The Seven Factors of Enlightenment - 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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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Seven Factors of Enlightenment

          The Pālìword Sambojjhaæga is a combination of two words, Sambodi and Aæga. Samodi means normally “enlightenment”, but in this context it also means the through knowledge of the Dhamma, the through knowledge of the objects of meditation, which are nāma and rùpa. The Pālìword Aæga means “factor”. So the factors of Enlightenment mean components of through knowledge of mind and matter (Dhamma).
          This knowledge begins with discerning the rising and fading away of phenomena (nāmarùpa pariccheda nana) and can be met through all the different stage of Vipassanā knowledge, leading the realization of Noble Truth.
          There are seven factors of Enlightenment: (1). Sati (mindfulness), (2). Investigation (Dhammavicaya), (3). Energy (Vìriya), (4). Joy (Pìti) (5). Tranquility, (Pasaddhi) (6). Concentration (Samadhi), (7). and Equanimity (Upekkhā).

Investigation (Dhammavicaya)

          The second factor of Enlightenment is Dhammavicaya. Here, investigation means just knowing or discerning. When noting (investigation the Dhammas), this knowing of the Dhammas is present in meditator at every moment. So when he sees clearly whatever he is noting, he is said that he is investigating the Dhamma.
          Investigation of the Dhamma is the synonymous with ‘Sammādiååhi’ in the Eightfold Path. Both mean the same thing, the correct discerning of nāma and rùpa (mind & matter). Its characteristic is penetrating things according to their individual essence. When the investigation of the Dhamma penetrates objects, its penetration is accurate and stable. Its function is like illuminating the objective field like a lamp. It’s manifest in meditations as non-bewilderment. When mediators are investigating the Dhammas they are not bewildered because they see clearly what an object is. There are seven ways which lead to the arising of Dhammavicaya ÷
1.     Inquiring about the teaching of the Buddha – by inquiring you can get more knowledge about the objects of meditation and can develop knowledge of Dhamma.
2.     Purification of the basis – It means internal and external cleanliness. When they are messy, meditator’s mind also is messy. Internal and external cleanliness will lead to the development of the investigation of the Dhamma or Paññā.
3.     Balancing the faculties (Indrìyas) – There are five faculties present when you meditate: faith, energy, mindfulness balances these two pairs of faculties. It has to be present all the time.
4.     Avoiding ignorant people – Avoiding those who are ignorant of the teaching of the Buddha…so on.
5.     Associating with wise people – Associating with people who are well-informed with respect to the teaching of the Buddha… so on.
6.     Reflecting profoundly – By reflecting profoundly on the aggregates and so on you will be able to develop the investigation of the Dhamma.
7.     Inclination towards investigation – Your mind should always be bent toward gaining knowledge so that knowledge will become yours.

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