Understanding is the Fourth Mental Perfection:

Understanding penetrates, illuminates and guides right.
Concentration is the proximate cause of Understanding.
Understanding is the proximate cause of Equanimity.
Understanding is the manifestation of Concentration.
Only understanding comprehends the meaning & essence.
Understanding purifies the other mental perfections:
Energy acquires purpose only, when guided by Understanding.
Only fortified by Understanding, is determination unshakeable.
Only Understanding can patiently tolerate other beings abuse.
Only Understanding induce indifference towards gain & loss.
Only Understanding can secure both own and others welfare.

Just as red sandalwood is reckoned as the best of all scented woods,
even & exactly so is the ability to understand reckoned the supreme 
among all the mental qualities, that are the links to self-awakening, 
leading to enlightenment.
                                                           SN V 48-55 Indriya-samyutta 

And of what kind, friends, is this evaluating ability of Understanding ?
In this, friends, the Noble learner is possessed of direct knowledge 
about the arising and ceasing of all phenomena, which is a Noble insight, 
a penetrating & ultimate understanding, that gradually realizes and leads 
to the utter elimination of all Misery.
The Noble learner comprehends, as it really is: Thus is Misery.
The Noble learner comprehends, as it really is: Thus is the Cause of Misery.
The Noble learner comprehends, as it really is: Thus is the End of Misery.
The Noble learner comprehends, as it really is: Thus is the Way to end Misery.
This, friends, is the discriminating ability of Understanding ... 
                                                           SN V 48-10 Indriya-samyutta

Of minor importance, is the loss of family and wealth...
Catastrophic among losses is the loss of Understanding.
Of minor consequence, is the increase of family and wealth.
Supreme among gains is the increase of comprehension...
Therefore, friends, you must train yourself to win that. 
                                                           AN I 14-5 

When the Noble friend avoids ignorant persons, but instead
cultivates, frequents and honors persons who comprehend,
teach and review the effects of profound knowledge, then
is the ability to understand refined in these three aspects... 
When the Noble friend is thus leaving ignorance all behind,
there is development of the ability to Understand.
When the Noble friend is developing the ability to understand,
then ignorance is left all behind. Mutual is this enhancement.
                                                          Path of Discrimination

A learned man who due to his great understanding,
despises those of little learning, is like a blind man 
walking around with a lamp in his high hand... 
                                                          Theragatha 1026 

Happy indeed are those possessing nothing...
Those who have won Understanding, cling to nothing.
While those attached to family, friends & property
both possessed & obsessed - are as tied to torture...
                                                          Udana II 6 

What sort of person is released by Understanding? (Panna-Vimutti)
Here a person without experiencing all the 8 stages of absorption,
anyway eliminates all mental fermentations completely, after having
perceived them through insight. Such person is said to be released
by Understanding. 
                                                          Designation of Human Types 31

Just as the great Ocean slopes down gradually, deepens gradually,
inclines gradually, and not abruptly like an abyss,
even so Paharada, is this teaching and discipline:
a gradual training (anupubbasikkha),
a gradual practice (anupubbakiriya),
a gradual progress (anupubbapatipada);
One do not suddenly penetrate to the highest Understanding...
                                                          Anguttara Nikaya II 47 

Asking Questions logically leads to Understanding: 
As a bhikkhu walking for alms beg from both low, middle and high folks,
if one search & ask both slightly, moderately and highly wise teachers,
then the insight of the Buddhas shall be yours. 
                                                          The Basket of Conduct, Cariyapitaka



Home  |  Dhamma Drops Index 
Saved: 03 September 2005