The Buddhist Path to Enlightenment (study)

by Dr Kala Acharya | 2016 | 118,883 words

This page relates ‘Maintain Wholesome States of Mind’ of the study on the Buddhist path to enlightenment. The Buddha was born in the Lumbini grove near the present-day border of India and Nepal in the 6th century B.C. He had achieved enlightenment at the age of thirty–five under the ‘Bodhi-tree’ at Buddha-Gaya. This study investigates the teachings after his Enlightenment which the Buddha decided to teach ‘out of compassion for beings’.

2.2.4. Maintain Wholesome States of Mind

[Full title: The Fourfold Supreme Endeavour (cattāro-sammappadhāna)—(4): Maintain Wholesome States of Mind (Uppanna-kusala)]

Herein the disciple rouses his will to maintain the wholesome things that have already arisen, and not to allow them to disappear, but to bring them to growth, to maturity, and to the full perfection of development; and he makes effort, stirs up his energy, exerts his mind and strives.[1]

Acquired wholesome deed of absorption and wholesome deed of the noble path are called uppanna-kusala. Among those dhammas, the wholesome deed of Noble Path has got the lifespan of one mind moment only. There is natural fixed law for only one of four kinds of wholesome path (-moment). Therefore the practicing person is unable to be stable and to proliferate those wholesome deeds of noble path. Both wholesome deed of vipassanā practice and wholesome deed of samatha practices which are fundamental of that vipassanā practice, which are factors of relation of determinative dependence for arising of wholesome deed of noble path, must be performed in order to be steadfast by means of incessant continuity of practice through connecting of preceding practice and succeeding practice called pabandhathiti; the practicing person has to endeavour so as not to disappear completely; he has to endeavour in order to improve step by step until reaching into the noble path-knowledge of Arahant; he endeavours; he generates bodily energy and mentally energy; he rouses energy; he applies his mind and strives most ardently to fulfill both samatha and vipassanā practice through surrounding with strenuous effort which has four kinds of strong determination. If he practices in that way, not only anuppanna-kusala will arise but uppanna-kusala will also be improved exceedingly.

There are also (4) kinds of right effort in this factor of path of right effort, viz.,

1. endeavouring so as not to arise unwholesome dhammas which have not arisen yet;

2. endeavouring so as to discard unwholesome dhammas which have arisen;

3. endeavouring so as to arise wholesome dhammas which have not arisen yet;

4. endeavouring so as to be improved wholesome dhammas which have arisen.

Due to presence of variation in minds of meditation which are endeavouring in this way, there are also variation in the right rffort during endeavouring samatha and vipassanā practices which are worth practicing previous to the noble path called pubbabhāgasatipaṭṭhānamagga. However at the noble path (-moment) a single wholesome effort arises through efficiency of capable of accomplishing four functions which are deserving to be fulfilled in these four situations by the factor of path of right effort after accomplishment of factor of the noble path. This wholesome effort is called right effort. (It means the effort which associates with the noble path can perform in order to accomplish above four functions simultaneously).[2]

Footnotes and references:


AN II, 4:13


DA II, p. 393

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