Momentariness

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
virahul77
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Momentariness

Post by virahul77 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:43 pm

Hello to all members I am new to this group.
My question is regarding much debated doctrine by opponents(Vedanta sutras, jaina etc) momentariness. By this theory Buddhism is addressed in other philosophy.
I have heard Buddha did,not taught such theory intentionally rather impermianance theory. Which later give rise to momentariness theory by abhidhamma commentators as logical extension of dependent origination and impermianance. Also I heared not all branches of Buddhism subscribe to this doctrine. So my question is which does and which does not subscribe? I guess Theravada, sautrantika, sarvastivada, yogacara subscribe in somewhat different form. Also momentariness amount for only mind or mind and external matter both? I think only branch did,not subscribe is middle way path(shunyawadi) actually they don't hold any fixed view but realistic and skeptic about many theories.

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Dhammanando
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Re: Momentariness

Post by Dhammanando » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:47 am

virahul77 wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:43 pm
Also I heared not all branches of Buddhism subscribe to this doctrine. So my question is which does and which does not subscribe?
By around the 5th century CE momentarism seems to have been the only game in town. It wasn't that some Buddhist schools subscribed to it and some didn't, but rather, all of them subscribed to it but differed with regard to ...

1. how radically they conceived it. The most radical ones (e.g., Theravādins and Sautrāntikas) maintained that nothing that arises lasts for more than a moment, while the less radical ones (e.g., the Vatsīputriyas) came up with lists of dharmas that they considered to be not momentary.

2. the status that they assigned to it. The Abhidharma-based schools tended to treat kṣaṇikavāda as a definitive teaching and ultimate truth, and the Madhyamikas and suchlike as only a provisional teaching and relative truth.
virahul77 wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:43 pm
Also momentariness amount for only mind or mind and external matter both?
Mind and matter (both internal and external), but with the momentarism of the mind (i.e. of cittas and cetasikas/caittas) coming in for the most discussion.

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DooDoot
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Re: Momentariness

Post by DooDoot » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:37 am

The Assutavā Sutta appears to say the physical body is not related to "momentariness".
It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey, swinging through a forest wilderness, grabs a branch. Letting go of it, it grabs another branch. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. In the same way, what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
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Volovsky
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Re: Momentariness

Post by Volovsky » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:23 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:37 am
The Assutavā Sutta appears to say the physical body is not related to "momentariness".
Body not, but four great elements are. Body is a concept, momentariness applies to absolute reality.

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DooDoot
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Re: Momentariness

Post by DooDoot » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:44 am

Volovsky wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:23 am
Body not, but four great elements are.
MN 62 appears to not support the above conceptual concept. MN 62 does not mention momentariness.
And what is the earth property? The earth property can be either internal or external. What is the internal earth property? Anything internal, within oneself, that's hard, solid & sustained: head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, tendons, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, membranes, spleen, lungs, large intestines, small intestines, contents of the stomach, feces, or anything else internal, within oneself, that's hard, solid, and sustained: This is called the internal earth property

MN 62
There is a saying in the English language: "Sticks and stones can break my bones but concepts will never hurt me". If body (rupa) was a concept; it would not damage other bodies and it would not be attractive to mosquitoes.
And why do you call it 'form' (rupa)? Because it is afflicted, thus it is called 'form.' Afflicted with what? With cold & heat & hunger & thirst, with the touch of flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun, & reptiles. Because it is afflicted, it is called form.

SN 22.79
:candle:
Volovsky wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:23 am
Body is a concept
If body was a concept the Buddha probably would have taught there is only one khandha; conceptually called 'conceptuality khandha'. I think the concept that "body is a concept" is a concept.
Volovsky wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:23 am
momentariness applies to absolute reality.
I read in the suttas impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and not-self is absolute reality. Is there a sutta that supports the above conceptual idea that momentariness applies to absolute reality? :shrug:
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Volovsky
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Re: Momentariness

Post by Volovsky » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:59 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:44 am
If body was a concept the Buddha probably would have taught there is only one khandha conceptually called 'conceptuality khandha'. I think the concept that "body is a concept" is a concept.
All khandas are absolute reality, not concepts.
I read in the suttas impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and not-self is absolute reality. Is there a sutta that supports the above conceptual idea? :shrug:
If you check the suttas then, when it comes to anicca, dukkha, anatta, Buddha is talking about what in Abhidhamma is called absolute reality: khandas, ayatanas, dhatus, etc. Buddha for some reason didn't tell in Anattalakhana sutta: "What do you think, monks, is Kondañña permanent or impermanent?"

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DooDoot
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Re: Momentariness

Post by DooDoot » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:04 pm

Volovsky wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:59 am
If you check the suttas then, when it comes to anicca, dukkha, anatta, Buddha is talking about what in Abhidhamma is called absolute reality: khandas, ayatanas, dhatus, etc.
I checked but could not find the above interpretation there. All I found was khandas, ayatanas, dhatus are anicca, dukkha, anatta; rather than anicca, dukkha, anatta are khandas, ayatanas, dhatus.
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Volovsky
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Re: Momentariness

Post by Volovsky » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:35 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:04 pm
I checked but could not find the above interpretation there. All I found was khandas, ayatanas, dhatus are anicca, dukkha, anatta;
My point is that three characteristics (in particular anicca, which is where momentariness comes into play) in the suttas are applied to absolute reality, not to concepts.
rather than anicca, dukkha, anatta are khandas, ayatanas, dhatus.
I see. You are confusing characteristics of absolute reality and the absolute reality itself.

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DooDoot
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Re: Momentariness

Post by DooDoot » Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:28 am

Volovsky wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:35 pm
My point is that three characteristics (in particular anicca, which is where momentariness comes into play) in the suttas are applied to absolute reality, not to concepts.
Concepts are conditioned things (sankhara). All conditioned things are impermanent. Therefore, anicca in the suttas appears certainly to apply to concepts. Also, absolute reality (dhammaniyāmatā) appears to be permanent rather than impermanent. Annica does not appear to apply to absolute reality. If absolute reality was impermanent, how could it be absolute? :shrug:
Mendicants, whether Realized Ones arise or not, this law of nature persists, this regularity of natural principles, this invariance of natural principles:

Uppādā vā, bhikkhave, tathāgatānaṃ anuppādā vā tathāgatānaṃ, ṭhitāva sā dhātu dhammaṭṭhitatā dhammaniyāmatā.

https://suttacentral.net/an3.136/en/sujato
:alien:
Volovsky wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:35 pm
I see. You are confusing characteristics of absolute reality and the absolute reality itself.
It is not my mind that is confused. I doubt "momentariness" or a "moment" can be measured as being "this period of time" or "that period of time". In fact, that a "moment" actually exists is probably a tenuous idea. Consciousness arises for a certain unmeasurable period of time and then that experience ends. The rough non-measurable concept or idea of ""momentariness" may apply to conscious experience but not necessarily to the true nature of all things. "Consciousness" appears to merely be one aspect of nature but not the "ground of being" or "God" or "Brahma" or "Brahman" or "Absolute Reality" that you appear to be asserting.

:smile:
Last edited by DooDoot on Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:58 am, edited 11 times in total.
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cappuccino
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Re: Momentariness

Post by cappuccino » Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:31 am

absolute reality… isn't the teaching


the teaching is: reality is inconstant, impersonal, stressful

justindesilva
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Re: Momentariness

Post by justindesilva » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:27 am

As J.Krishnamurthi suggested we live from moment to moment. Paticca samuppada can explain this. Vingnana paccaya nama rupa
Nama rupa paccaya salayatana , salayatana paccaya Salayatana paccaya phassa phassa paccaya vedana
Nama Rupa is Feeling, perception, intention, contact, & attention :this is called name, The four great elements .and the form (rupa)
dependant on the four great elements is called the form. This name and this form is called is called nama rupa (SN12.2).
Feeling and perceptions depending upon citta arises in split seconds successively, one after another.
As such nama rupa dependant on salayatana arises in a moment and becomes the past when the next sccessive thought (citta) arises.
This is how nama rupa becomes momentary.
In fact The quote of J.Krishnamurthi then writes that fear anxiety and depression arises by projecting the past (experiences) in to the future.
In fact this is where meditation helps us , as meditation helps us to keep tracked in a single thought, without projecting the past in to the future,

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Volovsky
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Re: Momentariness

Post by Volovsky » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:27 am

DooDoot wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:28 am
Concepts are conditioned things (sankhara). All conditioned things are impermanent. Therefore, anicca in the suttas appears certainly to apply to concepts.
Then why don't you just quote the sutta, where Buddha talks about anicca, dukkha, anatta with respect to what is called concepts in Abhidhamma (man, woman, animals, trees, houses, etc). I can cite dozens of suttas, where he talks about anicca, dukkha, anatta of absolute reality.
If absolute reality was impermanent, how could it be absolute?
It is absolute in a sense, that it cannot be "broken down" any further. Analogy is modern science, according to which there is no man, woman, buildings, etc, but only protons, neutrons, electrons (or quarks if you want). The same here: What we perceive as person is only nama and rūpa.
Consciousness arises for a certain unmeasurable period of time and then that experience ends. The rough non-measurable concept or idea of ""momentariness" may apply to conscious experience but not necessarily to the true nature of all things.
You are right. Time is actually also a concept. The main thing is that nama and rūpa appears and disappears. For a person, who observes it, all this happens very fast. Calling it momentary is indeed a somewhat conventional level. But still important, otherwise some would say that, let's say, ageing (hair gets grey, wrinkles, etc) is that anicca, which should be perceived in vipassana.

chownah
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Re: Momentariness

Post by chownah » Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:16 pm

Volovsky wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:23 am
DooDoot wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:37 am
The Assutavā Sutta appears to say the physical body is not related to "momentariness".
Body not, but four great elements are. Body is a concept, momentariness applies to absolute reality.
You can only talk about things that you are thinking about....elsewise you will be takling gibberish. The only things that can fit into your mind are concepts....how could anything except for concepts have access to your mind....the only thing which your mind can work on are mental objects which are all abstractions i.e. concepts.
chownah

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robertk
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Re: Momentariness

Post by robertk » Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:50 pm

chownah wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:16 pm
Volovsky wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:23 am
DooDoot wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:37 am
The Assutavā Sutta appears to say the physical body is not related to "momentariness".
Body not, but four great elements are. Body is a concept, momentariness applies to absolute reality.
You can only talk about things that you are thinking about....elsewise you will be takling gibberish. The only things that can fit into your mind are concepts....how could anything except for concepts have access to your mind....the only thing which your mind can work on are mental objects which are all abstractions i.e. concepts.
chownah
there are concepts which denote realities
http://www.abhidhamma.org/sujin3.htm
The Abhidhammattha Vibhavani (Book 8) distinguishes between six kinds of concepts that are names, nama-pannatti (see Visuddhimagga VIII, note 11).

1. Vijjamana pannattis, concepts which make known what is real, for example the words rupa, nama, vedana (feeling), or sanna (perception) 10.

2. Avijjamana pannattis, concepts which make known what is not real, such as the words Thai or foreigner. These concepts do not represent absolute realities, citta and cetasika which are nama, and rupa. Thai or foreigner are not real in the absolute sense, they are conventional realities, sammutti dhammas. Could akusala citta11 (unwholesome consciousness) be Thai or foreign? Akusala citta is a paramattha dhamma (a reality), it is a dhamma which has its own characteristic, it is not Thai or foreign.

3. Vijjamanena avijjamana pannattis, concepts of the non-existent based on the existent. There is the expression "the person with the six abhinnas."12 The six abhinnas are real but person is not real. Thus this concept stands for what is real and for what is not real.

4. Avijjamanena vijjamana pannattis, concepts of the existent based on the non-existent. There is the expression "woman's voice". The sound is real, but the woman is not real.

5. Vijjamanena vijjamana pannattis, concepts of what is real based on what is real. There is the term cakkhu-vinnana (eye-consciousness). Cakkhu (eye) is a reality, namely the cakkhu-pasada-rupa (eyesense, a reality sensitive to colour or visible object), and vinnana (consciousness) is also a reality, namely the reality which experiences.

6. Avija amanena avijjamana pannattis, concepts of what is not real based on what is not real. There is the expression "the kings son". Both king and son are not real, they are sammutti dhammas, conventional realities.

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Volovsky
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Re: Momentariness

Post by Volovsky » Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:19 pm

chownah wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:16 pm
You can only talk about things that you are thinking about....elsewise you will be takling gibberish. The only things that can fit into your mind are concepts....how could anything except for concepts have access to your mind....the only thing which your mind can work on are mental objects which are all abstractions i.e. concepts.
chownah
If you cannot get to the "real thing", but only to the ideas about the "real thing", which are created by your mind, then you cannot become enlightened, because you would always work on superficial level. Moreover, Buddha wouldn't teach 5 khandas, etc if they would be unperceivable for us.

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