa desa vāsocha. If such a person has pubbecha katha puññathā energy, that person can receive parathogoshaka prathya from a Kalyāna Mitta. Therefore, it is paramount to reflect on the fact that those who are present here and are ready to listen to pristine dhamma have already completed both conditions of pathirupa desa vāsocha and pubbecha katha puññathā energy in full.
The third precondition is attha sammā panidicha. If one is willing to be liberated from sam, existential (samsaric) relationships and egoistic tendencies/conceit and to listen, tread, and experience the dhammanudhamma patipadā, one meets the condition of attha sammā panidicha.
Like the above, ariya saćcāna dassanan is another important precondition to be met. This means the receiving parathogoshaka prathya and sammā ditty direct from a Kalyāna Mitta or an arahanth. In other words, one must receive the association of a Kalyāna Mitta or a noble person (sadth purusha) for listening and to gain the knowledge of the four immovable truths (chatu ariya saćca).
Therefore, it’s important to understand the significance of these above 4 conditions. If these four conditions are not completed in full, or not achieved in full, one may not have the capacity or be able to be present at this occasion and listen to pristinely pure Buddha dhamma.
Accordingly, anyone who has completed pathirupa desa vasocha, pubbecha katha puññatha, atta sammā panidicha and ariya saćcāna dassanan which constitute the four primary conditions will be able to complete the four necessary conditions to reach the state of Sotāpaththi. The four Sotāpaththi conditions are reiterated below. For these who tread the Sotāpaththi path, these four conditions or phases become the essentially helpful dhammanudhamma patipada. These conditions or phases are not only valid as Sotāpaththi conditions but are also essentially the same for the paths for the once returner (Sakadāgāmi), none returner (anāgāmi) and enlightened (arahanth) states. Therefore, one must complete the four phases without fail. The four phases are as follows:
- Association of Kalyāna Mitta
- Listen to unadulterated pristine Siri Sadthdhamma
- Treading the dhammanudhamma patipada (magga chariya).
Two of these conditions must be met through external aid. The other two must have emerged from within and be achieved and experienced within oneself. The two that must be received externally are the association of Kalyāna Mitta and the listening to pristinely pure Siri Sadthdhamma.
4.2. KALYĀNA MITTA SAMPATHTHI
Kalyāna Mitta is a noble person that tells one how to eradicate kilesa or mental tendencies of raga, dvesha and moha defilements. Kalyāna Mitta is a resource, and this becomes feasible based on four factors. They are namely:
- Kusalan pajanāthi
- Kusala mǔlan pajanāthi
- Akusalan pajanāthi
- Akusala mǔlan pajanāthi
In Magadhi language, pajanāthi means, one must learn about kilesa correctly by questioning and listening. Kilesa must be known in terms of suthā, dathā, vachithā, parichithā, and manasikarothā [(suthā = listen from sutta; dathā=bear in mind; vachithā = knowing the meaning in artha, dhamma, nirutthi and patisambhidhā or full extent of the meaning; parichithā = grasping the meaning in all completeness; manasikarothā = think critically and apply) = abiññathang abbiññæiya, abbiññathanthi]. In these terms, one must gain the understanding on kusalan pajanāthi, kusala mǔlan pajanāthi, akusalan pajanāthi and akusala mǔlan pajanāthi. What do the above four points explain?
One must know kusala accurately as kusala and experientially identify kusala mǔlaya accurately as kusala mǔlaya. Similarly, one must know akusala accurately as akusala and experientially identify akusalamǔla accurately as akusalamǔla. Akusalamǔlaya means raga, dvesha and moha. Kusala means ragakháya (raga = lust =1st guise; kháya = eradication = uprooting fully), dveshakháya (dvesha = 2nd guise = intolerance or displeasure) and mohakháya (moha = conceit orinability to experience reality arising of comparison). In other words, veetha ragee, veetha dveshie and veetha mohie kusalamǔla mean mental states of alobha, advesha and amoha. Thus, when a person knows and experiences the states of raga, dvesha, moha, alobha, advesha, amoha, ragakháya, dveshakháya and mohakháya as described through one’s penetrative knowledge, it is said that such a person has achieved trihetukha patisandhi (tri = three; hetukha = due to reasons; patisandhi = strong connection or becoming).
What are these three reasons that lead to such a galvanized mental connection or becoming? Trihetukaha are raga, dvesha, moha, alobha, advesha, amoha, ragakháya, dveshakháya and mohakháya. Out of these, there are 3 mental tendencies raga, dvesha and moha contribute not only to mental defilement (kilesa) but also to the survival of one’s infinite samsara or existence. The three mental states or tendencies of alobha, advesha and amoha refer to riddance of lust (lobha), riddance of aversion (dvesha) and riddance of delusions or mental comparisons (moha) resulting in cleansing the mind respectively. Similarly, the three steps of ragakháya, dveshakháya and mohakháya relate to the total removal of the roots of raga, dvesha and moha tendencies. All the above 3 kilesa tendencies (defilements) are born in one’s own emotional mind (ćitta santhānaya). All anusaya are born and survive as āsaya in the ćitta santhānaya. Therefore, one shall develop the skill to recognize the arising of anusaya and prevent anusaya from settling as āsaya (= gathi = habits) by cutting loose raga, dvesha and moha mental tendencies before they take root in the ćitta santhānaya. Moreover, this skill when practiced, stops wheeling thoughts (sanchetana) along the tendencies of lobha, dvesha and moha thatlead to sankhāra.This method of removing lobha, dvesha and moha from the ćitta santhānaya before building up of sankhāra is described as anuppāda-niroda technique. This is the method that cleanse the mind. Through anuppāda-niroda technique, one can cleanse the mind fully by totally uprooting lobha (lobakkháya), dvesha (dveshakháya) and moha (mohakháya) without leaving any room for their re-emergence in the mind. The Buddha promulgated this technique as part of the dhamma because it’s an attainable action by people with functional minds.
Therefore, one must be determined that raga, dvesha and moha generated in the mind must be eradicated and expelled in full to tread the path of the dhammanudhamma patipada which helps one to attain Nibbana.
For one to eradicate all kilesa as stated above requires the association of Kalyāna Mitta sampaththi. Kalyāna Mitta sampaththi means the following:
Kalyāna mitta is a being who helps one to know kilesa as kilesa kamma, and nickkleshi (= opposite of kilesa = free of raga, dvesha and moha) as nickkleshi dhamma and understand that they can be eradicated and must be eradicated beyond any hesitation or reservation.
Similarly, what do the terms ãdikalyānangva, majjekalyānangva and pariyosakalyānangva entail?
- Ãdikalyanangva means resurfacing of inherited past kilesa in the present moment and lead to afflictions.
- Majjekalyānangva means kilesa that arise repeatedly in the present moment and continue to arise in the present.
- Pariyosakalyānangva means the kilesa that arise and continue repeatedly into the future if their roots remain anchored in the mind.
Therefore, the meaning of the above three terms indicate not only a three-fold recognition but also an understanding of how roots of kilesa are born as past, present and future, how kilesa are born altogether and how the born kilesa become activated in the mind.
This discussion demonstrates the importance of Kalyāna Mitta sampaththi as the first step toward Sotāpaththi Pala.
The four phases stated in the segment 4.2 are mandatory steps not only for the attainment of Sotāpaththi Pala in this life but also repetitiously for a person who is born as Jatha Sothapanna being (a person who attained Sothapanna state in a previous birth and reborn in the human realm) to advance into the next levels of sakadāgami, anāgāmi and arahanth maga pala. However, understanding and experiencing these four steps are essentially helpful conditions for one to attain Sotāpaththi Pala.
4.3. LISTENING TO PRISTINE SIRI SADTHDHAMMA
Listening to Siri Sadthdhamma means, active listening and comprehending the three shikha namely sila, samadhi and pañna, 37 attributes (sathtis bodhipakshika dhamma) to uproot raga, dvesha and moha bava, patichcha samuppāda dhamma, sandesana, dichotomy (dwathavaya), tiparivatta & chatu ariya saćca directly from a Kalyāna Mitta competent in the unadulterated pristine Buddha Dhamma.
Sila: sanvaraveema (desciplining sam), sansindeema (quietening sam), and sammā
(extinguishing sam and be completely free of loba, dvesha and moha),
Samadhi = mental activities (kāye-kāya) subside and settle down; citta reaches a tranquil state.
Pañna: uncorrupted lucidity arises when viñãna (corrupted lucidity) loses its potency and one’s mind becomes fully activated with yonisomanasikāraya resulting kriya citta.
Sathtis bodhipakshika dhamma: 37 attributes to uproot raga, dvesha and moha bava
Patichcha samuppada dhamma: Pati=strong + ichcha= intense affinity/passion; sam= raga, dvesha and moha; uppada= emerging and establishing of a new connection or a relationship
Sandesana: Sam = San= raga, dvesha and moha; desana= lecture or a talk
Tiparivatta: three sides or 3 dimensions or 3 circles
Chatu ariya saćca: Four Immovable Truths. Dukkhan ariya saćcan, Samudayan ariya saćcan, Nirodhan ariya saćcan, Nirodha Gamini Patipadan ariya saćcan.
This Kalyāna Mitta sampaththi could also be received from a well versed competent authentic Buddha Srāvaka. Pristinely pure Siri Sadthdhamma and magga chariya can be received correctly and accurately through an arahanth who constitutes Kalyāna Mitta sampaththi. Therefore, one becomes qualified to comprehend chatu ariya saćca, magga chariya and sammā ditty experientially, only when one listens to Siri Sadthdhamma from a Kalyāna Mitta while receiving parathogoshaka prathya and turning one’s erroneous worldly attitude/view (mićcā ditty) into sammā ditty.
Similarly, one who received Kalyāna Mitta sampaththi and parathogoshaka prathya in the above described manner, will attain the wisdom of sothāvadānaye pañna sutamaye gñana, a level of wisdom known as buddha gñana = the wisdom needed to uproot raga, dvesha and moha bava. A person will attain the wisdom of sothāvadānaye pañna sutamaye gñana only after listening to Siri Sadthdhamma from a Kalyāna Mitta while receiving parathogoshaka prathya and practically deconditioning the mind from mićcā ditty (erroneous worldly attitude) to sammā ditty.
4.4. YONISOMANASIKĀRAYA & AYONISOMANASIKĀRAYA
Considering the above details, a person who comprehended the pristine Noble Buddha Dhamma i.e.: paticca samuppāda dhamma, Sandesana (the 4 buddha gñana terms), dwathāvaya, tiparivatta, chatu ariya saćca, sathtis bodhi pakshika dhamma, satara satipattāna and dasa anussathi, that person will have the ability to follow the three sikkhā i.e., sila, samādhi and pañna in full. One who can fulfil the above two factors will attain the third phase which is yonisomanasikāraya or cease to follow blindly the instincts and actions governed by viñãna.
For one to operate with yonisomanasikāraya, the understanding of the following six terms that characterizes the dhamma is fundamentally important. They are: seeing the formation of sam within as causes and effects (dhammo sandittiko), ability to rid kilesa or sam (raga, dvesha and moha) prior to anusaya buildup (akālika), knowingly able to cut off kilesa prior to formation of relationships (ehi passiko), free of kilesa and ability to remain detached from defilements (opanaiko = upa+naiko; upa=dedicated; naiko=neiya=becoming free of kilesa for ever), ability to watch viñãna peneratively and remove kilesa through realizing the dichotomy (pachchatan vedi tabbo), ability to see peneratively and free the mind of sankhāra (viñnuheethi). Without having the artha, dhamma, nirutthi and patisambhidhā knowledge of these terms, reciting them would not help one to obtain their benefits. Artha dhamma, nirutthi and patisambhidhā (artha = meanings at mundane, supramundane, absolute, conventional, practical, dhamma, continuity, supportive and unsupportive of nibbana in all 4 indicated areas) dhamma= cause and effect of phenomena; nirutthi= definition or breakdown of the word to understand the context; patisambhidhā =dismember the word into its component words and draw the collective meaning or summary of all words). Therefore, operating with yonisomanasikāraya means, one is skillful to identify and recognize mental objects clearly without perplexity and practice wholesome thoughts (karaneeya) and prevent unwholesome thoughts (akaraneeya) from emerging into action. This practice results in yathā butha gñāna dassana or magge magga gñāna dassana.
It’s important to note the dichotomy of yonisomanasikāraya and ayonisomanasikāraya. A person without Kalyāna Mitta sampaththi and parathogoshaka prathya while lacking sammā ditty has no capacity to operate with yonisomanasikāraya. Such a person operates with ayonisomanasikāraya. A person with ayonisomanasikāraya functions through raga, dvesha and moha while continuously forming existential relationships (samudaya) as extrapolated in the Avidya Mǔla Paticca Samuppāda. In other words, the person gets trapped in “hetun paticca sambuthan” – (sambuthan = sambhavan = samudaya). Therefore, one who is determined to follow the magga chariya must be fully aware of the dichotomy (dwathāvaya) of yonisomanasikāraya and ayonisomanasikāraya.
Acting with ayonisomanasikāraya means getting tempted to what is desirable/adorable, clashing with what is appalling/reviled and measuring between adorable and appalling mental objects. Enticed to what is desirable/adorable means grasping (upadana) panchaskandha. Since what is adorable cannot be endured or sustained as one anticipates, repulsion or conflict arises while measuring continues between the two mental components leading to continued moha and avijja. Therefore, when a person acts on loba, dvesha and moha tendencies, such a person functions within the mental frame of ayonisomanasikāraya without being able todistinguish good or bad through conventional/ traditional wisdom or to distinguish what is wholesome and unwholesome.
However, a person with yonisomanasikāraya is skillful in distinguishing kilesa as kilesa, kusala as kusala, akusala as akusala, pina as pina and evil as evil. Accordingly, four requisites will be fulfilled in a person with yonisomanasikāraya. They are namely the ability to comprehend puññya kamma as puññya kamma, pāpa kamma as pāpa kamma, kusala kamma as kusala kamma and akusala kamma as akusala kamma. It follows then that such a person will do wholesome deeds (puññya kriya) but not unwholesome (pāpa kriya) deeds, kusala deeds but not akusala deeds. Such a person also will tread the dhammanudhamma patipada but not adhammanuadhamma patipada. Therefore, such a person behaves and acts only within the mental frame of yonisomanasikāraya. This person is skillful to recognize raga, dvesha and moha prior to their enactment within self and knows that reacting to them is unworthy or meaningless. This person also knows that there is nothing in the world that can be sustained as niccha, sukha and atta. Further, its understood that clinging to such, or clashing with such or measuring between what is adorable and repulsive does not lead to a meaningful outcome. Therefore, a person with yonisomanasikāraya will not cling onto the extremes of what is adorable. This person does not become repulsive or angry or jealous toward what is undesirable or hostile or dissenting. He/she does not measure between what is desirable and undesirable or going a drift with wheeling thoughts.
Further, an inept person always clings to what is desirable, clashes with what is undesirable and measures between what is desirable and undesirable. A person who reacts in the above manner cannot be characterized as a person acting with yonisomanasikāraya.
A person who acts with yonisomanasikāraya skillfully recognizes and reflects on all mental objects that criss-crosses his/her mind. It enables the person to comprehend the nature of duality of the mental objects while apprising them based on cause and effect principle and associate what is wholesome (so sathova assa sathi) and dissociate what is unwholesome (so sathova passa sathi).
A person with yonisomanasikāraya will always appraise incoming mental objects for their wholesomeness, whether to associate, whether it relieves, unshackles and frees the mind and whether it would provide relief, unshackle and free others minds prior to engaging in bodily, verbal and mental actions. Moreover, such a person will never engage in bodily, verbal or mental actions that would cause psychological/mental abuse (hingi), physical abuse (hinsa), irresponsible actions (avæda), unfair actions (asādārana), unjustifiable verbal abuse (apavada) and verbal misdemeanors (avalada), evil actions (pāpa kamma), bewildering actions (mang mulava) and any intentional wrong doings toward others.
But, a person with ayonisomanasikāraya is not only inconsiderate about above actions and their harmfulness to others but also will engage in any activity irrespective of the damage imposed on others, if its beneficial to self. Such a person is inconsiderate about the future outcome arising from such actions.
A person acting with yonisomanasikāraya will not engage in any unwholesome activity leading into results that are unfavorable to self and others. All actions taken are based on wholesome considerations about self and others, universe, environment, the four great elements (maha buthas) fluidity (apo), heat (thejo), motion (vayo) and solidity (patavi), universal energyand indiscriminate spreadof metta, karuna, muditha and uppekkha while engaging only in wholesome actions (karaneeya dhamma). Therefore, it must be born in one’s mind that the yonisomanasikāraya must evolve from within oneself. Everyone must clearly understand that yonisomanasikāraya cannot be installed within an individual by any external force or an individual external to the person. The sense organs eye, ear, nose tongue, body and mind are under one’s own control. They cannot be controlled by others. One with yonisomanasikāra mind set is aware whether one’s own six sense organs remain disciplined or undisciplined. Such a person knows that these six sense organs must be maintained as disciplined and not undisciplined.
However, a person acting with ayonisomanasikāraya remains selfcentered and has no fair consideration about others or the world around. Such a person’s verbal, mental and bodily actions are governed by his own norms based on raga, dvesha and moha. Though such a person assumes that the things measured and acted upon will be beneficial and wholesome, the person must bear the reproachful consequences and existential debts incurred in the process.
Therefore, when a person acts with yonisomanasikāraya, such a person can be characterized as being:
Kayena sanvaro sādhu – disciplined in bodily
action through mental purity
Sādu vachāya sanvaro – disciplined in verbal
actions through mental purity
Manasā sanvaro sādhu – disciplined in mental actions
through mental purity
Sādhu sabbaththa sanvaro – disciplined in all actions through mental purity.
Accordingly, such a person has full control and the discipline not only over the six sense organs eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and the mind but also their respective seeing, hearing, smell, taste, tactile sensations and thoughts. Therefore, one must clearly understand that the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and the mind which are under one’s control cannot be managed or controlled by any external Ishwar, Brahma, All Mighty, Devine Beings, a mother, a father, any powerful administrator, a president or a prime minister in this universe. It follows then whether to use the senses disciplined, undisciplined, for the benefit of others or for causing psychological/mental abuse (hingi), physical abuse (hinsa), irresponsible actions (avæda), unfair actions (asādārana), unjustifiable verbal abuse (apavāda) and verbal misdemeanors (avalāda), evil actions (pāpa kamma), bewildering actions (mang mulava) and any intentional wrong doings toward others cannot be decided by any external force. Thus, if one uses the sense organs in a corrupt, undisciplined manner, such a person gets entangled in existential dues (samsāra naya), grasps (upādāna) five aggregates (panchaskandha), generates volitional activitiesbased on raga, dvesha and moha (sankhāra), turns into a person who vagabonds a lengthy existential journey (samsara) based on evil (pāpa kamma) or unwholesome deeds (akusala kamma). With a corrupted undisciplined mind, a person will have a difficult time toward transitioning into a yonisomanasikara state of mind and as a result the person will end up in dark hellish states of existence (dugathi loka).
Therefore, it must be reiterated that if one wants to operate with a yonisomanasikara state of mind, one must cleanse one’s mind from agency status (manayathanaya) into organ status (manindriya) by freeing the mind from raga, dvesha and moha mental tendencies. In other words, mind must transition from the state of kamachchanda (kama + ichcha + anda; kama=raga stimulation of the body; ichcha = deep mental desire; anda= blindly) to the status of being totally detached from kamachchanda (nekkhamma). Dvesha mental tendencies that manifest asaversion, hatred or anger (vyāpāda) must be transformed into compassion (mettan), helping to remove obstacles to Nibbana (karunan), appreciative joy (mudithan) which are avyāpāda states of mind. Similarly, sluggishness and inertia (thienamiddha) that infiltrate the mind must be transformed by stimulating the aloka sañña (repelling loka sañña = raga, dvesha and moha mental gloominess).
When the above transformations occur in the mind, the five hindrances kamachchanda, vyāpāda, thienamiddha, uddachcha-kukkuchcha and vichikichchatavaya states begin to weaken and fade out for good. [kamachchanda=see above; vyāpāda=aversion, anger and hatred based mental states; uddachcha= udda+ichcha =undisciplined excitement + due to deep desires) (kukkuchcha= kukku+ichcha = belittling low immoral actions emanating from deep desires; vichikichchatavaya = vi+chi+ki+icchatavaya; vi = viñãna+chi=ćitta +ki=kility or corrupted+ icchatavaya= passion; vi=viñãna ćitta’s corrupted passion]. This is a provisional suppression through mental tranquility (samatha). In other words, this is minimizing raga, dvesha and moha but not their total eradication.
Therefore, one becomes capable of operating with yonisomanasikāraya by defeating tendencies of kamachchanda, vyāpāda, thienamiddha, uddachcha-kukkuchcha and vichikichchatavaya and achieving mental tranquility.
When the above mental states set in, the person has achieved the state of mind that can be characterized as “yadidan sabba sankhāra samatho” or all sankhāra are provisionally quashed. It also means that the person who acts with yonisomanasikāraya is truly treading the path of a stream winner (sotāpaththi magga). In such a person all 37 attributes of bodhipakshika dhamma [37 bava = tendency (raga, dvesha and moha bava) uprooting attributes]begin to get firmly established.
The37 bodhipakshika dhamma are as follows:
|Satara Satipattana||= 4|
|Satara Sampadhana||= 4|
|Satara Iddhipada||= 4|
|Pancha Indriya||= 5|
|Pancha Bala||= 5|
|Satta Bojjanga||= 7|
Ariya Attangiko Maggo = 8
Total = 37
Accordingly, one who practices dhammanudhamma patipada or follows the path precisely attains the above 37 states of mental purity gradually and successively by uprooting raga, dvesha and moha while establishing oneself in the emerging trisikkha namely sila, samadhi and pañna (sanvaraveema, sansindeema, and sam-ma= enlightened) states of mind.
The completion of the four sotāpaththi attributes are necessary conditions helpful in the attainment of sotāpaththi pala. One who is treading the noble path of sotāpaththi necessarily comes across a myriad of dispiriting impediments compared to an inept (pruthagjana) person who lives in the world with ayonisomanasikāraya. For individuals who tread the sotāpaththi magga and attempt to fulfill the four required conditions, their own mind (viñãna) will become the hindrance by not allowing them to achieve the said goals. The reason being, if its allowed, one’s viñãna will not receive enough food for its sustenance. Thus, viñãna attempts to distract and bamboozle the individual from the path through various hindrances through strategic illusory actions (vanchanika dhamma). It must be said that such hindrances are experienced only by those who attempt to pursue the sotāpaththi magga while following the dhammanudhamma patipada and not by inept pruthagjana people who grasp the world and the five aggregates (panchupadanaskanda) whole heartedly with raga, dvesha and moha. The inept people (pruthagjana) consider these hindrances as favorable forces or conditions for continued existence. However, these conditions lead them into hellish realms. For viñãna, the hellish realm essentially provides a secured source of existential food for its sustenance. Viñãna will continue to breed seeds of viñãna (viñãna beeja) to secure repeated future survival (punnabbavo).
4.4.1. FIVE REFLECTIVE PRACTICES – (Pancha Vasithā)
Considering the above, each individual needs to contemplate that the four sotāpaththi attributes are paramount for one who is pursuing to complete the trisikkha of the dhammanudhamma patipadā. These initial mentally disruptive barriers, driving thoughts related to jhānic tendencies and thoughts governed by viñãna are common place when one attempts to tread the path to sotāpaththi. Thus, a person who is in pursuit of sotāpaththi, must carefully examine the mental objects through the reflective/analytical process comprised of the following five steps. They are namely;
- Avarjana vasithā – uncovering the mental object/thought by exploring and understanding it for what it is composed of
- Sampajjana vasithā – understanding its components and constitution of raga, dvesha and moha tendencies that appear in the shades of mental objects that lead to sanchetana.
- Adishtana vasithā – determining what is wholesome and unwholesome or what must be associated (āna) and what must be dissociated (pāna)
- Uttana vasithā – uprooting/cutting off the mental tendencies that must be dissociated and taking in what is to be associated.
- Pachchavekkhana vasithā – once the process is completed check the process and its outcomes.
Moreover, a person who is pursuing sotāpaththi magga must be knowledgeable about these five vasitha and apply them continuously as needed with attentiveness. The mental objects/thoughts that float in one’s mind must receive due diligence for being able to distinguish such thoughts whether to dissociate or associate prior to action. This is the meaning of the Magadhi phrase “bavethabbancha bāvithā, pahāthabbancha paheenan”.
4.5. DHAMMANUDHAMMA PATIPADA
This Magadhi phrase Dhammanudhamma Patipada is comprised of 3 words namely dhamma + anu + dhamma and patipada. Dhamma = cause and effect; anu = means newly arising; patipada=path or way to follow. This patipada is also a magga chariya or a way of life for all humans irrespective of cast, creed, religion, ethnicity or the likes. This magga chariya can be interpreted that, as and when one engages with a thought and translates it into an activity, one must essentially appraise the thought and action with cause and effect and naya-vinaya i.e. whether this thought/action is harmful to self or others or the environment in which its to be performed. An inept person (pruthagjana) appraises physical, verbal, and mental events both internally and externally, through his or her experience in adorability (priya-manāpa) and repulsive (apriya-amanāpa) scale. This scale differs with each individual and hence unacceptable for universal application. A universally applicable tool shall not entertain any discrimination or an individual bias.
The Buddha elucidated a secure method to appraise one’s thoughts and actions beyond one’s own adorability (priya-manāpa) and repulsiveness (apriya-amanāpa) scales. This method or the magga chariya promulgated by the Buddha is an appraisal tool that one is supposed to use to determine karaneeya or akaraneeya nature of one’s thoughts and action. If the thought and related action do not promote loba, dvesha or moha while it liberates one with alobha, advesha and amoha and does not bring harm to self or others including environment, then it is a thought and an action that is to be associated. These are known as karaneeya dhamma. If the thought or the action promotes loba, dvesha and moha and brings harm to oneself, or others or the environment, such thoughts and actions are to be dissociated or to be rid of. These are termed as akaraneeya kamma. How does one become skillful to recognize the nature whether its karaneeya or akaraneeya when a thought arises in the mind with an action to follow?
The Buddha stated that there is one activity that must be practiced and applied at all times (æka dhammo bāvitha bahuliekathā) to all thoughts that emanate in one’s mind and their actions to follow. This one activity is the āna-pāna sathi samādhi bhāvana. Magadhi term āna means to take in or import or to associate. Pāna means to eliminate, export or to dissociate. This means karaneeya thoughts and action to be taken in or to be associated with. Akaraneeya thoughts and actions are the ones that are to be dissociated or eliminated from the mind by cutting them lose. This process of association of karaneeya dhamma promotes alobha, advesha and amoha tendencies. Akaraneeya kamma lead to anusaya and āsaya buildup in the mind which form the reservoir for lasting mental tendencies of loba, dvesha and moha. Its important to recognize when getting rid of akaraneeya kamma, there arises a mental gap due to their exclusion from the mental sphere.This mental gap must be filled with karaneeya dhamma such as metta, karuna, muditha, uppekkha, alobha, advesha, amoha, lobakkháya, dveshakháya and mohakháya dhamma properties. If left unfilled, the same tendencies will return and reoccupy the mind. For complete mental cleansing of these sam tendencies, reequipping the mind with karaneeya dhamma is necessary. This is an essential part of āna-pāna sathi samadhi practice. In essence, this is the basic workings of Buddha āna pāna sathi samādhi bhāvana that helps one to uproot loba, dvesha and moha and cleanse the mind from defilements. The Buddha āna-pāna sathi samadhi bhāvanā is also known as yuganaddha bhāvanā because in Buddha āna pāna sathi samadhi both samatha and vipassana applications must be practiced sequentially as appropriate. When a mental object unfolding in the mind and racing through sanchetanā toward full excitement (vemaththathāvaya), āna pāna sathi samadhi practice can recognize the natural run of the thought process and break the thought circuit and apply the antidot. This process prevents the build up anusaya which, if unhindered will transition into āsaya (karma beeja=seeds of kamma). Āsaya is the food that keeps existential survival (samsāra). Anusaya that forms can be terminated and prevent from transforming into āsaya through the practice of āna pāna sathi samadhi.
Its also paramount to gain some insight into anusaya and āsaya. When a mental object arises in the mind (in the ćitta santāna =emotional mind) based on rāga, dvesha and moha, ćitta begins to wheel along the object, forming a flow of thoughts (sanchetana) due to unawareness of the causes and effects of the unfolding thought (ayonisomanasikāraya)giving rise to viñãna energy further leading to anusaya (anu+ saya; anu=new; saya=reservoir=pool) and āsaya (ā+saya; ā=already in) that constitute the driving force for one’s continued existential survival (samsāra). When a mental object is snared with ichcha, a latent mental tendency known as kamachchanda takes root. (Kamachchanda=kama+ichcha+anda; kama=undisciplined stimulation of the body; ichcha=snared with affinity/passion, anda= blind). Due to dvesha arising from repulsiveness about the object, a latent mental tendency known as vyāpāda arises. The arisen kamachchanda and vyāpāda lead to a third tendency known as thienamiddha. Thienamiddha (Thiena+middha = thiena=sluggishness, middha= inebriation) is caused by raga and dvesha. These three latent tendencies cause the evolution of a 4th tendency known as uddachcha-kukkuchcha. The Magadhi meaning of uddachchakukkuchcha is as follows: Uddachcha = udda+ichcha = undisciplined excitement due to deep desires; kukkuchcha= kukku+ichcha = belittling low immoral actions emanating from dvesha. When all four of the above latent and subtle tendencies get activated, a fifth subtle mental tendency known as vichikichchatavaya arises. In Magadhi vichikichchatavaya can be described as follows: Vichikichchatavaya = vi+chi+ki+icchatavaya; vi = viñãna + chi = ćitta + ki =kility or corrupted + icchatavaya = affinity/passion). These 5 subtle mental tendencies give rise to a systemic undisciplined stimulation of the sensory network resulting in salayathananika ratava. In Magadhi Salāyathanika ratāva refers to: Salāyathanika ratāva = salā+ayathanaika; salā=six; āyathanika sensorgans network; ratava=systemic coordination. This systemic coordination leads to āsaya (kamma beeja) if the process runs uninterrupted. By failing to prevent anusaya from building up, a relationship will be formed, and it leads to a sankatha as a result of loba, dvesha and moha based mental processing known as sankhāra. A sankatha is explained as a conditioned ingrained attitude or a concept in applied language.
In order to break anusaya from becoming āsaya, one needs to investigate the arisen mental object and sanchetana with yonisomanasikāraya for clearly identifying its root whether the thought is based-on rāga, dvesha or moha and this is the commencement of āna pāna sathi samadhi practice. When one can recognize the emotional excitement/obsession (vemaththathāvaya) that is evolving, the person will be able to skillfully identify its root. Once the root is identified through yonisomanasikāraya, one needs to follow the appropriate path through the āna pāna sathi samādhi practice as to what samatha component and what vipassana component to apply depending on the root cause.
4.5.1. FOR RAGA/PRIYA (LOBA) MENTAL OBJECTS:
If the mental object is arisen from raga (loba) root, one must get the raga ćitta settled from excitement (ćittāvega and resulting vemaththathāvaya = obsession by contemplating asubānussathi (asuba+anus+sathi; asuba=disparaging outcomes; anu=newly; sathi= appraised on cause and effect along with naya-vinaya impact) either through reflections on elemental constitutions of the object (dathu manasikaraya) or how the object/corporeality falls into its separate components after death (navaseevathika pabbaya) and get the mind to comprehend the true nature of the mental object and allow the mind to settle down from further wheeling thoughts (sanchetana). Once settled from excitement (samatha) and the ćitta (emotional mind) becomes relatively tranquil, one must replace the arisen raga tendency (loba) with alobha ćitta and remove the root cause of loba. This process is also known as āna-pāna sathi samādhi taught by the Buddha. In other word, it’s the removal of sam based akaraneeya activities and replace them with karaneeya dhamma in the ćitta santhānaya. This practice cleanses the mind. Over time this practice will thwart re-emergence of loba ćitta for good. The process āna-pāna sathi samādhi does not stop here as one must remove the root cause of lobha for ever. Once the mind is settled after obsessive excitement (vemaththathāvaya) caused by lobha, one must follow step 2 of the process namely maranānussathi practice.
4.5.2. FOR APRIYA (DVESHA) MENTAL OBJECTS:
If the mental object is arisen from roots of aversion or hatred (dvesha =
2nd guiseof lobha), one must get the dvesha mind settled from excitement (ćittāvega = emotional impulses and vemaththathāvaya = obsession) by contemplating unbound compassion or ariya metta anussathi through reflections on mettan, karunan, mudithan and uppekkha as appropriate. This enables the mind to comprehend the true nature of the mental object while allowing it to settle down from further wheeling thoughts
Mettan: unbound compassion toward all being without discrimination
Karunan: removal of hurdles to support the path to Nibbana on behalf of self or others
Mudithan: appreciative joy in success of others
Uppekkha: facing all vicissitudes of life with calmness and without being traumatized
Once settled (samatha) from excitement and the mind becomes relatively tranquil, one must replace the arisen intolerant or repulsive mind-set (dvesha)with a tolerant or none repulsive mind-set (advesha ćitta) thereby removing the root cause of dvesha. This process is also known as āna-pāna sathi samādhi bhāvanā taught by the Buddha.
One must break away from the traditional practice of metta meditation based on satva-pudgala sañña (perception of corporeality as an entity defined as I, me and mine)that encompasses the perception of the person as niccha, sukha and attha. Content in traditional metta bhāvanā runs as “may I be well; may my parents be well” and so on are no part of boundless absolute metta bhāvanā. Traditional metta bhāvanā contributes to the strengthening of egotism (ashmimanaya) and the belief in a soul. One must break away from such incorrect conventional practices of metta bhāvanā and learn to practice the below given boundless absolute mettānussathi.
May All beings in all the worlds and I be:
- well through liberation from the four unendurable hellish realms by attaining stream winner status (Sotapathi pala)
- healthy through eradicating the unhealthy kama-raga patiga based kilesa by attaining once returner status (Sakadāgāmi pala)
- alleviated from mundane wholesomeness (armisa suvaya) and realized supramundane wholesomeness (niramisa suvaya) by attaining none returner status (Anāgāmi pala)
- liberated from all samsaric afflictions (dukkha) forever by attaining enlightenment or Nibbana (Arahanth pala)
May all beings heal from absolute Nibbana!
May all beings heal from absolute Nibbana!
May all beings heal from absolute Nibbana!
Boundless absolute mettā that the Buddha recommended is an effective tool of the highest order to get the mind settled toward tranquility (samatha) when excited through the vemaththathāvaya created by apriya/dvesha mental states that will lead to aversion, hatred, anger and violence if unhindered. Mettānussathi is the exact antidote of aversion, anger, hatred and the like arising in the mind. However, the application of mettānussathi must occur as and when the ćitta begins toget excited with apriya mental object and not too long after the arising of wheeling thoughts leading to anusaya and sankhāra (kamma beeja). Once anusaya and sankhāra are formed and landed as āsaya, they cannot be reversed with mettānussathi or any other anussathi. Once formed and a relationship is established, it will be expired over time by itself as indicated by the Buddha words vaya dhamma sankhāra or yan kinchi samudaya dhamman – sabbanthan niroda dhamman. This means all sankhāra will expire by themselves over time.
One is able to recognize the excitement caused by vemaththathāvaya through the heat and burning that stream through the corporeality. When vemaththathāvaya extends through the body and mind, anusaya emerges in the mind that operates with ayonisomanasikāraya. Anusaya will be transformed into āsaya.
Even if the wheeling thoughts ravage the mind, one should be able to break the cycle of aversion/anger by the application of unbound mettānussathi as it will hinder the evolution of further sankhāra (kamma beeja) and sedimenting as āsaya. Grasping the moment of arising of apriya/rejecting tendency, that means before reacting mentally or making sanchetana, one will be able to douse the flames of conflict (sanchetana) instantly and prevent anusaya from taking root and subsequently getting transformed as āsaya. By intervening with mettānussathi one can break the cycle of sankhāra prior to ripening them into anusaya and āsaya through the application of anuppada niroda practice.
Mettānussathi will lead to mental tranquility that creates a mental atmosphere enabling the subsequent removal of the roots of dvesha or the 2nd guise through the application of maranānussathi.
Over time the above discussed practices will thwart re-emergence of loba ćitta and dvesha ćitta for good. The process of āna-pāna sathi samādhi does not stop here as one must remove the root causes of lobha and dvesha for ever. Once mind is settled after the excitement (vemaththathāvaya) caused by raga/loba or apriya/dvesha, one must follow step 2 of the process namely maranānussathi practice.
4.5.3. MARANĀNUSSATHI PRACTICE
Humans with ayonisomanasikāraya wholeheartedly accept that everything they sense through their eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind are entities that often satisfy their senses not only with pleasant (niccha), wholesome feelings (sukha) but also, they identify such things as their own and as owners of such (atta). However, they fail to see the reality about what they see, hear, smell, taste, feel and think due to ignorance catered by ayonisomanasikāraya. The world that is known to them have rather anichcha, dukkha and anatta outcomes as opposed to deeply ingrained conditioned perceptions of niccha, sukha and atta. Therefore, this discrepancy creates conflicts or afflictions within the mind that cannot be resolved without yonisomanasikāraya. This deeply anchored perception in nichcha, sukha and atta are associated with the manifestation of desire (loba), repulsion (dvesha) and comparison between priya (=likes) and apriya (=dislikes), which is moha. This deeply ingrained conditioning with nichcha, sukha and atta perceptions can be crushed for ever for the purpose of enlightenment only by adopting the counter perceptions of anichcha, dukkha and anatta, which is reality. For getting rid of nichcha, sukha and atta from the ćitta, the Buddha recommends the practice of maranānussathi.
Practicing maranānussathi, one needs to uproot 3 solidly conditioned perceptions namely niccha, sukha and atta that are deeply ingrained in the mind. They represent and manifest as profound passion to hold on to an object which is perceived as pleasant (niccha sañña), feeling good about this pleasantness which is perceived as long lasting (sukha sañña) and identifying this pleasantness (object) as I, me, or mine attitude to own it or to bring it under one’s own control without recognizing its continuous transformation (atta sañña) respectively. These three subtle conditioned perceptions are not only deeply anchored in the mind but also are associated with conditioned tendencies of raga, dvesha and moha. Getting rid of these three subtle perceptions (sañña) that remain concealed or latent in the ćitta santhanaya cannot be completed with ordinary methods. They must be uprooted by practicing maranānussathi. Once uprooted the freeing up mental space cannot be left vacant. The gap must be filled and conditioned with realistic perceptions of annicha, dukkha and anatta. Thus, maranānussathi is practiced in the following manner.
Uprooting of unwholesome perceptions occur when one replaces the arising unwholesome perception with its antidote.
Anichchānu passie viharathi, niccha sañña pajahathi
Dukkhanupassie viharathi, sukha sañña pajahathi
Anatthanupassie viharathi, attha sañña pajahathi
Anichchānu passie viharathi, niccha sañña pajahathi. This means in Magadhi the following: Negation of Ichcha = Na+iccha. Due to Magadhi grammar rules it becomes Anichcha.
(An+ichcha+anu+passie vi+harathi, ni+iccha sañña paja+hathi) =
Ani+iccha = opposite of niccha perception;
Anu+passie = new + termination;
Vi+harathi = separate and shed off;
Niccha = lasting passion which is conditioned and ingrained;
Sañña = perception; Pajahathi = clarify and uproot
When a raga object arises in the mind, the conditioned niccha perception (passion) toward this mental object, it gets grasped and a relationship is formed. One must comprehend this from within that this niccha perception of the object is not long lasting as it gets transformed inevitably (anichcha). This means what is perceived as niccha essentially turns into anichcha. When this experience begins to sink in and through penetrative wisdom, one is able to fathom that the conditioned niccha perceptions about desirable objects as undesirable objects cannot be maintained forever. As practice matures, the strength of the conditioned perceptions of niccha as stated above begin to collapse gradually and finally get crushed without room for re-emergence if this practice of āna-pāna sathi samādhi continued.
Dukkhanupassie viharathi, sukha sañña pajahathi: This means in Magadhi the following:
Dukkha+anu+passie vi+harathi; sukha sañña pajahathi
Dukkha = opposite of sukha;
Anu+passie = newly arising + termination;
Vi+harathi = separate and shedding off;
Sukha = conditioned for lasting comfort which is ingrained;
Sañña = perception;
Pajahathi = clarify anduproot
This above phrase relates to how the conditioned perception of niccha and sukha (sañña), a conditioned mental state, leads to dukkha sañña. One must comprehend that the perception of the object is not long lasting as it cannot be maintained according to one’s expectation (anichcha) because they get transformed inevitably. This transformation leads to discontent (dukkha) or to the 2nd guise of niccha, which is intolerance or repulsion (dukkha or dvesha). This means what is perceived as niccha and sukha essentially get transformed and this transformation lead to the feeling of discontentment (dukkha) or difficult to endure. One comes to the comprehension that all composite matters end up in dukkha (sabbe sankhāra dukkhāthi). When this experience begins to sink in and through penetrative wisdom, one is able to fathom that the niccha and sukha perceptions about desirable and undesirable objects cannot be maintained forever as everything that is perceived as sukha, ends up in dukkha. As practice matures, the strength of the conditioned perceptions of sukha as stated above begin to collapse gradually and finally get crushed and replaced with the new realistic perception without leaving room for re-emergence of the previous mental state if this practice of ānapāna sathi samādhi continued.
Anatthānupassie viharathi, attha sañña pajahathi; This means in Magadhi the following:
Aanattha+anu+passie vi+harathi, attha + sañña paja+hathi
Anattha = opposite of attha;
Anu+passie = newly arising + termination;
Vi+harathi = separate and shed off;
Attha = conditioned for believing in control of all mental objects;
Sañña = perception;
Pajahathi = clarify anduproot
This step refers to the conditioned perception over mental objects as if one is in control or possession as I, me or mine (attha sañña) that is perceived as niccha and sukha. This conditioning is futile as things cannot be controlled as one wished for. When failing to control mental objects from transitioning, it causes emotional bewilderment or to feel helpless and powerless against inevitable transformation (viparinama). An ignorant mind (ayonisomanasikara) will always appraise and perceive mental objects that result in feeling (assādo) as I, me or mine (atta sañña) without being aware of their inevitable transformation. This continuous transformation lead to helplessness, powerlessness, bewilderment and depression emanating from the breakdown of the conditioned perception that everything is niccha, sukha and remains under one’s own control and long lasting. This is the perception of attha or attha sañña. Though described separately, niccha, sukha and attha perceived simultaneously and instantly. This outcome directly impacts one’s feelings (assādo). Assādo constitutes the perception of I, me or mine along with the perception of ownership (maññathavaya) or the controlling attitude. By comprehending the fact that what is owned within the mind as I, me or mine cannot be retained as one pleases and always subject to inevitable transformation. This helps one to comprehend that there is no purpose or point in holding on to any grasped mental objects as “I, me, mine or under my control”. Further, one sees that this stance I, me or mine as an illusion. There is nothing that lasts a moment. This conditioned perception of ownership of I, me or mine (atta sañña) as stated above begin to collapse gradually and finally get crushed without leaving any room for re-emergence if the practice of āna-pāna sathi samādhi continued.
The above practice to crush the 3 perceptions of nichcha, sukha and atta are defined as maranānussathi bhāvanā that essentially crush three solidly conditioned subtle mental states known as niccha, sukha and attha sañña. Once the uprooting occurs successfully, one will experience it from within.
4.5.4. BUDDHĀNUSSATHI PRACTICE
When the mind is settled and become tranquil with samatha bhāvanā through mettānussathi or asubānussathi whichever is appropriate for the situation, the mind is ready or qualified to proceed with vipassana bhāvanā to uproot the kilesa defilements emanating from loba, dvesha and moha. As discussed earlier, once the mind is tranquil, one is able to explore the roots of defilements and identify the root cause and remove it through the practice of maranānussathi. If one fails to complete maranānussathi successfully, then the buddhānussathi will not fall into place. Buddhānussathi is not something that can be coerced to follow. It occurs when conditions are favourable. Maranānussathi is a necessary precondition for buddhānussathi that is attained as a result of the successful maranānussathi practice. When maranānussathi has progressed successfully, one will recognize the relief that arise from within.
Nissaranānupassie viharathi, assādan pajahathi Virāganupassie viharathi, rāgan pajahathi
Nirodānupassie viharathi, samudayan pajahathi
Patinissagānupassie viharathi, sabbupadi pajahathi
For Magadhi meanings of the above read below :
Nissaranānupassie viharathi, assādan pajahathi
Nissaranā+anu+passie; vi+harathi, assādan paja+hathi ;
Nissarana = getting unshackled from emotions through appraisal of cause and effect or letting go with yonisomanasikāraya. Vi+harathi = Vi=separation; Harathi= shed off.
Pajahathi= clarify anduproot
Virāganupassie viharathi, rāgan pajahathi;
Virāga+anupassie + vi+harathi, rāgan+ paja+hathi;
Viraga=free of raga;
Passie= selective discarding;
Harathi= shed off/drop off,
Ragan= passion/ affinity;
Pajahathi= clarify anduproot
Nirodānupassie viharathi, samudayan pajahathi
Niroda+anu+passie; vi+harathi, sam+udayan pajahathi;
Niroda= cessation of wheeling thoughts;
Passie= selective discarding;
Harathi= shed off/drop off,
Sam= evolving arelationship through loba, dvesha and moha;
Pajahathi= clarify anduproot
Patinissagānupassie viharathi, sabbupadi pajahathi
Pati+nissagga+ ānu+passie; vi+harathi; sabbupadi=sabba+upadi; paj+ahathi
Pati=strong or deep;
Nissagga=total detachment=letting go based on yonisomanasikāraya;
Passie= selective discarding;
Harathi= shed off/ drop off;
Pajahathi= clarify anduproot
Summarizing the above,it can be understood that depletion of the effect of assādo leads to loosening of ashmimanaya. Ashmimanaya emanates from ichcha, patichcha, nichcha, abichcha, uddachcha-kukkuchcha, lābichcha, pāpichcha, manichcha. This means ashmimanaya arise from assādo or emotions. As a result of maranānussathi, raga arising from assādo gets unshackled from the mind while transitioning the mind to become veetha rage, veetha dveshie and veetha mohie. This process results in the cessation of new existential relationships for samsaric continuity. Furthermore, this results in the cessation of all samsaric continuity for ever by attaining either Samma Sam Buddhahood, Pascheka Buddhahood or Arahanthood.
Buddhānussathi has 4 attributes that accompany and gets fulfilled by virtue of the āna pāna sathi samādhi. When loba and dvesha transforms into alobha and advesha and through the collapse of the unrealistically conditioned nichcha, sukha and atta sañña about the satva-pudgala existence as one firm unit along with the world of all upadaya rüpa, the realistic mental conditioning of anichcha, dukkha and anatta sañña evolves as a new mind-set leading to a lasting attitudinal transformation. This is the result of adhering to the dhammanudhamma patipada. If uprooting of the old impure mind set conditioned by defilements is successful, one will recognize from within that the raga (lobha) or dvesha tendencies do arise in the mind but they have no impact any longer. This means the raga objects or dvesha objects arising in the mind will not lead to wheeling thoughts (sanchetana) or volition (sankhāra).
Though raga or dvesha tendencies arise in the mind, they have lost their potency to proceed to sanchetana. As a result, they cannot gain the emotional momentum to establish relationships that feeds into the samsaric existence. This āna-pāna sathi practice is known as anuppada niroda mental cleansing.
5. SOTĀAPATHTHI MAGA & PALA
It follows then, for one to attain sotāpaththi pala by treading sotāpaththi magga, one must complete the four attributes or tread the prescribed magga patipadā.
Unless one has attained sotāpaththi pala, one will not have the skillfulness or the wisdom of the reflections of the past practices (pachchavekkhana vasitha) detailed by the Buddha. Those who are still treading the path (up to arahanth pala) do not possess this level of wisdom to apply the pachchavekkha practice as explained above.
One who is treading the path gives up or letting go of immoral, evil and unwholesome thoughts as and when they surface in the mind. Letting go of such thoughts leads one to detach (niroda) from relationships or connections based on sam which has helped until now to sustain the infinite samsaric existence. In the process one comprehends the state of
“yan kinchi samudaya dhamman – sabbanthan niroda dhamman”
“Any phenomenon or relationship that is sam based – all such dhammas are terminable”
Therefore, everyone must be aware that this is the proficiency attained when one transitions from sotāpaththi magga to sotāpaththi pala.
There is another point that must be raised. One who tenaciously and successively treads the path of sotāpaththi will certainly end the journey with sotāpaththi pala. It’s a definite outcome. This can be explained through an example that the Buddha used to provide clarity of this phenomenon. If one understands this example, one can comprehend the process of how one attains or transitions into sotāpaththi pala.
Assume for a moment that there is a river that one must cross over. Kāma orga (kama=raga stimulation of the body; orga=strong innate current/force), bava orga (bava= raga, dvesha & moha tendency), ditty orga (ditty= inner view/solidly anchored attitudes about corporeality as a being) and avijjā orga (avijja= ignorance based forces) that are stumbling block on the path to sotāpaththi pala are compared to the unanticipated obstacles that one meets while crossing the river. If one intends to cross the river, one must go to the river bank and start crossing the river inch by inch by overcoming obstacles as and when they occur and land on the opposite bank even by holding on to a branch or some support on the shore. This example is analogous to the attainment of sotāpaththi pala.
If one worships and prays to the river with the hope to somehow miraculously land on the other shore, it will not happen. In a similar manner, one who is not treading the path to sotāpaththi maga practically, is like a person who is not making a serious attempt to cross the river. Said more bluntly, a person who gets into a bathing suit stands on the river bank worshipping, praying and hoping “please god, may I be on the other bank or may the opposite bank of the river come to me, for me to cross the river” and so on and expects to land on the other shore without making a serious attempt practically, will never land on the other shore. For one to cross the river, one must be practical and embark on the journey of crossing the river. First one must be determined with adishtana vasitha and set foot in the river. This is the first step. The second step is to set the second foot also in the river and start inching forward with the same level of determination. When inching toward the opposite shore, one will encounter unexpected under currents described earlier as the four obstacles in the path to sotāpaththi. Its inevitable that one who wants to end the samsaric existence will encounter kama orga, bava orga, ditty orga and avijja orga along the path to sotāpaththi. The barriers on the path can be numerous. One will encounter these four types of barriers only when attempting to cross the river of samsara. Once the person is in the river with determination to cross over, he skillfully figures out a landing point on the other bank. One with a determined goal to reach the other bank will energetically encounter various evil orga and if possible, utilize them to his advantage and be transitioned into a person who is committed to cross the river and reach the landing point. This is mainly because of the adishtana and uttana vasitha.
Therefore, everyone must bear in mind that one who is treading the path to sotāpaththi is like one who is crossing the river an inch at a time. Such a person is not sitting on the river bank with the hope somehow to cross the river miraculously. Similarly, a person who prays, worships statues or trees and hopes to attain Nibbana, will not secure the anticipated results. Its unfathomable that such a person is on the path to sotāpaththi. Further, a person who is familiar with the path but doesn’t practically tread it, will not become a person who is on the path to sotāpaththi. Therefore, to be on the path to sotāpaththi one must set both feet in the river and overcome all the barriers that are being encountered as orga (kama orga, bava orga, ditty orga and avijja orga) while striving to reach the landing point identified on the opposite bank. Such a person with adishtana vasitha will not return or retreat from the task. He is ready to beat all the orga barriers through firm determination and reach the opposite bank while holding on to the goal even with some help from the river bank. Such a person may utilize and draw energy even from the orga as means to reach the goal.
It’s also important to note that the same process and barriers (orga) that have been discussed with regards to the path to sotāpaththi remain as common barriers when reaching all four magga pala – once returner (Sakadāgāmi) none returner (anāgāmi) and enlightened (arahanth) states. This means similar obstacles (orga) are encountered when advancing on the path to enlightenment. All such evil undercurrents are confronted, and their energy can be used to attain Nibbana. It’s like the situation when the boat goes belly up mid-river due to under currents, the determined boatman will manage to sit on the belly and cross the river. Likewise, one will be able to utilize the energy from evil undercurrents while crossing the river of samsara and reach the destination on the opposite bank by sailing across all four ariya states described and reap the magga pala. This effort is defined as samma vayama.
Therefore, its paramount to bear in mind that the most important activities are to complete the four attributes of sotāpaththi. This is because their completion constitutes the first and the last step toward full enlightenment (Nibbana). Why? One who has attained sotāpaththi pala crossing the strong innate barriers, has gotten rid of 3 fetters or defilements in the process of mental cleansing. They are namely
- saccāya ditty = (sac+cāya+ditty; Sac = one’s own; Cāya = mental actions and reactions; ditty= vision or view) Saccāya ditty is20fold: I, me, mine & in my control attitudes with regards to corporeality (rupa), feelings (vedanā), perceptions (sanna), volitional activities (sankhāra) and viñãna.
- Vichikichchā = vi+chi+ki+icchā; vi = viñãna+chi=ćitta +ki=kility or corrupted+ iccha= passion; vi=viñãna ćitta’s corrupted passion.
- Seelabvatha parāmāsa: Seelab+vatha= Seela – observance; vathabelief; parāmāsa = parama+āmāsa – parama =unique, āmāsa=food) (believing in none realistic/metaphysical ideas, methods & actions as food for spiritual guidance).
Such a person has been liberated from the above three mind sets (ditty). Now such an individual can be categorized as patisothagamie person. Furthermore, such a person is protected by the dhamma itself. Therefore, such a person is equipped to the condition
“dhammo have rakkathi – dhamma charie”
“is protected by the dhamma – one who treads the path”
Such a person who abides by the dhamma is supported by universal energy to complete the rest of the magga pala. Therefore, a person that has attained sotāpaththi pala will complete the journey of enlightenment according to
“niyatha sambodhi parāyanaya”
“automatically secured uprooting of raga, dvesha and moha bava in the process”
and be free from hellish realms forever. This person will certainly reach arahanth pala and end samsaric journey by attaining arahanthood. Therefore, sotāpaththi pala is the breakthrough hurdle on the path to full enlightenment (Nibbana).
6. SOTĀPATHTHI PALA & BEYOND
A careful follow up of Buddha desana will help one to discover that the Buddha desana are intended to help one to attain sotāpaththi pala through comprehending the dhamma. Why is it so? This is because the remaining three states (once returner (Sakadāgāmi), none returner (anāgāmi) and full enlightenment (arahanth) toward experiencing Nibbana will occur automatically in accordance with the dhamma phenomenon and as a result of previously accumulated kusala dhamma or pubbecha katha puññatha energy. This means one shall not fear once one attains sotāpaththi pala. Such a person will certainly end his/her samsaric journey by attaining arahanth pala. The dhamma phenomenon will safeguard such a person from evil and unwholesome deeds while prevents from being born into hellish realms. It’s a universal phenomenon. Such a person will necessarily strive toward arahant pala or Nibbana. Thus, anything that drives toward hellish realms will not occur with a person who has attained sotāpaththi pala now or in future.
Further one must note another vital aspect. It’s the most important aspect. The person that has attained sotāpaththi pala still encounters raga, dvesha and moha in some ways. These tendencies remain active in such a person. However, this person recognizes and experientially knows raga as raga, dvesha as dvesha and moha as moha.
It’s for this reason, that such a person is recognized as having achieved dhammo sandittiko frame of mind. Though such a person may act or react based on raga, dvesha and moha due to prior habituated tendencies, he/she may not commit new evil deeds or pāpa kamma that will lead to hellish realms while strengthening the journey into the samsāra. Therefore, a person that has attained sotāpaththi pala will reach Nibbana through niyatha sambodhi parāyanaya and always strive toward the attainment of Nibbana which in other words is crossing the ocean of samsāra for good. Such a person steadily treads the dhammanudhamma patipadā. For these reasons, its vital for everyone to understand the sotāpaththi attributes to some extent. To understand sotāpaththi attributes, one must actively listen to Siri Sadthdhamma and attempt to seek clarification and comprehend the following:
- What does Kalyāna Mitta Sampaththi mean?
- What is parathogoshaka prathya and sammā ditty acquired through Kalyāna Mitta Sampaththi?
- What does pristinely pure Siri Sadthdhamma mean?
- What does treading the dhammanudhamma patipadā mean?
If a human being intends to be free or break away from this infinite samsāra which is fired up with eleven conflagrations such as passion (raga), 2nd guise or aversion (dvesha), births (jāthi), deaths (marana), decay (jarā), worry and anxiety (sokha), grief-stricken (parideva), physical distress (dukkha), depression and melancholy (domanassa), extreme despair (upayasa) and fury or wrath (aditto), and be liberated from these eleven fires, he/she must necessarily attain sotāpaththi pala as the first step. Through the attainment of sotāpaththi pala, one will be liberated from dukkha and secure the landing on the path to Nibbana. Therefore, anyone who attains the Arahath Buddhahood first and foremost attains sotāpaththi pala. Thereafter, he/she completes that paths of once returner (sakadāgāmi), none returner (anāgāmi) and arahanthood (arahanth) respectively, sequentially and achieve the pala to end the path of samsāric existence.
For two specific individuals sotāpaththi pala, sakadāgami pala, anāgāmi pala and arahanth pala can be completed and attained instantly. These two are Sammā Sambuddha and Pascheka Buddha that become Buddha through own penetrative wisdom (pañna) and mental strength. A Sammā Sambuddha appears in the world by the end of a none Buddha era = abuddhothpada kālaya. Abuddhothpada kālaya isa long period of time when Buddhas and their teachings are unavailable to human and divine beings. A Pascheka Buddha, who attains Buddhahood instantly through penetrative wisdom and own mental strengths attains sotāpaththi pala followed by once returner, none returner and arahanthood stages respectively will be born during an abuddhothpada kālaya. The attainment of the four magga pala occurs instantly without any gap between them. All 3 dimensional or 4 dimensional states of wisdom (trivijja gñana) attained instantly when completing all 4 maga pala. Both Pascheka Buddha and Sammā Sambuddha complete the 4 maga and 4 pala instantly with no gap in between their attainment.
The Sammā Sambuddha Siddartha Gothama from mid night to the last quarter of the morning of the Vesak full moon day realized all trivijja gñana, attained all four maga pala and became the Sammā Sambuddha.
However, those who become arahath buddha through arahanth pala will sequentially complete the 4 pala. For some, it may be a short and for others it may be a long time toward the full attainment as Arahanth Buddha unlike the Sammā Sambuddha or Pascheka Buddha. Once one attains sotāpaththi pala, it’s possible that one may attain arahanthood after several life times as a human or a divine being. It also could be a long time in between for a person who attained sotāpaththi pala before attaining arahanthood as indicated in Janawasabha Sutta Sammā Sambuddha and Pascheka Buddha attain Nibbanathrough all four stages of enlightenment instantly without any external help or without any laps in time in between each maga pala.
Therefore, everyone must be thinking that sotāpaththi maga and sotāpaththi pala are necessary breakthroughs (kadaima) and thus must be strived to penetrate barriers to sotāpaththi.
Further, may this Siri Sadthdhamma desana in front of the noble Keeri Vehera (present day Kiri Vehera at Tissamaharamaya) while receiving parathogoshaka prathya and acquiring sammā ditty be helpful toward the completion of the four sotāpaththi attributes, attain Sammā Vimukthi and be liberated from this perilous samsāric existence.
Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!