Coyote wrote:What were these other unconditioned elements?
I may be necroposting here big time, but another user brought this thread to my attention and I think that it is a very interesting topic that I could contribute something to, in case anyone else had questions that related to the OP:
Coyote wrote:In a recent talk Ven. Sujato references the fact that the Theravadin school is the only early Buddhist school that recognised only one unconditioned element, nibbana. Other schools apparently had lists of other phenomena they considered unconditioned, besides nibbana.
The most infamous of other historical Buddhist schools to consider the existence of unconditioned dhammas a point of doctrinal significance was the Sarvāstivāda, because they (or most of them) went as far as ascribing unconditionedness and quasi-eternal persistence to all dhammas
(a very radical claim for Buddhist metaphysics). In addition to this doctrinal point, in other Sarvāstivāda texts sometimes only four ranks of dhammas are described as unconditioned: dhammas of cessation, dhammas of mind, dhammas of mental objects, and dhammas of mental consciousness.
Bhagavā arahaṃ sammasāmbuddho:
Svākkhāto yena bhagavatā dhammo / Supaṭipanno yassa bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho
Tammayaṃ bhagavantaṃ sadhammaṃ sasaṅghaṃ / Imehi sakkārehi yathārahaṃ āropitehi abhipūjayāma. (Dedication of Offerings)
此等諸法，法住、法空、法如、法爾，法不離如，法不異如，審諦真實、不顛倒。These many dharmāḥ, the residence of these dharmāḥ, the emptiness of these dharmāḥ, these dharmāḥ self-explain, these dharmāḥ are thus, these dharmāḥ do not depart from their self-explaining, these dharmāḥ are not different than their self-explaining, judged as truly real, not delusional. (SA 296, 因緣法)