Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby robertk » Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:57 am

Rupa or rupa khandha is best translated as matter, or materiality. A kalapa is the tiniest occurence of at at least 8 kinds of rupa .
Rupa can refer to a conglomeartion of zilions of kalapas or just one type of rupa in one kalapa.
And so when the texts talk about rupa khandha it may refer to any type of rupa, whether past , present or future, inside or outside the body, conditioned by tempearture, or conditioned by citta, or conditioned by kamma.....
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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:03 am

Greetings Robert,

robertk wrote:Rupa or rupa khandha is best translated as matter, or materiality.

Do you know of any classical references (commentary, sutta, abhidhamma... either way) that explicitly speak to whether rupa is:

a) the experiential presence of "matter or materiality", or
b) "matter or materiality", in and of itself, independent of whether experienced

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: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby robertk » Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:29 am

Dear retro
The answer is of course B.
I cant think of anywhere explicit though as it is just an assumed fact.
It's like we all know the moon is circling around the earth, even though in daytime we cant see it. No one needs to be told that.

Oh course for vinnana khandha, citta, we have many texts in the Commentaries talking about how in deep, dreamless sleep there is still bhavanga cittas arising and passing, even though there is no direct experience of them.
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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:35 am

Greetings Robert,

robertk wrote:I cant think of anywhere explicit though as it is just an assumed fact.

Yes, I detected it's an "assumed fact"... I'm just (respectfully) trying to determine roughly from whence it was first assumed, by hoping to trace it back to the earliest explicit citation.

robertk wrote:Oh course for vinnana khandha, citta, we have many texts in the Commentaries talking about how in deep, dreamless sleep there is still bhavanga cittas arising and passing, even though there is no direct experience of them.

Yes, that is true, and is a good example, in support of Classical Theravada teaching ""matter or materiality", in and of itself, independent of whether experienced"

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: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby robertk » Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:40 am

Thanks for noting this Retro. I will try to look out for anything regarding rupa on this point.
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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby Sylvester » Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:40 am

In the suttas, both instances of rūpa are discussed. In fact, the sutta conception of rūpa does not seem amenable to an exclusively "material" description. Finite space, it appears, also falls into rūpa.

For rūpa falling under (a), the suttas take a slightly different perspective. Instead of dependance on "experience", the dependance is on phassa (contact).
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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:20 am

Hi Sylvester, Retro,
retrofuturist wrote:Do you know of any classical references (commentary, sutta, abhidhamma... either way) that explicitly speak to whether rupa is:

a) the experiential presence of "matter or materiality", or
b) "matter or materiality", in and of itself, independent of whether experienced

Sylvester wrote:In the suttas, both instances of rūpa are discussed. In fact, the sutta conception of rūpa does not seem amenable to an exclusively "material" description. Finite space, it appears, also falls into rūpa.

That's an interesting point. However distinctions between space, matter (and energy) are probably a Western idea from the 17th-19th centuries which disappeared again in the 20th, so I wouldn't be inclined to place too much significance on it.
Sylvester wrote:For rūpa falling under (a), the suttas take a slightly different perspective. Instead of dependance on "experience", the dependance is on phassa (contact).

This is a good point.

I have a couple of queries:
1. My impression is that that "contact" is not a purely passive affair, with the contact conditioned not only by "bumping into stuff", but also "what one seeks to contact". Are there any clear sutta/abhidhamma/commentary statements on this?

2. I can't think of a sutta that denies the reality of external objects, but I also can't think of one that makes much of whether or not external objects are real. In my reading, the issue simply seems moot. Am I missing some key suttas?

:anjali:
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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:29 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:1. My impression is that that "contact" is not a purely passive affair, with the contact conditioned not only by "bumping into stuff", but also "what one seeks to contact". Are there any clear sutta/abhidhamma/commentary statements on this?

There's this, though it actually seems, on face value, to go against your (more refined IMO) understanding of phassa...

Miln II.3.8: Characteristic of Contact {Miln 60}
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .kell.html

The king asked: "Venerable Nagasena, when mind consciousness arises, do contact and feeling also arise?"

"Yes, your majesty, when mind consciousness arises, contact arises, feeling arises, perception arises, volition arises, applied thought arises, and sustained thought arises. And all these mental states arise with contact in the lead."

"Venerable Nagasena, what is the distinguishing characteristic of contact?"

"The distinguishing characteristic of contact, your majesty, is touching."

"Give me an analogy."

"Just as if, your majesty, two rams are butting each other, one of these rams is to be understood as the eye, and the other as a visual object, and the coming together of the two of them is contact."

"Give me another analogy."

"Just as if, your majesty, two hands are clapping together, one of these hands is to be understood as the eye, and the other as a visual object, and the coming together of the two of them is contact."

"Give me another analogy."

"Just as if, your majesty, two cymbals are striking together, one of these cymbals is to be understood as the eye, and the other as a visual object, and the coming together of the two of them is contact."

"You are clever, venerable Nagasena."

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: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby Nyana » Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:10 am

mikenz66 wrote: 1. My impression is that that "contact" is not a purely passive affair, with the contact conditioned not only by "bumping into stuff", but also "what one seeks to contact". Are there any clear sutta/abhidhamma/commentary statements on this?

According to the Abhidhamma, consciousness of an object also requires attention and at least a modicum of intention. This is also indicated in MN 28 Mahāhatthipadopama Sutta:

    Now if internally the eye is intact but externally forms do not come into range, nor is there a corresponding engagement, then there is no appearing of the corresponding type of consciousness. If internally the eye is intact and externally forms come into range, but there is no corresponding engagement, then there is no appearing of the corresponding type of consciousness. But when internally the eye is intact and externally forms come into range, and there is a corresponding engagement, then there is the appearing of the corresponding type of consciousness.

Thus, for sensory consciousness to occur there needs to be samannāhāra: "corresponding engagement."
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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby Sylvester » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:11 am

mikenz66 wrote:I have a couple of queries:
1. My impression is that that "contact" is not a purely passive affair, with the contact conditioned not only by "bumping into stuff", but also "what one seeks to contact". Are there any clear sutta/abhidhamma/commentary statements on this?

2. I can't think of a sutta that denies the reality of external objects, but I also can't think of one that makes much of whether or not external objects are real. In my reading, the issue simply seems moot. Am I missing some key suttas?

:anjali:
Mike


Hi Mike

Re Q1, Geoff has cited MN 28 to good effect. That sutta points to tajja samannāhāra as one of the 3 conditions for contact. The Commentary glosses tajja (corresponding) samannāhāra (engagement) as manasikāra (attention), a gloss which agrees with the Chinese parallel to MN 28 (MA 30 象蹟喻 ) where the word used is 念 (used for a variety of Indic words, including attention). Methinks samannāhāra is simply the outcome of stylisation of the Pali before the Canon closed. Note the place of manasikāra in nāma. You can also find this "correspondence" (tajjaṃ) model used to explain contact and feelings in SN 36.10.

While the Commentarial understanding of the Abhidhamma model posits the need for intention in every event of citta, the suttas open up the possibility for certain mental states where apparently intention has no place. The role of intention in contact could possibly be explained by the 2nd nidāna of saṅkhāra giving rise to consciousness. You'll be familiar with my point that the 2nd nidāna does not require contemporaneity of saṅkhāra and consciousness, owing to the locative absolute construction of idappaccayatā. I think past kamma has a role to play in the process of "contacting", perhaps by the explanation that kamma creates "establishment" of consciousness in a particular dhātu.

Re Q2, I would agree with you that the ontological nature of phenomena is very much a non-issue in the suttas. However, there is at least SN 22.62, where the Buddha gives a ringing endorsement of certain types of statements with which one may make an ontic commitment (ie statements which in modern symbolic logic or English would be typified by "There exists ABC" and "It is not the case that there exists ABC"). This willingness of the Buddha to make ontic commitments is confirmed by SN 22.94. I think the ever-practical Buddha was probably treating external objects as "REAL ENOUGH" to be able to make ontic commitments to their existence or non-existence.

You'll probably notice I'm drawing a strict divide between "ontological nature" and "ontic commitment". The latter concerns itself with issues of whether or not statements about the existence or non-existence of things are True or False. Where an existential statement is judged True, "ontological nature" takes over as the enquiry into the why and how a thing exists, eg Materialism, Idealism etc. I think somebody has been confusing these 2 enquiries...
Last edited by Sylvester on Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:47 am

Thanks, Geoff and Sylvester, for those references.

SN 22.62 reads, in part:
“Bhikkhus, there are these three pathways of language, pathways of designation, pathways of description, that are unmixed, that were never mixed, that are not being mixed, that will not be mixed, that are not rejected by wise ascetics and brahmins. What three?

“Whatever form, bhikkhus, has passed, ceased, changed: the term, label, and description ‘was’ applies to it, not the term ‘is’ or the term ‘will be.’
...
[And so on for present and future. BB notes that this sutta is quoted in Kv 150 as support for the Theravādin argument against the Sarvāstivādins, who held that past and future phenomena exist in some way.

SN 22.94 reads, in part:
“Bhikkhus, I do not dispute with the world; rather, it is the world that disputes with me. A proponent of the Dhamma does not dispute with anyone in the world. Of that which the wise in the world agree upon as not existing, I too say that it does not exist. And of that which the wise in the world agree upon as existing, I too say that it exists.
...
[agree that form that is permanent, etc, does not exist ...]
...
“And what is it, bhikkhus, that the wise in the world agree upon as existing, of which I too say that it exists? Form that is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as existing, and I too say that it exists. Feeling … Perception … Volitional formations … Consciousness that is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as existing, and I too say that it exists.
...
[BB comments: "The affirmation of the existence of the five aggregates, as impermanent processes, serves as a rejoinder to illusionist theories, which hold that the world lacks real being."

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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby Sylvester » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:55 am

I wonder why SN 22.64 and SN 22.94 did not make it to ATI? :stirthepot:
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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby Nyana » Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:52 pm

mikenz66 wrote:SN 22.94 reads, in part:
"Bhikkhus, I do not dispute with the world; rather, it is the world that disputes with me. A proponent of the Dhamma does not dispute with anyone in the world. Of that which the wise in the world agree upon as not existing, I too say that it does not exist. And of that which the wise in the world agree upon as existing, I too say that it exists."

It's interesting that Candrakīrti quotes this sutta passage as scriptural support for the Madhyamaka interpretation that the aggregates, etc., are simply designations which accord with worldly conventions.
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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:57 pm

Sylvester wrote:I wonder why SN 22.64 and SN 22.94 did not make it to ATI? :stirthepot:

Here's 22.94 from another source:
http://tipitaka.wikia.com/wiki/22.94_Flowers

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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby robertk » Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:53 am

Sometimes people object to the Commentaries usage if Sabhava, when referring to khandhas etc.

I would like to stress that although sabhava means essence, when the
commentaries talk about sabhava dhammas they go to lengths to stress
that sabhava in such cases never means something unconditioned
(except for nibbana).
So if we look at for example feeling. This is sabhava dhamma (as
against asabhava such as 'soul' which is imaginary). Feeling is
impermanent, dukkha and anatta. There are various kinds of feeling
when we consider by way of door. So the Visuddhimagga in the section
on Paticcasamuppada explains by way of the eye-door: 'beginning with
eye-contact is a condition in eight ways as conascence, mutuality,
support, result, nutriment association, presence and non-
disappaearence conditions, for the five kinds of feelings that have
respectively eye sensitivity etc. as their respective basis...' And
in the Phena Sutta (A Lump of Foam) which Sarah quoted some time
back the commentary by Buddhaghosa says about feeling: ( translated
by B.Bodhi:)
*****
QUOTE
note 190: "Spk: a bubble (bubbu.la) is feeble and cannot be grasped,
for
it
breaks up as soon as it is seized; so too feeling is feeble and
cannot be
grasped as permanent and stable. As a bubble arises and ceases in a
drop
of
water and does not last long, so too with feeling: 100,000 `ko.tis'
of
feelings arise and cease in the time of a fingersnap (one ko.ti = 10
million).
As a bubble arises in dependence on conditions, so feeling arises in
dependence
on a sense base, an object, the defilements, and contact."


I include this just to show how much stress is laid on
conditionality in the commentaries. There is never any hint that
dhammas could exist independent of conditions.
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