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Wisdom Develops Samadhi - Wisdom
 
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5. Wisdom  
     
      The right and smooth way for one who practises meditation, once the citta has become sufficiently calm to see the way, is to begin by training it to investigate the parts of the body with wisdom, either singly or as many parts, opening up and looking into one’s own body. One may start from hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, marrow, spleen, heart, liver, pleura, kidneys, lungs, small intestine, large intestine, fresh food, old food (digested food)…etc., these altogether, being called the thirty two parts of the body. These parts are by normal standards always loathsome and detestable, and there is not one of them which is beautiful and charming – as they are usually thought to be by people in the world.
      In life these parts are loathsome and unpleasant, and in death even more so, quite irrespective of whether they are the bodily parts of an animal or human beings, man or woman, for this is the nature of all of them.
      The world is full of things such as these loathsome parts and it is hard to find anything more strange. But whoever lives in this world must have such things, must be such things and must see such things.
    
      ANICCA – Impermanence – is the nature of this body.
    
      DUKKHA – Hardship and Pain – is the nature of this body.
    
      ANATTA – The negation of the desires of all beings – is the nature of this body.
    
      Things which do not fulfil any of one’s hopes are about and within this body. Delusion with regard to beings and sankharas, is delusion with regard to this body. Attachment to beings and sankharas is attachment to this body. Separation from beings and sankharas is separation from this body. The infatuations of love and hate are infatuation with this body. Not wanting death is anxiety about this body – and when dead, the weeping and mourning of relations and friends is because of this body.
      The distress and suffering from the day of one’s birth to the time of one’s death is because of this body. All day and night, animals and people run this way and that in swarms, searching for places to live and food, because of the nature of this body.
      The great cause and the great story in this world, which is the wheel that whirls people and animals around without ever letting them open their eyes properly to the nature of their state, and is like a fire burning them all the time, is the story of this body which is the cause of it all. Beings are inundated by the defilements (kilesas) until they are quite unable to extricate themselves from this situation, because of this body. In brief, the whole story of this world is the story of what concerns this body alone.
      When one examines the body and what is related to it with wisdom, in the foregoing way without stopping, so that it becomes clear and evident to the heart, from where can the defilements raise their army to prevent the heart dropping into a state of calm? Wisdom is proclaiming the truth and making the heart listen, and when it is doing this all the time, where can the heart go to oppose the truth that comes from wisdom? From the heart come the defilements, and from the heart comes wisdom, so how could it be that the heart, which is “oneself”, should not be able to cure one’s own defilements by means of wisdom? And when wisdom dwells upon the body in this way, why should one not see clearly within the body?
      When the heart views the body in the foregoing way, with wisdom, it will become wearied both of one’s own body and the bodies of other people and animals. This will reduce one’s pleasurable excitement in regard to the body, and will thus withdraw “upadana” – fixed attachment – to the body, by means of “samucheddha-pahana” (cutting off attachment by abandoning it). At the same time one will know the body and all its parts as they truly are, and one will no longer be deluded by love or hate for the body of anyone or anything.
      The citta in using the spyglass of wisdom to go sightseeing in the “City of the Body” can see one’s own “Body City” and then that of other people and animals quite clearly, until one comes to see in greater detail that all the roads, streets and alleyways are divided into three aspects, which are the ti-lakkhana – anicca, dukkha, and anatta – and into four aspects, which are the four elements (dhatu) – earth, water, fire, air – and this is so throughout every part of the whole body. Even the lavatory and the kitchen are to be found within this “Body City”.
      One who is able to see the body clearly in this way may be classed as a “Lokavidu” – one who can see clearly within the “City of the Body” throughout all the three world spheres (ti-loka-dhatu) by means of “Yatha-Bhuta-Nanadassana” – which means seeing in a true way everything within the body and coming to the end of all doubts with regard to the body – and this is called “Rupa Dhamma”.
    
      We now go on to a discussion of vipassana in connection with “Nama Dhammas”. Nama dhammas include vedana, sanna, sankhara, and vinnana, these four being the second group of the five khandhas, but they are more subtle than the rupa khandha which is the body. One cannot look into them with one’s eyes, but one can come to know them by way of the heart.
      Vedana – means those things (feelings) which are experienced by the heart that are sometimes pleasant, sometimes painful, and sometimes neutral.
    
      Sanna – means remembering (recollecting) – for example, remembering names, sounds, objects and things, or verses in the Pali language, etc.
    
      Sankhara – means thinking or thought constructing (imagination) – such as thoughts which are good or evil, or thoughts which are neither good nor evil; or for example, thought constructing which is based on the past and imagining the future.
    
      Vinnana – means awareness (sense awareness) – of forms, sounds, smells, tastes, or things which touch us, and of mental objects, just at that moment when these things come into contact with the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, or heart respectively.
    
      These four nama dhammas are the activities of the heart, they come from the heart, they may be known in the heart, and if the heart is not careful they are also the deceivers (maya) of the heart, and so they are also the things which can hide or obscure the truth.
      Investigation of these four nama dhammas must be done with wisdom, and entirely in terms of the ti-lakkhana, because into whatever mode they change, these khandhas always have the ti-lakkhana present within them. But when investigating these four khandhas one may do so in any one of them and in any one of the ti-lakkhana as one’s heart truly prefers, or one may do so generally in all of them together if it prefers it that way, because each of the khandhas and the ti-lakkhana are aspects of the Dhamma which are linked and related together.
     Thus if one investigates only one of the khandhas or ti-lakkhana, it will lead one to understand, and to see deeply and fully into all the other khandhas and ti-lakkhana, the same as if one investigated them all together at the same time, because all of them have the Ariya Sacca (The Noble Truths) as their boundary, their territory, and as that which accommodates them.14 This is like eating food, all of which goes down into one place (the stomach) and then permeates to all parts of the body, which is the total territory that accommodates it.
      Therefore one who practises must set up mindfulness and wisdom so as to get close and intimate with the nama dhamma – which are these four khandhas. All the time these khandhas are changing, for they appear, remain for a time then die away and cease, and being impermanent they are also dukkha and anatta. This is how they display and proclaim their true nature, but they never have time to stop and look at it. They never have time to become calm, not even one moment. Internally, externally, everywhere throughout every realm (loka-dhatu), they proclaim with one voice that they are impermanent, and are thus dukkha and anatta, and that they reject the longings of beings and this means that none of these things have an owner. They proclaim that they are always independent and free, and that whoever deludedly becomes attached to them only meets with suffering, depression and sorrow which fill his thoughts and heart until in the end his tears of misery are like an ever-flooded river – and it will continue to be thus throughout time while beings remain deluded and entangled. Yet it is easy to point out that the five khandhas are the well of tears of those who are steeped in delusion.
      Investigating all the khandhas and sabhava dhammas (things in nature) with right wisdom so as to know them clearly is for the purpose of minimising one’s tears and for diminishing the process of becoming and birth, or for cutting them away from the heart, which is the owner of dukkha, so that one may receive perfect happiness.
      Sabhava dhammas such as the khandhas are poisonous to one who is still sunk in delusion, but one who truly knows all the khandhas and sabhava dhammas as they are, cannot be harmed by them and may still obtain value from them in appropriate ways. It is like a place where thorny bushes grow, they are dangerous to anyone who does not know where they are and who gets entangled in them. But someone who knows all about them can use them to make a fence or a boundary for a building site, thus obtaining value from them in appropriate ways. Therefore, one who practises must act skilfully in relation to the khandhas and sabhava dhammas.
      All these things (khandhas and sabhava dhammas) arise and die away based on the citta the whole time, and one must follow and know what is happening to them with an all-embracing wisdom that will immediately know what they are up to. One must take this up as an important task to be done in all four postures, without being careless or forgetful.
      The teaching of Dhamma (Dhamma-desana) which comes from the khandhas and sabhava dhammas everywhere at this stage, will appear by way of unceasing mindfulness and wisdom, and this teaching will not be lacking in eloquence of expression. All the time it will proclaim the facts of the ti-lakkhana within one by day and night, and while standing, walking, sitting or lying down, and this is also the time when one’s wisdom should be ripe for listening, as though one were meditating on the Dhamma-desanas of the wisest monks.
      At this level, the person who is doing the practice will be completely absorbed in his research into the true nature of the khandhas and sabhava dhammas which are proclaiming the truth of themselves, and he will hardly be able to lie down and sleep because of the strength of the energy in the basis of his nature, which searches by means of wisdom into the khandhas and sabhava dhammas without resting or stopping – these (khandhas and sabhava dhammas) being the same as the basis of his nature.
      Then from the khandhas and sabhava dhammas he will obtain the truth, and it will be made clear to his heart by wisdom that all the khandhas and sabhava dhammas everywhere throughout the three world spheres (ti-loka-dhatu) are of such a nature and normality that none of them seem to be defilements and craving (kilesas and tanha) in any way whatsoever, which is in contrast to the deluded understanding of most people.
      The following simile may help to explain this. Supposing some things are stolen by a thief, those things become tainted by association with the thief. But once the authorities have carefully investigated the case until they have sufficient witnesses and evidence, and are satisfied, the stolen goods which have been recovered can be returned to their original owner, or kept in a safe place so that no blame shall be attached to them. The authorities are then no longer concerned with the stolen goods, but only with the punishment of the thief. They must then obtain evidence against the thief and arrest him and bring him to trial in accordance with the law.
     When the truth of his guilt is established by reliable witnesses and evidence, the blame is put on the accused in accordance with the law, and any others who were not to blame would be allowed to go free, as they were before the incident.
      The behaviour of the citta with ignorance (avijja), and all the sabhava dhammas, are similar to this, for the khandhas and sabhava dhammas throughout all the three world spheres (ti-loka-dhatu) are not at fault and are entirely free from any defilements or evil ways, but they are associated with them because the citta, which is entirely under the power of avijja, does not itself know the answer to the question: “Who is avijja?”
      Avijja and the citta are blended together as one, and it is the citta which is completely deluded that goes about forming loves and hates which it buries in the elements (dhatu) and khandhas – that is, in forms, sounds, smells, tastes, and bodily feeling, and in the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and heart. It also buries love and hate in rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara, and vinnana, throughout the whole universe (ti-loka-dhatu). It is the things of nature which are seized, and it is love and hate which come from the whole of this deluded heart that grasp and seize them.
      Because of the power of seizing and grasping, which are the causes, this “avijja heart” wanders through birth, old age, ­sickness and death, going round and round in this way through each and every life, regardless of whether it is higher or lower, good or evil, through all the three realms of becoming (bhava).
      The different kinds of birth that beings may take in these realms of becoming are countless, yet the citta with avijja is able to grasp at birth in any of these realms in accordance with the supporting conditions of this citta and depending on how weak or strong and good or evil they may be. This heart must then go and be born in those circumstances that present a complete environment to which the heart (with these supporting conditions) is related.
      Thus the citta gradually changes into ways which are false to its true nature, due only to the power of avijja, and it begins to stain and colour everything in the universe in a false manner, thus altering the natural state. In other words, the original basic elements change and become animals, people, birth, old age, sickness and death, in accordance with the usual delusion (or avijja) of beings.
      When one understands clearly with wisdom, that the five khandhas and the sabhava dhammas are not the main story, nor the ones who started the story, but are only involved in the story because avijja is the one who wields the authority and power, compelling all sabhava dhammas to be of this nature, then wisdom searches for the source of it all, which is the “CITTA THAT KNOWS”, which is the “well” out of which all the stories of all things arise endlessly in all situations, and wisdom has no confidence in this knowledge.
      When mindfulness and wisdom have been developed by training for a long time until they are fully proficient, they will be able to surround and to penetrate straight through to the “great centre”. In other words, “the one who knows” (i.e. the citta that knows), who is full of avijja, does not hesitate to fight against wisdom. But when avijja can no longer stand against the “Diamond Sword”, which is unshakeable mindfulness and wisdom, it falls away from the citta which has been its supreme throne for aeons.
      As soon as avijja has been destroyed and has dropped away from the citta, due to the superior power of “Magga Nana”, which is the right weapon for use at this time, the whole of truth which has been suppressed and covered by avijja for countless ages is then disclosed and revealed as the “goods which have been stolen”,15 or as the entire complete truth. Dhamma which was never before known, then finally appears as “Yatha-Bhuta-Nanadassana” – knowledge and true insight into all sabhava dhammas – which are revealed without the least thing remaining hidden or obscured.
      When avijja, the Lord who rules the round of death, has been destroyed by the weapon of “Panna Nana”, Nibbana will be revealed to the one who thus acts truly, knows truly, and sees truly – it cannot be otherwise.
      All the sabhava dhammas, from the five khandhas to the internal and external ayatanas and up to the whole of the ti-loka-dhatu are the Dhamma which is revealed as it truly is. There is then, nothing that can arise as an enemy to one’s heart in the future – except for the vicissitudes of the five khandhas which must be looked after until they reach their natural end.
      So the whole story is that of avijja – which is just “false knowing” – which goes around molesting and obstructing natural conditions so that they are changed from their true natural state. Just by the cessation of avijja, the world (loka), which means the natural state of things everywhere becomes normal and there is nothing left to blame or criticise it. It is as if a famous brigand had been killed by the police, after which the citizens of the town could live happily and need no longer go about watchfully for fear of the brigand.
      The heart is then possessed of “Yatha-Bhuta-Nanadassana” which means that it knows, sees and follows the truth of all the sabhava dhammas, and this knowledge is balanced and no longer inclines to one-sided views or opinions.
      From the day that avijja is dispersed from the heart, it will be entirely free in its thinking, meditating, knowing and seeing into the sabhava dhammas which are associated with the heart. The eye, ear, nose, etc., and form, sound, smell, etc., then become free in their own natural sphere respectively, without being oppressed and forced, nor promoted and encouraged by the heart as usually happens. Because the heart is now in a state of Dhamma and impartiality, for it is impartial towards everything so that it will no longer have any enemies or foes. This means that the citta and all sabhava dhammas in the universe (ti-loka-dhatu) are mutually in a state of complete peace and calm by virtue of the perfect Truth. The work of the citta and of insight (vipassana) into the nama dhammas which are associated with the citta ends at this point.
    
      I want to beg the pardon of all of you who practise for the purpose of getting rid of the defilements using the Dhamma of the Lord Buddha, who find this exposition different from those that you have been used to. But one should see that the Dhamma in all the old Buddhist texts also points directly at the defilements and the Dhamma which are within oneself, for one must not think that the defilements and Dhamma are hidden elsewhere, external, apart from oneself.
      One who has “Opanayika Dhamma” (Dhamma which leads inward) firmly in his heart will be able to free himself, because the “Sasana Dhamma” (Buddhist Dhamma) teaches those who listen to it to make it “Opanayika” – in other words, to bring the Dhamma into oneself. And please do not think that the Dhamma teaching of the Buddha is a thing of the past or future and that it concerns only those who are dead and those who are yet to be born. One should realise that the Lord Buddha did not teach people who were already dead, nor those who were still to be born. He taught people who lived at that time and who were still alive in the same way as all of us are still alive, for it is the nature of Buddhism to exist in the present and to be always a thing of today.
    
      May you all be happy without exception, and may blessings come to all of you who read or hear this.
     
      Thank you
 
 


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