Visuddhimagga (the pah of purification)

by Ñāṇamoli Bhikkhu | 1956 | 420,758 words | ISBN-10: 9552400236 | ISBN-13: 9789552400236

This page describes The States Associated with the Path, etc. of the section Purification by Knowledge and Vision (ñāṇadassana-visuddhi-niddesa) of Part 3 Understanding (Paññā) 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.

32. Now, in order to appreciate the value of this same purification by knowledge and vision with its four kinds of knowledge:

(1) fulfilment of states sharing in enlightenment,
(2) Emergence, and (3) the coupling of the powers,
(4) The kinds of states that ought to be abandoned,
(5) Also the act of their abandoning,
(6) Functions of full-understanding, and the rest
As stated when truths are penetrated to,
(7) Each one of which ought to be recognized
According to its individual essence.

33. 1. Herein, the fulfilment of states sharing in enlightenment is the fulfilledness of those states partaking in enlightenment. For they are the following thirtyseven states: the four foundations of mindfulness (MN 10), the four right endeavours (M II 11), the four roads to power (M I 103), the five faculties (M II 12), the five powers (M II 12), the seven enlightenment factors (M I 11), and the Noble Eightfold Path (D II 311f.). And they are called “partaking of enlightenment” because they take the part of the Noble Eightfold Path, which is called “enlightenment” in the sense of enlightening, and they “take the part” of that because they are helpful.[1]

34. “Foundation” (paṭṭhāna) is because of establishment (upaṭṭhāna) by going down into, by descending upon, such and such objects.[2] Mindfulness itself as foundation (establishment) is “foundation of mindfulness.” It is of four kinds because it occurs with respect to the body, feeling, consciousness, and mental objects (dhamma), taking them as foul, painful, impermanent, and non-self, and because it accomplishes the function of abandoning perception of beauty, pleasure, permanence, and self. [679] That is why “four foundations of mindfulness” is said.

35. By it they endeavour (padahanti), thus it is endeavour (padhāna);a good endeavour is a right (sammā) endeavour. Or alternatively: by its means people endeavour rightly (sammā padahanti), thus it is right endeavour (sammappadhāna). Or alternatively: it is good because of abandoning the unseemliness of defilement, and it is endeavour because of bringing about improvement and giving precedence (padhāna-bhāva-kāraṇa) in the sense of producing well-being and bliss, thus it is right endeavour. It is a name for energy. It accomplishes the functions of abandoning arisen unprofitable things, preventing the arising of those not yet arisen, arousing unarisen profitable things, and maintaining those already arisen; thus it is fourfold. That is why “four right endeavours” is said.

36. Power (iddhi) is in the sense of success (ijjhana) as already described (XII.44). It is the road (basis—pāda) to that power (for that success—iddhi) in the sense of being the precursor of that success which is associated with it and in the sense of being the prior cause of that success which is its fruit, thus it is a road to power (basis for success). It is fourfold as zeal (desire), and so on. That is why “four roads to power” are spoken of, according as it is said: “Four roads to power: the road to power consisting in zeal, the road to power consisting in energy, the road to power consisting in [natural purity of] consciousness, the road to power consisting in inquiry” (Vibh 223). These are supramundane only. But because of the words “If a bhikkhu obtains concentration, obtains mental unification by making zeal predominant, this is called concentration through zeal” (Vibh 216), etc., they are also mundane as states acquired by predominance of zeal, etc., respectively.

37. “Faculty” is in the sense of predominance, in other words, of overcoming, because [these states, as faculties] respectively overcome faithlessness, idleness, negligence, distraction, and confusion.

“Power” is in the sense of unwaveringness because [these states, as powers] are incapable of being overcome respectively by faithlessness, and so on. Both are fivefold as consisting in faith, [energy, mindfulness, concentration, and understanding]. That is why “five faculties” and “five powers” is said.

38. Mindfulness, [investigation-of-states, energy, happiness, tranquillity concentration, and equanimity,] as factors in a being who is becoming enlightened, are the “seven enlightenment factors.” And right view, [right thinking, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration,] are the eight “path factors” in the sense of being an outlet. Hence, “seven enlightenment factors” and “the Noble Eightfold Path” is said.

39. So there are these thirty-seven states partaking of enlightenment.

Now, in the prior stage when mundane insight is occurring, they are found in a plurality of consciousnesses as follows: the foundation of mindfulness consisting in contemplation of the body [is found] in one discerning the body in the fourteen ways;[3] the foundation of mindfulness consisting in contemplation of feeling, in one discerning feeling in the nine ways; the foundation of mindfulness consisting in the contemplation of mind, in one discerning the [manner of] consciousness in sixteen ways; [680] the foundation of mindfulness consisting in contemplation of mental objects, in one discerning mental objects in the five ways. And at the time when, on seeing an unprofitable state arisen in someone else, which has not yet arisen in his own person, he strives for its non-arising thus, “I shall not behave as he has done in whom this is now arisen, and so this will not arise in me,” then he has the first right endeavour; when, seeing something unprofitable in his own behaviour, he strives to abandon it, then he has the second; when he strives to arouse jhāna or insight so far unarisen in this person, he has the third; and when he arouses again and again what has already arisen so that it shall not diminish, he has the fourth. And at the time of arousing a profitable state with zeal as the motive force, there is the road to power consisting in zeal, [and so on with the remaining three roads to power]. And at the time of abstaining from wrong speech there is right speech, [and so on with abstaining from wrong action and wrong livelihood].[4]

At the time of arising of [any one of] the four kinds of [path] knowledge, [all these states] are found in a single consciousness. In the moment of fruition the thirty-three excepting the four right endeavours are found.

40. When these are found in a single consciousness in this way, it is the one kind of mindfulness whose object is Nibbāna that is called “the four foundations of mindfulness” because it accomplishes the function of abandoning the [four] perceptions of beauty, etc., in the [four things] beginning with the body. And also the one kind of energy is called “four right endeavours” because it accomplishes the [four] functions beginning with preventing the arising of the unarisen [unprofitable]. But there is no decrease or increase with the rest.

41. Furthermore it is said of them:

Nine in one way, one in two ways,
Then in four ways, and in five ways,
In eight ways, and in nine ways, too—
So in six ways they come to be.

42. (i) Nine in one way: these nine are zeal, consciousness, happiness, tranquillity, equanimity, thinking, speech, action, and livelihood, and they are found “in one way” as road to power consisting in zeal, etc., since they do not belong to any other group. (ii) One in two ways: faith is found “in two ways,” as a faculty and as a power. (iii) Then in four ways, and (iv) in five ways: the meaning is that another one is found in four ways and another in five. Herein, concentration is the “one in four ways” since it is a faculty, a power, an enlightenment factor, and a path factor; understanding is the “one in five ways” since it is these four and also a road to power. (v) In eight ways, and (vi) in nine ways, too: the meaning is that another one is found in eight ways and another in nine ways. Mindfulness is one “in eight ways” since it is the four foundations of mindfulness, a faculty, a power, an enlightenment factor, and a path factor;energy is the one “in nine ways” since it is four right endeavours, a road to power, a faculty, a power, an enlightenment factor, and a path factor. [681] So:

43. States sharing in enlightenment
Are fourteen, undistributed;
They total thirty-seven states
Among the groups distributed.

While each performs the proper task
That to its special lot falls due,
They all come into being when
The Noble Eightfold Path comes true.

This is how, firstly, the “fulfilment of states partaking in enlightenment” should be understood here.

44. 2. Emergence and 3. coupling of the powers: the resolution of the compound vuṭṭhānabalasamāyoga is vuṭṭhānañ c’eva bala-samāyogo ca.

[2. Emergence:] mundane insight induces no emergence either from occurrence [of defilement internally], because it does not cut off originating, which is the act of causing occurrence,[5] or from the sign [of formations externally], because it has the sign as object.

Change-of-lineage knowledge does not induce emergence from occurrence [internally] because it does not cut off originating, but it does induce emergence from the sign [externally] because it has Nibbāna as its object; so there is emergence from one. Hence it is said, “Understanding of emergence and turning away from the external is knowledge of change-of-lineage” (Paṭis I 66). Likewise the whole passage, “Having turned away from arising, it enters into non-arising, thus it is change-of-lineage. Having turned away from occurrence … (etc.—for elision see Ch. XXI.37) … [Having turned away from the sign of formations externally, it enters into cessation, Nibbāna, thus it is change-of-lineage]” (Paṭis I 67), should be understood here.

These four kinds of [path] knowledge emerge from the sign because they have the signless as their object, and also from occurrence because they cut off origination. So they emerge from both. Hence it is said:

45. “How is it that understanding of emergence and turning away from both is knowledge of the path?

“At the moment of the stream-entry path, right view in the sense of seeing (a) emerges from wrong view, and it emerges from defilements and from the aggregates that occur consequent upon that [wrong view],[6] and (b) externally it emerges from all signs; hence it was said: Understanding of emergence and turning away from both is knowledge of the path. Right thinking in the sense of directing emerges from wrong thinking … Right speech in the sense of embracing emerges from wrong speech … Right action in the sense of originating emerges from wrong action … Right livelihood in the sense of cleansing emerges from wrong livelihood … Right effort in the sense of exerting emerges from wrong effort … Right mindfulness in the sense of establishment emerges from wrong mindfulness … Right concentration in the sense of non-distraction emerges from wrong concentration and it emerges from defilements and from the aggregates that occur consequent upon that [wrong concentration], and externally it emerges from all signs; hence it was said: Understanding of emergence and turning away from both is knowledge of the path.

“At the moment of the once-return path, right view in the sense of seeing … Right concentration in the sense of non-distraction (a) emerges from the gross fetter of greed for sense desires, from the gross fetter of resentment, from the gross inherent tendency to greed for sense desires, and from the gross inherent tendency to resentment, [and it emerges from defilements and from the aggregates consequent upon that, and (b) externally it emerges from all signs; hence it was said: Understanding of emergence and turning away from both is knowledge of the path].

“At the moment of the non-return path, right view in the sense of seeing … Right concentration in the sense of non-distraction (a) emerges [682] from the residual fetter of greed for sense desires, from the residual fetter of resentment, from the residual inherent tendency to greed for sense desires, from the residual inherent tendency to resentment, [and it emerges from defilements and from the aggregates that occur consequent upon that, and (b) externally it emerges from all signs; hence it was said: Understanding of emergence and turning away from both is knowledge of the path].

“At the moment of the Arahant path, right view in the sense of seeing … Right concentration in the sense of non-distraction (a) emerges from greed for the fine-material [existence], from greed for immaterial [existence], from conceit (pride), from agitation, from ignorance, from the inherent tendency to conceit (pride), from the inherent tendency to greed for becoming, from the inherent tendency to ignorance, and it emerges from defilements and from the aggregates that occur consequent upon that, and (b) externally it emerges from all signs; hence it was said: Understanding of emergence and turning away from both is knowledge of the path” (Paṭis I 69f.).

46. [3. Coupling of the powers:] At the time of developing the eight mundane attainments the serenity power is in excess, while at the time of developing the contemplations of impermanence, etc., the insight power is in excess. But at the noble path moment they occur coupled together in the sense that neither one exceeds the other. So there is coupling of the powers in the case of each one of these four kinds of knowledge, according as it is said: “When he emerges from the defilements associated with agitation, and from the aggregates, his mental unification, non-distraction, concentration, has cessation as its domain. When he emerges from the defilements associated with ignorance and from the aggregates, his insight in the sense of contemplation has cessation as its domain. So serenity and insight have a single nature in the sense of emergence, they are coupled together, and neither exceeds the other. Hence it was said: He develops serenity and insight coupled together in the sense of emergence” (Paṭis II 98).

“Emergence” and “coupling of the powers” should be understood here in this way.

47. 4. The kinds of states that ought to be abandoned, 5. also the act of their abandoning: now which states are to be abandoned by which kind of knowledge among these four should be understood, and also the act of abandoning them. For they each and severally bring about the act of abandoning of the states called fetters, defilements, wrongnesses, worldly states, kinds of avarice, perversions, ties, bad ways, cankers, floods, bonds, hindrances, adherences, clingings, inherent tendencies, stains, unprofitable courses of action, and unprofitable thoughtarisings.

48. Herein, the fetters are the ten states beginning with greed for the fine material, so called because they fetter aggregates [in this life] to aggregates [of the next], or kamma to its fruit, or beings to suffering. For as long as those exist there is no cessation of the others. And of these fetters, greed for the fine material, greed for the immaterial, conceit (pride), agitation, and ignorance are called the five higher fetters because they fetter beings to aggregates, etc., produced in higher [forms of becoming], [683] while false view of individuality, uncertainty, adherence to rules and vows, greed for sense desires, and resentment are called the five lower fetters because they fetter beings to aggregates, etc., produced in the lower [forms of becoming].

49. The defilements are the ten states, namely, greed, hate, delusion, conceit (pride), [false] view, uncertainty, stiffness [of mind], agitation, consciencelessness, shamelessness. They are so called because they are themselves defiled and because they defile their associated states.

50. The wrongnesses are the eight states, namely, wrong view, wrong thinking, wrong speech, wrong action, wrong livelihood, wrong effort, wrong mindfulness, wrong concentration, which with wrong knowledge and wrong deliverance,[7] come to ten. They are so called because they occur wrongly.

51. The worldly states are the eight, namely, gain, loss, fame, disgrace, pleasure, pain, blame, and praise. They are so called because they continually succeed each other as long as the world persists. But when the worldly states are included, then by the metaphorical use of the cause’s name [for its fruit], the approval that has the gain, etc., as its object and the resentment that has the loss, etc., as its object should also be understood as included.

52. The kinds of avarice are the five, namely, avarice about dwellings, families, gain, Dhamma, and praise, which occur as inability to bear sharing with others any of these things beginning with dwellings.

53. The perversions are the three, namely, perversions of perception, of consciousness, and of view, which occur apprehending objects that are impermanent, painful, not-self, and foul (ugly), as permanent, pleasant, self, and beautiful.

54. The ties are the four beginning with covetousness, so called because they tie the mental body and the material body. They are described as “the bodily tie of covetousness, the bodily tie of ill will, the bodily tie of adherence to rules and vows, and the bodily tie of insisting (misinterpreting) that ‘This [only] is the truth’” (Vibh 374).

55. Bad ways is a term for doing what ought not to be done and not doing what ought to be done, out of zeal (desire), hate, delusion, and fear. They are called “bad ways” because they are ways not to be travelled by Noble Ones.

56. Cankers (āsava): as far as (ā) change-of-lineage [in the case of states of consciousness] and as far as (ā) the acme of becoming [in the case of the kinds of becoming, that is to say, the fourth immaterial state,] there are exudations (savana) owing to the [formed nature of the] object. This is a term for greed for sense desires, greed for becoming, wrong view, and ignorance, because of the exuding (savana) [of these defilements] from unguarded sense-doors like water from cracks in a pot in the sense of constant trickling, or because of their producing (savana) the suffering of the round of rebirths.[8] [684]

The floods are so called in the sense of sweeping away into the ocean of becoming, and in the sense of being hard to cross.

The bonds are so called because they do not allow disengagement from an object and disengagement from suffering. Both “floods” and “bonds” are terms for the cankers already mentioned.

57. The hindrances are the five, namely, lust, [ill will, stiffness and torpor, agitation and worry, and uncertainty,] in the sense of obstructing and hindering and concealing [reality] from consciousness (IV.86).

58. Adherence (misapprehension—parāmāsa) is a term for wrong view, because it occurs in the aspect of missing the individual essence of a given state (dhamma) and apprehending (āmasana) elsewhere (parato) an unactual individual essence.

59. The clingings are the four beginning with sense-desire clinging described in all their aspects in the Description of the Dependent Origination (Ch. XVII.240f.).

60. The inherent tendencies are the seven, namely, greed for sense desires, etc., in the sense of the inveterateness, stated thus: the inherent tendency to greed for sense desires, the inherent tendency to resentment, conceit (pride), [false] view, uncertainty, greed for becoming, and ignorance. For it is owing to their inveteracy that they are called inherent tendencies (anusaya) since they inhere (anusenti) as cause for the arising of greed for sense desires, etc., again and again.

61. The stains are the three, namely, greed, hate, and delusion. They are so called because they are themselves dirty like oil, black, and mud, and because they dirty other things.

62. The unprofitable courses of action are the ten, namely, killing living things, taking what is not given, sexual misconduct; false speech, malicious speech, harsh speech, gossip; covetousness, ill will, and wrong view. They are so called since they are both unprofitable action (kamma) and courses that lead to unhappy destinies.

63. The unprofitable thought-arisings are the twelve consisting of the eight rooted in greed, the two rooted in hate, and the two rooted in delusion (XIV.89f.).

64. So these [four kinds of knowledge] each and severally abandon these states beginning with the fetters. How?

The five states eliminated by the first knowledge in the case of the fetters, firstly, are: false view of personality, doubt, adherence to rules and vows, and then greed for sense desires and resentment that are [strong enough] to lead to states of loss. The remaining gross greed for sense desires and resentment are eliminated by the second knowledge. Subtle greed for sense desires and resentment are eliminated by the third knowledge. The five beginning with greed for the fine material are only [actually] eliminated by the fourth knowledge.

In what follows, we shall not in every instance specify the fact with the expression “only [actually]”; nevertheless, whatever we shall say is eliminated by one of the [three] higher knowledges should be understood as only the [residual] state eliminated by the higher knowledge; for that state will have already been rendered not conducive to states of loss by the preceding knowledge.

65. In the case of the defilements, [false] view and uncertainty are eliminated by the first knowledge. Hate is eliminated by the third knowledge. Greed, delusion, conceit (pride), mental stiffness, agitation, consciencelessness, and shamelessness are eliminated by the fourth knowledge.

66. In the case of the wrongnesses, wrong view, false speech, wrong action, and wrong [685] livelihood are eliminated by the first knowledge. Wrong thinking, malicious speech, and harsh speech are eliminated by the third knowledge. And here only volition is to be understood as speech. Gossip, wrong effort, wrong mindfulness, wrong concentration, wrong deliverance, and wrong knowledge are eliminated by the fourth knowledge.

67. In the case of the worldly states, resentment is eliminated by the third knowledge, and approval is eliminated by the fourth knowledge. Some say that approval of fame and praise is eliminated by the fourth knowledge.

The kinds of avarice are eliminated by the first knowledge only.

68. In the case of the perversions, the perversions of perception, consciousness, and view, which find permanence in the impermanent and self in the not-self, and the perversion of view finding pleasure in pain and beauty in the foul, are eliminated by the first knowledge. The perversions of perception and consciousness finding beauty in the foul are eliminated by the third path. The perversions of perception and consciousness finding pleasure in the painful are eliminated by the fourth knowledge.

69. In the case of ties, the bodily ties of adherence to rules and vows and of the insistence (misinterpretation) that “This is the truth” are eliminated by the first knowledge. The bodily tie of ill will is eliminated by the third knowledge. The remaining one is eliminated by the fourth path.

The bad ways are eliminated by the first knowledge only.

70. In the case of the cankers, the canker of view is eliminated by the first knowledge. The canker of sense desire is eliminated by the third knowledge. The other two are eliminated by the fourth knowledge.

The same thing applies in the case of the floods and the bonds.

71. In the case of the hindrances, the hindrance of uncertainty is eliminated by the first knowledge. The three, namely, lust, ill will, and worry, are eliminated by the third knowledge. Stiffness and torpor and agitation are eliminated by the fourth knowledge.

Adherence is eliminated by the first knowledge only.

72. In the case of the clingings, since according to what is given in the texts all worldly states are sense desires, that is, sense desires as object (see Nidd I 1–2), and so greed both for the fine material and the immaterial falls under sensedesire clinging, consequently that sense-desire clinging is eliminated by the fourth knowledge. The rest are eliminated by the first knowledge.

73. In the case of the inherent tendencies, the inherent tendencies to [false] view and to uncertainty are eliminated by the first knowledge. The inherent tendencies to greed for sense desires and to resentment are eliminated by the third knowledge. The inherent tendencies to conceit (pride), to greed for becoming, and to ignorance are eliminated by the fourth knowledge.

74. In the case of the stains, the stain of hate is eliminated by the third knowledge, the others are eliminated by the fourth knowledge.

75. In the case of the unprofitable courses of action, killing living things, taking what is not given, sexual misconduct, false speech, and wrong view are eliminated by the first knowledge. The three, namely, malicious speech, harsh speech, and ill will, are eliminated by the third knowledge. Gossip and covetousness are eliminated by the fourth knowledge.

76. In the case of the unprofitable thought-arisings, the four associated with [false] view, and that associated with uncertainty, making five, are eliminated by the first knowledge. The two associated with resentment are eliminated by the third knowledge. The rest are eliminated by the fourth knowledge.

77. And what is eliminated by any one of them is abandoned by it. That is why it was said above, “So these [four kinds of knowledge] each and severally abandon these states beginning with the fetters.”

78. 5. The act of the abandoning: but how then? Do these [knowledges] abandon these states when they are past, or when they are future, or when [686] they are present? What is the position here? For, firstly, if [they are said to abandon them] when past or future, it follows that the effort is fruitless. Why? Because what has to be abandoned is non-existent. Then if it is when they are present, it is likewise fruitless because the things to be abandoned exist simultaneously with the effort, and it follows that there is development of a path that has defilement, or it follows that defilements are dissociated [from consciousness] though there is no such thing as a present defilement dissociated from consciousness.[9]

79. That is not an original argument; for in the text first the question is put: “When a man abandons defilements, does he abandon past defilements? Does he abandon future defilements? Does he abandon present defilements?” Then the objection is put in this way: “If he abandons past defilements, he destroys what has already been destroyed, causes to cease what has already ceased, causes to vanish what has already vanished, causes to subside what has already subsided. What is past, which is non-existent, that he abandons.” But this is denied in this way: “He does not abandon past defilements.” Then the objection is put in this way: “If he abandons future defilements, he abandons what has not been born, he abandons what has not been generated, he abandons what has not arisen, he abandons what has not become manifest. What is future, which is non-existent, that he abandons.” But this is denied in this way: “He does not abandon future defilements.” Then the objection is put in this way: “If he abandons present defilements, then though inflamed with greed he abandons greed, though corrupted with hate he abandons hate, though deluded he abandons delusion, though shackled[10] he abandons conceit (pride), though misconceiving he abandons [false] view, though distracted he abandons agitation, though not having made up his mind he abandons uncertainty, though not having inveterate habits he abandons inherent tendency, dark and bright states occur coupled together, and there is development of a path that has defilement.” But this is all denied in this way: “He does not abandon past defilements, he does not abandon future defilements, he does not abandon present defilements.” Finally it is asked: “Then there is no path development, there is no realization of fruition, there is no abandoning of defilements, there is no penetration to the Dhamma (convergence of states)?” Then it is claimed: “There is path development … there is penetration to the Dhamma (convergence of states).”

And when it is asked: “In what way?” this is said: “Suppose there were a young tree with unborn fruit, and a man cut its root, then the unborn fruits of the tree would remain unborn and not come to be born, remain ungenerated and not come to be generated, remain unarisen and not come to be arisen, remain unmanifested and not come to be manifested. So too, arising is a cause, arising is a condition, for the generation of defilements. Seeing danger in defilements, consciousness enters into non-arising. With consciousness’s entering into nonarising the defilements that would be generated with arising as their condition remain unborn and do not come to be born … remain unmanifest and do not come to be manifested. So with the cessation of the cause there is the cessation of suffering. [687] Occurrence is a cause … The sign is a cause … Accumulation is a cause, accumulation is a condition, for the generation of defilements. Seeing danger in accumulation, consciousness enters into non-accumulation. With consciousness’s entering into non-accumulation the defilements that would be generated with accumulation as their condition remain unborn and do not come to be born … remain unmanifest and do not come to be manifested. So with the cessation of the cause there is cessation of suffering. So there is path development, there is realization of fruition, there is abandoning of defilements, and there is penetrating to the Dhamma” (Paṭis II 217–19).

80. What does that show? It shows abandoning of defilements that have soil [to grow in]. But are defilements that have soil [to grow in] past, future or present? They are simply those described as “arisen by having soil [to grow in].”

81. Now, there are various meanings of “arisen,” that is to say, (i) arisen as “actually occurring,” (ii) arisen as “been and gone,” (iii) arisen “by opportunity,” and (iv) arisen “by having [soil to grow in].”

Herein, (i) all that is reckoned to possess [the three moments of] arising, ageing, [that is, presence] and dissolution, is called arisen as actually occurring.

(ii) Profitable and unprofitable [kamma-result] experienced as the stimulus ofan object and ceased-reckoned as “experienced and gone” (anubhūtāpagata)—, and also anything formed, when it has reached the three instants beginning with arising and has ceased-reckoned as `been and gone’ (hutvāpagata)—, are called arisen as been and gone (bhūtāpagata).

(iii) Kamma described in the way beginning, “Deeds that he did in the past”(M III 164), even when actually past, is called arisen by opportunity made because it reaches presence by inhibiting other [ripening] kamma and making that the opportunity for its own result (see XIX.16.) And kamma-result that has its opportunity made in this way, even when as yet unarisen, is called “arisen by opportunity made,” too, because it is sure to arise when an opportunity for it has been made in this way.

(iv) While unprofitable [kamma] is still unabolished in any given soil (plane)[11] it is called arisen by having soil [to grow in].

82. And here the difference between the soil and what has soil should be understood. For “soil” (plane) means the five aggregates in the three planes of becoming, which are the object of insight.[12] “What has soil” is an expression for defilements capable of arising with respect to those aggregates. Those defilements have that soil (plane). That is why “by having soil [to grow in]” is said.

83. And that is not meant objectively. For defilements occupied with an object arise with respect to any aggregates including past or future ones as well [as present], and also with respect to the [subjectively] fully-understood aggregates in someone [else] whose cankers are destroyed, like those that arose in the rich man Soreyya with respect to the aggregates in Mahā Kaccāna (Dhp-a I 325) and in the brahman student Nanda with respect to Uppalavaṇṇā (Dhp-a II 49), and so on. And if that were what is called “arisen by having soil [to grow in]” no one could abandon the root of becoming because it would be unabandonable. But “arisen by having soil [to grow in]” should be understood [subjectively] with respect to the basis [for them in oneself].[13] For the defilements that are the root of the round are inherent in [one’s own] aggregates not fully understood by insight from the instant those aggregates arise. And that is what should be understood as “arisen by having the soil [to grow in],” in the sense of its being unabandoned. [688]

84. Now, when defilements are inherent, in the sense of being unabandoned, in someone’s aggregates, it is only those aggregates of his that are the basis for those defilements, not aggregates belonging to another. And only past aggregates, not others, are the basis for defilements that inhere unabandoned in past aggregates. Likewise in the case of future aggregates, and so on. Similarly too only sense-sphere aggregates, not others, are the basis for defilements that inhere unabandoned in sense-sphere aggregates. Likewise in the case of the fine material and immaterial.

85. But in the case of the stream-enterer, etc., when a given defilement, which is a root of the round, has been abandoned by means of a given path in a given noble person’s aggregates, then his aggregates are no longer called “soil” for such defilement since they are no longer a basis for it. But in an ordinary man the defilements that are the root of the round are not abandoned at all, and so whatever kamma he performs is always either profitable or unprofitable. So for him the round goes on revolving with kamma and defilements as its condition.

86. But while it is thus the root of the round it cannot be said that it is only in his materiality aggregate, and not in his other aggregates beginning with feeling … that it is only in his consciousness aggregate, and not in his other aggregates beginning with materiality. Why? Because it is inherent in all five aggregates indiscriminately. How? Like the juice of humus, etc., in a tree.

87. For when a great tree is growing on the earth’s surface supported by the essences of humus and water and, with that as condition, increases its roots, trunks, branches, twigs, shoots, foliage, flowers, and fruit, till it fills the sky, and continues the tree’s lineage through the succession of the seed up till the end of the eon, it cannot be said that the essence of humus, etc., are found only in its root and not in the trunk, etc., … that they are only in the fruit and not in the root, etc., Why? Because they spread indiscriminately through the whole of it from the root onwards.

88. But some man who felt revulsion for that same tree’s flowers, fruits, etc., might puncture it on four sides with the poison thorn called “maṇḍūka thorn,” and then the tree, being poisoned, would be no more able to prolong its continuity since it would have become barren with the contamination of the essences of humus and water.

So too the clansman who feels revulsion (dispassion) for the occurrence of the aggregates, undertakes to develop the four paths in his own continuity which is like the man’s application of poison to the tree on all four sides. Then the continuity of his aggregates is rendered incapable of prolonging the continuity to a subsequent becoming. It is now unproductive of future becoming since all kinds of kamma beginning with bodily kamma are now merely functional: for the effect of the four paths’ poison has entirely exterminated the defilements that are the root of the round. [689] Being without clinging, he inevitably attains with the cessation of the last consciousness the complete extinction [of Nibbāna], like a fire with no more fuel. This is how the difference between the soil and what has soil should be understood.

89. Besides these there are four other ways of classing “arisen,” namely, (v) arisen as happening, (vi) arisen with apprehension of an object, (vii) arisen through non-suppression, (viii) arisen through non-abolition.

Herein, (v) arisen as happening is the same as (i) “arisen as actually occurring.”

(vi) When an object has at some previous time come into focus in the eye, etc.,and defilement did not arise then but arose in full force later on simply because the object had been apprehended, then that defilement is called arisen with apprehension of an object. Like the defilement that arose in the Elder Mahā-Tissa after seeing the form of a person of the opposite sex while wandering for alms in the village of Kalyāna (cf. M-a I 66 and A-a to A I 4).

(vii) As long as a defilement is not suppressed by either serenity or insight,though it may not have actually entered the conscious continuity, it is nevertheless called arisen through non-suppression because there is no cause to prevent its arising [if suitable conditions combine]. (viii) But even when they are suppressed by serenity or insight they are still called arisen through non-abolition because the necessity for their arising has not been transcended unless they have been cut off by the path. Like the elder who had obtained the eight attainments, and the defilements that arose in him while he was going through the air on his hearing the sound of a woman singing with a sweet voice as she was gathering flowers in a grove of blossoming trees.

90. And the three kinds, namely, (vi) arisen with apprehension of an object, (vii) arisen through non-suppression, and (vii) arisen through non-abolition, should be understood as included by (iv) arisen by having soil [to grow in].

91. So as regard the kinds of “arisen” stated, the four kinds, namely, (i) as actually occurring, (ii) as been and gone, (iii) by opportunity made, and (v) as happening, cannot be abandoned by any [of these four kinds of] knowledge because they cannot be eliminated by the paths. But the four kinds of “arisen,” namely, (iv) by having soil [to grow in], (vi) with apprehension of an object, (vii) through non-suppression, and (viii) through non-abolition, can all be abandoned because a given mundane or supramundane knowledge, when it arises, nullifies a given one of these modes of being arisen.

So here “the kinds of states that ought to be abandoned, also the act of their abandoning” (§32) should be known in this way.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

The four foundations of mindfulness are fully commented on in the commentary to MN 10 (= commentary to DN 22). The right endeavours are fully commented on in the commentary to the Sammappadhāna Vibhaṅga (cf. M-a II 243ff.; also A-a commenting on AN 1:II 1). The four roads to power are briefly commented on at M-a II 69 and fully in the commentary to the M-a I 82f. and more fully in the commentary to the Bojjhaṅga Vibhaṅga. The Noble Eightfold Path is commented on at M-a I 105 and from a different angle in the commentary to the Magga Vibhaṅga. The five faculties and the five powers are not apparently dealt with in the Nikāya and the Abhidhamma Commentaries by adding anything further to what is said here (§37).

[2]:

The Paṭisambhidā (Paṭis I 177) derives satipaṭṭhāna from sati (mindfulness) and paṭṭhāna (foundation, establishment). The commentaries prefer to derive it from sati and upaṭṭhāna (establishment, appearance, and also waiting upon: see M-a I 238). The readings of the Ee and Ae eds. disagree here and that of the former has been followed though the result is much the same.

[3]:

These figures refer to the numbers of different contemplations described in the tenth sutta of the Majjhima Nikāya (= DN 22).

[4]:

These three abstinences are the “prior state” of the Eightfold Path (see M III 289).

“Only the road to power consisting in zeal, and right speech, are actually included here; but when these are mentioned, the remaining roads to power and remaining two abstinences are implied in the meaning too. The meaning of this sentence should be understood according to the ‘category of characteristics’ (lakkhaṇa-hāra—see Nettipakaraṇa)” (Vism-mhṭ 872). This Netti rule says:

“When one thing has been stated, then those things
That are in characteristic one with it
Are stated too–this is the formulation
Of the category of characteristics” (Netti 3).

[5]:

“Emergence from the sign consists in relinquishing the sign of formations and making Nibbāna the object. Emergence from occurrence consists in entering upon the state of non-liability to the occurrence of kamma-result in the future by causing the cessation of cause” (Vism-mhṭ 874).

[6]:

“It emerges from the defilements of uncertainty, etc., that occur consequent upon that view, which is wrong since it leads to states of loss” (Vism-mhṭ 874).

[7]:

“‘Wrong knowledge,’ which is wrong because it does not occur rightly [i.e. in conformity with the truth], and is wrong and mistaken owing to misinterpretations, etc., is just delusion. ‘Wrong deliverance’ is the wrong notion of liberation that assumes liberation to take place in a ‘World Apex’ (lokathūpika–see XVI.85), and so on” (Vism-mhṭ 886).

[8]:

The meaning of this paragraph is made clearer by reference to the Atthasālinī (Dhs-a 48) and Mūla Ṭīkā (Dhs-ṭ 51), where the use of ā as an adverb in the sense of “as far as” indirectly with the ablative (gotrabhuto, etc.) is explained; the abl. properly belongs to savana (i.e. exudations from). Vism-mhṭ only says: “‘Exudations’ (savana) because of occurring [due to], savanato (“because of exuding”) is because of flowing out as filth of defilement. Savanato (“because of producing”) the second time is because of giving out (pasavana)” (Vism-mhṭ 876. Cf. also M-a I 61).

[9]:

“The intention is: or it follows that there is dissociation of defilements from consciousness, like that of formations according to those who assert that formations exist dissociated form consciousness. He said, ‘there is no such thing as a present defilement dissociated from consciousness’ in order to show that that is merely the opinion of those who make the assertion. For it is when immaterial states are actually occurring by their having a single basis and being included in the three instants that they are present; so how could that be dissociated from consciousness? Consequently there is no dissociation from consciousness here” (Vism-mhṭ 878).

[10]:

“‘Shackled’: one whose consciousness is shackled by conceit (pride)” (Vism-mhṭ 878).

[11]:

“‘In any given plane’ means aggregates as objects of clinging, reckoned as a human or divine person” (Vism-mhṭ 879).

[12]:

“By the words ‘which are the object of insight’ he points out the non-fullyunderstood state of the aggregates, not merely the fact that they are the object of insight, which is proved by his taking only the three planes. For it is not-fullyunderstood aggregates among the aggregates constituting the [subjective] basis that are intended as the ‘soil of defilements’” (Vism-mhṭ 880).

[13]:

“No one would be able to abandon the root of becoming if it were in another’s continuity. ‘With respect to the basis [for them in oneself]’ means as the place of their arising; in that particular becoming or continuity” (Vism-mhṭ 880).

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