The Vipassana Dipani

The Manual of Insight

by Mahathera Ledi Sayadaw | 1915 | 21,831 words

The Vipassana-Dipani The Manual of Insight Or The Exposition Of Insight Honor to the Buddha 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...

Causes Or Origins

Of these eighty-two ultimate things Nibbána, inasmuch as it lies outside the scope of birth (Jati), does not need any originator for its arising; neither does it need any cause for its maintenance since it also does not come within the range of decay and death (Jara-Marana). Hence Nibbána is unconditioned and unorganized. But, with the exception of Nibbána, the eighty-one phenomena, both mental and material, being within the spheres of birth, decay and death, are conditioned and organized things.

Among the four causes already dealt with in connection with the material qualities, Kamma is merely an originator and Citta (mind) is simply a stimulus. The physical body develops, stands, and is maintained by the power of the warmth element called Utu and by the power of the essence of nutriment. If the forces of the latter two come to an end, the forces of the former two also can no longer operate but cease simultaneously.

In the case of trees, for example, the seeds are only their origins. They grow, develop, and are maintained by means of the elements of earth and water. If these two principles fail them, the power of the seed also fails along with them. Here the physical body is like the tree; Kamma is like the seed; the warmth-element, or what is called Utu is like the earth; the nutritive essence is like the rain-water, which falls regularly at proper seasons; and mind is like the atmosphere and the heat of the sun, both of which give support from outside.

With regard to the causes of mind and mental properties, three things are needed for the arising of Resultants; a past kamma, a basis to depend upon, and an object. The first is like the seed of the tree, the basis is like the earth, and the object is like the rain- water.

Two things are necessary for the arising of each of the mental phenomena of the Morals, the Immoral’s and the Ineffective’s, a basis to depend upon, and an object. However, to be more detailed, full rational exercise of mind (yonisomanasikara) is needed for the Morals, and defective irrational exercise of mind (ayoniso-manasikara) for the Immoral’s. The Ineffectiveness which have apperceptional functions have the same causes as the Morals. As for the two classes of consciousness called "Turning towards", if they precede the Morals, they have the same causes as the Morals and if they precede the Immoral’s they have the same causes as the Immoral’s. Here yoniso-manasikara means proper exercise of reason, and ayoniso-manasikara means improper exercise of reason. These are the functions of the two classes of consciousness called Avajjana, "Turning towards." On seeing a man, if the manasikara be rationally utilized, moral consciousness arises; and if the manasikara be irrationally utilized, immoral consciousness arises. There is no particular object which purely of itself will cause to arise only a moral consciousness, or only an immoral consciousness. The process of the mind may be compared to a boat of which the Avajjana-citta or "Turning-towards-thought" is the helmsman, so also the occurrence of the moral and the immoral consciousness lies entirely in the hands of Avajana.

What the seed is to the tree, that the Manasikara is to the Morals and the Immoral’s. What the earth is to a tree, that their "Basis" is to the Morals and Immoral’s. While what the rainwater is to a tree, that their "object" is to the Morals and Immoral’s.

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