The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

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Lal
Posts: 381
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:39 am

Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:29 am

Hello 2600htz,

I am almost back to normal. Thank you!

Those "nine stages of a citta" go through in a billionth of a second. It is an extremely fast process and no one but a Buddha can see those steps. We can understand those steps once we are taught (they are discussed in the Abhidhamma Pitaka of the Tipitaka).
Basically, within that time one’s mind receives the input (say a visual input from the eyes), recognizes what it is, compares with past experiences, AND forms an opinion about it. All that happens within a small fraction of a second!
This is discussed in detail in the subsection: “Essential Abhidhamma – The Basics” at the site:https://puredhamma.net/abhidhamma/essen ... he-basics/
- The first few subsections of the "Living Dhamma" section also discuss some of these basic concepts: https://puredhamma.net/living-dhamma/

Yes. Those 9 stages happen due to Paticca Samuppada (Dependent Origination), but I have not discussed those processes even at puredhamma.net.
That is because we only need to understand the much slower Paticca Samuppada (PS) processes in order to cultivate the Path (via Satipatthana and Anapana meditations).
- The idapaccaya PS process that I am discussing now at Dhamma Wheel is a PS process that happens over seconds, minutes, hours, and days.
- The uppatti PS process (which leads to rebirth) happens over years and even over many lifetimes. I will discuss that next at Dhamma Wheel.

Those two processes describe how our CONSCIOUS thinking (vaci sankhara and kaya sankhara) lead to speech and actions, and generate kamma that can bring vipaka (corresponding results) in this life and also in future lives.

So, your second question is related to the first. The development of a citta from just basic awareness of seen something, to recognize it, to compare it with past experiences (that is how one knows that is a friend and not an enemy, for example), and then to form “feelings” (good or bad depending on that recognition), and even decide on whether to look again or to look away (or even to speak or to act), for example. All these happen within a fraction of a second. Only the mind of a Buddha can “see” that fast evolution of a citta.
- As we know by own experiences all those things happen within a fraction of a second upon seeing someone. But only a Buddha can "see' and separate out those steps.
- That is discussed in the posts in the subsection mentioned above.
- I would be happy to discuss further if you or anyone else have questions. But please read those posts, and refer to bullet numbers there if you have a question on a specific point.

Lal
Posts: 381
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:39 am

Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:27 pm

With this post, the idapaccayātā paticca samuppāda discussion is finished, and I will make a transition to the uppatti paticca samuppāda which describes the rebirth process. This is easiest with a discussion on how kammic energy for a new uppatti bhava takes place via MULTIPLE idapaccayātā paticca samuppāda processes.

Bhava paccayā Jāti....Jarā , Marana,...

1. In the previous post we discussed how repeated immoral actions of a teenager can bring about a specific type of existence (bhava) even during the current life and that this is called a kamma bhava.

- We also briefly discussed how such a kamma bhava can get stronger with time and become strong enough to lead to a whole new existence at death; this is called an uppatti bhava.
- Thus, there are two types of "bhava": those that can bring about "experiences" during the current life (kamma bhava) and those that become strong enough to power a whole new existence (uppatti bhava).
- This is explained in the "Paṭiccasamuppāda vibhaṅga"https://legacy.suttacentral.net/pi/vb6: "Tattha katamo upādānapaccayā bhavo? Bhavo duvidhena—atthi kammabhavo, atthi upapattibhavo", i.e., "What is upādānapaccayā bhavo? Two types of bhava - kamma bhava and upppatti bhava".

2. Another way to look at the concept of a "bhava" is to treat it as a seed. As we discussed in the previous post, when we do any act with ignorance (and greed or hate), that leads to the generation of a kamma seed with some energy to bring about results in the future; this is the same as saying that a "bhava" was created by that action. The concept of a kamma seed is easier to comprehend.

- Just like a normal seed has the potential to give rise to a plant, a kamma seed (or a “bhava“) has the potential to bring about a "jāti" or a "birth", either during this life or a new life in future births.
- In most posts, I write it as jāti (to be consistent with convention), but it really is pronounced "jāthi".

3. Let us take the example of the teenager that we discussed in the previous post. Because of the influence of his friends, the teenager starts dealing and using drugs and gradually gets drawn into the gang to become a gang member, and eventually starts doing violent acts of beating and killing people.

- When he did the first beating his friends probably had to encourage or even force him to do it. Now let us suppose that he did not have a sansāric habit of doing that kind of violent acts. So, when he did the first act, a small kamma seed (or a "bhava") was energized.

4. The next time he did something similar, this initial kamma seed made it easier for him to do the second act. Once he did that, the seed got bigger, and the next time he may not need much encouraging, and so on. The more he does it, the more easily he can get into that "bhava", i.e., the stronger that kamma seed becomes.

This is none other than many idapaccayātā PS cycles running that start with “avijjā paccayā sankhāra” (doing immoral deeds due to avijjā), and leading to “upādāna paccayā bhava”, making that bhava (or kamma seed) strong.

- This is another way of expressing "habit (gati; pronounced “gathi”) formation" that I have discussed in many other posts. The more one does acts suitable for a certain "bhava", the viññāna for similar behavior grows, and it is easier for one to be "born" in a corresponding state; this is "pati+ichcha" leading to "sama+uppāda" as pointed out in the introductory post, "Paticca Samuppada – “Pati+ichcha”+”Sama+uppāda".
- Thus, the more the teenager does violent acts, it becomes easier for him to be "born in that state", i.e., easier for him to do similar acts.
- In other words, repeated sankhāra leads to strengthening the corresponding mindset or viññāna, and it propagates down the paticca samuppāda series to make "kamma bhava".

5. Now let us consider when that kamma seed or "kamma bhava" gives rise to a "jāti" in idapaccayātā paticca samuppāda. One day, his drug deal is sabotaged by a rival gang member, and he gets angry. Now he is easily "born" in that "animal-like violent state". He starts beating up that guy. This is "jāti" in this case.

- When the beating is almost done, that "jāti" is almost over with; it is at the "jarā" (decay) stage and when it is done that is the end or death ("marana") of that "jāti".
- Thus when that episode is over, that temporary "jāti" of "a violent existence" is over.
- The rest of it, "sōka, paridēva, dukkha, dōmanassa" or many forms of suffering comes later in that life or even in future births. The kamma seed that helped him do that act, itself got even stronger.

6. The kammic energy of that kamma seed was not spent giving rise to that jāti that happened during that particular instance. That is because that was not a case of kamma vipāka. Rather, that kamma seed got stronger, because the teenager did more apunna abhisankhāra (i.e., immoral deeds).

- Now, if during that confrontation with the other rival gang member he himself gets beaten up, then that is due to a kamma vipāka.
- In either case, that "birth" or 'jāti" (the confrontation with the rival gang member) would give him only misery at the end: "sōka, paridēva, dukkha, dōmanassa".
- Many such idapaccayātā paticca samuppāda cycles can operate during even a day and he may be "born" repeatedly in that confrontational state. Some may be minor, like getting mad at his friends but some could be violent. He has prepared the "bhava" and he can get into "jāti" or be "born in that bhava" easily. I am mixing up English and Pali words in order to make the meanings clear and to get used to those terms.
- Just like when a seed is made it is easy to get that seed to germinate, once we prepare a "bhava" it is easy to be born in that type of existence.

7. Now we can see that a "bhava" or a "kamma seed" is the potentiality for a particular kind of existence or a "state of mind" during the current life itself.

- He will be easily transitioned to that “state of mind” (or bhava). For example, he may be having a good time with his family and be with a “normal state of mind”. Then he gets a phone call from a fellow gang member asking for his help with a gang-related activity.
- He will instantly be transitioned to the “gang mentality” and be born a gang member. Then he will engage in whatever gang activity.
- But any birth (or jāti) will come to an end. When that activity is over, he may come home and be part of the family life.
- However, that “bad jāti” will ALWAYS lead to “jarā, marana, soka, parideva, dukkha domanassa”. Even if that particular was successful and he leaves there happily, that ACTIVITY will lead to suffering in the future. He had accumulated more kammic energy for that “bad bhava”.

8. But an important thing to remember is that "bhava paccya jāti" does not mean he is guaranteed to be born in that state. It is likely that he will be born in that state under suitable conditions, for example with provocation.

- But if he comes to his senses and realizes the perils of such actions, he can make an effort and slowly degrade the potency of that kamma seed. The first thing is to stop doing those more violent acts. If the teenager has enough determination and if he has moral support from his family, he may be able to get into the moral path. The key step of “upādāna paccayā bhava” may be avoided by losing “upādāna” or the liking for such a bhava.
- If he makes a determination to change, it will be hard in the beginning. It is like trying to stop a moving car. If the car has a lot of speed, it takes a bigger effort to stop. It is easier to stop a slowly moving car, before it gains speed. In the same way, it is easier to revert back if one realizes that one is on the wrong path early.

9. If the teenager does not change his ways, but only gets involved more and more with the violent activities, then that kamma seed (or kamma bhava) will grow bigger and can become strong enough to energize a whole new existence (rebirth) or "uppatti bhava". Or he can even make a single huge kamma seed by killing someone.
- We all are likely to have acquired several or even many such large bad kamma seeds (i.e., many bad "uppatti bhava") suitable to yield rebirths in the lowest four realms; we have no way of finding out.
- Of course, we are also likely to have many good kamma seeds (i.e., many good "uppatti bhava") suitable to yield rebirths in the higher realms.
We will discuss a bit more on “bhava” when we discuss “uppatti paticca samuppāda” in the next post.

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