Nekkhamma - Paṭipadā in Buddhist Texts

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Phra Srisuddhiphong Somsoun

Abstract

This article aims 1) to study the concept and the teaching on Nekkhamma-Paṭipadā in Buddhist Texts, 2) to study the guidelines to practice Nekkhamma-Paṭipadā appearing in Buddhist Texts, and 3) to study the development of Nekkhamma-Paṭipadā practices in Thai societies.
From the research, it is found as follows :-
1. Nekkhamma-Paṭipadā is of 3 definitions :- (1) The ordination, (2) The practice of The Dhamma principles to get rid of Kãma (sense-desire), and (3) The mental condition without Kãma. The teachings and principles to develop Nekkhamma-Paṭipadā appeared in both the doctrines outside Buddhism (ascetics, hermits and some Jatilas : matted-hair ascetics usually worshipping the fire) and in Buddhism. These were the principles of the practice existing before the Buddhs’s time which were concerning with Dhammas such as Nekkhamma-Sukha (the happy renunciation), Nekkhamma-Vitakka (the thought of renunciation), Nekkhamma-Sankappa  (mental  attitude  the  renunciation), Nekkhammānisamsa-kathā (a talk on the benefits of renouncing the sensual pleasures) and Nekkhamma-pārami (renunciation of Perfections).
2. Practising Nekkhamma-Paṭipadā appearing in Buddhist Texts focused on getting rid of Kāma which concluded into 2 guidelines :- (1) Nekkhamma- Paṭipadā for the ascetics outside Buddhism as  the ordination of being the ascetics (hermits, Jatila), and (2) Nekkhamma-Paṭipadā in Buddhism meants the ordination to be a monk, a female monk, a novice, and a female novice. There were some persons who developed Nekkhamma-Paṭipadā till reaching and achieving the geting rid of Kãma definitely such as Lord Buddha, the Pacceka Buddha and Buddha’s followers.
3. The practices of Nekkhamma - Paṭipadā in Thai societies had been developed since the Buddha’s time, but it is found that some concepts and practice principles were developed which could be classified into 2 types :- (1) Nekkhamma- Paṭipadā for ascetics as the ordination to be a monk and a novice and(2) Nekkhamma-Paṭipadā for laymen as the ordination to become a female ascetic (female wearing white clothing, cutting off the hair, staying regularly at the temple), Upāsaka (a lay devotees) and Upāsikā (a female devotees) who were wearing the white clothings, without cutting off the hair, staying at the temple only at the time of good conduct. Nekkhamma-Paṭipadā practices in Thai societies are focused on the ordination and staying at the temple for good conduct, did not emphasize well on calm concentration development or insight development in order to get rid of Kāma done in the old Buddha’s time.

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