Translated into English by Sayadaw U Nyana, Patamagyaw of Masoeyein Monastery
Edited by The English Editorial Board
Note to the electronic version:
This electronic version is reproduced directly from the printed version
The text is an English translation from the original Burmese. No attempt has
been made to to change any of the English phraseology. The reason for putting
this book into electronic media is that the book is out of print and the text
has been found very a valuable source of inspiration to those practising Vipassana
meditation, despite using English language which is somewhat archaic.
This electronic version is reproduced directly from the printed version The text is an English translation from the original Burmese. No attempt has been made to to change any of the English phraseology. The reason for putting this book into electronic media is that the book is out of print and the text has been found very a valuable source of inspiration to those practising Vipassana meditation, despite using English language which is somewhat archaic.
Catusaccadhamme sutthu bujjhatitti sambodhi. Sambodhiya ango samboj-jhango. (Can clearly perceive the Four Noble Truths. Hence called sambodhi. Constituent of magga-nana. Hence called sambojjhanga.)
Birds are first delivered from their mothers' wombs in the form of eggs. They are then delivered a second time by breaking the eggs. Thence, when they become full fledged with feathers and wings, they are delivered from their nests, when they can fly wherever they please. In the same way, in the case of yogavacara individuals, they are first delivered from the distractions of mind which have accompanied them through infinite samsara when they successfully set up kayagata-sati or accomplish the work of samatha. Secondly, when they attain vipassana insight into rupa, nama-khandha, etc., they are free from coarse forms of ignorance. Finally, when the seven bojjhanga develop and mature, they become full fledged in lokuttara-magga-nana, and attain the magga-nana known as sambodhi, and thus they are delivered from the state of worldlings. They are delivered from the state of puthujjana and attain the state of ariya--of lokuttara or Nibbana.
There are seven bojjhanga:
The sati-cetasika (mental factor) called satipatthana, satindriya, satibala, samma-sati-magganga, is sati-sambojjhanga.
The panna-cetasika called vimamsiddhipada, pannindriya, panna-bala, sammaditthi-magganga, are all dhammavicaya-sambojjhana. Alternatively, the five panna-visuddhi beginning with ditthi-visuddhi, the three anu-passana-nana, the ten vipassana-nana are called dhammavicaya- sambojjhanga. Just as cotton seeds are milled, carded, etc., so as to produce cotton wool, the process of repeatedly viewing the five khandha with the functions of vipassana-nana is called dhammavicaya.
The viriya-cetasika called sammappadhana, viriyiddhipada, viriyindriya, viriya-bala, and samma-vayama-magganga, are called viriya- sambojjhanga.
The joy and happiness that appears when the process of seeing and knowing increases after the setting up of satipatthana, such as kayagata-sati, is called piti-sambojjhanga.
The process of becoming calm and tranquil in both body and mind when the mental distractions, reflections, aides thoughts abate, is called passaddhi-sambojjhanga. It is the cetasika of kaya-passaddhi and citta- passaddhi.
The samadhi-dhamma called sammadhindriya, sammadhi-bala, and samadhi-magganga, is called samadhi-sambojjhanga. Alternatively, the parikamma-samadhi, upacara-samadhi, appana-samadhi, or the eight sammapatti, associated with the work of samatha and citta-visuddhi, and sunnata-samadhi, animitta-samadhi, appanihita-samadhi, associated with panna-visuddhi, are called samadhi-sambojjhanga. The samadhi that accompanies vipassana-nana, or magga-nana and phala-nana, are called by such names as sunnata-samadhi, animitta-samadhi and appanihita-samadhi.
When the work in kammatthana is as yet not methodical or systematic, much effort has to be exercised both in body and mind, but when the work becomes methodical and systematic, one is freed from such effort. This freedom is called tatramajjhatatta-cetasika (mental factor of equanimity). It is upekkha-sambojjhanga.
When a yogavacara becomes endowed with these seven characteristics of sambodhi equally, be enjoys the joys and pleasures of a samana within the Sasana--joys and pleasures which are unequalled and unparallelled by any worldly joy--just as a universal cakka king, lord of the four great islands and possessor of the seven jewels, enjoys unparallelled and unique ease and comfort.
Thus it is said in the Dhammapada:
Sunnagaram pavitthassa santaci'Ltassa bhikkhuno amanusi rati hoti samma dhammam vipassato. --Verse 373. Yato yato sammasati khandhanam udayabbayam, labhati pitipamojjam amatam tam vijanatam. --Verse 374.[The Bhikkhu who retires to a lonely abode and has a calm mind, experiences joy transcending that of men, as he clearly perceives the dhamma.
The formation and disintegration of whichever part of the body the yogi contemplates, he experiences joy and happiness as he can thereby perceive the Deathless state (Nibbana).]
If the pleasure and joy experienced in vipassana-sukha, which is complete with the seven characteristics of sambodhi, be divided into 256 parts, one part of that joy and pleasure exceeds the worldly joys and plesures of kings among humans, devas, and Brahmas--so great is the joy and pleasure inherent in the sambodhi. Hence also did the Buddha say:
'Sabba rasam dhammaraso jinati' (The flavour of the dhamma exceeds all other flavours.)
There are stories wherein it is related that major diseases and ailments have been cured by the mere hearing of the recitation of these seven characteristics of sambodhi. But, these diseases and ailments can be cured only when the hearers are fully aware of their meaning, and great and clear saddha (faith) arises.
When these seven characteristics or sambodhi are acquired in a balanced manner, the yogavacara can rest assured that there is no deficiency in his kayagata-sati. He can rest assured that there is no deficiency in his perception of anicca or anatta, and in his mental and bodily energy. Because his mind is set at rest in regard to these three factors, he experiences joy in the knowledge that he can now perceive the light of Nibbna which has never before appeared to him in the past infinite samsara, even in his dreams. Because of that joy and ease of mind, his attention on the kammatthana objects becomes extremely calm and steady and upekkha (equanimity) which is free from the anxieties and efforts for mindfulness, perception of anicca and anatta, and the necessity to evoke energy, arises.
All the above statements are made with reference to the stage at which the sambojjhanga are in unison with one another and their respective functions are specially clear. As far as ordinary sambojjhahga are concerned, from the moment kayagata-sati is set up, the dhamma such as sati are known as sambojjhanga.
When the Buddha said that the seven sambojjanga must be practised, as in: Satisambojjhangam bhaveti, viveka nissitam, viraga nissitam, nirodha nissitam, vossaggaparinamim... upekkha sambojjhangam bhaveti, viveka nissitam, viraga nissitam, nirodha nissitam, vossaggaparinamim',  it is meant that in the ordinary course, the process of setting up kayagata-sati (such as out-breath and in-breath) amounts to the setting up of the seven bojjhanga. For the distinctive and specific setting up of the bojjhanga, see the Commentary on the Bojjhanga Vibhanga.
The meaning of the Pali passage above is: 'One should practise sati-sambojjhanga which is dependent on the absence of all kinds of activities and anxieties, of lust and greed, or suffering attendant on the round of rebirths, and on the abandonment of the four substratum of upadhi.
Viveka nisita, viraga nissita, nirodha nissita, mean 'having no leanings towards bhava-sampatti and bhoga-sampatti, attempting to destroy the great realm of latent sakkaya-ditthi in this very 1ife, and thus is free from dependence on the round of rebirths.' Vivatta nissita means freeing oneself day by day from the attachments of sensuous passions, the meanings of bojjhanga, sambojjanga, and sambodhi anga are identical.
123. Please see footnote to Chapter V, ibid.
124. Universal Monarch. Please see The Light of the Dhamma,
Vol. VII, No. 1, p. 28.
125. Dhammapada verse 354
126. Please see The Light of the Dhamma, Vol. VII, No. 1, p.9
127. Abhidhamma Pitaka, Vibhanga Pali, 10 Bojjanga Vibhanga, p. 238 6th
128. Sammohavinodani Atthakatha, 1. Suttanta-bhajaniya-vannana
p. 296, 6th Syn. Edn.
129. There are four kinds of upadhi. They are:
1. Kamupadhi: attachment to sensuous pleasures;
2. Kilesupadhi: attachment to mind-defiling passions;
3. Abhisankarupadhi: attachment to performance of merits, etc.
4. Khandupadhi: attachments to the five constituent groups of
130. Attainment of happy planes of existence.
131. Attainment of wealth
Preface and Introduction
I, The Bodhipakkhiya Dhamma and II, The Four Satipatthana
III, The Four Sammappadhana
IV, The Four Iddhipadda
V, The Five Indriya
VI, The Five Bala (or Balani)
VIII, The Eight Magganga
IX, How to practise The Bodhipakkhiya-Dhamma
X, Heritage of the Sasana
Index - The Bodhipakkhiya-Dipani
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