“ THE MIND ”
BY NAYAKA MYITTHA SAYADAW, VEN.U VASAVA
MAHASI MEDITATION CENTRE, YANGON, MYANMAR
Today, my Dhamma talk will provide you meditators with some knowledgeable facts about the mind. This Dhamma was exhorted by the Lord Buddha in reply to a request made by a deva (a celestial being) while he was residing at Jetavana Monastery at Savatthi, over 2500 years ago.
The mind is defined as the seat of consciousness, thought, volition and feeling. This consciousness (Vinnana in Pali) furnishes the bare cognition for an object. It’s character, intensity and clarity are chiefly determined by the inseparably linked three other mental groups (feeling, perception and mental formations). According to the six senses and six corresponding objects, consciousness is determined as follows:
Conditioned through the eye and the visual object, seeing consciousness arises; Conditioned through the ear and the object heard, hearing consciousness arises; Conditioned through the nose and the object smelled, smelling consciousness arises; Conditioned through the tongue and the object tasted, tasting consciousness arises; Conditioned through the body and the object felt, body consciousness arises; Conditioned through the subconscious mind (bhavanga-mano) and the mind object, mind consciousness arises.
It is very important for one to perceive this consciousness at the instant moment of it’s occurrence. This can only be achieved through diligent mindfulness in accordance with Satipatthana Vipassana Meditation. If this consciousness is not noted at the very moment of it’s appearance by strenuous contemplation, the true nature of it’s impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and egolessness cannot be clearly perceived and hence, the delusion of permanence, satisfactoriness and self arises.
While contemplating in accordance with the Buddha’s admonishment of Cittanupassana Bhavana, meditators clearly perceive consciousness as well as mental objects disappearing at the moment of noting. Whatever physical and mental phenomena arise through the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind, will disappear when noted. That is the fundamental character of impermanence.
The consciousness (or mind) is capable of producing a variety of effects in action. All good and bad deeds are accomplished by the mind. You are all here because your minds brought you to this meditation centre. Now let us study the conversation between the Lord Buddha and the deva, on the subject of mind:
Oh! Lord Buddha, what influences and conditions sentient beings? What sole power induces sentient beings into action?
Oh! Deva, it is the mind that influences and conditions all sentient beings. All sentient beings have to obey the driving force of the mind, and act accordingly.
The deva, being pleased with the Lord Buddha’s reply went back to his abode. It was evident that, being deluded by kilesas or mental defilements, sentient beings are motivated to commit evil deeds through the mind. To cleanse mental defilements, it is of paramount importance that all mental and physical phenomena be noted at their moment of arising.
Through Satipatthana Vipassana Meditation, meditators perceive the true nature of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and egolessness for all phenomena, and thereby all mental impurities are eliminated. After eradicating mental defilements, the meditator will be able to cultivate proper understanding, and finally gain wisdom and freedom from all suffering.
I conclude this Dhamma talk by wishing that all meditators be able to contemplate Satipatthana VipassanaNibbana in the shortest possible time. Meditation diligently, and attain Path, Fruition and Nibbana in the shortest possible time.
Sadhu!… Sadhu!… Sadhu!