The Perfection of Wisdom - The Questions of Pingiya II

Further on we read:

“The term ‘by rupas’ (rupesu) means:

by the four great Elements and the derived rupas that are dependent on these.

Beings are disturbed and troubled,

they are hurt and killed because of rupa;

rupa is the condition and the cause of this.


Because of rupa, Kings commit many kinds of deeds,

they inflict many kinds of punishment.

They have someone beaten by whips, sticks, split rods.

They have people’s hands, feet, earlobs, and nose cut off.

They have a pot of boiling rice placed on someone’s head....”
It is because of rupas that we can experience the effect of being punished, like being beaten by whips etc. We read further on:

“The skin of the head is stripped off so that its colour is white as a conchshell...

their body is cut up and smeared with a biting liquid...

They have their skin stripped off, their bones smashed;

they have the body sprinkled with hot oil;

they let the dogs eat the flesh of their body,

they let their body be pierced by spears,

or they have it cut up with a knife....


All beings are bound to be troubled, harmed and killed, because of rupa.

One can see, investigate and consider this so that panna develops

and one sees clearly that all beings are troubled and harmed in those ways.

Therefore the Buddha said that he saw all beings being troubled because of rupa.”
When we depart from this world, we do not know where we will go. It may happen that we shall receive punishment in the aforesaid ways. So long as we have a body we do not know what will happen to it, but when there is a cause for receiving tortures, which is the result of akusala kamma, rupa is the cause, the reason for experiencing painful feeling. We read further on:

“When the eyesight declines, or even disappears altogether,

people are troubled.


Apart from trouble caused by the ear, the nose, the tongue,

visible object, sound, odour, flavour and tangible object,

it is caused by the family (which supports the monk),

by the fellow monks of the monastery,

gain, honour, praise, wellbeing, robes, almsfood, dwelling, medicines;

when these things decline or disappear altogether so that one is without them,

people are troubled.


Because of these reasons it is said that everybody is disturbed because of

One should eliminate attachment to rupa so that one can give it up in this life.


With regard to Pingiya, he attained enlightenment

when the Buddha had finished this Dhamma discourse.”


We see from this example that although Pingiya had accumulated perfections

through listening to the Dhamma, he also needed the perfection of energy and of

patience because panna develops only very gradually, it is a long and difficult

process. The perfection of truthfulness and the perfection of determination are a

necessary foundation for being able to listen to the Dhamma. One should be

unshakable in one’s determination to listen, no matter in what circumstances one

may be.


Topic 280