Atthakavagga, Formless, Consciousness and Namarupa

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and scriptures.
Sadat
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Re: Atthakavagga, Formless, Consciousness and Namarupa

Post by Sadat »

Pulsar wrote: Mon May 29, 2023 12:33 am Sadat wrote
I do not have access to any libraries with Pali stuff.
I did not mean Pali Pali, I meant English translations of the Pali canon. Do you have a copy of the Samyutta Nikaya by Bhikkhu Bodhi? To begin with I bought all of VBB's sutta translations, Long Discourses, Middle length Discourses, Samyutta and Anguttara. What was most helpful was the Samyutta Nikaya.
I spent a great deal of time comparing suttas of Samyutta Nikaya and Samyukta agama.
Not all of the Samyukta agama is neatly found in the Pali nikaya (I mean English translation). It is a bit maddening to make head or tail of why Pali compilers placed some suttas of Samyukta agama in the Anguttara Nikaya.
But I have identified those suttas in the Anguttara that came from Samyukta agama.
They should be rightfully in the Samyutta nikaya. Heaven knows what thoughts made them split Samyukta agama. I also learnt to translate Chinese agama parallels of Pali suttas.
An amazing new world opened up to me.
Just to point out the complications one has to put up with. If you are serious about the words that were closest to Buddha, spend a lot of time with Samyutta nikaya for now.
Sagathavagga is a wonderful place to start with.
If you understand that, along with Parayanavagga and Athakavagga you have come a long way. The last two can be found online at Sutta Central. Until you buy a copy of VBB Samyutta Nikaya (I highly advice it) you can read it all on Sutta Central or Thanissaro translations found online at Access to Insight. V. Thanissaro and V. Bodhi are good with foot notes.
Now that is a beginning...with time I will point out what to focus on. Meanwhile you are welcome to PM me with any questions. As for other reading material, I will point out a few later.
Best Wishes! :candle:
Thanks, Pulsar. I've been thinking for a while about ordering one of the Nikaya books by VBB. So this is a good reminder. I will send you a message once I come up with more specific questions.

Best wishes
Pulsar
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Re: Atthakavagga, Formless, Consciousness and Namarupa

Post by Pulsar »

Formless as referred to in Atthakavagga Sn 4.11?
It is not the formless states of the Arupasamapatthis which prevailed in India, before Buddha's awakening.
To give you an idea of the dyana school that prevailed before before Buddhism.
An excerpt from "Primitive Buddhism" by Mizuno Kogen translated by Yamamoto, Kosho. I have a copy in front of me. p114. ..
The Samkhya school, which was of the house of orthodox brahmanism and one of the 6 schools of philosophy and which most probably originated from the dhyana school that existed before Buddhism, made it as in Jainism that the true ideal could be attained only when the pristine spirit was released from matter/rupa.
In this case also, mind and matter were two separate units, and the independence of spirit alone gave one a a free unmolested state of activity
In other words this was the soil that Buddhism grew in according to the words of esteemed scholar Bronkhorst. Let us get back to Atthakavaga.
A school that emerged 200-300 years after Buddha's passing away (Vibajjavada) understood the phrase
  • "For whom form does not appear"
in Sn 4.11 to be the formless states of Arupa samapatthis, as presented in Niddesa. The Niddesa apparently was further confused by the verse #874 which Tillman Vetter identified as a difficult verse, and he himself was apparently struggling with.
  • The difficulty arises however if those reading the sutta did not understand what Buddha meant by form/rupa.
According to abhidhamma form/rupa of Dependent Origination is a materiality. This misapprehension of the Founder's teaching, had negative repercussions on the later exegesis put forward by faithful Vibajjavadins.
No one seems to realize? how Buddha Dhamma was turned upside down at the root, by this seemingly innocent misinterpretation by Vibajjavadins. This crept into the way Rupa/form of DO was presented in many suttas
of the Pali canon, which is a work of Vibajjavadins. Luckily for us there were the Pali compilers who understood the Buddha, spirit of Buddha reins in those suttas.
With love :candle:
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mjaviem
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Re: Atthakavagga, Formless, Consciousness and Namarupa

Post by mjaviem »

Pulsar wrote: Tue May 30, 2023 11:03 am ... According to abhidhamma form/rupa of Dependent Origination is a materiality...
What does materiality mean?

For me rupa means 'physical appearance' which is a very material way of appearing. It's very objective. I also said that to me it seems nama-rupa means "subjectivity-objectivity" but arupa perhaps means "without physical appearance" rather than "without objectivity".

What does materiality mean to you? It seems you believe that upon enlightenment there are still things arising and ceasing such as the body.

It also seems that you think an arupa existence, which is a concrete existence but without a body arising, is not possible. You don't think this is correct, right?

I think arupa existence is possible because it's in the suttas and because it makes sense. Arupa existence happens when clinging to mind-objects happens only.
Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammā Sambuddhassa
Pulsar
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Re: Atthakavagga, Formless, Consciousness and Namarupa

Post by Pulsar »

mjaviem wrote
What does materiality mean to you? It seems you believe that upon enlightenment there are still things arising and ceasing such as the body.
Materiality in which context? In this thread the discussion is based on Dependent Origination as Buddha taught, not as Abhidhamma taught it.
Do you a notice a difference in the two teachings? Or are they both the same to you?
Can you bring me the passage where I expressed the thought below?
It seems you believe that upon enlightenment there are still things arising and ceasing such as the body.
mjaviem continued
It also seems that you think an arupa existence, which is a concrete existence but without a body arising, is not possible. You don't think this is correct, right?
I have not referred to a concrete arupa existence. Can you copy and paste where I said that?
You continued
I think arupa existence is possible because it's in the suttas and because it makes sense. Arupa existence happens when clinging to mind-objects happens only.
If you think
Arupa existence happens when clinging to mind objects only,
and if that makes sense to you, then obviously my comments will not make sense to you.
I am not sure whether I ever spoke of an Arupa existence. An Arupa existence founded on Dependent Origination taught by Buddha does not make sense to me, at this point.
Arupa existence is an oxymoron to me, but of course there are legends in the sutta pitaka that refer to these. I do not pay attention to the legends and myths included in the sutta pitaka.
Buddha did not write the sutta pitaka. Few are the words of Buddha found in the sutta pitaka.
  • But those few are enough for a person with a steel determination to locate where suffering begins.
With love :candle:
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mjaviem
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Re: Atthakavagga, Formless, Consciousness and Namarupa

Post by mjaviem »

Pulsar wrote: Tue May 30, 2023 5:29 pm ...
Do you a notice a difference in the two teachings? Or are they both the same to you?
...
I don't read abhidhamma. I can't tell.
Pulsar wrote: Tue May 30, 2023 5:29 pm ...
Can you bring me the passage where I expressed the thought below?
It seems you believe that upon enlightenment there are still things arising and ceasing such as the body.
...
It's the idea I get from your postings. This quote can help as an example, though.
Pulsar wrote: Thu May 18, 2023 4:14 pm ,,,
  • Arahant has a nose but not the ayatana related to the smell, due to having lost craving for smell.
...
It seems that your your understanding of the mental versus the physical leads you to believe the Arahant's quenching is of some but not all sankharas.
Pulsar wrote: Tue May 30, 2023 5:29 pm ... I have not referred to a concrete arupa existence. Can you copy and paste where I said that?
...
Exactly, you think it's not possible. You say.
Pulsar wrote: Fri May 19, 2023 10:18 am ...
  • The phrase Arupa existence is an oxymoron.
I...
And you continue saying that these are legends. I think your understanding of existence is not complete I'm not claiming mine to be complete, of course. But it seems one could say I find more words of the Buddha in the Suttapitaka than you do.
Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammā Sambuddhassa
Pulsar
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Re: Atthakavagga, Formless, Consciousness and Namarupa

Post by Pulsar »

mjaviem wrote
I don't read abhidhamma. I can't tell.
Pali sutta pitaka is a sectarian document, which is presented through the eyes of monks (banakas who merely repeated a sutta without understanding Samudaya... i.e. origin of suffering as Buddha taught it).
Their understanding was filtered via vibajjavadin Abhidhamma. Do you think they transmitted the original suttas without airbrushing (a playful word) or influencing those with their understanding?
  • If you have not read the abhidahmma of the school you are reading, how could you figure out any sutta as Buddha's teaching or not?
You say you do, or you think you
do.
Once I thought like you do now, treat most of the suttas as Buddha's teaching.
Venerable Bodhi who has delved into a study of Sutta pitaka as a scholar, admits that sutta pitaka contains only fragments of Buddha's teaching.
You appear not to agree with him.
This is OK. These conversations are part of a learning process. We are here to help each other with the best of intentions, as Buddha would have wanted us, to maintain his dispensation for posterity, not as Vibajjavadins wanted us to??? I like you, you are polite, you understood right speech.
I will address the other issues you raised as I find time.
With love :candle:
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mjaviem
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Re: Atthakavagga, Formless, Consciousness and Namarupa

Post by mjaviem »

Pulsar wrote: Wed May 31, 2023 12:00 pm Pali sutta pitaka is a sectarian document, which is presented through the eyes of monks (banakas who merely repeated a sutta without understanding Samudaya... i.e. origin of suffering as Buddha taught it).
Their understanding was filtered via vibajjavadin Abhidhamma. Do you think they transmitted the original suttas without airbrushing (a playful word) or influencing those with their understanding?...
Coincidentally, this is what I regret about translations. Though, I think the Buddha's words repeated by an ignorant monk are better than a translation of the Buddha's words by an ignorant translator. To me, main concern with Sutta pitaka is in translations not in Pali scripture itself. I think Pali must be reasonably accurate, unlike many of its translations.
Pulsar wrote: Wed May 31, 2023 12:00 pm ...
  • If you have not read the abhidahmma of the school you are reading, how could you figure out any sutta as Buddha's teaching or not?
You say you do, or you think you
do.
Once I thought like you do now, treat most of the suttas as Buddha's teaching.
Venerable Bodhi who has delved into a study of Sutta pitaka as a scholar, admits that sutta pitaka contains only fragments of Buddha's teaching.
You appear not to agree with him.
...
I'm not figuring it out, I can only say when it makes sense and looks consistent to me and when it doesn't to me. And I do agree with ven. Bodhi if he says they're only fragments. I think they're only the teachings that needed preservation, the Buddha must have spoken lengthy while the Suttas contain the core or summary of his teachings probably.

Pulsar wrote: Wed May 31, 2023 12:00 pm ... I like you, you are polite, you understood right speech.
I will address the other issues you raised as I find time.
With love :candle:
I like you too, it's only that you seem to put this dichotomy mental vs physical, this emphasis of mental over material that seems off to me. It's like you couldn't explain cessation of the physical.
Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammā Sambuddhassa
Pulsar
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Re: Atthakavagga, Formless, Consciousness and Namarupa

Post by Pulsar »

majaviem wrote
I like you too, it's only that you seem to put this dichotomy mental vs physical, this emphasis of mental over material that seems off to me. It's like you couldn't explain cessation of the physical.
Can you explain which part of the consciousness is physical?
Perhaps the issue is, "Your understanding of the origination of suffering, or Dependent origination"
  • I was never attempting to explain the cessation of physical.
Is it not quite obvious that what is physical about us, the physical body ceases functioning as a sentient being at death?
Can you copy and paste where I spoke of a dichotomy between mental and physical?, It is not a factor in this discussion, of DO.
  • In the consciousness however a dichotomy is created between subject and object when an object (rupa arising due to craving) is identified as mine, mentally.
Nama and rupa both are mental in this situation. Arahants do not identify, rupa of dependent origination do not arise in their minds.
Sure a dichotomy is created, in the puthujjana, but it belongs in the sphere of mentality.
How do you understand Nama-Rupa? which is a mental process in the DO taught by Buddha?
Can you explain how consciousnesss is created, or how it comes to be,
in the Buddha's world?
Let us make sure we are on the same page, otherwise we are wasting each other's time.
With love :candle:
Pulsar
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Re: Atthakavagga, Formless, Consciousness and Namarupa

Post by Pulsar »

mjaviem wrote
Though, I think the Buddha's words repeated by an ignorant monk are better than a translation of the Buddha's words by an ignorant translator.
Are you drawing a distinction between a layman and a monk here? that whatever is translated by a monk makes more sense (no matter how ignorant he is) than a translation by a layman, who had far less ignorance.
Surprisingly, of all the scholars of recent times, I find Erich Frauwallner to be the most brilliant. He was not a monk, just a layman.
Would the words repeated by an ignorant monk be better even if that ignorance had an impact on the transmission of the right Doctrine?
Would the words translated by a brilliant layman be inferior, even if he clarified the doctrine perfectly, without any glitch, just as Buddha intended it.
With love :candle:
Pulsar
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Re: Atthakavagga, Formless, Consciousness and Namarupa

Post by Pulsar »

mjaviem wrote
I think Pali must be reasonably accurate, unlike many of its translations.
Have you read Bhikkhu Bodhi's footnotes to the nikayas, in his translations?
With love :candle:
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mjaviem
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Re: Atthakavagga, Formless, Consciousness and Namarupa

Post by mjaviem »

Pulsar wrote: Wed May 31, 2023 6:48 pm Can you explain which part of the consciousness is physical?
Perhaps the issue is, "Your understanding of the origination of suffering, or Dependent origination"
  • I was never attempting to explain the cessation of physical.
Is it not quite obvious that what is physical about us, the physical body ceases functioning as a sentient being at death?
...
If you mean viññana, there are six types of viññana: eye-cognition, ear-cognition, nose-cognition, tongue-cognition, body-cognition, mind-cognition. It seems the first five relate to the "physical" while the last one relate to the "mental". It seems you think for an Arahant there's still an eye and things cognizable with eye-cognition, still an ear and things cognizable with ear-cognition, a nose and things cognizable with nose-cognition, a tongue and things cognizable with tongue-cognition, a body and things cognizable with body-cognition, a mind and things cognizable with mind-cognition.
Pulsar wrote: Wed May 31, 2023 6:48 pm ...
Can you explain how consciousnesss is created, or how it comes to be,
in the Buddha's world?
...
Now I see what is off with your understanding IMO. You think that the eye and forms, the ear and sounds, the nose and odours, the tongue and smells, the body and tactiles, the mind and mind-.objects aren't sankharas. You don't believe there's only cessation for the Arahant, you think the eye and forms are outside the scope of D.O., you think they're not sankharas. You have this separation of what relates to D.O. and what's not related to it and not a factor.

The Buddha taught "In dependence on the eye and forms there arises eye-cognition... In dependence on the mind and mind-objects there arises mind-cognition."
Pulsar wrote: Wed May 31, 2023 7:03 pm Are you drawing a distinction between a layman and a monk here?[/b] that whatever is translated by a monk makes more sense (no matter how ignorant he is) than a translation by a layman, who had far less ignorance.
Surprisingly, of all the scholars of recent times, I find Erich Frauwallner to be the most brilliant. He was not a monk, just a layman.
Would the words repeated by an ignorant monk be better even if that ignorance had an impact on the transmission of the right Doctrine?
Would the words translated by a brilliant layman be inferior, even if he clarified the doctrine perfectly, without any glitch, just as Buddha intended it.
With love :candle:
No, I meant a monk translator. I was comparing a monk who don't understand and simply repeats a discourse of the Buddha with a monk who don't understand and interprets a discourse of the Buddha for his translation into a different language.
Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammā Sambuddhassa
Pulsar
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Re: Atthakavagga, Formless, Consciousness and Namarupa

Post by Pulsar »

mjaviem wrote
If you mean viññana, there are six types of viññana: eye-cognition, ear-cognition, nose-cognition, tongue-cognition, body-cognition, mind-cognition. It seems the first five relate to the "physical" while the last one relate to the "mental". It seems you think for an Arahant there's still an eye and things cognizable with eye-cognition, still an ear and things cognizable with ear-cognition, a nose and things cognizable with nose-cognition, a tongue and things cognizable with tongue-cognition, a body and things cognizable with body-cognition, a mind and things cognizable with mind-cognition.
Dear mjaviem: Now I see what the problem is.
Are you familiar with Salayatana Samyutta? I think once there was a post on Salayatana in Dhamma Wheel and Retro explained Salayatana perfectly, there, a very long thread. Retro showed an incredible amount of patience in that thread. I simply could not do what he did there.
I also have a life, other things that need my attention.
Many folks had difficulty with Salayatana? Like they say once you understand dependent origination, you see the Buddha, I think once you understand Salayatana, you see the Arahant.
  • In this post I meant to approach Formless via Atthakavagga.
Please study Salayatana and understand Salayatana, then we can continue here.
I apologise. I shall bring the link to Retro later. Do you have a copy of VBB Samyutta Nikaya?
Please read Salayatana Samyutta first, and try to understand, how it works.
  • Arahant does not engage in
    Salayatana.
With love :candle:
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mjaviem
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Re: Atthakavagga, Formless, Consciousness and Namarupa

Post by mjaviem »

Pulsar wrote: Thu Jun 01, 2023 9:40 am ...
Dear mjaviem: Now I see what the problem is.
Are you familiar with Salayatana Samyutta? I think once there was a post on Salayatana in Dhamma Wheel and Retro explained Salayatana perfectly, there, a very long thread. Retro showed an incredible amount of patience in that thread. I simply could not do what he did there.
I also have a life, other things that need my attention.
Many folks had difficulty with Salayatana? Like they say once you understand dependent origination, you see the Buddha, I think once you understand Salayatana, you see the Arahant.
  • In this post I meant to approach Formless via Atthakavagga.
Please study Salayatana and understand Salayatana, then we can continue here.
I apologise. I shall bring the link to Retro later. Do you have a copy of VBB Samyutta Nikaya?
Please read Salayatana Samyutta first, and try to understand, how it works.
  • Arahant does not engage in
    Salayatana.
With love :candle:
I'm glad that you don't need to understand nothing else about the Budha's teachings and that you have a correct understanding of dependent origination already. I thought I could see where the problem is with your understanding but it must be me who don't understand you. Thanks for your time, anyway. And perhaps one day I could ask retro to explain me what's faulty about my approach. With love :candle:
Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammā Sambuddhassa
Pulsar
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Re: Atthakavagga, Formless, Consciousness and Namarupa

Post by Pulsar »

Dearest mjaviem, you wrote
I'm glad that you don't need to understand nothing else about the Budha's teachings and that you have a correct understanding of dependent origination already.
There is a difference between understanding and realization. I admit I understand Dependent Origination as taught by Buddha. But the way I see it, that is only a baby step.
Practice pervading via every moment of the day is critical. When I say practice I mean the practice of Satipathhana linked with Origination of Suffering SN 47.42, and learn how
  • not to feed my consciousness according to the sutta on Ahara, or Son's flesh.
So I do have a lo to learn. I hope I learn this, in my current lifetime.
I wish the same for you too.
You wrote
I thought I could see where the problem is with your understanding
you earnestly tried to help me based on your understanding. I truly appreciate it. You had the best of intentions.
You continue
but it must be me who don't understand you.
There is nothing personal in my comments. If they come across as "My comments are about me or my quaint understanding that makes no sense to you" I offer you a million apologies. To communicate Dhamma to another in the most spiritually efficient way is supposed to be a miracle according to the canon. I admit I am not at the level where I can perform miracles.
My comments were based on the Truth that even Buddha saluted, i.e. Garava sutta.
With love :candle:
PS I am sure Retro would be better at explaining Salayatana. People cannot bother reading old threads. Perhaps you can initiate a new thread with a title such as "What exactly is Salayatana, why do some say 'Salayatana does not come into play in the Arahant"'
Pulsar
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Re: Atthakavagga, Formless, Consciousness and Namarupa

Post by Pulsar »

Dearest mjaviem: Retro's insightful comments on Salayatana can be found on this post
viewtopic.php?hilit=salayatana&t=43483& ... 45bcd1df9e
It is not titled Salayatana, but it is equally or remarkably titled as
"Sense bases Disappear" by Asahi
which might startle some folks.
I found the title very poetic. Poetry tends to remove the drudgery of life, and the hardship involved in a true beginner's practice, who is willing to follow the Buddha.
With love :candle:
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