Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
1. Mūla-Paṇṇāsa
5. Cūḷa Yamaka Vagga

The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha

Sutta 43

Mahā Vedalla Suttaɱ

The Greater Series of Questions and Answers

Translated from the Pali by Ñanamoli Thera.
edited and revised by Bhikkhu Bodhi.

© 1995 Bhikkhu Bodhi
Published by
Wisdom Publications
Boston, MA 02115

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

 


 

[292] [1][chlm][pts][than][upal][olds] Thus Have I Heard.

On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Sāvatthī in Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.

Then, when it was evening, the venerable Mahā Koṭṭhita rose from meditation,
went to the venerable Sāriputta,
and exchanged greetings with him.[428]
When this courteous and amiable talk was finished,
he sat down at one side and said to the venerable Sāriputta:

Wisdom

[2][pts] "'One who is unwise,
one who is unwise' is said, friend.
With reference to what is this said,
'one who is unwise'?"

'"One does not wisely understand,
one does not wisely understand,' friend;
that is why it is said,
'one who is unwise.'

And what doesn't one wisely understand?

One does not wisely understand:
'This is suffering';
one does not wisely understand:
'This is the origin of suffering';
one does not wisely understand:
'This is the cessation of suffering';
one does not wisely understand:
'This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.'

'One does not wisely understand,
one does not wisely understand,' friend;
that is why it is said,
'one who is unwise.'"

Saying, "Good, friend,"
the venerable Mahā Koṭṭhita delighted and rejoiced
in the venerable Sāriputta's words.
Then he asked him a further question:

[3][pts] "'One who is wise,
one who is wise,' is said, friend.
With reference to what is this said,
'one who is wise'?"

"'One wisely understands,
one wisely understands,' friend;
that is why it is said,
'one who is wise.'

What does one wisely understand?

One wisely understands:
'This is suffering';
one [388] wisely understands:
'This is the origin of suffering';
one wisely understands:
'This is the cessation of suffering';
one wisely understands:
'This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.'

'One wisely understands,
one wisely understands,' friend;
that is why it is said,
'one who is wise.'"[429]

Consciousness

[4][pts] "'Consciousness,
consciousness' is said, friend.
With reference to what
is 'consciousness' said?"

"'It cognizes,
it cognizes,' friend;
that is why 'consciousness' is said.[430]

What does it cognize?

It cognizes: '[This is] pleasant';
it cognizes: '[This is] painful';
it cognizes: '[This is] neither-painful-nor-pleasant.'

'It cognizes,
it cognizes,' friend;
that is why
'consciousness' is said."[431]

[5][pts] "Wisdom and consciousness, friend
— are these states conjoined or disjoined?

And is it possible
to separate each of these states
from the other
in order to describe
the difference between them?"

"Wisdom and consciousness, friend
— these states are conjoined, not disjoined,
and it is impossible
to separate each of these states
from the other
in order to describe
the difference between them.
For what one wisely understands,
that one cognizes,
and what one cognizes,
that one wisely understands.

[293] That is why these states are conjoined, not disjoined,
and it is impossible
to separate each of these states
from the other
in order to describe
the difference between them."[432]

[6][pts] "What is the difference, friend,
between wisdom and consciousness,
these states that are conjoined,
not disjoined?"

"The difference, friend,
between wisdom and consciousness,
these states that are conjoined,
not disjoined,
is this:
wisdom is to be developed,
consciousness is to be fully understood."[433]

Feeling

[7][pts] "'Feeling,
feeling' is said, friend.
With reference to what
is 'feeling' said?"

"'It feels,
it feels,' friend;
that is why
'feeling' is said.

What does it feel?

It feels pleasure,
it feels pain,
it feels neither-pain-nor-pleasure.

'It feels,
it feels,' friend,
that is why
'feeling' is said."[434]

[389]

Perception

[8][pts] '"Perception,
perception,' is said, friend.
With reference to what
is 'perception' said?"

"'It perceives,
it perceives,' friend;
that is why
'perception' is said.

What does it perceive?

It perceives blue,
it perceives yellow,
it perceives red,
and it perceives white.

'It perceives,
it perceives,' friend;
that is why
'perception' is said."[435]

[9][pts] "Feeling, perception, and consciousness, friend
— are these states conjoined or disjoined?

And is it possible
to separate each of these states
from the others
in order to describe
the difference between them?"

"Feeling, perception, and consciousness, friend
— these states are conjoined, not disjoined,
and it is impossible
to separate each of these states
from the others
in order to describe
the difference between them.
For what one feels,
that one perceives;
and what one perceives,
that one cognizes.

That is why these states are conjoined, not disjoined,
and it is impossible
to separate each of these states
from the others
in order to describe
the difference between them."[436]

Knowable by Mind Alone

[10][pts] "Friend, what can be known
by purified mind-consciousness
released from the five faculties?"

"Friend, by purified mind-consciousness
released from the five faculties
the base of infinite space
can be known thus:
'Space is infinite';
the base of infinite consciousness
can be known thus:
'Consciousness is infinite';
and the base of nothingness
can be known thus:
'There is nothing."'[437]

[11][pts] "Friend, with what does one understand
a state that can be known?"

"Friend, one understands
a state that can be known
with the eye of wisdom."[438]

[12][pts] "Friend, what is the purpose of wisdom?"

"The purpose of wisdom, friend,
is direct knowledge,
its purpose is full understanding,
its purpose is abandoning."[439]439

[390]

Right View

[294] [13][pts] "Friend, how many conditions are there
for the arising of right view?"

"Friend, there are two conditions
for the arising of right view:
the voice of another
and wise attention.

These are the two conditions
for the arising of right view."[440]

[14][pts] "Friend, by how many factors
is right view assisted
when it has deliverance of mind for its fruit,
deliverance of mind for its fruit and benefit,
when it has deliverance by wisdom for its fruit,
deliverance by wisdom for its fruit and benefit?"

"Friend, right view is assisted by five factors
when it has deliverance of mind for its fruit,
deliverance of mind for its fruit and benefit,
when it has deliverance by wisdom for its fruit,
deliverance by wisdom for its fruit and benefit.

Here, friend, right view is assisted by virtue,
learning,
discussion,
serenity,
and insight.

Right view assisted by these five factors
has deliverance of mind for its fruit,
deliverance of mind for its fruit and benefit;
it has deliverance by wisdom for its fruit,
deliverance by wisdom for its fruit and benefit."[441]

Being

[15][pts] "Friend, how many kinds of being are there?"

"There are these three kinds of being, friend:
sense-sphere being,
fine-material being,
and immaterial being."

[16][pts] "Friend, how is renewal of being in the future generated?"

"Friend, renewal of being in the future
is generated through
the delighting in this and that
on the part of beings
who are hindered by ignorance
and fettered by craving."[442]

[17][pts] "Friend, how is renewal of being in the future not generated?"

"Friend, with the fading away of ignorance,
with the arising of true knowledge,
and with the cessation of craving,
renewal of being in the future is not generated."

The First Jhāna

[18][pts] "Friend, what is the first jhāna?"

"Here, friend,
quite secluded from sensual pleasures,
secluded from unwholesome states,
a bhikkhu enters upon
and abides in the first jhāna,
which is accompanied by applied and sustained [391] thought,
with rapture and pleasure born of seclusion.

This is called the first jhāna."

[19][pts] "Friend, how many factors
does the first jhāna have?"

"Friend, the first jhāna
has five factors.

Here, when a bhikkhu has entered upon the first jhāna,
there occur applied thought,
sustained thought,
rapture,
pleasure,
and unification of mind.

That is how the first jhāna
has five factors."

[20][pts] "Friend, how many factors are abandoned
in the first jhāna
and how many factors are possessed?"

"Friend, in the first jhāna
five factors are abandoned
and five factors are possessed.

Here, when a bhikkhu has entered upon the first jhāna,
sensual desire is abandoned,
ill will is abandoned,
sloth and torpor are abandoned,
restlessness and remorse [295] are abandoned,
and doubt is abandoned;
and there occur applied thought,
sustained thought,
rapture,
pleasure,
and unification of mind.

That is how in the first jhāna
five factors are abandoned
and five factors are possessed."

The Five Faculties

[21][pts] "Friend, these five faculties
each have a separate field,
a separate domain,
and do not experience
each other's field and domain,
that is, the eye faculty,
the ear faculty,
the nose faculty,
the tongue faculty,
and the body faculty.

Now of these five faculties,
each having a separate field,
a separate domain,
not experiencing
each other's field and domain,
what is their resort,
what experiences their fields and domains?"[443]

"Friend, these five faculties
each have a separate field,
a separate domain,
and do not experience
each other's field and domain,
that is, the eye faculty,
the ear faculty,
the nose faculty,
the tongue faculty,
and the body faculty.

Now these five faculties,
each having a separate field,
a separate domain,
not experiencing
each other's field and domain,
have mind as their resort,
and mind experiences
their fields and domains."

[22][pts] "Friend, as to these five faculties
— that is, the eye faculty,
the ear faculty,
the nose faculty,
the tongue faculty,
and the body faculty —
what do these five faculties
stand in dependence on?"

"Friend, as to these five faculties
— that is, the eye faculty,
the ear faculty,
the nose faculty,
the tongue faculty,
and the body faculty —
these five faculties
stand in dependence on vitality."[444]

"Friend, what does vitality
stand in dependence on?"

[392]"Vitality stands in dependence on heat."[445]

"Friend, what does heat
stand in dependence on?"

"Heat stands in dependence on vitality."

"Just now, friend,
we understood the venerable Sāriputta to have said:
'Vitality stands in dependence on heat';
and now we understand him to say:
'Heat stands in dependence on vitality.'

How should the meaning of these statements be regarded?"

"In that case, friend,
I shall give you a simile,
for some wise men here
understand the meaning of a statement
by means of a simile.

Just as when an oil-lamp is burning,
its radiance is seen in dependence on its flame
and its flame is seen in dependence on its radiance;
so too, vitality stands in dependence on heat
and heat stands in dependence on vitality."

Vital Formations

[23][pts] "Friend, are vital formations
states of feeling
or are vital formations one thing
and states of feeling another?" [296]

"Vital formations, friend,
are not states of feeling.[446]

If vital formations were states of feeling,
then when a bhikkhu has entered upon
the cessation of perception and feeling,
he would not be seen to emerge from it.
Because vital formations are one thing
and states of feeling another,
when a bhikkhu has entered upon
the cessation of perception and feeling,
he can be seen to emerge from it."

[24][pts] "Friend, when this body
is bereft of how many states
is it then discarded and forsaken,
left lying senseless like a log?"[447]

"Friend, when this body is bereft of three states
— vitality,
heat,
and consciousness —
it is then discarded and forsaken,
left lying senseless like a log."

[25][pts] "Friend, what is the difference
between one who is dead,
who has completed his time,
and a bhikkhu who has entered upon
the cessation of perception and feeling?"

"Friend, in the case of one who is dead,
who has completed his time,
his bodily formations have ceased and subsided,
his verbal formations have ceased and subsided,
his mental formations [393] have ceased and subsided,
his vitality is exhausted,
his heat has been dissipated,
and his faculties are fully broken up.

In the case of a bhikkhu
who has entered upon the cessation of perception and feeling,
his bodily formations have ceased and subsided,
his verbal formations have ceased and subsided,
his mental formations have ceased and subsided,
but his vitality is not exhausted,
his heat has not been dissipated,
and his faculties become exceptionally clear.[448]

This is the difference
between one who is dead,
who has completed his time,
and a bhikkhu who has entered upon
the cessation of perception and feeling."

Deliverance of Mind

[26][pts] "Friend, how many conditions are there
for the attainment
of the neither-painful-nor-pleasant
deliverance of mind?"

"Friend, there are four conditions
for the attainment
of the neither-painful-nor-pleasant
deliverance of mind;
here, with the abandoning of pleasure and pain,
and with the previous disappearance of joy and grief,
a bhikkhu enters upon and abides in the fourth jhāna,
which has neither-pain-nor-pleasure
and purity of mindfulness due to equanimity.

These are the four conditions for the attainment of the neither-painful-nor-pleasant deliverance of mind."

[27][pts] "Friend, how many conditions are there
for the attainment
of the signless deliverance of mind?"

"Friend, there are two conditions
for the attainment
of the signless deliverance of mind:
non-attention to all signs
and attention to the signless element.

These are the two conditions
for the attainment
of the signless deliverance of mind."[449]

[28][pts] "Friend, how many conditions are there
for the persistence
of the signless deliverance of mind?"

"Friend, there are three conditions
for the persistence
of the signless deliverance of mind:
[297] non-attention to all signs,
attention to the signless element,
and the prior determination [of its duration].

These are the three conditions
for the persistence
of the signless deliverance of mind."

[29][pts] "Friend, how many conditions are there
for emergence
from the signless deliverance of mind?"

"Friend, there are two conditions
for emergence
from the signless deliverance of mind:
attention to all signs
and non-attention [394] to the signless element.

These are the two conditions
for emergence
from the signless deliverance of mind."

[30][pts] "Friend, the immeasurable deliverance of mind,
the deliverance of mind through nothingness,
the deliverance of mind through voidness,
and the signless deliverance of mind:
are these states different in meaning
and different in name,
or are they one in meaning
and different only in name?"

"Friend, the immeasurable deliverance of mind,
the deliverance of mind through nothingness,
the deliverance of mind through voidness,
and the signless deliverance of mind:
there is a way in which these states
are different in meaning
and different in name,
and there is a way in which they are
one in meaning
and different only in name.

[31][pts] "What, friend, is the way
in which these states
are different in meaning
and different in name?

Here a bhikkhu
abides pervading one quarter
with a mind imbued with loving-kindness,
likewise the second,
likewise the third,
likewise the fourth;
so above, below, around, and everywhere,
and to all as to himself,
he abides pervading the all-encompassing world
with a mind imbued with loving-kindness,
abundant, exalted, immeasurable,
without hostility and without ill will.

He abides pervading one quarter
with a mind imbued with compassion,
likewise the second,
likewise the third,
likewise the fourth;
so above, below, around, and everywhere,
and to all as to himself,
he abides pervading the all-encompassing world
with a mind imbued with compassion,
abundant, exalted, immeasurable,
without hostility and without ill will.

He abides pervading one quarter
with a mind imbued with appreciative joy,
likewise the second,
likewise the third,
likewise the fourth;
so above, below, around, and everywhere,
and to all as to himself,
he abides pervading the all-encompassing world
with a mind imbued with appreciative joy,
abundant, exalted, immeasurable,
without hostility and without ill will.

He abides pervading one quarter
with a mind imbued with equanimity,
likewise the second,
likewise the third,
likewise the fourth;
so above, below, around, and everywhere,
and to all as to himself,
he abides pervading the all-encompassing world
with a mind imbued with equanimity,
abundant, exalted, immeasurable,
without hostility and without ill will.

This is called
the immeasurable deliverance of mind.

[32][pts] "And what, friend,
is the deliverance of mind through nothingness?

Here, with the complete surmounting of the base of infinite consciousness,
aware that 'there is nothing,'
a bhikkhu enters upon and abides in
the base of nothingness.

This is called
the deliverance of mind through nothingness.

[33][pts] "And what, friend,
is the deliverance of mind through voidness?

Here a bhikkhu,
gone to the forest
or to the root of a tree
or to an empty hut,
reflects thus:
'This is void of a self
or of what belongs to a self.'

[298] This is called
the deliverance of mind through voidness.[450]

[395] [34][pts] 34. "And what, friend,
is the signless deliverance of mind?

Here, with non-attention to all signs,
a bhikkhu enters upon and abides in
the signless concentration of mind.

This is called
the signless deliverance of mind.[451]

This is the way in which these states
are different in meaning
and different in name.

[35][pts] "And what, friend,
is the way in which these states
are one in meaning
and different only in name?

Lust is a maker of measurement,
hate is a maker of measurement,
delusion is a maker of measurement.[452]

In a bhikkhu whose taints are destroyed,
these are abandoned,
cut off at the root,
made like a palm stump,
done away with so that they are no longer
subject to future arising.

Of all the kinds of immeasurable deliverance of mind,
the unshakeable deliverance of mind
is pronounced the best.

Now that unshakeable deliverance of mind
is void of lust,
void of hate,
void of delusion.[453]

[36][pts] "Lust is a something,
hate is a something,
delusion is a something.[454]

In a bhikkhu whose taints are destroyed,
these are abandoned,
cut off at the root,
made like a palm stump,
done away with so that they are no longer
subject to future arising.

Of all the kinds of deliverance of mind through nothingness,
the unshakeable deliverance of mind
is pronounced the best.[455]

Now that unshakeable deliverance of mind
is void of lust,
void of hate,
void of delusion.

[37][pts] "Lust is a maker of signs,
hate is a maker of signs,
delusion is a maker of signs.[456]

In a bhikkhu whose taints are destroyed,
these are abandoned,
cut off at the root,
made like a palm stump,
done away with so that they are no longer
subject to future arising.

Of all the kinds of signless deliverance of mind,
the unshakeable deliverance of mind
is pronounced the best.[457]

Now that unshakeable deliverance of mind
is void of lust,
void of hate,
void of delusion.

This is the way
in which these states
are one in meaning
and different only in name."[458]

That is what the venerable Sāriputta said.
The venerable Mahā Koṭṭhita was satisfied and delighted in the venerable Sāriputta's words.

 


[428] Ven. Mahā Koṭṭhita was declared by the Buddha the foremost disciple of those who have attained the analytical knowledges (paṭisambhidā).

[429] According to MA, the understanding of the Four Noble Truths being discussed here is penetration by the supramundane path. Thus the lowest type of person to be described as "one who is wise" (paññavā) is the person on the path of stream-entry. The rendering of paññā as "wisdom" (which I substituted for Ñm's "understanding") has the disadvantage of severing the tie, evident in the Pali, with the verb pajānāti. To preserve the connection, here and in the preceding paragraph, the verb has been rendered "wisely understand."

[430] The Pali phrase defining consciousness uses only the verb, vijānāti vijānāti, and this could as well be understood to mean "One cognizes, one cognizes." Although Ñm had translated this phrase without any pronoun, the pronoun has been inserted for greater intelligibility. The renderings of the verb definitions of feeling and perception at §7 and §8 have been similarly augmented by the addition of the pronoun.

[431] MA: The question concerns the consciousness with which the person described as "one who is wise" examines formations; that is, the consciousness of insight by which that person arrived (at his attainment), the mind which does the work of meditation. Ven. Sāriputta answers by explaining the meditation subject of feeling, in the way it has come down in the Discourse on the Foundations of Mindfulness (MN 10.32). The Pali construction, sukhan ti pi vijānāti, indicates that the feeling is being treated as a direct object of consciousness rather than as an affective tone of the experience; to show this the words "this is" have been supplied in brackets and the entire phrase set in quotation marks.

[432] MA: This statement refers to the wisdom and consciousness on the occasions of both insight and the supramundane path. The two are conjoined in that they arise and cease simultaneously and share a single sense base and object. However, the two are not inseparably conjoined since, while wisdom always requires consciousness, consciousness can occur without wisdom.

[433] "Wisdom, being the path factor of right view, is to be developed as a factor of the path. Consciousness, being included among the five aggregates that pertain to the noble truth of suffering, is to be fully understood — as impermanent, suffering, and not self.

[434] MA says that the question and reply refer to mundane feelings that are the objective range of insight. The Pali construction here, sukham pi vedeti, etc., shows feeling as simultaneously a quality of the object and an affective tone of the experience by which it is apprehended. MA points out that feeling itself feels; there is no other (separate) feeler.

[435] MA: The question and reply refer to mundane perceptions that are the objective range of insight.

[436] MA: Wisdom has been excluded from this exchange because the intention is to show only the states that are conjoined on every occasion of consciousness.

[437] MA: Purified mind-consciousness (parisuddha manoviññāṇa) is the consciousness of the fourth jhāna. It can know the immaterial attainments insofar as one established in the fourth jhāna is capable of reaching them. The base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception is excluded here because, owing to its subtlety, it does not come into the direct range of contemplation for the attainment of insight.

[438] MA: The eye of wisdom (paññācakkhu) is wisdom itself, called an eye in the sense that it is an organ of spiritual vision.

[439] For the distinction between direct knowledge (abhññā) and full understanding (pariññā), see n.23.

[440] MA: "The voice of another" (parato ghosa) is the teaching of beneficial Dhamma. These two conditions are necessary for disciples to arrive at the right view of insight and the right view of the supramundane path. But paccekaBuddhas arrive at their enlightenment and fully enlightened Buddhas at omniscience solely in dependence on wise attention without "the voice of another."

[441] MA: Right view here is the right view pertaining to the path of arahantship. "Deliverance of mind" and "deliverance by wisdom" both refer to the fruit of arahantship; see n.83. When one fulfils these five factors, the path of arahantship arises and yields its fruit.

[442] "Renewal of being in the future" (āyatim punabbhavābhinibbatti) is rebirth, the continuation of the round. This question and the next may be regarded as synoptic approaches to the entire twelvefold formula of dependent origination laid out in MN 38.17 and 20.

[443] The five outer sense faculties each have their own unique object — forms for the eye, sounds for the ear, etc. — but the mind faculty is able to experience the objects of all five sense faculties as well as the mental objects exclusive to itself. Hence the other five faculties have mind as their resort (manopaṭisaraṇaɱ).

[444] MA identifies vitality (āyu) with the life faculty (jīvitindriya), which has the function of maintaining and vitalising the other material phenomena of the living body.

[445] Heat (usmā) is the kamma-born heat intrinsic to the living body.

[446] "Vital formations" (āyusaŋkhāra), according to MA, denotes vitality itself. They cannot be states of feeling because they are required to keep the body of a bhikkhu alive when he has attained to the cessation of perception and feeling. This special meditative attainment, in which all mental activity ceases, is accessible only to nonreturners and arahants who also have mastery over the eight attainments on the side of serenity. For a brief discussion see the Introduction, p. 28, and for the full scholastic account, Vsm XXIII, 16-52. The cessation of perception and feeling will be taken up again in MN 44.

[447] That is, dead. The departure of consciousness from the body is not sufficient to constitute death; vitality and the vital heat must also perish.

[448] The bodily formations are in-and-out breathing, the verbal formations are applied thought and sustained thought, the mental formations are perception and feeling — see MN 44.14-15. MA says that the faculties during the ordinary course of life, being impinged upon by sense objects, are afflicted and soiled like a mirror set up at a crossroads; but the faculties of one in cessation become exceptionally clear like a mirror placed in a case and deposited in a box.

[449] MA: The "signless deliverance of mind" (animittā cetovimutti) is the attainment of fruition; the "signs" are objects such as forms, etc.; the "signless element" is Nibbāna, in which all signs of conditioned things are absent.

[450] MA identifies this suññatā cetovimutti with insight into the voidness of selfhood in persons and things.

[451] As above, the signless deliverance of mind is identified by MA with the attainment of fruition. Of the four deliverances of mind mentioned in §30, this one alone is supramundane. The first three — the brahmavihāras, the third immaterial attainment, and insight into the voidness of formations — all pertain to the mundane level.

[452] Lust, hate, and delusion may be understood as "makers of measurement" (pamāṇakaraṇa) in that they impose limitations upon the range and depths of the mind; MA, however, explains this phrase to mean that the defilements enable one to measure a person as a worldling, a stream-enterer, a once-returner, or a non-returner.

[453] MA: There are twelve immeasurable deliverances of mind: the four brahmavihāras, the four paths, and the four fruits. The unshakeable deliverance of mind is the fruit of arahantship. The statement that this unshakeable deliverance is void of lust, hate, and delusion — repeated at the end of §36 and §37 as well — also identifies it as the supramundane deliverance of mind through voidness.

[454] The word kiñcana is explained by MA as meaning "impediment" or "obstacle." Ñm rendered it as "owning." I have gone back to the original meaning "something" to maintain coherence with the statement that its abandonment issues in deliverance of mind through nothingness.

[455] MA: There are nine deliverances of mind through nothingness: the base of nothingness and the four paths and fruits.

[456] MA interprets the phrase "maker of signs" (nimittakaraṇa) to mean that lust, hate, and delusion brand a person as a worldling or a noble one, as lustful, hating, or deluded. But it may also mean that these defilements cause the mind to ascribe a false significance to things as being permanent, pleasurable, self, or beautiful.

[457] MA: There are thirteen signless deliverances of mind: insight, because it removes the signs of permanence, pleasure, and self; the four immaterial attainments, because they lack the sign of material form; and the four paths and fruits, because of the absence of the sign of defilements.

[458] All the four deliverances of mind are one in meaning in that they all refer to the fruition attainment of arahantship. MA also points out that the four deliverances are one in meaning because the terms — the immeasurable, nothingness, voidness, and the signless — are all names for Nibbāna, which is the object of the fruition attainment of arahantship.


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