Within the Sanskrit pre & post close Buddhist era texts (ChUp. & MBh.), the root meaning of phassa (sparśa), has the following meaning:
- Fall to the lot of, a.k.a. escheat - viz. a transfered possession (possession whose ownership changes).
- Come upon >> take possession of.
It has also the meaning found in the usual extract (with parallel):
Tiṇṇaṃ saṅgati phasso
Saṅgati (from saṅgacchati [saṁ+gacchati] [saṃ-gam] : come together).
√ गम् gam
to cause to go to any condition, cause to become (RV AV TS. SBr.).
I see no reason why phasso which has this underlying meaning in pre-Buddhist Vedic text, as above cited in the first occurence, would not be this becoming condition; viz. A tranfer of property.
We deal with the same problem with vedana, sanna & vinnana.
When one translates (as it appears in the Vedic texts), vedana with its underlying meaning of “experience with a wish to know more” ; then sanna as “inquiry with assumptions” ;then vinnana as the resulting (personal) final knowledge, derived from these assumptions - then things become clearer.
This is not my personal conjectire on these meanings; but a lexicographic fact.
By the way, Sujato’s translation of sankhara as “choice”, makes a lot of sense; particularly when it comes to the internal.
MN 44 abides in this sense - for there is not the usual triad involved in this case (viz. contact= external & internal ayatanani + sense-conciousness)
"Having emerged from the cessation of perception and feeling, friend Visākha, three contacts touch that monastic: emptiness contact, desirelessness contact, signlessness contact.”
Contact is therefore more than the usual meaning that is generally given to it. It has also the underlying meaning of a “transfer of property”.
Now, if in the same way, you take the Vedic underlying meaning of vedana as “experience, with the wish to know more” - (in other words: the wish to inquire); then the Vedic underlying meaning of sanna as “inquiry, with its assumptions” it makes more sense in a sutta like MN 43:
“That which is feeling, your reverence, and that which is perception and that which is discriminative consciousness, these states are associated, not dissociated, and it is not possible to lay down a difference between these states, having analysed them again and again.”
In other words, the wish for an inquiry (which is a part of vedana) and the inquiry (which is a part of sanna), are associated, not dissociated. And the assumptions (which are a part of sanna) - (with the “choices” taken among these assumptions, viz. sankhara) - and the discriminative knowledge (vinnana) derived from these (chosen) assumptions, are associated, not dissociated."
Note that Sujato’s translation of sankhara as “choice”, makes a lot of sense; particularly when it comes to the internal.