The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

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Nicolas
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Nicolas » Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:33 pm

If "vinnana" means "defiled consciousness", "purified vinnana" means "purified defiled consciousness", which is nonsensical as it can't be simultaneously purified and defiled.
If "vinnana" means "defiled consciousness", then by definition it is defiled, and by definition it cannot be purified.

If "vinnana" means "consciousness", then "defiled vinnana" means "defiled consciousness" and "purified vinnana" means "purified consciousness".

It seems that this is just a semantical issue and a problem with definitions.

Let me use another example.
Let's suppose that "horsey" is defined as "black horse". Through a process of whitening, a black horse can become a white horse. "White horsey" would then be "white black horse".
If "horsey" is defined as "horse", then there are black horseys, which through a process of whitening, become white horseys.
Now replace "horse" with consciousness, "horsey" with "vinnana", "black" with "defiled", "white" with purified.

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:57 pm

Nicolas:

Hope you can explain the following verse in the Kevaṭṭa Sutta (DN 11):
‘Viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ,
anantaṃ sabbatopabhaṃ;
Ettha āpo ca pathavī,
tejo vāyo na gādhati.

Ettha dīghañca rassañca,
aṇuṃ thūlaṃ subhāsubhaṃ;
Ettha nāmañca rūpañca,
asesaṃ uparujjhati;
Viññāṇassa nirodhena,
etthetaṃ uparujjhatī
’”ti

I have explained it in detail at: "Anidassana Viññāṇa – What It Really Means" at Puredhamma.net. If interested, you can read it there. Just type in "anidassana vinnana" in the search box, you will get a few posts and this should be one.

OR, the “Dvaya­tānu­passa­nā­sutta (Sutta Nipata 3.12)“:

“Yaṃ kiñci dukkhaṃ sambhoti,
Sabbaṃ viññāṇapaccayā;
Viññāṇassa nirodhena,
Natthi dukkhassa sambhavo
“.
Translated: “Whatever suffering that arises, all that arises due to viññāṇa; With the not arising of viññāṇa, there is no existence with suffering“.

There are many, many suttas. Anyway, unless I see a reasonable response, this is my last response to you.

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Nicolas
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Nicolas » Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:05 pm

Lal wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:57 pm
“Whatever suffering that arises, all that arises due to viññāṇa; With the not arising of viññāṇa, there is no existence with suffering“.
I don't have a problem with that.
Vinnana is a condition for dukkha to arise. When there is no vinnana, there is no dukkha.
Consciousness is a condition for dukkha to arise. When there is no consciousness, there is no dukkha.
This doesn't indicate that "vinnana" is to be defined as "defiled consciousness".

I think we are misunderstanding what the other is trying to get at. We are both trying to be clear and don't understand each other. We can leave it at that if you wish.

Be well :anjali:

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:37 pm

We can leave it at that if you wish.
Yes. I wish you well on your Path.

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by SarathW » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:53 pm

Can you answer me regarding the six-sense vinnanas and the vinnana aggregate? According to you, are those still present after the uprooting of the defilements but before the break-up of the body? If so, vinnana cannot be defined as "defiled consciousness".
Good point.
Ven. Narda said in his book Vinnana means the Patisandivinnana. (rebirth consciousness)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:40 pm

Can you answer me regarding the six-sense vinnanas and the vinnana aggregate? According to you, are those still present after the uprooting of the defilements but before the break-up of the body? If so, vinnana cannot be defined as "defiled consciousness".
I gave a detailed explanation. Do you not read before commenting?
Ven. Narda said in his book Vinnana means the Patisandivinnana. (rebirth consciousness)
So, Buddha Dhamma is Ven. Narada's? Not Buddha's?
In that above reply I explained there are many types of vinnana. Is cakkhu vinnana a patisandhi vinnana?
It was explained in my reply.

Again, I will not respond, unless I see something worthwhile responding to.

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by SarathW » Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:05 am

Is cakkhu vinnana a patisandhi vinnana?
What I am saying is Vinnana is the generic term.
Dependent Origination when it says Vinnana it means Patisandi Vinnana which is defiled.
Vinnana of living Arahant is not defiled hence it is not Patisandi Vinnana.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:12 am

Dependent Origination when it says Vinnana it means Patisandi Vinnana which is defiled.
Vinnana of living Arahant is not defiled hence it is not Patisandi Vinnana.
I was getting annoyed at some these questions, but then I realized that many of you actually do not know any better. All you know is the stuff that is in the text books, because virtually all Theravadins have set aside the Tipitaka and are using Buddhaghosa's Visuddhimagga as THE reference. Even when translating Tipitaka suttas, they use his teachings as the baseline. And Buddhaghosa knew only about the uppatti paticca samuppada (PS) that is responsible for rebirth.When you talk about Dependent Origination (DO) or PS, you think only about the PS that is responsible for rebirth.

However, all our day-today sense experiences (actually our responses) are based on what is called pavutti PS. I am copying a post that have on the site, so you can get an idea. I don't have time to add the links, but for those who interested can read the original post with active links here:
https://puredhamma.net/paticca-samuppad ... samuppada/

The Buddha said that the PS is deep as a deep ocean and it can be applied to any situation, because everything “in this world” obeys the basic principle of cause and effect. It is no wonder that only one PS has been studied for over thousand years while the true Dhamma remained hidden.
In the previous post we discussed the uppatti PS which describes that latter process, i.e., how the PS cycle operates between lives; see, “Akusala-Mūla Paticca Samuppāda“.
The other extreme of a very fast PS process involved within a thought moment is very complex and we do not need to examine it right now.
In this post we will discuss the pavutti PS cycle, which describes phenomena in between those two extremes: phenomena that occur within a lifespan.
2. As mentioned in the introduction to PS, whenever we willingly grasp something, whatever results from that action has a corresponding nature. Because one got attached willingly, a similar bhava will result: i.e., pati+ichcha leading to sama+uppada or paticca samuppada (PS).

In the most fundamental sense, a “greedy state of mind” will result when we get attach with greed, i.e., one develops a habit or gathi or bhava corresponding to that state of mind; a “hateful state” (habit/gathi/bhava) results via hateful attachment; acts of greed and/or hate are always done with ignorance.
Three examples of uppatti bhava for those three cases illustrate the principle: An excessively greedy person is likely to get a “peta bhava” and be born as a peta (hungry ghost); a person who is often engaged in hateful actions towards other beings is likely to develop a “hateful bhava” and is likely to be born in the niraya (hell) where there is lot of hate due to extreme suffering; an animal bhava is developed with both greed and hate. Since ignorance is always there, an animal bhava is cultivated with all three “sans“; this is the root of the word “tirisan = three sans” for an animal in Sinhala.
3. Now let us look at the pavutti PS, which describes how we develop certain habits or bhava or gati during a given lifetime. It is often easier to use an example to illustrate these PS cycles. Let us examine how a teenager becomes an alcoholic.

4. The teenager become friendly with a group of other teenagers who are into drinking. Initially, he may be reluctant to join in, but due to ignorance he joins them and starts drinking. If a good friend or a family member came to know about the situation they could have prevented the teenager from associating with such bad company, i.e., ignorance could have been dispelled by explaining to him the adverse effects of not only drinking, but also of associating with such a group.

5. The PS cycle thus starts with “avijja paccaya sankhara“; due to ignorance of the adverse results, the teenager starts drinking with that group (sankhara = “san +kära” or actions of accumulating, in this case bad kamma).

6. The more he is involved with such drinking activities, the more he thinks about it and develops a “mindset” or vinnana for that activity. This is “sankhara paccaya vinnana“.

7. When he really begins to like drinking, he starts thinking about it even while doing other things. This is “vinnana paccaya namarupa“. In this case, namarupa are the mental images associated with that vinnana, i.e., the names and shape of particular alcohol bottles, the places where he normally drinks, the friends who drink with him, etc. He thinks about the next “event” and visualizes the scene, all these are associated namarupa. Thus, here namarupa are the mental images of “things” and “concepts” that one would like to enjoy.

8. Now his six senses become “involved” to provide a reality to those namarupa; to provide the desired sense pleasures. In Pali terms, the six indriya (senses) become “ayatana“. For a lack of a single English word, I will call an “ayatana” an “import/export facility”, and really get involved in the actions associated with drinking events. His mind is often thinking about the next “event” (where, when, with whom, etc), he makes necessary preparations for the “event” using all six senses (now ayatanas), that are in accordance with the namarupa in the previous step, i.e., “namarupa paccaya salayatana“, where salayatana means the six ayatana: the eye is now not merely for seeing, it has become an assistant in the lookout for a “good drink” or a “good friend to chat with”, etc.

9. Thus we have “salayatana paccaya phassa“, i.e., all six ayatana become actively engaged making contact with relevant sense objects. His eyes are on the lookout for a favorite drink or a favorite person to chat with, etc. Here instead of phassa, it is (more appropriately) called “samphassa” (= “san” + “phassa“), where “san” implies it not just contact, but a “san” contact; see, “What is “San”? – Meaning of Sansara (or Samsara)“.

10. Such “samphassa” lead to vedana (feelings), i.e., “(san)phassa paccaya vedana“. He experiences “good (but immoral) feelings” with all those sense contacts.

11. Because of such “good feelings”, he gets further attached: “vedana paccaya tanha“; see, “Tanha – How We Attach via Greed, Hate, and Ignorance“.

12. Now comes, “tanha paccaya upadana“. Upadana means “grabbing or getting hold of something automatically” like an octopus grabbing its prey with all its eight legs. In the present case, the teenager wants very much to re-live this experience, and he gets immersed in it; when he is experiencing the event his mind is totally absorbed in it; he does not think, and does not have the mindset to think about, any adverse consequences. This is the critical “habit forming” or “bhava forming” step.

13. So, the next inevitable step is, “upadana paccaya bhavo“; this particular state of getting drunk becomes more and more ingrained in his mind. It becomes “a bhava” or “existence” or habit that is of importance to him. He very much wants to re-live that experience.

14. And that is exactly what he gets: “bhava paccaya jati“. This “bhava” or the kamma seed is now well established, and he can be born in that state quite easily. All he needs is an invitation from a friend, or even a sight of a bar while travelling, for example. It is natural to get into that state, or be “born” in that state. So, he gets drunk at every opportunity. See, “Bhava and Jati – States of Existence and (Repeated) Births Therein” for more details.

15. However, like everything else, any birth is subjected to decay and suffering: “jati paccaya jara, maranan, eva me tassa dukkhanan samudhayo hoti“. This happens in many stages as we describe below. But in the case of a single drinking event, that state of intoxication comes to an end, possibly with a big headache and a huge hangover. That episode ends with nothing to show for it, but a hangover. Even worse, now he is “hooked’; he has formed a bad habit, which only strengthens even more if he does it again and again. Because each time, the PS runs, the vinnana for that habit gets more fuel, and the bhava gets stronger.

16. It is important to realize that the above PS cycle does not run to its conclusion when the drinking “event” is over. Rather the cycle can occur repeatedly unless it is stopped willfully, deliberately. And the way to do that is to develop good habits and become a “sampajannö“; see, “Kayanupassana – The Section on Habits (Sampajanapabba)“.

The more the teenager gets trapped in that bhava, the more jati that occurs, i.e., more frequently he will be drunk.
And it is not even necessary to participate in a “drinking event” to run another PS cycle. He may be sitting at a desk trying to study, and may start going through the PS cycle MENTALLY. He can start right at “avijja paccaya sankhara” and be generating mano sankhara and vaci sankhara (vitakka/vicara or planning), thus generating (and strengthening) the vinnana for drinking, generating namarupa (visuals of places, friends, alcohol bottles, etc), and thus going through the rest of the cycle: salayatana, samphassa, vedana, tanha, upadana, bhava, jati (“living it”), repeatedly until he has to be occupied with some other task, at which point it will end.

Thus numerous such PS cycles can run at any time, probably increasing its frequency as the bhava or the habit builds up.
The stronger the bhava or habit is, it will be harder to break it. This is why meditation together with another good habit to work on should be undertaken to replace a bad habit. While in meditation, one can contemplate the adverse consequences of the bad habit.

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by SarathW » Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:10 am

I was getting annoyed at some these questions
No need to.
Don't take anything as a self.
Teachers should have patience.

=======
Any action, whether meritorious or harmful, and whether of body, speech or mind, creates karmic imprint on a being.[49] This includes will (cetana) and planning.[49] It leads to transmigratory consciousness.[49]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prat%C4%A ... tp%C4%81da
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Bundokji » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:10 am

Lal wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:12 am
The stronger the bhava or habit is, it will be harder to break it. This is why meditation together with another good habit to work on should be undertaken to replace a bad habit. While in meditation, one can contemplate the adverse consequences of the bad habit.
Thanks Lal for your explanation. From your understanding, is replacing bad habits with good habits the only way? Is the formation of habits, in itself, a habit?
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by SarathW » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:44 am

Is the formation of habits, in itself, a habit?
Following the Noble Eightfold Path is forming good new habits. (Follow the Magga)
Then you become Ariya. (understanding Magga Sacca)
Then you gain the right knowledge which leads to the right release. (Arahant)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:34 am

Bundokji said:
From your understanding, is replacing bad habits with good habits the only way? Is the formation of habits, in itself, a habit?
When you follow the Path, that is essentially what happens. You automatically get rid of bad habits (that lead to doing dasa akusala) and form new habits for doing dasa kusala.

Modern psychiatrists are beginning to use this method for breaking bad habits too. Here is a post that could be useful:

1. We are lucky to be in an age when many of the Buddha’s teachings are not only confirmed but also strongly supported with additional evidence that were not possible during the time of the Buddha. Here is another instance where the evidence is coming from research on the workings of the brain.

2. The Buddha basically said to follow the following procedure to break a bad habit and to instill a good habit:

understand the reasons why a certain habit is bad,
stop engaging in activities that enhances the habit,
deviate the mind from such bad activities by focusing on opposing good activities,
contemplate on the “release” or “cooling down” that has already resulted by following the above procedure,strengthen the resolve to stay on course, and keep doing (i) through (iii).
With time, the bad habit(s) will go away and the good habit(s) will take hold. There comes a time when one will automatically follow this procedure; it becomes a “way of life”.

3. The reasoning behind is based on the key factors that we discussed in the previous posts:

We do many things automatically (i.e., without being mindful or without deliberate thinking); these are done via our habits that we formed during this life or even coming from previous lives.
There are both good and bad habits. We want to keep and cultivate good habits and discard bad habits.
Changing (cultivating) habits first require some “external adjustments” like one’s physical environment, friends, etc and, more importantly, the four steps listed above.
4. Beginning in the early 1990’s or so, scientific investigations in several fields (effects of meditation on the brain, behavioral studies on animals and humans, neurology, etc) have come to similar conclusions. We will discuss these in detail in the future, but here I want to just point out the main similarities. Furthermore, discussing how the mechanism takes place in the brain provides an alternative way to visualize these changes. We are indeed fortunate to live at a time when we have evidence from science to provide additional evidence.

5. As I pointed out in the posts on the manomaya kaya and and physical body, our physical body is “prepared” by the kamma seed that was the cause for this life. But the manomaya kaya is constantly making “adjustments” to the physical body based on the current status of the mind.

Many kamma vipaka are “built-in” even at the conception; some may be avoidable by taking care of the body (exercise, food, etc), and the mind (contemplation, meditation, etc), but some may not be avoidable because they are so strong: We will never know when a cancer, an accident, or even a natural calamity can drastically change our lives; this is anicca, “the inability to maintain our lives the way we would like to”.
Thus we need to spend at least sometime to work towards a meaningful solution to the “problem of existence”.
Another factor we need to remember is that our “sansaric habits” are built-in to our brain. We keep changing/adding such habits as we grow up, influenced by our family, friends, and the society in general. Thus one’s “character” (gathi) are in constant flux, either by choice or influenced by the environment.
6. This is a key point: We need to make sure that we do not “go with the flow”, i.e., let past kamma or our environment determine our future.

As humans, we have the capability to change our destiny. We DO HAVE free will, unlike an animal. Since we do not know what our next existence is going to be, we need to make sure to to get on the “right path” as soon as possible.
This may sound like a broken record, but 100 years of this life is NOTHING compared to millions and billions of years life in “unknown territory” in the future; thus we need to make use of this opportunity.
7. As we discussed in the “Truine Brain – How the Mind Rewires the Brain via Meditation/Habits”, only the humans have a developed neocortex, that makes possible ‘thinking, and decision making”. The animals either do not have it, or have a primitive version of it.

Therefore, the animals basically only use the “mid brain” or the “limbic system”, where decisions are made FOR THEM according to their ingrained habits that have evolved over many, many lives (as we discussed, the physical body is formed based on the manomaya kaya). The response from the limbic system is instantaneous, and the animals can only REACT to external stimuli.
All sansaric habits are built-in to the limbic system, and the animals react according to the way the limbic system is wired up; this may change some during growing up due to external environment, but the main “character qualities” (gathi) do not change very much. That is why you see adorable dogs as well as vicious dogs. Even our pets have “a personality”.
WE can change their personalities by teaching them things, but they are unable to do it on their own. It is easier to “teach” more evolved animals like monkeys because they have a bit of a neocortex.
8. But we humans have a neocortex that is well-developed and is capable of much more than we normally believe it to be capable of. It is this neocortex that makes us, humans, different from animals (actually, it is more accurate to say that “our current bhava” is superior to an “animal bhava”).

Even though we also REACT first, especially to a threatening stimuli, our “thinking brain” starts to kick in quickly, especially with training. Many people get into trouble because they are “REACTIVE”, i.e., they do not try to develop the habit of using the “thinking brain”.
But we can be PROACTIVE. We can teach ourselves to “take corrective actions” even if we do some things on impulse. Even if the initial reaction to a sudden temptation is to “take it and enjoy it” or “hit him” or “kill that annoying dog”, we can always take a breath, stop ourselves, and think about the consequences of such actions. This is what we call “mindfulness”.
Some people are more proactive than others even at birth (via sansaric habits). Some people change from being reactive to proactive or other way around even without knowing due to the particular environment they grow up in.
The key point is that we can WILLFULLY change from being reactive to proactive; we all are reactive at least to some stimuli: the one’s we have “tanha” for! In other words, we like to get attached to certain things and like to dislike other things with PASSION; see, “Tanha – How we Attach via Greed, Hate, and Ignorance”.
9. In terms of science the key is in the neurons in the brain, and how we can train our neocortex to fire the right sets of neurons more frequently. The “frontal lobes” of the neocortex is the command center for brain activities.

The frontal lobes can be visualized as the boss. If it is a lazy boss, it will just assign duties to the limbic system to carry out things “as usual”.
But if the boss is energetic and always looking for ways to “improve things”, then it will start investigating new approaches. And once better approaches are found, it will get them “hard wired” and they will essentially become the “new limbic system”.
This is the key to “developing a new you” by discarding bad habits and developing good habits. Essentially you need to get the frontal lobes to be an active, energetic boss for the brain.
10. Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz is a psychiatrist specializing in treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCD), and has pioneered in using “habit makeovers” to treat OCD. He has written several books, but I highly recommend the two books, “The Mind and the Brain” and “You are not Your Brain”.

He has developed a “Four Step” method to change one’s habits that give rise to OCD:

Identify the problem area.
Recognize the need to change.
Deviate from automatically “going along” with old ways and re-direct attention to “new paths”.
Re-assess the situation, and keep working on accelerating the process.
11. He has kept records of brain scans of his patients which clearly show the improvements in the brain with time, and of course most patients are able to get rid of their compulsive behavior.

The key is to slow down the “firing of neurons” associated with a bad habit and to increase the firing of neurons associated with an opposing good habit.
There is a rule called Hebb’s rule that says, ‘neurons that fire together, wire together”. The more one keeps doing a certain activity, a set of neurons start to fire together and that neural connection gets stronger by the day. It is just like strengthening one’s arm by “doing more liftings” with it.
In the same way, when one is decreasing the use of a certain activity, the set of neurons allocated for that activity gets weaker, fewer neurons participate, and eventually it loses being a habitual act.
12. Here is a figure from Dr. Schwartz’s book, “The Mind and the Brain” (p. 362), that illustrates the “re-wiring” of a new network in the brain and the concomitant weakening of a network for an undesirable habit (click to open it):

Habit Formation Figure

This figure explains how a patient who had an obsessive disorder to constantly wash his hand, got rid of that habit by WILLFULLY stepping outside to the garden when he got the urge to wash hands. As he kept doing it, the wiring to “wash hands” got weakened, and instead wiring for “stepping outside” got stronger, and eventually he lost the compulsive urge to wash his hands too often.

13. The same principle has been used to get rid of such annoying habits as well as serious disorders. We can use the same procedure to stay away from immoral habits and cultivating moral habits; this is the basis of “anapana“, see, “Key to Anapanasati – How to Change Character and Habits (Gathi)“.

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Bundokji » Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:52 pm

Lal wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:34 am
---------
Thank you for the time you took to reply and for sharing what you know :anjali:
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:39 am

Bundokji said:
Thank you for the time you took to reply and for sharing what you know
You are quite welcome!
I am writing a simple explanation of how a citta gets contaminated within a split second. Hope to post it later today.

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:20 pm

Starting on top of p. 21 on this forum, I pointed out that a citta gets contaminated in 9 stages -- within a split second -- and provided a Tipitaka reference. But that is too abstract, and is just a statement. Here I will discuss how we can see the truth of that statement. I would be happy to discuss any inconsistencies or things that are not clear. Please refer to the bullet number or quote directly from my text.

1. Even though only one word in the English language ("thought") is used to describe "a unit of cognition", the Buddha explained that such a "thought" arises as a citta, and goes through nine stages of "contamination" to become viññānakkhandha. What we actually experience is this viññānakkhandha.

- However, even after going through the 9 stages it is still called a citta for convenience even in the suttās. So, one needs to pay attention to determine what is meant depending on the context, i.e., where any of those 9 words is used.

Nine Stages of a Thought (Citta)

2. Those nine stages of contamination during the lifetime of the fundamental unit of cognition (within a billionth of a second) are: citta, manō, mānasan, hadayan, pandaran,  manō manāyatanam, mana indriyam (or manindriyam), viññāna, viññānakkhandha. A Tipitaka reference was given in in a previous posting.
- Amazingly, these 9 steps occur within a split second, and the Buddha said there are billions of citta arising within the blink of an eye.
This may be hard to believe, but we can prove this to be true with the following example.

3. Suppose three people A, B, C are sitting in a small coffee shop. They are all facing the door and person X walks in. Suppose that person X is a close friend of A, worst enemy of B, and that C does not know X at all; C has never seen X before. We will also assume that all are males.
-So, let us see what happens within a split second. A recognizes X as his friend and a smile comes to his face. B recognizes X as his enemy and his face gets darkened.
- On the other hand, C's mind does not register anything about X and X is just another person to him. He immediately goes back to whatever he was doing.

4. This is an example of a "cakkhu viññāna", a "seeing event". It is over within a split second, just like taking a photo with a camera takes only a split second, where the image in captured on the screen instantaneously.
-However, something very complex happens in a human mind when a "seeing event" happens.
- It is critically important to go slow and analyze what happens so that we can see how complex this process is (for a human mind) to capture that "seeing event" in the mind. It is much more complex than just recording "a picture" in a camera.

5. Within that split second, A recognizes X as his good friend, and pleasant emotions arise in his mind and he becomes happy. B recognizes X as his worse enemy, and bad emotions arise in his mind and he becomes angry. on the other hand, C just recognizes X as a man or a woman and no emotions arise in him.
-We don't think twice about these observations normally. But if one carefully analyzes what happens, one can easily see that this is an amazingly complex process.
- How does the SAME "seeing event" lead to all these very different changes in the minds of three different people?  (and even show up on the faces!)
- The Buddha has analyzed this process in minute detail. We will discuss only the key basic features here.

Three Features of a Seeing Event (Cakkhu Viññāna)

6. The "seeing event" has three basic features:
-One definitely gets into an emotional state (pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral, which are called sukha, dukha, and upekkha in Pāli) and that is called vedanā.
- One recognizes the object, and that is called saññā.
- Based on those two one also generate other mental characteristics such as anger, i.e., other mental factors (cetasika) will also in addition to vedanā and saññā. These are none other than sankhāra.

7. Viññāna can be called the overall sense experience encompassing all those: vedanā, saññā, sankhāra.
-But viññāna can be more than the sum of those three, and that requires another write up. It is not necessary for the current discussion.
- We can safely say that viññāna (or more correctly viññānakkhandha) is the overall sense experience.
- No one but a Buddha can actually see this fast time evolution of a citta.

8. So, we can see that those three people A, B, and C will have three different "states of mind" upon that seeing event.
-That "mindset" with a set of vedanā, saññā, and sankhāra is called a viññāna. 
- Viññāna is the overall sense experience that includes all those. And that takes place within a split second.
- There are six types of viññāna corresponding to the six sense faculties.

9. There are several key important basic features can be learned from this simple example.
-There is no single entity called "viññāna". When we hear something a "sōta viññāna" arises, when we taste something a jivhā viññāna arises, etc. All together there are six types viññāna that are associated with the six sense faculties we have: cakkhu (see), sōta (hear), ghāna (smell), jivhā (taste), kāya (touch), and manō (mind).
- Any of those will lead to the following outcomes: sukha, dukha, or upekkha vedanā; recognition of what type of picture,sound, etc., it is (saññā); other types of cetasika arising (called sankhāra) depending on the sound heard AND the "nature" of the person (gati).
- This last one, the "nature" of a person is called that person'e gati (sometimes written as gathi). Each person has a unique (but changing) set of good and bad gati. I am not going to discuss this here, but there are many posts on gati.

Dependence on the "Thought Object"

10. Let us take a different scenario:  Let us assume that X is B's girl friend, who is not in good terms with A; and that C is a young male who has never seen X.
-Now, we see that the moods of A and B are reversed. A will be instantaneously unhappy to see X, and B will be happy to X.
- Regarding C, the situation could be different than before. If  X appears attractive to him, C may instantaneously form a lustful state of mind.

11. So, we see that the type of cakkhu viññāna formed depends on primarily two things: person experiencing it and the sense object in question (it is called an ārammana in Pāli).
-In the above two cases, A and B experienced different types of viññāna. But their experiences reversed when the sense object changed.
- Even when a person has had no prior contact with the sense object in question (C seeing an attractive woman), lustful viññāna arose in C, due to his "lustful" gati.
- If C was an Arahant, C will only generate an upekkha viññāna when seeing the X. An Arahant has removed all gati; one needs to learn about gati to fully understand this point.

12. Now we see that for a given person, there is no set good or bad viññāna. What kind of viññāna arises depends on the gati of the person and the sense object.
-This is a complex subject, but the basic features are those. One really needs to analyze different situations in one's mind to get these ideas firmly grasped. This is real vipassanā meditation!
- One needs to understand how the mind works in order to make progress on the Path. The Buddha said that his Dhamma has never been known to the world, and it is BASED on the MIND.  The most complex entity in the world is the mind.

Simple Explanation of the Nine Steps

13. The first stage, citta, is just awareness that comes with the "uncontaminated" vedanā and saññā and five other universal mental factors (cetasika): phassa, cetanā, manasikara, ekaggatā, and jivitindriya. One is just aware that one is alive and is experiencing something.
-At the "manō" stage, the mind has "measured" what the object is (මැනීම in Sinhala). For example, a tree or a human or a bird.
- In the next "mānasan" stage, the mind is able to distinguish among different species: say whether it is just a woman or one's own mother or whether it is a parrot or a humming bird. This is the "pure and complete awareness": one sees the external world as it really is. An Arahant's mind will not be contaminated beyond this stage. This is also called the "pabhassara citta"; it will not lead to rebirth.

14. At the next "hadayan" (හාද වීම  in Sinhala) stage, the mind gets attached to the object (or repulsed bu it) based on one's prior experiences and gati.
-This attachment gets stronger in the next several stages and by the time gets to the viññāna stage it can get fully "corrupted".
- Finally, it is incorporated to the aggregate of viññāna or the viññānakkhandha. With each thought, the viññānakkhandha grows.

15. One important observation is that C's mind stopped at the "mānasan" stage in the first example above. However, in the second example, it got contaminated.
-Of course, an Arahant's mind will never get contaminated beyond the "mānasan" stage for ANY sense object.

16. Hopefully, the above basic description will clarify how a citta gets contaminated automatically according to one's personality (gati) and the sense object.
- The key point is that we do not have control over those initial citta that arise automatically at the first exposure to the sense object.
- However, when we become aware of this initial response, we CAN control our subsequent citta by being mindful. That is the key to Ānapāna and Satipatthāna meditations, and is a different topic.

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