Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ten Buddhist contemplations (sutra)

Dev, Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson, Wisdom Quarterly; (AN 6:10)
Devas, literally "shining ones," are earthbound fairies and "light beings" in space (W-B-S)
Whoever wants to develop this recollection of devas should possess the special quality of faith (saddha) brought into being by means of the Noble Path. One withdraws into solitary silent retreat to recollect one's own special qualities of faith, virtue, learning, generosity, and understanding, as if the devas were witnesses. They were reborn in fortunate worlds due to their faith. So can I! They were reborn in fortunate worlds due to their virtue, learning, generosity, and understanding. So can I! (AN III 287). One devoted to this recollection becomes dear and loved by those devas. One obtains greater fullness of faith (confidence). One fills with happiness and gladness. Even if one were to penetrate no higher, one is at least headed for a happy destination.

Tika for devi, Nepal (
This series of contemplations, when often practiced and developed, leads to a complete turning away from this captivating world. It leads to letting things be, stillness, cessation, peace, penetrative knowledge, enlightenment, and thus to nirvana...

Any noble  disciple who by gradual progress has understood this Dharma dwells frequently contemplating in this way:

Grand Palace (Micky7501/flickr)
A noble disciple contemplates on the devas in this way: There are the devas on the plane of the Four Great Overseers (in the four cardinal directions); there are the devas of the World of the Thirty-Three; there are devas of the Yama World; there are devas the Contented Devas; there are also devas enjoying their own creations. There are devas with power over others' creations; there are devas in the world of Brahma; and devas far above them... 

Now, such faith (confidence), virtue, wisdom, generosity, concentration, and understanding that these devas acted upon that caused their rebirths on divine planes after leaving this world, such good qualities as these are also found in me!
Proto Kwan Yin (W-B-S)
When a noble disciple reflects in this way, mind (heart) is neither obsessed by greed, nor by hate, nor by delusion. Uplifted and elated is mind. This causes the noble disciple to gain a deeper understanding of the Dharma and leads to the noble disciple delighting in the Dharma.
Delighted, there arises rapturous joy (piti). Filled with rapturous joy, one is inwardly contented and becomes very calm. Being calm causes one bliss and happiness. And the mind of such a happy one becomes calm, collected, and concentrated... 
Sakka, King of the Devas, with nymphs
Friends, of this noble disciple it is said that among many misguided humans (ordinary uninstructed worldlings), among suffering humankind, one lives freed from suffering! 
And as one who has entered the stream to nirvana, one cultivates further this contemplation. Friends, when a noble disciple has reached the fruit of understanding the Dharma, one often dwells with a calm smile in this state.

The Buddha in the celestial World of the Thirty-Three teaching Maya Devi, Sakka the King of the Devas, and that world's resident devas the "Ultimate Doctrine" (Abhidharma)

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