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Wisdom Develops Samadhi - Samadhi 3
 
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4. Samadhi 3 
     
      Samadhi is by name and nature “calmness”. It is of three kinds as follows:
    
      1. Khanika Samadhi – in which the heart becomes unwaveringly fixed and calm for a short time after which it withdraws.
    
      2. Upacara Samadhi – of which the Lord Buddha said, that it is almost the same, but it lasts longer than khanika samadhi. Then the citta withdraws from this state.
    
      3. Appana Samadhi – is samadhi that is subtle, firm, and unwavering, and in which one can remain concentrated for a long time. One may also remain concentrated in this state, or withdraw from it as one wishes.
    
      Here, Upacara Samadhi will be briefly discussed from the viewpoint of the “FOREST DHAMMA”.8
      In Upacara Samadhi, when the citta has dropped into a calm state it does not remain in that state, but partially withdraws from it to follow and get to know about various things which have come into contact with the heart.
      Sometimes something arises concerning oneself and one sees a vision (nimitta) which is sometimes good and sometimes bad, but in the first stage the nimitta will generally be something about oneself. If one is not careful this can lead to trouble, because nimittas which arise from this kind of samadhi are of innumerable varieties.
      Sometimes in front of one there appears an image of oneself lying down dead, the body decayed and swollen, or it may be the dead body of someone else. Sometimes it is a skeleton, or bones scattered about, or maybe one sees it as a corpse being carried past.
      When such a nimitta appears, a clever person will take it as his Uggaha Nimitta; in order that it may become the Patibhaga Nimitta9, because this will steadily lead to samadhi becoming firm and to wisdom becoming penetrating and strong.
      For a person, who has a strong ability in maintaining a detached rational attitude, to be successful in gaining value from such a nimitta he will always tend to develop mindfulness and wisdom (sati-panna) when faced with it. But there are a lot of people whose natures are timid and easily frightened, and Upacara Samadhi may do harm to the citta of a person of this type because this class of samadhi is of many different kinds and many frightening experiences can occur. For example, the image of a man may appear, whose bodily shape, colour and social position10 are all frightening, and he may appear as though about to slash at one with a sword, or to eat one.
      If however, one has little fear and is not timid, one can suffer no harm in such circumstances and one will learn more and more methods of curing one’s citta from these kinds of nimittas, or samadhi. But with a timid person – who usually tends to look for fearful things – the more he sees a frightening nimitta the larger it becomes, and at such a time he may unfortunately be driven mad.
      As for external nimittas which come and go, one may or may not know whether a nimitta is external or whether it arises from oneself. But when one has become skilled with internal nimittas which arise from oneself, one will be able to know which are external nimittas. External nimittas are associated with many different happenings of people, animals, pretas, bhutas (ghosts of the dead), the son of a deva, a devata, Indra, or Brahma, any of which may at that time be associated with one’s samadhi, even as one talks to a guest who comes on a visit. When such incidents occur they may last for a long or short time depending on how long the necessary conditions last that are required for such happenings.
      Sometimes however, the first set of conditions dies away and another set of conditions arises continuing from the first set, which is not easily brought to a close for the theme may be of short or long duration. When it dies away and the citta withdraws, it may have spent several hours in this state.
      For however long the citta remains concentrated in this kind of samadhi, when it withdraws one will find that it has not increased one’s strength of samadhi, nor made it more firm and durable, nor will it have helped to develop and strengthen one’s wisdom. It is like going to sleep and dreaming, when one wakes one’s mind and body will not have gained their full strength.
      But when one withdraws from the type of samadhi in which one became concentrated and remained in this one state, one will find that the strength of one’s samadhi has increased and it has become more firm and durable. Like someone who sleeps soundly without dreaming, when he wakes his body and mind will feel strong.
      In Upacara Samadhi, if one is still not skilled and does not use wisdom to be careful and watchful on all sides, it may cause much trouble – and can drive one mad. Those people who practise meditation generally call this state “BROKEN DHAMMA”, and it comes about because of this type of samadhi. But if it is done with due care it can be of value in connection with some things.
      As for the Uggaha Nimitta which arises from the citta, as was explained at the beginning of this chapter, this nimitta is the most suitable basis for the development of the Patibhaga Nimitta, which accords with the principles of meditation of those who want a method which is both skilful and truly wise, because this is the nimitta that is associated with the Ariya Sacca (Noble Truths). One must absorb the impression of the Patibhaga Nimitta into one’s heart, then it may be considered to be the Ariya Sacca.11
      Both Nimittas which arise from oneself and those which come from external sources may lead to trouble if one is a timid person, and it is important to have wisdom and courage when things happen. But one who has wisdom is not one-sidedly biased against Upacara Samadhi. It is like a poisonous snake, which although dangerous, is sometimes kept by people who can benefit from it. The methods of practising with both kinds of nimittas arising from this type of samadhi (Upacara Samadhi) are thus as follows:
    
      A. The nimitta which arises from the citta is called the “internal nimitta”, and one must go on and turn it into the Patibhaga Nimitta as has already been explained above.
    
      B. The nimitta which arises and is due to external entities such as a person or animal. If one is still not skilled at samadhi, one must stop and one must not, for the time being take any further interest in the matter. But when one has become skilled at samadhi, one may let the citta go out and follow the nimitta and find out what is taking place. It will then be of great value to link together the events of the past and future.
    
      Samadhi of this kind is very strange, and one must not go to extremes and hastily become either enraptured by it, or sorry, but one must make the heart bold and fearless when the various kinds of nimittas arise from Upacara Samadhi, and at the outset see them in terms of the ti-lakkana (anicca, dukkha and anatta) as soon as any appear.12 Then they will not cause any trouble.
      It should however be understood that the kind of samadhi in which these nimittas appear does not occur in every case, and where it does not occur, for however long the citta remains in a concentrated state, hardly any nimittas appear. These are the type of people of whom one may say that, “WISDOM DEVELOPS SAMADHI”. With these types of people, even when the citta has dropped down into a calm and concentrated state, nimittas do not arise however long they remain in this state, because wisdom is associated with and gets involved with the samadhi.13
      But where “SAMADHI DEVELOPS WISDOM”, it is probable that a nimitta will appear in nearly every case, because this kind of citta drops into a concentrated state very quickly; like a person who falls into a well or pit, he does so because he is not careful and falls suddenly. Thus the citta drops down all at once and reaches its resting place, then it retreats from there and comes to know various things, and at that moment a nimitta appears. This is the way it occurs in nearly all such people whose citta is of this type.
      But whatever type of samadhi is developed, wisdom is always the thing that is important. When one has withdrawn from samadhi, one must contemplate the elements (dhatu) and the khandhas with wisdom, because wisdom and samadhi are a “Dhamma pair” which go together and cannot be separated. So if samadhi does not progress sufficiently, one must use wisdom to assist it. This is the end of the section dealing with Upacara Samadhi.
    
      It should be understood that samadhi of all types is what aids and supports the development of wisdom, and the extent to which it does this depends on the strength of one’s samadhi. In other words, samadhi which is gross, middling, or subtle, aids and supports wisdom which is gross, middling, or subtle respectively, and it is up to a wise person to turn his samadhi to use by developing wisdom. But generally speaking, whatever type of samadhi is attained, one who practises meditation is likely to become attached to it, because when the citta drops into a concentrated state and while it rests there, a state of calm and happiness is present. It can be said that in being attached to samadhi, or calm, the citta has no problems while it remains concentrated, and can remain at rest for as long as one wishes, depending on the level of one’s samadhi.
      An important thing is that, when the citta has withdrawn, it still longs for its state of repose although one has enough calm to meditate using wisdom – and one’s calm is sufficient so that one should be able to use wisdom very effectively. But one still tries to stay in a state of calm, without being at all interested in the development of wisdom. This is becoming addicted to samadhi and being unable to withdraw from it in order to go further.


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