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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

The sa@ngha the monks following the Buddha

to it and are called upacara

samadhi (preliminary samadhi) as distinguished from the jhanasamadhi called the appanasamadhi (achieved samadhi) [Footnote ref 1]. Thus as a preparatory measure, firstly he has to train his mind continually to view with disgust the appetitive desires for eating and drinking (_ahare pa@tikkulasanna_) by emphasizing in the mind the various troubles that are associated in seeking food and drink and their ultimate loathsome transformations as various nauseating bodily elements. When a man continually habituates himself to emphasize the disgusting associations of food and drink, he ceases to have any attachment to them and simply takes them as an unavoidable evil, only awaiting the day when the final dissolution of all sorrows will come [Footnote ref 2]. Secondly he has to habituate his mind to the idea that all the parts of our body are made up of the four elements, k@siti (earth), ap (water), tejas (fire) and wind (air), like the carcase of a cow at the butcher's shop. This is technically called catudhatuvavatthanabhavana (the meditation of the body as being made up of the four elements) [Footnote ref 3]. Thirdly he has to habituate his mind to think again and again (_anussati_) about the virtues or greatness of the Buddha, the sa@ngha (the monks following the Buddha), the gods and the law (_dhamma_) of the Buddha, about the good effects of sila, and the making of gifts (_caganussati_), about the nature of death (_mara@nanussati_) and about the deep nature and qualities of the final
extinction of all phenomena (_upasamanussati_) [Footnote ref 4].


[Footnote 1: As it is not possible for me to enter into details, I follow what appears to me to be the main line of division showing the interconnection of jhana (Skr. _dhyana_) with its accessory stages called parikammas (_Visuddhimagga,_ pp. 85 f.).]

[Footnote 2: _Visuddhimagga_, pp. 341-347; mark the intense pessimistic attitude, "_Iman ca pana ahare pa@tikulasanna@m anuyuttassa bhikkhu@no rasata@nhaya cittam pa@tiliyati, pa@tiku@t@tati, pa@tiva@t@tati; so, kantaranitthara@na@t@thiko viya puttama@msa@m vigatamado ahara@m ahareti yavad eva dukkhassa ni@t@thara@natthaya_," p. 347. The mind of him who inspires himself with this supreme disgust to all food, becomes free from all desires for palatable tastes, and turns its back to them and flies off from them. As a means of getting rid of all sorrow he takes his food without any attachment as one would eat the flesh of his own son to sustain himself in crossing a forest.]

[Footnote 3: _Visuddhimagga_, pp. 347-370.]

[Footnote 4: _Visuddhimagga_, pp. 197-294.]


Advancing further from the preliminary meditations or preparations called the upacara samadhi we come to those other sources of concentration and meditation called the appanasamadhi which directly lead to the achievement of the highest samadhi. The processes of purification and strengthening of the mind continue in this stage also, but these represent the last attempts which lead the mind to its final goal Nibbana. In the first part of this stage the sage has to go to the cremation grounds and notice the diverse horrifying changes of the human carcases and think how nauseating, loathsome, unsightly and impure they are, and from this he will turn his mind to the living human bodies and convince himself that they being in essence the same as the dead carcases are as loathsome as they [Footnote ref.1] This is called asubhakamma@t@thana or the endeavour to perceive the impurity of our bodies. He should think of the anatomical parts and constituents of the body as well as their processes, and this will help him to enter into the first jhana by leading his mind away from his body. This is called the kayagatasati or the continual mindfulness about the nature of the body [Footnote ref 2]. As an aid to concentration the sage should sit in a quiet place and fix his mind on the inhaling (_passasa_) and the exhaling (_assasa_) of his breath, so that instead of breathing in a more or less unconscious manner he may be aware whether he is breathing quickly or slowly; he ought to mark it definitely by counting numbers, so that by fixing his mind on the numbers counted he may fix his mind on the whole process of inhalation and exhalation in all stages of its course. This is called the anapanasati or the mindfulness of inhalation and exhalation [Footnote ref 3]

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