Control and freedom:
of Buddhist meditation in the Paali suttas
Donald K. Swearer
East and West, Volume 23, no.4, p. 435-455, University Press of Hawaii
Of all forms of religious practice, none exemplifies Buddhism better than
the practice of meditation. Anesaki and Takakusu claim that meditation is "...the
universal method of mental culture of all Indian religious schools, "(1)
and Edward Conze writes, "meditational practices constitute the very core
of the Buddhist approach to life.... On the way to Nirvaa.na they serve to promote
spiritual development, to diminish the impact of suffering, to calm the mind and
to reveal the true facts of existence."(2)
This article is an attempt
to analyze the structure of Buddhist meditation within the Paali suttas. Our contention
is that this structure is built around two foci--control and freedom. The ultimate
aim of Buddhist meditation is freedom from the bondage of attachment to sense
objects. This liberating state of being is reached through a process of consciousness
control (samaadhi) and insight into the real nature of the world (vipassanaa).
While Theravaada Buddhism tends to distinguish samaadhi and vipassanaa as two
separate types of meditation, both aim to achieve enlightenment (sambodha) . Furthermore,
as this article will show, they may be seen as basically complementary rather
than as mutually exclusive methods.
The structure of Buddhist meditation, which
emerges from a study of the Paali suttas, may be depicted by an hourglass figure(3):
path to enlightenment begins with a general awareness and proceeds to a greater
and greater degree of consciousness refinement. This process produces decreasing
degrees of attachment to the world of sense objects. The jhaanas represent a transition
from a narrowing of consciousness to its eventual expansion resulting in a condition
of "hedonic neutrality," that is, upekkhaa. In this state the consciousness
is totally freed (cetovimutti) from those conditions which qualify ordinary states
of mind. It is characterized as immeasurable, nothingness, emptiness, and signless.
In this mind-freed state, the knowledge of enlightenment (pa~n~naavimutti) is
fully realized. Or, in a better knowledge of engligtenment (pa~n~n- aavimutti)
is fully realized. Or, in a better known idiom, one has attained nibbaana.
SATI AND MINDFUL AWARENESS
The process of meditation and the control of
consciousness begin with sati and sampaja~n~na, two practically inseparable terms
in the Paali canon.(4) They are widely discussed in the Pi.takas and later commentaries,
and according to
a contemporary Buddhist one of the suttas devoted entirely
to an exposition of sati and sampaja~n~na is among the most highly respected and
frequently memorized Buddhist texts in Ceylon.(5) The Paali word sati is related
to Sanskrit sm.rti, meaning "remembered" or "recollected."
In Hinduism the word has come to stand for a body of "remembered" literature
(for example, the Epics, suutras, Puraa.nas) in contrast to "revealed"
or `sruti texts (for example, Sa^mitaas, Braahma.nas, Upani.sads). The term in
Paali has taken on, not only the connotation of something called to mind or remembered,
but also mindfulness, intentness of mind, or wakeful- ness.(6) Nyaa.naponika interprets
sati as "bare attention" and sampaja~n~na as "clear comprehension."(7)
Sati as bare attention has a threefold value of helping the mind to know, shape,
and liberate itself.(8) Its knowing function is to analyze the objects of existence
through dissection and discrimination and realize the conditioned and conditioning
nature of all phenomenal entities. Sati shapes individual's lives by causing reflective
action rather than immediate responses. Thus the mind gains a new power and a
new freedom from control by habitual action-response. As Nyaa.naponika expresses
it, "Right Mindfulness recovers for man the lost pearl of his freedom snatching
it from the jaws of the dragon Time."(9) The third value of sati is the freeing
of the mind. Paradoxically the control of attention and reflection liberates the
mind rather than confining it, for it is sati that produces the insight (vipassanaa)
into the true nature of things. This realization leads to detachment from ordinary
preoccupation with the objects and goals of the mundane world.
If sati, or
bare attention, is a discipline of the consciousness appropriate to the act of
meditation itself, sampaja~n~na call be understood as the integration of sati
with right knowledge (~naa.na) or wisdom (pa~n~naa). Sampaja~n~na is applied to
intentionality and action in particular, and more generally to the awareness that
at no time is there an abiding personality or ego behind one's intentions and
actions. The sampaja~n~na dimension of mindfulness emphasizes the fact that the
fundamental nonbeingness (anattaa) of life is not limited to a serene moment of
detached and quiet meditation, but conditions every act and thought of the individual.
the Nikaayas there are three suttas devoted entirely to a discussion of sati and
sampaja~n~na: the Mahaasatipa.t.thaana Suttanta of the Diigha Nikaaya,
Satipa.t.thaana Sutta of the Majjhima Nikaaya and the forty-seventh chapter of
the Sa^myutta Nikaaya (Kindred Sayings on the Arisings of Mindfulness). The first
Sutta in particular will serve as our guide for a more detailed exposition of
The Mahaasatipa.t.thaana Suttanta is nearly identical with the Satipa.t.tana
Sutta of the Majjhima Nikaaya with the exception of an exposition of the Four
Noble Truths at its conclusion. We are told at the beginning of this dialogue
that the only path leading to the purification of beings, of passing beyond grief
and lamentation, of the dying out of suffering and misery and the realization
of nibbaana is the fourfold setting up of mindfulness.(10) In order to come to
grips with the full dimension of sati these four stages of mindfulness must be
In the first place, mindfulness demands a control of the body (kaaya)
which overcomes the desire and misery typical of the world.(11) This end is accomplished
by practices of meditation and concentration. The bhikkhu is to isolate himself,
assume a posture of meditation, and practice breathing exercises with a total
consciousness of every act so that the bodily organism will be tranquilized.(12)
of the body begins with awareness of respiration. The Buddhist preoccupation with
respiration exercises represents a continuity with earlier Indian thought. In
the late.Rg Veda and the Braahma.nas, breath was one of the objects of cosmogonic
speculation, the life force through which it was thought the world might have
come into being.(13) Breathing exercises (praa.naayaama) also played an important
role in Hindu ha.tha yoga. There the practice was eventually to arrest the movement
of inhalation and exhalation. The purpose of breath control in yoga, however,
was not merely to gain power over respiratory functions but access to higher states
of consciousness. Thus Bhoja's commentary on the Yoga Suutras of Pata~njali reads:
"All the functions of the organs being preceded by that of respiration--there
being always a connection between respiration and consciousness in their respective
functions--respiration, when all the functions of the organs are suspended, realizes
concentration of consciousness on a single object."(14)
as the initiation of sati seem to have a dual function not unlike that in the
practice of ha.tha yoga, namely, to engender control over the body but also to
produce an awareness of the real nature of the
body. As Nyaa.naponika Thera
observes, the mindfulness of breathing is both a subject for ''tranquility-meditation"
(samathabhaavanaa) as well as an act used for the development of insight (vipassanaabhaavanaa).(15)
the initiation of mindfulness through breathing exercises, the Mahaasatipa.t.thaana
Suttanta moves to contemplation of various aspects of the body and its functions.
They are in brief:
1) mindfulness of bodily postures;
of the parts of the body,
3) reflection on the constituent elements of the
4) the so-called cemetery contemplations.
Turning first to the
mindfulness of bodily postures the bhikkhu is enjoined to contemplate (anupassanaa)
the body internally and externally as something that comes into being and passes
away again.(16) Furthermore, such contemplation should accompany every act so
that "...when [the bhikkhu] is walking, [he] is aware of it thus:--`I walk';
or when he is standing, or sitting, or lying down, he is aware of it."(17)
The purpose of the mindfulness of the bodily postures is to gain the knowledge
(~naa.na) that he dwells independent, grasping after nothing in the world.(18)
Awareness of bodily postures, therefore, should produce such a total self-awareness
in the adept that "In going, standing, sitting, sleeping, watching, talking
or keeping silence he knows (sampajaana) what he is doing."(19) This total
self-knowledge is directed toward two ends:
1) an acknowledgment of the impermanence
of the body (its arising and decay); and
2) an independence (anissito) from
any attachment to the phenomenal world.
The contemplation of the parts of the
body is an extension of mindfulness regarding the body and its functions. It begins
with an enumeration of various physical organs and bodily products ranging from
hair to the heart to urine. This description of the body and its parts is likened
to a bag filled with various kinds of grain which can be separated out and identified:
"...And a keen-eyed man... reflects as he pour(s) them out:--'that's rice,
that's paddy, those are beans,' and so forth. Even so, bhikkhus, does a brother
reflect on the body from the soles of the feet below upward to the crown of the
head, as something enclosed in skin and full of divers impurities."(20)
on the parts of the body becomes even more discriminating or analytical, however.
From physical parts, the bhikkhu moves his attention to the fundamental bases
(dhaatu) or constituent elements of which the body is composed. In the Theravaada
scheme of things these basic elements are
four--earth, water, heat, and air.
Mindfulness of the fact that the body is composed of these elements is likened
to the butcher who, when he has slain an ox, displays the carcass piece by piece.(21)
There appears to be a twofold purpose behind the development of mindfulness regarding
the various parts and constituent elements of the body:
1) the knowledge that
no abiding ego exists in the body but only those parts that can be observed and
inferred from this observation, and
2) the essentially "vile" and
impermanent nature of the body.
This second purpose is carried to even greater
extremes in the fourth aspect of bodily mindfulness, the cemetery contemplations.
Here the bhikkhu is enjoined to contemplate his own body as though it were undergoing
ever increasing degrees of decomposition after death. Initially he contemplates
a body abandoned in a graveyard which is swollen and turning black and blue; then
a body which has been partially eaten by wild animals; and finally a body which
has been reduced to a mere heap of bones.(22) All of these contemplations are
symbols of the transient nature of the body.(23)
The second stage of mindfulness
is to arrive at the same degree of awareness of the true nature of the feelings
(vedanaa) as was developed by the body. The bhikkhu must be able to distinguish
among feelings that are pleasurable (sukha) , painful (dukkha), or neutral as
well as feelings concerning either spiritual (saamisa) or material (niraamisa)
things.(24) All of these types of vedanaa are subject to arising and dying away,
just as is the body; hence, they are transient, ephemeral. Mindfulness of feelings,
consequently, just as mindfulness regarding the body, produces a detachment, an
independence from the things of this world.
After subjecting the body (kaaya)
and the feelings (vedanaa) to the kind of objective scrutiny that leads to an
understanding of their true nature, the bhikkhu developing mindfulness turns his
attention to citta, "...the ever-changing, ever-active continuance of consciousness,
or reacting intelligence"(25)
and also to dhamma, the ideas, cognizable
objects or presentations beyond the stage of mere sensory reaction.(26) Regarding
the citta or conscious thinking process the monk must become aware of its various
modes, for example, lustful, dull, intelligent, attentive, or distrait. That this
awareness or knowledge of the states of the mind is for the purpose of control
is illustrated by the following passage from the Vitakkasanthaana Sutta of the
...if while the monk is attending to the thought function
and form of those thoughts, there still arise evil unskilled thoughts associated
with desire and associated with aversion and associated with confusion, ...that
monk, his teeth clenched, his tongue pressed against his palate, should by his
mind subdue, restrain and dominate his mind (citta).(27)
directed toward the mind, the monk is enabled both to understand and subdue or
control the mind or consciousness (citta). It is recognized that citta as well
as kaaya and vedanaa comes into being but then passes away.(28)
dhamma or ideas, the Mahaasatipa.t.thaana Suttanta specifically mentions five
1) the five hindrances (niivara.na),
2) the five groups (khandha),
3) the five spheres of sense (aayatana) ,
4) the seven factors of enlightenment
5) the four Aryan truths.
All of these groups of dhamma are to be
reflected upon with the same scrutiny as body, feelings, and mind with the intent
purpose of leading the monk to an independence where he grasps after nothing in
Directing his attention toward the five aggregates (khandha) , the
bhikkhu considers individually their arising and passing away until in a state
of non-grasping he attains to mindfulness. Contemplating the six aayatanas or
the internal and external spheres of sense, the monk is made aware that any fetters
that bind him to the world are a result of the coming together of the organs of
sense and the objects of sense. By his analysis he becomes of the arising and
the putting aside of all fetters. Of the seven factors of enlightenment the bhikkhu
must grow aware "... if they are subjectively present, or absent, and he
is aware of how there comes an uprising of any factor not hitherto uprisen, and
of how there comes a full development of such factors when it has arisen."(29)
Finally the Mahaasatipa.t.thaana Suttanta expounds the four Aryan truths, which
must also be considered in terms of the same pattern of their arising and passing
What in belief is the purpose of sati-sampaja~n~na? In general terms
mind- fulness produces a profound self-awareness. More specifically it is intended
to produce a detachment from the world of sense through controlling the sensory
inputs, and realizing the fundamental impermanence or nonbeingness (anattaa) of
existence. Mindfulness, therefore, offers both a theoretical and practical means
for the "...realization of that liberating truth of no-self (anattaa), having
the two aspects of egolessness and voidness of substance."(30) This realization
is a "lived understanding." That is, it is arrived at through a carefully
graded program in which control of the senses is coupled with an objective, discriminating
knowing. The method of mindfulness conjoins psychomental programming, epistemological
shifts, and ontological transformation. It lays the groundwork for later developments,
in the meditative life.
SAMAADHI AND ONEPOINTEDNESS
a greater degree of control over the mind or consciousness (citta, vi~n~naa.na)
than sati. As the word itself (sam-aa-dhaa) denotes, samaadhi is a bringing together,
a concentration of the mind in contrast to the more general practice of mindfulness
(sati). In early Buddhism the important relationship between samaadhi as the process
whereby one concentrates his thoughts and controls his consciousness and siila
or the ethical and moral behavior of the religious man is a general assumption.
For our purposes, however, samaadhi has crucial implications for the higher goals
of the salvation-quest.
In the Subha Sutta of the Diigha Nikaaya the young
Brahman, Subha, asks AAnanda to expound the doctrine regarding samaadhi. The resulting
answer includes elements which overlap with other categories of this exposition,
but several points are made which will serve as a basis for our discussion of
In the first place the sutta affirms that one practices samaadhi
by guarding the doors of the senses.(31) This particular practice is described
as follows: when the monk sees an object with his eye he is not grasped either
by its general appearance or by its details; he restrains whatever factor might
cause the arising of evil elemental reactions; so restraining his sense of sight
he attains mastery over his sense of sight.(32) In a similar fashion he controls
his other sense organs: "... when he hears a sound with his ear, or smells
an odor with his nose or tastes a flavor with his tongue or feels a touch with
his body, or cognizes (vi~n~naaya) a phenomenon (dhamma) with his mind he is not
grasped either by the general appearance or the details of it."(33) By so
restraining all of his senses, including the manas or conscious mind, he experiences
an unblemished happiness. Having so restrained and guarded all the sense organs
so that no element (dhamma) of the mundane world may claim him, the bhikkhu is
now mindful (sati) and with clear comprehension (sampaja~n~na). As described in
the Subha Sutta, therefore, samaadhi begins when the senses are no longer subject
to the rule of the objects of sense.
In the Cuu.lavedalla Sutta of the Majjhima
Nikaaya the layman Visakha asks the nun Dhammadinnaa, "What is concentration
(samaadhi), what are the distinguishing marks of concentration, what is the development
of concentration?"(34) To this question the wise nun replies that samaadhi
is onepointedness of mind (cittassa ekaggataa), its marks the four objects of
mindfulness, its requisites the four right efforts and that whatever leads to
the increase of these is, in effect, the development of concentration. (35) This
passage points to the close relationship between sati and samaadhi. That is, concentration
appears to presuppose the four objects of mindfulness. Samaadhi, however, goes
beyond the awareness of impermanence and sensory detachment produced by sati.
It is a refined control of the consciousness, a concentration of the mind to a
single point, thereby eliminating all extraneous thoughts. Buddhaghosa in applying
the definition cittassa ekaggataa to samaadhi elaborates as follows: "[samaadhi]
is the centering of the consciousness and consciousness-concomitants evenly and
rightly on a single object."(36) The man of concentrated (samaadhi) and one-pointed
(ekaggataa) mind, therefore, stands in stark contrast to the profane man who is
"empty-headed, frivolous and loose in talk."(37)
Sutta's exposition of samaadhi also says that the requisites of concentration
are the four right efforts. The four right efforts are described in various parts
of the Nikaayas as follows: checking the rise of evil and wrong states of consciousness
not yet arisen; shedding evil and wrong states that have already arisen; encouraging
the rise of right states not yet arisen; ensuring that right states which are
already there shall be multiplied and developed.(38) The four right efforts are
frequently mentioned as one of the formula truths reported to have been perceived
by the Buddha and passed on to his disciples.(39) While this formula does indeed
point to a relationship between samaadhi and the production and retion of right
constituent states of conscious being, it raises the broader issue of the place
of samaadhi in a variety of conceptual structures illustrative of an enlightened
state of mind. For instance all of the five iddhipaadas, the paths to the attainment
of supranormal powers, are dependent on samaadhi.(40) The five forces (indriyaani)
or organs of spiritual sense include samaadhi which is described by one Buddhist
scholar as "the dominant faculty, which brings about concentration of thoughts
and makes the adept rise higher and higher in meditations."(41) Samaadhi
is also the sixth of the seven factors leading to enlightenment,(42) and it has
already been pointed out that concentration is one of the three major divisions
of the Noble Eightfold Path. On the basis of the crucial role played by samaadhi
in the formulae cited, it is arguable that concentration of mind is the necessary
step to the attainment of a higher truth and the powers accompanying it.
Buddhist adept who chooses the way of samaadhi begins his religious quest with
a general awareness of the nature of the self and reality but must move beyond
the state of objective detachment produced by this mindfulness. He must progress
to a unity of concentration which eliminates the flow of sensory material into
his conscious mind. By such a concentrated effort he is able to rise to higher
forms of apperception, to a mystic intuition of a reality veiled to ordinary perception.(43)
JHAANA, STAGES TO THE ULTIMATE
Buddhist meditation progresses from samaadhi
to jhaana, or from concentration and onepointedness to the gradual expansion of
the consciousness to hithertofore unexperienced dimensions. In the Paali Suttas,
jhaana is often found as part of the formula of the four jhaanas, where it is
translated as mental absorption or trance. By carefully analyzing this formula
and the contexts in which it occurs, the significance of jhaana in relationship
to the control of consciousness and saving-knowledge will become clear.
the Brahmajaala Sutta a discussion of the four jhaanas occurs within the context
of the question, "How may the self or soul (atta) attain to the highest Nibbaana
in this visible world?" It is in answer to this question that an explication
of the four jhaanas is set forth.
In this sutta it is accepted as an a priori
condition of phenomenal existence that the self is subject to kaama or sensuous
desires. It is also the case that sensuous desires are characterized by impermanence
(anicca) . Phenomenal existence, therefore, necessarily involves suffering since
sensory pleasures are constantly subject to change. The only way one can hope
to achieve happiness and joy (piitisukha) is by cutting off kaama. In the first
jhaana this state is accomplished by detachment (viveka) accompanied by reflection
and investigation (vitakka-vicaara) . In order to understand this jhaana these
three terms must be studied in some detail.
The term viveka has a threefold
significance: a physical separation from the world in the sense of "seclusion";
an intellectual separation in the sense of "discrimination"; and an
ethical separation in the sense of the mind (citta) "being separate from
the World."(44) For instance, in the Mahaasu~n~nataa Sutta the Buddha tells
AAnanda that a bhikkhu who delights in society cannot enjoy well-being or emancipation
of mind (cetovimutti) but that such happiness demands renunciation, solitude,
and enlightenment (sambodha).(45) The Buddha claims that as a Tathaagata he has
reached such a state of isolation (viveka) by dismissing thoughts of all attendant
phenomena and by developing and dwelling in a state of emptiness (su~n~nataa).(46)
The sutta goes on to say that a monk who likewise desires to develop and dwell
in inward emptiness should calm, tranquilize, focus and concentrate his mind inwardly.(47)
This sutta clearly indicates that viveka implies both a physical separation from
the delights of ordinary worldly intercourse as well as an isolation of the mind
(citta). It is interesting to note that the resultant separation is described
as a condition of inward emptiness (su~n~nataa) since in the later Maadhyamika
tradition the perspective on this important term will shift from a psychophysical
emphasis to an ontological one.
In the Na.lakapaana Sutta of the Majjhima Nikaaya,
viveka is described in terms of separation from sensuous desires and from the
evil constituents of being. This separation is said to result in the attainment
of joy and happiness. The Tathaagata who has reached such a state has overcome
the attachments to the mundane world known as the aasavas, which produce the suffering
of "birth, old age and death."(48) Viveka, then, means a detachment
from the world of sense with its accompanying desires and kammic resultants of
The terms vitakka and vicaara should be taken together. In fact T.
W. Rhys Davids contends that by examining the use of these two words in earlier
and later works, one concludes that they once had synonymous meanings.(49) They
came to have slightly different intentions, however, with vitakka referring in
particular to initial thought or observation and vicaara denoting continuing or
sustained investigation and reflection. Together they are used to indicate "...the
whole of the mental process of thinking."(50)
In the Upakkilesa Sutta
of the Majjhima Nikaaya both vitakka and vicaara are related to concentration
(samaadhi). The Buddha is recorded as saying that by developing samaadhi in several
modes beginning with vitakka and vicaara, he gained the knowledge (~naa.na) and
the vision (dassana) that his final liberation (vimutti) was assured. Vitakka
and vicaara, therefore are important to the concentration (samaadhi) of one's
thoughts and act as one of the first steps toward the attainment of the apperception
(dassana) of ultimate reality. They share with viveka the characteristics of directing
the individual away from mere sensory reality. Thus in the Dasuttara Suttanta
of the Diigha Nikaaya the eight thoughts (vitakka) of the great man (mahaapurisa)
include the limitation of desires, detachment, and mental concentration.(51) As
we shall see, however, vitakka can become dangerous. As the Sakkapa~nha Suttanta
of the Diigha Nikaaya points out, vitakka can become a mental preoccupation which
causes desire (chanda),(52) the root of attachment to the mundane World.(53)
sum, the first jhaana is depicted primarily as a condition of detachment. It involves
a physical, intellectual, and ethical separation from the phenomenal world. An
important phase of the development of the concentration necessary to acquire the
first jhaana is careful thought and analysis of one's self and the surrounding
The second jhaana is achieved when observation and investigation (vitakka
and vicaara) are suppressed. In this stage these two mental functions are said
to be o.laarika or gross, implying that they are necessarily involved in the empirical
world. The second jhaana is characterized by joy and happiness (piitisukha) ,
born not of viveka or detachment but of samaadhi, translated by Rhys Davids in
this passage as "serenity."(54) This state is further characterized
by a tranquil inner nature and a concentrated mind or heart.(55)
Just as the
first jhaana was labeled gross (o.laarika) since it involved vitakka and vicaara,
the second acquires the same rubric because it is characterized by joy (piiti)
and an exhilaration of the heart.(56) The qualities which are found in one who
attains to the third jhaana are equanimity (upekkhaa) and mindfulness (sati),
"self-possession" (sampajaana), dispassion (viraaga), and an abiding
happiness. Finally in the fourth jhaana the attention of the heart on happiness
is transcended as is a concern with its opposite, dukkha or suffering.(57) Similarly
the polarity of somanassa and domanassa or mental distress is overcome. The last
jhaana is, therefore, composed of pure equanimity and mindfulness (upekkhaasatiparisuddhi)(58)
and is "a state where some maintain the complete happiness, in the visible
world, of a living being."(59)
The fourfold jhaana formula appears again
in the Saama~n~naphala Sutta, the discourse on the fruits of the life of a sama.na
or recluse. In this sutta the discussion of the jhaanas is preceded by an overcoming
of the five hindrances or niivara.nas and is followed by the acquisition of supranormal
powers or iddhi and abhi~n~naa (supranormal knowledge) as well as the overcoming
of the aasavas. To understand more fully the role of jhaana within the scope of
Buddhist soteriology, we shall examine in some detail the most important of the
concepts in this sutta, namely, niivara.na, iddhi, abhi~n~naa, and aasava.
classical formula of the five niivara.nas(60) as found in the Saama~n~naphala
Sutta and elsewhere in the Nikaayas (for example, Diigha III, 49) is described
1) coveting the world,
2) malevolence and the desire to injure,
3) stolidity and slothfulness,
4) excitement and misdeeds and
One must overcome these hindrances so that in each case the
mind may be purified. Separated from sensuous desires and evil elemental impulses
the sama.na is enabled to enter into the sequence of the four jhaanas previously
described.(62) With the exception of the fifth niivara.na the concern of this
formula is clearly with those emotions which tend toward unreflective involvement
in the phenomenal world. As Sa^myutta Nikaaya 5:83 puts it, the niivara.nas are
conducive "...to the still more becoming and growth thereof."(63) Involvement
in the becoming of the phenomenal world supposes lack of insight or ignorance
described as blindness and loss of sight. One who has not overcome the niivara.nas
obviously is unable to acquire any degree of knowledge beyond that granted through
the agency of the senses in dependence on the empirical world.
Sutta makes clear, however, that one who passes through the jhaanas transcends
an ordinary involvement in the phenomenal world exemplified by the niivaranas.
Through attaining the four jhaanas the consciousness or mind (citta) is made pure
(parisuddha), freed from blemish, devoid of evil (kilesa),(64) stable and immovable.(65)
The citta is thereby freed to direct itself toward the "insight that comes
from knowledge."(66) This insight is simply that this body (kaaya) has a
form (ruupa) composed of the four great elements; that it is a result of a human
birth; that it is perpetuated by partaking of foods; that it is impermanent and
subject to dissolution and disintegration; and that consciousness itself (vi~n~na.na)
depends on the body and is bound up with it.(67) With the citta purified and collected,
the sama.na has the mental power to be able to create (maya) with it another body
(a~n~na kaaya) than the body subject to the frailties described above. As the
text describes this process it is "... as if a man were to pull out a reed
from its sheath. He would know: `this is the reed, this the sheath. The reed is
one thing, the sheath another. It is from the sheath that the reed has been drawn
forth.' And similarly were he to take a snake out of its slough, or draw a sword
from its scabbard."(68)
The notion of manomaya or mental power has significant
possibilities for this study; however, on the basis of the Paali texts it is difficult
to arrive at a specific interpretation. In general the term denotes being made
or formed by the mind, particularly as though magically made.(69) For example,
the Brahmajaala Sutta refers to the evolution of the world system to the point
where most beings have been reborn in the "World of Radiance" and "there
they dwell made of mind (manomaya), feeding on joy, radiating light from themselves,
traversing the air [and] continuing in glory...."(70) A similar association
of manomaya with a heavenly realm is found in the Apa.n.naka Sutta of the Majjhima
Nikaaya. There it is stated that the corporeal gods are a product of manomaya.(71)
The two passages cited above clearly refer to the magical power of the mind by
relating manomaya to the mythological realms of Buddhism. Indeed, manomaya's earliest
meaning may have been magically oriented--the notion that mano was responsible
for the attainment of heavenly rewards of some form or another; however, we find
that manomaya comes to assume both ethical and ontic connotations.
the Dhammapaada opens with the following two verses:
Mind is the forerunner
of (all evil) states. Mind is chief; mind-made are they. If one speaks or acts
with wicked mind, because of that, suffering follows one, even as the wheel follows
the hoof of the draught-ox.
Mind is the forerunner of (all good) states. Mind
is chief; mind-made are they. If one speaks or acts with pure mind, because of
that, happiness follows one, even as one's shadow that never leaves.
passage the ethical and the ontic are definitely related in terms of mind, that
is, the mind appears as the center point. It has, as it were, the power to create
the "self." The ethical dimension stems from this fact. If the mind
is ignorant and impure, one will suffer; if, on the other hand, the mind is enlightened
and pure, one will attain happiness.
Having overcome the five hindrances, attained
the four mental absorptions and the power of manomaya, the sama.na now acquires
iddhi or supranormal power, and abhi~n~na or supranormal knowledge. The term iddhi
is of pre-Buddhistic origin. In different contexts it may be used in the Paali
texts to describe the potency of a king, a rich noble, a hunter, etc.(72) In the
Saama~n~naphala Sutta, eight modes of iddhi are mentioned:
1) the power of
becoming one or many,
2) the ability to become invisible,
3) passing through
objects such as walls and hills,
4) penetrating through solid ground,
the power to walk on water,
6) traveling cross-legged in the sky,
the moon and the sun,
8) reaching Brahmaa heaven.(73)
The above listed
iddhis acquired by the Buddhist adept have striking similarities with the archaic
phenomenon of shamanism.(74) The coincidence of characteristics between these
two religious practitioners has been studied by Mircea Eliade in his monograph,
Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstacy.(75) In particular he points to the "identity
in expression" between the superhuman experiences of the Buddhist yogin and
the archaic symbolism of ascent and flight found so frequently in shamanism.(76)
Symbols of ascent and flight are especially important since they illustrate the
ecstatic experience at which
shamanism aims. The shaman through the medium
of this experience obtains a superhuman state of being enhancing him with such
powers as flight, especially for the purpose of reaching otherworldly realms.
The magical aspect of this power is well illustrated by our particular text, which
specifically indicates that prior to the acquisition of iddhi, the sama.na has
exercised the power of manomaya, the "magic" of his mind, in order to
create "another body." It would appear that the iddhi which follow are
powers of that "other body" created as a result of passing through the
The possible shamanistic and, hence, magically oriented origin
of iddhi is furthered by what appears to be a growing suspicion on the part of
early Buddhism toward the public display of paranormal or superhuman psychic powers,
In the Kevaddha Sutta of the Diigha Nikaaya the Buddha is represented as warning
against the use of magical wonders because they might be confused with the use
of magical charms practiced in Gandhaara.(77) He is made to say, "It is because
I perceive danger in the practice of mystic wonders, that I loath, and abhor,
and am ashamed thereof."(78) In the Vinaya Pi.taka it is stated that a monk
should not display psychic powers before the laity beyond the powers of ordinary
men.(79) The Sampasaadaniiya Sutta of the Diigha Nikaaya makes it clear that there
are indeed two types of iddhi, one which is termed ignoble and the other noble.(80)
The ignoble are those powers discussed above in the Sama~n~naphala Sutta and elsewhere
in the Nikaayas.(81) In the Sampasaadaniiya Sutta the iddhis are labeled ignoble
since they are concomitant with mental intoxicants and worldly aims.(82) In other
words, it is possible to employ the fruits of the jhaana or the iddhi in such
a manner that the mundane world, rather than being transcended, becomes even more
attractive and one's involvement within it is deepened even further. Iddhi produced
through manomaya may become the occasion of a descent into the actual or phenomenal
world rather than ascent into the real or noumenal.
In contrast to the ignoble
powers, all of which involve some superhuman power, the Sampasaadaniiya Sutta
describes the noble powers as follows: "When a bhikkhu can, if he so desire,
remain unconscious of the disgust amid what is disgusting; or conscious of disgust
amid what is not disgusting; or unconscious of disgust amid what is both disgusting
and the opposite; or, avoiding both that which is disgusting and the opposite,
should remain indifferent to them as such, mindful and understanding."(83)
As should be expected, the
noble iddhis overcome the mental intoxicants (aasavas)
and the worldly aims instead of becoming further embroiled in them. Rather than
representing the superhuman or the magical, Aryan powers stand for control of
sa~n~naa or perceptions and lead to an indifference (upekhaka) toward the disgusting
and the nondisgusting, those polarities which qualify our perception of the phenomenal
The transformation of iddhi from an archaic, magical meaning is further
illustrated by the Janavasabha Suttanta of the Diigha Nikaaya describing the four
ways in which iddhi is developed. They are: concentration and effort with desire
(chanda-samaadhi), concentration and effort with energy (viriya-samaadhi), concentration
and effort with a "dominant idea" (citta-samaadhi), concentration and
effort with investigation (viima.msaa-samaadhi) .(84) Here we find a progression
not to a state of ecstasy leading to powers of invisibility and flight, but rather
a progression from desire (chanda) to investigation (viima.msaa), or from motivation
and effort to a more refined and sophisticated use of the mind. It appears that
iddhi as the fruit of jhaana becomes, rather than supernatural powers acquired
in shamanistic trance, a discriminating understanding (viima.msaa) of the phenomenal
world engendering a detached objectivity (upekhaka) in the face of the polarities
of impure/pure, loathsome/ nonloathsome, disgusting/nondisgusting typical of the
phenomenal or mundane world.
In addition to iddhi, the Saama~n~naphala Sutta
indicates that other powers are acquired by the sama.na who has overcome the niivara.nas
and acquired the jhaanas. These powers are said to be the heavenly or divine ear;
discernment of various types of minds or citta; knowledge of previous existences;
the heavenly or divine eye with which the adept "...sees beings as they pass
away from one form of existence and take shape in another...."(85) These
supranormal powers eventually developed into a stereotyped list of six abhi~n~naas
(higher knowledge). They appear in the Dasuttara Suttanta of the Diigha Nikaaya
1) the iddhis in their various modes described above;
by which the adept "hears sounds both heavenly and human, far and near";
a mind that "...understands the minds of other beings, other persons...";
4) an ability to recall to mind "...the various temporary states as he
lived in days gone by...";
5) "deva-sight" by which "he
discerns the pageant of beings faring according to their deeds";
realization and knowledge of the extinction of the "intoxicants" (aasavas)
and the attainment of freedom.(86)
We can discern in this list an amalgam of
two different types of abhi~n~naa. In the first instance there is the type illustrated
by the occurrence of the supranormal powers in the Saama~n~naphala Sutta. There
the abhi~n~naas are acquired as the result of jhaana through the power of manomaya.
In particular, however, abhi~n~naa seems to express a psychic or mental power
in contrast to the extraordinary physical power of the iddhis. For example, the
heavenly ear and the divine eye would appear above all else to indicate a heightened
mode of perception enabling the adept to arrive at a supranatural knowledge bordering
on omniscience. Thus iddhi and abhi~n~naa seem to complement each other, the one
pointing to physical power, the other to mental power. It is just such a mutually
supporting role, for example, that iddhi and abhi~n~naa play in the Akankheyya
Sutta of the Majjhima Nikaaya.(87)
There is, on the other hand, another type
of abhi~n~naa in the Dasuttara Suttanta list, a "higher knowledge" of
the destruction of all attachments to the mundane and of the realization of ultimate
reality or nibbaana. This aspect of the abhi~n~naas is found in the Samyutta Nikaaya,
where they are preceded by the "middle path" and followed by enlightenment
and nibbaana.(88) Or, again in the A^nguttara Nikaaya where it is said that the
abhi~n~naas lead to full emancipation,(89) and the Diigha where we find that they
are contrary to priestly superstitions and vain (sophistical) speculations.(90)
In other words, abhi~n~naa, at this level, is insight into the truth claims of
Buddhism regarding the nature of reality. It may be that the two seemingly different
types of abhi~n~naa represent a synthesis of a more popular and "primitive,"
magically oriented tradition with the more sophisticated, ethically oriented tradition
of the priests. It is difficult to assert, as the Paali Text Society Dictionary
does, that the more magically oriented understanding of abhi~n~naa is later.(91)
Perhaps all that can be safely said is that in the Nikaayas the two traditions
came to be amalgamated. That is to say, it was expected that as a person gained
detachment from the phenomenal world he not only gained a "higher knowledge"
(abhi-j~naa), but supranormal powers (iddhis) as well.
Having destroyed the
niivara.nas, attained the jhaanas, the iddhis, and abhi~n~naas, the Sama~n~naphala
Sutta goes on to say that the sama~n~naa is then able to destroy the "deadly
floods" or "intoxicants" (aasavas) that are part of the attachment
of the profane man to the mundane world. In this sutta the aasavas are enumerated
as kaama (sensual desire), bhaava (becoming or desire for future life), and avijjaa
(ignorance of the four noble truths).(92) One of the most famous passages referring
to the intoxicants is contained in a formula repeated throughout the Nikaayas,
the Mahaaparinibbaana Sutta in particular. It illustrates the interrelationship
of conduct (siila), concentration (samaadhi), and understanding (pa~n~naa) in
overcoming the aasavas. After affirming that concentration must be accompanied
by right conduct and understanding by concentration, the passage concludes that
the mind (citta) of the individual surrounded by a profound understanding (pa~n~naa)
of the nature of reality will be freed (vimuccati) from being "poured out"
(aasava) into the mundane world through sensual desires, the wish for a life of
continual becoming, false views, and ignorance of his true state of being.(93)
aasavas, as do the niivara.nas, serve to clarify that from which the jhaanas free
a man. Fundamentally it is the mundane, specifically as the world of sensuous
desire, becoming, anger, worry, dullness, stupidity; or, in other words, ignorant,
unthinking involvement in and attachment to the empirical world. The jhaanas represent
stages by which an individual attains a power of mind (manomaya) which represents
a new order of being, "another body" (a~n~na kaaya) as the text states
it. This new being is g raphically illustrated by certain powers the texts describe
partially in the terms of a popular, magical tradition and partially in terms
of the higher knowledge represented by the Buddhist analysis of existence. We
may conclude that the jhaanas preserve two types of knowledge in relationship
to the salvation quest: ecstasy and a mode of knowledge characterized by viima.msaa,
vitakka, and vicaara or more rational and discriminating forms of thinking. Knowledge
as power, then, comes to take on a rather particular meaning. It is power over
the world of becoming and change, but it is also the power of new being.
AND THE UNLIMITEDS
We have seen in our discussion of jhaana that upekkhaa (equanimity)
appeared in the third stage and that in the fourth there remained only sati (mindfulness)
and upekkhaa. Having discussed the former term, we now turn to an examination
of upekkhaa. The word upekkhaa is derived from the Sanskrit root iik.s, meaning
to gaze or look at, plus the prefix upa; hence, the word literally means to overlook
or neglect.(94) Its meaning is extended, however, to denote patience, equanimity,
or indifference. The Paali Text Society Dictionary defines upekkhaa as, "hedonic
neutrality or indifference, the zero point between joy and sorrow."(95) A.
B. Keith notes that upekkhaa, as a quality of the third and fourth jhaana, does
not actually connote a hedonistic sense of indifference but rather an intellectual
neutrality. Thus, upekkhaa, at least in its jhaanic context, is an impartial tolerance
in regard to all mental states.(96)
A broad survey of the uses of upekkhaa
in the Theravaada tradition is given by Edward Conze as follows:
feelings which are neither pleasant nor unpleasant,
2) an attitude of "serene
unconcern" or sameness of thought arising from the practice of concentration
3) the final stage of worldly wisdom just prior to reaching the
Path when evenmindedness toward all conditioned beings is achieved,
equanimity of the Arahant who retains a natural state of purity,
5) the equanimity
of the Arahant as contrasted with the dull indifference of ignorant men, and
an attitude or impartiality providing an antidote to ill will and sensuous greed.(97)
the Nikaayas themselves we discover that upekkhaa is used frequently in the formula
of the four brahma vihaaras or the abodes of brahmaa. The brahma vihaaras are
four "states of mind" that result, after death, in a rebirth in the
heavenly worlds of brahmaa.(98) There is disagreement among Buddhist scholars
as to the origin of the brahma vihaaras. T. W. Rhys Davids contends that they
were almost certainly exclusively Buddhist, (99) whereas E. J. Thomas believes
they show a direct connection with Brahmanical practices since they occur in the
Yoga Suutras.(100) Regardless of origin, however, the brahma vihaaras are important
as modes of heightened awareness, although they are not in themselves the highest
goal of nibbaana.(101)
Another term used in the Nikaayas to define the brahma
vihaaras is appaman~naa or "infinite feelings."(102) This term is applied
to these states of mind or categories of consciousness dealing with mind expansion.
Mahasudassana Suttanta of the Diigha Nikaaya reports the following attainments
of "the Great King of Glory" after reaching the fourth jhaana: "And
he let his mind pervade one quarter of the world with thoughts of love; and so
the second quarter and so the third and so the fourth. And thus the whole wide
world, to pervade with heart of love, far-reaching, grown great, and beyond measure,
free from the least trace of anger or ill will."(103) And in a similar fashion
he pervaded the whole world with a consciousness of compassion, sympathetic joy,
and equanimity. The brahma vihaaras in general and upekkhaa in particular represent,
if you will, universal states of consciousness. They are one of the somewhat paradoxical
outcomes of the process of meditation and the control of the mind which has been
described in the Nikaayas, a process that becomes even more refined in a later
period. This outcome of Buddhist meditation is seemingly paradoxical in that the
progression from sati to samaadhi, and even into the jhaanas, was primarily a
narrowing down of the consciousness. But the narrowing of the consciousness was
for the purpose of its ultimate liberation. The refinement of the mind was important
primarily for the elimination of attachment to the objects of sense and concomitantly
to develop such mental control that the mind developed the power to construct
a new reality (manomaya). That is to say, the purpose of meditation in the Nikaayas
is to free the mind from dependence on sensory objects so that it can be expanded
to realities which defy empirical definition. Upekkhaa, therefore, becomes the
last element in the seven factors of enlightenment and is a characteristic shared
by both Arahants and buddhas.
Perhaps the significance of the difference in
consciousness implied by upekkhaa and ordinary states of consciousness can be
best demonstrated by referring to two Nikaaya texts. The Sa.laayatanavibha^nga
Sutta of the Majjhima Nikaaya lists six indifferences (upekkhaa) . A worldly indifference
is "...the indifference on seeing a thing which appertains to the ignorant
and foolish average man...such indifference...fails to transcend the thing seen..."(104)
By way of contrast the indifference of renunciation arises when "...on discerning
the transitory nature of things seen and their mutability, instability and annihilation,
indifference arises from causal understanding."(105) Upekkhaa denotes, therefore,
a transcendence of the thing seen.
Assuming that meditation frees the mind
from dependence on the mundane world, to what is it freed? The answer must of
necessity be in abstract terms, and the person who is looking for a concrete definition
of the knowledge of ultimates is bound to be disappointed; however, one answer
given by the Nikaayas is found in the Mahaavadella Sutta of the Majjhima Nikaaya.
There, in a conversation between Saariputta and Ko.t.thita the Great, Saariputta
discusses four "freedoms" of the mind (cetovimutti): appamaa.naa (immeasurable)
, aaki~nca~n~naa (nothingness) , su~n~nataa (emptiness), animittaa (signless).(106)
All four of these characteristics of the cetovimutti are identical in that they
connote a state or condition of nonattachment. They also point beyond themselves
to a reality beyond definition, a reality that can be known but not in the way
that people ordinarily know. The whole thrust of Buddhist meditation, therefore,
is to produce a condition of consciousness in which ultimate reality can be known
directly, just as objects are perceived directly in the phenomenal world. The
Buddhist way of coming to know ultimate reality is to produce a condition of being
in which reality can be perceived directly. It is because the
reality to be
known is "other" than that which is ordinarily known that the process
of meditation--sati, samaadhi, jhaan and upekkhaa--is undergone. The cognizing
apparatus must be transformed since, indeed, to reach nibbaana involves a total
transformation of consciousness and being.
The process of meditation described
in the Paali suttas provides the proper context for a discussion of Buddhist epistemology.
Epistemology in Buddhism is basically a soteriological and not a philosophical
problem. To understand the Theravaada view of knowledge (vi~n~naana and pa~n~naa)
demands a serious study of the structure of Buddhist meditation. This essay has
attempted such a study. It has argued that within the progressive refinement of
consciousness developed in the Buddhist meditative process, discriminating and
analytical modes of knowledge played a decisive role, both in terms of understanding
the true nature of things as well as in producing a state of detachment. It has
further argued that meditation leads to a state of consciousness in which only
a nondiscriminating mode of knowledge is appropriate. Such knowledge might be
labeled mystical or intuitive but, finally, as the texts themselves point out,
it is without any proper designation (animittaa)./.
(Donald K. Swearer is Associate
Professor of Religion at Swarthmore College,USA)
(1) Masaharu Anesaki
and Junjiro Takakusu, "Dhyana," Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics,
ed. James A. Hastings, vol. 4 (New York: Scribner, 1912), p. 702.
Conze,Buddhist Meditation (London: George Alien & Unwin, 1956), p. 11.
For a different model see Conze, Buddhist Meditation, p. 16.
(4) The meaning
of sati and sampaja~n~na came to be nearly synonymous. Sampaja~n~na is formed
from the verb, pa-jaanaati + sam meaning to come to know altogether, hence, to
discriminate and comprehend.
(5)The Foundations of Mindfulness (Satipa.t.thana
Sutta), trans. Nya.nasatta Thera (Kandy, Ceylon: The Buddhist Publication Society,
(6) Rhys Davids, T. W. and Stede, The Paali Text Society's Paali-English
Dictionary (London: Luzac & Co., 1959), p. 672 (hereafter cited as Rhys Davids
and Stede, Paali-English Dictionary).
(7) Nyaa.naponika Thera, The Heart of
Buddhist Meditation (London: Rider & Co., 1962), p. 30 (hereafter cited as
Nyaa.naponika, The Heart).
(8) Ibid., p. 34.
(9) Ibid., p. 41.
Diigha Nikaaya, 3 vols., eds., T. W. Rhys Davids and J. Estlin Carpenter (London:
Luzac & Co., 1890-1911) 2:290.
(11) Ibid., p.291.
For example, see.Rg Veda 10:129.
(14) Quoted in Mircea Eliade, Yoga: Immortality
and Freedom, trans. Willard R. Trask (New York: Pantheon Books, 1958),p. 55.
Nyaa.naponika, The Heart, p. 63.
(16) The Diigha Nikaaya, 2:292.
Dialogues of the Buddha (Diigha Nikaaya), 3 vols., trans. T. W. Rhys Davids and
C. A. F. Rhys Davids (London: Luzac & Co., 1899-1959), 4th ed., 2:329 (hereafter
cited as Dialogues).
(18) The Diigha Nikaaya, 2:292.
(21) Ibid., p. 331.
(22) The Diigha Nikaaya, 2:294-297.
The preoccupation of early Buddhism with the notion of death offers some interesting
possibilities of interpretation other than the rather obvious one given in the
text. It might, for instance, be an outgrowth of archaic shamanistic practices,
for the shaman is one who above all else is qualified by a knowledge of death.
On this point see Mircea Eliade, Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy, trans.
Willard R. Trask (New York: Pantheon Books, 1964), p. 509f (hereinafter cited
as Eliade, Shamanism). On the other hand, in the dialectic between the sacred
and the profane, death plays a very important role. For example, as Vatn Gennep
and others point out, rites of initiation marking a passage from a "profane"
state to a "sacred" state are not infrequently signaled by a symbolic
recreation of death on the part of the initiate. Arnold Van Gennep, The Rites
of Passage (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1961), p. 75f.
(25) Dialogues, 2:325.
(27) The Middle
Length Sayings (Majjhima-Nikaaya), 3 vols., trans. I. B. Horner (London: Luzac
& Co., Ltd., 1954-1959), 1:155.
(28) The Diigha Nikaaya, 2:299.
(30) Nyaa.naponika, The Heart, p. 75.
(31) The Diigha
Nikaaya, 1:207, also p. 70.
(34) The Middle Length
(35) The Majjhima Nikaaya, 3 vols., ed. V. Trenckner, R. Chalmers,
and C. A. F. Rhys Davids (London: Luzac & Co., 1888-1899), 1:295.
Buddhaghosa, The Path of Purification (Visuddhimagga) , trans. Bhikkhu Na.namoli
(Colombo, Ceylon: R. Semage, 1956), p. 85.
(37) The Book of Gradual Sayings
(Ang ttara-Nikaaya), 5 vols., trans. F. L. Woodward and E. H. Hare (London: Oxford
University Press, 1932-1936), 5:65.
(38) The Majjhima Nikaaya, 2:11.
For example, see The Diigha Nikaaya, 2:120.
(40) The five iddhipaadas are resolution
(chanda), effort (viriya) , consciousness (citta) , and investigation (viima.msaa).
The Diigha Nikaaya, 3:77.
(41) Nalinaksha Dutt, Early Monastic Buddhism, rev.
ed. (Calcutta: Oriental Book Agency, 1960), p. 248.
(42) The seven factors
or limbs of enlightenment (sambojjha^nga) are: sati, dhammavicaya, viriya, piiti,
passaddhi, samaadhi, and upekkhaa.
(43) The process of mental training became
greatly elaborated in the scholastic or Abhidhamma period of Theravaada Buddhism.
Nalinaksha Dutt provides an excellent discussion of the various forms of samaadhi
(as represented in particular by the Vissuddhimagga) in chapter 7 of Early Monastic
(44) The Dialogues of the Buddha, 1:84 (see the footnote).
The Majjhima Nikaaya, 3:110.
(46) Ibid., 3:111.
(49) Rhys-Davids and Stede, Paali-English Dictionary, p. 620.
(51) The Dialogues of the Buddha, 3:261.
(52) In this particular
case, chanda or excitement is nearly identical in meaning with ta.nhaa, thirst
(53) The Diigha Nikaaya, 2:277. Dialogues, 2:311.
(55) The Diigha Nikaaya, 1:37.
(57) Ibid., 1:37-38.
(58) Ibid., 1:38.
(59) Dialogues, 1:51.
(60 Niivara.na is the Sanskrit
nis + vara.na literally meaning not choosing or unable to choose and, hence, an
obstacle or hindrance.
(61) The Diigha Nikaaya, 1:71.
(62) Ibid., 1: 73.
The Book of Kindred Sayings (Samyutta-Nikaaya), 5 vols., trans. C. A. F. Rhys
Davids and F. L. Woodward (London: Oxford University Press, 1917-1930), 5:70.
The word, kilesa, along with other terms such as the niivara.na, ta.nhaa, the
aasava, etc., has reference to unthinking involvement in the phenomenal or profane
world. Kilesa literally means stain, soil, impurity and comes to stand for sensuous
desires, passions, etc. "Its occurrence in the Pi.takas is rare; in later
works, very frequent, where it is approx. tantamount to our terms lower or unregenerate
nature...." Rhys Davids and Stede, Paali-English Dictionary, p.216.
The Diigha Nikaaya, 1:76.
(66) Dialogues, 1:86.
(67) The Diigha Nikaaya,
1:76. We find here a standard description of the body. Consciousness (vi~n~naa.na)
in this instance indicates the five senses or the entire emotional and intellectual
process. See Dialogues, 1:87, notes 1 and 2.
(68) Dialogues, 1:88.
Rhys Davids and Stede, Paali-English Dictionary, p. 521.
(70) Dialogues, 1:30.
The Diigha Nikaaya, 1:17.
(71) The Majjhima Nikaaya, 1:410.
(72) Rhys Davids
and Stede, Paali-English Dictionary, p. 120.
(73) Dialogues, 1:88-89.
Eliade notes that the word, shaman, is derived through the Russian from the Tungusic,
"saman." Some scholars, however, have derived the term from Paali. See
Eliade, Shamanism, p, 495.
(75) See chapter 11, "Shamanic Ideologies and
Techniques Among the Indo-Europeans," in Eliade, Shamanism.
The Dialogues of the Buddha, 1:278.
(79) The Book of Discipline
(Vinaya-Pi.taka), 5 vols., trans. I. B. Horner, Sacred Books of the Buddhists
(London: Luzac & Co., 1940-1952) , 2:112.
(80) The Diigha Nikaaya, 3:112.
(81) See the Kevaddha Sutta.
(82) The Diigha Nikaaya, 3:112.
(84) The Diigha Nikaaya, 2:213.
(85) Ibid., 1:79f.
Ibid., 3:281. See also Dialogues, 3:257f.
(87 The Majjhima Nikaaya, 1:33.
The Book of Kindred Sayings, 5:357.
(89) The Book of Gradual Sayings, 4:179.
(90) The Diigha Nikaaya, 3:131.
(91) Rhys Davids and Stede, Paali-English
(92) The Diigha Nikaaya, 1:83.
(93) Ibid., 2:81.
Monier-Williams, A Sanskrit-English Dictionary, p. 215.
(95) Rhys Davids and
Stede, Paali-English Dictionary, p. 150.
(96) A. B. Keith, Buddhist Philosophy
in India and Ceylon, 4th ed. (Varanasi: Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series Office, 1963),
(97) Conze, Buddhist Thought in India, pp. 89-90.
(98) The four
brahma vihaaras are: love (mettaa), compassion (karu.naa), sympathetic joy (muditaa),
and equanimity (upekkhaa).
(99) Dialogues, 1:298.
(100) Edward J, Thomas,
The History of Buddhist Thought, 2d ed. (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1951),
(102) Appama~n~naa corresponds to the Sanskrit praamaa.nya
+ the prefix, a, literally meaning "not."
(103) Dialogues, 2:219.
The Further Dialogues of the Buddha (Majjhima Nikaaya) , 2 vols., trans. Robert
Chalmers (London: Oxford University Press, 1926-1927), 2:280.
The Majjhima Nikaaya, 1: 297.
Source: Digital Buddhist Library and Museum,