Devanussati: Recollecting the Devas in Practice

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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mettafuture
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Devanussati: Recollecting the Devas in Practice

Post by mettafuture » Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:14 pm

Piya Tan wrote:The Buddha lived and taught in a society that was steeped in various beliefs in a world of gods, demons, spirits and the supernatural. Instead of adopting an iconoclastic approach towards such beliefs, the Buddha uses them as bridges to the spirituality of personal accountability and liberation. These notions of non-human powers become engaging occasions for the Buddha to shine new lights on old lamps, turning mythology into psychology, superstition into superknowledge, the best example of which is the recollection of deities.
Have you practiced devanussati or something similar? If so, how was it for you? Do such practices interest you? I've wanted to explore devanussati further, but English language resources are understandably scarce. So far I've found a guided meditation by Ajahn Achalo; dhamma talks by Ajahn Yatiko and Bhikkhu Thanissaro (DN 20 is mentioned); and a paper published by Piya Tan (15.13). Devanussati is also briefly covered in chapter 7 of the Visuddhimagga.

paul
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Re: Devanussati: Recollecting the Devas in Practice

Post by paul » Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:08 am

The recollection of devas is one of six recollections out of the 40 meditation subjects and this group are subsidiary themes supporting the main meditation theme. The third foundation of mindfulness deals with the state of the mind, and these themes are used to correct the mind when it is noted to be afflicted by distraction, and the third tetrad of the Anapanasati sutta refers to this as “gladdening” and “steadying”.

The six recollections: recollection of the Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha, virtue, generosity, and the devas: these recollections serve primarily to gladden the mind, although the first three can also release the mind from fear (SN 11.3).

The perception of impermanence can be treated as a means of steadying the mind:
"When you’re faced with unpleasant experiences, the perception of
inconstancy can make them more bearable; when you’re faced with pleasant
experiences, it can help loosen your tendency to become a slave to them. These
are two ways in which this perception can gladden the mind. When the same
perception leads to equanimity in either case, that would be an example of using
it to steady the mind."

AN 11.12 and 13 give information on the functions of these six recollections.
—-adapted from “Right Mindfulness”, Thanissaro.
Last edited by paul on Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Polar Bear
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Re: Devanussati: Recollecting the Devas in Practice

Post by Polar Bear » Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:52 am

Shaila Catherine has a talk on Devanussati here:

https://dharmaseed.org/teacher/163/talk/32755/

:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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mettafuture
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Re: Devanussati: Recollecting the Devas in Practice

Post by mettafuture » Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:12 pm

Thank you.

:anjali:

Researching these lesser known practices are sparking an interest in learning Pali. I wonder if these practices would resonate even more in their original language. So far I've memorized Buddhanusati, which is pretty simple-ish: iti pi so bhagavā, arahaṁ sammāsambuddho, vijjācaraṇasampanno sugato lokavidū, anuttaro purisadammasārathī, satthā devamanussānaṁ buddho bhagavā ti.

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salayatananirodha
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Re: Devanussati: Recollecting the Devas in Practice

Post by salayatananirodha » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:01 pm

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.8.06.than.html wrote:In whatever place a wise person makes his dwelling, — there providing food for the virtuous, the restrained, leaders of the holy life — he should dedicate that offering to the devas there. They, receiving honor, will honor him; being respected, will show him respect. As a result, they will feel sympathy for him, like that of a mother for her child, her son. A person with whom the devas sympathize always meets with auspicious things.
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

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