Panna formed up by many factors
We need patience for the development of all the perfections. When we realize our many defilements we understand that it takes a long time to eradicate them. Then we will not be disturbed that it takes aeons to accumulate the conditions for enlightenment, that we cannot attain it soon. We need patience to listen to the Dhamma, to consider what we heard and to be aware of realities. Acharn Sujin reminded us that sati and panna are sankharakhandha, the khandha of “formations”, which are all the mental factors (cetasikas) except feeling (vedana) and remembrance (sanna). Akusala (unwholesome) cetasikas and sobhana (beautiful) cetasikas are included in sankharakhandha. The “formations” form up each moment which arises. Sati and panna which arise now are conditioned by past accumulations of sati, panna and other wholesome qualities. If there can be right mindfulness of a nama or rupa which appears now this moment has been “formed up” by many moments of studying, considering and mindfulness in the past. Each moment is conditioned by many factors and the way these condition it is very intricate. A moment of right mindfulness falls away but the conditions for the arising of mindfulness later on are accumulated, since each citta which arises and falls away conditions the next citta. Thus panna can develop until it has become supramundane understanding (lokuttara panna), having nibbana as its object. Each moment which has been formed up by past accumulations is new, it cannnot be the same as past moments, it does not come into being by simply adding up all the past moments. Lokuttara panna is a completely new situation, but it is conditioned by many different factors of the past, by many moments of studying, of considering, of developing understanding of nama and rupa, and also developing all the perfections. All the different wholesome qualities support one another and together they form up the conditions for the fully developed panna. If we understand, at least in theory, that right understanding is sankharakhandha, formed up by many factors, and that it forms up later moments of understanding, it will help us to see that panna grows very gradually in the course of many lives. It will prevent us from clinging to an idea that we can direct the growth of panna, that we have to do something special in order to hasten its development. If we remember that panna is sankharakkhandha, the khandha of formations, we will be more patient while we study with mindfulness the realities which appear. The beginning has to be the beginning, the beginning cannot be the advanced stage of panna.
5 Nov 2014