The Three Kinds of Full Understanding - Full understanding of abandoning

Full understanding of abandoning (pahana parinna) is the third kind of full

understanding. When panna investigates the dissolution of nama and rupa

and it can clearly realise this, the stage of insight can be reached which

is knowledge of dissolution (bhanga nana). From then on panna begins to

become more detached from nama and rupa. Panna becomes detached

because it sees more clearly the disadvantage and danger of nama and rupa.

Full understanding as abandoning begins at the stage of knowledge of

dissolution and continues up to path knowledge (magga nana) when

enlightenment is attained.


In our daily lives there are more conditions for akusala dhammas than for

awareness and understanding of the characteristics of the dhammas that

naturally appear. Akusala dhammas arise very often and therefore it is

necessary to cultivate the thirty-seven factors leading to enlightenment,

bodhipakkhiya-dhammas. These factors, which lead to the realisation of the

Four Noble Truths are, as we have seen, the four satipaììhånas, the four right

efforts (sammappadhanas), the four bases of success (iddhi-padas),

the five spiritual faculties (indriyas), the five powers (balas), the seven factors

of enlightenment (bojjhangas) and the eight factors of the Noble Eightfold



The factors that lead to enlightenment should be developed over and

over again for a long time; they can only be gradually accumulated.

Nobody can cause the arising of panna just by a particular way of behaviour

or by particular activities. Panna can be developed naturally, in one’s daily

life, by awareness of the characteristics of realities, which are non-self, which

arise because of their appropriate conditions and then fall away very rapidly.

There can be awareness of what appears at this very moment through the

eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue, the bodysense or the mind-door. Does

one know at this moment what satipatthana exactly is? Does one know that

what is appearing now through the senses or the mind-door is a paramattha

dhamma, non-self? If this is not known, panna of the level of intellectual

understanding should first be developed. It is necessary to listen to the

Dhamma the Buddha taught so that people would have right understanding

of the characteristics of realities that appear. The Buddha taught the Dhamma

so that people would have right understanding in conformity with the truth that

he had realised when he attained Buddhahood. One should have correct

understanding of the practice, which is the development of panna. Only the

right cause can bring the right result, that is, paññå that sees realities as they

are, as impermanent, dukkha and anatta. Panna should realise that

realities that arise and fall away are dukkha (unsatisfactory, not leading to

happiness) and panna should penetrate the nature of anatta of the realities

appearing at this moment. There is no other way to know realities as they are

but satipatthana, which time and again is aware, studies and investigates the

characteristics of the dhammas appearing right now. In this way the 

wholesome qualities (sobhana cetasikas) are accumulated and can thus be a

condition for panna to become more accomplished, so that the different stages of insight can be reached.

Topic 240