On Saturday 23 May, Nalanda Sungai Petani Branch held our monthly Members’ Day with much joy, especially with the presence of Nalanda Founder Bro Tan. During the meeting, Sis. Ooi Joo See shared with members on the important subject of the “Noble Eightfold Path”. Bro. Tan then elaborated on the seven stages of purification** (see Note below), quoting from ‘Rathavinīta Sutta’ – ‘The Relay Chariots’ (Majjhima Nikāya No. 24). This is the gradual course of practising Dhamma to its complete fruition – in stages from one to seven.
Bro. Tan further asked members to refer to some additional discourses, such as the ‘Sammāditthi Sutta’ – On Right Views (MN.9); ‘Kakacūpama Sutta’ – Simile of the Saw (MN.21); ‘Alagaddūpama Sutta’ – Simile of the Water Snake (MN.22) to help in our understanding and practice.
Bro. Tan encouraged members to strive diligently especially during the ‘Gimhāna’ period (from 17 May to 1 July). We need to grow deeper in the Dhamma, instead of looking for new ideas about Buddhism. Just like a tree, its strength is not measured by its branches and crown, but by how deep its roots extend. Members were thankful to Bro. Tan for the insightful sharing and an inspiring session. Sadhu!
The first stage is ‘Sīla visuddhi’ – purification of morality; second stage is ‘Citta visuddhi’ – purification of mental processes and thoughts; third stage is ‘Ditthi visuddhi’ – purification of views; fourth stage is ‘Kankhā vitarana visuddhi’ – purification by overcoming doubt.
The fifth stage is ‘Maggāmagga ñāna dassana’ – purification by knowledge of ‘what is path’ and ‘what is not path’ (i.e., the path of liberation from ‘Samsara’); sixth stage is ‘Patipadā ñāna dassana visuddhi’ – purification by knowledge and realisation of the stages of practice, including the knowledge of arising and passing away; and the seventh stage is ‘ñāna dassana visuddhi’ – purification by understanding reality. By practising through the stages, we will gain freedom from all defilements, and be liberated from suffering.