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Practicing Insight on Your Own

A Handbook for Vipassana-kammatthana

Part 3 - Obstacles Of The Third Stage.

When the meditator has gradually established mindfulness in noting rupa nama, the 5 indriya will gain power by and by. These are:

  1. Saddha: Confidence in the wisdom of the Buddha and confidence in oneself.
  2. Viriya: Diligence and exertion in preventing kilesa nivarana from arising; to abandon kilesa nivarana that have arisen; to develop mindfulness which contemplates the present object effortlessly; to maintain sati, samadhi, panna and make them stronger.
  3. Sati: To be aware of the objects of body, feeling, mind and Dhamma in the present, continuously and constantly.
  4. Samadhi: To fix the mind on the object which is in front (confronting), encouraging sati and spurring the development of panna (wisdom).
  5. Panna: Thorough knowledge, understanding in relation to sankhara (mind and body), knowledge of the four Sacca dhamma (truthful facts) as they really are.

In order to know whether these five dhamma have become indriya or not, one must find out whether the obstacles of the second stage have been overcome. If they are still sticking to the meditator, then he has not yet overcome the obstacles of the second stage. This is not yet indriya (controlling power). If the second stage is overcome, it means that these five dhamma have reached the strength of indriya in other words, they are present on a large scale in their respective qualities. For example: At first sati cannot note the present. But later it becomes faster until it can see the arising and vanishing of rupa nama in the present and thus catch up with reality. Nana and panna are elevated stage by stage until they approach the utmost heights of nana (knowledge).

Going through the real stages of magga phala (realization) is not such an easy thing as some people think, those who would believe that they have already reached there. Mostly it is false nana; and it is a matter of boasting too much, because nowadays is the time of the neyya puggala kind of people, that means they must study, train and practise much more, even if in this present existence they might not attain to the qualities of the ultimate dhamma, it is a support and parami for the existences to come. So, when they reach a high level, the essential obstacle is that the practice will go up and down repeatedly. They will anticipate or desire to attain. Then samadhi will not have the power to overcome the obstacles of this third stage.

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