MAHA SATIPATTHANA MEDIATION: THE DHARMA-CONTEMPLATION _ SIX SENSE FACULTIES AND SIX SENSE OBJECTS
THE MAHA SATIPATTHANA MEDITATION METHOD
SIX SENSE FACULTIES AND SIX SENSE OBJECTS
I heard like this:
At one time, Buddha was in Kuru in which there was a town named Kamma-sadamma. At this place, Buddha taught Bhiksus like this:
and Bhiksus said:
Then the Buddha said:
“This is the only way to purify the minds of satvas, bring worry, sorrow, resentment and tears to the end, destroy anguish of body and mind, reach the Holy Way and Nirvana Enlightment. That is Smṛtyupasthāna (The Four Foundations of Mindfulness)”
What is Four Contemplation (or The Four Foundations of Mindfulness)?
Herein (in this teaching), Bhiksus, a bhiksu dwells contemplating the body in the body, ardently, clearly comprehending and mindful, removing desire and grief (hatred) in the world; he dwells contemplating the feeling in the feelings, ardently, clearly comprehending and mindful, removing desire and grief (hatred) in the world; he dwells contemplating the mind in mind, ardently, clearly comprehending and mindful, removing desire and grief (hatred) in the world; he dwells contemplating Dharma in Dharmas, ardently, clearly comprehending and mindful, removing desire and grief (hatred) in the world.
“Bhiksus, a bhiksu dwells contemplating Dharma in Dharma in six sense faculties and six sense objects.
And Bhiksus, how do you dwell contemplating Dharma in Dharma in six sense faculties and six sense objects?
Bhiksus knows the eye, knows the seen object, and also knows the fetters (binding rope) that arise depending on both of these. He also knows the reason why the unborn fetters arise. He also knows the reason why the born fetters are demolished. And he also knows the reason why demolished fetters will not arise in the future.
A bhiksu knows the ear, knows the sounds, and also knows the fetters that arise dependending on both of these. He also knows the reason why the unborn fetters arise. He also knows the reason why the born fetters are demolished. And he also knows the reason why demolished fetters will not arise in the future.
A bhiksu knows the nose, knows the odors, and also knows the fetters that arise dependending on both of these. He also knows the reason why the unborn fetters arise. He also knows the reason why the born fetters are demolished. And he also knows the reason why demolished fetters will not arise in the future.
A bhiksu knows the tongue, knows the flavors, and also knows the fetters that arise dependending on both of these. He also knows the reason why the unborn fetters arise. He also knows the reason why the born fetters are demolished. And he also knows the reason why demolished fetters will not arise in the future.
A bhiksu knows the body, knows the touched objects, and also knows the fetters that arise dependending on both of these. He also knows the reason why the unborn fetters arise. He also knows the reason why the born fetters are demolished. And he also knows the reason why demolished fetters will not arise in the future.
A bhiksu knows the citta, knows the dhamas (the objects of the citta), and also knows the fetters that arise dependending on both of these. He also knows the reason why the unborn fetters arise. He also knows the reason why the born fetters are demolished. And he also knows the reason why demolished fetters will not arise in the future.
Therefore, he dwells contemplating dhama in dhamas internally, or he dwells contemplating Dharma in Dharmas externally, or he dwells contemplating Dharma in Dharmas internally and externally.
He dwells contemplating the arising factors in Dharmas, or he dwells contemplating the destructive factors in Dharmas, or he dwells contemplating both the arising and destructive factors in Dharmas.
Or he has the right mindfulness that “there are only Dharmas.” This means, that right mindfulness is purely based on Dharmas.
And this mindfulness needs to be established for the development of future wisdom and mindfulness.
Bhiksus are not dependent on (or attached to) anything by any ways of craving and negative views.
Nor does he cling to anything in this world made of the five skandhas.
Hence, Bhiksus, a bhiksu dwells contemplating Dharma in Dharmas in six sense faculties and six sense objects.”
Sometimes the Buddha describes this world through the Five Skandhas, sometimes through the Twelve Faculties of Sense. Called the Twelve Faculties of Sense because they are the residential or presence of all other things. These are places where Citta and some Caitasika present. There are six internal faculties and (six sense faculties) and six external objects (six sense objects).
Six faculties of senses are the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind. They are called internal sense or internal sense sphere (Ajjhattikani Ayatanani) because they are the most beneficial components of satva. They are the internal senses of the body. Six sense objects (also know as six external senses or Bahirani Ayatanani) are: visual objects, sounds, odors, tastes, tangibles, and Dharmas (visible forms, sounds, odors, tastes, visible objects and Dharmas). Dharmas here include Caitasika (owned mind), Subtle-form and Nirvana.
Six sense Faculties are compatible with Six sense Objects or Six sense Objects compatible with Six sense Faculties.
First is eye and being seen objects.
The Eye is called sense faculty, because perceptions arise depending on the eyes. If you do not have eyes, there is no Eyes Consciousness. The Eye is the faculty of Eyes Consciousness or the home of Eyes Consciousness. The seen object is the condition for the Eyes Consciousness to generate. Without the seen objects, there is also no Eyes Consciousness. A blind man cannot see anything because he does not have Eyes Faculty. Without something to see, the Eyes Consciousness cannot arise.
Sounds and other Objects are the same.
You have ears or Ears Faculty. The word Ears here does not mean the outer part of the Ears but the inner part of the Ears, “sensitive spot of the Ears”. Because you have Ears Faculty, you have Ears Consciousness. Due to Sounds or Noises you have Ears Consciousness. The Ears Consciousness depends on Ears faculty and the sound.
Smells, tastes, visible objects and Dharmas are also the same.
Consciousness is dependent on Sense-Faculties and Sense-Objects: dependent on the Ear and Sounds, dependent on the Nose and Odors, dependent on the Tongue and Tastes, dependent on the Body and Touched Things, dependent on the mind and Dharmas. Thus, we call them “Faculties, Objects”or Internal Senses and External Senses.
There are Twelve Faculties Objects, how can zen student know about them?!
Here Bhiksus, you know the eyes and the seen objects, know the arising factors depedent on these two things.
When you completely know about the Faculty-Objects, you not also are clear about them but also know the arising factors depending on those Faculties Objects. This means, when the eyes see an object, the Eyes Consciousness arises immediately. If that is a beautiful or lovely object, you will cling to it, demanding to possess it. If that is not a lovable object, you will feel hateful, angry or upset. Hence, depending on the Eyes and the seen objects, craving, anger, … arises … Zen student know that craving with anger and grief arise depending on the Eyes and the Seen Object …
These craving or anger is called the fetters (binding rope). They are likely the ropes that tie us to the endless circle of life and death. There are totally twelve fetters that described in AbhiDharma.
When you see (hear, taste…) something lovely or nice, you will experience the craving.
Anger will arise when you see something that you do not want to see or when you hear something you do not want to hear.
When the zen student thinks: “Only the person like me can see these things,” the zen student has experienced arrogance.
- Drsti (or wrong views):
Zen student have wrong views on what they see or hear, they would have thought that a few things that are everlasting or things that are lovely and nice and they should own them. When you hold these wrong views, they will become the fetters, which will ties you to the circle of reborn.
Skepticsm may arise when zen student see or hear something. When you have these doubts, they will become fetters or binding wires.
(If doubts arise you ask yourself: “Is it a satva?” Or “Is that the possession of satvas?”)
- Clinging to mere rules:
In the Pali language,“Clinging to mere rules” is to indicate “silabbata paramasa” which means having a wrong idea that making some rituals or ceremonies can eliminate Klesa (affliction) and enlighten the truth.
During Buddha’s time, there are many exotic practicing methods that the practioners believe they can lead to Mukti (Deliverance). They accept the truth that the joyfulness and grieves in this life is because of the kamas thay had accumulated in the past. However, they believe that to liberate from these kamas, they have to do something on their body so the kamas can be demolished.
They act like dogs, live like dogs, eat like dogs, to eliminate affliction. Some others live like cows, sleep like cows, eat like cows to eliminate affliction. Believing in the wrong practicing methods like that is called Silabbata Paramasa. Nowadays, there are many people who still believe and practice the wrong ways, which they believe can lead them to Deliverance and Enlightenment.This kind of wrong belief can arise in you everytime you interact with objects through the Six-faculties sense.
- Desires for Existence (also called Bhava):
There are two types of craving: craving in the pleasures of Five-Objects sense, and desires for the existence. Bhava is the desire to have a better existence or a better life. Which means the belief of some rebirth in the future or the next life will better than this life.
The envy of the other’s wealth or properties. The feature of this fetter is not feeling happy with what the other ones have. It also means not wanting the others to own something, and favoring the idea of the others having something. The expression of envy is: “Feeling uncomfortable about the wealth or the assets of the other one.” The object of envy or the cause of it is the wealth of the others. When seeing something good, something lovely belonging to someone else, you feel envious; you have got this fetter. You also feel envious of the other’s intangible possession such as their happiness or their health…
In that case you need to cultivate sympathetic joy, which is to develop a happy heart with the success and happiness of the others.
- Stinginess (Matsarya):
This is a very difficult word to translate. The macchariya man’s character is hiding his properties or his wealth. When you have a stingy mind, you do not want to share your belongings with the others, you do not want anyone to use them. For example I have this tape recorder, if I do not want others to use it, I am stingy. Which means that I am not happy or feel comfortable seeing my things used by someone else. The sign of stinginess is “shrinking” or “small-mind.” The cause of stingy is your properties.
Envy and stinginess have different objects. You are envy of the others’ properties while you are stingy with your own properties. Stinginess has some points like miserliness, but actually they are not the same. Miserliness comes from greedy, while envy and stinginess come with anger. When someone uses your items, you feel angry, it’s cause is stinginess. However, when someone ask you for something and you do not agree, that is not really stinginess. Even the Arhat encounters this situation.
In Buddha’s time, there was a monk asking a nun for her under robe. He did so because he wanted to see her body when she got changed, but she refused and said: “I cannot give you this under robe because it is my only one”. Because the monk keeps begging, the nuns had to give it to him. This nun was very well known among the abhijñā nuns (nuns who have supernatural power) so she used her supernatural-power to give her under robe to the monk without revealing any parts of her body. At first, that she did not give him the under robe does not mean she was stingy. She is an Arhat, so she has no stingy mind or any impurity. Thus, when someone asks you for something and you do not give them, that is not stingy. The nun did not give the monk her under robe not because she was stingy or miserly but because it was the only under robe that she had.
- Ignorance (Avidyà):
Ignorance often appears along with the other fetters. Where there is craving, there will always be ignorance. Ignorance is always accompanied by akuśala caitasika.
Above are Ten Fetters.
These ten fetters can be elimiated by four enlightments. That is reaching the four stages of enlightenment from the first to the fourth. Reaching the Srotāpanna stage, zen student eliminate the wrong views, skepticism, silavrata paramarsa, envy and stinginess. Reaching the Sakṛdāgāmin stage, they can eliminate the raw-form of craving and anger. When reaching the Anāgāmin stage, they can eliminate the subtle part of craving and anger. Reaching the Arhat stage, they will eliminate the arrogance, desires for existence, and ignorance.
Therefore. Bhiksus know the eyes, know the seen objects and also the fetters which arise depending on them. Bhiksus also know why these fetters, which have yet to arise, arise.
Zen student achieve this by cultivating the wise reflections.
Bhiksus also know why these fetters have arisen are eliminated.
Zen student achieve this by cultivating the wise reflections.
And Bhiksus also know why these fetters which have been eliminated will not arise again in the future.
Now zen student is the enlightened. Zen student exclude the fetters by achieving spiritual mind. These fetters, once excluded when the spiritual mind appears, will never arise again in the future. Zen student know this when achieve the stages of enlightenment.
During the contemplation, you contemplate things in the present moment and you will see these “Faculties Senses” and fetters that arise depending on them. You will also see the arising and destruction these “Faculties Senses” and fetters. When you see the arising and destruction of them, you’ll no longer find anything in this world (ie the five Skandhas) to cling, or to hold anymore.
Thus, Bhiksus contemplate Dharmas in Dharmas in Six sense faculties and Six sense objects.
When clearly seeing them you have contemplated in the six internal and external sense sphere.
Quoted from: Mahasatipatthana Sutra
Zen Master U SILANANDA
Translator: Bhiksu Khanh Hy
(Aggasami Tran Minh Tai)
VajraPani Group – “Sun” Generation
Esoteric Dharma VajraPani Lineage
Translator: Nhat Binh