Bhikkhus, endowed with five things the bhikkhu becomes rebellious and falls away, does not get established in the good Teaching. What five? Lacking in faith, shame, remorse, laziness and lacking in wisdom. Endowed with these five things the bhikkhu becomes rebellious and falls away does not get established in the good Teaching. Bhikkhus, endowed with…

via Agāravasuttaṃ 9 – Pañcaka Nipāta 001,Sekhabala vaggo, Aṅguttara Nikāya — Dhammikaweb

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Posted by: lrrp | August 4, 2015

Contemplation of Feeling

The Discourse-Grouping on the Feelings – translated from the Pali, with an Introduction by Nyanaponika Thera

Introduction

“To feel is everything!” — so exclaimed a German poet. Though these are rather exuberant words, they do point to the fact that feeling is a key factor in human life. Whether people are fully aware of it or not, their lives are chiefly spent in an unceasing endeavor to increase their pleasant feelings and to avoid unpleasant feelings. All human ambitions and strivings serve that purpose: from the simple joys of a humdrum existence to the power urge of the mighty and the creative joy of the great artist. All that is wanted is to have more and more of pleasant feelings, because they bring with them emotional satisfaction, called happiness. Such happiness may have various levels of coarseness or refinement, and may reach great intensity. These emotions, on their part, will produce many volitions and their actualizations. For the purpose of satisfying the “pleasure principle,” many heroic deeds have been performed, and many more unheroic and unscrupulous ones. For providing the means to pleasurable feelings, thousands of industries and services have sprung up, with millions of workers. Technology and applied sciences, too, serve to a large extent the growing demands for sense-enjoyment and comfort. By providing questionable escape routes, these purveyors of emotional and sensual happiness also try to allay painful feelings like fear and anxiety.

From this brief purview one may now appreciate the significance of the Buddha’s terse saying that “all things converge on feelings.” From such a central position of feeling it can also be understood that misconceptions about feelings belong to the twenty Personality Views, where the Aggregate of Feeling (vedana-kkhandha) is in various ways identified with an assumed self.

Yet, feeling by itself, in its primary state, is quite neutral when it registers the impact of an object as pleasant, unpleasant or indifferent. Only when emotional or volitional additions are admitted, will there arise desire and love, aversion and hate, anxiety, fear and distorting views. But that need not be so. These admixtures are not inseparable parts of the respective feelings. In fact, many of the weaker impressions we receive during the day stop at the mere registering of a very faint and brief feeling, without any further emotional reaction. This shows that the stopping at the bare feeling is psychologically possible, and that it could also be done intentionally with the help of mindfulness and self-restraint, even in cases when the stimulus to convert feelings into emotions is strong. Through actual experience it can thus be confirmed that the ever-revolving round of Dependent Origination (paticca-samuppada) can be stopped at the point of Feeling, and that there is no inherent necessity that Feeling is followed by Craving. Here we encounter Feeling as a key factor on the path of liberation, and therefore, the Contemplation of Feeling has, in Buddhist tradition, always been highly regarded as an effective aid on that path.

The Contemplation of Feeling is one of the four Foundations of Mindfulness (satipatthana) and may be undertaken in the framework of that meditative practice aiming at the growth of Insight (vipassana). It is, however, essential that this Contemplation should also be remembered and applied in daily life whenever feelings are prone to turn into unwholesome emotions. Of course, one should not try to produce in oneself feelings intentionally, just for the sake of practice; they should rather be taken up for mindful observation only when they occur. There will be many such occasions, provided the mind is alert and calm enough to notice the feelings clearly at their primary stage.

In the Contemplation of Feelings, there should first be a mindful awareness of the feelings when they arise, and one should clearly distinguish them as pleasant, unpleasant (painful) or neutral, respectively. There is no such thing as “mixed feelings.”

Mindfulness should be maintained throughout the short duration of that specific feeling, down to its cessation. If the vanishing point of feelings is repeatedly seen with increasing clarity, it will become much easier to trap, and finally to stop, those emotions, thoughts and volitions, which normally follow so rapidly, and which are so often habitually associated with the feelings. Pleasant feeling is habitually linked with enjoyment and desire; unpleasant feeling with aversion; neutral feeling with boredom and confusion, but also serving as background for wrong views. But when Bare Attention is directed towards the arising and vanishing of feelings, these polluting additives will be held at bay; or when they have arisen they will be immediately cognized in their nature, and that cognition may often be sufficient to stop them from growing stronger by unopposed continuance.

If feelings are seen in their bubble-like blowing up and bursting, their linkage with craving or aversion will be weakened more and more, until that bondage is finally broken. By that practice, attachment to likes and dislikes will be reduced and thereby an inner space will be provided for the growth of the finer emotions and virtues: for loving-kindness and compassion, for contentment, patience and forbearance.

In this contemplation it is of particular importance to dissociate the feelings from even the faintest thoughts of “I” or “mine.” There should be no ego-reference, as for instance “I feel (and, therefore, I am).” Nor should there be any thought of being the owner of the feelings: “I have pleasant feelings. How happy I am!” With the thought, “I want to have more of them” craving arises. Or, “I have pains. How unhappy I am!” and wishing to get rid of the pains, aversion arises.

Avoiding these wrong and unrealistic views, one should be aware of the feelings as a conditioned and transient process. Mindfulness should be kept alert and it should be focused on the bare fact that there is just the mental function of such and such a feeling; and this awareness should serve no other purpose than that of knowledge and mindfulness, as stated in the Satipatthana Sutta. As long as one habitually relates the feelings to a person that “has” them, and does so even during meditation, there cannot be any progress in that Contemplation.

To be aware of the feelings without any ego-reference will also help to distinguish them clearly from the physical stimuli arousing them, as well as from the subsequent mental reactions to them. Thereby the meditator will be able to keep his attention focused on the feelings alone, without straying into other areas. This is the purport of the phrase “he contemplates feelings in the feelings” as stated in the Satipatthana Sutta. At this stage of the practice, the meditator will become more familiar with the Insight Knowledge of “Discerning mentality and materiality” (nama-rupa-pariccheda).

Further progress, however, will require persistence in the mindful observations of the arising and passing away of every instant of feeling whenever it occurs. This will lead to a deepening experience of impermanence (anicca), being one of the main gates to final liberation. When, in Insight Meditation (vipassana), the vanishing moment of feelings becomes more strongly marked, the impermanent nature of the feelings will impress itself very deeply on the meditator’s mind. This experience, gained also from other mental and bodily processes, will gradually mature into the Insight Knowledge of Dissolution (bhangañana). On reaching that stage, the meditator will find himself well on the road to further progress.

It is within the practice of Insight meditation that the Contemplation of Feelings can unfold its full strength as an efficient tool for breaking the chain of suffering at its weakest link. But from this Contemplation, considerable benefits can be derived also by those who, in their daily life, devote only some quiet reflection to their feelings and emotions, even if done retrospectively. They will soon find that feelings and emotions are “separable.” Even this reflective and retrospective contemplation can help them to a fuller awareness of feelings and emotions when they actually occur. This again can save them from being carried away by the emotional cross-currents of elation and dejection. The mind will then gradually reach a higher level of firmness and equipoise, just by that simple procedure of looking, or looking back at, one’s feelings and emotions.

This, however, should not, and need not, be made a constant practice, but should be taken up on suitable occasions and for a limited period of time until one has become familiar with the mechanism of feelings followed by emotions. Such an understanding of the process will result in an increasing control over one’s emotional reactions, and this will happen in a natural, spontaneous way. One need not have fears that one’s focusing the mind on the feelings and emotions, in the manner described, will lead to cold aloofness or an emotional withdrawal. On the contrary, mind and heart will become more open to all those finer emotions spoken of before. It will not exclude warm human relationships, nor the enjoyment of beauty in art and nature. But it will remove from them the fever of clinging, so that these experiences will give a deeper satisfaction, as far as this world of Dukkha admits.

A life lived in this way may well mature in the wish to use the Contemplation of Feelings for its highest purpose: mind’s final liberation from suffering.

Nyanaponika
Kandy, Sri Lanka
January, 1983

The Place of “Feeling” in Buddhist Psychology

It should be first made clear that, in Buddhist psychology, “feeling” (Pali: vedana) is the bare sensation noted as pleasant, unpleasant (painful) and neutral (indifferent). Hence, it should not be confused with emotion which, though arising from the basic feeling, adds to it likes or dislikes of varying intensity, as well as other thought processes.

Feeling, in that sense, is one of the five Aggregates or Groups of Existence (khandha), constituting what is conventionally called “a person.” The specific factors operative in emotion belong to the Aggregate of Mental Formations (sankhara-kkhandha). Feeling is one of the four mental Aggregates which arise, inseparably, in all states of consciousness; the other three are perception, mental formations, and consciousness.

Feeling arises whenever there is the meeting of three factors, i.e., sense-organ, object and consciousness. It is called the meeting of these three that, in Buddhist psychology, is called sense-impression (contact, impact; phassa), which is a mental, and not a physical process. It is sixfold, as being conditioned either by of the five physical senses or by mind. it is this sixfold sense-impression by which the corresponding six feelings are conditioned. In the formula of the Dependent Origination (paticca-samuppada), this is expressed by the link: “Sense-impression conditions Feeling” (phassa-paccaya vedana). When emotions follow, they do so in accordance with the next link of Dependent Origination: “Feeling conditions Craving” (vedana-paccaya tanha).

The feeling that arises from contact with visual forms, sounds, odors, and tastes is always a neutral feeling. Pleasant or unpleasant feelings do not always follow in relation to these four sense perceptions; but when they follow, they are then an additional stage of the perceptual process, subsequent to the neutral feeling which is the first response.

But bodily impressions (touch, pressure, etc.) can cause either pleasant or unpleasant feelings.

Mental impressions can cause gladness, sadness or neutral (indifferent) feeling.

Feeling is one of those mental factors (cetasika) which are common to all types of consciousness. In other words, every conscious experience has a feeling tone, even if only that of a neutral or indifferent feeling, which also has a distinct quality of its own.

Feeling by itself (if one could so separate it) is, as it was already said, the bare sensation noted as pleasant, painful or neutral. The subsequent emotional, practical, moral or spiritual values attached to that basic feeling are determined by other mental factors that subsequently arise in relation to that feeling, but, by way of classification, belong to the Aggregate of Mental Formations (sankhara-kkhandha). It is the quality of those other mental functions that makes the co-nascent feeling, too, to be either good or bad, noble or low, kammic or non-kammic, mundane or supramundane.

Feeling may stop at the stage of bare sensation in all weak states of consciousness, but also when there is mindful control of feelings. In such cases, there is no evaluation of these feelings, emotionally or intellectually.

The Discourse-grouping on Feelings (Vedana-Samyutta)  

1. Concentration

“There are, O monks, these three feelings: pleasant feelings, painful feelings, and neither-painful-nor-pleasant feelings.”

A disciple of the Buddha, mindful,
clearly comprehending, with his mind collected,
he knows the feelings[1] and their origin,[2]
knows whereby they cease[3] and knows the path
that to the ending of feelings lead.[4]
And when the end of feelings he has reached,
such a monk, his thirsting quenched, attains Nibbana.”[5]

2. Happiness

“There are, O monks, these three feelings: pleasant feelings, painful feelings, and neither-painful-nor-pleasant feelings.”

Be it a pleasant feeling, be it a painful feeling, be it neutral,
one’s own or others’, feelings of all kinds[6] —
he knows them all as ill, deceitful, evanescent.
Seeing how they impinge again, again, and disappear,[7]
he wins detachment from the feelings, passion-free.

3. Giving up

“In the case of pleasant feelings, O monks, the underlying tendency[8] to lust should be given up; in the case of painful feelings, the underlying tendency to resistance (aversion) should be given up; in the case of neither-painful-nor-pleasant feelings, the underlying tendency to ignorance should be given up.

“If a monk has given up the tendency to lust in regard to pleasant feeling, the tendency to resistance in regard to painful feelings, and the tendency to ignorance in regard to neither-painful-nor-pleasant feelings, then he is called one who is free of (unwholesome) tendencies, one who has the right outlook. He has cut off craving, severed the fetters (to future existence), and through the full penetration of conceit,[9] he has made an end of suffering.”

If one feels joy, but knows not feeling’s nature,
bent towards greed, he will not find deliverance.
If one feels pain, but knows not feeling’s nature,
bent toward hate, he will not find deliverance.

And even neutral feeling which as peaceful
the Lord of Wisdom has proclaimed,
if, in attachment, he should cling to it,
he will not be free from the round of ill.

And having done so, in this very life
will be free from cankers, free from taints.

Mature in knowledge, firm in Dhamma’s ways,
when once his life-span ends, his body breaks,
all measure and concept he has transcended.

4. The Bottomless Pit

“When, O monks, an untaught worldling says that in the great ocean there is a (bottomless) pit,[10] he speaks about something unreal and not factual.[11] ‘The (bottomless) pit,’ O monks, is rather a name for painful bodily feelings. When an untaught worldling is afflicted by painful bodily feelings, he worries and grieves, he laments, beats his breast, weeps and is distraught. He is then said to be an untaught worldling who cannot withstand the bottomless pit and cannot gain a foothold in it. But when a well-taught noble disciple[12] is afflicted by painful bodily feelings, he will not worry nor grieve and lament, he will not beat his breast and weep, nor will he be distraught. He is then said to be a noble disciple who can withstand the bottomless pit and has gained a foothold in it.”

Who cannot bear the painful body-feelings that arise
endangering his life, he trembles when afflicted.
He wails and cries aloud, a weak and feeble man.
He cannot stand against the pit,
nor can a foothold he secure.But one who bears the painful body-feelings that arise,
not trembling when his very life is threatened,
he truly can withstand that pit
and gain a foothold in its depth.

5. To Be Known

“There are, O monks, these three feelings: pleasant, painful and neither-painful-nor-pleasant. Pleasant feelings should be known as painful, painful feelings should be known as a thorn, and neither-painful-nor-pleasant feelings should be known as impermanent. If a monk has known the feelings in such a way, it is said of him that he has the right outlook. He has cut off craving, severed the fetters (to existence) and, through the full penetration of conceit, he has made an end of suffering.”

Who sees the pain in happiness and views the painful feeling as a thorn,
perceives the transience in neutral feeling which is peaceful —
right outlook, truly, has such a monk who fully understands these feelings;
And having penetrated them, he will be taint-free in this very life.
Mature in knowledge, firm in Dhamma’s ways,
when once his life-span ends, his body breaks,
all measure and concept he has transcended.

6. The Dart

“An untaught worldling, O monks, experiences pleasant feelings, he experiences painful feelings and he experiences neutral feelings. A well-taught noble disciple likewise experiences pleasant, painful and neutral feelings. Now what is the distinction, the diversity, the difference that exists herein between a well-taught noble disciple and an untaught worldling?

“When an untaught worldling is touched by a painful (bodily) feeling, he worries and grieves, he laments, beats his breast, weeps and is distraught. He thus experiences two kinds of feelings, a bodily and a mental feeling. It is as if a man were pierced by a dart and, following the first piercing, he is hit by a second dart. So that person will experience feelings caused by two darts. It is similar with an untaught worldling: when touched by a painful (bodily) feeling, he worries and grieves, he laments, beats his breast, weeps and is distraught. So he experiences two kinds of feeling: a bodily and a mental feeling.

“Having been touched by that painful feeling, he resists (and resents) it. Then in him who so resists (and resents) that painful feeling, an underlying tendency of resistance against that painful feeling comes to underlie (his mind). Under the impact of that painful feeling he then proceeds to enjoy sensual happiness. And why does he do so? An untaught worldling, O monks, does not know of any other escape from painful feelings except the enjoyment of sensual happiness. Then in him who enjoys sensual happiness, an underlying tendency to lust for pleasant feelings comes to underlie (his mind). He does not know, according to facts, the arising and ending of these feelings, nor the gratification, the danger and the escape, connected with these feelings. In him who lacks that knowledge, an underlying tendency to ignorance as to neutral feelings comes to underlie (his mind). When he experiences a pleasant feeling, a painful feeling or a neutral feeling, he feels it as one fettered by it. Such a one, O monks, is called an untaught worldling who is fettered by birth, by old age, by death, by sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair. He is fettered by suffering, this I declare.

“But in the case of a well-taught noble disciple, O monks, when he is touched by a painful feeling, he will not worry nor grieve and lament, he will not beat his breast and weep, nor will he be distraught. It is one kind of feeling he experiences, a bodily one, but not a mental feeling. It is as if a man were pierced by a dart, but was not hit by a second dart following the first one. So this person experiences feelings caused by a single dart only. It is similar with a well-taught noble disciple: when touched by a painful feeling, he will no worry nor grieve and lament, he will not beat his breast and weep, nor will he be distraught. He experiences one single feeling, a bodily one.

“Having been touched by that painful feeling, he does not resist (and resent) it. Hence, in him no underlying tendency of resistance against that painful feeling comes to underlie (his mind). Under the impact of that painful feeling he does not proceed to enjoy sensual happiness. And why not? As a well-taught noble disciple he knows of an escape from painful feelings other than by enjoying sensual happiness. Then in him who does not proceed to enjoy sensual happiness, no underlying tendency to lust for pleasant feelings comes to underlie (his mind). He knows, according to facts, the arising and ending of those feelings, and the gratification, the danger and the escape connected with these feelings. In him who knows thus, no underlying tendency to ignorance as to neutral feelings comes to underlie (his mind). When he experiences a pleasant feeling, a painful feeling or a neutral feeling, he feels it as one who is not fettered by it. Such a one, O monks, is called a well-taught noble disciple who is not fettered by birth, by old age, by death, by sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair. He is not fettered to suffering, this I declare.

“This, O monks, is the distinction, the diversity, the difference that exists between a well-taught noble disciple and an untaught worldling.”

7. At the Sick Room — I

Once the Blessed One dwelt at Vesali, in the Great Forest, at the Gabled House. In the evening, after the Blessed One had risen from his seclusion, he went to the sick room and sat down on a prepared seat. Being seated he addressed the monks as follows:

“O monks, mindfully and clearly comprehending should a monk spend his time! This is my injunction to you!

“And how, O monks, is a monk mindful? He dwells practicing body-contemplation on the body, ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful, having overcome covetousness and grief concerning the world. He dwells practicing feeling-contemplation on feelings, ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful, having overcome covetousness and grief concerning the world. He dwells practicing mind-contemplation on the mind, having overcome covetousness and grief concerning the world. He dwells practicing mind-object-contemplation on mind-objects, having overcome covetousness and grief concerning the world. So, monks, is a monk mindful.

“And how, O monks, is a monk clearly comprehending? He applies clear comprehension in going forward and going back; in looking straight on and in looking elsewhere; in bending and in stretching (his limbs); in wearing the robes and carrying the alms bowl; in eating, drinking, chewing and savoring; in obeying the calls of nature; in walking, standing sitting, falling asleep waking, speaking and being silent — in all that he applies clear comprehension. So, monks, is a monk clearly comprehending.

“If a monk is thus mindful and clearly comprehending, ardent, earnest and resolute, and a pleasant feeling arises in him, he knows: ‘Now a pleasant feeling has arisen in me. It is conditioned, not unconditioned. Conditioned by what? Even by this body it is conditioned.[13] And this body, indeed, is impermanent, compounded, dependently arisen. But if this pleasant feeling that has arisen, is conditioned by the body which is impermanent, compounded and dependently arisen; how could such a pleasant feeling be permanent?’

“In regard to both body and the pleasant feeling he dwells contemplating impermanence, dwells contemplating evanescence, dwells contemplating detachment, dwells contemplating cessation, dwells contemplating relinquishment. And in him who thus dwells, the underlying tendency to lust in regard to body and pleasant feeling vanishes.

“If a painful feeling arises in him, he knows: ‘Now a painful feeling has arisen in me. It is conditioned, not unconditioned. Conditioned by what? Even by this body it is conditioned. And this body, indeed, is impermanent, compounded, dependently arisen. But if this painful feeling that has arisen is conditioned by the body which is impermanent, compounded and dependently arisen, how could such a painful feeling be permanent?’

“In regard to both the body and the painful feeling he dwells contemplating impermanence, dwells contemplating evanescence, dwells contemplating detachment, dwells contemplating cessation, dwells contemplating relinquishment. And in him who thus dwells, the underlying tendency to resistance in regard to the body and painful feeling vanishes.

“If a neutral feeling arises in him, he knows: ‘Now a neutral feeling has arisen in me. It is conditioned, not unconditioned. Conditioned by what? Even by this body it is conditioned. And this body, indeed, is impermanent, compounded, dependently arisen. But if this neutral feeling that has arisen is conditioned by the body which is impermanent, compounded and dependently arisen, how could such a neutral feeling be permanent?’

“In regard to both the body and the neutral feeling he dwells contemplating impermanence, dwells contemplating evanescence, dwells contemplating detachment, dwells contemplating cessation, dwells contemplating relinquishment. And in him who thus dwells, the underlying tendency to ignorance in regard to body and neutral feeling vanishes.

“If he experiences a pleasant feeling, he knows it as impermanent; he knows, it is not clung to; he knows, it is not relished. If he experiences a painful feeling… a neutral feeling, he knows it as impermanent; he knows, it is not clung to; he knows, it is not relished.

“If he experiences a pleasant feeling, he feels it as one unfettered by it. If he experiences a painful feeling, he feels it as one unfettered by it. If he experiences a neutral feeling, he feels it as one unfettered by it.

“When having painful feelings endangering the body, he knows: ‘I have a painful feeling endangering the body.’ When having painful feelings endangering life he knows: ‘I have a painful feeling endangering life.’ And he knows: ‘After the dissolution of the body, when life ends, all these feelings which are unrelished, will come to final rest, even here.’

“It is like a lamp that burns by strength of oil and wick, and if oil and wick come to an end, the flame is extinguished through lack of nourishment. Similarly this monk knows: ‘After the dissolution of the body, when life ends, all these feelings which are unrelished will come to (final) rest, even here.'”

8. At the Sick Room — II

Once the Blessed One dwelt at Vesali, in the Great Forest, at the Gabled House. In the evening, after had arisen from his seclusion, he went to the sick room and sat down on a prepared seat. Being seated, he addressed the monks as follows:

“O monks, mindfully and clearly comprehending should a monk spend his time! This is my injunction to you!

“And how,[14] O monks, is a monk mindful? He dwells practicing body-contemplation on the body, ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful, having overcome covetousness and grief concerning the world. He dwells practicing feeling-contemplation on feelings, ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful, having overcome covetousness and grief concerning the world. He dwells practicing mind-contemplation on the mind, having overcome covetousness and grief concerning the world. He dwells practicing mind-object-contemplation on mind-objects, having overcome covetousness and grief concerning the world. So, monks, is a monk mindful.

“And how, O monks, is a monk clearly comprehending? He applies clear comprehension in going forward and going back; in looking straight on and in looking elsewhere; in bending and in stretching (his limbs); in wearing the robes and carrying the alms bowl; in eating, drinking, chewing and savoring; in obeying the calls of nature; in walking, standing sitting, falling asleep, waking, speaking and being silent — in all that he applies clear comprehension. So, monks, is a monk clearly comprehending.

“If a monk is thus mindful and clearly comprehending, ardent, earnest and resolute, and a pleasant feeling arises in him, he knows: ‘Now a pleasant feeling has arisen in me. It is conditioned, not unconditioned. Conditioned by what? Even by this sense-impression[15] it is conditioned. And this sense-impression, indeed, is impermanent, compounded, dependently arisen. But if this pleasant feeling that has arisen is conditioned by a sense-impression which is impermanent, compounded, and dependently arisen, how could such a pleasant feeling be permanent?’

“In regard to both sense-impression and the pleasant feeling, he dwells contemplating impermanence, dwells contemplating evanescence, dwells contemplating detachment, dwells contemplating cessation, dwells contemplating relinquishment. And in him who thus dwells, the underlying tendency to lust in regard to sense-impressions and pleasant feeling vanishes.

“If a painful feeling arises in him, he knows: ‘Now a painful feeling has arisen in me. It is conditioned, not unconditioned. Conditioned by what? Even by this sense-impression it is conditioned. And this sense-impression, indeed, is impermanent, compounded, dependently arisen. But if this painful feeling that has arisen is conditioned by a sense-impression which is impermanent, compounded and dependently arisen, how could such a painful feeling be permanent?’

“In regard to both sense-impression and painful feeling, he dwells contemplating impermanence, dwells contemplating evanescence, dwells contemplating detachment, dwells contemplating cessation, dwells contemplating relinquishment. And in him who thus dwells, the underlying tendency to resistance in regard to sense-impression and painful feeling vanishes.

“If a neutral feeling arises in him, he knows: ‘Now a neutral feeling has arisen in me. It is conditioned, not unconditioned. Conditioned by what? Even by this sense-impression it is conditioned. And this sense-impression, indeed, is impermanent, compounded, dependently arisen. But if this neutral feeling that has arisen is conditioned by a sense-impression, which is impermanent, compounded and dependently arisen, how could such a neutral feeling be permanent?’

“In regard to both sense-impression and neutral feeling, he dwells contemplating impermanence, dwells contemplating evanescence, dwells contemplating detachment, dwells contemplating cessation, dwells contemplating relinquishment. And in him who thus dwells, the underlying tendency to ignorance in regard to sense-impression and neutral feeling vanishes.”

(The concluding sections are identical with those in Text 7, from “if he experiences…” up to the end.)

9. Impermanent

“The three kinds of feelings, O monks, are impermanent, compounded, dependently arisen, liable to destruction, to evanescence, to fading away, to cessation — namely, pleasant feeling, painful feeling and neutral feeling.”

10. Rooted in Sense-Impression

“There are, O monks, these three feelings, rooted in sense-impression, caused by sense-impression, conditioned by sense-impression: pleasant, painful and neutral feelings.

“Dependent on a sense-impression that is liable to be felt as pleasurable, there arises a pleasant feeling. When that very sense-impression liable to be felt as pleasurable has ceased, then the sensation born from it[16] — namely the pleasant feeling that arose dependent on that sense-impression — also ceases and is stilled.

“Dependent on a sense-impression that is liable to be felt as painful (neutral), there arises a painful (neutral) feeling. When that very sense-impression liable to be felt as painful (neutral) has ceased, then the sensation born from it — namely the painful (neutral) feeling that arose dependent on that sense-impression — also ceases and is stilled.

“Just as from the coming together and rubbing of two sticks of wood heat results and fire is produced, and by the separation and disconnection of the sticks, the heat produced by them ceases and disappears, so it is also with these three feelings which are born of sense-impression, rooted in sense-impression, caused by sense-impression, dependent on sense-impression: dependent on a sense-impression of a certain kind there arises a corresponding feeling; by the cessation of that sense-impression the corresponding feeling ceases.”

11. Seclusion

Once a certain monk came to see the Blessed One and, after saluting him respectfully, sat down at one side. Seated thus, he spoke to the Blessed One as follows:

“When I went into seclusion, while I was in solitude, this thought occurred to me: ‘Three feelings have been taught by the Blessed One: pleasant, painful and neutral feelings. But the Blessed One has also said that whatever is felt is within suffering.’ Now, with reference to what was it stated by the Blessed One that whatever is felt is within suffering?”

“Well spoken, monk, well spoken! While three feelings have been taught by me, the pleasant, the painful and the neutral, yet I have also said that whatever is felt is within suffering. This, however, was stated by me with reference to the impermanence of (all) conditioned phenomena (sankhara). I have said it because conditioned phenomena are liable to destruction, to evanescence, to fading away, to cessation and to change. It is with reference to this that I have stated: ‘Whatever is felt is within suffering.’

“I have further taught, monk, the gradual cessation of conditioned phenomena. In him who has attained the first meditative absorption (jhana), speech has ceased. Having attained the second absorption, thought-conception and discursive thinking has ceased. Having attained the third absorption, joy has ceased. Having attained the fourth absorption, inhalation and exhalation have ceased. Having attained the sphere of the infinity of space, perception of form (matter) has ceased. Having attained the sphere of the infinity of consciousness, the perception of the sphere of the infinity of space has ceased. Having attained the sphere of no-thingness, the perception of the sphere of infinity of consciousness has ceased. Having attained the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, the perception of the sphere of no-thingness has ceased. Having attained the cessation of perception and feeling, perception and feeling have ceased. In a taint-free monk greed has ceased, hatred has ceased, delusion has ceased.

“I have further taught, monk the gradual stilling of conditioned phenomena (sankhara). In him who has attained the first meditative absorption, speech has been stilled. Having attained the second absorption, thought-conception and discursive thinking have been stilled…(To be continued as above, up to:) Having attained the cessation of perception and feeling, perception and feeling have been stilled. In a taint-free monk greed has been stilled, hatred has been stilled, delusion has been stilled.

“There are, monk, these six quietenings. In him who has attained the first absorption, speech is quietened. Having attained the second absorption, thought-conception and discursive thinking are quietened. Having attained the third absorption, rapture is quietened. Having attained the fourth absorption, inhalation and exhalation is quietened.[17] Having attained the cessation of perception and feeling, perception and feeling are quietened. In a taint-free monk greed is quietened, hatred is quietened, delusion is quietened.”

12. In the Sky — I

“In the sky, O monks, various kinds of winds are blowing: winds from the east, west, north and south, winds carrying dust and winds without dust, winds hot and cold, gentle and fierce. Similarly, monks, there arise in this body various kinds of feelings: pleasant feelings arise, painful feelings arise and neutral feelings arise.”

Just as in the sky above winds of various kinds are blowing:
Coming from the east or west, blowing from the north or south,
Some carry dust and others not, cold are some and others hot,
Some are fierce and others mild — their blowing is so different.So also in this body here, feelings of different kind arise:
The pleasant feelings and the painful and the neutral ones.

But if a monk is ardent and does not neglect
To practice mindfulness and comprehension clear,
The nature of all feelings will he understand,
And having penetrated them, he will be taint-free in this very life.
Mature in knowledge, firm in Dhamma’s ways,
When once his life-span ends, his body breaks,
All measure and concept he has transcended.

13. In the Sky — II

(This text repeats the prose section of No. 12, without the verses)

14. The Guest House

“In a guest house, O monks, people from the east may take lodgings, or people from the west, north or south. People from the warrior caste may come and take lodgings there, and also Brahmans, middle class people and menials.

“Similarly, O monks, there arise in this body various kinds of feelings; there arise pleasant feelings, painful feelings and neutral feelings; worldly feelings that are pleasant, painful or neutral, and unworldly (spiritual) feelings that are pleasant, painful and neutral.”

15. Ananda — I

Once the Venerable Ananda went to see the Blessed One. Having saluted him respectfully, he sat down at one side. Thus seated, he said:

“What are the feelings, O Lord? What is the origin of feelings, what is their cessation and the way leading to their cessation? What is the gratification in feelings? What is the danger in feelings? And what is the escape from them?”

“There are, Ananda, three kinds of feelings: pleasant, painful and neutral. Through the origin of sense-impression there is origin of feelings; through the cessation of sense-impression there is cessation of feelings. It is the noble eightfold path that is the way leading to the cessation of feelings, namely: right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.

“It is the happiness and gladness arising dependent on feelings that is the gratification in feelings. Feelings are impermanent, (liable to bring) pain, and are subject to change; this is the danger in feelings. The removal and the giving up of the desire and lust for feelings is the escape from feelings.

“I have further taught, Ananda, the gradual cessation of conditioned phenomena (sankhara). In him who has attained the first meditative absorption, speech has been stilled. Having attained the second absorption, thought-conception and discursive thinking has ceased. Having attained the third absorption, joy has ceased. Having attained the fourth absorption, inhalation and exhalation have ceased. Having attained the sphere of the infinity of space, perception of form (matter) has ceased. Having attained the sphere of the infinity of consciousness, the perception of the sphere of the infinity of space has ceased. Having attained the sphere of no-thingness, the perception of the sphere of infinity of consciousness has ceased. Having attained the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, the perception of the sphere of no-thingness has ceased. Having attained the cessation of perception and feeling, perception and feeling have ceased. In a taint-free monk greed, hatred, and delusion are quietened.”

16. Ananda — II

(In this discourse, the Buddha himself puts to Ananda the same questions as in Text 15, and being requested by Ananda to give the explanation himself, the Buddha answers in the same way as in Text 15.)

17-18. Many Monks

(Here, again, the same questions and answers are repeated, in the case of “many monks.” The introductory parts correspond to those in Texts 15 and 16.)

19. Carpenter Fivetools (Pañcakanga)[18]

Once Carpenter Fivetools went to see the Venerable Udayi. Having saluted him respectfully, he sat down at one side. Thus seated, he asked the Venerable Udayi:

“How many kinds of feelings, reverend Udayi, were taught by the Blessed One?”

“Three kinds of feelings, Carpenter, were taught by the Blessed One: pleasant, painful and neutral feelings. These are the three feelings taught by the Blessed One.”

After these words, Carpenter Fivetools said: “Not three kinds of feelings, reverend Udayi, were taught by the Blessed One. It is two kinds of feelings that were stated by the Blessed One: pleasant and painful feelings. The neutral feeling was said by the Blessed One to belong to peaceful and sublime happiness.”

But the Venerable Udayi replied: “It is not two feelings that were taught by the Blessed One, but three: pleasant, painful and neutral feelings.”

(This exchange of views was repeated for a second and a third time,) but neither was Carpenter Fivetools able to convince the Venerable Udayi, nor could the Venerable Udayi convince Carpenter Fivetools. It so happened that [the] Venerable Ananda had listened to that conversation and went to see the Blessed One about it. Having saluted the Blessed One respectfully, he sat down at one side. Thus seated, he repeated the entire conversation that had taken place between the Venerable Udayi and Carpenter Fivetools.

The Blessed One said: “Ananda, Udayi’s way of presentation, with which Carpenter Fivetools disagreed, was correct, indeed. But also Carpenter Fivetool’s way of presentation, with which Udayi disagreed, was correct. In one way of presentation I have spoken of two kinds of feelings, and in other ways of presentation I have spoken of three, of six, of eighteen, of thirty-six, and of one hundred and eight kinds of feelings.[19] So the Dhamma has been shown by me in different ways of presentation.

“Regarding the Dhamma thus shown by me in different ways, if there are those who do not agree with, do not consent to, and do not accept what is rightly said and rightly spoken, it may be expected of them that they will quarrel, and get into arguments and disputes, hurting each other with sharp words.

“Regarding the Dhamma thus shown by me in different ways, if there are those who agree with, consent to, and accept what is rightly said and rightly spoken, it may be expected of them that they will live in concord and amity, without dispute, like milk (that easily mixes) with water, looking at each other with friendly eyes.

“There are five strands of sense desire. What are these five? Forms cognizable by the eye that are wished for, desirable, agreeable and endearing, bound up with sensual desire and tempting to lust. Sounds cognizable by the ear… odors cognizable by the nose… flavors cognizable by the tongue… tangibles cognizable by the body, that are wished for, desirable, agreeable and endearing, bound up with sense desire, and tempting to lust. These are the five strands of sense desire. The pleasure and joy arising dependent on these five strands of sense desire, that is called sensual pleasure.

“Now, if someone were to say: ‘This is the highest pleasure and joy that can be experienced,’ I would not concede that. And why not? Because there is another kind of pleasure which surpasses that pleasure and is more sublime. And what is this pleasure? Here, quite secluded from sensual desires, secluded from unwholesome states of mind, a monk enters upon and abides in the first meditative absorption (jhana), which is accompanied by thought conception and discursive thinking and has in it joy and pleasure born of seclusion. This is the other kind of pleasure which surpasses that (sense) pleasure and is more sublime.

“If someone were to say: ‘This is the highest pleasure that can be experienced,’ I would not concede that. And why not? Because there is another kind of pleasure which surpasses that pleasure and is more sublime. And what is that pleasure? Here, with the stilling of thought conception and discursive thinking… a monk enters upon and abides in the second meditative absorption… in the sphere of the infinity of space… of the infinity of consciousness… of no-thingness… of neither-perception-nor-non-perception.

“If someone were to say: ‘This is the highest pleasure that can be experienced,’ I would not concede that. And why not? Because there is another kind of pleasure which surpasses that pleasure and is more sublime. And what is this pleasure? Here, by completely surmounting the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, a monk enters upon and abides in the cessation of perception and feeling. This is the other kind of pleasure which surpasses that pleasure and is more sublime.[20]

“It may happen, Ananda, that Wanderers of other sects will be saying this: ‘The recluse Gotama speaks of the Cessation of Perception and Feeling and describes it as pleasure. What is this (pleasure) and how is this (a pleasure)?’

“Those who say so, should be told: ‘The Blessed One describes as pleasure not only the feeling of pleasure. But a Tathagata describes as pleasure whenever and whereinsoever it is obtained.'”

20. Bhikkhus

(This Discourse, addressed to Bhikkhus, repeats the main part of Text 19, without its introductory section.)

21. Sivaka

Once the Blessed One dwelled at Rajagaha in the Bamboo-Grove Monastery, at the Squirrel’s Feeding Place. There a wandering ascetic, Moliya Sivaka by name, called on the Blessed One, and after an exchange of courteous and friendly words, sat down at one side. Thus seated, he said:

“There are, revered Gotama, some ascetics and brahmans who have this doctrine and view: ‘Whatever a person experiences, be it pleasure, pain or neither-pain-nor-pleasure, all that is caused by previous action.’ Now, what does the revered Gotama say about this?”

“Produced by (disorders of the) bile, there arise, Sivaka, certain kinds of feelings. That this happens, can be known by oneself; also in the world it is accepted as true. Produced by (disorders of the) phlegm… of wind… of (the three) combined… by change of climate… by adverse behavior… by injuries… by the results of Kamma — (through all that), Sivaka, there arise certain kinds of feelings. That this happens can be known by oneself; also in the world it is accepted as true.

“Now when these ascetics and brahmans have such a doctrine and view that ‘whatever a person experiences, be it pleasure, pain or neither-pain-nor-pleasure, all that is caused by previous action,’ then they go beyond what they know by themselves and what is accepted as true by the world. Therefore, I say that this is wrong on the part of these ascetics and brahmans.”

When this was spoken, Moliya Sivaka, the wandering ascetic, said: “It is excellent, revered Gotama, it is excellent indeed!… May the revered Gotama regard me as a lay follower who, from today, has taken refuge in him as long as life lasts.”

22. Hundred and Eight Feelings

“I shall show you, O monks, a way of Dhamma presentation by which there are one hundred and eight (feelings). Hence listen to me.

“In one way, O monks, I have spoken of two kinds of feelings, and in other ways of three, five, six, eighteen, thirty six and one hundred and eight feelings.

“What are the two feelings? Bodily and mental feelings.

“What are the three feelings? Pleasant, painful and neither-painful-nor-pleasant feelings.

“What are the five feelings? The faculties of pleasure, pain, gladness, sadness and equanimity.

“What are the six feelings? The feelings born of sense-impression through eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind.

“What are the eighteen feelings? There are the (above) six feelings by which there is an approach (to the objects) in gladness; and there are six approaches in sadness and there are six approaches in equanimity.

“What are the thirty six feelings? There are six feelings of gladness based on the household life and six based on renunciation; six feelings of sadness based on the household life and six based on renunciation; six feelings of equanimity based on the household life and six based on renunciation.

“What are the hundred and eight feelings? There are the (above) thirty six feelings of the past; there are thirty six of the future and there are thirty six of the present.

“These, O monks, are called the hundred and eight feelings; and this is the way of the Dhamma presentation by which there are one hundred and eight feelings.”

Texts 23-29

(Repeat the paras 3 and 4 of Text 15; only the interlocutions differ.)

Text 30

(Contains only an enumeration of the three kinds of feeling.)

31. Cessation

“There is, O monks, worldly joy (piti), there is unworldly joy, and there is a still greater unworldly joy. There is worldly happiness (sukha), there is unworldly happiness, and there is a still greater unworldly happiness. There is worldly equanimity, there is unworldly equanimity, and there a still greater unworldly equanimity. There is worldly freedom, there is unworldly freedom, and there is a still greater unworldly freedom.

“Now, O monks, what is worldly joy? There are these five cords of sense desire: forms cognizable by the eye that are wished for and desired, agreeable and endearing, associated with sense-desire and tempting to lust. Sounds cognizable by the ear… odors cognizable by the nose… flavors cognizable by the tongue… tangibles cognizable by the body, wished for and desired, agreeable and endearing, associated with sense-desire and tempting to lust. It is the joy that arises dependent on these five cords of sense desire which is called ‘worldly joy.’

“Now what is unworldly joy? Quite secluded from sense desires, secluded from unwholesome states of mind, a monk enters upon and abides in the first meditative absorption (jhana), which is accompanied by thought-conception and discursive thinking, and has joy and happiness born of seclusion. With the stilling of thought-conception and discursive thinking, he enters upon and abides in the second meditative absorption which has internal confidence and singleness of mind without thought conception and discursive thinking, and has joy and happiness born of concentration. This is called ‘unworldly joy.’

“And what is the still greater unworldly joy? When a taint-free monk looks upon his mind that is freed of greed, freed of hatred, freed of delusion, then there arises joy. This called a ‘still greater unworldly joy.’

“Now, O monks, what is worldly happiness? There are these five cords of sense desire: forms cognizable by the eye… sounds cognizable by the ear… odors cognizable by the nose… flavors cognizable by the tongue… tangibles cognizable by the body that are wished for and desired, agreeable and endearing, associated with sense desire and alluring. It is the happiness and gladness that arises dependent on these five cords of sense desire which are called ‘worldly happiness.’

“Now what is unworldly happiness? Quite secluded from sense desires, secluded from unwholesome states of mind, a monk enters upon and abides in the first meditative absorption… With the stilling of thought-conception and discursive thinking, he enters upon and abides in the second meditative absorption… With the fading away of joy as well, he dwells in equanimity, mindfully and fully aware he feels happiness within, and enters upon and abides in the third meditative absorption of which the Noble Ones announce: ‘He dwells in happiness who has equanimity and is mindful.’ This is called ‘unworldly happiness.’

“And what is the still greater unworldly happiness? When a taint-free monk looks upon his mind that is freed of greed, freed of hatred, freed of delusion, then there arises happiness. This is called a ‘still greater unworldly happiness.’

“Now, O monks, what is worldly equanimity? There are these five cords of sensual desire: forms cognizable by the eye… tangibles cognizable by the body that are wished for and desired, agreeable and endearing, associated with sense desire and alluring. It is the equanimity that arises with regard to these five cords of sense desire which is called ‘worldly equanimity.’

“Now, what is unworldy equanimity? With the abandoning of pleasure and pain, and with the previous disappearance of gladness and sadness, a monk enters upon and abides in the fourth meditative absorption, which has neither pain-nor-pleasure and has purity of mindfulness due to equanimity. This is called ‘unworldly equanimity.’

“And what is the still greater unworldly equanimity? When a taint-free monk looks upon his mind that is freed of greed, freed of hatred and freed of delusion, then there arises equanimity. This is called a ‘still greater unworldly equanimity.’

“Now, O monks, what is worldly freedom? The freedom connected with the material. What is unworldly freedom? The freedom connected with the immaterial. And what is the still greater unworldly freedom? When a taint-free monk looks upon his mind that is freed of greed, freed of hatred, and freed of delusion, then there arises freedom.”

Miscellaneous Texts for use in the Contemplation of Feelings  

Feelings are like bubbles.

Khandha Samyutta No. 95

All things converge on feelings.

Anguttara Nikaya, Nines, No. 14

“All feeling — whether it is of the past, the future or the present, whether in oneself or in others, whether coarse or sublime, inferior or superior, far or near — should be seen with right understanding as it actually is: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not a self of mine.'”

Anatta-lakkhana Sutta, Samyutta Nikaya, XXII, 59.

Pleasant feeling is pleasant when present; it is painful when changing.Painful feeling is painful when present; it is pleasant when changing.

Neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling is pleasant if one understands it; it is painful if there is no understanding.

Majjhima Nikaya No. 44; Cula-vedalla Sutta

A well-taught noble disciple… does not consider feeling as the self nor the self as the owner of the feeling, nor feeling as included within the self, nor the self as included within the feeling.Of such a well-taught noble disciple it can be said that he is unfettered by the bondage of feeling, unfettered by bondage inner or outer. He has seen the coast, he has seen the Other Shore, and he is fully freed from suffering — this I say.

Khandha Samyutta No. 117

It was said that one should know the feelings, their conditioned origin, their diversity, their outcome, their cessation, and the way to their cessation. Why was this said?What are the feelings? These three: pleasant, painful, and neither-painful-nor-pleasant.

What is the conditioned origin of these feelings? Sense-impression is the conditioned origin of the feelings.

What is the diversity in feelings? There are pleasant feelings, worldly and unworldly; there are painful feelings, worldly and unworldly; and there are neutral feelings, worldly and unworldly.

What is the outcome of feelings? It is the personalized existence (attabhava) born of this or that (feeling), be it of a meritorious or demeritorious character, which one who feels causes to arise.

What is the cessation of feelings? It is the cessation of sense impression that is the cessation of feelings.

And it is the noble eightfold path that is the way leading to the cessation of feelings, namely: right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.

If a noble disciple knows in such way the feelings, their conditioned origin, their diversity, their outcome, their cessation, and the way to their cessation, he will be one who knows this penetrative Holy Life, namely the cessation of feelings.

From Anguttara Nikaya, Sixes, No. 63

On account of what has it been said that the four Noble Truths are the Dhamma taught by me, which is unrefuted, untarnished, irreproachable and uncensored by intelligent ascetics and brahmans?Based on the six elements[21] there is descent into the womb. When such descent into the womb takes place, there will be mind-and-body (nama-rupa). Mind-and-body conditions the sixfold sense-base. The sixfold sense-base conditions sense-impression. Sense-impression conditions feeling. Now it is for one who feels[22] that I make known, ‘This is suffering,’ ‘This is the origin of suffering,’ ‘This is the cessation of suffering,’ ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’

From Anguttara Nikaya, Threes, No.61

“Sisters, suppose there is a lamp burning: its oil, its wick, its flame, its radiance, all are impermanent and liable to change. Now, would anyone speak correctly when saying: ‘When this lamp is burning, its oil, wick and flame are impermanent and liable to change, but its radiance is permanent, everlasting, eternal, and not liable to change?'” — “Certainly not, venerable sir.” “Why not?” — “Because, venerable sir, when that lamp burns, its oil is impermanent and liable to change, and so are the wick, the flame and the radiance.””In the same way, sisters, would anyone speak correctly when saying: “These six (organ) bases in oneself are impermanent, but what, dependent on them, I feel as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant, that is permanent, ever-lasting, eternal, and not liable to change’?” — “Certainly not, venerable sir.” “Why not?” — “Because, venerable sir, each kind of feeling arises dependent on its appropriate condition, and with the cessation of the appropriate condition the corresponding feeling ceases.”

“Well said, sisters, well said! When a noble disciple perceives this, he sees it with right understanding, as it actually is.”

From Majjhima Nikaya No. 146; Nandaka’s Exhortation

Pleasant feeling is impermanent, conditioned, dependently arisen, having the nature of wasting, vanishing, fading and ceasing. The painful feeling and the neutral feeling, too, are impermanent, conditioned, dependently arisen, having the nature of wasting, vanishing, fading and ceasing.When a well-taught disciple perceives this, he becomes dispassionate towards pleasant feelings, dispassionate toward painful feelings and dispassionate toward neutral feelings. Being dispassionate, his lust fades away, and with the fading away of lust, he is liberated. When liberated, there comes to him the knowledge that he is liberated. He now knows: ‘Birth is exhausted, the holy life has been lived, done is what was to be done, there is no more of this to come.’

A monk whose mind is thus liberated, concurs with none and disputes with none; he employs the speech commonly used in the world, but without misapprehending it.

From Majjhima Nikaya No. 74; Dighanakha

Aphorisms from the Exegetical Literature

To know, as it actually is, the origin, (cessation, and the way to cessation) of feeling, etc., leads to liberation without clinging, because it partakes of the path.The lack of full penetration of the origin, etc., of feeling leads to imprisonment in the jail house of Samsara, because (such ignorance) is a condition for the Kamma-formations (sankhara).

Delusion which hides the true nature of feelings, leads to enjoyment of feelings.

But an understanding of feelings as it actually is, leads to the penetration of feeling and to dispassion regarding it.

By not understanding the danger and misery (adinava) in feelings, the craving for feelings will grow; and this happens because one only considers what is enjoyable in feelings (assada).

When there is lust for what is felt, one will be wriggling in the grip of the notions of self and self’s property, and in the grip of the notions of eternalism, and so on. This is due to the proximity of the cause for it, since clinging (to ego-belief and views) is conditioned by craving.

For those who proclaim doctrines of eternalism etc., or feel emotions corresponding (to them), sense-impression is the cause (hetu). This applies because (having such ideas or emotions) cannot occur without the meeting of sense-organ, object, and consciousness (which constitute sense-impression).

From Sub-Commentary to Brahmajala Sutta (pakarana-naya)

Notes  

1.
Comy.: He knows the feelings by way of the Truth of Suffering.
2.
Comy.: He knows them by way of the Truth of the Origin of Suffering.
3.
Comy.: He knows, by way of the Truth of Cessation, that feelings cease in Nibbana.
4.
Comy.: He knows the feelings by way of the Truth of the Path leading to the Cessation of Suffering.
5.
Parinibbuto, “fully extinguished”; Comy.: through the full extinction of the defilements (kilesa-parinibbanaya).
6.
On “feelings of all kinds,” see Text 22.
7.
Phussa phussa vayam disva, The Comy. explains differently, paraphrasing these words by ñanena phusitva phusitva, “repeatedly experiencing (them) by way of the knowledge (of rise and fall).” These verses occur also in Sutta Nipata, v. 739, with one additional line.
8.
Anusaya.
9.
“Conceit” refers in particular to self-conceit (asmi-mano), i.e., personality belief, on both the intellectual and the emotional levels.
10.
Patala.
11.
Comy. (paraphrased): According to popular belief, there is in the ocean a very deep abyss hollowed out by the force of the water, which is the abode of aquatic animals as well as dragon deities (naga), etc. Hence, for these beings, this abyss provides a basis for their existence, a comfortable abode. Therefore, to call it a bottomless pit is unrealistic and not factual, because it gives an inadequate and non-evident meaning to the word. It is rather bodily pain, inseparable from bodily existence, which deserves to be called a “bottomless pit” of suffering, being a part of unfathomable Samsara.
12.
Comy.: In this Discourse, by the words “noble disciple,” it is, in the first place, a stream-winner (sotapanna) that is meant. But also a meditator with strong insight and keen intellect is capable of withstanding feelings that arise without being carried away by them. He, too, ought to be included here (because he penetrates the feelings to some extent; Sub-comy.).
13.
The term body may be taken here as referring to the first five of the six bases of sense-impression (phassayatana).
14.
This paragraph and the one following were omitted from the BPS Wheel edition. They are identical to the corresponding paragraphs in the preceding sutta (SN 36.7) and are included here for the sake of completeness. — JB.
15.
Sense-impression, or contact (phassa), is a mental factor and does not signify physical impingement.
16.
Tajjam vedayitam.
17.
In the section on “being quietened” (patipassaddha), the four immaterial absorptions (arupajjhana) are not mentioned. According to Comy. they are implied in the “cessation of perception and feelings” (for the attainment of which they are a condition).
18.
This text is identical with MN 59 (Bahuvedaniya Sutta — Many Kinds of Feelings).
19.
See Text 22.
20.
Comy.: “From the fourth Jhana onwards, it is the neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling (that is present in these meditative states). But this neutral feeling, too, is called ‘pleasure’ (sukha), on account of its being peaceful and sublime. What arises by way of the five cords of sensual desire and by way of the eight meditative attainments is called ‘pleasure as being felt’ (vedayita-sukha). The state of Cessation of Perception and Feeling is a ‘pleasure, not being felt’ (avedayita-sukha). Hence, whether it be pleasure felt or not felt, both are assuredly ‘pleasure,’ in the sense of their being painfree states (niddukkhabhava-sankhatena sukhena).”In AN 9.34, the venerable Sariputta exclaims: “Nibbana is happiness, friend; Nibbana is happiness, indeed!” The monk Udayi then asked: “How can there be happiness when there is no feeling?” The venerable Sariputta replied: “Just this is happiness, friend, that therein there is no feeling.” The continuation of that Sutta may also be compared with our text. On Nibbana as happiness, see also AN 6.100.
21.
These are the elements of earth, water, fire, wind, space and consciousness. See Majjh. 140.
22.
The commentary applies this to one who understands feeling and quotes the beginning of the Contemplation of Feeling from the Satipatthana Sutta. — Alternatively, “One who feels” may also refer to all beings who feel suffering and seek a release from it.
(“Contemplation of Feeling: The Discourse-Grouping on the Feelings”, translated from the Pali, with an Introduction by Nyanaponika Thera. Access to Insight, 7 June 2010, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nyanaponika/wheel303.html . Retrieved on 18 October 2011.)
Posted by: lrrp | August 4, 2015

Art of Attention

The Meditative Art of Attention

Meditative attention is an art, or an acquired skill which brings clarity and an intelligence that sees the ‘true nature of things’. Among the variety of techniques in Buddhist meditation, the art of attention is the common thread underpinning all schools of Buddhist meditation: Mahamudra in the Tibetan tradition, Zazen in Zen Buddhism and Vipassana meditation in Theravada. Its ubiquitousness is illustrated by this Zen story: A monk once asked his teacher, ‘What is the fundamental teaching in Buddhism?’ the Master replied ‘Attention’. The student, dissatisfied with the answer said, ‘I wasn’t asking about attention, but was wanting to know the essential teaching in Buddhism’. The Master replied, ‘Attention, Attention, Attention’. So, it can be appreciated that the essence of Buddhist practice is to be found in the word – attention!

But how to do it? What is the practice? Vague advice to an aspiring meditator, such as ‘be mindful’ or ‘be attentive’, while offered with good intention, is unlikely to be effective. It is like the rulers in Aldous Huxley’s utopian novel Island who taught mynah birds to repeat ‘attention’ in the hope of training the island inhabitants to be attentive – it just didn’t work. To recognize the fact that most of us tend to function in a rather inattentive, unfocused way, which results in a rather superficial experience of life, is to see the necessity for training the errant attention in a systematic way, under guidance. This trained attention has the effect of uncovering, or laying bare, things as they really are. It is the ‘primary’ attention that sees through the ‘content’ mind to the underlying processes. In laying bare the reality of psychophysical phenomena, the salient characteristics are revealed without interfering with them. The art of this ‘bare’ attention is to simply register the predominant object in one’s experience as it arises without preference or interference, as a witness. That is, just registering or noting the changing phenomenon without reaction – be it sensation, sound, thought or a mind-state. However, if there is a reaction during the observation, as is natural for the untrained mind, then that too must be noted. This way of seeing has the potential to uncover the true nature of the phenomenon observed and thus a non-reactive, unconditioned awareness is acquired that brings liberating ‘inseeing’ or insight knowledge.

An Orientation to the Six Sense Doors

Being attentive is not a practice that needs to be confined to a crossed-legged posture. Meditative attention is a dynamic practice of paying close attention to what you are doing in whatever posture or situation you happen to be in. The way to orientate yourself in this practice is to literally ‘come to your senses’. That is, a strategy of being fully aware of all your activities through a conscious orientation to the five senses and the ‘sixth sense’ – the mind. The Six Sense Doors is the name for the five physical senses: eye, ear, nose, tongue and body and the sixth sense, which is a collective term for the five kinds of consciousness: eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, etc. So, the practice is to be consciously attentive at the predominant door or sense base. For example, being on guard at the eye-door allows you to notice the effects of the contact between the eye and the visible objects and how you are relating to them. This orientation to any sense door brings awareness of what is happening during any sense impression and with it the ability to monitor the associated feelings and consciousness that arise.

The actual meaning of ‘attention’ indicates its practice: ‘to attend upon’, ‘to be present with’. By being attentive ‘presence of mind’ is developed. While there are degrees of attention (down to lack of attention), it can be said that there are two types: natural attention, which is ‘automated attention’ and the intentionally ‘deployed’ attention that is developed in ‘meditative attention’.

Deployed attention is either passive, or in the sense of being applied, active. The passive mode is ‘bare attention’, that is just registering what is happening, in a receptive state of mind, without reaction. The active mode of attention is applied when any kind of movement or action is done, including active reflective thought on things observed.

Try this Exercise in Orientating to a Sense-Door

Check! Where is your attention at this present moment? What sense impression is predominant now? Is it the eye-door as you view the page, the ear-door attracted by sounds or the touch sensations of the body’s contact on the chair you’re sitting on. This moment is the time to establish the habit of being consciously present at a sense door and notice what is happening during a sense impression.

Choose a sense-door and be attentive to what is happening there. What feeling is present; what is the quality of that feeling; is it pleasant, unpleasant or neutral? What thoughts are associated with it? Take particular notice of the changes. It is useful to make a habit of checking yourself during your daily routine: what sense door am I at; what is happening there; what are the associated feelings that arise?

Dependent origination

This strategy of being present at a sense-door ties in with the practical application and study of Dependent Origination, Paticcasamuppada. As you experience the series of causal events, you can intercept them at the linkage of either consciousness, sense impression and/or feeling. The ability to do this gives you the potential to be free of the conditioned cycle of suffering that most people are unknowingly trapped in.

The Law of Dependent Origination is a profound subject, it is the very essence of the Buddha’s Teachings, illustrated by a famous exchange between the Buddha and his personal attendant, Ananda. Ananda casually remarked that he thought it was an easy thing to understand. The Buddha responded by saying, ‘Not so Ananda, don’t ever say such a thing. It’s because people do not understand origination, that they are not able to penetrate it, that their minds are befuddled. Just as a ball of twine becomes all tangled up and knotted, just so are beings ensnared and unable to free themselves from the wheel of existence, the conditions of suffering and states of hell and ruin’.

We can untangle the tangle by ‘insighting’ into dependent origination through awareness at a sense door. What we are experiencing now is the result of a series of events that arose because of previous conditions and is linked as a causal chain of effects, i.e. as cyclic existence.

It is useful to have a working knowledge of the eleven links in the cycle of Dependent Origination. Even such theoretical knowledge will point you in the right direction and the potential to be free of the conditioning it causes:

1. With Ignorance as a condition Karmic Formations or Volitional Actions arise; 2. With Volitional Actions as a condition Consciousness arises; 3. With Consciousness as a condition Mentality/Materiality arises; 4. With Mentality/Materiality as a condition the Six Sense Bases arise; 5. With The Six Sense Bases as a condition Contact (sense impressions) arise; 6. With Sense Impressions as a condition Feelings (vedana) arise; 7. With Feelings as a condition Grasping arises; 8. With Grasping as a condition Clinging arises; 9. With Clinging as a condition Attachment arises; 10. With Attachment as a condition Becoming arises; 11. With Becoming as a condition Pain, old age and death arise, i.e. conditioned suffering.

Here is the enlightenment story of Bahiya, the wooden robed one, who was able to practise in this way. Bahiya, originally a merchant, was travelling at sea with all his merchandise and was shipwrecked and cast ashore naked. He found bark to cover himself and an old bowl, and he went searching for alms-food. The local people were impressed by his seeming austerities and his reputation as an ascetic grew. He was tested when people offered him fine robes, but knowing that they would loose faith in him if he accepted, he refused, keeping up the deception. Bahiya was installed in a temple and worshipped as an Arahant (an Enlightened One) so that in time he came to believe that he was actually an enlightened being.

He lived impeccably and gained good concentration powers. Sitting in meditation one day, it is said that a deva, who was a former blood-relation, was able to persuade Bahiya that he wasn’t really enlightened at all and that he should go and see the Buddha, an Arahant who could help him.

Bahiya made a long journey to visit the Buddha at Savatti and reached the monastery just as the Buddha was about to go on the daily alms-round. Bahiya asked the Buddha three times to teach him the Dharma before the Buddha agreed to teach at such an inopportune time.

The Buddha then gave these brief instructions: ‘Bahiya, you should train yourself in this way: With the seen, there will be just the seen; with the heard, there will be just the heard; with the sensed (touched, tasted, smelt) there will be just the sensed; with the cognized, there will be just the cognized.

When for you, Bahiya, there is merely the seen, heard, sensed and cognized, then you will not be therein. Then you, Bahiya, will be neither here nor there nor within both – this is itself the end of suffering.’

Through this brief instruction, Bahiya was immediately Enlightened – through non-clinging – thus becoming an Arahant.

Not long after the Buddha had departed, Bahiya was fatally gored by a cow. When the Buddha returned from his alms-round and found Bahiya dead, he arranged for his cremation and for a stupa to be built for him. When asked what the destiny of Bahiya was the Buddha said that because he had grasped the meditation subject in the teacher’s presence, and practised as instructed according to the Dharma, Bahiya had attained Parinibbana, final Enlightenment.

The Technique of Mental Noting

A useful device to support meditative attention is naming or labelling the various objects during the observation of your own body and mind. Used judiciously, it is a very useful tool for focusing and sustaining the attention. The noting is done by repeatedly making a mental note of whatever arises in your body/mind experience. For example, ‘hearing’, ‘hearing’, ‘thinking’, ‘thinking’, ‘touching’, ‘touching’, etc. This is a powerful aid to help establish bare attention, especially at the beginning of the practice, when it is vital to systematically note or label as much as possible to establish the attention. Otherwise, you are likely to get lost in unnoticed wanderings with long periods of inattention. Having succeeded, even partially, in sustaining the attention, then the mental noting can be dropped, especially if the noting has become mechanical or is so clumsy that it is interfering with the subtle attention. Having acquired the ability to monitor your experience with just bare attention, you will need to return to the mental noting only when the attention weakens, is lost or needs to be re-established. The mental noting can be combined with the practice of orientating to your sense impressions by the naming of the physical and mental objects as they arise at the six sense doors. Be careful not to analyse what is being observed, just register or note it without reaction.

The Four Spheres of Attention

The four spheres of attention are structures or frames of reference used to support the practice. They are based on the Satipatthana Sutta and can be used as guidelines or frames of reference to help you direct the attention as you investigate the various experiences in your body and mind.

1. Attention to the Body Directed to apprehending the primary elements of the body (earth, air, fire and water) i.e., hardness, softness, temperature, fluidity and movement within the body and/or awareness of the various body postures, movements and actions in daily activities.

2. Attention to Feelings or Sensations Noting the qualities of feelings as either pleasant, unpleasant or neutral while being careful to differentiate the primary feeling from the emotional story.

3. Attention to the Consciousness and Mind-States The consciousness is the ‘knowing’ of anything, eg. a physical sensation and the knowing of it. Particular attention is paid to the mind-states, eg. happiness, sadness, agitation and seeing their arising and passing away.

4. Attention to the Mental Content This is not analysing mental events or classifying them, but using the attention to passively register the things of the mind – thoughts, ideas and concepts – as a witness without commentary.
The Two Modes of Meditation

There are two modes of meditation: Calm (Samatha) and Insight (Vipassana). Calming or serenity meditations use techniques of ‘fixing’ on a single object, excluding all other objects, to produce calm and one-pointedness. Examples are techniques using visualisation, following the respiration, mantras and contemplation. The second meditation mode is made up of practices that develop awareness. That is, paying close attention to the predominant object in your physical and mental experience with moment-to-moment awareness. This meditative attention will lead to insight knowledge.

The ability to successfully manage yourself in meditation depends on whether you can make appropriate adjustments or ‘fine tuning’ during a practice session. This ability is based on understanding these two modes of meditation: for example, if you become strained or tense during insight meditation, switching to the serenity meditation mode will calm and relax the mind; or if you became stuck in a becalmed mind-state in serenity meditation, you can invigorate the mind with an awareness exercise to give it an investigative edge.

Three-fold Strategy of Practice

It is necessary to appreciate the nature of ‘practice’ as applied to meditation because it could mistakenly be taken to imply the notion of control. This is far from the case, as the meditator needs to have a flowing receptivity to the experience without in any way controlling it. So ‘discipline’ in the meditation context can be misunderstood as imposing one’s will to control the practice. Actually, it is no more than following the directions and persistently applying the instructions with sensitivity. So correct practice is repeated performance to develop skills, without controlling or interfering with the experience. It’s developmental – the way to growth! It is important at the beginning of the practice to notice how you are relating to your experience or what your attitude to it is. If it happens to be reactive or judgmental then it is necessary to change the way you relate to things, situations or people, by cultivating qualities of acceptance, empathy and of ‘letting go’. Being more accepting and allowing, without the struggle to gain something, creates a natural meditative state that facilitates the practice. To successfully self-manage your practice it is necessary to take a holistic approach and to work within a supportive structure. Such a system is found in the ‘Three-fold Strategy of Practice’, which is a complete and integrated system supportive of the psychological wellbeing of the practitioner:

1. Restraint of behaviour in order to harmonise relationships;

2. Recollectedness, especially regarding developing the meditative art of ‘focusing’;

3. Discernment, which is the wisdom that sees the true nature of mind and existence.
Restraint and Harmony

Traditionally the meditator must formally undertake, or accept, five rules of conduct as a prerequisite for meditation. They are the foundations that good practice is based on, without them good concentration cannot be attained. These restraints need to be considered and accepted, as they act as protectors for your well-being on the meditation path: 1) to refrain from from harming or taking life; 2) to refrain from taking what is not given; 3) to refrain from the misuse of the senses; 4) to refrain from false and harsh speech; and 5) to refrain from the taking of intoxicants which confuse the mind. This is the ethical underpinning of the threefold system. But they are not to be considered as mere ‘no-nos’ as they are balanced by the cultivation of positive behaviour: honesty, generosity, kindness, etc.

Recollectedness

The quality of recollectedness or full awareness is acquired through the development and the managing of three meditation skills: Right Effort, Right Attention and Right Concentration. Effort is right in the sense of arousing, sustaining and balancing the effort; meditative attention is right when there is close and impartial attention to the various meditation objects as they arise; concentration is right when it centres upon and intensifies the meditative focus. Too much effort makes the mind restless; not enough makes the mind slack; too much concentration restricts the awareness, not enough and the mind loses its focus; but there can never be too much attentiveness, as the acuity of attention is the factor which will deepen the practice. The successful managing of these meditation skills will produce mindfulness or presence of mind, the prerequisite for a finely tuned discernment.
Discernment and Insight

Discernment is the intelligence that uncovers the true nature of things by seeing through the ‘content’ mind to the underlying processes. It is based upon a non-reactive awareness, a perfectly attuned attitude and a penetrative attentiveness that has the potential to see ‘what really is’. The outcome of such practice is direct experiential knowledge of the three universal characteristics of existence: change, unsatisfactoriness and impersonal process which culminates in a series of insights freeing one’s view from the distortions caused by ignorance.

Three-fold Strategy and Mental Impurities

Mental impurities are said to be present in three stratified layers in the mind: 1) dormant 2) manifest and 3) expressed. These impurities, or the three poisons of greed, hatred and ignorance, can be dealt with in three ways: first their expression can be restrained by harmonising one’s behaviour; secondly, when they manifest in the mind, for example as angry thoughts, then they can be skilfully suppressed through concentration practices in serenity meditation; eventually when they are seen at their primary source or dormant level then they can be eradicated through insight meditation.

Here’s an example of how the three-fold strategy is used to deal with our most troublesome negative emotion – anger. First, restrain your behaviour in a situation where anger arises, thus not giving it a chance to be expressed; as soon as anger surfaces in the mind as negative thoughts then a serenity meditation technique will calm the anger in the mind. But it is only through insight meditation where the ego-illusion is seen at its primary source, as the notion of ‘me’ and ‘mine’, that the anger at the dormant level can be seen with the possibility of eradicating it at its source.

The Three Meditation Practices

1. Sitting Meditation – where the primary focus is on the elements of the body while switching to the other spheres of attention as they arise.

2. Walking Meditation – where the stepping or foot movements in walking are noted in detail and the attention is focused on the movements as the primary object.

3. Daily Activities – the meditator continually labels body movements and actions.

Linking these three aspects of practice together will create an unbroken thread of awareness throughout the day, either generally, or as the practice becomes fluent, a precise and detailed noting of every action and movement can be sustained.

Instruction for Sitting Meditation

The first step is to find a balanced sitting posture. You should be relaxed yet your spine should be straight – you may have noticed how a 5-year-old sits up in a balanced way without effort. Allow your head to balance freely on the spine, checking that it is not pulled back or fixed. Allow your chin to drop so that your eyes and ears are at about the same level.

If sitting on the floor, use cushion(s) so that your knees are below your hips and in contact with the floor (otherwise your spine will collapse) or else use a chair with a firm base (not a sofa). Slumping only increases the pressure on the legs and discomfort in the back. Try radiating loving-kindness above and below and in all directions around you to check that you are not holding or contracting in the front or the back, etc. Check that your breathing is free and easy -any restriction indicates a fixed posture. Turn your awareness to the parts of your body which contact the cushion, ground or chair, softening onto the supporting surfaces.

It is useful to spend 5 minutes scanning the body in this way. Note that there is no such thing as ‘perfect posture’ and postural aches will come and go as a natural part of the unfolding practice. If pain becomes overwhelming or is due to injury, mindfully adjust the posture after noting the various sensations. However, as concentration develops, sensations of hotness, stiffness and itchiness will arise as part of the contemplation of feeling and sensation, and it is important to note them mindfully without fidgeting.

It is important to attend to your posture with wisdom, not insensitive will-power. Posture will improve with time, but you need to work with the body, not use force against it. If you have a lot of pain during a period of sitting, change posture, sit on a small stool or chair, or stand up for a while.

Checking your posture

  • Are the hips leaning back? This will cause a slump.
  • The small of the back should retain its natural, unforced curve so

that the abdomen is forward and ‘open’.

  • Imagine that someone is gently pushing between the shoulder blades,

but keep the muscles relaxed.

  • Note, and gently release, any tension in the neck/shoulder region.

Once you have settled into a comfortable, upright, balanced position you can begin meditating. On the basis of working from the gross to the subtle, i.e. from the body to the mind, feel the touch sensations of hardness or softness from the body’s contact with the ground or chair (earth element). This will help to anchor the attention to the body, especially when assisted by the mental label of ‘touching’. Then tune into the natural rising and falling movement of the lower abdomen, making a mental note or label of ‘rising’, ‘rising’ concurrent with the upward movement and ‘falling’, ‘falling’ with the downward movement. Having established the movement of the abdomen as a base be wary of clinging to it. If any secondary objects arise, such as thinking, sensations or mind-states they too must be noted until they disappear. Then if nothing else takes your attention return to noting the rising and falling movement of the abdomen as your primary object, but always be prepared to attend to the secondary objects when they arise. It is important to be alert to the specific characteristics of the various elements under observation, eg. the series of sensations from the movement of the abdomen (wind element) or the specific characteristics found in pain such as heat, throbbing, etc (fire element). The traditional sitting posture gives the right environmental conditions and allows you to focus intensely and apprehend, at a microscopic level, the body’s elements and the subtle mind events.

Technique in Walking Meditation

While meditation is usually associated with the sitting posture, Insight meditation (Vipassana) exercises can be practised while walking. Walking in Insight meditation is essentially about the awareness of movement as you note the component parts of the steps. Alternating walking meditation with sitting meditation helps to keep the meditation practice in balance.

Walking meditation is also a skilful way to energise the practice if the calming effect of sitting is making you dull or you are becoming over concentrated. Actually, it can be the preferred mode in Insight meditation as it is meditation in action.

You will need to find a level surface from five to ten metres long on which you can walk back and forth. Your arms should hang naturally with your hands lightly clasped in front. Gaze at a point about two metres in front of you on the ground to avoid visual distractions. Establish your attentiveness by first noting the standing posture and the touch sensation of the feet at the start of the walking track. Then as you walk keep the attention on the sole of the foot, not on the leg or any other part of the body.

For the first five minutes you can note just three parts of each step: ‘lifting’, ‘pushing’, ‘dropping’. Mentally note or label each step part by part, building up so that you are noting all six component parts: ‘raising’, ‘lifting’, ‘pushing’, ‘dropping’, ‘touching’ and ‘pressing’ – concurrent with the actual experience of the movements.

While walking and noting the parts of the steps you will probably find the mind still thinking. Not to worry, keep focused on the noting of the steps, so long as the thoughts remain just ‘background thoughts’. However, it you find you have been walking ‘lost in thought’ you must stop and vigorously note the thinking as ‘thinking’, ‘thinking’, ‘thinking’. Then re-establish your attention on the movement and carry on. Be careful that the mental noting does not become so mechanical that you lose the experience of the movement.

Try to do a minimum walking period of half an hour and build it up to a full hour. Strategically it is better to do a walking period before a sitting session as it brings balance into the practice. If you can alternate the walking and sitting sessions without any major breaks you will develop a continuity of awareness that naturally carries through into the awareness of daily activities.

Awareness of Daily Activities

Those who see worldly life as an obstacle to Dhamma see no Dhamma in everyday actions: They have not discovered that there are no everyday actions outside of Dhamma. – Eihei Dogen.

For awareness to deepen, continuity, which gives momentum to the practice, must be maintained for at least a few hours in the day. Continuity arises through careful and precise attention to movements, actions, feelings and mind-states, whatever is prominent, for as long as possible during the routine of the day.

Nothing can be dismissed as unimportant when noting daily activities: domestic chores, eating, cleaning your teeth. Repeatedly note any and every movement and activity in order to establish the habit so that it becomes second nature to note them in your daily routine. Of course, this is not easy to establish and so requires patience and perseverance – especially in being kind to yourself when you feel frustrated by constant forgetfulness!

If you are having difficulty, set yourself up to do a daily mindfulness exercise using a ‘trigger’ as a reminder. For instance, you could use contact with water as a trigger to remind you to be present with whatever you are doing while you are doing it, for instance washing your hands, doing the dishes, hosing the garden, washing the dog, etc. If you succeed only once in paying full attention it might be the start of establishing the habit of being mindful.

It is helpful to reinforce your efforts in being attentive in daily life by reviewing or taking stock of your daily notings – but without making judgements – and recording your practice in a meditation diary.

Awareness of Feelings

The Buddha said, ‘all things converge in feelings’. Awareness of feelings is the pivotal factor in meditation. A lot of difficulties in meditation practice stem from the unnoticed or unacknowledged reaction to unpleasant feelings. We spend most of our lives in unceasing effort to increase pleasant feelings and to avoid unpleasant feelings. If we do not acknowledge feelings they linger and we become stuck in some state – positive or negative. Yet feeling by itself, in its primary state, is quite neutral when it simply registers the impact of an object as pleasant, unpleasant or indifferent. Only when there are emotional additions, such as when one’s personal story is involved, will there arise fear, hatred and anxiety. Feelings and emotions are separable. Many of the weaker impressions we receive during the day stop at the mere registering of faint and brief feelings. This shows that the stopping at the bare or primary feeling is psychologically possible.

Attention to feelings, even when they are faint and brief, can be sustained throughout the day when the mind is calm and alert, because actually there are many occasions when one is not totally preoccupied and is able to notice feelings clearly at their primary stage. If, however, you are unable at first to differentiate the feelings, as a strategy try asking yourself a checking question: ‘what feeling is present?’. In this way, you can sort out the jumble of confused feelings usually present.

It is of particular importance to dissociate the feelings from even the slightest thought of ‘I’ or ‘mine’. There should be no ego-reference such as ‘I feel’ nor should there be any thought of being the owner of the feeling: ‘I have pleasant feelings or I have pain’ but rather ‘There are pleasant feelings’ or ‘There is pain'[MS1]. Awareness of feeling without the ego-reference allows the meditator to keep the attention focused on the feeling alone. This is the meaning in the Satipatthana Sutta of ‘He contemplates feeling in feeling’.

You should first develop an awareness of the feelings when they arise, clearly distinguishing them as pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. With attentiveness there is no such thing as mixed feelings. Attention should be maintained throughout the short duration of the specific feeling until the feeling ends. If the vanishing point of feeling is repeatedly seen with increasing clarity it will become much easier to catch and finally to stop thoughts and emotions which normally follow so regularly and are habitually linked: if the feeling is unpleasant a negative reaction occurs; if it’s pleasant grasping arises. Thus the mind is mostly just reacting: liking, disliking. The result is that you are being caught in the conditioned cycle of suffering at the linkage of feelings and grasping. But there is no need to be. By intercepting the primary feeling at a sense-door, without the following emotion, the feeling will go no further, therefore no attachments, no liking or disliking, end of story, end of suffering.

When ‘bare’ attention, that is, registering the feeling without reaction in a state of receptivity, is directed to the rising and vanishing of feelings, the polluting additions are held at bay and inhibited from further elaboration. So gradually the gross feelings weaken and fall away – one loses interest – thus dispassion arises, which is a natural, effortless ‘letting go’.

The Buddha likens feelings to bubbles. If feelings can be seen in their bubble-like, blown-up and bursting nature their linkage with grasping and attachment will be weakened more and more until the chain is finally broken. Through this practice, attachment, which is a kind of stuckness to feelings, will be skilfully eliminated. This does not mean that this practice will lead to cold aloofness or an emotional withdrawal. On the contrary, mind and heart will become more open and free from the fever of clinging. Out of this seeing, an inner space will be provided for the growth of the finer emotions: loving-kindness, compassion, patience and forbearance.

Achieving Balance in Meditation

An image often used to describe the practice of meditative attention is that of walking a tightrope. To succeed in this art you must pay attention to your balance. In meditation, this applies especially to how you relate to things – your attitude. The untrained mind is constantly reaching out to pull at desirable objects or pushing away unpleasant objects. The habit of pushing and pulling is the cause of much distress and imbalance. So keeping your balance will help to develop a mind that does not cling or reject, like or dislike, and is without attachment or condemnation.

Developing the ability to adjust and manage your effort in practice is essential. A certain effort is involved in developing moment-to-moment awareness, but it should not be an effort to attain anything in the future. The effort should focus on the present, just paying attention with equanimity to what is happening in the moment.

The Buddha gave an example of just how attentive we should be. He told of a person who was ordered to walk through a crowd with a water jug full to the brim balanced on his head. Behind him walked a soldier with a sword. If a single drop was spilt the soldier would cut off his head! So you can be sure that the person with the jug walked very attentively. That is the quality of attention required in meditation.

Yet, it has to be a relaxed awareness. If there is too much force or strain the least jostling will cause the water to spill. The person with the jug has to be loose and rhythmic, flowing with the changing scene, yet staying attentive in each moment. This is the kind of care we should take in practising awareness, being relaxed yet alert. This kind of training helps to maintain your balance and the ability to live in harmony with others.

Maintaining your balance in meditation is a matter of harmonising three factors: effort, concentration and awareness. Too much effort makes the mind restless, while too much concentration narrows the awareness and restricts the attention to a single point. Effort and concentration are active factors, while awareness is passive. As you practise, keep in mind the characteristics of these three factors for applying them appropriately will allow you to adjust, harmonise and keep your meditation practice in balance.

Each type of meditation requires a different form of concentration. In Calm or Serenity meditation (Samatha) the meditator fixes on a single object, ignoring other objects to become absorbed in one object. Insight meditation (Vipassana) is a moment-to-moment knowing of various objects as they arise without fixing on any particular object. Actually, Insight meditation is really a matter of an intensification of awareness rather than concentration. So, if you wish to change the meditation mode, from Serenity to Insight, fixing on a single object has to be dropped to allow for an open moment-to-moment awareness of whatever is predominant in your experience.

As Insight meditation is the practice of awareness, it is not necessary to induce concentration as such, because sufficient concentration will naturally arise by continuously maintaining the attention. There is no problem in having too much awareness, as there is in effort and concentration. It is not something that you can overdo, rather it is more likely that there is not enough awareness to help balance the factors of effort and concentration. So, really it’s more important to put the effort in maintaining the awareness, as continuity of attention will produce calm and a sweetening of the mind which is the same benefit gained from concentration meditation.

Five ways to maintain the balance

Witnessing your own experience – Noting impartially whatever you are experiencing, while you are experiencing it, thus creating a ‘witnessing’ consciousness.

Letting go – Rather than seeking gratification of wishes, impulses and desires, there has to be at least some degree of letting go to create the space to see.

The Removal of the Censor – An attitude of acceptance of all thoughts, feelings, emotions and sensations into awareness without discrimination or selection.

An Attitude of Neutrality – A neutral registering of physical and mental events without the slightest posturing or positioning towards them.

Being Receptive – Meditation is not about being aloof from the experience but being alert, sensitive and intimate with what is observed, from a place of receptivity.
Loving-kindness Meditation

Loving-kindness meditation can be brought in to support the practice of awareness to keep the mind open and sweet. It provides a good balance which compliments insight meditation. Loving-kindness was the taught by the Buddha to develop selfless or altruistic love. Hatred cannot co-exist with loving-kindness. It dissipates if we supplant it with thoughts based on loving-kindness.

It is a fact of life that many people are troubled by negative mind states yet do little about developing skills to deal with it. Yet even when the mind goes sour it is within most people’s capacity to arouse feelings of loving-kindness to sweeten it. Loving-kindness, as a meditation practice, specifically retrains the mind to overcome all forms of negativity. It brings about positive attitudinal changes by systematically developing the quality of ‘loving-acceptance’. In this way, it acts as a form of self-psychotherapy, a way of healing the troubled mind to free it from its pain and confusion.

Loving-kindness is practised as the first of a series of meditations that produce four qualities of love: Friendliness (metta), Compassion (karuna), Appreciative Joy (mudita) and Equanimity (upekkha). The quality of ‘friendliness’ is expressed as warmth that reaches out and embraces others. When loving-kindness matures it naturally overflows into compassion, because it empathizes with people’s difficulties; one needs to be wary of its the near enemy, pity, which merely mimicks the quality of concern without empathy. The positive expression of empathy is an appreciation of other people’s good qualities or good fortune rather than feelings of jealousy towards them, which is the enemy of appreciative joy. This series of meditations comes to maturity in the state of on-looking equanimity. This equanimity has to be cultivated within the context of this series of meditations or else it tends to manifest as its near enemy, indifference or aloofness. It remains caring and on-looking with an equal spread of feeling and acceptance toward all people, relationships and situations without discrimination.

Systematic Loving-kindness Practice

To receive its full benefits, loving-kindness meditation needs to be developed systematically to the level of meditative absorption or one-pointedness. The aim of the practice is to develop the five absorption factors of concentration: the first two are causal factors – applied thought and sustained thought, followed by three effects – rapture, ease-of-mind and one-pointedness or unification of mind. The five absorption factors counteract the five mental hindrances or obstacles for the meditator: applied thought, by arousing energy and effort, overcomes the hindrance of sloth and torpor; sustained thought, by steadying the mind, overcomes skeptical doubt which has the characteristic of wavering; rapture, with its uplifting effervescence, prevails over feelings of ill-will; ease-of-mind, by relieving accumulated stress, counteracts restlessness or agitation of mind; while one-pointedness holds the mind’s wanderings in the sense-fields to inhibit sensuality. Achieving deep concentration with this positive mind set will tend to imprint the new positive conditioning while overriding the old negative patterns. In this way, old negative habits are changed, freeing one to form new positive ways of relating.

How to do loving-kindness meditation

The practice begins with developing loving acceptance of yourself. If resistance is experienced then it indicates feelings of unworthiness are present. No matter, this means there is work to be done, and the practice itself is designed to overcome any feelings of self-doubt or negativity. Then you are ready to develop loving-kindness to others.

Four types of people are chosen to send your loving-kindness to: 1. A respected, beloved person – such as a spiritual teacher; 2. A dearly beloved – which could be a close family member or friend; 3. A neutral person – somebody you know but have no special feeling towards, eg. a person who serves you over a counter; 4. A hostile person – someone you are currently having difficulty with.

Starting with yourself, then moving systematically from person to person in the above order will break down the barriers between the four types people and yourself. It will break down the divisions within your own mind, the source of much of the conflict we experience.

Just a word of caution, it is best to choose a member of the same sex or if you have a sexual bias to your own sex then a person of the opposite sex. This avoids the risk of arousing the near enemy of loving-kindness, lust. Try different people to practise on as some people do not easily fit into the above categories, but do keep to the prescribed order.

Ways of arousing feelings of loving-kindness

Visualization – Bring up a mental picture. See yourself or the person the feeling is directed at smiling back at you or just being joyous. By reflection – Reflect on the positive qualities of a person and the acts of kindness they have done. And to yourself, make an affirmation, a positive statement about yourself, using your own words. Auditory – This is the simplest way but probably the most effective. Repeat an internalized mantra or a word or phrase such as ‘loving-kindness’.

The visualizations, reflections and the repetition of loving-kindness are devices to help you arouse a positive feeling of loving-kindness. You can use all of them or one that works best for you. When the positive feeling arises switch from the devices to the feeling, as it is the feeling that is the primary focus. Keep the mind fixed on the feeling, if it strays bring it back to the device or if the feeling weakens or is lost then return to the device, i.e. use the visualization to bring back or strengthen the feeling.

The second stage is Directional Pervasion where you systematically project the aroused feeling of loving-kindness to all points of the compass: north, south, east and west, up and down, and all around. This directional pervasion can be enhanced by bringing to mind friends and communities in the cities, towns and countries around the world.

Non-specific Pervasion tends to spontaneously happen as the practice matures. It is not discriminating. It has no specific object and involves just naturally radiating feelings of universal love. When it arises the practice has come to maturity in that it has changed preferential love, which is an attached love, to an all-embracing, unconditional love!

Loving-kindness is a heart meditation and should not be seen as just a formal sitting practice removed from everyday life. So take your good vibes outside into the streets, at home, at work, into your relationships. Applying the practice to daily life is a matter of purposefully directing a friendly attitude and having openness toward everybody you relate to without discrimination.

May you be happy hearted!

Daily Meditation Practice

The image most often associated with meditation is that of a sitting Buddha fixed in a crossed-legged posture. While such a representation is undoubtedly inspirational and aesthetically pleasing, it unfortunately suggests to the uninitiated that meditation is a static, ‘statue-like’ pursuit practised only in meditation halls.

If meditation is to have any relevance to everyday life it has to be done at home. This does not just mean your residence but wherever your attention happens to reside. To meditate at home requires a ‘hands-on’, dynamic approach that is not restricted to any particular time, place or posture. It should be integrated into the ordinary activities of life and become the basis for a meditative lifestyle in the home and everyday life.

Yet it has to be acknowledged that integrating meditation into daily life is not easy. Therefore you need to purposefully set yourself up to do it; good intention is not enough. There has to be commitment. So consider your priorities: what is more important, hours sitting in front of the TV screen or half an hour or so of sitting meditation? The regular daily home sit is the anchor for the practice. Even if it is only used as a form of mental hygiene, as in ‘unstressing’, daily practice will greatly contribute towards harmonizing your family and work relationships.

It is important to maintain the daily meditation sits at home as a way of sustaining and stabilizing your practice. With a busy life it is easy to convince yourself that you really haven’t the time to maintain regular sitting or when you are feeling tired that you should just drop it. Naturally, when you get stressed or overtired there is resistance to facing the stress by meditating. But it is usually only an initial resistance you have to face before you go through it. Also, do not evaluate your practice, thinking if the meditation isn’t of sufficiently good quality you are wasting your time. It is all grist for the mill, you must persist as it is vital to maintain the habit of practice to get the long term benefits.

It is worth quoting from His Holiness, the Dalai Lama for the more compassionate aspect of the practice: ‘I myself feel and also tell other Buddhists that the question of Nirvana will come later. There is not much hurry. But if in day-to-day life you lead a good life, honestly with love, with compassion, with less selfishness then automatically it will lead to Nirvana. Opposite to this, if we talk about Nirvana, talk about philosophy but do not much bother about day-to-day practice, then you may reach a strange Nirvana but will not reach the correct Nirvana because your daily practice is nothing. We must implement the teaching in daily life.’

There is a saying that the beginning and the end of a journey are essentially the same. This is especially true of meditation. For there is nowhere you need to go to discover your true nature other than where you can be now, meditating at your home-base.
This Moment!

We can be grateful to the Buddha for these teachings, but it is by actually implementing the teaching by eating the admired fruit, that you receive the benefits. While it is not easy, yet it is not complicated and there is nothing much else you need to know in order to put into practise the basic instructions you have just read. Start now by paying attention to what is happening in your body and mind at this moment! Delaying in the hope of finding better instructions or expecting ideal conditions to somehow manifest before you can practise is just prolonging the ordeal. The work is in the present, so the blessing is of the present.

About the Writer:

Venerable Pannyavaro is a 52 year old Australian Buddhist meditation monk in the Theravadin tradition. His lineage is through Venerable Sayadaw U Janaka of Chanmyay Meditation Centre, Rangoon, who in turn was the foremost disciple of the late renowned meditation master,the late Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw.

Ven Pannyavaro received full ordination at Wat Borvornivet, under the Sangha Raja of Thailand, Somdet Phra Nyanasamvarva. For the past twenty years, Ven. Pannyavaro has from time to time studied and practiced meditation in most of the major Theravada Buddhist countries, including long periods of intensive practise of Satipatthana-vipassana meditation at the Mahasi Sayadaw centres in Burma.

As a Western vipassana meditation teacher, Ven Pannyavaro naturally emphathises with the concerns and need of Western meditators. His long training andand life experience combine to bring a practical, in-depth approach to the teaching of vipassana meditation in Australia.

දිව උපකාරී වන්නේ රසය ලබාගැනුමටය. එයද එකිනෙකාගේ පරස්‌පර රුචිකත්වය අනුවය. සත්‍ය වශයෙන් බැලුවොත් දිව අනුසාරයෙන් රසය දැනෙන්නේ සිතටය. තෘප්තිමත් කරගන්නේ දිව නොව සිතය. ඇතැමකුට බලුමස්‌ ඉතා රසැති ආහාරයකි. ඇතැමකුට ඉතා පිළිකුල්ය. එම සිද්ධාන්තයෙන්ම සිතේ ස්‌වභාවය විග්‍රහ කරගත හැකිය. කෙනකු සිහි නැතිව සිටින විටද දිවට රස නොදැනේ. එසේ නම් පාලනය කරගත යුත්තේ සිතය. මෛත්‍රිය, කරුණාව වැඩිය යුත්තේ සිතෙන්ම පමණි. නිවන කරා ඇදෙන්නේ සිත හෙවත් නාමයයි. දැනුවත් වීම වටී.

වර්තමාන ලෝකයේ සිල්පද සහ මෛත්‍රිය සීමා වී ඇත්තේ හුදු වචන මාලාවකට පමණි. කෙතෙක්‌ තේරුම් කර දුන්නද තේරුම් යන්නේ නැත.

පංචශීලය ප්‍රතිපදාවකි. අඬි හත්දෙනා කැඳ ඉව්වත් සැලිය රවට්‌ටන්න හැකි sවූයේ නැත. තමන්ව තමන්ම රවටා නොගැනීම යහපති. නිදහසට කරුණු විශ්වයට අදාළ නැත. මියගිය පසු ක්‌ෂණයක්‌ පාසා කුණුවී යන සියලු මෘත ශරීරවලින් පිටවන්නේ එකම ගන්ධයයි.එම කුණුප කොටස්‌ සැම අවසානයේ පස්‌වන්නේ පොලවටය. ඔබ ගිල දමන සත්ව අෙ¹aනාවටද වන්නේ එයමය.

රාග වෛරසයෙන් පිරි සියලු සතුන්ගේ මාංශද පිරී පවතිනුයේ කාම රාග වෛරසයයි. ඒවා භක්‌ෂය කරන්නවුන්ගේ ශරීර පිරී ඉතිරී යනුයේ රාග, ද්වේශ, මෝහ වෛරසයයි. ගැලවීමක්‌ පෙනෙන තෙක්‌ මානයක නැත. රාග වෛරස රසයෙන් ලබන නිවනක්‌ නොමැත. උතුම් බඹසර රැකීමට රාග කාමය වඩවන ආහාර හලාහළ විෂකි. බවුන් වැඩීම තාරාවා පිටටදමන වතුර මෙන් ක්‌ෂණිකව විසිවේ.ස්‌වශරීරය තුළින්ම එය පිට කෙරේ. එම පිට කිරීමද තෘෂ්ණාභරිතවම සිදුවේ. එයට සත්ව මිනිස්‌ ප්‍රභේදයක්‌ නොමැත.

සිත සැමවිටම ශරීරය සමග පංචඉන්ද්‍රියයන් පිනවීමට තැත්කරන අතර ඇතැම් අවස්‌ථාවලදී ශරීරය විසින් සිත මෙහෙයවන බවද සිතට ගන්න. නොනිමි තෘෂ්ණාව දරුණු තත්ත්වයට පත්වන්නේ එවිටය. සරල ආහාර ගැනුමෙන් සහ සරල දිවි පැවැත්මෙන් ශරීරය පාලනය කරගත යුත්තේ එනිසාය.

ආගම යනු ආත්මය ගලවා ගැනීමේ මගය. මෙලොව සියල්ල අනිත්‍ය වූ විට ගලවා ගැනුමට ආත්මයක්‌ මිනිසාට නොමැත. සියලු සතුන් සුත මුදිත වියයුත්තේ උදර කුහරයේද නැතිනම් නිවන් මගේහිද? වෛරයෙන්, ක්‍රෝධයෙන aමියයන සතාගේ චුතිය යෑවෙන්නේ සුගතියටද නැතිනම් සතර අගතියටද?

සතර අපා ගත වන සතුන් තව තවත් පව්කාර අඳුරේ ගිල්වීමට අනුබල දෙන්නේ තෘෂ්ණාභරිත වූ මනස උසස්‌ යෑයි කියාගන්නා මිනිසුන් නොවේද? මෙවන් අය කෙළවරක්‌ නැති අනවශ්‍ය අකුසල් කන්දරාවකට කරගසන්නේ යෑයි කෙලෙස සිතන්නද?

මවු කුසින් බිහිවූ කිසිවකු තවත් මවු කුසකින් දුකින් බිහිවූවකු ආහාරයට ගත නොයුත්තේය. එවිටය, ‘නහි ජාතු ගබ්බ සෙය්‍යං පුනරේතීතී’ වනුයේ. කරණීය මෙත්ත සූත්‍රයේ අවසන් පදය එයයි.

තිරිසන් අපායේ ඉපදී කළ පව් නොනිමිව ගෙවීමට සිදුවන තිරිසනුන්ගේ පව් ගෙවීමට අපද පවින් දායක වී අහක යන පව් අපත් කරගසා ගත යුතුද? ඇතැමුන් දුක්‌ඛ සත්‍යය ප්‍රඥවෙන් තේරුම් ගැනීමට යන්ත දරන්නේ දුක්‌ සාගරයක්‌ ගිලිමින්ය. ලොව ඇති ලොකුම විහිළුව එයයි. සියලු සතුන්ගේ ඉපදීම, පැවැත්ම, මරණය දුක්‌ඛ සත්‍යයෙන් ප්‍රථමය වේ. වානයෙන් තොරව නිර්+වාණය ළඟාකර ගැනුමට කෙටි මාර්ග නොමැත. සියලු දැ අනිත්‍ය හා නැවත නොඑන අතීතයට ඇදීයන බැවින් සියලු ආශාවන් දුරස්‌ථ කිරීමට අධිෂ්ඨානශීලීව පියවරෙන් පියවර ඉදිරියට යා යුතුය.

මනුෂ්‍යයන්ගේ සහ තිරිසනුන්ගේ භක්‌ෂණ ක්‍රියාවලියේ වෙනස නම් රස විඳිමින් මිනිසා ආහාර අනුභව කරයි. තිරිසනුන් ආහාර ගන්නේ හුදෙක්‌ ජීවත්වීමටය.

තිරිසන් අපායේ පව් ගෙවන තිරිසන් සතුන්ද පස්‌කම් සුව මනාව වින්දනය කරති. ගහනය බෝ කරති. කන කස්‌බෑවා විය සිදුරෙන් අහස බලනවාක්‌ වැනි දුර්ලභ මිනිසත් බව ලැබූ මනස උසස්‌ කවදා හෝ මියයන මිනිසුන්ද එසේම කළ යුතුද? ප්‍රඥවන්තයනි. මෙම පරම සත්‍යය නොපමාව වටහාගන්න. බොහෝ විට මෙය ඔබගේ අවසාන අවස්‌ථාව විය හැක.

සත්ව ගහනය සහ මිනිස්‌ ගහනය කෙතෙක්‌ද යන්න සම්බුදුරදුන් විග්‍රහ කළේ මාපට ඇඟිල්ල උඩ තබාගත් පස්‌ සහ මහ පොළොවේ පස්‌ සංසන්දනය කිරීමෙනි. එසේ නම් අපගේ මනසට නැඟෙන්නේ තිරිසන් භවවල උපදින්නේ සියතින් පව් කළ අය පමණක්‌ නොව පව්කම් අනුමත කළ, අනුබල දුන් අයද තිරිසන් භවවල උපදින බව ගම්‍යමාන වේ.

නිවනට අවතීර්ණවීමේ මූලික පියවර සමථ භාවනා වැඩීමය. උපමාවකට ගතහොත් දිවීමේ තරගයකදී සැරසෙන්, එල්ලවෙන් යන නියෝග ක්‍රියාත්මක කිරීමක්‌ වැනිය. මීළඟට සිදු වන්නේ දුවන්ෘ යන නියෝගය ක්‍රියාත්මක වීමය. උපමාවකට ගතහොත් එය අපට දැකිය හැක්‌කේ විදසුන් වැඩීමය. විදසුන් වඩා අවසාන ඉලක්‌කය කරා ළඟාවීම නිවන හෙවත් නිර්වාණය වේ. මගදී ඇද වැටුණොත් නිවන නැත. තරගයකට සහභාගි වූවා පමණි. ඔබ සැමට තෙරුවන් සරණයි.

ආචාර්ය පූජ්‍ය බුද්ධගයාවේ සිසිලචන්ද්‍ර මෛත්‍රිය හිමි

Posted by: lrrp | July 7, 2015

රාගය තමයි රෝගය…

සැවැත්නුවර අවට ගම් දනව් පුරා විසිර පැතිරී පැවැති සිටු මැදුරු තුළ කවුළු පියන්පත් ඇරී තිබිණ. එය හිමිදිරි උදැසනක්‌ වී. එහෙයින්ම ඝන නීල වර්ණයෙන් මහත් සේ විසිතුරු වී ගිය අහස්‌ තලාවේ ළාහිරු හිනාවෙමින් සිටියේය. ඔහුගේ ඒ සොඳුරු සිනාබර මුවින් ගලා හැළුණු තඹ වතුරින් විටෙක මුළු මහත් සැවැත්පුරවරයම රන් පැහැයට ද හැරුණේය.

අපායට අකුල් හෙලූවාවූද, අමාමහ නිවනට රුවන් දොර හැලුවාවූද තිලෝගුරු සම්මා සම්බුදුරජාණන් වහන්සේ වැඩ විසූ ඡේතවනාරාමය ඈතින් දිස්‌වී පෙණින. සැබවින්ම එය අෙච්තනිකව සැවැතින් මෙසේ දිවමන්ව පෙණුනද එයින් නැගුණු සුපහන් ස්‌වරය හා ශාන්තියද මෙතෙකැයි කියා නම් නිම කළහැකි නොවීය. මිනිස්‌ කැළ එකම කඩි ගුලක්‌ සේ ඇවිසී දුවන කලබැගෑනියෙන් ඔද්දලවී ගිය උදැසනක්‌ වුවද දෙව්රම් වෙහෙරේ තිබුණේම අතිශය ශාන්ත ස්‌වභාවයකි. දම්සභා මණ්‌ඩපයෙහි තුන්ලෝකාග්‍ර බුදුපියාණන් වහන්සේ ඒ වනවිට සදහම් අසුනරා වැඩහුන් සේක.ඒ අවට වටපිටාව පුරාවෙහිම සුවහසක්‌ මිනිස්‌ සිත් මේ වනවිටද පැවතියේ එහිමි හදින් වැගිර ගලා ගිය අනන්ත කරුණා ජලයට තෙමෙමින්ය. ඒ දහම් වැස්‌සේ පමණක්‌ නොව කුළුණුවන් දිය දහරේද කිsඳී තෙමුණු පිනැති කෙනෙක්‌ සෝවාන් මගඵල ලැබූයේ සංසාරය නමැති අප්‍රමාණ වධ බන්ධනාගාරයෙන් සදාතනිකවම මිදෙන මගට පිළිපන්හ. උදාහිරු එළියේ මන්දස්‌මිතයෙන් හමාගිය සුළඟ පවා නිශ්චලතාවයෙහි නිරතවී ඒ සම්බුදුන්ගේ මධුර වූ හඬට සවන් යොමා සිටියේය.

මේත් සමගම උදාවූයේ දහසක්‌ මිනිස්‌ සිත් සතන් අමානිවන් සුව සහනයෙහිගන්වන තවත් අසිරිමත්වූ අවස්‌ථාවකි. එනම් ඒ මොහොතේම තවත් භික්‌ෂුන් වහන්සේලා දම් සභාමණ්‌ඩපයට වදෙන් පොරයෙන් මෙන් කැඳවාගෙන පැමිණියේ එබඳුම වූ ශෝභමාන භික්‌ෂුවකි. ඇත්තෙන්ම උන්වහන්සේගේ සිරුර රන්වන් පැහැයෙන් විසිතුරු වී තිබුණේය. බැලූ බැල්මටම පෙනුණේ උන්වහන්සේගේ සිත මහත්වූ චංචලත්වයකින් කැළඹී තිබුණු සැටියකි. දම්සභාමණ්‌ඩපය පුරා තැන්පත් ස්‌වරයකින් හිඳ සිටි දහසක්‌ උවැසු උවැසියන් මැද උන්වහන්සේට සිය සිත ප්‍රකෘතිමත් කර ගැනීමට විශාල කාලයක්‌ ගතවිය. වියවුල් සහිත සිතින් යුතුවී මෙසේ දම් සභා මණ්‌ඩපයට ගෙන ආ ඒ භික්‌ෂුව පත්ව ඇති විපත කුමක්‌දැයි බුදුපියාණන් වහන්සේගේ අනන්ත ප්‍රඥවට නෙපෙනුනා නොවේ. එහෙත් උන්වහන්සේ නිහඬවම එහිමි දෙස බලා සිටියේ අභිනීල බුදුනුවන් යුගලින් ගලා හැළුණේ කරුණා සයුරු දියමය.

උකටලී වූ භික්‌ෂුව කැඳවාගෙන ආ භික්‌ෂුහු පළමුකොට සම්මා සම්බුදු රජාණන් වහන්සේට වැඳ නමස්‌කාර කළහ. උන්වහන්සේලා බුදුරදුන් හෙමින් අමතන්නට වූයේ ඉන් ඉක්‌බිතිවය. ‘පින්වත් හිමියනි, මේ මහා භයංකර සංසාරයෙන් අතමිදී නික්‌ම යන්නට ඔබවහන්සේ අපට කොතෙක්‌ නම් සදහම් දේශනා කරනවාද? හිමියනි, භාග්‍යව් පියාණනි, එහෙත් මේ ගැහෙන හදින් යුතු භික්‌ෂුව දෙස බලන්න ඔහු පැවිදිවන්නට පෙර ඇසුරු කළ බිරිය පිළිබඳ ලොල්වූ ශෝකයෙන් හඬා වැටෙමින් සිටිනවා. ඇත්තෙන්ම දැන් ඒ දැවීමෙන් ඔහුගේ සිත පමණක්‌ නොව ශරීරයද රෝගාතුරවී ගොසින්. එනිසාම ඔහුට ඒ සිතුමෙහි වෙලීපැටලී මියයාමක්‌ සැපතක්‌ බව පවසනවා.

දම් සභා මණ්‌ඩපය නිහඬ නිසසල බවින් පිරී තිබිණ. ඒ තුළ මැස්‌සකුගේ පමණ හඬක්‌ වද නොවීය. උතුරා ගලා ගිය ලොව්තුරු සිරියෙහි අසිරිමත් ස්‌වරය කුරු කුහුඹුවාගේද ජීවිතය සුවපත් කළේය. මහණ, මේ පුවත සැබෑවක්‌ද? යි සවන් යුග නිමක්‌ නැති සැනසුම් සුවයෙන් තෙමාලමින් බුදුපියාණන් වහන්සේ කාම තෘෂ්ණාව නමැති වධකයාගෙන් බටකෑ උටකලී භික්‌ෂුව ඇමතූහ. භික්‌ෂුවට සම්බුදු නුවණ හමුවේ කිසිවක්‌ සැඟවීමට නොහැකි විය. ‘පින්වත් හිමියනි, ඒ සියල්ල සැබෑවක්‌’ යි හේ පිළිවදන් දුන්නේ ඔහු වතද මහත් අසරණබවකින් වෙලී තිබුණේය.

‘මහණ, නුඹගේ සිත් ගත් ඒ ස්‌ත්‍රිය අනර්ථකාරීණීය. දැන් මෙන්ම පෙරත් නුඹ ඈ නිසාම මරුමුව වැටෙන්නට ගියේ මා නිසාම නුඹ ඒ මරණයෙන් මිදුණේ නොවේදැ’යි බුදුපියාණන් වහන්සේ ඒ අතීත කතාව සදෙසා වදාරන්නට වූහ.

එය බරණැස්‌නුවර මහ බඹදත් රජතුමා රාජ්‍යය විචාල කාලයක්‌ විය. මහ බෝසතාණන් වහන්සේ බඹදතුනට පුරෝහිතව මහත් සේ ලෙන්ගතුව වාසය කළේය. බරණැස හරහා ගලා ගිය ගඟ ජීවිතයේ පව් රැස්‌කරගත් කෙවුලන්ට මසුන් දුන් කදිම තෝතැන්නක්‌ විය. සුවිසල් වූ මෙන්ම මහත් අලංකෘත වූද සිරුරකින් හෙබි වූද මේ මත්ස්‍යයාද ජීවත්වූයේත් මේ මහ ගංදිය දැලෙහිමය. මේ වනවිට ඌ කාමග්නියෙන් ගිනිගෙන සිටියේය. එනම් ඌට සිය මත්ස්‍යෙනුවගෙන් තොර ලෝකයක්‌ නොවීය. මත්ස්‍ය ෙනුව යන්නේ කොතැනකටද වූවද මත්ස්‍යාද කිසිවිටෙකත් ඈ අතනොහැරම ඈ පසුපසින්ම වෙලී ගමන් කළේය. එපමණක්‌ද නොව ගං දියේ ගත කළ ජීවිතයේ දවසින් වැඩිම කාලයක්‌ ඌට ගත වූයේද සිය ෙනුව දෙසම බලා සිටින්නටය.

මේ අතරතුර ගඟ දියෙහි මසුන් මැරීම ජීවන උපාය කරගත් කෙවුලෝ ගඟට දැල් දැමූහ. සිය ෙනුවට මහත් සේ ලොල්වූ මේ මත්ස්‍යයා මේ මොහොතවනවිටත් සිටියේ ෙනුවගේ සිරුරෙහි වෙලී ඈ පසුපසම ගමන් කරමින්ය. මහත් පරීක්‌ෂාවෙන් දිය මතුයෙහි පීනා ගිය මත්ස්‍ය ෙනුවගේ ඉවට කෙවුලන් එලා ඇති දැලෙහි මහා අනතුර දැනිණ. එහෙයින් ඈ වාසනාවකට මෙන් කෙවුල් දැල මඟහැර ගමන් කරන්නට සමත්වූවාය. එහෙත් ඇයට මහත්සේ ඇලුම් කරමින් ඇය පසුපසින් ගමන් කළ විසිතුරු මත්ස්‍යයා සිටියේ රාගයෙන් රත්වීගෙනය. එනිසාමදොa ඌට ඉදිරියෙහි ඇති ජීවිත අනතුර පවා නොපෙනිණ. එහි ඵල විසින් මත්ස්‍යයා කෙලින්ම දැල තුළට වැදී එහි හිරවී ගියේය.

කෙවුලෝ මත්ස්‍යයා දැල තුළට හසුවූ බව වහාම දැනගත්හ. වහා දැ ගොඩගත් ඔවුන් මත්ස්‍යයා එකවර මරාදැම්මේ නැත. ඔවුහු මත්ස්‍යයා ගෙන පණ සහිතවම වැල්ලට දැමූහ. කෙවුලන්ගේ අදහස වූයේ මත්ස්‍යයා මෙසේ එකවර නොමරා පණ පිටින්ම අඟුරුවල දමා පුළුස්‌සා අනුභව කිරීමය. මේ තරම් මහා දුඃත විපතක්‌ සිදුවන්නට ඔන්න මෙන්නම තිබුණද මේ මසුවාට ඒ ගැන කිසිදු බියක්‌ හෝ දුකක්‌ නොවීය. එනම් මේ මොහොතේ ඌ වඩාත් ශෝකවූයේ තම මත්ස්‍ය ෙනුවගෙන් වෙන්වන්නට සිදුවීම ගැනය. ෙනුව තමන් නැති අතරේ වෙනත් මසකු හා රති කෙළියෙහි යෙදෙනු ඇතැයි කල්පනා කළ මත්ස්‍යයා දැඩි රාගයෙන් ඔද්දල් වූ සිත ඇතිව මහා හඬින් නොකඩවා හැඬුවේය.

මෙවේලෙහි බඹදත් මහරජුන්ගේ පුරෝහිත අප මහ බෝසතාණන් වහන්සේ දිය නානු පිණිස සපිරිවරද සහිතව මේ ගංතෙරට පැමිණියේය. පුරණ ලද අපමණ පෙරුම් ඇති උන්වහන්සේට කිසිවකු දෙස බැලීමේදී ස්‌වභාවධර්මය ඉක්‌මවන ප්‍රතිභානයක්‌ හිමිවී තිබිණ. සිය ඇස ගැටෙනවුන් ඇසූ දුටු පමණින් ඔවුන් කවර ස්‌වභාවයක සිටින්නේදැයි තේරුම් ගැනීමට උන්වහන්සේට හැකිවූයේ ඒ නිසාය.

ඒ අනුව වැලි මත්තෙහි දමා තිබූ මේ මත්ස්‍යයාද මේ කෑමොර දෙන්නේ අධික රාගාධි කෙලෙසින් ආතුරවූ සිත් ඇතිව බව උන්වහන්සේ වහ වටහා ගත්හ. මේ සිතින් දැන් මේ මත්ස්‍යයා මරණයට පත් වුවහොත් ඌ ඒකාන්ත වශයෙන්ම යන්නේ නිරයට බැව් උන්වහන්සේ ඒ අනුව මැනවින් දැන සිටියහ. එබැවින් දැන් මේ අසරණ මසුවාට පිහිට විය යුතුය. ඒ පිහිට ලබාදෙන්නට තමන් වහන්සේ හැර මේ මිහිපිට වෙනත් කිසිවකු නැති බවත් උන්වහන්සේ දැන සිටියහ. ඒ සිතුවිලි සරින්ම ගං වෙරළට ගිය උන්වහන්සේ කෙවුලන් ඇමතූයේ මහත් ළෙන්ගතු ස්‌වරයකිනි.

‘හිතාදර කෙවුලනි, ඉදින් නුඹලාගේ සුව දුක්‌ කෙලෙසින්ද? මේ තරම් මනුස්‌ මරන නුඹලා මට එක දවසක්‌වත් වෑංජනයට මසකු දෙන්නේ නැද්ද?’ උන්වහන්සේ කෙවුලන්ගෙන් ඇසූහ.

‘ස්‌වාමීනි, කුමක්‌ කියන්නෙහිද? නුඹ වහන්සේට කැමැති මත්ස්‍යයකු හැර ගත මැනව’ යි කෙවුලෝ කීහ. එවිට ‘මට වෙනත් මසකු වුවමනා නැත. මේ විසිතුරු මසුවාම දෙවයි’ කී බෝසතාණන් වහන්සේ රාගාග්නියෙන් ආතුරව හැඬූ මසුවාම රැගෙන ගියේය. බෝසතාණන් වහන්සේ උගේ හිස ආදරයෙන් අත ගෑවේය.

ඉඳින් මෝඩ මත්ස්‍යය, අද මා දක්‌නට නොලැබිණි නම් නුඹට නුඹේ ජීවිතය අහිමිවන්නේය. ඒ විතරක්‌ නොවෙයි, නුඹ රාගී සිත් ඇතිව කෙවුලන් අතින් මැරුම් කෑවේ නම් ඒකාන්ත වශයෙන් නිරයේත් වැටෙන්නේය’ යි ප්‍රිය තෙපුලින්ම මත්ස්‍යයා සනසා මෙතැන් පටන් වත් කෙලෙස්‌ වසඟයට පත් නොවවයි පවසා ඌ ගඟ දියට මුදාහළ සේක.

එකල්හි ක්‌ලේෂ වසඟයට පත්ව මෙසේ වැනසෙන්නට ගිය මත්ස්‍යයා නම් මෙකල මේ උකටලී වූ භික්‌ෂුවය. මොහු මේ තරම් ලොල්වූ මෙකල පුරාණ භාර්යාව නම් එකලද ඔහු ඇලුම් කළ මත්ස්‍ය ෙනුවයි. මොහු මේ දෙජාතියෙහිදීම මරණ දුකින් මෙන්ම නිරා දුකින්ද ගලවාගත් පුරෝහිත නම් දැන් සම්බෝධියට පත්ව මම්ම වේ දැයි දක්‌වා වදාළ බුදුපියාණන් වහන්සේ මේ මත්ස්‍ය ජාතක දේශනාව නිමවා වදාළ සේක. දේශනාව අවසානයේ රාග සිත් ඇතිව අසරණව සිටි භික්‌ෂුව දහසක්‌ නයින් ප්‍රතිමණ්‌ඩිත වූ සෝවාන් ඵල ලබා ඒ කෙලෙස්‌ වධ බන්ධයන්ගෙන් සදහටම අත්මිදී ගත්හ.

සත්ත්වයා හෙවත් පුද්ගලයාගේ තණ්හාව (ඇලීම) නිසා උපාදාන (දැඩි සේ සිතින් අල්ලා ගැනීම) සිදු වේ. ඒ උපාදානය නිසා භවයකට පත්වෙයි. මෙසේ උපදින පුද්ගලයා ඇලීම හා ගැටිම නිසා දුකට ම පත්වෙයි. තමන් ගේ සමීපතමයන් කෙරෙහි ඇලීම ද දුකට ම හේතු වෙයි. මරණාසන්නයේ දී හෙවත් චූතියේ දී, ඒ චුතියට පෙර චිත්ත සන්තානයේ (ජවත් සිත්වල) හට ගන්නා අරමුණ නිසා අඹු දරු ඥාතීන් කෙරෙහි ඇල්මක් වීද වස්තු දේපළ කෙරෙහි ඇල්මක් වේ ද අනිවාර්යයෙන් ම ප්‍රේතයෙක් වී උපදී, ඔහුගේ හෝ ඇගේ ඒ ප්‍රේතව ඉපැදීම අවුරුදු දහස් ගණන් දුක් විඳීමට හේතු වනවා පමණක් නොව ජීවත්ව ඉන්නා පවුලේ අයට ද දුකට කරදරයට ම හේතු වෙයි.

අවිස්සාවේල්ලේ පත්මා හතළිස් පස් හැවිරිදි ගෘහණියකි. ඇගේ උදරය අසාමාන්‍ය ලෙස ඉදිරියට නෙරා ඇත. මළ මුත්‍රා සමඟ රුධිරය පිටවීමක් ද විය, රාත්‍රී හීනෙන් බිය වී කෑ ගසා ගෙන අවදි වෙන්නට වූවාය. නිවසේ රාත්‍රියට ඡායාවක් එහා මෙහා ගමන් කරනු පෙනෙයි, ඒ අවස්ථාවල කෙනෙකුට ඉවසා සිටිය නොහැකි තරමේ දුර්ගන්ධයක් වහනය වන්නට විය. දියණියන් තිදෙනෙකු සමඟ ජීවත්වන ඇය මේ දුක් ගැහැටවලින් මහත් පීඩාවක් වින්දාය.

ශාරීරික ආබාධයන්ට වෛද්‍ය ප්‍රතිකාර ලැබුව ද සතුටුදායක සහනයක් නොලැබූ ඇය අනෙකුත් උපද්‍රව සඳහා අභිචාර විධි පැවැත්වූවාය. මේ කිසිවකින් කිසිඳු සහනයක් නොවීය. රාත්‍රියට දියණියන් තිදෙනා සමඟ එක ම කාමරයක එකට ගුලි වී නින්දත් නොනින්දත් අතරේ රැය පහන් කළේ මහත් බියකිනි, චකිතයකිනි,

මෙතෙක් කරන ලද ප්‍රතිකාරවලින් හා අභිචාර විධිවලින් සහනයක් නොලැබ අසරණව සිටි ඇයට ඇගේ සහෝදරයා ‘සිළුමිණ’ පත්‍රයක් ගෙනැත් දී එහි පළවන “පියවි ඇසින් ඔබ්බට” විශේෂාංගය කෙරෙහි අවධානය යොමු කළේය. “එහෙම නම් ඒකවත් කරලා බලමු” යි කී ඇය ඒ සහෝදරයාත්, වැඩිමහල් දියණියත් සමඟ ඇතුළුකෝට්ටේ ගුප්ත ගවේෂණ මධ්‍යස්ථානයට ගොස් ආධ්‍යාත්මීය උපදේශකවරයා මුණ ගැසී තමන් විඳින දුක් ගැහැට විස්තර කළාය.

ගවේෂකවරයා සුපුරුදු ශක්ති කිරණ එල්ල කරන්නටත් ප්‍රථම පත්මා ආවිෂ්ට වී “අනේ! මාව එළවන්න නම් එපා” යැයි අඬන්නට වූවාය.

ගවේෂකවරයා ප්‍රශ්න කරන්නට විය.

“ඇයි? මේ අඬන්නෙ?”

“මාව පන්නන්න එපා. මහත්තයෝ, මාව පන්නන්න එපා, පන්නාවි කියලා බයටයි අඬන්නෙ?”

“තමුන් කවුද?”

“මම නීල්. මේ පත්මගේ මහත්තයා.”

“මොනවා වෙලා ද මළේ?”

“යුද්දෙදි. යුද්දෙදි. මම යුද හමුදාවෙ රස්සාව කළේ, සතුරු වෙඩි පහරකින් මැරුණේ.”

“ඉතින් නීල් මළා නම් ඇයි මේ ගෙදර අයට කරදර කරන්නෙ?”

“මම කරදර කරනවා නොවෙයි, මේ අයට ආදරේට ඇවිත් ඉන්නේ, මේ ඉන්නේ මගේ බිරිය පත්මා. මේ ඉන්නේ ලොකු දුව, තව දූලා දෙන්නෙක් ගෙදර ඉන්නවා. මම මගේ පවුලේ අයත් එක්ක කාලයක් ආදරෙන් එකට ජිවත් වෙන්න බැරි වුණා. දූලට උගන්නන්න බැරිවුණා. දූලගේ ජීවිතවල සතුටු දායක අවස්ථාවලට ඉන්න බැරි වුණා. ඒ නිසා මේ අයව හොයා ගෙන ආවා.”

“නීල් මැරුණයි කීවා නේද?”

“ඔව්! යුද්දෙදි මැරුණා.”

“සාමාන්‍යයෙන් මැරුණු අය ඉන්නෙ කොහෙද?”

“සොහොන්වල”

“ඔබ දැන් ඉන්නේ කොහේද?”

“ගෙදර”

“ගෙදර ඉන්නේ කොතැන ද?”

“පත්මගෙ ඇ‍ඟේ.”

“ඒ මොකද?”

“ආදරේට”

“බොරු කියන්න එපා. ආදරේට නොවෙයි, ආශාවට.” මේකට ද ආදරේ කියන්නේ, තමුන්ගෙ බිරියට අසනීප කරන එක ද? හොඳට කල්පනා කරන්න. තමුන්ගේ දරුවො තුන් දෙනෙක් ඉන්නවා. ඒ තුන් දෙනා රැක බලා ගෙන ඉන්නෙ මේ බිරිය. ළමයින්ගෙ අඩුපාඩු හොයා බලන්නෙ මේ බිරිය. කන්න බොන්න දෙන්නෙ ලෙඩට දුකට බලන්නෙ මේ බිරිය. දැන් එයා ලෙඩෙක් වෙලා. හරියට නින්දක් නෑ. ගෙදර අය ජීවත්වෙන්නෙ බයෙන්, ළමයින්ගෙ අධ්‍යාපන කටයුතුවලටත් බාධාවක්.”

“මහත්තයා මම ඉන්නේ මේ අයට උදව් කරන්න.”

“මොකක්ද තමුන්ට කරන්න පුළුවන් උදව්ව?” තමුන්ට මේ අය වෙනුවෙන් වියදමක් කරන්න පුළුවන් ද? බැහැනෙ. තමුන් බොරු කරන්න එපා. බිරියට තමුන්ගෙ විශ්‍රාම වැටුප් ලැබෙනවා. ඒ මුදලින් ඒ අය ජීවත් වෙනවා. තමුන්ට පින් සිද්ධ වෙනවා. ඒ ගැන කල්පනා කරලා සතුටු වෙන්න. වෙන උදව්වක් අවශ්‍ය නෑ. ඒ අයට තමුන් වෙනුවෙන්, තමුන් රටට ජාතියට ආගමට කරපු සේවය වෙනුවෙන් රජයෙන් විශ්‍රාම වැටුපක් ලැබෙනවා. ඒ ඇති. තමුන්ට ඒ සතුට විඳින්න බැහැ. ඒකට හේතුව තමුන් බිරියගෙ ශරීරයට ආශාවෙන් දැන් ඉන්නේ. ඒ ආශාව කෑදරකම නිසා පිනේ සතුට විඳින්න බැහැ. පින දැනෙන්නේ නෑ. මේ අයට ලෙඩ කරන්න එපා. බිරියටත් දරුවන්ටත් දුක් දෙන්න එපා. තමුන් දැන් නීල් නොවෙයි, ප්‍රේතයෙක්. රට ජාතිය ආගම වෙනුවෙන් ජීවිතය පූජා කළ වීරයෙක් ඔතැන ද ඉන්න ඕනෑ. ඔබ විශාල සේවයක් රටට කළ කෙනෙක්. ඒක මහා පුණ්‍ය කර්මයක්. හොඳට හිතන්න, කල්පනා කරන්න, තමුන් ඔහොම වැරැදි විදිහට මේ අයට ලෙඩ කළොත් මේ ළමයින්ට පාඩම් කරගන්න බැරි වේවි, පාඩම් කැර ගන්න වෙලාවක් නෑ. තැන් තැන්වල යන්න වේවි, ගෙදර ඉන්න බැරි නිසා. මේ ගෙදර ඉන්න බැරුව බිරියටත් තැන් තැන්වල යන්න වේවි, මෙතැන ගැහැනුම හතර දෙනෙක්, ඔහොම ඇවිදින කොට කාගෙ කාගෙ හරි බලපෑම්වලට ගොදුරු වේවි. ජිවිත අවුල් වේවි. තමුන් කරන උදව්ව ඕක ද? කරුණාකර ඉවත් වෙලා යන්න. මේ අයට නිදහසේ ඉන්න ඉඩ දෙන්නැÓයි ගවේෂකවරයා කරුණු පැහැදිලි කළේය.

“හරි හරි මම යන්නම් මහත්තයා. මේ අයට ආයෙත් එන්න කියන්නත් එපා. මම යන්නම්.”

දින දහ හතරක් ගමේ පන්සලේ දී බෝධි පූජා පවත්වන ලෙසත්. එය පවත්වන ආකාරයත්, බෝධි පූජාව අවසානයේ බුදු ගුණ භාවනාවක යෙදී දෙවියන්ට පින් අනුමෝදන් කරන ලෙසත්, අවසානයේ නීල්ට පින් අනුමෝදන් කර ප්‍රේත ආත්මයෙන් ඉහළට යන්න අධිෂ්ඨාන කරන ලෙසත් ගවේෂකවරයා උපදෙස් දුන්නේය. ඊට අමතරව මේ දින දහ හතර තුළ බෝධි පූජාවට ගොස් සිත සකස් කැර ගෙන අනිවාර්යයෙන් ඉවත්ව යා යුතු බවට භූතාත්මයට කල් දුන්නේය.

බෝධි පූජාවෙන් පසු ඔවුහු නැවත පැමිණියහ. එදින ද නීල්ගේ ප්‍රාණකාරයා ඇයට ආවිෂ්ට විය. ගවේෂකවරයා ප්‍රේතාත්මය ඇමතීය.

“එහෙනම් තමුන් ගියේ නෑ නේද?” යි වේවැල අතට ගත්තේය.

“මහත්තයා ගහන්න නම් එපා. ගහන්න නම් එපා. එහෙනම් මට පින් ඕනෑ. දානයක් දීලා පින් අනුමෝදන් කරන්න කියන්නැ” යි භූතයා කීවේය.

“බැහැ. තමුන් කියන විදිහට ම නොවෙයි අපි කියන විදිහට වැඩ කෙරෙන්න ඕනැ. තමුන්ව අල්ලලා බැඳලා මූදට දාන්නත් අපට පුළුවන්. ඒත් මේ කරුණාවෙන් කියන්නෙ, තමුන් මේ ශරීරයෙන් ඉවත් වෙලා යන්න ඕනෑ පළමුවෙන්. ඊට පස්සේ දානයක් දීලා පින් අනුමෝදන් කරන්න පුළුවන්. දැන් වතාවක් ඉවත් වෙලා යනවා කියලා අපිව රැවැට්ටුවා. මීළඟ දවසෙ ගියත් නොගියත් අපි කරන්න ඕනෑ දේ කරනවා” යි භූතයාට අවවාද කළේය.

ගවේෂකවරයාගේ උපදෙස් පරිදි තවත් දින හතක් බෝධි පූජා පැවැත්වූ පත්මා සතියකට පසු නැවතත් ගුප්ත ගවේෂණ මධ්‍යස්ථානය කරා පැමිණියාය. එදින ද භූතාත්මය ඇයට ආවිෂ්ට විය.

එදින ගවේෂකවරයා ශක්ති කිරණ එල්ල කොට භූතාත්මය දවා, පුච්චා, දුර්වල කොට පත්මාගේ ශරීරයෙන් එළියට ඇද දමා පවුලේ අයටත් නිවසටත් ආධ්‍යාත්මීය ආරක්ෂා යෙදීය. දිනපතා නොකඩවා භාවිත කළ යුතු බෞද්ධ පිළිවෙත් නියම කළේය.

අසීමිත, ඇලීම, ආශාව, රාගය, දුකටම හේතු වේ.

Posted by: lrrp | March 1, 2015

The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts…..

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The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny – it is the light that guides your way. – Heraclitus

අනේ! මහත්තයා, මට මනුස්සයෙක් වෙන්න ඕනෑ. මම දැන් අමනුෂ්‍යයෙක් බව දන්නවා. මගේ හිතේ අමාරුවට පපුව හිර වෙලා මැරුණා. මම දැන් අමනුෂ්‍යයෙක්, මට ආයෙත් මිනිහෙක් වෙලා උපදින්න ඕනෑ. මගේ නෝනයි දුවයි දාලා යන්න මට බෑ. මට ආයෙත් මිනිහෙක් වෙන්න ඕනෑ” යි ඇතුල්කෝට්ටේ ගුප්ත ගවේෂණ මධ්‍යස්ථානයේදී දියණියකට අවිෂ්ට වූ පියෙකු ගේ භූතාත්මයක් කීවේය.

අඹේපුස්සේ පදිංචි කාරුණිකා විසිඅට හැවිරිදි රූමත් තරුණියකි. සමන්තා කාරුණිකා ගේ මෑණියෝ ය. මේ දෙදෙනාටම දරුණුවට ඇඟපත වේදනා පැවතුණි. රාත්‍රියට නිවසේ මිනිස් ඡායාවක් ගමන් කරන අයුරු මේ දෙදෙනාටම පෙනෙන්නට විය. එසේ ම ඒ අවස්ථාවල ඉවසා සිටිය නොහැකි දුර්ගන්ධයක් ද පැතිරෙන්නට විය. සමහර දිනවලදී රාත්‍රියට කෙනෙකු උගු‍රේ රැල් බුරුල් අරින හඬ කාරණ හඬ ඇසෙයි. තවත් සමහර දිනවල “සමන්තා!” යැයි කෙනෙකු කතා කරන හඬ ද ඇසෙන්නට විය. සියල්ලටම වඩා මේ රූමත් තරුණ දියණියට විවාහයක් සිදු නොවීමද සමන්තාට මහත් බරක් විය.

මේ අපලකාරී දුර්දශාවෙන් මිදෙන්න මොවුන් නොකළ දෙයක් නැත. තොවිල් පවිල් යන්ත්‍ර මන්ත්‍ර ගුරුකම්වලට දැනට ලක්ෂ ගණනක් මුදලින් වැය වී ඇත. මොන යම් කරදර තිබුණත් කාරුණිකාගේ කලවයස ඉක්ම යන බැවින් මංගල යෝජනා හා කපුවන් මාර්ගයෙන් විවාහාපේක්ෂකයන් ද ගෙන්වයි. එහෙත් කාරුණිකා කොතරම් රූමත් වුවත් නිවසට පැමිණ බලා යන මනාලයෝ කිසිවෙක් ඇයට කැමති නොවූහ.

මේ අතර සමන්තාගේ සහෝදරයෙක් “සිළුමිණ” පත්‍රයේ පළවන “පියවි ඇසින් ඔබ්බට” විශේෂාංගය දැක කියවා එහි සඳහන් ඇතුල්කෝට්ටේ ගුප්ත ගවේෂණ මධ්‍යස්ථානයට යන්නැයි ඔවුන්ට උපදෙස් දුන්නේය.

දිනක් සමන්තා සිය දියණිය සමඟ එහි ආවාය. ආධ්‍යාත්මීය උපදේශක කසුන් නාගොඩවිතාන මහතා මුණ ගැසී ප්‍රතිකාර පැතුවාය.

මේ දෙදෙනා වෙත ගවේෂකවරයා ශක්ති කිරණ එල්ල කරන විට කාරුණිකා හඬන්නට වූවාය. ඇයට ආවිෂ්ටව සිටි භූතාත්මය සමඟ ගවේෂකවරයා ප්‍රශ්න කරන්නට විය.

“කවුද මේ ශරීරයට ඇතුල්වෙලා ඉන්නේ?”

“මම මේ දුවගෙ තාත්තා”

“මොකක්ද ඔබේ නම?”

“මහත්තයා! මගේ නම ප්‍රේමදාස.”

“ඇයි මේ පොඩි ළමයෙක් වගේ අඬන්නේ?”

“මම මේ සමන්තාටත්, කාරුණිකා දුවටත් ආදරෙයි. මට මේ දෙන්නාව දාලා යන්න බෑ මහත්තයෝ.”

“දැන් මෙතන කවුරුවත් කිව්වද ඔබට ඒ දෙන්නාව දාලා යන්න කියලා.”

“නෑ… නෑ…. ඒ වුණාට මම දන්නවා අද මේ ලැහැස්ති වෙන්නේ මාව පන්නන්න බව.”

“කොහොමද ඔබ ඒ ගැන දැන ගත්තේ?”

“ඇයි මම දන්නේ නැද්ද? මම ඉන්න එක කරදරයි කියලා මේ දෙන්නා කොයි තරම් දේවාල ගානෙ ගියාද? කොයි තරම් තොවිල් කළාද? කොයි තරම් වියදම් කළා ද? ඒ වියදම් කළෙත් මම හම්බ කරලා තියපු සල්ලි! මේ දෙන්නා දන්නේ නෑ මම මේ දෙන්නට කොයි තරම් ආදරේ ද කියලා. ඒ ආදරේ නිසා තමයි මහත්තයා මට මේ දෙන්නා දාලා යන්න බැරි.”

“ඔබ මැරුණේ මොනවා වෙලාද?”

“මම හිතේ අමාරුවෙන් ඉන්න කොට මගේ පපුව හිරවෙලා මැරුණා.”

“ඇයි? මොන වගේ දෙයක් නිසාද හිතේ අමාරුවෙන් හිටියේ?”

“මහත්තයා මම හොඳට දියුණු වෙලා හිටපු කෙනෙක්. බොහෝම හොඳට වෙළඳාම තිබුණු කඩයක් මට තිබුණා අවිස්සාවේල්ලෙ. ඒ කඩය හිටි හැටියේ ගිනි ගත්තා. කඩේ සම්පූර්ණයෙන් අළු වෙලා ගියා. මගේ මුළු ජීවිතේ ම අළු වෙලා ගියා වගේ තමයි මට දැනුණේ. ඒ ගැන හිතේ අමාරුවෙන් ඉන්න කොට දවසක් මගේ පපුව හිර වෙලා මැරුණා.”

“එතකොට ප්‍රේමදාස මුදලාලි මැරුණා?”

“ඔව්! මහත්තයා ඔව්. මම මැරුණා.”

“ප්‍රේමදාස මුදලාලි මැරුණා නම් ඔය කතා කරන්නේ කවුද?”

“ම්…….. ම්……. ම්……….. මට තේරෙන්නේ නෑ.”

ප්‍රේමදාස මුදලාලි මැරුණා. ඊළඟ චිත්තක්ෂණයේ වෙනත් තැනක ප්‍රතිසන්ධිය ලැබුණා. ඒ ප්‍රතිසන්ධිය ලැබුවේ ප්‍රේමදාස මුදලාලි නොවෙයි. දැන් අලුත් පුද්ගලයෙක්. ඔබ සිටින තැන ගැවසෙන තැන දුර්ගන්ධයක් පැතිරෙනවා. එහෙම වෙන්නේ ප්‍රේතයන්ගේ. ඔබ දැන් ප්‍රේමදාස මුදලාලි නොවෙයි ප්‍රේතයෙක්.”

“අනේ මහත්තයා. මට ආයෙත් මිනිහෙක් වෙන්න ඕනෑ. මිනිහෙක් වෙලා ආයෙත් කඩේ කරන්න ඕනෑ. මගේ නෝනයි දුවයි එක්ක ජීවත් වෙන්න ඕනෑ.”

“ගෑනුන්ගෙ ඇ‍ඟේ ඉඳගෙන, ගෑනුන්ට කරදර කරලා නම් ආයෙත් මිනිහෙක් වෙන්න නම් බෑ.”

“අනේ මහත්තයා ඒකට ක්‍රමයක් ඇත්තේම නැද්ද?”

“තියෙනවා එක ම එක ක්‍රමයක් තියෙනවා.”

“අනේ මහත්තයා මොකක්ද ඒ ක්‍රමය? අනේ කියන්න මහත්තයා, මට ආයෙත් මිනිහෙක් වෙන්න ඕනැ.”

“හොඳට හිතට ගන්න. ඔබ දුවට ළං වෙල‍ා ඉන්න එක අත හරින්න ඕනෑ. දුවගෙ ඇ‍ඟෙන් ඉවත් වෙලා යන්න ඕනෑ. ඔබ දුව ළඟ සිටින තාක් දුවට විවාහයක් හරියන්නේ නෑ. ඔබ දුවගෙ ඇ‍ඟෙන් ඉවත් වෙලා අනුරාධපුරේ සිද්ධස්ථානයකට යන්න. ඒ තැන්වල සිද්ධ වෙන පින් දහම් බලලා දැකලා සතුටු වෙන්න. ඒ පින්කම්වලට අත හිත දීලා බුදුන් සරණ යන්න. ධර්ම දේශනාවලට සවන් දෙන්න. සංඝ රත්නයට ගරු කරන්න. වන්දනා කරන්න. එතකොට ඔබට ඔය ප්‍රේත ආත්මයට වඩා ටික ටික ඉහළ යන්න පුළුවන් වේවි. එහෙම ශක්තිය ලැබුණම බිරිඳත් දුවත් ළඟට යන්න ඕනෑ කියා අධිෂ්ඨා කරන්න.”

“ඔබ දුවගේ ළඟින් ඈත් වුණාම ඒ ළමයාට විවාහයක් හරි යාවි. දුව විවාහ වුණාම දුවට ළමයි උපදීවි. ඔබ ඔබේ කුසල කර්ම ශක්තිය ගොඩනගා ගත්තොත්, ඔ‍ෙබ්ත් දුවගේත් කර්මානුරූපව ඔබට ඔබේ දුවගේ කුසේ පිළිසිඳගන්න ලැබේවි. දුවගේ දරුවෙක් වෙලා උපන්නොත් ආයෙත් ඔබේ බිරිඳත් දුවත් සමඟ ජීවත් වෙන්න පුළුවන් වේවි. ලොකු වුණාම හොඳ කඩයක් කරන්නත් සමහර විට බැරි වෙන එකක් නෑ. ඔබට මම කියන දේවල් තේරෙනවාද?

“තේරෙනවා, මහත්තයා තේරෙනවා. මහත්තයා එතකොට මට මිනිහෙක් වෙන්න පුළුවන් නේද?”

“ඒක ඔබේ අතේ තියෙන දෙයක්. ඔබ ඔබේ ඊට අවශ්‍ය ශක්තිය ගොඩ නගාගන්න ඕනෑ, දැන් වහාම දුවගේ ශරීරයෙන් ඉවත් වෙලා අනුරාධපුරයට යන්න. මම මේ අයට කියනවා ගෙදර සාංඝික දානයක් පිරිනමා ඔබට පින් අනුමෝදන් කරන්න. ඒ පින් අනු‍මෝදන් වී ඔය ප්‍රේතාත්මයෙන් ඉහළට යන්න. දුවගේ ළඟින් ඔබ ඈත් වුණාම දුව විවාහ වී දරුවන් ලබාවි. එයින් දරුවෙක් වෙන්න අනුරාධපුරයේ ඉඳගෙන අධිෂ්ඨාන කරන්න. පින් දහම්වලට සම්බන්ධ වෙමින් අධිෂ්ඨාන කරන්න.

ස්වාමීන් වහන්සේ පහළොස් නමක් නිවසට වඩම්මා සාංඝික දානයක් පිරිනමා ප්‍රේමදාස මුදලාලි සිහිපත් කොට පින් අනු‍මෝදන් කරන ලෙස මවටත් දුවටත් උපදෙස් දුන්නෝය. දානයෙන් පසු පලතුරු වට්ටියක් රැගන නැවත එන්නැයි ද කීවේ ය.

දානයෙන් පසු ඔවුන් නැවත පැමිණියහ. කාරුණිකා දිෂ්ටි ගැන්වීය.

“දැන් මොකද කියන්නේ?” ගවේෂකවරයා ඇසීය.

“මම කැමතියි මහත්තයා අනුරාධපුරයට යන්නැ” යි භූතාත්මය කීවේය.

භූතාත්මය පලතුරු වට්ටියට සම්බන්ධ කළ ගවේෂකවරයා එය සමඟ අනුරාධපුරයට යැවීය.

පෙර කුසල් ඇත්තෝ ඒ කුසලයන්ගේ විපාක ආනිසංස ව‍ශයෙන් රූමත්ව, නිරෝගීව උපදිති. වස්තු දේපළ වලට අයිතිය ලබාගෙන එවැනි පවුල්වල උපදිති. එහෙත් මේ ලෝකය කාමාවචර ලෝකයකි. එසේ උපදින වාසනා වන්තයෝ මෝහය මූලිකවීම නිසා අකුසලයට බරවී දුගතියට පාර කපා ගනිති. මා මෙසේ ඉපිද ඇත්තේ පෙර කුසල විපාක නිසාය. ඒවා තවදුරටත් වර්ධනය කැර ගත යුතු යැයි නොසිතති. පිටි කෑවාම රොටි නො ලැබේ. තෙල් අවසන් වූ විට පහන නිවෙයි. අඳුරට පත්වෙයි. පහනට නැවත තෙල් නොදැමීම නිසා අඳුර වසා ගනී. පංචේන්ද්‍රියයන් පිනවීමේ ලෝභයත් මෝහයත් පුද්ගලයා ගේ ආධ්‍යාත්මය විනාශ කරයි. හෙට මැරුණත් හිතට සැපයි. අද ජොලි කරලායි සිතන්නෝ තමන් මෝහයෙන් අන්ධව සිටි බව සිතන්නේ පස්ස බිම ඇනුණු දාටය.

‍රාජිනී පනස් දෙහැවිරිදි වුව ද වයස අවුරුදු තිස්පහකට වඩා නොපෙනේ. මනාව වැඩුණු අඟ පසඟින් යුත් ඈ රූමත් ය. ඉංජිනේරුවරයෙකු හා විවාහ වී වයස 22, 17 හා 15 දියණියන් තිදෙනෙකු ලබා සිටියා ය. උපතින් ම විශාල ධනස්කන්ධයක් හිමි ව සිටි රාජිනී තම පවුලට අයත් හවුල් ව්‍යාපාරයේ අධ්‍යක්ෂවරියක ලෙස මාසයකට රුපියල් ලක්ෂ පහක පමණ වැටුපක් ලැබුවා ය. වර්ෂය අවසානයේ ලක්ෂ පණහක හැටක පමණ ලාභාංශයක් ද ලැබුවා ය. යාන වාහන ඇතිව ජීවත්වූ ඇයට දුකක් දැනුනේ ම නැත. ඇගේ ස්වාමි පුරුෂයා සිය ඉංජිනේරු රැකියාවෙන් තෘප්තිමත්ව ජීවත් වූයේ බිරියගේ වත්කම් දේපළවලට ඇඟිලි ගැසීමෙන් වැලකී සිටියේ ය. දියණියන් තිදෙනාගේ අධ්‍යාපනය ගැන සොයා බැලීය. රාජිනීට වෙනම වාහනයක් තිබුණි. වයස අවුරුදු තිහක කඩවසම් රියදුරෙකු සිටියේ ය. රාජිනී රියැදුරා සමඟ සිය වාහනයෙන් විනෝද ගමන් ගියා ය. දවස දෙක හෝටල්වල නැවතී කා බී සතුටුව ආවා ය.

මේ අතර හිටි හැටියේ රාජිනීත් රියැදුරාත් වාහනය සමඟ අතුරුදන් වූහ. තරමක් දුරින් කුළියට ‍ගත් නි‍ෙවසක රියැදුරු තරුණයා සමඟ අලුත් ජීවිතයක් ගෙවන්නට වූවාය. වාහනයෙන් රැකියාවට ද පැමිණ ගියා ය. සිදු වී දෙය වටහා ගත් ඉංජිනේරුවරයා දික්කසාද නඩුවක් දැම්මේ ය. දෙපාර්ශ්වයේ නීතිඥයන් සාකච්ඡා කොට දික්කසාද තීන්දුව ද ඉක්මනින් ලබා දුන්නේ ය. ඉංජිනේරුවරයා දියණියන් තිදෙනා සමඟ ඈත්වී ගියේ ය.

රාජිනීගේ නිදහස පුළුල් විය. රියැදුරාත් (සනත්) සමඟ ප්‍රීතියෙන් කල් යැවුවා ය. රාජනී තේ වත්තක්, ඇඟළුම් හල් කීපයක්, තවත් වතු කීපයක් අයිති පවුලක බැවින් ඇයට කිසි අඩුවක් පාඩුවක් නො දැනුණි‍. මේ අතර සනත් තමන්ගේ ආරක්ෂාව පතා කල්පනා කොට තේ වත්තක් ඔහුගේ නමට ලියන්නැයි රාජිනීට කීවේය. රාජිනී නිහඬව සිටියා ය. හවුල් ව්‍යාපාරයකට අයත් දේපළක් තනිව විකුණා ගන්නට හෝ අන්සතු කරන්නට නොහැකි බැවින් ඇය නිහඬ වෙනවා හැර මොනවා කරන්නට ද?

රාජිනීත් සමඟ රාත්‍රියට‍ මධුවිතෙන් සන්තර්පනය වන සනත් දැන් බීමත් කමටම ඇබ්බැහි වී සිටී. තේ වත්ත ලියා නොදෙන බැවින් බහින් බස් වීම් ද සිදුවෙමින් පැවතුණි.

“යකෝ, කේප්ප ගොනා වගේ පෝෂණය කරනවා මදිවාට මූට මගේ තේවතුත් ඕනෑ වෙලා’ යි වචනයෙන් නොකීවත් රාජිනීට ද සිතෙන්නට විය. ඒත් ස්වාමි පුරුෂයාටත් දියණිවරුන්ටත් එපා වූ රාජිනීට දැන් හැම දේට ම සිටින්නේ සනත් බැවින් ඇය ඉවසුවා ය.

මුල අමතක වී ගිය සනත් ද අයිතිය වෙනුවෙන් වචන මුදා හරින්නට විය. “ඔයාට වයසයි. ඔය පින්තාරු කැර ගෙන හිටියාට මගේ අම්මාටත් වඩා ඔයා වැඩුමල්. මට ඔයාගේ දූලගෙ වයසේ ගෑනු ළමයෙක් බැඳගන්න බැරි කමක් නෑ” යි තේ වත්ත පිළිබඳ බහින් බස්වීමක දී සනත් කීවේ ය. ඒ වචන ටික නම් රාජිනීට දිරවා ගන්නට අමාරු ව‍ූවා ය.

“අනේ ඕයි! දැන් තමුසෙට තෙල වැටිලා. ඩ්‍රයිවර් බව අමතක වෙච්ච හැටි” රාජනී දෙස් දෙවොල් තැබුවා ය.

බීමත්ව සිටි සනත් වේගවත් පහරකින් රාජිනීගේ කම්මුල අත ගෑවේ ය‍. රාජිනීගේ හොඳට වැඩුණු අතපය ද එහා මෙහා විදුලි කෙටුවේ ය. එදා රාත්‍රිය දෙදෙනා ගත කළේ කාමර දෙකක ය.

තවමත් යහනෙන් නොනැගිටි මැඩම්” අනේ අනේ කසාද මිනිහගෙන්වත් නිය පිටින් පාරක් නොකෑ උඹ ඩ්‍රැයිවර්ගෙන්…..” තමාට ම කියා ගත්‍තා ය.

වෙනදා දුහුල් රාත්‍රි ඇඳුම පිටින් ම කිරි වීදුරුවක් ගෙන එන ‘මැඩම්’ අද

නොඑන බව වටහාගත් සනත් ඇඳ යටට අත යවා ඊයේ අඩක් නිම කොට තිබූ අරක්කු බෝතලය හිස් බඩම කටට හළා ගත්තේ ය.

‘මැඩම්’ තවමත් ‍’වෙච්ච දේට එන්න සෙයියරදු’ යි නිදි ඉරියව්වෙන් ම අහස පොළොව ගැට ගහන්නට උත්සාහ කරමින් සිටියා ය. හිටි හැටියේ කාමරයට කඩා වැදුණු සනත් ඇඳට පැන රාජිනීට පහර දෙන්නට විය. ඇගේ රාත්‍රි ඇඳුම කීතු කීතු කර දැම්මේ ය. හොඳටම බීමතින් සිටි සනත් ඇගේ එක ම පා පහරින් ඇ‍ඳෙන් බිමට වැටුණේ ය. වෙරි මතින් අප්‍රාණික සනත්ට නැගිට ගන්නට හයියක් නොතිබුණි.

වහාම ඇ‍ඳෙන් නැගිට ගත් රාජිනී ඇඳුමක් ඇඟට දාගත්තා ය. අත්‍යවශ්‍ය දේ පමණක් බෑගයට ඔබා ගත්තා ය. වාහනයේ යතුර ද රැගෙන කාමරයෙන් පිට වී වාහනය පණ නංවාගත්තේ ය. සෑහෙන වේගයකින් ගමන් කරද්දී පිටුපස බලන කන්නාඩියෙන් ඇය දුටුවේ පිස්සියකගේ මුහුණකි. වාහනයේ වේගය අඩු කළ ඇය පිස්සියකගේ මෙන් අවුල් වී තිබුණු කෙස්ස පස්සට කරගත්තේ ඇඟිලි තුඩුවලිනි. ඇය ඇගේ මහගෙදර ආපසු ආවා ය.

මාසයක් පමණ ගතවිය. රාත්‍රිය රාජිනී හීනෙන් බිය වූවා ය. කවුදෝ ඇගේ අතින් අදිනු දැනෙන්නට විය. ශරීරය මත බර පැටවුණාක් මෙන් විය. ඇය මනෝ වෛද්‍යවරයෙකුගෙන් ආතතියට ප්‍රතිකාර ගත්තත් වැඩක් නොවී ය.

නැගණිය පත්ව සිටින තත්ත්වය දෙස ඉතා උපේක්ෂාවෙන් බලා සිටි ඇගේ සහෝදරයා ‘සිළුමිණ’ පත්‍රයේ ‘පියවි ඇසින් ඔබ්බට’ විශේෂාංගයේ සඳහන් ඇතුල්කෝට්ටේ ගුප්ත ගවේෂණ මධ්‍යස්ථානය කරා ඇය සමඟ ගියේ ය.

රාජිනී තමන්ගේ දුක් ගැහැට ආධ්‍යාත්මීය උපදේශකවරයා සමඟ විස්තර කළා ය. ගවේෂකවරයා ශක්ති කිරණ එල්ල කරන විට රාජිනී ප්‍රලය වී කෑ ගසන්නට වූවා ය.

“තොපි කවුද යකෝ” යි කුණුහරුප කියන්නට වූවා ය.

වේවැල් පහර දෙකක් වදින විට‍ ‘අ‍නේ ගහන්න එපා ගහන්න එපා’ යි භූතයා කීකරු වූයේ ය.

දින විසි එකක් ගමේ පන්සලේ දී බෝධි පූජා පවත්වා නැවත එන්නැයි ද එය කායිකවත් මානසිකවත් පිරිසුදුව ශ්‍රද්ධාවෙන් කළයුතු යැයි ද ඇයට උ‍පදෙස් දුන්නේ ය.

මාසයකට පසු ඇය නැවත පැමිණියා ය. එදින ඇය දිෂ්ටි ගන්වා ගවේෂකවරයා භූතාත්මය සමඟ කතා කළේ ය.

“කවුද මේ?”

“මතක නෑ”

“කවුද එව්වේ”

“මාතර කට්ටඩියා”

“ඇයි එව්වේ?”

“මේකිගෙ ඩ්‍රැයිවර් තමයි එව්වේ.‍ තේ වත්තකින් බාගයක් අපේ කට්ටඩියාට දෙනවැයි කියලා ඩ්‍රැයිවර් පො‍රොන්දු වුණා. ඒ වැඩේට මාව එව්වා. මම දැන් මේකි ළඟට වෙලා ඉන්නවා. මේකි ලස්සනයි. මම මේකිව බදාගෙන ඉන්නවා” යි භූතයා කීවේ ය.

“දැන් තමුන් මෙයාව අත හැරලා යන්න ඕනෑ.”

“මම කොහේ යන්නද? මට යන්න තැනක් නෑ.

රාජිනීට තවත් බෝධි පූජා දහ හතරක් නියම කොට භූතයාට ද ඒ බෝධි පූජාවලට යන්නට නියෝග කළේ ය.

බෝධි පූජා අවසන් කොට පැමිණි දිනයේ ගවේෂකවරයා ඇය දිෂ්ටි ‍ගන්වා භූතයා ඇමතීය.

“තමුන්ට බුදු හාමුදුරුවන් මතකද?”

“ඔව් මතකයි. බෝධි පූජාවට ගියාම මතකය අලුත් වුණා.”

පලතුරු වට්ටියක් ගෙන්වා ඊට සම්බන්ධ කොට භූතාත්මය බෙල්ලන්විලට යැවීය.

“මම කොරියාවෙ රස්සාවට ගියේ හම්බ කරලා ලස්සන ගෙයක් හදාගෙන මේකිව කසාද බැඳලා හොඳට සන්තෝසයෙන් ජීවත් වෙන්න හිතාගෙන. ඔය අතරේ මේකිගෙ අම්මා දූට අලුත් සල්ලි කාරයෙක් හොයා දීලා. මම ලංකාවට එන කොට මේකි ඒ මිනිහත් එක්ක ගිහින්. ඒ හිතේ අමාරුවට ම මට පිළිකාවක් හැදිලා මැරුණා” යි මළවුන් ගේ ලෝකයේ අමනුෂ්‍යයෙක් තම තොරතුරු ඇතුල්කෝ‍ට්ටේ ගුප්ත ගවේෂණ මධ්‍යස්ථානයේදී විස්තර කළේ ය.

මිනිසෙකු වශයෙන් ජීවත්වීමේදී දහසක් බලාපොරොත්තු ඉෂ්ට කැර ගැනීම සඳහා, තණ්හාව, ලෝභය, තුළින් ආශාවන් ඉටුකැර ගැනීම සඳහා, තමන් ගේ කාලය (වයස) හා ශ්‍රමය වැය කරමින් වෙහෙසෙන හැටි මෙයින් පැහැදිලි වේ. ඔබ ද මම ද එයින් අන්‍ය වූවන් ද නොවේ.
“වනේ ගිජිඳාය දුටුවොත් වන සාය

ළි‍ඳේ පනිඳාය වැටුණොත් ඌ කාය

අතකින් කරවැලෙකි අතකින් දඬු බෑය

මරණ තුනක් ඇති මිනිහෙක් පැණි කෑය”

මෝහයෙන් අන්ධ වූ අපි දියුණු යැයි සිතා සිටිමු. අතීතයේ අපේ පැරැන්නෝ නොදියුණු යැයි බොහෝ දෙනා සිතා සිටිති. එහෙත් මෙයින් ශතක ගණනාවකට පෙර අපේ පැරැන්නෙක් කවි කර කියූ ‘මිනිස් ජීවිත දර්ශනය’ කෙතරම් අප‍ූරුද? පැණි කන්නට වෙහෙසුණු මිනිසෙකු දුගතිගාමී වූ කතාවකි මේ.

කුරුණෑගල ප්‍රදේශයේ පදිංචි ධම්මිකා තිස් දෙහැවිරිදි ගෘහණියකි. ඇය ස්වාමි පුරුෂයා සමඟ නිතර ගැටුම් ඇති කැර ගනී. මෙය නුවණින් කල්පනා කළ ස්වාමි පුරුෂයා දැන් වෙන ම ජීවත් වෙයි. ඒ එකට ඉන්නට බැරි නිසා ම ය. එය සිය බිරිය සිතින් අතහැර දැමීමක් නොවේ. ධම්මිකා හීනෙන් බියට පත්වී කෑ ගසාගෙන අවදි වෙයි. ශරීරය ඉදිමී ඇත. දෙකකුල් දැඩි සේ ඉදිමීම නිසා ඇවිදින්නේ කිහිලි කරු දෙකක ආධාරයෙනි. නිතර ම දෑසින් කඳුළු කඩා වැටෙයි. ඊට අමතරව ලිංගික බෙලහීනතාවයකින් ද පෙළෙන්නීය. වෛද්‍ය ප්‍රතිකාර හා පිළිවෙත්වලින් සහනයක් ද නොවී ය.

“සිළුමිණ” පාඨකයෙකු වන ඇගේ සැමියා ‘පියවි ඇසින් ඔබ්බට’ විශේෂාංගයේ සඳහන් ඇතුල් කෝට්ටේ ගුප්ත ගවේෂණ මධ්‍යස්ථානය කරා ඇය කැඳවා ගෙන ගියේ ය. ඇගේ මව ද ඔවුන් සමඟ පැමිණියා ය. ආධ්‍යාත්මීය උපදේශක කසුන් නාගොඩවිතාන මහතා සමඟ රෝගාබාධ පිළිබඳ විස්තර කළේ ය.

ධම්මිකා වෙත ශක්ති කිරණ එල්ල කරන විට ඇය වෙව්ලන්නට වූවා ය. ඇගේ සිත කය දෙකම දුර්වලව දැඩි අමනුෂ්‍ය දෝෂයකට ගොදුරුව ඇති බව වටහා ගත් ගවේෂකවරයා දින විසි එකක් ගමේ පන්සලේ දී බෝධි පූජා පවත්වා නැවත පැමිණෙන ලෙස නියම කළේ ය. ඒ අතර ම පෝෂ්‍ය ජනක ආහාරවලින් ශරීර සෞඛ්‍ය ගොඩ නඟන ලෙස ද උපදෙස් දුන්නේ ය.

දින දෙකක් බෝධි පූජා පවත්වා තුන් වැනි දිනයේ පන්සල් යන්නට ඇයට කිහිලිකරු අවශ්‍ය නොවී ය. ඒ බව ඉතා සන්තෝසයෙන් ගවේෂකවරයාට දුරකතනයෙන් දැනුම් දී ඇත. මේ යහපත් වෙනසත් සමඟ ම ඇ‍ඟේ සහයට, සාත්තුවට, සැමියා ද නැවතත් ඒ වහළ යටට ම පැමිණියේ ය.

ඊළඟට පැමිණි දිනයේ ධම්මිකා ප්‍රලය වූවා ය. භූතාත්මය අඬන්නට වූයේ ය. ගවේෂකවරයා කතා කරන්නට විය.

“කවුද මේ අඬන්නේ?”

“මම මෙයා බඳින්න හිටපු කල්ප. මම මෙයාට කොයි තරම් ආදරේ කළා ද? මෙයත් එක්ක විවාහ වෙලා ලස්සනට ජීවත්වෙන්න කොයි තරම් ආශාවකින් ද හිටියේ. මම මේකිට කොයි තරම් වියදම් කළාද? මේකිත් එක්ක ජීවත්වෙන්න ලස්සන ගෙයක් හදා ගන්න ඕනෑ නිසා කොරියාවේ රස්සාවකට ගියා. හම්බ කර කර ගේ හැදුවා. මේකි මාව රැවැට්ටුවා. මහත්තයා, මේකි මාව රැවැට්ටුවා” ය කෑ ගසමින් විලාප නඟන්නට විය.

තවත් දින තුනක් බෝධි පූජා පවත්වා නැවත එන්නැයි උපදෙස් දුන්නේ ය.

ඊළඟට පැමිණි දිනයේ ද ධම්මිකාට ආවිෂ්ට වූ කල්පගේ ප්‍රාණකාරයා කතා කරන්නට විය.

“මහත්තයා මම කොරියාවට ගියේ මේකිට ලස්සන ගෙයක් හදන්න ම යි. මම ගියේ අපේ විවාහය ලියා පදිංචි කරලයි. මම ලංකාවට එන කොට මොකක්දෝ උප්පරවැට්ටියකින් දික්කසාද වෙලා මේකි වෙන මිනිහෙක් එක්ක ගිහින්. මේකිගෙ අම්මා මහා සටකපට ගෑනි. මේ ගෑනි තමයි ‍‍ඔය ‍ඔක්කොම කළේ. මම දැන් මුන්ගෙන් පළිගන්නවා. මුන් දෙන්නට පවුල් කන්න දෙන්නේ නෑ. මේකිව මරලා මම ඉන්න තැනට අරගෙන යනවා” යි ප්‍රේතයා කීවේ ය.

මේ භූතාත්මය කියන කතාව ඇත්ත දැයි ගවේෂකවරයා ධම්මිකගේ මවගෙන් ඇසී ය.

“ඔව් මහත්තයා, ඔය කල්ප තමයි කලින් මගේ දුව බඳින්න හිටියේ. ඒත් කල්ප මානසික රෝගියෙක්. ඒක අපට තේරුණේ පස්සෙයි. කොරියාවෙ ඉඳලා දුවට නිතරම ටෙලිෆෝන් කරනවා. දුව කලින් රස්සාවකට ගියා. රස්සාවට යන කොටත් මගදි ටෙලි‍ෆෝන් කරනවා. බස් ‍එකේ වාඩිවෙලා ඉන්නේ කොතැනද? එතන පිරිමියෙක් ඉන්නවා ද? ඒ පිරිමියාගෙ වයස කීයක් විතර ඇද්ද? තරුණ පිරිමියෙක් නම් ඒ සීට් එකෙන් නැගිටලා වෙන තැනකට යන්න කියනවා.

ගෑනු කෙනෙක් ළඟින් වාඩිවෙන්න කියනවා. වැඩ කරන තැනත් ඉන්න පිරිමි ගැන අහනවා. අන්තිමේ දුවට රස්සාවෙන් අයින් වෙන්න කිව්වා. ඉතින් දුව රස්සාවෙනුත් අයින් වුණා. ගමන් බිමන් යන්නත් තහනම් කළා. බැංකුවට යන කොටත් දැන් කොතැනද ඉන්නේ? කවුද ඔතැන ඉන්නේ කියලා අහනවා. ත්‍රීවීල් කාරයන්ට සල්ලි ‍එවලා උන්ව දුව යන යන තැන පස්සෙන් එවනවා. විස්තර අහනවා.

උන් ඒවා අපේ දූට කියලා උනුත් දුව එක්ක යාළු වෙන්න හදනවා. බැරිම තැන අපි කල්පට අවවාද කළා. ඔහොම සැකෙන් ජීවත් වෙන්න බෑ. පවුල් කන්න බෑ‍ කියලා. ඒ කිසි දෙයක් කල්ප පිළිගන්නේ නෑ. වෙනස් වුණේ නෑ.‍ කරන්න දෙයක් නැති තැන අපි දුවට වෙනත් විවාහයක් කර දුන්නා. ඒත් මේ පුතාටත් දුවටත් සන්තෝසෙන් ජීවත්වෙන්න දෙන්නේ නෑ. ලෙඩ දුක්, කරදර, අඬදබර, හීනෙන් බය කරනවා” යි ධම්මිකාගේ මව කාරණය පැහැදිලි කළා ය.

“දුව කල්ප අතහැරලා ගොස් විවාහයක් කැර ගන්න කැමැති වුණා ද?”

“නෑ, පළමුවෙන් කල්පගේ දැඩි නීති නිසා නිදහසක් නැතුව දුව ජීවිතේ නැති කරගන්න හැදුවා. ඊට පස්සේ අපි අවවාද කරලා තමයි මේ විවාහයට පොළඹවා ගත්තේ.”

“කල්ප ඒ ගැන දැනගෙන මොකද කළේ?”

“රස්සාවෙන් අස්වෙලා ඇවිත්, දුවට තර්ජනය කළා. කලබල කළා.‍ අපි ඒවාට බය වුණේ නෑ‍. අන්තිමට කල්ප බීලා බීලා අසනීප වුණා. අවුරුදු දෙකකට පස්සේ පිළිකාවක් හැදිලා මළා. කරන්න දෙයක් නෑ මහත්තයා. කල්ප මානසික රෝගියෙක්. නිතරම සැකෙන් ම යි ජීවත් වුණේ. හැමෝම දන්නවා. ත්‍රීවීල් කාරයෝ පවා දන්නවා.”

ගවේෂකවරයා භූතාත්මය ඇමතීය.

“දැන් මේ ධම්මිකාගෙ අම්මා කියපු දේවල් අහගෙන නේද හිටියේ?”

“ඔව්”

“දැන් අවංකවම ඇත්ත කියන්න ඕනෑ. මෙතැන බොරු කියන්න බැහැ. ඇත්ත කියන්න. ඒ අම්මා කිව්වේ බොරුද?”

“……. “ භූතාත්මය නිහඬ විය. නැවත ගවේෂකවරයා ප්‍රේතයා ඇමතීය.

“දැන් මේ ධම්මිකා බෝධි පූජා තියනවා. ගෙදර උදේ හවස බුදුන් වඳිනවා. තමුන්ට දැන් නමුත් ළඟට ධම්මිකාව ගෙනියන්න බෑ. තමුන් වෛරයෙන් මැරුණු නිසා ප්‍රේතයෙක් වෙලා උපන්නා. ධම්මිකා දැහැමි ජීවිතයක් ගෙවන නිසා මැරුණත් උපදින්නේ දිව්‍ය ලෝකයේ, ආදරය කියන්නේ ගැහැනියක් සැක කරලා හිර කරලා තියන එක නොවෙයි. ආදරය කියන්නේ ගෞරවය හා විශ්වාසය තුළින් ගොඩ නැ‍ඟෙන දෙයක්. ඔබ ඔබේ වරද, මෝඩකම, පිළිගන්න ඕනෑ. ඒ නිසයි ධම්මිකාව අහිමි වුණේ.

ධම්මිකාට යම්තම්වත් ආදරයක් තිබුණා නම් එයාට වෛර කරන්න එපා. එයා අහිමි වුණේ ඔබේ ම වරද නිසයි. ඔබ මැරුණෙත් මෝහය නිසයි. ආත්ම ශක්තිය නැතුව මත්පැනට ජීවිතය පාවා දීලා මැරුණා. මත්පැන් බොන්නේ ආත්ම ශක්තිය නැති අය.‍ සතුටු වෙන්න, හිත සතුටු කරන්න උපාය මාර්ග, යහපත් ක්‍රම රටා නොදන්නා අය මත්පැන් බීලා සතුටු වෙන්න බලනවා. මත්පැන් බොන අයගේ මොළයේ සෛල විනාශ වෙනවා. ආහාරවලින් ශරීරයේ සෛල නැවත ගොඩ නැඟුණත් මොළයේ සෛල විනාශ වුණොත් නැවත ගොඩ නැ‍ඟෙන්නේ නෑ. මෝඩයෙක් වෙනවා. අන්තිමේ ලෙඩෙක් වෙලා මැරුණේ ඔබට ආත්ම ශක්තියක් නොතිබුණු නිසා.”

“කවදා හරි ධම්මිකා මැරිලා දිව්‍ය ලෝකයට යනවා. ඔබ යම්තමින්වත් ධම්මිකාට ආදරයක් තියෙනවා නම් ඊළඟ භවයේ වත් ධම්මිකා සමඟ එකතු වෙන්න හිතන්න. ඔබත් දිව්‍ය ලෝකයට යන්න කටයුතු කරන්න” යි ගවේෂකවරයා භූතාත්මයට උපදෙස් දුන්නේ ය.

“කොහොමද දිව්‍ය ලෝකයට යන්නේ?”

“ඒකට ඔබ හිත හදාගන්න ඕනෑ. පළමුවෙන් හිතේ තියෙන වෛරය අකුසලයක් බව තේරුම් ගන්න ඕනෑ. අකුසල් සිතින් දිව්‍ය ලෝකෙ යන්න බෑ. ඒ නිසා තමන්ගේ මෝහය නිසා, ලෝභය හා මෝහය යන අකුසල මූල නිසා ද්වේෂයක් හටගත් බව අවබෝධ කර ගෙන තමන්ගේ අඩුපාඩුව පිළිගන්න. එතකොට ඔබේ ප්‍රේත දුක ලිහිල්වේවි. ඒ අතරෙ අපි සාංඝික දානයක් දී ඔබට පින් අනුමෝදන් ‍කරන්නම්, ඔබත් බෝධි පූජා තියන සිද්ධස්ථානයකට ගිහින් තෙරුවන් කෙරෙහි සද්ධාව ඇති කරගන්නැ’ යි භූතාත්මයට උපදෙස් දුන්නේ ය.

පන්සලට ගොස් සතියක් බෝධි පූජා පවත්වා එහිදී කල්පට පින් අනුමෝදන් කරන ලෙසත්, සතියෙන් පසුව පන්සලේ දීම සාංඝික දානයක් පිරිනමා පින් අනුමෝදන් කරන ලෙසත් නියම කළේ ය.

දානය පිරිනමා නැවත පැමිණි විට පූජා වට්ටියක් ගෙන්වා කල්පගේ ප්‍රාණකාරයා ඊට සම්බන්ධ කොට අනුරාධපුරයට යැවීය.

ආදරය වෛරයක් බවට පත් වේ නම් එතැන ආදරයක් තිබී නැත. එහි තිබී ඇත්තේ ලෝභය (රාගය) හා මෝහයයි.

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