What is the sixth sense base ?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Saengnapha
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Re: What is the sixth sense base ?

Post by Saengnapha » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:50 pm

Virgo wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:02 pm
James Tan wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:51 pm
Greetings ,

According to sutta , the sixth consciousness arises from the contact of the mind which is the sixth sense base versus mental objects .
Therefore , what would you think is the sixth sense base ? Would you think the sixth sense base is of matter or non matter ?
Hi James, according to tradition it is a small rūpa in the heart.
best
Kevin
Virgo, this tallies with my own experience of a 'seat' of consciousness felt in the area of the heart radiating. Yogacara schools talk about the 6th sense base as being the alaya vijnana, the storehouse of consciousness. I'm not sure if they associate this with the heart, though.

From an earlier post detailing Maha Bua on the heart:
I found this interesting commentary on brain vs. consciousness by Ajahn Maha Boowa
The brain, for instance, is a lump of matter. The brain is merely an instrument that human consciousness uses. When the citta enters into a deep state of calm and concentration, the conscious awareness that is normally diffused throughout the body simultaneously converges from all areas of the body into one central point of focus at the middle of the chest. The knowing quality manifests itself prominently at that point. It does not emanate from the brain. Although the faculties of memorization and learning arise in association with the brain, direct knowledge of the truth does not. Step by step, beginning with the initial stages of samadhi practice, progress in meditation is experienced and understood in the heart—and only in the heart. This is where the truth lies, and the meditator who practices correctly knows this each step of the way. When it comes to understanding the true nature of all phenomena, the brain is not a factor—it is not useful at all. The citta’s serene and radiant qualities are experienced at the heart. They emanate conspicuously from that point. All of the citta’s myriad aspects, from the grossest to the most subtle, are experienced clearly from this central spot. And when all defiling influences are finally eliminated from the citta, it is there that they all cease.


In some schools of Mahayana, they also talk about an area around the heart, not the physical heart. In Jeffrey Hopkins book 'Meditation On Emptiness', one of the meditations focuses on the appearance of the 'I' and the analysis of it. A parallel instruction in Vedanta also stresses the heart:
In Vedanta is often said to be the size of the thumb and
located in the 'heart'. In Vedanta the jiva is to be merged with
the infinite self, Brahman, and in Buddhism the appearance of a
concrete I is analyzed, found to be non-existent, and overcome,
resulting eventually in a direct realization of emptiness in which
the subject, the wisdom consciousness, is merged with its object,
emptiness, like fresh water poured into fresh water.

santa100
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Re: What is the sixth sense base ?

Post by santa100 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:59 pm

James Tan wrote:Hi , we are use to take the nama as something belongs to of non matter . But , could it be possible nama is Unseen matter!
Sort of like Dark Matter? While modern physics doesn't clearly distinguish nama/rupa since matter and energy are interchangeable medium, the Theravada description of the 6th sense base limits it to within the mental scope. Ven. Bodhi's note in "Connected Discourses":
On first consideration, it would seem that the six internal and external sense bases should be understood simply as the six sense faculties and their objects, with the term ayatana, base, having the sense of origin or source. Though many suttas lend support to this supposition, the Theravada exegetical tradition, beginning already from the Abhidhamma period, understands the six pairs of bases as a complete scheme of classification capable of accommodating all the factors of existence mentioned in the Nik›yas. This conception of the six bases probably originated from the Sabba Sutta (35:23), in which the Buddha says that the six pairs of bases are “the all” apart from which nothing at all exists. To make the six bases capable of literally incorporating everything, the Vibhanga of the Abhidhamma Pitaka defines the mind base (manayatana) as including all classes of consciousness, and the mental phenomena base (dhammayatana) as including the other three mental aggregates, subtle nonsensuous types of form, and even the unconditioned element, Nibbana (see Vibh 70–73).

SarathW
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Re: What is the sixth sense base ?

Post by SarathW » Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:38 am

the Theravada description of the 6th sense base limits it to within the mental scope.
Does this mean Dependent Origination is only about mental phenomena?
ie: When it says Salayatana means only mental not physical?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

santa100
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Re: What is the sixth sense base ?

Post by santa100 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:15 am

SarathW wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:38 am
the Theravada description of the 6th sense base limits it to within the mental scope.
Does this mean Dependent Origination is only about mental phenomena?
ie: When it says Salayatana means only mental not physical?
No, notice there're 2 separate terms: Manaytana/the mind base, the 6th of the Six sense bases/Salayatana (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind).

SarathW
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Re: What is the sixth sense base ?

Post by SarathW » Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:55 am

Isn't Manayatana included in Salayatana?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

santa100
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Re: What is the sixth sense base ?

Post by santa100 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:17 am

Yes

chownah
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Re: What is the sixth sense base ?

Post by chownah » Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:56 am

James Tan wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:51 pm
Greetings ,

According to sutta , the sixth consciousness arises from the contact of the mind which is the sixth sense base versus mental objects .
Therefore , what would you think is the sixth sense base ? Would you think the sixth sense base is of matter or non matter ?
To clarify this question I ask you to consider if any of the sense bases are of matter or non matter?
chownah

James Tan
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Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:26 pm

Re: What is the sixth sense base ?

Post by James Tan » Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:29 pm

santa100 wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:59 pm
James Tan wrote:Hi , we are use to take the nama as something belongs to of non matter . But , could it be possible nama is Unseen matter!
Sort of like Dark Matter? While modern physics doesn't clearly distinguish nama/rupa since matter and energy are interchangeable medium, the Theravada description of the 6th sense base limits it to within the mental scope. Ven. Bodhi's note in "Connected Discourses":
On first consideration, it would seem that the six internal and external sense bases should be understood simply as the six sense faculties and their objects, with the term ayatana, base, having the sense of origin or source. Though many suttas lend support to this supposition, the Theravada exegetical tradition, beginning already from the Abhidhamma period, understands the six pairs of bases as a complete scheme of classification capable of accommodating all the factors of existence mentioned in the Nik›yas. This conception of the six bases probably originated from the Sabba Sutta (35:23), in which the Buddha says that the six pairs of bases are “the all” apart from which nothing at all exists. To make the six bases capable of literally incorporating everything, the Vibhanga of the Abhidhamma Pitaka defines the mind base (manayatana) as including all classes of consciousness, and the mental phenomena base (dhammayatana) as including the other three mental aggregates, subtle nonsensuous types of form, and even the unconditioned element, Nibbana (see Vibh 70–73).
Well , if we died the universe still exists .
Why mind is capable of conscious of it self and others and matter cannot ?!

James Tan
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Re: What is the sixth sense base ?

Post by James Tan » Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:37 pm

chownah wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:56 am
James Tan wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:51 pm
Greetings ,

According to sutta , the sixth consciousness arises from the contact of the mind which is the sixth sense base versus mental objects .
Therefore , what would you think is the sixth sense base ? Would you think the sixth sense base is of matter or non matter ?
To clarify this question I ask you to consider if any of the sense bases are of matter or non matter?
chownah
What do you think ? Isn't Eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body to be regarded as matter ?
For Mind some sutta take it as matter .
But , the question is , matter by itself is not self conscious . Something else infused it with life .

chownah
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Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: What is the sixth sense base ?

Post by chownah » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:12 pm

James Tan wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:37 pm
chownah wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:56 am
James Tan wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:51 pm
Greetings ,

According to sutta , the sixth consciousness arises from the contact of the mind which is the sixth sense base versus mental objects .
Therefore , what would you think is the sixth sense base ? Would you think the sixth sense base is of matter or non matter ?
To clarify this question I ask you to consider if any of the sense bases are of matter or non matter?
chownah
What do you think ? Isn't Eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body to be regarded as matter ?
For Mind some sutta take it as matter .
But , the question is , matter by itself is not self conscious . Something else infused it with life .
I think that the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind are all "just so".

If one thinks that there is a lump of matter called "eye" from which seeing arises and a lump of matter called "ear" from which hearing arises and a lump of matter called "nose" from which smell arises and a lump of matter called "tongue" from which taste arises and a lump of matter called "body" from which tactile sensation arises then why not think that there is a lump of matter called "brain" from which mind arises?

chownah

chownah
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Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: What is the sixth sense base ?

Post by chownah » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:15 pm

James Tan wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:29 pm

Why mind is capable of conscious of it self and others and matter cannot ?!
...but the mind has no self.
chownah

James Tan
Posts: 834
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:26 pm

Re: What is the sixth sense base ?

Post by James Tan » Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:31 pm

chownah wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:15 pm
James Tan wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:29 pm

Why mind is capable of conscious of it self and others and matter cannot ?!
...but the mind has no self.
chownah
Well , where is the mind you are talking about ?
There is No mind ! Mind you !

justindesilva
Posts: 798
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:38 pm

Re: What is the sixth sense base ?

Post by justindesilva » Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:40 pm

chownah wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:15 pm
James Tan wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:29 pm

Why mind is capable of conscious of it self and others and matter cannot ?!
...but the mind has no self.
chownah
well on this basis what vingnana works with patisandi citta ( citta before rebirth) as there cannot be a form here.

chownah
Posts: 7481
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: What is the sixth sense base ?

Post by chownah » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:51 am

James Tan wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:31 pm
chownah wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:15 pm
James Tan wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:29 pm

Why mind is capable of conscious of it self and others and matter cannot ?!
...but the mind has no self.
chownah
Well , where is the mind you are talking about ?
The mind I am talking about is the mind you suggest when you said, "Why mind is capable of conscious of it self and others and matter cannot ?!" You talk about some kind of mind which is conscious of itself...but it has no self to be conscious of!
chownah
Last edited by chownah on Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:54 am, edited 2 times in total.

chownah
Posts: 7481
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: What is the sixth sense base ?

Post by chownah » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:52 am

justindesilva wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:40 pm
chownah wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:15 pm
James Tan wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:29 pm

Why mind is capable of conscious of it self and others and matter cannot ?!
...but the mind has no self.
chownah
well on this basis what vingnana works with patisandi citta ( citta before rebirth) as there cannot be a form here.
I have no idea what you are talking about.
chownah

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