Monday, December 31, 2012

Three and Eight Liberations

Wisdom Quarterly based on Ven. Nyanatiloka Mahathera, A Buddhist Dictionary: A Manual of Pali Terms and Buddhist Doctrines (vimokkha)


LIBERATION (vimokkha): deliverance, emancipation, freedom from suffering; enlightenment; awakening.
 
I. The three liberations are: 1. the conditionless or signless (no nimitta) liberation, 2. the desireless liberation, and 3. the emptiness or void liberation (shuññatá-vimokkha). 
 
They are also called "the triple gateway to liberation" (vimokkha-mukha; Path of Purification XXI, 66ff) because they are three different approaches to the paths of enlightenment.
 
1. "Whosoever, being filled with determination, reflects that all formations are radically impermanent, such a person attains the conditionless liberation. 

2. Whosoever, being filled with tranquility, reflects that all formations are painful, such a person attains the desireless liberation. 

3. Whosoever, being filled with wisdom, reflects that all formations are without a self, such a person attains the emptiness liberation" (Path of Purification XXI, 70 = Pts.M. II, p. 58).
  
(1) and (2) are mentioned and explained in the Middle Length Discourses (MN 43) under the name of deliverances of mind (ceto-vimutti), and (2) and (3) appear in Dhs. (344ff, 353ff) in the section on supermundane consciousness (see Atthasálini Tr., p. 299ff).
  
II. The EIGHT LIBERATIONS occur frequently in the texts (A. VIII, 66; DN 16, etc.) and are described as follows:
 
[The Buddha:] "There are eight liberations, O meditators. What are they?
 
(1) ''While remaining in the Fine-Material Sphere, one perceives corporeal forms: this is the first liberation.
 
(2) "Not perceiving corporeal forms on one's own person, one perceives corporeal forms externally: this is the second liberation.
  
(3) ''By thinking of the beautiful, one is filled with confidence: this is the third liberation.
   .
(4) "Through the total overcoming of the corporeality-perceptions, the vanishing of the reflex-perceptions, and the non-attention to the multiformity-perceptions, with the idea 'Unbounded is space,' one reaches the plane of boundless space and abides therein: this is the fourth liberation.
 
(5) "Through the total overcoming of the sphere of boundless space, and with the idea 'Unbounded is consciousness,' one reaches the plane of boundless consciousness and abides therein: this is the fifth liberation.
 
(6) "Through the total overcoming of the plane of unbounded consciousness, and with the idea 'Nothing is there,' one reaches the plane of nothingness (ákiñeaññ-áyatana) and abides therein: this is the sixth liberation.
 
(7) "Through the total overcoming of the plane of nothingness, one reaches the plane of neither-perception-nor-non-perception and abides therein: this is the seventh liberation.
  
(8) "Through the total overcoming of the plane of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, one reaches the extinction of perception and sensation: this is the eighth liberation.
 
"These, O meditators, are the eight kinds of liberation."
 
For (1-3), see abhibháyatana; for (4-7), see jhána; for (8), see nirodha-samápatti.
 
By (3) is meant the attainment of the Fine-Material Sphere absorptions (jhánas) by means of concentrating the mind on perfectly pure and bright colored disks (kasinas) as meditation objects. 
 
According to Pts.M. this mental state is also produced by concentrating the mind on the Four Sublime States (Brahma Viharas): all-embracing loving-kindness, compassion, appreciative joy, and equanimity. The result of this is that all beings appear perfectly pure and glorified, and therefore the mind turns to the beautiful.
 
See Pts.M. II, Vimokkha-kathá; Atthasálini Tr., p. 255; App. More

1 comment:

Dhamma Articles said...

Thanks sharing. Vipassana meditation not only help us be mindful all day while also increase our wisdom. Recently, I met a guru who practice for over 30years, he is Venerable Vimokkha and did share his teaching in MP3 files in my blog. Feel free download this free Vipassana meditation MP3 at:
http://www.kidbuxblog.com