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Why is it importand to value conditions?


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#1 Johann (Hanzze)

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 11:38 AM

origin at DW

Why it is important to value our Conditions?

Many “modern” teacher are used to tell people that there is something like a Buddha-nature a inherent goodness or possibility to gain awakening.

This is somehow a very nice message which gives a lot of hope, but the problem of hope is that we easily rest on it. As long as there is something to hope, we do not start to act.

There is often the discussion if we might live in a good or bad outward condition to understand Dhamma. There are also countless speculations if Dhamma is even reachable sometimes.

But I guess all this questions are very useless as they in fact, do not change our conditions. The only use of them, could be better should be, that we honor or use our present conditions as good as possible.

A fundamental base of the Buddha Dhamma is the insight that all compounded things (Dhammas) are conditioned. Not a single Dhamma incl. the teaching and the way to awakening is unconditioned.

If we play with the idea of “there is always the condition to awakening” we cut of the used urgency to make the best out of our condition. That is at least independent of our de facto condition.
So might have the idea, that every being will gain awakening by it self naturally, but that is not in line with what the Buddha taught and would be somehow nothing else as the believe in a determining flow of karma.

Our present situation is caused by our past intentions and maybe the support of wise people which leaded us to correct our intentions.

When we are somehow, and to meet on Dhamma discussion is actual a special condition already, come to see that we are in a blessed situation, its very needed to have gratitude for it.

Gratitude that we are able to see and come in contact with it, gratitude in direction of the teachers and friends at least to the Buddha and gratitude for our past deeps which made this possible.

If we think that things are coming by them self, or even that we had a right to come to this condition, we easily give it now value. If we do not give our present condition (inwardly as well as outwardly caused by past intentions as well) the value as needed we easily do not use them to better our condition further.

That means, we could easily, like most people do, just waste our merits (gain through past good/skillful intention). When we have millions, we easily waste it and forget (do not remember) that there was at least much work and suffering behind before we gained it. It is much easier to go further if we are in a good situation (with a lot of money put aside). If we are poor already and might see a way, we would even not be able to walk it.

We can compare this with a son who has gained a great heritage from his father. Here I remember a simile:


There was a wealthy man who possessed many crores worth of silver,
many crores worth of gold, and many crores worth of pearls. In order
that these properties might not be lost during bad times, he buried the
bulk of them in the ground, and kept only sixty-thousand worth of
money, rice, paddy, wearing apparel, and ornaments for immediate and
ready use.

This wealthy man had six sons. On his death, the six heirs divided
the properties among themselves in six equal shares. The properties
buried beneath the earth were also similarly allocated. These buried
properties could be secured by the heirs only if the owners personally
dug them out the ground.

One of the sons was full of greed. He was not content with the pro-
perty he could immediately use. He was satiated with the desire for
the buried property and could not bear to wait long in order to get it.
He therefore exerted himself and dug up Ihe property, thus becoming a
wealthy man.

One of the sons was full of energy. He did not look on the prospect
of having to exert himself for days and months as burdensome. He
therefore put forth effort and applied himself to the work of unearthing
the buried treasure, thus becoming a wealthy man.


One of the sons was strong in his attachment. From the moment he
received the heritage, his mind ways always on the property. Sleep and
food were of no consequence, so greatly was his mind attached to the pro-
perty. He thus put forth effort and dug up the buried property, becom-
ing a wealthy man.

One of the sons was clever and ingenious. He contrived to construct
machinery and dug up the buried property, thus becoming a wealthy
man.

One of the sons lacked greed. He imagined himself to be well-off with
even ten thousand worth of property. He had no desire to acquire the
buried property. He was satisfied with the property that he received for
his immediate use.

One of the sons was a spendthrift. He squandered all the property,
not even leaving the price of a spade for the exhumation of the buried
property. He sank in to bad ways and was eventually banished from his
native place.

In this illustration, the Buddha resembles the wealthy father. Sila-vi-
suddhi and the pariyatti dhamma resemble the treasure available for
immediate use. Jhana and abhinna, which constitute citta-visuddhi, resem-
ble the buried silver treasure. The four lokiya pafina-visuddhi, such
as ditthivisuddhi, resemble the buried gold treasure. The lokuttara-riana-
dassana-visuddhi resembles the buried pearl treasure. The layfolk and
bhikkhus of the Buddha Sasana resemble the six heirs.

From: Heritage of the Sasana- Heritage of the Sasana p 378  arrow.gif


The point in discussion whether there are good or not good conditions is to understand that all in Samsara is conditioned, impermanent not lasting. The good things as well as the bad things.
But to break through this unsatisfactory reality of beings, this gives also the possibility to break out of this frame.

It might be that our present situation does not allow any higher insight or to gain even any fruit, but simply the gratitude and faith in and of conditions would lead us to better our situation in the future.

There are countless beings which are for sure not able to escape and even not able to change there conditions in a better way. We, as we are in contact with the good teachings should think twice about it and lose no time in maintaining doubt that all things are conditioned and therefore start to act in the right direction, out of the conditioned..

The frame work of conditions, makes it possible to go beyond them. If we are able now, later, tomorrow, in ten year, next life or in eons is not a relevant and important question, but to start to make the first step and keep the aim in mind as good as possible. One step after the other, even a thousand mile journey starts with the first step and is continued just by the next step.

It does not make sense to think if we would reach the aim or not in a time frame we might use to call it our existence. And this is the second problem which could arise if we have the useless thought of the idea that we are not able to do. We would be just worried, depressed and waste our time and even the last resources of past merits.

So once again in short the two dangers of the idea of implicitness: The danger that we rest on our laurels and do not act out of this reason and the danger to assume that we are not able to reach something and do not act out of this reason

Conviction (saddha) in that we are responsible for our intentions (actions) comes with gratitude realized trough our present situation compared with the situation of others for example. Not a single being is equal with the other, it’s just the frame work (law) that it is the same as well as the reality of suffering, its cause, its cessation and possibility for a way out.

So how do you think is your condition and what hinders you to but effort to turn it to a better?

There are some “outwardly” conditions, which could hinder like:

paccantaro – living on a place where Buddha Sasana does not flourish

How could one change this situation? Change the place, or put effort so that it might flourish (which would require the understanding and the right tendency first)


micchaditthi – born/associate among people with wrong view

That goes much along what is called the pre-requisite for the wing of awakening. The admirable friend. What if there are no around, would the teaching alone help?

vitalingo--persons with congenital, defects such as idiocy, etc.

To change that situation is maybe not easy but if such a person would be integrated in a culture that goes in the right direction, he might gain a good support in simply following what others do.

This supporting the “outwardly” conditions for others would also bring some possible effort if ones mind is very directed into “compassion” for others which is also a field for paramis to better even his own situation.

It’s a very complex framework designed by past and present intentions, this co-conditions thing, but if we get the message no way of return.

If not today, gives it tomorrow another try. On and on, remember the past and compare it to the present and try to see that nothing comes from it self as nothing goes from itself.
That will increase our conviction in kamma and our conviction in what is called right view as the starter of the eightfold path which has a lot of connections to gratitude.
 

And what is wrong view? 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father , no spontaneously reborn beings; no brahmans or contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is wrong view...

those ->

"One tries to abandon wrong view & to enter into right view: This is one's right effort. One is mindful to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one's right mindfulness. Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort, & right mindfulness — run & circle around right view."

—   MN 117


"In a person of wrong view, wrong resolve comes into being. In a person of wrong resolve, wrong speech. In a person of wrong speech, wrong action. In a person of wrong action, wrong livelihood. In a person of wrong livelihood, wrong effort. In a person of wrong effort, wrong mindfulness. In a person of wrong mindfulness, wrong concentration. In a person of wrong concentration, wrong knowledge. In a person of wrong knowledge, wrong release.
"This is how from wrongness comes failure, not success."
—   AN 10.103

We actually do not live in a society where gratitude has much value, so why don’t give it a change and turn from a simply consumer of past merits to a producer of merits?

 



#2 Johann (Hanzze)

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 11:47 AM

sanghagift_sangham_sw.gif

 

Giving, taking and the "new" world
"Labour makes (you) free!?", is a sentence that one does not like.

 

Reisbauer_aus_China.jpg

(picture from Klaus Lenningers Website )

 

I am very happy about the work "Ways to unity" by Dr. Hecker, and it is a treasure from which, if we are attentive, can learn very much.

I would like to emphasize here the section on "giving":

from "sangha vatthu - 1. What now, is the manner of giving? arrowi.gif" :

 

"Here, a person gives gifts and presents, he is open handed and helpful, hospitable and generous. Wherever someone indigent and destitute approaches him, there he helps. Wherever he can make someone happy with a gift there he does. For alleviating need and bringing happiness, he gives: In giving he delights, giving makes him glad, giving makes him happy and far is he from stinginess, envy and greed. For others he is bland and pleasent, the noble-minded seek his acquaintance, he wins a good reputation, he has a confident demeanour, and his heart becomes lighter and released from fear and worry about life's necessities. And even in the afterlife he achieves high reward and sway. Not does he give carelessly in a way that he himself becomes a burden for others, nor does he give randomly, without regard for the recipient; but he gives with discernment, mindful of his own possibilities and mindful of the other's situation. And the more his heart becomes replete with the sentiment of giving the more selfless he becomes. Thus he works for his own wellbeing and for the wellbeing of others.

 

Soon, though, he notices that this is not yet the perfect manner that leads to harmony. And why? Since he makes the experience that the best gifts often still cannot cheer up the other: With full hands there he stands empty-handed, helpless in helping. And furthermore: He makes the experience that he himself, by using harsh words, destroys the harmony and the happiness of the other again that he brought about by his giving. In this way, giving stimulates a deeper understanding for the other's needs and attacking the own failings more deeply."

 

I think everyone knows this in one way or the other, and here perhaps a case example of "by using harsh words, destroys the harmony and the happiness of the other again that he brought about by his giving":

 

This topic is very deep and multifarious and quickly one is tried, after the coarsest and most superficial layer, to immediately arrive at a "judgement", and then switch over to ignoring. Often then one even calls this equanimity, but that it is not at all.

 

It is an escape from a "reality" which one does not want to handle, since, in order to penetrate the issue, one would have to engage in self-inquiry, give up a little bit of oneself, and that is something which only few want or recognize as a path.

 

Before one can even give, one must learn to receive, or better: to see gifts as gifts and not as matters of course, and see the generosity therein. Everyone, on being asked, "Can you receive?", would spontaneously and with a firm voice say: "Of course", but is that really so?

 

A very striking experience I had in those years in which I had to do with simple rice farmers, hunters and gatherers in a remote village in an undeveloped region in Cambodia.

 

The laws of giving and taking are here - today probably more out of habit than out of understanding - adhered to very strictly. There are very precise rules about whom, how, when and under which circumstances, one gives, without causing disturbance in the group and at the same time arresting envy and inequity. That all is a very healthy and group-sustaining tradition. But even this needs a source of all that which one can distribute and share, since nothing comes by itself or even from oneself. Here it is the forest, nature. That which one takes from here becomes an object of sharing and distributing. That is no different for us in the "modern" world, but quite possibly very far away from the common perception.

 

But for now I don't even want to go that deep. Since there is a manner of behaviour which is very commonplace and happens actually on a very rough level of inattentiveness.

 

So I made the experience that most of the villagers were only in the rarest cases able to accept things offered to them. Certainly the reason of rejection was often socially determined, but this manner of behaviour could, naturally, not remove their basic greed.

So there was a neighbour who was hardly ever able to accept a gift, for example some fruits from the garden. He would have created an obligation for himself by that, the necessity to either give this back, or, in some way to let others also have a share, or to make something good out of what has been given. Everything else would weigh down his conscience or bring him into a situation where he would lose his desired exalted position, his status. Who wants to be a receiver after all? Usually we want to be generous lords and masters. And that is the same with the simple rice farmer as with the high society hero in the "modern" world.

But this attitude does not remove the desire, of course, and of course it is not the case that one can usually get along without gifts or aids from outside. And so it was surprising, yes even shocking to me, that the same people whom one has offered something, then eagerly stole in the night that which they had been offered before as gifts. In this way it seems possible for them to take (accept) things. They must have the feeling to have come to these things by themselves, having acquired them by themselves. They are so used to taking, yes actually, stealing, that to accept and receive something is something so unacceptable and extraordinary to them which appears far too binding. When to someone who does not know gratitude one gives a gift, then it is as if looking a thief straight in the face as one has caught him in the act. Such is the reaction to a gift.

 

"Unimaginable!", one would perhaps think: "What primitive people! A gift they proudly reject and then in the night they greedily steal that which one would have freely given before." But careful one has to be with such thoughts, very careful, and reflect this attitude first for the "developed" people, and foremostly for oneself.

 

People who live close to nature have nature as their donor and benefactor, and it is the case, as long as they are still unspoilt, that they very well afford appreciation, gratitude and sacrifices towards this benefactor. That is the evenness of those which we commonly see as primitive people, who worship nature spirits, bring them sacrifices and make an effort towards equity, gratitude and humility in this way.

 

They take and they give, within their system. Today however the system is destroyed, depraved and confused through "modern" influences. But the greed and the desire are still there, only that no conscious balance is sustained anymore. That the forest and the balanced nature disappear rapidly will probably not have escaped anyone. The benefactor, "the mother", is little by little devoured, unnoticed the effects on oneself. "Those bad others...!" comes to mind immediately.

 

Far away this seems for us, but that is only since we stand in the middle of the forest just the same and cannot see its trees.

On what ground now do the "modern" people stand? Has anything changed there? Are the manners of acting different? No, and if one takes a closer look then they are even worse, unconscientious and completely removed and uprooted from a healthy, balanced tradition. They are even proud of their achievements and that which they call freedom. Hardly any primeval forest and its inhabitants are so encumbered in a relentless struggle and competition about becoming, growing and getting as is the "urban" world.

 

The "modern" behaviour even goes far beyond this "unimaginable" behaviour of the simple but disrooted human beings. We even generally assume that we are worthy of gifts, that we have a right to receive things and we take things unabashedly, as long as they serve the stilling of our desires. We sell "rights" to each other that we don't even have, since such do not even exist in this manner. Apart from this general consumption of that which is everywhere offered and bestowed upon us (most of it for sure not given freely but bound up with many conditions which, in the moment of taking, we matter-of-factly belittle and negate), we then also take that which we recognize clearly as giving. Completely immoderate, and all this with an astounding self-assurance and arrogance. "You are worth it!" screams it from the advertisement wall, and we eat the bait with delight.

 

Certainly one can see one's own behaviour only with difficulty and recognize one's errors only with some trouble, and therefore it is so necessary and important to find this out through this endeavour of being anxious to give, learning to give and wanting to give, and understanding and penetrating its nature.

 

Let us take a child here as an example. You feel like giving a cake to the child. The child, instead that it gratefully accepts the cake, says that it does not like that cake. How perspiciously is it nowadays seen as "compassionate" that one immediately digs deeper and asks the child: "Ah! What is it then that you want? Do you want ice-cream perahps?" In this manner it is that one is reared and brought up in this "modern" "compassionate" world. This we call compassion: We help each other (to) satisfy our cravings and appetites. What kind of people would that be that did not accede to the wishes and desires of the child: Hard, without compassion, cold... "This is but only a child" ... or perhaps really concerned for the child, when there is one day no cake and no ice-cream to be had everyday anymore?

 

We are no different than the child, and the "consumer spirit" appreciates and treasures our weaknesses and knows how to use them. Oh, how we feel so independent and free today, *click* *click *click*... everything is for free and if one knows the jungle then one will not lack anything. But this jungle narrows down, just as the jungle outside is hard-fought, disappears and loses its freedom, so just the same the natural principles take their course even in the "modern world".

 

Maybe one must have seen and observed things by oneself: How human beings behave when the resources become scarce and greed and fear drive the masses. Ant colonies strive through the forests and still try to get hold of the most and best when they hear that the going might get tough. If you tell them about modesty as a solution they only see the danger, but not the way that is evinced by this. The forest is there for everyone and we all have a right to our share, and so the forest becomes a crisis zone.

We live in a fast-paced world, so fast-paced that it is perhaps even already too fast to observe things. Let's take the forest "internet". Not long ago an uncultivated place where things just grew wildly, now it is little by little occupied, appropriated and possessed, stubbed, farmed, objectified, ruled and tilled and cultivated with an orientation towards profit.

 

Do you still know the days when one came back home from this forest with gratitude, rejoicing in its fruits? Do you still know the days when one took two hours time to answer an e-mail or one thanked for a service? Or maybe even the days when one received a letter from a pen-friend in Africa?

 

Everything is easier nowadays, faster, free and without commitments and without the necessity of recognition and gratitude. There is no equity necessary, that's how it is today. And who should that be, the one who gives? Where do all the things come from? From the outlet and the network cable? Or eventually still out of the forest again? Maybe even from people who share something they have acquired? No: The e-mail comes from the service center from a part time worker who earns his deserved pay. Do we after all continuously and ungratefully enter into new engagements without number, which we in no way recompense and thereby unknowingly indebt ourselves?

 

"Horrible, such engagements I would never want to have to enter into. Then I'll just rather go and take my own things, procure my own things and stay independent." - "But which? From where?"

 

In the modern day and age one has developed elaborate anonymous systems to keep their sustainers free from qualms and regrets, but that those are but only artificial illusory worlds we recognize in the never seen before appearances of physical as well as mental illnesses of modern people. Cancer devours them, diabetes burdens their daily life, depression, traumatic phenomena, and so on... Things that one will not find among the "primitive" people. There it usually happens differently, yet still in the same way, if someone oversteps the boundaries and for example cuts down a tree unaskedly. Here we think there is not such a thing as "possessed by demons". But the nature and the cause are the same. We may call it sicknesses today, but their cause lies in an imbalance of conscience which makes beings susceptible for the attack by disease (demons).

 

And what do we do against sicknesses today? We try to get rid off the symptoms, but only rarely the cause. Such a pill which helps fast, even if it is taken from the jungle again, which is taken for granted, something one is entitled to and which creates new liabilities, is simply more comfortable than to deal with the roots of the disease and start taking less, yet strive towards being able to give something one day, or at least endeavour for some balancing. But also that "living on credits" is a development of modern times, as if one could escape the rebate.

 

There we rather install a free download virus program, instead of examining our surfing and internet use habits. Where there is demand there are givers. From what the givers may live...?

 

Now imagine that one has been given a self-made text editor from a friend, and the neighbour enjoys with Google Chrome (only as an example) the abundance of all text editors of the present generation. "What, and for that I'm even supposed to say thanks? The same I get for free in a thousand times better quality." Or maybe we even make it to a condescendingly smiling "Ohh, thanks!"

 

And what does the primitive man think when you want to give him some fruits? "Oh, if he knew where there are the good and sweet ones to be found in abundance. Those I get there for free whenever I want."

 

Maybe now one can already recognize the depth of the subject, and it would be very unskillful to think that this part of the path that lays ahead one could just skirt and avoid right away, although one still does not even know it in the least.

 

All too gladly one constructs one's "I deserve this" model again and tries it with faked equanimity which is nothing else but the attempt at not even having to try examining the roots. "Inherited I have this, it is my own past merit", as if the world was full of rich heirs of wealth. There is a marked distinction between inherited and heaped up for years on the backs of others. That too is a heritage, but to carry it is not marked by freedom, and out of that cycle one can never escape as a consumer. May the forest appear as extensive and lasting as it may, taking does not relieve one's conscience, but accepting of that which is given freely gives, through recognizing the act of generosity, an example: That such things are possible and can also work in different ways after all. First we have to arrive at a point where we are able to keep giving and taking in a balance, and when we have reached that point then we can at last relish how it works wonders to give up more than one takes up and imbibes again.

 

If one brings home this whole matter to others, or let's say, brings it home to oneself, if we say to the "primitive" native that he steals and if he becomes aware of that, then nevertheless there is rarely more to expect than that he will feel ashamed and escape into self-pity. He does not come out of his state of slavery. Rather he would serve for eons than to start freeing himself. Gospels (songs of lament and short-lived entertainment) are everything that makes his everyday life bearable, but seemingly to him it is completely sufficient.

 

There is a sentence which sadly in recent history was used wrongly and lead to great suffering. But it is a sentence which holds much truth and even the solution to the problem. We cringe, usually, when we hear someone say "Labour makes (you) free" (here also a story which exemplifies this very well: "To Engage In Undertakings Of A Righteous Action is Most Blissful arrowi.gif"), but exactly this is the only solution to escape the cycle. Skillful acts and not inactivity and lack of will while still being driven by greed and desire (in the manner of "I deserve this").

 

No one else can force us to our happiness or our freedom or give it to us. It is something that we have to work hard for by ourselves, and it only works out if we also recognize that by ourselves and make up our minds by ourselves to take this "hard" but fruitful route.

 

Oh, how so many people wish for beautiful monasteries for example, a buddhist way of life, simple living... and yet still cling tightly to all their belongings, would have a hard time only devoting a little amount of their time every week to wipe the communal hall a little bit or root out some weeds every other day. "And what do I gain from it? No one will thank me. For what do I pay 'taxes', do I pay donations, do I already bring so much about by my presence? ... Shall others take it upon themselves, I am a hardworking person, and neither am I rich..."

 

All that is possible today, and Dhamma is available at the bookstore after all, or in the supermarket. It does call for a fundamental decision, whether one goes along with this corrupt cycle or simply starts learning to receive, and also to give, or even to start making an effort and endeavouring for one's own virtue.

 

May one as a living room ascetic feel as secure and skilled in one's talent of samadhi as one likes, in the end, what we wanted to have recognized, "Ahh, I knew it", with hasty reassurance (in order to be able to distance ourselves again a bit from the troublesome things), still ends again with the sentence:

 

(sangha vatthu) arrowi.gif There are two paths leading to benevolence. Which two? The good path, which is helpful and welcoming, and the best path, which is liberating and leads to salvation. With those two, the latter includes the former, requires it, cannot exist without it.

 

Without the good, the best will never come to be, even if we rejoice in the pleasent, still we first have to go through the unpleasent. Nothing is for free in this world. On credit, with one's own sweat, or taken shamelessly and without gratitude, everything has its according price. This shortcut does not exist, even if we would throw everything away with still so much frustration, and don't like this all in the least, it is but only the conceit which keeps us away from the good things, and the pleasent has nothing to do with the best after all.

 

If we think that "consuming wealth makes free" (today, there are also many "Buddhists" after all, who think that freedom is possible through wealth), then it may easily come to renewed misuse of the sentence "(Skillful) work makes free". Are we not already trying again to become free on the backs of others? Don't we already pay the price for having tried to become free on the backs of others?

 

At this point, I want to conclude these suggestions and proposals with a sutta quote:

 

Abandon the unwholesome! It is possible to abandon the unwholesome. If it were not possible to abandon the unwholesome, I would not say thus: ‘Abandon the unwholesome!’ But because it is possible to abandon the unwholesome, I say: ‘Abandon the unwholesome!’

 

If this abandoning of the unwholesome led to harm and suffering, I would not tell you to abandon it. But because the abandoning of the unwholesome leads to welfare and happiness, I say: ‘Abandon the unwholesome!’

Develop the wholesome! It is possible to develop the wholesome. If it were not possible to develop the wholesome, I would not say thus: ‘Develop the wholesome!’ But because it is possible to develop the wholesome, I say: ‘Develop the wholesome!’

 

If this developing of the wholesome led to harm and suffering, I would not tell you to develop it. But because the developing of the wholesome leads to welfare and happiness, I say: ‘Develop the wholesome!'

- AN 2.19 ("Right effort", translation (adapted from) Bhikkhu Bodhi)

 

If after death everything was over then making debts would possibly be the most intelligent way. There is good reason after all why one does not like to accept this all too eagerly. Even "Buddhism" without rebirth is, after all, gladly consumed today. Whether belief can change laws of nature, cause and effect, remains to be seen, and for sure we are not trying it for the first time, but maybe the last time in this way.

'Develop the wholesome!'

Only skillful action (labour) makes free.

 

 (generously translated by Moritz R., 30.6.2013)



#3 Johann (Hanzze)

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 12:19 PM

sanghagift_sangham_sw.gif
from "The Manual of Insight"

Bodhipakkhiya Dipani


The Manual of The Factors Leading to Enlightenment
X, Heritage of the Sasana
by Mahathera Ledi Sayadaw, Aggamahapandita, D.Litt.

Translated into English by Sayadaw U Nyana, Patamagyaw of Masoeyein Monastery Mandalay.
Edited by The English Editorial Board

Note to the electronic version:
This electronic version is reproduced directly from the printed version The text is an English
translation from the original Burmese. No attempt has been made to to change any of the English
phraseology. The reason for putting this book into electronic media is that the book is out of print
and the text has been found very a valuable source of inspiration to those practising Vipassana
meditation, despite using English language which is somewhat archaic.

X Heritage of the Sasana

I shall now examine what constitutes sasanadayajja. Sasanadayajja means the act of receiving the
heritage of Sasana.

'Databbanti dayam'. (That which is given as heritage is called daya). Property that should be given
as heritage by parents to their children.

'Dayam adadatiti dayado.' (Fit to receive heritage. hence called dayado.) Children or heirs who are
fit to receive heritage. 'Dayadassa kammam dayajjam.' (The act of receiving the heritage by heirs.
Hence called dayajjam.

'Sasanassa dayajjam sasanadayajjam.' (The act of receiving the heritage of the Sasana. Hence
called sasanadayajjam.) It is also called Buddhadayajja (the act of receiving the heritage of the
Buddha.)

First, I shall show the nature of the heritage. In the Sasana there are two kinds of heritages,
namely amisa and Dhamma.

The four requisites of a bhikkhu, namely, alms-food, robes, dwelling place, and medicines, are
called amisa heritage. The three sikkha of sila, samadhi and panna, the seven visuddhi, such as
sila- visuddhi, citta visuddhi, etc., the thirty-seven bodhipakkhiya-dhamma, such as the four
satipatthana, the four sammappadhana, etc., are called the Dbamma heritage.

'There are two kinds of Dhamma heritage, namely:

1. lokiya dhamma heritage
2. lokuttara dhamma heritage.

The lokiya-sikkha of sila, samadhi, and panna, the six lokiya- visuddhi, and the thirty-seven
bodhipakkhiya-dhamma associated with the lokiya-visuddhi, are called the lokiya dhamma
heritage. The sikkha associated with the holy Paths and the Fruits, the lokuttara- nanadassanavisuddhi,
and the thirty-seven bodhipakkhiya-dhamma are called lokuttara dhamma heritage.
Lokiya dhamma heritage may be divided into:

3. vatta nissita dhamma heritage
4. vivatta nissita dhamma heritage.

or into:

5. niyata dhamma heritage
6. aniyata dhamma heritage,

The practice of sila, samadhi, and panna directed towards the attainment of worldly positions such
as mentor and teacher of kings, or towards the acquisition of power, retinue, and property, or
towards the the attainment in samsara of rebirth as noble and highly placed humans and devas, is
called vatta nissita dhamma heritage.

There are three forms of rounds of rebirths (vatta), namely, kilesa-vatta, kamma-vatta and vipakavatta.[
149] Vivatta means Nibbana which is the end of these rounds of rebirth. The practice of
sila, samddhi, and panna directed towards the ending of the three forms of rounds of rebirths is
called vivatta nissita dhamma heritage.

The practice of kusala kamma directed towards the ultimate attainment of Nibbana, as of worldly
benefits and pleasant rebirths in the interim before Nibbana is attained, is related to both vatta and
vivatta, and hence is called ubhava-nissita. In the Pali texts, however, only vatta and vivatta are
mentioned. Those who are more inclined to the attainment of vatta results may be said to perform
vatta nissita kamma, and those who are more inclined to the attainment of vivatta results may be
said to perform vivatta nissita kusala kamma.

With reference to the classification of niyata and aniyata, the great realm of sakkaya-ditthi
anusaya that puthujjana (worldlings) possess is like a great, wide and deep ocean of hot burning
embers. The sila, samadhi and panna that occasionally occur to puthujjana may be compared to
droplets of rain falling on that great ocean of burning embers. 'I fulfill sila. I possess sila. I
develop samadhi. I am knowing. I am wise. I am clever. I perceive rupa and nama. I contemplate
rupa and nama' are declarations of acts of sila, samadhi, and panna,which revolve round the
sakkaya-ditthi that is 'I', and thus resemble the droplets of rain falling on the great ocean of
burning embers. Just as the great ocean of burning embers scorch and dry-up the droplets of rain
and cause their disappearance, so does the great kingdom of sakkaya-ditthi cause the
disappearance of such sila, samadhi, and panna. Hence, the sila, samadhi, and panna, appearing in
puthujjana are of the aniyata class. Although puthujjana may possess sila, samadhi, and panna the
possession is tadanga or temporary.

The ajivatthamaka lokiya sila of sotapanna, their lokiya samadhi which resides steadily on the
noble and incomparable qualities of the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha, and their lokiya
panna which perceives the Four Noble Truths are of the niyata class, Like droplets of water falling
on the great lake of Anavatatta, such lokiya sila, samadhi, and panna do not disappear throughout
many lives and many world-cycles.

This shows the nature of lokiya dhamma heritage.

The lokuttara Dhamma of sila, samadhi, kind panna, nadassana- visuddhi, and the thirty-seven
bodhipakkhiya-dhamma, which accompany the eight kinds of lokuttara consciousness are vivatta
nissita. They are niyata. The lokiya sila, samadhi, and panna, which occur to ariya who have
attained lokuttara sila, samadhi, and panna, also reach the niyata stage. In such persons there is no
longer any possibility of their becoming dussila (immoral), asamahita (not composed), dupanna
(unwise), and andhabala (silly).

This shows the heritage of the Sasana.

The Heirs of the Sasana are:
7. bhikkhu
8. bhikkhuni
9. samanera
10. samaneri
11. sikkhamana (female)
12. upasaka
13. upasika

Here, sikkhamana means 'embryo bhikkhuni.'

Of the above seven heirs, the first five are called 'fellow workers' or colleagues within the Sasana.
Men, devas and Brahmas who are not 'fellow workers or colleagues within the Sasana,' but who
are established in the Ti-sarana, are included in upasaka and upasika.

Among the seven heirs, the amisa heritage of the four requisites can be received only by 'fellow
worlkers or colleagues within the Sasana.' The lokiya and lokuttara dhamma heritages, however,
can be received by all the seven. In the receipt of such heritages, there are special considerations
in respect of the heritage of lokiya sila. There are special considerations with respecy- to the
heritages of lokuttara sila, lokiya and lokuttara samadhi, and lokiya and lokuttara panna.
The special considerations with respect to lokiya sila arise because the five 'fellow- workers or
colleagues, within the Sasana' receive the heritages of both the vinaya-sila and suttanta-sila, while
upasaka and upasika receive only the suttanta-sila.

Suttanta-sila means:

14. in respect of the five 'fellow workers or colleagues within the Sasana', the sila enumerated
in the Brahamajala Sutta (Digha Nikaya)[150]
15. in respect 'of upasaka and upasika', ajivatthamaka-sila and dasanga-sila. I
Dhutanga-sila, and paccayasannissita-sila are also suttanta sila.

Samma-vaca, samma-kammanta, and samma-ajiva, included in lokuttara-magganga, are called
lokuttara-sila. These sila can be received by the five 'fellow workers or colleagues within the
Sasana' as also upasaka and upasika. Hence no special considerations arise respect to lokuttarasila.
The same is the case in the two kinds of heritages of samadhi and panna. The seven visuddhi
and the thirty- seven bodhipakkhiya-dhamma are included within these sila, samadhi, and panna.
Of the seven heirs of the Sasana, the five 'fellow workers or colleagues within the Sasana' who are
in the service of the Sasana, are heirs for their own benefit as well as heirs who act as caretakers
of the heritages of the Sasana in order that the Tipitaka and the other requisites of the Sasana may
endure for the duration of 5000 years. The remaining two are heirs of the Sasana only for their
own benefit.

The status of caretakers of the Sasana, on whose shoulders rest the responsibilities of the Sasana,
is much higher than that of the status of being merely Heirs. 'Thus, a householder who has been an
ariya for sixty years has to pay respect,and obeisance to a young puthtijjana samanera of seven
years of age who has been initiated for only a day. Thus also, a bhikkhu who is an arahat has to
pay respect and obesiance to a puthujjana bhikkhu who was ordained just an hour before him.

This shows the heir of the Sasana.

The three sikkha, the seven visuddhi, and the thirty-seven bodhipakkhiya-dhamma, are practices
that are in consonance with the nine lokuttara dhamma,[151] and hence are called
dhammanudhamma- patipatti. The seven heirs of the Sasana who practise these dhamma well are
called suppatipanna individuals. They are also called ujuppatipanna individuals, nayappatipanna
individuals and samicippatipanna individuals.[152] Although they may be puthujjana, they are
included among the sotapatti-maggatthasekha individuals (persons in training for the sotapatti
magga), who constitute the first group (or the group in the first stage) of the eight ariya. They
constitute dhammanudhammapatipanna ariya. Since they are still puthujjana, they are not yet
paramattha ariya (purified Noble Ones).

I shall substantiate what I say. In the Sekhapptipada Sutta,[153] Buddha said: 'Imina ariyena
silakkhandhena samannagato hoti,' meaning thereby that the practices which are comprised within
the bodhipakkhiya-dhamma, such as ajivatthamaka-sila, constitute ariya sila, ariya samadhi, and
ariya panna. Hence, in the Buddha Sasana, the upasaka and upasika who are permanently
confirmed in the ajivatthamaka-sila and in the Tisarana, are persons who are partly endowed with
the suppatipanna quality, and the samicippatipanna quality and hence are
dhammanudhamappatipanna ariya.

When these qualities are enumerated coupled with the name of the sangha, such as in:
Sangham saranaram gacchami. Suppatippanno bhagavato savaka
sangho, etc,
only the bhikkhus and bhikkhunis who are silavanta kalyana puthjjana (worldings who are
morally good and virtuous) should be understood. In the matter of the vinaya, all persons other
than upasampanna sangha (ordained sangha), that is, samanera, samaneri, sikkhamana, upasaka
and upasika, are excluded.

A person who practises the dhammanudhamma-patipatti, which may also be called the
bodhipakkhiya-dhamma, is called samana and brahmana in the Suttanta discourses, although he or
she may be only an upasaka or an upasika.

Thus it is said in the Dhammapada:
Alankato ce pi saman careyya
santo danto niyato brahmacari,
sabbesu bhutesu nidhaya dandam,
sa samano, brahmano, sa bhikkhu.

--Dhammapada l42.

[Though dressed in gay and festive clothes, if he practises an even mind, if his passions are
subdued, if his senses are controlled, if he is confirmed in the four Paths, if he permanently
observes concduct that is chaste and pure, that person is a recluse (samana), he is an ariya
(brahmana), he is a bhikkhu.]

This passage shows that a person who practises the dhammdnudhamma- patipatti, which are the
bodhipakkhiya-dhamma, and lives with pure mind and body, can be called a bhikkhu even though
he dons the clothes of an ordinary layman. This shows the nobility and high status of the heirs of
the Sasana.

In the matter of heritages of the Sasana there are two kinds of heritages, namely, good and bad.
There are also two kinds of heirs, namely, good and bad.
I shall here show the essentials in the Dhamma Dayada Sutta,[154] Mula Pannasa, Majjhiina
Nikaya.

Dhamma dayada me bhikkhave bhavattha,
ma amisadayada. Atthi me tumhesu anukampa.
Kinti me savaka dhamma dayada bhaveyyum,
no amisa dayada ti.

(Bhikkhus: Let you be heirs of the Dhamma. Let not you be heirs of the material requisites. I have
compassion and anxiety for you. How do I have this compassion and anxiety? How can my
disciples become heirs of the dhamma? How can they avoid becoming heirs of the material
requisites? It is thus that I have compassion and anxiety for you.)

The meaning of this passage is as follows: The Buddha's heritage consists of the two kinds: amisa
heritage and dhamma heritage. Amisa heritage is of three kinds, namely: paccayamisa, lokamisa,
and vattmisa. The benefts consisting of alms-food, robes, dwelling place and medicines, are called
paccayamisa. World renown, grandeur, dignity, power, worldly positions, such as teachers and
mentors of kings, ministers, persons of wealth and influence, and possession of followers and
retinues, are called lokamisa. Pleasant rebirths such as rebirth in high stations, rebirth in affluent
families, or rebirth in circumstances where one's wants are fulfilled, are called vattamisa. I have
already expounded dhammamisa.

The Buddha foresaw that after his attainment of parinibbana the Sasana would be overwhelmed
by the excessive increase of the three categories of amisa heritage, in just the same way as islands
within the ocean are overwhelmed and submerged by the three waves of rising floods. Hence did
he leave behind the exhortation:

Dhammadayada me bhikkhave bhavatha, ma amisadayada. 'Anukampa' means the anxiety or
concern nurtured by the Buddha. The Buddha's anxiety was that, just as when the flood waters of
the ocean rise, the people inhabiting the islands are submerged and cast adrift, his disciples in the
Sasana would in time be submerged and cast adrift by the rise and expansion of amisa heritage,
thus severing them from the invaluable heritage of the dhamma. Hence did he leave behind the
exhortation:

Kinti me savaka dhammadayada bhaveyyum, No me amisa dayada.
The three amisa heritages are therefore heritages which caused anxiety and concern in the
Buddha, and thus are heritages which the Buddha discouraged. Hence, these three amisa heritages
are bad heritages. On the other hand, the thirty-seven bodhipakkhiya-dhamma, such as
satipatthana, are heritages which the Buddha extolled with a clear mind free from anxiety, and
thus are good heritages.

Having shown good and bad heritages, bad and good heirs should also be examined.

In particular, it must be remembered that there are certain heritages in the amisa category which
the Buddha extolled. They are pindiyalopa (morsel) alms-food, pamsukula robes (robes made out
of rags and cast away cloth such as from dust heaps), rukkhamala dwelling place (dwelling place
constructed in a lonely place at the foot of a tree), and putimutta medicine (strong smelling urine
of cattle used as medicine). These fourtre called Buddhadayajja. They are the four great heritages
which the Buddha approved.

If that is the case, it needs to be explained why the Buddha permitted the acceptance of atireka
labha (surplus acquisition) amisa given by lay donors, as when he said:
Atireka lobho viharo addhayogo, etc,.

(Surplus monastery, dwelling place, etc.)

The pariyatti sasana [155] consisting of the Tipitaka is the base-- the foundation--of the patipatti
(practice of the Dhamma) and the pativedha (realization) Sasana. Only when the pariyatti sasana
stands firmly established can the other two Sasana be also firmly established. The burden of
preserving the pariyatti sasana for 5000 years is indeed great, since these are times of a waning
kappa (world-cycle) when the life-span of men is also on the wane. The physical and mental
strength of the members of the Sangha, who are the servants and caretakers of the Sasana, are as a
result on the wane too. The Buddha thus foresaw that it would not be possible for these servants
and caretakers, in the future, to shoulder the burden of preserving the pariyatti and at the same
time live in lonely places under trees--without the concession of atireka labha. This is one reason.
In the cases of those persons whose parami are yet immature, the Buddha foresaw that the
opportunity afforded them of practising the works consisting of acquiring the pariyatti,
performing dana, observing sila, and giving paccayanuggaha (assistance in kind) extensively,
would secure for them escape from the apaya loka in the next birth, and enable them to obtain
release from worldly ills during the next Buddha Sasana. This is another reason.
It may be argued here that if what has been said above is true, it would amount to the Buddha
himself having contrived to submerge beings and cast them adrift in amisa heritage. In this
particular, it may be pointed out that the Buddha prescribed and left behind the practice of
paccavekkhana-suddhi (purity of contemplation or purity of review), such 'patisankhayoniso
civaram patisevati', which should be observed and practised with proper attention and care, in
order that the servants and the caretakers of the pariyatti sasana who have to associate themselves
unavoidably with paccayaisa and lokamsa may not be overwhelmed and submerged in amisa
tanha. Hence, if such persons ride the ship which consists of the wisdom arising out of
paccayasannissita sila cetana according to the prescription in paccavekkhana suddhi that is free
from the association of two kinds of amisa tanha, they cannot become submerged and be adrift in
the ocean of amisa although they are obliged to live in association with amisa tanha.
The meanings of the expressions 'submerged' and 'adrift' are as follows: The non-appearance of
adinava-nana (awareness of blemishes) in the three amisa of paccayamisa, luamisa, vattamisa, is
what is meant by 'submerged'. To be non-aware of blemishes for a lengthy period, and to derive
joy and pleasure in the three amisa throughout the whole of life, is what is meant by 'adrift'.
Hence, in order to prevent being so 'submerged' and 'adrift', the Buddha said in the Dhammapada:

Tinnam annataram yamam
patijaggeyya pandito.

Dhammapada, verse 157.

(The wise man should purify himself during one of the three periods of life.)

This means that if one is 'submerged' and be'adrift' in the first period of life, one should attempt to
purify oneself during the second period. If, however, one continues to remain 'submerged'
and'adrift' during the second period of life, one should attempt to purify oneself in the third
period.

Here, 'purifying oneself' means establishing oneself in the bodhipakkhiya-dhamma after ridding
oneself of the attachments to amisa heritages. It means establishing oneself well in the four
ariyavamsa dhamma (practices of the noble family of ariya), which are:

Civarasantosa-being easily contented in robes
Pindapatasantosa-being easily contented in alms-food
Senasanasantosa-being easily contented in dwelling place
Bhavanarama-deriving joy in meditation.

The Buddha said that if one remains 'submerged' and 'adrift' within the amisa heritages during the
whole of the three periods of life, one will be cast into the apaya loka. Thus in the Dhammapada,
he said:

Ayasava malam samutthaya
tadutthaya tameva khadati.
evam atidhonacarinam,
tani kammani nayanti duggatim.

--Dhammapada, verse 240.

(Just as rust springs from iron and eats away that self-same iron, the deeds arising out of amisa
tanha of a person who lives without reflection lead him to the apaya loka.)

This discourse[156] was delivered by the Buddha in connection with a bhikkhu who died in the
Jetavana Monastery, and who was reborn as a louse in his erstwhile bhikhhu's robes, because he
harboured an attachment to those robes just before he died. lf the attachment to a set of robes can
cast one in the apaya loka, what more need be said on greater attachments?

The robes were received as a share from sanghika property (property belonging to the order of the
Sangha), and hence were dhammika property (righteous or lawful property). The bhikkhu in
question was also one who scrupulously observed the 227 sikkha of the Vinaya. Thus it may be
said that a set of lawful robes cast a bhikkhu endowed with the 227 sikkha into the apaya loka.
What more need be said about properties acquired with lust and greed by ordinary layfolk
endowed with only five sikkha? It is thus that one should contemplate and acquire agitation
(samvega).[157] I shall now give an illustration.

There was a wealthy man who possessed many crores worth of silver, many crores worth of gold,
and many crores worth of pearls. In order that these properties might not be lost during bad times,
he buried the bulk of them in the ground, and kept only sixty-thousand worth of money, rice,
paddy, wearing apparel, and ornaments for immediate and ready use.

This wealthy man had six sons. On his death, the six heirs divided the properties among
themselves in six equal shares. The properties buried beneath the earth were also similarly
allocated. These buried properties could be secured by the heirs only if the owners personally dug
them out the ground.

One of the sons was full of greed. he was not content with the property he could immediately use.
He was satiated with the desire for the buried property and could not bear to wait long in order to
get it. He therefore exerted himself and dug up the property, thus becoming a wealthy man.
One of the sons was full of energy. He did not look on the prospect of having to exert himself for
days and months as burdensome. He therefore put forth effort and applied himself to the work of
unearthing the buried treasure, thus becoming a wealthy man.

One of the sons was strong in his attachment. From the moment he received the heritage, his mind
ways always on the property. Sleep and food were of no consequence, so greatly was his mind
attached to the property. He thus put forth effort and dug up the buried property, becoming a
wealthy man.

One of the sons was clever and ingenious. He contrived to construct machinery and dug up the
buried property, thus becoming a wealthy man.

One of the sons lacked greed. He imagined himself to be well-off with even ten thousand worth of
property. He had no desire to acquire the buried property. He was satisfied with the property that
he received for his imediate use.

One of the sons was a spendthrift. He squandered all the property, not even leaving the price of a
spade for the exhumation of the buried property. He sank into bad ways and was eventually
banished from his native place.

In this illustration, the Buddha resembles the wealthy father. Sila-visuddhi and the pariyatti
dhamma resemble the treasure available for immediate use. Jhana and abhhinna, which constitute
citta-visuddhi, resemble the buried silver treasure. The four lokiya panna-visuddhi, such as ditthivisuddhi,
resemble the buried gold treasure. The lokuttara-nana-dassana-visuddhi resembles the
buried pearl treasure. The layfolk and bhikkhus of the Buddha Sasana resemble the six heirs.
Those persons within the Sasana who are filled with the iddhipada of chanda (desire) resemble the
first son who was filled with greed. Persons filled with the iddipada of chanda are not satisfied
with the mere acquisition of sila-visuddhi and the pariyatti dhamma. They do not think that by
such acquisition they have encountered the Buddha Sasana, or that they have become heirs of the
Sasana. They nurture great desire for attaining the higher visuddhi and will not rest until they are
achieved.

Those persons who possess the iddhipada of viriya (effort) resemble the second son who was full
of effort. Such persons are happy and easy in mind only when they are engaged in the attempt to
acquire the higher achievements which they do not as yet possess.

Those persons who possess the iddhipada of citta (attachment) resemble the third son who
possessed strong attachment. Whenever such persons come to know of work productive of great
benefits, they invoke great attachment for it, and their minds do not wander to any other matter.
Those persons who possess iddhipada of panna (wisdom) resemble the fourth son who was clever
and ingenious. Such persons attain happiness and ease of mind only when they are engaged in the
attempt to acquire great knowledge that is difficult of acquisition, deep, and productive of great
benefits.

Those persons who do not possess any of the iddhipada, who possess only inferior chanda, viriya,
citta, and panna, resemble the fifth son who was easily satisfied with the unburied property. Such
persons who lack saddha and chanda do not even possess the idea that the higher attainments of
the visuddhi are the heritages which they can acquire in this very life. Because they lack viriya,
they are reluctant to put forth effort that requires the encountering of privations. They are liable to
reject such effort as impossible. Because they are weak in their volitions, their minds are not fixed
on such kinds of work. They change their minds whenever they listen to various theories and lack
knowledge and wisdom, they reject such work as beyond their capabilities. It is because the
Buddha had such persons in view that he said:

Chandiddhipadam bhaveti
Viriyidipadam bhaveti
Cittiddhipadam bhaveti
Vimamsiddhipada bhaveti
.

In these words the Buddha urged all beings to strengthen their weak iddhipada, such as chanda,
etc. Then only can new desires and new thoughts arise.

In the Buddha Sasana, layfolk and bhikkhus who are defective in their moral conduct resemble
the sixth son. Among layfolk, those persons who are defective in the establishment of the Tisarana,
and the nicca-sila of panca-sila and ajivatthamaka-sila, do not possess the qualities of an
upasaka or an upasika, who only are the heirs of the Sasana. Among bhikkhus and samaneras,
those who commit the parajika[158] offences do not possess the qualities of a good bhikkhu or a
good samanera, who only are the heirs of the Sasana. If layfolk vow that they would keep the
panca-sila or the ajivatthamaka-sila from today, they can immediately become upasakas and
upasikas who are heirs of the Sasana.

This illustration shows how of the many persons who are truly in the line of heritage of the one
father (the Buddha), only those who possess one or other of the four iddhipada as a foundation
can enjoy the full benefits of the heritages. Persons who do not possess one or other of the four
iddhipada get the opportunity to enjoy only some of the superficial benefits of the heritages. They
do not get the opportunity to enjoy the real essence of the heritages. Some persons do not get the
opportunity of enjoying even the superficial benefits because they squander their heritages and
thus become severed from the Buddha's and the Sasana's heritages.

The heirs of the Sasana may also be classified into:

16. niyata heirs
17. aniyata heirs

People who have never once obtained anicca-nana and anatta-nana within themselves are called
aniyata heirs. Aniyata means that they may be the disciples of the sabbannuta Buddha
(Omniscient Buddha)--or the heirs of the sabbannuta Buddha--today, but they may become the
disciples and heirs of another teacher tomorrow. They may even scorn and destroy the Sasana of
the sabannuta Buddha. Even in the present world there are persons who have changed their faith
from the Buddha Sasana to Christianity, and who scorn and undermine the Buddha Sasana. How
easily they can change after death in another birth can be imagined.

One can be a disciple of the sabbannuta Buddha this month, and the disciple of another, teacher
next month. One can be the disciple of the sabbannuta Buddha this year, and the disciple of
another teacher the next. One can be the disciple of the sabbannuta Buddha in the first period of
life and the disciple of another teacher in the second. One can be the disciple of the sabbannuta
Buddha in the second period of life and the disciple of another in the third. One can be the
disciple of the sabbannuta Buddha in this life and the disciple and the disciple of another teacher
in the next.

Thus in the Patisambhidha-Magga, the Buddha said: Nanasattaranam mukham ullokentiti
puthujjana.[159] (A puthujjana is so called because he looks up to the faces of various teachers).
The meaning of this passage is that in the infinite past samsara, puthujjana have never been
constant in the choice of the teachers in whom they have taken refuge. It has been one teacher
today and another tomorrow. One teacher this month and another the next. One teacher this year
and another the next. One teacher this life and another the next. The number of occasions on
which they have approached and taken refuge in the Sabbannuta Buddha during the infinite past
samsara is very few indeed. Sometimes, they have taken refuge in the Brahma, sometimes in the
Sakka, sometimes in the various devas, sometimes in the sun, sometimes in the moon sometimes
in the planets, sometimes in the spirits of the earth, and sometimes in the ogres, and they have
done so as if these refuges were almighty.

In the world, the number of false teachers is very numerous. The number of existences in which
puthujjana have approached and taken refuge in these false teachers is also very numerous.
Sometimes they have taken refuge in the nagas, sometimes in garudas, sometimes in rivers,
sometimes in mountains, sometimes in forests, sometimes in trees, sometimes in hillocks,
sometimes in fire, and sometimes in water.[160] Thus, in nature, the number and kinds of teachers
which puthujjana afflicted with sakkaya-ditthi have approached and taken refuge in are extremely
numerous. The more they approach and take refuge in these false teachers, the more do they sink
into the apaya and niraya loka.

If further, beginning with this life, they continue to wander and drift in samsara replete with false
attachments of sakkaya-dittlii, they will continue to change the teachers whom they approach and
take refuge in. How frightful, terrible, and nasty is the state of a puthujjana. This is the meaning.
of the passage, 'nanasattaranam mukham ullokentiti puthujjana.'

On every occasion a puthujjana changes his teachers and refuges, a change also occurs in the
doctrines and principles that he depends on for his guidance. Sometimes puthujjana have
depended on the adhisadhisila-dhamma (purified morality) expounded by the sabbannuta Buddha;
sometimes on gosila govata dhamma or the practices of cattle; sometimes on the practices of
dogs; sometimes on the practices of horses; and sometimes on the practices of elephants. Thus the
moral practices which they have adopted and depended on are also very numerous. In the matter
of ditthi (views), the number of existences in which they have adopted and depended on sammaditthi
(right views) are extremely few. On the other hand, the number of existences in which they
have adopted and depended on miccha-ditthi (wrong views) are extremely numerous. The more
they have adopted and depended on these wrong views and practices, the more have they sunk--
deeper and deeper-- into the apaya and niriya loka.

Of the countless and infinite number of errors and perversities possessed by puthujjana wandering
and drifting in samsara, the error of seeking refuge in wrong protectors (teachers) is one of the
greatest errors conducive of causing them great harm. This is because the error of seeking refuge
in wrong teachers leads to wrong moral principles and practices, and the difficult achievement of
rebirth as human beings (manusatta dullabha), which may be compared to a great padesa[161] tree
producing the fruits of good rebirths, becomes in its entirety a tree producing the evil fruits of
rebirths in the niriya regions. This shows the future path of aniyata heirs of the Sasana.
Those persons who perceive the anicca and anatta characteristics in themselves are freed from the
kingdom of sakkaya-ditthi. They become the niyata heirs of the Sasana. Niyata means that they
are freed from the susceptibility of approaching and seeking refuge in erroneous teachers
throughout future infinite samSara. They become the true children of the sabbannuta Buddha
throughout the future succession of rebirth. They become members of the 'bon-sin-san' family,
and though they may pass through many rebirths and many world-cycles in samsara, their views
of the unbounded and incomparable qualities of the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha,
become clearer and brighter from one rebirth to another.

The three sasana of sila, samadhi, and panna, the seven visuddhi, such as sila-visuddhi, and the
thirty-seven bodhipakkhiya-dhamma of satipatthana, sammappadhana, iddhipada, indriya, bala,
bojjhanga, and magganga, are dhamma heritages that prosper and increase in their minds from
one rebirth to another. The three sasana of the pariyatti, patipatti, and the pativedha become
permanently established in them throughout the succession of rebirths and the succession of
world-cycles.

Although they continue to wander in samsara enjoying the joys and pleasures of humans, devas,
and Brahmas, they are no longer beings of the world who change their teachers and refuges from
one existence to another. They continue to wander in samsara as beings of the lokuttara, or the
region of the ariya. They are no longer beings of samsara liable to the miseries inherent in the
round of rebirths, and who thus are subject to being submerged, suffocated, exhausted, and cast
adrift in samsara's great whirlpool. They have become the true beings of the first stage of Nibbana
called sa-upadisesa-nibbana. They are beings who will invariably ascend to anupadisesa-nibbana
through the joys and pleasure of 'bon-sin-san' existences.

In infinite samsara, all wise humans, devas, Brahmas, desire to become niyata beings who only
are the true children of the sabbannuta Buddhas, and thus they hope and look forward to
encountering the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha. Thev have to perform many acts of dana
and establish the wish that such acts may lead to such an encounter. They have to perform many
acts of sila and establish the wish that such acts may lead to such an encounter. They have to
perform many acts of bhavana and establish the wish that such acts may lead to such an
encounter. This shows the undeviating path of the niyata heir of the Sasana.
It is to reveal this path that the Buddha, in several places of the Suttanta and Abhidhamma Pitakas
said:

Tinnam samyojanam parikkhaya sotapanno hoti,
avinipata dhammo niyato sambodhiparayano.
[162]

(Because the three samyojana cease, the person becomes a sotapanna. He becomes free from
rebirth in states of suffering. He becomes confirmed as heir of the bodhipakkhiya-dhamma. He
finds rest and support in the higher Paths and Fruits.

[Note: The three samyojana are sakkaya-ditthi, vicikiccha, and silabbataparamasa. Of these,
sakkaya-ditthi is the essential or ruling factor.]

This ends the part showing the aniyata and niyata heirs.

Good and virtuous persons who perceive what constitutes good heritage and bad heritage, what is
fixed or niyata heritage, and what unstable or aniyata heritage, what are good heirs and bad heirs,
what are heirs of fixed heritage and heirs of unstable heritage, these good and virtuous persons did
not put forth effort in past successive existences and successive worlds because they desired to
become heirs of bad heritages of the Buddha Sasana. They put forth effort because it was their
desire to become heirs of the good heritages. They did not practise dana, sila, and bhavana
because they desired to become heirs of the unstable temporary heritages, but because it was their
desire to become heirs of the niyata heritages.

Taking these facts into account, and taking heed of the fact that the Buddha disapproved of the
bad heritages of the Sasana, those persons who have in this existence become the disciples and
heirs of the Buddha should not permit themselves to become bad heirs. They should not permit
themselves to become temporary, unstable heirs. They should attempt to become heirs of the good
heritages which are the bodhipakkhiya-dhamma. They should attempt to become stable heirs.
In the lengthy period of the series of rebirths known as samsara, whenever acts of dana, sila and
bhavana are performed, it is usually because beings desire that by virtue of these good acts they
may in a future existence as a human being encounter a Buddha and attain release from worldly
ills, or attain the Path Knowledge, the Fruit Knowledge, and Nibbana. Thus it is usual for them to
wish for the heritages of the Dhamma. It is not usual for them to desire that by virtue of these
good acts they may in future existence encounter a Buddha and attain worldly riches and worldly
positions. It is not usual for them to wish for these amisa heritages. It is not usual for them to
desire the gaining of opportunities for the performance of good acts leading to bhava-sampatti,
bhoga-sampatti, and issariya-sampatti.

But, at the present day, the bad heritages of paccayamisa-tanha lokamisa-tanha, and vattamisatanha
constitute to be ruling factors. Modern men and women do not like to hear the mention of
the four ariya-vamsa which are the antitheses of the three tanha mentioned. The four ariya-vamsadhamma
which are, as has already been mentioned previously, being easily satisfied with almsfood,
robes, and dwelling place, and deriving joy and pleasure in the work of bhavana. They are
called ariya-vamsa-dhamma because they are dhamma on which Buddhas, the disciples of
Buddhas, and the heirs of Buddhas, should not release their hold. This is a reminder to those
persons who possess wisdom.

As regards persons deficient in wisdom, the mere performance of many good and meritorious acts
has to be extolled as good.

Those persons who are endowed with wisdom, however, should, if they desire to become heirs of
the niyata dhamma heritages either in this life or in the next in the deva loka, establish the
ajivatthamaka- sila, set up kayagatai-sati, and try (for at least three hours a day) to achieve
perception of the three characteristics of existence in the five aggregates of the body. If they
perceive either of the three characteristics in the five aggregates, they can become niyata heirs and
achieve the status of a 'bon-sin-san'.

For this piirpose, see my Lakkhana Dipani, Vijjamagga Dipani, Ahara Dipani, and Kammatthana
Dipani. For the path of niyata 'bon- sin-san' inclivicluals, see my Catusacca Dipani, and the
chapter on Nibbana my Paramattha Sankhitta.

FOOTNOTES:
149. 1.Round of defilements, 2.Round of kamma, 3.Round of results.
150. See the Light of the Dhamma, Vol. III, No.2, and the Brahmajala
Sutta published by the Union Buddha Sasana Council.
151. Four magga, four phala and Nibbana.
152. See Nanamoli's Visuddhimagga, p. 236 et. seq.
153. Samyutta Nikaya, Maha-vagga Samyutta Pali, 1. Magga Samyutta,
3. Sekha Sutta, p. 12, 6th Syn Edn.
154 1. Wulapariyaya-vagga, 3. Dhammadayada Sutta, p. 15 6th Syn. Edn.
155. Learning of the Doctrine
156. Dhammapada Atthakatha, 3. Tissa Thera Vatthu, p. 218, 6th Syn
Edn.
157. Dread caused by the contemplation on the miseries of this world.
See The Light of the Dhamma, Vol. VII, No. 3, p. 17.
158. Offences which entail loss of monkhood.
159. Patisambhida-Magga Atthakatha, 9. Sankharupakkha-nanadassanavannana,
p. 245, 6th Syn Edn.
160. Cf. Dhammapada, verse 188.
161. 'Wishing Tree'
162. Abhidhamma Pitaka, Puggalapannatti Pali, P. 120, 6th Syn Edn.