Reply To: Useful Essays from DRARISWORLD and Other Websites

#47086
Gad
Participant

Hi Yash. Honestly it depends on each person’s character. Others follow the 8 precepts without ever breaking them. If it’s too hard, you better stop following them, otherwise it doesn’t lead anywhere. I followed the 8 precepts for about a month and a half, when I was an anagarika in Thailand, a year and a half ago. At first it was okay but when I returned to Canada I followed 6 and ended up falling back to the basic 5. My mind was too caught up in kama ragā, especially towards music.

 

I believe that for a good start, you have to go gradually. Following them from time to time (such as during full moon days) could tell us if we are ready to follow them every day. It will depend on you. The anariya yogis followed the 8 precepts, to achieve the jhanas. When a person follows the 8 precepts sincerely, the mind is kept away from Kāma ragā (temporarily) and attainment of jhanas is very easy.

For a disciple of Lord Buddha who follows the 8 precepts, one must contemplate tilakkhana and whenever possible indulge in jhanas. What is 100% certain is that the jhanas facilitate the understanding of tilakkhana and the reaching of higher stages. Once again it depends on each person’s taste.

Mr.Lal is an anagarika if I am not mistaken. He said in a comment on the forum that attaining jhanas does not appeal to him personally.

 

I recommend you to practice the 4 brahma vihāras (divine abodes). It is used as formal meditation.

Metta(Kindness) :The ariya metta wish that all beings are truly happy by reaching the various stages of magga phala),

Karuna (Compassion) : Feeling compassion towards people who have immoral gati, because they will probably end up in apayas and people who are in unpleasant situations.

Mudita (Altruistic Joy) : Rejoice in the happiness of others.  For example, if you are a sotāpanna you learn that someone has reached a higher stage like sakadagamin anagami and arahant before you you rejoice greatly. If you are in an unpleasant situation and you see people in pleasant situations, you rejoice of the good kamma vipaka which led to this situation.

Upekkha (Equanimity);  That Begins at the anagami stage and which is perfected at the arahant stage. Upekkha can be very well developed with the understanding of the annica nature. Upekkha begins to strengthen at the anagami stage. This is why anagami can never feel anger, sadness or attachment towards anyone. Even if an anagami loses his or her child, material possession or comfortable situation he or she will never be distressed by this loss. One must contemplate the 8 worldly conditions, to begin to develop Upekkha.

1.Gain (Labho) and 2.Loss (Alabho)

3.Fame (Yaso) and 4.Disgrace (Ayaso) .

5.Praise (Pasansa) and 6.Blame (Ninda)

7.Pleasure (Sukha) and 8.Pain (Dukkha).

These 8 conditions are aspects of the annica nature. An anagami has integrated the understanding of these 8 conditions.This is why he is unshakeable in relation to the pleasant or unpleasant situations of Kāma Loka. It remains for him to see the annica, dukkha and anatta nature of the Rūpa Loka and the Arupa loka.

For example annica is the inability to maintain things to our liking. If things will not always be to our taste, what is the point of developing dosa (anger) and lobha (attachment) towards other beings, life situations and objects?? If things are uncontrollable in nature, what is the point of getting angry during unpleasant situations? It is impossible to have complete control over life situations. What should I expect from Samsara?? I only experience pain the vast majority of the time in this human life(birth,illness unpleasant situations and old age) and in the vast majority of my rebirths. After my death, I am more likely to fall into the apayas where I will be subjected to unimaginable suffering. There is no point in getting angry or generating attachment to pleasant things. No matter the situation, I will remain imperturbable and my peace of mind will be unshakeable.

 

Brahma vihāras lead to jhanas, if practiced well. Metta, Karuna and Mudita lead up to the 3 jhanas and upekkha lead up to the 5 rupas jhanas. Upekkha is also the basis of arupas jhanas. If practiced well after the sotāpanna stage, they lead to all the jhanas ariyas and other stages. At the arahant stage these qualities become infinite. The anagamis also generate metta, karuna and mudita infinitely except upekkha. Anagamis may still have attachment to jhanas and abhinnas (supernatural powers). The arahants see the tilakkhana in the 3 worlds (Kāma loka, Rupa Loka and Arupa Loka) and the anagamis only see the tilakkhana in the Kāma loka. This is why they are reborn after their death in pure abodes.

The real upekkha (arahant’s upekkha) is the detachment of all the 31 kingdoms. Ancient yogis cultivated upekkha only to attain all jhanas. They did not have the understanding of tilakkhana. However, it is a quality required to complete the magga phala. Lord Buddha during his awakening thought of teaching the Dhamma to his anariya masters Udakka Ramputta and Alara Kalama. Unfortunately, they had passed away and took rebirth in the arupa loka.

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