Home  

HOME                     Abhidhamma.org                        CONTENTS

The Commentary to the Discourse
on the Arousing of Mindfulness
with Marginal Notes

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,[1] the birthplace of Sammasambuddhas,[2] Paccekabuddhas,[3] 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.[4]

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 alms.

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,[5] 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.[6]

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 trained.

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]"[7] 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 Way)."

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."[8] 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 suffering."[9]

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 sanctifies them."[10]

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.[11]

Patacara reached the fruition of the first stage of arahantship after hearing the following:

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.[12]

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 Mindfulness.

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 Sakka.

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 tiger.

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 utterance:-

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 your head."

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 gods.

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?[13]

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.[14]

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 before.

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 "vana".

Ocular experience by oneself: Sensing without aid from the outside.

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 subject.

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 insight.

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 Nettipakarana.

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[15] 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."[16]

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 parikappita rupatta].

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 up.

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 exertion [sammappadhana].

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."[17]

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 mindfulness.

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 mindful."

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 meaning.

Right means = Things like the purification of virtue [sila visodhana].

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 mindfulness.

"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 the world."

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 the body.

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 yogic skill.

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 body.

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" in body-contemplation.

"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 feeling.

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 carassa adhippetatta].

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.[18]

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 still.

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 pahinatta].

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 remaining objects.

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 abandoning.

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 sandhaya vuttam].

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].

 

HOME                     Abhidhamma.org                        CONTENTS