Useful Essays from DRARISWORLD and Other Websites

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    • #45535
      Lal
      Keymaster

      I am opening a new thread to post selected essays from the “DRARISWORLD” website.

      I previously posted a few selected essays from that website sent to me by Gad (Shakyamuni’s son). Our thanks to both the website’s author (Dr. Ari Ubeysekara) and Gad; much merit for their efforts. 

      One of those essays was “The Eight Worldly Conditions.” The following are some highlights from the discussion there:

      1. These essays use the conventional translations of anicca, dukkha, and anatta (impermanent, unsatisfactory, and not-self).  MOST current Theravada texts (especially in English) must be “handled with care.” Most invariably translate “anicca” as “impermanence,” “anatta” as “no-self,” etc. See “Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta“ There could be other similar issues.
      2. However, they have helpful information too. 

      The following is another essay recommended by Gad: “Twenty Eight Sammā Sambuddhas in Theravada Buddhism.”

      The link at the top lists all articles on that website.

      • If there are other noteworthy essays from that website (or any other), links to them can be posted on this thread if they seem especially valuable or if someone has questions about them.  
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      Gad
    • #45537
      Gad
      Participant

      Thank you !! Hope that information would be usefull for many in the pratice of Dhamma. 🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿

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    • #45549
      TripleGemStudent
      Participant

      Greetings Gad, may the Buddha dhamma, Dhammā here and out there help us all living beings to attain the supreme bliss of nibbana. 

    • #45551
      Gad
      Participant

      Thank you triple gem student may we attain the supreme bliss of Nibbāna 🙏🏿

    • #45573
      Gad
      Participant

      Hello everyone, I just read a story about Arahant Santati who became an arahant while still a layman after hearing some verses from Lord Buddha, developed all abhinnas and attained parinibbana on the same day. The major detail was his alcoholism during seven days before his parinibbãna. It’s incredible and it shows that Lal was right, the fifth precept is not just about alcohol. Also Lord Buddha smiled when he saw him for the first time. It is known that the smile of a Lord Buddha is extremely rare.

       

      Here is the link for his story

      The Minister who became an Arahant as a lay person

    • #45575
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Thank you, Gad.

      Of course, it does not mean drinking alcohol is good.

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      Gad
      • #45580
        Gad
        Participant

        Yes mister Lal thank you🙏🏿

    • #45596
      Gad
      Participant

       

      Hello everyone I found this also. That’s interesting the previous Pacceka Buddha that appeared in this world was Matanga. He attain parinibbãna shortly before the birth of Lord Buddha Gautama. Also, a person can become a Pacceka Buddha as a layperson. Of course, he will become an ascetic before attaining Pacceka Buddha status.

      Private or Solitary Buddha (Pacceka Buddha) in Theravada Buddhism

    • #45597
      Gad
      Participant

      Sorry for the mistakes i mean one can becomes a pacceka buddha as a layman and after that he will quit to becomes a ascet

    • #45686
      Gad
      Participant

      Six stages of the passage of Theravāda Pali Canon -From the Buddha’s mouth to digitalization

      This article shows how the Dhamma came to us throughout the age. Of course, this article didn’t talk about the bad interperetation like the real signification of Tilakkhana and other crucial them of the Dhamma. But is still interesting.

       

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    • #45795
      Gad
      Participant

      In this sutta, the Lord Buddha warns venerable Ananda about judging the spiritual progress of someone else. He said only a Buddha can judge appropriately about that. He also talks about six kinds of people in this world. In this sutta, we can also see two brothers, isadatta and Purana. Both of them becomes Sakadagamin and are reborn in Tusita heaven after their death. During his life, Isadatta had a great pānna but still craved kama and stayed married. During his life, Purana was single and had a great sīla but not enough pānna. That shows everyone has his own gati but still can progress on the path. We cannot judge someone with our limited perception.

      Migasālā Sutta: Discourse on Migasālā

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    • #45797
      LayDhammaFollower
      Participant

      thank you @gad. good information.

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      Gad
    • #46013
      Gad
      Participant

      Bāhiyadārucīriya’s Arahantship after listening to one verse from the Buddha

      Even with this little verse, if we have the right comprehension of the key concepts, we can go from puthujjana status to the Arahantship in a few seconds.

      Recorded as the 101st verse of the Dhammapada:

       

      Sahassamapi ce gāthā,

       anatthapadasamhitā,

       ekam gāthāpadaṁ seyyo,

       yaṁ sutvā upasammati.” 

       

      “Better than a thousand verses,

        which are useless,

        is a single useful verse,

        hearing which one attains Peace.”

    • #46014
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Only a few people can get to Nibbana by hearing a single verse like that. Furthermore, such people are born only at the time of a Buddha. Even during Buddha Gotama’s life, only a few people like Bāhiyadārucīriya could grasp the teachings with a single verse.-

      • Even for such people, learning did not come with that single verse. They had spent much time learning/practicing Budha Dhamma in their previous lives. 
      • The point is that even if someone cannot get to a magga phala in this life, their efforts will NOT go to waste. 
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      Gad
      • #46018
        Gad
        Participant

        Thank you to specify this sir.

        We can say that some people on this forum will not even become arahant in this lifetime but later or some other will not becomes a arahant in this kappa but will be in the time of the future Buddha metteya right?

    • #46021
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Unlike in the days of the Buddha, it is not easy to become a Sotapanna, let alone an Arahant.

      • We are not aware of any living Arahants. Of course, there can be one or two. 
      • I hope (and believe) that there are many Sotapannas (probably hundreds or thousands, spread worldwide). Of course, we can only guess.
      • I don’t think many people living today will be in the human realm when Buddha Maitreya is born in several (or many) million years. The lifetime in the human bhava is less than a million years for sure, and as the Buddha pointed out, rebirth again in the human realm is close to zero for most humans. See “Manussacutiniraya Sutta (SN 56.102).”
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      Gad
    • #46023
      Gad
      Participant

      Okay i see. But Sir what about the people like bhikkhu buddhagosa who wish to be arahant in the dispensation of Buddha Metteya ?? We understand obtain a human bhava is really hard. But if someone do many kusala and punna kamma developp the 10 paramis his wish can be fulfield right ?

    • #46024
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Wishing by itself is not enough to achieve anything. One must make an effort. Even when one makes the effort, we do not know when we will get there. It depends on the effort one has made over the past lives (pāramitā), too.

      • Very few people (like Bāhiyadārucīriya) could get there very quickly since they had completed most of the Path in past lives. Others could be making slow progress.
      • We just don’t know. All we can do is to make our best effort. One thing is a certainty. That effort will not go to waste, as I mentioned above.
      • The following post could be helpful to clarify some issues: “Pāramitā and Niyata Vivarana – Myths or Realities?

       

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      • #46025
        Gad
        Participant

        Thank you Sir🙏🏿

    • #46056
      Gad
      Participant

      Pancha Verabhaya Sutta: Discourse on five types of Hate and Fear

      Householder, when a noble disciple has quelled five types of hate and fear, and is endowed with the four factors of a Stream Enterer, and has clearly seen and thoroughly penetrated the noble way with wisdom, if he wishes, he may declare of himself: ‘I have finished with further rebirth in hell, the realm of animals, the realm of hungry ghosts, finished with the plane of misery, the bad destination, the suffering state. I am a Stream Winner, no longer bound for the underworld, sure of reaching enlightenment as my destination’.”

      What are the five types of hate and fear that he has quelled?”

      Householder, one who kills any living beings generates hate and fear in this life, and generates hate and fear in the next life too, and experiences pain and sadness. But for one who abstains from killing any living beings, that hate and fear are quelled.”

       

      “Householder, one who steals generates hate and fear in this life, and generates hate and fear in the next life too, and experiences pain and sadness. But for one who abstains from stealing, that hate and fear are quelled.”

       

      “Householder, one who engages in sexual misconduct generates hate and fear in this life, and generates hate and fear in the next life too, and experiences pain and sadness. But for one who abstains from engaging in sexual misconduct, that hate and fear are quelled.”

       

      “Householder, one who tells lies generates hate and fear in this life, and generates hate and fear in the next life too, and experiences pain and sadness. But for one who abstains from telling lies, that hate and fear are quelled.”

       

      “Householder, one who indulges in strong drinks, distilled drinks, and fermented drinks that lead to heedlessness, generates hate and fear in this life, and generates hate and fear in the next life too, and experiences pain and sadness. But for one who abstains from indulging in strong drinks, distilled drinks, and fermented drinks that lead to heedlessness, that hate and fear are quelled.”

       

      “These are the five types of hate and fear that he has quelled.”

      4 qualities of an sotāpanna 

      1.Unshakable confidence with wisdom (aveccappasāda) in the Awakened One (Buddha).

      2.Unshakable confidence with wisdom (aveccappasāda) in the Buddha’s teaching (Dhamma).

      3.Unshakable confidence with wisdom (aveccappasāda) in the Buddhist Monastics (Sangha).

      4.Unbroken and perfect morality that is pleasing to the Noble ones (Ariya kanta sīla). (4)

      I suspect a misinterpretation in traductions of this sutta. Maybe Sir Lal can read and clear this if he had the time.

       

    • #46057
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Yes. You are right, Gad. 

      • It is incorrect to say that a Sotapanna abstains (will never do) those five deeds.
      • The correct way to say it is: “A Sotapanna would not do those five things with a liking for doing them. But there may be instances where they may become unavoidable for a Sotapanna.”
      • Only an Arahant is capable of abstaining from those five deeds, i.e., will NEVER DO those deeds.

      The Sutta Central translation of the suttaPañcaverabhaya Sutta (SN 12. 41)” also gives that wrong idea.

      • The problem is with the translation of.”pāṇātipātā paṭiviratassa,” for example, as “refrains from killing” or “abstains from killing.”
      • The word “paṭivirata” means “will not do with liking for it,” but there could be instances where it may become unavoidable.

      The deeds a Sotapanna WILL NEVER DO are listed here: “A Sōtapanna is incapable of doing only six “bad kamma“: Killing mother, killing father, killing an Arahant, injuring a Buddha, Saṅgha Bheda (teaching adhamma as Buddha Dhamma), having niyata micchā diṭṭhi; see, “Bahu­dhātu­ka­ sutta (MN 115)“.

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      Gad
    • #46058
      Gad
      Participant

      Thank you for the clarification, Sir. I didn’t know this sutta. I see how the bad translations can lead to confusion. For example, I used to think if I became a Sotapanna, I would never break my precepts. Now it is totally clear it is not the truth. I am really glad to learn from Pure Dhamma thank you very much for your efforts, Sir much merit for you🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿

       

      Sorry, Sir what I am going to say is not relevant to the present discussion.  I read the sutta entirely Bahu­dhātu­ka­ sutta (MN 115). Something else captured my attention. The sutta said Sakka Mara and Brahma can only be men. I agree on Sakka and Mara, since they belong to the kamā loka. But Brahmas are in the rūpa loka and in the rūpa loka there is no gender distinction. A Brahma is asexual. A woman can also attain all the Jhanas and abhinnas and be reborn as  Brahma.

      Is that another bad interpretation?

    • #46059
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Yes. You are absolutely right. 

      • Brahmas are asexual, i.e., they don’t have different sexes since they have given kama raga. Thus, Brahmas do not participate in sexual intercourse (or other sensory pleasures with “close contact” of taste and smell).
      • That is why anyone needing to cultivate jhanas must give up kama raga.
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      Gad
    • #46071
      angwllm
      Participant

      I read a post, some time back at this site that mentions Brahmas does not have sex organs, but may have different type of gati like purisa gati (male) or itthi gati (female).

      Venerable Lai, hope you can further elaborate on brahmas characteristics(gati).

      Metta .

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      Gad
    • #46076
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Yes, angwllm. You probably refer to the post, “Sexual Orientation – Effects of Kamma and Gati (Saṅkhāra).”

      The word “purisa” does not necessarily mean “male” in the sense of male/female biological bodies.

      • The word “purisa” can also mean “higher status” or “distinguished,” and there can be females in that category too.
      • For example, the eight types of Noble Persons are referred to as ” Aṭṭha Purisa Puggalā.” As we know, females are included in that category. There have been many female Arahants, too.

      Even though it is not necessary to know the details, the eight types of Noble Persons are discussed in detail in “Aṭṭha Purisa Puggalā- Eight Noble Persons.”

      Therefore, Brahmas can be said to have “purisa gati” in the sense of “better gati” compared to average humans. However, most Brahmas are not Noble Persons; thus, they DO NOT belong in the ” Aṭṭha Purisa Puggalā” category.

      P.S. The Search Box on the top right is useful for finding relevant posts with a keyword or multiple keywords. For example, I entered “attha purisa” and got the following results: “Search Results for: attha purisa.”

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      Gad
    • #46082
      angwllm
      Participant

      Thank-you Venerable Lai for clarifying for me that all brahmas have purisa bhāva dasaka.

      Thanks.   (^_^)

    • #46083
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Thank you for highlighting “all brahmas have purisa bhāva dasaka.”

      • I forgot to highlight that key point.
    • #46089
      Gad
      Participant

      Friend (mitta) in Theravada Buddhism

      Having a good friend can lead someone to the Sotapanna stage. This friend needs to have a great understanding of the Dhamma. Our great friend is the Lord Buddha himself. He left us a generation of Ariya Sangha for our liberation. In modern times, anyone who teaches the correct Dhamma is a good friend. Many people on this forum and the founder, sir Lal are examples. They do their best to preserve the Dhamma. 

    • #46090
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Yes. When Ven. Ananda asked whether the cultivation of the spiritual path (Noble Path) for an average person (puthijjana) depends 50% on having  “kalyāṇa mittatās,” the Buddha told Ven. Ananda that it TOTALLY depends on “kalyāṇa mittatās.”

      • Note that these are not just “friends” but “Noble friends,” those who have understood Dhamma and thus can teach the correct Dhamma. We need to try to maintain that “chain of Noble friends” so that a future generation will take over when we die.
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      Gad
    • #46126
      Gad
      Participant

      Satta Jatilā Sutta: Discourse on Seven Matted-hair Ascetics (Jatilā)

      In this sutta, the Lord Buddha warns about the impostors. Some people claim they are arahants, but they are not. That reminds me a lot of fake Bhikkhus today. The Buddha said we must associate with someone for a long time and observe his behavior before trusting him.

       

      “Great king, as a layman enjoying worldly sense pleasures, living in a home with wives and children, enjoying the use of sandalwood, decorating the body with flowers, scents, and perfumes, and using gold and money, it is difficult for you to know who are Arahants and who are practicing the path to becoming Arahants.”

    • #46128
      Gad
      Participant

      Nāvā Sutta: Discourse on the Ship

       

      “Suppose, monks a carpenter, or a carpenter’s apprentice has an axe and sees the marks of his fingers or the thumb on its handle. But, he will not know that so much of the handle had worn today, so much had worn yesterday, or so much had worn on the day before yesterday. But, he will still know from what is worn away that it has worn away.”

       

      “In the same way, monks, when a monk engages himself in the development of the mind, he does not know, so much of the fermentations had worn today, so much had worn yesterday, or so much had worn on the day before yesterday. But, he will still know from what is worn away that they have worn away.”

    • #46130
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Most bhikkhus who teach incorrect versions of Buddha Dhamma today believe they teach the correct version. They do not even want to listen to anyone else. That is a sad situation. 

      Here is the original sutta Gad’s post refers to: “Sattajaṭila Sutta (SN 3.11)

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      Gad
    • #46131
      Gad
      Participant

      Thank you for the reference Sir. Yes is a sad situation. I even talk about your site and venerable Waharaka Thero with a monk and he told me do not follow him gandhabba is a wrong view. I didn’t said anything i really respect this monk but is sad. They don’t want to try. My teacher agree with many concept of pure dhamma even if he don’t agree with certain the most he agree. He reading your site sir. He told me is really shameful the Theravada don’t want to include the gandhabba concept nowdays.

    • #46170
      Gad
      Participant

      What a wandering mind can do

      In this sutta, Bhikkhu Sangharakkhita became sotāpanna after seeing why it is useless to have many expectations in this world with 31 plans. Before that, he had too many desires like getting a job, possessing much wealth, and living comfortably. He became sotāpanna after hearing this discourse from the Lord Buddha: 37th verse of the Dhammapada.

       

      Dūrangamaṁ ekacaraṁ,

        Asariraṁ guhāsayaṁ,

        ye cittaṁ saññamessanti,

        mokkhanti mārabandhanā.”

       

      “The mind wanders far alone,

        without a body, hidden in the cave of the heart,

        those who restrain the mind,

        will be released from the bonds of the Māra. (1)

       

      That reminds me of a post of Sir Lal when he talks about future expectations in point 10

      10. There are many types of kamma viññāṇa that we can have. The minor ones are expectations of getting something done, buying something, getting a new job, etc.

      • Sankhāra, or “thinking of that expectation and making plans to get it done by speaking and doing things (that includes vaci saṅkhāra and kāya saṅkhāra),” will make that viññāṇa grow. This comes via the “saṅkhāra paccayā viññāṇa” step.

      Viññāṇa – Consciousness Together With Future Expectations

      Also, I want to know, Sir does the Drarisworld post above have the correct explanation? 

       

    • #46172
      Lal
      Keymaster

      The word “saññamessanti” does not appear in that verse. The correct term is “saṁyamissanti“:

      Citta Vagga

      Translations in the Darisworld and Sutta Central versions are good enough to get the basic idea.

      • Basically, the verse says our mind (thoughts) can travel far, even though the seat of the mind (in the gandhabba kaya) is trapped inside our physical body (referred to as a “cave” in the verse).
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      Gad
    • #46173
      Gad
      Participant

      Alright i see thank you Sir

    • #46221
      Gad
      Participant

      TALKING MUCH ABOUT THE TEACHING DOES NOT MEAN ONE IS VERSED

       

      Then the Buddha recited the following verse which is recorded as the 259th verse of the Dhammapada.

       

      Na tāvatā dhammadharo – yāvatā bahu bhāsati,

        yo ca appampi sutvāna – dhammaṁ kāyena passati,

        sa ve dhammadharo hoti – yo dhammaṁ nappamajjati.”

       

      “One who talks much, is not one versed in the teaching on that account,

        one who hears only a little, but comprehends the teaching,

        and is not unmindful is indeed, one versed in the teaching.”

       

      One should practice first, what one teaches others to practice

      Sometimes a simple word can resume the Dhamma Venerable arahant Ekudana are the perfect example 

    • #46252
      Gad
      Participant
    • #46255
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Thank you, Gad. 

      Yes. This is the same sutta that I discussed in the recent post, “Dukkha – Previously Unknown Truth About Suffering.”

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      Gad
    • #46346
      Gad
      Participant
    • #46452
      Gad
      Participant

      SIGNIFICANCE OF CONTACT (PHASSA) IN THERAVADA BUDDHISM

      ” Four nutriments (āhāra)

       

      1)Physical food (kabalinkāhāra)

      2)Contact (phassāhāra)

      3)Volitional thoughts (mano sancetanāhāra)

      4)Consciousness (viññānāhāra)

       

      Feelings that arise dependent on contact would inevitably lead to suffering. Feelings that are considered as pleasant will lead to suffering when they cease to exist due to their very transient nature while the unpleasant feelings cause suffering by their very nature. Neutral feelings will lead to suffering due to their bland nature and boredom. Because contact conditions feeling that lead to suffering and because feeling also conditions craving (tanhā), clinging (upādāna), becoming (bhava) and re-birth (jāti), contact has a most significant role as a mental nutriment. (11)

       

      In the Puttamansa sutta, the Buddha has advised the monks to reflect on the simile of a skinned cow when considering the nutriment of contact. When a skinned cow is standing near a wall it is bitten by the insects living on the wall, standing near a tree it is bitten by the insects living on the tree, standing in the water it is bitten by the insects living in the water, and standing in the open space it is bitten by insects living in the air. So, wherever the skinned cow stands it will be bitten by the insects causing suffering. Similarly, one is constantly in danger of being bombarded with sensory contact through the six sense doors which will inevitably lead to suffering. According to the Buddha, when the nutriment of contact is comprehended, it will lead to comprehension of the pleasant, unpleasant and neutral feelings resulting in the eradication of the fetters that keep beings bound to the cycle of birth and death (samsāra) with no re-birth.

       

      Contact or sense impression (phassa) within the Buddhist teaching is the coming together of three factors: an internal sense door, an external sense object and the respective sense based consciousness. There are six types of contact based on the six sense doors. Contact plays a crucial role in producing mental defilements and suffering in unenlightened beings, as it is from contact that the mental processes such as feeling, perception and volitions arise. Hence, the Buddha has named it as a nutriment (āhāra) that sustains the life of living beings and support those who are to be born within the cycle of birth and death (samsāra). Through the development of wisdom by comprehending into the real nature of contact, the enlightened ones continue to experience contact through the six sense doors, but there is no arising of any mental defilements as they have given up any subjectivity with regard to their sense doors and sensory experiences. “

      • #46466
        Gad
        Participant

        So this translation are wrong to

    • #46462
      Lal
      Keymaster

      The first two meanings: 

      1)Physical food (kabalinkāhāra)

      2)Contact (phassāhāra)

      Those are not correct. 

      1. All four types of “food” (āhāra) are “food for the mind to be engaged in the rebirth process. An Arahant does not take in any of the four types. An Anagami does not “consume kabalinkā āhāra” even though they (and Arahants) eat food.

      2. Kabalinkāhāra (kabalinkā āhāra) is not physical food. It is the CRAVING for tastes, smells, and body touches in general. As we know, those three senses are available only in kama loka (the lower 11 realms, including the human realm and six Deva realms.)

      • When craving for the three types of “close contact sensual pleasures” is stopped, kabalinkā āhāra ceases (nirodha).
      • At that point, one is freed of rebirths in kama loka (the lower 11 realms, including the human realm and six Deva realms.)
      • The other three types of “āhāra intakeby the mind stop at the Arahant stage.

      3. “Phassa” in “phassa āhāra” refers to “samphassa.”  That is not merely contact but “contact with san” or “san phassa,” which rhymes with “samphassa.”

      4. See “Āhāra (Food) in Udayavaya Ñāna” This is an old post and may need to be revised. I see that I have mainly discussed kabalinkā āhāra.

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      Gad
      • #46467
        Gad
        Participant

        Thank you Sir for the explanations 🙏🏿

    • #46468
      Lal
      Keymaster

      1. Many people are not aware of these subtle issues. Don’t worry, Gad.

      • Unless explained by a Buddha or a true disciple of the Buddha, no human can figure those by themselves, no matter how intelligent one is.
      • I was lucky to find the correct explanations from a Noble Person.

      2. It is always a good idea to keep in mind that the Buddha mostly talked about the mind, not the structure of the physical world.

      • All the terms in the Paticca Samuppada are mind phenomena, even though they may relate to external things.
      • That is why āhāra do not refer to physical food but “food for the mind” (not in a good sense, but to extend the suffering.)
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      Gad
      • #46470
        Gad
        Participant

        Okay sir if I understand the main idea correctly: We need to check if there is a second meaning to the word in the text with a true disciple of the Buddha. The Buddha used common terms to talk about things of the mind.

    • #46469
      Gad
      Participant

      I just read your post. Thank you very much sir, it gave me a good basic idea. You also talked about the *danger of contemplating the unpleasant aspect of food* I know this type of meditation. I even tried to practice it a few times!! To be honest, you’re right, for an ordinary person it’s not a good idea.

      However, I think it could be a tool for a person who is close to the anagami stage, right?? One of the results of this stage is the permanent loss of the desire for tastes and delicious food, in this human life. If this same person is reborn as a brahma, then it will be in the literal sense. That person will never eat again, even to support her body.

      I don’t know if what I’m saying is wrong! Please correct me if you see any mistakes on my part!

    • #46473
      Lal
      Keymaster

      You refer to the following portion of that post about the patikūla manasikara bhavana. By the way, I just revised that post a bit.

      • A good example of the wrong way to meditate is what many people are doing with the patikūla manasikara bhavana. Many translate “patikūla” as “pilikul” in Sinhala, which means “to be rejected because it is repulsive”. They meditate on contemplating the repulsiveness of the body (sweat, urine, and feces generated by the body) and also the fact that once one chews on even the most delicious food, it becomes “vomit.”
      • But the Buddha did not advise that. Just as we should not desire extreme sense pleasures, we also should not be repulsed by the things that we mentioned in the above paragraph. They both generate taṇhā, in the first instant by attachment (craving) and in the second by aversion (paṭigha). The neutral mindset (upekkha) comes from understanding the true nature of things.

      You wrote: “However, I think it could be a tool for a person who is close to the Anagami stage, right??”

      • An Anagami doesn’t need to contemplate rotting bodies to see the “anicca, dukkha, anatta nature.” 
      • As I mentioned in my first comment, an Anagami has overcome attachments to sensual pleasures.

      I don’t think it is helpful for anyone to contemplate rotting bodies. 

      • A key point to remember is that one must see the dangers of attaching to mundane PLEASURES. Anyone can see that death is inevitable and rotting bodies are unpleasant. Furthermore, generating “patigha” or “domanassa” is not conducive to contemplation. One must cultivate Bhavana (meditate) with a “cooled mind,” not an “agitated mind.”
      • But it is not easy to overcome the mindset to “enjoy sensual pleasures while living.” The point is to see the dangers of THAT mindset, i.e., the more one attaches to such “mundane temporary pleasures,” one moves away from Nibbana with the “pure mind,” which is free of any suffering. See “Anicca Nature- Chasing Worldly Pleasures Is Pointless.”
      • This is why the Buddha said his teachings have never been known to the world. Humans do not see anything other than sensory pleasures that allow them to overcome suffering/depression. That is why people get hooked on drugs. But they have to keep increasing the dose to get the needed relief, and then end up killed by those drugs. See the video below (highly disturbing! Don’t watch if you are about to start meditating.)

    • #46475
      Gad
      Participant

       In relation to food yes we must understand the true meanings. I’ll use myself as an example. I have a bad relationship with food. I often act with extreme greed. I have a penchant for fruits, especially mangoes and citrus fruits. I happily share when others want it. However when no one wants it I enjoy it. The social context also plays a crucial role. Sometimes the craving for food is amplified under the influence of others. During a dinner with family or friends, for example. I must now contemplate your post in more depth.

      For your video don’t worry sir. I’m used to seeing worse! We could even apply it to food, too. Some depressed people tend to overeat. It is said that excessive food cravings can be a sign of depression!

      I knew someone like that when I was 15 16 year old. It was sad to see she was constantly eating. Whether in class or during breaks. She was depressed. It’s a memory that comes back to me sometimes, because I was part of his problem. It sometimes causes me agitation. I had bad kamma after that.

    • #46560
      Gad
      Participant

      I found an interesting site (laws of the nature). This site contains a lot of reading material on the Dhamma. Of course, like many Dhamma sites, it uses poor translations and misinterpretations of key concepts. This is an inevitable situation. However, some information may be useful.

      This site is a decade old. The author is Mr. Martin Barua. It seems like he hasn’t updated it in a very long time. I tried to contact the author by email but his address is having problems.

       

      Long after Lord Gautama’s teaching has disappeared from the human world, many beings will attain Nibbāna. As long as the relics of Lord Buddha remain. However, it will only be divine beings such as devas and brahmas. The relics will come to life temporarily and teach the Dhamma to a multitude of devas and brahmas. The vast majority will have varying levels of magga phala. The relics will be destroyed and that will be the end of Lord Gautama’s sasana. Those who remain will be reborn in the time of Lord Metteya.

      Here the link for this information The duration of Gotama sasana (Dispensation)

       

      Here information on the apayas

      Hell Info

    • #46589
      Gad
      Participant

      THE BODY: WANTED BY MANY WHEN LIVING; WANTED BY NONE WHEN DEAD

      The young monk who was in love with Sirimā and had developed a desire to have her, was unaware that she had died. So when he heard that the Buddha and the other monks were going to see Sirimā, he also joined them and arrived at the cemetery. By now, the Buddha and the accompanying monks were on one side of Sirimā’s dead body while King Bimbisāra with his men and the other lay people were on the other side of the dead body. The Buddha then asked the king to call a drummer and to send him around the city announcing that Sirimā is available for anyone who is willing to pay one thousand pieces of money per night. No one came forward to pay one thousand pieces of money to have Sirimā for one night. Then the price to be paid per night was gradually brought down to almost nothing and because no one was coming forward to have her, finally it was announced that anyone can have her for nothing. Even then no one came forward to have Sirimā’s body and the king informed the Buddha that nobody wants Sirimā’s body even if it is given for nothing.

      Then the Buddha said: “Monks, when Sirimā was living, there were many men in this city, who were willing to pay even one thousand pieces of money for the privilege of spending one night with her. But now, there is no one who wants her even if she is given for nothing. Monks, this body is subject to decay and deterioration”.

      Then the Buddha recited the following verse which is recorded as the 147th verse of the Dhammapada.

      Passa cittakataṁ bimbaṁ,
        arukāyaṁ samussitaṁ,
        āturaṁ bahusankappaṁ,
        yassa natthi dhuvaṁ thiti.”

      “Look at this decked body,
      a mass of sores, a heaped up entity,
      diseased, imagined in many ways,
       which has nothing stable or firm.”

      It is said that at the end of the Buddha’s discourse, the young monk who was in love with Sirimā and desired to have her, attained the first supra mundane stage of Stream Enterer (Sotāpanna).

      My thought: I think that the general idea taught that one must meditate “on the repugnance of the body” comes from this story. However, I think that this monk’s attainment of the sotāpanna stage was through realizing the fruitless nature of the body.

       

    • #46591
      Lal
      Keymaster

      That is correct.

      • Even if she did not die, no one would want her at her old age if she lived to old age.

      • It happens to all of us!
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      • #46594
        Gad
        Participant

        It’s quite incredible how we are fooled by our appearance in our youth and how society fuels this illusion. People have even told me that I am too young to practice Dhamma or religious things. 22 is the age when you must use all your energy to enjoy the beautiful things in life and to be at the top of society (finish your studies, have a good job, a partner, a good social status). Morality and philosophy will come later. The famous phrase “we only have one life, we must make the most of it” comes up very often in their speeches. It’s sad if they knew the danger they expose themselves to by having these erroneous beliefs.

        I had also thought a lot about the meaning of asubha that you brought to me the other time sir. If we only had to contemplate the corpse or the repugnance of the body, without the correct understanding; All these surgeons, doctors and cemetery workers would be free from Kāma ragā.

        The other day I learned the story of a surgeon, through a show, who cheated on his wife with one of these patients. He had operated on this patient and seen the disgusting appearance of her body. Unfortunately, it was not enough to calm his passion and break this precept. There is also the story of people who sleep with corpses. In this case, we can perhaps speak of mental disorders. All these cases remind me of the importance of proper understanding before engaging in any meditation.

         

         

    • #46636
      Gad
      Participant

      SACCA VIBHANGA SUTTA: DISCOURSE ON THE ANALYSIS OF THE TRUTHS

      “Monks, follow Sāriputta and Moggallāna; associate with Sāriputta and Moggallāna. They are wise and helpful to their companions in the holy life. Sāriputta, monks is like a mother; Moggallāna is like a nursing mother. Sāriputta, monks, trains others in the path of the fruit of Stream Winner, and Moggallāna for the highest goal. Sāriputta, monks is able to proclaim, teach, define, establish, clarify, analyse, and elucidate the four Noble Truths in detail.”

      [Arahant Sāriputta and Arahant Mahā Moggallāna were the two chief disciples of the Buddha. It is said that Arahant Sāriputta would train the newly ordained monks till they attain the first supra mundane stage of Stream Enterer (Sotāpanna), and from then on, Arahant Mahā Moggallāna would teach them until they gain full enlightenment as Arahants. Hence, the Buddha has referred to Arahant Sāriputta as a mother and Arahant Mahā Moggallāna as a nursing mother.]

      I believe this verse means that; “to reach the sotāpanna stage one requires great wisdom.” The jhanas make it easier to reach the higher stages. The venerable arahant Sariputta was the best in wisdom among the monks. With his wisdom, he brought many to the sotāpanna stage. Of course, he could also guide others to the higher stage. Venerable Maha Mogallana was the best in abhinnas and jhanās. He guided the others directly to the arahant stage.

      I believe many people misinterpret this verse. They think that having jhanas is proof of being an arahant. (There are anariya yogis with all the jhanās and abhinnas). However, we find in the suttas arahants liberated solely through wisdom.

    • #46642
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Yes. Arahanthood can be attained via two paths: (i) with (Ariya or anariya) jhanas cultivated on the way or (ii) without jhanas.

      • One can attain any magga phala up to full Nibbāna (Arahanthood) from ANY of the anāriya jhāna. This is how the 89 cittas become 121 citta; see “The 89 (121) Types of Citta“.

      Further details at “Ascendance to Nibbāna via Jhāna (Dhyāna).”

      • #46643
        Gad
        Participant

        Sir from any stage of jhanas?? The person must have all 8, right?? Unless I’m wrong?

    • #46644
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Yes.

      • For example, one can be in the first jhana and get to Sotapanna magga (Anugami), Sotapanna, Sakadagami magga (Anugami), Sakadagami, …to Arahant magga (Anugami) to Arahant (8). 
      • The same can be done from all five jhanas, leading to 40 possibilities.
      • Note that four jhanas in the Sutta Pitaka become five in the Abhidhamma because the first jhana of the Sutta Pitaka is split into two in the Abhidhamma.
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      Gad
    • #46645
      Gad
      Participant

      Thank you Sir 🙏🏿

    • #46701
      Gad
      Participant

      CHANNOVADA SUTTA: DISCOURSE ON ADVICE TO VENERABLE CHANNA

      “Then when Venerable Sāriputta and Venerable Mahā Cunda had advised Venerable Channa, they rose from their seats and departed. Then, soon after they had departed, Venerable Channa used the knife to end his life.

      Then Venerable Sāriputta went to the Buddha and having paid homage to the Buddha, sat to one side. Sitting to one side, Venerable Sāriputta said this to the Buddha. “Venerable Sir, Venerable Channa has used the knife. What is his destination, what is his future course?”

      “Sāriputta, didn’t the monk Channa declare to you his blamelessness?”

      “Venerable Sir, there is a Vajjan village called Pubbajira. There Venerable Channa had friendly families, close families, approachable families.”

      “True, Sāriputta, Channa had friendly families, close families, approachable families. But Sāriputta, I do not say that he was blameworthy on that account. Sāriputta, when one lays down this body and takes up a new body, then I say one is blameworthy. This did not happen with the monk Channa; he used the knife blamelessly.”

      This is what the Buddha said. Venerable Sāriputta satisfied and delighted in the Buddha’s words.”

      “The Buddha has stated that Venerable Channa’s death was blameless as he has defeated death, meaning that Venerable Channa has died as an Arahant. In the days of the Buddha, two other monks named Venerable Godhika and Venerable Vakkali too died in a similar way and in those events too the Buddha stated that they died as Arahants. Unsurprisingly, there is much discussion and debate in the Buddhist literature as to whether Venerable Channa was really an Arahant when he ended his life with a knife and whether it is possible for an Arahant to end one’s own life in such a way.”

      Another arahant who committed suicide: Godhika Thera

       

    • #46707
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Yes. There is no point for an Arahant to live in pain. 

      • While living the rest of their lives, Arahants have to bear any pain and suffering that comes to their physical body that was born due to a kamma vipaka.
      • Arahants live to help others attain Nibbana
      • Thus, if the pain is intense (like in the cases of those Arahants) there is no point in going through the rest of their lives.

      This issue was discussed also in “Advice to Channa – Channovādasutta; MN 144

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      Gad
      • #46714
        Gad
        Participant

        Thank you for the link sir !

    • #46715
      Gad
      Participant

      PATODA SUTTA: DISCOURSE ON GOAD STICK

      “Monks, there are these four kinds of excellent thoroughbred horses existing in the world.

      In the Patoda sutta, the Buddha has used the simile of four kinds of excellent thoroughbred horses to describe four kinds of individuals in the world who develop spiritual urgency (samvega) and cultivate the Buddhist path of liberation in four different circumstances. The first individual becomes stirred and agitated and develops spiritual urgency just by hearing the news of someone who is suffering or has died. The second individual responds in a similar way when he sees a person unrelated to him who is suffering or has died. The third individual responds when someone in his own family is afflicted or has died, while the fourth individual responds when he himself is afflicted with severe pain or a life-threatening illness.

      When spiritual urgency arises in a person, it may inspire the person to begin a spiritual journey with energy and courage while remaining in lay life or by becoming a monastic. Spiritual urgency will help one to avoid negligence and practice harder with more vigor, diligence, and perseverance to achieve one’s spiritual goal of being free from suffering.

      One of the most significant examples of the arising of spiritual urgency is what Prince Siddhartha, the Buddha aspirant (Bodhisatta), felt when he was exposed to old age, sickness, and death for the first time at the age of 29 years. Until then, he had been protected from such experiences by his father, King Suddhodana, who had been alarmed by the prediction of some wise men that one day, the young prince may leave domestic life to become an ascetic and would eventually become a Buddha. When Prince Siddhartha realized that old age, sickness, death, and associated suffering are common to himself, his loved ones, and every human being, the prince was overwhelmed by spiritual urgency and decided to renounce the domestic life and royal comforts in order to search for a way out of human suffering.”

    • #46753
      Gad
      Participant

      My psychology teacher says that the brain becomes fully mature at 30. Ordinary people don’t even know what being mature means. For them, maturity means being able to enjoy sensual pleasures independently. Of course, others see the jhanas. It is already a good start but it is not enough. However, in the Buddha Dhamma, maturity is realizing at least one stage of magga phala. Full maturity is at the arahant stage. A seven years old sotāpanna child is more mature than a 100 year old puthujanas. Lord Buddha said: “It is better to live one day seeing the deathless (Nibbāna) than to live 100 years not seeing it.” A sotāpanna saw the deathless, briefly. The novice monk Pandita became an arahant at the age of 7!!

      THE MIND CAN BE TAMED WITH DILIGENT PRACTICE

      Dhammapada contains 423 verses said by the Buddha in different contexts. Most of the verses have been taken from the discourses of the Buddha. It has been noted that more than two thirds of the verses are taken from the discourses contained in the two collections of the Buddha’s discourses known as the Samyutta Nikāya and Anguttara Nikāya. The 423 verses are divided into 26 chapters or vaggas each with a particular heading. The sixth chapter is named “Pandita vagga” meaning the chapter on “The wise”, which contains 14 verses said by the Buddha. The back ground story of the 80th verse which is the fifth verse of the Pandita vagga, is about a seven year old novice monk who meditated with determination and diligence and enlightened as an Arahant only a few days after becoming a novice monk.

      Background story of verse 80

      At one time, the Buddha was staying at the Jetavana monastery in Sāvatti which was donated to the Buddha by the chief benefactor named Anāthapindika.

      A wealthy person residing in Sāvatti had a young son named Pandita who ordained as a novice monk in the dispensation of the Buddha at the very tender age of only seven years. On the eighth day after becoming a novice monk, as he was following Arahant Sāriputta the Buddha’s chief disciple on the alms round, he witnessed some farmers channeling water into their fields. He then asked Arahant Sāriputta:

      “Can water which has no consciousness, be guided to wherever one wishes?”

      Arahant Sāriputta replied:

      “Yes, it can be guided to wherever one wishes.”

      As they continued on their alms round, the novice monk next witnessed some fletchers heating their arrows with fire and straightening them. As they further continued on their alms round, the novice monk next witnessed some carpenters cutting, sawing and planing timber to make into things such as cart wheels. Then he thought to himself:

      “If water which has no consciousness can be guided to wherever one wishes, if a crooked bamboo which has no consciousness can be straightened, and if timber which has no consciousness can be made into useful things, why should I who has consciousness, be unable to tame my mind and practise tranquility and insight meditation?”

      As soon as he had that thought in his mind, he obtained permission from Arahant Sāriputta and returned to his own room in the Jetavana monastery. Having arrived in his room, he started meditating ardently and diligently contemplating on the body. Sakka the chief of the heavenly deities and the other deities noticed the novice monk meditating ardently and diligently, and helped him to meditate properly by making sure that the monastery and it’s precincts were quiet and still. By meditating with such ardency and diligence, the novice monk Pandita was able to attain the Anāgāmi fruition, which is the third supra mundane stage of the Buddhist spiritual path of liberation from suffering even before his noon meal time.

      At that time, Arahant Sāriputta was bringing food to the novice monk for his noon meal. Just then, the Buddha saw through the Buddha’s supernormal power that the novice monk Pandita has already attained Anāgāmi fruition and that if he continued with his meditation, he would soon be fully enlightened as an Arahant. Hence, the Buddha decided to stop Arahant Sāriputta entering the room where the novice monk was meditating. The Buddha went to the door of the room and engaged Arahant Sāriputta in a conversation by asking him some questions. While this conversation was going on between the Buddha and Arahant Sāriputta, the novice monk gained enlightenment as an Arahant. So, the novice monk Pandita became an Arahant on the eighth day after becoming a novice monk at the age of seven years.

      While addressing the congregation of monks at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha said to them:

      “When one is earnestly practising the Dhamma, even Sakka the chief of the deities and the other deities give protection and keep guard. I myself kept Arahant Sāriputta engaged in a conversation at the door so that the novice monk Pandita will not be disturbed practising his meditation. The novice monk Pandita, having witnessed the farmers irrigating their fields, the fletchers straightening their arrows, and carpenters making cart wheels and other things, tamed his mind and practised the Dhamma; he has now become an Arahant.”

      Then the Buddha recited the following verse which is recorded as the 80th verse of the Dhammapada.

      Udakaṁ hi nayanti nettikā,

        usukārā namayanti tejanaṁ,

        dāruṁ namayanti tacchakā,

        attānaṁ damayanti panditā.”

      “Farmers channel water,

        fletchers straighten arrows,

        carpenters work with the wood,

        the wise men restrain themselves.”

       

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    • #46756
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Nicely done, Gad! Thank you!

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      Gad
      • #46757
        Gad
        Participant

        You are welcome Sir🙏🏿 !

    • #46810
      Gad
      Participant

      Sometimes we tell ourselves we will do this and we will do that, thinking that things are under our control (atta). The perfect example is life for a person in the prime of his youth. We believe we are invincible and even immortal. We don’t even suspect that death could come and find us at any moment. It’s easy to see, you just have to look around us at how people live. I often hear, “you have life ahead of you”. Such distorted thinking can only arise in a puthujunas and it will inevitably lead to more suffering (dukkha). Death can come at any time. If we are still puthujunas, it is very dangerous because we do not know if we will fall into apayas or not. It doesn’t matter whether we have done merits or not, the nimitta at the time of death is unknown. A sotāpanna is assured of not falling into apayas. Even the laziest among them (the one who attains Nibbāna in the seventh bhava) has no worries about his destination during the seven bhava. Understanding tilakkhana will help us eradicate this false view. A sense of urgency must emerge within us. We must put the study and practice of the Dhamma as a priority. The story of the merchant Mahadhana is a perfect example. He reaches the sotāpanna stage just before he dies.

      DON’T DELAY DOING GOOD THINGS, DEATH COULD COME ANY DAY ANYTIME

        The 423 verses are divided into 26 chapters or vaggas each with a particular heading. The twentieth chapter is named “Magga vagga” meaning the chapter on “The path,” which contains 17 verses said by the Buddha. The background story of the 286th verse, the fourteenth verse of the Magga Vagga, is about a merchant named Mahadhana who was planning to stay at a certain place and sell his goods for a whole year, without knowing that he will face death in seven days.

      The background story of verse 286

      At one time, the Buddha was staying at the Jetavana monastery in Sāvatti, which was donated to the Buddha by the chief benefactor named Anāthapindika.

      Once, there was a certain festival in the city of Sāvatti. A merchant named Mahadhana from the city of Baranasi, came with five hundred carts fully loaded with textiles and other merchandise hoping to sell his goods at the festival. On his way to Sāvatti, he had to cross a river. But when he reached the river bank near Sāvatti, he discovered that the river was flooding and was unable to cross the river with his five hundred cart loads. He was held up at the river bank for seven days as it rained for seven days and as a result the water in the river did not subside. There was no need for him to cross the river anyway, as the festival in Sāvatti was over by then.

      Since he had traveled a long distance from Baranasi to Sāvatti, he did not want to return to Baranasi with his five hundred carts loaded with unsold merchandise. He decided to stay near the river bank for the next three seasons: the rainy season, the cold season, and the hot season, hoping to sell his goods, and said so to his assistants who were accompanying him. On that day, the Buddha was on his morning alms round in Sāvatti, and when the Buddha saw the merchant, the Buddha knew of the merchant’s decision to stay on for one year and smiled. Venerable Ānanda was accompanying the Buddha on his alms round and when he saw the Buddha smile, he inquired as to why the Buddha smiled. The Buddha replied:

      “Ānanda, do you see that merchant? He plans to stay here for the whole year and sell his goods. He does not know that he is going to die here in seven days.”

      “What should be done, should be done today,

        who would know that one would die tomorrow?

        we have no date fixed with the King of Death,

        for one who is mindful by day or by night,

        who is not disturbed by moral defilements and is energetic,

        to live for just one night is a well spent life.”

      Then the Buddha sent Venerable Ānanda to go and speak to the merchant. Venerable Ānanda went and explained to the merchant that time was running out for him and hence he should practise mindfulness instead of being negligent. When the merchant came to know about his impending death in seven days, he became alarmed and frightened. So, for the next seven days, he invited the Buddha and the monks and offered alms food. On the seventh day, the Buddha delivered a short sermon to him in appreciation of offering alms food to the Buddha and the accompanying monks. Then the Buddha recited the following verse which is recorded as the 286th verse of the Dhammapada.

      Idha vassaṁ vasissāmi,

        idha hemantagimhisu,

        iti bālo vicinteti,

        antarāyaṁ na bujjhati.”

      “Here shall I live in the rainy season,

        here shall I live in the cold season and the hot season,

        so imagines the fool,

        not realising the danger (of approaching death).”

      It is recorded that at the end of this short sermon by the Buddha, the merchant attained the supra mundane stage of Stream Enterer (Sotāpañña). As the Buddha was leaving, the merchant followed the Buddha for some distance and returned. Soon afterwards, he developed a severe headache and passed away. He is believed to have been reborn as a deity in the heavenly world named Tusita.

       

       

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      • #46823
        Gad
        Participant

        Hello Yash RS. I read your bio and you say you are a 20 year old sotāpanna. You are even aiming for the Anagami stage!! I am very happy to see someone in my age group progressing in magga phala. As you know most people in our group age  are not interested in Dhamma. Is it possible to contact me on my email to discuss your experience of the Dhamma?  This is my email :[email protected] 

    • #46845
      Yash RS
      Participant

      Hello Yash RS. I read your bio and you say you are a 20 year old sotāpanna. You are even aiming for the Anagami stage!! I am very happy to see someone in my age group progressing in magga phala. As you know most people in our group age  are not interested in Dhamma. Is it possible to contact me on my email to discuss your experience of the Dhamma?  This is my email :[email protected] 

      Sure Gad🙏

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      Gad
    • #47044
      Gad
      Participant

      KUTHŪHALASĀLĀ SUTTA: DISCOURSE ON THE DEBATING HALL

       

      “And, Master Gotama, when a being has laid down this body, and is not yet reborn in another body, what would you declare it’s fuel to be?”

       

      “Vaccha, when a being has laid down this body, and is not yet reborn in another body, I declare that it is fueled by craving. For, Vaccha, at that time, craving is the fuel.”

       

      I think this is an implicit proof of Gandhabba, in the suttas.

       

    • #47046
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Yes. A gandhabba is a human without a physical body.
      – When an average human dies, only the physical body dies, and the gandhabba comes out of the physical body. Unless the kammic energy fueling the human existence (bhava) is exhausted, that gandhabba will be drawn into another womb at a later time and will be reborn as a human baby.
      – During the gandhabba existence, it can see, hear, and think. Thus, it can accumulate kamma via mano and vaci sankhara (with vitakka/vicara). The same ten samyojana and even anusaya are still with the gandhabba, and thus it can think just like a human, and thus will accumulate kamma with tanha. That is what is meant by “craving is the fuel.”
      – It cannot accumulate “kaya sankhara” since it has no physical body.

      • #47047
        Gad
        Participant

        So Mr. Lal can we say that the cases of hauntings are due to the craving of the Gandhabba for a place or a person??
        Unless the hauntings only concern petas (hungry ghosts)

    • #47049
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Most “haunting stories” are made up of one’s mind.
      – There can be some rare cases. But those are more likely to be from petas (hungry ghosts).

      The best way to avoid such effects is to live a moral life and keep the household clean.
      – Think about it this way. The “gati attracting similar gati” plays a role in all these situations. If the sink is not cleaned for days and food gets rotted
      that attracts not only insects and bacteria but also beings in lower realms like petas (hungry ghosts).
      – If one genuinely lives a moral life AND keeps the household clean, most such situations can be avoided.

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      • #47050
        Gad
        Participant

        Thank you for the explanations Mr. Lal 🙏🏿🙏🏿

    • #47083
      Gad
      Participant

      MAHĀ VACCHAGOTTA SUTTA: GREATER DISCOURSE TO VACCHAGOTTA

      “Other than Master Gotama, other than the monks, other than the nuns, is there any one layman, a disciple of Master Gotama, a householder dressed in white, leading a celibate life, who, with the destruction of the five lower fetters, will arise spontaneously in the Pure Abodes and attain final Nibbana there without ever returning from that world?”

      “Vaccha, not one, not one hundred, not two hundred, not three hundred, not four hundred, not five hundred, but far more laymen, my disciples, householders dressed in white, leading a celibate life, who, with the destruction of the five lower fetters, will arise spontaneously in the Pure Abodes and attain final Nibbana there without ever returning from that world.”

      “Other than Master Gotama, other than the monks, other than the nuns, other than the laymen, disciples of Master Gotama, householders dressed in white, leading a celibate life, is there any one layman, a disciple of Master Gotama, a householder dressed in white, who enjoys sense pleasures, who practises the teaching, follows the instructions, has gone beyond doubt, free from uncertainties, gained fearless confidence, and independent of others, dwells in the teaching?”

      “Vaccha, not one, not one hundred, not two hundred, not three hundred, not four hundred, not five hundred, but far more laymen, who are my disciples, householders dressed in white, who enjoy sense pleasures, who practise the teaching, follow the instructions, have gone beyond doubt, free from uncertainties, gained fearless confidence, and independent of others, dwell in the teaching.”

      “Other than Master Gotama, other than the monks, other than the nuns, other than the laymen, disciples of Master Gotama, householders dressed in white, leading a celibate life, other than laymen, householders dressed in white, who enjoy sense pleasures, is there any one laywoman, a disciple of Master Gotama, a householder dressed in white, leading a celibate life, who, with the destruction of the five lower fetters, will arise spontaneously in the Pure Abodes and attain final Nibbana there without ever returning from that world?”

      “Vaccha, not one, not one hundred, not two hundred, not three hundred, not four hundred, not five hundred, but far more laywomen, my disciples, householders dressed in white, leading a celibate life, who, with the destruction of the five lower fetters, will arise spontaneously in the Pure Abodes and attain final Nibbana there without ever returning from that world.”

      “Other than Master Gotama, other than the monks, other than the nuns, other than the laymen, disciples of Master Gotama, householders dressed in white, leading a celibate life, other than laymen, householders dressed in white, who enjoy sense pleasures, other than the lay women, householders dressed in white, leading a celibate life, is there any one laywoman, a disciple of Master Gotama, a householder dressed in white, who enjoys sense pleasures, who practises the teaching, follows the instructions, has gone beyond doubt, free from uncertainties, gained fearless confidence, and independent of others, dwells in the teaching?”

      “Vaccha, not one, not one hundred, not two hundred, not three hundred, not four hundred, not five hundred, but far more laywomen, who are my disciples, householders dressed in white, who enjoy sense pleasures, who practise the teaching, follow the instructions, have gone beyond doubt, free from uncertainties, gained fearless confidence, and independent of others, dwell in the teaching.”

      Correct me if I’m wrong. In this verse, Lord Buddha clarifies to the venerable Vacchagotta that many lay people dressed in white and who live a celibate life are Anagami. I believe Lord Buddha meant about Anagarikas. I noticed that the venerable Vacchagotta clarified his questions. He seemed to have some form of basic knowledge of the Buddha Dhamma. He did not ask, for example, whether there were lay people who enjoyed the senses and who were Anagamis.

      It Is evident that it is impossible to be Anagami and enjoy sensual pleasures. It is, therefore, obvious that all those who aspire to become Anagami will have to become Anagarika sooner or later.

      A person cannot hope to be Anagami if he indulges in alcohol, sex, games, shows, and anything that highlights beauty (jewelry, makeup, beautiful clothes…) and extreme comfort of the body (a luxurious mattress is not necessary for sleeping) A simple mattress may be sufficient unless you have health problems that require this. This person must put the necessary causes so that the effect matures. I may want to be Anagami with the best intentions in the world. However, if the causes are not met, it would be impossible. The Sotāpanna and Sakadagamin stages are accessible regardless of whether one enjoys sensual pleasures (One must have a basic understanding of tilakkhana). The practice of the eight precepts is the best condition to reach the Anagami stage.

      (Celibacy meant the absence of romantic and sexual attachment. I forget the name of this sutta, but it told the story of an Anagami who lived with his ex-wives and told them that from now on, they were no longer his wives but his sisters!)

      It’s up to everyone to see what’s best for them. If a person does not feel ready to live with the eight precepts, that is completely okay. Reaching the sotāpanna stage is already an immeasurable blessing. The eight precepts are useless to reach the first two stages. However, one cannot obtain something with mere wishes. You have to put in the effort for the vipaka to take effect. Kamma is the intention, and vipaka is the effect. If I want to obtain kamma vipaka to be Anagami (this is valid for everything), I must have the required conditions.

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    • #47085
      Yash RS
      Participant

      Thanks Gad, but I have a question, what should be done after following the 8 precepts 

      The first five of the eight precepts are similar to the five precepts, that is, to refrain from killing living beings, stealing, damaging speech, and to abstain from intoxicating drink or drugs,[2] but the third precept is abstinence of all sexual activity instead of refraining from sexual offenses.[3] The final three precepts are to abstain from eating at the wrong time (after midday); to abstain from entertainment such as dancing, singing, music, watching shows, as well as to abstain from wearing garlands, perfumes, cosmetics, and personal adornments; and to abstain from luxurious seats and beds.

      Won’t this induce mental stress as we are not habitual to it? I mean what should be done after that so that the mind doesn’t want to go back to the original lifestyle that was before following the 8 precepts?

       

    • #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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    • #47091
      Gad
      Participant

      FOUR DIVINE ABODES (BRAHMA VIHARAS) IN THERAVADA BUDDHISM

      In the Maha Rahulovada sutta of the Majjhima Nikaya, the Buddha has instructed Venerable Rahula, His son, to meditate on the four brahma viharas in order to get rid of the negative qualities of ill-will, cruelty, discontentment and irritation.

      “Cultivate the meditation of loving kindness. For when you cultivate the meditation of loving kindness, ill-will will be abandoned”

      “Cultivate the meditation of compassion. For when you cultivate the meditation of compassion, cruelty will be abandoned”

      “Cultivate the meditation of sympathetic joy. For when you cultivate the meditation of sympathetic joy, discontentment will be abandoned”

      “Develop the meditation of equanimity. For when you cultivate the meditation of equanimity, irritation will be abandoned” (4)

       

      THE EIGHT WORLDLY CONDITIONS: ASHTA LOKA DHAMMA IN THERAVADA BUDDHISM

      In the Pathama lokadhamma sutta of the Anguttara Nikaya (collection of the Buddha’s numerical discourses), the Buddha has described eight such worldly conditions or vicissitudes which are: gain, loss, fame, disgrace, praise, blame, pleasure and pain.

      “Labho, alabho ayaso yaso ca,

        Ninda pasaṃsa ca sukhaṃ ca dukkhaṃ.”

      An Arahant who has totally eradicated the mental defilements will be unshaken by any of the eight worldly conditions. A Non-Returner who has eradicated the two fetters of desire for sensual pleasures (kama raga) and aversion (patigha) may also not react to the eight worldly conditions. However, the Stream Enterer and the Once Returner who still possess those two fetters will react to the worldly conditions with craving or aversion though less than ordinary world beings.

      Only Lord Buddha is capable of accurately saying which formal meditation suits each person according to their temperament (gati). Even Venerable Arahant Sariputta was unable to do it. Yash, everything I told you is just a suggestion that may not apply to you.

       

      EXPERIENCE IN PREVIOUS LIVES, MAY AFFECT MEDITATION PRACTICE IN THIS LIFE

      Dhammapada contains 423 verses said by the Buddha in different contexts. Most of the verses have been taken from the discourses of the Buddha. It has been noted that more than two thirds of the verses are taken from the discourses contained in the two collections of the Buddha’s discourses known as the Samyutta Nikāya and Anguttara Nikāya. The 423 verses are divided into 26 chapters or vaggas each with a particular heading. The twentieth chapter is named “Magga vagga” meaning the chapter on “The path”, which contains 17 verses said by the Buddha. The back ground story of the 285th verse, which is the thirteenth verse of the Magga vagga is about a monk who was unable to progress while meditating on loathsomeness, but was able to progress by meditating on a pleasant lotus flower.

      Background story of verse 285

      At one time, the Buddha was staying at the Jetavana monastery in Sāvatti which was donated to the Buddha by the chief benefactor named Anāthapindika.

      A handsome young man who was the son of a goldsmith was ordained as a monk by Venerable Sāriputta, the chief disciple of the Buddha. Venerable Sāriputta instructed the young monk to meditate on the loathsomeness of the dead body. Having received meditation instruction from Venerable Sāriputta, the young monk went away to reside and meditate in a forest. There, he started meditating on the loathsomeness of the dead body as instructed by his teacher, but made very little progress in meditation. He had to return to his teacher on two occasions to receive further instructions on how to meditate, but still made very little progress.

      As the young monk was not making any progress in meditation in spite of the repeated instructions he was given, Venerable Sāriputta decided to take him to the Buddha. So, one day Venerable Sāriputta took the young monk to the Buddha and reported the young monk’s inability to progress in his meditation in spite of the repeated instructions given to him. The Buddha knew that the young monk was the son of a goldsmith in this life and through His supernormal vision saw that the young monk had been born in the family of goldsmiths during his past five hundred births. The Buddha decided to change the object of meditation and instead of meditating on loathsomeness, he was instructed to meditate on pleasantness. The Buddha, through the Buddha’s supernormal power, created a beautiful lotus flower as big as a cart wheel and asked the young monk to stick it on the mound of sand just outside the Jetavana monastery and meditate by focusing on the lotus flower. The young monk began meditating by concentrating on the beautiful lotus flower and was able to develop concentration of the mind by getting rid of the mental hindrances. His mind was filled with rapture (pīti), and gradually progressed through the first mental absorption (Jhāna) up to the fourth mental absorption.

      The Buddha saw him from the Buddha’s perfumed chamber and through the Buddha’s supernormal power, made the beautiful lotus flower wither away instantly. When the young monk witnessed the beautiful lotus flower wither and change it’s colour, he realised the impermanent nature of the lotus flower as well as impermanence inherent in all things and living beings. He soon came to the realisation of the impermanence (anicca), un-satisfactoriness (dukkha) and not-self (anatta) nature of all conditioned things. At that very moment, the Buddha sent forth the Buddha’s radiance and appeared as if in person to the young monk. The Buddha instructed him to get rid of craving (tanhā) and recited the following verse which is recorded as the 285th verse of the Dhammapada.

      Ucchinda sinehaṁ attano,

        kumudam sāradikaṁ va pāninā,

        santimaggameva brūhaya,

        Nibbānaṁ sugatena desitaṁ.”

      “Sever the love of self,

        Like an autumn lotus with the hand,

        Develop fully the path to peace and,

        Nibbāna expounded by the Buddha.”

      It is recorded that at the end of this short discourse by the Buddha, the young monk eradicated all his mental defilements and gained enlightenment as an Arahant.

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    • #47180
      Gad
      Participant

      JĀNUSSONI SUTTA: DISCOURSE TO JĀNUSSONI

      Collection of numerical discourses (anguttara nikāya) contain the discourses in eleven groups (nipatas), grouped numerically from one to eleven, based on the number of facts discussed by the Buddha in each discourse. The Jānussoni sutta is included in the Jānussoni vagga of the tenth group of discourses in the Anguttara Nikāya (1).

      Jānussoni sutta is a discourse that the Buddha had delivered to the brahmin named Jānussoni. He was a resident of Sāvatti and was a chaplain to King Kosala, the ruler of the Kosala Kingdom. He had the habit of talking to well-known religious leaders at that time with the intention of learning their religious doctrines and also to compare them with his own views. He was an admirer of the Buddha, and has visited the Buddha on several occasions to discuss religious and spiritual matters with the Buddha which are recorded in a few other discourses as well.

      Content of Jānussoni sutta

      Then the brahmin Jānussoni went to the Buddha and having arrived, exchanged courtesies with the Buddha. After an exchange of friendly greetings and courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting to one side, he said to the Buddha: “Master Gotama, we are brahmins. We give gifts, make offerings saying: ‘May this gift accrue to our dead relatives and blood relations; may our dead relatives and blood relations partake of this gift’. Now, Master Gotama, does that gift accrue to our dead relatives and blood relations? Do our dead relatives and blood relations partake of that gift?”

      “In the possible places, brahmin, it accrues to them, but not in the impossible places.”

      “Master Gotama, what are the possible places? What are the impossible places?”

      “Here brahmin, there is a certain person who takes life, takes what is not given, engages in sexual misconduct, engages in false speech, engages in divisive speech, engages in harsh speech, engages in idle chatter, is covetous, bears ill-will, and has wrong views. With the break-up of the body, after death, he arises in hell. He lives there, he remains there, sustained by the food of hell beings. Brahmin, it is not a possible place for that gift to accrue to him.”

      [The Buddha has described the ten unwholesome actions (dasa akusala) consisting of three unwholesome bodily actions, four unwholesome verbal actions and three unwholesome mental actions which result in unhappy consequences in this life and in future lives. They are:

      Three unwholesome bodily deeds:

      1. Killing any living beings (pānāti pātā)

      2. Stealing or taking what is not given (adinnādānā)

      3. Sexual misconduct (kāmesu micchāchārā)

      Four unwholesome verbal deeds:

      1.False speech (musāvāda)

      2.Divisive speech (pisunāvācā)

      3.Harsh speech (pharusā vācā)

      4.Idle chattering (samphappalāpā)

      Three unwholesome mental deeds:

      1.Covetousness or greed (abhijjā)

      2.Ill-will (vyāpāda)

      3.Wrong view (miccā ditthi)]:

      What I add: A sotāpanna eradicated Micchādiṭṭhi:This is the main defilement that leads to apayas and incites one to commit the 5 apayagami actions.

      1. Kill your father

      2. Kill your mother

      3.Kill an arahant.

      4. Sow schism in the Sangha.

      5. Physically harm a Lord Buddha (He cannot be killed and mentally harmed)

      “Then again, brahmin, there is a certain person who takes life, takes what is not given, engages in sexual misconduct, engages in false speech, engages in divisive speech, engages in harsh speech, engages in idle chatter, is covetous, bears ill-will, and has wrong views. With the break-up of the body, after death, he arises in the animal womb. He lives there, he remains there, sustained by the food of common animals. Brahmin, it is not a possible place for that gift to accrue to him.”

      [Hell (niraya) and the animal kingdom are two of the four planes of deprivation or extreme suffering described in Buddhist cosmology into which rebirth can take place due to unwholesome actions of varying severity. They are:

      1.Plane of immense suffering (niraya)

      2.Plane of animals (tiracchāna yoni)

      3.Plane of hungry ghosts (peta loka)

      4.Plane of demons and titans (asura loka)] (2)

      “Then again, brahmin, there is a certain person who abstains from taking life, abstains from taking what is not given, abstains from engaging in sexual misconduct, abstains from engaging in false speech, abstains from engaging in divisive speech, abstains from engaging in harsh speech, abstains from engaging in idle chatter, is not covetous, does not bear ill-will, and has right views. With the break-up of the body, after death, he arises in the company of human beings. He lives there, he remains there, sustained by the food of human beings. Brahmin, it is not a possible place for that gift to accrue to him.”

      “Then again, brahmin, there is a certain person who abstains from taking life, abstains from taking what is not given, abstains from engaging in sexual misconduct, abstains from engaging in false speech, abstains from engaging in divisive speech, abstains from engaging in harsh speech, abstains from engaging in idle chatter, is not covetous, does not bear ill-will, and has right views. With the break-up of the body, after death, he arises in the company of devas. He lives there, he remains there, sustained by the food of the devas. Brahmin, it is not a possible place for that gift to accrue to him.”

      [In Buddhist cosmology, six sensual heavens are described where rebirth can take place as devas due to wholesome and skillful actions performed in previous births. They are:

      1.Cātummahārājika heaven

      2.Tāvatimsā heaven

      3.Yāma heaven

      4.Tusita heaven

      5.Nimmānarati heaven

      6.Paranimmita Vasavatti heaven] (3) ( What i add: The domain of devaputta Mara is located there.)

      “Then again, brahmin, there is a certain person who takes life, takes what is not given, engages in sexual misconduct, engages in false speech, engages in divisive speech, engages in harsh speech, engages in idle chatter, is covetous, bears ill-will, and has wrong views. With the break-up of the body, after death, he arises in the realm of hungry ghosts. He lives there, he remains there, sustained by the food of hungry ghosts. But whatever his friends, companions, relatives or blood relations give dedicating to him, by that he remains there. Brahmin, while he remains there, it is a possible place for that gift to accrue to him.”

      “But, Master Gotama, if that dead relative or blood relation does not arise there, who would partake of that gift?”

      “Then, brahmin, other dead relatives or blood relations who have arisen there will partake of that gift.”

      “But, Master Gotama, if that dead relative or blood relation does not arise there, and other dead relatives and blood relations have not arisen there, then who would partake of that gift?”

      “It is impossible brahmin, it cannot be, that after such a long time, that realm is devoid of any dead relatives or blood relations. In any case, brahmin, the donor does not go without a reward.”

      “Would Master Gotama describe any preparation for the impossible places?”

      “Brahmin, I do describe a preparation for the impossible places. Here, brahmin, there is a certain person who takes life, takes what is not given, engages in sexual misconduct, engages in false speech, engages in divisive speech, engages in harsh speech, engages in idle chatter, is covetous, bears ill-will, and has wrong views. But he gives food, drinks, cloth, vehicle, garlands, scents, ointments, bed, lodging, and lamps to brahmins and contemplatives. With the break-up of the body, after death, he arises in the company of elephants. There he receives food, drink, garlands and various ornaments. It is because he took life, took what is not given, engaged in sexual misconduct, engaged in false speech, engaged in divisive speech, engaged in harsh speech, engaged in idle chatter, was covetous, bore ill-will, and had wrong views, that he arises in the company of elephants. But, because he gave food, drinks, cloth, vehicle, garlands, scents, ointments, bed, lodging, and lamps to brahmins and contemplatives, that he receives food, drink, garlands and various ornaments.”

      “There is a certain person who takes life, takes what is not given, engages in sexual misconduct, engages in false speech, engages in divisive speech, engages in harsh speech, engages in idle chatter, is covetous, bears ill-will, and has wrong views. But he gives food, drinks, cloth, vehicle, garlands, scents, ointments, bed, lodging, and lamps to brahmins and contemplatives. With the break-up of the body, after death, he arises in the company of horses. There he receives food, drink, garlands and various ornaments. It is because he took life, took what is not given, engaged in sexual misconduct, engaged in false speech, engaged in divisive speech, engaged in harsh speech, engaged in idle chatter, was covetous, bore ill-will, and had wrong views, that he arises in the company of horses. But, because he gave food, drinks, cloth, vehicle, garlands, scents, ointments, bed, lodging, and lamps to brahmins and contemplatives, that he receives food, drink, garlands and various ornaments.

      “There is a certain person who takes life, takes what is not given, engages in sexual misconduct, engages in false speech, engages in divisive speech, engages in harsh speech, engages in idle chatter, is covetous, bears ill-will, and has wrong views. But he gives food, drinks, cloth, vehicle, garlands, scents, ointments, bed, lodging, and lamps to brahmins and contemplatives. With the break-up of the body, after death, he arises in the company of cows. There he receives food, drink, garlands and various ornaments. It is because he took life, took what is not given, engaged in sexual misconduct, engaged in false speech, engaged in divisive speech, engaged in harsh speech, engaged in idle chatter, was covetous, bore ill-will, and had wrong views, that he arises in the company of cows. But, because he gave food, drinks, cloth, vehicle, garlands, scents, ointments, bed, lodging, and lamps to brahmins and contemplatives, that he receives food, drink, garlands and various ornaments.

      “There is a certain person who takes life, takes what is not given, engages in sexual misconduct, engages in false speech, engages in divisive speech, engages in harsh speech, engages in idle chatter, is covetous, bears ill-will, and has wrong views. But he gives food, drinks, cloth, vehicle, garlands, scents, ointments, bed, lodging, and lamps to brahmins and contemplatives. With the break-up of the body, after death, he arises in the company of dogs. There he receives food, drink, garlands and various ornaments. It is because he took life, took what is not given, engaged in sexual misconduct, engaged in false speech, engaged in divisive speech, engaged in harsh speech, engaged in idle chatter, was covetous, bore ill-will, and had wrong views, that he arises in the company of dogs. But, because he gave food, drinks, cloth, vehicle, garlands, scents, ointments, bed, lodging, and lamps to brahmins and contemplatives, that he receives food, drink, garlands and various ornaments.

      “Then again, brahmin, there is a certain person who abstains from taking life, abstains from taking what is not given, abstains from engaging in sexual misconduct, abstains from engaging in false speech, abstains from engaging in divisive speech, abstains from engaging in harsh speech, abstains from engaging in idle chatter, is not covetous, does not bear ill-will, and has right views. And he gives food, drinks, cloth, vehicle, garlands, scents, ointments, bed, lodging, and lamps to brahmins and contemplatives. With the break-up of the body, after death, he arises in the company of human beings. There he would enjoy the five strings of human sensual pleasures. It is because he abstained from taking life, abstained from taking what is not given, abstained from engaging in sexual misconduct, abstained from engaging in false speech, abstained from engaging in divisive speech, abstained from engaging in harsh speech, abstained from engaging in idle chatter, was not covetous, did not bear ill-will, and had right views, that he arises in the company of human beings. And, it is because he gave food, drinks, cloth, vehicle, garlands, scents, ointments, bed, lodging, and lamps to brahmins and contemplatives, that he enjoys the five strings of human sensual pleasures.”

      “Then again, brahmin, there is a certain person who abstains from taking life, abstains from taking what is not given, abstains from engaging in sexual misconduct, abstains from engaging in false speech, abstains from engaging in divisive speech, abstains from engaging in harsh speech, abstains from engaging in idle chatter, is not covetous, does not bear ill-will, and has right views. And he gives food, drinks, cloth, vehicle, garlands, scents, ointments, bed, lodging, and lamps to brahmins and contemplatives. With the break-up of the body, after death, he arises in the company of devas. There he would enjoy the five strings of divine sensual pleasures. It is because he abstained from taking life, abstained from taking what is not given, abstained from engaging in sexual misconduct, abstained from engaging in false speech, abstained from engaging in divisive speech, abstained from engaging in harsh speech, abstained from engaging in idle chatter, was not covetous, did not bear ill-will, and had right views, that he arises in the company of devas. And, it is because he gave food, drinks, cloth, vehicle, garlands, scents, ointments, bed, lodging, and lamps to brahmins and contemplatives, that he enjoys the five strings of divine sensual pleasures.”

      “In any case, brahmin, the donor does not go without a reward.”

      “It is amazing, Master Gotama, it is wonderful, how it is enough to make one want to give gifts, enough to make one want to make an offering, that the donor does not go without a reward.”

      “That is the way it is, brahmin. That is the way it is. The donor does not go without a reward.”

      “Excellent, Master Gotama! Excellent, Master Gotama! Just as one were to set upright what had been overturned, or what had been closed is opened, or were to show the way to one who has lost his way, or as one who holds an oil lamp in the dark so that those with eyes may see things, in similar manner, by master Gotama, in various ways, the Dhamma has been declared. I go to Master Gotama for refuge, to the Dhamma for refuge, and to the Sangha for refuge. May Master Gotama accept me as a lay follower who has taken refuge from today onwards till the end of my life.”

      In the Jānussoni sutta, a brahmin named Jānussoni visited the Buddha and enquired whether the results of gifts and offerings made in the name of dead relatives and blood relations would actually go to them. The Buddha has named a few planes of existence where it is not possible for the dead relatives and blood relations to receive the fruits of those offerings and one plane of existence where it is possible. According to Buddhist teaching recorded in this discourse, those dead relatives and blood relations who are reborn in the hell, animal kingdom, human realm and the celestial worlds are not able to receive those fruits, while those reborn in the realm of hungry ghosts are able to receive them. The Buddha has said that if no relatives or blood relations from this birth or from innumerable previous births during the cycle of birth and death (samsara) have been reborn in the realm of hungry ghosts to receive those fruits, the donor will enjoy the fruits of gifts and offerings made to brahmins and contemplatives. The Buddha has also stated in this discourse that while the wholesome or unwholesome actions committed by a person will determine the realm of rebirth, gifts and offerings made to brahmins and contemplatives will result in material benefits and pleasures during that existence.

      If I understand correctly, the transfer of merit is never lost no matter if our deceased loved ones are not able to receive it. The credit will go to us. Consider an Interac transfer.Even if the money does not reach the recipient, it will automatically return to our bank account. Nothing is lost. 

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    • #47189
      Lal
      Keymaster

      The sutta that Gad’s post refers to is: “Jāṇussoṇi Sutta (AN 10.177).”

      • The English translation in the above link is a little better, but it will be helpful first to sort out some main features.

      1. When someone in the family dies, it is customary in many Buddhist countries to “make an offering to bhikkhus” and “give merits” to the one who died (as well as those in the family who had died previously).

      2.  Janussoni asks the Buddha (@ marker 2.4): “Can they actually partake in such merits offered?” OR “Can they actually benefit from it?”

      • The Buddha says, “Ṭhāne kho, brāhmaṇa, upakappati, no aṭṭhāne”ti.” OR “They can benefit if they are born in places where such merits can be received.” (“Ṭhāne” means “place.”)

      3. @ 3.2 to @3.5, the Buddha first explains why some are born in the niraya (hell); then he says those born there CAN NOT benefit from such merits given. 

      • Similarly, @4.1 – @6.4: The Buddha says those reborn as animals, humans, and Devas also CAN NOT receive such merits.
      • But @ 7.1 – @7.4: Those who are now in the hungry ghost (peta or pettivisayaṁ) CAN receive and benefit from such merits.

      I think that may help in understanding the rest of the sutta in both translations.

      • If anything else is not clear, please ask. Refer to the markers in the above link.
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      Gad
      • #47199
        Gad
        Participant

        Mr.Lal when Lord Buddha says humans the gandhabbas are also included?? They are spirits like hungry ghosts (petas) right? Why can’t they benefit??

        I remember that there was a monk who told us in Thailand that; “the vast majority of our deceased are reborn as petas”. They need our merits to survive. At the time, I didn’t know this sutta. Maybe he was indirectly referring to that.

    • #47200
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Let me ask you a couple of questions:

      1. When a human with a physical body (like one of us) dies, and more kammic energy remains in the human bhava, what is it called?

      2. Does a hungry ghost (peta) belong to the human bhava?

      • #47201
        Gad
        Participant

        1. A Gandhabba 

        2. No they belongs to the apayas

         

        I understand now thank you Sir🙏🏿 

    • #47203
      Lal
      Keymaster

      I am glad you figured it out, Gad.

      • Just because a gandhabba has an invisible subtle body does not mean it is a “spirit” or a “ghost.” 
      • In rebirth accounts, there is always several months to many years gap between those two successive lives. That human lives in the gandhabba state in between the two lives with dense physical bodies. You and I were in that state before being born with this physical body. 

      For those who may not be familiar with this discussion, the following is a list of posts on gandhabba:

      Search Results for: gandhabba

       

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      Gad
      • #47204
        Gad
        Participant

        Yes thank you for making that clear to me sir🙏🏿.

        I don’t know if this has already happened to others, but before these stories made me trivialize the precious human rebirth. I was like all these people always say they were human before and none of them are talking about another bhava. I said to myself “so how can we say that it is very rare to be born human”?? I had not yet understood the concepts of the difference between bhava(state of existence) and jati(birth). It was while reading this site that I understood a lot of things.

    • #47243
      Gad
      Participant

      ABHAYA SUTTA: DISCOURSE ON FEARLESS

      Abhaya sutta is included in the Brahmana vagga of the fourth group of the discourses in the Anguttara Nikāya. (1)

      Content of Abhaya sutta

      [There is no back ground story to this discourse to indicate when, where and under what circumstances, the Buddha delivered this discourse. Janussoni brahmin was a resident of Sāvatti, where the Buddha resided at the Jetavana monastery during the majority of the rainy seasons. He was an admirer of the Buddha and often visited the Buddha to consult and discuss various matters of spiritual nature. There are several discourses in the basket of discourses of the Buddha (sutta pitaka) that contain discussions between the Buddha and Janussoni brahmin.]

      Then the brahmin named Janussoni went up to the Buddha and, on arrival, exchanged greetings with the Buddha. When the courteous and friendly exchange was over, Janussoni sat to one side. As he was sitting to one side, he said to the Buddha:

      “Master Gotama, I am of the doctrine and view, that there is no one, being subject to death, who is not frightened or terrified of death.”

      The Buddha said: “Brahmin, there are those who, being subject to death are frightened and terrified of death. But there are those who, being subject to death, are not frightened or terrified of death.”

      “And who, brahmin, is the person who, being subject to death, is frightened and terrified of death?”

      “Here, brahmin, there is a certain person who has not abandoned passion, desire, fondness, thirst, fever and craving for sensual pleasures. Then he comes down with a grave, serious illness. When he comes down with a grave, serious illness, the thought occurs to him.”

      ‘Oh, the sensual pleasures that I love so much will be taken away from me, and I will be taken away from them!’ He grieves, suffers, laments, beats his breast and falls into confusion. This brahmin, is a person who, being subject to death, is frightened and terrified of death.”

      [Sensual pleasures are the pleasures that one enjoys in relation to the external sense objects of pleasant forms, pleasant sounds, pleasant smells, pleasant tastes and pleasant touches that one receives through the five internal senses doors of the eye, ear, nose, tongue and the body respectively. They are ephemeral and transitory and any desire, craving or attachment to them will result in eventual suffering.]

      “Furthermore, there is a certain person who has not abandoned passion, desire, fondness, thirst, fever and craving for the body. Then he comes down with a grave, serious illness. When he comes down with a grave, serious illness, the thought occurs to him.”

      ‘Oh, my body that I love so much will be taken away from me, and I will be taken away from my body!’ He grieves, suffers, laments, beats his breast and falls into confusion. This too, brahmin, is a person who, being subject to death, is frightened and terrified of death.”

      [Through ignorance of the inability to keep things to our liking and repulsive nature of the body, unenlightened worldly beings tend to develop passion, desire, fondness, thirst, fever, craving and attachment to the physical body.According to Buddhist teaching, the physical body, which must be constantly taken care of, is made up of thirty-two parts which will not be to our liking in the long term. These parts become repulsive and fruitless with time.The body is prone to the development of various ailments and diseases that cause suffering and one day it will die and eventually be buried to rot or burned to ashes.]

      “Furthermore, there is a certain person who has done no good, has not done what is skillful that would provide safety, and instead, has done what is evil, savage and cruel. Then he comes down with a grave, serious illness. When he comes down with a grave, serious illness, the thought occurs to him: ‘I have not done what is good, have not done what is skillful that would provide safety to myself, and instead, I have done what is evil, savage and cruel. When I depart, I will go to the place where those who have not done what is good, have not done what is skillful that would provide safety to themselves, and instead, have done what is evil, savage and cruel would go.’ He grieves, suffers, laments, beats his breast and falls into confusion. This too, brahmin, is a person who, being subject to death, is frightened and terrified of death.”

      [According to Buddhist teaching, any intentional physical, verbal or mental actions based on the three unwholesome roots of craving (lobha), hatred (dosa) and delusion (moha) are unwholesome or unskillful actions. One who commits those unskillful actions can expect to experience painful consequences including rebirth in the realms of extreme suffering. The Buddha has described the following ten unwholesome actions performed through the body, speech and the mind which can result in a rebirth in one of the four realms of extreme suffering.

      Three unwholesome bodily actions:

      1. Killing any living beings (panati pata)

      2. Stealing or taking what is not given (adinnadana)

      3. Sexual misconduct (kamesu micchachara) What I add: Any exaggeration in sensual pleasures not just sex.

      Four unwholesome verbal actions:

      1.False speech (musavada)

      2.Slanderous speech (pisunavaca)

      3.Harsh speech (pharusa vaca)

      4.Idle chattering (samphapplapa)

      Three unwholesome mental actions:

      1.Covetousness or greed (abhijja)

      2. Ill-will (vyapada)

      3.Wrong view (micca ditthi)]

      “Furthermore, there is a certain person who has doubts, who has misgivings, who has uncertainty regarding the true teaching. Then he comes down with a grave, serious illness. When he comes down with a grave, serious illness, the thought occurs to him: ‘I have doubts, I have misgivings, I have uncertainty regarding the true teaching.’ He grieves, suffers, laments, beats his breast and falls into confusion. This too, brahmin, is a person who, being subject to death, is frightened and terrified of death.”

      [Here, the true teaching refers to the teaching of the Buddha that includes the four Noble Truths: the truth of suffering (dukkha sacca), the truth of the origin of suffering (samudaya sacca), the truth of the cessation of suffering (nirodha sacca) and the truth of the path leading to the cessation of suffering (magga sacca). The path leading to the cessation of suffering is the Noble Eight-fold Path consisting of: Right view (sammā-ditthi), right intention (sammā-sankappa), right speech (sammā-vācā), right action (sammā-kammanta), right livelihood (sammā-ājīva), right effort (sammā-vāyāma), right mindfulness (sammā-sati) and right concentration (sammā-samādhi). One who has doubts, misgivings or uncertainty about the true teaching, will not practise the path of liberation from suffering that the Buddha discovered and preached to the world.]

      “These are the four persons who, being subject to death, are frightened and terrified of death.”

      “And who, brahmin, is the person who, being subject to death, is not frightened or terrified of death?”

      “Here, brahmin, there is a certain person who has abandoned passion, desire, fondness, thirst, fever and craving for sensual pleasures. Then he comes down with a grave, serious illness. When he comes down with a grave, serious illness, the thought does not occur to him:

      ‘Oh, the sensual pleasures that I love so much will be taken away from me, and I will be taken away from them!’ He does not grieve, suffer, lament, beat his breast or fall into confusion. This brahmin, is a person who, being subject to death, is not frightened or terrified of death.”

      “Furthermore, there is a certain person who has abandoned passion, desire, fondness, thirst, fever and craving for the body. Then he comes down with a grave, serious illness. When he comes down with a grave, serious illness, the thought does not occur to him.”

      ‘Oh, my body that I love so much will be taken away from me, and I will be taken away from my body!’ He does not grieve, suffer, lament, beat his breast or fall into confusion. This too, brahmin, is a person who, being subject to death, is not frightened or terrified of death.”

      “Furthermore, there is a certain person who has done good, has done what is skillful that would provide safety, and has not done what is evil, savage or cruel. Then he comes down with a grave, serious illness. When he comes down with a grave, serious illness, the thought occurs to him: ‘I have done what is good, have done what is skillful that would provide safety to myself, and I have not done what is evil, savage or cruel. When I depart, I will go to the place where those who have done what is good, have done what is skillful that would provide safety to themselves, and have not done what is evil, savage or cruel would go.’ He does not grieve, suffer, lament, beat his breast or fall into confusion. This too, brahmin, is a person who, being subject to death, is not frightened or terrified of death.”

      “Furthermore, there is a certain person who has no doubts, who has no misgivings, who has come to certainty regarding the true teaching. Then he comes down with a grave, serious illness. When he comes down with a grave, serious illness, the thought occurs to him: ‘I have no doubts, I have no misgivings, I have come to certainty regarding the true teaching.’ He does not grieve, suffer, lament, beat his breast or fall into confusion. This too, brahmin, is a person who, being subject to death, is not frightened or terrified of death.”

      “These are the four persons who, being subject to death, are not frightened or terrified of death.”

      When this was said, Janussoni the brahmin said: “Excellent, Master Gotama! Excellent, Master Gotama! Just as one were to set upright what had been overturned, or what had been closed is opened, or were to show the way to one who has lost his way, or as one who holds an oil lamp in the dark so that those with eyes may see things, in similar manner, by Master Gotama, in various ways, the Dhamma has been declared. I take refuge in Master Gotama, the Dhamma and the Sangha. May Master Gotama accept me as a lay follower who has taken refuge from today onwards till the end of my life.”

      In the Abhaya sutta, when the brahmin Janussoni stated his view that anyone facing death would be frightened and terrified, the Buddha has stated that while some persons are frightened and terrified of facing death, there are others who are not. Then the Buddha has described the differences between the two groups of persons. Those who have craving for sensual pleasures and for one’s own body, those who have done unwholesome things while not doing wholesome things and those who have doubts, misgivings and uncertainty about the true teaching are frightened and terrified of facing death. Those who have abandoned craving for sensual pleasures or for one’s own body, those who have done wholesome things while not doing unwholesome things and those who have no doubts, misgivings or uncertainty about the true teaching are not frightened or terrified of facing death.

      Me : I believe the last group of people relate to sotāpannas and sakadagamins. As we know these two noble beings did not abandon kāma ragā (craving for sensual pleasures). Although sakadagamin reduced it considerably.

      I changed some words regarding anicca. I made it bold.

    • #47246
      Dawson
      Participant

      Thanks for sharing that, Gad. One point that occurred to me, though, is that the body isn’t inherently repulsive. One’s perception of a thing is what determines whether or not they will be repulsed by it.

      • #47247
        Gad
        Participant

        You welcome Dawson !!

         

         

    • #47256
      Gad
      Participant

      AN ARAHANT HAS NO ANGER AND WILL NOT HARM ANY LIVING BEING

      Dhammapada contains 423 verses said by the Buddha in different contexts. Most of the verses have been taken from the discourses of the Buddha. It has been noted that more than two-thirds of the verses are taken from the discourses contained in the two collections of the Buddha’s discourses known as the Samyutta Nikāya and Anguttara Nikāya. The 423 verses are divided into 26 chapters or Vaggas each with a particular heading. The twenty-sixth chapter is named “Brāhmana Vagga” meaning the chapter on “The Brāhmana,” which contains 41 verses said by the Buddha. The background story of the 405th verse, which is the 23rd verse of the Brāhmana Vagga, is about an Arahant monk during the time of the Buddha who was severely beaten up by an angry man but did not develop any anger towards the attacker.

      The background story of verse 405

      At one time, the Buddha was staying at the Jetavana monastery in Sāvatti, which was donated to the Buddha by the chief benefactor Anāthapindika.

      At one time, the Buddha was staying at the Jetavana monastery in Sāvatti, which was donated to the Buddha by the chief benefactor Anāthapindika.

      At that time, a certain monk received instruction on a subject of meditation from the Buddha, and went away to stay in a forest and practise meditation. Having mediated on the chosen subject of meditation with diligence as advised by the Buddha, he gained enlightenment as an Arahant. Having become an Arahant, he decided to visit the Buddha in Sāvatti to pay homage and to show his gratitude to the Buddha. So one day, the Arahant monk began his journey, and on his way, he happened to walk through a certain village.

      As he was walking through the village, a certain woman had a quarrel with her husband and decided to leave the house and return to her parents’ village. When the husband was out of the house, she left the house and began walking towards the village where her parents lived. As she was walking, she happened to see the Arahant monk who was also walking in the same direction and began walking closely behind him. The Arahant monk did not even look back at the woman.

      When the husband returned home, he discovered that his wife has left and knew that she had left to go to her parents’ village. He decided to follow her and as he walked a certain distance, he saw his wife walking closely behind the Arahant monk. Thinking that the monk is taking his wife away, he shouted and threatened to beat the monk. His wife pleaded with him not to harm the monk saying that the monk has not spoken to her or even looked at her. This plea made the man become even more furious, and he gave a severe beating to the monk who received severe bruising to his body. The man then took his wife and left to return to their house.

      The Arahant monk continued his journey and eventually arrived at the Jetavana monastery in Sāvatti where the Buddha was residing. The other monks at the monastery noticed the severe bruising all over his body and having attended to the bruises, asked how he got them. When the Arahant monk gave the details of how he was beaten up, the monks asked him whether he did not get angry with the man who beat him up so severely. The Arahant monk said he did not have any anger at all towards the man, but the other monks did not believe him. They went to the Buddha and said:

      “Venerable Sir, this monk says he was severely beaten up by a certain man, and when we asked him whether he got angry towards the man, he claims he did not get angry. He is lying to us and is not telling the truth.”

      The Buddha listened to what they said and replied:

      “Monks, Arahants have laid aside the stick and the sword.

      They do not get angry, even if they are beaten.”

      Thus, the Buddha confirmed to the monks that the monk had, indeed, become an Arahant.

      The Buddha then recited the following verse, recorded as the 405th verse of the Dhammapada.

      Nidhāya dandaṁ bhūtesu,

      tasesu thāvaresu ca,

      yo na hanti na ghāteti,

      tamahaṁ brūmi brāhmanaṁ.”

      “Whoever has laid down the stick,

      against fearful and fearless beings,

      who neither hurts nor kills,

      him I call a brahmana.”

      The serenity of an arahant is incredible. He is assaulted, and not a single thought of hatred arises in their mind. Because of our distorted perceptions, we cannot even imagine such a state of mind. These deep-rooted defilements, from beginningless times, make us believe that it is impossible to achieve a mind free from all defilement. Even many bhikkhus at the time of Lord Buddha did not believe it was possible. Lord Buddha had to persuade them that this was the case. By understanding the Dhamma, one concludes that it is indeed possible to arrive at the undefiled mind. This story confirms Mr. Lal’s recent publications on vedana

      Note: An Anagami is also free of all anger.

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    • #47296
      Gad
      Participant

      VITTHĀRA PATIPADĀ SUTTA: DISCOURSE ON MODES OF PRACTICE IN DETAIL

      The collection of numerical discourses (anguttara nikāya) contains the discourses in eleven groups (nipātas), grouped numerically from one to eleven, based on the number of facts discussed by the Buddha in each discourse. Vitthāra patipadā sutta is included in the Patipadā vagga of the fourth group of the discourses in the Anguttara Nikāya. (1)

      Content of Vitthāra Patipadā sutta

      [There is no back ground story to this discourse to indicate where the Buddha delivered this discourse to the monks or the circumstances that led the Buddha to deliver it.]

      “Monks, there are these four modes of practice.”

      “ What are the four?

      1. Painful practice with slow direct knowledge

      2. Painful practice with quick direct knowledge

      3. Pleasant practice with slow direct knowledge

      4. Pleasant practice with quick direct knowledge”

      [In the Pali language, in which the discourse is recorded, the above four modes of practice are recorded as follows:

      1. Dukkhā patipadā dandhābhiññā

      2. Dukkhā patipadā khippābhiññā

      3. Sukhā patipadā dandhābhiññā

      4. Sukhā patipadā khippābhiññā]

      “And what, monks, is the painful practice with slow direct knowledge? Here, monks, a certain person is normally of strong passion and constantly experiences pain and distress born of passion. Or he is normally of strong hatred and constantly experiences pain and distress born of hatred. Or he is normally of strong delusion and constantly experiences pain and distress born of delusion. These five faculties: the faculty of faith, the faculty of effort, the faculty of mindfulness, the faculty of concentration and the faculty of wisdom appear weak in him. Because these five faculties appear weak in him, he attains the immediacy that leads to the destruction of the cankers only slowly. This, monks, is the painful practice with slow direct knowledge.”

      [Passion (lobha), hatred (dosa) and delusion (moha) are the three unwholesome roots (akusala mūla). These three unwholesome roots are the basis for the development of all the other mental defilements that cause suffering and keep sentient beings in the cycle of birth and death. The three roots are deeply embedded in the mind of unenlightened beings acting as the driving force to make them perform unwholesome deeds resulting in suffering to themselves. The degree of the intensity of these roots may vary from mild to intense resulting in varying degrees of unpleasant results. (2)

      The five faculties refer to the five spiritual faculties also known as controlling faculties (pancha indriya). They are five positive qualities of the mind that one is expected to develop up to their maturity during one’s spiritual journey towards the final enlightenment.

      Five spiritual faculties:

      1.Faith or conviction (saddhā)

      2.Energy or effort (viriya)

      3.Mindfulness (sati)

      4.Concentration (samādhi)

      5.Wisdom (paññā)] (3)

      “And what, monks, is the painful practice with quick direct knowledge? Here, monks, a certain person is normally of strong passion and constantly experiences pain and distress born of passion. Or he is normally of strong hatred and constantly experiences pain and distress born of hatred. Or he is normally of strong delusion and constantly experiences pain and distress born of delusion. These five faculties: the faculty of faith, the faculty of effort, the faculty of mindfulness, the faculty of concentration and the faculty of wisdom appear strong in him. Because these five faculties appear strong in him, he attains the immediacy that leads to the destruction of the cankers quickly. This, monks, is the painful practice with quick direct knowledge.”

      “And what, monks, is the pleasant practice with slow direct knowledge? Here, monks, a certain person does not normally have strong passion and does not constantly experience pain and distress born of passion. Or he does not normally have strong hatred and does not constantly experience pain and distress born of hatred. Or he does not normally have strong delusion and does not constantly experience pain and distress born of delusion. These five faculties: the faculty of faith, the faculty of effort, the faculty of mindfulness, the faculty of concentration and the faculty of wisdom appear weak in him. Because these five faculties appear weak in him, he attains the immediacy that leads to the destruction of the cankers only slowly. This, monks, is the pleasant practice with slow direct knowledge.”

      “And what, monks, is the pleasant practice with quick direct knowledge? Here, monks, a certain person does not normally have strong passion and does not constantly experience pain and distress born of passion. Or he does not normally have strong hatred and does not constantly experience pain and distress born of hatred. Or he does not normally have strong delusion and does not constantly experience pain and distress born of delusion. These five faculties: the faculty of faith, the faculty of effort, the faculty of mindfulness, the faculty of concentration and the faculty of wisdom appear strong in him. Because these five faculties appear strong in him, he attains the immediacy that leads to the destruction of the cankers quickly. This, monks, is the pleasant practice with quick direct knowledge.”

      “These, monks, are the four modes of practice.”

      In the Vitthāra patipadā sutta, the Buddha has described four modes of spiritual practice of those disciples who cultivate the Buddhist path of liberation from suffering. The four modes are based on two sets of negative and positive factors. The negative factors are the three unwholesome roots of passion (lobha), hatred (dosa) and delusion (moha), while the positive factors are the five spiritual faculties of faith or conviction (saddhā), energy or effort (viriya), mindfulness (sati), concentration (samādhi) and wisdom (paññā). The strength and weakness of the three unwholesome roots that lead to constant pain and distress will determine whether the progress is painful or pleasant. The strength or weakness of the five spiritual faculties will determine whether the progress is quick or slow.

      If I understand correctly these situations can apply to both ariyas and puthujunas. There are puthujunas who become ariyas very quickly. Some even become arahants on the first try. Arahant Santati and Arahant Bahiya are examples. The panchas indriyas in these beings were extremely powerful. They needed a helping hand from Lord Buddha to help them. They are among those who do not constantly experience problems and who have very low moha dosa and lobha. Obviously, it would be necessary to have previously developed the 10 paramis over many, many lifetimes.However, most puthujunas fall into the first category.

      Among the ariyas, we can see this especially with the sotāpanna stage. A sotāpanna will be free in a maximum of 7 bhava. A human bhava can contain thousands of births (jati). The most careless sotāpanna will attain nibbāna on the 7th bhava.

      The monk Pandita, a 7-year-old samanera (novice bhikkhu) and student of Venerable Sariputta, became anagami and arahant in the same day. Venerable Arahant Sariputta became sotāpanna by listening to a single verse. It took him a few weeks to become an arahant. He dodged the other two stages of the magga phala. Venerable Arahant Ananda had been a sotāpanna for over 25 years. It was only after the parinibbãna of Lord Buddha that he became an arahant.

      Sakadagamin become arahant in a deva world, most of the time. Otherwise, they move on to the anagami stage and are reborn in a pure land. There are 5 pure land and the higher you go, the longer the lifespan are. Life in the highest pure abode (suddhavasa akanittha) lasts 16,000 kappas!!! These beings see different Lord Buddha. Brahma Sahampatti had become anagami during the time of Lord Kassapa Buddha. It’s Brahma Sahampatti who came to encourage Lord Gautama to taught the Dhamma, during his awakening.

      However, it is not necessary for us to wait for these immeasurable periods before becoming an arahant.Each of us has different levels of pānna, depending on our paramis. It is possible to go through all 4 stages in a single lifetime. One just have to make the effort to develop what needs to be developed.

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    • #47300
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Gad wrote: “Venerable Arahant Sariputta became sotāpanna by listening to a single verse. It took him a few weeks to become an arahant. He dodged the other two stages of the magga phala. “

      • If you meant Ven. Sariputta skipped the stages of Sakadagami and Anagami to get to the Arahant stage, that is incorrect.
      • One ALWAYS goes through the four stages sequentially. He must have attained Sakadagami and Anagami stages before getting to the Arahant stage.
      • #47301
        Gad
        Participant

        But sir, I don’t understand how it’s impossible to skip the steps? A person can have a spiritual breakthrough right? The texts do not mention that he reached the sakadagamin and anagami stages. They only say that he became an arahant by listening to a speech.

        The progression in magga phala can be compared to someone climbing the stairs by skipping steps, right? How can we explain the case of Arahant Bahiya who went from the puthujunas stage to an arahant??

        Story of Arahant Bahiya

        Now while he was in seclusion, this reflection arose in the mind of Bahiya of the Bark-cloth: “Am I one of those in the world who are arahats or who have entered the path to arahatship?”

        Then a devata who was a former blood-relation of Bahiya of the Bark-cloth understood that reflection in his mind. Being compassionate and wishing to benefit him, he approached Bahiya and said:  “You, Bahiya, are neither an arahant nor have you entered the path to arahatship. You do not follow that practice whereby you could be an arahant or enter the path to arahatship.”

        A third time Bahiya said to the Lord: “It is difficult to know for certain… Teach me Dhamma, Sugata, so that it will be for my good and happiness for a long time.”

        “Herein, Bahiya, you should train yourself thus: ‘In the seen will be merely what is seen; in the heard will be merely what is heard; in the sensed will be merely what is sensed; in the cognized will be merely what is cognized.’ In this way you should train yourself, Bahiya.

        “When, Bahiya, for you in the seen is merely what is seen… in the cognized is merely what is cognized, then, Bahiya, you will not be ‘with that.’ When, Bahiya, you are not ‘with that,’ then, Bahiya, you will not be ‘in that.’ When, Bahiya, you are not ‘in that,’ then, Bahiya, you will be neither here nor beyond nor in between the two. Just this is the end of suffering.”

        Now through this brief Dhamma teaching of the Lord the mind of Bahiya of the Bark-cloth was immediately freed from the taints without grasping. Then the Lord, having instructed Bahiya with this brief instruction, went away.

        A sotāpanna is on the path to becoming an arahant right? If this brahma says that Bahiya is not even on the path leading there then he was not even sotāpanna right?

        (This brahma is an anagami who lives in a pure abode and was a friend of arahant Bahiya during the time of Lord Buddha Kassapa. This version says he is a deva but he is a Brahma anagami.)

        Story of Venerable Arahant Sariputta:

        The Life of Sariputta

        But the Venerable Sariputta continued to stay near the Master, at a cave called the Boar’s Shelter (Sukarakhata-lena), depending on Rajagaha for his almsfood. Half a month after his ordination the Blessed One gave a discourse on the comprehension of feelings[6] to the Venerable Sariputta’s nephew, the wandering ascetic Dighanakha. The Venerable Sariputta was standing behind the Master, fanning him. While following with his thoughts the progress of the discourse, as though sharing the food prepared for another, the Venerable Sariputta on that occasion reached the acme of “knowledge pertaining to a disciple’s perfection and attained to Arahatship together with the fourfold analytical knowledge (patisambhida-ñana).”[7] And his nephew, at the end of the sermon, was established in the Fruition of stream-entry.[8]

        Unless I missed a crucial point Sir. 

    • #47303
      Lal
      Keymaster

      The reason is the following:

      • One needs first to be released from the apayas at the Sotapanna stage. Then, release from the kama loka happens via the Sakadagami and Anagami stages. Finally, release from the rupa and arupa loka comes at the Arahant stage. It is always a sequential process. 
      • However, all those can happen while listening to a single discourse (or even a few verses in Ven. Bahiya’s case, which is extremely rare.) Also, those who make quick progress have done “much of the work” in their previous lives.
      • #47305
        Gad
        Participant

        I completely agree. Much of the work comes from the paramis of our past lives. Okay, I’m starting to understand. I don’t have much knowledge in the Abhidamma but, I made a connection with your statement. Knowing that the cittas follow one another by the billions in a second, the lokuttaras cittas of each stage of the magga phala followed each other at incredible speed, in the case of Venerable Sariputta.

        So that means that in the example of arahant Bahiya he went through the 4 stages in a few seconds. It happened so quickly that it seems like he just became an arahant without the other steps of the magga phala.Lord Buddha said that “the mind is the fastest thing in existence.”

        I don’t know if that’s what you meant sir. This connection with the Abhidamma just allowed me to understand this point.

    • #47304
      Yash RS
      Participant

      I think that since these minds were so strong they just went From Sotapanna to Arahant stage at an amazingly fast speed, without even realizing it since they were very concentrated on Listening the Dhamma

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      Gad
      • #47307
        Gad
        Participant

        Yes that’s exactly what I said Yash !! The lokuttaras cittas followed one another with incredible speed.

    • #47308
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Such “speedy progress” does not happen without causes.

      • There is an interesting account of three people (Bāhiya, Pukkusāti, and Suppabuddha) who had attained magga phala quickly.
      • Those three had met in the rebirth process during Buddha Kassapa’s time. At that time, they learned Dhamma from Buddha Kassapa and tried very hard to attain magga phala. They were so determined that they got to the top of a ravine by making a tall ladder and kicking it to fall after climbing. There was no way to get to safety if they could not make progress. They all died without getting there (some may have attained the Sotapanna stage) because all three were reborn humans during Buddha Gotama’s time. Each one made quick progress when they met Buddha Gotama (at different times.)
      • The following suttas give their account: “Bāhiya Sutta (Ud 1.1),” “Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta (MN 140),” and “Suppabuddhakuṭṭhi Sutta (Ud 5.3).”
      • All three died soon afterward, and a cow took their lives (at different times.) I have linked to that in the suttas.
      • It turned out that they had abused a woman in a much earlier previous life, and she was determined to take revenge. She was born a cow during Buddha Gotama’s time and took their lives.
      • I don’t recall where those connections are explained. The point is that their fast progress was not random. 
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      • #47309
        Gad
        Participant

        So sir, that means a person can become sotāpanna in this sāsana and become arahant in the time of Lord Buddha Metteya?? I believed that one cannot become sotāpanna until a Lord Buddha appears. The only ariyas who can see several Lord Buddha are the anagami brahmas.

        The fact that they were born as humans cannot be true proof that they have reached the sotāpanna stage. One can be puthujunas and grasp several human bhavas and deva. Cultivating paramis can be a temporary protection against apayas.

        Simply teaching the 5 worldly precepts is very meritorious. Offering the 4 necessities to monks, practicing the 10 meritorious actions and practicing the 10 paramis are temporary protections against bad rebirths. Of course reaching the sotāpanna stage is a permanent protection. In the suttas, we can find the example of many disciples of Lord Buddha who tell how their meritorious deeds led them to the Dhamma.

        Arahant Santati narrated how during the time of Lord Buddha Vipassi, he was a teacher of the precepts. Lord Vipassi is the first of the 7 Buddhas. I very much doubt that one can be sotāpanna for such a long period of time.

        Santati the King’s Minister

        Therefore, the Teacher said to Santati the king’s minister, “Well then, explain to us all the meritorious deeds you did in a previous state of existence. Do not, however, reveal it to us standing on the ground, but explain it to us poised in the air. “Very well,” replied Santati the king’s minister.

        Then he saluted the Teacher once more and rising gradually into the sky, he seated himself cross-legged in the air, and said, “Listen, Reverend Sirs, to the meritorious deed I performed in a previous state of existence.” So saying, he related the following

        Story of the Past: The preacher of the Dhamma and the King

        Ninety-one eons ago, in the dispensation of the Buddha Vipassī, I was reborn in a certain household in a city named Bandhumati.

        I decided to live without troubling and harming nor disturbing anyone and decided to preach Dhamma.

        I taught the Buddha’s teachings: “Please do meritorious deeds…protect the precepts. Practice generosity. Respect the triple gem.” I taught Dhamma in many ways.

        And the following thought occurred to me, “What action will do away with the want and sufferings of others?” While I was pondering this thought, I observed the actions of those who went about proclaiming the Dhamma, and from that time forth I worked at that very task. I encouraged others to perform works of merit, and I performed works of merit myself.

        On uposatha days I took upon myself the obligations of the uposatha: I gave alms. I listened to the Dhamma. And I went about proclaiming, “There are no jewels comparable to the Three Jewels which are named the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha; therefore do honor to the Three Jewels.”

        Now the great King Bandhumati, father of the Buddha Vipassī, hearing my voice, sent for me and asked, “Friend, on what business are you going about?“I replied, “Your majesty, I am going about proclaiming the virtues of the Three Jewels, and encouraging the populace to perform works of merit.”

        “How do you do that?” asked the King. I replied, “I travel about on my two legs, your majesty.” Thereupon the King said, “Friend, it is not fitting that you should go about in that fashion. Decorate yourself with this string of flowers and seat yourself on the back of a horse and go about in this fashion. “So saying, he gave me a string of flowers similar in appearance to a string of pearls, and at the same time he gave me a horse.

        After the King had done me this kindness, I went about as before proclaiming the teachings of The Buddha. Thereupon the King called me again and asked me, “Friend, on what business are you going about?” “The same as before, your majesty,“I replied. “Friend,” said the King, “A horse is not good enough for you; sit herein as you go about. “So saying, he presented me with a chariot drawn by four horses. In this way I went about preaching Dhamma.

        Again, a third time the King heard my voice, whereupon he sent for me and asked me, “Friend, on what business are you going about?” “The same as before, your majesty,” I replied. “Friend,” said the King, “A chariot is not good enough for you.” And right away he presented me with a mansion, great wealth and a splendid set of jewels and at the same time he gave me an elephant.

        Accordingly, I decorated myself with all my jewels and seated myself on the back of the elephant, and in this manner for eighty-four thousand years I went about performing the meritorious work of proclaiming The Buddha’s Dhamma.

        And during all that time there was diffused from my body the fragrance of sandal and from my mouth the fragrance of the lotus.

        “This was my meritorious deed in a previous state of existence.”

        As Santati the king’s minister thus related the story of his meritorious deed in a previous state of existence, sitting cross-legged in the air, he applied himself to meditation on the element of heat and entered therein and straightway passed into Nibbāna.

        Lord Buddha does not do things in vain. He told Arahant Santati to tell this story because it would benefit the listeners. He wanted to show them how a merit can be so powerful that it lasts 91 kappas. It is this merit that allowed Arahant Santati to achieve Nibbāna in a few verses. This merit probably protected him from the apayas for a long period of time. Of course these cases apply to puthujunas who have encountered a sāsana and who have made a lot of effort to develop their paramis. The vast majority sink into the apayas.

    • #47312
      Gad
      Participant

      Anuruddha Thera

      In Padumuttara Buddha’s time he had been a rich householder. Hearing one of the monks declared best among possessors of the celestial eye, he wished for a similar honour for himself in the future. He did acts of great merit towards that end, including the holding of a great feast of light in front of the Buddha’s tomb. In Kassapa Buddha’s age he was born in Benares; one day he placed bowls filled with clarified butter all round the Buddha’s tomb and lighted them, himself walking round the tomb all night, bearing on his head a lighted bowl.

      Later he was reborn in a poor family in Benares and was named Annabhāra (lit. “food-bearer”). One day, while working for his master, the banker Sumana, he gave his meal to a Pacceka Buddha, Uparittha. The banker, having heard from the deity of his parasol of Annabhāra’s pious deed, rewarded him and set him up in trade. The king, being pleased with him, gave him a site for a house, the ground of which, when dug, yielded much buried treasure. On account of this great accretion of wealth he was given the rank of Dhanasetthi (ThagA.ii.65ff.; Thag.910; DhA.iv.120ff).

      According to the Dhammapada Commentary (i.113), as a result of his gift to the Pacceka Buddha, Anuruddha never lacked anything he desired – such had been the wish he expressed. A charming story is related in this connection. Once when playing at ball with his friends he was beaten and had to pay with sweets. His mother sent him the sweets, but he lost repeatedly until no more sweets were to be had. His mother sent word to that effect, but he did not know the meaning of the words “there isn’t.” When his mother, to make him understand, sent him an empty bowl, the guardian deity of the city filled it with celestial cakes, so that he should not be disappointed. Thereafter, whenever Anuruddha sent for cakes, his mother would send him an empty vessel, which became filled on the way. See also DhA.iv.124ff.

      The Apadāna (i.35) mentions another incident of his past. Once, in Sumedha Buddha’s time, Anuruddha, having seen the Buddha meditating alone at the foot of a tree, set up lights round him and kept them burning for seven days. As a result he reigned for thirty kappas as king of the gods, and was king of men twenty-eight times. He could see a distance of a league both by day and night.

      This is another proof that meritorious actions can temporarily protect puthujunas from the apayas. I strongly doubt that Arahant Sāriputta was sotāpanna for 30 kappa as king of devas and 28 times as universal monarch. That’s a lot of good bhavas without being sotāpanna.A sotāpanna attains Nibbāna in a maximum of 7 Bhava. It is impossible to go beyond this number.

    • #47315
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Gad asked: “So sir, that means a person can become sotāpanna in this sāsana and become arahant in the time of Lord Buddha Metteya?? I believed that one cannot become sotāpanna until a Lord Buddha appears. The only ariyas who can see several Lord Buddha are the anagami brahmas.”

      • A Sotapanna will not lose that status ever, until advancing to a higher stage.
      • Buddha Kassapa and Buddha Gotama appeared in this maha kappa (eon), so there is not that much of a “gap” in time.
      • On the other hand, an Anagami in a “suddhavasa” (Brahma realms reserved for Anagamis) have very long lifetimes extending to several eons. They could have seen Buddhas from previous maha kappas (eons) also.
      • Yes. a person attaining the Sotapanna stage now could possibly attain Aranahthood in the upcoming Sasana of Buddha Maitreya (IF the seven bhava last that long; as we know a Sotapanna will attain Arahanthood within seven bhava.)
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      • #47317
        Gad
        Participant

        Okay, I understand if the time period between two Lord Buddha is not very long.

    • #47318
      Gad
      Participant

      Excuse me if I seem persistent and stubborn Sir.

      I thought about these statements overnight. Saying that one can be sotāpanna for two sāsana contradicts the statement “A Lord Buddha is the first to discover the laws of nature in his time.” A sotāpanna has acquired knowledge of these laws. If so, then a Lord Buddha is not the first to discover these laws.

       

      There is a Burmese monk who taught one of my masters. He said that there are two types of puthujunas those of good will and those who are mired in saṃsāra. Those of good will develop their paramis with a view to reaching a stage of magga phala in the near or distant future. They performed various meritorious deeds in sasanas of the past. These actions allowed them to avoid apāyas, for very long periods and to encounter a sasana where they would become ariyas.

       

      All the 80 disciples and the many disciples who reached a stage of magga phala, during the time of Lord Buddha are examples. Arahant Anuruddha was king of devas for 30 kappa and 28 times kings of humans was not sotāpanna. It was these meritorious actions towards a Paccekabouddha Buddha that enabled him to avoid apayas and encounter the Dhamma.

       

      The puthujunas who reside most of the time in the apayas are those who do not make any effort to develop the paramis and kusulas. They are fully mired in saṃsāra.

      Some are in both. They perform anantariya kamma but they have done kusalas which will lead them to the state of arahant. Arahant Maha Mogallana committed anantariya kamma(He killed his parents in a past life. He suffered for a long time in Niraya hell, before seeing the Dhamma.). However, he quickly attained the state of arahant and became one of the main disciples of Lord Buddha, thanks to his kusalas. King Ajatasattu and Devadatta fall into this category. They both committed anantariya kammas but will become paccekabuddha.

       

      Ajātasattu

      According to the Digha Commentary, (i.237-8) Ajātasattu was born in the Lohakumbhiya niraya after his death. He will suffer there for 60,000 years, and later will reach nibbana as a Pacceka Buddha named Viditavisesa (Vijitāvī). Ajātasattu’s crime of parricide is often given as an example of an upacchedaka-kamma which has the power of destroying the effect of meritorious deeds (E.g., AA.i.369). He is also mentioned as the worst kind of parricide (E.g. AA.i.335).

       

      Devadatta,

      As his end drew near, he wished to see the Buddha, though the latter had declared that it would not be possible in this life. Devadatta, however, started the journey on a litter, but on reaching Jetavana, he stopped the litter on the banks of the pond and stepped out to wash. The earth opened and he was swallowed up in Avīci, where, after suffering for one hundred thousand kappas, he would be reborn as a Pacceka Buddha called Atthissara. (The Saddharmapundarika (chap.xi.) says he will be a Buddha named Devarāja). It is said (DhA.i.147; see also Mil.108) that at the moment of being swallowed by the earth, Devadatta uttered a stanza in which he declared that he had no refuge other than the Buddha. It is this last act of Devadatta’s which the Buddha had in view when he agreed to ordain Devadatta. (He was one of five people who were swallowed by the earth in the Buddha’s time. Mil.101).

       

      Devadatta although he fell into hell, performed meritorious deeds. He paid homage to Lord Buddha, towards the end of his life. The Buddha said that Devadatta will soon attain enlightenment as Paccekabuddha named Atthissara, after his punishment in the apayas.

      Imagine going from hell to the paccekabouddha stage. All this by the simple fact of having sincerely paid homage to Lord Buddha. A paccekabuddha is the second supreme person after a SammāsamBuddha. They are far superior to the arahants. It is said that “even 100 arahants like Sariputta and Maha Mogallana are not worth the qualities of a paccakabuddha”. They can achieve enlightenment as quickly as people like arahant Santati and Bahiya. Not only do they attain enlightenment, but also all jhanas and supernormal powers.

      It’s pretty incredible!! Devadatta was in the worst bhava of Samsarā and here he ends his last life in glory.

      It was just an aside to support my point. The kusulas that we accumulate do not lead us directly to magga phala. It can take eons, as in the case of Devadatta.

       

      This affirmation also contradicts the statement that “The sasana will disappear when the last jati sotāpanna dies. As soon as the relics of Lord Buddha disappear there are no ariyas remaining in the kāma loka. The only ariyas remaining are those living in the five pure abodes of the anagamis (These are the ariyas with several Lord Buddha).

      THE DURATION OF GOTAMA SASANA (DISPENSATION

      The Buddha said that after his parinibbaana, only for 1,000 years can monks acquire analytical knowledge (Patisambhida), or what we call Arahanthship or profound knowledge. Then, over time, they will only be able to reach Anagami (Non Returner). And then only Sakadagami (Once returned), and finally, only Sotapanna (Entered the flow). With the death of the last disciple who reached Sotapanna, the achievements will disappear.

       

      With these examples I don’t think it is possible for a sotāpanna from the past sāsana to arise in a new one. A sotāpanna will reach Nibbāna much earlier. If this sotāpanna becomes an anagami brahma then it is okay. But in all cases, the kāma loka is empty of ariya before the arrival of a Buddha Lord.

    • #47323
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Yes. You are right, Gad.

      The following fact you quoted is the definitive: “This affirmation also contradicts the statement that “The sasana will disappear when the last jati sotāpanna dies.”

      • There cannot be a Sotapanna from a previous Buddha Sasana in a new Buddha Sasana. The previous Buddha Sasana must end before that.

       I am glad that you thought about it and corrected me. Thank you!

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      Gad
      • #47324
        Gad
        Participant

        You are welcome Sir 🙏🏿!

    • #47367
      Gad
      Participant

      MAHĀ MĀLUNKYA SUTTA: LONGER DISCOURSE TO VEN. MĀLUNKYAPUTTA

      The 152 discourses are divided into three parts consisting of 50, 50 and 52 discourses respectively. Mahā Mālunkya sutta is the 64th discourse included in the middle part. (1)

      “And what, Ānanda, is the path, the practice for abandoning the five lower fetters?”

      “Here, Ānanda, a monk secluded from attachments, by giving up unskilful qualities, and complete settling of bodily discomfort, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unskilful qualities, enters and remains in the first absorption, accompanied by initial application and sustained application, rapture and pleasure born of seclusion. Whatever phenomena that are there connected with form, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness, he contemplates them as impermanent, as suffering, as a disease, as a boil, as a dart, as misery, as an affliction, as alien, as falling apart, as empty, as not-self. He turns his mind away from those states and directs his mind to the property of deathlessness: ‘This is peaceful; this is sublime; that is the stilling of all activities; the letting go of all attachments; the ending of craving; dispassion; extinguishment.’ Abiding in that, he attains the destruction of mental influxes. If he does not attain the destruction of the mental influxes because of this Dhamma passion and Dhamma delight, then with the destruction of the five lower fetters, they are reborn spontaneously. There, they attain extinguishment and are not subject to returning from that world. This, Ānanda, is the path, the practice, for abandoning the five lower fetters.”

      “Venerable Sir, if this is the path, the practice, for abandoning the five lower fetters, then how is it that some monks here are liberated in mind while others are liberated by wisdom?”

      “In that case, Ānanda, I say it is the difference in their faculties.”

      In this sutta, Lord Buddha explains how to attain the anagami stage with each jhanas. Venerable Ananda asked: “How did some bhikkhus attain liberation through wisdom?” Lord Buddha replied: “It is the difference of faculties.”

      How can we know which faculties are most appropriate for ourselves? I understand that only a Lord Buddha is able to give us the best training. Are there other ways that can bring us closer to the best?

    • #47370
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Gad asked: “How can we know which faculties are most appropriate for ourselves? I understand that only a Lord Buddha is able to give us the best training. Are there other ways that can bring us closer to the best?”

      It is a good idea to understand the sutta from the beginning. Otherwise, what is meant by “faculties” may not be clear.

      1. First, understand the samyojanā (translated as “fetters”). Do you understand those?

      • Focus on the lower three (removed at the Sotapanna stage) or the lower five (removed at the Anagami stage.)  
      • Removal of the lower three stops rebirths in the apayas. Removal of the lower five stops rebirths in kama loka.
      • The link you provided lists of all ten samyojanā.

      2. Then the sutta mentions this question by the Buddha: “For Mālunkyaputta, an infant lying on its back, does not have even the concept of identity, so how could the self-identity view arise in him?”

      • Have you understood why that is the case?
      • The Pali verse is: “Daharassa hi, mālukyaputta, kumārassa mandassa uttānaseyyakassa sakkāyotipi na hoti, kuto panassa uppajjissati sakkāyadiṭṭhi?”
      • In Sutta Central translation, the same verse is translated as: “For a little baby doesn’t even have a concept of ‘substantial reality,’ so how could substantialist view possibly arise in them?” See “Mahāmālukya Sutta (MN 64.)

      3. As we can see, the two translations have sakkāyotipi /sakkāyadiṭṭhi translated as concept of identity/self-identity view and substantial reality/substantialist viewDo you understand the meanings of those two words (sakkāyotipi and sakkāyadiṭṭhi)?

      • I am not trying to put you in a difficult position. We need to clear up the basic concepts before we get to the end of the sutta.
      • Of course, anyone else can answer those questions, too. This is a discussion forum, and anyone with a particular interpretation in mind can provide that interpretation. Then, it would be easier to discuss the validity of those interpretations rather than to provide my understanding. 

       

      • #47371
        Gad
        Participant

        Hello Mr Lal. Yes, I understand the concept of identity. It is the wrong belief in a permanent self that is in control of this world.

        • One aspect of this false belief is the vision of eternity. After death, an eternal soul continues to live. It is a belief that is present in the vast majority of world religions. When I was in the Christian religion, I believed in it firmly. Thanks to Buddha Dhamma, I removed this belief.
        • The other aspect is the belief in annihilation. This belief says that after the death of the body, there is a self that dies with the body.This belief is especially present among atheist people (those without religion).

        However, sir Lal I don’t understand why this arises in a baby. Please help me to understand.

         

      • #47680
        Gad
        Participant

        Now that we understand the critical concepts, can anyone explain what Lord Buddha meant by “the faculties”??

        • #47682
          Lal
          Keymaster

          “Faculties” can mean different things. But here, probably, it refers to the “sense faculties”: eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind.

          P.S. Adding comments in the middle of a loop is not a good idea. Ask new questions at the end of a thread. 

          • #47695
            Gad
            Participant

            Thank you, sir. Sorry, I posted here so others know what we are talking about. The next time, I will post on the end

            • #47696
              Lal
              Keymaster

              Yes. That is a valid point.

              • You can copy and paste part of the text in that old comment to show the connection and mention that the new comment is regarding that. 
              • You can also mention the “old comment #” so that anyone interested can go back there and read the full comment/discussion there.
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    • #47372
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Good. You understand what sakkāya diṭṭhi is.

      • But what is meant by “sakkāyotipi” in that verse verse before sakkāyadiṭṭhi?
      • I will give you a hint “sakkāyotipi” is shortened for “sakkāyo” and “itipi”  where “itipi” means something like “there/like this.”

      So, the Pali verse, “Daharassa hi, mālukyaputta, kumārassa mandassa uttānaseyyakassa sakkāyotipi na hoti, kuto panassa uppajjissati sakkāyadiṭṭhi?” means “a little baby doesn’t even have a concept of “sakkāyo” so how could “a wrong view about sakkāyo” arise in him?

      • What is “sakkāyo”?
      • I am trying to lead you to a better understanding. Of course, you may know the answer, but I want to make sure.

      I will address your question about the baby after we discuss the above issue.

      • #47373
        Gad
        Participant

        I’m not sure sir, but is it self-perception???

    • #47375
      Lal
      Keymaster

      No.

      • I am rewriting an existing post to make that clear based on the recent posts on “distorted saññā.” It may take a day or two. I will post it here when ready.
      • #47376
        Gad
        Participant

        Alright, thank you, Sir🙏🏿.

    • #47379
      Yash RS
      Participant

      What I understand is Sakkaya means 

      Sakka+kaya meaning “Good”+”Actions”

      It means that people have a view that whatever action is done to please oneself is good and worth it, so it is good to acquire worldly things for oneself, here the sense of “self” arises.

      The baby’s thought process is influenced by its parents/environment and also the baby’s past gati,when it grows and starts to understand things.

      I think initially Sakkayo is not there in the baby because of its low intelligence and less mental defilements, but with time it starts to arise.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      Gad
    • #47382
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Yash wrote: “Sakka+kaya meaning “Good”+”Actions”

      It means that people have a view that whatever action is done to please oneself is good and worth it,..”

      • Yes. That is the main idea. 
      • It is “sath + kāya” that rhymes like “sakkāya.” Here, “sath” means “beneficial/good” because that makes one happy.
      • Sakkāya” = “pañca upādānakkhadha” as explained in the Cula Vedala Sutta. Now, the Buddha also stated, “saṅkhittena pañcu­pādā­nak­khan­dhā dukkhā,” OR “In brief, pañca upādānakkhadha means suffering.”
      • We automatically attach to the “pañca upādānakkhadha” because of the “distorted saññā,” and that is what I wanted to emphasize with the rewriting of an old post. I may have to revise many of the old posts that way because that makes it easier to understand why it is so hard to get rid of our cravings. Once one understands that beauty, taste, etc., are not in external objects, it is much easier to give up cravings.
      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #47406
      Lal
      Keymaster

      The draft post on Sakkāya and Sakkāya Diṭṭhithat I posted here yesterday was moved to a new thread, “Posts Related to ‘Distorted Saññā‘” together with the subsequent comment by Gad.

      • Future comments on posts on subjects of general interest from DRARISWORLD and Other Websites should still be posted here.
      • Any comments on the new series of posts on “Distorted Saññā” should be posted in the new thread on “Posts Related to ‘Distorted Saññā‘”
      • That way, it will be easier to find relevant comments on specific subjects.
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      Gad
    • #47413
      cubibobi
      Participant

      Hi all. First of all, Happy New Year to everyone! I hope everyone had a 2023 filled with Dhamma.

      This is a minor point unrelated to the main ideas of this thread, but I just want to sort out a couple of Pali terms.

      There are various statements like:

      “The puthujanas who reside most of the time in the apayas …”

      My understanding is that the term puthujjana means an average (anariya) HUMAN and that “satta” means an average being in general (including a puthujjana).

      … so the statement should be:
      “The sattās who reside most of the time in the apayā …”?

      Best,
      Lang

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #47415
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Yes. Lang is correct: “The sattās who reside most of the time in the apayā …”?

      • A puthujjana (an average person who has not comprehended Buddha Dhamma) is human.

      Happy New Year to you, too, Lang, and to all!

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #47539
      Gad
      Participant

      SOTĀNUGATA SUTTA: DISCOURSE ON “FOLLOWED THE TEACHINGS BY EAR”

      • However, a certain deity teaches the Dhamma to an assembly of deities. The thought occurs to this deity: ‘I used to live my holy life under this teaching and training’. His memory is slow to arise, but he quickly reaches distinction. This, monks, is the third benefit to be expected when a monk has followed these teachings by ear, recited them verbally, examined them by the mind, and penetrated them well by view.”
      • However, another spontaneously born deity reminds this deity: ‘Do you remember my dear. Do you remember where we lived the holy life together?’ Then he says: ‘I remember my dear. I remember my dear.’ His memory is slow to arise, but he quickly reaches distinction.”

      Summary : In this sutta, Lord Buddha explains the benefits of listening, practicing and memorizing the Dhamma. If a person dies, without any stage of magga phala, nothing is lost. He will be able to reach a stage of magga phala, in a deva world, with a memory of his past life or with the help of an ariya deva. Of course, this only works if a puthujuna has enough paramis to achieve magga phala.The second point shows another deva who was friends with this deva in a past life. He reminds him of the Dhamma and he realizes it.

      There was a burmese bhikkhu who said that “in the heavens of kama loka, there are devas of great wisdom  who teach others the Dhamma. Thanks to their help many devas realize the dhamma. He said not to be discouraged if no result is visible. The meeting with these devas will be probable, with the help of our paramis. He said that to motivate his students who were not yet sotāpanna.

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    • #47555
      Sammasambodhi Gami
      Participant

      Yes, dear Dhamma friend (Gad). You are correct.

      The efforts done to understand Buddha Dhamma will not go to waste. It carries forward. This is a part of the Paramis (or Parmithas). So no one should be discouraged if they are not getting visible results. Our efforts and diligence are changing our gathi (bending it towards Nibbana). So it will bear fruit someday (or in future lives) IF “one continuously follow the path properly.”

      In other words, we are (directly or indirectly) cultivating the 37 factors of Enlightenment/Awakening.

      I hope this encourages everyone to follow the Path towards Nibbana even more energetically and with joy in their hearts so that they can reach Nibbana soon. 

      Sadu Sadu Sadu! 

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      Gad
      • #47570
        Gad
        Participant

        Thank you dear Dhamma friend (Saket)🙏🏿. People tend to believe that if they don’t get the magga phala right now it’s not worth continuing.

    • #47579
      Gad
      Participant

      SATTA SAÑÑĀ SUTTA: DISCOURSE ON SEVEN PERCEPTIONS

      Satta saññā sutta is included in the Mahāyañña vagga of the seventh group of the discourses in the Anguttara Nikāya. (1)

      Content of Satta saññā sutta

      “Monks, these seven perceptions, when cultivated and pursued, are of great fruit, of great benefit. They gain a footing in the Deathless, have the Deathless as the final end.”

      “What seven?”

      “The perception of foulness, the perception of death, the perception of loathsomeness in food, the perception of not delighting in all the world, the perception of impermanence, the perception of suffering in the impermanent, the perception of not-self in the suffering.”

      “Monks, when the perception of foulness is cultivated and developed, it is of great fruit, of great benefit. It gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as the final end. Thus it is said; for what reason was it said?”

      “Monks, when a monk attends to the perception of foulness continuously, his mind shrinks away from sexual intercourse, bends away, pulls back, and is not drawn to it. Either equanimity or loathsomeness is established in him. Monks, just as a cock’s feather or a piece of tendon, when thrown into a fire, shrinks away from it, bends away, pulls back, and is not drawn to it, in the same way, when a monk attends to the perception of foulness continuously, his mind shrinks away from sexual intercourse, bends away, pulls back, and is not drawn to it. Either equanimity or loathsomeness is established in him.”

      “And what, Ānanda, is the perception of foulness? Herein, Ānanda, a monk contemplates this body upward from the soles of the feet, downward from the top of the hair, enclosed in skin, as being full of many kinds of impurities. In this body there are head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, large intestines, small intestines, stomach, faeces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, saliva, nasal mucous, synovial fluid and urine. Thus he remains focussed on contemplating on foulness of this body. This, Ānanda, is called the perception of foulness.”] (2)

      “Monks, when the perception of loathsomeness in food is cultivated and developed, it is of great fruit, of great benefit. It gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as the final end. Thus it is said; for what reason was it said?”

      Mr. Lal, aside from the incorrect interpretation of annica and anatta, are there any other mistranslations in this sutta?

    • #47583
      Lal
      Keymaster

      First, Gad, don’t direct a question just for me. Just ask the question so that others can answer, too. That will lead to more discussions rather than me giving my interpretation/explanation.

      1. Regarding the sutta translation you linked to, here is another, still mostly incorrect, translation: “Dutiyasaññā Sutta (AN 7.49).”

      • The seven types of saññā discussed in the sutta: “Asubha saññā, maraṇa saññā, āhāre paṭikūlasaññā, sabbaloke anabhiratasaññā, anicca saññā, anicce dukkha saññā, dukkhe anatta saññā.”
      • It will take at least a couple of posts for me to provide even a brief summary.

      2. Let me give you a few examples:

      • asubha” does mean “foulness” in the link you gave or “ugliness” in the link I gave. It is about the “unfruitfulness” of worldly things that appear enticing due to our “distorted saññā.”
      • āhāre paṭikūlasaññā” is translated in your link as “perception of loathsomeness in food” and “perception of the repulsiveness of food” in the link I gave. This “āhāra” does not refer to the “physical food” we eat. It refers to “mental food”. See “Āhāra Sutta (SN 12.11).” Again here, the translation of “Kabaḷīkāro āhāra” as “solid food” is incorrect; it should be our food cravings.

      3. This is why even the current mainstream Theravada is way off, at least the currently available English versions. Of course, there is nothing wrong with the Tipitaka Pali version. The problems are with the translations.

      • But the issue is that I don’t have enough time to correct each incorrect/incomplete translation. 
      • Instead, I need to focus on the posts I write to make sure you understand them. I give priority to those questions.
      • Of course, you can ask general questions on any topic. But leave the question open so that someone else can provide the answer. I will also answer such general questions whenever I have the time. 

      4. However, those seven types of saññā (listed in #1 above) are to be cultivated to OVERCOME the types of “distorted saññā” that arise in a puthujjana

      • We have been discussing the subject of the “distorted saññā” in recent posts: “Sotapanna Stage via Understanding Perception (Saññā).”
      • By studying that series (more to come), you will hopefully learn how to cultivate the seven types of saññā listed above.
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      • #47585
        Gad
        Participant

        Thank you, Sir🙏🏿

    • #47708
      Gad
      Participant

       

      I found this speech particularly interesting. Patience leads to the sotāpanna stage. This is what I remembered. The Venerable also told the story of a devi who became sotāpanna by controlling her anger. It’s from 16:24 that you have to watch. Before that, he talks about other things.

      This discourse is more for those who have problems with dosa(anger). Personally, dosa is my biggest problem. Before I adhered to Buddha Dhamma, I generated Dosa without knowing it. Now I am aware of this problem, and I try my best not to make actions based on anger. As long as we are not anagami, we will always have impatience and anger.

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    • #47728
      Gad
      Participant

       SIXTEEN TYPES OF INSIGHT KNOWLEDGE (VIPASSANA NANA) IN THERAVADA BUDDHISM

      During the progressive development of insight and the final stages of liberation, the meditator experiences the following sixteen different types of Insight Knowledge (vipassana nana) spread over the seven stages of purification described above:

      1. Knowledge of the difference between mentality and physicality (namarupa-pariccheda-nana)

      2. Knowledge of conditionality (paccayapariggaha-nana)

      3 .Knowledge of comprehension (sammasana–nana)

      4. Knowledge of arising and passing away (udayabbaya-nana)

      5. Knowledge of dissolution (bhanga-nana)

      6. Knowledge of the fear or terror (bhaya-nana)

      7. Knowledge of danger (adinava-nana)

      8. Knowledge of disenchantment (nibbida-nana)

      9. Knowledge of desire for deliverance (muncitukamyata-nana)

      10. Knowledge of reflective contemplation (patisankha-nana)

      11. Knowledge of equanimity about formations (sankharupekkha-nana)

      12. Knowledge of conformity or adaptation (anuloma-nana)

      13. Knowledge of change of lineage (gotrabhu-nana)

      14. Knowledge of the path (magga-nana)

      15. Knowledge of fruition (phala-nana)

      16. Knowledge of reviewing (paccavekkhana-nana)

      • According to the description, the first knowledge destroys sakkaya ditthi.If I understand correctly, reaching the 5th knowledge leads to awareness of distorted sanna. The post suggests that the sotāpanna stage is attained after the 13th knowledge. Is this true?

      • I didn’t include everything in my post because it would have been too long.
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    • #47732
      Lal
      Keymaster

      I have not looked into the sixteen types of Insight Knowledge (vipassanā ñāna.)

      • Offhand, I would say all of them would be helped by comprehending “distorted saññā.” It covers many fundamental aspects.
      • May be others can provide more information.
    • #47733
      Gad
      Participant

      Yes, I will provide descriptions of each knowledge if others are interested in this discussion.

      • The first knowledge allows us to distinguish the difference between nama and rupa. It is said that if it is practiced well it allows you to see the rupas kalapas. The meditator no longer sees his body, objects, and people but only rupas kalapas. These rupas kalapas appear and disappear with inconceivable speed. It only concerns rūpa.
      • Concerning nāma, the meditator will be able to distinguish each moment of consciousness that comes to mind. He will see that he has no self but only nāma and rūpa.
      • This knowledge can be developed by the puthujunas. It is only at the 13th knowledge that one becomes ariya.
      • Commentaries say that people who reach magga phala after a short verse have developed the first 11 knowledges of vipassana in their past lives.
      • The venerables Sariputta, Bahiya and Santati are examples. They practiced vipassanā in sasanas of the past. This is why they were able to eradicate the 10 samyojana, following a short stanza. (In the case of venerable Bahiya and Santati)
    • #47734
      Gad
      Participant

      I obtained my sources from the sermons of Pa Auk monastery in Burma. Unfortunately, the documents are in French, so I am unable to share them on the site. Of course, there is a lot of misinterpretation. There’s nothing we can do about it.

    • #47735
      dosakkhayo
      Participant

      That description of namarupa pariccheda ñana belongs to the visuddhimagga. You may want to read this post; Kamma Viññāṇa and Nāmarūpa Paricceda Ñāṇa

    • #47738
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Dosakkhayo wrote: “That description of namarupa pariccheda ñana belongs to the visuddhimagga.”

    • #47742
      Gad
      Participant

      Dosakkhayo: “That description of namarupa pariccheda ñana belongs to the visuddhimagga.”

      Me:  Yes I am aware. This is why I clarified that it could have bad interpretations. However, there are testimonies from Pa Auk meditators who say they have seen the rupas kalapas. 

    • #47743
      Lal
      Keymaster

      “However, there are testimonies from Pa Auk meditators who say they have seen the rupas kalapas. “

      • Don’t believe that nonsense. Do they even know how small a “rupa kalapa” is? If anyone can ask that question, I would be very interested in their answer.
      • A “rupa kalapa” (suddhatthaka) is a billion times smaller than an atom. Can they see an atom?
      • #47744
        Gad
        Participant

        Sir Lal, I think that with Jhanas it can be possible. This monastery practices vipassana with jhanas. I tell myself there may be some truth.

        • Let us not forget that Lord Buddha said that the powers developed through jhanas are immeasurable. This is one of the things our average mind cannot comprehend.
    • #47746
      dosakkhayo
      Participant

      Dosakkhayo wrote: “That description of namarupa pariccheda ñana belongs to the visuddhimagga.”

      What I was trying to say is that SIXTEEN TYPES OF INSIGHT KNOWLEDGE (VIPASSANA NANA) IN THERAVADA BUDDHISM is based on Visuddhimagga. I think I wrote it misleadingly. I’m sorry.

    • #47747
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Yes. That is a possibility, Dosakkhayo.

      • However, at least some in the list are “actual/valid ñāṇa“, for example, udayabbaya ñāṇa.
      • I can look into that after the meeting.
    • #47753
      Lal
      Keymaster

      1. There are 73 types of ñāṇa, which are listed in the “Paṭisambhidāmagga,” an original Commentary included in the Tipitaka:

      1.0 Mātikā” 

      • An English translation is there too: “1.0. Schedule
      • They are discussed in detail in subsequent pages in both languages.

      2. Of those, the last 6 are “Buddha ñāṇa,” meaning only a Buddha can have those.

      • Others can cultivate the other 67 types. 
      • I see many of the 16 listed in Gad’s post in this list.

      3. I don’t think one can say, “OK., I will focus on this and then the next one,” etc. 

      • Some (or all 67) will be automatically cultivated as one follows the path and engages in Satipatthana.
      • That is why I don’t spend time trying to understand what each of those means. 
      • But if someone wants to learn each of those in-depth, good for them. It cannot hurt the practice, but it is a matter of how one decides to allocate one’s time.
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      Gad
    • #47754
      Gad
      Participant

      Thank you for the explanations, sir🙏🏿

    • #47778
      Gad
      Participant

      The Story of Kāḷadevila the Hermit

      • Again, Kāḷadevila pondered whether he would or would not see the young Prince attain Buddhahood. He realized through his foreseeing wisdom that before the young Prince’s attainment of Buddhahood, he would pass away and be reborn in an arūpa abode of Brahmās where nobody would be capable of hearing the Deathless Dhamma even if hundreds and thousands of Buddhas were to go and teach it. “I will not get an opportunity of seeing and paying obeisance to this man of marvel who is endowed with unique merits of the Perfections. This will be a great loss for me.” So saying and being filled with immense grief, he wept bitterly.

      Notes on the arūpa abode of Brahmās:

      • (An arūpa abode of Brahmās is a plane of existence which is totally devoid of material phenomena, there being only mental consciousness (citta) and its concomitants (cetasika). In such an abode are reborn ti-hetuka puthujjanas, worldlings with three roots (roots of non-greed, non-hate and non-delusion) and such Noble Ones as Sotāpannas (Stream-winners), Sakadāgāmins (Once-returners) and Anāgāmins (Non-returners) who have attained the arūpa jhāna. The sotāpannas, sakadāgāmins and anāgāmins who have reached that arūpa brahmās’ abode will no longer return to the lower planes of existence. As they are experienced in practising meditation up to the stage of the Path and Fruition while in the sensuous wholesome abodes (kāma sugati) and in the material (rūpa) abodes, they are able to pursue the same Vipassanā(Insight) meditation which they had practiced previously. They attain higher stages up to the Path and Fruition and Nibbāna in the same abodes of arūpa, thereby terminating all suffering in saṃsāra even though they do not hear the Dhamma from anyone.

       

      • This is what Sir Lal talked about yesterday in the video discussion.
      • It seems that some yogi puthujunas know that arupa loka is not the final liberation. Yogi Kaladevila was sad to miss the opportunity to become an ariya. 

       

    • #47830
      Gad
      Participant

       Arahant Jambuka Thera  : He was born in Rājagaha to rich parents but from infancy, he would eat nothing but excrement. When he grew older he was ordained with the ājīvakas, who pulled out his hair with a Palmyra comb. When the Ajivakas discovered that he ate filth, they expelled him and he lived as a naked ascetic, practicing all kinds of austerities and accepting no offerings save butter and honey placed on the tip of his tongue with the point of a blade of grass.

      • What can we say in this case of distorded Sanna?? Humans are not supposed to be attracted to feces. However, the ascetic Jambuka loved it. The cause of such sanna is due to bad kamma vipaka dating back to the time of Lord Kassapa(billions of years ago).
      • After becoming an arahant he stopped these practices. We can see in our world today people who drink urine, sleep with corpses (necrophilic), and others who sleep with animals (zoophilia). Can we conclude that the attainment of the magga phala has a big impact on the distorted sanna?
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #47831
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Yes. There are various types of kamma vipaka. Some are very rare:

      Young Girl Cannot Feel Pain, Battles Rare Medical Condition CIPA | Good Morning America | ABC News (youtube.com)

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    • #47832
      Gad
      Participant

      I am curious Lal sir what will happen if she becomes an arahant?? She will find a “normal” sanna like Arahant Jambuka or will it stay the same?? If it is a subject that only a Lord Buddha can answer then we can let it go.

    • #47834
      Lal
      Keymaster

      These questions can be answered only by a Buddha.

      • The bottom line is that the physical body of even an Arahant is subject to any kind of kamma vipaka. In the ulmate sense, there is no “permanent identity” attached to any physical body. A physical body (and the mental body) evolves according to Paticca Samuppada. 
      • As we know, Ven. Moggallana was beaten to death, and the Buddha suffered from backaches and had an injury, too.
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      Gad
      • #47836
        Gad
        Participant

        Thank you for the explanations 🙏🏿

    • #47837
      Gad
      Participant

      Matthakundali Vatthu:  On that morning, the Buddha arising early from his deep meditation of compassion saw, in his Net of Knowledge, Matthakundali lying on the verandah. So when entering Savatthi for alms-food with his disciples, the Buddha stood near the door of the brahmin Adinnapubbaka. The Buddha sent forth a ray of light to attract the attention of the youth, who was facing the interior of the house. The youth saw the Buddha ,and as he was very weak he could only profess his faith mentally. But that was enough. When he passed away with his heart in devotion to the Buddha he was reborn in the Tavatimsa celestial world.From his celestial abode the young Matthakundali, seeing his father mourning over him at the cemetery, appeared to the old man in the likeness of his old self. He told his father about his rebirth in the Tavatimsa world and also urged him to approach and invite the Buddha to a meal. At the house of Adinnapubbaka the question of whether one could or could not be reborn in a celestial world simply by mentally professing profound faith in the Buddha, without giving in charity or observing the moral precepts, was brought up. So the Buddha willed that Matthakundali should appear in person; Matthakundali soon appeared fully decked with celestial ornaments and told them about his rebirth in the Tavatimsa world.Then only, the audience became convinced that the son of the brahmin Adinnapubbaka by simply devoting his mind to the Buddha had attained much glory.Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

      Manopubbangama dhamma

      manosettha manomaya

      manasa ce pasannena

      bhasati va karoti va

      tato nam sukha manveti

      chayava anapayini.

      Verse 2: All mental phenomena have the mind as their forerunner; they have the mind as their chief; they are mind-made. If one speaks or acts with a pure mind, happiness (sukha) follows him like a shadow that never leaves him.

      At the end of the discourse, Matthakundali and his father, Adinnapubbaka, attained Sotapatti Magga and Sotapatti Phala. 

      As I was reading this story, I wondered whether Matthakundali still had kammic energy to continue with human bhava, considering he was young at the time of his death. However, the story goes on to say that when he paid homage to Lord Buddha at the time of his death, he grasped another bhava at the cuti-patisandhi and became a deva. I’m not sure if this is considered a good anantariya kamma in this particular case, as he didn’t perform many positive actions during his lifetime. He was not a Sotāpanna, before his life as a deva.

    • #47838
      Lal
      Keymaster

      It probably was not an anantariya kamma

      • It is likely that Matthakundali was at the end of his human bhava
      • Just because he died at an early age, that does not rule out kammic energy being exhausted. Even though human bhava usually lasts many thousands of years, it is not possible to know when it will end.
      • I know of a young person who was in good health and fell dead while playing. He just fell dead instantly. I also had an aunt who also fell dead while opening a fridge! In both cases, they died before hitting the ground. 
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      Gad
      • #47839
        Gad
        Participant

        I find it surprising how sudden deaths occur. It highlights the importance of positive thoughts and actions, and the need to develop kusalas. If Matthakundali had not met Lord Buddha, who knows where he would have been reborn? Please accept my condolences for your aunt’s passing 🙏🏿. This explanation has taught me that our bhava can end at any moment, regardless of our age. Thank you for this explanation, sir.

    • #48117
      Gad
      Participant

      ASSUTAVA SUTTA: DISCOURSE ON THE UNINSTRUCTED

      It would be better, monks, for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to take this body, made of the four great elements, as the self rather than the mind. What is the reason for this? Because, this body made of the four great elements, is seen standing for one year, two years, three years, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But that what is called mind, intellect, or consciousness, arises as one thing and ceases as another by day and by night. Just as a monkey roaming through the forest and mountainside, grabs a branch. Letting go of it, it grabs another branch. Letting go of that, it grabs still another branch. In the same way, monks, that what is called mind, intellect, or consciousness, arises as one thing and ceases as another by day and by night.”

       

      What did Lord Buddha mean by saying this? I admit I didn’t completely understand this sutta.

    • #48118
      Lal
      Keymaster

      The Pali version and the English translation at Sutta Central: “Assutavā Sutta (SN 12.61)

      The main point the Buddha tried to explain is the following:

      • Our physical bodies change relatively slowly, especially after the teenage years. 
      • However, our minds change even moment-to-moment. Like a monkey jumping from tree to tree, our minds quickly jump from one arammana to another. Think about it. Within a day, one’s mindset can change from a relaxed mindset to an angry mindset to a generous mindset and back and forth many times. 
      • But one firmly believes one’s mind is one’s own, even more than to think of one’s body as one’s own. 

      This point needs to be addressed in detail at some point. A mind works like a machine, according to specific rules. Even though we think it is “my mind”, it really is not. It can “change on a dime” based on one’s mindset and the type of arammana coming to it.

      • For example, if one is in an angry mindset, it takes only a bit of provocation even to kill another human. 
      • Most rapes take place because of that: if the conditions get set up, even a “moral person” could be triggered to commit rape.

      That is quite clear among animals, who don’t have developed brains to slow their actions. However, some humans act like animals because they are not used to being “mindful.” 

      • Because the mind works like a machine, it will AUTOMATICALLY stop engaging in “apayagami actions” after reaching the Sotapanna stage or stop getting attached to sensual pleasures after the Anagami stage.  
      • There is no “me” controlling such actions. It happens automatically.
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      Gad
    • #48120
      Gad
      Participant

      Thank you very much for the explanation, sir Lal. Certain states of mind seem to persist over time, right? This is why puthujunas identify with the mind. There is a man who drove 11 hours from Georgia to Chicago in Illinois to kill his ex-wife. It happened 2 years ago. During these 11 hours, he identified himself as an angry husband who must defend his honor. His mind was so much under the influence of Dosa(anger) that he even committed suicide after the act. If he had been more attentive during those 11 hours, he could have turned around.

      The news lasts 1min 48.

    • #48147
      Gad
      Participant

      DAHARA SUTTA: DISCOURSE ON THE YOUNG

      “These four, Great King, should not be looked down upon for being young, should not be belittled for being young.”

      “What four?”

      “A noble warrior, Great King, should not be looked down upon for being young, should not be belittled for being young.”

      “A snake, Great King, should not be looked down upon for being young, should not be belittled for being young.”

      “A fire, Great King, should not be looked down upon for being young, should not be belittled for being young.”

      “A monk, Great King, should not be looked down upon for being young, should not be belittled for being young.”

    • #48361
      Gad
      Participant

      THE FOOL WHO THINKS HE IS WISE IS A FOOL INDEED

      The 423 verses are divided into 26 chapters or vaggas, each with a particular heading. The fifth chapter is named “Bala vagga” meaning the chapter of “Fools”, which contains 16 verses said by the Buddha. The background story of the 63rd verse, which is the 4th verse of the Bala vagga is about two pick-pockets who went to the Jetavana monastery. While one listened to the Buddha’s teaching and became a Stream Enterer (Sotapanna), the other was preoccupied with stealing money from a disciple.

      The background story of verses 63

      At one time the Buddha was staying at the Jetavana monastery in Sāvatti which was donated to the Buddha by the chief benefactor Anāthapindika.

      At one time, the Buddha was giving a Dhamma discourse at the Jetavana monastery. A group of lay disciples from Savatti visited the Jetavana monastery to listen to the Buddha’s discourse and two pick-pockets also joined this group and went to the monastery. When the Buddha was delivering the Dhamma discourse, one of the pick-pockets listened to it very attentively and as a result, he understood the Dhamma and attained the supra mundane stage of Stream Enterer (Sotapanna). The other pick-pocket did not listen to what the Buddha was saying as he was preoccupied with the thought of stealing some money from those listening to the Buddha. He managed to steal a small amount of money from one of the lay disciples listening to the Buddha’s discourse. After the discourse, the two pick-pockets went back to the house of the pick-pocket who stole the money to have a meal. His wife, who was cooking the meal, taunted the other pick-pocket, saying to him: “You are so wise, you don’t have any money to even cook a meal in your house.” When he heard this comment from the other pick-pocket’s wife, he thought, “This woman is so foolish that she thinks she is being very clever.” Then he went to the Buddha accompanied by some of his relatives and told the Buddha what happened.

      Then, the Buddha recited the following verse, recorded as the 63rd verse of the Dhammapada.

      Yo bālo maññati bālyaṁ,

        pandito vāpi tena so,

        bālo ca panditamānī,

        sa ve bālo ti vuccati.”

      “The fool who knows his foolishness can, for that reason, be a wise man;

      the fool who thinks that he is wise is a fool indeed.”

      • This is an example of someone going from darkness to light. See #48355. He comes with bad intentions and he leaves as Sotāpanna. Unfortunately, in the world, the vast majority of humans are like this man’s wife. They think they are wise by committing akusalas to enjoy sensual pleasures. Think of this type of person who says, “Why didn’t you lie so we could take advantage of this tax cut? Don’t you know how to lie?” “You were stupid not to take the opportunity to sleep with this beautiful woman. Her husband wouldn’t have known anything.” There are plenty of other examples of situations where people think they are being wise. They do not see the danger, just like an insect that is attracted by the sweet taste of a carnivorous plant. Let us become like the first thief who realized the inability to maintain things to our liking (Annica) by becoming Sotāpanna.
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    • #48375
      Gad
      Participant

      TEVIJJA VACCHAGOTTA SUTTA

      When this was said, the wanderer Vacchagotta said to the Buddha: “Master Gotama, has there been any householder who, without giving up the householder fetter, with the breaking up of the body, has made an end of suffering?”

      “No, Vaccha, no householder, without giving up the householder fetter, with the breaking up of the body, has made an end of suffering.”

      Is Lord Buddha saying that it is impossible to be a lay arahant, in this sutta? Unless I didn’t understand the meaning of this sutta. We all know that King Arahant Suddhodana and Arahant Santati attained parinibbānna as laymen.

    • #48376
      Lal
      Keymaster

      The sutta says that one cannot LIVE the householder life as an Arahant.

      • A layperson or a householder can attain Arahanthood, but they must become a bhikkhu within seven days, or they will die.
      • Santati died the same day he attained Arahanthood. I am not sure whether King Suddhodana died the same day, but he was quite ill and likely to have died within that seven-day limit.
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      Gad
      • #48378
        Gad
        Participant

        Thank you for the response, Sir. I wanted to make sure I understood correctly. King Suddhodana enjoyed arahant phala for a few days and died right after.

    • #48400
      Gad
      Participant

      Dhammapada Verse 344 Vibbhantabhikkhu Vatthu

      The Story of an Ex-Bhikkhu

      While residing at the Veluvana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (344) of this book, concerning a bhikkhu who was a pupil of the Venerable Mahakassapa.

      As a pupil of the Venerable Mahakassapa, this bhikkhu had achieved the four mental absorptions (jhanas). But one day, as he went for alms food at his uncle’s house, he saw a woman and felt a great desire to have her. Then he left the Order of the Bhikkhus. As a layman, he was a failure as he did not work hard. So, his uncle drove him out of the house, and subsequently, he became mixed up with some thieves. All of them were caught by the authorities and were taken to the cemetery to be executed. The Venerable Mahakassapa saw his pupil as he was being led out and said to him, “My pupil, keep your mind steadfastly on a subject of meditation.” As instructed, he concentrated and let himself be established in deep mental absorption. At the cemetery, while the executioners were making preparations to kill him, the ex-bhikkhu was very much composed and showed no signs of fear or anxiety. The executioners and the onlookers were awe-struck and very much impressed by the man’s courage and composure and they reported about him to the king and also to the Buddha. The king gave orders to release the man. The Buddha on hearing about the matter sent his radiance and appeared to the thief as if in person.

      Then the Buddha spoke to him in verse as follows:

      Verse 344: Having left the forest of desire (i.e., the life of a householder), he takes to the forest of the practice (i.e., the life of a bhikkhu); but when he is free from the forest of desire he rushes back to that very forest. Come, look at that man who having become free rushes back into that very bondage.

      At the end of the discourse, the thief who was steadfastly keeping his mind on the arising and perishing of the aggregates discerned the impermanent, unsatisfactory, and non-self nature of all conditioned things and soon attained Sotapatti Fruition. Later, he went to the Buddha at the Jetavana monastery, where he was again admitted to the Order by the Buddha, and he instantly attained Arahatship.

      This story highlights that our efforts, no matter how small, are never in vain. We might think that we are not capable of understanding the Dhamma and give up easily. However, it’s essential to persevere in our efforts towards the Dhamma. Our mental state can change rapidly from one state to another, even within a single lifetime. This thief had the potential to become an Ariya by becoming a Bhikkhu, and he had the gati of a Brahma (he developed the 4 Jhanas). However, he became a thief as he had not even reached the sotāpanna stage (Because of distorted Sanna and Kāma ragā). This is another example of the fragility of Anariya Jhanas. He acquired the gati of a being of the Apayas, and during his execution, he would have died with a high Dosa. But thanks to the intervention of the Venerable Arahant Mahakassapa, he regained mastery of his jhanas even though he was about to die. If he had been executed, he would have been reborn in a Brahma world. But with the help of Lord Buddha, he became a sotāpanna, which eliminated the possibility of him becoming a thief again. He finally became an arahant and eliminated all possibilities of future rebirth. He also acquired the Ariyas Jhanas, which were unbreakable until his parinibbãna.

    • #48401
      Lal
      Keymaster

      The translation you quoted is incorrect: “At the end of the discourse, the thief who was steadfastly keeping his mind on the arising and perishing of the aggregates discerned the impermanent, unsatisfactory, and non-self nature of all conditioned things and soon attained Sotapatti Fruition.” 

      • Anicca, dukkha, anatta” characteristics do not refer to an “impermanent, unsatisfactory, and non-self nature” OF THE aggregates (panca upadanakkhandha).
      • The point is that cultivating panca upadanakkhandha (which is the same as engaging in apunna/akusala kamma) is unfruitful (anicca) and takes one away from Nibbana (dukkha). Thus, that engaging in such actions is useless and of no benefit (anatta.) 

      This is a bit of a deep point to think about and understand.

      • #48402
        Gad
        Participant

        Sir Lal, I wanted to point out that the text I shared earlier is not my own. It is from the website Tipitaka.net and contains a poorly translated version of the concepts of Annica and Anatta. I agree with you that the translation is not accurate. If you would like to review the text, you can click on the link I provided.

        • Unfortunately, it is beyond our control to address the distortion of Tilakkhana in Theravada texts. We can only do our best to seek out accurate translations and interpretations.
    • #48403
      Gad
      Participant

      Sorry, everyone, I put the wrong links. It’s my mistake, I apologize.

      Here is the correct link. The Story of an Ex-Bhikkhu

    • #48404
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Yes, Gad. You are correct to say: “Unfortunately, it is beyond our control to address the distortion of Tilakkhana in Theravada texts.” But that is not an excuse to copy and paste such translations as if they are correct.

      • I do not want the wrong translations to appear on this website unless the intention is to criticize and point out why they are wrong. What is the point of copying and pasting incorrect translations as if they were the correct translations?
      • Of course, sometimes people post comments that include wrong translations, not realizing they are incorrect, and I point that out. That is fine. That is how one learns. I did that in response to your post with the wrong translation. But if you know a translation to be incorrect, please do not reproduce it here. 
      • A related point: I frequently post links to Sutta Central translations, some of which are wrong. But I try to point out the errors. Those links need to be used with caution. I have many posts pointing out the inconsistencies/errors in Sutta Central translations. But it is a good resource because it provides Pali Tipitaka suttas in the English alphabet so people can read the Pali version. The English translations there can be useful if one knows how to replace the incorrectly translated verses.
      • The sole purpose of this website is to educate people about the correct teachings of the Buddha. Of course, if I write something inconsistent, anyone is welcome to explain why it is inconsistent with the Tipitaka. If that explanation is sound, I will thank them for correcting my errors.
      • The goal is to end up with the correct teachings of the Buddha and DISCARD wrong interpretations, regardless of whose interpretation it is. 
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      Gad
    • #48405
      Gad
      Participant

      OK, sir. I will provide the link next time while replacing the incorrect terms with the correct ones.

    • #48412
      Gad
      Participant

      PERCEPTION OF LOATHSOMENESS IN FOOD (ĀHĀRE PATIKŪLA SAÑÑĀ)

      In the Āhāra sutta of the Samyutta Nikāya (collection of the Buddha’s connected discourses), the Buddha has described four types of nutriments for the maintenance of beings who have come into being or for the support of those in search of a place to be born. They are:

      1. Physical nutriment (kabalinkāhāra)

      2. Sense impression nutriment (phassāhāra)

      3. Volitional thoughts nutriment (mano sancetanāhāra)

      4. Consciousness nutriment (viññānāhāra) (2)

      Atthirāgasutta

      Āhārasutta

      Puttamaṁsasutta

      I want to know if the translations of the central sutta and transworld teachings on food are well explained.

    • #48416
      Lal
      Keymaster

      The translations are not accurate.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      Gad
      • #48417
        Gad
        Participant

        Please tell me if what I say is correct.

        • It is only at the arahant stage that one is free from all desires towards the 4 types of food which are kabalinkāhāra, phassāhāra, mano sancetanāhāra and viññānāhara. This is why he will not be reborn anywhere after his death.
        • An anagami has only eliminated the desire for physical food (Kabalinkāhāra). The other three will lead him to be reborn in a pure abode.
        • The Sakadagamin and Sotāpanna have these desires intact or weakened. However, they will never commit any akusala acts to enjoy these 4 types of food.
        • Puthujunas possess an extreme desire which leads them to commit akusala acts to enjoy one of the types of food. An example of a situation that applies to Puthujunas: “I will only be at peace after having tasted this cake, even if it means hitting this person to steal it.” He feeds his thoughts of greed and starts thinking of a plan to get it and enjoy the taste of this cake. A psychopath, for example, may feel extreme pleasure in his mind while torturing a being. He can say that his thoughts are stilled (mano sancetanāhāra), after committing a murder. He feeds his mind with the other three types of food in an immoral manner.
        • All beings below the arahant stage nourish their mind in one way or another, whether moral (the Ariyas and certain Puthujunas) or immoral (the majority of puthujunas) which will lead them to pleasant or unpleasant rebirths.
    • #48419
      Lal
      Keymaster

      A couple of corrections:

      An anagami has only eliminated the desire for physical food (Kabalinkāhāra)”

      • An Anāgāmi has removed the craving for all “close contact” with the physical body, i.e., tastes, smells, and touch (including sex). Any desire to enjoy sights and sounds associated with those is eliminated, too. 
      • Thus, kabaḷīkāra āhāra means craving those via all five physical senses (pañca kāma.) An Anāgāmi has removed them. I revised #4 of the post to include this.

      The Sakadagamin and Sotāpanna have these desires intact or weakened. However, they will never commit any akusala acts to enjoy these 4 types of food.”

      • The correct statement is: “The Sakadagamis and Sotāpannas have these desires weakened. However, they will never commit any apayagami (i.e., can lead to rebirth in the apayas) akusala kamma to enjoy these four types of “mental food.”

      All beings below the arahant stage nourish their mind in one way or another, whether moral (the Ariyas and certain Puthujunas) or immoral (the majority of puthujunas) which will lead them to pleasant or unpleasant rebirths.”

      • Usually, only the rebirths in the apayas are called “bad rebirths.” That is not possible for any Ariya, including Sotapanna Anugamis. Of course, the human realm (and even a few low-lying Deva realms) has significant suffering, too. Thus, we could say that anyone above the Anagami stage would be free of substantial suffering. Of course, death is ended only for Arahants.
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      Gad
    • #48420
      Gad
      Participant

      Thank you for the explanations, Sir.

      • Yes, you are right, sir, the Apayas are immeasurable sufferings. However, we can be born human and suffer as much as an animal. An animal can do as much merit as a human even if it is extremely rare cases. I think for example of the horse of our Bodhisatta KanthakaDeva Kanthaka removed self-centered view, doubt, and wrongful practices and became a Stream Entrant.” As we know the majority of humans waste their birth by making akusalas. When I talk about unpleasant rebirths I think for example of being reborn blind, deaf, mute, very poor, mental problems. We can be born human and have mental problems that prevent us from seeing the Dhamma or cause us great pain. However, yes usually we talk about the Apayas.
    • #48435
      Gad
      Participant