The Three Kinds of Full Understanding - Mere insight vs mind-freed

Before the Buddha's enlightenment people could develop samatha even to

the degree of realising supernatural powers. They could perform miracles

but they could not eradicate defilements. When the Buddha attained

supreme enlightenment and taught the Dhamma he had penetrated many

people could realise the Noble Truths. People who had formerly developed

samatha to the degree of jhana could, if they also had developed

satipatthana, realise the NobleTruths. Thus, two kinds of ariyans can be

discerned: those who had developed only insight, who were "sukkha

vipassaka", and those who were freed with "minddeliverance",  who were



The ariyan with "mere insight", who is sukkha vipassaka, attains

enlightenment without jhanacitta as basis or proximate cause. Jhanacitta

cannot serve as object of insight since he has not attained jhana. It is true

that the lokuttara citta which clearly realises nibbana is firmly established on

it, with strong concentration, just like the citta which has reached attainment

concentration (appana samadhi) and which is firmly fixed on the object of

the jhanacitta. However, the ariyan who is sukkha vipassaka does not have

proficiency in jhana. When cittas are counted as eighty-nine, only the

lokuttara cittas of those who have mere insight, who are sukkha vipassaka,

are taken into account, not lokuttara jhanacittas.


As regards the ariyan who is "mind-freed" (cetovimutta) he attains

enlightenment with jhana as basis or proximate cause. He must acquire

"masteries" (vasis) of jhana. Only in that case can jhanacitta be the basis

for insight, and that means that maha-kusala citta accompanied by panna

can investigate and realise the true nature of the jhanacitta that has just

fallen away. When panna has become accomplished to the degree that

enlightenment can be attained, the magga-citta and the phala-citta that

arise are accompanied by jhana factors. The ariyan who has attained

enlightenment with jhana factors of the different stages of jhana is "mind-

freed" (cetovimutta). He is delivered from defilements by panna and by calm

associated with jhana. When lokuttara jhanacittas of the ariyan who is ceto-

vimutta are included, cittas can be counted as one hundred twenty-eight.



Topic 240