DN 15: what does "nama-rupa" mean in DN 15?

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
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bridif1
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Re: DN 15: what does "nama-rupa" mean in DN 15?

Post by bridif1 » Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:05 am

Hi DD!

I'm not sure if this will be helpful in your research, but it certainly helped me to start mine.

Here are two essays written by Bhikkhu Cintita about namarupa and viññana in the EBTs:

Name and Form: nāmarūpa in the suttas

Consciousness in the EBTs

I hope they might be useful.

Kind regards!

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Re: DN 15: what does "nama-rupa" mean in DN 15?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:08 am

bridif1 wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:05 am
Thanks B. Possibly you can read the links and post what you think are useful ideas pertaining to understanding what is taught in DN 15, such as:
We also learn that these respective groups are involved in two mutually conditioning cognitive
processes: verbal impression (adhivacana-samphassa), driven by the factors of name and physical
impression (paṭigha-samphassa), driven by the factors of form, that together array (give form to) and
conceptualize (give name to) sense data.

As for SN 12.2, I am confident nama-rupa there means 'mind-body' rather than 'name-form'. 'Name-form' appears to be Brahmanism. For example, the quote in the link below is what the Buddha taught to a Brahmin who had no knowledge of Buddhism. Since the quote below purports a consciousness without nama-rupa, it seems it cannot be Buddhism but merely a teaching taught in the language of Brahmanism to a novice Brahmin. Kind regards :smile:
“Where name-and-form as well as sense and designation are completely cut off, it is there that the tangle gets snapped.”

(SN 7.6)
The link appears off to a pretty bad start. First it quotes a teaching to a Brahmin (SN 7.6) and then it says DN 15 is " the most comprehensive description of dependent co-arising in the discourses", even though DN 15 only defines 9 of the 12 conditions. Then SN 7.6 is contradicted, when said: "we learn that consciousness and name-and-form are actually mutually
conditioning
".
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bridif1
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Re: DN 15: what does "nama-rupa" mean in DN 15?

Post by bridif1 » Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:31 am

I'm a really slow-reader, and I use to take my time to digest the ideas of these kind of "technical" texts.
I haven't finished the book yet, but the summary of what I've grasped might be something along these lines:

1) Namarupa is a concept which encompassess most of our subjective experience of the world. It allows us to categorize and distinguish between phenomena, based on the general features of the external objects; these features are the four great elements (fire/processes, water/cohesion-fluidness, earth/solidity and air/change-movement) and its derivations.
2) Based on past and present intentions, namarupa (sensation, perception, contact, intention and attention) "indicates" consciousness which sensory information to alight.
3) Consciousness gives new information in the present for namarupa to process.
4) The above shows how namarupa and consciousness are dependent on each other; they function relying on each other to form our phenonological experience of the world.
5) Namarupa by itself is one of three models used by the Buddha to talk about cognition and subjective/sensory experience of the world, with other two being the six sense spheres and dependent co-arising (which includes namarupa, but from other perspective -which I haven't studied yet).

I might be oversimplifying or misinterpreting some of the points of the essay, but this is what I took from what I've read so far.

Kind regards!

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DooDoot
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Re: DN 15: what does "nama-rupa" mean in DN 15?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:51 am

bridif1 wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:31 am
I'm a really slow-reader..
The article does well to explain the background of the term nama-rupa but my impression is the writer does not depart from Brahmanism:
The expression name-and-form (nāma-rūpa) seems to have a pre-Buddhist origin in the Ṛg Veda and in the early Upaniṣads, and specifically in the brahmanic jātakarman ceremony, in which a father gives a name to his newly born son. Here form represents the outward appearance of the son, and name the father's designation for his son. The ceremony thereby confers a conceptual status upon the son which is said to complete the son's creation out of the formless chaos. It should be noticed at this early point that, although this use of name-and-form is connected with birth and creation, its specific task is to provide the external conceptual or cognitive rather than internal psychophysical or biological component of identity, which is presumably already there.
However, I am not sure DN 15 is about conceptually naming objects. It says:
“Suppose there were none of the features, attributes, signs, and details by which the categories of mental or physical phenomena are found. Would either linguistic contact or impingement contact still be found?”
DN 15 appears to be merely saying sense contact depends on the interaction of the nama-kaya (mind group) and rupa-kaya physical group.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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bridif1
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Re: DN 15: what does "nama-rupa" mean in DN 15?

Post by bridif1 » Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:19 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:51 am
However, I am not sure DN 15 is about conceptually naming objects. It says:
“Suppose there were none of the features, attributes, signs, and details by which the categories of mental or physical phenomena are found. Would either linguistic contact or impingement contact still be found?”
DN 15 appears to be merely saying sense contact depends on the interaction of the nama-kaya (mind group) and rupa-kaya physical group.
I agree with you.

I'd argue that the meaning and use of namarupa includes the one you express here, but it's not limited to it.
I wouldn't say that the "brahmanical" way of interpreting namarupa is completely wrong; I just think that it has to be considered properly to understand how objects and sensory phenomena arise in "our minds".

I think the Buddha took the ideas used by Brahmins, and change the focus of the argument: we classify and distinguish objects not based exclusively on the objects themselves; neither are the categories a mere invention and convention of the human mind. Instead, based on sensory data, we agroup and interpret the world to make sense out of all the information our sense-doors provide us. So, in this way, cognition and sense-experience is dependent both on sensory data and in our capacity for interpreting and classifying this sensory data.

Kind regards!

sentinel
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Re: DN 15: what does "nama-rupa" mean in DN 15?

Post by sentinel » Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:35 am

Not name and form right .
rupa kaya , nama kaya , not quite ,
rupa aggregates , nama aggregates and ayatana .
:buddha1:

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Re: DN 15: what does "nama-rupa" mean in DN 15?

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:59 pm

bridif1 wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:19 am
I think the Buddha took the ideas used by Brahmins, and change the focus of the argument: we classify and distinguish objects not based exclusively on the objects themselves; neither are the categories a mere invention and convention of the human mind. Instead, based on sensory data, we agroup and interpret the world to make sense out of all the information our sense-doors provide us. So, in this way, cognition and sense-experience is dependent both on sensory data and in our capacity for interpreting and classifying this sensory data.
You might be interested in Bhikkhu Analayo's discussion of the relationships: viewtopic.php?t=30940. And of course, Bhikkhu Nananada's interpretations, which are the subject of that course.

I think it's useful to understand some of the background knowledge and assumptions of people in the Buddha's time: viewtopic.php?t=7464. The Buddha seems to play on, and subvert, current concepts, such as kamma, and, in this case, the Vedic creation myth.

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Mike

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Re: DN 15: what does "nama-rupa" mean in DN 15?

Post by Srilankaputra » Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:03 pm

If you want to experientially diagnose namarupa, practice cittanupassana.
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.

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DooDoot
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Re: DN 15: what does "nama-rupa" mean in DN 15?

Post by DooDoot » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:19 am

Srilankaputra wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:03 pm
If you want to experientially diagnose namarupa, practice cittanupassana.
Namarupa in the D.O. of SN 12.2 appears to be about the fruition of inappropriate attention (i.e., nama-rupa with ignorance) therefore appears unrelated to cittanupassana, which I imagine is a profound experience of citta that occurs when there is samadhi & when rapture & happiness ceases.

In DN 15, the teaching about nama-rupa merely appears to be about the mutual conditioning of mentality (nama-kaya) & physicality (rupa-kaya) required for sense contact. Here, again, it appears cittanupassana is not the place to examine nama-rupa in DN 15.

Kind regards
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Re: DN 15: what does "nama-rupa" mean in DN 15?

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:49 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:45 am
...
There is a detailed discussion of these points in
The Law of Dependent Arising (Paṭicca Samuppāda)
The Secret of Bondage and Release
Library Edition

by
Bhikkhu K. Ñāṇananda
https://seeingthroughthenet.net/books/
From the bottom of Page 66 (Sermon 3).

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Mike

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