The ending of the cycle of rebirth is the utmost wish of Vipassana meditators. For laypeople, the idea of spiritual enlightenment is far-fetched, leave alone the very moment of the realization. However, the experience is commonly shared among the monks particularly those in the Kammaṭṭhāna Thai Forest Tradition, a lineage of Thai Buddhist monasticism.
One of the most frequently told of such stories is of the best-known meditation master and co-founder of Forest Monk Tradition Venerable Phra Ajahn Mun Bhuridatto.
According to Luangta Thongkam and Luangta Maha Bua, who heard the story directly from their master, when Phra Ajahn Mun’s meditative power was strong enough, he gained his ability (Pubbenivasanus-satinana in Pali) to see his past lives. He came to know where he lived, how he looked like, and how either happy or sad his lives were. He was once a minister sitting in front of Buddha, listening to his teachings…it had been about 400-500 incarnations ago.”
On reaching the final stage of enlightenment, Luangta Maha Bua described his master’s story as follows:
“…from that evening until late night, he said his mind only concentrated on three things: ignorance (Avijja), the manner of continuity (Pajjaya), and mental formations (Sankhara) both during the walking and sitting meditation. They were all his mind that contemplated back and forth., back and forth…
Around 3 a.m…He had completely overthrown the cycle of repeated birth and death….When the darkness was overthrown from his mind, it showed in the manner of energy circling around three times.
Upon conclusion of the first revolution, the Pali term ‘Lopo’ – cutting off – arose together with its essential meaning: at that moment the mind had completed the function of totally excluding all vestiges of relative, conventional reality.
Upon conclusion of the second revolution, the Pali term ‘Vimutti’ – absolute freedom – arose together with its essential meaning: at that moment the mind had completed the function of attaining total release.
Upon conclusion of the third revolution, the Pali term ‘Analayo’ – total detachment – arose together with its essential meaning: at that moment the mind had completed the function of wholly severing all attachments…Such was the essence of Dhamma that arose in his mind at the very moment.”
That night celestial beings of all realms, paid tribute in a resounding exclamation of rejoice that reverberated throughout the world systems, and then gathered to listen to him expound the Dhamma.
Buddha dedicated himself to discover a way to attain the spiritual freedom and proclaimed to the world over 2,500 years ago. If we persevere to purify our mind, we will find out everything Lord Buddha said is true.