Review of E. Baptist’s pamphlet
Ånåpånasati and The Brahmavihåras Cattåro Brahma Vihårå: Meditation on 4 Sublime States by Egerton C. Baptist, Vesak 1955 from: Buddha Jayanti, 4th July 1955, pp. 3-6 and passim. The purpose of Mr. Baptist’s short pamphlet is to introduce the practice of meditation on the four brahmavihåras—mettå, karunå, muditå, and upekhå—to laymen, and to young folk in particular. The practice of meditation should certainly be encouraged; it is the hightest kind of meritorious action; and without it the final goal cannot be achieved. But if it is not correctly taught it is better not taught at all: a snake caught by the tail will turn and bite the hand that grasps it. Mr. Baptist offers the brahmavihåras as a meditation that ‘brings quick and immediate results’—‘Otherwise’, he says ‘the younger generation, in particular, would not be interested’. Other kinds of meditation (and he singles out ånåpånasati for particular mention) ‘are elaborate and tedious and exact a great deal of time and energy’. Perhaps it is true that the younger generation demands quick results. Perhaps it is not true. But to suggest that there is a short cut to ‘results’ in meditation is most certainly false. The degree of ‘results’ in meditation correctly practised is roughly proportional to the time and energy devoted to it, no matter what kind of meditation is chosen. Mettåbhåvanå, slightly practised, leads to a slight removal of thoughts of anger; much practised, to considerable removal of thoughts of anger; completely practised, it leads to absorption (jhåna); asubhabhåvanå (meditation on the foul) slightly practised, leads to a slight removal of thoughts of lust; much practised, to a considerable removal of thoughts of lust; completely practised, it leads to absorption; ånåpånasati, slightly practised, leads to a slight removal of all evil thoughts; much practised, to a considerable removal of all evil thoughts; completely practised, it leads to absorption. And absorption (without which nibbåna or extinction cannot be realized) is no more quickly attained by one method
Published on Jun 26, 2013
Part B includes two early essays (Nibbana and Anatta and Sketch for a Proof of Rebirth) as well as notes from a Commonplace Book and Margina...