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Nīvaraṇā

Diversions
(Hindrances, Obstructions, Distractions, Involvements)

The Simile for the Nīvaraṇā

Imagine a mountain stream, winding here and there, swiftly flowing, taking in all along with it, and then a man were to open chanels from both sides. The flow in mid-stream would be disturbed, swirled about and split up, and that stream would no longer have the power to wind here and there, flow swiftly, take in all along with it.

AN 5.51

 

References:

see also: Glossology: Nimitta
[DN 33]
Sangiti Suttanta in Pali
PTS: Dialogs of the Buddha III, #33: The Recital, T.W. and C.A.F. Rhys Davids, trans., pp201
WP: The Long Discourses of the Buddha, #33: The Chanting Together, M. Walshe, trans., pp479
[MN 22]
PTS: The Middle Length Sayings, I: 22: Applications of Mindfulness, horner, trans., pp77
[AN 10.7]
PTS: Woodward, The Book of the Gradual Sayings, V: The Book of the Tens, VII, pp144
The Pali Line: High Getting High
and The Great Master's Satisfaction Pastures
ATI: The Five Mental Hindrances and their Conquest
ATI: Frames of Reference
Bhante Punnaji, Awakening Meditation, Puremind Press, pp 7-9
[AN 5.75]
PTS: The Book of the Gradual Sayings: The Book of the Fives, The Warrior, pp77ff, Hare, trans.
[AN 5.51]
SN 5.46.52 The N. in a 2-fold aspect = 10.
AN 5.193 Hare, n.5 A note describing the escape.


Nīvaraṇā
Pali MO Hare Horner Punnaji Bodhi Nanamoli Rhys Davids (Mrs)Rhys Davids Thanissaro Walshe Woodward Nyanaponika Thera
Pañca nīvaraṇā Diversions, Involvements; Distractions; The Five Bindups; obstructions The Five Hindrances, Checks[AN 5.51] The Five Hindrances The Five Obscurants Hindrances Hindrances Five hindrances Five hindrances hindrances, Obstacles [AN 5.51] Five hindrances The Five Hindrances The Five Hindrances
Kāmacchanda also kāmarāga wanting, pleasure-wishing kāmarāga = lust for sense-pleasures Hankering, sensual desire[AN 5.51 desire for sense pleasures Sensual desire covetousness covetousness sensuality sensuality Sensual Desire sensuality hankering, sensual desire [SN 5.46.40] Sensual Desire
vyāpāda, byāpāda deviance: anger, hate, whaever is not the Way Ill-will [AN 5.51] and Hatred ill-will Hatred ill will ill will ill-will ill-will ill-will, malevolence ill-will ill-will, malevolence [SN 5.46.40] Ill-will
thīna-middha lazy ways and inertia sloth and torpor[AN 5.51 sloth and torpor Lethargy and drowsiness sloth and torpor sloth and torpor sloth and torpor sloth and torpor Sloth and Torpor sloth-and-torpor sloth-and-torpor Sloth and Torpor
uddhacca-kukkucca fear and trembling flurry and worry restlessness and worry Anxiety and worry restlessness and remorse restlessness and remorse excitement and worry excitement and worry Restlessness and Anxiety worry-and-flurry distraction-and-flurry, excitement and flurry [SN 5.46.40] Restlessness and Remorse
vicikicchā doubt, vacillation doubt[AN 5.51 doubt Vacillation doubt doubt doubt doubt Uncertainty sceptical doubt doubt and wavering Doubt

 

Pali Text Society
Pali English Dictionary
Edited by T. W. Rhys Davids and William Stede
[EDITED ENTRY]

 

Nīvaraṇa: [Sk. *nivāraṇa, nis+ varaṇa of v.r (v.rṇoti)] an obstacle, hindrance, only as tt. applied to obstacles in an ethical sense and usually enumd or referred to in a set of 5...viz. kāmacchanda, (abhijjhā-)vyāpāda, thīna-middha, uddhaccakukkucca, vicikicchā i. e. sensuality, ill-will, torpor of mind or body, worry, wavering: D I.73...246; II.83, 300; III.49 sq., 101, 234, 278; S II.23; III.149; V.60, 84 sq., 93 sq., 145, 160, 226, 327, 439; M I.60, 144, 276; III.4, 295; A I.3, 161; III.16, 63, 230 sq.; 386; IV.457; V.16, 195, 322. Other enumns are occasionally found e. g. 10 at S V.110; 8 at M I.360 sq.; 6 at Dhs 1152.

 


Note the relationship of this term to 'Āvaraṇa: PED: shutting off, barring out, withstanding; nt. hindrance, obstruction, bar. The problems relating to a diversion are significantly different than those relating to an obstruction.


 

 

PTS: Woodward, The Book of the Gradual Sayings, V: The Book of the Tens, VII, AN 10.61 pp78: "And what is the nutriment of the five hindrances? "The three wrong ways of practice." (of mind, speech, body) See: The Compilation Threes:#3.3

Bhante Punnaji, Awakening Meditation, pp8-55: "When the mind is free of the obscurants (nivarana) there is proper attention. Obscurants are the emotional excitements that prevent you from observing what is there. That is the main thing to understand. When you are free of those interferences then your mind is calm and rested and you are able to observe whatever is there. You are able to pay attention because your mind is not going after the past or the future, but just observing what is in the present moment. The ability to do that is facilitated by entering the jhana because the jhana is the state where the mind is free of the obscurants.
pp: 8-33: "When you experience the jhana, you are fully aware of the hindrances disappearing. In fact, when you become aware of them, they stop. They continue because you are not fully aware of them."

MO: possible doubtful description of the sequence here in that it is frequently stated that the hindrances are gone before the First Jhana is entered.

"Thus abandoning these five hindrances, these taints of the heart which cause the weakenign of wisdom, aloof from unprofitable states, he enters on the first musing..."[AN 10.145]

My view is that the tendency is to make a mysterious thing of the hindrances and their disappearance. For the second, for example, one is truly concentrating on understanding an element of the Dhamma, that time is free from the hindrances — look at the hindrances and look at the state of concentrating on the Dhamma; they are mutually exclusive —, and that is, by definition, the first jhana. What I think Bhante Punnaji is describing here is a stage a little further along the path: where the hindrances can be said to have been worn out, not just temporarily disappeared, but unable to return with similar force, greatly weakened or are eradicated completely ... or perhaps he is describing the state just prior to enterig the jhanas.

PTS: Hare The Book of the Fives, AN 5.75 pp 75ff):
"And he resorts to some secluded spot: forest, tree-root, mountain, glen, rock-cave, cemetery, wooded upland, open space or heap of straw; and come to forest, tree-root or empty hut, he sits cross-legged, with body erect, setting mindfulness in front of him. Putting away all hankering, he abides with heart free therefrom; he cleanses his mind of hankering: putting away ill-will and hatred, he abides with heart free therefrom; kindly and compassionate to all creatures, he cleanses his mind of ill-will and hatred: putting away sloth and torpor, he abides free therefrom; conscious of light, mindful and self-possessed, he cleanses his mind of sloth and torpor: putting away flurry and worry, he abides poised; with heart serene within, he cleanses his mind of flurry and worry: putting away doubt, he abides with doubt passed by; no more he questions Why? of right things; he cleanses his mind of doubt.
Putting away these five hindrances, when the mind's corruptions are weakend by insight, aloof from sensuous appetites...he enters and abides in the first musing..."

 

§

 

The procedure for eliminating the hindrances goes as follows:

Hindrance: Food of Hindrance: Elimination of Hindrance:
kamacchando, pleasure-wishing: Not studiously examining the sign of the unpleasant (Yonisomanasikaro to the nimitta of a thing nimitta of pleasantness. In other words if one is not paying attention one is vulnerable to seeing pleasant things as likable and liking them.) Studiously examining the sign of the unpleasant.
vyapado by the not-path (usu: anger) Not studiously examining the unpleasant nimita of a thing. Practicing metta (why this and not 'studious etiological examination of the pleasant nimitta of a thing? Because for one beset by anger the likly result would be the arising of kamacchando).
Vicikiccha second-thoughts, doubt, uncertainty Not studiously examining things Studiously examining things

 

Another method described at AN 5.193 Hare, n.5:

Nīvaraṇā
Diversion
Nissaraṇa
Escape
kāmarāga
lust
elimination, suitable resort, cutting off by asubha meditation (meditation on the foul) insight, and the way of arahantship
vyāpāda
ill-will
elimination, cutting off by 'metta' meditation (meditation on loving kindness), and the way of the non-returner
thīnamiddha
sloth and torpor
elimination, cutting off by 'ālokasaññā' meditation (meditation on light) and arahantship
uddhaccakukkucca
flurry and worry
elimination, cutting off by samatha meditation (calming down)
vicikicchā
doubt and wavering
elimination and Dhamma-analysis (vavatthāna)

 


Similes for the Nīvaraṇā
Ref: AN 5.193

Nīvaraṇā
Diversion
Simile. The difficulty of seeing one's reflection in a pot of water in these conditions.
kāmarāga
lust
A pot of water mixed with lac, tumeric, blue or yellow dye
vyāpāda
ill-will
A pot of water heated on the fire, boiling up and bubbling over
thīnamiddha
sloth and torpor
A pot of water covered over with slimy moss and water-plants
uddhaccakukkucca
flurry and worry
A pot of water shaken with the wind, so that the water trembles, eddies and ripples
vicikicchā
doubt and wavering
A pot of water stirred up, turbid, made muddy, set in a darkened room

 

SN 5.46.52
I. The Five are Ten
Woodward's translation

'And what, monks, is the method of explanation
according to which the five hindrances are ten?

Sensual lust of the personal, monks, -
that is a hindrance.

Sensual lust of the external, monks, -
that is a hindrance.

So when we speak of the hindrance of personal lust,
that is what is meant.

Therefore, according to this method it is twofold.

One's own personal malevolence, monks, -
that is a hindrance.

The malevolence of others, -
that is a hindrance.

When we speak of the hindrance of malevolence,
that is what is meant.

Therefore, according to this method it is twofold.

Sloth, monks, is a hindrance.

Torpor is a hindrance.

So when we speak of the hindrance
of sloth and torpor,
that is what is meant.

By this method it is twofold.

Excitement, monks,
is a hindrance.

Flurry is a hindrance.

So when we speak of the hindrance
of excitement and flurry
that is what is meant.

By this method it is twofold.

Doubt and wavering
in one's own conditions, monks,
is a hindrance.

Doubt and wavering
as to externals
is a hindrance.

Thus when we speak of the hindrance
of doubt and wavering,
that is what is meant.

By this method it is twofold.

This, monks, is the method of explanation
according to which
the five hindrances are ten.


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