The 7th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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A Mind Released
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Now there is a mind that is released and a mind that is not released. These are the 15th and 16th states of mind. A mind is released at various states of mind. We can have a temporary release of mind. For instance, when we meditate and tranquilise the five hindrances, there is a temporary release of mind. If there is no such release, the mind is not released. So at the lowest level, the first experience of release that you can have is a mind that is temporarily released from the five hindrances. So when the mind is in Samadhi, there is a release from the five hindrances. Then there is a higher form of release. In this Path of Insight and Wisdom, when you attain to the four fruits of the Path, at each of these stages there is a release from the defilements, from the fetters. There are 10 fetters which bring about suffering. They are:
These are the 10 fetters. These 10 fetters are destroyed in 3 stages. The first state of uprootment is at “Sovan Pala”, at the foot of stream winning. At that time, 3 of these fetters are destroyed. They are personality view, adherence to rites and rituals and doubt. So the second stage of fruition (Sakrudagami), that is in the Four Fruits of the Path, there is no fetter that is destroyed, but at the 3rd stage of Anagami or Non-Returner, two further fetters are destroyed, which I mentioned earlier, that is the desire for the pleasures of the senses and aversion. As a result he has found release from five fetters. So the other 5 fetters, the desire for the states of concentration, both of form and formless, the inherent tendency towards conceiving, restlessness and ignorance are destroyed only by an Arahant. That means by a Journey Ender. He has come to the end of his births and he is released from all these 10 fetters. So that is the highest release. So this is the highest liberation, this is the highest release. Release from these 10 fetters. There is no more to be done. There is nothing higher or more supreme than such a state.