MN 2 All the Taints

Aug 14, 2019, 04:06 PM

Everyone has troubles and difficulties in this life - all the various aspects of dukkha and these troubles the Buddha shows should be dealt  with in appropriate ways. A Buddhist who knows the Dhamma can thus practice so to rid himself of these troubles in a way which will lead him out if complications, not further into difficulties. No doubt this discourse is directed to those who have most time for Dhamma practice - the bhikkhus and nuns, but lay people can learn much from the Buddha’s words here since they indicate what has to be overcome before practice can succeed. The troubles of wrong view can be abandoned only through insight (vipassanā) and without insight the truth of the Dhamma cannot be verified. As the senses play such a great part in our lives we cannot expect the mind to be stilled until we restrain their wanderings, something that most lay people can only do when engaged in intensive meditation sessions.

The troubles which are overcome through the use of only a few and essential things can be practiced by those gone forth to homelessness easily but with more difficulty by lay people. But the next group, all those those unpleasant, painful things which afflict mostly the body but also the mind can be abandoned through endurance by anyone with or without robes. Avoidance of troubles too can be practiced by all alike as it depends on the good development of mindfulness. The same applies to the taints abandoned by removal, that is, removing the wrong thoughts and intentions. The most deeply rooted taints, of sensual desire, of being and of ignorance (of the four Noble Truths), can only be abandoned by development of the mind-heart through meditation and the prescription given here is the development of the seven factors of enlightenment. So all troubles, inside and outside, great and small, can be abandoned successfully if one uses the correct method. But if wrong method is employed then one’s troubles in life, on the path of Dhamma, can increase and become denser than they are now.