Word of The Buddha
Outline of the teachings of the Buddha in the words of
the Pali canon
translated, and explained by Nyanatiloka
now, is Right Concentration?
the mind fixed to a single object (cittekeggataa, lit. `One-pointedness
of mind'): this is concentration.
Concentration' (sammaa-samaadhi), in its widest sense, is
the kind of mental concentration which is present in every
wholesome state of consciousness (kusala-citta), and hence
is accompanied by at least Right Thought (2nd factor), Right
Effort (6th factor) and Right Mindfulness (7th factor). `Wrong
Concentration' is present in unwholesome states of consciousness,
and hence is only possible in the sensuous, not in a higher
sphere. Samaadhi, used alone, always stands in the Sutta,
for sammaa-samaadhi, or Right Concentration.
four `Foundations of Mindfulness' (7th factor): these are the
objects of concentration.
four `Great Efforts' (6th factor): these are the requisites
practising, developing and cultivating of these things: this
is the development (bhaavanaa) of concentration.
Concentration (sammaa-samaadhi) has two degrees of development;
1. `Neighborhood Concentration' (upacaarasamaadhi). which
approaches the first absorption without, however, attaining
it; 2. `Attainment Concentration' (appanaasamaadhi), which
is the concentration present in the four Absorptions (jhaana).
These Absorptions are mental states beyond the reach of the
fivefold sense-activity, attainable only in solitude and by
unremitting perseverance in the practice of concentration.
In these states all activity of the five senses is suspended.
No visual or audible impressions arise at such a time, no
bodily feeling is felt. But, although all outer sense-impressions
have ceased, yet the mind remains active, perfectly alert,
attainment of these Absorptions, however, is not a requisite
for the realization of the four Supermundane Paths of Holiness;
and neither Neighborhood-Concentration nor Attainment-Concentration,
as such, possesses the power of conferring entry to the four
Supermundane Paths: hence they really have no power to free
one permanently from evil things. The realization of the Four
Supermundane Paths is possible only at the moment of deep
`Insight' (vipassanaa) into the Impermanency (aniccataa),
Miserable Nature (dukkhataa) and Impersonality (anattataa)
of this whole phenomenal process of existence. This Insight,
again, is attainable only during Neighborhood-Concentration,
not during Attainment Concentration.
who has realized one or other of the Four Supermundane Paths
without ever having attained the Absorptions, is called Sukkha-vipassaka,
or Suddhavipassanaa-yaanika, i.e. `one who has taken merely
Insight (vipassanaa) as his vehicle'. He, however, who, after
cultivating the Absorptions, has reached one of the Supermundane
Paths is called Saniathayaanika, or `one who has taken Tranquillity
(samatha) as his vehicle (yaana)'.
samatha and vipassanaa see Fund IV. and B. Diet.
Four Absorptions (jhaana)
from sensual objects, detached from evil things, the disciple
enters into the first Absorption, which is accompanied by Thought
Conception and Discursive Thinking, is born of detachment, and
filled with Rapture and Happiness.
is the first of the Absorptions belonging to the Fine-Material
Sphere (rupaavacarajjhaana). It is attained when, through
the strength of concentration, the fivefold sense activity
is temporarily suspended, and the five Hindrances are likewise
B. Dict.: kasina, nimitta, samaadhi.
first Absorption is free from five things, and five things are
present. When the disciple enters the first Absorption, there
have vanished (the five Hindrances): Lust, Ill-Will, Torpor
and Sloth, Restlessness and Mental Worry, Doubts; and there
are present: Thought Conception (vitakka), Discursive Thinking
(vicaara), Rapture (piiti), Happiness (sukha), Concentration
(citt'ekaggataa = samaadhi).
five mental factors present in the first Absorption, are called
Factors (or Constituents) of Absorption (jhaananga). Vitakka
(initial formation of an abstract thought) and vicaara (discursive
thinking, rumination) are called `verbal functions' (vaci-sankhaara)
of the mind; hence they are something secondary compared with
Visuddhi-Magga, vitakka is compared with the taking hold of
a pot, and vicaara with the wiping of it. In the first Absorption
both are present, but are exclusively focussed on the subject
of meditation, vicaara being here not discursive, but of an
`exploring' nature. Both are entirely absent in the following
further: after the subsiding of Thought-Conception and Discursive
Thinking, and by the gaining of inner tranquillity and oneness
of mind, he enters into a state free from Thought-Conception
and Discursive Thinking, the second Absorption, which is born
of concentration (samaadhi), and filled with Rapture (piti)
and Happiness (sukha).
the second Absorption, there are three Factors of Absorption:
Rapture, Happiness, and Concentration.
further: after the fading away of Rapture, he dwells in equanimity,
mindful, with clear awareness: and he experiences in his own
person that feeling of which the Noble Ones say: `Happy lives
he who is equanimous and mindful'-thus he enters the third Absorption.
the third Absorption there are two Factors of Absorption:
equanimous Happiness (upekkhaa-sukha) and Concentration (citt'ekaggataa).
further: after the giving up of pleasure and pain, and through
the disappearance of previous joy and grief, he enters into
a state beyond pleasure and pain, into the fourth Absorption,
which is purified by equanimity and mindfulness.
the fourth Absorption there are two Factors of Absorp-tion:
Concentration and Equanimity (upekkhaa).
Visuddhi-magga forty subjects of meditation (kamma.t.thaana)
are enumerated and treated in detail. By their successful
practice the following Absorptions may be attained:
four Absorptions. through Mindfulness of Breathing (see Vis.
M. VIII. 3), the ten Kasina-exercises (Vis. M. IV, V. and
B. Dict.); the contemplation of Equanimity (upekkhaa), being
the practice of the fourth Brahma-vihaara (Vis. M. IX. 4).
first three Absorptions: through the development of Loving-Kindness
(mettaa), Compassion (karunaa) and Sympathetic Joy (muditaa),
being the practice of the first three Brahma-vihaaras (Vis.
M. IX. 1-3,).
first Absorption: through the ten Contemplations of Impurity
(asubha-bhaavanaa; i.e. the Cemetery Contemplations, which
are ten according to the enumeration in Vis. M. VI); the contemplation
of the Body (i.e. the 32 parts of the body; Vis. M. VIII,
2); `Neighborhood-Concentration' (upacaara-samaadhi): through
the Recollections on Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, on Morality,
Liberality, Heavenly Beings, Peace (=Nibbaana) and death (Vis.
M. VI. VII); the Contemplation on the Loathsomeness of Food
(Vis. M. XI. I); the Analysis of the Four Elements (Vis. M.
four Immaterial Absorptions (aruupa-jjhaana or aaruppa), which
are based on the fourth Absorption, are produced by meditating
on their respective objects from which they derive their names;
Sphere of Unbounded Space, of Unbounded Consciousness, of
Nothingness, and of Neither-Perception-Nor-Non-Perception.
entire object of concentration and meditation is treated in
Vis M. III-XIII; see also Fund. IV.
your concentration: for he who has concentration, understands
things according to their reality. And what are these things?
The arising and passing away of corporeality, of feeling, perception,
mental formations and consciousness.
these five Groups of Existence must be wisely penetrated; Ignorance
and Craving must be wisely abandoned; Tranquillity (samatha)
and Insight (vipassanaa) must be wisely developed.
is the Middle Path which the Perfect One has discovered, which
makes one both to see and to know, and which leads to peace,
to discernment, to enlightenment, to Nibbaana.
following upon this path, you will put an end to suffering.
Development of the Eightfold Path in the Progress of the Disciple
and Right Thought (Second Factor)
a householder, or his son, or someone reborn in a good family,
hears the law; and after hearing the law he is filled with confidence
in the Perfect One. And filled with this confidence, he thinks:
`Full of hindrances is household life, a refuse heap; but the
homeless life (of a monk) is like the open air. Not easy is
it, when one lives at home, to fulfil in all points the rules
of the holy life. How if now I were to cut off hair and beard,
put on the yellow robe and go forth from home to the homeless
life?' And in a short time, having given up his possessions,
great or little, having forsaken a large or small circle of
relations, he cuts off hair and beard, puts on the yellow robe,
and goes forth from home to the homeless life.
(Third, Fourth, Fifth Factor)
thus left the world, he fulfils the rules of the monks. He avoids
the killing of living beings and abstains from it. Without stick
or sword, conscientious, full of sympathy, he is desirous of
the welfare of all living beings.- He avoids stealing, and abstains
from taking what is not given to him. Only what is given to
him he takes, waiting till it is given; and he lives with a
heart honest and pure.- He avoids unchastity, living chaste,
celibate and aloof from the vulgar practice of sexual intercourse.-
He avoids lying and abstains from it. He speaks the truth, is
devoted to the truth, reliable, worthy of confidence, no deceiver
of men.- He avoids tale-bearing and abstains from it. What he
has heard here, he does not repeat there, so as to cause dissension
there; and what he has heard there, he does not repeat here,
so as to cause dissension here. Thus he unites those that are
divided, and those that are united he encourages; concord gladdens
him, he delights and rejoices in concord; and it is concord
that he spreads by his words.- He avoids harsh language and
abstains from it. He speaks such words as are gentle, soothing
to the ear, loving, such words as go to the heart, and are courteous,
friendly, and agreeable to many.- He avoids vain talk and abstains
from it. He speaks at the right time, in accordance with facts,
speaks what is useful, speaks of the law and the discipline;
his speech is like a treasure, uttered at the right moment,
accompanied by arguments, moderate and full of sense.
takes food only at one time of the day (forenoon), abstains
from food in the evening, does not eat at improper times. He
leeps aloof from dance, song, music and the visiting of shows;
rejects flowers, perfumes, ointment, as well as every kind of
adornment and embellishment. High and gorgeous beds he does
not use. Gold and silver he does not accept.- He does not accept
raw corn and flesh, women and girls, male and female slaves,
or goats, sheep, fowls, pigs, elephants, cows or horses, or
land and goods. He does not go on errands and do the duties
of a messenger. He eschews buying and selling things. He has
nothing to do with false measures, metals and weights. He avoids
the crooked ways of bribery, deception and fraud. He has no
part in stabbing, beating, chaining, attacking. plundering and
contents himself with the robe that protects his body, and with
the alms bowl by means of which he keeps himself alive. Wherever
he goes. he is provided with these two things; just as a winged
bird in flying carries his wings along with him. By fulfilling
this noble Domain of Morality (siila-kkhandha) he feels in his
heart an irreproachable happiness.
of the Senses (Sixth Factor)
in perceiving a form with the eye- a sound with the ear- an
odour with the nose- a taste with the tongue- an impression
with the body- an object with the mind, he cleaves neither to
the whole, nor to its details. And he tries to ward off that
which should he be unguarded in his senses, might give rise
to evil and unwholesome states, to greed and sorrow; he watches
over his senses, keeps his senses under control. By practising
this noble `Control of the Senses' (indriya-sa.mvara) he feels
in his heart an unblemished happiness.
and Clear Comprehension (Seventh Factor)
is mindful and acts with clear comprehension when going and
coming; when looking forward and backward; when bending and
stretching his limbs; when wearing his robes and alms-bowl;
when eating, drinking, chewing and tasting; when discharging
excrement and urine: when walking, standing, sitting, falling
asleep and awakening; when speaking and keeping silent.
being equipped with this lofty `Morality' (siila), equipped
with this noble `Control of the Senses' (indriya-sa.mvara),
and filled with this noble, `Mindfulness and Clear Comprehension'
(sati-sampajaŮŮa), he chooses a secluded dwelling in the forest,
at the foot of a tree, on a mountain, in a cleft, in a rock
cave, on a burial ground, on a wooded table-land, in the open
air, or on a heap of straw. Having returned from his alms-round,
after the meal, he seats himself with legs crossed, body erect,
with mindfulness fixed before him.
of the Five Hindrances (niivara.na)
has cast away `Lust' (kaamacchanda); he dwells with a heart
free from lust; from lust he cleanses his heart.
has cast away `Ill-will' (vyaapaada); he dwells with a heart
free from ill-will; cherishing love and compassion toward all
living beings, he cleanses his heart from ill-will.
has cast away `Torpor and Sloth' (thiinamiddha); he dwells free
from torpor and sloth; loving the light, with watchful mind,
with clear comprehension, he cleanses his mind from torpor and
has cast away `Restlessness and Mental Worry' (uddhacca-kukkucca);
dwelling with mind undisturbed, with heart full of peace, he
cleanses his mind from restlessness and mental worry.
has cast away `Doubt' (vicikicchaa); dwelling free from doubt,
full of confidence in the good, he cleanses his heart from doubt.
Absorptions (Eighth Factor)
has put aside these five `Hindrances' (niivara.na), the corruptions
of the mind which paralyse wisdom. And far from sensual impressions,
far from evil things, he enters into the Four Absorptions (jhaana).
(vipassanaa) (First Factor)
whatsoever there is of corporeality, feeling, perception, mental
formations, or consciousness: all these phenomena he regards
as `impermanent' (anicca), `subject to pain' (dukkha). as infirm,
as an ulcer, a thorn, a misery, a burden, an enemy, a disturbance,
as empty and `void of an Ego' (anattaa); and turning away from
these things, he directs his mind towards the Deathless thus;
`This, truly, is Peace, this is the Highest, namely the end
of all Karma formations, the forsaking of every substratum of
rebirth, the fading away of craving, detachment, extinction,
Nibbaana. And in this state he reaches the `cessation of passions'
his heart becomes free from sensual passion (kaam'aasava), free
from the passion for existence (bhav'aasava), free from the
passion of ignorance (avijj'aasava), `Freed am I!' this knowledge
arises in the liberated one ; and he knows: `Exhausted is rebirth,
fulfilled the Holy Life; what was to be done, has been done;
naught remains more for this world to do'.
ever am I liberated.
is the last time that I'm born,
new existence waits for me.
is, indeed, the highest, holiest wisdom: to know that all
suffering has passed away. This
is. indeed, the highest, holiest peace: appeasement of greed,
hatred and delusion.
am' is a vain thought; `This am I' is a vain thought; `I
shall be' is a vain thought; `I shall not be' is a vain
thought. Vain thoughts are a sickness, an ulcer, a thorn.
But after overcoming all vain thoughts, one is called `a
silent thinker'. And the thinker, the Silent One, does no
more arise, no more pass away, no more tremble, no more
desire. For there is nothing in him whereby he should arise
again. And as he arises no more, how should he grow old
again? And as he grows old no more how should he die again?
And as he dies no more, how should he tremble? And as he
trembles no more, how should he have desire'?
the purpose of the Holy Life does not consist in acquiring
alms, honour, or fame, nor in gaining morality, concentration,
or the eye of knowledge. That unshakable deliverance of
the heart: that, indeed, is the object of the Holy Life,
that is its essence, that is its goal.
those, who in the past were Holy and Enlightened Ones, those
Blessed Ones also have pointed out to their disciples this
self-same goal as has been pointed out by me to my disciples.
And those who in the future will be Holy and Enlightened
Ones, those Blessed Ones also will point out to their disciples
this self-same goal as has been pointed out by me to my
disciples, it may be that (after my passing away) you might
think: `Gone is the doctrine of our master. We have no Master
more'. But thus you should not think; for the `Law' (dhamma)
and the `Discipline' (vinaya) which I have taught you, will
after my death be your master.
The Law be your isle,
Law be your refuge!
for no other refuge!
Therefore, disciples, the doctrines which I taught you after
having penetrated them myself, you should well preserve,
well guard, so that this Holy life may take its course and
continue for ages, for the weal and welfare of the many,
as a consolation to the world, for the happiness, weal and
welfare of heavenly beings and men.
selection for further study
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C. Warren. Buddhism in Translations. 496 pp. Harvard
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PubIished at 91/1 Dutugemunu St., Dehiwala, Ceylon.
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