Scientifc study on the Buddha‘s way of practice leading to nibbāna
by Aññatara Bhikkhu
The study of the Buddhist practice leading to nibbana CASCADE PURIFICATION by Bhikhu Aññatara is undoubtedly a unique and extraordinary work. Thank you to the publisher and the donnor Siddharta Trust, Jimmy Liao & pilgrims for their generosity. It should be paid attention especially by those interested in the southern buddhism (Theravada), but this book can be also very beneficial for other branches of Buddhism.
CASCADE PURIFICATION analyzes theoretically and practically in seven chapters the way to realization of the classical form of seven stages of purification. Unlike the scholastic approach of Visuddhi Magga, the presentation is very practical here. However, it also compares the theory of Buddhist and scientific approaches to the issue in the individual stages.
1. Purification of Virtue (Sila visuddhi)
2. Purification of Consciousness (Citta visuddhi)
3. Purification of opinion (Ditthi visuddhi)
4. Purification by Overcoming doubt (Kankha vitarana visuddhi)
5. Purification by Knowledge and Vision of What is Path and Not-Path (Magga magga nanadasana visuddhi)
6. Purification of the Way of Practice Leading to the Path-Knowledge (Patipadananadassana visuddhi)
7. Purification of the Path-Knowledge (Nanadassana visuddhi)
The first chapter classifies the virtues (sila) and describes ways to purify them.
In our experience, most students will be particularly inspired by Chapter 2, which describes the technique of eight immersions (jhana) and the creation of preconditions for achieving higher abilities through perfect concentration (abinna). The chapter also describes the concentration on the breath (anapanasatti) and on casinas.
The third chapter deals with the recognition of different types of body units (rupa kalapa) produced by kamma, mind, temperature and nutrition. It further analyzes in great detail the four groups of the mind – feeling (vedana), perception (sanna), formation (sankhara), consciousness (vinana). Meditation on the process of consciousness (citta-vithi) and the distinction between karmically favorable (kusala) and unfavorable (akusala) existence is very beneficial.
The fourth chapter compares the organic evolution of modern biological science and the Buddha’s karmic evolution to understand the conditions of the body and mind with respect to the past, present and future.
The fifth chapter describes purification through knowledge of specific and general (anicca, dukha, anatta) characteristics of the five groups of existence (khandha) and addresses how to practice to achieve knowledge of phenomena (sammasana nana), including 40 generalizing methods.
The sixth chapter „Purification of the Way of Practice Leading to the Path-Knowledge“ describes eight insights showing the right path of knowing equilibrium to all formations (sankhara-upekkhan-nana).
The seventh chapter „Purification of the Path-Knowledge“ characterizes the knowledge and maturity of the path.
Admittedly, our way of life forces the teachers of Buddhism to pass on the Buddha’s teachings more or less superficially. At CASCADE PURIFICATION, we have the opportunity, thanks to the Pa-Auk Tawya Sayadaw School and the Venerable Aññatara, to become acquainted with the method of purification according to an ancient tradition.
May this work contribute to the awakening of many!
Sadhu, Sadhu, Sadhu Venerable Aññatara!!!