Sunday, November 10, 2013


THOSE WITHOUT THE BANE OF GREED   (Dhammapada Verses156-159) continued


According to the Teachings of the Buddha all living beings exist in a continuous 
succession of births and re-births called “Sansara”(Wheel of existence). Beings are tied up with the wheel of Existence by a series  of mental attachments called
“fetters” (sanyojana) which are ten in number. Sanyojana or Fetters are
so called because they are bonds that keep the  beings tied to the continuity
of births and re-births called Sansara. The ultimate goal of the teachings of the Buddha is to escape from the cycle of birth and death and to attain of the bliss of Nibbana. In order to reach this goal, this sansaric being has to shatter all ten Fetters by concerted effort pursued over a period of time either in a single feat or in a series of achievements in a single birth or a series of births not extending beyond seven. 

The way to Nibbana is the development of insight (Vipassana) culminating in the Seven Purities (Sapta Visuddhi).

By sustained effort on the path the worldling (ptujjana) would reach a stage when he would get a glimpse of Nibbana for the First time, “like a traveller by night seeing the landscape around him in a flash of lighting.” At this stage he is called a “stream Winner” (Sotapanna), who has entered the stream that leads to Nibbana. On reaching this stage one eradicates the first three fetters.

The Ten Fettes (Sanyojana) enumerated in the texts are the following:

 1.       Sakkaya Ditti – Personality belief or Self illusion. It is the delusion of “self” or ignorance of the true nature of self.
2.       Vicikiccha -  Sceptical doubt about the Buddha and his teachings and the sanga

3.    Silabbata Paramasa - 
   to rites and ceremonies, like ascetic practices such as behaving like animals, etc.: 
  This Fetter is the belief that by performing
  such ascetic practices one could achieve moral purity and realise the Supreme Bliss according to each religion.
4.       Kamaraga – Lust for Sensual Desires
5.       Vyapada - Ill will or malevolence.
6.       Ruparaga -  Craving for re- birth in the “world of Form” or Fine Material  Realm
7.       Aruparaga – Craving for the re-birth in the Formless realm
8.       Mana – Conceit – Looking at or measuring oneself with others.
9.       Uddhacca – Agitation is described as restlessness of the mind, the lack of understanding that everything is subject to change.
10.   Avijja – Ignorance means lack of knowledge. The lack of insight, lack of knowledge that all component things are impermanent. It is the lack of the knowledge of the existence and scope of the Four Noble Truths.

1. Through the path of stream-winning (sotapatti-magga) one becomes free from the first three fetters
2. Through the path of once- returning (sakadagami-magga) one becomes nearly free from the fourth and fifth fetters.
3. Through the path of non-returning (anagami-magga) one becomes fully free from the above mentioned five lower fetters.
4. Through the path of holiness (arahatta-magga) one further becomes free from the five higher fetters, such as, ruparaga (craving for fine material existence), aruparaga (craving for immaterial existence), mana (conceit), uddacca (restlessness) and avijja (ignorance).

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