Sie sind auf Seite 1von 114

Buddha Siisana Nu"alta Organization

Malzasi Trans/ation Commit(n, Rangoon.


A DISCOURSE ON
HEMAVATA SUTTA
An English Renderiftg by
U On Pe (let Toe)
Filst printed (J1ll1 published in the Socialist
Re[JIIlJ/ic of tile Union of Burma.
December 1980
First Pri nted 1980
Rf'ligious publication Permission No. 17M
Cover Permission No. 350
First Impression 1000
Cover by Zwe Press
(Dhamma.dana)
The contents of this boek may be reproduced
and reprinted in part or in whole
after prior intimation to the publisher.
Publisbed by U Pwint Kaung (Exemption No.667)
BuddhaSasana Nuggaha Organization,
16 Hermitage Road, Rangoon, Burma
Printed by U Tun Shein (Perm. 02138), Zwe Press
172, 33rd S t r e ~ t , RaDsooD, Burma
,
Contents
Foreword
1
1. Date for this sutta ... 6
2. Concentrated attention is Essential
8
3. Proper way of listening to a sermon 9
4. The woman who overheard the
two devas 000 13
5. Invitation by SiWigiri deva .... J4
6. Araham attribute 16
7. Buddha attribute .... 20
8. Hemavata's question (1) .... 21
9. Embarrassing to be questioned 24
10. SiHigiri's answer (I) ... 25
11. Very adorable
27
12. How maha-karuna happened

2S
13. Followers of wrong faith
more pitiable ... 34
14. Q & A between king Kawrabya
and Venerable Rathapala ... 34
15. An enlightened question

41
16. Ability to view unpleasant
things as pleasant
43
A
HEM A VAT A SU 1T A
17. M;,bakassapa and a leper
44
3 ~ , The two. kinds used ~
18. Is he free of guilt of torture
51
3 f' The attnbutes of Sugd'NI
and lassitude?

38. Hemavata's Question No
19. Rude words of takkadun Kassapa
52 39. Three kinds of m;cchu dif
20. Is He into jhana

53
40. Satagiri's Answer No 4
21. Satagiri's answer No 2
54
I
41. Also free of moha
...
22 The bogus Buddhas

55 42. Free of miccha difthi since
23: Nobody wants to be killed or
receiving assuring prediction ,
56
robbed
43. Tallies with the theory of 6
C
mao
24. Free by means of samuccheda
dies and is reborn as man" ..
virati
...
57
44. When did false faiths spring up?
25. You would'nt steal if you had
45. Free of all moha .... 1
sympathy
... 58
r
46. Has the eye of knowledge . ...
J
26. Freedom from sin of stealing
47' Buddha cakkhu 103
through vipassana
... 59
48. Asayti-nusaya nana

Ic}S
27.
Freedom from sin of stealing
49. Hemavata's Query No 5 113
through Ariya magg
a
59
50. Three kinds of vijja

115
28. One prone to killing in not a
51. Pubbenivlisa nana 115
63
52. Dibbacakkhn n(ina 116
Sotapan
.. ,
53. Di bbacakkhu can see pet a
29. Samatha jhCtna
67
30. Vipassantl jhana
68
spirits 118
...
54. Asavakkhava nana ...
120
31. Buddh:1 into Jhdna while audience 55. Eight vijjt'i 122
were s(lying "Sadhu"
71
56. Vipassana tiana 123
32. Burmese Sl7dhu and Csylonesej
....
71
57. AIallomayiddhi and lddhivialza
~ ' SCidhll ...
fi,! 11([
127
...
33. Vassakara's slander
... 78
':'8, Cefopari),a nuna
127
34. Satagiri's Answer No 3 ... 80
59. Matikamii t;"l the woman devotee
'''8
35. Of two kinds of speech two
60. No mi schief near a mind
J _
are permissible ... 84
rrader . ...
138
B
c
ll.bMAVATA SUTTA
HEMAVATA SUTTA
61. Dibbasota nema

140
83. Must not transgress the area
62. Fifteen caI'ana
141
of samtidhi ... 178
84. The six sense-bases make up
63. One with vijja carana in most
146
man 180
sacred

...
85. Suffering in the six 180
64. yogis here have these attributs
...
150
(
86. Hemavata's question number
too
...
two 183
65. The story of Suppabuddha
151
87. Giving instructions to
...
66. About lady Kiili
... 155
Malukyaputta bhikkhii
67. Hemavata's question No
1 160
... 187
.. ,
68. Buddha's answer (l)
160
88. Discarding taf).hii occuring
70. Where the six are there taka is .. ,
160
on the sight ... 188
71. Only the six are in company
.... 164
89. The current of kama: Desire ... 193
72. The eye, the sense of seeing
90. The current of bhava, existence ... 194
and the sight 165
91. The curre'nt of diuhi, false
73. The ear, the sense of hearing
beliefs

195
and the sound
... 166
92. The current of Qvijjii, ignorance ... 197
74. The tongue, the sense of taste
93. First qualification of the
and the taste
... 167
successful swimmer

198
75. The body, the sense of touch
94. The second qualification ... 200
and the touch ... 167
95. The third qualification . .. 201
76. Mind associated with ideas 169
96. Don't talk Rashly About
77. Tiring oneself is not
Ekadhammo ... 202
necessarily attakilamatha ... J70 97. The Buddha's answer (3B) 206
78 . The Buddha's admonition
. ..
... 171
98. The past history of Hemavata
79. Kiimasukkhallika and
and company ... 208
attakilamatha differentiated
... 173
80, Samatha and Vipassana
'"
174
8l. No transgression
.. , 176
82. ATit!ha's false notions
... 177
D
p.

Namo Buddhassa: Honour to the Fully
Enlightened One. Homage to him,
the Great Omniscient Sage Who
the net of rays of his Good
Law. These rays of His Good Law.
His message true. Long may they
shed their f3diance over the world .

FOREWORD
This book is the translation by U On Pe,
a well-known Burmese writer, of the Vene-
rable (Aggamahapandita) Mahasi Sayadaw's
discourse on Hemavata .gutta. According to
tradition, Hemavata sutta belongs to a place
between Dhammacakkra sutta and
lakkhal)a sutta in chronological 0 er.
Although it is liot as famous as these
suttas, it is no less valu<.Jble to those who
seek truth and wish to gain knowledge about
Lord Buddha and his teachings.
It will not be out of place to mention
briefly the circumstances under which the
preparation of the original book started.
At one time the Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw
delivered a series of sermons on Dhamma-
cakkra sutta at the request of his disciples.
The sermons cont:lined :l lot of information
about the sutta and its practical application
1
B 1
FOREWORD
and left a deer impression on the listeners.
As one of the fortunat e persons who had
the talks, [ had them tape-recorded
and finally wit h the approval of the Sayadaw
the discourse was published Now the book
is bein<s tralJsla ted ill to English for the be-
nefit of nonBurmese reading public.
At the instance of the Venerable Ashin
VaJ.1I)ita who helped me in preparing the
book on Dhammacakkra sutta I requested
the Venerable Mabasi for a dis-
course on Hemavata sutta. The Venerable
Sayadaw kindly consented and gave a series
of talks at the beginning of the Burmese
new year in 1963 at the Mahasi meditation
centre when it was crowded with practising
yogis, including a host high of school and
college students. Six sermons were tape
recorded, transcribed, then submitted to the
yenerable Sayadaw and came out in print
10 1973.
As the work of the learned Venerable
Mahasi Sayadaw, the discourse on Hemavata
is a highly informative and ilIuminat-
109 talk on Bu.ddba.Dhamma in a language
so clear and sImple that it can be under.
?y Buddhists non-Buddhists alike.
e dIscourse contams interesting stories
and remarkable maxims in stanzas that can
. .
r \
-,
- - - ,
I
FOREWORD
be easily memorized by the reader. Abovo
all, the erudition and wisdom underlyinl
the whole discourse wilJ undoubtedly belp
the reader to understand the Dhamma and
its taste which excels all other tastes. As the
Buddha repeatedly says in Vinaya, Anguttara-
nikaya and Udana, "As the great ocean has
but one taste, that of salt, so has this
Dhamma and Discipline but one -taste, the
taste of Freedom."
In conclusion, as the saying goes, "tbe
proof of the pudding is in the eating of it",
and the reader will judge for himself and
enjoy the taste of the Dhamma in the pre-
sent work. The discourse provides practical
lessons that will be immensely beneficial to
all spiritual aspirants regardless of sex, race,
nationality, status or occupation. We wish
this book, the first of its kind on the subject
in English language thorough success. May
all beings attain the Ariyan path and insight
as pointed out in this work and achieve
liberation and peace in Nibbana, the abode
of the Arahants and the Buddbas.
U Thein Han, B.A., B.L.
(MAHASI YOGI)
Hony: Treasurer,
Buddha Sasana Nuggaba Organization
Rangoon
3

L
r
-...., ,- --
I
A DISCOURSE ON
HEMAVATA SUTTA
Part I
This Hemavata sutta is realJy a sboJt
piece, and so it is apt to be overlooked. b1
many. In fact, it is the second 9f the
sermons of the Buddha, for it wis delixered
after the. Dhamma-cakka sutta, tht fiTSt Rt
the Buddha's sermons. Only after this ser-
mon was the well-known Anatta-ltlkl<haoa
sutta delivered. This sutta was delivered OD
the night of the same d ~ y on which tbe
Dhamma-cakka slltta was delivered.
This sutta is suitable to every persoD-
The dialogue between Hemavata deya aDCl
Satagiri deva contains descriptioDl of tile
admirable attributes of the Buddba, and
also the ways of conduct for those who are
members of the Buddha's siisanii (area bf
teachings). The woman who overheard the
dialogue between the two devils was so
adoring of the attributes of the Buddha
that she became a So/lipan although she had
5
ItEMAVATA SUTTA
not yet learnt of the Buddha's attainment
of Buddhahood.
Now, if the audience of my lecture were
to reach realisation of the Dhamma Jike
that woman, it would be rcally good because
the woman heard only a short dialogue
whereas my audience would be hearing a
discourse which will last over two hours
daily for three or four days. My audience
would be learning more from an elaborate
discourse than what the woman bad learnt
from a short dialogue. My audience could
possibly acquire at least some piirami for at-
taining the stage of sotapan, if not sotapan-
hood.
Date for this Sutta
How long ago did the Buddha deliver this
sermon? He had administered the cool
so.othing water of the Dhamma to
bemgs, devas and Brahmas for forty five
years after He had delivered His first sermon
?f sutta before he passed
Into From the time of His passing
to day IS a period of 2506 years. So
addmg the forty five years of His life as a
teacher to length of tha t period, the
of hme that had passed since the
H emavata Sutta is 2551 years. Being as old
as the Dhammacakka sutta, it must be taken
6
HEMAVATA SUTTA
as one of tbe earliest sermons delivered by
the Buddha.
At the end of the full moon day of the
month of Kason 255\ years ago, tbe Buddha
attained Buddha-hood, and for seven times
seven days He stayed on at the seven nearby
places. After 49 days following the attain-
ment of the Buddha went to
Migadavun jungle near the city of Baneres
(modern name: Varanasi) for the purpose
of delivering His first sermon to the five
hermits (the paJ1ca vaggi). The date of the
First Sermon was the full moon day of the
month of Waso, 2551 years ago. The time
was the even ing when tbe reddened ball o(
the sun was about to sink into the western
horizon while the yellowish disc of the full
moon was rising from the eastern horizon.
It was then that the Buddha began the
delivery of His Dhammacakka sulla.
Myriads of devas and Brahmas assembled
around the Buddha to listen to His First
Sermon. Of tbe five human beings, the
panca vaggi, the oldest one, Ashin KOt)-
danna had attained to the stage of SOltipanna
whereas 18 crores of Brahm{is and numberless
devas had attained the realization of the
Dhamma, according to Afilinda Pafihd.
Among the celestial audience was a dcva,
Satagiri, named after Sata mountain which
7
PJEMAVATA SUTTA
was his residence. He was highly gratified
t hear the DllOmmacakka sutta, but
was not cert ain about the presence
of his friend, deva, a!1
d
3:
fter
looking around, he found tbat hIs
was absent. He was anxious to hIs
f riend present because he thought to
that after the Jas t sermon of the precedIng
Buddha, Kassl'lpa, of
past this was fir t tlme a SI mIlar sermon
was ' heard and so he wished to have his
f riend, to be present in the
audience and was wondering why the latter
had not 'come to hear the First Sermon.
SaHigiri had failed to attai n reali zation of
the Dhamma owing to such distraction.
Concentrated Attention is Esse ntial
To attain realization of the Dhamma
while listening to a sermon, one must have
a settled mind for it is only through con-
centrated and with a settled mind
could one attain samddhi and only samadhi
could make for insight. If the mind
during the sermon over domestic, economIC
and other secular aff airs. samadhi will not
be attained If anxiety sets in, it is all for
the worse. If distr action and anxiety crop
up, the essence of the Dhamma will slip,
and as samadhi is lacking, there will be no
8
HEMAVATA SPTTA
insight and if one cannot for
viplIssan<i, how can one attam real!zahon
the Dhamma'l Concentr.lted attentIon "bIle
listening to a sermon is, therefore, an
important factor. The way to conduct one-
self white listening to a sermon is described
in Kassapa samyutta as follows:
Proper way of listening to a sermon
A sermon must be attended to with a mo-
tive of profit, meaning that in 'a commercial
transaction a good and fair bargain must be
struck Vrith due care, that in harvesting
crops due care must be exercised so tb, t not
a grain of corn, not a single fltri g of beans,
as the ca!'e may be, should be left behind.
That utmost care with which gold and
gems must' be kept need\; no special men-
ti on. I n the same way, in attending a sermon-
meeti ng one mus t li sten car ru1ly so that not
a word of tbe preacher is missed and one
must al so try to realize the medning of each
and every word utt ered. According 10 that
trea tise, t he li st ener must listen carefully,
with full ment al involvement, ar.d words
of the Dhamma must be adl leted to in
practice.
That is the proper Wd Y of attendin " to a
sermon. If one attends to a sermon i n
way, one' s mind will be calm and aJ:>sorbed
9
dEMAVATA SUTTA
in the sermon; one will be froIll; inter-
ference, and thus attain punty of .mmd. At
such moment there occurred many lDstances
of realization of the Dhomma after the ser-
mon on the four Noble Truths was heard.
The attainment of redemption from the
samsiira by Ashin K01)dafifia and the de vas and
Brahmiis when the sermon of the Dhamma-
cakka was heard on that day was due to
their concentrated attention to the Buddha's
words. In this instance, Satagiri might have
missed some of the words as he had been
thinking about his friend Hemavata. If he
had not missed the words, he might have
pondered deeply upon the meaning of the
words. It appears that he did not quite
understand the sermon as be had been won-
dering why his friend had not turned up; he
had been tbinking that his friend had been
under the spell of pleasures and enjoying
them so that he was absent, and so he,
Satagiri, had not come to the realization of
the Dhamma.
In the reference to the thinking of Sata-
giri about his friend, there is the mention
of Hemavata as being under the spell of
pleasures, or in other words, "being begui-
led by worldly pleasures". True, the worldly
pleasures, do beguile though they do not
have any intrinsic values. Some persons
10
HEMAVATA SUTTA
cannot come to attend this sermon-meetiug
because the"y are being beguiled by worldly
pleasures. To such peopte the practice (f
the Dizamma is a far cry.. They usual r'
think that the Dhammacan be practised lat r
and that, for the pre-sent, making a lhine ,
making headway in life and enjoying l
pleasures of life, <.lre m Jre urgent. h8,
indeed, IS the beguilemel.lt of the orIdly
pleasures (kama-gulJ<l) ,But "hat is really
urgent and important is to practi e
the Dhamma Such practice can be J ad
only within the fold of the Buddba's slisanii
whereas orldly pleasures can be sought
anywhere at any time. It is, tberefore,
advisable to pay more atten ion to the
practice of the Dhamma after having
acquired sufficient means of livelihood.
By the practice of the Dhamma, one co-
uld attain to one of the stages of spiritual
and thUii escape from the
dangers of the four planes of existence of
niriya (hell). Even if one cannot yet attain
to the stag,.s of magga and phala, one can
be.::ome i nvolved in the Dhamma and con-
tinue making good deeds (kusala).Thus, one
could be reborn as a human being, or get
to the spiritual planes of devas or ascend
the higher planes of existence and obtain
11
E 2
HEMAVATA SUTTA
the benefits of a higher state of existence.
If, however , one wasted one's time in
affairs of secular life, one would be 111-
equipped for a good life in the next existen-
ce. Therefore, thinking that the worldly
pleas ures are more i mportant and urgent,
though they really are not, is due to the be-
guilement of the worldly pleasures. It is in
fact an illusion. Satagiri was giving a
to his absent friend and letting his
mind wander during the Buddha's discourse.
That is why he had missed the chance of
realization of the Dhamma.
After the Buddha's discourse on the
Dhammacakka slltta, Sa tagiri left the assem-
bly to invite his 'friend. Satagiri was a
leading warrior deva, and so when he went
out he was accompanied by his five hundred
warrior-attendl\nts with chariots drawn by
elephants, horses and galons (huge and
powerful birds). At the same time Hemavata
was on his way. to his friend SaHigiri to
invite him to a celestial festival of flowers-
wonderful flowers that were then in full
bloom in the Himalayan mountains. He,
too, came in full force with his warrior-
attendants and chariots. Of course, they
were both. making an aerial journey, Hema-
yata for the south and Satagiri

HEMAVATA SUTTA
heading for the north. lhey met over the
city of Raj" i ri
hen oJ met, Hemav' ta
said: nen tagi i, t le HI 1 Y
now fu 1 of J v r. S bdore So I
have c me to inv C you 0' feas to cele-
brate the (lec <)! "
Sataglfl ) 11 r '0' l.r limata-
ya we e so I U J 1.J 4 Of ..1. Hemavata
said did rio. knlJ ' th ret :s011. fben
Satagl I < i : 'Tl e Hi n are not alone
in beine so l.l! y" J v:lID; flo ers bloom
as abundur tly ,,' L S resolend ntly every-
where else The re 0 t, n )I?c 0 he than
h< b\" L tta '1t. nhghten-
ment for t tJO '1 [lths no Toda: Ie
delivere his Firs ;er on, the Dhammacakka
sutta and all tlJe flo 'e of .111 he tree on
this bIos t)m f rth by way of m kmg
obeisance to ne En igbteneJ One. I re-
membered you ery much \\ ilile [ was
attending the fit on meetin ,and 0 I have
now come to invite you to it "
The woman vho ov rheard the
two dey 5
While the two .devas were conversing. a
rich mao' d lighter, ham d Kali, was njoy-
iog the breeze ftei havi g opened a window
13
HEMAVATA SUTTA
of her boudoir. Tbe month of 'Ya.so at
Rajagiri city was a hot as It IS he!e
at Mandalay or Shwebo. Kiih was then 1D
her family way, and was feeling hot. So she
opened the window and was exposing herself
to the breeze when she he<1rd the two devas
overhead. Sbe tben Jent a very attentive ear
to their conversation. She could make out
that the conversation was not between two
human beings and thought that it must be
between two ceJestial beings. She must have
been about sixteen or seventeen, for in
India in these days girls were married early
and got into family way for the first time
at that age. The child she was carrying was
Done other than a future disciple of the
Buddha, S01).akutika1)1).a thera, who was
bestowed upon with etadagga (distinction)
for his excellent reading skill.
I nvitation by Satagirl deva
Satagiri said "friend Hemavata, this day
is the fifteenth day of the month, a sabbath
day, and is bright at night with celestial
light. This day is the day on which the
Buddha delivered bis first Sermon, and so
the trees are in full bloom not only in the
Himalayan region but in the environment of
the Sata mountain Not only in these regions
but also all over the world, the flowers
14
I
HEMAVATA SUTTA
blossom by way of making obeisance to
the Buddha 0 ,' this auspicious occasion.
The devas and Brahmiis attending the sermon-
meeting are so numerous that the world is
aglow with celestial lights. And in the east
the full moon shines clearly along with
planet. This night is therefore, full of
light from all these sources,and is a sacred
one."
The world must have been so beautiful
with blossoms and celestial lights in the
all-seeing eyes of the devas. Even to human
eyes it must have been beautiful. Incident-
ally, once I went on a pilgrimage to the
Kyaikh tiyoe pagoda. It was the night of
the 14th day of Tabodwe (February) in
1?93 (Burmese Era). The moon was nearly
fun and shining clearly. Looking out from
mountain range, I found the hills and valleys
ali around beautiful under the flooded
moonlight. Some trees were full of flowers,
the trees standi ng on the mountain
slopes made for the scenic beauty of the
panorama. Now, from the view of the
the entire world must have been'very beauti-
ful indeed on that day of the first Sermon.
So Satagiri invited his friend Hemavata to
go to make obei'\ance to the Buddha.
"Let us now go to make obeisance to our
great teacher, the Buddha of the noble and
IS
HEMAVATA SUTTA
glorious lineage of Gotama," said Satagiri
to his friend, Hemavata.
Continuing he said that the gre< t teacher,
Siddhattha ol the Gotama Ii neage of the
Sakkya clan, had the Dhamma in
Uruvela forest for SlX years and had become
tpe Enlightened One possessing the nine
incomparable attributes beginning with the
attribute of Araham. Now, I will explain
briefly the nine attributes of the Eulightened
One.
Araham Attribute
Araham means "deserving." What is the
Buddha deserving of? He is deserving of
special adoration and worship. People in the
world worship various objects. Some worship
trees, some worship forests, mountains,
oceans, the sky, the sun, the mOOD, the
planets. Some worship various ki ds of
devasj some worship god in heaven, some
worship Brahmti And among men, too,
some worship t e headmen of the various
sects and denominations. Now, then, why
do people worship? Because they want to be
free from dangers and disasters.
wants to be free from dangers and disas-
ters a?d to be prosperous, healthy,
long-hved, nch. Not only human beings,
devas also want to be prosperous. People
16
HEMAVATA SUTTA
want to make r ac ievements than
their skill can c, s they de end on the
devas of all r UC <, t d moun-
tain $pint5. Hit .. )' v uip .. nd make offerings
to them. Some . na . ine a uper-powerful
being who cre t " thorld an i s people
an thlnlJs, an s i th't imagined
being. There is, bow ver, no one who has
ever come .j teh a being and can
hL ppear' TIC s. These people
worshlp th:.'\t being bec311 e omeone in the
w ... reported to a e said that he had
seen that being. h t rson might have
been dreaming.
I
. Each re igi ni&t v 0 hip in accordanee
, with his.. b liei '(om ge eradon to
geperatio . witt ')ut b jng critical. Even in
:this aJe of s;ientific inquiry, traditional
belief!! f_mained. in fact, there are no
ground t or holding th.- those who pr y
to be sav d from ad e ity Jill b so saved
by praying alone. If th gods or God could
save these prdy ... rful 0 Ie all of th m
would be rich. healthy and prosperous. But
such is not the case. Tho e who do not
pray may become ric . As a matter offact,
those who work without praying in any hne
011 profitable trade and occupation have
' become rich and p 0 Every person
is rewarded for his work according to i1s
17
HEMAVATA SUTTA
worth. It is obvious th<lt idlers do. not get
'ch It is one's own effort that gIves the
and prosperity is not due to worshp
of the gods.
The Buddha did not say, "Venerate me,
and I will save you." He said that one
would enjoy the fruits of one:s own dee.ds
and misdeeds. But one can gam an especIal
merit if one makes adoration to a pers!,n
who possesses a fu1l measure of morahty
(sUa) and other noble qual,ities. If .the merit
thus gained finds an occaSIOn to gIve of the
reward the adorer will get the reward dur-
ing his'lifetime, but it is al so certain that
the reward will be gained in the course of
the series of existences. So said the Buddha.
If the adoration is made to a person who
has no qualities that would make him noble
and holy, such an adoration is f!ltile. It is
like keeping bricks and gravels mstead of
precious stones, thinking that they are pre-
cious. How can you expect to get the price
of precious stones if you sell bricks and
gravels? If, however, you keep real precious
stones, then you can sell them at their
standard prices. In the sa me way, if you
make adoration to noble and holy persons,
you will gain the ki nd of merit you expect
to get. As for the Buddha, He is the highest
among those possessi ng sUa and other noble
18
HEMAVATA SUTTA
qualities. So if the devas , Brahmas and
human beings make <ldoration to the Buddha.
they will gain merit and receive rich rewards
ranging from the benefits of human and
celestial lives to the realization of Nibbdna.
Such benefits are gained not because the
Buddha gives them but they are gained from
the merit accruing from adoration to tbe
Buddha. So the Buddha has ..gained tbe
appellation of Araham, the One deserving of
the adoration of human and celestial
This is a (noble appellation. Thus Satagiri
praised the Buddha.
The other meaning of Araham is "to be
far from something!' What is it far from?
The meaning is that the Buddha is far from
defilement of the mind, kilesti. Beings in all
planes of existences hanker after things that
are desirable, or in other words, they have
greed (lobha) . They become angry when they
come across things that excite their anger
(aosa) and are under delusion or mistaken
notions (moha) . On the contrary, the Buddha
is far away and clear of lobha, dosa and
moha. That is the reason why the Buddha
deserves the noble appellation of Araham.
The next is Sammil sambuddha attribute.
Sammti means "truthfully"; sam means "by
oneslf"; buddha means "knowing". So the
19
HtiMAVATA SUTTA
term' means "knowing tbe trutb (the Dhaml1!a)
ful1y' by one;;elf." _Buddha bad earhcr
received tutelage of Alara and Udaka; ber-
mits in samatha .Jnd vipassalla, but when He
attained rthe Buddhahood, He did so not
with tbe knowledge gained from these her-
mits but by methods evolved by Himself
with HIS own insight. He did make His own
efforts to gain the jhiillas of iiniipiina; He
percei ed -paticcasamuppada witb His own
imight; He judged tbe state of rupa. and
niima (physic:11 and mental phenomena) by
H.s own insight, and eventually became
Buddba. This is brieflY about tbe Buddba's
realisation of the Truth all by Himself. That
is the reason why the Buddha deserves the
noble appellation of Sammasambuddha,
Buddha Attribute
When the Buddha attained Buddhahood,
He gain cd full knowledge of the past, th:
present and the future: He knew immediately
whatever He gave His tbought to. There is
nothing He did not know. For the reason
that He knew everything fully and comple-
tely all the Dhamma, the Buddha is deserv-
ing of the noble appellation of "Buddha".
Thus said Satagiri in praise of the Buddha.
Satagiri told his fr iend Hemavata that the
noble at tribu es of Buddha were' so
20
HEMAVATA SUTTA
numerous that one could not count and
expla,in them for myriads of years to do
fU,lI Justice to them. Then be invited his
fnend to the Buddha's sermon-meeting.
After hearing out his friend, Hemavata
made an examination of the points in order
to determine whether the one referred to by
his friend was really a Buddha, So he put
to his friend, and Satagiri gave
bls answers. At that time the masters of
sec_ts such as PuralJa Kassapa, Mak-
khah Gosala and four others were making
the claim that each of them was the Buddha.
It ,therefore, necessary to make an
examlllatlOn of this nature.
Hemavata's question (I)
Satagiri, can your Teacher keep
hIS mIDd m good disposition? That is is
Teacher well disposed to all the beings
wIthout any discrimination?
"Friend Satagiri, in this world there are
many who claim to be Buddhas, May I ask
,Ca,n your Buddha remain impartial to
hIS dISCIples and the disciples of others as
well, and keep bis mind in good disposition
toward all living beings? Can he have mettd
(goodwill) toward all and wish them for
21
F 3
HBMAVATA SUTTA
their wellbeing and be have
kindness and pity 011 all altke?
This was the question th.at should be put
because in some who claImed to be the
Buddha there WFlS partial itY,extending metta
and Karuna (lovinr -kindness and pity) only
to those' who followed them and made
adoration to them, saying that they would
save only those who adored them and would
punish others who did not. They said that
those who did not follow them and adore
them would be relegated to hell. Such
claimants to Buddahood should not be re-
garded as real for a
would keep His mmd 10 good dISposItion
toward all living beings.
Hemavata continued: !'Friend, can your
Buddha control his mind and remain neutral
itt reaction to what is pleasant and also to
what is unpleasant'l" In this world people
are pleased when they c,ome in contact \yith
pleasant things and enJOY them, and are
displeased and cannot control their dislike
when they come in contact with unpleasant
things. They are angry and disappointed,
and cannot control their anger. In fact,
they let their minds follow the
and cannnt control their minds. But a real
Buddha can control His mind. Hemav<1ta's
question is an important one,
22
.
HEMAVATA SUTTA
Now, as for people, they let their minds
go after senses and
if anything evokes a smIle, curl theIr hps 10
contempt if a thing invites contempt. They
laugh at funny things and weep over things
that move them to tears, things that are
sad. They desist from going to an undesira-
ble place at first but laler, when the temp
tation makes an urgent push, they go to
such places. In the same way, they are
tempted to say and do things they should
not say or do after a short period of resis-
tance. This is what is called Idting one's
mind follow the sensations.
Let alone others, some of the y<'gis were
disappointed because they could not make
progress in their meditationsl "ork were
giving it up and making preparations to
leave when their mentors had to stop them
by giving them admonitions. Then when they
were so persuaded, and when they
their meditational work and accordmgly
made progress, tbey were pleased. But there
are some yogis who would not be persuad-
ed and went home. That also is an instance
, .
of letting the mind follOW tbe sensatIons,
There are still other instancrs of some yogis
attaining the stClge of nibbidtifiiina (insight
into wearisome condition), who became
disappointed because they found things
23
HBMAVATA SUTTA
wearisome, and went h.ome. If such yogis
had continued with theIr work they wouIe!
have attained full insi ght. But they could
not control their mind a nd had given up.
What a los s! Howeve r, most of the yogis
listened to the aJrno niti ons of their medita-
tional mentors ank managed to control their
minds.
Tn secular life, too, there are many things
over which one could control one's mind.
The Bll ddha' s m e s s ~ g e was for control of
the mind. It is found that those who have
attended to the Dhamma can control their
minds considerably. But those who have not,
and are outside the influence of the Dhamma,
are found to be without a sense of shame
or fear and do or say what they like.
Hemavata, therefore, asked his friend if his
Buddha was the one who could control his
mind. That is quite a relevant question.
Embarassing to be questioned
It is important to put searching questions.
Once at a food-offering ceremony at a house,
a certain Sayadaw told me that he was
questioned by an American visitor. The
questions were incisive and searching. and
the Sayadaw said that it was quite an ordeal
to be so questioned. Yet this Sayadaw was
wellknown as a conversationalist. The visitor
l
HEMAVA1'A SUTTA
asked the Sayadaw how long the latter had
practised the Dhamma and what iiriiman4
(perceptions) he had had. The Sayadaw laid
such questions were embarrassing. But to
me, such questions were justified because an
intelligent enquirer into the Dhamma would
put such searching questions to the one
who ought to know. To a seventy-year old
monk who had the reputation of deep learn-
ing the enquirer should put s u ~ searcbing
questions regarding the monk s personal
experiences in the meditational practice. The
important thing is to be able to make bold
and definitive replies to such questions and
not to be embarrassed.
Hemavata was no ordinary person. He
was formerly, during the time of Kassapa
Buddha, a venerable monk teaching five
hundred disciples. That is why he had asked
questions relevant to the attributes of a
Buddha. Satagiri was also a venerable monk
at that time who had entered the holy Order
together with Hemavata and taught five
hundred disciples like the latter.
To the questions put by Hemavata. his
friend Satagiri gave a graphic answer thus:
Satagiri's answer (I)
"Friend Hemavata, our teacher. the Buddha
has the attribute of looking upon all beio8s
25
BEMA VAT A SUrl'A
with the same attitude and also of having
full con trol of His mental disposition on
good as well as bad sensations."
This was Satagiri's answer. He meant to
say that tbe Buddha's disposition toward all
beings was based on the principle tbat they
were all alike and equal, whether they were
those who adored him or those who did not.
There were His close disciples . who had
gained enlightenment because they had heard
His sermon on Dhammacakka and also just
ordinary disciples who simply made adora-
tion to Him and his Dhamma, thus becoming
disciples who were within the fold of His
silsana. Of course, there were those who were
outside the Buddha's sasana, and there were
also followers of Mara, who were actively
opposing the Buddha . "Our teacher, the
Buddha is equally well disposed to all beings,
with no discrimination, giving out His metta
karUf).d (sympathy) to all," said SaUigiri. '
The time was at the commencement of the
Buddha's s(7.sanU. In terms of later situations
it may. be said that the Buddha was equally
well dIsposed to those who were His devout
followers giving Him the four essential needs
of a bhikkhu as well as to the brahmins
and heretics who were dead against Him.
The B u ~ d h a adopted the same attitude to.
ward HIS arch-enemy, Devadatta, as toward
26
HEMAVATA SUTTA
his own son Rahula, having relard for both
of them as beings. The Buddha 'did not act
partially toward anyone; He disseminated his
loving-kindness and sympathy to all beings.
So Satagiri replied, "Our teacher, the
Buddha, is full of tadiguQa, the attribute of
a well-balanced attitude to all beings in all
planes of existence."
Very Adorable
When one takes into consideratiOD the
partiality people in this world have toward
those near to them and those far from them.
toward the insiders and the outsiders, one
cannot but be full of adoration for the
Buddha. Partiality is manifest in every sphere
of human activity. To those whom we favour
we go all the way to giving them all the
help we can, with concessions and condona-
tions. To those against us, however, we
have no desire to render any help; even to
those who have nut given us any help. though
they may not be opposed to us, we render
help grudgingly if we are called upon to do
something for them. Attitude towards one
and all as alike and equal is a rarity. Leave
aside outsiders, we cannot adopt an evenness
of mind to all the members of our own
family.
27

HBMAVATA SUTTA
Let alone ordinary human beings,
those, in other religions, who are
ed as gods have sddom adop!ed an
recognizing equality of all betngs. You wIll
come across gods who say, in effect, "I will
save only my followers and relegate the
others to helL" Compared to such gods, the
Buddha is very adorable.
The Buddha wished all bei ngs happiness
in the same way as He ',,: ished His
Rahula. to be happy; He wIshed all bemgs
to attain nibbana just as He wi shed
to attain nibbiina; He had the same pI!y
sympathy for all bei ngs as he had for Rahula.
It is difficult for peopl e to adopt an attitude
of equality to all. But in the case of the
Buddha and when He disseminated maha-
karuna (great pity and sympathy), He did
disse"minate it to all beings in all planes of
existence.
How Maha-karuna Happened
According to Pa{isambhidamagga, perceiv-
ing in all beings the miseries of old age,
illness and death, in graded succession,
leading to the state of impermanence, a
great pity arose in the mind of the Buddha.
The Buddha, surveying entire planes of
existence, percieved the piteous state and
so 8
reat
pity arose in His mind. It is iike a
28
I
HEMAVATA SUTTA
man of kindly disposition having taken pity
on pensons in great distress. The pity cf the
ordinary person is just ordinary; there is
nol much depth in it worth "speaking. The
pity taken by the IBuddha, however, was by
far the deepest, by far the most widespread.
The Buddha took pity on mankind for the
present state of distress, perceiving that in
the next existence a particular being would
be reborn in the nether of "iriya,
tiricchana and peta. His pity was even greater.
Also perceiving that ::l being would suffer
from old age, illness and denth in all the
series of existences ,to come, the Buddha
took pity on one and all. Now, look at the
life of"man. After coming to existance as a
man, he has to acquire knowledge for earn-
ing his livelihood, and after attaining t\\enty
years of age, he is obliged to take up a job
and work on and on till he becomes old and
decrepit, and then he suffers from illness of
many kinds and at last, unable to get the
diseases cured, he dies.
Men are just living their lives without
being actually aware of the slow and gradual
deterioration of their bodies and the onset
of disease of one kind or another till at the
last moment when nothing can be done to
cure the disease, death is at hand. Then only
do they realize the sad fact. The members
29
HEMAVATA SUTTA
or the family of the dying person do their
best to nurse him and allay his suffering but
there is really nothing that can be done, and
surrounded by weeping relatives, he passes
away. For a few months the relatives re-
member him and feel sad but later they
begin to forget him. That, in sum is the
life of man: that is just one stage' in the
unending stream of existences.
The same pattern applies to his next exi-
stence; the gradual deterioration of the body
the onset of old age and diseC}se and
eventual death. This the Buddha perceived:
He. millions of ailing beings and
dylOg belOgs, and the sorrow of those who
are dear t.o .them, and a great pity
arose 10 HIm. "MIllions upon millions" is
the usua! current term, but in reality the
.IS countless-If the history of a be-
l!1g s eXIstence were to be illustrated picto-
nally. pictures so depicted would fill
the entIre surface of the earth. and more
be needed. The pictures of the
bemg. s buth, old age, il1ness and death were
by the Buddha who felt a great
P!ty for that being; that was how the great
pi ty, or mahti karuQti, arose in Him.
.
. Th!ls., we ?lay learn: "Man's impermanence
11 dnVlng him to old age, illness and death."
30
l
.
HEMAVATA SUTTA
The Buddha foresaw tbat unless Heaaved
the beings from the disasters of old age
ilInesss and death by making tbem
His teachings and working out their own
salvation, these beings would continue to
be involved in the cycle of existences and
suffer in the nether regions. So, th.e Buddha
fel.t pity for all beings in all planes of
eXIstence as He had felt for his own SOft
Rihula. Thus said Satagiri in reply to
Hemavata's first query; "All the sentient
beings in all the planes of existence are
helpless; they have no one to look to for
protection and care. Thus, the Buddba feM
a great pity, mahakaruQa, for all beings."
In the present life of men there are, how-
ever, persons to whom they can look to for
help and support, such as parents for their
children, children for their parents in old
age, teachers for their disciples, disciples
for their teachers, and releatives for mutual
help. and support. But such help and support
are Just ordtnary. Real help and support
cannot be offered by anyone else. For in-
stance, the children cannot help their parents
from getting old. In the same way, the
parents cannot help their children from
getting on in years. The children cannot take
out and share among themselves the ageing
elements of their parents. So also, they can-
31
B 4
HEMAVATA SUTTA
not take out and share among themselves
the ailing elements in order to render some
relief to the ailing perwil. Of course doctors
and physicians can do something 'to some
extent but in the case of incurable diseases
they can do not:ling effectively. They cannot
avert oncominq death. Nor can the children
and relatives and intimate friends of a dying
person do anything to avert death. All they
can do ' is to merely look on the dying
person. People have died in this way. No
help or support can be rendered to enable a
being to free from old age, illness
and death or from:gomg to the nether regions
after death.
Only the Buddha could save the beings
from these disasters by guiding them on the
right path by His teachings and making them
wo rk according to the Dhamma. The me.
thod of such savings is like the method the
applies treating a patient to
cure. a. dIsease, IS, by prescribing suitable
medlclOe and forblding him to take unsuit-
able food and do unsuitable actions. There
was .of working miracles by
Let hIm be cured". If the patient
not follow the physician's directions, the
dIsease would not be cured. In tbe same way
the c0.u1d only show the right path
t\nd gIve the rIght directions, and those who
.
HEMAVATA SUTTA
followed His instructions would be saved
from hell, old age. illness and death; in a
word, such beings would be saved frotn the
sanisara, the endless cycle of existences.
A Buddha came into being only after a
lapse of many kalpiis (eons). and each Bud-
dha lived only foracertain period in accord- .
with the general expectation of life in
that particular era. It is, therefore, difficult
to have an opportunity to hear the sermons
of a Buddha. Though t he Buddha had
passed away, one could hear the discourses
on His sermons delivered by learned and
saintly monks and laymen, and work accord-
ing to the instructions contained in them
to enable the person concerned to save
himself or herself from hell and further
inv?lvement in the sanistira. But such oppor-
tunity could not be obtained in every period
Of. In this world there are many
faiths, and If one follows a false faith then
. . ,
It IS a dangerous risk because if one follows
the wrong instructions and works for the
ends (;>De will sink deeper and deeper
mto the whIrlpool of sanis(lra. As for the
He fe.1t pity for all beings, irrespec-
h.ve of the faIths they were following. His
PIty for them was even greater, realising that
so many beings in the various planes of
existences were following the wrong path .
33
HBMAVATA SUTTA
Followers of wrong f aith more pitiable
The follower of a wrong fDith is really more
pitiable than others hecause althou.gh hehas
been seeking the r ight path t o happIness and
wellbeing, he mistakes the wrong. path for t.he
rigbt one, and foJIows a path whIch leads him
to more disasters, the more he surges ahead.
The followers of the Buddha should not feel
complacent about having found the right
path. They should work to attain at least
one stage of salvation, for then only would
they be sure of being saved from disasters.
In the next existence they will not be with
tbe present oarents and teachers; they may
be reborn of parents of other faiths. Then
they will probahly be placed on the wrong
path. For that reason, the Buddha takes
great pity on the beings who have no one
a ble to save them from the disasters of old
age, illness and death, or from helI and from
wrong faiths . And His pity is same and
equal for all beings, with no discrimination.
Q &A Between king Kawrabya and
venerable Rathapala
In this world there are kings who have
large armies to protect them and for such
kings it m:1y be said that tbey can place
their reliance on them in worldly affairs.
34
HEMAVATA SUTTA
However, such kings, too, have to become
old in due course, and no army of guards
could protect him from old age, nor from
illness and death when such disasters come
to him. In the time of the Buddha there
was an Arahat by the name of Rathapala.
He was the son of a rich man and friend
of king Kawrabya. One day the king asked
the venerable monk why he had turned a
mOilk.
The venerable monk said in reply that he
had turned a monk after he had heard the
Buddha's sermon relating to the helplessness
of all sentient beings from the onslaughts
of old age, illness and death.
The king did not understand what help
lessness meant. He said that:as a king, he had
large armies to protect him from all harm,
and that he did not understand what was
meant by having no one to help.
Then the venerable Rathapala said: "Oh
King, did you ever suffer from serious
illne(ts?" The king replied, "Yes, sir, I did,"
Then the venerable monk asked him if he
coutu seek relief from that illness by asking
his relatives to share tbe suffering with him.
"That ill impossible," the king said. :"1 had
to s u f f ~ r 11 alone," The venerable monk
then iaid that was precisely what the Bud ..
35
in!MAVATA SUTTA
dha meant when He said that all the beings
were without anyone to help them or anyone
to whom they could Jook for help and
succour.
So it is clear tEat even if one has many
persons to help and protect him in worldly
matters, one is utterly helpless in matters
relating to old age, illness and death. Accord-
ing to the scriptures, in the world of living
beings there is not one property which can
be , caHed one's own because one has to leave
everything when one dies and heads for a
new existence. This fact the Buddha realised
and His pity for all beings was great, or in
other words, mahiikaruQ.a arose in the mind
of the Buddha.
Ordinarily, people have what they call
their _personal and private property such as
gold, silver, food, cattle, vehicles, etc" but
when one dies one has to leave all these
things behind, nay, one's body, too. Death
may come today or tomorrow to anybody; so r
we cannot say that the time for sucR abdi-
cation is still far off. Even during one's
lifetime these worldly t hings could be stolen
and taken away by forcejthey are not reaHy
one's own possessions.
One's real possessions comprise one's
meritorious deeds, such las, giving of
36
HBMAVATA SUT1'A
alms, observing the pJ'ecepts and doing
meditation. These cannot be atolen or
robbed, and they can be taken alona from
one term of existence to another. PerlOns
who are rich in meritorious deeds will obt_
existences of wellbeing. It is therefore nec.-
sary to strive to gain merit by doing dina
(alms-giving), saa .(observing. the proc:opta)
and bhavanii and vlpassana (mmdfulneas and
meditation), the last two being the most im-
portant. You should strive to do them jUlt
for one or two days if you can afford to do
it only that long, for such a deed is valuable
and can be done with out incurring auy
expenses.
Those who have had these things ' haye
something to fall back upon at the time of
death. At the door of death one could die
peacefully by doing meditation till the last
breath. and after death one would surely
attain to the abode of the devas (celestial
beings). So you should do assiduously these
three meritorious deeds.
The worldly property is not one's own but
it is common property. You have to leave
it ' to your survivors who enjoy it after your
death and so if you are mentally attached
to wO'rldlY property, you will probably be-
come peta (being of the nether regions
undergoing untold sufferings and misery).
37

HBMAVATA SUTTA
The Buddha pereeived the helplessness of
all beings and felt great pity for
The Buddha also saw that belDgs were
assailed by insatiable desires for worldly
things and had thus become slaves of lust
and greed, and so His pity for them was
great. He saw that all beIDgs were always
hungered by tal).h6 (lust), that all
hankered after good and pleasant thIDgs to
satisfy their six senses, that they were never
satisfied with long life and fame that they
might have fortunately obtained, that they
were never satisfied with all the best endow-
ments their lives had offered them.
Their wants multiply progressively, and
these desires dominate all the aspects of
their lives, and they are never satisfied.
Now there are many millionaires in some
countries. They have more money than they
they can spend, but their wants and desires
have no ceilings; they are never satisfied.
The kings have never stopped their imperia-
listic plans; they want more and more COUB-
tries under their sway.
It is said that the devas are much more
greedy. The powerful ones usually have five
hundred to one thousand celestial maidens
in their harems, but they always want some
more are never satisfied. They are
3R
HEMAVATA SUTTA
enjoying all the delights and pleasures of
celestial life and yet they want more aod
are never satiated. So Sakka, tbe King oftbe
Devas, likened them to the petas who ale
always hungry because they do not have
anything to eat.
So the Buddha saw that all beings were
slaves of lust and greed. <.lnd tbat moved Him
to great pity.
True, all beings are slaves of lust and
greed. They serve their lust and greed even
at the risk of their lives. They go OUf in
search of the things their lust or greed
urges them, and risk their lives to get them.
They have to work daily for all their lives
to satisfy their lust and greed, and after
death and in the next existence, too, Itbey
remain slaves of the same master, tal)hd.
There is no period of rest . for them.
In this world a slave may remain a slave
only during his lifetime, but a slave of lust
has an unending term of servitude till the
time of salvation when one becomes an
Arahat and thus ends his stream of samSlira.
Avijja (ignorance) colours all things as
desirable things and tGl)hti (lust) makes thrm
seem deligh.tful and urges all beings to
strive to obtain them. They strive all their
Jives aud are never satisfied with what they
have acquired. They are always hungry, and
39
HEMAVATA SUTTA
there is no time of satisfaction and so they
are always in a miserable state. This the
Buddha perceived and was moved to great
pity for all the beings in all the planes of
existence. .
" Unsatiated, all beings are slaves of lust."
" Men are driven to old age, ilJness and
death."
"Beings are weak and helpless."
"No real personal property, and all have
to be abandoned."
These are the four points in the discourse
between the venerable Ratthapala and king
Kawrabya. The venerable monk said that
the Buddha saw this deplorable plight of all
beings and was moved to great pity. The
Buddha said to Himself that there was no
one ex.cept Him to save them.
Thus Satagiri saId of the great pity the
Buddha had for all beings without partiality
or discrimination.
"Besides, our teacher, the can
take with equanimity all the desirable as -
well as undesirable sensations," continued
Satagiri. It was a reply to Hemavata's ques-
tion whether the Buddha could restrain His
in contact with pleasurable
th10gs aod HIS anger at undesirable things
uI}.1ike other beings who are moved and
40
HEMAVATA SUTtA
swayed by sensations of all kinds. This waA
a pertinent question and the answer was
apt.
Nowadays, when a man asks one of his
friends who seems uI}.concerned with religious
matters to attend a discourse by his rewrend
teacher, the person so invited puts f\ rather
impertinent question, thus: J
"What can your monk do? Is he adept i.n
astrology, or can he do propitiations :to
enable me to become prosperous? CaR he
make arrangements to get a separated couple
reconciled, or recover a lost propertf,l Or
can he make some propitiations olle to
g<ain promotion in his position?"
This is quite an insoleJ;lt question. T,blS is
not just a make-up I have learned of
severa) instances of this kind from those
who ought to know. Such questions are put
by ignorant, irreverent persons.
An enlightened question '
, Hemavata's question in this context was
most perti nent, a wise one. A t the time of
the Buddha there were many who claimed
to be Buddhas. Prominent among these
pretenders were:
1. PuraI)a ISassapa, leader of a
2. M:lkkhah Gosala, another;
3. Ajita Kesakambala, another;
t
41
p S
HEMAVATA SUTTA
4. Pakudha KaccayZlna, another:
5. Niga1)da Nataputta, another;
and 6. Sificafifia, yet another.
These six h'ld their own respective follow-
. ing who believed in their divination of the
past , present and future, and their following
was fairly targ.e.
Hemavata, however, knew that these
so-called great teachers did not have the
ability of viewing things pleasant and
unpleasant with equanimity. So he wanted
to know whether or not his (tJend
l
Satagiri's
teacher was like them. Satagiri ! gave him a
categorical anSwer f9 that question. .
, .
is the :Buddha's ability to have
His mind in full control in respect of
possible reaction to things pleasant and
things unpleasant?" The Buddha could view
these things with mindful indifference that
is, rejecting both the pleasant and the
unpleasant with an equal attitude of mind
of which He had full control. Howeve:
beautiful and lovely a thing might be the
Buddha could view it to reatile that it' was
after .all undesirable. He could look at the
beautIful lady, Maga1)dhi, and immediately
sre that she was made up of the 12 kotthiisa
(parts of the body), having nothing that
42
HEMAVATA strrtA
could be taken as pleasant and desirable.
In the same way, He looked at th.e three
beautiful daughters of Mara and' saw thetn
as mere conglomeratiODs Of detestable
(physical) elements.
Not only the Buddha, but His descipltl,
the Arahats, could view things in the
manner and keep their minds iB f1111 cbnttol.
And even the non-Arahats., those llad
been practising the meditation the
unpleasantness of material things (asuI1Kb-
could view physical ereme!#s
10 the same reali stie manner. Opce, in
Lanka, Maha Tissa MahatlJera of Cetiya
Mountain looked at a laughing girl on his
round for alms-food and saw tbe unplea rit-
ness of the physical ' elemeJlts an.. dnls
jhiina, the n via the jhtina fta.1f to
Arahathood. Those practising
having reached the stage of bhanga-Nina
wIll be able to view things in their iDteftant
decay and thus, in their being
and undesirable.
Ability to view unpleasant things as
pleasant
In viewing unpleasant things so that they
became pleasant, the Buddha conve ted
beings into loveahle ones by means
of HIS mettel (loving-kindness). He viewed
43
HEMAVATA SUTTA
such beings with karu1)a (pity), those
became as and pItIable as
His own son, RIThula and thus were free
unpleasant and undesi rable elements III theIr
looks. The Buddha vi ewed Devadatta, who
attempted His life by roIling down a lar'ge
rock fr 8m GiJjhakutta Mountain on to Him,
as kindly and lovingly as He viewed his son,
Rahula. He had for Devadatta, the same
for latter's welfare as He had
for His son, and thus turned the unpleasabt
into the
For reason of viewing unpleasant
things as "pleasan t, the Buddha picked \lp tl1e
s&lii ftom dead body of PUQ.Q.a, a slave
woman, and wore it as a robe any
feeling of disgust. For the same reason, tpo,
ate the cake from the folds of Millika's
skirt without disgust, and also ate the
leaviQgs of a meal eaten by a brahmin
named Paiicaggadayaka without disgust.
. Mahakassap and a leper
There is an instance of Mahakassapa
Mahathera's freedom from the feeling of
disgust. Once, the venerable Arahat stood for
alms-food at the place where a leper was
eating his meal. He did so to enable this
leper to gain merit which would result in
prosperity and happiness in his next existence.
44
BEMA
. h' J\. I r
The leper IS mea \Vas so ot
good volition for giving alql3 nco pt
the remainder of tl;te food he;
eating into the alms-bowl Rf the
monk. In doing so. w.iw1t!iQJly
dropped one of his Jih&Crs
into the bowl. The great Arahat or
this but he did not remove 14e ,Qd
ate all the meal without any fecli.g. ()r
disgust.
This is an example of viewln. ttt un-
pleasant thing as equal to anything '4Jn.i-
dered pleasant in rospeet of the
comprising it. All the Arahats could view in
this mSllner, not to say 9[ tbe Bu4dha.
The Buddha could also view the pleasant
as well as the unpleasant with uQQoneern.
The most important is to be able to r .. 1
unconcerned about the ailments occu., illl
iB one's body. The Buddha felt pain
He was struck in the foot by a Splillt'r
from the rock Devadatta had rolled down
from the mountain but He viewed the pain
with unconcern. Also, ' <luring the last year
of His life, 'he Buddha suffered from a
serious illness but He viewed the physical
ailment with great unconcern.
Not only the Buddha but the Arahats also
could view pleasantness and unpleasantness
4S
with unconcern: This ability is an attribute
called chalaiJgupekkha.
The yogis who are practitioners of medita-
tion and who have reached the stage of
$ankhuupekkhii iiana can ignore pleasantness
aAd unpleasantness by taking cognizance
of the fact and dismissing the cognition
immediately., Such yogis may be said to have
acquited part of the attribute of the Buddha
and the Arahats for a temporary period.
Tkose who have attained this stage should
be glad about it .
There are three kinds of evil intention
(sankappa ).
(1) f{ii mlf sankappa, the intention to obtain
desirable and pleasant things;
(7) ByapsMa-sankappa, the illtention to
cause death and destruction;
(3) Vihimsa-sankappa; the intention to iII-
treat others.
These are the three evil intentions which
must be dismissed one's mind. Theh
there are three kinds of good intentions:
(1) nekkhamma-sankappa, the intention to
oppose lustfulness
(2) the intentien to
happlDes8 and wellbeing;
\3) the intention to
have kIndness.
46
ltEMAVATA SUT1A
These are the three good intentions which
mUlt be acquired. The \1IHVtdl, s-req.
lust for plealant thin.s, and anpt'" JTe
for destruction and .. ttare of
unpleasant. . I
As for the Buddha, suck evil thoughts were
(ar removed. lie was fy!} pC ,ood inteations.
He was free of lust for pleasant thinas, and
also from desire for destruction and torture
of things, unpleasant. In Him kappeBed
spontaneous feelings of kindness aad good-
will for all beings and things irr.spective of
whether they were pleasant and desirable er
unpleasant and abhorrent. His min. was
always clear and well under control.
In fine, the Buddha could control Wis mind
and keep it at His own will by loing iato
jhana and phala samapatti. He could keep
it in the same condition of goodwill and
loving kindess for a moment or for the
entire day or for the entire week as long as
He wished.
So, Satagiri said:
"Our teacher, the Buddha, can keep His
mind under control as regards the three evil
wishes and the three good wishes, for He
has His mind under full control."
The Buddha is adorable. He does not
di.criminate between those who have deep
reverence for Him or those who are antago-
41
HBMAVATA SUTTA
r. 1
Qistic to Him ted had melta and karuna
for 811 beings. lie had good wishes for all
pleasant and unpleasant alike. and was in
full control of His mind. The Buddha is
indeed adorable.
J '1 (End of part one)
1

,
m
[ 1 r
.,
)'1 I 11
.
(
I I c
0
I
r
'd
,
{
,
'I
t

I'>


'IG :>
t
0'
,
fC f \
r ( r 1
,. J
I
1
v
,
d )
) I
t { ,
48
1
l
-. (
r
r
f
Part If
I
The answer to the tilst query ""ifaft(k
sufficient ,cause to 'be copvintied tlie
Buddha refeFred to by Sitigi.p.,taW
genuine one, But to be more
mac;te 3'second ' query. . In'
Hemavata's second n
Hemavata said, "Frie,nd Sltjsjri
your teacher not take tbpJProperty
has not given by action or by word
Does He not rob or steal?"
,I
No pilfering at it.1I i
Taking anything that is not givOQ by it,
owner is stealing. Stealing consi!' ts in takina
by stealth or taking by force. Tbi, guestioD
would seem to Buddhists an inSlOlent
To ask whether such a personality as
Buddha had ever taken anything by
or by force is downright rude. Even if the
same question were put to a present-day
monk it would be taken as rude. The person
49
,
HEMAVATA SUTTA
who is so asked would be greatly.
"Is your teacher, the monk, free
It is indeed an insolent. questIOn. 10
those days such a questton was not Imper-
tinent nor was it insolent. Those the
days when people were eagerly 100kIDg for
the genuine Buddha, and many bogus Buddhas
were on the scene.
The prominent bogus ones such as Pural)a
Kassapa and five others were claiming that
they were Buddhas. Their foJlowers were
adoring them and takin, refuge in them in
the belief that they were real Buddhas. These
bogus Buddhas were giving sermons
the idea of Kusala and akusala (good deed
and evil deed).
Sat!giri aDd Hemavata had been evas
since the latter part of Kassapa Buddha's
S(isana till the beginning of Ciotama Buddha's
attaiBment of Buddhahood. For such a long
period these two celestial beings would have I
had experiences of pretenders to Buddhahood
at a time when people were eagerly awaiting
the coming of the Buddha, just as citizens
of a country were awaiting the coming of
their real king when many pretenders sprang
up to claim the throne. Hemavata knew
that the bogus ones were not free of
pilfering, sO he had put this question. He
J
50
HEMAVATA SUTTA
wanted to examine Sitagiri's teacher in
respect of .misdeeds.
Today we can c<Dpare with many
persons wko have been worshipping some-
thing or somebody as God. According to
their testament, their God does not lIeC;Dl!O
be ' free of bad deeds. Their God, tup
Creator, is said to have pUdjsb,d
persons with death and destru(:ti()n Qf
property, and such acts are
by .8udqbism as ev.i1 deeds.
Hemavata's question was not imp"ertment;
it wa_s quite pertinent in the context of
prevailing situation of those days. Then
Hemavata asked.
Is He free of guilt of tOrture
and lassitude'!
"How is that? Is your teacher, the
free of the guilt of torture and also of
lassitude?"
Lassitude is a kind of forgetfulness. While
being overhelmed by sexual desires one is
apt to forget that it is sin to commit
fornication. Sexual intercourse is an ignoble
act, and such act is sin if committed under
unwarranted circumstances. "Forgetfulness"
used in the origiQal PaIi text is a euphemism
for immorality.
51
B 6
HEMAVATA SUTTA
Rude words of takkadun Kassapa
This takkadun (oDe following the wrong
path) was Kassapa. He was, of
course not Purana Kassapa, a Buddha.
pretender. He c.lllie to Bakula
about fifty years after the passmg away of
the Buddha. The takkadun belonged to. a
sect which required its members !o prachse
ascetici sm with no clothes on. ThIs Kassapa
was a follower of Niganda Nataputta, a
well-known leader of the sect. The later
members of tbis sect became what are now
called Jains.
When I visited Migadavunna Garden in
India, I came upon a Jain In that
temple were <photographs of then ;monk.s,
called Muni. Muni means a monk In
Buddhism. Our Buddhist monks are fully
clothed in yellow robes but their monks
are all naked. We found such naked munis
.
along the banks of tbe Ganga.
This Kassapa was a friend of Venerable
Arahat, Bakula, when the latter was a
layman. Kassapa asked Bakula:
how long have you been in the Buddha's
siisana?" Bakula replied, "Eighty years."
"How many times did you indulge in sexual
in.tercourse during that period?"
52
HEMAVATA svtTA
Kassapa. That obviously was an insolent
question.
Then Venerable Bakula said: "F ad
Kassapa, you should ask, 'How man)' tlQl.e.
did you think of sex?' That is a civilliZed
query."
Kassapa revised the wording of hil ooa-
tion accordingly. Then :Venerable BaJWIa
replied: "I became an Aralult on the eigllA"
day of my ordination, and becoming an
Arahat means becoming free of aU desires
of sex. So I say that 1 had not of
sex since the time of my ordination, that ii,
not once in the eighty yea rs."
";1This answer surprised Kassapa who thaii
took refuge in the Buddha's sasanaand after
practising meditation, became an A,aIun.
Hemavata was polite because he was not
ignorant of the sasanii of the Buddha, and so
he referred to "forgetfulness" or "lassitude".
He meant to ask if Satagiri's teacher was
clean of lust.
Is He into the Jhana?
Hemavata asked whether Satagiri's teacher,
the Buddha was into Jhan(7 0 r in other
words, wasHe full of awareness so tbat lie
could reject all lustful desires which are an
impediment to Arahathood. Lust is a basic
53
HBMAVATA SUTTA
impediment. (Hankering after
things and indulging in pleasures, . or k!lesa
kama.) If one is free of that, !s saId to
have attained the first stage of Jhana. Now
this question is just a corollary to the
question of lassitude. Thus, Hemavata had
put these questions relating. to of
physical nature, namely, pIlfermg, kIlhng
and sex act. Then he asked about jhana.
Satagiri's Answer No.2
"Friend Hemavata, our teacher is free of
the guilt of pilfering. He does not steal or
rob, like the bogus ones. Why am I so sure?
Because the Buddha said in his Dhammacakka
sermon that He had found the middle path,
majjhima patipada. He also said that he
had practisea maggangas" These eight noble
truths consists of right
action. This refers to refraining from killing.
stealing and sex act. These are the acts one
must avoid; and such an avoidance is called
viratl.
Viratt is of three kinds: sampatta viratf
refraining from evi1deeds without formally
taking the precepts of siia (observance of
morality): sarna-dana viratf refraining from
evil deeds after formally taking the precepts
of s'ila: and permanent avoidance by means
of Ariya magga, called samuccheda viratJ.
54 .
HEMAVATA SUTTA
Satagiri knew that the Buddha ... "ee
of the guilt or physical miscS.oedl aa ...
the Buddha had dctclared that He had com
pIe ted the practice of Ariya lnQgga w
embraces aU the v irati, av.oidance of all
physical misdeeds. So he "Our;. iCfacher.
that Buddha, is free of the "
The bogus Buddhas
I want to give you a further
regarding the question of pilfenog. Tho
bogus Buddhas claimed to be Buddhas m.,cll
earlier than the coming of the genuine
Buddha. Of the six bogus ones, Ub a
Kassapa said that killing, stealing, robb'ng
were not evil deeds, and that at the sama
time, aIms-giving and other good acts wore
not good deeds.
Another bogus one, Makkhali
said that there was no cause for either
misery or happiness, for such states were
and so, however mlicb oa= "HI
evIl deeds one would not suU'er ia the saa.
wa7 as one would not gain any merit by
domg good deeds. There was no ,such thing
as. samsara (cycle of existences), he main-
and all beings would be saved w.ben
thelT turns came. I
Pakudha-kaccayana, a leader of another
sect, said that all beings were composed of
ttEMAVATA SUTTA
the four elements togethe.r with misery,
happino8s and l)ife, and so If one were to
cut a being with a sword, the sword would
cut into these components but the
being would remain unaffected.
Ajita another bogus one, maintained that
there no such thing as the next life for
any being, and good deeds and evil deeds
would not produce any effect.
From the teachings of these bogus ones
We can surmise that they encouraged com-
mitting evil deeds; they seemed to be urging
people to kill and steal.
Nobody wants to be killed or robbed
As a matter of fact, every being would
like to live long, and would not want to be
killed, or to be robbed of his or her hard-
earned possessions. Therefore, no one should
kill anyone. Sacrifices should not be made
by killing Jives under a mistaken notion that
such sacrifice s were meritorious deeds. In
the same way, no one should steal anyone's
property, either for himself or for others.
Yet in those days the bogus leaders of the
sects maintained that killing or stealing Was
no sin, and it may be inferred that since
they said so, they tllemselves would not be
free of such sins. As for the genuine Buddha,
these deeds should be declared as sins. He
.'
56
ftEMAVATA suttA
did not commit these sins and would not
have anyone commit them. This Wat-Ww.t
made Hema vata put the que,tiCJJl .... t
stealing, to which S.atagiri made a PJ'Clltpt
answer saying that hIS teacher, the Budd,lla,
was free of the sin of stealing because fle
was in complete practice of sammtikam-
manta.
Free by means of samuccheda virati
If one were not in complete praQtiQe .of
sammakammanta one would not be qUite
reliable although one !flight .have
that he would avoid taklOg thlOgS wblch the
owner had nC:t allowed him to take.
may steal when one has a of steahog
and cannot resist the To tate
an obvious example, .at the time of !be
British evacuation j:Jst the gomlDg
of Japanese troops Illto thiS country. m.olt
of the people of the towns fled, leavmg
their property and the people of the
side swarmed into the towr;ts to. loot. It IS
said that it was an amusmg Sight to see
almirahs too large for the hovels in which
these looters lived.
These looters were in their ordinary Jives
observers of the five precepts, but wben
they were given an oppo[unity to steal with
impunity, their precepts were broken. That
57
HBMAVATA SUrrA
is because of the absence of samuccheda
viratl, that is avoidance of sins by means
of Ariya magga. As for the Buddha, He
was in complete practice of sammakammatlta
and was therefore free of the sins of steahng
and killing.
You would'nt steal if you had
sympathy
Stealing other persons' property is an act
devoid of s),mpatbetic feeling that a moral
person should have. Nobody likes to be
robbed, so also nobody should rob anybody.
This . feeling of sympathy a moral person
would surely have, and so would not have
the desire to steal even if he had not
formally taken the precepts. This kind of
avoidance is called Sanipatta viratI. The
avoidance after taking the precepts is called
slimadclna viratL
On the subject of stealing, a Jain master
said, "One's property is oDe's outer life, and
SQ steal,ing is taking one's life" This is quite
a plauSIble argument though a HtIe COll-
trived. What he meant to say is tbat killing
is an outright taking of another person's
1ife, and stealing is also another form of
taking his life, for his property constitutes
oute! 1ife. since he has to depend upon
. It for his hvmg. That person has acquired

HEMAVATA SUTI'A
bis property by dint of hard work aM
diligent saving and hoarding. So his property
is really part of his life. Some persona die
of sorrow for the loss of their property.
That is why the Jain master declared ahat
property is one's outer life.
Freedom from sin of stealing througtt
vipassana
Even jf one is not free of lob"a '(greed),
one should refrain from steali ng either by
having a feeling of sympafhy or by strict
observance of the precept. To the yogts who
take cognizance of the inceSs;lllt happening
and immediate passing of things, avoidance
of the sin of stealing is already a completed
act. To tbem everything is in the procen of
incessant happening and decay
and passing out, meaning anicca (imper-
manence); everything going on in that pro-
cess is therefore not under anybody's con-
trol, meaning anatta I and so the desire to
kill or steal will not occur. To the yogis,
the practice of virati is already an accom-
plished act.
Freedom from sin of stealing through
Ariya magga
When the meditational practice reached
an advanced stage, one could see the cessa-
59
EMAVATA surTA
tion of ntima and rfJpa and gain the insight
of Ariya magga. At that time there
Occurred any desire to steal or to C?mmlt
any sin. That is the time of Upr?otlD.g o,f
aU the evil desires by means of Anya Vlratz.
This complete abandonment is called samuc-
cheda-pahana. This abandonment occurs not
only when one reaches the higber stage of
meditational insight but even at a lower
stage when one becomes a sotlipan. At that
stage all the evil deeds referred to in the
five precepts (paika sila) have been uprooted.
According ito Dhammadasa sutta, a
saMpan possesses an insight which enables
him to know full well the attributes of the
Buddha and so he has a deep reverence for
Him. In the same way, he comes to have a
strong conviction of the attributes of ,he
dhamma and the samgha. So the so/apan has
come to possess the aciJity to observe fully
the five precepts which the Ariyas hold in
high esteem.
So a. pe.rson reaching the stage of saUl-
panna InsIght becomes fuBy convinced of
the attributes of the Buddha, of the Dham-
rna, and of the Samgha, and has come into
the fold of Ariyas with an ability to Observe
the five precepts fully.
The Ariyas adore the five precepts. They
do DOt want to break them; they are always
'0
HEMAVATA sUTtA
anxious not to break the .'lila They observe the
precepts not because they are afraid that others
would censure them but because they.want
to keep their minds in purity, and punty of
tbe mind can be achieved only by ob.s:e
r
-
vance of the five precepts. Not only dUlIng
tbis life but in all future existences do they
not want to fail in keeping tbe precepts.
They may not ,know !hat thc:Y have become
sotapan in theIr prevIous but they
do know that they must observe the five
precepts fully and with no default.
Sometimes one comes across a person ,,:ho
bas never done any evil deed such as kill-
ing or stealing his. infancr. He
not given any partIcular InstructIons by his
parents but he knows by himself what is
an evil 'deed and refrains from it and keeps
his .'II/a in purity since his childhood. May
be, he had achieved a special insight of the
dhamma in his previous existence. There are
also instances of persons who though born
of non-Buddhist parents have come all the
way to this country to practise meditati?n.
Maybe, such persons have h ad some
of observance of the Buddha's dhamma 10
their previous existences. These are interest-
ing instances, and their cases must be
evaluated in accord with the extent and
P 7
61
depth of their study and practice of the
)dhamma.
A real sotiipan has come into .the
f old of the Ariyiis and so he has been stnct.
Iy observing the fi ve precepts and has thus
completely uproot ed all evil deeds. Though
he is not entirely free of lobha (greed) and
dosa (anger), he does not have. so. of
them as t@ drive him to commIt SlDS m con.
travention of the five precepts. He wouJd
not think of stealing, and if he wanted
something that would be useful to he
would buy it or ask the OWner give It to
him in charity. That is the behavIOur of an
ordinary AriYi'i . The Buddha had already
removed all the evil deeds by means of all
three v iran, and so stealing is entireJy out
of the question. When he was giving the
Dhammacakka sermon, He declared that he
had rejected a11 evil-doing. So Siitagiri said:
"Gotama Buddha is clean of the sin of
taking anything that was not given by the
OWner by word or by action. This I decJare
with the COurage of conviction. "
Hemavata did not put this question
relating to the sin of stealing not to know
a mere temporary and occasional abstenance
from that sin but to be convinced that the
Buddha completely cleared Himself of the
62
et '
HEMAVATA sUnA
sin of stealing. Satagiri's answer was
categorical.
Then the second answer was: II AIIO,
Buddha Gotama is free of the sin of torture
on all beings. He is free of torturing and
killing beings." This answer to be
Dot matching with the attributes of the
Buddha, but the question to this answer was
put because in those days there were bogus
Buddhas, and the intention was to distin-
guish the genuine from the bogus. In those
days there were also believers in God, the
creator of aIJ beings and things, and such
creator was reported in plain terms in their
own books as having meted out punishment
to those creatures who went against his
wishes.
Punishment by that God consists in causina
great storms and floods to kill peo,?le,
causing great earth-quakes and destructlOD
to the crops for the same purpose. If it
were so, then their God was not free from
the sin of killing his creatures. The question
Hemavata put about the sins of stealing and
killing was relevant in the context of the
situation prevailing in those days.
One prone to killing is not a sotapan
Once, a writer said in one of tbe journals
that a sO/lipan will not kill others, but if
63
HEMAVATA SUtTA
. e will kill his
an one comes to hIm, h that he made
atlaeker. That wClter of the nature
that statement af.ter a researe
f
the human mlOd. hose
o I. t wonder w
That is ridiculous. JUs h f and how
mind he had made a made a
he could do . that. He. m He mi ght have
research of his own He might have
thoughht. he the attacker
1 ad an effective weapon
to kill hIm when b ay of defence, and
to ret urn the att.ac y w that he would
migbt have got hIS own answer . t
attack t be att acker first. From hIS. persob!la
h
t he obtained the conclusIOns w . IC
argumen . k. his artIcle.
he expressed as hIS remar In . ' .
According to the tenets of BuddhIsm, thIS
is a ridiculous statement.
The very fact that one thinks one can and
should retaliate the attacker proves that:e
is not a sotapan, for t.o the B _
dhist tenet the person such a
Doti.n is mere puthuj janf;i , defimtel
Y
k
no.
1
t,
a sotapti n. A rea) sotapan ,would not 1
even a flea or a bug, not to say of a hu-
Illan beiog. This fact must be remembered
once and for all.
As for the Buddha, the rejection of such
sins is complete. So Satagiri gave a catc-
HBMAVATA SUTTA
gorica] answer: "I with the courale
of conviction tbat Our teacher Bu"dha.
never kills or tolures any being."
Then comes thc third answer: "Our teaellar,
the Buddha, is never forgetful. S" ia. 4'ar
lemoved from forgetfulness."
Forgetfulness jn the secular 8ense is well
known. You forget to do some,hin& or lOU
forget names and so on. Or you fall un-
conscious and fall from the or 8F
t
drowned. But forgetfulness in the presC.lj
context is not that kind. ForgetfulnCM meau
to be absorbed in tbe five kinds of kiillkJ-
gul).O (enjoyment of tbe five lenses); it is
Jetting tbe mind lost in tbese seo-se-eajoy_
ments. It is called pamtido in PaiL
Like Jetting loose the ropes ti,;d around
the, necks of cattle and allowing them to
wander and graze where they liie, jf the
mind is let loose and allowed to enjoy an
kinds of tbe senses, it il pamada, 01 forget-
fulness. That kind of forgetfulnen is
very enjoyable indeed, if you will. EnJoy-
iog the beauty of a Woman Or of a man.
tbe sweetness of the VOice, the sweetaesa Of
the smelJ, the sweetneas of the taste abel the .
delight of the touch of an indilfiduaJ ..
pfeasurable. To think of the good thin ..
in Ure even if you cannot have them reali"
SUTTA
to think of enjo.yment of
fancies also brmg some ktnd of pI
to you. t 'n think-
All your waking hours are spen out
ing of sensual pleasures and workIng d
arrangements for enjoying them. You 0
that not just for one day, on.e month or 03e
ear; you do that all If you 0
bave I cbance of thinkIng of such PleOj
sures you get bored. If there were no sensua
pleasures to think of and arrange
them, then people wouldn't want to live ID
this world.
Such getting lost in thought and enjoyment
of sensual pleasures is called pam ada. Of
these sensual pleasures, sexual pleasures
most prominent. So Hemavata asked hIS
friend whether his teacher. the Buddha, was
(ree of the sin of copulation.
To this question Satagiri gave a definite
answer, "Our teacher, the Buddha, is
absolutely free."
Tbis apparently impertinent question was
quite pertinent in the context of the situation
of tbat period. The answer was also definite.
The Buddha was free of not only the phYlical
pleasures but also of the enjoyment of the
looks, the voice, the smeH, the taste and
other forms of contactal pleasures. And
also, He was free of the forgetfulness in
66
HEMAVATA SUT'rA
regard to the practice of the satlpatt"ana
(meditation); He was always into jhalla.
There are two kinds 0 f jhana. (I) Samatha
jhana, concentration on appearances and
(2) Vipassana jhtina, constant mindfulDCII
of the physical and mental phenomena by
dwelling deeply on the incessant happeninl
and immediate decay and perceivinl thus
theanicca (impermance), dukkha(misery) and
anatta (non-entity) of all ingredient .
Samatha jhana
Concentration of one's mind on a certain
object is caUed samatha jhtina. Pallia Vi
kasina is concentration of one's mind on
the earth. Such concentration would not
make for insight into the happening and
decay of things but as the mind is fixed on
tlte same object, sensual tboughts do not
have a chance to enter the mind. ORe can
attaiJ;l by this method the four stages of
rupa jhana, and then on to the next four
stages of arupa jh(7na. These jhanas would
not give the practitioner an iftsight into the
impermanence of the ingredients of exis-
tences; they are good only for getting
concentration and keeping the mind calm
and collected.
The progress in the jhana would lead to
dibbacakkhu, special sight, dibbasota, special
67
HEMAVATA SUTTA
. - b'l't to review past
hearing, pubbenzvasa, ? I 1 Y " to know
existences and cetopanya. abIlity
another person's mind,
h 'h - one can
T
hen' basing the sarna! a } ana t lly
d " d even ua
prac
tise vipassanc7 me ItatlOn an th
h ! . 'bt So sarna a attain magga and p a a InSI.g s. t If
jhiina should not be held 1ll d
one practised anapana kammathana an
dvattimstikara kammatthana. one could
mind calm and collecte? _and .attam
jhtina. and basing on that jhana, If
went in for one atta!D
magga and phala insIghts, But If one dId
not observe the happenings and decays and
just practised the samatha jhana, one would
get only concentration and calmness of the
mind.
Vipassana jhana
Observing the three lakkha1]a (signs) means
vipassanti jhana.
The three lakkha,! 7 are anicca lak-
khanti dukkha lakkhana and anatta
Observing these three signs means
vipassana jhana. But one cannot possibly .
start with observation of these three
iakkhana. One must start observing the
consciousness emanating from the six sense-
doors of the body. To Observe the actions
Qf the bOdy, one must make a note of t4eDl
68
HEMAVATA SUTTA
as they OCcur, tbus: "goingu, "lifting" 'of
tbe foot, "moving forward", oC (o.o.t.
"dropping" of the foot, as one
In the same way" one must nQte the
sitting, sleeping, bending, stretc,wng, ruh,.
of the abdomen, and .its falI(n8,
hearing etc.-aU actions they OCCUlj.
While noting these actions of the body
and the mind as they occur, one \\UJI cqwe
to know of the new occurronce Or
ing of the actions and also passing
of these actions to be followed by .....
series of actions. By making tbis
one w.iII come to know of the imp
er
llJ
a
M4W'
(anicca) , or the constant changes
instability which spells difficulty; distress
and misery (dukkha) and of the absonqe lir
control the actions by anything
self (a.natta).
The mindfulness of this state of aWain
in the physical and mental phenomena takes
the meditator to the beginning of sammasa"q_
nana stage of inSight. At this stage the YOli
will make a note of any movement or
action, physical or mental, over and
and thus derive a measure of
happiness that is born of sam(ldhi (con.cen_
tration), This kind of concentration is called
ekaggata samtidhi. Tbis state is equivalent
to the /first stage of jhLlna. In the next
69
. .
HEMAVATA SUTTA
stage, as the yogi progresses to it, the
actions and Movements will present them:
selves spontaneously ,for noting. The yogI
bas passed the first stage in which he has to
make an effort to note them. That stage of
insight is called udayabbaya-ntiQa.
At that stage vitakka (thinking) and vic..ara
(wandering of the mind) are absent, and
pili sukha (joyfulness) abounds with a
further strengthening of samtidhi. Therefore,
the earlier part of this udayabbaya stage of
insight is equivalent to the secoRd jhtina
stage.
At the advanced stc ge of udayab.aya the
light emanating from the state of joy will
be overcome by sukha (peaceful happiness)
and samti dhi (concentration) which have
become prominent. That stage is equivalent
to the third stage of jhana. Then further, even
sukha dims and fades when attention is focused
on the constant decay and passing out of the
phenomena as bhanga-fitiC).a (insight Oll decay
and destruction) develops. At that stage
upekkha (indifference) stands out prominen-
tly. That stage is equivalent to the fourth
stage of jhana. In fact, upekkha (indifference)
and eskaggatti (one-pointed concentration)
more the next stage
of 1081ght sankharupekkha_nti'!a. The yogis
70
.
HEMAVATA SutTA
who have advanced to this stage will know
what it is.
When S1tc7giri said that the Buddha was
not out of jhelna he meant that the Buddha
was into all these stages of jkei na.
Buddha into jhana while audience
were saying "Sidhu"
The Buddha constantly into the jkiina,
and for that He IS adorable. While, after
the end of a part of a sermon the audience
exclaimed in one vOice, "Sadhu! Sidhu!
Sidhu! (Well done!), the Buddha went into
jhana even during that brief interval. And
then He resumed the sermon. Such con-
stancy is really marvellous.
Burmese Sadhu and Ceylonese Sadhu
There are occasions for the audience to
say "Sti dhu" during my preaching but they
are rather few. But in Burma it is usual
for the audience to say "Sadhu" at the end
?f a Pali gtith6 (verse) of which the preach-
109 monk gives a literal translation. When
th.e monk ends in a long dra wn-out voice
wIth the phrase "phyitkya Ie dawt
tha. the audience says without any
"Sadhu". They don't care to
notIce whether the verse so recited and
translated relates to a subject which caUs
ss
71
HEMAVATA SUTTA
for an exultant hailing or not. They just
note the end ill g words " rlla dee" and drone
out " Sll dhu" .
For instance in the Vessantra Iiitaka,
king Vessantra 'ga ve away his two children,
a son and a daugl1ter of tender ages of
four or five, to Jujaka Brahmin. The Pali
verse in that connection describes the
Brabmin's cruel treatment of the children
who wept desolately; how the Brahmin beat
them cruelly and dragged them away. When
the preaching monk recited that verse and
translated it into Burmese and ended his
versIon with tbe usual "tha dee" the audience
droned out the usual "Sadhu". Well, that
is the part of the story which calls for
sympathy and sadness from the listeners,
not exultation, and so the "Sadhu" went
awry. But in Burma the audience don't care
to discriminate.
In Ceylon, however. the audience intones
"Sadhu" three times only for the part of
the sermon which nlated to attainment of
Arahatship or Nibbana, for tbat is an occa.
sion of when_ a congratulatory
note of JOY, such as "Sadhu", is called for.
_ time,?fthe Buddha the practice
of saYlDg Sadhu must be of the Ceylonese
pattern. When the aUdience said "Sadhu"
72
HEMAVATA sutTA
three the Buddha paused, and during
that bnef Interval He went into jhclna and
soon after the saying of "Sadhu" by the
audience, He resumed His sermon He never
remained idle. How adorable! J
The preaching monks of today may not be
entering into the jhana; that brief interval
is probably the time of resting his voice or
it is the time for bim to think of the words
he will utter when he resumes his sermOD.
Moreover, the Buddha looked on all be-
ings with great pity, entering into the mood
of great pity and loving kindness (mahika-
rUJ)a samapatti) and also into the ecstatic
mood of sanctification Arahatta sam(lpatti
for twelve crore times each altogether twenty
four crore times, daily. That shows that the
Buddha had not missed one moment in en-
tering into jh(tna; So Satagiri said in reply
to his friend's query, "The Buddha who
knows all the Dhamma fully is never away
from jhana". .
To sum up, the Buddha was free of the
sin of stealing,
the sin of torture and killing,
and was always away from forget.
fulness,
nor did He ever stop entering into
jhana.
73
HEMAVATA SUTTA
As tbe Buddha knew all the Dhamma
fully, He did not have to think abead. of
what He would say in a sermon seSSIOn.
He was always prepared. He of
the measure of maturity of any md!vldual
for Him to give an appropriate teaching,. so
He did not need to take time for any
of preparation. Not only did He enter mto
the jhdna after the bu t, as
has been s3id He utilIsed the bnef mtervals
during the se;mon session when the audience
said "Sadhu" to enter into the jhana. He
never remained idle for one moment.
Taking this into consideration, we should
know how adorable the Buddha is, and we
must adore Him by taking refuge in Him
with concentrated attention, and while we
are doing that we should make a note of
the happening of the joy emanating from
adoration and immediate fading out of that
joy and thus meditate in the vipassana way,
thereby strengthening the inSight thus gained
till we reach the ultimate stage of Ariyti
mar!,ga.
Now in conclusion of today's session, I
would like to urge the new Yogis to enter
into meditational practice by first noting
the actIOns of the body, such as the riSing
and falling of one's a15domen, and thoughts
74
HEMAVATA SUTTA
and fancies c:
f
mind. Noting the mental
IS Noting the
sHlffness and the achmg of tbe limbs and
all the ot1cr physical discomforts constitutes
vedanctnupassan,((. Seeing, hearing, etc., and
anger, and other workings
of the mll1d noted and meditated upon
make for dhammanupassan((. Noting the
movements and actions of the body
const. tutes Kayanupassan((.
The yogis at this meditation centre have
been doing this meditational practice, and
all of them have been trying to free
themselves from forgetfulness (pam(ida.) In
a few days, or one month, they will have
attained advanced stages of meditationaI
insights.
Of the four magga fiJfl)a, Solt/patti magga
enables the one who attains it to gain great
concentration. Then advancing from that
stage to the next, sakadag((mi magga, the
yogi will have bis concentration power
strengthened further, and when one reaches
the next stage, anagami magga, there wiII
not be any wandering of the mind and the
concentration will be much deeper; from
t hat stage one can ad vance through diligence
to theuItimate stage of Arahatta magga and
thus attain the state of an Aralull. At that
75

HEMAVATA SUTTA
final stage, forgetfulness is out of the
question, Mindfulness is ever present. So in
praising the insight of an Aralzat, it is said:
"The Araha! is of all mindfulness while
walking or standing or sleeping or waking."
An Aralzat never misses a moment in his
mindfulness of the physical and mental
phenomena, and his a wareness is of a
sweeping nature. By "sleeping" it means
that there is mindfulness till the point of
falling asleep and the mindfulness is resumed
at the point of up. There is of
course, no question of mindfulness while
one is asleep. That is how mindfulness is
moment of one's waking
lIfe, accordmg to the Buddha's admonition
of " apamadena sampc7 detha" (constant
awareness).
Our yogis have been doing meditational
work. That is a really gratifying fact. They
mllst work hard enough to attain at least
the first stage of magga, that is sotc7panna
magga. When one attains that stage one will
never go to four nether regions of bell.
This is the introductory part of Hemavata
SUlta.
76
Part III
The two questions put by Hemavata re-
late to physical commission of sin, and also-
whether the Buddha was far and away from
jhana. Then Hemavata put questions relating
to sins of speech.
'. Friend Sa tagiri, does your teacher the
Buddha, refrain from telling falseho'ods?
Does He refrain from using rude insolent
and condemning words? Does He refrain
from uttering words' which destroy friendli-
ness and unity?" said Hemavata.
Hemavata wanted to know whether the
Buddha committed sins of speech, such as,
using abusive words, telling lies, and teIJing
tales which could set one person against
the other. Unity among friends and allies
could be disrupted by someone dropping a
few words, quite pOlitely, hinting at some-
thing which could create misunderstanding
77
HEMAVATA SU'ITA
Vassakara's slanner
DUring the time of the Buddha, King
Ajatasattu wanted to invade Vajji w.here
Liccbavi princes were reigning. Tbese prInces
were ruling the country in barmony ._and
unity, Clnd their unity was strength. Apta-
saltu tried to disrupt the unity and under-
mine the strength of Licchavi princes by
employing a ruse. He sent Vassakara, one
of his ministers, into exile. and Vassakara
went to the Licchavi prinaes to seek refuge.
Some of tbe princes said to others, "This
Brahmin, Vassakara, is a cunnillg man.
Don't let him take refuge". Others re.
plied, "This Brahmin was exiled because
he spoke for us against his own king. So we
should take him on." So Vassakara was
received by the Licchavi princes and appoint-
ed a teacher to the children of the princes.
Vassakara taught tbe princes' chHdren
well, and thus earned the trust of the
princes. Once he obtained the trust and
confidence of the princes, Vassakara started
his campaign of setting one prince against
another. ruse was subtle: He
one pnnce aSIde and asked in a whisper,
;Have you taken your mea]?" "What curry
dId you eat?"
HEMAVATA SUlTA
. other princes saw tbis, and asked the
pI !nce what the teacher told bim. The priDce
saId, truthfully, that the old man asked him
whether he had taken his meal and what
curry he ate. Other princes did not believe
him. They tbought to tbemselves, "One
would not ask such questions in a whisper.
There must be some important secret."
Next, the Brahmin called another prince
and asked, "Does your father plough the
field? How many bullocks draw his plough?"
When the other princes asked him what .had
passed between the Brahmin and him, the
prince told them trutbfully, but none of
them believed him. Then tbe Brahmin called
another prince and asked in a whisper,
"Are you cowardly?" The prince asked him
in surprise, "Why? Who told you tbat',"
Then the Brahmin said, "Oh, your friend,
that prince" poin ted to another prince.
The p
ri
l.1ce was angry at being so accused
and began to misunderstand the other prince.

In this way, using simple words, Vassakara
set about setting one prince against another,
and within three years he had succeeded in
creating misunderstanding among the Lic-
chavi princes. The disruption of tbe unity
was so great that each prince would not
like to look at the face of the otber. Then

79 .
HEMAVAtA SUfTA
. e to King
Vassakara sent a secret ainst the
A 'atasattu who Jed an army ag ", As
of the Licchavi princes, as
each prince misunderstood the 0 e of
having accused him of cowardice, none
them went out to fight the invading ymy.
They said to themselves, "If they
cowardly, let them go out and fight . n 0
King Ajatasattu could capture the cou
b

easily. 1 his furnishes a good lesson a. ?u
backbiting Hemavata, therefore, asked.,
your teacher, the Buddha, free of,
calculating to create misunderstandIDg?
The fourth question was: "Is
the Buddha, free of speech Im-
portant and valuable import? Such kmd of
talk includes the present-day novels and
fairy tales which are devoid of morals and
valuable messages for the good of secular
life or spiritual life of people. They are
written up for pleasure reading; they con-
tain only some :'stories" and descriptions
just for reading pleasure. Hemavata asked
bis friend, Siitagiri, whether his teacher,
the Buddha, was free of such kind of frivolous
speech.
Satagiri's Answer No.3
Satagiri said in reply, "Friend Hemavata,
Gotama Buddha does not tell Jies; He

HEMAVATA SUTTA
always refrains from falsehood." Since the
time when he was a bodhisatta (would. be
Buddha) and received an assuring prophecy
from a former Buddha, He had refrained
from telling lies. He had always been free
of that sin. He always told the truth. For
the person who tells lies there is no sin be
would not hesitate to commit because he
will lie about his deed when asked about
it. He dares do any kind of evil deed.
The Dhammapada says:
"He who leaps over truth or abandons
truth and resorts to lies, abandons beneficial
effects in his next existence, and so there is
no sin he cannot commit!'
Leaping over truth means abandoning
truth, and that means telling lies. One
who does not hesitate to {teH lies
commit any kind of sin for he is ready wIth
a false explanation. Such persons will do
anything for his personal gain. One who
dares do any evil deed has no good future
in his next existence', and that means he
leaps over the next existence. He cares only
for his welfare in the present existence and
does not care for what will happen to him
in his next existence. Such a person will do
any kind of evil deed if only it can
material benefit for him in the present hfe.
P 9
81
HEMAVATA SUTTA
SO untruthfulness is the leader of all other
sins.
The would-be Buddha had avoided this
great sin of false speech in all his existences.
His avoidance of this sin is, of course,
through sampatta virall and samadana viraII
but not through samuccheda virati. Only
when he became the Buddha did He avoid
this sin through the last-named viratI: that
is, the avoidance through Arahatta magga.
To explain further, the would-be Buddha
avoided telling lies though he had not
formally taken the precepts. He did not lie
and always told the truth. That is avoidance
through sampatta virati. If a person has
taken the precepts forma1ly, saying: "I
take the precept of avoidance of telling
falsehood," then he avoided telling lies
through samiidtina virati.
Such instances of avoidance of falsehood
are usually in consideration of some factors,
such as, advanced age, reputation, fear of
censure or fear of committing a sin.
However, if one has attained sotapanna
magga through meditational practice, one
abandons. false speech completely. At that
stage telling falsehood is foreign to his
n.ature .. The had abandoned this sin
smce HIs attalllment of this early stage of
82
HEMAVA1A smA
magga. When He reached tlae
stage of Arahatta magga this matter
was entIrely out of the question. The BuddlJa
had that He h?d a1ready attained
tha,t .ultImate So Satagiri pve a
reply to the query, laymg,
Our teacher, the Buddha has completely
abandoned the sin of false'speech."
" Then to the question he replied,
Also, the .Buddha IS free of using crude,
and contemptuous language besides
bemg free of speech calculated to cause
misunderstanding and disruption of amity
and unity".
In the case of Arahats there were instancet
of use of rude language because they had
such a habit though, of course, they had
no evil motives. For instance, Venerable
Pilindavaccha bad the habit since he was a
Brahmin of calling people ., vasa/a" which
means "mean fellow". Even after he had
become an Arahat he did not abandon this
habit. As for the Buddha, there was no
instance in which He had retained His
habits, good or bad, after His attainmellt
of Buddhahood. He was completely clear
of all the habits that are usualJy carried
along through one's series of existences.
To the fourth question Satagiri replied:
"Our teacher. the Buddha, speaks only of
83
HEMAVATA SurrA
what is good, appropriate and
either to the secular world or to the spIrItual
world. "
By that Satagiri meant that the
saw the truth of any matter by HIS nal).a
and spoke either for the benefit of secular
or ,of spiritual life, and that He never
indulged in an idle talk.
There are four elements of speech. They
are: (I) telling tbe truth, no lies; (2) .no
slander, saying things with a view to effectmg
amity and unity, (3) using pleasant language,
avoiding rude words; (4) avoiding idle talk,
using words of no value or benefit. Those
four elements apply to communication in
worldly affairs as well as religious affairs.
If one observes these four rules of speech,
one can be said to be of clean speech.
Of six kinds of speech two are
permissible
It is said that there are six kinds of
speech in human communication. Number
one is the speech that is a lie, that is not
of any benefit and also not liked by others
For instance, if one makes a false
of immorality against a person who has a
c.lean the speech is a
be. HIS accusatIOn mIght be believed by

HEMAVATA SUTTA
another person Who will then take the accused
person amiss, and thus unwittingly carn
demeri t. Th e accused person will also fecI
badly because he has been wrongly accused.
The accuser's false accusation will not be
liked by wise and moral persons. So such
speech is malicious and inappropriate.
Number Two: A speech is not truth, and
there is no benefit from it, but it is liked
by. many. In this category are included
tales, words causing misunderstanding and
disunity, and discourses on false religions.
Tales, fables and novels or stories are mere
fabrications. They are not the accounts of
real events, and so reading them gives no
benefit to the reader who, may be sexually
aroused or moved to sorrow, anger or
dejection. Yet these tales and stories arc
liked by many people. Then backbiting
constitutes false accusations and descrip-
tions of the other party, deSigned to cause
destruction of amity and unity. The present
day propaganda contains many such lies and
un warran ted accusations. Such slanders cause
distress in the listener but he may of tell
feel that such speech is for his own good
and like it.
I shall refer to some in the
Pitaka literatureofthe Buddha s hme. Before
tbe Buddha attained Buddhahood there were
85
HEMAVATA surrA
in ancient times religions which said !hat
sacrificial offering of animals
evil deeds and br ol:lg11t prosperIty and
happililesS. Even Ki ng Pasenadi had
once made arr angements for sacrIfice of
ani mals t o propitiate the gods. He arranged
to have fi ve llUndred each of young cows,
bull s, goats an61 sheep kill ed and sacrificed.
At that time, at tIle instance of Queen
MaIJi kii the King approa ched the Buddha
and submitted the case. The Buddha said
t hat the sounds a nd voices that the King
bad been .beari ng had relationship with the
p ropi tiation of the gods, t hat killing tbe
ani wals for sacrifice was detrimental to tbe
King's interest, that on tbe contrary, if the
animals were released and allowed to live,
the meritorious act would bring him peace
and happiness. The King realized bis
and ordered tbe sacrificial animals released.
Th.ere is no acceptable logic in killing
anImals for the purpose of obtaining
prosperity and happiness for oneself. It is
to suppose that other's misery
WIll brlOg about one's happiness. Yet there
are !l1
an
y people who are in favour of
sacnficel.
Even in the time of the BUddha Ajita a
of a sect, maintained: ';lhere' is
neither kusala (gOod deed) nor akusala (bad
86

HEMAVATA SUTTA
deed and these ' deeds have no effect be-
muse there is no next exist.nce." llf you
consider the i mmed iaote eff eets of good and
bad deeds you will sel that this L;rgument
is not Accord ing to Buddhism, such
beli ef is called uccheda ditthi. The subscri-
ber to such belief will not do any good
deed and he will not shun bad deed. Thus,
will be no moral quality with him
that deserves praise. When after his death
he goes to next existence which he has
denied, then he will go to one of the
planes and suffer great misery. , Such his
plight , according to the Buddha s teachlDgs.
Such belief s are of no benefit, yet many
people subscri be to them .. So the statement,
"There is no kamma, or Its effect, because
there is no afterlife" is no truth and
no benefit f or any, but many people hke
it. This is a n exampl e of the Number Two
category of 9peech. Though many pe?ple
like such stat ements, they must be aVOIded
because they are no truth a.nd have no
benefit. And the Buddha a VOIded them.
Number Three: This category
speech that is truth but it is 0' f!o bene'lt
and is not liked by :rhlS IS, for m-
stance, calling a thief a thIef. a a
a fool a fool, or a blind person This
is true but there is no benefit and IS not
81
HBMAVATA SUTTA
liked by the pers on concerned. Tbis kind
of speech was never used by tile Buddha.
Number Four: This ca tegory includes
speech which is truth but of no benefit
though liked by many. Tbis i s. for instance,
quoting somebody and setti ng him against
the other. Such speech causes mis understand_
ing and distress in the person concerned.
Though distressed, he might like it because
he is under the impression tha t tbe reporter
lets him know what the other person said
abou t him. This a lso includes political
rumours aDd side-talks may be true
may be r eli shed by many but it
IS. of no benefit to tbe people generally: it
dIsturbs the mind of t hose who are devoting
themsel ves to religious work, Such kind of
speech was never made by the Buddha.
The two kinds used by the Buddha
Five: The truth, beneficial though
lIked by SUch speech in-
c u adn;lODltlOn whIch says, " In Our
prevIOUS eXIstences you have done a lIt of
bad deeds and so you are now' .
If you d' d 10 mIsery.
doing and continue
1 WI e dIfficult fo
!o save yourself from hell " Tb' d
IS motivated by a k'nd: IS a monItIon
of the person conce: ned wlSThhf.or
IS duect ap-
88
HEMAVATA SUTTA
.proach may not be liked by the person COD-
cerncd though it is a statement of truth,
such speech should be made. And the Bud-
dha made such kind of speech.
The Buddha said that Devadatta \\Iho tried
to set up a parallel organization by per-
suading some of the monks to renege, thus
committing what is called samghabhedaka
sin. would fall into hell and suffer misery
there for the entire kalpa (aeon). This pre-
diction was not liked by the Devadatta
group but it was made for the benefit of
others who might otherwise happen to com.
mit a similar sin. The Buddha made such
speech because He knew that it .was truth
and beneficial to many though not liked by
some.
Number Six. True, beneficial and popu-
lar. This category includes discourses on
dana (charity) sIla (morality) and bhavan,(1
(meditation) . These are the truths benefI-
cial and liked by wise and moral persons,
and so the Buddha used this kind of speech
on appropriate occasions. The Bu?dha's
main purpose was to make su{;h kmd of
speech.
Now we have completed the list. Of the
six categories the speech which is falsehood
and not beneficial should not be made
though it may be liked. or not liked, by
89

HEMAVATA SUITA
others Such kind was never used by the
Trut h but not beneficial tbough
it may or may not be liked by others would
never be said by the Buddha These are the
f our kinds the Buddha never used. Truth,
beneficial though it may be liked or not by
.others, was said by the Buddha. Of
the Buddha chose the appropriate
for the use of sucl] speecb. He never saId
anYlh ing irrelevant to the situation.
To choose the right words for the rignt
occasion is an important matter. It is not
appropriate to say something true and
beneficial at a place where fe3tivities are
being held. For instance. at a wedding
oeremony or an ini tia tion ceremony
people are light -minded, it is not appropriate
to give discourses on serious subjects such
as meditation on death or inSight into the
state of nibbiina. In tbe same way, it is not
appropriate to give a discourse Ion Mangala
at the aIms-food offering ceremony at a
funeral house.
Summing up, the Buddba used only words
which represent the truth and are of benefit
to many. So Satagiri said in reply to
Hemavata's 9
uer
y that the. BUddha said what
should be saId after Surveying the benefit in
the mundane and spiritual affairs.
90
HEMAVATA SUTTA
The attribute of Sugata
For the reason that the Buddha used
appropriate speech for appropriate occasions
He was in possession of the attribute of
Sugata which means "saying good (appro-
priate) words". In other words, the Buddha
said what was true and beneficial to many
though it mayor may not be liked by some.
So we will say, "The Buddha had the
attribute of saying good words whether they
are liked or not."
After Satagiri bad made a repJy the
Buddha's abstention from the four SInS of
speich, Hemavata put questions relating to
the sins of the mind.
Hemavata's Question No. (4)
Hemavata said, "Friend Satagiri. is your
teacher, the Buddha, free of desires for .
sensual pleasures'l"
Of the three sins of the mind, abhijjhd
refers t o the 'desire to get other's possessions
and schemi ng to achieve that purpose.
Hemavata wanted to know whetber the
Buddha was free from abhijjhii. People gene-
rally want to possess things that please their
senses even those who declared themselves
to be Buddhas were not free from abhijjhci .
91

HEMAVATA SUTTA
"Is the mind of your tencher, the Buddha,
clear of the des ire to kill and destroy?"
Hemavata asked.
By th is he meant whether the Buddha was
frec of byapll da, the wish entertained by a
person to see others he hates dead or des-
troyed. People generally wi sh someene they
do not like dead; some even utter the ,words
to express that wi i h. The bogus Buddhas of
those days were not free from this desire.
!hey said tha t one could kill with impunity.
rhe God Who punished hi s creatures with
death cannot be said to be free from this
The wish for other's death, byaptt da
after all an expression of anger, and so
Jt can never be termed clean-mindedness,
Hemavata wanted to know whether the
Buddha was so cl ean-minded he said in
effect. "Is the mind of your ' teacher 'the
free of the dirt of evil is
It clean!"
. Then; Hemavata put the next question;
"Has the Buddha overcome maha (delusion
by ignorance)?"
tlitthi, the wrong belief is a
combll1atlOn of maha and aViJ'J' - (. ' )
So sk' h th h ({ Ignorance.
'h
a
mg w e t e Buddha had overcome
ma a meani whether the Buddha
was clean of mlccha ditthi wh' h . f
the three signs of the mind It IC lIds one 0
, wou appear
92
HEMAvATA SUTTA
rude to put such a question about tile
Buddha but in those days when many
of heretics were claiming to be Buddhas
this question was pertinent. '
Three kinds of miccha ditthi
Among the bogus Buddhas, Puriu;ta
Kassapa preached that killing, stealing and
other evil deeds did not constitute sin
than alms-giving and otl?er good
deeds constitute merit. This belief which
rejects the principle of kamrna and its effect
is eaIIed akiriya ditthi.
Ajita, another heretical leader, preached
that there was no effect of either good deed
or bad deed because after death there would
be no new Death spelled the end
of life. This belief is called nauhika ditthi-
nihilism.
Another heretical leader, Makkhali, preach.
ed that there was no cause either for
defilement and misery or for happiness and
purity in all beings. This no-cause belief is
called altetuka ditthi, This b", lief also rejected
kamma and its effect.
The last of them, Pakudha, said that all
beings were composed of tbe four elements,
plus sukha dukklta and jiva (life), and
these Seven elements could not be annibilated
93
HBMAVATA SUTTA
by any force. Any good or bad deed could
not affect this composite entity. The!efore,
neither sin nor merit llUd any meanIllg, be
added.
These leaders of falst> faiths had had
wrong conceptions and were sunk under
mtJha and aVijjL7 . Hemavata's query wbether
the Buddha was free of micc//lt ditlhi was
therefore pertinent.
Hemavata asked: "Does your teacher, the
Buddha, have the eve of to see
aJI the dhamma?" .
Questions relating to the sins or.the body,
of the speech :lnd Qf the mind had been
made and categorical answers received, but
tbat by itself did not satisfy the inquiry
whetber the Buddha was tbe real Samma-
sambuddha Buddha, for these attributes
could be had by Paccekabuddhas and Arahats.
Pacce,kabuddha is a lesser,
Buddna. So Hemavata put an Important
question; "Does your teacher, the Buddha,
have the eye of knowledge to see all the
Dhamma?"
Sa tagiri's Answer No.4
Satagiri said, "Friend Hernavata our
teacher, the. Buddl1a, has never had any
sensual deSIre <lnd is <11 ways clean of
tanha. "
.
94
HEMAVATA SUTTA
This is the answer to Hemavata's first of
Number FO,ur in the series of questions.
Since the time of renunciation at tbe age of
29, the Buddha had been c:ean of sensual
desires. Even when He was suffering acutely
from extreme asceticism, H is mind had not
harkened bark to the former state of joys
and pleasures of the palace. He was far
removed froLl the desire to possess other
person's possessions. When he bad attained
Buddhahood, the Buddha rejected all ele-
ments of taf)h(( through Arahatta magga.
This He had declared when He gave the
Dhammacakka sermon, saying that He bad
rejected all the ingredients constituting
samudaya sacca.
The answer to the second question in the
series said: HThe mind of our teacher is Dot
sullied and it is al ways clean." The Buddha's
mind was alwfYs permeating with metta for
al r beings and there was not of
byapada and dosa. While Angult Mala was
chasing the Buddha with a Buddha
was of a clean mind full of mett{i and
karuna for the man who was chasing Him.
When the drunken elephant,
to gore Him, the Buddha was lIkeWIse of
clean mind. So was He when 1?evadatta
rolled down a huge rock upon. Even
on c;uch critical occasions HIS mlOd
HEMAVATA SUTTA
cleclO of deJires; nothing need be said of it
at other times. The Buddha wllo had cl eaned
His mind of byttp(7da Cl nd dosa through
Araha/ta magga, had always been of cl ean
mind. Hence Satagiri's answer.
Also free of moha
As an answer to the third question, Sata-
giri said, "Our t acher, t he Buddha, has
overcome through the four Ariya magga all
moha and avij ja "
What Hemavata meant to ask was whether
the Buddha had ov rco.me ducarita miccha
ditthi based on moha, but Scitagiri's answer
went that and was all-em bracing.
Be saI d that the Buddha had overcome all
moha which is obvi ously a complete answer.
Fr ee of miccha ditthi since receivi ng
assu r ing prediction
Si nce the time when the would-be Bud-
dha was given all assurance by Dipankara,
a former Buddha, that he would become a
he ?een free of beliefs which
the prIncIples of kamma such be-
Wfs as 1itthi and uccheda ditthi,
ed He
1 esu W lI cn mcl udes of
ducarita micchc7 d' h' H ' course,
the fal se fai ths llt l. e then referred to
propagated by the heretical
96
HEMAVATA SUTTA
leaders. PuraQ.a Kassapa and othed.
directed his audience not to folio"
wrong paths.
The Buddha had said that the that
killing, stealing and ot he r evil deeds did not
produce evil effects was the product of in
attachmen t to rupa, l'edalJa, sanna, sankhiira
and vinfi ana, t he five ingredients of physical
mattter. If rupa was known to be subject-
ed to anicca and dukkha, the remaining
ingredients woul d be li kewise sub jected, and
that knowledge c{J'U ld not lead anyone
to the wrong beliefs, the Buddha pOinted
out.
The Buddha likened leading heretic Mat-
khali to a dragnet and urged His disCiples
to rej ect that f alse fa ith. Let us recount
briefly Makkhali ' s fai th. According to him,
there was no cause for either poverty or
prosperity and the>re was no agency to alter
or t he situati on because all beings
were predestined, and so they have
their share of pover ty and prospenty; all
beings got t heir in. accordance
with predestination, In hIgher planes
or lower planes of eXIstences. There was
no lengthy period of mi sery the bad
and the foolish nor a short penod for the
rich and the wIse; each being was to. take
his own share of misery and happmess,
97
HEMAVATA SUTTA
. t as the poverty and prosperity, and JUs
roIling ball of thread comes to a stop when
all the thread has been untwined, so also
the samSllra for each being woul? com
d
to
an end when 11e had Jived out hIS pre es-
tined period of existence.
Tallies with the theory of "man dies
and is reborn as man"
This idea of predestlDCHion which asserts
that one has just to live out his time in
sams(ira and need not make any effort for
improvement for he will mature automati-
cally and gradually, goes very well with
those Who do not have to make any eWort
to do good deeds and also with those' Who
want to do bad deeds. It is quite a good
idea for lazybones and bad-hats. It also
seems to be in accord with a recently pro-
pagated belief that since man has already
attained the status of man, he wiJJ not get
downgraded after his ' de ath, for he will
gradually mature , automatically; the belief
assuming the term, jn Burmese, lu 'the lu
phyit (man dies, becomes man).
The Buddha li kened MakkhaJi as a human
dragnet, for once a man gets into the ne t
of his faith be cannot get out but has to
die in it. The Buddha meant by this that
98
HEMAVATA SurrA
those Who f avoured this belief would not
do any good volitiona l act which would
ena bl e t hem to attain to celestial pl anes and
nibblna, and so they woul d fa ll into hell .
Now I have heard that there are some
who tell their audi ence that it is enough
for them merely to li sten what they preach
and that it is not necessary f or anyone to
do any meditation. Such preachers should
make a note of the met aphor of the dranet
used by the Buddha for t he leading dWhi
Makkhali . Not only Makkna/i's f aith but
also the faiths of and Aji ta f all
into the same category of " dragnet fa iths"
which remove the opportunity for beings to
go to c@iestiaJ planes of exis tence or to
attain nibbtina.
When did fa lse fait hs spring up?
When did the false f ai ths denying kamma
and its effect spring up? According to
Cakkavatti sutta, t hey sprang up d uring the
era in which man's life-span was one thousand
years. It is probable that til I that er3 people
had in them less amount of lobha, dosa and
moha and so were not enamoured of this
about karnma and its effect, but
since then people were more and more
depraved, and began to subscribe to these
faiths. But these faiths were not as populaf

99
,
HEMAVATA SUTTA
as they appeared to be, for even at
time of the Buddha when the span of man s
life had gone to one hundred, they
were not liked by many.
But now as moral deterioration is gradu-
ally increasing, people are becoming mOre
and more immoral, and the false faiths are
beginning to flourish. And according to
Cakkavatli sutta, at the time when man's
expectation of life is reduced to just ten
years, morals wiU fade out and the term
akusala (evil deed) will go out of usage.
This tbeory of rejection of !camma is
gradually gaining more favourable attention
because people's lobha is increasing and
their hankering after sensual pleasures is
making a corresponding increase. Nowadays,
there are some who are of the opinion that
if one avoids evil deeds one will not
achieve allY useful purpose. That view leads
people to these false faiths.
Free of all moha
The ignorance of !camma and its effect
that is becoming rife now is the result of
overwhelming superimposed by moha.
The Buddha realIsed this for Himself and
so He preached to the people for making
efforts to the vOluwe of lobha and
moha. The dIsCIples fOllow the Buddha's
100
IIIEMAVAl'A SUTrA
direction and try to reach realisation
through meditational practice and thus free
themselves from these false faiths. They
come to realise that the kamma of the
previous existences had made them what
they are in the present existence, and the
kamma of thv present existence, jf nOl y( t
free of tal)/za, will determine the state of
the next existence. Thus, they confirm their
belief in the true faith.
The Buddha was obviously free of miccha
ditthi, but at a time when there were many
bogus Buddhas, Hemavata's query whether
the Buddha had overcome molta which
makes for micchii ditthi was quite pertinent,
and answer went far beyond
because it said that the Buddha had over-
come all moha (that is, all the accessories
of moha).
Has the eye of k nowledge
In answer to the fourth que::.tion, Sa a-
giri said, "Our teacher, the Buddha, has
the type of knowledge which sees all the
dhamma."
There are five kinds of eyes. They are:
(I) mamsa cakkhu, the eye of flesh, or the
ordinary eye;
(') dibba cakkhu, the eye of abhiiiJltiI)a
(higher psychic poweIs);
101
If 14
TJEMAVATA SUTTA
(3) dhalllma cakkllll; the eye. of
(4) samallta cakkllll, (all-seemg eye) mSIght
(5) Buddha cakkhu, the eye of the Buddha.
(1) The ordinary eye is very clear and
can see around to the distance of one
yuja1Ui.
0) Dibba cakkhll, or the eye of Abhififia
can see all material forms, large or small,
near or far: it can see the abodes of devas
and Brahmas, the nether regions such as
niraya ' (hell), peta and asztrakayas .(ghosts
and spirits); it can also see the universes.
This oye can see anything anywhere, any
shape or colour; it can also see where a be-
ing after death bas gone to take up its next
existence. /Tbe Buddba had attained this eye
It midnight of the day when He was to attain
Buddhahood. He then sawall the 31 planes
of existence in which beings of all sorts
were either enjoying pleasures or suffering
from misery. We need not add that He
sawall of the human and animal worlds.
( 3) As for the eye of knowledge, the term
refers to that gained from
v!passana '?1agga and paccavekkhana, espe-
to Any.! magga. The eye of knowledge
)S referred to as the eye of dhamma
IS synonymous with sotapanna magga
ilGna.
102
HEMAVATA SUTTA
(4) samanta cakkhu is synon)'mous with
sabbaiifiuta nana. It is t he eye which sees all
the dhamma. The BuddhJ. had declared while
giving the firs t of all His sermons,
Dhammacakka sutla, tbat He had acquired
this cakkhu and become the Buddha.
Budd ha c.akk hu
(5) Buddha cakkhu means "the eye of the
Buddha!' This coostitut-(S indriyaparopri-
yalta nana which is the insight into the
grades of maturity of the minds of all
beings. Saddha, viriya, sali , san1(]dM and
panna (wellestablished confidence in the
Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha; diligence;
mindfulness; concentration; wisdom respec-
tively) constitute indriya. The Buddha could
perceive the degree and grade of maturity
of all these aspects. He examined a being's
state of mental i acuIty to determine how
that particular being stood in the .of
perceiving the Dhamma and thus attaIDJDg
nibbana. If a certain individual was still
lacking in maturity, tbe Buddha would not
yet teach him the Dhomma The Bud?ha
waited till he reached the stage of
and that period of postponement mIght
extend to years or months; or it might be just
a matter of hours or minutes.
To give an of
a person named Bahlya darucmya came from
103

llEMAVATA SUITA
his residence in suppuraka in thfe
A aranta on the VI es tern coast 0 I!.. la .
Jeiavana monastery near the of
200 y"janas away. He arnved at e
monastery at the time wh;n the
out to receive alms-food III the city. ,He dId
not wait at the monastery, but went mto the
city to see the Buddha. When he met the
Buddha he made obeisance and requested
Him to teach him the Dhamma. The Buddha
saw that he was not yet to
receive His teaching, and saId that It was
not fitting to give teachings while going the
rounds for alms-food. Bahiya made the
request for a second time, and the Buddha
refused. When be made the third request,
the Buddha sa\V that his indriya had attained
sufficient maturity andgave him the following
sermon:
"If seei ng ha ppens to be mere seeing, if
hearing happens to be mere hearing, if
arriving happens to be mere arriving, if
knowing happens to be mere knowing, such
acti ons do not bappen, they do not remain
still, as they do not remain still, they
are nei ther here nor there, and nothing
re!Dains. That non-happening is th' end of
misery"
Bahiya, while heari ng the sermon became
an Arahat after going through stages
104
IIEMAVATA SUTTA
of insight, the four magga and phala. This
is an instance of post ponement f or a few
minutes.
Asaya-nusaya ii81).a
Asayanusaya fi {i 1). a means an insight into
the idiosyncrasies of an individual. The
predilections are called asaya, and there are
two elements in the mental makeup of the
individual, namely ditthi alld fi ii1Ja. Those
who are worldly usually have diUhi deep in
their minds Tbey subscribe t o either sassata
or uccheda faiths . Those who like the former
do not like the latter, for they like immor-
tality of the soul. Those who like the latter
do not like the former, for they favour the
idea of the disappearance of all entities of
a being after death. Though they may
change over for some reasons or other they
revert to their f-ormer faith later. They are
like dogs which wander ,during the day, and
come back t o their steeplOg places at
The Buddha knew whether an, individuai
was inclined to the. sassata f.aIth or. the
uccheda f aith, and dIrected
accordingly, so that particular realIsed
the true faith and quickly attaIned m(lgga.
As for those who wanted to get out of the
rut of samsara and attain
those who have acquired vlpassana naJ)" and
also those who have attained Ariyti magg
a
lOS
HEMAVATA SUTTA
llana. Although they had not yet
the' stage of Ariyli magg
a
, and were shll
holding the views of nicca (permanence),
sukha (happiness) and atta (selt), they would
regain the insight of anicca, dukkha and
onotla when they heard the Buddha's ser-
mon Such the case with those who have
gained vipassana insight but have stopped
making note of anicca, dukkha and analla
for some time, for they can regain their in-
sight soon after they go back into their
meditational practice. That is like returning
to one's borne.
As sotiipanna and sakada gdmi are not fully
clear of kama, raga and bY(ipiida (desire
lust,and anxiety),theymayrelapse into
to a certain extent during tbeir off-
penods from meditation, Once into it again
!hey will regain their insight of the truth'
If only for some time. It is like going out
of one's bome, a stately mansion to several
places during the day for reason or
and cornin!! back to their homes for
the Dlght. The Buddha sa w this state of mind
a teaching best suited to the in-
and idiosyncrasies of such indi-
VIdual so that he might attain the stage Qf
magga and phala.
The onusaya kileS(i comprises seven com-
ponents, namely, kdma (sexual desire),
106

HEMAVATA SUTTA
bhav,a raf,a (lust for life), patiga (aversion
or . (conceit), ditthi (wrong
Ylczklccha (perplexed thinking) and
aVIJJd (Ignorance). The Buddha discerned
was uppermost in the mind of an in.
dIvld'!al and gave him an appropriate
teach1l1g. That was why those who had had
an opportunity of hearing the Buddha's
sermon quickly attained nibbana
. N?w these .two of insight, namely
and asayanusaya
narJa are together cailed Buddha cakkhu,
"the eye of the Buddha." This twin insight
was possessed only by the Buddha and none
Arahat; not Venerable Sariputra,
had It. Venerable Sanputra could not deter-
mine the grades of maturity of the mental
state of an individual and give him an
appropriate teaching.
Once, Venerable Sariputra taught a disciple
of his the asuhha kammathana exercises, and
asked him to practice it for the whole period
of the Lent. The disciple could not make
any progress. so Venerable Sariputra took
him to the Buddha, reported the matter and
gave up the disciple to Him. Then the
Buddha viewed the idiosyncrasies of that
monk and gave him a golden lotus which
He had created for the purpose and asked
him to focus his attention on it and make
a note of the redness of the flower.
107
HEMAVATA SUTTA
k d'd as he was directed, and
The mon I ld lotus gained the four
looking at the gO en he Buddha caused
stages of tget brownish black,
out the jlla na
'v"d the decay and reahsed the de.cay
C bodv through introspectlO11.
o IS own. 1 . d
Then the Buddha appeared before l1m.an
:we him a sermon, and monk attalll
ed
plw/a while attendlDg to the sermon.
"In this episode, the monk had b.een for
five hundred existences a goldsmIth
naturally liked neat a,nd tIdy.
He was, therefore, not Illterested III
kammiitlliina which involves contemplatl
on
of the decomposition of corp,ses,
Sariputra did not know of IllS predllectlO
n
and taught him an unsuitable method of
contemplation. The Buddha, on the contrary,
knew well of the individual's prejudices
and gave him [ollita kammathana (contem-
plation of after giving him a
golden lotus, 'Because of the appropriate
teaching the monk attained Arahatta phata
wi thin a few hours,
As the Buddha alone these two
kinds of insight, Satagiri replied defini tely:
"OUi teacher, th,e has the eye to
the dhamma III all Its asnects,"
Of the five kinds of eyes ' el1umeratE'd in
an earlier paragraph, all the first
108

IlEMAVATA SUTTA
kind, the ordinary eye, which needs
no special mention belongs to
pertaining to the dhamma, and the Buddha
was in full possession of all the four.
Hence, Satagiri's reply.
To reiterate, Satagiri said to his friend,
Hemavata, that the Buddha was clear of
all desires and lusts and was of clean mind;
that the Buddha had expurgated dosa and
byapada through ana gt'imi magga, meaning
that His mind was never sullied by feelings
of anger or anxiety.
Incidentally, Venerable Sariputra was
praised for absence of dosa in him. He was
never angry, A certail} Brahmin unbeliever
would not believe it. He maintained that
Venerable Sariputra was not angry because
there was nobody to provoke his anger.
So one day while Venerable Sariputra was
on his rounds for alms-food, be slapped
the Arahat's back severely. Venerable
Sflriputra did not even look back 3t him
and waS walking with composure. Then
only the unbelieving Brahmin realised the
truth and humbly begged the the Venerable
Arahat's pardon. In fact, not only Venerable
Sariputra but 'aU other Aralzat's also were
clear of anger. Yet they st.ill had some
idiosyncracies which are vestIges of anger.
109
HEMAYA'lA surrA
d
dl oulo di!;pense with all
Only the Bu \a c His mind was always
traits of character.
exceedingly clean.
- - " 'd trc Buddha had overcome
Sataglfl sal I t know-
all asperts of molla. !do w mea1ns means
in the four Truths. Co?verse y, 1 .
hattin wrong notions ()t them, tbat IS, for
instat;ce taking dukklza as slIk/w. Whenever
one is the process of .inccessant
ing and immediate fadmg out, there IS
nothing pleasant or stable; all are
and unstable, and for reason, there IS
no happiness but only misery. Yet ':lloiza
causes one to mistake misery f?r happmess.
In the same way, whatever IS heard,
smelt or eaten or touched or thought of IS
really the niima rupa const.ant
changes of happening and dIsappeanng.
But 1110lla persuades one to think of them
as good and pleasar t and encourages one to
be mentally attached to them, And this
attachment (samudaya sacca) makes for new
Ce35'atiol1 of existences is nirodha
saccii. ,\Joha makes one disliRe it, because
cessation or existences is taken to mean the
final death, and is therefore not relishing.
Moha makes one dislike dana, sIla and
bhtivanli which are the causes for attaining
nibb(lna. These are taken to be arduous
tasks! so is vipassanti thought to be. That
110
t1.EMA V A 1 A SOH A
is molza: having wrong notions. Satagiri
meant to say that the Buddha had over-
come all aspects of 1110ha and was <.:lean of
moha and avijja.
The next series of Hemavata's questions
runs follows:
(1) "Friend, has your teacher,
the Buddha, full possession of special
fiana called vijj(l?
(2) And also of the basic moral conduct
called carana?
(3) Has your teacher, the Buddha,
pletely rid Himself of all (ism'a
kilesrl?
(4) Is He free from ,the cycle of ex-
istences! that is, that there is no new
exisence for Him?
To these questions Satagiri gave categori-
cal answers to the effect that the Buddha
was in full possession of all tbe qualities
referred to by Hemavata.
As we know, Kali, a rich man's daughter
who overheard the dialogue between the
two celestial beings in the sky over her
head attained the stage of sof<7panna
magga. She became a sotapan because she
learned ahout the attributes <?f the
and W:1S happily adoring Him while she
111
F12
,
HEMAVATA surTA
went through the of meditati?n, pre-
ceiving an;cca. dukklw and anatla 01 mntter
and mind. KiiWs achievement was rea lly
wonderful.
Satugiri's full answers are in the
following chapter, This is tbe end of Pa rt
Ill.
112

Part IV
Hemavata's Query (..1 0. S
To t hese four questions Satagiri said that
the Buddha possessed fully and complttely
all the nana called vijjC/, .
Vijj C/, means "special knowledge" or
" wi sdom". There are three kindt: and also
eigh t kinds. The Buddha had all these fully.
Besides, our teacher, the Buddha, has
clean basic moral conduct, that is, all the
basic moral conduct that paves the way to
Nibbanii.
"Also, our te:lcher, the Buddha, has in
Him none of kilesa asavo, that is, K(1111(lsava,
ditth(isava and avijjt7sava.
"And, our teacher, the Buddh:l, has no
more new existences; He is free from the
cycle of exi stences."
11 3
HEMAVATA SUTTA
The reason for Salagiri's definite. answer s
to Hem,w<lta's four further questions ,:"a
s
that he had heard the Bllddha declare dUClng
the Dhammacakka sermon that He had
already had completely magg
a
the
eight maggo. Of them, samma dlt/ltT. and
somma sat/kappa are the magg
as
re.atmg .to
pann!i or what is called vijjti, the
knowledge and mental powers. vacq,
sa/1llYl u kammanta and sammd til/va const}
tut e stla magaa, and SQI1l111lL v((yama, samma
sali and salll li dlri are together samadhi
magg
a
. Tbese sila magga and sanUidhi
mtigg
a
are what con5titute caraI).a or the
basic moral conduct.
In the Dhall1macakka sermon there was
al so a declaration by the Buddha that He
was Samm([ sambllddha, tbe Enli !; btened One,
the .genuine who was in full pos-
seSSIOn of specIal I?ental called vijj7
a?d caral) a. I S wby Sa tagiri gave out
hI S ans- ers wIth the courage of conviction.
Also, t he reas on for the definite answer
!O t he questi on about riSQl'O kilesc7 was that
10 the Dhammacakka sutta the Buddha said
that He had completely rid Himself of
samudaya sacca (att achment). This state-
together with t he decl aration of
Himself as Sammasambuddha convinced
114
HEMAVATA SUTTA
Sat agiri t hat his teacher, the Buddha, was
t he gen uine Buddha.
The a nswer to the fourth question that
the Buddha b.ad no future new existences
was due t o the Buddha's declaration in the
Dhammacakka sermon, "My deliverance
f ro m kHesa is permanent." By tbat He
meant that the deliverance was complete
and not for a temporary measure; it was
not just a few moments or for a certain
period; it was permanet and invioiable.
fhe Buddha added that the present existence
of his was the last, and there was no future
new existence for Him.
Three kinds of vijja
Tllere are three kinds of vijja as well as
eight kinds . The three kinds pubbenivasa
fi aI).a, dibbacakkha iiana and asavakkhaya
nana. (These are often referred to wlth
their initials as pll, di, ii.)
pubbeniva.sa iiana
This nana is t he ment al a bility t o look
back and see the previ ous _ The
Buddha acquired this ii ana lD tbe first
part of the of the f ull moon <;lay of
the month of Kason. the day Oll wa lch .the
Buddha was to att ain Buddll ahood.
then He had known about t he prevl<1US
exhtences and pondered upon t he m.
11 '
IIHfAVATA SUTTA
Dibbacekkhu fiana
This l1ii1la is tbe ability to see as if with
the eye of a deva, The metc1ph,or of the ,
of a deva is used just to the abIlity
contained in this nanO but, in fact, the
ability far exceeds tbat of the eye of deva.
What a deva's eye cannot see, this fie/na can.
The persons possessing this ntlna can ponder
and look far of more than many
crores of yuzalltl and see the colours and
forms of being there, This nana can see
what the human eye cannot It can see
through walls, mountains and other fOID1S
?f barrier. It can t:>een the b<jngs suffering
10 the nether regions of hell, anjmal king-
dom, and the world of peta. It can see the
entire human world, and also the celestial
planes of existmce,
The human eye C:lllnot see even <mardian
:lngel.s mountains trees in
VIClntty. say thJt is no such
bemg as deva because such a being cannot
be seen, but such persons dare not remain
under the trees or places reputed to be
haunted by ghosts. They dare not behave in
such way to offend the spirits. Some
guardl,an SpInts of property and ghosts do
sorn&times show their forms and frif.Jhten
people Some persons have had a chant:>ce of
HEMAVATA SUTTA
seeing their forms. Among the spirits that
usually frighten people are devas also. There
is a reference in l'Jettii sutta to celestial
spirits which showed the monks who had
come to reside at the monasteries in the
forest. in various forms and thus tried to
frighten them. Such spirits were the guar-
dian angels of trees.
There are instances in which the peta
beings did frighten. Once. King Bim
returned to his palace after he bad offered
alms-food to the Buddha and Sangba and
on that night peta beings haunted tbe royal
chumber in the palace and tried to frighten
the King. These beings heard from Kassapa
Buddha, a previous Buddha, that t ! ey would
obtain things to eat after they had said
"Sadhu" (well done!)when the King dbtribut-
ed his merits gained from the good deed of
al ms-food of fering So they gathered around
the Buddha's monastery and waited to say
"Siidhu" but, unfortunately, the King
to distdbute his merit, and returned to illS
palace.
He did not know about this matter, the
peta beings enter,ed chamber to flIghten
him just to remmd hIm.
When the King reported to the ,Buddha
about this, the Buddha told the Kmg that
117
HEMAVATA SUTTA
these pew beings had been the King's , re-
I t
' 9') ka/pa co a CT and t these beIngs
a I ve s _ .l :::- ' f 'h 1 '
haunted the royal .cbam?er to . ng. ten. 11m
b
. f reminding him about hIS failure
y w.ty 0 b . S the
to distribute his merit to all etng
s
. 0
King offered alms-food t o t!le Buddha at;ld
Sangha again on the fo1l0W1,ng day and dIS-
tribut ed his merit to all bemg
s
. The peta
beings said "Sadhu" aDd t hus obtamed
celestial food . So there are various kinds
of haunting and f rightening by spirits, for
the devas, the peta spirits of property who
also belong to the category of deva, can do
haunt in
CT
and fri ghtening. The human eye
cannot t hese spirits but the eye of dib-
bacakkll abhiiifiana can:
.
Dibbacal<khu can see peta spirits
Durin g the of the Buddha, one daY
Venerable Maha Moggalana and Venerable
Lakkhana were coming down f rom Gijjakut-
ta Mountain while 0n their r ounds for almS-
food, when they saw on the way vadous
kinds of peta spirits There were peta beings
made up of only skelelons, those of
flesh, and also those of bodies on fire. The
skeleton ones and flesh ones were b'i n g
s
pecked at by crows, vultures and kitts and
they were cryi'llg loudly from pain and run-
118
HEMAVATA SUTTA
ning <Ibout in 1he sky, Venerable M(lha Mog-
galaoa smiled at the. thought that he had been
free of the possibility of an I.xistence of
sutTering. Venerable Vlk kbana nsked him
why be smiled. He said, "ask me after the
al ms-food round." Soon after having had
their meals, Venerable Lakknana asked
Venerable Maha Moggal<.na, in the presence
of the Buddha, why he had smiled. Vener-
able Maha Moggalana replied simply that
he smiled because he saw the strange sight
of peta beings. Then the Buddha said, "My
di sciples h,we acquired the e)e of nt/,na,
and can, therefore, see what a human eye
cannot such beings as the peta, Now my
disciples can bear witness to the fact that
there are such beings as peta, I myself, had
been them on the night when I was about
to a tain Buddhahood while sitting on the
aparaj ita pedestal under the Bhodi 1
bave withheld a discourse on tbese bemgs
because I was sympathetic ,with th?s.e
would earn akusaia by theu sceptICiSm 111
this matt er. strange peta was a but-
cher in thi s city of Riijagiri. He had fallen
into hell suffered many hundreds
thous(\nds of years before he became thls
peta to r epay a residue of the debt ?f
his sins . Moggaliwa was r ight, whe,l; be said
he h ad seen astrang
e
peta beIngs.
) 19
.-...... ...
H1:MAVATA SU'lTA
The Buddha continued to more
than twenty kinds of belllgs. Some
. had to suffer pam from swords,
peta belllgs d' that fell upon their
lances, arrows an pms
bodies and pierced them. Some had
of iron of various sizes .fall through
bodies and were ab.out, crYing
aloud from the excruClatmg pam they ,,'ere
sufferin!! from the process. No human be-
ing in that area could see them. Nor
Venerable Lakkhana who had not acqu!red
dibbacakkhunana :yet. Such miserable beIngs
were found rot only on Gijjakutta Moun-
tain but elsewhere toO, in places where they
had, in their previous existences, done mis-
deeds, Only the eye of abhiiinc1na can see
them; the ordiJalY human eye cannot.
The dibbacakklzu abhinnana see not
only pela beings but all other beings, too,
in bell ancl l(j the abodes of dCl'{fs "nd
Brahmas. Venerable Anuruddba could see
one thousand universes at once with the
eye of this abhi1l1117na, <llld the Buddha could
see innumerable universes, He had acquir-
ed this abhinll (i l1a on the night of the full
moon day of when He W3S just about
to attain Buddhahood.
Asavakkhaya nana
n({ lla is the ability to purge ;dllusts.
deslfes and other ddilernent s. It is Ariya
120
HEMAVArA surrA
magga naQa of which there are four grades:
sotc7panna magga rUlna, sakadtiglimi magga
nana, ana gc7mi magga nana and Arahatta
magga nana.
Of these four nana, sotapanna magga
nana purges the defilements (c7savo andkilesa)
concerning ditthi (wrong belief): sakadag{i 1Jli
magga liana the defilements conceruing glOsS
kama raga (lust and desires); anc7gumi
magga n(IQa the defilements concernlng
subtle mainfestations of kama raga; and
Arahatta magga nana purges all the rc::main-
ing defi lements of lust and desires. So
these four magga nana are collectively called
asavakkhaya frana. But as the last-n med
nana, Arahat ta magga nana, alone can purge
all the defi lements, this nana is refefled" t<?
as Arahatta magga nana. This ll C(lla
Buddha at t ai ned on t he full moon dCly ot
Kason just before dawn.
This nana was attained by the Buddha
after meditating upon the paticca sal11upp(-da,
past midnight of that day . when Ht! rost!
from the anapana jhana dUrIng w,hleh
observed the st a t e of ha ppelllD g an_
deterioration of t he five
Such observation is called udayabbayq. TblS
observation is just like the obsl:fval1o
n
,of
seeing, hearing, knowing, etc , now bemg
121
F 13
11
- -
,
HEMAVATA surrA
practised hy the yogis here But
is one distinction in regard to the s
practice, that 'is, He entered all the }hanas
and at the same time observed t?e
ing and deterioration of the thIngs ms!de \
and outside the body. There was nothmg
left unobserved, that is the important
distinction. The observation process was, of
course, the same.
The Buddha went on from this stage
townrd the attainment of Ariya magg
a
nana
in accordance with the various stages of
meditation and observation of vipassana.
When He attained the Al'ahatta magg
a
nana,
He saw the state of nibbtma, and then
attained Buddhahood after gaining sabbannu-
fa ll cl/l(l and all the other attributes of the
Buddha. This the Buddba declared when
He gave the first sermon, Dhammacakka
slIlta, stating that He was sammasambudclha.
That is why Satagiri said that the Buddha
had the three vijja nana, known by the
initials of pu, di , {i.
.
Eight Vijja
The vijj(1 namely, pu, di, c/, have
been Now to make up eight vijju
we WIll have to add fi ve, namely vi 111a ce
and di by t heir initials. The long f
122
HEMAVATA SUTTA
. v!passana nana, manomayiddhi nana.
zddhl Vldha nana, cetopariya nana and dibba:
sota nOna r espectively.
Vipassana nana
nana is attained by observing
the. ac tIOns of nc1 ma rupa in the &tate of
a.mcea
r
clukkha and anatta. It is not attained
sHnply b casual observation but by in-depth
. of the act ions as they are
happenmg wlthout leaving any one of them
unob&erved. Thus the observaticn should be
on such as, seeinr hearing,
eating, as they are happening
wIthout faIll?g observe any single
actIOn. At the begmnmg one should pitch
one ,kind of action performed by a
hvmg belOg. So the Buddha in Mahrl
Satipatthana sutta, said gicchantova giccha-
miti, pajanati, meaning, "As you go, observe
to know that you go." By that He meant
that one should observe t he force of vii yo
(wind, or the propelling force) as one
walked. So also, He said, "As you sit ,
observe to know that you sit. "
So as you are concentruting your attention
on the action of sitti ng, you will observe
such mental or physical feeling as occasioned
by this action of si tting. In the same
manner, you will observe bending, stretching,
123
IlEMAVATA SUTTA
moving as these actions are So
I hav'" 'instructed y 0U to. take t e e?sy
t
" e of observing the rislOg and fallmg
prac IC 't' a pose of
of the abdomen as you SI 10
medita tion.
The Pali text in sutta
gives full instructions for observatiOn of
that changing state of the so my
instruction for observing. the. r.1Smg . and
falling of the abd?men whIle slttmg qUletly
is in accord with It.
If you think there is a gap in the. obser-
vations between the rising and falhng of
the abdomen you can put in an
tion of the sitting posture,. such as f]smg,
falling, sitting rising, falhng, .... Suc.h gap-
filling would complete the observatIOn. o.f
the entire state of tbe body. That consltl-
tutes observation of physical state, kayo-
nllpnssana
While thus sitting if you feel the strain,
the heat and the pain in the body, you
should observe these vedan(( (feelings). That
consitutes vedaniinupassana. If a thought
occurs, you should note it. That constitutes
cittil nupassana. Then the observation of
seeing, hearing, etc., as they are, that is,
a s a series of phenomena, constitutes dham-
manllpassmui.. Summing up, your practice of
124
\
IillMAVATA SUTTA
meditation is complete with t he four kinds
of satipatthana.
Now, as .you do medi tati on embracing
the four satzpatthona, your mind will not
go but it will be full y concentrat-
ed .and wIll make the observation of the
as they happen, without any omis-
SI0I.l. will be onl y concentrated
Thus t he mi nd becomes puri-
fied .. obta.lOmg. the stat e of mental purifi-
catIon (cltta vlsuddhi ). Wb ile in that state
of mind, the act of observati on and the
mind, which makes t hat observati on will
become from each other . you
observe Le nsmg of the abdomen the rising
as such is separate f rom the ' cognitive
knowledge of the rising. The same applies
to the falling of the abdomen, the bending,
the stretcl ing, etc. Thus, the action and the
cognitive knowfedge become separate, y,hich
means that the non-knowing physical action
and the knowing mind are two separate
entities. In other words, the practising yogi
will be able to discern the ll (i ma (mind)
from I'upa (matter). That stage of insight
is called llama-rupaparicclzeda nci lla, which
is indeed important as the foundation ,of
the meditational insight. With"ut the
ment of this nc7na tl1e other stages of medl-
tational insigh t cannot be reached.
]25

HEMAVATA SUTTA
Going on with the practice, the yogi will
come to discern the cause and effect . of
actions such as that the form of
happen; because of the desire for
knowing happen.s because of the of
knowing, or seelDg happens of the
object of seeing, etc. The yogi Will come to
realize that the causes and effects after
all in the mind and th(;; matter. ThIS know-
ledge brings him to paccayajpariggaha nana,
the insight that sees causes and effects.
Continuing the practice of meditation, the
yogi makes a note of the appearance and
disappearance of actions and feelings. For
exampl e, when pain happens, the yogi makes
a note of the pain as it occurs such as,
"paining, paining .. ." till the pain disappears.
Thus he makes a note of the entire process
from the beginning to the very end This
making a note of successive happennings
makes for an observation of anicca, fonowed
of course by that of dukkha and anatta.
This series of insights constitutes vipassana
nana.
cognitive abil ity becomes sharper and
as the yogi continues with his
medltatlOna! practice. This vipassana n(iIla
be attuned by an ordinary yogi but
10 th.e case of the Buddha, the
of Vlpassana nl"W was an easy matter
126
HEMAVATA SUTTA
He a lready attained jh(zna and
pUrIty of mmd.
a nd iddhividha nana
and Iddlzividha nana are
f or 7reatmg; Manomayiddhi nana is for
cr_eatmg one s image, and Iddhividha
nu na for creatmg a variety of thin U's
w?a leyer one to create. The Jatte;
nuna IS of a wlder scope. The sky could be
create d as earth; an earthen road could
be In the sky so that one could
on I t. One could create oneself as
lIght as cotton wool so that one could be
blown away in the wind. One could create
the earth to become water or a tunnel so
that one could dive into it. One could
make onesel f i nvisible. One could create
anything. Such creative power is called
Iddhividha n{ina which is an abhinniina in
accord with the f ourth jhana.
Cetopariya nana
Cetopariya nana is also in accord with
t he fourth jhana, and one who possesses
this nii na can read t he thought s of others
and know what has happened i n the past
week and also the thougbts that will crop
up in the forthcomin g seven days. Current
thoughts a r e an open book to him. It is
121
HEMAVATA SUTTA
rather difficult to live with a person.
Living with such a person is in a way a
check on the misdeeds one is apt to make.
Here is the story of Ma tika Ma ta, an old
woman who had come to possess this nana.
Matika Mata, the woman devotee who
attained abhinnana
When the Buddha was residing at Jeta-
vana monas tery in Savatthi, sixty monks
came to take meditation instructions from
Hi m, and looked for a suitable place to
settle do wn for meditation pr21ctice.
came to a village by the name of Matika
w.here Matika Mata, the mother of t he
yIll age h,eadman requested them to reside
In the for the Lent.
were bUIlt for them, and the sixty monks
settled down,
The monks assembled and ga ve advice to
one "We should not be careless
neg!Jg"nt," they said, "for the eight
mraya ,(belJ) are like an open house.
,e ave reCEIved from the Buddha ins truc
meditational practice, and we mu:>t
t em. We should not reside t Ogdl r
even two by two. We sho Id 'd '
and separately." So they r
U
d rest e alont
aDd c Ive , each alone
ommenced their meditational practice:
128
HEMAVATA SUTTA
One dJy M:;:tika Mata had butter, oil and
molasses brought to the monasteries and
she herself came with her retinue in the
evening, She found none of the monks.
Then those who knew said that the monks
",:ould come, to the meeting place when a
sIgnal was gIven, and the monks came out
severally from their separate places of
meditation, thinking that one of them had
fallen sick and that they were asked to
assemble to help. him.

Matika Mata mi sunderstood the monks,
and asked, "Have you all quarrelled?" The
monks said, ',No", and when asked why
they did not come all together as they
usually did when they came to her residence
for. alma-food, they said that they were
practising samaJ).a dhamma and so they were
living separately. They said practising the
samaJ).a dharnma in separate facili -
tated attainment of samcldhi and fi:iJ).a.
Matika Mata had never heard of
dhamma and asked the monks what it was.
The monks explained that the anatomical
parts of the body had to be
upon andl their decay and detenoratIOn
noted. The old woman asked whether
this dhamma was specially for the, monks
and whether it could not be pracll.sed by
lay people. The monks said that tIlls could
129
HEMAVATA SUTTA
. erson. Then Miitika
be _practIsed by an
he
Pmonks to give .her
MaUL tht
instructIOns .for e m given. Of couse, It
The instructIons a hour or two to
did not take more t an Ie say that medi-
give them. some Pb P ndertaken only
tational practice can e course of
after
one has been throuoh a f
. . fa t one way 0
Abhidham.11l1l. That IS, Ink c, the practice.
discouragtng people to ta e up
Matika Maf a came home and began the
ractice. It is not known many days
;he took to attain anaga111l magga
but she did attain them befor: mon s .
did. Once she attained the anaga,?ll
she came to possess the four
nana, and thus attained the abhll1n.lll)eL Just
referred to. She made an observatiOn .and
found out that the monks had
any jlltlna or even vipassana nal)a, Owmg
to lack of sufficient nutrition. So she had
nutritious food sent to the monks who
h:4ving been properly fed,
more vigorously to the medttahonal practIce
and attained Araha/ship during the Lent.
From this we should note -that food is
an important factor in the meditational
practice.
When the Lent was over I the sixty monks
went to pay their re3pects to the Buddha
130
HEMAVATA
at monastery. They praised Matika
Mata before the Buddha. saying that the
old woman knew their minds and complied
with their wishes, and that as they ",ere
strong enough to apply themselves to the
meditational practice, they had achieved
concentration and attained insight Hearing
this news, a certain monk wanted to go to,
that village and do meditation there. So he
requested meditation-instructions from the
Buddha and went to that village monastery.
When he reached monastery; he
thought to "This old woman is
said to know others' thoughts. I am tirea
today from the journey, and cannot sweep
the monastery. It would be better if the old
woman sent someone to sweep the monas-
tery." Matika Mata knew of the monk's
thought and sent a man to sweep the monas-
tery. Then the monk was thirsty and wished
some syrup sent to him. The syrup
accordingly sent to him. On the followtng
morning he wished to have meat and
sott porridge sent to him, and hlS wlshes
were complied with.
The monk then wanted to see. old
woman, and the old woman knew bls WIshes
and went to see him at the monaste!y.
bringing with her alms -food . After partakwg
of the food the monk asked the old woman
131
14
HEMAVATA SUTTA
whether she was Matika Mata. :'Yes, Re-
verend son," the old rdephebd. i":en
she asked him why he a ou er,
the monk said that he dId so he
found that she knew every WIsh of his.
The old woman said that there were many
among the monks who possessed such power.
The monk said that he wanted to know
whether she knew others' thoughts. Matika
Mata replied that those who possessed such
power behaved in that manner. Her reply
was an indirect admission, This is the case
with every'Ariya. The Ariyas have no pride,
and they do not want to reveal their real
capabilities. When confronted with a direct
question, they usually give an indirect reply.
When the monk came to know that the
old woman was really in possession . of the
power to read others' thoughts, he felt
rather uneasy to be residing in the monas-
tery built on her charity. He thought to
himself that being a puthujjana, he might
entertain some evil thoughts and wishes,
and with this woman knowing his thoughts
and wishes, he would be caught in the act
and reprimanded and put to shame. So
he said that he was leaving the monastery
and left forthwith. '
!he old woman asked him where he was
gOlDS and the monk said that he was goiog
132
\
HEMAVATA SUTTA
back to his Teacher, the Buddha. The old
woman requested him to st8Y on at the
monstery, but the monk could not be per-
suaded. He WaS really of her.
When the asked him why he had
.back, he saId that he was afraid to
tn that monastery because Matika
Mata knew every single thought of his and
would one day catch him red-handed
as a puthujjana he entertained some un-
wholesome thoughts. The Buddha pondered
upon a suitable place for the monk and found
out that the monastery was most suitable
to such a monk who was in that habit of
so many thoughts and wishes.
WIth the old woman unwittingly acting as
a curb on his random thoughts, this monk
would feel constrained to achieve concen-
tration. Incidentatly, some of the yogis do
need a meditation-instructor who knows
their thoughts. When they are asked to make
a note of the actions of the mind and the
body and not give themselves up to con-
teMplation, they cannot help entertaining
stray thoughts and wiihes. Some of them
waste their time by having chit-chat with
one another. When the meditation-instructor
suspecting them makes enquiries, hjnts of
theIr doings come up to light. If a thorough
probe could be made, they would not dare
133
HEMAVATA SUTTA
to entertain stray thought s and wldshes . For
this monk the place where the 0 woman
ent to
watch hi s thoughts seemed
was pres k d h' t
t
'table So the Buddha as e 1m 0
mos Slll . h h tl d
go back to the monastery WhlC e . e .
He told the monk to control only hIS mmd,
said if he could make a note the
actions of his mind there was nothmg to
be afraid of.
The Buddha said the mind which is hard
to control the mind which is quick in flight
and on all the feelings, if that mind
could be tamed and disciplined, well done.
The tamed and disciplined mind conveys
happiness.
The mind is uncontrollable. If asked not
to think about some things, the mind does
flit about on these very things. It cannot be
beaten and punished. It is really uncon-
trollable. The mind is quick. very quick.
At the beginning of the meditatioflal prac-
tice, the noting of the flitting mind is a
hard task. This Ulitting mind touches on
various thoughts and wishes. Unlike physical
matter, the mind cannot be barred or
impounded. Though the body is in the
meditation cell the mind goes out and about
it to roam. It is good to
dlSclpllne the mmd, for a disciplined mind
could bring happiness.
134
HEMAVATA SUTTA
People want to be happy. There is no one
who wEnts to be unhappy. The best way to
make oneself happy is to tame the wild and
uncontrollable mind and discipline it. The
method of disciplining the mind is lhe
a ttitude of manasikara (an attitude
"what ever will be, will be"). Happiness
will come as much as the mind is disciplined
.
At least if one can hold saranagunam
(devotion to the Buddha, Dhamma and
Sangha)' and thus di scipline one's mind
one would find bliss in human and celestiai
existences. Otherwise, one possibly
obtain such rewards, and would be wallow-
ing in misery in the nether planes of
existences. .
The mind would be more disciplined and
tamer if one could successfully observe one
or two of the five precepts in addition to
devotion to the Buddha, Dhamma and
Sangha. Of course, if all the five precepts
could be observed properly it would be much
better. Added to that , if one could do
meritorious deeds of dana (charity), sl/a
(precept) and bhtivana (meditation), it would
be far better. Bhavanii could d? much
better. Of two kinds of bhavano, bliss could
be obtained in the regions of TUpa and arupa
through practice of samatha bhiivanii whtle
US
HEMAVATA SUTTA
_ ld elevate one to the
vipassanii bhuvQfla cou 'bb -
attainment of the bliss of nI (/1')a.
For beginners it would not be easy to
make a note ef the rapidly phet;t0-
mena. They will have to 10. the notmg
until the happening
is clearly seen. The mmd IS dl!ficU.lt to dIS-
cipline 'and, as you all It flIts ab<?ut
and is hard to catch and brIdle. To descnbe
the waywardness of the mind, I would put
it as follows: .
"The mind is uncontrollable,
touching on whatever it wants to. If
riotous mind could be caught by watchlOg
and noting its action, and thus disciplined,
it would be tame and civil, and would give
of happiness."
The unbridled mind flits from one thought
to another at random. Stray and idle
thoughts occur to people who do not care
to make a nOle of the action of the mind
w\lich gives imagination full play. Thus,
irrelevant thoughts and wishes are spawned
and some of these thoughts and wishes
sometimes drive those who entertain them
to acts of indiscretion and violence. Such
criminal actions make for unlimited un-
happiness. These thoughts and wishes could
send one down to hell or other nether
planes of existence.
136
tIEMAVATA SUTtA
There is a saying in Pali: "cittena niyate
loko", meaning "the mind carries the
world." other words. the mind carries
one to vanous planes of existence it can
take one t<? regions of happiI).e;s if it is
good. a!ld It <?ne to the regions of
If I! IS eVIl. So it is our duty to
dIscIplIne the mmd so that it takes us to
higher planes,
The meditational practice starting with
the noting of tt' e rising and falling of
the abdomen is for catching hold of thf!
fleeting mind and keeping it t rom :alighting
on unwholesome desires. If such efforts for
control of the mind are made persistently
by repeated noting of its actions, it will
beco[!le docile. When a yogi reaches tbe
stage of sankharupekkha iid1Ja the mind
will become considerably tame and civil.
Such a tame and civil mind could eventually
carry one to the ultimate stage of insight,
when one will attain Arahatta magga and
pha/a.
Now to retUJn to the noble old woman,
Matika Mata. She saw in her concentra'tion
the return of the monk, prepared
proper food which she offered he
arrived. The monk resumed hIS medItatIon
and in a few days became an Arahut. What
131
HBMAVATA SUTTA
I want to say is that not only Buddh a
but such persons as Matika could
possess cetopariya ncwa, the ablltty to read
others' thoughts. Another point I want to
make is that one could attain the highest
Istage of insight if one could only get rid
pf undesirable and un wholesome thoughts.
No mischief near a mind-reader
It is true that one who is near a person
\vho can read one's mind dare not entertain
any unwholesome thought. In 1293, Burmese
Era, when I was in my eighth year as a
monk, I went to live in a cemetery. As that
time I had not done any meditation
work. I was then in search of a suitable
meditation-teacher and arrived at the
monastery of Venerable U On Gaing which
was at the place called Shweyaullgpya Hill
neat Donwun railroad depot in Thaton
This . Venerable monk always
prac\lsed austenty and did his meditation
work at a cemetery. He passed his nights
there. He went from one cemetery to another
near the villages where he went for his
alms-food.
When I arrived at the Venerable moak's
monastery I along with his disci les
who were followlDl him to a

HEMAVATA SurrA

Bef ore long, the venerable mon k was
approached by some villager s with a request
th at he go and keep watch on thc grave
of a freshly buried corpse The corpse was
of a fifteen-year old suicide The
vIll agers made this request apparently to
have the monk watch the grave
and guard It agalDst possible exhumation
by black who were usually out to
cut off the Wflsts of the corpses of suicides
to use them in their black magic.
The venerable monk and hi s disciples
myself accepted the offer and
shIfted to the cemetery containing the
grave of that suicide girl . We got to the
cemetery just before sunset . We were all
eight. Mats were spread around the grave
pots of drinking water were also set at
suitable places. When we took our seats, I
chose a seat nearest the corpse of the
suicide girl. I was only about two cubits
away from it. Other monks were experi-
enced, but I was not. It was the first time
I had been at a cemetery. I felt rather
uneasy. I could't possibly change places
with any other because I was the
senior among the disciples . Others reCIted
M ettLl sutta and lay down to sleep. I
lie down- I didn't want to. So I sat tight.
I remem'bered the words in Visuddhi Magga
139
HEMAVATA SUttA
to the effect that ogres usuaUy haunted the
grave and sat near the so I sat
just tight I did SO for four O1ghts.
While I was sitting like that I had to
control roy thoughts because if the cemetery
guardian angels and the 8rgreS were near
the corpse, they would probably know my
thoughts and frighten me. So my thoughts
were then within limits. From my exp'erience
1 surmise that the monk near Matika Mata
was obliged to c<mtrol his mind and keep it
pure, so he attained Arahatship so quickly.
Dibbasota nana
This is the last of the remaining five
nona. Just as dibbacakkhu is the power to
see all objects irrespective of size or
distance, dibbasota is the power to hear all
sounds irrespective of volume or distance.
Not only the sound from the human abode
but also the sound from either the abode
of devas or the abode of Briihmiis can be
heard by one in possession of dibbasota
nana. The sounds from other universes can
also be heard.
So Sata'4iri told his friend Hemavata
that the was in full possession of
the three VIJJ8 as welt as the eight vijji
the supreme mental abilities.
140
HEMAVATA SUTTA
said Satagiri, "Our Teacher, the Buddha,
possess carana, pure and excellent basic
conduct."
Fifteen Carana
Satagiri replied, when Hemavata asked
that the Buddha was in full possession of
the fifteen categories of basic conduct.
These are as follows:
"' .
(1) Patimokkha sanivara sUa: The meaning
of this term is that the one who keeps this
sila (precept) will be duly favoured by this
sUa itself. This sUa protects the one who keeps
it from all the disasters emerging from
the present existence and those from the
future existences in the course of sanisiira.
For the lay people the five precepts are in
fact pMimokkha samvara sila, and for the
monks the 227 precepts, or nine thousand
crores of precepts in detail, are piitimokkha
sanivara sila. If one keeps these precepts,
one will be free from slander or contempt
and also from punishment by royal decree.
In terms of samsara, he will be free from
the possibility of falling into hell and the
four nether regions of misery. So this pro-
tecting sUa is called patimokkha samvara
sila.
(2) Indriya samvara sUa: This sUa is
oneself as one sees, hears, smens,
141
, 15
HEMAVATA SUTTA
, greed lmot ill-will,
eats against Jealousy, T1" sUa' can be
dejection and angel', l1S. k' d
observed only when one is dOIng. one. In
of ' meditation or another, <?theI Wise, It can
be observed with only parh'\l success.
(3) Bhojane mattanfiuta: This is care taken
b Obe when one partakes of or
rlceives alms, or uses tbings of dally use.
When one takes food, one must take care
as the Buddha had i.nstructed
one has good food, one delIghts 10
when, however, one has bad food, one IS
disappointed and unhappy So one must get
rid of aU reactions, whether good or bad."
One takes one's meal not to be delighted,
not to revel, in the roeal, not to become
plump and pr tty, One takes meal merely
to sustain oneself, to be saved from hunger,
for hunger would bring about sufferi ng and
ill.health, and one has to be healthy to' be
able to do what the Buddha has enjojned
upon people, that is, to faithfully observe
the precepts. In the same wav. one wears the
robes to keep out cold and' heat, to prot,ect
oneself from attaoks of mosquitoes, flies,
snakes and scorpions So in eating or wear-
ing the robes, must care to know why
these are being That is called bhojane
lDattannuti.
142
HEMAVATA SUTTA
(4) Jagariydnuyoga: jagariya means "to be
alert" and anuyoga means "to make an
effort". It refers to light and less sleep and
to keep one's mind and body alert. Of
course, that is for the purpose of doing
meditation. 1 one is up and about doing
other things, the purpose win not be achieved.
Once a monk told me that when he was
awake his mind used to entertain so many
unwholesome thoughts that he was obliged
to sleep as long as possible. What he said
makes sense. If one habours ill-thoughts
while awake, one will be acquiring demerit.
So it sounds rather reasonable to say that if
one is asleep one has less chance of har-
bouring ill-thoughts. But what this rule of
conduct means to bring home is that one
must be active in meditation work. The
Buddha's preaching says that by pacing to
and fro, by sitting all through the day, one
could be free from the thoughts
clude good deeds, and thuS Olle s mind
would be kept pure.
The instruction is that one should make
one's mind pure and free of lust
other undesirable desires takIDg physical
exercise of walking or. Of . course,
between walking and slttmg IS and
that physical action should be
Only _the remaining of the four physical
143
HfMAVATA $tJ1TA
postures that is, lying down is not pre-
scribed. One should keep body al.ert
by walking sitting and sometImes standmg
thoughout ' the day till ]0 p.m.
midnight. Then for four hours .one. may h,e
down to sleep in order to mamtaln one s
health. But while one ; is still lying
one falls asleep, one should continue WIth
the meditation. Then one should wake up
at two in tbe morning and resume the
meditation. Of the six parts of one day,
one should sleep only one part and keep
awake for the remaining five and be engaged
in the meditation. That is what is called
jagariy'anuyoga.
(5-8): These are the four rupa jhana. It
is possible to include arupa jhana as the
fourth jhana.
(9-10) There is no need to dilate on saddhii
and ririya. These two are included in the
ten carana .
.
Then there are sati (awareness); patina
(intellect); (shame for misdeeds) ottappa
of misdeeds); and bahusacca (being
well-informed).
Being well-informed means in this context
Omt ODe should have heard and made note
df the Buddb.a's preaching. Making note
or the preaCfllog and thus getting inC orma-

HEMAVATA SUTTA
tion of is "hea ring", or (/ gama
suta, DJscermng and reali'ing the truth
arter doing actual practic{" of meditation is
"seei ng", or adhigama suta. These two
added become bahusacca. How much of
general knowledge should one have? For an
ordinary devotee, being informed of one
giitha, or verse, is sufficient. For those who
will preach to others many of the Buddha's
teachings should have been learnt. Then the
question arises: "How was the Buddha who
had had no opportunity of learning from
others full of hearing and seeing?"
The answer is: the Buddha was fully
equipped with "seeing"; He knew ever ything
there was to know, and had no need to
iearn from otbers. It is like a person wbo
does not have to learn from others about tbe
things that are in his house because lie
knows everytbing about them. As the Buddha
knew all the dhamma without
His knowledge was full and sacred. '
Satagiri declared emphatically that his
teacher, the .was possession
of the three viJj el, elgbt vIJJa and fifteen
carana.
As I have said
named Kali who was WIth
dialogue between the two
145
the young lady
child heard the
devas. As the
lIEMAVATA SUTTA
voices floated down from ,the sky, she knew
that they must be the _ of devas
listened attentively, Kah was endowed wIth
p -rami (special endowment), so she heard the
although an ordinary human would
not be able to hear them, She could
understand their dialogue, so she became
devoted to the Buddha.
One with vijja caraQa is most sacred
There was in India a caste system which
divided people into different classes, Brah-
maQa and Khattiya classes were regarded as
noble and superior to Vessa and Sudda who
were the commoners. Then there were also
clans. Kosiya and Bharadvaja clans were
inferior to Gotama and Moggaliina clans.
Then you all know about the avoidance of
contact with beggars, scavengers, etc., who
are oalled "untouchables". These untouch-
ables had to live in a village of their own
outside the city. When they walked about
in the city they had to tap the ground with
a stick so that the sacred ones could a void
physical contact with them. In the story of
the rich man's daughter DiUha-
to have seen the beggar
Matanga .and saId that it was inauspicious.
So .the. r,tch ,man's servants beat Matanga
Tbls distinction of caste was pronounced
146
HEMAVATA SUTTA
in t,hose days, and it still remains in today's
IndIa.
Here is a hearsay evidence. The late
VeluvuQ of Bahan Tow! ship in
CIty saw it himself. During the
Bnbsh rule when he went to India and
Ceyl.on (Sri Lanka) on a pilgrimage, he was
received as a house guest by an Indian rich
man. The rich man told the venerable monk
"Y ,
ou can put up at my house but as we
cannot occupy the place where you have
stayed, we . will make a special place for
you. We wIll also make s special bathroom
because we cannot use the same one you
have used."
That was a special treatment given only
to those from Burma, IB their country a
person of lower caste cannot enter the
temple visited by people of higher castes.
According to their belief, one born into a
family of a lower caste cannot improve his
social position, and one born of a high caste
family remains superior and "noble" what-
ever mischief he may have made. Such
beliefs are in their scriptures as they are in
Buddhist books as well.
There is a caste distinction in Ceylon too,
but it is not so severe. In that country a
monk born of a high caste family does not
141
HBMAVATA SUTTA
monk born of a low
pay to monk of the low ca.ste
caste famtly diffident toward hIgh
appears to be h . however no such
caste laymen. T ere IS, '
distinction in Burma.
I . ty Kha ttiya caste, or the ruler
Amo,ng , b of the highest status.
caste not marry
utside their caste and they saId theIr
was "pure". The of thIS
were brave and loyal to thetr caste an
their country, too. They were the of
power. So in the caste system the
were the noblest, and as such, they were In
possession of the attributes of vijja
for only those who possess such attnbutes
are the noblest among men and gods.
From temporal point of view, the person
of Khittiya caste is the. noblest, and from
the spiritual point of VIew, the person. who
has the attributes of vijja-carana IS the
noblest. Such declaration was made of the
Buddha by Sahampati Brahma, and the
Buddha replied in support of it. The person
of high caste was the noblest only as long
as he lived, but when he died he had
nothing to fall back upon. But :the person
who had the attribute of vijja carana,
remained noble for all times; the more
attribute he had, the nobler he became.
l4,
HEMAVATA SUTTA
People would have a high esteem for any
had the ability to fly in the air
and mto the ground, or one who hat!
the abilIty to read others' minds or who
could tell the next existence of' the dead.
They wo?ld regard for Qne pos-
sessed wIth the hearmg and seeing" power.
Well, sllch power can be had by some yogis
whose concentration powers are at their
keenest.
By the w.ay, there is a woman living on
an Island 10 Pakokku district who did
meditation work in accordande with our
instructions and is said to have gained the
"hearing and seeing" powers. one day, her
younger sister lost her jewellery, so she asked
her elder sister where to locate it. The
woman entered into meditation and saw in
her mind's eye that the maidservant of the
house stole the jewellery and stowed it
away on the loft in the kitchenjn her house.
The younger sister took a policeman to the
maidservant's bouse and searched, and the
stolen property was found at the place
indicated. It is said that the policeman was
surprised.
Well, this is a present day instance of
such powers and similar instances are none
too few. If' only the powers of abhifiiid
could be displayed, people would have ttie
highest esteem.
149
HEMAVATA SUTTA
- the most important are
nal).as asavekkhaya nana. If
vipassana santi nana, one becomes
one has gamed one has gained asavek-
cula sotapan, an IlJ one becomes a full
kha!a nana
d
'free from the danger
hell and
gioos For seven future eXI . nd
be of freedom from misery a
durin that tenure of these seven he would
surel; attain Arahatship and. enter
of Nibbana. If one has gamed .nanas 0
higher degree one will surely attalD a much
higher status 'than that of a sottipan. .
Those who have attained high status III
the planes of existence, those of the huma?,
celestial and Brahma worlds, are all III
possession of the attribute of carana and
sila. Those who are attending religious ser-
mons such as the one you all are now.atten-
ding, have the attributes of carana the
same way as the Ariyas who have achieved
magga and phala of different grades. If,
however, one is in possession of both the
attributes of of vijja and carana, one
becomes nobler.
Yogis here have these attribute, too
The yogis who have now been doing
meditation work have, in the first instance,
the attribute of vipassana n1l)a. And of
150
IJHIAVAIJ\ SUllA
the one w.ho attained Any({
pilato gamed (fsCll'e:.kklw),o oclna.
F:IO!l1. the five carana, tht practising
y?gl Iii l.npossession ofsi/a, has control of
]l1S physH;ClI and mental actions, and is alert.
So the yogis at this meditation centt!r could
gain tI!c [lttributcs of l'i i jl) and cordna and
b Come noble in accord"a'nce with the'teach-
ings of the Buddlu. This is really gratifying.
As for the Buddha, all the attributes of
vijjt! and car{{J)a were fully possessed by Him.
The Buddha's attribute of l'ijja cal'Cnia sam-
, jlallno is now fully explained.
The story of Suppabuddha
In this reference, a story will be told of
a poor m811 of long ago, named Suppabuddba.
During thc time of the Buddha there lived
a mall called Suppabudqha AbJndoncd by
his parents when he was a mere child, Sup-
pJbuddha became a bergar. He was stricken
with leprosy. Homeless, be had to sleep on
the roadsi Ie. A" his disease guve him pain
durinl! the nigllt he groaned and thus dis-
turbcJ others' leep. lIe wa5 hereforc called
Suppabuddha, "the Waker of sleepels".
One day, 011 his rounds of b,egging,
Suppa buddha saw alar,e gntbeflog of
p(;opie. Thinkin
o
that he would get much
151
HEMAVATA SUTTA
. he crowd, Jle went near the
chanty t
und
tInt it was a congrega-
people ,<In h 0 the Buddha's sermon. He
t ion to ear the sermon So he meekly
e of the gathering. The
at ,tut; .gth His dibbacakkhu t hat
Buddha saw WI f Dh
Suppabuddha would see the lIght 0
on that day. Budddha
sermon on dana. an SI a. . .
exhorted the audIence to refram fl om
killiu<1 stealing, etc., Suppabuddha was
deter;ined to observe the precepts. So,
gradually he ga ined sila. When the Buddha
discoursed on the Four Noble Truths,
Suppabuddha upon them, and
thus became a soft/ pan. .
After the meeti ng had ended, S uppabuddha
went away as the crowd dispersed. Then a
little later, he ca m back t o the Buddha.
The King of the celestial beings wanted to
test Suppa buddha's integrity. The King said,
"Hey, Suppa buddha. You are one of the
poorest men and also stricken with leprosy.
. If you obey me, I will give you much
wealth and Cure you of your disease."
Suppabuddba said, "Who are you? What
are your instructions'?" The King of devas
said, "I am the King of devas. Gotama who
has been giving sermons is not a true
152
lIl:M, VAIA SlJ i fA

Buddha. His dif.ciples are Dot tme bhikkhus
You must say:, 'I don't t<lke refuge in
I 1 dun ( take refuge ill the Dhamma;
I don t taKe refuge in tbe Sangha'."
Suppa.buddha said, "You arc too rude
for of devas. You shouldn't be
talkl11g with me. YOll s"jd that I am very
P?or and have !lllTIe to take refuge in .. Why
d/d you say th 11? I am now a true of
Lle Buddh<l. I am not poor. I am now
and noble because I am now in full
posseSSIOn of the sevl,; 11 lei nds of property
or the .g?od and noble, namely, saddlzii,
st/a, /111'1, ottappa, sllla, "Ciiga, pafiijc7, as
enumerated by {he Buddha. You are not fit
to hold con venation with me," And be sent
the King of del'(ls away.
"uppabuddha went to 5Cc the Buddha
and reported .t o Him bis findings of the
It lS. tbe Silme with tile present
doy yogi who IS eager to report to his or
her meditation-instructor what be or she
experienced during the me'Jitation session.
. After Sut1pabuddha IJdd nnde his report to
the Buddha, he cumc away. As f<lte ordaineJ,
Suppa buddha was gored to death by a cow
on his return from the.Buddha's monastery.
He became a deJ'(f in the celestial abode of
Tm'atinis{f he had superior powers
153
HEMAVATA St!TTA
1 lire lchcJ the
oyer the the
t1al abod _ - (the scope of teachings).
Buddha's sa sana
These devas were dis!latis fled. said
that although this SuppJ.buddb<l was am.ong
th lowliest in his life as a human
bee was holding a position higher theIrs.
The King of devas bad to explaIIl to
why SuppJbuddha had attained a ,hIgher
position. He said that in the human eXIstence
Suppabuddha had performed the
duties of the good and noble, and so ,m
this existence of deva he was endowed wIth
the benefits of his previous meritorious deeds.
.
This story illustrates the point that a
tually highly placed person stands hIgher
than others even though he may occupy a
lowly position in secular sodety,
buddha had performed the seven dutIes
only for a few hour& before his death, but
he was in possession of the attributes of
vijjti carm)a. He been a leper because
in one of his previous existences he called
a pacceka Buddha a leper. He was gored by
a cow because in one of his previous
existences robbed and killed a pr03titute.
The Buddha, in reference to his fate, warned
the audience to avoid doing bad deeds just
as one has to avoid impediments and pot-
154 .
HEMAVATA SUTTA
holes While walking. Our yogis should learn
the moral of this story and avo!'l b d
deeds. u a
Now Hema vata asked, c'Is your teacher,
the Buddha, free of lust and Is He
also free of a future existence?"
And Sa,tagiri replied: "Our teacher, the
IS ,free of lust and de5ires. For
HIm there IS no futUre existence."
This is just a reitera,tion of the que:stion
and the answer. The POIOts are: the riddance
of lust and desires and cessation of the
cycle of exis tences, Now, if one is not
cleaned or lust a rd one will have
a new eXIstence. and suffer from birth old
age, disease, and other kinds of m'isery,
although one may have the attribute of
vijja caralJa. Only when there is no more
existence will one be rid of all tbe miseries.
These two poinLs are of utmost importance.
About Lady Kali

Turning back to Kali, \J;"e find that this
young pregnant the two
and was o\'erj()yed to he;11' about the
attributes of the Buddba. As was filled
with joy, she did meditation forthwith and
soon reached the stage of sohipalllla magga
and phala, thus becomi!ig a sohipan, In due
155
Hb\1AVATA SUIlA
she gave to a child ':'!I<? later
became SonakuttIkantJ :1 thera. I-..ah W"lS
the first woman to have become a sotl/pan.
She achi eved that distinction on overhearing
the attributes of the Buddha (lnd, thus
having a firm faith in .Hi! I Later, she was
to recieve from the Buddha the highest
honour of etadagga.
Hemavata, too, becnme confid{;nt or the
attributes of the Buddb(l and w(lS eager in
the adora tion of the Buddha. He said to
bis frien d, Satagiri, "The mind of the
Buddba is full y pure. His physical and
mental behaviour is also free of f aults, the
Buddha has al l the attributes of vijj a
carana. I adore Hi m."
.
Let us close tod<lY's discourse. We wi ll
say more ubout the ador <l tion at our next
session. May t11e audience be able to work
to deserve the attributes of l'ijja camlla
and. continue their r ood work till they
attam the state of nibbll na.
155
Part V
.
was .
Satagiri's reply gratified with
possession of tbe the Bud<lha' s
carm)a. So he said yijj{i and
Buddha whom you 'h fIend. Sa!agiri, the
a pure minco He . ave praIsed IS truly of
taking what 'tb IS, clean of act of
. 1 e owner does t .
IS C ean of lies an .. no slve; He
Budd,ha has all speech. Tbe
carat)a. You, m f' n ut,es of vijja ri nd
Buddha trul y." y nend, nave praised the
This is connatuiatin s_
praises of t he B ddl .g <,L,gm on his
dl
- L1 1a. Hemav'Ita said " S-
1U: Sadhu: Siidhu" (W II d < , a-
Well done!) e one! Well done!
S:l t agir i ted Hemavat a
B dd a.ccept ance. of hiS praises of the
u ha In good falto. Then he asked He-
mavata to come with !Jim to th B ddt
worshi H' e II 1a to
. p JIll.. This invitati nn Hcmavrlta
accepted. He sa id , " Frj nd Sat, "iri Jet us
go to WOI sl1ip the Buddin \\lho has' s11Iooth
]57
HEMAVATA SUTTA
. , hose of a forest ,goat, . W110 is
ltke t ho has courage and mdustry,
thm body, 7 desi;es and obsessions, who
who IS free 0 d s aringly, who usually
jlzi171a in the forest
en ers 111 . B ddh ho's
such as Uruvela forest; the u a w d t
l
of the Gotama clan." Then. he turne 0
d
of cel"stial bemgs al1d asked
the au ]ence .. . ' d S-t- ..
them to follow him and hIS fnen, a aglfl.
When be said tbat the Buddha had
smooth calves like those of the forest goat,
. Hemav8ta meant that the calves. of the legs
of the Buddba were smooth, wIthout any
lumps. When he said that the Buddha
tbin he meant to refer to the Buddha s
six ye1rs of austerity which He abandoned
only over two ?1onths ago: During the
period of austcnty the Bodhlsatta, of
course not yet the Buddha, was emacIated.
So He could not have recovered his former
normal weight after two months or so.
Usually, according to tbe scriptures, of all
the Buddhas, the Buddha Gotama and his
predecessors, ",ere never hefty.
The reference of the Buddha's partaking
of food sparin,':ly, aceo ding to the scrip-
tures, is to the habit of the Buddha to take
just one bo\\-lf1l1 of meal only once for the
day He took a little more when He had to
make a journey during the day,
158
,
HEMAVATA SUITA
Then turning to the celestial beings who
were following him, Hemavata said: "Devas
17
t
up. approach the Buddha who, like
hon, .IS hard to approach, who rises and
flouflshes alone, for He does not have the
of kilesd (defilements), who is free
of eVIl ?eeds. who is not enmeshed in lust
Let us to. Him queries
wIth a Vlew to obtamlilg answers which will
unravel Death's trap."
When they reached the presence of the
sought permIssion to
questIOns. He said "Oh Lord. the
One, who can and does preach
the four Noble Truths both synthetically
and analytically, who knows all the Dhamma
fully as no one else does, who overcomes
all dangers, may we submit a few questions?"
This is the usual approach in polite
society. In those days among the higherups
in society, such as kingl;, lords, wise men,
the one who wished to make an enquiry
usually prefaced his question with a request
for permission. Only the illeducated shot
the questions without any c remony. Hema-
vat a had been a well-educated monk,
learned of the scriptutes, during his existence
before be became a deva. So he knew
manners.
159
J1l:MA \' I I" SU I fA
Hem3vata's Question No. I
When the Buddha gave. him the. permis-
sion. Hemav.1ta put the flrst 1(!J1
"Oh Lord how does a .'i(lftav.{ I bemg)
:.lris'!? 'What' does lola
J
which
saft([I'd. have as company'l T? whIch .]5 It
attached? Wlult is involved 111 the mIsery
by saUIll'ti5 wh? consti!ute 10/\a?"
rhe four points in thts questIon do carry
deep significance. An ordinary leva could
not have put such [l question. Helll;]v<1ta
could because he had been a well-educated
and learned monk during the time of Bud-
dha Kussapa.
Buddha's Answer (I)
The Buddha replied thus:
"llcll1;lYata, salIm'" o.r loi.a arises when
arc together. I.o/\({ which is com-
posed of wttal' tI.'i has the six in company.
To the six is it att <,ched. The six are in-
volved in the misery suffered by a sattal' (i
who constitutes lol\a.
(a, Where the six arc, there loka is.
The six referred to by the Buddha arc. the
uyatanas (senseba es). The six are the eye,
ear, the nose, the tongue, the body and tile
rind. T.hey are the inner "J'afal/os.
f there .Ire th _ s)', {l comes into
160
IlEMAVATA SUIIA
satt.avil is otherwi se called
s n . lYIng bemgs must have these six
o} :rbases. Statues and images have figures
.. lese sense bases but as they are not
hvmg ones, they do not have any of these
senses.
If there f ou r or fi ve sense- b3ses, there
may be a bemg. One who is defective of
td
he
eye has other sense-bases so too one
efective of t' le ear or the' I' once
across a monk whose nose was defec-
tIve and could not have any sense of smell
If. there are the tongue, the body and
there can be a sattava.. SO'T,e marine
aDlmals be logs or weeds but
they are hVIDg beIngs. So there can be a
sattaV{i i\ there are the tongue, the body
the mmd. In the rllpa plane of existence,
If there are no nose or tongue or body yet
there ?re beings with the eye, the ear 'and
the In arupa plane, therl is only
the mmd In a being. All the six sense bases
are absent in asanilQssa plane of existence. It
is supposed that in this answer the Buddha
meant to exclude this plane. So we can con-
clude that when there is only the mind
there can be a being. Of \\hen
there are all the six in the being there is
nothing more to say. Tbe existence of one,
three, four or five sense-bases is included in
161
F 17
HEMAVATA SUTfA
, um of the six to which the Bud-
the maxIm d' His answer.
dha referr
e
In <
, inner ayatanas? In the
Now about the ,SIX, 'ent mind appears in
human world ahn at the same time
the womb of: e mO
the
fetus . So the mind
as the formatton of t theT and a satlava
and the body appear 's after the
comes into belDgs, 1, ba e
b'rth that tbe eye the materIal sense- s
the seei ng, mental sense-base appear
:imultaneously, So do the and the bear-
ing' the nose and the smellIng; the
and til.? taste; the body and tbe sense 0
toucb, As for the mind, the thought comes
with it. Then all these sense-bases together
make up the sattav(/.
If there is no eye and so cannot see, no
ear and so cannot hear, no sense of
no sense of touch, nor sense of feehng,
then it is no being in the human world.
Look at a corpse. A little. after death,. a
corpse is just like a livlllg human
However, the difference is that there IS n.o
sense-base of any kind in it. So a corpse IS
not a being. If one cuts up
dces not commit an act of kIlltng. But If
one treats the corpse of a person of noble
characler disrespectfully, then one commits
a sin. Some people have an attachment still
162
l1HMAVATA SU'JTA
for a corpse which bas of course none of
the sense-bases, and so cannot be called
a being.
Some people are under the impression that
death means the ('xit of some living thing
from a body, but it is not so. If the sense-
?ontinue their opera tions, thtu one
IS consIdered to be alive. At the last mo-
ment these sense-b-Ises cr ase to operate, then
death occurs. Once ce:lse, and if the
person is not free of kilesii
(defilements), a new mental phenomenon pit-
ches itself on a certain material base.
The mind at the last moment of the
cessation of the life of a being is called
cuti cilia (the dyirg mind), and the new
mental phenomenon on a . new material
base is called patisande citla, This mental
phenomenon is mallayatana (sense-base of
the mind). Simultaneously, U'e material
base has in it kayayatana (sense-bas. of
the body). So since t lt e inception of a being
there appear two or three or four or five
or all six sense-bas(s. With the appearance
of these sense-bases a new being appears.
So said the Buddha, "Where there are the
six, ther!! [oka is". However, it .is not that
a new being springs up, nor IS the old
being transferred to a new plane of
existence. 10 fact, new appear
163
HEMAVATA SUTTA
because of the previous kat11l11a. .With<;>Ut
the six iiyatana there can be no bemg. LIke
a flowing river in which the water movt?s
on with no gap though the old flow IS
followed immediately by a new the
nyatalla (sense.b(1ses) move on wIthout a
break or a gap. Th is is considered by one
with no meditational insight as stable and
permanent.
To a yocrj who has been constantly making
a note of the happening and
disappearing of the six ayalana, tbe ,inces-
sant change bas been seen and the Imper-
manence is thereby realised, He or she
comes to know for himself or herself that
human existence is a series of incessant
happenings and disappearances and that
there is nothing p.! rmanent in that existence.
(b) Only the six are in company
The Buddha had said that loka or sattav{f,
is constantly in the comp:1ny of the six.
The six inner ({ya/alla, namely, the eye, the
ea.r, the nose, the tongue, the body and the
mlDd, are constantly in close association
,,:ith the six outer iiyatana, namely, the
sIght, the sound, the smell, the taste, the
t?ucb and the thought. In other words . the
SIX are closely related to the
161
HEMAVATA SUTTA
six . Tbe latter may be living
or manJrnate.
The eye and the sense of seeing
associ .. ted with the sight
We differentiate between men and women
by In effect, the e)e and the
of seemg associate themselves with the
sIght or appearance. Once seeD, the mental
sense-base an illJpression 01 the sight.
!hough the sIght ibelf has disapprared and
IS no longer there, the impIession on the
mental This makes the
associati cn of human beings, and such
associati( n or relationship is, in fact, the
eye, or calddl:iyatana, sense of seeing, or
manayatana dnd the sight or the appearance,
or rGpayatana all blended. There is re.ally
no such thing as man or woman or thing.
This is according to the paramattha (realistic)
point of view. Think deeply and carefully,
and you will come to know that, after aU,
this is an interplay of (i),atana or sense-
bases. To a yogi who is a meditational
practitioner, with well developed concentra-
tion, such realisCltion is just normal; there
is nothing extraordinary about it. He or she
will make a note of api earance and
immediate disappearallce of the semes.
said the Buddha: "Where there nre the SIX,
HiS
HEMAVATA SUlfA
there is taka, and [aka is closely associated
with the six. "
The ear and the sen se of heari ng
as sociated with t e sound
Different iati on bet'" een men and women
is ml de by b.earing the nwle voice and t he
fel:laJe voice. The enr, hearing and the
sound are associa ted with one another and
the mind r etains t he memory of the sound,
whet her it is the voice of a man or of a
woman, whether i t is pl easi ng or repugnant
to the ear. There is no owner of the voice
according to the paramattha poi nt of view;
there is only an association of t he ear the
mind and the sound. To a yogi of medita-
tional experir.nce it is obvious .
The nose, the sense of sme ll and "the smell
The nose and the sense of smell associate
themselves with all kinds of smell, man's
smell. woman's smell, the smell of a flower
etc. The. m.ind registers the ."mell. In
matter, It IS not only the smell itself but
the possessor of the smell, whether it is a
woman c.r a man, th<lt makes an impression
on the For if you ki ss your
there IS no kisser or the kissed; there
IS the nose, the sense of smell and the
shell all blended. In other words, there is
t e nose, the sense of smell or the mind,
166
HEMAVATA SUTTA
and the smell all associat ed with
another.
one
The t ongue, the sense of t a$te and the
taste
Eating and feeling the sense of t aste
make the mmd take an impress ion of the
t as te. The eateI' will be saying t his food is
t asty, that food is tasty; it is sweet, or
creamy or something as the mi nd ref!i sters
the taste. However, the eat er, the food and
the t as t e and the preparer of the food a re
r eally not t here the f ood is gulped
down, the t as te dSlappears. There is no
permanence.
The body, t he se nse of touch and the
touch
The touch or the physi cal eon tact is the
cO?Jposition of tbe t hree element s, pathavi,
teJo and vayo . T he r ouohness or the
smoothness i s pathavi, the or thl!
cool is tejo, t1.1C sWTness. or the push or
the move ment )5 1' (1),0. The t rt ctile l' ontact
wi ! h other bodi es or things such as cl othes,
bed, etc, i s tn) mitor\'. The meditational
practiti oner has to rna ke note of these
toucJ'es and contacts
That is why the Buddha exhorted His
di sciples to not e " going while going". This
wa s, ill eff ect, an inst ruction to disct rn the
161
HEMAVATA SUTTA
true nature of v,'iYo, the motor action. In
the same way, they were. asked to make a
note of every physical sllch as
ing, sitting, lying, . . ,Why th.IS
instruction? The rea on IS that II one dId
Dot note the bodily <1ctions, one would not
know of tile physical actions and tbat
ignorance spawns kilestl would
for either good or bad actIOns. After havwg
noted the bodily actions, one should be
mindful of anicca, dukkha and anatta If
one is deeply mindful of them, ns one has
accordingly developed Ariya magga nana,
the miseries of kilesil and kama will be
completely rid of.
Here, I would like to point out that the
rising nnd fnlling of the abdomen is included
in the physical actions. I have, therefore,
been ins tructing my disci ples t o make a
not e of rising <:ln d falli ng of the
abdomen when a yogi begins his medita-
ti onal This instr uction is apparently
easy t o. foll ow: Once the yogi hall acg uired
sal11li dlu, he wIll co ne t o reali ze t
1
1e sense
of touch in the tOll g' ening :lni softening
of the abdomen and thus reali se physical
and ment11 ayatana in accorciallc';! wi th the
Dhamma. The yogi wi ll know cka f l y that
there is no "I", there is j us t t he touch and
the sense of touch.
1()8

I
HEMAVATA SUTTA
Mi nd associates wit h Ideas
The mind which di ffe renti at es man and
:-V
0man
, ass ociates itself wi t h t houghts or
Ideas. In other words, manayatana associates
itself with dhammiiyatana. People often
say, "1 am paying attent ion to somebody"
"1 am t hi nking of someone," " 1
dreamt of someone," etc. In f act, nobody
meets any body else. Such thoughts do
Occur incessantly during all waking hours.
They run in series. Unwholesome thoughts,
too, occur often Every ti me a thought
occurs, the mind associ ates itself with it,
and many peopl e revel in such thoughts,
and would not like t he suggestion that they
go in for meditati onal practice.
There are some preachers v.ho instruct
their audience to kee p t beir minds free and
relaxed instead of concent rat ing on medita-
tional points because concentration, they
say, restricts the mind. This is in contraven-
tion of the Buddha's instr uctions although
it assumes an appearance of the Buddha's
teachings. If, according- to these preachers,
the mind is set free it wi ll surely indulge
in fond thoughts and revel i n sensual plea-
sures. It would be like the idle thoughts
of an opium smoker. Indulgence in such
idle thought is the: same as indulgence in
sensual pleasures. In this Hemavata sutta.
169
HEMAVATA SUTTA
the statement that the mind worl(S
with or ideas d
In order to separate the mID e
ideas one must go in for ,medltahonal
t
' to gaI'n concentratIon. If the
prac Ice . d '11
concentration power is weak',the mm WI
go astray associating with ,the, sense
objects outsidl! the powt of as.
the yogis must lnve found for
Some pretentious
tional practice as boddy dlSCOII,l-
fort. This is really the,Buddha s
word, Those who foHow thea would
be losing their chance of gammg true
insight and would be UDwittingly committing
a great sin agJinst Ariyas and other noble
persons.
Tiring oneself is not necessarily
attakilamatha
Tiring oneself mentally and physically for
nonmeditational occupations is an attakila-
mafha practice, but it doesn't relate to
meditational practice The idea that if the
body is mortified sensual feelings will not
occur is wrong, aod the physical mortifica-
tion in accordanc.e with such idea is an
attakilamatha practice, But if, while trying
to attain medita tional insight, one makes
physical exertions, one doesn't commi t the
sin of physicaJ mortifil.;ation. if the
170
l-IEMAVATA SUTTA
exertions cause dea th, it isn't a sin of that
kind. ConSider t he case of an opium-addict
who refrains from t aking opium at the risk
of great physical di scomfort. Such a person
is not committing t he si n of attak ilamatha.
Would the Buddha blame a person who
rhks his life t o keep his sila intact?
For instance, refraining f rom adultery by
restraining one's carnal desire in the face of
temptations i s a great physical discomfort.
Would the Buddha blame such a person?
So also one who r efrains from afternoon
meals just to keep one's sila of the eight
precepts, would tbe Buddha blame bim?
There is an instance of a servant of Ana-
tbapindi ka, who determinedly absta ned
from afternoon meals though be was being
as'sailed by a gastric disease, and who even-
tually died, This is not an attakilamatha
practice. This servant man became an arboreal
guardian-angel after his dealb, The Buddha
praised such determined acts of abstenance
to keep sTia intact thus: "My disciples do
not break their precepts even at the risk of
their lives".
The Buddha's admonition
The Buddha admonished His disciples:
"Bhikkhus, attainment of the Dhamma may
171
HEMAVATA SUTTA
be achieved by diligence and strength even
though one is reduced to skeleton. Y,ou
shall make an endeavour tor such,
ment with determination and persIstence.
This is an urgent of the Buddha,
as contained in Malll7gosmga sulfa.
"SaripuWt! The who
meJI sits cross-legged wIth the determmatlOn
Dut to leave this sitting posture before
attainment of freedom from defilements,
and carries out the practice of meditation
is the one who adorns this sal forest of
Gosinga."
Thus said the Buddha in the Gosinga sutta.
From these statements one can clear the
doubts about the sin of tiring the body
especially in reference to the endeavour to
achi eve meditational insight, and also about
the undt:sirabili ty of sparing one's physical
and mental efforts in the meditational prac-
tice. You must remember once and for all
that making utmost effort in the medita-
tiona} practice cannot be equated with ill-
treati,ng one's body and thus committing
the sIn of attakilamatha. You must avoid
the bogus instructors of meditational
practice, or you would be misled.
172
HEMAVATA SUTTA
Kama-sukha lli ka and at tal<il amatha
different iat ed
The practi ce which fails t o con trol one's
mind with mere mindfulneijs which is in
fact the lowest step to attainment of medi-
tational i nsight and which allows one's mind
to wander as it wishes is indeed kilma-sukhal-
lika nuyoga (indulgence), The monks should
to be free ,from thi s by at least being
mmdful a t t he ti me of t ak ing meals that
food is not for enjoyment of sensual pleasures
but for gaining strength to enable one to
carry out the meditational practice. Then on
the other band, tiring one's body and mind
in one's endeavour to attain meditational
insight does not constitute the sin of atta-
lei/amatlta nuyogQ. Selfmortification without
the object of gaining slla or sainL7 dhi or
by remaining naked and heating one's
body at the fire or in the sun, or soaking
one's body all day in the water is indeed
attakilamatha nuyoga.
Tiring one's body and mind for keeping
the five-fold, eight-fold, ten-fold precepts
(sila) or the precepts to be kept by the
monks and novices does not constitute atta-
kilamatha lluyoga; It is following the middle
path of sila magga, Making utmost physical
and mental efforts to attain samudhi does
173
IIEMAVATA SUTTA
ot consti t II t e allak i1aJIICltlw llUYO It is
the middle path of sal/ltidlll I1wga.
To make an incessant note of .the actIOns
of the body and mind, thus tH1!lg body
d the mind in order to alt am vlpassana
and ,;wggll-phala panna, does n<?t
atlakilamatlw nuyolfC:' _ it IS
following the middle path of Panna magga.
Samatha and Vipassana
Of the three P,Hts of the Way,
namely, the slla part, the san!(ldhl 1?art
the pai'ifi 7 part the sTla part IS obvIOus and
does not [leed' any elaboration The other
two must be differentiated. Samatha is
concentration upon a certain object, such
as inhalina breath and exhaling breath. This
is just to leep the mind from its constant
flights: it is to keep the mind stable. Making
a note of the inhaling breath as it brushes
the tip of the nostrils, and also making a
note of the exhaling breath as it pushes :out
of the nostrils this noting is called anapaT).a
samatha biivan,i . As one concentrates upon
the inhaling and exhaling breaths, one
gradually gains sall/ odhi, stability of the
mind. In the same way, by other forms of
samatha kammathCtlw, such as, contempla-
ti on of a corpse, samadhi can be gained.
This samadhi, however, does not involve
174
UEMAVATA SUTTA
the di ffereutiation of rfwa and nama nor
does it by itself give a knowledge of the
physical and mental actions, as well as
amcca, dukkha and anatta. Samatha bavana
is merely for gaining concentration. The
Buddha directed His disciples to con tr ol the
mind by means of samatha. Vipassna comes
in only when one concentrates on the
actions of the six sensual organs of the
body and makes a note of their act ions.
What kind of noting should be made?
Noting should be made of the nat ur e and
significance of rupa and nama, the appear
ing and disappearing of the actions in
success ion. At the same one has to
think dee ply of the anicca, dukkha and
anatta nature of this flux of actions. By
thus seeing keenly the true nature of tupa
and nama, one is practi sing vipassana or
meditational practice. Those who do not
know properly are under the impression
that vipassana is mere making a note of
only one thing. They do not know that
making a not e involves observation of the
physical and mental actions which are in
constant flux and such observation is to be
made in terms of anicca, dukkha and allatta.
So the Buddha said that whatever emanates
from the six "doors" of the body should
be made a note of and pondered upon. The
17'\
HEMAVATA SUTTA
Buddha also preached thousands of .
for control of the mind thro.ugh Vlpassana.
Through vipassanti pe?ple be to
know of the associ3fJon ot the
with tbe sense and the and
soch actions clOd interact,?ns do con;, titute
the world or planes of eXIstence.
No transgression
There must be no transgression from one
area to another, for instnnce, from the area
of paiiiiii to the area of siia Some persons do
not really know the nature of c7yatana' but
they have learnt up from the or the
lectures and think much of thelT second-
hand From thejr pesudo-know-
ledge they often draw wrong conclusions.
They argue that a gourd is a chemical
conglomerate just as is a fowl. So, they say
if no sin is commit-ted by cutting tbe
gourd, cutti ng the fowl is like wise no sin.
Syrup, they say, is of the c7 po element,
so is liquor. So it is no sin to drink liquor
as it is no sin to drink syrup. If the touch
between man and ma n is no sin. as it is
mere photthappa (sense of touch), tben tl1e
touch between man and woman is also no
sin. The touch is of the same nature, they
as the t o.uch of a bed-sheet, or a
pI llow, Tbi s kind of .foolisb argument is the
176
HE MAVATA SUTTA
same as that forwarded by a monk named
Arittha during the time of the Buddha.
Ari ttha' s fa lse
Ari ttha was asking why laymen enjuying
sexual plea urcs could attain the state of
sotapanna while monks were denied such
pleasures; :Jlthc'ugh th monks were all owed
to sleep on soft beds why they were not
all o wed t 'le similar soft touch of the female
bodj, f or the feelinb of touch was identical.
He WdS saying that it was no sin to enjoy
the touch of t he felnale body. Other wise
a nd saintiy monks reasoned with him and
persuaded him to the right view but he was
sayi n
a
that it was what the Buddha had
t aught, or that it was i n accord with the
Buddha's teachi ngs. So he was taken to tbe
presence of the Buddha. 'When the Buddha
asked hien, he said t hat t hat was what
had taught. The then saId
t hat He had nev..!r 10 t bat way, and
called Arinha a hDpeless man who could
Bot attai n t he state of ma.gga plzqla.
Even then Ar itr ba did not dI scard hIS bell.ef.
At t he present time there are people lIke
Ar ift ha, [ would (;ven say tha t t?ey are the
relatives and descendents ?f . Anttha w.ho
still a rgue t hat helief IS III accord WIth
the teachings ot tile Buddha.
177
HEMAVATA SUTTA
Now
t
if they say that syrup is
the same as liquor becaus e both are
then liquor is essentially the same as UrIne.
Would they drink urine? If they say that
gourd is esentially the same as fowl or. for
that matter their children, would they have
their cut up like the gourd or
chicken? If they say the feeling of touch is
the same between that of the bed-sheet and
pillow and that of the female, can they live
all their lives married only to the bed-sheet
and piIJow? If we ask these questions, the
correct answer will corne out. The Arahats
who know in their wisdom the true nature
of sense of feeling, have never transgressed
from the bounds of si/a. Only those who
have superficial knowledge say things VYhich
are outside the scope of s i/a. They do not
merely say so, but they go further and
commit sin. If they do that, they would be
like holding a live coal, thinking that it is
not hot. Sin would not le t them go scot-
free; it wculd give of its evil effec't as best
it could. So those holding the live coal in
their full grips would get the worst b' trn.
Must not transgress the area of
samadhi
Some are saying that samadlzi is not
necessary, that if one just ponders upon the
178
HEMAVATA SUITA
two pafina magga, llJ meiy, Sammti dittlti and
samm{l sankappa, t her e is no need to make a
note of happeni ng and destruc ti on This is
a transgression of the area of samadhi.
Jltanasamadhi is indeed t he best to a ttain
but f ailing t hat , one shoul d have acquired
khanika samiidhi which is eq uivel ent to
upaC{ira samadhi . Otherwise, it is Dot real
vipassal1a panfia So said the Buddha -
"Bhikkhus try t o acquire samadhi A
who has a st a ble mind kno ws t he truth.
What is knowi ng 't he t r uth? It is knowing
that cakkhu (t he eye'; is nOD-permanent,
that rupa (appearance) is non-permanent,
and that caklchu-vinfi a (the sense of seeing)
is non-permanent."
The Buddha said further thJ t one, bereft
of sammaditthi, is bereft of vipassana-n(ina.
So it is clear that without samtldhi one
cannot acquire v;passan(7nana and attain
maggaphala-niina. One cant therefore, decide
that knowledge outsid e of sam(ldhi is not
vipassana-nalla and tha t wi thout vipassan(l-
nana one cannot attain nibbalh7. Superficial
knowledge is not the monopoly of the
Buddhists, for non-Buddhists could acquire
it if they make a study of Abhidlwmmli. It
is absolutely necessary, tberefoI{. to try to
acquire real knowledge by constantly
17)
HEMAVATA SUTTA
making a note of the nature of the sense-
bases by l'ipaSSanl{ method.
The six sense-bases make up man
To t he question how toka cam; into . being,
the Buddha' s was loka s eXIstence
was bused upon the. ::, ix means
that all be ;ngs WhICh compnse toka come
into being on the basis of the six sense-bases.
Suffering in the six
To the question where do the beings sutTer
from ill effects of the six sense-bases, the
Buddha replied that they suffered from the
ill effects in the six sense-bases themselves.
He said that tbe beings suffered because
they made effor ts t o satisfy these six sense-
bases. According to the commentary on the
sutta, the sensations emanating from the
outer objects make elll att ack on the six
sense-bases. ]n my opinion, tbe sensations
such as sight, sound, tas te, smell, touch and
thought invite taf) /z a (desire) and it makes
beings suffer. I think that is a better
explanation.
People are constantly making efforts to
get things, animate or inanimate,
and If they do not get t hem they go on
searching for them till they can get hold
of them. When they come t o possess them,
180
lIEMAVATA SUTrA
they make efforts to hold them and prevent
them from bein.; lost or destroyed. Thus,
the people are constantly making efforts
and suIl'ering In the same manner, they
t ry to get otber feelings and sensations,
such as sweet sounds, good taste, delightful
touch, and fond hopes and thoughts They
to make themselves healthy and long
livmg so tha t thl.!y may enjoy these sensa-
tions longer. In making these efforts people
have to feel anxious about themselves as
well as others. Though they make constant
efTorts for containing and maintaining these
sensations, tbings do not occur as they wish
Things disappear as quickly as they appear.
Danger s set in and destroy them. On 1!.uch
occasi ons people suffer greatly not only
physically but mentally too. This concerns
not onl y human beings but celestial beings
also, for t hese celestial beings, too, make
similar efforts for similar purposes. Do
not bave t he impression that if one becomes
a celes ti al being owing to one's good
deeds, one gets t o a place where every wish
is fulfill ed and one does not need to have
any more wishes; that is, on6 would be
satisfied to the f ull. No being is ever
sat isfied with what has been given, and
will always as k f or more. To get more,
181
F 19
HEMAVATA SUTTA
further efforts have to be, made, ::Ind
suffering ensues from eft orts.
Suffering will re511lt from involving
sacrifice of lives of other bemgs under the
mistaken notion that one would gain merit
from such act If one kills, steals or does
things which one thinks will make for
one's own prosperity and happiness and
those of one's relatives and friends, one
will recdve all the sufferings
from the act. Not only that; one will go
down to the n!ther regions of existence.
Enjoying the senses does not bring any
real happiness; it brings only suffering.
Say, for instance one continues eating
food after hlVing reached the state
of satiety or fullness. Eating good food
seems enjoyable in the first stages but
gradually the enjoyment will decline and
suffering will ensue. It is the same with
other senses. If one looks at beautiful
things constantly, one will get tired and
probably in the form of di'sgust,
WIll set 10 One would not enjoy, tactile
suffering would certainly
set after pa,ssed the stage of satis-
faclIons. Enjoyment IS only transitory, and
It can cO,ver up innate sufferings just
for a ,whde. Maki ng an effort is, in fact,
suife[J ng.
182
llEhlAVATA SUTIA
Hemavata's Question f ' umber Two
Hemavat a said, "0, Lord The sattavii
w?i ch is in. effect toka I; subjected to
What IS the attachment tupiidiina)
makes believe this is myself, this
IS my own? May l ask what is the way to
redemption. Would you, 0 Lord, please say
how one must free oneself from misery!"
Hemavata's fi rst question to the Buddha
t o the t ru th about misery (dukkha
SICCli ) and his second ques tion is about the
way to fr ee oneself from misery.
"Hemavata" said the Buddha, "the mind
which is t he sixth of the six sense-bases
produces desire and causes at ' achrnent for
the five other senses and sense-bases."
The five kiimaguQa means the de sire to
enjoy the sight, the sound, the smeJI the
taste and the touch. These senses carry with
them their respective sense-bases; the eye,
the ear, the nose, the tongue and the body.
The mind also carries wit h it t hougb ts and
feelings.
To thoC\e who do not have l'ipassall (/
practice, any object they see gives them the
idea that it is " my eye that sees," The young:
hwo can see well will say t hat their eyes. are
good and clear, but the old whose eyesIght
is defective will lament their pli ght. Both
I
183
HEMAV ATA SUTTA
the young and the ol.d feet. tha.t sense
organ of si"ht is lhetrs. ThIS Jde<1 of self
to parts of the body and the
whole body and tben to one's own
This notion extends further to cognItIOn of
male and fennIe . "This body is I am
this body." Looking 'It a beClutlful.person
and liking him or her, and . to
possess, and having thus got, thtnkmg
"Tbis is mine, my own" ... all these are the
products of the mind.
For instance, YOll go to the bazaar and
look at dresses on di"play and choose what
you like and buy them and think that they
are your own. In the same manner, one
looks at another and is ellamollred of his
or her beauty and desires that person and
wants to possess that person's body. The
eye, the object of sight and the sense of
sight; these are the three ayatana, and
there is attachment. "This is mine, this is
my own. I possess it."
The same attachment or obsession applies
to the case of hearing, smelling, tasting or
touching. Everything is for attachm' nt. If,
for instance, you Somebody and you
know sense of touch, then you say, "I
touch hIm or her." If you feel hot or stiff
in the limbs, you say "I fee] hot" or "I
feel stiff in my limbs." ,
184
HEMAVATA SUTTA
SO the Buddha said: "Hemavata, in loka
the five !camaguQ.Cl and the mind (manaya-
tan a), or the six sense-bases cause tanhn
(lust), and if thut taQ.ha is discarded, deli-
verance from du!ckha is certainly achieved."
The reason for attachment and desire is
ignorance of the fact that the sight-object
or matter, the seeing and the eye are all
ayatana. This ignorance is like insanity.
Madmen have unstable minds and cannot
tell the good from the bad, the valuable
from the valueless; thev don' t know what
is us -ful, valuable and"keep useless things
in their bags. You all must have seen such
lunatics The so-called sane men would act
in the sam" way if they were under mis-
taken notions.
At the end of the Second World War
those who foresaw the coming end of the
Japanese occupation in Burma exchanged
the Japanese currency notes which would
soon be worthless, with many things. Those
who did not have such foresight cheerfully
received the notes in hope that these
notes would continue to be valid. Then in a ,.
day or two, the change came. The Japaaese
currency notes became and tbe
hoarders suffered the ccmequences.
When I was young [CJme people
who filled pots with salld and waIted for
18)
HEMAVATA SU'lTA
them to turn into gold according to the
prediction of a con-man who posed. as a
m
a
ster-magici:1n whom these people belteved .
They ar' reallv fools flIld mad men who
cannot tell the- truth from tile Jie, the good
from the bad. Once they are cured of
madness, they will find that the things
they have cherished are worthless:. During
the time of the Buddha Pad:lcra became
raving mad. She went about without any
clothes on, but as she was insane she
thought what she was doing was good :md
proper. When she came near the Buddha,
the Buddha restored her to sanity by
admonition and she realised her situation
at once and eventually became an Arahat.
Being one with parami (potential for
perfection), Padacara knew at once at the
Buddha's word of caution that she was
naked. Her sense of propriety returned,
and she took a shawl from a person near
her and wrapped herself and sat down to
listen to the Buddha's sermon. And while
listening to the sermon she attaind the state
of This is an instance of
the right vision (lnd discarding
the worthless notions.
The people I spoke about just. now
found out in due course that the 'things
tbey had cherished were after all worthless
,
186
HEMAVATA SUTTA
and ye.t they could not discard their worth-
less thlDgs. Those who are always mindful
of changes involving happening
and dlsa ppea rmg all .the time, will have no
for anythIng that others have
been settIng so much value upon.
Giving instructions to Malukya-putta
bhikkhii
When the Buddha was about to give
instructions to Malukya-putta I bhikkhO, He
asked:
"Malukya-putta, do you have any desire
for the appearances that you have never
seen, or those that you are not in the act
of seeing or those that you never expect to
see?"
"No, sir, that is impossible," replied the
bhikkhii.
Now, if I asked you the same question
as the Buddha put to Malukya-putta
bhikkhu, you all would give the same
answer as he did. A person whom
you never to see, ..... you would not
have any feeling of love or hatred for
bim, would you? Now, such persons are
so many in so many villages, towns, cities
and countries, and you wouldn't ever haw
any feeling of love or hatred. For them
187
HEMAVATA SUTTA
you woul dn't have any, desire
or ll1st. Kiles17 doesn t ansI! from the
unseen. This point should be Doted.
In that case, one need not. have _t o get
rid of kilesii by means of vlpassqna. The
thing simply doesn't h.appen there
is no seeing, t here Sflses no kzlesa . So
don't gain merit, nor does akusala (evIl ,
sin) happen. As for tbe. thiogs seen,
ever kilesa 8riSCS both m the act of seel ng
and 'after havi ng seen, because a ment al
picture is l etained in t!le memory and on
reflecti on or recall, k desa would recur.
These cheri shed memories are st ored up in
the of anusaya (rooted memori es).
It is necessary t o root out these by me3ns
of vipassana.
The Buddha gave Malukyaput ta bhikkhft
the doctri ne of dittlzeaitthamattani bhavissati
(seeing only what 'is being seen), or minding
the pre ent.
Discarding tal)ha occuri ng on HI e
sight
According to the Buddha's instructions
to Milukyaputta bhikkhii, one must note
what is seen as seen and no more. Tha t is
the general idea of the instructions. For
meditational practice, however one must
note the beginning of any or sense
IR8
IIEMAVATA SUTTA
as it is in the process of happen ing. One
must. acc?rdingly make a of, let us say,
walkmg 10 i ts process, that is, lift i ng the
foot, moving forward and letting fall t he
foo t, and noticing that each (lct in tbe pro-
appears and disappear s in rapid succes-
SIOn. Only those who have higher percepti on
witl be a bJe to notice clea rly this rapid
chain of action. If f' ne cculd concent rate
on eCich phenomenon di sti nctly clOd separa-
tel y, one would not feel any attachrr ent or
desire, and tbus taf)ha tj got rid of.
To some vipassana practitioners bearing
was takl:ll of as mere hea rin g, and
no l ike or dislike is attached to it. Some
are reported to have felt the sound enter
the ear, and can tell whether it enters t he
right ear or the left. Smell aiso appears and
disappears in rapid and no at-
tachment of any kind occurs. The same with
tasting food.
The of t ouch is quite dis tinct ly
marked. The ri si ng anJ f(.lIing of the :1 bdo-
men is obvious; so are the aches aIl d
Physical <1ctions are al: o easy to make note
of and makior note of each <let in the pro-
of an act i'on precl udes any . ind of a t-
tachment or desire. As regarus til t! mind that
wanders it is not so diflicult h) note
of it, a practised m ... dit aler' s
IR9
HEMAVATA surrA
seldom loafs and when it does, it is usually
CJught and back immediately .to
point of concentration. Thus taJ).hil IS nd
of from the mind.
Somdimes mental pictures of persons,
bhikkhus oardens and many other things
appear; are mere figments of th.e ima-
gination. [hey will soon fade out If one
makes a note of them. No attachment occurs.
Sometimes, t00, one hears or seems tohear,
a celestial being or a teacher saying some-
thing but if one makes a notc of that, the
hearing will disappear and no attachment
can occur. The yogi who experiences such
hearin,; should not be falsely flattered. If he
is pleased or fl attered, that fact should be
made note of immediately and it will dis-
appear. That is how tm)hCL should be rid of
the thougbt or the feeling.
And that is also the way in lY hich vipa-
ssal1li insight is ained and eventually Ariya-
magga achieved and nibb(i llCl attained. As
the strength of insight wisdom
. ,
Increases, too, and thu\) occurrence of at-
tachment is entirely ruled out. So the Buddha
said t ba t if tanha is discarded deliverctnce
fr om dukkha is cer tainly
Upon hearing the two answers of the
Buddha, Hemavata ano SaL-lgiri and their
f oll owers att Jined t bt: st ale of sotupmllla.
190
Ill:MAVATA SUT fA
The young lady. Kali, who had hear d only
the d i alogge between Sat agid and J[emavata
became a sotapanna before they did. They
shoul d have reached the ultimate state of
an Araiza!, but they were destined to attain
t o the first state
END OF PART V
191
F 2u

Chapter VI
This is tlte last par t of the d,iscour se on
thi s sut ta. The main points of Interest arc
the three questions Hemavata put to the
Buddha. Hemavata became a so/(/ pan aft er
hearing the Buddha's J( pJy t o the second
question but in to. the
Hemavata put t he tblrd ques tIOn as follows. -
"Oh Lord " sa id Hemavata, "in this
'oka W'110 car{ swi m out of the eddying cur-
rent of kilesa?"
In the never-ending chain of existences,
called sams(rra, there is a fast-flowing cur-
rent with eddies, called kilesc7. Who can
swim so skilfuJly that he or she can swim
out of this current? Hemavata repeated the
question in another metaphor, saying:"Who
can swim out of the vast stretch of deep
water, call ed sams(i ra?"
Samsara, which is an uninterrupted flow
of existences, a successive happenings and
192
11l:MA \lATA SUTTA
des tr uctions of the aggregates (khandd), is
likened to a fastflowing, wide and deep
river or a vast stretch of water. It is
for one, ho"v ever skil f ul in swim-
ming, to swim out of it.
Conti nui ng, Hcmavata said: "Appare ntly
bott omless, there is nothing above the
surface of t he water to hang on to; who
can manage t o escape fro m drowning i n
tlut vast st ret ch of wat er, Oh, Lord?"
To thi s questi on t he Bllddha made the
follo wing answer :-
"Hemavat a, one whose Sf /a is clean and
full and whose S{[fl hldhi is firm, making
a of the phYSical and mental acts
without fa il and whose knowledge of
thi ngs secul a: and spiri tual. is of a high
order wiII be able to SWIm across the
usuali
y
unswimmable stream of samS<7ra."
This is the Buddha' s answer to the first
part of Hem8vata's question.
The current of kama: Desire
Delightful objects invite. de.si re. and
attachment , call ed kCl ma, WhICh IS lI kened
to a currel1t wit h kfimogha. Those
who are involved In . lust. and
attachmenl are said to be dr.lftmg III the
current of k ti ma. Tho"c who like and want
193
HBMAVATA SUTTA
the objects of desire, as sight, smell ,
taste touch man or womaD, property of
all h,;ve to put forth their efforts to
obtain and possess them. Once they have
them they have to put forth more efforts
to lind mnintain their possessions.
They have to rl!sort to . sins such as ther.t,
murder, robbery. cheating. :1dultery to gmn
possession of these of their desires.
For such sins they wi 1/ go down to hell
and other nether regions of misery. That
is what is called d rifting in the sea of
samstira There <1le other people who do
good deeds and are accordingly able to
g'tin existence in hum<1n or celestial world
where they are end0wed with we<1lth which
they enjoy immensely. That is called
being immersed in the sea of sClInslira.
Existc:nce in human or celestial world
presupposes old age death for which
one will surely feel angui!>h and suffer
from misery. That is, in fact an immersion
in the sea of sa111sara. '
The current of bhava, existence
. To be enamoured of bhava or
life) is call ed drifting in the current of
bhavogha, t he eddying CLirrent of bhava.
SO.rn:! want to att ain higher planes cf
eXi stence such as rupa bharG nnd arupa

HEMAVATA SUTTA
hhava, and accordingly work t
o acquire
rupa j lzanc7 arupa jhana. When tbey
reach higher planes of existence thei r
of lIfe are ver y long, to be count ed
10 a eons, ?ut they are not everl asting. They
have t o die, and some go to world
and others to celestial world, where misery
abounds. They get only a brief relief not
a rele<1se from the chain of
The current of ditthi, false
beliefs
To be entangled in tile various currents
of ditthi or fa !<;e beliefs is ve ry common.
Th:re are ill r y kinds of belief, some
behefs belonging to some racial grou ps Cl nd
some to some localities. The various
beli efs can be cat egorised i nto one
the belief that all beings are
IDdestrucll ble, cal led sassala dittlzi, and the
other the belief that a being is destroyed
altogether after its dea th called uccheda
ditthi. Those em hracing laller belief do
not to avoid evil deeds, nor do they
feel t he need to do good deeds , Thev can
do what they like so long as they
crimes punishabl e by law. They believe
that they will not be obliged t o pay for
the deed.. they hrl\ e done du ring their
lifetimes or later because, to them, there
HEMAVATA SUTlA
is no more new existence. Such will
probably go to hdl and other nethLr
regions because the deeds they have done
during their lifetimes will probably be
from good. This is an. example of g,et,llng
into trouble by folIowlOg a wrong pdLI.
There are people today who tUll1 t.he
Budd!la's teachings ,md advIse
their followers not to do good deeds, not
to do meditatkn, or they \\ ould be in
trouble. Their followers will most probably
do only bad deeds and arc 1110St likely to
go to hell.
Those who believe in the indestructibility
of beings do something which they take to
be good deeds but among such deeds is
sacrifices of some animals' lives in rites
according to beliefs. Such evil deeds
done under mistaken notions will surely
send the evildoers to hell. It is like taking
wrong medicine which aggravates the
disease. There are some other people who
believe that they can do anything, good or
bad, with impunity so long as they have
f(lith in their God.
There are worshippers of the sun, the
moon, the moun lain, the spirits or gods;
are also some who believe they can be
delIvered from misery if th(' Y stclI\e them-
selves or lay naked or stay in the heat of
19 ,
)
lIEMAVATA sur A
the sun or stay i mmersed in watet ' there
are also some who believe that will
be free of mi sery if t hey keep their minds
idle. How can one acquire sila, sal1litdhi and
paiinc1 without making the mind work hard
and properly'! All beliefs in religious prac-
tices which cannot lead to liberation fr om
salnsiira bel ong to what is Called silabbata
paril-Inasa ditthi . The followers of such faiths
will never get out of the great whirl pool of
samslira. They will go througb a long series
of existences as t hey drift along the curre nt
of samsl1ra. This is rcally terri ble.
The current of avijj a, ignora lce
Then there is what is called " the current
of avijj{i" which means ignor ance of the
Four Noble Truths. Peopl e mistake misery
for happiness; they do noi: know the
about misery (dukkha saccLl) All the actIOns
emanating f rom the pbysIcal "!ent,d
make-ups are really elements ot mI sery,
but most people think that the si ght they
want to see', the sound they want to hear,
the smell they want to llmeIl, the f ood tbey
want to eat, the touch they want. to touch,
and the thou{!ht they want to t h mk arc al!
od Such 0 thinking is the fe'm!t of
(molw, avijjt7) . Liking
is tar).h(i, to be attached to them I S IIpadll lla,
197
HEMAVATA SUTTA
. I bjects of desires
and to to gam t Ie 0 b . d (kllsala or
is deeds either good or a? d b d
akusala): f)wing to the deeds, or <'.'
existence recurs repeatedly; the
the 31 planes of exis tence are ue 0 IS
avijjii . This CUrIent of avijj(c flows down to
the lowest hell and up to bhavagg
a

region of existence, the highest regIOn of
Bra/una.) In Bhuridatt a and Campeyya
j {itokiis it is explained that the would-be
Buddha became a great snake or dragon
because he Icnged to become a snake,
thinkin C! that such existence would be good.
This of avijjc7 is very fearful
indeed
1 t is not easy to get these
rent s; one must :have the abIhty to SWIm
Ollt of them. That is wby Hemavata asked
t he Bllddha who coul d swim out of them
In answering that question. the Buddha
described the qualifications of the success-
ful swimmer.
Firs t qualificati o n of the successful
swimmer
The Buddha said that the first qualification
of tbe succes sful swimmer is that he must
al ways be f ully quipped with pure sfla.
Thi s is a really essential qualifica tion, so
the Buddha put it as the firs t. The one who
19R
HEMAVATA SUITA
fi rml y b:1ieves in Buddha's teachings
must belIeve th;H If only one is f ully
equi pped wit h pure sTla for all tiC1es, one
will be able to overcome the four great
currents and thus attain nibbana. Some may
refe r to the story of Santati, a king's
minh ter , who atta ined nibbana just before
his death "while the smell of the liquor bad
not ye t left his mouth", and enquire about
the requ irement of being equipped for ::I ll
t imes wi th pure Sf /a. Well, such are few
inst ances; I shoulj say, cne in a hundred
thousand. Such persons had h;:} d wit h Hem
already p!7 rall/; of the hi ghest order. They
were rare eVt l1 in the of the Buddha .
They we re exceptions. e Buddha knew of
them and their grade of pdraml .
In the case of the first five monks. ponca
vaggi, only Kondafiiia attained to the state
of sottipanna on the first day of the Dham-
macakka sermon; tbe otber four had to
strive for it l ('r [ (l nT more days in succes-
sion, one Mt er another. Not all of them
were in possession (If pal'ami of the sam.e
calibre' SLlch in gr<Hies and c alI-
bre or' ptl rami be are
tbose who ga in the dllamma whIle hearIng a
sermon but the y are \cry f ew; other s have
to work for some lengt h of time, some for
a few honr;;, S.1me othe rs for days, months
199
HEMA V AlA SU 1 fA
or years in wilh their respect-
tive P<iUII11i.
Now in the word the
'( I' <"fa for 'Ill times' the phrdse for
pun y 0 .J I ( 'f' t'
tli times" me,lns the length 0 tlI':le rom
tIme of commencing of the
dlW/JIlIlll through the entne peflod of the
practices. It is only then that one feel
hllppy that one :111 had one s
pure, and that of would
bring about samiidlll. O.thennse, doubt about
one's own s/Ia would Impede the progress
in the attainment of the state of complete
concentration. Without one
cannot acqui re vipassal1(1 llana. And wIthout
vipassail l/ fi ona, magga pha/a nOna would be
far out of one's reach. For a layman, one
mut be flllly cqui pprd with paflC{{ stia, for
a monk olle must be equipped with piiti-
mokklw's'la. S/Ia is the first requi site, the
first qualification for one who strives to
swim out of the four great currents.
he Second Qualif icat ion
The second qualific<lti on relat cs to .sCl/l1u-
dhi.1t means tbat after having bee n equipped
with pure s'iia one must wor k hard to attain
the states of samadhi and j lli'il1G. It means
that one must v.ork for t he atta inment of
nil the eight kinds of j hulla or :I t leas t Oll C
200

i l bMAVATA SU'l'l'A
two of them. This is for disciples of tbe
lllgber order. If one c(Jnnot strive to atr ai n
apPGlh7. jlzana, one must work for attain-
ment of upaClira samadlzi or its equivalent
khaQika sal71 lldhi . that is, vipassana samadhi.
This is the least requirement for one to
become full y equipped with cittarisuddhi
(purity of mind) , and with this, ore can
attain Ilibbana Otherwise, the purpose
would not be achieved.
The Third Qualifi cation
The third qU<l lificJ tin is pai'ina. Paiiii({
can be attained only by bei ng mindful
of the actions and phenomena occuring
within onc's physicCiI and menwl make-
ups One can gain real knowledge of the
incessant motions of acts and happenings
only when one mJkes :1 note of them
internally. How can one gain f en} kn o\'. ledge
by noting tbe acts and actions o f 3Dother
person's mental and physical mnke-ups?
You may think that a person is happy but
he may really be in a sad mood. In the same
manner, you m:ly think one is doi ng a
good deed but he might be about to do
something bad or evil. It is only of oneself
one can know fully. If one makes a Dot e
of what is p:oing on in oneself. one will be
.I b Ie t 0 k n () w w h .1 t rea II y is lite mat t er . It
201
F 21
HEMAVATA SU'ITA
is not rcall y dimcu! t to make a men t al not e
of the t idl !:'s in flu x in () neself; one has only
to make :1 '- note of lhings as they occ ur or
disappear in quick succession.
Don't Talk Rashly About
Those who have:1I jhii na must make
a note of the st att: of jllttllCl as Nell as all
the phenomena emanating from the acts of
seeing, hearing, etc . Such mixed phenomena
are toget her called Tho:, e who
have not attained jhti na must make a note
of what they see, hear. etc . In fact, they
must note the acti ons emanating from mind
and m1tter. Some say that making a note
of what happens a'\ it happens could result
in deterior.lt ion of one s concentration. They
say that it spoils the concept of ekodham-
mo (single purpos ). Such persons do not
understand the working.s of practice in
vipassall ,l. As a lll'lttcr of fact vipassan<7
d
't '
. l'D:ean only on one
obJecl; It IS note of all the (lcts and
actions of mind and matter . If one does not
make a note of them, one wiII probably
take to he permanent, capable of giving
a.nJ repre senting self, and such
o t,hlOking wiiI bring about kamma
will I.n make for a new existence.
J f IS l ntended to get rid of the con.
202

11EMAVA'iA Su i 1.\
sequen ces by g a note of the
men a and com1l1g to a rE'a.li.:ati o n of anieca,
dukklJa and allatta. said all pb. e-
Domena must be perceIved WI! h insi'Itt.
i.s no menti on of cko-dhallllllO in the
Pall or in" t he comment:1rics.
There 15, ho wever, ment ion ( f it in
Anguttara Nikayo and Dasllttra ,sutfa but
the is n0t \\h 1t some peopl e
rashly Lke It to be. It means t hat oll e
sho uld stick to one me thod of meditation
a nd in the. books ale men t ioned as mdny
as ten dIfferent methods. Talking rashly
about " eko-dhammo" wit hout k Il O\ in
CT
its
. c
proper me<ll1lDg and intent should be
discouraged.
Now, by m;lki ng a note of what is
happening in the physical arid men aJ m,lkc-
ups and thus gai ni ng sam(i dhi, one acquires
insight (pailfia) by perceiving ll izma (mind)
and rupa (matter) separately, Dnd also by
knowing the deep signi fic;mce of cause and
effect. Vipassall ({ is achic\ed by a deep
perception of ([ ni(' ( (I, dukkha 3JH.l af/atta,
and when vipassancl i'1 liw7 (mcditational
insight) has been g1i ned and developed
further, one will graduate to the Ariya
magga. One who has att:lined AriJii magga
is the swimmer who c:m 'wim out of the
rough and stron
o
curren ts of S1I11I\(l ra. That
2()3

HF.MAV ATA SUTTA
is w,lht th Buddha said in reply to IIcma-
vata's que:;ti )n,
The manner of swin'ming ,out of these
currents vill now he for the
benefit of those whu still, need
clarificdtion, If une can dIscern IlIbUlft/li
tnrough the insit:llt ut" sO/llpatti l1Iagga iianat
one mu t b.! sail to have crossed the cur-
rent of dittlli , Th:!! i., why it is said that a
sorl/pan is cleared of, he obsession
atla, of the f.:11 e belief th:H a bemg IS
indestructible, is the belief of sassata
dit/hi, of the belief that nothing
remains the de:tth and destruction of
the present form and mentCll
which is tIle belief of lfcdlC'da dinhi He is
also rid of the false belIef c,i\led silabbata
pal',l mli sa ditthi w:1.ch says that nne C3n
l:;.a in deliverance from sams({/'a not by
working for ncquistion (J f sila, samadhi and
pann(1 but by loi ng a little bit of mef1tal
ex..!rcise. A sot [pefl has never failed to be
ent renched in (D''': ill the Buddha,
Dln'1ma and Sang'1R, awl in t h:! belief that
one must work for th e of slla.
samlidhi and panna It is o i1 1y t hose who
arc not who ,1L i ndecisive in fixing
th ir beli f and so go r(J und looking [or
mentors and moe of len tban not w31k
into the of ler' ders of false
20
HF.MAVATA SUTTA
alld thus' much along the long pClth
of sams7 l'a.
As for a sotapan, he never deviates f rom
the right path and will be free of the suf-
ferings belonging to a being after at most
seven existences, It is therefore clear that
if one could swim across the current of
ditthi, one would make a n immense gain.
Getting 011 to he next step in the gradu-
ated stages to the attainment of n;bbtaw,
that is, of sakadag l 111i magga nlilw,
one would be able to weaken the force of
tr.e current of !\llma-r aga but not be com-
pletely 1 id of it. One must surge ahead b,Y
continufIlg the meditational practice, It IS
only when one bas attained the stat,e of
altrlgami .. magga and plzala that one WIll be
completely rid of the current of kiuJla.
him there is no such thing as desire; he will
not even think of wanting anything; there
is no wisb, no longing or hankering. T'hus,
he is in a Ilappy state, free of the I11Isery
resulting from desires, But he has the cur-
rent of bhal'a to swim across.
yogi who has up to the
stage of aflagtlJJll', IIh,!gga 11;ust, carry
on with the m ditatlOn ttll be. _the
mo!'>t mature insight of A ralwttt7lmagga nat/a.
Then he will have swum across the current

tlEMAVATA sutfA
of bhava; for him there is no new existence.
By then he has swum succes'ifully across the
four currents of sanisdra and got out of it.
The Buddha's An.;wer (38)
"Hcmavata dev<.I" said the Buddha. "The
Aralwt who . has overcome <.III the strings of
saniyojana attachment after having cleared
himself of the desires, never gets drowned
in the bottomkss, refugeless sea of sQ/11si/ ra,
but remains "float always Clnd in :\ state of
happiness."
According to the nrst part of the Buddha's
answer, the one who has persisted in the
pr actice of meditation attains the Ultimate
Stage and has become an A rahat . For him
there is no ne\v existence; he is compl etely
out of the stream or SOI11Su J'{l Ho wever, ;111
has crossed tIle curren ts clOd is on
bls way out of the st r.eam. Sakadagam has
no .more than two eXlstenc s to str ive for
de!lverancc, and SOldpan b(ls at most
eXlstences to go through. All of them have
themsel.ves from bell and the net her
or eXIstence For a pwhlljjanCl there
IS no guarantee against falli ng int o hell
he may have done good deeds . To
I?ersons the samsCt ra is a terribl e sea
III WhlC.'l there is nothi ng to grasp, or ta I-e
rrfuge Ill, to keep oneself afl oat. Now is
206
J
IlEMAVATA surrA
the time fo r working for deliverance from
the sea of samsara or the cycle of exis-
tences in the 31 regions of existence.
Now the expositi on of the text of the
Hemavala sutta has corne t o an end. Only
Hemavata' s ad ul ati on of the Buddha
.
remams.
After having heard the words of the
Buddha and percei ved the gre.at wisdom of
the One, Hemavata was full
of adoration and turned to t he celestiCl I
beings, a thousand of t hem, followers of
his <.nd of his f fiend Satagiri, and UT cred
them to worship the Buddha. He asked
them to worship the Buddha endowed wi th
deep and full wisdom, free of desi res of
all kinds, the Buddha who had been
walki[lg the path of the Araha!. He sai d
that because they hJd worshipped the
Buddha and hea rd His sermon, t hl!Y had
come upon the dawn of enlightenment. The
turning to the Buddha, Hemav ita said
"We, the thousand dera-yakkas, adore an
take refuge in Thee, tbe noblest Lord and
Master."
The reason for these thousand celestial
beings having achieved the purpose of the
dhamma can be found in the story of their
past.
207
HEMAVATA SUTTA
The Past History 0 He .. ,avata
a(l d Company
Kassapa Buddha passed into ni bbana a nd
His relics enshrined i n a great golden
pagoda. At that time two men .entered the
order of monks in the sacr.ed clr cl.e ?f .t he
Buddha's sr( san(/ (inst ructIOnal dl SCIPI.lflC)
out of thei r free will an d nobl e vohtIOn.
(Incidentally, there are two kinds of mon ks,
is, those who enter t he Order out of
their free will 3nd nobl e vol ition, called
saddha pabbajita, and those who ent er the
Order out of fear of punishment by law
for their crimes, called bhaya pabbajita.
The former are the true servants of the
Order and the latter detractor s who
weaken and spoil it. The duties of a monk
are under two main ca tegories. The first
category is to st udy and eventualfy teach
the literature of the Dhamma, and the
second is to practise medit ation to achk\e
the purpose of the Dhamma.
During the ti me of Buddha Gotama there
were many bhikkhfJs beginning with (he
6r8t five, panca vaggi, who becaml: Arahats.
were, for instance, the son of Ya ssa,
the nch mao, and his 54 fr iends, the t hirty
clans!Deo of Bhaddavaggi. t he tho usand
hermits led by Uruvela Kessapa, the o nes
who were to become Venenbles Sariputra
208
HEMAVATA SUTTA
and Maha Mogglana and their 2.( 0 hermit
fo ll owers. All of t he m practised t he LJhalllma
and beC8me Arahats. Of the m t he son of
Sena, a rich man, did most c r 'ditably in
t he practice of the Dhamma.
This person was very s("\ ft and tender.
He had never set his l n the en th Tbe
sol es of hi s were covered wi th soft
hairs . When this soft and t endt:r ma n
entered the Holy Order, full y
to wor k; ha rd at t he d uties of a blllkkhu
for del iver ance from the misery of samS(i l'a,
a problem a rose. .He wo:ke? his
He carried o ut hIs medItatlOnal prdct lce
while wal k ing up a nd do wn the passageway
barefooted Hi s feet were so and
tender that t hey SOO I) had b!blers a?d
bled. The pas3ageway was staIDe d wIth
blood yet he d id not give up. However,
he not achieve t he purpose of the
Dhamma Latt l! r he despaired and thought
of ledving the Order. H-:: was th:
impression tbat he had not enough puraml
to achieve the purpose of. the
Then the Buddha came to hun and advlst d
him not to too much nor to
too much, that is, to foll ow t he ... ml dd!e
path. The hhikkllD followed l1
1
:
e
h l( uddha s
advice and soon hecame a n " I a a .
209
SU I J' A
There were in the days of the Buddha
counties nu mbers who attained the state
of an Araliat , or the state of a sottipan,
sakad(lgam and all(/ gam, all the noble ones
who ful fi ll ed the wi shes of the Buddha by
pract isi ng meditation a nd achieving the
purpose of the Dlial1lma. The two new
monks who entered the Order thought to
themselves that the number of those \\ho
practised the Dliammt1 were very many,
and that as they themselves were still young
the) shoul d first make a study of the
literature of the Dhamma. They said to
themselves t hat they would practise the
Dhamma when they grew old. Thu'! applying
themsel ves diligently to the study of the
li l..:rature of the Dlwmma, the two monks
bec'lmc m:1stcrs of the 'ri-pitakas . They
then taugh t five hundred monks the various
treati ses of the Dhalllma, and became
famous lcachcrs
Now, let us discu'ls the decision made by
the monks who were fut ure Heml vata and
hi'.) Satagiri , Tbey decided to study
the D/wl1l l11 a when young and practise it
Old, Who can gU1rantce that a person
wi ll ?ot d,le young? If he dit!s young, then
he wil l mLSS the opportunity of practising
the DlwlI1l1la. The nudd h.l'", wish for all
210
I
j
HEMAVATA SUriA
,
to star t tbe practice of the Dha1lll11a when
young.
The Buddha said "The bhikkhu in the
Buddha's srtsanii, wbo practises tbe Dhamma
while young wi th a view to attaining magga
phata, enlighte ns the loka which is s-ynony-
mous with his own f ive khandc[ s) just as the
moon whi ch is rel eas ed f rom the banks of
cloud shi nes over the world."
The pe rson who practises l'ipaSSCInli
enlightens his own loka in the same manner
as the moon li ghts up the world. He starts
his practice with the regul ar noti ng of the
rising and falling of his abdomen and tbus
comes to know the real nat ure of mind and
matter first, and then as he goes on with
his noting he comes to know t be real nature
of nam.akkhallda (mental make-up), He learns
the deep truth of anicca, dukkha and (matta.
As his practict! advances, his insigbt deepens
and enlightens his loka, or lZ iill1a-rllpa, or
the five klzand(( s.
It may be asked whether t he same kind
of enlightenment will not occur to t he
Certainly it will, but in the old tbe realt-
sation and enlightenment may be slow to
come. Age slows down the of the
body and the mind. A man of thlIty may
achieve hil) purpoqe within onc month where-
211
F22
HEMAVATA SUTTA
<I S a mao of sixty or seventy may be a?le
to do it only in two or t hr:e months. 1he
difference li es in the physIcal and .mental
health and strength, and in the
anxieti es, too. The young person s
power is keen while the old man's
tes. The la tter may have more t o
contend with. So the Buddha praIsed .t he
young for doing the meditaiional prac tI ce.
In the case of monks, it is better f or t he
freshly-ordained monks to stnrt the practi ce
of meditation because they are you ng and
keen their confidence strong, their siia free
frord doubts and defaults. f\lthough it is
admittedly important to pursue the studies
of the literature of the Dlzamll1a, young
monks should do the meditation practice at
lelst in the first three months. Well, that
i's my opinion. POSSibly, the would-be
Hemavata and the would-be Satagiri died
before they attained old age. They seem to
have had no chance to practise the Dhamma.
Those two venerable monks received the
high esteem of their disciples, both bhikkhGs
and the laity, and the Buddha's s(lsana of
those days was At that time
there lived in a monastery two youog monks
one a strict follower of the rules and regu:
1ations of the Order and the other a reca-
212
HEMAVATA SUTTA
lcitrant. When the good f ollower pointed
out the errors of the recalcitrant, the latter
would not brook criticism. The former told
hi m to wait till the pavara7J{c time came.
The monks were all obliged to attend
t he pavct raQct ceremony soon after the end
of t he Lenten period. They invited one
another 'to point out the errors or the
commi ssions and omissions of the rules
a nd regulations of the Order. This cere-
mony is held annually on the full moon
day of the month of Thadingyut, the end
of the Lent. The one who is criticised for
his erroneous acts and behaviour thanks the
one or ones who point out the errors and
promises them to be more careful in f uture.
This ceremony of criticism is for making
the Buddha's sti santi clean and intact. The
Buddha prescribed t his ceremony; attendance
is compulsory.
One shol!lld be thankful to the critic who
points out one' s errors and faults, f or such
criticism gives one a!1 opportunity t o. mJkc
amends. lpatti (default) in a 1l10,!k I S, f ar
more serious than the fault or cnme In a
layman. If a monk di es without knowing
that he has had ii patU and so has had no
opportunity to m<1ke amends, he c:m get to
hell. If he knew hi s (1patti and m.lde amends
213

HEMAVATA SUTTA
accordingly, hi s sda become
and if at that time of punty he practised
tile Dhamma he could acquire wisdom of
a high orde;, or if he died, he would get
to upp:! r regions of bliss. So the
said "The good people who pomt out
faults with good intentions are loved
and respect ed by other good people but
they are bated by the bad and the evil ones."
The monk who was the recalcitrant
opposed the monk who was a strict follower
of the rules and regulations of the Order.
So the latter told t he former that he would
report tbe matter to the synod of senior
monks. Tbe recalcitrant was afraid that he
might be ousted, so he approached the
members of the synod and gave them robes
and begging bowls and paid them respects.
He rendered small services to the senior
monks and behaved meekly. The monks
asked him what the matter was. He said
that he had had a dispute with his monastery
male over his behaviour, and asked tbem to
reserve judgment when his case came up to
the synod. The senior monks said that they
could not burke any case, but the reealcitrant
insisted. The monks had already accepted
his gifts and services and felt rather diffident
to deal.wi th hi .) case. So they promised to
burke hI S case when i t came up. This is,
214


HEMAVATA SUTTA
of course, partiality and corruption. When
thus assured, the recalcitrant went back to
his monastery and treated his colleague
with arrogance. The faithful monk had some
suspicions and made quiet enquiries. He had
wondered at the delay in the disposal of
the case he had put up to the synod. The
disciples of the senior monks whom he
a pproached were reticent.
The recalcitrant became more and more
brazen-faced. He asked the faithful about
t he case and insolently challenged him.
"Now you have lost your case. You should
not come back to the monastery. Go
elsewhere; don't live with me," he said. The
f aithful as ked the seni or monks about the
case and received U.n unsatisfactory answer.
These old monks were otherwise very hone::. t
but since they had accepted the favours
from the bad monk t hey devia ted from the
path of hone st y.
The young fa ithful monk shouted. " Since
the passing of the Kassapa Buddha you two
monks, seni or and learned, have been
looked up t o a s another Budd ha but you
have yourselves unfit to Pass
judgments on ca ses relat ing to the rules
and regula ti ons of the holy
Buddha's stl sanc7 has gone decay; It IS belDg
HEMAVATA Sur-rA
destroyed", Of course, such corrupt prac-
tices are to be deplored,
The two senior monks became repentent
when they heard the accusati,on made b,Y
the young monk and this prick t,helr
conscience persisted hves.
They could not get nd of theIr doubts
about their honesty even after Ion'.!; years of
service to the Order by teaching their
disciples the Dlzamma and observing the
rule" and regulations of the Order up to
the time of their death. So they became
celestial orgcs on the Himalayas though
they s'l ould otherwise have reached higher
regions of existence in the celestial world
because of thei r great One came
to be known as Hema vnta and the other
Satagiri . They belonged to the higher
echelon of the orge (guardian angels)
hi era rchy, holdi ng the rank of commandants
of the ogre battalions. There were 28
such high officia ls , includi ng these two,
under the charge of the chi ef, Duvera.
The celestial ogres, by t he way, a re far
superior to t he ordi nary ogres though they
mIght not be handsome like the devas or
angels,
Hemavata and Sat agi ri repented their
misdeeds in their past li ves and de plored
216

HEMAVATA SUTTA
their weaknesses as t hey succumbed to
corruption by an evil monk. They said that
their long and merit orious services to the
Kassapa S17sanc7 should have sen t them to
one of t he elevated r egi ons in the celestial
world . They f eIt sorry t o find t bat some
of lay d isciples had got t o tbe upper
regIOns wher eas they were o blige d to take
lower posi t ions. They p romised between
themselves t hat if one had some great news
he should immediately inform the other.
In pursuance of Ihis pr omise, Satagiri
hurried to hi s fri en d Hemavata a nd broke
of the nt! WS of t he firs t ser mon of Buddha
Gotama.
They h ad lived aons, and after the rise
and fall of several ka/pel (long periods of
time) they reached the ti me when Gotama
Buddha, some 2550 years ago, on the full
moon day of the month of Kason, gave
H is first 5ermon, Dhammacekka sulla, to
the five hermits, t he panca vaggi, with
thous :1nds upon thousands of celestial
beings in attenda nce . As I have mentioned
at the beginning of this disco urse,
failed to locate his friend, Hemavatn, in
the assembly (lnd so he hurried to him to
tell the greDt news .
Hernavata was overjoyed a t the hearing
of the Buddha's sermon and \'vent round
217
ltEMAVATA sutTA
from village to vilJage, from mountain to
mountain, of the celestial kingdom to
announce the coming of the Buddha, the
Dhamma and the Sangha.
This is the end of the Hemavata sutta.
May the audience be able to cross the
four great currents of samsdra by their
arduous praclice of vipassQIl<i. and thus
attain the blissful state of nibba na.
Sidhu! Sadhu!
218