The Teachings of Phra Ajaan Mun Bhuridatta Thera
by Phra Ajaan Mun Bhuridatta Thera | 1995 | 9,299 words
Translated from the Thai by Thanissaro Bhikkhu Copyright © 1995 Metta Forest Monastery PO Box 1409, Valley Center, CA 92082 For free distribution only. You may reprint this work for free distribution. You may re-format and redistribute this work for use on computers and computer networks provided that you charge no fees for its distribution or us...
saccanam caturo pada
khinasava jutimanto te loke parinibbuta
The four Noble Truths -- suffering, its cause, its cessation, and the path to its cessation -- are activities in that each truth has an aspect that has to be done: Suffering has to be understood, its cause abandoned, its cessation made clear, and the path to its cessation developed. All of these are aspects that have to be done -- and if they have to be done, they must be activities. So we can conclude that all four truths are activities. This is in keeping with the first verse quoted above, which speaks of the four truths as feet, stair treads, or steps that must be taken for the task to be finished. What follows is thus termed activityless ness -- like writing the numerals 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0, then erasing 1-9, leaving just 0, and not writing anything more. What is left is read as zero, but it doesnt have any value at all. You cant use it to add, subtract, multiply, or divide with any other numerals, yet at the same time you cant say that it doesnt exist, for there it is: 0 (zero).
This is like the discernment that knows all around, because it destroys the activity of supposing. In other words, it erases supposing completely and doesnt become involved with or hold on to any supposings at all. With the words erasing or destroying the activity of supposing, the question arises, When supposing is entirely destroyed, where will we stay? The answer is that we will stay in a place that isnt supposed: right there with activity less ness.
This explanation is in line with the aspects of reality that appear clearly only to those who practice, and that people who dont practice cant know. Only when we listen and then practice accordingly until we see and know of our own accord will we be able to understand.
The meaning of the next verse is this: Those who have no more effluents extinguish the three realms and are dazzling. In other words, they have practiced persistence and made an investigation bhavito bahulikato. In other words, they have worked at it and developed it repeatedly to the point where the mind has the strength capable of analyzing and destroying all supposings so as to reach activity less ness. They can thus gain release from the three realms.
In extinguishing the three realms, arahants dont fly up into the realms of sensuality, form, and formlessness. They stay right where they are. The same was true of the Buddha: When he extinguished the three realms, he was sitting in one spot, under the Bodhi tree. He didnt fly up into the three realms. He extinguished them at the mind -- for right there in the mind is where the three realms exist.
Those who aim at extinguishing the three realms should thus extinguish them in their own hearts. Only then will they obliterate activity -- the act of supposing -- from the heart, leaving just activity less ness. This is the primal heart, the primal Dhamma, which knows no death.