After explaining the Arousing of Mindfulness of the sixteenfold contemplation
of consciousness, the Master said: "And, how, o bhikkhus," in order to
expound the fivefold contemplation of mental objects [dhamma], -- things
spiritual and material.
Further, the laying hold of pure corporeality or materiality was taught by
the Blessed One in the instruction on body-contemplation, and in the instruction
on the contemplation of feeling and consciousness, the laying hold of the purely
spiritual. Now in order to teach the laying hold of a mixture of the material
and the spiritual, he said, "And, how, o bhikkhus," and so forth. Or
in the contemplation on the body the laying hold of the aggregate of
corporeality or materiality was spoken of by the Master; in the contemplation on
feeling, the laying hold of the aggregate of feeling; in the contemplation on
mind, the laying hold of the aggregate of consciousness; and now in order to
speak of even the laying hold of the aggregates of perception and formations, he
said "And, how, o bhikkhus," and so forth.
There, in the Discourse, the word, santam = "present". It
means existing by way of occurrence, practice or repeated happening. Asantam
= "not present." Not existing, by way of non-occurrence or because of
rejection from the mind by way of reflection or concentration.
In connection with the hindrances it must be known that the hindrance of
sensuality arises because of wrong reflection on a object that is sensuously
agreeable, pleasant, favourable. Such an object is either sensuality itself or
that which produces sensuality -- the sensuality-object.
Wrong reflection is inexpedient reflection, reflection on the wrong track. Or
it is reflection which considers the impermanent as permanent, pain as pleasure,
non-soul as soul, the bad as good.
Sense-desire arises when wrong reflection occurs plentifully in a sensuously
good object. Therefore the Blessed One said that the condition for the arising
of fresh sense-desire and for the increase and expansion of existing
sense-desire is plentiful wrong reflection on a sensuously auspicious or
Sense-desire is cast out, indeed, with right reflection on a sensuously
inauspicious or unpromising object. Such an object itself or the jhana developed
through such an object is meant by the term sensuously inauspicious object.
Right reflection is expedient reflection; reflection going on the right
track. It is reflection that considers the facts of impermanence, suffering,
soullessness and of impurity, according to reality.
When there is much right reflection on the sensuously inauspicious or
unpromising object, sense-desire is knocked out. Therefore the Blessed One said
that the condition for keeping out new sense-desire and for casting out old
sense-desire is abundant right reflection on the sensuously inauspicious or
Further, there are six things which lead to the casting out of sense-desire:
Taking up the sensuously inauspicious subject of meditation; application for the
development of the jhana on the sensuously inauspicious subject of meditation;
the guarded state of the controlling faculties of sense; moderation in food; the
sympathy and support of good men in the endeavour; stimulating talk that helps
the accomplishment of the object in view.
Explaining these six it is said: Taking up refers to the taking up of the
tenfold object sensuously inauspicious, impure, or bad; the man who takes it up
will cast out sense-desire. Sense-desire will also be cast out, by him who
develops the jhana on the sensuously inauspicious object of meditation, by him
who guards the controlling faculties of sense by closing the six sense doors,
and by him who knows the measure of food for sustenance and of whom it is said:
Enough it is for the comfort of the almsman
Who has put aside all thoughts of body and life,
Who has his thoughts yoked on to craving's wane,
To stop eating when he could eat some four
Or five more lumps for which there's belly-room.
And, with drinks of water, end his begged repast.
It will also be cast out by him who keeps the company of men like the Elder
Tissa, the worker in the sensuously inauspicious subject of meditation,
sympathetic towards those who endeavour in accomplishing the casting out of
sense-desire and by talk connected with the tenfold sensuously inauspicious
object. Therefore it is said by the commentator that six things are conducive to
the casting out of sense-desire.
Sense-desire cast out by these six things becomes incapable of arising, in
the future, through the attainment of the path of arahantship.
Hindrances have to be cast out first in the course of proper training.
With the casting out of the hindrances there is induced jhana, the means of
attaining quietude. Thus indeed is body-contemplation surely taught with
Afterwards is given the higher instruction in regard to all divisions
beginning with what should be understood -- the aggregations and the sense-base
which ought to be understood, and the factors of enlightenment which should be
developed. Therefore, here too, the development of quietude is desired so far as
it is for the sake of insight.
It is said: "The instruction on the Arousing of Mindfulness has
insight as the chief thing, abounds in insight."
Since there is no state of yoking together of the good and the bad moral
qualities similar to the yoking of two bulls to a cart, -- since the good and
the bad do not exist together -- from the absence of sensuality at the time of
seeing one's mind through knowledge it is said: by way of occurrence. At
the moment of seeing wisely the occurrence of sense-desire there is no
sense-desire as good and bad states of mind cannot exist together
Existing means: When it is found in one's own mental flux.
Sensuously inauspicious or unpromising objects are the ten inanimate
things: (1) The corpse that is swollen, (2) Blue, (3) Festering, (4) Fissured,
(5) Mangled, (6) Dismembered, (7) Cut and dismembered, (8) With blood, (9)
Wormy, (10) Become a skeleton. Details of these may be found in The Path of
Purity in the exposition of the subject of meditation on the foul..
And the perception of hair of the head and so forth, because it is called
in the Girimananda Sutta the perception of the sensuously inauspicious or
impure, is taken as the sensuously inauspicious animate thing.
The jhana on the sensuously inauspicious object occurs in an inanimate or
animate sensuously inauspicious thing. And the indication of the four kinds of
wrong reflection and the four kinds of right reflection in regard to the
sensuously inauspicious object is for the purpose of pointing out fully the
The four kinds of consideration of the impure as pure, the impermanent as
permanent, suffering as pleasure, and non-soul as soul are the four kinds of
wrong reflection and the four kinds of consideration of the impure as impure and
so forth are the four kinds of right reflection.
The taking up of the practice of considering the repulsiveness of any of
the eleven kinds of the sensuously inauspicious or the practice of contemplation
on the sensuously inauspicious object is "taking up" or
The application to the development of the thought bent on the sensuously
inauspicious object which brings partial and full concentration is application
for the development of the jhana on the sensuously inauspicious subject of
Certain teachers say that as there is no opportunity for sense-desire in
him who knows the proper measure of food to be taken, through absence of trouble
owing to that knowledge from sloth and torpor, sense-desire is cast out in such
a person. Just this reason is given in even the expository portion: The person
who practices moderation in food brings about the perception of impurity bound
up with that food, for instance, through the alteration of food by way of bodily
excretions, and dwells on other similar thoughts as well as on the idea of
corporeal subjection to food. Such a person casts out sense-desire.
The Elder Tissa referred to in the commentary above is the Elder Maha
Tissa (of Anuradhapura), who saw the teeth of a woman and who by doing right
reflection on their bony nature cast out sense-desire through jhana.
According to the Abhidhamma method of instruction, even the whole world is
the hindrance of sense-desire. Therefore the commentator said: through the
attainment of the path of arahantship [abhidhamma pariyayena sabbo pi loko
kamacchandanivarananti aha arahattamaggenati].
Indeed, wrong reflection on an object of resentment produces anger. In this
connection anger itself as well as the object which causes anger is called the
resentment-object, or the sign of resentment. Wrong reflection has just the same
character everywhere, and when it occurs much in the resentment-object or the
resentment-sign, anger arises. Therefore the Blessed One said that intense wrong
reflection on an object of resentment is the cause of fresh anger and of the
increase and expansion of anger already existing.
By right reflection of the liberating thought of love, the thought of love
that frees the heart indeed, anger gets cast out. The term "love" here
is applicable both to partial concentration (upacara samadhi) and full
concentration (appana samadhi). Heart-liberating love is only full
concentration. Right reflection has the same character throughout. When it
occurs strong in the thought of love, anger is removed from the heart. Therefore
the Master said: "There is, o bhikkhus, the liberation of the mind through
love. Intense right reflection on love is the condition for keeping out new
anger and for throwing out anger that is already in the heart."
And it is said that these six things help to cast anger out: Taking up the
practice of the love subject of meditation; applying oneself to the development
of jhana on the thought of love; reflection on one's action as one's own
property, abundance of wise consideration; sympathetic and helpful companionship
of the good; and stimulating talk that assists the development of the thought of
love and the overthrow of anger.
In explanation the commentator said: Anger will be put down in one who takes
up the love subject of meditation by way of spreading it particularly or
separately. Or if one takes up the love subject of meditation by way of
spreading it generally, without particularization or directional restriction in
space, then too anger will be put down, in one.
Anger vanishes also through the development of jhana by spreading love
restrictedly with differentiation on seven or twenty-eight ways or by spreading
it unrestrictedly without differentiation in five or twenty ways or by spreading
it directionally towards the ten points in space.
Anger vanishes in one who reflects thus too: "What will you do to him by
becoming angry?" "Will you be able to destroy things like his
virtue?" "Have you not been born here just by your own actions and
will you not also by your own actions get reborn hereafter?" "Getting
angry with another is comparable to the state of him who wishes to strike
another with glowing coals, red-hot crowbar, excreta and such other damaging
things after taking them up in his bare hands." "And what can another
who is angry with you do to you?" "Can he destroy your virtue or any
other similar thing of yours?" "He, too, has been born here as a
result of his actions and will be reborn hereafter just according to his
actions." "Like a present not accepted is that anger of his and like a
handful of dust thrown against the wind, that anger of his alights on his own
head." In this way one reflects on one's own action as one's own property
and also another person's action as that person's own, and puts out anger.
To one remaining in an abundance of wise consideration after reflecting on
action as one's or another's own property, anger vanishes. And it vanishes in
him who is in the company of a sympathetic friend who delights in developing the
jhana of the thought of love like the Elder Assagutta and through stimulating
talk on the thought of love when in any one of the four postures. Therefore it
is said: Six things are conducive to the casting out of anger. The anger cast
out by these six things, however, is finally destroyed by the attainment of the
state of the Anagami, the Never-returner.
The thought of love [metta] is a sublime state of mind [brahmavihara]; it
is one's own state of freedom from hatred. A detailed description of the way of
developing love as a subject of meditation is given in the Path of Purity.
The following summary of hints gathered from different comments and the
Path of Purity will be helpful to a beginner:
The love-thought of meditation is different from worldly attachment. It is
based on wishing well to all beings. The idea of possession of the loved object
is foreign to it. It is not a state of mind that encourages exclusiveness. The
aim of the meditation is finally to include in the ambit of one's goodwill all
beings equally, without distinction. "The liberation of the mind through
love" refers only to full concentration. Without reaching full
concentration there is no effective freedom from anger. The beginner who works
at this subject of meditation is not to practice the thought of love at first:
On a sensuously promising object of the opposite sex, as attachment towards
it might arise in the yogi's mind.
On a dead person, as the practice would be futile.
On an enemy, as anger might arise.
On an indifferent person, as the practice might prove wearisome.
On one who is very dear as the arousing of friendly thoughts without
attachment towards such a one would be tiring; and as mental agitation might
occur should even some slight trouble overtake that one.
Taking up the practice of the love subject of meditation is
the generating, the bringing about of the characteristic, sign or mark, of the
love thought of meditation of him who through loving-kindness gathers together
all beings with goodwill.
The reflection on the thought of love itself is the sign of the love
thought of meditation, because the reflection arisen first is the reason of the
Spreading it particularly: Consecutively in the following
order: to oneself, to a friend, an indifferent person, and an enemy. Spreading
it generally: By breaking down all barriers, limits and reservations which
separate oneself from all others, and extending the same kind of friendly
thought to all. Directionally: Extending the thought of love towards one
point of the compass, for instance, the east. These three kinds of spreading of
the thought of love refer to the stage of meditation of "taking up the
practice of the thought of love" which covers the training from the
beginning to the attainment of partial concentration (upacara samadhi). In
regard to this state of meditation the following is stated: Spreading the
thought of love after particularizing the direction by way of a monastery, a
street, village and so forth is one way and spreading the thought of love
towards a direction in space generally by way of the eastern direction and so
forth without specifying a monastery and so forth is another way of practice
The development of the jhana on the thought of love is the
practice again and again of the thought of love that has got partial
concentration. The development is done in three ways: (1) The spreading of the
love thought universally. This is done by wishing that all living beings (satta),
all breathing things (pana), all beings born (bhuta), all persons (puggala), all
who have reached a state of individuality (attabhavapariyapanna), be without
hatred, disease, and grief, and be happy taking care of themselves (avera,
abyapajjha, anigha hontu, suhki attanam pariharantu). (2) Spreading the thought
of love by way of a restricted group of beings. This is done by wishing that all
females, all males, all purified ones, all non-purified ones, all divine beings,
all humans, all beings fallen to states of woe, be without hatred, disease and
grief and happy taking care of themselves. (3) Spreading the thought of love
directionally in space. This is done by restricting the thought of love towards
each of the ten directions in space: the cardinal points, the intermediate
points, and the zenith and nadir. And it is also done by wishing that the beings
in each of the directions taken up, according to the divisions and groups given
above, be without hatred and so forth according to the formula already
Through wrong reflection on a state of boredom and the like, sloth and torpor
come to be. Boredom is just dissatisfaction. Lassitude is bodily laziness.
Languidity of body is the bending of the body torpidly in getting up and in
similar actions. Lethargy after a meal is a dizziness or slight faint which is
due to eating a principal meal. It is also called the discomfort which follows
such a meal. The mind's sluggishness is the dullness of the mind. An abundance
of wrong reflection on boredom and similar states of mind produces sloth and
torpor. Therefore the Blessed One said that much wrong reflection on boredom,
lassitude, languidity of body, lethargy after a meal, and the mind's
sluggishness, is a condition for the production of fresh sloth and torpor and
the increase and expansion of sloth and torpor already come into being.
Through right reflection in inceptive energy and similar states of mind is
brought about the overthrow of sloth and torpor. Inceptive energy is the effort
first set afoot. Exertion is more powerful than the inceptive energy because it
leaves indolence behind. And because of its assailing further and further of the
destructive condition, progressive endeavour is more powerful than exertion. By
the exercise of right reflection intensely on this threefold strenuousness sloth
and torpor are cast out. Therefore the Blessed One said that the condition for
keeping out new sloth and torpor, and for casting out sloth and torpor that is
old, is abundant right reflection on the element of inceptive energy, of
exertion and of progressive endeavour.
There are six things which lead to the casting out of sloth and torpor: The
seeing of the reason of sloth and torpor in the fact of eating too much or
gluttony; the changing of the postures completely; reflection on the perception
of light; staying in the open; sympathetic and helpful companionship of the
good; and stimulating talk that assists in dispelling sloth an torpor.
There is the following explanation of these six things: The bhikkhu who has
eaten gluttonously is assailed by sloth and torpor while doing his recluse duty
of meditation in his day or night quarters as by a mighty elephant pressing down
on him, but that one who practices moderation in food is not troubled thus with
these hindrances. In one who thus sees the characteristic of sloth and torpor in
gluttony there is the casting out of sloth and torpor.
Sloth and torpor disappear in him who changes over from the posture which
induces sloth and torpor to another; in him who reflects on the brightness or
the light of the moon, a lamp or a torch by night, and on the light or
brightness of the sun by day; in him who lives in the open; in him who
associates with sympathetic and helpful companions, like the Elder Maha Kassapa,
who have dispelled sloth and torpor; and by stimulating talk connected with a
Therefore it is said: Six things lead to the casting out of sloth and torpor.
The yogi understands thus: sloth and torpor cast out by these six things are
stopped from arising forever in the future by the attainment of the path of
The bhikkhu who has eaten gluttonously after the manner of
the well-known types of Brahamanical gormandizers mentioned in ancient Indian
books. There are five kinds of these greedy eaters: (1) He who eats until he has
to be raised up by the hand from his seat. (2) He who lies rolling just where he
has eaten and eats as long as he likes. (3) He who eats until he slips off his
waist cloth. (4) He who fills himself with food in such a way that it seems as
if a crow could peck at the food in him. (5) He who having filled his belly full
and vomitted eats more food again, or he who eats until he vomits.
On the light or brightness of the sun by day: The meaning
should be understood thus: Sloth and torpor vanish in him, too, who at night is
reflecting on the image of the perception of the brightness of the sun he got by
Here it may be helpful to state the eight ways of dealing with torpor
taught by the Master to the Elder Maha Moggallana: (1) One should neglect to
mind the thought which says that drowsiness is descending on one, or (2) one
should reflect on the Dhamma, or (3) repeat or recite the Dhamma, or (4) pull
both earlobes and rub or massage the limbs with the hands, or (5) getting up
from the sitting position, apply water on and rub the eyes, and look into the
distance, at the constellations in the starry sky, or (6) reflect on the thought
of light, or (7) fix the thought on the ambulatory, aware of the ends of it with
the controlling faculties of sense turned inwards and the mind kept in, or (8)
sleep conscious of the time of waking and on awaking get up quickly thinking
that one will not give oneself to the comforts of lying down, reclining and
languor, when all other seven ways fail.
Wrong reflection on mental agitation brings about flurry and worry. Mental
agitation is inner turbulence. Actually it is flurry and worry, only. Intense
wrong reflection on that mental agitation produces flurry and worry. Therefore
the Blessed One said that wrong reflection on mental agitation when plentifully
done produces fresh flurry and worry and increases and expands flurry and worry
already in existence.
The casting out of agitation and worry occurs through right reflection on
mental tranquillity called concentration and an abundance of right reflection on
mental tranquillity, says the Blessed One, is a condition for the keeping out of
fresh mental agitation and worry and the dispelling of agitation and worry
already in the mind.
Six things are conducive to the casting out of agitation and worry:
Knowledge; questioning; understanding of disciplinary rules; association with
those more experienced and older than oneself in the practice of things like
virtue; sympathetic and helpful companionship and stimulating talk that helps
the rejection of mental agitation and worry.
In explanation it is said as follows: Agitation and worry disappear in him
who learns in the spirit and in the letter one, two, three, four or five
collections of Scripture. This is how one gets over agitation and worry by
knowledge. Questioning means: inquiring much about what is befitting and not,
according to the practice of the Sangha. In him who does this, too, agitation
and worry disappear. Then these twin evils disappear in him who has got the
mastery of the Discipline due to practical application of and conversance with
the nature of the Rule of the Sangha. This is the understanding of the
disciplinary rules. Association with those more experienced and so forth; the
going to the presence of and the conversing with virtuous elders in the Sangha.
By such visits mental agitation and worry disappear in one. Sympathetic and
helpful companionship: association with experts of the Disciplinary Rules like
the Elder Upali, the first of the great masters of the Discipline in the Sangha.
In such company mental agitation and worry disappear. Stimulating talk in this
connection refers particularly to matters of disciplinary practice by which one
comes to know what is befitting and what is not. By this agitation and worry
vanish in one. Therefore, is it said that six things lead to the rejection of
agitation and worry, but the agitation cast out by these things finally ceases
to arise in the future through the attainment of the path of Arahantship, and
the worry cast out by these things finally ceases to arise in the future through
the attainment of the path of the Non-returner.
In their own state or actually as they are individually, mental
agitation and worry are two different things. Still, as worry in the form of
repentance or remorse for ill done and good undone is similar to agitation which
is characterized by distraction and disquiet of mind, mental agitation is
called flurry and worry.
Mental agitation does not overtake the intelligent well-read man who
probes into things by way of what is written in books and by way of the
significance and import of the things themselves. Therefore, it is said that by
way of knowledge not merely of the Disciplinary Rules, but by way of
knowledge of the ninefold Buddha-word, beginning with the Discourses, according
to the principles of the method already stated, and by the application of the
proper remedies mentioned by way of questioning and so forth, remorse and
regret for ill done and good undone do not take place.
By associating with elders who are older than oneself in the practice of
the precepts of virtue and similar good things, who are restrained, aged,
matured seniors, there is brought to one a measure of restraint, matured
bearing, dignity and calm, and mental agitation and worry are cast out.
Good companionship refers to association with those versed
in the Discipline who are able to dispel worry as regards any doubt concerning
what is proper and improper practice.
Wrong reflection on things which are founded on doubt brings about the
arising of doubt. Things which are founded on doubt are known as just doubt
owing to the state of being the reason of doubt again and again. Therefore the
Blessed One said that wrong reflection on things founded on doubt is the
condition for fresh doubt and for the increase and expansion of doubt already
arisen. By right reflection on wholesome things, karmically and the like, there
is the casting out of doubt. Therefore, the Blessed One said that right
reflection on things which are karmically wholesome and not, things blameful and
blameless, things to be practiced and not to be practiced, things of low and
high value, things dark and fair, the counterparts of bad and good, done
intensely, keeps out fresh doubt and casts out doubt that has already come into
There are these six things which help to throw out doubt: The state of being
learned in the Buddha's teaching; of inquiring about the Buddha, the Dhamma, and
the Sangha; of understanding thoroughly the nature of the Discipline; of being
decided about the truth of the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha; sympathetic
and helpful companionship; and stimulating talk that helps to dispel doubt.
The first has been explained earlier. It is the knowledge of the Suttas
generally both in the letter and the spirit. The second is obvious. The third
indicates a state of mastery of the Discipline through practical application and
great conversance with it at first hand. The fourth is the strong inclination
towards or reliance on the Triple Gem called the faith that is capable of
settling in the object of the virtues of the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha.
The fifth is association with good companions like the Elder Vakkali, bent,
inclined, sliding towards faith, mentally. The sixth is stimulating talk on the
Triple Gem at all times possible in every state of behaviour. One can cast away
doubt by means of these six things, but the doubt cast out by these six things
does not ever arise in the future only when it is destroyed by the attainment of
the first stage of the Arahant.
Things which are founded on doubt are things which stand or
proceed on doubt. Taking doubt itself one sees that the doubt arisen first is
the particular reason by way of a common cause of the doubt arisen afterwards.
Surely by the knowledge of the Dhamma and by inquiry all doubts are cast
Iti ajjhattam = "Thus internally." In this way the bhikkhu
lives contemplating the mental objects, by laying hold of the five hindrances
amongst the mental objects of his own mind or amongst the mental objects in
another's mind or at one time amongst the mental objects of his own mind, and at
another time amongst the mental objects of another's mind.
Here origination and dissolution, only refer to the origination of the five
hindrances by way of wrong reflection on sensuously attractive or beautiful
objects etc., and the dissolution of the five hindrances by wise reflection on
the impurity of the sensuous objects etc.
Here the mindfulness which lays hold of the hindrances is the Truth of
Suffering. Thus the portal of deliverance of the bhikkhu who lays hold of the
hindrances should be understood.
Having expounded the contemplation of mental objects by way of the five
hindrances, the Master said, "And, further, o bhikkhus," in order to
explain the contemplation of mental objects by way of the fivefold aggregation.
Pańcasu upadanakkhandhesu = "In (the mental objects of) the five
aggregates of clinging." The five aggregates of clinging are the groups
that grasp life. The congeries of mental objects become the condition of
clinging, is the meaning. This is a brief indication of these aggregates. For
the statement about the aggregates at length the talk on the aggregates in the
Path of Purity should be read.
Iti rupam = "Thus is material form." So far is there
material form and no further. In this way the bhikkhu perceives material form
according to nature. In regard to feeling and the things that come afterwards
the same is the method of exegesis. This is the brief indication of meaning of
the matters referred to here. For the lengthy explanation on these things one
should read the talk on the aggregates in the Path of Purity.
Iti rupassa samudayo = "Thus is the arising of material
form." The arising of material form and the other aggregates should be
known according to the fivefold way (mentioned in the Section on the Modes of
Deportment) through the arising of ignorance and so forth.
Iti rupassa atthangamo = "Thus is the disappearance of material
form." The disappearance of material form and the other aggregates should
be known according to the fivefold way (mentioned in the Section on the Modes of
Deportment) through the passing away of ignorance and so forth. One should read
the talk on the aggregates in the Path of Purity for further explanation.
Iti ajjhattam = "Thus internally." In this way the bhikkhu
lives contemplating mental objects by laying hold of the fivefold aggregation of
clinging amongst his own mental objects or amongst the mental objects of another
or at one time in his own and at another time in another's mental objects.
The origination and dissolution of the fivefold aggregate should be brought
forward and connected by way of the fifty characteristics of the five groups,
with the extended application of the words: "From the arising of ignorance
the arising of material form comes to be."
From here on according to the method already stated by the commentator should
the exposition be.
According to nature means: according to the nature of
breaking-up, according to the nature of the eye, colour and the like in regard
to material form, and according to the nature of experiencing, the nature of
pleasure and the like in regard to feeling. In this way all other connected
things should be interpreted.
After explaining the contemplation of mental objects by way of the aggregates
the Master said: "And, further, o bhikkhus," in order to explain the
contemplation of mental objects by way of the sense-bases.
Chasu ajjhattika bahiresu ayatanesu = "In (the mental objects of)
the six internal and the six external sense-bases." The eye, the ear, the
nose, the tongue, the body and the mind are the six internal sense-bases, and
material form, mind, smell, tastes, tactual object, and mental object are the
six external sense-bases.
Cakkhum pajanati = "(He) understands the eye." He
understands the sensory apparatus of the eye, by way of its own distinct
function and salient characteristic.
Rupe pajanati = "(He) understands material form (objects) that
are visible." He understands material form arising from the four producers
of corporeality, namely, karma, consciousness, climate and nutriment [kamma
citta utu ahara], by way of their own distinctive function and salient
Yam tadubhayam paticcca uppajjati samyojanam = "The fetter that
arises dependent on both (eye and forms)." He understands according to
distinct function and characteristic the tenfold fetter that arises dependent on
both eye and forms -- the tenfold fetter of sense-desire, resentment, pride,
speculative theory, doubt, belief in rites and ceremonies, the desire to go on
existing, envy, avarice and ignorance.
"How does this tenfold fettering arise?" asks one.
The fetter of sensuality arises for him who by way of sensuous enjoyment
takes delight in a pleasant sense-object become visible at the eye-door. For him
who is annoyed or angry at the sight of an unpleasant object, the fetter of
resentment arises, and the fetter of pride arises in him who thinks: No one but
me is able to consider the object wisely. The fetter of speculative theory comes
to be in him who takes material form to be permanent and everlasting. The fetter
of doubt arises in him who thinks in this way: Is the material form a being or a
being's? The fetter of the desire to go on existing arises in him who wishes
thus: To be sure, in a favourable state of existence this material form will
become easy of access. The fetter of rites and ceremonies arises in him who
undertakes to perform rites and ceremonies thinking: In the future it will be
possible to obtain such an object as this by taking up the observance of rites
and ceremonies. The fetter of envy arises in him who contemplates grudgingly:
Should no others get this material form, it would be good, indeed. The fetter of
avarice arises in one who stints for another the material form belonging to one.
The fetter of ignorance arises (with all the previously mentioned fetters),
with all sensuous passion and the like, by way of the relation of conascent
Yathaca anupannassa samyojanassa uppado hoti tańca pajanati =
"He understands how the arising of the non-arisen (tenfold) fetter comes to
be." He understands that the (tenfold) fetter had not arisen earlier owing
to some cause of non-occurrence.
Yatha ca uppannassa samyojanassa pahanam hoti tańca pajanati =
"He understands how the abandoning of the arisen (tenfold) fetter comes to
be." He understands the reason for the abandoning of just the (tenfold)
fetter arisen through previous non-abandoning or through occurrence.
Yatha ca pahinassa samojanassa ayatim anuppado hoti tańca pajanati =
"He understands how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned
(tenfold) fetter comes to be." He understands the reason for the
non-arising in the future of even the (tenfold) fetter abandoned by way of
rejection of separate factors through right reflection [tadangavasena] and
through absorption [vikkhambhana vasena].
Owing to what reason does the tenfold fettering cease to arise in the future
The path of stream-winning or the first stage of awakening is the reason for
final cessation of the five fetters of speculative theory, doubt, rites and
ceremonies, envy, and avarice. The path of once-returning or the second stage of
awakening is the reason for the final cessation of sensuality and resentment of
a gross kind and the residum of these two fetters finally ceases by reason of
the statement of the path of never-returning, the third stage of awakening. The
fact which makes the fetter of pride, of the desire to go on existing, and of
ignorance to cease finally in the future is the path of final purification,
arahantship, the fourth state of awakening.
The same is the method of exegesis in sotańca pajanati sadde ca pajanati
= "He understands the ear and sounds." Further, in this connection,
the talk on the sense-bases in full should be understood as stated by the
commentator in the Path of Purity.
Iti ajjhattam = "Thus internally." The bhikkhu lives
contemplating the mental objects by laying hold of the internal sense-bases in
his own mental objects or in another's or laying hold of the external
sense-bases in another's mental objects or in his own or at one time in his own
and at another time in another's mental objects.
Origination and dissolution should be brought forward and connected here by
the extended application of the method indicated by the words: "From the
origin of ignorance the origin of the eye" to the sense-bases of material
form in the aggregate of materiality, to the mental sense-base in the aggregate
of consciousness, and to the sense-base of the mental object in the other
non-material aggregates, according to the method of exegesis already stated by
the commentator. The supramundane states should not be taken. From here onward
the exposition is according to the method already shown by the commentator.
The two groups of six sense-bases are stated by way of determining the
sense-doors and the sense-objects of arising of sixfold consciousness. Of the
consciousness or mind aggregate included in a course of cognition of
eye-consciousness, just the eye-base is the "door" of origin, and the
base of the material form is the object. So it is in the case of the others. But
of the sixth sense-base the part of the mind-base called the life-continum, the
unconscious mind, is the "door" of origin [chatthassa pana
bhavangamanasankhato manayatanekadeso uppatti dvaram]. And in a particular or
special way the mind-object base is the object [asadharananca dhammayatanam
Dependent on both: The eye becomes a condition by way of
decisive support and the material forms, the objects, become a condition by way
of objective predominance and objective decisive support [cakkhum upanissaya
paccayavasena paccayabhutam rupe arammanadhipati arammanupanissaya vasena
paccayabhute ca paticca].
After explaining the contemplation of mental objects by way of the internal
and the external sense-bases, the Master said, "And further, o
bhikkhus," in order to talk on the contemplation of mental objects, by way
of the Factors of Enlightenment, the mental limbs of a being who is awaking from
the stupor of the passions that soil or who is penetrating the Real Truths of
Suffering, its Cause, its Cessation, and the Way Leading to the Cessation of
Limbs are members or constituent parts of the awaking mind.
Santam = "Is present". Existing by way of attainment.
The enlightenment factor called mindfulness is the enlightenment factor of
Because in these enlightenment factors, the meditator effectively gets
enlightened, the meditator is called "Complete Enlightenment" from the
time he begins strenuous contemplation on insight. It is a name for him who
stands in the practice starting from the arising of the knowledge of the rise
and fall of phenomena.
The sevenfold completeness or harmony, beginning with mindfulness by which he
awakes, effectively, rises from the sleep of the defilements, or penetrates the
Truths, is "Complete Enlightenment." The components of that
"Complete Enlightenment" or of the harmony called "Complete
Enlightenment" are the factors of enlightenment.
The instruction of the Discourses is figurative and as this instruction on
the Arousing of Mindfulness is set going by way of the mundane eightfold path,
it is said by the commentator that the meditator is "Complete
Enlightenment". Otherwise he should be a Pure Disciple [ariya savaka]. The
meditator is considered the personification of the factors of complete
enlightenment by which he can reach Nibbana.
In the other factors of enlightenment the word-meaning should be understood
in the same way.
Assantam = "Is absent". Not existing through lack of
Yatha anuppannassa = "How (the arising) of the non-arisen."
First, is the enlightenment factor of mindfulness. There are things which
condition the enlightenment factor of mindfulness, and an abundance of right
reflection on them is the reason that is conducive to the arising of the
non-arisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness and for the increase, the
expansion and completion by culture of the arisen enlightenment factor.
Thus it comes into being: just mindfulness comprises the things which
condition the enlightenment factor of mindfulness. Right reflection has just the
characteristic already mentioned, and when right reflection occurs plentifully
in the things which condition the enlightenment factor of mindfulness, the
enlightenment factor of mindfulness arises.
Further, four things lead to the arising of the enlightenment factor of
mindfulness: Mindfulness with clear comprehension, the avoiding of person with
confused minds, association with persons who keep mindfulness ready for
application, inclination towards mindfulness.
In explanation it is said: Mindfulness arises through mindfulness with clear
comprehension in the seven positions beginning with that of "going
forwards"; or the mindfulness arousing the knowledge which grasps the
purpose of these actions is mindfulness with clear comprehension, and as
mindfulness with clear comprehension everywhere is a state which brings about
the cultivation of mindfulness, mindfulness with clear comprehension is
necessary for the arising of mindfulness. As the abandoning or rejection of
contrary things and the practice of suitable things are necessary for the
arising of fresh karmically wholesome things, so the eschewing of persons bereft
of mindfulness, association with persons who cultivate mindfulness, the state of
being not engaged with the first kind and the state of being engaged with the
second are necessary for the arising of the enlightenment factor of mindfulness.
Mindfulness arises through the avoiding of persons who are confused in mind
like crows that come cawing to food thrown; through association with persons who
keep mindfulness ready for application like the Elder Tissadatta who in the
Terrace of the Wisdom Tree having got a golden ticket authorizing him to expound
the Dhamma [bodhi mande suvanna salakam gahetva] entered the assembly saying:
"In which one of the eighteen languages shall I expound the Dhamma?" and
the Elder Abhaya who is mentioned as the Elder Dattabhaya by the commentator;
and through the state of mind tending for originating mindfulness in all
postures, in all kinds of behaviour or disposition of the body. And the bhikkhu
knows that the completion by culture of the enlightenment factor of mindfulness
brought into being by these four ways takes place by means of the attainment of
the path of arahantship.
There are karmically good and karmically bad things ..... right and wrong
counterparts of bright and dark things, and an abundance of right reflection on
them is the reason conducive to the arising of the non-arisen enlightenment
factor of the investigation of mental objects and for the increase, expansion
and the completion of culture of that enlightenment factor when it has arisen.
Here, right reflection is the conscious state that is associated with
knowledge and which arises by way of perceiving, according to actuality, the
nature, function, characteristic and so forth of the several skillful (or
wholesome) states of mind and the like. Because it is correct reflection it is
called right (or radical) reflection.
Six things lead to the arising of this enlightenment factor: Inquiring about
the aggregates and so forth; the purification of the basis (namely, the cleaning
of the body, clothes and so forth); imparting evenness to the (five spiritual)
controlling faculties; avoiding the ignorant; associating with the wise;
reflecting on the profound difference of the hard-to-perceive processes of the
aggregates, modes (or elements), sense-bases and so forth; and the inclining
(sloping, bending) towards the development of the enlightenment factor of the
investigation of mental objects.
Inquiring about the aggregates and so forth means: seeking the meaning of the
aggregates, the modes (or elements), sense-bases, controlling faculties, powers,
enlightenment factors, way factors, absorption factors, the meditation for
quietude, and the meditation for insight by asking for explanation of knotty
points regarding these things in the Five Nikayas with the commentaries from
teachers of the Dhamma.
Purification of the basis is the cleaning of the personal basis: the body,
and of the impersonal basis: clothes and dwelling place. The flame of a lamp is
unclear when its wick, oil and container are dirty; the wick splutters,
flickers; but the flame of a lamp that has a clean wick, oil and container is
clear and the wick does not spit; it burns smoothly. So it is with knowledge.
Knowing that arises out of the mind and mental qualities which are in dirty
external and internal surroundings is apt to be impure, too, but the knowledge
that arises under clean conditions is apt to be pure. In this way cleanliness
leads to the growth of this enlightenment factor which comprises knowledge.
Personal cleanliness is impaired by the excessive length of hair of the head,
nails, hair of the body, by the excess of humours, and by the dirt of
perspiration; cleanliness of impersonal or external things is impaired when
robes are worn out, dirty and smelly, and when the house where one lives is
dirty, soiled and untidy. So personal cleanliness should be secured by shaving,
hair-cutting, nail-paring, the use of pectoral emetics and of purgatives which
make the body light, and by shampooing, bathing and doing other necessary
things, at the proper time. In similar way external cleanliness should be
brought about by darning, washing and dyeing one's robes, and by smearing the
floor of one's house with clay and the like to smoothen and clean it, and by
doing other necessary things to keep the house clean and tidy.
Imparting evenness to the (five spiritual) controlling faculties is the
equalizing of the controlling faculties of faith, energy, mindfulness,
concentration and wisdom.
Equalizing is making neither more nor less effective functionally.
When faith outstrips the others through over-activity, the others are thrown
out of gear. Then energy finds it impossible to exert; mindfulness, to attend to
the object; concentration, to be non-distracted; and wisdom, to see. Therefore
that over-activity of faith should be made to wane either by reflection on the
phenomenal nature of the things (faith) or by not attending to that thing when
thinking of which faith becomes excessive. The story of the Thera Vakkali
is the illustration of over-active faith.
Faith outstrips the others because of unclearness of wisdom and the laxity
and so forth of energy and the others, through the excessive zeal of the
function of faith, in regard to a believable object, an object that generates
trust. Energy is unable to do the work of exerting and of supporting the
associated mental characteristics and to avoid indolence.
Mindfulness is not able to do the work of attending to the object, of
continuing to be at the object, after coming to it.
Concentration is not able to do the work of non-distraction, of rejecting
To see the object, according to actuality as if one were seeing a physical
thing with the eye, wisdom is not able.
These four faculties are unable to do their work because of their being
overwhelmed by the faculty of faith acting very strong. Only by the evenness of
function can the mental things which exist together with consciousness, and are
the principal things amongst conascent mental things, namely, the five spiritual
controlling faculties, accomplish their work. Not otherwise.
Reflection on the phenomenal nature of the thing (faith). By
examining the object of faith by way of the conditioned and the produced from the
conditioned and the like, by scrutiny according to actuality.
The story of the Thera Vakkali. This venerable person who
fulfilled his duties through keen faith liked to behold the Master always. The
Master admonished him saying, "What shall it profit you to see this impure
body. Who sees the Dhamma, sees me," and urged him to practice a subject of
meditation. He was unable to apply himself to the practice of the subject of
meditation and as he was inclined to destroy himself, he went up to a place that
was a steep declivity. Then the Master showed himself by his psychic power as if
he were seated before the thera and spoke these words:
The bhikkhu who is full of joy and believes in
The Dispensation of the Buddha
Can reach the peaceful happy state
of the ceasing of activities.
Gladdened by the words of the Master he set up the development of insight,
but as his faith was very strong he was not able to enter into the joy of the
insight. The Master knowing this gave him the subject of meditation after
correcting it with the imparting of evenness of the controlling faculties. The
thera after putting himself in the path of practice taught by the Master, and
after doing hard work in regular order, reached arahantship.
If however the controlling faculty of energy becomes too powerful then
neither will the faculty of faith be able to do its work of arousing faith in a
settled way in its object nor will the remaining controlling faculties be able
to perform their functions. Therefore, in such a case, energy should be made to
lessen its activity by the development of the enlightenment factors of calm,
concentration and equanimity. The story of the Thera Sona
is given as an illustration of overdone energy.
The story of the Thera Sona. This refers to Sona Thera who
was of delicate constitution. After getting a subject of meditation from the
Master he was living in Cool Wood, and he thought thus: "My body is
delicate and it is not possible to reach happiness with comfort only. Even after
being exhausted, the duty of the recluse should be done." Thereupon, he
decided, while giving himself up to exertion, to keep to only the two postures
of standing and walking. Owing to excessive walking blisters appeared on the
soles of his feet and caused him great pain. He continued to make strong effort
in spite of the pain but could not produce a state of distinction in meditation
with his excessive energy.
The Master visited Sona, instructed him with the simile of the lute,
corrected the Thera's subject of meditation showing him the method of applying
energy evenly and went to Vulture Peak. Having applied energy evenly according
to the method given by the Master, and after working hard for insight, the
Thera, developing the practice, established himself in Arahantship.
Even thus should the incapacity of the rest of the spiritual faculties to
function effectively when one of them has become over-active and powerful, be
Here, the wise specially praise the equalizing of faith and wisdom and of
concentration and energy. He who is very strong in faith and feeble in wisdom
becomes a person who believes in foolish people who have no virtue, persons who
are not trustworthy. He who has very strong wisdom and feeble faith gets
crafty-minded and is like a drug-produced disease that cannot be cured. Such a
person thinks that wholesome karma arises with just the intention to do good.
Going along the wrong way, by a species of thought beyond the limits of reason,
and doing neither almsgiving nor other similar good deeds, he is born in a state
of woe. By the equalizing of faith and wisdom one believes only in those like
the Buddha who are worthy of trust because there is a reason for trusting them.
As concentration naturally inclines towards indolence, when there is too much
of concentration and too little of energy, indolence overwhelms the mind. As
energy inclines naturally towards restlessness or agitation when there is much
energy and little concentration, restlessness overwhelms the mind. When
concentration is combined well with energy there will be no falling of the mind
into indolence. When energy is combined well with concentration there will be no
falling of the mind into restlessness.
Discord of faith and wisdom and discord of concentration and energy
through functional unevenness are not conducive to success in meditation.
Faith and wisdom should be made functionally even and harmonious. So, too,
concentration and energy. With the making even functionally of these pairs full
Further, to a worker in concentration -- a man pursuing the path of
quietude [samatha] -- faith that is somewhat strong is met. With faith that
is (rather) strong, the yogi will, by believing in and fixing the mind on the
object, reach full absorption.
If for instance the yogi is meditating on the element of earth he will not
think thus: "How can absorption arise by the repetition of the word earth?"
He will think that the method of meditation taught by the Supreme Buddha will
surely succeed, and he will settle in, and leap on to the object by way of firm
belief, having, as it were, forced his way into it.
Concerning concentration and wisdom it is said as follows: For the worker in
concentration -- the man pursuing quietude [samatha] -- strong one-pointedness
is met by reason of the fact that concentration is the principal thing in
absorption. With strong one-pointedness he reaches full absorption. For the
man pursuing the path of insight [vipassana] strong wisdom is met; if strong
wisdom exists he arrives at the penetration of the characteristics. By the
equalizing of the concentration and wisdom of the worker in concentration, the
man pursuing quietude, there is just full absorption.
Owing to the very great strength of the concentration of the man pursuing
quietude, very great strength of wisdom too should be desired.
Full absorption is mundane full absorption. Supramundane
full absorption also is expected through the equalizing of these. Accordingly
the Master said: "He develops quietude and insight yoked together."
Strong mindfulness is met everywhere since it protects the mind from falling
into restlessness belonging to faith, energy and wisdom and from falling into
indolence belonging to concentration. Faith, energy and wisdom have a tendency
towards excitement and concentration has a tendency towards sloth.
Therefore, mindfulness is to be desired by the yogi always. It is likened to
the salt-flavouring which is in all curries, and the minister-of-all-work wanted
in every business of the king.
And because of this (universality of application of mindfulness) the
commentator made the following statement: "And indeed, it was said by the
Blessed One thus: 'Mindfulness is to be desired everywhere.' Why? Because
mindfulness is the mind's help, because mindfulness has just protection as its
manifestation, and because without mindfulness there is no exerting or
restraining of the mind."
Because it is applied always mindfulness is always useful or desirable;
and because in all states of elation and depression it should be developed by
the man longing for the factors of enlightenment, it is necessary.
Mind's help: the help of a wholesome or skillful state of
consciousness. It is the support of such a state of mind for attaining the yet
Avoiding the ignorant is keeping away from foolish folk not grounded in the
knowledge of the divisions of the aggregates and so forth. Association with wise
folk is fellowship with persons possessed of the knowledge of rise and fall
through the laying hold of all the fifty characteristics.
Reflecting on the profound differences of the profound process of the
aggregates and so forth is the analytic reflection according to wisdom of the
movement of the hard-to-perceive aggregates and so forth.
Inclining towards the enlightenment factor of the investigation of mental
objects is the mental state inclining, tending, and sloping towards the purpose
of originating this enlightenment factor in every posture of standing, sitting,
walking and lying down.
The yogi understands that the culture of this enlightenment factor arisen
thus comes to completion through the path of arahantship.
There is the mode (or element) of energy that is inceptive, the mode of
energy that is enduring, and the mode of energy that is strong, powerful,
courageous; and an abundance of right reflection on these (modes of energy) is
the reason conducive to the arising of the non-arisen enlightenment factor of
energy, and for the increase, expansion and the completion by culture of that
enlightenment factor when it has arisen.
Eleven things lead to the arising of the enlightenment factor of energy:
Reflection on the fearfulness of states-of-woe [apaya bhaya]; the seeing of the
benefits of energy; reflection on the path to be trodden; the honouring of alms,
reflection on the greatness of the heritage; the reflection on the greatness of
the Master; reflection on the greatness of race; reflection on the greatness of
fellows in the holy life; the avoiding of lazy folk; the associating with folk
who have begun to exert; and the inclination towards the development of the
enlightenment factor of energy.
Reflection on the fearfulness of the states-of-woe as stated in the Devaduta
and other Suttas produces in the yogi the thought: "Now is the time to
rouse energy; it is not possible to be energetic when subject to great
The seeing of the benefits of energy is the appreciation of the fact that
only by one who has begun to exert himself (in the development of the
enlightenment factors etc.) could the Supramundane Truth be obtained and not by
a lazy person.
"The path trodden by all the Supreme Buddhas, the Paccekabuddhas, and
the Great Disciples, has to be trodden by you," says the yogi to himself,
"and that path is impossible for an indolent person." That is the
reflection on the path to be trodden.
The yogi thinks thus: "Those who support you with alms-food and so forth
are not relatives of yours, are not your servants; they do not give you
excellent alms thinking: 'We shall (in the future) live depending on you.' But
they give expecting from their offerings great fruit. Also the requisites were
not allowed to you by the Master so that you may make use of the requisites and
live strong-bodied in comfort, but they were allowed to you so that you may do
the duty of the recluse and escape the round of suffering whilst using the
requisites. The indolent one does not honour the alms; only he who has begun to
be energetic honours it." Reflection in this way about honouring the alms
permitted by the Buddha produces energy, as in the case of the Thera Maha Mitta
The Thera lived in Kassaka Lena (Cultivator's or Farmer's Cave). In the
village to which he resorted for alms there was a certain Maha Upasika (elderly
or great female lay devotee) who taking him as a child of hers looked after him.
One day she was preparing to go to the forest, and spoke to her daughter
thus: "Here is old rice; here, milk; here, ghee; and here, treacle. When
your brother the venerable Mitta comes cook the rice and give it to him with
milk, ghee, and treacle. You, too, eat of it. I have eaten the cold rice cooked
yesterday with gruel." "Mother, what will you take at noon?"
"Cook a sour gruel with herbs and broken rice and put it by (for me)."
Just as the Thera was taking out the bowl (from the bowl-bag), after he had
robed himself to go out for alms, he heard that talk of the mother and daughter
through his clairaudient power, at the door of his cave, and thought as follows:
"The great lay devotee has eaten stale rice with gruel and will take sour
gruel at noon. For you she has given old rice, milk, ghee and treacle. She does
not expect field or food or cloth from you. Only expecting the three good
attainments of the human, divine and supramundane planes does she give (alms to
you). Will you be able to bestow on her those attainments? Indeed her alms is
not fit to be taken by you with (heart of) lust, hatred and ignorance."
Then, he put back the bowl into the bowl-bag, loosened the robe-knot, refrained
from going for alms, and returning to the Cultivator's Cave put the bowl under
his bed, the robe on the robe pole and sat down resolved on endeavour thinking,
"I will not go from here without attaining arahantship.)
This recluse who had been earnest for a long time, after developing insight,
reached the fruit of arahantship even before meal-time, and the great destroyer
of the corruptions smiling like an opening lotus went out of the cave.
To him the guardian deity of the tree near the cave said this:
Hail to thee man-steed of finest strain,
Hail to thee the best of mortal kind,
Gone are thy cankers, Sorrowless One, and so
Worthy art thou to take a gift of faith.
Having uttered this appreciation, the tree deity said: "Venerable Sir,
after giving alms to an arahant like you wandering for alms, the elderly woman
will escape suffering."
When the Thera got up and opened the door to observe what the time was he
found that it was still quite early. So he took his bowl and robe and entered
The young girl, having prepared the rice, sat looking towards the door of her
house thinking, "Now my brother will come."
And when the Thera arrived she took the bowl, filled it with milk-rice alms
mixed with ghee and treacle and placed it in his hands, and he departed after
giving thanks with the words: "May there be happiness," and the girl
stood there looking at the departing one. The colour of the Elder at that time
was exceedingly clear, and his controlling faculties especially pure and his
face was shining like a ripe palm-fruit freed from the foot-stalk.
The mother of the girl on returning from the forest inquired: "Dear, did
your brother come?" The daughter told her everything. The Maha Upasika
knowing that her son's renunciation work had that day reached its acme, said,
"Dear, your brother delights in the Dispensation of the Buddha. He is not
There is reflection on the greatness of the heritage when one thinks thus:
"Great, indeed, is the heritage of the Teacher, namely the Seven Real
Treasures [Sutta Ariya Dhanani]. These are not to be got by the slothful. The
indolent man is like a son disowned by his parents. He does not get this
parents' wealth when they pass away. So too it is with the Seven Real Treasures.
Only the man of energy gets these."
Reflection on the greatness of the Master consists in recalling the great
events in the teacher's life, and admonishing oneself thus: "Does it befit
you to be slack after entering the Dispensation of such a Teacher?"
Reflection on the greatness of race is carried out by way of the fact that in
entering the Buddha's Dispensation one has become the Conqueror's son
[spiritually], and that for such a one slacking is not fit.
Reflection on the greatness of fellows in the holy life consists of
admonishing oneself thus: "Sariputta, Maha Moggallana, and the great
disciples penetrated the supramundane after much endeavour. Are you following
their way of life?"
The avoiding of lazy folk is the avoiding of people without physical and
mental energy who are like a rock-snake lying inert after a full feed. And the
association with folk who have begun to exert themselves is mixing with those
whose minds are turned towards and who are endeavouring for the attainment of
Nibbana. Inclination towards the development of this enlightenment factor is the
inclining, sloping and bending of the mind towards right exertion in all
postures of sitting, standing and so forth. The enlightenment factor that arises
in this way comes to completion by culture through the path of arahantship.
There are things which condition the enlightenment factor of joy and an
abundance of right reflection on these is the reason that is conducive to the
arising of the non-arisen enlightenment factor of joy and for the increase,
expansion and completion by culture of the enlightenment factor when it has
Eleven things lead to the arising of the enlightenment factor of joy:
recollection of the Buddha, recollection of the Dhamma, recollection of the
Sangha, recollection of virtue, of liberality, of the shining ones [devas],
and the recollection of peace [upasama], the avoiding of bad people,
association with good people, reflection on the discourses inspiring confidence,
and the inclination towards joy.
By recollection of the Buddha's qualities, of the qualities of the Dhamma,
and of the Sangha, joy arises.
Joy arises also for one who having kept the precepts of fourfold purity
unbroken for a long time reflects on one's virtue; to laymen who reflect on
their virtue through observing the ten and the five precepts; to one reflecting
on liberality and recollecting one's gift of excellent food to one's fellows in
the holy life during a time of scarcity and the like; to laymen recollecting
their liberality in giving alms to virtuous folk; to one reflecting on one's
possession of qualities by which beings have reached the state of shining ones
(devas); to one reflecting thus by way of peace: "The passions suppressed
by the higher attainments do not occur for sixty or seventy years."
The avoiding of bad people is the keeping away from rough people who are like
dirt on a mule's back, who show a callous nature through irreverence, owing to
lack of faith-inspired affection for the Buddha and the like, in worshipping
shrines or elders. Good people are those who have much faith in the Buddha and
the like and are gentle of mind. Discourses which illumine the qualities of and
inspire confidence in the Triple Gem are discourses inspiring confidence. The
inclination towards joy refers to the mind sloping towards this enlightenment
factor in all postures of sitting and the like. The completion by culture of
this enlightenment factor is through the path of awakening.
There are things which condition the enlightenment factor of calm of the body
(the aggregates of feeling, perception and the conformations) and of the mind
(the aggregate of consciousness) and an abundance of right reflection on these
things is conducive to the arising of the non-arisen enlightenment factor of
calm and for the increase, expansion, and completion by culture of this
enlightenment factor when it has arisen.
Seven things lead to the arising of the enlightenment factor of calm: The
resorting to fine food, comfortable weather, and comfortable postures; judgment
according to the middle way; the avoiding of people who are physically restless;
the association with people who are physically calm and the inclination towards
the development of the enlightenment factor of calm.
The resorting to fine food is the resorting to excellent,
beneficial food that is suitable to one. The resorting to comfortable weather
and postures means the resorting to weather and postures suitable to one. By
resorting to this threefold suitability, well-being of mind comes into existence
by way of the basis of bodily well-being and there proceeds then the reason for
Judgment according to the middle way is reflection on one's own deed as one's
own property and another's deed as that of other's property.
This is the judgment of things based on the acknowledgment of the law of
moral causation avoiding first the extreme view that the suffering and happiness
experienced by living beings are causeless and then the other extreme view of
ascribing these to a fictive cause like that of a Creator God, and the knowing
of all suffering and happiness as one's own action.
But he who has the nature of a great man is patient of all kinds of weather
and postures. Not concerning such a person has the above been said.
The avoiding of people who are physically restless is the keeping away from
restless people who go about harassing others with clod and stick. People who
are physically calm are those who are quiet because they are restrained on hand
and foot. The inclination towards the development of this enlightenment factor
is the inclining, sloping, and bending of the mind towards calm in all postures.
By the arahant's path the completion by culture of this enlightenment factor
There is the sign of quietude, and the sign of non-confusion, and an
abundance of right reflection on these is the reason conducive to the arising of
the non-arisen enlightenment factor of concentration and for the increase,
expansion and completion by culture of the enlightenment factor of concentration
when it has arisen.
The first stage of tranquillity which arises when an object is being
grasped by way of bearing it in mind, the composed manner, is the characteristic
sign of quietude.
There the sign of quietude is just the quietude by way of the composed
manner. And in the sense of non-distraction is the sign of non-confusion to
Confusion is the state of mind which, because of the whirling in a
multiplicity of objects, is jumping from thing to thing, diverse of aim, and not
one-pointed. Distraction is the same in character. Unsteadiness is its salient
feature, and deviation is its manifestation. By one-pointedness of mind
confusion is thrown out.
Eleven things lead to the arising of concentration. Purification of the
basis; the imparting of evenness to the spiritual controlling faculties; skill
in taking up the sign of the object of meditation; the inciting of the mind on
occasion, the restraining of the mind on occasion, the gladdening of the mind on
occasion and the regarding of the mind without interfering on occasion; the
avoiding of people who are not collected in mind; association with people who
are collected in mind; reflection on the absorptions and the emancipations; and
the inclination towards the development of the enlightenment factor of
Skill in the taking up of the sign which is the cause for the arising of
absorption is skill in taking up the sign.
The inciting of the mind on occasion is the applying of the mind vigorously
by bringing into being the enlightenment factors of the investigation of mental
objects, energy and joy, when there is excessive laxity of energy and of the
application of wisdom, and a deficiency of delight in the meditation.
The restraining of the mind refers to the checking of the mind that is
becoming excessively energetic, too strong, in the application of wisdom and
elated with delight, by bringing into being the enlightenment factors of calm,
concentration and equanimity.
The gladdening of the mind means: The enlivening with confidence of the mind
becomes dissatisfied either through weak application of wisdom or the
non-attainment of the bliss of restfulness (or of the subsidence of the passions
even temporarily). This enlivening is done through reflection on the eight
reasons for the upsurge of spiritual feeling, namely, birth, decay, disease,
death, the suffering of the four states of woe, the samsaric round of suffering
in the past, and the suffering rooted in the search for nutriment in the present
life, and through contemplation on the qualities of the Triple Gem.
The regarding of the mind without interfering is the absence of the work of
inciting, retraining and gladdening the mind which has got to right practice and
which proceeds well in the object, free from sloth, free from restlessness, and
free from dissatisfaction. It is comparable to the state of a charioteer who
looks on uninterfering when the horses are going well.
The keeping away from persons who have not reached partial or full absorption
and are distracted of mind is the avoiding of people who are not collected in
mind. Association with persons who have reached those states of absorption is
association with people who are collected in mind. The mind inclining, sloping,
and bending towards concentration-production in all postures of standing,
sitting and the like constitutes the inclination for this factor. The completion
by culture of the enlightenment factor of concentration is through the path of
Excessive laxity .... Of application of wisdom means feeble
working of wisdom. As the principal thing in liberality is non-greed, and in
virtue non-hate, so in meditation it is wisdom (non-ignorance) that is the
principal thing. Therefore, if wisdom is not very strong in the development of
concentration there will be no causing of contemplative attainment (or
distinction). As unprepared food gives no pleasure to a man, so, without the
application of wisdom, the object of meditation does not give satisfaction to
the yogi's mind. To the yogi then there is the pointing out of the remedy for
that lack of satisfaction in the stirring up of spiritual feeling and
There are things which condition the enlightenment factor of equanimity and
an abundance of right reflection on these is the reason that is conducive to the
arising of the non-arisen enlightenment factor of equanimity and for the
increase, expansion and the completion by culture of the enlightenment factor
when it has risen.
Five things lead to the arising of the enlightenment factor of equanimity:
The detached attitude towards beings; the detached attitude towards things; the
avoiding of persons who are egotistical in regard to living beings and things;
association with people who are neutral (impartial) in regard to living beings
and things; and the inclination for developing the enlightenment factor of
The detached attitude towards beings is brought about by reflection on beings
as possessors of their own deeds, and by reflection in the highest sense.
Reflection on beings as possessors of their own deeds is there when a person
thinks thus: "You have been born here by your own deeds in the past and
will depart from here and fare according to your own deeds. Who then is the
being you are attached to?"
Reflection in the highest sense is thinking in the following way:
"Really no living being exists. To whom then, can you be attached?"
The detached attitude towards things is brought about by reflection on
ownerlessness and temporariness.
A person thinks thus: "This robe will fade, get old, become a
foot-cleaning rag and be after that fit only to be taken up at the end of a
stick and flung away. Surely, should there be an owner of this he would not let
it come to ruin in this way?" This is the reflection on ownerlessness. To
think that this robe cannot last long and that its duration is short, is to
reflect on the temporariness of it. These two reflections are applicable in a
similar way to the bowl and other things.
Persons who are egotistical in regard to living beings are laymen who cherish
their own sons and daughters and the like, and recluses who cherish their
resident pupils, mates, preceptors and the like. And these persons, if for
instance, they are recluses do with their own hands for them whom they cherish,
hair-cutting, sewing, robe-washing, robe-dyeing, bowl-lacquering, and so forth.
If even for a short time they do not see their cherished ones they look here and
there like bewildered deer, and ask, "Where is such and such novice?"
or "Where is such and such a young bhikkhu." And if these recluses are
requested by others to send a novice or a young bhikkhu to do some work for
them, such as hair-cutting, they don't send the novice or young bhikkhu, on the
pretense that he is not made to do even his own work, and that if he is made to
do the work of others he would get tired. Persons egotistical in this way should
A person who is egotistical in regard to things is he who cherishes robes,
bowls, beakers, walking sticks, staffs and so forth and does not let another
even touch these. When asked for a loan of some article he would say: "Even
I do not use it; how can I give it?" Persons egotistical in that way, too,
should be avoided.
A person who is neutral, indifferent, as regards both living beings and
things is a person who is detached as regards both living beings and things. The
company of such a person should be sought.
Inclination for developing this enlightenment factor is the inclining,
sloping, and bending of the mind towards equanimity, in all postures of standing
and so forth.
The completion by culture of the enlightenment factor of equanimity is
wrought by the path of awakening.
Iti ajjhattam = "Thus internally." The yogi lives
contemplating mental objects in mental objects (that is, contemplating mental
objects only and nothing else) by laying hold of his own enlightenment factors
or another's enlightenment factors or at one time his own enlightenment factors
and at another time another's enlightenment factors.
Here, origination and dissolution should be known by way of the origination
and dissolution of the enlightenment factors.
From here on the exposition is just according to the manner already stated.
The cause of the enlightenment factor of equanimity is the impartial
state, the middle state, free from attraction and repulsion. If that freedom
from attraction and repulsion exists then there is equanimity; when it does not
exist there is no equanimity. This state of freedom from attraction and
repulsion is twofold by way of scope: detachment in regard to beings and
detachment in regard to things.
Repulsion is thrown away even by the development of the enlightenment
factor of calm and in order to show just the way of casting out attraction is
the instruction beginning with detachment in regard to beings taught.
Specially, equanimity is an enemy of lust and so the commentator said:
Equanimity is the path of purity of one who is full of lust.
The detached attitude towards beings is developed by reflection on the
individual nature of moral causation and by reflection on soullessness. By
reflection on ownerlessness, the state of not belonging to a soul is brought out
and by reflection on temporariness, the impermanence of things is brought out to
produce the detached attitude towards inanimate things.
Having explained thus the contemplation of mental objects by way of the seven
factors of enlightenment, the Master said, "And further," and so
forth, in order to explain the meditation by way of the Four Truths.
Idam dukkhanti yathabhutam Pajanati = "A bhikkhu understands:
'this is suffering,' according to reality." He puts aside craving, and
understands all things of the three planes of becoming as suffering, according
to nature. He understands according to nature the previous craving that produces
and makes to arise that very suffering. He understands the non-occurrence of
both suffering and its origin, according to nature, as Nibbana. He understands,
according to nature, the Noble Path which penetrates suffering, abandons
origination, and realizes cessation.
The rest of the explanation of the Noble Truths is in the Path of Purity [Visuddhi
Iti ajjhattam = "Thus, internally." He lives contemplating
mental objects in mental objects, having laid hold of his own four truths or the
four truths of another or at one time his own four truths and at another time
another's four truths.
In this explanation of the truths, the origination and dissolution of the
four truths should be understood according to nature by way of arising and
From here on the explanation is according to the manner already stated.
With this have been stated the following twenty-one subjects of meditation:
Breathing, Modes of Deportments, the Method of the Thirty-two Parts of the Body,
the Determination of the Four Modes of Materiality (or the Four Elements), the
Nine Cemetery Contemplations, Contemplation of Feeling, Contemplation of
Consciousness, the Laying Hold on the Hindrances, the Laying Hold on the
Aggregates, the Laying Hold on the Sense-bases, the Laying Hold on the
Enlightenment Factors, and the Laying Hold on the Truths. The Cemetery
Contemplations are counted separately.
The Contemplation on Breathing, the Thirty-two Parts and the Nine Cemetery
Contemplations, these eleven, are subjects of meditation which produce full
absorption. The Digha-bhanaka (Reciter of the Long Collection of Discourses)
Maha Siva, however, says that the Nine Cemetery Contemplations are here stated
by way of the contemplation of Misery. Therefore according to his view only two
subjects, Breathing and the Thirty-two Parts, produce full absorption; the rest
produce only partial absorption.
Yo hi koci bhikkhave ime cattaro satipatthane evam bhaveyya = "O
bhikkhus, if anyone develops the Four Arousings of Mindfulness in this
manner." If any bhikkhu or bhikkhuni or upasaka or upasika cultivates
mindfulness from the beginning according to the method taught here.
Titthantu bhikkhave = "O bhikkhus, let alone." This together
with what follows, was said by way of the average person capable of being
But concerning the person of keen intelligence it was stated as follows:
Instructed in the morning, he will attain in the evening; instructed in the
evening, he will attain in the morning.
The Blessed One pointed out the teaching thus: "Bhikkhus, my
Dispensation leads to Deliverance in this way," closed the instruction that
is crowned with Arahantship in twenty-one places and uttered the following
words: "This is the only way, o bhikkhus, for the purification of beings,
for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, for the destruction of suffering
and grief, for reaching the right path, for the attainment of Nibbana, namely
the Four Arousings of Mindfulness."