Purification of the Path and Not-Path; Purification of the Way (Maṅgala Sutta – Protection with Blessing)

By Venerable Uttamo Thera(尊者 鄔達摩 長老)

There are not much to talk about the 5th purification of path & not-path. When the yogi arrives at the knowledge of rising & fall of mind & matter (udayabhaya ñānam), the ten insight corruptions appear. These are; an aura (obhāso), rapture (piti), tranquillity (passaddhi), resolution (adhimokkha), exertion (paggaha), happiness (sukha), knowledge (ñānam), mindfulness (sati), equanimity (upekkhā) & attachment (nikanti).

If a yogi gets lost in any one of them & become an obstacle to the progress. Because the yogi takes it as the attainment & stops the practice. In Ven. Sayadaw Puññananda’s talk on the seven purifications was mentioning about them. Every yogi must encounter any of these phenomena.

The important point is they should not get lost in these processes. In the insight processes, there are no appearing of bodily form & particles. Paramattha dhammas are arising & passing away by itself & with insight defilement (kilesa) is purified. The mind becomes clear & bright that

[1] aura or light comes out from the body.

If samādhi is strong, it also has light. If you encounter them do not think about them & not taking pleasure in them. If not, the practice will go down. By not taking an interest in them & continue with the impermanent process will overcome the problem.

[2] sharp knowledge:

At the beginning of vipassanā practice, it was leading by samādhi that whatever arises knowing them with concepts. This was the task of satipatthāna. Sometimes if the yogi discerned impermanence, the contemplative mind had five path factors (sati, viriya, samādhi, sammāditthi & sammāsankappa).

This period was very short. After that, samādhi led the process again. In these ways sometimes led by samādhi & sometimes became knowledge (discern anicca). And then Sati became strong. Sometimes the mind is clear & sometimes not. When it is clear will discern impermanence. If not clear, only know the arising phenomena with concepts.

This level is still leading by samādhi. With samādhi develop step by step & only seeing anicca. This is leading by discernment (ñāna or knowledge). And then, knowledge becomes pure & sharper. With the better & sharper knowledge cannot discern anicca as separating one by one.

Instead, the yogi sees the passing away as a whole. When seeing annica with the strong power of mind or sharp knowledge & he takes it as attainment. At that time the yogi able to contemplate whatever coarse, middle, refined phenomena without failure. The yogi can take pleasure in it. With pleasure, his knowledge declines.

[3] Rapture (piti):

The important point here is whatever the yogi encounters he can solve the problem. Whatever type of contemplation we do or try when discerning anicca all phenomena (body, feeling, mind & dhamma) Are dhamma arising & dhamma passing away? Only saṅkhāra (all conditioned things or the five khandhas) arises & saṅkhāra passing away. With the mind clear & pure, zest appears.

And then the yogi cannot discern anicca which is covered up by rapture. With strong respect on the three treasures (tiratana – i.e., Buddha, Dhamma & Sangha) rapture can arise. With the pervading rapture (pharana piti, which is the piti in jhāna attainment) cannot see impermanence. Without seeing anicca & the yogi thinks it as the ending of anicca, which is Nibbāna.

At that time, knowledge goes down. Even some yogis have tears come out. Instantly when rapture arises if he can contemplate it & no problem arises. If not the yogi takes it as the path knowledge & stops the contemplation.

[4] Tranquility (passaddhi): mind & body become tranquil.

Anyone of the ten corruptions can arise to the yogi. These things are sure to arise for yogis. If not encounter any of them, the mind still not mature yet. After the encounter, it & cannot solve them the yogi will far from Nibbāna. Normally people are burning with the fire of defilements such as greed, ill-will, delusion, sorrow, etc. the mind is not peaceful.

In the same way the body is oppressing by diseases & pains. But when the yogi discerning anicca with the strong power mind he can bear all the pains with equanimity. When the mind & body become tranquil, the mind can fall into one-pointedness (ekaggatā).

Then the yogi cannot hear any external sounds. And no external object disturbs the mind. It is peaceful. At that time anicca disappears & the mind sinks in the tranquillity & take it as the path knowledge. Each yogi experience is not the same. If the yogi can contemplate the arising fake dhamma (i.e., any of the ten corruptions), then contemplate its anicca. If not neglecting it & continue with one’s contemplation.

[5] Happiness (sukha):

From tranquillity, it progresses to the level of happiness then the yogi can maintain the posture for a very long time. Without any pain & aching, the mind feels happiness. At that time sukha replaces anicca & the yogi misses anicca. Also, the yogi not contemplates the arising happiness that knowledge falls.

[6] Resolution or faith (adhimokkha):

With the well discerning of anicca better & better, faith increases (i.e., in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha). The whole body becomes cool & happy. This cool & happiness come from the faith which covers up anicca. So anicca disappears & the yogi took it as the attainment. With faith, if happiness arises, the yogi should not lose sati & contemplate the arising happiness as anicca.

Or without paying attention to it & continue with one’s practice. (There are two ways to solve the problems; contemplate the coming in corruptions as anicca or neglect it by contemplating one’s meditation object). Therefore in all these situations, sati is very important.

[7] Exertion (paggaha or viriya):

With the progress in the practice, the yogi can contemplate without any difficulty with happiness. So exertion increases & the mind with high spirit. Every time he puts effort and not to miss the point. At that time he could sink in the exertion & forget anicca. This is taking pleasure in exertion.

[8] Mindfulness (sati):

At that time (i.e., insight corruptions period) whatever dhamma arises mindfulness always falls on the object & becomes very strong. It is the kind of heedful mindfulness that even in a dream the yogi not lost his sati. If taking pleasure in strong mindfulness & he will miss anicca. Therefore whatever dhamma arises without letting go of anicca & always alert with sati (i.e., do not change the object and not getting lost in pleasure).

[9] Equanimity (upekkha):

Whatever dhamma arises, it can be contemplated with equanimity. The yogi also can attach to this state & taken it as attainment

[10] Attachment (nikanti):

All the above nine dhammas; light (obhāsa) to equanimity themselves are not defilements (kilesa). The problem is the attachment to all these fake dhammas, i.e., nikanti. These are significantly refined dhammas, and the signs of progress in practice. Every yogi must encounter them (not all).

The problem here is the yogi’s attachment or pleasure in them. It is nikanti or tanhā. Therefore it could hinder the yogi’s practice if they trapped him. So be careful to the refined & subtle experiences with strong & alert mindfulness.

cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4702&p=36994#p36994 (posted on 2019-11-22)

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