Bhikkhu @cintita’s latest essay on the dhammānupassanā of ‘the six sense spheres’, titled “What is the Eye”, introduces a novel interpretation of what ‘internally’ and ‘externally’ might mean in context.
… the eye sphere is sometimes separated into the interior (ajjhattika) and exterior (bāhira) spheres
I thought the bāhira ayatana that corresponds to the eye is rupa !?!?
I don’t even think “sometimes”.
What that equivocal remark could probably mean ?
More importantly, there are occasions in which, even while seeing, the eye and object of the eye simply fade away in favor of pure seeing, an experience undifferentiated in terms of
subject and object. The Buddha makes an important claim about how we can bring about such occasions: through the development of concentration or through making an exertion in seclusion, one "sees things as they really are” and the eye becomes “manifest as impermanent”.
Making one with the object.
This is pure late Vedic Brahmanism, and Hinduism. This is Patanjali yoga, etc. Exactly what Buddhism is not about. Exactly what the Buddha was against of.
Moreover the rational that follows comes a bit out of the blue.
If someone had the underlying purpose to make things absolutely cryptic and uncomprehensible; that would be the perfect example.
Mere Ñāṇananda stuff.
Thanks for your comment. I’m not offended; it’s up for discussion.
Do you have anything constructive to add? What do you think these terms mean in the sutta context?
Eye is an internal ayatana - form is an external ayatana. And they don’t have to become one.
This is late Vedism, or later Patanjali yoga. This is pure Hinduism. Not Buddhism.
Seclusion (viveka) from the external is what is asked.
Āyatana: (see notes at the end).
INTERNAL & EXTERNAL & BOTH, in the suttas with parallels.
Here, bhikkhu, dwell contemplating the body in the body internally, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. Dwell contemplating the body in the body externally, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. Dwell contemplating the body in the body internally and externally, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world.
idha tvaṃ, bhikkhu, ajjhattaṃ vā kāye kāyānupassī viharāhi ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ; bahiddhā vā kāye kāyānupassī viharāhi ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ; ajjhattabahiddhā vā kāye kāyānupassī viharāhi ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ.
SN 47.3 - MA 76* seems to be a parallel about looking at the internal and external; but not on both.
SN 52.1 - SA 536 has internal + external + internal & external.
MN 10 EA 12.1, MA 98, DN 22, MN 119*, SHT Sutta
The need to undertake contemplation internally, externally, and internally-and-externally is also taken into account in the two (Mahā-Satipathāna-suttas and in their parallels in the Madhyama-āgama and Ekottarika-āgama.
DN 22 , MN 10, MĀ 98, and EĀ 12.1.
MĀ 98 differs from the other versions in so far as it does not speak of contemplating “internally-and-externally”, in addition to contemplating “internally” and contemplating “externally”.
AN 6.118 has no parallel.
Is that “constructive” enough ?
Thanks for that @suci1, anything else?
You mean, inference ?
What do You have in Your stock ?
I shall give you an instance in the suttas, where it seems pretty obvious that the idea of making one with the external and the internal, is absolutely ludicrous.
Pañña, viveka, viharati, jhana are just about distinguishing, separating, and making an end of the influence of the external; (and even later of the internal).
This is Buddhism.
And this is not the case of late Vedism, yoga, and Hinduism.
This is (one of) the instances:
And how, Ānanda, is there development without direction?
Not directing his mind outwardly, a bhikkhu understands: ‘My mind is not directed outwardly.’
Then he understands: ‘It is unconstricted after and before, liberated, undirected.’
Then he further understands: ‘I fetch distinctively (separate) the noticeable body, from the body (bodies) , ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful; I am happy.’
Kathañcānanda, appaṇidhāya bhāvanā hoti?
Bahiddhā, ānanda, bhikkhu cittaṃ appaṇidhāya 'appaṇihitaṃ me bahiddhā cittan’ti pajānāti.
Atha pacchāpure ‘asaṅkhittaṃ vimuttaṃ appaṇihitan’ti pajānāti.
Atha ca pana ‘kāye kāyānupassī viharāmi ātāpī sampajāno satimā sukhamasmī’ti pajānāti. (SN 47.10)
Pali: Saṅkhipati，[saṁ+khipati - Vedic kṣipati] - to collect，heap together.
In the Manusmṛti, saṃkṣip has the meaning of: “to be thrown together or compressed or diminished , shrink up”.
Therefore asaṅkhittaṃ means" not collected together". Not making it shrinked up (by the limits of the salayatana).
Now, if like most people, you want to believe in a buddhism with a somewhat limited “universal” self, living life to its fullest degree; feel free - it’s up to you.
In fact, I still do.
Note that अनुपश् anupaś [ anu-√ paś ], in Sanskrit, means to look at , perceive, notice. (RV. , ŚBr., BṛĀr.Up, ChUp. ).
It is in post Buddhist litterature (MBh.) that it took the meaning of “contemplating”.
You can see in the following extracts, that anupaś (anupassi) has the underlying of perceiving with distinction.
Thereupon Agni appeared to them: they offered to him; whereby they perceived that part of the sacrifice which was of Agni’s nature. Now of Agni’s nature is what is dry in the sacrifice: that they thereby perceived and spread.
athaibhyo 'gniḥ sārocata | tamayajantsa yadāgneyaṃ yajñasyāsīttadapaśyanyadvai
śuṣkaṃ yajñasya tadāgneyaṃ tadapaśyaṃstadatanvata
That evil is what we come across when one sees improper things.
sa yaḥ sa pāpmā yad evedam apratirūpaṃ paśyati
Then they meditated on (the deity of) eye as Udgitha; the demons pierced it with evil. Therefore with the eye one sees both the sightly and the unsightly, for it has been pierced with evil.
atha ha cakṣurudgīthamupāsāṃcakrire taddhāsurāḥ pāpmanā vividhustasmāttenobhayaṃ paśyati darśanīyaṃ cādarśanīyaṃ ca pāpmanā hyetadviddham
This is not meant to equate the Vedic concepts to the Buddhists’ ones.
This is only to show what the meaning of the word anupassi- anupaś, was at the time of Buddha.
“Contemplating”, as shown above, came later on.
In Buddha’s time, it was much closer to “perceiving with distinction”. Which by the way, is also the underlying meaning of viharati; and pañña, in general.
SN 35.93 PTS:
Dvaya Sutta: A Pair
"It’s in dependence on a pair that consciousness comes into play. And how does consciousness come into play in dependence on a pair? In dependence on the eye & forms there arises eye-consciousness. The eye is inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise. Forms are inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise. Thus this pair is both wavering & fluctuating — inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise.
"Eye-consciousness is inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise. Whatever is the cause, the requisite condition, for the arising of eye-consciousness, that is inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise. Having arisen in dependence on an inconstant factor, how could eye-consciousness be constant?
"The coming together, the meeting, the convergence of these three phenomena is eye-contact. Whatever is the cause, the requisite condition, for the arising of eye-contact, that is inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise. Having arisen in dependence on an inconstant factor, how could eye-contact be constant?
"Contacted, one feels. Contacted, one intends. Contacted, one perceives. These phenomena are both wavering & fluctuating — inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise. This is how it’s in dependence on a pair that eye-consciousness comes into play.
"In dependence on the ear & sounds there arises ear-consciousness…
"In dependence on the nose & aromas there arises nose-consciousness…
"In dependence on the tongue & flavors there arises tongue-consciousness…
"In dependence on the body & tactile sensations there arises body-consciousness…
"In dependence on the intellect & ideas there arises intellect-consciousness. The intellect is inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise. Ideas are inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise. Thus this pair is both wavering & fluctuating — inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise.
Could you elaborate on this a bit more? It’s not very plain and clear English, what does this mean in simple terms?
to become aware of through the senses.
Types: catch, pick up, grasp.
A discrimination between things as different and distinct.
Type of: discrimination, secernment.
Again, as above:
Thereupon Agni appeared to them: they offered to him; whereby they perceived that part of the sacrifice which was of Agni’s nature.
To “contemplate” does not necessarily entail the screening involved in “perceiving with distinction”.
Anu, in anupassi (anupaś) , means: each by each, severally.
@Mat is very nice to serve us up with SN 35.93; and should also have us served up with SA 214, its parallel.
That [eye] is impermanent, conditioned, thought out, dependently arisen, and forms, just as eye-consciousness, are impermanent, conditioned, thought out, dependently arisen.
I hardly see a logical rationale to mix both eye and forms into one; to make a more “impermanent, conditioned, thought out, dependently arisen” result !?!?
I don’t quite understand the logic of your bhikku when he says:
“pure seeing, an experience undifferentiated in terms of subject and object.” (p. 11)
“pure seeing” is when you see things the way they have come to be. (yathābhūtañāṇadassana means literally:
Insight, from knowledge according to what have become).
And trying to fit that late Vedist, later yoga and Hinduism concept and creed of a “universal one”, a “universal self” [ātmāna vaiśvānara] (undifferentiated in terms of subject and object), into the Early Buddhist concept, is just pure and poor sophistry.
Your bhikkhu might speak unbroken english, but his logic is a bit upside-down.
And people who speak broken English (when they do), do usually speak (at least) another language as well.
Is that plain English enough ?