Loka

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zan
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Re: Loka

Post by zan » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:19 pm

In SN 12.44, The World (loka), the "origin of the loka" is said to be the arising of consciousness of each of the six senses after making contact with their bases.

In the sutta referenced above, SN 35.116, the definition of "loka" is only the six senses without bases. No objects and no consciousness are explicitly mentioned and therefore, in congruence with SN 12.44, we must assume multiple meanings for the word that would include both the six senses and their bases.

If we do not assume this then "the loka" in SN 35.116 must be defined as a world that has not originated and is a non-experience as it is just bases and has not met with objects to form consciousness yet as detailed in the definition of "the origin of the loka" in SN 12.44.

Regardless of whether we assume this or not, these two suttas require the use of the word through multiple meanings as each sutta is defining them differently.

And from a note to SN 2.26, in which the word loka is used in two distinct ways, we have Bhikkhu Bodhi explaining it's use as a homonym by referencing Spk:
180 Spk: Rohitassa posed his question about the end of the world with reference to the stellar world-sphere (cakka-vala-loka), but the Blessed one answered with reference to the world of formations (sankhara-loka).
In another sutta, SN 49 (9), Stingy, we have mention of "Yama's world" (yamaloka). Bhikkhu Bodhi has this in his note to that sutta, in reference to the line "They might be reborn in hell, In the animal realm or Yama's world":
"Yama's world" (yamaloka) here evidently refers to the pettivisaya, the domain of ghosts. Yama is the lord of death
So Bhikkhu Bodhi seems to interpret the word in the usual sense as "domain" as opposed to the six senses. Otherwise "yamaloka" would mean "Yama's senses" and not "the domain of ghosts", which would render the ghosts senseless since this would, if kept in strict line with SN 35.116, imply only Yama's sense bases without objects and would rule out the plural of the ghosts being referenced by "They" in "They might be reborn".

So from this it seems the word "loka" has multiple and broad reaching meanings and cannot be confined to simply "the six sense bases without objects". I am sure someone with a broader understanding of Pali and the suttas could elucidate further.
I don't have much knowledge of the Dhamma, I'm just a beginner. Keep that in mind before you take anything I say too seriously :tongue:

zan
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Re: Loka

Post by zan » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:09 pm

Also the "ten thousand fold loka system" and "abysmal loka interspaces" of MN 123 and DN 14 almost certainly do not mean "the six senses".
And even in those abysmal world interspaces...a great measureless light...and the creatures born there perceived each other by that light...and this ten-thousand-fold world system shook
It is said that beings exist in the interspaces. If the six sense bases strictly are meant by loka, how could a creature exist between them when the creatures are the ones that have the senses? And how could light reach between this loka to this loka to allow this loka to see that other lokas exist there as well?

It seems clear that "loka" in this phrase is the usual sense of "world" as in place or realm and the abysmal interspaces are empty locations between them and the "creatures" are beings that have senses but are not designated "loka" in this instance.

So in this entire paragraph, loka does not strictly designate the six sense bases but rather holds the meaning that "world" usually does as in a place or realm.
I don't have much knowledge of the Dhamma, I'm just a beginner. Keep that in mind before you take anything I say too seriously :tongue:

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Dhammanando
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Re: Loka

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:10 pm

zan wrote:So in your opinion it is a homonym sometimes and not always a synonym?
In the commentarial understanding all of the different senses of ‘loka’ are understood to be derived from the same verbal root (i.e., √luj) and to be united by the shared feature of liability to crumbling (lujjana) and disintegration (palujjana).

As such, the different senses of the word would be examples of polysemes (words of the same spelling but of different but nonetheless related meanings) rather than homonyms (words identical in spelling and pronunciation but entirely different in meaning).
Chart A.jpg
Chart A.jpg (188.14 KiB) Viewed 728 times
See this Wikipedia entry for examples.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homonym

zan
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Re: Loka

Post by zan » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:14 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
zan wrote:So in your opinion it is a homonym sometimes and not always a synonym?
In the commentarial understanding all of the different senses of ‘loka’ are understood to be derived from the same verbal root (i.e., √luj) and to be united by the shared feature of liability to crumbling (lujjana) and disintegration (palujjana).

As such, the different senses of the word would be examples of polysemes (words of the same spelling but of different but nonetheless related meanings) rather than homonyms (words identical in spelling and pronunciation but entirely different in meaning).
Chart A.jpg
See this Wikipedia entry for examples.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homonym

Ah, thank you Venerable.

So this means that the word is not always used to strictly designate the six sense bases, correct?

As in "abysmal world interspaces" and similar phrases, where the senses are not implied?

But it is nonetheless a polyseme in that, while not meaning the exact same thing, both the six senses and the world in "abysmal world interspaces" are both liable to crumbling?

And so "loka" is used with broad and multiple, yet related, meanings in the suttas in the form of polysemes because it is always used to denote something that is crumbling.

Is this correct?
I don't have much knowledge of the Dhamma, I'm just a beginner. Keep that in mind before you take anything I say too seriously :tongue:

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Dhammanando
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Re: Loka

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:18 pm

zan wrote:So this means that the word is not always used to strictly designate the six sense bases, correct?
No, not always, though this is the sense of loka that merits the most attention as far as the development of understanding is concerned.

zan
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Re: Loka

Post by zan » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:53 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
zan wrote:So this means that the word is not always used to strictly designate the six sense bases, correct?
No, not always, though this is the sense of loka that merits the most attention as far as the development of understanding is concerned.
Thank you Venerable. This makes sense as, for example, the non six sense definition usage and understanding of "loka" as in "vast loka interspaces" is mostly irrelevant to developing the path, whereas "insofar as it disintegrates it is called the loka" denoting the senses certainly is relevant. I hope I uderstand correctly.
I don't have much knowledge of the Dhamma, I'm just a beginner. Keep that in mind before you take anything I say too seriously :tongue:

JiWe2
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Re: Loka

Post by JiWe2 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:51 pm

Some 160+ pages of those other meanings in this pdf:
Loka World And Heaven In The Veda
Date of Publication
1966
Author
Gonda, J.
http://www.dli.ernet.in/handle/2015/107717

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