Apadana commentary (Atthakatha)

by U Lu Pe Win | 216,848 words

This is the English translation of the commentary on the Apadana (Atthakatha), also known as the Visuddhajana-Vilasini. The Buddhist stories known as apadanas refer to biographies of Buddhas, Buddhist monks and nuns. They are found in the Pali Canon (Khuddaka Nikaya), which is the primary canon of Theravada Buddhism. Alternative titles: Visuddhaja...

Commentary on the stanza on vipiṭṭhi-katvāna

123. What is the origin of the stanza, starting with: vipiṭṭhikatvāna? It is said that in Benares, a certain king was one who had gained the fourth jhāna. In order to safeguard his jhāna, that king abdicated his sovereignty, became a monk, developed spiritual insight, visualised to silent buddhahood and recited this stanza of joyous utterance in order to illuminate his own proper practice towards his achievement.

123.1. Vipiṭṭhikatvāna, there, is having made it towards the back, having discarded, having forsaken;thus, is the meaning. Sukham dukkham is physical comfort an discomfort. Somanassadomanassam is mental comfort and discomfort. Upekkham, equanimity, is the equanimity of the fourth jhāna. Samatha (cessatin) is the very mental concentration of the fourth jhāna. Visuddham is exceedingly pure because of being free from nine opposites of dhamma, reckoned as the five hindrances, thought, investigation, zest and bliss; shorn of depravity (upakkilesa), like unto cleansed gold; thus, is the meaning.

123.2. This, however, is the interpretation:- First of all, having made to be at one's back, bliss and misery; the very approach of the first jhāna itself is misery (dukkha); the very approach of the third jhāna itself is bliss (sukha);thus, is the significance. Again, carrying the said letter ca from the former over to the latter, “semanassam demanassañ ca vipiṭṭhi katvāna pubbe va, first and foremost having sent to the back mental pleasure and mental displeasure”; thus, is the help. On account of that, mental pleasure at the approach of the fourth jhāna and mental displeasure at the approach of the second jhāna; thus, it illuminates. Indeed, these are circumstances or matters to be forsaken from the point of view of their manner (pariyāya) From the unchangeable point of view, however, the first jhāna of misery (dukkha), the second jhāna of mental displeasure, the third jhāna of bliss, the fourth jhāna of mental pleasure are matters to be forsaken. Accordingly Buddha said: “He dwells absorbed in the first jhāna; here, the faculty of suffering (dukkhindriya) ceases without any remainder”; beginning thus, the entire entity is stated in Aṭṭhasālinī (Expositor) the commentary on Dhammasaṅgaha, the first of the seven books of the Abhidhamma. Yathā pubbe va (even as before) is: in the three, namely, the first jhāna and so on, having sent misery (dukkha), mental displeasure and bliss to the back, so also here, having sent mental pleasure in the fourth jhāna to the back, by means of this proper practice, equanimity, serenity (samatha), and purity had been obtained and he wandered alone, the rest is in the very manner aforesaid.

The Commentary on the stanza, starting with vipiṭṭhi, has ended.

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