Sanna in Snp 4.2, Vinnana in Ud 1.10 and Snp 5.2

Snp 4.2 refers to the seen, the heard, the felt, the tasted, and the smelt as phassa and the known as sanna. When we have completely known them we are left with only the seen, only the heard, etc,

Snp 4.2’s sanna is the same as Ud 1.10 and Snp 5.2’s Vinnana. They both represent the known. Specifically, they represent the known that is experientially what is like to be an organism struggling to survive in the world, embodied existence. Both cease when there is only the known. That is, when sanna ceases in Snp 4.2 and vinnana ceases in Ud 1.10 and Snp 5.2. When they cease, there is only the seen, only the heard, etc… which in Snp 5.2 is form. This is a form prior to being parsed into an object in space in relation to an organism that desires it.

This is how I understand each of these suttas in light of one another. I think the next thing to do is to reconcile the meditation instructions in MN 119 in light of these three suttas and to discuss the jhanas.

What a great part of the Tipitaka this Sutta Nipata is, right? I love it most. I also like Dhammapada.

Rid of desire for both ends, having completely understood contact, (Snp4.2)

I believe understanding contact refers to …only when the eye-, ear…mind is caught by something then there is sense-contact. It is when there is, as it were, an inclination towards something that stirs the mind. It arises with engagement as condition. When there is an inclination towards something then there is a touch, a sense contact. But merely seeing is different. To see, there does not have to be an eye-catching situation, etc. So, i believe, the coming together of all this (eye, visual, visual consciousness, contact) does not happen without engagement (MN28).

I believe the deepest form of engagement is that mind is just curious of all what stirs the mind. It always tends or inclines towards that. Not different from external things. When there moves something externally that attracks the attention of the mind. Cognition is like that. It stirs the mind and habitually the mind wants to know what happens.

Sanna is what distinguish marks…signs, and based upon this, mind has a certain interest for that what is seen, heard etc. Marks of beauty, ugliness, self etc. There is a markless or signless concentration (AN6.60), but also a markless or signless liberation of mind (AN6.13)

The markless liberation of mind means that the consciousness (or just mind) does not follow after marks anymore. So, the sign, marks awaken a certain interest of the mind and then it tends to become mind-caught. So sanna plays a very active role in this.

Marks cause eye- ear…mind catching moments. This comes with sense contact and kamma vinnana, an established vinnana that grows while one feeds the underlying desire for this contact.
Tanha describes all that leads the mind to engage with sense-objects.

The end of sanna , i believe, refers here to the end of those signs or marks that lead to eye, ear…mind catching moments… But i do not believe that it refers to the loss of the ability to know the unique characterstics of something. So, a Buddha still sees if a certain person is beautifyl or ugly but not in a way it comes with desire or repulsion. The mind does not become caught.

In the seen will be merely the seen; in the heard will be merely the heard; in the thought will be merely the thought; in the known will be merely the known.’ (Ud1.10)

I feel this refers to…there is no vinnana that does establish in the mind and can grow.

I do not believe that the cessation of vinnana really refers to the cessation of the ability to see, hear, feel etc. I believe in these contexts it refers to the cessation of karmically active sense moments (kamma-vinnana). Those are also called established vinnana’s. Those cease.

I have spent some time investigating vinnana and i can see that one must be aware that vinnana has different meanings in different context. Often it describes kamma-vinnana, an engaged and loaded sense moment, based upon sankhara’s, karmically active formations, leading to a loaded sense moment, which is always felt because of the load.
But i have also seen that vinnana can be called establised and not-established, with growth or not. Or even Anidassana, not visible. But sometimes vinnana and mind are also used as synonyms. While i do not think we can say that we purify sense-vinnana’s, right?

Can you live with this, does this suit how you see this? (i cannot really see this)

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The senses are still there. There just isn’t fixation and scrutiny of salient features like you would have in normal everyday consciousness. Without shifts in attention, fixation and scrutiny(called a saccade at least in the case of vision), things like depth perception are lost. This is why there is an experience of unity.

I think a better translation of vinnana for a modern speaker of English is self awareness or self consciousness. This self awareness is lost when vinnana ceases. There is no sense of a personal soul or jiva. You could say a mind.

I think there is a reason why the Buddha had a final nibbana when he died. He was not always in a state of nibbana. He couldn’t navigate a complex world of social interactions or react quickly to dangerous situations in the fourth jhana . It is interesting that Bahiya ended up being killed by a cow soon after his encounter with the Buddha. There is a reason why there is right mindfulness where there is physical pain and appropriate reactions, without the mental anguish or only a fleeting anguish. Somewhere in the suttas the Buddha talks about the need to act swiftly when a child is choking. A certain amount of stress is going to be necessary to get the body to spring into action when needed. That said, I think you need to master the fourth jhana to master right mindfulness.

I would add that there are work arounds where you can be absorbed in thought with little if any sense of self. If you vividly imagine, like in a daydream, a conversation between two people you can do it. Speaking and listening to your voice enables to understand what is coming out of your mouth without loosing focus on the external senses. There is passivity without a sense of doing.

My feeling is that there are different kind of unity. There is a unity that is felt, experienced, like in a mystical experience. And there is unity that is not felt and also not really an experience but more a way of abiding with a mind without boundaries, seperations.
For example: If there is just seeing there is unity because no notion of the perceiver and perceived is present. Only seeing. But there is still seeing depth.

Later buddhist refer to this as mahamudra, believe. Tilopa says:

The one who fabricates
any division in consciousness
betrays the friendship of Mahamudra.
Cease all activity that separates,
abandon even the desire to be free from desires
and allow the thinking process to rise and fall
smoothly as waves on a shoreless ocean.
The one who never dwells in abstraction
and whose only principle
is never to divide or separate
upholds the trust of Mahamudra. (song of mahamudra, tilopa)

There is this state wtihout division, without boundaries, without seperation.

That i tend to see as unity, as wholeness.

That means that you see Nibbana as some extra-ordinairy state in which one cannot really function?
A state without depth?

Regarding 4th jhana…for me all those states are volitionally produced. And one is not constant in a state of 4th jhana. Jhana one enters and abides in some time and then one comes out of these states.

I had to look up mahamudra so forgive me if I am ignorant of it. It sounds like you were absorbed solely in the visual field, unable to hear and feel. Is that correct? Were you able to think discursively and/or stand up and walk around? What were you able to do and not do? Did you transition to the state from another or did you just go directly to absorption in the seen?

How about this for a translation of Ud 1.10?

Imagine that what you are seeing, hearing, feeling, thinking, saying, and doing is what you are seeing, hearing, feeling, thinking, saying, and doing now.

Feeling should probably be expanded to feeling, tasting, and smelling.

I do not know what you mean? Can you give some more context?

This is how to make the transition. The Buddha is getting Bahiya to create the intention to see, hear, feel, think, say, and do just what he is seeing, hearing, feeling, saying, and doing now. He does not have to do anything more to be at peace. This is mahamudra. This is how to achieve the unity you are talking about.

I believe the Buddha in that sutta’s refers to difference between an engaging mind and non-engaging mind.

Engagedt with the seen, heard, thought and known, there is always more then merely seeing, hearing, thoughts and knowing. There is also: like, dislike towards what is seen, heard, thought or known. Or there is also the perspective of: ‘this is me, mine, my self’ in regard to the seen, heard, thought, and known. Engagement adds this load to the mind that knows. I feel Buddha says. Bahiya, 'train in this way that there is nothing added to what is being experienced. He instructs into a direction of bare awareness which is called Nibbana in the sutta’s. No clinging. Knowing but no engaged knowing.

In bare awareness there is no seperation of a perceiver and the perceived, or knower and the known, or me and the other, or me and the all. That is unity, a oneness.

I agree with your earlier statement that vinnana is almost always also a self-awareness. It is seldomly bare knowing but often heavily loaded with a sense of me who knows. The anusaya, once triggered, bring load to the mind or knowing, and distorts it. Load is dukkha. With load is the opposite of being burdenfree. It is never a me who has a load or burden to carry.

In America being self-conscious is also seen as unease, as something akward and as something one does not want to be.

But if i understanding you correctly you see the advice as an advice of being not distracted? What do you mean by ‘do just what he is seeing?’

A second possible interpretation is that the unity without the felt is the fourth jhana. This is for facing death. It is parinibbana. Sanna in the Atthakavagga (Snp 4.2, Snp 4.11) is logically equivalent to Vinnana in the Parayanavagga(Snp 5.2). In this case, visaññasaññī in Snp 4.11 (wrong sanna) is disjointed sanna, not conjoined sanna. This eliminates infinite space and infinite consciousness which are both disjointed. The unity that is felt with 3D space is Right Mindfulness(first jhana?). It is for living. It is nibbana.

Nibbana and parinibbana are different in this case.

Vibhūtasaññī in Snp 4.11 is logically equivalent to ākiñcañña in Snp 5.7. This is why we do not practice the immaterial jhanas. The weak acceptance of ākiñcañña in Snp 5.7 makes sense here. It is not encouraged, but will eventually get you there in the event of rebirths.

With regard to the first alternative, it is consistent with “I teach only suffering and the end or suffering”. It is a sevenfold path. Here nibbana and parinibanna are the same. Sanna in Snp 4.2 is how we usually think of it in the five aggregates. Snp 5.7’s weak acceptance of ākiñcañña was possibly a concession by the Buddha to Jain converts who eventually wrote it into the canon.

I am now leaning toward the second alternative, in which case, vinnana is conjoined and both nibbana and parinibbana are conjoined, but different. No immaterial jhanas. Mahamudra is right mindfulness and nibbana.

This seems to account for the canon at large.

I’m sorry about the confusion here. I am shifting gears from nibanna as not self/not felt to nibanna as mahamudra. Note I modified the last post. The not felt unity is the vibhūtasaññī in Snp 4.11.

With regard to not being distracted, it is dynamic rather than static. There is a spontaneity to it. What is constant, to the extent I can maintain it, is a contentment to follow it.

I think of engagement as something done with the “world”. You use it with regard to the senses. If you are speaking to a native English speaker, at least one in America, who has no background in Buddhism, I think another word is called for. Maybe hedonistic mind? Just a thought. If the point is to communicate the dhamma, we need to use words that are meaningful to the audience. This isn’t a criticism. I now get what you mean. Its just that I find that many of the words used as preferred translations sound like a word salad I am left trying to parse. I’m curious if this is something others agree with. The words just don’t evoke the right meanings to me in any case.

Oke, i understand. Indeed, for me there is no difference in engagement with senses and the world or the All.

If i would try to explain buddhism, or at least how i understand it, to someone who has no knowledge of buddhism at all, i would use different words. But i really never talk with people about buddhism in my life. No person is even curious.

I know no people who are really interested in buddhism apart from internet. None of my familiy, none of my friends, nor acquaintances. People i know feel that they need nothing, no escape, no teacher, no teachings, only money, pleasure, adventures here and there, parties, work etc.

They are also convinced that if one is involved in something so low as buddhism one must be really helpless, sick, weak, a born looser. Winners do not need a teaching or teacher. I am surrounded by winners :heart_eyes:

Other than my daughter, I never actually spoke to anyone about Buddhism until last week. That said, my daughter is interested in learning more, but isn’t interested in a big upfront investment to get started. I am selecting excerpts of what I believe to be the essential suttas and trying to put them in words that an intelligent person with a Merriam-English dictionary could figure out the meaning of. The words or phrases should all mean what the sum of the most common usage of each word means. Grammar must be simple and words must be unequivocal. Sorry, just my pet peeve. :grinning:

I may be a boomer, but I can use an emoticon. I’m very proud of myself right now.

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Great. I started with Dhammapada. It is not that philosophical. It was one of the first buddhist texts i read.
You can also start with Nagarjuna…just kidding :innocent:

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All kidding aside, Buddhism is first and foremost a practice to relieve suffering, not a belief system. At least not a dogmatic belief system (Snp 4.3). I’d like to keep it to 10 pages or less if possible. Excerpts will help too. Seriously, if I can get my daughter to see the benefits of the practice, she is more likely to want to learn more. This is meant to be an introduction.

Eventually, it would be nice to rearrange the canon into something that develops more logically for the reader. AI might help identify logical dependencies. If not, I will not live to see the end product.

I am a big believer in less is more and that you can only eat the elephant one bite at a time. That said, there are differences of opinion about the practice, especially with right samadhi. I am still working on the argument for that.

Pfff…i cannot really advice you in this i notice. But now i know a bit what is on your mind.

I would like to amend the to

I like this more and more. I think it still explains the Pali canon and might explain other canons. I need to learn more about other canons.

I am still wrestling with this, but I think I see the options more clearly.

Added later: it’s option 2. The fourth jhana is samma samadhi. Snp 4.2 requires the completely knowing perception and getting Rid of desire for both ends, in case 1.