A Manual of Abhidhamma

by Nārada Thera | 80,494 words | ISBN-13: 9789380336510

In the Abhidhammattha Sangaha there is a brief exposition of the Law of Dependent Origination, followed by a descriptive account of the Causal Relations that finds no parallel in any other philosophy. Edited in the original Pali Text with English Translation and Explanatory Notes by Narada Maha Thera....

Factors of Enlightenment

Bodhipakkhiya Sangaho

Bodhipakkhiya Sangaho

§ 4.

  1. Bodhipakkhiyasangahe cattāro satipatthānā-kāyānupassanā-satipatthānam, vedanānupassanā-satipatthānam, cittānupassanā-satipatthānam, dhammānupassanā-satipatthānam.
  2. Cattāro sammappadhānā - uppannānam pāpakānam pahānāya vāyāmo, anuppannānam pāpakānam anuppādāya vāyāmo, anuppannānam kusalānam uppādāya vāyāmo, uppannānam kusalānam bhiyyobhāvāya vāyāmo.
  3. Cattāro iddhipādā - chandidhipādo, viriyiddhipādo, cittiddhipādo, vīmamsiddhipādo.
  4. Pañcindriyāni - saddhindriyam, viriyindriyam, satindriyam, samādhindriyam, paññindriyam.
  5. Pañcabalāni - saddhābalam, viriyabalam, satibalam, samādhibalam, paññābalam.
  6. Sattabojjhangā - satisambojjhango, dhammavicayasambojjhango, viriyasambojjhango, pītisambojjhango, passaddhisambojjango, samādhisambojjhango, upekkhāsambojjhango.
  7. Atthamaggangāni - sammāditthi, sammāsankappo, sammāvācā, sammākammanto, sammājīvo, sammāvāyāmo, sammāsati, sammāsamādhi.

Ettha pana cattāro satipatthānā'ti sammā-sati ekā'va pavuccati. Tathā cattāro sammappadhānā'ti ca sammāvāyāmo.

Chando cittam upekkhā ca saddhā-passaddhi-pītiyo
Sammāditthi ca sankappo vāyāmo viratittayam
Sammāsati samādhī'ti cuddas'ete sabhāvato
Sattatimsappabhedena sattadhā tattha sangaho.
Sankappa-passadhi ca pītupekkhā chando ca cittam viratittayañ ca
Nav'ekathānā viriyam nava'attha sati samādhi catu, pañca paññā.
Saddhā duthānuttamasatta-timsaddharnmānam'eso pavaro vibhāgo
Sabbe lokuttare honti na vā samkappapītiyo
Lokiye'pi yathāyogam chabbisuddhippavattiyam.


(translation) (28)

§ 4.

In the compendium of Factors pertaining to Enlightenment:-

  1. There are four Foundations of Mindfulness (29):
    1. Mindfulness as regards body,
    2. Mindfulness as regards feelings,
    3. Mindfulness as regards thoughts,
    4. Mindfulness as regards Dhamma.
  2. There are four Supreme Efforts (30):
    1. The effort to discard evils that have arisen,
    2. The effort to prevent the arising of unrisen evils,
    3. The effort to develop unrisen good,
    4. The effort to augment arisen good.
  3. There are four Means of Accomplishment (31):
    1. Will,
    2. Effort,
    3. Thought,
    4. Reason.
  4. There are five Faculties (32):
    1. Confidence,
    2. Effort,
    3. Mindfulness,
    4. Concentration,
    5. Wisdom.
  5. There are five Powers (32):
    1. Confidence,
    2. Effort,
    3. Mindfulness,
    4. Concentration.
    5. Wisdom.
  6. There are seven Constituents of Enlightenment (33):
    1. Mindfulness,
    2. Investigation of the Truth,
    3. Effort,
    4. Rapture,
    5. Quietude,
    6. Concentration,
    7. Equanimity.
  7. There are eight Path Constituents (34):
    1. Right Understanding,
    2. Right Thoughts,
    3. Right Speech,
    4. Right Action,
    5. Right Livelihood.,
    6. Right Effort,
    7. Right Mindfulness,
    8. Right Concentration.

Here by the four Foundations of Mindfulness, Right Mindfulness alone is implied. Right Effort is implied by the four Supreme Efforts.

The sevenfold compendium which consists of 37 factors, is composed of these fourteen according to their nature: Will, Thought, Equanimity, Confidence, Quietude, Rapture, Right Understanding, Aspirations or Thoughts, Effort, the three Abstinences, Right Mindfulness, and Concentration.

The enumeration of these 37 sublime factors is as follows: Aspirations, Quietude, Rapture, Equanimity, Will, Thought, the three Abstinences, occur once; Effort nine times; Mindfulness eight times; Concentration four times; Wisdom five times; Confidence twice (35).

All these, save at times Aspirations and Rapture, occur in the Supramundane (Consciousness) and in the mundane (consciousness) too, according to circumstances, in the course of sixfold purity.



28. Bodhipakkhiya - Bodhi means Enlightenment or the aspirant for Enlightenment. Pakkhiya, literally, means 'on the side of'.

29. Satipatthāna - sati = mindfulness, awareness, or attentiveness; patthāna = establishment, application, foundations, bases. These satipatthānas are intended to develop both concentration and insight. Each satipatthāna serves a specific purpose. Contemplation on these four leads, on the one hand, to the development of 'undesirableness' (asubha), painfulness (dukkha), impermanence (anicca), and 'soullessness' (anattā); and, on the other hand, to the eradication of 'desirableness', pleasure, permanence and substantiality.

Briefly, the objects of mindfulness may be divided into nāma and rūpa. The first - which deals with rūpa, breath is also regarded as a kind of rūpa. The second and the third deal with different kinds of feelings and thoughts. The fourth deals with both nāma and rūpa. Hence it is very difficult to render the Pāli term, Dhamma, used in this connection, by one English equivalent. It is preferable to retain the Pāli term to avoid any misunderstanding.

For details see the Satipatthāna Sutta and the commentary.

30. Sammappadhāna (Right exertion) - One mental state - viriya - performs four functions.

31. Iddhipāda - The means of accomplishing one's own end or purpose. Strictly speaking, all these four pertain to the Supramundane Consciousness. Chanda is the mental state 'wish-to-do'. Viriya refers to the four Supreme Efforts. Citta means the Supramundane Consciousness. Vīmamsā signifies the mental state of wisdom present in the Supramundane Consciousness. Only when these four are present in the Supramundane Consciousness are they termed iddhipāda.

32. Indriyas and Balas are identical though different meanings are attached to them.

33. Sambojjhanga - Sam = exalted, good; bodhi = enlightenment or one who is striving for enlightenment; anga = factor. Here dhammavicaya means seeing mind and matter as they truly are. It is insight. By passaddhi are meant both citta-passaddhi and kāya-passaddhi mental states. Upekkhā does not mean hedonic indifference but mental equipoise known as tatramajjhattatā. Dhammavicaya, viriya, and pīti are opposed to thīna-middha (sloth and torpor); passaddhi, samādhi, and upekkhā, to uddhacca (restlessness).

34. Maggangāni - According to the commentaries, here magga is used in two different senses, namely, 'that which is sought by those who strive for Nibbāna', or 'that which goes by killing the passions' (nibbānatthikehi maggīyatī'ti vā kilese mārento gacchatī' ti maggo). Evidently this particular definition has been given to differentiate the noble Eightfold Path from an ordinary one.

Strictly speaking, these eight factors connote eight mental states collectively found in the supramundane consciousness that has Nibbāna for its object.

Sammā-ditthi is rendered by Right Understanding, Right Views, Right Beliefs, Right Knowledge. Sammā-ditthi is explained as the knowledge of the four Noble Truths. In other words, it is the understanding of one's personality as it really, is or of things as they truly are. According to Abhidhamma, it is the mental state of wisdom (paññā) that tends to eradicate ignorance (avijjā). It is placed first because all actions should be regulated by wisdom. Right Understanding leads to Right Thoughts.

Sammā-sankappa is rendered by Thoughts, Aspirations, Intentions, Ideas. According to Abhidhamma it is the mental state of vitakka (application) that directs the mind to Nibbāna, eliminating the evil thoughts of sense-desires (kāma), ill will (vyāpāda) and cruelty (himsā), by cultivating the good thoughts of renunciation (nekkhamma), loving-kindness (avyāpāda), and harmlessness (avihimsā).

The first two constituents are grouped in wisdom (paññā).

Right Thoughts lead to Right Speech, Right Action, and Right Livelihood. These three constitute sīla or Morality.

Sammā-vācā signifies abstinence from lying, slandering, harsh speech, and frivolous talk.

Sammā-kammanta deals with abstinence from killing, stealing, and misconduct.

Sammā-jīva is twofold. It deals with right livelihood of both Bhikkhus and laymen. The latter are prohibited from trading in arms, slaves, intoxicants, animals for slaughter, and poison.

The three mental states of 'Abstinences' (virati) are implied by these three constituents.

Sammā-vāyāma signifies the four Supreme Efforts mentioned above.

Sammā-sati denotes the four kinds of Mindfulness mentioned above.

Sammā-samādhi is concentration or the 'one pointedness of the mind'. It is the mental state of 'ekaggatā'.

The last three are included in samādhi or concentration.

The eight constituents comprise Morality, Concentration, and Wisdom or Insight.

35. Effort (viriya) occurs nine times as follows:

4 Supreme Efforts, 1 Means of Accomplishment, 1 Controlling Factor, 1 Power, 1 Constituent of Enlightenment, 1 Right Effort.

Mindfulness (sati) occurs eight times as follows:

4 Foundations of Mindfulness, 1 Controlling Factor; 1 Power, 1 Constituent of Enlightenment, 1 Right Mindfulness.

Concentration (samādhi) occurs four times as follows:

1 Controlling Factor, 1 Power, 1 Constituent of Enlightenment, and 1 Right Mindfulness.

Wisdom (paññā) occurs five times as follows:

1 Means of Accomplishment, 1 Controlling Factor 1 Power, 1 Constituent of Enlightenment, and 1 Right Understanding.

Confidence (saddhā) occurs twice as follows:

1 Controlling Factor, 1 Power.

When the Supramundane Consciousness based on the second jhāna is gained, there is no vitakka. When it is gained based on the fourth and fifth jhānas, there is no pīti.

These 37 factors are collectively found only in the Supramundane Consciousness, but in the mundane separately according to the type of consciousness.

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