mind-made acquisition of a self

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

mind-made acquisition of a self

Postby Freawaru » Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:48 pm

Hi All,

I would like to discuss the Potthapada Sutta: About Potthapada as translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipita/d ... .than.html
specifically what the mind made body is and how one construes a mind-made acquisition of self. During this thread I would like to make the assumption that Thanissaro Bhikkhu's identification of the the mind-made body with what is commonly named Astral body today is correct. And see where it leads and if it makes sense.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu writes in the Translator's Introduction:
Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:Of particular interest here is the Buddha's treatment of the three "acquisitions of a self." The first — the gross self — refers to the ordinary, everyday sense of identifying with one's body. The latter two — the mind-made acquisition and the formless acquisition — refer to the sense of self that can be developed in meditation. The mind-made acquisition can result from an experience of the mind-made body — the "astral body" — that constitutes one of the powers that can be developed through concentration practice. The formless acquisition can result from any of the formless states of concentration — such as an experience of infinite space, infinite consciousness, or nothingness. Although meditators, on experiencing these states, might assume that they have encountered their "true self," the Buddha is careful to note that these are acquisitions, and that they are no more one's true self than the body is. They are one's acquisition of a self only for the time that one identifies with them.


I have experienced a few astral projections myself and also related phenomena as sleep paralyses and so on. Some years ago I spend time discussing with people who are more experienced in this than me. It is interesting to see the theories build on these kind of experiences. Interesting regarding the Potthapada Sutta because it seems to me that the people at the time of the Buddha had the very same theories and believes build on these kind of experiences.

For example, many practitioners (though not all) of AP do indeed believe that their self/soul/mind leaves the physical body during a projection. The physical body is considered "empty" when they are "gone" and prone to evil entities entering it. A typical result of this belief is that practitioners protect their "empty body" during their practice with all kinds of rituals. This "soul leaving body empty" is even enhanced when another astral phenomena appears, namely what seems to be the contact with deceased persons (spirits, ghosts). A typical theory build on these kind of experiences is that at physical death the astral body leaves the physical body - as during a normal projection - but this time it is forever because the "Silver cord" that connects the physical and the astral body during a projection is severed.

So the experience is that the "I" leaves the physical body in an astral body and enters the world of the ghosts until it returns into it's physical body again: conclusion: I am not the physical body but an astral being that temporarily is connected to a physical body. But analysing the experiences during AP this does not work for one can be rather different in the astral than in the physical: one can change form for example, transform from human to animal to monster to whatever. One has abilities different from the physical: people who cannot walk in the physical any more can do so in the astral again, one can fly, has PSY abilites and even the personality can be different there. So the question arises "who am I truely? Am I truly the kind of being I am in the physical? Or am I truly the kind of being I am in the astral? Or am I one being here and another there? And what happens to the physical me when I am the astral me and vice versa?"

It seems to me that this is the question CItta the elephant trainer's son asked:

When this was said, Citta the elephant trainer's son said to the Blessed One: "When there is a gross acquisition of a self, is it the case then that one's mind-made acquisition of a self and formless acquisition of a self are null & void, and only one's gross acquisition of a self is true? And when there is a mind-made acquisition of a self, is it the case then that one's gross acquisition of a self and formless acquisition of a self are null & void, and only one's mind-made acquisition of a self is true?


The Buddha's answer:

When there is a mind-made acquisition of a self, it's not classified either as a gross acquisition of a self or as a formless acquisition of a self. It's classified just as a mind-made acquisition of a self.


I think this means that for an arahant astral projection can still happen just as an arahant can have a physical body. But for an arahant both, physical and astral, are not regarded as self or soul any more but just "classified" as what they are.

Thoughts? Comments? Ideas? Questions?
Freawaru
 
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:26 pm

Re: mind-made acquisition of a self

Postby clw_uk » Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:52 pm

So the experience is that the "I" leaves the physical body in an astral body and enters the world of the ghosts until it returns into it's physical body again:



This part struck me as it sounds more like the Hindu concept of Atman rather than a Buddhist teaching. In Buddhism there is no permanent "I" that departs and goes somewhere else



metta
“Happy is the man who has broken the chains which hurt the mind, and has given up worrying once and for all.” Ovid
User avatar
clw_uk
 
Posts: 3362
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: mind-made acquisition of a self

Postby Kenshou » Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:21 pm

The bit you've quoted is clearly taking about experience, not absolute truth.
Kenshou
 
Posts: 1029
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:03 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: mind-made acquisition of a self

Postby Sobeh » Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:21 am

Why are you even bothering with siddhis?

:cookoo:
User avatar
Sobeh
 
Posts: 329
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:35 am
Location: Salt Lake City, UT, US

Re: mind-made acquisition of a self

Postby Freawaru » Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:24 am

Hi clw_uk,

clw_uk wrote:
So the experience is that the "I" leaves the physical body in an astral body and enters the world of the ghosts until it returns into it's physical body again:



This part struck me as it sounds more like the Hindu concept of Atman rather than a Buddhist teaching.


Yes, I agree. But I think the origin of this concept and theory are based on experience, experience that is well known in Buddhism, too, as it is linked to samadhi.

In Buddhism there is no permanent "I" that departs and goes somewhere else


I know. But what experience shows that the theory is wrong? Or rather not complete, after all the Buddha experienced recall of HIS own past lives before Awakening, not those of Ananda or Potthapada or Citta.

The Buddha clearly still used the Vedic cosmos of ghosts, hell beings, and devas, which can be communicated with in what we call "the Astral" today. The experience of AP was well known by him. So can you tell me the experience that casts a new light on the experience of an "I" that leaves the physical body in an Astral body?
Freawaru
 
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:26 pm

Re: mind-made acquisition of a self

Postby Freawaru » Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:26 am

Kenshou wrote:The bit you've quoted is clearly taking about experience, not absolute truth.


Yes. I want to discuss the mechanisms of interpreting experiences (meditation or otherwise) and construing a theory.
Freawaru
 
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:26 pm

Re: mind-made acquisition of a self

Postby Freawaru » Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:29 am

Hi Sobeh,

Why are you even bothering with siddhis?
:cookoo:


Why are you even bothering with sense desires?
Freawaru
 
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:26 pm

Re: mind-made acquisition of a self

Postby effort » Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:59 am

thanks for the sutta.
I was always uneasy about there is no astral part in buddhism , but know i like the extending idea of no self into astral body...
User avatar
effort
 
Posts: 219
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:32 am

Re: mind-made acquisition of a self

Postby Freawaru » Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:03 am

Hi Effort,

effort wrote:thanks for the sutta.
I was always uneasy about there is no astral part in buddhism , but know i like the extending idea of no self into astral body...


Me, too. :smile:
Freawaru
 
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:26 pm

Re: mind-made acquisition of a self

Postby cooran » Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:17 am

Hello all,

The link in the OP doesn't work for me, so this is the relevant part of the Sutta:

The Three Kinds of Self
39. "Potthapàda, there are three kinds of commonly assumed self: material, mind-made, and formless. The first has form, is made up of the four elements, and is nourished by solid food. The second has form, is made by the mind, and has all its limbs and organs complete and perfect. The third is without form, and is made up of consciousness only.

40-42. "Now I teach a doctrine, Potthapàda, that leads to the abandoning of the mistaken assumptions about all three of these assumed selves. If you follow this doctrine, unwholesome mental states disappear and the states which tend to purification increase; and one realizes and remains in the full perfection and purity of wisdom here and now.
[196] "Now it might be, Potthapàda, that you think even if one's unwholesome mental states disappear and the states which tend to purification increase; and one realizes and remains in the full perfection and purity of wisdom here and now, that one might continue to be unhappy. But, Potthapàda, that would be an inaccurate judgment. When such conditions are fulfilled, then there will only be joy and happiness, tranquility, continual mindfulness and clear awareness - and that is a happy state.

[197] 43-45. "Potthapàda, outsiders might question us thus: 'What then, Sir, is that material (or that mental, or that formless) self that you preach such a doctrine for the abandoning assumptions about?' And to that I should reply [describing it in the words I have just used to you]: 'Why this very one that you see before you is what I mean.'
[198] "Now what think you of that, Potthapàda, this being so, would not the talk turn out to be well grounded?"
"Certainly, Lord, it would."

46. "Just, Potthapàda, as if a man were to construct a staircase, to climb into the upper storey of a palace, at the foot of the very palace itself. If men should say to him: 'Well, good friend! that palace, for which you are constructing this staircase so as to climb into, do you know whether it faces east or west or south north; whether it is high or low or of medium size?'
"And when so asked, he would answer: 'Why! here is the very palace itself ! It is at the very foot of it I am constructing my staircase so as to climb into it.'
"What think you of that, Potthapàda, this being so, would not the talk turn out to be well grounded?"
"Certainly, Lord, it would."

[199] 47. "In just the same way, Potthapàda, if others ask me about the assumed self, when I answer as above, does not the talk turn out to be well grounded?"
"Certainly, Lord, it does."

Citta's Question on the Three Kind of Self
48. Then Citta, the son of the elephant trainer, said to the Blessed One: "At that time, Lord, when the material self is assumed, would if be wrong to assume the existence of the mind-made and formless selves? Is the material self the only one that is real? But if the mind-made self is assumed, then are the other two not real? And if the formless self is assumed, are the other two not real?"

49. "At the time, Citta, when any one of the three assumed selves is present, then we do not speak of the other two. We speak only of the one that is currently assumed.
[200] "If people should ask you, Citta: 'Did you exist in the past, or not? Will you exist in the future, or not? Do you exist now, or not?' - How would you answer?"
"I should say that I existed in the past, and didn't not exist; that I shall exist in the future, and shall not not exist; that I do exist now, and I don't not exist."

50. "Then if they reply: 'Well! that past self that you had, is that your real self; and the future and present selves unreal? Or the future self that you will have, is that real one; and the past and present ones unreal? Or is the self that you have now the real you; and the past and future ones unreal?' - How would you answer?"
[201] "I should say that the past self that I had was real to me at the time when I had it; and the others were unreal. The present self is real to me now; and the others are unreal. In the future, the future self will be real and the others unreal."

51. "Just so, Citta, when any one of the three assumed selves is present, then we do not speak of either of the other two.

52. "Just, Citta, as from a cow comes milk, and from the milk curds, and from the curds butter, and from the butter ghee, and from the ghee junket; but when it is milk it is not called curds, or butter, or junket; and when it is curds or butter or ghee or junket, it is not called by any of the other names.
[202] 53. "In the same way, Citta, when any one of the three assumed selves is present, then we do not speak of either of the other two. For these, Citta, are merely names, expressions, turns of speech, designations in common use in the world. But a Tathàgata [one who has fully realized the truth] makes use of them, but does not misapprehend them."

54. And when he had thus spoken, Potthapàda, the wanderer, said to the Blessed One: "Excellent, Lord! Excellent! Just as if one were to turn upright what had been turned upside down, or to reveal what was hidden, or to point out the right path to one who was lost, or to bring a lamp into a dark place so that those with keen sight could see forms, in the same way, Lord, the Blessed One has revealed the Dhamma in numerous ways. I go for refuge to the Blessed One, to the Dhamma, and to the Bhikkhu Sangha. Let the Blessed One accept me as a lay follower gone for refuge from this day onwards as long as I live."

55. But Citta, the son of the elephant trainer, said to the Blessed One: "Excellent, Lord! Excellent! Just as if one were to turn upright what had been turned upside down, or to reveal what was hidden, or to point out the right path to one who was lost, or to bring a lamp into a dark place so that those with keen sight could see forms, in the same way, Lord, the Blessed One has revealed the Dhamma in numerous ways. I go for refuge to the Blessed One, to the Dhamma, and to the Bhikkhu Sangha. May I receive the going-forth from Blessed One; may I receive admission into his Order." [203]

56. And Citta received the going-forth at the Lord's hand and entered the Order. And the newly ordained Citta, the son of the elephant trainer, remained alone and secluded, earnest, zealous, and resolute. And before long he attained to that supreme goal of the holy life for the sake of which clansmen go forth from the household life to homelessness, having realized here and now by his own super-knowledge and dwelt therein, knowing: 'Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is nothing further beyond this.'

And the venerable Citta, the son of the elephant trainer, became another of the Arahats.
http://www.leighb.com/dn9.htm

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7387
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: mind-made acquisition of a self

Postby Freawaru » Sat Jun 05, 2010 8:14 am

cooran wrote:Hello all,

The link in the OP doesn't work for me, so this is the relevant part of the Sutta:
Chris


Thank you very much, Chris. I wasn't aware that the link I provided didn't work any more.
Freawaru
 
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:26 pm

Re: mind-made acquisition of a self

Postby Freawaru » Sat Jun 05, 2010 8:28 am

I post the sutta as translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, including his introduction and notes:



DN 9
PTS: D i 178
Potthapada Sutta: About Potthapada
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 2003–2010
Translator's Introduction

This sutta portrays two modes by which the Buddha responded to the controversial issues of his day. The first mode — illustrated by his contribution to the discussion on the ultimate cessation of perception — was to adopt the terms of the discussion but to invest them with his own meanings, and then to try to direct the discussion to the practice leading to the cessation of suffering & stress. The second mode — illustrated by his treatment of whether the cosmos is eternal, etc. — was to declare the issues as unconducive to awakening, and to refuse to take a position on them.

Several other suttas — such as MN 63, MN 72, and AN 10.93 — portray the Buddha and his disciples adopting the second mode. This sutta is unusual in its extended portrait of the Buddha's adopting the first. Many of the technical terms he uses here — such as the perception of a refined truth, the peak of perception, the alert step-by step attainment of the ultimate cessation of perception, the acquisition of a self — are found no where else in the Canon. At the end of the sutta, he describes them as "the world's designations, the world's expressions, the world's ways of speaking, the world's descriptions, with which the Tathagata expresses himself but without grasping at them." In other words, he picks them up for the purpose at hand and then lets them go. Thus they are not to be regarded as central to his teaching. Instead, they should be read as examples of his ability to adapt the language of his interlocutors to his own purposes. For this reason, this sutta is best read only after you have read other suttas and are familiar with the more central concepts of the Buddha's teachings.

Of particular interest here is the Buddha's treatment of the three "acquisitions of a self." The first — the gross self — refers to the ordinary, everyday sense of identifying with one's body. The latter two — the mind-made acquisition and the formless acquisition — refer to the sense of self that can be developed in meditation. The mind-made acquisition can result from an experience of the mind-made body — the "astral body" — that constitutes one of the powers that can be developed through concentration practice. The formless acquisition can result from any of the formless states of concentration — such as an experience of infinite space, infinite consciousness, or nothingness. Although meditators, on experiencing these states, might assume that they have encountered their "true self," the Buddha is careful to note that these are acquisitions, and that they are no more one's true self than the body is. They are one's acquisition of a self only for the time that one identifies with them. The Buddha goes on to say that he teaches the Dhamma for the sake of abandoning every acquisition of a self "such that, when you practice it, defiling mental qualities will be abandoned, bright mental qualities will grow, and you will enter & remain in the culmination & abundance of discernment, having known & realized it for yourself in the here & now."

-----------------------

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Now on that occasion Potthapada the wanderer, together with a large following of about 300 wanderers, had taken up residence in the debating hall near the Tinduka tree in the single-pavilion park of Queen Mallika. Then the Blessed One, early in the morning, taking his robes & bowl, entered Savatthi for alms. Then the thought occurred to him, "While it's still too early to go into Savatthi for alms, why don't I go to the debating hall near the Tinduka tree in the single-pavilion park of Queen Mallika to see Potthapada the wanderer?" So he went to the debating hall near the Tinduka tree in the single-pavilion park of Queen Mallika.

Now on that occasion Potthapada the wanderer was sitting with his large following of wanderers, all making a great noise & racket, discussing many kinds of bestial topics of conversation: conversation about kings, robbers, & ministers of state; armies, alarms, & battles; food & drink; clothing, furniture, garlands, & scents; relatives; vehicles; villages, towns, cities, the countryside; women & heroes; the gossip of the street & the well; tales of the dead; tales of diversity, the creation of the world & of the sea; talk of whether things exist or not. Then Potthapada the wanderer saw the Blessed One coming from afar, and on seeing him, hushed his following: "Be quiet, good sirs. Don't make any noise. Here comes Gotama the contemplative. He is fond of quietude and speaks in praise of quietude. Maybe, if he perceives our group as quiet, he will consider it worth his while to come our way." So the wanderers fell silent.

Then the Blessed One went to Potthapada, and Potthapada said to him, "Come, Blessed One. Welcome, Blessed One. It's been a long time since the Blessed One has gone out of his way to come here. Sit down, Blessed One. This seat has been prepared." So the Blessed One sat on the prepared seat. Potthapada, taking a lower seat, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him, "For what topic of conversation are you gathered together here? In the midst of what topic of conversation have you been interrupted?"

When this was said, Potthapada replied, "Never mind, lord, about the topic of conversation for which we have gathered here. It won't be difficult for the Blessed One to hear about that later. For the past few days a discussion has arisen among the many sects of priests & contemplatives gathered and sitting together in the debating hall, concerning the ultimate cessation of perception: 'How is there the ultimate cessation of perception?' With regard to this, some said, 'A person's perception arises and ceases without cause, without reason. When it arises, one is percipient. When it ceases, one is not percipient.' [1] That's how one group described the ultimate cessation of perception.

"Then someone else said, 'No, that's not how it is. Perception is a person's self, which comes and goes. When it comes, one is percipient. When it goes, one is not percipient.' That's how one group described the ultimate cessation of perception.

"Then someone else said, 'No, that's not how it is, for there are priests & contemplatives of great power, great potency. They draw perception in and out of a person. When they draw it in, one is percipient. When they draw it out, one is not percipient.' That's how one group described the ultimate cessation of perception.

"Then someone else said, 'No, that's not how it is, for there are devas of great power, great potency. They draw perception in and out of a person. When they draw it in, one is percipient. When they draw it out, one is not percipient.' That's how one group described the ultimate cessation of perception.

"Then the memory of the Blessed One arose within me: 'Ah, the Blessed One! Ah, the One Well-gone — who surely is well-skilled in these matters.' The Blessed One is skilled and expert in the ultimate cessation of perception. So what, lord, is the ultimate cessation of perception?"

"In this regard, Potthapada, those priests & contemplatives who say that a person's perception arises & ceases without cause, without reason, are wrong from the very start. Why is that? Because a person's perception arises & ceases with a cause, with a reason. With training, one perception arises and with training another perception ceases. And what is that training?

"There is the case where a Tathagata appears in the world, worthy and rightly self-awakened. [as in DN 2] ...

"This is how a monk is consummate in virtue...

"Seeing that these five hindrances have been abandoned within him, he becomes glad. Glad, he becomes enraptured. Enraptured, his body grows tranquil. His body tranquil, he is sensitive to pleasure. Feeling pleasure, his mind becomes concentrated.

"Quite withdrawn from sensual pleasures, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, the monk enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. His earlier perception of sensuality ceases, and on that occasion there is a perception of a refined truth of rapture & pleasure born of seclusion. On that occasion he is one who is percipient of a refined truth of rapture & pleasure born of seclusion. And thus it is that with training one perception arises and with training another perception ceases.

"Then, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, the monk enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. His earlier perception of a refined truth of rapture & pleasure born of seclusion ceases, and on that occasion there is a perception of a refined truth of rapture & pleasure born of concentration. On that occasion he is one who is percipient of a refined truth of rapture & pleasure born of concentration. And thus it is that with training one perception arises and with training another perception ceases.

"And then, with the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.' His earlier perception of a refined truth of rapture & pleasure born of concentration ceases, and on that occasion there is a perception of a refined truth of equanimity. On that occasion he is one who is percipient of a refined truth of equanimity. And thus it is that with training one perception arises and with training another perception ceases.

"And then, with the abandoning of pleasure and pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation and distress — the monk enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity and mindfulness, neither-pleasure-nor-pain. His earlier perception of a refined truth of equanimity ceases, and on that occasion there is a perception of a refined truth of neither pleasure nor pain. On that occasion he is one who is percipient of a refined truth of neither pleasure nor pain. And thus it is that with training one perception arises and with training another perception ceases.

"And then, with the complete transcending of perceptions of [physical] form, with the disappearance of perceptions of resistance, and not heeding perceptions of diversity, [perceiving,] 'Infinite space,' the monk enters & remains in the dimension of the infinitude of space. His earlier perception of a refined truth of neither pleasure nor pain ceases, and on that occasion there is a perception of a refined truth of the dimension of the infinitude of space. On that occasion he is one who is percipient of a refined truth of the dimension of the infinitude of space. And thus it is that with training one perception arises and with training another perception ceases.

"And then, with the complete transcending of the dimension of the infinitude of space, [perceiving,] 'Infinite consciousness,' the monk enters & remains in the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness. His earlier perception of a refined truth of the dimension of the infinitude of space ceases, and on that occasion there is a perception of a refined truth of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness. On that occasion he is one who is percipient of a refined truth of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness. And thus it is that with training one perception arises and with training another perception ceases.

"And then, with the complete transcending of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, [thinking,] 'There is nothing,' enters & remains in the dimension of nothingness. His earlier perception of a refined truth of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness ceases, and on that occasion there is a perception of a refined truth of the dimension of nothingness. On that occasion he is one who is percipient of a refined truth of the dimension of nothingness. And thus it is that with training one perception arises and with training another perception ceases. [2]

"Now, when the monk is percipient of himself here, then from there to there, step by step, he touches the peak of perception. As he remains at the peak of perception, the thought occurs to him, 'Thinking is bad for me. Not thinking is better for me. If I were to think and will, this perception of mine would cease, and a grosser perception would appear. What if I were neither to think nor to will?' [3] So he neither thinks nor wills, and as he is neither thinking nor willing, that perception ceases [4] and another, grosser perception does not appear. He touches cessation. This, Potthapada, is how there is the alert [5] step-by step attainment of the ultimate cessation of perception.

"Now what do you think, Potthapada — have you ever before heard of such an alert step-by step attainment of the ultimate cessation of perception?"

"No, lord. And here is how I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One: 'When the monk is percipient of himself here, then from there to there, step by step, he touches the peak of perception. As he remains at the peak of perception, the thought occurs to him, "Thinking is bad for me. Not thinking is better for me. If I were to think and will, this perception of mine would cease, and a grosser perception would appear. What if I were neither to think nor to will?" So he neither thinks nor wills, and as he is neither thinking nor willing, that perception ceases and another, grosser perception does not appear. He touches cessation. This, Potthapada, is how there is the alert step-by step attainment of the ultimate cessation of perception.'"

"That's right, Potthapada."

"But, lord, does the Blessed One describe one peak of perception or many peaks of perception?"

"Potthapada, I describe one peak of perception and many peaks of perception."

"And how does the Blessed One describe one peak of perception and many peaks of perception?"

"In whatever way one touches cessation, Potthapada, that's the way I describe the peak of perception. [6] That's how I describe one peak of perception and many peaks of perception."

"Now, lord, does perception arise first, and knowledge after; or does knowledge arise first, and perception after; or do perception & knowledge arise simultaneously?"

"Potthapada, perception arises first, and knowledge after. And the arising of knowledge comes from the arising of perception. One discerns, 'It's in dependence on this [7] that my knowledge has arisen.' Through this line of reasoning one can realize how perception arises first, and knowledge after, and how the arising of knowledge comes from the arising of perception."

"Now, lord, is perception a person's self, or is perception one thing and self another?"

"What self do you posit, Potthapada?"

"I posit a gross self, possessed of form, made up of the four great existents [earth, water, fire, and wind], feeding on physical food."

"Then, Potthapada, your self would be gross, possessed of form, made up of the four great existents, feeding on physical food. That being the case, then for you perception would be one thing and self another. And it's through this line of reasoning that one can realize how perception will be one thing and self another: even as there remains this gross self — possessed of form, made up of the four great existents, and feeding on food — one perception arises for that person as another perception passes away. It's through this line of reasoning that one can realize how perception will be one thing and self another."

"Then, lord, I posit a mind-made self complete in all its parts, not inferior in its faculties." [8]

"Then, Potthapada, your self would be mind-made, complete in all its parts, not inferior in its faculties. That being the case, then for you perception would be one thing and self another. And it's through this line of reasoning that one can realize how perception will be one thing and self another: even as there remains this mind-made self — complete in all its parts, not inferior in its faculties — one perception arises for that person as another perception passes away. It's through this line of reasoning that one can realize how perception will be one thing and self another."

"Then, lord, I posit a formless self made of perception."

"Then, Potthapada, your self would be formless and made of perception. That being the case, then for you perception would be one thing and self another. And it's through this line of reasoning that one can realize how perception will be one thing and self another: even as there remains this formless self made of perception, one perception arises for that person as another perception passes away. It's through this line of reasoning that one can realize how perception will be one thing and self another."

"Is it possible for me to know, lord, whether perception is a person's self or if perception is one thing and self another?"

"Potthapada — having other views, other practices, other satisfactions, other aims, other teachers — it's hard for you to know whether perception is a person's self or if perception is one thing and self another."

"Well then, lord, if — having other views, other practices, other satisfactions, other aims, other teachers — it's hard for me to know whether perception is a person's self or if perception is one thing and self another, then is it the case that the cosmos is eternal, that only this is true and anything otherwise is worthless?"

"Potthapada, I haven't expounded that the cosmos is eternal, that only this is true and anything otherwise is worthless."

"Then is it the case that the cosmos is not eternal, that only this is true and anything otherwise is worthless?"

"Potthapada, I haven't expounded that the cosmos is not eternal, that only this is true and anything otherwise is worthless."

"Then is it the case that the cosmos is finite... the cosmos is infinite... the soul & the body are the same... the soul is one thing and the body another... after death a Tathagata exists... after death a Tathagata does not exist... after death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist... after death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist, that only this is true and anything otherwise is worthless?"

"Potthapada, I haven't expounded that after death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist, that only this is true and anything otherwise is worthless."

"But why hasn't the Blessed One expounded these things?"

"Because they are not conducive to the goal, are not conducive to the Dhamma, are not basic to the holy life. They don't lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding. That's why I haven't expounded them."

"And what has the Blessed One expounded?"

"I have expounded that, 'This is stress'... 'This is the origination of stress'... 'This is the cessation of stress'... 'This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.'

"And why has the Blessed One expounded these things?"

"Because they are conducive to the goal, conducive to the Dhamma, and basic to the holy life. They lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding. That's why I have expounded them."

"So it is, Blessed One. So it is, O One Well-gone. Well now, it's time for the Blessed One to do as he sees fit."

Then the Blessed One got up from his seat and left.

Not long after he had left, the wanderers, with sneering words, jeered at Potthapada the wanderer from all sides: "So, whatever Gotama the contemplative says, Sir Potthapada rejoices in his every word: 'So it is, Blessed One. So it is, O One Well-gone.' But we don't understand Gotama the contemplative as having taught any categorical teaching as to whether the cosmos is infinite or the cosmos is finite or... whether after death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist."

When this was said, Potthapada the wanderer replied to the wanderers, "I, too, don't understand Gotama the contemplative as having taught any categorical teaching as to whether the cosmos is infinite or the cosmos is finite or... whether after death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist. But Gotama the contemplative describes a genuine, authentic, and accurate practice, grounded in the Dhamma and consonant with the Dhamma. And when a genuine, authentic, and accurate practice, grounded in the Dhamma and consonant with the Dhamma is being explained, why shouldn't a knowledgeable person such as myself rejoice in the well-spokenness of Gotama the contemplative's well-spoken words?"

Then two or three days later, Citta the elephant trainer's son and Potthapada the wanderer went to the Blessed One. On their arrival, Citta bowed down to the Blessed One and sat to one side, while Potthapada the wanderer greeted the Blessed One courteously. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One: "The other day, not long after the Blessed One had left, the wanderers, with sneering words, jeered at me from all sides: 'So, whatever Gotama the contemplative says, Sir Potthapada rejoices in his every word: "So it is, Blessed One. So it is, O One Well-gone." But we don't understand Gotama the contemplative as having taught any categorical teaching as to whether the cosmos is infinite or the cosmos is finite or... whether after death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist.'

"When this was said, I replied to the wanderers, 'I, too, don't understand Gotama the contemplative as having taught any categorical teaching as to whether the cosmos is infinite or the cosmos is finite or... whether after death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist. But Gotama the contemplative describes a genuine, authentic, and accurate practice, grounded in the Dhamma and consonant with the Dhamma. And when a genuine, authentic, and accurate practice, grounded in the Dhamma and consonant with the Dhamma is being explained, why shouldn't a knowledgeable person such as myself rejoice in the well-spokenness of Gotama the contemplative's well-spoken words?'"

[The Buddha:] "Potthapada, all those wanderers are blind and have no eyes. You alone among them have eyes. I have taught and declared some teachings to be categorical, and some teachings to be non-categorical. And what are the teachings that I have taught and declared to be non-categorical? [The statement that] 'The cosmos is eternal' I have taught and declared to be an non-categorical teaching. [The statement that] 'The cosmos is not eternal'... 'The cosmos is finite'... 'The cosmos is infinite'... 'The soul & the body are the same'... 'The soul is one thing and the body another'... 'After death a Tathagata exists'... 'After death a Tathagata does not exist'... 'After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist'... 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist' I have taught and declared to be an non-categorical teaching. And why have I taught and declared these teachings to be non-categorical? Because they are not conducive to the goal, are not conducive to the Dhamma, are not basic to the holy life. They don't lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding. That's why I have taught and declared them to be non-categorical.

"And what have I taught and declared to be categorical teachings? [The statement that] 'This is stress' I have taught and declared to be a categorical teaching. [The statement that] 'This is the origination of stress'... 'This is the cessation of stress'... 'This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress' I have taught and declared to be a categorical teaching. And why have I taught and declared these teachings to be categorical? Because they are conducive to the goal, conducive to the Dhamma, and basic to the holy life. They lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding. That's why I have taught and declared them to be categorical.

"There are some priests & contemplatives with a doctrine & view like this: 'After death, the self is exclusively happy and free from disease.' I approached them and asked them, 'Is it true that you have a doctrine & view like this: "After death, the self is exclusively happy and free from disease"?' When asked this, they replied, 'Yes.' So I asked them, 'But do you dwell having known or seen an exclusively happy world?' When asked this, they said, 'No.' So I asked them, 'But have you ever been aware of a self exclusively happy for a day or a night, or for half a day or half a night?' When asked this, they said, 'No.' So I asked them, 'But do you know that "This is the path, this is the practice for the realization of an exclusively happy world"?' When asked this, they said, 'No.' So I asked them, 'But have you heard the voices of devas reborn in an exclusively happy world, saying, "Practice well, my dears. Practice straightforwardly, my dears, for the realization of an exclusively happy world, because it was through such a practice that we ourselves have been reborn in an exclusively happy world"?' When asked this, they said, 'No.'

"So what do you think, Potthapada — when this is the case, don't the words of those priests & contemplatives turn out to be unconvincing?"

"Yes, lord. When this is the case, the words of those priests & contemplatives turn out to be unconvincing."

"Potthapada, it's as if a man were to say, 'I'm in love with the most beautiful woman in this country,' and other people were to say to him, 'Well, my good man, this most beautiful woman in this country with whom you are in love: do you know if she's of the warrior caste, the priestly caste, the merchant caste, or the laborer caste?' and, when asked this, he would say, 'No.' Then they would say to him, 'Well then, do you know her name or clan name? Whether she's tall, short, or of medium height? Whether she's dark, fair, or ruddy-skinned? Do you know what village or town or city she's from?' When asked this, he would say, 'No.' Then they would say to him, 'So you've never known or seen the woman you're in love with?' When asked this, he would say, 'Yes.'

"So what do you think, Potthapada — when this is the case, don't the words of that man turn out to be unconvincing?"

"Yes, lord..."

"In the same way, there are some priests & contemplatives with a doctrine & view like this: 'After death, the self is exclusively happy and free from disease.'... Don't the words of those priests & contemplatives turn out to be unconvincing?"

"Yes, lord..."

"Potthapada, it's as if a man at a crossroads were to build a staircase for ascending to a palace, and other people were to say to him, 'Well, my good man, this palace for which you are building a staircase: do you know whether it's east, west, north, or south of here? Whether it's high, low, or in between?' and, when asked this, he would say, 'No.' Then they would say to him, 'So you don't know or see the palace for which you are building a staircase?' When asked this, he would say, 'Yes.'

"So what do you think, Potthapada — when this is the case, don't the words of that man turn out to be unconvincing?"

"Yes, lord..."

"In the same way, there are some priests & contemplatives with a doctrine & view like this: 'After death, the self is exclusively happy and free from disease.'... Don't the words of those priests & contemplatives turn out to be unconvincing?"

"Yes, lord. When this is the case, the words of those priests & contemplatives turn out to be unconvincing."

"Potthapada, there are these three acquisitions of a self: the gross acquisition of a self, the mind-made acquisition of a self, and the formless acquisition of a self. [9] And what is the gross acquisition of a self? Possessed of form, made up of the four great existents, feeding on physical food: this is the gross acquisition of a self. And what is the mind-made acquisition of a self? Possessed of form, mind-made, complete in all its parts, not inferior in its faculties: this is the mind-made acquisition of a self. And what is the formless acquisition of a self? Formless and made of perception: this is the formless acquisition of a self.

"I teach the Dhamma for the abandoning of the gross acquisition of a self, such that, when you practice it, defiling mental qualities will be abandoned, bright mental qualities will grow, and you will enter & remain in the culmination & abundance of discernment, having known & realized it for yourself in the here & now. If the thought should occur to you that, when defiling mental qualities are abandoned and bright mental qualities have grown, and one enters & remains in the culmination & abundance of discernment, having known & realized it for oneself in the here & now, one's abiding is stressful/painful, you should not see it in that way. When defiling mental qualities are abandoned and bright mental qualities have grown, and one enters & remains in the culmination & abundance of discernment, having known & realized it for oneself in the here & now, there is joy, rapture, serenity, mindfulness, alertness, and a pleasant/happy abiding.

"I also teach the Dhamma for the abandoning of the mind-made acquisition of a self... for the abandoning of the formless acquisition of a self, such that, when you practice it, defiling mental qualities will be abandoned, bright mental qualities will grow, and you will enter & remain in the culmination & abundance of discernment, having known & realized it for yourself in the here & now... When defiling mental qualities are abandoned and bright mental qualities have grown, and one enters & remains in the culmination & abundance of discernment, having known & realized it for oneself in the here & now, there is joy, rapture, serenity, mindfulness, alertness, and a pleasant/happy abiding.

"In the past, I have been asked, 'What, friend, is the gross acquisition of a self for whose abandoning you teach the Dhamma such that, when you practice it, defiling mental qualities will be abandoned, bright mental qualities will grow, and you will enter & remain in the culmination & abundance of discernment, having known & realized it for yourself in the here & now?' When asked this, I would answer, 'This, friend, is that gross acquisition of a self for whose abandoning I teach the Dhamma...'

"In the past, I have been asked, 'What, friend, is the mind-made acquisition of a self... the formless acquisition of a self for whose abandoning you teach the Dhamma...?' When asked this, I would answer, 'This, friend, is that gross acquisition of a self for whose abandoning I teach the Dhamma...'

"What do you think, Potthapada. When this is the case, don't those words turn out to be convincing?"

"Yes, lord. When this is the case, those words turn out to be convincing."

"Potthapada, it's as if a man at a crossroads were to build a staircase for ascending to a palace, and other people were to say to him, 'Well, my good man, this palace for which you are building a staircase: do you know whether it's east, west, north, or south of here? Whether it's high, low, or in between?' He would say, 'This, friends, is the palace to which I am building a staircase. The staircase is right under the palace.'

"So what do you think, Potthapada — when this is the case, don't the words of that man turn out to be convincing?"

"Yes, lord..."

"In the same way, in the past I have been asked, 'What, friend, is the gross acquisition of a self... the mind-made acquisition of a self... the formless acquisition of a self for whose abandoning you teach the Dhamma...?' When asked this, I would answer, 'This, friend, is that gross acquisition of a self for whose abandoning I teach the Dhamma...'

"What do you think, Potthapada. When this is the case, don't those words turn out to be convincing?"

"Yes, lord. When this is the case, those words turn out to be convincing."

When this was said, Citta the elephant trainer's son said to the Blessed One: "When there is a gross acquisition of a self, is it the case then that one's mind-made acquisition of a self and formless acquisition of a self are null & void, and only one's gross acquisition of a self is true? And when there is a mind-made acquisition of a self, is it the case then that one's gross acquisition of a self and formless acquisition of a self are null & void, and only one's mind-made acquisition of a self is true? And when there is a formless acquisition of a self, is it the case then that one's gross acquisition of a self and mind-made acquisition of a self are null & void, and only one's formless acquisition of a self is true?"

"Citta, when there is a gross acquisition of a self, it's not classified either as a mind-made acquisition of a self or as a formless acquisition of a self. It's classified just as a gross acquisition of a self. When there is a mind-made acquisition of a self, it's not classified either as a gross acquisition of a self or as a formless acquisition of a self. It's classified just as a mind-made acquisition of a self. When there is a formless acquisition of a self, it's not classified either as a gross acquisition of a self or as a mind-made acquisition of a self. It is classified just as a formless acquisition of a self.

"Suppose they were to ask you: 'Did you exist in the past? Did you not not exist? Will you exist in the future? Will you not not exist? Do you exist now? Do you not not exist?' Thus asked, how would you answer?"

"... Thus asked, lord, I would answer: 'I existed in the past. I did not not exist. I will exist in the future. I will not not exist. I exist now. I do not not exist.'... That's how I would answer."

"Suppose, Citta, they were to ask you: 'Whatever your past acquisition of a self: Is that alone your true acquisition of self, while the future & present ones are null & void? Whatever your future acquisition of a self: Is that alone your true acquisition of a self, while the past & present ones are null & void? Whatever your present acquisition of a self: Is that alone your true acquisition of a self, while the past & future ones are null & void?' Thus asked, how would you answer?"

"...Thus asked, lord, I would answer: 'Whatever my past acquisition of a self: on that occasion, that alone was my true acquisition of a self, while future & present ones were null & void. Whatever my future acquisition of a self: on that occasion, that alone will be my true acquisition of a self, while the past & present ones will be null & void. Whatever my present acquisition of a self: on that occasion, that alone is my true acquisition of a self, while the past & future ones are null & void.

"In the same way, Citta, when there is a gross acquisition of a self... it's classified just as a gross acquisition of a self. When there is a mind-made acquisition of a self... When there is a formless acquisition of a self, it's not classified either as a gross acquisition of a self or as a mind-made acquisition of a self. It's classified just as a formless acquisition of a self.

"Just as when milk comes from a cow, curds from milk, butter from curds, ghee from butter, and the skimmings of ghee from ghee. When there is milk, it's not classified as curds, butter, ghee, or skimmings of ghee. It's classified just as milk. When there are curds... When there is butter... When there is ghee... When there are the skimmings of ghee, they're not classified as milk, curds, butter, or ghee. They're classified just as the skimmings of ghee.

"In the same way, when there is a gross acquisition of a self... it's classified just as a gross acquisition of a self. When there is a mind-made acquisition of a self... When there is a formless acquisition of a self, it's not classified either as a gross acquisition of a self or as a mind-made acquisition of a self. It's classified just as a formless acquisition of a self.

"Citta, these are the world's designations, the world's expressions, the world's ways of speaking, the world's descriptions, with which the Tathagata expresses himself but without grasping to them." [10]

When this was said, Potthapada the wanderer said to the Blessed One: "Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has Master Gotama — through many lines of reasoning — made the Dhamma clear. I go to Master Gotama for refuge, to the Dhamma, and to the Sangha of monks. May Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge, from this day forward, for life."

But Citta the elephant trainer's son said to the Blessed One: "Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned... in the same way has Master Gotama — through many lines of reasoning — made the Dhamma clear. I go to Master Gotama for refuge, to the Dhamma, and to the Sangha of monks. Let me obtain the Going Forth in the Blessed One's presence! Let me obtain Acceptance!"

So Citta the elephant trainer's son obtained the Going Forth in the Blessed One's presence; he obtained Acceptance. And not long after his Acceptance — dwelling alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, & resolute — he in no long time reached & remained in the supreme goal of the holy life, for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now. He knew: "Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world." And thus Ven. Elephant-trainer's Son [11] became another one of the arahants.
Notes

1.
Non-percipient (asaññii): This term is sometimes translated as "unconscious," but because the Buddha is so strict throughout this sutta in referring to saññaa as it functions in other suttas — as "perception," i.e., the labels one attaches to experience — translating asaññii as "unconscious" creates needless confusion, especially as some readers might assume that the term would mean the absence of viññaa.na. An asaññii person might better be conceived as one in a mentally blank state.
2.
The discussion does not include the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception because the topic here is perception and, as AN 9.36 points out, the dimension of nothingness is the highest perception-attainment.
3.
See MN 140.
4.
Maurice Walshe, in The Long Discourses of the Buddha (LDB), mistakenly has "arises" here.
5.
LDB omits "alert" here. (There are many other mistakes in the LDB translation of this sutta, but as it would be tedious to note them all, I am noting only these two, to alert the reader to the fact that the sloppiness that unfortunately mars much of LDB is particularly evident in its translation of this sutta.)
6.
As AN 9.36 points out, one can attain cessation based on any of the levels of jhana. Thus, although the specific level from which cessation is attained might differ from person to person, its role in functioning as the basis for cessation is the same in every person's Awakening.
7.
According to the Commentary, the word "this" here refers to the perception characterizing the level of jhana from which one attained the knowledge of cessation.
8.
See the section on the mind-made body in DN 2.
9.
Acquisition of a self (atta-pa.tilaabho): According to the Commentary, this refers to the acquisition of an individual identity (attabhaava-pa.tilaabho) on any of the three levels of becoming: the sensual level, the level of form, and the formless level. The term attabhaava-pa.tilaabho is used in a number of suttas — among them AN 4.192 — where it definitely refers to the type of identity one assumes on experiencing rebirth in a particular level of being. However, there are two reasons for not following the Commentary's equation of atta-pa.tilaabho with attabhaava-pa.tilaabho. (1) As AN 4.72 makes clear, there is a type of attabhaava-pa.tilaabho — rebirth in the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception — that would not be covered by any of the three types of acquisition of a self mentioned in this sutta. Thus the Buddha seems to be limiting his discussion here to the alternative selves posited by Potthapada. (2) In a later passage in this sutta, the Buddha refers to the acquisition of a self as something he can point to directly in his listeners' immediate range of experience. Thus the term would seem to refer to the sense of self one can attain as a result of different levels of experience in meditation here and now.
10.
The Commentary takes this is as the Buddha's affirmation of the idea — which in later centuries became current in all schools of Buddhism — that he spoke truth on two levels: conventional and ultimate. In context, though, the Buddha seems to be referring merely to the fact that he has adopted the linguistic usages of his interlocutors simply for the sake of discussion, and that they should not be interpreted out of context.
11.
Mv.I.74 indicates that it was considered a sign of respect to refer to a monk by his clan name.

Provenance:
©2003 Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
Transcribed from a file provided by the translator.
This Access to Insight edition is ©2003–2010.
Terms of use: You may copy, reformat, reprint, republish, and redistribute this work in any medium whatsoever, provided that: (1) you only make such copies, etc. available free of charge; (2) you clearly indicate that any derivatives of this work (including translations) are derived from this source document; and (3) you include the full text of this license in any copies or derivatives of this work. Otherwise, all rights reserved. For additional information about this license, see the FAQ.
How to cite this document (one suggested style): "Potthapada Sutta: About Potthapada"(DN 9), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, May 29, 2010, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html.
Freawaru
 
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:26 pm

Re: mind-made acquisition of a self

Postby clw_uk » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:26 pm

I know. But what experience shows that the theory is wrong? Or rather not complete, after all the Buddha experienced recall of HIS own past lives before Awakening, not those of Ananda or Potthapada or Citta.



My answer lies in line with the teachings of Ajahn Buddhadasa. He recalled past instances where clinging lead to the birth of ego-consciousness, or to put it another way lead to the birth of "I am" in the mind.

Clinging
becoming
birth of I am which leads to dukkha

No clining, no "I am" and so no dukkha

The Buddha clearly still used the Vedic cosmos of ghosts, hell beings, and devas, which can be communicated with in what we call "the Astral" today. The experience of AP was well known by him. So can you tell me the experience that casts a new light on the experience of an "I" that leaves the physical body in an Astral body?


The realms are entered into many times a day. Heaven when one is indulging in sensual desire and feels euphoria. Hell when in extreme fear and sadness, such as depression. The sense of "I am" is born into a heavenly realm and so experiences the 6 senses and 6 externals in a heavenly way, visa versa for hell


However its not a permanent "I" that appears in these realms. "I" comes about through conditioned arising, principally it depends on clinging for its existence. Since clinging and the object of clinging are impermanent the sense of "I" is also impermanent and so rises and falls. Hence there is no permanent "I" and why there are many births



metta
“Happy is the man who has broken the chains which hurt the mind, and has given up worrying once and for all.” Ovid
User avatar
clw_uk
 
Posts: 3362
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: mind-made acquisition of a self

Postby Freawaru » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:22 am

Hi clw_uk,

clw_uk wrote:
I know. But what experience shows that the theory is wrong? Or rather not complete, after all the Buddha experienced recall of HIS own past lives before Awakening, not those of Ananda or Potthapada or Citta.



My answer lies in line with the teachings of Ajahn Buddhadasa. He recalled past instances where clinging lead to the birth of ego-consciousness, or to put it another way lead to the birth of "I am" in the mind.


As far as I understood Ajahn Buddhadasa in "Practical Dependent Origination" he considers the switch from logical, professional processes to personal, private processes the arising of the "I am", aka "birth". Like when one just sees some persons's kissing it is neutral from a personal point of view but the moment one recognises one's own boy or girl friend it becomes personal. Doing math calucus is without the arising of "I" and "mine", feeling pleased by one's own child's accomplishments is with arising of "I" and "mine".

Right?

The Buddha clearly still used the Vedic cosmos of ghosts, hell beings, and devas, which can be communicated with in what we call "the Astral" today. The experience of AP was well known by him. So can you tell me the experience that casts a new light on the experience of an "I" that leaves the physical body in an Astral body?


The realms are entered into many times a day. Heaven when one is indulging in sensual desire and feels euphoria. Hell when in extreme fear and sadness, such as depression. The sense of "I am" is born into a heavenly realm and so experiences the 6 senses and 6 externals in a heavenly way, visa versa for hell.


Could you please point out your source of Ajahn Buddhadasa stating this? So far I not could find anything from him regarding the form and formless realms.
Freawaru
 
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:26 pm


Return to General Theravāda discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: hiriotapa, Pakow Chris and 11 guests