Introduction to 3.7.5: Akammaniyavaggo & Adantavaggo – Mastering the Mind

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammāsambuddhassa


Introduction to 3.7.5 Akammaniyavaggo & Adantavaggo – 

Mastering the Mind

 

‘‘Yathā agāraṃ ducchannaṃ, vuṭṭhī samativijjhati1ti;

Evaṃ abhāvitaṃ cittaṃ, rāgo samativijjhatī’’ti.2

“In the same way as rain penetrates a poorly thatched house

Passion will penetrate a mind that is weakly developed.”

 

‘‘Yathā agāraṃ succhannaṃ, vuṭṭhī na samativijjhati;

Evaṃ subhāvitaṃ cittaṃ, rāgo na samativijjhatī’’ti.

“In the same way as rain does not penetrate a well thatched house

Passion will not penetrate a properly cultivated mind.”

 

The present selection of two suttas, the Akammaniyavaggo and the Adantavaggo provides a fine example of gradual development and a lovely exercise for reading aloud or learning them by heart. Thus has been the practise in the ancient past of oral tradition, where slight changes of content and increasing numbers for each paragraph (here from one-paṭhamaṃ to ten-dasamaṃ) provide support for successive memorising. Both suttas convey some warning for the meditators who squabble, scuffle and struggle with the ongoing disruptions and commotions their flickering mind usually forces onto them disturbing their focus. But at the same time they offer some comfort in the way through the Buddha’s words that point to the tricky nature of the mind: those obstacles by overcoming the intrinsic pit-falls belong to one’s struggle and everyone has to face them likewise during one’s earnest quest towards inner calm and quietude. By putting forth efforts to focus on the object of meditation in one’s endeavour to: na nimittaggāhī hoti nānubyañjanaggāhī’‘neither adhere to (any) object nor to dwell in any detail’ and to:  uppannaṃ ......vitakkaṃ nādhivāseti pajahati vinodeti byantīkaroti anabhāvaṃ gameti’ – ‘not hold on to (such) thoughts, reject and dispel them, make an end of them and cause them to perish’3 a meditator will find some reassurance in those words of the Buddha. Possible doubts about his personal inability to concentrate properly should get suspended, his energy revived and his efforts refreshed by understanding mind’s nature.

In the section of Dhammānupassanā āyatanapabbaṃ the Mahāsatipaṭṭhānasutta4 highlights an approach for a meditator how to deal with the habitual bondage of inner and outer sense spheres – outside objects and respective sensory organs - that keep ensnaring him. His training lies in developing and establishing a routine of simple, remote and neutral observation along with strengthening his equanimity and knowledge in regards to each object and the influence on the corresponding sensual organ: ‘‘Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu cakkhuñca pajānāti, rūpe ca pajānāti, yañca tadubhayaṃ paṭicca uppajjati saṃyojanaṃ tañca pajānāti, yathā ca anuppannassa saṃyojanassa uppādo hoti tañca pajānāti, yathā ca uppannassa saṃyojanassa pahānaṃ hoti tañca pajānāti, yathā ca pahīnassa saṃyojanassa āyatiṃ anuppādo hoti tañca pajānāti.” – “Here, Bhikkhu, a Bhikkhu understands properly the eye, he understands properly the visible object and he understands properly the bondage that arises dependent on these two. He understands properly how the bondage that has not yet arisen, comes to arise. He understands properly how the bondage that has now arisen, gets eradicated. He understands properly how that bondage that has now been eradicated, will in future no longer arise.”

‘‘Sotañca pajānāti, sadde ca pajānāti, yañca tadubhayaṃ paṭicca uppajjati saṃyojanaṃ tañca pajānāti, yathā ca anuppannassa saṃyojanassa uppādo hoti tañca pajānāti, yathā ca uppannassa saṃyojanassa pahānaṃ hoti tañca pajānāti, yathā ca pahīnassa saṃyojanassa āyatiṃ anuppādo hoti tañca pajānāti.” - “He understands properly the ear, he understands properly sound and he understands properly the bondage that arises dependent on these two. He understands properly how the bondage that has not yet arisen, comes to arise. He understands properly how the bondage that has now arisen, gets eradicated. He understands properly how that bondage that has now been eradicated, will in future no longer arise.”

‘‘Ghānañca pajānāti, gandhe ca pajānāti, yañca tadubhayaṃ paṭicca uppajjati saṃyojanaṃ tañca pajānāti, yathā ca anuppannassa saṃyojanassa uppādo hoti tañca pajānāti, yathā ca uppannassa saṃyojanassa pahānaṃ hoti tañca pajānāti, yathā ca pahīnassa saṃyojanassa āyatiṃ anuppādo hoti tañca pajānāti.” – “He understands properly the nose, he understands properly smell and he understands properly the bondage that arises dependent on these two. He understands properly how the bondage that has not yet arisen, comes to arise. He understands properly how the bondage that has now arisen, gets eradicated. He understands properly how that bondage that has now been eradicated, will in future no longer arise.”

‘‘Jivhañca pajānāti, rase ca pajānāti, yañca tadubhayaṃ paṭicca uppajjati saṃyojanaṃ tañca pajānāti, yathā ca anuppannassa saṃyojanassa uppādo hoti tañca pajānāti, yathā ca uppannassa saṃyojanassa pahānaṃ hoti tañca pajānāti, yathā ca pahīnassa saṃyojanassa āyatiṃ anuppādo hoti tañca pajānāti.” – “He understands properly the tongue, he understands properly taste and he understands properly the bondage that arises dependent on these two. He understands properly how the bondage that has not yet arisen, comes to arise. He understands properly how the bondage that has now arisen, gets eradicated. He understands properly how that bondage that has now been eradicated, will in future no longer arise.”

‘‘Kāyañca pajānāti, phoṭṭhabbe ca pajānāti, yañca tadubhayaṃ paṭicca uppajjati saṃyojanaṃ tañca pajānāti, yathā ca anuppannassa saṃyojanassa uppādo hoti tañca pajānāti, yathā ca uppannassa saṃyojanassa pahānaṃ hoti tañca pajānāti, yathā ca pahīnassa saṃyojanassa āyatiṃ anuppādo hoti tañca pajānāti.” - “He understands properly the body, he understands properly touch and he understands properly the bondage that arises dependent on these two. He understands properly how the bondage that has not yet arisen, comes to arise. He understands properly how the bondage that has now arisen, gets eradicated. He understands properly how that bondage that has now been eradicated, will in future no longer arise.”

‘‘Manañca pajānāti, dhamme ca pajānāti, yañca tadubhayaṃ paṭicca uppajjati saṃyojanaṃ tañca pajānāti, yathā ca anuppannassa saṃyojanassa uppādo hoti tañca pajānāti, yathā ca uppannassa saṃyojanassa pahānaṃ hoti tañca pajānāti, yathā ca pahīnassa saṃyojanassa āyatiṃ anuppādo hoti tañca pajānāti.” – “He understands properly the mind, he understands properly the contents of the mind and he understands properly the bondage that arises dependent on these two. He understands properly how the bondage that has not yet arisen, comes to arise. He understands properly how the bondage that has now arisen, gets eradicated. He understands properly how that bondage that has now been eradicated, will in future no longer arise.”

 

Saṃyojana – translated as bondage has to be realized as the reactive and habitual ‘natural’ pattern of liking and disliking, of craving and loathing towards any of these objects and the reaction it originates. When the Buddha says: “All is ablaze, Bhikkhus!” 5 he clearly refers to this constantly generated bondage: ‘‘Sabbaṃ, bhikkhave, ādittaṃ6. Kiñca, bhikkhave, sabbaṃ ādittaṃ? Cakkhu, bhikkhave, ādittaṃ, rūpā ādittā, cakkhuviññāṇaṃ ādittaṃ, cakkhusamphasso āditto. Yampidaṃ cakkhusamphassapaccayā uppajjati vedayitaṃ sukhaṃ vā dukkhaṃ vā adukkhamasukhaṃ vā tampi ādittaṃ. Kena ādittaṃ? ‘Rāgagginā, dosagginā, mohagginā ādittaṃ, jātiyā jarāya maraṇena sokehi paridevehi dukkhehi domanassehi upāyāsehi āditta’nti vadāmi…pe… jivhā ādittā, rasā ādittā, jivhāviññāṇaṃ ādittaṃ, jivhāsamphasso āditto. Yampidaṃ jivhāsamphassapaccayā uppajjati vedayitaṃ sukhaṃ vā dukkhaṃ vā adukkhamasukhaṃ vā tampi ādittaṃ. Kena ādittaṃ? ‘Rāgagginā, dosagginā, mohagginā ādittaṃ, jātiyā jarāya maraṇena sokehi paridevehi dukkhehi domanassehi upāyāsehi āditta’nti vadāmi…pe… mano āditto, dhammā ādittā, manoviññāṇaṃ ādittaṃ, manosamphasso āditto. Yampidaṃ manosamphassapaccayā uppajjati vedayitaṃ sukhaṃ vā dukkhaṃ vā adukkhamasukhaṃ vā tampi ādittaṃ. Kena ādittaṃ? ‘Rāgagginā, dosagginā, mohagginā ādittaṃ, jātiyā jarāya maraṇena sokehi paridevehi dukkhehi domanassehi upāyāsehi āditta’nti vadāmi. Evaṃ passaṃ, bhikkhave, sutavā ariyasāvako cakkhusmimpi nibbindati, rūpesupi nibbindati, cakkhuviññāṇepi nibbindati, cakkhusamphassepi nibbindati, yampidaṃ cakkhusamphassapaccayā uppajjati vedayitaṃ sukhaṃ vā dukkhaṃ vā adukkhamasukhaṃ vā tasmimpi nibbindati …pe… yampidaṃ manosamphassapaccayā uppajjati vedayitaṃ sukhaṃ vā dukkhaṃ vā adukkhamasukhaṃ vā tasmimpi nibbindati. Nibbindaṃ virajjati; virāgā vimuccati; vimuttasmiṃ vimuttamiti ñāṇaṃ hoti. …… “All is ablaze, Bhikkhus! What, Bhikkhus is the all, that is ablaze? It is the eye, Bhikkhus that is ablaze, forms are ablaze, the eye-consciousness is ablaze and eye-contact is ablaze. Whatever is felt that arises with eye-contact as condition, whether pleasant, unpleasant or neither pleasant nor unpleasant, neutral, is ablaze! And why is it ablaze? I say, it is ablaze with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion – burning with birth, aging, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair. It is the tongue, Bhikkhus that is ablaze, tastes are ablaze, the tongue-consciousness is ablaze and tongue-contact is ablaze. Whatever is felt that arises with tongue-contact as condition, whether pleasant, unpleasant or neither pleasant nor unpleasant, neutral, is ablaze! And why is it ablaze? I say, it is ablaze with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion – burning with birth, aging, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair……. It is the mind, Bhikkhus that is ablaze, mental objects are ablaze, the mind-consciousness is ablaze and mind-contact is ablaze. Whatever is felt that arises with mind-contact as condition, whether pleasant, unpleasant or neither pleasant nor unpleasant, neutral, is ablaze! And why is it ablaze? I say, it is ablaze with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion – burning with birth, aging, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair. Realizing this, Bhikkhus, a noble disciple of the path develops disgust towards the eye, he develops disgust towards forms, develops disgust towards eye-consciousness, develops disgust towards eye-contact, he develops disgust towards whatever is felt that arises with eye-contact as condition, whether pleasant, unpleasant or neither pleasant nor unpleasant, neutral, … he similarly develops disgust … towards whatever is felt that arises with mind-contact as condition, whether pleasant, unpleasant or neither pleasant nor unpleasant, neutral. On base of this disgust he gets detached, on base of this detachment he gets liberated, on base of this liberation knowledge gets established: this is liberation.” …….

 

A meditator understands that this bondage gets increased and fostered by falling into its trap – and gets decreased by objective observation by letting things arise, stay, pass away – for which the human phenomenon offers the perfect tool of vedanā – bodily sensation. Here one can train oneself to simply observe whatever is felt that arises without craving and attachment: – uppajjati vedayitaṃ sukhaṃ vā dukkhaṃ vā adukkhamasukhaṃ vā tasmimpi – without reaction towards any of the feelings and sensations that arise as a result of any nput through the respective sense-faculty as a condition: ‘‘Cakkhusamphassajā vedanā loke… sotasamphassajā vedanā loke… ghānasamphassajā vedanā loke… jivhāsamphassajā vedanā loke… kāyasamphassajā vedanā loke… manosamphassajā vedanā loke piyarūpaṃ sātarūpaṃ, etthesā taṇhā uppajjamānā uppajjati, ettha nivisamānā nivisati” – “The sensation arising from the eye-contact in the world [of mind and matter] … the sensation arising from the ear-contact … the sensation arising from the nose-contact … the sensation arising from the tongue-contact … the sensation arising from the body-contact … the sensation arising from the mind-contact in the world [of mind and matter] is enticing and pleasurable; there this craving arises and gets established.”

 

And he understands and realizes through non-reaction by maintaining equanimity how to get liberated from this bondage: “Cakkhusamphassajā vedanā loke… sotasamphassajā vedanā loke … ghānasamphassajā vedanā loke… jivhāsamphassajā vedanā loke… kāyasamphassajā vedanā loke… manosamphassajā vedanā loke piyarūpaṃ sātarūpaṃ, etthesā taṇhā pahīyamānā pahīyati, ettha nirujjhamānā nirujjhati.” – “The sensation that arises from the eye contact in the world [of mind and matter] … the sensation that arises from the ear contact … the sensation that arises from the nose contact … the sensation that arises from the tongue contact … the sensation that arises from the body contact … the sensation that arises from the mind contact in the world [of mind and matter] is enticing and pleasurable; there this craving may be eradicated and extinguished.”


1. samativijjhati: sa + ati + vijjhatī: penetrate, pierce

2. Yamakavaggo, Dhammapadapāḷi, Khuddakanikāye

4. Mahāsatipaṭṭhānasuttaṃ, Mahāvaggapāḷi, Dīghanikāyo

5. Ādittasuttaṃ, Saḷāyatanasaṃyuttaṃ, Saḷāyatanavaggo, Saṃyuttanikāyo

6. āditto: burning, blazing

***

Pāli lesson (with audio) 3.7.5

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Last modified: Friday, 4 May 2018, 12:52 PM