What about No.4?
Ven T's translation of DN 15 missed that out -
‘Yehi, ānanda, ākārehi yehi liṅgehi yehi nimittehi yehi uddesehi nāmarūpassa paññatti hoti, tesu ākāresu tesu liṅgesu tesu nimittesu tesu uddesesu asati api nu kho phasso paññāyethā’’ti? ‘‘No hetaṃ, bhante’’
“If those qualities, traits, signs, and indicators through which there is a description of name and form were all absent, would contact be discerned?”
“Certainly not, venerable sir.”
- using BB's translation but rendering nāmarūpa as name & form
I think the answer to your questions is furnished in the following section that summarises the preceding sections on rebirth, cognition and the cognitive sequel, all of which are manifested by consciousness with name-&-form -
‘‘‘Nāmarūpapaccayā viññāṇa’nti iti kho panetaṃ vuttaṃ, tadānanda, imināpetaṃ pariyāyena veditabbaṃ, yathā nāmarūpapaccayā viññāṇaṃ. Viññāṇañca hi, ānanda, nāmarūpe patiṭṭhaṃ na labhissatha, api nu kho āyatiṃ jātijarāmaraṇaṃ dukkhasamudayasambhavo [jātijarāmaraṇadukkhasamudayasambhavo (sī. syā. pī.)] paññāyethā’’ti? ‘‘No hetaṃ, bhante’’. ‘‘Tasmātihānanda, eseva hetu etaṃ nidānaṃ esa samudayo esa paccayo viññāṇassa yadidaṃ nāmarūpaṃ. Ettāvatā kho, ānanda, jāyetha vā jīyetha [jiyyetha (ka.)] vā mīyetha [miyyetha (ka.)] vā cavetha vā upapajjetha vā. Ettāvatā adhivacanapatho, ettāvatā niruttipatho, ettāvatā paññattipatho, ettāvatā paññāvacaraṃ, ettāvatā vaṭṭaṃ vattati itthattaṃ paññāpanāya yadidaṃ nāmarūpaṃ saha viññāṇena aññamaññapaccayatā pavattati.
“It was said: ’With consciousness as condition there is name & form.’
“It was said: ’With name & form as condition there is consciousness.’ How that is so, Ananda, should be understood in this way: If consciousness were not to gain a footing in name & form, would an origination of the mass of suffering—of future birth, aging, and death—be discerned?”
“Certainly not, venerable sir.”
“Therefore, Ananda, this is the cause, source, origin, and condition for consciousness, namely, name & form.
“It is to this extent, Ananda, that one can be born, age, and die, pass away and re-arise, to this extent that there is a pathway for designation, to this extent that there is a pathway for language, to this extent that there is a pathway for description, to this extent that there is a sphere for wisdom, to this extent that the round turns for describing this state of being, that is, when there is name & form together with consciousness.
The phrase "to this extant" (ettāvatā
) delineates what consciousness with name-&-form are capable of. But as the subsequent section shows, wisdom is not guaranteed by this vortex. It depends on how one proceeds on the "pathway of description/delineation" (paññattipatha
). Trip off the knife's edge and you fall into attapaññatti
- the delineation of "Self" described in the section -
117. ‘‘Kittāvatā ca, ānanda, attānaṃ paññapento paññapeti? Rūpiṃ vā hi, ānanda, parittaṃ attānaṃ paññapento paññapeti – ‘‘rūpī me paritto attā’’ti. Rūpiṃ vā hi , ānanda, anantaṃ attānaṃ paññapento paññapeti – ‘rūpī me ananto attā’ti. Arūpiṃ vā hi, ānanda, parittaṃ attānaṃ paññapento paññapeti – ‘arūpī me paritto attā’ti. Arūpiṃ vā hi, ānanda, anantaṃ attānaṃ paññapento paññapeti – ‘arūpī me ananto attā’ti.
Descriptions of Self
23. “In what ways, Ananda, does one describing self describe it? Describing self as having material form and as limited, one describes it thus: ’My self has material form and is limited.’ Or describing self as having material form and as infinite, one describes it thus: ’My self has material form and is infinite.’ Or describing self as immaterial and limited, one describes it thus: ’My self is immaterial and limited.’ Or describing self as immaterial and infinite, one describes it thus: ’My self is immaterial and infinite.’
Try to pay attention to the grammatical form used in the Buddha's question to Ven Ananda, eg from above -
‘Yehi, ānanda, ākārehi yehi liṅgehi yehi nimittehi yehi uddesehi nāmarūpassa paññatti hoti, tesu ākāresu tesu liṅgesu tesu nimittesu tesu uddesesu asati api nu kho phasso paññāyethā’’ti?
This is the existential locative absolute I have mentioned in the past. It has absolutely no connotation of contemporaneity, unlike locative absolutes formed from present participles of action verbs. Asati
is from the a+sati
, where sati
= locative of santo
= present participle of atthi
(to be/it exists). What is does is to demonstrate the role of nāmarūpa
as the necessary condition for contact, that's all. With this grammatical construction, the "condition" and the "effect" can be separated by any amount of time, including lifetimes.
Try not to use these suttas in an Abhidhammic enterprise to describe EVERYTHING. They are probably intended to be to the point about contrasting the arising of the conditions for Suffering versus the non-arising for the conditions for Suffering.