Venerable Veera Kanuttamo








Biography:

The Most Venerable Phrarajbrahmathera (Veera Kanuttamo) was born on Monday, 16 February 1920.  He is the second son of Mr. Kawakita Ekita and Mr. Soen Uttaranathi who have five children as follows:

      1.    Mr. Sanit Uttaranathi (Deceased)

      2.    The Most Venerable Phrarajbrahmathera (Deceased)

      3.    Mr. Narong Uttaranathi (Deceased) has three children as follows:

3.1  Ms. Apissada Uttaranathi

3.2  Mr. Vorapoj Uttaranathi

3.3  Dr. Takolchai Uttaranathi (Ph.D)

      4.    Mr. Harn Uttaranathi (Deceased) has one child as follows:

4.1  Mr. Teerapoj Uttaranathi (Deceased)

      5.    Mr. Norapoj Uttaranathi (Deceased) has one child as follows:

5.1  Associate Professor Dr. Decho Uttaranathi (Ph.D)

Education:

Veera studied Grade 1 to 4 (1931) at Primary School.  He also studied Japanese language at Japanese Language School of the Japanese Association in Thailand.  Then, he studied Grade 7 to 12 at Suan Kularb College in Bangkok.  After completing the high school level, he studied at Thammasat University Preparatory School in 1940 and admitted to the Law School of Thammasat University in 1941.  In addition to Japanese language, Veera also studied English, French, and German until he became knowledgeable.  During his study at the university, he also worked for the Japanese Embassy in Bangkok.  However, he had to suspend his study as a sophomore at Thammasat University due to World War II. 

Career:

After the end of World War II, Veera did not resume his education at Thammasat University’s Law School.  He had helped his parents to run the family business by importing and exporting goods between Japan and Thailand.  With his diligence, the family business had prospered throughout the period of 10 years. 

Dhamma Study & Practice:

One day in 1953, when Veera was 34 year old, he questioned himself about the purpose of life and commuted by bus and transferred to a boat without a destination in mind.  However, he ended up arriving at Wat Paknam in Bhasicharoen district, where he first met The Most Venerable Phramongkolthepmuni (Luang Por Wat Paknam).  Veera had a chance to converse with Luang Por Wat Paknam about meditation, and Luang Por gave him advices as well as inviting him to practice meditation at Wat Paknam on the next Thursday.  Veera did return to see Luang Por on Thursday, and after he had practiced meditation with Luang Por Wat Paknam for 18 days, he attained Dhammakaya.    Since then, he visited Luang Por frequently to make merit and practice meditation further.  Sometimes, Luang Por managed to have him meditate with Luang Por personally. 

Ordination:

On 7 May 1954, Veera was ordained to be a Buddhist monk by his preceptor, Luang Por Wat Paknam (Phramongkolthepmuni).  He was given the monastic name ‘Kanuttamo.’  After his ordination, he had practiced advanced Dhammakaya meditation and propagated Dhammakaya meditation to foreigners as he was proficient in many languages. 

In 1965, Venerable Veera Kanuttamo was promoted to the ecclesiastical order titled ‘Phra Kru Bhavanabhirom’ and appointed to be the deputy abbot of Wat Paknam. 

In 1970, he was promoted to be the vice abbot on vipassana department of Wat Paknam with the same title of ecclesiastical order.  In the same year, he was qualified to be the co-preceptor.

In 1972, he was promoted to the higher ecclesiastical vipassana order titled ‘Phrabhavanakosolthera.’ 

In 1979, Venerable Veera was fully qualified to be the preceptor.

In 2003, he was promoted again to the higher ecclesiastical vipassana order titled ‘Phrarajbrahmathera.’

Throughout his monastic life, Venerable Veera had studied and practiced Dhamma and Dhammakaya Meditation until he gained expertise.  He propagated Buddhism and Dhammakaya Meditation both in Thailand and abroad as one of the successors of Dhammakaya Meditation who studied Vijja Dhammakaya directly with the Great Master Phramongkolthepmuni.  He had continued the Dhammakaya tradition earnestly until passing away peacefully on Thursday, 18 June 2015, at the age of 96 year old.   

 

Compiled from ‘Kanuttmanusorn’

Published on the occasion of the cremation ceremony of

The Most Venerable Phrarajbrahmathera (Veera Kanuttamo)

Wat Paknam, Bangkok, 2015


Dhammakaya Meditation Guideline

by The Most Venerable Phrarajbrahmathera (Veera Kunuttamo)

Former Vice Abbot and Former Headmaster of Vipassana Department

Wat Paknam Temple, Bangkok

(1919 - 2015)

2nd Edition

 Transcribed and Translated by Pittaya Wong on 1 February 2013

Edited by Prof. Peter Case

 

My laypeople, today I take this opportunity to give a lecture on cittabhavana.  The term cittabhavana (literally, ‘mental cultivation’) means ‘meditation.’  In Buddhism, there are two categories of meditation, namely, samatha and vipassanaSamatha includes 40 methods of meditation practice from which one can choose depending on one’s nature and disposition.  Today, I would like to introduce the Lord Buddha’s Dhammakaya Meditation which was rediscovered by Luang Por of Wat Paknam (Most Ven. Phramongkolthepmuni) and whose method has been taught for 40 – 50 years already.

In samatha, we rely on three things: (1) a meditation object, (2) a mantra, and (3) bases of mind.  It is crucial to bring our mind to a standstill with a practice that focuses on these three things.  We begin by visualizing in mind a diamond sphere, a meditation object, about the size of our own eye pupil.  Simply speaking, this visualization is a kind of alokakasina (literally, ‘light kasina exercise’) where the brightness of the object is the point of mental concentration.  While focusing on the mental object we also repeat the mantra ‘Samma Arahang’ in order to calm and still our mind.  To be able to calm the mind effectively, we also have to cultivate the ‘bases of mind’ which are required in meditation practice.  Everyday objects, such as, a table and a wardrobe, need a stable foundation to support them; they stand on a floor.  Likewise, our mind also needs a firm base to remain focused.

The true [and permanent] base of our mind is at the center of our body, two finger-widths above the navel level.  Traditionally, we give numbers to different positions in the body for purposes of meditation training. The middle of our body at navel level is called ‘sib’ (ten) whereas the center of our body, two finger-widths above navel level, is called ‘soon’ (zero).  Sib and soon are important in meditation because both of them are bases of mind.  If we do not focus our mind at sib and soon, we will not be able to completely still our mind.  So, we have to focus our mind at soon which is two finger-widths above the navel level.  We need all the three aforesaid things in order to still the mind; that is, a meditation object, a mantra, and bases of mind.  Without these being properly cultivated we will not be able to achieve mental stillness.

In Dhammakaya Meditation, there are seven bases of mind which are the point of focus.  In the beginning, we visualize a diamond sphere about the size of our eye pupil at the first base, which is our nostril; the right side for men and left side for women. Each time we notice the mind straying webring attention back to the nostril and picture a diamond sphere there.  We rest our mind in the middle of the visualized sphere and repeat the mantra ‘Samma Arahang’ three times.  Then, we move the pictured sphere to a corner of our eye where the air can pass through; the right eye for men and left eye for women.  Again, we still our mind in the middle of the visualized sphere and repeat the mantra Samma Arahang three times.

After that, move the visualized sphere to the third base, which is in the middle of our head.    After that, we rest our mind in the middle of the visualized sphere which is now located in the middle of our head and repeat the mantra Samma Arahang three times.  Next, we move the sphere to the roof of mouth. When moving the sphere from the third base to the fourth base, we have to roll our eyeballs upward as much as possible for a while in order to bring our attention and focus back inside.  Then, let the eyes roll back to their normal state and focus our mind in the middle of the sphere at the fourth base.

Repeat the mantra Samma Arahang three times and then move the visualized sphere to the fifth base, which is at the top of throat.  We concentrate our mind in the middle of the sphere and repeat the same mantra three times.  Next, move the sphere to the middle of the body at the navel level.  This is the sixth base and is traditionally called ‘sib.’  When we breathe in, our breath reaches as far as this point.  We rest our mind in the middle of the sphere which is now at the sixth base.  Repeat the mantra three times, and then move the visualized sphere upward about two finger-widths.  This is called the center of the body, the seventh base of mind.  We then focus our attention in the middle of the pictured sphere and repeat the Samma Arahang mantra until our mind becomes still and unified.  With repeated practice, we will eventually see with our mind’s eye the real transcendental sphere at the center of our body. At this point in the practice, we do not need to put effort into visualizing the sphere. It appears as a natural ‘light’ in the mind.

Sometimes, in the beginning, this light presents itself as about the size of the full moon or a star.  Sometimes, it appears to be like a watery surface inside our abdomen.  We can either expand or shrink this sphere which is called ‘pattamamagha’ or the primary path.  Seeing this sphere appear is an initial stage on the path toward nirvana.  If one wishes to enter nirvana, one has to enter the middle of this sphere.  Then, one will see the refined human body in the middle of this sphere.  This body is the same body that one sees when one dreams.  It is also called the dream-body.  This body is located at the seventh base of mind.  When we fall asleep, our mind becomes still at the seventh base.  This base is also the point for reincarnation, disembodiment, entering sleep, and wakening.  When we are reborn, our mind will stop here first.  The same process occurs when we sleep and when we pass away. Therefore, if one wishes to sleep well and at ease, one should focus one’s mind at the center of one’s body.  There is no need to use a sleeping pill because the mind normally returns to this base when falling asleep.

Thus, we have to rest our mind in the middle of the visualized sphere until we attain the pattamamagha sphere.   Once we can expand and shrink this sphere, we will see the refined human body, followed in sequence by the celestial body, rupa-brahma body, arupa-brahma body, and Dhamma body (Dhammakaya).  If one wishes to enter nirvana, one can only do so with the Dhamma body as the other inner bodies are incapable of achieving this state.  The Dhamma body is Dhamma-khanda, visuddhi-khanda, asamkhata-dhatu, and asamkhata-dhamma.  This is the kind of body which is not manipulated by, or composed of, worldly elements.

The refined human body, celestial body, rupa-brahma body, and arupa-brahma body are samkhata dhatu and samkhata Dhamma.  They are composed of mental rather than base material elements.  Once we see the first Dhamma body, there follows the other Dhamma bodies including Sotapanna Dhamma body, Sagitagami Dhamma body, Anagami Dhamma body, and Arahant Dhamma.

In order to enter nirvana, one can do so with the Arahant Dhamma body.  This marks the perfection of the four mental discipline practices which involve contemplating bodies within [inner] bodies.  In the middle of each inner body, there is vedana (literally, ‘feeling’).  In the middle of vedana, there is a sphere which forms each inner body.  This follows the teaching that says ‘seeing bodies within bodies… seeing vedana within vedana… seeing citta within citta… and seeing Dhamma within Dhamma.’  In this context, citta means states of mind.  This is the path of all Lord Buddhas and enlightened arahant disciples.  They have to access the middle of this pattamamagha sphere in order to achieve magga (path of nirvana) and pala (fruit of nirvana).  This is the method that is based on the principles of the Lord Buddha’s Dhammakaya meditation.

The seventh base of mind is an extremely important point of concentration, and we should rest our mind at this point at every opportunity.  If one wishes to master meditation quickly, one needs to keep one’s mind concentrated at this point all the time, whether standing, walking, sitting or lying down.  This will help one to achieve mental stillness more quickly because one trains oneself to restrain the six senses and focus one’s mind always.  For sleeping, there is no need to focus the mind since the mind normally returns to the seventh base automatically. As I said earlier, the seventh base is the initial point for reincarnation, disembodiment, entering sleep, and wakening.

Now, I would like to lead a meditation session for about 15 – 20 minutes.  Start by placing your right leg over your left leg, right hand over your left hand, with the right index finger touching your left thumb.  Then, picture in your mind a diamond sphere about the size of your eye pupil.  We can visualize the image as it is natural for our mind to perceive and create imaginary objects.  Locate this sphere at the first base; at the right nostril for men and left nostril for women.  Still your mind in the middle of the sphere and repeat the mantra Samma Arahang for three times.

Move the pictured sphere to the corner of your eye; right side for men and left side for women.  Then, still your mind in the middle of the sphere and repeat the Samma Arahang mantra three times.  Next, move the sphere to the middle of your head, which is the third base.  When moving the sphere, roll your eyeballs upward as much as possible in order to bring your attention and focus back inside until the sphere reaches the third base.  At the third base, focus your mind in the middle of the sphere and repeat the mantra three times.  Afterward, move the sphere to the roof of your mouth, focus your mind in the middle of the sphere and repeat the mantra three times.

Now move the pictured sphere to the top of your throat, which is the fifth base, and repeat the mantra three times. Then move the sphere to the sixth base which is the middle of our body, at the navel level.  Focus your mind in the middle of the sphere and repeat the mantra three times.  Lastly, move the meditation object from the sixth base upward about two finger-widths. This is the seventh base of mind.  Then, focus your mind in the middle of the sphere and repeat the mantra over and over until your mind becomes unified and achieves tranquility.  Later on and with repeated practice, the real transcendental sphere will appear at the seventh base.  In the beginning, one may see nothing but darkness as the mind is not well concentrated.  If we continue to practice further our meditation will progress and we may, in due course, come to see the transcendental sphere. However, this will be unstable at first since we have achieved only an elementary level of mental concentration. We continue to repeat the mantra Samma Arahang over and over until we achieve a deeper level of meditation. Eventually, we will be able to see the sphere at all times and be able to expand and shrink this transcendental sphere at will.  This transcendental sphere is called ‘pattamamagha’ and attaining it marks the initial path and fruit of nirvana.  One needs to enter the middle of this sphere using the same method as all the Lord Buddhas and enlightened arahant disciples.  Keep deepening your meditation by concentrating your mind on the middle of this sphere.  Keep repeating the mantra ‘Samma Arahang… Samma Arahang… Samma Arahang…’

 

Meditation Practice to Reach

the Transcendental Buddha and Chakkavatti Body

2nd Edition by Phrarajbrahmathera (Veera Kanuttamo)

Former Vice Abbot and Former Headmaster of Vipassana Department

Wat Paknam Temple, Bangkok

Transcribed and Translated by Pittaya Wong on 4 October 2015

 

Today, I would like to talk about the Dhamma body or Dhammakaya.  The Dhammakaya is visuddhikhanda or dhammakhanda.  This is the body for liberation.  If we wish to enter Nirvana, we can do so with the Dhamma body.  Without the Dhamma body, we can never enter the Nirvana because the human body, refined human body, celestial body, Brahma body, and Arupa-Brahma body are unable to enter the Nirvana.  We have to use the Dhamma body.  Thus, the Dhamma body is the body of asamkhatadhatu and asamkhatadhamma meaning that he is no longer conditioned by factors.  On the contrary, the human body, celestial body, Brahma body, and Arupa-brahma body are the bodies of samkhatadhatu and samkhatadhamma, meaning that they are still conditioned by factors. So, they are anicca (impermanent), dukkha (suffering), and anattaa (non-self) whereas the Dhamma body is nicca (permanent), sukkha (blissful), and attaa (true self).

Now that we see the [crude] Dhamma body [or the Dhammakaya] whose lap width[in seated cross-legged position] is less than 10 meters, we enter the middle of the Dhamma body, and we will see the Dhamma sphere which forms the Dhammakaya, followed by the Sila sphere, Samadhi sphere, Panna sphere, Vimutti sphere, and Vimuttinanadassana sphere.  Then, we will see the refined Dhamma body which is clearer and more refined than the crude Dhamma body.  Still the mind further into the middle of the refined Dhamma body, there will be the Dhamma sphere which forms the refined Dhamma body, Sila sphere, Samadhi sphere, Panna sphere, Vimutti sphere, and Vimuttinanadassana sphere.  Then, we will see the [crude] Sotapanna body.

The [crude] Sotapanna body has the lap width of 10 meters and height [in seated cross-legged position] of 10 meters, crowned with a lotus bud.  We still our mind [further] into the middle of the crude Sotapanna body, and we will see the Dhamma sphere which forms the crude Sotapanna body, Sila sphere, Samadhi sphere, Panna sphere, Vimutti sphere, and Vimuttinanadassana sphere [respectively].  Then, we will see the refined Sotapanna body.  Still our mind further into the middle of the refined Sotapanna body, there will be the Dhamma sphere which forms the refined Sotapanna body, Sila sphere, Samadhi sphere, Panna sphere, Vimutti sphere, and Vimuttinanadassana sphere.  Then, we will see the crude Sakadagami body whose lap width and height [in seated cross-legged position] are 20 meters, crowned with a lotus bud.  Still the mind further into the middle of the crude Sakadagami body, we will see the Dhamma sphere which forms the crude Sakadagami body, Sila sphere, Samadhi sphere, Panna sphere, Vimutti sphere, and Vimuttinanadassana sphere.  Then, we will see the refined Sakadagami body whose [lap] width and height are similarly 20 meters, but this body is clearer and more refined.

Next, still the mind further into the middle of the refined Sakadagami body, there will be the Dhamma sphere which forms the refined Sakadagami body, followed by the Sila sphere, Samadhi sphere, Panna sphere, Vimutti sphere, and Vimuttinanadassana sphere.  Then, we will see the crude Anagami body which is 30 meters.  Still the mind further into the middle of the crude Anagami body, there will be the Dhamma sphere which forms the crude Anagami body, Sila sphere, Samadhi sphere, Panna sphere, Vimutti sphere, and Vimuttinanadassana sphere.  Then, we will see the refined Anagami body who has the Dhamma sphere which forms the refined Anagami body, Sila sphere, Samadhi sphere, Panna sphere, Vimutti sphere, and Vimuttinanadassana sphere.  In the middle of the Vimuttinanadassana sphere, we will see the crude Arahat (or Arahant) body who has the lap width of 40 meters and the height [in seated cross-legged position] of 40 meters, crowned with a lotus bud.

In the middle of this body, we will see the Dhamma sphere which forms the 40 meters crude Arahat body, and we will see the Sila sphere, Samadhi sphere, Panna sphere, Vimutti sphere, and Vimuttinanadassana sphere.  In the middle of the Vimuttinanadassana sphere, we will see the 40 meters refined Arahat body, which is clearer and more refined than the crude Arahat body.  In the middle, there are the Dhamma sphere which forms the refined Arahat body, Sila sphere, Samadhi sphere, Panna sphere, Vimutti sphere, and Vimuttinanadassana sphere.  In the middle, we will see Pra Nibbana body.  Pra Nibbana body resembles the Arahat body, but he has a base underneath [his body].  The previous ten bodies have no base, but this body [Pra Nibbana] has a base.

We still our mind further into the middle of the [transcendental] Buddha body, there will be the Dhamma sphere which forms the Buddha body, Sila sphere, Samadhi sphere, Panna sphere, Vimutti sphere, and Vimuttinanadassana sphere, and we will see the [transcendental and supramundane] Chakkavatti [or Chakkapat] body.  The transcendental Chakkavatti body resembles the crowned and ornamented Buddha image.  We still our mind further into the middle of the Chakkavatti, and we will see the Dhamma sphere, Sila sphere, Samadhi sphere, Panna sphere, Vimutti sphere, and Vimuttinanadassana sphere [respectively].  Then, we will continuously see the [transcendental] Buddha body, [transcendental] Chakkavatti body, Buddha body, Chakkavatti body [alternatively and] infinitely.  Regarding the sacred merit [puñña], it is infinite.  We will continuously see the Buddha, Chakkavatti, Buddha, Chakkavatti, and so on infinitely.  However, in term of sin, it will end at Lokantara [hell realm].  There are raga, dhosa, moha…………….., and it will end at Lokantara.

Therefore, we will see [that]… the merit [puñña] is more refined than the sin [pāpa] because merit is infinite.  There will be Buddha, Chakkavatti, Buddha, Chakkavatti, and so on [alternatively]…………  We enter the middle of the middle continuously and infinitely.  When we proceed throughout the 18 bodies, we proceed further to Nibbana and proceed further into Chakkavatti, infinitely.  This is the proceeding of the Merit Side or the White Side.  As we proceed inward infinitely like this deeper and deeper, the bodies will automatically multiply and disperse or bisadarn into tow, chood, chan, torn, parg, and pued.

If we proceed into the 18 bodies more and more until reaching the Nibbana(s), the Buddha(s), and the Chakkavatti(s) furthermore continuously, we will see [that] every [transcendental] body multiplies and disperses or bisadarn into tow, chood, chan, torn, parg, and pued.  Next, it will be the step for practicing vijja [the superknowledge of Dhammakaya] in the bisadarn level.  As we attain the 18 bodies, it does not end yet because the bodies will multiply and disperse into tow, chood, chan, torn, parg, and pued.  The refined human body will multiply and disperse into tow, chood, chan, torn, parg, and pued.  This is the same to the celestial body, Brahma body, Arupa-Brahma body, Dhamma body, Sotapanna body, Sakadagami body, Anagami body, and Arahat body.  All of them will multiply and disperse into tow, chood, chan, torn, parg, and pued.  Also, the [transcendental] Buddha body and Chakkavatti body will multiply and disperse or bisadarn into tow, chood, chan, torn, parg, and pued………………...  These will go on automatically, and the number of bodies will increase furthermore.