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vicikicchā  *  doubt, perplexity, uncertainty
screenshots Buddhist Dictionary uddhacca-kukkucca: agitation
Above is a combination of screen shots from the

New Free eBook: Theragāthāpāḷi

We have added another free PDF eBook to our catalog: Theragāthāpāḷi, translated by Anāgārika Mahendra. The Theragāthāpāḷi is a collection of short poems attributed to members of the early Buddhist sangha (elder monks, or bhikkhus). In this book, both Pāli originals and English translations are provided. A full Pāli-English Glossary and detailed Endnotes will help the interested reader to learn more about the teachings.
 
Other titles we carry from the same translator are Therīgāthāpāḷi (verses of the elder nuns) and Itivuttakapāḷi.
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Therigathapali cover
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Feeding Ignorance
Life according to the right understanding of a Buddha is suffering, and that suffering is based on ignorance or avijjā.
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And the five hindrances (pañca nīvaranāni) are the nutriment of (or condition for) this ignorance. They are called hindrances because they completely close in, cut off and obstruct. They hinder the understanding of the way to release from suffering. These five hindrances are: sensuality (kāmacchanda); ill-will (vyāpāda) obduracy of mind and mental factors (thinamiddha); restlessness and flurry (uddhacca kukkucca) and doubt (vicikicchā).
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The fifth and the last hindrance is vicikicchā, doubt. The pāḷi term Vi (gata) cikicchā literally means medicineless. One who suffers from perplexity is really suffering from a dire disease, and unless one sheds one’s doubts one will continue to suffer from it. So long as man is subject to this mental itching, so long will he continue to take a cynical view of things, which is most detrimental to mental development. The commentators explain this hindrance as the inability to decide anything definitely; it also comprises doubt with regard to the possibility of attaining the jhānas, Concentrative Thought. In this connection, one may add that even non-Buddhists and yogīs who are not concerned with the Buddha, Dhamma and the Saṅgha at all, can inhibit the vicikicchā nīvaraṇa and gain the jhānas.
 
(Excerpts from Seven Factors of Enlightenment, as published in Light of the Dhamma, January 1959.)
MHB cover Russian
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also available in Russian
(free downloadable PDF eBook).  
 
Denourishing of Doubt

There are things which are wholesome or unwholesome, blameless or blameworthy, noble or low, and (other) contrasts of dark and bright; frequently giving wise attention to them—that is the denourishing of the arising of doubt that has not yet arisen, and of the increase and strengthening of doubt that has already arisen.
Of the six things conducive to the abandonment of doubt, the first three and the last two are identical with those given for restlessness and remorse. The fourth is as follows:

Firm conviction concerning the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. In addition, the following are helpful in conquering Doubt:

1.        Reflection, of the factors of absorption (jhananga);
2.        Wisdom, of the spiritual faculties (indriya);
3.        Investigation of reality, of the factors of enlightenment (bojjhanga).
 
(Excerpt from the Wheel Publication No. 26, The Five Mental Hindrances and Their Conquest).
The audiobook version of the Five Mental Hindrances and Their Conquest can be streamed or downloaded from our website in its entirety, or per chapter.
Download Chapter on Doubt
Pariyatti publishes sturdy and ergonomic prints (Pariyatti Editions) of the Collected Wheel Publications. Volumes 1–7 from the total of 29 have been released so far; No. 26 is included in Vol. 2.
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NOTE: when downloading the Audiobook Chapter on Restlessness and Remorse via the light blue button, the downloaded file will automatically appear on your device (in the folder where your downloads usually appear).
Investigate
Doubt is a mental obstruction in regard to the development of tranquility as well as of liberating insight. The role of doubt as an obstruction to the development of deeper states of concentration is reflected in its inclusion as the fifth among the five hindrances (e.g. DN I 246). The debilitating effect of doubt in relation to liberating insight, its ‘binding’ force to saṃsāra, finds its expression in the fact that one of the three fetters that are to be eradicated with stream-entry is the fetter of doubt (e.g. MN I 9). These two aspects of the ‘hindering’ and ‘binding’ forces of doubt underline the importance of properly understanding the nature of this particular mental condition and the ways to overcome it.

As a hindrance, doubt can manifest in relation to internal as well as external phenomena (SN V 110). Moreover, doubt can arise in regard to the past, the present, or the future (DN III 217; cf. also SN IV 327). 
The underlying tendency responsible for the fetter of doubt is already present in a new-born baby, even though an infant would not even know things about which doubt could arise (MN I 433). Hence to overcome and remove doubt requires working against a deeply ingrained tendency in the mind.

This contrast between the hindrance of doubt and the awakening factor of investigation-of-phenomena, where the same factor that overcomes the former is responsible for the development of the latter, is quite significant. It reveals that in early Buddhism doubt is not to be overcome through faith or belief alone. Rather, to overcome and counter doubt requires a process of investigation, and due to the clarity and understanding that arises through such investigation, doubt is dispelled. 

Only once doubt has been overcome in this way, will it be possible to eradicate passion, anger and delusion (AN V 147). Other advantages of overcoming doubt are that one will meet deadly disease with composure (AN II 175), and that one will be able to live in secluded spots in a forest wilderness without fear (MN I 18).
 
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meditation accessories
Cultivating Inner Peace Podcasts
Since July we have been releasing chapters of the audiobook Cultivating Inner Peace in the podcast section—one by one. Read by the author, Dr. Paul R. Fleischman, these podcasts explore the psychology, wisdom and poetry of Gandhi, Thoreau, the Buddha and others. So far, we have released fourteen chapters. May they be of inspiration to many!
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The Hindrances on the Way (SN 22:84)
One who does not know the way asks one who does know the right way. He answers: “This is the right way. Walk along it for a while and you will come to a fork in the road. Avoid the left fork and take the right way. Walk along it for a while and you will see a dense forest. Go through the forest for a while, then you will see a huge, miry swamp. Go through the swamp for a while and you will see a steep slope. Go down the slope for a while and you will see a charming area of level ground.” Explanation The one who does not know the way is the worldling. The one who knows the way is the Accomplished One, the Fully-Awakened One. The way is the mundane Eightfold Path, the path of the worldling who is aspiring to become a Noble person. This Path is subject to the taints (āsava); see MN 117. 
 
Walking on the way is walking the mundane Eightfold Path with mundane right view. 
The fork in the road is doubt, the second of the ten fetters, becoming now more and more manifest in consciousness, leading to a crisis.
 
Above is an excerpt from Similes of the Buddha.
Cover Similes of the Buddha

Pariyatti on eBay

These months Pariyatti is holding several auctions on eBay. We are selling a number of books that were donated to us, but may not be part of our catalog. 
Three auctions have gone live yesterday, Tuesday, November 10, at midnight (0:00h), running for a total of seven days. Place a bid and the following collectors’ items could be yours:
The Majjhima Nikāya, or ‘Collection of Middle-length Discourses’, is the second of the five nikāyas (collections) of the Sutta Pitaka, consisting of 152 discourses by the Buddha and his chief disciples. In a three-volume set it covers all aspects of the Buddha's teachings.
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Vol. 1: Translation of Theragāthā (Psalms of the Brethren); verses of elder bhikkhus.
Vol. 2: Translation of Therigāthā; verses of elder bhikkhunis.
Manorathapurani, or ‘The Wish Fulfiller’, the commentary to the Aṅguttara Nikāya. It was compiled in 500 AD by Venerable Buddhaghosa based on a much older commentarial tradition.
 
This five-volume set is in roman script Pāli. There is no English translation of these texts to date.
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Four-volume set of the Book of the Kindred Sayings (Saṃyutta Nikāya).
Pariyatti on eBay
Please note: the auctions are placed on Amazon.com (USA), and the items are set up to only ship to USA addresses. So, if you are outside the USA you may not be able to view the auctions or bid on them.
All proceeds of the eBay auctions go to our Dana Distribution Fund (DDF), a program that allows us to offer a significant number of books and media freely to monks, nuns, monasteries, meditation centers, and others. A large part of the DDF has been used to supply Vipassana Meditation Centers with (English) books for the eight-day Sattipaṭṭhāna Sutta Courses.
Recent Release
Vipassana Meditation and the Scientific Worldview. Completely revised second edition.
Order Second Edition
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The Thoughts Rooted in Delusion. Though lack of understanding is a common feature in all evil, these two are characterized by the strong nature of delusion, in them. Doubt, described as a state of fatigue, is a feature in one thought, and a marked restlessness or a state of bouncing, agitation, or tension is found in the other. 
Buddhism teaches that evil arises from the wrong grasp of the object on account of ignorance and false views. The term ‘sin’ which is violation of a command thus finds no place in it; being errors evil can be righted. 
Doubt is the nature of shifting the mind from object to object finding out what is true and getting fatigued in the attempt (Footnote 187).
Footnote 187:
Doubt refers to a mental state in respect of eight things, the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Saṅgha, the precepts, the before, the after, the before and the after and the Law of Dependent Origination. It does not mean that the spirit of skepticism is a bad thing. For in the Suttas the Buddha says “You have raised a doubt where you should” or “You have raised a doubt where you should not.” Dogmatism is not encouraged in Buddhism: for to hold “that one’s view alone is right” (idaṃ saccābhinivesa) until the person has attained the supramundane states is a tie that binds one to saṃsāra. But doubt which can exist only with restlessness (uddhacca) should be resolved in order to let in its opposite nature of confidence, or belief (saddhā) which is found in the serene and moral thoughts. This necessity to keep an open mind is stressed in the Brahmajala Sutta, where one is advised not to get angry because of adverse criticism. Such an attitude of open-mindedness and of inquiry does not militate against a growing confidence in the teacher or against spiritual advancement. This spirit of inquiry exists right up to enlightenment, when it is present as one of its constituents (bojjhanga), the investigation of the reality in phenomena. Confidence follows when doubts are set at rest from experiential knowledge of causation. Blind belief without reason is termed vissāsa.
 
Weekly Dhamma Story Times 
When the lockdown started we launched Dhamma Story Time: a weekly series of 30-minute online reading sessions, scheduled on different days and times each week to cater to different time zones. These sessions are still running, currently on Mondays at 8.30pm Pacific Time and Tuesdays 10am Eastern Time. The volunteer readers choose texts from our catalog that they find inspiring. In previous sessions, stories and passages were read from the DhammapadaThe Art of DyingLetters from the Dhamma Brothers, and The Way to Ultimate Calm.
 
The sessions are hosted using GoToMeeting; the schedule and information on how to join are posted on pariyatti.org/DST.
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