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The lost knowledge of how
to exit from the Samsara
This I wrote for my son
later thought to give this as my Birthday Gift to all of you
අර මස් වැදැල්ලට කව්ද පන දෙන්නේ... ? විඥානය
End of the Sinhala Summary
The lost knowledge of how to exit
from the Samsara …. “Patichcha Samuppada” - “The law of cause and effect”
Patticha Samuppada or dependent origination or the law of cause and effect is a deep and complex topic that is the heart of Lord Buddha’s teachings. Lord Buddha has said if one knows Dependant origination, they know Dhamma. Also if one knows Dhamma, they know Dependant origination. So it is very important as Buddhist to know this teaching. Knowing Dependant origination goes beyond knowing the mere words. It is about learning and understanding the teaching and then being able to apply it into our daily life.
In this article Mr. Lakshman Abeykoon has written in very simple and easy to understand terms an explanation of the law of cause and effect. It is aimed at children who have not had an upbringing in Sri Lanka. Therefore, this article serves as a great introduction to the pali or Singhalese words used to typically describe dependant origination. As it is in words that are easy to understand, I believe it will be a great starting point for children to learn about the Dependant origination and how it applies to their lives.
I would like to take this opportunity to bless Mr. Abeykoon for the wonderful meritorious deed. As a result of this great meritorious deed of sharing Dhamma, may Mr. Abeykoon be well and happy, May he attain Nibbana! May you all learn and understand the dependant origination. May you be able to lead your own lives mindfully and happily in Dhamma! May you be a blessed and guided by the Noble Triple Gems always! May you all attain Nibbana!!
Royal Pandith Venerable M. Dhammagavesi
Chief Incumbent and Abbot of Lankarama
Buddhist Vihara and Chief Sangha Nayaka of the Siyam
Mahanikaya Malwatte Chapter in Australia
I thought of writing this for the benefit of children who
were not born or never lived in Sri Lanka like my son.
Buddhism is a view of life based on the “law of cause and
effect” and it is not a religion. Any one who has this view or the vision of
cause and effect called “Patichcha Samuppada” in ancient Pali Language is a
Buddhist. No matter what religion he or she was born in to. The meaning of
the word “Patichcha Samuppada” is defined in English by some monks as “law
of cause and effect” by others as "Dependent Origination" but non of these
definitions convey the true meaning of the word. "Pati
(Bond/Attachment) + Ichcha (Desire/Liking) Sama (With/together) Uppada
(Origination/Birth) = Patichcha Samuppada " Meaning attachment
based on desire and resulting origination" or being bonded due to liking and
together with occurring generation or birth.
What is the benefit of knowing this Law of cause and effect … ?
The immediate benefit is
that, you will never ever have emotional break downs or mental depressions in
the current life.
Imagine for a moment that you are playing a computer game. Say for an instance the name of the game is " Domination and control of Is Be's" (Is Be's are also referred to as Souls or Sathwas in a imaginary Galaxy.. How to play the game how to deceive and control stupid Is-Be's and live like a prince are written in books like "48 Laws of Power and Machiavelli's "The Prince" in that planet ). The game is so absorbing you get addicted in to the character or the “Avathar” you choose to play. You got mesmerized so much, you think you are nothing else but the “Avathar”. You began to think that the game world is real and it is not an illusion.
Our world is meant to be a “choice machine”. The role of this world is that, when you are born into it, it constantly presents you with a vast array of choices. You are invited to believe that this or that thing is important to you, that this cause is worth fighting for, that thing will make you safe, this person knows the truth, that person is trustworthy, this story is the gospel truth, that story is an abject lie, this group is my group and that group is the enemy... and so on and so on.
This world presents you with a non-stop selection of choices for you to believe in. And the instant you do – the very second you take even one of the choices the world is presenting to you, and believe in it as if it were true – you attach yourself to the illusion.
That is when you begin to give your energy to the world. You begin to do this job, vote for that political party, follow this sports team, associate with that group of people, fight for this cause, invest your money in that scheme. And so on and so on.
What has happened is that you have taken something true – your original pure blissful consciousness of Nirvaanic nature of the mind or the "Prabhaswara Chithaa"– and attached it to something transient and fictitious – the illusions of this world and pollute it with Lust, Anger and Dilution (Raaga, Dwasha, Mooha). These attachments does lead to great pain. As you start to play one of these 3 roles. You are either a victim or a villain (a character whose evil actions or motives are important to the plot) or else a rescuer.
And that pain generated by attachments causes you to fight and struggle. Which in turn causes you to attach even more as it causes you to generate more and more of Lust, Anger and Dilution. And so you spiral down, deeper and deeper into the illusory world of separation. The thing to understand is that each of you on planet Earth are playing out the roles you have chosen for yourselves. You play massive, long-running games that span many lifetimes so that you can experience yourself as an individual. As separate from each other. As "not-ONE". And that is what life on Earth is like.
(See also "The Ascension Papers" by Zingdad A very enlightening book giving western view of same point you can download it here for free http://zingdad.com/images/downloads/the_ascension_papers_book_1_-_zingdad.pdf )
For that never ending wish we call the “Trushna” or the
“Desire” and we say that, person is lost in Samsara due to the Trushna (Desire)
. ( the person is “Bhawa Gaami” or the worldly bound). This never ending wish
keeps you bound and imprisoned to this vicious circle of birth and death.
Where is Nirvana ..?
Nirvana is not a place as many
think. Nirvana is loosing your identity of self and merging with all knowing
all penetrating existence that is deathless, birth less, formless, shapeless,
omnipresent, attribute less, and quality less, ever present, pure loving
blissful beyond all perceptions manifestation of universe. When a tiny drop of
water merges with the ocean what happens ? It becomes the whole ocean or the
other way round the tiny drop becomes as big as the mighty ocean.
Since it is the knowledge that liberates you. There is no
need to pray to any god for the salvation. While Buddhism does not dispute the
existence of the higher godly realms and even talks about godly beings, what
Buddhism teach us is that your salvation should be made by yourself through your
intellect without waiting for the help from any other force.
You can not talk about the “Law of Cause and effect” (Patichcha samuppada) without talking about the Four Noble Truths called (Chathurarya Sathya). Because these two are inseparable. If you know “Chathurarya Sathysa you know Patichcha samuppada and If you know Patichcha Samuppada you know Chathurarya Sathya.
Hence before learning how to exit, you need to be armed with a little bit of know how. Specially how a being or a person is lured to get trapped in this never ending wish that keeps person bound , imprisoned and slaved to this vicious circle of birth and death called Samsara. It is just like some Casinos use various attractions like food, drinks and other entertainments to keep you inside.
Similarly, what keeps you bound to this cruel game of life and death called Samsara are also attractions offered to please your five senses. That means visions to please your eyes, sounds to please your ears, smells, tastes, sensory pleasers through your skin. All these are dangled in front of your nose and come nicely wrapped in the form of love, romance, parties, properties, cars, wealth, family and friends , beautiful bodies, health and wealth. Etc… Etc…
You get sucked in to this trap of lures and you start feasting in these pleasures with never ending “Desire” and spending your time and energy to gain more and more of these pleasures by any means possible or being selfish and by hook or crook thus, creating bad Karmas or the minus Game points in the process of it.
All these are so irresistible you get lured like a fly in to a honey trap. Once you indulge in it, there comes the Delusion, called “Avidya” or not having the ability see things as they really are.
Blinded by delusion. You begin to think all these things belongs to you. Your love, your romantic partner, your properties ,your wealth, your status, your body and health, your friends and family. In that way your world is formed or created around you and you get attached to those perks.
Because of the delusion or the ignorance, you fail to see
the reality. That all these lures are temporary manifestations and they are the
cause of your “Suffering”. For an example, your love to some one is your joy as
well as the cause of inevitable suffering. Your beautiful body is the cause of
your joy as well as inevitable suffering when you get old. Your properties could
be your joy as well as sorrow when they break down or get lost.
How to become the coolest head around the block when your sweet heart leaves you…
You may think it is crazy to say that all these goodies
such as your love, your romantic partner, your properties, your wealth, your
status, your body and health, your friends and family are identified as causes
of suffering. Don’t you..? That is the secret, that is why it is hard to find.
What is not OK is getting the wrong ideas. That those are
yours and you have the control over those. That is the point you have to be
enlightened. So enjoy it but not get overly attached. Not physically throw
things away you still have it and enjoy those but mentally, give up everything
and be free. So if you loose those physically, you have nothing to be sad,
because you had long ago, given those up in your mind.
This desire or the “Trushna” is generated no where but in your mind. When this desire is not fulfilled due to changes beyond your control such as old age or sickness or love break ups or fluctuations of wealth est. you suffer. So the reason for your suffering is your desire or the attachment to these ever changing world around you or the “Bhava” .
Realization of this simple truth is so important it is regarded as the 2nd Noble Truth or the “Samudaya Sathya” in Buddhism. That is : Reason for suffering is Desire or the Attachment in your own mind. Or the suffering are generated through Desire and attachment. Word “Samudaya” means Generate and “Sathya” means truth. So it is “The truth about the generation of attachments”
Now you gained another unique wisdom which others do not easily find. That is “Dukka Samudaye Gnanam” The wisdom of knowing where the sufferings occur. That is, it happens not some where out side or by the fault of some one else like the girl friend or the boy friend who broke up with you. But within in your own self. Inside your mind due to the desires and the attachments you created by yourself you suffer.
Then you get an answer. If you can find a way to change
your mind and not generate “Trushna” or the “Desire” in your mind” you can
stop all sorts of sufferings as well as disconnect the attachments and exit from
this vicious game of life and gain unshakable tranquility and peace even within
what is left to live in this life. Understanding that is the 3rd
Noble Truth called “Nirodha Sathya” Nirodha means disconnect or Disable.. So it
is the truth about disconnection of bonds.
Until you learn how to change your mind and disconnect the attachment you will be subject to birth and death and in between all these sufferings associated with the birth such as loss of loved ones, loss of freedom, sickness, old age and so on again and again and again with no end as you keep jumping from one life to another enduring endless amount of births and deaths possessing various bodies some desirable some undesirable due to plus or minus Karmic points you acquired during the course of it.
Stop Playing the Game…
As same as in a computer game, this Plus or the good merits points means in the next jump in to a new body, you will be able to get bonus extras like comfortable easy life beautiful body rich family and good parents. Minus or bad Karmas mean in next life you may born in to a poor family, bad parents, cruel spouse or physical disability or even in some cases a life as an animal.
PS ( This is an another view point on the same principal https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VS6GdaSvgHk see also https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNlyupEBdeE&t=572s I think these two are important alternative unconnected views of the same principle which does not conflict)
P.S. Almost same thing in different way in different view by Mr. Rich West but very much worth listening https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Lqy-wYpX98 which I too mostly agree
Now it comes to the question What is the method or the path you need to follow in order to change and disconnect the attachment from your mind.. ? . The shortest answer is. “Think in the opposite direction. Not the way you are sheepishly directed to think by the matrix or the worldly way of thinking but the way opposite to the other people think. Thus you stop participating in the game of the generation of extreme emotions and desires. Neutralize the flow of the wave of high and low extremes of emotions and settle in a flat line. This is called taking the Middle path or the “Madyama Prathipadawa”
Using the simple but profound techniques mentioned below, you will be able to live a vary satisfying, contempt and fulfilling happy life without sufferings and at the same time not generating desires, attachments and associated good and bad karmas.
That means you stopped playing the game by stopping the creation of the bonds. You had broken free from the mundane world just by changing the way you think. But the beauty is that to the outside world and the family, you look perfectly normal. In fact, you become a person much better than before as you will notice your gradual changes, like you become more tolerant, more patient, more kinder, more gentler, more happier, less greedy and a well balanced stable person who is not emotionally impacted by any good or bad things life throws at your way. Therefore if you really understood what is told here you will never ever have emotional break downs or mental depressions as no true Buddhist will ever get those as he/she knows from deep within the real nature of things in the world their changing nature or the impermanence which goes hand in hand with the associated sufferings.
When some one asked what is Nirvana .. ? Lord Buddha mentioned following “Raga hshayo, dwashah shayo, mohah shyo Nibbanam” that means Not generating overly attachments or craving (Raga), not generating dislikes, Intense animosity or hatred (Dwesha) and Removal of the ignorance/dilution/ misconception of not seeing and knowing the real nature of the world around you (Mooha) and gaining the wisdom of seeing and understanding the nature of things as they truly are is the Nirvana.
Hence Nirvana is a condition of mind you gain when you are neutral to outside world and have the ability to see things in true perspective. You have stopped the game to look at a world where others are running like mad chasing insatiable desires.
This path or the method you need to follow to gain this ever lasting mental peace and tranquility is called the 4th noble truth or the “Maarga Sathya” “ Maarga” means path. “Maarga Sathya” means true path to follow.
The Lost Connection ……
When you talk about “Maarga Sathya” or the True path to
follow we need to talk about the “Aaarya Asthangika Marga” or the “Eight fold
path which Aaryans follow” which include correct Vision (Which you already got
by knowing 4 noble truths) Correct thought (You already have it that is why you
read this in order to find out how to get rid of Desires)..
If interested, you can do a web search and read. You can
find so many articles on the matter as an individual topic. What you do not
easily find is: How The “Chathurarya Sathya”, Patichcha samuppada and Arrya
ashtangika Marga are interconnected.
In simplest, what you need to do is two types of simple Meditation. Elaborated in the scripture called “Sathi Pattana Suthra “ (Mind settling scripture) The two types of Meditation are Samatha and Vidarshana.
In that scripture lord Buddha Said the following: “I promise you this, if some one practices this method given here that person depending on his intellectual ability , either minimum within 7 hours , or medium within 7 days or 7 months or else maximum within 7 years will be able to change his mind and attain the realization of Nirvana “ So is the power of these techniques.
What is Samatha Meditation and what is Vidarshana Meditation .. ? Why two types.. ?.
The reason is when you want to change your mind what you have to do.. ? First thing is you need to learn to focus your mind in order to concentrate on some subject . For that you need to learn how to calm the mind. To achieve the calming and concentration ability you start with Samatha Meditation or in other words “Breathing meditation”. Once your mind is calm and settled you slowly move in to the other type of meditation called “Vidarshana” Meaning of the word “Vidarshana” is Analysis. You contemplate on the subject and start thinking in order to realize and convince your self the real Nature of the things.
Before learning breathing meditation to calm your mind you need to know a little bit about the nature the mind specially because this is the reason why people find it is hard to keep attention on one thing more than a minute before unknowingly the thoughts wander in to thinking various things than what you wanted to think. The reason is, the two parts of the process. The focus part and the attention part.
When you begin the berating meditation you first have to sit in a comfortable position in a chair or on the floor or under a tree etc. and focus on your breathing . The focus point should be the tip of your nose or the upper lip where the air of your breath is touching. You do not follow the breath up or down . You only focus your attention on the movement of air which passes your focus point which is either the tip of the nose or upper lip, where ever you find easy to focus. In that focus point, your awareness is such you know when you breath long breaths , short breath or heavy ones or light ones. Easy, piecy isn’t it.. ? Yes in the beginning it is easy but, after a minute or so you will find that instead of concentrating and watching on the sensation of the movement of upward and downward air touching your tip of lip or nose, your attention has drifted away. Why ?.
The reason is, when you begin the meditation the focus part
of mind direct your attention to the breathing so you are able to focus the
attention on it, and the attention is there now. The nature of focus part of the
mind is such that, once the attention is there, the focus goes away and fish
out some thing else and brings it back to the attention, thus focus jumps from
one to another and like a puppy dog bringing sticks, it picks up and brings
various thoughts in to attention one after another, that is why you loose
What is the remedy.. ?
The remedy is simple. Every time you breath , think it is the first time you begin. Then the focus part of the mind will bring the breath in to your attention. Next breath also think it as the very first. Thus. Focus – Attention, focus attention to the touch of the air. Thus the mind will not drift away and your attention span will drastically improve. You only need to think every breath is you first breath and you began meditation just now.
PS. January 2019
Buddhist Dhayana Meditation and Breathing Meditation
(These are very complex knowledge hidden in Buddhist Thripitaka scriptures, in the past no one even the most scholarly priests had no idea of because they never bothered to read those large volumes. Up to now it was hidden from us therefore I even came to know these recently, I am greatly blessed and so lucky even to hear it, I am very grateful to Priests Ven. Waraka Abhayarathanalankara Thero and his disciple Ven. Walasmulle Abhaya Thero who brought up these knowledge to light. That is why I thought of adding this and I will try my best to explain these as simply as possible.
Breathing meditation is not everything as we thought in the past
The reason is that the main aim of Buddhist meditation is not the improvement of your focus and attention by concentration on your breath. But cleaning your mind from Defilements of Raaga, Dwasha and Mooha (lust, enmity, dilution) through the improvement of focus of your attention. If you do not know this simple truth you may waste months or years of your life time going for meditational retreats to practice breathing technique, but at the end your concentration may improve yet your mind will be still dirty as you will still be an angry, greedy and diluted person once you come out of meditative posture.
Therefore the following is an extremely very important point:
The real aim of meditation should be to gain the ability to retain the pure consciousness in the mind called "Prabhaswara Chiththaya" (Pure light thoughts) by not tainting it with defilements. The reason is when you first encounter with something through your senses (Eyes, ears etc) the first thoughts occur in your mind are the recognition up to this recognition part the thoughts are pure. Then you attach defilements to it. Learning not to attach defilements and keeping thoughts pure is the way to not create Karmas or not to play the game and keep your mind clean. It is the way to enlightenment.
For an example. You see a car. What first come to mind ? it is a car ! is it tainted with any thing ? No it is not tainted. It is just the result of having an eye to see (You got an eye to see due to previous causes such as previous Karmas or the wishes) up to that point it is pure recognition or awareness happened due to previous causes. Thus it is not tainted it is recognition or awareness and it is a pure thought, not tainted by any thing. Even at the highest level of attainment such as Arhath or the Buddha still has this.
Every one else who is not attained that level, what happens is, you automatically create and apply attachments to those awareness's. Polluting the pure awareness (Prabhaswara Chitth) Attachments such as:
"It is My beautiful red expensive car " Now what happened ? Now you attached Lust to it (Raaga).
"It is my enemy's car. He hit and dented my car last week" Now what happened ? Now you attached Anger to it (Dwasha).
"My beautiful car should always be like this and should be mine for ever " Now what happened ? Now you attached Dilution to it (Mooha or the wrong understanding to it as nothing lasts for ever in this world).
How to keep the Pure Mind (Prabahswara Chitthaya or the pure light thoughts) unpolluted.
Before learning the technique you need to understand few things. The reality is that, for millions of years, going through countless births, you had acquired a hard to remove habit of tainting your pure thoughts with lust, enmity, or dilution as soon as those thoughts appears in your mind. Therefore it is not easy to suddenly remove those defilements or impure thoughts. Because of that, it should happen in three stages. Called 1. Thadhanga prahana 2. Vishkambana prahana 3 Samuchcheda prahana.
How to explain it simply ? Ok , For an example you want to eradicate a well grown bush in your Garden. First you try to Flatten the bush by pushing it downwards with force (Thadhanga) then you take a knife and cut the bush (Vishkambana) from top. Even if you cut it, still it can grow back so you need to remove the roots of the tree as well so it will never come back again (Samuchcheda).
Same is the removal of defilements in the mind:
When you do breathing meditation and concentrating the mind on your breathing, you push back karma creating thoughts (Thadhanga prahana) or the creation of those above said attachments to pure awareness thoughts, but once you stop meditation the thoughts with attachments can come back again like the tree springs back to same position once you remove the force kept it down. So you are not changed. But this meditation is good for improving your concentration, before you start the real cleaning process of the mind . Therefore this is still a good meditation for Normal Lay people who just want a kind of a meditation for temporary relief.
For those look for ever lasting relief. There is another type of Buddhist Meditation called "Dhayanas" Meaning of word Dhayana is Burning of defilements and those meditations were hidden from us up to last 10 years. While the breathing meditation can be done by any one even a none Buddhist person and achieve high level of concentration. The requirement for starting Buddhist Dhyanas is that you should have very good understanding of concept of Anichcha , Dukka and Anattha (Things in this world does not stay or behave as you like, it is the root cause of your suffering, hence it is useless to expect that and removing all expectations and leaving behind is the way to liberation) and Asswada*** , Addenawa and Nissarana Indulgence( Ashwaada), Consequences of that indulgence( Aadeenawa) and by seeing the adverse consequences of that indulgence , the relinquishment (Nissarana) or the give up or abandonment (Read below for more explanation of this) . Once you understand these concepts thoroughly you are in the first stage of the process of changing your mind and this first step is called "SOTHAPANNA" (Stream entrent - person who has entered the upstream movement of the process of liberation, also called as a person who became an Aaryan, also said as a person who has 7 more life times left to achieve liberation)
(*** Aaswada (Assada), there is no direct single English word for this Aaa..swada (Pronounsed as :Aaa..h..Swada feeling of AaaH or Wow an extreme feeling of pain or pleasure) it is sometimes pronounced as Assada, the meaning of that is a mixture of words:: fulfillment of need, choice, indulgence, happiness, pleasure and satisfaction there is no single word in English. Here is an Example. The day is a hot day and you are sweating profusely (suffering from heat). Then you switch on a fan and you enjoy the cool breeze. What you felt or enjoyed is: Ashwada. You wrongfully think that fans give you that feeling of Ashwada or the satisfaction that is your Avidya (Misconception). Because in a cold day you will not get that by being near a fan . In a cold day when suffering from cold, being near a heater gives you an Ashwada. So the truth or the reality is that, neither fan nor the heater gives you an Ashwada. The truth is in order to feel Ashwada the first requirement is that you need first to be suffering. Ashwada arises when you get relief from what ever it is the need that you are suffering from. If you have not created that need which brings suffering to you in the first place then you will not be creating and experiencing that Assada)
There are four levels in the process of changing the mind from a normal lay person to a fully liberated person or Arhath
Lay person ->Learning Anichcha ,dukka , Annathha from a friend (other words by Listening to Dhamma), realizing that is true and correct and this is the correct path to liberation and escape from the trap of Samsara, and with the understanding of that much, some rough defilements are already completely get removed including the roots of those defilements (Samuchcheda prahana) The defilements completly gone at that point are the defilements such as the wrong views of that, this world is desirable and it is a good place to come back again and again is gone, suspicion that this path can be wrong is gone, and the wrong view such as taking penance and vows may be the correct path will be gone ect, (Those 3 defilements are called Sathkaya drushti, Vichikicha, Seelabbatha pararmrasa) those 3 defilements will be completely gone - > Thus having complete confidence of the truth of what he learned about the way world is and the path he has to take to leave it, he becomes Sothapanna Aryan (First step, up to that no meditation necessary, only need to understand the concept well and having firm conviction to follow it up, at this stage you have7 life times left to complete the path ) Once you come to that stage, in order to quicken the process and have less births you need to practice Dhayanas (Burning of defilements) by practicing Dhayanas you achieve next levels of the mind changing process.
That is, reducing some more of hard to remove defilements such as lust anger to certain level (Vishkambana Prahana) you become SAKURDAAGAAMI meaning twice returning person that he has two birth left until full liberation. By this level you have achieved considerable peace of mind and usually wish to continue further and keep practicing Dhayanas or in simple words keep thinking about Anichcha , Dukka and Anattha (Things in this world does not stay or behave as you like, it is the root cause of your suffering, hence it is useless to expect that and removing all expectations and leaving behind is the way to liberation) and in a deep meditative thought, remember that this kind of deep meditative thoughts can be carried out while in any position or way, either sitting in one place or walking, standing, while doing some routine work, like travelling in a train or bus as you already achieved high concentration ability by this time and lot of mundane worries has vanished and you are beginning to feel peace of mind and tranquility. This feeling of peace and happiness makes you to go more and more deeper in to the practice which leads to next level of mind changing process.
This level is called ANAGAAMI meaning not returner as he has only one birth left and that birth is not in this world it is in Shuddhavaasa Brahma loka or in the Pure Lands with vast life spans (Creator Gods according to western and also the Hindu terminology) by this level very few root defilements are left to remove but he still can live as a normal house holder person. If he still keeps practicing vigorously then he can gain the next and final level of complete removal of impure thoughts which is ARHATH. or full liberation. No causes for a rebirth left as there are no impure thoughts, all causes for wishing more births removed thus a fully liberated living breathing person who does not play this vicious game of samsara. By this level you can not live in a normal household way of life as you are beyond that so you relinquish that life to become a monk or else you will die in 7 days as you have no desire left for having this kind of existence.
Arya Dhayanas (Meditation for the people in the level of SOTHAPANNA and above).
There are 4 levels of dhayanas about which I came to know about recently and first level I can easily achieve, second level I got once. Because of that I can testify up to second level, third and fourth I do not know, but the two levels what I experienced is what exactly thought by Ven.Monk Walasmulle Abhaya Thero and since the parts what I experienced is correct as described, I believe that the rest should be correct too. Which I have yet to experience, as we know, not every body is equal. According to Ven Monks explanation, there are 3 categories of people due to their previous karmas . Those are, Heena, Madhyama, and Praneetha, for some people Dhayans are slow to come and little evident (Heena) others Medium felt, and for the third group it is throughly and quickly experienced.
Before explaining dhayanas you need to learn the meanings of few technical words in regard to mind and thought process. Called 5 components of Dhyana or the 5 Dhayana Angas
Vithakka Vichara - Meaning, thoughts or questions (Vithakka) which suddenly appear in mind and the scanning for answers (Vichara) or else Passive thoughts
Savithakaa Savichara - Meaning, thoughts or questions which you create with some purpose (Savithakka) in mind and the looking for answers (Savchara ) or Active thoughts
Preethi - Feeling happy
Sukha - Feeling of comfort , well being and at ease.
Aekagratha - Intense concentration of mind on the subject of focus.
Now I am asking you to do a two minute long experiment. Sit some ware comfortably and close your eyes for two minutes. Think that you put a watcher or an observer over your mind to watch what thoughts come to mind. Once you close your eyes you will see the for the first minute or so your mind is relatively still and it does not drift away, you hear dogs barking in the distance, wind blowing, or birds singing, also you feel leg pain or back pain, or hunger ect Note that those are not considered as thoughts those are awareness, a result of having a body and having five senses due to previous wishes or karmas. They are not thoughts and perfectly normal to have so ignore those. Then after some times thoughts start to appear such as did I switch off the Kettle or whether husband or son has eaten or what is going to cook for dinner tonight ect . Then you start to resolve those thoughts by inputting some mental EFFORT, such as I remember there are some potatoes in the kitchen cupboard I will cook it tonight, then question comes should I fry it or boil it ? for that you make another mental EFFORT to answer it, thus the process goes round and round. These are called Vithakka Vichara (Passive Thought) the way to stop Vithakka Vichara is to refrain from putting the mental EFFORT. What you have to do is that , when you observe a passive thought came to mind acknowledge the awareness of a thought appearing but do not react to it by putting EFFORT to feed and run with the thought further along. Without fuel to run further the thoughts will subdues. By practicing it for some time, you can stay longer and longer without having passive thoughts appearing. To stop active thoughts Savithakaa Savichara technique is the same. This is the easiest technique of quickly gaining mental tranquility than the breathing technique.
Also you need to know the difference between Dhyana and Dhyana Samadi Dhayana and Dhyana Samadi are two different things Dhyana means climbing to a certain level of Defilement burn like climbing to a certain height or floor of a building, when practiced well you can be in a dhyana even while you are doing some other thing such as walking or doing some day to day work. Samadhi is relaxing in the achieved level of tranquility like you climbed to a certain floor of a building and decided to stay and enjoy the view for a while. During Samadhi you loose your awareness you are so much in to it gradually you get disconnected from sensory perceptions. Therefore you can not do any other activity except sitting in meditative posture.
Prathama Dhayana -First level - You can achieve the first level using the above said process very quickly you will experience all the above said 5 components of Dhyana Vithakka Vichara, Savithakaa Savichara, Preethi, Sukha, Aekagratha . The Aim is to reduce Vithakka Vichara and have more Savithakaa Savichara or active thoughts in mind about the Anichcha, Dukka, Anartha, as well as and Asswada , Addenawa and Nissarana concepts. Use your active thoughts to analyze your life experiences and test these concepts against it, checking whether these concepts are true or not according to your life experiences or others known to you like parents or friends experiences . More you analyze more you will start to see the truth of those, the more you see the truth of it, more you understand the reality and more you will begin to see the happiness of relinquishment of attachments such as Lust , Anger and Delution (Raaga, Dwasha, Mooha) by doing that, more you cultivate unpoluted pure thoughts or the Prabhasvara Chiththa . Which will bring out abundance of Preethi, Sukha, and Aekagratha (Happiness , comfort and concentration) and start to feel glowing, a kind of goose bumpy feeling, with tears filling the eyes, you will begin to get tiny glimpses of the great peace and happiness in Nirvana and feel need for seepeedy liberation. As an aid for gaining active thoughts or Savithakaa Savichara you can use Karmasthana (Karma Displacements) I have translated two of those to English and use it in way that you understand and think of the meaning of it. This is also called as practicing Vidarshana.
Daily Contemplating on the meaning of the following 2 Karma Displacement thought lines called "Karmasthanas" (Which I had translated in to English) as well as other Karmasthanas (there are many more to choose from. Karmasrhanas are THE SHORT SUMMARIES of the understanding of dharma you need to think more thoroughly like why it is so, is it correct or wrong, can it be applicable to my life and my experiences etc, as just reciting Karmasthanas like a parrot will not do) given in the following web site will be helpful in speedy release from the bonds of lust, enmity and ignorance in the mind which keeps you bound in to the world. Now, once the attention is improved, start the Vidarshana part of the Meditation. That is analysis.
Dwithiya Dhyana - Second Level
You will achieve this level once all your Passive thoughts are gone they stopped appearing as a result of no feed is given by you to run those. That itself is a big relief. What is now left is Savithakaa Savichara, Preethi, Sukha, and Aekagratha You are feeling so much at ease, at one point you will think having active thoughts are also a burden and give up that too. That is the beginning of third level. (From now on this is not my own experience, this is what I learned and could be true.)
Threethiya Dhayana - Third Level
During third level, you give up active thoughts as a burden in order to experience Preethi, Sukha, and Aekagratha(Happiness , comfort and concentration) by this time feeling of your inner glowing is so intense you will begin to see your light body. Some people who had experienced the light complained in a discussion recently that light came once and and was not able to gain it in later attempts. The answer priest gave was the persons focus had changed from Mukha Nimittha to the light he saw. The purpose of Dhyana is to further improve the experience of the tranquility and peace of Nirvana you glimpsed in the previous two steps ( hence Mukya Nimithha is Nirvana ) Once you change your focus from that or the Main Aim (Mukha Nimittha) to watching lights the main focus is lost, with that, light also lost. So you need to ignore these lights and keep your mind in the experiencing peace of Nirvana.
Chathurtha Dhayana - Fourth and final Level
You enter in to this level by giving up Preethi, Sukha, (Happiness and Comfort) you experienced as also a hindrance to the concentration. Thus what is now left is concentration. During this level of concentration you can feel intense peace. While in this level if you want you can develop super human abilities such as seeing past lives, reading other peoples minds, seeing future, seeing other peoples lives, astral travel and seeing other planes of existences' ect. The technique of that the monk was very reluctant to reveal in public. Telling only that if you want to see your past life, while in Chathurtha Dhayana first focus on the furthest point in your childhood you can remember and from that point will and determine in your mind that you want to see beyond that and work further and further to the past.
of Up Date (Jan 2019)
Analysis of what.. ?
What is the most irresistible force this word… ? What makes
the continuation of animal and plant life possible in the world.. which makes
flowers bloom, Bees ..Humm.. birds sing and people fall in love ?
Thus the Vidarshana is all about the contemplation and analysis of, mainly the own body as well as the body of others.
This is what you have to think and keep thinking with the
now improved attention of the mind. This is called “Kaayanupassana”
several ways to think. There are a number of different "Kaayas" or the
bodies a person can contemplate on. Any one way or all the ways are ok depending on what is
easy for you. Own physical body is only a one type of Kaaya and the easiest one
have to think and convince to your self is this:
This body of mine is the present result of previous life’s ignorance (Avidya) of not being able to seeing things as they really are (Avidya - not being able to see and analyse in the line of Indulgence(Ashwaada), Consequences of that indulgence( Aadeenawa) and by seeing the adverse consequences of that indulgence , the relinquishment (Nissarana) or the give up or abandonment ) and because of that Avidya ( or not seeing the consequences of indulgences and not being able to relinquish) I created desires (Trushna), which resulted in intense sense of ownership and attachments (Upadana) and karmas (Good and bad points or merits) while living in the imaginary world of reality I built around me (Bhawa) as a result of these previous causes, I could not see the reality of the things in the light of Anichcha (Anichcha = Un + Ichcha = Does not stay or behave as desired = constantly changing or dynamic) or the impermanence *** of the things I thought which are mine and even at my moment of death I could not leave those behind.
And again I will remind you that Buddha Said the following:
“I promise you this, if some one practices this method given here that person
depending on his intellectual ability , either minimum within 7 hours , or
medium within 7 days or 7 months or else maximum within 7 years will be able to
change his mind and attain the realization of Nirvana “ So is the power of these
Keep thinking in the above way at any time you can find a
moment to spare. Not only while you sit and meditate which usually happen very
rare in a practical busy world. But do it when you sit in a train or bus, when
you drive to work, when go to sleep or when you eat.
You will be free of all worldly bonds. Not even attached to
your body. Of course you care about your body better than before in order to
maintain, but not to be attached to it, by wrongly thinking this is me and mine.
As you clearly begin to see the difference between the me-consciousness (Vingnana
or Naama) and the body (Ruupa).
Finally I suggest, you to do a web search and read more
about Sathi Pattana Suthra, Paticchcha Samuppada and Aarya ashtangika Maraga. As
I talked and introduced all those Buddhist concepts very simply in a manner a
child could understand it within the context of this writing which, 99% of
Buddhist never grasped due to the heavy weight way it is presented to them.
Buddhism is not heavy weight words. It is a practical way of living in this
May peace be upon this world
10 "Ascension papers" ...A very enlightening book giving western view of same point you can download it here for free
Acknoledgement And Thanks
I wish to thank and convey my heart felt gratitude to Ven. Maaankadawala Suddhassna Maha Thero and the web master of Sudassana.org. For showing the correct path to me so I could understand these Profound Concepts. If not for them I would have been lost in Samsara. Though I have never seen Ven. Maaankadawala Suddhassna Maha Thero in Person. This write up is a result of 6 months of my listening to Maha Thero’s sermons From Dec, 2015 to May 2016 published in www.Sudassana.org.Since all those sermons are in Sinhala Language. I felt sorry and compassion for people like my son who being born and bread in Australia are not fortunate enough to know the Sinhala Language as proficiently as I do in order to grasp the subtle points and meanings in profound theories and concepts given above.
P.S. 2018 July
- during 2017 I came across the discourses of
Walasmullee Abhaya Thero and listened to his all 90 hours of season 8
discourse. Then I found his teacher Most
Abayarathanalankara Thero and listened to the most of the 106 CD's of
his discourses in the following site. Currently I am listening to the English
discourses of Ven.
Vimalaramasi which I find also very good. Thus with an open mind and more
knowledge I kept updating the relevant parts of this page
to reflect the gained and up to date knowledge.
Therefore now this is not a one Buddhist teachers discourse in English this is
mostly what I came to understand during the during the period of time
passed and believe this is the correct path a normal person can easily
understand and follow.