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All four satipatthanas are one

dear dhamma friends,

i have long been puzzled & confused about what exactly constitutes “cattaro satipatthana” bhavana and i am happy to share the quotes from the tipitaka that helped me to understand this aspect a bit more clearly. this may be for the benefit of many.

regards,

manish

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48. Tattha katamo lakkhaṇo hāro?

Vuttamhi ekadhamme, ye dhammā ekalakkhaṇā tena;

Sabbe bhavanti vuttā, so hāro lakkhaṇo nāma.

Yesañca susamāraddhā, niccaṃ kāyagatāsatīti gāthāya vuttāya kāyagatāsatiyā vuttā vedanāgatā cittagatā dhammagatā ca sati catunnaṃ satipaṭṭhānānaṃ ekena satipaṭṭhānena. Na hi cittaṃ ekasmiṃ viññāṇaṭṭhitiyā pavattati, nānāsu gatīsu pavattati, kāyagatāsatiyā vuttāya vuttā vedanāgatā cittadhammagatā ca. Na hi kāyagatāsatiyā bhāvitāya satipaṭṭhānā cattāro bhāvanāpāripūriṃ na gacchanti. Evaṃ tassadisesu dhammesu vuttesu sabbadhammā vuttā ca bhavanti.

Sacittapariyodāpanaṃ, etaṃ buddhāna sāsananti gāthā cetasikā dhammā vuttā, citte rūpaṃ vuttaṃ. Idaṃ nāmarūpaṃ dukkhaṃ ariyasaccaṃ. Tato sacittapariyodāpanā yaṃ yaṃ odapeti, taṃ dukkhaṃ. Yena odapeti, so maggo. Yato odapanā, so nirodho. Cakkhuṃ ca paṭicca rūpe ca uppajjati cakkhuviññāṇaṃ, tattha sahajātā vedanā saññā cetanā phasso manasikāro ete te dhammā ekalakkhaṇā uppādalakkhaṇena. Yo ca rūpe nibbindati, vedanāya so nibbindati, saññāsaṅkhāraviññāṇesupi so nibbindati. Iti ye ekalakkhaṇā dhammā, tesaṃ ekamhi dhamme niddiṭṭhe sabbe dhammā niddiṭṭhā honti, ayaṃ vuccati lakkhaṇo hāro.

= Peṭakopadesapāḷi 5. Pañcamabhūmi

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  1. Lakkhaṇahāravibhaṅgo

  2. Tattha katamo lakkhaṇo hāro? ‘‘Vuttamhi ekadhamme’’ti, ayaṃ lakkhaṇo hāro. Kiṃ lakkhayati? Ye dhammā ekalakkhaṇā, tesaṃ dhammānaṃ ekasmiṃ dhamme vutte avasiṭṭhā dhammā vuttā bhavanti. Yathā kiṃ bhave? Yathāha bhagavā –

‘‘Cakkhuṃ , bhikkhave, anavaṭṭhitaṃ ittaraṃ parittaṃ pabhaṅgu parato dukkhaṃ byasanaṃ calanaṃ [calaṃ (sī.)] kukkuḷaṃ saṅkhāraṃ [sasaṅkhāraṃ (ka.)] vadhakaṃ amittamajjhe. Imasmiṃ cakkhusmiṃ vutte avasiṭṭhāni ajjhattikāni āyatanāni vuttāni bhavanti. Kena kāraṇena? Sabbāni hi cha ajjhattikāni āyatanāni vadhakaṭṭhena ekalakkhaṇāni. Yathā cāha bhagavā –

‘‘Atīte , rādha, rūpe anapekkho hohi, anāgataṃ rūpaṃ mā abhinandi [abhinanda (ka.)], paccuppannassa rūpassa nibbidāya virāgāya nirodhāya cāgāya paṭinissaggāya paṭipajja. Imasmiṃ rūpakkhandhe vutte avasiṭṭhā khandhā vuttā bhavanti. Kena kāraṇena? Sabbe hi pañcakkhandhā yamakovādasutte [passa saṃ. ni. 3.84] vadhakaṭṭhena ekalakkhaṇā vuttā. Yathā cāha bhagavā –

‘‘Yesañca [passa dha. pa. 293] susamāraddhā, niccaṃ kāyagatāsati;

Akiccaṃ te na sevanti, kicce sātaccakārino’’.

Iti kāyagatāya satiyā vuttāya vuttā bhavanti vedanāgatā sati cittagatā dhammagatā ca . Tathā yaṃ kiñci diṭṭhaṃ vā sutaṃ vā mutaṃ vāti vutte vuttaṃ bhavati viññātaṃ. Yathā cāha bhagavā –

Tasmātiha tvaṃ bhikkhu kāye kāyānupassī viharāhi ātāpī sampajāno satimā vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ. ‘‘Ātāpī’’ti vīriyindriyaṃ, ‘‘sampajāno’’ti paññindriyaṃ, ‘‘satimā’’ti satindriyaṃ, ‘‘vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassa’’nti samādhindriyaṃ, evaṃ kāye kāyānupassino viharato cattāro satipaṭṭhānā bhāvanāpāripūriṃ gacchanti. Kena kāraṇena, ekalakkhaṇattā catunnaṃ indriyānaṃ.

= Nettippakaraṇapāḷi 4. Paṭiniddesavāro

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51…Tattha katamā bhāvanāya samāropanā? Yathāha bhagavā ‘‘tasmātiha tvaṃ bhikkhu kāye kāyānupassī viharāhi, ātāpī sampajāno satimā vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ’’. Ātāpīti vīriyindriyaṃ. Sampajānoti paññindriyaṃ. Satimāti satindriyaṃ. Vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassanti samādhindriyaṃ. Evaṃ kāye kāyānupassino viharato cattāro satipaṭṭhānā bhāvanāpāripūriṃ gacchanti. Kena kāraṇena? Ekalakkhaṇattā catunnaṃ indriyānaṃ. Catūsu satipaṭṭhānesu bhāviyamānesu cattāro sammappadhānā bhāvanāpāripūriṃ gacchanti. Catūsu sammappadhānesu bhāviyamānesu cattāro iddhipādā bhāvanāpāripūriṃ gacchanti. Catūsu iddhipādesu bhāviyamānesu pañcindriyāni bhāvanāpāripūriṃ gacchanti. Evaṃ sabbe . Kena kāraṇena? Sabbe hi bodhaṅgamā dhammā bodhipakkhiyā niyyānikalakkhaṇena ekalakkhaṇā, te ekalakkhaṇattā bhāvanāpāripūriṃ gacchanti. Ayaṃ bhāvanāya samāropanā.

= Nettippakaraṇapāḷi 4. Paṭiniddesavāro

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Kayikam sukham kayikassa sukhassa, kayikassa dukkhassa, phalasamapattiya upanissayapaccayena paccayo.

Kayikam dukkham kayikassa sukhassa, kayikassa dukkhassa, phalasamapattiya upanissayapaccayena paccayo.

= patthana pali

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Aṭṭhakathāyaṃ pana saraṇavasena ceva ekattasamosaraṇavasena ca ekameva satipaṭṭhānaṃ ārammaṇavasena cattāroti etadeva vuttaṃ. Yathā hi catudvāre nagare pācīnato āgacchantā pācīnadisāya uṭṭhānakaṃ bhaṇḍaṃ gahetvā pācīnadvārena nagarameva pavisanti, dakkhiṇato. Pacchimato. Uttarato āgacchantā uttaradisāya uṭṭhānakaṃ bhaṇḍaṃ gahetvā uttaradvārena nagarameva pavisanti; evaṃ – sampadamidaṃ veditabbaṃ. Nagaraṃ viya hi nibbānamahānagaraṃ, dvāraṃ viya aṭṭhaṅgiko lokuttaramaggo, pācīnadisādayo viya kāyādayo.

Yathā pācīnato āgacchantā pācīnadisāya uṭṭhānakaṃ bhaṇḍaṃ gahetvā pācīnadvārena nagarameva pavisanti, evaṃ kāyānupassanāmukhena āgacchantā cuddasavidhena kāyānupassanaṃ bhāvetvā kāyānupassanābhāvanānubhāvanibbattena ariyamaggena ekaṃ nibbānameva osaranti. Yathā dakkhiṇato āgacchantā dakkhiṇāya disāya uṭṭhānakaṃ bhaṇḍaṃ gahetvā dakkhiṇadvārena nagarameva pavisanti, evaṃ vedanānupassanāmukhena āgacchantā navavidhena vedanānupassanaṃ bhāvetvā vedanānupassanābhāvanānubhāvanibbattena ariyamaggena ekaṃ nibbānameva osaranti. Yathā pacchimato āgacchantā pacchimadisāya uṭṭhānakaṃ bhaṇḍaṃ gahetvā pacchimadvārena nagarameva pavisanti, evaṃ cittānupassanāmukhena āgacchantā soḷasavidhena cittānupassanaṃ bhāvetvā cittānupassanābhāvanānubhāvanibbattena ariyamaggena ekaṃ nibbānameva osaranti. Yathā uttarato āgacchantā uttaradisāya uṭṭhānakaṃ bhaṇḍaṃ gahetvā uttaradvārena nagarameva pavisanti, evaṃ dhammānupassanāmukhena āgacchantā pañcavidhena dhammānupassanaṃ bhāvetvā dhammānupassanābhāvanānubhāvanibbattena ariyamaggena ekaṃ nibbānameva osaranti. Evaṃ saraṇavasena ceva ekattasamosaraṇavasena ca ekameva satipaṭṭhānaṃ ārammaṇavasena cattārova vuttāti veditabbā.

= Mahavagga Attakatha & Mulapannasa Attakatha

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‘‘Ekasmiṃ satipaṭṭhāne vutte kasmā cattāro satipaṭṭhānā vuttā bhaveyyu’’nti vattabbattā ‘‘ātāpīti vīriyindriya’’ntiādi vuttaṃ. Tattha ‘‘ātāpī’’ti iminā padena kāyavedanācittadhammesu pavattaṃ vīriyindriyaṃ vuttaṃ. ‘‘Sampajāno’’ti padena kāyavedanācittadhammesu pavattaṃ paññindriyaṃ vuttaṃ. ‘‘Satimā’’ti padena kāyavedanācittadhammesu pavattaṃ satindriyaṃ vuttaṃ. ‘‘Vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassa’’nti padena kāyavedanācittadhammesu pavattaṃ samādhindriyaṃ vuttaṃ, na kāyeyeva pavattaṃ. Evaṃ pakārena kāye kāyānupassino yogāvacarassa cattāro satipaṭṭhānā bhāvanāpāripūriṃ gacchantīti ce vadeyya, evaṃ sati catunnaṃ vīriyapaññāsatisamādhīnaṃ indriyānaṃ catunnaṃ satipaṭṭhānānaṃ sādhakabhāvena ekalakkhaṇattā samānalakkhaṇattā pāripūriṃ gacchantīti yojanā. Tena vuttaṃ aṭṭhakathāyaṃ – ‘‘catusatipaṭṭhānasādhane imesaṃ indriyānaṃ sabhāvabhedābhāvato samānalakkhaṇattā’’ti (netti. aṭṭha. 23).

= Khuddaka Nikaya Tika, Nettivibhavini

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Ettha pana cattāro satipaṭṭhānāti sammāsati ekāva pavuccati .

= Bodhipakkhiyasaṅgaho, Abhidhammatthasangaho

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Ekanibbānapavesahetubhūtā vā samānatā eko satipaṭṭhānassa bhāvo ekattaṃ, tattha samosaraṇaṃ taṃsabhāgatā ekattasamosaraṇaṃ

= Mulapannasa Tika

Dhammabhedo panettha natthi, saraṇavasena ca ekāva sati ārammaṇavasena ‘‘cattāro satipaṭṭhānā’’ti vuttāti.

= Satipaṭṭhānavibhaṅgamātikatthavaṇṇanā, Abhidhammatikapali,

regards and veneration at the feet of the sangha!

i pray to ven. @Dhammanando & ven @sujato to kindly translate this one line saraṇavasena ceva ekattasamosaraṇavasena ca ekameva satipaṭṭhānaṃ ārammaṇavasena cattāroti etadeva vuttaṃ & also explain it in detail. i will be very grateful.

i tried to do google search & also looked up the CST4 tipitaka software dictionary & appearance of some words in other parts of the tipitaka but, could not clearly comprehend the meaning of the following words very clearly:
= saraṇavasena
= ekattasamosaraṇavasena
= ārammaṇavasena

i request you venerables to kindly explain the meaning of these 3 words starting from the sanskrit/pali words they are constituted of.

with veneration at the feet of the sangha,

manish

catunnaṃ satipaṭṭhānānaṃ ekena!

regards & veneration at the feet of the sangh!

most humbly & respectfully - i pray to the venerables @sujato and @Brahmali and @Dhammanando to kindly consider the quotes from the tipitaka cited by me in the beginning of this thread & also my understanding of what constitutes “cattaro satipatthana” bhavana as stated below & suitably admonish me and correct the flaws in my understanding for my own welfare.

with regards and veneration at the feet of the sangha,

manish

===

kindly refer to the collection of quotes from mula tipitaka & commentaries as cited above in the beginning of the thread which may be useful to highlight & confirm that each of the four satipatthanas are independently complete in itself & capable to reach nibbana and that it is always “cattaro satipatthana” no matter which arammana is chosen/given/observed by the meditator at any point of time because satipatthana bhavana is always the holistic yathabhuta observation of the entire nama-rupa process (samma sati) no matter how it is done & all pathways taught by the bhagava in the mahasatipatthana sutta equally lead to nibbana as confirmed by the same stage: “yavadeva nanamattaya…na ca kinci loke upadiyati” occurring at the end of each section without needing to be linked to any other section.

these quotes may be read along with the pathama & dutiya gelanna sutta (keeping the difference between “kayam paticca” & “phassa paticca”, as occuring in these suttas, in mind).

actually, the analysis of the pathama or dutiya gelanna sutta or quotes from the nettipakarana, petakopadesa pali or quotes from the commentaries [see enclosed doc file] is not required to confirm the holistic & complete nature of each section of the mahasatipatthana sutta because the understanding of “samma sati” itself provides the confirmation that all sections of the mahasatipatthana sutta are cattaro satipatthana bhavana because samma sati is applied throughout.

so, all independent sections of the kayanupassana are cattaro satipatthana bhavana because it is based on samma sati of the entire nama-rupa process and all sections surely lead to nibbana. same can be said about vedananupassana. so, the kammatthana as given in the sayagyi u ba khin tradition / s n goenka tradition, being sampajanna pabbam of kayanupassana and/or vedananupassana on kayasamphassaja vedana to begin with - is proved to be the total bhavana of cattaro satipatthana & is mahasatipatthana sutta, abhidhamma, mula tipitaka & commentaries endorsed pathway leading to nibbana. [please see enclosed file for unambiguous confirmation]

cittanupassana or dhammanupassana are also cattaro satipatthana bhavana and very much competent independent arammana of vipassana bhavana because it is based on samma sati of the entire nama-rupa process too and it too, surely leads to nibbana. however, it must be noted that true cittanupassana or dhammanupassana is no arupino mind “noting” or psychological mind/thought observation or thinking & analyzing [which is actually: paccavekkhati, yonisomanasikara, vitakka-vicara, samma or miccha jhanic trance, cintamayi panna] but, is the same analytical study of nama-rupa (as done by the kaya or vedananupassi meditator) although on a much deeper & much finer plane. thus, the cittanupassana-dhammanupassana kammatthana, as taught by most ven mogok sayadaw, where the ven. bhante teaches a deep analytical experiential insight of nama-rupa (and not nama alone) is very much a mahasatipatthana sutta & tipitaka endorsed road to nibbana. [It must be noted that the sage asita, alara kalama & uddaka ramaputta could not practice vipassana because they were born in arupa brahma loka where the absence of rupakaya made satipatthana bhavana impossible]

although all the four sections & subsections of the mahasatipatthana sutta are independently complete bhavana of the nama-rupa leading to nibbana - it may be emphasized that the 4 sections are actually gradations of paramattha dhamma bhavana from olariko to sukhuma to sukhuma’ti - beginning from kaya to vedana to citta to dhammanupassana to nibbana! so, as the meditator goes deeper into the realities of nama-rupa he is able to effortlessly journey to deeper & finer levels of distinct awareness of each part of the pancakkhanda & the working of nama-rupa.

we also see the gradations of the journey from doer to observer to observed-is-observed in each section of the mahasatipatthana sutta [using J. Krishnamurti’s terms!] or speaking in tilakkhana terms: anicca to dukkha to anatta [samudayavayadhammanupassi being anicca. dukkha may be implied at the level of “atthi —'ti va panassa satipaccupatthita hoti” but, can be omitted too and the jump may be straight from aniccasanna to anattasanna as in the meghiya sutta or anattalakkhana sutta! anatta being the stage of “yavadeva nanamattaya patisatimattaya anissito ca viharat”] and “na ca kinci loke upadiyati” being nibbanic dip.

however, it must be emphasized that this journey from anicca to anatta at the levels of kaya to vedana to citta to dhammanupassana is not a stereotype linear step-by-step beaten track but, is a dynamic process. buddha applied the kammatthana best suited for the individual for best results based on the individual’s past paramis, propensity of mind & base of samadhi (padaka jhana). so, we see pukkusati seeing nibbana with kayanupassana dhatu vibhanga & bahiya daruciriya straightaway working at the anatta level of dhammanupassana salayatanapabbam & the jatilas, to whom the adittapariyaya sutta discourse was given, working at the level of dukkha lakkhana of sensations [vedayitam] in accordance to the salayatanapabbam of dhammanupassana [experiential understanding of dukkha lakkhana as defined by sayagyi u ba khin, in burmese, at the end of his tikapatthanapali chanting & elsewhere as tejo dhatu or burning. Also implied in the “pajjalito” of the “sabbo pajjalito loko, sabbo loko pakampito” by upacala theri of therigatha] & the sick bhikkhu in pathamagelanna sutta working at the level of kayasamphassaja vedana in accordance to sampajanna pabbam of kayanupassana [ref. bhagava defining vedana here as “kayam paticca”] and beginning with aniccalakkhana of vedana & the sick bhikkhu in dutiyaagelanna sutta working at the level of vedana at all the 6 sense doors in accordance to vedanupassana [ref. bhagava defining vedana here as “phassa paticca”] and beginning with aniccalakkhana bhavana of vedana…and all pathways, being endowed with samma sati, being totally complete in itself & all leading to nibbana!

although i have said so much - but, i look forward to receive the admonitions for the compassionate sangha. may the sangha correct the flaws in my understanding, because, it will be for my own welfare.

may the guidance of the sangha help in removing the vicikiccha of many who may be having doubts about the vipassana kammatthana they may be practicing.

with much metta, gratitude & veneration at the feet of the sangha,

manish

attn: venerable @Pasanna

regards and veneration at the feet of the sangha!

most humbly & respectfully i pray for your wise attention to this thread. kindly consider my understanding of cattaro satipatthana & suitably admonish and correct me wherever i may be mistaken.

with regards and veneration at the feet of the sangha,

manish

It is strange that the respected monks did not pay attention to this interesting thread. For my part, I want to emphasize a couple of points. U Ba Khin had been studied from an Ajan layman, who, in turn, studied from Lady Sayadaw. It is Lady Sayadaw who is the source of the Vipassana teaching in the form in which it is taught in the U Ba Khin / Goenkaji lineage. But Lady Sayadaw did not teach any particular approach. Lady Sayadaw expressed the traditional point of view regarding theory and practice. he relayed in his treatises the approach of the visudhimagga, the Theravada commentaries on the suttas, and the teachings of the abhidhamma. nowhere in his treatises is there a special emphasis on the practice of contemplating Vedana. although it is undeniable that the Buddha emphasized the importance of insight into the nature of Vedana. you can’t argue with that! But surprisingly enough, U Ba Khin himself also did not teach that one should contemplate only Vedana, and that all aggregates can be cognized through Vedana. U Ba Khin had a purely pragmatic approach to practice and adapted it for laymen. The essence of his teaching was expressed in the three khandhas of the path - Shila, Samadhi, Pannya. Sila was associated with moral behavior, generosity and the practice of metta-bhavana. samadhi is concentration on the breath, and vipassana is the contemplation of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and impersonality. He made a special emphasis, as it is customary in tradition, on the contemplation of impermanence, which was supposed to open the door to other insights. U Ba Khin believed that for the initial insight into the nature of reality, one must contemplate the impermanence of the rupa in the form of kalap - subatomic particles. This is exactly what the whole Theravada tradition teaches - first know the gross, and the subtle will reveal itself. Kalapas can be recognized through contact with all six senses. but most clearly matter is perceived through tactile sensation - the bodily door. This sensation is not so much Vedana but Rupa, which expresses itself through bodily sensation. This is not only vedana, but also vinnana and sannya. That is, U Ba Khin taught the perception of impermanence through observing the process of contact between an object, a bodily sensory basis and bodily consciousness. This is an exclusively classical method, in line with the teachings of the Buddha. U Ba Khin suggested that one should know anicca first where it is most evident - in the bodily sensory door. U Ba Khin taught the cognition of both Rupa and Nama. after all, when a person investigates the impermanence of the rupa and his mind is concentrated and skillful enough, awareness begins to notice the very process of observation (that is, the name), which is also impermanent, fleeting, etc. That is, U Ba Khin taught the recognition of both Nama and Rupa. if we pay close attention to the teachings of Lady Sayadaw we will see the same approach - for example, contemplating the rūpa of the breath, and then the factors of the mind that recognize the rupa of the breath. And so, U Ba Khin comes to the conclusion that bodily base is best for recognizing the impermanence of Rupa and Nama. It’s a sophisticated, elegant, pragmatic approach. If Rupa is most evidence in the body, then nama is most evidence in the form of sensations and feelings. so we have already come to two bases of awareness - body and feelings. The text confirming this is in the book “The Hour of Vipassana has struck”. I don’t know when the over-emphasis on Vedana came about. Maybe in the process of teaching Vipassana by Goenka, or maybe U Ba Khin himself, while teaching it to his students, concentrated on what is easiest for perception. This approach can in no way be considered as ineffective. Against. But the method itself soon began to subjugate all the many-sided teachings of the Buddha.

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