Eighteen Days in Solitude
Day 8: 24th October, 2002; By Venerable U Ñāṇaransi ; The translator: Ven. Uttamo
Today we’re on the path of insight knowledge. We have to go on according to the purification process. For 5 days, we were working with the samatha practice of applied thought (vitakka), sustained thought (vicara), rapture (piti), bliss (sukha) and one pointedness of mind (ekaggata) which were the 5 jhanic factors. On the 6th and 7th days we were working with the purification of view and overcoming doubt. With wrong views can’t develop insight, and will make mistakes. So can’t attain path and fruit. To be free from the identity view (sakkaya ditthi), eternalistic view (sassata ditthi) and annihilationism (uccheda ditthi); we were practicing to see the Dependent Arising of the khandha. If we get the knowledge of discerning of mind and matter, with the knowledge of conditions for mind and matter becomes a cula-sotapanna (has the same view as the stream winner). With the purified view becomes a learned disciple of the noble beings (ariyans). In the world there are no existence of a person or a being as conceptual living beings. It’s only the existence of mind and matter process. Only exist as now arising and now vanishing phenomena. Knowing the arising of mind and matter as causes and effects relationship is the knowledge of conditions for mental and material phenomena – paccayapariggaha nana. Today we’ll develop insight. And there will be arisen of not real path knowledge which can be confused the yogis with the view of knowledge. We’ll practice to attain the knowledge of distinguishing the wrong path from the right path of contemplation. It’s called the purification of path and not path (magga maggananadassanavisudhi). The word vipassana is ; vi means special, passana means contemplation. So it means contemplate in a special way. Mogok Sayadaw made the differentiation between the objects of contemplation and the contemplating mind. Contemplate with the 5 factors of knowledge (nana or mind). The object of contemplation also has 5 kinds (i.e, the 5 khandhas or the 4 satipatthana). The contemplating mind completes with the 5 path factors and contemplates with this polished mind. The contemplating mind is only one but included with the 5 path factors. These are: 1. Right View – Sammaditthi, abandon the wrong views and become right view. If contemplate with the wrong views and it makes mistakes. For example, looking an object with a green colour glasses and the object and the whole world become green. 2. Right Thought – Samma sankappa, not only have right view but also thoughts and thinking must be right. These 2 are wisdom factors. Interviews are checking for your views and thoughts. In case, if you’re practicing with wrong views and thoughts, so that I can make the corrections. 3. Right Exertion – Sammavayama, vayama means exertion. Must be right perseverance. If put exertion with greed will not achieve it. Have to practice in a harmonious way. 4. Right Mindfulness – Samma-sati, you must have right mindfulness. If you lost your sati and can’t achieve it. If you lost your sati, what’ll happen? This you’ll know it later. 5. Right Concerntration – Samma-samandhi, without it also you can’ get the result.
During the practice you don’t have the stable sila. You only have the restrained sila. Only attaining the path knowledge of the stream entrance (sotapatti magga) that sila is stable. All these 5 factors must include in the contemplating mind as insight knowledge. What are the objects of contemplation? These are the 5 khandhas. As satipatthana only has 4 types. If you contemplate the body (kaya) and it’s kayanupassana. If you contemplate the mind (citta) and it’s cittanupassana. If you contemplate the feeling (vedana) and it’s vedananupassana. If you contemplate the volitional formations (sankhara) and perceptions (sanna) and its’ dhammanupassana. During the contemplation only contemplate one kind and not all together. We must select accordingly to our characters. Our time is neyya era (i.e, the yogis need a lot of practice and time). In the time of the Buddha, Ven. Sariputta and Ven. Maha Moggallana had very sharp knowledge (nyan) and only heard a verse (a gatha) and realized Dhamma. It’s called uggatitanu. By listening to talks and at the same time contemplated their khandhas. Nowadays we don’t have these kinds of people. Another type was people liked pancavaggi (the first 5 disciples listened to the first Discourse and the second Anattalakkhana Sutta). They were also had sharp knowledges. By listening to one or 2 talks became noble people. Nowadays also we don’t have these types of people. In this era we must have good teachers and systems. Also must listening Dhamma talks. People who could realize Dhamma without a teacher were the Buddha and Paccekabuddha. Must approach a good teacher, listening to sacca dhamma and practicing diligently (the 4 factors for becoming a sotapanna are; 1. Association with wise person. 2. Listening Dhamma. 3. Wise attention – yoniso. 4. Discerning impermanence). Before I had been tested with yogis on contemplative objects. Cittanupassana and Vedananupassana were easy for Mogok Sayadaw because of his great wisdom. But not easy for common people. For most people it is not easy and unable to contemplate. Can’t work with them. Therefore we use the very distinctive kayanupassana and contemplate form (rupa).
Rupakkhandha - materiality aggnegate is not the body we see here. Let’s say, hearing consciousness arises. Are you hearing the sound or khandha arises? Knowing as khandha arises and become right view. If you’re hearing a car sound and then sticking with wrong view. In the yogi’s mind knows it as hearing khandha arises. And if you see something and then it’s ditthi. Seeing as khandha arises is the right one. Let’s take an example, wanting to lift the foot. It’s the aggregate of mental formation (sankharakkhandha). And then lifting the foot. It’s the aggregate of materiality (rupakkhandha). And put it down; touching and knowing. Knowing is the aggregate of consciousness (vinnanakkhandha). During the touching; hardness, softness, warm, cold, etc., the physical sensations are the aggregate of feeling (vedanakkhandha). Note these things are the aggregate of perception (sannakkhandha). Within one step the 5 khandhas arises and vanish. For example, a mosquito bites you. Is it a mosquito bites or a khandha arises? You must know it as khandha arises. If not you’ll continue to make mistakes. (Such as ill will arises and kill the mosquito.) In Mogok Sayadaw’s talk, he said that whatever khandha arose and followed with knowledge. Ehi-passiko - Come and see (contemplate). Someone hits by a thorn and it’s painful or khandha arises? it’s khandha arising and following with knowledge. When a mosquito bites you, don’t scratch with the hand, but with knowledge. We’ll contemplate rupakkhandha. What is rupakkhandha? Not this solid physical body. And if you contemplate it and end up with concepts, such as pretty, ugly, fat, thin, etc. I am asking you to contemplate its intrinsic changing nature. It has 4 kinds. (Rupakkhandha has 28 types, but contemplate the 4 great elements are enough for insight.) Pathavi – earth element, hardness, softness, solidity. If you’re handling the chair and find these nature. If you feel the warm and coolness, then contemplate heat element. If you’re lifting your feet and it’s air element. It has movement. Pressure, distention, etc. The air element on a car wheel can support many tons of weight of the body and heavy objects. The water element has the qualities of cohesion, fluidity, trickling, oozing, etc. During the practice sweat comes out. Have to contemplate the changes of the elements and not the bodily parts, such as head, hand, feet, etc. In vipassana practice, we’re talking about contemplation of form, feeling, and mind, but actually not them. To contemplate their arising and vanishing nature. For example, contemplating the impermanence of the changing forms. Contemplation of form, feeling and mind are to know mind and matter. For vipassana to contemplate the impermanence of mind and matter. Therefore Mogok Sayadaw said to contemplate and see one’s own death. If not discern impermance and still not vipassana. If you discern impermanence and arrive to the knowledge of rise and fall of formations (udayabhaya nana). Sabbe sankhara aniccati – yada pannaya passati – All conditioned phenomena are impermanent, when one sees this with insight. Yogis establish their Samadhi at the entrance of the nostrils and make the mind calm. If the mind stays calm at the entrance of the nostrils and move the mind on the head. Pay attention there and observe. Vipassana is not make things happen. It’s observing. You’ll see the sensations like vibrations which are the changing of the elements. Sometimes it seems prickling with needles or become tense by sticking with a wooden plank. These are not ordinary pains and aches. You see the changes of elements. Later you’ll see the whole body of them changing like even can’t put a needle between them. This body becomes old is the cause of change (viparinama). You’ll see it directly.
- Content of "Eighteen Days In Solitude"