Entering Samma Diṭṭhi

Continuing the discussion from Different interpretations of jāti and maraṇa:

(Continued from Unobserved suffering of sansāra existence…)

We discussed how all the dukhās Lord Buddha discussed can be explained, to have been caused by us having to come in contact with the world in ways that we do not desire:

“yampicchaṃ na labhati tampi dukkhaṃ”

This type of dukhā will be perceived only by followers of the Buddha. The main difficulty persuading us to put effort towards nivana is sansāra dukhā. Which consists of jāti, jarā, maraṇa, soka­, pari­deva­, dukhā, do­manas­sa, upāyāsā. Lord Buddha saw sansāra dukhā and the reason for sansāra dukhā through Paṭiccasamuppāda. Which must be understood with paññā (wisdom).

avijjā -> sankhārā -> viññāṇa -> nāmarū­pa -> saḷāyatana -> phassa -> vedanā -> taṇhā -> upādāna -> bhava -> jāti (birth) -> sansāra dukhā -> jarā, maraṇa….

We can see the root of sansāra dukhā is avijjā from the flow chart. To stop sansāra dukhā that is driven by avijjā (avijjā as condition sankhārā, sankhārā as condition viññāṇa… etc), we must get rid of avijjā (nivana). Avijjā is not seeing the catūariyasacce (four noble truths). The method of reasoning(nyāya) for catūariyasacce (four noble truths) is tilakkhaṇena (Nettipakarana page 249):

Unable to see catūariyasacce, for a long period of time dwelled in different jāti. (jāti sansārana). In that grasped the catūariyasacce. Eradicated bhava tanha. Eradicated all roots of dukhā. Now there is no rebirth (punarbhava); this is the desana with completed wisdom. What is the completed wisdom? Completed wisdom of rūpa anicca, vedanā anicca, saññā anicca, sankhārā anicca, viññāṇa anicca.

This shows the nyāya (rule or method of reasoning) of catūariyasacce is Tilakkhaṇena. If one doesn’t grasp tilakkhaṇena correctly, one cannot understand catūariyasacce. Therefore we can say avijjā is not correctly grasping tilakkhaṇena. Let’s take a few more steps of the paṭiccasamuppāda and see how dukhā is created.

It has been shown that avijjā as condition sankhārā comes to exist. In other words not realising anicca, sankhārā gets created.

  1. “avijjāpaccayā sankhārā”
  2. “san­khā­ra­pac­cayā viññāṇaṃ”
  3. “cakkhuñca paṭicca rūpe ca uppajjāti cakkhuviññāṇaṃ” SN12.45 (Cakkhu:eye)

In the second line, it says sankhārā as condition viññāṇa comes to exist. In the third line instead of the sankhārā, it says cakkhuñca paṭicca rūpe ca. So it can be deduced sankhārā = cakkhuñca paṭicca rūpe ca. Thereby uncovering the meaning of cakkhuñca paṭicca rūpe ca, should show what is sankhārā. Here sotāñca,ghānañca,jivhañca, kāyañca or manañca could have been used instead of cakkhuñca.
Example: “sotāñca paṭicca sadde ca uppajjāti sotāviññāṇaṃ…”

Now let’s investigate cakkhuñca paṭicca rūpe ca:

Cakkhu (A) + Rūpe (B:) + Getting tied down by rāga or devesha © = Cakkhuviññāṇa

The process of ABC coming together creates cakkhuviññāṇa. It should be understood that the process of ABC coming together is sankhārā or (san + kirima: san + realisation). Also that san kirima is the process of eye and rūpe(sights) coming together with lobhā, devesha and moha. There are many examples of san being used in sinhala language (due to influence of pali) to mean a collection. In the ariya tradition this is used to mean the mixing (collection) of rāga, devesha and moha. Let’s see how the word san is used in buddha dhamma. Buddha desana have been described in this way in the Cūḷahatthi­padopama sutta MN27:

“Te samaṇo gotamo dhammiyā kathāya sandasseti samādaseti samuttejeti sampahaṃseti”

san dasseti : makes desana about san
san mada seti (samadaseti) : teaches about separation from san
san muttejeti : getting liberated from san
san pahaṃseti : rejecting san

San is also described similarly in Mahā­pari­nib­bā­na­sutta DN 16 and Nandaka sutta AN 9.4

We saw that sankhārā means getting tied down by rāga, devesha and moha. One is tied down with rāga and devesha to keep rūpa (formations of the four great elements) as one likes (icca) and delight in it. One gets tied down like this because they don’t grasp they cannot maintain rūpa as they desire. In other words one gets tied down by desire (patticca) because they don’t realise they cannot keep it as they desire(anicca). Not grasping anicca is avijjā.

By getting tied down to a world that one cannot maintain as they desire creates dukhā. The activity of getting tied down in such a way is san + kirima or sankhārā. One should grasp the result of this binding process is viññāṇa. In other words viññāṇa is (vikurthi nānā) consciousness created through this activity of getting tied down by rāga and devesha. (viññāṇa is compared to an illusionist)

Let’s think of a household receiving an alcohol bottle. Given the husband enjoys drinking, he gets tied down with rāga(desire), but the wife not wanting the husband to drink get’s tied down by devesha, hoping to get what she wants. The husband creates a rāga viññāṇa and delights in it, while the wife creates a devesha viññāṇa and dwells in dukhā. However it was the same alcohol bottle that created the rāga viññāṇa in the husband and devesha viññāṇa in the wife. So isn’t sukhā or dukhā experienced due to mano rooted rāga viññāṇa or devesha viññāṇa? Therefore are their impressions of the alcohol bottle pure? Or some contaminated version of it? Isn’t it delusional? Which is why we compare viññāṇa to an illusionist.

Vedanā created by interacting with rūpa using these contaminated viññāṇa are known as samphassa ja vedanā. Vikurthi (delusional or contaminated) ñāṇa + cakkhu (eye) + rūpa(sights)! cakkhuviññāṇa ! cakkhusamphassa ! cakkhusamphassa ja vedanā!. Cakkhusamphassa is explained by “tinnam sangatiya phasso”(three give rise to contact). Throughout sansāra one have done the san (collection of rāga, devesha due to moha) realisation process. In other words developing sankhārā. One should now grasp, how by creating sankhārā, developing viññāṇa…. developing jāti, we continue to be in this sansāra existence. Therefore for cessation (nirodha) of jāti, what should we do? separation from san. The word that describes separation or liberation in pali is “ma”. Example: Ma + me balla samagamo : May I separate from association of balla(lower quality) beings. Therefore we can think of separating from san as san + ma (samma).

In order to get liberated from sansāra dukhā, one must stop developing jāti. san + ma ( liberation from lobhā,devesha & moha) will stop viññāṇa. Which means all the other steps in the paṭiccasamuppāda will stop. Therefore jāti will not be developed.

The view (diṭṭhi) that liberates (ma) from lobhā, devesha and moha (san) is samma diṭṭhi. A person who comes to this samma diṭṭhi have more left to do by practicing: samma sankappa, samma vaca , samma kammanta, samma-ajiva, samma-vayama , samma-sati and samma-samadhi. One must first recognise samma diṭṭhi and get into that view. It’s mentioned in the Sāriputta sutta SN 8.6, if one gains samma diṭṭhi, one is Sotāpaññā:

‘Soto, soto’ti hidaṃ, sāriputta, vuccati. Katamo nu kho, sāriputta, soto”ti? “Ayameva hi, bhante, ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo soto, seyyathidaṃ—sammādiṭṭhi, sammāsankappo, sammāvācā, sammākammanto, sammāājīvo, sammāvāyāmo, sammāsati, sammāsamādhī”ti. “Sādhu sādhu, sāriputta. Ayameva hi, sāriputta, ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo soto, seyyathidaṃ—sammādiṭṭhi … pe … sammāsamādhi.

‘Sotāpanno, Sotāpanno’ti hidaṃ, Sāriputta, vuccati. Katamo nu kho, sāriputta, Sotāpanno”ti? “Yo hi, bhante, iminā ariyena aṭṭhaṅgikena maggena samannāgato ayaṃ vuccati Sotāpanno

Soto, Soto have been said Sāriputta, what is Sotā? Bhante, ariya aṭṭhaṅgika magga (noble eightfold path) is soto, which is samma diṭṭhi… samma samadhi. Sādhu, sādhu Sariputta, ariya aṭṭhaṅgika magga is Sotā.

Sotāpañño, sotāpañño have been said sariputta, what is sotāpaññā? If one is of the ariya aṭṭhaṅgika magga, one is said to be sotāpaññā.

So what must one fundamentally grasp to become sotāpaññā? The world is anicca, dukhā and anatta. Anyone having the view the world is desirable, pleasurable and meaningful (valuable) is avijjā. One wishes to adjust the world as they desire and enjoy it. One get’s tied down with desire (paṭicca) to eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind looking for pleasures. The process of getting tied down with rāga, devesha and moha(san) is sankhārā. As long as sankhārā exist one will develop all the other steps of paṭiccasamuppāda upto jāti. Because of that, one inherits jarā, maraṇa, soka­pari­deva,­ ­dukhā, do­manas­sa, upāyāsā dukhās that belongs to jāti.

By understanding san, and understanding the tilakkhaṇena nyāya (method of reasoning of tilakkhaṇena), by not producing san and getting liberated from san, one will stop developing jāti. Therefore won’t be exposed to jarā…upāyāsā dukhā. One should see that to grasp samma diṭṭhi, two of the main nyāyas of buddha dhamma have been used. Tilakkhaṇena and paṭiccasamuppāda. In other words if one have samma diṭṭhi, one has seen ariya nyāyas with wisdom.

One who is sotāpana or with samma diṭṭhi have three fetters (sakkāyadiṭṭhi, vicikicchā, sīlab­bata­parāmāsa) removed from them.

Original author : Dr R. G Weerasinghe

I sense these interpretation have helped me progress on the path immensely. I am making them available by translating for the benefit of any other person with a similar mindset out of compassion. Not with the intention of coming in conflict with the teachings of any other great teachers on this forum. :pray:

I will not join in on the discussion since I don’t feel I have completed wisdom about some of the topics covered in the article. However, if there are any great teachers out there who sees through these interpretation (desana), please share your views out of compassion :pray::pray::pray:

With Metta,

1 Like

Changes that occur with becoming sotāpaññā

It was described how to enter samma diṭṭhi. Explained “san” is eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind or internal āyatana (faculties) during contact with sights, sounds, smells, contact and dhamma or external āyatana(faculties); the occurrence of paṭicca (mixing with desire) process. This process must be understood as the binding functionality. Which is identified as sankhārā. Sankhārā or the process of san realisation can be broken down into further stages. Citta, mano, mānasan, hadayan, pandaran, mano manāyatanan , manaindriyan, viññāṇa. In other words before developing viññāṇa, as the eye come in contact with a sight, the paṭicca process that takes place is broken down into aforementioned stages. Let’s discuss these individually.

Citta have been described as :

Pabhassaramidaṃ, bhikkhave, cittaṃ ārammaṇe vijānanā lakkhaṇaṃ cittaṃ.

The meaning of ārammaṇe vijānanā lakkhaṇaṃ is the characteristic of knowing the starting point in its variations. In describing it, who is holding that characteristic? That’s the mind (mānasa). Therefore citta must be the root characteristic or natural state of the mind(mānasa). It’s a very pure characteristic (lakkhaṇa). Let’s describe it with a simile. If we think of the mind(mānasa) as a mirror with our face reflected, the mirror with the characteristic of reflecting our face can be compared to citta. Keeping the mirror the same, characteristic of reflecting our face can be contaminated. For example applying dirt over the mirror then standing in front of it, one should observe the characteristic of reflecting our face have been reduced. In the same way citta gets contaminated when it gets to the stage of viññāṇa. Let’s go step by step through this contamination process.

Stage after citta is mano. What’s known as mano is when sense base (indriya) come in contact with a stimuli (or vastu), evaluating it. As an example think of looking at a palm tree. When looking at the base of the tree, top and middle cannot be seen. When looking at the middle of the tree, base and top cannot be seen. When looking at the top of the tree, base or middle cannot be seen. If we break down seeing the palm tree into three parts, we assessed the first part. Then assessed the second part. Then assessed the third part . After assessing (mano) the three parts, they are combined. This is known as mānasan. Here the word san is used. Parts that got assessed are known as māna. When all the māna are collected together or māna san occurring, we recognise the palm tree. The binding process happens to us only after recognising the palm tree. Now starts the paṭicca process. Before recognising the palm tree, we do not get tied down to it with raga, devesha and moha. Seeing other attractive sights such as human bodies, similarly numerous assessments are made and a mano rūpa is developed about the sights. Raga, devesha and moha gets created after this stage. Which is hadayan the next stage after mānasan. The word hadayan means getting acquainted. With substances (dravya vastu) seen like this, becoming familiar or friendly. Then comes pandaran stage. Which means giving more life to what have became more familiar. When steel is converted to a weapon in sinhala it’s known as establishing in pannaraya. In that way, when what became familiar is established in pannaraya, that’s known as pandaran. A citta such as this(in this stage) is what becomes bhava + aṅga(factor) or bhavanga. After coming into this stage; as mano manāyatanan, manindriyan; the mind combining with it, finally mano viññāṇa gets created. If these mano viññāṇa gets created, they are mixed with raga and devesha. This is the nature of viññāṇa that gets created due to avijjā.

After that going through the next steps of paṭiccasamuppāda; mano samphassa, mano samphassa ja vedanā, getting tied to it or taṇhā, upādāna, bhava, jāti, jarā, maraṇa; it will end. Therefore to stop the process of creating jāti, we must grasp anicca (nothing is as we desire) and enter into vijjā and stop the paṭicca(getting tied down with desire) process. In this way, if creation of abhiviññāṇa is stopped, creation of jāti will stop. With that should grasp jarā, maraṇa, soka­, pari­deva­, dukhā, do­manas­sa, upāyāsā will stop. This is entering nivana. If we think of an Arahat. When the eye of an Arahat comes into contact with a sight, mano and mānasan stages gets completed. Completion of these stages are required to recognise a sight. This recognition is known as mānasan (vipāka viññāṇa). Progressed beyond this stage as hadayan, pandaran and getting acquainted will create abhiviññāṇa, or viññāṇa that conditions continuation of sansara existence. An Arahat doesn’t create viññāṇa that conditions sansara existence. Only creates viññāṇa that recognises substances (dravya vastu).

Let’s look at how sakkāyadiṭṭhi, vicikicchā, sīlab­bata­parāmāsa fetters get removed from a person who is sotāpana. We have described kāya already. Which is a combination of twelve parts; eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind, sights, sounds, smells, contact and dhamma. Using this kāya, in other words using the twelve internal and external faculties, beings inhabits this world looking for pleasures. To acquire pleasures; these faculties are extremely valuable, useful, and need them repeatedly; notion arises in them. This taṇhā notion is always there in them. No being would like to remove anyone of the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind. They like creating pleasures from sights, sounds, smells, contact and dhamma. As such puthujjana beings have the view that the entire kāya made out of the six internal and six external faculties, is extremely valuable. One day if they grasp tilakkhaṇena, the world or the twelve faculties are anicca - cannot maintain as one desires, it creates dukhā, for that reason it’s unproductive, kāya sath diṭṭhi or kāya is extremely valuable view can get removed.

The day these great beings correctly understand anicca,dukhā and anatta; kāya sath diṭṭhi gets removed. Suffering throughout this endless sansara existence, getting born in insufferable places like four apāyas, went through enormous amounts of dukhā because of the system made out of these six internal and six external faculties. When they understand this they realise the entire kāya (six internal and six external faculties) is harmful and unproductive. Which gets rid of kāya sath diṭṭhi. The word “sath” is commonly used to convey good and consisting of a soul (ātma). One should understand sakkāyadiṭṭhi in this way.

sath puruṣa, sath kriyāva, sath bhava as such the word sath have been used in many places. These twelve faculties have brought us great misfortune throughout this endless sansara. It should be grasped with wisdom, going forward wanting and hoping to interact with the twelve faculties will continue to bring dukhā. Which means a person who’s sotāpana will see the world as meaningless (unproductive). The person who see the world as meaningless (unproductive), will see the kāya as meaningless (unproductive) or asath. Which means getting kāya sath or sakkāya diṭṭhi removed. If the kāya is asath one should separate from it. Now eye with sight, ear with sound, nose with smell, tongue with taste, body with contact, mind with dhamma; coming into contact and producing viññāṇa process or sankhārā creating diṭṭhi have been removed; one have entered into samma diṭṭhi. This means at the very moment one enters samma diṭṭhi, sakkāyadiṭṭhi gets removed.

Let’s see what’s identified as vicikicchā. Normally it means doubt. However we cannot use its typical meaning here. In Cūḷahatthi­padopama sutta MN27 it’s explained; understanding that the Blessed One is fully enlightened, the Dhamma is well proclaimed by the Blessed One, the Sangha is practising the good way; is completed only after one becomes an arahat. Which means one is left with hints of doubt until one reaches the arahat stage. If we say this with more caution, this notion is implied by the Cūḷahatthi­padopama sutta. Therefore if it is said that doubt is completely eradicated in a person who is sotāpana, it would be misleading. Vici indicates wrong and kicchā indicates doings. Separating from performing wrongdoings is mentioned as removal of vicikicchā. There are endless things that can be categorized as wrong in the world. Lord Buddha broke these down to 10 wrongdoings. They are the 10 akusalas (dasa akusal). Pāṇātipātā (killing), adinnādānā (taking what is not given) and kāmesu miccācara (sexual misconduct or excessive cravings for sense pleasures) the three done through the kāya. Musāvādā (Incorrect speech), pisuṇavāca (malicious speech), pharusavāca ( (harsh speech) and samphappalāpa (frivolous speech) the four done through speech. Abhijja(covetousness), vyāpāda (ill-will) and micchā diṭṭhi (wrong views) the three done through the mind. Vikurti kṛtya means coming to the diṭṭhi that dasa akusal are not wrong and performing them. Acts done with such diṭṭhi does not exist in a person who is sotāpana.

A person who is sotāpana is removed from the most dangerous akusala, performed with the mind, which is micchā diṭṭhi. Grasping the unproductive nature (meaningless nature) of the world, one will see it’s not worthwhile to do killing… as such dasa akusala. Since there is nothing in this world that seems valuable to a sotāpana person, and there is nothing in this world that person wants to accumulate, what am I going to get by killing; notion arises in that person. A person can benefit by killing an animal in two ways. Consume meat in order to develop one’s body that’s eventually going to decay someday. Second one is to sell it and earn money. Which process does earning money fall under? The process of bringing pleasure to eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind.

The person who is sotāpana have already seen the process of bringing pleasure to eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind creates dukhā. Therefore what use can that person get with the meat obtained from killing another animal? In the same way a person who has seen the meaningless nature of the world, would prefer to move away from taking what’s not given, excessive cravings for sensual pleasures… as such dasa akusala, in other words the dislike to do them will arise in that person. In this way the diṭṭhi that creates misconduct towards the world in the form of dasa akusala must be understood as vicikicchā. Removing vicikicchā means removing the diṭṭhi that created the preference to do dasa akusala.

The next fetter is sīlab­bata­parāmāsa. This means sila vrata parama aśraya. What’s known as sila vrata? Vrata means taking vows for a certain time period and getting tied down with observing, honouring and protecting them. In ancient times, we have heard there were vrata such as go-vrata and ajā-vrata. Also worshipping the sun or the moon vrata. In this way, thinking that liberation can be achieved only by observing these vrata is a misconception.

A person who has grasped tilakkhaṇena and become sotāpana have already seen nivana (identified the path clearly). The only thing left to do is to get to the nivana they have already seen (gain completed wisdom). Which means that person has already seen that with other sil vrata, one cannot achieve liberation. Therefore without any effort the sense of need for such micchā diṭṭhi sil vrata gets completely removed from that person. However this doesn’t imply sil vrata such as 8 precepts or 10 precepts are wrong. If one is able to grasp the dhamma today, it’s a result of the kusala one have gathered by observing sil vrata such as 5… 10 precepts in the past. Observing sila (with wisdom) and making it a ritual for liberation should be understood as two different things. There are common misconception been spread about sila in today’s society, that could harm creating a moral society in the future. It’s been compared to go-vrata and ajā-vrata due to misconception: “Goats and cows don’t kill; steal; given they don’t have to mate with one partner,do not commit sexual misconduct; don’t lie and drink. So people who keep the 5 precepts are fools who follow go-vrata and ajā-vrata”. These ideas are spoken and propagated by people who do not have correct wisdom.

Followers of Buddha are keeping away from 5 akusala not because they are taking goats and cows as role models. If something creates bad kamma, it’s wrong, it’s an akusala and advised against, they understand with wisdom it’s something that one shouldn’t do. They understand they should get out of the bad karmic path they are taking. They keep 8 precepts with the trust developed through experience and trust developed by an Arahat approving with wisdom the discipline (guidelines to create the correct conditioning) required to grasp the dhamma. However it’s not the only way to nivana. But it provides some conditioning for it. The best path to nivana is satipaṭṭhāna, which is becoming disciplined in speech and action by observing them with wisdom. It’s not a vrata.

Therefore what’s needed is, not to stop taking 5 percepts or 10 precepts but to be clear that by only observing sila, nivana cannot be reached. However to enter the path with samma diṭṭhi all the samyak-diṭṭhica sil vrata that have been observed in the past help. Which is why people who are keeping them, should see value in them and continue to keep them. Since there is some value in it, they cannot be rejected. But need to understand only through them one cannot grasp nivana.

This shows the three fetters sakkāyadiṭṭhi, vicikicchā and sīlab­bata­parāmāsa gets removed when one becomes sotāpana. Out of the 10 fetters, one should now grasp with reason that 3 gets removed from a person who is sotāpana.

For a person to become sotāpana in this way, four conditions that assisted have been described in buddha dhamma as sotāpana aṅga in Dutiya­sāri­putta­sutta SN55.5 :

Sap­purisa­saṃ­sevo sotā­patti­yaṅgaṃ, saddham­mas­savanaṃ sotā­patti­yaṅgaṃ, yoniso­ma­nasikāro sotā­patti­yaṅgaṃ, dhammā­nu­dhammap­paṭi­patti sotā­patti­yaṅgan.

A person who has understood dhamma and who can explain it clearly is sap­purisa. Getting acquainted with such a person is sap­purisa­saṃ­sevana. Here we should not take the mundane meaning of sap­purisa, which is people with good qualities. One exists in sansara because one still haven’t met the correct sap­purisa. Not only getting acquainted with sap­purisa, one should also discuss dhamma with them. They should contemplate the dhamma or yoniso­ma­nasikāra. Yoniso­ ma­nasikāra is when listening to dhamma, seeing with one’s own mind the world is anicca, dukhā and anatta. The fourth condition is dhammā­nu­dhammap­paṭi­patti. In tripiṭaka anicca, dukhā and anatta are described as ā­nu­dhamma. Comparing with one’s own past experiences, to grasp these dhamma one should use them. There is no use memorising anicca, dukhā and anatta. Seeing with yoniso­ma­nasikāro as anicca, dukhā and anatta, one must examine one’s experiences matching them with it, and grasp them. When one realise in such a way they become sotāpaññā.

What are the characteristics of a sotāpaññā person? A lot of people would recall a sotāpaññā person would never say one is sotāpaññā. This is an incorrect interpretation. It’s explained in the Pañcabhayavera sutta SN 12.41, if one sees clearly one is sotāpaññā, one may declare it, if one wishes. The author goes into detail about how one can clearly know one is sotāpaññā. However these can be inferred from what’s discussed so far and the translation of the sutta.

Few important things left out:

  1. Paṭiccasamuppāda cannot be grasped in all it’s detail by a listener (sāvaka). It’s a deep dhamma. It’s only grasped completely by a Buddha mind. Buddha compared the paṭiccasamuppāda to the depth of the ocean. So a sotāpaññā person will grasp it only to a certain level. It would atleast be upto the level to understand due to avijjā, jāti gets created(avijjā as condition sankhārā get’s created, sankhārā as conditioned viññāṇa gets created… Jāti). Sotāpaññā person would have seen clearly with wisdom what is avijjā.

  2. Confirmed confidence in the three refuges should not be mistaken for having zero doubts. Experiencing the dukhā that have been removed from them, one develops and constantly have immense respect for the three refuges, that’s unshakeable.

  3. Also one should realise that a sotāpaññā person would not declare it with the intention of getting worldly pleasure in any form.


Hi Oshan,
What is the objective of this thread?

Discuss this text and its subject? Or maybe just replicate here the text?

Making that clear could help others understand what is expected from them.

I am no expert on categories but I believe that if your aim is just to call others’ attention to the analysis and interpretation found in this (very interesting) text you could list it under the Essay category.

Also, if you are just quoting words found in an original somewhere else I recommend you add “>” at the beginning of each paragraph. By doing so the text shows up as quoted:

like this … :wink:

I was actually contemplating if this is better placed in the essays section.

Reasons for creating the thread:

Making these alternate interpretations available to anyone who is interested. Hoping to get alternate or inline views about the content that could further expand it. Not interested in joining in, since I am just a sāvaka(a student) not a teacher :slight_smile: (still).

However felt the need of translating the content and making it available. I haven’t even got permissions from the original author to translate the content, but I have good faith his intentions would have been to make them available as widely as possible :pray:

Given all the content presented so far is from another author, the entire article needs to be in “” . I was using that functionality for quotes from suttas in the original article.

p.s. going to get some vaseline to cover up that awesome burn… joke of course :slight_smile:

1 Like

Hidden Dhamma About Viññāṇa

The process of saṅ­khā­ra­ pac­cayā viññāṇa was explained in the last article. After the occurrence of vipāka viññāṇa or recognising (cognition) viññāṇa; engaging with what was recognised or getting attached to it with desire starts to occur. This attachment with desire(raga) occurs in both hadayan and pandaran stages. As a result of that, viññāṇa that is strong enough to condition continuation of sansara existence, identified as abhiviññāṇa gets created.

In saṅ­khā­ra or san realisation process, why is viññāṇa that only recognise (cognise) known as vipāka viññāṇa? eye, ear, nose… as such internal faculties come into existence because of kamma vipāka (kamma coming into effect) from a previous existence. Therefore as long as the eye exists, seeing sights and recognising them is a process that cannot be stopped. This is applicable to an Arahat as well.

After vipāka viññāṇa, engaging with the rupe (sight) or getting attached to it with desire starts. To show abhiviññāṇa getting created, let’s take the following example. When we are on a train, a lot of people come into our scope of vision on the beaches along the train tracks. We can recognise these people as men and women. What assisted this recognition is vipāka viññāṇa. However out of these people, if there was an extremely attractive lady on the beach, not only recognising her, if we also get attached to that sight with desire, with that we would have developed an abhiviññāṇa. Woman seeing a man should be understood in the same way. This is the harmful stage. This is the viññāṇa that’s keeping us tied to sansara existence, the driving viññāṇa that goes upto jāti. We should nirodha (cease) these viññāṇa. Which is nir + uda (uda: creation) or stop producing.

Vipāka viññāṇa is free from kilesa. In other words free from raga, devesha and moha. An Arahat only has vipāka viññāṇa. Everyone else who is not an Arahat produces abhiviññāṇa as well as vipāka viññāṇa. What one needs to nirodha(stop producing) is abhiviññāṇa. An Arahat identifies things with these vipāka viññāṇa. The javana citta that arises in an Arahat are known as kriyā citta. For which puthujjana (ordinary) people produce abhiviññāṇa, an arhat only has kriyā viññāṇa.

How does one nirodha abhiviññāṇa? If one nirodha saṅ­khā­ra­ that would nirodha viññāṇa. Even saṅ­khā­ra­ gets broken down into vipākasaṅ­khā­ra and abhisaṅ­khā­ra. Seeing the world as anicca,dukha and anatta, how an arhat would separate from saṅ­khā­ra was already discussed.

Based on the sense base (indriya) that help develop the viññāṇa, it can be catagorised into six categories. Cakkhu viññāṇa, sotā viññāṇa, ghāna viññāṇa, jivha viññāṇa, kāya viññāṇa and mano viññāṇa. Even though it’s categorised this way, all viññāṇa are still the same. So it’s not correct to think there are six viññāṇa. Out of these six viññāṇa, the viññāṇa that gets developed from the five sense bases (pañca devhara) always takes a present root stimuli ( ārammaṇe: starting-point). Mano viññāṇa can have past, present and future time orientations as the root citta ( ārammaṇe: starting-point). Including mano viññāṇa; collecting all that’s past, present and future; viññāṇakkhandhā gets created.

Why is viññāṇa identified as an illusionist? viññāṇa is a vikurthi nānā. Nānā is perception. Perceiving the real nature (prakruti) of things is paññā. We perceive the world in a vikurthi (delusional) way because of viññāṇa. That’s what was meant by citta getting contaminated viññāṇa gets created. As an example let’s go back to the household receiving the alcohol bottle.

A guest brings an alcohol bottle as a gift to a friends house. Husband seeing the bottle getting tied down with raga creates happiness. Wife who is against alcohol, towards the same bottle creates a dvesha mixed viññāṇa. Same bottle, created happiness mixed raga viññāṇa for the husband. Wife taking the same root stimuli ( ārammaṇe: starting-point) creates viññāṇa mixed with devesha and feels pain.

Therefore was the happiness or pain in the bottle? It changed depending on the different ways each individual got tied to bottle with desire (paṭicca), which conditioned different viññāṇa. Perception that came to who’s viññāṇa is correct? The way the husband felt? Or the the way the wife felt? It can be deduced both are incorrect. If an Arhat looks at the same bottle, happiness or pain is not created. That’s because an Arhat is not looking at the bottle with raga or dvesha. We must grasp all perceptions created by viññāṇa, developed with the aid of raga and dvesha are delusional (vikurthi) in this way. This is why viññāṇa is named an illusionist. As long as we are looking at world with these vikurthi nānā the true nature of the world cannot be seen. It’s grasped in a delusional way.

Is there a difference between the viññāṇa that’s in pañcaupadānakkhandhā as rūpa, vedanā, saññā, saṅ­khā­ra, viññāṇa (five aggregates) and the viññāṇa in paṭiccasamuppāda as saṅ­khā­ra­pac­cayā viññāṇa? This is a commonly asked question. There is no such difference. In whichever way the development of viññāṇa process is described, the end result is the same viññāṇa antecedents. Viññāṇa do not get created without conditioning. It’s identified in the Mahātaṇhā­saṅkhaya sutta MN38 that viññāṇa do not get created by any other conditioning other than through paṭiccasamuppāda:

Aneka­pariyā­yenā­vuso sāti, paṭic­ca­samup­pannaṃ viññāṇaṃ vuttaṃ bhagavatā, aññatra paccayā natthi viññāṇassa sambhavo”ti

Lord buddha have identified four nutrients that causes sansara existence. Viññāṇa is one of those nutrients. It was identified as a nutrient because it conditions sanhara existence.

Lord buddha have also said without rūpa, without vedanā, without saññā, without saṅ­khā­ra, viññāṇa do not exist. Among what we identify as energies in the physical world, these come to exist in six ways. That is āpo(liquidity, binding or flowing nature), tejo(heat), vāyo (movement, air), pathavī(hardness, solidity), ākāsa, viññāṇa. We frequently come across discussions about āpo, tejo, vāyo and pathavī. We have a clear idea about them. What are ākāsa & viññāṇa?

The word ākāsa is broken down to mean ākārsana(attraction). This shows the energy dimension of the attraction pattern that exist in the universe or the electromagnetic field. In science identified as earth. Then what energy dimension is identified by viññāṇa? For this let’s focus on the following that comes in kevaṭṭasutta DN11:

‘viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ, anantaṃ sabbatopabhaṃ; Ettha āpo ca pathavī, tejo vāyo na gādhati. Ettha dīghañca rassañca, aṇuṃ thūlaṃ subhāsubhaṃ; Ettha nāmañca rūpañca, asesaṃ uparujjhati; viññāṇassa nirodhena,etthetaṃ uparujjhatī’”ti.

This was delivered to describe the place that doesn’t hold the four great elements or where they do not exist. Out of the six āpo, tejo, vāyo, pathavī, ākāsa and viññāṇa energy dimensions, the qualities of the viññāṇa dimension is comparable with the description of the sutta.

After exceeding ākāsānañcāyatana (ākāsa), the qualities of viññāṇañcāyatana that’s experienced matches with the above mentioned qualities. In describing nivana Lord buddha says as “atthi tadāyatanaṃ”, nivina holds a nature that exceeds all of this. It surpasses description with all rules of the world and holds a nature grasped with wisdom.

Hidden dhamma about memory using viññāṇa and nāmarū­pa

“You will never fade away from my memories. I can recall it at will”, there are endless instances of us talking about memories in this way. If we forget everything, food, clothing, family and friends… etc, we are going to lose our connections with everything. We maintain relations with our surroundings, kids, parents and friends because of this amazing ability named memory. If we lose our memories, we are not going to be able continue on with our lives. So it’s not an exaggeration to say memory is the most important thing in our day to day lives. It should be understood that if not for this ability, one will not be able to read this article or grasp it’s content. So it’s not incorrect to describe memory as the most closely tied ability to a living being.

Trees categorised as a life form doesn’t have this ability. To the extent of our knowledge, no one has shown trees have memories. Even though trees can respond to external stimuli, we cannot compare that to memory.

This amazing ability, is it located internal to our bodies? If yes, in which organ? deducing if it’s using the brain, the heart, or the entire nervous system might be worthwhile.

Some might think it’s stored in the heart. If that’s the case, when the heart is removed during surgery and the person is attached to a heart-lung machine, during that time, will all memories get removed from that person? During heart replacement surgery, when one person’s heart is transferred to another person, will the second person’s memories change? The clear answer to these questions is no.

So when removing the heart and or replacing it, since the memories are not affected, it can be deduced that the memories are not stored in the heart. We can also show it’s not stored in blood. Since to cure some people, when all of the blood is removed from a person and new blood is given, their memories don’t get affected. There’s no ambiguity about these things, it’s very clear.

Considering the aforementioned capabilities to replace some of the organs, we can deduce memories are not stored in them. However medical scientists have acknowledged that the brain is not an organ that can be replaced, and they also agree that it cannot be done in the future as well. Making you having to put effort to read upto this point, was not done to prove to you that memories are created with the aid of the brain. Since a lot of us know that memories originates from the brain.

It has been shown that different sections of the brain have been allocated to process signals from the five senses; eye, ear, nose …etc. It’s been proven that if these sections of the brain gets damaged, body parts associated with that section will stop functioning. In the same way, memories are associated with a specific part of the brain. If that part is damaged we lose our memories.

Everything we talked about up to now is straightforward. Things that have been captured by science. Lets focus on a more complex side to memories now. It was explained memories are located in the brain. However if all our memories are stored in the physical brain matter, then when we die and our physical brain gets destroyed, do we lose all our memories? No. There’s plenty of evidence throughout buddhism that after rebirth, we can acquire memories from past lives. Beings with the abhiñña (special higher ability gain through insight) named pubbenivāsānussati nānā are known to have this ability. Not only followers of Buddha dhamma, but throughout history there are records of beings who obtained abhijñā with other anāriya bhavana to have similar abilities. Lord Buddha and thousands of Arhats with abhijñā have had these abilities.

Since memories survive even after the physical brain is destroyed, it should be understood that memories are not stored in the physical brain. Which means memories have to be some where external to the body in the universe. The dimension that holds memories in this way is identified as the viññāṇa dimension or nāma loka (loka: sphere).

Every time a thought goes through the brain, an energy gets created in it (neural activity). This is viññāṇa energy. Due to the process known as sankhārā, producing of this viññāṇa energy was explained in detailed in the last article.

It was explained that viññāṇa is the energy produced when pabhassara (pure) state known as citta, gets contaminated through the process known as sankhārā. Due to this energy, it was also shown that we see the world in a delusional way. It should be understood that viññāṇa that recognises external substances are vipāka viññāṇa; after recognising, getting attached to it with rāga, dveṣa and moha, abhiviññāṇa gets created. Anyone who is not an Arhat on top of recognising viññāṇa creates abhiviññāṇa. One must nirodha (stop creating) these abhiviññāṇa.

Let’s looks at how the viññāṇa energy that gets created in this way, conditions the creation of nāmarū­pa.

Tattha katamaṃ rūpaṃ? Cattāro mahābhūtā, catunnañca mahābhūtānaṃ upādāyarūpaṃ—idaṃ vuccati “rūpaṃ” VB 6

There are two types of rū­pa,
1 Four mahābhūtā: āpo, tejo, vāyo and pathavī bhūtā
2 Rū­pa that gets created because of four mahābhūtā: mano rū­pa

Tattha katamaṃ nāmaṃ? vedanākkhandho, saññākkhandho, saṅ­khā­rak­khan­dho—idaṃ vuccati “nāmaṃ” VB 6

Collection of vedanā, collection of saññā and collection of saṅ­khā­ra is identified as nāma.

Here viññāṇakkhanda (collection of viññāṇa) have not been taken to be part of nāma. Which means pañcakkhandhā can be taken as rū­pa + nāma + viññāṇa. When rū­pa, nāma and viññāṇa are considered together, pañcakkhandhā comes to exist. It was discussed that rū­pa from the external world coming into contact with the five senses; through vedanā, saññā and saṅ­khā­ra; viññāṇa gets created. Taking this viññāṇa energy as condition, internal rū­pa ( āpo, tejo, vāyo and pathavī) and nāma gets created. These nāma and rū­pa coming together, internally small energy particles named suddhaṭṭhaka (pure-octad) gets created. These small energy particles are still the same nāmarū­pa identified as suddhaṭṭhaka. Out of the suddhaṭṭhaka that gets created in this way, some goes to reformation of the body and the rest gets emitted from the body. This energy field creates the aura around beings (biophotons emitted from the body).

In the suddhaṭṭhaka that gets emitted to the external world in this way, contains the viññāṇa energy that conditioned it. Which means the nature, characteristics and the memories of the corresponding viññāṇa are contained within these suddhaṭṭhaka. In this way, emitting of energy from the body happens at a rapid rate. This process can be compared to the energy that gets emitted from a bulb. Even though light was initially identified as a wave, now it can also be explained as small energy particles (photons) getting emitted from the source. These cittajā-rū­pa forming and as part of nāma kāya identified as; “anidassanasappaṭighaṃ dhammāyatana pariyapana rū­pam” ( cannot be seen, cannot be touched, rū­pa associated with dhammāyatana) ; because of getting located in the viññāṇa dhātu dimension, it gets located in nāma dimension connected with bhava.

The suddhaṭṭhaka that are emitted in this way coming into contact with the viññāṇa dimension, creates sketches in that dimensions. These sketches have the same characteristics as the suddhaṭṭhaka. The lifespan of these suddhaṭṭhaka have been identified as 40 anta-kalpa( the establishment period 20, existing period 20). So suddhaṭṭhaka, these tiny energy particles are not permanent. It is not suddhaṭṭhaka that was explained as “nāma gottaṃ najīrati”(nāma gotta do not get destroyed). The sketches that gets made by suddhaṭṭhaka in the energy dimension identified as viññāṇa dimension, or nāma gotra do not get destroyed. These sketches being indestructible is the reason why a Buddha can see all past details of any person. Lord Buddha taught that these sketches are known as nāma gotra and they do not get destroyed. Each being has a nāma gotra with unique characteristics associated with them. Beings with abhijñā such as Buddha, tells the past of other beings by reading this nāma gotra. As described in the kevaṭṭasutta DN11, about viññāṇa dimension or the nāma loka, “viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ, anantaṃ sabbatopabhaṃ…”, these nāma gotra prevail in the vicinity of the viññāṇa dimension. The suddhaṭṭhaka that was mentioned before contains the memories of each corresponding individual beings.

The nāma sketches that are located associating with these suddhaṭṭhaka, entering into dhammāyatana rū­pa, in that rū­pa form belongs to nāma gotra category. As sabbe dhamma anattā, it has been shown that there is no meaning to hold on to even them. Spreading out into the infinity of the past with each moment, even these are not dhamma that remains permanent.

Now let’s investigate how we recall something. Memories are a special type of wave that we emit out into the world. These same memories are attracted back to us as starting root stimuli( ārammaṇe) that come in contact with the mana indriya (mind sense base). These starting stimuli (ārammaṇe) controls the beings. The characteristics of the beings (gati) are determined by the energy that gets added onto the universe, or nāma loka by that same being. This must be understood as kamma energy.

In this way, our mind sense base (mana indriya) have two special abilities:

  1. Adding energy with qualities in-line with one’s thoughts out into the universe
  2. Grabbing these energies back when needed and recalling what’s in these sketches.

The mind sense base have the potential to grasp all (ārammaṇe). One can grasp them to the level they have trained. A Buddha who has the highest level of this ability can grasp (all ārammaṇe) all nānā.

Think of using a computer and accessing information through the internet. Recalling memories is closely comparable to this. Putting it into simple terms, our minds operates as a transmitters that adds memory sketches out into the universe. Also it works as a receiver that pulls back sketches that corresponds to that person.

It was explained how viññāṇa energy as condition, nāma and rū­pa gets created. In the next article let’s discuss how these energies convert the six sense base (indriya) to six faculties (āyatana).

P.S. Based on what I have understood, sections that reference suddhaṭṭhaka have been lost from EBTs. However suddhaṭṭhaka is mentioned in Abhidhammattha-sangaha, an early commentary written about abhidhamma. Suddhaṭṭhaka is the smallest rū­pa particle created with purest qualities of āpo, tejo, vāyo, pathavī, vaṇṇa, gandha, rasa, ojā that arises in one’s mind; bonding together in a way that cannot be broken down. It’s commonly accepted as the smallest rū­pa particle identified in Buddha dhamma.

1 Like

How nāmarū­pa as condition saḷāyatana gets created, through hidden dhamma insight

In the last article we talked about viññāṇa pac­cayā nāmarū­paṃ principle. We discussed what’s nāmarū­pa. We talked about how nāmarū­pa gets created conditioned by viññāṇa. Rū­pa (rū + ōpa = rū­pa - making the rotation cycles more prominent) are made of āpo, tejo, vāyo and pathavī and other rū­pa that gets created based on them. We discussed nāma as sparśa, vedanā, saññā, cetanā or saṅ­khā­ra and manasikāra. In this article we are going to discuss with these nāma and rū­pa, getting conditioned by nāmarū­pa, how saḷāyatana or six faculties comes to exist.

So let’s discuss how the sense bases (indriya) becomes faculties (āyatana). To explain viññāṇa as condition nāmarū­pa coming into existence, many say these anicca and saṅkhata (conditioned) viññāṇa are taken into the next life, where these viññāṇa create nāmarū­pa in a mother’s womb. In most of the discussions we hear on the tv or the radio about trying to explain“viññāṇa pac­cayā nāmarū­paṃ”; viññāṇa goes into an embryo, then transforms this embryo to create nāmarū­pa. This is an unfortunate situation which occurred due to not being able to grasp paṭiccasamuppāda correctly.

As “idappac­caya­tā­paṭic­ca­samup­pāda” (In each individual moment investigating what conditions it) in Brahmāyācanasutta SN6.1, Lord Buddha described after attaining enlightenment the first moment of contemplating the complexity of the dhamma. How will the worldings be able to grasp this deep idappac­caya­tā­paṭic­ca­samup­pāda that I have grasped? The Lord Buddha had such a citta parivitakka(reflection). He understood idappac­caya­tā­paṭic­ca­samup­pāda is very deep. This is a description of moment to moment creating Jāti, and us having to endure dukhā that’s associated with those Jāti. Due to avijjā , from moment to moment, in each of those individual moments creating saṅ­khā­ra, in each of those individual moments creating viññāṇa, completing rest of the steps of the paṭic­ca­samup­pāda, in each of those individual moments giving birth to a rāga jātika, dveṣa jātika, enduring the dukhā inherited by those rāga jātika or dveṣa jātika, is something that most do not grasp. This is the process described by the idappac­caya­tā­paṭic­ca­samup­pāda.

After death, in the next life, viññāṇa going into a mother’s womb and creating nāmarū­pa is described in relation to a different situation. At a given moment think of seeing a rū­pa. Getting paṭicca to that rū­pa, creating viññāṇa, completing the cycle of paṭic­ca­samup­pāda, in those individual moments becoming a jāti, has become a phenomenon that most find difficult to understand. Even with difficulty it’s something that needs to be understood. If one do not understand, in each individual moment becoming jāti and experiencing associated dukhā, one will not be able to grasp nivana in those individual moments. Nivana is something that’s attained in that moment (in this moment). It is not something attained after death.

That means jāti is something that needs to be nirodha in this very moment. Coming back into the topic, it was explained how viññāṇa as condition nāmarū­pa gets created. Out of these nāmarū­pa, let’s find out how nāmarū­pa as condition saḷāyatana gets created. Meaning of saḷāyatana is six āyatana(faculties). They are cakkhāyatana, sotāyatana, ghānāyatana, jivhāyatana, kāyāyatana and manāyatana. So it’s a state we need to contemplate with wisdom; these āyatana (faculties) are they the same as our sense bases (indriya).

There are different types of paṭic­ca­samup­pāda cycles VB6. When describing viññāṇa and nāmarū­pa, associated with cuti, paṭisandhi as such cittaksana (citta moments), there is a more sophisticated (in depth) paṭic­ca­samup­pāda. These paṭic­ca­samup­pāda occurs in each individual cittaksana. That is a paṭic­ca­samup­pāda of four types, in four instances, occurs fours times within one cittaksana. This principle is only grasped by the investigating mind of a Buddha and not grasped by any other. These cycles operates with sahajāta, sampayutta, aññamañña and hetu as such many conditions.

We can only grasp a paṭic­ca­samup­pāda conditioned through the support of khandha as conditioning. Created by memories accumulated in millions and trillions of these cittaksana coming together, these supporting conditioning as condition, khandha (notion taken as one, made of many) that gets created as avijjā khandha, sankhārā khandha, viññāṇa khandha, nāmarū­pa khandha… ; a paṭic­ca­samup­pāda established through this accepted norm of khandha, is what’s grasped by us.

Even though the past khandha have perished, recalling(past manasikara) those khandha, accumulating them, giving them accepted names, as past five conditions; avijjā, sankhārā, taṇhā, upādāna, bhava; taken as support, present five results; viññāṇa, nāmarū­pa, saḷāyatana, sparśa, vedanā; and them taken as support; avijjā, sankhārā, taṇhā, upādāna and kamma bhava; five present conditions getting developed, them taken as support, as future results khandha in another existence; viññāṇa, nāmarū­pa, saḷāyatana, sparśa, vedanā; five khandha development process is what a sāvaka mind can grasp with wisdom. In this paṭic­ca­samup­pāda the past five conditions getting perished and completing, then as the condition of them acting as supporting conditions, the present five results khandha gets created.

So the paṭic­ca­samup­pāda that’s supported by khandha, cannot be compared with the cittaksana sampayutta paṭic­ca­samup­pāda. These can be further discussed later. According to this, need to find the difference between āyatana and indriya.

An Arhat have nirodha āyatana(do not create āyatana). By avijjā nirodha, sankhārā gets nirodha. By viññāṇa nirodha, nāmarū­pa gets nirodha. By nāmarū­pa nirodha, saḷāyatana gets nirodha. Which means when an Arhat nirodha avijjā, the Arhat doesn’t have saḷāyatana. If āyatana is taken as indriya, doesn’t an Arhat have indriya? not have eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind? An arahat have all of these. Then by saying saḷāyatana nirodha, what’s nirodha from an Arhat? So one can conclude indriya is one thing and āyatana is another.

Let try to grasp this situation with a simile. Let’s take another context in which we use faculty (āyatana). Say we have a building in a university. If this building is used to house law related matters, it’s called the faculty of law. If law related matters gets removed from the building and it’s used for engineering related matters, it’s called the engineering faculty. If engineering related matters gets removed from the building and it’s used for medical related affairs, it’s called the medical faculty. However the building is the same building. So the building becomes a faculty based on the purpose it’s being used. To describe the affairs that’s housed in the building. In the same way let’s check how indriya becomes āyatana.

Seeing rū­pa with the eye, if the eye is used to take these rū­pa with rāga, dveṣa and moha, then the eye becomes a rāgāyatana or dveṣāyatana. So the eye became a rāgāyatana because it was used with rāga. Became a dveṣāyatana because it was used with dveṣa . So one should grasp, if the eye is not used with dveṣa, and the eye is not used with rāga, seeing a rū­pa, if rāga and dveṣa don’t develop, then the eye is just an eye. Eye was not turned into rāgāyatana or dveṣāyatana. An Arhat who has eradicated rāga, dveṣa and moha doesn’t use the eye with rāga, dveṣa and moha. Which is what is said as, an Arhat has nirodha cakkhāyatana that’s developed using the eye. When cakkhāyatana is nirodha(not produced), such great beings would only have cakkhu indriya. So do other beings have cakkhāyatana? or cakkhu indriya? they have a mixture of both.

Let’s examine this with an example. Think of taking a train ride. If we look out of the window from the train, we will see houses along the way. Do we get paṭicca with rāga (tied down with desire) to all of these houses? We saw the first house, the second house, the third house… when we see a line of houses like this, we recognise all of the houses. Recognise them to be houses. As we continue this way, and only if the fourth house had special features, we get paṭicca with rāga(tied down with desire) to that house. Only in that moment we used the eye with rāga. This is the moment we used the eye with rāga. Seeing a beautiful house as, “wow! this house is beautiful, what if I have a house like this?”, if we get tied down to the house with desire, we observed the features of the house with rāga using the eye. At that time used the eye with rāga. Saw the sight with an eye that supports rāga. At that moment our cakkhu indriya turned into a cakkhāyatana. Before that we saw three houses and didn’t get attached to any of them with rāga. We didn’t use the eye with rāga. So in those instances we only used the eye as cakkhu indriya.

An arahat even at the moment of seeing the beautiful house doesn’t turn the eye into an āyatana. Such beings even seeing the most exquisite house doesn’t get paṭicca with it. Do not get tied down with desire. In such beings at that moment cakkhāyatana don’t get created. It’s nirodha. That’s what’s meant by cakkhāyatana nirodha. Cakkhu is there, cakkhāyatana is nirodha. Cakkhāyatana stops getting created.

It’s within individuals who are not an arahat, seeing a beautiful sight, eye develops into a cakkhāyatana, gets tied down with rāga to what was seen. When the eye is used with rāga and dveṣa, in these moments the eye became a cakkhāyatana. Which means cakkhāyatana got created. What’s meant by cakkhāyatana nirodha is by rāga, dveṣa and moha nirodha, not turning the eye into an āyatana. Not getting created, which is what’s meant by nirodha. In the same way, when we bond with sounds, smells, tastes, body contact and mano dhamma with desire, the other āyatana must be understood in the same way.

The eye indriya, is it a substance that remains persistent? It’s made out of cells. These cells are made out of molecules, or made out of atoms, since molecules are made out of atoms. Atoms are made associated with sudhastaka. In other words cells gets broken down further into 10 of millions of times to come to the sudhastaka level. We all know the tissues of the eye is not something that remains constant continuously. Lord Buddha has said if you grab a person’s arm, take the hand off and grab that person again, the person you grab the second time is not the same person you grabbed the first time. The reason for saying this is that all the tissues in the body, cells in the body is in a continuous process of getting destroyed and regenerated, at given individual instances . Not that all of these cells gets regenerated at once. That’s why rū­pa was compared to foam.

Through cells, the smaller particles cells are made out of, molecules or atoms breaking down, regenerating again and again, this structure is continued on. Which means the tissue that existed in the eye in one moment is not the tissue that exist in the next. So what’s identified as cakkhu indriya is this continuous process of tissue regeneration.

In this way nāmarū­pa that gets created in an instance, binding with the four mahābhūtā in the kāya, conditions the creation of new tissues. This is only one condition. There could be many other conditions. So in that moment, one’s vinnana, creating in that moment nāmarū­pa, aids tissue regeneration. The tissue structure that continues on with breaking down and regenerating, breaking down and regenerating; for breaking down and for regeneration, vinana as condition, the nāmarū­pa that gets created in that moment gets adapted. In other words for tissue regeneration these nāmarū­pa gets adapted.

So if a person who is calm and peaceful suddenly experience something that gives rise to anger, in that moment, developed with dveṣa viññāṇa, dveṣa mixed nāmarū­pa will aid the tissue regeneration process. In the next moment if that viññāṇa is removed and a happy thought takes place, the tissues that were developed with nāmarū­pa that contained dveṣa will get broken down, and a new indriya will get created, with happiness mixed nāmarū­pa that got created, with happiness mixed viññāṇa as condition. In this development process, according to the viññāṇa that gets created in each individual moment, nāmarū­pa gets created. Those nāmarū­pa conditions the creation of indriya in each of those moments. So one must understand based on the rāga or dveṣa nature, the structure of the indriya changes accordingly. According to this, one can grasp the reasoning behind when one is suddenly taken over by anger, how the eyes becomes red, heart starts beating fast and the body starts shaking.

According to the details discussed so far, viññāṇa as condition nāmarū­pa, or part of the suddhaṭṭhaka that gets created, getting emitted to the external world, the good and bad kamma, memory sketches as such getting added to the viññāṇa dimension was understood. Another part of that same suddhaṭṭhaka aid the process of, tissues of indriya breaking down and regeneration. In each moment based on the rāga or dveṣa viññāṇa, by the nāmarū­pa that gets created with rāga or dveṣa, getting adapted into the process of breaking down and regeneration of indriya, one must grasp āyatana gets created.

Therefore viññāṇa as condition nāmarū­pa that gets developed, forms in 2 ways. One gets emitted to the external world, to bring vipāka to us gets established in dhammāyatana accordingly. The other part of the suddhaṭṭhaka aids the regeneration of tissues at that moment. That’s why, indriya becomes rāgāyatana when rāga arises and becomes dveṣāyatana when dveṣa arises. So one must grasp how rāgāyatana and dveṣāyatana gets created. Now it’s understood how the six indriya becomes six āyatana.

In this way what’s known as internal nāma is the four khandhā; vedanā, saññā, sankhārā and viññāṇa. The internal rū­pa is the kāya made out of the four mahābhūtā that behaves according to nāma, and the upādāyā rū­pa.

External rū­pa is not mind and body. Kamma, utū - nutrients as condition, if there exist any saṅkhata(conditioned) dhamma, they are creations made out of the four mahābhūtā. These based on the akara, liṅga, nimithi nature and as uddesā, pannatti, because of nāma pada that were kept, day to day words in recognition have been developed. They are the nāma dhamma associated with external rū­pa. Since these external rū­pa are also rū­pa developed with kamma as root, as results and conditions of utū ahara, all external and internal nāma rū­pa have root conditions of viññāṇa. This is the principle of viññāṇa pac­cayā nāmarū­pa.

An antakalpa is an incalculable aeon squared. Where is it stated that there are rūpas that last this long?

1 Like


20 antakalpa = asankyakalpa.

I believe what the author is trying to convey is that suddhaṭṭhaka could survive during the formation and existence time periods(kalpa: kāla + predesha) of the universe. I don’t believe author ever conveyed rū­pa survives in a permanent form for that long.

Nevertheless it’s beyond my comprehension, so going to leave it open to teachers with better insight.

Personally Bhante, I am not too caught up on the time periods, since the khandha associated with this existence won’t survive that long to experience it :slight_smile:

But which author would this be? In the commentarial texts from which terms like suddhaṭṭhaka derive, all rūpas are held to last only a moment.

1 Like

Author was not mentioned in an authoritarian manner Bhante. Dr R. G. Weerasinghe, who’s another person trying to make sense of this ocean of Dhamma.

However, I do see the point you are trying to make about not having enough references in texts about suddhaṭṭhaka.

I guess it’s up to us to find validity in these interpretation based on extrapolation of our experiences. (Sandiṭṭhiko)

I believe, I have nothing more to add. Please don’t take my silence as a form of disrespect :pray:

@Oshan Beautiful essay at least for me! I really found myself at home. However, if you could roughly translate as much as you can those Pali words into English (I know you already did a lot in this essay) then it will be a big help for someone like me who does not know much Pali except some basic words. Please continue this essay to the end. Moreover, I am wondering if the author has any application or instruction for meditation that you can share? Thanks for your wonderful effort .:anjal:

1 Like

Bhante, what I recall is rupas last for 17 thought moments.
Otherwise, the mind will not be able to grasp rupas.

They are said to last for varying durations, with the most long-lasting ones enduring for 17 cittakkhaṇas.

But it has to be more than one at least isn’t it?

Not in the case of the rūpas of bodily and verbal intimation. These are said to be of equal duration to a citta.



However, if you could roughly translate as much as you can those Pali words into English (I know you already did a lot in this essay) then it will be a big help for someone like me who does not know much Pali except some basic words.

Leaving the integrity of the essays intact, to make it easier for the reader, most pali words have the meaning described in the essays. However, if there are pali words left out, it’s only because of not being able to bring out the meaning correctly, with limited number of words. If you are finding it difficult to understand specific words, lets flag them and we can explore the meaning.

Moreover, I am wondering if the author has any application or instruction for meditation that you can share?

There is a wealth of content from the base source that the author based his articles on. Hopefully these will become available to you in english.

Drawing from personal experience, you are already meditating by reading the content of these articles. Not creating avijjā by developing wisdom. Try finding the validity of these dhamma principles by applying it to your own existence. Find what your mind is drawn to, or in conflict with. Ask, can I maintain this as I desire? ( for everything the mind come across) Investigate them. Does it create pleasure or displeasure? Is it worth it? Based on experience, doing this in day to day life have been far more effective. The mind progressively starts letting go. Not saying give up everything in an unnatural way. Once a person grasp the view set out in these articles, the natural tendency of the mind is to let go. You can do this while you’re doing sitting meditation in isolation. Every sensation that comes up, every thought that comes up, try to see through them with these interpretation. Investigate them. During these sessions, identify the dhamma you need to discard and identify the dhamma that you need to develop. The more you do this, the more you will discover. Read the content of this article again, suttas, other interpretations; you will start grasping more meaning in them, based on the experiences you keep having. If you have already practised observing the breath, your mind might want to settle down on the breath. Experience the still mind. Compare it with the mind agitated with loba, dvesa and moha. Continue to develop the eightfold path(ariya aṭṭhaṅgika magga) in your day to day life. Develop the 7 enlightenment factors(satta bojjhaṅgā). Live with satipatthana, observing with your developing wisdom. As you progress in the path this way, you will clearly start to see that the end result of this practice is your mind becoming still, because of letting go of all things that it can grasp with delusion. (sammā samādhī ; stillness achieved through discarding rāga, dveṣa and moha). Citta-visuddhi ( Getting liberated from thoughts )

This might not do justice to this loaded question, but it’s a start.

Please continue this essay to the end. Thanks for your wonderful effort .:anjal:

Sammā Vāyāma( Part of developing the eightfold path) :anjal:

1 Like

Thanks for your reply. Hope to see this part soon.

Difference between vedanā and samphassajā vedanā

In the last article, viññāṇa pac­cayā nāmarū­pa and nāmarū­paṃ pac­cayā saḷāyatana was described. Mentioned saḷāyatana is a state that arise when indriya is used with kilesa; rāga, dveṣa and moha. Also described how an indriya becomes an āyatana.

Samphassa is not external root stimuli (ārammaṇe) grasped with indriya, it’s root stimuli (ārammaṇe) grasped with saḷāyatana. One needs to know the difference between the two. Phassa is used when external root stimuli (ārammaṇe) are grasped by indriya. Samphassa is used when external root stimuli (ārammaṇe) are grasped by saḷāyatana. The difference between indriya and āyatana was explained in the last article. What is the difference? In a way that develops viññāṇa consisting of kilesa, coalesced with chanda rāga, because of sight, smell…etc root stimuli (ārammaṇe) coming in contact with saḷāyatana consisting of kilesa, is known as samphassa. So for samphassa to occur, in way that develops saḷāyatana consisting of kilesa and viññāṇa consisting of kilesa, coalesced with chanda rāga, one must come in contact with a root stimulus (ārammaṇe). Which means three criteria must be fulfilled. This is the process described as “Tiṇṇaṃ saṅgati phasso” in Dukkha Samudaya Sutta SN35.106. In an arahat who has eradicated all kilesa, the process known as samphassa do not occur. The vedanā that arises through the process of samphassa is identified as samphassajā vedanā. Which means phassa is indriya coming in contact with a root stimuli (ārammaṇe). Which only creates a vedanā. After san+phassa, additional kilesa gets added to it. Indriya consisting of kilesa or āyatana, with a root stimulus (ārammaṇe) consisting of kilesa, associating with a viññāṇa consisting of kilesa, samphassa comes to exist.

Let’s contemplate this with the alcohol bottle example again. A friend brings an alcohol bottle to a friend’s house during a visit. How will the husband of the house look at this bottle? If he is a person who enjoys drinking, he will look at the bottle in way that develops rāga viññāṇa, with chanda rāga. So three things gets combined there. Developing the rāga viññāṇa that he had towards alcohol, using his eye with rāga, will look towards the alcohol bottle with chanda rāga. There, “Tinnam sangatiya phasso”, three things came together. Then a rāga viññāṇa will occur in him. He becomes happy thinking about it with rāga.

Now if his wife comes in, how will she look at the bottle? She doesn’t like when people influence her husband to drink. Which means in her there already exist an old viññāṇa with dveṣa, sketched out in the kamma bhava that alcohol is an unpleasant thing. It’s a viññāṇa consisting of conflict. So with that when she uses her cakkhuāyatana and look at the alcohol bottle, what occurs is a dveṣa mixed feeling. (A viññāṇa) With that she feels displeasure. So through the same alcohol bottle husband developed a mind with kāma, consisting of happiness and pleasure. Seeing the same bottle the wife became displeased. Even though they looked at the same object using the eye, on top of that, associating with a viññāṇa that assisted, husband had a thought associated with pleasure and the wife had a thought consisting of displeasure (san sparśa occured).

If an Arhat sees this same bottle, Arhat will not develop a pleasurable cetanā or a displeasurable cetanā. However Arhat will see the bottle. The Arhat sees the bottle, because of the sparśa that occur when the eye named indriya come in contact with the sight of the bottle. Additionally, because the husband sees the bottle with chanda rāga, responding to the root stimulus, rāga viññāṇa and cakkhuāyatana getting developed, the sparśa and vedanā process that occur is known as samphassa and samphassajā vedanā. So the process that occurred in him was samphassa and samphassajā vedanā. The wife responding to the root stimulus mixed with dveṣa, dveṣa mixed cakkhuāyatana and a viññāṇa getting created, dveṣa mixed samphassa and samphassajā vedanā occurred. Taking these three processes, the Arhat only had the phassa and vedanā process. Husband had a rāga samphassajā vedanā and the wife had dveṣa samphassajā vedanā.

Which means to develop all three phassa, rāga samphassa and dveṣa samphassa, what assisted was the same alcohol bottle. In each moment the way samphassa happened, and the way only phassa happened for an Arhat, needs to be understood clearly.

Let’s think of two young sisters getting an apartment to share in the city. They were living happily for a while, but one day they had a heated argument and one of the sisters slapped the other. How much pain did the slap cause? The actual sensation created by the palm touching the cheek, how many minutes will that last? Cheek becoming red at most the pain sensation will last for about 20 minutes. However she could end up crying for the whole day. The pain felt only because of the slap, ended after 20 minutes. Then for what reason is she crying throughout the day? Additional to the pain felt because of the slap, she develops another vedanā with avijjā, created through mano roots. How did she develop this vedanā? As, the sister that I treated so nicely and treated me so lovingly, slapped me, will develop a viññāṇa mixed with dveṣa. Based on this viññāṇa will think about the slap again and again. Which means additional to the pain created by the slap, because of a mano viññāṇa (vikurthi nānā) developed associated with it, she has felt another pain. One must grasp this vedanā as samphassajā vedanā.

The pain felt because of the palm touching the cheek is phassa and the pain that got created additional to that can be identified as samphassajā vedanā; based on viññāṇa created, as my loving sister slapped me, doubling and tripling the pain should be identified as mano samphassajā vedanā. So she is crying after 20 minutes not because of the physical pain she experienced but because of a mano rooted additional pain she created. Which means the samphassajā vedanā; the sparśa one felt because of the slap, and the viññāṇa developed about it, from that the dveṣa mixed vedanā that occurred; continue on for days. Even after weeks remembering it she will cry. Is she crying because of the pain felt by the contact of the palm? No. Because of the pain felt by samphassajā vedanā created through a ditti. Let say after months their mother came for a visit. She will start crying again telling the details of this incident. After months is she crying because of the pain felt by the slap? No. Because of the samphassajā vedanā she created through mano roots. Now we can understand how long this samphassajā vedanā can go on for. The simple process of phassa and vedanā only lasted about 20 minutes. However samphassajā vedanā can go on for years. She could start crying after 10 years thinking about the incident. This is only one example.

From this we can understand samphassajā vedanā is the most harmful state. Since what we carry on and on, throughout sansara is these samphassajā vedanā

Let’s take another example. We have all heard of the Serivanija Jātaka Ja 3. There with our Bodhisattā(a trader of pots and pans), Kachaputta( Devadatta’s previous existence) because of a gold pot created a strong hatred. The hatred created because he didn’t get the gold pot, that dveṣa mixed samphassajā vedanā, continued on for 10 of thousands of years. If one contemplates how far this samphassajā vedanā continued, after kalpa passing by even after the bodhisattā attaining enlightenment and becoming Buddha, being born as Devadatta this hatred didn’t end. In the end, this samphassajā vedanā that occurred kalpa ago caused Devadatta thero to get pulled into the avīci maha naraka. So our existence is continued on and on in sansara, because of chasing after the chanda rāga that arises from these samphassajā vedanā.

The woman who was slapped in the previous example, we can see endured two vedanā. One is the practical and physical vedanā felt because of the contact of palm with the cheek. The second is the samphassajā vedanā felt because of the vikurthi nānā that developed based on that. So did the Buddha and Arhats have vedanā? Yes. Then which vedanā did they nirodha? Avijjā nirodhā sankhārā nirodho, sankhārā nirodhā viññāṇa nirodho… etc, through paṭiccasamuppāda vedanā was nirodha. If these great beings nirodha vedanā, did they not have vedanā? The physical pain felt by the body was there. But nirodha all samphassajā vedanā. Nirodha meaning state of not being created.

This is explained in the Salla Sutta SN36.6:

Bhikkhus, when the uninstructed worldling is being contacted by a painful feeling, he sorrows, grieves, and laments; he weeps beating his breast and becomes distraught. He feels two feelings—a bodily one and a mental one. Suppose they were to strike a man with a dart, and then they would strike him immediately afterwards with a second dart, so that the man would feel a feeling caused by two darts. So too, when the uninstructed worldling is being contacted by a painful feeling … he feels two feelings—a bodily one and a mental one.

Which means a puthujjana who is uninstructed in dhamma, when any vedanā occurs, it doesn’t stop with the vedanā caused by an individual dart. Developing viññāṇa about it, gets pierced by another dart. It’s a dart developed through mano roots. That’s the samphassajā vedanā. Now one should be able to grasp that vedanā is one thing and samphassajā vedanā is another. Similarly phassa is one and samphassa is another. One must grasp what needs to nirodha is not vedanā but samphassa vedanā.

In many instances when one is training bhavana, puthujjana people will try to eradicate vedanā. By keeping the spine straight, if a vedanā arise in the spine, by thinking pain, pain they try to get rid of the pain. If they get tasty food, they put bitter leaves into it to get rid of the taste. Is this correct? What we should eradicate is not part of the vedanā felt in this way. Based on these vedanā, the part of vedanā felt by developing mano rooted viññāṇa. So, for that we must know about rū­pa, cakkhu, cakkhu vedanā, cakkhu samphassa and cakkhu samphassajā vedanā. To nirodha them, we must see the anicca, dukhā and anatta nature of them. We should grasp clearly and separately the five items; cakkhāyatana, rū­pāyatana, cakkhu viññāṇa, cakkhu samphassa and cakkhu samphassajā vedanā. Without that if one tries to nirodha eye indriya, it cannot be done. Try to eradicate the physical pain felt in the body, it cannot be done. You could find instances where even Lord Buddha has said, my back is hurting, I am going to rest for sometime. What we develop through mano roots mixed with kilesa; developed with rāga and dveṣa; samphassa and samphassajā vedanā is what needs to nirodha.

Normally vedanā have been shown to be of three types. Sukhā vedanā, dukkhā vedanā and upekkhā vedanā. If we take these as samphassajā vedanā, it’s composed of vedanā felt by the body and vedanā mixed with rāga anusaya, dveṣa anusaya and moha anusaya.

This is explained in the Pahāna Sutta SN36.3 as follows:

Bhikkhus, there are these three feelings. What three? Pleasant feeling, painful feeling, neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. The underlying tendency to lust should be abandoned in regard to pleasant feeling. The underlying tendency to aversion should be abandoned in regard to painful feeling. The underlying tendency to ignorance should be abandoned in regard to neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling.

When, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu has abandoned the underlying tendency to lust in regard to pleasant feeling, the underlying tendency to aversion in regard to painful feeling, and the underlying tendency to ignorance in regard to neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, then he is called a bhikkhu without underlying tendencies, one who sees rightly. He has cut off craving, severed the fetters, and by completely breaking through conceit, he has made an end to suffering.

Which means if we take sukhā vedanā, there’s two parts to it. As we said before it’s like getting poked by two darts. One is the sensation felt by the body, the other one is vedanā created with rāga through mano roots. What’s meant by needing to eradicate paṭighānusaya from dukkhā vedanā, there is a pain felt by the body. We can’t eradicate that. It’s a vipāka. Then what is the dukkhā that you can eradicate? mano rooted vedanā created because of paṭighānusaya (traces of repulsion). From adukkhamasukhā vedanā or upekkhā vedanā, avijjānusaya( traces of avijjā) needs to be discarded. Which means out of the two vedanā parts, the samphassajā vedanā that’s developed through mano roots because of anusaya is what can be nirodha.

In this way, one should grasp what’s explained as, “saḷāyatana nirodhā phassa nirodho, phassa nirodhā vedanā nirodho”, is nirodha of samphassa and samphassajā vedanā.

Hi Oshan,

Aren’t these Ven waharaka abayarathanalankara interpretations of the dhamma, or based on them?

with metta