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.
Like this is the uncreated, like this is that which is difficult to realize, with no moving, no bending, no dying. Utterly lacking secretions and smothered in the dark, it is the island shore. Where there is ferrying, it is the crossing. It is dependency's ceasing, it is the end of circulating transmissions. It is the exhaustion of the flame, it is the ending of the burning. Flowing openly, pure and cool, with secret subtlety, and calm occultation, lacking ailment, lacking owning, nirvāṇa.
Asaṁskṛtadharmasūtra, Sermon on the Uncreated Phenomenon, T99.224b7, Saṁyuktāgama 890