Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby Ben » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:04 am

Hi Retro,
retrofuturist wrote:This is substantially closer to what I'm saying, yes.
Perhaps its the fresh air, or me turning Tasmanian, but I am struggling to understand the difference.

retrofuturist wrote:But also keep in mind the vedana is a sankhata dhamma (formed dhamma), and that which is formed (sankhata), is formed by ignorance.
Formed? I would say 'conditioned' by ignorance (ultimately) via the agency of contact.

retrofuturist wrote:So what would the vedana of an arahant free of ignorance be like?
Pleasant, unpleasant and neutral.

retrofuturist wrote:I think the following extract from one of Venerable Nanananda's Nibbana Sermon 11, as quoted earlier, gives some idea (especially the bolded red bit)
Thanks, I'll have to read it several times.
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:26 am

Greetings Ben,

Ben wrote:Formed?

Whatever English word you use for sankhara or sankhata (past tense) will suffice. To me, sankhara relates to formations, actively formed from a basis of ignorance.

Ben wrote:Pleasant, unpleasant and neutral.

Yes, those qualities would still apply, but these qualities may be experienced differently by the arahant with a lokuttara nibbanic mind (as per the quote from Nanananda)

Ben wrote:Thanks, I'll have to read it several times.

:reading: :reading: :reading: :reading: :reading: :reading: :reading:

Time spent reading venerable Nanananda is time well spent.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby acinteyyo » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:27 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings acinteyyo,
acinteyyo wrote:The Buddha's teaching on kamma simply is that kamma bears fruits.
...
But a particular person possibly draws for example hate of locals as a fruit of action. Don't you think?

I think that's over-simplifying it. What you speak here is nothing other than conventional cause and effect... hardly a radical new and profound teaching.

Maybe not that much radical new and profound teaching for today but back then in times of the Buddha. As I see it one has to be very careful here. Sure all that can also be just conventional cause and effect. Even if Angulimala would have killed many people unintentionally he could have also drawn hate of the locals which would IMHO just be conventional cause and effect then. The point is that we can't safely say that Angulimalas intention to kill these people which lead to the act of killing has nothing to do with the very same result of drawing hate of the locals which would then be kamma/vipaka IMHO. This is at least what the Buddha tells Angulimala about it:
The fruit of the kamma [...] you are now experiencing in the here-&-now!"

An experience is nāmarūpa and viññāna and although Angulimala became an arahant he's still experiencing, which is to say there is just presence of the phenomenon ('This is present'), instead of the presence (or existence) of an apparent 'subject' to whom there is present an 'object' ('I am, and this is present to [or for] me'), to say it with the words of Ven. Ñanavira. "Being" an arahant Angulimala is certainly free from suffering, the aggregates of grasping (pañc'upādānakkhandhā) are no longer applicable but the aggregates (pañcakhandhā) still are.
retrofuturist wrote:The five aggregates are our experience. The six senses are our experience.
Where do clods fit in to that? The feel of clods, the taste of clods, the smell of clods, the smell of clods.... but not the clods, in and of themselves, independent of receiving consciousness.
Angulimala experienced feeling (of clod, of cuts)... not "clod" itself.

You can say it that way but this doesn't alter the fact that Angulimala was experiencing, which is to say there was presence of the phenomenon. And I understand this as vipaka of Angulimalas kamma like the Buddha says in that particular sutta.
No mystic mumbo jumbo, kammic gravity vortex or anything like that, just nāmarūpa and viññāna.

And I still see no reason to accept that vipaka should be only mental phenomenon.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:38 am

Greetings acinteyyo,
acinteyyo wrote:The point is that we can't safely say that Angulimalas intention to kill these people which lead to the act of killing has nothing to do with the very same result of drawing hate of the locals

Here we agree.

acinteyyo wrote:which would then be kamma/vipaka IMHO.

... and here we diverge. Let's say, theoretically, that Angulimala was framed... it was all a stitch-up and that he never killed anybody. People would still throw clods regardless, wouldn't they? Now, what would you attribute that clod throwing activity to? Have a good think about that, and I look forward to your answer.

acinteyyo wrote:This is at least what the Buddha tells Angulimala about it:
The fruit of the kamma [...] you are now experiencing in the here-&-now!"

... and as I asked Tilt, was the Buddha using kamma in a conventional sense (i.e. doing something) or Dhammic sense (i.e. cetana), and was he using fruit in a conventional (i.e. consequence) or Dhammic sense (i.e. experienced resultant)?

Since they're the same words in either case, and the Buddha spoke using conventional and Dhammic terms at different times, who is to say for sure?

acinteyyo wrote:An experience is nāmarūpa and viññāna and although Angulimala became an arahant he's still experiencing, which is to say there is just presence of the phenomenon ('This is present'), instead of the presence (or existence) of an apparent 'subject' to whom there is present an 'object' ('I am, and this is present to [or for] me'), to say it with the words of Ven. Ñanavira. "Being" an arahant Angulimala is certainly free from suffering, the aggregates of grasping (pañc'upādānakkhandhā) are no longer applicable but the aggregates (pañcakhandhā) still are.

Agree.

acinteyyo wrote:You can say it that way but this doesn't alter the fact that Angulimala was experiencing, which is to say there was presence of the phenomenon. And I understand this as vipaka of Angulimalas kamma like the Buddha says in that particular sutta.

I don't see how mere "presence of phenomenon" is connected with kamma and/or vipaka though... perhaps your response to the aforementioned question will give me some insight into your thinking.

acinteyyo wrote:No mystic mumbo jumbo, kammic gravity vortex or anything like that, just nāmarūpa and viññāna.

Good. Though even for those who buy into the mystic mumbo jumbo, tales of kamma are still good as morality teachings or fables to encourage people to do good and avoid bad. That's one positive, even if it's an incomplete picture.

acinteyyo wrote:And I still see no reason to accept that vipaka should be only mental phenomenon.

Well you've have to take that up with ven. Nyanatiloka and the Kathavatthu. In the meantime, I'll repeat that I think the important aspect is that vipaka occurs within loka, not outside of it... and the arahant's experience is lokuttara.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby Dan74 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:38 am

Hi Retro - thanks for replying
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Dan,

Dan74 wrote:Sorry to butt in, but there is also a small possibility that the Buddha was helping Ven Angulimala accept what was happening to him and not give rise to unwholesome thoughts. After all, why console him by saying essentially that it was much better that this was happening now than him enduring hell for what he had done?

It's an interesting question as to why he would feel the need to say it to an arahant in the first place, who, by definition is incapable of unwholesome thoughts.


Why would the Buddha say that Ven Angulimala, an arahant, would have burned in hell for thousands of years, had he not been injured and suffered the fruit of his kamma then?

Perhaps he was not yet an arahant? What about the mention of his experiencing release later on?

Dan74 wrote:Of course, there is a possibility that the text isn't faithful to the original exchange too...

Maybe, maybe not... it just seems to mean different things to different people. On one hand it could be seen as the doling out of a comparatively trifling vipaka (which is the seemingly common interpretation)... or alternatively, it could be a case of, "Well, Angulimala, given all those people you killed, you're damned lucky you've transcended becoming and that therefore this is the only consequence you'll experience as a result of your actions..."


These two don't seem to contradict one another.

Dan74 wrote:As for the various positions - tilt's position seems to be common sense, I am not sure I understand retro's position...

I'm quite comfortable with that. :)

Metta,
Retro. :)


OK, but thanks for clearing it up anyway.

PS As to your hypothetical question to accinteyyo "what is Angulimala had been framed and still experienced the assault by the villagers" - I guess the traditional answer would be that this would have been the fruit of past kamma from previous lifetimes. I know in the absence of seeing how such mechanism works, such answer is deeply unsatisfying, but there is plenty of canonical evidence for this at least.
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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:43 am

Greetings Dan,

Dan74 wrote:Why would the Buddha say that Ven Angulimala, an arahant, would have burned in hell for thousands of years, had he not been injured and suffered the fruit of his kamma then?

Because he would have experienced such hells........ if he wasn't an arahant! Hence what I'm saying about escaping the net of vipaka through the attainment of arahantship. It wasn't getting hit that wiped away that fate, it was the attainment of arahantship.

Angulimala experienced just conventional consequences (i.e. people being mad at him) rather than the Dhammic consequences (experienced resultant) he would have also faced.

Dan74 wrote:Perhaps he was not yet an arahant? What about the mention of his experiencing release later on?

The sutta itself states that he attained arahantship prior to this incident.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:50 am

Greetings Dan,

Dan74 wrote:PS As to your hypothetical question to accinteyyo "what is Angulimala had been framed and still experienced the assault by the villagers" - I guess the traditional answer would be that this would have been the fruit of past kamma from previous lifetimes.

Which would of course be highly speculative, and fall into the domain of the 'unconjecturables' or 'unknowables'. It would also fall foul to the wrong view of pubbekatahetuvada, the belief that all happiness and suffering arise from previous kamma (a.k.a. past-action determinism.)

I do appreciate you making the effort to take on this challenge though Dan, and I do hope others who think my views on kamma and vipaka are slightly unhinged take the challenge too. For those who missed it, "Let's say, theoretically, that Angulimala was framed... it was all a stitch-up and that he never killed anybody. People would still throw clods regardless, wouldn't they? Now, what would you attribute that clod throwing activity to?"

Dan74 wrote:I know in the absence of seeing how such mechanism works, such answer is deeply unsatisfying, but there is plenty of canonical evidence for this at least.

The Buddha did often explain individual instances of kamma and its fruition as they applied to others, yes.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby Dan74 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:50 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Dan,

Dan74 wrote:Why would the Buddha say that Ven Angulimala, an arahant, would have burned in hell for thousands of years, had he not been injured and suffered the fruit of his kamma then?

Because he would have experienced such hells........ if he wasn't an arahant! Hence what I'm saying about escaping the net of vipaka through the attainment of arahantship. It wasn't getting hit that wiped away that fate, it was the attainment of arahantship.


Well, but this is not what the Buddha says. He says
"Bear with it, brahman! Bear with it! The fruit of the kamma that would have burned you in hell for many years, many hundreds of years, many thousands of years, you are now experiencing in the here-&-now!"


This sounds (to me) like he is saying - "be thankful that this happened to you, that you are paying now, otherwise you would've burnt in hell to pay your kammic debt." Now arahants aren't supose to burn in hells, are they? (or they just don't suffer when they do? :) )
retro wrote:Angulimala experienced just conventional consequences (i.e. people being mad at him) rather than the Dhammic consequences (experienced resultant) he would have also faced.


This is not a distinction I am familiar with. Any references you could provide?

retro wrote:
Dan74 wrote:Perhaps he was not yet an arahant? What about the mention of his experiencing release later on?

The sutta itself states that he attained arahantship prior to this incident.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Yes, I know. However, it also mentioned attaining (or enjoying?) release later. What's with that?
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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:53 am

Greetings Dan,

No, I think you're reading the sutta differently to all of us... which perhaps, if anything, goes to prove my point that the interpretation of the sentence in question is not as clearly obvious as some might make out.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby Dan74 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:55 am

Well, Ven Angulimala himself in a verse says:

Having done the type of kamma
that would lead to many
bad destinations,
touched by the fruit of [that] kamma,
unindebted, I eat my food.


Again, this sounds like him saying that paying his kammic debt saved him from many bad destinations. Nowhere in the sutta I see that arahatship saved him from suffering the consequences of his past kamma. Have I missed something?
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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:59 am

Greetings Dan,

retro wrote:Angulimala experienced just conventional consequences (i.e. people being mad at him) rather than the Dhammic consequences (experienced resultant) he would have also faced.

Dan74 wrote:This is not a distinction I am familiar with. Any references you could provide?

Take again the hypothetical "Angulimala was innocent" scenario.

The "conventional consequences" of being falsely regarded as a murderer are getting abused by townsfolk.
The "Dhammic consequences" (i.e. vipaka) of being falsely regarded as a murderer are nil... because there he performed no unwholesome activity (i.e. no murder).

The fact the conventional consequence would have been the same regardless of the kamma (cetana, intention, volition) is in my mind proof that the clod incident wasn't vipaka in the true Dhammic sense of the word.

In my mind the two (conventional and Dhammic results) are completely separate domains, and conflation of the two leads to confusion (and ultimately superstition and tit-for-tat) in relation to kamma and its resultant.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:04 am

Greetings Dan,

Dan74 wrote:Well, Ven Angulimala himself in a verse

If, of course, you believe Angulimala actually burst out in verse with a grab bag of quotes from the Dhammapada. The verses at the ends of suttas are often a form of proto-commentary, and I wouldn't place any more stock in this than what modern scholars place in the literal authenticity of the Theragatha verses. To be polite, they show the work of the redactors of the canon.

I agree though that the... Arahantship > Clods > "Release" sequence towards the end of MN 86 certainly adds to the confusion.

Well that's it for me for the evening... I'll see what posts await me in the morning.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby acinteyyo » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:53 am

Hi Retro,
retrofuturist wrote:
acinteyyo wrote:which would then be kamma/vipaka IMHO.

... and here we diverge. Let's say, theoretically, that Angulimala was framed... it was all a stitch-up and that he never killed anybody. People would still throw clods regardless, wouldn't they? Now, what would you attribute that clod throwing activity to? Have a good think about that, and I look forward to your answer.

IF theoretically Angulimala was framed... it was all a stich-up and he never killed anybody and we assume people would still throw clods regardless, then it would have nothing to do with kamma/vipaka but only if we assume these particular circumstances. It would be a completely different case. This is the important thing I want to point out. We can't draw conclusions from an effect only and we can't mix up completely different issues. When we consider this theoretically, assuming that Angulimala was framed and never killed anybody and people threw clods we have to interpret this as conventional cause and effect. But with respect to the particular sutta we have to accept that it is a true fact that Angulimala killed intentionally and that the following experience (whatever this actually was) was the fruit of kamma.
retrofuturist wrote:The fact the conventional consequence would have been the same regardless of the kamma (cetana, intention, volition) is in my mind proof that the clod incident wasn't vipaka in the true Dhammic sense of the word.

This proofs nothing. How can you differentiate a conventional consequence from a result as fruit of kamma? This is what I'm trying to point out. A theoretical imagination which ends in the very same result but where kamma does not play a role doesn't proof in any way that an incident wasn't vipaka. It just shows that theoretically a conventional consequence where kamma doesn't play a role can be thought, too. Nothing else...
retrofuturist wrote:
acinteyyo wrote:This is at least what the Buddha tells Angulimala about it:
The fruit of the kamma [...] you are now experiencing in the here-&-now!"

... and as I asked Tilt, was the Buddha using kamma in a conventional sense (i.e. doing something) or Dhammic sense (i.e. cetana), and was he using fruit in a conventional (i.e. consequence) or Dhammic sense (i.e. experienced resultant)?

It is new for me to hear that the Buddhe ever used the word kamma in a conventional sense for "doing something". As fas as I know the Buddha used kamma exclusively in Dhammic sense as cetana.
retrofuturist wrote:
acinteyyo wrote:You can say it that way but this doesn't alter the fact that Angulimala was experiencing, which is to say there was presence of the phenomenon. And I understand this as vipaka of Angulmalas kamma like the Buddha says in that particular sutta.

I don't see how mere "presence of phenomenon" is connected with kamma and/or vipaka though... perhaps your response to the aforementioned question will give me some insight into your thinking.

An experience is nāmarūpa and viññāna. This is mere "presence of phenomenon" in case of the arahant (pañcakhandhā) . Here we both agree I guess?
In case of the arahant there won't be new kamma but there still is experience. And vipaka is an experience, a mere "presence of phenomenon". What else should be necessary? Anything in addition to "presence of phenomenon" in order to be vipaka? Within nāmarūpa and viññāna ("presence of phenomenon") kamma (an action) can happen (which in itself is "presence of phenomenon") which bears fruit in form of nāmarūpa and viññāna ("presence of phenomenon") later regardless whether or not the production of new kamma has ceased meanwhile. When the bullet left the barrel it doesn't matter whether the gun still points to the target or not, it won't affect the bullet from hiting something.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:49 pm

Greetings acinteyyo,

acinteyyo wrote:IF theoretically Angulimala was framed... it was all a stich-up and he never killed anybody and we assume people would still throw clods regardless, then it would have nothing to do with kamma/vipaka but only if we assume these particular circumstances. It would be a completely different case. This is the important thing I want to point out. We can't draw conclusions from an effect only and we can't mix up completely different issues. When we consider this theoretically, assuming that Angulimala was framed and never killed anybody and people threw clods we have to interpret this as conventional cause and effect. But with respect to the particular sutta we have to accept that it is a true fact that Angulimala killed intentionally and that the following experience (whatever this actually was) was the fruit of kamma.

(Bolding mine...) As I read this, you start saying one thing and finish by saying another, and it doesn't seem logically consistent to me. You're effectively saying that if Effect X occurs regardless, it is vipaka if the person created kamma, but it's not vipaka if they didn't. Unless you have some chaos theory to spring on us, effect doesn't determine cause.

retrofuturist wrote:The fact the conventional consequence would have been the same regardless of the kamma (cetana, intention, volition) is in my mind proof that the clod incident wasn't vipaka in the true Dhammic sense of the word.

acinteyyo wrote:This proofs nothing. How can you differentiate a conventional consequence from a result as fruit of kamma?

Vipaka takes place within the world (loka) as defined by the Buddha, conventional consequences take place outside loka in the conventional "world".

acinteyyo wrote:It is new for me to hear that the Buddhe ever used the word kamma in a conventional sense for "doing something". As fas as I know the Buddha used kamma exclusively in Dhammic sense as cetana.

As far as I can tell, the Buddha was the first to associate cetana with 'action' to form the Dhammic notion of kamma. What word would he use for action, as understood conventionally? Even then, it doesn't really matter what definition he was using... the point is that the attainment of arahantship cuts off kamma and vipaka at their root, as explained by the cessation mode of the dependent origination sequence.

acinteyyo wrote:An experience is nāmarūpa and viññāna. This is mere "presence of phenomenon" in case of the arahant (pañcakhandhā) . Here we both agree I guess?
In case of the arahant there won't be new kamma but there still is experience. And vipaka is an experience, a mere "presence of phenomenon". What else should be necessary? Anything in addition to "presence of phenomenon" in order to be vipaka? Within nāmarūpa and viññāna ("presence of phenomenon") kamma (an action) can happen (which in itself is "presence of phenomenon") which bears fruit in form of nāmarūpa and viññāna ("presence of phenomenon") later regardless whether or not the production of new kamma has ceased meanwhile.

But Angulimala was apparently an arahant at this point, which means he had seen already through the illusion of nāmarūpa, therefore nāmarūpa does not apply (again, refer to the cessation mode of the dependent origination sequence). What definition of nāmarūpa are you using - are you taking an ontological "mind and body" rendering?

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby acinteyyo » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:31 am

Hey ho Retro,
retrofuturist wrote:
acinteyyo wrote:IF theoretically Angulimala was framed... it was all a stich-up and he never killed anybody and we assume people would still throw clods regardless, then it would have nothing to do with kamma/vipaka but only if we assume these particular circumstances. It would be a completely different case. This is the important thing I want to point out. We can't draw conclusions from an effect only and we can't mix up completely different issues. When we consider this theoretically, assuming that Angulimala was framed and never killed anybody and people threw clods we have to interpret this as conventional cause and effect. But with respect to the particular sutta we have to accept that it is a true fact that Angulimala killed intentionally and that the following experience (whatever this actually was) was the fruit of kamma.

(Bolding mine...) As I read this, you start saying one thing and finish by saying another, and it doesn't seem logically consistent to me. You're effectively saying that if Effect X occurs regardless, it is vipaka if the person created kamma, but it's not vipaka if they didn't. Unless you have some chaos theory to spring on us, effect doesn't determine cause.

I agree that effect doesn't determine cause. I wonder why you struggle with what I said, since you seem to have understood what I was trying to say. It's completely right that I'm saying that IF effect X occurs regardles it is vipaka if the person created kamma, but it's not vipaka if the person didn't create kamma. How could an effect be the fruit of action if the person didn't create the act in the first place? And keep in mind that we don't know whether effect X would have been occured regardless. We're just assuming two different cases theoretically. In the first case it's simply conventional cause/effect in the second it's kamma/vipaka. Don't you think there is the possibility that conventional cause/effect and kamma/vipaka can lead to one and the same outcome? At least it's theoratically imaginable.
retrofuturist wrote:The fact the conventional consequence would have been the same regardless of the kamma (cetana, intention, volition) is in my mind proof that the clod incident wasn't vipaka in the true Dhammic sense of the word.
acinteyyo wrote:This proofs nothing. How can you differentiate a conventional consequence from a result as fruit of kamma?

Vipaka takes place within the world (loka) as defined by the Buddha, conventional consequences take place outside loka in the conventional "world".

This doesn't make any sense to me. Whether there is an "outside conventional world" or not lies beyond range. All we can talk about is the world as defined by the Buddha, namely the All.
And vipaka as well as conventional consequences are experienced within "the All".
SN35.23
"Monks, I will teach you the All. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range."

retrofuturist wrote:As far as I can tell, the Buddha was the first to associate cetana with 'action' to form the Dhammic notion of kamma. What word would he use for action, as understood conventionally? Even then, it doesn't really matter what definition he was using... the point is that the attainment of arahantship cuts off kamma and vipaka at their root, as explained by the cessation mode of the dependent origination sequence.

You're just assuming that I guess. The Buddha taught new & old kamma, the cessation of kamma, and the path of practice leading to the cessation of kamma. Show me only one single sutta which supports your assumption that attainment of arahantship not only cuts off kamma but also vipaka at their root. The root for vipaka is old kamma and old kamma can not be influenced at all, because it isn't in the here&now anymore. It happened and bears its fruit. The Buddhadhamma shows us how to end producing new kamma but it doesn't show us how to end old kamma. Why isn't there any sutta where the Buddha tells us that with the cessation of kamma there is the cessation of vipaka?
retrofuturist wrote:
acinteyyo wrote:An experience is nāmarūpa and viññāna. This is mere "presence of phenomenon" in case of the arahant (pañcakhandhā) . Here we both agree I guess?
In case of the arahant there won't be new kamma but there still is experience. And vipaka is an experience, a mere "presence of phenomenon". What else should be necessary? Anything in addition to "presence of phenomenon" in order to be vipaka? Within nāmarūpa and viññāna ("presence of phenomenon") kamma (an action) can happen (which in itself is "presence of phenomenon") which bears fruit in form of nāmarūpa and viññāna ("presence of phenomenon") later regardless whether or not the production of new kamma has ceased meanwhile.

But Angulimala was apparently an arahant at this point, which means he had seen already through the illusion of nāmarūpa, therefore nāmarūpa does not apply (again, refer to the cessation mode of the dependent origination sequence). What definition of nāmarūpa are you using - are you taking an ontological "mind and body" rendering?

Maybe we both have different understandings of DO. As I understand it, DO only applies to non-enlightend beings. With the attainment of arahantship DO doesn't apply anymore. But this doesn't mean that everything else ends with the attainment. The "living" Arahant is free from personality-view and conceit, free from grasping, "is simply gone out" with a rest remaining. What is left is mere presence of phenomenon and this is the five aggregates only (without grasping = pañcakhandhā). Now it becomes difficult. Because we cannot say that the arahant IS the five aggregates, this would not be in line with the teachings. But as long as we're talking about the "living arahant" pañcakhandhā is still there, which means nāmarūpa and viññāna, namely an experience is still there or mere presence of phenomenon untill the "death" of the "livining arahant" (parinibbana). And as long as parinibbana is not attained, the results (vipaka) of former actions (old kamma) can be experienced by means of pañcakhandhā.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:46 am

Greetings Acintetyyo,

Oh, I completely agree with your definition of "the all", but depictions of kamma and its fruit such as "the person was mugged a hundred times because he kicked a goat in a head in a previous life" are not operating in the sphere of "the all" of experience. They are outside it and talk of things like "muggers", "goats", "muggings", "kickings"....

acinteyyo wrote:Show me only one single sutta which supports your assumption that attainment of arahantship not only cuts off kamma but also vipaka at their root...Why isn't there any sutta where the Buddha tells us that with the cessation of kamma there is the cessation of vipaka?

Here you go, colour coded for your pleasure...

SN 12.15 wrote:"Now from the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications. From the cessation of fabrications comes the cessation of consciousness. From the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress & suffering."


acinteyyo wrote:The root for vipaka is old kamma and old kamma can not be influenced at all, because it isn't in the here&now anymore.... The Buddhadhamma shows us how to end producing new kamma but it doesn't show us how to end old kamma.

It can be made defunct. See Cooran's topic in the Classsical Theravada forum.

acinteyyo wrote:Maybe we both have different understandings of DO. As I understand it, DO only applies to non-enlightend beings.

I agree with you. The cessation mode (as quoted above, from SN 12.15) shows what happens to arahants - dependent origination collapses.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby acinteyyo » Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:53 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Oh, I completely agree with your definition of "the all", but depictions of kamma and its fruit such as "the person was mugged a hundred times because he kicked a goat in a head in a previous life" are not operating in the sphere of "the all" of experience. They are outside it and talk of things like "muggers", "goats", "muggings", "kickings"....

Sure, depictions like that are way too closed-minded. But I do not agree that they are outside. An "outside" of "the all" is nothing but supposition. "Muggers", "goats", "muggings", "kickings" are just concepts, names for experience within "the all". A more or less designated combination of experience for example within "the all" is simply named "goats". "Goats" does not have any significance "outside" of "the all". To count these names as "outside" is delusion.

retrofuturist wrote:
acinteyyo wrote:Show me only one single sutta which supports your assumption that attainment of arahantship not only cuts off kamma but also vipaka at their root...Why isn't there any sutta where the Buddha tells us that with the cessation of kamma there is the cessation of vipaka?

Here you go, colour coded for your pleasure...
SN 12.15 wrote:"Now from the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications. From the cessation of fabrications comes the cessation of consciousness. From the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress & suffering."

Thank you for clarifying this. You still act on the assumption that vipaka is only mental and suffering. All suffering/mental vipaka may be ceased. But please take into account what is "the entire mass of stress&suffering" as defined by the Buddha in the first Noble Truth?
"Now what is the noble truth of stress? Birth is stressful, aging is stressful, death is stressful; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are stressful; association with the unbeloved is stressful; separation from the loved is stressful; not getting what one wants is stressful. In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stressful.

"And what are the five clinging-aggregates that, in short, are stress? Form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling as a clinging-aggregate, perception as a clinging-aggregate, fabrications as a clinging-aggregate, consciousness as a clinging-aggregate: These are called the five clinging-aggregates that, in short, are stress.

Youre quoted Sutta 12.15 tells us that this entire mass of stress&suffering has ceased, meaning that the pañc'upādānakkhandhā are no longer applicable. The Buddha defined all dhukka in short as pañc'upādānakkhandhā. But in case of Angulimala being an arahant only the pañcakhandhā are applicable. Which is to say no stress & suffering. No mental vipaka-suffering-fabrications. But as I already tried to make clear the pañcakhandhā are still there until parinibbana. There is still mere phenomenon and an experience of non-mental vipaka is still possible. You haven't shown me yet a convincing argument which supports your assumption that vipaka is only mental!

We're starting to turn around in circles, so if you still can't agree on this, we should agree to disagree. :anjali:

retrofuturist wrote:
acinteyyo wrote:The root for vipaka is old kamma and old kamma can not be influenced at all, because it isn't in the here&now anymore.... The Buddhadhamma shows us how to end producing new kamma but it doesn't show us how to end old kamma.

It can be made defunct. See Cooran's topic in the Classsical Theravada forum.

I agree to this possibility.
retrofuturist wrote:
acinteyyo wrote:Maybe we both have different understandings of DO. As I understand it, DO only applies to non-enlightend beings.

I agree with you. The cessation mode (as quoted above, from SN 12.15) shows what happens to arahants - dependent origination collapses.

Exactly and then we're no longer talking about pañc'upādānakkhandhā but about pañcakhandhā.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:54 pm

Greetings acinteyyo,

acinteyyo wrote:Sure, depictions like that are way too closed-minded. But I do not agree that they are outside. An "outside" of "the all" is nothing but supposition. "Muggers", "goats", "muggings", "kickings" are just concepts, names for experience within "the all". A more or less designated combination of experience for example within "the all" is simply named "goats". "Goats" does not have any significance "outside" of "the all". To count these names as "outside" is delusion.

This bolded bit is what I'm getting at. These things are concepts, and concepts are objects of mind-consciousness (i.e. sankhara spawned from ignorance). If vipaka functions outside of 'loka' or 'sabba' (which I maintain it doesn't), and is some sort of 'natural law of cause and effect' as is sometimes claimed, how does this natural law know about concepts spawned from ignorance such as "muggers", "goats", "muggings", "kickings", when they are concepts of the human mind? Accordingly, I say vipaka operates within the aggregates, within the senses, within experience... not outside of it, like say, gravity, Newton's laws etc. Newton's laws and gravity don't understand or recognise "muggers", "goats", "muggings", "kickings" because such notions are concepts and require becoming the object of cognition/consciousness in order to be acknowledged. Conversely, gravity would be unperterbed if the universe was bereft of sentient existence.

acinteyyo wrote:Thank you for clarifying this. You still act on the assumption that vipaka is only mental and suffering. All suffering/mental vipaka may be ceased. But please take into account what is "the entire mass of stress&suffering" as defined by the Buddha in the first Noble Truth?
"Now what is the noble truth of stress? Birth is stressful, aging is stressful, death is stressful; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are stressful; association with the unbeloved is stressful; separation from the loved is stressful; not getting what one wants is stressful. In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stressful.

And clinging is not "mental"?

acinteyyo wrote:"And what are the five clinging-aggregates that, in short, are stress? Form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling as a clinging-aggregate, perception as a clinging-aggregate, fabrications as a clinging-aggregate, consciousness as a clinging-aggregate: These are called the five clinging-aggregates that, in short, are stress.

Youre quoted Sutta 12.15 tells us that this entire mass of stress&suffering has ceased, meaning that the pañc'upādānakkhandhā are no longer applicable. The Buddha defined all dhukka in short as pañc'upādānakkhandhā. But in case of Angulimala being an arahant only the pañcakhandhā are applicable. Which is to say no stress & suffering. No mental vipaka-suffering-fabrications. But as I already tried to make clear the pañcakhandhā are still there until parinibbana. There is still mere phenomenon and an experience of non-mental vipaka is still possible.

Can you provide an example?

acinteyyo wrote: You haven't shown me yet a convincing argument which supports your assumption that vipaka is only mental!

Well, again, it's not quite assumption... it's what Nyanatiloka and the Kathavatthu teach and I'm not wedded to it... I'm only committed to vipaka functioning within loka/sabba, according to the Dhamma, rather than functioning in "the conventional world" (i.e. loka, before the Buddha redefined it) as this is superstitious and beyond range... and unlike the sutta that says kamma should be known, because it's outside range it cannot be known.

acinteyyo wrote:We're starting to turn around in circles, so if you still can't agree on this, we should agree to disagree. :anjali:

Happy to not be in complete agreement, but I think we're slowly spiralling towards a centre of agreement (even if the core of it is a bit fuzzy)... and perhaps more importantly, I appreciate the friendly robust discussion and exchange of ideas we're having.

acinteyyo wrote:Exactly and then we're no longer talking about pañc'upādānakkhandhā but about pañcakhandhā.

Sure, and with that, no dukkha (hence, no fruition of kamma which has been made defunct by 'seeing through self' and attaining arahantship)

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby acinteyyo » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:49 pm

Hello Retro,
retrofuturist wrote:This bolded bit is what I'm getting at. These things are concepts, and concepts are mind-consciousness. If vipaka functions outside of 'loka' or 'sabba' (which I maintain it doesn't), and is some sort of 'natural law of cause and effect' as is sometimes claimed, how does this natural law know about "muggers", "goats", "muggings", "kickings", when they are concepts of the human mind? Accordingly, I say vipaka operates within the aggregates, within the senses, within experience... not outside of it, like say, gravity, Newton's laws etc. Newton's laws and gravity don't understand or recognise "muggers", "goats", "muggings", "kickings" because such notions are concepts and require becoming the object of cognition/consciousness in order to be acknowledged.

I totally agree. As far as I can tell I don't know anything about "outside" of the aggregates or the senses. I don't say vipaka deals with "muggers", "goats" and so on "directly" but I'm sure a particular experience being the fruit of action can be labeld with concepts like "muggers", "goats" and so on afterwards. I mean just for example the experience to be hit by clods can be described as "hit by clods". Of course the description "hit by clods" isn't the experience and therefore certainly can't be vipaka (I guess this is what you mean by "outside") but I don't understand why the actual experience itself couldn't be seen as being vipaka.
retrofuturist wrote:
acinteyyo wrote:Youre quoted Sutta 12.15 tells us that this entire mass of stress&suffering has ceased, meaning that the pañc'upādānakkhandhā are no longer applicable. The Buddha defined all dhukka in short as pañc'upādānakkhandhā. But in case of Angulimala being an arahant only the pañcakhandhā are applicable. Which is to say no stress & suffering. No mental vipaka-suffering-fabrications. But as I already tried to make clear the pañcakhandhā are still there until parinibbana. There is still mere phenomenon and an experience of non-mental vipaka is still possible.

Can you provide an example?
The example I would provide would of course be Angulimala again. Whatever he was experiencing, the Buddha told him it is the fruit of action he is experiencing in the here&now. According to my understanding an experience is nāmarūpa and viññāna or the pañcakhandhā (in case of the arahant), which then IMHO have to comprise some kind of non-mental vipaka to some extent. Rūpa obviously isn't mental.
retrofuturist wrote:
acinteyyo wrote:We're starting to turn around in circles, so if you still can't agree on this, we should agree to disagree.

Happy to not be in complete agreement, but I think we're slowly spiralling towards a centre of agreement (even if the core of it is a bit fuzzy).

Yeah seems so...

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:13 am

Greetings Acinteyyo,

acinteyyo wrote:I totally agree. As far as I can tell I don't know anything about "outside" of the aggregates or the senses.

It is the "outside world" that people infer from their experience. For example, I "see" something green and brown, I "feel" hardness, I "smell" a faint organic smell... I "hear" someone say that this is a tree. Whether I'm aware that this is what I'm doing, I'm inferring that "a tree exists", but that is just an inference. Consider the Buddha's instructions to Bahiya (Ud 1.10) which recommend stopping such inference, and stopping the formation of sankharas.

"Then, Bahiya, you should train yourself thus: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bahiya, there is no you in terms of that. When there is no you in terms of that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress."

Just as gravity doesn't acknowledge "muggers", "goats" and so on... neither does the enlightened arahant. If the law of gravity (which if you think about it, is a 'law' that is actually inferred through sensory input experienced) doesn't acknowledge this things, why would the mind/experience of an enlightened arahant that is not partaking in such projections acknowledge them. If they are not acknowledged, the cannot impact, and as the Buddha says, "When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of dukkha". Note - not the end of new kamma, but just this, the end of dukkha. Note also - not more dukkha until paranibbana, but just this, the end of dukkha.

acinteyyo wrote:I mean just for example the experience to be hit by clods can be described as "hit by clods".

That would though be a projection of the type the Buddha warned against. It would be more precise, and certainly more applicable in a vipassana sense, to speak with regards to vedana and the four elements.

acinteyyo wrote:Of course the description "hit by clods" isn't the experience and therefore certainly can't be vipaka (I guess this is what you mean by "outside")

Yes.

acinteyyo wrote:but I don't understand why the actual experience itself couldn't be seen as being vipaka.

Because any explanation for what happened to Angulimala ventures away from "loka" into the "outside world"..... and most disturbingly in my mind, the inference that Angulimala's kamma was the proximite cause for the kamma of his attackers, thereby absolving them of responsibility for their own actions, introducing a 'ground hog day' scenario where in the future someone will have to punish them for throwing clods, and someone will have to punish them and so on. Within the context of the Dhamma there is no need to speculatively believe such things, and it's actually detrimental to the notions of personal accountability and responsibility for one's own (spiritual) development.

retrofuturist wrote:The example I would provide would of course be Angulimala again. Whatever he was experiencing, the Buddha told him it is the fruit of action he is experiencing in the here&now.

Since such an explanation involves reaching outside of loka/sabba, it is venturing into the realm of the "conventional" loka.... thus his explanation is a conventional one, rather than a precise one, framed in terms of aggregates, senses etc.

acinteyyo wrote:According to my understanding an experience is nāmarūpa and viññāna or the pañcakhandhā (in case of the arahant), which then IMHO have to comprise some kind of non-mental vipaka to some extent. Rūpa obviously isn't mental.

Yeah, don't get too hung up on the mental bit though. To be frank, I think that the further the mainstream Theravada tradition extrapolated from the Buddha's teachings (first to Abhidhamma, then to commentaries) and became self-referential, the further it lost the subtle nuances of the Buddha's teachings and became reliant upon its own scholastic interpretations. What ven. Nyantiloka and and the Kathavatthu are calling "mental", you might call "nama", and understand differently to them. Which raises an interesting question... if you acknowledge the ontological physicality of the body, how to do "experience" it other than via the sabba of the six consciousnesses?

Not sure if you saw the edit to the earlier post, but thank you for engaging in discussion!

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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