Buddhawajana FAQ

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What does it mean by the mind can only engage on one element at a time?

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Saturday Night 22nd January 2011

Dhamma talk by Venerable Kukrit 

Watnapahpong Temple, Pathumthani, Thailand

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Related Suttas

Engage means unliberated, Disengage means liberated

 

At Savatthi. "Bhikkhus, one who is engaged is unliberated; one who is disengaged is liberated. Consciousness, bhikkhus, while standing, might stand engaged with form; based upon form, established upon form, with a sprinkling of delight, it might come to growth, increase, and expansion. Or consciousness, while standing, might stand [engaged with feeling ... engaged with perception ... ] engaged with volitional formations; based upon volitional formations, established upon volitional formations, with a sprinkling of delight, it might come to growth, increase, and expansion.

"Bhikkhus, though someone might say: 'Apart from form, apart from feeling, apart from perception, apart from volitional formations, I will make known the coming and going of consciousness, its passing away and rebirth, its growth, increase, and expansion' - that is impossible.

"Bhikkhus, if a bhikkhu has abandoned lust for the form element, with the abandoning of lust the basis is cut off: there is no support for the establishing of consciousness. If he has abandoned lust for the feeling element ... for the perception element ... for the volitional formations element ... for the consciousness element, with the abandoning of lust the basis is cut off: there is no support for the establishing of consciousness.

"When that consciousness is unestablished, not coming to growth, nongenerative, it is liberated. By being liberated, it is steady; by being steady, it is content; by being content, he is not agitated. Being unagitated, he personally attains Nibbana. He understands: 'Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being."'

Bhikkhu Bodhi (trans.) (2000).

The Connected Discourses of the Buddha:

A Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya.

Boston: Wisdom Publications.

ISBN 978-0-86171-331-8.

[Engagement p. 890-891]

The three kinds of Feelings

 

"There are, Aggivessana, three kinds of feeling: pleasant feeling, painful feeling, and neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. On the occasion when one feels pleasant feeling, one does not feel painful feeling or neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling; on that occasion one feels only pleasant feeling. On the occasion when one feels painful feeling, one does not feel pleasant feeling or neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling; on that occasion one feels only painful feeling. On the occasion when one feels neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, one does not feel pleasant feeling or painful feeling; on that occasion one feels only neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling.

"Pleasant feeling, Aggivessana, is impermanent, conditioned, dependently arisen, subject to destruction, vanishing, fading away, and ceasing. Painful feeling too is impermanent, conditioned, dependently arisen, subject to destruction, vanishing, fading away, and ceasing. Neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling too is impermanent, conditioned, dependently arisen, subject to destruction, vanishing, fading away, and ceasing.

"Seeing thus, a well-taught noble disciple becomes disenchanted with pleasant feeling, disenchanted with painful feeling, disenchanted with neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. Being disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion [his mind] is liberated. When it is liberated there comes the knowledge: 'It is liberated.' He understands: 'Birth is destroyed, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more coming to any state of being.'

"A bhikkhu whose mind is liberated thus, Aggivessana, sides with none and disputes with none; he employs the speech currently used in the world without adhering to it."

Bhikkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi (trans.) (1995).

The Middle Length

Discourses of the Buddha:

A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya.

Boston:Wisdom Publications

ISBN 978-0-86171-072-0.

[Dighanakha Sutta No.10-13 p. 605-606]

 

Seeds

 

"Bhikkhus, the four stations of consciousness should be seen as like the earth element. Delight and lust should be seen as like the water element. Consciousness together with its nutriment should be seen as like the five kinds of seeds.

"Consciousness, bhikkhus, while standing, might stand engaged with form; based upon form, established upon form, with a sprinkling of delight, it might come to growth, increase, and expansion. Or consciousness, while standing, might stand engaged with feeling . . . engaged with perception . . . engaged with volitional formations; based upon volitional formation, established upon volitional formations, with a sprinkling of delight, it might come to growth, increase, and expansion.

"Bhikkhus, though someone might say: 'Apart from form apart from feeling, apart from perception, apart from volitional formations, I will make known the coming and going of consciousness, its passing away and rebirth, its growth, increase, and expansion'- that is impossible.

"Bhikkhus, if a bhikkhu has abandoned lust for the form element, with the abandoning of lust the basis is cut off: there is no support for the establishing of consciousness. If he has abandoned lust for the feeling element ... for the perception element ... for the volitional formations element ... for the consciousness element, with the abandoning of lust the basis is cut off: there is no support for the establishing of consciousness.

"When that consciousness is unestablished, not coming to growth, nongenerative, it is liberated. By being liberated, it is steady, by being steady, it is content; by being content, he is not agitated.  Being unagitated, he personally attains Nibbana. He understands: 'Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had todone has been done, there is no more for this state of being."'

Bhikkhu Bodhi (trans.) (2000).

The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: 

A Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya.

Boston: Wisdom Publications. 

ISBN 978-0-86171-331-8. [Seeds p. 891-892]

The Uninstructed

 

"Bhikkhus, the uninstructed worldling might experience revulsion towards this body composed of the four great elements; he might become dispassionate towards it and be liberated from it. For what reason?  Because growth and decline is seen in this body composed of the four great elements, it is seen being taken up and laid aside. Therefore the uninstructed worldling might experience revulsion towards this body composed of the four great elements; he might become dispassionate towards

it and be liberated from it.

"But, bhikkhus, as to that which is called 'mind' and 'mentality' and 'consciousness' -the uninstructed worldling is unable to experience revulsion towards it, unable to become dispassionate towards it and be liberated from it. For what reason? Because for a long time this has been held to by him, appropriated, and grasped thus: 'This is mine, this I am, this is my self.' Therefore the uninstructed worldling is unable to experience revulsion towards it, unable to become dispassionate towards it and be liberated from it.

"It would be better, bhikkhus, for the uninstructed worldling to take as self this body composed of the four great elements rather than the mind. For what reason? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for one year, for two years, for three, four, five, or ten years, for twenty, thirty, forty, or fifty years, for a hundred years, or even longer.’ But that which is called 'mind' and 'mentality' and 'consciousness' arises as one thing and ceases as another by day and by night. Just as a monkey roaming through a forest grabs hold of one branch, lets that go and grabs another, then lets that go and grabs still another, so too that which is called 'mind' and 'mentality' and 'consciousness' arises as one thing and ceases as another by day and by night.”

Bhikkhu Bodhi (trans.) (2000).

The Connected Discourses of the Buddha:

A Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya.

Boston: Wisdom Publications.

ISBN 978-0-86171-331-8.

[Uninstructed p. 595]

 

 

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