Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammāsambuddhassa

Introduction to 3.5.9
Mahācattārīsakasuttaṃ cont.- Discerning Wrong Action and Developing Right Action

Although sammākammanto has as its fundamental element the characteristic of abstention - veramaṇī – with the contemplation that avoidance of disturbing peace, harmony, happiness and wellbeing of other beings is the foundation for peaceful engagement with one’s social environment – its final perspective is the performance of wholesomeness!1 The first achievement is unblemished safeguarding of sīla in its three dimensions – neither to perform any act of unwholesomeness oneself, nor to support such an act physically or materially if performed by someone else nor even by mental appreciation. 

pāṇātipātā veramaṇī is the foundation for the development of compassion, love and empathy with other beings;
adinnādānā veramaṇī is the base for uprightness, contentedness with one’s own possession and generosity; 
kāmesumicchācārā veramaṇī is the source for a healthy and harmonious relationship, establishing mutual confidence, contentment and celibacy;
musāvādā veramaṇī fosters the desire to realize, uphold and support truthfulness, empathy and cordiality;
surāmerayamajjapamādaṭṭhānā veramaṇī leaves behind delusion and makes a decisive choice for reality.

The next selection of the Mahācattārīsakasuttaṃ highlights sammākammanto under the same perspective as did the previous paragraphs stress the respective other links of the Noble Path2. Sammākammanto must also be understood first in it’s micchā characteristics to abandon those in order to foster and acquire it’s sammā qualities. Sammākammanto likewise must get developed in both qualities with taints and taintless, mundane and supramundane: “Sammākammantaṃpahaṃ, bhikkhave, dvāyaṃ vadāmi – atthi, bhikkhave, sammākammanto sāsavo puññabhāgiyo upadhivepakko; atthi, bhikkhave, sammākammanto ariyo anāsavo lokuttaro maggaṅgo.” – “I say, Bhikkus sammākammanto is twofold: - affected by impurities, partaking of merit and yielding fruit on the side of attachement; and sammākammanto is without impurities, supramundane and a factor of the path.”

The chapter of dhammānupassanā of the Mahāsatipaṭṭhānasutta advises the pursuer of the path, the meditator, to observe with full understanding, remote and ardently the respective hindrances in their intrinsic nature of arising-and passing3. On base of this observation without reacting towards any of these hindrances their pushing force gets reduced, their source eliminated and their arising finally terminated. The understanding of both characteristics, their micchā as well their sammā qualities gets nurtured, wrong attributes eliminated and sammadiṭṭhi strengthened. Then a state gets cultivated, where effortlessly micchākammanto is left behind and sammākammanto gets purer and bright:
Kathañca pana, bhikkhave, bhikkhu dhammesu dhammānupassī viharati pañcasu nīvaraṇesu?

‘‘Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu santaṃ vā ajjhattaṃ kāmacchandaṃ ‘atthi me ajjhattaṃ kāmacchando’ti pajānāti, asantaṃ vā ajjhattaṃ kāmacchandaṃ ‘natthi me ajjhattaṃ kāmacchando’ti pajānāti, yathā ca anuppannassa kāmacchandassa uppādo hoti tañca pajānāti, yathā ca uppannassa kāmacchandassa pahānaṃ hoti tañca pajānāti, yathā ca pahīnassa kāmacchandassa āyatiṃ anuppādo hoti tañca pajānāti.

How, Bhikkhus, does a monk dwell, observing mental contents in mental contents, as regards the five hindrances?

Here, Bhikkhus, a Bhikkhu, whenever sense desire is present in him, he understands properly that, “Sense desire is present in me.” Whenever sense desire is absent from him, he understands properly that, “Sense desire is absent from me.” He understands properly, how sense desire that has not yet arisen in him comes to arise. He understands properly, how sense desire that has now arisen in him, gets eradicated. He understands properly, how sense desire that has now been eradicated will in future no longer arise in him.4

‘‘Santaṃ vā ajjhattaṃ byāpādaṃ ‘atthi me ajjhattaṃ byāpādo’ti pajānāti, asantaṃ vā ajjhattaṃ byāpādaṃ ‘natthi me ajjhattaṃ byāpādo’ti pajānāti, yathā ca anuppannassa byāpādassa uppādo hoti tañca pajānāti, yathā ca uppannassa byāpādassa pahānaṃ hoti tañca pajānāti, yathā ca pahīnassa byāpādassa āyatiṃ anuppādo hoti tañca pajānāti.

Here, Bhikkhus, a Bhikkhu, whenever ill-will is present in him, he understands properly that, “Ill-will is present in me.” Whenever ill-will is absent from him, he understands properly that, “Ill-will is absent from me.” He understands properly, how ill-will that has not yet arisen in him, comes to arise. He understands properly, how ill-will that has now arisen in him gets eradicated. He understands properly, how ill-will that has now been eradicated, will in future no longer arise in him.
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[1] See 3.5.2 Cārittaṃ Vārittaṃ Sikkhāpada

[2] See 3.2.6; 3.3.5 and 3.4.8

[3] …… “samudayadhammānupassī vā dhammesu viharati, vayadhammānupassī vā dhammesu viharati, samudayavayadhammānupassī vā dhammesu viharati.”

[4] Nīvaraṇapabbaṃ, Mahāsatipaṭṭhānasuttaṃ, Dīghanikāyo, Mahāvaggapāḷi
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Pāli lesson (with audio) 3.5.9

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Last modified: Tuesday, 6 June 2017, 7:53 PM