FOUR GUARDIAN MEDITATIONS - Buddhism, Philosophy, and Khmer Literature


Buddhism, Philosophy, and Khmer Literature

The teachings of the Buddha are aimed solely at liberating sentient beings from suffering. The Basic Teachings of Buddha which are core to Buddhism are: The Three Universal Truths; The Four Noble Truths; and The Noble Eightfold Path.

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Monday, June 10, 2019


(Caturārakkha Kammaṭṭhānas)
To Protect Oneself from Internal and External Dangers

            'Caturārakkho kammaṭṭhānas' means 'four guardian meditation subjects'. They are used to protect oneself from internal and external dangers.
            The internal dangers are the five hindrances (nīvaraṇas) and other defilements (kilesas) that arise together with the mind. and defile and taint the mind to be unwholesome and uncultured. The five hindrances are our closest enemies which prevent us from performing meritorious deeds, and obstruct the arising of moral con­sciousness. jhāna and magga in our meditation.
            The external dangers come from wicked persons, dangerous animals like tigers, wolves, snakes, scorpions, centipedes, and ghosts, ogres, ogresses, etc. One may encounter these dangers especially when one meditates alone in the forest.
            To ward off these dangers, one should first under­take the guardian meditations at least for a few minutes before one practises the special meditation subject (parihāriya kammaṭṭhāna) for developing concentration.
            The four guardian meditation subjects are:
Mettā bhāvanā -- radiating loving kindness.
Buddhānussati -- reflecting on the attributes of the Buddha,
Asubha bhāvanā - reflecting on the repulsiveness of a corpse, and
Maraṇānussati - reflecting on the nature of death.
            These four meditation subjects serve as 'sabbatthakakammaṭṭhānas', that is, meditation subjects generally desirable in all matters.
            Before a bhikkhu residing in a monastery takes up his special meditation subject, he should first develop lov­ing-kindness towards all bhikkhus in the monastery and then to the community of bhikkhus. He should sincerely radiate loving kindness thus:
            May all be free from danger:
            May they be free from mental suffering;
            May they be free from bodily pain;
            May they be healthy and happy always.'
            Then he should radiate loving-kindness to all dei­ties, to the rulers of the village of his alms resort to all human beings in the village, and to all living beings in general.
            By radiating loving-kindness in this way he pro­duces kindness in his co-residents; so they are easy for him to live with. Kindly deities will protect him, and the village-rulers will protect his requisites. He is loved by men and deities alike. So he can go among the villagers without incurring their dislike since they trust him. With loving-kindness to all living beings he can wander unhindered every-where.
            Besides his mind is calm, tranquil, and joyful while his countenance is clear, serene, and pleasant. Since he wins the love of everybody, no one will try to cause him harm.
            Then he should reflect on the attributes of the Bud­dha very respectfully. By doing so he is permeating his mind and body with the noble attributes. Thus his body will become as sacred as the special fragrance chamber of the Buddha. So his enemies, wild animals and ghosts will not do harm to him. Moreover, Buddhānussati will strengthen his faith and confidence in the Buddha as well as his mindfulness and wisdom.
            Furthermore, he should also practise asubha bhāvanāby reflecting on the repulsiveness of a corpse. This will subdue his lust and sever his attachment to his body as well as to other peoples bodies. When he is well established in the perception of loathsomeness, even divine objects cannot tempt his mind to greed.
            Finally but not last, he should practise maranānussatiby reflecting on the nature of death. He should reflect in this way: 'My being alive is uncertain, but my death is certain'. The perception of death will subdue his pride, greed and anger. It will help him to give up improper search and to live without attachment with a growing sense of urgency.
            Moreover, a meditator or yogi should always prac­tise the four guardian meditations while he is perform­ing his daily duties. As soon as he wakes up in the morning, he should reflect 'arahaṃ, arahaṃ', contemplating the noble attribute of the Buddha.
            When he washes his face, and the face is in con­tact with cool water, he should contemplate: `May all beings be cool, calm. and pleasant as this cool, clear wa­ter.'
            While he brushes his teeth, washes his mouth, takes a bath, defecates and urinates, he should contem­plate on the repulsiveness of the body.
            When he goes to bed, he contemplates thus: 'A day has passed by, I am coming closer to death by one more day. My being alive is uncertain, and my death is certain.'
            If he always practises the four guardian medita­tions daily at appropriate times, he will ward off all dangers, materialize his good wishes, and develop his five powers or controlling faculties - viz., faith, effort, mindfulness, concentration or one-pointedness of the mind, and wisdom. This will enhance his ability to un­dertake his special meditation effectively.
            Now Buddhānussati and Maraṇānussati, if un­dertaken correctly, will lead to the access concentration (upacārasamādhi) whereas asubha bhāvanā will lead to the first jhāna.
            Mettā bhāvanā, again if practised correctly, will lead to the third rūpāvacarajhāna in the fourfold jhāna method, or to the fourth rūpāvacara jhāna in the fivefold jhānamethod. All these mental concentrations can he used as the basis for proceeding to insight meditation (vipassanā bhāvanā).
            Thus the four guardian meditations. When devel­oped fully, will be very beneficial and very effective for warding off all dangers, for protecting oneself and for developing the sterling qualities in oneself. So the essen­tial instruction will be given for developing each guardian meditation to the fullest extent.

Developing Loving-kindness (Mettā Bhāvanā)
            Loving-kindness is included in the four divine abidings (Brahma Vihāra). A meditator who wants to develop loving-kindness, if he is a beginner, should sever the major and minor impediments and learn the medita­tion subject from a qualified teacher.
            Then, when he has done the work connected with the meal and got rid of any drowsiness due to eating, he should seat himself comfortably on a well-prepared seat in a secluded place.
            To start with, he should review the evils of hate and the advantages of forbearance. Why? Because hate has to be abandoned and forbearance acquired in the development of this meditation subject.
            But he is not able to put away any unseen evil or to acquire any unknown advantage; therefore the evils of hate should be considered through such Suttas as:
            "No higher rule, the Buddhas say, than patience,
            And no Nibbāna higher than forbearance." (D. ii, 49; Dh. 184)
            "Him I call a brahman who is strong in forbearance,
            who makes an army of it." (Dh. 399)

            " Angerless does he endure abuse, beating and imprisonment,
            patience his power and armed might - that one I call a Brahmana. " (Dh. 399)

            "No greater thing exists than forbearance. " (S. i, 22 2)

            Hate, hatred or anger stands for the immoral men­tal factor 'dosa', which is the most destructive element in the world. Before it destroys others, it will destroy one first. As soon as hate arises in the mind, anger­ rooted consciousness occurs in association with igno­rance, moral shamelessness, moral fearlessness and rest­lessness of the mind. So one becomes distracted, loses one's sense of judgement, being ready to perform im­moral actions at any time.
            Anger-rooted consciousness is also accompanied with painful mental feeling which agitates the mind. An­ger or hate will also give rise to sorrow, grief, lamenta­tion and despair. It is the direct enemy of loving-kind­ness. If anger or hate is present in the mind, loving-kindness cannot arise. So if we want to develop loving­-kindness, hate must be driven away.
            Loving-kindness and forbearance are the two quali­ties of the same beautiful mental factor called 'adosa', which is the direct opposite of 'dosa'. So by cultivating forbearance, anger or hate can be suppressed and loving-­kindness can be developed. So the Buddha admired for­bearance as the most noble austere practice.

To whom loving-kindness should not be cultivated first
            Loving-kindness should not be developed first towards the following persons.
            1. Persons one does not hold dear,
            2. Very dear friends.
            3. Neutral persons.
            4. Enemies,
            5. Persons of the opposite sex.
            6. Dead persons.
            The persons one does not hold dear are the ones who do not act for one's welfare but act for the welfare of one's enemies. To develop loving-kindness towards such a person means to put an unloved person in the place of a dear one. So this will make one tired.
            Again to develop loving-kindness towards a very dear friend means to put him in the place of a neutral person, and should he experience the slightest pain, one feels disposed to weep. So this will also make one tired.
            A neutral person is one whom one neither loves nor hates. To develop loving-kindness towards a neu­tral person means to put him in the place of a respected person or a dear person. So this will also make one tired.
            When one thinks of one's enemy, anger arises, and so one cannot develop loving-kindness towards him.
            Thus one should not develop loving-kindness first towards the above four types of persons.
            Also one should not specifically develop loving­-kindness towards persons of the opposite sex, for if one does, lust will arise in him. So a male yogī should not develop loving-kindness specifically to a woman, and vice versa.
            However, after one attains mettā-jhāna and has broken the barriers between persons (sīmāsambheda), one can radiate loving-kindness to persons of the oppo­site sex in general such as sabbā itthiyo (all female persons) and sabbe purisā (all male persons).
            One should never develop loving-kindness to­wards dead persons, for if one does so, one reaches neither absorption nor access.        (Visuddhi, Myanmar, i, 287-8)

The Order of Persons to be permeated with Loving-kindness
One should first develop loving-kindness towards four persons in the order given below:
            1   Atta– oneself,
            2    Piya– a dear person including a respectable or adorable person.
            3    Majjatta – a neutral person whom one neither loves nor hates,
            4    Verienemy.
            The initial development of loving-kindness to­wards oneself refers to making oneself an example. For even one develops loving-kindness for a hundred or a thousand years in this way 'ahaṃ sukhito homi: may I be happy', absorption will not arise.
            But if one develops loving-kindness in this way 'May I be happy. Just as I want to be happy and dread pain, as I want to live and not to die, sodo other beings too', making oneself the example, then a desire for other be­ings' welfare and happiness arises in him. And this method is indicated by the Buddha himself by his words:
            "I visited all quarters with my mind
            Nor found I any dearer than myself
            Self is likewise to every other dear;
            Who loves himself will never harm another."
                                            (S. i, 75;  Ud.  47)      
            In accordance with these instructions, inorder to make one's mind tender and malleable, to make oneself an example and develop sympathy and consideration for others, one should first pervade oneself with loving ­kindness for some times as follows.
            1  Ahaṃ avero homi
            2  Avyāpajjho homi
            3  Anīgho homi
            4  Sukhī attānaṃ pariharāmi.

            1  May I be free fom enmity.
            2  May I be free from mental suffering.
            3  May I be free from bodily pain.
            4  May I be well and happy.
            After pervading oneself with loving-kindness, in order to proceed easily, one should develop loving-kind­ness towards one's teacher or a person like him, one's preceptor or a person like him, whom one adores and res­pects.
            One should call to mind that person's generosity, affectionate words, etc., to inspire love and endearment, and also that person's morality, learning, etc., to inspire respect and reverence. Then one should develop loving­-kindness towards that person in the following manner. With such a person. of course, one attains jhāna absorption.
          Ayaṃ sappuriso        
            1 Avero hotu
          2  Avyāpajjho hotu
          3  Anīgho hotu
          4  Sukhī attānaṃ pariharātu.
May this good man be:
                        1  free from enmity,
                        2   free from mental suffering,
                        3  from from bodily pain,
                        4  well and happy.
            If the meditator has already attained the fourth jhāna by his practice of Ānāpānassati, or better by his meditation on white kasiṇa, then making this jhānaconcentration as the foundation of his meditation, he can quickly attain mettā-jhāna in developing loving-­kindness.
            In this case the meditator first develops the four jhāna by practising Ānāpānassati or better by medita­tion on the counter image of the white kasiṇa. The con­centration based on white kasiṇa is better, because it is accompanied with more brilliant light. When the medi­tation light becomes very brilliant and dazzling, he emerges from the fourth jhāna and focusses his mind on his teacher or a person of the same sex whom he loves and respects very much. The person will easily appear in the brilliant light.
            Among the various postures of the person the yogī should choose the posture that he likes best. He should also visualize the happiest smiling appearance of the per­son that he has ever seen. He should visualize the person to be about six feet in front of him. Then focussing his attention on that person, he develops loving-kindness to­wards that person in the way mentioned earlier.
            This development of loving-kindness will progress smoothly and quickly as it has the powerful support of the fourth-jhāna samādhi developed by either Ānāpānassati or white-kasṇa meditation. That jhāna samādhi acts as powerful dependent condition. Because of that jhāna samādhi, the meditator's mind is calm and concentrated, free from all defilements, tender and mal­leable, and ready to undertake meditation.
            After developing loving-kindness in four ways towards that respectable person, the meditator chooses one way which he likes best. Suppose he chooses the way 'May this good man be free from mental suffering'. Then, visualizing the happiest form of that person with his face smiling, the yogī reflects repeatedly 'May this good man be free from mental suffering'. This medita­tion on loving-kindness takes concept (paññatti) as its object; so the mind should be fixed on `satta paññatti’, the concept of living beings.
            When the meditator's mind is calm, quiet, tran­quil, and well concentrated on the form of the respect­able person who is smiling and free from mental suffer­ing for one hour or more, he should reflect on the jhāna factors. If the jhāna factors - vitakka, vicāra, pīti, sukha, ekaggatā-appear clearly in his wisdom-eye, then it can be assumed that he has attained the first jhāna.
            After practising to acquire mastery in five ways with respect to the first jhāna, he eliminates vitakka and vicāra to attain the second jhāna. Then again after practising to acquiremastery in five ways with respect to the second jhāna, he eliminates pīti to attain the third jhāna. He can­not go higher to the fourth jhāna, because loving-kind­ness cannot associate together with equanimity (upekkhā) in the mind.
            Then he develops loving-kindness by reflecting in the remaining three ways, one after another, going up to the third jhāna in each case. When he is reflecting 'May this good man he free from enmity', he should visualize the man to be free from enmity. Again when he is reflecting `May this good man be free from bodily pain', he should visualize the person to be free from bodily pain. And when he is reflecting 'May this good man be well and happy`, again he should visualize the person to be well and happy. He should also develop loving-kindness to acquire mastery in five ways with respect to each of these jhānas.
            According to the instructions given in Visuddhi Magga (i, 289) and Mahāṭīka (i, 354), one should de­velop loving-kindness up to the third jhāna towards each person. As there are four ways for developing loving-­kindness, one should attain the third jhāna in each way.
            As the attitude wishing the respectable and ador­able person to be free from enmity, to be free from men­tal suffering, to be free from bodily pain, and to be well and happy are not the qualities of equanimity, the fourth jhāna which is associated with equanimity cannot be at­tained.
            When the meditator attains success in the manner described above, he should develop loving-kindness in the same way towards another respectable and ador­able person. He should develop loving-kindness succefully towards at least ten such persons.
            Then he should develop loving-kindness in the same way towards very dear persons including parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, one after an­other. The persons should be of the same sex as the yogi, and the third jhāna should be attained in each of the four ways of developing loving-kindness.
            Then the yogī should develop loving-kindness in the same way towards at least ten neutral persons of the same sex one after another. He should visualize each one clearly in his brilliant meditation light, and develop lov­ing-kindness in four ways towards the person. He should reach the third jhāna in each way and acquire mastery in five ways with respect to all jhānas.
            Then he should develop loving-kindness in the same way to his enemies or persons he hates. All the per­sons towards whom loving-kindness is being radiated must be of the same sex as one and must be living. If one does not have any enemy or hated person, then one does not develop loving-kindness towards enemies.
             Before one develops mettā towards an enemy, one should develop it first on respectable and adorable per­ons, then towards dear persons, and then towards neu­tral persons until one attains the third jhāna in each case. When the mind is tender, malleable, and well-developed, and the meditation light is very intense and bright, then one visualizes the enemy in the meditation light and develops loving-kindness in four ways towards him: "May he be free from enmity, free from mental suffer­ing, free from bodily pain, and may he be well and happy."
            After radiating mettā in this way a few times, one chooses the way one likes most, and develops lov­ing-kindness towards the enemy in this way till one at­tains the third jhāna.
             If one cannot attain jhāna due to the resentment towards the enemy, one must drive away the resentment by reflecting in many ways as described in Visuddhi Magga. For example, one may reflect on the good quali­ties of the enemy while neglecting his bad qualities just as one removes the bones from the meat and eats only the meat.
             If one cannot still make one's resentment or an­ger subside, one should reflect Anamatakka Saṃyutta in which the Buddha described that in the long chain of one's uncountable existences in the round of rebirths (saṃsāra), there is no being who has not been related to one as father, mother, son, daughter, brother or sister, etc.
             If one's anger or resentment does not subside yet, then one should develop compassion towards him by re­flecting that all worldlings are subjected to old age, sick­ness, death and woeful suffering. Or he may reflect on the great benefits of developing loving-kindness. When one's anger or hatred towards the enemy has subsided, one can develop loving-kindness towards that person up to the third jhāna.
            One should cultivate loving-kindness in this way towards all one's enemies one after another. One should also practise to acquire mastery in five ways with re­spect to all these jhāna.

The Breaking of Barriers between Persons (Sīmāsambheda)
When one can develop loving-kindness  equally towards the four types of persons:
Atta- oneself
2  Piya - dear person including adorable and respectable persons and very dear friends.
3  Majjhatta - neutral person whom one nei­ther loves nor hates.
4 Veri - enemy or a person one hates,
and when one can eliminate the demarcations differenti­ating them as 'This is I, this is a dear person, this is a neutral person, this is an enemy', having no preference to any one to let him enjoy bliss or suffer pain, then one is said to have broken the barriers between persons or attained 'Sīmāsambheda’.
            We should dvelop loving-kindness to be boundless and limitless like this to make it fully bloom. To achieve this goal one must develop equal jhāna-mettā towards dear persons, towards neutral persons, and to­wards enemies after cultivating mettā in oneself for some time.
            First one should develop the fourth jhāna of Ānāpānassatior better of white kasina that one has al­ready attained. When the meditation light becomes intense and bright, one should develop loving-kindness towards oneself for a few minutes. One cannot attain absorption by pervading oneself with mettā.
            Then one should visualize a dear person to ap­pear in the meditation light and develop loving-kindness in the way described above to attain the third jhāna. Next one visualizes an enemy to appear in the medita­tion light and develop loving-kindness  to the third jhāna again.
            Next one cultivates loving-kindness towards one­self for a few minutes, and then to another dear person, another neutral person, and another enemy, one alter another up till the third jhāna. Next again one develops loving-kindness towards oneself, towards another dear person, another neutral person, and another enemy up till the third jhāna as before.
            Thus changing the dear person, the neutral per­son, and the enemy each time, one develops loving-kindness  towards atta, piya, majjhatta, verī, atta, piya, majjhatta, verī, and so on for many times. One cultivates loving-kindness up to the third jhāna every time one develops mettā towards the dear person, the neutral person and the enemy, thus maintaining equal love towards all of them.
            When one can maintain equal love towards one­self, the dear person, the neutral person, and the enemy, one attains sīmāsambhedha, that is one has broken the barriers between various persons. This means that one can truly love all persons as oneself.
            This method of developing loving-kindness is successfully practised in International Buddha Sāsana Centres, Myanmar.

Developing 528 Modes of Mettā according to Paṭisambhidā Pāḷi
            According to Visuddhimagga (I,302) the attain­ment of sīmāsambhedha is successful only in one whose mind has reached jhāna in developing loving-kindness. Again the devlopment of 528 modes of  mettā can be fully successful only in one whose mind has reached absorption and who has attained sīmāsambhedha in de­veloping loving-kindness.
            In developing 528 modes of mettā:
1. The mind-deliverance of loving-kindness (mettā cetovimutti) is practised with unspecified pervasion in five ways;
2.  The mind-deliverance of loving-kindness is prac­tised with specified pervasion in seven ways, and
3.  The mind-deliverance of loving-kindness is practised with directional pervasion in ten ways. (Ps. ii, 130)

(1) Anodhiso Phāranā Mettā Cetovimutti
The Mind-deliverance of loving-kindness is practised with unspecfied pervasion in 5 ways:
1   Sabbe sattā - all living beings,
2   Sabbe pāṇā - all breathing beings,
3   Sabbe bhūtā - all creatures with distinct bodies, 
4   Sabbe puggalā - all persons,
5  Sabbe attabhāva pariyāpannā - all those who have a personality.
            These five kinds of unspecified beings are pervade with loving-kindness in four ways each:
1   Sabbe sattā
(i)  averā hontu,
(ii) avyāpajjhā hontu,
(iii) anighā hontu,
(iv) sukhī attānaṃ pariharantu.

May all living beings be:
Free from enmity (cultivate up to third Jhāna)
Free from mental suffering (cultivate up to third Jhāna)
Free from bodily pain (cultivate up to the third jhāna)
Well and happy (Cultivate up to the third jhāna)
Repeat with the remaining four types of persons. (1) Total modes of mettā = 4x5=20

(2) Odhiso Phāranā Mettā Cetovimutti
The mind-deliverance of loving-kindness is peractised with specified pervasion in 7 ways:
Sabbā iṭṭhiyo             – all female beings
Sabbe purisā              – all male beings
Sabbe ariyā                – all noble persons
Sabbe anariyā            – all not noble persons or worldlings
Sabbe devā                – all deities or gods
Sabbe manussā         – all human beings
Sabbe vinipātikā       – all woeful beings in four lower abodes
These seven kinds of specified beings are pervaded with loving-kindess in four ways each:
1. Sabbā itthiyo        
(i) Averā hontu
(ii) Avyāpajjhā hontu,
(iii) Anīghā hontu
(iv) Sukhī attānaṃ pariharantu.
1. May all female beings be
(i) free from enmity (cultivate up to the third Jhāna)
(ii) free from mental suffering (cultivate up to the third Jhāna)
(iii) free from bodily pain (cultivate up to the third jhāna)
(iv) Well and happy (cultivate up to the third Jhāna)
Repeat with the remaining six kinds of beings. (2) Total modes of mettā = 7x4=28
Total modes of mettā (1)+(2) = 20+28=48

(3) Disā Phāranā Mettā Cetovimutti
The mind-deliverance of loving-kindness is prac­tised with directional pervasion in ten ways:
1 Puratthimāya disāya        - the eastern direction,
2 Pacchimāya disāya           - the western direction,
3 Uttarāya disāya                 - the northern direction,
4 Dakkhiṇāya disāya            - the southern direction.
5 Puratthimāya ānudisāya      - south-east direction,
6 Pacchirnāya ānudisāya         - north-west direction,
7 Uttarāya ānudisāya            - north-east direction.
8 Dakkhiṇāya ānudisāya    south-east direction,
9 Heṭṭhimāya disāya            – in the downward direction,
10 Uparimāya disāya          – in the upward direction.
            Sabbe sattā, sabbe pāṇā, sabbe bhūtā, sabbe puggalā, sabbe attabhāvapariyāpannā; sabbā itthiyo, sabbe purisā, sabbe ariyā, sabbe anariyā, sabbe devā, sabbe manussā, sabbe vinipātikā averā hontu, avyāpajjhā hontu, anighā hontu, sukhī attanaṃ pariharantu.

1 May all living beings in the eastern direction be
(i) free from enmity (cultivate up to third jhāna).
(ii) free from mental suffering (cultivate up to third jhāna).
(iii) free from bodily pain (cultivate up to third jhāna),
(iv) well and happy. (cultivate up to third jhāna).
Repeat with the remaining eleven kinds of beings.
Total modes of mettā = 12 kinds of beings x 4 ways =48

(2) May all living beings in the western direction be
(i) free from enmity (cultivate up to third jhāna)
(ii) free from mental suffering (cultivate up to third jhāna)
(iii) free from bodily pain (cultivate up to third jhāna )
(iv) well and happy (cultivate up to third jhāna)
Repeat with the remaining eleven kinds of beings.
Total modes of mettā = 12 kinds of persons x 4 ways = 48

(3) to (10) Repeat as above for the remaining eight directions.
(3) Total modes of mettā for ten directions = 48 x 10=­480
(1)+(2) Total modes of mettā without specifying directions = 48
(1)+(2)+(3) Total modes of mettā = 528

            So altogether there are 528 modes of mettā ab­sorptions. If one lives with any one of these absorp­tions, pervading all beings with loving-kindness, then one is truly living in the divine abiding.
            It is described in Dīghanikāya (D. i, 250: Vbh. 272) as follows:
            “So  mettāsahagatena cetasā ekaṃ disaṃ pharitvā viharati. Tathā dutiyaṃ. Tathā  tatiyaṃ.  Tathā  catutthaṃ.  Iti  uddhamadho  tiriyaṃ sabbadhi sabbattatāya   sabbāvantaṃ   lokaṃ  mettāsahagatena  cetasā  vipulena  mahaggatena appamāṇena averena abyāpajjena pharitvā viharati."

            "He dwells pervading one direction with his heart endued with loving-kindness, likewise the second direction, likewise the second direction, likewise the third direction, likewise the fourth direction and so above, below, and around; everywhere and equally without any discrimination between ­various types of beings he dwells pervading the entire world with his heart endued with loving-kindness, abundant, exalted, measureless, free from enmity, and free from affliction."
            This versatility of radiating loving-kindness at will comes about only in one whose consciousness has reached absorption in the first jhāna and the rest.

The Eleven Advantages of Loving-kindness
            The meditator who developes the mind-deliver­ance of loving-kindness through any one of these kinds of absorption obtains the following advantages.
            1 He sleeps comfortably and happily.
            2 He wakes comfortably and happily.
            3 He dreams no evil dreams.
            4 He is dear to and beloved by human beings.
            5 He is dear to and beloved by non-human beings in­cluding deities.
            6 Deities guard him as a mother and father guard their child.
            7 Fire, poison and weapons do not affect him.
            8 His mind is easily concentrated.
            9 The expression of his face is serene.
            10 He dies unconfused. He passes away undeluded as if falling asleep.
          11 If he penetrates no higher than the attainment of loving-kindness to attain Arahantship, then when he dies he will be reborn as a brahma.

• Recollection of the Enlightened One (Buddhānussati)
            Buddhānussati is the first of the ten Recollec­tions (Anussatis). It is the repeated recollections of the attributes of the Buddha.
            Development of Buddhānussati comes to suc­cess in him who has absolute confidence (aveccappasāda), not in any other. The absolute confi­dence is one of the first three 'factors of stream entry' (S.v, 196). It is the unshakeable confidence accompained with clarity of mind brought about by the correct under­standing of the Noble Path. It is not moved and shaken by the wind of wrong belief. However, the confidence which is similar to the Noble Path condidence (Ariya-magga saddhā) may also be taken as the absolute con­fidence.
            Now a meditator with absolute confidence who wants to practise Buddhānussati should go into solitary retreat in a favourable abode and recollect the special at­tributes of the Enlightened One as follows:
"Itipi so Bhagavā,     -Arahaṃ
He should recollect repeatedly with the correct understanding of the attributes as follows.
1. So Bhagavā itipi Arahaṃ
            The Blessed One is known as Arahaṃ bacause he has destroyed all defilements and become noble, worthy of special veneration by all men, devas and brahmas.
2. So Bhagavā itipi Sammāsambuddho
            The Blessed One is known as Sammāsambuddho because he is fully enlightened             understanding all that should be understood by himself.
3. So Bhagavā itipi Vijjācaraṇasampanno
            The Blessed One is known as Vijjācaraṇasampanno because he is endowed with    supreme wisdom and virtuous conduct.
4. So Bhagavā itipi Sugato
            The Blessed One is known as Sugato because of be­ing gone to an excellent place   (Nibbāna) and because he speaks only what is true and beneficial.
5.  So Bhagavā itipi Lokavidū
            The Blessed One is known as Lokavidū because he knows three worlds: the world            of beings (satta-loka), the world of formations (saṅkhāraloka) and the world of         location (okāsa-loka)
6. So Bhagavā itipi Anuttaropurisadammasārathi
            The Blessed One is known as Anuttaropurisadammasārathi because he is             incomparable in taming those who deserve to be tamed.
7. So Bhagavā itipi Satthā devamanussānaṃ
          The Blessed One is known as Satthā devamanussānaṃ because he is the         guiding teacher of gods (devas and brahmas) and men.
8. So Bhagavā itipi Buddho
            The Blessed One is known as Buddhobecause he himself is enlightened and he can enlighten others to know the four Noble Truths and become noble persons (Arivas).
9. So Bhagavā itipi Bhagavā
            The Blessed One is known as Bhagavā because he is the most exalted and blessed One. He is blessed with special qualities such as six kinds of glory Issariya,      Dhamma, Yassa, Sīri, Kāma, Payatta..
Issariya          - the ability to control one's mind skilfully as one wishes;
Dhamma        - the ability to realize very skilfully the four Path-wisdoms (Magga-ñāṇas), the four Fruition-wisdoms (Phala-ñāṇas), and Nibbāna, known as the nine Lokuttaradhamma.
Yassa              - the ability to have one's fame spread out truly in all directions throughout the human world, the deva world. and the brahma world;
Siri             - the ability to have a well proportioned and fully developed body with comely, sublime, and ado­rable appearance, haying thirty-two major distinctive features and eighty minor characteris­tic signs on the person of the Buddha:
Kāma              - the ability to accomplish supernormal perfor­mances immediately as one wishes:
Payatta           - the supreme effort which supports one to reach the summit.
            When the meditator is recollecting the Buddha's attributes as above repeatedly, his mind is not obsessed or distressed by greed, by hate or by delusion; but it is quite upright with the Buddha's attributes as its object.
            When his mind is not obsessed by greed, hate and delusion, he has suppressed all the hindrances, and his mind faces the meditation subject with rectitude. Then his initial application (vitakka) and sustained ap­plication (vicāra) occur with an inclination towards the Buddha's special qualities. By reflecting on the Buddha's attributes, he continues to exercise vitakka and vicāra; and soon joy (pīti) arises in him.
            With his mind joyful, with joy with proximate cause, his bodily and mental distrurbances are tranquil­lized by tranquillity (passaddhi). When the disturbances have been tranquillized, bodily and mental bliss (sukha) arises in him. When he is blissful, his mind becomes concentrated with the Blessed One's attributes as its object. And so the jhāna factors eventually arises in a single moment.
            However, as the attributes of the Buddha are pro­found, and the meditator is being occupied by recollect­ing the special qualities of many sorts, the jhāna is only access and does not reach absorption. In other words, the neighbourhood concentration (upacāra-samādhi) is the highest concentration one can attain in practising Buddhānussati. And this access jhāna itself is also called `Buddhānussati', because it arises with the recollection of the Buddha's special qualities as the means.

• A quick Way of Developing `Buddhānussati'
            For a meditator who has already attained the fourth jhāna by practising Ānāpānassati or white kasiṇa, he should first develop the fourth jhāna which is accompained with very bright and penetrative light. With the help of this light he recalls or visualizes a Buddha statue which he adores and respects. When he sees the statue clearly in the light, he should pay homage to it, assuming it to he the real living Buddha. If he has seen a real Buddha in one of his past existences, that Buddha's image may appear in his vision.
            He should then chance his attention from the Buddha's image to the Buddha's attribute and reflect on it again and again. If the Buddha's image does not appear, he should regard the Buddha statue that appears in his medi­tation light as the real Buddha and reflect on the Buddha's attribute repeatedly.
            He should reflect on all the nine attributes of the Buddha one after another, and then choose the one at­tribute which he likes best and reflect on it repeatedly for example, `arahaṃ, arahaṃ'. When his concentra­tion grows in strength, the Buddha's image will disappear while his mind remains focussed on the special attribute. If it is so, he should not try to recall or search for the Buddha's image; he should just focus his mind on the at­tribute.
            With the strong support of the fourth jhāna con­centration, he will soon attain the access jhāna in Buddhānussati. When his mind remains calmly focussed on the attribute for one hour or more without any dis­traction, he should view the jhāna factors.         He will realize that he has reached the access jhāna as he can see the jhāna factors to be well developed.
            He should then reflect on the remaining attributes of the Buddha one after another until he attains access jhāna in each case. He should also practise to acquire mastery with respect to this access jhāna.

• The Benefits of Buddhānussati
            A meditator who attains access jhāna in recol­lecting the attributes of the Buddha will gain the following benefits.
1    He reverses his Teacher, the Buddha, with great res­pect.
2    He attains fullness of faith or confidence in the Buddha.
3    He attains good mindiulness.
4    He develops wisdom and understanding
5    He gains a lot of merit.
6    He has much joy and happiness (bliss).
7    He overcomes fear and dread.
8    He is able to endure pain.
9    He comes to feel as if he were living in the Master's presence.
10 His body, permeated and inhibited by the Buddha's attributes, becomes as worthy of veneration as a cham­ber of relics.
11  His mind bends towards the sphere of the Buddha.
12 When he encounters an opportunity to commit an immoral action, he feels ashamed and frightened to commit it as though he were in front of the Teacher.
13  Even if he does not attain Path-consciousness and its Fruition in the present existence, he is at least headed for a happy destiny.

• Meditation on Foulness (Asubha Bhāvanā-)
            The meditation on foulness is a very beneficial meditation subject. It is much praised by the Buddha for, it is the most effective meditaition subject for subduing lust (rāga). Indeed the rāga-orge is most afraid of this meditation subject for it is conquered by the perception of foulness (asubha-saññā).
            The meditation on foulness was made a compul­sory meditation subject for new bhikkhu at the time of the Buddha. A bhikkhu, who has successfully meditated on foulness, can easily subdue his lust by the perception of foulness and thus behave calmly and serenely like an Arahant.
            Ten kinds of corpses suitable for meditation on foulness are described in Visudhimagga (the Path of Purification).
1 Uddhumātatka– rotten, bloated corpse;
2 Vinīlaka-  blue-black corpse with patchy discolouration;
3 Vipubbaka - festering corpse with pus oozing out,
4 Vicchiddaka- a corpse cut in the middle;
5 Vikhāyitaka - a gnawned corpse
6Vikkhittaka - scattered corpse, i.e. the limbs, the head, etc., are scattered here and there;
7 Hatavikkhittaka - the hacked and scattered corpse;
8 Lohitaka - blood-smeared corpse;
9 Puḷuvaka - worm-infested corpse;
10Aṭṭhika - a skeleton.
            The meditator who wants to undertake asubhabhāvanā should first learn the meditation subject from a qualified teacher. The teacher should explain it all, that is, the directions for going to the corpse with the aim of acquiring the sign of foulness, for characterizing the surrounding signs, for apprehending the sign of foul­ness in the corpse in eleven ways, for reviewing the path of goingand coming, and for attaining the jhāna in the meditation subject.
            When the meditator has learnt it all well, he should go to a suitable abode or monastery and live there while seeking a suitable corpse. He should make the acquaintance of the man who looks after a cemetery and seek his help for finding the kind of corpse which he wants to use for the meditation on foulness. The corpse must be of the same sex as the meditator.
            The meditator should go alone to the corpse at a quiet time without renouncing his basic meditation sub­ject and keeping it always in mind. He should approach the corpse down wind and stand where the corpse ap­pears clearly, and his mind is earnest, energetic and un­der control, he should stand not too far off or too near, or too much towards the feet or the head.
            Then he should characterize the surrounding signs, that is, he notes carefully the features of the things around the corpse such as a stone or anthill or tree or bush.
            Then he should apprehend the sign or corpse in the following six ways:
1.   By its colour - note whether it is the body of one who is black, brown or white.
2.   By its mark - note whether it is the body of one who is young, middle-aged or old.
3.   By its shape - note the shape of its head, neck, hand, chest, belly, hips, thigh, calf, foot, one after another.
4.   By its direction - note that from the navel down­wards is the lower direction, and that from the navel upwards is the upper direction.
5.   By its location - note the location of the head, the hand, the foot, the middle of the body.
6.   By its delimitation - he can define thus: "This body is delimited below by thc soles of the feet, above by the tips of the hair, all round by the skin; the space so delimited is filled with thirty two pieces of corpse."
            If he could not develop the acquired sign (uggahanimitta) with such notations, he should apprehend the corpse again in five more ways:
7.   By its joints - note three joints in the right arm, three in the left arm, three in the right leg, three in the left leg, one neck joint and one waist joint which make up fourteen ma­jor joints. All together there are one hundred and eighty joints.
8.   By its openings - note the opening or the hol­low between the arm and the side, the open­ing between the legs, the opening of the ear.
      Also note the opened or closed state of the eyes as well as of the mouth.
9.   By its concavities - note the concavities of the eye-sockets, of the mouth, of the neck, or of any concave place on the body.
10. By its convexities - note any raised place on the body such as the knees, the chest, the nose, the forehead, etc.
11. By its surrounding - the whole body of the corpse should be defined all round and with respect to its surrounding.
            After noting the whole body in detail with medita­tion knowledge, he should focus his mind on the corpse and contemplate: "asubha, asubha" or 'foulness, foul­ness' He should apprehend the sign thoroughly in the corpse in the way already described, he should advert his mind to it 'With well-established mindfulness. He should see that it is properly remembered, properly defined, by doing that again and again. He should open his eyes, look and apprehend the sign a hundred times, a thousand times, contemplating: "asubha, asubha" or "foulness. foulness".
            He should also occasionally close his eyes and advert his mind to it. As he does so again and again, the acquired sign (uggaha nimitta) becomes properly apprehended by him. When is it properly apprehended? When he can see the corpse with his mind-eye (i.e., with closed eyes) as clearly as he sees it with open eves, then the acquired sign is properly apprehended.
            He should then try to develop the counter sign (paṭiibhāga mimitta) and the first jhāna on the spot. If he is unable to do so, he should return to his lodging, keeping that same meditation in mind, with mindfulness well established, and with his faculties being turned inwards.
            Now just as a pauper who acquired a treasure of gems would guard and love it with great affection, feel­ing reverence for it as one who appreciates the value of it, so too the meditator should guard the sign, loving it and feeling reverence for it as one who appreciates the value of it.
            In his night quarters or in his day quarters he should keep his mind anchored there thus: "asubha, asubha" or "foulness, foulness". And he should advert his mind to the sign, bring it to mind and strike it with thought and applied thought over and over again.
            As he does so, the counter sign arises. Here is the difference between the two signs. The acquired sign (uggaha nimitta) appears as an ugly, hideous, dreadful and frightening sight whereas the counter sign (paṭibhāga nimitta) appears like a prosperous man with plump limbs lying down after eating his fill.
            Simultaneousely with his acquiring the counter sign his lust is abandoned by suppression owing to his giving no attention to sense objects. And owing to his abandoning of sense desires and keeping it far away, ill­ will is abandoned too.
            Likewise sloth-and-torpor is abandoned through exertion of energy; agitation-and-worry through devo­tion to peaceful things that cause no remorse; and uncertainty or doubt about the Teacher, about the way, about the fruit of the way is abandoned through the actual experience of the blissful upacāra-jhāna which he has now attained. So the five hindrances are abandoned.
            Also at that moment the applied thought or vitakka with the characteristic of directing the mind onto the counter sign, and the sustained thought or vicāra with the characteristic of pondering and joy (pīti), tranquillity (passaddhi), bliss (sukha), and the unification of citta and cetasikas on the counter sign, that is ekaggatā, all become distinct. So all the jhāna factors become mani­fest.
            From the time the counter sign appears, he has reached the access jhāna. Now he anchors his mind on the counter sign and repeatedly reflects: "asubha, asubha" or "foulness, foulness". His concentration will rise gradually, and sooner or later he will reach the first rupavacara jhāna. He should practise on to gain mastery in five ways with respect to this jhāna.
            Due to the repulsive nature of the meditation subject and the fact that the mind could not be anchored on the counter sign without the applied thought (vitakka), only the first jhāna can be attained in asubha bhāvanā.
• A Quick Way of Developing Asubha Saññā
            Again for a meditor, who has already attained the ānāpāna-fourth jhāna or the white-kasiṇa-fourth jhāna, he can easily and quickly develop the first jhāna in asubha bhāvanā. He first redevelops the fourth jhāna that he has attained.
            When the meditation wisdom associated with the fourth jhāna samādhi radiates very bright glittering light in all directions illuminating the surroundings, the meditator recalls the sign of the most repulsive corpse hav­ing the same sex as he does that he has seen formerly. He strives to observe that corpse under his bright wis­dom light.
            With the help of this bright, penetrative light, he tries to reobserve the corpse as he has seen it before. When he can see the corpse clearly under the bright wisdom light, he focusses his meditating mind calmly on the corpse in its most repulsive position, and reflects repeatedly: "paṭikūla, paṭikūla" or "repulsive, repulsive".
            When his meditating mind remains calmly fixed on the sign of the corpse for one hour, two hours, or more, the sign of the corpse will change from the ac quired sign (uggaha nimitta) to the counter sign (paṭibhāga nimitta). The sign of the corpse which the meditator sees vividly as if he is looking at the corpse with open eyes is the acquired image or sign.
            (Visuddhi, i, 180)
            Uggahanimittaṃ virūpaṃ vibhacchaṃ
            Bheravadassanaṃ hutvā upaṭṭhāti.
            Paṭibhāganimittaṃ pana yāvadatthaṃ
            Bhuñjitvā nipanno thūlaṅgapaccaṅgapuriso viyo.         
            (Visuddhi. i, 183-4)
            Because the bhāvanā-manasikāra which is reflect­ing on the sign of the corpse is not yet well developed and exalted, and also because the sign of the corpse is not yet very calm, the acquired sign appears as a hideous, ugly, dreadful and frightening sight. When the counter sign arises, the bhāvanā-manasikāra is well developed and exalted, and the sign of the corpse becomes calm and steady. So the counter sign appears like a prosperous man with plump limbs lying down after eating his fill. (Visuddhi. i, ]834; Mahātī. i, 210)
            Observing that counter sign the yogi reflects many times as 'paṭikūla, paṭikūla" or 'repulsive, repulsive' until his meditating mind remains established calmly on that sign for one hour, two hours or more. Then he re­views the jhāna factors to find them clearly evident. The meditator now attains the first jhāna. He should practise well to gain mastery in five ways with respect to this jhāna.

• The Benefits of Asubha Bhāvanā
            A meditator who has reached.jhāna in any one of the ten kinds of corpses attains the perception of foul­ness (asubhasaññā) and can well suppress his greed (lobha). So he is free from lust, passions, and frivolity, and he resembles an Arahant.
            The young bhikkhu, Vaṅgīsa, was on his alms­round when he met an exceptionally beautiful woman who offered him food. Immediately strong lust was aroused in his heart, and he had to call for help from his teacher, Venerable Ānanda. The latter reminded him to recall the sign of foulness. As soon as he could recall the sign of foulness that he had developed formerly, his lust died down and he could move on freely.
            Although this meditation subject appears to be foul and repulsive, still it arouses joy and happiness (pīti and sukha) in him by his seeing its advantages thus: "Surely in this way I shall be liberated from ageing and death." It is just as a huge garbage heap does to a flower-scav­enger who sees the advantages thus: "Now I shall get a high wage."
            This foulness, while of ten kinds, has only one characteristic, which is its impure, stinking, disgusting and repulsive nature. And foulness appears with this characteristic not only in a dead body but also in a living body.
            The Elder Mahā Tissa who lived in Cetīyapabbata saw foulness in a woman's body which appeared only as a skeleton to him, and the same phenomenon happened to the novice attendant on the Elder Saṅgha-rakkhita while he was watching the king riding an elephant. For a living body is just as foul as a dead one, only the characteristic of foulness is not evident in a living body because it is hidden by temporary adorn­ments.
            So a capable person should apprehend the sign wherever the aspect of foulness is manifest, whether in a living body or in a dead one, and should make use of the meditation subject to reach absorption.

• Mindfnlness of Death (Maraṇānussati)
            One who wishes to develop mindfulness of death should learn this meditation subject from a qualified teacher, go into solitary retreat, and exercise attention wisely in this way:
            "Maraṇaṃ bhavissati - death will take place; or
            "Jīvitindriyaṃ upacchijjati - the life-faculty will be cut off; or simply
            "Maraṇaṃ maraṇaṃ - death, death.
            If he exercises attention unwisely, sorrow arises in him in recalling the death of beloved ones, joy arises in recalling the death of enemies, no sense of urgency arises in recollecting the death of neutral persons, and fear arises in recollecting one's death. All these sorrow, joy, fear, and so on, arise in one who lacks mindfulness, sense of urgency, and knowledge.
            So he should look here and there at beings who have been killed or have died normally, and recall the death of persons who were formerly seen enjoying good things. He should do thus mindfully with a sense of urgency and with knowledge. Then he can exercise his attention in the way beginning "Death will take place." By doing so, he is exercising his attention wisely.
            Some meditators, by just exercising their attention in this way, can suppress the hindrances, establish their mindfulness on death, and reach access in their mindful­ness of death.

Eight Ways of Recollecting Death
            But if one does not reach access by merely exer­cising his attention as above, he should recollect death in eight ways.

1. As having the appearance of a murderer
            He should see death as a murderer who appears with a sword, applies it to his neck, ready to cut off his head. Why? Because death comes with birth and it takes away life.

2. As the ruin of success
            Here, in this world, prosperity shines so long as it is not overpowered by adversity, and success shines as long as failure does not overcome it. Furthermore, all health ends in sickness, all youthfulness in old age, all life in death.
            Besides all worldly existence is procured by birth, haunted by ageing, oppressed by sickness, and struck down by death. This is how death should be recollected as the final ruining of life's success.

3. By comparing oneself to others
            The meditator should be aware of death by comparing himself with others in seven ways, that is to say; with those of great fame, with those of great merit, with those of great strength, with those of great supernormal power, with those of great wisdom, with Pacceka Buddhas, with fully Enlightened Buddhas.
            As all these people are subject to death and cannot escape death, they have all passed away. So why shouldn't I be subject to death, and sooner or later taken away by death?
            When he does his recollection in this way by com­paring himself with others of such great fame, etc., in the light of the universality of death, thinking "Death will come to me; as it even did to those distinguished beings", then his meditation subject reaches access.

4. As the sharing of the body with many
            One has to share one's body with many. Firstly, this body is shared with eighty families of worms. Secondly it is shared with several hundred internal diseases. Thirdly it  can be brought to death by external causes such as snakes, scorpions, accidents, etc. On account of these causes one may die or meet with danger at any time. So death should be recollected as to sharing the body with many.
5. As to the frailty of life
            This life is impotant and frail. For the life of beings is bound up with breathing, with the postures, with cold and heat, with the four primary elements and with nutriment. If any of these conditions is upset, the life process is interrupted and life can be terminated.

6. By the absence of the sign
            The span of life, the sickness which causes death, the time of death, the place where the body will be laid, and the destiny after death are unpredictable and can never be known by the living world as there are no signs which foretell them.
            Though there are no signs to foretell them, death may come at any time at any place by any sickness or cause of death. This is how death should be recollected as signless.

7. By being limited in time
            The extent of the human life is short. So short in fact is the extent of life that it is not certain even for as long as it takes to chew or swallow four or five mouthfuls. So one should develop mindfulness of death thus, "Oh let mc live for as long as it takes to chew and swallow a single mouthful that I may attend to the Blessed One's teaching, surely much could be done by me' or one should develop mindfulnesy of death thus. 'Oh let me live as long as it takes to breathe out and breathe in that I may attend to the Blessed One's teaching, surely much could be done by me.'
            This is how death should be recollected as being lim­ited in time.

8. As to the shortness of the life-moment
            In the ultimate sense the life-moment of living be­ings is extremely short, being only as long as a single consciousness moment. Just as a chariot wheel, when it is rolling, rolls or touches the ground only on one point of the circumference of its wheel, so too, the life of living beings lasts only for a consciousness moment. When that consciousness ceases, the being is said to cease.

• Development of Access Jhāna
            When one thus recalls death in one of these eight ways, the mind owing to repeated attention gets the sup­port of repetition, and mindfulness is established with death as obiect. Then the hindrances are discarded, and the jhāna-factors are manifested. But because the medi­tation subject is the dreadful nature of death and it awakes a sense of urgency, the jhāna does not reach absorption and is only access. This jhāna gets the name of death mindfulness (māraṇānussati) since it arises by the strength of death-mindfulness.

• An Effective, Quick Method of Developing Death-mindfulness
            According to the instructions given in Visuddhi Magga (i, 222-3) and Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta (Ma. i, 73) a meditator, who has successfully developed the first jhāna by reflecting on the foulness of a corpse (asubha bhāvanā), can easils change his meditation to mindful­ness of death.
            The meditator first recalls the acquired sign or the counter sign of a corpse which he has developed before. He then reflects on its foulness to develop the first jhāna in asubha-bhāvanā.
            He then emerges from this first jhāna and reflects on the nature of his death thus. 'This body of mine has the nature to disintegrate; I will surely die; I cannot escape from death.' He should constantly focus his attention on the nature of his death, establishing mindfulness on death and developing a sense of urgency together with the knowledge of death. Soon he will observe with his mind­eye the disgusting corpse of his dead body in place of the external corpse. Then he discerns with his wisdom the nature of the cutting-off of life-faculty (Jivitindriya) in his dead body.
            And focussing his meditative mind on the object of the cutting-off of life-faculty, he reflects repeatedly in one of the following ways that he likes best:
            1.  Maraṇaṃ me dhuvaṃ, jīvitaṃ me adhuvaṃ
            My death is certain, my being alive is uncertain. ?
            2.  Maraṇaṃ me bhavissati
            My death will certainly occur.
3.      Maraṇapariyosānaṃ me jīvitaṃ
            My being alive has only death as its end.
            4.   Maraṇaṃ maraṇaṃ
            Death. death.
            He should ardently strive to concentrate his medita­tive mind on the object of the cutting-off of life-faculty in his dead body for one hour, two hours or more. If he is successful, he will find that the jhāna factors become dis­tinct.
            As the object of meditation is the nature of death and frightening, awaking the sense of urgency, only access jhāna (upacāra jhāna) arises.

The Benefits of Developing Mindfulness of Death
1.   A meditator devoted to mindfulness of death is constantly diligent.
2.   He acquires the perception of disgust and disen­chantment with all kinds of existences.
3.   He cuts off attachment to life.
4.   He censures evil doing .
5.   He avoids much storing. He has no stain of attach­ment to and avarice for requisites or properties.
6.   The perception of impermanence (anicca-saññā) grows in him; consequently the perception of suffer­ing (dukkha-saññā) and the perception of not-self (anatta-saññā) also appear in him.
7.   While beings who have not developed mindfulness of death fall victims tofear, horror and confusion at the time of death as though suddenly seized by wild beasts, ogres, snakes, robbers or murderers, he dies undeluded and fearless without falling into any such state.
8.   If he does not attain the deathless in the present ex­istence, he is at least headed for a happy destiny on the breakup of his body.

• When to Practise the Guardian Meditations
            The four subjects of guardian meditation are generally desirable meditation subjects (sabbatthaka kammaṭṭhānas). They should be practised whenever and wherever possible, especially at places where there is danger of being attacked by wicked persons, wild beasts, and ghosts. They should be practised before one under­takes ones special meditation subject (Parihāriya kammaṭṭhāna) and before one undertakes insight medi­tation (vipassanā).
            Loving-kindness is the best weapon to defeat anger, hatred, and resentment. Budhānussati is the best means to develop clarity of mind, and faith and confi­dence in the Blessed One.
            Asubha bhāvanā is the most effective weapon to subdue lust, craving, and attachment. Maraṇānussati is very effective to develop the sense of urgency, and to restrain oneself from improper search for excessive wealth and sensual pleasure.
            Therefore, when one gets angry or develops re­sentment against anyone, one should cultivate loving-kindness. When one lacks faith and confidence, one feels muddled up, one should practise Buddhānussati. When lust arises in one and agitates one, one should recollect the sign of foulness.
            When one lacks the sense of urgency and feels idle to practise meditation, one should reflect on the na­ture of death.
            When one is bombarded with various kinds of thoughts and feels restless, one should undertake mind­fulness of breathing for ānāpānassati is most effective to suppress various thoughts and vitakka.

1    " Visuddhi Magga" by Bhaddantācariya Buddhaghosa, translated into Myanmar by Ven. Nandamālā, Vol.I, pp. 380-4,18, 339-377, 450-476.
2    "The Path of Purification (Visuddhi Magga)" by Bhaddantācarlya Buddhaghosa, translated by Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli, pp. 321-340, 206-230, 185­203, 247-259.
3    "The Path of Purity (Visuddhi Magga)" by Bhaddantācariya Buddhaghosa, translated by Pe Maung Tin, pp. 340-361, 226-245, 205-225, 264­275.

Review Questions
1.      What are the four guardian meditations?
         Why and how should we practise them every day?
2.      To whom loving-kindness should not be cultivated first?
         To whom and in what order should it be developed? How should it be developed?
3.      How should we develop loving-kindness to attain mettā jhāna?
4.      How should we cultivate lovingkindness to attain sīmāsambheda?
5.      How should we develop 528 modes of mettā according to Paṭisambhida pāḷi?
6.      Why is mettā-bhāvanā regarded as a sabbatthaka kammaṭṭhāna? What are its benefits?
7.      How should we perform Buddhānussati to gain its full benefits?
8.      How should we undertake Buddhānussati to reach access jhāna?
9.      Describe a quick and effective way of practising Buddhānussati to reach upacāra jhāna?
10.    Why is Buddhānussati regarded as a sabbatthaka kammaṭṭhāna? What are its benefits?
11.    Why did the Buddha prescribe asubha-bhāvanā for new bhikkhus? How should one practise it to gain its full benefits?
12.    Why is asubha-bhāvanā included in the four guard­ian meditations? Describe an effective method for developing asubha-saññāquickly.
13.    Should a meditator practise asubha-bhāvanā nowa­days? Why? Describe the benefits of practising it?
14.    What is `maranānussati'? How should it be under­taken to reach access known as 'maranānussati'?
15.    Describe the eight ways of recollecting death.

16.    Why should we practise maranānussati? How should it be practised to get its full benefits?

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