Why arūpa is translated as "formless" ?

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gillbate
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Why arūpa is translated as "formless" ?

Post by gillbate » Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:47 pm

Why arūpa is translated as formless while amanussa is translated as not-human?

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Why arūpa is translated as "formless" ?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:30 pm

English is an odd language:
Recently there have been articles covering how crazy our English language is. Richard Lederer shared this information with the Writer's Digest in May 1990. English has over two million words and is considered the largest vocabulary in the world. It is time to face the fact that it is a crazy language� Here's why!

Blackboards can be blue, green, brown, or white.
There is no butter in buttermilk, no egg in eggplant, no worms or wood in wormwood, no pine or apple in pineapple, nor ham in hamburger.
Sweetmeat is made from fruit, while sweetbread, which is not sweet, is made from meat.
A wood chuck is a groundhog, which is not a hog; a horned toad is a lizard, and glowworms are fireflies, but fireflies are not flies, but beetles.
A woman can man a station, but a man cannot woman a station; a man can father a movement, but a woman cannot mother one.
A writer can write and stinger can sting, but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce, hammers don't ham, and humdingers don't humding.
One mouse, two mice; one goose, two geese; but one moose, two meese?
The teacher taught, and the preacher praught?
Why are wise guys and wise men different?
A nonstop flight never stops flying?
A one-night stand� who's standing?

Our English language is contradictory:

That's why we can turn lights off and on, but not out and in.
That's why we can open up the floor, climb the walls, raise the roof, pick up the house, and bring down the house.
Your house can burn up or down, and you fill in a form by filling out a form, in which you add up a column by adding them down, and your alarm clock goes off by going on, and you first chop a tree down and then chop it up.

- Up Periscope, Jack Levesque
THE FRAT, March-April, 1991
BlogPāli FontsIn This Very LifeBuddhist ChroniclesSoftware (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Bhikkhu Cintita
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Re: Why arūpa is translated as "formless" ?

Post by Bhikkhu Cintita » Sun Jan 11, 2015 5:03 pm

We drive on a parkway, yet park in a driveway (at least in the States).

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gillbate
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Re: Why arūpa is translated as "formless" ?

Post by gillbate » Mon Jan 12, 2015 1:30 am

I think formless = no-form, right? That's what my question if a- in pali can be no- and not-, then why arūpa is translated as formless instead of not-form? This is the big problem, at least for me, for interpreting any a- such as anattā. For example, in Thailand one says nirvana is anattā. What is it? no-self, not-self or both of them? In the same way, is nāma the no-form or not-form aggregate?

SarathW
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Re: Why arūpa is translated as "formless" ?

Post by SarathW » Mon Jan 12, 2015 1:55 am

I will give a try:

There are three spheres: Try to understand what these three spheres means.

Avacara: Sphere, realm, level or dimension. The 3 levels of existence are: the sense-level kāmāvacara, the fine-material level rūpāvacara, the formless level arūpāvacara. Which things are of the sense-level kāmāvacara? Whatever things exist within the interval bounded beneath by the Avīci hell and above by the paranimmitavasavatti heaven (see: deva), being therein included, to wit: the groups of existence, the elements, sources (see: khandha dhātu āyatana), form, feeling, perception, mental constructions and consciousness, all these things are of the sense-level. But which things are then of the fine material level rūpāvacara? Whatever things exist within the interval bounded beneath by the Brahma-world and above by the akanittha world (see: deva), having therein their level, and being therein included... and also consciousness and mental properties in one who has entered the fine-material absorptions, or who has been reborn at that level, or who already during his life-time is living in happiness of the absorptions, all these things are of the fine-material level. Which things are of the formless level arūpāvacara? Consciousness and mental properties arising within the interval bounded beneath by the beings reborn in the level of unbounded space and above by the beings reborn at the level of neither-perception-nor-non-perception (see: jhāna 5-8), and the consciousness and mental properties in one who has entered the formless absorptions, or who has been reborn at that level, or who already during his lifetime is living in happiness of the formless absorptions, all these things are of the formless level. Cf. Dhs. see: 1280, 1282, 1284; Vibh. XVIII. App.

http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... tm#avacara" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:shrug:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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gillbate
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Re: Why arūpa is translated as "formless" ?

Post by gillbate » Mon Jan 12, 2015 3:26 am

Thank you SarathW. Thought my question was not clear enough and it was clear for you guys that arūpa is translated as formless but I think it was influence by Abhidhamma which might not be the same as Buddha's teaching. As I saw in Vibhaṅga Sutta and Vibhaṅga in Suttantabhājaniya, Abhidhamma, for nāma-rūpa, Vibhaṅga Sutta write "And what, bhikshus, is name-and-form (nāma,rūpa)? Feeling, perception, volition, contact, and attention: this is called name. And the four great elements and the material form derived from the four great elements: this is called form. Thus this is name and this is form, and (together) they are called name-and-form" but Vibhaṅga define nāma for "vedanakkhandho sannakkhandho sankharakkhandho"

If one is amanussa. Then he is not human. It cannot be "he does not have human".
If something is arūpa and translate it as formless, it means that thing has no material or Should it be translated as not-material and mean it is not material?

P.S. Sorry for my english :thinking:

culaavuso
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Re: Why arūpa is translated as "formless" ?

Post by culaavuso » Mon Jan 12, 2015 3:40 am

gillbate wrote: If one is amanussa. Then he is not human. It cannot be "he does not have human".
If something is arūpa and translate it as formless, it means that thing has no material or Should it be translated as not-material and mean it is not material?
This sounds like it's just the difference between a noun (amanussa) and an adjective (arūpa). So amanussa as a noun means a being that is not human, while amānusa as an adjective means non-human or unhuman.

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gillbate
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Re: Why arūpa is translated as "formless" ?

Post by gillbate » Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:45 am

culaavuso wrote:
gillbate wrote: If one is amanussa. Then he is not human. It cannot be "he does not have human".
If something is arūpa and translate it as formless, it means that thing has no material or Should it be translated as not-material and mean it is not material?
This sounds like it's just the difference between a noun (amanussa) and an adjective (arūpa). So amanussa as a noun means a being that is not human, while amānusa as an adjective means non-human or unhuman.
Then arūpa-brahma as noun means a being that is not rūpa-brahma , a brahma that is not rūpa-brahma or a being/brahma that does not have rūpa?

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