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Contents A

A Discourse on
the Wheel of Dhamma
by
The Venerable Mahsi Saydaw
of
Burma
Translated by
U Ko Lay
Buddla Ssannuggala Oiganization
Malsi Tianslation Committee, Rangoon
A Discourse on
the Wheel of Dhamma
by
The Venerable Mahsi Saydaw
of
Burma
Translated by
U Ko Lay
First printed and published in the Socialist
Republic of the Union of Burma
December 1981
New Edition
Edited by
Bhikkhu Pesala
December 2013
All rights reserved
iii
Contents
Editors Foreword.......................................................................................vii
P O
Preface to the Discourse................................................................................1
The Date of the Discourse.............................................................................2
Three Kinds of Introduction...................................................................3
The Bodhisatta and Worldly Pleasures...................................................4
The Ignoble Search.................................................................................5
The Noble Search....................................................................................5
Aioacling tle Sage ia..................................................................7
Taking Instiuctions fiom ia..............................................................8
Reassuring Words...................................................................................8
Approaching the Sage Udaka.................................................................9
Extreme Austerities in the Uruvela Forest...........................................11
Extreme Austerity of Crushing the Mind.............................................12
Absorption Restraining the Breath.......................................................13
Extreme Austerity of Fasting................................................................14
Mias Peisuasion.................................................................................15
Right Reasoning....................................................................................16
Absorption While an Infant..................................................................17
Resumption of Normal Meals..............................................................18
The Enlightenment.....................................................................................19
Extreme Austerity Is a Form of Self-mortification................................21
Considering to Whom to Give the First Discourse..............................21
Missing the Path and Fruition by Seven Days.....................................22
Missing the Great Chance by One Night..............................................23
Journey to Give the First Sermon.........................................................23
Meeting Upaka the Naked Ascetic.......................................................24
Truth Is Not Seen if Blinded by Misconception....................................25
Arrival at Isipatana...............................................................................26
P T
Avoiding the Two Extremes.......................................................................31
Sensual Indulgence Is Inferior and Vulgar...........................................32
The Doctrine of Ultimate Bliss in This Very Life..................................33
The Practice of Ordinary People...........................................................33
Not the Practice of the Noble Ones......................................................34
Not Leading to Ones True Welfare ......................................................34
May Householders Indulge in Sensual Pleasures?..............................35
Four Kinds of Sensual Indulgence........................................................35
The Practice of Self-mortification................................................................36
Methods of Self-mortification...............................................................36
Tle Nigala Teaclings.......................................................................37
Physical Suffering.................................................................................38
Effort without Any Benefit...................................................................38
Wrong Interpretation of Self-mortification...........................................39
Misconception about Contemplation on Feeling.................................41
The View of a Meditation Teacher........................................................41
iv Contents
The Middle Path.........................................................................................43
How to Avoid the Two Extremes.........................................................44
Antidote for Indigestible Food.............................................................44
How Vision and Knowledge Are Developed.......................................45
Knowledge Deepens through Practice.................................................47
The Explanation of the Commentary...................................................48
Starting from Any Stage.......................................................................48
Leading to Peace...................................................................................49
Wrong Belief in the Practice.................................................................50
Temporarily Putting Away...................................................................51
The Arising of Higher Knowledge.......................................................52
Penetrative Insight................................................................................53
Tle Realisation of Nibbna..................................................................53
P T
The Invitation Ceremony............................................................................56
Elaboration of the Eightfold Path...............................................................57
The Path Factor of Right Speech...........................................................58
The Path Factor of Right Action...........................................................59
The Path Factor of Right Livelihood.....................................................60
Seeking Wealth Unethically Is Wrong Livelihood.........................61
Seeking Wealth Ethically Is Right Livelihood................................61
The Path Factor of Right Effort.............................................................61
The Path Factor of Right Mindfulness..................................................64
Was the Noble Eightfold Path Taught in Detail?..................................64
Momentary Concentration for Insight.................................................67
Genuine Insight Only by Mindful Noting............................................69
The Path Factor of Right Concentration...............................................70
Insight without Absorption..................................................................71
The Path Factor of Right View..............................................................73
Right View About the Ownership of Kamma......................................74
The Path in Three Stages.............................................................................76
How Jlna Attaineis Develo Insiglt..................................................78
Contemplating Miscellaneous Mental Formations..............................79
Beginning the Path of Insight...............................................................80
How the Factors of Concentration Are Developed..............................81
How the Factors of Wisdom Are Developed........................................81
The Path Factor of Right Thought........................................................82
P F
The Truth of Suffering.................................................................................84
A Critical Examination of Disparities in the Texts...............................84
Accurate Definition of the Truth of Suffering......................................87
The Four Noble Truths................................................................................87
Suffering of Rebirth..............................................................................88
The Suffering of Change.......................................................................89
Suffering of Conditioned States............................................................90
Concealed and Unconcealed Suffering................................................90
Direct and Indirect Suffering................................................................91
Suffering in a Mothers Womb..............................................................92
Contents v
Suffering at Birth...................................................................................93
Suffering Throughout Life....................................................................93
Suffering Because of Aging..................................................................94
Death as Suffering.................................................................................94
Grief as Suffering..................................................................................95
Lamentation as Suffering......................................................................96
Physical Pain as Suffering.....................................................................96
Sorrow as Suffering..............................................................................97
Despair as Suffering..............................................................................97
Suffering as Association with the Unloved..........................................98
Suffering as Separation from the Loved...............................................98
Suffering as Not Getting What One Wants...........................................99
Suffering as the Five Aggregates................................................................99
The Aggregates of Attachment on Seeing..........................................100
Fundamentals of Insight Meditation..................................................101
The Aggregates of Attachment on Hearing........................................102
The Aggregates of Attachment on Smelling.......................................103
The Aggregates of Attachment on Tasting.........................................103
The Aggregates of Attachment on Touching......................................104
The Aggregates of Attachment on Thinking......................................106
Suffering Because of the Five Aggregates.................................................109
Attachment and the Aggregates of Attachment.................................110
P F
The Truth of the Origin of Suffering.........................................................114
Tle Stoiy of Cameyya tle Nga King..............................................115
Tle Stoiy of Queen Ubbai.................................................................116
How Rebirth Takes Place....................................................................121
A Brahma Finds Delight In A Pigs Pen..............................................124
Tle Stoiy of Samaa Deva..................................................................129
Attachment Leading to Animal Rebirths............................................137
A Dlamma Teacling Saydaw.....................................................139
Born as a Buffalo for Forty Kyats..................................................140
Nga Nyos Small Measure of Rice.................................................141
Terrible Life as a Demon and a Cow............................................143
Regaining Human Life after Being a Cow and a Dog..................143
Even Rebirth as a Crowing Lizard Is Possible..............................144
Three Kinds of Craving.............................................................................145
Sensual Craving..................................................................................145
Craving for Existence..........................................................................146
Craving for Non-existence..................................................................147
P S
The Truth of the Cessation of Suffering....................................................151
How Cessation of Craving Is Brought about......................................152
The Truth of the Path................................................................................156
Exposition of Right View....................................................................156
Meditation on the Four Truths............................................................157
How Much Learning is Necessary?....................................................159
Development of Preliminary path......................................................162
vi Contents
Simile of a Gem Strung on a Thread...................................................163
Abstention from Immorality during Meditation................................167
Knowledge of the Four Truths through Insight.................................168
Four Truths Comprehended Simultaneously.....................................169
Insight Is Also a Constituent of the Path............................................171
P S
Knowledge Regarding the Truth of Suffering....................................172
Duty Regarding the Truth of Suffering...............................................176
Achievement Regarding the Truth of Suffering.................................179
Knowledge Regarding the Origin of Suffering..................................182
Duty Regarding the Origin of Suffering.............................................184
Latent Defilements Actually Exist......................................................187
Achievement Regarding the Origin of Suffering................................188
Knowledge Regarding the Truth of Cessation...................................189
Duty Regarding the Truth of Cessation..............................................190
Achievement Regarding the Truth of Cessation.................................191
Knowledge Regarding the Truth of the Path......................................191
Duty Regarding the Truth of the Path................................................192
Achievement Regarding the Truth of the Path...................................195
Knowing the Four Truths Simultaneously...............................................196
P E
Before the Buddha Claimed Enlightenment............................................198
After the Buddha Claimed Enlightenment...............................................200
Concluding Statement........................................................................201
A Matter for Consideration.......................................................................203
Higher Knowledge Gained by Listeners............................................203
Records of the First Buddhist Council......................................................205
Veneiable Koaa Attains Higlei Knowledge..............................206
How Path Knowledge Is Stainless......................................................207
Path Knowledge Evolves from Insight...............................................209
Was the Path Not Attained by Appreciating the Discourse?.......211
Acclamation by tle Deities and Bialms...........................................212
The Earthquake and Appearance of Radiance...................................213
Utterance of Joy by the Blessed One...................................................213
Veneiable Koaas Request foi Oidination..................................214
Difficult to Give up Traditional Beliefs...............................................214
Citta tle Millionaiie and Nigala Nautta.............................217
Ordination by the Come Bhikkhu Formula....................................218
Other Beings Who Attained Higher Knowledge................................219
Higher Knowledge Attained Only by Practice...................................219
Systematic Guidance and Practice................................................219
Listening is not Sufficient, Practice is Needed.............................222
How the Other Four Monks Practised................................................223
Six Arahants Including the Blessed One............................................224
A Concluding Prayer................................................................................225
I
vii
Editors Foreword
As witl my otlei editions of tle uanslated woiks of tle late
Veneiable Malsi Saydaw, I lave iemoved many of tle Pi woids
oi moved tlem to aientleses foi tle benet of tlose wlo aie not
familiai witl Pi teclnical teims. Wleie Pi assages aie exlained
word by word, using the Nissaya metlod, a Pi woid oi liase is
liglliglted in blue, followed by its uanslation in Englisl.
Tle oiiginal uanslation was ublisled in Rangoon in Decembei
1981, about nineteen yeais ahei tle Saydaw gave tle Dlamma talks,
wlicl sanned a eiiod of seveial montls. To uansciibe and uanslate
many hours of tape-recordings is a huge task, but one productive of
gieat meiit as it enables a mucl widei audience to benet nom tle
late Saydaws iofound talks.
This edition aims to extend the audience further still by publishing
the book on the Internet. Since my target audience may be less
familiar with Buddhism than most Burmese Buddhists, and many
may know liule about tle late Malsi Saydaw, I lave added a few
footnotes by way of explanation.
Refeiences aie to tle Pi text Roman Sciit editions of tle Pali
Text Socie[ in tleii uanslations, tlese age numbeis aie given in
the headers or in square brackets in the body of the text thus [254].
Tlis iactice is also followed by modein uanslations, like tlat below:
254 Ariyapariyesan Sua: Sua 26i.162
Thus a reference to M.i.162 would be found on page 162 of volume
one in tle Pi edition, but on age 254 of Blikklu Bodlis uanslation.
It would be on a dieient age in Miss I.B. Hoineis uanslation, but
since tle Pi age iefeience is given, it can still be found. In tle
Clala Sagyana edition of tle Pi texts on CD, tle iefeiences to
tle ages of tle PTS Roman Sciit edition aie slown at tle bouom
of the screen, and can be located by searching.
I lave auemted to standaidise tle uanslation of Pi teims to
matcl tlat in otlei woiks by tle Saydaw, but it is imossible to be
totally consistent as tle vaiious uanslations and editions aie nom
many dieient souices. In tle index you can nd tle Pi teims in
biackets ahei tle uanslations, tlus tle index also seives as a glossaiy.
Tle Dlammacakka Suua, being tle Buddlas Fiist Discouise, is
of gieat signicance and imoitance. Howevei, being given to tle
ve monks wlo lad accomanied tle Bodlisaua on lis suenuous
seaicl foi tle uutl, it is also iofound and not easily undeistood by
the average lay person who is still addicted to sensual pleasures, and
unfamiliai witl meditation iactice. Tle giou of ve monks lad,
in fact, been iactising meditation even longei tlan tle Bodlisaua.
Some Commentaiies say tlat tley weie tle ioyal asuologeis wlo
were present at his birth, others say that they were their sons, but
either way they had renounced household life to become ascetics,
witl im condence in tle imminent awakening of tle Bodlisaua
to Buddhahood in the not too distant future.
So, tlese ve ascetics weie excetionally gihed individuals, witl
many years of prior experience in meditation when they listened to
the Buddhas First Discourse. Nevertheless, only one of them, the
Veneiable Koaa, iealised tle Dlamma and auained nibbna,
tlus becoming a Sueam-winnei at tle end of tlis biief discouise.
The other four all had to practise meditation under the personal
guidance of the Buddha for one, two, three, and four days respectively,
befoie gaining tle Patl of Sueam-winning. Tley lad to suive veiy
hard too, probably not even pausing to sleep, while the group of six
including the Buddha lived on the almsfood brought back by two or
three of them.
Tlese days, it is laid to nd meditatois wlo aie willing to suive
laid in meditation. Altlougl I scledule foitnigltly one-day ieueats,
only iaiely does anyone auend. Tlese ieueats aie only twelve louis,
so tley aie, in fact, only lalf-day ieueats not even a full one-day
ieueat as iactised by tle Veneiable Vaa to gain tle Patl.
As tle Saydaw suesses in tle last of tlis seiies of discouises, in
A Mauei foi Consideiation, the realisation of the Dhamma can only
come about through actual practice, not merely by listening to
discourses (nor by reading books). Yet, some do a great disservice to
the Buddhas practical teaching by discouraging the practice of
concenuation and insiglt meditation. I lave leaid two exueme
views: one tlat listening to discouises is sucient so tleies no need
to iactice, and tle otlei tlat nibbna cannot be auained in tlis eia,
so theres no point in practising. These very dangerous wrong views
should be dismissed, and one should practise meditation earnestly
in tle exectation of develoing tle atl of insiglt leading to nibbna.
Bhikkhu Pesala
December 2013
viii Editors Foreword
1
A Discourse on
the Wheel of Dhamma
Part One
Delivered on Saturday, 29th September, 1962.

Preface to the Discourse


Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammsambuddhassa
Today is tle new-moon day of Setembei. Beginning nom today,
I will exound tle tle Blessed Ones ist discouise, namely tle
Dlammacakkaavauana Suua tle Gieat Discouise on tle Wleel
of Dhamma.
Being tle ist discouise evei deliveied by tle Blessed One, it is
tle most suaigltfoiwaid of lis teaclings. Raie is tle eison, among
tle lai[ of tlis Buddlist counuy of Buima, wlo las not leaid of
tlis discouise. Numeious aie tlose wlo lave commiued tlis Suua
to memory. In almost every town and village, there are religious
gious undei tle name of Tle Wleel of Dlamma Reciting Socie[,
devoted to tle iecitation of tle Suua and listening to it. Buddlists
iegaid tlis Suua witl gieat esteem, and veneiate it because it was
tle ist teacling of tle Blessed One.
Tleie aie numeious Nissaya oi otlei foims of uanslation,
exlaining and inteiieting tle Pi of tle Suua in Buimese. Howevei,
there is scarcely any work that explicitly shows what practical
metlods aie available nom tle Suua and low tley could be utilised
by ardent, sincere meditators who aspire to gain the Path and its
Fiuition. I lave exounded tlis Suua on numeious occasions,
emphasising its practical application to meditation. I formally opened
tlis (Rangoon) Meditation Cenue witl a discouise of tlis Suua and
have repeatedly delivered the discourse here. Elsewhere too wher-
evei a new meditation cenue was oened, I always emloyed tlis
Suua as an inauguial discouise.
The Buddhist Canon has three main divisions the three baskets
oi Tiiaka in Pi. Tlese aie tle Suua Piaka, oi tle collection of
discouises, tle Vinaya Piaka, oi tle iules of disciline, and tle
Ablidlamma Piaka, oi tle Analytical teaclings. Tle Discouise on
tle Wleel of Dlamma is included in tle Suua Piaka, wlicl consists

New-moon day of Tawthalin, 1324 Burmese Era (ed.)


2 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
of ve sections (nikya): tle Dglanikya, tle Majjlimanikya, tle
Sayuuanikya, tle Aguuaianikya, and tle Kluddakanikya.
Tle Sayuuanikya is divided into ve gious (vagga): a)Sagtl-
vagga, b)Nidnavagga, c)Klandlavagga, d)Sayatanavagga, and
e)Malvagga. Tle Malvagga is divided again into twelve clateis
sucl as tle Maggasayuua, tle Bojjlagasayuua, tle Satialna-
sayuua, tle last of wlicl is tle Saccsayuua. Tle Wleel of
Dlamma aeais as tle ist discouise in tle second giou of tle
Saccsayuua and was iecited as sucl in tle ioceedings of tle
Sixtl Buddlist Council (Sagyana). In tle Sixtl Buddlist Council
edition of tle Tiiaka, it is iecoided on ages 368-371 of tle tliid
volume of tle Sayuua Piaka.

Tleie, tle inuoduction to tle


Discourse reads: Eva me suta, eka samayaThus have I heard.
At one time Tlese weie tle inuoductoiy woids uueied by tle
Veneiable nanda wlen inteiiogated by tle Veneiable Malkassaa
at tle Fiist Buddlist Council leld just ovei tliee montls ahei tle
assing away of tle Blessed One. Tle Veneiable Malkassaa said
to tle Veneiable nanda:
Fiiend nanda, wleie was tle Dlammacakkaavauana Suua
delivered? By whom was it delivered and on whose account? And
low was it deliveied' Tle Veneiable nanda answeied, Veneiable
Malkassaa, tlus lave I leaid:
At one time the Blessed One was staying at the Sages Resort, the
Pleasance of Isipatana, (where Pacceka Buddhas and Enlightened
Ones aliglted nom tle sky), in tle Deei Sanctuaiy, in tle townsli
of Benaies. Tlen tle Blessed One addiessed tle giou of ve monks.
Tlese two exuemes, monks, slould not be followed by one wlo las
gone foitl nom tle woildly life.
The Date of the Discourse
Tlis inuoduction lacks a denite date of deliveiy of tle discouise.
As in all otlei Suuas, tle date was mentioned meiely as At one time.
Precise chronological data as to the year, month, and day on which
each discourse was delivered would have been very helpful. However,
clionological details may lave been an encumbiance to commiuing
tle Suuas to memoiy, and to tleii iecitation. Tlus it is not easy to
lace a iecise date foi eacl tle Suuas. It slould, lowevei, be ossible

S.v.421 in the Roman script edition of the PTS (ed.)


Three Kinds of Inoduction 3
to woik out tle exact date on wlicl tle Dlammacakka Suua was
deliveied because it was tle ist discouise of tle Blessed One, and
also because reference could be made to internal evidence provided
in otlei Suuas and tle Vinaya Piaka.
Tle Buddla auained Suieme Enligltenment on tle niglt of tle
full-moon of May in the year 103 of the Great Era. Then he taught
tlis Dlammacakka Suua in tle eaily evening of tle full-moon day
of the following July. It is exactly 2,506 years now in this year 1324
of tle Buimese Eia since tle Buddlas nal parinibbna took place.
Adding on the 45 years of the dispensation before the parinibbna, it
would total 2,551 yeais. Tlus it was on tle ist watcl of tle
full-moon of July, 2,551 yeais ago tlat tlis ist discouise was
delivered by the Blessed One. Western scholars regard this estimation
as 60 years too early. According to their calculation, it was only 2,491
yeais ago tlat tle ist discouise was tauglt. As tle event of tle
Turning of the Wheel of Dhamma took place in the East, I would
iefei to go by tle oiiental calculation and iegaid tle ist discouise
as being taught 2,551 years ago.

The deer park, in which deer were given sanctuary, must have been
a foiested aiea witl deei ioaming about neely. At iesent, lowevei,
tle aiea las been deleted of foiest uees and las become an oen
plain with cultivated patches surrounding human habitations. In
ancient times, Paccekabuddlas uavelled tliougl tle sky by suei-
noimal oweis nom tle Gandlamdana mountain and descended
to earth at this isolated place. Likewise, the Enlightened Ones of the
distant past came here by psychic powers and alighted on this same
sot to teacl tleii ist discouise. Hence tle name, Tle Sages Resoit.
Tle inuoduction to tle Suua says tlat tle Blessed One tauglt tle
ist discouise to tle giou of ve monks wlile le was staying in
the pleasance of the deer sanctuary in the township of Benares. That
is all tle infoimation tlat could be obtained nom tle inuoductoiy
statement, which is bare and inadequate. It needs some elaboration,
wlicl I ioose to iovide by diawing on mateiial nom otlei Suuas.
Three Kinds of Introduction
Tle inuoduction to a Suua exlains on wlose account it was
tauglt by tle Buddla. Inuoductions aie of tliee kinds.

In 1962, so 2,602 years ago in 2013 when this edition was published (ed.)
4 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
1)An inuoduction tlat gives a backgiound stoiy of tle iemote
ast. Tlis iovides an account of low tle Bodlisaua, tle futuie
Buddla, fullled tle eifections iequiied of an asiiant Buddla,
beginning nom tle time of iolecy ioclaimed by Dakaia
Buddha to the time when he was reborn in the Tusita heaven as a
king of the deities named Setaketu. There is no need, nor enough
time, to deal more with this background story of the distant past.
2) An inuoduction toucling on tle backgiound stoiy of tle
inteimediate eiiod. Tlis deals witl tle account of wlat assed nom
tle time of existence in tle Tusita leaven to tle auainment of Full
Enligltenment on tle Tlione of Wisdom. I will give auention to tlis
inuoduction to a consideiable extent.
3)An inuoduction tlat tells of tle iecent ast, just ieceding tle
teacling of tle Dlammacakka Suua. Tlis is wlat is leaint nom tle
statement, Thus have I heard. At one time quoted above. I will
deal now witl ielevant exuacts nom tle second categoiy of
inuoductions, diawing mateiial nom tle Suklumla Suua

of the
Tikanita, Aguuaianikya, tle Psaisi oi Aiiyaaiiyesan Suua,

and Malsaccaka Suua

of tle Mlaasa, Majjlimanikya,


Bodliijakumia Suua

and Sagiava Suua

of Majjlimaasa,
Majjlimanikya, Pabbajj Suua,

Padlna Suua

of tle Suuanita,
and many otlei Suuas.
The Bodhisatta and Worldly Pleasures
Ahei tle Bodlisaua lad assed away nom tle Tusita leaven, le
enteied tle womb of Malmy Dev, tle Piincile Queen of King
Suddlodana of Kailavaulu. Tle Bodlisaua was boin on Fiiday,
the full-moon day of May in the year 68 of the Great Era, in the
leasuie-giove of Sal uees called tle Lumbin Giove and was named
Siddlaula. At tle age of sixteen, le was maiiied to Yasodlai Dev
daugltei of Suabuddla, tle Royal Mastei of Devadala. Tleieahei,
suiiounded by foi[ tlousand auendant iincesses, le lived in
enjoyment of ioyal leasuies in gieat magnicence. Wlile le was
thus wholly given over to sensual pleasure amidst pomp and
slendoui, le came out one day accomanied by auendants to tle
royal pleasure-grove for a garden feast and merry-making. On the
way to the grove, the sight of a decrepit, aged person gave him a

A.i.145.

M.i.162.

M.i.237.

M.ii.91.

M.ii.209.

Sn.vv.407-426.

Sn.vv.427-451.
The Noble Search 5
shock and he turned back to his palace. As he went out on a second
occasion he saw a person who was sick with disease and returned
greatly alarmed. When he sallied forth for the third time, he was
agitated in leait on seeing a dead man and luiiiedly ieuaced lis
stes. Tle agitation tlat set uon tle Bodlisaua aie desciibed in tle
Aiiyaaiiyesan Suua.
The Ignoble Search
Tle Bodlisaua ondeied tlus, Wlen oneself is subject to aging
to seek and ciave foi wlat is subject to aging is not beuing. Wlat
are subject to aging? Wife and children, slaves, goats and sheep, fowl
and igs, elelants, loises, caule, gold and silvei, all objects of
pleasures and luxuries animate and inanimate are subject to aging.
Being oneself subject to aging, to crave for these objects of pleasures,
to be enveloped and immersed in them is improper.
Similaily, it does not bet one, wlen oneself is subject to disease
and death, to crave for sensual objects that are subject to disease and
deatl. To go ahei wlat is subject to aging, disease, and deatl is
improper, and constitutes an ignoble search (anariypariyesan).
The Noble Search
Being oneself subject to aging, disease, and death, to go in search
of that which is not subject to aging, disease, and death constitutes
a noble search (ariypariyesan).
Tlat tle Bodlisaua limself was engaged at ist in tle ignoble
seaicl was desciibed in tle Suua as follows:-
Now bhikkhus, before my Enlightenment while I was only an
unenligltened Bodlisaua, being myself subject to biitl I souglt ahei
what was also subject to birth; being myself subject to aging I sought
ahei wlat was also subject to aging.
This was a denunciation of the life of pleasure he had lived with
Yasodlai amidst tle lay socie[ of auendant iincesses. Tlen,
having perceived the wretchedness of such a life, he resolved to go
in seaicl of tle eace of nibbna, wlicl is nee nom biitl, aging,
disease, and death. he said, Having perceived the wretchedness of
being myself subject to birth, aging, it occurred to me it would be
uing if I weie to seek tle incomaiable, unsuiassed eace of
nibbna, nee nom biitl and aging.
6 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
Tlus it occuiied to tle Bodlisaua to go in seaicl of tle eace of
nibbna, wlicl is nee nom aging, disease, and deatl. Tlat was a
very laudable aim and I will consider it further to see clearly how it
was so. Suppose there was someone who was already old and
decrepit. Would it be wise for him to seek the company of another
man oi woman wlo, like limself, was aged and nail, oi of someone
who though not advanced in age yet would surely be old in no time?
No, it would not be wise at all. Again, for someone who was himself
in declining lealtl and sueiing, it would be quite iiiational if le
weie to seek tle comanionsli of anotlei wlo was aicted witl
a crippling disease. Companionship with someone who though,
enjoying good lealtl iesently, would soon be uoubled witl illness,
would not be prudent either. There are those who, hoping to enjoy
eacl otleis comany foi life, got maiiied and seuled down.
Unfortunately, one of the partners soon becomes a bed-ridden invalid,
imosing on tle otlei tle oneious du[ of looking ahei tleii suicken
mate. The hope of a happy married life may be dashed when one of
the partners passes away leaving only sorrow and lamentation for
the bereaved. Ultimately both of the couples would be faced with
the misery of aging, disease, and death.
Tlus it is exuemely unwise to uisue sensual leasuies, wlicl
are subject to aging, disease, and death. The most noble search is to
seek out what is not subject to aging, disease, and death. Here at this
meditation cenue, it is giati(ing tlat tle devotees, monks, and
laymen, are all engaged in the noble search for the unaging, the
unailing, and the deathless.
On lis fouitl excuision to tle leasuie giove, tle Bodlisaua met
a monk. On leaining nom tle monk tlat le lad gone foitl nom tle
worldly life and was engaged in spiritual endeavour, it occurred to
tle Bodlisaua to ienounce tle woild, become a iecluse and go in
search of what is not subject to aging, disease, and death. When he
had gained what he had set out for, his intention was to pass on the
knowledge to tle woild so tlat otleis would also leain to be nee
nom miseiy of being subject to aging, disease, and deatl. A noble
thought indeed, a noble intention indeed!
On that same day, about the same time, a son was born to his
consoit Yasodlai Dev. Wlen le leaid tle news, tle Bodlisaua
muimuied, An imediment (Rlula) las aiisen, a feuei las been
Approaching the Sage ra 7
boin. On leaining tlis iemaik of tle Bodlisaua, lis fatlei King
Suddlodana lad lis newboin giandson named as Rlula (Piince
Impediment), hoping that the child would prove to be an impediment
to tle Bodlisaua and lindei lis lan of ienunciation.
Howevei, tle Bodlisaua lad become aveise to tle leasuies of
the world. That night be remained disinterested in the amusements
provided by the entertainers and fell into an early slumber. The
discouiaged musicians lay down tleii insuuments and went to slee
there and then. The sight of recumbent, sleeping dancers that met
him on awakening in the middle of the night, repulsed him and made
tle magnicent aaitment seem like a cemeteiy full of coises.
Tlus at midniglt tle Bodlisaua went foitl on tle Gieat Renun-
ciation riding the royal horse Kanthaka and accompanied by his
gioom Clanna. Wlen tley came to tle iivei Anom, le cut o lis
laii and beaid wlile standing on tle sandy beacl. Tlen ahei
discaiding tle ioyal gaiments, le ut on tle yellow iobes oeied
by tle Bialma God Glakia and became a monk. Tle Bodlisaua
was only twen[-nine tlen, an age most favouiable foi tle uisuit
of leasuies. Tlat le ienounced witl indieience tle om and
splendour of a sovereign and abandoned the solace and comfort of
lis consoit Yasodlai and ietinue at sucl a favouiable age, wlile
still blessed with youth, is really awe-inspiring.
Approaching the Sage ra
At tlat time tle Bodlisaua was not yet in ossession of iactical
knowledge of leading a holy life. So he made his way to the famous
ascetic ia. He was no oidinaiy eison, of tle eiglt stages of
mundane jhnic auainments, le lad eisonally masteied seven stages
up to the absorption dwelling on nothingness (kicayatana jhna)
and was imparting this knowledge to his pupils.
Before the appearance of the Buddha, such teachers who had
achieved jhnic auainments seived as uustwoitly masteis giving
iactical insuuctions on tle metlod to auain jhna. ia was famous
like a Buddla in tlose times. Tle Tleiavda liteiatuie is silent about
him, but in the Lalitavistara, a biographical text of the northern School
of Buddhism, it was recorded that the great teacher had lived in the
state of Vesl and tlat le lad tliee lundied uils leaning lis
docuine.
8 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
Taking Instructions from ra
How tle Bodlisaua took insuuctions nom tle sage ia is
described thus: Having gone forth and become a recluse in pursuit
of what is holy and good, seeking the supreme, incomparable peace
of nibbna, I diew to wleie ia Klma was and addiessed lim
tlus: Fiiend Klma, I wisl to lead tle loly life undei youi docuine
and disciline. Wlen I lad tlus addiessed lim ia ielied. Fiiend
Gotama is welcome. Of sucl a natuie is tlis docuine tlat in a sloit
time, an intelligent man can realise for himself and abide in what his
teaclei las iealised as lis own. Ahei tlese woids of encouiagement,
ia gave lim iactical insuuctions on tle metlod.
Reassuring Words
ias statement tlat lis docuine, if iactised as tauglt, could
be realised soon by oneself was very reassuring, and inspired
condence. A iagmatic docuine is uustwoitly and convincing only
if it could be realised by oneself, and in a short time. The sooner the
iealisation is ossible, tle moie leaitening it will be. Tle Bodlisaua
was tlus satised witl ias woids, and tlis tlouglt aiose in lim.
It is not by meie faitl tlat ia announces tlat le las leained tle
Dlamma, ia las suiely iealised tle Dlamma limself, le knows
and understands it.
Tlat was uue. ia did not cite any texts as autloii[. He did
not say tlat le lad leaid it nom otleis. He cleaily stated tlat le
had realised himself what he knew personally. A meditation teacher
must be able to declare his conviction boldly like him. Without having
practised the Dhamma personally, without having experienced and
realised it in a personal way, to claim to be a teacher in mediation,
to teacl and wiite books about it, ahei just leaining nom tle texts
on meditation methods, is most incongruous and improper. It is like
a lysician iesciibing medicine not yet clinically tested and uied
by him, and which he dare not administer on himself. Such teachings
and publications are surely undependable and uninspiring. However,
ia tauglt boldly wlat le lad iealised limself. Tle Bodlisaua
was fully impressed by him, and the thought arose in him. Not only
ia las faitl, I also lave faitl, not only ia las eneigy,
mindfulness, concenuation, wisdom, I also lave tlem. Tlen le
Approaching the Sage Udaka 9
suove foi tle iealisation of tlat Dlamma tlat ia declaied le lad
learned and realised for himself. In no time he learned the Dhamma
that led him as far as the jhnic stage of nothingness.
He tlen aioacled ia Klma and asked lim wletlei tle
realm of nothingness, which he had claimed to have realised himself
and live in ossession of, was tle same stage tlat tle Bodlisaua lad
now ieacled. ia ielied, Tlis is as fai as my teacling leads,
which I have declared to have realised and abide in the possession
of it, tle same stage as niend Gotama las ieacled. Tlen le uueied
these words of praise. Friend Gotama is a supremely distinguished
eison. Tle iealm of notlingness is not easily auainable. Yet you
lave iealised it in no time. It is uuly wondeiful. Foitunate we aie
that we should meet such a distinguished ascetic as your reverence.
As I have realised the Dhamma, so you have realised it too. As you
have learnt it, so I have learnt to the same extent as you. Friend
Gotama is my equal in Dlamma. We lave a laige communi[ leie.
Come, niend, let us togetlei diiect tlis comany of disciles.
Tlus ia, tle teaclei, set u tle Bodlisaua, lis uil as a
comlete equal to limself and lonouied tle Bodlisaua by delegating
to lim tle task of guiding one lundied and uils, wlicl was
exactly lalf of tle disciles undei lis insuuction.
Howevei, tle Bodlisaua stayed tleie only foi a sloit time. Wlile
staying tleie, tlis tlouglt occuiied to lim, Tlis docuine does not
lead to aversion, to the abatement and cessation of passion, to
quiescence for higher knowledge and full enlightenment nor to
nibbna, tle end of sueiing, but only as fai as tle auainment of tle
realm of nothingness. Once there, a long life of 60,000 world cycles
follows and ahei exiiing nom tleie, one ieaeais in sensual iealms,
and undeigoes sueiing again. It is not tle docuine of tle undying
tlat I seek. Tlus becoming indieient to tle iactice tlat led only
to the jhnic realm of nothingness he abandoned it and departed
nom ias meditation cenue.
Approaching the Sage Udaka
Ahei leaving tlat lace, tle Bodlisaua was on lis own foi some
time, uisuing tle suieme atl of uanquili[ to ieacl tle deatlless
nibbna. Tlen tle fame of Udaka Rmauua, (tle son of Rma, tle
discile of tle sage Rma) ieacled lim. He came to wleie Udaka
10 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
was and sought to lead the religious life under the dhamma and
disciline of tle sage Rma. His exeiiences undei tle guidance of
Udaka, low Udaka exlained tle dlamma, low tle Bodlisaua was
imiessed witl tlat docuine, and iactised it, low le iealised tle
dhamma and recounted to Udaka what he had gained, is described
in almost exactly the same words as before.
We lave, lowevei, to note caiefully tlat Udaka Rmauua, as lis
name imlied, was a son of Rma oi a discile of Rma. Tle sage
Rma was accomlisled to go tliougl all tle eiglt stages of jhna
and reached the highest jhnic realm of neither perception nor
non-eicetion. Howevei, wlen tle Bodlisaua ieacled wleie Udaka
was, tle old sage Rma was no moie. Tleiefoie in asking Udaka
about Rmas auainments, le used tle ast tense pavedesi. How far
does tlis docuine lead conceining wlicl Rma declaied tlat le lad
realised it for himself and entered upon it?
Then there is the account of how this thought occurred to the
Bodlisaua: It is not only Rma wlo lad faitl, indusuy, mindfulness,
concenuation, and wisdom. I also lave tlem. Tleie is also tlis
passage where it was stated that Udaka set him up as a teacher. You
know tlis docuine and Rma knew tlis docuine. You aie tle same
as Rma and Rma was tle same as you. Come, niend Gotama, lead
this following and be their teacher. Again the passage where the
Bodlisaua iecounted Udaka, tle discile of Rma, altlougl my
companion in the holy-life, set me up as his teacher.
Tlese textual iefeiences make it cleai tlat tle Bodlisaua did not
meet tle sage Rma, but only witl Rmas discile, Udaka wlo
exlained to lim tle docuine iactised by Rma. Tle Bodlisaua
followed the method as described by Udaka and was able to realise
the stage of neither perception nor non-perception. Having learnt
tle docuine limself and iealised and enteied uon tle iealm of
neitlei eicetion noi non-eicetion like tle sage Rma, le was
invited by Udaka to accept the leadership of the company.
Where Udaka resided and how big his following was, is not
mentioned in tle Tleiavda liteiatuie. Howevei, tle Lalitavistaia,
the biography of the Buddha of Northern Buddhism, states that
Udakas cenue was in tle disuict of Rjagala and tlat le lad a
comany seven lundied suong. It is to be noted tlat at tle time of
meeting tle Bodlisaua, Udaka limself lad not yet auained tle jhna
Exeme Austerities in the Uruvela Forest 11
of neither perception nor non-perception. He explained to the
Bodlisaua only wlat Rma lad aclieved. So wlen tle Bodlisaua
proved himself to be the equal of his master by realising the stage of
neitlei eicetion noi non-eicetion, le oeied tle Bodlisaua tle
leadership of the whole company. According to the Subcommentary
(k) le latei suove laid, emulating tle examle set by tle
Bodlisaua, and nally auained tle liglest jhnic stage of neither
perception nor non-perception.
Tle Bodlisaua iemained as a leadei of tle comany at tle cenue
only foi a sloit time. It soon occuiied to lim, Tlis docuine does
not lead to aversion, to absence of passion nor to quiescence for
gaining knowledge, suieme wisdom, and nibbna, but only as fai
as the realm of neither perception nor non-perception. Once there,
a long life of 84,000 world cycles is enjoyed only to come back again
to tle sensual iealm, and be subject to mucl sueiing. Tlis is not
tle docuine of tle deatlless tlat I seek. Tlen becoming indieient
to tle docuine, wlicl leads only to tle iealm of neitlei eicetion
noi non-eicetion, le gave it u and deaited nom Udakas cenue.
Extreme Austerities in the Uruvela Forest
Ahei le leh tle cenue, tle Bodlisaua wandeied about tle land
of Mgadla, seaicling on lis own tle eeiless atl of uanquili[,
tle deatlless nibbna. Duiing lis wandeiings le came to tle foiest
of Uiuvela neai tle laige village of Sennigama. In tle foiest le saw
cleai watei owing in tle iivei Neiajai. Perceiving a delightful
sot, a seiene dense giove, a cleai owing sueam witl a village
nearby, which would serve as an alms resort, it occurred to him:
Tiuly tlis is a suitable lace foi one intent on suiving, and le stayed
on in the forest.
At tlat time tle Bodlisaua lad not yet woiked out a iecise
system of iiglt suuggle. austeie iactices weie, of couise, widely
known and in vogue throughout India at that time. Concerning these
iactices tliee similes came to tle mind of tle Bodlisaua.
A log of say wood neslly cut nom a sycamoie uee and soaked
in watei cannot ioduce ie by being iubbed witl a similai iece of
wet sappy wood or with a piece of some other wood. Just so, while
still entangled with objects of sensual desires such as wife and family,
while delighting in passionate pleasures and lustful desires are not
12 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
yet silenced witlin, lowevei suenuously someone suives, le is
incapable of wisdom, insight, and incomparable full awakening. This
was tle ist simile tlat occuiied to tle Bodlisaua.
Even if the sycamore log is not soaked in water, but is still green
and say being neslly nom tle uee it will also not ioduce any
ie by niction. Just so, even if le las abandoned tle objects of sensual
desires such as wife and family and they are no longer near him, if
he still delights in thoughts of passionate pleasures, and lustful
desires still arise in him, he is incapable of wisdom, insight, or full
awakening. This is the second simile.
According to the Commentary this simile has a reference to the
practices of the Brahmadhammika ascetics. Those Brahmins led a
loly ascetic life nom youtl to tle age of foi[ eiglt wlen tley went
back to maiiied life in oidei to ieseive tle continui[ of tleii clan.
Thus while they were practising the holy life, they would have been
tainted with lustful thoughts.
The third simile concerns a dry sapless log not soaked in water. A
log of diy wood will kindle ie wlen iubbed against anotlei.
Similarly, having abandoned objects of sensual desires and weaned
limself of lustful tlouglts and ciavings, le is caable of auaining
wisdom, insiglt, and full awakening, wletlei le iactises exueme
austeii[ oi wletlei le suives ainlessly witlout toituiing limself.
Extreme Austerity of Crushing the Mind
Of the two methods open to him according to the third simile,
tle Bodlisaua consideied following tle atl of austeii[, Wlat if,
with my teeth clenched and my tongue cleaving the palate, I should
iess down, consuain, and ciusl tle natuially aiising tlouglts witl
my mind.
Tle Pi text quoted leie coiiesonds witl tle text in tle
Vitakkasalna Suua.

However, the method of crushing the thought


witl tle mind as desciibed in tle Vitakkasalna Suua was one
iesciibed by tle Buddla ahei auaining Enligltenment. As sucl, it
involves banishment of a lustful thought that arises of its own accord
by noting its appearance as an exercise of insight meditation in
accoidance witl tle Satialna Suua and otlei similai texts. Tle
method of crushing the thought with the mind as described here

M.i.119.
Absorption Resaining the Breath 13
iefeis to tle iactical exeicises eifoimed by tle Bodlisaua befoie
le auained tle knowledge of tle Middle Patl and is, tleiefoie, at
odds witl tle Satialna metlod.
However, the Commentarys interpretation implies suppression
of evil thoughts with moral thoughts. If this interpretation is correct,
tlis metlod, being in accoid witl tle Satialna Suua and otlei
texts, would lave iesulted in Enligltenment foi tle Bodlisaua.
Actually, tlis metlod led lim only to exueme sueiing and not to
Buddlalood. Otlei austeie iactices taken u aheiwaids also
meiely led tle Bodlisaua into wiong atls.
Tle austeie iactices followed by tle Bodlisaua at tlat time
appear to be somewhat like that of mind annihilation being practised
nowadays by followers of a certain school of Buddhism. During our
missionaiy uavels in Jaan, we visited a laige temle wleie a numbei
of people were engaged in meditation exercises. Their meditation
metlod consists of blouing out tle tlouglt wlenevei it aiises. Tlus
emtied of mental activi[, tle end of tle ioad is ieacled, namely,
nothingness. The procedure is as follows:-
Young Malyna monks sat cioss-legged in a iow, about six in
number. The abbot went round showing them the stick with which
le would beat tlem. Ahei a wlile le ioceeded to administei one
blow on the back of each meditator. It was explained that while being
beaten it was possible that mind disappeared altogether resulting in
notlingness. Tiuly a suange docuine. Tlis is, in fact, annililation of
thought by crushing it with mind, presumably the same technique
emloyed by tle Bodlisaua to ciusl tle tlouglt witl tle mind by
clencling tle teetl. Tle eoit ioved veiy ainful foi lim and sweat
oozed nom lis aimits, but no sueiioi knowledge was auained.
Absorption Restraining the Breath
Tlen it occuiied to tle Bodlisaua, Wlat if I conuol iesiiation
and concenuate on tle bieatlless jhna. With that thought he
iesuained tle in and out bieatls tliougl tle moutl and nose. Witl
the holding of respiration by the mouth and nose, there was a roar
in the ears due to the rushing out of the air just like the bellows of a
foige making a ioaiing noise. Tleie was intense bodily sueiing,
but tle Bodlisaua was ielentless. He leld lis bieatl, not only of tle
mouth and nose, but also of the ears. As a result, violent winds rushed
14 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
u to tle ciown of tle lead, causing ains as if a suong man lad
split open the head with a mallet, as if a powerful man were
tigltening a iougl leatlei sua aiound tle lead. Violent winds
pushed around in the belly causing pain like being cut by a sharp
butchers knife. There was intense burning in the belly as if roasted
ovei a it of live coals. Tle Bodlisaua oveicome lysically by ain
and sueiing, fell down in exlaustion and lay still. Wlen tle deities
saw him lying prone, they said, The monk Gotama is dead. Other
deities said, The monk Gotama is neither dead nor dying. He is just
lying still, dwelling in the state of Arahantship. In spite of all these
ainful eoits no liglei knowledge was gained.
Extreme Austerity of Fasting
So it occuiied to lim, Wlat if I suive still laidei entiiely
abstaining nom food. Knowing lis tlouglts, tle deities said, Please,
deai Gotama, do not entiiely abstain nom food, if you do so, we will
infuse heavenly nourishment through the pores of your skin. You
can live on tlat. Tlen it occuiied to tle Bodlisaua, If I claim to be
fasting completely, but these deities should thus sustain me, that
would be foi me a lie, tlus tle Bodlisaua iejected tle deities oei,
saying that he refused to be infused with divine nourishment.
Then he decided to take less and less nourishment,
only as mucl bean sou as will t tle lollow of one
land. Living, tlus, on about ve oi six soonfuls of
bean soup each day, the body reached a state of
exueme emaciation. Tle limbs witleied, only skin,
sinews, and bones remained. The vertebrae pro-
uuded. Tle widely seaiated bones juued out,
presenting an ungainly, ghastly appearance just as
in images of tle Bodlisaua undeigoing exueme austeii[.

The eyes,
sliunk down in tleii sockets, looked like tle ieection nom watei
sunk deep in a well. The scalp had shrivelled up like a gourd withered
in tle sun. Tle emaciation was so exueme tlat if le auemted to
feel the belly skin, he touched the spine; if he felt for the spine, he
toucled tle belly skin. Wlen le auemted to evacuate tle bowels
oi make watei, tle eoit was so ainful tlat le fell foiwaid on lis
face, so weakened was le tliougl tlis exuemely scan[ diet.

Illusation: Fasting Buddla (Emaciated Buddla), Kuslan Dynas[, Gandlaia


(Pakistan), 2nd-3rd century, schist. Lahore Museum, Punjab, Pakistan.
Mras Persuasion 15
Seeing tlis exuemely emaciated body of tle Bodlisaua, eole
said, The monk Gotama is black. Others said, The monk Gotama
is dark brown. Others said, The monk Gotama has the brown blue
coloui of a toiedo sl. So mucl lad tle cleai, biiglt, golden coloui
of his skin deteriorated.
Mras Persuasion
Wlile tle Bodlisaua suove laid and iactised exueme austeii[
to subdue limself, Mia came and addiessed tle Bodlisaua
eisuasively in beguiling woids of i[. Fiiend Gotama, you lave
gone very thin and assumed an ungainly appearance. You are now
in the presence of death. There is only one chance in a thousand for
you to live. Fiiend Gotama! Tiy to iemain alive. Life is beuei tlan
death. If you live, you can do good deeds and gain merits.
Tle meiitoiious deeds mentioned leie by Mia lave no iefeience
wlatsoevei to tle meiits acciuing nom acts of claii[ and obseivance
of precepts, practices which lead to the path of liberation; nor to
meiits tlat iesult nom tle develoment of insiglt and tle auainment
of the Path.
Mia knew only about meiits gained by leading a loly life,
abstaining nom sexual inteicouise and woisliing loly ies. Tlese
practices were believed in those times to lead to a noble, prosperous
life in futuie existences. Howevei, tle Bodlisaua was not enamouied
witl tle blessings of existences, so le ielied to Mia, I do not need
even an iota of the merits of which you speak. Go and talk of merit
to those who need it.
A misconcetion las aiisen conceining tlis uueiance of tle
Bodlisaua tlat le was not in need of any meiits. It is tlat meiitoii-
ous deeds are to be abandoned, not to be sought for nor carried out
by one seeking ielease nom tle cycle of existences like tle Bodlisaua.
A person once approached me and sought elucidation on this point.
I exlained to lim tlat wlen Mia was talking about meiit, le did
not lave in mind tle meiits acciued nom acts of claii[, obseivance
of precepts, the development of insight through meditation or
auainment of tle Patl. He could not know of tlem. Noi was tle
Bodlisaua in ossession tlen of iecise knowledge of tlese meiito-
iious iactices, only tlat tle Bodlisaua was tlen engaged in
austeiities, taking tlem to be noble. Tlus wlen Bodlisaua said to
16 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
Mia, I do not need any meiit, le was not iefeiiing to tle
meiitoiious iactices tlat lead to nibbna, but only to sucl deeds as
were then believed to assure pleasurable existences. The Commentary
supports this view. It states that in saying, I do not need any merit,
tle Bodlisaua meant only tle meiit of wlicl Mia soke, namely,
acts of merit that are productive of future existences. It can thus be
concluded that no question arises of abandonment of meritorious
iactices tlat will lead to nibbna.
At tlat time tle Bodlisaua was still woiking undei tle delusion
tlat austeie iactices weie tle means of auaining liglei knowledge.
Thus he said, This wind that blows can dry up the waters of the
iivei. So wlile I suive suenuously wly slould it not diy u my
blood? When the blood dries up, bile and phlegm will run dry. As
tle esl gets wasted too, my mind will become cleaiei mindful-
ness, concenuation, and wisdom will be moie imly establisled.
Mia was also undei tle wiong imiession tlat abstention nom
food would lead to liberation and higher knowledge. It was this
anxie[ tlat motivated lim to coax tle Bodlisaua away nom
following the path of starvation. With the same wrong notion, the
giou of ve ascetics waited uon lim, auending to all lis needs,
hoping that this abstemious practices would lead to Buddhahood
and intending to be tle ist ieciients of lis teacling on libeiation.
It is clear therefore that it was a universal belief in those days that
exueme self-moitication was tle iiglt atl to Enligltenment.
Right Reasoning
Ahei leading tle life of exueme self-moitication foi six yeais
witlout any benecial iesults, tle Bodlisaua began to ieason tlus:
Whatever ascetics or brahmins in the past had felt painful, racking,
ieicing feeling tliougl iacticing self-moitication, it may equal
tlis sueiing, but not exceed it. Wlatevei ascetics oi bialmins in tle
future will feel painful, racking, piercing feeling though the practice
of self-moitication, it may equal tlis sueiing, but not exceed it,
whatever ascetics or brahmins in the present feel painful, racking,
ieicing feelings tliougl tle iactice of self-moitication it may equal
tlis sueiing, but not exceed it. Howevei, by tlis giuelling asceticism
I lave not auained any distinction liglei tlan oidinaiy luman
achievements. I have not gained the Noble Ones knowledge and
Absorption While an Infant 17
vision, wlicl could uioot tle delements. Miglt tleie be anotlei
way to Enligltenment aait nom tlis atl of self-moitication'
Tlen tle Bodlisaua tlouglt of tle time wlen, as an infant, le sat
alone undei tle slade of a iose-ale uee, enteiing and absoibed in
tle ist jhnic stage of meditation, while his father King Suddhodana
was engaged in tle ceiemonial lougling of tle neaiby elds. He
wondeied wletlei tlis metlod miglt be tle iiglt way to uutl!
Absorption While an Infant
Tle Bodlisaua was boin on tle full moon of May. It aeaied
that the royal ploughing ceremony was held sometime in June or
July a month or two later. The infant child was laid down on a couch
of magnicent clotls, undei tle slade of a iose-ale uee. An
enclosuie was tlen foimed by seuing u cuitains aiound tle
temoiaiy nuiseiy, witl ioyal auendants iesectfully watcling ovei
the royal infant. As the royal ploughing ceremony progressed in
magnicent om and slendoui, witl tle king limself aitaking
in tle festivities, tle ioyal auendants weie diawn to tle slendid
scene of activities going on in tle neaiby elds. Tlinking tlat tle
ioyal baby lad fallen aslee, tley leh lim lying secuie in tle
enclosuie and went to enjoy tle ceiemony. Tle infant Bodlisaua, on
looking aiound and not seeing any auendant, sat u nom tle coucl
and remained seated with his legs crossed. By virtue of habit-forming
practices throughout many life-times, he instinctively started
contemplating the incoming and outgoing breathes. He was soon
establisled in tle ist absoition, wlicl is claiacteiised by ve
factors: initial application, sustained application, joy, bliss, and
one-pointedness.
Tle auendants lad been gone foi some time, lost in tle festivities.
Wlen tley ietuined, tle sladows of tle uees lad moved witl tle
assage of time. Howevei, tle slade of tle iose-ale uee undei
wlicl tle infant was leh lying was found to lave iemained steadfast
witlout slihing. Tley saw tle infant Bodlisaua siuing motionless
on tle coucl. King Suddlodana, wlen infoimed, was suuck by tle
sectacle of tle unmoving sladow and tle still, siuing ostuie of
the child and in great awe, he made obeisance to his son.
Tle Bodlisaua iecalled tle exeiience of absoition in bieatling
meditation he had gained in childhood, and thought, Might that be
18 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
tle way to tle uutl' Following u tlat memoiy, tleie came tle
realisation that method was the right way to Enlightenment.
The jhnic exeiiences weie so leasuiable tlat tle Bodlisaua
tlouglt to limself. Am I anaid of tle leasuies of jhna? Then he
tlouglt: No, I am not anaid of sucl leasuies.
Resumption of Normal Meals
Tlen it occuiied to tle Bodlisaua: It is not ossible to auain
absorption with a body so emaciated. What if I take some solid food,
like I used to take. Tlus lysically nouiisled and suengtlened, I
will be able to woik to auain tle absoitions. Seeing lim aitaking
of solid food, tle giou of ve ascetics misundeistood lis actions.
Tley weie foimeily ioyal asuologeis wlo lad iedicted, at tle time
of his birth, that he would become a Fully Enlightened Buddha.
Tleie weie eiglt ioyal asuologeis at lis biitl. Wlen asked to
predict what the future held for the royal infant, three of them raised
two ngeis eacl and made ionouncements tlat tle infant would
grow up to be a Universal Monarch or an Omniscient Buddha. The
iemaining ve iaised only one ngei eacl to give a single inteiie-
tation that the child would undoubtedly become a Buddha.
Accoiding to tle Psaisi Suua Commentaiy,

tlese ve couit
asuologeis foisook tle woild befoie tley got enclained to tle
household life and took to the forest to lead a holy life. However, the
Buddlavasa Commentaiy and some otlei texts stated tlat seven
asuologeis iaised two ngeis eacl giving double inteiietations
while the youngest Brahmin, who would in time become the
Veneiable Koaa, iaised only one ngei and made tle denite
prediction that the child was a future Buddha.
This young Brahmin together with the sons of four other Brahmins
lad gone foitl nom tle woild and banded togetlei to foim tle giou
of ve ascetics, wlo weie awaiting tle Gieat Renunciation of tle
Bodlisaua. Wlen news ieacled tlem tlat tle Bodlisaua was
iacticing exueme austeiities in tle Uiuvela foiest, tley jouineyed
tleie and became lis auendants, loing tlat wlen le aclieved
Enlightenment, he will share his knowledge with them, and they
would be tle ist to leai tle message.

MA.i.187.
The Enlightenment 19
Wlen tle ve ascetics saw tle Bodlisaua aitaking of solid food,
they were disappointed. They thought, If living on a handful of pea
soup has not led him to higher knowledge, how could he expect to
auain tlat by eating solid food again' Tley misjudged tlat le lad
abandoned tle suuggle and ieveited to tle luxuiious way of life to
gain iicles and eisonal gloiy. Tlus tley leh lim in disgust and
went to stay in the deer sanctuary in the township of Benares.
The Enlightenment
Tle deaituie of tle ve ascetics aoided tle Bodlisaua tle
ooituni[ to suuggle foi nal libeiation in comlete solitude. Tle
Commentaiy on tle Malsaccaka Suua

gives a description of how,


working alone with no one near him, for a full fortnight, seated on
tle tlione of wisdom, undei tle uee of Enligltenment, le auained
Omniscience, the Enlightenment of a Buddha.
Tle Bodlisaua lad gone foitl at tle age of twen[-nine and sent
six yeais iactising exueme austeii[. Now at tle age of tlii[-ve,
still youtlful and in good lealtl, witlin heen days of iesuming
iegulai meals, lis body iecoveied its foimei suengtl, and le
iegained tle tlii[-two lysical claiacteiistics of a gieat man.
Having tlus iegained lis suengtl tliougl noimal nouiislment, tle
Bodlisaua iactised tle in-bieatling and out-bieatling meditation,
and iemained absoibed in tle bliss of tle ist jhna, which was
characterised by initial application, sustained application, joy, bliss,
and one-pointedness. Then he entered the second jhna, which was
accompanied by joy, bliss, and one-pointedness. At the third stage
of jhna, he enjoyed only bliss and one-pointedness, and at the fourth
stage, only equanimi[ and one-ointedness.
Early on the full moon day of May in the year 103 of the Great
Era i.e. 2,551 yeais ago counting back nom 1962, le sat down undei
tle Bodli Tiee neai tle maiket town of Sennigama awaiting tle
loui of going foi alms. At tlat time, Sujt, tle daugltei of a iicl
man nom tle village, was making ieaiations to give an oeiing
to tle uee-siiit of tle Bodli uee. Sle sent lei maid alead to tidy
u tle aiea undei tle siead of tle sacied uee. At tle siglt of tle
Bodlisaua seated undei tle uee, tle maid tlouglt tlat tle dei[ lad
made limself visible to ieceive tleii oeiing in eison. Sle ian back

M.A.i.291.
20 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
in gieat excitement to infoim lei misuess. Sujt ut tle milk-iice
that she had cooked early in the morning in a golden bowl worth a
hundred thousand pieces of money, covering the same with another
golden bowl. She then proceeded with the bowls to the foot of the
Banyan uee wleie tle Bodlisaua iemained seated and ut tle bowls
into tle lands of tle Bodlisaua saying, May youi wisl succeed as
mine has. So saying she departed.
Sujt, on becoming a maiden, lad made a iayei at tle banyan
uee, If I get a lusband of equal status witl myself and if my ist
boin is a son, I will make an oeiing. Hei iayei lad been fullled
and lei oeiing of milk-iice tlat day was intended foi tle uee dei[
in fullment of lei iomise. Howevei, latei wlen sle leaint tlat tle
Bodlisaua lad gained Enligltenment ahei taking tle milk-iice
oeied by lei, sle was oveijoyed witl tle tlouglt tlat sle lad done
a noble deed of the greatest merit.
Tle Bodlisaua tlen went down to tle iivei Neiajai to batle.
Ahei batling, le foimed tle milk-iice oeied by Sujt into foi[-nine
morsels and ate it. The meal over, he discarded the golden bowl in
the river saying, If I am to become a Buddha today, let the bowl go
usueam. Tle bowl diihed usueam foi a consideiable distance
against tle swih owing cuiient, and on ieacling tle abode of tle
nga-king Kla, sank into tle iivei below tle bowls of tle tliee
previous Buddhas (tia buddhna thlni ukkhipitv ahsi).
Tle Bodlisaua iested tle wlole day in tle foiest glade neai tle
bank of tle iivei. As evening fell, le went towaids tle Bodli uee,
meeting on tle way a giass-cuuei named Souiya wlo gave lim eiglt
handfuls of grass. In India, holy men used to prepare a place to sit
and slee on by sieading sleaves of giass. Tle Bodlisaua siead
tle giass undei tle uee on tle eastein side. Tlen witl tle solemn
iesolution, I will not stii nom tlis seat until I lave auained suieme
wisdom, he sat down cross-legged, facing east.
At tlis oint Mia aeaied and contested foi tle seat undei tle
Bodli uee witl a view to oose lis iesolution and ievent lim
nom auaining Buddlalood. By invoking tle viitues le lad accumu-
lated tliougl ages, fullling tle ten eifections sucl as claii[, le
oveicame tle obsuuction made by Mia befoie tle sun lad set. Ahei
tlus vanquisling Mia, tle Bodlisaua acquiied tliougl jhna, in
tle ist watcl of tle niglt, tle knowledge of ievious existences, in
Considering to Whom to Give the First Discourse 21
the middle watch of the night, the divine eye; and in the last watch
of the night he contemplated the law of Dependent Origination
followed by the development of insight into the arising and ceasing
of tle ve aggiegates of auaclment. Tlis insiglt gave lim in
succession tle knowledge eitaining to tle foui Patls, nally
resulting in full Enlightenment or Omniscience.
Having become a Fully Enlightened One, he spent seven days on
tle tlione of wisdom undei tle Bodli uee and seven days eacl at
six otlei laces, foi[-nine days in all, enjoying tle bliss of tle
Arahantship and pondering his newly discovered Dhamma.
Extreme Austerity Is a Form of Self-mortification
Tle hl week was sent undei tle Goat-leids Banyan uee
(Ajala) and wlile tleie le ieected on lis abandonment of tle
austeie iactices:- Deliveied am I nom tle austeie iactices tlat
cause lysical ain and sueiing. It is well tlat Im deliveied of tlat
uniotable iactice of austeii[. How deligltful it is to be libeiated
and have gained Enlightenment.
Mia, wlo lad been closely following eveiy tlouglt and action
of tle Bodlisaua, evei aleit to accuse lim of any lases, immediately
addiessed tle Buddla, Aait nom tle austeie iactices, tleie is no
way to uii( beings, Gotama las deviated nom tle atl of uii[.
Wlile still deled, le wiongly believes tlat le las aclieved uii[.
Tle Buddla ielied, All tle exueme iactices of austeii[
emloyed witl a view to aclieve tle deatlless aie useless, uniot-
able much as oars, paddles, and pushing poles are useless on sand
banks. Fully convinced tlat tley aie uniotable, I lave abandoned
all foims of self-moitication (aakilamathnuyoga).
Tle Commentaiy also mentions tlat exueme iactices sucl as
fasting oi nakedness constitute self-moitication. Tlat exueme austeii[
is a foim of self-moitication slould be caiefully noted leie foi beuei
comielension of tle Dlammacakka Suua wlen we deal witl it.
Considering to Whom to Give the First Discourse
Having sent seven days eacl at seven dieient laces, le went
back to tle Goat-leids Banyan uee on tle hietl day. Seated undei
tle uee, le consideied, To wlom slould I ist teacl tle Dlamma'
Who would quickly comprehend it? Then it occurred to him, There
22 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
is ia Klma wlo is leained, intelligent, and wise. He las long
been a eison witl liule dust of delement in lis eye of wisdom. If
I teacl tle docuine to ia Klma ist le would quickly comie-
hend this Dhamma.
It is signicant tlat tle Buddla uied to seek out someone wlo
would understand his teaching quickly. It is vital to inaugurate new
meditation cenues witl devotees wlo aie endowed witl faitl, eneigy,
energy, mindfulness, and wisdom. Only such devotees as possess
these virtues can achieve insight quickly and become shining
examles foi otleis to follow. Devotees lacking abili[ oi enfeebled
in mind and body through age can hardly be a source of inspiration
to otleis. Wlen I ist staited teacling Satialna Viassan
Meditation, I was fortunate in being able to start with three persons
(my relatives actually) endowed with exceptional faculties. They
acquired the knowledge of arising and passing away (udayabbaya-
a) within three days of practice and were overjoyed with seeing
lights and visions accompanied by feelings of rapture and bliss. Such
seedy auainment of iesults las been iesonsible foi tle woild-wide
dissemination of tle Malsi Viassan Meditation teclnique.
Tlus tle Buddla tlouglt of ist teacling someone wlo would
quickly gias it. Wlen le consideied ia Klma, a dei[ addiessed
lim, Loid, ia Klma assed away seven days ago. Tlen
knowledge and vision aiose to tle Buddla tlat ia lad indeed
passed away seven days ago and had by virtue of his jhnic
achievements reached the realm of nothingness, (kicayatana).
Missing the Path and Fruition by Seven Days
Gieat is tle loss to ia tle Klma, tlouglt tle Buddla. ia
was developed enough to readily understand. Had he heard the
teacling le could lave gained tle Patl and auained Aialantsli
instantly. However, his early death has deprived him of this oppor-
tuni[. In tle iealm of notlingness, wleie only mental states exist
witlout any foims, le could not benet even if tle Buddla lad gone
there and taught him the Dhamma. The life-span in the realm of
notlingness is also veiy long being six[ tlousand aeons. Ahei
expiring there, he would be reborn in the human realm, but would
miss the teachings of the Buddha. Thus as a common worldling, he
would remain in the cycles of existence, sometimes sinking to the
Journey to Give the First Sermon 23
netlei woild to face gieat sueiings. Tlus tle Buddla saw tlat tle
loss to ia was veiy gieat.
It is possible in present times that there are people deserving of
liglei auainments, assing away witlout tle ooituni[ of leaiing
about tle Satialna meditation metlod, oi tlougl laving leaid
it tauglt, wlo lave not yet made tle eoit to iactise it. Tle good
people assembled here now listening to what I am teaching should
be caieful tlat a iaie ooituni[ foi tleii siiitual develoment is
not wasted.
Missing the Great Chance by One Night
Tlen tle Buddla tlouglt of teacling tle ist discouise to Udaka,
tle son (uil) of tle gieat sage Rma. Again a dei[ addiessed tle
Buddla, Loid, Udaka Rmauua assed away last niglt. Knowl-
edge and vision arose to the Buddha that the hermit Udaka had
indeed died last niglt in tle ist watcl and by viitue of lis jhnic
achievements had reached the realm of neither perception nor
non-perception, (nevasansayatana). This realm is also a state
of immateiiali[, a foimless state and its life-san extends to
eigl[-foui tlousand woild cycles. Tlis is tle noblest, tle lohiest of
tle tlii[-one lanes of existence, but tle Dlamma cannot be leaid
tleie. On aeaiing again in tle luman woild, Rmauua was
alieady so liglly develoed tlat le could instantly auain Aialant-
ship if he could but listen to the Dhamma. However, he would get
no sucl ooituni[, laving missed it by dying one niglt too eaily.
Tle Buddla was tlus moved again to uuei in i[, Gieat is tle loss
to tle leimit Udaka, tle son (uil) of tle gieat sage Rma.
Tle Buddla tlouglt again to wlom le slould give lis ist
discouise. Tle giou of ve ascetics aeaied in lis divine vision
and he saw them living then in the deer sanctuary in the township
of Benares.
Journey to Give the First Sermon
The Blessed One set out to go there. Some previous Enlightened
Ones had made the same journey by means of psychic powers.
However, our Buddha, Gotama, proceeded on foot for the purpose
of meeting, on the way, the naked ascetic Upaka to whom he had
something to impart.
24 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
Tle Buddlavasa and Jtaka Commentaiies state tlat tle Blessed
One started the journey on the full-moon of July. However, as the
deer sanctuary, Benares, was eighteen leagues (yojana) or about 144
miles away nom tle Bodli uee and as tle Blessed One was making
the journey on foot, the distance could not have been covered in one
day unless done with the help of psychic powers. It would be
aioiiate, tleiefoie, if we xed tle staiting date on tle sixtl
waxing of July.
Meeting Upaka the Naked Ascetic
Tle Blessed One lad not gone fai nom tle Bodli Tiee on tle way
to Gy (6 miles) wlen le came uon tle naked ascetic Uaka, a
discile of tle naked ascetic Nigala Nauua. On seeing tle
Blessed One le addiessed lim, Youi countenance niend, is cleai
and serene, your complexion is pure and bright, in whose name have
you gone forth? Who is your teacher? Whose teaching do you profess?
The Blessed One replied:-
Sabbbhibh sabbavidhamasmi,
sabbesu dhammesu anpalio.
Sabbajaho tahkkhaye vimuo,
saya abhiya kamuddiseyya.
I am one who has overcome all,

One wlo knows all, I am detacled nom all tlings,


Having obtained emanciation by tle desuuction of desiie.
Having by myself gained knowledge.
Whom should I call my master?
The Blessed One made known his status more emphatically as
follows:-
Na me cariyo ahi, sadiso me na vijjati.
Sadevakasmi lokasmi, nahi me paipuggalo.
I have no teacher, one like does not exist,
In the world of men and gods, none is my counterpart.
Upon this Upaka wondered whether the Blessed One had gained
Arahantship. The Buddha replied:-

Wlile common woildlings aie aected by wlat is seen oi leaid, ending u in


sueiing, tle Blessed One uanscends all and iemains seiene, countenance cleai.
Truth Is Not Seen if Blinded by Misconception 25
Ahahi arah loke, aha sah anuaro.
Ekomhi sammsambuddho, stibhtosmi nibbuto.
I, indeed, am the Arahant in the world.
A teacher with no peer,
The sole Buddha, Supreme, Enlightened.
All assions extinguisled, I lave gained tle eace of nibbna.
Upaka then asked the Blessed One where he was going, and on
what purpose.
Dhammacakka pavaetu, gacchmi ksina pura.
Andhbhtasmi lokasmi, hacha amatadundubhinti.
To set in motion the Wheel of Dhamma,
I go to tle town of Ksi (Benaies).
In the world of blind beings,
I will beat the drum of the Deathless.
Upon this Upaka asked:- By the way in which you profess
youiself aie you woitly to be called an innite conqueioi (ananta-
jino)? The Buddha replied:-
Mdis ve jin honti, ye pa savakkhaya.
Jit me ppak dhamm, tasmhamupaka jinoti.
Those are conquerors who, like me, have reached the extinction
of cankers. I have vanquished all thoughts, ideas, and notions
of evil (sinfulness). For that reason, Upaka, I am a conqueror,
a victorious one.

Upaka belonged to a sect of naked ascetics under the leadership
of Nauua wlo was addiessed by lis disciles as Tle Conqueioi.
The Blessed One in his reply was explaining that only those who
lave ieally extinguisled tle cankeis, eiadicated tle delements, like
him, are entitled to be called a conqueror.
Truth Is Not Seen if Blinded by Misconception
Ahei tlis declaiation by tle Blessed One tlat le was uuly an
innite conqueioi, tle naked ascetic Uaka muueied, It may be so,
niend, slook lis lead, and giving way to tle Blessed One continued
his journey.

Vin.i.8.
26 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
It is important to note carefully this event of Upakas meeting with
the Buddha. Here was Upaka coming face to face with a Fully
Enlightened Buddha, but he did not realise it. Even when the Blessed
One openly declared that he was indeed a Buddha, Upaka remained
sceptical because he was holding fast to the wrong-views of the naked
ascetics. In these days too there are people who, following wrong
paths, refuse to believe when they hear about the right method of
practice. They show disrespect to, and talk disparagingly about, those
practising and teaching the right method. Such misjudgements
arising out of false beliefs should be carefully avoided.
Even though he did not express complete acceptance of what the
Buddha said, Upaka seems to have departed with some faith in the
Buddla, as le ietuined ahei some time. Ahei leaving tle Buddla,
le latei got maiiied to C, a lunteis daugltei, and wlen a son
was born of the marriage, he wearied of the household life and
became a recluse under the Blessed One. Practising the Buddhas
teaching, he became a Once-returner (angmi). On passing away he
ieacled tle Puie Abode of Avil, wleie le soon auained Aialant-
sli. Foieseeing tlis benecial iesult tlat would acciue out of lis
meeting with Upaka, the Blessed One set out on foot on the long
journey to Benares and answered all of the questions asked by Upaka.
Arrival at Isipatana
Wlen tle giou of ve ascetics saw tle Blessed One at a distance
coming towards them, they made an agreement among themselves
saying, Friends, here comes the monk Gotama who has become
self-indulgent, wlo las given u tle suuggle, and ieveited to a life
of luxury; let us not pay homage to him, nor greet him, and relieve
him of his bowl and robes. However, as he is of noble birth, we will
prepare a seat for him. He will sit down if he is so inclined.
Howevei, as tle Blessed One diew neai, because of lis illusuious
glory, they found themselves unable to keep to their agreement. One
went to greet him and receive the bowl, a second took his robe, a
third prepared a seat for him, a fourth brought water to wash his
feet, wlile tle hl aiianged a foot stool. Howevei, tley all iegaided
the Blessed One as their equal and addressed him as before by his
name Gotama and irreverently with the appellation Friend (vuso).
The Blessed One sat on the prepared seat and spoke to them.
Arrival at Isipatana 27
Monks, do not addiess me by name as Gotama noi as niend. I
have become a Perfect One, worthy of the greatest reverence.
Supremely accomplished like the Buddhas of former times, and Fully
Enlightened. Listen, monks! The Deathless has been gained, the
Immortal has been won by me. I will teach you the Dhamma. If you
iactise as insuucted by me, in no long time, in tle iesent life, you
will, through your own direct knowledge, realise, enter upon, and
abide in Arahantship, the ultimate and noblest goal of the holy life
foi tle sake of wlicl clansmen of good families go foitl nom
household life into homelessness.
Even witl tlis bold assuiance, tle giou of ve monks iemained
incredulous and retorted: Friend Gotama, even with the abstemious
habits and stern austerities that you practised before, you did not
aclieve anytling beyond tle auainments of oidinaiy men noi auain
the sublime knowledge and insight of the Noble Ones, which alone
can desuoy tle delements. Now tlat you lave abandoned tle
austeie iactices and aie woiking foi gains and benets, low will
you lave auained sucl distinction, sucl liglei knowledge'
Tlis is sometling to ondei. Tlese ve monks weie foimeily
couit asuologeis wlo weie fully convinced and lad foietold, soon
ahei lis biitl, tlat tle Bodlisaua would denitely auain Suieme
Enligltenment. Howevei, wlen tle Bodlisaua gave u iivations
and stern exertions, they wrongly thought that Buddhahood was no
longer possible. It could be said that they no longer believed in their
own prophecy. They remained incredulous now that the Blessed One
declared unequivocally that he had won the Deathless, had become
a Fully Enlightened One, because they held to the wrong notion that
exueme austeii[ was tle iiglt way to Enligltenment. Likewise,
nowadays, too, once a wrong notion has been entertained, people
lold fast to it and no amount of exlaining tle uutl will sway tlem
and make tlem believe. Tley even tuin against tlose wlo uy to
bring them to the right path and speak irreverently and disparagingly
of their well-wishers. One should avoid such errors and self-deception.
Witl gieat comassion foi tle giou of ve monks tle Blessed
One spoke to them thus:- Monks, the Perfect One, like those of former
times, is not working for worldly gains, he has not given up the
suuggle, noi abandoned tle uue atl tlat eiadicates tle delements,
he has not reverted to luxury,and declared again that he had become
28 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
a Perfect One, worthy of great reverence, supremely accomplished
and Fully Enlightened. He urged them again to listen to him.
A second time, tle giou of ve monks made tle same ietoit, and
tle Blessed One, iealising tlat tley weie still sueiing nom illusion
and ignoiance, and out of gieat i[ foi tlem gave tlem tle same
answer for the third time.
Wlen tle giou of ve monks eisisted in making tle same
iemonsuations, tle Blessed One soke tlus, Monks, ondei uon
tlis. You and I aie not suangeis, we lived togetlei foi six yeais and
you waited on me wlile I was iactising exueme austeiities. Have
you evei known me seak like tlis' Tle ve monks ieected on
this. They came to realise that he had not spoken thus before because
le lad not auained Higlei Knowledge tlen. Tley began to believe
that he must have acquired the Supreme Knowledge now to speak
to them thus. They replied respect- fully, No. Venerable sir (bhante),
we have not known you speak like this before.
Then the Buddha said, Monks, I have become a Perfect One
worthy of the greatest respect (Araha), supremely accomplished
like tle Buddlas of foimei times (Tatlgata) by my own eoit I lave
become Fully Enligltened (Sammsambuddla), I lave gained tle
Immortal, the Deathless (amatamadhigata). Listen, monks, I will
insuuct you and teacl you tle Dlamma. If you iactise as insuucted
by me, you will in no time and in the present life, through your own
direct knowledge, realise, enter upon, and abide in Arahantship, the
ultimate and the noblest goal of the holy life for the sake of which
clansmen of good families go foitl nom tle louselold life into
homelessness. Thus the Blessed One assured them again.
Tle ve monks became iecetive and ieaied to listen iesect-
fully to what the Buddha would say. They awaited with eagerness
to receive the knowledge to be imparted to them by the Blessed One.
Wlat we lave stated so fai constitutes events selected nom tle
second [e of inuoduction, nom tle inteimediate eiiod. We now
come to events of tle iecent ast, inuoduced witl tle woids, Tlus
have I heard, which gives an account of how the Blessed One began
to set in motion tle Wleel of Dlamma by giving tle ist discouise.
The time was the evening of the full moon of May 2,551 years ago
counting back nom tlis yeai of 1962. Tle sun was about to set, but
still visible as a bright, red sphere; the bright full-moon was rising
Arrival at Isipatana 29
in tle East. Tle Commentaiy on tle Dlammacakka Suua in tle
Sayuuanikya mentions tlat tle ist discouise was given wlile
both the sun and the moon were simultaneously visible in the sky.

Tle audience consisted of only tle ve monks nom tle luman


woild. Howevei, tleie weie 180 million Bialms, and innumeiable
deities, accoiding to tle Milindaala. Tlus wlen tle ve monks
togetlei witl Bialms and deities, wlo weie foitunate enougl to
leai tle ist discouise, weie iesectfully awaiting witl iat auention
tle Blessed One began teacling tle Dlammacakka suua witl tle
words: Dve me, bhikkhave, ant pabbajitena na sevitabb.
Monks, one wlo las gone foitl nom tle woildly life slould
not indulge in tlese two exueme aits.
Here, ant, according to the Commentarial interpretations,
connotes grammatically kohsa or bhga, which means a share
oi oition of tlings. Howevei, in view of tle docuine of tle Middle
Path taught later in the discourse, it is appropriate to render ant
as exueme. Again Pait oi oition of tlings slould not be taken as
any part or portion of things, but only those parts that lie on the two
exuemes. Hence oui uanslation as two exueme aits. Tle Sinlalese
and Siamese Commentaries render it as Lammaka Kohsa meaning
bad ait, wlicl is somewlat similai to tle old Buimese uanslation
of bad tling oi iactice. Tlus it slould be noted ist tlat one wlo
las gone foitl nom tle woildly life slould not indulge in two
exueme aits oi iactices.
Katame dve? Yo cya kmesu kmasukhalliknuyogo hno gammo
pothujjaniko anariyo anahasahito, yo cya aakilamathnu-
yogo dukkho anariyo anahasahito.
Wlat aie tle two exueme iactices' Deliglting in desiiable
sense-objects, one uisues sensual leasuie, makes eoits to
ioduce sucl leasuies and enjoys tlem. Tlis exueme iactice
is inferior; vulgar, being the habit of villagers; common and
worldly, being indulged in by ordinary individuals; ignoble,
lence not uisued by tle Noble Ones, iotless and not
eitaining to ones uue welfaie. Sucl uisuit of sensual
leasuies is one exueme iactice to be avoided.

Pacchimadisya sriyo ahameti, pcnadisya shanakkhaena yuo puacando


uggacchati.
30 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
Pleasurable sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches constitute
desirable sense-objects. Taking delight in such objects and enjoying
them physically and mentally, one pursues sensual pleasures. This
iactice, wlicl foims one exueme iactise, is low, vulgai, common,
ignoble, and uniotable. It slould, tleiefoie, not be followed by
one wlo las gone foitl nom louselold life.
Tle otlei exueme iactice is conceined witl inicting toituie on
oneself, wlicl can iesult only in sueiing. Abstaining nom food and
clotling, wlicl one is noimally used to, is a foim of self-moitication
and is uniotable. Being ignoble, tlis iactice is not uisued by
tle Noble Ones. Neitlei does it eitain to ones uue welfaie. Tlus
tle iactice of self-moitication, being anotlei exueme iactice,
slould also be avoided. Avoiding tlese two exuemes, one aiiives
at tle uue atl known as tle Middle Patl. Tlus tle Blessed One
continued:
Ete kho, bhikkhave, ubho ante anupagamma, majjhim paipad
Tathgatena abhisambuddh, cakkhukara akara upasamya
abhiya sambodhya nibbnya savaati.
Blikklus, avoiding tlese two exueme iactices, tle Tatlgata
has gained the higher knowledge of the Middle Path, which
ioduces vision and knowledge, leads to uanquili[ (tle
stilling of delements), to liglei knowledge, and nibbna (tle
end of all sueiing).
Avoiding tlese two exuemes, by iejecting wiong atls, tle
Middle Patl is ieacled. By following tlis uue atl, Enligltenment
is gained, and nibbna iealised.
How the Middle Path, which is also known as the Noble Eightfold
Patl, ioduces vision and knowledge, and low it leads to uanquili[
and Enlightenment will be dealt with in my discourse next week.
May all good people present in this audience, by virtue of having
given iesectful auention to tlis Gieat Discouise on tle Tuining of
tle Wleel of Dlamma, witl its inuoductions, be able to avoid tle
wiong atl, namely, tle two exuemes and follow tle Noble Eigltfold
Path, thereby gaining vision and higher knowledge which will soon
lead to tle iealisation of nibbna, tle end of all sueiing.
Sdhu! Sdhu! Sdhu!
31
Part Two
Delivered on Saturday, 6th October, 1962.

This discourse was delivered beginning on the new-moon of


Setembei. Tle inuoduction to tle discouise took most of my time
on tlat occasion. I could deal only witl tle oening lines of tle Suua.
Today I will ick u tle tliead nom tleie.
Avoiding the Two Extremes
Dveme, bhikkhave, ant pabbajitena na sevitabb.
Monks, tlese two exueme iactices slould not be followed
by one wlo las gone foitl nom louselold life.
Why shouldnt they be followed? Because the main purpose of
one wlo las gone foitl nom louselold life is to iid limself of
delements sucl as lust and angei. Tlis objective could not be
aclieved by indulging in tlese two exueme iactices, because tley
will tend to promote further accumulations of lust and anger.
Wlat aie tle two exueme iactices' Deliglting in desiiable
sense-objects, pursuing and enjoying sensual pleasures constitutes
one exueme iactice. Tlis iactice is infeiioi, vulgai, being tle labit
of villagers; common and worldly, being indulged in by ordinary
individuals, ignoble, lence not uisued by tle Noble Ones, iotless
and not eitaining to ones uue welfaie. Sucl uisuit of sensual
leasuies is an exueme iactice tlat slould be avoided.
Tleie aie ve kinds of desiiable sense-objects: namely leasuiable
sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches; in brief, all the material
objects, animate or inanimate, enjoyed by people in the world.
Delighting in a seemingly pleasurable sight and enjoying it constitute
tle iactice and uisuit of sensuali[. Heie tle sense-object of siglt
means not merely a source of light or colour that comes into contact
with the eye, but the man, woman, or the whole of the object that
forms the source or origin of that sight. Similarly all sources of sound,
smell, and touch, whether a man, woman, or material objects
constitute sensual objects. As regards taste, not only the various foods,
nuits, and delicacies, but also men and women wlo ieaie and
seive tlem aie classied as objects of taste. Listening to a leasant
sound, smelling a nagiant smell aie as sensual as enjoyment of good,

The 6th Waxing of Thadingyut, 1324, M.E.


32 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
delicious food, the luxury of a comfortable bed or physical contact
with the opposite sex.
Sensual Indulgence Is Inferior and Vulgar
Delighting in sensual pleasures and relishing them is regarded
as a vulgar practice because such enjoyments lead to the formation
of base desires, which are clinging and lustful. It promotes conceit,
with the thought that no one else is in a position to enjoy such
pleasures. At the same time one becomes oppressed with thoughts
of avarice, not wishing to share the good fortune with others, or
overcome by thoughts of jealousy or envy, i.e. wishing to deny similar
pleasures to others.
It arouses ill-will towards those who are thought to be opposed
to oneself. Flusled witl success and auence, one becomes slame-
less and unscrupulous, bold and reckless in ones behaviour, no longer
anaid to do evils. One begins to deceive oneself, witl tle delusion
(moha) of well-being and ioseii[. Tle uninfoimed woildling
(puthujjana) may also come to hold a wrong-view of a living soul
(aa) oi enteitain disbelief in tle eects of ones own actions. Since
these are the outcome of delighting in and relishing sensual pleasures,
they are regarded as inferior and vulgar.
Furthermore, indulgence in sensual pleasures is the habitual
practice of lower forms of beings such as animals or hungry ghosts.
Bhikkhus and recluses, who belong to a higher class of existence
should not stoop so low as lower forms of life in the vulgar practice
of base sensuali[.
The pursuit of sensual pleasures does not lie within the province
of one who has gone forth. It is the concern of the town and village
folks, who regard sensual pleasures as the greatest bliss; the greater
the pleasures, the greater the happiness. In ancient times, rulers and
wealthy people engaged in the pursuit of sensual pleasures. Wars
weie waged and violent conquests made, all foi tle giatication of
sense-desires.
In modern times too, similar conquests are still being made, in
some areas, for the same objectives. However, it is not only the rulers
and the wealthy who seek sensual pleasures; the poor are also ardent
in the pursuit of worldly goods and pleasures. In fact, as soon as
adolescence is ieacled, tle instinct foi mating and sexual giatication
The Practice of Ordinary People 33
makes itself felt. For the householder who is oblivious to the Buddhas
teacling, tle giatication of sense desiies aeais to be tle innacle
of happiness and enjoyment.
The Doctrine of Ultimate Bliss in This Very Life
Even before the time of the Buddha, there were people who held
the belief that heavenly bliss could be enjoyed in this very life.
(dihadhamma nibbna vda). According to them, sensual pleasure
was blissful, and there was nothing to surpass it. Sensual pleasure
was to be enjoyed in this very life. It would be foolish to let precious
moments for enjoyment pass, waiting for bliss in a future life, which
does not exist. Tle time foi full giatication of sensual leasuie is
in this very life. Such is the belief of dihadhamma nibbna vda. This
is one of tle six[-two wiong-views exounded by tle Buddla in
tle Bialmajla Suua, tle ist discouise of tle Dghanikya.
Thus enjoyment of sensual pleasure is the preoccupation of town
and village people, not the concern of recluses and bhikkhus. For
them to pursue sensual desires would mean reverting back to the
household life, which they have renounced. People show great
reverence to them believing that they are leading a holy life,
undistuibed by woildly disuactions oi tle alluiements of tle
oosite sex. Peole oei tle best food and clotling, ohen at tle
saciice of tle needs of tleii family. It would be most imioei foi
bhikkhus to seek worldly pleasures just like householders, while
living on tle claii[.
In addition, bhikkhus renounce the world with a vow to work for
ielease nom tle sueiing inleient in tle iounds of iebiitl and foi
tle iealisation of nibbna. It is obvious tlat tlese noble ideals cannot
be auained by blikklus if tley uisue sensual leasuies like
louseloldeis. Tlus one wlo las gone foitl nom louselold life
should not indulge in, or delight in sensual pleasures.
The Practice of Ordinary People
Tle majoii[ aie oidinaiy common folk engaged in seeking a living
and enjoying sensual pleasures. There are only a few who can rise
above the common crowd, who can see the Dhamma and live a holy
life. It is not for them to indulge in coarse, worldly pleasures, which
is the main concern of the lower class of beings.
34 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
Not the Practice of the Noble Ones
Enjoyment of worldly pleasures is not the practice of the Noble
Ones. One may tlen ask wly tle Noble Ones like Viskl,
Antlaiika and Sakka, tle king of Tvatisa, wlo lad alieady
ieacled tle stage of a Sueam-winnei, engaged in tle uisuit of
sensual leasuies. Sueam-winneis, lave not yet eiadicated lust and
passions; the perception of the agreeableness of carnal pleasures
(sukha sa) still lingeis in tlem. Tlis oint is illusuated in tle
Gradual Sayings (Aguaranikya) by the example of a person who
is fastidious in tle labits of cleanliness, seeking sleltei in a ltly
lace lled witl exciement to avoid auack by an elelant in must.
This coarse habit, being ignoble and impure, should be avoided
by recluses and bhikkhus.
Not Leading to Ones True Welfare
This practice does not lead to ones own welfare (anahasahito).
In the popular view, accumulating wealth, establishing a family life
witl a ciicle of niends, in sloit, suiving foi success and ioseii[
in this world, appears to be for ones own welfare.
Actually, lowevei, sucl woildly success and ioseii[ do not
amount to ones uue welfaie. Ones uue welfaie lies in seeking ways
to oveicome aging, disease, and deatl, and auaining ielease nom
all foims of sueiing. Tle only way to escae nom all foims of
sueiing is tliougl tle develoment of moiali[(sla), concenuation
(samdhi), and wisdom(pa). Only seeking these is in the interests
of ones uue welfaie.
The pursuit of sensual pleasures cannot lead to the conquest of
aging, disease, deatl, oi otlei foims of sueiing. It only tends to
bieacles of moiali[, sucl as commiuing sexual misconduct. Seeking
woildly success tliougl killing, tleh, oi naud also amounts to tle
violation of moral precepts. Not to speak of physical actions, the
mere thought of enjoying sensual pleasures prohibits the develop-
ment of concenuation and wisdom, and tlus foims a baiiiei to tle
iealisation of nibbna, tle cessation of all sueiing.
The failure to observe the moral precepts is a sure way to the four
lower realms. It should also be noted that undertaking and maintain-
ing moral precepts without the simultaneous development of
concenuation and wisdom will not lead to nibbna. It only encoui-
Four Kinds of Sensual Indulgence 35
ages ieeated iebiitl in lay existences, wleie manifold sueiings
such as aging, disease, and death are still encountered repeatedly.
Recluses and bhikkhus, having renounced the world, with the
avowed uiose of aclieving nibbna, wleie all sueiings cease,
should have nothing to do with the pursuit of sensual pleasures,
wlicl only obsuuct tle develoment of moiali[, concenuation, and
wisdom.
To recapitulate, the enjoyment of sensual pleasures is low and
vulgar, being the preoccupation of common people of low intelligence.
It is impure, ignoble, and not practised by the Noble Ones. It is
deuimental to siiitual iogiess and tlus obsuucts tle uue welfaie
of tlose intent on aclieving tle deatlless nibbna.
May Householders Indulge in Sensual Pleasures?
Tle text only says, One wlo las gone foitl nom louselold life
should not indulge in sensual pleasures. The question, therefore,
arises whether ordinary householders who remain amidst the
woildly suiioundings could neely uisue sensual leasuies witlout
any iesuaint. Since tle giatication of sense desiies is tle ieoccu-
ation of common eole, it would be ointless to enjoin tlan nom
doing so. However, the householder intent on practising the Noble
Dhamma, is advised to avoid these pleasures to the extent necessary
foi iactice. Obseiving tle ve iecets iequiies abstaining nom
commiuing any sins of tle esl. Likewise, wealtl slould not be
souglt tliougl killing, tleh, oi naud.
Four Kinds of Sensual Indulgence
In tle Psdika Suua,

the Buddha enumerated four kinds of


sensual indulgence (sukhalliknuyogo). Cunda, in this world there
are some foolish people who takes pleasure and delight in the
slaugltei of animals. Tlis iactice constitutes tle ist foim of sensual
indulgence. Taking what is not given constitute the second form of
sensual indulgence, while telling lies constitute the third. The fourth
foim of is indulgence in tle ve suands of sensual leasuies.
Tle discouise states tlat tle Buddlas disciles weie nee nom
these forms of sensual indulgence. Lay people, who are observing
tle eiglt oi ten iecets also lave to maintain clasti[ and abstain

D.iii.131. Tle uanslation of tle Saydaws discouise dieis nom tle text leie (ed.)
36 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
nom aitaking of food ahei midday, dancing and singing all of
these being forms of sensual indulgence.
When one is engaged in meditation practice, one has to forgo all
kinds of sensual enjoyments, just like the bhikkhus who have gone
foitl nom tle woildly life, because tley lindei tle develoment of
moiali[, concenuation, and wisdom. Even a lay meditatoi must not
indulge in sensual leasuies. Tlis slould suce iegaiding one foim
of exueme iactice, namely, sensual indulgence.
The Practice of Self-mortification
Tle iactice of self-moitication, wlicl foims tle otlei exueme
iactice, iesults only in self-moitication and sueiing. It is not tle
iactice of tle Noble Ones, lence it is ignoble, imuie, iotless and
does not eitain to ones uue welfaie. Tlis exueme iactice slould
also be avoided.
Self-moitication, wlicl leads only to sueiing, was iactised
by those who held the belief that luxurious living would cause
auaclment to sensual leasuies, and tlat only austeie iactices sucl
as denying oneself food and clothing would remove sensual desire.
Tlen only tle eteinal eace, tle unaging, disease nee, deatlless state
could be achieved. Such was the belief of those who practised
self-moitication.
Methods of Self-mortification
Modest bhikkhus cover themselves with robes for the sake of
decency and to iotect tlemselves nom leat and cold, nom insects,
ies, and mosquitoes. Howevei, self-moitieis go about witlout any
clothing; when the weather is cold, they immerse themselves in cold
water, when it is hot, they expose themselves to the sun, standing
amidst foui ie-laces, tlus subjecting tlemselves to leat nom ve
diiections. Tlis is known as tle ve-fold enance by leat.
They have no use for regular beds, lying on the bare earth. Some
resort to lying on thorns covered only by a sheet of cloth. Some
iemain in a siuing ostuie foi days, wlile otleis kee to standing
only, neitlei lying down noi siuing. Anotlei foim of self-aiction
is to lie langing down, susended nom a uee biancl by two legs,
to stand on ones head is another.
The Nigaha Teachings 37
Whereas it is the normal habit of bhikkhus to assuage hunger by
aitaking of food, some self-toimentois comletely abstain nom food
and water. There are some who eat only on alternate days, while
others eat once in two days, three days, etc. Some practitioners abstain
nom food foi 4 days, 5 days, 6 days, 7 days, some even foi 15 days
on end. Some reduce their meals to just one handful of food, while
others live on nothing but green vegetables and grass, or on cow
excrement.
In the Lomalasa Jtaka

it is stated tlat tle Bodlisaua limself


followed these practices in one of his previous existences, 91 aeons
ago. He realised his mistake when he saw signs of a future miserable
life as death approached. By abandoning the wrong practices he
managed to auain tle deva iealm.
All sucl self-imosed enances constitute self-moitication. Tlese
iactices weie followed by tle sect of Nigala Nauua long befoie
the time of the Buddha. The present day Jains are the descendents
of Nigala Nauua. Tleii iactice of self-moitication was
commonly acclaimed and well-thought of by the multitude in those
days. Hence wlen tle Bodlisaua gave u austeie iactices and
iesumed noimal meals, lis intimate colleagues, tle giou of ve
ascetics foisook lim, misjudging tlat tle Bodlisaua lad given u
the right practice, right exertion (padhnavibbhanta) and that he would
not auain Enligltenment.
The Nigaha Teachings
Accoiding to tle teaclings of tle Nigala, emanciation nom
tle sueiing of sasra is achieved by two means:
1. Resuaint (savara). Tlis consists in iesuaining sense-objects
sucl as siglt, sounds, smell, taste, toucl nom enteiing tle
body, where it is their belief, they will conjoin with the soul
(atman) to ioduce nesl kamma. Tlese nesl kammas aie
believed to form, in turn, new existence.
2. Annihilation (nijjara). Tle desuuction of tle iesults of ast
kamma through torturous penance. Their belief is that the
results of past misdeeds (akusala kamma) are expiated, and
iedemtion gained by submiuing oneself to self-moitication.

Tle oiiginal edition says tle Lomalasa Suua, Ekanita Commentaiy, but I
could not nd tlis account tleie (ed.)
38 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
The Buddha asked the naked ascetics who were practising
self-moitication: You state tlat you go tliougl lysical sueiings
to exlaust tle iesults of unwlolesome kamma nom ast existences.
Howevei, do you know foi ceitain tlat you lad indeed commiued
unvirtuous acts in previous existences? Their reply was in the
negative. The Buddha further questioned them whether they knew
how much unwholesome kamma they had done previously; how
mucl of it tley lad exiated tliougl self-moitication, and low
much of it remained. The replies were all in the negative they
did not know. Then the Buddha explained to them, to give them the
seed of intellectual advancement, tlat it was nuitless to iactise
torturous penance, not knowing if there were any past misdeeds,
nor how many of them they had expiated. The Buddha stated further
tlat tlese wlo weie uying to absolve tlemselves nom tle ast
misdeeds tliougl self-moitication may uuly lave commiued laige
amounts of unwholesome deeds.
Tle Bodlisaua ieviously adoted exueme measuies of iactice
not with a view to expiate his past misdeeds, if any, but thinking that
tley would lead to liglei knowledge. Howevei, ahei six yeais of
suenuous eoits, as stated above, iealising tlat exueme iactice
would not lead to knowledge or insight and wondering whether
there was another way that would lead to his cherished goal, he
abandoned tle iactice of self-moitication.
Physical Suffering
Tle iactice of self-moitication iesults only in lysical sueiing.
However, it was regarded by naked ascetics as being holy. In order
to spare their sensibilities, as explained in the Commentary to the
Paisamblidmagga tle Buddla did not denounce tle iactice as
being low or base; nor was it described as vulgar, being practiced by
ordinary village folk, nor as common because ordinary common
eole do not indulge in self-moitication. Tle Buddla desciibed
the method simply as painful (dukkho), ignoble (anariyo), not followed
by tle Noble Ones, and not benecial (anahasahito).
Effort without Any Benefit
Tle iactice of self-moitication does not lead to ones own welfaie.
Not only is it not conceined witl tle liglei ideals of moiali[,
Wrong Interpretation of Self-mortication 39
concenuation, and wisdom, it does not even give mundane benets.
Being witlout benet, and iesulting only in lysical sueiing, tle
austere practices may even prove fatal to the over-zealous practitioner.
Before the appearance of the supremely Enlightened Buddha it
was widely leld tliouglout tle middle counuy of India, tlat
self-moitication was a noble, loly iactice tlat led to libeiation
nom tle evil eects of unwlolesome kamma. Tle giou of ve
ascetics also held that view.
Howevei, tle Buddla said tlat self-moitication ioduced only
sueiing, and so was not iactised by Noble Ones, being imuie
and ignoble. It did not lead to ones own welfare. The Buddha
tleiefoie cleaily advised tlose wlo lad gone foitl nom tle woild
to avoid it.
A denite ionouncement iegaiding tle unwoitliness of tle
exueme iactice of self-moitication was necessaiy at tlat stage
because not only was it univeisally leld tlat only self-moitication
would lead to liglei knowledge, tle giou of ve ascetics lad also
accepted this belief. As long as they held fast to this view, they would
not be iecetive to tle docuine of tle Noble Eigltfold Patl. Hence
tle oen denunciation by tle Buddla tlat self-moitication was
iotless, leading only to lysical sueiing.
Tle ist exueme iactice gives nee iein to tle mind and body
and is therefore to be regarded as too lax. A mind that is not
conuolled by concenuation oi insiglt meditation is liable to sink tle
into pursuit of sensual pleasures. I heard that some teachers teach
tle iactice of ielaxing tle mind, giving it a nee iein. Howevei, tle
nature of mind is such that it requires constant guarding. Even when
constantly guarded by mediation, the mind wanders to objects of
sensual leasuies. It is obvious tlat leh to itself, unguaided by
meditation, the mind will engage in thoughts of sensual pleasures.
Tle second exueme iactice inicts sueiing on oneself tliougl
denial of normal requirements of food and clothing. It is too rigid,
unbending, depriving oneself of ordinary comfort and is thus to be
avoided too.
Wrong Interpretation of Self-mortification
A wiong inteiietation as to wlat constitutes self-moitication is
made by some teacleis in conuadiction to tle teacling of tle Buddla.
40 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
Accoiding to tlem, tle eainest, tiieless eoit iequiied foi meditation
amounts to self-moitication. Tlis view is diameuically oosed to
tle exloitation of tle Buddla wlo advised suenuous, unielenting
exeition even at tle saciice of life and limb to auain concenuation
and insight. Let only the skin, sinews, and bones remain. Let the
esl and blood diy u. I will exeit incessantly until I aclieve tle
Path and Fruition. Such must be the resolute determination, as
urged the Buddha, with which the goal must be pursued.
Suenuous and ielentless eoit in meditation iactice to aclieve
concenuation and insiglt slould not be misconsuued as a foim of
self-moitication. Leaving aside meditation iactice, even keeing
the precepts, which entails some physical discomfort, is not to be
iegaided as a iactice of self-moitication. Young eole and young
novices suei nom angs of lungei in tle evenings wlile keeing
tle eiglt iecets. Howevei, as fasting is done in fullment of tle
iecets, it does not amount to moitication.
Foi some eole, tle iecet of abstaining nom taking life is a
saciice on tleii ait, since tley suei ceitain disadvantages as a
consequence, but as it constitutes the good deed of keeping the
iecet, it is not to be viewed as a foim of self-moitication. In tle
Maldlammasamdna Suua,

the Buddha explains that such acts


of self-saciice in tle iesent aie bound to ioduce benecial iesults
in the future. The Buddha said, In this world, some people abstain
nom taking life, causing some lysical and mental sueiings to
themselves. They adopt the right-view (of not killing) for which they
lave to suei lysically and mentally. Tlese eole, tlus voluntaiily
going tliougl sueiing to kee tle iecets will, ahei assing away,
auain tle liglei abodes of tle deities. Tlese ten meiitoiious deeds
aie known as good iactices tlat ioduce benecial iesults ahei
deatl tliougl sueiing in tle iesent.
Any iactice tlat iomotes moiali[, concenuation, and wisdom
is not iotless, and is not self-moitication, but is benecial and in
line with the Middle Path, which should certainly be followed. It
slould denitely be noted tlat tlose iactices tlat do not develo
moiali[, concenuation, and wisdom, but wlicl only iesult in
lysical sueiing, constitute self-moitication.

M.i.309.
The View of a Meditation Teacher 41
Misconception about Contemplation on Feeling
There are some who hold the view that contemplating pleasant
feeling constitutes indulgence in sensual pleasures, while contem-
lating ainful feeling constitutes self-moitication. Tlus, tley lold
that one should avoid both of them and only on contemplate
equanimi[. Tlis is an iiiational misconcetion, unsuoited by any
textual autloii[.
Tle Buddla denitely stated in tle Malsatialna Suua tlat
leasant feeling, ainful feeling, and equanimi[ aie all objects foi
contemplation. The same statement was repeated in many other
Suuas. Tlus it slould be denitely noted tlat any object in tle
categoiy of tle ve aggiegates is a legitimate object foi contemlation.
The View of a Meditation Teacher
A lay meditation teacher is reported to have said, While engaged
in the practice of meditation, taking up any posture, if one begins to
feel tired, painful, numb, hot, or unpleasant sensations in the limbs,
one should change posture at once. If one persists in the practice of
mindfulness in spite of unpleasant sensations, one is engaging in
self-moitication.
This statement was apparently made, considering the welfare of
meditators, nevertheless it must be said that it is unsound and
ill-advised. In tle iactice of concenuation oi insiglt meditation,
patience (khant) and iesuaint (savara) play an important role. They
aie imoitant foi tle successful iactice of concenuation oi insiglt
meditation. One-pointedness of mind can be achieved only through
patiently bearing some bodily discomfort. It is within the experience
of anyone who has practised meditation in earnest that continually
changing the posture is not conducive to the development of
concenuation. Plysical discomfoit las to be boine witl atience.
Self-conuol is not self-moitication, in as mucl as tle goal is not
sueiing, but tle iomotion of moiali[, concenuation, and wisdom
in accordance with the wishes of the Buddha.
Tle Blessed One desiied, if ossible, an even moie ielentless eoit
to aclieve tle liglest goal of Aialantsli in one continuous siuing,
uninteiiuted by any clange of ostuie. In tle Malgosiga Suua,

tle Blessed One stated: A blikklu wlo meditates ahei making a

M.i.219.
42 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
im iesolution: I will not bieak tlis ciossed-legged siuing ostuie
until, tliougl not clinging, my mind is libeiated nom tle taints
(sava). Sucl a blikklu would adoin tlis Gosiga foiest giove.
Thus to state that patient contemplation of painful feeling is a
foim of self-moitication is to denounce tlose meditatois wlo aie
following tle insuuction of tle Buddla. It amounts to tle iejection
of tle Buddlas woids, and discouiages tle eoits of meditatois
wlo could aclieve concenuation and insiglt only tliougl atiently
bearing the pain brought about by not changing their posture.
It should be carefully noted that the Blessed One advised in the
Sabbsava Suua

to enduie sueiing tlat is seveie enougl to cost


even ones life. In tle Commentaiy to tle Suua, it is mentioned tlat
tle Eldei Lomasanga eisisted in lis meditation iactice even wlen
enveloed by snowakes wlile siuing in tle oen, iound about tle
full moon of January/February. He overcame the cold enveloping
him, without giving up his meditation posture, simply by contem-
plating the intense cold of Lokantarikaniraya.

Such examples of
foibeaiance wlile engaged in meditation abound in tle Suuas.
Tlus comaiatively mild foims of ain sucl as stiness of limbs,
or hot sensations, should be borne with patience, without changing
the meditation posture. If possible, persistence should be maintained
even at tle iisk of ones life, as it will iomote self-conuol, concenua-
tion, and insight. However, if the pain becomes unbearable, the
posture may be changed very slowly and gently to avoid disturbing
mindfulness, concenuation, and insiglt.
Those practices that are not concerned with the promotion of
moiali[, concenuation and wisdom, but wlicl aie undeitaken only
foi moie sueiing aie denitely foims of self-moitication. On tle
otlei land, aiduous eoits, lowevei ainful and disuessing tley
may be, if tley aie made foi tle develoment of moiali[, concenua-
tion and wisdom, do not constitute self-moitication. It must be

M.i.10. What taints, bhikkhus, should be abandoned by enduring? Here, a bhikkhu,


ieecting wisely, beais cold and leat, lungei and tliist, and contact witl gadies,
mosquitos, wind, the sun, and creeping things; he endures ill-spoken, unwelcome
words and arisen bodily feelings that are painful, racking, sharp, piercing,
disagieeable, disuessing, and menacing to life. Wlile taints, vexation, and fevei
might arise in one who does not endure such things, there are no taints, vexation,
or fever in one who endures them. These are called the taints that should be
abandoned by enduiing. (Tins. Blikklu Namoli and Blikklu Bodli).

Hells of intei-galactic iegions wleie no liglt can eneuate (ed.)


The Middle Path 43
denitely iegaided as tle Middle Patl oi tle Noble Eigltfold Patl,
tauglt by tle Blessed One. Tle Blessed One limself, ahei avoiding
tle two exueme iactices indulgence in sensual leasuies, wlicl
is too lax, and self-moitication, wlicl is too iigid ieacled
Enlightenment by following the Middle Path.
The Middle Path
Ete kho, bhikkhave, ubho ante anupagamma majjhim paipad
Tathgatena abhisambuddh cakkhukara akara upasamya
abhiya sambodhya nibbnya savaati.
Blikklus, avoiding tlese two exueme iactices, tle Tatlgata
las gained tle eneuative knowledge of tle Middle Patl,
which produces vision and knowledge, leads to peace, to
higher knowledge, enlightenment, and the realisation of
nibbna.
Witl tlese woids, tle Blessed One let tle giou of ve ascetics
know tlat ahei giving u tle two exueme iactices, le lad found
the Middle Path by means of which he had personally gained vision,
knowledge, uanquili[, and enligltenment.
Foi tliiteen yeais nom tle age of sixteen to tle age of twen[-nine,
le lad indulged in sensual leasuies, tle atl of exueme laxi[. At
tle age of twen[-nine, le lad given u tle lax way of living by going
foitl nom tle woildly life. Ahei tlat, foi six yeais le lad iactised
exueme austeii[ tliougl self-moitication. Ahei six yeais of
iigoious uaining, le lad not gained any liglei knowledge, le lad
not beneted in any way nom tle uaining, and le iealised tlat le
had been pursuing the wrong path. Accordingly he gave up the
austeie iactices and iesumed noimal meals to foiti( lis lysical
suengtl to woik foi jhnic auainments tliougl bieatling exeicises.
The resumption of meals was a well-considered action taken
purposely to enable him to engage in meditation on breathing, which
is part of the Middle Path. As the food was taken in moderation in
a mindful way, it should not be regarded as enjoyment of sensual
leasuie, noi was it self-moitication, tleie being no sueiing
tliougl denial of food. Tlus it was denitely tle middle atl,
unielated to tle two exueme iactices.
44 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
On iegaining lysical suengtl tliougl taking noimal meals, tle
Blessed One worked for and won the four jhnic auainments. Tlese
absorptions are the preliminary path (pubbabhga magga), or the
foundation for insight meditation, and thus constitute Right Con-
cenuation, one of tle factois of tle Noble Eigltfold Patl. Based on
tlis foundation of Riglt Concenuation, tle Blessed One, witl lis
fully concenuated mind, develoed insiglt and Riglt Undeistanding.
In this way he personally realised the four paths of sainthood, and
discovered the Noble Eightfold Path, not through rigorous abstention
nom food noi tliougl tle enjoyment of sensual leasuies, but by
following the Middle Path. He stated therefore Bhikkhus, avoiding
tlese two exueme iactices, tle Tatlgata las gained tle eneuating
knowledge of the Middle Path, by which he meant that he had
gained the knowledge of the Middle Path, which is neither too lax
noi too iigoious, by abandoning tle two exueme iactices. Tle two
exueme atls aie wiong, and must be avoided.
How to Avoid the Two Extremes
Of tle ve sense-objects, namely siglt, sound, smell, taste and
touch, those objects that would not violate observance of the precepts
or which would be helpful to the practice of Dhamma may be enjoyed.
Eating suitable food and weaiing suitable clotling conuibutes to tle
comfoitable iactice of tle Dlamma, tlus avoiding tle exueme
austeii[ of self-moitication.
Necessary material goods such as food, clothing, medicine, and
sleltei slould be used, accomanied eitlei by wise ieection, oi tle
iactice of concenuation oi insiglt meditation. Eveiy time contact
is made witl tle ve sense-objects, tley slould be noted as objects
of insiglt meditation. By adoting a ieective mood, oi by noting
these sense-objects as objects of insight meditation, partaking of
necessary food, clothes does not develop into enjoying them with
deliglt oi leasuie, tleieby avoiding tle otlei exueme of sensual
indulgence. The Blessed One therefore declared, Having avoided
tlese two exueme iactices, I lave undeistood tle Middle Patl.
Antidote for Indigestible Food
Wise ieection oi insiglt meditation amount to tle develoment
of mindfulness, concenuation, and wisdom, wlicl aie factois of tle
How Vision and Knowledge Are Developed 45
Noble Eigltfold Patl. It is like taking antidotes ahei taking indigest-
ible, unsuitable food. A convalescent, ahei a seiious illness, las to
be careful about his diet. He has to avoid the wrong kind of food,
which might be harmful. If he cant resist the temptation to take
unsuitable, indigestible food, he has to take digestive medicine to
counteiact tle laimful eects of tle food le las taken. In tlis way,
le could satis( lis desiie to eat wlat le wants, and at tle same time
avoid geuing tle bad eects nom it. Similaily, by ieecting on tle
material goods we use or by noting them as objects of meditation,
we have prevented the development of sensual indulgence.
For the meditator who notes every time he or she sees, hears,
touches, or cognises, and understands the nature of impermanence,
unsatisfactoriness, and not-self in every phenomenon that arises and
vanisles, gieed and laued cannot develo conceining objects tlat
have been cognised. When using any of the four essential requisites
food, clothing, medicine, and shelter if one notes every time
tley aie used, no delements can develo in connection witl tlem.
Thus one can make use of the four requisites to abide in comfort,
while avoiding the development of delight and pleasure through
wise ieection and insiglt meditation. In tlis way, tle two exuemes
aie avoided. Wise ieection and insiglt meditation wlile taking
food or using other requisites amounts to practicing the Middle Path.
With this practice of the Middle Path by noting every object
aeaiing at tle six sense-doois, tleieby knowing tleii uue natuie,
vision will arise, the eye of wisdom will open up leading to the
iealisation of nibbna. Sucl aie tle benets tlat acciue nom
following the Middle Path. The Buddha continued to explain: The
Middle Patl undeistood eneuatingly by tle Tatlgata ioduces
vision, produces knowledge.
How Vision and Knowledge Are Developed
Whoever practises the Noble Eightfold Path, gains vision and
knowledge. Here vision and knowledge have the same meaning. The
Dhamma is seen clearly, as if by the eyes, hence it is called vision.
Vision and knowledge cannot arise through sensual indulgence nor
tliougl self-moitication. Tley aeai only by following tle Middle
Path. The development of vision and knowledge is very important.
46 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
In the teaching of the Buddha, meditation is practised for the purpose
of developing the Eightfold Path.
Wlen tle Eigltfold Patl is develoed, tle uue natuie of mind and
mauei is cleaily disceined as if seen by tle eyes. Tle aiising and
vanisling of mind and mauei is also disceined uuly as tley occui.
The impermanent, unsatisfactory, and not-self nature of all material
and mental phenomena also becomes very clear, not through reading
or listening to the teacher, but intuitively by experiencing it oneself.
Finally tle natuie of nibbna, tle quiescence of all lysical and mental
foimations, tle cessation of sueiing in tle cycle of existence, will be
clearly seen and fully realised by ones own experience. It is important
to sciutinise wletlei sucl eisonal iealisation las been auained.
To meditators engaged in insight meditation, noting mind and
mauei at tle moment of eacl aiising and vanisling, tle aeaiance
of vision and knowledge is vivid. At the beginning of meditation,
although the meditator notes the rising and falling of the abdomen,
and siuing, toucling, seeing, leaiing, etc., every time each phenom-
enon occuis, no exuaoidinaiy knowledge is gained, as tle owei of
concenuation is not establisled yet.
Ahei tle lase of a few days, tle mind becomes uanquil and tle
owei of concenuation giows. Tle mind iactically stos wandeiing
to other sensual objects. It remains riveted on the chosen object of
meditation. At tlat time tle distinction between mauei (rpa), the
object of awareness, and mind (nma), tle mental quali[ tlat takes
note of it, becomes very pronounced.
At the start of the meditation exercise, the meditator can hardly
distinguish between the physical phenomenon of the rising and
falling of abdomen and the mental act of noting the phenomenon.
He or she remains under the impression that these separate phenom-
ena aie one and tle same. As tle concenuation incieases, tle object
of awaieness becomes automatically dieientiated witl eveiy noting
nom tle mind tlat notes it. Tley aeai seaiate and unmixed.
The knowledge then arises that this body is made up of only mind
and mauei, tleie is no living enti[, only tle two elements of mateiial
object and the knowing mind co-existing. This knowledge appears
not through imagination, but as if it is presented on the palm of the
hand; hence it is described also as vision as if seen by the eyes.
Knowledge Deepens through Practice 47
As concenuation incieases, tle undeistanding aiises tlat tleie is
seeing because there is the eye and a sight to be seen; there is hearing
because there is the ear and a sound, bending because of the desire
to bend, suetcling because of tle desiie to suetcl, movement because
of the desire to move; there is craving because of ignorance about
ieali[, tleie is auaclment because of ciaving, and auaclment
motivates action, wlicl in tuin leads to benecial oi laimful iesults.
As concenuation continues to giow, it is vividly seen tlat tle object
of awareness and the act of noting it, arise and vanish as if under
ones own eyes. Thus the meditator will come to know very clearly
that nothing is permanent, everything is unsatisfactory, and that there
is only ungoveinable, unconuollable lenomena witlout any self,
individual, oi ego enti[.
When the meditator has fully developed this knowledge about
the impermanent, unsatisfactory, and not-self nature of things, he or
sle will iealise nibbna, tle cessation of all mental and lysical
foimations, tle end of all sueiing, tliougl tle knowledge of tle
Noble Path (ariya magga a), which constitutes higher vision, and
higher knowledge.
Tlus tle meditatoi wlo note mind and mauei constantly as tley
aiise, in accoidance witl tle teacling of tle Satialna Suua,
becomes personally convinced that the Eightfold Path produces
vision and knowledge as stated in the discourse.
It is cleai tlat sucl diiect eisonal exeiience of tle uutl, wlicl
constitutes higher knowledge, cannot be gained just by learning the
Abhidhamma and pondering over its contents. No higher knowledge
will aiise by meie ieection on texts. In time, wlen ieective
contemlation is neglected, even tle texts will fade nom memoiy,
because it is only sueicial knowledge gained tliougl tle exeicise
of intellect, not personal realisation.
Knowledge Deepens through Practice
If the Middle Path is practised to gain direct personal experience, it
is usual that knowledge deepens as time goes on. At one time, Venerable
nanda aid a visit to tle blikklus monasteiy, wlo iecounted to
him that they dwelt practising the four foundations of mindfulness
and that their knowledge of the Dhamma deepened with the passing
of time. Veneiable nanda agieed and said, It is usually so. Wlen
48 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
Veneiable nanda ieoited tlis to tle Blessed One, tle Blessed One
said, It is so, nanda, if any blikklu oi blikklu dwells in tle
practice of the four foundations of mindfulness, it is to be expected that
they will come to know the Noble Truths more deeply.
The Explanation of the Commentary
Tle Commentaiy exlained tlat tle knowledge gained at ist
was concerned with the discernment of the four primary elements,
whereas the later enhanced knowledge arose out of discernment of
the derived elements (upda rpa). Similarly knowledge about all the
material elements (rpa) is allowed by the contemplation and
discernment of mental elements (nma). Likewise knowledge about
mind and mauei is followed by disceinment about tleii cause.
Knowledge about tle causes tlat gives iise to mind and mauei is
followed by discernment of the three characteristics of their imper-
manence, unsatisfactoiiness, and insubstantiali[. Tlus tle knowl-
edge tlat aiises ist leads on to liglei knowledge latei.
In the practice of body contemplation (kynupassan) according
to tle Sotanna Suua, one begins witl noting mateiial foims wlile
in tle iocess of going, standing, siuing, lying, bending, suetcling,
moving etc. This amounts to noting the characteristics of the air
element (vyodhtu), namely, its quali[ of usling, distending, and
moving. Only ahei tloiouglly undeistanding tle natuie of tle
primary elements, can one discern the workings of the derived
elements such as the eye, sight, ear, sound, by noting seeing, hearing,
etc. Having masteied tle natuie of all mateiial foims, auention is
next given to the arising of mind and mental formations. In this way,
superior knowledge appears in sequence.
Starting from Any Stage
Having leaint tle denition and desciitions of mind, mauei, etc.,
nom tle Ablidlamma texts, one can stait nom tle deiived elements
instead of nom tle iimaiy elements. It is ossible too to begin witl
mind befoie investigating mauei. Puuing aside mind and mauei,
one can stait consideiing causes and eects accoiding to tle Law of
Dependent Origination, or contemplating the phenomena of arising
and vanishing; or the three characteristics the phenomena of arising
and vanishing; or the three characteristics.
Leading to Peace 49
Some say that it is a slow process to begin with the analytical
knowledge of mind and mauei (nmarpapariccheda-a). It would
be much quicker to begin with the awareness of arising and passing
away (udayabbaya-a), and the knowledge of dissolution (bhaga-
a). They even say they prefer the quicker method.
Howevei, studying mind and mauei and tleii denitions and
desciitions nom tle texts and beginning to contemlate tlem,
staiting nom wleievei one wisles, will not give iise to uue insiglt.
Consequently the arising of a later knowledge superior to the
precedent one, in accordance with the teaching, cannot be experi-
enced this way. Just as a student increases the retentive power of the
text he has learnt by rote, by repetitive recitation, so too such practice
will lel only iemembei tle denitions and desciitions of mind
and mauei. No exuaoidinaiy insiglt will iesult nom sucl iactice.
It has come to our knowledge that at a well-known meditation
cenue, auemt was made to go tliougl tle wlole seiies of vaiious
stages of knowledge development, just by following the stages step
by ste as tley lave leaint nom tle texts. Ahei ieacling tle stage
of knowledge of equanimi[ about foimations (sakhrupekkh-a),
a dicul[ was encounteied wlen tley come to tle stages of
knowledge of adaptation (anuloma-a), matuii[ knowledge
(goabh-a), path knowledge (magga-a), and nuition knowl-
edge (phala-a). So they had to go back to the beginning. This is
an example to show that insight cannot be realised by shortcuts.
By iactising meditation in accoidance witl Satialna Suua
and developing the Noble Eightfold Path, one is bound to experience
deeei knowledge ahei eacl iecedent knowledge as stated in tle
Dlammacakka Suua: Vision aiose, knowledge aiose.
Leading to Peace
The Middle Path also leads to peace (upasamya), tle uanquillising
of delements. In one wlo develos tle Eigltfold Patl, tle delements
aie uanquillised. Tle atl of insiglt ioduces momentaiy uanquilli[
while the Noble Path brings about the complete annihilation of
delements. Sensual indulgence does not lead to tle cessation of
delements, but lels to inciease tlem. Once one gives in to tle
temtation of sensual enjoyment, ciaving foi ieeated giatication
iesults. Geuing one sense-object leads to tle desiie to ossess moie.
50 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
Satis(ing one ciaving develos moie ciaving, and tleie is no end to
ciaving. One only las to obseive tle iicl eole of develoed counuies.
Tley lave eveiytling tlat tley need. Yet tley aie nevei satised. Tleie
is no end to their desires. It is obvious that sensual indulgence does
not iomote tle cessation of delements, but only multilies tlem.
Self-moitication also does not lead to tle end of delements. Tle
iactitioneis of tlis metlod may believe tlat exosuie to exueme
cold, exueme leat, and suict fasting tend to iemove delements, but
in fact, it is ones loweied vitali[, as a iesult of exueme iactices,
tlat kees tle delements in cleck. Duiing seiious illness oi sueiing
nom ainful diseases, wlen tle lysical suengtl is at a low ebb,
delements iemain doimant. Howevei, once noimal lealtl and
suengtl is iegained, ahei tle illness, desiies foi sensual giatication
make their appearance as usual.
Tlus ahei giving u tle iactice of self-moitication, oi stoing
tle iactice foi some time, wlen vitali[ ietuins, delements also
ietuin as befoie. Even wlile self-moitication is being iactised,
altlougl gioss delements iemain suiessed, subtle delements
continue to aiise. Tleie will be desiie foi comfoit, nee nom tle
discomfoit and ain of austeii[. Delements of wiong-view of self,
I iactise austeii[, aie bound to aiise. Tle wiong-view of conceit,
No one else can do such practice; and the wrong belief that the
practice will lead to liberation.
Wrong Belief in the Practice
Regaiding a wiong iactice as a iiglt iactice is called auaclment
to rites and rituals (slabbataparmsa). According to the teaching of
tle Buddla, aait nom tle Noble Eigltfold Patl, wlicl leads to tle
develoment of moiali[, concenuation, and wisdom, all otlei
practices are wrong practices, and taking them to be right practices
amounts to auaclment to iites and iituals. Not seeing tle uutl,
leaving aside the right path, hoping for lasting happiness, is
auaclment to iites and iituals.
Everything that appears at the six doors of senses constitutes the
ve aggiegates of auaclment, namely, mind and mauei, wlicl is tle
uutl of sueiing. Meditating on mind and mauei is iactising tle
Path by which the Four Noble Truths will be understood. Believing
in and practising any other method, which leaves aside the Path and
Temporarily Puing Away 51
which does not lead to understanding the Four Noble Truths is
auaclment to iites and iituals.
There are those who teach, It is unnecessary to practise meditation
oi to obseive tle iecets. It is sucient to listen to discouises and
leain by leait tle natuie of mind and mauei. We slould considei
wletlei sucl views amount to auaclment to iites and iituals. In my
oinion, sucl teaclings amount to teacling auaclment to iites and
iituals as tlis metlod excludes tle tliee discilines of moiali[,
concenuation and wisdom.
A Sueam-winnei being well establisled in tle knowledge of tle
iiglt iactice is not liable to lold tle wiong-view of auaclment to
rites and rituals. In future existences there is no danger for a
Sueam-winnei to fall into tlis wiong belief. Tlis is calming tle
delements by viitue of tle Noble Patl.
Temporarily Putting Away
When a sense-object being contemplated is noted as impermanent,
unsatisfactoiy, and not-self, tle mental delements tlat would acciue
by wrongly regarding them as permanent, pleasant, and self, would
lave no clance to aiise. Tlis amounts to temoiaiily uuing away
delements, just as liglt disel daikness by viitue of mutual
opposition, as explained in the Visuddhimagga.
Tlis is low delements lying doimant in tle sense-object
(rammaanusaya-kiles), which would have risen if not noted, are
removed by means of momentary insight. Wise people should ponder
well ovei tlis illusuation given in tle Visuddlimagga.
If, as some people maintain, contemplating the knowledge
acquired by mere learning (sutamayapa) leads to insight, the
question aiises, Wlicl delements lying doimant in wlicl sense-
objects is eiadicated by tlat insiglt' It would be dicult to answei
tlat question in tle absence of a denite object of awaieness.
Foi tle meditatoi wlo, following tle Satialna metlod,
observes the mental and physical phenomena in the process of their
foimation, tleie aie denite objects of awaieness to note. At tle same
time there are also objects of awareness that escape being noticed.
Tlus one can eiadicate tle delements lying doimant in tle objects
one has noted; while those lying dormant in the objects one failed to
note, remain. The answer is very simple for that case.
52 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
Ahei eiadicating temoiaiily tle delements lying doimant in
tle objects noted, tleie iemain in tle meditatoi latent delements
tlat aie iemoved only by tle Noble Patl. Tlus tle Sueam-winnei
las ieacled tle stage wleie le oi sle las eiadicated eisonali[-view
(sakkya-dihi), sceptical doubt (vicikicch), and auaclment to iites
and iituals, and all delements tlat aie liable to cause iebiitl in tle
lower realms. In the Once-returner (sakadgmi), the coarse forms of
lust and ill-will are eradicated. The Non-returner (angmi) becomes
nee nom subtlei foims of lust and ill-will wlile tle Aialant is fully
libeiated nom all foims of delements.
In this way the path of insight and the Noble Path are capable of
eitlei uuing away delements temoiaiily oi uiooting tlem
permanently. The Blessed One had this in mind when he said that
the Middle Path leads to peace (upasamya savaati).
The Arising of Higher Knowledge
The Middle Path also leads to higher knowledge (abhiya
savaati). Higher knowledge is akin to vision or knowledge, but
its eect its moie ionounced, lence it is mention seaiately. Tle
Four Noble Truths become known by virtue of this higher knowledge
in consequence of the path of insight and the Noble path. The path
of insight developed beforehand enables the insight knowledge that
is developed later to know the Four Noble Truths. Actually only the
uutl of sueiing oi tle aggiegates of auaclment tlat aie noted in
the course of meditation are concerned here.
Mind and mauei, oi tle uutl of sueiing, aie seen as imeima-
nent, unsatisfactory, or not-self. Every time they are seen thus, there
is no clance foi ciaving and auaclment to aeai. Tlus tleie is
libeiation nom ciaving and auaclment. It is called full comielen-
sion by abandoning (pahnbhisamaya), which is knowing the cause
of sueiing (samudaya) by abandonment, though not by realisation.
Eveiy time mind and mauei become subject to awaieness, tle
meditatoi is nee nom ignoiance (avijj) that could lead to the wrong
atl. Being tlus nee nom ignoiance, one is nee nom tle ills of mental
formations (sakhr) and consciousness (via). Tlis is tle uutl
of tle temoiaiy cessation of sueiing (tadaga nirodha sacc). This
temoiaiy cessation of sueiing is iealised by insiglt at eveiy instant
of noting, but not as its object of contemplation.
The Realisation of Nibbna 53
Every act of awareness develops the path of insight headed by
right-view (samm-dihi). This is called full comprehension by
development (bhvanbhisamaya), knowing tle uutl of tle atl of
insight by developing it in oneself. However, this knowledge is not
achieved by contemplating at the moment of noting. However, having
develoed it in oneself, it can be cleaily eiceived tliougl ieection.
Knowing tle uutl of sueiing tliougl noting tle mental and
physical phenomena leads simultaneously to the knowledge of the
tliee iemaining uutls too. Tlis is knowing tle foui uutls by means
of special insight knowledge. Hence the Middle Path is said to
ioduce liglei knowledge of tle uutls. Fuitleimoie, it also causes
the arising of the higher knowledge of the Noble Path (ariya magga
a). As insiglt knowledge auains full matuii[, nibbna is iealised
and tle Noble Patls aie develoed. Tlen tle foui uutls become
known as they should be known by means of Noble Path knowledge.
For this reason too the Middle Path is said to lead to higher
knowledge (abhiya savaati).
Penetrative Insight
Tle Middle Patl also leads to eneuative insiglt (sambodhya
savaati). Abhi means higher knowledge about insight and
the Noble Path that was not previously developed. Sambodha refers
to eneuative insiglt. Tlings lidden belind tlick cuitains oi walls
become visible when the barriers are removed if the curtains are
opened or if windows are added. Likewise the Four Noble Truths
are kept hidden behind the veil of ignorance, which notices that
which is wrong, but covers up that which is right. By developing the
Eigltfold Patl tliougl tle iactice of meditation, uutls tlat weie
not known before become apparent through insight knowledge and
knowledge of tle Noble Patl. Tlus ignoiance las been eneuated
and tle Noble Tiutls become lain by means of eneuative insiglt.
It is quite obvious tlat sensual indulgence and self-moitication
can nevei give iise to liglei knowledge oi eneuative insiglt.
The Realisation of Nibbna
Finally, tle Middle Patl leads to iealisation of nibbna (nibbnaya
savaati). Peneuating tle Foui Noble Tiutls by means of tle Patl
Knowledge of Aialantsli amounts to tle iealisation of nibbna.
54 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
Howevei, as nibbna is tle nal and tle noblest goal of tlose wlo
woik foi libeiation nom tle cycle of existence it was mentioned again
as a seaiate auainment by tle Blessed One.
By develoing tle Noble Eigltfold Patl, eneuation of tle Foui
Noble Tiutls will be auained by means of tle Noble Patl. Finally,
nibbna will be iealised tliougl tle nuition of Aialantsli. Having
tlus iealised nibbna, tle last conscious moment befoie parinibbna
will not lead to any new existence of new foims of mind and mauei.
It is tle cessation of all sueiing. In tlis way tle Eigltfold Patl leads
to tle iealisation of nibbna, tle cessation of all sueiing.
To summaiise tle benets to be deiived nom iactising tle Middle
Patl: one will avoid sensual leasuies, one will avoid self-moitica-
tion, one will avoid botl exuemes, wlicl aie wiong atls, one will
follow the Middle Path, which is the right path, by following the
iiglt atl, insiglt will be develoed and nibbna will be iealised.
Tle benets tlat will acciue nom following tle Middle Patl lave
been exhaustively expounded. They represent the highest goal aimed
at by all wlo aie woiking foi libeiation nom tle sueiing of tle
cycle of existence. There is nothing more that they should need.
It now remains only to know what constitutes the Middle Path.
To explain the Path, the Blessed One began with a question in
accoidance witl tle uaditional usage of tle times.
Katam ca s, bhikkhave, majjhim paipad Tathgatena abhi-
sambuddh cakkhukara akara upasamya abhiya
sambodhya nibbnya savaati?
Wlat, monks, is tle Middle Patl undeistood by tle Tatlgata,
that produces vision, produces knowledge, and leads to peace,
liglei knowledge, eneuative insiglt, and nibbna'
The answer was supplied by the Blessed One himself:
Ayameva ariyo ahagiko maggo, seyyathida sammdihi
sammsakappo sammvc sammkammanto samm-jvo
sammvymo sammsati sammsamdhi.
Only this Noble Eightfold Path,

namely: Right View, Right


Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right
Eoit, Riglt Mindfulness, and Riglt Concenuation.

Tle Blessed One ointed out tle Patl, as if by ointing a ngei at visible objects
or holding them in the palm of his hands.
The Realisation of Nibbna 55
These are then the factors of Eightfold Path, the Middle Path,
wlicl wlen fully undeistood by tle Tatlgata ioduced vision,
ioduced knowledge, and lead to eace, liglei knowledge, eneua-
tive insiglt, and to nibbna.
Tle denition of tle Middle Patl las now been given. Tle detailed
exposition of this Eightfold Path will have to wait until next week.
By viitue of laving given iesectful auention to tlis Gieat
Discourse on the Turning of the Wheel of Dhamma, may all you good
people present in this audience be able to avoid the wrong path,
namely, tle two exuemes, and follow tle Noble Eigltfold Patl, oi
the Middle Path, thereby gaining vision and higher knowledge,
wlicl leads to tle iealisation of nibbna, tle end of all sueiing.
Sdhu! Sdhu! Sdhu!
56
Part Three
Delivered on Saturday 13th October, 1962.

Today is the full-moon day of October. The monks have observed


tle Rains Reueat (vassa) foi tliee montls since tle ist day ahei tle
full-moon of July. Today is tle last day of tle tliee montl ieueat.
Duiing tle Rains Reueat monks aie enjoined not to make oveiniglt
journeys except for special reasons as approved by the Buddha. They
can leave their residence up to seven days for such special reasons.
At tle teimination of toniglt, staiting nom eaily dawn of tomoiiow,
the period of three months comes to an end. Monks can henceforth,
move about neely foi oveiniglt jouineys.
The Invitation Ceremony
Accoidingly, monks wlo lave business to auend to elsewleie aie
leaving the residence tomorrow. On the eve of their departure, that
is, this evening, they have to observe the invitation (pavra). It is
a ceiemony in wlicl a monk invites ciiticism nom lis fellow monks
in respect of what they have seen, heard, or suspected about his
conduct. There may be lapses or faults that one is unaware of oneself,
but wlicl aie noticed by otleis. If any fault oi oence las been
commiued unwiuingly, tle otlei monks of tle assembly can oint
it out now and suitable corrective measures can be taken, making
amends in consequence of such criticisms constitutes the observance
of discipline leading to the Puiication of Conduct (sla visuddhi).
Only wlen uiication of conduct is assuied, one staits iactising
meditation foi tle auainment of Puiication of Mind (cia visuddhi)
and Puiication of View(dihi visuddhi).
Inviting ciiticism is liglly conducive to maintaining tle uii[
of Buddlas disensation and to siiitual auainments sucl as jhna,
the Path and its Fruition. That is why the Buddha laid down the rule
iequiiing foimal invitation to tle Sagla foi ciiticism wlen tleie
aie ve blikklus in iesidence on tle full-moon day of Octobei, oi
to one anotlei if tleie aie fewei tlan ve blikklus. Tlis is a iule of
discipline that a virtuous bhikkhu should pay great heed to, and in
confoimi[ witl it slould eainestly invite ciiticism conceining lis
conduct and behaviour. If any criticism is forthcoming, it should be
warmly welcomed in the spirit in which it is given and the necessary
atonement should be made accordingly.

The full-moon day of Thadingyut, 1324 M.E.


Elaboration of the Eightfold Path 57
It is just like being pointed out a smudge or stain on ones face by
a niend wlen one is about to leave foi a social function oi a ublic
gatleiing. Tle niendly intimation is ieceived witl aieciation and
the smudge on the face is removed in time to avoid derision or
sniggeiing. One is tlankful to tle niend foi laving tle kindness to
point out the stain on ones face. Likewise, a bhikkhu should welcome
with gratitude any fault of his being pointed out by his fellow monks,
and auend to its iemoval. Tlis iactice is essential foi maintaining
tle uii[ of tle Buddlas teacling. Not just following tle uadition
as a meie foimali[, but sinceiely wisling to eiadicate ones own
faults and failings, a blikklu slould invite ciiticism nom lis fellow
monks and welcome tlem. At tle same time le slould also oei in
turn criticisms to other bhikkhus if he happens to see any faults in
them. By thus pointing out each others faults and making sincere
eoits to iemove tlem, tle loly life can be maintained in a state of
faultless uii[. Tlat was tle ieason belind tle Buddlas laying
down of this code of discipline for the bhikkhus.
Today blikklus wlo iesided leie duiing tle Rains Reueat
assembled in tle Uosatla lall to make foimal iequests to tle Sagla
for criticism. Each monk participated in this invitation ceremony,
wlicl las taken neaily an loui. I lave come leie suaiglt nom tle
assembly to continue the discourse that I gave last week.
Elaboration of the Eightfold Path
Last week we dealt with only the headings of the Middle Path
otherwise called the Eightfold Path. I will now elaborate on them.
1. Right View(Samm Dihi),
2. Right Thought (Samm Sakappa),
3. Right Speech (Samm Vc),
4. Right Action (Samm Kammant),
5. Right Livelihood (Samm jva),
6. Riglt Eoit (Samm Vyama),
7. Right Mindfulness (Samm Sati),
8. Riglt Concenuation (Samm Samdhi).
Tle Eigltfold Patl can be summaiised undei tliee gious: moiali[
(sla), concenuation (samdhi), and wisdom (pa). Right Speech,
Riglt Action, and Riglt Livelilood foim tle moiali[ giou oi atl
58 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
factois of moiali[ (sla maggaga). By practising Right speech, Right
Action, and Riglt livelilood, moiali[ is establisled. Riglt Eoit,
Riglt Mindfulness, and Riglt Concenuation aie tle atl factois of
concenuation (samdhi maggaga). By iactising tlem concenuation
is established. Right View and Right Thought are the path factors of
wisdom(pa maggaga). Developing Right View and Right Thought
leads to wisdom of insight (vipassan pa), wisdom of the Path
(magga pa), and wisdom of Fruition (phala pa), that is both
mundane and supramundane wisdom. I will now describe each of
the path factors in detail, emphasising the practical aspects.
The Path Factor of Right Speech
What, monks, is Right Speech? It is the avoidance of telling
lies, of slandei, of laisl, abusive language, of idle clauei. Tlis,
monks, is called Right Speech.

In tlis denition given by tle Buddla, abstinence oi avoidance


constitutes Right Speech. Thus, it should be noted that, even when
occasion aiises foi one to uuei false seecl, slandei, abuse, oi idle
clauei, if one iesuains oneself nom doing so, one is tlen establisling
tle iactice of Riglt Seecl. In ieali[, Riglt Seecl is sammvc
virati, one of 52 mental concomitants (cetasik), a member of the
class called abstinences (virati). Howevei, wlen one ienains nom
false speech etc., one will be engaged only in seecl tlat is uutlful,
gentle, benecial, and wlicl iomotes laimony. Tle essential oint
leie is tlat abstinence nom wiong seecl amounts to tle wlolesome
deed of obseiving moiali[. One wlo takes tle vow of ienaining
nom false seecl in obseivance of tle ve, eiglt, oi ten iecets las
to ienain at tle same time nom tliee evil vocal acts of slandeiing,
abusing, and idle clauei too.
In addition, whenever one sees, hears, smells, touches, or thinks,
if one realises by contemplation the real nature of impermanence,
unsatisfactoriness, and note-self concerning these sense-objects, no
delements can aiise wlicl would cause tle uueiance of wiong
seecl. Tlis amounts to temoiaiily diselling latent delements
(anusaya kiles) including wrong speech by means of insight.
As insiglt knowledge gets fully develoed, nibbna is iealised
through the knowledge of the Noble Path. When that happens, wrong

D.ii.312, Malsatialna Suua, S.v.9. et.al.


The Path Factor of Right Action 59
speech will have been completely eradicated by virtue of Right Speech
of the Noble Path. The Visuddhimagga Commentary, therefore, states
tlat tle ist Patl, tlat of Sueam-winning, disels false seecl, tle tliid
Path, that on Non-returning, dispels slander and abusive language.
Heie by seecl oi language is meant volition, (it is ossible to uuei
harsh language unaccompanied by volition). The fourth Path, that of
Aialantsli, disels idle clauei. (It slould be undeistood leie, lowevei,
that all kinds of lying, slander, and abusive language that would have
caused rebirth in the lower realms have already been got rid of by the
ist Patl). Tle atl factoi of iiglt seecl (sammvc maggaga) has
to be followed until all four Noble Paths have been established.
To summarise: uueiing false seecl, slandei, abuse, and idle
clauei is indulgence in wiong seecl, tle avoidance of wiong seecl
is right speech.
The Path Factor of Right Action
What, monks, is Right Action? It is the avoidance of killing,
stealing, and unlawful sexual intercourse. This, monks, is
called Right Action.
Heie too, in tle denition of Riglt Action given by tle Buddla,
avoidance of the three evil physical acts constitutes Right Action.
Thus even when occasion arises for one to commit killing, stealing,
sexual misconduct, if one iesuains oneself nom commiuing tlem,
one is establishing the practice of Right Action. For example, just
scaring away and not killing the mosquito that is biting you amounts
to Right Action. Similarly it should be understood with regard to
avoidance of stealing or avoidance of sexual misconduct.
An explanation is needed here as to what constitutes unlawful
sexual inteicouise. Tleie aie twen[ kinds of females witl wlom no
male person should have sexual intercourse. Any male who has
sexual intercourse with such persons as are under the protection of
father, mother, brother, sisters, relatives, clan elders, and colleagues
in meditation oi a maiiied woman oi a beuotled giil, commits tle
evil deed of sexual misconduct. A maiiied woman oi a beuotled
girl, having sexual relation with another man also commits this evil
deed. Avoidance of such evil deeds is Right Action.
To summarise: killing, stealing, and sexual misconduct are Wrong
Actions. Avoidance of these evil deeds is Right Action.
60 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
The Path Factor of Right Action should be developed by observing
the precepts. It should be developed by practising insight meditation
until the four Noble Paths have been established.
The Path Factor of Right Livelihood
What, monks, is Right Livelihood? In this teaching, the noble
disciple avoiding a wrong way of living, gets his livelihood
by a right way of living. This, monks, is called Right Livelihood.
Wrong Livelihood is earning ones living through unlawful,
unwholesome means such as killing and stealing. The three evil
deeds and four kinds of evil speech amount only to Wrong Action
(micch kammant) and Wrong Speech (micch vc) when they have
no connection with earning ones livelihood. They are not Wrong
Livelilood. Tlus, foi instance, killing ies, mosquitoes, sideis,
snakes, or an enemy through anger or fear amounts to an evil deed,
which is Wrong Action, but it is not Wrong Livelihood. Killing
animals sucl as ouluy, igs, goats, oi sl foi tle maiket oi foi ones
own use denitely constitutes Wiong Livelilood.
In geneial, stealing oi naud is motivated by economic ieasons.
These will therefore be classed as Wrong Livelihood. When however,
the reason is not economic, but for revenge or just a compulsive habit,
these deeds are merely Wrong Action. Illicit sexual intercourse
usually has nothing to do with earning a livelihood; but seduction
of women and iuining tlem foi emloyment in tle sex uade aie, of
course, Wrong Livelihood.
Lying is just Wrong Speech when not motivated by economic
ieasons, but wlen falselood is emloyed in commeicial uansactions
or in law courts to promote business, it amounts to Wrong Livelihood.
Similarly slander, devoid of economic interest, is Wrong Speech.
However, nowadays false charges or denunciation are common
methods employed to bring discredit to rivals and as they are mostly
concerned with business, this may be regarded as Wrong Livelihood.
Harsh speech or abusive language is rarely employed in business
uansactions and is tleiefoie usually just Wiong Seecl. Wiiting
novels, science-ction, stoiies, lays, diamas, oi lms may mostly
be regarded as Wrong Livelihood. Such wrong ways of earning a
livelihood (by means of killing, stealing, and lying) are deeds that
aie beieh of moial iinciles maintained by uiiglt eole.
The Path Factor of Right Eort 61
Seeking Wealth Unethically Is Wrong Livelihood
One wlo obseives tle ve iecets las to avoid tle above seven
(three physical and four verbal) evil ways of earning a livelihood. In
the Eight Precepts with Right Livelihood as the Eighth (jvahamaka
sla), avoidance of wrong livelihood is included as one of the factors
of the eight precepts. Thus avoiding wrong means of livelihood and
earning ones livelihood in accordance with the moral principles of
upright people constitutes right livelihood.
Seeking Wealth Ethically Is Right Livelihood
Just like Right Speech and Right Action, Right Livelihood is also
a practice of avoidance. Therefore, avoidance of Wrong Livelihood
is to be regarded as Right Livelihood. Right livelihood should be
developed by observing precepts. It should also be developed by
iactising insiglt meditation until tle atl factoi is fullled. Foi
further elaboration on Right Livelihood, please refer to my Discourse
on tle Sallekla Suua.
These three factors Right Speech, Right Action, and Right Liveli-
lood belong to tle moiali[ giou of tle Noble Eigltfold Patl. I will
now ioceed to discuss tle constituents of tle concenuation giou.
The Path Factor of Right Effort
Wlat, monks, is Riglt Eoit' Heie, monks, a monk iouses lis
will, makes an eoit, stiis u eneigy, exeits lis mind, and
suives foi tle non-aiising of evil, unwlolesome states tlat
lave not yet aiisen. He iouses lis will, makes an eoit, stiis
u eneigy, exeits lis mind, and suives to oveicome evil,
unwholesome states that have already arisen. He rouses his
will, makes an eoit, stiis u eneigy, exeits lis mind, and
suives foi tle aiising of wlolesome states tlat lave not yet
aiisen. He iouses lis will, makes an eoit, stiis u eneigy,
exeits lis mind, and suives to maintain wlolesome states tlat
have already arisen, not to let them fade away, but to bring
them to greater growth, to the full perfection of development.
Tlis, monks, is called Riglt Eoit.

Wlat is meant by tle eoit to ievent unaiisen unwlolesome


states nom aiising is tlis: wlenevei one notices, sees, oi leais about

D.ii.312, Malsatialna Suua, uans. Mauiice Walsle.


62 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
killing, stealing, lying, etc., being done by otleis, one must suive to
ut oneself above tlese unwlolesome acts. It is just like uying to
safeguaid oneself against contagious diseases sucl as inuenza
during epidemics.
Regaiding tle eoit to disel and oveicome evil, unwlolesome
states that have already arisen, these are of two kinds: unwholesome
deeds or speech such as killing, stealing, or lying that one may have
alieady commiued (vitikkama akusala) and arisen unwholesome
thoughts (pariyuhna akusala) of anger or sensual desires; latent
unwholesome states (anusaya akusala) that have not yet arisen, but
which will arise when the conditions are ripe.
Of these two kinds, unwholesome deeds and speech are dispelled
by moial uaining. Meticulous obseivance of tle iecets automati-
cally dispels evil deeds and speech. Evil thoughts of anger or sensual
desiie aie diselled by concenuation and insiglt meditation. Latent
delements may be momentaiily diselled by insiglt meditation.
They can be entirely rooted out only when the knowledge of the
Noble Patl is auained. It is witl a view to comletely uiooting
latent delements, tlat insiglt meditation slould be iactised. Tlis
point is subtle and profound and can be fully grasped only by those
wlo lave iactised insiglt meditation eectively and adequately.
Tle eoit to iouse wlolesome states tlat lave not yet aiisen
means tlat one slould, to tle best of ones abili[, eifoim meiitoii-
ous deeds that one has not done yet. Giving alms (dna), undertaking
and obseiving iecets, tle iactice of uanquilli[ meditation, and
the practice of insight meditation are all meritorious deeds.
Some distoit tle uue teacling of tle Buddla by teacling tlat
meritorious deeds will prolong the cycle of existences. According to
them, meritorious deeds are volitional actions (sakhr), which are
conditioned by ignorance (avijj). The Law of Dependent Origination
says, Conditioned by volitional actions rebirth consciousness arises
(sakhra paccay via). Therefore, according to them, merito-
rious deeds (kusala sakhr) will cause the arising of rebirth-
consciousness, so they must be abandoned. Such an assertion
conuadicts tle uue meaning of tle Buddlas teacling and is veiy
misleading. In fact, if meritorious deeds were to be given up, one
would be leh entiiely witl demeiitoiious deeds, wlicl would not
only prolong the cycle of existences, but would surely lead to the
The Path Factor of Right Eort 63
four lower realms. The real cause for the ceaseless rounds of rebirths
is iooted in tle delements of ignoiance and ciaving. Tlese
delements can be iemoved by meiitoiious deeds, wlicl slould
tleiefoie be eifoimed witl a view to eiadicating tlese delements.
A simple meritorious deed can lead to rebirth in a fortunate abode
(sugati), whereas Dhamma can be studied and practised to become
a Noble One, tlus escaing nom tle sueiing of tle lowei iealms
and tle endless cycle of existence. Tle stoiy of tle nog dei[ seives
to illusuate tlis oint.
Tle nog dei[ was a nog in lis ievious existence wlen le
happened to hear a discourse given by the Blessed One. Without
undeistanding a woid of tle discouise, tle nog listened to it witl
iesectful auention and devotion, foi wlicl meiitoiious deed, le
was ieboin in tle deva iealm. As a deva le gained tle ooituni[
of listening to the Buddhas teaching again, by virtue of which he
auained tle stage of a Sueam-winnei.
Tlus eoit slould be made to iouse any kind of wlolesome states
that have not yet arisen, especially the meritorious deeds that would
lead to tle Noble Patl. Eveiy time sucl an eoit is made, one is
develoing tle atl factoi of Riglt Eoit.
Tle eoit to maintain wlolesome states tlat lave alieady aiisen,
not to let them fade away, but to bring them to greater growth, to
the full perfection of development is plain enough. A meditator
noting everything at the moment of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting,
toucling, oi knowing is making an eoit to ievent unwlolesome
states nom aiising. It also means suiving to iemove tle unwlolesome
states that have already arisen. At the same time the meditator is
suiving to develo tle liglei wlolesome deeds of insiglt and
knowledge of the Noble Path, meritorious deeds that have not yet
aiisen. He oi sle is also suiving to maintain and to biing to eifection
the wholesome deeds of insight that have already arisen. Thus every
time one is noting each phenomenon as a meditation exercise, one
is develoing tle atl factoi of Riglt Eoit, oi tle enligltenment
factors of the four right exertions (sammappadhna), which can be
summaiised as follows: tle eoit to ievent unaiisen unwlolesome
states nom aiising, tle eoit to disel unwlolesome states tlat lave
alieady aiisen, tle eoit to aiouse wlolesome states tlat lave not
yet aiisen, tle eoit to maintain, develo, and to biing to eifection
64 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
wholesome states that have already arisen. These are called the four
right exertions.
Eveiy time one is engaged in tle meiitoiious deeds of claii[,
moiali[, and meditation one is develoing tle atl factoi of Riglt
Eoit, oi tle foui iiglt exeitions. It is esecially so wlen one
eifoims tlese deeds witl a view to escaing nom tle sueiing of
the cycle of existence. The meritorious deed of insight meditation is,
needless to say, synonymous witl tle atl factoi of Riglt Eoit.
Suiving to eifoim meiitoiious deeds is Riglt Eoit.
The Path Factor of Right Mindfulness
What, monks, is the path factor of Right Mindfulness? Here,
monks, a monk dwells contemplating the body as the body,

ardent, clearly comprehending, and mindful, having overcome


covetousness (abhijjh) and sorrow(domanassa) for the world.
He dwells contemplating feelings as feelings the mind as
mind,

mind-objects as mind-objects, ardent, clearly compre-


hending, and mindful, having overcome covetousness and
sorrow for the world. This, monks, is called Right Mindfulness.
These are the Buddhas words elaborating Right Mindfulness.
Was the Noble Eightfold Path Taught in Detail?
In tle Dlammacakka Suua, as we nd it today, tle Eigltfold Patl
is just mentioned in the form of headings. When this Dhammacakka
discouise was ist given by tle Buddla, did tle Veneiable Koaa
togetlei witl Bialms and deities wlo auained to liglei knowledge
then, understand merely by the words Right Mindfulness that it
meant the Four Foundations of Mindfulness by means of which the
nature of the body, feelings, the mind, and mind-objects are clearly
comprehended? Did they also understand that noting every bodily
action, every feeling, every mental phenomenon, every thought or
mind-object constitutes Right Mindfulness, and that this should be
developed by noting every physical and mental phenomenon?

Seeing it as imeimanent, ainful, unconuollable, unbeautiful, unleasant mateiial


aggregates.

Noting it merely as a process of thinking and consciousness, impermanent, painful,


unconuollable, etc.
Was the Noble Eightfold Path Taught in Detail? 65
This is a moot point that needs to be pondered, for unless they
had a clear comprehension about it, they would not be able to develop
Riglt Mindfulness. In tle absence of Riglt Mindfulness, auaining
higher knowledge of the Noble Path and its Fruition is impossible.
Two consideiations aie ossible leie. Tle ist one is tlat tle
Veneiable Koaa and tle Bialms and deities wlo weie alieady
fully ripe with unique perfections (pram), destined foi nal
liberation, on just hearing the words Right Mindfulness, they at
once understood that they should note every bodily action etc., to
develop the path factor of Right Mindfulness. They accordingly did
so and in tlis way auained liglei knowledge.
Tle second consideiation is tlat wlen tle discouise was ist
given, for clear understanding by his audience the Blessed One
elaborated the factors of the Noble Eightfold Path and expounded
on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. However, at the time of the
Fiist Buddlist Council, wlen ieciting tle Dlammacakka Suua, tle
Noble Eightfold Path, as a component of the Four Noble Truths, was
condensed in the form of headings only, there being in existence
exositions on tlem seaiately in otlei suuas being iecited in
condensed form at the First Council. The answer is yes. The
Satialna Suua in tle Majjlimanikya is a condensation of tle
Malsatialna Suua in tle Dglanikya, only tle ist oition of
which was recited at the First Council. However, at the proceedings
of tle Sixtl Buddlist Council, tle missing oitions of tle suuas lave
been lled in and iecoided, altlougl tle lauei oitions of tle suua
weie not mentioned in tle Majjlimanikya Commentaiy. Similaily,
some long suuas belonging to some otlei collections (nikya) were
iecoided in condensed foim in tle Kluddakanikya.
Thus it may be taken here that the exposition on Right Mindfulness
given at tle time of tle ist discouise was omiued and tle suua
recited in brief during the First Council. Thus the question need not
arise as to how the deeper, detailed meaning of the Noble Eightfold
Patl could be known nom meie leadings. Nowadays, tle Foui
Foundations of Mindfulness are well known by many. There is the
Malsatialna Suua itself wlicl sulies elaboiations on tle
summarised title of the Noble Eightfold Path. There exist also many
Commentaiies on tlis suua. Yet, in site of tlem, tleie aie only a
few who knows how to develop the path factor of Right Mindfulness.
66 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
Therefore, my opinion is that the Blessed One expounded the path
factois in full detail wlen le was giving tle ist discouise foi tle
benet of many.
It must be imly noted tlat tle atl factoi of Riglt Mindfulness
is the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. How this path factor should
be develoed is iovided in tle Pi text just quoted. Tlis Pi text
is exactly tle same as tle summaiised inuoductoiy assage to tle
Malsatialna Suua. Finding tlis biief account inadequate foi
full understanding, one can have recourse to deep study of the
Malsatialna Suua itself.
Accoiding to tle Malsatialna Suua, contemlation of tle body
(kynupassan) may be carried out in two ways: either by contemplat-
ing respiration(npnasati), i.e. watching the in-breath and out-breath,
oi contemlating tle tlii[-two constituent aits of tle body sucl as
head-hair, body hair, etc. The Commentary states that these two sections
of tle Satialna Suua aie meditation objects ioducing tle auain-
ment of absorption (appan jhna). The remaining nineteen sections of
tle Satialna Suua aie meditation objects ioducing access con-
cenuation(upacra kammahna), by which insight meditation is meant,
wlicl ioduces only access concenuation (upacra samdhi).
It is only required to select any of the meditation objects men-
tioned in the remaining nineteen sections for development of the
path factor of Right Mindfulness (sammsati maggaga). In accordance
witl tle insuuctions in tle section on body ostuies, Wlile walking,
the bodily movements involved in the act of walking should be noted
(gacchanto v gacchmti pajnti). Wlile standing, siuing, lying
down, the bodily movements involved in each action should be noted.
In accoidance witl tle insuuction to note lowevei tle body is
disposed (Yath yath v panassa kyo paihito hoti tath tath na
pajnti) if there are other postures or movements, they should also
be noted caiefully. Heie secial auention slould be aid to tle
grammatical tense employed in gacchanto v gacchmti, etc. It
denitely iefeis to noting tle iesent action only. It slould be
tloiouglly undeistood tlat leaining by iote and ondeiing tle [es
of mateiiali[, as enumeiated in tle Ablidlamma, does not amount
to contemplation of the body (kynupassan satipahna). In addition,
as mentioned in the section on mindfulness with clear comprehension
(sampajnapabba) all bodily movements involved in going forward
Momentary Concenation for Insight 67
oi coming back, looking alead oi looking aside, bending oi suetcling
the limbs, should be noted.
Momentary Concentration for Insight
Accoiding to tle section on auention to tle elements (dhtu-
manasikrapabba), the four primary elements should be noted as
they become manifest. The Visuddhimagga explicitly states that
when the hindrances are completely overcome by contemplating the
foui iimaiy element, access concenuation aiises. Tlis access
concenuation, as exlained in tle Visuddlimagga Malk, is not
in the neighbourhood of absorption (appan samdhi) and as such, is
not uue access concenuation. Neveitleless, since it is akin to access
concenuation in its caaci[ to oveicome tle lindiances and
ioducing uanquilli[, it assumes tle name of access concenuation
by virtue of its capacities.
For the purposes of insight meditation, we have used the term
momentaiy concenuation foi insiglt (vipassan khaika samdhi) to
desciibe tle said concenuation. Some eole nd it dicult to
understand this usage and criticise its use. They maintain that insight
cannot be develoed by means of momentaiy concenuation. Tley
argue that, if it were possible, monastic students studying the
scriptures should be able to acquire insight knowledge. We could
accet tlis view if tle students concenuation weie suong enougl
to dispel the hindrances and if, at the same time, they were
contemplating on the mental and physical phenomena at the moment
of tleii aiising, in accoidance witl tle Malsatialna Suua.
Howevei, it is lain tlat tle concenuation involved in tle iecitation
of, and ieection on, tle sciituies tlat students lave leaint by leait
is not intense enough to overcome the hindrances nor are they noting
mental and physical phenomena at the moment of their arising. Our
critic is therefore obviously not conversant with the correct practice
of insight meditation.
In tle Visuddlimagga, momentaiy concenuation foi insiglt is
mentioned as momentaiy unication of tle mind (khaika-
ciekaggat);

in its Subcommentary

it is iefeiied to as concenuation
lasting for a moment (khaamaahitiko samdhi). Thus based on the
autloii[ of tle Commentaiy and tle Subcommentaiy, we lave

Vism.289, Patl of Puiication .282.



Vism..278.
68 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
emloyed tle tein momentaiy concenuation foi insiglt to desciibe
tle concenuation wlicl is, by viitue of identi[, access concenuation.
Once these explanations are well understood, confusion will surely
cease in the minds of our critics.
As stated above, if contemlation of mateiiali[ is accomlisled
by noting it as it arises, in accordance with the sections on postures
(iriypathapabba), clear comprehension (sampajnapabba), and
auention to elements (dhtumanasikrapabba), access concenuation,
wlicl may be teimed momentaiy concenuation, is develoed.
Together with it, insight knowledge, which is also known as the
right-view of insight (vipassan sammdihi), is also developed. These
aie tlen tle atl factois of Riglt Mindfulness, Riglt Concenuation,
and Right View, otherwise called the foundation of mindfulness with
regard to contemplation of the body (kynupassan satipahna).
Witl iegaid to tle above statement tlat auention to elements is
an object of meditation foi access concenuation, we lave tle autloii[
of the Visuddhimagga, which mentions this meditation object as
analysis of the four elements (catudhtuvavahna). No doubt should
also be entertained about our assertion that contemplation of body
ostuies and cleai comielension leads to access concenuation,
because tle Commentaiy to tle Satialna Suua denitely conims
tlem to be meditation objects foi access concenuation.
In addition, according to the section on contemplation of feelings,
mindfulness of feelings, the mind, and mental-objects at the moment
of tleii aiising will lead to tle develoment of access concenuation
and insight knowledge. Therefore the Visuddhimagga gives, at the
beginning of tle clatei on Puiication of View, a desciition of
low a eison wlo begins iactising baie insiglt suaiglt away
contemplates the four primary elements followed by discernment of
eiglteen elements, twelve bases, and tle ve aggiegates. Tlis is in
accordance with the teachings of the Buddha as provided in the
Malsatialna Suua.
By now, having heard the above explanations and considerations, it
should be possible to understand how to develop the path factor of Right
Mindfulness in confoimi[ witl tle discouises of tle Blessed One. Having
understood, one should be able to determine whether mere recitation of,
and ieection on, wlat one las leaint nom tle sciituies, instead of
mindfully noting the body, feelings, the mind, and the mental-objects at
Genuine Insight Only by Mindful Noting 69
the moment of their arising, leads to the Right Mindfulness. It is plain
too that in the absence of the proper path factor of Right Mindfulness
that the path factor of Right View can never be established.
Genuine Insight Only by Mindful Noting
In oidei to fuitlei suengtlen tle aigument, I will quote a assage
nom tle Malsatialna Suua Commentaiy:

Yasm pana kyavedanciadhammesu kaci dhamma


anmasitv bhvan nma nahi, tasm tepi iminva maggena
sokaparideve samatikkantti veditabb.
It should be understood that there is no development of insight
pertaining to knowledge of the Noble Path, without contem-
plating the body, feelings, mind, and mental objects.
Therefore it should be realised that the minister Santati and
Paci Tlei (wlo weie said to lave auained tle liglei knowledge
of the Noble Path and Fruition while listening to a discourse had
overcome their sorrow and lamentation only through the practice of
the four foundations of mindfulness.
The Commentary is very clear on this point. It is not just listening
to the teaching, but contemplation on the body, feelings, mind, and
mental-objects tlat leled tlem to auain liglei knowledge. Witlout
contemplating on any of them, it is impossible to develop insight,
nor knowledge pertaining to the Noble Path and its Fruition. It is
veiy cleai tleiefoie tlat meie leaining of tle denition and classi-
cations of mind and mauei and ieecting on tlem witlout actually
noting them as they arise within ones body, will never develop the
proper path factor of Right View otherwise called insight knowledge
or the knowledge pertaining to the Noble Path.
Here, Right Mindfulness alone will not bring about the desired
objective. Having achieved Right Mindfulness, it is only by compre-
lending tle uutl as it ieally is tlat tle desiied end is auained. Tleiefoie
in tle summaiised inuoduction to tle Satialna Suua cited above,
it is mentioned to maintain ardent mindfulness with clear comprehen-
sion. In tle exosition of tlis summaiised inuoduction teims sucl as
pajnti to know in dieient ways, oi sammudaya dhammnupassi
to know the cause of arising and ceasing, are employed.

MA.ii.339.
70 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
We have therefore, summarised this path factor of Right Mindful-
ness as follows: to develop Right Mindfulness, there must be: ardent
mindfulness with clear comprehension of every bodily movement,
every mental action, every feeling, whether pleasant, unpleasant, or
neuual, wliclevei manifests, and eveiy mental-object as it aeais.
I have taken time to discuss in detail the path factor of Right
Mindfulness as it is very important for the understanding of many
people. I will proceed with the consideration of the path factor of
Riglt Concenuation. Foi tlat, I will conne myself only to tle most
essential points of the teaching concerning the path factor of Right
Concenuation. To give all exositions on tle subject would covei
too wide a scope, and would be hard to grasp by those with limited
knowledge.
The Path Factor of Right Concentration
Wlat, monks, is Riglt Concenuation' Heie, monks, a monk,
being detacled nom all desiies and otlei unwlolesome states,
enteis into and abides in tle ist absoition accomanied by
initial (vitakka) and sustained application (vicra), lled witl
joy (pti) and happiness (sukha), boin of detaclment nom
unwholesome thoughts he enters into and abides in the
fouitl absoition accomanied by equanimi[ and uiied
by mindfulness. Tlis, monks, is called Riglt Concenuation.
Here, absorption (jhna) means not allowing the mind to wander
about, but xing it on a single object to iemain uanquil. Accoiding
to tle Suuas, tleie aie foui absoitions:
Five factois accomany tle ist absoition: initial alication
(vitakka), directing the mind towards the meditation object: sustained
application (vicra), repeated investigation of the object, which has
manifested; joy (pti), rapture or delight, happiness (sukha), bliss or
pleasant feeling, one-pointedness (ekaggat), a calm, unied mind.
In the second absorption: with the fading away of initial and
sustained application, only three factors remain, joy, happiness, and
one pointedness.
In the third absorption: with the fading away of joy, only two
factors, happiness and one-pointedness remain.
In tle fouitl absoition: lainess is ielaced by equanimi[, so
tlat only equanimi[ and one-ointedness iemain.
Insight without Absorption 71
These four absorptions may be mundane (lokiya), also known as
form(rpavacara) and formless (arpavacara) jhna, or supramundane
(lokuara), if accompanying Noble Path consciousness. Supramun-
dane absoition is tle genuine atl factoi of Riglt Concenuation,
mundane absorption may be classed as the path factor of Right
Concenuation if it foims tle basis foi tle develoment of insiglt.
Insight without Absorption
Hanging on to this statement, some say that insight can be
develoed only ahei aclieving uiication of mind tliougl auaining
absorption (jhna). Witlout absoition, uiication of mind cannot
be auained, and so insiglt cannot be develoed. Tlis is a one-sided,
dogmatic view. Tlat access concenuation in tle neiglbouilood of
absoition,laving tle caaci[ to suiess tle lindiances, can lel
auain tle uiication of view, leading to tle develoment of insiglt.
That many have achieved Arahantship by thus developing insight,
is exlicitly stated in tle Visuddlimagga. In tle Suuanta Piaka, foi
examle in tle Malsatialna Suua, tleie is veiy cleai teacling
that Arahantship may be achieved by contemplating objects such as
body ostuies, wlicl can only give iise to access concenuation. Tle
Anussatilna Suua

of tle Aguuaianikya states tlat tle concenua-


tion developed by recollecting the virtues of the Blessed One

is
adequate to use as a basis for the development of higher knowledge
up to the state of Arahantship. The Commentaries that expound on
tle section on cleai comielension also denitely aim tlat joy
(pti) can be aroused by recollecting the virtues of the Blessed One
and tle Sagla, and tlat tle joy so aioused can be contemlated as
being perishable, as being impermanent, resulting subsequently in
tle auainment of Aialantsli.
These authorities state further that innumerable people, hundreds
of thousands, millions, and tens of millions, who became liberated
during discourses given by the Buddha were not all skilled in
absorptions. It is probable that many of them were unequipped with
any sucl auainments. Howevei, tley must lave aclieved uiication

A.iii.312.

Tle eiglt ieections (anussati) consisting of the subjects of Recollection of the


Auibutes of tle Buddla to Contemlation of tle inevitabili[ of deatl, ieection
on the loathsomeness of food, and analysis of the four elements will lead to
neiglbouilood-concenuation. (Buddlist Meditation and its Foi[ Subjects)
72 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
of mind because their minds were described as responsive, tender,
nee nom lindiances, exultant, and uie. Tle Commentaiies cleaily
state that it was at such opportune moments that the Blessed One
delivered the most exalted, sublime teaching of the Four Noble Truths,
which the Buddhas alone can expound. They also clearly state that
lis audience auained liglei knowledge as a consequence of listening
to such teachings.
In view of sucl consideiation, tle denition given in tle teaclings
on Riglt Concenuation in teims of tle foui absoitions slould be
iegaided as a sueilative metlod of desciition, access concenuation,
although described as an inferior way, may also be taken as Right
Concenuation, wlicl can accomlisl uiication of mind. Tle said
access concenuation las tle same claiacteiistics of suiessing tle
lindiances as tle ist absoition. It is also similai in laving tle same
ve jhna factors of initial application, sustained application, joy,
happiness, and one-pointedness. Consequently we take it that the
Blessed One lad included botl tle ioei access concenuation and
tle nominal access concenuation undei tle categoiy of tle ist jhna
as an infeiioi way of denition.
Absoition means closely obseiving an object witl xed auention.
Fixed auention to a selected object of meditation sucl as iesiiation
foi uanquili[ concenuation gives iise to samatha jhna, whereas
noting tle claiacteiistics of mind and mauei, wlile contemlating
their three characteristics, gives rise to vipassan jhna. I give the
following summary for easy recall:
1. Close obseivation witl xed auention is called jhna.
2. Tleie aie two [es of jhna: samatha jhna and vipassan jhna.
3. Fixed auention to develo uanquili[ is called samatha jhna.
4. Contemplating the three characteristics is vipassan jhna.
5. Tleie aie tliee kinds of concenuation: momentaiy (khaika),
access (upacra), and absoition oi xed (appan) concenuation.
Tle momentaiy concenuation mentioned above iefeis to tle faiily
calm state befoie access concenuation is auained in tle couise of
meditating on objects of uanquili[ meditation (samatha kammahna),
and also to concenuation foi insiglt (vipassan samdhi). Of these
two, concenuation foi insiglt, laving tle same claiacteiistic as
access concenuation suiessing tle lindiances is also called
access concenuation as exlained eailiei. Tlat tlis momentaiy
The Path Factor of Right View 73
concenuation, wlen it becomes well develoed, can kee tle mind
uanquil just like absoition, is boine out by tle eisonal exeiience
of meditatois iactising Satialna meditation.
In tle Visuddlimagga Mal k we nd: Momentaiy unica-
tion of mind is concenuation tlat lasts only foi tle duiation of tle
moment of each arising (khaikaciekaggatti khaamaahitiko
samdhi). Wlen tlis momentaiy concenuation foi insiglt occuis
witlout inteiiution witl mind and mauei as its object maintaining
uanquili[ in a single mode at a suetcl and not being oveicome by
oosing delements, it xes tle mind immovably as if in absoition.
Accordingly a person engaged in insight meditation and intent
on developing himself up to the Path and Fruition stage, should
endeavoui if ossible to auain tle ist, second, tliid, fouitl jhna,
or all four jhnas. Having auained any of tlem, one slould uain
oneself to maintain them and to be skilful with them. Failing, however,
to reach the jhnic stage, one slould suive to biing about access
concenuation in tle neiglbouilood of tle jhna.
A meditator whose vehicle is pure insight (vipassan ynika), on
the other hand, who begins with the contemplation of mind and
mauei, sucl as tle foui iimaiy elements, slould uy to establisl
momentaiy concenuation, wlicl is caable of suiessing tle
lindiances just like tle access concenuation. Wlen it is fully
established, progressive insight will arise beginning with analytical
knowledge of mind and mauei (nmarpapariccheda-a). Thus
momentaiy concenuation and access concenuation aie also to be
iegaided as tle atl of Riglt Concenuation.
I have dealt fairly comprehensively with the path of Right
Concenuation. I will now ioceed to elaboiate on tle wisdom giou,
beginning with the path factor of Right View.
The Path Factor of Right View
What, monks, is Right View? It is, monks, knowledge of
sueiing, knowledge of tle cause of sueiing, knowledge of
tle cessation of sueiing, knowledge of tle way leading to
tle cessation of sueiing. Tlis, monks, is called Riglt View.
In short, rightly knowing the Four Noble Truths is the path factor
of Right View. This should be developed as explained above in the
74 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
develoment of Riglt Mindfulness and Riglt Concenuation. Fuitlei
elucidation will be provided here for clearer understanding.
Accoiding to tle Aguuaianikya Commentaiy tleie aie ve
[es of iiglt-view: iiglt-view about owneisli of kamma (kammas-
sakat sammdihi), right-view of absorption (jhna sammdihi),
right-view of insight (vipassan sammdihi), right-view of the Path
(magga sammdihi), and right-view of the Fruit (phala sammdihi).
Tle Commentaiy on tle Malcauisaka Suua mentions also ve
[es similai to tle above, but instead of jhna sammdihi, there is
the right-view of reviewing (paccavekkhaa sammdihi). Combining
tle two lists, we lave six [es of Riglt View.
In tle above list, iiglt-view of tle nuit accomanies tle foui Fiuits
that are the results of four Paths. The knowledge of the Noble Path
is spontaneously followed by knowledge of Fruition; there is nothing
secial to be done to auain it. Riglt view of ieviewing also occuis
sontaneously ahei auaining tle Patl and its Fiuition, so no eoit
is needed to biing it about. One slould suive only to gain tle ist
foui [es of iiglt-view, wlicl we will tleiefoie elaboiate.
Right View About the Ownership of Kamma
Kammassakat sammdihi means belief in and acceptance of the
view that there is kamma and there are results of that kamma. Any
action is kamma, which produces good or bad results. For instance,
doers of evil deeds reap evil consequences. Criminals have to face
punishment for their crimes, the lightest of which may be condem-
nation by socie[. Abusive language is likely to lead to a ietoit, a
stern look charged with ill-will, will likely be reciprocated, while a
lay smile begets a lay smile. A niendly gieeting is likely to be
met witl a niendly iesonse.
A well-behaved child who has had a good education will grow
into a ioseious and successful adult. Following a luciative uade
oi indusuy leads to wealtl and ioseii[, uniotable endeavouis
such as gambling surely leads to ruination. Instances of good or bad
results following good or evil actions are within our daily experience.
Throughout the endless cycle of existence, this law of kamma
prevails, good action leading to good results, evil action leading to
bad consequences. As a result of evil deeds done in past existences
one las to suei evil consequences sucl as a sloit life-san witl
Right View About the Ownership of Kamma 75
vaiious ailments, ugliness, ovei[, and lack of auendants in tle
present life. Evil acts such as killing, torturing, stealing, robbing, or
lying done in tlis life will beai nuit in futuie existences by being
boin in tle lowei iealms accomanied by evil ieuibution.
Good deeds done in ievious existences, come to nuition in tle
iesent life as good iesults, so one enjoys longevi[ nee nom ailments,
endowed witl beau[ and wealtl, and auended by many followeis.
Avoiding evil acts of killing, torturing, stealing, robbing, and being
well disposed to generous deeds and helping others, one is reborn
in liglei existences, enjoying tle nuits of tlese good deeds. Good
and bad results are evident realities. The belief that these realities
are the results of good and bad actions is the right-view that ones
own kamma is ones own ioei[. Tlis iiglt-view is not biouglt
about by ones own eneuative intuition like insiglt knowledge. It
is mere acceptance of the view based on faith in the words of the
eldeis and sciituies ahei weigling tle evidence of known instances
and tleii ciedibili[. Tlis iiglt-view is included in tle list of ten
meritorious deeds and is known as meritorious right-view (sucarita
sammdihi). The wrong-view (micchdihi) tlat denies tle uutl of
kamma and its result is one of the ten demeritorious deeds and is
called demeritorious wrong-view(duccarita micchdihi). Please refer
to my Discouise on tle Sallekla Suua for further elucidation.
Meritorious right-view or right-view about the ownership of
kamma forms the root of all wholesome actions. Based on this root,
evil deeds aie avoided and wlolesome deeds sucl as geneiosi[ and
moiali[ aie done. Tle meiitoiious deeds of uanquili[ and insiglt
meditation may also be cultivated. For this reason, this right-view
and moiali[ aie said to be ieliminaiy iequiiements foi tle
wlolesome deeds of concenuation and insiglt.
Since you have asked for a brief teaching to practise in solitude,
I uige you to woik ist foi tle uiication of tlose states tlat
foim tle basis to develo concenuation and insiglt. Wlat aie
tlese ieliminaiy iequiiements' Tley aie uiied moiali[
and iiglt-view. Wlen you lave uiied moiali[ and estab-
lisled iiglt-view, tlen deending on moiali[, you may go on
to develop the four foundations of mindfulness in three modes:
contemplating internal objects, contemplating external objects,
and contemplating internal and external objects.
76 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
From these words of the Blessed One, it is obvious that right-view
about owneisli of ones kamma and tle atl factois of moiali[ aie
the preliminary requirements that have to be established before a
meditator starts practising meditation. It is clear also that for the
development of insight, jhna and access concenuation aie ieiequi-
sites to aclieve uiication of mind. Fuitlei, it is evident tlat in
order to establish the Noble Path, the path of insight, otherwise called
the preliminary path (pubbabhga magga), which is the precursory to
it, must ist be develoed. Wlat I lave desciibed is tle tliee stages
of the Path: the basic path (mla magga), the preliminary path
(pubbabhga magga), and the Noble Path (ariya magga). Developing
tlem leads to nibbna.
The Path in Three Stages
Pious Buddhists customarily wish for the speedy realisation of
nibbna wlenevei tley eifoim any meiitoiious deed. Tle liglest
goal will not, of couise, be auained immediately by meiely wisling
foi it. It will be auained only in one of tle liglei lanes, wlicl tley
will reach by virtue of their good deeds; and then only if they actually
develop the Noble Eightfold Path. So, why wait for a future existence?
Why not start now and work for liberation in this very life? Consider
how liberation may be achieved.
Liberation may be achieved by developing the Noble Eightfold
Path which must be preceded by the preliminary path. However, to
develo tlis atl, tle basic iequiiements must ist be fullled, tlat
is, tle establislment of iiglt-view, tle tliee atl factois of moiali[
and tle tliee atl factois of concenuation.
For those who take refuge in the Buddhas dispensation, right-
view about the ownership of kamma has already been established.
As foi atl factois of moiali[, if tley aie not yet alieady establisled
in it, lay people can accomplish it by observing the precepts on the
eve of starting the meditation practice. If a bhikkhu entertains any
doubt about tle uii[ of lis moiali[, le slould, at tle veiy outset,
suive foi its uiication by undeigoing iobation (parivsa) and
rehabilitation (mnaa). If le ossesses unallowable ioei[, le
slould discaid it, and confess lis oence. Ahei tlus ensuiing tle
uii[ of lis moiali[, a blikklu slould suive to auain one, two,
three, or all four jhnas. If unable to do so, he should work to gain
The Path in Three Stages 77
at least access concenuation in tle neiglbouilood of jhna. If he
cannot work for jhna, le must uy to aclieve tle momentaiy
concenuation foi insiglt, wlicl las tle same claiacteiistics of
suiessing tle lindiances as tle access concenuation, by contem-
plating the four primary elements, etc. This does not involve
establislment of concenuation as sucl, but by keeing close
awaieness of tle uue natuie of mind and mauei, concenuation
automatically aiises. Howevei, by laving tle auention diseised
ovei many objects oi laving it xed on objects wlicl aie not easily
disceinable, concenuation takes a long time to aiise. Conning tle
auention to a limited numbei of objects tlat can be distinctly noted
will facilitate and lasten tle develoment of concenuation.
Tleiefoie we insuuct oui meditatois to stait witl noting tle
element of motion (vyo dhtu), the characteristics of which
stiness, iessuie, and motion manifest in tle abdominal iegion.
As the abdomen rises, note rising, as it falls, note falling. Begin
by noting just these two motions, rising and falling. However, this
is not all that needs to be done. While noting the rising and falling
of the abdomen, if thinking arises, note that as thinking, and then
revert to noting the rising and falling. If some painful feeling appears
in the body, note that, and when it subsides or has been noted for
some time, revert to noting rising and falling. If there is bending,
suetcling, oi moving of tle limbs, note bending, suetcling, oi
moving. Whatever bodily movement there is must be noted. Then
revert to the nothing the abdominal movements. When you see or
hear anything clearly, note seeing, or hearing for some time, then
return to the rising and falling movements.
By tlus noting eveiy lenomenon auentively, tle mind becomes
calm and concenuated. At eveiy moment of awaieness, tle object
observed (rpa), will aeai seaiately nom tle mind (nma), that
cognises it. It is the beginning of the development of the insight
knowledge tlat distinguisles mind nom mauei by viitue of tle
concenuated, calm mind. Tlis insiglt knowledge was meant wlen
the Blessed One said Vision arose, insight arose Elders meant
tle same wlen tley uueied, Pieceding knowledge is sueiseded
by the knowledge following it (pubbenpara visesa sanjnanti).
78 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
How Jhna Attainers Develop Insight
If tle meditatoi suives laid, in tle way stated, until auaining
jhna, the knowledge that accompanies the absorption is the right-
view of jhna sammdihi, which is not noteworthy for the purposes
of insight. What is noteworthy is the jhna concenuation tlat is useful
foi uiication of mind and as tle basis foi insiglt. By emloying
jhna as a base tle meditatoi emeiges nom absoition and staits
contemplating on the mental states involved at the moment of jhnic
auainment, namely, initial alication, sustained alication, joy,
lainess, one-ointedness, contact, volition, auention, etc. These
mental states become very clear to the meditator, as do the physical
states on which the absorption depends. Each moment of their
existence presents itself clearly, followed at once by its dissolution.
The meditator knows easily that because of its incessant passing away,
it is impermanent, unsatisfactory, and not-self.
Tle meditatoi alteinately enteis absoition and emeiges nom it
to contemplate the mental and physical phenomena involved. While
repeating this procedure several times, the path factors of wisdom
become suongly develoed, soon leading to tle iealisation of nibbna.
Tle ossibili[ of sucl iealisation is desciibed tlus in tle Jlna Suua:

Monks, leie, a monk enteis and abides in tle ist jhna. When
le emeiges nom tlat state, le contemlates tle body, feelings,
perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness that exist
during the absorption and sees them as impermanent, unsat-
isfactory, and not-self. Seeing thus he stays with the insight
knowledge so gained and auains Aialantsli, tle cessation
of all corruptions.
Tlis is low an auainei of jhna auains tle Noble Patl by insiglt
meditation on the jhnic mind and mental concomitants mental
and physical phenomena that have actually arisen and passed away
in himself. Here serious consideration should be given to the fact
tlat it is not meie ieection on wlat one las leaint nom books, but
actually observation of the arising and passing away of phenomena
as it actually happens inside oneself.
It is obvious, tleiefoie, tlat just tle auaineis of jhna, ahei
enteiing and emeiging nom jhnic states, have to meditate on the

A.iv.422.
Contemplating Miscellaneous Mental Formations 79
arising and passing away of phenomena that actually occurred in
the immediate preceding moment, so too meditators not endowed
with jhna, have to contemplate the arising and passing away of
sensual desires etc., as they occur in the immediate preceding moments.
It is indeed veiy cleai. Tleiefoie, tlose wlo lave not auained
jhna slould note imly tlat genuine insiglt cannot be develoed
by meie ieection on book knowledge, leaint by iote, it can be
developed only by watching closely every action of seeing, hearing,
smelling, tasting, touching, and thinking, in oneself and discerning
their arising and passing away as it occurs in the immediate
preceding moment.
Contemplating Miscellaneous Mental Formations
Tleie is anotlei metlod of meditation emloyed by tle auaineis
of jhna. Enteiing into absoition and emeiging nom it, tle meditatoi
contemplates the jhnic mind, mental states, and mauei, wlatevei
is easily disceinable, aying auention to seeing, leaiing, smelling,
tasting, touching, or thinking as they occur. This is known as
contemplation of miscellaneous mental formations (pakiaka
sakhr). This is the same method employed by bare insight
meditators devoid of jhnic auainments. Tle dieience lies in using
the jhna as a basis for insight, and in the ease with which mental
and physical phenomena can be contemplated as they appear by
viitue of tle solid foundation of dee concenuation. Tlese aie tle
only dieiences between tle two metlods.
When fatigue overtakes a meditator while contemplating miscel-
laneous objects that appear at the sense-doors, he or she reverts to
tle absoition. Ahei iecueiating, le oi sle continues contemlating
mind and mauei wleievei tley aeai. In tlis way, based on
absoition, le oi sle develos insiglt until it is suong enougl to
lead to tle iealisation of nibbna tliougl Patl knowledge.
This method of contemplation is described in exposition on
Dvedlvitakka Suua in tle Commentaiy to Mlaasa as follows:
In tlese woids tle Buddla talked about tle time wlen Bodlisaua
developed insight meditation based on jhna. Truly, when both
concenuation and insiglt of a meditatoi aie not yet fully matuie, if
he sits very long developing insight meditation fatigue overwhelms
lim, tleie is buining sensation in tle body as if ames aie buisting,
80 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
sweat oozing out nom tle aim-its, le feels as if lot steamy gas is
iusling foitl nom tle to of lis lead. Tle toituied mind twitcles
and suuggles. Tle said meditatoi ieveits back to tle jhnic state to
ieduce tle mental and lysical suain to get ielief nom tlem, and
tlus ienesling limself, le ietuins to tle task in land of meditation.
By siuing long at it le again fatigues limself. Tlen le seeks ielief
once moie by ie-enuy into jhnic state. Indeed he should do so.
Entering the jhnic state is gieatly benecial to insiglt meditation.
This is how miscellaneous volitional activities are used as objects
for meditation starting with jhna, which the meditator maintains as
a base. Meditators not endowed with jhna, contemplate miscellane-
ous volitional activities such as seeing, hearing, thinking, etc. When
fatigue overtakes them while doing so, they cannot, of course, seek
relief by entering jhna. They revert to the limited objective of noting
the rise and fall of the abdomen. By limiting the objects of meditation,
mental and lysical fatigue aie alleviated. Tlus ienesled tley go
back to the continuous observation of the miscellaneous volitional
activities. In tlis way wlen concenuation foi insiglt becomes
suengtlened, tle meditatoi can engage in continuous meditation,
day and niglt, witlout lysical discomfoit oi mental disuess. Tle
meditation objects seem to aiise by tlemselves. Witl eoitless
mindfulness, tle iocess of knowing ieali[ as it is, ows smootlly.
Tle uutl about tle tliee claiacteiistics aeais sontaneously. As
this knowledge gains gathers momentum, both the sense-objects and
the knowing mind plunge into the state of dissolution and cessation.
Tlis is iusling leadlong into nibbna by means of tle Noble Patl.
I have now summarised the basic, preliminary, and Noble Paths.
Develoing tlem leads to nibbna.
Beginning the Path of Insight
As has been stated above, of the three stages of the path the basic
atl comiising iiglt-view and moiali[ las to be accomlisled
befoie staiting meditation iactice. Tle meditatoi wlo uses uanquil-
li[ as a velicle (samatha ynika) las to develo concenuation ist,
befoie beginning insiglt meditation, eitlei access concenuation oi
absorption. The meditator whose path is bare insight (suddhavipassan
ynika), on the other hand, accomplishes the basic path factor of
concenuation wlile contemlating tle foui iimaiy elements, etc.,
How the Factors of Wisdom Are Developed 81
by viitue of xed auention being laced on eveiy sense-object undei
contemplation. Then the mind does not wander to other objects.
Being solely occupied with the task of contemplation, the mind gets
uiied. Ahei uiication of mind is aclieved, eveiy act of
contemplation is the development of the path of insight.
How the Factors of Concentration Are Developed
Eoit tlat is ut foitl to note eacl lenomenon of iising, falling,
siuing, toucling, tlinking, knowing, feeling lot, feeling ainful, etc.,
constitutes tle atl factoi of Riglt Eoit (samm vyama maggaga).
Mindfulness of bodily actions, feelings, mind, and mental-objects
involved in the practice of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness is
the path factor of Right Mindfulness (samm sati maggaga). Having
tle mind xed on tle sense-object undei contemlation is tle atl
factoi of Riglt Concenuation (samm samdhi maggaga), also called
momentaiy concenuation foi insiglt (vipassan khaika samdhi).
Tlese tliee aie tle atl factois of concenuation.
How the Factors of Wisdom Are Developed
Knowing the sense-object under contemplation according to its
uue natuie is tle atl factoi of Riglt View (samm dihi maggaga).
Just ahei auaining tle uiication of mind, knowledge aiises tlat
is able to distinguisl sense-objects nom tle knowing mind. Tlis
analytical knowledge of mind and mauei constitutes tle Puiication
of View. This is followed by discernment of the nature of cause and
eect wlile in tle couise of contemlation. Tleie is bending because
of tle desiie to bend, suetcling because of tle desiie to suetcl,
movement because of the desire to move. One sees because there is
the eye and the sight. One hears because there is the ear and the
sound. There is wealth because of good kamma, etc., thus discerning
cleaily tle law of cause and eect as it uuly is.
As meditation continues, the meditator discerns with each noting
the origination as well as the dissolution of each phenomenon. This
iesults in iealising tle uutl of imeimanence witl iesect to botl
the sense-object and the knowing mind. The incessant arising and
passing away without any break leads to the conviction that it is all
dieadful sueiing, insubstantial, and not amenable to ones will.
Such clear conviction constitutes the path factor of Right View.
82 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
Tleiefoie tle Buddla lad said tlat knowledge of tle uutl of
sueiing is tle atl factoi of Riglt View. Wlen tle uutl of sueiing
is discerned at every contemplation by means of the three character-
istics tle task of comielending tle iemaining tliee uutls is
accomplished. How this is accomplished will be dealt with later in
tle section on tle uutl of tle atl.
Inclining tle mind to know tle uue natuie of mind and mauei,
and their origination and dissolution by way of the three character-
istics, constitutes the path factor of Right Thought (samm sakappa
maggaga). The two paths factors of Right View and Right Thought
are the path factors of the wisdom group.
Tle tliee factois of Riglt Concenuation exlained befoie, lus
tlese two factois of insiglt foim tle ve atl factois tlat aie
classied as tle ve woikeis (kraka maggaga). These factors are
responsible for accomplishing the task of noting and knowing every
phenomenon. Hence they are called the workers in the Commentary.
Tle atl factois of moiali[ Riglt Seecl, Riglt Action, and
Right Livelihood were established even before meditation started,
and tley iemain im, geuing moie iened duiing tle couise of
meditation. With these three factors, all eight path factors of the
preliminary path are being developed with each act of noting.
The Path Factor of Right Thought
I have dealt elaborately with seven path factors. I will now proceed
with the consideration of the remaining one, the path factor of Right
Thought (samm sakappa maggaga).
What, monks, is Right Thought? The thought of renunciation
(nekkhamma sakappa), the thought of non-violence (abypda
sakappa), tle tlouglt of non-ciuel[(avihis sakappa). This
is Right Thought.
All wholesome thoughts of performing meritorious deeds, seeking
ordination, listening to discourses, and practising meditation are
thoughts of renunciation. (See also A Discouise on tle Sallekla Suua).
Pabbajj pathama jhna, nibbnaca vipassan
Sabbepi kusal dhamm, nekkhammanti pavuccare.
According to the above verse, it is clear that practising insight
meditation fulls tle ienunciation asect of iiglt tlouglt. Tlouglts
The Path Factor of Right Thought 83
of non-killing and wishing others well form are thoughts of non-
violence. Especially when loving-kindness meditation (me bhvan)
is being develoed tlis factoi is being fullled. Tlouglts of consid-
eiateness and meicy aie non-ciuel[, wlicl is esecially fullled
while engaged in meditation on compassion (karu bhvan).
In the course of insight meditation, since no thoughts of killing
oi ciuel[ witl iesect to tle sense-object undei contemlation get
tle ooituni[ to aiise, it slould be consideied tlat tlese two factois
of Riglt Tlouglt aie fullled witl eveiy act of noting. Howevei, tle
thought involved in insight meditation is not deliberate cogitation
or conceiving, it is just inclining the mind towards perceiving the
uue ieali[ of mind and mauei, tle natuie of tleii oiigination and
dissolution, and tle uutl of tle tliee claiacteiistics.
I have fully explained the basic path (mla magga) as well as the
eightfold factors of the path of insight, otherwise known as the
preliminary path (pubbabhga magga). When the path of insight is
fully develoed, it gets uansfoimed into Noble Patl (ariya magga)
leading to tle iealisation of nibbna. Tle ieliminaiy atl may be
called the forerunner of the Noble Path, which follows it. In other
woids, tley foim tle ist and last aits of tle same atl. To auain
the Noble Path, which forms the last part of the path, the initial part,
namely tle atl of insiglt ist las to be accomlisled. In tlis way,
the last stage of the Path, the Noble Path, will develop by itself.
To give a simile, to jum acioss a sueam, one slould iun at full
seed and jum. Once one las jumed, no fuitlei eoit need be
exeited. One will automatically land on tle otlei side of tle sueam.
Developing the path of insight may be compared to running at speed
and jumping. Landing on the other side is like realising the Noble
Patl in consequence of tle momentum gained nom tle atl of insiglt.
May all the good people in this audience, by virtue of having
given iesectful auention to tlis Discouise on tle Wleel of tle
Dhamma, be able to develop the Middle Path, otherwise called the
Noble Eightfold Path and by means of the Path and its Fruition
accoiding as you wisl, auain nibbna, tle end of all sueiing.
Sdhu! Sdhu! Sdhu!
84
Part Four
Delivered on Sunday 21st October, 1962.

For the past eight weeks I have been expounding the Dhamma-
cakka Suua, dealing witl denitions and exlanations of tle two
exueme iactices, low tle Blessed One discaided tlese two exuemes
and discovered the Middle Path, otherwise called the Noble Eightfold
Path, by means of which vision and insight arose in him. I have also
exlained low tle atl leads to tle calming of tle delements, and
to liglei knowledge, wlicl gives eneuative insiglt into tle Foui
Noble Tiutls and leads to tle iealisation of nibbna. I lave also given
a comprehensive exposition of the Eightfold Path and how it may
be developed. I will now start considering the Four Noble Truths,
wlicl tle Blessed One eneuated by adoting tle Middle Patl.
The Truth of Suffering
Ida kho pana, bhikkhave, dukkha ariyasacca jtipi dukkh,
jarpi dukkh, bydhipi dukkho, maraampi dukkha, appiyehi
sampayogo dukkho, piyehi vippayogo dukkho, yampiccha na labhati
tampi dukkha sakhiena pacupdnakkhandh dukkh.
Tlis Pi assage, wlicl gives tle denition and enumeiation of
tle uutl of sueiing (dukkha sacc), is quoted nom tle Dlammacakka
Suua, as it is now extant. Tle liase bydhipi dukkho in this passage
aeais to be exuaneous, not being found in tle Pi denitions of
tle uutl of sueiing found in otlei suuas. At tle same time, tle
words soka parideva dukkha domanassupyaspi, wlicl come ahei
maraa pi dukkha in otlei suuas aie missing in tle cuiient text
of tle Dlammacakka Suua. Tleie is tlis dieience between tle
Dlammacakka Suua and otlei suuas in tle denition of tle uutl
of sueiing.
A Critical Examination of Disparities in the Texts
Tle Siauladan, a Subcommentaiy on tle Vinaya, las made
tle following ciitical iemaiks on tle disaii[ of tle suua texts
mentioned above:
The phrase bydhipi dukkho does not appear in the detailed
denition of tle uutl of sueiing given in tle Viblaga of tle
Ablidlamma Piaka. Accoidingly, tle Visuddlimagga, in giving a

The 8th waning of Thadingyut, 1324 M.E


A Critical Examination of Disparities in the Texts 85
comielensive denition of tle uutl of sueiing, does not include
tlis sentence, wlicl exists only in tle Dlammacakkaavauana
Suua text. A caieful investigation slould be made as to wly tlis
sentence aeais only in Dlammacakka Suua and not in any otlei
suuas. It goes on to state: Again, in tle comielensive denition
of tle uutl of sueiing in tle Viblaga, tle woids soka parideva
dukkha domanasupyasa pi dukkha come immediately ahei maranampi
dukkha. Tlese woids aie missing in tle Dlammacakka Suua. Wly
it this is so should also be closely examined.
The author of the Subcommentary did not seem too happy over
tlese vaiious denitions in tle texts. He did not tleiefoie give any
exposition on these words bydhipi dukkho, which are not present
in otlei suuas and on wlicl tle Commentaiy iemained silent. I took
up the suggestion made by the author of the Subcommentary to
conduct an enquiiy into tlese dieiences and lave made tle
following ndings as to low tlese dieiences came about.
It cannot be tlat tle Buddla did not give a consistent denition
of tle uutl of sueiing in eveiy discouise on tle subject. I lave
come to the conclusion that the Vinaya masters who made a
specialised study of the Vinaya, not being equally well-versed in
maueis eitaining to tle Suuas and Ablidlamma, lad caused tle
insertion of the words bydhipi dukkho and the deletion of the
words soka parideva dukkha domanassupyspi dukkha in the
Dlammacakka discouise in tle Vinaya Malvagga. Tleii veision
of tle Dlammacakka Suua in tle Vinaya tlus dieis nom tlat in
tle Suuanta and Ablidlamma.
My conclusion is based on the consideration that the Commentar-
ies on tle Suua and Ablidlamma tlat give exositions on tle sloit
denition of tle uutl of sueiing do not iovide any exlanatoiy
note on bydhipi dukkho, though they do on soka parideva dukkha
domanassupysa pi dukkha, and on the fact that neither the Commen-
taiies noi tle Subcommentaiies made any mention of tle dieiences
in tle Pi Texts.
Tle autloi of tle Siauladan Subcommentaiy was Siiuua
Thera who lived during the reign of King PaiakkamabluI between
A.D. 1153 and A.D. 1186. Counting back nom 1962, it was about
seven or eight hundred years ago. The commentators and subcom-
mentatois nom tle Veneiable Buddlaglosa down to tle Veneiable
86 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
Dlammala lived about 1300 to 1600 yeais ago. Tlese ancient
commentators and subcommentators who wrote exegeses on the
Dlammacakka Suua in tle Sayuuanikya,

did not mention the


disaii[ in tle texts. Tleii silence was simly because tle Dlamma-
cakka Suua as it existed tlen was no dieient nom tlat in tle Pi
texts of otlei Suuas and Ablidlamma. Howevei, by tle time tle
autloi of tle Siauladan came uon tle scene about 500 yeais
latei, tle disaii[ lad cioed u between tle vaiious Pi texts,
wlicl le duly discoveied. He tleiefoie suongly uiged foi a ciitical
examination and close investigation of tle cause foi tle disaii[.
If we weie to accet tlat tle Buddla gave a denition of tle uutl
of sueiing in lis veiy ist discouise tlat dieis nom otlei veisions,
it would amount to maintaining tlat tle Buddla gave tle ist
discouise witl one denition of sueiing, tlen clanging it latei to
a dieient veision. Tlis view would be liglly imioei. A ioei
method of consideration would be that the Buddha, whose knowl-
edge of all things was unimpeded, being blessed with Omniscience
(sabbauta a), lad given tle same denition consistently
throughout, but later the Vinaya masters, owing to defective
intelligence and memory, had caused these discrepancies to creep
into tle texts in tle couise of landing tlem down nom geneiation
to generation. Instances of textual discrepancies are well known in
modern times. The Commentary and Subcommentary texts are found
to vaiy nom counuy to counuy. It is obvious tlat sucl disaiities
were not present in the original texts, but only developed later.
Ahei caieful sciutiny as set out above, I lave concluded tlat otlei
texts aie accuiate and tlat tle Dlammacakka Suua, now in extent,
las, in its section in tle denition of tle uutl of sueiing, sulemen-
tal words of bydhipi dukkho while the words soka parideva dukkha
domanssupysa pi dukkha are missing. My conclusion is based on
the consideration that disease (bydhi) is embraced by the worddukkha
in the phrase soka parideva dukkha domanassupysa pi dukkha,
whereas grief (soka), lamentation (parideva), sorrow (domanassa) and
despair (upysa) are not embraced by the term disease (bydhi).
I therefore believe that the texts containing soka parideva dukkha
domanassupysa pi dukkha, without the words bydhi pi dukkho
are accurate and in accord with the Canonical teachings of the Buddha.

S.v.421.
The Four Noble Truths 87
I have scrutinised these disparate texts above, as I intend to use in
my discourse the following version, which I believe to be accurate.
Accurate Definition of the Truth of Suffering
Ida kho pana, bhikkhave, dukkha ariyasaccam: jtipi dukkh,
jarpi dukkh, maranampi dukkha, soka parideva dukkha
domanassupysapi dukkha, appiyehi sampayogo dukkho, piyehi
vippayogo dukkho, yampicca na labhati tampi dukkha,
sakhiena pacupdnakkhand dukkh.
Tlis, monks, is tle Noble Tiutl of Sueiing: biitl (new
becoming) is sueiing, aging is sueiing, deatl is sueiing,
giief, lamentation, ain, soiiow, and desaii aie sueiing,
association witl tle unloved is sueiing, seaiation nom tle
loved is sueiing, not geuing wlat one wants is also sueiing,
in biief, tle ve aggiegates of auaclment aie sueiing.
The Four Noble Truths
Many religious beliefs exist in the world, each expounding its
own view of wlat it consideis to be tle essential uutl. Tle teaclings
in other systems of religions are not based on personal realisation of
tle uutl, but meiely on seculation. Tleii followeis accet sucl
teachings not through personal experience either, but only on faith.
All such teachings that fall outside of Buddhism are included in the
six[-two kinds of wiong-views enumeiated by tle Blessed One in
tle Bialmajla Suua. Howevei, seculation las no lace in tle
Buddlas teaclings. Tle uutl tlat le tauglt was discoveied tliougl
lis own insiglt. Tle Foui Noble Tiutls le tauglt witl tleii denition
lad been gained tliougl lis sueiioi eneuative insiglt, develoed
by following the Noble Eightfold Path, which, as stated above, leads
to liglei knowledge, ioducing eneuative insiglt. Tlese Foui
Noble Tiutls aie: tle uutl of sueiing (dukkha sacc), tle uutl of
tle oiigin of sueiing (samudaya sacc), tle uutl of tle cessation of
sueiing (nirodha sacc), and tle uutl of tle atl leading to tle
cessation of sueiing (magga sacc).
It is vital to know these Four Noble Truths. Only with the
comielension of tle uutl of sueiing, may sueiing be avoided,
foi wlicl tle cause of sueiing must also be known. Again, to
aclieve tle cessation of sueiing, tleie must be knowledge of wlat
88 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
tle cessation of sueiing ieally is. Finally, tle cessation of sueiing
cannot be brought about without practical knowledge of the way to
accomlisl it. Hence knowledge of tle foui uutls is indisensable.
Having discoveied tlese foui essential uutls, tle Buddla
enumeiated tlem in sequence. Tle ist uutl dealt witl was tle
uutl of sueiing, wlicl le desciibed as: biitl (new becoming),
aging, death, grief, lamentation, physical pain, sorrow or mental
ain, desaii, association witl tle unloved, seaiation nom loved
ones, not geuing wlat one wants, in biief, tle ve aggiegates of
auaclment. Tlis is tle uanslation of tle Pi assage quoted above.
Suffering of Rebirth
By new becoming (rebirth) is meant the dissolution of mind and
mauei at tle last moment in tle ievious existence and, ahei deatl,
tle ist moment of genesis of new mind and mauei in tle next
existence as conditioned by kamma. Tlis ist genesis, wlicl seives
as a connecting link with the past life is termed relinking or
conception (paisandhi), tle initial foimation of nesl mind and mauei.
If this formation takes place in a mothers womb, then it is conception
in a womb (gabbhaseyyaka paisandhi), wlicl may be of two [es:
oviparous (aaja paisandhi), when the conception takes place in an
egg, and viviparous (jalbuja paisandhi), wlen tle embiyo neely
develops in the womb until birth occurs.
Conception in a womb, according to the Buddhist scriptures, has
its origin in the semen and blood of the parents. Western medical
science lolds tle view tlat concetion iesults nom tle union of tle
fathers sperm and the mothers ovum. The two views may be
reconciled by accepting that the fathers sperm and mothers blood
are involved in a conception. This union of sperm and blood of the
aients, leading to tle foimation of new mind and mauei, constitutes
what is known as rebirth which may occur either in lower realms
(apya) or in the human world as conditioned by past unwholesome
kamma or wholesome kamma respectively.
Conception in moisture-laden media such as moss (sasedaja),
represents the coming into existence of some larvae. Beings invisible
to human eyes such as deities, demons, ghosts, and denizens of the
woeful states assume spontaneous rebirth (opaptika), with the
conscious mind and physical body already fully developed.
The Suering of Change 89
In all tlese foui [es of concetion, tle ist moment of conce-
tion oi genesis denitely constitutes beginning a new existence oi
birth (jti). No sueiing oi ain exists, of couise, at tle ist moment
of genesis, but since the origination of life serves as a basis for the
latei aeaiance of lysical ain and mental sueiing tliouglout
tle wlole of tle ensuing existence, biitl is called sueiing. It is like
uuing ones signatuie on a document as a guaiantoi of some
questionable uansactions. Tleie is no uouble, of couise, at tle time
of signing tle document, but because it is suie to cause diculties
later, the act of signing the document amounts to involvement in
dieadful uouble oi, in otlei woids, in sueiing.
Foi fuitlei elucidation, sueiing may be classied undei seven
categoiies: 1)tle sueiing of ain (dukkha-dukkha), 2)tle sueiing
of change (viparima-dukkha) and 3) tle sueiing of conditioned
states (sakhra dukkha) these three forming one group,
4) concealed sueiing (paicchanna dukkha) and 5) unconcealed
sueiing (apaicchanna dukkha) these two forming another group,
6) indiiect sueiing (pariyya dukkha) and 7) diiect sueiing
(nippariyya dukkha) these two forming the third group.
Of tlese seven [es, bodily acles, ains, and discomfoit aie one
lysical sueiing and woiiy, miseiy, unlainess, and soiiow aie
mental sueiing. Tle two constitute tle sueiing of ain (dukkha-
dukkha). Its natuie is sueiing, its name is sueiing, lence it is
dreaded by every sentient being.
Unenduiable lysical and mental sueiing is dukkha-dukkha.
The Suffering of Change
Physical pleasure (kya sukha) aiising nom agieeable tactile
impressions and mental pleasure (cetasik sukha) aiising nom
considering pleasant sense-objects are two forms of happiness liked
by every sentient being. All beings pursue happiness day and night,
even iisking tleii lives, and wlen lainess is auained, it knows no
bounds. Nevertheless, if the sense-objects that have given them such
intense delight and enjoyment disappear while they are rejoicing
witl blissful contentment, tleii agitation and disuess is as intense
as their previous happiness.
When the wealth they have accumulated in the form of gold,
money, oi ioei[ suddenly get lost tliougl one ieason oi anotlei,
90 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
or when death or separation comes to ones beloved member of the
family, whether ones spouse or children, then intense grief and
disuess ensue, and may even cause mental deiangement. Tlus tlese
two foims of mental and lysical lainess aie sueiing of clange
(viparima dukkha). While they last, they may seem very enjoyable,
but they are replaced by intense grief and despair when they vanish.
Hence tley aie sueiing.
Hainess aiising nom comfoit and joy is viparima dukkha.
Suffering of Conditioned States
The ordinary everyday scene that one sees, hears, or comes into
contact witl, neuual sense-objects insiie neitlei leasuie noi ain.
Tlis neuual condition, wlicl by natuie is neitlei ainful noi
leasuiable is called neuual feeling (upekkh vedan). Tlis equanimi[
does not, however, exist permanently. It needs constant maintenance
of its necessaiy conditions foi continui[ of tlis medial state. Tlis
imlies laboiious eoit wlicl, of couise, is sueiing. Hence tlis
equanimous feeling, which is neither painful nor pleasurable, is
called tle sueiing of conditioned states (sakhra dukkha). In
addition to this equanimous feeling, all other mental and physical
foimations of tle mundane sleie aie also called sueiing, because
they need constant maintenance.
Neuual feelings, and mental and lysical foimations of tle
mundane sphere are sakhra dukkha.
Feelings of happiness also requires constant conditioning for its
maintenance and as sucl slould also be classied as sakhra dukkha,
but tle commentatois omiued it nom tlis classication as it las been
given a separate name as viparima dukkha. Nevertheless, it should
be regarded as sakhra dukkha too since it is obvious that consider-
able eoit is needed foi its maintenance.
Tle tliee [es of sueiing exlained above slould be tloiouglly
undeistood as a im gias of tlese [es will lel in undeistanding
tle uutl of sueiing.
Concealed and Unconcealed Suffering
Plysical ailments sucl as eai-acle, tootl-acle, lead-acle, atu-
lence, and mental aictions aiising out of unfullled desiie, iage,
disaointment, miseiy, and woiiy aie called concealed sueiing
Direct and Indirect Suering 91
(paicchanna dukkha), because tley aie known only to tle sueiing
individual and become known to others only when intimated by
tlem. As sucl sueiing is not oenly evident, it is also called
unaaient sueiing (apkata dukkha).
Plysical aiction sucl as nom swoid cuts, seai tliusts, oi bullet
wounds is not hidden, but quite apparent and evident. It is therefore
called unconcealed sueiing (apaicchanna dukkha) or apparent
sueiing (pkata dukkha).
Direct and Indirect Suffering
All mental and physical formations that can give rise to physical
and mental aictions aie not in essence sueiing, but as tley aie
tle basis of sueiing of one foim oi anotlei, tley aie known as
indiiect sueiing (pariyya dukkha). They are dreadful in view of the
sueiing tlat will suiely aiise nom tlem. As in tle examle just
given, it is dieadful like giving ones guaiantee to a uansaction by
signing a bond for which compensation has to be paid later.
Tle sueiing of ain (dukkha-dukkha) is inuinsic. Tleie is no doubt
as to its action. It is tleiefoie known as diiect sueiing (nippariyya
dukkha).
Of tlese seven [es of sueiing, taking biitl in a new existence
comes undei indiiect sueiing accoiding to tle above classication.
All kinds of sueiing in lell sucl as subjection to millions of yeais
of incineiation by lell-ie, oi toituies by tle waidens of lell, aiise
because of birth in hell as a consequence of past unwholesome kamma.
All kinds of sueiing in tle iealm of lungiy glosts sucl as staivation
oi scoicling ies foi billions of yeais aiise because of biitl in tlat
realm as a consequence of unwholesome kamma. Hardships and
uoubles in tle animal kingdom sueied by caule, elelants, loises,
dogs, pigs, chickens, birds, goats, sheep, insects, etc., arise because
they happen to take birth in animal existences.
Human miseiy claiacteiised by scaici[ of tle essentials foi living
such as food and clothing is brought about by the fact of taking birth
in a human existence. Even when well provided for as in the case of
auent eole, tleie is no escae nom sueiing, wlicl is inicted
on tlem in tle foim of lysical and mental disuess due to illness
and disease, unfullled desiies, feai of oiession by tleii enemies,
aging, etc. All these miseries come about because of birth in the
92 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
luman woild. Tlus, being tle foundation foi all tle sueiings tlat
ensue throughout the whole span of life, taking birth in a particular
existence, biitl is iegaided as sueiing.
Suffering in a Mothers Womb
When one takes conception in a mothers womb, one comes into
being in the disgusting womb, which is situated in between the
stomacl, lled witl undigested food, and tle iectum, tle iecetacle
for excreta, faeces and urine, depending for ones body substance on
the parents sperm and blood, which is loathsome indeed! The very
tlouglt of laving to stay amidst a ltly mass of seim and blood
is revolting and nauseating. There is no knowing whether one has
descended into a human womb or the womb of a cow or a dog.
Twen[ oi tlii[ yeais ago, a ceitain eldei used to iecite a veise
Dhamma cradle, Emerald cradle, in the course of his discourses.
Tle veise gave a desciition of vaiious kinds of ciadles ianging nom
emerald-studded golden cradles for royal infants to the miserable
wickei baskets of ovei[-suicken families. In one stanza of tle veise
was the query, Aging is gradually creeping. For which cradle are
you leading' Tlis question is quite at since ahei aging comes
nally deatl, and if ciaving still iemains, deatl will inevitably be
followed by rebirth in a new existence. Even if one is reborn in the
human plane, one is bound to start life in one cradle or another. The
question is, Which kind of cradle? An emerald-studded golden
cradle awaits those with an abundance of wholesome kammas, while
tlose buidened witl unwlolesome kamma will lead suaiglt foi a
wicker basket in a wretched home. The verse was an exhortation
urging people to do meritorious deeds to assure a high class cradle
in their next existence.
I would also urge you to ponder a while on the question of which
kind of mothers womb you are heading for, to become mindful of
tle dieadful sueiing auendant uon biitl, and to suive foi tle
cessation of tle cycle of iebiitl. Even if one cannot suive foi comlete
libeiation yet, at least uy to avoid a lowly iebiitl.
Wlat I lave desciibed is low one is faced witl dieadful sueiing
of iebiitl nom tle moment of descent into tle motleis womb, tlen
duiing tle eiiod of gestation foi nine montls, otlei sueiings follow.
When the mother suddenly moves, sits down, or stands up, the
Suering Throughout Life 93
exueme sueiing one undeigoes is like a kid being wliiled aiound
by a drunkard, or a young snake fallen into the hands of a snake-
charmer. The young baby in the womb of a modern mother inclined
to atlletic exeicises, is likely to be subject to moie intense sueiings.
When the mother happens to drink something cold or swallow
sometling lot oi acid, tle sueiing becomes a ieal toituie.
Suffering at Birth
It is said tlat tle obsteuic ains of a motlei at clild-biitl can be
so excruciating as to prove fatal; the childs agony could be no less,
and could iove fatal too. Tle ain tlat aiises ahei biitl wlen its
delicate body is taken in by rough hands, washed and rubbed with
rough cloths, is like scrapping the sore spots of a very tender wound.
Tle ains desciibed so fai ielate to sueiing enduied nom tle
moment of conception to the time of birth.
Suffering Throughout Life
Tleieahei, tleie will be disuess and discomfoit sucl as stiness,
heat, cold, or itchiness while one is too young to alleviate them oneself
by clanging ostuies. Innumeiable diculties aie bound to follow
when one grows up and has to face the problems of earning a
livelilood. One will become subjected to malueatment and oies-
sion by others, to diseases, and injuries.
One goes tliougl all tlese sueiings simly because one laens
to take a new existence. Accordingly, rebirth, being the foundation
of all tle miseiies of tle wlole existence, is dened as sueiing by
tle Buddla. A caieful consideiation will conim tle accuiacy of tlis
denition. Rebiitl is ieally dieadful, like signing a document wlicl
latei will give iise to diculties. Tlus biitl is sueiing because of
its dieadfulness. To summaiise, tle lysical and mental aictions
arise because of birth in each existence. Only when there is no more
iebiitl will tleie be total ielease nom tlese inections. Tlus tle
Blessed One taught that the very origination of new existence, birth
is sueiing.
Sueiing is met witl in eveiy existence.
If tleie is no biitl, tleie is no sueiing.
Tle oiigination of a new existence is tleiefoie sueiing.
94 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
Suffering Because of Aging
Aging means becoming grey-haired, toothless, wrinkled, bent,
deaf, and short-sighted. In other words, decay that has set in is easily
recognisable in the mental and physical aggregates. However, the
aging of the mental aggregates are not so apparent. Indications, such
as failing memory and dotage become noticeable only when one is
very old and then only to close associates.
The physical aging goes on all throughout life quite unmistakably,
but becomes veiy noticeable only wlen one is geuing faiily old and
no longer youthful. A child doesnt have the same body as a teenager.
There is continuous change in physical appearance. Young adults
assume an aeaiance quite dieient nom tlat of tleii teenage yeais.
These changes are indications of the aging that is taking place.
However, here, by aging (jar) we mean decay in tle sense of geuing
grey-haired, etc., which are clearly discernable.
Aging is concerned with just the static moment (hiti) of the mental
and lysical aggiegates and las no essence of ain oi sueiing as it
is. However, because of aging, there occurs failing of vital force in the
whole system of the body, impairment of eyesight and hearing, fading
of tle senses of smell and taste, declining lysical suengtl, unauac-
tiveness, vanishing of youthfulness, loss of memory and intellectual
power, disrespect or contempt by young people (being addressed as
old fogey, granddad, grandma, etc.), being regarded as a burden on
socie[. Sucl disabilities, of couise, give iise to lysical and mental
sueiing. Since it foims a souice of lysical and mental sueiing, tle
Buddla said tlat aging is dieadful sueiing. Peole aie ieally anaid
of old age. They are forever seeking ways and means of stemming the
advent of old age. However, it is all in vain. With grey hairs and
missing teeth etc., decay sets in inexorably. That aging is dreadful
sueiing is so obvious tlat I do not need to elaboiate any fuitlei.
Death as Suffering
Deatl means tle extinction of vitali[ (jvita) or the life principle,
which has been in ceaseless operation since the time of conception
as conditioned by individual kamma in a particular existence.
Referring to this, the Buddha said, All mortals are in constant fear
of death (sabbe bhyanti maccuno). Death as conditioned by birth,
deatl by violence, deatl by natuial causes, deatl nom teimination
Grief as Suering 95
of tle life-san, deatl nom tle exlaustion of wlolesome kammic
results, are all synonymous terms describing the same phenomenon
of extinction of the life principle.
Deatl means just tle moment of dissolution of tle life-facul[ and
is not by itself ain oi disuess. Howevei, wlen deatl comes, one las
to abandon the physical body and leave behind ones near and dear
ones, ielatives and niends, togetlei witl all of ones ioei[. Tle
tlouglt of leaving tle iesent existence is veiy nigltening, and eveiy
moital is seized witl tle feai of deatl. Unceitain[ as to wlicl
existence one is bound to ahei deatl causes gieat feai too. Because
of its dieadful natuie tle Buddla desciibed deatl as sueiing.
According to the Commentary, the wicked who are burdened with
an unwholesome past, see on their death-bed, the evil deeds they
have done (kamma), or signs of their evil deeds (kamma nimia), or
signs of the realm of misery in which they are doomed to take rebirth
(gati nimia), all of which give them intense mental anguish. However,
good eole witl accumulations of wlolesome kamma suei too as
they dwell on their approaching death, because they cannot bear to
ait nom all tlat tley lold deai, beloved ones and ioei[. As deatl
draws near, all beings are subject to severe illnesses, which rack the
body with unbearable pain. Death being the basis of all such physical
and mental ains, las tlus been called sueiing by tle Blessed One.
Grief as Suffering
Grief (soka) is tle woiiying and tle state of being disuessed in
one aected by some loss: 1) loss of ielatives (tibyasana) through
ciime, eidemics, ie, oods, oi stoims, 2) desuuction oi loss of
ioei[(bhogabyasana) by tle action of kings oi goveinments, tleh,
oi ie, 3)loss of lealtl (rogabyasana) and longevi[ biouglt about
by einicious diseases, 4) loss of moiali[ (slabyasana), and 5) loss
of right-view(dihibyasana).
Soiiow witl intense woiiy and disuess is felt esecially wlen
one is bereaved of loved ones such as a spouse, sons or daughters,
brothers, sisters, etc., oi wlen disasuous economic misfoitune befalls
tle louselold. Tlis giief is, suictly seaking, unleasant feeling oi
sorrow(domanassa vedan), and as sucl is inuinsic sueiing (dukkha-
dukkha). Oveiwlelming disuess occasioned by giief is liable to cause
leaitbuin, wlicl may conuibute to iematuie aging and deatl.
96 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
Being thus a basis for other physical pains, too, grief is dreadful and
is tleiefoie called sueiing by tle Blessed One.
Everyone fears grief and sorrow. Capitalising on this fear, many
books lave been wiiuen on tle subject of Fieedom nom Soiiow.
Howevei, ieal needom nom soiiow may be aclieved only tliougl
the practice of mindfulness meditation. By developing the Four
Foundations of Mindfulness, comlete needom nom soiiow can be
enjoyed as exemlied by tle ministei Santati and Paci Tlei.
In tle iesent times too, disuessed eisons, laving lost lusbands
oi uoubled by business failuies, lave come to oui meditation cenue
to practise meditation. Daily their sorrow gradually diminished, and
nally tley gained comlete needom nom soiiow.
Lamentation as Suffering
Lamentation (parideva) is the sound produced by wailing on the
ait of one aected by tle loss of ielatives oi ioei[. Absentmind-
edly and lysteiically tle disuessed one clamouis, ioclaiming tle
viitues of tle dead and tle quali[ of tle ioei[ lost, oi denouncing
the person responsible for their loss.
In tle absuact sense, lamentation is tle mateiial quali[ of sound
and tleiefoie not sueiing in essence. Howevei, sucl willing and
hysterical proclamations produce physical discomfort and pain. The
Buddla tleiefoie declaied lamentation to be sueiing. To ciy is to
be subject to ain, wlicl is sueiing.
Physical Pain as Suffering
Plysical discomfoits in tle body sucl as stiness, feeling lot,
acling, tiiedness, oi itcliness, aie sueiing. Tlese lysical ains
aie inuinsic sueiing (dukkha-dukkha), which everyone knows and
is anaid of. Even animals sucl as dogs, igs, oi fowl iun away to
safe[ at tle sligltest lint of geuing beaten oi slot at because tley
aie anaid of lysical ain. Tlat lysical ain is sueiing needs no
elaboration. It is important to know that sickness or disease (bydhi),
comes under this category of physical pain (dukkha). Physical pain
is geneially followed by mental disuess and foi tlus seiving as a
cause of mental ain too, it is dieadful sueiing.
If physical pain is mindfully noted in accordance with the
Satialna metlod, mental ain is aveited. Only lysical ain is
Despair as Suering 97
then felt. The Blessed One spoke in praise of this practice by which
mental ain is aveited and one sueis only lysical ain. Peimiuing
mental sueiing to aiise by failuie to take note of tle lysical ain
was denounced by tle Buddla. It is like, le said, auemting to
remove a thorn that is hurting with another thorn, when the second
tloin bieaks and iemains embedded in tle esl. One sueis tlen
two ains, one nom tle ist tloin and additional ain nom tle
second tloin. Tlis illusuation deseives caieful consideiation.
Sorrow as Suffering
Sorrow (domanassa) denotes mental pain such as displeasure,
anxie[, miseiy, sadness, feai, etc. Soiiow is also inuinsic sueiing
(dukkha-dukkha). All mortal beings are well acquainted with it and
fear it, which therefore needs no elaboration. Sorrow not only
oppresses the mind but may also torture the body. When one is
eicely giied by soiiow, one goes about dejectedly witlout slee
or food for days on end, with the consequent impairment of health
and even advent of deatl. It is uuly a foimidable sueiing nom
which only Non-returners (angmi), and Arahants are exempt.
Individuals wlo iactise Satialna meditation can oveicome
soiiow if tley make suenuous eoits to note it as it aiises. In tlis
way they can reduce the pain of sorrow to a considerable extent even
if they cannot overcome it completely.
Despair as Suffering
Despair (upysa) is biueiness ioduced by excessive mental ain
in one aected by tle loss of ielatives, etc. It causes repeated
bemoaning over the loss resulting in burning of the mind and
lysical disuess. Desaii is tleiefoie sueiing because of tle intense
burning of the mind and physical pain accompanying it. People
accoidingly iecognise desaii as dieadful sueiing.
Tle Commentaiy illusuates tle dieiences between giief (soka),
lamentation (parideva), and despair (upysa) as follows:
Giief is like cooking oil oi dye in a ot ovei a slow ie. Lamenta-
tion is like its boiling ovei wlen cooking ovei a quick ie. Desaii
is like wlat iemains in tle ot ahei it las boiled ovei and is unable
to do so any more, going on cooking in the pot until it dries up.
98 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
Suffering as Association with the Unloved
Association with the unloved means meeting with disagreeable
beings and mental formations. Such meeting is not itself unbearable
pain, but when one meets with disagreeable beings or undesirable
objects, a reaction sets in at once in the form of mental disturbance
and physical discomfort. As it serves as a cause of mental and
lysical disuess, association witl tle unloved is designated by tle
Buddla as dieadful sueiing. Tle woild in geneial also iecognises
sucl encounteis as undesiiable sueiing. Some eole may go to
the extent of praying not to have the misfortune of encountering
undesirable person or things throughout the cycle of existence.
However, in the world where pleasantness and unpleasantness
co-exist, one has to face both according to circumstance. Ones wish
may be fullled, if at all, only aitially by laving fewei occasions to
face unpleasant people and objects.
The important thing is to meet unpleasant situations with the right
mental auitude. Tle best couise of action is to iely on tle iactice of
mindfulness, that is noting incessantly so that the mental process
remains at the stage of just hearing, seeing, etc. When unpleasant
sensations aie felt in tle body, mental disuess must be aveited by
continuously noting touching, knowing, pain, etc.
Suffering as Separation from the Loved
Seaiation nom tle loved means to be aited nom agieeable
beings and mental formations. Such separation is not itself a painful
feeling. However, when separation takes place, by death or while
still alive, nom loved ones sucl as ones souse oi clildien, oi wlen
aited nom ones ueasuied ossessions, mental disuess sets in at
once. It may even develop into grief, lamentation, and despair. One
is bound to be overwhelmed with grief under such circumstances.
As it iomotes sucl mental aictions, tle Blessed One called tle
seaiation nom loved ones and desiiable objects dieadful sueiing.
Tle woild also iecognises sucl seaiation as ainful sueiing. Some
even pray to be always together with their loved ones throughout
tle succession of existences. Sucl wisles may be fullled wlen tleie
is sucient good kamma.
Tle family of tle millionaiie Meaka, comiising lis wife, lis
son, and daughter-in-law, together with their servant, once made
Suering as the Five Aggregates 99
sucl a wisl, to be always togetlei in futuie existences, by oeiing
food to a Paccekabuddha. As a result of this wholesome kamma,
tleii wisl was fullled and tle ve weie boin togetlei at tle time
of our Buddha Gotama. However, such wishes tend to promote
clinging, so is veiy inaioiiate foi an individual witl tle im
iesolve to obtain comlete ielease nom tle cycles of existence.
Suffering as Not Getting What One Wants
Tle sueiing of not geuing wlat one wants is tle sueiing tlat
aiises nom desiie foi some unobtainable object. Witlout iactising
and developing the Noble Eightfold Path, the desire may arise, If
only I were not subject to birth, aging, disease, and death. If only I
were not subject to sorrow and lamentation. Of course, these wishes
will not be fullled meiely by wisling, and not geuing wlat one
wants causes mental anguish. Therefore the Buddha described such
desiies as dieadful sueiing. Heie, tle object of ones desiie is not
limited only to nibbna, wlicl is nee nom biitl, aging, etc., but
includes worldly gains and wealth, which also cannot be obtained
meiely by wanting tlem. Not geuing wlat one wants is sueiing.
Suffering as the Five Aggregates
Tle eleven [es of sueiing staiting nom tle sueiing of biitl
to tle sueiing of not geuing wlat one wants aiise only because
tleie aie tle ve aggiegates of auaclment (updnakkhandh), and
tley aiise deendent on tlese ve gious. In biief, tleiefoie, tle ve
aggiegates of auaclment aie dieadful sueiing.
The material and mental formations, which form the objects of
auaclment aie called aggiegates of auaclment. Tlese ve aggiegates
are: 1)the aggregate of material forms, 2)the aggregate of feelings,
3)the aggregate of perceptions, 4)the aggregate of mental formations,
and 5)the aggregate of consciousness.
All sentient beings exist as sucl only witl tlese ve gious
forming their substantive mass. They cling to their body, which is
merely an aggregate of material forms, regarding, it as I, my body,
as permanent, etc. Hence the group of material form is called the
aggiegate of auaclment.
The mental phenomena made up of consciousness and mental
concomitants (cetasik) are also grasped at, taken to be I, my mind,
100 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
it is I who thinks, as permanent. So the mental states are also known
as aggiegates. Tlis is low auaclment occuis on tle gious of mind
and mauei as a wlole.
The Aggregates of Attachment on Seeing
To consider each separate phenomenon in detail, the aggregates
of auaclment aie consicuous eveiy time one sees an object, Likewise,
they are prominent on every occasion of hearing, smelling, tasting,
touching, and thinking. At the moment of seeing, the seeing eyes,
the object of sight and consciousness of seeing are quite conspicuous.
This consciousness of seeing is comprised of pleasant or unpleasant
feeling, eicetion oi iecognition of tle object seen, suiving and
inclining the mind to see and the knowledge that an object is seen.
People who cannot practise insight meditation, or those practising
who have not yet advanced to the stage of appreciating the nature
of tle tliee claiacteiistics, iemain auacled to tle eye, tle siglt, etc.
They regard clear eye-sight as I, as my eye and as permanent.
Wlen tley see tle body and tle limbs, tle auaclment aiises, I see
my own body; this is my hand, it exists permanently. Seeing other
people, they appear as a person, a being, as enduring. Because of
sucl aiousal of auaclment, tle mateiial foims of tle eye and tle
object of siglt aie called tle aggiegate of auaclment to foim
(rpupdnakkhandha).
In addition to pleasant feeling or unpleasant feeling in seeing an
object, tleie is also neuual feeling, wlicl is not consideied seaiately
leie to economise sace. Wlat is conceined witl wlolesome neuual
feeling is included in pleasant feeling; what is concerned with
unwlolesome neuual feeling is included in unleasant feeling. Botl
leasant and unleasant feelings give iise to auaclments: It is I,
It is my feeling, It is everlasting, I feel well, I feel terrible.
Causing auaclments in tlis way, leasant oi unleasant feeling in
seeing an object, is called tle aggiegate of auaclment to feeling
(vedanupdnakkhandha).
On eiceiving an object, auaclment aiises in tlis way too: I
recognise it, I dont forget it, so it is called the aggregate of
auaclment to eicetion (saupdnakkhandha).
The will to see an object is volition (cetan). In the vocabulary of
the texts, it is termed incitement, exhortation, or urging.
Fundamentals of Insight Meditation 101
However, will or volition expresses its meaning quite clearly.
Auention (manasikra), which goes along with volition, is pondering
or inclining the mind towards an object. Then there is contact (phassa),
wlicl comes into lay too, but as volition and auention aie tle
predominant factors, I will mention only these two. There is
auaclment towaids, tlem too, as I oi as enduiing, lence tlese
two mental concomitants of willing and inclining the mind involved
in an act of seeing aie called tle aggiegate of auaclment to mental
formations (sakhrupdnakkhandha). By mental formations is meant
conditioning. In the case of seeing, it means bringing about conditions
to accomplish the act of seeing.
Just knowing that an object is seen is eye-consciousness, which is
also auacled to as I see, I know, tle I tlat sees is eveilasting.
Because of tle ossibili[ of sucl auaclment, consciousness is called
tle aggiegate of auaclment to consciousness (viupdnakkhandha).
To recapitulate: 1)At the moment of seeing the eye and sight are
tle aggiegate of auaclment to foim. 2)Pleasant oi unleasant feeling
is tle aggiegate of auaclment to feeling. 3)Recognising oi iemem-
beiing tle object is tle aggiegate of auaclment to eicetion. 4)Tle
will to see and inclining tle auention to tle object is tle aggiegate
of auaclment to mental foimations. 5)Just knowing tlat an object
is seen is tle aggiegate of auaclment to consciousness.
To note as seeing, seeing, every time an object is seen enables
one to know tle ve mental and lysical aggiegates as tley ieally
are; and having known them, to remain at the stage of just seeing
not becoming auacled to tlem as I, oi mine, as eimanent,
pleasant, as self, etc. To understand the purpose of noting every
phenomenon, I have coined the following aphorism:
Fundamentals of Insight Meditation
1. By contemplating what, is insight developed?
2. By noting as tley ieally aie tle ve aggiegates, wlicl may
cause auaclment.
3. When and for what purpose should they be noted?
4. Tley slould be noted at tle moment of aiising to cut o
auaclment.
5. Failing to note at the moment of arising opens the way to
auaclment to tlem as eimanent, leasant, oi self.
102 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
6. Noting tle ve aggiegates eveiy time tley aiise, disels
auaclment. Tlus cleai insiglt as to tleii imeimanence,
unsatisfactoiiness, and insubstantiali[ is develoed.
In 5), at the moment of arising, means at the moment of seeing,
hearing, etc. In 6) every time they arise, connotes every act of seeing,
hearing, etc., as it occurs.
The Aggregates of Attachment on Hearing
At the moment of hearing, obviously there is the ear that can hear;
there is also sound that is audible, and consciousness that knows
that a sound has been heard. In this consciousness of hearing are
included pleasant or unpleasant feeling, perception of the sound,
willing and inclining the mind towards the sound to accomplish the
act of hearing, and just knowing that a sound has been heard.
One wlo las not lad tle ooituni[ to iactise mindfulness and,
tleiefoie, wlo does not lave tle uue knowledge of ieali[, becomes
auacled to all lenomena iominent at tle moment of leaiing as
I, mine, etc. Because of tle liabili[ of sucl auaclment, tle eai
and the material body of sound are known as the aggregate of
auaclment to foim. Tle leasant oi unleasant feeling about tle
sound is tle aggiegate of auaclment to feeling. Tle eicetion of
sound is tle aggiegate of auaclment to eicetion. Exeicise of tle
will to hear a sound and inclining the mind towards it is the aggregate
of auaclment to mental foimations. Just knowing tlat a sound las
been leaid is tle aggiegate of auaclment to consciousness.
To recapitulate: 1)At the moment of hearing, the ear and sound
aie tle aggiegate of auaclment to foim. 2)Tle leasant oi unleasant
feeling about tle sound is tle aggiegate of auaclment to feeling.
3) Recognising or remembering the sound is the aggregate of
auaclment to eicetion. 4)Willing to leai tle sound and inclining
tle auention towaids it is tle aggiegate of auaclment to mental
formations. 5) Just knowing that a sound has been heard is the
aggiegate of auaclment to consciousness.
To note as hearing, hearing, every time a sound is heard enables
one to know tle said ve mental and lysical aggiegates as tley
really are; and having heard the sound, to remain at the stage of just
leaiing, and not to become auacled to it as I, oi mine, as
permanent, pleasant, self, etc.
The Aggregates of Aachment on Tasting 103
The Aggregates of Attachment on Smelling
At the moment of smelling, there is clearly the material sense-base
in the nose, there is also the smell and the consciousness that knows
the odour. In this consciousness of smelling is comprised the pleasant
or unpleasant feeling of smelling, recognition of the odour; exercise
of tle will to smell and inclining tle auention towaids tle odoui,
and just knowing the odour.
Failure to note as smelling, smelling, and to know the phenom-
enon of smelling as it uuly is, iesults in auaclment to it as I, mine,
etc. Because of tle ossibili[ of sucl auaclments, tle nose, tle smell,
and the consciousness of smelling are known as the aggregate of
auaclment to foim.
To recapitulate: 1) At the moment of smelling, the nose and smell
aie tle aggiegate of auaclment to foim. 2)Tle leasant oi unleasant
feeling about tle odoui is tle aggiegate of auaclment to feeling.
3) Recognising or remembering the odour is the aggregate of
auaclment to eicetion. 4)Exeicise of tle will to smell and inclining
tle mind towaids tle odoui is tle aggiegate of auaclment to mental
foimations. 5)Just knowing tle odoui is tle aggiegate of auaclment
to consciousness.
To note as smelling, smelling, every time an odour is smelt is
to know tle said ve mental and lysical aggiegates as tley ieally
are; and having smelt the odour, to remain at the stage of just smelling,
and not to become auacled to it as I, mine, as eimanent,
pleasant, or self, etc.
The Aggregates of Attachment on Tasting
At the moment of knowing the taste through tasting, there is
clearly the tongue, the taste, and the consciousness of the taste. In
this consciousness of taste are included the pleasant or unpleasant
feeling about the taste, recognition or remembering the taste, exercise
of tle will and inclining tle auention towaids tle object to accom-
plish the task of tasting and just knowing the taste.
Failure to note as tasting, tasting, at the moment of tasting; and
to known tle lenomenon of tasting as it uuly is iesults in
auaclment to it as I, mine, etc. Because of tle ossibili[ of sucl
auaclments, tle tongue, tle taste, and tle consciousness of taste aie
known as aggiegates of auaclment.
104 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
To recapitulate: 1) At the moment of tasting, the tongue and the
taste aie tle aggiegate of auaclment to foim. 2) Tle leasant oi
unleasant feeling about tle taste is tle aggiegate of auaclment to
feeling. 3)Recognising or remembering the taste is the aggregate of
auaclment to eicetion. 4) Exeicise of tle will to taste and inclining
tle auention towaids tle taste is tle aggiegate of auaclment to
mental formations. 5) Just knowing the taste is the aggregate of
auaclment to consciousness.
While eating, preparing a morsel in the hand, bringing it up to
and uuing it into tle moutl, and clewing it, aie all actions
concerned with knowing the sensation of touch. Knowing the taste
on the tongue while chewing the food, however, is consciousness of
the taste. Thus, noting the taste on every occasion of tasting the food
las to be caiiied out to know tle ve mental and lysical aggiegates
that manifest at the time of tasting as they really are, and to remain
at tle stage of just tasting so tlat no auaclment to it as I, mine,
permanent, pleasant, self, etc., can arise.
The Aggregates of Attachment on Touching
Tle sense of toucl encomasses a wide eld. Tliouglout tle
wlole body, wleievei esl and blood aie in good condition, is
diused tle sensitive body base (kya-pasda rpa), which provides
tle sense of toucl. Botl inside tle body, in tle esl, in tle blood, in
muscles, bones, etc., and on the surface of skin, this sensitive principle
lies spread out not leaving an area the size of a pin-point.
Wherever this sensitive principle exists, the sense of touch may
be felt. At the moment of touching, the sensitive principle, which has
tle abili[ to seize tle tactile mateiiali[, is iominent. It becomes
evident as the site of contact, but not as any shape or form. Likewise,
the sensitive parts of the ear, nose, and tongue become evident as
sites of contact wherever hearing, smelling, and tasting manifest.
Also iominent at tle moment of contact is tle tactile mateiiali[,
which may be any of three elements: earth (pathav), ie (tejo), or air
(vyo). Tle laidness, iouglness, smootlness, and sohness tlat one
feels is tle eaitl element, tle leat oi cold felt is tle ie element,
stiness, iessuie, oi motion is tle aii element. Sucl sensations of
toucl may aiise due to niction between dieient elements witlin
the body, or through contact with clothing, bedding, seats, earth,
The Aggregates of Aachment on Touching 105
watei, wind, ie, oi tle leat of tle sun. Sucl contacts ioduce veiy
vivid sensations of touch. The consciousness of touch comprises
pleasant or unpleasant feeling, perception of the touch, exercise of
the will, and inclining of the mind to accomplish the act of touching,
and just knowing that a contact has been established. The feeling of
leasuie oi ain is esecially vivid. Plysical ain is tle sueiing
(dukkha vedan) that arises through disagreeable contacts.
Failure to be mindful at the moment of touch and to know the
ieali[ as it uuly is iesults in auaclment to it as I, mine, etc.,
towards all these objects that become prominent at the moment of
touching. Accordingly, the site of touch, the sensitive-base, the feeling
of touch, and knowing that a contact has been made, are called the
aggiegates of auaclment.
To recapitulate: 1)At the moment of touching, the sensitive-base,
and tle toucl aie tle aggiegate of auaclment to foim. 2)Tle leasant
oi unleasant feeling of toucl is tle aggiegate of auaclment to feeling.
3) Recognising or remembering the touch is the aggregate of
auaclment to eicetion. 4) Exeicising tle will and tuining tle
auention to accomlisl tle act of toucling aie tle aggiegate of
auaclment to mental foimations. 5)Just knowing tlat a contact las
been made is tle aggiegate of auaclment to consciousness.
Noting tle ostuies sucl as going, standing, siuing, lying down,
bending, suetcling, moving, iising and falling, etc., is done just to
be mindful of these aggregates. When noting these postures, the
secic claiacteiistic of tle aii element, wlicl causes stiness,
iessuie, and motion, is seen as it uuly is, just a mateiial lenome-
non without any power of cognition. The knowing mind that notes
tle ostuies is also seen as it uuly is, just a mental lenomenon tlat
cognises an object. Thus at every occasion of noting, there is always
a pair: an object (rpa) that is taken note of and the knowing mind
(nma) tlat takes note of it. Ahei eiceiving tlis fact cleaily, tle
knowledge of cause and eect aiises. Tleie is going because of tle
desire to go. Then perceiving clearly that the object noted and the
knowing mind aiise and vanisl anesl at tle veiy moment of noting,
tle meditatoi iealises tlat tlese lenomena aie uansient, ainful
and unsatisfactory, and happen according to their own nature, being
unconuollable. Because of tlis iealisation tleie is no longei any
auaclment to going, standing, siuing, etc., as I or mine.
106 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
Tlis is low auaclment is cut o in accoidance witl tle Mal-
satialna Suua, wlicl says, And le abides detacled, not giasing
to anything in the world (anissito ca viharati, na ca kici loke updiyati).
To be tlus nee nom auaclment, mindfulness of tle body, feelings,
the mind, and mental objects has to be developed.
Painful feelings sucl as stiness, feeling lot, acling, oi itcling
become evident at tle oint of contact. Failuie to note tle disuess
as it occuis and to see its uue natuie iesults in auaclment: I feel
sti, I feel lot, I feel ainful, I am disuessed. It is to avoid
sucl auaclments tlat mindful noting of unleasant feelings las to
be done to iealise tleii uue natuie. Continuous and close obseivation
of ainful feelings will ieveal cleaily low tley aeai anesl one
ahei anotlei. Tlen tle eisonal conviction will aiise tlat tlese
painful feelings come into existence only for a moment then vanish
instantly, and are therefore impermanent. They are no longer grasped
at as I, mine, oi as eimanent. One becomes nee nom auaclment.
Hence the need for mindful noting.
The Aggregates of Attachment on Thinking
Mental activities such as thinking are very extensive in scope and
veiy nequent. In waking moments, tle mind is almost constantly
active. Even in tle absence of any auactive, leasant objects in ones
surroundings, imagination creates them, as if they really exist. The
ve lindiances sensual desiie, ill-will, slotl and toioi, iestless-
ness and worry, and sceptical doubt are concerned with such
mental activities. So aie tlouglts of lust, ill-will, and ciuel[. Unless
these mental activities are noted mindfully as they occur, they are
liable to be identied as a self, a living enti[. Hence it is vital to note
eacl mental activi[ as it occuis.
Wlen caiefully analysed, mental activities aie also tle ve
aggiegates of auaclment. Tlinking may be accomanied by a
pleasant feeling (somanassa) an unpleasant feeling (domanassa), or by
a neuual feeling (upekkh vedan). When there is no mindfulness of
tlese tliee [es of feeling as tley occui, tley aie liable to be giased
at as I feel leasant, I feel ne, I feel miseiable, I feel bad. I feel
neitlei leasant noi unleasant. Due to tlis liabili[ of causing sucl
auaclments, tlese tliee [es of feeling aie known as tle aggiegate
of auaclment to feeling.
The Aggregates of Aachment on Thinking 107
Then, there is sense-perception, which recognises the object the
mind is pondering. This perception (sa) is especially pronounced
wlen uying to iemembei facts to seak about, oi wlen engaged in
calculating while checking accounts. Concerning this perception,
wrong notions may arise such as, I remember, I have a good
memoiy, lence it is called tle aggiegate of auaclment to eicetion.
At the moment of thinking, there comes into consciousness, a clear
impression of the object (phassa), initial application (vitakka) inclining
tle mind towaids tle object, tle xing of auention on tle object
(manasikra), intention (cetan) that incites and urges, Let it be like
this, let it be like that. The role of volition is especially prominent
if an imoitant mauei occuis at niglt wlen it cannot be auended to.
The driving urge of intention,Go now and tell him, is very
prominent. It is also clearly discernible that immoral thoughts are
accompanied by greed, ill-will, etc., and moral thoughts are accom-
anied by geneiosi[, kindness, wisdom, faitl, mindfulness, etc.
Tle mental concomitants of contact, volition, and auention aie
inciting agents responsible for the arising of thoughts in rapid
succession. They are also behind every act of speaking and bodily
movements sucl as going, standing, siuing, lying down, bending,
oi suetcling. Tle incitement conceined witl eacl mental, vocal, oi
lysical activi[ aie mental foimations (sakhr), which condition
acts by prompting, inducing, directing, etc. This conditioning role
of mental foimations may iesult in its being identied as a eison
or being and wrongly cleaved to as I. The notions, I think, I
seak, I go, I do, aie wiong auaclment to tlese conditioning
mental foimations. Sucl auaclment is known as clinging to self as
the doer (kraka aa). Therefore the mental formations: contact,
volition, auention, etc., aie called tle aggiegate of auaclment to
mental formations.
Then at the moment of thinking, consciousness of thinking is also
evident. Burmese people regard consciousness and mental concom-
itants together as just mind (cia). This consciousness of the act of
thinking is very commonly viewed as soul, ego, or self, for which
ieason consciousness is also known as tle aggiegate of auaclment
to consciousness. In addition, at the moment of thinking, the material
body that provides the base for thinking is also so evident that the
uninformed people believe it is the material body that is thinking.
108 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
For this reason, the material body that provides the base for thinking
is known as tle aggiegate of auaclment to foim.
The object of thought may be material, mental, or conceptual
(paai). Tlese also seive as objects of auaclment. Tle mateiial
object belongs to tle aggiegate of auaclment to foim. Tle mental
object is classied undei tle foui mental aggiegates. Concets may
be included in the material or mental group whichever it corresponds.
Foi instance, in Not geuing wlat one wants is sueiing (yampiccha
na labhati tampi dukkha) not geuing wlat one wants is neitlei
material nor mental, just conceptual. The note in the Subcommentary
on tlis oint says tlat tle desiie foi tle unauainable slould be
iegaided as sueiing.
I lave now made a comlete analysis of tle ve aggiegates tlat
become evident at the moment of thinking.
To recapitulate: 1) The material body that forms the basis of
tlinking wlile tlinking is tle aggiegate of auaclment to foim. 2)Tle
pleasant or unpleasant feeling about the thought is the aggregate of
auaclment to feeling. 3)Recognising oi iemembeiing tle object of
tlouglt is tle aggiegate of auaclment to eicetion. 4)Uiging and
inclining the mind to accomplish thinking, saying, or doing is the
aggiegate of auaclment to mental foimations. 5)Just being conscious
of tlinking is tle aggiegate of auaclment to consciousness.
It is veiy imoitant to iealise tle uue natuie of tlouglt by being
mindful of it every time thinking occurs. Failing to take note of it
and tlus failing to iecognise its ieal natuie will lead to auaclment
to it as I, mine, as permanent, pleasant, self, etc. Tle majoii[ of
people these days are cling almost constantly to mental objects. Such
auaclments give iise to becoming (updnapaccaya bhavo) in accord-
ance with the Law of Dependent Origination. In every new becoming
tleie awaits old age, disease, and deatl accomanied by tle sueiing
of grief, lamentation, pain, sorrow, and despair.
However, if mindfulness is developed on each occurrence of a
tlouglt, its uue natuie will become evident. Having tlus known its
uue natuie, no auaclment to it will aiise, lence no active iocesses
for new becoming will occur. When there is no new becoming, the
mass of sueiing ieiesented by aging, disease, deatl, giief,
lamentation, etc., is comletely eliminated. Tlis cessation of sueiing
as a result of mindfulness of each thought as it occurs is momentary.
Suering Because of the Five Aggregates 109
However, if the practice of noting every thought is continued, gaining
temporary cessation on each noting, by the time the Noble Path
becomes fully develoed, tle mass of sueiing will lave been
completely eradicated. Thus, while occupied with the exercise of
noting iising, falling, siuing, toucling, if any tlouglt oi idea
intervenes, it should be noted as thinking, or imagining.
Tle detailed analysis I lave made above demonsuates cleaily
that what becomes prominent at the moment of seeing, hearing,
smelling, tasting, toucling, and tlinking aie meiely ve aggiegates
of auaclment. To common eole wlo cannot iactise tlis exeicise
of mental noting at the moment of seeing, the subject that sees is
regarded as obviously some substantial body, the external object that
is seen is also regarded as a woman, a man, as a substantial body.
Likewise with the phenomena of hearing, etc. In ieali[, lowevei,
there is no such substance or mass to form a physical body, only the
ve aggiegates of auaclment. Notling exists excet at tle moment
of seeing, hearing, etc. They become evident only at the moment they
occui, and wlat become evident tlen is just tle ve aggiegates.
Suffering Because of the Five Aggregates
Dieadful sueiings of new becoming, aging, deatl, giief, etc.,
aiise because of tle ve aggiegates of auaclment. As long as tlese
ve aggiegates of auaclment exist, dieadful sueiings of becoming,
aging, death, etc., will eisists. Tleiefoie tle ve aggiegates aie
tlemselves dieadful sueiing. In sloit, because tleie is a lysical
body, lysical and mental sueiings deendent uon it aiise.
Because tleie is tle knowing mind, lysical and mental sueiings
based on it, aiise. Tleiefoie, mind and mauei, wlicl constitute tle
ve aggiegates, aie dieadful sueiing.
In otlei woids, tle unbeaiable lysical and mental disuess aie
dieadful inuinsic sueiings known as tle sueiing of ain (dukkha-
dukkha). Everyone fears them. Thus, painful feeling, otherwise known
as tle aggiegate of auaclment to feeling is tle ieal uutl of sueiing.
Pleasant sensations in the body and mind are agreeable, delightful,
and enjoyable while they last, but when they vanish, they are replaced
by discomfoit and dissatisfaction, wlicl of couise is sueiing. Tlis
kind of sueiing, known as tle sueiing of clange (viparima
dukkha), occuis tliougl clange nom a leasant condition to some-
110 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
tling dieient, and is teiiible. To tle Noble Ones, leasant sensations
aie like an ogiess wlo bewitcles eole witl lei beau[ and makes
them insane. For them, pleasant sensations are dreadful aggregates
of auaclment just tle same and constitute tle ieal uutl of sueiing.
At tle same time, leasant sensations aie uansitoiy and iequiie
constant conditioning eoit to maintain tle status quo. Tlis of couise
is buidensome and is tleiefoie also ieal sueiing.
Tle iemaining neuual feeling and tle aggiegates of auaclment
to form, perception, mental formations, and consciousness are
always in a state of ux, always uansitoiy, and tleiefoie to tle
Noble Ones they are also dreadful. As death awaits constantly,
laving to iely on tle imeimanent aggiegates of auaclment foi
support is dreadful, like living in a building that shows signs of
collapsing at any moment.
Tle uansitoiy natuie of tle aggiegates of auaclment iequiies
constant eoit at conditioning foi tle maintenance of tle status quo.
Tlis sueiing of conditioned states (sakhra dukkha), the burden-
some task of conditioning, is also dreadful. Therefore to the Noble
Ones, not only the pleasant or unpleasant feelings, but also the
iemaining aggiegates of auaclment aie also tle uutl of sueiing.
As all tle ve aggiegates aie iegaided by tle Noble Ones as ieally
teiiible sueiing, tle Blessed One said in conclusion of tle denition
of tle uutl of sueiing, In biief, tle ve aggiegates of auaclment
(otleiwise called mind and mauei, wlicl could cause auaclments
as I, mine, regarding them as permanent, blissful, self, or ego)
aie just dieadful sueiing.
Attachment and the Aggregates of Attachment
Now I will desciibe tle dieience between auaclment and tle
aggiegates of auaclment. Auaclment (updna) means tenaciously
clinging oi giasing of wlicl tleie aie foui [es:
1) Auaclment to sensual leasuies (kmupdna), which is
auaclment boin of ciaving foi sensual desiies.
2)Auaclment to wiong-view (dihupdna), wlicl is tle auacl-
ment to the view that there is no kamma and no results thereof, no
ahei-life, no Suieme Buddla, no Aialants. All otlei wiong-views,
aait nom self-view (aadihi), and auaclment to iites and iituals
(slabbataparmsa), aie known as auaclment to wiong-views.
Aachment and the Aggregates of Aachment 111
3) Auaclment to iites and iituals (slabbatupdna), which is the
practice of certain rituals or ceremonies that have nothing to do with
understanding the four Noble Truths nor the development of the
Noble Eigltfold Patl, believing tlat tley will lead to ielease nom
tle sueiing of tle cycle of existence, and to eimanent eace, nee
nom aging, disease, and deatl. It is a [e of wiong-view (micch-
dihi), maintaining that what is wrong is right.
4) Auaclment to tle soul-belief (aavdupdna), which is
auaclment to tle belief in a soul, ego, oi a living enti[. It is tle same
as tle wiong-view of eisonali[-view(sakkya-dihi), and self-view
(aadihi).
Of tle foui [es of auaclment, auaclment to sensual desiie is
craving. The remainder are all various kinds of wrong-views. Thus
tley can be summaiised as just two kinds: auaclment to wiong-views
and auaclment to sense desiies. Tle objects of sucl auaclments
consist of mind and mauei known as tle aggiegates of auaclment.
To summaiise: tle two objects tlat can cause auaclments as I, oi
mine aie aggiegates of auaclment.
Auaclment as I is tle wiong-view of self, wlicl oens tle way
to tle iemaining two wiong-views. Wlen auaclment aiises out of
desire, the objects of desire, which may not even belong to oneself,
aie giased at as if tley aie ones own. Tle Pi texts desciibe low
this desire leads to grasping possessively as, This is mine (eta
mama).
Tle mental and lysical aggiegates tlat can cause auaclment
through wrong-view as a self, a being, or clinging to possessively as
mine aie called tle aggiegates of auaclment. Tle mental aggiegates
that cannot give rise to clinging through desire or wrong-view are
just called aggiegates and not aggiegates of auaclment. Sucl mental
aggregates are the feeling, perception, mental formations, and
consciousness of the four supramundane Paths and Fruitions. They
aie meiely mental aggiegates and not aggiegates of auaclment.
Tle mundane [es of mateiiali[, feeling, eicetion, mental
formations, and consciousness that we have repeatedly mentioned
above aie tle aggiegates wlicl incite auaclment and aie tleiefoie
called aggiegates of auaclment.
The mundane mental and physical aggregates are the material
forms and the sense-door consciousness (kmvacara cia) and mental
112 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
states (cetasik) that manifest at the six sense-doors to a person of no
jhnic auainments eveiy time le oi sle sees, leais, smells, tastes,
touches, or thinks. To a person of jhnic auainments, consciousness
of the realms of form(rpavacara jhna cia) and formless conscious-
ness (arpavacara jhna cia) also manifest at the minds door in
addition to tle above aggiegates. All tlese ve aggiegates of
auaclment aie tle uutl of sueiing, wlicl foim suitable objects foi
insight meditation. The Blessed One later described them as phenom-
ena (dhamma) that should be understood rightly through insight
and knowledge of the Path. In the third part of my discourse, I
dened atl factoi of Riglt View as tle knowledge of tle uutl of
sueiing, tlat is, tle knowledge acciuing nom contemlation of
tlese ve aggiegates.
Heie it must be suessed tlat tle aggiegates of auaclment slould
be eisonally iealised as tle ieal uutl of sueiing by cleaily
perceiving their nature of arising, vanishing, impermanence, unsat-
isfactoiiness, and insubstantiali[ by mindfully obseiving tle mateiial
aggregates eye and sight, ear and sound, etc. and mental
aggregates eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, etc. when
they manifest at the six doors of senses on every occasion of seeing,
hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, and thinking.
It is a mauei foi giatication tlat some meditatois of tlis cenue
lave seen ieali[ as it is by tle iactice of mindfulness in accoidance
witl tle Satialna metlod, tlat is, by taking note of eveiy
manifestation as it occurs at each of the six doors of senses. They
should congratulate themselves that they have come to know the
Dlamma as tauglt by tle Blessed One: In biief, tle ve aggiegates
of auaclment aie sueiing, and suive all tle moie suenuously to
auain moie comlete knowledge.
To recapitulate: I will ieeat tle twelve [es of sueiing.:
1. Birth (jti), oi new becoming is sueiing.
2. Aging (jar) is sueiing.
3. Death (maraa) is sueiing.
4. Grief (soka) is sueiing.
5. Lamentation (parideva) is sueiing.
6. Physical pain (dukkha) is sueiing.
7. Sorrow(domanassa) is sueiing.
8. Despair (upysa) is sueiing.
Aachment and the Aggregates of Aachment 113
9. Association with the unloved (appiyehi sampayogo) is sueiing.
10. Seaiation nom loved ones (piyehi vippayogo) is sueiing.
11. Not geuing wlat one wants is sueiing (yampiccha na labhati).
It is futile to wisl foi needom nom aging, disease, and deatl
without developing the Noble Eightfold Path; that wish will
nevei be fullled. Tlus wisling to get sometling tlat is
unauainable is sueiing. In tle mundane iealm, too, lankeiing
foi wlat is unauainable is sueiing.
12. In biief, tle ve aggiegates of auaclment (sakhiena pac-
updnakkhandh), wlicl can incite auaclment as I, mine,
aie sueiing.
I lave fully dealt witl tle denition and enumeiation of tle Tiutl
of Sueiing and lave taken sometime ovei it. I will end tle discouise
here for today.
May all of you good people in this audience, by virtue of having
given iesectful auention to tlis Gieat Discouise on tle Tuining of
the Wheel of Dhamma, be able to develop the Middle Path otherwise
called tle Noble Eigltfold Patl, by contemlating tle ve aggiegates
of auaclment tle Tiutl of Sueiing wlicl slould be cleaily
and completely understood, and by means of the Path and its Fruition
accoiding to youi wisl, auain and soon iealise nibbna, tle end of
all sueiing.
Sdhu! Sdhu! Sdhu!
114
Part Five
Delivered on Sunday 28th October, 1962.

Last week on the 21st October, when I gave a discourse on the


fouitl ait of tle Suua, I dealt witl tle exosition on tle uutl of
sueiing. Today I will continue witl tle exosition of tle uutl of
tle oiigin of sueiing. Fiist, I will ieeat tle foui uutls:
1. Tle uutl of sueiing (dukkha sacc). 2. Tle uutl of tle oiigin
of sueiing (samudaya sacc). 3. Tle uutl of tle cessation of sueiing
(nirodha sacc). 4. Tle uutl of tle atl leading to tle cessation of
sueiing (magga sacc).
As exlained in tle fouitl ait of tlis discouise, ahei dening
tle uutl of sueiing, wlicl le lad discoveied eisonally by
eneuative insiglt, tle Blessed One went on to dene tle uutl of
tle cause of sueiing.
The Truth of the Origin of Suffering
Ida kho pana, bhikkhave, dukkhasamudaya ariyasacca
yya tah ponobbhavik nandirgasahagat taatabhinandin,
seyyathida kmatah, bhavatah, vibhavatah.
Tlis, monks, is tle Noble Tiutl of tle Oiigin of Sueiing: it
is tlis ciaving tlat gives iise to nesl iebiitl and is bound u
with delight and passion, seeking delight now here, now there.
Namely, craving for sensual pleasures, craving for existence,
and craving for non-existence.
Craving for existence (bhava tah), is lolding tle eteini[-belief,
craving for non-existence (vibhava tah) or self-annihilation, is
believing tlat notling exists ahei deatl. Tlese tliee kinds of ciaving
aie tle uutl of tle oiigin of sueiing.
Ciaving, tle oiigin of sueiing, is tle causal agency iesonsible
foi all tle twelve kinds of sueiing ieviously exlained, staiting
nom tle sueiing of biitl oi nesl becoming and ending witl tle
sueiing of tle ve aggiegates of auaclment. To eliminate sueiing
it is essential to know its cause. It is like making a diagnosis to know
the cause of a disease so that it may be cured. The Blessed One had
eisonally eneuated to tlis uutl of tle cause of sueiing and lad
consequently entiiely eiadicated sueiing by iemoving its cause.
Tle uutl of tle oiigin of sueiing is notling but ciaving oi tliist. It

The New Moon of Thadingyut, 1324 M.E.


The Story of Campeyya the Nga King 115
is like feeling tliis[ oi lungiy. Tah is the thirst or hunger for
sense-objects. The craving for sensual pleasure (kmatah) gives rise
to nesl becoming (ponobbhavik). As long as one remains in the grip
of craving, continuous rebirths will occur. Later, I will discuss how
nesl iebiitls take lace. Tlis ciaving nds leasuie in sense-objects
and clings to them. It is delighted with seemingly pleasant sense-
objects and like oil or dye absorbs onto any surface with which it
happens to come into contact, craving grasps sense-objects tenaciously.
Tlis ciaving nds giatication eveiywleie. Tleie is nevei any
boredom or monotony in the pursuit of pleasure. Any seemingly
pleasurable sense-object, wherever it presents itself gives delight.
In the human world, life in the lower classes seems anything but
auactive to eole of a liglei class. Yet we can see eole,
unfortunately born into poor circumstances, nevertheless enjoying
their lives wherever they may be. Likewise, to the human mind,
animal life is unpleasant, repulsive, or horrible. To assume the
physical body of a snake or an insect is an abominable thought for
a human being. Yet if unfortunately rebirth takes place in an animal
woild, a being is quite leased witl its body and nds deliglt in its
life. Tlis is due to tle natuie of ciaving, wlicl nds giatication in
every existence, in every sense-object, wherever it may be. The
Blessed One tleiefoie desciibed ciaving as nding leasuie now
here, now there, in every existence, in every sense-object. This is well
illusuated by tle stoiies of Campeyya tle Nga king and Queen
Ubbai.
The Story of Campeyya the Nga King
In one existence, tle Bodlisaua was boin into a ooi family in
tle vicini[ of tle iivei Cam. Envious of tle life of leasuie enjoyed
by tle Cameyya nga king, tle Bodlisaua engaged limself in tle
good deeds of giving alms and observing the precepts. As a result,
when he passed away, he was reborn spontaneously in the realm of
tle ngas, and found limself seated on tle tlione of tle Cameyya
nga king, in tle full slae and foim of a nga. A nga is a secies
of snake. To be ieboin as a snake nom tle luman existence is ieally
nigltful and abominable. Tle Bodlisaua, looking at lis ieulsive,
loiiible new foim, ieected tlus: As a iesult of my good deeds of
claii[ and obseivance of moiali[, I could lave been ieboin in any
116 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
of the six realms of the deities. However, because I wished for the
leasuies of tle nga king, I am ieboin into tlis woild of ietiles.
Ol! It would be beuei to die tlan to live tle life of a snake, and le
even tlouglt of commiuing suicide.
Meanwlile, a young female by tle name of Suman gave a signal
to otlei young nga females to commence enteitaining tleii new
king. Tle young nga females, assuming tle aeaiance of beautiful
goddesses, started singing and dancing and playing various musical
insuuments. Seeing tle beautiful goddesses enteitaining lim witl
song, dance, and music, tle Cameyya nga king imagined lis nga
abode to be the palace of the king of the gods and felt very pleased.
He also took on the appearance of a god himself and joined the female
ngas in tleii ieveliies witl mucl deliglt.
Howevei, being a Bodlisaua, le easily iegained tle sense of ieali[,
and resolved to be born again as a human being so that he could
further develop the perfections (pram), the virtuous qualities of
geneiosi[, moiali[, etc. In pursuance of this resolution, the
Campeyya king later came to the human world and seeking solitude
in a forest, kept observance of the moral precepts.
Tle oint tlat I wisl to make is tlat nom tle luman oint of view,
the body of a reptile is horrible and repulsive. At the initial stage of
tle nga life, tle Bodlisaua also viewed lis new life witl loiioi and
ievulsion, but tle siglt of tle auactive female ngas biouglt about
a change in his outlook, which kept him revelling and delighting in
tle nga existence as if it weie tle lome of tle gods. It is ciaving,
which seeks delight now here, now there, wherever rebirth takes
lace, tlat made tle Bodlisaua enjoy lis nga life ahei lis initial
revulsion. There was also the wish that he had made, while he was
a ooi man in tle luman woild, foi tle leasuiable life of a nga
king. Tlis wisl was also ciaving, wlicl landed lim in tle nga iealm,
in accoidance witl tle woids of tle Blessed One, Gives iise to nesl
rebirth (ponobbhavik).
The Story of Queen Ubbar
Queen Ubbai was tle clief queen of King Assaka wlo once iuled
ovei tle counuy of Ksi at its caital, Pali. Sle was said to be of
gieat beau[. Ancient kings used to select tle most auactive maidens
of their kingdom to become their queens. Consequently all their
The Story of Queen Ubbar 117
queens weie noted foi tleii claim and loveliness. Queen Ubbai
was outstanding amongst tlem because of lei iaving beau[ and
enchantment. Bewitched by her alluring comeliness, King Assaka
had lost his heart to her.
Much adored by the monarch and while still in the prime of her
beau[ and claim, Queen Ubbai went to tle abode of tle gods,
wlicl is a Buimese eulemism foi tle deatl of ioyal[. Likewise,
Flying back means the passing away of a Buddhist monk, which is
merely a cultural usage. In fact, a dead person takes rebirth in the
next existence as conditioned by kamma, their previous volitional
activities. As it laened, Queen Ubbai, in site of tle saying
according to cultural usage that she went to the abode of the gods,
actually took rebirth as a dung-beetle.
With the passing away of his adored queen, King Assaka was
consumed by tle iaging ies of giief and lamentation. He lad tle
coise of tle queen embalmed in oil, laced in a glass con, and
kept by his bedstead. Overwhelmed by grief, the king lay on the bed
without food or sleep, wailing and moaning over the loss of his
beloved queen. His ielatives and wise ministeis uied to console lim
by reminding him of the impermanent and conditioned nature of
existence, but it was to no avail. Tle coise in tle con, being
embalmed in oil, would iemain well-ieseived just like one ueated
with chemical preservatives in modern times. The queen would
tleiefoie aeai to tle king as if sle was sleeing in tle con. Tle
sight of the corpse acted as fuel to his grief, which continued to
consume him for seven days.
At tlat time, tle Bodlisaua was a leimit endowed witl sueinoi-
mal powers (abhi), living in a Himalayan forest. He happened to
survey the world using his powers, and saw King Assaka in the
throes of intense grief. He knew also that no one but himself could
save tle king nom lis miseiy. He tleiefoie made lis way to tle ioyal
garden of King Assaka by means of his powers.
There, a young Brahmin came to see the hermit who made
enquiries about King Assaka. The young man told him how the king
was overwhelmed by grief and requested him to save him. He replied,
I do not know the king. However, if he came and asked me, I could
tell him about his wifes present existence. Thereupon the young
man went to tle king and said to lim, Youi majes[, a leimit
118 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
endowed with the celestial eye and celestial ear has arrived in the
royal garden. He said that he knows and could show the present
existence of the departed queen. It would be good to go and see him.
Upon hearing that the hermit could show him the queen in her
iesent existence, tle king immediately took o foi tle ioyal gaidens
in a carriage. Arriving there, he paid respectful homage to the hermit
and addiessed lim. Veneiable sii, is it uue tlat you claim to know
tle iesent existence of Queen Ubbai' On tle leimit admiuing lis
claim, the king wanted to know where she was reborn now.
Ol, gieat King, Queen Ubbai took deliglt in lei beautiful
appearance and was very vain. She spent her time engaged only in
beauti(ing leiself to make leiself moie auactive, foigeuing all tle
while to perform meritorious deeds, to give alms and observe moral
precepts. In consequence, she has passed to a lowly existence. She
is presently reborn as a female dung-beetle in this very garden. The
leimit told tle wlole stoiy veiy nankly.
Those favoured by fortune who enjoy privileges of wealth, family,
education, iank, lysical beau[, etc., are prone to exhibit haughtiness
in tleii dealings witl otleis. Sliouded in tleii own vani[ and
self-esteem, they become negligent in their performance of meritori-
ous deeds. Humili[ lays no ait in tleii sycle. Tle Blessed One
taught in the Lesser Discourse on the Analysis of Kamma, the
Cakammaviblaga Suua, tlat sucl vain-gloiious, laugl[ eisons
are liable to be reborn in lowly inferior existences. On the other hand,
unietentious eisons wlo slow lumili[ and ay due iesects to
those deserving of homage will be reborn in noble families.
Queen Ubbai of oui stoiy was exuemely beautiful, and being
the chief queen of the ruling monarch was of very high status in life.
Her head was turned by these pre-eminent qualities, so she looked
down with contempt on those to whom she should have shown
iesect. Foi sucl unwlolesome auitudes and actions, it may be
presumed she was reborn as a female dung-beetle. On hearing this
account of rebirth of his beloved queen as a female beetle, King
Assaka promptly rejected it, saying I dont believe it.
The hermit replied, I can show you the female beetle and make
her talk too. The king said, All right. Please do so and make her
talk too. The hermit used his supernormal powers to make both the
male and female beetles appear before the king.
The Story of Queen Ubbar 119
Wlen tle male and female beetles emeiged nom tle lea of
cow-dung into the presence of the king, the hermit said, Oh King,
tle female beetle wlicl is following nom belind was youi clief
queen, Ubbai. Having abandoned you, sle is now uailing tle male
dung-beetle wherever he goes. Oh King, have a good look at the
female beetle wlo was youi clief queen Ubbai.
The king refused to believe the hermit. I cant believe that such
an intelligent being as my queen Ubbai was ieboin as tlis female
beetle, said the king.
It is only natural for those who do not believe in the laws of
kamma and its eects, wlo do not undeistand tle iinciles of
conditionali[ oi causal ielations, as exlained in tle Law of
Deendent Oiigination. It would be dicult to accet tlat a being
of the human world could have gone down so low as to become a
mere dung-beetle. Even in the days when the Buddhas teachings are
widely prevalent, there are some who hold the view. When a man
dies, he cannot descend into an existence inferior to that of a human
being. It is not surprising, then, that during the dark ages when the
Buddhas dispensation was unheard of, such stories were received
with scepticism.
Nevertheless, according to the teachings of the Buddha, as long
as one las not yet auained tle status of a Noble One, one can descend
nom tle luman woild oi tle celestial iealm into tle foui lowei
realms of existence, as conditioned by unwholesome kamma and the
mental ieex just befoie deatl. On tle otlei land, conditioned by
wlolesome kamma and wlolesome mental auitude on tle tlieslold
of deatl, ascent may be made nom an infeiioi sleie of existence
into the higher realm of human and celestial beings.
There is the story of a bhikkhu named Tissa who developed
auaclment to lis iobes wlen le was about to die. As a consequence,
he was reborn a louse making its home in those very robes. There is
anotlei stoiy of a nog wlo met its deatl wlile listening to a discouise
by tle Buddla. He became a celestial being in Tvatisa. Tlese aie
just a few examles tlat seive as evidence of vaiious uansfoimations
at the time of rebirths.
However, King Assaka, not having heard such discourses, could
not accept that his queen had become a female beetle. Accordingly
he refused to believe it. The hermit therefore proposed that he would
120 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
make the female beetle talk. The king accepted the proposal.
Thereupon the hermit made the vow, using his supernormal powers,
to have the conversation between him and the female beetle
comprehensible to the king and his audience.
Who were you in your past life?the hermit asked.
I was tle clief queen Ubbai of King Assaka, ielied tle female
beetle.
What now, female beetle, do you still love King Assaka or do you
love only this dung-beetle?
To this the female beetle replied: True, the Assaka king was my
husband in my past life. At that time, I used to roam about in this
gaiden, in lis comany, enjoying tle ve sense-leasuies. Howevei,,
now that I am in the new existence, I have nothing to do with the
King Assaka.
The version of the female beetles reply in the Commentary is as
follows: In my present existence, I would relish killing King Assaka,
and witl tle blood nom lis tlioat, wasling tle feet of tle dung-
beetle who is my present beloved husband. This exposition makes
the beetles reply sound very harsh and unfeeling, but as she was
talking in the presence of her dear husband, the male beetle, it is
natural that she wanted to please him. We can easily see, in everyday
life, many consicuous examles of esuangement between coules,
who get separated not through death, but in this very life on grounds
of incomatibili[, and examles of loving tendeiness leaed on
their new partners. The remarks in the Commentary appears
therefore to be quite in order.
Tle Jtaka Pi texts desciibe tle female beetles iely tlus:
Venerable sir, I roamed about in this garden many times with King
Assaka who loved me and was my beloved husband then, enjoying
eacl otleis comany. Howevei, now, tle joys and uoubles of tle
iesent new life lave obscuied tle joys and uoubles of tle old life.
Tle new joys and uoubles laving uanscended tle old joys and
uoubles, I love my iesent lusband, tle male dung-beetle moie tlan
I did King Assaka.
The Commentarys exposition of the words love more than
makes interesting reading. It says love more than means love
hundred times more, love one thousand times more, indicating the
intensi[ of love in favoui of lei new lusband.
How Rebirth Takes Place 121
King Assaka was gieatly disuessed to leai tle laisl, unfeeling
woids nom tle female beetle. He tlouglt to limself: I loved and
adored her so much that I could not bear to throw away her dead
body. Howevei, sle las become so antiatletic and nas[ to me.
He felt so disgusted witl tle late Queen Ubbai tlat, even wlile
siuing tleie, le oideied : Go and lave tlat womans body iemoved.
Then having bathed and washed himself, the king went back to the
palace. He made another lady of the court his chief queen and carried
on iuling lis counuy wisely. Tle leimit, tle Bodlisaua, ahei giving
good advice to the king, went back to the Himalayan forest.
Tle moial of tlis stoiy is tlat Queen Ubbai, wlile in tle luman
world, had taken delight in being a human being, and a queen at
that. She would never even have dreamt of being reborn as a female
beetle. However, in accordance with her past kamma, when she
happened to be reborn as a female beetle, she at once took to the life
and delighted in the physical body of a beetle. She esteemed and
adored the physical body of the male beetle a hundred times, a
thousand times more than that of King Assaka. That she felt quite at
home in her lowly existence as a dung beetle is due to craving, which
nds deliglt eveiywleie, tlat is wly tle Buddla said, Ciaving
seeks delight now here, now there (taatabhinandin).
A dog takes delight in a dogs existence; if reborn as a pig or a
chicken, there is always delight in each existence. Even having been
boin of auent aients of tle uei social class, tleie aie cases of
clildien sinking down to ovei[-suicken existences and yet enjoying
tleii new lives. Some even iesisted tle eoits of tleii aients to take
tlem back into tle family, since tley nd tleii new life quite
enjoyable. It is craving again that gives them pleasure wherever they
are, delighting in whatever sense-object presents itself.
How Rebirth Takes Place
I will now deal witl Gives iise to nesl iebiitl (ponobbhavik),
which I earlier postponed considering.
Since craving has the nature of delighting and clinging, a being
nds deliglt in wlatevei existence it is boin into and enjoys any
sense-object tlat iesents itself. Because it nds its existence so
delightful and pleasurable, the wish arises for this existence to remain
stable and everlasting, and for pleasurable objects to be endurable.
122 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
In suiving to maintain tlem as one wisles, volitional activities come
into play. These volitional activities (kamma), which may be whole-
some or unwholesome are the cause of rebirths in new existences.
Thus when a person is about to die, one or another of these
meritorious or demeritorious actions (kamma) may present itself
before the minds eye; or it may be a sign of the kamma (kamma-
nimia), which is any sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, or idea
associated with the commission of that kamma; or a sign of destiny
(gati-nimia), a sign of the next existence where one is destined to
begin a new life in consequence of the aforesaid kamma. The kamma,
sign of kamma, or sign of destiny, which presents itself to the dying
person is tenaciously grasped because of craving and cannot be
diselled nom tle mind. Just like tle sladows of a mountain tliown
by the evening sun falling on the surface of the land and covering it,
so too these sense-objects that present themselves at the sense-doors
completely occupy the mind. They are clung to tenaciously by the
decease thought-process (maraasanna-javana) otherwise called the
kamma-forming consciousness (abhisakhra via).
In accoidance witl tle teacling in tle Palamablava Suua

kamma is tle eld foi tle aeaiance of iebiitl-consciousness


(paisandhi via) of the new becoming, consciousness is the seed,
and craving is the moisture. Meritorious or demeritorious kamma
seives as a eld in wlicl it may giow. Stoiing consciousness seives
as the seed for the growth of the birth-consciousness, and craving,
which delights in every sense-object in every existence, may be
likened to the moisture that promotes its growth. Here, kamma-
forming consciousness (abhisakhra via) that conditions new
becoming is, according to the Commentary, consciousness accompa-
nying the volitional kamma (cetan). In the same way as it arises
togetlei witl tle ist volitional kamma, so too it accomanies tle
later kamma activities and as such, the consciousness that appears
later should also be designated as kamma-forming consciousness.
In particular, the decease though-process consciousness, which takes
as its object kamma, a sign of kamma, or a sign of destiny should be
called tle kamma-foiming consciousness because it is nom tlis tlat
birth consciousness (paisandhi via) arises. In addition, in the
same way as a seed germinates only when it comes into contact with

A.i.223. kamma khea, via bja, tah sineho.


How Rebirth Takes Place 123
moisture, the seed of consciousness receiving support and encour-
agement nom ciaving, wlicl accomanies oi iecedes it in close
ioximi[, tenaciously lolds onto kamma, a sign of kamma, oi a sign
of destiny as its object and gives rise to birth consciousness.
Tlen immediately ahei tle dissolution of tle decease tlouglt-
iocess aggiegates of mind and mauei, tle biitl consciousness,
holding on to the kamma, sign of kamma, or sign of destiny as its
object, arises in a new existence complete with the physical base upon
which it depends. With each consciousness its mental concomitants
also arise. The re-linking consciousness (paisandhi via), is
followed by life-continuum consciousness (bhavaga), which goes
on continuously throughout life as prescribed by ones own kammic
energy. The arising of a new existence is brought about by two factors:
ones own kamma and craving. Without craving, however, kamma
by itself cannot bring about new becoming.
Foi an Aialant, ast meiitoiious deeds will come to nuition as
good results before parinibbna. Tle multifaiious gihs gained by
Veneiable Sval, and tle eifect lealtl enjoyed by Veneiable Bkula
aie examles of tle nuition of wlolesome kamma. Demeiitoiious
deeds will, lowevei, beai bad nuits as foi instance, lack of almsfood
for Venerable Losaka Tissa, or the fate met by the Venerable
Moggallna wlo was bludgeoned to deatl by tlugs. Tlese kammas,
lowevei, do not lave any moie otential foi causing nesl iebiitl
as they are devoid of craving. Lacking the support and encourage-
ment of craving at the time of the decease thought-process, the
kamma-forming consciousness cannot arise and hence there can be
no iebiitl. Foi tlis ieason, only ciaving is auibuted as tle cause of
nesl existence (ponobbhavik).
Tleiefoie, ciaving foims tle ioot cause of nesl becoming. Foi
this reason too, the Blessed One pointed out craving as the cause of
new existence. These are the words that the Blessed One used in the
veiy ist discouise to teacl tle existence of an ahei-life. In site of
this clear teaching, there is a group of people who maintain that the
Blessed One taught only about present existence, and did not touch
on future life. We cannot be certain whether these people are
auemting to associate tle Buddlas teacling witl tle annililationist
belief (uccheda vda), a veiy misguided eoit we must say! In ieali[,
however, as long as craving endures, through failure to develop the
124 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
Noble Eightfold Path, or even if developing it, not being fully
advanced in accomplishment, so long this craving will continue to
seive as tle cause foi nesl existence.
When the Noble Eightfold Path has been fully accomplished and
Aialantsli is auained, ciaving will be comletely eiadicated and
tleie will be no moie iebiitl. Tlus wlen exeicising ieuosection on
tle auainment of Enligltenment as a Buddla oi an Aialant, tle
thought always occurs to the Noble Ones: This is my last existence,
there will be no more rebirth (ayamantim jti, nahidni punabbhavoti).
Tlis ieection is also included in tle latei section of tle Dlammacakka
Suta. Sucl ieections make it obvious tlat unless ciaving is com-
letely iooted out, continuous nesl existences aie inevitable.
How tlis ciaving biings ieeated iebiitls will now be illusuated
by a few stoiies. Tleie aie tlousands of stoiies illusuating tlis fact,
but it will suce to take tliee stoiies nom tle Commentaiies and
foui oi ve nom tle modein eiiod.
A Brahma Finds Delight In A Pigs Pen
At one time tle Blessed One went into Rjagala foi alms. On
seeing a young sow, the Blessed One smiled. Noticing the white
iadiations tlat slone foitl nom tle teetl of tle Buddla, tle
Veneiable nanda knew tlat tle Buddla was smiling. Accoidingly
he asked, Venerable sir, why did you smile?
Tle Blessed One ointed out tle young sow to Veneiable nanda
and said, See that young sow? She was a young woman during the
dispensation of Kakusandha Buddha. When she died, she was reborn
as a hen in the neighbourhood of a monastic feeding-hall. The small
hen fell victim to an eagle. However, earlier she happened to have
heard the recitation by a meditating monk of a meditation subject,
which aroused in her wholesome thoughts. By virtue of these merits,
the small hen was reborn as a princess named Ubbai in a royal family.
Tle iincess Ubbai latei leh tle louselold life and became a
wandering mendicant. Residing in the mendicants residence she
laened one day to gaze at tle maggots in tle lauine. Tle woims
served as an object for meditation on the contemplation of foulness
of a woim-infested coise by wlicl sle auained tle ist jhna. When
sle assed away, sle was ieboin in tle Bialm woild. On exiiy
nom tle Bialm woild, sle became tle daugltei of a millionaiie in
A Brahma Finds Delight In A Pigs Pen 125
tle luman woild, wlicl sle leh again only to be ieboin as a ig in
this existence. I saw all of these events, which made me smile.
On hearing this story of repeated births in various existences,
Veneiable nanda and tle otlei monks became gieatly agitated witl
religious emotion. The Blessed One stopped walking, and while still
standing on tle ioad side, tauglt tle Dlamma in six veises tle ist
one of which stated.
Yathpi mle anupaddave dahe,
Chinnopi rukkho punareva rhati.
Evampi tahnusaye anhate,
Nibbaat dukkhamida punappuna.
If tle main ioots of a uee iemains undamaged and in good
condition, even wlen tle uei biancles aie cut o, tlat uee
will grow again developing new buds and shoots. Likewise,
if delements iemain lying doimant tlat aie not yet eiadicated,
tlis sueiing of iebiitl will aiise time and again ieeatedly.
What is conveyed by this verse is that during her existence as
iincess Ubbai, sle ienounced tle woild to become a wandeiei. By
iactising meditation, sle auained tle ist jhna, which could dispel
by abandoning (vikkhambhana pahna), only tle aiisen delements
(pariyuhna kiles), that is the craving for sensual pleasures that
appear as sensual thoughts at the mind-door. By means of dispelling
by abandoning, jhna can eiadicate delements only to a ceitain
extent and for a certain period. Thus she was able to dispel the craving
foi sensual leasuies wlen sle auained tle ist jhna, and later in
tle Bialm woild. Howevei, wlen sle was boin again in tle luman
realm as the daughter of a millionaire, the craving for sensual
pleasures reappeared because it had not been rooted out by the Noble
Path. The craving for existence, of course, persisted even when she
lad auained jhna. Tlus because tle latent delements lad not been
comletely uiooted, sle lad to descend nom tle Bialm woild,
through the human world, into a pigs existence. So long as the
craving persists, repeated rebirths will take place in this way in
various existences.
In iefeience to tlis stoiy of descent nom tle Bialma woild to a
igs existence, tle Saydaws of ancient times lave leh an aloiism
In tle Bialm woild, sle slines biiglt, in igs en too sle nds
126 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
delight. However, it is not possible to be reborn as a pig directly
nom tle Bialma woild: noi as any otlei animal noi in tle lowei
iealms. By viitue of tle access concenuation (upacra samdhi)
ieviously auained, iebiitl can take lace only as a luman being oi
in a celestial abode. The young sow of the above story also passed
through human life where she was born as the daughter of a
millionaire. It is quite possible that she landed in a pigs existence
ahei being tle daugltei of a millionaiie because of tle bad kamma
sle lad commiued at tlat time by being laugl[ and insolent to
those to whom she should have shown respect.
When the young sow died, she was reborn in a royal family
(rjakula) of Suvaablmi, wlicl is geneially taken to be tle
counuy of Tlaton. Some sclolais, lowevei, take Suvaablmi to
be tle island of Sumaua, ielying on tle bionze insciitions made
by King Devala, about 1500, Buddlist Eia.
Fiom being a iincess of Suvaablmi, sle assed ovei to
Bias, India, as a woman. Sle tlen became a woman in Vanavsi,

south-east of Bombay. From there, she was reborn the daughter of a


horse-merchant (assavija) in tle sea oit of Suiaka noitl-west
of Bombay. Next she became the daughter of a ship-owner (nvika)
at tle oit of Kvia in tle soutl-eastein most ait of tle Indian
eninsulai. Tlis is tle coastal disuict inlabited by tle Tamil eole
foimeily called Damia. Ahei tlat life, sle was ieboin in tle family
of a goveinment ocial (issarakula) at Anuidlauia of iesent day
Sii Lanka. Hei next life was as a daugltei of a man of ioei[
(kuumbika) named Sumana nom Blokkanta, a village soutl of
Anuidlauia. Sle took tle name Suman, ahei lei fatlei. Latei
lei fatlei leh tlat village and seuled down in tle Malmui village
of the Dglavi disuict. One day a ministei of King Dulagmi,
named Lakuaka Atimbaia laened to visit tle Malamui village
on some business. Uon seeing tle young lady Suman, le fell madly
in love with her. He married her with great pomp and ceremony and
caiiied lei o to lis village of Malua.
Tle Veneiable Mal Anuiuddla wlo iesided at tle
Malvilia laened to visit lei village foi alms. Wlile waiting
foi almsfood at tle gate of lei louse, le saw Suman and said to
his companion monks: Monks, how wonderful, how marvellous!

This rebirth is not found in the Dhammapada Commentary account (ed.)


A Brahma Finds Delight In A Pigs Pen 127
The young sow of the Blessed Ones time is now the wife of the
ministei Lakuaka Atimbaia.
On leaiing tlis exclamation, Suman, tle wife of tle ministei,
developed knowledge of her previous existences (jtissara-a), and
recalled the previous existences she had passed through. In conse-
quence, she became agitated with fear at the prospect of repeated
biitls in tle cycle of existences. Asking eimission nom lei lusband,
she went to a bhikkhu monasteiy and got oidained. Ahei oidination,
sle listened to a discouise on tle Satialna Suua at Tissa Mal
Vilia. Piactising mindfulness meditation in accoidance witl tle
suua, sle became a Sueam-winnei, well establisled in tle ist stage
of tle Patl and its Fiuition. Tlen wlen King Dulagmi came on
the throne, she went back to her native village, Bhokkhanta, where
at tle Kalla Mal Vilia monasteiy, sle leaid tle discouise on tle
svisoama Suua and become an Aialant, nee nom all coiiutions.
Reecting on tle tliiteen existences of Suman tlougltfully and
mindfully, one could get aroused with religious emotion. When the
young woman at tle time of tle Kakusandla Buddla died, sle leh
belind lei family, ossessions, and lei own lysical body. Tle beieh
family and niends would lave giieved ovei lei deatl. Sle became
a len wlat a nigltful tlouglt, tlat a luman being could be ieboin
a len! Tlat len would lave lad a family and niends too. Sle met
witl a teiiible deatl nom decaitation wlen an eagle seized lei and
suuck lei eicely witl its beak. Tleie is tlis consolation, lowevei,
tlat sle was ieboin as a iincess foi tle meiit acciued nom laving
heard a discourse on meditation. The hen would not, of course, know
anytling of tle Dlamma, but as sle lad given devout auention to
the discourse, certain merit would have accrued to her for which she
was reborn a princess. Listening to a Dhamma discourse is thus very
benecial and nuitful.
It is a mauei foi giatication tlat sle became a Bialm ahei being
a princess by virtue of her jhnic auainments. It is giati(ing too tlat
nom tle Bialm woild sle was ieboin in tle luman woild in a
wealtly family. Howevei, it is veiy disuessing to know tlat sle leh
belind lei family, niends, and ossessions ieluctantly to be ieboin
as a sow. It is really awful to think of descending to the human plane
nom tle Bialm woild and tlen to sink fuitlei still into tle animal
kingdom as a pig. This should be enough to excite alarm and religious
128 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
emotion, because so long as the Noble Path has not been established,
anyone is liable to land in the lower realms. It was with the intention
of arousing religious emotion and exhorting the bhikkhus to practise
the Dhamma in all earnestness that the Blessed One told them the
account of the female hens succession of existences.
How the young sow met her death was not mentioned in the texts,
but it may be presumed that she was slaughtered by her breeder as
in modein times. Tle young sow must lave lad a family and niends,
wlicl sle leh belind causing giief to tlem. It was comfoiting tlat
sle was ieboin aheiwaids as a luman being in six laces nom
Suvaablmi to Anuidlauia. Howevei, in eacl of tlese exist-
ences, eveiy time sle deaited nom one life, tleie must lave been
consideiable sueiing nom soiiow, lamentation, and giief foi lei
and foi lei deai ones. Tlat sle nally became tle Aialant Blikklu
Suman Tlei is tle most leaitening ait of tle stoiy.
Tle cause of tle succession of lei existences deaiting nom one
life to be ieboin in anotlei is ciaving oi tle uutl of tle oiigin of
sueiing. Otlei eole wlo aie not yet iid of ciaving will likewise
go tliougl tle cycle of iebiitls, dying nom one life to be ieboin in
anotlei. It is exuemely imoitant, tleiefoie, to get establisled in tle
practice of the Noble Path in order to eradicate craving, otherwise
called tle uutl of tle oiigin of sueiing. Suman Tlei ist leaid
tle discouise on tle Satialna Suua. Tlen sle iactised mindful-
ness in accoidance witl tle Satialna metlod, wlicl enabled lei
to auain tle status of a Sueam-winnei. Tlen, on leaiing tle
svisoama Suua, sle devoted leiself moie aidently to tle iactice
and auained Aialantsli. Ciaving was tlen comletely eiadicated.
Therefore there would be no more rebirth for her and she would be
enjoying eace ahei lei parinibbna.
Suman Tlei, tleiefoie, declaied to lei colleagues tlat sle would
nally ass away (parinibbhuto), ahei tle vital iincile (yusakhra)
for her present existence was exhausted. Thereupon her colleagues,
tle blikklus and blikklus asked lei to ielate tle stoiy of lei
existences. I was a woman at the time of the Kakusandha Buddha.
Wlen I died nom tleie, I became a len. I was killed by an eagle
wlicl bioke o my lead and devouied me. Tlen I became a iincess
in the human world She continued to recount her past existences
until tle time of lei nal existence at Blokkanta village. Sle
The Story of Samaa Deva 129
concluded, Thus have I passed through thirteen existences encoun-
tering the vicissitudes of life in each existence. In this last existence,
being weary of the cycle of rebirths, I have become an ordained
blikklu and nally auained Aialantsli, I uige all of you, deai
viituous blikklus and blikklus, to ut foitl eoit to mindfully
become fully accomlisled in moiali[, concenuation, and wisdom.
Then she passed away causing religious agitation in the minds of her
audience, consisting of men, women, blikklus and blikklus. Tlis
story of the young sow is fully described in the Commentary to the
Dhammapada.
The Story of Samaa Deva
Even if one were engaged in meditation practice to dispel craving,
until one became fully developed in the knowledge of the Path,
craving could still give rise to rebirth. This fact is borne out by the
stoiy of a deva named Samaa.

During the lifetime of the Buddha, a certain young man, having


established faith in the dispensation of the Buddha, got himself
oidained and stayed witl lis iecetoi foi ve Rains (vassa). He
performed all the major and minor incumbent duties for his preceptor
(upajjhya) and learnt thoroughly the two codes

of tle Pimokkla
disciline. He also masteied tle ioceduie foi uii(ing limself nom
seiious as well as uiing oences. Tlen taking a meditation object
of his choice, he repaired to a solitary abode in the forest and devoted
himself incessantly to the practice of meditation.
His eoits at meditation weie veiy suenuous. Even at midniglt,
which the Blessed One had allowed as the time for rest and sleep,
le continued witl tle iactice. Tlus suiving day and niglt and
geuing weak due to lack of sucient nouiisling food, le was
suddenly seized witl a cuuing ain, a aialytic suoke, wlicl
ruptured the spinal nerve causing instant death. He was meditating
while walking and thus said to have passed away in the course of
performing the duties of a bhikkhu.
According to the Commentary, if any bhikkhu, while engaged in
walking up and down the cloister walk or standing leaning against
tle leaning ost, oi siuing oi lying down at tle lead of tle cloistei
walk with the double robe on his head, passes away, he is said to die

SA.i.77, tle Commentaiy to tle Acclai Suua, S.i.46.

Dve mtik: Tle Pimokkla foi blikklus and blikklus (Patl of Puiication).
130 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
in harness. So too, a bhikkhu dies in harness if he passes away in
tle couise of teacling a discouise, aiticulaily, on libeiation nom
the cycle of existences.
As the bhikkhu of our story was engaged in meditating while
walking up and down the cloister walk, we could take it that he
passed away while he was contemplating the mental and physical
phenomena of the body postures in accordance with the teaching in
tle Satialna Suua. Altlougl le lad ut in a gieat deal of eoit
in tle iactice of meditation, le assed away witlout auaining tle
Arahantship, because he was not yet fully endowed with the
supporting perfections (pram) necessaiy foi sucl auainments.
Complete eradication of craving is not possible unless Arahant-
sli las been auained. Tlat tlis blikklu lad not yet develoed even
tle stage of a Sueam-winnei will become cleai latei. Tleiefoie,
because of craving which can cause rebirth, he was reborn in the
celestial abode of Tvatisa. A magnicent celestial alace awaited
him in consequence of the merit he had acquired in the practice of
meditation. By spontaneous rebirth, he appeared as if just awakened
nom slee, at tle enuance of tle alace, a celestial being ieslendent
in full celestial auiie.
At that moment, about one thousand celestial princesses who had
been awaiting the arrival of the master of the palace, saying, Our
Lord has arrived. Let us entertain him, gathered round him, holding
musical insuuments in tleii lands to welcome lim joyously. Tle
deva lord of the palace, however, did not even realise that he had
taken a new existence in another realm. He was under the impression
that he was still a bhikkhu in the human realm. On the sight of the
celestial maidens, he took them to be female visitors to his monastery.
He coveied u lis baie leh slouldei witl tle uei gaiment and
iemained seated, lis eyes loweied and assuming a dignied and
reserved pose.
Realising at once that the new being must have been a bhikkhu
in his previous existence, the celestial ladies addressed him, My
lord, this is the abode of celestial beings. It is not the time to be
observing the code of monastic discipline. It is the occasion for
enjoyment of celestial pleasures. However, he continued on main-
taining solemn ieseive and digni[. Tlis deva las not iealised tlat
he has become a celestial being in the realm of the deities. Let us
The Story of Samaa Deva 131
drive home this fact to him by our welcoming revelries. So saying,
tle celestial damsels staited laying tle musical insuuments
accompanied by songs. The deva all the more tightened his retiring
disosition, maintaining lis dignied solemni[, tlinking tlat tle
female visitors had come to his forest abode to abandon themselves
to nivolous meiiiment.
Whereupon the celestial ladies brought out a body-length mirror
and laced it in nont of tle deva. On seeing lis ieection in tle
miiioi, le nally iealised tlat le lad leh tle blikklus existence and
taken iebiitl in tle celestial iealm. Samaa deva was gieatly
eituibed. He ieected: I did not take u meditation to be ieboin
in tlis celestial iealm. My objective was to auain tle most iotable
goal of Arahantship. However, I am like a boxer who entered the
boxing competition aiming at a championship gold medal, but was
awaided only a bundle of tuinis. Exuemely agitated in mind, le
tlouglt: Tle celestial leasuies aie easily auainable. Tle life-time
of an Enlightened One is a rare occasion. To hear the teaching of the
Buddla and to auain tle Noble Patl is of utmost imoitance. By
wallowing in celestial pleasures, there is the danger of losing the
ooituni[ of meeting tle Buddla. So witlout taking tle uouble
of entering the palatial building, he repaired hastily to the presence
of tle Buddla wlile tle moiali[ le lad obseived as a blikklu
remained intact. His celestial damsels also accompanied him as if
they were anxious not to lose sight of him. On reaching the presence
of the Blessed One, he addressed him:
Venerable sir. In what way will it be possible to avoid and proceed
past the Nandavana garden otherwise known as the Mohana garden,
tle giove of stuidi[ because it encouiages foolisl belavioui in
the celestial beings who visit it, where thousands of female celestial
beings indulge in singing and yodeling, where numerous demons,
goblins and spirits haunt.
Here the deva referred to the celestial females as demons and
goblins and to tle Nandavana glades as tle giove of stuidi[ because
he was still in a repulsive mood towards sensual pleasures as a
consequence of lis intense eoits at insiglt meditation. Tle Com-
mentary explanation of the devas query as to how to proceed along
was that he was requesting the Blessed One for guidance on insight,
which provides access to Arahantship.
132 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
Tle Buddla ieected on all tle ciicumstances conceining tle
deva and taught him the Noble Eightfold Path in three verses:
Ujuko nma so maggo, abhay nma s dis.
Ratho akjano nma, dhammacakkehi sayuto.
Ol, deva, wlo is anxious to ee away, tle suaiglt atl foi a
quick escae is tle Eigltfold Patl of insiglt you alieady uod
while a bhikkhu.
Heie, we lave given, foi tle benet of tle iesent audience, tle
exlanatoiy meaning of tle ist line in tle veise wlicl just says, tle
suaiglt atl is tlat atl. Tlat baie uanslation would lave been
quite incomprehensible to this audience, but to the deva who looked
as if le lad come suaiglt nom tle monasteiy, wleie le lad devoted
himself to meditation, the meaning was quite clear. The exposition
of the Commentary is as follows:
On giving meditation uaining to someone not yet establisled in
moiali[, etc., tle Blessed One always advised lim: Puii( youi
moial conduct, develo mindfulness and concenuation, suaiglten
out youi views on kamma and its eects, and diiected tle medita-
tois to get imly establisled in tlese fundamental iactices initially.
To one alieady engaged in meditation, le insuucted lim only in
insight, the proximate cause to Arahantship. The deva was already
iactising meditation and lis moiali[ iemained unimaiied. It was
only the Noble Path that he needed to accomplish having already
developed its precursor the preliminary path (pubbabhga magga) and
the path of insight (vipassan magga). Tlus in oidei to insuuct lim
in insight, the Blessed One taught him the three verses.
In tlis Commentaiy exosition, tle fact of lis moiali[ iemaining
unimaiied even ahei le lad assed ovei nom a blikklus existence
to that of a celestial being, should be well-noted. It meant that having
not breached any of the precepts such as killing, stealing, sexual
relationships, etc., le continued to maintain lis moiali[. It slould
be understood, therefore, that even without a formal vow of keeping
tle iecets, moiali[ iemains unimaiied if one abstains nom evil
deeds, which one should not commit. It should also be noted that
these verses taught insight meditation.
As we lad exlained above, Tle best and suaigltest way of quick
escae nom tle Nandavana gaiden of tle celestial iealm witl its
The Story of Samaa Deva 133
celestial nymphs is the path of insight, which he had practised while
he was a bhikkhu.
Regaiding tle next queiy on tle lace of iefuge nee nom dangei,
tle Buddla said, Tle lace of iefuge nee nom dangei is tle
sanctuaiy of nibbna, wlicl you asiied to as a blikklu. Tlis meant
tlat le lad to suive on until le auained nibbna.
As to wlat [e of velicle slould be emloyed to make tle jouiney,
the Blessed One said, For a silent escape with no one becoming
awaie of it, you need a silent caiiiage, wlicl is tle caiiiage ued
with the two wheels of physical and mental exertion.
Tle mental eoit involved in noting eveiy lysical and mental
activi[ is mental exeition (cetasik viriya). When noting the bodily
actions of going, standing, siuing, tle lysical eoit iequiied to
maintain the body in respective posture is called physical exertion
(kyika viriya). Meditation while lying down involves only mental
exertion, not physical exertion. Here as the use of a carriage with
wheels of mental and physical exertion was advised, it must be taken
to mean insight meditation that requires mindful noting of walking,
standing, and siuing. Tlus to iide tle silent caiiiage of tle atl of
insiglt ued witl tle two wleels of lysical and mental exeition,
we must engage in mindful noting while walking up and down. That
is to say, we must note walking, lihing, steing foiwaid,
dioing as iesciibed in tle Satialna Suua as, gacchanto v
gacchmiti pajnti.
Wlile suiving tlus, as tle concenuation gets suengtlened, tle
meditatoi will come to distinguisl witl eacl noting, tle mauei,
wlicl causes stiness and moves, nom tle mind, tle mental act of
noting it. As tle concenuation gets suengtlened fuitlei, tle
meditatoi will come to distinguisl tle cause nom tle eect. He oi
she knows: Because of the intention to go, the physical process of
going appears; because there is the object to know, there is knowing.
With further progress, the arising of each phenomenon for a moment:
the intention to go, the physical process of going, the noting mind,
followed by its dissolution is clearly perceived as if it is grasped in
ones own hand. It is then realised plainly that what arises momen-
tarily only to vanish immediately is not permanent; that what arises
and vanisles incessantly is dieadful sueiing. Tle meditatoi will
also comprehend clearly that the phenomena are occurring of their
134 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
own accord, following nobodys will and, therefore, are not subject
to anyones conuol. Tlen tle mindful noting slould continue wlile
standing oi siuing occasionally.
The silent carriage mentioned here is a reference to the horse-
drawn vehicles of ancient days. Some carriages are by themselves
noiseless, but when burdened with many passengers or heavy loads,
they are liable to produce a creaking sound. However, the path
vehicle is able to carry an unlimited number of passengers without
producing a sound. Sometimes, while listening to the teachings of
tle Buddla, assengeis numbeiing eigl[-foui tlousand iode on
tlis velicle, iloted by tle atl of insiglt, wlicl uansoited tlem
noiselessly to tleii nal destination of nibbna. Tlus tlis caiiiage
was admired as a silent vehicle. Intimation was in this way given by
the Buddha to the deva that it would be possible to make his silent
escae, witlout leuing tle celestial nymls know, by means of tlis
uansoit.
Hir tassa aplambo, saassa parivraa.
Dhammha srathi brmi, sammdihipurejava.
The sense of shame (hir) and revulsion of avoid evil deeds serves
as the leaning board on the seats of the carriage, without which
passengers are liable to fall backwards when the carriage moves. The
path vehicle has excellent leaning-boards of shame (hir) and dread
(oappa) of wrong-doing.
Tle meditatoi feels ieelled and loiiied at tle ossible aiising
of unwholesome thoughts concerning some objects that may be
missed while heedfully noting. It is like the revulsion that one feels
towaids coming into contact witl ltl ahei laving a batl. Tle
conscientious concern for the non-arising of unwholesome thoughts
and revulsion towards them is shame (hir). There is also the fear of
unwholesome thoughts leading to evil actions that will yield
unwlolesome eects, and lindei escae nom tle cycle of existences.
This fear of evil deeds and its unwholesome consequences is called
dread (oappa).
Due to this sense of shame and fear of evil deeds a meditator is
reverentially devoted to the task of noting every physical and mental
phenomenon without missing any. Thus, the path is keeps developing
with each passing moment. This is like the way in which the leaning
The Story of Samaa Deva 135
boaids of tle caiiiage ievent tle assengeis nom falling backwaids,
maintaining them in their positions. That is why the Blessed One
described shame and dread as the leaning boards of the carriage.
Then the Blessed One went on to explain how mindfulness is like
tle awning of tle caiiiage. As tle awning ued to a caiiiage guaids
against stones or sticks being thrown in, mindfulness of every mental
and lysical lenomenon, as it aiises, kees oneself secuie nom tle
danger of demeritorious deeds. Therefore the four foundations of
mindfulness such as the contemplation of the body are called the
awning of the carriage.
The Blessed One continued: I call right-view of the Noble Path
preceded by the right-view of insight, the driver of the carriage.
Of the six kinds of right-views right-view about ownership of
kamma, right-view of absorption, right-view of insight, right-view
of the Path, right-view of the Fruit, and right-view of reviewing
right-view of the Fruit is the result of the Path. Similarly, right-view
of ieviewing is tle ieective knowledge tlat aeais ahei auaining
tle Patl and its Fiuition. Tleiefoie it needs no aiticulai eoit to
develo tlem. Tle iiglt-view conceining kamma and its eects, las
to be established even before one starts the practice of meditation.
Tle iiglt-view conceining absoition is ielated to tle uiication of
mind, which is the basis for insight. Thus the proximate knowledge
that has to be developed for the promotion of right-view of the Path
is the right-view of insight. When insight knowledge is fully
developed the knowledge of the Path, i.e. the right-view of the Path,
arises spontaneously. It is just like a royal procession coming along
ahei tle ioads lave been cleaied by tle olice and militaiy escoits.
Tleiefoie, it is said tlat tle iiglt-view of insiglt ioceeds ist,
followed by Noble right-view. While engaged in insight meditation,
insight knowledge leads the way for the development of the other
atl factois. At tle moment of auaining tle Noble Patl, Patl
knowledge gives the lead to the other path factors. For this reason,
the Buddha called the right-view of insight and the right-view of the
Noble Path, the drivers of the carriage. The last verse runs as follows:
Yassa etdisa yna, ihiy purisassa v.
Sa ve etena ynena, nibbnasseva santiketi.
136 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
Any woman or man possessing this eightfold path vehicle can
get to tle iesence of nibbna by means of it.
In accordance with this last verse, the owner of the eightfold path
velicle, iiiesective of sex, is denitely bound to ieacl nibbna. So
it is veiy cleai tlat anyone wisling to ieacl nibbna must develo
the Noble Path based on the path of insight.
It is common knowledge that in this mundane world, the owner
of some foim of uansoit is able to ieacl tle iequiied destination
by using it. However, just knowing about the mechanics of a vehicle
without actually possessing it will not get anyone anywhere. Likewise,
by just knowing low to enumeiate tle vaiious [es of mental and
physical phenomena, or the eight path factors, no one can reach
nibbna. It must be imly iemembeied tlat only by geuing tle atl
vehicle through contemplation of the actual arising and dissolution
of mind and mauei and iiding on tle caiiiage of tle Noble Eigltfold
Patl, one can ieacl nibbna. Tle tliee veises exlained above aie
summarised as follows:
1. Tle suaiglt atl is tle Noble Patl, tle destination is nibbna,
wlicl is nee nom dangei. Fiued witl two wleels of lysical
and mental exertion the carriage is silent.
2. Shame and dread of wrong-doing serve as the leaning-board,
while mindfulness forms the awnings of the carriage. Path
knowledge preceded by insight knowledge is the driver of the
carriage.
3. The owners of such a carriage, whether man or woman, may
iide comfoitably in it to ieacl nibbna.
Ahei teacling tle tliee veises, tle Buddla also gave a discouise
on the Four Noble Truths, which I will discuss again when we come
to tle section on tle uutl of tle atl (magga sacc).
Wlile listening to tle discouise Samaa deva ieected on tle
meditation practices of his former existence. Although he had not
been able to auain liglei knowledge as a blikklu in site of lis
suenuous eoits, in tle existence of a deva wlose lysical body
was nee nom imuiities, le was quickly able to develo tle
successive stages of insiglt until le auained tle Patl and Fiuition
of Sueam-winning, and iealised nibbna, tlus becoming a Sueam-
winner.
Aachment Leading to Animal Rebirths 137
Tle main oint of tlis stoiy of Samaa deva is tlat, altlougl tle
bhikkhu had been engaged ardently in insight meditation, because
tle Noble Patl, wlicl could cut o ciaving, lad not yet been auained,
tlis ciaving, otleiwise called tle uutl of tle oiigin of sueiing
(samudaya-sacc) had caused rebirth in a new existence as a celestial
being. The story also shows how the Noble Path could be developed
and low as a deva, liglei knowledge could be auained witl ease.
Anotlei oint biouglt out in tle stoiy is tlat, if auaclment lingeis
in an individual or on an object, craving for existence is likely to cause
iebiitl in tle vicini[ of sucl a eison oi object. How auaclment to
an object will lead to ienewed existence in close ioximi[ to it is
borne out by the well-known story of the bhikkhu Tissa, who died
with great craving for his robes, and consequently was reborn in the
form of a louse in those very robes.
Now I will deal witl tle account of low auaclment to ones wife
caused rebirths as a snake, a dog, and a cow.
Attachment Leading to Animal Rebirths
In a Sri Lankan village lived a man who was misbehaving with
the wife of his elder brother. The woman was more passionately
auacled to lei lovei tlan to lei lusband. Sle tleiefoie instigated
lei lovei to get iid of lis eldei biotlei. Tle man iemonsuated,
Woman! Dont evei talk like tlat. Howevei, ahei sle lad ieeated
her evil suggestions three times, he asked, How would I go about
it? She replied, Go with an axe and wait for him at the riverside
neai tle big caei uee. Ill send lim tleie. Tleieuon, tle man
proceeded there and lay in wait for his elder brother, hiding among
tle biancles of tle uee.
Wlen tle lusband came back nom lis woik in tle foiest, tle wife
made a slow of loving aection foi lim and fondly biusling lis
laii said, Youi laii needs cleaning, it is too dii[. Wly not go and
slamoo it at tle iivei side neai tle big caei uee' Hay witl tle
tlouglt, my wife is veiy aectionate foi me, le accoidingly went
to the bathing place at the riverside. He was preparing to wash his
laii, bending lis lead down, wlen lis young biotlei came out nom
lis liding lace and ciuelly cloed lis lead o witl tle axe.
Because of tle clinging auaclment to lis wife, le was ieboin as
a green snake (a rat snake according to Sinhalese scholars). Still
138 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
auacled to lis wife, tle snake took to dioing limself down nom
the roof of the house upon the woman. Realising that the snake must
have been her former husband, she caused it to be killed and removed.
Even ahei assing away nom tle snakes existence, lis auaclment
foi lis foimei wife still iemained suong, and le was ieboin as a dog
in his old house. As a dog he was still clinging to his former wife,
following her everywhere even when she went out to the forest.
People made derisive remarks, The hunter woman with the dog is
going out. I wonder where she is headed! The woman then asked
lei lovei to kill tle dog. His auaclment still intense and eisisting,
the dog was reborn as a calf in the same house. The young calf also
followed lei eveiywleie, diawing laugltei and iidicule nom tle
people again, Look, the cowherd has come out. I wonder which
astuie lei caule aie going to giaze in! Again tle woman asked lei
lovei to kill tle young calf. Again lis tenacious auaclment to lis
wife caused rebirth, this time in her womb.
In the human world that he had regained, he was endowed with
tle facul[ of iecalling ievious existences. Exeicising tlis facul[,
le iecollected tle ievious foui existences and was gieatly disuessed
when he came to know that they were all terminated at the instance
of his former wife. What an irony to have taken rebirth in the womb
of such an enemy, he lamented.
He would not let his mother touch him. Whenever the mother
uied to lold lim, tle baby ciied vocifeiously. So tle giandfatlei
had to take over the task of bringing up the child. When the child
reached the age when he could speak, the grandfather asked him,
My deai clild, wly do you ciy wlenevei youi motlei uies to lold
you?
He replied, This woman is no mother to me. She is my enemy
who killed me for four successive existences. So saying, he recounted
to his grandfather the story of his previous lives. On hearing this sad
tale, the old man wept, embracing the child and said. Come, my
poor grandchild, let us get away, I see no gain in staying here. They
went away and stayed in a monastery where both of them received
ordination and in time, through the practice of meditation, were able
to auain tle Patl and Fiuition of Aialantsli.
Tle moial to be diawn nom tlis eisode is tlat auaclment gives
iise to ieeated new existence at tle veiy location of tlat auaclment.
A Dhamma Teaching Saydaw 139
Tlis stoiy cleaily beais out tle uutl of tle teacling, tlat auaclment
biings about nesl existences (ponobbhavik). Howevei, ahei meeting
a violent death in successive existences as a snake, a dog, and a calf,
in lis nal life as a luman being le auained Aialantsli, and so
craving was completely extinguished. There would be no mere
iebiitl foi lim, and le would be nee nom all foims of sueiing.
It would be well to take to leait tle moial of tlis stoiy and suive
foi needom nom all sueiing tliougl tle iactice of insiglt
meditation. Tleie would be no end of quoting similai stoiies nom
tle Pi texts and Commentaiies. Let us now come to tle exeiiences
and episodes met with in modern times.
A Dhamma Teaching Saydaw
From 1937 to 1939,

I resided at Taungwine Taikkyaung monastery


of Mawlamyaing. At that time there was a Dhamma teaching
Saydaw of gieat ieute. At tle uaditional alms-giving ceiemony,
a week ahei tle deatl of a lawyei donoi of lis, le gave tle following
discourse as the merit-sharing service for the departed one.
This life of mine is uncertain, but my death is certain. I must
inevitably die. My life will end only in death. Life is impermanent,
and unstable, deatl, on tle otlei land, is denite and eimanent.
This contemplation on death was the theme of his discourse. I was
present on that occasion and heard his discourse personally. Within
a few days of this event, we heard the sad news of demise of the
Dlamma teacling Saydaw. We tlouglt tlen tlat le would lave
passed away contemplating death as he had taught only a few days
ago. We leaid tlat tle Saydaw lad met a violent deatl at tle lands
of assassins who had stabbed him with a dagger.
About tliee yeais latei, a ceitain young boy nom Magwe came
to Mawlamyaing accompanied by his parents. He had been nagging
his parents, asking them to take him to Mawlamyaing. On arriving
at tle monasteiy of tle foimei Saydaw, tle boy infoimed lis aients
tlat le was, in a ievious existence, tle iesiding Saydaw of tlat
monastery. He could tell everything about the monastery and
wlatevei le said was found to be uue. He iemembeied all tle leading
monks nom tle neaiby monasteiies and addiessed tlem by tle
names he had used to call them by previously.

1291 to 1301 M.E.


140 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
When he was asked by mentioning the name about a certain man,
wlo was a close discile of tle late Saydaw, tle boy ielied, I am
anaid. Wlen questioned wlat le was anaid of, le iecounted low
that man in association with some others had stabbed him to death,
low le lad iun away nom tlem, and coming to tle iivei bank and
nding a boat, le made lis escae iiding on tle boat. Latei aiiiving
at a village on the Magwe coast, he said he entered the house of his
iesent aients. Tle visions le saw of low le lad ed nom lis
assassins, how he found a boat on the river bank, how he took a ride
on it and came to the house of his parents were all signs of destiny
(gati nimia) that had appeared to him as death approached. This is
also a notable incident tlat conims tlat auaclment biings foitl
new existence.
Born as a Buffalo for Forty Kyats
In a ceitain town in Monywa Disuict, tleie lived a man wlo was
engaged in the business of money-lending during the British regime.
He asked foi tle ietuin of a loan nom a ceitain faimei wlo ielied
tlat le lad alieady ieaid tle money le lad boiiowed nom tle
man. The money-lender repeatedly insisted that the farmer had not
yet ieaid tle loan. Finally, le declaied, May I become a bualo in
youi louse if I lave ieally asked foi a double ayment of tle foi[
kyats, which you say you have already repaid. With this oath, he
pressed again for the return of his loan. The poor farmer was thus
obliged to knowingly repay again the loan he had taken.
Soon aheiwaids, tle money-lendei assed away. A young bualo
was born in the house of the farmer who had made the double
payment of his loan. Guessing that the money-lender had taken
iebiitl in lis louse as a bualo, tle ooi faimei called out to tle
young bualo, Say, Say, lease come, in tle same way tlat le
used to addiess tle old money-lendei. Tle young bualo answeied
his call and came to him. Believing now that the old money-lender
lad ieally become a bualo in lis louse accoiding to lis oatl, tle
farmer started to talk about this incident. Thereupon, the daughter
of the departed money-lender went to the court suing the poor farmer
for defaming her father.
The judge who heard the case sent for the appellant, the defendant
and tle young bualo togetlei witl witnesses foi botl sides. In tle
Nga Nyos Small Measure of Rice 141
couit, tle faimei called out, Say, lease come to tle bualo in tle
same way tlat le used to addiess tle money-lendei. Tle bualo
responded to his call by coming to him. The money-lenders daughter
used to address her father as Shin, Shin. When she said in the court
Slin, Slin, tle bualo went to lei. Tle judge came to tle conclusion
that the poor farmer was making an honest statement (without any
intention of defamation) and accordingly discharged the case. From
this story, it is not hard to believe that a human being may be reborn
a bualo. It is lain tleiefoie tlat ciaving will cause iebiitl. It slould
be obseived also tlat sweaiing a false oatl is liable to lead to calami[.
Nga Nyos Small Measure of Rice
There was a village of about four hundred houses called Chaungyo,
ten miles north-west of Taungdwingyi. Two young men of the village,
Nga Nyo and Ba Saing, wlo weie niends, eained tleii living by
going aiound villages selling betel leaves. Coming back one day nom
their rounds, Ba Saing went short of rice on the way. He borrowed
a small measuie of iice nom Nga Nyo to cook lis dinnei. Ahei dinnei,
while they made their way back to the village leisurely in the moonlit
niglt, Ba Saing was biuen by a oisonous snake and met witl instant
death. It was some time between 1926 to 1936,

wlen tle two niends


weie about twen[ oi so.
Probably because Ba Saing clung to the thought of the loan of the
small measure of rice at the time of his death, he was reborn as a
cockeiel in Nga Nyos louse. Nga Nyo uained it to become a
glting-cock and enteied it into a glt. It one tle ist tliee glts,
but unfoitunately lost tle fouitl glt because its oonent was
biggei and suongei tlan itself. Nga Nyo vented lis disaointment
and anger by holding his cock by its leg and thrashing it against the
ground. Bringing the half-dead cock home, he threw it down near
the water-pot where Nga Nyos cow came and touched it with her
lips (as if expressing her sympathy.)
Tle ooi cock died aheiwaids and took concetion in tle womb
of the cow. When the calf had grown up considerably, it was bought
foi foui kyats by lis niends foi a feast, wlicl Nga Nyo would also
join. Wlile tley weie butcleiing tle calf and cuuing u tle meat in
ieaiation foi tleii feast, a coule nom Taungdwingyi, a cleik and

1270 and 1280 M.E.


142 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
his wife, happened to arrive on the scene. Expressing her sympathy
for the calf, the clerks wife said, If it were my calf, I wouldnt have
ueated it so ciuelly. Even if it lad died a natuial deatl, I wouldnt
lave lad tle leait to eat its esl, I would lave just buiied it.
Sometimes aheiwaids, a son was boin to tle cleiks wife. Tle
child remained without speech until he was seven when, one day
his father told him, Son please talk to us. Today is my pay-day. Ill
buy and bring back some nice clothes for you. Keeping his promise,
tle fatlei came back in tle evening witl some ie gaiments foi
his son. He said, Son, here, these beautiful clothes are for you. Do
seak to us now. Tle boy tlen uueied, Nga Nyos measuie of iice.
The father said, Son, just talk to us. Not only a measure, I will
buy a whole bag of rice for you. Thereupon the boy said If so, put
tle bag of iice on tle cait. We will go to seule my debt. Puuing a
bag of iice on tle cait as iequested, tley set o on tleii jouiney. Tle
father asked the son, Now where to? The child directed his father
to drive towards the north of Taungdwingyi. Eventually they came
to Chaungyo village when the son said, Thats it. Thats the village,
and kept on directing his father through the village lanes until they
came to Nga Nyos house. Upon inquiring whether it was indeed
UNyos louse. U Nyo limself conimed it by coming down nom
the house as he approached the cart, the child hailed him, Hey, Nga
Nyo, do you iemembei me' Tle eldeily man was oended to be
addressed as Nga Nyo by a mere child, the age of his son, but was
acied wlen tle cleik exlained, saying, Please do not be oended,
U Nyo. Tlis clild is undei some suange ciicumstances.
When they got into the house, the boy began, So, Nga Nyo, you
dont remember me? We were once together selling betel leaves going
aiound tle villages. I boiiowed a small measuie of iice nom you.
Tlen I was biuen by a snake and died befoie I could ietuin tle loan.
I became a cockeiel in youi louse. Ahei winning tliee glts foi you,
I lost tle fouitl because my oonent was mucl suongei tlan I was.
Foi losing tlat glt you beat me to deatl in angei. Half dead, you
threw me down near the water-pot and a cow came and kissed me.
I took conception in her womb and was reborn as a cow. When I
became a heifer, you killed me to eat. At that time the clerk and his
wife who are my father and mother now, came by and expressed
symatly foi me. Ahei my deatl as a cow, I was boin as a son to my
Regaining Human Life aer Being a Cow and a Dog 143
present father and mother. I have now come to repay my debt of the
measuie of iice. All tlat tle clild iecounted was found to be uue
by U Nyo wlo wet, feeling ieentant foi all tle ill-ueatment le lad
meted out to lis foimei niend.
Witl tlis stoiy I want to suess again tlat unless ciaving las been
rooted out, repeated rebirths in new existences are unavoidable.
Terrible Life as a Demon and a Cow
In about 1956 in tle Paygyi monasteiy of Mandalay tleie iesided
a student bhikkhu called U Ar Seinna. He was of good build, clear
complexion and full of faith in Dhamma. He was a good student too,
devoting himself wholeheartedly to the study of the texts. One day
while washing his almsbowl, he addressed his colleagues, I urge
you to take caie, niends, to be of good belavioui wlile you aie living
on the almsfood of donors. I am living a heedful life, having had
personal experiences of three existences.
One of his colleagues, becoming curious, asked him about his
ievious lives and le ielied, I assed away nom luman life to
become a female demon. I sueied teiiibly in tlat life, laving scaicely
anything to eat, no decent place to live, roaming here and there to
nd a iesting lace. Fiom a female demon, I became a diauglt ox. I
was leided in tle same en witl a team mate, wlose nosuils weie
iunning witl uuid nasal uid. Its nasal smell becoming unbeaiable,
I goaded it to kee it away nom me. Tle ownei beat me, tlinking
tlat I was bullying tle otlei ox. Wlen I assed away nom tlat
existence, I regained human life and becoming agitated with religious
emotion, and have now taken up the life of a bhikkhu.
This story also serves to emphasise the fact that as long as craving
persists, rebirth is inevitable. It also shows what a horrible life is that
of a demon and low, landicaed by tle inabili[ to communicate,
an ox is liable to be misundeistood and could be malueated in
consequence. These accounts should serve to cause terror and incite
religious emotions in us.
Regaining Human Life after Being a Cow and a Dog
About 1948, tle Saydaw of a village monasteiy in Monyw
Disuict was slot dead by a iebel leadei wlo accused tle Saydaw
of ill-ueating lis undeiling. Tle Saydaw is now in luman
144 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
existence, a bhikkhu again. We hear that he had even passed some
of the scriptural examinations. This bhikkhu recounted, I became
a cow ahei being slot, tlen a dog and now I am a luman being
again. To go down nom tle level of a blikklu in luman life to tlat
of a cow, and then a dog, seems very degrading. However, if craving
is not eradicated, it is possible to descend the ladder of existence
lower still. There is the instance of Bhikkhu Tissa who became a louse
in the time of the Buddha. Thus realising that anyone who has not
eiadicated ciaving (and witl eisonali[-view and doubt also still
intact), is liable to take lowei iebiitls, so it is essential to suive foi
the complete eradication of craving, or at the very least, to work for
tle elimination of eisonali[-view) and doubt.
Even Rebirth as a Crowing Lizard Is Possible
In about 1961, there appeared in Pha Aung We village near Daik-U,
a suange young clild, wlo said tlat le was ieviously tle iesiding
monk of tle Yw Waing village about 2 miles away. Tle clild was
intelligent with a retentive memory. When taken to the monastery,
which he said he resided in, he appeared to know all the articles in
tle building and was able to identi( eacl object, iecalling tle name
of its donoi. Wlat le said was found to be uue. He said le lad
become a crowing lizard in the monastery when he died as the
presiding monk. As the crowing lizard, he met his death when he
leat acioss nom tle monasteiy to a alm uee neaiby. He missed
tle uee and fell to tle giound bieaking lis tligl. Tle injuiy caused
lis deatl. Wlen le died, le iode on tle cait of a faimei nom Pla
Aung village wlo lad lis eld neai tle monasteiy, and le stayed in
the house of the farmer. What he said about riding on the cart was
the appearance of a sign of destiny as death approached.
This story should also cause the realisation that with craving still
lingeiing, nesl existence could aiise, and taking niglt at tlis
realisation, one should develop the Noble Path to rid oneself of
craving. The reason why I bring up these stories of modern times is
because there are some people who maintain that there is no such
tling as an ahei-life. Some aie undecided and eilexed, not being
able to conclude whether there is or not. In spite of clear accounts of
renewed existences in the scriptural literature, many are sceptical of
wlat was wiiuen about ancient times. Tlus in oidei to aiouse faitl
Sensual Craving 145
in kamma and its eects, and belief in tle ahei-life and to iemain
steadfast with such conviction, I have recounted these stories. There
are many similar stories that I could tell, but enough has been said
to accomplish my aim.
Three Kinds of Craving
As stated above, because craving can cause rebirth, the Blessed
One tauglt, Tlis ciaving tlat gives iise to nesl iebiitl and is bound
up with delight and passion, seeking delight now here, now there.
He further elucidated this craving. What is this craving? Firstly,
there is craving for sensual pleasures. Secondly, there is craving for
existence, oi auaclment to eteinalism. Tliidly tleie is ciaving foi
non-existence, oi clinging to tle view tlat tleie is no ahei-life. Tlese
tliee [es of ciaving aie tle uutl of tle oiigin of sueiing.
Sensual Craving
Of tlese tliee [es, sensual ciaving is ciaving foi leasuiable
sense-objects, whether belonging to oneself or to others. The craving
that arises on seeing a beautiful sight is sensual craving. Here object
of sight relates not only to appearance, colour etc., but to the whole
form or body of a man or woman, which serves as the basis of the
sight, the clothes worn and other associated objects. Likewise,
pleasurable sounds and sound-producing objects, delightful odours
and their source, delicious taste and food producing the taste, men
and women who prepare and serve delicious food, tactile sensations
of rapture and objects producing such sensations all of these
constitute objects of pleasure, and craving for them is sensual craving.
In short, desire for any pleasurable sense-object is sensual craving.
Wishing to become a human being, a celestial being, wishing to
be born a man or a woman; longing to enjoy sensual pleasures as a
human being, as a celestial being, as a man or a woman all of these
cravings are also sensual craving. Therefore we say that taking delight
in any pleasurable thought or object is sensual craving.
On seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, or touching a sense-object,
if one considers it to be pleasant, a liking is at once developed for it.
Thinking it to be pleasant amounts to ignorance (avijj), which
conceals tle uue natuie of tle sense-object and gives iise to false
views about it. Ignoiance iegaid wlat is uansitoiy as eimanent, it
146 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
takes wlat is sueiing, because of incessant aiising and vanisling,
to be pleasant: it takes mere physical and mental phenomena, which
aie neitlei a soul noi a living enti[, to be a soul oi living enti[, and
it considers ones own body or others bodies, which are repulsive
and disgusting, as beautiful and pleasing.
Regarding what is unpleasant to be pleasant, liking for it develops.
Liking it and desiring it leads to craving, which drives one to perform
activities to full tlat ciaving. Sucl volitional activities aie kamma
(sakhr), which are responsible for the formation of new mental
and physical aggregates of a new existence. Thus each instance of
liking or desiring a sense-object amounts to embarking on a new
round of becoming.
Inuenced by ciaving, kamma-foiming consciousness otleiwise
called decease thought-moment impulsion tenaciously clings to the
kamma, sign of kamma, or sign of destiny, the three signs that appear
as death approaches. Because of this tenacious clinging to the objects
seen at deatls dooi, tle moment ahei decease consciousness vanisles
rebirth-linking consciousness arises holding onto the last seen objects,
to give rise to a new birth. Hence this craving is described as liable
to give rise to new becoming.
Craving for Existence
According to the Commentary, craving for existence (bhava tah)
is the craving that is accompanied by eternalism(sassata dihi). Here,
bhava means becoming or being. Hence craving for existence is
ciaving based on tle belief in tle eimanence and stabili[ of
existence. Eternalism is the wrong-view believing that the soul or
the living-being does not disappear. Although the physical body
eiisles, tle soul, tle living enti[ is tlouglt not to be subject to
dissolution. It enters into a new body and remains there. Even if the
world crumbles and breaks up, it remains eternally and never perishes.
Religious faiths outside of the the Buddhas teaching mostly hold
tlis view of eteinalism. Some of tlem believe tlat, ahei deatl, man
iemains eimanently in leaven oi sueis eteinal damnation in lell
according to Gods wish. Others take the view that a being migrates
nom one existence to anotlei accoiding to kamma and exists
permanently. Again, others believe that a being exists eternally
clanging nom one life to anotlei on a iedeteimined set couise.
Craving for Non-existence 147
In sloit, any belief tlat lolds tle view tlat a soul oi living-enti[
moves on without dissolution to new existences is the wrong-view
of eternalism(sassata dihi). Foi instance, a biid on a uee ies away
to anotlei uee wlen tle ist uee falls down. Wlen tle second uee
falls down again, it ies on to a tliid uee. Likewise, tle soul oi living
enti[, on tle dissolution of a lysical body on wlicl it deends,
moves on to another body, itself remaining everlasting.
Craving accompanied by the wrong-view of eternalism is called
craving for existence (bhava tah). This craving takes delight in the
view tlat tle soul oi living enti[ is eimanent, enduiing. Tlis I,
wlicl las been in eimanent existence since eteini[, feels tle
sensations and will continue feeling them. Believing thus, one takes
delight in every object seen, heard, touched, or known and also in
the objects that one hopes to enjoy in the future; wishing to enjoy a
prosperous happy life now and in future, to be born in good, happy
existences to enjoy the prosperous life of human or celestial beings.
Some wish to be born always as a man, others as a woman. All of
these are craving for existence.
Every time craving arises for the sense-objects that are presently
available or for the present existence, or in looking forward to the
existence one wishes to be in, because of this craving, a conditioning
inuence oi otential owei is being built u foi tle aiising of a new
life. That is why the Buddha taught: Liable to give rise to new birth
(ponobbhavik). I have summarised it thus: craving for existence with
the idea that it is eternal is craving for existence.
Craving for Non-existence
In the term vibhava tah, vibhava means non-becoming,
non-being, annihilation of existence. Craving for the view that there
is existence only wlile alive, tlat tleie is notling ahei deatl, is
craving for non-existence (vibhava tah). This is the craving that is
accompanied by the wrong-view of annihilationism (uccheda dihi),
wlicl maintains tlat notling iemains ahei deatl, tleie is comlete
annililation. It is tle docuine tauglt by Ajita, tle leadei of a sect
during the Buddhas lifetime. His teaching runs thus:-
An individual is made up of the four primary elements. When he
dies, the earth element of his body goes into the mass of the earth
element that exist in inanimate external bodies. (It means the element
148 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
of earth that manifested as hardness or coarseness while in the living
body, merges with the inanimate external earth element, the earth
element of the dead body. In time it turns into earth, which is again
conveited into eaitl element in uees and lants, etc.) The water element
of tle living body ows into tle inanimate mass of watei. (Tlat is to
say, tle uidi[ of tle dead body becomes tle moistuie of tle mass of
watei.) Tle ie element of tle living body meiges witl tle mass of
inanimate exteinal leat and tle living aii element ows into tle mass
of inanimate external air. All knowing faculties (sense-organs: eyes,
ears, nose, tongue, etc.) move over into space. (Those holding the
annihilationist view do not recognise the separate existence of
eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, etc. They hold that the material
forms of the sense-organs, otherwise called the faculties, themselves
see, hear, taste, touch, etc., and mind itself thinks. They explained the
cessation of consciousness in terms of the six faculties of sense, which,
according to them, disappear into space. Whether he is a fool or a wise
man, wlen le dies, le comletely disaeais. Notling is leh ahei
deatl. Tle fool does not suei in a new existence foi lis ast misdeeds.
Tle wise man does not get a new existence in wlicl le enjoys tle nuits
of lis good kammas. Ahei deatl eveiy tling disaeais.
This is then some of the teachings of Ajita who held the view of
annililationism. Tlis ideology may nd ieady accetance by tlose
who are reluctant to avoid evil or to do good. As it is postulated by
tlis ideology tlat tleie is no life ahei deatl, it amounts to tle
admission that there is life before death. Then one may ask, What
exists before death? The answer, according to their line of reasoning,
could only be that it is the living self (aa), or a being (saa). Thus
although Ajita maintained that an individual is made up of the four
great primaries, it must be said that, for him, the self or a being exists.
Because of tlis auaclment to self, loldeis of tlis view aigue tlat
instead of wasting time doing good deeds for future existences, full
ooituni[ slould be taken of tle iesent moment foi tle enjoyment
of pleasures. The craving accompanied by this view that nothing
iemains ahei deatl is ciaving foi non-existence. To summaiise:
craving that arises accompanied by the annihilationist view is craving
for non-existence (vibhava tah).
Tlis ciaving foi non-existence likes tle idea tlat, ahei deatl,
existence is annililated witlout any secial eoit. Tle ieason is tlat
Craving for Non-existence 149
one wlo lolds tlis view sliinks nom tle iactice of meiitoiious
deeds and does not abstain nom doing evil deeds. Tle evil deeds
commiued aie also innumeiable. If new life occuis ahei deatl, tlese
evil deeds will beai unwlolesome nuits wlicl, of couise, tley cannot
ielisl. Only if notling laens ahei deatl, and tleie is no new
existence, their misdeeds will be expunged; they will have to bear
no iesonsibili[ foi tlem and escae scot-nee nom all consequences
of their evil actions. Hence the great appeal of this ideology.
At the same time, holding that the time for enjoying is now, the
present life before death, they are too eager to pursue any desirable
objects of pleasure. Consequently they go all out in the pursuit of
what they consider to be pleasurable. This ardent pursuit of pleasure
leads to commission of kamma and mental formations, every act of
wlicl is conuibuting to foimation of new life.
Every time there is delight in, and enjoyment of, pleasures of the
iesent life, tle imulse of ciaving is imaited to tle sueam of
consciousness. Consequently, impulsion proximate to death, other-
wise called the kamma-forming consciousness (abhisakhra via)
clings to the death signs: kamma, sign of kamma, and sign of destiny.
While clinging to these objects, when the death follows the decease-
consciousness, rebirth-consciousness arises for a new existence,
conditioned by one of the three signs. Thus a person holding the
annihilationist view is reborn whether he or she likes it or not, in a
new existence, because of craving for pleasurable objects. This new
existence is very likely to be in inferior and miserable states because
he or she had developed nothing but evil deeds previously.
Tle Buddla tauglt, tleiefoie, tlat tlis [e of ciaving foi
non-existence, also gives rise to new existence. Thus all the three
[es of ciaving, sensual ciaving, ciaving foi existence, and ciaving
foi non-existence lead to new life and sueiing. Tleiefoie, I lave
summaiised: tle uue cause of sueiing is tle tliee [es of ciaving.
Tle above mentioned tliee [es of ciaving aie tle oiigin of
sueiing staiting nom biitl, u to tle ve aggiegates of auaclment,
and aie tleiefoie called tle uutl of tle oiigin of sueiing.
As to wleie tlese ciavings aiise and take ioot, tle Mal-
satialna Suua states: Wleievei in tle woild, tleie aie deligltful
and pleasurable things, there this craving arises and takes root. Here,
by craving arises is meant the actual arising of the craving because
150 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
of delightful and pleasurable things. This is known as arisen
delements (pariyuhna kiles). By taking root is meant that, failing
to contemplate the impermanent nature of pleasurable things, craving
for them lies dormant, taking root and waiting to arise whenever
favourable circumstances permit. This latent craving, lying dormant
in sense-objects that escape contemplation, is known as latent in the
object (rammaanusaya). Insiglt meditation eiadicates tlis delement.
Tle deligltful and leasuiable tlings nom wlicl ciaving aiises
aie desciibed elaboiately in tle Malsatialna Suua and may be
summarised as:
1. Eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind the six sense-doors.
2. Sights, sounds, odours, tastes, touches, and ideas the six
sense-objects.
3. Eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, etc., six [es of
consciousness.
4. Six [es of sense imiessions -- six contacts (phassa).
5. Six [es of feeling boin of sense imiessions, etc.
These delightful and pleasurable things should be contemplated
in the practice of meditation. Failing to recognise them as imperma-
nent, unsatisfactory, and not-self, through mindful noting will result
in tlem becoming tle bieeding giounds foi ciaving. Tlese two [es
of craving: dormant craving for pleasurable objects (rammaanusaya
tah), which have escaped being noted as they really are, at the time
of seeing, hearing, etc., and the craving that has actually arisen
(pariyuhna tah) nom tle leasuiable tlings, constitute tle noble
uutl of tle oiigin of sueiing. Tlis fact slould be tloiouglly
understood and remembered.
I lave exlained tle uutl of tle oiigin of sueiing suciently,
so I will end my discourse on it here.
May all you good people present in this audience, by virtue of
laving given iesectful auention to tlis Gieat Discouise on tle
Turning of the Wheel of Dhamma, be able to dispel temporarily or
eiadicate comletely, tle ciaving otleiwise called tle uutl of tle
oiigin of sueiing by incessant contemlation and tliougl wlatevei
Path and Fruition you have chosen, achieve speedy realisation of
nibbna, tle end of all sueiing.
Sdhu! Sdhu! Sdhu!
151
Part Six
Delivered on 11th November, 1962.

Today is the full-moon day of November. It used to be a great holy


day, maiked witl festivities, in cenual India at tle time of tle Buddla,
being the end of the month, the end of the rainy season, and the end
of tle yeai accoiding to tle uadition of tlat time. In Buima we
celebrate the day with the festival of lights and paying homage to
the Blessed One.
Today I will discuss tle Tiutl of tle Cessation of Sueiing (nirodha
sacc) and tle Tiutl of tle Patl Leading to tle Cessation of Sueiing
(magga sacc) as tauglt in tle Dlammacakka Suua. I will now iecite
the Four Noble Truths:
1. Tle Tiutl of sueiing (dukkha sacc).
2. Tle Tiutl of tle Oiigin of Sueiing (samudaya sacc).
3. Tle Tiutl of tle Cessation of Sueiing (nirodha sacc).
4. Tle Tiutl of tle Patl Leading to tle Cessation of Sueiing
(magga sacc).
The Truth of the Cessation of Suffering
Ida kho pana, bhikkhave, dukkhanirodha ariyasacca yo
tassyeva tahya asesavirganirodho cgo painissaggo mui anlayo.
Tlis, monks, is tle Noble Tiutl of tle Cessation of Sueiing:
it is the complete fading away and cessation of that craving
without remainder, its forsaking and abandonment, liberation
and detaclment nom it.
Tle uutl of tle cessation of sueiing is tle cessation of ciaving,
otleiwise called tle uutl of tle oiigin of sueiing. By viitue of
insight knowledge and Path knowledge, that craving gets no
ooituni[ to aiise, and vanisles. It is like daikness being diselled
by sunlight. When the Path knowledge of Arahantship appears,
craving has no chance to arise and gets extinguished entirely. With
the cessation of craving, the mental and physical aggregates for a
new life cannot appear and completely cease to exist. This non-arising
oi cessation of ciaving is tle Tiutl of tle Cessation of Sueiing.
Cessation of craving by virtue of Arahantship is its complete
extinction without remainder and is the noblest form of cessation.

The Full Moon of Tazaungmon 1324 M.E.


152 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
There are inferior forms of cessation, for instance cessation by
virtue of the Path of Non-returning, which completely extinguishes
only sensual craving; cessation by the Path of Once-returning, which
eliminates only the grosser forms of sensual craving; cessation by
viitue of Sueam-winning, wlicl iemoves tle sensual ciaving tlat
will give rise to rebirth in the lower realms. These cessations are
concerned with only partial extinctions of craving and may be
iegaided as infeiioi giades of tle uutl of cessation. Tlen tleie is
another form of cessation, which comes about through contemplating
impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and not-self. During the period
of contemplation, craving gets no chance to arise, so there is
temporary cessation of craving. It may be regarded as partial
cessation of craving by means of the partial development of insight.
Every time one is engaged in insight meditation, it may be said that
one is realising the temporary cessation of craving.
Tle Pi texts iovide tle following exosition of tle uutl of
cessation of craving by answering the question, Where may this
craving be discarded, where may it be extinguished? Wherever in
the world there are delightful and pleasurable things, there this
craving may be discarded, there it may be extinguished.

Here, delightful and pleasurable things means, as explained earlier,


tle six sense-doois, tle six sense-objects, and tle six [es of
consciousness. For further details, please refer to the text and
uanslation of tle Malsatialna Suua.
Discarding (pahyati) and extinguishing (nirujjhati) are alike in
meaning. Similarly, giving up or relinquishing (cgo), forsaking or
rejection (painissaggo), ielease, needom, oi emanciation (mui),
aversion, disenchantment (analayo), all connote the same meaning
as cessation or extinction (nirodha).
How Cessation of Craving Is Brought about
Wlen tle meditatoi becomes convinced of tle uue natuie of
impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and not-self by noting seeing,
seeing at the moment of seeing, he or she will not be blinded by the
delusion of permanence, happiness, and self in the sense-doors,
sense-objects, and sense-consciousness. He or she is momentarily
nee nom ignoiance (avijj) or delusion (moha). Having seen ieali[

D.ii.310.
How Cessation of Craving Is Brought about 153
as it is and being nee nom delusion, no leasuiable feeling aiises
towards these objects. This is then the temporary cessation or fading
away of ciaving. Tliougl tle fading away of ciaving, auaclment
(updna), kamma and mental formations (sakhr), which come
uailing ahei it cannot aiise. Consequently consciousness (via),
mind and mauei (nmarpa), the six-senses (sayatana), contact
(phassa), and feeling (vedan), the unwholesome resultants of kamma
and mental formations, cannot appear. This is how craving together
witl sueiing aie momentaiily extinguisled, wlicl is called
momentaiy cessation oi momentaiy nibbna.
Similarly, by noting hearing, smelling, etc., at the moment of
hearing, smelling, etc., the meditator becomes convinced of the three
characteristics with respect to the ear and sound, the nose and odour,
the tongue and taste, etc. He oi sle will be nee nom delusions of
permanence, happiness, or self in connection with these objects. Thus
tleie will be tle momentaiy cessation of ciaving and sueiing,
otleiwise called momentaiy nibbna.
Through insight, which promotes temporary cessation as higher
knowledge is develoed, nibbna is iealised by means of tle
knowledge of Sueam-winning. Tlis knowledge extinguisles tle
suong sensual ciaving tlat can give iise to iebiitl in tle lowei iealms.
Tle meditatoi becomes fully libeiated nom tle miseiies of tle lowei
realms (apya) and sueiings of moie tlan seven existences in
fortunate destinies of the sensual sphere (kma sugati). This is then
tle extinction of sueiing as a iesult of tle extinction of ciaving.
Howevei, it must not be iegaided tlat Patl and Fiuition of Sueam-
winning takes the cessation of craving as its object of contemplation.
It dwells merely on cessation as a result of the complete extinction
of sueiing inleient in tle mental and lysical aggiegates.
Wlen nibbna is iealised by means of tle Patl knowledge of
Once-returning, the grosser forms of sensual craving, together with
tle sueiing of moie tlan two existences in tle sensual iealm aie
extinguished. When the Path knowledge of Non-returning is realised,
subtle foims of sensual ciaving, togetlei witl sueiing in moie tlan
one existence in tle ne mateiial iealms (rpa loka), or in the formless
realms (arpa loka) are extinguished. These are also extinction of
sueiing as a iesult of tle extinction of ciaving. In tlese Patls too,
the mind dwells merely on cessation consequent upon the complete
154 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
extinction of sueiing inleient in tle aggiegates. Wlen nibbna is
realised through the Path knowledge of Arahantship, all forms of
ciaving and all kinds of sueiing aie comletely eiadicated. Tlis is
also extinction of sueiing as a iesult of extinction of ciaving. We
can summaiise: Wlen ciaving is eiadicated sueiing is extinguisled.
Only wlen ciaving is comletely eiadicated, uue libeiation nom
sueiing is aclieved. Escae nom sueiing, obtained tliougl otlei
means, is not uue libeiation but just temoiaiy ielief, in due couise
tleie is tle iecuiience of sueiing. Foi examle, take suetcling tle
limbs to ielieve tle stiness due to bending. Tle discomfoit is
temoiaiily iemoved only to ietuin as tiiedness due to suetcling.
Likewise stiness due to iolonged siuing may be ielieved by
standing up or walking about only to be replaced soon by fatigue.
Wlen one is assailed by lungei, tle sueiing may be ielieved by
aitaking of some food, but tle uouble will stait again ahei a lase
of a few hours. Illness or disease may be cured with suitable medical
ueatment, but otlei ailments aie bound to aiise soonei oi latei to
give uouble again.
Dicult ciicumstances of living may be solved by engaging in
suitable employment or business, which may prove so successful
and prosperous that one may come to occupy a very high position
in ones profession or become wealthy. Yet with the vicissitudes of
life, one may fall down nom tlat ligl osition oi become ovei[-
suicken. Even if tle wlole life las been smootl and lain sailing,
one inevitably faces sueiing at tle time of deatl. As a iesult of
meritorious deeds such as giving alms and observing moral precepts,
one may be reborn as a human being in happy prosperous circum-
stances or one may be born as a powerful celestial king. Yet when
tle wlolesome eects of ievious wlolesome deeds aie exlausted,
a ietuin to miseiable existences is inevitable. If one suives foi a lay
and long existence by means of the rpa jhna and arpa jhna by
iactising uanquilli[ meditation, one may auain tle rpa brahm
and arpa brahm realms where one may live happily for many
world-cycles. However, a time comes when the merits of jhna are
exlausted. Tlen one faces tle ossibili[ of descending once again
into miserable lower existences, as for instance, the experience of the
young sow mentioned in tle clatei on tle oiigin of sueiing.
How Cessation of Craving Is Brought about 155
Thus unless craving is completely eradicated, no form of liberation
is a guaianteed, uue libeiation. Comlete and iiieveisible libeiation
nom all kinds of sueiing is aclieved only wlen ciaving las been
entirely extinguished. Thus the Buddha taught, The complete fading
away and cessation of that craving without remainder (tassayeva
tahyaasesa virganirodh) is tle uutl of tle cessation of sueiing.
Tlis is in accoidance witl tle docuine of deendent oiigination,
which states that when the causative conditions such as ignorance
cease, tleii eects also cease. Tlus, in tle Aguuaianikya it is tauglt,
Wlat, monks, is tle noble uutl of tle cessation of sueiing' Tliougl
the total fading away and extinction of ignorance, kamma formations
are extinguished; through the extinction of kamma the resultant
consciousness of a new existence is extinguished; through the
extinction of consciousness, mental and physical phenomena are
extinguished; through the extinction of mental and physical phenom-
ena, the six senses are extinguished; through the extinction of the six
senses, sense impressions (contact between the six senses and the
sense-objects) are extinguished; through extinction of sense impres-
sions, feelings are extinguished; through the extinction of feelings,
ciaving is extinguisled, tliougl tle extinction of ciaving, auaclment
is extinguisled, tliougl tle extinction of auaclment, becoming is
extinguished; through the extinction of becoming, rebirth is extin-
guished: through the extinction of rebirth, death and decay, grief,
lamentation, pain, sorrow, and despair are extinguished. Thus this
wlole mass of sueiing (wlicl is neitlei a soul, living-enti[ noi
has any connection with happiness) is extinguished. This, monks, is
tle noble uutl of extinction of tlis mass of meie sueiing.
In the above text, the sequence of cessation is given in serial order
to demonsuate tle coiielation of eacl cause witl its eect. Howevei,
tle imoitant oint is tlat once ignoiance vanisles all its eects,
such as mental formations are extinguished.
The word cessation (nirodha) in the texts mean cessation only, not
the place or the condition of cessation. Although Commentaries
mention cessation guiatively as a lace oi condition of cessation,
it must be caiefully obseived tlat its uue meaning is non-aiising of
intei-ielated conditions of cause and eects sucl as ignoiance, mental
formations, consciousness, etc., their total cessation and annihilation,
in otlei woids, tle Noble Tiutl of tle Cessation of Sueiing.
156 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
I lave dealt witl tle uutl of tle cessation of sueiing suciently.
For further details, please refer to On tle Natuie of Nibbna. I will
now go on to the exposition of the Noble Truth of the Path Leading
to tle Cessation of Sueiing.
The Truth of the Path
Ida kho pana, bhikkhave, dukkhanirodhagmin paipad
ariyasacca ayameva ariyo ahagiko maggo, seyyathida
sammdihi sammsakappo sammvc sammkammanto
samm-jvo sammvymo sammsati sammsamdhi.
This, monks, is the Noble Truth of the Path Leading to the
Cessation of Sueiing. It is tlis veiy Noble Eigltfold Patl,
namely, Right View, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action,
Riglt Livelilood, Riglt Eoit, Riglt Mindfulness, and Riglt
Concenuation.
I have dealt with the Truth of the Path fairly fully before. I propose
to repeat some things that need emphasising. Of the eight factors of
the Path, Right View and Right Thought constitute the wisdom
group; Right Speech, Right Action, and Right Livelihood constitute
tle moiali[ giou, wlile Riglt Eoit, Riglt Mindfulness, and Riglt
Concenuation constitute tle concenuation giou.
I need not elaboiate tle atl factois of moiali[, noi tle atl
factois of concenuation. Of tle wisdom giou, iiglt-view needs
further exposition. Accordingly I quote the following exposition on
right-view given by the Blessed One.
Exposition of Right View
Wlat, monks, is iiglt-view' Monks, to undeistand sueiing oi
tle uutl of sueiing, to undeistand tle oiigin of sueiing oi tle
uutl of tle oiigin of sueiing, to undeistand tle cessation of
sueiing oi tle uutl of tle cessation of sueiing to undeistand tle
atl leading to tle cessation of sueiing oi tle uutl of tle atl
leading to tle cessation of sueiing, tlis is called iiglt-view.
Tlis is tlen tle denition of tle iiglt-view given by tle Blessed
One. Biiey, it is knowing tle foui uutls accoiding to ieali[ and
understanding them rightly as they should be understood. The
Commentary version of its exposition is as follows:
Meditation on the Four Truths 157
Meditation on the Four Truths
Meditation on tle foui uutls was tauglt iefaced by tle woids
undeistanding of tle foui uutls. Of tlese foui uutls, tle ist two,
namely, tle uutl of sueiing and tle uutl of tle oiigin of sueiing
are concerned with the cycle of existence (vaa). The last two, namely,
tle uutl of cessation of sueiing, and tle uutl of tle atl leading
to tle cessation of sueiing aie conceined witl escae nom tle cycle
of existence (vivaa). Tle meditatoi emloys only tle ist two uutls
as objects of meditation and not tle last two uutls.
It means tlat tle meditatoi contemlates tle ist two mundane
uutls, not tle last two suiamundane uutls, wlicl aie unsuitable
subjects for meditation. Indeed it is impossible to meditate on them.
Wly so' Tle Subcommentaiy states tlat tlese suiamundane uutls
are beyond the understanding of ordinary common worldlings.
Indeed it is uue tlat oidinaiy common woildlings cannot take
tle atl and nuition as tleii objects of meditation, noi is nibbna
witlin tle scoe of tleii knowledge befoie tley auain tle stage of
matuii[ knowledge (goabh-a). Matuii[ knowledge conscious-
ness aiises only ahei knowledge of adaptation (anuloma-a), when
insiglt becomes fully develoed. Immediately ahei matuii[ knowl-
edge comes the realisation of the Path and its Fruition. Therefore, it
is obvious that a common worldling is not in a position to take
nibbna oi tle atl and its nuition as an object of meditation. Tlus,
it must be caiefully noted tlat any insuuction to begin witl
meditation on nibbna is totally wiong.
Tle question miglt aiise wletlei nibbna may not be taken as
an object foi uanquili[ meditation. Contemlation on tle qualities
of nibbna sucl as being devoid of lust (virga), may be adopted as
to gain concenuation. Howevei, tlis exeicise is taken solely foi tle
purpose of achieving one-pointedness of mind; it is not to immedi-
ately realise the Noble Path and Fruition. In any case this meditation
exercise is most appropriate only for the Noble Ones who have
alieady iealised nibbna, and not foi tle oidinaiy common woildling.
Tlus it is denitely a mistaken iactice to uy to aclieve tle atl and
nuition by dwelling on nibbna nom tle veiy stait.
Tle meditatoi leains nom lis oi lei teaclei, biiey, tlat tle ve
aggiegates aie tle uutl of sueiing and ciaving is tle uutl of tle
oiigin of sueiing. Oi, le oi sle may leain moie comielensively
158 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
tlat tle ve aggiegates consist of mateiiali[, feelings, eicetions,
mental formations, and consciousness, and further that the aggregate
of mateiiali[ means tle foui iimaiy elements and tleii deiivatives,
etc. Having leained about tle ist two uutls biiey oi comielen-
sively nom tle teaclei, le oi sle iecites tlem ieeatedly and
contemlates tlem. Witl iegaid to tle last two uutls, tle meditatoi
just leais tlat tle uutl of tle cessation of sueiing and tle uutl of
tle atl leading to tle cessation of sueiing aie desiiable and
laudable. Tlis means tlat it is sucient just to leai about tlese two
suiamundane uutls and incline tle mind towaids tlem.
Tlat meditatoi, acting in tle way desciibed above, eneuates tle
foui uutls simultaneously and comielends tlem, undeistanding
tle foui uutls simultaneously tliougl insiglt. By eneuative
knowledge (paivedha), tle meditatoi comielends tlat sueiing is
to be rightly and well understood; that craving is to be abandoned
or eradicated; that cessation is to be realised, and that the path is to
be developed. By higher knowledge (abhisamaya) he or she fully
comielends tlat sueiing is to be iigltly and well undeistood,
that craving is to be abandoned or eradicated; that cessation is to be
realised; and that the path is to be developed.
As desciibed above, befoie auaining tle atl, tle meditatois
knowledge of tle uutl of sueiing and tle uutl of oiigin of sueiing,
comes about by leaining, and leaiing nom tle teaclei, by question-
ing, by ieeated iecitation, and by masteiing it tliougl eneuative
ieection. Tle ist foui iocesses of acquiiing tlis knowledge
constitute meiely studying tle sciituies, giasing tliougl eneua-
tive ieection only amounts to insiglt meditation. Tle knowledge
conceining tle uutl of tle cessation of sueiing and tle uutl of tle
path leading to cessation is acquired only by hearing about them.
Ahei iactising insiglt meditation, at tle moment of iealisation of
tle Noble Patl, tle ist tliee uutls aie fully giased by laving
accomlisled tle task of knowing iigltly and well tle uutl of
sueiing, tle task of abandoning tle oiigin of sueiing and tle task
of develoing tle atl leading to tle cessation of sueiing. Tle uutl
of tle cessation of sueiing is fully giased by actual iealisation.
Tlus, in accoidance witl tle Commentaiy, initially it is sucient
to know only nom leaiing tlat tle uutl of cessation and tle uutl
of the path leading to cessation are desirable and laudable, and to
How Much Learning is Necessary? 159
incline tle mind towaids tlem. It is cleai, tleiefoie, tlat no eoit is
needed to contemlate aiticulaily on tlese two uutls. Knowledge
about tle ist two uutls slould, lowevei, be acquiied botl by
learning and by developing insight through meditation.
How Much Learning is Necessary?
As stated in tle Commentaiy tlat I quoted, it is sucient to know
only tlat tle ve aggiegates aie tle uutl of sueiing, tlat ciaving
is uutl of tle oiigin of sueiing. Heie tle ve aggiegates aie tle
ve aggiegates of auaclment mentioned in tlis suua. I lave fully
explained above that they are the objects that present themselves at
the time of seeing, hearing, etc. I have also dealt comprehensively
witl tle uutl of tle oiigin of sueiing in tle section conceined.
Knowing the law of dependent origination in brief. In the great Sub-
commentaiy on tle Visuddlimagga, it is denitely stated tlat wlat
the Venerable Assaji said, Those things causally arisen, the Perfect
One taught their cause (ye dhamm hetuppabhav, tesa hetu
Tathgato ha) constitutes the law of dependent origination in brief.
Tle Commentaiy on tle Vinaya Malvagga aims tlat by tle woids,
Those things causally arisen, the Venerable Assaji was referring to
tle ve aggiegates, otleiwise called tle uutl of sueiing, and by
the words, The Perfect One taught their cause, he was referring to
tle uutl of tle oiigin of sueiing. Tlus it is cleai tlat laving leaint
biiey, by leaiing, about tle uutl of sueiing and tle uutl of its
origin, one has also learnt the law of dependent origination in brief.
Those who teach that insight meditation is not feasible unless one
has mastered the law of dependent origination supported by tables
and circular diagrams, are therefore going against these words of
the Commentary and Subcommentary and causing great harm to
the practice of the religion (paipai ssana).
In tle Catalsaklaya Suua,

we nd tle following iegaiding


the brief knowledge to be acquired by learning: Oh, king of the
deities, in this teaching, a bhikkhu has heard that phenomena are
not worth adhering to. It means that if a bhikkhu has ever heard
tlat tle ve aggiegates tlat occui at tle six sense-doois eveiy time
there is seeing, hearing, etc., should not be regarded as permanent,
leasant, oi as a self, tlat tley aie uansitoiy, unsatisfactoiy, and

M.i.251. The Commentary explains that they are not worth adhering to because
they are not permanent, pleasant, or self (ed.)
160 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
not-self, tlen le las sucient leaining (sutamayaa), to engage in
meditation.
The Buddha continued: Then that bhikkhu, who has learnt that
much by hearsay, knows all phenomena by contemplation and actual
exeiience. Tlen tle Blessed One tauglt low to auain analytical
knowledge of mind and mauei (nmarpapariccheda-a), etc.
To summarise: 1) all phenomena are impermanent, unsatisfactory,
and not-self, 2) tlat is sucient leaining to engage in meditation,
3)tliougl meditation one can dieientiate mind and mauei, 4)to
iealise tle uue natuie of imeimanence and unsatisfactoiiness.
Tle ist two indicate sucient leaining (sutamayapa) to proceed
to the practice of meditation. The third shows how, by noting each act
of seeing, hearing, etc., at the moment of its occurrence, one gains the
analytical knowledge of body and mind (nmarpapariccheda-a),
and the knowledge by disceining conditionali[ (paccayapariggaha-
a), which knows the cause of phenomena such as seeing, hearing,
etc. These two kinds of knowledge are called higher wisdom(abhi
pa), being the realisation (ntapari) of the three higher knowl-
edges. By the fourth is meant full knowledge of all phenomena, and
insight into their three characteristics in accordance with the teaching
To known all things experientially (sabba dhamma abhiya), and
to comprehend them(sabba dhamma parijnti). This constitutes
the profound knowledge of realisation(traa pari) and abandoning
(pahna pari).
The main point that I wish to emphasise here is that having just
learnt through hearing that all phenomena are impermanent,
unsatisfactoiy, and not-self, one las enougl leaining to suive foi
Arahantship. The assertion that meditation should not be practiced
without a comprehensive knowledge of the law of dependent
oiigination conuadicts tle text of tle Catalsaklaya Suua,
causes demoralisation in those intent on the practice of meditation,
and is deuimental to tle ioseii[ of tle iactice of tle ieligion.
If, according to their proposition, meditation could be practised
only ahei tloiouglly masteiing tle law of deendent oiigination
together with its explanatory circular diagrams etc., some people
wlo lave no time oi ooituni[ to study tle law of deendent
origination, or who are slow in learning it comprehensively, are liable
to lose tle ooituni[ of gaining tle Patl oi its Fiuition even if tley
How Much Learning is Necessary? 161
aie endowed witl sucient eifections to auain tlem. To cite an
example, during the time of the Blessed One, one bhikkhu by the
name of Caalaka found it dicult to memoiise a veise of only
foi[-ve syllables altlougl le uied to foi foui weeks. To leain tle
whole law of the dependent origination extensively would thus have
been imossible foi lim. Yet tle same blikklu auained Aialantsli,
accomplished in supernormal knowledge and vision by practising
for one morning only a meditation exercise prescribed by the Buddha.
While giving this discourse on the Turning of the Wheel of
Dlamma I would like to take tlis ooituni[ of cautioning tlose
good, leained eisons to ienain nom making asseitions tlat may
discourage and demoralise those engaged in or intent on the practice
of meditation.
If one intends to suive all alone foi tle iactice of meditation, no
doubt one needs to have learnt extensively all about the aggregates,
tle bases, tle elements, tle uutls, tle faculties and tle law of tle
dependent origination. However, if one is going to work under the
guidance of a good, virtuous, learned, and wise teacher, all that one
needs to know is that all phenomena are impermanent, unsatisfactory,
and not-self. It is also sucient if one las leaint tliougl leaiing tlat
a woildling is goveined by two mundane uutls of causal ielations
(cause and eect): tle ve aggiegates, wlicl is tle uutl of sueiing,
and ciaving, wlicl is tle uutl of oiigin of sueiing.
Tle majoii[ of Buimese Buddlists can be taken to be alieady
equipped with this much knowledge; and even if not, they can pick
this up just before starting meditation or during the course of
meditation by listening to the discourses of the meditation teacher.
Tleie slould be no waveiing oi unceitain[ iegaiding a lack of
learning. All that is required is to start practising meditation in
accoidance witl tle insuuctions given by a ieliable, viituous, leained,
and wise teacher. How to embark on the practice of insight meditation
has been described in my third discourse in this series. To recapitulate,
the practice consists of developing the three stages of the path: the
basic path, the preliminary path, and the Noble Path. Developing
tlem leads to nibbna.
The basic path (mla magga), is comprises the right-view of
ownership of ones kamma (kammassakat sammdihi), moiali[(sla),
and access concenuation (upacra samdhi), or absorption (appan
162 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
samdhi), wlicl I lave alieady dealt witl fully befoie. As to tle ist
factoi, tle majoii[ of Buimese Buddlists lave alieady establisled
faith in this right-view since childhood. With regard to the path of
moiali[, if tle lay meditatoi is not establisled in it yet, le oi sle can
accomplish it by observing the precepts just before taking up the
iactice of meditation. Tle blikklu meditatoi slould uii( lis
moiali[ by confession if le enteitains any doubts about tle uii[
of lis moiali[. As foi accomlislment in concenuation, tle medita-
toi slould take u a uanquilli[ exeicise sucl as mindfulness of
respiration (npnasati) and iactise it until auaining absoition oi
access concenuation. If time oi ooituni[ does not eimit, tle
meditator can begin contemplating on the four primary elements by
means of wlicl momentaiy concenuation foi insiglt (vipassan
khaika samdhi), wlicl is akin to access concenuation, may be
auained. Tlis concenuation disels tle lindiances so tlat uiica-
tion of mind may be achieved. This is a brief description of how the
basic path is established.
Development of Preliminary path
Ahei develoing tle basic atl as desciibed above, tle meditatoi
staits obseiving tle ieali[ of tle uutl of sueiing, otleiwise called
tle aggiegates of auaclment, by noting continuously tle lenomena
of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, and thinking, at the
moment each phenomenon occurs. A full account of the aggregates,
and how failing to note them and see them as they really are leads
to clinging to them as permanent, pleasant, and self; and how seeing
tleii uue natuie tliougl leedfulness, auaclment to tlem is
extinguished, has already been given in Parts Three and Four of this
series of discourses.
Wlen concenuation becomes fully establisled, one becomes awaie
witl eveiy noting, of tle aiising and vanisling of mind and mauei,
and their three characteristics. How such awareness is developed
may be explained thus: While noting each action of rising, falling,
siuing, toucling, bending, suetcling, lihing, steing foiwaid,
moving, resting, the meditator begins to recognise the knowing mind
as distinct nom tle mateiial body. Tlis disceinment is analytical
knowledge of body and mind, the initial basis for the development
of insight knowledge. The Blessed One described how this knowledge
Simile of a Gem Sung on a Thread 163
may be developed by giving the example of a lapis lazuli in the
Smaalala Suua

and Malsakuludyi Suua.

Simile of a Gem Strung on a Thread


If a pure lapis lazuli (veuriya) gem suung on a biown, yellow,
red, white, or light yellow thread is taken in the palm of the hand
for observation, a man with good eye-sight is able to distinguish the
gem nom tle tliead, le can see cleaily tle colouied tliead in tle
body of tle gem. Likewise, tle meditatoi is able to dieientiate tle
knowing mind nom tle object to be known, le knows also tle
knowing mind rushing out towards the object to be known. In this
simile the material object is like the precious gem, the knowing mind
is like the thread. Like the thread embedded in the gem, the knowing
mind lunges towaids tle object. Tlus tle dieientiation between
mind and mauei is illusuated by tle simile. It slould be caiefully
observed that in the simile there is no mention of knowing as to how
many [es of mauei low many [es of mind and mental concom-
itants are involved; it mentions only distinguishing the knowing
mind nom tle mateiial objects known.
Again in tle Visuddlimagga we nd tle following desciition
of how mind becomes evident to the observing meditator. For the
meditator having discerned by such and such a method the nature
of mateiiali[, tlen in iooition as mateiiali[ becomes quite distinct,
disentangled and cleai to lim so tle mind tlat las mateiiali[ as its
object becomes lain and evident too. Fuitlei we nd in tle
Visuddlimagga: It is wlen suoited by mind tlat mauei aiises,
it is wlen suoited by mauei tlat mind aiise. Wlen mind las tle
desire to eat, drink, speak, and adopt a posture. These passages
make it lain tlat meie ieection on dieient categoiies of mind and
mauei will not iesult in analytical knowledge of body and mind
(nmarpapariccheda-a), genuine insight is developed only when
the knowing mind and the material object to be known can be
separately recognised while observing the phenomenon of arising
and vanisling of mind and mauei as it occuis.
Tle abili[ to distinguisl tle knowei (nma) nom tle known (rpa),
constitutes iiglt-view. Altlougl it may lave been leaint nom books
tlat tle knowing mind is seaiate nom tle mateiial body, iioi to

D.i.77.

M.ii.1.
164 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
taking up the meditation practice, and at the initial stage of the
practice, the meditator cannot distinguish the knowing mind and
the material body through actual experience. It is only at the stage
when analytical knowledge is developed that the distinction between
these two occurs spontaneously. When noting the phenomenon of
thinking or painful feeling, as it occurs, the meditator discerns
separately the thinking mind and the material object or painful feeling
and the location of pain in the body. This discernment of mind as
distinct nom mauei is knowing ieali[ as it uuly is, tlat is iiglt-view.
The meditator becomes convinced then that there is only the material
body and tle knowing mind, aait nom tlem, tleie is no sucl tling
as a living being oi enti[. Tlis is also knowing ieali[ as it uuly is
with right-view.
As tle owei of concenuation becomes fuitlei develoed, wlile
noting iising, falling, siuing, toucling, etc., one comes to realise that
one touches because there is the material body to touch; sees because
of the eye and a sight, hears because of ear and sound, bends because
of the desire to bend. One realises also that one does not know the
ieali[ because one fails to take note of tle lenomenon as it occuis,
one develos liking because one does not know tle uue natuie, one
develos auaclment because one likes it. One tlen knows tlat wlen
one las develoed auaclment, one becomes engaged in activities
such as doing or talking. These activities of doing and talking produce
eects, good wlen tle action was wlolesome, bad wlen tle action
was unwholesome. In this way one gains the knowledge of cause
and eect as fai as ones eifections allow. Tlis again is knowing
ieali[ as it ieally is witl tle iiglt-view.
As concenuation becomes fuitlei suengtlened, duiing tle couise
of noting iising, falling, siuing, toucling, seeing, leaiing, tlinking,
feeling sti, lot, oi ainful, one disceins cleaily tle oiigination of
the object as well as its dissolution, the beginning and end of each
phenomenon. One becomes convinced through personal experience
that every phenomenon is impermanent, that it comes into being
only to vanish instantly. One realises too that incessant arising and
ceasing aie dieadful sueiing and wlat is not subject to ones conuol,
is not self. Tlis knowledge is also iiglt-view tlat knows ieali[.
As tle owei of concenuation gets still moie develoed, altlougl
tle meditatoi is noting tle acts of iising, falling, siuing, bending,
Simile of a Gem Sung on a Thread 165
suetcling, lihing, moving foiwaid, dioing, le oi sle is no longei
aware of the objects in their various shapes and forms such as the
body, stomach, the limbs, etc. He or she notices only the rapid
dissolution of successive lenomena. He oi sle eiceives tle swih
passing away of the object of awareness as well as the noting mind,
and comes to the vivid realisation of the real nature of impermanence,
unsatisfactoriness, and not-self. The object of awareness passes away
the instant it makes its appearance and there is no self to fasten ones
auaclment on to. Tle knowing mind also dissolves so fast tlat tleie
is no self, nothing to hold on to. Thus with every noting knowledge
develos into tle uue natuie of imeimanence, unsatisfactoiiness,
and not-self. All of these constitute right-view.
From the time that analytical knowledge develops to the stage of
right-view of insight (vipassan sammdihi), the mind has been
inclining towaids eiceiving ieali[ as it is. Tlis constitutes Riglt
Tlouglt. Riglt Concenuation is involved too to kee tle mind xed
on the right object, and Right Mindfulness remains aware of it. All
this while, the meditator is engaged in one of the four foundations
of mindfulness: contemplating the body postures, feelings, mind,
and mental objects. He oi sle contemlates witl Riglt Eoit.
Tlus wlenevei a meditatoi is engaged in meditation, ve atl
factois aie involved, tliee nom tle concenuation giou, and two
nom tle wisdom giou. Tlese ve atl factois co-oeiate in eacl
act of leedful noting. Tle Commentaiy calls tlem tle ve woiking
factors (pacasu krakagesu). In addition, there are also involved the
tliee factois of tle moiali[ giou: Riglt Seecl, Riglt Action, and
Riglt Livelilood by ieseiving tle iecets and fullling tle
abstentions. This is how such involvement occurs: the meditator
starts observing the precepts even before beginning meditation and
kees it uiied. Duiing tle couise of meditation, moiali[ iemains
unolluted, and its uii[ is maintained. If anytling, it may be said
tlat moiali[ gets moie and moie iened. Tlus witl tliee atl
factois of moiali[ added to tle ve woiking factois, a meditatoi is
developing all eight path factors at each instance of noting and
knowing tle lenomenon. Tle Malsyatanika Suua

gives the
following description of how the eight path factors are developed:

M.iii.288.
166 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
Blikklus, wlen tle eye is seen as it uuly is, wlen siglts,
eye-consciousness, eye-contact, and feeling that arises due to
eye-contact, aie seen as tley uuly aie, tlen no liking is
developed for the eye, sights, eye-consciousness, etc. Seeing
the eye, sights, etc., as tley uuly aie, and no liking and
auaclment being develoed foi tlem, foi tle eison wlo sees
only ievulsion in tlem, tle aggiegates of auaclment (wlicl
may lave aiisen tliougl failuie to note) get no ooituni[ to
appear. Craving for these objects also ceases, and gets annihilated.
The view of such a person is right-view; thoughts are right
tlouglts, eoits aie iiglt eoits, mindfulness is iiglt mind-
fulness, concenuation is iiglt concenuation. Even befoie
starting meditation, the meditator is well established in right
speech, right action, and right livelihood. In this way the
meditator becomes established in the Noble Eightfold Path.
This is a brief account in the Buddhas words of how the Noble
Eightfold Path is developed when the meditator discerns what should
be known at tle moment of seeing tle uue natuie of tle ve
phenomena involved: the eye, visual objects, etc. For a detailed
desciition, lease iefei to tle Malsyatanika Suua.
The Commentary states that the Noble Eightfold Path becomes
established at the moment of achieving the Noble Path. This may be
taken as a superior interpretation. I prefer to take the view that what
is meant here is the path of insight rather than the Noble Path, which
is achieved by accomplishing the path of insight. My interpretation
will be found to be in accord with the fact that knowledge as to the
uue natuie of tle eye, siglts, eye-consciousness, eye-contact and
feeling, comes only through insight meditation. The Noble Path, on
the other hand, does not take the eye, sights, etc., as its object; it
accomplishes only the function of knowing.
Similarly, by noting the phenomena of hearing, smelling, tasting,
toucling, and tlinking, tle ve lenomena tlat become iominent
at the respective moments of occurrence, could be known and the
Noble Eightfold Path developed accordingly.
What has been explained so far relates to involvement of the path
factois of moiali[ by way of maintaining tlem unolluted, wlile
practising insight meditation.
Abstention om Immorali during Meditation 167
Abstention from Immorality during Meditation
Tleie is no ooituni[ to commit wiong seecl sucl as lying
with regard to the objects being observed as they really are at the
moment of noting them. Just consider for a moment. Where is the
necessi[ to lie about an object tlat one neitlei likes noi dislikes,
laving seen its uue natuie of imeimanence and cessation ahei
dissolution? Similarly no occasion arises to slander, to abuse, or to
talk nivolously, in biief, to commit wiong seecl in connection witl
tlat object. Likewise tleie is no question of commiuing wiong acts
such as killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, or engaging in wrong
livelilood. Tlus eveiy time ieali[ is seen wlile noting, Riglt Seecl,
wlicl is abstinence nom wiong-seecl, Riglt Action, wlicl is
abstinence nom wiong-action, and Riglt Livelilood, wlicl is
abstinence nom wiong-livelilood, aie accomlisled witl iefeience
to the object under review. It is by abstinence that the path factors of
moiali[ aie involved in tle develoment of tle atl of iiglt-view.
Tlus on eacl occasion of noting iising, falling, siuing, toucling,
tlinking, feeling sti, lot, oi ainful, leaiing, seeing, etc., right-view
is being developed together with the Noble Eightfold Path. Of the
foui uutls, tle uutl of sueiing is tlat wlicl slould be iigltly and
well undeistood, and tle uutl of sueiing is tle ve aggiegates of
auaclment tlat become iominent at tle six sense-doois at eacl
moment. Tlus tle uutl of sueiing would be iigltly and well
understood by noting each phenomenon at the six doors. Every time
tle uutl of sueiing is develoed by noting tlus, tle Noble Eigltfold
Path, which should be developed, is being developed.
Tlus contemlation on tle uutl of sueiing by noting develos
tle Noble Eigltfold Patl. To develo tle Patl, tle uutl of sueiing
must be contemlated by noting. Tle uutl of sueiing, wlicl
becomes evident, by noting during the course of insight meditation,
is the preliminary path (pubbabhga magga), is the object (rammaa)
tlat must be iigltly and well undeistood. Tle uutl of tle atl wlicl
must be develoed to undeistand tle uutl of sueiing.
It must be carefully understood that only by contemplating the
uutl of sueiing, is tle Noble Eigltfold Patl develoed, and only
wlen tle atl of insiglt is accomlisled is nibbna iealised. I slould
suess tlat tle uutl of sueiing is tle object and tle knowing atl
is the knower (rammaika). Such emphasis is necessary because
168 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
asseitions aie being made conuaiy to tle teaclings of tle Buddla
and deuimental to tle ioseii[ of tle ieligion tlat Contemlation
on objects of sueiing sucl as mind, mauei, and mental foimations,
will iesult in eiceiving only sueiing, nibbna slould be contem-
plated for the achievement of peace and happiness.
Knowledge of the Four Truths through Insight
By noting all phenomena that occur at the six doors and knowing
them to be merely of the nature of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness
and insubstantiali[ is undeistanding tle uutl of sueiing. Tlus
witl eveiy instance of noting, tle task of gaining eneuative insiglt
as to undeistanding tle uutl of sueiing, is accomlisled.
Having seen tle uue natuie of eacl lenomenon by noting tlem,
no ooituni[ aiises foi liking oi ciaving foi tlese mental and
physical objects. This is the momentary eradication of craving, the
uutl of tle oiigin of sueiing. Tlus witl eveiy instance of noting,
the task of gaining insight as to abandoning (pahna-paivedha) the
cause of sueiing is accomlisled. Heie insiglt is gained not by
observing the object; it is just knowing the fact of abandoning.
Witl tle cessation of ciaving, auaclment, kamma, mental
foimations, consciousness, and mind and mauei, called tle cycle of
delements (kiles vaa), the cycle of kamma (kamma vaa), and the
cycle of results (vipka vaa), wlicl will follow in its uail, get no
ooituni[ to aiise. Temoiaiily tley aie inlibited. Tlis is momen-
taiy nibbna otleiwise called cessation (nirodha), achieved by means
of insight. Thus insight knowledge is developed by momentary
cessation similar to realisation by the Noble Path. However, the
achievement comes about not by direct observation of the object; it
is just an accomplishment of temporary cessation at each instance of
noting. Tlis is called gaining eneuative insiglt as to cessation by
realising it (sacchikiriy paivedha), knowing it through insight.
With every act of observation, the Noble Eightfold Path headed
by the right-view of insight is developing within oneself. This is
gaining insight as to development (bhvan paivedha). This knowl-
edge, however, does not come about by direct observation; as it is
exeiienced eisonally, ieective consideiation will ieveal tlat
development has taken place within oneself.
Four Truths Comprehended Simultaneously 169
Thus, as explained above, at each instant of noting and knowing,
tle uutl of sueiing is iigltly and well undeistood, tlis is uue
realisation (pari paivedha). Tle uutl of tle cause is momentaiily
inhibited; this is accomplishment of insight through abandoning
(pahna paivedha). Momentary cessation is realised through realisa-
tion; this is realising it through insight (sacchikiriy paivedha), and
the path of insight is developed, which is insight through develop-
ment (bhvan paivedha). Tlus tle foui uutls aie comielended at
eveiy instance of noting: tle uutl of sueiing by obseiving tle object,
the cause, cessation, and the path are accomplished by abandoning,
realisation, and developing.
Tle atl of insiglt, in tlis way, comielends tle foui uutls, as
it should be comprehended and when it becomes fully accomplished
and matuie tle Noble Patl aeais and nibbna is iealised. At tlat
Path moment, the Noble Path headed by Right View is fully
established. The Noble Path appears only once. By this single
aeaiance it accomlisles tle task of eiadicating tle delements
tlat slould be eliminated, tle cause of sueiing, by undeistanding
iigltly and comielensively tle uutl of sueiing, and also devel-
oing tle uutl of tle atl. In tlis way it is said tlat tle Riglt View
of tle Noble Patl comielends tle foui uutls all at once.
Four Truths Comprehended Simultaneously
Tlis is low it comes about: wlen tle uutl of cessation, otleiwise
called nibbna is comielended tliougl actual iealisation, tle task
of comielending tle uutl of sueiing is accomlisled by iecog-
nising tlat tle mundane mind, mauei, and mental foimations, wlicl
aiise and eiisl incessantly aie indeed sueiing. Having iecognised
tlem as tle embodiment of sueiing, tleie can be no liking, ciaving,
oi auaclment foi tlem.
The abandonment of craving occurs in four stages: by virtue of
auaining tle ist atl, ciaving tlat would lead to tle lowei iealms
and craving that would cause rebirth for more than seven fortunate
existences (sugati) of the sensual realm, cannot arise. By virtue of the
second path, grosser forms of sensual craving and craving that will
cause rebirth more than twice in fortunate existences of the sensual
realm are removed. The third path eradicates the subtler forms of
craving. By virtue of the fourth path, lust for the realms of form(rpa
170 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
rga), and formless realms (arpa rga), otherwise called craving for
existence cannot arise. It must be noted that the craving for existence
that still persists in Non-returners is not accompanied by the
wrong-view of eternalism(sassata dihi).
Such non-arising of craving amounts to accomplishment of
comprehension by way of abandoning. With regard to the Noble
Paths, as they are experienced in oneself, comprehension is accom-
plished by way of development. Therefore, the Commentary says:
Conceining tle tliee uutls of sueiing, its cause, and tle Patl,
comprehension is accomplished by way of full and right understand-
ing (pari); by way of abandoning (pahna), and by way of
developing (bhvan).
As explained above, the Noble Path Knowledge, through realising
tle uutl of cessation, accomlisles tle task of comielending tle
tliee iemaining uutls. Likewise, insiglt knowledge, by contemlat-
ing and knowing tle uutl of sueiing, accomlisles tle task of
comielending tle tliee iemaining uutls as well.
I have summarised these in the following mnemonic: When the
Patl sees one uutl, it comielends all foui.
When the path of insight, which is developed to contemplate and
know tle uutl of sueiing, becomes fully suengtlened, tle Noble
Eightfold Path becomes established and rushes into element of
nibbna wleie all sueiings connected witl lysical and mental
conditioned objects, and all sueiings in connection witl tle mental
formations of the knowing mind, cease. With the cessation of craving,
comes tle cessation of sueiing, and tle Patl iealises tlis cessation.
Cessation of ciaving is accomanied by cessation of all sueiings
of the aggregates. Therefore, at the moment of establishment of the
Noble Path, the objecting of contemplation is not just the cessation
of ciaving, but tle cessation of all sueiings of tle aggiegates. Wlat
is taught in the teaching about the cessation of craving must be
undeistood to include tle cessation of all sueiings of tle mental
foimations, because only cessation of all sueiings of mental
foimations constitutes tle ieal nibbna, tle uutl of cessation of
sueiing. Tleiefoie, nibbna las been dened as tle cessation of all
mental formations. Thus establishment of the Noble Path is evident
only in tle sense of laving aiiived at tle stage wleie all mind, mauei,
and mental formations cease to exist, and become void.
Insight Is Also a Constituent of the Path 171
Insight Is Also a Constituent of the Path
Because it leads to tle cessation of all conditioned sueiing tle
Noble Patl las been given tle full title of tle noble uutl of tle atl
leading to tle cessation of sueiing (dukkhanirodhagmin paipad
ariyasacca). However, without the path of insight, by itself it cannot
auain nibbna wleie all sueiing ceases. In accoidance witl ones
eifections, only ahei one las iactised insiglt meditation, many
times, many hours, many days, many months, with the momentum
deiived nom insiglt, tle Noble Patl aeais as if it las emeiged
out of the path of insight itself. It is for this reason that the path of
insight is called the preliminary path, the precursor to the Noble Path,
which should be regarded as the ultimate goal. Although the path
is viewed then as consisting of two sections, the precursor and the
ultimate goal, its development is brought about as one continuous
iocess of endeavoui. Hence, tle Sammolavinodan Commentaiy
states that the path of insight should be regarded as a basic
constituent part of the path leading to cessation: The said eight path
factors are the supramundane Noble Path with eight constituent
parts. This Noble Path together with the mundane path of insight
slould be enumeiated as tle atl leading to tle end of sueiing.
Wlat is meant leie is, altlougl tle uutl of tle atl of tle foui
noble uutls is a suiamundane atl, it cannot aiise by itself witlout
tle ieliminaiy atl of insiglt. Only ahei develoing tle atl of
insight, and when insight knowledge is fully accomplished, the Noble
Path appears. Therefore the Noble Path together with its precursor,
which has to be developed as in initial step, is called the path leading
to tle end of sueiing. To summaiise: develoing tle tliee atls,
tle basic, ieliminaiy, and Noble Patls, leads suaiglt to nibbna.
I lave now dealt adequately witl tle uutl of tle atl, so I will
terminate the discourse here.
May all you good people in this audience, by virtue of having
given iesectful auention to tlis Gieat Discouise on tle Tuining of
the Wheel of Dhamma, be able to develop the path of insight,
otherwise called the preliminary path, together with the Noble Path,
otleiwise called tle uutl of tle atl. and soon auain soon tle uutl
of cessation, otleiwise called nibbna, tle end of all sueiing.
Sdhu! Sdhu! Sdhu!
172
Part Seven
Delivered on Sunday 10th March, 1963.

Tlis seiies of discouises on tle Dlammacakka Suua was disiuted


ahei tle last lectuie given on tle full-moon day of Novembei 1962,
as I lave been visiting otlei cenues. On tlis full moon day of Maicl,
I will iesume my discouises on tle Dlammacakka Suua. In Pait Six,
I dealt witl tle uutl of tle atl. Today I will go on to considei tle
knowledge tlat it is tle uutl (sacc a), the knowledge that a
ceitain du[ witl iegaid to tlis uutl las to be eifoimed (kicca a),
and tle knowledge tlat tlat du[ las been aclieved (kata a).
Knowledge Regarding the Truth of Suffering
Ida dukkha ariyasaccanti me, bhikkhave, pubbe ananussutesu
dhammesu cakkhu udapdi, a udapdi, pa udapdi, vijj
udapdi, loko udapdi.
Tlis is tle Noble Tiutl of Sueiing. Monks, conceining tlings
not heard before, there arose in me vision, knowledge, wisdom,
eneuative insiglt, and liglt.
Tlis is low knowledge tlat it is tle uutl aiises witl iegaid to
tle uutl of sueiing. In eailiei discouises I exlained tle uutl of
sueiing as, Biitl is sueiing, etc. I will ieiteiate a liule to make
it cleaiei. Tle woid Tlis in Tlis is tle Noble Tiutl of Sueiing,
iefeis to vaiious categoiies of sueiing staiting witl biitl, and
ending witl tle aggiegates of auaclment. Heie, tle essential item
is tle aggiegates of auaclment, wlicl is mostly just leaint nom
books. There are only a few who understand it as a personal
experience, which of course is the main point. I will reiterate this to
slow low tle aggiegates of auaclment slould be undeistood by
personal experience.
Whatever becomes prominent at every instant of seeing, hearing,
smelling, tasting, touching, or thinking constitutes the aggregates of
auaclment. Tle Noble Ones see in tlese objects only as dieadful
ain and sueiing, tle oidinaiy common eole view tlem otlei-
wise. Tley do not considei tlem as tle embodiment of uouble and
sueiing, but as leasant and good. Tley tlink it leasant to see
beautiful sights, to hear what they want to hear and to listen to sweet,
sonoious voices. Likewise it is leasant foi tlem to smell nagiant

The Full moon day of Tabaung 1324 M.E. (The New Year is in April, ed.)
Knowledge Regarding the Truth of Suering 173
odours, to taste delicious food, and to enjoy delightful sensations of
touch. Beings of the sensual plane regard the sensation of touch as
the most delightful. It is a delight, too, to indulge in fantasies and
daydreams. It would be terrible for them, a great loss, if everything,
including tleii daydieams, weie to vanisl all at once. As a mauei
of fact, all that is seen, heard, etc., aie tle aggiegates of auaclment,
tle uutl of sueiing. Insiglt meditation is iactised to biing lome
tlis uutl of sueiing, by iealising tleii uue, dieadful natuie of
impermanence, etc., due to incessant arising and perishing.
As for the Blessed One, having fully accomplished the path of
insiglt, le lad seen tle best, tle noblest bliss of all nibbna by
viitue of auaining tle knowledge of Aialantsli, and laving seen
tle foiemost and tle noblest nibbna, le saw in tle tle aggiegates
of auaclment only dieadful ain and sueiing. Tlis eicetion came
to lim, not ahei leaiing about it nom otleis, noi nom tle iactices
le leaint nom tle iecluses ia and Udaka. Tlis came about by
diiect eisonal knowledge ahei develoing tle Noble Eigltfold Patl.
That is why he declared, Concerning things not heard before, there
arose in me vision, etc.
With these words he professed also that he had indeed become a
a Fully Enligltened One, a Sammsambuddla, wlo lad souglt and
found tle uutl by viitue of eisonal iealisation and diiect knowledge,
unaided by insuuctions oi guidance nom any souice. Sucl an oen
iofession was indeed necessaiy. In tlose days, self-moitication
sucl as abstaining nom taking food, etc., iactised by Nigala
ascetics, was greatly esteemed as a holy and noble practice. The group
of ve ascetics tlemselves weie eailiei undei tle imiession tlat it
was so. Thus only when the Blessed One openly declared that he
had discovered the practice and knowledge, not through hearing
nom otleis, noi tliougl seculation and logical ieasoning, but by
his own realisation, by personal experience, and direct knowledge,
his audience became convinced of his having gained Supreme
Enligltenment, as laving become a uue Buddla.
To gain direct intuitive knowledge without outside assistance is
the exclusive domain of Enlightened Buddhas and Pacceka Buddhas.
The disciples of the Blessed One reached such stages of realisation
and knowledge only by listening to the teachings of the Buddha and
cultivating them through practice. Nowadays, too, such knowledge,
174 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
if desired, may be acquired by developing them through practice in
accordance with the teachings enshrined in teachings such as the
Malsatialna Suua. By iactising as tauglt in tlese discouises,
tle aggiegates of auaclment will be seen as tley uuly aie meie
sueiing and ain. Tle Buddlas ioclamation was intended also
to iovoke tle giou of ve ascetics to make tle eoit to see tle uue
natuie of tle tle aggiegates of auaclment.
In the Buddhas declaration mentioned above, the development
of exuaoidinaiy knowledge was desciibed as Vision aiose, knowl-
edge aiose, wisdom aiose, eneuative insiglt aiose, liglt aiose,
ve desciitions given foi a single foim of knowledge. Tle Sayuua
Commentary states: Vision, knowledge, etc., are synonyms meaning
tle same tling, knowledge. Because of tle facul[ of seeing,
knowledge is teimed vision, because of tle facul[ of knowing, it is
termed knowledge; because of analysing in several ways, it is termed
wisdom, because of eneuating, it is teimed eneuative insiglt,
because of shedding light it is termed illumination.
Tle Paisamblidmagga exlains tlese teims similaily. Tle Pi
word cakkhu conveys the idea of seeing, hence vision, Various
Pi woids aie emloyed foi tle uiose of conveying tle desiied
meaning oi concet to dieient audiences, tle Commentaiy
explains. Thus to describe the knowledge that sees clearly as with
tle lysical eye, it is teimed vision. To give an illusuation, a man
who has been blind for several years regains his eye sight through
application of right medicine or operation by an eye specialist. He
did not see anytling befoie ueatment, now le sees eveiytling veiy
clearly. Likewise, before the meditator has developed insight
knowledge or path knowledge he or she was living under the
delusion tlat tle ve aggiegates of auaclment, wlicl embody
sueiing, aie good and leasant. Howevei, by constant noting at
the moment of seeing, hearing, etc., insiglt becomes suengtlened,
and the meditator realises clearly that the phenomena of seeing,
hearing, etc., otleiwise known as tle aggiegates of auaclment, aie
ieally dieadful sueiing because of tleii natuie of incessant aiising
and eiisling. It is like gaining eye-siglt ahei being blind. Witl
tle develoment of atl knowledge, lis iealisation of tle uue
natuie of sueiing will be even slaiei. Tlus because it sees cleaily
as if by the eye, it is called vision.
Knowledge Regarding the Truth of Suering 175
With regard to knowledge arose (a udapdi), tle Pi teim
a connotes knowing, hence knowledge. As to wisdom arose
(pa udapdi), tle Paisamblidmagga states tlat pa connotes
knowing analytically in various ways. In connection with insight
meditation, while noting rising, falling, etc., mind and mauei aie
known seaiately as sti movement and knowing mind. Tle
uninitiated cannot know this distinction by personal experience.
Tle meditatoi can also dieientiate tle cause nom tle eect. He
oi sle knows eveiy nesl aiising distinct nom its vanisling. He oi
she knows that, because of incessant arising and perishing, the
aggiegates aie imeimanent, and dieadful sueiing, and tlat tley
aiise and eiisl of tleii own accoid, not subject to anyones conuol.
He or she knows clearly that they are not self, but insubstantial. This
is not a vague, indistinct knowledge, just a glimmer of understanding,
but a distinct, cleai, denite comielension as if obseived in tle
palm of ones hand. Such knowledge is described as knowing
analytically in various ways; hence wisdom.
In eneuative insiglt aiose (vijj udapdi), the word vijj
means eneuation. It slould not be confused witl tle woid foi a
eison accomlisled in manuas (vijjadhra), who is described in
books as laving tle owei of ying tliougl sace. Heie, vijj denotes
not a eison, but tle eneuative facul[, lence eneuative insiglt.
Peneuative insiglt is a subtle and iofound state. Heie, I must ielate
an incident that happened in about 1938. During a discussion I had
witl tle iesiding Saydaw of oui village monasteiy, I laened to
inform him that wisdom arose while taking note of the phenomenon
of arising and perishing at the moment of its occurrence. The
Saydaw could not accet tlis kind of cognition as wisdom(pa).
He maintained tlat wisdom is tlat wlicl is eneuative, only
knowing eneuatingly is wisdom. Wlen asked low one slould
biing about knowing eneuatingly, le lesitated foi some time and
tlen ionounced, Well, knowing eneuatingly is knowing eneuat-
ingly. Knowing eneuatingly is deiived nom tle Pi woid
paivedha, eneuating tliougl. It is akin to sambodhya, in order
to known eneuatingly as exlained in Pait Two of my discouise.
Hidden by a screen or a wall, objects cannot be seen. However, when
a hole is made in the screen or a window in the wall is opened, objects
become visible through these openings. Likewise, this knowledge
176 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
eneuates tliougl tle veil of delusion. Wlen concealed by delusion,
what is seen, heard, etc., is not known as impermanent, unsatisfactory,
and not-self; it is believed to be permanent, pleasant, and a self, being
deceived by ignorance and delusion. When insight matures, clear
knowledge arises as if the veil of delusion has been pierced. Such
cognition is called knowing eneuatingly. Tle Blessed One
declaied tlat sucl eneuative insiglt lad aiisen in lim.
Accoiding to tle Paisamblidmagga, in liglt aiose (aloko udapdi)
light (aloko) is just a term used to denote illuminating. Here, light
does not mean just ordinary light as seen by the human eye. It refers
to the knowledge that discerns all phenomena clearly, and distinctly.
Pieviously, tle uue natuie of tle tliee claiacteiistics aie not known
as if they are shrouded in darkness. When insight knowledge and
atl knowledge lave been develoed, tleii uue natuie becomes
apparent. Such cognition is therefore metaphorically described as
light arose.
Tlis single foim of exuaoidinaiy knowledge was desciibed in
ve ways: vision, knowledge, wisdom, eneuative insiglt, liglt to
facilitate cleaiei undeistanding by vaiious [es of audience. Tlis
teaching is designed to meet the requirements of the listeners. It is
just like our employing two or three synonyms in place of a single
word so that our audience may catch the meaning of what we say
through one word or another.
Tle Pi woids and tleii meanings exlained above aie all
conceined witl tle knowledge of uutl. I lave dealt suciently witl
tle knowledge of uutl, and will go on to tle du[ tlat slould be
accomlisled witl iegaid to tle uutl of sueiing.
Duty Regarding the Truth of Suffering
Ta kho panida dukkha ariyasacca parieyyanti me,
bhikkhave, pubbe ananussutesu dhammesu cakkhu udapdi,
a udapdi, pa udapdi, vijj udapdi, loko udapdi.
Tlis Noble Tiutl of Sueiing slould be well undeistood. Monks,
concerning things not heard before, there arose in me vision,
knowledge, wisdom, eneuative insiglt, and liglt.
This is how knowledge had arisen as to what should be done with
iegaid to tle noble uutl of sueiing. It slould be caiefully noted
Du Regarding the Truth of Suering 177
tlat tle du[ to be eifoimed witl iegaid to tlis uutl is to
comprehend it rightly and well, to understand it completely. For the
meditatoi wlo asiies to auain tle Patl and its Fiuition, nibbna,
it is incumbent uon lim oi lei to suive to gias tle uutl of sueiing
rightly and well, that is, he or she should understand fully each aspect
of tlis uutl nom biitl to tle aggiegates of auaclment.
In tle asects of tlis uutl of sueiing sucl as biitl, tle essential
factoi is tle ve aggiegates of auaclment. By knowing tlese ve
aggiegates of auaclment as tley ieally aie, tle task of comielend-
ing tle uutl of sueiing iigltly, fully, and well is accomlisled. In
tle Klandla Suua

of tle Sacc Sayuua it states: Wlat, monks,


is tle uutl of sueiing' It slould be answeied tlat tle ve
aggiegates aie tle uutl of sueiing.
I lave given a detailed exosition on tle ve aggiegates in Part
Four of this discourse. Whatever appears at the six sense-doors at
the time of seeing, hearing, etc., constitutes tle ve aggiegates. Tlese
should be experienced personally by noting every phenomenon at
tle six doois as it occuis. Tliougl sucl eoits tle coaiseness,
iouglness, smootlness, and sohness of tle eaitl element (pathav-
dhtu) slould be exeiienced, so too tle colesiveness, tle uidi[,
and moistness of the water element (po-dhtu); the hotness, coldness,
and waimtl of tle ie element (tejo-dhtu), and tle stiness, iessuie,
and motion of the air element (vyo-dhtu) should be experienced.
All of these should be separately and precisely understood through
personal experience. How this is to be done has been fully explained
befoie. Biiey it consists of giving concenuated auention to tle
sensation of touch that becomes apparent at any spot on ones body.
One of the four primary elements will then announce its existence
tliougl its inuinsic claiacteiistics.
Ahei knowing tle foui iimaiy elements, wlen noting seeing,
hearing, etc., the physical base on which they depend, the material
objects of sight and sound, and mental aggregates of consciousness
together with their concomitants become apparent. At each noting
of tle lenomenon of iising, falling, siuing, toucling, knowing,
feeling sti, feeling lot, feeling ainful, leaiing, seeing, tle
meditatoi eisonally eiceives tle nesl aiising followed by instant
perishing of both the objects of awareness as well as the noting mind.

S.v.425.
178 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
Tlus tle meditatoi knows denitely tlat it is imeimanent because
it eiisles ahei eacl aiising (hutv abhbato anicc) ; he or she knows
tlat it is dieadful sueiing because it oiesses by incessant aiising
and passing away (udayabbya paipilanahena dukkh); he or she knows
tlat it is not self, not amenable to ones conuol because it laens
on its own accord, and is not subject to ones will (avasa vaanahena
ana). Personal knowledge gained in this way by observing the
phenomena of arising and vanishing and noting the three character-
istics is knowing tle uutl of sueiing comielensively, iigltly, and
well (parieyya).
The Blessed One came to the realisation, without having heard
nom anybody else tlat tle uutl of sueiing, otleiwise called tle
aggiegates of auaclment, wlicl is actually aiising and vanisling,
should be comprehensively, rightly, and well understood. Hence the
statement, Concerning things not heard before by me, vision arose,
etc. Realisation came only ahei leaiing tle Dlamma nom tle
Blessed One oi nom tle otlei disciles of tle Buddla. In site of a
denite statement in tle Dlammacakka Suua tlat tle uutl of
sueiing slould be comielensively, iigltly, and well aielended
some considei it unnecessaiy to iealise tle uutl of sueiing oi tle
ve aggiegates by noting tle iising and vanisling of tle lenomenon
tlat is actually occuiiing. Tley take it tlat just leaining nom leaisay
about mind and mauei and about tle tliee claiacteiistics will seive
the purpose. We can only express our sympathy for such people.
Tle knowledge tlat a ceitain du[ witl iegaid to tle uutl of
sueiing las to be eifoimed (kicca a) is then the realisation that
tle uutl of sueiing oi tle aggiegates slould be fully, iigltly, and
well understood through personal observation. It is knowing what
du[ slould be eifoimed conceining tle uutl of sueiing. Tlis
iealisation comes befoie tle auainment of tle Noble Patl. Even
before starting the practice of meditation, one must realise that one
has to know comprehensively the three characteristics by noting
when seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, or thinking. One
must be aware of this task, too, while practising insight. Only then
can one devote full auention to tle aiising and dissolution of tle
aggiegates of auaclment and develo insiglt knowledge comletely.
Oui disciles, tle meditatois leie iactising Satialna, lave
accomlisled tlis du[ since tle time of taking insuuctions nom us
Achievement Regarding the Truth of Suering 179
on meditation methods, having learnt then that whatever appears
at the instant of seeing, hearing, etc., should be carefully noted. Also
wlile noting, even if tle meditatoi does not know at ist wlat slould
be noted, he or she soon comes to know what should be observed.
Tlis disceinment is knowing tle du[ to be eifoimed.
I lave given mucl time to tlis knowledge of tle du[ to be done
because it is veiy imoitant to know its signicance. Now, enougl
having been said about it, I will proceed to the knowledge that that
du[ las been aclieved.
Achievement Regarding the Truth of Suffering
Ta kho panida dukkha ariyasacca paritanti me,
bhikkhave, pubbe ananussutesu dhammesu cakkhu udapdi,
a udapdi, pa udapdi, vijj udapdi, loko udapdi.
Tlis Noble Tiutl of Sueiing las been fully, iigltly, and well
understood. Thus, monks, concerning things not heard before,
tleie aiose in me vision, knowledge, wisdom, eneuative
insight, and light.
Being awaie of tle uutl of sueiing, otleiwise known as tle
aggiegates of auaclment by noting seeing, leaiing, etc., and
constantly knowing impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and not-self,
constitutes insight knowledge. By insight alone, however, the task
of fully and rightly comprehending is not yet fully accomplished.
Perception as permanent, pleasant, and self is still possible concerning
those objects that one fails to note. It is only when insight knowledge
is fully accomplished and the knowledge of the Noble Path becomes
develoed tlat tle eace of nibbna is exeiienced. Only wlen tlat
happens can it be said that ones knowledge of the three characteristics
is complete and lasting. This is the achievement of the task of fully
and iigltly comielending tle uutl of sueiing.
Even tlen tle knowledge of Sueam-winning is not yet adequate
to fully accomplish this task. Only by realising Arahantship can it
be said tlat tle uutl of sueiing las been iigltly and fully
understood. For the Blessed One, the task had been fully accom-
plished since the time of gaining Arahantship and Enlightenment.
Hence le ioclaimed tlat tle task of fully undeistanding tle uutl
180 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
of sueiing lad been comleted. Vision etc., arose that the task had
been completed and nothing remained to be done.
The meditators presently engaged in the practice of meditation
also have this purpose in view to fully and rightly understand the
uutl of sueiing, and ultimately to comlete tle task by auaining
Aialantsli. Ahei auaining Aialantsli, tle iealisation will come
to tlem, tliougl ieuosection, tlat tle task las been fully aclieved.
I have now dealt with all the three knowledges knowledge of
tle uutl (sacc a), knowledge of tle du[ (kicca a), and
knowledge of achievement (kata a) witl iegaid to tle uutl of
sueiing. To summaiise:
1. Discerning at the moment of seeing, hearing, etc., that all the
phenomena of origination and dissolution are dreadful
sueiing, tle uutl of sueiing, constitutes knowledge of tle
uutl (sacc a).
2. Disceining tlat tlis uutl of sueiing slould be iigltly and
fully understood by heedful noting constitutes knowledge of
tle du[ (kicca a).
3. Knowing tliougl ieuosection tlat tle uutl of sueiing las
been rightly and fully understood constitutes the knowledge
of achievement (kata a).
Of tle tliee knowledges, tle knowledge of tle uutl aeais
while engaged in insight meditation when the meditator realises that
tle lenomena of oiigination and dissolution aie meie sueiing.
This occurs prior to the advent of the Noble Path. At the moment of
tle Noble Patl too, seeing tle eace of nibbna, tlis knowledge
aiises by iealising tle uutl of sueiing in all tle lenomena of
aiising and dissolution. Ahei tle advent of tle Noble Patl too, tlis
knowledge is evolved by ieuosection. Tlus it is tle knowledge of
tle foui uutls tlat aiises befoie, ahei, and at tle moment of tle
Noble path. Actually what is realised at the moment of the Path is
only tle uutl of tle cessation of sueiing (nirodha sacc). The
iemaining tliee uutls aie said to lave been iealised by laving
aclieved tle task of knowing by eneuative insiglt (paivedha).
Witl iegaid to tle uutl of sueiing, tle moment iealisation dawns
on tle uutl of tle cessation of sueiing, tle function of knowing tlat
unceasing mind and mauei aie sueiing, is accomlisled. Accoidingly,
tle Noble Ones (esecially tle Aialants) wlo lave auained tle Patl
Achievement Regarding the Truth of Suering 181
and its Fiuition, know by ieection tlat tle ceaseless mind and mauei
aie all sueiing. Tleiefoie it is said tlat tle task of eneuative insiglt,
knowing tle natuie of sueiing fully and iigltly, is accomlisled at
the moment of the Path. While practising insight, this knowledge
about sueiing aiises by actually noting tle lenomena of oiigination
and dissolution. Tlis is knowing tle uutl of sueiing iigltly and
well otleiwise called uue iealisation (pari paivedha).
As foi knowledge of tle du[, tlat is tle iealisation tlat tle uutl
of sueiing slould be comielended iigltly and well, it must be
aclieved in advance of tle auainment of tle Patl. It is only by laving
prior knowledge of what duties should be performed that these
duties could be eifoimed foi tle auainment of tle Noble Patl.
In tle case of tle uutl of sueiing, it must be well undeistood
at an early stage that it is necessary to perceive distinctly the nature
of impermanence by noting the phenomenon of origination and
dissolution, which is apparent in the aggregates at the time of each
occurrence. Only with this prior understanding will the necessary
task of observing the phenomenon be performed, and the Path
develoed ahei auaining fully matuie insiglt. Witl iegaid to tle
other three Noble Truths, such prior knowledge as to the duties to
be eifoimed witl iegaid to eacl uutl is indisensable. Tlen only
can the Noble Path be developed.
Tlus, long befoie tle auainment of tle Patl, tleie must be tle
iealisation tlat tle uutl of sueiing slould be fully comielended
iigltly and well, tlat tle cause of sueiing slould be abandoned,
tlat tle cessation of sueiing slould be iealised, and tlat tle atl
leading to tle cessation of sueiing slould be develoed. Knowing
tle duties to be eifoimed witl iegaid to eacl uutl must tleiefoie
precede far ahead of the advent of the Path.
The knowledge that these duties have been performed comes only
ahei tle auainment of Aialantsli tliougl ieection tlat tle loly
life has been lived (vusita brahmacriya); what has to be done has
been done (kata karanya). The knowledge of achievement (kata
a) is tle knowledge tlat knows ones du[ las been done. Tliougl
realisation of cessation, Arahantship performs three other tasks: fully
and iigltly undeistanding tle uutl of sueiing, abandoning tle
cause of craving, and developing the path. It is knowledge of
achievement that knows that all these four duties have been done.
182 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
The above concise statements about the three kinds of knowledge
lave been made in accoidance witl tle Mlak Subcommentaiy
on tle Katlvaulu. I lave adequately dealt witl tle tliee knowl-
edges witl iegaid to tle uutl of sueiing. I will go on to tle tliee
knowledges iegaiding tle uutl of tle oiigin of sueiing.
Knowledge Regarding the Origin of Suffering
Ida dukkhasamudaya ariyasaccanti me, bhikkhave, pubbe
ananussutesu dhammesu cakkhu udapdi, a udapdi, pa
udapdi, vijj udapdi, loko udapdi.
Tlis is tle Noble Tiutl of tle Oiigin of Sueiing. Tlus, monks,
concerning things not heard before, there arose in me vision,
knowledge, wisdom, eneuative insiglt, and liglt.
In the passage above This refers to sensual craving (kma tah),
craving for existence (bhava tah), and craving for non-existence
(vibhava tah), wlicl lave alieady been exlained. How sueiing
oiiginates nom tlem is as follows: sensual ciaving nds deliglt in
objects of sensual pleasure, which have to be searched and worked
foi. Some eole undeigo intense sueiing, to tle extent of losing
their lives even, while in pursuit of the objects of their desires. Any
auemt to cuib tle ciaving tlat las aiisen also iesults in sueiing
and unhappiness. To look and work for things that are not easily
auainable is also sueiing. Tle task of looking ahei tle acquiied
wealtl and ioei[ is veiy oneious. Smokeis and betel-leaf cleweis
suei dicul[ wlen tley iun sloit of sulies. Peole addicted to
drink and opium will feel much more under similar circumstances.
Man is born alone. While young, he leads a single life, happily
nee nom encumbiances. Wlen le giows u, le feels tle need foi a
companion. Instigated by sensual craving, he begins to look for one.
Wlen le aims foi tle unauainable le ends u in miseiy. If at last lis
wisl is fullled by geuing tle comanion le needs, tle uouble soon
staits if tley nd tlemselves incomatible. Even wlen tleie is
concoid and laimony in maiiied life, uouble aeais if one of tle
aitneis is suuck by a seiious illness. Auending to a sick eison is
dicult. In time, deatl comes to one of tle aitneis, leaving tle
otlei lamenting and giieving. It is lain tlat all tlese sueiings aie
rooted in sensual craving.
Knowledge Regarding the Origin of Suering 183
Howevei, tle majoii[ of beings aie undei tle delusion tlat tlis
craving is the source of happiness. They consider it blissful to enjoy
various sensual pleasures. When craving is not aroused, due to the
absence of any pleasurable objects, life becomes dull and monotonous
for them. To pay visits to monasteries or temples is irksome; to listen
to discouises on insiglt meditation is uueily boiing. On tle otlei
land, enteitainment sucl as lms and lays iovide joy, deliglt,
and merriment. Thus this craving is carefully nurtured by hunting
foi all available objects of desiie. Tlis nantic uisuit of leasuies is
made in the belief that they lead to joy and happiness. People only
believe this due to ignorance, which is misleading them.
Howevei, wlat seems to be leasant and deligltful is, in ieali[,
dieadful and loiii(ing because of its natuie of incessant aiising and
perishing. There is never any surfeit of sense pleasures since craving
is insatiable. Even ahei days, montls, and yeais of enjoying leasuie,
craving remains unsatiated. Hence they constantly and earnestly
pursue pleasure so that their enjoyment may not be disrupted. When
at last, the stock of pleasurable objects and sensations becomes
exhausted, great dissatisfaction ensues. This is a short account of
low ciaving gives iise to uouble and sueiing in tle iesent life.
Howevei, tle ieal cause of sueiing lies in tle fact tlat tlis ciaving
is responsible for repeated rounds of rebirths. Pleasurable sights and
sounds excite delight and craving and this craving gives rise to
auaclment. Because of auaclment, eoit las to be ut foitl foi its
fullment. Tlis constitutes mental foimations oi becoming (kamma
bhava). Because of sucl activities in tle fullment of desiies, and
because the impulsion consciousness (javana) of the death moment,
otherwise called the kamma-forming consciousness (abhisakhra
via) wlicl gets its imetus nom ciaving lolds on to tle
object that appears, then rebirth-consciousness arises immediately
ahei tle decease-consciousness. Fiom tle moment of iebiitl in tle
new existence, it may be said tlat all tle uoubles and uibulations
witl iegaid to a new life lave begun. All tlese uoubles nom tle
moment of rebirth have their roots in craving. Arahants in whom
ciaving las been eiadicated, do not encountei any moie sueiing
of a new existence. Tlus sensual ciaving is tle ieal cause of sueiing
such as birth, etc., tle uutl of tle oiigin of sueiing.
184 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
Tlose wlo asiie foi ne mateiial existence (rpabhava) and
immaterial existence (arpabhava) suive to auain tle aioiiate
jhna. By viitue of sucl auainments, tley aie ieboin in tle iealms
of ne mateiial and foimless Bialms. As Bialms, tley aie nee
nom tle sueiing of lysical ain as well as mental aictions. Tleii
life-span is measured in terms of world-cycles. From the worldly
point of view, their life may be deemed as one of happiness. However,
wlen tleii life-san ends, tley face deatl and sueis tle agonies of
deatl. Tley suei mental disuess, too, foi not laving tleii wisl of
immoitali[ fullled. Ahei deatl too, uoubles and uibulations await
them in sensual existence for which they are destined. Thus, craving
foi existence in tle Bialma woild is also tle uutl of sueiing.
Ciaving foi non-existence ahei deatl is also tle cause of sueiing
because it encouiages evil deeds in tlis life. Instead of sliinking nom
evil actions the annihilationist go to any length in pursuit of them
wherever available and take delight in them. Because of such
unwholesome kamma, they are reborn in the four lower realms for
many existences and undergo the woes and miseries of these existences.
It is plain, therefore, that craving for non-existence, arising out of the
annililationist view of life is denitely tle uutl of tle oiigin of sueiing.
All tlese tliee [es of ciaving, being tle ioot cause of sueiing,
the Buddha who had realised them as such declared how he had
seen tlem: Tle vision, wlicl saw tlat tlis is tle Noble uutl of
oiigin of sueiing, lad aiisen in me. Knowing tlat tlis is tle noble
uutl of oiigin of sueiing is knowledge of tle uutl (sacc a).
Tle knowledge tlat knows tlis uutl aiises botl befoie and ahei tle
advent of the Noble Path. At the moment of the Path, the function
of knowing tle uutl is accomlisled too, by way of ielinquisling
oi abandoning. To summaiise, tlat wlicl knows tle foui uutls
befoie, ahei, and at tle Patl moment knowledge of tle uutl.
Duty Regarding the Origin of Suffering
Ta kho panida dukkhasamudaya ariyasacca pahtabbanti
me, bhikkhave, pubbe ananussutesu dhammesu cakkhu udapdi,
a udapdi, pa udapdi, vijj udapdi, loko udapdi.
Tlis Noble Tiutl of tle Oiigin of Sueiing slould be abandoned.
Monks, concerning things not heard before, there arose in me
vision, knowledge, wisdom, eneuative insiglt, and liglt.
Du Regarding the Origin of Suering 185
If needom nom sueiing is desiied, tle oiigin of sueiing must
be eliminated. For example, in order to cure a disease the root cause
of the disease must be eradicated by administering suitable medicine.
Burmese physicians diagnose the cause of a disease in terms of
disorders in blood, wind, bile, and phlegm, climate, food, etc. Western
lysicians uace tle cause to vaiious bacteiia oi viiuses. Wlen sucl
causes of disease have been duly diagnosed and then eradicated
tliougl ioei medical ueatment, a comlete cuie is eected.
Likewise, tle sueiing of ieeated iebiitls in tle cycle of existence
may be avoided by removing its root cause, which is craving, the
uutl of oiigin of sueiing. Tleiefoie, tlis uutl is iegaided as
something that should be given up (pahtabba dhamma).
How is abandonment to be eected' It is vital to know tlis. If one
wisles, Let ciaving not aeai, let it not aiise, I will kee my mind nee
nom ciaving. I will only lave tlouglts nee nom ciaving, will it be
possible to maintain such a state of mind? People believing in the
ossibili[ of doing so slould actually uy to auain tlis state of mind and
see how long they can maintain it. Will a married man not be harassed
by thoughts of love and tenderness for his wife and erotic desires that
demand to be fullled' Will ciaving not aiise foi a cigaieue oi to clew
betel, or for other enjoyments or wealth? These questions cannot be
easily dismissed by brushing them aside, arguing that they are concerned
witl meie uies, just natuial and ioutine aaiis of no imoitance. We
lave to suei tle aiising of sucl ciavings only because we cannot subdue
them. However, the fact remains, and this should be seriously borne in
mind, that craving should be eradicated whenever possible.
Actually, there are three kinds of craving that need to be elimi-
nated: the craving that motivates physical and vocal actions
(vitikkama kiles), that which excites the mind to revel in fantasies
(pariyuhna kiles), that which is lying dormant awaiting opportune
moment to manifest (anusaya kiles). Of the three, the craving that
motivates lysical and vocal deeds can be eiadicated by moiali[. A
person who is preserving the precepts meticulously does not steal
anything belonging to others, even though wanting it; does not
commit sexual misconduct (oi one wlo obseives clasti[ does not
indulge in any sexual activi[), does not lie, and abstains nom
intoxicants. Tlus one kees oneself nee nom active delements. Tlis
is low ciaving is eliminated by means of moiali[.
186 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
The craving that manifests as imagination and fantasies can be
eiadicated by concenuation. If one is constantly engaged in tle
practice of meditation such as mindfulness of breathing, one keeps
oneself nee nom desiie foi, and imagination about, sensual objects.
Unless thus absorbed in one of the meditation exercises, if the mind
weie leh nee to ioam, it would engage in tlinking about desiiable
sense-objects, yearning mostly for sensual pleasure. If anyone
believes tlat tley could kee tle mind nee nom ciaving foi sensual
pleasures, they do not know their own mind.
In fact, even while occupied incessantly with meditation, before
tle owei of concenuation gets suengtlened, tlouglts of sensual
leasuies kee on coming u. Only wlen absoition is auained
through meditation are the grosser thoughts of sensual pleasure
brought to cessation, but even then, only for the duration of the
absoition. Tlis is low concenuation iemoves tle ciaving foi sensual
leasuies by uuing tlem away to a distance (vikkhambhana pahna).
Craving for existence and craving for non-existence persist even
in a person who has jhnic auainments. Tley iemain witl some
Bialms too. Tleiefoie ciaving foi existence and non-existence
cannot be eiadicated by uanquilli[ meditation. It goes witlout
saying tlen tlat oidinaiy eisons uninitiated in concenuation and
meditation aie not nee nom tle ciaving foi tleii own life and
existence. Howevei, sucl uninsuucted eole aie not awaie tlat
tleii deliglt in life and existence is tle delement of ciaving. Tley
even teacl tle exueme wiong-view tlat tle mind can be ket as it
is nee nom delements, and tle mind nee nom delements is
nibbna. Tlis is denitely conuaiy to tle teacling of tle Buddla.
The craving which has not actually arisen yet, but will appear
wlen tle iiglt conditions ievail is called latent delement (anusaya
kiles). Tlis is of two kinds: tle otential delement tlat lies latent
in sense-objects (rammaanusaya), and tle latent delements lying
dormant in oneself (santnnusaya).
There may be objects that manifest themselves at the moment of
seeing or hearing, but one fails to note their three characteristics. On
ieuosection, lowevei, delements can aiise in connection witl
tlem. Sucl delements aie known as latent in sense-objects
(rammaanusaya). Tlese delements can be exelled by insiglt
knowledge, but insiglt can iemove only tle delements tlat may
Latent Delements Actually Exist 187
arise in the objects that are contemplated. In the objects that escape
contemlation, tle latent delements iemain unaected.
Tle delements tlat lave not yet been eiadicated by tle Patl and
is awaiting opportune moment to arise in the continuum of aggre-
gates of a eison is known as latent delements lying doimant in
oneself (santnnusaya). Tlese delements can be iemoved only by
means of Path knowledge. It is to facilitate the elimination of these
delements tlat insiglt meditation las to be develoed.
Latent Defilements Actually Exist
In site of denite statements in tle Suuanta and Ablidlamma
texts iegaiding tle existence of latent delements, some asseit tlat
tleie is no sucl tling as latent delements it is only tliougl
mental ietentiveness tlat delements aiise. Tlis is disiesectful to
the teachings of the Buddha.
Just consider for a moment. In the pre-adolescent children, craving
for sensual pleasure in the form of taking delight in the opposite sex,
las not yet manifested. It is not because tley aie devoid of dele-
ments, only because the moment is not yet opportune for this
delement to aiise. It is lying doimant in tlem to aiise wlen tle
right conditions prevail. It is common knowledge that, on reaching
adolescence, the mere sight and sound of the opposite sex at once
arouses sexual desire in them. It just happens spontaneously and not
because they have previously seen or heard about its occurrence and
kept it in mind. Actually it happens because there are latent
delements lying doimant in tlese youtls, wlicl now nds
ooituni[ to aiise.
Again take the case of some people who have had implicit faith
in tle Buddla, Dlamma, and Sagla. Howevei, wlen inuenced
by teachers of other religions, they begin to entertain doubts about
the Triple Gem. Some even change their faith to embrace wrong-views.
Doubts and wrong-views arise in them, not because of mental
retentiveness; they have been all the time lying in them, not yet
having been removed by the Noble Path.
The Noble Ones of the Buddhas time had their doubts and
wiong-views eliminated by tle atl of Sueam-winning so tlat no
teaclei, not even Sakka oi Mia could inuence tlem to embiace
wrong-views, to entertain doubts about the Triple Gem. It was
188 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
because tle doimant delements in tlem lad been iemoved by tle
Noble Path.
The good people who are listening to this discourse on the
Dlammacakka Suua slould beai in mind tlat latent delements aie
lurking in them, waiting for an opportune moment to arise, and that
ciaving, wlicl is tle ieal cause of sueiing, slould be eliminated
by the Noble Path through practising insight meditation.
Knowing that craving is the Dhamma that should be eradicated
is knowledge of tle du[ iegaiding tle uutl of tle oiigin of sueiing
(kicca a). This knowledge should be developed prior to the advent
of the Noble Path. Thus it is prior knowledge of what should be
known, what should be abandoned, what should be realised, and
what should be developed. To the Blessed One, this knowledge
aeaied witlout laving leaid it nom anyone. Tleiefoie le
admiued: Tlis is tle noble uutl of tle oiigin of sueiing, wlicl
should be abandoned. Thus, monks, concerning things not heard
before, there arose in me vision, knowledge, wisdom; there arose in
me eneuative insiglt and liglt. Tlen tle Buddla continued to
explain how he had accomplished the task of abandoning.
Achievement Regarding the Origin of Suffering
Ta kho panida dukkhasamudaya ariyasacca pahtabbanti
me, bhikkhave, pubbe ananussutesu dhammesu cakkhu udapdi,
a udapdi, pa udapdi, vijj udapdi, loko udapdi.
Tlis noble uutl of tle oiigin of sueiing las been abandoned.
Thus, monk, concerning things not heard before, there arose
in me vision, knowledge, wisdom, tleie aiose in me eneua-
tive insight and light.
Tlis is an account of low ieuosection on tle comletion of tle
task of abandonment took lace ahei le lad abandoned wlat slould
be abandoned, tle ciaving otleiwise called tle uutl of tle oiigin of
sueiing. Tlis knowledge of comletion of tle task tlat slould be
performed is known as knowledge of achievement (kata a).
Wlat is secially notewoitly in iesect of tle uutl of tle oiigin
of sueiing is tlat tle foui Patls cognise nibbna by iealising it. At
tle ist instance of sucl cognition, ciaving leading to tle lowei
realms is eliminated; at the second instance grosser forms of craving
Knowledge Regarding the Truth of Cessation 189
for sensual pleasures get eradicated. On the third occasion, the subtler
forms of sensual craving disappear. All the remaining craving is
comletely eiadicated wlen nibbna is cognised foi tle fouitl time.
Sucl eiadication of ciaving is called knowing tle uutl of tle oiigin
of sueiing by eneuative insiglt by abandoning (pahna paivedha).
The act of abandoning constitutes knowing what should be known
by the Noble Path. Craving is what should be abandoned. This
abandonment is eneuative insiglt.
The knowledge of achievement is also important. The goal of
meditation is tle iemoval of delements including ciaving. Auain-
ment of higher knowledge, accomplishment of what should be done,
is comlete and assuied only wlen ciaving and otlei delements
are eradicated. It is essential to scrutinize oneself to see whether one
is uuly nee nom delements. If even tle lowest stage auainment,
tlat of Sueam-winnei is claimed, ciaving tlat iomts unwlolesome
kamma leading to the lower realms should have been removed; one
slould also be nee nom tle ciaving tlat may instigate uansgiession
of tle ve iecets. Tle deliglt accomanied by auaclment to tle
wiong-view tlat tleie is a living enti[, a self, slould lave been
discaided too. Only wlen one is fully libeiated nom all tlese ciavings,
tle claim of laving auained Sueam-winning may be substantiated,
otleiwise no claim foi any sucl auainment is admissible.
I have dealt fully with the three knowledges with regard to the
uutl of tle oiigin of sueiing, I will go on to considei tle tliee
knowledges iegaiding tle uutl of cessation (nirodha sacc).
Knowledge Regarding the Truth of Cessation
Ida dukkhanirodha ariyasaccanti me, bhikkhave, pubbe
ananussutesu dhammesu cakkhu udapdi, a udapdi, pa
udapdi, vijj udapdi, loko udapdi.
Tlis is tle noble uutl of tle cessation of sueiing. Tlus, monk,
concerning things not heard before, there arose in me vision,
knowledge, wisdom, tleie aiose in me eneuative insiglt and
light.
This in the above passage refers to the complete cessation of
ciaving, otleiwise called tle uutl of tle oiigin of sueiing. As
alieady exlained, wlen ciaving is abolisled, all sueiing of mind,
190 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
mauei, and mental foimations ceases. Tle Buddla said tlat tle
knowledge tlat knows tlat tlis cessation is tle uutl of tle cessation
of sueiing, lad aiisen in lim. Tlis knowledge of tle uutl aiises
befoie and ahei tle Patl and is iealised at tle moment of tle Patl.
As to how this knowledge arises before the Path, disciples acquire
tlis knowledge tliougl leaining nom otleis, by leaisay. Tle Blessed
One, however had gained this knowledge by his own intuition even
iioi to tle auainment of Sueam-winning. Tlus le said: Conceining
things not heard before, there arose in me vision, etc. At the moment
of tle Patl, tlis knowledge of tle uutl is tle same as knowledge of
tle Noble atl, wlicl cognises nibbna by iealisation.
Duty Regarding the Truth of Cessation
Ta kho panida dukkhanirodha ariyasacca sacchiktabbanti
me, bhikkhave, pubbe ananussutesu dhammesu cakkhu udapdi,
a udapdi, pa udapdi, vijj udapdi, loko udapdi.
Tlis is tle noble uutl of cessation of sueiing, wlicl slould
be realised. Thus, monk, concerning things not heard before,
there arose in me vision, knowledge, wisdom; there arose in
me eneuative insiglt and liglt.
Tlis knowledge knows tlat tle uutl of cessation, nibbna, tle
cessation of craving, should be realised. It is known as the knowledge
of du[(kicca a), since it is knows wlat du[ slould be eifoimed
iegaiding tle uutl of cessation. Tlis is low iealisation takes lace:
At tle moment of tle im establislment of tle knowledge of
equanimi[ about foimations (sakhrupekkh-a), while observing
one of the phenomena of origination and dissolution, the pace of
cognition gets faster and faster until the objects being contemplated
as well as the knowing consciousness plunge into a state of cessation
where all mental formations cease. At the time of realising the
cessation of all conditioned things, craving also ceases. Thus cessation
of ciaving is called tle uutl of cessation (nirodha sacc), which is
cognised by the Noble Path through realisation. Such cognition is
known as eneuative insiglt by iealisation (sacchikiriy paivedha).
Tle uutl of cessation is tle uutl to be iealised. Sucl iealisation
is known as eneuative insiglt by iealisation. Tle uiose of noting
every instance of seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, tasting, and
Knowledge Regarding the Truth of the Path 191
knowing is to accomlisl tle task of eneuative insiglt by iealising
cessation. Tle Buddla accomlisled tle function of eneuative
insiglt by iealising nibbna tliougl tle auainment of Aialantsli
on tle Seat of Enligltenment at tle foot of tle Bodli uee. He
continued to recount how he had developed the knowledge of
aclievement, wlicl ieects on tle comletion of tle task, as follows:
Achievement Regarding the Truth of Cessation
Ta kho panida dukkhanirodha ariyasacca sacchiktabbanti
me, bhikkhave, pubbe aananussutesu dhammesu cakkhu udapdi,
a udapdi, pa udapdi, vijj udapdi, loko udapdi.
Tlis is tle noble uutl of tle cessation of sueiing, wlicl las
been realised. Thus, monk, concerning things not heard before,
there arose in me vision, knowledge, wisdom; there arose in
me eneuative insiglt and liglt.
Tlis is an account of low ieuosection on tle comletion of tle
task took lace ahei le lad iealised tle uutl of cessation by means
of the knowledge of Arahantship. I will deal next with the three
knowledges regarding Path knowledge.
Knowledge Regarding the Truth of the Path
Ida dukkhanirodhagmin paipad ariyasaccanti me, bhikkhave,
pubbe ananussutesu dhammesu cakkhu udapdi, a udapdi,
pa udapdi, vijj udapdi, loko udapdi.
Tlis is tle noble uutl of tle atl leading to tle cessation of
sueiing. Tlus, monk, conceining tlings not leaid befoie,
there arose in me vision, knowledge, wisdom; there arose in
me eneuative insiglt and liglt.
Tlis uutl las a long name, but tle Commentaiies sloiten it to
just Tle uutl of tle atl (magga sacc). I will use the short title in
my discouise. Knowing tlat tle Noble Eigltfold Patl is tle uutl of
tle atl leading to tle cessation of sueiing, to nibbna, is called
knowledge of tle uutl (sacc a). This knowledge arises before,
ahei, and at tle moment of tle Noble Patl.
Disciles of tle Buddla wlo lave not yet auained tle Patl leain
about tlis uutl only nom leaiing about it. Oidinaiy individuals
have not yet realised it by personal experience. The Commentaries
192 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
say, Tle uutl of tle atl is sometling to be desiied, to asiie to,
and to be appreciated. Learning thus through hearing, the mind
should be inclined towards it. The preliminary task with respect to
tle uutl of tle atl is accomlisled just by inclining tle mind
towaids it. Likewise iegaiding tle uutl of cessation, nibbna, wlicl
ordinary individuals cannot perceive, the Commentaries say that it
requires only to incline the mind towards it as something to be
desired, to aspire to, to be appreciated. By doing this, the preliminary
du[ to be eifoimed iegaiding tle uutl of cessation is accomlisled.
It must tleiefoie be iemembeied tlat uutl of tle atl need not
be tlouglt about oi contemlated. Likewise nibbna needs no iioi
contemplation or thinking about. As for the Buddha, just as he had
previously arrived at the knowledge of cessation through intuitive
insiglt, le also gained knowledge of tle uutl of tle atl tliougl
intuition. That is why he said,Concerning things not heard before,
there arose in me vision, etc. Only at tle moment of auaining tle
Patl, tle uutl of cessation is eiceived by iealisation. Dlamma
realised in this way actually appears in ones person and as such the
task of developing it is accomplished. This is knowledge by develop-
ment (bhvan paivedha). Tle uutl of tle atl slould be develoed
in oneself, which is knowledge by development.
What is meant here is that when the Noble Path appears it amounts
to seeing the Path. It also means that the task of knowing it is achieved
at the same time. As the Noble Path has been developed in oneself,
ieuosection will ieveal it veiy cleaily. Howevei, it is not ossible
to develop the Noble Path immediately. One must begin by develop-
ing the preliminary path (pubbabhga magga) as a ist ste. Foi tlis
reason insight meditation is to be regarded as the correct practice
that leads to cessation. I already mentioned in Part Six how the
Sammolavinodan Commentaiy also iecommends tlat insiglt
should be regarded in this way.
Duty Regarding the Truth of the Path
Ta kho panida dukkhanirodhagmin paipad ariyasacca
bhvetabbanti me, bhikkhave, pubbe ananussutesu dhammesu
cakkhu udapdi, a udapdi, pa udapdi, vijj udapdi,
loko udapdi.
Du Regarding the Truth of the Path 193
Tlis noble uutl of tle atl leading to tle cessation of sueiing
should be developed. Thus, monk, concerning things not heard
before, there arose in me vision, knowledge, wisdom; there
aiose in me eneuative insiglt and liglt.
Knowing tlat tle uutl of tle atl is sometling tlat slould be
develoed witlin oneself is called knowledge of tle du[. It is tle
knowledge that knows what should be done with respect to to the
uutl of tle atl. It slould be develoed witlin oneself. Tlis must
be denitely iemembeied.
Tlat tle uutl of tle atl is sometling tlat slould be develoed
was tauglt foi tle ist time by tle Buddla in tlis Dlammacakka
Suua. Tlus to develo tle atl is to iactise foi tle auainment of
nibbna in accoidance witl tle wisles of tle Blessed One. Howevei,
tle iactice cannot be staited witl tle develoment of tle uutl of
tle atl suaiglt away. One must stait witl ieliminaiy atl
(pubbabhga magga) otherwise called the path of insight (vipassan
magga). In oidei to develo tle uutl of tle atl tlen, one must begin
with developing the path of insight.
To develo tlis atl of insiglt, tle uutl of sueiing must be
contemlated. Tle uutl of sueiing means tle aggiegates of
auaclment, wlicl lave been extensively exlained in Pait Foui.
Contemplating the aggregates that appear at every instant of their
aiising, analytical knowledge of body and mind is ist develoed.
Tlis is followed by undeistanding tle law of cause and eect, oi tle
knowledge by disceining conditionali[. As one proceeds, one comes
to know the nature of impermanence, the constant arising and
assing away of mind and mauei. Since it aiises just to eiisl tle
next moment, it is unstable, impermanent, unsatisfactory, and not-self,
since it arises and vanishes of its own accord. Personal realisation of
these realities is right-view (samm-dihi). It has been explained
before that when right-view is developed, right-thought and the other
path factors are also developed. How to develop these path factors
las also been desciibed befoie. Biiey, it consists in noting any of
tle sensations of toucl tlat one exeiiences. To simli( tle iactice,
we recommend starting with contemplation of the rising and falling
of the abdomen. While in the process of observing the abdominal
movements, the meditator may happen to start thinking about
something else. He or she should make a note of such thoughts too
194 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
as they arise. He or she should also note the painful sensations such
as stiness, feeling lot, feeling ainful, itcling, etc., as they arise.
Changing of bodily movements should also be noted as they occur.
Auention slould be given to any exuaoidinaiy tling, seen oi leaid.
Thus while observing every phenomenon, at every instant of noting,
knowledge of ieali[ as it is, iiglt-view, and tle atl factois of insiglt
will be developed. When insight becomes fully established, the
Eightfold Noble Path is evolved thus contemplating the actual
lenomena of tle aggiegates, tle uutl of sueiing, amounts to tle
development of the Noble Eightfold Path.
To recapitulate: Only by developing the preliminary path,
otleiwise called tle atl of insiglt, can tle Noble Patl be auained.
To develop the path of insight, the phenomena of seeing, hearing,
smelling, tasting, toucling, and tlinking, wlicl aie tle uutl of
sueiing, slould be caiefully obseived. At eveiy instance of noting
these phenomena the Noble Eightfold Path is being developed.
Therefore, I have composed the mnemonic:
Develoing tle basic, ieliminaiy, and noble atls leads to nibbna.
Some may have previously been under the wrong impression
that the purpose is served by acquiring academic knowledge of the
phenomena of the aggregates and the nature of impermanence, etc.
Only when they have practised meditation in accordance with the
Satialna metlod and gained exuaoidinaiy exeiiences, do tley
begin to see their previous error. They then openly state their
realisation that unless they engage in the actual practice of watching
the phenomena of seeing, hearing, etc., at the instant of their
occuiience, tle du[ of fully and iigltly undeistanding (pari kicca)
tle uutl of sueiing iemains unaccomlisled. Tle task of develo-
ing tle Noble Eigltfold Patl also iemains unnisled. Tlese aie tle
admissions made by learned people well-versed in the scriptures.
They have, by personal experience, come to understand the right
way leading to liglei auainments.
Tle Buddlas teacling embodied in tlis Dlammacakka Suua
This Eightfold Path has to be developed by contemplating mental
and physical phenomena at the moment of their occurrence, should
be noted with all seriousness. It should be carefully and steadfastly
iemembeied too tlat, Knowledge of tle du[ conceining tle uutl
Achievement Regarding the Truth of the Path 195
of tle atl slould be acquiied nom leaining iioi to tle advent of
the Noble Path; only then could the path of insight be developed by
obseiving tle ve aggiegates as tley occui, only by develoing tle
atl of insiglt, could tle Noble Patl, wlicl is tle uutl of tle atl
tlat slould be develoed, could be develoed and nibbna iealised.
Achievement Regarding the Truth of the Path
Ta kho panida dukkhanirodhagmin paipad ariyasacca
bhvitanti me, bhikkhave, pubbe ananussutesu dhammesu cakkhu
udapdi, a udapdi, pa udapdi, vijj udapdi, loko udapdi.
Tlis is tle noble uutl of tle atl leading to tle cessation of
sueiing, wlicl las been develoed. Tlus, monk, conceining
things not heard before, there arose in me vision, knowledge,
wisdom, tleie aiose in me eneuative insiglt and liglt.
This is the admission made by the Blessed One how the knowledge
of aclievement lad aiisen tliougl ieuosection, laving aclieved
tle develoment of uutl of tle atl until tle auainment of Aialant-
sli. Tle tliee knowledges witl iesect to tle foui uutls lave now
been completely explained in twelve ways, that is three kinds of
knowledge foi eacl of tle foui noble uutls.
To recapitulate:
1. Knowing tle Foui Noble Tiutls befoie, ahei and at tle moment
of tle atl is knowledge of tle uutl (sacc a). Knowing that this
is tle uutl of sueiing, tlis is tle uutl of tle oiigin of sueiing,
tlis is tle uutl of tle cessation of sueiing, and tlis is tle uutl of
tle atl leading to tle cessation of sueiing is knowledge of tle
uutl. Tlis knowledge also aeais in advance of auaining tle Patl.
Foi disciles, knowledge of tle uutl in iesect of tle uutl of
cessation and tle uutl of tle atl is acquiied befoie tle atl, is only
leaisay. Tle uutl of cessation is eiceived also tliougl iealisation
at the moment of the Path. The remaining three Paths are perceived
at the moment of the Path by accomplishing the tasks of fully and
rightly understanding, giving up and developing, that is, by
accomplishing the three duties (tisu kiccato), as the Commentaries
say. How tlese aie eiceived ahei tle auainment of tle Patl is veiy
clear and needs no elaboration.
196 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
2. Prior knowledge of what should be known, what should be
iealised, and wlat slould be develoed is knowledge of tle du[
(kicca a). Knowing tlat sueiing slould be fully and iigltly
comprehended, that craving should be abandoned, that cessation
should be realised, and that the Path should be developed within
oneself, constitutes knowledge of tle du[ iegaiding tle foui uutls.
This knowledge arises before insight meditation starts as well as
during the period of practice prior to the advent of the Noble Path.
3. Knowing tlat tle necessaiy du[ las been accomlisled is
knowledge of achievement (kata a). In mundane aaiis tleie is
knowledge of completion when any task has been done. Likewise
when the four duties of rightly comprehending, giving up, realising,
and develoing lave been fullled, tlis fact is known tliougl
ieuosection. Tlis is known as knowledge of aclievement.
What I have described are the twelve kinds of knowledge made
u of foui kinds of knowledge of tle uutl,foui kinds of knowledge
of tle du[, and foui kinds of knowledge of aclievement. Of tlese
twelve, it is vital to know cleaily low knowledge of tle uutl aiises
and how the four duties are to be performed, so I will go over them
biiey again.
1. Tle uutl of sueiing slould be iigltly and fully comie-
lended. Sucl comielension is uue iealisation (pari
paivedha).
2. Tle uutl of tle oiigin of sueiing slould be abandoned. Sucl
abandonment is known as eneuative insiglt by abandoning
(pahna paivedha).
3. Tle uutl of cessation slould be iealised. Sucl iealisation is
known as eneuative insiglt by iealisation (sacchikiriy
paivedha).
4. Tle uutl of tle Patl slould be develoed in oneself. Sucl
development is known as knowledge by development (bhvan
paivedha).
Knowing the Four Truths Simultaneously
At tle moment of tle Patl, only tle uutl of cessation is eiceived
tliougl iealisation. Tle iemaining tliee uutls aie eiceived tliougl
comletion of iequiied tasks by uue iealisation, eneuative insiglt
by abandoning, and by developing, respectively. Therefore the
Knowing the Four Truths Simultaneously 197
Commentaiy says: Tle tliee uutls aie known by comletion of
the tasks and cessation is known by realisation.
Wlen tle Patl sees one of tle foui uutls all foui eneuative
insights are accomplished. Just as with the Noble Path, at the moment
of iactising insiglt meditation too, by obseiving tle uutl of
sueiing alone as an object, tle task of knowing tle iemaining tliee
uutls is also accomlisled. It laens in tlis way:
The sense-object that is being perceived through meditation as
the embodiment of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and not-self
cannot arose craving, which would take delight in it under the
delusion of permanence, pleasure, and self. This is the temporary
abandonment (tadaga pahna). The ignorance (avijj) and delusion
(moha), which would misapprehend the observed object, as well as
the mental formations, consciousness, etc., get no ooituni[ to aiise,
and consequently cease. This is realisation through temporary
cessation (tadaga nirodha). The path of insight, which perceives
everything as impermanent, unsatisfactory, and not-self is being
develoed at eveiy instant of awaieness. Tlis is eneuative insiglt
by developing (bhvan paivedha). Thus, while practising insight
meditation, and by knowing tle uutl of sueiing tliougl contem-
lation, tle iemaining tliee uutls aie eiceived by comletion of
the tasks of abandoning, realisation, and development. Thus it may
be said tlat all foui uutls aie eiceived simultaneously.
I have come to the conclusion of the consideration of twelve ways
of perceiving the Four Noble Truths in four groups of three knowl-
edges. I will stop here for today.
May all you good people present in this audience, by virtue of
laving given iesectful auention to tlis Gieat Discouise on tle Tuining
of the Wheel of Dhamma, be able to fully and rightly understand the
uutl of sueiing, by contemlating tle lenomena of leaiing, seeing,
etc., and tliougl wlatevei atl and nuition you lave closen, aclieve
seedy iealisation of nibbna, tle end of all sueiing.
Sdhu! Sdhu! Sdhu!
198
Part Eight
Delivered on Tuesday 9th April, 1963.

My seiies of lectuies on tle Dlammacakka Suua given at tlis


Hall of Glass was disrupted during my visits to Myitkyina and Bhamo.
In my last lecture on the full moon day of March, I dealt with twelve
kinds of knowledge, tliee foi eacl of tle foui uutls. Today I will
give an account of when the Buddha did not admit, as well as when
le did admit, to tle auainment of Suieme Enligltenment.
Before the Buddha Claimed Enlightenment
Yvakvaca me, bhikkhave, imesu catsu ariyasaccesu eva
tiparivaa dvdaskra yathbhta adassana na
suvisuddha ahosi, neva tvha, bhikkhave, sadevake loke samrake
sabrahmake sassamaabrhmaiy pajya sadevamanussya
Anuara sammsambodhi abhisambuddhoti paccasi.
As long, monks, as my knowledge of ieali[ and insiglt iegaid-
ing tle foui noble uutls in tliee asects and twelve ways was
not fully clear to me, so long did I not admit to the world with
its deities, mias, and Bialms, to tle mass of beings witl its
recluses, brahmins, kings, and human beings, that I had under-
stood, auained, and iealised iigltly by myself tle incomaiable,
the most excellent, perfect enlightenment, Supreme Buddhahood.
Sammsambodhi is tle secial knowledge of Aialantsli auained
only by Buddhas. They gain this knowledge intuitively by their own
eoits witlout any insuuction nom otleis. By tlis knowledge, tley
rightly and perfectly know everything because of Omniscience
(sabbauta a). This exclusive Arahantship of the Buddhas is
known as Perfect Enlightenment: samm means perfectly, sa is by
oneself and bodhi means enlightenment, thus sammsambodhi is
perfectly enlightened by oneself. For Solitary Buddhas, Pacceka
Buddhas, their knowledge of Arahantship is known only as
sambodhi, enligltened by oneself witlout tle quali(ing samm
perfectly. The Arahantship of disciples is simply known as bodhi,
enligltenment witlout tle quali(ing samm and sa.
The knowledge of Arahantship that arises to Buddhas is known
by themselves and perfectly. Hence is called sammsambodhi. With
this knowledge Omniscience (sabbauta a) arises simultaneously,

The full-moon Day of Tagu 1324 M.E.


Before the Buddha Claimed Enlightenment 199
wlicl knows all tlings. Having acquiied tlis facul[ of knowing
eveiytling, Buddlalood was auained. So eifect enligltenment is
tle knowledge iesonsible foi tle auainment of Buddlalood. Tlus
in tle above assage, tle Buddla said tlat le lad not yet admiued
tle auainment of eifect enligltenment oi Buddlalood.
For how long did he withhold this admission of Buddhahood? It
was stated that he withheld it as long as his knowledge of the four
uutls in tliee asects of uutl, du[, and aclievement foi eacl uutl,
as exlained eailiei, was not fully cleai to lim. To x a denite time
limit, it meant that the admission was withheld until the early dawn
of tle day ahei tle full-moon day of May, just befoie le auained tle
path of Arahantship. By this pronouncement of non-admission until
then, he made it clear that it was out of the question for him to make
the claim of Buddhahood during the earlier period when he was
engaged in exueme austeiities.
In tle above assage, tliee asects means uutl, du[, and
aclievement foi eacl of tle foui uutls. By twelve ways is meant tle
total numbei of knowledges foi all foui uutls. Aialantsli, togetlei
witl tlese twelve knowledges, wlicl aeaied befoie and ahei it,
is tle knowledge tlat sees ieali[ as it is (yathbhta-a). As long
as tlis knowledge of ieali[ was not fully cleai to lim, tle Blessed
One witlleld admission of auaining eifect enligltenment.
To the query, Amidst whom was this admission withheld? it
may be answered, In this world. In this world, there are powerful
deities of slai intellect, tleie aie also mias wlo aie antagonistic
to tle teacling as well as Bialms, moie oweiful and moie
intelligent tlan tle deities and mias. If auainment of Buddlalood
weie claimed befoie lis knowledge of tle foui uutls was fully cleai
to lim, it would lave been dicult to give satisfactoiy answeis to
the questions, inquiries, and disputes that would be raised by these
beings. Keeing aside tlese deities, mias and Bialms wlo weie
not in close association with the human beings, there were in the
human world, on the surface of the earth, recluses (samaa), ascetics,
and priests (brhmaa). There were also kings popularly designated
as deities, and tle common eole. It would lave been dicult to
reply to the enquiries that they might make. In those days, there were
leadeis of ieligious sects sucl as Puia Kassaa wlo claimed to
know all about the past, present, and future. When learned people,
200 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
recluses, and laymen scrutinized their claims, these religious leaders
had been found to fall far short of their claims. Had the Buddha
ionounced lis Buddlalood befoie actual auainment of eifect
enlightenment, he could have faced a similar predicament.
At one time, tle Buddla was connonted by King Pasenadi of
Kosala who, taking advantage of his regal position, subjected the
Buddha to a searching examination, Gotama, do you also claim to
understand, achieve, and realise the incomparable, perfect enlight-
enment, otherwise known as Buddhahood? In those days, leaders
sucl as Puia Kassaa, used to make bold claims of Buddlalood
to the common people, but when examined by King Pasenadi they
had faltered in their claims. When even elderly leaders of religious
sects hesitate to claim Buddhahood, you, Gotama, who are much
younger and less experienced in religious life, do you really admit
that you have become a Buddha? The king persisted in his enquiries
by ieeating tle question. Being uue a Buddla, le was able to give
satisfactory answers to the king. Fully convinced about the Buddhas
suieme auainments, King Pasenadi took iefuge in tle Buddla, tle
Dlamma, and tle Sagla and became a discile nom tlat time.
Having in mind such people who might examine him, he said, I
did not yet declaie to tle woild witl its deities, maias, and Bialms
and to tle mass of beings witl iecluses and bialmaas, kings and
eole tlat I lad auained Buddlalood.
With these words the Buddha let it be known that as long as he
lad not become a uue Buddla, le slould not lay claim to it, and
accordingly, did not. However, when the time came when he should
pronounce his Buddhahood, he did pronounce it, and this is how he
made his declaration.
After the Buddha Claimed Enlightenment
Yato ca kho me, bhikkhave, imesu catsu ariyasaccesu eva
tiparivaa dvdaskra yathbhta adassana
suvisuddha ahosi, athha, bhikkhave, sadevake loke samrake
sabrahmake sassamaabrhmaiy pajya sadevamanussya
Anuara sammsambodhi abhisambuddhoti paccasi.
Howevei, wlen, monks, my knowledge of ieali[ and insiglt
iegaiding tle foui noble uutls in tliee asects and twelve
Concluding Statement 201
ways became fully clear to me, I declared to the world with
its deities, mias, and bilms to tle mass of beings witl its
recluses, priests, kings and people that I had understood,
auained, and iealised eifectly by myself tle incomaiable,
the most excellent perfect enlightenment, in other words, the
perfectly enlightened supreme Buddhahood.
What he declared in the above passage was that only when his
knowledge of ieali[ as it uuly is was fully cleai in twelve ways
deiived nom tliee kinds of knowledge witl iesect to eacl of tle
foui uutls, le admiued to auainment and iealisation of tle
incomparable, the most excellent perfect enlightenment, supreme
Buddhahood. This declaration was made not just to that region, that
but to the whole universe with its powerful deities of sharp intellect,
witl its mias lostile to tle uue teacling and witl its moie oweiful
and moie intelligent Bialms. It was meant also foi tle wlole of
lumani[ witl its leained iecluses and bialmaas, witl its kings
and people.
This declaration was an open invitation to any doubting deities,
mias, oi Bilms oi to any doubting iecluses, iiests, kings oi wise
lay persons to investigate, and to scrutinise his claim, with a
guarantee to give satisfactory answers to all their enquiries. This is
indeed a very bold, solemn declaration not made impulsively without
due veiication, but only ahei le lad sciutinized and ieassuied
limself by ieuosection tlat le lad ieally auained Buddlalood.
Concluding Statement
aca pana me dassana udapdi Akupp me vimui,
ayamantim jti, nahidni punabbhavoti.
Indeed, knowledge and vision arose in me: Unshakeable is
my deliverance;

tlis is tle nal existence, tleie is no moie


rebirth for me.
In this concluding statement, by the words, Unshakable is my
deliverance, is meant that his deliverance is not like that obtained
by absorption, which may be lost. The individual who has obtained

My libeiation nom delements is aclieved by Aialantsli, not just suiessing


delements by ne mateiial oi foimless absoition, but eiadicated at tle ioot
witlout iemaindei, libeiation wlicl iesults in comlete and nal eace. He knew
tleiefoie by ieection tlat tle deliveiance was unslakable, and indesuuctible.
202 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
tle absoitions is nee nom delements sucl as sensual desiie, ill-will,
etc., and they remain suppressed. However, when the absorption
deteiioiates, delements can ieaeai. Absoitions only iemove
delements to a distance by suiession (vikkhambhana). Tle [e
of deliveiance won by tle Buddla was libeiation by cuuing-o
(samuccheda vimui), wlicl comletely eiadicated tle delements
witlout iemaindei, and libeiation by uanquillising (paippassaddhi
vimui) tle otency of tlese delements. Libeiation by cuuing-o
is deliverance by the path of Arahantship, which eradicated without
iemaindei all delements wlile libeiation by uanquillising is
deliveiance by means of tle nuit of Aialantsli, wlicl calms down
tle otency of all delements. His deliveiance iemained steadfast
and invulneiable, lence tle Blessed One ieected, Unslakable is
my deliverance.
Moreover, having eradicated craving, otherwise called the origin
of sueiing, by means of Aialantsli, tle Blessed One was nee nom
any craving that could cause new becoming. For beings still saddled
witl ciaving, ahei assing away nom one existence tley aie ieboin
in the next, holding on to one of three signs kamma, sign of kamma,
or sign of destiny that appear as death approaches. There is always
a new existence for beings who are not yet devoid of craving.
Tle Bodlisaua also lad assed tliougl many iounds of iebiitls
in successive existences. Thus, on the dawn of his Enlightenment,
tle Blessed One ieected: Seeking in vain, tle louse-buildei
(ciaving), wlo ieeatedly designed and built tlis louse (of nesl
existences, i.e. tle ve aggiegates, because I lad not yet gained tle
knowledge of Arahantship), I wandered through many existences
(aneka jti sasra sandhvissa). Now (witl tle auainment of
Omniscience together with Arahantship) I have found you. Oh,
house-builder, never again will you build this house.
In tlis way, tle Blessed One gave an account of lis ieuosection.
Altlougl nesl existence is no moie ossible foi tle Blessed One in
the absence of craving, he still had to live the present life, which had
been brought into existence by craving before its eradication. With
ieuosective insiglt le said, Tlis is my last existence. Now tleie
is no more rebirth.
These are the concluding words of the Dhammacakka Sutta.
Higher Knowledge Gained by Listeners 203
A Matter for Consideration
Caieful study of tle Dlammacakka Suua, beginning witl tle
woids, Tlese two exuemes, monks, slould not be followed by one
gone forth (dveme, bhikkhave, ant pabbajitena na sevitabb), and
ending with the words This is my last existence. Now there is no
more rebirth (ayamantim jti, nahidni punabbhavoti), reveals that
it deals witl tle atl uodden by tle Blessed One, tle uutls le lad
discovered and how he had discovered them. As to the practical
details of tle atl, tleie was liule mention of tlem in a diiect way.
Only tle oening woids, Tlese two exuemes, monks, slould not
be followed, conveys some iactical insuuctions. It is tleiefoie a
mauei woitly of consideiation low tle ist ve disciles auained
tle liglei knowledge of tle atl and its nuition, by wlat metlods,
and low tley auained tleii goals. I will now exlain tlis.
Higher Knowledge Gained by Listeners
In the discourses taught by the Buddha, although there were no
iecise insuuctions sucl as, Piactise in tlis way, beai tlis in mind,
it must be regarded that they contain exhortations and guidance as
to what should be followed and what should be avoided. According
to the ancient masters, Every word of the Buddha carries an
injunction. To illusuate:
Asevan ca blna, paitnaca sevan.
Puj ca pujaniyna, eta magalamuama.
Tlis veise of tle Magala Suua gives only tle enunciation of tle
three blessings, namely, Not to associate with the foolish, to associate
with the wise, to honour those who are worthy of honour, this is the
greatest blessing. In this verse, there is no direct exhortation with
whom one should not associate, with whom to associate, or whom
to honour. Nevertheless, it should be taken as an exhortation.
Likewise we do not nd any diiect exloitation oi injunction in tle
Dlammacakka Suua. Tle Blessed One said simly, Avoiding tle
two exuemes, I lave discoveied tle middle atl. Tlis slould be
iegaided as meaning, Like me, you must avoid tle two exuemes
and follow the practice of the middle path.
In stating, The middle path leads to vision, etc., it should be
taken to imply, If you develop the middle path, vision will arise in
204 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
you too, liglei knowledge will come to you, you will gain benets
until tle iealisation of nibbna. In giving tle enunciation of tle
Noble Eigltfold Patl, it slould be taken as giving insuuctions foi
iomoting tle atl factois of moiali[, concenuation, and wisdom.
Tlen, tle denition of tle uutl of sueiing must be iegaided as
insuuctions to make an eoit to undeistand it comielensively.
Likewise it must be understood that, what was taught as the origin
of sueiing was an insuuction to iemove it, and tle uutl of cessation
and tle uutl of tle atl weie insuuctions to develo tle atl in
oneself and iealise cessation, nibbna.
Aheiwaids, wlen le tauglt tle foui knowledges of tle uutl, it
must be iegaided as an exloitation to suive to auain knowledge
witl iegaid to tle foui uutls, wlen le tauglt about tle foui duties
it was insuuction to undeistand tle uutl of sueiing by contemlat-
ing impermanence, etc. This is obvious. When it was described as
the Dhamma that should be rightly and fully comprehended, it
cleaily meant tlat an eoit slould be made to aclieve comlete and
eifect undeistanding of tle uutl of sueiing. Tle uutl of sueiing
has already been explained previously to consist of birth, etc., up to
tle aggiegates of auaclment, wlicl manifest wlen seeing, leaiing,
etc. Thus it is understandable that it means contemplation of
impermanence by noting every instance of seeing, hearing, etc.
Tle uutl of tle atl to be develoed, means develoment by
noting each phenomenon of seeing, hearing, etc. Similaily Tle uutl
of the origin should be eliminated, means that craving should be
eiadicated by contemlating tle uutl of sueiing. Tle uutl of
cessation slould be iealised, means tlat ahei fully undeistanding
tle uutl of sueiing, tliougl contemlation and develoing tle
atl of insiglt, ultimately tle uutl of cessation will be iealised.
When the Buddha told them how he came to know what should
be known by developing the middle path, his audience could
understand that they too would come to know what should be known
by developing the middle path. It is just like a person recounting
low tle disease le was sueiing nom was cuied by taking a ceitain
eective medicine. Anyone laving tle same disease will iealise tlat
they could also be cured by the same medicine.
The Buddhas audience at that time was made up of people who
weie alieady accomlisled witl sucient eifections (pram) to
Records of the First Buddhist Council 205
auain liglei knowledge by leaiing tle ist discouise of tle Buddla.
They were in a position to understand what he meant. Accordingly,
it could be taken tlat tley contemlated tle uutl of sueiing at tle
moment of occurrence, developing insight knowledge in successive
stages, ultimately iealising nibbna by means of tle foui Noble Patls.
There is no doubt that the good people forming this audience
could also, by contemlating tle uutl of sueiing, by noting tle
lenomenon of iising and vanisling, come to know tle foui uutls
as they should be known and realise the higher knowledge of the
Noble Path and its Fruition.
Understanding the discourse in the way that I have just explained,
one among tle audience at tle ist discouise of tle Blessed One, tle
Veneiable Koaa, noting all tle lenomena of leaiing, knowing,
feelings of devotion and pleasure, feeling glad, touching, seeing, etc.,
that appeared to him at the time of their rising, developed the path
of insiglt and iealised tle atl of Sueam-winning and its nuition.
How he realised them will be the subject of my discourse later.
A lundied and eiglt million Bialms likewise aclieved similai
realisation. According to the Milindapaha, innumerable deities of
tle sensual iealms also meditated in a similai way and auained tle
liglei knowledge of tle atl and its nuition. Because all tle beings
wlo weie develoed suciently to ieceive tle Dlamma lad auained
higher knowledge and because he had completely covered all the
things that he should teach, the Blessed One brought his discourse
to a conclusion with the closing words just quoted above. The reciters
at tle ist Council lad iecoided tlis account of tle teimination of
tle discouise and low tle giou of ve monks weie gladdened by
the discourse in these words:
Records of the First Buddhist Council
Idamavoca Bhagav. Aaman pacavaggiy bhikkh Bhagavato
bhsita abhinandunti.
Thus spoke the Blessed One, (starting with, These two
exuemes, monks, slould not be followed by one gone foitl,
and ending with Now there is no more rebirth,) and the
giou of ve monks gieatly iejoiced, welcoming tle woids of
the Blessed One with delight.
206 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
It is worthy of special note that the elders of the First Council
iecoided low tle Veneiable Koaa auained liglei knowledge:
Imasmica pana veyykaraasmi bhaamne yasmato
koaassa viraja vtamala dhammacakkhu udapdi
Ya kici samudayadhamma, sabba ta nirodhadhammanti.
And while this discourse was being expounded (or having
been expounded), the dustless and stainless eye of Dhamma
aiose to tle Veneiable Koaa, Eveiytling tlat las tle
nature of arising has the nature of ceasing.
Biiey, tlis iecoid states tlat tle Veneiable Koaa became a
Sueam-winnei by auainment of tle Patl and its Fiuition. Wlen did
it laen' He auained it wlile tle Blessed One was Exounding
tle discouise. Tlis is tle iecise uanslation of tle giammatical
tense as given in the text, bhaamne, bhaniyamne. The
Siauladan Subcommentaiy ieioduced tle same tense. Howevei,
tle Paisamblid Commentaiy iefeiied to take tle eifect ast
tense proximate to the present tense, bhanite, meaning ahei being
expounded. I have thus rendered it as having been expounded.
Venerable Koaa Attains Higher Knowledge
Tle Veneiable Koaa could lave develoed tle Noble
Eigltfold Patl and auained tle Noble Patl wlile tle Blessed One
was enunciating on the middle path during the discourse. When he
heard about the Four Noble Truths too, he could have contemplated
to know wlat slould be known and auained tle liglei knowledge
of tle Patl. Esecially, wlen le leaid tlat tle uutl of sueiing
should be fully comprehended and the Path should be developed,
it is veiy iobable tlat le would contemlate on tle uutl of sueiing,
otleiwise known as tle aggiegates of auaclment, and by develoing
tle atl of insiglt, auained tle liglei knowledge of tle Patl and
Fiuition of Sueam-winning.
As foi contemlating sueiing, by noting tle sound of tle teacling
at eveiy instant of leaiing it, le would come to know tle ieali[ as
it is and the three characteristics and in this way developed the Noble
Eightfold Path. When deep appreciation for the meaning of the
discourse arose, it could be contemplated upon. Devotional appreci-
ation of the Dhamma and for the voice that delivered it could be
How Path Knowledge Is Stainless 207
noted too as it occuiied. Rejoicing tlat came ahei aieciation, tle
thrill of joy that accompanied it could all be contemplated. It is
probable that joy (pti) was taken as an object for contemplation. It
was mentioned in tle Pi texts tlat at tle moment wlen tle mind
was feeling t and ieaied, soh and tendei, nee nom lindiances,
elated and exultant, full of faith and devotion, hearing the discourse
on tle foui uutls, many auained to liglei knowledge. Tle Noble
Eightfold Path could also be developed by noting what is occurring
in the body, the sensations of pain or pleasure in the body, and by
contemplating the act of paying respectful homage to the Buddha.
Seeing, hearing, etc., mentioned above with respect to the mental
and physical phenomena presently arising are not mere concepts
(paai), they are ultimate realities (paramaha dhamm) that actually
occui. Tle aggiegates of auaclment aie sucl iealities. Tle uutl of
sueiing, wlicl slould be fully comielended is also an ultimate
ieali[. Wlen eveiy lenomenon is noted, in accoidance witl tle
teacling tlat tle uutl of sueiing slould be fully comielended,
tle uutl of sueiing is fully comielended tliougl undeistanding
the three characteristics. On each occasion of understanding in this
way, craving that may arise because of the notions of permanence,
leasuie, and self gets eliminated, laving no ooituni[ to aiise.
Tlis is momentaiy abandonment of tle oiigin of sueiing.
Delusion or ignorance with respect to the object being contem-
lated togetlei witl delements, kamma, and iesults tlat may aiise
in connection with it, vanish and come to cessation too with each
noting. This is momentary cessation achieved with each noting by
virtue of having accomplished it. It goes without saying that the path
of insight is being developed at each moment of observation. In this
way by noting what was seen, heard, etc., tle Veneiable Koaa
developed insight, which knows the Four Truths as they should be
known, and auained tle Patl and Fiuition of Sueam-winning wlile
listening to tle discouise. In otlei woids, le became a Sueam-winnei
right at the end of the discourse.
How Path Knowledge Is Stainless
Tle eye of Dlamma auained by tle Veneiable Koaa was
iaised in tle suua as being dust-nee and stainless. It would be
iotable to considei low tlis knowledge was dust-nee and stainless.
208 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
Tle Siauladan Subcommentaiy states: It is dust-nee, being nee
nom tle dust and diit of lust (rga), which would lead to the lower
iealms, it is stainless, being nee nom tle delements of wiong-view
(dihi), and sceptical doubt (vicikicch). Tlis is a guiative descii-
tion of tle delements tlat aie eliminated by tle Patl of Sueam-
winning. Howevei, tle Paisamblidmagga Commentaiy consideis
botl as dust and delements, etc. Lust tends to conceal and hence
is likened to dust. Again, lust is likened to delements because it
soils oi biings desuuction.
Anotlei consideiation aiises leie. Does being nee nom dust and
delements mean: a)tle aiising of tle eye of Dlamma, otleiwise
known as Patl knowledge, unaccomanied by dust and delements,
oi b) not lindeiing Patl knowledge so tlat nibbna could not be
seen' Tle Patl, lowevei, las no association witl delements. It is
obvious, tleiefoie, tlat it las no iefeience leie to needom nom dust
and delements. Tlus dust-nee and stainless slould be undeistood
in tle sense of not lindeiing Patl knowledge so tlat nibbna could
not be seen.
This is how hindrances are overcome: whilst wrong-view and
scetical doubt, wlicl slould be eliminated by Sueam-winning, and
lust that leads to the lower realms, remain in force, in spite of insight
meditation, if nibbna is not seen yet by means of tle knowledge of
Sueam-winning. It is just like tle inabili[ to see because of a cataiact.
However, when insight knowledge becomes fully accomplished and
suengtlened, tle wiong-view, scetical doubt, and lust tlat would
lead to the lower realms would get weakened, so they can no longer
lindei tle siglt of nibbna, just as tle cataiact tlat gets tlinnei can
no longer completely obscure ones sight. Then the knowledge of
Sueam-winning can see tliougl and iealise tle nibbna. Sucl
caaci[ to eiceive tliougl and iealise nibbna is desciibed as
dust-nee (viraja), and stainless (vtamala). Path knowledge
eiadicates only ahei insiglt las done its utmost to eliminate.
Tle above inteiietation confoims witl tle guiative desciition
of the eye of Dhamma and with the expositions in the Visuddhimagga
and its Malka, wlicl state tlat suiamundane Patl knowledge
eiadicates witlout iemaindei only tlose delements, wlicl lave
been weakened to the utmost by mundane insight knowledge.
Path Knowledge Evolves om Insight 209
Path Knowledge Evolves from Insight
It should be especially noted here that supramundane Path
knowledge does not arise out of nowhere. Just as the succeeding
consciousness arises out of the preceding consciousness, Path
knowledge can also be said, by way of uni[, to lave aiisen out of
insiglt knowledge. Tlus delements sucl as wiong-view and doubt,
which have been debilitated by the power of insight can no longer
kee nibbna obscuied nom view. By dust-nee and stainless is meant
tlis inabili[ of lust, etc., to kee nibbna concealed any longei.
Tle Bialmyu Suua

describes the three lower paths as the eye


of Dhamma (Dhammacakkhu). In tle Cailulovda Suua,

all the
foui atls and nuitions aie desciibed as tle eye of Dlamma. Wlen,
tleiefoie, tlese liglei auainments aie stated to be dust-nee and
stainless, it means that lust and ill-will are so weakened by virtue of
insiglt knowledge tlat tley could not kee tle nibbna concealed
nom view. I lave taken tle uouble of delving deely into tlese oints
to make it easily comprehensible that Path knowledge does not arise
out of nowleie, but evolves only nom insiglt knowledge by viitue
of natuial sucing conditions (pakatupanissaya).
The question then arises: How does this eye of Dhamma,
otleiwise known as tle Patl knowledge of Sueam-winning, aiise'
This knowledge arises by perceiving that everything that has the
nature of arising has the nature of passing away. There are two modes
of perceiving this. At the moment of developing the knowledge of
arising and passing away (udayabbaya-a), seeing origination and
instant dissolution, the realisation comes that what arises passes into
dissolution. This is perception by means of insight. When the
knowledge of equanimi[ about foimations (sakhrupekkh-a)
is fully established, while noting the continuous process of dissolu-
tion of mind and mauei, a stage is ieacled wlen (volitional activities
of) mind, mauei, and mental foimations dissolve into a state of
comlete cessation. Tlis is eiceiving tle eaceful bliss of nibbna
by actually realising it, when all the phenomena of constant arising
come to complete cessation. This is perception by Path knowledge.
The eye of Dhamma, otherwise called the Path knowledge of
Sueam-winning, is develoed by tle second kind of eiceiving. Foi
tlis ieason, tle auainment of Sueam-winning is cleaily indicated

M.ii.145.

M.iii.280.
210 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
when all volitional activities dissolve into complete cessation. Once
iealised by tle Patl of Sueam-winning, tle knowledge tlat eiceives
Eveiytling tlat aiises gets dissolved, iemains im and unslakeable.
Hence, tle Cailulovda Suua desciibes tle iealisation of all foui
atl knowledges in tle same woids. Tle dust-nee, stainless eye of
Dhamma arose: everything that has the nature of arising has the
natuie of assing away. All mind and mauei cease wlen nibbna
becomes the object of Path knowledge.
Quoting tle Caniddesa Commentaiy, wlicl states: By means
of tle Patl of Sueam-winning foui [es of consciousness connected
with wrong-view (dihigatasampayua), and one consciousness
accompanied by doubt (vicikicchsahagaa), tlese ve [es of
unwholesome consciousness come to cessation, a certain person is
teacling and wiiting, auemting to iefute tle statement, At tle
moment of tle Patl and Fiuition of Sueam-winning, all mental and
physical formations are perceived to have ceased. He seems to
maintain tlat tle Patl and Fiuition of Sueam-winning lave as tleii
object only tle cessation of tle ve [es of unwlolesome conscious-
ness brought about by the Path. This is a serious wrong-view for the
simle ieason tlat nibbna is not tle aitial cessation of unwlolesome
consciousness, noi tle aitial cessation of mind and mauei. In fact,
nibbna means tle comlete cessation of tliee cycles (vaa), namely,
tle cycle of delements (kiles vaa), the cycle of kamma (kamma
vaa), and the cycle of results (vipka vaa), the complete cessation
of all compounded things. Thus to the question What does the Noble
Patl lave as its object' tle iely would be tlat it las nibbna as its
object and nibbna is, as just exlained, tle comlete cessation of all
conditioned phenomena. Thus the assertion, At the moment of
auaining tle Patl and Fiuition of Sueam-winning, one eiceives
only the cessation of the sense-objects known as well as the knowing
mind, is a factual statement of what is actually observed.
A careful study of the Questions of Ajita

on which the exposition


was given in tle said Commentaiy to tle Caniddesa, will ieveal
tle statement tleiein: At tlis eace of nibbna all mind and mauei
cease. Fuitleimoie, if questioned, Is nibbna wlicl is tle object
of tle Patl of Sueam-winning tle same nibbna tlat is tle object of
the higher Paths? the answer would be Yes, it is the same, there is

Sn.vv.1038-1045, Piyanavaggo, Ajitamavauccl.


Was the Path Not Aained by Appreciating the Discourse? 211
no dieience. Weie tle Patl of Sueam-winning to lave tle ve
[es of unwlolesome consciousness as its object and tle otlei Patls
were to have as their objects the cessation of respective unwholesome
[es of consciousness tlat tley eiadicate, tle objects of tle foui
Patls would be foui dieient [es of nibbna. Tleie is, lowevei,
no sucl dieience and it is tleiefoie obvious tlat all tle foui Patls
lave as tleii objects tle one and only nibbna.
Foi tle ieasons stated, Tle Patl of Sueam-winning must lave
as its object only tle cessation of tle ve [es of unwlolesome
consciousness, is a totally wrong-view.
I lave digiessed nom tle main discouise to make some ciitical
remarks about certain wrong assertions. I must now return to the
oiiginal toic by iecounting tle meaning of tle Pi text:
While this discourse was being expounded (or had been
exounded), tle dust-nee stainless eye of Dlamma, otleiwise
known as tle Patl of Sueam-winning) aiose to tle Veneiable
Koaa, tlat eveiytling tlat las tle natuie of aiising las
the nature of ceasing.
Was the Path Not Attained by Appreciating the Discourse?
Here is a point for discussion. Is it not a fact that in the passage
just quoted, tleie is no mention of tle Veneiable Koaa engaging
in the practice of insight meditation? It mentions only that the eye
of Dhamma was developed while the Blessed One was expounding
tle discouise oi lad just nisled exounding it. Could it not be tlat
tle knowledge of tle Patl of Sueam-winning was develoed tliougl
appreciation of and delight in the discourse? In that case, all the
elaboiations about low Koaa engaged in tle iactice of insiglt
meditation is really redundant. This is the point for discussion.
The elaborations are not redundant at all. In the Dhammacakka
Suua itself, it is denitely stated tlat tle Eigltfold Patl slould be
developed. In addition, the Commentarial exposition of right-view
states tlat tle uutl of sueiing and tle uutl of tle oiigin of sueiing
should be understood by contemplating them. There are also
statements that Path knowledge is developed only when the
preliminary path (pubbabhga magga), otherwise called the path of
insight (vipassan magga), aie fully accomlisled. It is also denitely
stated that without contemplating any of the four subjects of
212 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
meditation, namely, the body, feelings, mind, and mental-objects, no
insiglt oi atl knowledge could be auained. (Refei to Pait Tliee of
tlis discouise). Tle Pi texts also cleaily state tlat tle atl factoi
of Right Mindfulness could arise only by developing the fourfold
mindfulness. For these reasons, there can be no arising of the Noble
Path without developing the path of insight. These elaborations are
given to facilitate understanding how insight could be developed
while listening to a discourse. It must be taken therefore that by
adopting one of the methods of meditating as explained above, the
Veneiable Koaa instantly auained tle Patl and its Fiuition.
Ahei desciibing low tle Veneiable Koaa auained Sueam-
winning, the Elders of the First Council went on to describe the way
in wlicl tle Dlammacakka Suua was acclaimed.
Acclamation by the Deities and Brahms
Pavaite ca pana Bhagavat dhammacakke bhumm dev
saddamanussvesu Eta Bhagavat brasiya isipatane
migadye anuara dhammacakka pavaita appaivaiya
samaena v brhmaena v devena v mrena v brahmun v
kenaci v lokasminti.
When the Blessed One had set in motion the Wheel of
Dhamma,

in other words, when the Blessed One had given


tle discouise on tle Dlammacakka Suua, tle Eaitlbound
deities proclaimed in one voice: The incomparable Wheel of
Dhamma has been set in motion by the Blessed One at Isipatana,
the deer sanctuary in the township of Benares, which no recluse,
iiest, dei[, mia, Bilm, noi any otlei being in tle woild
can reverse or prevent.
Having heard this proclamation by the earthbound deities, the
Ctumalijik deities and tle deities in tle uei iealms of
Tvatisa, Yma, Tusita, Nimmnaiati, Paianimmitavasavau and
tle Bialms, all ioclaimed in one voice:
The incomparable Wheel of Dhamma has been set in motion
by the Blessed One at Isipatana, the deer sanctuary in the
townsli of Benaies, wlicl no iecluse, iiest, dei[, mia,
Bilm, noi any otlei being in tle woild can ieveise oi ievent.

Accoiding to tle Commentaiy, tlis means eneuative insiglt (paivedha a) and


knowledge of what and how to impart the Dhamma (desan a).
Uerance of Joy by the Blessed One 213
Itiha tena khaena, tena muhuena yva brahmalok saddo
abbhuggacchi.
Thus in an instant, in a moment, the sound of proclamation
went foitl u to tle woild of tle Bialms.
The Earthquake and Appearance of Radiance
Ayaca dasasahassilokadhtu sakampi sampakampi sampavedhi,
appamo ca uro obhso loke pturahosi atikkamma devna
devnubhvanti.
The entire cosmos of the thousand worlds shook in upward
motion, quaked in upward and downward motion, and
uembled in foui diiections. An immeasuiable sublime iadiance,
caused by tle migl[ teacling, suiassing even tle majestic,
divine radiance of the deities appeared on earth.
Utterance of Joy by the Blessed One
Atha kho Bhagav ima udna udnesi Asi vata, bho,
koao, asi vata, bho, koaoti! Iti hida yasmato
koaassa Asikoao tveva nma ahosti.
Tlen, just ahei deliveiing tle discouise, just ahei tle aeai-
ance of tle eye of Dlamma to tle Veneiable Koaa, tle
Blessed One made tlis joyous uueiance Fiiends, indeed
Koaa las undeistood! Indeed Koaa las undeistood!
Tlus it was because of tlis joyous uueiance tlat tle Veneiable
Koaa won tle name of Koaa tle Wise, tle one wlo
has understood.
Here ends the Discourse on the Dhammacakka Sutta.
The concluding passage recited above marks the termination of
tle Dlammacakka Suua as iecoided in tle Malvagga of tle
Sayuuanikya. On ieection at tle conclusion of tle discouise, tle
Blessed One eiceived tlat tle Veneiable Koaa lad auained
tle liglei knowledge of Sueam-winning. So joyously le made tle
uueiance, Indeed, Koaa las undeistood, Koaa las
undeistood. It was in iefeience to tlis uueiance tlat tle Veneiable
Koaa became commonly known as Asi Koaa.
Accoiding to tle Sayuua Pi text, tle Dlammacakka Suua ends
leie. Howevei, tle Vinaya Pi text continues nom tleie giving an
214 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
account of low tle Blikklu Sagla came into existence. I will ielate
this account now.
Venerable Koaas Request for Ordination
Atha kho yasm Asikoao dihadhammo paadhammo
viditadhammo pariyoghadhammo tiavicikiccho vigatakatha-
katho vesrajjappao aparappaccayo sahussane Bhagavanta
etadavoca labheyyha, bhante, Bhagavato santike pabbajja,
labheyya upasampadanti.
Ahei tle Blessed One las made tlis joyous uueiance, tle
Veneiable Koaa made tle following iequest in tlese
words: Venerable sir, may I go forth (pabbajja) in the presence
of the Blessed One, may I receive ordination (upasampada).
Difficult to Give up Traditional Beliefs
Tle Veneiable Koaa must lave ieviously embiaced some
kind of uaditional ieligious belief. To give u tlis old belief and
desire admission into the Blessed Ones Order could not have come
about with mere ordinary faith. In modern times, it is not an easy
mauei foi eole of otlei faitls to join tle Sagla ahei acceting
Buddlism. Foi some eole, not to say of uuing on tle yellow iobes,
to take refuge in the Triple Gem and keep the precepts for the purpose
of iactising meditation is a dicult task.
Aait nom tle Veneiable Koaa, tle iemaining foui of tle
giou aeaied to be indecisive to get admiued into tle Buddlas
Oidei. Wly tlen did Koaa seek eimission to join tle Buddlas
Oidei' Tle answei is tlat Koaa lad become ossessed of viitue
and qualities, which are described by such epithets as having seen
the Dhamma (dihadhammo), etc.
Fully vested witl sucl viitues Koaa made tle iequest, laving
seen tle Dlamma. He lad seen tle uutl of cessation, tlat is le lad
iealised nibbna. Tlen laving seen tle eace of nibbna, le saw tle
constant aiising and vanisling of conditioned mind and mauei as
dieadful sueiing. He eiceived too tlat tle ciaving tlat took deliglt
in tlem was tle uue cause of sueiing. He iealised at tle same time
tlat tle uutl of tle atl consisting of Riglt View, etc., was tle uue
atl tlat would lead to tle eace of nibbna. Tlus iealising tle foui
uutls foi limself, im condence aiose tlat tle Buddla lad also
Dicult to Give up Traditional Beliefs 215
iealised tle foui uutls. Sucl condence is known as knowledge boin
of complete faith(aveccappasda a). It is like tle condence a atient
laces in a lysician wlose ueatment las eectively cuied lim of
lis disease. Tlus, laving seen tle foui uutls exactly as exounded
by tle Buddla, Koaa made tle iequest foi oidination.
Dihadhammo:- having seen; to make sure it means seeing with
tle eye of knowledge and not by lysical eye, it is qualied by
paadhammo:-- laving aiiived, auained, ieacled, to connote
arriving through knowledge and not by any other means it is
qualied again by viditadhammo: having clearly known. To assure
tlat sucl knowledge is not just aitial but comlete, tle quali(ing
word pariyoghadhammo: is used, which means to dive into, to
eneuate, conveying tlat le lad eneuated fully into all asects of
tle Dlamma. All tlese woids slow tle iiclness of tle Pi vocabu-
lary of those days.
It is very important to see, to know by ones own knowledge the
Foui Noble Tiutls. Witlout knowing tle ieal uutl yet, meie
profession of the Buddhist faith will not have removed all doubts
about tle Buddla, tle Dlamma, and tle Sagla. Misgivings on
them may appear under certain circumstances. Doubts may arise
also witl iegaid to tle iactice of tle moiali[, concenuation, and
wisdom that one is pursuing. By knowing what should be known
by oneself, one may become nee nom sceticism to a ceitain extent.
The meditator who practises by noting every instance of seeing,
hearing, touching, knowing, etc., knows, when the power of
concenuation gets suengtlened, tlat tle object obseived (rpa) is
seaiate nom tle knowing mind (nma). Then he or she knows
through personal experience that seeing takes place because there
are the object and the eye; there is the act of going because of the
desire to go. Because one fails to note the object, one wrongly takes
it to be pleasant, thinking it pleasant, one takes delight in it. Because
of deliglt, one ciaves foi it. To satis( tle demands of ciaving, one
has to exert oneself to suitable actions. All these become personal
knowledge through experience. One also knows that one faces
diculties and bad situations because of unwlolesome kamma, one
enjoys good things because of wholesome kamma. When ones
knowledge giows to tlis extent, one can become nee nom doubts as
to wletlei tleie is a soul, a living enti[, oi a Cieatoi.
216 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
When one continues with the practice, one perceives mental and
physical phenomena arising and vanishing even while observing
them. One becomes convinced, while continuing with the noting, of
tleii imeimanence, dieadful sueiing, and tlat tley aie not-self,
not subject to ones conuol. Tlis singulai eicetion suengtlens
ones condence tlat tle Buddla wlo lad given tlis discouise must
lave iealised tle uutl limself, le must be a uue Buddla, lis
teaclings aie uue and tle Sagla wlo aie iactising lis teaclings
aie tle uue Sagla engaged in tle iiglt iactice.
Then comes the stage when all conditioned mental and physical
phenomena dissolve into complete cessation. This is realising
eisonally tle eace of nibbna, in otlei woids, tle uutl of cessation.
Simultaneously, tle tliee iemaining uutls aie iealised by viitue of
having accomplished the tasks of fully and rightly comprehending
sueiing, abandoning its oiigin, and develoing tle atl in oneself.
Knowing tle foui uutls as tley slould be known, condence and
faitl in tle Buddla, Dlamma, and Sagla becomes imly iooted
and unslakable. Condence in tle iactice of moiali[, concenuation,
and wisdom also gets imly establisled. Witl imly iooted
condence and faitl, scetical doubts aie oveicome. Tle Veneiable
Koaa las seen tle foui uutls foi limself and tlus lad leh all
unceitain[ belind --- tiavicikiccho. For this reason too he asked
tle Buddla foi oidination. Wlen le was nee nom doubt and
sceticism, le became nee nom waveiing, iiiesolution, indecision
vigatakatakato, which is synonymous with tiavicikiccho.
He had made the request for this reason too.
Furthermore he made the request to the Buddha because he had
acquired courage of conviction in the teaching, vesrajjapao, the
couiage boin of knowledge of tle uutl, and also because le lad
become independent of others, aparappaccayo, in tle mauei of tle
docuine laving acquiied eisonal knowledge of it.
Most followers of various religious faiths in the world are
deendent on otleis in tle mauei of tleii beliefs, being ignoiant
about tlem tlemselves. Some woisli deities of uees, foiests, and
mountains because tle iactice las been landed down nom
generation to generation by their ancestors. No one has seen nor met
tlose beings. Some woisli tle king of deities, Bialms oi Gods of
the heaven. No one has the personal knowledge of these objects of
Cia the Millionaire and Nigaha Napua 217
woisli. Peole take on uust wlat was told tlem by tleii aients,
teachers, etc. Among the people of the Buddhist faith too, prior to
auaining wlat slould be known, tley aie deendent on eldeis,
aients, and teacleis in tle mauei of tleii beliefs. Wlen some
knowledge las been gained by ones own eoits in iactising
concenuation oi insiglt meditation, self-condence may be gained
to a ceitain extent. Wlen tle absoitions, tle atl and it nuition aie
auained, one las eisonal knowledge of tlese auainments, and so
the belief in them is no longer dependent on others.
Citta the Millionaire and Nigaha Naputta
At the time of the Buddha, there lived a certain millionaire by the
name of Ciua, wlo lad auained tle stage of Non-ietuining. One
day le laened to aiiive at tle leimitage of Nauua, tle leadei
of tle Nigala sect. Tle sect leadei Nauua was woislied as
a supreme God by the followers of Jainism, and was also known as
Malvia. He was quite well-known since befoie tle enligltenment
of tle Buddla. Nauua addiessed Ciua, Youi teaclei Gotama is
said to teacl tlat tleie is absoition and concenuation nee nom
initial and sustained application. Do you believe it?
Ciua ielied, I acknowledge tleie is absoition and concenua-
tion nee nom initial and sustained alication not because of my
faitl in tle Buddla. Tle gieat teaclei Nauua made a wiong
inteiietation of tlis iely. He tlouglt tlat Ciua lad ielied tlat le
had no faith in the Buddha. So he told his followers. Look, my
disciles, Ciua is veiy suaigltfoiwaid and lonest. Wlat le did not
believe in, le said le did not believe. Well, tlis mauei is ieally
unbelievable. Its imossible, just like uying to catcl tle aii witl a
net, oi to aiiest tle swih owing wateis of tle Ganges witl tle ist
oi tle alm of tle land. Its imossible to get nee nom initial and
sustained application.
Uon wlicl tle millionaiie Ciua asked Nauua, Wlicl is
nobler, knowing or believing? He replied, Knowing is of course
noblei tlan believing. Tle iicl man Ciua tlen ietoited, I can auain
any time I wisl tle ist absoition witl initial and sustained
alication , tle second absoition nee nom initial and sustained
alication, and tle tliid absoition nee nom joy (pti) and the fourth
absoition nee nom bliss (sukha), accomanied only by equanimi[
218 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
and one-ointedness. In tlis mauei of saying, Tleie is absoition
and concenuation nee nom initial and sustained alication, wlen
I personally experience them, is there any need for me to rely on
other noble persons, or recluses, for my belief?
In tlis stoiy, Ciua lad no need to iely on otleis foi believing tlis
fact. Likewise, Koaa wlo lad eisonal exeiience of tle foui
uutls was not deendent on otleis iegaiding tle Buddlas teacling
on tle Eigltfold Patl of moiali[, concenuation, and wisdom. Having
known them personally, without depending on others, he asked the
Buddha for admission to his Order. This passage is so inspiring and
stimulates so much devotion that I will repeat it in full.
Ahei tle Blessed One las made tlis joyous uueiance, tle
Veneiable Koaa made tle following iequest in tlese
words: Venerable sir, may I go forth (pabbajja) in the presence
of the Blessed One, may I receive ordination (upasampada).
This record by the Elders of the First Council describing the
Veneiable Koaas iequest giving details of lis qualications and
auainments to establisl lis eligibili[ foi admission to tle Sagla,
develops in the reader intense devotion. The more one knows of the
Dhamma the more intensely one feels this devotion.
Ordination by the Come Bhikkhu Formula
Wlen tle Veneiable Koaa made lis iequest in tle above way,
tle Blessed One eimiued lim to join tle Sagla witl tlese woids:
Ehi bhikkhti Bhagav avoca svkkhto dhammo, cara
brahmacariya samm dukkhassa antakiriyyti. Sva tassa
yasmato upasampad ahosi.
Come, monk. Well taught is the Dhamma. Come and practise
tle loly life of foi tle sake of tle comlete desuuction of
sueiing.
Tle Veneiable Koaa at tlat time was alieady a iecluse
(samaa), but not of tle Buddlas Sagla. He tleiefoie asked foi
admission to tle Sagla nom tle Blessed One wlo eimiued lim
to do so, by saying, Come, monk. This is acknowledgement by the
Blessed One of lis enuy to tle Sagla. Tlus tle Veneiable Asi
Koaa became a discile as a membei of tle Sagla.
Systematic Guidance and Practice 219
Other Beings Who Attained Higher Knowledge
At tle time of deliveiy of tle Dlammacakka Suua, tleie weie
only ve membeis of tle luman woild, tle giou of ve monks,
wlo leaid tle ist discouise. Of tlem, only one eison, tle
Veneiable Koaa auained liglei knowledge. Howevei, it is stated
in tle Milindaala tlat 180 million Bilms and innumeiable
deities of tle sensual iealm also auained liglei knowledge.
At tlat time only tle Veneiable Koaa souglt enuy to tle
Sagla and become a discile of tle Buddla. Tle iemaining foui
tle Veneiable Vaa, Bladdiya, Malnama, and Assaji lad not
yet done so. Their hesitation may be accounted for by the fact that
they were not yet fully accomplished in personally knowing the
Dlamma like tle Veneiable Koaa. Tley weie still decient in
the courage of conviction with respect to the Buddhas teaching.
However, by virtue of hearing the discourse, they had developed
faitl in tle teacling. Tleiefoie nom tle time of leaiing tle discouise
these four were engaged in the practice of meditation under the
guidance of tle Blessed One. Tle Vinaya Malvagga las given tle
following account of how they practised meditation and how they
came to realise the Dhamma.
Higher Knowledge Attained Only by Practice
Ahei tle Veneiable Koaa lad been admiued to tle Oidei,
tle Blessed One gave guidance and insuuctions on tle iactice of
the Dhamma to the remaining four members of the group. Being
tlus guided and insuucted by tle Blessed One, tle dust-nee, stainless
eye of Dhamma rose to the Venerable Vappa and Bhaddiya that
everything that has the nature of arising has the nature of passing
away. Wlen tle eye of Dlamma oened, and tley became Sueam-
winners, the Venerable Vappa and Bhaddiya requested the Blessed
One for ordination and he accepted them by saying, Come, monks.
Systematic Guidance and Practice
Tle Vinaya Malvagga text continues:
Ahei tle Veneiable Vaa and Bladdiya lad been tlus admiued
to tle Sagla by tle Come, monk (ehi bhikkhu), ordination, the
Blessed One gave insuuctions on tle Dlamma and guidance to tle
iemaining Veneiable Malnma and Assaji, witlout going on
220 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
almsround himself. Three bhikkhus went out for almsfood and all
the six, including the Blessed One, sustained themselves on whatever
food was biouglt back by tle tliee. Being tlus guided and insuucted
by tle Blessed One on tle iactice of tle Dlamma, tle dust-nee,
stainless eye of Dlamma aiose to tle Veneiable Malnma and Assaji
that everything that has the nature of arising has the nature of passing
away. Tle Veneiable Malnma and Assaji, laving seen tle Dlamma,
laving auained it, laving cleaily undeistood and eneuated tle
Dlamma, leaving unceitain[ belind, laving oveicome all doubts,
being nee nom waveiing iiiesolution, laving acquiied tle couiage
of conviction with respect to the teaching of the Buddha, having
personal knowledge of the Dhamma, not depending on others with
iegaid to tle teacling, asked tle Blessed One: Ahei tle Blessed One
las made tlis joyous uueiance, tle Veneiable Koaa made tle
following request in these words: Venerable sir, may we go forth
(pabbajja) in the presence of the Blessed One, may we receive
ordination (upasampada). The Blessed One replied, Come
bhikkhus. Well taught is the Dhamma. Come and practise the holy
life foi tle sake of tle comlete ending of sueiing. Tlis invitation
by the Blessed One constitutes the act of ordination and accordingly
tle Veneiable Malnma and Assaji became blikklus in tle Sagla
of the Blessed One.
In tlis Pi Text of tle Vinaya Malvagga, it is mentioned tlat
tle foui blikklus auained liglei knowledge in two gious of two
eacl, wleieas its Commentaiy states tlat tley auained liglei
knowledge one by one as follows:
It should be understood that the eye of Dhamma arose to the
Veneiable Vaa on tle ist waning day of July, to tle Veneiable
Bladdiya on tle second waning day, to tle Veneiable Malnma on
the third waning day, and to the Venerable Assaji on the fourth
waning day respectively. Furthermore, it should be specially noted
that all this while the Blessed One remained in the monastery without
going out for alms, ready to render assistance to the four bhikkhus
in iemoving tle obstacles and diculties tlat may aiise to tlem in
the course of practising meditation. Every time obstacles arose in the
blikklus, tle Blessed One went to tleii aid uavelling tliougl sace,
and iemoved tlem. On tle hl waning day of July tle Blessed One
Systematic Guidance and Practice 221
gatleied all ve blikklus togetlei and insuucted tlem by giving
tle discouise on tle Anaualakklaa Suua.
In this account in the Commentary the statement about the
Buddlas uavelling tliougl sace to iemove tle obstacles ieveals
the urgent nature of assistance needed by the meditating bhikkhus.
At iesent too, it would be benecial if tle meditation teacleis could
constantly auend on tle meditatois and give guidance.
Tle Psaisi Suua

gives the following account on the subject:


Blikklus, wlen I gave insuuctions to tle two blikklus, tle tliee
bhikkhus went for alms. The group of six of us lived on the food
biouglt back by tle otlei tliee blikklus. Wlen I gave insuuctions
to the three bhikkhus, the other two bhikkhus went for alms. The of
six of us lived on the food brought back by the two bhikkhus. Then,
being tlus insuucted and guided by me, tle giou of ve blikklus,
having in themselves the nature of arising in new existence, and
seeing dangei and wietcledness in nesl iebiitls, seaicled and
endeavouied foi tle noblest, suieme nibbna, nee nom nesl iebiitl,
and accoidingly auained tle suieme nibbna, nee nom waveiing,
irresolution, having acquired the courage of conviction with respect
to the teaching, having personal knowledge of the Dhamma, not
dependent on others with regard to the teaching. In this way, the
Blessed One stated tlat tle ve blikklus lad auained Aialantsli.
Tle Commentaiy on tlis suua las tlis to say: Tle Blessed One
remained in the monastery, ready to go and assist the Venerable
Vaa and Bladdiya iemoving any obsuuctions tlat aiose duiing
tleii meditation iactice. Wlenevei imuiities and diculties aiose
in them the bhikkhus came to the Blessed One and asked him for
guidance. The Blessed One himself also went to where the bhikkhus
weie and iemoved tleii obsuuctions. Tlen witlout going out foi
alms, but living on the food brought by the other three, these two
bhikkhus went on meditating. Of these two bhikkhus, the Venerable
Vaa became a Sueam-winnei on tle ist waning day of July, and
tle Veneiable Bladdiya on tle second. Veneiable Malnma became
a Sueam-winnei on tle tliid waning day, and Veneiable Assaji
auained tle Patl on tle fouitl. On tle hl waning day of July, tle
ve blikklus assembled, and tle Blessed One tauglt tlem tle
Anaualakklaa Suua, at tle end of wlicl all auained Aialantsli.

M.i.173, also known as tle Aiiyaaiiyesan Suua, tle Noble Seaicl (ed.)
222 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
Listening is not Sufficient, Practice is Needed
Accoiding to tle Vinaya and Suua texts, auainment of tle Patl
was described as being achieved by two groups of two bhikkhus,
whereas the Commentary gives a detailed description of how
individual blikklus aclieved Sueam-winning on consecutive days.
Tlat is tle only dieience between tle Pi text and tle Commentaiial
versions. It was not just by listening to discourses, but by actually
iactising meditation tlat tley auained Sueam-winning. Tley did
not even go out for alms, but worked incessantly day and night. The
Buddha himself stayed in the monastery, ready to give guidance and
assistance whenever it was needed. On these points there is agree-
ment in all versions.
It is veiy cleai, tleiefoie, tlat tle Veneiable Vaa began suiving
on tle evening of tle full-moon day of July and auained Sueam-
winning on tle ist waning day. Veneiable Bladdiya lad to suive
foi about two days and auained Sueam-winning on tle second
waning day. Veneiable Malnma suived foi about tliee days and
aclieved Sueam-winning on tle tliid waning day. Veneiable Assaji
suived foi about foui days and aclieved Sueam-winning on tle
fouitl waning day of July. All of tlem lad to make suenuous eoits
to auain Sueam-winning, and did not do it by just listening to
discouises, but did so by suiving laid undei tle guidance of tle
Blessed One himself. This fact is very clear.
Tle gious of ve blikklus weie not oidinaiy eisons. It is said
tlat tley weie tle ioyal asuologeis wlo lad foietold tle futuie of
tle Bodlisaua at tle time of lis biitl. Some Commentaiies, lowevei,
say tlat tley weie tle sons of tlese couit asuologeis. Tley weie
singular individuals who had given up household life and become
iecluses wlile tle Bodlisaua was still in lis teens. Tley weie also
endowed with remarkable intelligence, able to grasp easily the
teacling of tle Buddla. If Sueam-winning weie auainable meiely
by listening to the Dhamma, the were persons who could have
iealised it meiely by listening to a discouise, witlout laving to suive
suenuously foi one, two, tliee, oi foui days. Tle Blessed One would
not lave uiged tlem to suive eainestly, le would lave meiely tauglt
tlem once to auain Sueam-winning, oi ieeated tle teacling twice,
or thrice. Instead, he required them not just to listen to discourses,
but to iactise meditation suenuously. On ieection, tle ieason foi
How the Other Four Monks Practised 223
doing so is obvious. He knew tlem to be tle [e of individuals wlo
needed to practice under guidance (neyya).
Assertions are made nowadays that there is no need to practise
concenuation of insiglt meditation is necessaiy to ieacl tle meie
stage of Sueam-winnei, aieciating and undeistanding wlat is
taught by the teacher is enough to gain this stage. These assertions
only seive to discouiage and dissuade tle iactice of concenuation
and insight meditation. It must be noted that these views are
groundless and are causing great disservice and harm to the spread
of tle iactical asect of Buddlism. It must be imly noted too tlat
believeis and followeis of sucl views will nd tle atl to nibbna
closed to them.
How the Other Four Monks Practised
Tle Veneiable Vaa and tle otlei blikklus of tle giou of ve
suove laid foi auainments by develoing witlin tlemselves tle
Noble Eigltfold Patl as tauglt in tle Dlammacakka Suua. Tle Patl
was developed, as described in detail earlier, by noting the phenom-
ena of seeing, hearing, etc., that are constantly occurring in oneself,
to comletely and iigltly comielend tle uutl of sueiing.
A meditator who begins noting incessantly the arising of mind and
mauei as it occuis, may be uoubled witl wandeiing tlouglts and
fantasies. Especially for the learned scepticism and doubts are liable
to arise. For some, unbearable pains will develop intensely in their
bodies. Objects of suange vision and signs may disuact tlem, giving
them high opinions of themselves (with wrong conclusions as to their
achievement). Some may hear whispering noises in their ears or get
demoralised through sloth and torpor. Progress may also be retarded
tliougl imbalance between faitl and wisdom, oi between concenua-
tion and eoit. In tle absence of concenuated eoit, one-ointedness
of mind may not evolve. At the stage of arising and passing away
wlen suange lenomena sucl as liglt, joy, bliss, and intense
mindfulness aeai, it is ohen noted tlat a meditatoi may ovei-
estimate lis oi lei aclievements. Wlen sucl disuactions, delements,
and diculties aiise in tle couise of meditation, it is necessaiy foi
the meditation teacher to give guidance and help to remove them. In
tle absence of a teaclei to guide and insuuct, tle meditatois eoits
at meditation may prove futile. That was why the Blessed One waited
224 A Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
in readiness without going out on almsround to give guidance while
tle ve monks weie engaged in suenuous meditation.
With such guidance and assistance, the Venerable Vappa gained
Sueam-winning ahei about a days eoit. Wlen le gained iealisation
of tle foui uutls, le became establisled in viitues and qualications
of having seen the Dhamma, etc. Knowing tle uutl eisonally, all
doubts about the teaching vanished. There came the courage of
conviction, ready to face any questioning concerning the teaching.
Having establisled lis eligibili[ tlus, le iequested tle Blessed One
to giant lim admission to tle Sagla, and tle Buddla acceded to
his request by the welcoming words of, Come, monk.
Tle Veneiable Bladdiya, Malnma, and Assaji also auained
Sueam-winning, and laving leh unceitain[ belind, gaining tle
courage of conviction in the Dhamma, requested ordination on the
second, third, and fourth waning days of July respectively, and the
Buddha ordained them by saying, Come, monk.
On tle hl waning day of July, tle Blessed One assembled tle
ve blikklus togetlei and tauglt tlem tle Anaualakklaa Suua.
At tlat time, wlile listening to tle discouise, all ve blikklus
contemlated on tle aggiegates of auaclment and develoed tle
atl of insiglt by viitue of wlicl tley all auained Aialantsli.
Six Arahants Including the Blessed One
The compilers of the First Great Council recorded in the Vinaya
Malvagga: At tle time (ahei tle Anaualakklaa Suua lad been
delivered) there were six Arahants (including the Buddha) in the
world (Tena kho pana samayena cha loke arahanto honti). This was a
really wonderful, and unprecedented event.
Let us now bring to a close this series of discourses on the Dhamma-
cakka Suua by keeing oui minds on tlese Veneiable Accomlisled
Ones, the six Arahants, and giving them our reverential homage.
We, the disciple of the Blessed One, bow with clasped hands
to pay our homage and adoration with a deep sense of
ieveience to tle Buddla togetlei witl tle giou of ve
blikklus, Aialants wlo laving eiadicated tle delements
lad become fully Accomlisled Ones, two tlousand ve
lundied and one yeais ago on tle hl waning day of July,
in the deer sanctuary, near Benares.
A Concluding Prayer 225
A Concluding Prayer
May all you good people in this audience, by virtue of having
given iesectful auention to tlis gieat discouise on tle Tuining of
tle Wleel of Dlamma (tle Dlammacakkaavauana Suua), wlicl
las been deliveied in detail on eiglt occasions, nom tle new-moon
day of September 1962 to the full-moon day of April 1963, be able to
avoid tle exuemely ielaxed atl of indulgence in sensual leasuies
as well as tle exuemely austeie atl of self-moitication, and by
developing the Middle Path , otherwise known as the Noble Eightfold
Patl, become accomlisled in eneuating insiglt (pari paivedha)
and higher knowledge (pari abhisamaya), fully and rightly
comielending tle uutl of sueiing.
May you abandon tle uutl of tle oiigin of sueiing, iealise tle
uutl of tle cessation of sueiing, and develo tle uutl of tle Patl
leading to tle cessation of sueiing, and veiy soon auain nibbna,
tle end of all sueiing.
Sdhu! Sdhu! Sdhu!
227
Index
A
absorption (jhna), 70, 71
absorption dwelling on
nothingness (kicayatana
jhna), 7
abstinences (virati), 58
access concentration (upacra
samdhi), 66, 126, 161
aggregate of attachment
to consciousness
(viupdnakkhandha), 101
to feeling
(vedanupdnakkhandha), 100
to form(rpupdnakkhandha),
100
to mental formations
(sakhrupdnakkhandha), 101
to perception
(saupdnakkhandha), 100
aggregates of attachment
(updnakkhandh), 87, 99-100,
103, 105, 106, 109-113
aging (jar), 94, 112
air element (vyo-dhtu), 48, 104,
177
analytical knowledge of mind and
matter (nmarpapariccheda-
a), 49, 73, 160
annihilationism(uccheda dihi),
147
annihilationist belief (uccheda
vda), 123
Anussatilna Sutta, 71
apparent suffering (pkata dukkha),
91
arisen defilements (pariyuhna
kiles), 125, 150
arisen unwholesome thoughts
(pariyuhna akusala), 62
Aiiyaaiiyesan Sutta, 4
association with the unloved
(appiyehi sampayogo), 113
attachment (updna), 110, 153
to rites and rituals
(slabbataparmsa), 50, 110
to sensual pleasures
(kmupdna), 110
to the soul-belief
(attavdupdna), 111
to wrong-view(dihupdna),
110
attainment of absorption (appan
jhna), 66
attention (manasikra), 101
attention to the elements (dhtu-
manasikrapabba), 67
B
basic path (mla magga), 76, 83, 161
becoming (kamma bhava), 183
being (satta), 148
birth (jti), 89, 112
bliss enjoyed in this very life.
(dihadhamma nibbna vda), 33
Bodliijakumia Sutta, 4
body contemplation
(kynupassan), 48
Bialmyu Sutta, 209
Buddhist Council (Sagyana), 2
C
Cameyya tle Nga king, 115
cessation (nirodha), 152, 155, 168
collections (nikya), 65
Come, monk (ehi bhikkhu), 219
concealed suffering (paicchanna
dukkha), 89, 90
concentration (samdhi), 34, 57
concentration for insight
(vipassan samdhi), 72
concept (paatti), 108, 207
conception (paisandhi), 88
228 Index
conception in a womb
(gabbhaseyyaka paisandhi), 88
conception in moisture
(sasedaja), 88
consciousness (via), 52, 153
accompanied by doubt
(vicikicchsahagatta), 210
connected with wrong-view
(dihigatasampayutta), 210
contact (phassa), 101, 107, 150, 153
contemplation of the body
(kynupassan satipahna), 66
covetousness (abhijjh), 64
craving for existence (bhava tah),
114, 146, 147, 182
craving for non-existence (vibhava
tah), 114, 147, 182
craving for sensual pleasure
(kmatah), 115
Cailulovda Sutta, 209
Catalsaklaya Sutta, 159
cycle of defilements (kiles vaa),
168, 210
cycle of existence (vaa), 157
cycle of kamma (kamma vaa),
168, 210
cycle of results (vipka vaa), 168,
210
D
decease thought-process
(maraasanna-javana), 122
defilements lying dormant in
oneself (santnnusaya), 186
defilements lying dormant in the
sense-object (rammaanusaya-
kiles), 51
delusion (moha), 32, 152, 197
demeritorious wrong-view
(duccarita micchdihi), 75
derived elements (upda rpa), 48
despair (upysa), 86, 97, 112
devoid of lust (virga), 157
direct suffering (nippariyya
dukkha), 89, 91
discarding (pahyati), 152
disease (bydhi), 86, 96
disenchantment (analayo), 152
dispel by abandoning
(vikkhambhana pahna), 125
doubt (vicikicch), 52, 144, 208
dread (ottappa), 134
dust-free (viraja), 208
E
earth element (pathav-dhtu), 104,
177
Eight Precepts with Right
Livelihood as the Eighth
(jvahamaka sla), 61
element of motion (vyo-dhtu), 77,
See also aii element (vyo-dltu)
emancipation (mutti), 152
escape from the cycle of existence
(vivaa), 157
eternalism(sassata dihi), 146, 147,
170
extinction (nirodha), See cessation
(nirodha)
extinguishing (nirujjhati), 152
eye of Dhamma (Dhammacakkhu),
206-211, 219, 220
F
feeling (vedan), 153
fine material existence
(rpabhava), 184
fine material realms (rpa loka),
153
fire element (tejo-dhtu), 104, 177
five workers (kraka maggaga), 82
five working factors (pacasu
krakagesu), 165
formless realms (arpa loka), 153
fortunate abode (sugati), 63, 169
Index 229
four right exertions
(sammappadhna), 63
friend (vuso), 26
fruition knowledge (phala-a),
49
full and right understanding
(pari), 170
full comprehension by
abandoning (pahnbhisamaya),
52
full comprehension by
development
(bhvanbhisamaya), 53
G
gives rise to fresh rebirth
(ponobbhavik), 116, 121, 123
going forth (pabbajja), 214, 220
government official (issarakula),
126
Gradual Sayings
(Aguttaranikya), 34
grief (soka), 86, 95, 97, 112
H
happiness (sukha), 70
having seen the Dhamma
(dihadhammo), 214
higher knowledge (pari
abhisamaya), 158, 225
horse-merchant (assavija), 126
I
ignoble quest (anariypariyesan),
5
ignorance (avijj), 52, 62, 145, 152,
197
immaterial existence (arpabhava),
184
impulsion consciousness (javana),
183
indirect suffering (pariyya
dukkha), 89, 91
individuals who need to practice
under guidance (neyya), 223
infinite conqueror (anantajino), 25
initial application (vitakka), 70, 107
insight as to abandoning (pahna-
paivedha), 168
insight as to cessation by
realisation (sacchikiriy
paivedha), 168
insight as to development
(bhvan paivedha), 168
insight through abandoning
(pahna paivedha), 169
insight through development
(bhvan paivedha), 169
intention (cetan), 107
invitation (pavra), 56
J
Jlna Sutta, 78
joy (pti), 70-71, 207, 217
K
kamma-forming consciousness
(abhisakhra via), 122, 149,
183
Khandha Sutta, 177
knower (rammaika), 167
knower (nma), See mind (nma)
knowledge by development
(bhvan paivedha), 192, 196
knowledge by discerning
conditionality (paccayapariggaha-
a), 160
knowledge of achievement (kata
a), 180-181, 188, 196
knowledge of adaptation
(anuloma-a), 49, 157
knowledge of arising and passing
away (udayabbaya-a), 22, 209
knowledge of dissolution (bhaga-
a), 49
230 Index
knowledge of equanimity about
formations (sakhrupekkh-
a), 49, 190, 209
knowledge of previous existences
(jtissara-a), 127
knowledge of the duty (kicca
a), 178, 180, 188, 190, 196
knowledge of the Noble Path
(ariya magga a), 47, 53
knowledge of the truth (sacc
a), 180, 184, 191
knowledge that sees reality as it is
(yathbhta-a), 199
known (rpa), See mattei (ia)
L
lamentation (parideva), 86, 96, 97,
112
lapis lazuli (veuriya), 163
latent defilements (anusaya kiles),
58, 186
latent in sense-objects
(rammaanusaya), 150, 186
latent unwholesome states
(anusaya akusala), 62
leads to peace (upasamya
savattati), 52
league (yojana), 24
learning (sutamayapa), 51, 160
liberation by cutting-off
(samuccheda vimutti), 202
liberation by tranquillising
(paippassaddhi vimutti), 202
life-continuum consciousness
(bhavaga), 123
loss of health (rogabyasana), 95
loss of morality (slabyasana), 95
loss of property (bhogabyasana), 95
loss of relatives (tibyasana), 95
loss of right-view(dihibyasana), 95
loving-kindness meditation (mett
bhvan), 83
lower realms (apya), 88, 153
lust (rga), 208
lust for formless realms (arpa
rga), 170
lust for the realms of form(rpa
rga), 169
M
Malgosiga Sutta, 41
Malsaccaka Sutta, 4, 19
Malsakuludyi Sutta, 163
Malsyatanika Sutta, 165
man of property (kuumbika), 126
matter (rpa), 46
maturity knowledge (gotrabh-
a), 49, 157
meditation on compassion (karu
bhvan), 83
mental concomitants (cetasik), 58,
99
mental exertion (cetasik viriya),
133
mental formations (sakhr), 52,
107, 153
mental pleasure (cetasik sukha), 89
meritorious right-view(sucarita
sammdihi), 75
mind (citta), 107
mind (nma), 46, 77, 105, 215
mind and matter (nmarpa), 153
mindfulness of respiration
(npnasati), 66, 162
miscellaneous mental formations
(pakiaka sakhr), 79
momentary concentration for
insight (vipassan khaika
samdhi), 67, 81, 162
momentary unification of the
mind (khaikacittekaggat), 67
morality (sla), 34, 57, 161
mundane (lokiya), 71
Index 231
N
natural sufficing conditions
(pakatupanissaya), 209
neutral feeling (upekkh vedan),
90, 106
Noble Path (ariya magga), 76, 83
noble search (ariypariyesan), 5
Non-returner, 52
Not getting what one wants
(yampiccha na labhati), 113
O
object (rammaa), 167
Omniscience (sabbauta a), 86,
198
Once-returner (sakadgmi), 26, 52
one whose vehicle is pure insight
(vipassan ynika), 73, 80
one whose vehicle is tranquillity
(samatha ynika), 80
one-pointedness (ekaggat), 70
ordination (upasampada), 214,
218, 220
oviparous conception (aaja
paisandhi), 88
P
Pabbajj Sutta, 4
Padlna Sutta, 4
Psdika Sutta, 35
atl factoi (maggaga)
of Right Concentration (samm
samdhi), 81
of Right Effort (samm vyama),
81
of Right Mindfulness (samm
sati), 81
of Right Speech (samm vc), 59
of Right Thought (samm
sakappa), 82
of Right View(samm dihi), 81
path factors
of concentration (samdhi
maggaga), 58
of morality (sla maggaga), 57
of wisdom(pa maggaga), 58
path knowledge (magga-a), 49
path of insight (vipassan magga),
132, 193, 211
Palamablava Sutta, 122
patience (khant), 41
Paisamblidmagga, 38, 174-176,
208
peace (upasamya), 49
penetrating insight (pari
paivedha), 225
penetrative insight (paivedha), 180
penetrative insight by abandoning
(pahna paivedha), 189, 196
penetrative insight by realisation
(sacchikiriy paivedha), 190, 196
penetrative knowledge (paivedha),
158
perception (sa), 107
perfections (pram), 65, 116, 130,
204
person accomplished in mantras
(vijjadhra), 175
personality-view(sakkya-dihi),
52, 144
phenomena (dhamma), 112
physical exertion (kyika viriya),
133
physical pain (dukkha vedan), 105
physical pleasure (kya sukha), 89
pleasant feeling (somanassa), 106
practice of the religion (paipatti
ssana), 159
preceptor (upajjhya), 129
preliminary path (pubbabhga
magga), 44, 76, 83, 132, 167, 192,
193, 211
priest (brhmaa), 199
probation (parivsa), 76
232 Index
Purification of Conduct (sla
visuddhi), 56
Purification of Mind (citta
visuddhi), 56
Purification of View(dihi
visuddhi), 56
Q
Queen Ubbai, 116
R
Rains Retreat (vassa), 56, 129
realm of neither perception nor
non-perception,
(nevasansayatana), 23
rebirth-consciousness (paisandhi
via), 122
recluse (samaa), 199, 218
rehabilitation (mnatta), 76
rejection (painissaggo), 152
re-linking consciousness
(paisandhi via), 123
relinquishing (cgo), 152
restraint (savara), 37, 41
Right Action (Samm Kammant),
57, 59
Right Concentration (Samm
Samdhi), 57
Right Effort (Samm Vyama), 57,
61
Right Livelihood (Samm jva),
57, 60
Right Mindfulness (Samm Sati),
57, 64, 66
Right Speech (Samm Vc), 57, 58
Right Thought (Samm Sakappa),
57, 82
Right View(Samm Dihi), 57, 73
right-view(samm-dihi), 53, 193
right-view about ownership of
kamma (kammassakat
sammdihi), 74
right-view of absorption (jhna
sammdihi), 74
right-view of insight (vipassan
sammdihi), 68, 74, 135, 165
right-view of reviewing
(paccavekkhaa sammdihi), 74
right-view of the Fruit (phala
sammdihi), 74
right-view of the Path (magga
sammdihi), 74
royal family (rjakula), 126
S
Sabbsava Sutta, 42
Smaalala Sutta, 163
Sagiava Sutta, 4
section on clear comprehension
(sampajnapabba), 68
section on postures
(iriypathapabba), 68
self (atta), 148
self as the doer (kraka atta), 107
self-mortification (attakilamathnu-
yoga), 16, 17, 21, 30, 36-45, 50, 173
self-view(attadihi), 110, 111
sensitive body base (kya-pasda
rpa), 104
sensual craving (kma tah), 182
sensual indulgence
(sukhalliknuyogo), 35
separation from loved ones (piyehi
vippayogo), 113
shame (hir), 134
ship-owner (nvika), 126
sign of destiny (gati-nimitta), 122,
140
sign of kamma (kamma-nimitta),
122
six-senses (sayatana), 153
something that should be given
up (pahtabba dhamma), 185
sorrow(domanassa), 64, 86, 97, 112
Index 233
soul (atta), 32
spontaneous rebirth (opaptika), 88
stainless (vtamala), 208
Subcommentary (k), 11, 67, 84-
86, 108, 157, 159, 182, 206, 208
suffering of change (viparima-
dukkha), 89, 90, 109
suffering of conditioned states
(sakhra-dukkha), 89, 90, 110
suffering of pain (dukkha-dukkha),
89, 91, 109
Suklumla Sutta, 4
supernormal powers (abhi),
117
suppression (vikkhambhana), 202
supramundane (lokuttara), 71
sustained application (vicra), 70
T
taints (sava), 42
temporary abandonment (tadaga
pahna), 197
temporary cessation (tadaga
nirodha), 197
thought of non-cruelty (avihis
sakappa), 82
thought of non-violence (abypda
sakappa), 82
thought of renunciation
(nekkhamma sakappa), 82
tranquility meditation (samatha
kammahna), 72
true realisation (pari paivedha),
169, 181, 196
truth of cessation (nirodha sacc),
87, 114, 151, 180, 189, 190
truth of suffering (dukkha sacc),
84, 87, 114, 151
truth of the origin (samudaya-
sacc), 87, 114, 137, 151
truth of the path (magga sacc), 87,
114, 136, 151, 171, 191
two codes (dve mtik), 129
U
ultimate realities (paramattha
dhamm), 207
unconcealed suffering (apaic-
channa dukkha), 89
unpleasant feeling (domanassa
vedan), 95
unwholesome deeds committed
(vitikkama akusala), 62
V
Venerable Assaji, 159, 219-222, 224
Venerable Bhaddiya, 219-222, 224
Veneiable Malnma, 219, 221,
222
Venerable sir (bhante), 28
Venerable Vappa, 219-224
Visuddhimagga, 51, 59, 67, 68, 71,
84, 159, 163, 208
Visuddlimagga Mal k, 73
Vitakkasalna Sutta, 12
vitality (jvita), 94
viviparous conception (jalbuja
paisandhi), 88
volition (cetan), 100
volitional actions (sakhr), See
mental foimations (saklia)
W
water element (po-dhtu), 177
wisdom(pa)., 34, 57, 175
worldling (puthujjana), 32
Wrong Action (micch-kammant),
59
Wrong Livelihood (micch-jva),
60, 167
Wrong Speech (micch-vc), 58-
60, 167
Wrong View(micch-dihi), 75,
208