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The Girimananda Sutta

Ten Contemplations with the Commentary from the Saratthasamuccaya

Translated from the Pali by

Ñanamoli Bhikkhu

Buddhist Publication Society
Kandy • Sri Lanka

The Wheel Publication No. 177

Copyright © Kandy, Sri Lanka, Buddhist Publication Society,

First Edition, 1972; Second Printing, 1984

BPS Online Edition © 2006

For free distribution. This work may be republished, reformatted, reprinted, and redistributed in any medium. However, any such republication and redistribution is to be made available to the public on a free and unrestricted basis and translations and other derivative works are to be clearly marked as such.


Contents

Introduction

The Girimananda Sutta

Commentary I: General Overview

Commentary II: Analysis of Wording


Introduction

“I seek only the science that treats of the knowledge of myself and that teaches me how to die well and how to live well” (Montaigne).
 

The Girimananda Sutta is the 60th discourse in the “Tens” of the Anguttara Nikaya. But in the commentary to that Nikaya there will be found nothing about this discourse beyond some brief notes on one or two of the diseases mentioned in the fourth contemplation. The subjects dealt with in the discourse are, in fact, all explained either in the Visuddhimagga (the keystone of the commentarial system) or elsewhere in the main Nikaya commentaries.

However, from a very early period the sutta has been popular as a “paritta” (protection) discourse for recitation, and it was included in an ancient anthology of such discourses called the Catubhanavara. In the 13th Century C.E., or thereabouts, a Lankan Thera, whose name is not known and who is referred to as “a pupil of Ananda Vanaratana Thera,” compiled a commentary to the Catubhanavara, in order to save hunting up commentarial explanations scattered among many books. It is called the Saratthasamuccaya (Collection of Essential Meanings).” In it are collected and linked together the relevant passages, mostly taken verbatim from their sources. In the case of this discourse, the material comes mainly from the Visuddhimagga with some additions from the sub-commentary to that work, the Paramatthamañjusa and from other main Nikaya commentaries.

In this translation one or two short passages have been left out, either because their sense has been incorporated in the translation of the discourse itself, or because they concern word derivations of such a kind as lose their point in translation. On the other hand, one or two passages abbreviated in the Saratthasamuccaya have been restored, for the sake of clearness, to their original length by referring to the sources from which they were taken.

—Bhikkhu Ñanamoli


Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammasambuddhassa

The Girimananda Sutta

Anguttara Nikaya, Dasaka Nipata 60

Thus I heard. At one time the Blessed One was living at Savatthi, in Jeta’s grove, Anathapindika’s Park.

But on that occasion the Venerable Girimananda was afflicted, suffering and gravely ill. Then the Venerable Ananda went to the Blessed One and after paying homage to him sat down at one side. When he had done so, the Venerable Ananda said to the Blessed One.

“Venerable Sir, the Venerable Girimananda is afflicted, suffering and gravely ill. It would be good, Venerable Sir, if the Blessed One were to go to the Venerable Girimananda, out of compassion.”

“If, Ananda, you go to the bhikkhu Girimananda and tell him the ten contemplations, it is possible that the bhikkhu Girimananda’s affliction may be immediately cured.

What are the ten?

They are contemplation of impermanence, contemplation of no-self, contemplation of foulness, contemplation of danger, contemplation of abandoning, contemplation of fading away, contemplation of cessation, contemplation of disenchantment with the whole world, contemplation of impermanence in all formations, mindfulness of in-and out-breathing.

(i) And what, Ananda, is contemplation of impermanence?

Here, Ananda, a bhikkhu, gone to the forest or to the foot of a tree, or to an empty place, considers thus: Matter is impermanent, feeling is impermanent, perception is impermanent, formations are impermanent, consciousness is impermanent. Thus he dwells contemplating impermanence in these five aggregates as objects of clinging. This, Ananda, is called contemplation of impermanence.

(ii) And what, Ananda, is contemplation of no-self?

Here, Ananda, a bhikkhu, gone to the forest or to the root of a tree, or to an empty place, considers thus: The eye is not-self, visible objects are not-self; the ear is not-self, sounds are not-self; the nose is not-self, odours are not-self; the tongue is not-self, flavours are not-self; the body is not-self, tangible objects are not-self; the mind is not-self, mental objects are not-self. Thus he dwells contemplating no-self in these internal and external bases. This, Ananda, is called contemplation of no-self.

(iii) And what, Ananda, is contemplation of foulness?

Here, Ananda, a bhikkhu reviews this body, up from the soles of the feet and down from the top of the hair and contained in the skin, as full of many kinds of filth: In this body there are head-hairs, body-hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, bone-marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, midriff, spleen, lungs, bowels, entrails, dung, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, spittle, snot, oil-of-the-joints, and urine. Thus he dwells contemplating foulness in this body. This, Ananda, is called contemplation of foulness.

(iv) And what, Ananda, is contemplation of danger?

Here, Ananda, a bhikkhu, gone to the forest, or to the root of a tree, or to an empty place, considers thus: This body is the source of much pain and many dangers; for all sorts of afflictions arise in this body, that is to say, eye-disease, ear-disease, nose-disease, tongue-disease, body-disease, headache, mumps, mouth-disease, tooth-ache, coughs, asthma, colds, heart-burn, fever, stomach-ache, fainting, bloody-flux, gripes, cholera, leprosy, boils, plague, consumption, falling-sickness, itch, ringworm, small-pox, scab, pustule, jaundice, diabetes, piles, cancer, fistula; and afflictions due to bile, due to phlegm, due to wind, consisting in conflict of the humours, produced by change of climate, by unaccustomed activity, by violence, by Kamma-result; and cold, heat, hunger, thirst, excrement, and urine. Thus he dwells contemplating danger in this body. This, Ananda, is called contemplation of danger.

(v) And what, Ananda, is contemplation of abandoning?

Here, Ananda, a bhikkhu does not tolerate a thought of lust when it arises, he abandons it, dispels it, makes an end of it, annihilates it. He does not tolerate a thought of ill will when it arises, he abandons it, dispels it, makes an end of it, annihilates it. He does not tolerate a thought of cruelty when it arises, he abandons it, dispels it, makes an end of it, annihilates it. He does not tolerate evil, unprofitable states when they arise. He abandons them, dispels them, makes an end of them, annihilates them. This, Ananda, is called contemplation of abandoning.

(vi) And what, Ananda, is contemplation of fading away?

Here, Ananda, a bhikkhu, gone to the forest, or to the root of a tree, or to an empty place, considers thus: This is peaceful, this is sublime, that is to say the stilling of all formations, the relinquishing of every substratum of becoming, the destruction of craving, fading away, Nibbana. This, Ananda, is called contemplation of fading away.

(vii) And what, Ananda, is contemplation of cessation?

Here, Ananda, a bhikkhu, gone to the forest, or to the root of a tree, or to an empty place, considers thus: This is peaceful, this is sublime, that is to say the stilling of all formations, the relinquishing of every substratum of existence, the destruction of craving, cessation, Nibbana. This, Ananda, is called contemplation of cessation.

(viii) And what, Ananda, is contemplation of disenchantment with the whole world?

Here, Ananda, by abandoning any concern and clinging, any mental prejudices and beliefs, any inherent tendencies, regarding the world, by not clinging, he becomes disenchanted. This, Ananda, is called contemplation of disenchantment with the whole world.

(ix) And what, Ananda, is contemplation of impermanence in all formations?

Here, Ananda, a bhikkhu is horrified, humiliated, and disgusted by all formations. This, Ananda, is called contemplation of impermanence in all formations.

(x) And what, Ananda, is mindfulness of in- and out-breathing?

Here, Ananda, a bhikkhu, gone to the forest, or to the root of a tree, or to an empty place, sits down, having folded his legs crosswise, sets his body erect, establishes mindfulness in front of him, just mindful he breathes in, mindful he breathes out.

Breathing in long, he knows, ’I breathe in long’; or breathing out long, he knows, ’I breathe out long.’

Breathing in short, he knows, ’I breathe in short’; or breathing out short, he knows, ’I breathe out short.’ ’Experiencing the whole body, I shall breathe in,’ he trains himself; ’experiencing the whole body, I shall breathe out,’ he trains himself.

’Calming the bodily formation, I shall breathe in,’ he trains himself; ’calming the bodily formation, I shall breathe out,’ he trains himself.

’Experiencing rapture, I shall breathe in,’ he trains himself; ’experiencing rapture, I shall breathe out,’ he trains himself.

’Experiencing the mental formation, I shall breathe in,’ he trains himself; ’experiencing the mental formation, I shall breathe out,’ he trains himself.

’Calming the mental formation, I shall breathe in,’ he trains himself; ’calming the mental formation, I shall breathe out,’ he trains himself.

’Experiencing the mind, I shall breathe in,’ he trains himself; ’experiencing the mind, I shall breathe out,’ he trains himself.

’Gladdening the mind, I shall breathe in,’ he trains himself; ’gladdening the mind, I shall breathe out,’ he trains himself.

’Concentrating the mind, I shall breathe in,’ he trains himself; ’concentrating the mind, I shall breathe out,’ he trains himself.

’Liberating the mind, I shall breathe in,’ he trains himself; ’liberating the mind, I shall breathe out,’ he trains himself.

’Contemplating impermanence, I shall breathe in,’ he trains himself; ’contemplating impermanence, I shall breathe out,’ he trains himself.

’Contemplating fading away, I shall breathe in,’ he trains himself; ’Contemplating fading away, I shall breathe out,’ he trains himself.

’Contemplating cessation, I shall breathe in,’ he trains himself; ’contemplating cessation, I shall breathe out,’ he trains himself.

’Contemplating relinquishment, I shall breathe in,’ he trains himself; ’contemplating relinquishment, I shall breathe out,’ he trains himself.

This, Ananda, is called mindfulness of breathing.

If, Ananda, you go to the bhikkhu Girimananda and tell him these ten contemplations, it is possible that the bhikkhu Girimananda’s affliction may be immediately cured on hearing them.”

Then, when the Venerable Ananda had learnt these ten contemplations from the Blessed One, he went to the Venerable Girimananda and told them to him. Then, when the Venerable Girimananda had heard these ten contemplations, his affliction was immediately cured. The Venerable Girimananda rose from that affliction, and that is how his affliction was cured.


Commentary I: General Overview

(i) Contemplation of impermanence is the contemplation (perception) of impermanence in the five aggregates, which grasps rise and fall and alteration in them. “Rise” is their characteristic of being produced, “fall” is their characteristic of changing, “alteration” is ageing. For the characteristic of impermanence is seen by grasping rise and fall and alteration; and the five aggregates are called impermanent because of their arising and falling and altering. Again, the characteristic of impermanence is that, owing to the presence of which in the five aggregates, they are called impermanent; for it is owing to it that they are characterised as impermanent. And the characteristic of impermanence fails to be apparent because it is concealed by continuity owing to rise and fall not being kept in mind. But when continuity is disrupted by grasping rise and fall, then the characteristic of impermanence becomes apparent in its true nature. For when one is correctly observing rise and fall, and continuity has been exposed by observing the separateness of states, which occur in succession, then the characteristic of impermanence does not become apparent to him through the connectedness of states, but rather it becomes fully evident through their disconnectedness, as though they were iron darts.

Contemplation of suffering is implied, too, because the various aspects of the foul (No. 3) come under the characteristic of suffering, because the various aspects of danger (No. 4) are a cause of suffering, and because of the words, “what is impermanent is painful” (SN 35:4). So the aspect of perpetual oppression is the characteristic of suffering. The fact that formations are unceasingly oppressed and afflicted by the rise and fall already grasped is called “oppression.” And the characteristic of suffering fails to be apparent because it is concealed by the succession of postures owing to perpetual oppression not being kept in mind. But when the hiddenness of the suffering encountered in the postures is exposed by becoming aware of perpetual oppression, then the characteristic of suffering becomes apparent in its true nature. And it is owing to not keeping perpetual oppression in mind that the postures are able to conceal it. For when pain arises in one posture, the next posture adopted shifts the pain, concealing it, as it were. And so from one posture to another. But once it is correctly known how the pain in each posture is shifted by changing that posture for another, then their concealment of the pain is exposed, because it has become evident that formations are all the time being overwhelmed by suffering. That is why suffering becomes apparent in its true nature, once the ability, encountered in the postures, to conceal pain is destroyed by one’s becoming aware of perpetual oppression.

(ii) Contemplation of no-self is the contemplation (perception) of no-self, which grasps the characteristic of no-self, called insusceptibility of mastery, in the five aggregates. These are shown in the form of the bases, and they are suffering in the sense of oppression. But the characteristic of no-self fails to be apparent because it is concealed by compactness owing to resolution of compactness not being kept in mind. But the resolution of compactness is effected by resolving it into its various elements and distinguishing each one thus: The earth (solidity) element is one, the wafer (cohesion) element is another, and so on; and by recognising that there is compactness as a mass, compactness as a function, and compactness as an object. When this has been done, the characteristic of no-self becomes apparent in its true nature. But when material and immaterial states (states of mind and matter) have arisen mutually supporting each other, their compactness as a mass is assumed through failure to subject formations to compression owing to belief in their unity. And likewise compactness of function is assumed when, although differences in the functions of such states exist, they are taken as one. And likewise compactness of object is assumed when, although differences in the ways in which states that have objects make them their objects exist, they are taken as one. But when these compactnesses have been resolved by means of knowledge into their elements, they are seen to disintegrate, like foam subjected to pressure by the hand. They are mere phenomena that occur due to conditions, and are void. Thus it is that the characteristic of no-self becomes fully evident (Vism p. 640 and Paramatthamañjusa).

(iii) Contemplation of foulness is the contemplation (perception) that takes up the foul (unbeautiful, ugly) aspect in the parts of the body beginning with the head hairs.

(iv) Contemplation of danger is the contemplation (perception) that takes up this disagreeable aspect in the body thus, “This body is liable to many dangers.”

(v) Contemplation of abandoning is the contemplation (perception) that makes the five kinds of abandoning, as given in the Sutta, its object.

(vi) Contemplation of fading away is the contemplation (perception) that makes fading away its object.

(vii) Contemplation of cessation is the contemplation (perception) that makes cessation its object.

(viii) Contemplation of disenchantment with the whole world is the contemplation (perception) of dissatisfaction with all the world consisting of the three elements (i.e. the sense-desire world, the fine-material world, and the immaterial world).

(ix) Contemplation of impermanence in all formations is the contemplation (perception) of all conditionally arisen things as impermanent.

(x) Mindfulness on in- and out-breathing is the contemplation (perception) which grasps in- and out-breaths.


Commentary II: Analysis of Wording

(i) In the description of the contemplation of impermanence, “here, Ananda,” means, “Ananda, here in this dispensation.” For this word “here” indicates the dispensation which is necessary for anyone to produce the contemplation of impermanence, and it denies that any such state exists in other dispensations. For this is said, “Bhikkhus, only here is there a recluse, a second recluse, a third recluse, a fourth recluse; devoid of recluses are the teachings of other sectarians” (Majjhima sutta 11, which refers to the four parts of saintship). He said “gone to the forest” and so on in order to show an abode suitable for mental development. Herein, “gone to the forest” means any kind of forest offering the bliss of seclusion among the kinds of forests defined thus, “Having gone out beyond the boundary post, all that is forest” (Ps I 176; Vibhanga 251), and “A forest abode is 500 bow-lengths distant” (Vinaya IV 183). “To the root of a tree:” to the vicinity of a tree. “To an empty place:” to an empty, secluded space. And here it may be said that he has gone to an empty place if, instead of the forest or the root of a tree, he has gone to any of the other seven, that is, a rock, a hill-cleft, a mountain cave, a charnel ground, a woodland solitude, an open space, a heap of straw (see Majjhima sutta 27). Thus he indicates an abode suitable to the three seasons, to humour, and to temperament, and one favourable to mental development (Vism Ch. VIII).

“Considers thus:” reviews as follows.

“Matter:” is any matter (rupa) that has the characteristic of being molested (ruppana) because of the passage “It is molested (ruppati) that is why it is called matter (rupa). By what is it molested? By cold, by heat, hunger, by thirst, by contact with gadflies, flies, wind, sun, and creeping things” (SN 22:79). “Is impermanent:” is not permanent, not to be treated as permanent, because it has destruction and fall as its nature.

“Feeling:” Whatever has the characteristic of being felt as pleasant, painful, or neither-pleasant-nor-painful, is feeling. It is impermanent in the sense of its destruction.

“Perception:” Whatever has the characteristic of perceiving is perception. It is impermanent in the sense of its destruction.

“Formations:” Whatever has the characteristic of forming are formations. They are impermanent in the sense of their destruction.

“Consciousness:” Whatever has the characteristic of cognizing is consciousness. It is impermanent in the sense of its destruction.

“Thus … in these:” in these as just stated; for the aggregate of matter is taught first in order, so that people may grasp it easily because, being the objective field of the eye etc., it is gross. Next is taught feeling, which feels matter as desirable or undesirable. Next the perception which grasps the aspects of the objective field of feeling, because of the words “what he feels, that he perceives” (M I 293). Next volitional formations which form volitions according to what is perceived. And lastly consciousness, on which feeling and so on depend, and which dominates them (Vism 477).

“Five:” they are five because of the grouping together of all formed things that resemble each other; and because that is the widest possible limit as the basis for the assumption of self and what belongs to self; and because they include all other kinds of so-called aggregates (Vism 478).

“Aggregates as objects of clinging:” aggregates that are the resort of the several kinds of clinging.

“He dwells contemplating impermanence:” he is one who observes the characteristic of impermanence as general characteristic. Also the characteristics of suffering and no-self are included, too, according to the method of the Category of Characteristics (in the Nettippakarana).

The similes for these aggregates are as follows. The matter aggregate as object of clinging is like a “sick-room” because it is the dwelling place, as the physical basis, sense-door, and sense-object, of the sick man, namely consciousness. The feeling aggregate as object of clinging is like the sickness because it afflicts. The perception aggregate as object of clinging is like the provocation of the sickness because the presence of feeling associated with greed etc., is due to perception of lust etc. The formations aggregate as object of clinging is like having recourse to what is unsuitable because it is the source of the feeling which is the sickness; for it is said, “Feeling as feeling is the formed that they form” (SN 22:79), and likewise, “Because of unprofitable kamma having been done and stored up, resultant body-consciousness is arisen accompanied by pain” (Dhammasangani § 556). The consciousness aggregate of clinging is like the sick man because it is not free from feeling, which is the sickness.

Also they are respectively like the prison, the punishment, the offence, he who inflicts the punishment, and the offender. And they are respectively like the dish, the food, the curry sauce poured over the food, the server, and the eater.

Collectively they should be regarded as an enemy with drawn sword, as a burden, as a devourer, as impermanent, as painful, as no-self, as formed as murderous. Individually, matter should be regarded as a lump of froth because it will not stand squeezing; feeling as a bubble on water because it can only be enjoyed for an instant; perception as a mirage because it causes illusion; formations as a plantain trunk because they have no core; consciousness as a conjuring trick because it deceives.

And in particular, internal (corporeal) matter however sublime, should be regarded as foul; feeling should be regarded as painful because it is not free from the three kinds of suffering (i.e. suffering of pain, suffering of change, and suffering of formations); perception and formations should be regarded as no-self because they are unmanageable; and consciousness should be regarded as impermanent because it is subject to rise and fall (Vism 478–9).

One who regards the aggregates collectively thus, is not concerned for them. Regarding them individually thus he does not see a core in what has no core, and regarding them in particular thus he fully understands the different kinds of nutriment. Seeing internal materiality as foul he fully understands the body’s nutriment that consists in solid food; seeing feeling as pain he fully understands feeling’s nutriment that consists in contact; seeing perception and formations as no-self he fully understands their nutriment as consisting in volition; and seeing consciousness as impermanent he fully understands its nutriment as consisting in consciousness. He fully understands the four perversions of perception, that is, the perception of the foul as beautiful, of the painful as pleasant, of what is not-self as self, and the impermanent as permanent. He crosses the floods (see Vism 480).

———

(ii) In the description of the contemplation of no-self, the eye has as its characteristic the sensitivity of the primary elements of matter that is ready for the impact of visible objects; or its characteristic is sensitivity of primary elements originated by kamma sourcing from desire to see (Vism 444); or the eye enjoys and makes manifest a visible object. Is not-self: it is not-self, nor is it possessed of a self. Why? Because it does not come from anywhere, nor does it go anywhere after its fall. But rather, before its rise it had no individual reality; and after its fall its individual reality is completely broken up. And it occurs without any creator since it occurs between the past and the future in dependence on conditions (Vism 484). The reason for no-self in each case should be understood in the same way. Vismible objects have the characteristic of impinging on the eye (Vism 446). It is the visible-object base that evidences the state of what is in the heart when that is undergoing a change of colour (Vism 4S1). Is not-self: it is not-self, nor is it possessed of a self, because it is not susceptible of mastery and because of the absence of any core of self in it.

“The ear” has as its characteristic the sensitivity of primary elements that is ready for the impact of sounds; or its characteristic is sensitivity of primary elements originated by kamma sourcing from desire to hear (Vism 444). “Is not-self” has the meaning given already.

“Sounds” have the characteristic of impinging on the ear (Vism 445).

“The nose” has as its characteristic the sensitivity of primary elements that is ready for the impact of odours; or its characteristic is sensitivity of primary elements originated by kamma sourcing from desire to smell (Vism 444). “Odours” have the characteristic of impinging on the nose (Vism 447).

“The tongue” has as its characteristic the sensitivity of primary elements that is ready for the impact of flavours; or its characteristic is sensitivity of primary elements originated by kamma sourcing from desire to taste (Vism 444). “Flavours” have the characteristic of impinging on the tongue (Vism 447). “The body” has as its characteristic the sensitivity of primary elements that is ready for the impact of tangible objects; or its characteristic is sensitivity of primary elements originated by kamma sourcing from desire to touch (Vism 444). “Tangible objects” can be touched; that is, reckoned as the three out of the four primary elements of matter (i.e. earth or solidity, fire or heat, air or mobility), excluding the water or cohesion element. They have the characteristic of impinging on the body.

“The mind” (mano) has the characteristic of measuring (manana). “Mental objects” (dhamma) bear (dharati) their own specific characteristics. The bases are given as twelve in number because the six groups of consciousness each determine their own objects. In the order in which they are taught, the eye comes first among the internal bases, being the most obvious since it has as its objective field what is visible and accompanied by impact. After that the ear base etc., which have as their objective fields what is invisible and accompanied by impact. Or alternatively, the eye base and ear base are taught first among the internal bases because they are especially helpful owing to their respective pre-eminence in seeing and hearing. After them, the three beginning with the nose base are taught. And the mind base is taught last because it has the objective fields of the other five as its resort. But as regards the external bases, each one is taught next to its corresponding internal base because they are the respective resorts of the eye base and so on. Furthermore their order may be taken as defining the reasons for the arising of consciousness, for “Due to eye and visible objects eye consciousness arises … due to mind and mental objects mind consciousness arises” (M I 111).

Now the mind base and one part of the mental object base are mentality; the remaining ten and a half bases are materiality (Vism 483).

Here all formed things should be regarded as having no provenance and no destination, as inactive and unoccupied. Furthermore the internal bases should be regarded as an empty village, because they are destitute of lastingness, beauty, pleasure, and self; and the external bases as village-raiding robbers because they impinge on (attack) the internal bases (Vism: 484).

It is because of the vigour of the world’s assumption that there is unbroken continuous occurrence of matter, feeling etc., that contemplation of impermanence is taken in respect of the aggregates for the purpose of combatting that. And it is because of the vigour of its assumption that there is in the eye, ear, etc., what belongs to a self, that contemplation of no-self is taken in respect of the bases. And here the character of no-self should be construed with those of impermanence and suffering according to the Netti method of the category of characteristics mentioned above.

“In these internal and external” (literally, “in these bases which are in himself and external”). There being in conventional usage the assumption of a self (atta), they exist in that self; or belonging to that self of theirs they exist as its doors—is the meaning of “internal” (ajjhatta =“in himself”). The “external” ones are visible objects etc., whether living or not, which are external to that.

“Bases” (ayatana), each of the states of consciousness and conscious concomitants (i.e. contact, feeling etc.) belonging to such and such a door-cum-object (e.g. eye-cum-visible object), owing to its own function of experiencing etc., extends over (ayatati), is active in, exerts itself in, strives in, some one among the pairs of bases beginning with eye-cum-visible-object. These doors-cum-objects provide the range for (tanonti), stretch out, those states which are origins (aya); and as long as this suffering of the round of rebirths, which has been going on throughout the beginningless round of becoming and is extended over (ayata) the past, does not recede, so long do they lead on (nayanti) and cause occurrence of states of consciousness etc.—that is why they are called “bases” (ayatana) (Vism 481).

“He dwells contemplating no-self:” he dwells continuously seeing the state of no-self, the characteristic of no-self.

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(iii) In the description of the contemplation of foulness, “there are:” there presently exist. “In this:” in this which is described by the words “up from the soles of the feet and down from the top of the hair and contained in the skin, as full of many kinds of filth.” “Body:” the physical body; for the physical body is called “body” (kaya) because it is a heap of filth, or because for such vile (kucchita) things as head-hairs etc. It is the origin (aya). (By adding the brain, as is done in the Patisambhidamagga, these come to thirty-two parts beginning with head-hairs.) Herein, the construction is, “There are in this body head-hairs; there are in this body body-hairs.” What is meant by this? It is that any one who reviews this “fathom-long carcase” in all its extent starting from the soles of the feet upwards, from the top of the hair downwards, from the skin which contains it all round, never sees anything in the least beautiful in it such as a pearl, a gem, a beryl, aloes, saffron, camphor, scented powder, etc., but he sees only the many extremely ill-smelling, disgusting, drab-looking, kinds of filth consisting of the assortment of head-hairs, body-hairs, and so on (Vism 240–1).

For the descriptions of the individual parts and the method of developing concentration by contemplation of them see Visuddhimagga, ch. VIII.

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(iv) In the description of the contemplation of danger, “this body” is this physical body. “The source of much pain:” the reason for many sorts of pain. “And many dangers:” many troubles; the aspect of being very unenjoyable. “Afflictions:” afflictions because of bringing pain; that is why cold, heat, hunger, thirst, excrement, and urine, are included as afflictions. “Eye-disease” should be understood as disease of the physical basis of sight, for sensitivity when produced is not subject to disease. So eye-disease is a disease arisen in the physical eye. So too with those that follow. “Due to bile” is that which has bile as its reason, condition, and cause; aroused by bile. So also with “due to phlegm” and so on. “Consisting in conflict of humours:” aroused by the disturbance of the three humours, bile, phlegm, and wind. “Produced by change of climate” is a disease arisen through change from a very hot to a very cold climate; for jungle dwellers who go to live on marshy lands, or marsh-land dwellers who go to live in jungles, find the climate unsuitable. Likewise with the contrast between the climates of the jungle and the sea coast. “By unaccustomed activity:” produced by bodily behaviour, such as standing, sitting, burden-carrying, etc., that is different from one’s normal habit. “By violence:” produced by other’s violence, by torture, etc. “By kamma result:” produced by kamma done in the past, without any of these other reasons. Those arisen owing to the first seven of these reasons can be warded off, but no medicine, no protection, suffices to keep away that produced by kamma result. “Contemplating danger:” seeing with knowledge of danger, or seeing the body as a danger.

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(v) In the contemplation of abandoning, “does not tolerate a thought of lust:” having wisely reviewed the danger in a thought of lust in the way beginning “This thought is unprofitable, this thought is reprehensible, this thought results in suffering” (see Majjhima Sutta 20), and “It leads to affliction for oneself” (see M. 19), he does not endure a thought of lust that has arisen, has come into being, has been produced, in regard to such and such an object; he does not let his mind reflect and dwell on it, or he does not let it dwell within, is the meaning. Not enduring it, what does he do? He “abandons it,” throws it out. What, with a basket like rubbish? No. Rather he “dispels it,” prods it, pokes it, drives it out. What, with a goad like an ox? No. Rather he “makes an end of it,” he causes it to be without any end remaining, he so acts that no end of it shall remain, not even in the life-continuum consciousness (subliminal consciousness). But how does he do so? “He annihilates it;” he so acts that it is completely arrested by the kind of abandoning consisting in arresting. So, too, with the other thoughts. “When they arise:” as and when they arise; as soon as they arise. When they have arisen once and have been dispelled, he does not look on with indifference when they arise a second time; he dispels them even though they arise a hundred times. “Evil, unprofitable states” are those same thoughts beginning with the thought of lust; or they are all the nine principal worldly thoughts of which only these three are stated here, the rest being thoughts of relatives, country, immortality, ingratiating oneself with others, gain, honour and renown, and avoiding others’ contempt (Papañcasudani I 81–2).

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(vi) In the description of the contemplation of fading away, this “fading away” (viraga) is Nibbana, for, on coming to that, greed (raga) etc. fade away (virajjanti). The contemplation makes that its object. And here it is the element of complete extinction with the fundamental five aggregates remaining that is meant, because the words “fading away of greed” point to the complete extinction of defilements.

He said “this is peaceful, this is sublime,” indicating Nibbana; for Nibbana is peaceful because of the pacification of the defilements. And when one sits even for a whole day absorbed in the attainment of the fruition of the path, experiencing Nibbana as peaceful, he only has the thought “peaceful.” But, besides “peaceful,” Nibbana is called “sublime” in the sense of non-excitement; and when one sits even for a whole day absorbed in the attainment of fruition, experiencing Nibbana as sublime, one only has the thought “sublime;” so it is also called “sublime.”

“The stilling of all formations” etc. are synonyms for that. For when one sits even for a whole day absorbed in the attainment of fruition, experiencing Nibbana as the stilling of all formations, he has only the thought “stilling of all formations” … likewise when he sits absorbed in the attainment of fruition consisting in what has come to be called “Nibbana” owing to the absence of craving for the three kinds of becoming that is called “vana,” he has only the thought “Nibbana, Nibbana (no craving, no craving).” So it has acquired these names beginning with “the stilling of all formations.” The text construes as follows: Not only is Nibbana simply peaceful and sublime, but it is also the stilling etc. The unformed state named “Stilling of all formations” and so on is to be treated as a state of fading away of greed. Where all formations are stilled, is the stilling of all formations.

There are four substrata for becoming; they are the substratum of sense-desire, that of the aggregates, that of defilements, and that of kamma volitions. For sense desires are called a “substratum” (upadhi) in the following word-sense: because of the fundamentalness of sense-desires either for pleasure that is described thus, “The pleasure and joy that arise owing to the five cords of sense desire is the satisfaction of sense desires,” or for pain that has the lack of satisfaction of them as its sign, pleasure, therefore, has sense desires as its foundation (upadhiyati) here. And the aggregates are a substratum because of their fundamentalness for the pain that has them as its roots. And the defilements are a substratum because they are fundamental for the states of woe. And kamma volitions are a substratum because they are fundamental for the suffering of becoming.

“The relinquishment of all substrata” occurs when there is the relinquishing of all such substrata. That, on coming to which, craving is entirely destroyed, is “the destruction of craving.”

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(vii) In the description of the contemplation of cessation, “cessation” is that by means of which formations cease here. The contemplation makes cessation its object. And here the word “cessation” points to the fact that there is cause for the cessation of the aggregates, even those that are resultant, and so the element of complete extinction without remainder of the five fundamental aggregates is included. The rest is as already stated.

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(viii) In the description of the contemplation of disenchantment with the whole world, as regards “any concern” and so on, “concern” (upaya) is reckoned as craving and views. For craving and views “are concerned with” (upenti, lit. “go towards”) happy and unhappy destinies, thus they are called “concern,” because of the passage, “for one of perverted views, bhikkhus, one of two destinies is to be expected: hell or the animal world” (Anguttara, Duka Nipata), and because the contemplation of disenchantment with the whole world arises through the abandoning of the perverted view that causes the differentiation of the kamma that leads to unhappy destinies, and of the craving that causes the differentiation of the kamma that leads to happy destinies. For, like a cow to be slaughtered, when she is in the grip of the torment due to being burnt with fire and belaboured with cudgels, and is sick with it, she starts drinking the hot water although it hurts her and brings about her ruin, so the ordinary man who has perverted views undertakes kamma of the various kinds beginning with killing living things. But just as that same cow, through her craving for cold water, starts drinking cold water, which is entirely pleasant and eases her tortures, so the ordinary man who has craving for becoming starts kamma of the various kinds beginning with abstention from killing, which leads to a happy destiny (Vism 525). Or the various kinds of concern are concerned with, occur in respect of, all states accompanied by cankers, because they only arise in thoughts accompanied by greed. And the words, “In one, bhikkhus, who dwells seeing satisfaction in states productive of clinging, craving increases, and clinging with craving as its condition,” indicate that they are included as conditions for the several kinds of clinging.

“Clinging:” The four kinds of clinging are meant. That is, clinging of sense-desire, of views, of rites and rituals, and of self theories. They firmly cling to, grasp, an object as a snake does a frog. They are given as four because of difference in mode of occurrence; but as craving and views they are two only. Owing to the abandoning of clinging, which is the condition for the various kinds of future becoming, there arises the contemplation of disenchantment with the whole world.

As to the state consisting in “mental prejudices” (resorts) and beliefs, it is the beliefs in eternity and annihilation that are prejudices (resorts) of the mind. Just as where lions and so on, when they have been wandering elsewhere, return regularly to sleep, and places such as caves etc., are called their lairs (resorts), so too the eternity and annihilation views are called the resorts (prejudices) of the ordinary man’s mind. For ordinary men mostly have eternity or annihilation as their prejudice (resort). Or alternatively, “mental prejudices” only are the prejudices (resorts) of the mind as eternity and annihilation; “beliefs” are the view about self.

“Inherent tendencies:” (anusaya) continually in here (anu anu senti), they occur, in a living being’s continuity. This is the name for those defilements that have become firmly implanted and are ready to arise when there is a reason.

“Abandoning” is dispelling by substitution of opposite qualities etc.

“Not clinging” is not grasping with the mind.

“Regarding the world … he becomes disenchanted:” as regards the whole world of the three elements, the sense-desire, fine-material, and immaterial elements, he has no delight, is not enchanted, not attracted, nor attached, he does not hold to it; he seeks only Nibbana, so towards that he leans, tends, and inclines.

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(ix) In the description of the contemplation of impermanence in all formations, “by all formations” means by all conditionally-arisen states, which are possessed of momentary dissolution. “Horrified:” has horror, is oppressed. “humiliated:” feels shame, is abashed. “Disgusted:” arouses disgust as though having seen something filthy.

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(x) In the description of mindfulness of in- and out-breathing, “gone to the forest” refers to an abode suitable to the development of mindfulness of breathing. “Sits down” points out a posture that favours quiet energy and tends neither to idleness nor to agitation. “Folded his legs” and so on shows a firm way of sitting and easy occurrence of breathing, as well as the means for grasping the object. Herein, “crosswise” means sitting with the thighs fully locked. “Folded” is fixed. “Set his body” “erect:” having placed the upper part of the body erect, the eighteen backbones resting end to end. For the skin, flesh, and sinews of one so seated are not twisted; then feelings that would arise at every moment if they were twisted do not arise and the mind becomes one-pointed; the meditation subject does not collapse, but it attains to growth and increase.

Established mindfulness in front of him (parimukham satim upatthapetva); having placed (thapayitva) mindfulness (satim) facing (abhimukham) the meditation subject. Or alternatively, “pari” has the sense of grasping, “mukham” has the sense of outlet from obstruction, “sati” has the sense of establishing; hence “parimukham satim” is communicated (Ps I 176), which is the method in the Patisambhidamagga, to be understood here, too. Its meaning briefly is, “having made the outlet, which has been grasped, the establishment of mindfulness.”

Just mindful he breathes in, mindful he breathes out: having thus seated himself and established mindfulness, without abandoning that mindfulness, just mindful he breathes in, mindful he breathes out, he is a mindful worker is what is said.

Now, in order to show the ways in which he is a mindful worker, “He breathes in long” and so on is said. For in the Patisambhidamagga, in the analysis of the clause, “mindful he breathes in mindful he breathe out,” it is said, “He is a mindful worker in thirty-two ways. In one who knows one-pointedness of mind and non-distraction by means of long in-breathing mindfulness is established; owing to that mindfulness and that knowledge he is a mindful worker. In one who knows one-pointedness of mind and non-distraction by means of long out-breathing … by means of breathing in contemplating relinquishment … by means of breathing out contemplating relinquishment mindfulness is established; owing to that mindfulness and that knowledge he is a mindful worker” (Ps I 176–7).

Herein, breathing in long is producing a long in-breath. “Assasa” is the breath issuing out; “passasa” the breath entering in; so the Vinaya Commentary has it, but in the Suttanta commentaries it is the other way around. Herein, at the time when a child comes out from the womb, first the wind from within goes out and subsequently the wind from without enters in with fine dust, strikes the palate, and is extinguished. Thus firstly should “assasa” and “passasa” be understood.

But their length and shortness should be understood by way of extent. For just as water or sand spread over a spatial extent is called a “long water,” a “long sand,” a “short water,” a “short sand,” so, in the case of elephants’ or snakes’ bodies, in- and out-breaths distributed in minute quantities slowly fill the long extent called their physical structures and slowly go out of- them. That is why they are called long. They quickly fill the short extent called the physical structure of a dog, a hare, or such creatures, and quickly go out; that is why they are called short. And in the case of humans, some breathe in and out long by way of time and spatial extent like elephants and snakes; others short like dogs, hares, and so on. Of these, therefore, the breaths that come out and go in over a long extent of space are called long in time, and those that come out and go in over a brief extent of space short in time.

Herein, this bhikkhu knows “I breathe in, I breathe out long” while breathing in and breathing out long in nine ways. And in him who knows thus it should be understood that the development of the foundation of mindfulness consisting in the contemplation of body is perfected in one aspect, according to the Patisambhidamagga: “How, breathing in long, does he know, ’I breathe in long,’ breathing out long, does he know, ’I breathe out long’? He breathes in a long in-breath reckoned by extent; he breathes out a long out-breath reckoned by extent; he breathes in and breathes out long in-breaths and out-breaths reckoned by extent. As he breathes in and breathes out long in-breaths and out-breaths reckoned by extent, zeal arises. Through zeal he breathes in a long in-breath more subtle than before reckoned by extent; through zeal he breathes out a long out-breath … Through zeal he breathes in and breathes out long in-breaths and out-breaths more subtle than before reckoned by extent. As, through zeal, … reckoned by extent, joy arises. Through joy he breathes in a long in-breath more subtle than before reckoned by extent; through joy he breathes out … through joy he breathes in and breathes out … As, through joy, he breathes in and breathes out long in-breaths and out-breaths more subtle than before reckoned by extent, his mind turns away from the long in-breaths and out-breaths, and equanimity is established. Long in-breathings and out-breathings in these nine ways are the ’body;’ the establishment (foundation) is mindfulness: the contemplation is Knowledge; the body is the establishment (foundation) but it is not the mindfulness; the mindfulness is both the establishment (foundation) and the mindfulness. By means of that mindfulness and that knowledge he contemplates that ’body.’ Hence it is called the development of the foundation (establishment) of mindfulness consisting in contemplation of the body in the body.” (Ps I 177).

So also in the case of short breaths. But there is this difference: while in the former case “a long in-breath reckoned by extent” is described, here “a short in-breath reckoned by brevity” has been handed down. So it should be construed with the word ’short’ as far as the phrase. “Hence it is called ’the development of the foundation (establishment) of mindfulness consisting in contemplation of the body in the body.’” So it should be understood that it is when he knows in-breaths and out-breaths in these nine ways by “extent” and by “brevity” that this bhikkhu, breathing in long, knows, “’I breathe in long’ … breathing out short, knows ’I breathe out short.’”

The long kind and the short as well,
The in-breath and the out-breath, too,
Such are the four kinds that happen
At the nose-tip of the bhikkhu who knows thus.

“‘Experiencing the whole body I shall breathe … shall breathe out,’ he trains himself:” making known, making plain, the beginning, middle, and end, of the entire in-breath body, I shall breathe in, he trains himself; making known, making plain, the beginning, middle, and end, of the entire out-breath body, I shall breathe out, he trains himself. Making them thus known and plain, he both breathes in and breathes out with consciousness associated with knowledge. That is why “’I shall breathe in … shall breathe out,’ he trains himself” is said. For to one bhikkhu the beginning of the in-breath body or the out-breath body distributed in minute quantities is plain but not the middle or the end; he is only able to grasp the beginning and is worried about the middle and the end. To another the middle is plain, not the beginning or the end; he is only able to grasp the middle and is worried about the beginning and the end. To another the end is plain, not the beginning or the middle; he is only able to grasp the end and is worried about the beginning and the middle. To yet another all stages are plain; he is able to grasp them all and is nowhere worried. Pointing out that one should be like the last-mentioned, he said “’experiencing the whole body, I shall breathe in … shall breathe out,’ he trains himself.”

Herein, “he trains himself” means that he strives, endeavours, thus. Restraint in one such as this is training in the Higher Virtue; his consciousness is training in the Higher Consciousness; his understanding is training in the Higher Understanding. So he trains in, cultivates, develops, repeatedly practises, these three courses of training in respect of that object, by means of that mindfulness, by means of that bringing-to-mind. Thus should the meaning be regarded here.

Herein, because he should, in the early stage, only breathe in and out, and should not do anything else at all, and after that should apply himself to the arousing of knowledge and so on, therefore only the present tense, “he knows, ’I breathe in,’ … he knows ’I breathe out’” is used in the text here. But in what follows, the future tense, “’experiencing the whole body I shall breathe in’” and so on, is used in order to show the aspect of arousing knowledge etc. that has to be undertaken subsequently.

“‘Calming the body formation, I shall breathe in … shall breathe out,’ he trains himself:” Calming, completely calming, causing to cease, quieting, the gross bodily formation, I shall breathe in, shall breathe out, he trains himself. (The ’bodily formation’ is a term for in- and out-breaths.) And here both the gross and subtle state, and the progressive calming, should be understood. For previously, at the time when the bhikkhu has not grasped them, his body and his mind are disturbed and gross. And when the grossness of body and mind is not quieted, the in- and out-breaths are gross; they occur so strongly that his nostrils are inadequate and he keeps breathing in and out through his mouth. But when the body and the mind have been grasped, then they become quite quiet. When they are quiet the in- and out-breaths eventually occur so subtly that he wonders whether they exist or not. Suppose a man stands still, after running, or descending from a hill, or putting down a large burden from his head, then his in- and out-breaths are gross, his nostrils are inadequate, and he keeps breathing in and out through his mouth. But when he has got rid of his fatigue and bathed and drunk and put a wet cloth on his heart, and he lies in the cool shade, then his in- and out-breaths eventually occur so subtly that he wonders whether they exist or not. So previously, at the time when the bhikkhu has not grasped them, he wonders whether they exist or not. Why is that? Because previously, at the time when he has not grasped them, he has no such idea, consideration, awareness, or reflection, as “I am calming each bodily formation;” but when he has grasped them he has. So his body formation is subtle at the time when he has grasped them compared with the time when he has not. Hence the Ancients said:

“When mind and body are disturbed,
Then in excess it occurs;
When the body is undisturbed,
Then with subtlety it occurs.”

When grasping them the bodily formation is gross, and it is subtle in the first jhana access; also it is gross in that and subtle in the first jhana; in the first jhana and second jhana access it is gross, and in the second jhana subtle; in the second jhana and third jhana access it is gross and in the third jhana subtle; in the third jhana and fourth jhana access it is gross, and in the fourth jhana it is exceedingly subtle and even reaches suspension. This is the opinion of the Digha and Samyutta Reciters. But the Majjhima Reciters have it that it is more subtle in the access than in the jhana immediately below, saying: in the first jhana it is gross, and in the second jhana access it is subtle, and so on. But it is the opinion of all that the bodily formation occurring at the time of not grasping becomes calmed at the time of grasping; the bodily formation occurring at the time of grasping becomes calmed in the access to the first jhana… The bodily formation occurring in the access to the fourth jhana becomes calmed in the fourth jhana. This, firstly, is the method in the case of serenity (concentration). But as regards insight, the bodily formation occurring when not grasping the meditation subject is gross, and in grasping the four great primary elements of matter it is subtle; that too is gross, and in grasping derived materiality it is subtle; that too is gross, and in grasping the immaterial (i.e. consciousness and conscious concomitants) it is subtle; that too is gross, and in grasping the conditions of mind and matter it is subtle; that too is gross, and in seeing mentality-materiality with its particular conditions it is subtle; that too is gross, and in insight that makes the three characteristics of impermanence, suffering, and no-self its object it is subtle; that too is gross in weak insight, and in strong insight it is subtle. Herein, the calming of each subsequent one in comparison with the one preceding should be understood in the way already stated. Thus should both the gross and subtle state, and the progressive calming, be understood here.

But in the Patisambhidamagga its meaning is given as follows with objection and reply. “How, thinking ’calming the bodily formation, I shall breathe in … shall breathe out,’ does he train himself? What are the bodily formations? They are long in-breaths … out-breaths; these things, belonging to the body, being bound up with the body, are bodily formations. Calming, tranquillizing, causing to cease, quieting those bodily formations, he trains himself… Such bodily formations whereby there is bending backwards, sideways, all ways, forwards and shaking, trembling, moving, of the body, ’calming the bodily formation, I shall breathe in,’ he trains himself, ’calming the bodily formation I shall breathe out,’ he trains himself. Such bodily formations whereby there is no bending backwards, sideways, all ways, forwards, no shaking, trembling, moving of the body, peacefully, subtly, ’calming the bodily formation I shall breathe in… shall breathe out,’ he trains himself.

“If it is thus (it is objected) that ’calming the bodily formation, I shall breathe in,’ he trains himself, ’calming the bodily formation, I shall breathe out,’ he trains himself then this being so, there is no production of awareness of wind, there is no production of in- and out-breathings, there is no production of mindfulness of breathing, and there is no production of concentration through mindfulness of breathing, and so the wise neither enter into, nor emerge from, that attainment.

“Yet since it is thus, (it is replied) that calming the bodily formation, ’I shall breathe in,’ he trains himself, calming the bodily formation, ’I shall breathe out,’ he trains himself’, then this being so, there is production of awareness of wind, there is production of in- and out breathings, there is production of mindfulness of breathing, and there is production of concentration through mindfulness of breathing, and so the wise enter into, and emerge from, that attainment.

“Like what? Just as when a metal gong is struck; at first gross sounds occur, and consciousness occurs because the sign of the gross sounds is well-grasped, well-brought-to-mind, well-considered; and when the gross sounds have ceased, then afterwards faint sounds occur, and consciousness occurs because the sign of the faint sounds is well-grasped, well-brought to mind, well-considered; and when the faint sounds have ceased, then afterwards consciousness occurs, because it has the sign of the faint sounds as object; so indeed, if first gross in-breaths and out-breaths occur and consciousness does not become distracted because the sign of the gross in- and out-breaths is well-grasped, well-brought-to-mind, well-considered; and when the gross in-and out-breaths have ceased, then afterwards faint in-and out-breaths occur and consciousness does not become distracted because the sign of the faint in- and out-breaths is well-grasped, well-brought to mind, well-considered; and when the faint in- and out-breaths have ceased, then afterwards consciousness does not become distracted, because it has the sign of the faint in- and out-breaths as object.

“This being so, there is production of awareness of wind … and so the wise enter into, and emerge from, that attainment.

“Breathings in and out calming the bodily formation are the ’body’; the establishment (foundation) is ’mindfulness’; the contemplation is knowledge; the body is establishment (foundation), but it is not mindfulness; the mindfulness is both establishment (foundation) and mindfulness. By means of that mindfulness and that knowledge he contemplates that ’body.’ Hence it is called ’the development of the establishment (foundation) of mindfulness consisting in contemplation of the body in the body’” (Ps I 184–6).

This, in the first place, is the word-commentary here, following the order of the first tetrad, which is set forth as contemplation of the body. The first tetrad is given as a meditation subject for a beginner; but the other three tetrads are set forth respectively as contemplation of feeling, mind, and mental objects, for one who has attained the first jhana. If, therefore, a meditator who is a beginner wants to develop this meditation subject and reach arahatship with the four kinds of discrimination through insight that has as its basis the fourth jhana produced through mindfulness of breathing, he should undertake the practise as directed in the Visuddhimagga (ch. VIII).

But as regards the other three tetrads, “experiencing rapture” means making rapture known, making it plain, ’I shall breathe in … shall breathe out,’ he trains himself. Herein, rapture is experienced in two ways, that is, as object and as non-delusion. How is it experienced as object? He attains the first two jhanas, in which rapture is present. At the moment of attainment rapture is then experienced by him as object through the obtaining of jhana because the object is experienced. How is it experienced as to non-delusion? Having attained the two jhanas in which rapture is present and emerged from them, he treats the rapture associated with the jhana as destructible and subject to fall. At the moment of insight, rapture is then experienced by him as non-delusion by penetrating the characteristics. For this is said in the Patisambhidamagga, “In one who knows one-pointedness of mind and non-distraction through breathing in long, mindfulness is established; by means of that mindfulness and that knowledge that rapture is experienced. In one who knows one-pointedness of mind and non-distraction through breathing out long … breathing in short … breathing out short …, breathing in experiencing the whole body … breathing out experiencing the whole body … breathing in calming the bodily formation …, breathing out calming the bodily formation, mindfulness is established. By means of that mindfulness and that knowledge that rapture is experienced. It is experienced by one who adverts, knows, sees, reviews, directs the mind, resolves with faith, exerts energy, establishes mindfulness, concentrates the mind, understands with understanding, directly knows what is to be directly known, fully knows what is to be fully known, abandons what is to be abandoned, develops what is to be developed, realises what is to be realised. Thus is that rapture experienced” (Ps I 187).

The remaining clauses in this tetrad, that is “experiencing bliss, experiencing the mental formation,” and “calming the mental formation,” should be understood as to their meaning in the same way. But this is the difference here. “Experiencing bliss” should be understood by way of three jhanas and “experiencing the mental formation” by way of four. The mental formation consists in the two aggregates of feeling and perception. And here in order to show the plane of insight, it is said in the Patisambhidamagga regarding the clause “experiencing bliss” as follows: “bliss: there are two kinds of bliss, bodily bliss and mental bliss” (Ps I 188). “Calming the mental formation” means calming the gross mental formation, causing it to cease. And this should be understood in detail in the same way as for the bodily formation. Moreover here, in the “rapture” clause, feeling is stated under the heading of rapture; but in the “bliss” clause it is stated in its own form. In the two “mental - formation” clauses it is feeling associated with perception because of the passage “perception and feeling, these states belong to the mind, being bound up with the mind, they are the mental formation” (Ps I 188). So this tetrad should be understood stated by way of contemplation of feeling. In the third tetrad, “experiencing the mind” should be understood by way of four jhanas.

“Gladdening the mind:” heartening, gladdening, pleasing, delighting, the mind, ’I shall breathe in, shall breathe out,’ he trains himself. Herein, there is gladdening in two ways: through concentration and through insight. How through concentration? He attains the two jhanas in which rapture is present. At the moment of attaining he pleases, gladdens, the mind with the associated rapture. How through insight? Having attained the two jhanas in which rapture is present and having emerged from them, he treats the rapture associated with the jhana as destructible and subject to fall. Thus at the moment of insight he pleases, gladdens, the mind by making the rapture associated with the jhana the object. So “’gladdening the mind, I shall breathe in … shall breathe out,’ he trains himself” is said of one who practises thus.

“Concentrating the mind” means centring the mind evenly, placing it evenly, on the object by means of the first jhana etc. But in one who, having attained those jhanas and emerged from them, treats the consciousness associated with jhana as destructible and subject to fall, there arises momentary one-pointedness of mind owing to penetration of these characteristics at the moment of insight. When he centres the mind evenly, places it evenly on the object too by means of the momentary one-pointedness of mind arisen thus, it is said of him “concentrating the mind, I shall breathe in … shall breathe out.”

“Liberating the mind:” setting free, releasing, the mind from the five hindrances by means of the first jhana; from applied and sustained thought by means of the second jhana; from rapture by means of the third jhana; from pleasure and pain by means of the fourth jhana. Or, having attained those jhanas and emerged from them, he treats the consciousness associated with the jhana as destructible and subject to fall. At the moment of insight he breathes in and breathes out setting free, releasing, the mind from the perception of permanence by means of the contemplation of impermanence, from the perception of pleasure by means of the contemplation of suffering, from the perception of self by means of the contemplation of no-self, from delight by means of the contemplation of revulsion, from greed by means of the contemplation of fading away of greed, from origination by means of the contemplation of cessation, from clinging by means of the contemplation or relinquishment. Hence it is said “’liberating the mind, I shall breathe in … shall breathe out,’ he trains himself. “

But in the fourth tetrad, as regards “contemplating impermanence,” firstly, here, the impermanent should be understood, and impermanence, and the contemplation of impermanence, and one contemplating impermanence. Herein, the five aggregates are “impermanent.” Why? Because of rise and fall and alteration. “Impermanence” is the state of the rise and fall and alteration in those same aggregates; or it is their absence after having been; it is the break-up of produced things owing to their continuous momentary dissolution consisting in their not remaining the same, is the meaning. “Contemplation of impermanence” is contemplation of matter impermanent owing to that impermanence. “One contemplating impermanence” is one possessed of that contemplation. So it is one such as this breathing in and breathing out who should here be understood thus “’contemplating impermanence I shall breathe in … shall breathe out,’” he trains himself.”

“Contemplating fading away:” but here there are two kinds of fading away, that is fading away as destruction, and absolute fading away. Herein, “fading away as destruction” is the continuous momentary dissolution of formations; “absolute fading away” is Nibbana. “Contemplation of fading away” is both insight and the path, occurring as seeing both kinds, and one who breathes in and breathes out possessed of that twofold contemplation should be understood thus, “’contemplating fading away, I shall breathe in … shall breathe out,’ he trains himself.”

Likewise as regards the clause “contemplating cessation.”

In the case of “contemplating relinquishment,” relinquishment is here of two kinds, that is, relinquishment as giving up and relinquishment as entering into. Relinquishment itself as contemplation is contemplation of relinquishment; this is a term for insight and the path. For it is by means of substitution of opposite qualities that insight gives up defilements together with aggregate-producing volitions, and through seeing the unsatisfactoriness of what is formed and through inclining towards the opposite of that, which is Nibbana, it enters into Nibbana; thus it is called both “relinquishment as giving up” and “relinquishment as entering into.” It is by means of cutting off that the path gives up defilements together with aggregate-producing volitions, and it enters into Nibbana by making it its object; thus it too is called both “relinquishment as giving up” and “relinquishment as entering into.” And both of these are called “contemplation” because of the continuous seeing of each preceding kind of knowledge. And one who breathes in and breathes out possessed of that twofold contemplation of relinquishment should be understood thus, “’contemplating relinquishment I shall breathe in … shall breathe out,’ he trains himself.”

This tetrad is stated by way of pure insight only. But the preceding three are by way of concentration and insight. Thus should the development of mindfulness of breathing in and out with its sixteen clauses be understood according to the four tetrads (Vism Ch. VIII).