The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

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SarathW
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by SarathW » Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:07 pm

Lal wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:47 pm
Ryan95227 said:
What makes you believe so much in this monk? Personally, I have followed some teachings on puredhamma and satipatthana has been life changing. I have practiced other form of buddhism over the years and they have honestly never done anything for me (theravada, little bit of zen, and etc). I do have some doubt as formal meditation has been very lackluster according to your ways of meditation and all these people have tried to disprove you and you seem to twist some facts to fit your narrative. I really want to know as a guy who is really looking to see what buddha truly taught. What makes you so "attached" to this teaching that you literally built puredhamma and working so hard to disprove these people even with annoyance?
I do this because I have made progress on the Path. This is not just academic for me. I would like at least a few people to see through the truth.
- Of course, those who do not want to learn the truth OR think that all what I say is wrong, can simply not read my posts ( I do not include you in this case). I am not trying persuade anyone who does not want to listen and evaluate.
- The Buddha said trying to persuade those who don't have any interest is a lowly thing to do, just like pursuing a woman who has said "no".

Ven. Dhammanando said:
I'm actually already familiar with all the canonical texts in which the ten terms (not nine!) are used.
OK. Great. Then please explain those terms.

StormBorn said:
Great! Then, can you give Tipitaka reference/s for the two underlined remarks from Waharaka Thero (below quoted)? Namely, (1)Killing for the country is less unwholesome. and (2)Those soldiers will be reborn as "lokapala devas".
Thank you.
SarathW wrote: ↑Sun Jun 19, 2016 7:39 am
Very controversial teaching from Ven. A
He says the men who are involve with protecting and law enforcement of masses may involve with killing and torcher the enemies etc.
Killing and torcher is an unwholesome act however it is less unwholesome due to the wholesome intent.
It appears these law enforcement men will be re-born as world protecting Devas. (Lokapala Deva)
So becoming a law enforcement officer is not that bad as far as you act on right intent. :shrug:
I have previously replied that statement by SarathW. It distorted what the Thero said in the desana. The Thero never said anything like that, and would never say anything like that.
I have no doubt that you have the dedication to the teaching of the Buddha otherwise you will not spend so much time building a website.
I know you have so much dedication to Ven. A.
Do you think he is an Arahant?
When I read your post I have this feeling that you have not eliminated the self-view as yet.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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StormBorn
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by StormBorn » Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:56 am

Lal wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:47 pm
StormBorn wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:16 pm
Lal wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:13 am
I don’t have time to defend any other but Waharaka Thero. Everything he has said in his desanas, and what I have written at puredhamma.net, are consistent with the Tipitaka.
Great! Then, can you give Tipitaka reference/s for the two underlined remarks from Waharaka Thero (below quoted)? Namely, (1)Killing for the country is less unwholesome. and (2)Those soldiers will be reborn as "lokapala devas".
Thank you.
SarathW wrote:
Sun Jun 19, 2016 7:39 am
Very controversial teaching from Ven. A
He says the men who are involve with protecting and law enforcement of masses may involve with killing and torcher the enemies etc.
Killing and torcher is an unwholesome act however it is less unwholesome due to the wholesome intent.
It appears these law enforcement men will be re-born as world protecting Devas. (Lokapala Deva)
So becoming a law enforcement officer is not that bad as far as you act on right intent. :shrug:

http://www.waharaka.com/deshana/listen. ... d=CD097-33" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I have previously replied that statement by SarathW. It distorted what the Thero said in the desana. The Thero never said anything like that, and would never say anything like that.
I have verified the audio with two people, and both agreed that SarathW DID NOT distort it.

In the audio, Waharaka says,
  • @ 4:40 : It’s OK to tame/restrain unworthy people (asappurisa) by brutal ways. True, there’s a sin/unwholesome karma (paapa) in that. But, for the sake of the majority worthy people (sappurisa) we have to harm few unworthy people. That bad karma of harming is secondary.
  • @ 6:38 : Unworthy person has no qualities. There will be a little sin by punishing him but that will not give birth in a bad destination. Saving the huge worthy society is far superior good karma.
  • @ 7:51 : Caatummahaaraajika gods (deva) are ruling this world. These law enforcement officers/soldiers will be born among these world ruling gods (loka paalaka deva).
So Lal, my request for Tipitaka references for above claims still stands. It seems, what Waharaka actually says is, "It's OK to brutally torture/kill unworthy Tamils, for the sake of the worthy Sinhalese!"

What I can find in sutta are these (from Dhammapada 129-132):
All tremble at violence; all fear death. Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill nor cause another to kill.

All tremble at violence; life is dear to all. Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill nor cause another to kill.

One who, while himself seeking happiness, oppresses with violence other beings who also desire happiness, will not attain happiness hereafter.

One who, while himself seeking happiness, does not oppress with violence other beings who also desire happiness, will find happiness hereafter.
“Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand-thousand men, is he who would conquer just one—himself.”

Lal
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:07 am

StormBorn said:
In the audio, Waharaka says,
@ 4:40 : It’s OK to tame/restrain unworthy people (asappurisa) by brutal ways. True, there’s a sin/unwholesome karma (paapa) in that. But, for the sake of the majority worthy people (sappurisa) we have to harm few unworthy people. That bad karma of harming is secondary.
@ 6:38 : Unworthy person has no qualities. There will be a little sin by punishing him but that will not give birth in a bad destination. Saving the huge worthy society is far superior good karma.
@ 7:51 : Caatummahaaraajika gods (deva) are ruling this world. These law enforcement officers/soldiers will be born among these world ruling gods (loka paalaka deva).
So Lal, my request for Tipitaka references for above claims still stands. It seems, what Waharaka actually says is, "It's OK to brutally torture/kill unworthy Tamils, for the sake of the worthy Sinhalese!"
I just listened to the desana. Here is a detailed translation:

A question was asked: “Some bhikkhus request help from devas. Is that an appropriate thing to do for a bhikkhu?”

The Thero says it is OK for lay people to do that. While devas cannot help anyone attain Nibbana, they can, in some cases, help with mundane things. However, there is no need for a bhikkhu to do that because bhikkhus do not need to engage in mundane tasks. In the contrary, devas get help from bhikkhus by listening to their desanas.

@2.30: Lokapalaka devas are those in lowest deva realm (Caatummahaaraajika). Their duties include controlling any “bad devas” in deva realms. This deva realm is just above the human realm and they are not that different from humans.

Now, the Thero explains how humans may cultivate sankhara leading to births in that realm. One’s births are eventually due the types of sankhara one cultivates (i.e., how one thinks, speaks, and acts).
In paticca samuppada, it starts with “avijja paccaya sankhara, and gets to “bhava paccaya jati”, or births.

Now, the Thero talks about how in ancient times, a King would keep peace in his kingdom. He would advise his people to obey five laws: (i) obey these and other rules that he sets up, (ii) don’t kill, (iii) don’t steal, (iv) don’t lie, and (v) don’t get drunk. In other words, he advised them to live a moral life, without harming others.

@ 4.30 through to the end: In order to enforce these rules, he appointed what we call today a “police force”. Their role was to catch and punish those “asappurisa” or “bad people” who would break those rules and harm the law-abiding citizens. So, these “policemen” were doing a good service and were accruing “good kamma” by protecting those good citizens. However, they were also accruing “bad kamma” when they had to punish those bad people who were harming others.

In other words, they were cultivating both good and bad sankhara while fulfilling their duties. But since their mindset was on protecting good citizens, they were cultivating more good sankhara than bad (that does not mean, by the way, that such bad kamma will not go unpunished). This is how some of these people may be born in the Caatummahaaraajika realm mentioned @2:30.

So, that is a full translation. There is no mention about Tamils at all. It is amazing to me how these so-called “Buddhists” can lie this way and mislead other people.

By the way, I am still waiting for an answer by Ven. Dhammanando on the stages of a citta in the most recent issue discussed.
Last edited by Lal on Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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StormBorn
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by StormBorn » Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:37 am

Lal wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:07 am
So, that is a full translation. There is no mention about Tamils at all. It is amazing to me how these so-called “Buddhists” can lie this way and mislead other people.
I used "it seems" when I wrote: "It seems, what Waharaka actually says is, "It's OK to brutally torture/kill unworthy Tamils, for the sake of the worthy Sinhalese!"

Therefore, it's not a lie (I didn't say, "Waharaka said, 'Kill Tamils!'"), but just an expression (it seems) of how I saw it as an outsider.

HOWEVER, you are still beating the bush without giving me the references even asked two times :smile:
“Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand-thousand men, is he who would conquer just one—himself.”

Lal
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:58 am

"It seems, what Waharaka actually says is, "It's OK to brutally torture/kill unworthy Tamils, for the sake of the worthy Sinhalese!"
You cannot make such accusations, and then say "it seems". It is a complete lie.

You need to calm down.
In this particular case, there is no need to explain since no one was inciting violence.
There is no point in explaining things to you, and a few others. I am doing what I am doing for the benefit of those who want to learn.

Please stop reading and commenting on my posts. This is harassment. I will disregard you and all those who insist on making useless comments.

Ryan95227
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Ryan95227 » Sat Sep 22, 2018 12:18 pm

Lal wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:58 am
"It seems, what Waharaka actually says is, "It's OK to brutally torture/kill unworthy Tamils, for the sake of the worthy Sinhalese!"
You cannot make such accusations, and then say "it seems". It is a complete lie.

You need to calm down.
In this particular case, there is no need to explain since no one was inciting violence.
There is no point in explaining things to you, and a few others. I am doing what I am doing for the benefit of those who want to learn.

Please stop reading and commenting on my posts. This is harassment. I will disregard you and all those who insist on making useless comments.
based on your method of satipatthana wouldn't you not act on this kind of speech? "To speak such words only arouse unneessary anger in me and cause mental harrasment in others" It is ultimately pointless to discuss in the forum where there is no hope in persuading people as it will only cause verbal abuse among people. It seems that way

Lal
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:44 am

@ Ryan95227
based on your method of satipatthana wouldn't you not act on this kind of speech? "To speak such words only arouse unneessary anger in me and cause mental harrasment in others" It is ultimately pointless to discuss in the forum where there is no hope in persuading people as it will only cause verbal abuse among people. It seems that way
I went back and read your previous post. Then I realized that I did not really answer this question that you asked: “What makes you believe so much in this monk? “

I have not even met Waharaka Thero. Before he passed away, I made a couple trips to Sri Lanka, but never got to meet him.

It is not that I have faith in Waharaka Thero. He enabled me to get to a state of unshakable faith in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sanhga. And he is a part of Sangha. Sangha does not mean “bhikkhus”. Sangha (or “attha purisa puggala”) are the eight types of Noble Persons (Sotapanna, Sakadagami, Anagami, Arahant, and the four that are on the way become Sotapanna, Sakadagami, Anagami, Arahant). So, Sangha can include both bhikkhus and lay persons who attained one of those those eight stages.

You also said you have tried the meditation techniques that I recommended at puredhamma. I know that it is not easy to abstain from dasa akusala. But if one wants to have permanent relief from the long-term suffering, that is the only way.

It is easy to focus on the breath and get some temporary relief to the mind. In the same way, it is easy to translate anicca as just one word in English (impermanence), and to think that one has understood what is meant by anicca. That is only a tiny fraction of what is really meant by anicca.

When the Buddha attained the Buddhahood, the first thing he realized was how hard it would be for others to understand his Dhamma or his teachings.

And he himself got frustrated many times when he encountered people who had no idea what he was trying to teach. A good example is Sati bhikkhu, who said vinnana goes from life to life. The Buddha called him “mogha purisa”, or “a foolish man”, not because he had anger, but out of compassion: How could this person not see the truth?

Whenever, I encounter people like that this story about Sati bhikkhu comes to my mind. I don’t have anger with them, I just cannot comprehend why it is so difficult for people to see the truth when shown with evidence. They just tend to disregard the truth because they have certain wrong views that they are firmly attached to. So, it is virtually impossible to change their minds.

When the Buddha encountered such people, he just disregarded them. Once a brahmana asked him why he would not engage in debates with people like him. The Buddha gave the following analogy. He said suppose a farmer has three fields. One has rich soil and gives lot of harvest easily. Another one has bad soil and one has to work really hard to get any harvest from it. The third one is in between. He asked the brahmana, which field he would give priority to. The brahmana said of course he would focus on the first one where it is easy to get a good harvest. The Buddha said that is exactly what he is doing too. He would focus on those who can comprehend his Dhamma, and disregard those who have no hope of understanding his deep Dhamma. Whenever he has spare time, he would advise those who are in between. That is exactly what I am doing too. Getting into debates with those who have no basic knowledge of even the basics (and also do not want to learn), is a waste of my time.

In order to do Satipatthana, one must first know what Satipatthana is. It is not focusing on one’s breath. It is all about getting rid of dasa akusala and taking in the Noble Path (right view, right thoughts, right speech, etc). To state it in a different way, one must learn the true Dhamma (that dasa akusala are the root cause of all suffering), and then cultivate good sankhara and get rid of bad sankhara.

To put it another way, all suffering starts with “avijja paccaya sankhara” as explained in paticca samuppada. So, it is a waste of time to memorize the paticca asamuppada steps, if one does know what is meant by sankhara. May be I will write on sankhara in the next post.

rightviewftw
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by rightviewftw » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:21 am

Lal wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:44 am
It is not that I have faith in Waharaka Thero. He enabled me to get to a state of unshakable faith in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sanhga.

Identifying as a Buddhist and displaying "Unshakable Faith" does not mean that one is necessarily right;
they said to Ven. Yamaka, "Is it true, friend Yamaka, that this evil supposition has arisen to you: 'As I understand the Teaching explained by the Blessed One, a monk with no more effluents, on the break-up of the body, is annihilated, perishes, & does not exist after death.'

"Yes, friends. As I understand the Teaching explained by the Blessed One, a monk with no more effluents, on the break-up of the body, is annihilated, perishes, & does not exist after death."

"Don't say that, friend Yamaka. Don't misrepresent the Blessed One. It's not good to misrepresent the Blessed One, for the Blessed One would not say, 'A monk with no more effluents, on the break-up of the body, is annihilated, perishes, & does not exist after death.'"

But even though Ven. Yamaka was thus rebuked by those monks, he — from stubbornness & attachment — maintained his adherence to that evil supposition: 'As I understand the Teaching explained by the Blessed One, a monk with no more effluents, on the break-up of the body, is annihilated, perishes, & does not exist after death.'
How to meditate: Anapanasati, Satipatthana.
Intro to General Semantics
Factors & Perceptions

Parallel Dhammapada Reading
Chinese to Eng Dhp
"The statements; 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media is it the case that there is anything else?' '.. is it the case that there is not anything else .. is it the case that there both is & is not anything else .. is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?' objectify non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes."

Lal
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:25 am

For those who are interested, here is an extract from a post on sankhara.

Sankhāra – What It Really Means

1. Sankhāra is conventionally translated as “formations” and “mental formations”. Certainly the latter is a better translation. But it is much better to grasp the idea of sankhāra and just use that word. I recommend the same for most key Pāli words like saññā and viññāna.

It comes from “san” + “kāra” or actions that involve “san“; see, “What is “San”? Meaning of Sansāra (or Samsāra)“.
Therefore, “san” is associated with anything that is associated with the world of 31 realms. They are responsible for a wide variety of effects ranging from giving rise to future births (as in abhisankhāra) to just getting things done to living the current life.

2. Let us look at some example now.

Thinking about going to the bathroom is a sankhāra (kammically neutral). One gets the body to move to the bathroom using kāya sankhāra.

Thinking about killing a human being and carrying it out is a sankhāra with high kammic consequences or an abhisankhāra. It can lead to a birth in the apayas, and is an apunna abhisankhāra (or apunnābhisankhāra).

On the other hand, punna abhisankhāra (or punnābhisankhāra) have good kammic consequences and can lead to “good births”. Even more importantly, they are essential for making progress on the Path.

Good or bad kammā are done via those types of sankhāra. They can bring results (kamma vipāka) immediately, in this life, or in future lives. However, not all kammā lead to kamma vipāka; see, “What is Kamma? – Is Everything Determined by Kamma?“.

3. However, the word sankhāra is commonly used to indicate those with kammic consequences, as in “avijjā paccayā sankhāra“, where it really means, “avijjā paccayā apunnābhi sankhāra” or “avijjā paccayā punnābhi sankhāra“.

Here abhi sankhāra means “strong sankhāra”, and the word apunnābhi comes from “apunna” + “abhi“, which combine to rhyme as apunnābhi. Here “apunna” means “bad” or “immoral”.Thus,apunnābhi sankhāra means strong immoral sankhāra.

In the same way, punna + abhi + sankhāra becomes punnābhi sankhāra (for strong good sankhāra).

So, one really needs to pay attention to exactly what meaning need to be taken in a given case.

4. All our thoughts, speech, and bodily actions are based on sankhāra that arise in the mind. Therefore, it is important to realize that vaci sankhāra and kāya sankhāra also arise in the mind.

Kāya sankhāra are in “conscious thoughts” that make our bodies move. Killing, stealing, and sexual misconduct are due to apunnābhi kāya sankhāra.
Vaci sankhāra are in “conscious thoughts that we silently generate” and also those thoughts that lead to speech by moving the lips, tongue etc. Hate speech is due to apunnābhi vaci sankhāra. Thinking about a Dhamma concept is a punnābhi vaci sankhāra; see, “Correct Meaning of Vacī Sankhāra“.

On the other hand, manō sankhāra are in “unconscious thoughts” that arise automatically. We are not aware when they arise. They arise due to our gathi and can indicate our level of moha or avijjā. Since they arise unconsciously, manō sankhāra are unlikely to be abhisankhāra that have strong kammic consequences.

The fact that cetana plays a key role is clear when we look at the following definitions: “kāya sancetanā kāya sankhāra“, “vaci sancetanā vaci sankhāra“, and “manō sancetanā manō sankhāra“.

5. Let us take some examples to illustrate these three types of sankhāra.

In order to move the physical body, the mind must first generate thoughts about moving the body. Then that thought is executed with the help of the brain that sends necessary signals to the leg muscles, say, to move the legs.'

So, those kāya sankhāra are responsible for moving the legs. Now, if the purpose to move the body was to go somewhere to commit a bad deed, then it becomes an apunna abhisankhāra. These thoughts would have asōbhana cetasika (like greed or hate) in them.

If the purpose was to go somewhere to do a good deed, then it would become a punnābhi sankhāra. These thoughts would have sōbhana cetasika (like faith and compassion) in them.

If the purpose was to go the bathroom (kammically neutral), then it would be just a kāya sankhāra, not an abhisankhāra. In fact, breathing involves moving body parts (lungs), which is done without conscious thinking, but they are kāya sankhāra too. Those thoughts would not have sōbhana or asōbhana cetasika in them.

This is why the kammic nature of an act is decided by the intention that is in the mind, i.e., type of cetasika that arise with those thoughts.

6. Now, if person X gets angry at another person, X may not move any body parts, but may be generating very bad thoughts (saying to himself “I wish I could hit this person right now”); those are vaci sankhāra. This is explained in “Correct Meaning of Vacī Sankhāra“.

When those vaci sankhāra get strong, one may actually say those words out; then kāya sankhāra are also generated to move the mouth, lips, etc. They are still called vaci sankhāra.

Whether one is just talking to oneself or actually speaks out such bad words, they are both apunna abhisankhāra.
Of course vaci sankhāra can be punna abhisankhāra too. Person X watching a good deed by person Y, may be generating good thoughts about Y; those are punna vaci sankhāra.

Those also will be distinguished by the type of cetasika as in kāya sankhāra above.

7. Whether they are vaci or kāya sankhāra, if they have asōbhana cetasika in them, they have the tendency to “heat up” or “stress” the mind (Pali word is “thāpa“).

On the other hand, if sōbhana cetasika arise as vaci or kāya sankhāra, they have the tendency to “cool” a mind.

In the earlier post, “What Are Kilesa (Mental Impurities)? – Connection to Cetasika “, it was discussed in detail why understanding this fact is the pre-requisite for the Satipattana bhavana; see, “Satipattana Sutta – Relevance to Suffering in This Life“.

Just by comprehending this fact, one can start cultivating niramisa sukha, i.e. "cooling the mind" (this is early stage of Nibbana).

8. All other thoughts that arise in the mind without conscious thinking are manō sankhāra.

For example, when one gets hit by a cane, say, one feels the pain associated with it, and one realizes that the pain was caused by another person hitting with a cane. So, the manō sankhāra that are involved at the beginning have two cetasika of saññā (recognition of what happened) and vēdanā (pain caused). Another way to say it: manō sankhāra are involved in the vipāka stage.

However, based on that “sense input” of getting hit, now one could start generating vaci sankhāra and even kāya sankhāra. Those vaci sankhāra may involve just generating bad thoughts about that person (talking to oneself) or actually saying bad things to him. If the pain was strong, one may start generating bad kāya sankhāra and hit that person.

9. So, it is important to realize that whether one is just thinking (manō sankhāra and early stages of vaci sankhāra), or speaking out (vaci and kāya sankhāra), or using the body movements (kāya sankhāra), they all involve thoughts (citta).

Those thoughts arise in the mind, and become the commands to the brain to carry out the tasks of speaking and body movement.

10. The initial manō sankhāra is triggered by a kamma vipāka and are automatically generated in the mind due to one’s gati. Then subsequent vaci and kāya sankhāra are generated and we do have control over those; see, for example, “Correct Meaning of Vacī Sankhāra“.

So, the seeds for thinking, speaking, and acting start at the instant of the first sense input, say, seeing something or hearing something that gets one’s attention.

If the sense input is strong (and one gets interested in it via like or dislike), one will start many such citta vithi in a short time, and generate corresponding vaci and kāya sankhāra to “talk to oneself”, speak out, or to do bodily actions.

11. Without getting into details, conscious thinking that could lead to speaking and bodily actions occur in the seven javana citta in a citta vithi.

Vaci or kāya sankhāra arise due to many citta vithi running one after another. As we discussed previously, billions of citta vithi can run in a second. As the Buddha said, "mind is the fastest thing in this world".

Another key point is that the javana citta in subsequent citta vithi get stronger and stronger. This is why when we start thinking about a person that we really like or really dislike, we can keep generating increasingly stronger feelings about the situation.

Sometimes, we can see people getting angry by the minute. They are generating a lot of vaci sankhāra even without getting a word out. But one can see the person getting highly agitated: the face gets red and facial expression can show how angry he/she has become.

12. Therefore, even if we may start generating vaci and kāya sankhāra, we may not become aware of it for a short time. If one gets really angry one may lose control and may not even realize that one is getting into a bad situation.

“Catching oneself early” in the process of becoming angry is the key to control anger management. When one understands how this process happens and that it can escalate quickly into a bad situation, one can make a determination to catch it earlier next time.

We can prevent a lot of suffering in this life by catching such vaci and kāya sankhāra early.

As we discussed in the desana in the post,”Satipattana Sutta – Relevance to Suffering in This Life“, this is the key to anapana and satipattana bhavana.

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by pulga » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:42 pm

Not that I necessarily agree with the position, but here's a passage from Ven. Bodhi's Noble Eightfold Path that touches upon the matter of "kammic weight". He's drawing from HRH Prince Vajirañanavarorasa's The Five Precepts and the Five Ennoblers:
While the Buddha’s statement on non-injury is quite simple and straightforward, later commentaries give a detailed analysis of the principle. A treatise from Thailand, written by an erudite Thai patriarch, collates a mass of earlier material into an especially thorough treatment, which we shall briefly summarize here. The treatise points out that the taking of life may have varying degrees of moral weight entailing different consequences. The three primary variables governing moral weight are the object, the motive, and the effort. With regard to the object there is a difference in seriousness between killing a human being and killing an animal, the former being kammically heavier since man has a more highly developed moral sense and greater spiritual potential than animals. Among human beings, the degree of kammic weight depends on the qualities of the person killed and his relation to the killer; thus killing a person of superior spiritual qualities or a personal benefactor, such as a parent or a teacher, is an especially grave act.

The motive for killing also influences moral weight. Acts of killing can be driven by greed, hatred, or delusion. Of the three, killing motivated by hatred is the most serious, and the
weight increases to the degree that the killing is premeditated. The force of effort involved also contributes, the unwholesome kamma being proportional to the force and the strength of the
defilements.

The positive counterpart to abstaining from taking life, as the Buddha indicates, is the development of kindness and compassion for other beings. The disciple not only avoids destroying life; he dwells with a heart full of sympathy, desiring the welfare of all beings. The commitment to non-injury and concern for the welfare of others represent the practical application of the second path factor, right intention, in the form of good will and harmlessness.
It's worth noting that according to AN 4.77 the inner workings of kammavipāka is acinteyya (inconceivable).

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by StormBorn » Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:55 am

Lal wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:58 am
Please stop reading ... my posts. This is harassment.
:rofl:
Lal wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:58 am
Please stop ... commenting on my posts. This is harassment.
Perhaps, you should ask an admin to create a premium paid membership with elite privileges so you won't get “harassed” so easily for what you write. :smile:
Lal wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:58 am
I will disregard you and all those who insist on making useless comments.
Now, that's what you can do in the current setting. Mods are there to deal with those ToS violations (if any), but that's not the issue here.
“Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand-thousand men, is he who would conquer just one—himself.”

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:50 am

pulga said:'
It's worth noting that according to AN 4.77 the inner workings of kammavipāka is acinteyya (inconceivable).
Yes. AN 4.77 says, “Kammavipāko, bhikkhave, acinteyyo” OR “bhikkhus, I say that kamma vipaka are not to be conjectured about”.

However, that just means it is impossible to explain a given kamma vipaka as being due to such and such specific kamma.

The basis of Buddha Dhamma is cause and effect. Vipaka (results) are due to kamma (deeds or causes). Bad kamma lead to bad vipaka and good kamma lead to good vipaka.

But a given kamma vipaka could be (and in most cases) due to more than one previous kamma. So, AN 4.77 just says that it is not possible to figure out exactly which kamma have led to a given kamma vipaka.

Of course, there are some exceptions: One anantariya kamma (such as killing one’s parent) by itself will lead to a birth in the apayas. That vipaka is definitely due to that strong bad kamma. For example, Ven. Moggallana was born in an apaya for killing his parents.

But most kamma vipaka are due to multiple past kamma, and it is not possible to sort out which past kamma led to a particular vipaka, as you pointed out. My post just says that bad kamma lead to bad vipaka, and we have control over bad kamma, by being mindful: We can control vaci and kaya sankhara.

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:10 pm

For those who are interested:
Can or Should a Lay Follower Eliminate Sensual Desires?

1. I saw the above question raised in a discussion forum recently. The questioner stated: “Eliminating sensual desire as a lay follower doesn’t seem possible, or reasonable, especially if one plans on being in a relationship, or having motivation at work. .”.

- I think this is a very important question. Most people have not understood the fact that the Noble Path of the Buddha MUST BE followed sequentially.
- Getting rid of sense desires (including sex, craving for food, etc) is not necessary in the beginning and even up to the Sōtapanna stage.
- Getting to the final stage of Nibbāna (Arahanthood) is a step-by-step process.

2. The necessary INITIAL steps involved are:

(i) Be a moral person and avoid the mundane five precepts (abstain from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, outright lying, and getting intoxicated) and also gossiping, slandering, and harsh speech; see, "2. The Basics in Meditation".
(ii) Understand the correct "wider world view" of the Buddha, and get rid of the ten types of miccā ditthi; see, "Mahā Cattārisaka Sutta (Discourse on the Great Forty)".
(iii) Learn about the "deeper world view of the Buddha" stated by Tilakkhana (anicca, dukkha, anatta nature); see, "Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta".

3. When one starts to understand the "anicca nature" (anicca means much more than just impermanence) of this world, one becomes a Sōtapanna Anugāmi. When that "correct vision" about "this wider world of 31 realms" sinks into the mind permanently, one becomes a Sōtapanna.

- One does not need to even think about removing desire for sex or any other sense pleasure until one gets to the Sōtapanna stage. This is a key point that most people do not understand.

4. Therefore, many people waste precious time by either first trying to suppress sense desires, and even in some cases try to eliminate the innate sense of "me" or "a self".

- But just like one cannot learn algebra or advanced calculus without learning how to do addition, those people will not make any significant progress. It is impossible to do so.
- Furthermore, while one may get a temporary relief from "stresses of day-to-day activities" by doing things like breath meditation, that will not provide the long-term release from suffering that the Buddha explained.
- Until one begins to understand Tilakkhana, one will never get to the Sōtapanna stage.

5. Even during the time of the Buddha, there were many lay followers who attained the Sōtapanna stage, and continued to engage in sense pleasures too. They were married and had regular jobs.  There was no need to avoid sense pleasures, including sex, at all.

- For example, Vishaka, who was the leading female lay disciple at the time, attained the Sōtapanna stage at age seven, and went on to get married and have twenty plus children.
- There were many others, who were regular lay people with families who attained the Sōtapanna stage and continued to live that way.
- Of course, those who desired to attain higher stages of Nibbāna, made an effort to get rid of the craving for sense pleasures. Most of them became bhikkhus, since it bhikkhus are REQUIRED abstain from sex and other sense pleasures.

6. One needs to completely abstain from sense pleasures completely only to become a Anāgāmi. Even a Sakadāgāmi still enjoys sense pleasures, even though he/she would not have the desire to "own" things that provide sense pleasures.

- For example, a Sakadāgāmi would still be worried about sleeping in a nice bed or eating tasty food, but there would be no desire to own houses, cars, etc.

7. Furthermore, one CANNOT just give up sense pleasures by sheer will power and become an Anāgāmi. One has to comprehend the "anicca nature" at a higher level than a Sōtapanna and then those desires will NATURALLY go away.

- This may hard for most people to understand: how the desire for sense pleasures will naturally go away. This is exactly why one should follow the Path SEQUENTIALLY, one step at a time.
- By the way, the sense of "me" or " a self" will go away only at the Arahant stage!

8. However, it is important also to realize that one cannot become a Sōtapanna by enjoying sense pleasures to the full, i.e., by maintaining a "playboy type" lifestyle.

- When one starts comprehending the anicca nature, one's life WILL become simple.
- Even before one gets to the Sōtapanna stage, one will start feeling nirāmisa sukha, which is due to lessened stress on the mind due to this simple life style.

9. Of course, one can speed up the process to the Sōtapanna stage by giving up sense pleasures. Those who take this path become bhikkhus. They voluntarily give up most sense pleasures including sex.

- In fact, if one is to attain jhāna, one must at least SUPPRESS all sense desires. For example, in “Tapussa Sutta (AN 9.41)“: “..So kho ahaṃ, ānanda, vivicceva kāmehi vivicca akusalehi dhammehi savitakkaṃ savicāraṃ vivekajaṃ pītisukhaṃ paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharāmi.”
- That means one needs to have all thoughts of sense pleasures and akusala kamma removed from one's mind at the time of getting to the jhāna.
- That statement appears in each and every sutta describing jhāna.

10. According to the "wider world view" of the Buddha, there are 31 realms in this world. Suffering in those realms decreases as one goes from the lowest 4 realms (apāyās) where the suffering is intense, to the human realm (where there is both suffering and happiness), to 6 deva realms and 20 brahma realms (where there is increasingly more happiness).

- The peaceful feeling one experiences in a jhāna is the same sense experience of brahmas in the corresponding realms. But getting to jhāna has nothing to do with getting to magga pahala, even though jhāna can provide a better mindset to do insight mediation.
- None of those realms can provide a permanent happiness, because lifetime in any realm is finite. Even though the brahma realms have very long lifetimes, one would eventually die and can be subsequently born in any of the 31 realms.
- If one's goal is permanent happiness, one must eventually get to the Arahant stage of Nibbāna. However, if one can get to the Sōtapanna stage, one is guaranteed to get to the Arahant stage within a relatively few subsequent births.

11. This is the main difference between Buddha Dhamma and other religions. Christianity and Islam promise permanent happiness in deva realms and Hinduism promises permanent happiness in a brahma realm.

- But the Buddha taught that nothing in this world is permanent: That holds for living beings and inert things in the whole universe.
- Even though scientists (including Einstein) believed as recently as 100 years ago that the universe is in a "steady state", that has been shown to incorrect in recent years.
- Therefore, one born in any realm will die from there and be reborn in another realm.

12. This is why the foremost goal of a Buddhist is to get to the Sōtapanna stage. When one first realizes the anicca nature of this world, one can immediately see the dangers in doing the strongest of dasa akusala that makes one eligible to be born in the 4 lowest realms (apāyās).

- That understanding registers permanently in the mind of a Sōtapanna and is unbreakable. That is why he/she will never be tempted to do any such immoral deed, no matter how tempting.
- At that time, one will have unbreakable faith in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha. One can see at that time how valuable Dhamma is. Of course, that that Dhamma was discovered by the Buddha, and was conveyed to one by a Noble Person who belong to Sangha. That is the reason for "unbreakable faith".
- One is also said to have "Ariyakānta sila" or "unbreakable moral conduct" as a Sōtapanna. That does not mean one will not do any of the dasa akusala, but one will never again do a dasa akusala that would have strong kamma vipaka bringing rebirth in the apāyās.

13. A Sōtapanna would then get to the Sakadāgāmi and Anāgāmi stages by getting rid of the desire for sense pleasures in two stages.

- Avijjā, or the ignorance of the Four Noble Truths, is totally removed only at the Arahant stage. That is the time when one removes the "sense of me" or the "sense of a self".
- It is a long process and must be followed in a systematic way.
- As I said at the beginning, one cannot expect to do advanced mathematics unless one first knows how to add/subtract, then how to do algebra, etc.
- Thus, moral conduct and getting rid of the 10 types of miccā ditthi are REQUIREMENTS for any stage of magga phala. Getting rid of the cravings for sense pleasures comes after that.

14. Finally, one may think that all one needs to do is to get to the Sōtapanna stage, because then one would be free from the apāyās. That is true. However, when one gets to the Sōtapanna stage, one will start seeing the sufferings in the kāma lōka, including the deva realms.

As stated in the Dhammika sutta (Snp 2.14):

Abrahmacariyaṃ parivajjayeyya,
Aṅgārakāsuṃ jalitaṃva viññū;
Asambhuṇanto pana brahmacariyaṃ,
Parassa dāraṃ na atikkameyya.


Translated:

A wise person would live a celibate life (avoiding sex), as one would avoid falling to a pit of fire. But if one cannot live such a life, one should not have affairs with others’ spouses.

However, that need not be contemplated until one gets to the Sōtapanna stage.

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:52 pm

I see that there have been long discussions on what is meant by “nimitta”. Here are some suggestions.

Nimitta is simply a thought object, something that one is thinking or contemplating on, but it can just come to one’s mind too, as pointed out in #3 below. It can have slightly different meanings depending on the context (where it is used).

1.One can choose a nimitta to contemplate on. In (anariya) kasina bhavana, one can take patavi (a clay ball) as a nimitta. In (anariya) breath meditation, one takes breath as the nimitta.

2.Nimitta is closely associated with sanna (see my earlier post on sanna).
- When one cultivates Ariya jhana, one takes Nibbana as the nimitta, instead of a kasina or breath. This is done by contemplating on the “anicca nature” or “aniccanupassana” (that nothing in this world can be maintained to one’s satisfaction, as one likes), “dukkha nature” or “dukkhanupassana” (such desires will eventually lead to suffering), “anatta nature” or “anattanupassana” (therefore, one becomes helpless in the rebirth process). Those are all related to overcoming one’s ingrained perceptions (sanna) of the “nicca nature”, “sukha nature”, “atta nature”, “subha nature”, which are exactly the opposites of anicca, dukkha, anatta.
- As stated in the Saṅgīti Sutta (DN 33): “Aparepi tayo samādhī—suññato samādhi, animitto samādhi, appaṇihito samādhi.”
- One gets to the animitta samadhi not by taking a “worldly object” (such as a kasina or breath) as the nimitta for meditation but by taking Nibbana as the nimitta as I described above.
- Animitta samadhi is normally translated as “signless concentration”, but that does not convey the real meaning. “Signless” really means one is not taking anything of this world as the thought object. Contemplating on anicca, dukkha, anatta nature is not associated with anything of this world.

3.In a different context: a nimitta associated with a past kamma or a gati nimitta can automatically come to one’s mind at the moment cuit-patisandhi (moment of grasping a new bhava).
- An example of a kamma nimitta: the scene of oneself killing another (done in the past) may come to mind. If one has not made progress on the Path, one may still have that mindset and will grasp that nimitta willingly, and that will lead to a new (bad) bhava in a lower realm.
- Sometimes a kamma vipaka nimitta comes to the mind at the cuti-patisandhi moment. A scene from an apaya that one is about be born may be shown by the kammic energy. This is why some people cry out in fear (or their fear can be seen in their eyes) at the dying moment.
- A gati nimitta would be a habitual action that one engages in. A person may see hanging out with friends, drinking and just doing idle chatter and having fun at the expense of some person, for example. If one’s mind grasps that scenario (one habitually engages in such activities), that will also lead to a bad bhava.
- On the other hand, if one is habitually doing good deeds, one may see such an event and that will lead to a good bhava.

If anyone can point to a verse in a sutta that does not match those, I can comment on that. As I said, some of these Pali words (like English words) can have slightly different meanings depending on the context.

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by SarathW » Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:27 pm

Can I say any awareness coming to five-six senses as Nimitta?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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