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Aspects of Early Buddhist Sociological Thought

Aspects of Early Buddhist Sociological Thought

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Published by Han Sang Kim

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Published by: Han Sang Kim on Apr 20, 2014
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In fact, rapture and gladness (pītipāmojja) as well as hap-
piness (sukha) normally considered to be derived from aes-

thetic experience have been classifed into three different

grades according to the planes where they are experienced.

1. Rapture that is carnal (sāmisā pīti)
2. Rapture that is spiritual (nirāmisā pīti)
3. Rapture that is even more spiritual (nirāmisatarā pīti)

The frst is carnal rapture based on material and worldly


pleasure derived through desirable (iṭṭhā), alluring (kantā),
delightful (manāpā), dear (piyarūpā), passion-fraught
(kāmūpasaṃhitā) and attractive (rajanīyā) objects. The
second is a characteristic of the frst and the second med-
itative absorptions. The third state arises in the mind of
an Arahant who has dried up all cankers through insight
(sukkhavipassaka) and who realises that he is released
from lust, hatred and delusion.

Likewise, happiness also has been classifed into three
as carnal, spiritual and more spiritual. The frst arises due

to external sense stimulation as the above. The second is
found in the frst, second and the third meditative absorp-
tions. The third originates in the mind of the Arahant
who has dried up all cankers through insight and realises
that he is released from lust, hatred and delusion.50

second, spiritual rapture, is also one of the Seven Factors
of Enlightenment, because it helps one to be energetic and
enthusiastic on the Path. Pāmojja or pāmoda often coupled
with rapture (pīti) denotes joy or gladness. It is stated that

one who is flled with joy will make an end of suffering.51

Spiritual rapture and joy arise as a concomitant result of
the refection on the rise and fall of the aggregates realis-
ing that it is the way to Deathlessness.52
Therefore it is said in the Dhammapada:

“A monk flled with joy, full of confdence in the

Buddha’s teaching will attain the peaceful state, the
cessation of the conditioned, the Bliss.’’53


S. iv, p.235


Dhp. 376


Dhp. 374


Dhp. 381


The commentary on the Dhammapada, however, identifes
fve kinds of raptures:

1. Slight sense of rapture (khuddakā pīti).
2. Momentary rapture (khanikā pīti).
3. Flood of rapture (okkantikā pīti).
4. Thrilling rapture (ubbegā pīti).
5. Suffusing rapture (pharanā pīti).54

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