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Preserving the Buddha's Teachings, Ch 8, no 7.

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  • Nina van Gorkom
    Dear friends, We read in the Scriptures that the Buddha spoke about exerting right effort for kusala, and people may misunderstand such passages. They believe
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 1, 2008
      Dear friends,

      We read in the Scriptures that the Buddha spoke about exerting right
      effort for kusala, and people may misunderstand such passages. They
      believe that they should try to have kusala and make an effort for
      satipatthåna. However, effort, viriya, is a cetasika arising with
      many cittas, with akusala cittas as well as with kusala cittas. When
      we perform kusala, kusala viriya accompanies the kusala citta already
      because of conditions. We discussed the four right efforts, sammå-
      padhånas: the effort of avoiding akusala not yet arisen, of
      overcoming akusala already arisen, of developing kusala not yet
      arisen and of maintaining kusala already arisen. They are part of the
      factors pertaining to enlightenment, bodhipakkhiya dhammas.
      Acharn Sujin explained that when there is a moment of satipatthåna
      the four right efforts perform their functions. When they accompany
      the citta that is "mundane", lokiya, not yet lokuttara, they have not
      yet reached fulfillment. They develop together with satipatthåna and
      the other factors pertaining to enlightenment until lokuttara citta
      arises when enlightenment is attained. Then lokuttara paññå
      accompaying the magga-citta, path-consciousness, experiences nibbåna
      and eradicates the latent tendencies of defilements in accordance
      with the stage of enlightenment that is attained. Also the other
      factors accompanying paññå experience nibbåna while they perform
      their functions at that moment. Acharn Sujin explained:

      "When at the moment of enlightenment supramundane (lokuttara) paññå
      experiences nibbåna, it supports the other factors pertaining to
      enlightenment, so that they can perform their functions completely.
      When there is a moment of understanding that accompanies lokiya citta
      the latent tendencies, anusayas, are eliminated to a certain extent,
      but not completely. If there is no gradual decrease of them, how
      could paññå eradicate them at the moment of enlightenment? Then
      paññå, that was developed through satipatthåna and reached the stages
      of insight knowledge, vipassanå ñåna, can completely eradicate latent

      During the two weeks of our pilgrimage we heard day after day Acharn
      Sujin's most valuable explanations about the development of
      satipatthåna. Also during our long bus trips we could listen to tapes
      on Dhamma and in between we had many opportunities for dhamma
      discussions with our friends. Acharn Sujin often reminded us of the
      importance of the three "rounds" or intertwining phases:
      understanding of the truth, sacca ñåna, knowledge of the task to be
      performed, kicca ñåna, which is the practice, and knowledge of the
      task that has been done, kata ñåna. When we carefully consider these
      three phases we can see the necessity of intellectual understanding
      as a firm foundation of understanding of the level of the practice,
      patipatti, that is, awareness of the present moment.


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