Brahmavihara Dhamma

Part III by Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw

(51) Practise to escape from rebirth or entering into a mother’s womb by rejecting Ditthi

Ditthinca – towards attaditthi which sticks or clings to the view that there is really atta – individual or Self or a being, which is the false doctrine, or rather, “the heresy of individuality”, anupagamma – having no desire to cling to or grasp with attachment. What is now driving at by the usage of this expression is that though one may be developing metta as “May be happy”, or, “May all beings be happy”, the terms “puggala” and “sattava”, i.e. individuals and beings, are mere terminology currently in use. As a matter of fact, there is no such thing as “an individual”, or, “a being”, or, what is called “atta”, Self. The primary intention is to make one realise with his own personal knowledge that so-called ‘Self’, being nothing but an aggregate of the four main elements incessantly arising, becoming and dissolving, called rupa and nama – matter and mind, attaditthi, the false view, should be dispelled or rejected.

The manner of rejection may be explained thus: This false conception should also be rejected with his background knowledge of what has been heard and noticed (sutamayanana) long before meditation is practised. If he is a person who has achieved metta-jhana, he should first of all absorbed himself in that jhana, and on being awakened from the trance of jhana, rejection should be done through his realisation of the said jhana and rupa, the material body, on which reliance is made, by practising contemplation. As regards a person who has not yet achieved jhana, he should reject through his intuitive knowledge by contemplating with mindfulness on rupa which is relied upon, and through recitation which is the object of Sense, at every moment of developing Metta as “May be happy”, or, “May all beings be happy”. It should also be rejected by relying fundamentally on metta-jhana, and by realising the truth through contemplation of the respective phenomenon of rupas and namas.

No special mention need be made with regard to the manner of rejection by sutamaya knowledge. The phenomenal nature of rupa and nama be rejected by practical exercise, noting and reflecting after listening to the sermon as far as possible.

The manner of rejection by contemplation and awareness of the jhana after plunging in jhana, is to contemplate on the Jhanic-mind when consciousness in jhana has ceased. after his absorption in metta-jhana. It is just like those persons with no achievement of jhana who realise by contemplating and noting the mind that imagines and knows at every moment of arising consciousness. It is required to contemplate and become aware several times repeatedly by absorbing in jhana and by contemplating the Jhanic-mind. It will then become obvious in the course of contemplation that consciousness of the Jhanic-mind wishing others happy, and rupa on which reliance is made as well as the Vipassana mind which contemplates and knows, are quite different from one another. At that moment, the material object of rupa that is depended upon and which does not know and feel the sensation, will be found quite distinct from the consciousness of the Jhanic-mind that has just occurred wishing others happy, and also the mind that contemplates and knows, will be visualised and distinguishably realised. It will then be distinguishably known with one’s own insight knowledge that there is no ‘living entity’, no ‘being’ and no ‘atta-being’, and that this material body is comprised of two different things viz: the one which knows the sensation and the other which does not know the sensation. When realised as such, attaditthi, which holds the view of atta as ‘a -being’, will be got rid of. This is the manner by which ditch – the false view, is completely dispelled or exterminated with the knowledge of nama-rupa pariccheda, i.e., knowledge of discernment distinguishing between mind and matter, after practising metta-jhana and Vipassana by turns.

From this stage, if effort is continuously made in his meditational exercise by absorbing in jhana and then again by contemplating on that jhana, realisation’ will come through personal insight knowledge that there is only Cause and Effect. This knowledge will lead to rejection of that Dittha. Thereafter, jhana as well as the contemplative mind with awareness, and the rupa on which reliance is made, will be found continually arising and dissolving. Rejection will then be made knowing the characteristics of anicca, dukkha and anatta. Eventually, this ditthi will be totally eradicated with the knowledge of sotapattimagga. This is how ‘ditthi’ is rejected and rooted out by developing jhana and Vipassana, alternately.

The manner of rejection that has now been stated is similar in nature to the method of rejection of ‘ditthi’ after developing metta, saying “May happiness be gained” and after contemplating the rupa with awareness of the mind which is pervaded with ‘metta’ The only difference is between “metta-jhana” and ordinary “metta” The method of contemplation is, however, the same. Let us now contemplate Vipassana after developing metta according to this method. Please contemplate and note while reciting.

“May all monks, nuns, persons and meditators in this Meditation Centre be happy.” (Repeat three times)
“May all monks, nuns, persons and Devas in this Township be happy.” (Repeat three times)
“May all citizens of the Union of Burma be happy.”(Repeat three times)
“May all beings be happy.” (Repeat three times)