Support of consciousness in Arupadhatu

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
Luis
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Support of consciousness in Arupadhatu

Post by Luis »

Do you know about any sutta which refers to the support of consciousness in the arupadhatu?

Usually nama-rupa is presented as the support of consciousness and consciousness as the support of nama-rupa. But since in arupadhatu there is no rupa, does it mean that consciousness`s condition there is only feeling, perception and formations? I`m looking for any explanation of it in the suttas but can`t find it.

I`m asking this because I`ve been trying to compare the early presentation of the interdependence of nama-rupa and consciousness and contemporary understanding that mind is an emergent property of the body. Can anyone shed some light on this?

Srilankaputra
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Re: Support of consciousness in Arupadhatu

Post by Srilankaputra »

May be this, interpretation is up to you,
Then Ven. Ananda went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, bowed down to him and sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, “Lord, this word, ‘becoming, becoming’—to what extent is there becoming?”

“Ananda, if there were no kamma ripening in the sensuality-property, would sensuality-becoming be discerned?”

“No, lord.”

“Thus kamma is the field, consciousness the seed, and craving the moisture. The consciousness of living beings hindered by ignorance & fettered by craving is established in/tuned to a lower property. Thus there is the production of renewed becoming in the future.

“If there were no kamma ripening in the form-property, would form-becoming be discerned?”

“No, lord.”

“Thus kamma is the field, consciousness the seed, and craving the moisture. The consciousness of living beings hindered by ignorance & fettered by craving is established in/tuned to a middling property. Thus there is the production of renewed becoming in the future.

“If there were no kamma ripening in the formless-property, would formless-becoming be discerned?”

“No, lord.”

“Thus kamma is the field, consciousness the seed, and craving the moisture. The consciousness of living beings hindered by ignorance & fettered by craving is established in/tuned to a refined property. Thus there is the production of renewed becoming in the future. This is how there is becoming.”
https://legacy.suttacentral.net/en/an3.76
O seeing one,we for refuge go to thee!
O mighty sage do thou our teacher be!

Paccuppannañca yo dhammaṃ,
Tattha tattha vipassati

“Yato yato mano nivāraye,
Na dukkhameti naṃ tato tato;
Sa sabbato mano nivāraye,
Sa sabbato dukkhā pamuccatī”ti.

santa100
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Re: Support of consciousness in Arupadhatu

Post by santa100 »

Luis wrote:Usually nama-rupa is presented as the support of consciousness and consciousness as the support of nama-rupa. But since in arupadhatu there is no rupa, does it mean that consciousness`s condition there is only feeling, perception and formations? I`m looking for any explanation of it in the suttas but can`t find it.
No need to find any particular quote, for the name of one of the 4 Arupa realms already answered your question: VinnanancayatanupagaDeva/the realm of the Infinite Consciousness Devas. Refer to 31 planes of existence for more details.
About the notion of Rupa as the support condition of Nama, notice that the official definition of Nama in the Suttas do not include consciousness:
MN 9 wrote:And what is mentality-materiality, what is the origin of mentality-materiality, what is the cessation of mentality-materiality, what is the way leading to the cessation of mentality-materiality? Feeling, perception, volition, contact, and attention—these are called mentality. The four great elements and the material form derived from the four great elements—these are called materiality. So this mentality and this materiality are what is called mentality-materiality."

Luis
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Re: Support of consciousness in Arupadhatu

Post by Luis »

Srilankaputra wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:57 pm
May be this, interpretation is up to you,
Then Ven. Ananda went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, bowed down to him and sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, “Lord, this word, ‘becoming, becoming’—to what extent is there becoming?”

“Ananda, if there were no kamma ripening in the sensuality-property, would sensuality-becoming be discerned?”

“No, lord.”

“Thus kamma is the field, consciousness the seed, and craving the moisture. The consciousness of living beings hindered by ignorance & fettered by craving is established in/tuned to a lower property. Thus there is the production of renewed becoming in the future.

“If there were no kamma ripening in the form-property, would form-becoming be discerned?”

“No, lord.”

“Thus kamma is the field, consciousness the seed, and craving the moisture. The consciousness of living beings hindered by ignorance & fettered by craving is established in/tuned to a middling property. Thus there is the production of renewed becoming in the future.

“If there were no kamma ripening in the formless-property, would formless-becoming be discerned?”

“No, lord.”

“Thus kamma is the field, consciousness the seed, and craving the moisture. The consciousness of living beings hindered by ignorance & fettered by craving is established in/tuned to a refined property. Thus there is the production of renewed becoming in the future. This is how there is becoming.”

https://legacy.suttacentral.net/en/an3.76
Hi, Srilankaputra.
This is an explanation of the cause of birth in the 3 realms. Kamma moistened by craving makes consciousness give the fruit of a next birth. But this isn't an indication of what is the support of such consciousness.

Luis
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Re: Support of consciousness in Arupadhatu

Post by Luis »

santa100 wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 2:01 pm
No need to find any particular quote, for the name of one of the 4 Arupa realms already answered your question: VinnanancayatanupagaDeva/the realm of the Infinite Consciousness Devas.

Hi, santa100.
Actually this doesn't answer the question. Although there is a realm of infinite consciousness, this doesn't mean that beings in that realm are made only of consciousness, or that they would be made of nothing in the realm of nothingness. Actually, in all those arupa realms there is consciousness and also there is perception (of consciousness, of nothingness, etc.), and there is contact, and feeling and attention. My only doubt is if there is rupa there. And if not, if consciousness would be supported only be nama (and not rupa) in that case.
There is a sutra (I think it is Anguttara nikaya) in which the formless concentrations are explained to be devoid of form in this way: the eye-base etc. is there, but one pays no attention to forms etc., and thus there is no perception of forms. That's a description of the experience of someone in the sensuality realm (with complete nama-rupa) entering the formless concentrations.
But I wonder if that reflects also the birth in the formless realm. Would there be a complete nama-rupa supporting consciousness, although there is no perception of rupa? That's what I'm trying to find out in suttas.
Until now I couldn't find an answer in the Digha, Mahjjima or Anguttara Nikayas. But I didn't search the Samyutta Nikaya fully on that issue yet.

sentinel
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Re: Support of consciousness in Arupadhatu

Post by sentinel »

Luis wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:37 pm

Actually this doesn't answer the question. Although there is a realm of infinite consciousness, this doesn't mean that beings in that realm are made only of consciousness, or that they would be made of nothing in the realm of nothingness. Actually, in all those arupa realms there is consciousness and also there is perception (of consciousness, of nothingness, etc.), and there is contact, and feeling and attention. My only doubt is if there is rupa there. And if not, if consciousness would be supported only be nama (and not rupa) in that case.
There is a sutra (I think it is Anguttara nikaya) in which the formless concentrations are explained to be devoid of form in this way: the eye-base etc. is there, but one pays no attention to forms etc., and thus there is no perception of forms. That's a description of the experience of someone in the sensuality realm (with complete nama-rupa) entering the formless concentrations.
But I wonder if that reflects also the birth in the formless realm. Would there be a complete nama-rupa supporting consciousness, although there is no perception of rupa? That's what I'm trying to find out in suttas.
Until now I couldn't find an answer in the Digha, Mahjjima or Anguttara Nikayas. But I didn't search the Samyutta Nikaya fully on that issue yet.
Hi Luis ,
Do you think arupa beings has volition ?
You said they have contact and attention ?
What contact do you mean ? And attention on what and how ? When in jhanic concentration it happens continuously without need to exerting efforts and last until the jhana exhausted itself .
Quality is not an act, it is a habit.

Luis
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Re: Support of consciousness in Arupadhatu

Post by Luis »

sentinel wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:08 pm

Hi Luis ,
Do you think arupa beings has volition ?
You said they have contact and attention ?
What contact do you mean ? And attention on what and how ? When in jhanic concentration it happens continuously without need to exerting efforts and last until the jhana exhausted itself .
I'm not sure about those and can't bring a sutta back this up. It seems to me to be like this: there is contact of the mind-base with the mental object (space, consciousness, nothingness or the subtle mental object of the fourth arupa samapatti) and consciousness, there is attention to such object and also perception of it (I think even in the case of neither-perception-nor-non-perception sphere, in which the mental object is so subtle one can't actually tell if one is perceiving anything or not). Volition... hum... I'm not sure.
Anyways, I'd be most find if you could show me any sutta saying that there is only consciousness and perception there, or only consciousness, or the 5 kandhas are complete there.

pegembara
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Re: Support of consciousness in Arupadhatu

Post by pegembara »

Clearly the mind can transcend the form dimension(rupadhatu). Then comes infinite space, infinite consciousness, nothingness. The next two states: dimension of neither perception nor non-perception and cessation of feeling & perception may well be where consciousness isn't even present until the mind emerges from them. Finally there is no place further for the mind to go.
"Furthermore, with the complete transcending of perceptions of [physical] form, with the disappearance of perceptions of resistance, and not heeding perceptions of diversity, [perceiving,] 'Infinite space,' Sariputta entered & remained in the dimension of the infinitude of space.

"Furthermore, with the complete transcending of the dimension of the infinitude of space, [perceiving,] 'Infinite consciousness,' Sariputta entered & remained in the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness.

"Furthermore, with the complete transcending of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, [perceiving,] 'There is nothing,' Sariputta entered & remained in the dimension of nothingness.

"Furthermore, with the complete transcending of the dimension of nothingness, Sariputta entered & remained in the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception... On emerging mindfully from that

"Furthermore, with the complete transcending of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, Sariputta entered & remained in the cessation of feeling & perception...On emerging mindfully from that

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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cappuccino
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Re: Support of consciousness in Arupadhatu

Post by cappuccino »

Luis wrote: Can anyone shed some light on this?
consciousness can be by itself


the mind can be by itself

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confusedlayman
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Re: Support of consciousness in Arupadhatu

Post by confusedlayman »

sentinel wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:08 pm
Luis wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:37 pm

Actually this doesn't answer the question. Although there is a realm of infinite consciousness, this doesn't mean that beings in that realm are made only of consciousness, or that they would be made of nothing in the realm of nothingness. Actually, in all those arupa realms there is consciousness and also there is perception (of consciousness, of nothingness, etc.), and there is contact, and feeling and attention. My only doubt is if there is rupa there. And if not, if consciousness would be supported only be nama (and not rupa) in that case.
There is a sutra (I think it is Anguttara nikaya) in which the formless concentrations are explained to be devoid of form in this way: the eye-base etc. is there, but one pays no attention to forms etc., and thus there is no perception of forms. That's a description of the experience of someone in the sensuality realm (with complete nama-rupa) entering the formless concentrations.
But I wonder if that reflects also the birth in the formless realm. Would there be a complete nama-rupa supporting consciousness, although there is no perception of rupa? That's what I'm trying to find out in suttas.
Until now I couldn't find an answer in the Digha, Mahjjima or Anguttara Nikayas. But I didn't search the Samyutta Nikaya fully on that issue yet.
Hi Luis ,
Do you think arupa beings has volition ?
You said they have contact and attention ?
What contact do you mean ? And attention on what and how ? When in jhanic concentration it happens continuously without need to exerting efforts and last until the jhana exhausted itself .
so arupa jhana happens at end of death of arupa meditators and they automatically stay in arupa jhana for long time? arupa jhana in human world is 1 day for example, then rebirth means arupa jhana for 3 billion eons plus? thats the difference?
You can become king of world with all the wealth but it is not equal to 0.1 % of jhana pleasure...

SarathW
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Re: Support of consciousness in Arupadhatu

Post by SarathW »

This is a good question. I can recall I asked the same question once but without a satisfactory answer.
So my understanding is you still have space, consciousness itself, nothingness, neither perception nor nonperception as the craving to create Kamma.
So they are the support for them. That is what the third category in Sri Lankaputta's answer.

It is important to note that consciousness itself could be the support for consciousness.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

Srilankaputra
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Re: Support of consciousness in Arupadhatu

Post by Srilankaputra »

If you want to cast a wider net probably someone here with a good Abhidhamma knowledge can explain this in terms of 'Ahara' or nutriment. More specifically nama-ahara (passa, Cetana, vinnana).
O seeing one,we for refuge go to thee!
O mighty sage do thou our teacher be!

Paccuppannañca yo dhammaṃ,
Tattha tattha vipassati

“Yato yato mano nivāraye,
Na dukkhameti naṃ tato tato;
Sa sabbato mano nivāraye,
Sa sabbato dukkhā pamuccatī”ti.

Luis
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Re: Support of consciousness in Arupadhatu

Post by Luis »

SarathW wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:58 am
It is important to note that consciousness itself could be the support for consciousness.
Do you have any sutta source for that opinion?
Srilankaputra wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:15 pm
If you want to cast a wider net probably someone here with a good Abhidhamma knowledge can explain this in terms of 'Ahara' or nutriment. More specifically nama-ahara (passa, Cetana, vinnana).
I'd prefer sticking to the early suttas. I'm trying to find ouy what the early teachings of buddhism have to say about that. In Sarvastivada Abhidharma for example the support of consciousness in arupadhatu is nikaya-sabhaga (a formation dissociated from mind which defines what kind of being you are). But right here Im seeking for the earlier perspectives on this.

Luis
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Re: Support of consciousness in Arupadhatu

Post by Luis »

Pegembara:
"Furthermore, with the complete transcending of perceptions of [physical] form...

Luis
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Re: Support of consciousness in Arupadhatu

Post by Luis »

I’ve finally found a sutta [https://suttacentral.net/mn60/url] which seems to indicate arupadhatu beings don't have physical bodies.
In it, the Buddha quotes a “sensible person” reflecting about the “gods who are formless and made of perception”.
This really seems to be the only indication in the four main Nikayas, and is not quite assertive. The whole section is very instructive, so I’ll put it in full here:
A sensible person reflects on this matter in this way: ‘Some ascetics and brahmins say that there are no totally formless meditations, but I have not seen that. Some ascetics and brahmins say that there are totally formless meditations, but I have not known that. Without knowing or seeing, it would not be appropriate for me to take one side and declare, ‘This is the only truth, other ideas are silly.’ If those ascetics and brahmins who say that there are no totally formless meditations are correct, it is possible that I will be guaranteed rebirth among the gods who possess form and made of mind. If those ascetics and brahmins who say that there are totally formless meditations are correct, it is possible that I will be guaranteed rebirth among the gods who are formless and made of perception. Now, owing to form, bad things are seen: taking up the rod and the sword, quarrels, arguments, and fights, accusations, divisive speech, and lies. But those things don’t exist where it is totally formless.’ Reflecting like this, they simply practice for disillusionment, dispassion, and cessation regarding forms.

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