The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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- earth kasina (paṭhavī Kasiṇa),
- water kasina (āpo Kasiṇa),
- air kasina, wind (vāyo Kasiṇa),
- Fire kasina (tejo Kasiṇa),
- blue kasina, green kasina (nīla Kasiṇa),
- yellow kasina (pīta Kasiṇa),
- red kasina (lohita Kasiṇa),
- white kasina (odāta Kasiṇa),
- enclosed space kasina, hole, aperture (ākāsa Kasiṇa),
- bright Light kasina (ā Loka Kasiṇa).
Only a slight editing has been added to these excerpts.
The Ten Kasinas
The Colour Kasina
Of these four colours the one translated as blue (nila) can also be translated as black, or brown.
The White Kasina
Then discern the thirty-two parts of the body externally in a being sitting in front of you or nearby.
Then, of those thirty-two external parts, discern just the skeleton.
If you want to discern that skeleton as repulsive you can do so too, but if you do not wish to, simply discern the skeleton.
Then, having decided which is the whitest place of that skeleton and using that place, or by taking the white of the whole skeleton if the whole skeleton is white, or by taking the back of the skull as object, concentrate on it as ‘white, white’.
Alternatively, if your mind is really sharp and you have concentrated on the internal skeleton as repulsive and reached the first jhana, then see the skeleton as white and use that as your object for preliminary development.
If you are unable or do not want to use the colour of an internal part as a kasina to reach jhana, you should take an external skeleton and use the white of that to continue to develop and meditate on.
Having taken the white of the external skeleton as object, and concentrating on the white of the skull in particular, you should practice to keep the mind calmly concentrated on that white object for one or two hours at a time.
When you are able to concentrate on the white for one or two hours, you will find that the skeleton disappears and only a white circle remains.
When the white circle is white as cotton wool it is the uggaha-nimitta (taken-up sign).
If you developed the white kasina in a past life, either during this dispensation or a previous Buddha’s dispensation, that is, if you have white kasina parami, then by just trying, and concentrating on the white circle nimitta, you will be able to attain the patibhaga-nimitta.
You should try to do this and see if you can succeed.
While you are expanding the white circle you may find that it becomes unstable.
Then you will need to go back to noting it as ‘white, white’ to make it stable.
In this way you can expand the nimitta until it is one yard in size, then two yards in size and so on. As you succeed you should go on expanding the nimitta in stages, until it extends in all ten directions around you without limit.
Thus you will reach a stage when wherever you look, you see only the white nimitta.
You should keep your mind calmly concentrated on the white kasina, and when it is stable, then just like hanging a hat on a hook, place your mind on one part of that white kasina, and keep your mind there, and continue to note it as ‘white, white’.
At that time you will have reached the first jhana.
taught the following:
So evam samahite citte parisuddhe pariyodate anavgane vigatupakkilese mudubhute kammaniye thite aneñjappatte pubbenivasanussatiñanaya cittam abhininnameti.
brilliantly bright (pariyodata),
It does not mean like that.
But if a person is a Sukkha Vipassana person then he can attain Arahant by Upacara Samadhi (neighbourhood Concentration) only, without attaining any Jhana Concentration. At that time the Buddha was not teaching this way of practice.
Whatever one wants to know then one tries to discern it.
He cannot achieve it yet.
To understand better, one should know that there are 8 Kasina:
Red Kasina and
This is the type of Jhana mentioned here.
If you have been able to develop the white kasina meditation up to the fourth jhana by using the white colour of external bones, then, in a similar way, you will be able to develop the brown (or blue) kasina based on external head hairs, the yellow kasina based on external fat or urine, and the red kasina based on external blood.
The Earth Kasina
To develop the earth kasina you should find an area of plain earth, which is reddish brown like the sky at dawn, is free from sticks, stones, and leaves, and then with a stick or some other instrument draw a circle about one foot across.
You should continue to develop this learning sign until you are able to remove the five hindrances, and attain access concentration at which time the nimitta will become the patibhaga-nimitta, and be exceedingly pure and clear.
The Water Kasina
Then develop this sign in the same way as you did for the earth kasina.
The Fire Kasina
If that is too difficult, you can make a screen with a circular hole in it about one foot across.
Put the screen in front of a wood- or grass-fire in such a way that you see only the flames through the hole.
Then develop the uggaha-nimitta in the same way.
The Wind Kasina
You can do this by developing concentration up to the fourth jhana using another kasina object, and then using your light of concentration see this movement externally, and discern the nimitta of the wind.
The Light Kasina
The light kasina can be developed by looking at the rays of light as they stream into a room through a crack in the wall and fall on the floor, or as they stream through the leaves of a tree and fall on the earth, or by looking up through the branches of a tree at the light in the sky above.
If that is too difficult, you can get an earthen pot and place a candle or a lamp inside it, and place the pot in such a way that rays of light come out of the opening of the pot and fall upon a wall.
The Space Kasina
If that is too difficult, you can make a piece of board with a circular hole in it about eight inches to one foot across.
The four immaterial states are:
1. The Base-of-Boundless-Space,
3. The Base-of-Nothingness,
4. The Base of Neither-Perception-Nor-Non-Perception.
So you should first understand by wisdom that because you have a produced body, made of materiality, you are subject to various kinds of suffering, and that if you can be free of materiality, you can also be free of the suffering dependent upon that materiality.
Having considered this and having become dispassionate towards the kasina materiality, you should develop one of the nine kasinas, such as the earth kasina, and use it to develop the fine-material jhana (rupa-jhana), up to the fourth jhana.
Since the mental formations present in the fourth jhana are the same as the mental formations in the four immaterial jhanas, you do not need to reflect on any of their disadvantages, as you did when developing the four fine-material jhanas.
Then you need to expand your nimitta, say, of the earth kasina, so that it is infinite, or as large as you wish, and then remove the kasina materiality by concentrating on the space occupied by the kasina materiality as ‘space, space’ or ‘boundless space, boundless space’.
The second immaterial jhana is the base-of-boundless-consciousness and it has as its object the base-of-boundless-space jhana-consciousness (akasanabcayatana-jhana-citta), which had boundless space as its object.
You need to continue concentrating on that sign as ‘consciousness, consciousness’ with applied thought. By doing this again and again you will find that the hindrances are suppressed, and that access concentration arises with that sign as its object. By repeated attention to that sign you will find that absorption jhana arises with that sign as its object. This is then the second immaterial jhana called the base-of-boundless-consciousness.
After that, you should reflect on the disadvantages of the base-of-boundless-consciousness, namely that: the base-of-boundless-consciousness has the base of- boundless-space as its near enemy and it is not as peaceful as the base-of-nothingness.
In this case there are two types of consciousness: the base-of-boundless-space jhana-consciousness (akasanabcayatana-jhana-citta) and the base-of-boundless-consciousness jhana-consciousness (vibba-nabcayatana-jhana-citta).
Two consciousnesses cannot arise in one mind-moment.
When the base-of-boundless-space jhana-consciousness is present as ‘arising static-passing-away’, the base-of-boundless-consciousness jhana-consciousness cannot be present as ‘arising-static-passing-away’.
You need to continue concentrating on that sign as ‘nothingness, nothingness’ with applied thought. By doing this again and again you will find that the hindrances are suppressed, and that access concentration arises with that sign as its object. By repeated attention to that sign you will find that absorption jhana arises with that sign as its object. This is then the thirdimmaterial jhana called the base-of-nothingness.
The fourth immateria jhana is the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, and it has as its object the consciousness present during the attainment of the base-of-nothingness. It is called the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception because the perception present in it is extremely subtle.
If you wish to develop the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, you must first attain the five masteries of the base-of-nothingness. After that you should reflect on the disadvantages of the base-of-nothingness, namely that: the base-of-nothingness has the base-ofboundless- consciousness as its near enemy, and it is not as peaceful as the base of neither perception- nor-non-perception. Furthermore, perception is a disease, perception is a boil, perception is a dart, the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception is peaceful.
The 14 Masteries
The 8 Samapatti are explained here briefly only.
It has already been explained previously on the attainment of 1st to 4th Jhana in Water Kasina. At that stage the Water Kasina is already expanded to the end of the universe or to the infinite universe. Then without paying attention on the Water Kasina, pay attention only on the space (Akasa) at the place where the Water Kasina touches. If the meditator is not successful in practising thus, then if he shines by his light at the middle of the Water Kasina, he will find the space (Akasa) there. Then, paying attention only on the space, the Water Kasina is removed.
Only the space (Akasa) will widen gradually. In this way practise Akasanañcayatana Jhana, Viññanañcayatana Jhana, Akiñcaññayatana Jhana and NevaSaññaNaSaññayatana Jhana stage by stage successively. This is the practise to acquire control or mastery over the mind.
The next one is Tejo Kasina (Fire Kasina). Having attained the 4th Jhana of Fire Kasina one can continue to attain all 8 Samapatti based on it successively. In the same way the meditator has to practise to attain the 8 Samapatti based on the other Kasina also, which are;
That is to say he enters into each of the 8 Samapatti of
Red Kasina and
He must remember the order carefully. It is mentioned that the meditator should practise in this order for a hundred times, a thousand times. (Vism. XII,3)
This is practising the Kasina in reverse order.
White kasina is the last kasina in series. But now begin by entering into each of the 8 Samapatti successively based on White Kasina first. After that enter into each of the 8 Samapatti based on Red Kasina; followed by Yellow Kasina, Brown Kasina, Wind Kasina, Fire Kasina, Water Kasina and Earth Kasina. Practise in this reverse order as many times as 100 times, 1000 times.
This is practising the Kasina in forward and reverse order. The meditator first enter into all the 8 Samapatti from Earth Kasina to White Kasina successively. Then he enters it from White Kasina to Earth Kasina in reverse order. He practises in this forward order and then reverse order many times.
This is practising the Jhana in forward order. Say, in Earth Kasina enter into the 1st Jhana; after that 2nd Jhana, then 3rd Jhana, then 4th Jhana, then Akasanañcayatana Jhana, then Viññanañcayatana Jhana, then Akiñcaññayatana Jhana, and then NevaSaññaNaSaññayatana Jhana. Enter into the 8 Samapatti successively in Earth Kasina. Practise in the same way for all the other remaining Kasina.
After that he enters into its Akiñcaññayatana Jhana; after that, Viññanañcayatana Jhana; then Akasanañcayatana Jhana; after that he enters into the Rupavacara 4th Jhana; then 3rd Jhana; then 2nd Jhana; then 1st Jhana.
Thus he practises in reverse order. If he is not able to practise in this way, then how should he do? He should practrise from the beginning again. Practise thoroughly & successively.
When the momentum of the practice becomes powerful, then pick up the NevaSaññaNaSaññayatana Jhana again from there; after that descend to the other Jhana in reverse order. One can practise in this way.
If successful then change to the next one.
This is practising the Jhana in forward and reverse order.
- This is to practise by skipping the Jhana; that is skipping every other Jhana in the Jhana sequence. For example, in the Earth Kasina enter into its 1st Jhana.
Continue by entering into its Akiñcaññayatana Jhana.
Altogether, he has now entered into 4 of the Jhana.
Practise in this way of skipping every other Jhana again and again.
- This is to practise by skipping the Kasina. The meditator enters into the 1st Jhana of Earth Kasina.
Also, he practises similarly in 3rd Jhana, 4th Jhana, Akasanañcayatana Jhana, Viññanañcayatana Jhana, Akiñcaññayatana Jhana, and NevaSaññaNaSaññayatana Jhana. He enters into the Jhanas by skipping the Kasina. Practise this again and again.
In the same way, one can practise another different round again if he is able to.
For example, enter into the 2nd Jhana of Earth Kasina, followed by 4th Jhana of Fire Kasina; then Viññanañcayatana Jhana based on Brown Kasina; and then NevaSaññaNaSaññayatana Jhana based on Red Kasina.
This is defining the Jhana factors.
Then enter into the 2nd Jhana.
Then enter into Akasanañcayatana Jhana, Viññanañcayatana Jhana, Akincaññayatana Jhana and NevaSaññaNaSaññayatana Jhana successively and at each time define the 2 Jhana factors (equanimity and one pointedness) which is present in all the 4 Arupa Jhana.
After that define its object as "This is Earth Kasina". Similarly enter into its 2nd Jhana, 3rd Jhana, 4th Jhana, Akasanañcayatana Jhana, Viññanañcayatana Jhana, Akincaññayatana Jhana and NevaSaññaNaSaññayatana Jhana successively.
Now, the 14 ways of mastery are completed. In this monastery, these 14 ways of practice are taught to the meditator only after he has realized the Peaceful Element, having meditated on these Jhana Samapatti by the 2 methods of Vipassana meditation:
Why is this so? Due to the power of the Samapatti (i.e. the Concentration), the Vipassana nana (insight Knowledge) becomes sharp. Also, because of the power of Vipassana nana, the Samapatti becomes more stable.
If the insight becomes sharp and if changing to the insight at passing away only stage, then meditating only on the perishing away of each mental factors as Anicec, Dukkha, Anatta is also called Anupada Vipassana.
Then, not meditating on the mental factors individually but by meditating on the 34 mental factors (of 1st Jhana) collectively as Anicca, their nature of arising and passing away; as Dukkha, their nature of being constantly oppressed by arising and passing away; as ,Anatta, having no soul, no indestructible essence is called Kalapa Sammasana Vipassana method or Neyya Vipassana method.
It is found that it is easy to teach (the 14 ways) to the meditator who has meditated on the 3 characteristic (Anicca Dukkha Anatta) of the 8 Samapatti by the Anupada Dhamma Vipassana and Kalapa Sammasana Vipassana methods thoroughly.
But, accordingly to the Commentary, generally only one in a hundred or a thousand may be successful.
After training the mind by these 14 ways the meditator can change to the Pychic Powers. However it is mentioned that before that one should practise these 14 ways for a hundred times, a thousand times, for many times.
Similarly the mind that has been well trained by the 14 way (and after it has re-entered into the 4th Jhana as the Basis Jhana ) is pure (parisuddha), brilliantly bright (pariyodata) free from lust (anavgana),
That is, (recollecting) one live, two lives, three lives, four lives, five lives, ten lives, twenty lives, thirty lives, forty lives, fifty lives, a hundred lives, a thousand lives, a hundred thousand lives, many Samvatta Kappa, many Vivatta Kappa. If he discerns a past live then he knows exactly the following concerning that past live:
3) Evam Vanno - the complexion then; whether he was handsome or not in that live
He can discern like that from one past live to another; one after another.
This is a Sutta where the Buddha taught that a disciple of the Buddha (Savaka) can attain Recollection of Past Lives by teaching it as the 11th cause for one to be called a 'monk', a samana. Then the Buddha further taught about it by mentioning a parable.
In that second village I stood in such a way, sat in such a way, spoke in such a way, became silent in such a way. And from that second village I went to the third village.
In that third village I stood in such a way, sat in such a way, spoke in such a way, became silent in such a way.
Then I return from that 3rd village to my own village."
There are 6 kinds of persons who can discern past lives which are:
For this sasana also there are 80 great disciples such as Venerable Ananda, Venerable Maha Kassapa, Ven. Maha Kaccana etc.., including Ven. Sariputta and Ven.Maha Moggallana each of whom are entitled foremost in their own qualities.
Titthiya are those who adopt non-Sasana teachings.
It is also mentioned in the Text.
There is a reason to mention them. If even those of other sectarians (Titthiya) can attain Jhana and Abhiñña then how can one say that in the Buddha Sasana, where there is a systematic method of practice, Jhana and Abhiñña cannot be achieved (if one trains and practise towards it)?
How long is the period of one world cycle (Kappa)? The heaping up of the bones of one living being who has been reborn and died, repeatedly, one life after another in one world cycle can be as high as Vepulla Mountain.
One is not able to count it by the day or month or year. However, when they start to eat the fertile top soil, their life span become shorter and shorter until 10 years in life span, with much defilements such as Raga Moha Dosa and much killing then.
How long will it be in destruction?
The period of destruction will also be 64 times. After the destruction, having nothing in the expanse is also as long as 64 times.
Since only after 64 times of intermediatory world cycle (Antara Kappa) our world will be destroyed, a present-day meditator can discern the period when the contraction or shortening of the life span happened.
(Vism) In the mental process of the other sectarians (Titthiya) it is devoid of the wisdom which distinguishes physical phenomena and mental factors (NanaRupaPariccheda) therefore their wisdom is very weak.
Here there are some points that need to be explained for general Knowledge.
However there are unique cases.
Similarly, in the case of Yasodhara Their.
The meditator who is going to practise Recollection of Past Lives should know the fact that an ordinary disciple (Pakati Savaka) can discern past lives by means of succession of aggregates, Khandha (Vism. XIII, 17).
Without discerning the middle (the life period) but discerning towards the past with the intention to know only deaths and rebirths (Cuti Patisandhi), he sees only the deaths and rebirths successively, one after the other: death then rebirth, death then rebirth; or rebirth then death, rebirth then death.
Therefore the power of light is not the same.
Then one may ask, 'Which Kasina should he choose to enter into the Jhana?' In this stage the meditator has already practised the Jhanas – which are Basis for the Abhiñña – skillfully by the 14 ways of Mastery.
As the meditator has already been successful in discerning the past lives' Avijja, Tanha, Upadana, Sankhara, Kamma when he practised Vipassana, he can now discern the NamaRupa backwards towards the past, beginning with the latest NamaRupa in the actions of sitting down.
The meditator can discern backwards, towards the past by one of these four objects of Recollection of Past Lives. In discerning the latest act in sitting down he can discern exactly how he bends; how he stretches, how he sits.
If not he can discern the Mundane Mental Physical Phenomena of that sitting. This is what it means.
Then, he further reflects on the preparation of the seat, before he sat down; on entering into the lodging before he sat down; on keeping the alms bowl and robe; on the period of eating; on the period of returning from the village; on the period of wandering for alms in the village; on the period of entering the village for almsround; on the period of leaving the monastery; on the period of paying homage at the pagoda platform and the Bodhi tree platform; on the period of washing the alms bowl, before going out for alms round; on the period of receiving the alms bowl; on the things done from the time of receiving the alms bowl backwards till the time of washing the mouth i.e. washing the face; on the things done in the early morning; on things done at midnight; on things done at night; in this way he reflects on all things done during the whole day and whole night in reverse order (Vism.).
However if the consciousness is accompanied with Parikamma Samadhi then it is clearer. It is extremely clear (Vism.). In this case Parikamma Samadhi is the Parikamma (preliminary) practised as the Basis of Abhiñña. If while discerning in this reverse order towards the past if something is not clear to the insight what should be done? (Vism. XIII 23)- The meditator should again enter into the 4th Jhana concentration which is the Basis for Abhiñña. If the light becomes powerful then he reflects again.
When the light becomes powerful then it is just like a good eyesight person being able to see the various objects in the dark by lighting an oil lamp. This light can shine to see the appearances or forms of the past lives. Concerning about this, the subcommentary (to Vism.) mentioned this: (Padakajjhanam hi satthakkhassa viya nissandassa silam sati paññampi nissita bhava vaham) The basis Jhana (PadakaJhana) is just like the whetstone for sharpening knives. The 4th Jhana Basis for Abhiñña has the power to sharpen mindfulness (sati) and wisdom (pañña).
This is because they are matured by entering into the 4th Jhana. The 4th Jhana is entered not only just now. As one has already practised the 14 masteries repeatedly, the power of the 4th Jhana is matured. That is why if enter into the 4th Jhana again then the power to sharpen mindfulness and wisdom arises again. Therefore the Commentary mentioned that it is like lighting an oil lamp with the intention that the person with good eyesight could see the things in the dark.
From these explanations, it means that the Parikamma Samadhi consciousness has the power of light. Therefore the subcommentary to the Pacalayamana Sutta (Anguttana Nikaya) mentioned the light of Parikamma Samadhi (parikammalokopiva) as one of the 4 kinds of light of wisdom.
Among the 3 levels of concentration at the Samatha stage:
Upacara Samadhi and
When the past appear or one of the 4 objects of this Abhiñña become clear by means of this light the meditator reflects on the things done, in other words the objects which arose in the past, 2 days ago, 3 days ago, 4 days ago, 5 days ago, 10 days ago, half a month ago, one month ago, 1year ago, 2years ago etc. In this way he should reflect on the past 10 years, 20 years until as far back as his own rebirth consciousness (Patisandhi) in this life. Discern how many Rupa Dhamma (Physical Phenomena) and NamaDhamma (Mental Phenomena) are there in the rebirth Patisandhi.
The meditator by then has already been discerning the NamaRupa before reaching rebirth consciousness when he reflected on all 4 objects (of Pubbenivasanussati ñana) in reverse order. After discerning the NamaRupa of rebirth consciousness (Patisandhi), it is further instructed then to reflect on the occurring Mental Physical Phenomena (Pavattita NamaRupa) at the moment of death (Cuti Khana) in the preceding past life.
According to these two instructions, the righteous one who is going to practise this Abhiñña should have attained at least NamaRupa Pariccheda ñana (Insight Knowledge of Discerning Physical Phenomena and Mental Factors). He needs to realize Physical Phenomena and Mental Factors. "How should the Physical Phenomena (Rupa) be discerned? What is Physical Phenomena? How should the Mental Factors (Nama) be discerned? What is mental Factors?" The meditator needs to realize at least this much. Is it possible to understand this technique (of recollection of Past Lives) without realizing at least the Physical and Mental Phenomena? It is not possible. The wise meditator will be able to discern the NamaRupa at the death moment of the preceding past life, even for the first time of practising (this Abhiñña) stage.
The subcommentary explained an interesting fact concerning this stage. The ‘occurring mental physical phenomena (Pavattita NamaRupa)’ means the mental physical phenomena which are occurring in one because of their respective causes (Pavattita namarupanti attano paccayehi pavattita namarupam).
Among these two -- Mental Phenomena and Physical Phenomena – that are occurring of the moment of death, which one should be discerned first? It is instructed to discern the Physical Phenomena (Rupa) first and after that the Mental Phenomena (Nama) subsequently. However the Apare Teachers instructed to discern firstly the Mental Phenomena and then the Physical Phenomena afterwards. These two methods can be used, according to one's own ability. After discerning the Physical Phenomena, the meditator must then discern the Mental Phenomena.
Similarly for those who discerned the Mental Phenomena first must continue to discern the Physical Phenomena. Both Physical Phenomena and mental Phenomena must be discerned. As it mentioned above, the wise meditator is able to discern both Mental and Physical Phenomena. What kind of "wise person" does it mean? 'Wise person' means the person who had accumulated the (Adhikara) main merits which are the basis for Abhiñña. He is the person who had practised and accumulated the Parami for Abhiñña in the past. He may be the one who has already attained the Abhiñña then or the one who has not attained it yet but is still practising the Basis for Abhiñña then.
If one is unable to discern the Mental Physical Phenomena occurring at the death moment (cuti) correctly and if he proceed with the Recollection of Past Lives then the situation will be like that of the other sectarians (Titthiya). As the insight of Mental Physical Phenomena is not clear, he can discern only some of the Kappa.
The explanation (in the subcommentary) for ‘another one has arisen’ (Aññam uppannam) is that the mental physical phenomena which occurred in the past life ceased totally in the past (Aññam uppannam idam aññasma kamabhava añño upapatti bhavo uppannoti vuttam addha paccuppannantara bhavato [subcommentary to Vism]). The mental physical phenomena that arise in the present life are not the same ones. How do they (the present ones) arise? Due to the Avijja, Tanha, Upadana, Sankhara, Kamma in the past life (or, in other words, due to the Kamma accumulated in the past life), the Patisandhi mental physical phenomena called Upapatti Bhava (rebirth) arise in the present life. Did the mental physical phenomena that occurred at the death moment in the preceding past life cross over to this side (i.e. to this present life)? No, they did not.
The discernment of physical mental phenomena that occurred at the death moment of the preceding past life may be in total darkness. It is something very difficult to be seen by those lacking in wisdom [Vism. 25].
The meditator who does not have the ability to discern the mental physical phenomena that occurred at the death moment of the preceding [[[Wikipedia:past|past]] life)] should not give up the discernment [Vism.]. Then what should he do?
He should enter into the fourth Jhana concentration, which is the basis for Abhiñña, again and again repeatedly [Vism.]. There is an advice concerning it. If one finds some difficulties at this stage he should get the help of Aloka Kasina, Light Kasina (i.e. he should enter into the fourth Jhana of Light Kasina).
In some cases when the Buddha taught about White Kasina then the Light Kasina is included. Also in some cases when the Akasanañcayatana Jhana is taught then Space Kasina (Akasa Kasina) is included. Therefore in some cases only eight Kasina are mentioned. Thus, for some meditatiors, if they establish their concentration by White Kasina then the light can be very powerful. Although the Light is very powerful by entering into White Kasina, if the meditator is still not able to discern the mental physical phenomena which occurred at he death moment of the preceding past life then he should enter into the Light Kasina again. When the light that arise through the wisdom accompanied with the fourth Jhana concentration becomes very powerful, then shine and discern again by using this Light.
As he ‘re-practise’ repeatedly for the light of the fourth Jhana concentration to become powerful, he should reflect on that death moment after each emergence again and again [Vism. 25]. A parable is given concerning this:- A strong man wanted to make a big pinnacle; so he chopped at a very big tree for making the pillar to support the pinnacle. Firstly he chopped at the branches. In doing so his axe became blunted. He was no longer able to use it to chop at the tree. At that time that person should not give up; but should go to the blacksmith to have the axe sharpen. Then he continued to chop the tree. If the axe becomes blunt again then he should again go to the blacksmith as before. When the axe is sharpen he continues to chop at the tree. If he chops again and again like that and when the axe is blunt again he would again goes to the have it sharpen again and again then there will be a time when this big tree will be fallen down [Vism. 26].
Like this parable, after emerging from the fourth Jhana which is the basis for Abhiñña then without discerning the mental physical phenomena backwards from the present (since the meditator initially has already been able to discern the mental physical phenomena up till the present life’s rebirth patisandhi systematically) only discern the mental physical phenomena at the present life’s rebirth Patisandhi. After discerning it then in not a long time, leaving aside the discernment of the mental physical phenomena of the rebirth Patisandhi, direct the light to the other side (i.e. the past life). Then he can discern the mental physical phenomena which occurred at the death moment in the preceding past life.
The discernment beginning from the latest bodily actions in sitting down, backwards until the mental physical phenomena of the present life’s rebirth Patisandhi cannot be called Knowledge of Recollection of Past Lives yet. It is only the wisdom accompanied with Parikamma Samadhi [Vism 27]. Then, when is the [[Knowledge of Recollection of Past [ives]] attained? The meditator who has passed the discernment of the rebirth Patisandhi of this side (i.e. of this present life) then discern the mental physical phenomena at the death of moment of that side (i.e. of the preceding past life). When he can discern it then the Manodvarika Javana Vithi Citta)] mind process which is knowing the mental physical phenomena of the death moment arise in the Hadaya Vatthu.
Its occurrence is like this: Manodvaravajjana arise for one mind moment; after it has ceased there arise Javana (which take the death moment as object) for four or five mind moments. The first four Javana which are Kamavacara Sensual Realm mental process are Parikamma—Upacara— Anuloma—Gotrabhu (Preliminary—Access—Conformity—Change of Lineage). The last Javana Citta is Appana Javana Citta accompanied with the fourth Jhana called Catuttha Jhanika.
The wisdom which is knowing the mental physical phenomena of the death moment in the preceding past life and which is accompanying the Appana Javana Citta is called Pubbenivasanussati ñana, the Knowledge of Recollection of Past Lives. It arises for one mind moment only. It is the wisdom accompanying the [[Catuttha Jhana Javana Citta that arise for one mind moment only.
The Abhiñña Javana arise for one mind moment only. This one mind moment Javana Citta, as it is accompanied with the fourth Jhana, has 31 mental factors. Wisdom mental factor (paññindriya) is included in these 31 mental factors. This wisdom is called Knowledge of Recollection of Past Lives.
Through the mindfulness (sati) accompanied with this wisdom one can recollect the processes of the aggregates in the past. The mindfulness recollecting the processes of the aggregates in the past is accompanied with the Pubbenivasanussati ñana (Knowledge of Recollection of Past Lives). It can recollect 100 lives, 1000 lives, many thousands lives, the aeons (Kappa) [Vism. XIII, 27].
Now let us look at what the commentary mentioned about the Kappa in brief. There are three kinds of destruction of Kappa: destruction by water, destruction by fire and destruction by wind. There are also three kinds of the limitations of the destruction: destruction until Abhassara, until Subhakinha and until Vehapphala. ……………………. The above mentioned (i.e. the destruction, the beginning and the evolution of the world systems) are included in the objects of Recollection of Past Lives.
(Anekepi samvatta kappe anekepi vivattakappe anekepi samvatta vivattakappe) – Many destruction of world systems (samvatta kappa), many beginnings (vivattakappa), many destruction and beginnings (samvatta vivattakappa) can be discerned. A total of this 4: the destruction, the period of destruction, the beginning, the period of beginning is called one Kappa.
Great disciples (maha savaka) can discern 1 lakh Kappa. The 2 Eminent disciples (Agga savaka) are able to discern one incalculable age (sankheyya) and 1 lakh kappa. Therefore the meditator who is going to practise the Recollection of Past Lives needs to train the mind to be subtle and supple by the 14 ways of mastery. If however the practice is not good and the light becomes weaken, what should he do? He should establish his fourth Jhana concentration again.
Before proceeding further on our topic there are some points I would like to explain to you. It is possible that one can regress from the Abhiñña. It is also possible that one can regress from Jhana concentration. Concerning regression from Jhana concentration, the Jhana concentration is established by meditating on the Patibhaga Nimitta of a Kasina. If the Kasina nimitta disappear then one regress from the Jhana concentration. Let us take the example of White Kasina practised here. [[Meditating on the [[White Kasina, the White Nimitta may disappear and the Jhana concentration regressed. Then what should the meditator do? He should look for (the cause for) the arising of the nimitta circle.
After the Buddha had taught about the 11th cause for one to be called a ‘monk’, a ‘samana’, a ‘brahmana’, he then continued to teach the 12th cause: So evam samahite citte parisuddhe pariyodate anavgane vigatupakkilese mudubhute kammaniye thite aneñjappatte sattanam cutupapatañanaya cittam abhininnameti.
(Translation: And he with mind thus concentrated, pure, brilliantly bright, free from lust, free from defilements, pliant, adaptable, stable and unshakable, he inclines the mind to the knowledge of the passing away and arising of beings)
Immediately before practising the Recollection of Past Lives, the meditator has already practised the fourth Jhana concentration to fulfil the 8 factors which are: the mind being pure, bright, free from lust, free from defilements, supple, adaptable to the meditation, stable and unshakable. Therefore in this stage, after establishing the fourth Jhana concentration and fulfilling these 8 factors, the meditator inclines his mind to the Knowledge of divine eye (Dibba Cakkhu), also called the Knowledge of Death (cuti) and Rebirth (patisandhi) of Living Beings (cutupapatañana).
The meditator has the power to choose what he wants to know. He needs to choose what he wants to discern. If he wants to discern past lives then he inclines his mind to the Knowledge of Recollection of Past Lives in reverse. Therefore, in this stage, if he wants to know the death and rebirth of living beings then he needs to incline his mind towards the Knowledge of the Death and Rebirth of Living Beings (cutupapatañana) which is included in the Abhiñña of divine eye. The meditator has the privilege to choose. The mind has this power which is used by the meditator.
At the stage of Recollection of Past Lives, the wisdom which knows the mental physical phenomena of the past beginning from the last sitting actions, backwards till many past lives arises. The meditator who has attained the Abhiñña of Recollection of Past Lives has already attained the Insight Knowledge of Discerning Mental Physical Phenomena (Namarupa pariccheda nana). When one attains the Knowledge of Divine eye, what does he see? He sees living beings at the stages of death and at the stages of rebirth; he sees living beings that are inferior & superior; beautiful & ugly; those that have attained birth in one of the four woeful states. He sees living beings reaching (i.e. being reborn in) the respective realms according to their Kamma. Therefore in this stage it involves the Insight Knowledge of Discerning Causal Relationship (paccayapariggaha nana) which discerns Kamma and its effect (So dibbena cakkhuna visuddhena atikkantamanusakena satte passati cavamane upapajjamane hine panite suvanne dubbanne sugate duggate, yatha kammupage satte pajanati).
It is mentioned that the meditator who is practising Vipassana meditation should know some of the Kamma and its effect. To know all the Kamma and all the effects totally is the scope of Buddha’s Omniscient Knowledge (Sabbannuta); it is not the scope of disciples (savaka) [Vism. XIX, 17].
The Insight Knowledge of Discerning Causal Relationship (paccayapariggaha nana) can never be fulfilled without knowing any Kamma and its effect at all; that is, the Insight Knowledge of Discerning Causal Relationship can never be attained [Vism.]. Therefore, there is connection between the Insight Knowledge of Discerning Causal Relationship and Kamma & its effect. The meditator who attains divine eye Abhiñña also can attain the Insight Knowledge of Discerning Causal Relationship. He can see not only his own physical mental processes but he can also see living beings reaching to the various lives. He can discern the Kamma through which they reach to those lives.
What are the Kamma he sees of living beings that brings about their arising in the various realms? Some beings have immoral bodily conduct. They are not reluctant to kill others. They are not reluctant to steal. They are not reluctant to commit adultery. There are also those who have immoral speech. They are not afraid to tell lies. They are not afraid to spread malicious gossip.
Furthermore, there are those who have immoral mental conduct. They are not afraid to think of taking others’ things illegally. They are not afraid to think of harming others. They are not afraid to accept wrong beliefs. They are full of bad conduct. There are also those who wrongly accuse the Noble Ones (Ariyanam upavadaka). This Kamma is a very significant Kamma. If one has wrongly accused an Ariya Noble person, such as the Buddha, then no matter how he tries to meditate he can never attain Magga Phala. [Vism.]
Consider this: Only when the first Magga Phala is attained it can then give rise to the benefit of being free from attaining rebirth in the four Apaya woeful states. It is very difficult to escape from the four Apaya woeful states (i.e. animals, hungry ghost, hell beings, Asuras). For a being who had been reborn in the animal world, the collection of blood from each of his rebirth as animal (being slaughtered by others) is more than the water collected in the great ocean. It is taught like that in the Text. It is taught that to compare between such collection of blood and the collection of water in the great ocean, the water in the ocean is little. Therefore, it is very difficult to escape from the Apaya woeful state circle. Indeed, it is good to attain such Dhamma which can save one from getting rebirth in the Apaya woeful states.
However, if one is full of immoral conduct, not being able to stop gossiping maliciously and he also goes on wrongly accusing Ariya Noble Ones then can he attain such Dhamma that can save hime from getting rebirth in the Apaya woeful states? No he cannot. However, the Kamma of wrongly accusing Ariya Noble Ones ceased when one apologizes, asking for forgiveness. It is then no longer an obstruction to the attainment of Magga Phala. It is mentioned that he can attain Magga Phala if he then practises the meditation.
There are also those who hold wrong views, especially when they do not accept that there is such a Dhamma as Kamma & its effect. They accumulated bad Kamma when they hold wrong views. After their death, these beings are reborn in woeful states. One can see them with divine eye Abhiñña. It will be explained later concerning the method to practise it according to the Text. There are those who have good bodily conduct. They abstain from killing others, from stealing, from committing adultery. They also have good conduct in speech. They abstain from telling lies, from malicious gossip, from harsh speech, from frivolous speech. These are the good conduct followed by righteous persons. If one wants to be a righteous person but does not practise the way of a righteous person then can he become a righteous person? No he cannot.
There are also those who have good mental conduct. They do not accuse Ariya Noble Ones. They have right views especially the right view on Kamma & its effect (Kammassaka sammaditthi). Right view on Kamma & its effect is included in the right view on the Four Noble Truth. They have accumulated Kamma by having right view. The Kamma accumulated by having these good conduct will bring about rebirth in a good state (sugati) such as Deva, human beings and Brahma. [Vism.]
Therefore the meditator who has attained the Divine eye Abhiñña can see living beings reaching (i.e. being reborn in) the various realms according to their Kamma. The Buddha gave a parable concerning it. There are two houses facing each other. A man with good eyesight who is standing on the middle of the road could see people entering and leaving both houses. He could also see the people walking and busy with activities inside the houses. In the same way, a meditator with divine eye Abhiñña can see the passing away and rebirth of living beings. The Buddha taught about the practice of divine eye abhiñña. However he never mentioned that only he could attain it. He taught that a disciple (savaka) can attain such an insight if they practise according to his teachings. These teachings still exist in the Sasana now. Although the person attains this insight he has not reach the final objective yet.
It is instructed briefly in the Visuddhimagga on the method to attain this abhiñña. Concerning the method, the meditator who should have already attained the 8 Samapatti in each of the 8 Kasina proceeds to practise the 14 ways of mastery. After having practised the 14 ways of mastery, he meditates especially on Aloka Kasina (Light Kasina) and then change to the divine eye abhiñña. However at the stage of divine eye, some can see only death moment (cuti) while some can see only rebirth moment (patisandhi). For those who can see only the death moment, without seeing the rebirth of living beings can incline to accept the view that “these beings, when they die comes to an end.” They may accept the wrong view of annihilation, uccheda ditthi. As for those who see only the rebirth moment without seeing the death moment of living beings may incline to accept the wrong view of eternalism, sassata ditthi. If the meditator can see both the death moment and rebirth moment then the two views of annihilation and eternalism can be removed.
Therefore the divine eye abhiñña is one of the best ‘weapon’ to remove these 2 wrong views. It (divine eye) is a cause for the purification of view (ditthi visuddhi hetu). In the world, if one accepts wrong views then he will say and do as he likes. As for the righteous person who has realized by wisdom that “because of unwholesome Akusala Kamma one will be reborn in a bad realm” and “because of wholesome Kusala Kamma one will be reborn in a good realm” then it will not be a burden for him to abstain from immoral conduct; it is also not a burden for him to follow good conduct. Such wisdom can support one to reach a good realm. Therefore while in the rounds of Samsara this is a wisdom which gives one dependence. One should try to attain this insight. The wisdom which can discern both death and rebirth is a cause of the purification of views.
It further mentioned what the meditator see when he discerns ‘death and rebirth’. Death moment occurs at one mind moment (citta khana) only and rebirth (patisandhi) also occurs at one mind moment only. Divine eye abhiñña does not discern these 2 (i.e. the one mind moment of death and the one mind moment of rebirth). They are the concern of the recollection of past lives (pubbenivasanussati). As mentioned previously, in the recollection of past lives the meditator discerns the mental physical phenomena of the death moment (cuti khana); but it is not the concern of divine eye. From the Vipassana perspective, this concerns the stage of discerning mental physical phenomena (namarupa pariccheda nana). However, as for the stage of divine eye abhiñña, it concerns the stage of discerning causal relationship (paccaya pariggaha nana).
‘Passing away’ here means the period near death, i.e. those living beings who are on the verge of death. It is not at the death moment (cuti). Also the meditator sees the period just after Patisandhi and not at the moment of Patisandhi (Vism. XIII, 76).
Discerning like this, the meditator is able to discern inferior and superior beings. How do the inferior beings reach their inferior state? It is due to the effect of having much delusion (Vism. XIII, 77). Delusion (moha) means not knowing what is right. When their elders admonish them in accordance with the view of Kamma & its effect they do not follow. They are full of delusion. They are not able to realize that bad conduct will bring about bad effects. Such people are not able to abstain from bad conduct. They do not follow their elders’ admonishment not to do like that. On the other hand, they also have some good conduct to a certain extent only. Having much moha in their mental process, they will do both bad and good conduct accompanied with delusion.
Doing both good and bad deeds like this it is like a creeper gourd plant attacked by insects. If that plant is attacked by insects, can it grow into a strong and healthy plant? No, it cannot. Similarly, a good Kamma which is the cause for rebirth in human world is ‘attacked’ by the ‘insect’, which is unwholesome deeds (akusala). That good kamma, being surrounded by unwholesome deeds, is squeezed by it. Therefore, that good kamma cannot give rise to its full effect. It can only cause rebirth in a good realm. The effect is only that much. However, his social status is inferior, his things are inferior. In comparison with others, everything of his is inferior. He attains life as an inferior person because he accumulated inferior kamma in the past. Due to the accumulation of inferior kamma one may be reborn as an inferior human or inferior deva or inferior brahma. Even if one becomes a brahma there is difference in status among brahmas. Beings are reborn in different social class accordingly.
There are living beings who are superior. Their clan is of high status; their things are of superior quality; they have high level of education; they also have very wide general knowledge. Everything of theirs is superior. What kamma did they perform that bring about rebirth as superior beings? They accumulated kamma accompanied with wisdom which is without delusion (amoha nissandayuttatta). What wisdom is it? It is the wisdom which is the basis of performing the kamma, that is understanding kamma and its effect (kammassakata sammaditthi). [Vism. XIII 77]
From the perspective of the Four Noble Truths, this kammassakata sammaditthi is the insight which realizes penetratively that the truth of suffering (dukkha sacca) arises because of the cause of suffering (samudaya sacca). “Realize penetratively” means: firstly, one realizes the 5 khandha which exist in 11 ways (past, present, future, internal, external, etc) called dukkha sacca, as they really are; then one realizes penetratively that this 5 khandha arises due to its relevant causes: Avijja Tanha Upadana Sankhara Kamma)]. That means he has realized penetratively that dukkha sacca arises because of samudaya sacca.
If one has not attained this realization yet then it would be the faith (saddha) in it through listening to the teachings taught by the Buddha or other noble ones. This is the faith that accepts kamma & its effect through logical reasoning insight. With this right view on kamma & its effect as the predominant factor, one accumulates purified bodily, verbal and mental kamma. With these purified bodily, verbal and mental kamma as the foundation, one practises generosity, morality and meditation as much as he can. What will happen to the righteous person who accumulate these superior kamma? He will become a superior one in whichever realm he is going to be reborn. He will be in a superior status comparing with others.
Consider this: while in the rounds of rebirth, is it better to be in an inferior status or superior status? It is only ‘a little better’. It is only ‘a little better’ because beings of both inferior status and superior status are still not free from the sufferings of old age, sickness and death. Concerning our topic, the following is mentioned in the Sumana Sutta Pali and its commentary.
During Kassapa Buddha’s time there were two monks who were very close friend. However they had different opinion. One of them had the opinion that one should eat the food one got from almsround only after having shared and offered some of it to other fellow monks. As for the second monk, he had the opinion that while going on almsround one should accept just sufficient amount. One should not accept more than that. One should not waste things which are offered by the lay people out of faith; that was his opinion. The two monks discussed about their opinion without coming to a conclusion. One is not able to make the other relinquish his opinion. Eventually both was in the rounds of rebirth; sometimes they were reborn in human realm, sometimes in deva realm. For the monk who practised generosity, whenever he was reborn in the human realm he was reborn in a superior status; and whenever he was reborn in the deva realm he was reborn in a superior status. As for the monk who did not practised generosity, he was also sometimes reborn in human realm and sometimes in deva realm, but in an inferior status.
During the reign of King Kosala, one of them was born to the royal family while the other was born to a slave woman of the palace. They were both born on the same day. The baby born to the royal family was sheltered under a white umbrella while the slave baby was placed at his feet. Both babies were born with the ability to remember previous births (jatissara ñana). In the past, during the time of Kassapa Buddha, they had purification of morality, concentration and wisdom for 20,000 years. Due to these purification they were born with jatissara ñana, being able to remember one’s own previous births.
Being able to remember thus, the baby prince under the white umbrella said to the slave baby who is at his feet, “How is it now? You did not listen to me then; that is why you are now in an inferior position. Look how superior I am”. The other baby replied, “Don’t boast of yourself like that. The white umbrella which you are under is only earth element. There is nothing special about it”. He is telling him not to be conceited of having that earth element. Is he correct? Yes, he is correct. The white umbrella is only a mass of four elements in which the earth element is excess.
According to this narration is there a difference in the effect of practising generosity and not practising it? There is a difference. In this example, it is not that either of them was not pure in morality. Both had purification of morality. It is just that one of them was lacking in generosity. Why was he lacking in it? Because the wisdom called amoha was not strong in him as it was in the other monk. The other monk had sharp wisdom called amoha. He believed that while going in the rounds of rebirth, one should have the ‘companion’ called generosity. He had right view. As for the other monk, he did not have that view. He only had the view that one should not waste things offered by laypeople. Therefore the effects reaped were not the same. One was superior while the other was inferior. The one who accumulated kamma accompanied with moha became inferior. The other who accumulated kamma accompanied with amoha becomes superior. Such nature exists.
One can also discern to see beautiful & ugly beings and to know the cause for them to be so by means of divine eye. What is the cause for being beautiful? It is the effect of performing kamma accompanied with metta called adosa (Vism. XIII). For example, one offers a spoonful of almsfood to a recipient with respect and joy only after having metta. If this kamma produce the effect then one will be good looking and loved by others. As one performed the kamma with loving kindness for others, when it produces the effect then one will also be loved by others. This is how the effect is produced. That is, one performs kamma by bodily actions, speech or mind accompanied with loving kindness or non-hatred (metta, adosa).
On the other hand what is cause of being ugly? The kamma done was accompanied with anger (dosa). From early morning till nightfall one is not pleased with anyone he meets and gets angry for the whole day. Getting angry for the whole day and grumbling, one performs wholesome actions such as offering almsfood, helping others, doing meritorious deeds. As one accumulated such kamma accompanied with anger, what will happen if that kamma produce effect? He may become a person who is not pleasing, not likeable, not adorable by others.
Should this person get upset when others do not adore or respect him? No he should not because he accumulated the kamma which cause others not to be pleased with him. Why? Because the accumulated kamma is accompanied with anger. While performing the kamma he was displeased with the recipient. As he performed the kamma with displeasure, if that kamma produces effect then he will become a person who is not pleasing to others. Isn’t this fearful? It is necessary to ‘refine’ the mind.
Therefore it is good to refine the mind.
Being accompanied with non-attachment one offers it. In donating requisites, if one is attached to the price of things will he offer it? No he will not. If there is no attachment then one can offer it.
When he wants to offer something he has to think about it first.
He is indecisive as to whether he should offer or not. He has to ask around.
But, unavoidably, he has to offer it.
Discerning that living beings reached their respective realms according to their kamma is the concern of the knowledge of beings reaching (to the various realms) according to their kamma, yatha kammupaga ñana.
But if the light is still weak when establishing the concentration by means of White Kasina or Fire Kasina then one should change to Light Kasina, taking sunlight or light of fluorescent light tube as object.
The light may become powerful then.
That is, the light is brighter and more powerful at the place where one wants to discern. Having made the light more powerful and brighter towards hell, once can discern hell beings undergoing great suffering (Vism).
It means that the ruparammana must arise previously first, and the divine eye later (api ca dibbacakkhussa paccupanna ruparammanam …..tañca purejatapaccaya bhutam).
Another question in the subcommentary is this: (Yadi dibbacakkhu ñanam ruparammanameva atha kasma satte passatiti vuttam) –
It is only stated generally that the ruparammana which are arising in the continuity process of beings is discerned; therefore it is mentioned like that (yebhuyyena satta santanagata rupam dassanato evam vuttam).
While discerning by divine eye, the form of ‘beings’ – i.e. the continuity process of ‘beings’, satta santana – appear when the colour of one kalapa is compact together with the colour of another kalapa.
Actually the divine eye sees only ruparammana but, as the ruparammana of every kalapa is closely compact with each other, when one discerns these groups of a great quantity of ruparammana one can say it is the continuity process of ‘beings’.
These are the explanations.
How, i.e. using what method, can this be discerned?
Then if he discerns this mind clear element backwards successively as a process, discerning from where it derives or proceeds, then he can discern its immoral conduct or unwholesome kamma done in the past life as a human being or an animal etc.
The insight which knows the relationship between that cause and effect is called knowledge of beings reaching (to the various realms) according to their kamma (yatha kammupaga ñana). It is a category of divine eye.
It is not possible to attain this insight without attaining divine eye. As mentioned previously the recollection of past lives abhiñña involves the insight knowledge of discerning mental physical phenomena (NR pariccheda ñana).
In vipassana meditation, it is possible only for meditators who have attained the insight knowledge of discerning mental physical phenomena to try to attain the insight knowledge of discerning causal relationships (paccaya pariggaha ñana).
For the meditator who has not yet realized even the mental physical phenomena, if he tries to discern and look for the cause of mental physical phenomena, then can he realize it in true ultimate reality penetratively since he has already skipped a stage in the practice?
No, he cannot because he has bypassed a stage.
When the meditator sees the hell beings then, using the light with the help of the power of divine eye, after he has discerned the four elements of that hell being, he analyses the mental physical phenomena of that hell being.
=In divine eye
Discerning backwards like this, he can know whether this hell being came from human realm or deva realm or animal realm etc. If he further discerns he can know the immoral unwholesome kamma committed by them in that realm.
It is still not yet the function of the yatha kammupaga ñana.
For those with sharp insight, they will know or realize it as soon they discern it.
This is yatha kammupaga ñana.
Analyse the mental physical phenomena
([[kamma satti) of that wholesome mind.
If the meditator discerns the relationship between
(1) that force of kamma and
To be able to realize it in that way, the meditator needs to discern the mental physical phenomena of the past life and the mental physical phenomena of the life after that (in this case, the deity life) systematically.
They also encouraged others to have right view.
There is another method in discerning (mentioned in the maha-tika, subcommentary).
(This method is explained as follows).
(Evam yassa yassa sattassa samanantara anagatam attabhavam ñatukamo tam tam odhissa alokam vaddhetva tena tena atite etarahi va ayuhitam tassa nipphattakam kammam yathakammupaga ñanena disva tena nipphattetabbam anagatam attabhavam ñatukamo tadisena samadanena paccayena ca manasikarena parikkhate citte yathavato janati, [subcommentary]) –
In this case the meditator makes the light powerful towards the being he wants to discern; he then discern the wholesome kusala kamma or unwholesome akusala kamma accumulated by that being at that time.
These references are like a reliable map. If one meditates according to the instructions of the ‘map’, one can know what the ‘map’ says.
Therefore, you can also attain it; you also have a mind.
This is the teachings with the attribute ehipassika, ‘come and see’.
It is an invitation to practise; to test it practically for oneself.
Here one must practise to be able to discern towards where one wants to discern.
The light will then become powerful.
However the best among them is not the same for everyone.
For some, Fire Kasina is very bright.
For some others, Light Kasina is very bright.
For some others, White Kasina is very bright.
Why is it not the same among meditators?
Having extended the light discern only the ruparammana within the scope of the extended light; discern the ruparammana on the way of the light, not at the side. If one tries to discern all the ruparammana here and there, everywhere then it is going beyond the scope of the preliminary (parikamma).
Therefore, at those stages do not try to investigate. One’s insight to investigate is not perfect yet. Therefore one must take care not to go astray from the meditation at the stage of establishing the concentration.]
When the light becomes powerful, the meditator may need the help of his adhitthana parami (determination). Having extended the light, he determines “Let there be light there” at the place where he wants to discern. That is, after delimiting that much of a place where he wants to discern, he determines “Let there be light there”.
(1) Anto kucchigatam (Vism, XIII, 99) – things inside the belly can be seen. In the practice of Samatha-Vipassana, if the light becomes powerful through establishing the concentration then the 32 parts in the body can be seen. It is also mentioned in the Text.
If that meditator discerns a sense object, let’s say, he discerns the visual object (ruparammana) then when that ruparammana (visual object) is discerned it impinges on the eye clear element (cakkhu pasada) and bhavanga mind clearness simultaneously. When it impinges, the bhavanga mind clearness stopped (occurring) and the vithi citta mind process occurs.
This is the power of the light. Therefore if the light disappears it cannot be discerned. So it is necessary to understand that light occurs during the bhavana citta (meditating mind) of samatha-vipassana meditation.
During one of his sitting meditation session, he discerned underneath the ground below his seat. He discerned the colour of the earth, one layer after another. After that meditation session, he dug up the ground to see whether what he discerned is true or not. He found that what he discerned was correct.
Therefore the light can be used like that.
When that person determines the light to be spread towards the places where he wants to discern then that light will shine uninterrupted, penetrating through the earth, ocean and mountain; and when that meditator may find fearful ruparammana such as yakkha, rakkhasa, etc;
Mindful, not forgetting that there are such beings living in the 31 realms of existence. One needs to understand that these beings exist not because one is discerning them. Beings of the 31 realms of existence are always present.
This knowledge is called cutupapata ñana because it knows the death (cuti) and rebirth of living beings. It is also called DibbaCakkhu Abhiñña (divine eye) because it is like the eyes of deities; it is explained thus in the Text.