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The Ten Defilements of Insight. - Dhamma Wheel

The Ten Defilements of Insight.

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Individual
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The Ten Defilements of Insight.

Postby Individual » Sat May 23, 2009 4:50 am

I saw somebody mention this in another thread, so I googled it and took a look.

They are amusingly ironic, because they could also be listed as virtues of insight.

The Ten Defilements of Insight (vipassanupakkilesa)
1. Illumination (Obhasa). When the yogi sees bright lights he might think he has reached nibbana, and so becomes satisfied with this state, causing tanha to arise. This is wrong view. It is his ego that thinks he has reached nibbana.
2. Knowledge (yana). Some yogis who know dhamma theory well, will think about it all the time, and this will pull then out of the present moment.
3. Rapture (piti). Because the yogi has too much samadhi, he feels rapture, and this is kilesa. When practicing vipassana one cannot have rapture, because realizing the three characteristics does not lead to a joyful feeling.
4. Tranquility (passaddhi). Sometimes a very peaceful state will arise, this is also from too much samadhi. The three characteristics can't be realized with tranquility, and wisdom cannot be developed.
5. Bliss ( sukkha). A feeling of bliss is also too much samadhi. When sukkha occurs, dukkha cannot be seen.
6. Fervour (adhimokkha). This causes the yogi to falsely believe he has seen nibbana, and he will often not even believe his teacher, when told the contrary. This is caused by having too much faith (saddha), too little panna (normally panna and satta should be equal.)
7. Exertion (pakkaha). Too much perseverance or effort can make the yogi tired, his citta (mind) is not clear, and foonge (wandering mind) sets in. Usually, perseverance and concentration should be equal. Too much perseverance leads to foong, and too much concentration will cause the yogi to stop practicing.
8. Excess sati (uppathana). Too much sati can lead to excess samadhi and the yogi will see nimitas(sign that appear before the eyes). Then he will lose rupa and nama as objects--- i.e., he will be out of the present moment, and won't be able to continue.
9. Equanimity (uppekha). Sometimes strong equanimity will arise, and the yogi will falsely believe that he has no kilesa--- it has been eradicated by nibbana; but he still has the kilesa of wrong view(moha), and like(lobha) and dislike(dohsa) have only gone temporarily, In this stage he cannot continue to practice.
10. Delight (nikanti). The yogi becomes happy with all of the vipassana-upakilesa, and is satisfied to remain as he is. And so he cannot continue practice.

It is a good list, but to really make it complete, though, I would add "Insight" as the 11th defilement of Insight. Know what I mean?
The best things in life aren't things.


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mikenz66
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Re: The Ten Defilements of Insight.

Postby mikenz66 » Sat May 23, 2009 5:18 am


rowyourboat
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Re: The Ten Defilements of Insight.

Postby rowyourboat » Thu May 28, 2009 2:01 pm

important to note that these defilements arent mentioned by the buddha
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gavesako
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Re: The Ten Defilements of Insight.

Postby gavesako » Thu May 28, 2009 3:40 pm

Some of them are alluded to in several Suttas though, see e.g. Upakkilesa Sutta (MN). Also practical experience shows that these (and other) phenomena can also become objects of attachment and get people stuck on the path of meditation.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Individual
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Re: The Ten Defilements of Insight.

Postby Individual » Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:52 pm

I'm not entirely convinced by them. Although I think these ten are describing real circumstances of delusion, I think they're poorly worded by suggesting such a thing as "excess virtue".

In the , the Buddha suggests that faith, joy, rapture, tranquility, happiness, concentration, and knowledge are all supporting conditions for enlightenment. If, then, any of these things is further supported, its corrollaries are supported too. I don't see a distinction between "concomitants of insight meditation" and attainment; progress in meditation is not attainment of the true path?

When I see that list of ten defilements, they seem designed to support this preconception: "realizing the three characteristics does not lead to a joyful feeling". It does not lead to misery, melancholy, or equanimity either.

The fetters of pride and delight encompass the list of ten well enough, so its creation seems motivated merely by sectarianism. That is, rather than being aimed at subduing a particular problem, they are aimed at explaining how a heretical monk might have such great mental qualities. Simply calling him "proud" would probably not be very persuasive.
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Jechbi
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Re: The Ten Defilements of Insight.

Postby Jechbi » Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:14 pm


Individual
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Re: The Ten Defilements of Insight.

Postby Individual » Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:47 pm

The best things in life aren't things.


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Jechbi
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Re: The Ten Defilements of Insight.

Postby Jechbi » Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:22 pm

Cool. So then, to add to this list of 10 and keep with the format, it might look like this:

11. Confidence (nikkaṅkha). This causes the yogi to falsely believe he has attained to panna, and he will be satisfied and remain as he is. This is caused by having too little sati (mindfulness) -- i.e., he will be distracted from the anicca and anatta nature of that which arises.

Is that what you mean?

This seems to be related to No 2. (Yana).

Individual
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Re: The Ten Defilements of Insight.

Postby Individual » Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:32 pm

The best things in life aren't things.


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mikenz66
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Re: The Ten Defilements of Insight.

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:57 pm

Hi Individual,

I don't see much point in talking about these "defilements" outside the context of the Commetarial understanding of the "progress of insight", e.g. in the Visuddhimgga. See http://aimwell.org/Books/Mahasi/Progress/progress.html
or Chapter 9 (from page 345 - the most relevant part starts on page 350) of A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma, which you can read on-line here:
http://aimwell.org/Books/Mahasi/Progress/progress.html

As RowYourBoat says, this is mostly a Commentary development, though that stages are based on MN 24: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Metta
Mike


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