Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Aug 11, 2012 4:59 am

Hi Daniel, Robert,
danieLion wrote:This "needs to be taught" phrase smacks of conceit, and "the problem with the buddhist today" comment seems like stereotyping.

Worrying about Modern Buddhists is somewhat off-topic for the Classical Theravada section:
A forum for members who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the Pali Canon and associated Commentaries, which for discussion purposes are both treated as authoritative.

To me, the interesting question here is:
    What do these statements about paramattha dhammas and so on in the Abhidhamma and Commentaries actually mean?
I hope we can discuss the preserved wisdom of the ancient practitioners and commentators in a constructive way, without falling into trivialisation.

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

Postby robertk » Sat Aug 11, 2012 5:11 am

Re Gombrich :
In the Intro. to the Vibhanga(Abhidhamma pitaka) (Pali text society[b]) writes "It is all very well to say 'I know what is right and what is wrong'The fact is very few people do know when it comes to the precison of mental behaviour essential to correct development toward release. It is this exactitude of behaviour;mental physical and the conseqeunces thereof, that the scriptures elucidate in detail".[i]

Iggelden carries on "
It is all very well to say 'I know what needs to be done to break the continuity of rebirth and death'. In fact very few people know of even the most elementary reasons for the continuity of process, let alone of breaking it. It is the detailed description, analysis and reasons given for this cyclic process that the scriptures spend so much care in putting before us. It is all very well to say 'What do I want to know all these
definitions of terms for, it only clutters the mind?'The question is, though, how many people when they seriously ask themselves as to the extent and range of some such apparently simple terms as greed, hatred and ignorance, can know their full and proper implications and manifestations within their own thoughts and actions..This the scriptures are at pains to make clear to even the dullest reader
.
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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby danieLion » Sat Aug 11, 2012 5:18 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Daniel, Robert,
danieLion wrote:This "needs to be taught" phrase smacks of conceit, and "the problem with the buddhist today" comment seems like stereotyping.

Worrying about Modern Buddhists is somewhat off-topic for the Classical Theravada section:
A forum for members who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the Pali Canon and associated Commentaries, which for discussion purposes are both treated as authoritative.

To me, the interesting question here is:
    What do these statements about paramattha dhammas and so on in the Abhidhamma and Commentaries actually mean?
I hope we can discuss the preserved wisdom of the ancient practitioners and commentators in a constructive way, without falling into trivialisation.

:anjali:
Mike

OK. Will do.

What the parmattha dhammas mean according to the Abhidhamma/Commentaries is fairly clear, though.
Best,
Daniel
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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby danieLion » Sat Aug 11, 2012 5:37 am

robertk wrote:Re Gombrich :
In the Intro. to the Vibhanga(Abhidhamma pitaka) (Pali text society[b]) writes "It is all very well to say 'I know what is right and what is wrong'The fact is very few people do know when it comes to the precison of mental behaviour essential to correct development toward release. It is this exactitude of behaviour;mental physical and the conseqeunces thereof, that the scriptures elucidate in detail".

Iggelden carries on "
It is all very well to say 'I know what needs to be done to break the continuity of rebirth and death'. In fact very few people know of even the most elementary reasons for the continuity of process, let alone of breaking it. It is the detailed description, analysis and reasons given for this cyclic process that the scriptures spend so much care in putting before us. It is all very well to say 'What do I want to know all these
definitions of terms for, it only clutters the mind?'The question is, though, how many people when they seriously ask themselves as to the extent and range of some such apparently simple terms as greed, hatred and ignorance, can know their full and proper implications and manifestations within their own thoughts and actions..This the scriptures are at pains to make clear to even the dullest reader
.


Good point. This is the strength, IMHO, of the cetasika model (It's also a deal breaker or maker for most. Right view, IMHO, at least involves believing greed, hatred and delusion are unskillful. Most people are unwilling to even acknowledge they cling to greedy, hateful, and deluded ways of doing and "being". Or, when they see it unwanted, they run away or go crazy--literally).

I think we're in more accord now, but are you saying right view alone is enough to shake those unaware of their ignorance out of their complacency?
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Daniel
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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:24 am

danieLion wrote:What the parmattha dhammas mean according to the Abhidhamma/Commentaries is fairly clear, though.

Is it? See this post:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 99#p111695
and this one:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 60#p184838
Nyanaponika Thera warns against taking analysis as establishing "parts" in Abhidhamma Studies
[P71 of the PDF at http://buddhanet.net].
By arranging the mental factors in relational
groups a subordinate synthetical element has been
introduced into the mainly analytical Dhammasan-
gani. By so doing, the danger inherent in purely
analytical methods has been avoided. This danger
consists in erroneously taking for genuine separate
entities the “parts” resulting from analysis, instead
of restricting their use to sound practical method
with the purpose of classifying and dissolving com-
posite events wrongly conceived as ultimate uni-
ties.
Up to the present time it has been a regular
occurrence in the history of physics, metaphysics
and psychology that when a Whole has been suc-
cessfully dissolved by analysis, the resultant “parts”
themselves come again to be regarded as little
“Wholes”. Early Buddhist schools succumbed to
this danger, for example, the Vaibhasikas, better
known as Sarvàstivàdins, which belong to the so-
called Hinayàna. It was these schools that, accord-
ing to Otto Rosenberg (“Probleme der buddhisti-
schen Philosophie”), have defined Dhammas as
“substantial bearers of their specific exclusive qual-
ities”. They assumed that “the substance of all
things has a permanent existence throughout the
three divisions of time, present, past and future”
and that only the manifestations of these “substan-
tial bearers” were impermanent and subject to change
in the three divisions in time.
...


[Ironically, I've seen some on this Forum confuse that Savarstivadin idea with Theravada doctrine.]

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

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:27 am

Greetings Mike,

(In light of what you quote above...)

Since Robert has advised you paramattha dhammas etc. are real, you could enquire as to precisely what "real" entails.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:53 am

retrofuturist wrote:Since Robert has advised you paramattha dhammas etc. are real, you could enquire as to precisely what "real" entails.

I already asked that here: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=13509#p201053
No point in repeating myself.

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

Postby danieLion » Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:02 am

mikenz66 wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Since Robert has advised you paramattha dhammas etc. are real, you could enquire as to precisely what "real" entails.

I already asked that here: http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 09#p201053
No point in repeating myself.

:anjali:
Mike

Not wanting to repeat myself (or cause Dhamma Wheel to repeat itself) is why I dismissed enquiring into to the meaning of "real."

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=9607&hilit=realism

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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:05 am

Greetings,

mikenz66 wrote:No point in repeating myself.

Perhaps, only than that the discussion got no further than agreeing that the conditioned paramattha dhammas do not exist independently of causes and conditions... which speaks more of their arising and cessation, than it does of what it is that "really" arises and ceases in accordance with said conditions.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby danieLion » Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:22 am

mikenz66 wrote:
danieLion wrote:What the parmattha dhammas mean according to the Abhidhamma/Commentaries is fairly clear, though.

Is it? See this post:
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=6999#p111695
and this one:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=12178&start=60#p184838
Nyanaponika Thera warns against taking analysis as establishing "parts" in Abhidhamma Studies
[P71 of the PDF at http://buddhanet.net].
By arranging the mental factors in relational
groups a subordinate synthetical element has been
introduced into the mainly analytical Dhammasan-
gani. By so doing, the danger inherent in purely
analytical methods has been avoided. This danger
consists in erroneously taking for genuine separate
entities the “parts” resulting from analysis, instead
of restricting their use to sound practical method
with the purpose of classifying and dissolving com-
posite events wrongly conceived as ultimate uni-
ties.
Up to the present time it has been a regular
occurrence in the history of physics, metaphysics
and psychology that when a Whole has been suc-
cessfully dissolved by analysis, the resultant “parts”
themselves come again to be regarded as little
“Wholes”. Early Buddhist schools succumbed to
this danger, for example, the Vaibhasikas, better
known as Sarvàstivàdins, which belong to the so-
called Hinayàna. It was these schools that, accord-
ing to Otto Rosenberg (“Probleme der buddhisti-
schen Philosophie”), have defined Dhammas as
“substantial bearers of their specific exclusive qual-
ities”. They assumed that “the substance of all
things has a permanent existence throughout the
three divisions of time, present, past and future”
and that only the manifestations of these “substan-
tial bearers” were impermanent and subject to change
in the three divisions in time.
...


[Ironically, I've seen some on this Forum confuse that Savarstivadin idea with Theravada doctrine.]

:anjali:
Mike

Well, this just seems to highlight my point. These references merely elaborate on the basic ontological project.
Best,
Daniel
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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby robertk » Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:30 am

Now to give some ex.planation about the Theravada meaning of real.ities ( clasified as khandhas, ayatanas or dhatus).
Firstl.ly they are extremely brief and insubstantial
From buddhaghosa:
[note 157: Spk: 'By day and by night (rattiyaa ca divasassa ca):
This is a genitive in the locative sense, i.e., during the night and
during the day. Arises as one thing and ceases as another (annadeva
uppajjati, anna.m nirujjhati): The meaning is that (the mind) that
arises and ceases during the day is other than (the mind) that
arises and ceases during the night. The statement should not be
taken to mean that one thing arises and some thing altogether
different, which had not arisen, ceases. "Day and night" is said by
way of continuity, taking a continuity of lesser duration than the
previous one (i.e. the one stated for the body). But one citta is
not able to endure for a whole day or a whole night. Even in the
time of a fingersnap many hundred thousand kotis of cittas arise and
cease

2. For each and every occurence of these instantaneous elements, khandhas, many conditions need to come together. And each of these conditions are equally brief and conditioned. It is actually amazing everytime we see or hear something, a little miracle, considering the brevity and the confluence of conditions needed for them to arise.
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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby robertk » Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:40 am

So then what is not real according to Theravada?
Well soul and self are unreal , no more existant than horns on a rabbit, flying pigs and unicorns
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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby robertk » Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:47 am

I think we're in more accord now, but are you saying right view alone is enough to shake those unaware of their ignorance out of their complacency?

Dear Daniel
I think its a virtuous circle. If Right view deepens at the intellectual level then In daily life, as there is the experince of the realities ( e.g. khandhas) -elucidated by the theory- the other factors of enlightenment, such as saddha, mature, and this supports wisdom to grow too.
And then the study becomes even clearer, leading to deeper understanding at the experiential level, which makes the theory even clearer, leading to.....
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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby danieLion » Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:52 pm

Hi Robert,
Thanks for all these excellent posts and your clarifications. I still have a lot to learn about the Abhidhamma and Commentaries.
Best,
Daniel
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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby Alex123 » Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:16 am

Dear RobertK,

robertk wrote:The khadhas are arising and passing away instantly and incessantly."


How can an aggregate arise and pass away? Isn't it a concept that includes past, future, present?

For example:
"Whatever form is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: That is called the form aggregate."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

I agree that rūpa as individual instance can arise and fall. But how can aggregate that includes different discreet things (rūpa in this case) over past, future, and present rise and fall? How can apple arise and fall? As you know, concepts don't arise and fall.
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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby robertk » Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:26 am

Khandhas as a word is of course a concept. However the term is referring to actual realities that did exist, or that exist now, or that will arise in the future.

Take the case of aversion. In the texts aversion is classified under sankhara khandha
The term is a concept, but it did arise in the past for all of us. Aversion might be arising right at this moment for some of us, and will certainly arise very soon ( at least to some degree) for all of us.
.
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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby Alex123 » Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:37 am

Hello RobertK2, all,

robertk wrote:Khandhas as a word is of course a concept. However the term is referring to actual realities that did exist, or that exist now, or that will arise in the future.

Take the case of aversion. In the texts aversion is classified under sankhara khandha
The term is a concept, but it did arise in the past for all of us. Aversion might be arising right at this moment for some of us, and will certainly arise very soon ( at least to some degree) for all of us.
.



So, dosa is of different level than saṅkhārakkhandha. Dosa as an instant can arise and cease, and then lobha can arise and cease, and then moha can arise and cease , yet with all of that, all of them (dosa, lobha, moha) are saṅkhārakkhandha.
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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby robertk » Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:43 am

Alex123 wrote: How can apple arise and fall? As you know, concepts don't arise and fall.

Dear alex,
This is a good example, thanks for bringing it up.
As you say concepts dont arise and fall( because they dont even exist).
A apple, a knife , a table, a person: we look at them and yes we observe some changes. After a day or two the apples color becomes less attractive etc. the table seems to age slower than that but still over the years it loses the new look; people age even faster than the table usually.

But the texts say actual realities like the khandhas completely fall away very very quickly( see my earlier citation from SPK.)
So what is happening..
Well when we think about the apple we have a very vague and conceptual idea of what is seen tasted, touched and thought about. In fact what we term an apple is really biliions, trillions of kalapas. And each of these kalapas is arising for a short time and then falls away, but is replaced ,( provided there are the conditions) by new kalapas. It is this continuity which hides the radical impermanence that is truly occuring.

Everyone , buddhist or not, has some knowledge of impermanence. They know teacups break, cars get old, people age and die. But that is merely the outward sign of the much more severe impermance of the khandhas. And it Is only by understanding -dependent on study of the unique Dhamma taught by the Buddha- that the direct knowledge of impermanence can develop.
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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby robertk » Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:48 am

Alex123 wrote:Hello RobertK2, all,

robertk wrote:Khandhas as a word is of course a concept. However the term is referring to actual realities that did exist, or that exist now, or that will arise in the future.

Take the case of aversion. In the texts aversion is classified under sankhara khandha
The term is a concept, but it did arise in the past for all of us. Aversion might be arising right at this moment for some of us, and will certainly arise very soon ( at least to some degree) for all of us.
.



So, dosa is of different level than saṅkhārakkhandha. Dosa as an instant can arise and cease, and then lobha can arise and cease, and then moha can arise and cease , yet with all of that, all of them (dosa, lobha, moha) are saṅkhārakkhandha.

Dear alex
Dosa, aversion, is a sankhara khandha. But it cant arise alone. At the same time that dosa arises also many other sankhara khandhas are arising in association with it( but some sankhara khandhas, lobha for instance, can't arise at the same time as dosa)
. Also other khandhas like vedana khandha and vinnana khandha are co-arising.
And yes, as you say, after dosa ceases lobha may arise etc. and exactly right, all of them are classified as sankhara khandha.
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Re: Khandas, dhatus and ayatanas are real

Postby Alex123 » Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:08 am

Dear RobertK,

robertk wrote:Well when we think about the apple we have a very vague and conceptual idea of what is seen tasted, touched and thought about. In fact what we term an apple is really biliions, trillions of kalapas. And each of these kalapas is arising for a short time and then falls away, but is replaced ,( provided there are the conditions) by new kalapas. It is this continuity which hides the radical impermanence that is truly occuring.


Is it possible that:
individual kalapa* to "apple" is same as
individual rūpa to rūpakkhandha?

Different individual rūpa can occur trillions of times per second, but it is still a rūpakkhandha.

*kalapas can occur trillions of times per second
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