Published by

MRS. H. M. GUNESEKERA FUND 17/1. Bagatalle Road, Colombo 3.





(A Guide For Buddhist Insight Meditators)

This gift of Dhamma is organized in order 10 g-ve Il-~ reader or student of Buddhism, or those who are already practising Buddhist Insight Meditation, a deep intellec ual ; nsight (hopefully to be expanded to direct inturive expenencej into the fundamental elements on which the Buddha's teachings (The Dharnma) center and focus. For any correct Buddhist meditation to develop, a good understanding of these basic principles is necessary. The meditation exercise at the end will be a helpful guide or reminder for anyone desiring to make a start in Buddhist meditation.

This small book is not however, a complete coverage of the Buddha's teachings. I urge the reader to acquire scrne additional knowledge concerning the Noble Eightfold Path. the Dependent Origination, the Five Hinderances etc. This can be obtained from Publications of the Buddhist Publication Society, Kandy, Sri Lanka. P.O. Box 61. Please write to them for a complete list of their publications which include all aspects of the Buddha's life and teachings.

Most of the Buddha's discourses used," this work are taken from the English Translation Series of the Pah Text Society, London, whom I want to thank for their kind permission to freely use this material. I also want to thank Mrs. Nina Van Gorkham of Holland who has allowed me to include material from some of her works, which work ... are listed at the end. Also I would like to thank all the kind people who helped in the typing of the manuscripts and n other ways, and those who made this financially possible for free distribution.

\tal the ~nrril accrued from such :1 work heing put i!l:lh~~ 10,1 h'l'll distr ihutcd, be shared wuh all fellow 'nllcut h,'lllt, ,. \1,1\ il help those who arc ready, 10 pUI au ,'IlJ h' ,Ill slIlI<rIllS and to attain and nhidc in the highes: [,lc ,IllS, :-, 1118\ ~ \,

:\n\".n r. UFl,\GC; RE WELL. SAFE ANn HAPPY!I!

\ oga'~lcnra Riihula Gothama Tapovanaya S,i Lanka

April 197i'.

Abbreviations used nrc: S.-Sanyutta-Nikaya; M.-Ma.iihimaNikaya ; V.-Visuddhimagga (Bhikkhu Nanamoli's translation, Third Edition, Buddhist Pub. Soc.)




'Buddhi' in Sanskrit mean> (he 'pure intellect', ttlc 1I:'cllect which is free from the influence the emotions, 0 that no biased or prejudiced observaticns Or deductions are construed. The minds of most people operate under aU types of biases and prejudices so (hat all their perceptrons and thoughts are tainted and conditioned to habituate m set patterns, so that they never really can perceive things ID their true nature and their power of minds remains limited and confined. The one who was called the 'Buddha' "as one who had freed his power of intellect from all ccndiuoned biasing factors so as to bring his power of intellection to the highest possible degree. From this point he was able to develop his insight into discerning how the mind and bedy work and to see the why and wherefore of the mind and body and all the phenomena which are related to it. In consequence, he was able to perceive the why and wherefore of all conditioned existence. By seeing the root causes of all physical and mental phenomena he was able to control and alter those root causes to bring about an) type of change which he desired. In other words, he mastered control over his mind and was thus able to consciously direct and control all his mental and bodily acuviries so as to produce the desired beneficial effects. 1 hrough his perfect insight he saw the complete cycle of cause and effect (the law of Karma) as it pertains to elements of mind and mailer and directly experienced how it operates. Therefore, by gaining mastery and control mer the root causes in his mind hewas able to produce the results he "anted.

The Buddha saw that the root cause for the suffcrrng and unhappiness which living beings experience in their lives is rooted in their own mind. By acquiring control o'er the operation of the mind, a person could alter, eliminate and destroy those root causes which bring misery, sorrow and frustration in his life. He could create and develop otber root causes and make them firmly planted ill the mind. Till>


would bnng hun t" cxrcncuce the end \If ;111 ;O!T\lW allu COli. fusion ,111'\ hnng ,lh"111 a suuc of permanent calm and happiness III the mind. 1,1< then would be free from "II doubts regrets, remorse, anxiety and restless ness etc. which uisturb a person's well-being.

Tills" c"\;\,<."tly the practice and teaching which 'The Awakened One, the Buddha, first discovered for himself and then cxplamcd and methodically set out to the world.

The Buddha was the Great Physician, the Great Doctor of the mind who cured his mind of the great disease and malady the 'sclf-l-conceit", which was in his mind. He was als~ able to expound and describe i ~ detail the method by which any person .~ould cure his mind of that great disease, the great afr'[iction called 'Ego' and all lhe attendant sorrow pam and confusion which inevitably accompanies such ~ disease. So, an appropriate title for those teachings which arc called 'Buddhism' could well be termed 'The Way 10 Peace and Happiness m One's Life'.

The Buddha was born the son of a king with all the attendant luxuries of life etc., but he abandoned them all in order to seek the Noble Quest as described by him in the Ariyapariyesanasuua,


"These, monks, are the two quests: the noble quest and the Ignoble quesl. And what, monks, is the ignoble quest? As to this, monks, someone himself being liable (0 birth, old age, decay, death, sorrow and stain, he seeks wbat IS likewise liable to birth, death, etc.

"And what, monks, would you say is liable 10 birth, old age, decay, death, sorrow and stain? Sons and wife monks arc liable to these conditions. Women-slaves, me;,-slaves: g\)ats~ sheep, ~ocks, swine, cows, elephants, horses, gold, and silver are liable to these conditions; yet this man being enslaved, Infatuated. addicted, himself being liable to birth and the rest, he seeks what is likewise liable 10 these things.


"And what, monks, j~ the noble quelt? As 10 Ih.s, someone, himself being liable to birth, old age, decay, deatb, sorrow and slain, but having seen the peril in what is Jike1o. e liable to these things, he seeks the Unborn, the uuermos; security from the bonds - Nibbiina. This, monks, .s Ihe noble quest.

"And I 100, monks, before my 'Awakening', while I was still a Bodhisatta, not fully 'Enlightened', being myself liable to birth and the rest, I also sought what WaS likewise liable to those conditions. Then it occurred to me: "Why do I, liable to birth, disease, old age, decay, death and slain, myself seek what is likewise liable to these Ihmgs? Suppose that I although bei ng myself liable to birth and the rest, having seen the peril in what is likewise liable to those things, should seek the Unborn, Permanent, the uttermost sccunty from the bonds - Nibbiina.'

"Then I, monks, being a quester for what is good, sear~hing for the incomparable, matchless path to. peace, walk;~g on tour through Magadha, 111 due course arrived at Uravela, the camp township. There I saw a delightful stretch of land and a lovely woodland grove, and a clear flowing nver with a delightful 'ford, a vilJage for support nearby. It occurred to me, monks: 'Indeed, it is a delightful stretch ofland, and the woodland grove is lovely, and the river Flows clear with a delightful ford, and there IS a village for support nearby. Indeed this does well for the strrvmg of a young man set 011 striving.' So, I, monks, sat down Just there, thinking: 'Ind~ed this does well for striving.'

"So, I, monks, beingmyselfliable to birth, old age, disease, decay, death, sorrow and stain, having seen the peril in what is liable 10 these conditions, seeking the Unborn, Permanent, the-uttermost security from the bonds - Nibbana, won tbe Unborn _ Nibbana. Knowledge and vision aT"S. in me: 'unshakable is' freedom for me, this is the last birth, there is not now again-becoming'."



Tile word 'meditation' has been used to describe many different methods and techniques of concentrating and contemplating in order to achieve a certain type of experience or result. In this book the term 'meditation' is used mainly in the framework of Buddhist thought. Meditation is a practice which involves mental development or training in a certain direction which leads to purification of the mind of many and eventually all of the elements and ideas which are the cause or source of all personal mental grief, worries and sufferings which contribute generally to most of the ill conditions of the world which we have to experience as a result thereof. As the Buddha has said in the first two verses of the Dhammapada:

"All conditions proceed from the' mind;

The mind is their source, they are mind-made; If cne acts or speaks with an evil mind,

Then ill effects will follow, just as the wheel of the cart Follows the hoof of the ox that pulls it.

And if one speaks or acts with a pure wholesome mind, Then happiness and ease follow that person

Just as his shadow which never leaves him."

What are these factors and sources in the mind from which the suffering, pain and ill conditions in our lives arise? The Buddha has explained that it is because of our greed and desire to 'BE', our thirst after the objects of sense gratification, and the false notion of a permanent 'Self' or 'Soul' or individual 'I' which experiences the objects in the world as being separate and distinct [rom itself. In reality this notion of '1' is only an illusive and delusive concept which has attached itself to the consciousness like a parasite due to ignorance. This erroneous notion of 'I' is itself the generating motive for the continuance of our desire and thirst to go on living to experience the objects of the world.

When the notion of an individual 'Self' or '1' is eliminated from one's consciousness through proper insight and under-


standing, then the desires and attachments (0 thll1g.~, the thint after selfish living, the will-to-llvc and assert oneself, and the actions which follow in the wake of such thoughts and desires, arc gradually reduced, cut away and cventua.Iy eliminated permanently from the mind. As another verse by tile Buddha aptly puts it:

"Little by little, one by one, as time goes by, Gradually let the wise in his mind

Remove his own impurities as the Smith blows away The blemishes of gold which mar its purity."


When the mi nd is free from those sources and conditions from which spring the sorrow, pain and restless confusion in one's life, then what remains is a state of Peace, calmness and happiness which is grounded on Wisdom and understanding. This mind cannot be shaken or disturbed to any extent nor can mental unrest or agitation, be caused by any of the passing vicissitudes of life.

The application or direction of thought in the system of Buddhist Meditation is aimed at bringing aboutthepurificating of the mind by freeing it of those conditions which produce 'ILL'. Meditation is the practice offirst, indirectly by means of applied thought, seeingi nto the workings, (the comings and goings) of the mind and body during the processes of sense reception, perception, thought formation or conceptualization and the manifestation of outward action by the body, which only acts by the dictates of the mind, without geltingpersonally involved, attached, or identified (which is possible), and to view the whole show or processes of mind their various manifcsratious as being just an impermanent, fleeting, continuous series 'of conditioned phenomena without an) permancut entity or 'Soul' which is directing or experiencing any of the occurrences. Secondly, by detaching the mind from reacting to all of the sense experiences and eliminating by Insight-Wisdom the delusive notion or feeling of a separate 'I' who is experiencing, the mind gradually quits reacting to external sensory stimuli, the Ego-feeling fades away and a


state llf \\I\l.hft~H.'1\lialing.1I1\\milling, selfless cUJ\sciOUSJ)C~flIS experienced. This dirc~t personal experience of the mind's umnflucuccd naturc is intuitive proof that what we think as a 'Self who is cxpcricncmg' is only a delusive reflexive-like notion. There is no individual 'Self' or 'I' who experiences the activities of mind and body. There are only conditioned menial and physical activity roiling on and on ad infinitum. The,' arc all impermanent, conditionally arising and without a permanent, unchanging. substantial SOli I or governing factor, and they arc the source from which arises this whole complicated, mysterious thing called life with all of its entailing trials and tribulations.

Now one might ask, well, what good is there by arriving at this view? Thc answer is that this will be the impetus for actually starling the disentanglement process from this whole affair and the elimination of many of one's worries, anxieties, selfwrought pain and discomfort which one experiences. The meditator will stop doing all the unnecessary things in life which only add to the involvement and bondage to his body and mind because he will understand how it is all kept going by the actions which he presently is doing. These present actions are based on his previously done actions and the future actions he will take will be conditioned by the habits which he is now practising. So, by eliminating the unwholesome, selfish, greedy and unnecessary actions ill OIlC'S life, he will be paving the way for a calmer, smoother flowing life in the future. This is accomplished by practising the Noble Eightfold Path laid out by the 'Awakened Onc' for this purpose.

The task of eliminating the factors of the mind which keep one involved and fettered has to. be taken up by each person for himself. No one else can do the purifying of another's mind, as is stated in another verse from the Dharnmapada:


"It's by oneself lilal evil deeds arc done.

One makes oneself corrupt.

By oneself is evil left undone.

It's by oneself that one is purified. Purity and impurity on oneself depend. No one can others purify."

And another verse:

"It's Karma which makes the world go round.

Karma keeps moving on the lives of men. All beings to Karma are bound.

As a linch-pin to the chariot wheel."

As all this points out, it is up to each person to start the process of disentangling and freeing his mind from the bondages of his past actions (Karma) and this can only be started and successfully completed when one bas the proper detached altitude lowards the body and mind and the objectified world.



He Buddha set f,'rth in nis teachings w hlch arc collect iHI\' called the Dhamma. that which he directly perceived .10.1 experienced to be true and common to all living beings. He has explained his discoveries and teaching' in the Four .\'oblt- Truths termed 'Noble' because, if understood and practised to the full. they lead one to experience and live In a purified state of mind, a state .of unsurpassed peace and happiness which none of the passmg vicissitudes of life can disrupt.

The follow Ing arc some of the Awakened One's own discourses which set it forth, and which will be detailed in the later parts of t lus book.

"Monk s , there arc these Four Noble Truths : . The Noble Truth of Suffering; the Noble Truth of the arrsmg of Sutfering ; the Noble Truth of the ending of Suflcring ; and the Noble Truth of the way (to think and live) which leads to the ending of suffering. .

"And what monks, IS the Noble Truth of Suffering?

Birth, ageing, 'sickness, pai.n,. sorrO'~.\·, lanle~ltatic.I1, grief. despair and death are Suffering. Not geUmg, what one desires and corning into contact with the ,undeslrcd IS Suffcring , In short, it is the five Aggregates of clinging-to (or grasping after). What arc the five factors?

"All forms or material shapes (matter, which includes the physical body of man and animal), whether it be past, present or future, internal or external (to one's bod~), gross or subtle, inferior or superror, far or ncar, - that IS called tbe Aggregate of form (Rupa),

"Every feeling or sensation (Vedana), be it past, prcse'.'t or future, Internal or external, gross or subtle, - that IS called the Aggregate of feeling.

"Every perception (Saii/iii), be it past, present or future - that is called the Aggregate of perception.



"Every mental formation or activity (S3nkharli), be It past, present or future -thlttS~ll1ed the Angregate (,frnental act jVIIIC~.

"Every (act of) consciousness (Viiliilina), be it past, present or future - that is called the aggregate of COr.s~IOU" ness.

"These five, monks, are called the five aggregates of clinging. This is the Noble Truth of Suffering.

"And what, monks, is the Noble Truth of the arlSl~g of Suffering? It is that craving that leads 10 continued rebirth, suffering, pain, ctc., along with the lure and the desire that lingers longingly now here; now there; namely, the craving for sensual delight (the delight for forms, feelings percept ions, mental-formations and consciousness), the craving to be reborn (wishing to exist forever), the cravrng r,lr life to end (for cg. suicide). This is the Noble Truth of the arising (and continuation) of Suffering.

"And what, monks, is the Noble Truth of the or ceasing of Suffering ? It is the utter passionless cessanon of, the giving up, the forsaking, the release from, the absence of desire for tltis craving (for the five factors of clinging). This is the Noble Truth of the ending of Suffering.

"And what, monks, is the Noble Truth of the practice (the way of life) that leads to the ending of Suffering? It is this Noble (Ariyan) Eightfold Path, to wit: Right View (Understanding), Right Thought (Aspiration), Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Mental-composure (Concentration). This is the Noble Truth about the practice that leads to the ending of Suffering.

"These, monks, are the Four Noble Truths. Wherefore an effort must be made to realize (by meditation): This IS Suffering; This is the arising (and continuation) of Suffering ; This is the cessation of Suffering; This is the way leading t" the cessation of Suffering." (Sanyutta Nikkaya),

As stated above, the "hie Truth of'Dukkha or Suffering l' quire evident as far as old age, decay, sickness, sorrow, lamentation. grief. despair. confusion and death arc concerned. But how tI" these Five aggregates of clinging, which the Buddha mentions. relate to being the Dukkha or Suffering 11 self') These Iive aggregates or elements of mind and matter comprise the body and mind of living beings and based on these five 'factors-of-existence' arise all forms of physical and mental phenomena which exist in the world.

These five elements of material and mental phenomena which the Awakened One has elaborately detailed as being inflamed and bound-up with Suffering are themselves the things whicn are involved and undergo birth, old age, sickness, d,sarp-'aran&!, pain, frustration, confusion, instability and death. The Buddha discerned with his perfected insightwisdom that these very five 'elements of a being' are what living beings attach themslves and identify themselves with regarding them as 'mine', 'myself' or 'my soul'. It is from adhering to and identifying these mental and material phenomena as being one's 'Self' or 'Soul', or being contained some-where therein, that the delusive notion of an existence of a permanent entity or 'person' to whom these things belong, has sprung.

These five elements of mind and matter which constitute a being and which are involved in each act of sensory-perception are here further detailed. The first aggregate is the material factor or that of form (Riipa Kha ndha). This consists of all forms or material shapes which are the objects of sense-cognition, (including one's own body) whether they are internal in one's own body or external (another person's body, or material objects, sounds, odours, flavours, any sense stimulus whatsoever). All forms arc compounded and derived (evolved) from these four primary clements or modes of matter, to wit: the solid element, which is experienced as being solid (hard or soft) and having extension in space the heating. element, which is experienced as different ranges in temperature; the liquid element, which is experienced as being fluid or of a liquid nature, the air element, which is


experienced as motion and pressure. These four primary elements arc also the constituents of the human 1Jo<'\,. and the various ways in which they combine, produce the various parts of the body with their peculiar charac'erisncs .. nd functions of maintaining bodily life. All four elements are inherent in each manifestation of matter, but one usually predominates over the others so the object is said to be or exhibit that particular characteristic.

The following is a part of a discourse by the Buddha to his only son Riihula describing these elements which make up all matter.

Solid element: "Whatever, Rahula, pertains to oneself as an individual is hard, of a solid nature, and a product of grasping and clinging as, for example, hair of the head, hair 0[' the body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, kidneys, heart, liver, diaphrarn, spleen, lungs, stomach, intestines. excrement, or anything else whatsoever pertaining to oneself as an individual, that is hard, ora solid nature, and a product of grasping: this is called the internal element of Earth (solid). But even this personal earthy eiement, as well as the external earthy element (solidity things) are merely the clement of solididity."


Liquid element: "Whatever pertains to oneself as an individual, is liquid, ofa fluid nature, and a product of' grasping as, for example, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, lymph. tears serum, saliva, nasal mucous, synovial Fluid, urme, or anytl~i ng else whatsoever pertaining to oneselfas an individual, that is liquid, of a fluid nature, and a product of grasping: this is called the internal element of water. But even this internal watery element, as well as the external watery clement, is merely the element of fluidity."

Fire or Heat element: "Whatever pertains to oneself as an individual, is hot, of a fiery nature, and a product of grasping as, for example, that whereby there is detcf!Oration. whereby there is intense burning, whereby what I~ eaten, drunk, chewed and tasted, is weU digested, or any tiling else


whatsoever pertaining to oneself that is hot, of a fiery nature and 9 product of grasping: this is called t he internal elemeni of Irrc, But even this internal fiery clement, as well as the e: tcrnal flcQ clement, is merely the clement of fire or hen I.'

. Air element: "Whatever in oneself is gaseous, or an ali?: n~turc, and a product. of grasping as, for example, ascending and descending aITS, the vapours in the abdomen and bowels, inhalation and exhalation, or anything else whatsoever pertuunng to oneself as an individual, that is gaseous, of an airy nature, and a product of grasping: this "called the Internal clement of air. But even this internal air clement, as well as the cxtenal air clement, is merely the clement of air or motion.

Space element: "Whatever in oneself is void, of an empty and hollow nature and a product of clinging (indentifymg oneself WIth It) as, for example, the cavities of the ear, nose and mouth; or the stomach, the inside of the intestines or the bowel, or anything else in the body that is void, hollow, of an cmpty nature and a product of c'inging: this is called the Internal element of space. But even this internal element of space, as well as the external of space (such as the inside of an air-Filled ball, the enclosed space in a house or the area inside a c.up, etc.) is merely the element of space.' These five elements, In accordance with fact and with perfect insight, should be regarded thus: 'This is not mine' this am I not· this is not myself'." (M.62). ' ,

In other words, whenever a person feels the elements of solid, liquid, heat or cold, motion, or space in, his own body, he Immediately thinks about it as belonging to and affecting him. Therefore, It does come to affect hun (such as pain) and thus disturb hIS mind, But rather the person should just regard those feelings as just being those elements or modes of behaviour and nothing more. He should not think and conceive them as pertaining to himself. If he docs insist on clinging to these modes of behaviour of matter and conceive them as pertaining to himself, belonging to 'his body', then he WIll have to suffer whatever the consequences (such


as pai~ ctc.) which they wrought. Knowing this, having seen WIth "erfect i nsi!lht that such is the case, a wise person becomes disgusted with these elements and he detaches his mind from them, he become, free from their overwhelming influence.

The second group of grasped-after and clung-to phenomena IS Vedana Khanda, the group or factor of feelings or sensations that arise and pass away in the body and mind, whether pleasant, painful or neutral, gross or subtle, internal in one's own body and mind or external (happening in someone else's experience).

. "Brethren, there are these six seats of feeling: feeling that IS born of contact with the eye; feeling that is born of contact with the ear, or the nose, or the tongue: feeling that is born of contact with the body (skin); and feeling which is born of contact with mental objects. That is called feeling. From the arising of contact is the arising of feeling, from the ceasinz of ,contact is the ccasng of feeling." (, 56). -

These feelings and sensations are only conditioned m.nd produced mental reactions arising on account of sensory contact. It is these feelings and sensations which are constantly arising and vanishing in the bcdy and mind which cause or condition the craving and attachment for certain objects. the hatred of and aversion to other objects and neutral, indifferent reactions to certain other objects. They are all due to previous mental conditioning and habit-reflex. Most untaught folk think it is the object itself which they desire and crave, but when seen closely, it is actually the conditioned habit-reflex of feel ing or sensation which the object stimulated the mind to re-create. So, it is this mental feeling which is reacted to and not just the object itself.

We must understand these feelings and sensations which continually arise and pass away through the bcdy and mind and see how really they are the main thing which keeps the mind whirling on its continual quest for sensual gratification grasping first one sensation, letting it go, grasping another,


and so on like a monkey swinging through the thick forest gf'J$I'IUS (Inc branch, letting it go, grasping another, and ,(I he moves swiftly" along. We must develop an altitude of detachment lind equanimity to these sensations, knowing that they are impermanent, unstable, and conditionallyariscn, They are not our own possession and they are the source of most of our frustration and pain. Not being able to have the pleasant sensations at OUT will and being subjected to the unpleasant sensations which is also not within our control cause pain. They are completely without any self-nature and beyond our governing power, and OUf desire and aversion to them is the reason for our misery, unhappiness, and confusion in life.

"The body is like a skinned cow, wherever she stands, she will be subject to ceaseless attacks by the insects and other creatures living in the vicinity, just as a man is helplessly exposed to constant excitation and irritation of sensory impingement, crowding upon him from all sides, through all six senses." I(See last page for numbered references).

The third group of grasped-after phenomena is called Sannii-Khandha, which consists of the perceptions or recognitions of sensory stimuli which arise and pass out of the mind. These are perceptions of visible objects, sounds, smells, tastes, bodily touch, sensations and mental objects (hallucinations, dreams, thoughts, moods, etc.) whether gross or subtle, internal or external, far or near. Perceptions are 'marks' or recognition of a thing or the memory of a thing as it is normally pictured. These perceptions are also only conditioned mental reactions or reflexes, conditioned to arise on account of sensory contact, just like the feelings and sensations, since 'what one feels, that one perceives'.

The fourth group of conditioned phenomena is SonkhariiKhandha, which consists of the menta) formations and activilies which the mind creates and involves itself in, towards object, come into contact with. These mental activities are similar to habitual reflexive-like tendencies which the mind spontaneously produces upon contact with a particular object


of the senses and also they include the newly formed VOlilioT.J and other conditioned activities of mind. This aggregate of Sankharas serves as the source from which all OUT thoughts and bodily activities are deriv.ed. These mental tendencies are the result of our past acuons and Ihou~u and on which the present and future thoughts and aenons are based. These sankharas are actually the 'Sluff' of !he mind from which all mental activity as well as the resulting bodily activity are conditioned and developed.

"Brethren, there are these six seats of will: the will for, or the desire to conceptualize sights, the will for sounds, the will for smells tastes, bodily touches, and the will for mental objects. The:e are the mental activities. F~oDllhe arising of contact comes the arising of the mental actrvitres: from the ceasing of contact comes the ceasing of the men~al ac_ti~ities." As all physical activities of the body have their orrgmauon in the mind they are herein included with the mental act ivities.

SOl11e of these mental tendencies are: will, one-pointedness of mind, spontaneous attention, contact or .awareness of an object, applied thought, sustained thou~ht, interest or pleasure, the desire to act, energy or eff~rt, deCISIOn, kindness and sympathy, hatred, greed, ignorance, III~wlll, e~vy, cg.OJsm, worry doubt sloth and laziness, dullness of mind, faith or confidence, n{indfulness, shame, scrupulousness, self-conceit, and erroneous views. Feeling and perception are (according to the Abhidhaml11a) also classed as being sankharas, as tl.") are also mental formations, but because of their Im~rlant role in the process of sensory percepnon they are classified as separate Khandhas in themselves. There arc said 10 be fin) ~ two mental factors included In the group of sankharas, Some of these arise all the time in each sense experience an~ some arise only once in a willie, depending on theIr. stre~g~ to affect our thinking and actions. It " t icse conditioned mental tendencies which a person l1IUfl1 I~'lrtl ~o understand and control, as it is from these that a 0 one s personal weal and woe anse.


The "I~t group of gr~~l'cd-nner pheuornc na is Viflfl(illoKhtDl.lJro. <'r conscrousncss. There nrc six kinds of consciousnc« \\hld\ can arise, named according to one of the six sense-organs which '''IS stimu'atcd. It is only when the approl'rial~ condiuons are there that consciousness is able to arise.

"Mon],«. consciousness is generated by conditions; apart from conditi,'ns there are no manifestation of consciousl1~SS. It is because an appropriate condition arises that consciousnc« is known by this or that name; ifconsciousness "-;'0' because "I' the eye coming into contact with visual obiccts, It i" known a" visual -consciousness ; if consciollsness arisc-, because of ear and sounds, it is known as hearing. cousciou ... ness; if consciousness arises because of nose and odours, it is known as smelling-consciousness; if it arises because of the tongue and tastes, it is known as tastingc,'nsciousness; if it arises because of the body and touch objects, it is known as tactile-consciousness; if consciousness arises because of the mind cognizing mental objects (thoughts, ideas etc.) it is known as mind-consciousness.

"Monks. as a fire burns because of this or that appropriate condition or fuel, by that it is known; If a fire burns because of sticks, it is called a stick-fire; if it burns because of grass, it is called a grass-fire; if it burns because of cowdung, it is called a cow-dung-fire; if it hums because ofrubbish, it is called a rubbish-fire. Even so monks. whenbecause of.a condition appropriate to it, consciousness arises, it is known by this or that name - eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, or mind- consciousness." (M.38).

.,.",..,,.,., 10 I. Buddhul Abltldltamma for fur(her Elucldallon.

Thil-consciousness is not under the control or direction or any 'Self' or 'Soul'. Consciousness is merely a habitreflex 1ike phenomenon oflhe mind, occurring t~rough. the stimulation of an object of sense. If there is no stimulation, or itthe respective sense-organ is .impaired, then consciousn~ss fa Dot to arise, because of Its 'Soulless' nature and Its -"lP.!ad~:e on other factors. It is this phenomenon of conwhich most ordinary, uninstructed folk lake to be

their 'Soul' but in rcaluy it is merely a habu-refkx like activity of mind. Consciousness is not (he t .. bJcct to which objects present themselves, but it is merely the 'presence' itself of a particular object. It shou'd not be understood that there are six separate consciousnesses, each one connected with its respective sense-organ; but it is merely .'he role of the sensory activity of consciousness which plays within the realm of the six sense-spheres.

"Is it possible, friend Ananda, just as thrs body has 10 diverse ways been defined, explained, set forth, opened up by the Blessed One (The Buddha), as being without a 'Self" or 'Soul', is it possible in the same way to describe the consciousness (and feeling and perception), to show II, make II plain, expose it as also being without a 'Self' or 'Soul' " 'It is possible friend Udaying. OWlDg to. the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind, and contact WIth their respecuve objects, consciousness arises, and not otherwise, does It not friend?'

'It docs, friend Ananda.'

'Well, friend Udayin, it is by this method that the B'esscd One has explained, opened up, analysed, exposed and proclaimed that this thing called consciousness in is dependemly arising without a 'Self' or 'Soul' ordering it. It beholds no trace of a 'Self' or 'Soul' in the entire sixfold sphere of sense. So beholding his consciousness as such, an ardent dwelling Monk is attached to nothing in this world, nor does he yearn for otherworlds. He is untroubled and hankers after nothing. and he is of himself set utterly free, and he realizes, 'Destroyed is all reason or impetus for rebirth. Lived IS the Hoi) LIfedoue is the task, for life in these conditions there is no here. after." (S.Ch.XXXV, 193 PTS).

The following are two questions from The Questions of King Milinda 10 one of the Buddha's Arahant dISCIPles, Nagasena, which illustrate that there IS no 'Soul' as. such which is behind or which experiences any of the acuviues of sensory cognition (consciousness).


King' qucstiou; ",'l\a, I~ there such a tiling as a ~()\I1? b II til '11\1 J-Pl ;nl'il':~' within, which sees forms through the I.~,,\ he .. \1'~ ihr. ugh the car, <rnclls with the nose, tustcs with Ih,' tougue, 'eels <, hiccts with t he body. or cogn izcs mental objects \I uh the "Ind, just as we sitting here can look out of ,lin 1"lI1lh_',," we wish to look out of?"

'\a;;,hl'na: "O! ""1~, It is b) reason <'I't he eye .,,"I of forms that ~I: ' .. ,Ij,',CS .uul thosc co ndit io ns , thai contuct, lccling , sensa. uon. .dcauo», thought abstracuon , sense 0 r vitality, attention, ,l nd s\) \'11 arise, 1';lL'11 u.isvs S inilllt~IIlCollsly with its predecessor's r·hSlng H\\il). A similar succession arises with each or the other :o.CIl:.CS when brought into play. These phenomena arc not united one tv another indiscrinunutcly, the latter sense to the former organ etc. So herein there is no such thing as a $1..1\11 .. • (,Soul' is a term used for 'image' or 'reflection"} (Bonk II, Ch,3, 6,),

King·~ questiun: "These three', T\"aga~cllal pcrccpuon, reason, and the 'OUIIlI a being arc they all durcrcnt both In letter and essence or arc they the same in essence only differing in the letter ?",

Nagasena: "Q! King, recognition i~ the mark of perception, an,d discumination is the mark of rca, on, and there is no such thing as a soul in a being."

King: "BUI, if there is no such thing as a soul in a being, how then or what is it then which sees forms with the eye, hears sounds with the car - cognizes ideas and thoughts with the mind?"

N.~: "If there bc a soul (distinct from the body) which docs all those things, then, if the door of the eye were shut or the ey~ torn out of its socket, could it then stretch out Its head as II were through the larger apperture and with a greater range, see forms more clearly than before? Could one hear sounds better if the ears were torn away or smell better if the nose were cut off, or the longue torn out could be taRe better, or feel touch better if'the body were destroyed 1"

King: "Certainly not, Sir,"

Nagascna: "Then, O! KlI1g, there can be no such thmg as a soul inside the body," (Book 11[, ell, 7, 15),

"If, monks, the eye that is Internal, or the CaT. nose, tougue, body, or the m,ind that IS internal .s r-tact and the appropriate external object rmprngcs upon one of them a-d there exists in the mind tendencies (sankharas) reae,tmg towards the impingement, then the approprraie co~selOusvess of eye, ear, nose, etc, is thus able to arrse. . \\ hatcver IS material in shape in what has thus come to be, It IS JOcl,:dcd in the group of grasping-after material shapes or form (RiipaKhaudha). Whatever is feeling or sensauon III what has thus come to be, it is included In the group of graspmgafter feeling (Vedana-Khaudha). . Whatever IS percepnon in what has thus come to be, It IS included III the group of grasping-after perception (Saililii-Khandha), Whatever are the activities of mind and body, In what has thus come !O be, they are included in the group of grasping-after the acuvuics (Sankhara-Khandha). Whatever is consciousness In what has thus come to be, it is included in the group of graspingafter consciousness (Viil.ilana-Khandha),

"Thus there is the including and the conung together of these ri~e groups of grasping, These are generated by conditions, Whatever among these five grasping groups IS desire sensual pleasure, affection, iufatuation, catching-at, _ that is the arising of 'ill' (Dukkha). Whatever among these five groups is the control of desire and attachment, the rejection and calming of desire and attachment, the, nonexistence of desire and attachment, - that IS the ceasing of 'III'," (M,28),

Then a certain monk addressed the Blessed One as follows:-

"Lord, are these five factors aggregates of clinging, to wit: Ihe form-factor, the feeling-factor, the perceptronfactor, the mental-act ivit ies-factor, and the consciousaessfactor?"


"TIM I I, so, [r""\II, Ih<',~ .uc the five aggregates of cling- 11\.:,', n-, )\.'\1 say,"

"HUI, Lord, these fl\ C aggregates of'clinging and grasping, III what arc they rooted 1"

"These f'ivc aggregates of clinging hale thcrr 1'001 In UC'lfC tin graspingj",

The', that monk asked agaui:

"",'\I, this same grasping, Lord. rs it those live aggregates ,'I ,'I igmg. or is grasping (clinging-to) something apart from those fi' c aggregates?"

":\0, Indeed, friend, this same graspuig and clinging is not those frvc aggregates of grasping, nor yet is it something apart from these, But where there is desire and lust, there i; abo grasping (and clinging)."

"'\1<1, 11 be, Lord, that in the five aggregates of grasping there is a varicty of desire and lust '!"

"[I nla) be so, friend. Herein, one thinks thus: 'May 1 be of such and such a body in the future, (may I experience such and such objects of sense); may 1 have such feeling, such perception, such mental activities, such consciousness in the future.' In this way, Iriend, in the five [actors of clinging there may be a variety of desire and lust."

"What, Lord, is the condition, the cause for the arising of the form-factor, the feeling-factor, the perception, the mental-act ivity and the consciousness-factors?"

"The four great clements (solid, fluid, temperature and monon) arc the cause, the condition for the arising and designation of the form-factor. Contact is the condition, the cause for the designation or aris ing of the feeling-factor. Contact is also the condition and cause [or the arising of the


perception-factor, and the mental-activity (ccr'.ceptualmngjfactor. Name and form is thp. condition, the CaUJC fer (it Is the object 01) the consciousnes<i-fac·or."

"It is well, Lord. But, Lord, what IS the 'mdiv;dtralself-view"? (11ow does the notion of an individual 'self' ot 'person' come to be?)",



"Herein, friend, the untaught common folk, umkJlled, unpractised in the Dhamma, regard the body as the 'Self' Or the 'Self/as having body, or they regard the body as being in the 'Self' or the 'Self' a being in the bedy - and so wnh feeling, perception, mental-activity and consciousness. They regard these phenomena of mind as being the 'Self' ......... ,_ That is how, friend, the 'individual-person-view' (the personpack) cernes to exist (and persist)."

"It is well, Lord. And how, Lord, is there no "individual, person-view' ?"

"Herein, Friend, the well-taught Nob:c disciple, skilled and practised in the Dhamma, does not so regard the body, feeling, perception, mental-activity, and conscrousness (as being a 'Self' or part of a 'Self" in any way). He regards 'them as: 'This is not mine, I am not this, this is not my 'Self"."

"ll is well, Lord." (S. XXII, 82, PTS).

"Those recluses and brahmins, brethren, who regard the 'Self' in many diverse ways, regard it as the body-mass of the five 'aggregates based on grasping, or as some of these. What five?

"Herein, the untaught many folk regard the boo} as the 'Self', the 'Self' as possessed of body, body a~ being 10 the 'Self' 'Self' as being in the body ...... so also with the consutuent~ of mind - feelings, perceptions, thoughts, Ideas, etc" and consciousness.


"lhu~, thi> " the VlCW: It has come 10 him to think. 'I am' ~)'" whl.:ll It has come to anyone to think IJ am', there comes 1<) 1"'" a descent of the five l'cellllg faculties of seeing. hearing, smelling, lasting anti touching. The mind "the result, mind-states arc the result, the ignorance clement is the result, Touched by the feeling born of contact with Ignorance, there comes to the.untaught person the view, 'I am',

"Owing to a cause, bhikkhus, comes the conceit (notion), '1 am' and not otherwise. Ana "hat is the cause? Owing to body, owing to sensations, perceptions, owing to the activities (of mind and body) and owing to consciousness it comes, not otherwise.

"Suppose that a woman or a nU\I1, ora young lad, Ioud of self-adornment, should gaze at the image of his face in a mirror that is clean and spotless, or in a bowl of clean water, he would behold the image owing to a cause and 110t otherwise,

"Even so, through the cause of body, feelings, perception, activities and. consciousness, comes the conceit 'I am', not otherwise". (8', cs. XXII, 83),

"Just as a dog, bhikkhus, lied witn a Ieash to a strong stake or post; if he moves, he moves towards that stake or post; ifhe stands still, he stands close to that stake or post; if he sits down, he sits close to that stake or post; If he lies, he lies close to that stake or post.

"Similarly, bhikkhus, the uuiustructed ordinary person looks upon the body as, 'This is mine', 'I am this', 'This is myself', he looks upon feeling, perception.nnental acuvitres, consciousness as, 'This is mine', '1 am this', 'This is myself", If he moves, he moves towards these five aggregates of grasping; if he stands still, if he sits down, or if he lies down, he does so close to these five aggregates of grasping.

"Just as a dyer or a painter, with dye or lac or turmeric indigo or madder, and a well-smoothed wooden panel or wall or piece of cloth, can reproduce the form of a woman


or a man, complete in cv~ry detail, Slffi,Jarly, the unrnstrucled o~olnarf person bongs body mto existence bring. feeling, perception, menial activities brmgs con~lOusoess Into existence 100." (S. cs.xxrrj.

, The, Venerable Radha said to the Lord ('A', a being, onc IS called. In what respect, SIT, IS one called a bcing ?"

"Because of being caught and held fast by that dC$ITc that attachment that delight, that craving for body-fedIng ~ for perception, for mental acuviues, for consciousness, therefore one IS called 'a being',

, "Just as when little boys or girls arc playing with mudP!es, as long as they are Rot rid of attachment to those mudpres, arc not rid of desIre, are not rid of affection, thirst, excitement and craving for them, so long do they delight in them, are amused by them, value and cherish them. But when those little boys or girls are rid of attachment and desire for those, mud-pies, are rid of affection, thirst, excitement, and craving for them, then with hand and feet tbey scatter them, destroy them, demolish tbem, stop playing with them.

"In the same way, Radha~ do you scatter body, feelings, perceptions, the mental acuviues, and consciousness: destroy and demolish the attachment and desire for them, stop playing WIth them, do yon practice so as to end craving for them. Indeed, Radha, the ending of craving is Nibbana." (8 Ch XXI!), . , .

"Whatsoever recluses brahmins, or bhikkbus who remember a number of their former lives, they all ;emember one or another of the five factors of grasping. 'In the past I had this sort of body', thus remembering, it is just the bod) he remember~, 'In, the past I had this sort of feeling', thus remember 109, It IS Just feeling he remembers. 'In the past I had this sort of perception, I had this sort of mental activity, I had t~IS sort of consciousness', thus remembering, it is just perception, mental acuvrty, and consciousness that he remembers.


".\nd why , bhikkhus, do you say 'body'? 'It is aff'lictcd;' therefore II is called 'bod) "(rupa), Afflicted by what '/ Afflicted b~' cold and heat. hunger and thirst, afflicted by coming into conract with gnats, mosquitoes, wind, Sun and snakes, 'It is affhctcd'. bhikkhus, therefore it is called 'body',

",\nd why, bhikkhus, do you say 'feeltng'? 'Jt is felt', therefore it is called 'feeling', What is felt? Pleasure is fclt, pain is felt, neutral feeling is felt, 'It is fclt', therefore it is called 'feeling',

"And why, blukkhus, do you say 'perception"? u is perceived, therefore it is called 'perception'. What is perceived? Blue IS perceived, yellow, red, white is perceived, "It is 'perceived', therefore it is called 'perception',

"And why bhikkhus, do you say 'mental activities' '!

The) activate or determine that which is formed and conditioned (sankharas), therefore they are called 'mental activities', What is the formed and conditioned that they determine and activate? They determine (activate) the body in its corporeal nature, feeling in its nature of feeling, perception in its perccprual nature, mental activities in their activating (directing) nature, and consciousness in its cognitive nature, Thcy deternunc tbat which is formed and conditioned, therefore tbey are called 'mental activities',

"And why, bhikkhus, do you say 'consciousness'? 'It cognizes', therefore it is called 'consciousness', What docs It cognize? It cognizes sour and bitter, acid and sweet, It cognizes various sense stimuli, therefore it is called 'consciousness'.

"Then, bhikkhus, the well-taught Ariyan disciple thus reflects: '1 am tbe prey of these five groups of grasping now, In the past likewise I was the prey oftbem, moreover in future time even thus Lshould be a prey of them, should I now continue to be enamoured by and cling to them,just as now I am a prey of tbem because of my being enamoured by and clinging to tbem in the past,


"Thus reflecting, he is frced from desire (or a fUlurc and he is allt to fcel disgust for the present bcdy turn away from clIngIng to It, and IS ready for the ceasing of it (the Five fold-mass of grasping factors).

,"TherefoTe" bhikkhus, every body (or sense object) feeling, perccpuon, mental activity, and consciousness the whole fivefold-mass, be it inward or outward, gross or su'btle. pa~t, future or pr~sent, - r say every one should be regarded as This IS not mme, I am not this, this is not my Self' as it

really is by right insight." (S,Ch,22, 79), '

Regarding it in this, ~ay, this body having consciousness, and all external condItIons, there comes to be no tendencv to thc conceit 'f' and 'mine', concerning these five factors (aggregates) of existence,

These fivc factors (aggregates) are not something which can be physlcall~ pulled apart and which can exist by themselves, They arrse almost sImultaneously in each senseexpcnence and thc~ are blended together in a mass so to speak, so that such individual factor IS difficult to distingu'sh (but they can be to a certain extent),

. Because this 'fivefold-mass' sense-experience arises seemlll~ly as a whole unit, and n?t perceived broken up in irs fleet rug condit ioncd nature as It really is, most people take these Five aggregates for granted as being something which JS per manent and belonging to their Own personal make up or as the mind being their 'Self or Soul' OT pertaining to them~elves somehow, The five aggregates arc taught and explained by the Buddha as five for the purpose of their cas)' apprehension and understanding in the order as follo\\'s:"Thc materiality, which is gross, is the objective field ofthc eye, car, nose, tongue, body, and mind; and after that. feelinz. which feels that materiality as desirable or undesirable: the-n perception, which apprehends the aspects of the feelina's objective field (the object which impinged), since again 'what one feels, that one perceives; then the mental formations or mind-made concepts (Saukharas), which form volitionally


through 1lI,"l us of perception: a nd last Iy, consciousness, \\ hich these things bcguuiing \\ ith Icchng have as their support and which dominates over them." 3 Consciousness brings the other four groups all together and IS the awareness of them as a unit. (\. TIl, 213).

T\,,' similes arc here given to describe the five individual factors 'Inti their functions. The materiality (as object) of clinging is like a sick room because it is the dwelling place, as physical basis, door, and object, of the sick man (consciousness). The feeling-factor as object of clinging is like the sickness because it afflicts. The perception-factor as object of clinging is like the provocation of the sickness because it gives rise to feeling associated with greed, aversion, etc., owing to the perception of sense desires and so on. The formations aggregate as object of Clinging is like having recourse to what is unsuitable because it is the source of feeling, which is the sickness, for it is said: 'Feeling as feeling is the formed that they (the sankharas) form, and likewise 'Because of unprofitable Karma having been performed and stored up, therefore resultant body-consciousness has arisen accompanied by pain'. The consciousness-factor as object of Clinging is like the Sick man because it is never free from feeling (it is the presence of feeling) which is the sickness.

"Also they (the five groups) arc respectively like the prison, the punishment, the offence, the punisher, and the offender. The matter of the body is like the prison because it is the site of the punishment (feeling). Perception is like the offence because owing to the perception of beauty etc., it is a cause of the punishment, which is feeling. The formations aggregate is like the punisher because it is a cause of feeling. Consciousness is like the offender because it is afflicted (by being aware of it) by feeling." (Y. Part [fT, 220).

The Buddha has likened forms or material shapes to a large mass offroth floating on the water, which when properly examined by a clearsighted man, appears to him to be empty, unsubstantial, and without essence. He has likened feeling> or sensations which arise and pass away in the mind and body,


to hubbies on the water which aruc and bunt on the wrClce and if a clear-sighted man were to see, observe closely and properly cxarmne them, they would appear to him to be empty, insubstantial and Without essence. A perception he lil::ens to a n:iragc which appears at noon on a hot summer day, which If seen, observed and examined closely, would appear to be empty. etc. What essence could there be in a mirage or a perception, which has a ghost-like nature? The Buddha likens the Sankharas (mental tendencies) to be pithless like the trunk of a banana tree, because when cut down and stripped of ItS outer skin or layers, there is found no inner core or hardwood .. A clearsighted man seeing, observing it and properly exa..'l'IIl1ng It, would find It to be empty, insubstantial and without essence.

He likens consciousness to a magical illusion produced by a skilful magician. If seen and observed by a quickSighted man, he would see that the magical illusion which fools many people IS actually empty, insubstantial and without essence. What essence could there be in a magical illusion and rn the same way in consciousness? '

'Form is like a lump of froth Feeling's like a water-bubble ' As a mirag~ is perception, '

As a plantain tree are activities, A magical illusion consciousness:

So the Awakened One did illustrate.

In whatever way it is observed And properly examined,

Empty i! is and insubstantial, To him who sees it wisely.

This body at the outset,

Was taught by Him of wisdom wise. When abandoned of three things

Ts cast aside, rejected: -

Life, warmth and consciousness, When body is bereft of these,


Then thrown awny it lies Iuscnticm , mere food for animals. Such IS the fate of it,

A prattling illusion,

A murderer, it is called; No essence here is found.

Thus should the aggregates be looked upon By a bhikkhu of strong energy, Continually both day and night,

Clearly aware and mindful.

Let him leave behind all fetters, Make a refuge for himself and, As though his head were all affire,

Act aspiring for the deathless state.' (S.CIl.35,95)

This is the way this fivefold-mass of phenomena (the body an~ mind) should be regarded - as being empty, insubstantial and without essence; as: '(his is not mine; Tam not this; this is not myself'. The five groups should be looked upon as being poisonous snakes or a pit of glowing-red charcoal, something not to be reached out for and grasped or associated with, but to be feared and abandoned. It is because of being attached to and identifying this fivefold-mass of phenomena as 'mine' or 'myself' or as one's 'soul' being contained therein, that this whole race of beings has become 'entwined like a ball of string covered over with blight' in this Karmic tangle-doomed to the woeful way, to their own destruction.' It is because of this clinging tightly to this fivefold-mass as 'mine', that the more gross forms of Dukkha arise. These gross forms of Dukkha are cxpcricnccable as physical body pain, sickness, disease, 'old-age, decay and death, and the mental grief, lamentation, misery, despair, worry and confusion which beset a person who is addicted to and identifies himself with these five groups.

HSUppOSC, bhikkhus, a stream, a mountain torrent is down-flowing, rising from afar, swiftly moving, and on both banks arc growing grasses which overhang the stream, reeds

and creepers and overhanging shrubs; and a man is ,wept away by that torrent and he clutches at the grasses but they might break away and he might clutch at thereeds and c-eepers and overhanging shrubs, but they also might break aW3) and owing to that instability of the IT away that man might come by his destruction. Even so, the untaught many-folk, who are untrained, unskilled in the Dharnma, regard the five groups of grasping as the 'Self'

"Then the body, feelings, perceptions, the activines of mind and body and consciousness break away beyond their control, do not last, constantly changing, becornmg other. Owingtothatinstabilityand unreliability ofthose five grasping groups the untaught" many come by their sorrow suffering, grief, woe, lamentation and despair."

"Brethren, I will show you grasping and worry; likewrse not grasping and not worrying. Listen to It, apply your minds to it thoroughly and [will speak. And how, brethren, is the grasping and worry?

"Those who are unskilled in the Noble Doctrine of the Dharnma, they regard the body (an~ forms), feelings, perceptions (recognitions), mental acnvrues and consciousness 3S 'Self', and these as being in the Self, the Self as having these: of such a one the body alters, feelings alter, pcrcepnons alter. mental activities alter, and consciousness alters, becorumg of iter wise. Owing to the altering and becoming otherwiseness of the body etc. his mind is busied with the altering constantly changing conditions of the five factors. From this being busied with the altering body etc. worried thoughts arise and persist, laying hold of the heart. From this laying hold of the heart he becomes troubled, and O\\"lI1g to vexauon and clinging he is worried. Thus brethren comes grasping and worry.

"And how, brethren, is there 110 grasping and 110 worry? "Such a one who is well trained in the Noble Doctrine of Dharnma, he regards not, the body, feelings. perceptions.


mental formations and consciousness a, 'Self'. He regards them n,'t:lS having 'S~If'. n~r as hci~g of a 'Scll". He regards all fin' Ilggrcgatc, as This IS not mine, r am not this, this is II<'t m~ Self.' or such a one the body etc. alters and becomes otherwise. But in spite of the constant changing and otherwiscncss, sorrow and grief, dejection, lamentation and despair do not arrse 10 him.

"Thus, brethren, is there no grasping and no worrying." (S. en. XXIl, 7).

Xakulapitar, the housefather, came into the presence of the Blessed One, saluted him and sat down at one side. As he sat there, the housefather addressed the Blessed One

as follows :- .

"Master, I am old, broken down, far gone in years, I have reached life's end, J am sick and always ailing. Let the Blessed One comfort me, so that it becomes a profit and blessing unto me for many a long day."

"True it is, housefather, that your body is weak and encumbered. For one carrying this body about, housefather, to claim hut a moment's health would be sheer foolishness. Wherefore, householder, thus you should train yourself: 'Though my body is sick, my mind shall not be sick.' Thus, housefather, must you train yourself."

"And how, Master, is the body sick and mind sick too?

And how far is body sick and the mind not sick?"

"Then listen, housefather; apply your mind and give heed to what [ shall tell you. And how is the body sick and the mind sick too?

. "Herein, housefather, the untaught many- folk, who d i cern not those who are Ar iyans , who are unskilled in the Dharnma, who discern not the Dharnma , untrained in the worthy doctrine - these ignorant folk regard their body as the "Setf', the 'Self' as being in the body, body as being in t he


. '



'Self'. They say: 'J am the body', 'body is mine' and arc possessed by this idea; and so possessed by IhlS Idea. when their body alters and changes for the worse, to the unstable and changeful nature of the body, then 'OTTOW and grief, woe, lamentation, and despair arise in their ~·~d.

"They regard feelings, perception'. the mental activmes (thoughts, ideas, etc.) and consciousness as 'Self', they regard 'Self' as having these or being contained in these. 'I .am these five aggregates', they say, 'these aggregates. are mille, this is my mind', and they are possessed by this Idea. So. when feeling, perceptions, mental activity, and conscic usness alter and change, owing to their unstable andchangeful nature then sorrow lamentation, grief and despair anse In them. That, houserather, is how the body is sick and the mind sick also.

"And how is the body sick, but the mind nol sick?

"The well instructed one, skilled aod trained rn the Dharnma of the Noble Ones, he regards the body as 'not-Sclf ', and 'Self' as not being in the body. He says not: 'I am the body, the body is mine', nor is he possessed by this idea. So when the body alters and changes for the worse owing to the unstable and changeful nature of the body, then sorrow and grief etc. do not arise in him.

"As so with the body, he regards not, the feelings, per ceptions, the mental activities, and consclOll~ness (his mind) as 'Self', nor the 'Self' as being in these. H~ IS not possessed by these, he does not say: 'These are my mind, the mind is mine'. And not being so possessed, when the feelings. perceprions, mental activities, and consciousness alter and change for the worse, owing to their unstable and c.hangefuln3ture, sorrow, grief and so forth do not arise !11 111m.

"Thus, housefather, it is that hody is sick hut the nund not sick."


Thus spoke the Blessed One. and housefather Nakulapitar was pleased and welcomed what was said hy the Master."

"Body, feelings, perceptions. the activities of mind and body and consciousness are not the 'Self'. If they were the ·Self.they would not be involved in sickness, decay and death. and one could say of body and the rest: 'Let my body etc. ~c thus. let my body etc. be not thus.' But inasmuch as body, !ccllngs, and the rest are not the 'Self', that is why they arc involved In Sickness, decay and death and one cannot say of them' 'Let my hody etc. he thus. let my body etc. be not thus." (S. Ch. xxm.

"The body. bhikkhus, is impermanent. That which is the cause, that which is the condition. for the appcanng of body, that is also impermanent. How could the body. prod.ucc~ by what is impermanent, ever be permanent '! Feeling IS impermanent - Perception - Menial activitiesConsciousness is impermanent. That which is the cause, the condition, for the appearing of consciousness , that is also Impermanent. How could consciousness, produced by what is impermanent. ever be permanent?" (S. Ch. XXTl).

"Brethren, the untaught ordinary folk might well be repelled by this body, child of the four great elements, might cease to fancy it and regard it as their 'Self' and wish to be rid of it (free from it), because of the pain and suffering it acquires and because its decay and death is imminent. Yet this that we call mind (feelings, perceptions, thoughts, and consciousness - the fivefold-mass), by this the untaught many folk are not able to feel repelled. They are not able to cease fancying it or wish to be free from it, they regard it as their 'Self' or 'Soul'. They call it 'mine', they cleave to it, and they wrongly conceive it thinking: 'That is mine, this I am. this is my spirit'. Hence they arc not able to cease longing for it. to be detached from it, they are not a ble to be freed from it.

"But it were better, brethren. if those untaught many folk regard this body as the 'Self' rather than the mind.



Why s07 Because, it is seen how this body, child of the (our clements, persists for a year, or two years,!lr five, ten, twenty, fifty years, sometimes persists for a hundred years or longer. But this that we call mind, arises as one thing, ceases a, another, continually changing and becoming otherwise, whether by night or by day. even in sleep.

"Just as a monkey faring through the woods, through the thick forest, catches hold of a bough, letting it go. seizes another; even so that which we call thought, mind or consciousness, that arises as one thing, ceases as another, both by night and day even in sleep." (S. Ch. XXI!).

"Bhikkhus, I will teach you the Burden. the layrng hold ofthe Burden, the lifting of it up and the laying of it down.

Do ye listen. .

"And what is the Burden? It is the five factors of graspmg - that is to say, material shapes (the body), Icelings, perceptions, the mental tendencies and consciousness. This is called the Burden.

"What is the laying hold of the Burden? It is the personal view, that venerable one of such and such a name of such and such a family. This is called the laying hold of the Burden.

"What is the lifting up of the Burden? It is the craving which leads to becoming and rebirth, along with the lure and the desire that lingers lovingly now here, now there. namely the craving for material shapes, feelings, perceptions, the activities of mind and body, and consciousness, the craving for rebirth etc. This is called the taking up of the Burden. What is the laying down of the Burden? It is the utter remainder less, passionless, ceasing of craving, the giving up and the renouncing of craving, the release and the absence oflonging desire and attachment for the five factors of'clinging, That is called the laying down of the Burden.


• I he Bu",I"1l I' .II,Ic-,'d the fi\cf"ld-l1IaM, The seizer of the Burden man,

lullllll II up rs sorrow in this world,

1 he l,ly·ng of It down i, bliss,

If" man lay' thIS heavy Burden down, And take, not allY other Burden up,

If .ic draws out that craving, root and all,

", more hungered is he, he is free." (S, CIt.XXIIj,

. "\\ I~a~ IS not yours. bhikkhus, renonnce it. Renouncing it, \\d,1 make tor J"l! g?od, for your happiness. And what, bhikkl~ IS: ". not .~ ,HIr'? The. body, feelings, perceptions, the mental ,h:t,J\ rnes, and consciousness, bhikkhus, are not yours, renounce I~. Renouncing them will make for your good for

your happiness '

"Au" then, bhikkhus, ilus occurred 10- me. 'Whatever happiness and pleasure ames dependent upon the body, feelings, perceptions, mental activities, and r:eu ~ this is the satisfaction ,II them. whatever there IS of impermanence, suffering and changeability rn the body etc

this is the misery ill the body and the rest. Whatever there is of being rid of desire and attachment, tile abandornng 01 desire and attachment in regard to these things (the five groups) - this is the release from the bondage to these things,

"So long, bhikkhus, as [ did not know sausfacuon as satisfaction, misery as misery, and release as release from these five aggregates of grasping according to actuality, so long did J not acknowledge that I was fully enlightened with unequalled and perfect enlightenment.

" "It IS. a~ If a person were to carry away, burn or do as he p:"ased \\ It ,1 the grass twigs, branches, and foliage in this Jd.,' G~ov: "o,uld It ?ccur to you to say, 'The person is cal ryrng 11 • burning us, IS doing as he pleases with us'?"

"Certainly nor; Sir."

"But when I knew satisfaction as sausfacuon, rmserv as misery, and release as release from the five aggregates o'f grasping according to actuality, I then acknowledged that I was completely Enlightened with unequalled and perfect Enlightenment.

"For what reason?"

"And the knowledge and vision arose in me: 'Unshakeable is my liberation of the heart (mind), this is the final birth, there is now no further becoming'."

"Because, Lord, this is not ourselves, nor what belongs to ourselves."

"If there were not this satisfaction which comes from the body, the sensations, the perceptions, the activities of body and mind, and consciousness, beings would not desire and hanker after litem. But inasmuch as there is this satisfaction and pleasure in them temporarily, beings do desire and long for them.

"So also, bhikkhus, the body is not yours, the feelings, perceptions, the mental actrvrucs and consciousness are not YC'U:'s, renounce- them. Renouncing them will make for your good, for your happiness." (S. Ch. XXII).



"If misery never afflicted these five groups, beings would not be repelled by them. If there were 110 way of escape from the sorrow and pain inherent in these five grasping groups, beings could not escape from it. But, bhikkhus, inasmuch as there is a way of escape from it, beings are able to free themselves from the anguish inherent in them.

"Before my Enlightenment, bhikkhus, when I was not ~mpletcly enlightened, when I was a Bodhisatta, I thought:

What 1$ the satisfaction and misery in regard to the body, the feelings, perceptions, the mental activities consciousness and what is the release from them' 1" , ,

.. So long us beings have not thoroughly understood them as thcv really arc, the satisfaction as such, the misery as such, and tli~ way of escape as such from these five groups of grasp.n,"-f,,, that lonu will they not remain detached and scparate,{ (1'1','01 .hcir indcntification with them) from them. BuLlS soon as beings do thoroughly understand this, then beings" ill remain detached and separated, from them.

"where a body (or an object of the senses) is, Riidha, there would be Mara (temptation, the evil one) or things of the nature of Mara, or at any rate what is perishing. Wherefore, Radna, regard the body as Mara, regard it as of the nature of Mara, regard it as perishing, as an imposter, as a dart, as suffering, as a SOUTce of pain. They who regard it so, thus rightly regard it. And the same is to be said of feelinl,ls, percepti~ns, the activities of mind and body and consciousness."

"Were a man to declare thus: 'Apart from body, apart lrorn feelings, perceptions, apart from the mental activities, it will show forth the coming or the going or the decease or the rebirth of consciousness, or the growth, increase and the abundance of consciousness' - to do that would be impossible.

"But rightly regarding, Lord, for what purpose?" "Rightly regarding, Radha, for the sake of dispassion, to bring about a dispassionate attitude towards them."

"But dispassion, Lord, for what purpose is it?" "Dispassion, Radha, is to get release."

"Attachment, bhikkhus, is bondage, detachment is freeJ.')1\1. By attachment to thefive grasping groups, consciousness, if it get, a standing, may persist. With the five groups for its

• object, with them for its platform, seeking means of enjoyment, it may come by growth, increase and abundance,

"But release, Lord, what is it for?"

"Release, Radha, means Nibbana."

"If desire and attachment to the five groups, bhikkhus, IS abandoned, by that abandonment, its foothold is cut off. Thereby there is no platform for consciousness. Without that platform, consciousness has no growth, it generates no acuon and is freed; by freedom it is steady; by its steadiness It is happy, and owing to happiness it is not troubled. Being untroubled of itself. it becomes utterly well, so that one knows: 'Destroyed is rebirth, lived is the righteous life, done is the task, for life in these conditions there is no hereafter'."

"But Nibbaua, Lord, what is inc aim of that?"

"This Riidba, is a question that goes too far. You can grasp no limit to the question. Rooted in Nibbiina, Radha, the Holylife is lived. Nibbana is its goal, Nibbana isits end I"

Then the venerable Radha came to the Blessed One (The Buddha). Having done so, he saluted the Blessed One and sat down on one side. So seated the Venerable Radha thus addressed the Buddha: "They say, 'Mara! Mara!!' Lord. Pray, Lord, how far is this Mara 1"

The feelings, perceptions, mental activity and consciousness can only come into being or be made aware of, arise, through contact with one of the objects of sense and this can only occur when there is a body with unimpaired senseorgans. The body, however, is lifeless and immobile without the mind to give it life and operate it. The interdependence of mind and body is illustrated by the following analogy:

S. x. Ch. XXII [

"Just as when two sheaves of reeds are propped one against the other, each one gives the other consolidating support, and when one falls the other also falls, so too, in the



[rv \.'I..'''''lit\\\.·l\l~ of ;l bcmg, mel1l,,~liIY~lllatcrJaIIIY uccui a- 1:) In.l\.'hkl~I.H,kl\l ... t~\IC, each of Its component factors Sl\lIlg tlh~ other (,,)n50~id.ltlng. support, and \\111'" one rall~ "WIO£, 1<' death, rhc other falls I''''. l lcucc the ancient wise UH:n :;',\Id:

"The 1I\(:1tal and the material

Arc 1\\ IllS ami each supports the other; \\hen one breaks up they both break up

Through Intcrcondilionality." (Y. III)

"Funhcrmorc, mcntu'itv has no efficient power, it cannot occur by Its 0\\ n will - it does not cat, it docs not drink, nor speak, nor docs it adopt postures. And materiality IS without efficient power; It cannot occur or function by its own mot ivat ic n. For It has no desire 10 calor drink, nor speak, walk, sit, lie down and so forth. But rather it is when supported by mentality that materiality occurs and when suppclrled by materiality that -mentality occurs. When mentality has the desire 10 cat, the desire to drink, to speak or when It has the desire to adopt a different posture it is materialitythat actually does theeating,drinking,speaking and changing it's posture. This is illustrated in the following simile:

'A blind man and a slool-crawling cripple wanted to go somewhere. The blind man said to the cripple, "Look. I can do what should be done by legs, but I have no eyes with which to see what is rough and smooth."

The cripple said, "Look, I can do what should be done by eyes, but I have no legs with which to go and come." The blind man was delighted and he made the cripple climb up on his shoulders. Thus sitting on the blind man's shoulders, the cripple spoke thus: 'Turn left, take the right, leave the right, take the left', and so they went.

"Herein, the blind man has no efficient powcr ; he is impotent; he cannot travel by his own efficient power, by his own strength. And the cripple has no efficient pcwer; he i! 'impotent, he cannot travel by his own strength, But


tl.'~re is nothing to prevent their going wncn th

each other. So too, mc.naluy and ' . r ey IUpport own do not have their own Cfficienl~:~I~~.O"Ch on Ihorr there IS nothing to prevent their Iunctromng a U~CIl~n, Bul they support each other. Hence it is .al<.5 a __ fl "hen

"They cannot come to be by therr OWn $tr ' '.

Or et . . en!; .... ,

y. ruamtam themselves by their own strength'

Relying for support on other factors ' Weak in thernsclvesv and formed, they come to be' They come to be With others as condition ' They are aroused by others as their objects

They arc by object and condition. ' , And ~ach by something other than itself.

And Just as men depend upon a boat

For traversing the sea,

So does the matter-body need The mental-body for occurrence Depending each upon the other:

The boat and men go on the sea. And so do mind and body both Depend the one upon the other."

. "The correct vision and understandin of . d

\I IHCh, after defining mentality-materjali~y b~lt~ and body, methods, establishes one on the plane of no etc vanous doubt by overcoming the delusion of a 'beil~~~n CJ~~mnd

. "Therefore, just as a marionette is v id

~~:hout ~uriosity,and whileit walks and stand~~I:r~y;I~~o~~

co~n illation of strings and wood yet it see 'f'

curiosity and interestedness so' too thms as I Jt had 11lateri~lity (mind-body organis;l) is void '11 IS mentalitycun~s.'ty;.and while it walks and stand;s~~r~~S~r~~\~~h~~~

c0J1! l!la Jon of the two together, yet it see 'f .

cunosuy and interested ness. This is how i~t~h~~id \:c: had garded. Hence the Ancient wise men said: re-


"The mental and material arc rcallv here

Hut here there is no human being -tll be found, For \I" VOIJ and merely fushioucd like :l doll--

Just suffcrrug piled up like grass and sticks. (V.I'.689).

. '"S.:>, ttl m~tI) W,I~S It is only mcntality-rnatcriality that IS Illustrated, not a being, not a person. Therefore, just as when the component parts such as axles, wheels frame poles etc., arc arranged in a certain way, there comes (0 be the mer~ term of common usage 'chariot', yet in the ultimate sense when each part is examined, there is no chariot, - and just when the componcnt parts of a house such as bricks wood mud, tiles, etc., arc placed so that they enclose a sp~ce in ,: :erlatt~ way, ~here comes to be the mere term of common usage house, yet til the ultimate sense there IS no house, and just as when the fingers, thumb? etc., are placed in a certain way, there comes to be the term In common usage 'fist'; with men and horses and weapons, 'army' - just as when trunk, branches, fo!tage, etc., arc arranged in a certain way there comes to be the term 'tree', - so too, when there arc these five factors of existence as objects of clinging (by a deluded mind) there comes to be the mere term of common usage 'being', 'person', yet in the ultimate sense when each component (body, feeling, perception, mental activity, and

-consciousness) is examined, there is no being as a basis for the assumption of ' I am' or 'myself'. In the ultimate sense there is only mentality-materiality (Nama-Riipa). The comprehension and vision of one who sees ill this way is called correct vision (according to reality)." (Y. III,).

The following are some questions from King Milinda to the Arahant Nagasena concerning this mentality-materiality (mind-body organism).

'Now King Milinda went up to where the Venerable Nagasena was, and addressed aim with the greetings and compliments of friendship and courtesy, and respectfully took his seat apart. The King began by asking: "How is your Reverence known, what Sir is your name 7"

"J am known as Nagascna, O! King, and it is by that name that my brethren in the faith address me. but, although parents, O! King, gave a name such as N'agasena, yet this, Sire, - Nagasena - is only a generally understood term, a designation in common use. For in reality, there is no permanent individuality (no soul) involved in the mauer."

~ing:. "If, most R;verend Nagasena, tbere be no permanent individuality or soul involved in this mind-body, w ho is it, pray? who gives to you monks, your robes, food, lodging and medicines Io: the sick? Who is it who enjoys such things when given 7 Who is it who lives the Holy-Life? Who is it who devotes himself to med itation? Who is it who alia ins to the goal of the Excellent Way, to the Nirvana of Arahantship? Who is it who kills living creatures, who takes what is not his own, who lives a life of worldly lusts, who speaks lies, who drinks strong drink and so forth? If there be no permanent individuality or soul, then there is neither merit nor demerit; there is neither doer nor causer of good and evil deeds (Karma). ff, most Reverend Sir, we are to think thaI were a man to kill there would be no murderer, then it follows that there are no real masters or teachers in vour Order of Monks, and that your ordinations are void. You tell me that your brethren in the Order are in the habit of addressing you as Nagasena. Now what is it that is Nagasena 7 Do you mean to say that the hair is Nagasena 7"

"I don't say that, O! King."

"Or, is it the hairs on the body that is Nagasena 7 Or is it the nails, the teeth, the skin, the flesh, the nerves, the bones, kidneys, heart, liver or the lungs which is Nagasena 7 Or is it the stomach, the blood, the sweat, the tears, the urine, the excrement or the brain, or any or all of these, that is Nagasena ?"

"No, I don't say any of those things, O! King."

. "Then, Nagasena, is it the outward form (the body) that is Nagasena, or the feelings, or the perceptions, or the mental tendencies, or the consciousness, that is Nagasena T


"Again. great King, I <.10 not say it is any of these, or all of them together, \\ luch is Nagascna."

"Then, is there anything outside of these five Khandhas (the Iivc groups of grasping) that is Nagasena 1"

"Still, O! King, the answer is ne."

King: "Then thus .• ask as I may, I can discover no Nagascna. Nagasena is a mere empty sound. Who then is the Nagasena that we sec before us? It rs a falsehood that your Reverence has spoken, an untruth."

Nagasena: "Now, O! King, you have been brought up in great luxury, as beseems your noble birth. If you were to walk in this dry weather on the hot and sandy ground, trampling under foot the gritty, gravelly grains of the hard sand, your feet would hurt you, and your body would be in pain, your mind would be disturbed, and you would experience a sense of bodily suffering. How then did you come here today, on foot, or in a chariot?"

"I did not come on foot, Sir, I came in a carriage." "Then, O! King, if you came in a carriage, explain to me what that is. Is it the pole, or the axle, or the wheels, that is the carriage? Or is it the framework, or the ropes, or the yoke, or the goad, that is the carriage?"

"No, Reverend Sir, it is none of those things which is the carriage."

"Then, is it all the parts together which is the carriage?"

"No, Sir."

"But then, 0' King, is there anything outside of all those constituent parts that is the carriage?"

"No, Sir.'~

• "The,n, 01 King, ask as T may, T can discover no carriage Cam age IS a mere empty sound. What then is the chariot yO\1 say you came in? It is a falsehood that your Majesty has spoken, an untruth!"

King: "I have spoken no untruth, Reverend Sir, It is on account of Its having all those things - the pole, the ax'e, wheels, framework, ropes, the yoke and the goad, that it comes under the generally understood term, the designation In common use, of 'carriage'."

"Very good. Your Majesty has rightly grasped the meaning of,"carriage". And just even so, it is on account of all those. things you questioned me about the various parts of organic matter in a human body, and the five aggregates or constituent elements of a 'being' that I come under the gen~rally understood term, the designation in common usage. of Nagasena'." .

King: "Most wonderful, Nagasena, and most strange. Well has the puzzle put to you, most difficult t!rough it was, been solved. Were the Buddha Himself here he would approve of your explanation to this puzzling question." (Book Il, Ch. I, 1).

The Lute

"Suppose, brethren, the sound of a lute has never been heard before by a King. Then that king hears the sound ofa lute and says: "Good man, pray what is that sound so entrancing~ so delightful and pleasant to the car, so intoxicating, so ravishing, of such power to bind?' Then his attendants say to that king: 'ThHI, O! King, is the sound of what is calleel a lute.' The king says: 'Go, my good man and fetch me that lute.' So they fetch the lute and say to'the king: 'Here, O! King, is that lute, the sound of which was so ravishing, of such powerto bind.' Then the king says : 'Enough of this lute, my man, fetch me that sound.' Then Ihey. explained to the king: 'This lute, O! King. consists of diverse parts, a great number of parts, to wit: owing to the


bell .. '" the parchment, the handle, the frame, the strings, nWIIIS III the bridge, and because of the proper effort of a player, d0CS It produce sound. Thus, O! King, this lute, so called, consists of so many diverse parts' Then that king breaks 111' that lute into many pieces and burns the pieces in a fire, then makes a heap of the ashes and flails them into a strong wind. dissolving into nothing. Then the king says: 'A poor thing is what you call a lute, whatever a lute may be. Herein the world is exceedingly led astray'.

"Even so, brethren, a wise discerning person, investigating the body as far as there is scope for body, investigating feelings, perceptions. the mental activities, investigating consciousness, so far as there is scope for these things - in all of these investigations. whatever there be of 'I' or 'mine' or 'my soul' - there is none of that to be found for him." (S. Ch, 35,205, PTS).

(They are empty, hollow and vain, devoid of a 'Self' or anything belonging to a 'Self'. This is how this 'being', which is compounded of the five-grasping-groups, should be looked into and seen.).

The Human Puppet

Mdra: "Who was it that made the human puppet?

Where is tbe maker of the human doll? Whence, tell me, hath the puppet come to be? When will the puppet cease and pass away?"

Sela (a nun):

"Neither self-made the puppet is, nor yet

By another wrought is this ill-blighted thing. By reason of a cause it came to be,

By rupture ofa cause it dies away.

Like to a certain seed sown in the field, Which, when it lightetb on the taste of earth And moisture likewise, by these two doth grow, So the aggregates and the elements,

And the six sphere of sense -even all tbeseBy reason of a cause they came to be,

By rupture of a cause they die away."


Mlirn: "By whom was wrought this being?

Where is he who makes him 't Whence doth a being rise?

Where doih he being cease and pass away?"

Vajira (n mill): "Being! Whydostthough harp upon that word?

Among false opinions, Mara, hast thou strayed Mere bundle of conditioned factors, this! No, 'being' can be here discerned. 1

For just as, when the parts are rightly set, The word 'chariot' ariseth in our minds, So doth our usage covenant to say:

A 'being' when the aggregates are there. Nay, it is simply III that arises,

III that doth persist, and III that wanes away. Nought but III it is that comes to pass, Nought else but III it is dothceaseto be."

"When a person rejects this correet vision and attitude towards the mind and body, and assumes that a permanent 'being' exists, he has to conclude eitber that it comes to be annihilated at death or that it does not. If he concludes that it does not come to be annihilated, he falls into the eternalist view."

("The eternalist theory is that tbere is a permanent eternal 'Soul' which exists independently of the material body and conditioned mind, and it continues on even after the death of the physical body to enjoy eternal life, such as like in a heaven, or eternal damnation in hell.)

"If he concludes that this 'Soul' does come to be annihilated at death, he falls into the annihilationist theory."

("Theannihilationisttheory, the view held by the materialists, is that this present life in the body constitutes the 'Self' or 'Soul' or 'Ego'. They believe that this mind-body is totally annihilated and destroyed at the death of the body and thai


is the Finish of it all. Tn this way they hold lip the saying -,- eat, d~111k, and he merry and forget about anything else, tor there IS no worry about any heaven or hell in the future.}

"Of these two types of Soul belief', one either holds back, concluding that the assumed 'Soul' is eternal, or he overreaches, concluding that it comes to be once and for all

annihilated." -

"Hence the Blessed One (the Buddha) said: There arc two kinds of view, monks. When gods and human beings arc obsessed with themselves, some hold back and some overreach; only those with eyes sec. And how do some hold back 't Gods and human beings love craving and becoming, they delight in becoming, rejoice in becoming. When the Dhanuna IS taught to them for the ceasing of craving and becoming, their minds do not enter into it, become settled, accept it , be resolute in it. Thus it is that some hold back. And how do some over-reach? Some are ashamed, humiliated and disgusted by that same becoming, they are concerned with non-becoming (not existing again in the future) saying in this way: 'Sirs, when with thc break up of the body this 'Soul' is cut off, annihilated, does not become any more after death. This is peaceful and sublime, this is true.' Thus it is that some overreach. And how do those with eyes see? Here an intelligent, wise, discerning man sees what has become as having become (because of this being, that arises; when this ceases, that ceases). Because of ignorance of condition, the mental activities arise; because of the mental tendencies, consciousness arises; because of consciousness the mindbody organism comes to be; this makes for the completion of the spheres-of-sense and thus arises contact, feeli ng, craving, grasping, becoming, rebirth and subsequently aiel age, suffering, pain, grief, decay-and-death. This is how this whole mass of "Ill' has become. But when ignorance and craving are cut offwith Wisdom, all of this becoming ceases. This is how one with eyes sees, and he enters upon the way to detachment and dispassion for all of it, to the fading away of desire and attachment and greed for it, he enters upon the way to its cessation." CV. Ch.XVm, 29).



In this section the five aggregates of clinging will be further detailed in how they function in the sense-experiences of a being and thus affect the mind. When a sense-stimulus comes into contact with or impinges on one of the senseorgans, it is called the arising of'Riipa or matter (form, shape, materiality, etc.) At the" same instant that the Rupa (object) is contacted or 'arises, feeling, perception, conceptualization and consciousness of the sense-stimulus also arise, This is called the arising of Niima or mind (name, mentality, etc.) The two - Nama and Rupa - arise more or less simultaneously and it is' appropriately called the process of NamaRiipa or mind-and-matter, name-and-form. The Niima (feeling, perception and conceptualizing) names or identifies the object which impinged upon the sense-organ. It actually arises as a type of resistence to the sense-stimulus received.

Feelings, perceptions, concept formations, and consciousness arise from within the subconscious or unconscious life-stream according to how one is conditioned to react to each individual sense-stimulus. It is at this point (the arising of feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness) that Karma or decisive action directed to that feeling and

. perception can or cannot take place. Keep in mind that it is not the physical object itself which is reacted to, but the mind reacts to the feelings and perceptions which have left their impression in our subconscious, which will be recalled later to manifest every time that same type of sense-stimulus is contacted or experienced. It can be likened to the operation of a computer, which, when the data is fed into the irnput device, the certain coding for that data is recalled from its giant magnetic tape or disc memory unit. Then only is the computer able to do its calculations and continue on with the work. Otherwise, without the input data and memorybank from which is stored all the information necessary for its operation, the computer would be useless. So too, can the body be likened to a computer with its circuits of nerves, nerve centers and the brain which relay the original vibration received at the sense-organ via the nervous system to the brain,


where it i~ all recalled and sorted out by the mind's memory and then mampulates the body as IS required.

Reaction IS based on the law of Karma. As we act and I"(';"'{ to each stimulus, it is remembered and recorded so to speak "' ou~ electromagnetic-like memory bank, the subNns.:IOUS mind, These reactions become crystallized there very fast. The subconscious life-continum (Bhavanga) thus has a stereo-type pattern of response, a concept, which will again be recreated and utilized each time a vibration or stimulus of the same variety or characerist ics is contacted. It \~ill be automatic and spontaneous (ifit is let go unchecked), as It IS more or less just a habit-reflex activity. There is no real person, entity, or 'Soul' who is governing the production of these thoughts and reactions by the mind and body.

and this form which the mind assumes IS termed a 'perception'. This is a mental counterpart of the object actually contacted. The object, however, is not cognized ala mental image, but it appears as extended in space and time as a physical object. Do not misunderstand, the object does exist, for it is a presentation to the subject (the mind). Yet, it is private, its existence is not vouched for by others (because it is a form assumed by the mind, therefore not perceivable by others, but the same type of thing is going on intheir mi~d so that it seems that everyone sees the same thing). It IS, constructed by the individual and remains for him alone.9

These concepts and reactions that we are continually constructing within our mental make-up arc the most potent obstructions to perceiving things in their true impermanent, conditioned, soulless nature. In fact once a concept is formed, thinking appears to stop proceeding any further in that direction. Concepts take the thinker further away from actuality by fixing forces and events as permanent entities. These conceptual deposits in our subconscious life-stream, (iflct go unchecked) keep on influencing all our behaviour, judgments and sentiments relative to all subsequent experiences, adding to and taking away from their quality. Knowledge is nothing more than accumulated concepts and in conceptual thinking logic, reason, imagination and living experience play different roles.8

As in the above example, the real external support for consciousness is not the coin pure and simple, but it is the perception and concept of 'coin' which manifests from a complexity of functions such .as attention, intention, feeling, perception and contact (Consciousness).

Understanding this process involved in every act of sensory perception is very important in order to help one's mind to see the extent of its own entanglement with things of the world.

'Matter' of the coin being what it is, the graspmg groups of feeling, perception, determinations (the mental activities of determining) and consciousness take over from there and build-up a whole host of processes investing the original stimulus (derived from the contact with the coin) with feeling, intention, desire, stability, - possessive claim, etc. 8

In sensory experiences concepts continue to play their role even after the objects have disappeared from the scene, 'I see a coin' involves the coin which is an object of form (Rupa) external to me. But, when there is contact, what gets directly involved is not the material structure of the coin as such, but only the perception and concept (a mental picture of the coin) which the mind has in its memory and is again re-created each time a 'coin' is perceived. The mind aHumel (makes itself into) the form of the object presented

While sitting quietly with a subdued mind in meduauon, all these feelings, vibrations, sensations, thoughts, idea" etc. come flashing through the senses, rousing up consciousness. They seem to spring up from out of the void andto have no real relationship with us, only conceptual and with no substantiality, but yet we build all our thoughts and actions based 011 them. Our whole objectified world of experience arises accordingly. Hence is the saying 'all things come from . the mind, they are mind-made.'


Our whole field of feelings and perceptions depends on the contact between the SIX organs of sense and their corresponding fiel.ds of the six kinds of sense objects, including thoughts and Ideas etc., which are cognized by the mindconsciousness. The incoming sensations or vibrations we receive through the senses come and go in one 'mind-moment'. Ifwe do not react or take further action (grasping and clinging) to these feelings and perceptions, they will vanish instantly back into the void from where they arose. If we grasp (mentally) or cling, ponder, and think about these sensations and perceptions and take automatic preconditioned reactions towards the object they represent, then that object, feeling and perception seem to be real and to be something permanent, substantial and important to us.

Also, if we cling or further reflect on these phenomena, they persist and agitate or cause mental unrest or cause us to do some action or think about something else. This sets off a long chain of reactions, allowing the 'activities of the self' (sankhara khandha), or past conditioning to manifest, causing a complete re-routing of our thought pattern, or of what is happening 'Here and Now'.

different.rseparatc feeling or sensation, cognized by the body consciousness which in turn conditions the ansmg of the next thought ~r command to keep moving the arm or leg, whatever the case may be. It is a rapid consecutive senes of movements and sensations, which follow each other SO quickly that they give the illusive appearance of being o~e long continuous movement, If not ~xamlned. slowly. It IS similar to the working of a mouon-picture, which is made up of many individual separate frames each representing a single phase of action, which when fanned rapidly gives the appearance of an uninterrupted, flowing scene.

"Just as the flame that now is, is not the same flame that was a moment ago, nor yet something apart from that flame, but is the result of the growth of that flame, so IS It With the five grasping groups. As the flame burns by laying hold of new fuel ever and again, so is the life process constantly arising ever and again laying hold of objects by nature ,~f habit tendencies that he within the process of grasping. 8

Ifwc allow the five groups of phenomena (Pancuppadauakhandha) to take their natural course of just arising out of the 'void of mind' and instantly disappearing back into the 'void of mind', without identifying ourselves with them or reacting to them, then they seem or appear to be empty, insubstantial, without essence, and without any relationship to us.

Insight meditation is the process of becoming aware of and observing the mental processes involved In sensory perception which are normally an unconSCIOUS (one IS nOI aware of it) activity. Med itatron then IS the process of making the unconscious activity of the mind, a conscious acuvuy so that all delusions concerning the mind are removed and the truth is perceived.



Feelings such as bodily sensations, aches or pains, seem to last or be the same for one, five, ten, or thirty seconds or more. However, in reality every instant (mind-moment) they are constantly arising and passing away, conditioning another to arise, followed by another, instantaneously, consecutively in quick succession. To normal perceiving consciousness it illusively feels like one long enduring feeling. In the movement of a step or swing of an arm, each instant is a different separate command from the mind to that body part telling it to move. Each minute movement produces a

• In one's meditation practice, sufficient time should be givento perceiviug this momcntto moment sequence of arisingvanishing mind-moments, .untll ,the perceptIOn of rt IS cl_e~r and confirmed in the meditator s mind and the nature of II known. TIle facts of impermanency, unsatisfactoriness and non-self in all feelings perceptions, mental tendencies and consciousness will be very evident. It is difficult to understand by only reading or theorizing, but with a little guidance and a quiet, watchful mind, it can all be seen very clearly.

"Develop concentration, bhikkhus ; he who is concentrated understands according to actuality. And what does he

All of these frvc factors of clinging which constitute this 'being' are the process of Nama-Rirpa. It is the process of the mind recognizing objects whieh come into contact with the sense-bases filtering them through a screening process, selecting certain courses of action to be taken. These are conditioned by what has been done in similar situations in the past and which condition and strengthen the patterns of what will be donein the future. It is a conditioned process of cause and effect, the Law of Karma, of the electromagnetical-like attraction of those stimuli, for their impressions ingrau .. ed in our nervous system. There is no permanent or external 'Soul'; 'Self' or almighty creater-god in this process of Nama-Riipa, which has determined or decided anything. It is all based on ignorance of the way it actually is - that there is no real permanent 'Self' or 'Soul', only an identification and continuity, constantly renewing and strengthening itself, fettered and fed by the habit patterns which cause bondage and craving to the five groups of grasping.

and soullessness of the Iive grasping groups, developed and frequently practised, destroys all sensual passion, destroys and abolishes all conceit of ' I am'." (S. Ch.XXJf, 102).

The objective in the Buddhist meditation is to remove this '1' consciousness as being the subject so as to be able to genuinely transcend all subject-object relationships, even itself as being the subject. In this way one will truly realize that the five aggregates of phenomena are in reality not our 'Self', and that there is no soul or experiencer behind the experience, only conditioned reflexive like phenomena rolJing 011 and on. Thus, one will be able to free his mind from its bondage to this body and mind, and to experience the ultimate release of Nibbiina.

understand according to actuality? The origin and extinction of body, the origin and extinction of feelings, perceptions, mental activities, and the origin and extinction of consciousness."

The habit reflexive-like notion of an individual'!' or 'Self' bas attached itself like a parasite to the arising fivefoldmass of phenomena (consciousness). It is this notion ofT which we must diligently strive to remove from the consciousness as it arises, to purify the mind of the habit reflexive 'SMf' idea.

Thus have the five groups of grasped-after and clung-to phenomena of mind and matter been described and illustrated in various ways by the Awakened One and it is with these ideas that we should contemplate and reflect on these phenomena which make up existence. We must cultivate a dispassionate attitude for and a non-hankering after any of these conditioned things. In this way the erroneously construed notion of an individual 'I' or 'Self' which arises along with and permeates this Iivefold-mass is destroyed and eliminated by the power of wisdom. In reality this aroma of ownership of these phenomena of mind and matter is merely an illusive and delusive habit reflex activity of the mind, which has attached itself like a parasite to the arising (birth) of this fivefold-mass.


"The perceiving of impermanence and soullessness of the five groups of grasping, if practised and enlarged, wears out all sensual passion, wears out all passion for material existence and rebirth, wears out and abolishes all conceit of

'J am'.

It is the 'I-consciousness' which prevents a person from ever being able to experience one-pointed concentration or higher states of consciousness, because the 'J' reflex-noticn as subject will not allow the mind to let go of itself in order to experience 'oneness' or non-duality. The tl-consciousucss' keeps the mind bound in dual relationships.

'Just as in the autumn, a farmer, ploughing with a large f1ouah. cuts through all the spreading roots as he ploughs, iii the same way, bhikkhus, the perceiving of the impermanence

The Noble Truth of Dukkha or suffering, as it is commonly referred to, is based on the universal impermanence and soullessness of all conditioned phenomena of mind and matter

l Ima.Riipa ~. the Iivc aggregates of clinging). Hence nothing is worth clinging to or fretting over, not body or mind Of an~ of the experiences based on them, as it is all in vain. This truth (If Dukkha is direct and common experience to :III living creatures. It is plain to sec and realize if one just slows down and takes a 1001:. at these things as they happen in himself and in others. He will then perceive the reason for the various experiences which befall a person whether pleasant or painful. This Universal Truth of Dukkha is constantly proclaiming itself everywhere, and it is this which must be fully penetrated and comprehended by insight and Wisdom and held with conviction in ones' heart that it is so and not otherwise. The desire to be free of it all, must bc firmly planted, The steps laid out by the Compassionate Buddha showing the way to gradually minimizing and transcending it all must be practised and lived from the very core of one's heart.

This is the practice of Buddhism and the a1l11 of its meditation applications,

"Brethren. so long as I did not fully uuderstand these five grasping groups, the arising of these five groups, their ceasing and the way leading to their ceasing, - just so long was I .iot a ssured that in this world, with its devas, its Maras, its Brahmans, its men and animals that I was fully Enlightened (concerning it all)1 But as soon, brethren, as I did fully understand them as they really are, these five grasping-groups, their arising, their ceasing and the way leadi ng to their ceasing, then I was assured that in this world I was fully Enlightened." (Samyutta- N ikaya).

The following is an extract from a talk 011 Dhanuna by the Thai Meditation teacher Acariya MaM Boowa .~iinaiaItlpannc coucermug these five aggregates of graspuig, 4

"All the time these Khandhas (the five aggregates of piped-after phenomena) are changing, for they ap~ea~, _in for a time, then pass away and cease and being Anicca, (impermanent) they are also Dukkha (a source of pain and

frustration) and AnaWi (having no self-nature). This IS how they display and proclaim their true nature, but they never have time to SLOP and look at it. They ne ... ·er have time to become calm, not even for one moment. Internally and externally, everywhere they proclaim that the)' are Aoied, Dukkha and Anatt a, and they reject the longings and desires of beings (the so-called person they belong to), by acung 00 their own accord, showing that none of these things (the five groups of clinging) has an owner. They proclaim that thev are always independent and free to roam and do as theY please, and thai whoever deludedly becomes attached to them only meets with suffering, depression and sorrow which fill his thoughts and heart until in the end his tears of nuserv are like an everflooded river, and it will continue to be thus as long as beings remain deluded and entangled (Ill their Karma). It is easy to see that the five Khandhas are the very well of tears of those who are steeped in delusion (greed, hatred and ignorance),

'Investigating all the five Khandhas with rrght WIsdom so as to know them clearly, is for the purpose of minimrsrng one's tears and for d iminishing the process of becoming and rebirth (sickness, old-age, decay, death, suffering etc.) and for cutting them away from the heart (mind) which is the owner of'Dukkha, so that one may receive perfect happiness.

'The Khandhas (the Iive aggregates) are porsonous 10 one who is still Slink in delusion (bound 10 hi, passions) bUI one will> lruly knows all the Khandhas as they are (in their true nature), can not be harmed by them and may st ill obtain value from them in appropriate ways. It is like a place where thorny bushes grow, they are dangerous to anyone who does not know where they are and who gets entangled in them. But someone who knows all about them can usc them to make a fence or a boundary for" building site, thus obtaining value from them. Therefore, one who practices meditation must act skillful) in relation to the Khandhas (Nii;m·Riipa).

'All these things (the fivefold-mass) arise and die ""a) based on the Cilia (the tendencies ofthe mind) the whole time,


an 1,>1,,' II\U,t f"I1,'" ,,,I<I ".1<1\\ what is happcuiug 10 them wuh ,III all-cmbracmg \\ isdom that will immediately know "hat th ') Me up I,'. O .• c must take this up as an important la.1e to be done in all four postures (sitting, standing, walking or II 'mg down) without being careless or forgetful.

'The teaching of Dhamma which comes from (observing) rh Khandhas at th is stage, w.1I appear by way of unceasing nundfulncss and Wisdorn.und this teaching will not be lacking an eloquence of expression. All the time it will proclaim the facts of Aniee~, Dukkha, and Anatta within one by day and night, and while standing, walking, sitting or Iyin!l do:",n. This is the I ime when 0 nc' s W isdorn should be npe for listening, as though he were meditating on the Dharnma Sermon by the wisest of Bhikkhus.

'The five Khandhas and all Paramattha Dhamma (sense objects, sensauons, perceptions etc.) everywh~re, are _not at fault (are not the reason in themselves for one s suffering on account of them) and they are entirely free from all defilements or evil ways, but they are associated with them (suff~rinll' pain, Irustration etc.) because the Cilia (the ,!l~ld) which IS entirely under the power (and influence) of AV'JJa (ignorance) does not itself know the answer to the question: 'who is Avijja'. (Defilements are not caused by objects in th~msclve" but defilements are accumulated in the mind and It s mental tendencies, sankharas, It is the greed, and hatred m the mind for the objects come into contact WIth, which is the defilemenl and which bring suffering etc. connected with the objects.)

'Avijja and tile Citta (mind) arc blended together as one, and it is the Citta which is completely deluded that goes about forming love, and hates which it buries in the clements and Kbandhas - that is,in forms.souuds, smells, tastes,and bodily feeling, and in tile eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and heart (mind) etc., throughout the whole universe of elements: It is the things of nature (the five groups of phenomena) which arc 1Iit.ed. and it is love and hate which come from the whole m this deluded heart (the mind) that grasp and seize them.

'Because of the power (the Karmic force) of grasplDg and seilAng, wluch is the came, this "Avijja heart" (nlf deluded mindjwandcrsthrough birth, old-age, sicknc s. death etc., going round and round in this way through each ard every life (traversing the rounds of Samsara) regard leu 01 whether it is higher or lower, good or cvil, through a. the ,three realms of becoming.

'One must understand clearly with Wisdom. that. the five Khandhas and the elements are not the main storv. nor the ones who started the story, but are only involved in the story because Avijja (ignorance and the notion of '1') IS the one who wields the authority and power, compelling all these things to be of this nature (impermanent, a source of suffering and not-self). Then Wisdom searches for the source of it all, which is the "CJTTA THAT KNOWS", which is the "well" out of which all the stories of all things arise endlessly in all situations,and Wisdom has no confidence in this knowledge (conditioned knowledge).

'When mindfulness and Wisdom have been developed by training for a long time until they are fully proficient, they will be able to surround and penetrate straight through to the 'great centre'. Tn other words, "THE CITIA THAT KNOWS", when it is (normally) full of Avijja, does not hesitate to fight against Wisdom. But when Avijja can no longer stand against the "Diamond Sword", which is unshakeable mindfulness and Wisdom, it falls away from the Citta which has been it's supreme throne for aeons.

'When Avijjii (the notion of individual 'Self'), the Lord who rules the rounds of death, has been destroyed by the weapon of "Wisdom-Knowledge", Nibbana will be revealed (realized) to him who thus acts truly (meditates earnestly). knows truly, and sees truly - it cannnot be otherwise.

'So the whole story is that of Avijja , which is just 'falseknowing', which goes around molesting and obstructing natura! conditions so that they are changed from their natural state. Just by Ihe cessation of Avijja, the world everywhere


become normal and there is nothing left to blame or criticise it. It is as if ,I notorious killer had been killed by the police, after which the citizens CIf the town could live happily and need no longer g,' nbout watchfulty for fear of being attacked.

. :From the day that Avijja is dispersed from the heart, n Will ~ entirely set free in it's thinking, meditating, knowing and seeing Into Dhamrna (conditioned phenomena) which are associated ,wuh the heart (mind). The heart (mind) i, then possessed of "Yathabhiitlhliina-dassana", which means that it knows, sees and follows the truth of all the Dharnmas (the five groups of phenomena), and this knowledge is balanced and no longer inclines to one-sided views or opinions (selfishness). The eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind, and forms, sounds, smells, tastes, touches, thoughts etc., then become free in their own natural spheres respectively, without being oppressed and forced, nor promoted and encouraged by the deluded heart as usually happens (when it is possessed by Avijja and a selfish 'J'). Because the heart is now in a state ofDhamma (It's freed state) it is impartial towards everyt hi ng so that it will no longerhave any enemies or foes. This mean, that the Citta and all Dharnmas (all constitutents of NamaRiipa, the five grasping groups) are mutually in a state of complete peace and calm by the virtue of the Perfect Truth.

'One who has "Opanayika Dhamrua" (The practice of lookioginwards into one's own body and mind and examining it, opening it up, exposing it), firmly planted in his heart (mind) will be able to free himself, because the "Sasana Dbamma" (the Buddha's teaching) teaches those who listen to make it "Opanayika" - in other words to bring the Dhamma into oneself." (Do not try to find the Dharnma aomewhere outside of oneself, otherwise it will never be appreciated or truly realized).

This concludes the talk on Dhamma by the Thai meditation teacher.

j I.


In order to understand the characteristic of moha Yoe should know what we are ignorant or unaware of when theft is moha. There is the world of convential terms expressed as words and ideas and there is the world of para mall Ira dhammas (absolute realities - things which are actually real in our experience - before conceptualizing and proliferating rhough] has distorted Iheir true nature), When we think of the world we may think of people, animals, houses, cars, trees and 50 forth and give them different names. However, do we know them as they really are; as they are initially experienced through our senses, as bei ng only clements or characteristics of material phenomena (rupa) and mental phenomena (nama) which arise and pass away in OIlT body and mind

The materia! and mental phenomena (rupa and nama) which appear in OUT daily life can be directly experienced through the five physical sense-doors (sense organs) and through the mind-door, no matter how we name them Or organ ize them for Our Own use. This is tire world which is real. the world ofconditioncd realities as the" are initially encounr-

ered through the senses. • .

The Buddha has explained this 'world of conditioned realities' which he calls 'The Ali':

"Bhikkhus, I will teach you the All. Listen to it. apply your minds and I will speak.

Now what, bhikkhus, is the All? It is just the eye and visible objects (colour), the ear and sounds, the nose and odours, the tongue and tastes, the bcdy and touch objects, the mind and mental-objects. This, bhiklhus. is called the All.

Now whoever should speak Ihus: 'Setting aside this All. I will proclaim another All', it would be mere talk on his paTt and on being questioned be would be unable to


proceed and in aJd,ti,'n, vexation wonld befal! him. Whyi this? Because it wouhj be beyond hi, 'cope to do <\('1,"

('SamYU1l3·N,Kdya, Salavatana-vagga, ch. XXXV, 23,

The All) .

... The 'worl,d' in rhe sense of 'absolute realities' (what is Initially experienced through the six sense-doors) is in fact called 'the World' In the Buddha's teaching. Those who develop the teachings of the Buddha, the Awakened One, develop the wisdom which sees things as they really are (before the mind interferes); He truly knows 'the world'.

One of the Buddha', disciples said to the Buddha:

"'The world! The world!' is the saying, Lord. Pray how far, Lord, does this saying go?"

"What is transitory by nature (is of a nature to dissolve), ARanda, is called 'the world' in the discipline of the Noble Ones (in the Buddha's teaching). And what, Ananda, is transitory by nature? The eye, Ananda,

is transitory by nature visual objects visual consci-

ousness is transitory by nature. the ear sounds ......

ear-consciousness ear-contact nose tongue

body mind mindobjects mind-contact. and

mind consciousness is transitory by nature. Whatsoever pleasant or painful experiences which arise on account of eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mindcontact, that also is transitory by nature, of a nature to pass. What is thus transitory, Ananda, is called 'the world' in the Noble One's discipline." (SanyuuaNikaya, ch, XXXV, 84, The Wor/d).

The Buddha has further stated that 'the world' is in th is ftfY fathom-long body with its perceptions and thoughts. We read in the Anguttara-Nikkaya, (Book of Fours, 45, that one night the Deva, Rohitassa came to the BuddIIa and asked him:

"Is it possible, 0 lord, that by going, one can know, see or reach that end of the world where there IS ne the; birth, nor ageing, nor death, nor passing rway, nOT re-arrs rg .

"It is not possible, J declare, 0 friend. that by zoms, one can know, see or reach that end of the world where there is neither birth ......lor ·e'w'h." Hilt J do not say that one can put an cnd to s-rfferr. ')(birth,ageJI !,etc) without having reached the C id of the world, And further I proclaim, friend, that .n thrs very fathom-long body with its perceptions aid conscousve-, . there is the world, the origin of the We 'Id; the end of the world, and the path leading to the end of the world."

Through the above suttas we can see what is meant by 'the world' the way it is perceived according to the Buddha And we can see the truth of'the world' in our own experience, to confirm for ourselves the truths which the Buddha was teaching. The world of conditioned realities is real. When we see.there is the world OfCl'JOUf, because in reality what we initially see is only colour experienced through the eye'. When we hear there is the world of sound experienced through the car. When we feel a touch-feeling on the body, there is the world of bodily feeling experienced through the bcdy When we think, there is the world of thought experienced through the mind. This holds true for the world of smell experienced through the nose and the world of taste experienced through the tongue.

Taking the eye, colour and seeing-consciousness as real: their characteristics can be experienced. It does not matter whether we cali them 'colour' and 'seeing', or whether we do not name them at all. When we cling to conventional.terms such as 'tree' or 'chair', we do not experience any charactens .i": of reality. When we sec a tree it is colour which can be directly experienced by the eye. Colour is a pararnattha dharnma (an absolute (but condrioncd) reality): it is a k r.d of rupa (material object) which can be directly experienced through the eyes. It is real. When we touch a tree we can experience hardness; this j 1 kind of rupa which can be


When there is moha (delusion) we live in darkness. It was the Buddha's great compassion which moved him to teach people the Dharnma. The Dhamrna is the light which can dispel darkness. Hwe do not k"OW the Dhamma weare ignorant about "the world' in its absolute sense and about ourselves; we are ignorant about good and ill deeds and their results; we are Ignorant about the eradication of the defilements and the end of suffering.


The Buddha preached the following diM:ourse to the mocks.

concerning the proper way to regard 'tt,e world"

"I will teach you the Dhamma, bhikkhus, for the full understanding of all grasping ......

Dependent upon the eye and visible-objects, visual consciousness arises. Contact is the coming together of these three, Conditioned by contact is feeling. So seeing, bhikkhus the well-instructed Noble disciple is dispassionale towa/ds the eye, is dispassionate towards visual-objects towards visual-consciousness ...... visual-contact ...... towards feeling, Beingso dispassionate he is detached, bcingdetached he is liberated, being liberated he knows: "Grasping has been fully understood by me".

Dependent upon the ear and sounds ...... the nose and

odours the tongue and tastes ...... the body and. tangible

objects the mind and mental-objects arises consciousness.

Contact is the coming together of these three. Conditioned by contact is feeling ......

So seeing he is dispassionate towards the ear. ..... rnind.. .... mind-consciousness ...... mind-contact ...... towards feehn!:. Being dispassionate he is detached, being detached he. IS liberated, being liberated he knows: 'Lived IS the Holy:life, done is what was to be done, exhausted IS future rebirth, for life in these conditions there is nothing more of being this or that.

This, bhikkhus, is the Dharnma for (he full understanding of all grasping." (Samyutta-Nlkaya, ch. XXXV, 60),

evpcrienced ,"rllllgl, lire bodv-scn "', it is real, Realities uch as colour. sound, hardness, softness, heat, cold etc. can be e.\p<'Ticnc" d, I'" matter what name one gives to them. Wh n th se 'realities' present themselves through our senses they arc normally not seen in their true nature because our mind distorts (hem by converting them into the 'world of conventional terms or concepts. This happens because ignorance and wrong view (of their true nature) have been accumulated for so long. so that it has becomelike an automatic conditioned reaction of the mind. to transform 'the world of absolute realities' into 'the world of conventional terms' or t he world as is normally experienced and indulged in, taken to be 'real' in its own right. Ignorance of 'the world' of'absoluie realities is the kind of ignorance which the Buddha w.mts ncoplc to eradicate because it brings sorrow.

A person may think that he can truly know himself without 'wing the world as it appears through the six sense-doors. He may think that he knows his anger and attachment, but in fact, he has not experienced them as they are because he identifies himself with them and follows them U'J with action of some kind. As long as a person takes his mental-states and mind's activities for 'self' he does not really know himself and he cannot eradicate defilements. clinging to an Idea, to the concept of 'self', he has not expe ienced any characteristics of reality. He does not know how often greed, hate and ignorance arise and he docs not know the more subtle degrees of akusala (unwholesome mentalstares). When one starts to develop 'insight' one realizes how little one really knows oneself.


"'The ocean, the ocean!' says the uninstructed ordinn.v person, hhikkhus. But that is not the. ocean JI1 the '<~bk One's discipline. That ocean of the ordinary person IS mcrel, a great mass of water agreat extent of water. But \\ hat is Ih: 'ocean' in the diSCipline of the Noble One? There arc. bhikkhus, visible objects cognizable by the eye ..... sounds cognizable by the car ...... odours-nose ...... tastes-tongue

touch-object -body ...... and mind-objects cognizable by the mind which are pk.15ing, agreeable, channing. enticing, desirablc, Ir,'using the passiou«. This is called 'the ocean' in the ,h"'lpitIlC of the Noble Ones. Herein this world with its dlVJS. maras, brahmas, with its rc'<:Juses, hermits, monks, and m.m kind with its princes paupers and ordinary men is almost entirely unmcrsed, is entangled, like a ball of thread has b,..-ume enlangled,like a mass of munja-grass and rushes (a swamp), unable to g,' beyond a state of loss, " bad destin.III,'n. ruination, the round of births and deaths." (S.N., eh. XXXV, IS~).

Delusion (moha) has the characteristic of blindness or the opposuion to knowledge; the essence or non-penetration, ('IT the function of covering the intrinsic nature of the object ; the manifcsuuion ofbeing opposed to right conduct or causing hlinducss : the proximate cause or unwise attention; and should be regarded as the root of all immoralities.. (The 'Auhasaluu, boo, n, part lX, ell. 1,249).

nama and nipa (the fivc aggregates of chngrng), cot knc w-ng the Four Noble Truths. Out of ignorance onc does not sec the Truth of Dukkha (suffering}; one dOC1 not realize the nama and rupa which appear as being impermanent, a source of sorrow and without any self-nature. One does not know the origin of~uffering, which is craving. Because of clingrng to nama and rupa as being one's self" there IS no end to the cycle of birth and death and thus there IS no end to suffering. Onc docs not know the 'ceasing of sunering', which is the expenence of Nibbana. One does not know 'the Way leading to the ceasing of suffering' which is the Noble EIghtfold Path The Noble EightJold Path is developed and brought to fulfillment and completion through vipassana-rneditauon

There arc many degrees of moha. When we study the Dhamrna we become less ignorant about 'the world' as experienced through our senses; we understand 1H0rc about the pararn iuhn dharnmas (colour, seeing, sound, hearing, thoughts. thinking etc.), and we understand about karnma (karma) and its result (vipaka). However, this docs not mean that we eradicate delusion. Moha (delusion) cannot be eradicated by thinking about the truth; it can only be eradicated by developing the wisdom which knows 'the world' of the Noble Ones discipline: eye-sense, colour etc., all namas and rupas, the five aggregates of clinging as they arise through the six doorways.

Moha (delusion or ignorance) is the root of all unwholesome deeds, speech or thought. When we do nol see 'the world' or 'the ocean' as it really is, we are bound to accumulate akusala karnma (unwholesome kamma), Delusion conditions greed and anger. When we do n.ot know 'realities' as they are we b-corne absorbed In the things we cxpenence through thesenses, Ignorance is not seeing the true characteristics of

When one begins the practice of Buddhism and developing insight many doubts may arise. There arc. man) degrees of doubt. We may have doubt about the 'reality' of the present moment. For example, when there IS hearing, there IS scur.d as well but there can onry be awareness (sau) of one reality at a time, since cilia (the mind) can have only one object at a lime. We may doubt whether the reality which IS experienced at the present moment is tne llama which "ear~ or the '!If'G which is sound. Nama and rupa arise and fall away so rapidly that it is difficult to know which real It) IS experienced 01 the present moment, There will be doubt about the world 01 pararnattha dharnmas until wisd~lIn (pafiiia) clearly know, the characteristics of nama and rupa as they appear through the six sense-doors.

The 'atthasalini', book U, IX, chllJ, 259) states about doubt:


"Here doubt means exclusion from the cure (or knowledge). Or, one investigating the intrins ic nature by means of it suffers pain and fatigue - thus It IS dcubr, It has shifting about as characteristic, mental wavering as function, indecision or uncertaiuity ill grasp as us manifestation, unsystematic thought as proximate caus~ and it should be regarded as a danger to auauuuent.

Doubt is different from wrong-view or delusion (rnoha) Wltcn there IS wrong-view, one clings to the realities which appear a. permanent and take, them Icrsclf". When doubt ames, one wonders whether the mind is different from the body or not, whether there is a 'self' or not. There is no other way to eradicate doubt and wrong view out b, developing th,e !,ali/ili (wisdom) which sees realities (the five aggregate, 01 clinging) as they are. People who have doubts about the person and the teachings of the Buddha, the Awakened One may think that doubt can be cured by studying historical events. They want to find out more details about the time the Buddha lived and about the places where he moved about and preached; they want to know the exact lime the texts were written down. Their doubt will never be cured by studying historical events etc. This does not lead to the goal of the Buddha's teachings which is the eradicationofsuffering.

There was one follower of the Buddha during the Buddha's time who was always speculating about things which do not lead to the goal of Nibbana. He wondered whether the world was infinite or finite; whether the world was eternal or not eternal; whether one who has attained Nibbana survives after death or whether he does not etc. He avowed to give up the Holy-life and return to normal life if the Buddha did not tell him the answer to his meaningless questions. The Buddha replied to him that he was like a man who is pierced by a poisoned arrow and who will not draw it out until he knows the man who shot it, the make of bow be used, what kind of poison was used, what kind of wood the arrow shaft was made of etc. He would die before he could fi nd out all this information. The Buddha further told him that the Living of the Holy-life for the complete destruction of suffering did not depend on all those views about tbe world being infinite or not, eternal or not etc, The important thing to understand is that there is birth, ageing, suffering, and dying; there is grief, sorrow, lamentation and despair, the destruction of which the Buddha's teachings are concerned with here and now.

rite Buddha continues:

"Wherefore, Malunkyapuna. understand a, not explamed what has not been explained by me, and understand 3' explained what has been explained by me. And w hat, Malunkyapulta, has not been explained by me? That the world is eternal etc. And why has this not been explained by me" It is because it is nol connected wuh the goal, is not fundamental to the Holy-life, and does not conduce to turning away from. nor to drspassion, stopping, calming, super-knowledge, awakening, nor to Nibbana. Therefore it has not been explained by me. And what, Malunkyaputta, has been explained by me' 'This is suffering' has been explained by me; 'This IS the arising of suffering' has been explained by me; 'This is the cessation of sufferrng' has been explained by me;'This is the path leading 10 the ccssa.ron of suffering" has been explained by me. And why has this been explained by me? It is because it is connected with the goal, is fundamental to the living of the Holy-life for the .cornplete destruction of suffering, and conduces

to turning away (from being attached to and identifying I oncself wuh the five aggregates of clinging]. to dispassion (for the same), stoppingfof further karmic accumulations),

calming, super-knowledge, awakening, Nibbana !)'

Doubt cannot be cured by speculating about mailers which do not lead 10 the goal; it call only be cured by being aware ofthc llamas and rupas (the five aggregates of clinging) which present themselves now through the six sense-doorways. Even when there is doubt that too can be realized as onlv a lype of mental-state, nama, arising because of condiuons and not because of a 'self'. Thus the 'reality'ofthe present moment will be known more clearly and mind fulness and wisdom can be accumulated so that the Eightfold Path laid out by the Compassionate Buddha may be brought 10 completion and the endof suffering achieved, even in this life. The Noble Eight-fold Path leads to the eradication of the defilements and Delusion.




and tongue), the elements of Nama (feeliog, perception, thinking, mental moods, etc. and awareness it5elf of these Rupas) are constantly arising and vanishing. These 'conditioned realities' are continuously presenting themselves all day long. We do not have to wait for a special time to meditate to develop insight into the Buddha's teachings. Even right now is there no visible object (colour) - (these printed words), which are rupa, and the 'seeing' them, and thinking about them which are both elements of nama? These are separate 'conditioned realities' (phenomena) which are arising and passing away even right now while you are reading this.

To get an idea of how to actually live and practice the 'mindfulness' of the five aggregates of clinging (the elements of rupa-or physical phenomena, and the elements of nama-or the mental phenomena) which are coustanly arising and passing away in our experiences in daily life, and which can be the objects of awareness (Sati), one must begin 1I0W, at this moment to be mindful.

III our daily lives, moment to moment, there are to be seen and experienced both the elements of Rupa (the aggregates of material phenomena) and the elements of Nama (the aggregates of feeling, perception, mental formations and c ansciousness). We are generally not 'aware' of these phenomena when they actually arise, or if we are, we take them for granted as being part of our 'self'. We do not sec them in their true nature as being impermanent, fleeting not under our control, arising and passing only upon conditions, not belonging to any entity or 'self'. We do not see the inconvenience and sorrow which is inherently bound up in identifying and-attaching ourselves to and desiring to experience these 'elements of existence'.

The physical body is just a mass of atoms conglomerated together constantly in motion and activity and being affected by external stimuli. Constantly in our daily lives we are experiencing these characteristics of Rupa (material phenomena) as hardness, softness (solid clement}; heat and cold (the temperature element); pressure (on the skin or internally) and motion (tile air or motion element). we experience visible objects (actually it is only colour which is experienced through tile eye), sounds, odours, Ilavours etc. All of these phenomena are clements or manifestations of the aggregate of'Rupa which we experience from moment to moment throughout our lives. Why don't we make them direct objects of our awareness (Sati}? Because of these activities of Rupa (going on inside our body or contacting the other sense organs (eye, ear, nose

Normally we take this process of 'reading' to be a whole tiling. Therefore we are mislead to think it is being done by a 'self', But actually these things, visible objects, the 'bare seeing' itself, and perceiving (recognizing) the letters, and 'thinking about the words' are separate conditioned realities or phenomena wbich arise and fall away in rapid succession. We cannot order them to arise or disappear. These phenomena are 'not-self'. Is there not breathing no" (the clement of motion) which is rupa (a physical phenomena) and the element of nama which recognizes or perceives (saiilla); the motion, and the thought which calls it 'breathing' (also nama) ? Are not there sounds (rupa) no", and is there 1I0t 'hearing' the sounds and then the 'thinking' (nama) about the object? All these activities are not 'self'. Is there 110 pressure (rupa) from touching something, or cannot hardness be felt, and the 'recognizing' the hard ness, and maybe the annoyance of it, a pleasant feeling or a painful feeling (llama), and a desire to move one's posture (nama) .. Is there 1I0t motion (rupa) of the body III changing the posmo n, and the commands (nama) by the mind to move the body? These phenomena are all elements of physical phenomena (rupa) and the mental reactions to them, nama, (the elements of mind), which comprise the five aggregates of clinging. These five aggregates of clinging are constantly arising and disappearing al/ day 101lg. Why can't we be aware ofthem.2 We don't have to wait. Why should we think we can't be aware of these everoecurring five aggregates of clinging which constiture our entire life? Why should one limit his practice



"f nuud'ulncss til "1\1) certain periods of the day (i.c, while \.\I\l~ suuug. or \\ 1\':11 one IS in a quiet place). Even [11 a crowded bus or, store. or in .1 noisy gathering, or while at \\,'rl., M '1",,,l.ltlg On t hc telephone or riding a bicycle, arc U0t there 'visible object'. 'seeing', 'sound', 'hearing" 'move. 1I\,'.1{ of the body' (motion). 'thinking'. pleasant feelings, lillpk.hant tcclings? \t'\.! not there moods of anger, desire,

mdness, happiness, depression, excitement ctc? We should make "I~S~ everyday happenings into objects of our awareness (sal i) "",I develop insight i III 0 tile Budd ha's teachings. Iii this way we will be helping ourselves to understand and to climiu.ue some of the confusion and sorrow which is in our lives.

\Vc can never see these five aggregates of clinging and grasping in activity as they really are (as impermanent, fleeting, iuonally arising and not self") unless we are Qlfare of their clutracterissics when and where they present themselves one al (l lime. Experiencing and seeing these clements 01' manifestations of mind and matter (nama and rupa) broken up in their particular characteristics, we will be less inclined to take them as a 'whole', as 'mine', for 'self'. We will learn to sec tile body as only 'body' (a conglomeration of material activities) and the mind as only tile 'various elements or activities of mind' and not take them for 'self'. This is the practice which the Buddha wanted his 'hearers' to develop in everyday life, from moment to moment; to be aware of these conditioned 'realities' (they are real In the sense that they exist ill our experience, but they ~re _conditiol~ed and subject to ceasing) which constitute life Itself, seemg them as being unstable, fleeting changing, beyond our control and a source of pain and sorrow.

Why is it important to be mindful of the different conditioncd realities as they appear one at a time? If there can be mindfulness (Siiti) of the conditioned realities as they appear one at a time through the six door-ways, the tendency to take them for permanent entities, or for 'Self', will become less. When we think that we see a 'person', what is it that appears through the eyes? What appears through the

eyes is only a vislnlc object, 110t a person 'l'cr.w'_ IS a concept which we have added or construed to grve mear il tn the visible object, !l IS not 'self",

A VISible object can be expcne ccd onlv Ihre:- gh I. c eye-door, 11O.t through any other door-way rsense- )fg;:~, A VISIble object cannot be toucheu

Whcn a VISIble object (rupa} appears, there w a~=,. (nama) which experiences the visible object, Nhe",,:,c the visible object cannot. appear. The 'sccmg' IS merc'v " reflexive action, a condiuoncd phenomena. il rs not a perso n who sees, not a 'self', it can only experience the VISIble object. The same holds true for the other senses, A vrsrblc object should be realized and also 'seen'; lire experience (f a visible object should be realized. A visible object IS nOI the same as the experience of it, they are different cO.1d·tI01Cd phenomena. If'seejng is not ~nown as it really IS, we are bound to take 'seeing' for sclf",

We may think we can touch a Visible object, but "her; there is 'touching', \\ hat appears? It may be hardness, souness, heat, cold. monon or pressure, A ~ isihle object, that which appears through the eye dUOf1 cannot be touched, it can only be seen. When a visb!c object is touched it becomes a ta-igible object appearing through the body-sense door, being a co.npletely different experience from rnat of a \ i,,"'e object. 'Seeing' and 'touching' cannot appear at the same time; they appear one at a time, at different moments.

It is the element, of mind (nama) which may connect up the two experiences to relate to a certain thing, but again that process of nama is another series ofd ifterent 'conditioned realities' arising and falling away one at a lime: it is nor 'self",

When we touch a table it IS not the table which appears. but a tangible object (rupa) or an experience of hardness. etc. At the moment hardness appears, there is only hard ness (rupa) and tbe 'experience of hard (\CSS' ; there is no table In hardness, there is no 'self' in hardness. If the rupa which appears


l' not rcahzcd as it is (IlS only being riipa, 110t 'self') one is bound h) lake it for 'self' clinging to it as happening to him.

\\ e may tlunk of the concept table, but thinking and formulating concepts is a different conduioned phenomena altogether from that of hardness and the experience of hardness ctc.,

Itthere is not mindfulness (Sat i) of the characteristics or Nama (feeling, perceptions, thinking, mental moods, etc. and awareness itself) as they arise one at a time, we fall into the delusion ora 'Self' who experiences. Riipas arise through the body senses - eye, ear, nose, tongue and body (skin). "lamas arise only through the mind-door. They are all conditioned and not 'Self'. If one still thinks it is 'I' who experiences these phenomena of matter and mind, he has still not developed any insight.

Sjiti , or mindfulness, is the conditioned mental factor (sankhara) which is aware or mindful of the different 'realities' (conditioned phenomena) appearing one at time. Sati is aware of the characteristics of hardness, softness, heat, cold, pressure, motion; it is aware of visible object, sound, odour, flavour, as they appear through the body-senses. Sat; is aware of mental states such as greed, sense desire, ill-will, anger, excitement, depression, pride, stinginess, jealousy etc. as they arise tbrough the mind door. Sati again is only a conditioned mental factor, conditioned by our hearing about 'right mindfulness'. When one has listened to Dharnma and has heard about Sati, there will be more remembrance of it. In this way Sat: can arise and it can be developed.

It is tile conditioned mental factor Pafifiii, or wisdom, which experiences or knows the objects of Sati as not 'Self' (estranged from being the owner of them). Sat i has to be practiced and accumulated for a long time before Paiina can experience the five aggregates of clinging as they arise, as bei ng not 'self'. If Sati, which is a ware ofthe characteristics ofrupas and narnas, has not been greatly established so that it arises very frequently no matter where we are and what we are


doing, we cannot expect that PaM! can rcaJi2Ie the ot;cct. of Stlti a§ being not 'self' (which appears in actual exper~DU as a complete 'non-association' with the phenomena). Jf there is no Stlti, at that moment there can neither be PaIlJlJ.

These two, Sati and Pallili, again are only condnioned mental factors (sankharas) which are atso not 'self', and they arise only because they have been cuhivated and developed, nOT OTherwise. If we confuse them for being 'self' or that we are doing these things, or if we think 'it is my mind', there is again no real Pailnil, only thinking and delusion. Only in the short moment ofSAti does Paililli have the oppor tunny to know a riipa or nama more distinctly as they rcaJJyare, as not 'self'. If we realize that this short moment (each individual arising) of Sati is the only opportunity for Pailil:i to become keener, then there will be more Silti and it will be accumulated. Then the notion OT feeling of a 'self' or 'J' which is experiencing these phenomena will wear away and become eliminated from the consciousness: it will be understood that it is Sati and Paililil, both mental factors, (conditioned), not a 'person' or 'I' who is aware of and realizes the characteristics of nipas and namas as they arise, as impermanent, fleeting and not 'self'.

We must learn to be able to distinguish each characteristic of riipa and nama as they arise, but we should not 1001.. for them or 'try' excessively to be 'aware'. When they arise we should just be aware of them. If there is searching out and waiting for thcm to arise with the desire to 'catch' them in order to gain insight, then this must also be realized as another tY]Je of nama, and not seeing the ~nomena as they arc. All kinds or riipas and niirnas, even the 'effort' to be aware, or 'doubt' about the value of this practice, or the desire to gain something (i.e. Enlightenment) by it (which are types of namas), should be realized as thev arise. as not

~~ .

It is not enough to be aware of only rupa and not nama. or only nama and not riipa ; or to be aware of only one aspect of nama or rupa and exclude the others; or to set aside only


In hour or tw, ina day for Sat i am] P.1i\i\,i, Thc charactcristie ,f all rflpas and n.imas must bc known and realized as and \\ hen rhev appear For example, while walking, if one pays aHc:uion0nlvtothc dl:lractcristics oflllotion(rupa) or his legs, he \\ ill not b'c aware of other kinds of rupas such as pressure and hardness, or visible object and sounds and the narnas which perceive Or remember' (saona) and'rhink about' and which 'experience' (viliiiiina) these rfipas ? Do not pleasant or unpleasant sensation (nama) also appear, or the me,ntal formations (sankhara) such as sense desire, aversron, Jealousy, conceit, happiness, kindness, or depression etc, ? If we try al~d limit the form conditioned 'realities' arc gomg to appear, In there is again desire, and the 'realities' (that which is real in our experience at the moment) cannot appear as they really arc, Cuaracteristics of Rupa and Niima are appearmg and fallinc awav all the time and all that has to be done IS to attend to them without trying to do anything special.

Only in fully knowing and comprehending (as not self) al) these conditioned phenomena which present themselves now at the present moment through .t~e six doorways, can ignorance and the defilements be eradicated. We can only eradicate the cankers of greed, hatred and Ignorance when they appear. and not allow them to overwhelm us, and inf'Iuence Our thought, speech, and actions.

We may know the truth in theory, but until Pailna (insight wisdom) is developed to the d~gre? that u can realize directly, intuitively, the Truth of not self, we WI,II never be able to fully understand andappreciate the Buddha s teaching, nor gain the fruits'Therefrom which is th':.:_e_ason for practising the Buddha Dhamrna. If Sat! and Panna coule! realize the arising and passing away of the Tupas and namas which appear here and now through the six doors, there would be more detachment Irom these conditioned phelloll1~n~. ,We would not erroneously sec and regard them as nunc or 'myself being in thcJ,n.' fn this way W? cOll,ld ~rcc ?ursclvcs from their intoxicating and overpowering binding Influence in our daily lives, If we listcnto the teachings of the 'Awakened One' without awareness, there will only be inellcctuat


knowledge but no detachment. Disenchant_nt. dilpa "on and detachment from these five aggregates or clmgJrg, ar .I grasping here and now. is for the destruction of sufferir.r and fort he realization of the 'UNCONDITIONED REALITY 'NJBBANA'.


One Who is desirous of seeing into the nature of the mind and body, to sec how it all ticks and rolls along. sh~uld retire to a quiet, secluded spot, and sit cross-legged with his bad and spine erect. Let him cast out all desire and t hir I for experiencing and identifying himself with anything which IS occurring inside his mind or outside in the external world, Let him cast out all habitual thinking about events concerning rhe past or future, Let him abandon all anger and ill-" ,II over which he might have been brooding and which might be festering inside him,

Let the meditator develop and feci a genuine lovingkindness and cunpassioj, for all living creatures. kno,,"ing that all beings despise pain and unhappinl'Ss, but because of Our ignorance and blind attachments and desire for thmgs in the world, we all have to go through the toilsome, painfu] rounds oflife(samsara), The meditator should stir up dC'SITC to free himself from these rounds of toil and also to wish that all beings' could likewise free themselves from the enslavement to the Ego or 'Self-[-Consciousness' which IS nothing but an illusive and delusive reflexive notion which has become attached to consciousness (the fivefold mass) like a parasite, and which is the 'Cause of the selfishness and egocentered ness in all beings and which is the cause for m0'1 of the strife and tension in the world. Let the mcditaror \'H-.h that all living things could live happily and peacefully without conlcnrion and desire to dominate. to live happily and peacefully in the 'hlissful' wisdom knowledge' of the abs()!ute true nature of the mind and body.

This is a preparatory reflection which the meditator should make so that the mind understands what 1t is about


tc do and to quieten the mind down to some extent by setting 11 Irce from the day's activities and the pent-up emotions which usually boil inside one.

Having become calm and quieted by the preliminary rcflccuon on friendliness and compassion for all living beings; having cast out lustful thoughts ill-will, restlessness, worry, doubt etc., the meditator should direct the awareness to the sruing posture or how the body is placed, and let him become aware of the incoming and outgoing breathing, both of these together in an attitude of an 'overseeing awareness', like viewing il all from afar in a panoramic surveillance.

Keeping the awareness of the sitting posture and in and out breathing as a reference point or in tbe background, the meditator should now direct his moment to moment awareness to viewing the sense experiences which are occuring in his mind due to the body's contact with objects of'the world which are assailing the sense organs. He should see the sense experience as just contact of the sense bases in the body and the mind with their corresponding objects, which when there is attachment and desire from the past,consciousness is aroused and arises (the fivefold-mass of phenomena arises). There are only the sensory experiences (phenomena) of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, bodily touch sensations and mental activity and the awareness of them as they occur, and nothing more than this. See the experience as being absolutely devoid and empty of any experiencer to whom these things are happening. There is no indwelling or governing 'Soul' or T or such, but merely just habit reflex movements (phenomena) of the conditioned mind. While this viewing is going on, the awareness of the sitting posture and the in and out breathing should also be maintained as a reference point, in the background while these other sensory experiences are occurring. If the mind should wander far away from the present moment and the general state of alertness, just note that the mind is wandering and gently bring it back to focus on the sitting posture and the breathing. Keep a good, erect, alert posture, do not let the body slump forward or sideward or the head to droop down, but if you become aware that it is


doing so, slowly and mindfully straighten back 10 a erect (but not stiff) and alert position. Remain in an attitude of 'restful alertness' with all 'Overseeing awareness as If rn 'infinite consciousness'.

Next view the experiences which are happening in front of the awareness, in terms of Nama-Rupa and consciousness (the five groups of clinging) as they simultaneously come together and ansc to form one momentof conscious experience and then immediately vanish out of the 'mind-screen'. See how this is all that is happening and nothing more. See how the illusive and deceiving nqtion of 'I' or possessiveness of the experience comes into playas only a parasitic reflex movement. See and understand how this fivefold-mass is all just a conditioned fleeting series of conscious moments of mind, forming what illusively appears to be a continuous. uniform, flowing experience. Apply it to the likeness of a motion-picture which is merely a series of consecutive individual frames, but because of their rapid occurrence it appears to be unbroken and smooth flowing. Sec the mind (the Fivefold-mass) as being devoid of a 'Self' or 'Soul' directing force behind it. Even the awareness (Siiti) of all these phenomena

is not your 'Self', but is only just one of the activitiesfsankhara) of the mind which has been cultivated and strengthened through conscious practice. The feelings and sensations and the perceiving which takes place from moment to moment are also the results of past conditioning (Kamma-vipiika) and manifest from the 'stuff of the mind' (sankhara khandha). Likewise, even the effort being exercised to meditate and practice the Noble Eightfold Path in order to liberate the mind, is not the 'Self' or of the nature of a 'Self', but only mental. conditioning strengthened through practice and rcpeuuon.

Because there is ignorance, the habitual tendencies or the act ivitics of the mind and body are stirred and strengthened. which produces or arouses consciousness of Nama-Rupa ariaing through the six senses. Thus contact and feeling IS experienced and this conditions the mind to craving, grasping, becoming, rebirth, and consequently sickness, decay, sorrow,


gricf'aml ,lealh. Thus is the arising ofthis whole mass of'TTT" ,\11 ~)f this r~ne~tion should he applied to each birth (the conung together of the Five grasping groups) and death (the dissolution of the fivefold-mass) of the individual successive moments of mind due to contact. It should all be understood and seen as. 'This is not mine this is not my Self I am not this" and become thoroughly det;ched from the whdle show. See how all of this (the fivefold-mass) is Dukkha; see how it all arises because of ignorance and craving based .on the false notion of 'Self', and see how it can be brought to a gradual calming and stopping by practising the Noble Eight fold Path.

Once the meditator has contemplated all of these topics. he should have become detached from and disenchanted with the fivefold-mass (the world of sensory experience), knowing that there is in reality no individual 'T' to which these experiences belong. But it only seems so due to the subtle illusive nature of the 'Self' not ion which is merely a parasitic habit reflex rooted in the mind tending along those lines. Let the mind transcend the identification and reaction to tho fivefold-mass (the sensory experience) and keep a general state of 'alert awareness' maintaining the sitting posture and in and out breathing as the center of awareness. The paint to arrive at in one's sessions of sitting meditation" is to transcend the feeling of ownership of the sense experiences, and to let the feeling of an individual 'I' or 'Self' who is experiencing the six contacts of eye, ear etc. fade out of the awareness, so that there is only the unstained awareness of the individual moments (arising and vanishing) of NamaRilpa, the fivefold-mass, grounded on this body with it's sense organs as the base for the whole thing. Although the goal in meditation practice is to transcend the mind beyond the thinking and conceptualizing process to the state of 'non-duality', this is accomplished by initially making IhC of the intelligence to do this by 'talking itself out ofiuelf' 'W tn speak, "The intelligence is a ~cat mischief-worker, a nd yet wil hout it we shall never be able to wake up the grc.ucr one"? (the truth of the matter).


Two techniques which might prove helpful for the begrnncr arc offered here. The meditator, having done the preVIOUS contemplation, should conunue keeping an alert awareness of the sitting posture and the In and out breallung as it natura!'y flows, as the main center of awareness, Now develop the feeling of the body being Lke all 'empty house' WIth nobody at home (behind the sense organs) to '"I',,,,,, their being knocked at and impinged upon. The body should be Viewed and felt to be empt? and VOid of anything capable 01 responding, but view II as If It has a sensitive nucrophoce installed which IS aware of the vanous Impmgementsass.III11l" It, but there is nothing capable of reacung, The medllatl': should be like a 'living dead man'. 'Empty village' is th~ name describing the body and senses, lilt if a WIse dlSCcrlllOg man searches It through entirely. by way ofthe eye, car, nose, tongue, body (Skill) and mind, he fmds It empty, 'Old, unoccupied by anything of a nature of 'J' or a 'Sell '.

The mind at first will tbuck' at being shut out ,)[ It's own enjoyment of the experiences and the mind may "and" but the meditator should watch over all the mind's comir-gs and gOlnl\s (thoughts, Ideas, daydreaming, planning ctc.), Without clinging to and indentifying them as his 0" n, bur Just know.lllg them all as merely condirioned habn reflex acuvuy 01 the mind, The meditator should just abide wuh the body and mind in a co-ordinated slate of 'restful alertness' completely letting any idea or tendency to an expericncer or owner behind the experience fade out, completely transcending all reaction tendencies to any stimuli. Do nOI allow the body to slump or the mind to fall into a reverie or clouded ness, but maintain a comfortable erect posture of the bod, and an alert but quiet, detached, 'observing awareness'. Do not allow the mind to wander away from the 'Absolute present', but if it does, again gently bring it back to the present and the awareness of the srttrng posture and breathing. Always refer back and center the awareness on the sitt ina posture and the natural flow of the in and out breathingO whenever you feel restless, or the mind wanders a\\a)' etc. But otherwise keep the mind in an easy state of 'alert awareness', just viewing the present arising and vanishing


moments 1..,( consciousness l,r seeing, hearing, smclli ng, t3~t ing, touching and mind activit) (wandering, daydreaming, thinking ct,',) as they arise from out ol't hc void of mind and disappear hack. into the void, and do not allow the mind to cling to any of these phenomenal occurrences of the five groups III particular.

"Several names which have been given to tlus state arc the 'non-abiding' or 'non-dwelling' mind, the 'homelessmiud ', 'mindlessness' etc. To clear consciousness of any trace of attachment to the 'mind' concept, Zen gives the following.

'If yon wish to have a clear insight into the mind that has no abode, you have it at the very moment when you arc silting (in the right mood of meditation). The.n yOU sec that the mind is altogether devoid of thoughts, that It IS not thinking of ideas, good or evil (the mind's calm state). Things past arc already past and when you do not flursu,c them, the past mind disappears by Itself, together With It s contents. As to things that are to come, have no hankerings after them, don't have them conjured up in the imagination. Then the future mind will disappear by itself with all it's possible contents. Things that are at this moment before your mind are already here. What is important is not to get attached to them. When the mind is not attached, it raises no thoughts of love or hate, and the present mind will disappear by i~self with all it's contents. When the mind IS thus not contame~ in the three divisions of time (past, present), or future It can be said that the mind is not in time (i.c. it is in a state of timelessness).

'If the mind should wander do not follow the wanderings, and the wandering mind and the following-up mind (which are actually one in the same) will by itself disappear. When the mind abides with itself, do nOI hold on to this abidmg, and t'ie abiding mind (the awareness that the mind is in ~u~h ~ state) ".II by itself disappear. Thus when the 'no-abiding mind obtains, trus IS abiding in no-abode.


'When you have a clear cognizance of Ihil ,"'Ie of mind, your abiding mind is just abiding and yet not abidIR8 al all in any particular abode to be known as 'uo-abidmg'. When you have thus a clear insight into the state ot COnSCIOU)nen not abiding anywhere (when it is not fixed at an) parncular object of thought), you are said to have a clear inSIght rnto the 'original-mind'. This is also known as seeing into one's own being. The mind that has no abode anywhere IS no other than the 'Buddha-Mind', which is full of Wisdom and illuminating.

'This no-abiding mind is the Absolute Present, for it has no abode anywhere in the past, Present or future periods of time," 7

'The mind or conscrousness, serially divided and developcd in lime, always escapes our apprehension, it IS never 'attai nable' as to it's reality. II is only when our unconscious consciousness, or what is called super-consciousness, comes to itself, is awakened to itself, that our eyes open to the limelessness oft he present In which and from divisible time unfolds itself and reveals it's true nature." 7

Another method which can be helpful 10 get the feeling of'<not mine' IS to view all of the sense-experiences as happening in tile sky or space, not having a body involved at ail. vicw all of the phenomena whichareoccurring(hearing,seeing smelling, tasting, touch sensations, thoughts, ideas etc.) as just arising up from out of the 'void' of inner space and disappearing instantly (like shooting stars) back into the 'void' of inner space from where they arose. Try and get the feeling of being in the very 'eye of a cyclone' where it is perfectly calm and placid as the outside is whirling about .n utter chaos, but the center IS still and undisturbed. Remain undisturbed and unaffected b) any of the assailments from the world of tile six sense objects which are striking at the sense organs. Do not even hold on to the idea of being in the calm center of a cyclone, but just let the mind dissolve and merge

uuo that experience, the great 'Ocean of Con";lousn's' Th~rc should only be t hc experience ilScll~no expcriell~~~· onl) the ~no\\ u, byl no knower. A general state or 'ale l ,I\\~~rencss. should JUSI bemall\lainedandlhelrulhelf.II~_ sell pertauung 10 the activities of mind and body (I he five groups) should be clearly realized. In this way, ina short time the mce!llalor should be able to get a g:,od inturuve rcalizat ion 01 Auaua, or that III reality, things (the Iivcloldmass, eye, ctl.r, nose, tongue, body, and mind) arc not one's own P,)SSCSSIOII, llICY arc completely without sclf-nalure. The meditator should realize that in reality this nouon of an individual personal Tor 'Soul' which experiences the fivefoldmass, IS only an illusive and delusive habit-reflex which has grown like a parasue Into the consciousness. This is because of Ignorance of how 1I11ngs really are, that is, that the five groups of clung-to phenomena arc just arising together SImultaneously and breaking up and vanishing in a continuous sequential scncs of mind-rnomcnts. There is no real substantial cxperiencer behind or contained therein and it is all on account of habit attachment and craving (tanha), This is seeing things In reality as they really are (Yathabhutadasananiina).

. Now the meditator should let the mind grow and merge mto the feeling of the UNBORN, UNCONDITIONED, UNCOMPOUNDED, the "bottomless abyss of the Oo@cad", the state before Ignorance and the false notion or..,..w birth to the reflex habit pal terns of the mind. Let this Unborn state of pure unadulterated bliss grow and permeate the ~hole experience, to tile very core of 'Being'. Let Nibbana be experienced and realized.

eatin •• wul&ina • .obey"" the call or aature. while Iadina or slretchln. the limbS, in lookin, foward or bIchItcf, while talkin, or bepin,.ilent. Whatever the body and mind are doin,. 81 it bappeoJ one .houJd limply be aware of il, knowing it all to be 'no-telf'. And also, wbencftr pouibie try and be aware of the breathing 81 much as pouibJe, 81 all oftilil-will help to Itlenathen the period. of.ittin, in mediration.aad the IUCCClI in tbat will enable one to keep it up in his other 8(l!ivitios. The two types of practice mutually help and.ltrengthen the other. One might think this is a difficult thing to do. In the beginning it may be SO, but if the conviction and determination is grounded on faith (in knowing that it can be done) and the initial strangencn of it is overcome, then the whole practice of present-moment-awareness will frow freely and easily. In this way, the ego and the false notion of'Self', fades away out of one's consciousness and all of his actions and thoughts will evolve from a selfless base grounded in Wisdom. The meditator will then experience

a very pleasant sense of relief and release from the burden of 'Self' and from many of the things which used to bother him

-when he claimed them as happening to 'himself'. Many of t he body's aches and pains will not mentally affect him so intensely and he will experience a sense of ease and calm pervading his whole life and a tremendous change in his whole attitude towards life will develop. The meditator will experience the Peace and Happiness of 'I he Kingdom of Heaven within you', the spiritual realm of the mind. the communion with the UNBORN, UNCONDITIONED, GODHEAD, in which none of the passing trials and tribulations of the phenomenal world can ever . disrupt.

This is the benefit and advantage of transcending the attachment, ownership and desire for clinging 10 thc fivefold-moss of phenomena and to all things in the world, and transcending the illusive notion of 'Self' or 'I'. Mayall beings experience and realize in the 'core of being', the happiness and relief from the burden of 'Self' ..

\I.\y .UT.. B'Ff\Gi' BY. WELl. SAFE, AND HAPPY! !

'\ulIIh<'re.:l References and Quototloll~

I. TM Four 'Iutriments of Life. The Wheel 105-106, Buddhist Publication Society, Kandy, Sri Lanka.

2. The Questions of King Milinda. The Sacred Books of the East Series, Edited by Max Mueller. Vol. XXXV. Pub. '>lotilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1969 ed.

3. Buddhist Poetry, 1. B. Horner.

4. Wisdom Develops Sarnadhi, Forest Dhamma, Phra Maha Boowa Nanasarnpanno, Nagapradipa Foundation,

Bangkok, Thailand. Nov. 1973. P. 26-32.

5. Abhidhamma In Daily Life, eh. 7, P. 59-65. Mrs. Nina Van Gorkham, Dharnma Study Group, Bangkok, Thailand.

6. Most of this material is taken from 'The Letters from Tokyo and New York', by Mrs. Nina Van Gorkham of Holland.

7. Living by Zen, D. T. Suzuki, Pub. Rider & Cornp London. 1972 Page 66-68.

8. The World View of the Buddhist- T, 'All is impermanent' Bogoda Prcrnaratnc, Buddhist Information Center, Colombo.

9. Samkara, A Psychological Study. S. K. Rarnachandra R.1(). Kaayalaya Publishers, Mysore, India.


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