Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:01 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:I tried to make a point about the relationship of the arahant to the khandhas.

Well, according to SN 22.36 there is no relationship.
Maybe, but arahant talk, remember things, have pertsonalities, so what does SN 22.36?

tiltbillings wrote:Outside of not being conditioned by greed, hatred, and delusion do the living arahants see, hear, think, remember, talk, poop, walk somehow differently?

They still have eye-, ear-, nose-, tongue-, body- and mind-faculties. But there is no specific fabrication or volitional intention towards either existence or non-existence.
Of course; that is not in question, but arahants seem to do things that indicates some sort of intention going on.

Sure. But somewhere in the Aṅguttaranikāya there is a sutta which explains that with the remainderless passing away and cessation of ignorance there is no longer a fabricated body, voice, or mind conditioned by which pleasure or pain arise internally. My guess would be that this means that an arahant doesn't generate either kusala or akusala kamma.
The text would always be good to have.

At any rate, I haven't been paying attention to what it is that you guys are debating so I'll step aside.
My point is fairly simple: the arahant, while "emobodied" has to deal with the conditioned (in part by kamma) mind/body process, even though they are not identifying with it. It just goes with still being alive. That is it. That's the whole of what I am trying to say.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:28 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote: It will be several hours befor I can get back to this in any detail.


That's alright. I look forward to that demonstration at least one instance from the suttas where idappaccayata is used in any context other than dependent origination (or its reverse mode) founded upon ignorance.

For you to claim that idappaccayata was taught as a general principle, beyond that of dependent origination, you'll need to provide at least one example of it in the suttas that differs from dependent origination. Otherwise, you're merely kidding yourself that such an application of it is relevant to the Dhamma (given the criteria of the Simsapa Sutta).

There's many suttas on dependent origination - happy reading....

:reading:

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 mikenz66 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:29 am

Not sure if this helps, but from Bhikkhu Nanananda's Nibbana Sermon 18, (P562 in the PDF I have, also in Volume IV in the links from this page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katukurunde_Nanananda_Thera)

Here, then, we have an extremely subtle problem. When the
arahant comes back to the world and is seen experiencing the
objects of the five senses, one might of course conclude that he
is actually `in the world'. This problematic situation, namely the
question how the influx-free arahant, gone to the farther shore,
comes back and takes in objects through the senses, the Buddha
resolves with the help of a simple simile, drawn from nature.
For instance, we read in the Jarāsutta of the Sutta Nipāta the
following scintillating lines.

"Like a drop of water on a lotus leaf,
Or water that taints not the lotus petal,
So the sage unattached remains,
In regard to what is seen, heard and sensed."

So the extremely deep problem concerning the relation be-
tween the supramundane and the mundane levels of experience,
is resolved by the Buddha by bringing in the simile of the lotus
petal and the lotus leaf.

:anjali:
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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:50 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:My point is fairly simple: the arahant, while "emobodied" has to deal with the conditioned (in part by kamma) mind/body process, even though they are not identifying with it.

Taking "body" as an example, it's not just a case of not merely identifying with it, it's a case of not ignorantly reifying it and regarding it as existent in the first place.

Venerable Nanananda, Sermon 8 wrote:With the complete fading away and cessation of ignorance, the arahant has no notion of a body. That is, he does not have a percep­tion of a body, like that of a worldling, who takes it as such, due to his perception of the compact, ghanasa¤¤à.


Venerable Nanananda, Sermon 8 wrote:"Consciousness which makes nothing manifest, infinite and all lustrous. It does not partake of the earthiness of earth, the wateriness of water, the fieriness of fire, the airiness of air, the creature-hood of creatures, the deva-hood of devas, the Pajàpati-hood of Pajàpati, the Brahma-hood of Brahma, the radiance of the Radiant Ones, the Subha­kiõha-hood of the Subhakiõha Brahmas, the Vehapphala-hood of the Vehapphala Brahmas, the overlord-ship of the overlord, and the all-ness of the all."

The gist of this paragraph is that the non-manifestative con­scious­ness which is infinite and all lustrous, is free from the qualities asso­ciated with any of the concepts in the list, such as the earthiness of earth and the wateriness of water. That is to say it is not under their influence, it does not partake of them, an­anubhåtaü. Whatever na­ture the world attributes to these concepts, whatever reality they in­vest it with, that is not regis­tered in this non-manifestative con­scious­ness. That is why this consciousness is said to be uninfluenced by them.

Usually, the worldlings attribute a certain degree of reality to concepts in everyday usage. These may be reckoned as mind-ob­jects, things that the mind attends to. The word dhamma also means `a thing', so the worldling thinks that there is some-`thing' in each of these concepts. Or, in other words, they believe that there is some-thing as an inherent nature or essence in these ob­jects of the mind.

But the quotation in question seems to imply that this so-called nature is not registered in the arahant's mind. It is ex­tremely neces­sary for the worldling to think that there is some real nature in these mind-objects. Why? Because in order to think of them as objects they have to have some essence, at least they must be invested with an essence, and so the worldlings do invest them with some sort of an essence, and that is the earthi­ness of earth, the wateriness of wa­ter, (etc.). Likewise there is a being-hood in beings, a deva-hood in devas, a Pajàpati-hood in Pajàpati, a Brahma-hood in Brahma, so much so that even in the concept of all, there is an all-ness - and this is the worldlings' stand­point.

Attributing a reality to whatever concept that comes up, the world­lings create for themselves perceptions of permanence, per­cep­tions of the beautiful, and perceptions of self. In other words, they ob­jectify these concepts in terms of craving, conceit and views. That objectification takes the form of some inherent nature attributed to them, such as earthiness, deva-hood (etc.).

But as for the non-manifestative consciousness, it is free from the so-called natures that delude the worldlings. In the con­sciousness of the arahants, there is not that infatuation with re­gard to the mass of concepts which the worldlings imagine as real, in order to keep going this drama of existence.

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 pegembara » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:01 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Not sure if this helps, but from Bhikkhu Nanananda's Nibbana Sermon 18, (P562 in the PDF I have, also in Volume IV in the links from this page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katukurunde_Nanananda_Thera)

Here, then, we have an extremely subtle problem. When the
arahant comes back to the world and is seen experiencing the
objects of the five senses, one might of course conclude that he
is actually `in the world'. This problematic situation, namely the
question how the influx-free arahant, gone to the farther shore,
comes back and takes in objects through the senses, the Buddha
resolves with the help of a simple simile, drawn from nature.
For instance, we read in the Jarāsutta of the Sutta Nipāta the
following scintillating lines.

"Like a drop of water on a lotus leaf,
Or water that taints not the lotus petal,
So the sage unattached remains,
In regard to what is seen, heard and sensed."

So the extremely deep problem concerning the relation be-
tween the supramundane and the mundane levels of experience,
is resolved by the Buddha by bringing in the simile of the lotus
petal and the lotus leaf.

:anjali:
Mike


The one cleared of all mental fermentation;
who is independent of all 4 nutriments;
whose abiding is the unconditioned & void release,
is untraceable, just like a bird in the air.

Teflon Mind
Last edited by pegembara on Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby acinteyyo » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:04 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
MN i,9 wrote:Feeling, perception, intention, contact, attention,—this, friends, is called name (Vedanā saññā cetanā phasso manasikāro, idam vuccat'āvuso nāmam)

Is there anything in that definition that you think falls outside of the four aggregates (minus rupa) specified earlier?

No...
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:22 pm

Greetings acinteyyo,
acinteyyo wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:
MN i,9 wrote:Feeling, perception, intention, contact, attention,—this, friends, is called name (Vedanā saññā cetanā phasso manasikāro, idam vuccat'āvuso nāmam)

Is there anything in that definition that you think falls outside of the four aggregates (minus rupa) specified earlier?

No...

OK. Earlier (not long in time, but many posts ago) you agreed that vipaka functions only within loka/sabba, not outside of it. You agreed that the 5 aggregates of experience could be rolled up into 4, by subsuming rupa into the other four. You agree that nama fits within those 4 aggregates.

Now, we mentioned some time ago that venerable Nyanatiloka said vipaka was always mental and you were quite displeased with this notion at the time and were unconvinced by it. In the Mahavihara tradition, "nama" (lit: name) is defined by him in his Buddhist Dictionary as 'mind', mentality. Now, whilst I'm not asking you to accept his definition, would you accept that vipaka only operates within nama, as defined in the suttas by "feeling, perception, intention, contact and attention"?

Is there any aspect of resultant experience outside of bare consciousness itself that is outside of nama?

To quote Venerable Nanananda from his 1st Nibbana Sermon, "the definition of nāma in nāma-rūpa takes us back to the most fundamental notion of `name', to something like its prototype. The world gives a name to an object for purposes of easy communication. When it gets the sanction of others, it becomes a convention."

Since the arahant, transcending such naming conventions that lead to reification (e.g. the goat, the muggers, the muggings, the kickings), understands the components of nama which give the false perception of a unitary 'mind', sees through the illusion of nama-rupa, sees its emptiness (sunnata), understands it as a false reflection, has brought about its cessation through the cessation of avijja.... in light of that, do you still think vipaka can still apply with reference to an arahant?

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 tiltbillings » Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:10 pm

retrofuturist wrote:There's many suttas on dependent origination - happy reading....
The thing is I have already provided texts to make my point, but you don't like my arguments, which is fine. So, since you are the master of all things paticcasamuppada, explain two things: a worldling sees and recognizes another individual: what is the process? And an arahant sees and recognizes another individual: what is the process? These are two completely, unrelated different processes? The first is: "Dependent on the eye and the forms, eye-consciousness arises; the coming-together of the three is sense-impression." The second is something totally unknown? I have put this to you variously already and you have side-stepped it. It goes directly to the above.

The point is that arahant when still alive, has memories, personalities, skills, and all sorts of stuff that has to do with their pre-awakened intentional actions, kamma.

Let me ask one further question that might be rather relevant to all this. Is nibbana included in the "all" or is is something else?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:21 pm

pegembara wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Not sure if this helps, but from Bhikkhu Nanananda's Nibbana Sermon 18, (P562 in the PDF I have, also in Volume IV in the links from this page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katukurunde_Nanananda_Thera)

Here, then, we have an extremely subtle problem. When the
arahant comes back to the world and is seen experiencing the
objects of the five senses, one might of course conclude that he
is actually `in the world'. This problematic situation, namely the
question how the influx-free arahant, gone to the farther shore,
comes back and takes in objects through the senses, the Buddha
resolves with the help of a simple simile, drawn from nature.
For instance, we read in the Jarāsutta of the Sutta Nipāta the
following scintillating lines.

"Like a drop of water on a lotus leaf,
Or water that taints not the lotus petal,
So the sage unattached remains,
In regard to what is seen, heard and sensed."

So the extremely deep problem concerning the relation be-
tween the supramundane and the mundane levels of experience,
is resolved by the Buddha by bringing in the simile of the lotus
petal and the lotus leaf.

:anjali:
Mike


The one cleared of all mental fermentation;
who is independent of all 4 nutriments;
whose abiding is the unconditioned & void release,
is untraceable, just like a bird in the air.

Teflon Mind
This does not, however, tell us the actual mechanics of what is going on within the arahant. I don't know why people make this so difficult. The processes of seeing, acting and what not would be exactly the same as it is for anyone else, except for the arahant the processes are not colored, conditioned by greed, hatred and delusion. Unless one wants arahants and the Buddha to be some sort of transcendent magical gods, we are dealing with what we are always dealing with, the khandhas and conditionality, which are the vehicles for awaking, and for the awakened, they are the vehicles for manifesting awakening by one's actions and the life lived.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:22 pm

Victory over Defilements and Volitional Actions
What remained was the five aggregates, which were the result of kamma done before the defilements were extinguished, and psychophysical phenomena due to the four causes before enlightenment, but free from defilements since then. The existence of the five aggregates presupposes the results of past actions, both wholesome and unwholesome. This occurrence of results continued until the moment of the Buddha’s passing away. Since the five aggregates still existed after his enlightenment, the effects of past kamma were felt. In other words, because the kammic forces of the past still remained, the five aggregates persisted. The existence of the Buddha’s five aggregates allowed the release of the multitude from suffering.

This is stated in different ways for fear that you might make a wrong interpretation regarding the exhaustion of kammic forces.
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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby Nyana » Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:54 pm

tiltbillings wrote:The text would always be good to have.

It's AN 4.171 Cetanā Sutta:

    In all these states, monks, ignorance is involved. But with the complete fading away and cessation of ignorance, there is no longer that body, speech or mind conditioned by which pleasure and pain may arise in oneself. There is no longer a field, a site, a base or a foundation conditioned by which pleasure and pain may arise in oneself.*

Ven. Ñāṇapoṇika's endnote:

    *This refers to an arahant. Though he too engages in bodily, verbal, and mental activity, the volition responsible for these activities does not produce any kamma-result.

All the best,

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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:51 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Victory over Defilements and Volitional Actions
What remained was the five aggregates, which were the result of kamma done before the defilements were extinguished, and psychophysical phenomena due to the four causes before enlightenment, but free from defilements since then. The existence of the five aggregates presupposes the results of past actions, both wholesome and unwholesome. This occurrence of results continued until the moment of the Buddha’s passing away. Since the five aggregates still existed after his enlightenment, the effects of past kamma were felt. In other words, because the kammic forces of the past still remained, the five aggregates persisted. The existence of the Buddha’s five aggregates allowed the release of the multitude from suffering.

This is stated in different ways for fear that you might make a wrong interpretation regarding the exhaustion of kammic forces.
Ledi Sayadaw. Thank you.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:56 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:The text would always be good to have.

It's AN 4.171 Cetanā Sutta:

    In all these states, monks, ignorance is involved. But with the complete fading away and cessation of ignorance, there is no longer that body, speech or mind conditioned by which pleasure and pain may arise in oneself. There is no longer a field, a site, a base or a foundation conditioned by which pleasure and pain may arise in oneself.*

Ven. Ñāṇapoṇika's endnote:

    *This refers to an arahant. Though he too engages in bodily, verbal, and mental activity, the volition responsible for these activities does not produce any kamma-result.

All the best,

Geoff
Thanks. The sutta language is difficult, but if Ven Nyanaponika is correct, and I see no reason to say he is not, what is being said here does not contradict anything I said. What is being said here is that no new kamma is being made, and I do not see that as the issue.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby acinteyyo » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:10 pm

Hi Retro,
retrofuturist wrote:OK. Earlier (not long in time, but many posts ago) you agreed that vipaka functions only within loka/sabba, not outside of it. You agreed that the 5 aggregates of experience could be rolled up into 4, by subsuming rupa into the other four. You agree that nama fits within those 4 aggregates.

Yes I agreed that vipāka functions only within loka. However I do not agree that the 5 aggregates could be rolled up into 4 by subsuming rūpa into the other 4 nor do I agree that nāma fits within those 4 aggregates.
The 5 aggregates are form (rūpa), feelings (vedanā), fabrications (sankhārā), perception (saññā) and consciousness (viññāna).
Rūpa is the four mahābhūtā. Nāma is vedanā, saññā, cetanā, phasso, manasikāro. So in relation to the 5 aggregates rūpa is the aggregate of form and nāma is the aggregate of feelings, fabrications and perception. The aggregate of consciousness remains not included within nāma-rūpa.
retrofuturist wrote:Now, we mentioned some time ago that venerable Nyanatiloka said vipaka was always mental and you were quite displeased with this notion at the time and were unconvinced by it. In the Mahavihara tradition, "nama" (lit: name) is defined by him in his Buddhist Dictionary as 'mind', mentality. Now, whilst I'm not asking you to accept his definition, would you accept that vipaka only operates within nama, as defined in the suttas by "feeling, perception, intention, contact and attention"?

No. My understanding is that vipāka is an experience and an experience is nāma-rūpa + viññāna. Therefore vipāka operates within nāma-rūpa + viññāna not only within nāma.
retrofuturist wrote:Is there any aspect of resultant experience outside of bare consciousness itself that is outside of nama?

I don't understand your question. Any experience consists of nāma-rūpa + viññāna. Consciousness itself is outside of nāma.
retrofuturist wrote:To quote Venerable Nanananda from his 1st Nibbana Sermon, "the definition of nāma in nāma-rūpa takes us back to the most fundamental notion of `name', to something like its prototype. The world gives a name to an object for purposes of easy communication. When it gets the sanction of others, it becomes a convention."
Since the arahant, transcending such naming conventions that lead to reification (e.g. the goat, the muggers, the muggings, the kickings), understands the components of nama which give the false perception of a unitary 'mind', sees through the illusion of nama-rupa, sees its emptiness (sunnata), understands it as a false reflection, has brought about its cessation through the cessation of avijja.... in light of that, do you still think vipaka can still apply with reference to an arahant?
...sees that it's empty of self and anything pertaining to self, has brought about the cessation of nāma-rūpa conditioned by avijjā throught the cessation of avijjā. BUT hasn't brought about the cessation of nāma-rūpa conditioned by viññāna conditioned by nāma-rūpa. There is another DO sequence where avijjā is not the origin, see Nalakalapiyo Sutta SN12.67:
"Just now, friend Sariputta, I understood your statement as, 'It's not the case, Kotthita my friend, that name-&-form is self-made, that it is other-made, that it is both self-made & other-made, or that — without self-making or other-making — it arises spontaneously. However, from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form' But then I understood your statement as, 'It's not the case, Kotthita my friend, that consciousness is self-made, that it is other-made, that it is both self-made & other-made, or that — without self-making or other-making — it arises spontaneously.' However, from name-&-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness.' Now how is the meaning of these statements to be understood?"

"Very well then, Kotthita my friend, I will give you an analogy; for there are cases where it is through the use of an analogy that intelligent people can understand the meaning of what is being said. It is as if two sheaves of reeds were to stand leaning against one another. In the same way, from name-&-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness, from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form.

I still think vipāka being an experience operates within nāma-rūpa + viññāna and still applies as mere phenomenon with reference to an arahant until the cause for the existence of either nāma-rūpa or viññāna (which "stand leaning aginst one another") has finally ceased. Nevertheless there is no suffering for the arahant because in short all suffering is pañc'upādānakkhandhā, but in case of the arahant all there is, is just pañcakhandhā. There's just no foundation, no ground, no footing anymore for suffering to be experienced.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

:anjali:
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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:58 pm

Greetings acinteyyo,

acinteyyo wrote:Yes I agreed that vipāka functions only within loka.

Well, that's fine by me. We seem to be getting caught up in semantics, slightly different definitions and such... making it difficult to progress any further. Since your interpretation doesn't resort to unsubstantiated superstition (e.g. kammic gravity vortexes, unexplainable causality) or one man's kamma being the proximite cause for another man's kamma, then I'm pleased. :thumbsup:

I just wanted to pick up on one last thing, in relation to your comments re: SN 12.67... just because the part of the sequence in discussion is a subset of the entire dependent origination sequence, does not mean that nidanas outside of the subset can be assumed away. That would be akin to saying that dukkha won't come out the end of it, just because that part of the process is not discussed. I disagree with your statement that the arahant "hasn't brought about the cessation of nāma-rūpa conditioned by viññāna conditioned by nāma-rūpa" based upon my readings of Bhikkhu Nanananda, but alas I don't really have the opportunity just now to hunt out some quotes, though the following keyword searches in the Nibbana Sermons on the following words might be useful should you wish to investigate - dog, whirlpool, vortex. He specifically addresses this vortex in the context of the attaining of Nibbana.

There's just no foundation, no ground, no footing anymore for suffering to be experienced.

Agreed... the quote Mike provided earlier about the lotus leaf seems apt. Thanks for an enjoyable and challenging 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)


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 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:24 pm

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:My point is fairly simple: the arahant, while "emobodied" has to deal with the conditioned (in part by kamma) mind/body process, even though they are not identifying with it. It just goes with still being alive. That is it. That's the whole of what I am trying to say.

Nobody is denying an arahant is alive, and as a by-product of being alive the arahant can still eat, see, fart, defecate and so on.

Likewise, no one is denying that body comes into existence due to "old kamma"... but perhaps it might be worth reflecting on the sutta that deals with that topic.

SN 35.145 wrote:"Now what, monks, is old kamma? The eye is to be seen as old kamma, fabricated & willed, capable of being felt. The ear... The nose... The tongue... The body... The intellect is to be seen as old kamma, fabricated & willed, capable of being felt. This is called old kamma.

...

"And what is the cessation of kamma? Whoever touches the release that comes from the cessation of bodily kamma, verbal kamma, & mental kamma: This is called the cessation of kamma.

Source: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

It's interesting, because there's no mention in the above of vipaka/fruit - there's only mention of kamma (action) here.

"Fabricated & willed" is interesting too - make of it what you will, but to me this means that "body" is a volitional formation (i.e. mentally designated, due to ignorance).

"Capable of being felt" implies to me that "body" it is a potential basis for vipaka, but that is not vipaka itself. In other words, due to ignorant cognition, there is perceived to be a body, and when there is that ignorant cognition, "body" can act as a vehicle for vipaka to play out. If that vehicle does not exist, because the volitional designations and fabrications that gave rise to the ignorant cognition have ceased, then how could vipaka come to fruit for the arahant?

Furthermore the Buddha says, "The body is to be seen as old kamma"....not vipaka.

Given that body is old kamma (i.e. volitionally constructed) it's inappropriate to conflate "body" as experienced phenomenologically, with the notion of a biological body that exists ontologically. SN 12.15 explains the error of such ontological interpretations, and I think your insistence that we regard the day-to-day functioning of an arahant as something loosely defined as "conditioned" reflects this conflation of the phenomenological and the ontological.

Do arahants discard old kamma?

tiltbillings wrote:I don't know why people make this so difficult.

Because the Buddhist traditions' failure (and I'm not speaking exclusively about any one sect) to distinguish between the two has caused them to deviate away from Buddhavacana and Buddhadhamma into such terrains as superstition, atomism and ontology. We either disregard or fail to address the conflation of these things and try to make sense of it by blocking out that which contradicts our current interpretations, or we can draw out the conflation, make it visible, and get back to the root of the teachings.

There are merits in both, but given the four great standards articulated in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta, I cannot bring myself to do the former out of respect for any teacher (ala Kalama Sutta).


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 daverupa » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:51 pm

So there are two darts: mental darts and physical darts.

Putthujanas experience physical darts and mental darts.
Arahants experience physical darts.

Darts are vedana, yes?

So paticcanirodha, which includes the cessation of vedana, phassa, and so forth, must therefore have only to do with mental darts. Physical darts aren't addressed at all when paticcanirodha is explained in detail.

Therefore, paticcasamuppada also has nothing to do with physical darts. In fact, there can be action without kamma-vipaka in the case of an arahant (AN 3.33 explains this point). This serves to fully differentiate the operation of kamma as a mental function: sometimes action renders kamma-vipaka, sometimes it does not. The difference is putthujana v. arahant, i.e. conditioned action v. unconditioned action. (This is not to say that an arahant's action is wholly unconditioned as lifting one's hand is conditioned by there being a hand in the first place, only that it is unconditioned by greed, hatred, or delusion.)

Lonaphala Sutta (AN 3.99): "Monks, for anyone who says, 'In whatever way a person makes kamma, that is how it is experienced,' there is no living of the holy life, there is no opportunity for the right ending of stress. But for anyone who says, 'When a person makes kamma to be felt in such & such a way, that is how its result is experienced,' there is the living of the holy life, there is the opportunity for the right ending of stress."

This is what the Buddha means here, and he reminds Angulimala about this. Angulimala at the time of the clod incident was an arahant,** so there were no mental darts there, no kamma - but coming down the road with broken requisites and a bloody head wound, there was a physical dart there. So the question seems to be, is that physical dart kamma-vipaka?

Set the case of Angulimala aside for a moment: is the case of the Buddha experiencing the 'physical dart' from Devadatta's second assassination attempt a case of the Buddha experiencing kamma-vipaka?

___
**I'm somewhat convinced that this text is corrupt only because the advice the Buddha called out to Angulimala makes more sense to say to one in training, not one gone beyond training. The little vignette which follows, along with the verses, looks very tacked-on and therefore chronologically suspect. A mistake while combining two or more Suttas when crafting the Majjhima Nikaya version seems quite possible.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:16 am

retrofuturist wrote:. . .
No, I am not conflating anything here and you are avoiding the question:

So, since you are the master of all things paticcasamuppada, explain two things: a worldling sees and recognizes another individual: what is the process? And an arahant sees and recognizes another individual: what is the process? These are two completely, unrelated different processes? The first is: "Dependent on the eye and the forms, eye-consciousness arises; the coming-together of the three is sense-impression." The second is something totally unknown? I have put this to you variously already and you have side-stepped it. It goes directly to the above.

The point is that arahants when still alive, have memories, personalities, skills, and all sorts of stuff that has to do with their pre-awakened intentional actions, kamma.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby cooran » Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:41 am

Not sure if this would interest anyone? --- about the Buddha and vipaka --

Then Devadatta himself tried to kill the Buddha. When the Buddha was walking on the Vultures' Rock, Devadatta climbed to the peak and hurled a huge stone at the Buddha. On its way down, the rock struck another rock and a splinter flew and wounded the Buddha's foot, causing blood to flow. The Buddha looked up and seeing Devadatta, he remarked with pity, "Foolish man, you have done many unwholesome deeds for harming the Buddha."
http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/bud ... _5lbud.htm

SN I.38 Sakalika Sutta
Sakalika Sutta (Splinter of Rock Discourse )

38. Thus have I heard:
At one time the Bhagava was residing in Maddakucchi1 Park, a deer sanctuary near Rajagaha. At that time the Bhagava's foot was struck by a splinter of rock.2 The Bhagava felt excessive physical pain which was tormenting, acute, harsh, severe, nasty and unpleasant. Not complaining at, all the Bhagava endured the pain with mindfulness and comprehension. He lay on his right side on the great robe which was spread on the ground folded fourfold, with one foot slightly further than the other one on which it rested.

During that time, soon after the middle watch of the night, seven hundred devas of exceeding beauty who became devas by (practising and) imparting the doctrine of the virtuous, approached the Bhagava, illuminating the entire Maddakucchi Park. They made obeisance to the Bhagava and stood at a suitable place. And standing thus, one of them uttered this expression of joy in the presence of the Bhagava:
Friends! How like the powerful elephant is Samana Gotama' It is because he is like the powerful elephant that he is not complaining at all but is enduring with mindfulness and comprehension this physical pain which is tormenting, acute, harsh, severe, nasty and unpleasant!"

Then another deva uttered this' expression of joy in the presence of the Bhagava:
"Friends" How like the brave lion is Samana Gotama! It is because he is like the brave lion that he is not complaining at all, but is enduring with mindfulness and comprehension this physical pain which is tormenting, acute, harsh, severe, nasty and unpleasant!"
Then another deva uttered this expression of joy in the presence of the Bhagava:
"Friends! How like a hero is Samana Gotama! It is because he is like a hero that he is not complaining at all, but is enduring with mindfulness and comprehension the physical pain which is tormenting, acute, harsh, severe, nasty and unpleasant!"
Then another deva uttered this expression of joy in the presence of the Bhagava:
"Friends! How like the unrivalled bull is Samana Gotama! It is because he is like the unrivalled bull that he is not complaining at all, but is enduring with mindfulness and comprehension the physical pain which is tormenting, acute, harsh, severe, nasty and unpleasant."
Then another deva uttered this expression of joy in the presence of the Bhagava:
"Friends! How like the draught ox is Samana Gotama! It is because he is like the draught ox that he is not complaining at all, but is enduring with mindfulnes and comprehension the physical pain which is tormenting, acute, harsh, severe, nasty and unpleasant!"
Then another deva uttered the expression of joy in the presence of the Bhagava:
"Friends! How self-disciplined is Samana Gotama. It is because he is self-disciplined that he is not complaining at all, but is enduring with mindfulness and comprehension the physical pain which is tormenting, acute, harsh, severe, nasty, and unpleasant!"
Then another deva uttered this expression of joy in the presence of the Bhagava:
"Look at the perfectly developed concentration (of the Bhagava)! Look at the mind that is completely released (from defilements), that is not swayed (by greed), that is not turned away (by anger), and that does not need any effort towards suppression (of passion). Who ever would consider hurting such man who is like the powerful elephant, the brave lion, who is a hero, who is like the unrivalled bull, the draught ox, and who is self-disciplined, must be nothing but a stupid person!"

(Then the Bhagava said:)
"The brahmins who are adept in the five Vedas and follow the austere practice may strive for a hundred years. yet their mind cannot gain complete release from defilements. Lowly as their mind is, they can never cross over to the other shore (Nibbana).
"Those who are overwhelmed by Craving and who follow rites and rituals outside the Ariya Path may engage themselves in mortifying practices for a hundred years, yet their mind cannot gain complete release from defilements. Lowly as their mind is, they can never cross over to the other shore (Nibbana).
"In this world, he who is conceited3 , lacks self-control (i.e., tranquillity of mind).
For one who lacks tranquillity of mind, there can be no Magga Insight. A forest-dweller may lead a lonely life, yet if he lacks mindfulness, he cannot cross over the planes of existences where death prevails, to the other shore(which is Nibbana).
"He who abandons conceit, who has a tranquilled mind, and who has wisdom is free from (attachment to) all existence. A forest-dweller leading a lonely life, if he practises mindfulness, can cross over the planes of existence where death prevails to the other shore (which is Nibbana)."
End of the Sakalika Sutta,
the eighth in this vagga.

1. Maddakucchi Park: So called because it was the place where Queen Vedehi, mother of the patricide Prince Ajatasattu, on learning the potential danger of her own child she was carrying in her womb, tried unsuccessfully to abort the child foetus. (Maddati, to press, to trample; kucchi, the belly, the womb)
2. The splinter of rock that struck the Buddha's foot was the result of bhikkhu Devadatta's attempt against the Buddha's life. While the Buddha was at the foot of Mount Gijiakuta, Devadatta rolled a boulder down on him. But the boulder, struck another boulder on the way down and only a splinter hit the Buddha's foot.
3. He who is conceited: manakamassa: lit., for him who desires conceit.
http://www.dhammaweb.net/Tipitaka/read.php?id=224

with metta
Chris
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---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Do arahants discard vipaka/suffering?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:09 am

Greetings Chris,

Thanks for sharing and helping to facilitate discussion... it is nice to move on from Angulimala...

cooran wrote:Not sure if this would interest anyone? --- about the Buddha and vipaka --

To be clear... there's nothing in the sutta that says the incident was the Buddha's vipaka. It only says he was hit by a rock and experienced pain, and speaks nothing about why he has hit.

It is interesting to note, to my suprise, that the shoving of the boulder was not explicity attributed in the sutta to Devadatta. (I wonder if it's in the Vinaya?). Assuming though it was Devadatta, the sutta is indeed about the Buddha as you say, but any vipaka in question appears (as explained in the commentary?) to be Devadatta's, in the sense that he committed a terrible kammic act and was allegedly destined to the hell realms (vipaka) for a long time as a result of his act.

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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