Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

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mikenz66
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Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:24 pm

I've been working my way through the talks from one of Patrick Kearney's retreats,
http://www.dharmasalon.net/Audio/audio.html
Bodhi Zendo | August 2017
These are the workshops and talks given at Bodhi Zendo, in southern India, from 7 to 21 August 2017.

I was struck by the discussion of Mindfulness of Body, talks #13 here: https://patrick-kearney.wetransfer.com/ ... 522/1aba65

He comments that his preferred translation of nāmarūpa is "named form", and I see that a few others have used this. The usefulness of this translation is that it emphasises that one cannot separate the nāma and rūpa in nāmarūpa, which the translation "name and form" suggests.

As Ven Nananda comments in the Nibbana Sermons:
We find ourselves in a similar situation with regard to the
significance of rūpa in nāma-rūpa. Here too we have some-
thing deep, but many take nāma-rūpa to mean `mind and mat-
ter'. Like materialists, they think there is a contrast between
mind and matter. But according to the Dhamma there is no such
rigid distinction. It is a pair that is interrelated
and taken to-
gether it forms an important link in the chain of paṭicca samup-
pāda.

Rūpa exists in relation to `name' and that is to say that form
is known with the help of `name'. As we saw above, that child
got a first-hand knowledge of the rubber ball with the help of
contact, feeling, perception, intention and attention. Now in
the definition of `form' as cattāri ca mahābhūtāni, catunnañca
mahābhūtānaṃ upādāya rūpaṃ the four great primaries are
mentioned because they constitute the most primary notion of
`form'. Just as much as feeling, perception, intention, contact
and attention represent the most primary notion of `name', con-
ventionally so called, even so the four great primaries form the
basis for the primary notion of `form', as the world understands
it.
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/wp-conte ... NMS_LE.pdf
Patrick borrows the example of the child with the ball in his talk, and also emphasises the inseparability that I have highlighted in the above quotation. In this, and other talks, he discusses how much western philosopy and "spirituality" have this idea of a "mind" or "spirit", which is the important bit, and a "body", which isn't so important. However, it's clear that the body and the heart/mind are not really separable. One's moods can affect the body (e.g. when angry) and vice-versa.

Ironically, modern neuroscience may be doing us a favour in this respect, but considering the mind as just a part of the body (i.e. the brain). That's undoubtedly a gross oversimplification in other ways, but at least it challenges the "disembodied spirit" idea.

:heart:
Mike

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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by justindesilva » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:05 pm

Referring to citta wagga in Dhammapada chapter 3 and 37th gatha (stanza) it explains that nama mind) dwelling in a cave (heart) wanders far and alone .
Here it is meant that the mind is seperate from the body (form) and wanders independantly alone. It also explains that the mind has to be trained to escape from mara, where mara is supposed to be loba, dosa and moha or greed, aversion or hatred and ignorance.
Hence it is very clear from the Dhammapada that nama rupa is not named form. It is also clear from paticca samuppadada that nama(mind) and form (rupa) are two conditioned dependant arisings.

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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:41 pm

justindesilva wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:05 pm
Referring to citta wagga in Dhammapada chapter 3 and 37th gatha (stanza) it explains that nama mind) dwelling in a cave (heart) wanders far and alone .
...
Sorry, I don't understand the comment. Are you equating citta with nāma?
Dūraṅgamaṃ ekacaraṃ,
asarīraṃ guhāsayaṃ;
Ye cittaṃ saṃyamissanti,
mokkhanti mārabandhanā.
https://suttacentral.net/pi/dhp#37

Dwelling in the cave (of the heart), the mind, without form, wanders far and alone. Those who subdue this mind are liberated from the bonds of Mara.
https://suttacentral.net/en/dhp#37
:heart:
Mike

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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by justindesilva » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:34 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:41 pm
justindesilva wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:05 pm
Referring to citta wagga in Dhammapada chapter 3 and 37th gatha (stanza) it explains that nama mind) dwelling in a cave (heart) wanders far and alone .
...
Sorry, I don't understand the comment. Are you equating citta with nāma?
Dūraṅgamaṃ ekacaraṃ,
asarīraṃ guhāsayaṃ;
Ye cittaṃ saṃyamissanti,
mokkhanti mārabandhanā.
https://suttacentral.net/pi/dhp#37

Dwelling in the cave (of the heart), the mind, without form, wanders far and alone. Those who subdue this mind are liberated from the bonds of Mara.
https://suttacentral.net/en/dhp#37
:heart:
Mike
yes nama (mind) consists with citta and vingnana reacting together. It is the psychological aspect of a being while form consists of apo tejo vayo patavi ( cohesion , temperture, fluidity & inertia ) all physical aspects of earthly matter.

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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by DooDoot » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:15 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:24 pm
I was struck by the discussion of Mindfulness of Body, talks #13 here: https://patrick-kearney.wetransfer.com/ ... 522/1aba65

He comments that his preferredtranslation of nāmarūpa is "named form", and I see that a few others have used this
This sounds like the original Brahmanistic meaning. Buddhism appears to emphasise "signs" ("nimitta"), such as "beautiful" or "enemy", as contributors to suffering. Unlike Taoism, I have not read Buddhist liberation called "The Nameless", even though I have read it called 'The Themeless/Signless" (MN 43).
The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
The nameless is the beginning of heaven and Earth.
The named is the mother of the ten thousand things.
Passion is a making of themes (nimitta). Aversion is a making of themes. Delusion is a making of themes. In a monk whose fermentations are ended, these have been abandoned, their root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Now, to the extent that there is theme-less awareness-release.

MN 43
:alien:
mikenz66 wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:24 pm
Rūpa exists in relation to `name' and that is to say that form is known with the help of `name'.
In the English language, the above statement appears to not make much sense because "names" or "naming" is something extremely superficial & trivial; such as the saying: 'Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me'.
mikenz66 wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:24 pm
As we saw above, that child got a first-hand knowledge of the rubber ball with the help of contact, feeling, perception, intention and attention.
The above description may possibly be correct however I personally am unable to correlate this description with the term "naming". "Naming", in my experience, is not related to feeling, perception, intention, contact and attention. Neither feeling, perception, intention, contact or attention, in the English language, seem to refer to the phenomena of "naming".
mikenz66 wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:24 pm
Now in the definition of `form' as cattāri ca mahābhūtāni, catunnañca mahābhūtānaṃ upādāya rūpaṃ the four great primaries are mentioned because they constitute the most primary notion of `form'.
This definition seems to refer to the physical body rather than to discrete sense experiences, as follows:
The four great elements and the form derived from the four great elements: this is called form.
:alien:
mikenz66 wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:24 pm
Just as much as feeling, perception, intention, contact and attention represent the most primary notion of `name', conventionally so called...
I personally am unable to correlate this description with the term "naming". Neither feeling, perception, intention, contact or attention, in the English language, refer to the phenomena of "naming". Each of these terms (feeling, perception, intention, contact or attention) are defined in the Pali and neither appear to refer to the phenomena of "naming". For example:
And why, bhikkhus, do you call it feeling? ‘It feels,’ bhikkhus, therefore it is called feeling. And what does it feel? It feels pleasure, it feels pain, it feels neither-pain-nor-pleasure. ‘It feels,’ bhikkhus, therefore it is called feeling.

And why, bhikkhus, do you call it perception? ‘It perceives,’ bhikkhus, therefore it is called perception. And what does it perceive? It perceives blue, it perceives yellow, it perceives red, it perceives white. ‘It perceives,’ bhikkhus, therefore it is called perception.

And what, bhikkhus, is contact? There are these six classes of contact: eye-contact, ear-contact, nose-contact, tongue-contact, body-contact, mind-contact. This is called contact.

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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:50 pm

Greetings DooDoot,
mikenz66 wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:24 pm
Just as much as feeling, perception, intention, contact and attention represent the most primary notion of `name', conventionally so called...
DooDoot wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:15 pm
I personally am unable to correlate this description with the term "naming".
OK, but are you able to correlate it to "name" (nama)... because the suttas do.

And if so, and given its use in a compund (i.e. nama-rupa), is it such a stretch that its correlation to rupa, is such that it could be speaking of a tight relationship or dynamic interaction between the two?

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by SarathW » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:51 am

Is there Namarupa in Arupavacra realm?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:03 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:50 pm
OK, but are you able to correlate it to "name" (nama)... because the suttas do.
Buddhaghosa explained the term 'nama' or 'namati' (eg. in MN 19) means 'to bend' or 'incline', like the minds incline below. Thus, in the examples below, based on Buddhaghosa's explanation, it can be discerned how both the nama & the rupa 'incline' or develop an 'inclination' based on past conditioning or habit (anusaya):

Image Image
Bhikkhus, whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. MN 19

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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by SarathW » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:45 am

I think Namarupa refers to cittaja rupas

https://www.wisdomlib.org/buddhism/book ... c3195.html
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:55 am

Greetings DooDoot,
DooDoot wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:03 am
Buddhaghosa explained the term 'nama' or 'namati' (eg. in MN 19) means 'to bend' or 'incline', like the minds incline below...
:lol:

Yes, he did.

My mind however bends or inclines to Ven. Nanananda, who responded to ven. Buddhaghosa in the following way, in his Nibbana Sermons...
It is obvious that nāma means 'name', and in the suttas also, nāma, when used by itself, means 'name'.

However when we come to the commentaries we find some kind of hesitation to recognize this obvious meaning. Even in the present context, the commentary, Paramatthajotikā, explains the word 'name' so as to mean 'bending'. It says that all immaterial states are called nāma, in the sense that they bend towards their respective objects and also because the mind has the nature of inclination: Ārammaṇābhimukhaṃ namanato, cittassa ca natihetuto sabbampi arūpaṃ 'nāman'ti vuccati.

And this is the standard definition of nāma in Abhidhamma compendiums and commentaries. The idea of bending towards an object is brought in to explain the word nāma. It may be that they thought it too simple an interpretation to explain nāma with reference to 'name', particularly because it is a term that has to do with deep insight. However as far as the teachings in the suttas are concerned, nāma still has a great depth even when it is understood in the sense of 'name'.

Nāmaṃ sabbaṃ anvabhavi,
nāmā bhiyyo na vijjati,
nāmassa ekadhammassa,
sabbeva vasamanvagū.


"Name has conquered everything,
There is nothing greater than name,
All have gone under the sway
Of this one thing called name."

Also there is another verse of the same type, but unfortunately its original meaning is often ignored by the present day commentators:

Akkheyyasaññino sattā,
akkheyyasmiṃ patiṭṭhitā,
akkheyyaṃ apariññāya,
yogam āyanti maccuno.


"Beings are conscious of what can be named,
They are established on the nameable,
By not comprehending the nameable things,
They come under the yoke of death."

All this shows that the word nāma has a deep significance even when it is taken in the sense of 'name'.

But now let us see whether there is something wrong in rendering nāma by 'name' in the case of the term nāma-rūpa. To begin with, let us turn to the definition of nāma-rūpa as given by the Venerable Sāriputta in theSammādiṭṭhisutta of the Majjhima Nikāya.

Vedanā, saññā, cetanā, phasso, manasikāro - idaṃ vuccatāvuso, nāmaṃ; cattāri ca mahābhūtāni, catunnañca mahābhūtānaṃ upādāyarūpaṃ - idaṃ vuccatāvuso, rūpaṃ. Iti idañca nāmaṃ idañca rūpaṃ - idam vuccatāvuso nāma-rūpaṃ.

"Feeling, perception, intention, contact, attention - this, friend, is called 'name'. The four great primaries and form dependent on the four great primaries - this, friend, is called 'form'. So this is 'name' and this is 'form' - this, friend, is called 'name-and-form'."

Well, this seems lucid enough as a definition but let us see, whether there is any justification for regarding feeling, perception, intention, contact and attention as 'name'. Suppose there is a little child, a toddler, who is still unable to speak or understand language. Someone gives him a rubber ball and the child has seen it for the first time. If the child is told that it is a rubber ball, he might not understand it. How does he get to know that object? He smells it, feels it, and tries to eat it, and finally rolls it on the floor. At last he understands that it is a plaything. Now the child has recognised the rubber ball not by the name that the world has given it, but by those factors included under 'name' in nāma-rūpa, namely feeling, perception, intention, contact and attention.

This shows that 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.
While commenting on the verse just quoted, the commentator also brings in a bright idea. As an illustration of the sweeping power of name, he points out that if any tree happens to have no name attached to it by the world, it would at least be known as the 'nameless tree'.[10] Now as for the child, even such a usage is not possible. So it gets to know an object by the aforesaid method. And the factors involved there, are the most elementary constituents of name.

Now it is this elementary name-and-form world that a meditator also has to understand, however much he may be conversant with the conventional world. But if a meditator wants to understand this name-and-form world, he has to come back to the state of a child, at least from one point of view. Of course in this case the equanimity should be accompanied by knowledge and not by ignorance. And that is why a meditator makes use of mindfulness and full awareness, satisampajañña, in his attempt to understand name-and-form.

Even though he is able to recognize objects by their conventional names, for the purpose of comprehending name-and-form, a meditator makes use of those factors that are included under 'name': feeling, perception, intention, contact and attention. All these have a specific value to each individual and that is why the Dhamma has to be understood each one by himself - paccattaṃ veditabbo. This Dhamma has to be realized by oneself. One has to understand one's own world of name-and-form by oneself. No one else can do it for him. Nor can it be defined or denoted by technical terms.

Now it is in this world of name-and-form that suffering is found.
Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by aflatun » Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:31 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:03 am
retrofuturist wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:50 pm
OK, but are you able to correlate it to "name" (nama)... because the suttas do.
Buddhaghosa explained the term 'nama' or 'namati' (eg. in MN 19) means 'to bend' or 'incline', like the minds incline below. Thus, in the examples below, based on Buddhaghosa's explanation, it can be discerned how both the nama & the rupa 'incline' or develop an 'inclination' based on past conditioning or habit (anusaya):

Image Image
Bhikkhus, whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. MN 19
:rofl:

Those dudes look straight up predatory !
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by pulga » Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:33 am

That the Buddha didn't teach that experience was merely nāma, but rather that it was nāmarūpa seems to me to be of some significance. What part does rūpa have in the nature of experience? And has it anything to do with human suffering?

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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by justindesilva » Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:49 am

However to me I feel we are sandwiched between sammuti satya ( conventional truth) and paramatta satya ( the ultimate truth as laid down in abhidamma) in analysing named form. As of sammuti satya each form (rupa) that we perceive( from passa , vedana, sangna, cetana etc) arises with our sensualities and has a shape that we identify with our past experiences. Yet all these in the eye of abhidamma has no name but are only momentarily changing ( anitya) matter as waves. Hence I believe that we must clearly distinct what we perceive is through sammuti satya or through abidamma as specified in sutta.
with sammuti satya all forms have a name , but those named forms we perceive through abhidamma has only its qualities as apo tejo vayo patavi rasa ganda etc.

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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by Saengnapha » Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:08 am

DooDoot wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:15 pm
mikenz66 wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:24 pm
As we saw above, that child got a first-hand knowledge of the rubber ball with the help of contact, feeling, perception, intention and attention.
The above description may possibly be correct however I personally am unable to correlate this description with the term "naming". "Naming", in my experience, is not related to feeling, perception, intention, contact and attention. Neither feeling, perception, intention, contact or attention, in the English language, seem to refer to the phenomena of "naming".
I believe the term 'cognition' is used to describe the naming and identification/categorization of perceptions.

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Re: Nāmarūpa - Named Form?

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:37 am

This explanation from Ven Nanananda might be helpful:

The Law of Dependent Arising (Paṭicca Samuppāda)
The Secret of Bondage and Release
Library Edition
by Bhikkhu K. Ñāṇananda
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/wp-conte ... ev_1.0.pdf
From our analysis of this discourse, it should be obvious
how important the Law of Dependent Arising is. Generally, we
talk only about the Four Noble Truths. But from this episode, it is
clear that when one examines the causes and conditions of
consciousness, one would hit upon name-and-form. Let me
elaborate a little on this point. However much we explain, it
seems there are many who cannot budge an inch from the
traditional interpretation. So often, I have pointed out with special
reference to the Buddha’s own definition found in the discourses
that the factors on the ‘name’ side in name-and-form are feeling,
perception, intention, contact and attention. It is with the help of
these five that we recognize the four elements, earth, water, fire
and air in terms of hard and soft, hot or cold, and so forth. That is
why it is called rūpasaññā (perception of form). Those five
factors are called name only in a formal sense. Primarily,
recognition is not by ‘name’ in the conventional and linguistic
sense. But by means of feeling, perception, intention, contact and
attention. Some confuse the issue by arguing that contact has to
precede feeling. However much we point out with quotations,
they insist on putting contact first. Let me explain it in such a way
that at least you all would not forget.

Please stretch your right hand if you can. Now stretch out
the fingers. I am going to give you an exercise to drive out
sleepiness if any. Now stretch your palm. Alright, start counting
your fingers. ‘One’, what is the finger you bend? Is it the thumb?
Isn’t it the little finger? This is how I call the small but
mischievous little finger – ‘Feeling’. Then comes number Two –
the ring finger where you wear the signet ring. Well, call it
‘Perception’. Now for number Three. Bend the decisive middle
finger, prominent and intrusive. See how it digs into your palm.
Let us call it ‘Intention’. He is the one who calls the waiter and
silences a meeting. You do your work when ‘intention’ steps in.
Number Four is the index finger, fussy and busy all the time. You
may dub it ‘Contact’. What comes last as Number five? The
THUMB – ‘standing apart but approachable to the rest’ as
lexicons define it. Take it as ‘Attention’. So have this ‘at your
finger tips’, this definition of ‘Name’. When you clutch your
fingers, the one nearest to your thumb (i.e. Attention) is the index
finger (i.e. CONTACT). Well, that is why I prefer the original
sutta definition of ‘nāma’. Of course, these similes are not found
in the discourse. I brought these up only for clarification. Now,
after this, at least you all, dear listeners, must not doubt the
Buddha-word regarding ‘nāma’ in ‘nāmarūpa’.
There is a nice visual representation of this in Ven Analayo's talks on the Nibbana Sermons:
https://www.bcbsdharma.org/resources/bh ... -lectures/
Sermon 2 April 28. From about 6:00 minutes:
https://rz-olat-conn01.rrz.uni-hamburg. ... ode=normal


:heart:
Mike

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