Land

Discussion of Abhidhamma and related Commentaries
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zan
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Land

Post by zan » Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:27 am

If anyone wondered whether or not the suttas support matter independent of mind, as the abhidhamma does, look no further:
There are, bhikkhus, certain gods called 'non-percipient beings.
DN 1

Body (matter) only, no mind.

And then, as to rocks and the earth and such, the Buddha certainly speaks about them as if they exist and never, to my knowledge, states that they only exist in the presence of mind nor that they are necessarily the result of action (kamma). The Buddha strongly implies that the earth will still exist even after all life has left it: in the Sermon of Seven Suns (AN 7.66) the world is dry and on fire. Mountains are evaporating it is so hot. It hasn't rained in hundreds of thousands of years. Neither people nor animals could be living on this earth, indeed none are mentioned, yet it can still be spoken of as something existing.

As to land matter not being the result of kamma, as taught in the abhidhamma, I found a point of controversy where they use sutta inferences to prove that land is not generated by kamma:

points of controversy

7.7. Of the Earth and Karma
Controverted Point: That land is a result of action.

Theravādin: As well say that the earth belongs to feeling pleasant, painful, or neutral, or is conjoined as mental with feeling or with perception, or volition, or cognition, that the earth has a mental object, that she can advert to, reflect upon, consider, attend, intend, anticipate, aim. Is not just the opposite true of her? Hence your proposition is wrong.

Again, compare her with something mental—with contact. Of contact you could say that it is both (i.) a result of action and also that it (ii.) belongs to feeling, and so on (as in § 1). But you cannot say both these things of earth. Or if you affirm the former (i.) and deny the latter predicate (ii.) of earth, you must be prepared to do no less in the case of contact.

Again, the earth undergoes expansion and contraction, cutting and breaking up. Can you say as much of the mental result of action?

Again, the earth may be bought and sold, located, collected, explored. Can you say as much of the result of action?

Again, the earth is common to everyone else. But is the result of my action common to everyone else? “Yes,” you say. But was it not said by the Exalted One:

“This treasure to none else belongs,
No bandit hence may bear it.
The mortal who would fare aright
Let him work acts of merit”?

Hence it is wrong to say that a result of action is experienced by everyone else.

Again, you would admit that first the earth is established and afterwards beings are reborn on it. But does result first come to pass and afterwards people act to insure result? If you deny, you cannot maintain that earth is a result of action.

Again, is the earth a common result of collective action? Yes, you say? Do you mean that all beings enjoy the use of the earth? If you deny, you cannot affirm your proposition. If you assent, I ask whether there are any who pass utterly away without enjoying the use of it? You assent, of course. But are there any who pass utterly away without exhausting the experienced result of their actions? Of course you deny… .

Once more, is the earth a result of the action of a being who is a world-monarch? and do other beings share in the use of the earth? Yes, you reply. Then do other beings make use of the result of his actions? You deny… . I ask again, and you assent. But then, do other beings share also in his contact, feelings, perception, volition, consciousness, faith, energy, mindfulness, samādhi, understanding? Of course you deny… .

Andhaka: But if I am wrong, surely there is action to gain dominion over the earth, action to gain sovereignty on the earth? If so, surely the earth is a result of action.
Also, the world contracts and beings are not born there during this time which also shows matter not being dependent on mind. If the world were dependent on mind, why would it go through cycles of contraction where it is uninhabitable while minds are present? And if it were dependent on mind wouldn't it cease contracting and disappear the moment the last being perished, making a statement about it contracting while beings are not present incorrect?
While the world is contracting, beings for the most part are reborn in the Ābhassara Brahma-world.
-DN 1
I am sure there are other places in the suttas where these things are implied or stated or otherwise can be inferred as well.
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. First, look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Unless you can confirm their accuracy from a reliable source, treat my writings like word games, nothing more.

SarathW
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Re: Land

Post by SarathW » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:27 am

Body (matter) only, no mind.
Very interesting indeed!
What is the difference between an Arhant in Nirodha Samapatti (cessation of perception and feeling) and a non-percipient being?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

zan
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Re: Land

Post by zan » Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:05 pm

SarathW wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:27 am
Body (matter) only, no mind.
Very interesting indeed!
What is the difference between an Arhant in Nirodha Samapatti (cessation of perception and feeling) and a non-percipient being?
Thanks and I don't know, good question.
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. First, look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Unless you can confirm their accuracy from a reliable source, treat my writings like word games, nothing more.

santa100
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Re: Land

Post by santa100 » Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:33 pm

SarathW wrote:What is the difference between an Arhant in Nirodha Samapatti (cessation of perception and feeling) and a non-percipient being?
Enlightenment obviously :smile: . On a technical level, the Arahant's sanna is intact. It only temporarily ceases during the Nirodha session while the ASannaSatta's sanna simply isn't there, hence the term ASannaSatta (being without sanna).

zan
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Re: Land

Post by zan » Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:19 pm

Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. First, look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Unless you can confirm their accuracy from a reliable source, treat my writings like word games, nothing more.

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Re: Land

Post by DNS » Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:39 pm

:thumbsup:

Some take anatta too far (imo) and believe it means nothing exists and try to place Buddhism completely with quantum mechanics and New Age beliefs.

Material exists. If you look at the moon and then turn away, not looking at it anymore; it's still there.

Dinsdale
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Re: Land

Post by Dinsdale » Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:12 pm

The suttas do distinguish between internal and external elements, eg the distinction between bodily fluids and the ocean.
See MN28 for example.
https://suttacentral.net/mn28/en/bodhi

This distinction isn't negated by adopting a phenomenological approach, since sense objects are derived from form, ie the four great elements.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Re: Land

Post by samsarictravelling » Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:20 am

zan wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:05 pm
SarathW wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:27 am
Body (matter) only, no mind.
Very interesting indeed!
What is the difference between an Arhant in Nirodha Samapatti (cessation of perception and feeling) and a non-percipient being?
Thanks and I don't know, good question.
The question was for someone else, but I reply to it here. I don't myself know what the difference in the experience of abiding as an non-percipient being (asaññasatta) compared to an Arahant or Anāgāmi (Non-returner) in Nirodha Samapatti would be -- personally, I have hardly any meditative attainment myself, nor do I know the information from any literature (except that it is said of Nirodha Samapatti: 'The peace it gives is reckoned as Nibbána here and now' in the very end of this post, so that might make the experience of it higher that the experience of an asaññasatta? I don't know.) -- but I can tell you the qualities of each. I did some research to add to previous knowledge of this, to come up with this (possibly it took around 4 hours to research and write this, I am guessing):

non-percipient beings (asaññasatta). See: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dha ... /loka.html

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The attainment is said to be the outcome of a mode of practice called the “development of dispassion towards perception” (saññāvirāga-bhāvanā). The Pali texts deal only very cursorily with this, presumably because it’s deemed to be a wrong practice that leads only to rebirth as an impercipient deva – a rather useless achievement unless you like the idea of spending five hundred aeons as a de facto stone.

In the Sammohavinodanī Buddhaghosa merely states:
“Of the non-percipient beings” means “of the beings lacking perception.” Certain persons, having gone forth in dispensations outside [of the Buddha’s teaching], perceive a defect in consciousness (citta), [thinking]: ‘being greedy, hateful or deluded depends on consciousness; but a state free of consciousness would be beautiful – it would be Nibbāna in the present life.’ They then generate dispassion towards perception (saññāvirāga) and developing the fifth attainment (samāpatti) in conformity with this [view] they are reborn there [i.e., in the realm of the impercipient beings]. At the moment of their rebirth only the aggregate of matter (rūpakkhandha) is produced. If they are reborn standing, they stand only; if sitting, they sit only; if lying down, they lie only. They then remain for five hundred kalpas just like painted statues. After that their bodies disappear and a sense-sphere perception arises leading those [former] devas to realize that their [non-percipient] body has now passed away.
(Vibh-a. 520-1)

Source: viewtopic.php?f=44&t=25789&hilit

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Ancient meditators (in the line of Alarakalama, Uddakaramaputta) knew the problem lies with "Sanna". World is created by Sanna it's anihilated by Sanna. So they were looking for a refuge from the pilage of Sanna. Maybe they were looking something beyond Sanna perhaps... So they were examining Sanna and how to find an escape from it.


As you climb the ladder of Jhana you give up considerable amount of Sanna that contribute to the vividness of the world. At neither perception nor non perception there exist only very subtle form of Sanna ( subtlest form of Sanna about Sanna bound by the impermenece , that's how I understand it).

Forth Jhana is the last rupa Jhana which only has one pointedness and equaminity. Similar to the last formless Jhana in someways. Some meditators who arrived at this state saw not something beyond Sanna but equaminity, but it's still attached to Sanna. Still bound by it. Born of it. Worldly being would consider equaminity to be a higher achievement but these folk saw that equaminity is still a Sanna. They were at the end of Rupa Jhana yet still haven't found refuge.

In this state they meditated on "Dhi Cittam". This phrase is suppose to say " disgusting cittam, shamefull cittam". And that repulsion towards Sanna or citta caused the state called Asanna satta in forth Jhana realm.

Or it could be they meditated on Dhi cittam from the day one but could not go beyond last Rupa Jhana because they didn't focus on relinquishing form. They were merely concerned on giving up mind.

In case you want sutta support look for the phrase "Dhi Cittam". I remember reading it somewhere but couldn't recall where.

Source: viewtopic.php?f=29&t=34174&start=15

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Arhant in Nirodha Samapatti ('cessation of perception and feeling', you called it. Actually it is 'attainment of extinction'). This Nirodha Samapatti is also called saññā-vedayita-nirodha ('extinction of feeling and perception', or ' cessation of ideation and feeling', or 'cessation of perception and feeling'):

32. But the detail is this. When a bhikkhu who desires to attain cessation has
finished all that has to do with his meal and has washed his hands and feet
well, he sits down on a well-prepared seat in a secluded place.
Having folded
his legs crosswise, set his body erect, established mindfulness in front of him, he
attains the first jhána, and on emerging he sees the formations in it with insight
as impermanent, painful, not-self.

33. This insight is threefold as insight that discerns formations, insight for the
attainment of fruition, and insight for the attainment of cessation. Herein, insight
that discerns formations, whether sluggish or keen, is the proximate cause only for
a path. Insight for the attainment of fruition, which is only valid when keen, is
similar to that for the development of a path. Insight for the attainment of cessation
is only valid when it is not over-sluggish and not over-keen. Therefore he sees those
formations with insight that is not over-sluggish and not over-keen.

34. After that, he attains the second jhána, and on emerging he sees formations
with insight in like manner. After that, he attains the third jhána … (etc.) … After
that, he attains the base consisting of boundless consciousness, and on emerging
he sees the formations in it in like manner. Likewise he attains the base consisting
of nothingness. On emerging from that he does the fourfold preparatory task,
that is to say, about (a) non-damage to others’ property, (b) the Community’s
waiting, (c) the Master’s summons, and (d) the limit of the duration.
[706]

35. (a) Herein, non-damage to others’ property refers to what the bhikkhu has
about him that is not his personal property: a robe and bowl, or a bed and chair,
or a living room, or any other kind of requisite kept by him but the property of
various others. It should be resolved14 that such property will not be damaged,
will not be destroyed by fire, water, wind, thieves, rats, and so on. Here is the form
of the resolve: “During these seven days let this and this not be burnt by fire; let
it not be swept off by water; let it not be spoilt by wind; let it not be stolen by
thieves; let it not be devoured by rats, and so on.” When he has resolved in this
way, they are not in danger during the seven days.


36. If he does not resolve in this way, they may be destroyed by fire, etc., as in the
case of the Elder Mahá Nága.
The elder, it seems, went for alms into the village
where his mother, a lay follower, lived. She gave him rice gruel and seated him in
the sitting hall. The elder sat down and attained cessation. While he was sitting
there the hall caught fire. The other bhikkhus each picked up their seats and
fled. The villagers gathered together, and seeing the elder, they said, “What a
lazy monk! What a lazy monk!” The fire burned the grass thatch, the bamboos,
and timbers, and it encircled the elder. People brought water and put it out. They
removed the ashes, did repairs,15 scattered flowers, and then stood respectfully
waiting. The elder emerged at the time he had determined. Seeing them, he said,
“I am discovered!,” and he rose up into the air and went to Piyaògu Island. This
is “non-damage to others’ property.”

37. There is no special resolving to be done for what is his own personal
property such as the inner and outer robes or the seat he is sitting on. He protects
all that by means of the attainment itself, like those of the venerable Sañjìva.
And
this is said: “There was success by intervention of concentration in the venerable
Sañjìva. There was success by intervention of concentration in the venerable
Sáriputta” (Paþis I 212—see XII.30).

38. (b) The Community’s waiting is the Community’s expecting. The meaning
is: till this bhikkhu comes there is no carrying out of acts of the Community. And
here it is not the actual Community’s waiting that is the preparatory task, but the
adverting to the waiting. So it should be adverted to in this way:
“While I am
sitting for seven days in the attainment of cessation, if the Community wants to
enact a resolution, etc., I shall emerge before any bhikkhu comes to summon
me.” [707] One who attains it after doing this emerges at exactly that time.

39. But if he does not do so, then perhaps the Community assembles, and not
seeing him, it is asked, “Where is the bhikkhu so and so?” They reply, “He has
attained cessation.” The Community dispatches a bhikkhu, telling him, “Go
and summon him in the name of the Community.” Then as soon as the bhikkhu
stands within his hearing and merely says, “The Community is waiting for you,
friend,” he emerges. Such is the importance of the Community’s order. So he
should attain in such-wise that, by adverting to it beforehand, he emerges by
himself.

40. (c) The Master’s summons: here too it is the adverting to the Master’s summons
that is the preparatory task. So that also should be adverted to in this way:
“While I am sitting for seven days in the attainment of cessation, if the Master,
after examining a case, makes known a course of training, or teaches the Dhamma,
the origin of which discourse is some need that has arisen,16 I shall emerge
before anyone comes to summon me.” For when he has seated himself after
doing so, he emerges at exactly that time.

41. But if he does not do so, when the Community assembles, the Master, not
seeing him, asks, “Where is the bhikkhu so and so?” They reply, “He has attained
cessation.” Then he dispatches a bhikkhu, telling him, “Go and summon him in
my name.” As soon as the bhikkhu stands within his hearing and merely says,
“The Master calls the venerable one,” he emerges. Such is the importance of the
Master’s summons. So he should attain in such wise that, by adverting to it
beforehand, he emerges himself.

42. (d) The limit of duration is the limit of life’s duration. For this bhikkhu
should be very careful to determine what the limit of his life’s duration is. He
should attain only after adverting in this way: “Will my own vital formations go
on occurring for seven days or will they not?” For if he attains it without adverting
when the vital formations are due to cease within seven days, then since the
attainment of cessation cannot ward off his death because there is no dying
during cessation,17 he consequently emerges from the attainment meanwhile. So
he should attain only after adverting to that. For it is said that while it may be
permissible to omit adverting to others, this must be adverted to.

43. Now, when he has thus attained the base consisting of nothingness and
emerged and done this preparatory task, he then attains the base consisting of
neither perception nor non-perception. Then after one or two turns of
consciousness have passed, he becomes without consciousness, he achieves
cessation. But why do consciousnesses not go on occurring in him after the two
consciousnesses? Because the effort is directed to cessation. For this bhikkhu’s
mounting through the eight attainments, coupling together the states of serenity
and insight, [708] is directed to successive cessation, not to attaining the base
consisting of neither perception nor non-perception. So it is because the effort is
directed to cessation that no more than the two consciousnesses occur.

44. But if a bhikkhu emerges from the base consisting of nothingness without
having done this preparatory task and then attains the base consisting of neither
perception nor non-perception, he is unable then to become without
consciousness: he returns to the base consisting of nothingness and settles
down there.

45. And here the simile of the man and the road not previously travelled may
be told. A man who had not previously travelled a certain road came to a ravine
cut by water, or after crossing a deep morass he came to a rock heated by a fierce
sun. Then without arranging his inner and outer garments, he descended into
the ravine but came up again for fear of wetting his belongings and remained
on the bank, or he walked up on to the rock but on burning his feet he returned
to the near side and waited there.

46. Herein, just as the man, as soon as he had descended into the ravine, or
walked up on to the hot rock, turned back and remained on the near side because
he had not seen to the arrangement of his inner and outer garments, so too as
soon as the meditator has attained the base consisting of neither perception nor
non-perception, he turns back and remains in the base consisting of nothingness
because the preparatory task has not been done.

47. Just as when a man who has travelled that road before comes to that place,
he puts his inner garment on securely, and taking the other in his hand, crosses
over the ravine, or so acts as to tread only lightly on the hot rock and accordingly
gets to the other side, so too, when the bhikkhu does the preparatory task and
then attains the base consisting of neither perception nor non-perception, then
he achieves cessation, which is the other side, by becoming without
consciousness.

48. (vii) How is it made to last? It lasts as long as the time predetermined for its
duration, unless interrupted meanwhile by the exhaustion of the life span, by
the waiting of the Community, or by the Master’s summons.


49. (viii) How does the emergence from it come about? The emergence comes about
in two ways thus: by means of the fruition of non-return in the case of the non-
returner, or by means of the fruition of Arahantship in the case of the Arahant.

50. (ix) Towards what does the mind of one who has emerged tend? It tends towards
Nibbána. For this is said: “When a bhikkhu has emerged from the attainment of
the cessation of perception and feeling, friend Visákha, his consciousness
inclines to seclusion, leans to seclusion, tends to seclusion” (M I 302). [709]

51. (x) What is the difference between one who has attained and one who is dead?
This is also given in a sutta, according as it is said: “When a bhikkhu is dead,
friend, has completed his term, his bodily formations have ceased and are quite
still, his verbal formations have ceased and are quite still, his mental formations
have ceased and are quite still, his life is exhausted, his heat has subsided, and
his faculties are broken up. When a bhikkhu has entered upon the cessation of
perception and feeling, his bodily formations have ceased and are quite still, his
verbal formations have ceased and are quite still, his mental formations have
ceased and are quite still, his life is unexhausted, his heat has not subsided, his
faculties are quite whole” (M I 296).

52. (xi) As to the question is the attainment of cessation formed or unformed, etc.? It is
not classifiable as formed or unformed, mundane or supramundane. Why?
Because it has no individual essence. But since it comes to be attained by one
who attains it, it is therefore permissible to say that it is produced, not
unproduced.18

This too is an attainment which
A Noble One may cultivate;
The peace it gives is reckoned as
Nibbána here and now.

A wise man by developing
The noble understanding can
With it himself endow;
So this ability is called
A boon of understanding, too,
The noble paths allow.

Source: The Path of Purification (Visuddhimagga), Chapter XXIII, 16-52: The Attainment of Cessation --
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... on2011.pdf

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