Nibbānadhātusutta: pañcindriyāni = [faith, energy, mindfulness, immersion, and wisdom.] If not, where is the mind?

Tassa tiṭṭhanteva pañcindriyāni yesaṁ avighātattā manāpāmanāpaṁ paccanubhoti, sukhadukkhaṁ paṭisaṁvedeti. - Iti 44

Earlier when discussing with Venerable @NgXinZhao

He said the 5 aggregates remains but there is no mental dukkha and I pointed out the sutta says the five senses and tried to make a creative solution out of that like this:

:wink:

Now only a day later I am certain pañcindriyāni is better translated as what I initially suspected and mentioned in older posts would be more proper, namely:

The five faculties of faith, energy, mindfulness, immersion, and wisdom.

The reason is the following and please take this into consideration how this really fits with the context in Nibbānadhātusutta Iti 44:

“Mendicants, there are these five faculties. What five? The faculties of faith, energy, mindfulness, immersion, and wisdom.

And where should the faculty of faith be seen?
In the four factors of stream-entry.

And where should the faculty of energy be seen?
In the four right efforts.

And where should the faculty of mindfulness be seen? In the four kinds of mindfulness meditation.

And where should the faculty of immersion be seen?
In the four absorptions.

And where should the faculty of wisdom be seen? In the four noble truths.

These are the five faculties.”

Now the following sutta below makes it crystal clear that pañcindriyāni in Nibbānadhātusutta Iti 44 is indeed faith, energy, mindfulness, immersion, and wisdom and not the five senses:

“Mendicants, there are these five faculties.
What five?

The faculties of faith, energy, mindfulness, immersion, and wisdom.

There are ascetics and brahmins who don’t truly understand the gratification, drawback, and escape when it comes to these five faculties. I don’t deem them as true ascetics and brahmins.

Those venerables don’t realize the goal of life as an ascetic or brahmin, and don’t live having realized it with their own insight.

There are ascetics and brahmins who do truly understand the gratification, drawback, and escape when it comes to these five faculties.

I deem them as true ascetics and brahmins. Those venerables realize the goal of life as an ascetic or brahmin, and live having realized it with their own insight.” - SN 48.6

That being said we don’t find anything like faith, energy, mindfulness, immersion, and wisdom when we go through Dutiyavagga:

The unconditoned, the uninclined, the undefiled, the truth, the far shore, the subtle, the very hard to see, the freedom from old age, the constant, the not falling apart, the invisible, the unproliferated, the peaceful, the freedom from death, the sublime, the state of grace, the sanctuary, the ending of craving, the incredible, the amazing, the untroubled, the not liable to trouble, extinguishment, the unafflicted, dispassion, purity, freedom, not clinging, the island, the protection, the shelter, the refuge, the haven.

It makes more sense that it is the five faculties of faith, energy, mindfulness, immersion, and wisdom that remain while an arahant is still alive.

While with the death of an arahant there is obviously no need for faith, energy, mindfulness, immersion, and wisdom when it clearly stated:

  • Faith = the four factors of stream-entry
  • Energy = the four right efforts
  • Mindfulness = the four kinds of mindfulness meditation
  • Immersion = the four absorptions
  • Wisdom = the four noble truths

Obviously no need for these after Parinibbāna.

”There are ascetics and brahmins who don’t truly understand the gratification, drawback, and escape when it comes to these five faculties. I don’t deem them as true ascetics and brahmins.”

There are ascetics and brahmins who do truly understand the gratification, drawback, and escape when it comes to these five faculties.
:pray:

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  • The faculties of faith, energy, mindfulness, immersion, and wisdom, when developed and cultivated, culminate, finish, and end in freedom from death.

  • “The faculties of faith, energy, mindfulness, immersion, and wisdom. These are the five faculties that a mendicant must develop and cultivate so that they can declare enlightenment: ‘I understand: “Rebirth is ended, the spiritual journey has been completed, what had to be done has been done, there is no return to any state of existence”’.”

So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying in the land of the Aṅgas, near the Aṅgan town called Āpaṇa. Then the Buddha said to Venerable Sāriputta:

“Sāriputta, would a noble disciple who is sure and devoted to the Realized One have any doubt or uncertainty about the Realized One or his instructions?”

“Sir, a noble disciple who is sure and devoted to the Realized One would have no doubt or uncertainty about the Realized One or his instructions.

You can expect that a faithful noble disciple will live with energy roused up for giving up unskillful qualities and embracing skillful qualities. They’re strong, staunchly vigorous, not slacking off when it comes to developing skillful qualities. For their energy is the faculty of energy.

You can expect that a faithful and energetic noble disciple will be mindful, with utmost mindfulness and alertness, able to remember and recall what was said and done long ago. For their mindfulness is the faculty of mindfulness.

You can expect that a faithful, energetic, and mindful noble disciple will, relying on letting go, gain immersion, gain unification of mind. For their samādhi is the faculty of immersion.

You can expect that a faithful, energetic, mindful noble disciple with their mind immersed in samādhi will understand this: ‘Transmigration has no known beginning. No first point is found of sentient beings roaming and transmigrating, shrouded by ignorance and fettered by craving. But when that dark mass of ignorance fades away and ceases with nothing left over, that state is peaceful and sublime. That is, the stilling of all activities, the letting go of all attachments, the ending of craving, fading away, cessation, extinguishment.’ For their noble wisdom is the faculty of wisdom.

When a noble disciple has tried again and again, recollected again and again, entered immersion again and again, and understood with wisdom again and again, they will be confident of this: ‘I have previously heard of these things. But now I have direct meditative experience of them, and see them with penetrating wisdom.’ For their faith is the faculty of faith.”

“Good, good, Sāriputta!

Sāriputta, a noble disciple who is sure and devoted to the Realized One would have no doubt or uncertainty about the Realized One or his instructions. …”

The Buddha then repeated Sāriputta’s answer word for word. - SN 48.50

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Iti 44 says:

Their five sense faculties still remain. So long as their senses have not gone they continue to experience the agreeable and disagreeable, to feel pleasure and pain. The ending of greed, hate, and delusion in them is called the element of extinguishment with something left over.

Why would the five spiritual faculties (faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration & wisdom) be the cause of agreeable and disagreeable, to feel pleasure and pain?

I read in MN 43:

“What can be known by purified mind consciousness released from the five senses?”

“Nissaṭṭhena hāvuso, pañcahi indriyehi parisuddhena manoviññāṇena kiṁ neyyan”ti?

“Aware that ‘space is infinite’ it can know the dimension of infinite space. Aware that ‘consciousness is infinite’ it can know the dimension of infinite consciousness. Aware that ‘there is nothing at all’ it can know the dimension of nothingness.”

“Nissaṭṭhena, āvuso, pañcahi indriyehi parisuddhena manoviññāṇena ‘ananto ākāso’ti ākāsānañcāyatanaṁ neyyaṁ, ‘anantaṁ viññāṇan’ti viññāṇañcāyatanaṁ neyyaṁ, ‘natthi kiñcī’ti ākiñcaññāyatanaṁ neyyan”ti.

Why would the immaterial meditations be developed from release from faith, energy, mindfulness, wisdom & concentration?

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Thank you! :pray: @Dunlop

Very good points, especially the MN 43 quote! :+1: :slight_smile:

I knew of the first point already since when I first brought this up many venerables said, just like you do now, that it is the five senses that is the cause of agreeable and disagreeable, to feel pleasure and pain.

This alone does of course make sense.

And MN 43 is crystal clear in that it is the 5 senses.

I’m not downplaying the importance of the five faculties since:

The faculties of faith, energy, mindfulness, immersion, and wisdom, when developed and cultivated, culminate, finish, and end in freedom from death.

Without these five faculties, no nibbāna. :wink:

But then again when an arahant has died they have obviously discarded faith, energy, mindfulness, wisdom & concentration since:

”There are ascetics and brahmins who do truly understand the gratification, drawback, and escape when it comes to these five faculties.” [faith, energy, mindfulness, immersion, and wisdom]

It was from this perspective that I thought that the only difference between an living and dead arahant is the faculties of faith, energy, mindfulness, immersion, and wisdom.

But now I’m really curious:

  • Where is the mind in Iti 44? :wink:

Hi. I cannot understand this question. Please speak with straightforwardness. Thank you. Are you suggesting feelings of pleasure & pain arise without mind? Are you suggesting a Buddha or Arahant does not have ‘mind’?

If read somewhere it is required to wisely examine teachings heard or read. I read in SN 48.12:

Someone who has completed and fulfilled these five faculties is a perfected one. If they are weaker than that, they’re a non-returner. If they are weaker still, they’re a once-returner. If they are weaker still, they’re a stream-enterer. If they’re weaker still, they’re a follower of teachings. If they’re weaker still, they’re a follower by faith.

What exactly is gratification, drawback and escape when it comes to these five faculties? Can you post a sutta answering these three questions about gratification, drawback and escape? Thank you

Well the suttas says 5 senses remain, so I can’t understand why it does not say instead the 6 bases of contact remain or the 5 aggregates remain - that way the mind is included - but it is not - only the 5 senses :wink:

Hence my own confusion regarding this and you in return not understanding the question! :sweat_smile:

That is why I was wondering if you maybe knew why it is not included?

Well just the same way as the eternalist views in DN 1 are refuted based on feelings:

Having understood as they really are the origin and the passing away of feelings, their satisfaction, their unsatisfactoriness, and the escape from them, the Tathāgata, bhikkhus, is emancipated through non-clinging.

The gratification of one the five faculties is for instance Immersion = the four absorptions

One of the five higher fetters is lust for the Rupa Loka realms, they are very pleasant so that is the drawback - that one can get stuck there.

The escape is Dependent Origination. :+1:

This could be because the sutta is highlighting external sensory impingements rather than internal mental reactions.

I read many times in sutta what the gratification, danger & escape from things are. However, how can there be greed & lust towards the five spiritual faculties?

Yes there can be lust towards concentration & also faith (as we can witness on chat sites) however how can there be lust towards right mindfulness or towards right wisdom? Please explain.

Are you sure Dependent Origination is the escape? Is not Dependent Origination the origination of suffering?