Deeds of Merit
By Sujin Boriharnwanaket.
Translated by Nina van Gorkom
(This book is not yet published in print form)
- Kusala citta: wholesome moment of consciousness. Akusala citta:
unwholesome moment of consciousness.
- Intention or volition, in Paali: cetanaa, is a mental factor,
cetasika, arising with each citta. Kusala citta is accompanied by kusala
cetanaa and akusala citta is accompanied by akusala cetanaa.
- A good deed, kusala kamma, or a bad deed, akusala kamma, produces
its appropriate result. Birth is result of kamma, and in the course of
life, pleasant and unpleasant experiences through the senses, such as
seeing, hearing etc., are result of kamma.
- The Paali text has manaapa, lovely, pleasant. In the English text
this has been translated as: good, which I changed into pleasant.
- Patti means: gain or merit, and anumodana means: thanksgiving or
- Access concentration or upacaara samaadhi arises when there is a
high degree of calm but not yet the attainment of jhaana, absorption.
- See Visuddhimagga, Path of Purification, Ch VII, 107-115.
- Who has confidence in kamma and its result.
- Confidence, saddhaa, is a cetasika arising with each kusala citta.
- A banker of Saavatthii, famous because of his generosity to the
Buddha. He kept on giving his possessions, until there was little left.
- What is discarded.
- Having no confidence in kamma and its result.
- One citta arises at a time and it is accompanied by several
cetasikas, mental factors. Some cetasikas arise with each citta, others
do not. Akusala cetasikas such as attachment, anger or ignorance
accompany only akusala citta, whereas beautiful (sobhana) cetasikas,
such as generosity, kindness or wisdom, pa~n~naa, accompany kusala
citta. Citta and cetasika are mental phenomena, naama. What we take for
a person is only citta, cetasika and riipa which do not last.
- It is a Buddhist custom to let water run in a dish as a sign that
one transfers merit. When someone has offered food to the monks he may
pour water in a dish while the monks chant words of blessing.
- There can be birth in different planes of existence depending on the
kamma which produces rebirth. There are unhappy planes of existence,
such as the animal world or the hell planes, and happy planes of
existence, such as the human plane or heavenly planes.
- When right understanding has been developed to the degree that
enlightenment can be attained the four noble Truths are penetrated: the
Truth of dukkha, of the arising of dukkha, of the ceasing of dukkha, of
the way leading to the ceasing of dukkha. There are four stages of
enlightenment and at these stages defilements are progressively
eradicated. At the fourth and last stage, the stage of the arahat, all
defilements are eradicated. Ariyan is the term used for someone who has
attained one of the stages of enlightenment.
- Defilements are akusala cetasikas which accompany akusala citta.
- Lobha is one of the three unwholesome roots, akusala hetus. The
others are dosa, aversion and moha, ignorance.
- We read that the Bodhisatta was born as the son of a brahmin and
became a famous teacher. A brahmin had four daughters and four men asked
their hand. He asked the Boddhisatta who was most suitable as a husband
for his daughters. We read : "One is good, and one is noble; one has
beauty, one has years. Answer me this question, brahmin; of the four
which best appear?" Hearing this, the teacher replied, "Even though
there be beauty and the like qualities, a man is to be despised if he
fail in virtue. Therefore the former is not the measure of a man; those
that I like are the virtuous." And in explanation of this matter, he
repeated the second couplet: "Good is beauty; to the aged show respect,
for this is right; Good is noble birth; but virtue- virtue, that is my
delight." When the brahmin heard this, he gave all his daughters to the
- Kindred Sayings (IV, Saiiaayatana vagga, Part VIII, 42, Kindred
Sayings about Headmen 8, The Conch).
- Here I am using the translation by the Ven. Nyanaponika, Anguttara
Nikaaya, An Anthology, Part III, 5, Outcomes of Merit. Wheel Publication
238-240, B.P.S. Kandy.
- These excellent qualities, which are meditation subjects in samatha,
tranquil meditation, should be developed in daily life. The Great Brahma
is the highest ruler of the divine beings of the brahma worlds, higher
planes of existence.
- The Sangha, the third of the Triple Gem, is actually the ariyan
Sangha, it includes all those who have attained one of the stages of
- In Thailand and in some other eastern countries this is the usual
way of greeting. The incomparable leader of men to be tamed.
- "What I am" and that "I am".
- The "Visuddhimagga" ( IX, 93, 94) explains in the chapter on the
"Divine Abidings", that loving kindness has the characteristic of
promoting the aspect of welfare, and that compassion has the
characteristic of allaying suffering.
- The worldling or ordinary person is the non-ariyan, who has not
attained any stage of enlightenment, who has not eradicated any
defilement. He will continue to be in the cycle of birth and death.
- Unbelieving: without confidence in kusala.
- Without siila.
- Who do not develop pa~n~naa.
- The Bodhisatta was an ascetic and the favorite chaplain of an
elephant trainer. He had divine vision and knew that the elephant
trainer would become king and this happened against all expectations. In
a battle with a neighbouring king the king himself was in disguise to
protect himself and he had ordered the elephant trainer to dress in
royal robes. However, the king was killed and in the end the elephant
trainer became king. Thus we see that circumstances change so quickly
and that the good fortune came to an elephant trainer.
- Defilements can be classified as coarse, medium and subtle. Coarse
defilements condition evil deeds through body and speech. Medium
defilements condition akusala citta. Subtle defilements are the latent
tendencies of defilements which have been accumulated and which can only
be eradicated by pa~n~naa developed in vipassanaa at the subsequent
stages of enlightenment.
- There are different degrees of concentration. Preparatory
concentration, parikamma samaadhi, is only initial concentration. Access
concentration, upacaara samaadhi, is more developed concentration which
approaches absorption. Appanaa samaadhi is the concentration which has
- As the "Visuddhimagga" (IX, 98) explains: attachment is the near
enemy of mettaa.
- The "Visuddhimagga" (Ch VI) describes as meditation subject of
foulness corpses in different states of decay. The body of a living
being is like a corpse. It describes under "Mindfulness occupied with
the Body" (Ch VIII, 42-144) the thirtytwo parts of the body, such as
hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin, etc., of which
the repulsive feature should be considered.
- At each of the four stages of enlightenment the four noble Truths
are penetrated, but there are different degrees of pa~n~naa which
realizes them at these stages. Defilements are eradicated stage by stage
until they are all eradicated at the fourth and last stage, the stage of
- Son of King Bimbisara of Magadha.
- The plane of the devas of the Thirty-three, or also alluded to as
the devas of the Thrice-Ten, is the lowest heavenly plane.
- A heavenly plane of existence where one experiences sense objects,
different from some of the higher planes where one is born as a result
- In Paali: bahusutta. Someone who has listened to the Dhamma, deeply
considered it and who has right understanding of it.
- See Visuddhimagga Ch II. Dutaiiga includes ascetical practices with
regard to robes, almsfood and dwelling place. The monk may eat, for
example, only once; he may dwell at the root of a tree, in the open air
or in a charnel-ground.
- These six excellent things will be explained in the following
- The P.T.S. translation uses here sight instead of seeing.
- Subhadda was ordained and attained arahatship.
- I am using the translation of "The All-Embracing Net of Views" by
Ven. Bodhi, B.P.S. Kandy, Sri Lanka, 1978.
- The whole of the Tipiiiaka is in the scriptures referred to as "the
Dhamma and the Vinaya".
- These three kinds of training come to fulfilment through the
development of the eightfold Path. Through satipa.t.thaana the six
doorways are guarded and one will refrain from evil. As regards higher
consciousness, this means right concentration of the eightfold Path.
When there is awareness of naama and ruupa there is right concentration
accompanying the citta.
- The four requisites are basic needs in life. In the scriptures these
are referred to as the four requisites the monks are allowed to acquire.
- There are different interpretations of the term Saddhamma. Some
interprete it as a composition of the word sad+ dhamma. Sad is derived
from "santa", meaning calm. Calm refers here to freedom from
defilements. According to another interpretation saddhamma is derived
from sant+ dhamma, "sant" meaning existing, good or true. The P.T.S.
translation uses for Saddhamma "true Dhamma" or "Dhamma of the good"
(for example, Middle Length Sayings II, 60, On the Sure). According to
another interpretation "sad" is connected with saddhaa, confidence.
Saddhamma is the true object of confidence.
- They are sensuous desire, ill-will, sloth and torpor, restlessness
and regret, and doubt.
- Elder, in Paali Thera, is a monk who is senior in the Order, who has
been ordained for a longer time.
- Non-human being.
- The Deathless, amata dhamma, that is, the dhamma leading to the end
of birth and death.
- Needing no external ingredients.
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