Functions of Tadarammana and Cuti - The last javana-cittas of a lifespan II


If someone suffers great pains before he dies because of an accident or sickness, the last javana-cittas arising before the cuti-citta will not necessarily be akusala cittas. There may be akusala cittas with aversion when he feels the pain, but the last javana-cittas may be kusala cittas. There may be 'wise attention' (yoniso manasikāra) preceding the cuti-citta.

We read in the 'Gradual Sayings' (Book of the Sixes, Ch. VI, par. 2, Phagguna) that the Buddha visited the venerable Phagguna who was very ill. Phagguna had attained the second stage of enlightenment (the stage of the sakadāgāmī ; he was not yet completely freed from the 'five lower fetters’. We read in the sutta that the Buddha said to Phagguna :

'I hope, Phagguna, you're bearing up, keeping going ;

that Your aches and pains grow less, not more;

that there are signs of their growing less, not more?'

 

'Lord, I can neither bear up nor keep going;

my aches and pains grow grievously more, not less;

and there are signs of their growing more, not less.

 

Lord, the violent ache that racks my head is just as though

some lusty fellow chopped at it with a sharp-edged sword ;

Lord, I can neither bear up nor keep going ;

my pains grow more, not less....'

 

So the Exalted one instructed him, roused him,

gladdened him and comforted him with Dhamma-talk,

then rose from his seat and departed.

 

Now not long after the Exalted One's departure,

the venerable Phagguna died ;

and at the time of his death his faculties were completely purified.

 

Then went the venerable Ānanda to the Exalted One, 

saluted him, and sat down at one side. So seated, he said :

'Lord, not long after the Exalted One left, the venerable Phagguna died ;

and at that time his faculties were completely purifiedl

 

'But why, Ānanda,

should not the faculties of the monk Phagguna have been completely purified?

The monk's mind, Ānanda,

had not been wholly freed from the five lower fetters :

but, when he heard that Dhamma teaching, his mind was wholly freed.

 

There are these six advantages, Ānanda,

in hearing Dhamma in time, in testing its goodness in time.

What six?  Consider, Ānanda,

the monk whose mind is not wholly freed from the five lower fetters,

but, when dying, is able to see the Tathāgata :

the Tathāgata teaches him Dhamma,

lovely in the beginning, lovely in the middle, lovely in the end,

its goodness, its significance ;

and makes known the brahman-life wholly fulfilled, perfectly pure.

When he has heard that Dhamma teaching,

his mind is wholly freed from the five lower fetters

 This Ananda, is the first advantage in hearing Dhamma in time.

 

Or… though not just able to see the Tathāgata, sees his disciple,

who teaches him Dhamma…and makes known the brahman-life...

Then is his mind wholly freed from the five lower fetters.

This, Ānanda, is the second advantage...

 

Or.., though not able to see the Tathāgata or his disciple,

continues to reflect in mind on Dhamma, as heard, as learnt,

ponders on it, pores over it.

Then is his mind wholly freed from the five lower fetters.

This, Ānanda, is the third advantage in testing its goodness in time... '

 

The same is said with regard to the monk who has attained the third stage of

enlightenment (the stage of the anāgāmī), and who, has the opportunity to

hear dhamma and consider dhamma while listening, can attain the stage of the

arahat.

 

Topic ID  188
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