<chuckling> I think your idea of "plainest English" and my idea of the same may just be a universe apart.
Occupational hazard, m'dear. I'm one of those who persistently object to the use of Plain English in my profession. I now have to unravel some tax legislation that was carelessly drafted by Plain English advocates who could not see the distinction between an adjectival participle and a prescriptive term.
Then there was this conversation you had with chownah:
I read SN36.6 and find no use of the terms designation or resistance contact. Is resistance contact the first arrow, I.e. bodily pain and is designation contact the second arrow I.e. mental pain?
Sylvester wrote:So, yes, you understand me correctly when you summarise as above.
It seems you are agreeing with the Dharmagupta you cited above,
It's too early for me to "agree" with the Dharmaguptaka; I was merely making an observation that DA 13 also bifurcated contact/sparsa
into what appears
similar to the SN 36.6 model. To agree or to disagree requires a more detailed Textual Criticism analysis to actually pierce behind the Chinese to determine if the 身觸 rendered by Buddhayaśas was with reference to 身 as contact that is pratigha
or as kāya
in the original Indic. From what I can gather from another Agama (the MA), the pratigha
concept (at least when used in the formless attainments formula is denoted by 有對, admittedly a reading already influenced by the Sarva Abhidharma's sapratigha saṃjñā
, instead of the sutra's plain pratigha saṃjñā
... and I take this to mean that you're defining *all* bodily contact as something one experiences resistance to, resistance that is described in SN 36.6 as being reacted to with "vanta" (vomiting? -- I take to mean rejecting it "bleagh!" like bad food meeting an empty stomach)?
I think we need to be careful with the meaning of paṭigha
as used in SN 36.6 and DN 15. Paṭigha
in SN 36.6 deals with the anusayas
, more specifically the latent disposition to aversion (paṭighānusaya
). On the other hand, I follow the traditional interpretation of paṭigha
in DN 15 and all the arūpa
pericopes to actually mean the impact/collision of sense data on its internal sense base. My only caveat being that I reject the Abhidhammic prescription that paṭigha
in DN is limited to the 5 "material" sense bases.
So, while SN 36.6 speaks of paṭighavanta
adjective, according to Ven Nyanaponika's translation, or an avyayībhāva
compound per BB)), that is in the context of what happens when paṭighānusaya
) with reference to the painful feeling ( yo dukkhāya vedanāya paṭighānusayo so anuseti
). DN 15's paṭighasamphassa
has nothing to do the aversion or rejection. So, I don't think that "bodily contact" is something to which one reacts with resistance in the SN 36.6 sense.
I ask this in an effort to lead up to answering your original question (I haven't forgotten it, honestly) and I have one more for you: do you find anything about "self" described in SN 36.6? You seem to be emphasizing the kama/sensuality, with your repeated mention of the hedonic,
As I tried explaining in my reply to chownah, it is my belief that the suttas' presentation of hedonic tone is rather different from the Western and Abhidhammic understanding of the same. As per MN 148, the mind is actually capable of experiencing pain and grief disjointed. So, I'm actually rejecting the standard interpretation that kāyika
(bodily) feelings are limited to the kāmā
. An unpleasant memory or even an unpleasant thought gives rise to pain at mind-contact. Grief, however, is optional, if I understand the anusaya
so I'm guessing your understanding is that is what the sutta is addressing is the activation of the senses, and a simple like/dislike of what we feel, and how we react to the unpleasant by running off looking for something nice -- rather than the sutta being about anything more complex than that?
I think there something more complex in SN 36.6 than just the search for pleasure. See what happens in SN 36.6 when the hedonic tone is neutral feeling (adukkhamasukha vedanā
). See what anusaya
pertains to that hedonic tone and what other suttas (eg SN 36.7) have to say about this anusaya
. Do you see the intersection between this anusaya
and the delineation of self mentioned in DN 15? Does the delineation of self in DN 15 fall to be criticised as being identical with MN 64's sakkāya-diṭṭhanusaya