Vipassana Meditation Course

by Chanmyay Sayadaw | 28,857 words

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Part 3 - The Five Mental Factors

Then here you have developed the five mental factors. The first one is mental effort, Right Effort, samma vayama. The second is awareness or mindfulness, Right Mindfulness, samma sati, The third is samadhi, Right Concentration. The fourth is samma sankhappa, Right Thought. The fifth is Right Understanding, samma ditthi. Here samma ditthi, Right Understanding is the most important factor because it penetrates into the true nature of body mind processes and their true nature, as they really are.

So you have cultivated five mental factors of the Noble Path. The Noble Path consists of eight factors. The other three are samma vaca, Right Speech, samma kammanta, Right Deed, and samma ajiva, Right Livelihood. Right Speech here means abstention from unwholesome or immoral speech. Thats samma vaca. Samma Kammanta means abstention from unwholesome or immoral deeds or actions. Samma ajiva means abstention from unwholesome livelihoods.

When you are meditating and concentrating your mind very well on the object of meditation, the movement of the foot, do you abstain from bad speech or right speech? You are abstaining from immoral speech. Then you have samma vaca, Right Speech. And also abstaining from immoral deeds or actions. Then you have samma kammanda, Right Deed. Then when you are meditating having this Right Understanding do you take whats not given by the owner? Then are you killing some living being? No. And you are not smuggling goods? So abstention from bad livelihood.

These three - samma vaca, samma kammanta, samma ajiva - Right Speech, Right Deed, Right Livelihood - are connected with moral conduct, precepts. When you fully observe the precepts you have these three. So when you note or are mindful of the movement of the foot how many mental factors you have? Eight. This eight is the Noble Eight fold Path. When you have fully developed this Noble Eight fold Path you are sure to destroy those mental defilements which are the causes of suffering beginning with attachment. Then you are free from all kinds of suffering.

First of all I would like to explain how you can make powerful and strong the five mental faculties. The first is saddha, faith. The second is viriya, effort or energy. The third is mindfulness. The fourth is concentration. The fifth is right understanding, panna. Because I wanted to explain to you how you can develop right understanding my talk went astray.

Please remember these five mental factors are very important for the yogi because he must be endowed with all of them. The first, saddha, faith; the second, viriya, effort or energy; the third, sati, mindfulness; the fourth, samadhi, concentration; the fifth, panna, right understanding. You have all of these five but sometimes its weak. Sometimes its strong. So you have to make it strong all the time. May all of you have these five mental factors stronger and stronger and achieve your goal.

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