Visuddhimagga (the pah of purification)

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

This page describes Worthiness to Receive Gifts of the section The Benefits in Developing Understanding 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.

53. And not only the ability to attain the attainment of cessation but also achievement of worthiness to receive gifts should be understood as a benefit of this supramundane development of understanding.

54. For, generally speaking, it is because understanding has been developed in these four ways that a person who has developed it, is fit for the gifts of the world with its deities, fit for its hospitality, fit for its offerings, and fit for its reverential salutation, and an incomparable field of merit for the world.

55. But in particular, firstly, one who arrives at development of under-standing of the first path with sluggish insight and limp faculties is called, “one who will be reborn seven times at most”; he traverses the round of rebirths seven times in the happy destinies. One who arrives with medium insight and medium faculties is called, “one who goes from noble family to noble family”; with two or three rebirths in noble families he makes an end of suffering. One who arrives with keen insight and keen faculties is called, “one who germinates only once”; with one rebirth in the human world he makes an end of suffering (see A I 133).

By developing understanding of the second path, he is called a once-returner. He returns once to this world and makes an end of suffering. [710]

56. By developing understanding of the third path he is called a non-returner. According to the difference in his faculties he completes his course in one of five ways after he has left this world: he becomes “one who attains Nibbāna early in his next existence” or “one who attains Nibbāna more than half way through his next existence” or “one who attains Nibbāna without prompting” or “one who attains Nibbāna with prompting” or “one who is going upstream bound for the Highest Gods” (see D III 237).

57. Herein, one who attains Nibbāna early in his next existence attains Nibbāna after reappearing anywhere in the Pure Abodes, without reaching the middle of his life span there. One who attains Nibbāna more than half way through his next existence attains Nibbāna after the middle of his life span there. One who attains Nibbāna without prompting generates the highest path without prompting, with little effort. One who attains Nibbāna with prompting generates the highest path with prompting, with effort. One who is going upstream bound for the Highest Gods passes on upwards from wherever he is reborn [in the Pure Abodes] to the Highest Gods’ becoming and attains Nibbāna there.

58. By developing understanding of the fourth path one becomes “liberated by faith,” another “liberated by understanding,” another “both-ways liberated,” another “one with the triple clear vision,” another “one with the six kinds of direct-knowledge,” another “one of the great ones whose cankers are destroyed who has reached the categories of discrimination.” It was about one who has developed the fourth path that it was said: “But it is at the moment of the path that he is said to be disentangling that tangle: at the moment of fruition he has disentangled the tangle and is worthy of the highest offerings in the world with its deities” (I.7).

59. The noble understanding, when
Developed, will these blessings win;
Accordingly discerning men
Rejoice exceedingly therein.

60. And at this point the development of understanding with its benefits, which is shown in the Path of Purification with its headings of virtue, concentration, and understanding, in the stanza,

“When a wise man, established well in virtue,
Develops consciousness and understanding,
Then as a bhikkhu ardent and sagacious,
He succeeds in disentangling this tangle” (I.1),

has been fully illustrated.

The twenty-third chapter called “The Description of the Benefits of Understanding” in the Path of Purification composed for the purpose of gladdening good people.

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