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Knowing and Seeing

Knowing and Seeing

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Published by Animesh_Singh1

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Published by: Animesh_Singh1 on Jan 07, 2012
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01/07/2012

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To discern the past, you begin by making an offering of
either candles, fowers, or incense at a pagoda, or to a
Buddha image. You should make a wish for the rebirth
you desire, for example, to become a monk, nun, man,
woman, or deva.

Afterwards, you should go and sit in meditation,
develop concentration, and discern in turn internal
and external mentality and materiality. This is neces-
sary, because if you cannot discern external mentality
and materiality, you will have great diffculty discern-
ing past mentality and materiality. That is because
the discernment of external mentality and materiality
is similar to the discernment of past mentality and
materiality.

Then you should discern the mentality and
materiality that occurred at the time of making the
offering at the pagoda or Buddha image, as if they
were an external object. When doing this, an image
of yourself at the time of offering appears. You should
discern the four elements in that image.
When the image breaks into kalàpas, discern all

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the types of materiality in the six doors, especially the
ffty-four types in the heart-base. Then you will be able
to discern the bhavaïga consciousnesses, and the mind-
door thought-processes that that arise in-between. You
should discern those mind-door thought-processes
backwards and forwards, and fnd the deflement-round
(kilesavañña) mind-door thought-process with twenty
mental formations, and kamma-round (kammavañña)
mind-door thought-process (manodvàra-vãthi) with thirty-
four mental formations.
Let me illustrate with a practical example: the case
of making an offering of candles, fowers, or incense
to a Buddha image, and making a wish to be reborn to
become a monk.

In this case, ignorance is to deludedly think that
‘a monk’ is an ultimate reality; craving is the desire and
longing for life as a monk; and clinging is the attach-
ment to life as a monk. These three, ignorance, craving,
and clinging, are all found in the consciousness that
makes up the round of deflements (kilesa-vañña).
If, instead of making a wish to be reborn to become
a monk, you had made a wish to be reborn to become
a woman, then the ignorance would be to deludedly
think that ‘a woman’ is an ultimate reality; craving
would be the desire and longing for life as a woman;
and clinging the attachment to life as a woman.
In the examples, volitional formations (saïkhàra)
are the wholesome intentions (kusala-cetanà) of the
offering, and kamma is their force of kamma. Both are
found in the consciousnesses that make up the kamma
round of dependent-origination.

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When you are thus able to discern the mentality
and materiality of the deflement- and kamma-round of
the recent past, you should go back to the more distant
past time previous to the offering, and in the same way
discern the mentality and materiality. Then go back a
little further again, and repeat the process. In this way,
you discern the mentality and materiality of one day ago,
one week ago, one month ago, one year ago, two years
ago, three years ago and so on. Eventually you will be
able to discern right back to the mentality-materiality
of the rebirth-linking consciousness (pañisandhi-citta)
which arose at the conception of this life.
By looking for the causes of conception, you
go back even further, and see either the mentality-
materiality of the time near death in the previous life,
or the object of the near-death impulsion-consciousness
(maraõàsanna-javana-citta).
There are three possible objects for the near death

impulsion:

1. Kamma; again having the thoughts that pro-
duced a particular good or bad action in the past,
for example, an offering.

2. Kamma sign (kamma-nimitta); for example, a
pagoda, a monk, fowers, or an object offered.

3. Rebirth sign (gati-nimitta); the place where you
will be reborn. For a human rebirth it is the future
mother’s womb, and is usually red like a red
carpet.

If you discern the mentality-materiality near death, you

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will also discern the object of the near death impulsion,
be it kamma, kamma sign, or rebirth sign. This object
appears because of the force of kamma which produced
the rebirth-linking consciousness (pañisandhi-citta). When
you discern this, you are able to discern also the volitional
formations and kamma that produced the resultant aggre-
gates of this life, and the preceding ignorance, craving, and
clinging. After that, you should discern the other mental
formations of that kamma- and deflement-round.

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