The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal »

I have posted two relevant posts on Ānāpānasati at different places in DW. You may want to read them before reading the following post. Next week, I will start discussing some features of Paṭicca Samuppāda.

"Assāsa Passāsa – What Do They Mean?" : viewtopic.php?p=709681#p709681

"Ānāpānasati Not About Breath – Icchā­naṅga­la Sutta": viewtopic.php?p=697911#p697911

Mahārāhulovāda Sutta and Ānāpānasati

Mahārāhulovāda Sutta provides Buddha’s instructions to Ven. Rahula for setting the background before starting the practice of Ānāpānasati and his instructions on Ānāpānasati. It also explains the correct kasina mediation.

Buddha advises Ven Rahula to Contemplate that Any Rupa Cannot be “Mine”

1. I will translate selected chronological verses from the “Mahārāhulovāda Sutta (MN 62).” ( ... ript=latin) I will provide the meaning of verses and not word-by-word translations. If you read it carefully, you can grasp the more profound and actual meaning of Ānāpānasati.

yaṁ kiñci, rāhula, rūpaṁ—atītānāgatapaccuppannaṁ ajjhattaṁ vā bahiddhā vā oḷārikaṁ vā sukhumaṁ vā hīnaṁ vā paṇītaṁ vā yaṁ dūre santike vā—sabbaṁ rūpaṁ ‘netaṁ mama, nesohamasmi, na meso attā’ti evametaṁ yathābhūtaṁ sammappaññāya daṭṭhabban”ti.“

Translation: “Rāhula, any rupa whatsoever – past, future, or present; internal or external; obvious or subtle; inferior or superior; far or near – any rupa‘s fundamental nature (yathābhūta) needs to be seen with wisdom in this way: ‘This is not mine, I am not this, this is not me (my essence).’”
Then Ven. Rahula asked: “Rūpameva nu kho, bhagavā, rūpameva nu kho, sugatā”ti?

Translation: “Only contemplate on rupa, Blessed One?”
The Buddha replied: “Rūpampi, rāhula, vedanāpi, rāhula, saññāpi, rāhula, saṅkhārāpi, rāhula, viññāṇampi, rāhulā”ti.”

Translation: “Rāhula, rupa, and also vedanā, saññā, saṅkhārā, and viññāṇa.”

- As we know, any sentient being can be described in terms of the five aggregates. First, one must understand that no “soul-like” permanent entity exists in any of those five. The Buddha was setting up the background for Ven. Rahla to cultivate Ānāpānasati by getting rid of sakkāya diṭṭhi.

Advice of Ven. Sariputta

2. Later in the day, Ven. Rahula was meditating on the true nature (yathābhūta) of the five aggregates; Venerable Sāriputta approached and advised as follows: “ānāpānassatiṁ, rāhula, bhāvanaṁ bhāvehi. Ānāpānassati, rāhula, bhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā mahapphalā hoti mahānisaṁsā”ti.”

Translation: “Rāhula, practice ānāpānassati. Rāhula, when ānāpānassati is practiced and cultivated, it will bring enormous benefits.”

- Then in the evening, Ven. Rāhula approached the Blessed One, paid respects to him, and asked, “Bhante, how should I practice ānāpānasati that is of great benefit?”
- The Buddha first advised how to set up the background to cultivate ānāpānasati. That is related to his instructions earlier in the day in #1 above. Both are about getting rid of sakkāya diṭṭhi.

Buddha’s Description of Ānāpānasati – The Basis

3. I will skip the Pāli verses starting at the 8.1 mark: “Mahārāhulovāda Sutta (MN 62)” ( ... =latin#8.1) and also only provide the essence of those verses to keep the post to a reasonable length. The following is Buddha’s advice to Ven. Rahula for first setting up the background to practice ānāpānassati.

- “Rāhula, think about the “hard components” that make up your physical body – hair, nails, teeth, skin, muscle, etc. – Rāhula, those are made of the earth element (pathavī dhātu).’ It is the same earth element in your body as in any other external object. One should think about pathavī dhātu as follows: ‘This is not mine, I am not this, this is not me (my essence).’ When one has accurately seen that with wisdom, one becomes disenchanted with the earth element (and the body), and the mind becomes dispassionate towards the earth element (and the body).
- “Rāhula, there are “liquid components” that make up your physical body – such as bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, etc. – are made of āpo dhātu. Whether āpo dhātu is internal or external, it is the same āpo dhātu. It should be correctly seen with wisdom in this way: ‘This is not mine, I am not this, this is not me (my essence).’When one has accurately seen that with wisdom, one becomes disenchanted with the āpo dhātu (and the body), and the mind becomes dispassionate towards āpo dhātu (and the body).
- “Rāhula, what is the “heat element” (tejo dhātu)? It may be internal or external. Rāhula, the internal “heat element” is that which keeps your body warm, that which leads to aging of the body, that which heats you when feverish, that which properly digests food and drink – Whether tejo dhātu is internal or external, it is the same tejo dhātu. One should think about tejo dhātu as follows: ‘This is not mine, I am not this, this is not me (my essence).’ When one has accurately seen that with wisdom, one becomes disenchanted with tejo dhātu (and the body), and the mind becomes dispassionate towards tejo dhātu (and the body).
- “Rāhula, what is the “air element” (vāyo dhātu)? Like the others, it may be internal or external. What is internal vāyo dhātu? Whatever internal personal component is experienced as air – such as upward air and downward air (through the body), the air in the abdomen, air moving along the limbs, inhalation, exhalation, etc. – Rāhula, this is internal vāyo dhātu. Whether vāyo dhātu is internal or external, it is the same vāyo dhātu. One should think about vāyo dhātu as follows: ‘This is not mine, I am not this, this is not me (my essence).’ When one has accurately seen that with wisdom, one becomes disenchanted with vāyo dhātu (and the body), and the mind becomes dispassionate towards vāyo dhātu (and the body).
- “Rāhula, what is ākāsa dhātu (space element)? It can be internal or external. What is the internal ākāsa dhātu? There is space within your body – such as the ear cavity, the nose-cavity, the mouth, the gullet, the stomach, the rectum, or any other internal personal component that is experienced as space or spacious – this is internal ākāsa dhātu. Whether ākāsa dhātu is internal or external, it is the same ākāsa dhātu. One should think about ākāsa dhātu as follows: ‘This is not mine, I am not this, this is not me (my essence).’ When one has accurately seen that with wisdom, one becomes disenchanted with ākāsa dhātu (and the body), and the mind becomes dispassionate towards ākāsa dhātu (and the body).

4. The point is that our physical body is made of the same “basic elements” as any other person, tree, or stone. In the terminology of modern science, everything in this world is made of the same set of atoms and shares the same space.

- The only thing we don’t share with anything else in the world is the (temporary) manomaya kāya (gandhabba.) Even then, the suddhāṭṭhaka are the same. The uniqueness is in the kammic energy that sustains the hadaya vatthu and the pasāda rupa.
- That manomaya kāya arises with kammic energy that WE create in OUR javana citta! Of course, any manomaya kāya has a finite lifetime. When it dies (loses its embedded kammic energy), our minds grasp one of many seeds for another manomaya kāya.
- That process will stop ONLY WHEN a mind loses its tendency (anusaya/āsava/gati) to be attached to things in this world!
- That happens only when one understands that no “soul/ātman” moves from life to life. That we, ourselves, create root causes and conditions via Akusala-Mula Paṭicca Samuppāda.

Buddha’s Prerequisites for Ānāpānasati

5. What we discussed above has critical implications for the next steps that the Buddha recommended to Ven. Rahula. There are two steps for cleansing a mind before start cultivating ānāpānasati.

(i) Follow a set of precepts (like the five or eight precepts), avoid immoral deeds and engage in moral deeds. People try to live with such “moral codes” because they want to avoid bad outcomes, such as “bad rebirths,” and have good outcomes, such as “good rebirths.”
(ii) The second step is understanding why precepts are for one’s benefit but are NOT ENOUGH to avoid future suffering. That means understanding that “working on getting good rebirths” WILL NOT stop future suffering. One must comprehend the Four Noble Truths/Paṭicca Samuppāda/Tilakkhana and realize that the only way to eliminate future suffering is to stop the rebirth process altogether.

- But that is a scary proposition for those who have not comprehended the Noble Truths about suffering. That is why the Buddha emphasized Ven. Rahula that there is no “soul/ātman” like entity that can be designed as “me.” However, that DOES NOT mean that we don’t exist. We do exist, but no permanent entity goes from life to life. We suffer mightily in the rebirth process (especially when born in the apāyās) because of that ignorance about the fundamental nature of this world.
- That is why getting rid of sakkāya diṭṭhi (the wrong view about a permanent “soul type” entity) MUST BE eliminated BEFORE PRACTICING ānāpānassati. Future lives (jāti) arise due to acting with avijjā, i.e., via the Paṭicca Samuppāda process starting with “avijjā paccayā saṅkhāra.”

Buddha’s Description of Ānāpānasati – Way to Cleanse the Mind

6. After explaining that all our desires and false expectations arise from the wrong view of an “everlasting soul-like entity,” the Buddha explained several procedures for cleansing the mind of accumulated defilements and not accumulating more. That starts at the 13.1 mark.

- First, the Buddha described the correct version of “kasina meditation.” The version in Visuddhimagga — using clay balls, water bowls, fires, etc. — is not in the Tipiṭaka. Here, the point is that the “four great elements” (pathavi, āpo, tejo, vāyo) are inert and are not “bothered” by external influences. The mind starts generating defilements when attached to sensory inputs from worldly things made of those inert things.
“Rāhula, live as the earth does. When people put clean things or unclean things like excrement, urine, saliva, pus, or blood on the earth, the earth is not bothered, humiliated, or disgusted. Then sensations that arise – whether pleasing or displeasing – will not dominate your mind.”

“Rāhula, live as the water does. When people dispense clean things or unclean things like excrement, urine, saliva, pus, or blood in the water, the water is not bothered, humiliated, or disgusted. In the same way, Rāhula, when you are not bothered by praises or insults that others throw at you, your mind will not be perturbed.”

“Rāhula, live like a fire. Rāhula, people throw clean and unclean things, like feces, urine, and spit, into fires. But the fire is not bothered, humiliated, or disgusted. It burns them all. In the same way, Rāhula, when you learn to live with equanimity, pleasant and unpleasant contacts will not occupy your mind.”

“Rāhula, learn to live like the wind. If the wind were to blow on clean things or unclean things like feces, urine, spit, etc., the wind would not be excited, horrified, repelled, and disgusted. It will get rid of all those in due time. In the same way, Rāhula, don’t let external sensory contacts perturb the mind.”

“Rāhula, learn to live like space (ākāsa dhātu). Just as space is not established anywhere, don’t let sensory contacts take root in your mind.”

7. Of course, those steps can be followed correctly only after comprehending the unfruitful/dangerous nature of ALL realms in this world, not only the apāyās. This is why the Buddha said (in the “Ānāpānassati Sutta (MN 118)”) ( ... ript=latin) that he recommends ānāpānasati to only those with lokuttara Sammā Sati.

Nāhaṁ, bhikkhave, muṭṭhassatissa asampajānassa ānāpānassatiṁ vadāmi.

- Translation: “I do not teach this Ānāpānasati (Bhāvanā) to those who do not have (sammā) sati.”
- The meaning of “muṭṭha” is quite evident in verse “‘Rūpaṁ disvā sati muṭṭhā” or “‘When you see a sight (and attaches to it), mindfulness is lost” in “Mālukyaputta Sutta (SN 35.95)“. ... latin#12.1
- Anyone who has not understood the Four Noble Truths/Paṭicca Samuppāda/Tilakkhana would not have Sammā Sati.
- See “Ānāpānasati – Overview.”

Rest of the Background Required for Ānāpānasati

8. I have now discussed the above critical points up to marker 18.1: “Mahārāhulovāda Sutta (MN 62).” ... latin#18.1

- The Buddha then advised Venerable Rahula to contemplate that all sentient beings are trapped in this suffering-filled world. That would help cultivate mettā, karunā, muditā, and upekkhā.
- Then he again emphasized the need to contemplate the asubha and anicca nature of “this world” of 31 realms” (at marker 22.1.)
- Thus, up to marker 24.1, the Buddha described the background mindset required for cultivating ānāpānasati.
In the remaining part of the Mahārāhulovāda Sutta, the Buddha repeated the critical steps in ānāpānasati. That is the last step in a three-step process to Arahanthood, as summarized next.

Rest of the Mahārāhulovāda Sutta Repeats Key Steps in Ānāpānasati

9. As we have discussed repeatedly, the way to Nibbāna has three critical steps.

- Cultivate the mundane path and remove the ten types of micchā diṭṭhi. It would be impossible to cleanse a mind without getting rid of the first layer of wrong views.
- The second layer of wrong views is the mindset that future suffering can be eliminated by seeking births in Deva or Brahma realms. The uniqueness of Buddha’s teachings is the following. Suffering is present at various levels in all the realms of this world, and until escaping (or transcending) this world, it will not be possible to stop the worst suffering in the apāyās in the future. Those wrong views (mainly sakkāya diṭṭhi) are removed at the Sotapanna stage with lokuttara Sammā diṭṭhi (comprehension of Four Noble Truths/Paṭicca Samuppāda/Tilakkhana. This is only a change of mindset, but it requires a dedicated effort.
- The third layer is to follow the vision (Noble Path) gained by cultivating the correct versions of Ānāpānasati (same as Satipaṭṭhāna.) That leads to Arahathood. But these days, people start with Ānāpānasati, incorrectly assuming that it is “breath mediation.” One MUST attain the Sotapanna stage BEFORE starting on the lokuttara version of Ānāpānasati.

10. Up to marker 24.1, the “Mahārāhulovāda Sutta (MN 62)” ( ... latin#24.1) discussed completing the first two steps of #9 above. In the rest of the sutta, the Buddha outlined the critical steps in ānāpānasati, the same as in “Ānāpānassati Sutta (MN 118)” and “Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta (MN 10).”

- At marker 24.1, the description of ānāpānasati starts with the verse: “Ānāpānassatiṁ, rāhula, bhāvanaṁ bhāvehi” meaning “Rāhula, cultivate ānāpānasati.”
- That is followed by the standard verses in Ānāpānasati/Satipaṭṭhāna, starting with the verse, “Ānāpānassati hi te, rāhula, bhāvitā bahulīkatā mahapphalā hoti mahānisaṁsā” or “When ānāpānasati is developed and cultivated, it will be of great benefit” followed by “Idha, rāhula, bhikkhu araññagato vā rukkhamūlagato vā suññāgāragato vā nisīdati pallaṅkaṁ ābhujitvā ujuṁ kāyaṁ paṇidhāya parimukhaṁ satiṁ upaṭṭhapetvā.”
- Now you should realize that the next verse, “So satova assasati satova passasati,” is NOT about breathing in and out. For details, see the other posts referred to above.
- There “assasati” is “assa sati” and “passasati” is “passa sati.” It is true that “assāsa” and “passāsa” can mean “in breath” and “out breath.” But here, the keyword “sati” means Sammā Sati on the Noble Path attained at the Sotapanna stage. Of course, if one is still on the mundane path, that means "taking in good morals" and "getting rid of immoral."
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal »

I have rewritten the following post. It explains why most of the terms in Paṭicca Samuppāda (including saṅkhāra, viññāṇa, phassa, vedana) need to be explained in detail.

Sutta Interpretation – Uddēsa, Niddēsa, Paṭiniddēsa

Explanation of dhamma concepts in the Tipiṭaka comes under three categories: “uddēsa, niddēsa, paṭiniddēsa.” One should not translate the uddesa version directly from Pāli to other languages.

Word-by-Word Translations Lead to Confusion

1. Many suttās are in the “uddesa” or “utterance” form; see #2 below. Word-for-word translation of such suttās can lead to utter confusion Keywords like viññāṇa and saṅkhāra have different meanings depending on the context.

- Most suttās only give only the uddesa form of the Paṭiloma (reverse) Paṭicca Samuppāda, for example, “avijjā nirodhā.. viññāṇa nirodho.” If that is translated word-by-word as “when ignorance ceases,. . consciousness ceases,” that leads to utter confusion. Did the Buddha lose consciousness upon attaining Enlightenment? Would an Arahant lose consciousness upon attaining Arahanthood? That is the danger of direct word-for-word translations! Not only that, those direct translations say sensory contacts, and vedanā, also stop arsing with the cessation of avijjā! See, for example, “Paṭi­c­ca­samu­p­pāda­ Sutta (SN 12.1).“ ... =latin#3.2
- Many terms in Paṭicca Samuppāda (saṅkhāra, viññāṇa, phassa, vedana) need to be explained in detail. Many online discussions illustrate the confusion: “Do Arhats experience contact with their sixfold sense media? What about vedanā?” (viewtopic.php?p=655293#p655293) “Cessation of DO?” ( ... f-do/25054) and “Vedana” (viewtopic.php?p=699591#p699591) are just a few examples.
- I discussed that problem in “Distortion of Pāli Keywords in Paṭicca Samuppāda.”viewtopic.php?p=655847#p655847

Dhamma Concepts Explained at Three Levels

2. Explanation of dhamma concepts in the Tipiṭaka comes under three categories: “uddēsa, niddēsa, paṭiniddēsa.” A fundamental concept is first stated (“uddēsa” or “utterance”). “Niddēsa” is a “brief explanation.” Finally, “paṭiniddēsa” explains in detail with examples to clarify complex or “knotty” points.

- For example, “yē dhammā hetuppabbavā.Tesaṃ hētuṃ tathāgato āha; Tesañca yo nirōdhō, Evaṃvādī mahāsamaṇō” is the uddēsa version.
- In English, the uddēsa version is: “Of those phenomena which arise from causes. Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata (Buddha), And their cessation too – thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.”
- The fundamental characteristics of “this world” state that everything arises due to causes. But that explanation is not enough to understand the embedded deep concepts. Upatissa (who later became Ven. Sariputta) attained the Sotapanna stage by hearing that uddēsa version from Ven. Assaji. - See “Ye Dhammā Hetuppabhavā.. and Yam Kiñci Samudaya Dhammam..“ ... a-dhammam/

3. Therefore, word-for-word translation is NOT enough to convey the teachings of the Buddha to an average person.

- The next level of explanation is the niddesa” version. A teacher must explain that “dhammā” here refers to the kammic energies created by the three root causes (hetu): lobha, dosa, and moha. Cessation of avijjā (ignorance of the Four Nobel Truths) leads to eliminating those root causes and thus to Nibbāna.
- Clarification of each term in Paṭicca Samuppāda (avijjā, saṅkhāra, viññāna, nāmarupa,” leading to “upādāna, bhava, jāti, and suffering) requires long explanations with examples. That is the paṭiniddesa explanation.

4. Some sections of the Tipiṭaka have an explicit niddesa version. However, that is mainly in the Original commentaries that explain certain concepts in SOME detail.

- For example, the correct Ānāpānasati is discussed in detail in.”Ānāpānassatikathā” ( ... ript=latin) and Paṭi­c­ca­ Samu­p­pāda discussed in detail at “Paṭi­c­ca­samu­p­pāda­vibhaṅga.” ... ript=latin

Patiniddēsa (Detailed Explanation) in Commentaries and Discourses

5. During the Buddha’s time, other bhikkhus explained each sutta in detail to audiences when they delivered discourses. That is the “paṭiniddēsa” version. Especially after the Buddha’s Parinibbāna, many Arahants started composing “Attakathā” or commentaries on fundamental concepts. But a few were composed during the time of the Buddha. Of course, these were also composed in a way suitable for oral transmission and, thus, do not have lengthy explanations.

- Three original early commentaries remain preserved in the Tipiṭaka: Paṭisambidhā Magga Prakarana, Nettipparakana, and Petakōpadesa. Of these, the Paṭisambidhā Magga Prakarana consists of the analyses by Ven. Sariputta, one of the chief disciples of the Buddha, and the Nettipparakana by Ven. Maha Kaccāyana. Thus we are lucky to have these three original commentaries still with us.
- These three books contain “niddesa/paṭiniddēsa” versions of many essential suttās, which describe the keywords/phrases in a given sutta. Other excellent commentaries have been lost; see “Incorrect Thēravada Interpretations – Historical Timeline” ( ... -timeline/) and “Buddhaghōsa and Visuddhimagga – Historical Background.” ... ackground/

Most People Today Need Patiniddēsa (Detailed Explanation)

6. During the time of the Buddha, some could understand just the uddēsa version. For example, Upatissa and Kolita (who became Ven. Sariputta and Ven. Moggalana later) became Sōtapannas upon hearing the verse, “yē Dhamma hetupabbhavā..…”. They had done much in their past lives and needed “just a little push” to complete that understanding. They are called ugghaṭitañña or “persons with high wisdom.”

- And many could understand the niddēsa version. Those were vipañcitañña and needed a bit more explanation to grasp the concepts. “Ugghaṭi­tañ­ñū Sutta (AN 4.133)” ( ... ript=latin) discusses the four categories of persons — ugghaṭitañña, vipañcitañña, neyya, and padaparama.
- However, most people today are in the lower category of neyya and padaparama. They need detailed explanations (i.e., paṭiniddēsa) to grasp a concept. They also belong to two groups. Those with tihetuka paṭisandhi (optimum births) can attain magga phala in this life. But those with dvihetuka paṭisandhi (inferior births) cannot achieve magga phala but can accrue merits to attain magga phala in future lives. Of course, there is no way for anyone to figure out (except for a Buddha) whether a particular person has a tihetuka or dvihetuka paṭisandhi.
- It is essential to realize that those who are either ugghaṭitañña or vipañcitañña had been neyya and padaparama persons in previous lives. They had strived to gain more wisdom and now benefitting from this life. Thus there is no point worrying about whether one is a tihetuka or dvihetuka. This is the concept of “pāramitā“; see “Pāramitā and Niyata Vivarana – Myths or Realities?“ ... realities/

Erroneous Commentaries Are Harmful

7. There are many erroneous commentaries today. The best example is the Visuddhimagga of Buddhaghosa. It was written around 400 CE (where CE is “Current Era” or AD) when the “pure Buddha Dhamma” was already lost, and the conventional meanings were commonplace, just as now.

- The “pure Dhamma” has been lost for an extended period from about 200 CE up to now. See “Incorrect Thēravada Interpretations – Historical Timeline.” ( ... -timeline/) But the original suttā survived because people at least used and preserved them even if they used the “conventional” or “mundane” (“padaparama” in Pāli) meanings.
- Thus, we can see why people have been translating suttās “word for word” and just getting the conventional meanings. But it can also lead to contradictions and confusion, as we saw above. Profound verses in suttās need detailed explanations.

Many Suttās Are in Uddēsa or Niddēsa Versions

8. Most suttās are in uddēsa or niddēsa versions (Digha Nikāya is an exception, even though some verses do have deeper meanings). They require detailed explanations. Translating word-by-word is not appropriate in many instances.

- For example, “anicca, dukkha, anatta” is only in the niddēsa version in Dhamma Cakka Pavattana Sutta and Anatta Lakkhana Sutta.
- However, each sutta took many hours to deliver. It was impossible to condense all that information in a sutta for primarily oral transmission that was available at the time. Each sutta is condensed (most likely by the Buddha himself; see below).

Tipiṭaka Was Compiled for Faithful Oral Transmission

9. The Buddha knew that Buddha Dhamma would go through periods of decline where bhikkhus capable of interpreting deep suttā would not be present. Thus suttā were composed so that only the “conventional” meaning was apparent. That was necessary to preserve the suttā, especially before writing became commonplace.

- It is important to remember that Ven. Ananda had memorized all the suttās that he recited at the First Buddhist Council, just three months after Buddha’s Parinibbāna. They are in a format suitable for oral transmission.
- Ven. Ananda was Buddha’s assistant over the last few decades of the Buddha’s life. I believe that the Buddha condensed each sutta and Ven. Ananda memorized each of them. The Buddha synthesized each sutta in a “double meaning” way for them to survive the “dark periods.” That part is my theory, and I believe it will be proven accurate.
- Then, at the first Buddhist Council, all the suttās were recited and sorted into various categories (Nikāyās).

Deeper Meanings Can Stay Hidden for Long Times

10. There are long periods when the correct teachings remain “underground” or “hidden.” That happened just 500 years after the Parinibbāna of the Buddha with the emergence of Mahāyāna Buddhism. During such times, people use conventional interpretations. And that served the purpose of keeping the suttā intact, especially before written texts became common.

- A perfect example is the Ānāpānasati Sutta (or the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta). The conventional meaning is to tie up “āna” with breath inhaling and “āpāna” with breath exhaling.
- That was consistent with the breath meditation that has been there in the world at any time. Many yogis practiced it even before the time of the Buddha. Before attaining Buddhahood, he learned those methods from such yogis.
- For details, see “Elephant in the Room 3 – Ānāpānasati.” ... apanasati/

Special Role of Jāti Sōtapannas With Paṭisambidhā Ñāna

11. From time to time, jāti Sōtapannas are born. They had attained the Sōtapanna stage in a previous life, possibly when Buddha was alive. They likely have had births in the Deva loka for a long time and are reborn humans now.

- However, not all jāti Sōtapannas can explain Buddha Dhamma to others. Some have the unique capability to interpret the keywords/phrases in the suttā. This specialized knowledge is “Paṭisambidhā Ñāna.”
- Waharaka Thero was such a jāti Sōtapanna with Paṭisambidhā Ñāna. He brought out these deeper meanings in recent years. See, “Parinibbāna of Waharaka Thēro.” ... aka-thero/

Misinterpretation of Dhamma Concepts Is an Offense

12. It is an offense (pārājika) to misinterpret suttās (and dhamma concepts in general.) That is in several suttā in the Bālavagga of Aṅguttara Nikāya 2. ... ript=latin

- For example, AN 2.25 is a short sutta that says: “Dveme, bhikkhave, tathāgataṃ ­nābbhā­cik­khanti. Katame dve? Yo ca neyyatthaṃ suttantaṃ neyyattho suttantoti dīpeti, yo ca nītatthaṃ suttantaṃ nītattho suttantoti dīpeti. Ime kho, bhikkhave, dve tathāgataṃ ­nābbhā­cik­khantī” ti.
Translation (to provide the idea): “Monks, these two people slander the Tathagata. Which two? One who briefly explains a deep discourse when it needs a detailed explanation. The other explains a discourse in detail whose meaning is already clear. These are two who slander the Tathāgata.”
- Two perfect examples of the first type of slander say that the words anicca and anatta are fully explained by “impermanence” and “no-self.” Those two concepts require detailed explanations. See “Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta.” ... -anatta-2/

Checking for Inter-Consistency Among the Three Piṭakas Is the Key

13. The Buddha advised resolving any issues by consulting the three Piṭakas: Sutta, Vinaya, and Abhidhamma.

- For example, a concept in the Sutta Piṭaka, for instance, must be consistent with other places in the Sutta Piṭaka. It must also be compatible with explanations in the Abhidhamma Piṭaka and the Vinaya Piṭaka. See “Buddha Dhamma: Non-Perceivability and Self-Consistency.” ... nsistency/
- As the Buddha emphasized, what matters is to get the IDEA across and not memorize the Pāli suttās. (Memorization is needed only for transmission purposes).


14. The following are the key points from the above discussion that I wish to emphasize:

- The suttās convey “conventional” meanings while keeping the “deep meanings” embedded in them.
- Those “deep meanings” bring out the uniqueness of Buddha Dhamma.
- Word-for-word translation of a sutta does not convey the message of the Buddha. Examples are critical Pāli words like viññāṇa, saṅkhāra, anicca, and anatta.
- The surviving three original commentaries in the Tipiṭaka can verify the deep meanings of the keywords/phrases.

Good Resource for Pāli Tipiṭaka

15. A helpful resource for finding Pāli Tipiṭaka (and translations in several languages) is

- Once you open a sutta, click on the left-most drop-down to choose one of several languages. That is a valuable resource; consider donating if you find it useful.
- However, as I explained above, those translations (and most English translations elsewhere) are frequently incorrect.
- But at least one can see the correct Pāli version.
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal »

A little while ago, I posted the following in a different thread: "Difference Between the Worldviews of the Buddha and Modern Science": viewtopic.php?p=714087#p714087

It gives a different perspective on the connection between kamma/kamma vipaka and Paticca Samuppada.
- You may want to read the whole thread when you have time. But it will be beneficial to read at least the above-linked post.
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal »

I have continued to participate in the above discussion. I posted the following rough draft there yesterday:
"Introduction to Paticca Samuppada - Kamma Formation": viewtopic.php?p=714747#p714747

I will finalize that and post it here when I have the time. If you read the above post and have questions, please ask them there. I can address any questions there.
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal »

The following is a summary of the fundamentals of Buddha Dhamma. I will be making such summaries that could be helpful.

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal »

Using charts is an efficient way of understanding the critical concepts in Buddha Dhamma. I will have a series of charts with accompanying posts with details.

Chart 2. Nibbāna - End of Suffering:

Details are in the following post:

Buddhism without Rebirth and Nibbāna?

Rebirth and Nibbāna are core axioms in Buddha Dhamma (Buddhism). However, one does not need to believe in either rebirth or Nibbāna to get started.


1. I participated in several internet forums on “Buddhism” in 2013 and 2014. One thing that stands out is that many people like Buddhism, but they cannot understand what the big deal is about rebirth, and they cannot comprehend what Nibbāna is. Thinking is: Why can’t we have Buddhism without rebirth (because I do not believe in rebirth) and Nibbāna (because that seems too complicated)?

They are turned off by the concept of rebirth and are mystified by the concept of Nibbāna.

Rebirth. I think the first issue is that most major religions are based on three levels of existence: This life and one of two eternal stages of life after that; committed to either heaven or hell for eternity based on what one does in this life. That model is straightforward. Buddha’s 31 realms of existence with many “unseen beings” seems far-fetched. Also, the possibility of being reborn as an animal is a disgusting thought similar to the one people had about “evolving from the monkeys” before the theory of evolution.

Nibbāna. The second issue has become a problem mainly because of Mahāyāna doctrines. Mahāyāna sect arose basically out of the philosophical analyses of Nibbāna by Nagarjuna, Asanga, and other Mahāyāna forefathers. They could not understand the concept of Nibbāna or what happens to an Arahant upon death. So, they came up with concepts like suñyatā (suññatā) or emptiness; see, “What is Sunyata or Sunnata (Emptiness).” ... emptiness/

Need for Understanding the Basics

2. There are two co-existing facets of Buddha Dhamma:

- The Buddha said, “This Dhamma is unlike anything the world has ever seen.” It needs a paradigm change to get into the “new perspective about this worldview of the Buddha.” To understand the core message, one must put aside all preconceived notions.
- The Buddha also said, “My Dhamma is good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good at the end.” There is something to be gained from Buddha Dhamma for people who just learned about it. This is why I have separated posts into three categories on the site.
- In Bhikkhu Bodhi’s book, “In the Buddha’s Words,” there is a chapter on “The Happiness Visible in this Present Life,” where Buddha’s discourses to those who did not have an aspiration to attain Nibbāna but were interested in pursuing moral lives, are described.
- The concepts such as rebirth and Nibbāna are paradigm-changing concepts. But as one follows what one understands, these concepts will become evident; I have summarized these two concepts below. But it will take much more effort and reading many more posts if one is interested in understanding Buddha Dhamma.
- For those who do not believe in rebirth, there is a simple way to get started without believing in the rebirth process. I strongly suggest the following post: “Starting on the Path without Belief in Rebirth.”

“Secular Buddhism” Can Be a Stepping Stone

3. However, in the end — If one is to benefit fully from Buddha Dhamma — one needs to understand its core message. And that core message is that this life is only but a little time in the cycle of rebirths that we have been on from eternity and that “our world” is much more complex than we see, with 31 realms instead of the two (human and animal realms) that we see. Even more significantly, the suffering in many of the lower realms of existence is much worse than that in the human or animal realm.

- That is a LOT of things to accept as a basis. But we are fortunate compared to those who lived even a hundred years ago. Because now we have EVIDENCE to back up this more comprehensive worldview of the Buddha; see “Views on Life.” ... s-on-life/
- And both major Mahāyāna sects and Theravāda Buddhism believe in rebirth and the concept of Nibbāna. All Buddhists (except the type Stephen Batchelor, who has written some popular books on Buddhism) believe in rebirth and Nibbāna. The label “secular Buddhism” describes those who like other aspects of Buddhism (basically moral living and meditation) but not necessarily rebirth and Nibbāna.
- Thus, a Buddhist not believing in rebirth/Nibbāna is an oxymoron. The Pāli or Sinhala word for Buddhist is “Bhauddhaya,” meaning “a person trying the stop the rebirth process” (“Bhava+uddha”). Buddha Dhamma means “path or method of removing bhava and thus stopping the rebirth process.” Buddha means “one who has removed bhava (and attained Nibbāna).”
- However, there is no need to accept rebirth forcefully without believing in it; that would not work in the long term. One can start at a point where one can experience the other type of hidden suffering in this life: “Starting on the Path without Belief in Rebirth.” ... n-rebirth/

4. Therefore, one can be a “secular Buddhist”; that could be an intermediate state (stepping stone) before becoming a Buddhist. We need to understand the concepts clearly. Since there is no formal established way to declare oneself a “Buddhist” (or a need to do that), it is really in one’s mind whether one is a Buddhist or not. The Buddha clearly stated that each person is at his/her level of understanding. And there is no need to pretend; what one believes is what it is. The critical thing is to make sure one is fully informed.

- One does not become a Buddhist by reciting the precepts. One becomes a Buddhist gradually as the mind embraces the worldview of the Buddha and realizes that real happiness is attained by comprehending the true nature of this world: anicca, dukkha, anatta, and eventually by stopping the rebirth process.

5. In the meantime, it is essential to realize that particular wrong views are bound to have adverse consequences, according to Buddha Dhamma. Established (firm) view that there is no rebirth process is one included in micchā diṭṭhi, which is one of the (strong) dasa akusala, that makes a birth in the apāyā (four lowest realms of existence) possible. It is unnecessary to firmly believe in rebirth at once; one should at least leave that as a possibility. What is critical is not to have niyata (established) micchā diṭṭhi.

- Faith in Buddha Dhamma differs from other religions; belief in rebirth or Nibbāna are not tenets. One either believes in them or does not; see, “Is Buddha Dhamma (Buddhism) a Religion?“. One MAY change one’s view after looking at the facts, especially if one can experience the release from one kind of suffering; see “Starting on the Path without Belief in Rebirth.” ... n-rebirth/

Sorting Through Many Interpretations

6. Finally, it will take a real effort to sort through all the different versions of “Buddhism” out there. Over two thousand five hundred years, just like now, people have tried to “mold” Buddha Dhamma into a form they like, which is why we have so many versions. But when that is done, the uniqueness, the real message, gets lost. We need to keep intact this unique message, with the understanding that not everyone comprehends it right away.

- The key is to discard any version or aspect that does not provide a consistent picture. Buddha Dhamma describes the laws of nature, and there cannot be any inconsistencies. That is what I am trying to do with this website. If you see something inconsistent on the website, please let me know.
- I use the Tipiṭaka (Pāli Canon) as the basis. It was written over two thousand years ago (by Arahants who had experienced Nibbāna) and is the oldest document encompassing the three central teachings: Suttā, Vinaya, and Abhidhamma.
- I have documented the flaws in Mahāyāna and (to a lesser extent) in current Theravāda books by pointing out the inconsistencies with the Tipiṭaka. Also, I show that everything is self-consistent, which is the scientific basis to illustrate the validity of a theory. Newton’s theory of gravity had to be modified because they were inconsistent with finer measurements.

7. It does not matter what we believe personally. We need to find the actual laws of nature that the Buddha discovered. Laws of nature, like gravity or laws of motion, do not care about our beliefs; see “Why it is Critical to Find the Pure Buddha Dhamma.” ... ha-dhamma/

- Just like in modern science, one needs to discard any inconsistent interpretations. See “Buddha Dhamma: Non-Perceivability and Self-Consistency.” ... nsistency/ Many current interpretations, even within the Theravāda tradition, have numerous inconsistencies; see “Elephants in the Room.”, the existing Tipiṭaka is fully self-consistent if the correct meanings of keywords like viññāna, saṅkhāra, anicca, anatta, etc. are adopted as explained there.
- Buddha Dhamma (in its pure form) has withstood all tests; see “Dhamma and Science – Introduction.” ... roduction/Both current Mahāyāna and Theravāda teachings must be revised back to the original. It can be proven that there are self-contradictions within both sects and contradictions with the teachings of the Buddha. A series of posts point out these “problem areas,” starting with “Key Problems with Mahāyāna Teachings.” ... teachings/
- Having established that rebirth and Nibbāna are the “lifeblood” of Buddha Dhamma, we can now turn to the following question: What evidence is there to “prove” rebirth? What is the big deal about Nibbāna, which sounds so esoteric?


8. I have summarized some of the existing evidence for rebirth; see “Evidence for Rebirth.” ( I am unsure what will qualify as “proof,” but one thing is obvious: A strong case can be made for it. There is evidence from many different areas consistent with the Buddha’s other teachings, for example, the existence of a manōmaya kāya; see “Manomaya Kaya (Gandhabba) and the Physical Body.” ... ical-body/

- If a person can believe even a SINGLE piece of evidence presented there, it is not possible to explain that without accepting that there is a link between such two lives. Since there is no physical connection between the two lives (many miles apart), the connection must be outside the physical realm, i.e., the mental energy. There is new evidence from “quantum entanglement” consistent with the presumption that everything in this world is interconnected; see “Quantum Entanglement – We Are All Connected.”
- However, one can verify the rebirth process by developing abhiññā powers via developing the fourth jhāna. One can then “see” one’s previous lives; see “Power of the Human Mind – Introduction” and the follow-up posts. And some have developed such abhiññā powers, and this number can be expected to grow. When many people can verify the rebirth process, it will be accepted. Today, not everyone has traveled outside their own country. But everyone accepts that all those countries exist because they believe the accounts of those who have visited.
- And recent evidence confirms that there is indeed an unbroken memory record, at least in this life; see “Recent Evidence for Unbroken Memory Records (HSAM).” ... ords-hsam/


9. “Bāna” in Pāli and Sinhala means “bondage”; thus, Nibbāna means becoming free of bondage (to this world). We are bound to the unending cycle of rebirths via ten fetters called “sanyōjana = “san+yōjana”; see, “What is “San”? Meaning of Sansāra (or Samsāra)“( ... a-akusala/) ; yōjana means bond. Sanyōjana rhymes like saṃyojana, and that is how it is usually written.

- The ten saṃyojana are removed via the four stages of Nibbāna: three at the Sōtapanna stage, two reduced at the Sakadāgāmi stage and removed at the Anāgāmi stage, and the remaining five removed at the Arahant stage.
- Removal of the ten saṃyojana also removes greed, hate, and ignorance from our minds; the nirāmisa sukha increases step-wise at each of the four stages, and the “cooling down” or “nivana” becomes complete; see “How to Taste Nibbāna.” There are many synonyms for Nibbāna, and nivana (or niveema) is one of them. The Sanskrit name “nirvana” does not convey any of these meanings.

10. When the mind becomes pure, a being is not reborn anywhere in the 31 realms. The mind has attained full release and unconditioned happiness called nirāmisa sukha. Thus Nibbāna is stopping the rebirth process; the suffering stops. it is as simple as that. That mind cannot grasp an existence anywhere in “the 31 realms”. The mind becomes free of a body subject to decay and death (suffering). That is Nibbāna.

- The terminology of “this world” cannot describe the Nibbānic experience; it is transcendental or “lōkuttara” beyond “this world”; see, “Nibbāna “Exists”, but Not in This World.” ... his-world/
- Also, all we can say about what happens to an Arahant at his/her death is that he/she will not be reborn in “this world” of 31 realms. There is no more suffering. The mind is free of bondage to a physical body that leads to so much suffering.
- Many say, “What suffering? I do not feel that much suffering”. But the real suffering is in the lowest four realms, so the complete picture of the 31 realms of existence is essential. Furthermore, there is much suffering that is masked, especially when one is young. As one age, one will inevitably start experiencing suffering at a higher degree and then face death. Here is a video that illustrates this point:

11. That happens to all of us. However, the point is NOT to get depressed about this inevitability. Some people get depressed thinking about old age and try to “give up” everything to follow the Path of the Buddha.

- Someone unfamiliar with Buddha Dhamma can’t start working on attaining Arahanthood immediately, and it is not advised either. It needs to be done with understanding. As one follows the Path and learns Dhamma, one could start feeling the early stages of Nibbānic pleasure (nirāmisa sukha) and thus will start having fact-based faith on concepts like rebirth and Nibbāna: see “Is It Necessary for a Buddhist to Eliminate Sensual Desires?” ( ... l-desires/) and “Three Kinds of Happiness – What is Niramisa Sukha?“.
- Have you seen any depressed Buddhist monks? They have given up worldly pleasures voluntarily, NOT with the mindset of a depressed person. Depression leads to hate; “giving up” is done with wisdom.
- This is only a summary. All these are described in detail with supporting evidence on this website. The critical point is that EVERYTHING we observe, all we experience CAN be explained with the complete “worldview” of the Buddha, of which rebirth and Nibbāna are essential foundations.

One does not need to know all that if all one needs is peace of mind. One could follow the basic guidelines for a moral life that the Buddha provided. However, his key message was that this 100-year life could only be compared to a “drop of water in a huge ocean,” a cycle of rebirths filled with suffering. Thus one should at least critically examine the evidence to see whether that message needs to be taken seriously.
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal »

Chart 3. Rebirth - Axiom of Buddha Dhamma:


Details are in the following post:

Evidence for Rebirth

Rebirth is a foundational axiom of Buddhism (Buddha Dhamma.) There is much evidence from rebirth accounts, Near Death Experiences, child prodigies, and other areas.


1. Most people in Western societies are not familiar with the concept of rebirth. However, that is changing because there is a lot of evidence emerging, and scientists and philosophers are beginning to take it seriously.

- One needs to look at the mounting evidence without any preconceived ideas. There is no plausible way to explain these accounts from a purely “materialistic” point of view, i.e., that consciousness arises from inert matter. The brain does not produce consciousness but plays a critical role in human consciousness: “Brain – Interface between Mind and Body.”
- Here is a video of a recent discussion on Western research on children’s past lives, Near Death Experiences, etc.:

OBE and NDE Studies

2. Near Death Experiences, or NDEs, are unique and fascinating phenomena that occur when an individual comes close to death, either through a life-threatening event or a medical emergency. Even with being declared dead with no brain function, individuals report seeing their “dead bodies” from above and what happened even in other rooms. They could move with their “mental bodies.” In recent years, modern science has become interested in NDEs because some accounts of those who go through such experiences can be tested. Ongoing studies may significantly impact scientific thinking about consciousness in the coming years.

Here is a popular youtube video on the presentation of a physician on Near-Death Experiences:

The following is a documentary on this area of research.

There is an ever-growing number of reports of Out-of-Body Experiences (OBE) and Near-Death Experiences (NDE) that not only support rebirth but also are consistent with the concept of a ‘mental body” or “manōmaya kāya“; see, “Out-of-Body Experience (OBE) and Manōmaya Kāya” and other related posts. ... ience-obe/

3. There are many youtube videos, but here are three recent books on these subjects:

“Consciousness Beyond Life” by Pim van Lommel (2010) gives detailed accounts of case studies on NDE by a renowned cardiologist.
“After: A Doctor Explores What Near-Death Experiences Reveal about Life and Beyond” by Bruce Greyson (2021).
“Brain Wars” by Mario Beauregard (2012) is a book by a scientist on NDE, OBE, and the mind-body problem in general.
“Dying to be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing,” by Anita Moorjani (2012), is a personal story of a cancer survivor who had been diagnosed to die within a few weeks but had an “unexplainable recovery” within days during which time she had an out-of-body experience.

Rebirth Accounts

4. The late Professor Ian Stevenson at the University of Virginia conducted over 20 years of research on the authenticity of rebirth accounts, which Professor Jim Tucker is continuing.

- These two professors have written several books about rebirth. A good book is “Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation” by Ian Stevenson. By the way, Professor Stevenson became a Buddhist later on in his life, presumably because of his studies (see “Rebirth as Doctrine and Experience” by Francis Story (2003); first edition 1975). He mentions this in the introduction he wrote to this book by Francis Story; I have scanned that introduction: “Introduction to “Rebirth by Francis Story – Ian Stevenson.”
- Here is a video that discusses the work of the late Dr. Ian Stevenson, Dr. Jim Tucker, and colleagues at the University of Virginia:

5. In their book, “Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot,” Bruce and Andrea Leininger detail the amazing story of their son’s recount of a past life.

- Here is a recent YouTube video on James Leininger’s rebirth account:

- Here is another story of the rebirth of a Civil War General:

- Here is a three-year-old chanting Buddhist suttā (and doing a very good job). Can a three-year-old memorize such complex lines of suttā?

- Also, see the post, “Boy Who Remembered Pāli Suttas for 1500 Years.” ( ... 500-years/) This is a true story about a boy (Dhammaruwan) who recited complex and lengthy Pāli suttā at five years of age, which sounded very different from current chantings. Furthermore, he remembers accounts of his previous life 1500 years ago, when he accompanied the famous Buddhaghosa on his trip to Sri Lanka.

Child Prodigies

- Another piece of evidence comes from child prodigies. Here is a report on “10 Mind-Blowing Child Prodigies”:

- Here is a list of child prodigies from Wikipedia. You will recognize many of the names:
List of Child Prodigies:

- Here is the link to the Wikipedia article on child prodigies:
Child Prodigy:

Evidence for Rebirth Much Stronger Than Perceived

6. Many people say that direct “proof” for rebirth cannot be given; it is the other way around. If one’s memories are in the brain (as science believes), all those memories will be lost when one dies. There is no “physical connection” between the brains of those involved in the rebirth stories.

- Therefore, even if just one of those rebirth accounts can be proven true, there is no way to explain that other than rebirth. How can the brain in this life recall memories from the brain in a previous life?
- If there is a connection between two lives that lived in two geographical locations (also separated by time), there is no explanation for that in current science, i.e., no way to make a connection between the DNA of those two “persons.” A purely materialistic view cannot explain it.
- Recent scientific findings show that matter in different locations is entangled at a fundamental level; see “Quantum Entanglement – We Are All Connected.”( ... connected/) Also, “a living just going from one physical body to another”; see, “Who Reincarnates? – Concept of a Lifestream“. ... ifestream/

7. Also, it is by having this presumption of rebirth that all of the seeming anomalies and inequalities of life can be explained; see “Vagaries of Life and the Way to Seek Good Rebirths.” ... y-of-life/

- And how could we ever explain the birth of such prodigies as Jeremy Bentham, who, already in his fourth year, could read and write Latin and Greek? John Stuart Mill read Greek at the age of three and wrote a history of Rome at six years of age. Babington Macaulay wrote a compendium of world history at age six. Beethoven gave public concerts when he was seven; Mozart had written musical compositions before his sixth year. Voltaire read the fables of Lafontaine when he was three years old.
- Does it not seem infinitely more probable that all these prodigies and geniuses, who in many cases came from illiterate parents, had already, in previous births, laid the foundations for their extraordinary faculties?

Healing with Hypnosis

8. The late Dr. Richard Feynman was skeptical about the claims in hypnosis studies until he subjected himself to hypnosis on two occasions. In both instances, he verified that hypnosis works if done correctly. He describes these two cases in his book, “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!” (1985), pp. 66-68.

- Therefore, hypnosis provides yet another set of “supporting material.” There are many cases of people remembering past lives when hypnotized. It is hard to evaluate the validity of most such cases.
- However, there is a branch of hypnosis that uses it as therapy. Some people seem to have “phobias” based on a horrific event from a past life. They cannot determine why they have these phobias, but they become cured when a hypnotist brings out that experience. Here is a 20/20 documentary of three such cases, where they vouch for the authenticity of the therapy sessions:

9. There are hundreds of youtube videos on rebirth stories and many on child prodigies and hypnosis-based curing of specific ailments.

- The following books are also good reads:

“Many Lives, Many Masters,” by Brian Weiss (1988).
“Many Mansions: The Edgar Cayce Story on Reincarnation,” by Gina Cerminara (1988).
“Children’s Past Lives: How Past Life Memories Affect Your Child” by Carol Bowman (1998)
“Return to Life: Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember Past Lives,” Jim B. Tucker (2013).

One White Crow Is Enough to Disprove the Hypothesis, “All Crows Are Black”

10. If even a SINGLE rebirth account or an NDE is valid, then the hypothesis “consciousness arises in the brain” is false. American philosopher William James stated the following that is widely quoted today (“After the White Crow: Integrating Science and Anomalous Experience,” Jerry E. Wesch (click on the link to download pdf)):
To disprove the assertion that all crows are black, one white crow is sufficient.
- That is a logical statement. It is unnecessary to prove that all or even many rebirth accounts/NDE accounts are true. Even if just one account is valid, that is enough to conclude that the brain is not the “seat of the mind.”
- We have thousands of rebirth/NDE accounts scrutinized by scientists/physicians.
- Also, see “Near-Death Experiences (NDE): Brain Is Not the Mind.” ... -the-mind/


11. Some of you may wonder whether there is an inconsistency here. I have repeatedly mentioned that the Buddha clearly stated that it is extremely rare to be born a human. Yet, from the above rebirth case studies, it appears that people have been born in the human realm in successive lives. If it is so hard to attain a human birth, how can this be?

12. There is nothing inconsistent. The critical problem here is another misinterpretation. “Bhava” or existence is not the same as a “jāti” or a birth; see “Bhava and Jāti – States of Existence and Births Therein.”

- Upon exhausting the kammic energy for one existence, a living being grabs hold of another strong kammic potential for the next existence. A human existence (bhava) can last thousands of years. Yet, each human birth (jāti) lasts only about 100 years. Therefore, there can be many births (jāti) within human existence (bhava.)
- Between successive births, that human lives in para loka with just the “mental body” or manōmaya kāya. Another word for that entity is gandhabba. The concept of gandhabba is explained in simple terms in “Ghost 1990 Movie – Good Depiction of Gandhabba Concept.”
- The same is true for the animal realm. The life of a dog is less than 20 years, but a “dog bhava” can last thousands or more years.

13. Thus, if one has done a highly meritorious deed and at some point in samsāra (rebirth process) latches on to that “kamma seed” (see, “Saṅkhāra, Kamma, Kamma Bīja, Kamma Vipaka“), that energy may be able to sustain that existence for many rebirths.

- In these cases, when physical death occurs BEFORE exhausting the energy of the kamma seed, the manōmaya kāya (also called gandhabba) leaves the dead body and waits until a suitable womb is ready; see, “Manomaya Kaya (Gandhabba) and the Physical Body.” In this case, the gandhabba may carry a physical resemblance to the next life, including scars of any significant wounds, birthmarks, etc.
- When rebirth occurs, the new physical body could resemble parts of the old body. In many rebirth cases, such physical resemblances have been confirmed (as in the case of the civil war general in one of the above videos).

14. In summary, it is essential to remember that in Paṭicca Samuppāda, it is “upādāna paccayā bhavo,” i.e., grasping or craving (upādāna) that leads to existence (bhava): for example, existence as a dog.

- That existence (bhava) may have enough kammic energy to support many repeated births as a dog. Therefore, once a given bhava or existence is grasped, the next step of “bhava paccayā jāti” will lead to repeated births as a dog until that kammic energy is exhausted; see “Bhava and Jāti – States of Existence and Births Therein.”

15. Conversely, if the kammic energy for that “bhava” has run out when death occurs, a new “bhava” will be grasped at the death moment.

- For example, a human may exhaust the kammic energy for that human existence (bhava) and grasp a kammic seed for bhava (existence) of an elephant. In that case, an “elephant gandhabba” will come out of the dead body of the human. Then it will stay in that “mental body” until a matching “elephant womb” appears. That means the mother elephant must have a gati similar to this new elephant.

16. It may be difficult to grasp these concepts initially. One must carefully examine the evidence provided in the links and go back to several layers to grasp these ideas. It is not possible to explain everything in one post. Buddha Dhamma can be very deep if one wants to comprehend how nature works.

- You may want to read the posts in the “Origin of Life” section ( ... n-of-life/) and “Buddha Dhamma – A Scientific Approach.” ( ... -approach/)
Posts: 907
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:39 am

Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal »

I published a list of posts about eight months back, but they are in chronological order. In the following, I separate the posts published up to Feb 06, 2023, into different categories.
- Posts from that date will be on more fundamental aspects, emphasizing the critical elements of Buddha's teachings.
- Of course, there is going to overlap among different categories. But hopefully, the list will make locating posts on specific subjects easier.
- Many posts, especially the old ones, will likely have been revised several times at So, if you like, please check there. The titles should be the same.

Fundamentals of Buddha Dhamma:

Preservation of the Buddha Dhamma (viewtopic.php?p=702922#p702922)
"Nibbāna – Rāgakkhaya Dosakkhaya Mohakkhaya – Part 1":(viewtopic.php?p=608236#p608236)
"Lōbha, Rāga and Kāmacchanda, Kāmarāga":(viewtopic.php?p=608626#p608626)
"Lōbha, Dōsa, Mōha versus Rāga, Paṭigha, Avijjā":(viewtopic.php?p=608627#p608627)
"Pañca Nīvaraṇa and Sensual Pleasures (Kāma)":(viewtopic.php?p=609450#p609450)
"What is “Kāma”? It is not Just Sex":(viewtopic.php?p=609984#p609984)
"Icchā, Taṇhā, Kāma – Root Causes of Suffering":(viewtopic.php?p=610512#p610512)
"Essence of Buddhism – In the First Sutta":(viewtopic.php?p=611269#p611269)
"Jāti – Different Types of Births":(viewtopic.php?p=611750#p611750)
"Bhava – Kammic Energy That Can Power an Existence":(viewtopic.php?p=612915#p612915)
"Bhava and Punabbhava - Kammic Energy Giving Rise to Renewed Existence":(viewtopic.php?p=613587#p613587)
"Why is it Necessary to Learn Key Pali Words?": (viewtopic.php?p=489072#p489072)
"The Law of Attraction, Habits, Character (Gati), and Cravings (Āsava)":[viewtopic.php?p=588385#p588385](viewtopic.php?p=588385#p588385)
"What is “San”? Meaning of Sansāra (or Samsāra)":[viewtopic.php?p=497449#p497449](viewtopic.php?p=497449#p497449)
"List of “San” Words and Other Pāli Roots":(viewtopic.php?p=502770#p502770)
""San" is not clear? This may be helpful if one has an open mind": (Post%20by%20Lal%20%C2%BB%20Tue%20Feb%20 ... %20vinnana.)
"Lōbha, Dōsa, Mōha versus Rāga, Patigha, Avijjā":(viewtopic.php?p=492117#p492117)
"Can or Should a Lay Follower Eliminate Sensual Desires?": (viewtopic.php?p=488053#p488053)
"How the Buddha Described the Chance of Rebirth in the Human Realm":(viewtopic.php?p=491080#p491080)
"Buddha Dhamma – A Sequential Approach":(viewtopic.php?p=494325#p494325)
"Mahā Cattārisaka Sutta (Discourse on the Great Forty)":(viewtopic.php?p=490452#p490452)
"Saññā – What It Really Means" :(viewtopic.php?p=486716#p486716)
"Sankhāra – What It Really Means": (viewtopic.php?p=487856#p487856)
Post on "Nimitta": (viewtopic.php?p=488189#p488189)
"Wrong Views (Miccā Ditthi) – A Simpler Analysis":(viewtopic.php?p=490548#p490548)
"The Law of Attraction, Habits, Character (Gati), and Cravings (Asavas)":(viewtopic.php?p=490629#p490629)
"Ten Types of Miccha Ditthi":(viewtopic.php?p=492705#p492705)
"Rebirth in Early Buddhism?”:(viewtopic.php?p=492830#p492830)
"Pathama Niraya Sagga Sutta (AN 10.211): Causes for Rebirth in Good and Bad Realms":(viewtopic.php?p=493087#p493087)
“ayam antimā jāti, natthi dāni punabbhavo”:(viewtopic.php?p=493171#p493171)
"Dasa Kusala and Dasa Akusala – Fundamentals in Buddha Dhamma":(viewtopic.php?p=493225#p493225)
"Dasa Kusala and Dasa Akusala – Fundamentals in Buddha Dhamma - Continued":(viewtopic.php?p=493298#p493298)
"Part 2: How Does Abstaining from Dasa Akusala Lead to Happiness?":(viewtopic.php?p=493464#p493464)
"Kāmaccandha and Icca – Being Blinded by Cravings":(viewtopic.php?p=493668#p493668)
"How Habits are Formed and Broken – A Scientific View":(viewtopic.php?p=493772#p493772)
""Kāmaccandha Is Not There in Brahma Realms – The Bigger Picture in the 31 Realms":(viewtopic.php?p=493826#p493826)
"31 Realms Associated with the Earth":[viewtopic.php?p=493882#p493882](viewtopic.php?p=493882#p493882)
"Types of Bodies in the 31 Realms and Manōmaya Kaya":(viewtopic.php?p=493978#p493978)
"Account of Anugulimāla - Many Insights to Buddha Dhamma":(viewtopic.php?p=495000#p495000)

Five Aggregates:

"Five Aggregates – Introduction":(viewtopic.php?p=555457#p555457)
"Difference Between Rūpa and Rūpakkhandha":(viewtopic.php?p=556796#p556796)
"Rūpakkhandha (Form Aggregate) and Rūpa Upādānakkhandha (Clinging Form Aggregate)":(viewtopic.php?p=558440#p558440)
"Arising of Five Aggregates Based on an Ārammaṇa":(viewtopic.php?p=559547#p559547)
"Memory Records- Critical Part of Five Aggregates":(viewtopic.php?p=560472#p560472)
"Amazingly Fast Time Evolution of a Thought (Citta)":(viewtopic.php?p=560884#p560884)
"Pañca Upādānakkhandhā – Introduction":(viewtopic.php?p=561760#p561760)
Pañcupādānakkhandha – Attachment to One’s Experiences (viewtopic.php?p=703979#p703979)
"Five Aggregates and Tilakkhaṇa – Introduction":(viewtopic.php?p=562821#p562821)
Noble Truth of Suffering- Pañcupādānakkhandhā Dukkhā(viewtopic.php?p=704914#p704914)
Sakkāya Diṭṭhi and Pañcupādānakkhandhā (viewtopic.php?p=705851#p705851)
"Critical Role of Memories - Nāmagotta" :(viewtopic.php?p=488683#p488683)

Problems with Direct Translation of Tipitaka:

"Sutta Interpretation – Uddēsa, Niddēsa, Paṭiniddēsa" viewtopic.php?p=713568#p713568
"Translation of Tipitaka Pāli Words to English":(viewtopic.php?p=492204#p492204)
"Pali to English Translations – Problems With Current Translations":(viewtopic.php?f=46&t=26749&start=840)
"The Dangers in Just Focusing on Suttas – Tipitaka Has Two More Pitakas!":(viewtopic.php?p=497579#p497579)
"Tipiṭaka – The Uniqueness of Buddha Dhamma":(viewtopic.php?p=590423#p590423)
"Pāli Canon Is Self-Contained but Requires Detailed Explanation":(viewtopic.php?p=591825#p591825)
"Vinaya Piṭaka – More Than Disciplinary Rules":(viewtopic.php?p=592930#p592930)
"Abhidhamma Piṭaka – Deeper Analyses of Concepts":(viewtopic.php?p=593950#p593950)
"Incorrect Thēravada Interpretations – Historical Timeline": (viewtopic.php?p=484913#p484913)
"Translating Tipitaka to Sanskrit was specifically prohibited by the Buddha" (no title):(viewtopic.php?p=484945#p484945)
"Two Types of Vinnana – We Have Control Over Kamma Vinnana" :(viewtopic.php?p=484554#p484554)
"Vinnana – Consciousness Together With Future Expectations":(viewtopic.php?p=495323#p495323)
"Where in Suttas Say That Viññāna Is Defiled Consciousness?":(viewtopic.php?p=497287#p497287)
"Sankhāra – What It Really Means":(viewtopic.php?p=491137#p491137)
"Correct Meaning of Vacī Sankhāra":(viewtopic.php?p=491288#p491288)
"Free Will in Buddhism – Connection to Sankhāra":(viewtopic.php?p=491441#p491441)
"Vedana (Feelings) - Two Ways Vēdanā (Feelings) Can Arise":(viewtopic.php?p=491701#p491701)
"Difference between Phassa and Samphassa":(viewtopic.php?p=491863#p491863)
"Combination of Words (Sandhi) in Pali with Key Roots":(viewtopic.php?p=491952#p491952)
"Difference Between Rūpa and Rūpakkhandha":(viewtopic.php?p=615003#p615003)
"Where Are Memories “Stored”? – Connection to Pañcakkhandha":(viewtopic.php?p=615934#p615934)
"Difference between Phassa and Samphassa":(viewtopic.php?p=616930#p616930)
"Loka Sutta - Origin and Cessation of the World":(viewtopic.php?p=617194#p617194)
"Sutta Interpretation – Uddēsa, Niddēsa, Paṭiniddēsa":(viewtopic.php?p=617659#p617659)
"Dukkha Samudaya Starts With Samphassa-Jā-Vedanā":(viewtopic.php?p=618344#p618344)
"Vēdanā (Feelings) Arise in Two Ways":(viewtopic.php?p=619299#p619299)
"Key Steps of Kammic Energy Accumulation":(viewtopic.php?p=619949#p619949)
"Generating Kammic Energy in the “Upādāna Paccayā Bhava” Step":(viewtopic.php?p=620791#p620791)
"Idappaccayātā Paṭicca Samuppāda":[viewtopic.php?p=621148#p621148](viewtopic.php?p=621148#p621148)
"Akusala-Mūla Upapatti Paṭicca Samuppāda":[viewtopic.php?p=621920#p621920](viewtopic.php?p=621920#p621920)
"Viññāna Paccayā Nāmarūpa":(viewtopic.php?p=622962#p622962)
"Nāmarūpa Paccayā Salāyatana":(viewtopic.php?p=623895#p623895)
"Phassa paccayā Vēdanā….to Bhava":(viewtopic.php?p=624212#p624212)
"Bhava paccayā Jāti….Jarā , Marana,…":(viewtopic.php?p=625015#p625015)
"Six Root Causes – Loka Samudaya (Arising of Suffering) and Loka Nirodhaya (Nibbāna)":(viewtopic.php?p=626012#p626012)


Breath Meditation Is Addictive and Harmful in the Long Run (viewtopic.php?p=710430#p710430)
Ānāpānasati – Overview (viewtopic.php?p=711473#p711473)
Mahārāhulovāda Sutta and _Ānāpānasati (viewtopic.php?p=716375#p716375)
Ānāpānasati Not About Breath – Icchā­naṅga­la Sutta (viewtopic.php?p=697911#p697911)
"Ānapānasati That Can Reduce and Eliminate Mental Stress Permanently":(viewtopic.php?p=498473#p498473)
"Mahā Satipatthāna Sutta – Structure":(viewtopic.php?p=498950#p498950)
"How a Mind Can Be Purified with Satipatthāna - Fundamentals":(viewtopic.php?p=499408#p499408)
"What is Sati in Satipatthāna? - Two Meanings of Sati":(viewtopic.php?p=499994#p499994)
"Satipatthāna - Section on Postures (Iriyāpathapabba)":(viewtopic.php?p=500916#p500916)
"Kayānupassanā- Section on Habits (Sampajānapabba)":(viewtopic.php?p=501576#p501576)
"Other "Kāya" in Kāyānupassanā - The Other Three Sections in Kāyānupassanā":(viewtopic.php?p=502442#p502442)
"Parimukham- Establishing Mindfulness in Front?" (viewtopic.php?p=488807#p488807)

Sotapanna Stage:

"Myths about the Sotapanna Stage":(viewtopic.php?p=489112#p489112)

Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta:

"Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta":(viewtopic.php?p=489211#p489211) AND [viewtopic.php?p=489289#p489289](viewtopic.php?p=489289#p489289)
- Also related: "On the group of five": (viewtopic.php?p=489413#p489413)
"Defending Buddha Dhamma"(not a formal post): (viewtopic.php?p=489659#p489659)
"Four Noble Truths – Suffering and Its Elimination":(viewtopic.php?p=496929#p496929)
"Sutta – The Need to Explain Deep Sutta Verses in Detail":(viewtopic.php?p=497176#p497176)
"The Framework of Buddha Dhamma - The Wider Worldview":(viewtopic.php?p=546864#p546864)
"The Suffering (Dukkha) in the First Noble Truth":(viewtopic.php?p=547822#p547822)
"Dangers of Ten Types of Wrong Views and Four Possible Paths":(viewtopic.php?p=549004#p549004)
"Sammā Diṭṭhī – Only One Leads to the Noble Path":(viewtopic.php?p=550123#p550123)
"Fear of Nibbāna (Enlightenment)":(viewtopic.php?p=550617#p550617)
"Nibbāna “Exists”, but Not in This World":(viewtopic.php?p=550925#p550925)
"Rebirth – Connection to Suffering in the First Noble Truth":(viewtopic.php?p=626853#p626853)
"Introduction - What is Suffering?":(viewtopic.php?p=628436#p628436)
"Introduction -2 – The Three Categories of Suffering":(viewtopic.php?p=629845#p629845)
"Preservation of the Buddha Dhamma":(viewtopic.php?p=630505#p630505)

Paticca Samuppada:

Distortion of Pāli Keywords in _Paṭicca Samuppāda (viewtopic.php?p=699964#p699964)
"Basic Principles of Buddha Dhamma - Introduction to Paticca Samuppāda":(viewtopic.php?p=494723#p494723)
"Paticca Samuppāda and Viññāna":(viewtopic.php?p=495457#p495457)
"Connection Between Sankhāra and Viññāna":(viewtopic.php?p=495862#p495862)
"Viññāna and Sankhāra – Connection to Paticca Samuppāda":(viewtopic.php?p=496303#p496303)
"Paticca samuppada vibhanga Sutta (SN 12.2)":(viewtopic.php?p=495211#p495211)
"Gati to Bhava to Jāti – Ours to Control":(viewtopic.php?p=492567#p492567)
"Bhava and Jāti – States of Existence and Births Therein":(viewtopic.php?p=490794#p490794)
"Anulōma and Patilōma Paticca Samuppāda":(viewtopic.php?p=505793#p505793)
"Complexity of the Mind - Viññāna and Sankhāra":(viewtopic.php?p=510665#p510665)
"Kamma Done with Sankhāra - Various Types of Sankhāra":(viewtopic.php?p=511215#p511215)
"Viññāna – Much More Than Just Consciousness":(viewtopic.php?p=512253#p512253)
"“Viññāna Paccayā Nāmarūpa” in Idappaccayā Paticca Samuppāda":[(viewtopic.php?p=513304#p513304)
"Nāmarūpa Paccayā Salāyatana in Idapaccayatā Paticca Samuppāda":(viewtopic.php?p=514169#p514169)
"Difference between Phassa and Samphassa":(viewtopic.php?p=515057#p515057)
"Phassa paccayā Vēdanā….to Bhava":(viewtopic.php?p=515835#p515835)
"Bhava paccayā Jāti....Jarā , Marana,... ":(viewtopic.php?p=516528#p516528)
"Uppatti Paticca Samuppāda (How We Create Our Own Rebirths)":(viewtopic.php?p=517788#p517788)
"Kamma and Paṭicca Samuppāda – Introduction":(viewtopic.php?p=551639#p551639)
"Account of Angulimāla – Many Insights to Buddha Dhamma":(viewtopic.php?p=552068#p552068)
"Kāma Assāda – A Root Cause of Suffering":[viewtopic.php?p=552742#p552742](viewtopic.php?p=552742#p552742)
"Gati (Habits/Character) Determine Births – Saṃsappanīya Sutta":(viewtopic.php?p=553844#p553844)
"Sensual Pleasures – The Hidden Suffering":(viewtopic.php?p=576819#p576819)
"Kammic Energy Leads to Consciousness":(viewtopic.php?p=577747#p577747)
"Response to a Sensory Stimulus – Role of Gati/Anusaya":(viewtopic.php?p=586526#p586526)
"Ārammaṇa Plays a Critical Role in a Sensory Event":(viewtopic.php?p=587854#p587854)
"Nāma Loka and Rupa Loka – Two Parts of Our World":(viewtopic.php?p=589101#p589101)

Buddha Dhamma - Noble Truths, Paṭicca Samuppāda, Tilakkhana

"Buddha Dhamma - Noble Truths, Paṭicca Samuppāda, Tilakkhana":(viewtopic.php?p=631591#p631591)
"Saṅkhāra – What It Really Means":(viewtopic.php?p=632133#p632133)
"Correct Meaning of Vacī Sankhāra":(viewtopic.php?p=632424#p632424)
"Noble Truths, Paṭicca Samuppāda, Tilakkhana - Key Relationships":(viewtopic.php?p=633464#p633464)
"Anicca Nature, the First Noble Truth, and Paṭicca Samuppāda":(viewtopic.php?p=634200#p634200)
"Kusala and Akusala Kamma, Puñña and Pāpa Kamma":(viewtopic.php?p=634616#p634616)
"Anicca Nature – Not Possible to Overcome Suffering in This World":(viewtopic.php?p=635134#p635134)
"Anicca and Anatta - Two Characteristics of the World":(viewtopic.php?p=635879#p635879)
"Difference Between Physical Rūpa and Rūpakkhandha":(viewtopic.php?p=636497#p636497)
"Anulomika Khanti and Sammattaniyāma - Pre-requisites for a Sotapanna":(viewtopic.php?p=636985#p636985)
"Dukkha in Tilakkhana Is a Characteristic - Not Dukkha Vedanā":(viewtopic.php?p=638333#p638333)
"Attachment to Things with Dukkha Lakkhana Leads to Dukkha":(viewtopic.php?p=639972#p639972)
"How Does Anicca Nature Lead to Dukkha?":(viewtopic.php?p=641616#p641616)

Paticca Samuppada: Another Series of Posts:

"Paṭicca Samuppāda - Introduction":(viewtopic.php?p=648417#p648417)
"What Did the Buddha Mean by a “Loka”?":(viewtopic.php?p=649316#p649316)
"Future Suffering (Loka/Dukkha Samudaya) Starts With Sensory Input (Ārammaṇa)":(viewtopic.php?p=650459#p650459)
"Sotapanna - One With the "Wider Worldview" of the Buddha":(viewtopic.php?p=651523#p651523)
"Sotapannā - Just Starting on the Noble Path":(viewtopic.php?p=652394#p652394)
"The Sōtapanna Stage":(viewtopic.php?p=652852#p652852)
"Yoniso Manasikāra and Paṭicca Samuppāda":(viewtopic.php?p=653351#p653351)
"Dhamma – Different Meanings Depending on the Context":(viewtopic.php?p=654190#p654190)
"Dhammā­nu­dhamma Paṭi­patti - Connection to Paṭicca Samuppāda/Tilakkhana":(viewtopic.php?p=654998#p654998)
"Distortion of Pāli Keywords in Paṭicca Samuppāda":(viewtopic.php?p=655847#p655847)
"Saṅkhāra - Should Not be Translated as a Single Word":(viewtopic.php?p=656737#p656737)
"Kamma and Saṅkhāra, Cetanā and Sañcetanā"(viewtopic.php?p=657433#p657433)
"Saṅkhāra - Needed to Attain Nibbāna":(viewtopic.php?p=658299#p658299)
"Rebirths Take Place According to Abhisaṅkhāra":(viewtopic.php?p=659032#p659032)
"Abhisaṅkhāra Lead to Kamma Viññāṇa":(viewtopic.php?p=659709#p659709)
"Two Types of Kamma Viññāṇa":(viewtopic.php?p=660536#p660536)
"Summary of Key Concepts About Viññāṇa and Saṅkhāra":(viewtopic.php?p=661814#p661814)
"Anidassana, Appaṭigha Rupa Due to Anidassana Viññāṇa":(viewtopic.php?p=663342#p663342)
"Anidassana Viññāṇa – What It Really Means":(viewtopic.php?p=663846#p663846)
"Critical Influence of Wrong Views on Akusala Citta":(viewtopic.php?p=664350#p664350)
"Brain Is Not the Mind: Near-Death Experiences (NDE)":(viewtopic.php?p=665784#p665784)
"Gandhabba (Mental Body) Separating from Physical Body in Jhāna":(viewtopic.php?p=666574#p666574)
"Micchā Diṭṭhi, Gandhabba, and Sōtapanna Stage":(viewtopic.php?p=667171#p667171)
"Where Are Memories Stored? - Viññāṇa Dhātu":(viewtopic.php?p=667574#p667574)

Paticca Samuppada During a Lifetime:

Bhava and _Jāti_ Within a Lifetime – Example (viewtopic.php?p=706688#p706688)


Does _Gandhabba_ Mean “Semen”? (viewtopic.php?t=26749&start=1545)
Gandhabba State – Evidence from _Tipiṭaka (viewtopic.php?p=702418#p702418)
"Buddhist Explanations of Conception, Abortion, and Contraception":(viewtopic.php?p=492511#p492511)
"Gandhabba State – Evidence from Tipitaka":(viewtopic.php?p=490877#p490877)
"Finest Manōmaya Kaya of an Arupavacara Brahma":(viewtopic.php?p=494553#p494553)
"Mental Body Versus the Physical Body":(viewtopic.php?p=543591#p543591)
"Mind Is Not in the Brain":(viewtopic.php?p=579139#p579139)
"Gandhabba in a Human Body – an Analogy":(viewtopic.php?p=580119#p580119)
"Persistent Vegetative State – Buddhist View":(viewtopic.php?p=580971#p580971)
"Patient H.M. – Different Roles of Brain in Memory":(viewtopic.php?p=582132#p582132)
"Memory Recall for Gandhabba in a Human Body":(viewtopic.php?p=583169#p583169)
"Autobiographical Memory – Preserved in Nāma Loka":(viewtopic.php?p=584449#p584449)
"Rupa and Rupakkhandha, Nāma and Nāmagotta":(viewtopic.php?p=585645#p585645)
"Antarābhava and Gandhabba":(viewtopic.php?p=594416#p594416)
"Antarābhava – No Connection to Gandhabba":(viewtopic.php?p=595325#p595325)
"Antarābhava Discussion in Kathāvatthu – Not Relevant to Gandhabba":(viewtopic.php?p=596235#p596235)
"How Do We See? – Role of the Gandhabba":(viewtopic.php?p=597575#p597575)
"Interpretation of the Tipiṭaka – Gandhabba Example":(viewtopic.php?p=598806#p598806)

Anatta, Sakkaya Ditthi, Tilakkhana:

"What Reincarnates? – Concept of a Lifestream":(viewtopic.php?p=606128#p606128)
"Icca, Nicca, Anicca – Important Connections":(viewtopic.php?p=563890#p563890)
"Does Impermanence Lead to Suffering?":(viewtopic.php?p=564877#p564877)
"Anicca – Worthlessness of Worldly Things":(viewtopic.php?p=565733#p565733)
"Anicca – Inability to Keep What We Like":(viewtopic.php?p=566597#p566597)
"“Me” and “Mine” – The Root Cause of Suffering":(viewtopic.php?p=567367#p567367)
"Difference Between “Me and Mine” and Sakkāya Diṭṭhi":(viewtopic.php?p=568242#p568242)
"Anattā (Mundane Interpretation) - There is no "Unchanging Self"":(viewtopic.php?p=494114#p494114)
"Sakkāya Diṭṭhi – “Me and Mine” View":(viewtopic.php?p=569301#p569301)
"Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta – According to Some Key Suttā":(viewtopic.php?p=569532#p569532)
"Atta – Two Very Different Meanings":(viewtopic.php?p=570184#p570184)
"Sakkāya Diṭṭhi – Wrong View of “Me” and “Mine”:(viewtopic.php?p=605317#p605317)
"Anatta and Sakkāya Diṭṭhi – Two Different Concepts":(viewtopic.php?p=607083#p607083)
"Anatta is a Characteristic of the World, not About a "Self"":(viewtopic.php?p=644284#p644284)
"Anatta in Anattalakkhaṇa Sutta - Part 1":(viewtopic.php?p=645603#p645603)
"Anatta in Anattalakkhaṇa Sutta - Part 2":(viewtopic.php?p=647188#p647188)

Origin of Life Series:

"Origin of Life – There is No Traceable Origin":(viewtopic.php?p=518755#p518755)
"Human Life – A Mental Base (Gandhabba) and a Material Base (Cell)":(viewtopic.php?p=519542#p519542)
"Living Cell - How Did the First Cell Come to Existence?":(viewtopic.php?p=520453#p520453)
"Clarification of “Mental Body” and “Physical Body” – Different Types of “Kāya”":(viewtopic.php?p=521454#p521454)
"Mystical Phenomena in Buddhism?":(viewtopic.php?p=522377#p522377)
"Views on Life - Wrong View of Materialism":(viewtopic.php?p=523126#p523126)
"Wrong View of Creationism (and Eternal Future Life) – Part 1":(viewtopic.php?p=523921#p523921)
"Wrong View of Creationism (and Eternal Future Life) – Part 2":(viewtopic.php?p=524838#p524838)
"Buddhist Worldview – Introduction":[viewtopic.php?p=525809#p525809](viewtopic.php?p=525809#p525809)
"Contact Between Āyatana Leads to Vipāka Viññāna":(viewtopic.php?p=526452#p526452)
"How Do Sense Faculties Become Internal Āyatana?":(viewtopic.php?p=527045#p527045)
"Indriya Make Phassa and Āyatana Make Samphassa":(viewtopic.php?p=527632#p527632)
"Citta – Basis of Our Experience and Actions":(viewtopic.php?p=528170#p528170)
"Vipāka Vēdanā and “Samphassa jā Vēdanā” in a Sensory Event":(viewtopic.php?p=528858#p528858)
"Kāma Guṇa – Origin of Attachment (Tanhā)":(viewtopic.php?p=529459#p529459)
"Kāma Guna, Kāma, Kāma Rāga, Kāmaccandha":(viewtopic.php?p=529463#p529463)
"Vision Is a Series of “Snapshots” – Movie Analogy":(viewtopic.php?p=530281#p530281)
"Chachakka Sutta – No “Self” in Initial Sensory Experience":(viewtopic.php?p=530971#p530971)
"Sakkāya Ditthi in Terms of Attā or “Self” or “Ātma”":(viewtopic.php?p=531686#p531686)
"An Apparent “Self” Is Involved in Kamma Generation":(viewtopic.php?p=532760#p532760)
"Tanhā – The Origin of Suffering":[viewtopic.php?p=533516#p533516](viewtopic.php?p=533516#p533516)
"Paticca Samuppāda – A “Self” Exists Due to Avijjā":[viewtopic.php?p=534470#p534470](viewtopic.php?p=534470#p534470)
"Kamma, Saṅkhāra, and Abhisaṅkhāra':[viewtopic.php?p=535678#p535678](viewtopic.php?p=535678#p535678)
"Vacī Saṅkhāra – Saṅkappa (Conscious Thoughts) and Vācā (Speech)":[viewtopic.php?p=536542#p536542](viewtopic.php?p=536542#p536542)
"Summary on Vitakka/Vicāra, Savitakka/Savicāra, and Avitakka/Avicāra":[viewtopic.php?p=537045#p537045](viewtopic.php?p=537045#p537045)
"Tanhā Paccayā Upādāna – Critical Step in Paticca Samuppāda":(viewtopic.php?p=537584#p537584)
"Mōha/Avijjā and Vipāka Viññāṇa/Kamma Viññāṇa":(viewtopic.php?p=538143#p538143)
"Icchā (Cravings) Lead to Upādāna and to Eventual Suffering":(viewtopic.php?p=538924#p538924)
"Dhammā, Kamma, Saṅkhāra, Mind – Critical Connections":(viewtopic.php?p=539730#p539730)
"Buddhist Explanations of Conception, Abortion, and Contraception":[viewtopic.php?p=540534#p540534](viewtopic.php?p=540534#p540534)
"Cloning and Gandhabba":[viewtopic.php?p=540956#p540956](viewtopic.php?p=540956#p540956)
"Paticca Samuppāda – From Mind to Matter":[viewtopic.php?p=541269#p541269](viewtopic.php?p=541269#p541269)
"Ghost 1990 Movie – Good Depiction of Gandhabba Concept":(viewtopic.php?p=541914#p541914)
"Origin of Life – One Creates One’s Own Future Lives":(viewtopic.php?p=542839#p542839)

Difference between Dhamma and dhammā

Dhamma – Different Meanings Depending on the Context (viewtopic.php?p=707371#p707371)
Dhamma and _Dhammā_ – Different but Related: (viewtopic.php?p=708364#p708364)
Difference Between Dhammā and Saṅkhāra (viewtopic.php?p=709303#p709303)

Samadhi, Jhana, Magga Phala:

"Samādhi, Jhāna, Magga Phala – Introduction": (viewtopic.php?p=485023#p485023)
"Types of Bodies in 31 Realms - Connection to Jhāna":(viewtopic.php?p=494467#p494467)
"Tapussa Sutta (AN 9.41) – Transition from Anariya Jhānās to Ariya Jhānās and to Akuppā Cētōvimutti":(viewtopic.php?p=504100#p504100)
"Jhānic Experience in Detail – Sāmañ­ña­phala Sutta (DN 2)":(viewtopic.php?p=504394#p504394)
"Bodhi­rāja­kumāra Sutta (MN 85).":(viewtopic.php?p=504661#p504661)
"Vitakka, Vicāra, Savitakka, Savicāra, and Avitakka, Avicāra":(viewtopic.php?p=504992#p504992)


"Citta Vithi – Processing of Sense Inputs": (viewtopic.php?p=488521#p488521)
"Amazingly Fast Time Evolution of a Thought (Citta)" (viewtopic.php?p=487033#p487033)
“Nine Stages of a Thought (Citta)” on Aug 19, 2018: (viewtopic.php?p=484505#p484505)
"The Origin of Matter – Suddhāṭṭhaka":(viewtopic.php?p=598234#p598234)
"Citta Vithi – Fundamental Sensory Unit":(viewtopic.php?p=599990#p599990)
"Does any Object (Rupa) Last only 17 Thought Moments?":(viewtopic.php?p=600566#p600566)
"Phassa (Contact) – Contact With Pasāda Rupa":(viewtopic.php?p=601513#p601513)
"Arising of the Five Aggregates With an Ārammaṇa":(viewtopic.php?p=602561#p602561)
"State of Mind in the Absence of Citta Vithi (Bhavaṅga) and 17 Cittā in a Citta Vithi":(viewtopic.php?p=603307#p603307)
"The Amazing Mind – Critical Role of Nāmagotta (Memories)":(viewtopic.php?p=646309#p646309)


"“Tipiṭaka English” Convention Adopted by Early European Scholars – Part 1":(viewtopic.php?p=544574#p544574)
"“Tipiṭaka English” Convention Adopted by Early European Scholars – Part 2":(viewtopic.php?p=545747#p545747)
"Buddhaghosa’s Visuddhimagga – A Focused Analysis":(viewtopic.php?p=642163#p642163)
"Misinterpretation of Anicca and Anatta by Early European Scholars":(viewtopic.php?p=642917#p642917)

Other Topics:

What is Unique in Buddha Dhamma? (viewtopic.php?p=699172#p699172)
"Buddhism and Evolution – Aggañña Sutta (DN 27)":(viewtopic.php?p=568750#p568750)
"Arōgyā Paramā Lābhā..":(viewtopic.php?p=569114#p569114)
"Buddhahood Controversies – Introduction":(viewtopic.php?p=571012#p571012)
"Pāṭihāriya (Supernormal Abilities) of a Buddha – Part I":(viewtopic.php?p=571815#p571815)
"Pāṭihāriya (Supernormal Abilities) of a Buddha – Part II":(viewtopic.php?p=572929#p572929)
"Introduction – A Scientific Approach to Buddha Dhamma":(viewtopic.php?p=573863#p573863)
"Theories of Our World - Scientific Overview":(viewtopic.php?p=574917#p574917)
"Mind and Matter – Buddhist Analysis":(viewtopic.php?p=575829#p575829)
"Rupa (Material Form) – Table":(viewtopic.php?p=575924#p575924)
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal »

Chart 4. Dukkha - Future Suffering:


Download/Print: "Chart 4. Dukkha - Future Suffering": ... share_link
Previous charts in this series can be downloaded: "Chart 1: Buddha Dhamma - Foundation" ... share_link
"2. Nibbāna - End of Suffering": ... share_link
"3. Rebirth - Axiom of Buddha Dhamma": ... share_link

Details are in the following post:

Essence of Buddhism – In the First Sutta

The essence of Buddhism (Buddha Dhamma) is in the first sutta delivered by the Buddha, Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. We discuss the verse “saṅkhittena pañcu­pādā­nak­khan­dhā dukkhā” in detail.

Suffering That Can Be Eliminated

1. This sutta states the Four Noble Truths in summary form. It takes a determined effort to understand them. This post will focus on the verse stating the First Noble Truth.

- In particular, we highlight that this verse is about “suffering” that can be stopped from arising.
- The Pāli word for “suffering” is “dukha” (with one k.) The word dukkha (with two k’s) means “suffering that can be eliminated” (dukha + khaya.)
- Not many suttās use the word “dukha” because the ability to escape that suffering is always emphasized with “dukkha.” In the “Pātāla Sutta (SN 36.4),”( ... =latin#2.2) dukha is used to describe the painful feelings present in the apāyās (pātāla or the “abyss.”) More examples in “Does the First Noble Truth Describe only Suffering?“ ... suffering/

First Noble Truth in Just a Single Verse!

2. Let us examine how the Buddha summarized the First Noble Truth about suffering in the “Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (SN 56.11).” ... =latin#4.1

Idam kho pana, bhikkhave, dukkhaṃ ariya saccam:

jātipi dukkhā, jarāpi dukkhā, byādhipi dukkho, maraṇampi dukkhāṃ, appiyehi sampayogo dukkho, piyehi vippayogo dukkho, yampicchaṃ na labhati tampi dukkhāṃsaṅkhittena pañcupādānakkhandhā dukkhā.”

Translated: Bhikkhus, What is the Noble Truth of Suffering?

Birth is suffering, getting old is suffering, getting sick is suffering, dying is suffering. Having to associate with things one dislikes is suffering and separation from those one likes. If one does not get what one likes/craves/desires, that is sufferingin brief, the origin of suffering is the craving for the five aggregates of rūpa, vedanā, saññā, saṅkhāra, viññāna (pancupādānakkhandha). Pancupādānakkhandha (upādāna or craving/desire for pancakkhandha) represents all we crave in this world.

- The fact that pancakkhandha represents one’s world is discussed in “The Five Aggregates (Pañcakkhandha).” ( ... akkhandha/) But read this post first.
- (Here, I have translated upādāna as craving. However, the word upādāna cannot be represented by just one word. It is a good idea to grasp the meaning. See “Concepts of Upādāna and Upādānakkhandha.”) ... akkhandha/
- There are four sections in that verse. I have highlighted alternating parts to explain each of the four below.

The Key Aspects of Suffering

3. The first part in bold indicates what we consider forms of suffering: Birth, getting old, getting sick, and dying.

- Every birth ends up in death. That is why rebirth is suffering. All births — without exception — end up in death.
- We also DO NOT LIKE to get old, get sick, and do not like to die. If we experience any of those, that is suffering.
- We WOULD LIKE it to stay young, not get old, not get sick, and not die ever. If we can have those conditions fulfilled, we will be forever happy.
- Therefore, it is clear that the Buddha focused on the suffering associated with the rebirth process in his first discourse.

Root Cause of Suffering – Not Getting What One Desires

4. Anyone can see that not getting what one desires/craves is suffering.

- The second part of the verse in #2 (in black) says: Having to associate with things that one does not like is suffering, and having to separate from those one wants is suffering. That must be evident to all.
- That is stated in one concise statement in the third part of the verse in #2 (in red): “yampicchaṃ na labhati tampi dukkhaṃ.“

Yampicchaṃ na labhati tampi dukkhaṃ

5. “Yampicchaṃ na labhati tampi dukkhaṃ” is a shortened version of the verse (that rhymes). The complete sentence is “Yam pi icchaṃ na labhati tam pi dukkhaṃ.”

- “Yam pi icchaṃ“ means “whatever is liked or craved for.” “Na labhati” means “not getting.” “tam pi dukkhaṃ” means “that leads to suffering.”
- Therefore, that verse says: “If one does not get what one likes/craves/desires, that leads to suffering.“
- That is a more general statement and applies to any situation. We can see that in our daily lives. We wish to hang out with people we like, and being with people we do not like is stressful.
- Furthermore, the more one craves something, the more suffering one will endure. But this requires a lot of discussion.
- Note that “iccha” (and “icca“) is pronounced “ichcha.” See “Tipiṭaka English” Convention Adopted by Early European Scholars – Part 1” and Part 2 there.

6. Thus, the “Yampiccam nalabhati tampi dukkhaṃ” (“Yam pi icchaṃ na labhati tam pi dukkhaṃ”) verse gets us closer to the deeper meaning of the First Noble Truth on suffering.

- Note that icca and iccha (ඉච්ච and ඉච්ඡ in Sinhala) are used interchangeably in the Tipiṭaka. The word “iccha” with the emphasis on the last syllable (with “h“) indicates “strong icca” or “strong attachment.”
- The word “icca” (liking) is closely related to “taṇhā” (getting attached). Tanhā happens automatically because of icca.
- Not getting what one desires or craves is the opposite of “icca” or “na icca” or “anicca.” That is the same way that “na ā­gami” becomes “Anā­gā­mi” (“na ā­gami” means “not coming back”; but in the context of Anā­gā­mi, it means “not coming back to kā­ma lōka or the lowest 11 realms. Both these are examples of Pāli sandhi rules (connecting two words).

Connection to the Anicca Nature

7. Therefore, even though we like/desire (icca/iccha) some things in this world, those expectations are not met in the long run. In particular, we have to give up everything at least at death.

- That is why the intrinsic nature of this world is “anicca.” When we don’t get what we desire, we suffer. That suffering is UNAVOIDABLE in two situations: (i) at death, we will have to leave all we crave, (ii) even though we don’t like to be reborn in “suffering-filled realms,” that is where most rebirths take place. That is why the world is of an “anicca nature” and leads to dukkha.
- However, we wrongly believe that the world is of a “nicca nature,” i.e., our desires/expectations can be attained AND maintained. Thus, another (and related) way to explain anicca as the opposite of “nicca”; see “Three Marks of Existence – English Discourses.” ... iscourses/

Saṅkhittena Pañcupādānakkhandhā Dukkhā

8. The last part of the verse in #2, “saṅkhittena pañcu­pādā­nak­khan­dhā dukkhā,” will take much more explaining. One first needs to understand pañcakkhandhā (the five aggregates of rūpa, védanā, sañña, saṅkhāra, viññāna) even to begin to understand this part.

- Here, pañcakkhandhā is entirely mental and defines one’s world.
- Pañcupādānakkhandhā (pañca upādāna khandhā) includes all that we crave in the world! We accumulate bad kamma (via abhisaṅkhāra) to fulfill our cravings and do not realize that it is why we are trapped in this suffering-filled rebirth process!
- Most people have no idea what pañcakkhandhā and pañcupādānakkhandhā mean.
- These concepts are discussed in detail in “The Five Aggregates (Pañcakkhandha).” ( ... akkhandha/) We will discuss this in detail again in this series: “Buddhism – In Charts.” At DW this series posts with charts started on February 16, 2023: viewtopic.php?p=715052#p715052

9. Each person’s world is what one experiences, i.e., the five aggregates/pañcakkhandhā of rūpa, védanā, sañña, saṅkhāra, viññāna.

- Some of our experiences (i.e., pañcakkhandhā) are mind-pleasing, and we attach to them; that fraction is pañcupādānakkhandhā. Such attachments lead to the abhisaṅkhāra generation leading to rebirth and more suffering. Thus, future suffering cannot be stopped until we understand the details of this process (Paṭicca samuppāda). That understanding (the Buddha himself reached upon Buddhahood) leads to the end of the rebirth process and the end of future suffering.
- After explaining the four Noble Truths (we briefly discussed just the First Noble Truth), the Buddha says in the middle of the sutta: “Ñāṇañca pana me dassanaṃ udapādi: ‘akuppā me vimutti, ayamantimā jāti, natthi dāni punabbhavo'” ti.”
Translated: “The knowledge and vision arose in me: ‘unshakable is the liberation of my mind. This is my last birth. There is no more renewed existence.'”

Misconceptions on Dukkha Sacca, Pañcakkhandhā, and Pañcupādānakkhandhā

10. Many think that Dukkha Sacca (the First Noble Truth, pronounced “dukkha sachcha”) says everything is suffering. That is not true; there are a lot of “pleasures” to enjoy in this world.

- The first three parts of the verse in #2 that summarizes the First Noble Truth explain that there is “hidden suffering” in the world that an average person would not see. Even though people celebrate birthdays, we get closer to death with each birthday passing. Even though we desire to be with those we love forever, separation from them is inevitable, at least at death.
- The last part of the verse is the critical part of the First Noble Truth. It is not a type of suffering but the root cause of (future) suffering. We become subjected to suffering because we attach to certain rupa in this world and also to vedanā, saññā, saṅkhāra, and viññāna that arise from interactions with such rupa. That is pañcupādānakkhandhā (pañca upādāna khandhā), loosely meaning “attachment to the pañcakkhandhā.”
- Also, see “Does the First Noble Truth Describe only Suffering?” and “First Noble Truth is Suffering? Myths about Suffering.”

We Don’t See the “Hidden Suffering” in Sensory Pleasures

11. That is until a Buddha explains it! The Buddha gave the following analogy to describe the “hidden suffering” humans don’t see.

- When a fish bites bait, it does not see the suffering hidden in that action. Looking from the ground, we can see the whole picture and know what will happen to the fish if it bites the bait. But the fish cannot see that whole picture and thus does not see the hidden suffering (the hook hidden in the bait.) It can only see the bait (a delicious bit of food.)
- In the same way, if we do not know about the wider world of 31 realms (with the suffering-laden four lowest realms) and that we have gone through unimaginable suffering in those realms in the past, we only focus on what is easily accessible to our six senses.
- That analogy is in the “Baḷisa Sutta (SN 17.2).” ... ript=latin
- Further details in “Is Suffering the Same as the First Noble Truth on Suffering?” ( ... suffering/) and “Does the First Noble Truth Describe only Suffering?“ ... suffering/
- The mindless translation of “dukkha” as “suffering.” everywhere (without understanding that the primary reference is to the “suffering in the rebirth process”) has led to confusion, such as whether an Arahant is free of “all suffering” even while living. Another confusion is what is meant by “Nibbāna.” It simply means “the end of the rebirth process.” All suffering ends with the death of Arahant.

A Sutta Is a Highly Condensed Summary

12. Some people think the Buddha recited each sutta as it appears in the Tipiṭaka. That could be why suttās are translated word-by-word by most translators today. But that is far from the truth.

- As we saw above, Dhammacakkappavattana sutta is highly condensed (as many suttās are). Even a single verse takes a lot of explaining. Further analysis of the sutta in this subsection: “Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta.” ... ana-sutta/
- The Buddha delivered Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta to the five ascetics over several days. See “The Life of the Buddha” by Bhikkhu Nānamoli.” ( ... -nanamoli/) A direct account from the Tipiṭaka at “The Long Chapter (Mahākhandhaka);” see “Section 6. The account of the group of five.” ... ript=latin
- Only Ven. Kondañña attained the Sōtapanna stage on the first night. Then the Buddha explained the material over several days. The other four ascetics reached the Sōtapanna stage over several days.
- The above book contains many passages from the Vinaya Piṭaka of the Tipiṭaka, which provide many details unavailable in the suttās. It also provides the timeline of critical suttās and significant events.

13. Therefore, the Buddha did not recite each sutta as it appears in the Tipiṭaka. If so, it would have been delivered within 15 minutes! Instead, the discussion of the sutta continued for several days until all five ascetics attained the Sotapanna stage. Attaining magga phala is not a magical process. In particular, the Sotapanna stage requires only understanding the worldview of the Buddha.

- It will take many people a lifetime to fully understand the Dhammacakkappavattana sutta.
- We must remember that many generations orally transmitted all the suttās in the Tipiṭaka. Tipiṭaka was written down about 500 years after the Parinibbāna of the Buddha. See “Preservation of the Dhamma.” ... ha-dhamma/
- It appears that the Buddha summarized the material in each sutta concisely to a limited number of verses suitable for oral transmission (easy to remember); see “Sutta Interpretation – Uddēsa, Niddēsa, Paṭiniddēsa.” ... tiniddesa/
- Summarized verses must be explained in detail by those who have understood them. As we have seen, even single words like “anicca” and “dukkha” need detailed explanations (not merely “impermanence” and “suffering.”) Those words DO NOT have corresponding single words in other languages. We must use those Pāli words with an understanding of their meanings.
Posts: 907
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal »

Chart #5. Five Aggregates - Mental Impressions


Download/Print: Chart #5. Five Aggregates - Mental Impressions: ... HY6O6DFOqT

The following post provides an introduction to explaining the chart. This post is a re-write of the first of a series of posts on the Five Aggregates I had posted at DW: viewtopic.php?p=555457#p555457
- Therefore, please replace that first post with the following and then read the next 11 posts there. That should provide a good understanding of the Five Aggregates (pañcakkhandha), its relationship to pañcupādānakkhandha, Tilakkhana, and Sakkāya ditthi.
- If you have any questions, please ask at the "Questions/Comments on the Teachings of Waharaka Thero" thread: viewtopic.php?t=42520. I will gladly answer them.

Five Aggregates - Introduction

Five Aggregates (pañcakkhandha) is not one's own body, as many believe. It is one's whole world (i.e., everything one experiences,) including all experiences from previous lives. 

Definition of the Five Aggregates

1. Five aggregates (pañcakkhandha) are unique to each sentient being. We can see that by carefully analyzing a short sutta about the five aggregates: "Khandha Sutta (SN 22.48)." (Ref. 1): ... ript=latin

"And what are the five aggregates?" 

"Any kind of rupa at all—past, future, or present; internal or external; coarse or fine; inferior or superior; far or near: this is called the aggregate of rupa."
"Any kind of vedanā at all—past, future, or present; internal or external; coarse or fine; inferior or superior; far or near: this is called the aggregate of vedanā."
"Any kind of saññā at all—past, future, or present; internal or external; coarse or fine; inferior or superior; far or near: this is called the aggregate of saññā."
"Any kind of saṅkhāra at all—past, future, or present; internal or external; coarse or fine; inferior or superior; far or near: this is called the aggregate of saṅkhāra."
"Any kind of viññāṇa at all—past, future, or present; internal or external; coarse or fine; inferior or superior; far or near: this is called the aggregate of viññāṇa."

- Therefore, each aggregate comprises 11 types: past, future, or present; internal or external; coarse or fine; inferior or superior; far or near.

Brief Description of the 11 Types of Rupa

2. A set of rupa, vedanā, saññā, saṅkhāra, and viññāṇa arise whenever the mind makes contact with an external rupa. Those can be of six types: vaṇṇa rupa, sadda rupa, gandha rupa, rasa rupa, phoṭṭhabba, and dhamma rupa (n plain English, sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, and dhammā.) Note that "vaṇṇa rupa" are also called "rupa rupa" or simply "rupa." Thus, depending on the context, one must be able to see what "rupa" means. Six types of internal rupa: They are cakkhu, sota, ghāna, jivhā, kāya, and mana. Note that these six are in the manomaya kaya (gandhabba) first five are pasāda rupa, and the sixth is hadaya vatthu. They make contact with the six external rupa. The Buddha called these 12 types of rupa to be "all" because all experiences in this world arise via them; see "Sabba Sutta (SN 35.23)." ... ript=latin

- Rupa we can see are coarse rupa. The others (particularly the six internal rupa and dhammā) belong to the "fine rupa" category.
- Any rupa in the "good realms" are "superior rupa," and those in the lower realms are "inferior rupa."
- When one thinks about close-by rupa, those are "near rupa." When one contemplates far away rupa, they are "far rupa."
- All those eight types of rupa can belong to past, future, or present categories. "Past rupa" are those one has experienced in the past; as we can see, this category is infinite since there is no beginning to the rebirth process. The "present rupa" category is the smallest since it lasts only while a rupa is experienced. "Future rupa" is a bit complex category. Our future experiences are automatically "mapped out" according to the present status of the mind. However, it is a dynamic set that keeps changing. Only when a Bodhisatta gets "niyata vivarana" to become a Buddha will his future become fixed. That explanation requires a separate post.
- The other four aggregates similarly fall into the same 11 categories. For details, see the series of posts I referred to at the beginning.

How Do the Five Aggregates Arise?

3. It is a sensory experience that triggers a "new addition" to the set of five aggregates. For example, "seeing an object" means the contact of an external rupa with an internal rupa

- That leads to "vedanā" and "saññā" arising in mind automatically (to recognize the object and there is a vedanā associated with it). Then the mind generates "saṅkhāra" according to one's gati. That sensory experience is a "vipāka viññāṇa"; but if we generate abhisaṅkhāra, it can become a "kamma viññāṇa" too.
- That is a brief description of rupa, vedanā, saññā, saṅkhāra, and viññāṇa arising with each sensory event. 
- Then a record of that sensory event gets recorded in the "viññāṇa dhatu." That record is a "namagotta." If abhisaṅkhāra were involved, that record would also be associated with kammic energy, i.e., a "kamma bija" can bring vipāka in the future.
- This is a complex but fascinating process.
- As we can see, the accumulation of the five aggregates will stop only at the death of an Arahant. Since there is no rebirth, no more "internal rupa" to make sensory experiences! That may sound alarming, but remember that each birth only leads to suffering, and most rebirths have unimaginable suffering.

One Type of Consciousness (Vipāka Viññāṇa) Arises With an Ārammana

4. We think of the mind as our own and are always present. But in reality, our consciousness arises based on two conditions.

- First, we must be awake. If someone is unconscious, no matter how loud we talk, he will not hear. No matter how hard we shake him, he will not feel. When unconscious (or in a deep sleep), our physical bodies shut down. Even though the "mental body/gandhabba" never sleeps, it is not getting any sensory inputs from the brain. 
- Second, one of our six senses must be stimulated by an external sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, or memory. The first five come through our five physical senses, and the sixth is the thoughts that come to our mind via the mana indriya in the brain; see "Brain – Interface between Mind and Body." ... -and-body/
- An "external trigger" that initiates a new consciousness is called an ārammana. Such an ārammana comes to the mind via one of the "five physical doors" or directly to the mind. Then one of the six consciousness (viññāṇa) arise. These are vipāka viññāṇa. They just come in due to prior kamma, as kamma vipāka.
- These types of vipāka viññāṇa arise via, for example, “Cakkhuñca paṭicca rūpe ca uppajjāti cakkhu viññāṇaṃ." See "Contact Between Āyatana Leads to Vipāka Viññāna." ... a-vinnana/

Second Type of Consciousness (Kamma Viññāṇa) May Arise Based on an Ārammana

6. If that external "thought object" or "ārammana" is interesting, we start generating CONSCIOUS THOUGHTS about that ārammana.

- At this point, our consciousness switches to a new type called a kamma viññāṇa. This new consciousness is more than mere "consciousness" or "awareness." We are interested in pursuing what we have seen, heard, tasted, etc.. and "getting more of those we liked."
- For example, a friend may offer a piece of cake, and the taste of that cake is a vipāka viññāṇa. But if we liked the taste of that cake, we may want to taste it again in the future. We may start thinking about buying or making it and asking that friend how to pursue those two possibilities. That future expectation is in the new type of kamma viññāṇa generated via "avijjā paccayā saṅkhāra."
- In other words, now we have gone beyond "just experiencing the taste of the cake" or the "vipāka viññāṇa." Now we have a future expectation to taste it again with a "kamma viññāṇa" generated via our conscious thoughts (vaci saṅkhāra.)
- Stated in another way, we have initiated a Paṭicca Samuppāda process with "avijjā paccayā saṅkhāra" and "saṅkhāra paccayā viññāṇa." That viññāṇa is a kamma viññāṇa.

A Living Being - Body With a Mind Interacting With the External World

7. What we discussed above in summary form is what our lives are all about.  We have a physical body and an invisible "mental body/gandhabba" with the "seat of the mind" (hadaya vatthu.) The physical body gets sensory inputs from the external world. Those are processed by the brain and passed to the "mental body/gandhabba." It is the hadaya vatthu (we casually call the "mind") that "feels/experiences" such sensory inputs. Then we (our minds) pursue those sensory inputs we like and try to avoid those we do not like.

- In that process, we create new kamma that leads to the arising of a new body when the current body dies.
- Of course, the types of bodies that arise in future lives depend on the types of kamma that we do, based on those sensory experiences. If one kills another person to acquire that person's wealth, one will be reborn in a bad realm (apāyās.) If one generates compassionate thoughts about hungry people and offers them food, one may be reborn in a good realm.
- That is how the rebirth process continues.

Rupa Versus Rupakkhandha

8. The Buddha included all types of matter encountered at any time in one giant "collection" or "aggregate." That is the "rupa aggregate" or "rupa khandha" or "rūpakkhandha." 

- That means what is in the rūpakkhandha is not real (physical) rupa. Whatever is observed becomes a mental imprint or a "memory record" moments after observation. See the next post in the series: "Difference Between Physical Rūpa and Rūpakkhandha."
- The Buddha divided the mind or "mental aspects" into four categories: vedanā, saññā, saṅkhāra, and viññāṇa. These entities arise and fade, but a record of them exists (going back to an untraceable beginning.) Those "collections" or 'aggregates" are vedanākkhandha, saññākkhandha, saṅkhārakkhandha, and viññāṇakkhandha

Rupakkhandha Is Not Stored Directly

9. It is critical to realize that a "rupa" cannot be stored in the viññāṇa dhatu. Only a "mental imprint" of a rupa gets stored. That "mental imprint" is in the four "mental aggregates." Let us briefly discuss that.

- When we see an object, its shape, colors, etc., are perceived by the mind with the saññā aggregate. Our feelings about it are in the vedanā aggregate, and any action we took is in the saṅkhāra aggregate. Finally, our expectations for such rupa are in the viññāṇa aggregate.
- That process is discussed in detail in "Where Are Memories “Stored”? – Connection to Pañcakkhandha" ( ... akkhandha/) and "Where Are Memories Stored? – Viññāṇa Dhātu" ( ... ana-dhatu/)   (Ref. 1 in the chart). However, a good grasp of the concept of the five aggregates is needed as explained in the series of posts mentioned at the beginning.

The Five Aggregates Describe any "Living Being"

10. As we will see, a sentient being's entire existence (through uncountable rebirths) and experiences can be described entirely with those five aggregates. The Buddha showed that those five entities arise and fade away in a manner fully explained in terms of causes and their effect. There is no hidden "soul" or an "ātman."

- However, at any given time, there is a "person" with a set of gati (habits/character) responsible for the actions done at that time. It is not an automated process. That is why we cannot say there is no 'self' up to the Arahant stage. There is a "self" doing things on his/her own. Of course, only until seeing the futility of such "doings" or "(abhi)saṅkhāra."
- That last bullet point is what we need to understand. This time, we will discuss that systematically with a slightly different approach in the new series "Buddhism – In Charts." However, this series is only a systematic way to arrange previously published posts while making connections among posts in different sections. It is imperative to read the posts linked above. Buddha Dhamma is deeper than the deepest ocean. One can go into it as deeply as one wants, provided one is willing to spend the time. But what we discuss will be essential parts.


11. We have laid the framework to examine the conscious life and the rebirth process based on the five aggregates or pañcakkhandha. Please read and understand the whole section on "The Five Aggregates (Pañcakkhandha)" referred to at the beginning. I will discuss memory formation, storage, and extraction in the next post before we connect it all to Paṭicca Samuppāda.

- In this analysis, the whole world is divided into just five categories. One is the rupa aggregate, the "collection of MEMORIES of all rupa" or the rūpakkhandha. That includes memories of all "material objects," including our physical bodies and all external objects one has seen in all previous lives. We will discuss that in the next post.
- The other four aggregates or "heaps" or "collections" of four types of mental entities: vedanā (feelings), saññā (perception), saṅkhāra (thoughts about actions), and viññāṇa (vipāka viññāṇa or kamma viññāṇa.)
- I have discussed this topic in detail in "Paṭicca Samuppāda During a Lifetime." ... -lifetime/
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal »

Chart #6. "Timeline of Loka Samudaya“


Download/Print: Chart #6. Timeline of Loka Samudaya: ... ylHqBU-bsF

The following post provides an introduction to explaining the chart.

Loka Sutta – Origin and Cessation of the World

The Loka Sutta succinctly states the origin of the suffering-filled world (i.e., the continuation of the rebirth process.) It is the attachment to sensory inputs triggering the Paṭicca Samuppāda process.

Loka Sutta – Arising of One’s World

1. Here is how the Buddha described the “arising of one’s world” in the “Loka Sutta (SN 12.44)” ... ript=latin (I separated the verse into five steps to match the above chart): “Katamo ca, bhikkhave, lokassa samudayo? (i) Cakkhuñca paṭicca rūpe ca uppajjati cakkhuviññāṇaṁ. (ii)Tiṇṇaṁ saṅgati phasso. (iii) Phassa paccayā vedanā; (iv) vedanā paccayā taṇhā; (v) taṇhā paccayā upādānaṁ; upādāna paccayā bhavo; bhava paccayā jāti; jāti paccayā jarāmaraṇaṁ sokaparidevadukkhadomanassupāyāsā sambhavanti. Ayaṁ kho, bhikkhave, lokassa samudayo.”

Translated: “And what, bhikkhus, is the origin of the world? (i) In dependence on the eye and forms (rupa), eye-consciousness arises. (ii) That is followed by “contact with the three types of ‘saṅ‘ or “samphassa.” (iii) With samphassa as condition, samphassa-jā-vedanā come to be; (iv) with samphassa-jā-vedanā as condition, taṇhā; (v) with taṇhā as condition, upādāna; with upādāna as condition, existence (bhava); with bhava as condition, birth; with birth as condition, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair come to be. This, bhikkhus, is the origin of the world.”

- The word samudaya comes from “saṅ” + “udaya” which rhymes as “samudaya.” There is “saṅ” again! Now, “udaya” means to arise, and thus, “samudaya” means “arising due to saṅ.” This means not the arising of the whole world with trillions of stars/planets but the re-arising of the world at death with a new rebirth. If “saṅ” (or the defilements of greed, hate, and ignorance) were to have been removed, one would not be reborn and experience this suffering-filled world again.
- Note that just a sensory experience CANNOT be the root cause of suffering. Rather, the attachment to sensory experience with samphassa is the root cause. That is the KEY POINT of this sutta. This is why I have bolded the verse, “tiṇṇaṁ saṅgati phasso.”
- Let us discuss the time sequence stated in the whole verse. The above chart is a summary.

Time Sequence in the Above Verse – The first Step Happens to Anyone

2. (Step 1 in the Chart) The whole process starts with a sensory input through one of the six senses. The above verse describes what happens when someone sees an object they attach to (the other five sense faculties work the same way.) That attachment (taṇhā) eventually leads to suffering in some form.

- The process starts with “cakkhuñca paṭicca rūpe ca uppajjati cakkhuviññāṇaṁ.” That means cakkhu viññāṇa arises when one sees an object. It just sees what that object is. No kamma generated here. That “seeing event” or cakkhu viññāṇa occurs with the help of the phassa cetasika. This phassa (contact) is between cakkhu and rupa.
- As discussed, phassa cetasika is a universal cetasika that arises with ANY sensory event. When you hear a sound or taste food, that involves the phassa cetasika. Any living being, including an Arahant, will experience all six sensory inputs.
- The next step is “tiṇṇaṁ saṅgati phasso.”

Tiṇṇaṁ Saṅgati Phasso – Misunderstood Key Verse

3. (Step 2 in the Chart.) This short verse is commonly mistranslated as, “The meeting of the three is contact.” See the English translation of the Loka Sutta at Sutta Central: “The World (SN 12.44).” ... =latin#2.2

- It does not make any sense to say “the meeting of cakkhu, rupa, and cakkhu viññāṇa.” Instead, cakkhu viññāṇa (or seeing the object)” happens with the contact or meeting of cakkhu and rupa. There is no “meeting of the three.”
- Instead, what happens in this second step is “contact with defiled gati” or “samphassa.” Here samphassa is saṅ phassa“(“saṅ” + “phassa,” where “saṅ” are defilements (greed, anger, ignorance). It rhymes as “samphassa.” Thus, samphassa (contact with defilements) is an internal process in mind.

4. To learn about “saṅ,” see “What is “San”? Meaning of Sansāra (or Saṃsāra)” (viewtopic.php?p=497449#p497449), “List of “Saṅ” Words and Other Pāli Roots.”viewtopic.php?p=502770#p502770, and ""San" is not clear? This may be helpful if one has an open mind" viewtopic.php?p=503603#p503603

- There are three main “defiled gati” or “saṅgati“: lobha, dosa, and moha. Those are the “three” referred to in verse. It can also refer to one’s defilements associated with the three entities of cakkhu, rupa, and cakkhu viññāṇa.
- Such detailed explanations are in the three Commentaries within the Tipiṭaka. The above explanation of “phassa” as “samphassa” is given here: “Paṭiccasamuppāda vibhaṅga.” ... latin#11.1 For details, see “Difference between Phassa and Samphassa.” ... samphassa/

Phassa Paccayā Vedanā” Is “Samphassa Paccayā Samphassa-Jā-Vēdanā.”

5. (Step 3 in the Chart) Therefore, the third step, “phassa paccayā vedanā,” that comes after the step “tiṇṇaṁ saṅgati phasso” is “samphassa paccayā samphassa-jā-vēdanā.” This is a “mind-made vedanā” due to samphassa.

- Note that “” means “generated by,” and thus “samphassa-jā-vēdanā” means “vedanā generated by samphassa.” That vedanā would arise ONLY IF one gets attached to that sensory input.
- Now it is clear that the fourth step of “vedanā paccayā taṇhā” really is “samphassa-jā-vēdanā paccayā taṇhā.” An Arahant generates vēdanā (in Step 1) but not samphassa or samphassa-jā-vēdanā (in Step 3.)
- One would attach to that ārammana ONLY because it led to “samphassa” with the step “tiṇṇaṁ saṅgati phasso.“
- Again, the above analysis is at “Paṭiccasamuppāda vibhaṅga.” ... latin#12.1

Vedanā Paccayā Taṇhā” Is “Samphassa-Jā-Vēdanā Paccayā Taṇhā

6. (Step 4 in the Chart) The critical step of “attaching to the sensory input” happens if one’s mind becomes joyful/stressful. For example, if one sees a beautiful object, hears a pleasing sound, eats tasty food, etc., one would want more of it. Thus, the mind can attach and “get stuck” with that sensory input. That happens with a “new type of consciousness” or a “kamma viññāna” with a desire to fulfill an expectation.

- As the “Paṭiccasamuppāda vibhaṅga” ( ... latin#13.1) explains, this “attachment” can take place for all six sensory inputs, i.e., there are six types of taṇhā: Rūpa taṇhā, sadda taṇhā, gandha taṇhā, rasa taṇhā, phoṭṭhabba taṇhā, dhamma taṇhā.
- That automatic attachment occurs because of the mindset that “it is possible to fulfill expectations and be PERMANENTLY happy by pursuing pleasurable things in this world.”
- Thus, one would make efforts “acquire such things” without realizing those are defilements (“saṅ”) that WILL lead to future suffering.

7. With such a mindset, “cetana” become saṅcetanā (defiled intentions); with such “defiled intentions,” one would engage in (abhi)saṅkhāra. Here, “saṅkhāra” means “saṅ + khāra” or “actions with “saṅ.”

- That leads to the perpetuation of the rebirth process or Saṁsāra (“sāra” means “fruitful”; thus, Saṁsāra results because of that wrong view/perception of a “fruitful world.”)
- To remove that wrong view, one must “see” the correct worldview of the Buddha, see the perils of “saṅ,“ and become “Sandiṭṭhiko” at the Sotapanna stage. Thus the verse, “Sandiṭṭhikaṁ Nibbānaṁ“ in the “Nibbuta Sutta (AN 3.55).”( ... =latin#1.2) Note that diṭṭhi here means “to see.”

Kamma Generation Starting With “Taṇhā Paccayā Upādāna

8. (Step 5 in the Chart) The Akusala-Mula Paṭicca Samuppāda process starts at this point of getting to the “taṇhā paccayā upādāna” step in a sensory event. This is where kamma accumulation (responsible for rebirths) starts. That is why the Buddha called it the “origin of the world.”

- One starts acting with avijjā and generates abhisaṅkhāra with a “kamma viññāṇa“: “avijjā paccayā (abhi)saṅkhāra, (abhi)saṅkhāra paccayā (kamma)viññāna, ..” leading to the whole mass of suffering: “Evametassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa samudayō hōti.”
- For details, see “Taṇhā Paccayā Upādāna – Critical Step in Paṭicca Samuppāda,”( ... a-upadana/) “Generating Kammic Energy in the “Upādāna Paccayā Bhava” Step,” ( ... hava-step/) and “Difference Between Tanhā and Upādāna.” ... d-upadana/
- Above is a summary of the Buddha’s description of “loka samudaya,” or “origin of one’s world,” per the short “Loka Sutta (SN 12.44).”( ... ript=latin) As you can see, even such a short sutta needs to be explained in detail.
- This is why I emphasize that reading “word-by-word translations” of suttas is a waste of time, especially for those not well-versed in Buddha Dhamma’s fundamentals.

Loka Samudaya” Will Not Take Place for an Arahant

9. All steps after the first step of “seeing an object” will not arise for an Arahant because an Arahant would not generate samphassa. See #3 and #9 of the post “Difference between Phassa and Samphassa.”

- Another way to state the same is to say that an Arahant does not have saṅgati (“saṅ gati“) or “defiled gati.” Arahant‘s mind is pure, devoid of greed, hate/anger, and ignorance. Note that “gati” is pronounced “gathi,” like in “Thief.”
- For an Arahant, a ‘seeing event” is just that. No attachment. Thus, any sensory event would be limited to just experiencing that sensory input. The critical step of “tiṇṇaṁ saṅgati phasso” WILL NOT take place for an Arahant. Thus all other steps following it would not be there!
- That is why Arahant is free from future suffering. The root causes for the “arising of the world” (“saṅgati“) have been eliminated for an Arahant.

How Can Someone Get to the Arahanthood?

10. Now the question is: “How can someone attain Arahanthood, i.e., stop the rebirth process and attain Nibbāna“?

The Buddha provided the answer in the second part of the sutta ... =latin#4.1: “Katamo ca, bhikkhave, lokassa atthaṅgamo? Cakkhuñca paṭicca rūpe ca uppajjati cakkhuviññāṇaṁ. Tiṇṇaṁ saṅgati phasso. Phassa paccayā vedanā; vedanā paccayā taṇhā. Tassāyeva taṇhāya asesavirāganirodhā upādāna nirodho; upādāna nirodhā bhava nirodho …pe… evametassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa nirodho hoti. Ayaṁ kho, bhikkhave, lokassa atthaṅgamo.”

Translated: “And what, bhikkhus, is the cessation/ending of the world? In dependence on the eye and forms, eye-consciousness arises. That is followed by “contact with the three types of “saṅ‘” or “samphassa.” With samphassa as a condition, samphassa-jā-vedanā come to be; with samphassa-jā-vedanā as condition taṇhā. But with the remainder-less fading away and cessation of taṇhā result in the cessation of upādāna; with the cessation of upādāna, cessation of existence (bhava); with the cessation of existence, cessation of birth; with the cessation of birth, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair cease. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering. This, bhikkhus, is the cessation/ending of the world.

- The removal of taṇhā starts at the Sotapanna stage by comprehending the above-summarized process. Complete cessation of taṇhā happens in four stages: Sotapanna, Sakadāgāmi, Anāgāmi, and Arahant.

- Until Arahanthood, anyone COULD generate samphassa, depending on the sensory input. As one attains higher magga phala, there will be fewer ārammana that could lead to samphassa or “contact with defilements.” For example, after attaining the Anāgāmi stage, one would not “attach to” any sensual pleasures available in kāma loka.
- An Arahant would have removed all defilements, and thus, the Akusala-Mula Paṭicca Samuppāda process starting with “avijjā paccayā saṅkhāra” would not be initiated. That is the cessation/ending of the world for that Arahant!

A Sensory Experience is a Trigger to Initiate a PS Process

11. As Loka Sutta points out, the accumulation of kammic energy to “power up” future existences starts with sensory experiences. Kamma generation in Paṭicca Samuppāda (PS) process takes place in the “taṇhā paccayā upādānaṁ” step in #8 above.

- As discussed in the second part of the Loka Sutta, the critical point is the stopping of the sequence of events following a sensory experience at the arising of taṇhā due to “samphassa-jā-vedanā.” We cannot control it at that moment since it happens within a split second.
- (Additional information: Two critical things need to happen to reduce and eliminate taṇhā over time: (i) First, one must comprehend this whole process that we are discussing and also how the Paṭicca Samuppāda process works. That is the “dassanā pahātabbā” step, where a large fraction of wrong views is removed at the Sotapanna stage by getting rid of wrong views. (ii) Once getting to the Sotapanna stage, one needs to remove the tendency to attach to sensory pleasures with Ānāpāna and Satipaṭṭhāna Bhāvanā. One reaches higher stages of magga phala in this second stage of the “bhāvanā pahātabbā” step. In the Sabbāsava Sutta (MN 2)( ... ript=latin), “dassanā pahātabbā” is the “first removal,” and “bhāvanā pahātabbā” is the “last removal.”)
- We will discuss that in future posts again. But it has been discussed in some existing posts. See, for example, “Vipallāsa (Diṭṭhi, Saññā, Citta) Affect Saṅkhāra.” ... nna-citta/

Paṭicca Samuppāda process Is Initiated by a Sensory Experience

12. Therefore, the Akusala-Mula Paṭicca Samuppāda process does not automatically start with “avijjā paccayā saṅkhāra.” No one would act with avijjā WITHOUT a cause. The cause for acting with avijjā is a TEMPTATION brought up by a SENSORY EXPERIENCE.

- One can see that by combining the Loka Sutta (SN 12.44) discussed above with the “Sabba Sutta (SN 35.23)“. ... ript=latin
- This theme is seen in many suttas, including the Chachakka Sutta (MN 148). I have discussed that sutta in detail in another series of posts on the “Worldview of the Buddha.” ... he-buddha/Just look at the introductory post of that series, “Buddhist Worldview – Introduction.” ... worldview/
- Other posts in the series: “Paṭicca Samuppāda – Essential Concepts.” ... -concepts/
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal »

Chart #7. Saṅkhāra – An Introduction


Download/Print: Chart #7. Saṅkhāra – An Introduction ... P2ydSr7iZ8

The following post provides an introduction to explaining the chart.

Saṅkhāra – An Introduction

It is critically important to understand what is meant by “saṅkhāra.” Without getting a basic idea of saṅkhāra, one cannot hope to understand Paṭicca Samuppāda, i.e., Buddha’s teachings.

Saṅkhāra – Various Types

1. Saṅkhārās arise in mind in response to sensory inputs (ārammaṇa.) They are “a mixture of feeling/perception/intention” arising based on the ārammaṇa AND one’s gati. Those arising automatically (without thinking) are “citta/mano saṅkhāra.” Then we may start thinking about the ārammaṇa with “vaci saṅkhāra” and may speak out with them too. If we start bodily actions, those involve stronger kāya saṅkhāra. That is one primary division of saṅkhāra. All living beings (including Arahants) generate them.

- Our thoughts, speech, and actions can be defiled/corrupted by greed (lobha), anger (dosa), or ignorance (moha); those would fall into apuñña/akusala (immoral) saṅkhāra. They can bring harmful consequences in the future; thus, the prefix “abhi” is attached too, i.e., they are apuñña/akusala abhisaṅkhāra.
- The opposites or the moral types with generosity, compassion, and wisdom can bring good/beneficial results in the future, and they are puñña abhisaṅkhāra.

2. For example, if we hear a brief loud sound, we may be annoyed but not generate anger; that involves only mano saṅkhāra. However, if that loud noise persists, we may get angry and start (internally) cursing the person causing the noise; if the sound persists, we may speak out with anger; both those actions involved vaci abhisaṅkhāra. If we then confront the “sound maker,” we may hit that person with anger, and that kamma is done with kāya abhisaṅkhāra.

- Saṅkhārās without the “abhi” prefix do not have kammic consequences in the future, i.e., they do not have associated kammic energies.
- Therefore, “avijjā paccayā saṅkhārā” should be explained as “avijjā paccayā abhisaṅkhārā” because saṅkhārā can arise in a Buddha or an Arahant, yet abhisaṅkhārās (due to avijjā) do not arise in them.
- In Paṭicca Samuppāda, even though the uddesa version is avijjā paccaya saṅkhāra,” those due to avijjā are ALWAYS abhisaṅkhāra. That is why it is not a good idea to translate verses in the suttas mechanically, word by word. That lead to contradictions and confusion; see “Distortion of Pāli Keywords in Paṭicca Samuppāda.” ... samuppada/
- Many suttas (especially discussing deeper concepts) are in the “utterance or uddesa” format. Translating them word for word can lead to confusion. They must be explained (niddesa.) Sometimes long explanations with examples and analogies (paṭiniddesa) are needed. See, “Sutta Interpretation – Uddēsa, Niddēsa, Paṭiniddēsa.” ... tiniddesa/
- Let us first look at the “definitions” of the three main types of saṅkhāra.

Three Types of Saṅkhāra Responsible for Actions, Speech, and Thoughts

3. There are succinct statements in the Cūḷa­ve­dalla Sutta (MN 44) ( ... latin#13.2) on the types of saṅkhāra generated in mind:

Tayome, āvuso visākha, saṅkhārā—kāyasaṅkhāro, vacīsaṅkhāro, cittasaṅkhāro”ti.
– There are three types of saṅkhārakāya saṅkhāra, vacī saṅkhāra, citta saṅkhāra.

Katamo panāyye, kāyasaṅkhāro, katamo vacīsaṅkhāro, katamo cittasaṅkhāro”ti?
– What are kāya saṅkhāra, What are vacī saṅkhāra, What are citta saṅkhāra (or manō saṅkhāra)?

Assāsapassāsā kho, āvuso visākha, kāyasaṅkhāro, vitakkavicārā vacīsaṅkhāro, saññā ca vedanā ca cittasaṅkhāro”ti.
Assāsa passāsā are kāya saṅkhāra, vitakka vicāra are vacī saṅkhāra, saññā and vedanā constitute citta saṅkhāra.

Kasmā panāyye, assāsapassāsā kāyasaṅkhāro, kasmā vitakkavicārā vacīsaṅkhāro, kasmā saññā ca vedanā ca cittasaṅkhāro”ti?
– Why are the three types of saṅkhāra categorized in that way?

Assāsapassāsā kho, āvuso visākha, kāyikā ete dhammā kāyap­paṭi­baddhā, tasmā assāsapassāsā kāyasaṅkhāro. Pubbe kho, āvuso visākha, vitakketvā vicāretvā pacchā vācaṃ bhindati, tasmā vitakkavicārā vacīsaṅkhāro. Saññā ca vedanā ca cetasikā ete dhammā cittap­paṭi­baddhā, tasmā saññā ca vedanā ca cittasaṅkhāro”ti.
Assāsa passāsā (breathing in and out) is associated with the body (movements). Thus, assāsa passāsa is kāya saṅkhāra.
Vitakka/vicāra arise before speech “breaks out.” Therefore, vitakka/vicāra are vacī saṅkhāra.
Saññā and vedanā are associated with any citta. Thus, Saññā/vedanā are citta (mano) saṅkhāra.

Assāsa Passāsa Are not Abhisaṅkhāra

4. “Assāsa passāsa” in verse “assāsa passāsā kāya saṅkhārā” does refer to the type of saṅkhāra involved in “breathing in out.”

- Even though we don’t realize it, breathing in and out happens via citta vithi, i.e., “thoughts” if we translate citta as “thought.” But these are “weak citta” without any javana power. Such weak citta vithis run through our minds even while we are sleeping. Now, breathing involves moving body parts, and any bodily movement MUST involve citta because the mind controls the body.
- Breathing, walking, running, or any bodily movement that does not arise with greed, anger, or ignorance in mind are kammically-neutral saṅkhāra. They are NOT abhisaṅkhāra.

5. Those definitions in #3 above are for saṅkhāra in general. Whether they become abhisaṅkhāra or not will depend on whether or not greed (lobha), anger (dosa), or ignorance (moha) will be involved.

- For example, saññā and vedanā arise in cittās of Arahants, too. Thus, manō saṅkhāra arising in Arahants are not abhisaṅkhāra. However, if vedanā turn to samphassa-jā-vedanā, then they definitely become abhisaṅkhāra.
- Vitakka/vicāra can be simply stated as “deliberations.” When an ārammaṇa comes in, one may start internally debating how to proceed. An example is given in #6 below. Those deliberations can be immoral, moral, or neutral and must be handled based on the context. However, when specifically referred to as savitakka/savicāra, those are “good vaci saṅkhāra” that, for example, arise in an Arahant.
- For details, see “Vacī Saṅkhāra – Saṅkappa (Conscious Thoughts) and Vācā (Speech),” ( ... ca-speech/) “Correct Meaning of Vacī Sankhāra,” ( ... -sankhara/) and “Vitakka, Vicāra, Savitakka, Savicāra, and Avitakka, Avicāra.” ... a-avicara/

Saṅkhāra and Abhisaṅkhāra

6. Understanding how they arise makes it easier to remember the functions/deployment of the three main types of saṅkhāra mentioned above. Either good or bad types of abhisaṅkhāra come into play when we attach to sensory input (ārammaṇa) and greed, anger, or ignorance arise in mind.

- Let us consider an example. Suppose person X is watching TV. X is just watching a “bland program.” But then the program switches to a commercial showing a beautiful half-naked actress in a recently released movie. That automatically leads to lustful thoughts in X, and he starts watching it with interest. Those initial thoughts of lust arise automatically due to his hidden defilements (kāma rāga anusaya.) Those are citta/mano abhisaṅkhāra arising automatically due to his character/habits (gati) to be aroused/enticed by such visuals.
- Mano abhisaṅkhāras arise automatically according to gati and are the weakest form of abhisaṅkhāra.
- Now he starts generating lustful thoughts consciously; here, he is “talking to himself,” thinking about how nice it would be to watch the movie; these are the “deliberations” or “vitakka/vicāra” mentioned in #5 above. Those are a form of vaci abhisaṅkhāra. He calls out to his friend to come and see the commercial. His speech here is also vaci abhisaṅkhāra.
- Both watch the commercial while talking excitedly about the actress and the movie and decide to go to the movie. Then they get dressed and drive to the movie theater. All those bodily actions are kāya saṅkhāra. Furthermore, since the root cause of those bodily actions is lust in mind, they are kāya abhisaṅkhāra.
- Vaci and kāya abhisaṅkhāra are more robust since they arise in javana citta, with conscious thinking.

7. The types of abhisaṅkhāra in #6 above are not strong enough to directly cause a specific rebirth. However, they do generate kammic energy that can bring vipāka in kāma loka.

- But these types of lust-induced abhisaṅkhāra can grow and lead to committing rape, for example. That specific kamma can lead to an unfortunate rebirth (as an animal, for example.)
- I hope that explains the fundamental difference between saṅkhāra and abhisaṅkhāra.
- Another way to understand: abhisaṅkhāra involves javana citta, which are strong citta that arises with greed, anger, or ignorance (about moral implications.)

Cetanā and Sañcetanā

8. In the “Nibbedhika Sutta (AN 6.63)“,( ... latin#33.3) the Buddha declared, “cetanāhaṁ, bhikkhave, kammaṁ vadāmi.” Thus, what determines the type of kammā is the cetanā or the “intention.”

- If the “intention” does not involve lobha, dosa, or moha (avijjā), it is only a cetana or “intention” to get something done. Here, kamma done is just an action without kammic consequences. For example, if one walks to the kitchen to get a glass of water, that is done with a neutral cetana; the “intention” is to quench the thirst. It is NOT a sañcetanā.
- A cetana becomes a sañcetanā (sañ + cetanā) if it involves “sañ” or lobha, dosa, moha (avijjā.) See “San – A Critical Pāli Root” and “Details of Kamma – Intention, Who Is Affected, Kamma Patha.”

9. There is a detailed analysis (niddesa version) of Paṭicca Samuppāda in “Vibhaṅgapararana” (the Tipiṭaka Commentary.) See “Paṭi­c­ca­samu­p­pāda­vibhaṅga.” ... =latin#7.1

- There it is explained what is meant by “avijjā paccayā saṅkhārā”: It says, “Kāya sañcetanā kāyasaṅkhāro, vacī sañcetanā vacīsaṅkhāro, mano sañcetanā citta (mano) saṅkhāro. Ime vuccanti “avijjā paccayā saṅkhārā”.”
- That means saṅkhāra that arise with avijjā have “sañcetanā” or “defiled cetanā” or “defiled intentions.” Those are abhisaṅkhāra.
- Therefore, only abhisaṅkhāra with sañcetanā are included in “avijjā paccayā saṅkhārā.”

10. In the “Sañcetanā Sutta (SN 27.7)” ( ... ript=latin) the Buddha stated, “rūpa sañcetanāya chandarāgo, cittasseso upakkileso.”

- That means “attachment/craving (chanda rāga) for rūpa” lead to the arising of defiled intentions (sañcetanā.) Defiled intentions are those with greed, anger, and ignorance.
- Then that verse is repeated for attachment to sounds, smells, tastes, touches, and dhammā (dhamma sañcetanā.) Note that dhammā are ārammaṇa that come directly to the mind; see “Dhamma and Dhammā – Different but Related.” ... t-related/


11. Let us take an example. If we see someone walking with a knife, we would only know that he is generating kāya saṅkhāra because moving the body involves kāya saṅkhāra. We would not know whether they are kāya abhisaṅkhārā until we see what he does with that knife.

- If he carries the knife intending to hurt/kill someone, then sañcetanās come into play, and he is engaged in “avijjā paccayā saṅkhārā” where the saṅkhārā is an akusala abhisaṅkhāra of the specific type of kāya abhisaṅkhārā.
- But if he just bought that knife and is taking it home, it is just a cetana, NOT a sañcetanā. Thus it is just a kāya kamma (bodily action) done with kāya saṅkhārā that DOES NOT belong to “avijjā paccayā saṅkhārā.”
- Therefore, saṅkhārā with neutral cetanā lead to neutral kammā; they do not have future kammic consequences. But abhisaṅkhāra with sañcetanā are done with “avijjā paccayā saṅkhārā,” and they can bring kamma vipāka in the future.
- Any saṅkhāra (kāya, vaci, or mano) can be included in the category of “avijjā paccayā saṅkhārā” ONLY IF one’s intention involves lobha, dosa, or moha (avijjā.)

Saṅkhāra and Kamma – Closely Related

12. Saṅkhārās are closely related to kammā. “Kamma” is typically translated as “action,” but all kammā have their origin in mind.

- Just like there are citta/mano, vaci, and kāya saṅkhāra, there are mano, vaci, and kāya kamma. Furthermore, they are closely related. Mano saṅkhārās give rise to mano kammā, vaci saṅkhārās give rise to vaci kammā, and kaya saṅkhārās give rise to kāya kammā.
- Now we can see that there are apuñña/akusala kamma and puñña/kusala kamma.

13. Paṭicca Samuppāda explains how various types of abhisaṅkhāra lead to corresponding results (vipāka) in the future.

- Such vipāka can materialize in the current life or future lives. Strong kammā (with strong abhisaṅkhāra) lead to good or bad future births via Uppatti Paṭicca Samuppāda; see “Uppatti Paṭicca Samuppāda (How We Create Our Own Rebirths).” ( ... -rebirths/) Other, weaker kammā can bring their vipāka during a lifetime, either in this or a future life, which is explained in “Paṭicca Samuppāda During a Lifetime.” ... -lifetime/
- The critical issue is that some kammā (actions) not merely get the job done at that time but can lead to consequences in the future, even in future lives. Those having a “carry-over” effect are the first two types of moral and immoral kammā taking place via abhisaṅkhāra.

Manōpubbangamā Dhammā..

14. The Buddha taught that everything arising in this world originates in our thoughts, speech, and actions. It may take a lot of reading to comprehend that fully, but that is the only way to learn Buddha Dhamma.

- That principle is embodied in the Dhamma verse, “Manōpubbangamā Dhammā..” ... ma-dhamma/ Here, mano” represents the mind, and dhammā (with a long “a”) means those kammic energies that bring vipāka (including rebirth). I have discussed that in various ways; for example, “Kamma and Paṭicca Samuppāda.” ... samuppada/
- Those born and growing up in the Western world have a “materialistic worldview” from their upbringing. It is difficult for some to understand how “solid matter” (say, our physical bodies) can have its origins in mind. However, even though I now live in the United States, I was raised in a practicing Buddhist family in Sri Lanka. It took a long time, but I have now realized the necessity to explain this “mind-body” connection in detail, especially to a Western audience.
- Our thoughts (specifically abhisaṅkhāra) may not directly lead to the creation of ALL “solid matter.” It is a subtle but quite logical/scientific process. I discussed that in the “Origin of Life” series ( ... n-of-life/), but I now think I must explain some basic concepts in detail.

15. All posts on saṅkhāra at “Saṅkhāra – Many Meanings.” ... -meanings/Discussing all aspects of saṅkhāra in one or two posts is impossible. Please make sure to read them and fully understand saṅkhāra. That will go a long way in comprehending Paṭicca Samuppāda.

All the posts in this new “series of review posts with charts” at “Buddhism – In Charts.”
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