Amoha means intelligence, knowledge, wisdom. This mental factor enables one to dispel the darkness of ignorance and delusion which conceals the truth. Moha (delusion) and amoha (wisdom) are two extreme opposites.
The Wisdom (Panna)
Wisdom is of two categories, real and unreal. True wisdom is knowing and understanding the action (kamma) and its results; knowing and understanding scriptures and the Dhamma; knowledge of insight meditation (vipassana); knowledge of fruition (realization of nibbana), and the Buddha’s Omniscience. All these forms of faultless knowledge are called wisdom (panna).
Some so-called ‘clever’ persons are well versed in oration, persuasion, lying, swindling and pretensions. Such kinds of cleverness are not true wisdom. They are fake knowledge or vancana-panna, false wisdom, meaning knowledge of deceiving others. They are in ultimate reality unwholesome mental states dominated by attachment (tanha). Some people excel in warfare or in making and using sophisticated weapons. Such knowledge is nothing but an unwholesome good thinking.
It should be noted, however, that false wisdom cannot be found in the stupid, the dull and the low IQ persons; it can be found only in highly intelligent or educated persons. That is to say, the true wisdom is a condition for false wisdom by way of Natural Decisive Support Condition (Pakatupanissaya Paccaya) taught in the Law of Patthana Conditions. Accordingly intelligent persons may follow the right path and attain the highest positions in doing kusala, moral deeds, just as they may excel in doing evil and cause harm to the greatest extent possible.
Inherent Wisdom and Acquired Wisdom
Real wisdom may be divided into:
(1) Jati-panna and
Those who are born with alobha, adosa, and amoha are called tihetuka puggalas (three-rooted persons). Since their birth they are blessed with three good roots especially because of doing good deeds with strong belief of kamma and its results in their previous existences. So, their amoha (wisdom or non-delusion) starts with their birth. Therefore they learn and understand quickly and are able to think profoundly even at a young age. Such wisdom is jati-panna.
Pavatti-panna means the intelligence and wisdom acquired at a later age through training and learning. They ask questions, attend lectures and try their best to accumulate knowledge. This acquired wisdom at a later time is called pavatti-panna. He who lacks jati-panna can develop pavatti-panna by learning diligently under a competent teacher. Those who are endowed with jati-panna at birth and amass pavatti-panna later will crown their lives with all-round success.
How to Cultivate Jati-panna
Wisdom gained at birth not only brings wordly success and benefits but also produces good results in meditation or Dhamma practice. Only persons with jati-panna can win Enlightenment, the realization of nibbana, the ultimate goal of Buddhism. Therefore, a person should cultivate jati-panna right now for future existences. To do so, one must first cultivate a strong will to acquire Dhamma wisdom in this existence. Inspire your mind to acquire intelligence and knowledge. After getting this noble inspiration, you must read good books, and discuss with learned teachers and wise sages. Seek advice from them. And doing good deeds with strong belief in kamma and its results. Practicing either samahta or vipassana meditation would also lead to gain wisdom not only in current life but also in future lives.Such efforts will augment ample pavatti-panna and make you a rational and comprehensive person and sow the seeds of wisdom for future lives in samsara,the endless rebirth and death until realize nibbana. However, you must not rest content with your present achievements.
In order to gain knowledge and wisdom, you must be habitually neat and clean in dress and manner. Whenever you perform dana (giving charity), or other meritorious deeds, you must make a noble wish and say “May I gain intelligence and wisdom that could support to realize nibbana, end of all sufferings due to these deeds” . You must also have strong belief in kamma and its results that every of your good or bad deeds would bear good or bad results in your endless lives until realize nibbana. When you make offerings to the bhikkhus, you must propagate goodwill thus: “May the bhikkhus be able to teach and learn the noble Dhamma everyday and be crowned with wisdom”. If possible you should build and establish monasteries where monks can learn the Dhamma , and revere and support able teachers who would promote the teachings of the Buddha. If not possible, it’s also ok to give charity to nearest Vipassana Meditation Centre or Buddhist Societies that try to spread Buddhist Literatures.
You should, if possible, give aid to schools, colleges and such institutions, with a view to support the education of the country. You must always be willing to impart what you have learnt. Propelled by such efforts, you will be a wise sage while you roam about in samsara, the circle of rebirths. These are guidelines on how to be blessed with jati-panna in the existences to come.
The Difference Between Saddha (Faith) And Panna (Wisdom)
The nature of faith (saddha) is to be content with just giving and practicing charity with a view to be blissful in the samsara. Such a devotion seldom contains inspiring thoughts for the advancement of one’s country, race and religion. Panna (wisdom) develops good deeds with serious thoughts for one’s country, race and religion and does not put in the fore the welfare of one’s own future existences, knowing full well that good deeds will produce good results. Thus wisdom and faith are fundamentally different.
One’s own country of Myanmar can be viewed through the eye of faith or through the eye of wisdom or both. If either faith or wisdom goes to the extreme, one’s views and judgments will be biased. It is imperative that one must have a balanced attitude that synthesizes wisdom and faith to the best results. There is a saying, “Faith in excess becomes tanha (lust) , while wisdom in excess ends in maya (deception)”.
O citizens! Whether knowledge is real or unreal, the importance lies in the nature of one’s mind. Just as the heart is vital for living organisms, a good attitude is always of paramount importance here and hereafter. Wisdom determines the prosperity of the present as well as the future existences. Only the wise can understand fully the benefits of dana (charity), sila (morality) and other paramis (perfections).
In worldly affairs, happiness of family life solely depends upon the wisdom of the man and wife. In family management and prosperity also, wisdom leads to diligence and hence to desired goals. In public congregations, only the wise will be held in high esteem. Those who are unwise and uneducated, will not rise to top place in society even if they are immensely wealthy.
Knowledge is the dominant force in the modern world. The rich accumulate wealth because of the knowhow of the intellectuals and technologists with whom they work in collaboration. From the smallest conflict to global wars, victory is always on the side of the intelligent, the technically advanced. In the Catudhamma Jataka, the Bodhisatta monkey emerged victorious over a huge crocodile in its own territory, the river, by means of a clever tactic. (Although this tactic cannot be said as true wisdom, it proved that wisdom can bring forth victory in worldly affairs; this is the moral of this Jataka).
O citizens! A nation with an inferior technology and knowhow will spiral down in status in the family of nations. Patriotic teachers and educators should guide the people on to the right path. Learners should seek knowledge earnestly. The virtuous wealthy and the bhikkhus should contribute to the betterment of education and intelligence. Only with such endeavors on a national scale will be able to ‘recuperate’ (nurture a new breed of intellectuals and intelligentsia) in this life, and become wise sages (possessors of jati-panna) in the lives to come.
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Title- 14 Wholesome Mental Factors That Influence The Mind (Kusala Cetasikas)
Title- 14 Unwholesome Mental Factors That Influence The Mind (Akusala Cetasikas)