"In search of what might be skillful, seeking the unexcelled state of sublime peace, I wandered by stages in the Magadhan country and came to the military town of Uruvela. There I saw some delightful countryside, with an inspiring forest grove, a clear-flowing river with fine, delightful banks, and villages for alms-going on all sides. The thought occurred to me: 'How delightful is this countryside, with its inspiring forest grove, clear-flowing river with fine, delightful banks, and villages for alms-going on all sides. This is just right for the exertion of a clansman intent on exertion.' So I sat down right there, thinking, 'This is just right for exertion.'
"Then, monks, being subject myself to birth, seeing the drawbacks of birth, seeking the unborn, unexcelled rest from the yoke, Unbinding, I reached the unborn, unexcelled rest from the yoke: Unbinding. Being subject myself to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement, seeing the drawbacks of aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement, seeking the aging-less, illness-less, deathless, sorrow-less, unexcelled rest from the yoke, Unbinding, I reached the aging-less, illness-less, deathless, sorrow-less, unexcelled rest from the yoke: Unbinding. Knowledge & vision arose in me: 'Unprovoked is my release. This is the last birth. There is now no further becoming.'
"When the mind was thus concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, rid of defilement, pliant, malleable, steady, & attained to imperturbability, I directed it to the knowledge of the ending of the mental fermentations. I discerned, as it was actually present, that 'This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the way leading to the cessation of stress... These are fermentations... This is the origination of fermentations... This is the cessation of fermentations... This is the way leading to the cessation of fermentations.' My heart, thus knowing, thus seeing, was released from the fermentation of sensuality, released from the fermentation of becoming, released from the fermentation of ignorance. With release, there was the knowledge, 'Released.' I discerned that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'
"This was the third knowledge I attained in the third watch of the night. Ignorance was destroyed; knowledge arose; darkness was destroyed; light arose — as happens in one who is heedful, ardent, & resolute. But the pleasant feeling that arose in this way did not invade my mind or remain.
mikenz66 wrote:“Then, bhikkhus, it occurred to me: ‘This consciousness turns back; it does not go further than name-and-form. [*]
* This consciousness turns back (paccudāvattati kho idaṃ viññāṇāṃ).
Spk: What is the consciousness that turns back here? The rebirth-consciousness and the insight-consciousness. Rebirth-consciousness turns back from its condition, insight-consciousness from its object. Neither overcomes name-and-form, goes further than name-and-form.
Spk-pṭ: From its condition: Rebirth-consciousness turns back from volitional formations—the special cause for consciousness—which has not been mentioned; it does not turn back from all conditions, as name-and-form is stated as the condition for consciousness. From its object: from ignorance and volitional formations as object, or from the past existence as object.
retrofuturist wrote:I find it interesting how radically different the interpretations of the Mahavihara commentators are to how Venerable Nanananada, for example, interprets this matter.
retrofuturist wrote:Out of interest, if anyone knows (i.e. don't bother looking it up just for my benefit), what is this "insight-consciousness"? Is this notion found in the suttas?
There are fourteen thought moments in the process of seeing. If neither seeing, hearing, nor mind-consciousness arises, life-continuum goes on occurring. It is identical to rebirth consciousness. It is the consciousness that continues when you are fast asleep. When a visible object appears, life-continuum ceases, a thought-moment arises adverting consciousness to the object that comes into the eye door. When this ceases, seeing consciousness arises. Then comes the investigating consciousness, Then the consciousness that determines whether the object seen is good or not. Then, in accordance with the determination reached, moral or immoral apperceptions arise violently for seven thought moments. When these cease, two retentive thought moments arise. When these cease, consciousness subsides into life-continuum again, like falling asleep. From adverting to retention there are fourteen thought moments. All these manifest as one seeing consciousness. This is how the process of seeing takes place. When one is well-practised in insight meditation, after the arising of life-continuum following the seeing process, insight consciousness that reviews ‘seeing’ takes place. You must try to meditate immediately, like this. If you are able to do so, it appears to your mind as though you were meditating on things as they are seen, as soon as they arise. This kind of meditation is called “meditation on the present” in the suttas. “He discerns things present as they arise here and now.” (M.iii.187) The Patisambidhāmagga says, “Understanding in reviewing the perversion of present states is knowledge of arising and passing away.”
‘I will not attain final Nibbāna, Evil One, until I have bhikkhu disciples who are wise, disciplined, confident, secure from bondage, learned, upholders of the Dhamma, practising in accordance with the Dhamma, practising in the proper way, conducting themselves accordingly; who have learned their own teacher’s doctrine and can explain it, teach it, proclaim it, establish it, disclose it, analyse it, and elucidate it; who can refute thoroughly with reasons the prevalent tenets of others and can teach the efficacious Dhamma.’