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Do Arahants experience non-neutral mental vedana?

arahant
vedana
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#21

Are you saying that contact (phassa) and feeling (vedana) have ceased for the Arahant? I’m not sure that’s consistent with the suttas.
And if it is consistent, then contact, and particularly feeling, must have a specific and limited meaning in DO.


#22

The Buddha discusses cessation of contact in AN6.63:

When contact ceases, feelings cease.

The practice that leads to the cessation of feelings is simply this noble eightfold path, that is:

right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right immersion.

Name and form and consciousness are circular as described in DN15 The Great Discourse on Causation:

So: name and form are conditions for consciousness. Consciousness is a condition for name and form.

Contact and feeling are part of that circle. When we practice restraint, we stop mindlessly running around the grasping aggregate circle (AN3.16):

When a mendicant sees a sight with their eyes, they don’t get caught up in the features and details.

The features and details of food are, for example: pizza, thin-crust, half-pepperoni, half-veggie, easy on the cheese with red pepper flakes sprinkled lightly. All those features and details haven’t ceased, we just don’t need to grasp them. When grasping ceases, we don’t need to spin around the circle proliferating the five grasping aggregates. As Mat described, one treats rice and pudding in the same manner. One treats them both as food (absent allergic reactions, etc.)

It is grasping that spins us around the circle of continued existence. Delight and relishing are the root of suffering. No delight and relishing, no suffering.


#23

And as you say, contact also ceases, temporarily (nirodha), as the sense organs are still alive. This is nibbana, the Cessation of DO which is known as the Third Noble truth (nirodha sacca). This seems to occur as a meditative state, in an arahanth who is fully aware, at other times.

There is that dimension, monks, where there is neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor wind; neither dimension of the infinitude of space, nor dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, nor dimension of nothingness, nor dimension of neither perception nor non-perception; neither this world, nor the next world, nor sun, nor moon. Nibbāna Sutta: Unbinding (1)