48 DHĀTUMANASIKĀRA: ANANALYSIS OF ITS IMPACT ON BUDDHIST PRACTITIONERS OF MYANMAR

Thứ năm - 09/05/2019 04:09
by Pannyavara
743
 



 
DHĀTUMANASIKĀRAANANALYSIOITS IMPACT ON BUDDHIST PRACTITIONERS OF MYANMAR

by Pannyavara*




ABSTRACT

Dhātumanasikāra is a mindful practice mentioned in the Kāyānupassanā of Mahāsipaṭhāna Sutta and the main practice of Bodhipakkhiya Forest Meditation Centre in Myanmar. With sustained contemplation of Dhātumanasikāra, the  meditative  practitioners try to  propagate  the   Dhātumanasikāra   practice   and  organize the Meditative Retreat Programs after realizing of meditative experiences.

However, different approaches to the contemplation of Dhātumanasikārahaveappearedbecauseitisepigrammaticteaching. Among different contemplative approaches, this paper prefers the contemplation of element characters. After explaining the reason why this paper has a preference for contemplation of the elements intrinsic natures, it will survey organizers of the Dhātumanasikāra Meditative Retreat Programs for sustainable positive changes. Based on the results above, it can be concluded that Dhātumanasikāra is an insight meditative practice for mindful leadership in order to receive the enrichment of life and the sustainable peace.

INTRODUCTION

Dhātumanasikāra is a mindfulness practice mentioned in the
Kāyānupassanā of Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta and the practice of
*Instructor, Bodhipakkhiya Forest Meditation Centre in Mingun, Myanmar
 


Bodhipakkhiya Forest Meditation Centre in Myanmar. With sustained contemplation of dhātumanasikāra, the  meditative  practitioners try to propagate the Dhātumanasikāra practice and organize the meditative retreat programs after realizing of meditative experiences.

In Pāli literature, there was a princess who changed the optimistic view of life, the supportive relationship and the way she viewed and managed with sustained contemplation of dhātu. She was Janapadakalyanī and also known as Rupanandā because she was very beautiful. She saw renouncing household-life and changing the way of life such as giving up of Universal monarch to Bhikkhu. After seeing the renouncing of her mother called Gotamī, her elder brother called Siddhattha, her husband Prince Nanda and her nephew called Rāhula, she changed the life of bhikkhunī because she felt lonely. Consequently, she faced difficulties to create sustainable positive change.

It is said that she was struggle to adjust in new environment and new teaching such as impermanence, suffering, and insubstantiality of the physical and mental body. So, she avoided and kept away from the Buddha at first. Having decided to see the Buddha because she heard the talking in praise of the Buddha, she went to temple to listen to the teaching of the Buddha with others. The Buddha insisted her to contemplate dhātu1. With sustained contemplation of dhātu, realizing of sñata (emptiness) is the sustainable positive change of life. She attained the Sotāpatti fruition after perceiving and experiencing the true intrinsic nature of five aggregates.

In this way, her nephew, Rāhulā, also learned the teachings of dhātumanasikāra form the Buddha. He gratified and delighted in the Blessed Ones words and teachings. The teachings of dhātumanasikāra for Rāhula, the son of the Buddha, were found in Mahārāhulovāda Sutta2. According to its commentary, the aged of Rāhulā was 18 years when he learned this discourses from the Buddha. Consequently, this discourses become a vital role to be evidence for sustainable positive changes of dhātumanasikāras practitioners and its impact on harmonious families.

 
  1. dhA.i.97; Ud.iii.2
  2. MN 62; PTS: Mi 420
 


Hence, Dhātumanasikāra is a teaching to understand the nature of the physical body and the nature of our existence rationally. And it becomes a teaching concerned our life.
Dhātumanasikāra

The Buddha taught about it in the Kāyānupassanā of Mahāsipaṭhāna Sutta. There are six sections in Kāyānupassanā called Āpāna, Iriyāpatha, Sampajaña, Paṭikulamanasikāra, Dhātumanasikāra, and Navasivathika. Dhātumanasikāra is one of them and it just consists of a few lines because it is an epigrammatic teaching.

Just as if, monks, a skillful cow-butcher or his apprentice, after having slaughtered a cow and having divided it into portions, would sit down at the junction of four roads; in the same way, monks, a monk reflects on this very body, however it is placed or disposed, considering the material elements: In this body, there is the earth-element, the water-element, the fire-element and the air-element3.” (MN1 73)

Given the four elements in the contemplation of dhātu, it is important to  understand what  the significance  of dhātu  is characterized in this extent. The meaning of dhātu in this extent is intrinsic nature (sabhāvattha). However, the current understanding of Pathavī dhātu is soil, Āpo dhātu to water, Tejo dhātu to fire and Vāyo dhātu to air. Consequently, the meditative practitioner has focused on the Pathavī dhātu (earth element), Āpo dhātu (water element), Tejo dhātu (fire element), and Vāyo dhātu (air element). The characteristic of Pathavī, Āpo, Tejo, anVāyo has been surprisingly neglected until recently.

CHARACTERIZATION OF DHĀTU

Dhātuttho nāma sabhāvatthohas become to examine the different contemplations that have been used to practice. According to DepYin  Sayādaw, a writer of Paramatthacakkhu, the  earth,

 
  1. DN 22; MN1 73 Seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, dakkho goghātako vā goghātakantevāsī vā vi vadhitvā catumahāpathe bilaso vibhajitvā nisinno assa; evameva kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu imameva kāyaṃ yathāhitaṃ yathāpaṇihitaṃ dtuso paccavekkhati: atthi imasmiṃ kāye pathavīdtu āpodhātu tejodtu vāyodtūti.
 


water, fire and air cannot define as dhātu because they constitute with form, color and ingredients called Sasambhāra. It does not use as a meditative object in the contemplation of dhātu although they are called Pathavī, Āpo, Tejo, and Vāyo. Furthermore, to achieve the Vipassanā wisdom, Ledi Sayādaw, Dhammavīdī Sayādaw, Mahasi Sayādaw, Mingun Sayādaw, Phar aut Thawya Sayādaw, Thapeit Ai Thawya Sayādaw, Sītagū Sayādaw, Boddhipakkhiya Sayādaw and other well-known Sayādaws also instruct to practice the characteristic of elements. Similarly, the Visuddhimagga also mention to contemplate the characteristic of dhātu. Likewise, the Vibhaṇga also points out that the characteristic of dhātu or their each intrinsic nature can only defined as Dhātu. As a result, the meaning of dhātu is the intrinsic nature and the characteristic of element (sabhāva).

Traditionally, researchers have aimed to mention the twenty kinds of Pathavī, twelve kinds of Āpo, four kinds of Tejo and six kinds of Vāyo. However, such a kind of focus and contemplation may not fully explain what real elements are. Because they are designation (solid), it will be difficult to make out the ultimate reality. Therefore, instead of contemplation on designation (ghana), the meditative practitioners have to contemplate the characteristics of dhātu.

While the above studies provide the valuable teaching regarding the contemplation of dhātu, the meditative practitioner needs to understand the characteristics of dhātu before contemplation it. The intrinsic nature of Pathavī has the rough texture character. Āpo has the character of fastening and binding. The nature of being hot and thermal energy is the character of Tejo. The function of tangible force and motion are the nature of Vāyo.

Objectives

 
    • To  study  the  intrinsic  nature  of     elements  for  dhātu contemplation;
 
    • To study the impact of dhātumanasikāra contemplation on sustainable positive change of its practitioners in Myanmar;
    • To study the impact of dhātumanasikāra contemplation on
 


social connection
  • To study the impact of dhātumanasikāra contemplation on women empowerment;
  • To explore dhātumanasikāra contemplative model.
 

Research Question/ Hypotheses


The meaning of dhātu in this extent is intrinsic nature (sabhāvattha). However, the characteristic of four great essential elements called Pathavī, Āpo, Tejo, and Vāyo has been surprisingly neglected until recently. Therefore, the reason why the meditative practitioner should contemplate the intrinsic nature of dhātu becomes an investigation.
With sustained contemplation of dhātumasikāra:
  • There  will  be  no  significant  of  resilience,  persistence, energize, blessed;
  • There will be no feeling of confidence, engage to practice;
  • There will be no significant of supportive relationship;
  • There will be no significant of sustainable positive change.
 

Material and Method

Participants


Participants were women from Meitthila and Wamdwin urban area who organized the dhātumasikāra retreat programs and gave responds concerning a study of the effects of the contemplation of dhātumasikāra on sustainable positive change. They have voluntarily practiced the contemplation of dhātumasikāra and they were organizers of retreat program in their regions.

Contemplation Method

The dhātus mentioned in Dhātumanasikāra of Satipaṭṭhāna
Sutta  are  pathavīdhātu  (element  of  hard),  āpodhātu  (element  of
cohesion), Tejodhātu (element of heat), and vāyodhātu (element of
motion). However, the contemplation of vāyodhātu will be used in
this extent.
When    a    dhātu    meditative    practitioner    practices    the
 


contemplation of vāyodhātu, she must set the contemplative mind at the root of nose. It is between two eyes and its eyebrows. After placing the contemplative mind at the root of nose, the meditative practitioner must observe the tangible force and motion of exhalation. To breath out, there is a tangible force. The meditative practitioner must meditate and contemplate it. It is called the contemplation of vāyodhātu.

The sense of balance on the characteristics of motion element (a tangible force) with the meditative mind is Kammaṭhāna. It is true that the characteristic of four elements is Kammaṭhāna according to Mahāīkā. Furthermore, Mahāīkā gives another explanation. It is said that because of contemplation, the meditative mind is clear and turn into purification. The purification of meditative mind is also called Kammaṭhāna. At the moment, the meditative practitioner perceives the contemplation of dhātu (dhātumanasikāra).

Method


This survey makes plans for organizing data contemplated to vāyodhātu. The participants in survey respond to all questions how they contemplate the dhātumasikāra.





The participants in survey respond to all questions how they feel significant concerning the stress after contemplation of vāyodhātu (tangible force) habitually.
 






The participants in survey respond to all questions how they experience concerning resilience and persistence after practicing the characteristic of vāyo (tangible force) habitually.

The participants in survey respond to all questions how they experience concerning with feeling confidence themselves, feeling engage with practice, feeling shy to do wrong things, feeling fear to do wrong things, feeling the supportive relationship and feeling peace and clam after practicing the characteristic of vāyo (tangible force) habitually.

 


The participants in survey respond to all questions how they experience concerning insisting others to contemplate or not, having desire to organize contemplative programs or not, and women empowerment after practicing the characteristic of vāyo (tangible force) habitually.



RESULT

The survey shows that the insisting other contemplate, clearing mind, blessed, confidence, energize mind, clam, feeling peace, and resilience reach a peak. It can be concluded that supportive relationship, protection, its impact on work and empowerment of women are sustainable positive changes.

Based on the results above, it can be concluded that dhātumanasikāra is an insight meditative practice for sustainable positive change even though responds are diverse. It leads to the sustainable peace and the enrichment of life.

DISCUSSION

It is true that Dhātumanasikāra is the sense of balance on the characteristics of four elements with meditative mind. The intrinsic nature of rough texture character of the physical body, the intrinsic nature of fastening and binding of the physical body, the intrinsic nature of heat and thermal energy of the physical body and the intrinsic nature of force and motion of the physical body is only identified dhātu. As a result, the sense of balance on the characteristics of four elements is only characterized as a contemplation of dhātu
 


(Dhātumanasikāra). After that, the meditative practitioner becomes conscious the emptiness (sñata) and the disadvantage of ghana (solid). Ghana is the hindrance of ultimate reality. It provides the perception of creature (sattasña) and wrong view. To lead to the right understanding, it is necessary to overcome the perception of creature and ghana (solid). The contemplation of dhātu is the best teaching and has been granted to overcome the perception and wrong view. It is believed that dhātu has no sign, no form, no shape and no appearance when the meditative mind (manasikāra) enters into the characteristic of Dhātu (sabhāva). At the insight meditative states, the meditative practitioner can experience the selflessness, the formlessness, and emptiness (sñata) because the meditative mind and its factors focus upon the substantial self- nature of elements (Dhātu) and it abides in the attention of dhātu which is not Animitta (non-attention to signs). So, the commentary of sīlakkhanda point out that dhātu has the nature of emptiness (dhātūnam sñatalakkhaam). As a result, the intrinsic nature of dhātu (sabhāva) in the contemplation of dhātu is also called Sñata.

Dhātumanasikāra: A Higher Teaching, A Better Outcome and A Fewer Practices

Therefore, in the contemplation of dhātu, the intrinsic natures of the ultimate realities are only defined dhātu. It is said that dhātu, Sabhāva, and Sñata are synonymous and they are the same meaning. It is true that dhātu has the characteristic of emptiness. So, the Buddha expounds in Paisambhidāmagga4 that the meditative practitioner will achieve the higher insight wisdom if he contemplates the five aggregates as Dhātu and Sñata. As a result, it is believed that the contemplation of dhātu is a higher teaching with a small amount of practice, but better outcome.

CONCLUSION

Based on the results above, it can be concluded that to increase the behavior ability of contemporary dhātumanasikāra practitioners can be done by increasing the knowledge of dhātumanasikāra literary theory and the attitude towards dhātumanasikāra literature.

 
  1. KN 9 413. Pañcaknde sñaso passanto anulomikakhantipailabhati.
 


The higher the knowledge of dhātumanasikāra literary theory and the higher the attitude towards dhātumanasikāra literature can be increasingly higher meditative practitionerability to create the sustainable positive change and receive the enrichment of life.

REFERENCES

Anālayo.   (2014)   Satipahāna:   The   Direct   Path   to
realization. Cambridge: Windhorse.

Anuruddha Mahāthera. (1990)  Abhidhammatthasaṇgaha. Yangon: Religious Affairs.

Nārada Mahāthera. (1980) A Manual of Abhidhamma. 4th ed. Kendy:BPS.

Pe Maung Tin, trans. The Expostor. 1st ed. (2016) Aṭhasālinī. Delhi:Motial, 2016.

Bodhi, Bhikkhu, ed. (1999) A Compenhensive munal of Abhidhamma. London: BPS.
Vibhaga. U Thiṭṭhila, trans. (1969) The Book of Analysis.
London: PTS.

Ledi, Sayādaw. (2004) The Manuals of Buddhism. Yangon: Mother Ayeyarwaddy.

Buddhācāra,  (2002)  The  Goal  of  Buddhist,  Mingun: Bodhipekkhiya Meditation Center.

Pa Auk, Sayadaw, (1996) Light of Wisdom, (Tr.) Pa Auk Tawya Sinn Kyan Kyaung, Mawlamyaing: Pa Auk.

Monica Thankrar, (2017) How to create Mindful Leadership, Forbes.

George, Bill, (2015) The Power of Mindful Leadership, Huffpost.

Appendix: Questionnaire survey

Tick () the options which you want choose, please.
  1. Contemplation of dhātumanasikāra’ performance
    1. Every day
 
 
    1. Not everyday
 
  1. Can dhātumanasikāra (the contemplation of dhātu) manage stresses?
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Slightly reduce stress
 
  1. After practicing the characteristic of vāyo (a tangible force) habitually,
    1. I feel resilience
    2. I don’t feel resilience
    3. I feel persistence
 
  1. After practicing the characteristic of vāyo (a tangible force) habitually,
    1. I feel energize
    2. I feel clear
    3. I feel blessed
 
  1. After practicing the characteristic of vāyo (a tangible force) habitually,
    1. I feel confidence myself
    2. I feel engage my practice
    3. I feel shy to do wrong things
    4. I feel fear to do wrong things
    5. I feel the supportive relationship
    6. I feel peace and clam
 
  1. After practicing the characteristic of vāyo (a tangible force) habitually,
    1. I insist others to contemplate
    2. I haven’t insisted yet.
 
 
  1. After practicing the characteristic of vāyo (a tangible force) habitually,
    1. I have a desire to organize contemplative program for
 
others

 
    1. I dont have a desire to organize contemplative program

for others yet.
    1. I become an organizer for contemplation of dhātu.
 
  1. Do you feel the sustainable positive change can support to develop society?
    1. Yes
    2. No

All response will remain confidential. Thank you for cooperation and  participation.

Tổng số điểm của bài viết là: 0 trong 0 đánh giá

Click để đánh giá bài viết

Những tin mới hơn

Những tin cũ hơn

Bạn đã không sử dụng Site, Bấm vào đây để duy trì trạng thái đăng nhập. Thời gian chờ: 60 giây