'liberation' (deliverance). I. the 3; II. the
I. The 3 liberations are:
1. the conditionless (or signless)
2. the desireless liberation (apanihita-v.),
3. the emptiness (or void) liberation (suññatā-v. ).
They are also
called 'the triple gateway to liberation' (vimokkha-mukha; Vis.M. XXI,
66ff), as they are three different approaches to the paths of holiness. - See visuddhi
VI, 8. Cf. Vis XXI, 6ff, 121ff; Pts.M. II. Vimokkha-Kathā.
1. "Whosoever being filled with determination (adhimokkha,
q.v.), considers all constructions as impermanent (anicca), such a one
attains the conditionless liberation.
2. Whosoever being filled with tranquillity, considers all constructions as painful (dukkha), such a one
attains the desireless liberation.
3. Whosoever being filled with wisdom,
considers all constructions as without a self (anattā), such a one attains
the emptiness liberation" (Vis.M. XXI, 70 = Pts.M. II, p. 58).
(1) and (2) are mentioned and explained in M. 43, under the
name of deliverances of mind (ceto-vimutti, q.v.). - (2) and (3) appear
in Dhs. (344ff, 353ff) in the section on supermundane consciousness (see
Atthasālini Tr., p. 299ff).
II. The 8 liberations (attha vimokkha) occur
frequently in the texts (A. VIII, 66; D. 16, etc.) and are described as follows:
"There are 8 liberations, o monks. Which are these?
(1) ''Whilst remaining in the fine-material sphere (rūpī),
one perceives corporeal forms: this is the first liberation.
(2) "Not perceiving corporcal forms on one's own person,
one perceives corporcal forms externally: this is the 2nd liberation.
(3) ''By thinking of the beautiful, one is filled with
confidence: this is the 3rd liberation.
(4) "Through the total ovcrcoming of the
materiality-perceptions, the vanishing of the reflex-perceptions, and the
non-attention to the multiformity-perceptions, with the idea 'Unbounded is
space', one reaches the sphere of unbounded space (ākāsānañcāyatana) and
abides therein: this is the 4th liberation.
(5) "Through the total ovcrcoming of the sphere of
unbounded space, and with the idea 'Unbounded is consciousness', one reaches the
sphere of unbounded consciousness (viññānañcāyatana) and abides
therein: this is the 5th liberation.
(6) "Through the total overcoming of the sphere of
unbounded consciousness, and with the idea 'Nothing is there', one reaches the
sphere of nothingness (ākiñeaññāyatana) and abides therein: this is
the 6th liberation.
(7) "Through the total overcoming of the sphere of
nothingness, one reaches the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception (n'eva-saññā-nāsaññāyatana)
and abides therein: this is the 7th liberation .
(8) "Through the total overcoming of the sphere of
neither-perception-nor-non-perception, one reaches the extinction of perception
and feeling (s. nirodha-samāpatti): this is the 8th liberation.
These, o monks, are the 8 kinds of liberation."
For (1-3), s. abhibhāyatana; for (4-7), s. jhāna;
for (8), s. nirodha-samāpatti.
By (3) is meant the attainment of the fine-material
absorptions (jhāna, q.v.) by means of concentrating the mind on
perfectly pure and bright colours as objects of the kasina (q.v.). According to
Pts.M. this mental state is produced also by concentrating the mind on the 4
sublime states, i.e. all-embracing kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and
equanimity, in consequence of which allbeings appear perfectly pure and
glorified, and thus the mind turns to the beautiful.
See Pts.M. II, Vimokkha-kathā; Atthasālini Tr., p. 255;