The Section of the Synopsis
Evam me sutam = "Thus have I heard" the Discourse on the
Arousing of Mindfulness [Satipatthana Sutta]. "I" refers to the Elder
Ananda, cousin of the Buddha. At the first Buddhist Council held in the
Sattapanna Cave at Rajagaha under the presidentship of the Great Disciple of the
Buddha, the Elder Maha Kassapa, the Collection of the Discourses [Sutta Pitaka]
was recited by the Elder Ananda.
Ekam samayam bhagava Kurusu viharati = "At one time the Blessed
One was living in the (country of the) Kurus." Although the territory of
the Kuru Princes, their homeland, was a single contiguous domain, by taking into
consideration its many villages and market-towns, it was commonly referred to by
the use of the plural form "Kurus".
In the time of the legendary king Mandhatu, say the commentators, inhabitants
of the three continents, Pubba Videha, Apara Goyana, and Uttara Kuru, having
heard that Jambudipa, the birthplace of
the Great Disciples of the Buddhas, Universal Monarchs and other beings of
mighty virtue, was an exceedingly pleasant, excellent continent, came to
Jambudipa with the Universal Monarch Mandhatu who was making a tour of all the
continents, in due order, preceded by his Wheel Treasure. And at last when
Mandhatu bodily translated himself by means of his psychic virtue to the
Tavatimsa devaloka, the heaven of the Thirty-three, the people of the three
continents who accompanied him to Jambudipa begged of his son for territory to
live in, as they said they had come carried by the great power of Mandhatu, and
were now unable by themselves to return to their own continents. Their prayer
was heard and lands were granted to each of the groups of people of the three
continents. The places in which these people settled got the names of the
original continents from which they had emigrated. The settlement of people from
Pubba Videha came to be known as Videha, of those from Apara Goyana, as Aparanta,
and of those from Uttara Kuru as Kururattha.
Kammasadammam nama Kurunam nigamo = "At Kammasadamma, a
market-town of the Kuru people." Some explain the word Kammasadamma, here,
spelling it with a "dh" instead of a "d". Since Kammasa was
tamed here it was called Kammasadamma, the place of the taming of Kammasa.
Kammasa refers to the cannibal of Kammasapada, the one with the speckled, black
and white or grey coloured foot. It is said that a wound on his foot, caused by
a stake, healed, having become like a piece of wood with lines of fibre of a
complex pattern [cittadaru sadiso hutva]. Therefore, he became well-known as
Kammasapada, Speckled Foot. By whom was Speckled Foot tamed? By the Great Being,
the Bodhisatta. In which Birth-story [Jataka] is it stated? Certain commentators
say: "In the Sutasoma Birth-story". But the elders of the Great
Minister at Anuradhapura, the Maha Vihara, say that it is stated in the
Jayaddisa Birth-story. Kammasapada was tamed, weaned of his cannibalism, by the
Great Being, in the circumstances mentioned in the Jayaddisa Birth-story. The
following statement occurs in that story:
To free my sire did I renounce my life,
When born as very son of the king,
Jayaddisa, Pa˝cala's sovran chief,
And make even Speckled Foot have faith in me.
Some [keci] however explain spelling the word thus: Kammasadhamma. It is said
that the traditional Kuru virtuous practice [Kuruvattadhamma] became (black or
diversified or) stained [kammaso jato] in that place. Therefore, it was called
Kammasadhamma. The market-town established there, too, got the same name.
Why was it not said Kammasadamme Kurunam nigame using the locative?
Because, it is said, there was no monastery (or dwelling place) at which the
Blessed One could stay, in that market-town. Away from the market-town, however,
there was a huge dense jungle in a delightful region, watered well. In that
jungle, the Blessed One lived, making the market-town his place for gathering
Ekayano ayam bhikkhave maggo = "This is the only way, O
bhikkhus." Why did the Blessed One teach this Discourse? Because of the
ability of the people of the Kurus to take in deep doctrine.
The inhabitants of the Kuru country -- bhikkhus, bhikkhunis, upasakas,
upasikas -- by reason of their country being blessed with a perfect climate, and
through their enjoyment of other comfortable conditions, were always healthy in
body and in mind. They, happy with healthy minds and bodies, and having the
power of knowledge, were capable of receiving deep teachings. Therefore, the
Blessed One, perceiving their ability to appreciate this profound instruction,
proclaimed to them this Discourse on the Arousing of Mindfulness, which is deep
in meaning, having set up the subject of meditation, in Arahantship, in
twenty-one places. For even as a man, having got a golden basket should fill it
with divers flowers, or indeed having got a golden casket should fill it with
precious jewels of the seven kinds, the Blessed One, having got a following of
the Kuru-land people, dispensed, it is said, deep doctrine. Likewise, on that
very account, there, in the Kurus, the Blessed One, taught other deep teachings:
the Maha Nidana Sutta, Maha Satipatthana Sutta, Saropama Sutta, Rukkhupama
Sutta, Ratthapala Sutta, Magandiya Sutta, and the Ane˝jasappaya Sutta.
Further, in that territory of the Kuru people,
the four classes -- bhikkhu, bhikkhuni, upasaka, upasika -- generally by nature
were earnest in the application of the Arousing of Mindfulness to their daily
life. At the very lowest, even servants, usually, spoke with mindfulness. At
wells or in spinning halls useless talk was not heard. If some woman asked of
another woman, "Mother, which Arousing of Mindfulness do you practice?"
and got the reply, "None at all," then that woman who replied so was
reproached thus: "Your life is shameful; though you live you are as if
dead," and was taught one of the kinds of Mindfulness-arousing. But on
being questioned if she said that she was practising such and such an Arousing
of Mindfulness, then she was praised thus: "Well done, well done! Your life
is blessed; you are really one who has attained to the human state; for you the
Sammasambuddhas have come to be."
With a perfect climate ..... comfortable conditions. This
includes such items as wholesome food and drink essential for maintaining mind
and body unimpaired.
"The only way" = The one way [Ekayanoti ekamaggo]. There are many
words for "way". The word used for "way" here is "ayana"
("going" or road). Therefore, "This is the only way, O bhikkhus [ekayano
ayam bhikkhave maggo]" means here: "A single way ("going" or
road), O bhikkhus, is this way; it is not of the nature of a double way [ekamaggo
ayam bhikkhave maggo na dvedhapathabhuto]".
Or it is "the only way" because it has to be trodden by oneself
only [ekeneva ayitabbo]. That is without a companion. The state of being
companionless is twofold: without a comrade, after abandoning contact with
the crowd, and in the sense of being withdrawn (or secluded) from craving,
through tranquillity of mind.
Or it is called "ekayana" because it is the way of the one [ekassa
ayana]. "Of the one" = of the best; of all beings the Blessed One is
best. Therefore, it is called the Blessed One's Way. Although others too go
along that way, it is the Buddha's because he creates it. Accordingly it is
said: "He, the Blessed One, is the creator of the uncreated path, O
Brahmin." It proceeds (or exists) only in this Doctrine-and-discipline and
not in any other. Accordingly the Master declared: "Subhadda, only in this
Doctrine-and-discipline is the Eightfold Way to be found." And further,
"ekayana" means: It goes to the one [ekam ayati] -- that is, it (the
way) goes solely to Nibbana. Although in the earlier stages this method of
meditation proceeds on different lines, in the latter, it goes to just the one
Nibbana. And that is why Brahma Sahampati said:
Whose mind perceiving life's last dying out
Vibrates with love, he knows the only way
That led in ancient times, is leading now,
And in the future will lead past the flood.
As Nibbana is without a second, that is, without craving as accompanying
quality, it is called the one. Hence it is said: "Truth is one; it is
without a second."
Why is the Arousing of Mindfulness intended by the word "way"?
Are there not many other factors of the way, namely, understanding, thinking,
speech, action, livelihood, effort, and concentration, besides mindfulness? To
be sure there are. But all these are implied when the Arousing of Mindfulness is
mentioned, because these factors exist in union with mindfulness. Knowledge,
energy and the like are mentioned in the analytically expository portion [niddese].
In the synopsis [uddese], however, the consideration should be regarded as that
of mindfulness alone, by way of the mental disposition of those capable of being
Some [keci], however, construing according to the stanza beginning with the
words, "They do not go twice to the further shore [na param digunam yanti]"
say, "One goes to Nibbana once, therefore it is ekayana." This
explanation is not proper. Because in this instruction the earlier part of the
Path is intended to be presented, the preliminary part of the Way of Mindfulness
proceeding in the four objects of contemplation is meant here, and not the
supramundane Way of Mindfulness. And that preliminary part of the Path proceeds
(for the aspirant) many times; or it may be said that there is many a going on
it, by way of repetition of practice.
In what sense is it a "way"? In the sense of the path going towards
Nibbana, and in the sense of the path which is the one that should be (or is fit
to be) traversed by those who wish to reach Nibbana.
Regarding "the only way" there is the following account of a
discussion that took place long ago.
The Elder Tipitaka Culla Naga said: "The Way of Mindfulness-arousing (as
expounded in our Discourse) is the (mundane) preliminary part (of the Eightfold
His teacher the Elder Culla Summa said: "The Way is a mixed one (a way
that is both mundane and supramundane)."
The pupil: "Reverend Sir, it is the preliminary part."
The teacher: "Friend, it is the mixed Way."
As the teacher was insistent, the pupil became silent. They went away without
coming to a decision.
On the way to the bathing place the teacher considered the matter. He recited
the Discourse. When he came to the part where it is said: "O bhikkhus,
should any person maintain the Four Arousings of Mindfulness in this manner for
seven years," he concluded that after producing the consciousness of the
Supramundane Path there was no possibility of continuing in that state of mind
for seven years, and that his pupil, Culla Naga, was right. On that very day,
which happened to be the eighth of the lunar fortnight, it was the elder Culla
Naga's turn to expound the Dhamma. When the exposition was about to begin, the
Elder Culla Summa went to the Hall of Preaching and stood behind the pulpit.
After the pupil had recited the preliminary stanzas the teacher spoke to the
pupil in the hearing of others, saying, "Friend, Culla Naga." The
pupil heard the voice of his teacher and replied: "What is it, Reverend
Sir?" The teacher said this: "To say, as I did, that the Way is a
mixed one is not right. You are right in calling it the preliminary part of the
Way of Mindfulness-arousing." Thus the Elders of old were not envious and
did not go about holding up only what they liked as though it were a bundle of
sugar-cane. They took up what was rational; they gave up what was not.
Thereupon, the pupil, realising that on a point on which experts of the
Dhamma like his learned teacher had floundered, fellows of the holy life in the
future were more likely to be unsure, thought: "With the authority of a
citation from the Discourse-collection, I will settle this question."
Therefore, he brought out and placed before his hearers the following statement
from the Patisambhida Magga: "The preliminary part of the Way of
Mindfulness-arousing is called the only way."
And, in order to elaborate just that and to show of which path or way the
instruction in our Discourse is the preliminary part, he further quoted the
following also from the Patisambhida Magga: "The Excellent Way is the
Eightfold way; four are truths; dispassion is the best of things belonging to
the wise; besides that Way there is no other for the purifying of vision. Walk
along that Way so that you may confound Death, and put an end to
Sattanam visuddhiya = "For the purification of beings." For
the cleansing of beings soiled by the stains of lust, hatred and delusion, and
by the defilements of covetise, called lawless greed and so forth. All reach the
highest purity after abandoning mental taints. By way of physical taints,
however, there is no cleansing of impurities taught in the Dhamma.
By the Great Seer it was not said
That through bodily taints men become impure,
Or by the washing of the body they become pure.
By the Great Seer it was declared
That through mental taints men become impure,
And through the cleansing of the mind they become pure.
Accordingly it is said: "Mental taints soil beings; mental cleansing
Sokaparidevanam samatikkamaya = "For the overcoming of sorrow and
lamentation." If this Way is developed it will lead to the casting out of
sorrow similar to that experienced by the Minister Santati, and the casting out
of lamentation similar to that of Patacara. With analytical knowledge did
Santati reach arahantship after hearing this stanza:
Purge out the things belonging to the past;
Let there be naught in the world to rise in future times.
If what's twixt past and future you don't grasp,
You will be one who wanders forth serene.
Patacara reached the fruition of the first stage of arahantship after hearing
For one who is by death oppressed there is
No safety seen in children, father, friends
Or others close to one. A shelter true
Amongst one's kinsfolk one does never find.
Since there is nothing called spiritual development [bhavana] without laying
hold on something whatsoever in material form, feeling, consciousness and mental
objects [kaya vedana citta dhammesu ki˝ci dhammam anamasitva] they (Santati and
Patacara) too overcame sorrow and lamentation just by this Way of Mindfulness.
For the hearers [savaka], namely, the disciples of the Buddha, there is no
attainment of the Noble Path [Ariya Magga] possible, except by practising the
subject of meditation [kammatthana] of the Four Truths [Catu Sacca]. Spiritual
development usually called meditation, is the development of wisdom [pa˝˝a
bhavana]. Just the contemplation of material form (corporeality), of feeling,
consciousness or mental objects, constitutes the cultivation of the Arousing of
Dukkha domanassanam atthangamaya = "For the destruction of
suffering and grief." For the cessation of bodily suffering and mental
grief. This way maintained by contemplation is conducive to the destruction of
suffering similar to that of the Elder Tissa, and of grief similar to that of
Tissa, the head of a family at Savatthi, renouncing forty crores of gold,
became a homeless one, and dwelt in a forest far from other human beings. His
sister-in-law sent a robber band of five hundred to scour the forest in order to
find him, and ordered them to kill him when he was found.
She sent him, it is said, in five batches of a hundred each in succession.
After entering the forest and searching for the elder they in due course came to
the place in which he lived and sat round him.
When the robbers surrounded him, the elder spoke thus: "Lay disciples,
why have you come?" They replied: "To kill you." Then the elder
said: "On a security, give me my life for just this one night." Said
the robbers: "O recluse, who will stand surety for you in a place like
this?" The elder, thereupon, took a big stone, broke the bones of his legs
and said: "Lay disciples, is the security of value?" They, leaving the
elder, went to the end of the ambulatory and lighting a fire lay on the ground.
The elder contemplating on the purity of his conduct, after suppressing his
pain, attained arahantship, at dawn, having fulfilled the recluse's regimen in
the three watches of the night. Giving expression to his feelings he said:
"A surety let me raise breaking both my legs:
To die with lustful mind I loathe and shrink.
Having thought thus I saw things as they are,
And with the dawn I reached the arahant's domain."
There is another story. Thirty bhikkhus taking the subject of meditation from
the Blessed One went into residence, during the rains, in a forest-dwelling,
agreeing amongst themselves to practice the duty of the recluse, during all the
three watches of the night, and to avoid one another's presence.
One by one those monks who began to doze early in the morning after doing the
recluse's duty during the three watches of the night were carried away by a
tiger. Not one of those carried away did even utter the words: "I am taken
by a tiger." When thus fifteen bhikkhus had been devoured, on uposatha day
(the day of the Meeting of the Order for recitation of the Rules), after it was
asked (by the elder) "Friends, where are the others?" and it became
known that they had been devoured by a tiger. It was agreed that anyone seized
by the tiger, thereafter, should utter the words: "I am taken." Then a
certain young bhikkhu was seized by the tiger in the same circumstances in which
the others were seized earlier. That young bhikkhu said: "Tiger, Reverend
Sir." The other bhikkhus carrying sticks and torches went in pursuit of the
The tiger, having taken the young bhikkhu up to a rocky place, a broken edge
over a hollow spot inaccessible to the bhikkhus, began to devour its prey from
the feet upwards. The pursuing bhikkhus said: "Good man, there is nothing
that can be done by us. The extraordinary spiritual attainment of bhikkhus is to
be seen in such a place (as that in which you are)."
That bhikkhu, even prostrate in the tiger's mouth, suppressed his pain and
developing the wisdom of insight attained the four paths and fruits of
sanctitude together with analytical knowledge. Then he uttered this ecstatic
Virtuous was I keeping to my vows
And wise with growing insight was my mind
That had to concentration well attained.
Yet, because I slacked for just a while,
A tiger took my frame of flesh and blood.
Unto a hill and then my mind did quake.
Devour me as you please, o tiger, eat
This body of mine which is bereft of thought;
Within the thought of quiet strongly held
A blessing will my death become to me.
And then there is the story of the elder Pitamalla who in the time he was a
layman took the pennon for wrestling in three kingdoms. He came to Tambapanni
Isle, had audience of the king and received royal assistance. Once while going
through the entrance to the Screened Sitting Hall he heard the following passage
from the "Not-yours" chapter of Scripture: "Material form, o
bhikkhus, is not yours; renounce it. That renunciation will, for a long time, be
for your welfare and happiness." And he thought: "Neither material
form, indeed, nor feeling is one's own," and making just that thought a
goad, he renounced the world. At the Great Minister, the Maha Vihara, at
Anuradhapura, he was, in due course, given the lower ordination and the higher.
When he had mastered the two Codes of Discipline [Dve Matika], he went to the
Gavaravaliya Shrine with thirty other bhikkhus and did the duty of the recluse.
While meditating in the open at night there once, he was moving on his knees on
the ambulatory when his feet were unable to carry him, and a hunter mistaking
him for a deer struck him with a spear. The elder removed the spear which had
gone deep into the body and, stopping the wound with a wad of grass, sat down on
a flat stone. Making of his misfortune an opportunity for setting energy afoot,
he developed insight and attained arahantship with analytical knowledge. After
he had reached the state of arahantship, in order to apprise his fellow-bhikkhus
of his achievement, he made a sign by clearing his throat and uttered this
saying of joy at final liberation from suffering:
The world of the Fully Awakened Man, the Chief,
Holder of Right Views in all the world is this:
Give up this form, disciples; it is not yours.
Fleeting truly are component things,
Ruled by laws of growth and decay;
What is produced, to dissolution swings;
Happy it is when things at rest do stay.
Then those fellow-monks of the Elder Pitamalla who had come to see him said:
"Reverend Sir, if the Buddha were living he would have expressed his
approval of your effort, by stretching out his hand over the ocean and stroking
Three kingdoms = Pandu, Cola, Gola. Because he was in the
habit of carrying a yellow pennon about his body and also because he adorned
himself with that pennon when taking part in wrestling matches he was well-known
as Pitamalla, the yellow wrestler. After his renunciation of the world too, he
was known as the Elder Yellow Wrestler. He came to Tambapanni Isle -- Ceylon --
having got the information that wrestlers were honoured and hospitably received
in the island.
So, in this manner, this way is conducive to the destruction of suffering of
those like the Elder Tissa.
Sakka, king of the gods, after seeing the five portents, afraid of death and
grief-stricken, came to the Buddha and asked a question; at the close of the
answering of that question by the Buddha, Sakka was established in the first
stage of arahantship. Eighty thousand other gods were established together with
Sakka in the same stage of sanctity. And the life of Sakka again was restored to
just its original state through his rebirth once more as the king of the
Further it is said that Subrahma the god was partaking of the delights of
paradise in the company of a thousand heavenly nymphs. There, five hundred of
the nymphs, while picking flowers from a tree, died and were reborn in a state
of woe. He, having seen their rebirth in a state of woe and having understood
that the end of his own life was approaching and that he too would at death be
reborn in that very state of woe, was frightened. Then he went to the Buddha
with his five hundred remaining nymphs and said this to the Lord:
The heart is always in a state of fear,
And is always full of anguish drear,
Concerning things that have now taken place,
All things which shortly I shall have to face.
If there's a place that's free from ev'ry fear,
That fear-free place wilt thou to me make clear?
The Blessed One replied to him as follows:
Besides the wakening factors of the truth,
Besides the virtues of the holy state,
Besides restraint and relinquishment full,
I see nothing that can bless living beings.
At the end of the instruction, Subrahma and his five hundred nymphs were
established in the first stage of awakening, and he, it is said, returned to his
paradise, having made firm the heavenly fortunate state of life that was his
It should be understood that this way developed in this manner is conducive
to the destruction of grief of those like Sakka.
˝ayassa adhigamaya = "For reaching the right path." The
Noble Eightfold Path is called the right path. This preliminary, mundane Way of
the Arousing of Mindfulness maintained (grown or cultivated) is conducive to the
realisation of the Supramundane Way.
Nibbanassa sacchikiriyaya = "For the attainment of Nibbana."
It is said as follows: For the attainment, the ocular experience by oneself, of
the deathless which has got the name "Nibbana" by reason of the
absence in it of the lust [vana, literally, sewing, weaving, from the
root va, to weave] called craving [tanha].
Craving [tanha] sews together [samsibbati] or weaves [vinati] aggregate
with aggregate, effect with cause, and suffering with beings. In Nibbana there
is no "vana". Or in the man who has attained to Nibbana there is no
Ocular experience by oneself: Sensing without aid from the
This way maintained, effects the attainment of Nibbana, gradually.
Although by the phrase, "For the purification of beings," the
things meant by the other phrases which follows it are attained, the
significance of those other phrases that follow the first, is not obvious except
to a person familiar with the usage of the Dispensation [sasana yutti kovido].
Since the Blessed one does not at first make people conversant with the usage
of the Dispensation and after that teach the Doctrine to them, and as he by
various discourses sets forth various meanings, he explained the things which
"the only way" effects, with the words "For the overcoming of
sorrow and lamentation," and so forth.
Or it may be said that the Master explained the things accomplished by
"the only way", in this manner, in order to show that every thing
which leads to the purification of beings by the "only way" is
dependent on the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation; that this overcoming is
dependent on the destruction of suffering and grief; and that the destruction of
suffering and grief is dependent on the reaching of the right path which is in
turn dependent on the attainment of Nibbana. It is a declaration of the method
of deliverance, by "the only way."
Further, this is an expression of praise of "the only way". Just as
the Blessed One by way of eight characteristics expressed praise in the Cha
Chakka Sutta, and by way of nine characteristics in the Ariyavamsa Sutta, just
in the same way he expressed praise of this "only way", through the
seven characteristics contained in the words "For the purification of
beings", and so forth. Why did he utter talk of praise of this kind? For
the purpose of bringing out the interest of these bhikkhus. The Blessed One
thought: "Having heard the utterance of praise, these bhikkhus will believe
that his way casts out the four onrushings [cattaro upaddave harati],
namely sorrow produced by distress of heart [hadaya santapabhutam sokam],
lamentation characterised by confused talk [vaca vipallabhutam paridevam],
suffering produced by disagreeable bodily feeling [kayikam asatabhutam
dukkham], and grief produced by disagreeable thought [cetasikam
asatabhutam domanassam] and that it brings the three extraordinary spiritual
attainments of purity, knowledge, and Nibbana [visuddhim ˝anam Nibbananti
tayo visese avahati] and will be convinced that this instruction should be
studied (imam dhammadesanam uggahetabbam], mastered [pariyapunnitabbam],
borne in mind [dharetabbam], and memorized [vacetabbam], and that
this way should be cultivated [ima˝ca maggam bhavetabbam]."
Cattaro Satipatthana = "The Four Arousings of Mindfulness."
Four in relation to classes of objects of mindfulness.
Why did the Buddha teach just Four Arousings of Mindfulness and neither more
nor less? By way of what was suitable for those capable of being trained.
In regard to the pair of the dull-witted and the keen-witted minds among
tamable persons of the craving type and the theorizing type, pursuing the path
of quietude [samatha] or that of insight [vipassana] in the
practice of meditation, the following is stated: For the dull-witted man of
craving type the Arousing of Mindfulness through the contemplation of the gross
physical body is the Path to Purity; for the keen-witted of this type, the
subtle subject of meditation on the feeling. And for the dull-witted man of the
theorizing type the Path to Purity is the Arousing of Mindfulness through a
subject not too full of distinctions, namely, consciousness [citta]; for
the keen-witted of this type, the subject which teems with distinctions, namely
the contemplation on things of the mind -- mental objects [dhammanupassana].
For the dull-witted man, pursuing quietude, the First Arousing of
Mindfulness, body-contemplation, is the Path to Purity, by reason of the
feasibility of getting at the mental reflex; for the keen-witted of this type,
because he does not continue to stay in the coarse, the second Arousing of
Mindfulness, the contemplation on feeling, is the Path to Purity.
And for the dull-witted man pursuing the path of insight, the subject of
meditation without many distinctions, the contemplation on consciousness, is the
Path to Purity; and for the keen-witted of this type the contemplation on mental
objects which is full of distinctions.
Or it may be said that these Four Arousings of Mindfulness are taught for
casting out the illusions [vipallasa] concerning beauty, pleasure,
permanence, and an ego.
The body is ugly. There are people led astray by the illusion that it is a
thing of beauty. In order to show such people the ugliness of the body and to
make them give up their wrong idea, the First Arousing of Mindfulness is taught.
Feeling is suffering. There are people subject to the illusion that it gives
pleasure. In order to show such people the painfulness of feeling and to make
them give up their wrong idea, the Second Arousing of Mindfulness is taught.
Consciousness is impermanent. There are people who, owing to an illusion,
believe that it is permanent. To show them the impermanence of consciousness and
to wean them of their wrong belief, the Third Arousing of Mindfulness is taught.
Mental objects are insubstantial, are soulless, and possess no entity. There
are people who believe by reason of an illusion that these mental things are
substantial, endowed with an abiding core, or a soul, or that they form part of
a soul, an ego or some substance that abides. To convince such errant folk of
the fact of the soullessness or the insubstantiality of mental things and to
destroy the illusion which clouds their minds, the Fourth Arousing of
Mindfulness is taught.
Drawing distinctions, it is said: Body and feeling are the cause of zest [assadassa
karana]. For the rejection of that zest of body, by the dull-witted [manda] man
of the craving type [tanhacarita], the seeing [dassana] of the ugly [asubha] in
the body, the coarse object [olarika arammana], which is the basis of craving [tanha
vatthu], is convenient. To that type of man the contemplation on corporeality,
the First Arousing of Mindfulness, is the Path to Purity [Visuddhi Magga]. For
the abandoning of that zest, by the keen-witted [tikha] man of the craving type,
the seeing of suffering in feeling, the subtle object [sukhuma arammana], which
is the basis of craving, is convenient, and for him the contemplation on
feeling, the Second Arousing of Mindfulness, is the Path to Purity.
For the dull-witted man of the theorizing type [ditthi carita] it is
convenient to see consciousness [citta] in the fairly simple way it is set forth
in this discourse, by way of impermanence [aniccata], and by way of such
divisions as mind-with-lust [saragadi vasena], in order to reject the notion of
permanence [nicca sa˝˝a] in regard to consciousness. Consciousness is a
special condition [visesa karana] for the wrong view due to a basic belief in
permanence [niccanti abhinivesa vatthutaya ditthiya]. The contemplation on
consciousness, the Third Arousing of Mindfulness, is the Path to Purity of this
type of man.
For the keen-witted man of the theorizing type it is convenient to see
mental objects or things [dhamma], according to the manifold way set forth in
this discourse, by way of perception, sense-impression and so forth [nivaranadi
vasena], in order to reject the notion of a soul [atta sa˝˝a] in regard to
mental things. Mental things are special conditions for the wrong view due to a
basic belief in a soul [attanti abhinivesa vatthutaya ditthiya]. For this type
of man the contemplation on mental objects, the Fourth Arousing of Mindfulness,
is the Path to Purity.
Consciousness and mental objects constitute the outstanding conditions of
theorizing. Consciousness is such a condition because it is a decisive factor in
the belief in permanence. Mental objects are such conditions because these are
decisive factors in the belief in a soul.
Consciousness and mental objects are decisive factors of craving as well
as of theorizing. And body and feeling are decisive factors of theorizing as
well as of craving. Yet to point out that which is stronger in body and feeling,
namely, craving, and that which is stronger in consciousness and mental objects,
namely, theorizing, distinctions have been drawn.
Because he does not continue to stay in the coarse: The
keen-witted man pursuing the path of quietude lays hold of the gross subject of
meditation, but he does not stay in that. He lays hold of feeling, the subtle
subject of meditation, by way of the factors of absorption [jhana] after
attaining to and emerging from the absorption reached with the material body as
Since the heart of the man pursuing the path of insight takes to the
contemplation of subtle consciousness and mental object, these have been spoken
of as the Path to Purity for the man, dull-witted or keen-witted, pursuing
Further these Four Arousings of Mindfulness were taught not only for the
purpose of casting out the four illusions, but for getting rid of the four
floods, bonds, outflowings, knots, clingings, wrong courses, and the penetration
of fourfold nutriment, too. This is according to the method of exegesis in the
In the commentary it is said that by way of remembering and of meeting in one
thing, the Arousing of Mindfulness is only one; and that it is fourfold when
regarded as a subject of meditation.
By way of remembering: by way of the reflection of actions
of skill, and so forth, of body, speech, and thought.
Meeting in one thing = union in the one-natured Nibbana.
To a city with four gates, mental objects coming from the East with goods
produced in the east enter by the east gate ... men coming from the South ...
men coming from the West ... and men coming from the North with goods produced
in the north enter by the north gate. Nibbana is like the city. The Real
Supramundane Eightfold Path is like the city-gate. Body, mind, feelings and
mental objects are like the four chief directions in space. Like the people
coming from the East with goods produced in the east are those who enter Nibbana
by means of body-contemplation through the Real Supramundane Path produced by
the power of body-contemplation practiced in the fourteen ways. Like the people
coming from the South ... are those who enter ... by means of
feeling-contemplation ... practiced in the nine ways. Like the people coming
from the West ... are those who enter ... by means of
consciousness-contemplation ... practiced in the sixteen ways. Like the people
coming from the North ... are those who enter ... by means of
mental-object-contemplation ... practiced in the five ways.
On account of the cause or on account of the sameness of entry into the
one Nibbana, the Arousing of Mindfulness is said to be just one thing. The
meeting in the one Nibbana of the various Arousings of Mindfulness is called the
meeting in the one thing on account of participation in that one Nibbana or on
account of their becoming all of a kind.
Katame cattaro = "What are the four?" This is a question
indicating the desire to expound the teaching.
Idha = "Here." In this Dispensation.
Bhikkhave = "Bhikkhus". This is a term for addressing
persons who accept the teaching.
Bhikkhu is a term to indicate a person
who earnestly endeavours to accomplish the practice of the teaching. Others,
gods and men, too, certainly strive earnestly to accomplish the practice of the
teaching, but because of the excellence of the bhikkhu-state by way of practice,
the Master said: "Bhikkhu." For amongst those who accept the teaching
of the Buddha, the bhikkhu is the highest owing to fitness for receiving
manifold instruction. Further, when that highest kind of person, the bhikkhu, is
reckoned, the rest too are reckoned, as in regard to a royal procession and the
like, when the king is reckoned, by the reckoning of the king, the retinue is
reckoned. Also the word "bhikkhu" was used by the Buddha to point out
the bhikkhu-state through practice of the teaching in this way: "He who practices this practice of the Arousing of Mindfulness is called a
bhikkhu." He who follows the teaching, be he a shining one [deva] or a
human, is indeed called a bhikkhu. Accordingly it is said:
"Well-dressed one may be, but if one is calm,
Tamed, humble, pure, a man who does no harm
To aught that lives, that one's a brahmin true.
An ascetic and mendicant too."
Kaye = "In the body." In the corporeal group. The group of
big and small corporeal constituents, namely, things like hair of the head, hair
of the body, nails, and teeth, in the sense of a collection [samuhatthena]
similar to a herd of elephants, a concourse of chariots according to
grammatical method [sadda nayena]. From here, the explanation is by way of
word-analysis [nirutti nayena].
And as in the sense of a collection, so also in the sense of the focus of
what is filthy and therefore of what is disgusting is it "kaya." For
the body [kaya] is the birthplace [aya] of the disgusting, the
exceedingly repellent. The birthplace [aya] is the place of origin [uppattidesa].
Since these originate from that place [ayanti tato] it is the place of
origin [ayo]. What originates? The repulsive things like hair of the
head. Therefore, the body is the place of origin of disgusting or contemptible
things [kucchitanam ayoti kayo].
Kayanupassi = "Contemplating the body." Possessed of the
character of body-contemplation, or of observing the body.
Why is the word "body" used twice in the phrase:
"Contemplating the body in the body?" For determining the object and
isolating it, and for the sifting out thoroughly [vinibbhoga] of the
apparently compact [ghana] nature of things like continuity [santati].
Because there is no contemplating of feeling, consciousness nor mental
objects in the body, but just the contemplating of the body only, determination
through isolation is set forth by the pointing out of the way of contemplating
the body only in the property called the body.
In the body there is no contemplation of a uniform thing, apart from the big
and small members of the body, or of a man, or of a woman, apart from such
things like the hair of the head and the hair of the body.
There can be nothing apart from the qualities of primary and derived
materiality, in a body.
Indeed the character of contemplating the collection of the major and the
minor corporeal members, is like the seeing of the constituents of a cart. The
character of contemplating the collection of the hair of the head, the hair of
the body and the like is comparable to the seeing of the component parts of a
city; and the character of contemplating the collection of primary and derived
materiality is comparable to the separation of the leaf covering of a
plantain-trunk, or is like the opening of an empty fist. Therefore, by the
pointing out of the basis called the body in the form of a collection in many
ways, the sifting out thoroughly of the apparently compact is shown.
In this body, apart from the above mentioned collection, there is seen no
body, man, woman or anything else. Beings engender wrong belief, in many ways,
in the bare groups of things mentioned above. Therefore the men of old said:
What he sees that is not (properly) seen;
What is seen, that he does not (properly) see;
Not seeing (properly) he is shackled clean;
And he, the shackled fool, cannot get free.
What he sees = What man or woman he sees. Why, is there no
seeing of man or a woman with the eye? There is. "I see a woman,"
"I see a man." -- these statements refer to what he sees by way of
ordinary perception. That perception, owing to wrong comprehension, does not get
at the sense-basis [rupayatana] in the highest sense, philosophically, through
the falsely determined condition of material form [viparita gahavasena miccha
Or the meaning is: the absence of perception which is called the seeing of
primary and derived materiality, beginning with things such as the hair of the
head, owing to non-cognizability of the collective nature of an object like a
man or woman by eye-consciousness [kesadibhutupadaya samuhasankhatam ditthi na
hoti acakkhuvi˝˝ana vi˝˝eyyatta].
What is seen that he does not properly see = He does not
see, according to reality by the eye of wisdom, the sense-basis which exists,
the collection of primary and derived materiality beginning with hair of the
head and the like [yam rupayatanam kesadibhutupadaya samuhasankhatam dittham tam
pa˝˝a-cakkhuna bhutato na passati].
Not seeing properly he is shackled = Not seeing this body as
it actually is, with the eye of wisdom, he thinks: "This is mine, this am
I, this is my self," and is bound with the fetter of defilement [imam
attabhavam yathabhutam pa˝˝acakkhuna apassanto etam mama esohamasmi eso me
attati kilesa bandhanena bajjhati].
And here, by the passage: "For the determining of the object by
isolating it, and for the sifting out thoroughly of the apparently compact
nature of things like continuity," this too should be understood: This
person contemplates in this body only the body; he does not contemplate anything
else. What does this mean? In this definitely transient, suffering, soulless
body, that is unlovely, he does not see permanence, pleasure, a soul, nor
beauty, after the manner of those animals which see water in a mirage.
Body-contemplation is only the contemplation of the collection of qualities of
transiency, suffering, soullessness, and unloveliness.
Because there is no contemplating of the body with reference to a self or to
anything belonging to a self, owing to the contemplating even of collections of
things like the hair of the head, there is the character of contemplating, in
the body, the body which is a collection of things like the hair of the head.
The meaning should be understood thus too: "contemplating the body in
the body" is the seeing of the body as a group of all qualities beginning
with impermanence, step by step, as taught in the passage of the Patisambhida
which begins with: "In this body he contemplates according to impermanence
and not permanence."
The bhikkhu sees the body in the body, (1) as something impermanent; (2) as
something subject to suffering; (3) as something that is soulless; (4) by way of
turning away from it and not by way of delighting in it; (5) by freeing himself
of passion for it; (6) with thoughts making for cessation and not making for
origination; (7) and not by way of laying hold of it, but by way of giving it
Viharati = "Lives."
Atapi = "Ardent". What burns the defilement of the three
planes of becoming is ardour. Ardour is a name for energy.
Although the term burning [atapana] is applied to the abandoning of
defilements here, it is also applicable to right view, thought, speech, action,
livelihood, mindfulness and concentration. As "ardour" [atapa], like
"glow" [atappa], is restricted by use to just energy generally, it is
said: "ardour is a name for energy." Or because of the occurrence of
energy [viriya] by way of instigating the associated things, in the abandoning
of opposing qualities, that itself (i.e., energy) is ardour (atapa]. In this
place only energy [viriya] is referred to by "atapa". By taking the
word ardent [atapi] the Master points out the one possessed of right energy or
Sampajano = "Clearly comprehending." Endowed with knowledge
called circumspection [sampaja˝˝a].
Clearly comprehending = Discerning rightly, entirely and
equally [samma samantato sama˝ca pajananto].
Rightly = Correctly [aviparitam].
Entirely = By knowing in all ways [sabbakarapajananena].
Equally = By reason of proceeding through the conveying of
higher and higher spiritual attainments [uparupari visesavaha-bhavena pavattiya].
Satima = "Mindful." Endowed with mindfulness that
lays hold of the body as a subject of meditation, because this yogavacara (the
man conversant with contemplative activity) contemplates with wisdom after
laying hold of the object with mindfulness. There is nothing called
contemplation without mindfulness. Therefore the Master said: "Mindfulness
is necessary in all circumstances, O bhikkhus, I declare."
Necessary in all circumstances = Everywhere in the state of
becoming, in every sluggish and unbalanced state of mind, it is desirable. Or,
that by the help of which the other proper Factors of Enlightenment [bojjhanga]
are capable of being developed, is "necessary in all circumstances."
Here, contemplation takes place by means of wisdom that is assisted by
To point out the things by the influence of which the meditation of the yogi
prospers, is the purpose of the words, "Ardent, clearly comprehending, and
To the non-ardent state of mind there is the obstacle of mental lassitude.
The state of mind that is not clearly comprehending commits blunders of
judgment in the business of choosing the right means and in avoiding the wrong.
The state of mind which is inattentive -- the mental state of absence of
mindfulness -- is incapable of laying hold of the right means and of rejecting
the wrong means.
When the yogi is not ardent, not clearly comprehending, and not mindful, he
does not succeed in accomplishing his object.
Mental lassitude = Inward stagnation. Indolence is the
Right means = Things like the purification of virtue [sila
After the pointing out of the things that make up the condition connected
with the Arousing of Mindfulness through body-contemplation, there is the
pointing out of the things that make up the condition which should be abandoned
in this practice with the words, "having overcome, in this world,
covetousness and grief" = Vineyya loke abhijjhadomanassam.
Arousing of Mindfulness. Here bare mindfulness is meant.
Therefore, the commentator speaks of "the things that make up the
condition connected with the Arousing of Mindfulness." These
things are energy and so forth, associated necessarily with mindfulness.
Condition [anga] = reason [karana].
Mindfulness denotes concentration, too, here on account of
the inclusion of mindfulness in the aggregate of concentration [samadhikkhandha].
Or since the exposition is on mindfulness, and as neither the abandoning
of defilements nor the attainment of Nibbana is wrought by mindfulness alone,
and as mindfulness does not also occur separately, the pointing out the
things that make up the condition connected with the Arousing of Mindfulness
is like the pointing out of the condition connected with absorption [jhana].
Condition [anga] is a synonym for constituent [avayava]. Initial
application, sustained application, interest, joy and one-pointedness of mind
are together with absorption, as energy and the other qualities are with
"Having overcome" refers to the discipline of knocking out an evil
quality by its opposite good (that is by dealing with each category of evil
separately) or through the overcoming of evil part by part [tadangavinaya]
and through the disciplining or the overcoming of the passions by suppression in
absorption [vikkhambhana vinaya].
Preliminary practice connected with the mundane path of mindfulness is
pointed out by the commentator here.
"In this world." In just this body. Here the body [kaya] is
the world [loka], in the sense of a thing crumbling.
As covetousness and grief are abandoned in feeling, consciousness, and mental
objects, too, the Vibhanga says: "Even the five aggregates of clinging are
Covetousness stands for sense desire; and grief, for anger. As sense desire
and anger are the principal hindrances, the abandoning of the hindrances is
stated by the overcoming of covetousness and grief.
With covetousness are abandoned the satisfaction rooted in bodily happiness,
delight in the body, and the falling into erroneous opinion which takes as real
the unreal beauty, pleasure, permanence and substantiality of the body. With the
overcoming of grief are abandoned the discontent rooted in bodily misery, the
non-delight in the culture of body-contemplation, and the desire to turn away
from facing the real ugliness, suffering, impermanence and insubstantiality of
By the instruction dealing with the overcoming of covetousness and grief,
yogic power and yogic skill are shown.
Yogic power is the power of meditation. Yogic skill is dexterity in yoking
oneself in meditation.
Freedom from satisfaction and discontent in regard to bodily happiness and
misery, the forbearing from delighting in the body, the bearing-up of
non-delight in the course of body-contemplation, the state of being not
captivated by the unreal, and the state of not running away from the real --
these, when practiced produce yogic power; and the ability to practice these is
There is another method of interpretation of the passage: (A bhikkhu) lives
contemplating the body in the body, ardent, and so forth.
"Contemplating" refers to the subject of meditation.
"Lives": lives protecting the subject of meditation which here is the
In the passage beginning with "ardent", Right Exertion [sammappadhana]
is stated by energy [atapa]; the subject of meditation proper in all
circumstances [sabbatthika kammatthana] or the means of protecting the
subject of meditation [kammatthana pariharana upaya], is stated by
mindfulness and clear comprehension [sati sampaja˝˝a]; or the quietude
that is obtained [patiladdha samatha] by way of the contemplation on the
body [kayanupassana] is stated by mindfulness; insight [vipassana]
by clear comprehension; and the fruit of inner culture [bhavana phala]
through the overcoming of covetousness and grief [abhijjha domanassa vinaya].
The subject of meditation useful in all circumstances is stated by
referring to (the laying hold on) mindfulness and clear comprehension, because
through the force of these two qualities there is the protection of the subject
of meditation and suitability of attention for its unbroken practice.
Further, of these two qualities, mindfulness and clear comprehension, the
following is stated in the commentary to the Atthasalini, Mula Tika, "To
all who have yoked themselves to the practice of any subject of meditation, to
all yogis, these two are things helpful, at all times, for the removal of
obstruction and the increase of inner culture."
Vedanasu Vedananupassi ..... citte cittanupassi ..... dhammesu
dhammanupassi viharati = "He lives contemplating feeling in the
feelings ..... the consciousness in consciousness ..... mental object in mental
objects." Here the repetition of "feelings",
"consciousness" and "mental objects" should be understood
according to the reasons given for the repetition of the word "body"
"Feeling" = The three feelings: pleasurable, painful and the
neither pleasurable nor painful. These are only mundane.
The word "feelings" is repeated to limit (or unambiguously
determine) the object by isolating it [anissato vavatthanam], for the analysis
of the apparently compact [ghana vinibbhoga] and for such other purposes,
in order to prevent any straying from the contemplation on feelings to some
other object. Erratic contemplation takes place because of the connection of the
other non-material aggregates with feelings, and because of the dependence of
non-material things like feelings on material form in the
five-constituent-existence [pa˝ca vokara bhava] or the sensuous plane of
becoming [kama bhava].
By the repetition of the word, the limiting of the object by isolating it,
is shown through the pointing out of only a doer of feeling-contemplation in the
property called feeling, as there is no contemplating of the body, or
consciousness or mental objects in feeling but only the contemplating of
As, in this matter of feeling, when a pleasurable feeling occurs, there is
no occurrence of the other two, and when a painful feeling or a neither
pleasurable nor painful feeling occurs, there is no occurrence of the remaining
ones, so is shown the analysis (sifting out or penetration or dissection) of the
apparently compact, the absence of permanence (or stability), by the pointing
out of different feelings, after penetrating them severally, and not having
spoken of the state of feeling in a general way.
Through the noticing of feelings as lasting just for the measure of a
moment in time, the seeing of impermanence is made clear. Through the same
cognizance, suffering and soullessness too are seen.
For the analysis of the apparently compact and for such other purposes.
By the words, "And for such other purposes," the following should
be understood: "This yogavacara (the Buddha's disciple who is endeavouring
for spiritual insight) contemplates just feelings and not any other thing,
because he is not one who contemplates by way of the lovely (the good or the
desirable), after the manner of a fool who sees a gem in a bubble of water which
has not the quality of a gem. He does not see in this foolish way even in the
stable instant when he experiences a pleasant feeling. Much more so does he not
stray away into fanciful thinking in regard to the two remaining feelings of
pain and indifference. On the other hand, he contemplates along the real way of
impermanence, soullessness, and the unlovely, by way of momentary dissolution,
lack of power to control (sway or rule), and the trickling of the dirt of
defilement, and distinctively contemplates suffering, as the pain of
vicissitude, and of the formations or the constituents of life.
Consciousness is only mundane; and mundane, too, are mental objects. This
statement will be made evident in the analytically expository portion [niddesavara].
In the way mentioned above should the repetition of words in the
contemplation of consciousness and mental objects be explained, too.
Only mundane, as connected with the examining of mundane
objects of thought in the light of impermanence, suffering and soullessness [sammasana
To be sure, in whatever way feeling is to be exclusively contemplated, here,
the contemplating in that very way is the meaning of the word:
"Contemplating feelings in the feelings" [kevalam panidha yatha
vedana anupassitabba tatha anupassanto vedanasu vedananupassiti veditabbo].
In the contemplation of consciousness and mental objects too this is the method.
"How should feeling be contemplated upon?", it is asked, further.
Pleasurable feeling because it is the stuff of suffering as suffering. Painful
feeling because it is the condition of bringing out trouble and so forth, as a
thorn. And the neither pleasurable nor painful feeling, because of non-mastery
or dependence and so forth, as transiency.
By the passage, beginning with the words "To be sure, in
whatsoever way," the commentator points to the limit of the
object (excluding thereby discursive thinking that strays from the reality).
Accordingly, the Master said:
Who sees pleasure as suffering,
Who sees pain as a thorn,
Who sees as a thing that is fleeting,
The neutral peace that's shorn
Of pleasure and pain; that bhikkhu will,
Rightly, know; and live, become still.
Who sees pleasure as suffering = Who sees feelings by way of
the suffering natural to change, with the eye of wisdom.
Who sees pain as a thorn = Who sees painful feeling as
damage causing, piercing in, and as a thing hard to drive out.
The neutral peace = The feeling of indifference is peaceful,
owing to the absence of grossness as in states of pain and pleasure; and by way
of a restful nature.
Who sees feelings with the thought that they are impermanent by reason of
their becoming non-existent after having come to be, owing to their being
characterised by the qualities of arising and passing away, owing to their
temporariness, and owing to their being in a state of constant negation, is he
who sees the neutral peace of the neither pleasurable nor painful feelings as
fleeting, and is indeed the bhikkhu who will rightly know and live, become
Rightly = Correctly.
Know = know feelings as they are.
Further, just all feelings should be contemplated with the thought:
"These are suffering, indeed."
Suffering is what it is because of the ill natural to the constituents of
life [sankhara dukkhataya dukkha].
For this has been said by the Blessed One: "All that is felt is in
suffering, I declare [yam ki˝ci vedayitam tam sabbam dukkhasminti vadami."
All that is in suffering = Everything experienced is
plunged, included, in suffering [sabbantam vedayitam dukkhasmim antogadham
pariyapannam], because the ill natural to the formations, the constituents in
life, cannot be conquered [sankhara dukkhata nativattanato].
And pleasure should also be contemplated upon as suffering. All should be
explained according as the Arahant-nun Dhammadinna spoke (to her former husband
Visakha, in the Cula Vedalla Sutta of the Majjhima Nikaya): Pleasant feeling,
friend Visakha, is agreeable while it lasts and is disagreeable when it changes;
painful feeling is disagreeable while it lasts and agreeable when it changes;
the neither pleasant nor painful feeling is agreeable when there is a knowledge
of its existence and disagreeable when that knowledge is wanting.
The three feelings should be contemplated upon as pleasant and painful.
When the first occurs, the second changes and the third is known, then, feeling
is pleasant. When the first changes, the second occurs and the third is not
known, then feeling is painful.
The feelings should also be seen according to the seven contemplations
beginning with that of impermanence, mentioned above (p. 37).
The remaining division beginning with the worldly and spiritual feelings in
the classification of pleasurable feeling and so forth, in
feeling-contemplation, will become clear in the analytical exposition [niddesavara].
Consciousness and mental objects, too, should be contemplated upon by way of
the diversity of the division of object (arammana], dominance [adhipati],
conascence [sahajata], plane [bhumi], causal action [kamma],
result [vipaka], non-causative functional process [kriya], and so
forth [adi], beginning with impermanence [aniccadinam anupassananam
vesena] and by way of the division of consciousness that is with passion and
so forth come down in the portion of analytical exposition [niddesavare
agatasaragadi bheda˝ca vasena].
Or the divisions of object.... non-causative functional process and so
forth. Contemplation should be done by way of the division of the
blue and so forth pertaining to the variety of objects visual and so forth [rupadi
arammana nanattassa niladi tabbhedassa); by way of the division of the
"low" and so forth pertaining to the diverse kinds of dominance of the
will-to-do and so forth [chandadi adhipati nanattassa hinadi tabbhedassa]; by
way of the division of the spontaneous and non-spontaneous consciousness,
absorption with initial application and so forth pertaining to the variety of
conditions of conascence of knowledge, absorption and so forth [˝ana jhanadi
nanattassa sasankharikasankharika savitakkadi tabbhedassa]; by way of the
division of lofty, middling, and so forth pertaining to the diverse planes,
sensuous and so forth [kamavacaradi bhuminanattassa ukkattha majjhimadi
tabbhedassa]; by way of the division of conduciveness to deva-plane-rebirth and
so forth, pertaining to the diverse kind of moral action of skill and so forth [kusaladi
kammananattassa devagati samvattaniyatadi tabbhedassa]; by way of the division
of the state of requital which could be perceived in this very present condition
of life and so forth, pertaining to the variety of dark and bright resultants of
evil and good deeds (kanha sukka vipaka nanattassa dittha dhamma vedaniyatadi
tabbhedassa]; by way of the division of the three good conditions of rebirth and
so forth, pertaining to non-causative functional diversity of the sensuous plane
and so forth [paritta bhumakadi kriya nanattassa tihetukadi tabbhedassa].
Mental objects should be contemplated upon by way of own characteristic [sallakkhana]
of impression and the like [phusanadi]; by way of general characteristic [sama˝˝a
lakkhana] of impermanence and the like [aniccatadi]; by way of
phenomenon-emptiness [su˝˝ta dhamma], namely, by way of the void-nature
called soullessness [anattata sankhata su˝˝ata sabhavassa] to explain which
clearly, the instruction of the portion dealing with the void in the Abhidhamma
proceeded by means of the statement beginning with "At that time indeed
there are phenomena, there are aggregates [yam vibhavetum abhidhamme tasmim kho
pana samaye dhamma honti khandha hantiti adina su˝˝atavara desana pavatta], without
any mention of a soul; by way of the seven contemplations of impermanence and so
forth [aniccadi satta anupassananam]; and by way of the divisions of what
is present and what is absent and so forth, in the analytical portion [niddesavare
agata santasantadi bhedana˝ca vasena].
If, in the meditator's body, called the world, covetousness and grief are
abandoned, in the worlds of his feelings and so forth too, these are abandoned owing
to the earlier abandoning of these by the yogi [kama˝cettha kayasankhate loke
abhijjha domanassam pahinam vedanadi lokesu pi tam pahinameva pubbe
Still, everywhere, the abandoning of the defilements has been stated by way
of the different types of persons and by way of the diversity of the
thought-unit, in which the development of the different subjects of the Arousing
of Mindfulness takes place [nana puggalavasena pana nana cittakkhana
satipatthana bhavanavasena ca sabbattha vuttam]. Or it should be understood
thus: It is stated in this manner in order to indicate that the abandoning of
the defilements in one object implies the abandoning of the defilements in the
Therefore, it is not fit to speak again of the abandoning of these; for
while the defilements are abandoned, they are not abandoned separately in one
object after another, -- i.e., the defilements pertaining to the body, for
instance, are not first abandoned and then those belonging to the feeling and so
forth, in succession, but the defilements of all objects are abandoned when the
defilements are abandoned in one object.
That is due to the fact that only the defilements which can arise in the
future are capable of being abandoned through the scorching out of the causes by
the attainment of the Path or through measures that make the causes temporarily
impotent, because of the observance of virtue and the development of absorption.
Past defilements and those arising in the present are beyond the scope of
The abandoning of the defilements of one object in the thought-unit of the
Path is indeed the abandoning of the defilements of all objects.
It is right to say that by the Path, are the defilements abandoned.
The abandoning of the defilements of one person is not necessarily the
abandonding of the defilements of another person [nahi ekassa pahinam tato a˝˝assa
pahinam nama hoti]. Reference to the different types of persons is made to point
this fact of possible difference of method by way of object.
The diversity of the thought-unit. The mundane thought-unit
is meant, as the preliminary path is dealt with here.
What is abandoned temporarily by mundane meditation in the body, is not
suppressed in the feelings and the other objects.
Even if covetousness and grief should not occur in the feelings and the
other objects, when it is suppressed in the body, it should not be stated that
owing to efficient rejection by meditation opposed to covetousness and grief,
there is no covetousness and grief in the other objects such as feelings and in
the case of suppression by meditation, therefore, it is fit to speak of the
rejection of covetousness and grief again in feelings and the other objects.
The defilements abandoned in one object are abandoned in the remaining
objects too [ekattha pahinam sesesu pi pahinam hoti]. This statement refers to
the supramundane meditation of Mindfulness-arousing. In the case of mundane
meditation the rejection is stated everywhere with reference to bare
non-occurrence of the defilements [lokiya bhavanaya sabbattha appavatt mattam
In regard to the four objects of contemplation through the Arousing of
Mindfulness, it is said in the Vibhanga thus: Even the Five Aggregates are the
world [pa˝ca pi khandha lokoti hi Vibhange catusu pi thanesu vuttanti].