Message of Appreciation
In the past, prior to the writing-down of Dhamma, or Buddhist doctrine, one had to attend certain schools of wise men that specialized in the particular Dhamma that one wished to study. At that time, the educational sys-tem depended entirely on an accuracy of recitation learnt from the teachers. This means of study was called “Mukhapatha” a procedure learned directly through practice with the teachers.
After Buddhist doctrine was written down, there was a large increase in the propagation of Buddhism. It was via the former way of Mukkapatha, and the way of studying directly from the written doctrine, which resulted in much research into the Buddha’s sermon being generated widely. Both small and large discourses have been increasingly published for the benefit of interested laypeople; this has caused Dhamma studies to become quite progressive as can be seen at the present.
Besides the research and propagation of the Buddha’s teachings, some faithful laypeople have offered their contributions to the discourses of Buddha’s disciples as well. These discourses, to distinguish them from the Buddha’s discourses, are called Arahanta-udana (Arahat’s Utterance) or Acariyavada (teacher’s words). They are greatly worthy of being shared with lay-people, and should be recorded and treasured as the priceless heritage of future generations.
For the followers of Luang Phaw Wat Pak Nam (The Most Venerable Phramongkolthepmunee), much effort has been dedicated to recording his Dhamma sermons in order to publish them in various places and at various opportunities. In accord with this auspicious occasion, his collected sermons are published in a single book and are offered, as a source of research. This book is also cordially aimed at the general public as a highly valuable heritage, which Luang Phaw had previously given only to his disciples. This shared knowledge is here gathered and categorized and presented in a manner that lay-people, interested in meditation practice, can best appreciate.
The 60th Dhammachai Education Foundation, established by Phra Rajabhavanavisudh the President of the Dhammakaya Foundation, Thailand, has published this book in order to worship the great virtue of Phra Mongkolthepmunee (Luang Phaw Wat Pak Nam), to share the Dhamma with anyone interested in the related meditation practices, and for use as a reference tool in the practitioner’s research.
May I rejoice in the merit and good intentions of the 60th Dhammachai Education Foundation in publishing this book and may I rejoice in the merit making of PhrapaladSudham Sudhammo (Tiravanich), Phramaha Monchai Mantakamo, Dr. Jeff Wilson, Mrs. San it Swekashane, Mr. Kitchai Urkasame and his collegues, who organized the translation and publication. May the greatness of this book, the Triple Gem and all merits, perfections and miraculous power of Luang Phaw Wat Pak Nam, in conjunction with the merit accumulated from this Dhamma propagation, bless and protect everyone who contributed to this book publication: may they be prosperous with longevity, appearance, happiness, health, talents and with the wealth of Dhamma treasures; may they experience goodness and fruitful accomplishment in everything as they might wish. May you all glory in the light of the Lord Buddha’s well-preached Dhamma.
(Somdej Phramaha Rajjamongalacaraya)
The Abbot of Wat Pak Nam
The Sermons of Luang Phaw Wat Pak Nam, which appear in this book for the first time in their English translation, are but a small selection of the many recorded discourses which have been collected over the years by his followers. His valuable teachings have been circulated widely, both domestically and internationally, but almost exclusively in the original Thai language version.
A profound significance is contained in each work of the master’s discourses which can guide followers and truth-seekers toward the realization that these meditative methods represent fundamental principles of Buddha’s teaching. These discourses on ‘Vijja Dhammakaya’ are a great gift to those who devote their energies to the practice of meditation. Practitioners who follow the methods recommended by Luang Phaw can expect (eventually) to have inner experiences of the ‘Dhammakaya’, the Ultimate Reality inherent in all human beings. As the Buddha states in the Aggannasutta (DN, iii 80):
tathagatassa hetam vasetha, adhivacanam dhammakayo
iti pi bhramakayo iti pi, dhammabhuto iti pi bhramabhuto iti pi Vasetha, this designates the Tathagata:
‘The Body of Dhamma ‘, that is, ‘The Body of Bhamma’ or ‘Become Dhamma’,
that is ‘Become Brahma’ (Maurice Walshe’s translation (p.409))
The term ‘Dhammakaya’ means little in this context without the profound insight experienced by Luang Phaw Wat Pak Nam on the full-moon day of the tenth lunar month of the year 2460 B.E. (1927 C.E.) in the main shrine hall of Wat Boat Bon, Banguvieng in the province of Nondaburi. There he attained Dhammakaya, the body of enlightenment; that is, he experienced direct knowledge of the supreme, immaculate, uncontaminated essence which lies at the deepest center of every sentient being. From that moment, Luang Phaw dedicated his life to teaching the many monks, novices and lay-people who became his students and disciples, many of whom went on to attain that same inner experience of ‘The Body of Dhamma’. Among these students were certain Europeans who travelled to Thailand to receive ordination from Luang Phaw and who later reported having had valuable spiritual experiences.
These are examples of the experiential power of the Dhammakaya doctrine which an examination of the Buddhist literature reveals is common to Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana approaches. Just as it inspired and provoked Dhamma practitioners during Luang Phaw’s lifetime, so it encourages present-day meditators to test its methodologies and to prove for themselves the effectivity of contemplating the Dhamma-Body.
Today, the practices of Vijja Dhammakaya have been disseminated throughout the world as the genuine teaching of the Buddha. Its practitioners combine their energies in order to expand the influence of Vijja Dhammakaya beyond the boundaries of Thailand and have been well received in the U.S.A., Europe and Oceania. These activities have attracted the attention of many seekers who have been inspired to study and practice the teachings of the Most Venerable Luang Phaw Wat Pak Nam. Unfortunately, their studies have been made unnecessarily difficult by the fact that Luang Phaw’s writings have rarely been translated into the English language.
The present publisher – under the patronage of the 60th Dhammakaya Education Foundation, established by the president of the Dhammakaya Foundation, Phra Rajabhavanavisuddhi – intends to rectify this situation with the publication of this collection of Luang Phaw’s teachings. It is also a means of showing the deep gratitude felt by his followers toward this unique master and marks the 88th anniversary (on September 18th, 2005 C.E.) of the year of his enlightenment.
This book represents an attempt to introduce Luang Phaw’s gift to the public, the gift of a path toward truth. It presents this path as the explicit and authentic meditational methodology of Vijja Dhammakaya. Anyone who wishes to investigate this knowledge for himself I herself is invited to do so without the limitation of time because it is a truth which is akaliko, or ‘timeless’. If any defects are found in this publication, we welcome the suggestions of anyone who would like to contribute.
May the greatness of the Triple Gem and the great virtue of the Most Venerable Luang Phaw guard and protect those – readers, practitioners, and distributers – who support this publication. May they and their families find happiness, prosperity and peace in their lives, and may they all proceed as quickly as possible, toward enlightenment.
PhrapaladSudham Sudhammo (Tiravanich)
and Colleages (Staff)
Preface to the second volume of Visuddhivaca
Luang Phaw Wat Pak Nam or Phramonkolthepmuni is the great master of the Dhammakaya Meditative Technique, known as Vijja Dhammakaya, and the late abbot of Wat Pak Nam (Bhasichareon). He was a renowned meditation master who was proficient also in Buddhist scripture, especially the Pali canon (Tipitaka) and its commentaries (Atthakatha). He dedicated his life to further meditation practice and teaching.
During his time as the abbot of Wat Pak Nam, he gave sermons on a regular basis. As such there were a large number of discourses given to both monks and lay supporters. It is unfortunate that many of his sermons have been lost, while only a handful of them have been secured.
This book is the second volume of his collected discourses, entitled ‘Visuddhivaca’ which means ‘the pure words.’ The book’s title is meant to benefit the character of the great master’s verbal teachings which were aimed at helping people to purify their lives and minds.
The book is intended to be distributed on 10 October 2008 which would have been the great master’s 124th birthday, had he been still alive. It is aimed to accompany the great celebration on such a propitious day – the day on which his followers throughout the world assemble at Wat Phra Dhammakaya, Thailand, for the casting of his golden image with the gold they have collected. 1 ton weight of pure gold is utilized, which will make the casted image 1. 5 times the size of his actual body. Such an offering, whilst appearing great, is indeed of much lesser worth than his magnificent service to all beings.
As a celebration of this holy day, we hope that readers will enjoy the depth and fine quality of the great master’s sermons and that these instructions, once applied to practice, will bring peace to the world. With the power of the Triple Gem, we wish readers, supporters and everyone good health, wealth, and spiritual realization.
PhrapaladSudham Sudhammo (Tiravanich)
and Colleages (Staff)
10 October 2008
The Pali Tipitaka1, i.e. the canonical texts of Theravada Buddhism, records the meditative path of both learners and advanced meditators. Of necessity, the learner’s path receives greatest attention through the pedagogical process of frequent repetition. Due to its infrequent references and lack of repetition in the texts, the advanced meditator’s path seems to be stated merely in outline for the record. It appears that advanced meditators do not require learning by drill, and that rational and experiential efforts is required now to fully appreciate the method of the advanced Buddhist meditator.
Whilst there is frequent mention of necessary meditative concentration in the Pali Tipitaka, very little recorded material of subsequent discussion can be found today regarding the essential contribution of quietude (Samadhi2) practices to the overall soteriological process.
2Pali calming (meditation); Sanskrit: samatha,
The present biography and sermons of Luang Phaw Wat Pak Nam represent extraordinary research material and Buddhist contemplative practices. The brief biography of Luang Phaw Wat Pak Nam places the meditative method –Vijja Dhammakaya3— in recent historical context. In brief, the Lessons that follow the biography concern the purifications and refinement of body, speech and mind. Further, they discuss the unique soteriological opportunities that quiescence presents in the context of esoteric notions of the “self” as well as forms of the refined human body revealed in lucent quietude. Other important lessons include discussion of the lower and higher contexts of concentration samadhi, as well as the Dhamma that brings forth the Dhammakaya.
3Sanskrit: vidya knowledge Dhammakaya
In a word, the Sermons of Luang Phaw Wat Pak Nam, being discourses on Vijja Dhammakaya, articulate an extraordinary, authentic meditative methodology that leads to the center of Buddhist ontology. That is to say, the sermons cast particular light on the core of Buddhist metaphysics, soteriology, and associated empirical method to be verified via direct contemplative experience. To this writer, The Sermons of Luang Phaw Wat Pak Nam as such enunciate and explicate the advanced meditator’s path noted above. Consequently, the present work is a significant and valuable contribution to the academic study and intuitive realization of crucial, esoteric aspects of contemporary Theravada Buddhism.
Whilst perhaps directed mainly to all laity, the material throughout the book is of special interest to academic professional researchers of Buddhist Studies, Studies in Religion, and Esotericism in general, and to religious contemplatives in particular. In addition, both undergraduate and postgraduate students will find the book of use to their studies and empirical research. No doubt, the work constitutes greatest value to the rarer scholar-contemplative who aims for the conjunction of direct intuitive experience and rational knowledge, whereby meditative experience informs one’s academic research pursuits and vice versa.
The translation from the original Thai language is sensitive to the nuances of Buddhist meditative practices in their historical, textual context. This, combined with the sensitive, editorial contributions of the respected editorial committee, renders unfamiliar and complex material accessible to both academic and non-academic readers. As a result, The Sermons of Luang Phaw Wat Pak Nam will both engage and absorb the cool and neutral approach to knowledge, be it specialist or otherwise. Thus, the reader will be rewarded.
Peace All Ways,
Dr. Edward F. Crangle
Department of Studies in Religion University of Sydney Australia
10 October 2008
MESSAGE OF CONGRATULATION
It is indeed with great honor that I provide this message of congratulation to the 60th Dhammachai Education Foundation and all those who have contributed to compile and publish the second volume in English translation of VISUDHIVACA, the Sermons of renowned meditation Master Luang Phaw Wat Pak Nam or Most Venerable Phra Mongkolthepmuni, to mark his 124th birthday on 10th October, had he been still alive.
More than forty years have passed since I was first aware of – through a cousin who had traveled to Thailand for Buddhist studies – the Dharma sermons and distinguished meditative method of Master Luang Phaw Wat Pak Nam. Having been committed to Dharma work over the years with the World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB), the Buddhist Federation of Australia (BFA) and the 60th Dhammachai Education Foundation in Australia has enhanced my admiration and knowledge of this great Master and his significant and valuable contribution to the Buddhist propagation and development both domestically and internationally.
At a time when the world community confronts war, conflict , social injustice, crisis of faith together with the threat of climate change and the degradation of our environment, the Buddha’s teachings and other grand Masters’ sermons like Master Luang Phaw Wat Pak Nam’s discourses on Vijja Dhammakaya would certainly play an important role in addressing these contemporary vital issues.
The publishing of Master Luang Phaw Wat Pak Nam’s VISUDHIVACA volume 2 is an auspicious occasion for spiritual renewal than provides an opportunity for his followers and supporters to recommit to the Buddha’s and the Master’s teachings.
May Grand Master Luang Phaw Wat Pak Nam’s sermons and the merits you have made through this significant Dharma work be shared by and lead all sentient beings to peace, happiness and enlightenment.
Yours in the Dharma,
Henry Dang, J.P
Hon. Secretary-General, Buddhist Federation of Australia
Chairman, Standing Committee on Unity and Solidarity, World Fellowship of Buddhists International Organizing Committee (IOC) Member for the United Nations Day of Vesak.
Biography in brief
The Most Venerable Phramonkolthepmuni (Sodh Candasaro), Luang Phaw Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen.
The rediscoverer of the Vijja Dhammakaya.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Birth place:
Until his ordination, the most venerable Luang Phaw Wat Paknam was called Sodh Meekaewnoi. According to the lunar calendar, he was born on Friday the sixth day of the waning moon of the eleventh month in the year of the monkey. This date coincides with the 10th month of the year 1884. His father Ngen and mother Soodjai Meekaewnoi had their own rice trading business in Amphoe (District) Song Phi Nong, Changwat (Province) Suphan Buri.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Childhood:
He was educated within nearby local temples, as per Thai tradition at that time. He was fluent in reading and writing the Khmer language as well as the Thai, and, as a result of a serious and dedicated attitude, he was very successful in his studies. When his studies were complete, he came back to help his parents in running the family rice business. His father passed away when he was only fourteen years old. As the eldest son, he was obliged to support his family and had to quickly learn business and administration at such an early stage of his life. Because of his diligence and aspiration, the business was successful and he became well known for his business skills. These skills were to prove indispensable to him later on.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Desire for Ordination:
At the age of around 19, he had an inspiration which aroused sorrow and compassion in him toward the suffering of others; it came about through his considering what a waste it was to dedicate one’s life to simply earning a living. Out of this inspiration came the will to ordain as a monk and to seek a way for the extinction of desire. However, he could not relinquish responsibility for his family at that time. Instead he prayed to Lord Buddha, asking, ‘Lord, may I not die before I am able to ordain, an ordination that will last throughout my whole life’. Thereafter he put more effort into his work, accumulating a fund that was enough to sustain his mother throughout the rest of her life. He then entered the Buddhist Sangha as a monk.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Ordination:
In July 1906, at the age of 22 he joined the order at Watt Song Phi Nong, Changwat Suphanburi. The Venerable Dee from Watt Pratoo Sarn was his preceptor. The venerable Phra Kru Vinayamuyoga (Niang lndajoto) Watt Song Phi Nong was the Act-announcing teacher. Meanwhile he had The Venerable Noong lndasuwanno as his ordination-proclaiming teacher. He received the Pali monastic name Candasaro as recognition of his status as a monk.
• • • • • • • • • • • In the monkhood:
The aim of this ordination was to make Nibbana (Skrt:Nirvana) manifest to him. He had started the Vinaya or ‘monastic discipline’, and other studies in monastic regulation, during 10 days of Naga status, being an applicant for ordination and staying in the temple so that he could practice correctly from the very beginning. Luang Phaw Wat Paknam had been spending his life virtuously since the first day of his ordination. He practiced Dhamma as he had hoped to do when he was studying the Pali scriptures, especially the Mahasatipatthana Sutta, the scripture dedicated to the practice of meditation. He also sought the expertise of established teachers and studied in many well-known meditation schools, for instance, with Phramonkolthipmuni (mui) the ex-abbot of Wat Chakrawat, and with Phrakruvirat (po) Wat Phrajetuphon, Venerable Singha Wat Lakorn Tham and Venerable Ploem Wat Kao Yai. They were all virtuous teachers in meditation and scripture study, who demonstrated wholesome ethical practices and impeccable manners. Each of them had numerous students. Luang Phaw enthusiastically practiced up to a certain level with which the teachers were satisfied; indeed, they asked him to stay and instruct the other students. However, he felt that what he had learned was not sufficient for the extinction of all suffering.
While practicing Dhamma, he kept on studying the scriptures, so that he could translate and understand the content of the Mahasatipatthana manuscript. Then he ceased his scriptural studies and devoted himself to meditation, as recommended in the Visuddhimagga, the ideal pattern for the practice of Dhamma.
• • • • • • Rediscovery of Vijja Dhammakaya:
In the 12th year of his monkhood 1917, Luang Phaw had his rain retreat at Wat Boat-Bon Bangkuvieng, Nonthaburi. By doing this he could pay back the Venerable abbot, who gave him books for his study. Moreover, he could acquire merit by giving sermons to the lay people while he was there.
In the middle of the Lenten season, on the full-moon night of the 11th lunar month, he considered his age and the length of his monkhood, and the fact that he still did not fully understand the Dhamma that Lord Buddha had attained. He made a determination, using his life as a wager; ‘Upon this sitting, if I cannot attain the Dhamma of Lord Buddha’s acquirement, then I shall not stand up until the end of my life’. Eventually, he was able to attain Dhammakaya in the middle of that night.
At that moment, Luang Phaw was able to realize that, ‘Lord Buddha’s Dhamma is too profound to be conceived or pondered, if we keep on just thinking we could surely never attain it. The way to attainment is to bring the whole mind – conceiving, pondering and thinking – to a standstill. Once it is still, the hindrances which obstruct enlightenment will cease to be. And once that happens, enlightenment will arise.’ Later on he gave a brief statement that ‘Stopping the mind is the key to success.’ After that he practiced and studied more and more, gaining internal experience in order to achieve the utmost level of Dhamma; the more he studied, the more skillful he became. The method by which Luang Phaw attained Dhammakaya, is the great rediscovery. It is not merely a practice that followed the content or memory of any scripture, but rather the attainment and perception of the Dhamma within oneself. It can happen by introducing the mind into the middle path, which is the best way to go beyond suffering. One who is able to accomplish this is able to extinguish all sources of defilement and suffering, obtaining eternal happiness which is surely the highest aim of all beings. Therefore, his rediscovery of this ancient knowledge system is of advantage to all mankind. Most of all, his attainment of Dhammakaya can be understood as a fine example of the Lord Buddha’s words – given to novice monks, that Dhammakaya Itipi; ‘Dhammakaya is my name’. Experts in contemplative practices usually teach that one can attain Dhamma in depth by simply understanding and by following directions. Rather, one must develop and transform oneself through merit, wisdom and perfection. Luang Phaw’s attainment of Dhammakaya is a demonstration of such a development of perfection and of the gaining of merit.
• • • • • • • • • • • Propagating Vijja Dhammakaya:
After his attainment, Luang Phaw, at first, decided to withdraw himself into the countryside and to the forest in order to find personal tranquility, as practicing monks tended to do at that time. However, for the sake of suffering human beings who could find no refuge, he reconsidered the idea of teaching in order to help them. This seems to have been a deeply ingrained habit with Luang Phaw; to make the welfare of others a foremost priority.
At the end of the period of retreat and Kathina ceremony, he took the opportunity to go to Wat Bangpla, Banglain, Changwat Nakkhon Pathom, for further meditation and teaching. After four months, three monks and another four lay people attained Dhammakaya. This was the starting point for the propagation of Vijja Dhammakaya. Later, he went on to teach in various other places where many came to practice and to achieve excellent results.
• • • • • • • • • • • The abbot:
Around the middle of 1916, Luang Phaw was appointed Abbot of Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen. In order to accept this appointment, he had to take his leave of Wat Phra Chetuphon and take up residence at Wat Paknam, which had been partly abandoned and which was in desperate need of renovation.
• • • • • • • • • • • Renovation and Development:
At first, the management and development of the temple did not go smoothly as the residential monks and lay-people were so accustomed to their unruly ways that they resisted all attempts at the restoration of order. Luang Phaw, however, was not discouraged. On the contrary, he gradually but persistently encouraged the monks and novices in his care to behave according to monastic discipline. With his customary enthusiasm, he taught Dhamma practice and theory to many monks, novices, upasakas, upasikas and lay-people. As more and more people attained good results, Luang Phaw’s reputation grew and the name ‘Luang Phaw Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen’ became famous throughout the region.
Subsequently, Luang Phaw set up a community school which provided free education to the children living around the temple. School affairs were successfully carried out with the aid of faithful donors and with the support of the district administrative board. The number of pupils rapidly increased from an original ten to around three hundred. The local people were deeply impressed by this unprecedented educational patronage that was being given to their children. However, when the introduction of the Primary Education Act led to public schools being established throughout the country, Luang Phaw decided to terminate primary teaching activities in order to concentrate on Pali and Dhamma studies.
Although primarily a religious leader, Luang Phaw also had the disposition of a developer; he loved to see things in progress and so he encouraged himself to be productive. He used to say, ‘at all times we should be creative; if there is nothing else to do we can always assist the children by teaching them’. It could be clearly seen that, as the Abbot of Wat Paknam, he put his best efforts into developing all aspects of the monastery to the best of his ability. In principle, Luang Phaw would give priority to human development, yet he always found time to devote to the construction and public utilities, which he saw as being for the purpose of supporting that human development. His strategy was to develop intelligence by encouraging scholarship in parallel with the development of wisdom and insight through meditation and self-discipline.
• • • • • • • • • • • Scriptural studies:
He set up Dhamma study and Pali study in the monastery by providing teachers and by constructing a three storey building for the school. The building was designed to cater for 1,000 students and was equipped with full utilities, accessories and educational media. The upper floor of this modern building was arranged as a meditation hall. The Prime Minister, Field Marshal Po. Pibulsongkram, acted as chairman of the inauguration ceremony and supervised the installation of the foundation stone. Construction was finally completed in 1950. This school building was of great advantage and utility for the lay community as well as for the Sangha. Since the time of its inauguration, It has been used every year as a Dhamma-study examination center for the Bhasicharoen district every year. The place also served as a dining hall during examinations, being capable of offering alms foods to the student monks and novices. At a later time, Luang Phaw assigned responsibility for the school to a disciple who was skillful in scriptural study. The school soon developed into a first-class educational institute which has consistently produced the highest number of level-nine Pali graduates in the educational history of Thailand.
• • • • • • • • • • • Dhamma Propagation:
It became a long-standing tradition that Luang Phaw would himself teach the propagation and practice of Dhamma every Sunday and quarter-moon day. Yet every Thursday, at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, he would personally supervise the meditation training of all monks, novices, upasakas and upasikas staying in the monastery, as well as those from neighboring monasteries and all other interested people. In addition, a rite proclaiming of Dhamma beginners – for people starting their first practicing lessons – was customarily to performed on Thursdays.
Because of his dexterity or “Skill” in terms of both scripture and practice, as well as the Dhamma he had attained so thoroughly, Luang Phaw’s teaching was clear and straightforward, not obscure or over-colorful. The les-sons would begin with a saying of the Buddha in Pali, followed by a precise translation in Thai and by a wise explanation which would signify clearly the correct way of practicing. This process would make the explanations quite easy to follow yet would encourage people to perform the actual practices. It is estimated that, in all, around ten thousand practitioners came for his instruction and reported that they had obtained excellent results.
• • • • • • • • • • • Daily life:
The Most Venerable Luang Phaw Wat Paknam took good care and paid close attention to the monks and novices of the monastery. He habitually led the chants and would give advice in the main chapel every morning and evening. Adequate residential space was provided to monks and novices, with appropriate facilities being dedicated to ascetic practices. Moreover, a main kitchen and dining hall were established to take charge of daily meals. This resulted in more time being available for monks and novices to study and practice Dhamma. For these reasons – as well as the excellent teaching of the master – the number of monks and novices residing at Wat Paknam increased substantially, from 20-30 in the beginning, to over 500 in the year in which the venerable abbot passed away.
Luang Phaw spent his life time both frugally and worthily. He would not usually go out at all, except to fulfill the inevitable monastic duties. In the case of invitations to forenoon meal – which would presumably involve chanting, a short sermon, counseling, and so on, but which would be an opportunity to socialize – he would rather ask another monk to go in his place. Even though he had a reason to go outside, he would leave just for a short time and return as quickly as possible. Times for visitors were after the forenoon meal and once again at 7 o’clock in the evening; only one hour was allowed in each period. For the remaining time, both day and night, Luang Phaw would dedicate to work and meditation.
• • • • • • • • • • • Meditation:
But it was mostly to meditation that he dedicated his time and effort. Meditation was the major enterprise of Luang Phaw’s life and that which he made his first priority. Each day he would practice meditation in a particular place, the so called Rong Ngahn Tham Vijja (Meditation Workshop). Many monks, novices and upasikas would take turns as a group, meditating around the clock in the same place in order to learn from Luang Phaw the higher Vijja Dhammakaya or “Tham Vijja”. The main mental and spiritual quest in the Rong Ngahn Tham Yijja was the extinction of all defilements, the source of all suffering and molestation as well as the major impediment to the attainment of enlightenment. It was understood that extinction of the defilements could rescue a soul from its troubles, difficulties and even potential pains.
Deep in Luang Phaw’s heart, there was only one purpose and that was to eradicate the roots of the defilements which control humans (and other beings) in their thinking, speaking and deep-seated unwholesome habits. All beings are caught up in a never-ending cycle of death, reincarnation and karmic punishment. If the origins of defilement could be eradicated, dissatisfaction and ill-will would be gone forever and happiness and goodness would prevail on earth; real “world peace” would be the result. For this reason, Luang Phaw devoted his whole life to the meditation, study and propagation of Vijja Dhammakaya – guiding others to the subtle bodies which can lead us to the deathless zone.
Luang Phaw’s pure conduct and self-development were resources produced by his remarkable sovereignty over self, his disciplined virtues and his innate strength. It has attracted faithful and interested people to come to him for instruction over the years, a phenomenon which has continued up until the present day.
• • • • • • • Perpetuation of his determination:
One day in 1955, Luang Phaw called a meeting of his disciples to whom he prophesied his death within five years from that time. He handed on to them the task of propagating Vijja Dhammakaya throughout the world. He reminded them that the tradition was important in that it could deliver many people from their suffering. After his death in 1959, one of his most faithful practicing disciples, Khun Yay Acharn Maharatana Upasika Chandra Kohn Nok Yoong – devoted her entire life to the propagation of the movement. This was the beginning of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, the most meritorious place for meditation and foremost Dhamma Park for Buddhists today.
Namo Tassa Bhagavato arahatto sammasambhuddhasa
Namo Tassa Bhagavato arahatto sammasambhuddhasa
Namo Tassa Bhagavato arahatto sammasambhuddhasa
Evam me sutam ekam samaoyam bhagava gayayam viharati, gayasise saddim bhikkhusahassena Tatra kho bhagava bhikkhu amantesi Sabbam bhikkhave adittam kinca bhikkhave sabbam adittam Cakkhum bhikkhave adittam rupa aditta cakkhuvinnanam adittam cakkhasamphasso aditto yampidam cakkhusamphassapaccaya uppajjati vedayitam sukham va dukkham va adukkhamasukham va tampi adittam kena adittam Adittam ragaggina dosaggina mohaggina adittam jatiya jaramaranena sokehi paridevehi dukkhehi domanassehi upayasehi adittanti vadami sota aditta sadda dditta sotavinna a aditta sotasampasso aditto yampida sotasampassapaccaya uppajjati vedayita sukha va dukkha va adukkhamasukkha va tampi aditta kena aditta Irnasmihcapana veyyakara asmi bhannamane tassa bhikkhusahassassa anupadaya asavehi cittani vimuccisuti
25 August 2496-1953, Third Sermon
Now I will present to you a Dhammigatha named ‘Adittapariyiiyasutta, the one presented to the thousand matted hair ascetics, the ‘Jatila’, by the Great Buddha. Those 1000 Jatila were present, together with their leaders, Puranakassapa, Nadikassapa and Gayakassapa. The Great Teacher tormented the Jatila by displaying to them His many magical powers, but none of His powers, according to Puranajitila, was as good as thoe of the Jatila. Nevertheless, the Great Lord carried on with His display until the Jatila gave up their ditthi mana, their misbelieving and lust for power, acknowledging the Dhamma (the Teaching) and coming to believe in the Great Teacher. Then the Great Lord gave them Dhamma desana, to bring them out of their ditthi, their misbelieving. Together with their three siblings the chairman Puranajatila conceded to the Great Lord’s teaching the on the Adittapariyayasutta. This aditta was the subject of hot objects chosen for the Jatila’s awareness. Those Jatila had much experience of worshiping fire and so were experienced in [the topic of] hot objects. The Great Lord’s sermon of Adittapariyayasutta was thus all about hot objects
As previously mentioned in Pali, Evamme Sutam; “I, Phra Anandha Thera have heard about”.
Ekam samayam; “Once”, Bhagava, “the Great Lord stayed in the Kayasisa country near the Kaya river together with 1,000 monks. The lord gave his warning to the monks: Sabbe bikkhave adiuatam1;
“Oh Bikkhus, all things are hot objects.”
Kinca Bhikkhave sabbam adittam; oh monks what are hot objects?
Cakkhu Bhikkhave adittam; the eyes are hot objects.
Rupa aditta; visible forms are hot objects.
Cakkhuvinnanam adittam; wisdom insight by means of the eyes is a hot object2.
2This line does not appear in the cd rom version.
Cakkhusampassaso adittato; eye contact is a hot object.
Yampitta Cakkhusampassapaccana uppajjati vedayita; the sensual arises because eye contact creates pleasure, or it causes pain, or it causes neither pleasure nor pain. These are the hot objects.
Kena adittatam: why hot? Adittam Jatiya; heat caused by Jati (birth), heat caused by sensual pleasure; heat caused by anger and malice, heat caused by passion. Adittatam jaramaranena; heat caused by Jati (birth), by Jara (old age) and Marana (death), by soka (depression), parideva (lamentation), dukkha (hardship through bodily discomfort), domanasa (sorrow) and by upayasa (narrow mindedness). So I say that these are hot objects.
Sotam adittatam; ears are hot objects. Sadda adittata; sounds are hot objects. Sotavinnanam adittam; wisdom [gained by means of] the ears is a hot object.
Sotasampasso aditto; contact with the ears is a hot object. Any sensual passion arising by means of contact with the ears, and that brings about pleasure or pain, or neither pleasure nor pain, is a hot object. Kenam adittatam; why hot? Adittatam: hot because of sensual pleasure; hot because of anger or malice, hot because of passion. Adittatam: hot because of jati (birth), jara (old age), marana (death), soka (depression), parideva (lamentation); hardship through bodily discomfort, domanasa (sorrow), upayasa (narrow mindedness); those are the hot objects.
Kenam Adittatam: nose is one of the hot objects. Kantha adittada; the odour that makes contact with the nose is a hot object. Kanavinnanam adittam; wisdom by means of the nose is a hot object. Kanasampasso aditto; contact with the nose is a hot object. Yampitam kanasampassapaccaya uppajjati vedhyitam sukham va dukkham va adukhamasukam va; the sensual that arises by olfactory means, and that causes either pleasure or pain, or neither pleasure nor pain, is a hot object. Why hot? Hot because of sensual pleasure; hot because of malicious anger; hot because of passion, hot because of jati (birth), jara (old age); marana (death), soka (depression), parideva (lamentation), dukkha (bodily discomfort); domanasa (sorrow); upayasa (narrow mindedness). These I say, are hot objects. Jivha aditta; the tongue also is a hot object. Rasa aditta; the tastes that contact the tongue are hot objects. Jivhavinnanam adittam; the sensual that arises by means of the tongue is a hot object, Jivahasampasso aditto; contact with the tongue is a hot object. The sensual pleasure that arises by contact with the tongue and that causes pleasure or pain, or neither pleasure nor pain, these are the hot objects. Kena ddittam; why hot? Hot because of sensual pleasure; hot because of malicious anger; hot because of passion, hot because of jati (birth), jara (old age); marana (death), soka (depression), parideva (lamentation), dukkha (bodily discomfort); domanasa (sorrow); (upayasa) narrow mindedness; these are hot objects.
Kayo adittato; the body is also a hot object. Photthabba aditta; bodily contact, the things that touch the body, are hot objects. Wisdom gained by means of the body is also a hot object; body contact is a hot object, as are sensual pleasure, malicious anger and passion. They are hot because of jati (birth), jara (old age); marana (death), soka (depression), parideva (lamentation), dukkha (bodily discomfort); domanasa (sorrow); (upayasa) narrow mindedness. Adittanati vadhami; these are hot objects.
Mano adittato; the mind is a hot object. Dhamma adittata; all dhamma are hot objects. Manovinnanam adittatam; mind-consciousness is also a hot object. Manosamphasso adittato; sensual pleasure arises from any mind contact, whether pleasant or painful, or neither pleasant nor painful; these are hot objects. Why hot? They are hot because of sensual pleasure, malicious anger and passion. Hot because of jati (birth), jara (old age); marana (death), soka (depression), parideva (lamentation), dukkha (bodily discomfort); domanasa (sorrow); (upayasa) narrow mindedness. Adittanati vadhami; these are hot objects.
Evam passam bhikkhave sutva ariyasavako
Oh, monks, now you have heard and seen [the following]:
cakkhusamipi nibbindati; become disenchanted with your eyes: .
rupesu pi nibbindati; become disenchanted with the visual object:
cakkhuvinnanepi nibbindati; become disenchanted with eye consciousness (cakkcuvinnanam),
Cakkhusampassepi; become disenchanted with eye contact.
Yampitam cakkhusampassapaccayauppajjati vedayitam; this sensual pleasure arises due to eye contact whether pleasant or painful, or neither pleasant nor painful; become disenchanted with that pleasure. Sotasamipi nibbindati; become disenchanted with your ears. Sattesupi nibbindati; become disenchanted with sounds. Sotavinnanepi nibbindati; become disenchanted with the ears wisdom. Sotasampassasepi nibbindati; become disenchanted with the contact by ears. Yamapitam sota sampassapaccauppajjati vedayitam; this sensual pleasure arises because of any ear contact whether pleasant or painful, or neither pleasant nor painful; become disenchanted with that pleasure. Kanasamipi nibbindati; become disenchanted with the olfactory. Kanasamipi nibbindati; become disenchanted with the odour. Kanavinnanepi nibbindati; become disenchanted with nose wisdom. Kanasampassepi nibbindati; become disenchanted with nose contact. Yampitam kanasampassapaccaya uppajjati kedayitam; the sensual pleasure arises by any kanasampass, whether pleasant or painful, or neither pleasant nor painful; become disenchanted with that pleasure.
Jivhahayapi nibbindati; become disenchanted with the tongue. Rasesupi nibbindati; be tired of the tastes jivhavinnanepi nibbindati; become disenchanted with wisdom acquired by means of the tongue. Jivhasampassepi nibbindati; become tired of contact with the tongue. Yampitam jivhasampassapaccaya uppajjati vethayitam: this arises because of any tongue contact, whether pleasant or painful, or neither pleasant nor painful; become disenchanted with that pleasure. Kayasamipi nibbindati; become disenchanted with your body.
Photthabbesupi nibbindati; become disenchanted with things that contact the body.
Kayavinnanepi nibbindati; become disenchanted with wisdom acquired through the body.
Kayasampassasepi nibbindati; become disenchanted with bodily contact. Yampitam kayasampassapaccaya uppajjati vedhyitam; this sensual pleasure arises due to bodily contact, whether pleasant or painful, or neither pleasant nor painful; become disenchanted with that pleasure.
Manasamipi nibbindati; become disenchanted with your mind.
Dhammesupi nibbindati; become disenchanted with the mind objects.
Manovinnanepi nibbindati; become disenchanted with wisdom attained through the mind.
Manosampasssepi nibbindati; become disenchanted with mind contact.
Yampitam manosampassapaccaya uppajjati vedhyitam; this sensual pleasure arises due to mind contact, whether pleasant or painful, or neither pleasant nor painful; become disenchanted with that pleasure.
Nibbindam virajjati; when one wearies of them, the sexual desires come to an end.
Viraka vimuccati; once the sexual desires are eliminated, the mind is free.
Vimuttisami vimuttamiti; when the mind is free, wisdom arises and one attains freedom.
The ariyasavaka, the noble disciples, realized that this is the end of jati (life)3, It is the end of sublime life; the burden is finished. There is no other burden. Imatavaca bhagava; the Great Lord had talked about this chapter of Dhamma
3Or rather; the end of the cycle of birth and death.
Uttamana te bhikkhu; all the monks were pleased.
Bhagavato pasitam apinantam; enjoying the Buddha’s maxim
Imasminca pana veyyakaranassami bhannamane; while the Great Lord was presenting his explanation, the thousand monks extricated themselves from all their defilements and let go of all attachments. This is the end of the Adittapariyayasutta
From now on I will follow the Pali text and explain it in Thai.
This Adittapariyayasutta reveals that the Great Lord knew well of the Jatila, the matted hair ascetics and their chief, Puranajatila, who was excessively absorbed in the worship of Fire. The Jatila were well respected by the people of Macottaraj whose king was known as King. Some of the Jatila were highly respected as teachers to the King. The Jatila always received plenty of offerings from the town people. It occurred to the Great Lord that he would like to give King Bimbisala a Blessing but what would be the best way to do this? He investigated the matter closely by means of his miraculous powers and decided to start by dealing first with the Jatila4.
4The Thai word translated here as ‘miraculous powers’ is yan and is derived from Pali naga (wisdom; insight, etc.). lt should not be confused with Thai chan, derived from Pali jhana.
The Buddha had to make them respect Him and chose to make them have faith in His Teaching by tormenting them. He brought them to King Bimbisara and had them swear a solemn vow that they were the Great Lord’s disciples so that the people of Rajakru would not doubt or fear Phra Samana Gotama. They would not be concerned about whether Gotama was greater than the Jatila or the Jatila greater than the Buddha. If they disagreed or were in any doubt, Parunajatila would declare that he was a savaka, a disciple of Phra Samana Gotama the Great Teacher. Having ascended and travelled through the air, Puranajatila came back down and bowed three times before the Great Lord, declaring himself to be the Buddha’s disciple. After the jatila made this public proclamation, King Bimbisara and all his retinue came to believe in, and to honour, Phra Samana Gotama, the Great Teacher.
(18) The Great Lord gave a Desana, a sermon to the twelve Nahuta (a vast number) of the King’s men who were assembled there. When the sermon ended, eleven Nahuta of the king’s men attained the four noble truths, the Magga-phala, and the rest of the men (one nahuta) was settled in trisaranakom.5
5Ie, in the threefold refuge: taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha.
(19) King Bimbisala offered Veluvana, the royal bamboo garden, to the Great Lord as his living quarters, the sangkigavasa. From that day on the Buddhist religion has been firmly established in the town of Rajakru.
Today we have heard the topic of hot objects from the Adittapariyayasutta, the Dhamma story about the elimination of hot objects. Hot objects are to be subdued by hot objects! The right rope is needed to tie the right knot.6 How can this be done? Heat, the fire of desire, the fire of anger, the fire of delusion, jati (birth), jara (old age), marana (death), soka (grief), parideva (lamentation), dukkha (bodily discomfort), domanasa (sorrow), upayasa (narrow mindedness), all must be subdued. This is the fruit.7
6Thai idiom: an eqivalent in English might be ‘to put the right man in the right job’.
7Thai/ Pali phala; the objective; the outcome.
(20) The heat caused by raga (passion), dosa (anger) and moha (delusion) is very significant. How to solve this problem? Where do they come from? They come from the eyes (cakkhu), from forms (rupa), from wisdom through sight8 and from contact.9 If they come from these sources then it is the original sources that we have to reform; there is no other way.
8Thai: ru tang chakkhu, ‘wisdom attained by means of the eyes’.
9Or ‘eye contact’. Thai: sam-pat, the sense of touch, feeling or contact. Properly, ‘eye contact’ is cakkhu-sam-pat (McFarland, 1944, Thai-English Dictionary, Stanford University Press, Stanford, p.851.
(21) One should not let one’s eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind become interested in the sights, sounds, odours, tastes, photthabba (tangible objects) and dhammaramana (mind-objects) that arise through contact with the six ayatana.
(22) If we could do just one thing, we should stop the mind, then all the heat would be eliminated. Once we stopped we would be disenchanted with, even be disgusted by:
sights, sounds, odours and tastes, the photthabba and dhammaramana;
the wisdom attained through the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind;
contact (sam-pat) with the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind.
One would be disenchanted with everything.10
10(Buea nai mot) or: “all disenchantment would end” (?)
(23) Then stop the mind at the center of the body, an intersection point where one line from the right to the left of the body meets with a line from the navel to the back. You will see a sphere like that of the sun or the moon. Stop the mind; remain tranquil. Once you know how to do it, you will have stopped. Enter the center of the center. Halt at one point, at the center of the center; go deeper, no turning back. Go deeper still at the center of the center, not to the right or left, nor up or down. At the center of the center, go deeper still; never turn back, go further.
(24) At the right mode one will see a transparent sphere that appears to be the size of the moon or the sun. That is the patthamamagga sphere, the beginning of the path to the four noble truths11 and Nibbana. Stop at the center of the center; always stay at the center. The sphere will arise where we stop. So sit tight at the center of the stopped sphere. When you attain the right state, you will reach the Sila sphere; it will appear to be the same size as the moon or the sun. Stop there at the center of the Sila sphere, at the center of the center; be firm. When you are in the right mode, you will reach the Samadhi sphere. Halt there at the center of the Samadhi sphere; in the right mode you will reach the Panna sphere. Halt at the Panna sphere and when you reach the right mode you will attain the Vimutti sphere. Stop there at the center of the Vimutti sphere, and in the right mode you will reach the Vimuttinanadassana sphere. Stop there at the center of the Vimuttinanadassana sphere. When you attain the right state you will see the refined human body. The abhijjha, byapada, and micchadhitti of the human body will have been eliminated, but they will remain at a more refined level.
11The original Thai does not have the four noble truths here; instead it has magga-phala-nibbana
(25) Stop the mind at the center of the refined human body. You will see the same sequence of spheres and you will attain the celestial body.12 abhijjha, byapada, and micchadhitti will be dissolved. Once you attain the celestial body, stop at the center as previously mentioned, and one will reach the Refined celestial body. Stop at the center of the Refined celestial body, and one will reach the Rupabrahma body and dissolve Lobha (greed), Dosa (anger), Moha (delusion) and leave only Raga, Dosa, and Moha, the delusion of the Rupabrahma body. Halt at the center of the Rupabrahma body, which is both coarse and refined. Then you will reach the Arupabrahma body, where Raga, Dosa, and Moha are all dissolved.
12The original translation has Dhibhayakaya here. The Thai is kay thip (ya); correct Pali spelling would be dibbakaya.
(26) Stop there at the center of Arupabrahma (formless) body which is both coarse and refined, then the Dhamma body will be attained.13 Upon reaching the Dhammakaya body, the kamaraganusaya, abhijjhanusaya, patigganusaya will be completely eliminated.14 The Dhammakaya body is Viragadhatu.15 Viragadhamma is both coarse and refined because it is mixed with coarse elements and is not yet the pure Viragadhamma and Viragadhatu but it has reached the boundary. Stop there at the center of the coarse and refined Dhammakaya. One will attain the Sotapanna Body which is both coarse and refined. Sakkayadhitti16, vicikicca and silabbataparamasa will have been eliminated.
Stop at the center of the Sotapanna-kaya. When one is in the right state, Phra Sakadagami – both coarse and refined – will be attained; coarse kamaraga and byapada will be ended.
13Ie, the Dhammakaya body.
14Recollection of sensual craving, covetousness and acquisitiveness.
15Viraga is dispassionateness; lack of desire.
16The heresy of individuality.
(27) Stop at the center of Phra Sakadagami body, both coarse and refined. When one is in the right state, one will attain the Phra Anagami body; refined kamaraga and byapada will be eliminated. Only ruparaga, aruparaga, mana, uddhacca, and abhijjha will be left. Halt there at the center of the Anagami body and you will reach the Phra Arahat, both coarse and refined: ruparaga, aruparaga, mana, uddhacca, and abhijjha will all be gone. When the Phra Arahat body is attained, in both its coarse and refined elements, this time it is the true and pure Viragadhatu Viragadhamma that is encountered. This is the end of the Buddhist mission; now you have learnt the Truth, the truth of Buddhism.
(28) Now that we have understood that this is the right process, we should go out and practice according to these principles. If we have the wrong principles, we will follow the wrong path and the result will not be magga-phala-nibbana. What is magga? What is phala? What is nibbana?
(29) The coarse Dhammakaya body, the coarse Gotrabhu body, the coarse Sotapanna body, the coarse Sakadagami body, and the coarse Anagami body are Magga and the refined ones are Phala. Now you know what is Magga and what is Phala, then where is nibbana? It is the sphere that makes the Gotrabhu, Sotapanna, Sakadagami, Anagami and Arahat bodies possible. Nibbana is here: if there is no sphere that makes the Arahat body possible there can be no way to nibbana, The Dhamma sphere that makes the Arahat body possible is viragadhatu viragadhamma.
(30) Nibbana is viragadhatu viragadhamma: when we reach the border line it will magnitize or attract us to itself. It is the same as when a rich human is attracted to riches, and the poor to poverty. The poor tend to be together. The drunkard associates with drunkards; opium smoker attracts opium smokers and they stay together. Monks attract other monks, Samaneras, novices call out to other novices. It is the same for Upasaka and Upasika. It is all the same; actually it is the most important ayatana, the magnetic ayatana such as lokayatana (the worldly sphere).
31) In the world of the senses, the person fascinated by the sensual will be attracted to live on the Sensual plane; that is kamabhava. The same thing happens on the Rupa plane; the person fascinated by form will live under the control of the form absorptions (rupajhana). On the arupa plane, the person fascinated by formlessness (arupajhana) will gather together those of like minds [in the formless angelic realm]. Atthi bhikkhave salayatanam: Nibbana, monks, is one of the six sense bases (ayatana); Nibbana attracts only those who have eliminated the kilesas and attained the level of arahant.17 [If] you have understood this principle you have laid the true foundations for your freedom.
17Literally; only those who have attained Nibbana.
(32) What I have said today is in accordance with the Pali text of the Adittapariyayasutta in summary and illustration. This is a suitable time to end. Etena Saccavajjena: with the truth referring to the practice of Dhamma from the beginning to the end. Sada Sotti Bhavantu Te: may all of you who have assembled here be happy and may all your wishes come true. I have spent an appropriate time in giving this sermon and this is the time to stop. Evam.
Phra Paramattha: Akusalacitta
Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato sammasambuddhassa
Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato sammasambuddhassa
Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato sammasambuddhassa
Tattha vuttabhidhammattha catudha paramatthato
Cittam cetasikam rupam nibbanamiti sappathati
The7th sermon: October 1st, 1953
(1) On this occasion I will discuss with you the ethical subject, the Dhammigatha, the highest ideal, the absolute truth from the Phra Paramattha scriptures. I will begin by setting in order, for your understanding, the Pali text as it unfolds into the Siamese language.
(2) The Phra Paramattha scripture begins with tattha vuttabhidhammattha. The Abidhamma scriptures organised Paramattha into four categories, namely: citta (mind), cetasika (mental concomitant), rupa (bodily form) and nibbana (enlightenment).
(3) There are three collections of Buddhist Scriptures, the Vinaya Pitaka, the Suttanta Pitaka and the Paramattha Pitaka. You have probably heard quite a lot from the Phra Vinaya Pitaka and the Phra Sutta Pitaka but rarely from the Phra Paramattha Pitaka.
(4) Today I will show you Phra Paramattha, a favorite issue at Wat Pak Nam.
(5) Listen hard to the subject and acquire some experience. Try to understand, remembering the issues because they are monastic functions. This is the Dhamma uttered by the Lord Buddha. Phra Paramattha was presented for the first time to the Buddha’s Mother and to the deities in Tavatimsa. It took a full three months to complete.
(6) One morning the Great Lord gave an omen by giving a sermon on the Abhidhamma Patika after the round of alms gathering in Utarakurudavipa and partook of his meal in the Himavana forest.
(7) Phra Sariputta, who was the chief disciple of the Great Lord, and who served him every day, graciously listened to the sermon and introduced it to humanity at a later stage.
(8) After the Great Lord had finished His sermon on Paramattha, He came down from Tavatimsa, the celestial world to Sanggasanakorn. He displayed his supernatural powers by opening up the three realms, the celestial realm, the human realm and the hell realm. One could see from one into the others.
9) This miracle left most creatures wishing to be born as Buddhas, and this included the Black and Red ants. This is one of the strange curiosities related to the Buddha, and what you will hear further today from the Paramattha Pitaka will be your most wholesome Kusala.
(10) According to the beginning of the Pali text: vuttabhidhammattha.
catudha paramatthato cittam
cetasikam rupam nibbanamiti sappathati, which means;
Paramattha is classified into four elements i.e: citta (mind,) cetasika the (mental concomitants), rupa (form) and nibbana (enlightenment); only these four elements are in the Paramattha Pitaka.
(11) Remember this. There are altogether eighty nine or one hundred and twenty one citta spheres. They are made up of fifty two Cetasika spheres, twenty eight Rupa spheres, four Mahabhutarupa spheres, the primary elements and twenty four Upadhayarupa, the derivatives spheres. Nibbana can be divided into three spheres: the defilement (kilesa) sphere, the aggregate (khandha) sphere and the dhatu sphere.
(12) Today I will put these mental issues in order. The eighty nine or one hundred and twenty one Citta spheres are grouped in the following way: (12.1) twelve Akusalacitta (unwholesomeness), (12.2) eighteen Ahetukacitta (causelessness), (12.3) twenty four Kamavacaracitta, (belonging to the sense sphere), (12.4) fifteen Rupavacaracitta (form plane), (12.5) twelve Arupavacaracitta, (formless plane), (12.6) and eight Lokuttaracitta (supramundane).
(13) This makes eighty nine spheres in all; remember them well. Twelve Akusalacitta and eighteen Ahetukacitta, makes thirty citta spheres. Thirty plus twenty four Kamavacaracitta arrives at fifty four spheres, plus fifteen Rupavacaracitta makes sixty nine. The sixty nine spheres plus twelve Arupavacaracitta make eighty one citta, including the eight Loguttaracitta this comes to eighty nine citta in total. This is the simple case.
(14) To elaborate, each of the eight Lokuttaracitta spheres is supported by five Jhana, Subtracting eight spheres from the total of eighty nine the balance is eighty one. Eight times five are forty. Add this forty to the prior balance of eighty one and the result is one hundred and twenty one. Now that you have learnt this much about citta. I will explain it further and use this as a foundation.
(15) From now on I will elaborate more about Paramatthagatha for your understanding. This is because Paramattha is the core of Dhamma. What we thought we knew is not the core. It is difficult and hard to understand. You must try hard to comprehend this subtle topic. It is not just anything; it is a very delicate subject.1 A person who is heavily afflicted by defilements, or who has coarse insight, will not understand. Compare this to the construction of a neat seam [in needlework]. You will need a thin needle with fine thread. In the same way, to understand this refined Paramattha pitaka, one must have refined insight. Be alert and attentive.
(16) The twelve Akusalacitta spheres are classified into three categories: eight spheres of Lobhamula, covetousness or greed, two spheres of Dosamula, anger, two spheres of Mohamula (delusion or ignorance), making a total of twelve Akusalacitta spheres. This applies to everyone in the entire world, whether they are monks, novices, laymen or laywomen; if they do wrong, it is caused by these twelve spheres and nothing else. We are led into wrong-doing by these twelve spheres of Akusalacitta. We must learn and understand.
(17) Eight of the Lobhacitta spheres are:
(a) Citta that arises consisting of enormous pleasure, accompanied by false view and as the result of our own exertions;
(b) Citta that consists of enormous pleasure accompanied by false view and that is affected by external urging or persuasion;
(c) Citta that consists of enormous pleasure, not accompanied by false view, arising as the result of our own exertions;
(d) Citta that consists of enormous pleasure, unaccompanied by false view, and that is affected by external urging or persuasion;
(e) Citta that consists of moderate pleasure, accompanied by false view and that is the result of our own exertions;
(f) Citta that consists of moderate pleasure accompanied by false view and that is affected by external urging or persuasion;
(g) Citta that consists of moderate pleasure, unaccompanied by false view, and that arises as the result of our own exertions;
(h) Citta that consists of moderate happiness, unaccompanied by false view, and that is affected by external urging or persuasion.
(18) This is one level of the eight spheres of Lobha (covetousness). Anger mind has two spheres, one arises as the result of our own exertions, the other as the result of external urging or persuasion. Scattered (indulgent) mind also has two spheres; one arises from doubt, the other by urging or persuasion from incoherence.2 Altogether there are twelve [of these] spheres. These are the twelve Akusalacitta spheres that constitute immoral consciousness. Is this hard to understand? It is, indeed, hard to comprehend just as a man sits down to eat his meal, one spoon at a time and soon gets full. Another man sits down and swallows a mouthful of air; he finishes with an empty stomach. The two incidents provide a profound example. Listening to Paramattha is like eating air; there is no flesh and no skin. It may not be very filling but be patient because the taste is marvelous.
(19) The first Citta consists of abundant pleasure, enormous pleasure accompanied by false view and is the result of our own exertions. How does this Citta arise? Now, it has taste; it is a little tasty. We must investigate. If it happens that our Citta is filled with enormous pleasure, accompanied by false view and as the result of our own exertions, we must consider what this false view is. The false view is caused by the fact that we enjoy the wrong doing. For example, we see a lot of wealth which is not ours, it belongs to others, we knew that but we desperately want to have it for ourselves.
It may be a great deal of wealth, enough to live on for the rest of our lives; consider an amount in the hundreds of thousands, or even millions. When we see this great wealth we never think of keeping it for ourselves, of stealing it. But we see it when the owner is not around and we feel so happy; this is how the enormous pleasure arises. Citta, the mind, brings about this great pleasure; we would like to take it, this great wealth, bank notes of a hundred thousand baht – a hundred one thousand Baht bank notes – should we or shouldn’t we? This is [how] false view [arises]. If we take it, we will become rich. Once the false view arises without urging or persuasion, we take it, snatch it, and hide it, as we wish. We take because we want to; nobody knows; nobody sees; we have got away with it.
(20) This is how the Citta sphere arises that consists of enormous pleasure accompanied by false view. Since we know that it is not ours and that we are stealing what belongs to others, we are doing wrong; it arises as the result of our own exertions, without external urging or persuasion.3 We are not in a forest or anywhere private, or in darkness; once we have taken property that belongs to other, even if it is not a hundred thousand baht but only one or two satang that belongs to others.4 The result is the same, especially when the pleasure arises from taking others’ property, it belongs to the Lobha (greed) sphere and is the first of the akusalacitta. We will suffer in hell. It causes suffering and ensures that one will lose merit. This is the first sphere.
3The original translation has “guided or stimulated”
4A satang is a copper coin worth only one hundredth of a baht
(21) The second Citta sphere consists of enormous pleasure and is also accompanied by false view; it arises due to external urging or persuasion.5 This time we see a lump of gold or a gold chain with the value of a hundred thousand baht. [Perhaps] it belongs to the government and has a price of a hundred thousand Baht. It seems not to belong to anyone that maybe someone has stolen it, and hidden it, and we just happened to see it. It might have been dropped accidentally and we have just spotted it. We know this is an unusual thing [to happen], that it is propably valuable. We are afraid to take the government’s property, and of getting caught, being punished and going to jail. So [instead] we tell a friend about the treasure, its location, and ask for advice about what to do. The friend might answer, “take it; why not?” The friend encourages us to take it and we take it. This is the enticement, persuasion or encouragement to do wrong, another sphere of akusalacitta, the immoral consciousness.6 This is an important [aspect of] akusala; lobhamula arises from lobha (greed), the most dangerous defilement. This is not just about robbery and stealing; all wrong doing is demerit. It is important to understand this example of the mental sphere of akusalacitta, immoral consciousness.
5The original translation has “by being guided or stimulated”
(22) The third citta sphere consists of enormous pleasure, is not accompanied by false view and arises as the result of our own exertions. It is the enjoyment of seeing the precious possessions of others, the valuable property, money, jewelry or [expensive] clothing of any kind. All possessions are included, even if they are worth only one satang.7 We see that the owner watches over his possessions and protects them. We find one and a half kilograms of gold, a large, heavy sum of money that would last us throughout our entire lives; or we could invest it. If we do not take it we will remain poor, but if we take it we would be settled nicely.
7A satang is a copper coin worth only one hundredth of a baht.
(22.1) We see nothing wrong for it would be to our benefit. If we don’t do it there will be no benefit. We hope we can escape the bad consequences of stealing: we can’t help it if we are poor and are compelled to take it. To take others’ gold because of our poverty, without any enticement or persuasion, setting our own mind to take others belongings, knowing full well that it is a sin that has bad consequences. Akusala, is sin. Even though not accompanied by false view, it is still a sin. We know that the kamma will be bad but we are desperately poor so we must do it. Although we are brave and without shame, it is akusalacitta just the same. Akusala; to steal, with or without false view, this is another sphere, the third sphere.
(22.2)The fourth sphere is the same. Citta consists of enormous pleasure, not accompanied by false view. It is a similar story to the gold case, and arises from enticement and persuasion. This time we see a diamond worth millions; it is not ours, what is our decision? When will we see it again? Being afraid of the danger of getting caught and being put in jail, again we tell our friends about it.
(22.3) The friends say, “why not take it? Don’t be stupid”. We follow the friend’s advice and steal the diamond. This is lobhamula, the roots of greed accompanied by enticement and persuasion, the fourth of the eight spheres.
(23) The fifth Citta sphere consists of moderate pleasure accompanied by false view and arises as the result of our own exertions. The sphere arises from moderate, not great, pleasure – take it or leave it – just moderate pleasure with the same action (pattern).8 This is the fifth citta.
(24) The sixth Citta consists of moderate pleasure accompanied by false view, with enticement and persuasion. It proceeds in a similar way to that already described except that the pleasure is not so great. This Citta arises from moderate pleasure, such as when we see gold or diamonds, and when we are subjected to enticement or persuasion. This is the sixth sphere.
(25) The seventh Citta sphere arises from moderate pleasure, is not accompanied by false view, and arises as the result of our own exertions, just as in the previous description. This is the seventh sphere.
(26) The eighth sphere is accompanied by moderate pleasure but not by false view. It is affected by external enticements and by the urge to succeed. This is the eighth sphere.
(26.1) The prior four spheres and the last four are no different; Citta arises both from great pleasure and from moderate pleasure. Now you know all of the eight spheres; they are here inside our bodies. It happens to us. We have met them without knowing them. We will learn today what they are. Now it starts to be tasty, but very light, if we know more it would be tasteful. I have taught you the primary stage. Within the immoral consciousness of Akusalacitta there are two Dosa spheres; hatred and anger.9
9Another translation of the Pali term akusala is ‘discerning’ or ‘skillful’. Thus akusalacitta can be interpreted as cognizing in an unskillful (ie, not in accordance with dhamma) manner (See Rhys Davids and Steele, Pali-English Dictionary, p.223.)
(27) Dosacitta sphere number one arises independently. How? How does it arise independently? For example, whether we visit places or we stay at home, without any provocation or incitement at all, the citta feels angry. This sphere is Dosacitta; the anger arises without any cause; one just loses one’s temper without anybody saying or doing anything. There are various effects of becoming angry; [for example] when one becomes angry, one cannot stand any criticism. Nobody knows what is it all about; it is anger in the mind; this is anger that arises independently, without provocation; it is just a matter of losing ones temper. This is the hateful Dosacitta.
(28) The second Dosacitta arises from enticement or persuasion; somebody causes the anger. The husband provokes the wife; the wife enrages the husband, the neighbors, anybody. Dosacitta does not arise independently but is caused by somebody. Being shown a disliked visible object, or a disliked audible object, or any hateful olfactory or taste object. This is how ange is caused by enticement or persuasion.The two Citta are equally bad; one arises by oneself the other arises from enticement or persuasion. Here is the indulgent [or scattered] sphere, the profoundly confused mind (citta).
(29) There are two kinds of scattered mind.10 The first indulgent sphere arises from doubt, hesitation and indecision. One cannot decide what to do. In the running of one’s household, one never makes any decisions. Nor those not directly involved in the running of the household; there is always a lack of indecision and hesitation.
(30) This is what is called indulgent citta, never being certain, neither with government work, norwith private work, an uncertainty about what to do. Should it be the fields or the orchards? We are not certain; never making a decision, not even one. When the time comes to give an order one still can not make the decision; one still hesitates. Then one can do nothing and is lost. Indulgent Citta arises; one hesitates; when one cannot make a decision even though there can only be one of two results – right or wrong. Sometimes right, sometimes wrong, because one cannot make a decision. For example we are preserving sila (the first precept, to abstain from killing) when we happen to face a large animal. We could kill it and keep its flesh which would provide food for a long period of time. Or we are faced with a fortune of high value (the second precept to abstain from taking others’ property. We cannot make a decision about whether to keep our precepts or keep our lives. To steal or kill or not to steal or kill? When the second option means that we remain poor. Only by stealing and killing the prey can we avoid starving and being poor.
Nor being able to come to a decision, the mind becomes confused, affected by scattered mind. Any action made under the power of scattered mind will turn out wrong; only occasionally will things turn out right. But here we have the opportunity to adopt kusalacitta instead of Akusalacitta, not unwholesome but wholesome consciousness. We identify the hesitation involved in [the inability to] make decisions as [instances of] scattered (indulgent) mind.
(31) The second Indulge mind sphere involves any action affected by distraction. A man who is half good and half mad strikes his sibling, who just happened to be there, resulting in the sibling’s death. The man just happened to be in a bad mood. The action is done through distraction. There is no intention to kill, but the result is that the child dies. The man is caught and sent to prison. This is [an example of] an action of distraction by one who is caught up in the indulgent citta sphere.
(32) This second sphere is very important; one must be cautious because it always leads to the wrong path. The twelve citta spheres keep us under their control; their effects lead us to rebirth in the four Apaya, the unhappy existence. We are brought low and on a bad level because of these twelve citta spheres. We must have them under our command, and must clearly learn about them. Once we know their faces, their boundaries, they cannot bully us anymore. When we do not know them very well they can hurt us at their whim. They are inside us, nowhere else; they are the flesh of Paramattha’s evil side, the flesh and blood of Abhidhamma pitaka – the twelve citta spheres.
(33) What I have talked about in the limited time available is the [issue of] the twelve spheres. The rest will be talked some other time that is: Ahetukacitta (causelessness), Kamvoracaracitta belongs to the sense sphere; Rupavacaracitta, Arupavacaracitta (?).
After that I will talk about the twenty eight (visible objects) Rupa, twenty four Mahabhuta rupa, twenty four Upadhaya rupa then Nibbana. Make your self fully conversant with the four elements. Here at Wat Paknam, we have classes in the study of these four elements for monks and novices. The subject was chosen for today’s sermon for the benefit of the monks, novices, upasaka and upasika.
(34) The teacher of Paramattha Pitaka at Wat Paknam is Phra Thip Parinya, who has the necessary knowledge. The teacher who teaches Paramattha cannot be just anybody, because the subject is profound. The teacher must know how to answer all the questions that a pupil might ask. All of you Upasaka and Upasika, please give your full attention in studying this subject.
(35) Paramattha Pitaka is the flesh and blood of the Buddha’s teachings. The vinaya pitaka consists of just the monastic regulations on ethical behaviour as it relates to action and speech.
(36) The sutanta pitaka is the bench-mark, setting examples of how to achieve happiness, how to disengage oneself from the cycle of suffering, and how to attain Nibbana. That is the purpose of the sutanta pitaka. It is not the flesh and blood of the Dhamma. Paramattha Pitaka is the core of the Dhamma in that it was dissolved, dislocated, not to arise for a [long] period of time.
(37) The teaching of Paramattha in Thailand has been only rudimentary, only superficial. This is because of Mara; the obstructions caused the study not to be carried down to the core of the Dhamma. If there is no one who knows the truth, the absolute truth; if there is just a skin-deep knowledge, then Buddhism might come to an end. This is the reason why all of you monks and novices must pay attention and dedicate all of your efforts to this Paramatthagatha, the Abhidhamma pitaka, and study this basket of higher doctrine, until you are fully aware of the knowledge [it contains]. So it is advantageous to be born a Buddhist. What I have discussed was translated from the Pali into Thai and presented according to the time available.
(38) Etena saccavajjena; with the power of the truth I have referred to the practice from beginning to end. Sada sotthi bhavantu te; may all happiness and well-being be with you who have participated here. My presentation should end here; Evam. I would like to end the teaching now.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammasambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagax ato arahato sammasarnbuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sarnmasarnbuddhassa
Yada have patubhavanti dhamma
atapino jhayato brahmanassa
athassa kankha vapayanti sabba
yato pajanati sahetudhammam
Yada have patubhavanti dhamma
atapino jhayato brahmanassa
athassa kankha vapayanti sabba
yato khayam paccayanam avedi
Yada have patubhavanti dhamma
atapino jhayato brahmanassa
vidhupayam itthati marasenam
21st Discourse: March B.E. 2497 (1954)
1 Udanagatha1 A Solemn Utterance of the Lord Buddha
(1) Now, I will explain the meaning of an “Udanagatha” that the Buddha himself uttered, and that concerns nothing but the Dhamma. The Buddha uttered the aforementioned verse, the Udanagatha, from his own mouth to indicate that the Dhamma is miraculous, that the Dhamma is wonderful. So from now on, all of you, both householders and priests, please pay attention to this teaching of Udanagatha which was uttered from the heart of the Buddha.
(2) It appears in Pali as “Yada have patubhavanti dhamma atapino jhayato brahmanassa athassa kankkha vapayanti sabba yato pajanati sahetudhammam” which translates into English as “Any Dhamma that appears to the Brahmin who has been concentrating will be undoubtedly clear to him since he knows that Dbamma originates from the cause. When a Brahmin has been concentrating, he can naturally eliminate the darkness as if the sun arrives bringing brightness to the sky”. This is the profound Dhamma which is not easily understood. It is difficult to attain.
(3) The Brahmin should realize all Dhamma that appears to him. The Dhamma that appears to the Brahmin with all its characteristics complete, as though the rising Sun has eliminated the darkness and left the sky bright, is the main and significant portion. Which part of the Dhamma, which sphere, which piece, or which portion of it is the Dhamma that appears to the Brahmin? If one does not know which sphere of the Dhamma it is, he will get nowhere. The Udanagatha is profound; it is not simple. It happens that this has to be explained briefly and not comprehensively. This is Udanagatha, the Dhamma that appears to the Brahmin. Being a human being, both man and woman, whether a householder or a priest, does anyone have Dhamma in his mind? Does it always exist? Some do [have it] and some do not. One in whose mind the Dhamma does not exist can be compared with a blind person. One for whom the Dhamma does exist can be compared with someone with normal vision. The Buddha mentioned this Dhamma as ditthammasukhavihari;2 the Dhamma as current happiness. The Dhamma appears to oneself. Someone who has encountered (the) Dhammakaya will always have Dhamma appear to oneself. Those who have not encountered Dhammakaya will seldom have Dhamma appear to them. The Dhamma that appears will stick to oneself. It will stick to the mind as bright as the shining Sun during the day if one practises constantly. It will always be bright. However, the mind has to be absorbed in the Dhamma. If not, then the brightness will disappear. This can be compared with a lamp. The smaller lamp will originate less brightness than the bigger one. In the same way, Dhamma also has a variety of spheres and various levels of brightness.
(4) Where is Dhamma? Wherever a human being is, Dhamma also exists. All human beings have Dhamma. This is called the Dhamma-sphere that makes the human body possible, which is purified3, and is the size of the yolk of a chicken egg. The minds of those who can attain the Dhamma-sphere will stick to the Dhamma-sphere that makes the human body possible. That is when we say that the Dhamma appears to those persons.
3Or; ‘bright and innocent’.
(5) The mind of the refined human body will seize the centre of the Dhamma-sphere that makes the refined human body possible, which is double the size of the yolk of a chicken’s egg. That is to say that the Dhamma has appeared to that refined human body. If it was the Dibbakaya, the mind would seize the centre of the Dhamma-sphere that makes the Dibbakaya possible. If it did not seize the Dhamma-sphere, the Dhamma-sphere would not be seen clearly. That is to say, the Dhamma would not appear. If the Dhamma does appear, the Dhamma-sphere will appear to be three times the size of the yolk of a chicken’s egg. The refined Dibbakaya will see the Dibbakaya-sphere that makes the refined Dibbakaya possible. The size will be four times the size of the yolk of a chicken’s egg. It always appears bright to the mind. That is to say the Dhamma appears to the refined Dibbakaya, The Rupabrahmakaya‘s mind seizes the centre of the Dhamma-sphere that makes the Rupabrahmakaya possible that makes it crystal clear, that makes it five times the size of the yolk of a chicken’s egg and that purifies it. That is to say the Dhamma appears to the Rupabrahmakaya. The refined Rupabrahmakaya will see the Dhamma-sphere that makes the refined Rupabrahmakaya possible: the sphere is clear, six times the size of the yolk of a chicken’s egg, that always seizes the mind, and that is bright. That is to say the Dhamma appears to the refined Rupabrahmakaya. The Arupabrahmakaya‘s mind seizes the Dhamma-sphere that makes the Arupabrahmakaya possible, that is seven times the size of the yolk of a chicken’s egg and that always appears bright. That is to say the Dhamma appears to the Arupabrahmakaya. The refined Arupabrahmakaya‘s mind seizes to the Dhamma-sphere that makes the refined Arupabrahmakaya possible, that is eight times the size of the yolk of a chicken’s egg, and that always appears bright. That is to say the Dhamma appears to the refined Arupabrahmakaya.
(6) The sphere that makes the Dhammakaya possible, which is the mind of the Dhammakaya, always stops at the centre. Thus, it is said that Dhamma appears to the Dhammakaya. The refined Dhammakaya sees the sphere that makes the refined Dhammakaya possible; the sphere will have a diameter of five wah. The Dhammakayasota sees the sphere that makes the Dhammakayasota possible; this sphere will have a diameter of five wah and sticks to the mind of the Dhammakayasota. Thus the Dhamma appears to the Dhammakayasota, The mind of the refined Dhammakayasota, the Dhammakayasakadagami, the refined Dhammakayasakadagami, the Dhammakayanagami, the refined Dhammakayanagami, the Dhammakayarahatta, and the refined Dhammakayarahatta are always stopped at this sphere. Thus, it is said that the Dhamma appears. This means that the Dhamma will not appear to those who cannot see the sphere. That is [for them] the Dhamma disappears.
(7) According to the Pali, “Yada have patubhavanti dhamma atapino jhayato brahmanassa” which translates as, “Whenever, the Dhamma appears to the Brahmin who concentrates with mindfulness, he will be able to see the Dhamma-sphere. That is to say the Dhamma appears to the Brahmin. “athassa kankha vapayanti sabba”, then the Brahmin’s doubtfulness will disappear. All of us are curious about the Dhamma. Where can we find the Dhamma? So let the mind be halted at the centre of the sphere located at the centre of human body. It may take some time for the mind to be in the right mode. If one goes elsewhere searching for the greater Dbamma, one will get nowhere. Ultimately, the Dhamma is to be found within oneself. “yato pajanati sahetudhammam”; hence, the Brahmin is undoubtedly clear that Dhamma originates from the root cause.
(8) How does the Dhamma originate from the root cause? Considering the Dhamma-sphere that makes the human body possible, which is as clear as a mirror, and has the size of the yolk of a chicken’s egg, this Dhamma originates from the root cause. What is the cause? When a human being purifies the body, speech, and mind, he will reincarnate in the next life as a human being with the same Dhamma. The Dhamma originates from the root cause by means of this act. The act is being performed by a human being: if he (or she) does not completely purify the body, speech, and mind, he will not be reincarnated as a human being. Instead, he will come back in his next life as a demon4, a beast5, or a hell being6. The Dhamma, then, will deteriorate, becoming black, muddy, and blue. The creature cannot see the Dhamma. If so it would realize and would avoid going to hell. Instead, it would become a human being. This is how the Dhamma-sphere makes the human body possible through the purification of body, speech and mind. In the same way, the Dhamma-sphere of the refined human body is more refined, twice the size of an egg yolk. Both coarse human body and refined human body are combined as one in order to maintain the purification of body, speech, and mind.
5di-rat-chan: beast; animal (domestic) quadraped
(9) When the body, speech, and mind are purified without contamination, then one should persevere as a novice, upasaka or upasika. Practice almsgiving, morality, learning, liberality and wisdom by performing alms-giving occasionally and affordably, maintaining the advanced precepts in three ways i.e. body, speech, and mind without affecting anyone else. To do this, on the Buddhist holy day, one should listen to the preaching of the Doctrine just as the novices, upasaka, and upasika do. This action is called “sutta” (learning). “Jaka” is when one has done something that has unintentionally disrupted the other. Then one should be careful not to hold grudges not to become distressed. To live together and get along well with each other in a big group, people must be forgiving and generous with one another. “Panna” is the wisdom to know right from wrong, and what is decent from what is indecent. One who is an adult, or superior, should be considerate to the young or inferior. Conversely, the inferior or young should pay respect to the older or superior. Each has to play his own role according to his responsibility, year of standing, age, or virtue. In this way, when the time comes for the disintegration of the elements of existence for the human beings of this plane, the Dhamma-sphere that makes the Dibbakaya possible, and that is three times the size of the yolk of a chicken’s egg, will emerge. In the same manner, the Dhamma-sphere is even better for both coarse and refined Dibbakaya.
(10) All are still caught within the round of existence on the sensual plane. Happiness is insufficient: one has to try harder. When body, speech, and mind are purified then the precepts are also purified. The acts of alms-giving, observing the precepts, hearing the preaching of the Doctrine, generosity, and wisdom will also be perfectly done, and then the jhana (absorption) will be cultivated. Halt the mind at the centre of the Dhamma-sphere that makes the human body possible; when the mind is in the right mode, one will see the Pathamajjhana– sphere (first-absorption sphere) with a diameter of eight cubits. That is called the Pathamajjhana– sphere (first-absorption sphere). Remain tranquil at the centre of the pathamajjhana– sphere and when the mind is in the right mode, the dutiyajjhana-sphere (second-absorption sphere), which also has a diameter of eight cubits, will appear. When the mind is in the right mode, stop the mind at the centre of the dutiyajjhana-sphere and the tatiyajjhana-sphere (third-absorption sphere) which also has a diameter of eight cubits, will appear. When the mind is in the right mode, stop the mind at the centre of the tatiyajjhana-sphere and the catutthajjhana-sphere (fourth-absorption sphere) which also has a diameter of eight cubits, will appear. These four spheres are the pathamajjhana, dutiyajjhana, tatiyajjhana, and catutthajjhana absorptions. The power of the four absorptions, the purification of body, speech and mind, alms-giving, precepts, listening to the teaching of the Doctrine, generosity, and wisdom is the cause of the Dhamma that makes the Rupabrahmakaya, with a diameter five times the size of the yolk of a chicken’s egg, possible,. It is the same with the coarse and refined Rupabrahmakaya.
(11) Furthermore, if the mind of the human body and the mind of the Rupabrahmakaya remain at the centre of the Dhamma-sphere that makes the Rupabrahmakaya possible, both coarse and refined, and when the mind is in the right mode, it will become clear that there is an even higher absorption. Remain tranquil at the centre of the catutthajjhana (fourth absorption), and when the mind is in the right mode, there will appear the akasanancayatanajjhana (absorption in the base of infinite space) which is eight cubits in diameter). The Rupabrahmakaya cannot enter, but there exists the Arupabrahmakaya, The mind of Arupabrahmakaya remains at the centre of akasanancayatana (base of infinite space). When the mind is in the right mode, vinnanancayatana (the base of infinite consciousness) can be clearly seen and originates from the midst of the vacuous element, with a diameter of eight-cubits. The mind, both coarse and refined, remains still at the centre of the cognitive element. When the mind is in the right mode, akincannayatana (the sphere of Nothingness) will be seen, with a diameter of eight cubits, in a refined state. The mind of the Arupabrahmakaya remains still at the centre of the refined Cognitive Element. When the mind is in the right mode, what is seen at the centre of the refined Cognitive Element is neither perception nor non-perception. This is called nevesannanasannayatana, the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception. These are known as the “ariipajj hanas”, the absorptions of the Formless Sphere. The Dhamma-sphere expands until it appears to be eight times the size of the yolk of a chicken’s egg. So it is understood that Dhamma creates by the cause. The cause is action. Action is done to a higher improvement.7
7These three short sentences do not appear to be missing from the cd-rom version.
12) The mind of the Arupabrahmakaya remains still at the centre of the Dhamma-sphere that makes the human body possible. When the mind is in the right mode, look into nevesannanasannayatana, the refined Dhamma-sphere. Then a Sila-sphere is seen with the dimension of one span (around 25 centimeters) in diameter, equal to the Moon and the Sun. Remain at the centre of the Sila-sphere. When the mind is in the right mode, a Samadhi-sphere is seen that has a diameter of one span. Remain at the centre of the Samadhi-sphere. When the mind is in the right mode, a Panna-sphere will be seen that has a diameter of one span. Stop at the centre of the Panna-sphere. When the mind is in the right mode, a Vimutti-sphere will be seen that has a diameter of one span. Remain at the centre of the Vimutti-sphere. When the mind is in the right mode, a Vimuttinanadassana-sphere will be seen that has a diameter of one span. Remain at the centre of the Vimuttinanadassana-sphere. When the mind is in the right mode, the body of Dhamma will be seen as a Buddha image with a lotus-bud topknot, and it will be as clear as looking in a mirror. The lap width will be in proportion. The biggest will be five wah while the smallest will be not more than one span. The body of Dhamma will appear in each case and it will be known that Dhamma has been the cause. The cause of action has occurred, the cause of Sila, Samadhi, Panna, Vimutti, and Vimuttinanadassana that can enter also into the body of Dhamma or Dhammakaya. This can be clearly seen. Dhammakayagotabhu, Dhammakayasota both coarse and refined, Dhammakayasakadagami both coarse and refined can be developed consecutively in the same way until reaching the Dhammakayarahatta. When Dhamma appears like this, the Brahmin knows that Dhamma originated from the cause, the cause of this action. If there is no action, the cause will not be activated. So the action must be done in order that the cause will occur. If you want the Dhamma then activate the cause. Without the cause, Dhamma will not happen.
(13) In the second “gatha” (verse), “Yada have patubhavanti Dhamma atapino jhayato brahmanassa athassa kankha vapayanti sabba yato khayam paccayanam avedi“, whenever phenomena (Dhamma) appear to the Brahmin who is observing diligently8, all the Brahmin’s doubtfulness will diminish.
8Original translation has “concentrating with mindfulness”
The fact is clear without doubt. “Yato khayam paccayanam avedi“; this is because the Brahmin knows all factors of all things. This is significant. The Brahmin has learned about extinction in order to develop himself to the Dhammakayarahatta. It has been clearly seen and understood because he has seen the Dhamma-sphere that makes the human body possible. The human body cannot be developed because of the malevolence, greed, covetousness, and wrong view that are controlling the Dhamma that makes the human body possible, in both its coarse and refined aspects. And what about the Dibbakaya? Because its ground is in greed, hatred, and delusion, the Dibbakaya is controlled by these factors in both its coarse and refined aspects. And what about the Rupabrahmakaya, in both its coarse and refined aspects? Because its ground is in lust, hatred, and delusion, the Rupabrahmakaya is being controlled by these factors in both its coarse and refined aspects. And what about the Arupabrahmakaya? Because its ground is in sensual lust, irritation, and ignorance, the Arupabrahmakaya is controlled by these factors, in both its coarse and refined aspects, and cannot yet escape from this realm. The Dhammakaya is also due to the fact that false view of individuality (sakkayaditthi), uncertainty (vicikiccha) adherence to rules and rituals (silabhataparamasa) are fetters that prevent the detachment necessary for [attainment of] the Gotabhu-puggala, in both its coarse and refined aspects. When reaching the Dhammakayasota, lust and malevolence control both its coarse and the refined aspects. The Dhammakayasakadagami, both coarse and refined, is controlled by lust and malevolence. The Dhammakayasakadakagami is not yet finalized. When reaching the coarse and refined hammakayanagami, the higher fetters – which are greed of fine-material existence (Ruparaga), greed of immaterial existence (Aruparaga), pride (Mana), distraction (Uddhacca), and ignorance (Avijja) – are factors that prevent access to the Dhammakayarahatta. Perseverance allows access to the Dhammakayarahatta by way of Sila, Samadhi, Panna, Vimutti, and Vimuttinanadassana. Having attained the stage of Dhammakayarahatta, and having detached oneself from the greed of fine-material-existence, the greed of immaterial existence, pride, distraction, and ignorance, this is called, “khinasavo“9, one who claims to have entirely destroyed all defilements. Neither canker of sense-desire (Kamasava), canker of becoming (Bhavasava), canker of ignorance (Avijjasava), nor canker of views or speculation (Ditthasava) exists in the Dhammakayarahatta. It is clearly seen that, “yato khayam paccayasnam avedi“, the Brahmin knows the extinction of all factors. There is no factor that can become attached [to him]. So [he] becomes an Arahanta, he who is said in Buddhism to be delivered through destruction [of the cankers].
(14) Once this principal is understood, it can be seen that the third verse also confirms it: “yada have patubhavanti dhamma atapino jhayato brahmanassa“; when Dhamma appears to the Brahmin who is observing with diligence, “vidhupayam itthati marasenam“, the Brahmin can destroy Mara and his army, “surova obhasayamantalikkhanti“, as though the Sun rises to eliminate the dark, bringing brightness to the sky. This is how the Arahanta appears, always shining like the sun during the day. When there is no Arahanta, there is only the darkness. If an Arahanta exists, there can be no darkness. Since the Dhamma-sphere is perfectly full, the Dhamma-sphere that makes the Arahanta possible has a diameter of twenty wah. This sphere is greater than the Moon and the Sun, since the light of the Moon and Sun can only shine in certain places; the secret places beneath the ground cannot be reached. Caves cannot be reached. The Dhamma-sphere of the Arahanta can shine underground as bright as the Moon and Sun. Even in a cave, or a chasm, or inside the human organs, its light can be clearly seen. That is why it is compared with “surova obhasayamantalikkhanti” the Sun arising to eliminate the dark and bringing brightness to the sky. The Dhamma-sphere can illuminate thoroughly. It is confirmed that, natthi panna sama apha10; no other light is equal to the wisdom. It is the Dhamma-sphere that creates the wisdom. There is no hiding place whatsoever; it is as though the Sun were to rise [just] to eliminate the dark, bringing brightness to the sky. This is what the Dhammma-sphere is like.
(15) This is the Udanagatha that the Buddha has preached. This Dhamma teaching is profound; it is not simple. Remember that one has to do the same as this. Because he has reached the Dhammakaya, he knows that what exists in the text book is the truth. Those who cannot reach it cannot see it. So they are like the blind following the blind, just being attached to the human body. Even the Dhamma-sphere that makes the human body possible cannot be seen. So it is as if no Dhamma exists, there is always suffering and unhappiness. Those for whom Dhamma exists will be happy, according to the Buddha’s saying,11 dhammasukhavihri those with Dhamma are happy in the present moment. The Buddha also confirmed the truth of “Akaliko” (the timeless); when reaching the Dhamma-sphere, one will be happy at once; time does not delay. Happiness will not be postponed. It is not only that, you can experience for yourself what I am teaching. Invite others to see the characteristics of the sphere. This is called “Ehipassiko“. “Opanayiko;” being worthy of inducing in and by one’s own mind, can be brought outside, downward, left, right, front, back, out, and in according to the particular mind. “Paccattam veditabbo vinnuhi“, it can be directly experienced by the wise; one who attains it will know; one who is capable will see; one who acquires it will arrive. One who cannot acquire it will not arrive; one who is not capable will not see. This is the Udanagatha that the Buddha has preached.
(16) What I have demonstrated accords with the Pali , and is translated for clarification into Thai. This is enough given the time available. Etena saccavajjena; with the power of truth, I have spoken of Dhamma and practice in the Udiinagdthd from beginning to end; may happiness and well-being be with you all who have come to participate here. Sabbabuddhanubhavena;12 with the power of all Buddhas: sabbadhammanubhavena;13 with the power of all Dhammas: sabbasanghanubhavena;14 with the power of all monks: pitakattyanubhavena;15 with the power of the Tipitaka, which includes the Vinaya Pitaka, the Sutta Pitaka, and the Paramattha Pitaka. Jinasavakanubhavena;16 with the power of the disciples of the Buddha who are the conquerors of Mara; may happiness and well-being be with all those who have come to participate here. I have preached enough for the time being. Evam, so, I would like to end the teaching now.
– The mind of one who cannot be shaken by worldly vicissitudes
– Is a mind free of displeasure
– Is a mind free of pleasure
– And is a secure mind
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammasambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammasambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sarnmasambuddhassa.
Phutthassa lokadhammehi cittam yassa na kampati
asokam virajam khemam etammangalamuttamam.
Etadisani katvana sabbattha maparajita
sabbattha sothim gacachanti tantesam mangalamuttamanti.
26th Sermon: April 25th B.E. 2497 (1954 CE)
Shortly I will demonstrate the meaning of the last stanzas of the Mangala sutta according to the content of the Pali text. The Siamese language will be the means of giving this explanation, which will be in correspondence with the faith. Meanwhile the explanation might uphold the faith and furnish with knowledge over every single Buddhist, both lay people and ascetics, who come to assemble in this place.
The penultimate Stanza begins with Phutthassa lokadammehi cittam yassa na kampati asokam virajam khemam etammangalamuttamam, which refers to someone whose mind, despite being afflicted by Lokadhamma1, is never shaken, is free from sorrow and depression, inhabits a space that is free from attachments and that merits the name of the most auspicious good fortune (Mangala)2. This is an interpretation in the Siamese language of the Pali content. In the last stanza Etadisani katvana subbatthamaparajita sabbattha sotthim gacchanti tantesam maEgalamuttamanti, which means, “all the many gods and mortals who have produced such blessings as these will in no place be defeated and will in all places encounter good fortune”3. This is the Siamese translation of the last stanza of the Mangala sutta. What follows is a more detailed explanation.
1Lokadamma: Worldly vicissitudes; the fluctuating fortunes of a person that result from changes in worldly conditions.
2MaEgala: Blessing; auspicious; good omen.
3Sn, 2.4 (271)
In the phrase “the mind that cannot be shaken by Lokadhamma“, the mind is a mainstay while the various Lokadhamma are wanderers. The Lokadhamma can be classified into eight subjects; gain, fame, praise, happiness, losing, obscurity, blame and pain. They can be divided also into two groups, the first of which is Ittharamana, consisting of gain, fame praise and happiness, and which are the things that people find pleasant. The other group is Anittharamana; loss, obscurity, blame and pain, the things that people find unpleasant. Both groups involve attachment to the world, and they will be like this as long as the world exists. Alternatively, they will disappear if the world no longer exists. Both the Ittharamana and Anittharamana existed in this world before our birth, and even at the time of our birth. Gain, fame, praise, happiness, loss, obscurity, blame and pain are attached to this world and they are not the properties of any particular person, they are common to every human being and also to the animals that are born into this world. Once again; Ittharamana is pleasurable, but Anittharamana is unpleasant to every living being.
As we have all encountered Buddhism we recognize that there is a real way to evade the Lokadhamma. But people who have not had the opportunity of listening to the doctrines of Lord Buddha and the arahat disciples will not know where to go or how to proceed. Having listened to the teachings of Lord Buddha and the arahat disciples, one who practises accordingly will have a way of evading the Ittharamana and Anittharamana. If there is no such practice there will be no way of evading them. That is, if one has listened to and practised the doctrine of the righteous, he or she will have a way of avoiding [Ittharamana and Anittharamana] but one who does not listen to and comply with the doctrine will not have a way of avoiding them. Therefore, all we lay people and ascetics, having recognized the [two] groups of Ittharamana and Anittharamana, will be able to evade them. We must control well our minds so as to perceive and evade Ittharamana and Anittharamana. A base will be available to the mind, on which to settle the mind properly in the right place and to be able to withstand the Ittharamana and Anittharamana. Without the right place of refuge, a well prepared resistance cannot be carried out.
Where is the right place for this settling? It should be made at the mind’s own base, at the center of the Dhamma-sphere that brings about the human body. The sphere is pure and clear with the size of the yolk of a chicken’s egg. There is a string of thread, we may imagine, that stretches from the navel through to the back. Meanwhile we have another string of thread stretching from the right to the left at the same level, the intersection of these two threads is the place where the mind should be focussed. We can still the mind right at this intersection, which is the center of the Dhamma sphere that brings about the human body. The sphere with the size of an egg yolk is so very pure and clear. At the initial stage we will focus the mind continuously on this spot. We will do this while we are sitting, lying, walking, eating, drinking water, consuming anything, performing any task, speaking and even when using the toilet. However the mind will often fail to remain still in this way. What we must do is to keep on focusing the mind over and over until we get used to it and become skillful. Once we manage to still the mind we will be so delighted and satisfied that we will not be able to keep from smiling.
As soon as the mind is stilled, gain, fame, praise, happiness, loss, obscurity, blame and pain do not clash with or affect it so much. Ittharamana and Anittharamana no longer cause suffering and anxiety at that point. In other words by stilling the mind at the right place, and in the right way, the Ittharamana of gain, fame, praise and happiness, together with the Anittharamana of loss, obscurity, blame and pain, no longer have any effect on the mind.
If a person’s mind is in such a condition, the highest point can be attained, and the blessing received. The person reaches the essence of the blessing and becomes the blessing itself. To successfully seek the blessing, the instructions must be followed or else it will not be achieved at all. In contrast, feeling anxious about lttharamana and Anittharamana will result in real misfortune4. This does not only happen to lay people but also to ascetics. When the mind cannot be calmed and stilled, it becomes inauspicious. Having understood this issue of good and bad fortune, one should keep on practicing. Once the mind is successfully stilled, it immediately becomes a blessing. But if the mind cannot be stilled, the opposite result will be produced. That is the [end of our discussion of the] first clause (of Pali).5
4Anamongkol: The opposite to mongkol (auspicious good fortune), this term can mean bad luck, ineuspicious fortune, etc.. Original footnot: Wickedness: the word represents a meaning in opposite of the word benediction or blessing.
5The word ‘clause’ here translates the Thai ‘kaw’ which can also mean a verse, a section or a paragraph. It refers to short individual section of the Pali text under discussion and does not translate easily into English.
[The Pali] Asokam appears in the second clause the word Soka defines a condition of mind that is parched, gloomy and barren. Soko socana socittattam anto soko anto parisoko, means that the mind is afflicted by dryness and gloom. Soka can occur with anyone through the mind. At the very moment that the mind comes to a place of rest, Soka will become thinner; [it thins out]. When might Soka happen? It could happen at a time when we are separated from someone that we love, when siblings or relatives have strayed away, or when they die far away. As the separation is taking place, Soka affects the mind, which becomes pale and withered. Normally, the mind may not be in a dried-out condition at all, but at the very moment that Soka presents itself, the mind falls into a parched condition. Then the person, even though he or she might be otherwise healthy, becomes discouraged and exhausted through reflecting the parched mind that has been affected by Soka. In other words the mind has been influenced and it will always be like this when it is touched by Soka. The situation must be resolved at once by initiating a process for stilling the mind. Once the mind is stilled and steady, Saka cannot launch any attack by means of Lokadhamma. No matter how much loss, obscurity, blame and pain there might be, or how great the feeling of separation from wife and daughter, the mind can attain no Soka if it is in a still condition.
Furthermore, as the mind is stilled, it is affected by Virajam or freedom from distress and from ‘dust’. This means that the mind will not be mournful or distressed as long as it is being stilled. But if the mind is no longer in this tranquil condition it is again affected by Lokadhamma, becoming vulnerable to dullness or distress on various levels. For this reason one should take good care of oneself, being careful not to become sad or depressed. Falling into sorrow and depression means that one ‘falls behind’ the mind, or that one is duller than the mind. By not stilling the mind, allowing it to follow the emotions and to be ‘eaten up’ by emotion whenever it is attacked by a phalanx of loss, obscurity, blame or pain, one ends up in a sorrowful, dull and distressed condition. The mind is thus not clear and bright, and when the mind is not clear and bright one punishes oneself; one is punished by nobody but oneself. That is the end of [the explanation of] the third clause.
The fourth line refers to khemam, and describes the result of stilling the mind as like seeing a clear, bright reflection of one’s face, free from distortion, in a looking glass. Indeed, a mind of such brightness, clarity and purity is truly the blessing itself, the so-called Mangala uttamam, the genuine cause of increase. Having stilled the mind to a sufficient degree, money is no longer difficult to earn; it flows in easily without working too hard. There need be no concern about money since there will be mostly income with very little expenses. This is due mainly to the bright mind. Lay people who seek for wealth will not hurt each other by being competitive. The mind must be kept in a clear and bright condition. With this manner of practice the mind will maintain a zone of security. Therefore the mind must be maintained in this tranquil condition so that the monetary stream will flow in the desired manner. This is the real blessing. Mangala can be interpreted as the means of increase, not as the cause of corruption. It is Apamangala that is the cause of the inauspicious, and Mangala is its opposite. Having understood the Buddhist way of practice, one who enters the Buddhist monkhood must do nothing but make his mind clear. All is well as long as the mind is clear. Otherwise one would only be a monk or novice externally and not internally. A clear mind can make one a genuine monk, one who is a monk on the inside and who deserves people’s respect and obeisance. Everyone recognizes the truth of this notion because it is a matter of the auspicious.
Since the beginning [of this talk] I have explained, thirty eight clauses in total. Starting with the Asevana and proceeding through to Cittakasem6 they constitute thirty eight blessings. However, it appears that in recitations only thirty seven clauses can be counted. This is probably due to the Pali composer having somehow mixed a couple of clauses together. In the Pali text then, only thirty seven clauses can be examined, including the last four ones stated above, even though it can be confirmed that there are thirty eight blessing in total. Actually, the last four blessings, which are concerned with bringing the mind to a still and bright condition, are Etammangalamuttamam, the cause and means of the supreme expansion.
6Cittakasem: A thai word derived from the Pali Khemam
Etadisani katvana sabbatthamaparajita sabbattha sotthim gacchanti tantesam mangalamuttamanti, “all the many gods and mortals who have produced such blessings as these.7, sabbatthamaparajita sabbattha, will in no place be defeated and will in all places encounter good fortune”. Sotthim gacchanti means he will have safety and prosperity wherever he goes. Before him there will be only safety and achievement. He can go wherever he wishes, through forest, highland or jungle, because he will always be in a condition of safety. In a cave or on a hill he shall be secure. For him, bad luck and corruption do not exist; only security and achievement are ahead of him. Thus it is confirmed that safety and prosperity willbe attained everywhere.
7Sn, 2.4 (271)
Tantesam mangalamuttamam the clauses are causations of the utmost blessing in the Lord Buddha’s discipline. There are thirty eight in total as described up to this point and they are counted as a large canon. A description of each of the thirty eight clauses in more detail would take thirty eight days to complete. The presentation just finished explains the content of the Pali version to a certain level, but it is not an in-depth treatment.
The word blessing or Mangala has been appreciated and admired by people on various occasions. However, intoxicating beverages are commonly served by people at parties. Is this done as a blessing? No, they have done something which rather results in corruption. It is mistakenly referred to verbally as a blessing. But in its essence it is wickedness rather than a blessing. The real blessings are those of the described thirty eight clausesthat bring about in our minds a clear and comfortable condition.
As the mind becomes clear, it becomes the path towards Nibbana, Nibbana sacchikiriyaya means in order to make Nibbana realizable, one has to clear the mind. And when it has been observed correctly, the clarity expands outwards. At a certain point the clear mind becomes still within that clarity: stillness within the stillness; stillness within the stillness; stillness within the stillness; stillness within the stillness; over and over again towards the center of the stillness; the center of the center; center of the center; center of the center; center of the center in that stillness. When the mind is sufficiently tranquil, a clear sphere will emerge from the stilled mind having the [brightness] of the sun or the moon8. The mind, therefore, is becoming tranquil at the centre of the sphere which is equal to the visualized sun or moon. Remain tranquil, right there at the center of the center, center of the center, center of the center, center of the center for we shall not go anywhere else, not left nor right, forwards nor backwards, downwards nor upwards, inward nor outward. The western novice has already attained this thing, has practiced according to the particular way mentioned. There is no any other way. As the mind is stilled further, another sphere appears, the so-called Sila sphere. It is just the same9 as the visualized moon or sun. The mind is stilled further, without interruption, right into the Sila sphere. When the practice is right another sphere appears that is equal to the visualized sun or moon, the so-called Samadhi sphere. Remaining tranquil at the middle of the Samddhi sphere means being once more at the center of the enter. Once it is practiced correctly, one more sphere will appear. It is equal to the visualized moon and sun and is called the Panna sphere. By continuously remaining tranquil at the middle of the Panna sphere, a similar sphere will appear that is called the Vimutti sphere. Right at the centre of the Vimutti sphere the mind is stilled further, and when it is right another sphere arises, the Vimuttinanadassana sphere. As the mind is stilled further at the center of the Vimuttinanadassana sphere, and when the practice is right, the refined human body will appear. The refined human body is the genuine article, and it can always be perceived in this manner.
8It is not clear here if brightness or size is referred to by the Thai word tao (equal to). Although it usually means “equal in size”, perhaps the context here (and in the next sentence) suggest “equal in brightness”.
9In either size or brightness, as above.
Once the refined human body, or ‘dreaming body’, is attained, a question arises as to where it comes from. What makes it visible now when I do not normally see it? And what to do next? Well, it comes from the stilling of the mind. And the thing we should do next is simply to further tranquilize the mind of the refined body as we did before [with the human body]. When it has been stilled to the fullest degree, a sphere called Dhammanupassanasatipatthana will appear; it will be as clear as the moon and sun. When the mind is stilled to the proper degree at the middle of the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere, the Sila sphere will be attained. Stilled to the proper degree at the middle of the Sila sphere, the Samadhi sphere will be attained. Stilled correctly in the middle of the Samadhi sphere the Panna sphere will be attained. In the same way, stilling the mind to the proper degree at the centre of the Panna sphere will lead to the Vimutti sphere and further stilling the mind at the centre of the Vimutti sphere will lead to attainment of the Vimuttinanadassana sphere. Lastly, as we further still the mind in the Vimuttinanadassana sphere, and when it has been properly stilled, the celestial body will be perceived. This is to dream within the dreaming body, and it can be recognized as the body of one’s genuine self for it shares the same profile. This is the attaining of the celestial body.
Once the celestial body is achieved, it is noticeable that Abhijjha10, Byapata11 and Micchaditthi12 which belong to human beings, are all gone, leaving behind only Lobha13, Dosa14 and Moha15 in the celestial body. The cankers can just be scaled off then, layer by layer. They will extinguish themselves; we do not have to do anything, so long as we practise to the fullest degree. We have not managed to extinguish the cankers although we have tried all our lives. Abhijjha, Byapata and Micchaditthi cannot be extinguished; they must be scaled off like this, layer by layer. Once the celestial body is achieved, Abhijjha, Byapata and Micchaditthi are all scaled off, leaving behind just Lobha, Dosa and Moha in both non-refined and refined forms. Now we shall still the mind of the celestial body even further in the Dhamma sphere which brings about the celestial body. Once this has been achieved to the fullest degree, and the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere is attained, we will still the mind even further in this sphere. When it has been stilled to the proper degree a Sila sphere will appear and we will still the mind at the centre of the Sila sphere. When it has been stilled to the proper degree a Samadhi sphere will appear and we will still the mind at the centre of the Samadhi sphere. When it has been stilled to the proper degree a Panna sphere will be attained and we will still the mind at the centre of the Panna sphere. When it has been stilled to the proper degree a Vimutti sphere will be attained and we will still the mind at the centre of the Vimutti sphere. When it has been stilled to the proper degree a Vimuttinanadassana sphere will be attained and we will still the mind at the centre of the Vimuttinanadassana sphere. When this is practised to the fullest degree, the refined celestial body will be perceived.
12Micchadimmhi: wrong view
13Lobha: greed; covetousness
14Dosa: hatred: anger; ill-will; aversion.
15Moha: delusion; ignorance; dullness
When the mind of the refined celestial body is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Dhamma sphere that brings about the refined celestial body, a Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere will be attained. The size of the spheres will become larger, sequentially. When it has been stilled to the proper degree, a Sila sphere will be attained. When the mind has been stilled properly at the centre of the Sila sphere, one will attain a Samadhi sphere. When it has been properly stilled at the centre of the Samadhi sphere, one will attain a Panna sphere. When it has been properly stilled at the centre of the Panna sphere, one will be able to attain a Vimutti sphere. When it has been properly stilled at the centre of the Vimutti sphere, one will attain a Vimuttinanadassana sphere. And when one stills the mind further at the centre of the Vimuttinanadassana sphere he shall attain the Rupabrahmakaya, which is beyond the celestial body both in the non-refined and refined forms. At this stage the Lobha, Dosa and Moha are all gone, but what remain are Raga, Dosa and Moha at a more refined level. The next targets are the Rupajhana and Arupajhana.
The mind of the Rupabrahma body is stilled further at the centre of the Dhamma sphere that brings about the Rupabrahma body. When it has been stilled to the proper degree, a Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere will be attained. When it has been properly stilled at the centre of the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere a Sila sphere will be attained. When it has been properly stilled at the centre of the Sila sphere, a Samadhi sphere will be attained. When it has been properly stilled at the centre of the Samadhi sphere, a Panna sphere will be attained. When it has been properly stilled at the centre of the Panna sphere, a Vimutti sphere will be attained. When it has been properly stilled at the centre of the Vimutti sphere, a Vimuttinanadassana sphere will be attained. Lastly, when it has been properly stilled at the centre of the Vimuttinanadassana sphere, this time one is able to perceive, clearly and certainly, the refined Rupabrahma body.
The mind of the refined Rupabrahma body is stilled further at the centre of the Dhamma sphere which brings about the refined Rupabrahma body. When it is stilled to the proper degree, a Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree a Sila sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree, a Samadhi sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree, a Panna sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree, a Vimutti sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree, a Vimuttinanadassana sphere will be attained. This time, when it is stilled to the proper degree in the Vimuttinanadassana, one will be able to perceive the Arupabrahma body. At this stage Raga, Dosa and Moha are all gone. Remaining within the Arupabrahma body are Kamaraganusaya16; Patighanusaya17 and Avijjhanusaya18.
16Kamaraganusaya: Latent disposition of sensual lust
17Pamighanusaya: Latent disposition of repugnancy
18Avijjhanusaya: Latent disposition ignorance and delusion
The mind of the Arupabrahma body is stilled further at the centre of the Dhamma sphere that brings about the Arupabrahma body. When it is stilled to the proper degree, a Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree, a Sila sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree, a Samadhi sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree, a Panna sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree, a Vimutti sphere will be attained. When it is stilled further at the centre of the Vimutti sphere, a Vimuttinanadassana sphere will be attained. This time when the Vimuttinanadassana sphere is stilled to the proper degree, one will be able to perceive the refined Arupabrahma body.
The mind of the refined Arupabrahma body is stilled further at the centre of the Dhamma sphere that brings about the refined Arupabrahma body. When it is stilled to the proper degree, a Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree a Sila sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Sila sphere, a Samadhi sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Samadhi sphere, a Panna sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Panna sphere, a Vimutti sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the the Vimutti sphere, a Vimuttinanadassana sphere will be attained. This time, when it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Vimuttinanadassana, one will; be able to perceive the Gotabhu Dhammakaya body. It a mirror-like, clear Buddha image with a lotus bud Ketu19. Once the Dhammakaya is attained Kamaraganusaya, Pamighanusaya and Avijjhanusaya are all gone. Remaining within the Gotabhu person are Sakkayaditthi20, Vicikiccha21 and Silabbataparamasa22.
19Ketu: Lotus bud on the topknot
21Vicikiccha: doubt, perplexity
22Silabbataparamasa: belief in the efficacy of rites
The mind of the Gotabhu Dhammakaya will be stilled further at the center of the Dhamma sphere that brings about the Gotabhu Dhammakaya. However, it turns out that the diameter of the Dhamma sphere is equal to the width of the Dhammakaya‘s lap. The size of the spheres becomes sequentially larger accordingly. The mind of the Gotabhu Dhammakaya is stilled further at the centre of the Dhamma sphere that brings about the Gotabhu Dhammakaya. When it is stilled to the proper degree, a Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree a Sila sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Sila sphere, a Samadhi sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Samadhi sphere, a Panna sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Panna sphere, a Vimuttti sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Vimutti sphere, a Vimuttinanadassana sphere will be attained. Lastly, when it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Vimuttinanadassana sphere, this time one will be able to attain the refined Gotabhu Dhammakaya. The lap width of this Dhammakaya, with its lotus bud Ketu, is five wa23 and the height is five wa as well. In other words, the sphere also is five wa in diameter.
23Wa: A Thai measurement unit for distance, 1 wa is equal to 2 metres
The mind of the refined Gotabhu Dhammakaya is stilled further at the centre of the Dhamma sphere that brings about the refined Gotabhu Dhammakaya. When it is stilled to the proper degree, a Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre, a Sila sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Sila sphere, a Samadhi sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Samadhi sphere, a Panna sphere, a Vimutti sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Panna sphere, a Vimutti sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Vimutti sphere, a Vimuttinanadassana sphere will be attained. This time, when it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre the Vimuttinanadassana, one will be able to perceive the Sotapana Dhammakaya which has a lap-width and height of five wa, has a radiant lotus bud top-knot, and is even greater in terms of clarity. At this stage the Sakkayaditthi, Vicikiccha and Vicikiccha have all come to an end. When this Sotapana level has been reached, the lower Samyojana24 will all be gone. Only Kamaraga25 and Bayabata still remain.
24Samyojana: The ten Fetters that bind man to the round of rebirth
25Kamaraga: Sensual lust
The mind of the Sotapana Dhammakaya is stilled further at the centre of the Dhamma sphere that brings about the Sotapana Dhammakaya , When it is in the proper state, a Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere, with a diameter of five wa, will be seen. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the sphere, a Sila sphere of the same diameter will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Sila sphere, a Samadhi sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Samadhi sphere, a Panna sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Panna sphere, a Vimutti sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Vimutti sphere, a Vimuttinanadassana sphere will be attained. This time, when it is stilled to the proper degree in the Vimuttinanadassana, one will be able to perceive a refined Sotapana Dhammakaya, that has a diameter and height of ten wa and a radiant lotus-bud topknot of even greater clarity.
The mind of the refined Sotapana Dhammakaya is stilled further at the centre of the Dhamma sphere that brings about the refined Sotapana Dhammakaya. When it is in the proper state, a Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere, will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the sphere, a Sila sphere, will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Sila sphere, a Samadhi sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Samadhi sphere, a Panna sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Panna sphere, a Vimutti sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Vimuttti sphere, a Vimuttinanadassana sphere will be attained. This time when it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Vimuttinanadassana, one will be able to perceive the Sakadaga Dhammakaya, which also has a diameter and height of ten wa, a radiant, lotus-bud topknot and greater clarity. At this stage the Kamaraga and Bayabata in their crude form are all gone. All that remain are the two lusts in refined form.
The mind of the Sakadaga Dhammakaya is stilled further at the centre of the Dhamma sphere that brings about the Sakadaga Dhammakaya. When it is in the proper state, a Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere, will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the sphere, a Sila sphere, will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Sila sphere, a Samadhi sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Samadhi sphere, a Panna sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Panna sphere, a Vimutti sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Vimutti sphere, a Vimuttinanadassana sphere will be attained. This time, when it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Vimuttinanadassana, one will be able to perceive the refined Sakadaga Dhammakaya, which has a lap width and height of fifteen wa, a radiant lotus-bud topknot and greater clarity.
The mind of the refined Sakadaga Dhammakaya is stilled further at the centre of the Dhamma sphere that brings about the refined Sakadaga Dhammakaya. When it is in the proper state, a Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the sphere, a Sila sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Sila sphere, a Samadhi sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Samadhi sphere, a Panna sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Panna sphere, a Vimutti sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Vimutti sphere, a Vimuttinanadassana sphere will be attained. This time, when it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Vimuttinanadassana, one will be able to perceive the Anaga Dhammakaya, which has a lap width and height of fifteen wa, a radiant lotus-bud topknot and greater clarity.
The mind of the Anaga Dhammakaya will be stilled further at the centre of the Dhamma sphere that brings about the Anaga Dhammakaya. At this stage the Kamaraga and Bayabata, in both their crude and refined forms are all gone. All that remain within the Anaga Dhammakaya are Ruparaga26, Aruparaga27, Mana28, Uddhacca29 and Avijja30: The mind of the Anaga Dhammakaya is stilled further at the centre of the Dhamma sphere that brings about the Anaga Dhammakaya, When it is in the proper state, a Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the sphere, a Sila sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Sila sphere, a Samadhi sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Samadhi sphere, a Panna sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Panna sphere, a Vimutti sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Vimutti sphere, a Vimuttinanadassana sphere will be attained. This time, when it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Vimuttinanadassana, one will be able to perceive the refined Anaga Dhammakaya.
26Ruparaga: Attachment to realms of form
27Aruparaga: Attachment to Non-form Realms
28Mana: conceit, pride, inordinate feeling, spiritual pride
29Uddhacca: restlessness, unrest, distraction, flurry
30Avijja: ignorance, lack of knowledge, delusion
The mind of refined Anaga Dhammakaya is stilled further at the centre of the Dhamma sphere that brings about the refined Anaga Dhammakaya. When it is in the proper state, a Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the sphere, a Sila sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Sila sphere, a Samadhi sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Samadhi sphere, a Panna sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Panna sphere, a Vimutti sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Vimutti sphere, a Vimuttinanadassana sphere will be attained. This when it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Vimuttinanadassana, one will be able to perceive the Arahatta Dhammakaya, which has a lap width and height of twenty wa, a radiant lotus-bud topknot and greater clarity. It is noticeable that the size of this Arahatta Dhammakaya is the same as that of the refined Anaga Dhammakaya. When the Arahatta Dhammakaya is attained all the lusts are gone, namely the Ruparaga, Aruparaga, Mana, Uddhacca and Avijja. This is called the Samucchedpahana31. In other words, one who becomes an Arahatta shall be a Samucchedpahana, that is, one who is not afflicted by desire, even at the tips of one’s hair. When desire is all gone, it means that the Arahatta has accomplished his task in the doctrine of the Great teacher.
31Samucchedapahana: extinction by cutting off or by Lokuttamagga
The mind of the Arahatta Dhammakaya is stilled further at the centre of the Dhamma sphere that brings about the Arahatta Dhammakaya, When it is in the proper state, a Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere, will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the sphere, a Sila sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Sila sphere, a Samadhi sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Samadhi sphere, a Panna sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Panna sphere, a Vimutti sphere will be attained. When it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Vimutti sphere, a Vimuttinanadassana sphere will be attained. This time, when it is stilled to the proper degree at the centre of the Vimuttinanadassana, one will be able to perceive the refined Arahatta Dhammakaya, which has a lap width and height of thirty wa, a radiant lotus-bud topknot and greater clarity.
Eventually, the mind will be stilled here at the centre of the Dhamma sphere that brings about the refined Arahatta Dhammakaya. The entire course of practice in the religion of Gotama Buddha [seems to] end here. We have followed the practice sufficiently up to this point and now our obligation is ended. There is no need to study this doctrine further; there is nothing more to learn. All the knowledge and perceptions related to this task have already arisen in us. Bhava32 (becoming) no longer exists for us: Bhava has ended at this point. This is the end of the task of studying the Buddha’s instructions. When these principles have been understood, it is not difficult to carry them out. Many people have persevered and been able to perceive Sotapana, Sakadaga, Anaga and Arahatta, but have not been able to penetrate them, or remain at these levels. These people just get stuck at the level of Gotabhu, How is it that they slip away from the [path of] Sotapana, Sakadaga, Anaga and Arahatta? It is because Mara has dispersed and subverted that which is subtle, thus causing the backsliding. However, this instructor and his team are aware of this unraveling. As soon as the refined becomes unraveled, the Sotapana, Sakadaga, Anaga and Arahatta will solve the problem and remain at these levels. By that time people will be able to fly and soar in the air. It will not be long, and will be accomplished by the year B.E. 2500. Without doubt, someone will be able to make it come true. The principle must be genuinely understood in this way.
32Bhava or Bhaba: existence; becoming. It can also mean ‘rebirth’, but here it probably signifies
One western monk, even though he had just been ordained as a novice, and even though he was thoroughly foreign33, managed to still his mind from the point of clear mind through to the stage of Arahatta with a lap-width of thirty wa. Having finished his studies and ordination, the novice was told by his preceptor to contact his father who had passed away when the novice was only five years old. The novice could remember his father well, although probably he had the help of a portrait. He made a serious attempt to find his fat her and went to ask the Gotama Buddha. The answer he was given was that his father had been reborn as the man’s daughter and was now about 10 years old. It was this daughter herself who used to be his father in the previous life. Perhaps his father committed some bad conduct related to sexual intercourse. In general, when a man becomes a woman in his next life, it is due mainly to bad conduct committed in the form of sexual intercourse. His father would not have become a woman if this had not happened. In the other words, having committed wrong deeds, he has to become a woman. Even though this Samanera is a real westerner, he can do well simply because he has ordained in the order.
33Farang: A Thai word that means foreigner or westerner
Everyone can make it, whether he is a monk or Samanera. What he has to do is just to practice seriously. But how serious must someone be in order to make it? It is as serious as life itself. How to do it? Just sit down and you will soon realize and you will soon understand. You may be sore or fatigued, but just let it be. It may be painful but let it be. You may feel that you cannot tolerate any more; even so, just be patient. When everything seems to be perishing or falling apart, just let it be. Do not give up; by persisting, everyone will attain it. Without doubt, it was in this way that Prince Siddhattha34 practiced: he did not care if his blood dried up completely, or if all that remained of him was skin and bone; he just let it be. It would happen to anyone in a similar way. But what has been observed is that whenever people feel a little pain or fatigue, they begin to complain then give up and lie down. Just having the intention to attain the real thing is not to approach it seriously. So how can one make it real. Please understand that, to practise seriously is to practise as if one’s life depended on it. Frankly speaking, this is the actual path of Lord Buddha and the Arahatta disciples. If you know and understand this real state of affairs, you will have success; it is possible for everyone.
34Siddhattha: Buddha’s name, when he was a young prince
As has been explained in the Siamese language, following the Pali verses; etena saccavajjena, by the power of truth I have spoken of Dhamma and practice from beginning to end. Sada sotthi bhavantu te, may happiness, safety and prosperity be with each and every one of you who have come to assemble in this place. I have preached enough for now, samamutiyutidhammikatha, and this explanation must come to an end; Evam, as it should be.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammasambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammasambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammasambuddhassa
Kincapi so kammam karoti papakam
kayena vacayuda cetasa va
abhabbo so tassa paticchadaya
abhabbata ditthapadassa vutta
idampi sanghe ratanamm panitam
ettena saccena suvatthi hotu
10th May B.E. 2497 (1954), 30th Discourse
I will now demonstrate the meaning of the “Rattanaghata” (Gem-verses) by solving the puzzle of the Sangha Gem in accordance as it appears in the Pali in the Rattana Suttra. While he was still alive, the Buddha gave praise to the noble assembly of monks (Ariyasangkha) so that they could be textbook examples of the established customs, rules and practices. Since he passed on to Nirvana, the Buddhist Councils have been guided and directed, up until the present time, by the senior monks. Now, we will all listen to the following teaching.
Firstly, the Pali commences with, “Kincapi so kammam karoti papakam kayena vacayuda cetasa va abhabbo so tassa paticchadaya abhabbata ditthapadassa vutta“, This is the text cited in the Pali. A Stream-Enterer still commits unwholesome acts; abhabbo so tassa paticchadaya, nevertheless, he should not cover up his wrong actions. Abhabbata ditthapadassa vutta, having seen the path to Nirvana, he should not cover up his wrongdoing. As the Buddha said – idampi sanghe ratanam panitam, though this is the refined gem in Sangha – ettena saccena suvatthi hotu, with this truthful saying, may wellbeing exist. Here is the translation from Pali to the Thai language. This is the refined gem. Or it could be interpreted simply in the Thai language, without getting involved in the Pali, and it would be; “the Stream-Enterer still performs unwholesome acts. Nevertheless, he will not cover up his wrongdoing. Having seen the path to Nirvana, one should not conceal that unwholesome action. This is what the Buddha had mentioned. After all, this is the refined gem in the Sangha. Taking this truth into consideration, let there be well-being.” Here is the Pali text unfolded thoroughly into the Thai language. From now on, this teaching will be concerned with the Stream-Enterer.
We do not know what the appearance of a Stream-Enterer would be; what kind of physical body would that be? We do not know anything about it, except that it must be a human being like us, that is, a woman, a man, or a novice. Whether it is a Stream-Enterer or not, we do not know. Whether a Once-Returner or not, we do not know; whether a Never-Returner or not, we do not know. Or being an Arahat (a Holy One) or not, we also have no way of knowing. Needless to say, in this era, we do not recognise the Stream-Enterer, the Once-Returner, the Never-Returner, or the Arahat. Even in the time of the Buddha, in the presence of the Buddha, there was a novice Arahat, a 7-year old, who was a Buddhist Holy One, an adolescent monk with several-year standing and felt a tender feeling towards him. The novice Arahat had a clear complexion like the fruit of the sumae famity tree; his mind was perfect and complete as an Arahat; he had conquered the defilements and removed the obstructions. The young monk then asked the novice Arahat whether he missed his parents, and whether he was hungry for not having had dinner. The novice Arahat replied accordingly. Even worse, the young monk walked closer and smoothed the head of the novice Arahat; fondled his hands and feet as well. Suddenly, the Buddha glanced over and said, “That monk does not know anything; he touches upon the poison snake; he touches the furious elephant at its tusk, and does not know what death is.” The Buddha rapidly asked Venerable Ananda to summon all the monks and novices for a meeting. He chaired the meeting and requested that someone bring the water from Anodat Reservoir to clean his feet. After that, he remained silent; all the Arahats knew that this order did not apply to them. Actually, it was meant for the novice Arahat .The other ordinary monks did not know how to get to Anodat Reservoir. It is as if we, now, without the supernatural power or good karma (resulting from the path of consequence) to float or walk in the air, could bring water from the Reservoir; being a worldly person is of no use. The novice Arahat stood up and took a big pot, attached a string and tied it to his back, just like one who would climb up a palm tree. The novice Arahat travelled in the sky, with the pot at his back, like a swan flying in the air. Not long after that, the novice Arahat came back with the pot filled with water in order to offer it to the Buddha. Now the young monk was concerned that he had fondled the novice Arahat‘s head, something that he would not have done if he had realized that the novice was a Noble One.
Now, we also do not know how much Dhamma the women and men, and the monks and novices, in this Doctrine and the Discipline have attained. We do not know how much Dhamma the Stream-Enterer has, or how much Dhamma the Once-Returner has. We do not know how much Dhamma the Never-Returner has, or how much Dhamma the Arahat has; we simply do not know.
Today, I would like to preach to all of you about the path to Nirvana. The path to Nirvana exists. The path to Nirvana that the Stream-Enterer has seen exists. The path of consequence exists but we do not know what the path of consequence is like. We do not know what the path to Nirvana is like. Today, I have the intention to preach. That is why I have referred to the Stream-Enterer as a textbook example.
Is it true that the Stream-Enterer is still performing unwholesome acts? Kincapi so kammam karoti papakam, this can be translated as follows, so sotapanno1, the Stream-Enterer; karoti, is doing; kammam, work / action; papakam, indecent / unwholesome. Is the Stream-Enterer still performing indecent actions? Kayena, with the body; vacayuda, with the speech; cetasa va, or with the mind. Is he performing unwholesome acts with the body, the speech or mind the same as an ordinary human being does, or not? It is all the same. I will give an example of how this works.
A millionaire’s daughter, a virgin in her early twenties, was kept on the seventh floor of a castle. She was in the custody of one maid. Whenever she needed anything, the maid would carry out her instructions. One day, a hunter, Nai Nesat, was heading to the city with a fully loaded cart. She noticed that the hunter, who was pushing the cart with its load of meat from the jungle2, was tall and strong, and had a muscular frame; she sensed that she could love him and that she would like Nai Nesat to be her husband. Having seen him passing by several times, and not knowing what to do, she disguised herself, escaped from the castle, and walked down to follow him on his way back to the jungle.
2The cart is loaded with meat or in this context, ‘game’.
When they arrived in the middle of the jungle, the hunter pitied the young lady and let her get into the cart. Later, they were married and had seven children. Both of them had their own duties in bringing up the family; the husband went hunting while she performed the duties expected of a wife. In the morning, as he went hunting, the husband would take a bow and arrow, a crossbow, a lance, and so on to kill wild animals. The wife, when her husband came back with the meat, would carve it up to prepare dried salted meat, or grilled, roasted, and spicy dishes as required. That was her duty as a wife. In the morning, the husband would head off into the jungle, and in the evening, the wife would prepare a loop, a lance, and a spear – all the hunting implements – and put them in the doorway for her husband. A question arises in regard to the wife of the hunter, who was a Stream-Enterer and who should not perform any unwholesome actions. Did she not realize that what her husband did was sinful? Did she not realize that her husband had committed a sin by going hunting? Definitely, she knew more than that. Since they were husband and wife, they had to support each other in the carrying out of their duties. The wife has to obey the husband’s instructions. Otherwise, their family would be disfunctional. This story has been presented in the Commentary by employing the millionaire’s daughter as an example of a Stream-Enterer who had to perform this practice in order to support her husband, not for the intention of slaughtering. It is a story that often appears in the real world. Sometimes, the husband still slaughters creatures while the wife professes precepts. If the husband goes fishing and catches some fish, the wife will do her duty. If the fishes are still alive, she will let them go, and will not kill them; she will cook only dead ones, and will always follow this practice. This preacher first heard about this situation during childhood. One couple even had a quarrel about it. Soon after, the husband knew that the wife would not kill living creatures; from then on he completed the slaughtering himself. In this way, the wife did not jeopardize her observance of the precepts since she neither killed animals herself nor ordered anyone else to do it.
The case of Nai Nesat‘s wife is peculiar in regard to whether she conspired in the killing by preparing the weapons and putting them in the doorway every morning. Did she not know that her husband would use these weapons for execution? If this were a legal case, the wife would be sentenced to half of the punishment. Whatever consequences of the Laws of Kamma that affected Nai Nesat, it would surely be expected that his wife would receive half of the punishment. Surely this would be legally fair since they were both involved in the incident. But in fact, this was not the case.
The Discipline Division of the Doctrine must consider the issue of intention since the intention of killing should not exist in the Stream-Enterer. Being a Stream-Enterer involves renouncing the intention to kill, commencing with panatipata3 a breach of the five precepts will not happen in the Stream-Enterer; the five precepts will be secure. That is why the punishment is considered according to the intention [behind the act]. The Buddha said, cetanaham bhikkhave silam4; Bhikkhu, the intention is the five precepts5. The intention is significant. The intention is the precept (Sila). Since the Stream-Enterer’s morality (Sila) is defined by her intention, to judge that the Stream-Enterer has associated with her husband in killing animals is not correct. That is why this story has been presented as a textbook case.
3ปาณาติบาต; the breach of discipline that involves the taking of life.
5The ‘is’ must be emphaised here; ie, the intention is equal to the precepts.
How does the Stream-Enterer still become demeritorious by means of physical body, speech, and mind to the point of being called evil? He or she merely stumbles, having no intention. Although he or she has slipped into jeopardizing, or almost jeopardizing the precept, he or she will not be at a standstill, but will try to correct his or her action by means of physical body, speech, or mind. He or she will then declare this to his or her companion in holy life in the same way as a monk or novice would declare an ecclesiastical offence to another monk or novice, declaring that this wrong action will not happen again. The Stream-Enterer must definitely make that promise in the same way as we do. Knowing that the precept has become impure, and accepting the Buddhist commandment to correct the wrong action, the worldly person, in the way of the Stream-Enterer, will not be inured to shame, will be heedful, and will correct the wrong conduct by purifying his or her self. This is acceptable in Buddhism. This is the reason why the Stream-Enterer will not conceal his demeritorious action once the path to Nirvana is seen. The Buddha has taught us that.
Where is the path to Nirvana? What is the path like? The path to Nirvana, as seen by the Stream-Enterer, should be known. To know the path to Nirvana, one must first know the path of the Stream-Enterer. What is the appearance of the Stream-Enterer; where is the body of the Stream-Enterer? The Stream-Enterer is the Dhammakaya, not the human body; it lies several layers inside the human body. As mentioned before, the human body is one; to reach the refined human body, the right path of consequence [maggaphala – the fruit of the path] must be fulfilled. If this is not done correctly, then the refined human body cannot be reached. How to begin with the path of consequence (maggaphala)? The starting point is to halt the mind at the center of the Dhamma-sphere that makes the human body possible. When we are born, the mind has to be there. That is the point at which the human being is born and dies – at that center. When we sleep, that is where the mind will be; if not then we cannot sleep. We sleep there and wake up there; so that is the point where the mind sleeps and wakes up. That is the place where the mind sleeps and wakes up, and where it is born and where it dies. So the mind has to be there, nowhere else.
Right after the mind comes to a standstill, the mind will remain at the center; it will enter the center of the mind, the center of the center. It will not go left or right, front or back, down or up; it will remain there at the center of the center. When the mind is in the right mode, reaching the origin at the center, the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana-sphere, which is the same size as the Sun and the Moon, is seen. There, at the center of the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana-sphere, a point exists – and that is where the path is to be found. The mind remains at that point, the mind is attracted there – to the center of that point. When the mind remains still and enters the center of the still mind, it will not go anywhere. When the mind is in the right mode, the Sila-sphere will be reached. The mind still remains at the center of the Sila-sphere, following the clue of the stillness at the center, at the center of the center. When the mind is in the right mode, the Samadhi-sphere will be reached. The mind remains at the center of the Samadhi-sphere at the center of the stillness, constantly returning to the center of the center. When the mind is in the right mode, the Panna-sphere will be reached. The mind remains at the Panna-sphere. In the right mode, the mind will enter the center of the stillness, constantly returning to the center of the center. When the mind is in the right mode, the Vimutti-sphere will be reached. The mind remains at the center of the Vimutti-sphere, and continues with the same process. When the mind is still, constantly reaching the center of the center, and when the mind is in the right mode, the Vimuttinanadassana– sphere is reached. The mind still remains at the center of the Vimuttinanadassana-sphere. In the stillness, the mind will enter the center of the still mind, the center of the center, repeatedly. When the mind is in the right mode, the refined human body will be reached. Seeing the refined human body, you will realize that this is the body that “goes out” when you dream, and that you cannot find this body when you are not dreaming. Now, you find yourself at the center of the Vimuttinanadassana-sphere. All of the bodies are situated at the center of the Vimuttinanadassana-sphere. Enter each layer until the refined human body is reached. Does this become the Stream-Enterer? That is still far away. The Stream-Enterer is the 11th or 12th body. This is only the initial body. This is the path to follow; other paths are not infallible; one has to follow the middle way when the mind is in the right mode, and the mind will remain still.
The mind of the refined human body remains tranquil at the center of the Dhamma-sphere that makes the refined human body possible. When the mind is in the right mode, at the center of the center, the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana-sphere is seen. By using only the mind stillness technique, the mind will remain at the center of the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana-sphere. When the mind is centred in the stillness of the still mind, and constantly returns to the center of the center, then the Sila-sphere is seen. Remain at the center of the Sila-sphere, constantly returning to the center of the center. When in the right mode, the Samadhi-sphere will be reached. The mind remains at the center of the Samadhi-sphere, at the center of the center of the still mind, constantly returning to the center of the center. When in the right mode the Panna-sphere will be reached. The mind remains at the center of the Panna-sphere, at the center of the center of the still mind, constantly returning to the center of the center. The Vimutti-sphere will be seen when the mind is in the right mode. The mind remains at the center of the Vimutti-sphere, at the center of the center of the still mind, at the center of the center. The Vimuttinanadassana-sphere is reached when the mind is in the right mode. The mind remains at the center of the Vimuttinanadassana-sphere. When the mind is in the right mode, constantly returning to the center of the center, the Dibbakaya will be seen. Follow this! The second and third bodies have been reached. It started with the human body, then the refined human body, and now the Dibbakaya.
The mind of the Dibbakaya remains tranquil at the center of the Dhamma-sphere that makes the Dibbakaya possible. When the mind is in the right mode, and constantly returning to the center of the center, the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana-sphere is seen. The mind remains at the center of the still mind, constantly returning to the center of the center. When the mind is in the right mode, the Sila-sphere is reached. The mind remains at the center of the Sila-sphere. When the mind is in the right mode, the Samadhi-sphere will be reached. Remain still at the center of the Samadhi-sphere; when the mind is in the right mode, the Panna-sphere will be reached. Remain still at the center of the Panna-sphere; when the mind is in the right mode, the Vimutti-sphere will be reached. Remain still at the center of the Vimutti-sphere; when the mind is in the right mode, the Vimuttinanadassana– sphere is reached. Remain at the center of the Vimuttinanadassana-sphere; when the mind is in the right mode, the refined Dibbakaya is reached.
In the same way, the mind of the refined Dibbakaya remains tranquil at the center of the Dhamma-sphere that makes the refined Dibbakaya possible. When the mind is in the right mode, the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana-sphere is seen. Remain at the center of the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana-sphere; when the mind is in the right mode, the Sila-sphere is reached. The mind remains at the center of the Sila-sphere. When the mind is in the right mode, the Samadhi– sphere is reached. Remain at the center of the Samadhi-sphere; when the mind is in the right mode, the Panna-sphere is reached. Remain at the center of the Panna-sphere; when in the right mode, the Vimutti-sphere will be reached. Remain at the center of the Vimutti-sphere; when the mind is in the right mode, the Vimuttinanadassana-sphere is reached. Remain at the center of the Vimuttinanadassana-sphere; in the right mode, the Rupabrahmakaya is reached.
The mind of the Rupabrahmakaya remains tranquil at the center of the Dhamma-sphere that makes the Rupabrahmakaya possible. In the right mode, the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana-sphere is reached. Remain at the center of the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana-sphere; in the right mode, Sila-sphere will be reached. Remain at the center of the Sila-sphere; in the right mode, the Samadhi-sphere will be reached. Remain at the center of the Samadhi-sphere; in the right mode, the Panna-sphere will be reached. Remain at the center of the Panna-sphere and in the right mode, the Vimutti-sphere will be reached. Remain at the center of the Vimutti-sphere; in the right mode, the Vimuttinanadassana-sphere will be reached. Remain at the center of the Vimuttinanadassana-sphere; in the right mode, the refined Rupabrahmakaya will be reached.
The mind of the refined Rupabrahmakaya remains tranquil at the center of the Dhamma-sphere that makes the refined Rupabrahmakaya possible. When in the right mode, the mind will enter the center of the still mind. In the right mode, the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana-sphere will be reached. The mind remains at the center of the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana-sphere, and in the right mode, the Samadhi-sphere will be reached. The mind remains at the center of the Samadhi-sphere, and in the right mode, the Panna-sphere will be reached. The mind remains at the center of the Panna-sphere; in the right mode, the Vimutti-sphere will be reached. The mind remains at the center of the Vimutti-sphere; in the right mode, the Vimuttinanadassana-sphere is reached. The mind remains at the center of the Vimuttinanadassana-sphere; in the right mode, the Arupabrahmakaya is reached.
The mind of the Arupabrahmakaya remains tranquil at the center of the Dhamma-sphere that makes the Arupabrahmakaya possible. In the right mode, the mind remains tranquil at the center of the still mind, at the center of the center, until the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana-sphere is reached. The mind remains at the center of the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana-sphere, at the center of the center of the still mind; and the Sila-sphere will be reached. Remain at the center of the Sila-sphere; in the right mode, the Samadhi-sphere will be reached. Remain at the center of the Samadhi-sphere; in the right mode, the Panna-sphere will be reached. Remain at the center of the Panna-sphere; in the right mode, the Vimutti-sphere will be reached. Remain at the center of the Vimutti-sphere; in the right mode, the Vimuttinanadassana-sphere will be reached. Remain at the center of the Vimuttinanadassana-sphere; in the right mode, the refined Arupabrahmakaya will be reached.
The mind of the refined Arupabrahmakaya remains still at the center of the Dhamma-sphere that makes the refined Arupabrahmakaya possible. When the mind is in the right mode, the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana-sphere will be reached. Remain at the center of the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana-sphere; when the mind is in the right mode, the Sila-sphere will be reached. Remain at the center of the Sila-sphere; in the right mode, the Samadhi-sphere will be reached. Remain at the center of the Samadhi-sphere; in the right mode, the Panna-sphere will be reached. Remain at the center of the Panna-sphere; in the right mode, the Vimutti-sphere will be reached. Remain at the center of the Vimutti-sphere; in the right mode, the Vimuttinanadassana-sphere will be reached. Remain at the center of the Vimuttinanadassana-sphere; in the right mode, the Dhamma body (Dhammakaya) will be reached; it looks like an image of the Buddha, with a lotus-bud topknot, and is as clear as a mirror. This is the Dhammakaya Gotabhu. The next two bodies both belong to the Stream-Enterer.
The mind of the Dhammakaya remains still at the center of the Dhamma-sphere that makes the Dhammakaya possible. This seems strange. The diameter of the Dhamma-sphere is equal to the lap width of the Dhammakaya. Whatever the measurement of the lap width of the Dhammakaya, the measurement of the diameter of the Dhamma-sphere that makes the Dhammakaya possible is the same. The mind of the Dhammakaya remains still at the center of the Dhamma-sphere that makes the Dhammakaya possible. Halting the mind there, when in the right mode, the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana-sphere will be reached. Remain at the center of the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana-sphere; when in the right mode, the Sila-sphere will be reached- and it will widen. However big the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana-sphere is, the Sila-sphere will be just as big. Remain at the center of the Sila-sphere and when you are in the right mode, the Samadhi-sphere will be reached. Remain at the center of the Samadhi-sphere and when you are in the right mode, the Panna-sphere will be reached. Remain at the center of the Panna-sphere and when you are in the right mode, the Vimutti-sphere will be reached. Remain at the center of the Vimutti-sphere and when you are in the right mode, the Vimuttinanadassana-sphere will be reached. Remain at the center of the Vimuttinanadassana-sphere and when you are in the right mode, the refined Dhammakaya will be reached. It will have a lap width of five wah, a height of five wah, and its lotus-bud topknot will be even clearer. Is this the Stream-Enterer? Not yet. This is the Dhammakaya Gotabhu.
That Dhammakaya is called Buddharatana. The Dhamma-sphere that makes the Dhammakaya possible is the same size as the lap width; that Dhammakaya is called Dhammaratana. The refined Dhammakaya in the center of the Dhammaratana is called Sangharatana. The real body is here. Is this the Stream-Enterer? Not yet. Now, this time, the Stream-Enterer will be known.
The mind of the refined Dhammakaya remains at the center of the Dhamma-sphere that makes the refined Dhammakaya possible. When the mind is in the right mode, the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana-sphere is seen; its diameter is measured in the same way. Remain at the center of the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana-sphere; enter the center of the still mind – the center of the center – repeatedly. In the right mode, the Sila-sphere will be reached. Remain at the center of the Sila-sphere; when the mind remains still, enter the center of the still mind, the center of the center. In the right mode, the Samadhi-sphere: will be reached. Stop the mind at the center of the Samadhi-sphere; when you are in the right mode, enter the center of the tranquil mind – the center of the center – repeatedly. When you are in the right mode, the Panna-sphere will be reached. Halting the mind at the center of the Panna-sphere, enter the center of the still mind – the center of the center – repeatedly. When you are in the right mode, the Vimutti-sphere will be reached. Halting the mind at the center of the Vimutti-sphere, enter the center of the still mind – the center of the center – repeatedly. When you are in the right mode, the Vimuttinanadassana-sphere will be reached. Stop the mind at the center of the Vimuttinanadassana-sphere. When you are in the right mode, after repeatedly entering into the center of the center, the Dhammakayasota will be seen. It has a lap width of five wah, a height of five wah, and a lotus-bud topknot that is as clear as a mirror. Before reaching the Dhammakayasota, along the path, the Truth of Suffering, the Truth of the Cause of Suffering, the Truth of the Path to Cessation of Suffering, and the Truth of Extinction of Suffering are seen clearly and apparently; and so the Dhammakayasota is attained, with a lap width of five wah, a height of five wah, and with a lotus-bud topknot. Here is the Dhammakayasota, just like a Buddha image with a lotus-bud topknot, crystal-clear as a mirror, and with a lap width of five wah, a height of five wah, and with a lotus-bud topknot. Here is the coarse Dhammakayasota; there is still the refined Dhammakayasota to come.
The mind of the Dhammakayasota remains tranquil at the center of the Dhamma-sphere that makes the Dhammakayasota possible with diameter of five wah. In the right mode, the mind will enter the center of the still mind, and the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana-sphere is reached. Halting the mind at the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana-sphere, when the mind is still, enter the center of the still mind. When the mind is in the right mode, the Sila-sphere is reached. Halting the mind at the center of the Sila-sphere, enter the center of the still mind repeatedly. In the right mode, the Samadhi-sphere is reached. Halting the mind at the Samadhi-sphere, the mind enters the center of the still mind – the center of the center – repeatedly. In the right mode, the Panna-sphere is reached. Remain at the center of the Panna-sphere; the mind will enter the center of the still mind – the center of the center – repeatedly. When you are in the right mode, the Vimutti-sphere will be reached. Remain at the center of the Vimutti-sphere; the mind will enter the center of the still mind – the center of the center – repeatedly. When it is in the right mode, the Vimuttinanadassana-sphere will be reached. Remain at the center of the Vimuttinanadassana-sphere; when you are in the right mode, the refined Dhammakayasota, with a lap width of five wah, a height of five wah, and with a lotus-bud topknot, is seen clearer than the Dhammakayasota.
There, the Dhammakayasota is the Buddharatana. The Dhamma-sphere that makes the Dhammakaya possible, with a diameter of five wah around the sphere; that is the Dhammaratana-sphere. The refined Dhammakayasota, with a lap width of ten wah, is inside the Dhammaratana-sphere; [it is] the Sangharatana6. The Buddharatana is one who has been enlightened by the Four Noble Truths – as a Buddha – who is to be designated as Buddho-Dhammaratana, and who maintains the ability to enter the Dhammakayasota. To maintain high virtue, to be prevented from falling back to the evil one, that is called Dhammaratana. Dhammaratana is translated as preventing the practitioner from falling back into demerit, and allowing rightousness to prosper. The refined Dhammakaya, with a lap width of ten wah, and lying inside the center of the Dhammaratana, will prevent the Dhammaratana from disappearing day and night. “Sanghena dharito”7 the Dhamma that the monk maintains; here, it is the Sangharatana that maintains and the ability to maintain is called “sangkho”8. What prevents that Dhamma from disappearing – the Buddharatana, Dhammaratana, and Sangharatana – is the Dhammakayasota with a lap width of five wah, a height of five wah, and with a lotus-bud topknot. Follow these steps and the refined Dhammakayasota will be reached. Follow these steps and the coarse Dhammakayasakadagami will be reached. Follow these steps and the refined Dhammakayasakadagami will be reached. Follow these steps and the coarse Dhammakayanagami will be reached. Follow these steps and the refined Dhammakayanagami will be reached. Follow these steps and the Dhammakayarahatta, with a lap width of twenty wah, a height of twenty wah, and with an even more crystal clear lotus-bud topknot, will be reached. Follow these steps and the refined Dhammakayarahatta will be reached. This is the complete practice in Buddhism. Here is the main principle of Buddhism; remember this as the definitive text.
6Not quite sure whether this is the Sangharatana-sphere or nor?
Do not insult it. If the Buddha does not appear in this world, nobody will preach this Dhamma. Nobody will tell us. Nevertheless, the existing Dhamma disappeared almost two thousand years ago. It is reappearing again in the Paknam Temple. Try this practice. Don’t be fatigued. Work with Buddhism, experiencing the truth, persevering to attain the truth, then possess the truth within yourselves. Do not insult it. Be determined, then you will not miss the opportunity to be reborn as human beings and to re-encounter Buddhism as monks, novices, upasakas, and upasikas.
What I have demonstrated here accords with the Pali, and is translated for the sake of clarity into the Thai language. This is enough given the time available. Etena saccavajjena: with the power of truth, I have spoken of Dhamma and practice from beginning to end; may happiness and wellbeing be with you all who have come to participate here. I have preached enough for today. Evam, so, I would like to end the teaching now.
Happiness that human beings long for
Namo tassa Bhaghavato Arahato Sammasambuddhassa
Namo tassa Bhaghavato Arahato Sammasambuddhassa
Namo tassa Bhaghavato Arahato Sammasambuddhassa
Mattasukha pariccaga1 passe ce vipulamsukham
Ca je mattasukha dhiro sampassam vipulamsukhanti
19 September 1954, 42nd Sermon
1Mattasukha = limited happiness: pariccaga = renunciation; giving up. Vipula means ‘large’ or ‘great ‘.
(1) Now I will present a Dhammigatha that is concerned with the happiness that human beings long for and seek after. Nobody can deny that this is a great thing. It is a happiness that was announced by the Great Lord Buddha himself, He wants beings to seek for a greater, not a lesser happiness and that they should relinquish the minor happiness and hold on to that which is higher.
(2) This is because we laymen, and men and women who have ‘gone forth’, have been looking for happiness since the day we were born. This includes all sentient beings because all seek for happiness and avoid suffering. Human beings keep on seeking for the happiness that they wish for. The seeker must know how to do this; if not they will end up with a trifling happiness and not the greater happiness that human beings should have.
(3) As noted in the Great Buddha’s saying, mattasukha pariccaga passe ce vipulam sukham which means; if a person sees a greater happiness after relinquishing the trifling happiness, the wise one should let go of the trifling happiness. This is the Thai translation of the Pali text.
(4) I will continue by explaining further the meanings of trifling happiness and abundant happiness. According to the gatha, happiness can be measured on a continuum that stretches from the most trifling happiness all the way up to happiness in the superlative degree. The happiness that humans take refuge in nowadays is a trifling happiness when compared with the more sublime happiness of the deities.
(5) Six classes of deities achieve various degrees of happiness. Human happiness is not comparable to the happiness found at Catumaharajika (the First level of Heaven). The happiness found in Catumaharajika is not equal to that of Tavatimsa as the happiness of Tavatimsa is unequal to that of Yama, The happiness of Yama is unequal to that of Tusita. The happiness of Tusita is unequal to the happiness of Nimmanarati, The happiness of Nimmanarati is unequal to the happiness of Paranimmittavasavatti. The happiness of Paranimmittavasavatti is unequal to the happiness of Parisajjabrahma. The happiness of Parisajjabrahma is unequal to the happiness of Mahabrahma. The happiness of Mahabrahma is unequal to the happiness of Parittabhabrahma. The happiness of Parittabhabrahma is unequal to the happiness of Appamanabhabrahma. The happiness of Appamanabhabrahma is unequal to the happiness of the Abhassarabrahma level. Happiness in Abhassarabrahma is unequal to that found in Parittasubha. The happiness of Parittasubha is unequal to that of Appamanasubha, The happiness of Appamanasubha is unequal to that of Subhakinha. The happiness of Subhakinha is unequal to the happiness found in Vehapphala. The happiness of Vehapphala is unequal to the happiness of Asannisatta. The happiness of Asannisatta is unequal to the happiness of Aviha-atuppa-sudhassa-sudhassi-akanittha. The happiness of Akanittha is unequal to the happiness found in akasanancayatana. The happiness of akasanancayatana is unequal to the happiness of vinnanancayatana. The happiness of vinnanancayatana is unequal to the happiness of akincannayatana. The happiness of akincannayatana is unequal to the happiness of Nevasannanasannayatana.
(6) These are the degrees of happiness on the three planes, including [those of] lokuttara, but not counting [those of] Nibbana. This is the continuum of happiness. Happiness seekers detest suffering and desire only happiness. In this case one must relinquish the lesser happiness in order to achieve the supreme happiness.
(7) How to relinquish (?) the lesser happiness? (?) When we are born into the human world, whether we are women or men, we seek for happiness. [We see that] happiness lies in giving to charity and that giving is a good thing. Observing the precepts (Sila) is the happiness of ethical behaviour; it is to guard the body and the speech in good order and to avoid blame. The other way to find happiness is through the development of meditation [skills]. These are ways in which the most supreme happiness comes about.
(8) Keep on giving the things that you own; your wealth; the animate or inanimate things you have earned; your savings or your inherited possessions. These belongings are ours while we are alive but not when we were dead. They will become the property of others; they will not be ours any more. The world we live in does not belong to us; it is not our homeland or our household; it is only a place that we are passing through. It is the place where we pursue our perfections. So come and participate in the act of giving (Dana): the acts of giving to charity and to others; the self discipline (Sila) of observing the precepts; renunciation (Nekkhamma), wisdom (Panna), perserverance (Viriya), forebearance (Khanti), truthfulness (Sacca), loving kindness (Metta), resolution (Adhitthana), and equanimity (Upekkha). It is important that we have learnt of the theory; let us relinquish the lesser happiness. What is the lesser happiness? The visible object, the audible object, the olfactory, taste and being in contact with the things that we like, the visual images that we like, the sounds that we like, the smells and fragrances that we like. Contact with that which we like has tied us to the sensual plane we have not been able to break loose because we pursued the lesser happiness, not the supreme happiness. The lesser happiness is a short-lived happiness; it lasts as long as it takes to clap your hands, or the time spent by a hen when she flutters her wings. It is such a trifling happiness. These five small things; the sight, sound, smell, taste and touch of the things we like; when we dispose of them it is called Caga (self sacrifice), leaving happiness of sight (vision), sound (audible), scent (olfactory), taste and touch (contact)(?).
(9) What is the pleasure in sight, sound, scent, taste and touch? Wealth, money, silver and gold are avinnanaka-sap; inanimate possessions, and are called visible prosperity. Those of us who take pleasure in these visible attainments are said to take pleasure in the visual. The sounds of praise and admiration are related to lokadhamma and are a taking of pleasure in the audible object. If one took pleasure in those praises one would be attached to the world of suffering and would never reach the supreme happiness.
(10) The scents and fragrances that refresh the body and mind are in “olfactory pleasures”. If one enjoys any of the olfactory pleasures, one would be in the world of the sensual plane like a collapsed person who cannot hold his head high.
(10.1) Obsession with sour, sweet, crunchy or salty tastes is “pleasure in taste”. An obsession with any of these tastes means one cannot hold one’s head high.
(10.2) “The pleasure in contact”is the enjoyment that comes from being in contact [with something] or being contacted; one will be low down as if living in the mud and will not be able to hold one’s head high.
(10.3) These five things tied beings to the cycle of existence2, Kammavatta, Vipakkavatta, Kilesavatta. The “Pleasure of visible, audible, olfactory taste and contact make one obsessed with the cycle of existence and make it impossible to escape from the three planes or from the sensual plane.
2วัฏสงสาร: Pali vamma = the cycle of rebirth.
(10.4) If one cannot dispose of the five lesser forms of happiness, one cannot reach the great happiness. Only when one can relinquish the five forms of lesser happiness, can one encounter the supreme happiness, the true happiness, the great happiness.
(10.5) When one goes beyond human happiness, one will meet with Catumaharajika, celestial happiness. One might be obsessed with the visible, audible, olfactory, taste and contact in the same way as the human happiness, One can not abstain (ละไม่ได้) from this Celestial real happiness.
(10.6) If one can indulge the Catumaharajika happiness one will go for Tavatimsa happiness. Abstain from those kinds of happiness; do not let yourself become attached to these forms of happiness. Then one will go on to Yama, Tusita, Nimmanarati, Paranimmittavasavatti. Abstain from all the forms of happiness in these celestial realms.
(10. 7) When the precepts (Sila) are firmly developed (and the lower forms of happiness let go of), they are developed further to the level of attainment (Samapatti) and the four absorptions (Jhanas) are brought into existence. One enters into the four absorptions; Pathamajjhana, the first absorption, Dutiyajjhana the second absorption, Tatiyajjhana the third absorption and Catutthajjhana the fourth absorbtion. Then happiness will be developed to a more significant degree.
(10.8) More than this, when you attain all four of the absorptions (Jhanas), and when the body is no more, you will be reborn into the sixteen levels of Brahma, achieving higher levels of happiness. One will reach the highest levels, the eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth sixteenth and even higher.
(10. 9) Do not become attached to the happiness of the Brahma level. Abstaining from the Brahma happiness, one can reach the higher happiness of the formless happiness of the Non Form realm. Do not be attached to the happiness of this realm or to that of the realms of akasanancayatana, vinnanancayatana, akincannayatana, nevasannanasannayatana.
(10.10) Are these [levels] of happiness sufficient up to this point? These forms of happiness are not sufficient for we need the supreme happiness. So, we must abstain from the formless Brahma happiness so that we can attain Nibbana. It is the greatest joy; nowhere else is the supreme happiness found but in the ultimate Nibbana. No other happiness can compare.
(11) Once we have learned of the supreme happiness, what do we do? The method is to abstain from human happiness, but how to do this? It is by abstaining from the [needs of the] body, from the speech and from the mind. It is by giving, or donating to charity, and by observing the precepts and through meditation.
(11.1) We lay people must frequently give, abstaining from the lesser happiness by giving. Those who are rich and wealthy, those with moderate wealth and those with minor wealth should all give, giving alms, giving happiness to the world, and to the next world, and to the coming world.
(11.2) Keep on giving for Dana is the most important thing. This is confirmed by the text book that human being will earn the happiness from giving.
(12) For this reason, Phra Bodhisatta who was born into the human world in order to pursue his perfections, started out by giving. He was a saver, a great supporter to his dependants, and was always giving. He was very prosperous and made substantial donations. This was his way of being charitable.
(12.1) Giving takes us to the supreme happiness: there can be no supreme happiness without fruits that flow from the merit of giving. There would be happiness but it would not be supreme happiness. If one were born into a poor family one could never be highly committed to goodness. One could neither observe the precepts nor meditate. This is because poor people have to work hard to earn a living, and the poor find it harder to observe the precepts and to meditate because of the heavy burden of work.
(12.2) Only when one has property, can one fully observe the precepts and develop one’s meditation skills. There are no problems [for such a person]; when one wishes to make donations one can simply do so. When one possesses wealth, one gives some to charity; this is the [natural] way to enjoy the benefits of giving. It reveals the importance of giving and also of self-discipline (sila) and meditation (bhavana).
(13) Danamayo is the pure merit that is accomplished through giving (Dana). Chakamavacaro is the cause of one being born in the sixth levels of Kamavacara and earning the greatest supreme happiness. Silamayo is the pure merit that is accomplished by observing the precepts and results in one being born in Akanittha the sixteenth Brahma realm. One must follow those steps. Bhavanamayo is the pure merit that is accomplished through meditation.
(13.1) Amataphalo is the outcome of attaining Nibbana through meditation. Dana leads to the benefit of being born in the sixth level of Heaven. Observing the precepts leads to the benefit of being born in the sixteenth level of Brahma. Meditation leads to the benefit of Nibbana. Now we know the rules, and the important steps of Dana, Sila and Bhavana, we can see the coming of the highest and most complete happiness.
(13.2) Dana will get one to Heaven; sila will get one to akanittha (Bhava) the Form Brahma (Rupabrahma), Meditation (Bhavana) will get one to Nibbana. Once you attain Nibbana, the utmost supreme happiness will be yours.
(14) Now that we understand the basic principles, we will take each step in sequential order. Here at Wat Paknam, we start with the human body; we practice and eventually many attain Nibbana. Do not misunderstand just start practicing. Now you monks, novices (Samanera), Upasaka and Upasika please organize your minds and begin the practice of ‘stilling the mind’.
(14.1) When the time comes we make donations, we maintain our self discipline and our purity and always meditate. Do not be out of place; still the mind; cultivate a meditative state and still the mind. When your mind stops you will attain the path of the great Buddha and the Arahants. You will meet the great Buddha when your mind stops.
(14.2) Where to stop? At the middle of the sphere that makes the human body possible. Stop there; at the moment that you stop – as it is said in the Pali – natti santi parum sukham; no other happiness is greater than stillness. This is true happiness; here is the true happiness. You have found it; once you have found the highest degree of happiness, carry on, maintaining the stillness. Stop [the mind] more intensely; do not turn back. Remain still internally, with more intensity; do not turn back.
(14.3) This preacher has taught this method of ‘stopping without turning back’ for a period of twenty-three years; twenty-three years and over two months. Stop inside; stop, never turning back. Do not turn back and attain the supreme happiness that is hard to explain. With this knowledge, the monks, novices, Upasaka and Upasika who want happiness, must stop the mind.
(15) This is happiness, the true happiness with which nothing can compare. Once the mind stops, the happiness that comes from merit is the fruit of meditation. Higher meditation leads to attainment of Pathamamagga, the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere, the Sila sphere, the Samadhi sphere, the Panna sphere, the Vimutti sphere and the Vimuttinanadassana sphere.
(16) From the human body one moves on to the refined human body, to the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere, the Sila sphere, the Samadhi sphere, the Panna sphere, the Vimutti sphere, the Vimuttinanadassana sphere in the refined human body. Abstain from the happiness of the refined human body and you will reach the coarse Dibbakaya the celestial body, the first step to the higher levels of happiness.
(17) Once you reach the coarse celestial body, you will attain the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana in the celestial body, the Sila sphere, the Samadhi sphere, the Panna sphere, the Vimutti sphere, and the Vimuttinanadassana sphere, then on to the refined celestial body. Then you will attain the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere in the refined celestial body, [followed by] the Sila sphere, the Samadhi sphere, the Panna sphere, the Vimutti sphere, and the Vimuttinanadassana sphere. Then, abstaining from the happiness in the refined Celestial body, you will attain the higher, Rupabrahma the Form Brahma body.
(18) Arriving at the Rupabrahma body, one will attain the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere of the Rupabrahma body, followed by the Sila sphere, the Samadhi sphere, the Panna sphere, the Vimutti sphere, and the Vimuttinanadassana sphere. Then you will attain the refined Rupabrahma body. Allow your mind to stop at the right mode and you will attain Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere, the Sila sphere, the Samadhi sphere, the Panna sphere, the Vimutti sphere, and the Vimuttinanadassana sphere. Abstain from the happiness of the refined Rupabrahma body and you will attain the coarse Arupabrahma body, the formless Brahma body.
(19) Arriving at the coarse formless Brahma body one will reach Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere of the formless Brahma body, followed by the Sila sphere, the Samadhi sphere, the Panna sphere, the Vimutti sphere, and the Vimuttinanadassana sphere. Abstaining from the happiness of the coarse formless Brahma body, one will attain the refined formless Brahma body. Stop the mind at the centre of the body. One will reach, the Sila sphere, the Samadhi sphere, the Panna sphere, the Vimutti sphere, and the Vimuttinanadassana sphere. One will then attain the Dhammakaya, happiness on top of happiness, the higher happiness.
(20) The mind of the coarse Dhammakaya stops and one attains the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere, the Sila sphere, the Samadhi sphere, the Panna sphere, the Vimutti sphere, and the Vimuttinanadassana sphere. Abstain from happiness in the coarse Dhammakaya and you will reach the refined Dhammakaya with even greater happiness. The mind of the refined Dhammakaya stops, and you will reach the Sila sphere, the Samadhi sphere, the Panna sphere, the Vimutti sphere, and the Vimuttinanadassana sphere. Abstain from the happiness of the refined Dhammakaya and you will reach the Coarse Sota body where there is an even greater happiness.
(21) Stop the mind of the coarse Sota body and reach the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere, the Sila sphere, the Samadhi sphere, the Panna sphere, the Vimutti sphere, and the Vimuttinanadassana sphere at the centre of the body. One will attain the refined Sota body. Abstain from the happiness of the coarse Sota body. Reaching the refined Sota body, there will be lots of happiness. Stop the mind, reaching the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere, the Sila sphere, the Samadhi sphere, the Panna sphere, the Vimutti sphere, and the Vimuttinanadassana sphere. Abstain from the happiness of the refined Sota body for it is less than the happiness of the Coarse Sakadagami body where there’re more.
(22) Stop the mind of the Coarse Sakadagami at the Center of the sphere. Upon reaching the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere, the Sila sphere, the Samadhi sphere, the Panna sphere, the Vimutti sphere, and the Vimuttinanadassana sphere, you will go on to the body of the refined Sakadagami body. Abstain from the happiness of the coarse Sakadagami body; the happiness will be even greater in the refined Sakadagami body. Stop the mind of the Sakadagami body, one will reach the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere, the Sila sphere, the Samadhi sphere, the Panna sphere, the Vimutti sphere, and the Vimuttinanadassana sphere, then one will reach the coarse Anagami Body. Upon abstaining from the happiness of the refined Sakadagami body, the happiness becomes more and more refined.
(23) Stop the mind of the Coarse Anagami body. When you attain the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere, the Sila sphere, the Samadhi sphere, the Panna sphere, the Vimutti sphere, and the Vimuttinanadassana sphere, abstain from the happiness of the coarse Anagami body because the happiness there is less than in the refined Anagami body.
(24) Stop the mind of the refined Anagami body. When you attain the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere, the Sila sphere, the Samadhi sphere, the Panna sphere, the Vimutti sphere, and the Vimuttinanadassana sphere, then you will attain the Coarse Arahant body. Abstain from the happiness of the refined Anagami body because you will attain more happiness in the Coarse Arahant body.
(24.1) This is a kind of happiness that is free from worldly taint3, one that is detached; Viragadhatu and Viragadhamma. Stop the mind of the Coarse Arahant body at the center of the sphere that makes the [Dhammakaya] Arahant body possible. When it is in the right mode one will enter into the Dhammanupassanasatipatthana sphere, the Sila sphere, the Samadhi sphere, the Panna sphere, the Vimutti sphere, and the Vimuttinanadassana sphere. When you reach the refined Arahant body, abstain from the happiness of the Coarse Arahant body and attain the happiness of the refined Arahant body, becoming more and more refined. Measureless happiness is here – the path to Nibbana – Vibhulam Sukham4; the utmost happiness that is attained by abstaining from the lesser happiness.
3Thai ni-rah-mit = freedom from worldly taint, inducements, allurements and temptations; a pure and orthodox doctrine.
4Thai/ Pali vipulang? ‘highest’?
(24.2) We were groping around absent-mindedly, looking for human happiness in the human body, obsessed with sights, sounds, smells, tastes and bodily sensations. And that is all that we will find – nothing better – for we are not skillful and we never listen to Lord Buddha’s Dhamma. We never practice according to the teachings of the Great Lord and the arahants. We do not listen to, or develop our minds according to, the Dhamma of the righteous man (Sappurisa).
(25) Only if we are skillful, generous and understanding, observing the precepts and developing our meditation skills, will we reach the highest level. Only then will we experience the happiness of the Catumaharajika, Tavatimsa, Yama, Tusita, Nimmanarati and Paranimmittavasavatti levels of heaven. Otherwise we remain haunted by the visible, audible and olfactory object; influenced by tastes and by bodily sensations, by sensuality itself (kam). It is just the sensual (kam) producing the trivial forms of worldly happiness. Human happiness lasts for just a short period of time, lasting only a hundred years or even less.
(26) Celestial has greater happiness, longer life. Even at Paranimmittavasavatti the happiness is more and life is longer than Human being in Rupabrahma, the Form-Brahma the happiness is as long as Mahagalapa to Akanittapot to Vehapala Asannisatta. Five hundred Mahagalapa, even five hundred Mahagalapa, still the happiness is small, not ture happiness, fake, not ture, the happiness in Nevasannanasanna Akanitta higher folds of happiness about a thousand Mahagalapa, not much, the higher but not the Nibbana which is the highest.
Happiness in the three planes, 840,000 Mahagalapa is still a trifle happiness not the abundant happiness. Let us abstain the trifle happiness.
Once one reach the greater happiness do not turn back, never stop there, just go forward as the Wat Paknam practitioners do. This Vijja Samadhi Vipassana must be followed to enable one to reach Dhammakaya. Attaining Dhammakaya is uncountable greatness as to visit the Great Lord Buddha, the Nibbana, Arahant. One would realize the worth of being born human under the Teaching of the Great Lord Buddha, know the truth, see the truth.
To keep the worthiness of hard work in raising up a child, carrying the baby during pregnancy by the parent, the person who would be carried on the head not wasting the time and energy for the person shows his wisdom and best qualification as a human under Buddhist Religion. This person abstain the trifle happiness and attain abundant happiness as wish. This is the time. Etena saccavajjena with the truth in saying about practicing from beginning to the end Sada sotthi bhavantu te. May the best be yours who presented here Si thatamattalu ltam Palam ete Smi Rattana Yassmi Sampa Sattana Jet so May the purity and faith in the Trirattana make all your wishes come true.
The Noble Treasure
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammasambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammasambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammasambuddhassa.
Yassa saddha tathagate acala supatitthita
silanca yassa kalyanam ariyakantam pasamsitam
sanghe pasado yassatthi ujubhutanca dassanam
adaliddoti tam ahu amoghantassa jivitam
tasma saddhanca silanca pasadam dhammadassanam
anuyunjetha medhavi saram buddhana sasananti.
November 25th B.E. 2497, 53rd Sermon
Now I would like to present the Noble Treasure according to that which is laid out in the Pali text of the Ariyadhanagatha. A translation of the material will be presented in the Siamese1 language, within the limits of the time that is available to us. We will start at the beginning of this Ariyadhanagatha: Yassa saddha tathagate acala supatitthita, one whose faith in Lord Buddha is unwavering and firm; silanca yassa kalyanam ariyakantam pasamsitam, one who practices the precepts with good grace, as is expected and admired by Lord Buddha; sanghe pasado yassatthi, one in whom the belief in the Sangha is occurring within; ujubhutanca tassanam, one whose vision is right by nature; a wise man would refer to him as one who has no poverty. Not being poor should mean being rich, yet the meaning of “having no poverty” is more exact; in other words, one who is not impoverished. Furthermore amoghantassa jivitam; the way of life of such a person is never without aim but is singularly advantageous; tasma saddhanca silapanca pasadam dammadassanam, therefore as a wise person is able to recall the various teachings of Lord Buddha, he should constantly accompany them with belief, precepts, faith and the Dhamma vision. The demonstrated statements are the only contents of the Pali text that could be translated into the Siamese language.
1Siam is an older term for the Thai state, Thailand and the Thai people. Siamese is thus the name traditionally applied to the Thai language.
A further elucidation will now be given. In the phrase, “one whose faith in Lord Buddha is unwavering and firm”, saddha means faith, yassa means the one to whom [it] belongs, acala means unwavering and supatitthita means “that is firmed”, in the past participle form; supatitthita, a firmed one. Meanwhile tathagate means “in the Lord Buddha”. This Pali text translation is correct without mistake and is word perfect. The faith is well settled in someone: no, take out the word ‘well’; “the faith in Lord Buddha is settled”, or the word ‘firmed’ is better. A thoroughly translated sentence should be: “one whose faith in Lord Buddha is irrevocable and firmed”. What could such a one be?
It can be traced in the familiar commentary of the Dhammapada, in which appears the story of Supabuddhakutthi. His belief in Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha was true and irrevocable; it was not uncertain or unsteady. This was known by Indra, the chief deity. Indra said, ‘I would go and test the magnitude of his faith in Buddha Dhamma and Sangha’. He then transformed himself into a mortal and simply walked past Supabuddha the leprous beggar. One could not tell if he was a poor man or a rich man, or one who begs to live? ‘Supabuddha, they said, you have great faith in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha.’ Indra replied; ‘But at the moment you are not in a complete or sufficient condition. Could you say that this is not the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha for I will offer you a whole life supply, so that you will have no more difficulties.’ Supabuddha asked Indra ‘Who are you?’ ‘I am Indra’ he replied. ‘If you are Indra, could you fly for me to prove it?’ Suddenly Indra flew into the sky and transformed himself back into the original deity. Supabuddha told Indra ‘Even though you are the real Indra, please do not get close to me as you are a rascal Indra, with whom I do not want to associate. Please go away, do not try to revoke my words by saying that that is not Buddha, that is not Dhamma or that is not Sangha, for I can remark only, that that is Buddha, and that is Dhamma and that is Sangha. There should not be any deviation from the Buddha Gem, Dhamma Gem and Sangha Gem.’ It is noticeable that he is so faithful. We may have known Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha Gems by virtue of only their names, Buddha, Dhammo and Sangho, which are not quite certain. Back to the issue of saying, that that is not Buddha, that is not Dhamma and that is not Sangha. As it is not known how the Buddha configuration is, how the Dhamma configuration is and how the Sangha configuration is, let us clear up those sentences in order to accept the deal of the whole life supply, since money is the only benefit for one by whom Dhammakaya is not really known or perceived. However for one who does attain Dhammakaya, the promise of a supply of money to last a whole lifetime could not be accepted by saying: that is not Buddha that is not Dhamma, that is not Sangha and that they are not refuges. One who has never known or perceived Dhammakaya may waver or be uncertain, compared to one who remains firm in the Dhammakaya and who would not waver or be uncertain, just like Supabuddha. The main concept can be understood in this way.
Can we examine ourselves to see if we really believe in Lord Buddha or Dhammakaya? It has been emphasized in the Pali text that Dhammakaya aham itipi means “I myself am Dhammakaya”, Therefore Dhammakaya is the Lord Buddha, absolutely the Lord Buddha. This is what is to be firmly believed, not by wavering but by being firm. Silanca yassa kalyanam ariyakantam pasamsitam means precepts that Lord Buddha expects to be observed and that are admired by Lord Buddha. Pasamsitam means things that are expected by Lord Buddha, and admired by Lord Buddha. What are the virtuous precepts and what kind of precept can be referred to as righteous? The five precepts are pure and righteous; the eight precepts, observed purely without faking or being contaminated by annoyance, are also righteous. If the ten precepts are practiced correctly, purity will be obtained accordingly. In cases where the two hundred and twenty seven precepts are practiced correctly, then purity will also be the result. Precepts in the Vinaya pitaka are Apariyantasila: they are all virtuous, regardless of how many of them there are. The mentioned precepts are virtuous in terms of Parijatti but not in terms of Patipatti. So, what is the real precept? The precepts in Pariyatti are virtuous according to their Pariyatti aspect; they are not the same as the precepts in Patipatti which are virtuous according to their Pamipatti aspect. It is not just a matter of conventional habits of body, speech and [coming to an] understanding, but a matter of abboharika, uncommon habits, wherein one’s flesh, skin and purpose become as one with the precepts.
Precepts in Patipatti must be perceivable. Where are they? In order to perceive the precepts one must establish Samadhi, one-pointedness of mind, in order to attain Dhammakaya. Having achieved active Samadhi2, and having attained Dhammakaya, then one can perceive the precepts. A portion of the mundane precepts can be perceived normally by this mundane human body. Afterwards, mundane perception has to occur along with that of the refined human body, the Celestial body, the refined Celestial body, the Rupabrahma body, the refined Rupabrahma body, the Arupabrahma body and the refined Arupabrahma body. However as soon as the real precept is perceived, one becomes a Gotabhu. The prior eight bodies are not able to perceive precepts, but Dhammakayas and refined Dhammakayas can perceive the precept sphere. With a size of the Moon or the Sun, the transparent sphere is perceived within the Dhamma sphere, which brings about the human body. The sphere is very clear with the diameter of an egg yolk; it can be truly and clearly perceived within the Dhamma sphere. The perceived sphere is called Adhisila3. In the center of the Adhisila sphere appears the Adhicita sphere4; at the center of the Adhicita sphere there is the Adhitpanna5. Hence the precepts, mind and wisdom together can be obtained in this manner, and these precepts are called the visible precepts6. One is able to liberate oneself from suffering just by perceiving the precept sphere, since the precept is the noble path that leads to the fruit. Lord Buddha proceeded through this visualized precept path, but not by means of the known precepts. Although they go the same way, the known precepts are not as refined as the visible precepts, which are superior in some ways. When the concept is understood, it can be recognized with the appearance of another sphere which is as clear as a mirror.
2Active smadhi: สมาธิเป็น
3Adhisila: อธิศีล, the higher precept, the higher morality
4Adhicita: อธิจิต, the higher mentality
5Adhipanna: อธิปัญญา, the higher wisdom
6Visible precepts: ศีลเห็น
Silanca yassa kalyanam, means one who properly practices the precepts which are expected and admired by Lord Buddha. Pasamsitam means ‘having admired’; the word demonstrates how virtuous the precept is. In regard to having faith in Lord Buddha, let’s look at the virtuous precept; it is of Sila but not of Dhamma, however it is categorized in the Dhamma group as well. Nevertheless, it occurs within the Dhamma sphere that really is the Dhamma. ‘Precept’ means the path of Sila taken previously by Lord Buddha. In the third clause, Sanghe pasado yassatthi refers to the faith in the Sangha that exists within anyone. What is this faith in the Sangha? It could be said to be similar to the faith that happens nowadays whenever someone views a group of monks and novices. For instance, in this sermon hall as the alms donor comes to offer alms, he could see plenty of monks and novices. He is gratified by noticing that “the alms that I give could extend the life of Buddhism; the treasures accumulated from my energy and my works are preserved for the benefit of these monks and novices, therefore I do deserve, and will obtain, great merit.” For one to think in this way is also counted as Sanghe pasado. However ordaining as a monk is of great power; it provides a unique honour for the man himself for he does not have to undertake any job at all. In contrast, each (lay-) person has to be engaged in an individual career in ordere to make a living. If they did not work, they would get no food; they have to make a living by their own physical effort. Monks do not work for food, but rather study Ganthadhura7 or Vipassanadhura8, depending on the occasion. They partake of only fine and sufficient food that will bring about good health. One may realize that entering into the monkhood or being part of the community of monks is a favourable thing, or that one may become completely faithful to the Sangha, and be able to quit his earthly obligations to family, wife and sons. For instance William Kapilavaddho, a married westerner who is very faithful to the Sangha, took leave of his family and western culture and took ordination as a Thai monk. Becoming a member of the Sangha is considered Sanghe pasado too. William is faithful to the Sangha and eventually his wish to enter the monkhood and the Dhamma order was fulfilled. These ordained monks and novices here are also Sanghe pasado. Laymen and laywomen are faithful to the Sangha, coming to practice the precepts and meditation involves the same Sanghe pasado. Nevertheless, this faith in the Sangha is faith in the conventional Sangha. Having an advanced faith in the Sangha involves having faith in Lord Buddha.
7Ganthadhura: Study of the canon
8Vipassanadhura: Practicing contemplation, insight development, and meditation
Actually, the faith in Lord Buddha and the faith in Sangha are closely related. Here Sangha does not mean the conventional Sangha, but the Sangha Gem, the one that is Dhammakaya. When one is able to attain Dhammakaya, it appears within the Gotabhu9 Dhammakaya that has a size of less than five wa10. In the center of the Dhammakaya there is a Dhamma Gem sphere with the same diameter as the Dhammakaya. Within the Dhamma Gem sphere there is a refined Dhammakaya that is similar to the unrefined Dhammakaya but more refined, clean and beautiful. This refined Dhammakaya is the so-called Sangha Gem. In conclusion, the unrefined Dhammakaya is the Buddha Gem, the Dhamma sphere that brings about the Dhammakaya is the Dhamma Gem and the refined Dhammakaya situated at the center of the Dhamma sphere is the Sangha Gem, the basic element of the Sangha. It could be explained that the Buddha Gem is the basic element of Buddha. The Buddha Gem is able to perceive the four noble truths; it comes to know suffering, followed by the causes of suffering, the cessation of suffering and the path to the cessation of suffering. As for knowing these four noble truths and also the proper practices for working through the three groups of insight – namely Saccannna11, Kiccanana12 and Katanana13 – it comes about through [reciting] the name of Buddha, which is a Nemitakanama14.
9Gotrabhu: The converted stage.
10Wa: A Thai measurement unit for distance, one wa is approxirnnrcly 2 meters.
11Saccanana: Insight into the noble truths as they really, are.
12Kiccanana: Insight into the right method of coping with the respective noble truths.
13Katanana: lnsight into what has been done in regard to the respective noble truths.
14Nemitakanama: Name that comes from an individual’s virtue or characteristics.
For Dhammo, one who has attained the Dhamma would be able to abandon bad conduct physically, verbally or mentally. And that causes the Nemitakanama of Dhammo to be cast off. Because the Sangha Gem has been maintaining and observing the Dhamma which brings about the Buddha Gem, causing it to be enduring and not to disappear, it affirms the phrase Dhammo Sanghe pasado or the Dhamma that a monk observes. In fact the refined Dhammakaya is the one that maintains the Dhamma sphere that brings about the unrefined Dhammakaya. It is the refined Dhammakaya that is called the Sangha Gem, and it is the causation of the Nemitakanama of the Sangha. Being faithful in the refined Dhammakaya, therefore, could be considered as Sanghe pasado. Hence one who is faithful in the refined Dhammakaya or Sangha is then a wealthy man or Adaliddo with wisdom, as he is not really poor. One who has faith in Lord Buddha will never become poor. One who correctly observes the precepts that are expected and admired by Lord Buddha, is also considered not to be a poor man. Nor can one who has faith in the Sangha be considered a poor man.
Ujubhutanca dissanam means a vision of Dhamma or a righteous vision. Uju means right, and Dassa means vision or opinion. Meanwhile Yassa puggalassa could mean someone’s opinion, and Ujubhutanca means ‘is righteous in nature’. In conclusion, one who possesses right vision, known as righteous vision, would be referred to by wise men, not only as not poor, but also as wealthy.
There are four conditions in total for believing in Lord Buddha; observing the noble precepts, being faithful to the Sangha and having righteous vision15. One who has these four virtues firmly in his mind, could never be considered inferior to any wealthy man. Despite the text of Ariyadhanakathavaca or the commentary on the noble treasure, one who has only noble treasure will not be in any real difficulty or poverty, but instead will be absolutely a wealth man. Monks and novices who own this kind of treasure will be comfortable, lively, delighted and glad. In the same manner, laymen and laywomen who own the noble treasure will also be lively, delighted and glad. The owner of a worldly treasure, such as a diamond worth ten thousand coins, might be overcome with fear lest any harm should come to the diamond at the hands of some stranger. But believing in Lord Buddha, observing the noble precepts, being faithful to the Sangha and having righteous vision, one will never be effected by any sort of fear because of the knowledge that all these things are mental attachments. The Dhammo cannot be stolen, robbed, snatched or taken away, because this is the nature of the real thing.
15Only three are mentioned.
Furthermore the following phrase Amoghantassajivitam means that one who has these four virtues will never have a useless life but that he will live an efficacious life16. One single day and night of his life is more valuable than a hundred years of living the rather useless life of a man who does not possess these four virtues. The final sentence of this Pali statement confirms the precious art of living of the aforementioned virtuous man by stating that; tasma saddhanca silanca pasadam dhammadassanam anuyunjetha medhavi saram buddhana sasananti. Therefore, whenever the teaching of Lord Buddha is recalled by wise men, it should be accomplished with belief, precepts, faith and righteous vision. Without losing faith in Lord Buddha, focus the mind and do not allow it to shift onto anything else, because it is right at this focus point that Dhammakdya is located. Besides, how else could we think in order to be able to assert a belief in Lord Buddha? It should be that we keep telling our human body; “Being as you are now is brought about by Lord Buddha. If there is no Lord Buddha, you cannot be alive; you must die immediately.” How could we do this?
16Or; ‘auspicious life’.
Because it is exactly this, that Dhammakaya takes care of and protects one’s life17. What is it that life depends on for its existence? It is the Dhamma sphere that brings about the human body, causing life to exist. If there is no such sphere life will be extinguished. For the refined human body depends on the Dhamma sphere that brings about that refined human body. If the Dhamma sphere which brings about the human body, and which has the diameter of an egg yolk, does not exist, then the refined human body will be extinguished; the celestial body, thus, cannot exist either. This is because the celestial body depends on a Dhamma sphere which causes the celestial body to exist; this sphere measures three times the diameter of an egg yolk18. In a similar manner, the Dhamma sphere that brings about the refined celestial body has a diameter that is four times larger than an egg yolk. Furthermore the Rupabrahma body appears within the Rupabrahma body sphere, which is five times larger than an egg yolk. The refined Rupabrahma body, in the same way, occurs with a diameter six times larger than the refined Rupabrahma Dhamma sphere. The Arupabrahma body is brought about with a diameter seven times larger than the Arupabrahma Dhamma sphere. Later the refined Arupabrahma body appears with a diameter eight times larger than the size of the refined Arupabrahma sphere.
17Dhammakay nan la raksa chiwit chau wai: raksa is a Sanskrit term meaning ‘protection’.
18Even though the diameter of the refined human Dhamma sphere is not specified, according to the context here, it is probably twice the size of an egg yolk.
The Dhammakaya, is also brought about by the Dhamma sphere which has the same diameter as the Dhammakaya lap. This Dhamma sphere is situated at the center of the Dhammakaya. By the same manner the refined Dhammakaya is brought about by the Dhamma sphere, which has brought about the refined Dhammakaya. This Dhamma sphere is five wa in diameter. Other bodies become larger and larger accordingly. Regardless of the number of Buddhas who enter into Nibbana, they are all nothing but this common Dhammakaya. They continuously maintain human lives, right at the center of the Dhamma spheres that have brought about human bodies and the other bodies. The number of Buddhas is as countless as the several levels of ages. There is noone else who has maintained our lives, because no one else could govern life; it must be the existing governors. Metaphorically, the Buddhas who have entered Nibbana are comparable to fine parents. The prosperity of a home depends on clever parents who protect their wealth and their family from all kinds of harm. They are very knowledgeable of all aspects of how to manage their domestic budget and govern the home. Wat Pak Nam is still prosperous due to the venerable abbot, and without the abbot it cannot be prosperous; it will be ruined. If the abbot is not smart enough, then the monastery will certainly deteriorate, but if the abbot is able to preach wisely and manage with good governance the monastery will surely progress. However this abbot of Wat Pak Nam does not simply give sermons but teaches the Dhammakaya; besides, fund raising for a school building was also accomplished and many things more. These accomplishments are due to various factors.
So, what is responsible for the existence of Wat Pak Nam? Principally it is the abbot, yet laymen and laywomen are the ones who actually keep the housing and facilities in good order. Buddha, after his Nibbana, brought as many disciples as possible into his body in order to govern and maintain human beings. He has to maintain the Dhamma spheres that bring about the various subsequent bodies, and keeps up their maintenance to the end.
Where is this end? This preacher keeps on studying the Knowledge without yet arriving at a conclusion. After twenty three years and four months of Vijja19 learning, he has not reached the end at all. Even if an incalculable number of spheres is counted, one still does not arrive at the final sphere. It has never been done, but if the end is reached, or if the end of [the need for] maintenance is achieved, human beings will certainly no longer age, get sick or die. It is by proceeding in this particular way, and in no other way. Buddha keeps on maintaining at the element of origin; he exists there and he is Being there. If he stops the maintenance, human beings will immediately be forced to leave, or if Mara interrupts the passage between bodies, resulting in disconnection, the human will die due to a lack of maintenance. So why do we have to pay obeisance for that which we have paid for before, since he is keeping our life maintained? It cannot be that way, for if he gives up it will result in death for sure. In the other words, he is more generous to us than anyone could ever be. Nevertheless we are wealthy in some aspects, in that he sends the treasure to us; however we are also poor in some aspects, in that he is sometimes unable to get the treasure to us in time because it is interrupted by Mara. Taking this concept into consideration, we are therefore respectful and faithful to the Buddha. In this life, focusing the mind on Buddha is considered equal to believing in Buddha.
19Vijja: the insight concerning Dhammakaya
Could the precepts be observed wrongly? If they are not observed correctly, it could effect Buddha. A wrong preaching on the precepts would disgrace and tarnish the Dhammakaya, yet observing the precepts with good grace would bring clean, bright and supportive conditions to the Dhammakaya.
Could it be that we are not faithful to the Sangha, or to the Sangha Gem that maintains the Dhamma sphere and thus allows the Buddha Gem to exist? It could not be that way. Just as parents who have done good works, and who have become more successful by means of their management skills, and by relying on good workers, so the Sangha Gem performs extreme good works, i.e. by maintaining the Dhamma Gem sphere and keeping the Buddha Gem in a clean and graceful condition. Could we not keep faith with such a splendorous thing? We have now come up with three virtues.
How about righteous vision? What is it? It is to see the Dhamma Gem, and to see it rightly and correctly. If it is not right in regard to Nibbana, how can it be in line with the maintenance of our lives? It must therefore be right in regard to the path leading to Nibbana, or the path proceeded along by the Buddha and Arahant disciples, and which exists for the maintaining of further prosperity and splendor. This is righteousness without deviation, simply complying with the principle that one should always observe without any unawareness. Righteous vision will provide prosperity to he who does this and also throughout his line. Having known and understood the principle in this way, it is recognized as the recalling of the Lord Buddha’s religion, or Saram Buddhanasasanam. The doctrine of Lord Buddha’s religion is the teaching that leads to knowledge of this principle.
This is the real foundation of the Lord Buddha’s religion, a teaching that consists of nothing else but the vision of Dhammakaya and the procession through the path of Sila20, Samadhi, Panna, Vimutti and Vimuttinanadassana respectively. It is the attainment of the human body, of the Dhamma sphere that brings about the human body, the celestial body, the refined celestial body, the Rupabrahma body, the refined Rupabrahma body, the Arupabrahma body, the refined Arupabrahma body, the Dhammakaya, the refined Dhammakaya, the Sotapana body, the refined Sotapana body, the Sakadagamin body, the refined Sakadagamin body, the Anagamin body, the refined Anagamin body, the Arahatta body and the refined Arahatta body accordingly. All the above-mentioned concepts constitute the so-called Sasana, the teaching of the Great teacher. Having learned the concepts, one should practice in order to make them actually happen and to firm them into habitual activities, so that one might attain tremendous happiness in the present life and also in the following lives.
As the sermon has been presented in correspond with the Pali canon and provided with additional details in the Siamese language, an appropriate period of time has now passed. Etena saccavajjena, by the power of truth that has been referred to in the observance of Dhamma from the beginning through to the end. Sada sotthi bhavantu te, may peace and happiness be with each and every single one of you who have come to gather in this place. I have presented the sermon in a timely fashion, samamutiyutidhammikatha, and this explanation must come to an end now, Evam, as it should be.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammasambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammasambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammasambuddhassa.
Dananca peyyavajjanca atthacariya ca ya idha
samanattata ca dhammes tattha tattha yatharaham
ete kho sangaha loke rathassaniva yayato
ete ca sangaha nassu na mata puttakarana
labhetha manam pujam va pita va puttakarana
yasma ca sangaha ete samvekkhanti panadita
tasma mahattam papponti pasamsa ca bhavanti teti.
December 24th B.E. 2497, 56th Sermon
At this moment I would like to establish a clear understanding on the sequence of Sangahavatthu, the matter of aiding or providing support to each other. This is because, whether we are laymen, ascetics, upasakas or upasikas, whether staying at home or living in the monastery, each of us as Buddhists ought to contribute support to one other. The virtue of supporting each other is known as Sangahavatthu. The word refers to the issue of reciprocally providing support. The sermon today will be presented according to the Pali canon, in the Thai language, until an appropriate period of time has passed.
The beginning phrase of this sutta: Dananca peyyavajjanca atthacariya ca ya idha can be translated into Thai as, “generosity, kindly speech and useful conduct; provided reciprocally, these three virtues, are called Sangahavatthu”. Samanattata ca dhammesu tattha tattha yatharaham or; “one should participate in a particular form of good conduct, consistently and properly. Ete kho sangaha loke rathassaniva yayato means that these supportive virtues are comparable to a wedge, like the restraining wedges in a vehicle of transportation1. Ete ca sangaha means that, if these supports are not present, na mata puttakarana, then parents would not obtain the love and respect that are appropriate to their parental responsibilities. Yasma ca sangaha ete samvekkhanti panadita means, “wise men who can recognize the essence of these supportive contributions”, tasmd mahattam papponti; “by means of this essence wise men are able to attain superiority”. Pasamsa ca bhavanti teti; “therefore these wise men deserve respect”. This is the content of sangaha in Pali as translated into the Siamese language. From this point on a more expansive explanation will be presented accordingly.
1Thai สลัก (salak) a (wooden) wedge, pin or bolt; see footnote 4 below.
Firstly, let’s put the translated sentences into a more understandable order. It was stated previously that generosity, kindly speech, and providing reciprocal support within society, as well as having consistency in one’s religious practice are like the safety supports of a running vehicle. If there are no such supportive virtues, then parents are not able to obtain the love and respect appropriate to their parenthood. Wise men always recognize these supportive virtues, which results in them achieving a superior attainment and gaining respect. These sentences correctly describe the content in the Siamese language. From this point on, a more detailed explanation will be given.
The concept of generosity has been observed by the wise men of all times. The wise feel compelled to give, but the foolish perceive giving as a waste. The wise might even be aware that the more they give, the more they gain.
Let us see which kind of giving is right and which is wrong? Do all kinds of giving share the same characteristics; do they favour everyone? In fact it is mainly a matter of the extent of giving. It may be a narrow form of giving, one that is limited to oneself, to one’s husband or wife, to family members and one’s own son or daughter. Meanwhile a giving to others is ignored as being wasteful, as an over-use or as a using up. A giving to the husband might make him appreciative; a wife might appreciate a gift and giving to a son or daughter would also result in appreciation. But a giving in a wider context is referred to as being wasteful, as an over-use and exhausting of the resource. One who perceives giving in such a narrow way would deserve respect merely from within his own family. If the giving is inhibited the respect will then cease. Therefore, we shall expand our giving to a wider extent or to a greater number of people, since the more it is enlarged, the more people will pay respect to us as if we were their parents. What is the benefit resulting for from wider giving? Narrow giving, of course, provides benefit at a certain level. A wider giving is different for it gains much more benefit, tremendous benefit. In Buddhism, it is advised that we give in a wider manner, not in a narrow manner. As a matter of fact benefit can be earned from a narrow form of giving but with a smaller magnitude, in the way that parents give to their child, that husband and wife give to each other or give in a limited way to other f amity members, seeing sons and daughters as their successors who can further maintain the family. Donors can give as much as they can afford, but the receiver bears only an accomplishing of their duty and that is all that results from this kind of giving. It is wordly, and so narrow. From a religious perspective, however, some people practice in a similar manner by offering alms to a particular monk or novice, who is a favourite, a relative or a familiar person. They may prefer such an offering to the wider one, which seems too much for them. In fact it could also yield benefit but in a narrower manner. Therefore in Buddhism it is more advisable to practise a wider form of offering. The donor would gain respect from a wider group of people because the offering is made in a wider context, whether it be a farmer, a planter, a merchant or any other class of citizen. In particular the aristocratic class should give an even wider offering, so they are able to gain wider respect in terms of reputation and authority. It could be stated that generosity is a major concern, which ensures that every task is done without asking for help. However the giving must be undertaken wisely for the more it is done, the more wealth is gained. Otherwise the more the giving is lacking in good sense, the more it results in poverty. Consequently, Dananca, generosity, is a major issue in the provision of reciprocal support.
We are born on earth as men, women, lay people or ascetics. We come with nothing but the merit that protects individuals, yet seeking for treasure. Within the limitation of this earth, the treasures are to be shared according to a proportion that depends on the individual’s possession and ability. Therefore we must act properly as much as we can, but not pass beyond our abilities and get hurt afterwards, for we are here for such a short time and we must later transfer on to other worlds. Giving can only be accomplished in the form of a human being. After passing away from this form into any form of Rupabrahma, Arupabrahma or even Nibbana, the giving of treasure, which belongs to each individual’s celestial realms, cannot be performed or made to happen. It is the same in the lower realms of animals, hungry ghosts, demons or hell-beings; the inhabitants of these realms cannot perform the righteous conduct of giving.
It is said that giving provides various strengths and benefits. To the extent that one has been willing to give in a full capacity, one will be a wealthy and well-known person or chief with wide authority in the following lives. The giving can even result in the status of a great emperor or a great monarch, who conquers the whole Jambudavipa2, or a king of dependency. For instance there are numerous kings in Jambudavipa presently, but they are all dependent kings. The less powerful have the status of a chief or president for a term of merely 4 years, or a dependent king after the law has abolished a system of supreme monarchy. It happens in this manner according to the individual’s merit, which is gained through the process of giving. Being born as a wealthy monarch, or as a great wealthy man with enormous treasure and followers can be accomplished through giving; it will not happen otherwise. Therefore in order to attain great treasure one must invest one’s energy in giving; Dananca is the generosity of giving.
2Jumbudavipa: in this context the word refers to India.
Peyyavajjanca; one who has a great number of followers should speak with gentle, kindly and useful speech. Those who listen [to such speech] are fascinated and feel the need to come closer, that they cannot be separated [from it], for speech is definitely a major involvement. The words of one who practises kindly speech in this present life will be mighty; everything said by such a person will be done with much success. In contrast, speaking with rough speech will result in self harm. His speech in the present life will have no might or power. Everything he says will result in emptiness and failure through a lack of meritorious conduct in terms of speech. As mentioned before, if the merit has been conducted through speech, the individual’s words will have power. This is not just a minor matter; I will give you an example concerning the might of speech. Once after the Parinibbana of the Lord Buddha, kings from 6 different city-states and their troops were about to go to battle over a Buddha relic, and there was no-one with the diplomatic skills to end the quarrel. Then the Dona Brahmin arrived to make a mighty speech at the site and successfully established the Buddhist process of dividing the Great Relics. His powerful words resulted from the kindly speech he disciplined himself to use and that caused all the kings and other listeners to heed his advice. One who wants to possess powerful speech must refrain from the speech that is inspired by ill will and instead speak with the speech of good will that is favorable to the speaker, to others or both to the speaker and to others. Any useless speech is a waste of time, and nonsensical, worthless and thoughtless speech will defeat the speaker’s own arguments and destroy his own power. That is; he is defeated by nobody but himself. One has to improve the words that one speaks so that one is always kindly soft and gentle, in order to make them favorable to oneself, and to others.
Contributing to the highest utility shall be practiced by means of providing support in this world to fellow human beings and animals or providing support to each other. How to bring about this useful contribution? The ways of behaving as a model for others to follow should be considered the most useful contribution. These will include all physical and verbal contributions that provide advantage, benefit and demonstrating model behaviour to one’s fellow human beings. Meanwhile any physical and verbal behavior that can destroy the doer or those who surround him (or her) must be corrected. Those who are farmers should perform their works in a gradual manner for the sake of fruitfulness and happiness. Planters should share with their neighbours and behave as role models for their friends and fellow human beings. A businessman should act for the benefit of his fellow business people. These are considered to be useful contributions. When we have shared useful contributions and cultivated ourselves to be pure from any blemish we shall become good Monks, Novices, Upasakas and Upasikas, Being a well-behaved model is referred to as Atthacariya or conducting oneself as a model. What is the model? When a craftsman wants to make a “Chofa”3, he must first make a model and then craft the material correspondingly until it is done. Once the model is established we shall use it as our pattern and follow it accordingly. Behaving as a model or mold is comparable to being a reference book, a noble living reference book. The living mold, which brings forth a work that is beautiful in every detail, is a metaphor for the follower who acts constructively. This useful conduct or contribution is an example of Sangahavatthu, the reciprocal providing of support between every single human being.
ช่อฟ้า (chofa): an outdoor decoration piece consisting of carved wooden Nagas placed at the top of traditional Thai buildings, especially palaces and monasteries.
Generosity, kindly speech and useful support having been reciprocally provided to the entire world, one can be referred to as one who possesses equanimity. What is it to possess equanimity? When one practises in the Dhamma as a Monk, a Novice an Upasaka and Upasika one could consistently observea an individual’s particular precepts. A monk could consistently observe a monk’s precepts; a novice could consistently observe a novice’s precepts and Upasaka and Upasika can observe their precepts consistently. Meanwhile one would be able to get along with the group without causing harm to anybody. A Bhikkhu could get along well with the Bhikkhu group with no negative impact, a novice could get along well with the novice group with no negative impact, an Upasaka could get along well with other Upasikas with no negative impact and Upasika can get along well with the Upasika group with no negative impact. If one can do this, he is referred to as a man with even nature for he has been practicing evenly and smoothly. Hence practicing in this way is called Sangahavatthu, the reciprocal providing of support according to the content of the Pali text.
These three virtues of Sangahavatthu shall be observed in this world. It is a major involvement similar to the securing wedge (salak) of a road-running vehicle4. No matter how near or far from the road it might be, it is always secured in order to preserve the configuration of the vehicle and to prevent it from breaking down. A vehicle can run in its usual smooth manner, whether it be a private car, a public bus5 or any other form of transportation, because of the salak that keeps it running in good order. Consequently, parents who obtain the love and respect of their children must be supportive to them by means of kindly speech, by contributing to their welfare, and by being models of good behaviour. Otherwise children will not pay respect to their parents at all. Parents who nurture their children in this way must be intelligent and demonstrate ethical behavior according to the Sangaha. This complies with the Pali verse which states that smart people who use their intelligence, examine these supportive virtues with wisdom, and become respected elders by acting according to righteous judgment. A man with intelligence is able to understand well the forms of practice that comply with the Sangaha and which result in the gaining of respect; without Sangaha there will not be no respect at all. The man practicing Sangaha shall be an elder among the monk group if he is a monk, he shall be an elder among the novice group if he is a novice. If he is an Upasaka practicing correctly he shall attain a superior status in the Upasaka group. An Upasika who practices correctly shall also attain a superior status in her group. In contrast, no matter if one is a monk, a novice, an upasaka, an upasika or a parent, one’s own children will not be respectful if one’s behavior does not comply with the Sangaha. Children will be criticised for lacking in Sangaha. Compliance with Sangaha will result in superiority and praise, and make one worthy of admiration as the image of a good person in this world. One can attain happiness while still in this world, and also in the other worlds that he may reach if he keeps on practicing in accordance with this concept. Despite one’s race or language, complying with this notion would lead one to attain respect, but practicing must be consistent and not irregular. Parenthood, in the same manner, must be consistent in regard to the caring of children; irregularity must be avoided. This proper consistency is referred to as truly attainable for superior people as it complies with the Sangaha.
4The noun สลัก (salak) here probably refers to the wedge that secures a wheel, or trailer coupling, to a wooden cart. It can also mean a metal securing pin on a modern vehicle. l lowevcr, from the context, and taking into consideration the fact that this sermon was presented in the early 1950s, it is more Likely that it refers to a wooden wedge on a traditional Siamese wagon.
5Or perhaps some form of stagecoach.
This is not limited only to Buddhism; in any religion, culture or language, compliance with Sangaha always results in respect. Having understood this concept we shall improve ourselves by asking whether generosity is practiced for the sake of a superiority that could not be obtained without Sangaha. Furthermore, there is the issue of whether it is a kindly or a rough form of speech that we use when we speak with each other? We should avoid the rough speech and speak kindly with each other. Do we ourselves contribute to reciprocal interaction at all? If not, our speech should be converted into a reciprocal contribution. We were born as human beings; one who has no understanding of, and identification with that fact is lacking in Sangaha. By complying with Sangaha, one will not be consorting with bad people. This concept can be observed by anyone, for it is the personal property of every single human being. Once it is thoroughly practiced, everyone will become righteous. How could this be? We have to be smart concerning the Sangaha and supply to the community whatever it is short of, clothes or food. After having practised generosity, kindly speech should be performed. People will not go away but will get closer after hearing gentle speech. They are willing to offer service or take good care since Sangaha is a matter of reciprocal contribution.
The issue of kind speech is not restricted to prescribing the right kinds of speech, but also refers to the avoidance of blaming. It could be an instructive blaming, as when a father blames his child with the intention of warning him against a wrong action. This is an instance of the parent performing kindly speech according to Sangaha in that, after it has been undertaken the children are converted to correct behaviour. To provide a useful contribution, behaving in certain good ways as an example to be followed is referred to as behaving in a manner that is favorable to the followers, or a good pattern to establish for one’s successors. For this reason, the Pali canon has recorded and organised these matters as a well-ordered pattern for Buddhists, even though a long time has passed since the Lord Buddha went to Nibbana. Having conduct correctly organised in this way, it is as if the Lord Buddha were living and teaching us directly; thus we are able to practice according to the teaching. There is no doubt that, once complying with the rule, a monk or novice could carry out any work or meritorious task on a large scale. It is the same for Upasakas and Upasikas, who could accomplish any task on a huge scale without leaving anything incomplete. Because of the Sangaha, resources are always to be found; tasks can be accomplished on a tremendous scale with nothing left incomplete.
This sermon, with the content of the Pali text fully disclosed and with more details provided in the Siamese language, has now come to an appropriate ending. Etena saccavajjena; may the power of truth be presented from the beginning to the end and refer to the practical Dhamma. Sada sotthi bhavantu te; may happiness, auspiciousness and safety be with each and every one of you – those assembled in this place – by the power of all truth that is referred to in the sermon. The chief alms donor today is a good example. She is not really a wealthy lady, yet she has offered alms every year. Back at her home, she collects large quantities of floating bubbles and wood pieces for woodpiles; people come and buy them at wholesale prices, for 40, 50, 80, 100 or 200 baht depending on the size. Earning in this way she is able to offer alms food to the monks every year. However the chief donor today has with her an amazing strength. Complying with the Sangaha, her financial resources were obtained easily, even at a time when it seemed that she was losing money. She talked to someone who sympathized with her, who offered her respect and concern, and who shared with her the expenses that enabled her to undertake the alms offering task every year; how amazing! Some said she was using up all her money, but her lack of money will not be carried over to any following life. She must become a wealthy person in this life by the meritorious power of the alms offering that is not obstructed by treasure or doubt. Her life is not empty for she has met Buddhism and complies directly with the main target of the doctrine, Sangaha. Today she is in the status of mother for the whole day, the mother of each and every single monk, novice, upasaka and upasika, for she is offering alms food for the whole day and night. In this manner monks and novices generally call the male donor a “yom phu chay” and the female donor a “yom phu ying”, or father and mother respectively, because their giving complies with Sangaha, the notion of reciprocal contribution.
The sermon will end now. Etena saccavajjena; may the power of truth be presented from the beginning to the end. Sada sotthi bhavantu te; may happiness, auspiciousness and safety be with each and every one of you who have come to assemble here. I have discussed these matters within an appropriate period of time, Samamutiyutidhammikatha, with a certain degree of detail, Evam, as it is.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammasambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammasambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammasambuddhassa.
Yatha varivaha pura paripurenti sagaram
evameva ito dinnam petanam upakappati
icchitam patthitam tumham khippameva samijjhatu
sabbe purentu sankappa cando pannaraso yatha mani jotiraso yathati.
January 8th B.E. 2597, 58th Sermon
On this occasion I would like to discuss one aspect of the doctrine of Anumodanagatha, in order to explain the chanting that begins with the word Yatha, and that is generally recited by monks and novices to rejoice and to express their gratitude to the donor Upasakas and Upasikas for the alms food offering. The Yatha chanting is not in the Siamese language but in Magadha. A translation into the Siamese language will therefore be made today.
The beginning of the Anumodanagatha, according to the content of the Pali text, is Yatha varivaha pura paripurenti sagaram, which means “as the brimful lake can adequately fill an ocean with its supply”. The following phrase is evameva ito dinnam petanam upakappati, which means “the alms you have offered in the world can certainly be an advantage for one who has passed away from this world”. The phrase icchitam patthitam tumham khippameva samijjhatu means “may your mental expectations and intentions, be successfully fulfilled”. Thereafter; sabbe purentu sankappa or, “may your various thoughts and ideas be successfully completed”, then cando pannaraso yatha; “just like the full moon on the fifteenth night”. The final phrase is, mani jotiraso yatha; “that is similar to a brightly shining precious stone”. These are bhattanumodanagatha.1
1Bhattanumodanagatha: The rejoicing stanza for the merit of alms food offering.
Brimful lakes, or any size of water reservoirs, will overflow and form a water distribution system when gradually filled to the full capacity. Thailand, in this manner, is full of water everywhere. The water will flow from a highland to the lower plain, from a small stream to a larger canal and, so on, to the five main rivers. Eventually they all flow towards, and spill into, the ocean. No related phenomenon varies from this, and there is no other way that the flowing of water can occur. Although water evaporates into the air, it will turn to cloud as it spreads across the sky, then it falls as rain and flows into the ocean. In the same way, when rejoicing is undertaken in relation to alms offering in this world, advantage will undoubtedly be provided to those who have passed away. The phrase icchitam patthitam tumham khippameva samijjhatu; means “may your mental expectations and intentions, be successfully fulfilled”. sabbe purentu sankappa; “may your various thoughts and ideas be successfully completed”, like the full moon in the time of pannaraso the fifteenth day of the month, or like a brightly shining precious stone. This is the entire translated explanation of the recited bhattanumodana, from Magadha bhasa2 into the Siamese language.
2Magadha bhasa: The language spoken in Magadha i.e. Pali.
After the ending of the yatha, the monks continue the blessing with the stanza beginning with sabbi or Samannanumodanagatha, Part of the stanza, sabbitiyo vivajjantu, can be translated as “may all wickedness sublimely disappear” and another part, sabbarogovinassatu, means “may all diseases be cured”. Ma te bhavatvantarayo means “may you avoid all accidents, and sukhi dighayuko bhava means “may you all have comfort and longevity”. The monks would then repeat all the words in the second round as: sabbitiyo vivajjantu (may all wickedness sublimely disappear) and sabbarogovinassatu (may all diseases be cured); ma te bhavatvantarayo (may you avoid all accidents); sukhi dighayuko bhava (may you all have comfort and longevity). Then comes the third round all over again subbitiyo vivajjantu (may all wickedness sublimely disappear); sabbarogovinassatu (may all diseases be cured); ma te bhavatvantarayo (may you avoid all accidents) and sukhi dighayuko bhava (may you all have comfort and longevity). At the end of the third round an additional part is added: abhivadanasilissa niccam vuddhapacayino cattaro dhamma vaddhanti ayu vanno sukham balam which could be translated as “the four benefits of longevity, good appearance, comfort and strength will be received by one who habitually pays obeisance and respect to the elders”3. These are four major benefits adhering within the world and also within the Dhamma. The blessing is carried on every day, that is; the yatha sabbi is recited everyday, but we tend not to remember since the Magadha is not widely understood. Despite the Thai translation, someone still cannot understand clearly or does not wish to learn. Therefore, please pay attention today for the translation could help you to understand the chanting: abhivadanasilissa niccam vuddhapacayino cattara dhamma vaddhanti ayu vanno sukham balam, that is; the four benefits of longevity, good appearance, comfort and strength can occur in one who follows the practice of paying respect to the elders. These four virtues are clearly important.
3Those who possess wholesome qualities that have developed with increasing age.
Ayu4 is the living of a long life to the full extent of one’s life span, not dying in early or middle age. Everyone would love to achieve longevity. Vanna5 can mean the kind of pure beauty that is without any decoration, that lasts for a very long time and that is consistent with the development of the physical body from childhood through into old age. To continuously possess beauty as the result of accumulated merit, or adhering to beauty with no deterioration, is what is known as Vanna. The word sukha6, means being physically and mentally comfortable in each of the four major movements: sitting, lying, standing and walking. To sit, lie, fall asleep and awake comfortably, and even to dream only sweet delighting dreams, is in the nature of possessing happiness. Pala7 is the strength of having the power to travel by land, sea or air, as well as to proceed with any task physically, to command any work verbally and to cope with any problem thoughtfully. The word also has the meaning of confidence that is always strong and never weak. All works are carried out successfully, because pain can be let go of by means of so-called strong confidence. A strong body with less confidence can get faint as when one is hit by a coconut shell and it feels like being bitten by a cobra. After the fact, the person realises that it was a coconut shell and not a cobra; confidence is regained and the person soon recovers. In the case of a fire or some other accident, there will be less damage and problems can be more quickly solved, if there is confidence. Otherwise everything goes from bad to worse as confidence disappears.
5Vanna: Good appearance
6Sukha: Happiness, comfortableness
7Pala: Strength, power
The reason that the four benefits, ayu, vanna, sukha and pala are received by someone is that the person practises respect, veneration, and obeisance. But what is the nature of respect and obeisance? They are the main characteristics of Buddhist practice; we should respect Buddhism. How should we show respect? When we do Buddhist practice we must genuinely venerate Buddhism. In the case of monks, no breaching of the rules can be tolerated, but rather a monk should remain in meditation and wisdom. Novices must respect and perform their duty of ten precepts. Upasakas also shall respect their duty, firmly adhering to the Trisaranagama8, observing five or eight precepts as appropriate. In general upasakas should observe five precepts: pana, adinna, kame, musa and sura. The eight precepts should be practiced on the 8th and 15th days of the waxing moon and on the waning moon according to the lunar calendar. In the other words on Dhammassavana days the eight precepts must be observed continuously. These are the modes of veneration included in the duties of upasakas. The duties of upasikas are alms offering, observing the precept and practicing meditation.
8Traisaranagama: The three noble refuges.
The alms offering should not be beyond one’s capacity, and should cause trouble to no one. The precepts should be observed honestly to the full extent of one’s ability, with no cheating or vanity. Meditation should be respectfully and continuously carried on, causing phenomena to appear, or one should blame oneself for the disability. These are the duties of the gathering upasakas and upasika that should be strictly performed. Thus monks and novices shall adhere to their own precepts, mind concentration and wisdom.
Upon offering alms one should practise caganussati or focusing one’s mind on the offering. Upon observing the precepts one should recollect silanussati, holding on to one’s precepts continuously and holding the precepts firmly. Do not send the mind off in another direction. Upon practising meditation, contemplate phenomena arising out of nowhere. Do not send the mind off to another place while the phenomenon is arising. In any assembly the vision should be kept as clear as a mirror, inner concentration should be firm and unwavering, not unsteady or unstable. Sometimes we may be busy, sometimes not, but on the day of Dhammassavana we must let everything go in order to observe the precepts and to meditate. We shall adhere to the activities, making phenomena appear and watching them. Keep focusing on the meditation; observe by means of it and make it bright like the moon and clear like a mirror. Dhammam, “the Dhamma“, abhasatalam viya “is so bright like the surface of a mirror”; we must focus our minds on that bright surface. In the assembly, those who understand how to do the meditation can practice this way individually. Those who are not so familiar with meditation should intentionally settle the mind; we can make it happen effectively. Place the mind at the point at the center of the Dhamma sphere that brings about the human body. Still the mind; if it is not still, do not give up. In the assembly or gathering, the mind has to be stilled. When it is still, one dares to proceed further, progressing further and further and becoming even more skillful and faster. To practise in this manner is to practise in the Buddhist way; do not waver or vacillate otherwise you will not be self-reliant. Abhivadanasilissa, means that we have to be really respectful to our duties and to our precepts. One example is that we pay respect and obeisance to them with no wavering, vacillating and without any interference that can damage our observance of the precepts. To avoid any damage in respect to caganussati one should recall one’s offering of alms. In regard to meditation, in order to avoid any damage we must keep our conduct, speech and mind in order, and not send the mind to a different place. Keep your mind with the sermons recited by the monks and samaneras and recall that Dhamma which was the teaching of the Buddha. We should realize that in the time of the Buddha the assembly would have had a similar atmosphere to that of the present time, that is, respectable and delightful. One who proceeds in this way will establish the righteous pattern of an upasaka or upasika, It is the same for monks and novices, who work to prolong the life of the religion; they are reverent and worshipful and do not hold Buddhism in contempt.
In the same assembly, it may happen that someone brings in various annoying or disturbing things. It has happened since the Buddha’s lifetime, and is not just a modern occurence. Once there was a group of 500 women who tried to disturb the Lord Buddha. He was in the assembly and had not yet started his sermon when the group arrived. They had hidden some small bottles of liquor in their bags or under their clothes, and brought them into the assembly to drink when they got a chance. Taking two or three sips of their liquor, and then some more a little later turned their faces hot and led to noisy talking between the group and their rustic maids. The aim was to demolish Lord Buddha, but he knew it. When Lord Buddha was about to begin his sermon, giving a sign that he was about to preach, the group of 500 women suddenly raised a disruptive noise. However, while giving his sermon, Lord Buddha brought about a darkness to the place, as if the sun and moon did not exist, and it became completely dark.
The whole crowd was terrified when they saw this miracle, and their drunkenness soon subsided. The light reappeared and Lord Buddha’s preaching delivered to the sober group a certain path and fruit according to the time and season. The event occurred in front of Lord Buddha in precisely this way.
The Lord Buddha has gone and it is not possible in the modern age for a man to emerge who can produce such miracles. We are assembling here in a similar way, and we will keep to the established customs while remembering that there have been those, since the time of the Buddha, who have tried to destroy the Buddhist religion. Now that we know this principle, if we pay no respect to this assembly we will be counted among those who denigrate Buddhism and hold it in contempt. As a result, the assembly of monks, novices, upasaka and upasika would be impossible to maintain and would degenerate and come to ruin. It is better to do it in the way of Abhivadanasilissa, or paying obeisance, as son and daughter pay obeisance to their parents without denigrating them. Furthermore Sithilavaca means that one should be respectful to one’s teachers or instructors; lacking respect for them is prohibited as it comes to the same thing as lacking Abhivadanasilissa, respect for the parents who are the first patrons in one’s life. Therefore one who is patronized should recognize it, be grateful and give back in return. These are responsibilities which must be accomplished to ensure the flourishing of Buddhism.
Vuddhapacayino means being respectful to the elders or to seniors. In what manner should one be respectful to them? Seniors who are considered superior due to their Jativudhi (the origin of their birth), or because of Vayavudhi (their advanced age), or because they possess Gunavudhi (virtue), deserve respect.
In regard to Vayavudhi, those who are eighty, ninety or even a hundred years old, those who possess the seniority of age, always deserve forgiveness from the young. It is to be strictly observed that monks with more than three years of practice in the order should be credited for their Vayavudhi and should not be trespassed against. Anyone who trespasses against one of them has committed a breach of discipline according to several aspects and items. All upasaka and upasika should practise this in the same manner. They shall be respectful to seniors because if they appear to trespass against or blame the seniors, they will suffer the consequences. Being not offensive to seniors is referred to as the first part of Vayavudhi, superiority due to advanced age.
Jativudhi means having a good birth, being born into a royal family, a wealthy family, a rich, powerful and well recognized family, and also being surrounded by followers. A lower birth could refer to the florists and rubbish collectors whose work carries less of a burden and less responsibility. The point is that respect should be paid in order of seniority, from the lower to the higher, accordingly. Jativudhi means to practise in this way.
Gunavudhi means to pay respect to superiors according to their virtue9. Despite being a newborn child on the first day of its life, if he is of firm virtue he is referred to as possessing Gunavudhi. A precedent is the case of Lord Buddha and the seven year-old novice who had attained the state of an arhat. A monk asked the innocent, graceful and well-behaved young novice, “Are you thinking of home, or of your parents; are you getting hungry?” At the same time the monk casually stroked the novice’s body and smooth shiny head. When Lord Buddha noticed what was happening, he ordered Ananda10 to arrange a meeting to bring all the monks and novices together at the same time. In the meeting that Lord Buddha had requested and that Ananda had correspondingly arranged, the disciple stated that everything was ready. Lord Buddha thus began his remark! “Oh I, the sentient being, would like to have some water from Anotata11 to wash my feet; if any of you here can do this, please carry it out for me.” By the way in which the sentences were uttered, Ananda understood that the request was not for him but for the novice. The ordinary, worldly men did not know what Lord Buddha wanted; they were not able to fly and bring the water back, so they did nothing. However the arhat novice did know that the request had been raised for him to carry through. He grabbed a small earthen pot and attached it to his waist, just like the people who attach a bamboo cylinder onto their waist and climb up the toddy palm tree for its sugar. The novice flew away into the sky, but he came back in a sudden with a pot of water brought from Anotata Lake for Lord Buddha. That monk was frightened; “oh no, I have stroked an arhat’s head by mistake and I deserve to die. Lord Buddha is present here and he rescues me in a high degree, otherwise I would fall down into hell.” There is no doubt that Lord Buddha saved him in such a way.
9Or: “Gunavuhi means to show respect in accordance with the Dhamma”.
10Ananda: Name of the great disciple who is the attendant of Lord Buddha.
11Anotata: A lake in the Himavana forest, at the foot of Sumeru mountain.
Because Lord Buddha has already gone to Nibbana, the monks or the group of monks in any monastery or sanctuary who are responsible for looking after a certain group of upasakas or upasikas must not neglect this duty as the very survival of the lay people might depend on it. Problems must to be solved on behalf of the Lord Buddha or the great disciples. Every single follower was looked after by Buddha’s disciples after the Lord Buddha had gone to Nibbana. Therefore we have to look after the people well, and help to solve their problems in the same practical way.
One has to look after one’s own family and lineage, improving their conditions and firmly maintaining whatever customs and traditions have been practiced so that they will be prosperous in the future.
In Buddhism, customs and traditions must be similarly preserved. Those intellectuals, teachers and professors who wish to change and improve the conditions of the education system must make sure that the Buddhist customs and traditions are preserved, otherwise they will disappear, education will be misdirected and Buddhism will become bankrupt. Monks, novices, upasakas and upasikas must continue to perform the practices of the Buddhist religion, and must protect its customs and traditions otherwise the religion will suffer misfortune. Therefore, it is worth paying close attention to this. The act of paying respect to elders and seniors, man or woman, is liked and admired throughout the world; it is appreciated and longed for by the wise. One who acts accordingly is referred to as an intelligent, smart and obedient person. In contrast if someone is obstinate, he will be ignored and unacceptable whether he is a child or an old man. What is the point of this? Lord Buddha used the word Suvaco or obedience when he stated that he would not accept any disciple who is Dubbaco or obstinate. Such a disciple would be rejected from the order because Lord Buddha’s intention was to provide aid and favor for the sake of the common good. Therefore Vuddhapacayino – paying respect to elders and seniors, or being obedient to them – one would receive the four benefits which are: Ayu (possessing longevity), Vanna (possessing a bright and beautiful complexion), Sukha (being comfortable with each of the four movements) and Pala (having functional strength in physical energy, speech and mind).
This explanation by means of common sentences, describing the relevant issues in the Siamese language, has taken an appropriate length of time. Etena saccavajjena: by the power of truth arising from the practice of the doctrine of Bhattanumodanagatha – right within a proper time, from beginning to end – may comfort and safety be with each and every one of you who have assembled in this place. Now I have spent enough time discussing these matters; this sermon, with its well-intentioned content, must come to an end. Evam; it is as it should be.
Meditation is something which we already do in every day life allowing us to focus on the task at hand but the depth of meditation is superficial.
The events around us in the world soon rob us of our attention and our concentration is gone. The mind that wanders outside our own body is the source of all types of suffering.
By deepening our meditation until our mind comes to a standstill, we can unlock the potential and unused ability within. We maintain a balance of mindfulness and happiness for ourselves bringing contentment and direction to life in a way not possible through any other technique.
Step-by-step Instructions for the Meditation Technique.
1.The sitting posture, which has been found to be the most conducive for meditation, is the half-lotus position. Sit upright with your back and spine straight cross-legged with your right leg over the left one.
You can sit on a cushion or pillow to make your position more comfortable. Nothing should impede your breathing or circulation. Your hands should rest palms-up on your lap, and the tip of your right index finger should touch your left thumb. Feel as if you are one with the ground on which you sit. Feel that you could sit happily for as long as you like.
2.Softly close your eyes as if you were falling asleep. Relax every part of your body, beginning the muscles of your face, then relax your face, neck shoulders, arms, chest, trunk and legs. Make sure there are no signs of tension on your forehead or across your shoulders.
3.Close your eyes and stop thinking about the things of the world. Feel as if you are sitting alone. Around you is nothing and no-one. Create a feeling of happiness and spaciousness in your mind. Before starting, it is necessary to acquaint yourself with the various resting points or bases of the mind inside the body.
The first base is at the rim of the nostril, on the right side for men and on the left side for women.
The second base is at the bridge of the nose at the corner of the eye on the right side for men and on the left side for women.
The third base is at the center of the head. The fourth is at the roof of the mouth.
The fifth is at the center of the throat above the Adamis apple.
The sixth base is at a point in the center of the body at the meeting point of an imaginary line between the navel through the back and the line between the two sides.
The seventh base of the mind is two fingers breadths above the sixth base. This base is the most important point in the body. It is the very center of the body and the point where the mind can come to a standstill.
4.Feel that your body is empty space, without organs, muscles or tissues. Gently and contentedly rest you attention at a point near to the seventh base of the mind at the center of the body. Whatever experience arises in the mind, simply observe without attempting to interfere. In this way your mind will become gradually purer and inner experience will unfold.
5.If you find that you cannot dissuade the mind from wandering, then your mind needs an inner object as a focus for attention. Gently imagine that a bright, clear, crystal ball, the size of the tip of your little finger, is located inside at the center of the body. Maybe you’ll find you can imagine nothing, but later you’ll be able to see a crystal ball of increasing clarity. Allow your mind to come to rest at the very center of the crystal ball. Use the subtlest of effort and you’ll find that the crystal ball becomes brighter and clearer. If you see too much effort you will find that it gives you a headache.
6.If you find that your mind still wanders from the crystal ball, you can bring the mind back to a standstill by repeating the mantra, Samma-arahang silently, as if the sound of the mantra is coming from the center of the crystal ball. Repeat the mantra over and over again without counting.
7.Don’t entertain thoughts in your mind. Don’t analyze what’s going on in the meditation. Allow the mind to come to the standstill that’s all you need to do. If you find that you can imag¬ine nothing, then repeat the mantra, Samma-arahang silently and continuously in the mind. If you find that you’re not sure about the location of the center of the body, anywhere in the area of the stomach will do. Persevere because today’s day-dream is tomorrow’s still mind, today’s darkness is tomorrow’s inner bright ness, today’s perseverance is tomorrow’s fulfillment.
Don’t be disappointed if you find your mind wandering. It is only natural for beginners. Make effort continuously, keep your mind bright, clear and pure, and in the end, you will achieve your goal.
8.Keep repeating the mantra and eventually the sound of the words will die away. At that point a new bright, clear, crystal ball will arise in the mind of its own accord. The crystal ball will sparkle like a diamond.
This stage is called pathama magga (primary path). At this stage the shining crystal ball is connected firmly to the mind, and is seated at the center of the body. You will experience happiness, with continuous observation at the center of this crystal ball, it will give way to a succession of increasingly purer bodily sheaths until it reaches the ultimate one called “Dhammakaya”, the highest level of attainment of supreme happiness.