The series of our discourse on the Dhammacakka Sutta was disrupted after the last lecture given on the full moon day of Tazaungmon as we had been visiting other centres. On the full moon day of Tabaung, we shall resume our discourses on the Dhammacakka Sutta. In Part Six, we had dealt with magga saccã. Today, we shall go on considering saccã ñãna (the knowledge that it is the Truth), kicca ñãna (the knowledge that a certain function with regard to this truth has to be performed), and kata ñãna (the knowledge that that function with regard to the Truth has been performed).
SACCÂ ÑÂNA WITH REGARD TO DUKKHA SACCÂ
Idam dukkham ariyasaccanti me, Bhikkhave, pubbe nanussutesu dhammesu, cakkhum udapãdi, ñãnam udapãdi, paññã udapãdi, vijjã udapãdi, aloko udapãdi.
“This is the ariya Truth of Suffering; or this is the Truth of Suffering which ariyas should perceive. Thus, Oh, Bhikkhus, concerning things unheard of before (by me), there arose in me vision, knowledge, wisdom, there arose in me penetrative insight and light.”
This is how knowledge that it is the truth arises with regard to the Truth of Suffering. We have enunciated in the earlier discourses the Truth of Suffering as birth is suffering, etc. We shall reiterate a little to make it clearer. The word ‘This’ in ‘This is the Truth of Suffering’ refers to various categories of suffering starting with jati (birth), and ending with upãdãnakkhandhas (the groups of grasping). Here, the essential item is upãdãnakkhandhas, which is mostly understood as learnt from books. Few are those who understand it as a personal experience, which of course is the main thing. We shall go over this again to point out how upaddanakkhandha could be understood as a personal experience.
Whatever becomes prominent at every instant of sitting, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, thinking constitute upãdãnakkhandha. The Ariyas see in these objects only fearsome pain and suffering; ordinary common people view them otherwise. They do not consider them as embodiment of trouble and suffering, but as pleasant and wholesome. They think it pleasant to see beautiful sights, to hear what they want to hear and to listen to sweet, sonorous voice. Likewise, it is pleasant for them to smell sweet fragrance, to sample delicious food and to enjoy a delightful sensation of touch as the most delightful. Beings of the sensuous plane consider the sensation of touch as the most delightful. It is a delight, too, to indulge in fantasies and daydreams. It would be terrible for them, a great loss, if everything including their daydreams were to vanish all at once. As a matter of fact, all that is seen, heard, etc., are upãdãnakkhandhas, the Truth of Suffering. Vipassanã meditation is practised in order to bring home thus Truth of Suffering, by realizing their true, fearsome nature of impermanence, etc., due to incessant arising and perishing.
As for the Blessed One, having fully accomplished the vipassanã magga, he had seen the best, the noblest bliss of all, the Nibbãna, by virtue of attaining the arahatta magga ñãna. And having seen the foremost and the noblest bliss of the Nibbana, he saw in the upãdãnakkhandhas only fearsome pain and suffering. This perception came to him, not after hearing about it from others, not from the practices he had learnt from the ascetics Àlãra and Udaka. This came about by direct personal knowledge after he had developed the Noble Eightfold Path. That is the reason why he declared: “Concerning things unheard of before, there arose in me vision, etc.”
With these words he professed also that he had indeed become a sammã sambuddha, the most enlightened one who had sought and found the truth by virtue of personal realization and direct knowledge, unaided by instructions or guidance from any source. Such an open profession was indeed necessary. In those days, self-mortification such as abstaining from taking food, etc., practised by Nigandas, was greatly esteemed as a holy, noble practice. The group of five bhikkhus themselves were earlier under the impression that it was so. Thus only when the Blessed One openly declared that ‘he had come upon the practice and knowledge, not through hearing from others, nor through speculation, ratiocination, but by his own realization, by personal experience and direct knowledge’, that his audience became convinced of his having gained supreme enlightenment, having become a true Buddha.
To gain direct intuitive knowledge without outside assistance is the exclusive domain of Enlightened Buddhas and Pacceka Buddhas only. The disciples of the Blessed One had reached such stage of realization and knowledge only by listening to the teachings of the Buddha and cultivating them through practice. Nowadays, too, such knowledge, if desired, may be acquired by developing them through practice in accordance with the teachings enshrined in suttas such as the Mahã Satipatthãna Sutta, etc. Thus, by practising as taught in these suttas, the upãdãnakkhandhas will be seen as they truly are, namely, mere suffering and pain. The Buddha’s proclamation was intended also to provoke the group of five bhikkhus to make the effort to see the true nature of the upãdãnakkhandhas.
In the Buddha’s profession mentioned above, the development of extraordinary knowledge was described as ‘vision arose, knowledge arose, wisdom arose, penetrative insight arose, light arose’, five descriptions given for a single form of knowledge. The Samyutta commentary states: “vision, knowledge, etc., are synonyms, meaning the same thing, knowledge. Because of the faculty of seeing, knowledge is termed vision; because of the faculty of knowing, it is termed knowledge; because of the faculty of knowing analytically in several ways, it is termed wisdom; because of knowing penetratively, it is termed penetrative insight; because of faculty of shedding light, it is termed light.”
The Patisambhidã Magga Pãli canon explains these terms similarly. The Pãli word cakkhu conveys the idea of seeing, hence vision. Various Pãli words are employed for the purpose of conveying the desired meaning or concept to different audiences, the commentary explains. Thus, to describe the knowledge which sees clearly as with physical eye, it is termed vision. To give an illustration, a man who has been blind for several years regains his eyesight through application of right medicine or operation by an eye specialist. He did not see any thing before treatment; now he sees everything clearly. Likewise, before the yogi has developed vipassanã ñãna or ariya magga ñãna, he has been under the delusion that the five groups of grasping, which represent suffering, are wholesome and pleasant, but when by constant noting, at the moment of seeing, hearing, vipassanã ñãna becoming strengthened, the yogi realizes clearly that the phenomena of seeing, hearing, otherwise called upãdãnakkhandhas, are really awesome suffering because of their nature of incessant arising and perishing. It is like gaining eyesight after being blind. With development of ariya magga ñãna, his realization of the true nature of suffering will be even sharper. Thus, because it sees clearly as if by the eye, this knowledge is termed vision.
With regard to ‘ñãnam udapãdi, knowledge arose’; ñãna is a Pãli term connoting knowing, hence knowledge. As to ‘paññã udapãdi, wisdom arose’, Patisambhidã Magga states that paññã is a Pãli term connoting knowing analytically in various ways. In connection with vipassanã practice, while taking note of rising, falling, etc., rupa and nãma are known separately as stiff movement and knowing mind. Uninitiated persons cannot experience this distinction in their person.
The yogi also can differentiate the cause from effect. He knows every fresh arising distinct from its vanishing. He knows that because of incessant arising and perishing, the aggregates are impermanent, awesome suffering; and they rise and perish of their own accord, not subjected to anyone’s control. He knows clearly thus that they are not self but mere insubstantiality. His is not a vague, indistinct, blurry knowledge, just a glimmering, but a distinct, clear, definite comprehension as if observed in the palm of the hand. Such knowledge is described as knowing analytically in various ways; hence, wisdom.
In ‘vijjã udapãdi’, vijjã is a Pãli word meaning penetration. It should not be confused with the word ‘vijjadhara’, a person accomplished in mantras, who is described in books as having the power of flying through space. Here, vijjã denotes not a person but penetrative faculty; hence, penetrative insight.
Penetrative insight is a subtle state, hard of understanding. Here, we must relate an incident which happened about the year 1300 B.E. During a discussion we had with a presiding Sayãdaw of our village, we happened to inform him that paññã arose while taking note of the phenomenon of arising and perishing at the moment of its occurrence. The Sayãdaw could not accept this kind of cognition as paññã. He maintained that paññã is that which is penetrative; only knowing penetratingly is paññã. When asked how should one bring about ‘knowing penetratingly’, he hesitated for some moments and then pronounced, “Well, knowing penetratingly is knowing penetratingly.”
‘Knowing penetratingly’ is derived from the Pãli word pativeda, penetrating through. It is akin to ‘sambodhãya, in order to know penetratingly’ as explained in Part Two of our discourse. Hidden by a screen or a wall, objects cannot be seen. But when a hole is made in the screen or a window in the wall is opened, objects become visible through these openings. Likewise, this knowledge penetrates through the veil of moha (delusion). At first, under cover of delusion, what is seen, heard, etc., is not seen nor known as impermanent, suffering, egoless; they are believed to be nicca, sukha and atta being veiled by avijjã, moha, ignorance and delusion. When vipassanã ñãna becomes strengthened, clear knowledge arises as if the veil of delusion has been pierced through. Such cognition is termed knowing penetratingly. the Blessed One had declared that such penetrative insight had arisen in him.
According to Patisambhidã Magga Pãli text, in ‘aloko udapãdi, light arose’. Aloko (light) is just a term used to denote lighting up, to make bright, to illumine. Here, light does not mean just ordinary light or luminosity seen by the human eye. It refers to the knowledge which discerns all phenomena clearly, distinctly. Previously, the true nature of anicca, dukkha, anatta are not seen nor known as if they are shrouded in darkness. When vipassanã ñãna and ariya magga ñãna have been developed, their true nature becomes apparent. Such cognition is, therefore, metaphorically described as ‘light arose’.
This single form of extraordinary knowledge was described in five ways: vision, knowledge, wisdom, penetrative insight, light in order to facilitate clear understanding on the part of various types of audience. This teaching is designed to meet the requirements of the listeners. It is just like our employing two or three synonyms in place of a single word so that our audience may catch the meaning of what we say through one alternative word or the other.
The Pãli words and their meanings we have explained above are all concerned with saccã ñãna. We have sufficiently dealt with saccã ñãna now. We shall go on to kicca ñãna, the function or action which should be accomplished with regard to the Truth of Suffering.
KICCA ÑANA WITH REGARD TO DUKKHA SACCA
Tam kho panidan dukkam ariya saccam parineyanti me, Bhikkhave, pubbe annusutesu dhammesu, cakkhum udapãdi, ñãnam udapãdi, paññã udapãdi, vijjã udapãdi, aloko udapãdi.
“This Ariyan Truth of Suffering is to be rightly and well- understood. Thus, Oh, Bhikkhus, concerning things unheard of before by me, there arose in me vision, knowledge, wisdom; there arose in me penetrative insight and light.”
This is how knowledge had arisen as to what should be done with regard to the Ariyan Truth of Suffering. It should be carefully noted that the function to be performed with regard to this truth is to comprehend it rightly and well, to understand it completely. For the yogi who aspires to attainment of ariya path and fruition, Nibbãna, it is incumbent upon him to strive to grasp the Truth of Suffering rightly and well, that is, he should understand each of the separate constituents of this truth fully starting from jãti to upãdãnakkhandha
In the constituent parts of this Truth of Suffering such as jãti, etc., the essential factor is the five groups of grasping. By knowing these five groups of grasping as they really are, the task of comprehending the Truth of Suffering rightly, fully and well is accomplished. Therefore, Mahãvagga Saccã Samyutta Pãli text states: ‘What, Bhikkhu, is the Truth of Suffering? It should be answered that the five groups of grasping constitute the Truth of Suffering.’
We have given a detailed exposition on the five groups of grasping in the fourth section of our discourse. Whatever appears at the six doors of senses, at the time of seeing, hearing, etc., constitutes the five groups of grasping. These should become the personal experience by taking note of every phenomenon at the six doors as it occurs. Through such efforts the nature of coarseness, roughness, smoothness, softness and pathavi dhãtu should be personally experienced; so also the cohesiveness, the fluidity and moistness of the ãpodhãtu; the hotness, coldness and warmth of the tejodhãtu and stiffness, pressure and motion of the vãyodhãtu should be personally experienced. All these should be separately and exactly understood through personal experience. How is this to be effected has been fully explained before. Briefly, it consists of giving concentrated attention to the sensation of touch that becomes apparent at any spot on one’s body. One of the four primary elements will announce its existence then through its intrinsic natural characteristics.
After knowing the four great primary elements, when taking note of seeing, hearing, etc., the physical base on which seeing, hearing, etc., depends, the material objects of sight and sound, the mental aggregates of consciousness together with their concomitants become apparent. At each noting of the phenomenon of ‘rising, falling, sitting, touching, knowing, feeling stiff, feeling hot, feeling painful, hearing, seeing’, the yogi personally perceives the fresh arising followed by instant perishing of both the objects of awareness as well as the noting mind. Thus, the yogi knows definitely that (hutvã abhãvato aniccã) it is impermanent because it perishes after each arising; he knows that (udayabbhaya patipil.anatthena dukkhã) it is awesome suffering because it oppresses by incessant arising and passing away; he knows that (avasa vattanatthena anattã) it is not atta (self), amenable to control because it happens on its own accord, not subjected to one’s will. Personal knowledge gained in this way by keeping watch of the phenomena of arising and vanishing and noting the characteristics of anicca, dukkha and anatta is knowing the Truth of Suffering comprehensively, rightly and well (pariññeyya).
The Blessed One came to the realization, without having heard from anybody that the Truth of Suffering, otherwise called the upãdãnakkhandha which is actually arising and vanishing, should be comprehensively, rightly and well-understood. Hence, the statement ‘pubbe ananusu dhammesu cakkhum udapãdi’, etc. . . . concerning things unheard of before by me, vision arose, etc.! As for the disciples like Venerable Kondañña, etc., realization came only after hearing the dhamma from the Blessed One or from the other disciples of the Buddha. In spite of definite statement in the Dhammacakka Sutta that the Truth of Suffering should be comprehensively, rightly and well apprehended (pariññeyya), some people consider it unnecessary to realize the Truth of Suffering or upãdãnakkhandha by taking note of the phenomenon of rising and vanishing, which is actually happening. They take it that just learning from hearsay about rupa and nãma and about anicca, dukkha and anatta will serve the purpose. We can express only our sorrow and sympathy for such people.
Kicca ñãna is then the realization that the Truth of Suffering, otherwise the upãdãnakkhandha should be fully, rightly and well understood through personal observation. It is knowing what function should be performed concerning the Truth of Suffering. This realization comes before the attainment of the ariya magga. Even before a yogi starts the practice of meditation, he must realize that he has to know comprehensively the nature of anicca, dukkha and anatta by taking note when seeing, by taking note when hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, thinking. He must be aware of this task, too, while practising vipassanã. Only then can he devote full attention to the arising and dissolution of upãdãnakkhandha and develop vipassanã ñãna completely. Our disciples, Satipatthãna yogis, have accomplished this function required by kicca ñãna since the time of taking instructions from us on meditation procedures, having learnt then that whatever appears at the instance of seeing, hearing, etc., should be carefully noted. Also while taking note, even if the yogi does not know at first what should be noted, he comes to know soon what is to be observed. This discernment is the kicca ñãna, knowing the function to be performed.
We have given much time to this kicca ñãna because it is really very important to know its significance. Now, enough having been said about it, we shall proceed to the kata ñãna.
KATA ÑANA WITH REGARD TO DUKKHA SACCA
Tam kho panidam dukkham ariya saccam pariññatanti me, Bhikkhave, pubbe ananussu tesu dhammesu cakkhum udapãdi, ñãnam udapãdi, pana udapãdi, vijjã udapãdi, aloko udapãdi.
“This Ariyan Truth of Suffering has been fully, rightly and well understood. Thus, Oh Bhikkhus, concerning things unheard of before (by me), there arose in me vision, knowledge, wisdom; there arose in me penetrative insight and light.”
Being aware of the Truth of Suffering, otherwise the upãdãnakkhandha by taking note of seeing, hearing, etc., and constantly knowing anicca, dukkha and anatta constitutes vipassanã ñãna. By vipassanã ñãna alone, however, the function of pariñña, that is, the task of fully and rightly comprehending is not yet completely accomplished. Perception as nicca, sukha and atta is still possible concerning those objects which fail to be noted. It is only when vipassanã ñãna is fully accomplished and ariya magga ñãna becomes developed that Nibbanic peace is experienced. And only when ariya magga ñãna becomes developed and Nibbanic peace is experienced can it be said that knowledge of anicca, dukkha and anatta is complete and lasting. This is the accomplishment of the task of fully, rightly comprehending the Truth of Suffering.
Even then the sotapatti ñãna is not yet adequate to fully accomplish this task. Only by realizing the arahatta magga ñãna, it can be said that the Truth of Suffering has been rightly and completely understood, a full hundred per cent. For the Blessed One, the task had been fully accomplished since the time of gaining arahatta path and Fruition and attainment of Enlightenment. Hence, he proclaimed that the task of fully understanding the Truth of Suffering had been completed. Vision, etc., arose; that task had been completed and nothing remained to be done.
The yogis presently engaged in the practice of meditation also have this purpose in view: to fully and rightly understand the Truth of Suffering and ultimately to complete the task of fully understanding by attaining the arahatta magga and phala. After attaining the arahatta magga and phala at last, the realization will come to them, through retrospection, that the task has been fully accomplished.
We have now dealt with all the three ñãnas: saccã, kicca and kata ñãna with regard to the Truth of Suffering. Concisely:
1 Discerning at the moment of seeing, hearing, etc., all the phenomena of origination and dissolution is real suffering, the Truth of Suffering, constitutes saccã ñãna.
2 Discerning that this Truth of Suffering should be rightly and fully understood by heedful noting constitutes kicca ñãna.
3 Knowing through retrospection that the Truth of Suffering has been rightly and fully understood constitutes kata ñãna.
Of the three ñãnas, saccã ñãna appears while being engaged in vipassanã meditation when the yogi realizes that the phenomena of origination and dissolution are mere suffering. This takes place prior to the advent of ariya magga. At the moment of ariya magga (seeing the peace of Nibbãna) too, this ñãna arises by realizing the Truth of Suffering in all the phenomena of arising and dissolution. Even after the advent of ariya magga, this ñãna is evolved by retrospection. Thus, saccã ñãna is the knowledge of the Four Truths that arises before, after and at the moment of ariya magga. Actually what is realized at the moment of ariya magga is only nirodha saccã, the Truth of the Cessation of Suffering. The remaining three truths are said to have been realized by having accomplished pativeda (made up of pariñña, pahãna and bhãvanã), the task of knowing by penetrative insight.
With regard to the Truth of Suffering, the moment realization dawns on the Truth of the Cessation of Suffering, the function of knowing that unceasing rupa and nãma are suffering is accomplished. Accordingly, the ariyas (especially the arahats) who have attained the ariya path and Fruition, know by reflection that the ceaseless rupa and nãma are all suffering. Therefore, it is said that the task of penetrative insight (pativeda), knowing the nature of suffering fully and rightly, is accomplished at the moment of the path. While practising the vipassanã, this knowledge about suffering arises by actually noting the phenomena of origination and dissolution. This is knowing the dukkha saccã rightly and well, otherwise called pariñña pativeda.
As for kicca ñãna, that is realization that the Truth of Suffering should be comprehended rightly and well, it must be achieved in advance of the attainment of ariya magga. Only by having the prior knowledge of what functions are to be performed that these functions could be performed for attainment of ariya magga.
In the case of the Truth of Suffering, it must be well understood at an early stage that it is necessary to perceive distinctly the nature of anicca by taking note of the phenomena of origination and dissolution which is apparent in the aggregates at the time of each occurrence. Only with this prior understanding will the necessary task of observing the phenomenon be performed, the ariya magga developed after attaining the full maturity of vipassanã.
With regard to samudaya, nirodha and magga saccã, such prior knowledge as to the functions to be performed with regard to each truth is indispensable. Then only can the ariya magga be developed.
Thus, long before attainment of magga, there must be realization that the Truth of Suffering should be fully apprehended rightly and well; that samudaya should be abandoned; that the Truth of the Cessation of Suffering should be realized and that the Truth of the path leading to the cessation of suffering should be developed. Knowing as to the function to be performed with regard to each truth must, therefore, precede far ahead of the advent of the magga.
The knowledge that these functions have been performed comes only after the attainment of arahatta path and Fruition through reflection that the holy life has been lived (vusitam brahmacãriyam); what has to be done has been done (katam karaniyam). Kata ñãna is that knowledge which knows that what has to be done has been done.
Through realization of nirodha, the arahatta magga has performed three other tasks also, namely, fully and rightly understanding the Truth of Suffering, abandoning samudaya and developing the path. It is kata ñãna that knows that all these four functions have been performed.
The above concise statements about saccã ñãna, kicca ñãna and kata ñãna have been made in accordance with Mulatika sub-commentary on Kathavatthu. We have adequately dealt with the three ñãnas with regard to the Truth of Suffering. We shall go on to the three ñãnas with regard to the Truth of the Origin of Suffering.
SACCA ÑANA WITH REGARD TO SAMUDAYA SACCA
Idam dukkhasamudayo ariya saccam ti me, Bhikkhave, pubbe ananusutesu dhammesu, cakkhum udapãdi, ñãnam udapãdi, paññã udapãdi, vijjã udapãdi, aloko udapãdi.
“This is the noble Truth of origin of suffering; this is the Truth about origin of suffering which Ariyas should know. Thus, Oh, Bhikkhus, concerning things unheard of before (by me), there arose in me vision, knowledge, wisdom; there arose in me penetrative insight and light.”
In the passage above ‘This’ refers to kãma tanhã, bhava tanhã and vibhava tanhã which have already been explained. How suffering originates from them is as follows: Kãma tanhã finds delight in objects of sensual pleasures which have to be searched and worked for. Some people undergo intense sufferings, to the extent of losing their lives even while in pursuit of the objects of their desires. Any attempt to curb the craving which has arisen also results in suffering and unhappiness. To look and work for things which are not easily attainable is also suffering. The task of looking after the acquired wealth and property is very onerous. Smokers and betel leaf eaters suffer difficulty when they run short of their objects of desire. People addicted to drinking and opium smoking will feel much harder under similar circumstances.
Man is born alone. While young, he leads a single life happily free from encumbrances. When he grows up, he feels the need for a companion. Instigated by kãma tanhã, he begins to look for one. When he aims for the unattainable he ends up in misery. If at last his wish is fulfilled by getting the companion he needs, the trouble soon starts when they find themselves incompatible. Even when there is concord and harmony in the marriage life, trouble appears when one of the partners happens to be struck by a serious illness. Attending to a sick person is a difficult task. In time, death comes to one of the partners, leaving the other in the throes of lamentation and suffering. It is plain that all these sufferings are rooted in tanhã.
But the majority of beings are under the delusion that this tanhã is the source of happiness. They consider it a bliss to enjoy the pleasures of various sensual objects. When tanhã is not aroused in the absence of any pleasurable objects or sensations, life becomes dull and monotonous for them. To pay visits to monasteries or temples is irksome; to listen to sermons on Vipassanã meditation is utterly boring. On the other hand, entertainment shows such as cinemas provide joy, delight and merriment. Thus this tanhã is carefully nurtured by hunting for all available objects of desire. These frantic pursuits after pleasure are made in the belief that they lead to joy and happiness. People believe in this way for no other reason than ignorance which is giving them misguidance.
However, what appear to be pleasant and delightful are, in reality, awesome and horrifying because of their nature of incessant arising and perishing. There is never any surfeit of sense pleasures since tanhã is insatiable. Even after days, months and years of enjoying the pleasure, tanhã remains unsatisfied. Hence, their constant and anxious pursuits after pleasure so that their enjoyment may not be disrupted. When at last, the stock of pleasurable objects and sensations become exhausted, great dissatisfaction is endured. This is a short account of how tanhã gives rise to trouble and suffering in the present life.
But the real cause of suffering lies in the fact that this tanhã is responsible for repeated rounds of rebirths. Pleasurable sights and sounds excite delight and craving and this craving gives rise to attachment. Because of attachment, effort has to be put forth for its fulfilment. This constitutes saïkhãra, kãma bhava. Because of such activities in fulfilment of desires and because the javana consciousness of the death moment, otherwise called the abhisaïkhãra vinnana which gets its impetus from tanhã holds on to the object which appears then, rebirth consciousness arises immediately after the death consciousness. From the moment of rebirth consciousness in the new existence, it may be said that all the troubles and tribulations with regard to new life have begun. All these troubles from the moment of rebirth consciousness have their roots in tanhã. As for Arahats in whom tanhã has been eradicated, they do not encounter anymore sufferings of new existence. Thus, kãma tanhã is the real cause of sufferings such as birth, etc., the samudaya saccã.
Enthusiasts who aspire for rupabhava and arupabhava strive for attainment or rupavacara jhãna and arupavacara jhãna respectively. By virtue of such jhãnic attainments, they are reborn in the realms of rupa Brahmas and arupa Brahmas. As Brahmas, they are free from sufferings of physical pains as well as mental afflictions. Their life span is also measured in terms of world cycles. From the worldly point of view, their life may be deemed as one of happiness. But when their life span is terminated, they face death and suffer the agonies of death, marana dukkha. They suffer mental distress, too, for not having the wish of immortality fulfilled. After death, too, troubles and tribulations await them in kãma existence to which they are destined. Thus, bhava tanhã, craving for existence in the Brahma world is also really the Truth of Suffering.
Craving for non-existence after death is also cause of suffering because it encourages evil deeds in this life. Instead of shrinking from evil actions the nihilists go to any length in pursuit of them wherever available and take delight in them. Because of such akusala kammas, they are reborn in the four nether worlds for many existences and undergo the woes and miseries of these existences. It is very plain, therefore, that this vibhava tanhã (craving for non-existence) arising out of the nihilist view of life is definitely the Truth of the Origin of Suffering (samudaya saccã).
The Buddha, who had realized all these three tanhãs are the root cause of suffering, declared how he had seen them: “The vision, which saw that this is the Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering, had arisen in me.” Knowing this is the Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering is saccã ñãna. The saccã ñãna which knows this truth arises both before and after the advent of ariya magga. At the moment of the Path, the function of knowing the truth is accomplished, too, by way of relinquishing or abandoning (pahãna pativeda). To summarise, that which knows the four Truths before, after and at the moment of magga is saccã ñãna.
KICCA ÑANA WITH REGARD TO SAMUDAYA SACCA
Tam kho panidam dukkhasamudayo ariyasaccam pahãtabbanti me, Bhikkhave, pubbe ananusutesu dhammesu, cakkhum udapãdi, ñãnam udapãdi, paññã udapãdi, vijjã udapãdi, aloko udapãdi.
“This Ariya Truth of the Origin of Suffering should be abandoned. Thus, Oh, Bhikkhus, concerning things unheard of before, there arose in me vision, knowledge, wisdom; there arose in me penetrative insight and light.”
If freedom from suffering is desired, the origin of suffering must be eliminated. For example, in order to effect cure of a disease, the root cause of the malaise must be eradicated by administration of suitable medicine. Burmese physicians diagnose the cause of a disease in terms of disorders in the blood, wind, bile and phlegm, climate, food, etc. Western physicians trace the cause to various diseases carrying germs. When such causes of disease have been duly diagnosed and then eradicated through proper medical treatment, complete cure is effected of the disease. Likewise, samsãric suffering of repeated rebirths in the rounds of existence may be avoided by removing its root cause, which is tanhã, the Truth of the Origin of Suffering. Therefore, this truth is regarded as that which should be given up, pahãtabba dhamma.
How is abandonment to be effected? It is most essential to know it. ‘Let tanhã not appear, let it not arise; I shall keep my mind as it is, free from tanhã. I shall have only tanhã-free mind.’ Will it be possible to maintain such a state of mind? People believing in the possibility of doing so should actually try to attain this state of mind and see how long they can maintain it. Will not the married man be harassed by thoughts of love and tenderness for his wife and erotic emotion that demand fulfilment? Will there not arise craving for a smoke or a chew of the betel leaves, or for relishing a good meal? And how about the yearning for possession of wealth and property? These questions cannot be easily disposed of by brushing them aside, arguing that they are concerned with mere trifles, just natural and routine affairs of no importance. We have to suffer the arising of such tanhãs only because we cannot subdue them. But the fact remains and this should be seriously borne in mind that tanhã being a pahãtabba dhamma should be eradicated when possible.
Actually, there are three kinds of tanhã which need elimination:
1 Craving that motivates physical and vocal actions.
2 Craving that excites the mind to revel in imagined delights and fantasies.
3 Craving which is lying dormant awaiting opportune moment to manifest itself.
Of the three, the craving that motivates physical and vocal deeds is classified as vitikkhama kilesã (the defilements which can be eradicated by sila). A person who is preserving the precepts meticulously does not steel anything belonging to others, even if he feels the want for it; does not commit sexual misconduct (one who observes the brahmã cariyã precept does not indulge in any sexual practice); does not lie and abstains from intoxicating drinks or drugs. In this way, he keeps himself from vitakkama kilesã. This is how craving is eliminated by means of sila.
Craving which manifest itself in imaginative delights and pleasures is classified as pariyutthana kilesã (the defilements which can be eradicated by samadhi, the concentrated mind). If one is constantly engaged in the practice of one of the meditation subjects such as ãnãpãna, one keeps oneself free from thoughts of desire for and imagining about sensuous objects. Unless thus absorbed in one of the meditation exercises, if the mind were left free on its own, it would engage itself in thinking about desirable sense-objects, yearning mostly for sensual pleasure. If someone believes that he could keep his mind just as it is free from craving for sensual pleasures, he does not know his own mind.
As a matter of fact, even while occupied incessantly with meditation, before the power of concentration gets strengthened, kãma vitakka (thought of sensuous pleasures) keep on coming up. Only when jhãnic concentration is attained through practice of concentration meditation that thoughts of grosser types of sensual pleasures are brought to cessation, but even then, only for the duration of jhãnic absorption. This is how samãdhi removes the craving for sensual pleasures by vikkhambhana pahãna, putting it away at a distance.
Bhava tanhã (craving for existence) and vibhava tanhã (craving for non-existence) persist even in the person of jhãnic attainments. They remain with some of the brahmas, too. Therefore, bhava tanhã and vibhava tanhã cannot be eradicated by samatha concentration. It goes without saying then that ordinary persons uninitiated in concentration and meditation are not free from the craving for their own life and existence. However, such uninstructed people are not aware that their delight in life and existence is tanhã (craving) or kilesã (defilement). They even teach the extreme wrong view that ‘mind can be kept as it is free from defilments. And mind free from kilesã is Nibbãna.’ This is definitely going against the teaching of the Buddha.
The craving which has not actually arisen yet, but will appear when right conditions prevail is called anusaya kilesã (latent defilements). This is of two kinds:
1 ãrammana nusaya – the potential defilement which lies latent in the sense objects;
2 santãna nusaya – the potential defilement lying dormant in oneself (in the continuum of the aggregates).
There may be objects which manifest themselves at the moment of seeing or hearing but are missed to be noted then as impermanent, etc. On retrospection, however, kilesã can arise in connection with them. Such kilesã is known as ãrammana nusaya. Arammana nusaya kilesã can be put away by vipassanã ñãna, but vipassanã can remove only the kilesã that may arise in the objects which are being contemplated on. The potential defilements remain unaffected in the objects which escape contemplation.
The kilesã which has not yet been eradicated by ariya magga and is awaiting an opportune moment to arise in the continuum of aggregates of a person is known as santana nusaya. This defilement can be removed only by means of the ariya magga ñãna. It is to facilitate elimination of the santananusaya by ariya magga that vipassanã bhãvanã has to be developed.
ANUSAYA KILESA ACTUALLY EXISTS
In spite of definite statements in the sutta and abhidhamma texts regarding the existence of anusaya kilesã, some people are going round making assertions that there is no such thing as anusaya kilesã; it is only through mental retentiveness that kilesãs arise. This is utter irreverence shown towards the teachings of the Buddha.
Just consider for a moment. In pre-adolescent children, craving for sensual pleasure in the form of taking delight in the opposite sex has not yet manifested itself. It is not because they are devoid of kilesã, but because the moment is not opportune yet for this kilesã to arise. It is lying dormant in them, waiting to come up when right conditions prevail. It is common knowledge that on reaching adolescence, the mere sight and sound of the opposite sex at once arouse sexual desires in them. It just happens instantaneously and not because they have previously seen or heard about its occurrence and kept it in mind. Actually, it happens because there is anusaya kilesã lying dormant in these youths and it now finds an opportunity to arise.
Again, let us take the case of some people who have had implicit faith in the Triple Gem, namely, the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha. But when influenced by teachers of other religions, they begin to entertain doubts (vicikicchã) about the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha. Some even change their faith to embrace wrong views (micchãditthi). Doubts and wrong views arise in them not because of mental retentiveness but because they have been lying in them all the time; they have not been removed yet by the ariya magga.
The Ariyas of the Buddha’s time had their doubts and wrong views eliminated by sotãpanna magga so that no teacher, not even Sakka or Mara could influence them to embrace wrong views, to entertain doubts about the Triple Gem. It was because the dormant defilements in them, santãna nusaya, had been removed by the ariya magga.
The good people who have this opportunity of hearing the discourse on the Dhammacakka should definitely bear in mind that there lies lurking in them defilements just waiting for an opportune moment to arise and that this craving which is the real cause of suffering should be eliminated by ariya magga through developing vipassanã bhãvanã.
Knowing that this is the dhamma which should be eradicated is kicca ñãna with regard to the Truth of the Origin of Suffering. This kicca ñãna which knows what should be done with respect to samudaya saccã should be developed prior to the advent of the ariya magga. Thus, kicca ñãna is advanced knowledge of what should be known, what should be abandoned, what should be realized and what should be developed. To the Blessed One, this kicca ñãna had appeared without having heard from anyone. Therefore, he admitted: “This is the Noble Truth of the origin of suffering which should be abandoned. Thus, Oh, Bhikkhus, concerning things unheard of before, there arose in me vision, knowledge, wisdom; there arose in me penetrative insight and light.” Then the Blessed One continued to explain how he had accomplished the task of abandoning.
KATA ÑANA WITH REGARD TO SAMUDAYA SACCA
Tam kho panidam dukkhasamudayo ariya saccam pahinanti me, Bhikkhave, pubbe ananusutesu dhammesu, cakkhum udapãdi, ñãnam udapãdi, vijjã udapãdi, aloko udapãdi.
“This Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering has been abandoned. Thus, Oh, Bhikkhus, concerning things unheard of before, there arose in me vision, knowledge, wisdom; there arose in me penetrative insight and light.”
This is an account of how retrospection on the completion of the task of abandonment took place after he had abandoned what should be abandoned, the craving otherwise called samudaya saccã. This knowledge of completion of the task that should be performed is known as the kata ñãna.
What is specially noteworthy in respect of samudaya saccã is that four ariya maggas cognize Nibbãna by realizing it. At the first instance of such cognition, craving which will lead to the states of woe and misery becomes eliminated; at the second instance, grosser forms of craving for sensuous pleasure (kãma tanhã) get abolished. On the third occasion, the subtler forms of this kãma tanhã disappear. All the remaining tanhãs are completely eradicated when Nibbãna is cognized for the fourth time. Such eradication of tanhã is termed knowing samudaya saccã by the four ariya maggas or pahãna pativeda (penetrative insight by virtue of abandoning). The act of abandoning or eradicating constitutes knowing what should be known by the ariya magga. Thus, samudaya saccã is that which should be abandoned. This abandonment is pahãna pativeda.
This kata ñãna is also quite important. The goal of practising meditation is really the removal of defilements together with this tanhã. Attainment of higher knowledge, accomplishment of what should be done, is complete and assured only when this tanhã and defilements are eradicated. It is essential to scrutinize oneself to see whether one is really free of this tanhã and defilements. Even if the lowest stage of attainment (sotãpanna) is claimed, craving which prompts akusala kamma that leads to the nether worlds should have been removed; one should be free also of craving which may instigate infringement of the five precepts. The delight and pleasure accompanied by craving for the wrong view that there is a living entity, a self, should have been discarded. Only when one is fully liberated of all these cravings, the claim of sotãpanna attainment may be sustained; otherwise it should be observed that no claim for any attainment is admissible.
We have fully dealt with the three ñãnas, saccã, kicca and kata, with regard to the samudaya saccã. We shall go on considering the three ñãnas concerning the nirodha saccã.
SACCA ÑANA WITH REGARD TO NIRODHA SACCA
Idam dukkhanirodho ariyasaccamti me, Bhikkhave, pubbe ananusutesu dhammesu, cakkhum udapãdhi, ñãnam udapãdi, paññã udapãdi, vijjã udapãdi, aloko udapãdi.
“This is the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering. Thus, Oh, Bhikkhus, concerning things unheard of before, there arose in me vision, knowledge, wisdom; there arose in me penetrative insight and light.”
‘This’ in the above passage of the text refers to ‘the complete cessation of tanhã, otherwise called samudaya saccã’, which had already been explained. When tanhã is abolished, all sufferings of the nãma, rupa, saïkhãras cease. The Buddha said that the saccã ñãna, which knows that this cessation (nirodha saccã) is the Truth of the Cessation of Suffering, had arisen in him. this saccã ñãna arises before and after ariya magga and is realized at the moment of the path.
As to how this knowledge arises before the path, the disciples acquire this ñãna through learning from others, that is, on hearsay. The Blessed One, however, had gained this knowledge by his own intuition even prior to attainment of sotãpatti magga. Thus, he said: “Concerning things unheard of before, there arose in me vision, etc.” At the moment of ariya magga, this saccã ñãna is the same as ariya magga ñãna which cognizes Nibbãna by realization.
KICCA ÑANA WITH REGARD TO NIRODHA SACCA
Tam kho panidam dukkhanirodho ariya saccam saccikatabbanti me, Bhikkhave, pubbe ananusutesu dhammesu, cakkhum udapãdi, ñãnam udapãdi, paññã udapãdi, vijjã udapãdi, aloko udapãdi.
“This is the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering which should be realized. Thus, Oh, Bhikkhus, concerning things unheard of before, there arose in me vision, knowledge, wisdom; there arose in me penetrative insight and light.”
This ñãna (knowledge) which knows that nirodha saccã, namely the nibbãnam, the cessation of tanhã, is that which should be realized. It is known as kicca ñãna since it is the knowledge that knows what function is to be performed with respect to nirodha saccã.
And this is how realization takes place: at the moment of full and firm establishment of sankhãrupekkha ñãna, while observing one of the phenomena of origination and dissolution, the pace of cognition gets faster and faster until the sankhãra objects under contemplation as well as the knowing consciousness plunge into a state of cessation where all sankhãra sufferings come to an end. At the time of realizing the cessation of all conditioned things, tanhãs also come to a cessation. Thus, cessation of tanhã is termed nirodha saccã, which is cognized by ariya magga through realization. Such cognition is known as sacchikiriya pativeda (penetrative insight by realization).
Nirodha saccã is the truth to be realized. Such realization is known as sacchikiriya pativeda.
The purpose of taking note of every instance of seeing, hearing, touching, knowing is to accomplish the task of sacchikiriya pativeda through realising nirodha saccã. The Buddha had accomplished the function of sacchikiriya pativeda by realization of Nibbãna through arahatta magga phala on the ‘unconquered throne’ at the foot of the Bo tree. He continued to recount how he had developed the kata ñãna which retrospected on the completion of the task, as follows.
KATA ÑANA WITH REGARD TO NIRODHA SACCA
Tam kho panidam dukkhanirodho ariya saccam sacchikatanti me, Bhikkhave, pubbe ananusutesu dhammesu, cakkhum udapãdi, ñãnam udapãdi, paññã udapãdi, vijjã udapãdi, aloko udapãdi.
“This is the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering which has been realized. Thus, Oh, Bhikkhus, concerning things unheard of before, there arose in me vision, knowledge, wisdom; there arose in my penetrative insight and light.”
This is an account of how retrospection on the completion of the task took place after he had realized nirodha saccã by means of arahatta magga phala ñãna. We shall deal next with the three ñãnas in respect of magga ñãna.
SACCA ÑANA WITH RESPECT TO MAGGA SACCA
Idam dukkhanirodhagamini patipeda ariyasaccamti me, Bhikkhave, pubbe ananusutesu dhammesu, cakkhum udapãdi, ñãnam udapãdi, paññã udapãdi, vijjã udapãdi, aloko udapãdi.
“This is the Noble Truth of the practice that reaches the cessation of suffering or that leads to the cessation of suffering. Thus, Oh Bhikkhus, concerning things unheard of before, there arose in me vision, knowledge, wisdom; there arose in me penetrative insight and light.”
This saccã has a long name but the commentaries shorten it as just magga saccã, the Truth of the Path. We shall use the short title in our discourse.
Knowing that the Noble Eightfold Path is the practice, the Noble Truth of the Path that leads to the Cessation of Suffering, peace of Nibbãna, is called saccã ñãna. This saccã ñãna arises before, after and at the moment of ariya magga.
The disciples of the Buddha, who had not yet attained the ariya magga, learnt of this magga saccã only from hearing about it. Common worldlings have not yet realized, as personal experience, the ariya magga saccã. The commentaries say: ‘Magga saccã is a dhamma to be desired, to be aspired after and to be appreciated’. Learning thus through hearing, the mind should be bent towards it. The preliminary task with respect to magga saccã is accomplished just by bending the mind towards it. Likewise, with regard to nirodha saccã, otherwise called Nibbanã which common worldlings cannot perceive, the commentaries say that it requires only to bend the mind towards it as dhamma to be desired, to aspire after, to be appreciated, by which act the preliminary function to be performed for nirodha saccã is accomplished.
It must, therefore, be remembered that ariya magga saccã need not be thought of and contemplated on; likewise Nibbãna needs no prior contemplation nor thinking about. As for the Buddha, just as he had previously arrived at the knowledge of the nirodha saccã through intuitive insight, he also gained knowledge of this magga saccã through intuition. That is why he said in admission that ‘concerning things unheard of before, there arose in me vision, etc.’
At the moment of ariya magga, only nirodha saccã, otherwise peace of Nibbãna, is perceived by realization. Magga dhammas realized in this way actually appear in the person and as such the task of developing them in the person is accomplished. This is known as bhãvanã pativeda (knowledge by development). Thus magga saccã should be developed in the person and this development is bhãvanã pativeda.
What is meant here is that when ariya magga appears in the person, it amounts to seeing the ariya magga; it also means the task of knowing it is accomplished at the same time. As the ariya magga has been developed in the person, retrospection will reveal it very clearly. However, it is not possible to develop the ariya magga straightaway. One must begin by developing the pubbabhãga magga as the first step. For this reason, vipassanã also is to be regarded as a correct practice that leads to nirodha (cessation). We have already mentioned above in Part VI how Sammonavinodani commentary also recommends that vipassanã should be regarded as such.
KICCA ÑANA WITH REGARD TO MAGGA SACCA
Tam kho panidam dukkhanirodhagãmini patipadã ariya saccam bhãvetabbanti me, Bhikkhave, pubbe ananussutesu dhammesu, cakkhum udapãdi, ñãnam udapãdi, paññã udapãdi, vijjã udapãdi, aloko udapãdi.
“This is the Noble Truth of the path that leads to cessation of suffering and this has to be developed. Thus, Oh, Bhikkhus, concerning things unheard of before, there arose in me vision, knowledge, wisdom; there arose in me penetrative insight and light.”
Knowing that magga saccã is a dhamma that should be developed within oneself is called kicca ñãna; it is the knowledge that knows what should be done with respect to magga saccã. What should be done with respect to dukkha saccã? It should be fully and rightly comprehended. What should be done with respect to magga saccã?
It should be developed within one’s own self. This must be definitely remembered.
That magga saccã is the dhamma that should be developed was taught for the first time by the Buddha in this Dhammacakka Sutta. Thus to develop magga is to practise for the attainment of Nibbãna in accordance with the wishes of the Blessed One. However, the practice cannot be started with development of magga saccã straightaway. One must start with pubbabhãga magga, otherwise called vipassanã magga. In order to develop ariya magga saccã then, one must begin with developing vipassanã magga.
In order to develop this pubbabhãga or vipassanã magga, dukkha saccã must be contemplated on. Dukkha saccã means upãdãnakkhandha which has been extensively explained in Part IV. Contemplating on the aggregates that appear at every instant of their arising, there is developed first the knowledge of distinction between the object of awareness and the knowing mind. This is followed by understanding the law of cause and effect. As one proceeds, one comes to know the nature of flux, the constant arising and passing away of nãma and rupa. Since it arises just to perish the next moment, it is unstable, impermanent, pure suffering; not self, because it arises and vanishes on its own accord. Personal realization of these realities is sammãditthi. It has been explained before that when sammãditthi is developed, sammãsankappa and other maggas are also developed.
How to develop these maggas has also been described before.
Briefly, it consists first in noting any of the sensations of touch one experiences. In order to simplify the practice, we have recommended to start with contemplation of the phenomenon of rising and falling of the abdomen. While in the process of observing the rising and falling of the abdomen, the yogi may happen to start thinking about something else. He should make a note of such thoughts, too, as they arise. He should also note the painful sensations such as stiffness, feeling hot, feeling painful, itching, etc., as they arise. Changing of bodily movements should also be noted as they occur. Attention should be also be given to any extraordinary thing, seen or heard. Thus, while observing every phenomenon, at every instant of noting, knowledge of reality as it is, sammãditthi and vipassanã maggas will be developed. When vipassanã becomes fully established, the Eightfold ariya magga is evolved. Thus, contemplating on the actual phenomenon of the aggregates (the dukkha saccã), amounts to development of the Eightfold Noble Path. To recapitulate:
1 Only by developing the pubbabhãga, otherwise called vipassanã, ariya magga may be attained.
2 To develop vipassanã magga, the phenomena of seeing, hearing (dukkha saccã) should be carefully observed.
3 At every instance of noting the phenomenon of seeing, hearing (dukkha saccã), the Eightfold Noble Path is developed.
Therefore, we have composed the mnemonics:
Basic, precursor, ariya paths,
Developing them leads to Nibbana.
Some people had been under the wrong impression that the purpose is served by acquiring a book-knowledge of the phenomena of the aggregates and the nature of anicca, dukkha, anatta, etc. Only when they have practised meditation in accordance with Satipatthãna meditation and gained extraordinary experiences, they begin to see their mistakes. They openly state their realization then that unless they engage themselves in the actual practice of watching the phenomena of seeing, hearing, etc., at the instant of their occurrence, the pariñña kiccã (the function of fully and rightly understanding the dukkha saccã) remains unaccomplished; the task of developing the Eightfold magga also remains uncompleted. These are the admissions made by learned people well-versed in the scriptures.
They have, by personal experience, come to understand the right way for higher attainments.
The Buddha’s teaching embodied in this Dhammacakka Sutta ‘that Eightfold Path is the dhamma which has to be developed by contemplating on the phenomena of nãma and rupa at the moment of their occurrence’, should be noted with all seriousness. It should be carefully and steadfastly remembered too that knowing the function concerning the magga saccã is kicca ñãna; that this ñãna should be acquired from learning by hearing prior to the advent of ariya magga; that only then could vipassanã magga be developed by observing the actual phenomena of upãdãnakkhandha or dukkha saccã at the time of their occurrences; that only by developing the vipassanã magga, the ariya magga (otherwise called bhãvetabba magga saccã) could be developed and Nibbãna realized.
KATA ÑANA WITH REGARD TO MAGGA SACCA
Tam kho panidam dukkhanirodhagãmini patipadã ariya saccam bhavitanti me, Bhikkhave, pubbe ananusutesu dhammesu, cakkhum udapãdi, ñãnam udapãdi, paññã udapãdi, vijjã udapãdi, aloko udapãdi.
“This is the Noble Truth of the Path that leads to the Cessation of Suffering and this has been developed. Thus, Oh, Bhikkhus, concerning things unheard of before, there arose in me vision, knowledge, wisdom; there arose in me penetrative insight and light.”
This is the admission by the Blessed One of how kata ñãna had arisen through retrospection of having accomplished the development of magga sacca till attainment of arahatta magga. The three ñãnas, namely, saccã, kicca and kata with respect to the four Truths have now been completely explained in twelve ways, that is fourfold of three ñãnas.
To recapitulate these twelve ways:
1 Knowing the four Truths before, after and at the moment of magga is saccã ñãna.
Knowing that this is the Truth of Suffering, this is the Truth of the Origin of Suffering, this is the Truth of cessation, this is the Truth of the path leading to the cessation of suffering, is saccã ñãna. This ñãna appears also in advance of the magga. For the disciples, saccã ñãnam in respect of nirodha saccã and magga saccã is acquired before magga, only by sutamaya, hearsay. Nirodha saccã is perceived also through realization at the moment of magga. The remaining three maggas are perceived at the moment of magga by accomplishing the tasks of fully and rightly understanding, giving up and developing, that is, by accomplishing the three functions (tisu kiccato), as the commentaries say. How these are perceived after the attainment of magga is very clear and needs no elaboration.
2 Prior knowledge of what should be known, what should be abandoned, what should be realized and what should be developed is kicca ñãna.
‘That dukkha should be fully and rightly comprehended, samudaya should be abandoned, nirodha should be realized and magga should be developed within oneself. Knowing them constitutes kicca ñãna which knows what should be done in respect of the four Truths. This ñãna arises before vipassanã meditation starts as well as during the time of vipassanã practice prior to the advent of ariya magga.
3 Knowing that the necessary function has been accomplished is kata ñãna.
In mundane affairs, there is knowledge of completion when the task to be done has been done. Likewise, when the four functions of rightly comprehending, giving up, realizing and developing have been performed, this fact is known through retrospection. This is known as kata ñãna, knowledge of completion of what has to be done.
What we have described are the twelve kinds of ñãnas made up of four kinds of saccã ñãnas, four kinds of kicca ñãnas and four kinds of kata ñãnas. Of these twelve, it is of utmost importance to know clearly how saccã ñãna arises and the four functions to be performed. We shall briefly go over them again:
1 Dukkha saccã should be rightly and fully comprehended; such comprehension is known as pariñña pativeda.
2 Samudaya saccã should be abandoned; such abandonment is known as pahãna pativeda.
3 Nirodha saccã should be realized; such realization is known as sacchikiriya pativeda.
4 Magga saccã should be developed in oneself; such development is known as bhãvanã pativeda.
At the moment of magga, only nirodha saccã is perceived through realization. The remaining three truths are perceived through completion of the required tasks by pariñña pativeda, pahãna pativeda, and bhãvanã pativeda respectively. Therefore, the commentary says: ‘The three truths are known by the completion of the tasks and nirodha by realization.’
5 When magga sees one of the four truths.
6 All the four pativedas are accomplished.
Just as with the ariya magga, at the moment of practising vipassanã too, by observing dukkha saccã alone as the object, the task of knowing the remaining three saccãs is also done. It happens in this manner: The sense object which is being perceived through meditation as embodiment of anicca, dukkha, anatta cannot arouse tanhã which would take delight in it under the delusion of anicca, sukha, atta. This is tadanga pahãna pativeda, the temporary abandonment of tanhã. The avijjã (delusion) which would misapprehend the observed object as nicca, sukha and atta, as well as the sankhãra, vinnana, etc., gets no opportunity to arise and ceases consequently. This is realization through temporary cessation, tadanga nirodha. Vipassanã magga which perceives everything as anicca, dukkha, anatta is being developed at every instant of awareness. This is bhãvanã pativeda. Thus, while practising vipassanã meditation by knowing dukkha saccã through contemplation, the remaining three truths are perceived by completion of the tasks of pahãna, sacchikiriya and bhãvanã pativedas. Thus, it may be said that all four truths are perceived at the same time.
We have come to the conclusion of the consideration of twelve ways of perceiving the four truths in four folds of three ñãnas. We shall stop here today.
May you all good people present in this audience, by virtue of having given respectful attention to this great discourse on the turning of the Wheel of Dhamma, be able to fully and rightly understand the Truth of Suffering (dukkha saccã), etc., by contemplating on the phenomena of hearing, seeing, etc., and, through whatever path and fruition you have chosen, achieve speedy realization of Nibbãna, the end of sufferings.