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Is there any stage, along the 'supermundane paths' to enlightenment, where the Five Hindrances to meditation are destroyed forever?

  • by Supramundane Path, do you mean the Eightfold Noble Path? – TheDarkKnightRules Jan 12 '15 at 2:12
  • As this question was unclear and received no responses to date; edited to (hopefully) clarify. Can be rolled back to original if I've misstated your question though. – Robin111 Jan 20 '15 at 12:41
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I think that the answer is 'yes, progressively'.

  • When you say "supermundane paths", this says,

    According to the Abhidhamma, 'supermundane path', or simply 'path' (magga), is a designation of the moment of entering into one of the 4 stages of holiness - Nibbāna being the object - produced by intuitional insight (vipassanā) into the impermanence, misery and impersonality of existence, flashing forth and forever transforming one's life and nature.

    Therefore, 'supermundane path' means the same thing as Four stages of enlightenment.

  • In each of these stages, there's the corresponding abandoning of more and more of the various 'fetters'.

  • This link says that the five hindrances include the ten fetters, and there's a table that says at which supermundane stage each hindrance is eradicated.

    enter image description here

  • That table in the last link would have sufficed for a precise, targeted answer to the question. I'll add it in if you don't mind. – Ahmed Jan 22 '15 at 3:01
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Yes! This is the whole aim of the Arhat's path! This is the goal of the 3rd training!

Instead of the word "destroy" it is better to think of it as "transform" because that is what it actually is. (Read Heart Sutra to understand this concept. Keep it in mind. Read Diamond Sutra Explained after.) The hindrances are basic energy that once you transform to its positive form--even if you do it temporarily--will give you tremendous energy in all its positive forms!

Anyway, that was the answer to your question. But may i ask... How is this done?

The three trainings.

1st training, morality, does a very temporary, repressive hold on the hindrances and afflictions.

This is why success in the 2nd training is pivotal. Once jhana is attained, each of the 5 factors of jhana temporarily but completely quells the 5 hindrances! This releases a tremendous amount of mental and physical energy and one feels truly oneself finally. Fun Exercise: Make a table and think for yourself which concentration factor attacks which hindrance??

This is crucial because the 3rd training, the training of wisdom, requires that tremendous energy and focus from jhana. The goal of (Theraveda) Buddhism is success in this "last" training because it brings permanent resolution of the 5 Hindrances. Nonetheless, may I repeat, one will not succeed in this "permanent resolution of the 5 hindrances" unless one succeeds in a temporary cure of the 5 Hindrances (through mastering at least 1st jhana).

What are the medicine for each respective hindrance? Each respective factor of the 5 Faculties.

How does one train them? Through facility in jhana, the 2nd training.

Note: Some argue that jhana is not necessary, the "dry insight" people, that this is going directly against the original suttas which speak of the benefits of jhana repeatedly ad nauseum.

Note 2: In Mahayana Buddhism, we go one step further and achieve Buddhahood by going beyond the afflictions and hindrances. In Mahayana Buddhism, once the goal of mastering the hindrances is achieved (3rd training), we go back to the 1st training (morality) and save all beings before entering into Perfect Nirvana. This is true Buddahood.

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