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....

Different Kind of Purity

Visuddhibhedo

§ 6.

Vipassanākammatthāne pana 1. Sīlavisuddhi, 2. Cittavisuddhi, 3. Ditthivisuddhi, 4. Kankhāvitaranavisuddhi, 5. Maggāmaggañānadassanavisuddhi, 6. Patipadaññāna dassanavisuddhi, 7. Nānadassanavisuddhicāti sattavidhena Visuddhisangaho.

Aniccalakhanam, Dukkhalakkhanam, Anattalakkhanañ c'āti tīni Lakkhanāni.

Aniccānupassanā, Dukkhānupassanā, Anattānupassanā c'āti tisso Anupassanā.

1. Sammasanañānam, 2. Udayavyayañānam, 3. Bhangañānam, 4. Bhayañānam, 5. ādīnavañānam, 6. Nibbidāñānam, 7. Muñcitukamyatāñānam, 8. Patisankhāñānam, 9. Samkhārupekkhāñānam, 10. Anulomañānam c'āti dasa Vipassanāñānāni.

Suññato Vimokkho, Animitto Vimokkho, Appanihito Vimokkho c'āti tayo Vimokkhā.

Suññatānupassanā, Animittānupassanā, Appanihitānupassanā c'āti tīni Vimokkhamukhāni ca veditabbāni.

Katham? Pātimokkhasamvara Sīlam, Indriyasamvara Sīlam, ājīvapārisuddhi Sīlam, Paccayasannissita Sīlam c'āti Catupārisuddhi Sīlam Sīlavisuddhi nāma.

Upacārasamādhi, Aypanāsamādhi c'āti duvidho'pi Samādhi Cittavisuddhi nāma.

Lakkhana-rasa-paccupatthāna-padatthāna-vasena nāma-rūpapariggaho Ditthivisuddhi nāma.

Tesameva ca nāma-rūpānam paccayapariggaho Kankhāvitarana-visuddhi nāma.

Tato param pana tathāpariggahitesu sappaccayesu tebhūmakasankhāresu atītādibhedabhinnesu khandhādinayam ārabbha kalāpavasena samkhipitvā aniccam khayatthena, dukkham bhayatthena, anattā asārakatthenā' ti addhānavasena santativasena khanavasena va sammasanañānena lakkhanattayam sammasantassa tes veva paccaya vasena khanavasena ca udayavyayañānena udayavyayam sammanupassantassa ca.

Obhāso pīti passaddhi adhimokkho ca paggaho

Sukham ñānamupatthānamupekkhā ca nikanti c'āti.

Obhāsādi vipassanupakkilese paripanthapariggaha vasena maggāmaggalakkhanavavathānam Maggāmagga-ñānadassanavisuddhi nāma.

Tathā paripanthavimuttassa pana tassa udayavyayañānato patthāya yāvānulomā tilakkhanam vipassanāparamparāya patipajjantassa nava vipassanāñānāni Patipadāñānadassanavisuddhi nāma.

Tass'evam patipajjantassa pana vipassanāparipākamāgamma idāni appanā uppajjissatitiī bhavangam vocchinditva uppannamanodvārāvajjanānantaram dve tīni vipassanācittāni yam kiñci aniccādilakkhanamārabbha parikammopacārānulomanāmena pavattanti. Yā sikhāppattā sā sānulomasankhārupekkhāvutthānagāmini-vipassanā'ti ca pavuccati. Tato param gotrabhūcittam nibbānam' ālambitvā puthujjanagottamabhibhavantam ariyagottamabhisambhontañ ca pavattati. Tass'ānantaram eva maggo dukkhasaccam parijānanto samudayasaccam pajahanto nirodhasaccam sacchikaronto maggasaccam bhāvanāvasena appanāvīthim otarati. Tato param dve tīni phalacittāni pavattitvā bhavangapāto'va hoti. Puna bhavangam vocchinditvā paccavekkhanañānāni pavattanti.

Maggam phalañ ca nibbānam paccavekkhati pandito

Hīne kilese sese ca paccavekkhati vā navā.

Chabbisuddhikamen' evam bhāvetabbo catubbidho

Nānadassanavisuddhi nāma maggo pavuccati.

Ayam' ettha visuddhibhedo.

 

(Translation)

 

§ 6.

In the exercises on mental culture pertaining to Insight (24) the section on 'Purity' is sevenfold:

  1. Purity of Morals
  2. Purity of Mind,
  3. Purity of views
  4. Purity of Transcending Doubts
  5. Purity of Vision in discerning the Path and Non-Path
  6. Purity of Vision in discerning the method
  7. Purity of Vision regarding intuitive wisdom

There are three Characteristic Marks:

  1. The Characteristic Mark of Impermanence (25
  2. The Characteristic Mark of Suffering (26)
  3. The Characteristic Mark of No-soul (27)

There are three Contemplations:

  1. The Contemplation on Impermanence
  2. The Contemplation on Suffering
  3. The Contemplation on No soul.

There are ten kinds of Insight:

  1. Investigating knowledge (28)
  2. Knowledge with regard to the arising and passing away (of conditioned things)
  3. Knowledge with regard to the dissolution (of things)
  4. Knowledge (of dissolving things) as fearful
  5. Knowledge of (fearful) things as baneful
  6. Knowledge of (baneful) things as disgusting
  7. Knowledge as regards the wish to escape from them
  8. Knowledge of reflecting contemplation (9)
  9. Knowledge of equanimity towards conditioned things (30)
  10. Knowledge of adaptation (31)

There are three Emancipations (32):

  1. Emancipation through Void (33)
  2. Emancipation through Signlessness (34)
  3. Emancipation through Desirelessness (3)

There are three Doors of Emancipation:

  1. Contemplation on the Void
  2. Contemplation on the Signlessness
  3. Contemplation on Desirelessness.

How?

Purity of Morals (36) consists of four kinds of perfect discipline, namely:

  1. Moral Discipline as regards the Fundamental Precepts
  2. Discipline as regards sense-restraint
  3. Discipline as regards purity of livelihood,
  4. Discipline as regards the four requisites.

Purity of Mind (37) consists of two kinds of concentration, namely,

  1. Proximate concentration
  2. Established or ecstatic concentration

Purity of Views (38) is the understanding of mind and matter with respect to their characteristics, function, mode of appearance, and proximate cause.

Purity of Transcending Doubts (39) is the comprehension of the causes of those very mind and matter.

After comprehending the causes, the meditator, considering the methods of aggregates, etc., formulates in groups the conditioned things of the triple plane, that have arisen with causes, differing according to the past, etc., and that have been comprehended in the foregoing manner. Now he meditates on the three characteristics - impermanence in the sense of dissolution, suffering in the sense of fearfulness, and soullessness in the sense of unsubstantiality - by way of duration, continuity, and momentariness. To him who meditates on the arising and passing away of things by means of the knowledge so named with respect to causes and momentariness there arise an aura, joy, quietude, excessive faith, effort, happiness, wisdom, mindfulness equanimity and a liking (for that state).

Purity of Vision in discerning what is the Path and what is not the Path (40), is the determining of characteristics of Path and not Path by understanding an aura etc., as inimical impediments of insight.

Getting rid of these inimical impediments, the meditator reflects on the three Characteristics. Now to him, starting from the knowledge of arising and passing away, and extending up to the knowledge of adaptation, there arise in one continuous stream of contemplation, nine kinds of Insight. By Purity of Vision that discerns the method (41) is meant these nine kinds of knowledge.

Realization:

When he thus practices contemplation, owing to the ripening of insight (he feels) 'Now the development (of the path) (42) will arise'. Thereupon arresting the life-continuum, arises mind-door consciousness, followed by two or three (moments of) insight consciousness having for their object any of the Characteristics such as impermanence etc. They are termed 'preliminary', 'proximate', and 'adaptation' (moments) (43).

That knowledge of equanimity towards conditioned things, together with knowledge that conforms (to the truths), when perfected, is also termed 'Insight of emergence leading to the Path (44).

There after the gotrabhū-consciousness (45), having Nibbāna as its object occurs, overcoming the lineage of the worldlings, and evolving the lineage of the Ariyas.

Immediately after that consciousness, the Path (of the Stream-Winner)[1], realizing the Truth of suffering, eradicating the Truth of its cause, realizing the Truth of its cessation, and developing the Truth of the Way to its cessation, descends into the (supramundane) appanā thought-process.

After that Path-consciousness two or three moments of Fruit-consciousness arise and subside into the life-continuum (46). Then, arresting the life-continuum, the knowledge of reflection occurs.

The wise man reflects (47) on the Path, Fruit, Nibbāna, defilements destroyed, and either reflects or does not reflect on the remaining defilements.

Thus the fourfold Path which has to be developed by degrees by means of the sixfold purity is called the 'Purity of Intuitive Knowledge' (48).

Herein this is the section on Purity.

 

Notes:

24. Vipassanā - or Insight is the third and final stage on the Path of Sainthood. The chief object of Insight is to understand things as they truly are.

25. Anicca - i.e., the fleeting nature of both mind and matter. Changeableness is a characteristic of everything that is conditioned. All conditioned things are constantly changing, not remaining static for two consecutive moments. Mind, in fact, changes even faster than matter. Normally matter endures only for seventeen thought-moments. Commentators state that, during the time occupied by a flash of lightning, billions of thought-moments may arise.

26. Dukkha - All conditioned things are subject to suffering. Birth is suffering, decay is suffering, disease is suffering, death is suffering. Union with the unpleasant is suffering. Separation from the pleasant is suffering. Not to get what one desires is suffering. In brief, the five aggregates of attachment are suffering.

27. Anattā - Or Soullessness is the crux of Buddhism. As there is no permanent entity in matter, so also there is no unchanging entity in mind conceived as an 'ego' or soul'. In everything mundane and supramundane conditioned and non-conditioned, there is no permanent soul. Hence the Buddha in the Dhammapada stated 'sabbe dhammā anattā - all dhammas are soulless'. With regard to anicca and dukkha the Buddha said 'sankhārā - conditioned things'. With regard to anattā, the Buddha employed the term dhammā to include supramundane unconditioned Nibbāna as well.

It may be mentioned that it was after hearing the 'Anattalakkhana Sutta', the discourse on soullessness, that the first five monks attained Arahatship.

The aspirant does not usually meditate on all these three characteristics. Of them, he takes only that which appeals to him most. Deliverance, gained by meditating on one of them, is named accordingly.

28. Sammasanañana - Lit., 'handling-knowledge', is the investigating of aggregates as composite (kalāpavasena).

29. Patisankhāñāna - is the recontemplation of conditioned things in order to find out the means to escape the refrom.

30. Sankhārupekkhā-ñāna - is perfect equanimity towards all conditioned things, having neither attachment nor aversion, resulting from developing the foregoing different kinds of Insight.

31. Anuloma-ñāna - is the 'adaptation knowledge' gained by perfecting the foregoing nine kinds of Insight. It is so called because it conforms itself to 37 Factors of Enlightenment and qualifies the aspirant for the higher path.

32. Vimokkha - so called because the deliver one from the ten Fetters, etc.

33. Suññata - devoid of a soul. Emancipation gained by meditating on soullessness (anattā) is called suññata-vimokkha.

34. Animitta - free from the signs of permanence, etc. Emancipation gained by meditating on 'impermanence' (anicca) is called animitta-vimokkha.

35. Appanihita - free from the hankering of craving. Emancipation gained by meditating on 'suffering' (dukkha) is called appanihita-vimokkha.

36. Sīlavisuddhi - Purity of Morals, is the first of seven 'Purities'. It consists of four kinds, all pertaining to the life of a Bhikkhu.

The first is pātimokkhasamvarasīla. 'That which saves one who observes it from woeful states' is the commentarial explanation of 'pātimokkha'. is also explained as the Buddhas Teaching. Atipamokkha means extremely important. Pātimokkha therefore means "Fundamental Teaching" or "Fundamental Precepts". It deals with 220[2] disciplinary rules which every Bhikkhu is expected to observe. As it restrains one from evil deeds, etc., it is termed 'samvara'. Sīla is used in the sense of 'composure' (samādhāna) and 'support' (upadhārana). It is so called because it tends to discipline thoughts, words, and deeds, and because it acts as a support for other virtues. Indrivasamvarasīla the second sīla, deals with the control of the six senses. ājīvapārisuddhisīla, the third sīla, deals with the right livelihood of a Bhikkhu. In obtaining the necessaries of life, a Bhikkhu should not act in an unbecoming way. Paccayasannissitasīla the fourth sīla, is concerned with the unselfish use of the four requisites - robes, alms, lodging, and medicine.

37. Cittavisuddhi - is the second 'Purity. It is the purity of mind, gained by developing the jhānas, temporarily inhibiting the Hindrances. A purified mind is like a polished mirror where everything is reflected in its true perspective. With a purified mind one can see things as they truly are.

38. Ditthivisuddhi - is the third 'Purity'. It is so called because it purifies one from the false theory of a permanent soul. This correct comprehension results from investigating mind and matter as regards their salient characteristics (lakkhana), function or essential properties (rasa), the way of manifestation (paccupatthāna), and their immediate cause (padatthāna).

39. Kankhāvitaranavisuddhi - is the fourth 'Purity' which attempts to transcend skeptical doubts as regards cause and effect, the past, the present, and the future. This is called a purity because it removes the stain of erroneous views of 'chance', causelessness', etc.

To achieve this purity one meditates on the various causes that tend to produce present mind and matter, and on the causes that sustain them in the present. He understands that present mind and matter at conception were conditioned by past ignorance, craving, grasping and Kamma, and, during lifetime, matter is conditioned by kamma, mind, seasonal phenomena, and edible food, while mind is sustained by the senses and their corresponding objects. Thus he realizes the second noble truth of the cause of suffering and rids himself of doubts.

40. Maggāmaggañānadassanavisuddhi - This is the fifth 'Purity'. The aspirant ho has cleared his doubts, meditates again with better understanding on the three characteristics of anicca, dukkha, and anattā. He realizes that life is a mere flowing, a continuous undivided movement. He finds no genuine happiness, for every form of pleasure is only a prelude to pain. What is transient is painful, and where change and sorrow prevail there cannot be a permanent ego or soul. The arising and passing away of conditioned things become very conspicuous to him. As he is thus absorbed in meditation he witnesses an aura (obhāso) emanating from his body as a result of his keen insight. He experiences also an unprecedented joy (pīti), happiness (sukha), and quietude (passaddhi). He becomes strenuous (paggaho) and even-minded (upekkhā). His religious fervour increases (adhimokkha), mindfulness (sati) strengthens, and wisdom (ñāna) ripens. Laboring under the misconception that he has attained Sainthood, chiefly owing to the presence of the aura, he yearns (nikanti) for this state of mind. Soon he realizes that these temptations are only impediments (upakkilesa) to Insight, and that he has not really attained Sainthood. Accordingly he endeavours to distinguish between the right and wrong path (maggāmaggañānadassana). It is called a 'purity because it clears up the misconception as regards the actual 'path'. He understands, 'This is the right path, that is the wrong path'.

41. Patipadāñānadassanavisuddhi - is the sixth 'Purity'. This term is collectively applied to the nine kinds of Insight beginning with the knowledge as regards the arising and passing away of conditioned things, and ending with the knowledge of adaptation that occurs in the Path thought-moment immediately preceding the gotrabhū moment. (See p. *, footnote )

42. Appanā - the supramundane Path (lokuttara-magga).

43. See pp. 218*, 414*.

44. Vutthānagāminīvipassanā - is the name given to both sankhārupekkhā-ñāna and anuloma-ñāna of the ten kinds of Insight. It is so called because it leads to the Path emerging from woeful states and signs of conditioned things.

45. Gotrabhū - lit, means 'overcoming the worldly lineage'. The object of this thought-moment is Nibbāna, but the actual realization of Nibbāna by the eradication of passions occurs at the Path thought-moment that immediately follows. This particular thought-moment in the three higher stages of Sainthood is termed 'vodāna' (pure) as the aspirant is already an Ariya.

46. Immediately after the gotrabhū thought-moment there arises the Path thought-moment of the Sotāpanna. It is at this stage that one comprehends the Truth of Suffering, eradicates craving, the cause of suffering, and actually realizes Nibbāna for the first time in his life. The eight factors that constitute the Noble Path are also fully developed at this stage. This particular thought-moment is termed 'sotāpatti-magga'.Sota here means the stream that leads to Nibbāna. It is the Noble Eightfold Path. āpatti means 'entering for the first time'. It is called 'magga' because it arises, destroying the passions. This Path thought-moment arises only once in the course of one's lifetime, and is immediately followed by two or three 'Fruit' (phala) moments before the stream of consciousness lapses into bhavanga. This is the reason why the Dhamma is called 'akālika' (immediately effective).

47. Paccavekkhanañānāni - As a rule after each of the four stages of Sainthood one reflects on the Path and Fruit one has attained, on the Nibbāna one has realized, on the defilements one has destroyed, and in the case of the first three stages, on the defilements one has yet to destroy. An Arahat who has no more defilements to destroy knows that he is delivered.

There are altogether 19 kinds of such reflective knowledge, 15 pertaining to the first three stages of Sainthood, and 4 to the last stage. The Pāli phrase - n'āparam itthatthāya - No more of this state again - refers to this process of reflection.

48. Nānadassanavisuddhi - is the name given to the contemplative knowledge, a mental state of wisdom found in the Path-Consciousness. It is called a 'purity', because it is completely free from all stains or defilements, resulting from the realization of the four Truths. It is the seventh 'purity'.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

The thought-process of a Stream-Winner: manodvārāvajjana - parikamma - upacāra - anuloma - gotrabhū - magga - phala - phala - bhavanga

[2]:

227 including seven ways of settling disputes (adhikarana samatha dhamma).

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