by Ñāṇamoli Bhikkhu | 1956 | 388,207 words | ISBN-10: 9552400236 | ISBN-13: 9789552400236
This page describes (2) Recollection of the Dhamma of the section Six Recollections (Cha-anussati-niddesa) of Part 2 Concentration (Samādhi) of the English translation of the Visuddhimagga (‘the path of purification’) which represents a detailled Buddhist meditation manual, covering all the essential teachings of Buddha as taught in the Pali Tipitaka. It was compiled Buddhaghosa around the 5th Century.
68. One who wants to develop the recollection of the Dhamma (Law) should go into solitary retreat and recollect the special qualities of both the Dhamma (Law) of the scriptures and the ninefold supramundane Dhamma (state) as follows:
“The Dhamma is well proclaimed by the Blessed One, visible here and now, not delayed (timeless), inviting of inspection, onward-leading, and directly experienceable by the wise” (M I 37; A III 285).
69. Well proclaimed: in this clause the Dhamma of the scriptures is included as well as the other; in the rest of the clauses only the supramundane Dhamma is included.
Herein, the Dhamma of the scriptures is well proclaimed because it is good in the beginning, the middle, and the end, and because it announces the life of purity that is utterly perfect and pure with meaning and with detail (see M I 179).
Even a single stanza of the Blessed One’s teaching is good in the beginning with the first word, good in the middle with the second, third, etc., and good in the end with the last word, because the Dhamma is altogether admirable. A sutta with a single sequence of meaning is good in the beginning with the introduction, good in the end with the conclusion, and good in the middle with what is in between. A sutta with several sequences of meaning is good in the beginning with the first sequence of meaning, good in the end with the last sequence of meaning, and good in the middle with the sequences of meaning in between. Furthermore, it is good in the beginning with the introduction [giving the place of] and the origin [giving the reason for] its utterance. It is good in the middle because it suits those susceptible of being taught since it is unequivocal in meaning and reasoned with cause and example. It is good in the end with its conclusion that inspires faith in the hearers.
70. Also the entire Dhamma of the Dispensation is good in the beginning with virtue as one’s own well-being. It is good in the middle with serenity and insight and with path and fruition. It is good in the end with Nibbāna. Or alternatively, it is good in the beginning with virtue and concentration.  It is good in the middle with insight and the path. It is good in the end with fruition and Nibbāna. Or alternatively, it is good in the beginning because it is the good discovery made by the Buddha. It is good in the middle because it is the well-regulatedness of the Dhamma. It is good in the end because it is the good way entered upon by the Saṅgha. Or alternatively, it is good in the beginning as the discovery of what can be attained by one who enters upon the way of practice in conformity after hearing about it. It is good in the middle as the unproclaimed enlightenment [of Paccekabuddhas]. It is good in the end as the enlightenment of disciples.
71. And when listened to, it does good through hearing it because it suppresses the hindrances, thus it is good in the beginning. And when made the way of practice it does good through the way being entered upon because it brings the bliss of serenity and insight, thus it is good in the middle. And when it has thus been made the way of practice and the fruit of the way is ready, it does good through the fruit of the way because it brings [unshakable] equipoise, thus it is good in the end.
So it is “well proclaimed” because of being good in the beginning, the middle and the end.
72. Now, the life of purity, that is to say, the life of purity of the Dispensation and the life of purity of the path, which the Blessed One announces, which he shows in various ways when he teaches the Dhamma, is “with meaning” because of perfection of meaning, and it is “with detail” because of perfection of detail, as it is proper that it should be. It is “with meaning” because it conforms to the words declaring its meaning by pronouncing, clarifying, revealing, expounding, and explaining it. It is “with detail” because it has perfection of syllables, words, details, style, language, and descriptions. It is “with meaning” owing to profundity of meaning and profundity of penetration. It is “with detail” owing to profundity of law and profundity of teaching. It is “with meaning” because it is the province of the discriminations of meaning and of perspicuity. It is “with detail” because it is the province of the discriminations of law and of language (see XIV.21). It is “with meaning” since it inspires confidence in persons of discretion, being experienceable by the wise. It is “with detail” since it inspires confidence in worldly persons, being a fit object of faith. It is “with meaning” because its intention is profound. It is “with detail” because its words are clear. It is “utterly perfect” with the complete perfection due to absence of anything that can be added. It is “pure” with the immaculateness due to absence of anything to be subtracted.
73. Furthermore, it is “with meaning” because it provides the particular distinction of achievement through practice of the way, and it is “with detail” because it provides the particular distinction of learning through mastery of scripture. It is “utterly perfect” because it is connected with the five aggregates of Dhamma beginning with virtue. It is “pure” because it has no imperfection, because it exists for the purpose of crossing over [the round of rebirths’ flood (see M I 134)], and because it is not concerned with worldly things.
So it is “well proclaimed” because it “announces the life of purity that is utterly perfect and pure with meaning and with detail.”
Or alternatively, it is well proclaimed since it has been properly proclaimed with no perversion of meaning. For the meaning of other sectarians’ law suffers perversion since there is actually no obstruction in the  things described there as obstructive and actually no outlet in the things described there as outlets, which is why their law is ill-proclaimed; but not so the Blessed One’s Law, whose meaning suffers no perversion since the things described there as obstructions and the things described there as outlets are so in actual fact.
So, in the first place, the Dhamma of the scriptures is “well proclaimed.”
74. The supramundane Dhamma is well proclaimed since both the way that accords with Nibbāna and the Nibbāna that accords with the way have been proclaimed, according as it is said: “The way leading to Nibbāna has been properly declared to the disciples by the Blessed One, and Nibbāna and the way meet. Just as the water of the Ganges meets and joins with the water of the Yamunā, so too the way leading to Nibbāna has been properly declared to the disciples by the Blessed One, and Nibbāna and the way meet” (D II 223).
75. And here the noble path, which is the middle way since it does not approach either extreme, is well proclaimed in being proclaimed to be the middle way.
The fruits of asceticism, where defilements are tranquilized, are well proclaimed too in being proclaimed to have tranquilized defilement.
Nibbāna, whose individual essence is eternal, deathless, the refuge, the shelter, etc., is well proclaimed too in being proclaimed to have an individual essence that is eternal, and so on.
So the supramundane Dhamma is also “well proclaimed.”
[Visible here and now]
76. Visible here and now: firstly, the noble path is “visible here and now” since it can be seen by a noble person himself when he has done away with greed, etc., in his own continuity, according as it is said: “When a man is dyed with greed, brahman, and is overwhelmed and his mind is obsessed by greed, then he thinks for his own affliction, he thinks for others’ affliction, he thinks for the affliction of both, and he experiences mental suffering and grief. When greed has been abandoned, he neither thinks for his own affliction, nor thinks for others’ affliction, nor thinks for the affliction of both, and he does not experience mental suffering and grief. This, brahman, is how the Dhamma is visible here and now” (A I 156). 
77. Furthermore, the ninefold supramundane Dhamma is also visible here and now, since when anyone has attained it, it is visible to him through reviewing knowledge without his having to rely on faith in another.
78. Or alternatively, the view (diṭṭhi) that is recommended (pasattha—pp. of root saṃs) is “proper view” (sandiṭṭhi). It conquers by means of proper view, thus it “has proper view” (sandiṭṭhika—“visible here and now”). For in this way the noble path conquers defilements by means of the proper view associated with it, and the noble fruition does so by means of the proper view that is its cause, and Nibbāna does so by means of the proper view that has Nibbāna as its objective field. So the ninefold supramundane Dhamma “has the proper view” (sandiṭṭhika—“is visible here and now”) since it conquers by means of proper view, just as a charioteer (rathika) is so called because he conquers by means of a chariot (ratha).
79. Or alternatively, it is seeing (dassana) that is called “the seen” (diṭṭha); then diṭṭha and sandiṭṭha are identical in meaning as “seeing.” It is worthy of being seen (diṭṭha), thus it is “visible here and now” (sandiṭṭhika). For the supramundane Dhamma (law) arrests the fearful round [of kamma, etc.,] as soon as it is seen by means of penetration consisting in development [of the path] and by means of penetration consisting in realization [of Nibbāna]. So it is “visible here and now” (sandiṭṭhika) since it is worthy of being seen (diṭṭha), just as one who is clothable (vattihika) is so called because he is worthy of clothes (vattha).
80. It has no delay (lit. “takes no time”—kāla) in the matter of giving its own fruit, thus it is “without delay” (akāla). “Without delay” is the same as “not delayed” (akālika). What is meant is that instead of giving its fruit after creating a delay (using up time), say, five days, seven days, it gives its fruit immediately next to its own occurrence (see Sn 226).
81. Or alternatively, what is delayed (kālika—lit. “what takes time”) is what needs some distant time to be reached before it can give its fruit. What is that? It is the mundane law of profitable [kamma]. This, however, is undelayed (na kālika) because its fruit comes immediately next to it, so it is “not delayed” (akālika).
This is said with reference to the path.
[Inviting of Inspection]
82. It is worthy of an invitation to inspect (ehipassa-vidhi) given thus: “Come and see this Dhamma” (ehi passa imaṃ dhammaṃ), thus it is “inviting of inspection” (ehipassika). But why is it worthy of this invitation? Because it is found and because of its purity. For if a man has said that there is money or gold in an empty fist, he cannot say, “Come and see it.” Why not? Because it is not found. And on the other hand, while dung or urine may well be found, a man cannot, for the purpose of cheering the mind by exhibiting beauty, say, “Come and see this;” on the contrary, they have to be covered up with grass and leaves. Why? Because of their impurity. But this ninefold supramundane Dhamma is actually found as such in its individual essence, and it is as pure as the full moon’s disk in a cloudless sky, as a gem of pure water on bleached cloth.  Consequently, it is worthy of the invitation to inspect since it is found and pure, thus it is “inviting of inspection.”
83. The word opanayika (“onward-leading”) is [equivalent to the gerund] upanetabba (“ought to—can—be induced”). Here is an exposition. An inducing (upanayana) is an inducement (upanaya). [As the four paths and four fruitions] this [Dhamma] is worth inducing (upanayanaṃ arahati) [that is, arousing] in one’s own mind [subjectively] by means of development, without any question of whether or not one’s clothing or one’s head is on fire (see A IV 320), thus it is “onward-leading” (opanayika). This applies to the [above-mentioned eight] formed supramundane states (dhammas). But the unformed [dhamma] is worth inducing by one’s own mind [to become the mind’s object], thus it is “onwardleading,” too; the meaning is that it is worth treating as one’s shelter by realizing it.
84. Or alternatively, what induces (upaneti) [the noble person] onwards to Nibbāna is the noble path, which is thus inductive (upaneyya). Again, what can (ought to) be induced (upanetabba) to realizability is the Dhamma consisting in fruition and Nibbāna, which is thus inductive (upaneyya), too. The word upaneyya is the same as the word opanayika.
[Is Directly Experienceable by the Wise]
85. Is directly experienceable by the wise: it can be experienced by all the kinds of wise men beginning with the “acutely wise” (see A II 135) each in himself thus: “The path has been developed, fruition attained, and cessation realized, by me.” For it does not happen that when a preceptor has developed the path his coresident abandons his defilements, nor does a co-resident dwell in comfort owing to the preceptor’s attainment of fruition, nor does he realize the Nibbāna realized by the preceptor. So this is not visible in the way that an ornament on another’s head is, but rather it is visible only in one’s own mind. What is meant is that it can be undergone by wise men, but it is not the province of fools.
86. Now, in addition, this Dhamma is well proclaimed. Why? Because it is visible here and now. It is visible here and now because it is not delayed. It is not delayed because it invites inspection. And what invites inspection is onwardleading.
87. As long as [the meditator] recollects the special qualities of the Dhamma in this way, then: “On that occasion his mind is not obsessed by greed, or obsessed by hate, or obsessed by delusion; his mind has rectitude on that occasion, being inspired by the Dhamma” (A III 285).
So when he has suppressed the hindrances in the way already described (§66), the jhāna factors arise in a single conscious moment. But owing to the profundity of the Dhamma’s special qualities, or else owing to his being occupied in recollecting special qualities of many sorts, the jhāna is only access and does not reach absorption. And that access jhāna itself is known as “recollection of the Dhamma” too because it arises with the recollection of the Dhamma’s special qualities as the means.
88.  When a bhikkhu is devoted to this recollection of the Dhamma, he thinks: “I never in the past met a master who taught a law that led onward thus, who possessed this talent, nor do I now see any such a master other than the Blessed One.” Seeing the Dhamma’s special qualities in this way, he is respectful and deferential towards the Master. He entertains great reverence for the Dhamma and attains fullness of faith, and so on. He has much happiness and gladness. He conquers fear and dread. He is able to endure pain. He comes to feel as if he were living in the Dhamma’s presence. And his body, when the recollection of the Dhamma’s special qualities dwells in it, becomes as worthy of veneration as a shrine room. His mind tends towards the realization of the peerless Dhamma. When he encounters an opportunity for transgression, he has vivid awareness of conscience and shame on recollecting the well-regulatedness of the Dhamma. And if he penetrates no higher, he is at least headed for a happy destiny.
Now, when a man is truly wise,
His constant task will surely be
This recollection of the Dhamma
Blessed with such mighty potency.
This is the section dealing with the recollection of the Dhamma in the detailed explanation.
Footnotes and references:
Anusandhi—“sequence of meaning”: a technical commentarial term signifying both a particular subject treated in a discourse, and also the way of linking one subject with another in the same discourse. At M-a I 175 three kinds are distinguished: sequence of meaning in answer to a question (pucchānusandhi—e.g. M I 36), that to suit a personal idiosyncrasy, (ajjhāsayānusandhi—e.g. M I 23) and that due to the natural course of the teaching (yathānusandhi—e.g. the whole development of MN 6).
These “five aggregates” are those of virtue, concentration, understanding, deliverance, and knowledge and vision of deliverance.
Vatthika—“clothable”; not in PED.
This passage is only loosely renderable because the exegesis here is based almost entirely on the substitution of one Pali grammatical form for another (padasiddhi). The reading opaneyyiko (for opanayiko) does not appear in any Sinhalese text (generally the most reliable); consequently the sentence “opanayiko va opaneyyiko” (see Harvard text) is absent in them, being superfluous. Vism-mhṭ’s explanations are incorporated. This paragraph depends on the double sense of upaneti (upa + neti, to lead on or induce) and its derivatives as (i) an attractive inducement and (ii) a reliable guide, and so the word induce is stretched a bit and inducive coined on the analogy of conducive. Upanaya (inducement) is not in PED, nor is upanayana (inducing) in this sense (see also XIV.68). Upanayana means in logic “application,” “subsumption”; and also upanetabba means “to be added”;see end of §72. For allīyana (“treating as one’s shelter”) see references in Glossary.