The experience of painful contact within the body results in an unpleasant sensation that is unpalatable, distressful, painful, sorrowful, and an affliction. Faced with such an experience, an ordinary person becomes distressed, disturbed and unbalanced. When the pain is intense, he weeps, laments, cries, falls into despair and becomes deluded.
Even while striving to get over the unpleasant sensation, he indulges himself in craving for imaginary situations where there is no unpleasant sensation whatsoever. He starts enjoying this imaginary state and thereby develops lust for it.
There arise situations where one experiences neither pleasant nor unpleasant sensations (adukkhamasukha vedana) and becomes delighted and satisfied with this. Such relishing indicates avijja (ignorance), as one does not know, or forgets, that this experience is also transitory, ephemeral and still within the sphere of nama-rupa (mind and matter).
Both an ordinary person and a well-trained Vipassana meditator, who has reached the stage of saintliness, can experience the same sensations in the body. But there is a vast difference in their comprehension and outlook. As stated above, since a puthujjana (person ignorant of truth within) is the victim of the anusayas (dormant tendencies), he immediately starts reacting blindly when he experiences any sensation arising in the body. Being unaware of the true nature of these sensations, he remains attached (samyutta) to them.
Further, if he experiences a pleasant sensation, he does not take any pleasure in it. He fully understands its true nature of anicca, and so develops no lust for it, which would eventually lead to misery. Thus he keeps himself detached from the sensations. He knows correctly that sooner or later they will pass away. He has no tendency towards lust (raganusaya) in him.
The Vipassana practitioner is always mindful and attentive (sato) and keeps a constant understanding of anicca (sampajano) towards bodily sensations. Since the avijjanusaya (tendency of ignorance) is destroyed, the meditator truly knows the arising (samudaya) and passing away of it (atthangama), the relishing of it (assada), danger in it (adinava) and the escape (nissarana) from the sensations, it is said-
Vedana ca pajanati, vedanananca sambhavam.
Yattha ceta nirujjhanti, magganca khayagaminam;
Vedananam khaya bhikkhu, nicchatonicchato parinibbuto'ti.
A follower of the Buddha, with concentration, awareness and constant thorough understanding of impermanence, knows with wisdom the sensations, their arising, their cessation and the path leading to their end. A meditator who has reached the end (has experienced the entire field) of sensations (and has gone beyond) is freed from craving, fully liberated.
Na vedanam vedayati sapanno, sukham pi dukkham pi bahussuto pi;
ayam ca dhirassa puthujjanena, maha viseso kusalassa hoti.
Sankhatadhammassa bahussutassa, vipassato lokamimam param ca;
itthassa dhamma na mathenti cittam, anitthato no patighatameti.
A wise, well-trained practitioner is not afflicted (mentally) when either experiencing a pleasant or unpleasant sensation (or otherwise).
The practice of Vipassana is fulfilled only when a practitioner comes to realize perfectly the true transitory nature of sensations at this moment, now, and remains ever mindful (sato) with continuous thorough understanding (sampajano) of them, every moment. Then the mind is progressively purified of all defilements.
2. Ibid. 2.4.252, Saririkaya vedanaya. Also Ibid. 2.4.258, Vedana phassaja phassamulaka, phassanidana, phassapaccaya.
3. Ibid. 2.4.254, Sammoham apajjati.
4. Ibid.2.4.254, So dvisallena vedanam vedayati... So dve vedana vedayati kayikam ca cetasikam ca.
5. Loc. cit., Sannutto hoti.
6. Loc. cit., Dukkhaya vedanaya patighavantam, yo dukkhaya vedanaya patighanusayo so anuseti.
7. Loc. cit., So dukkhaya vedanaya phuttho samano kamasukham abhinandati.
8. Loc. cit., Dukkham ce vedanam vedayati sannutto nam vedayati. Assutava puthujjano sannutto jatiya jaraya maranena sokehi...
9. Loc. cit., Sannutta hoti... abhinandati.
10. Loc. cit., Sukham ce vedanam, vedayati, sannutto nam vedayati.
11. Loc. cit., Yo sukhaya vedanaya raganusayo, so anuseti.
12. Ibid 2.4.252, Sammoham apajjati.
13. Samyutta Nikaya 2.4.255-256, Pathamagelanna-Sutta and Dutiyagelanna-Sutta.
14. Ibid. 2.4.254, visannutto nam vedayati.
15. Ibid. 2.4.254, vedayati, kayikam, na cetasikam.
16. Ibid. 2.4.254, visannutto nam vedayati.
17. Ibid. 2.4.249
18. Ibid. 2.4.254
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