Thread: Can liberation be won without meditation?

  1. #1
    Global Moderator Esho's Avatar
    Under the Bodhi Tree

    Can liberation be won without meditation?

    Liberation can be won without meditation as has been taught by the Buddha in this Sutta:

    1 The joy of the Dharma

    This short remarkable sutta presents five different ways whereby the mind can be cultivated to reach
    liberation. The five grounds for liberation (vimutt’āyatana) are as follows:

    (1) listening to the Dharma [§2];
    (2) teaching the Dharma [§3];
    (3) reciting the Dharma [§4];
    (4) reflecting on the Dharma [§5];
    (5) meditation [§6].


    Any reflections are welcome...

  2. #2
    Forums Member daverupa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Those grounds for liberation all require "dwelling heedful & exertive". What does that mean, do you think?

    Also, how can we understand the fact that sammasamadhi is one part of the Path while saying it's unnecessary?

    Ven. Subharo has mentioned, with this very Sutta of yours in mind, that the things to recite are not mantras in foreign languages:

    For example, from the "Pāsādika Sutta: The Delightful Discourse" in the Digha Nikaya:

    'Therefore, Cunda, all you to whom I have taught these truths that I have realised by super-knowledge, should come together and recite them, setting meaning beside meaning and expression beside expression, without dissension, in order that this holy life may continue and be established for a long time for the profit and happiness of the many out of compassion for the world and for the benefit, profit and happiness of devas and humans. And what are the things that you should recite together?

    They are:

    the four foundations of mindfulness,
    the four right efforts,
    the four roads to power,
    the five spiritual faculties,
    the five mental powers,
    the seven factors of enlightenment,
    the Noble Eightfold Path.

    These are the things you should recite together.
    So, as you can see, meditation is still quite essential.
    Last edited by daverupa; 28 Dec 15 at 20:46.

  3. #3
    Forums Member Seiun An's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015

    Probably some slowness on my part here - but I read the Sutta and it appears, to me anyway, it is not like a menu and pick one and that would liberate you - but all five are sort of needed.

    But on a personal note, if liberation is having some modicum of inserting wisdom between stimulus and response, then meditation is pretty essential. I think meditation gives you that sense of spaciousness to be able to open up during a tough situation and pause and not react - but slowdown, reflect, and respond. In my case it seems like Mindfulness of the Body is most fruitful as strong emotions can sneak in via the body.

    If you look at the Eightfold Path as being to Path to Liberation - three of the eight path factors are in the Samadhi grouping.

  4. #4
    Global Moderator Esho's Avatar
    Under the Bodhi Tree
    Seiun An

    Effectively it is not the case of a menu where you pick one that would liberate you but reading the sutta I felt that are cases:

    The first one is the case where a teacher teaches the dhamma to a monk and the monk becomes tranquil and feels happiness and his mind becomes concentrated and dwells heedful and exertive finding liberation;

    The second case is the case where a teacher do not teach the dhamma to a monk but to others in detail just as he has heard it;

    The third case is when neither the teacher nor he himself teaches the dhamma but he recites it to others. This particular case is maybe a case when there is no teacher around of available; an important case for those people who has not a teacher around.

    The fourth case is when one applies the mind to the dhamma meaning to reflect on it; no reciting, no teaching.

    ...and then comes meditation as the very last case to reach liberation.

    I agree with you; meditation on a daily basis helps to cultivate that slowdown and the reflect and spaciousness you talk about. That stillness of mind. To pacify the mind basically. But I found this sutta very interesting mostly how the joy in reflecting in the suttas can give us joy and happiness and thus bring us concentration of mind and then heedfulness and liberation through it in a very simple manner. Its like having a very good news from Lord Buddha.

    Last edited by Esho; 28 Dec 15 at 23:31.

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