Rūpaṃ, bhikkhave, anattā...

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Rūpaṃ, bhikkhave, anattā...

Postby piotr » Thu Jan 22, 2009 6:50 pm

Hi,

Why in Pāli it is said "rūpaṃ anattā, [...] viññāṇaṃ anattā". And not "rūpaṃ anattaṃ, [...] viññāṇaṃ anattaṃ"?
Bhagavaṃmūlakā no, bhante, dhammā...
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Re: Rūpaṃ, bhikkhave, anattā...

Postby Dhammanando » Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:07 am

Hi Piotr,

piotr wrote:Why in Pāli it is said "rūpaṃ anattā, [...] viññāṇaṃ anattā". And not "rūpaṃ anattaṃ, [...] viññāṇaṃ anattaṃ"?


In this passage 'anattā' = 'na' + the substantive 'attā' + an assumed copula (atthi): "is not self".

When 'na' is made into the first element of a compound it becomes 'a-'. As the following component in the compound begins with a vowel, for the sake of euphony 'a' changes to 'an-'.

And so unlike 'anicca' and 'dukkha', 'anattā' in the above passage is not modified to agree with the neuter 'viññāṇaṃ' because structurally 'anattā' is not an adjective. Rather it is a noun employed predicatively. This is how anattā is most commonly used in the Suttas.

On the other hand, there are a few instances where anatta is used in an attributive rather than predicative fashion, and here it will be inflected as an adjective. For example in the Udāna Sutta (SN. iii. 56) we meet with the following:

    anattaṃ rūpaṃ 'anattā rūpan' ti yathābhūtaṃ nappajānāti, anattaṃ vedanaṃ 'anattā vedanā' ti yathābhūtaṃ nappajānāti, anattaṃ saññaṃ 'anattā saññā' ti yathābhūtaṃ nappajānāti, anatte saṅkhāre 'anattā saṅkhārā' ti yathābhūtaṃ nappajānāti, anattaṃ viññāṇaṃ 'anattā viññāṇan' ti yathābhūtaṃ nappajānāti.

    "He does not understand selfless [or insubstantial] matter as it really is, as 'matter that is not self'. He does not understand selfless feeling... etc.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Rūpaṃ, bhikkhave, anattā...

Postby piotr » Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:48 am

Hi bhante,

Dhammanando wrote:And so unlike 'anicca' and 'dukkha', 'anattā' in the above passage is not modified to agree with the neuter 'viññāṇaṃ' because structurally 'anattā' is not an adjective. Rather it is a noun employed predicatively.


Thank you. :bow: I thought that anattā was an adjective here — since most of translators renders it as "not-self", or "nonself".
Bhagavaṃmūlakā no, bhante, dhammā...
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