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Buddhadharma : Spring 2017
spring 2 0 1 7 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 47 view is that perhaps the compilers of the discourses included these passages for the benefit of ordinary people. For those people unable to understand dependent co-arising and the end of karma, these passages were included for the sake of morality. Consequently, this is an account of the Buddha’s awakening for the moral benefit of ordinary people. The second account puts dependent co-arising at the center of the Buddha’s awakening. Not only did he express his awakening in these terms but he also described how he pondered and contemplated dependent co-arising both before the awakening and immediately after. After experiencing the bliss of liberation for a week, he examined and inves- tigated dependent co-arising throughout at least one night, the first watch of which focused on how dependent co-arising occurs. He repeatedly investi- gated this in the forward order from ignorance to concoctings on through suffering. He spent four full hours thoroughly penetrating this truth. In the next four hours, he investigated the causality of dukkha in careful detail all the way back to ignorance. In the final four hours, he examined dependent co- arising in both directions, forward and backward. This shows the central importance of dependent co-arising. The formula recorded is brief and suc- cinct—the Buddha looked into it forward and back- ward for twelve hours without a break. He had the most profound spiritual experience of this through each of the watches: forward order, reverse order, and both forward and backward, each for four full hours. Please consider how profound, how difficult, how subtle, and how important this is. This ought to be of great interest to all serious meditators. The words we have translated as “forward order” and “reverse order,” or “forward” and “backward”—anuloma and patiloma—can be understood rather broadly. Thus, for clarity’s sake, we can explain anuloma, “with the hairs,” as the examining of the arising sequence, that is, depen- dent co-arising. The reverse, patiloma, “against the hairs,” is the quenching of dependent co-arising, that is, dependent quenching. In the first watch, the Buddha investigated and reviewed how dependent CoUrteSyoFbuddhadasaindapannoarchives Ajahn Buddhadasa teaching monks at the “stone classroom” at Wat Suan Mokkh, his monastery in southern Thailand