Ajahn Jodok: Path to Nibbana

Eudoxos , modified 3 Months ago at 12/20/23 7:38 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 12/20/23 2:57 AM

Ajahn Jodok: Path to Nibbana

Posts: 136 Join Date: 4/6/14 Recent Posts
I am making another worthwhile book available electronically: Path to Nibbana by Ajahn Jodok of Wat Mahathat, Bangkok (known under various names: Phra Dhamma Theerarach Mahamuni, Jodok Ñanasiddhi/Yanasiddhi) https://github.com/edhamma/jodok-path/ .

A few notes of historical interest (sourced from Wat Bhaddanta webpage):
  • Somdet (one level under the Sangha-raja, like cardinal under the pope, or minister under the king) Phra Phimontham (which would be Thai pronunciation of Vimaladhamma; as far as I know there was a monk in Thai delegation of this name at the 6th council, probably him), along with the Thai prime minister,  made a request to the Burmese sangha to send vipassana missionary to Thailand in 1952. Mahasi Sayadaw chose Ajahn Bhaddantha Asabha (who was Burmese) as vipassana emisar to Thailand.
  • Ajahn Bhaddantha Asabha on his mission had with him Ajahn Jodok (the author of the book; Thai of Lao roots, as far as I know), who then became the abbot of the royal temple Wat Mahathat (=Mahadhatu) in Bangkok, and the highest vipassana teacher for all Thailand.
  • The third part, Manual of chhecking your vipassana kanatthana progress is the same as the often-referenced online text Sixteen Stages of Insight (MCTB also makes a reference to it).
Notes of meditative interest:
  • The level of olympic mastery can be glimpsed from the short section Samapati, or Vipassana trance (quoted below): 24 hours or more of fruition. Daniel wanted to stage a friendly contest for these states, and there would be some serious contenders there!
    • (Just as a side note, I heard that when lead monks of Wat Chom Tong met with Ajahn Tong, they would start each meeting with 1 hour cessation, all of them; and then discuss monastery business. Like mindfully starting a meeting with one minute of silence — but the pro level).
  • He also makes a cursory distinction of 3 kinds of meditative time-lapse: chana(=jhana)samapati, phala-samapati (fruition) and nirodha-samapati (saññāvedayitanirodha). It would be good to resurrect these distinctions, as recent research on "cessation" (e.g. Laukkonen's) seems to ram all cessations together.
There are three kinds of Samapati; Chanasamapati, Phalasamapati and Nirodhasamapati. Here Phalasamapati only will be discussed.

Phalasamapati means seeing the result of the path which you have gained. You can make a wish to enter a Vipassana trance for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 24 hours or longer. The length of time depends on the power of your concentration. If you have good concentration you can stay in the trance state for a long time, but if your concentration is not good you can stay in the trance state for just a short time.
Relationship to Ajahn Tong (of Chom Tong; for those who know):
  • Ajahn Tong was a disciple of (among others) Ajahn Jodok. His method of retreats is mostly 1:1 from Ajahn Jodok, including the aditthāna exercises (Exercise 13–15 in the book; the first one is wish for path, second for repeated fruitions, third for extended fruitions).
  • Ajahn Tong slightly modified, it seems (or it was not written down, or was just more flexible in this) his instruction for review (Exercises 16), where AJahn Jodok suggests to practice wish for 2-3 stages in a days, thus completing the review of ñ4–ñ11 in 3 days.
The Afterword (Appreciation of … Phra Dhamma and his teachings) was written by an Englishman George D. Bickell. He met Jodok in Britain in 1964, was monk under him in 1980-1988 (approx); he was reponsible for all English-speaking yogis in the famous "Section 5" of Wat Mahathat. After Jodok passed away 1988, he disrobed and moved to Vienna (Austria), teaching in private, and passed away in 2005. His talks and booklets were collected by his disciples from Vienna in Vipassana-Meditation book (available as e-book), and are a good read.
One of his U.S. students (whom I don't know) recently penned, under the pseudonym Alex Walking, the book "Sex, Drugs, Enlightenment" (widely available), which has interesting passages, both about Phra George, Phra Thep (Jodok), also vipassana. Just a small excerpt here, on the insight knowledges fractal:
Phra George was surprised one day when I said the mundane insight knowledges were simply the weave of mundane awareness isolated into stages. He immediately agreed. “Usually, though,” he said, “a person arrives at number nine [desire for deliverance] and changes the object of awareness for another one that holds their interest. There’s no moving through it towards equanimity.”
This sequence is the mechanics of subjective reaction: Something attracts one’s attention and then when its fascination finishes the mind begins to drop it. A stage might only last a moment. As the looping, former thread of thought falls in the face of a new, attractive thought; a person has a twinge of not wanting to be stuck on the old one. One senses danger in missing out on the pleasure of variety, and disgust, or simply dispassion, with the last train of thought, follows. Desiring deliverance from the now-boring topic, the mind latches onto the new one. Then analysis of the new mental object starts a fresh cycle.
shargrol, modified 3 Months ago at 12/20/23 6:07 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 12/20/23 6:07 AM

RE: Ajahn Jodok: Path to Nibbana

Posts: 2378 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
sounds interesting, thanks!
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Chris M, modified 3 Months ago at 12/20/23 7:52 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 12/20/23 7:50 AM

RE: Ajahn Jodok: Path to Nibbana

Posts: 5141 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Very nice - about cessation and fruition from that text:

3.14. Magga ÑanaThe next Ñana to be considered is MAGGA ÑANA. It can be translated as ‘Knowledge of the path’. In this Nana, defilements have been broken off (Samucchedpahara) MAGGA ÑANA has the following characteristics :-
  1. The destruction of some defilements and preparation for the destruction of others. It constitutes a cleansing.
  2. There is clear and complete knowledge of path.
  3. There is a deep knowledge of Dhamma which leads to Nibbana.
  4. Magga Ñana is a deep knowledge of Dhamma which is necessary to reach Nibbana.
  5. It is a deep wisdom which enables the practitioner to eradicate defilements.
Characteristics of Magga Ñana are :-
  1. After the breaking off of sensation, awareness of the stream of Nibbana lasts for a moment. Some defilements are completely destroyed. Sense of self (ego), sceptical doubt, and a misunderstanding of rules and rituals and diciplines will be cut off during this Ñana. This Ñana has Nibbhana as its object. Nibbana can be reached. There is no doubt about what is right and wrong, about heaven and hell, about the path, the result of the path and Nibbana. There is no doubt concerning life after death. This Ñana is supramundane.
  2. Anuloma Ñana is the last Ñana in which there is happening. After that there is no awareness of anything. Feeling and awareness suddenly cease. It is like a person who is walking along a road and suddenly falls down a hole. The object and the mind which is trying to acknowledge the object both cease to function is the state of Nibbana. This cessation is called Gotrabhu Ñana. This state of wisdom encompasses the cessation of awareness and form.
  3. After Gotrabhu Ñana has lasted a moment this is termed MAGGA ÑANA.
3.15. Phala ÑanaThe fifteenth Nana is called PHALA ÑANA or the ‘Knowledge of fruition’. This occurs a moment after Magga ñana. The mind has come to know what happened and has Nibbana as the object. This state lasts for two or three moments. Whenever Magga Ñana happens Phala Ñana follows immediately. There is no interim state. Phala Ñana like Magga Ñana is supramundane. Magga Ñana is the cause and Phala Ñana is the result. The way of entering Gotrabhu Ñana, Magga Ñana and Phala Ñana is as follows :-
  1. The first cessation of sensation is Gotrabhu Ñana and it has Nibbana as its object. It lies between the mundane and the supramundane existances.
  2. The midway cessation of sensation is Magga Ñana and it has Nibbana as its object. It is supramundane. At this point defilements are eradicated.
  3. The final cessation is called Phala Ñana and it has Nibbana as its object. It is also supramundane. The eradication of defilements of Magga Ñana is called ‘Samucchedpahara’ and means the complete eradication of defilements. In Phala Nana those defilements are prevented from re-occuring This lack of re-occurance is termed ‘Patipasamphana Pahara’ in Phala Nana. This process may be compared to extinguishing a fire. Imagine a piece of wood which is on fire. If you want to put the fire out you must throw water on the wood so that the flames die down, but the wood will continue smouldering. However if the wood is doused with water again two or three times, the fire will be completely extinguished. This parallels what happens when a meditator eradicates defilements during Magga ñana. The power of defilements still continues so it is necessary to purge it again during Phala Ñana. (Patipasamphana Pahara) is like the second and third applications of water to put out the fires of defilements.

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