The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

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whynotme
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by whynotme » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:45 am

Hamsavati wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:35 am
1/ The deva can see through wall and house, and physical objects like that.
Human body is not only physical object but contains gandhabbha which can block spiritual vision. Person on spiritual Path can be bright because his mind is bright so his "aura" can be bright as it's affected by the content of the mind. Energy follows mind-attention. (This can be easily proven)
2/ If that is the case then the human body must be more than just physical body, which you can not explain.
As above.
3/ Even if the human body is more than just physics, there is a sutta, I did not remember well but will try to find if you want. It is said that when the Bodhisatta was in the mother womb, his mother can see him with limbs and felt happiness. It shows that the mother can see through human flesh easily
This is proof that mind records everything. Bodhisatta having pure mind had pure aura which could be seen, those people are special because they cultivated paramits so if mind of Bodhisatta with pure mind and aura appeared in the womb obviously it will "glow" and "feel happy". As you can send somebody metta if you developed it well and person will feel happy around that person.
Thank you for your explanation

I think we can not give a definite answer to this question, as Lai said.

Regards
Please stop following me

Lal
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:49 am

Free will is built into humans. A human is capable of understanding Buddha’s teachings, and to take necessary actions to stop future suffering. On a mundane level, one can improve one’s daily life too, by making right decisions.

Buddha Dhamma is deep, but if one spends some time learning the “basics”, it becomes easier. I recommend reading my earlier posts again as needed. Things will become more clear on repeated readings.

Of course, I would be happy to answer any questions.

Free Will in Buddhism – Connection to Sankhāra

Introduction

1. Free will is at the core of Buddhism (Buddha Dhamma). If one does not have free will, one would not be able to attain Nibbāna.

- In a mundane sense also, the applicability of free will should be obvious. Free will is what determines (within certain limits) whether one will become a successful businessman or a master thief.
- When I said “within limits”, we can only compare situations for two people who are born with comparable capabilities. For example, one born with an “ahetuka birth” (born with brain defects) will never be able to achieve much success.
- However, a person born with a “normal level of intelligence” (tihetuka or dvihetuka births) can make decisions that can lead to a wide variety of possible outcomes in the future. For example, one could become a great scientist or a ruthless dictator. Both require a “sharp mind”.

2. In the following video by Sam Harris, we can clearly see where modern philosophers get stuck on the issue of free will.

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- He agrees that things happen due to causes, but he cannot figure out the causes for many things. He says, “you don’t pick your parents, you don’t pick your body…”.But we do. That is explained with paticca samuppāda in Buddha Dhamma.
- As long as he does not believe in rebirth, Sam Harris will never be able to understand those “missing causes”. The rebirth picture provides those “missing causes”. Laws of kamma (causes and effects) operate over many rebirths. One cannot analyze the current life in isolation.
- Furthermore, we need to include animals and beings in other 29 realms too, in order to fully explain the laws of kamma.
- Nature treats every single living being fairly, according to what they have done in the past.
- One is born into a given existence (human, animal, deva, etc), a given family (good, bad), under different conditions (healthy, handicapped, poor, etc), and so on based on one’s gati. One’s gati are based on the types of sankhāra that one cultivates (basically how one thinks, speaks, and acts).

Background Material in Buddha Dhamma

3. Continuing with the key points in #2: Another key point is that “kammic energy” that lead to future vipāka (results) are generated in one’s javana citta. Don’t be put off by that word. Javana citta are basically thoughts that arise in one’s mind when one is generating conscious thoughts about speaking/doing moral or immoral deeds.

- Vaci and kāya sankhāra become abhisankhāra (strong sankhāra) that can lead to future vipāka, ONLY IF those actions or speech is either moral (good vipāka) or immoral (bad vipāka).
- That is the difference between sankhāra and abhisankhāra.

4. Vaci sankhāra are responsible for our speech (either out loud or just to ourselves). When we do something (walk, play, etc) we move our bodies with kāya sankhāra that arise in the mind (basically in the gandhabba). We have control over both those.

- On the other hand, when thoughts arise automatically due to a sense input, those are manō sankhāra.
- That is the difference between manō sankhāra (which arise without our DIRECT control) and vaci sankhāra/kāya sankhāra (which we have control over).
- Whether just sankhāra or abhisankhāra, this distinction holds. For example, we can stop saying anything anytime. We can stop raising our hand anytime we want to, whether it is to say “Hi” to someone (sankhāra) or to hit someone (abhisankhāra).

5. As we have discussed before, the word “sankhāra” comes from “san” + “khāra” or actions that involve “san“; see, “What is “San”? Meaning of Sansāra (or Samsāra)“.

- “San” are responsible for just getting things done to live the current life (even everyday activities).
- However, if they involve moral/immoral actions that can bring results (vipāka) in future lives, then those arise due to “strong san” or “abhi san” and thus become “abhisankhāra“.
- Kamma are actions (done with sankhāra that arise in the mind). Most are neutral kamma: They do not bring significant vipāka.
- Those moral or immoral strong kamma — done with abhisankhāra — are the ones that lead to kamma vipāka in the future (either in this life or in future lives).

Key Idea: Vaci/kāya Sankhāra are Willful

6. Let us look at some example now.

- Thinking about going to the bathroom is a vaci sankhāra (kammically neutral). One gets the body to move to the bathroom using kāya sankhāra.
- Thinking about killing a human being involve abhisankhāra with high kammic consequences or vaci abhisankhāra; doing the actual killing is done with kāya abhisankhāra. Those can lead to rebirth in the apāyās, because both are based on immoral or apunna abhisankhāra (or apunnābhisankhāra).
- On the other hand, punna abhisankhāra (or punnābhisankhāra) (thoughts responsible for good speech and actions) have good kammic consequences and can lead to “good births” (human, deva, or brahma). Even more importantly, they are essential for making progress on the Path.

7. I keep repeating these because it is very important to understand these key ideas.

- All sankhāra arise in the mental body (gandhabba).
- Then the brain helps to put those into action/speech (i.e., moving body parts).
- Most of those actions/speech are kammically neutral.
- Good kammā that will have good vipāka in the future are done with abhisankhāra that have sōbhana cetasika (compassion, non-greed, etc). Bad kammā that will have bad vipāka in the future are done with abhisankhāra that have asōbhana cetasika (anger, greed, etc.); see, “Living Dhamma – Fundamentals“.
- Sankhāra is the generic word used in the suttas, even if they could be abhisankhāra. One needs to be able to see which ones are abhisankhāra based on the actual situation.

8. Manō sankhāra are those automatically arise in a mind due to a sense input, based on one’s gati.

- We don’t really experience those initial manō sankhāra and we only experience when it comes to the next stage called vaci sankhāra (“talking to oneself”).
- This is an important point. Even if one does not say a word, when one is “thinking to oneself” that is called vaci sankhāra. If one gets really interested, one may speak out and that is still a vaci sankhāra.
- If one’s interest builds up, one may even take bodily action. Those bodily actions are done with kāya sankhāra that arise in the mind.
- I strongly urge everyone to re-read the posts at puredhamma.net: “Difference Between Tanhā and Upādāna” and “Correct Meaning of Vacī Sankhāra“.
- The strength of kammic energy created increases in the following order: manō, vaci, kāya sankhāra.

Manō Sankhāra Arise Based on Our Gati

9. As we discussed many times, we get “attached” to something AUTOMATICALLY based on our gati and arise as manō sankhāra.

- If the attachment is strong enough, the mind will now start thinking about it consciously, i.e., vaci sankhāra arise and we become aware of these vaci sankhāra.
- Now, we have the ability to be mindful and think about its consequences and move away from it, as soon as we become aware of this “attachment” to something. Therefore, we can stop such thoughts at the vaci sankhāra stage; see, “Correct Meaning of Vacī Sankhāra“.
- However, our minds like to enjoy such vaci sankhāra. It is easy to do and is very tempting. Many people get their sexual satisfaction from just “day dreaming” about either events in the past or sexual encounters that one would like to have in the future.
- In order to change manō sankhāra, we need to change our gati; see, “Difference Between Tanhā and Upādāna“.

10. Please read #9 again. That is the key to understanding “free will”.

- We have total control over vaci sankhāra and kāya sankhāra.
- The reason is that there is a “time delay” between the mind (in the gandhabba) deciding to speak or make a bodily move and the time takes for the brain to carry out those commands and to move parts of the physical body; see, “Brain – Interface between Mind and Body“.
- However, animals do not have this “safety barrier”. Lower animals do not have a neocortex. Even in monkeys, neocortex is only partially developed. Thus, their manō sankhāra automatically continue as vaci and kāya sankhāra. Also, see, “Truine Brain: How the Mind Rewires the Brain via Meditation/Habits“.
- Those are the reasons why humans have free will and animals do not.

Key Concepts in Satipatthana and Ānapāna

11. Therefore, the concept of free will becomes clear if one can understand the concepts of manō, vaci and kāya sankhāra.

- In fact, in order to have a firm grasp of Satipatthana and Ānapāna meditations, it is essential to understand what is meant by “mindfulness” and how vaci and kāya sankhāra are different from manō sankhāra.
- The bottom line this: Once we become aware of an action that we are about to take, we have the total freedom to choose to either to go ahead with it or to stop it.
- We should stop any bad actions that we are about to do and continue with any good actions. That is the basis of Satipatthana and Ānapāna meditations.
- All we need to do is to cultivate the habit of “catching one’s response early enough”. “Being mindful” is just that; see, “6. Anāpānasati Bhāvanā (Introduction)” and “Maha Satipatthana Sutta“.

12. If one can understand the post, “Difference Between Tanhā and Upādāna“, one can not only see that free will is “built-in” for humans, but one will also be able to see how one can purify one’s mind and make progress on the Noble Path.

- As explained in that post — and the reference posts mentioned there — only manō sankhāra arise without our control.
- We have total control over vaci and kāya sankhāra, at least when one gets better in practicing Satipatthāna/Ānapāna.
- This is also why humans are different from animals: Humans have the ability to think for themselves and make rational decisions.

Libet Experiments on Free Will

13. Scientists misinterpret the experiments on the famous “Libet experiments” simply because they believe that the mind resides in the brain. Therefore, they wrongly conclude that the “brain activity starts” before one makes a decision; see this post at puredhamma.net: “Neuroscience says there is no Free Will? – That is a Misinterpretation!“.

- Libet experiment is very simple: A person was asked to move his/her own finger whenever at his/her will, and scientists monitored that person’s brain activity. They concluded that the brain started the “finger moving” process before the person made the decision to move the finger!
- If the brain indeed started the decision making process, that would confirm that humans do not have free will. But then the question arises what triggered that brain activity? Of course, scientists or philosophers do not have an answer to that question. If human decisions are random, this world would be a very chaotic place.
- However, the explanation is simple with the concept of a mental body (gandhabba) controlling the physical body with the help of the brain.
As explained in the above post, the decision in made by the gandhabba and that started the brain activity. Scientists did not correctly monitor the time at which the person made the decision, because their “model” was incorrect.

Lal
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:03 pm

I realized that I have discussed rupa, sanna, sankhara, and vinnana, but have not discussed vedana.

Here is a basic description of vedana. The most important point is that in Paticca Samuppada, it is not really any vedana that is relevant in the step "salayatana paccaya phassa" and "phassa paccaya vedana". Those steps are in the uddesa version and one needs to go to the niddesa version (descriptive) to understand. So, those two steps in the akusala-mula Paticca Samuppada should really be: "salayatana paccaya samphassa" and "samphassa paccaya vedana". So, the relevant vedana there is "samphassa jā vedana" or "vēdanā generated via samphassa".

Hopefully, that will become clear with the following post.

Vedana (Feelings)

We will discuss six types of vēdanā (feelings) and how they arise. Three of these arise due to kamma vipāka and the other three arise due to sankhāra (defiled thoughts).

Vēdanā comes from (“vé” + “danā”) which means “වීම දැනවීම” in Sinhala. Basically, when we sense something via our six senses, we become aware of it; that is vēdanā.

Two Ways Vēdanā (Feelings) Can Arise

As a consequence of a previous kamma (i.e., a kamma vipāka). The kamma or sankhāra could have been done many lives ago.
- These vēdanā (feelings) are three kinds : Sukha vēdanā (pleasant or joyful feeling), dukha vēdanā (unpleasant or painful feeling), and adukkhama asukha (without being painful or joyful, just neutral), where we are just aware of it. This adukkhama asukha vēdanā is commonly called upekkha vēdanā. These cannot be avoided.

As a direct consequence of a sankhāra (one could say an ongoing action or a way of thinking).
- These are three types of other vēdanā that can be prevented from arising: somanassa (pleasant), domanassa (unpleasant), and upekkha (neutral) vēdanā. They are solely mind-made and are due to defiled thoughts (sankhāra). The details are discussed below. These are absent in Arahants.

Vēdanā Arising from Kamma Vipaka

Kamma vipāka can happen to everyone, including Arahants. While everyone can avoid some kamma vipāka, there are others that are too strong to be able to avoid.

- For example, the Buddha himself had physical ailments later in his life as kamma vipāka. Moggallana Thero was beaten to death because of a bad kamma that he committed many lives before.
- However, kamma vipāka are not certain to happen. Some can be reduced in power (we will discuss this under Vinaya and Metta Bhavana), all are reduced in power with time and some eventually die out if they did not get a chance to come to fruition within 91 Mahā kalpas. Many can be avoided by not providing conditions for them to arise (see, the discussion on kamma beeja in , “Sankhara, Kamma, Kamma Beeja, Kamma Vipaka“).
- One could also feel sukha vēdanā (pleasant feelings) due to good kamma vipāka. These are also bodily feelings that arise due to “pleasant bodily contacts” like a getting a good massage, or lying on a luxurious bed.
- These types of vedana are not DIRECTLY relevant in Paticca Samuppada. For example, when the Buddha was injured by Devadatta, he did not generate "vedana paccaya tanha" in Paticca Samuppada.

Vēdanā Arising from Sankhāra

These are the vēdanā that Arahants do not feel. Since they do not commit any abhisankhāra (those sankhāra done with greed, hate, and ignorance), an Arahant avoids any kind of feeling arising from abhisankhāra. The easiest way to explain this kind of vēdanā is to give some examples:

- Three people are walking down the street. One has ultra-right political bias (A), the second has ultra-left bias (B), and the third is an Arahant who does not have special feelings for anyone (C). They all see a famous politician hated by the political right coming their way. It is a given that the sight of the politician causes A to have displeasure and B to have a pleasurable feeling. On the other hand, the sight does not cause the Arahant to generate any pleasure or displeasure. Even though all three see the same person, they generate different types of feelings.It is important to realize that the feelings were created by A and B by themselves.
- Two friends go looking for treasure and find a gem. They are both overjoyed. It looks quite valuable and one person kills the other so that he can get all the money. Yet when he tries to sell the “gem”, he finds out that it was not that valuable. His joy turns to sorrow in an instant. Nothing had changed in the object, the piece of stone. It was the same piece of colored rock. What has changed was the perception of it (saññā).
- A loving couple had lived for many years without any problems and were happy to be together. However, the husband slaps his wife during an argument. The physical pain from the slap itself did not last more than a few minutes. But for how long the wife would suffer mentally? Even the husband, who did not feel any physical pain, would suffer for days if he really loved his wife. In both cases, the real pain was associated with the attachment to each other. The wife could have dropped something on her foot and would have suffered about the same amount of physical pain. But she would not have had any lingering mental pain associated with that.
- Therefore, all these second kind of feelings arise due to greed, hate, or ignorance; all these are due to (abhi)sankhāra. The feelings reside INSIDE oneself. It does not come from outside. We use external things to CAUSE happiness or suffering by our own volition.
- These types of vēdanā (also called "samphassa jā vēdanā" or "vēdanā generated via samphassa") are the ones relevant in Paticca Samuppāda.

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Coëmgenu
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Coëmgenu » Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:30 pm

whynotme wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:43 am
Lal wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:03 am
Whynotme said: “2. If that is the case then the human body must be more than just physical body, which you can not explain.”

You are trying to focus on just one point. I do not have time to go into any more details. It is not worthwhile to spend all this time talking about something which neither you or I can give a definite answer without diving into more details. There are other less complex issues that need to be resolved first. Discussing the characteristics of a gandhabba is like trying to tackle a complex mathematics problem without a good knowledge of algebra.

Let me give an example that we are all familiar with. The “double-slit experiment” in physics cannot be explained in terms of classical physics. Even with quantum mechanics, there is no final full explanation that is accepted by all physicists.

There are zillions of other things in the Tipitaka that can be easily seen to be self-consistent, in particular regarding those issues that are relevant to Dhamma concepts like bhava and jati that is under discussion now. Those are things that we should focus on. I would be happy to answer such questions.

By the way, I have a request for those who do not agree with my explanation of bhava and jati. Please explain -- without providing links to others' works -- what is really meant by bhava and jati. These are two key concepts at the foundation of Buddha Dhamma.

This is a very important issue in another aspect: One cannot really explain bhava and jati without the concept of the gandhabba (mental body). This is why, not believing in the gandhabba and "para loka", is one of the 10 types of micca ditthi (see my previous post on the 10 types of micca ditthi).
I did read a lot of your gandabba articles. You said your information came from the Tipitaka, and even provide some quotes. But from my understanding, much of your information is not described in Tipitaka.

For example, as I known, there is no description of how the gandabba works in sutta or Abhidhamma. So your information must be composited from somewhere else. While your quote from the sutta only give the hint that it may exist, it does not describe in detail how it works like your article. I must repeat, your information must come from somewhere else.
I don't know where Ven Waharaka got this discourse surrounding the gandharva, but the gandharva features heavily in Mahāyāna Buddhism, as well in in various non-Theravāda schools of early Buddhism.

See Abhidharmakośabhāsya http://lirs.ru/lib/kosa/Abhidharmakosab ... n,1991.pdf search the document for "gandharva".
Last edited by Coëmgenu on Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः

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budo
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by budo » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:05 pm

There are suttas on Gandahabba in SN..

Gandhabbakaya-samyutta is one and there's another where the Buddha talks about how Gandhabbas are conceived during sex. http://suttacentral.net/mn93/en/horner

As for "waiting in line" that puredhamma uses, I don't know where that is from.

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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Coëmgenu » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:13 pm

budo wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:05 pm
There are suttas on Gandahabba in SN..

Gandhabbakaya-samyutta is one and there's another where the Buddha talks about how Gandhabbas are conceived during sex. http://suttacentral.net/mn93/en/horner

As for "waiting in line" that puredhamma uses, I don't know where that is from.
There is a nice article by Venerable Anālayo talking about the appearance of the gandharvāḥ in the Pāli Canon. AFAIK, however, Theravāda orthodoxy is that these things do not exist, despite their mention in a few suttāni.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः

Lal
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:12 pm

Budo said: “As for "waiting in line" that puredhamma uses, I don't know where that is from.”

Coemgenu said: “however, Theravāda orthodoxy is that these things do not exist, despite their mention in a few suttāni.”

Did both of you not read my post on October 28 (p. 43)? I am re-posting it below. Please read carefully. These are major suttas that explain the concept well.
- Where in Theravāda (Tipitaka) says gandhabbas do not exist?

Here is that post:

Gandhabba State – Evidence from Tipitaka

Extensive evidence from the Tipitaka is presented that the gandhabba state is a necessary feature of human (and animal) bhava. It is not an antarabhava state (“in between two bhava“). It is within the same human bhava; see, my previous post, "Bhava and Jāti – States of Existence and Births Therein" published yesterday.

- One’s inert physical body is controlled by one’s mental body (gandhabba or manōmaya kaya) that is inside the physical body.
Gandhabba state remains through many successive human births within a given human bhava (which can last many hundreds of years). When a given physical body dies, gandhabba comes out of the dead body. Then the gandhabba has to wait (sometimes many years), before it is pulled into another womb, when a matching one becomes available. Rebirth stories confirm this account.

1. The Buddha has described how three conditions must be satisfied for a conception to occur — including a gandhabba (nominative case is gandhabbō) descending to the womb — in the Mahā Tanhāsankhaya Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya 38): “..Tiṇṇaṃ kho pana, bhikkhave, sannipātā gabbhas­sā­vakkanti hoti. Idha mātāpitaro ca sannipatitā honti, mātā ca na utunī hoti, gandhabbo ca na paccupaṭṭhito hoti, neva tāva gabbhas­sā­vakkanti hoti. Idha mātāpitaro ca sannipatitā honti, mātā ca utunī hoti, gandhabbo ca na paccupaṭṭhito hoti, neva tāva gabbhas­sā­vakkanti hoti. Yato ca kho, bhikkhave, mātāpitaro ca sannipatitā honti, mātā ca utunī hoti, gandhabbo ca paccupaṭṭhito hoti—evaṃ tiṇṇaṃ sannipātā gabbhas­sā­vakkanti hoti. Tamenaṃ, bhikkhave, mātā nava vā dasa vā māse gabbhaṃ kucchinā pariharati mahatā saṃsayena garubhāraṃ..“.

- Here is the English translation from the Sutta Central website (I have slightly modified it): “..Bhikkhus, the descent to the womb takes place through the union of three things. Here, there is the union of the mother and father, but the mother is not in season, and the gandhabba is not present—in this case no descent of an embryo takes place. Here, there is the union of the mother and father, and the mother is in season, but the gandhabba is not present—in this case too no descent of the embryo takes place. But when there is the union of the mother and father, and the mother is in season, and the gandhabba is present, through the union of these three things the descent of the embryo takes place. The mother then carries the embryo in her womb for nine or ten months with much anxiety, as a heavy burden..”.

- Even though the venerable Bhikkhus who manage the Sutta Central website do not believe in the concept of a gandhabba, they have at least correctly translated most of the Pāli verse.
- By the way, the Sutta Central site is a good resource, since not only the Pāli version but also translations into several languages is provided. I encourage everyone to make a contribution to that website in order to maintain that valuable database.
- One just needs to be careful to keep in mind that some key Pāli terms are translated incorrectly there, including anicca as impermanence and anatta as “no-self”.

2. In the Assalāya­na Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya 93) , there is more evidence that for conception to occur, a gandhabba needs to descend to the mother’s womb at the right time: within a few days of the union of parents, it is the mother’s season.

- Here, the Buddha explains to Assalayana how the seer Asita Devala questioned seven brahmanā who had the wrong view that they were heirs to Mahā Brahmā. Here are the questions that seer Asita Devala asked:

Jānanti pana bhonto—yathā gabbhassa avakkanti hotī’ti?
- “But do you, sirs, know how there is conception in the womb?

Jānāma mayaṃ, bho—yathā gabbhassa avakkanti hoti ‘ti. Jānāma mayaṃ, bho – yathā gabbhassa avakkanti hoti. Idha mātāpitaro ca sannipatitā honti, mātā ca utunī hoti, gandhabbo ca paccupaṭṭhito hoti; evaṃ tiṇṇaṃ sannipātā gabbhassa avakkanti hotī’ti”.
- ‘We do know, sir, how there is conception. There is coitus of the parents, it is the mother’s season, and a gandhabba is present; it is on the conjunction of these three things that there is conception.

Jānanti pana bhonto—taggha so gandhabbo khattiyo vā brāhmaṇo vā vesso vā suddo vā’ti?“.
- “But do you, sirs, know whether that gandhabba is a noble or brahman or merchant or worker?”

Na mayaṃ, bho, jānāma—taggha so gandhabbo khattiyo vā brāhmaṇo vā vesso vā suddo vā’ti“.
- “We do not know, sir, whether that gandhabba is a noble or a brahman or a merchant or a worker.”

Therefore, it is clear that the concept of a gandhabba was accepted even by other yōgis at Buddha’s time.

3. In the Maha Nidana Sutta (Digha Nikaya 15): “..Viññāṇapaccayā nāmarūpan’ti iti kho panetaṃ vuttaṃ, tadānanda, imināpetaṃ pariyāyena veditabbaṃ, yathā viññāṇapaccayā nāmarūpaṃ. Viññāṇañca hi, ānanda, mātukucchismiṃ na okkamissatha, api nu kho nāmarūpaṃ mātukucchismiṃ samuccissathā”ti?No hetaṃ, bhante”. “Viññāṇañca hi, ānanda, mātukucchismiṃ okkamitvā vokkamissatha, api nu kho nāmarūpaṃ itthattāya abhi­nib­bat­tis­sathā”ti?No hetaṃ, bhante”.

Translated: “..With consciousness as condition there is mentality-materiality (nāmarūpa). How that is so, Ānanda, should be understood in this way: If consciousness were not to descend into the mother’s womb, would mentality-materiality (nama rūpa) take shape in the womb?” “Certainly not, venerable sir”. “If, the descended consciousness were to depart, would mentality-materiality be generated into this present state of being?” “Certainly not, venerable sir.”

- Here, is it clear that by “a viññana descending to the womb”, the Buddha meant the descend of the manōmaya kaya (gandhabba), not the patisandhi citta. A patisandhi citta cannot come out (depart) of the womb! In #7 below, we will present evidence that viññāna is always accompanied by other four khandhas, including the rupakkhandha (and a gandhabba has all five khandhas).
The Pāli word “Okkanti” is often mistranslated as “rebirth”. But it means the “descend” of an already formed manōmaya kaya (gandhabba). Rebirth happens (and a gandhabba is born) within a thought moment, at the cuit-patisandhi moment; see, “Cuti-Patisandhi – An Abhidhamma Description“.

4. In the Kutuhala Sutta (Samyutta Nikaya 44.9), Vacca asked the Buddha, “..Yasmiñca pana, bho gotama, samaye imañca kāyaṃ nikkhipati, satto ca aññataraṃ kāyaṃ anupapanno hoti, imassa pana bhavaṃ gotamo kiṃ upādānasmiṃ paññāpetī”ti? OR “..“And, Master Gotama, when a being has given up this body but has not yet been reborn in another body, what does Master Gotama declare to be its fuel on that occasion?”

The Buddha answered, “..Yasmiṃ kho, vaccha, samaye imañca kāyaṃ nikkhipati, satto ca aññataraṃ kāyaṃ anupapanno hoti, tamahaṃ taṇhūpādānaṃ vadāmi“. OR “..“When, Vaccha, a being has given up this body but has not yet been reborn in another body, I declare that it is fueled by craving”.
- Thus when a gandhabba leaves one physical and is not yet reborn in another body, its life is sustained by tanhā (craving), just like a rupi brahma lives by making use of piti (mental happiness) as food. Both gandhabbas and rupi brahmas have very fine bodies (smaller than an atom in modern science; only a few suddhāshtaka). However, some gandhabbas can inhale odors for food and become relatively more dense.

5. In the Sangiti Sutta (Digha Nikaya 33), it is described how a gandhabba can enter a womb in four ways: “..Catasso gabbhā­vakkan­tiyo. Idhāvuso, ekacco asampajāno mātukucchiṃ okkamati, asampajāno mātukucchismiṃ ṭhāti, asampajāno mātukucchimhā nikkhamati, ayaṃ paṭhamā gabbhāvakkanti. Puna caparaṃ, āvuso, idhekacco sampajāno mātukucchiṃ okkamati, asampajāno mātukucchismiṃ ṭhāti, asampajāno mātukucchimhā nikkhamati, ayaṃ dutiyā gabbhāvakkanti. Puna caparaṃ, āvuso, idhekacco sampajāno mātukucchiṃ okkamati, sampajāno mātukucchismiṃ ṭhāti, asampajāno mātukucchimhā nikkhamati, ayaṃ tatiyā gabbhāvakkanti. Puna caparaṃ, āvuso, idhekacco sampajāno mātukucchiṃ okkamati, sampajāno mātukucchismiṃ ṭhāti, sampajāno mātukucchimhā nikkhamati, ayaṃ catutthā gabbhāvakkanti“.

Translated: “..Four ways of entering the womb. Herein, bhikkhus, one descends into the mother’s womb unknowing, abides there unknowing, departs thence unknowing. This is the first class of conception. Next, another descends deliberately, but abides and departs unknowing. Next another descends and abides deliberately, but departs unknowing. Lastly, another descends, abides and departs knowingly“.

- This is the okkanti (descending of the gandhabba) into the womb (gabbha), as described in the Maha Tanhasankhaya Sutta discussed above.
Almost the same description is also given in the “Sam­pasā­da­nīya Sutta (Digha Nikaya 28)“.

6. It is a Bodhisattva in the last birth that, “.. descends, abides and departs the womb knowingly”, the fourth way of entering a womb, mentioned above.

In the Mahāpadāna Sutta (Digha Nikaya 14): “..Atha kho, bhikkhave, vipassī bodhisatto tusitā kāyā cavitvā sato sampajāno mātukucchiṃ okkami. Ayamettha dhammatā“.
Translated: “..Now Vipassī bodhisattva, bhikkhus, left the Tusita realm and descended into his mother’s womb mindful and knowingly. That is the rule.”
- At the cuti-patisandhi moment in the Tusita realm, the deva died and a human gandhabba was born, who entered the mother’s womb on Earth.
- By the way, this sutta describes in detail the last 7 Buddhas including Buddha Gotama, who have appeared in our cakkāvāta within the past 31 mahā kappa (great aeons). the English translation of the Sutta at Sutta Central provides a useful summary in a table.
However, in this sutta, gabbhā­vakkan­tiyo and okkami are translated incorrectly at Sutta Central.

7. In the Bija Sutta (Samyutta Nikaya 22.54), it is clearly stated that viññāna cannot “travel” without the other four aggregates, including the rupakkhandha: “..Yo, bhikkhave, evaṃ vadeyya: ‘ahamaññatra rūpā aññatra vedanāya aññatra saññāya aññatra saṅkhārehi viññāṇassa āgatiṃ vā gatiṃ vā cutiṃ vā upapattiṃ vā vuddhiṃ vā virūḷhiṃ vā vepullaṃ vā paññāpessāmī’ti, netaṃ ṭhānaṃ vijjati“.

“Bhikkhus, Apart from form, apart from feeling, apart from perception, apart from volitional formations, I will make known the coming and going of consciousness, its passing away and rebirth, its growth, increase, and expansion’—that is impossible”.

- Therefore, the descending of a patisandhi viññāna to a womb, MUST be accompanied by all five khanddhas, which is the kammaja kaya of the gandhabba. Viññāna can never be supported without a rūpa; even the brahmas in arupa realms have hadaya vatthu, a suddhāshtaka made of satara mahā bhuta.

8. When a person removes the first seven samyōjana, but the last three samyōjana are still left with him when he dies, then the gandhabba comes out of the dead body, but cannot be born in anywhere in the 31 realms. For a discussion on samyōjana, see, “Dasa Samyōjana – Bonds in Rebirth Process“.

Those first 7 samyōjana include kāma rāga, rūpa rāga, and arūpa rāga. When those three samyōjana are removed, one cannot be reborn in any of the 31 realms in the kāma, rūpa, and arūpa lōka. However, since the last three samyōjana of māna, uddacca, avijjā are not completely removed, that person will not be able to attain Parinibbāna either.
Then “that person” will remain in the gandhabba state until his kammic energy for the human bhava runs out. This is called the “Anatarāpainibbiyāni” state.
- This is described in the “Samyojana Sutta (Anguttara Nikaya 4:131): “..Katamassa, bhikkhave, puggalassa orambhāgiyāni saṃyojanāni pahīnāni, upapat­ti­paṭi­lābhi­yāni saṃyojanāni pahīnāni, bhava­paṭi­lābhi­yāni saṃyojanāni appahīnāni? Antarā­pari­nib­bā­yissa”.
- It is to be noted that the first 5 samyojanā are called orambhāgiyā saṃyojanā; rūpa rāga and arūpa rāga are collectively called upapat­ti­paṭi­lābhi­yā saṃyojanā, and māna, uddacca, avijjā are collectively called bhava­paṭi­lābhi­yā samyōjana.

9. At the Third Buddhist Council, Moggaliputta tissa Thēro proved that there is no antarābhava in a debate with the Mahayanists. That correct interpretation is in the Kathavatthu of the Tipitaka.

- Most current Thervadins erroneously believe that gandhabba state is an “antarābhava” state. That is not correct; see, “Antarabhava and Gandhabba” and “Cuti-Patisandhi – An Abhidhamma Description“.

10. A critical factor that contributes to this erroneous belief that the gandhabba state is an “antarābhava” is the inability to distinguish between bhava and jāti. They erroneously believe that patisandhi takes place in the womb. But it is very clear in the sutta passages above, that the word patisandhi is not used; rather it is okkanti (of the gandhabba).

- A human existence (bhava) could be many hundreds or even thousands of years and many human births (jāti) can take place during that time; see, “Bhava and jāti – States of Existence and Births Therein“.
- In rebirth stories, there is always a “time gap” between successive human births (jāti). They are always separated by several years or at least few years. In between those successive lives, that lifestream lives as a gandhabba, without a physical body.
Even during a given human life (jāti), the gandhabba may come out of the physical body under certain conditions, see, “Manomaya Kaya and Out-of-Body Experience (OBE)“.
- It is the human bhava that is hard to attain (see, “How the Buddha Described the Chance of Rebirth in the Human Realm“), but within a given human bhava, there can be many births until the kammic energy for that human bhava runs out. Otherwise, how can one explain all these rebirth stories, where a human is reborn only a few years after dying in the previous human life?

11. I understand the reluctance of many to discard the deeply embedded idea that gandhabba is a Mahāyāna concept. I used to have that wrong view too. It is one of the 10 types of micca ditthi (i.e., the existence of a para loka of the gandhabbas); see my post, "Wrong Views (Miccā Ditthi) – A Simpler Analysis" published on Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:23 am. As I have discussed above, many things will be left unexplained and there will be many inconsistencies without it.

- More evidence is in many other posts at puredhamma.net. There are two subsections on gandhabba: “Mental Body – Gandhabba” and “Gandhabba (Manomaya Kaya)“.
- One can also use the “Search” box on top right to locate all relevant posts by typing “gandhabba”.

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Coëmgenu
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:46 pm

Lal wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:12 pm
Budo said: “As for "waiting in line" that puredhamma uses, I don't know where that is from.”

Coemgenu said: “however, Theravāda orthodoxy is that these things do not exist, despite their mention in a few suttāni.”

Did both of you not read my post on October 28 (p. 43)? I am re-posting it below. Please read carefully. These are major suttas that explain the concept well.
Yes, I read your post. Please stop accusing people of not reading your walls of text.

My statement above stands. I don't know why you felt the need to post all of that above in responce to me, it was hardly necessary, and furthermore, you are starting to repeat yourself.

At this point Lal, you are having a conversation with yourself.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः

Lal
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:46 am

For those of you who are trying to figure out the truth, let us try to settle this issue about antarabhava and gandhabba once and for all, so that there would not be any doubts left. The only way to do that is two fold: (1) Try to find anything in the Tipitaka that would contradict my explanation, (2) Confirmation of of the concept with references in the Tipitaka, some of which I provided in the above post.
- It is critical to settle this issue, since not believing in gandhabba or the paraloka is one of the ten types of micca ditthi. One will never be able to understand the concepts of anicca, dukkha, anatta (and thus get to any magga phala) if one has those micca ditthi or wrong views.
- Please re-read what is meant by "antarabhava": Of course there is no "antarabhava state" since two adjacent "bhava" are connected within a split second during the cuit-patisandhi moment of grasping a "new bhava". If one gets a "human bhava", one can be born (jati) many times during that human bhava. But in between two adjacent births with a human body, one is in the gandhabba state (just with the "mental body") waiting for a suitable womb. Once a suitable womb becomes available, gandhabba will be pulled into that womb, as explained in the suttas in the above post.

To continue with the discussion on vedana, I will discuss below the importance of "samphassa jā vedana" or "vedana that arises due to samphassa". This discussion will help us get to a very fundamental issue in a few posts. At that time, many things in the puzzle will fall into place. Please be patient, if some of these Pali words appear to be too complex. Once one gets the key ideas, it will become much easier.

Difference between Phassa and Samphassa

1. No differentiation is made between “phassa” and “samphassa” in most current explanations of paticca samuppāda. Both word phassa and samphassa are most times translated as “contact” in many English translations; see, for example, Chachakka Sutta (MN 148): https://legacy.suttacentral.net/pi/mn148 and the English translation there.

- However, as we will see below, “samphassa” has a very different meaning than “phassa” and makes the connection of how our instinctive reactions to external sense experiences arise based on our “samsāric habits” or “gati“.
- With the distinction made between “phassa” and “samphassa“, the true meanings become clear in suttas like “Chachakka Sutta (MN 148)“.

2. When our eyes make contact with an external object, that is not “phassa“. That is just like a camera taking a picture; that picture is sent to the brain, which processes and sends that “snapshot” to the mind. The mind then makes contact with this “snapshot” or “image” and this is what “phassa” really is: It is a mental contact.

- When the mind makes that contact with that image of the external object, a citta (actually a series of citta called citta vīthi; see, “What is a Thought?“) arises and that is what we experience; in fact what we experience is the cumulative effect of many such citta vīthis that arise in a very short time, and this cumulative effect we call a “thought”.
- Some of the seven universal mental factors that arise with the citta instantaneously identifies the object and based on our “gati” or “samsāric habits” help form an opinion on what is seen. For example, a young lady looking at a dress may form a liking for it. Another person seeing his enemy will form a dislike. A teenager, upon hearing a song may form a liking for it, etc.
- This mental contact happens instantaneously. We do not have any control over it, and it is purely based on our “gati“. But since our actions based on that initial reaction takes some time, we still have time to control our speech or bodily actions. Even if bad thoughts come to our mind, we can stop any speech or bodily actions. This is what is supposed to be done with “kayānupassanā” in “satipatthāna meditation”.

3. Now, let consider what happens when an Arahant sees or hears similar things. He/she will see or hear the same thing as any other person. But since an Arahant has removed all such samsāric habits or “gati“, he/she will not be attracted to it or repelled by it.

- An Arahant has removed all such defiled “gati” which are closely related to cravings or “āsava“. An Arahant has removed all “āsava“; this is what is meant by “āsavakkhaya” at the Arahanthood. This is a technical detail that may be clear to some; but don’t worry about it if it does not.

4. We can now see the difference between “phassa” and “samphassa“.

- In the case of an Arahant, there is only “phassa” or mere contact with the external sense input. An Arahant will thus “see” or “hear” or “smell” or “taste” or “feel” the same things as any other person. But an Arahant will not be attached or repulsed by that sense experience.
For example, the Buddha identified different people. But he did not form a special liking for Ven. Ananda (his personal assistant) or had any hateful thoughts about Devadatta who tried to kill him. He treated the poorest person the same way as he treated a king.
- The Buddha ate most delicious food offered by the kings and also ate the meager meals offered by poor people without any preference.
- In all those sense contacts, it was just “phassa“, and not “samphassa“.

5. On the other hand, an ordinary person will form a like or a dislike for some of the sense inputs (but not for all).

- If a like or dislike is formed, then that sense contact is “san phassa“(“san” + “phassa“, where “san” is what we accumulate to extend the samsāric journey; see, “What is “San”?“). It rhymes as “samphassa“.
- This “combination effect” or “Pāli sandhi” leads to the pronunciation of many “san” words with a “m” sound: “san” + “mā” to “sammā“; “san” “yutta” to “samyutta“; “san” “bhava” to “sambhava“; “san” “sāra” to “samsāra“; see, “List of “San” Words and Other Pāli Roots“.
- Thus, when we see, hear, smell, taste, touch something, whether there is going be any likes or dislikes towards that sense experience depends on the person, or more specifically the “gati” of that person.

6. “Samphassa” is intimately connected to one’s “gati” or habits most of which come from our past lives, even though some may be strengthened or weakened by what we do in this life. We may even start forming new “gati” in this life.

- There are many posts at this site that discuss “gati“, and at the very basic level both “anapana” and “satipatthāna” meditations are all about removing bad “gati” and cultivating good “gati“.
- “Samphassa” is also intimately connected to the relationships we have with other people and material things. Any kind of sense input on such people/things will automatically generate “samphassa“. On the other hand, an Arahant has removed all bonds with people/things, and thus will generate only “phassa“.

7. Let us discuss some examples to illustrate how “samphassa” arises. First let us look at the connection with those people/things in the world that we have special relationships with or what we “upādana“, i.e., like to either keep close to like to stay away from.

- Think about the worst “enemy” you have. When you even think about that person X, you generate distasteful feelings. But that person’s family will have loving thoughts about that person. Here, you and X’s child (for example), would have generated very different “samphassa” when thinking, seeing, hearing, about X.
- When you travel by car or bus and looking out of the window, you may see zillion things, but those are just “seeing”; you don’t pay much attention to them. They are “phassa“. But now if you happen to see a beautiful house, it piques your interest and you may even turn back and take another good look at it, and may be even think about how nice it would be to live in a house like that. That is “samphassa“.

8. Our samsāric habits (“gati“) play a key role in generating “samphassa“.

- Some people enjoy harassing animals; they pay to go see cockfighting. Others are repulsed by that. Those are samsāric habits. So, the scene of two animals fighting for life leads to the enjoyment of some and to the disgust of others; both are “samphassa“, but one is obviously immoral. The other is moral but still keeps one bound to samsāra; this latter statement may take time to digest.
- Ladies, in general, like nice clothes, jewellery, etc. and men are more into sports. When a husband is watching sports on TV the whole day, the wife may not have any interest and may even get angry at him for not paying attention to other things that need to be done around the house.
These and zillion other things come from our samsāric habits.

9. Now let us see how one’s perception of what is “valuable” can lead to “samphassa“. Suppose someone inherits a valuable gem from his father. Every time he sees it or even thinks about it, he becomes happy. But his mind is also burdened by it, since he is worried that he may lose it; he is keeping it in a safe and has put burglar alarms in the house just to protect that gem.

- Now, suppose one day he gets to a professional to evaluate the gem and finds out that it is really worthless. He may not even believe that initially, but once it sinks in that it is indeed worthless, he will become “detached” from it. He will no longer keep it in the safe and may even throw it away in disgust.
- Now he may be generating either neutral or hateful thoughts about the SAME OBJECT that he once loved so much. Nothing changed about the “gem”; it is still the same object as before. What has changed is his PERCEPTION of the value of that object. Whereas he generated “samphassa” on thinking or seeing that object before, now he may generating just “phassa” (neutral feelings) or “samphassa” with quite opposite feelings of disgust.

10. Let us take another example that was given by one of my teacher Theros. This one clearly shows how transition from “phassa” to “samphassa” or the other way around can happen very quickly.

- This story is based many years ago in Sri Lanka. A mother had to go overseas when her son was less than a year old. She had been overseas for many years and came back to meet her son. Apparently, she had not even seen any pictures of the boy, who was now a teenager. When she gets home, she is told that the boy is visiting a neighbor and she starts walking there. On the way she bumps into a teenager; the teenager apologizes and she resumes walking. But then another person on the street says, “Don’t you recognize your son? Well. How can you? You have been away all this time”. Hearing that, she says, “Oh, is that my son?” and immediately runs back and hugs him.

- She clearly saw the boy when he bumped into her and apologized. But at that time, he was just a teenager to her. That “seeing” event involved “phassa“.
- But when someone pointed out that it was her son, the whole perception of the boy took a huge leap in an instant. Now she looks at the same boy with the whole new set of “mental baggage”. Now it is not just a teenager, but her son; there is attachment involved. Now when she looks at him it is “samphassa” that is involved.

11. Now we can also see how “samphassa” lead to vēdanā or feelings.

- She had neutral thoughts (may be even some annoyance) when the boy bumped into her apologized. But when she learned that it was her son, her feelings turned instantly to joy.
- To take a bit more further, if that teenager then got hit by car after several minutes, that joy would turn instantly to sorrow.
- All these different types of "vēdanā" arise based on the type and level of "attachment" to a given object, in this case the boy.

whynotme
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by whynotme » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:45 pm

Lal wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:46 am
For those of you who are trying to figure out the truth, let us try to settle this issue about antarabhava and gandhabba once and for all, so that there would not be any doubts left. The only way to do that is two fold: (1) Try to find anything in the Tipitaka that would contradict my explanation, (2) Confirmation of of the concept with references in the Tipitaka, some of which I provided in the above post.
- It is critical to settle this issue, since not believing in gandhabba or the paraloka is one of the ten types of micca ditthi. One will never be able to understand the concepts of anicca, dukkha, anatta (and thus get to any magga phala) if one has those micca ditthi or wrong views.
- Please re-read what is meant by "antarabhava": Of course there is no "antarabhava state" since two adjacent "bhava" are connected within a split second during the cuit-patisandhi moment of grasping a "new bhava". If one gets a "human bhava", one can be born (jati) many times during that human bhava. But in between two adjacent births with a human body, one is in the gandhabba state (just with the "mental body") waiting for a suitable womb. Once a suitable womb becomes available, gandhabba will be pulled into that womb, as explained in the suttas in the above post.
This is hardly a convincing argument. You said we must find a contradiction in Tipitaka, but that is not enough.

For example, if I say there is a flying spaghetti dish around the Saturn. With current technology, of course we can not detect such a small object at that distance. There is no contradiction in the science, in the Tipitaka about its existence. But hardly you can convince anyone about a spaghetti dish flying around a planet.

You use a very similar method as the Mahayana did, find something that is mentioned in the Tipitaka, and describe it differently for your purpose. I did not say the gandhabba is not mentioned in the Tipitaka, e.g. as it mentioned that for a life, it needs the egg must be fertile and there is gandhabba, that is all about it in the sutta.

But you mentioned many things like how gandhabba works, how gandhabba changes its shape, how gandhabba controls physical body... All these information is not mentioned the Tipitaka, then you said all your information is based on Tipitaka, but it is clueless.

The Mahayana did the same thing. They take the name of the Buddha and then tell the stories that never happened. Yes, the name they call, the Buddha, the arahant... are mentioned in the Tipitaka, but they are different.

After all, you did not reveal how you came to such information, e.g. how gandhabba changes its shape, how it controls physical body... These information is not from Tipitaka. Maybe it is from Mara the lord of illusion?

I know of such strategy to spread false information. Reveal some high value information, then mix it with false information. Then you can get blind followers easily, isnt it? While I highly appreciated your information, I did not appreciated the way you handle the information. No source, no verification.. What are you trying to do?
Please stop following me

Lal
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:51 am

Pali is a phonetic language. It does not have its own alphabet. Tipitaka was originally written down in Pali with the Sinhala alphabet.

Rather than trying to find roots in Sanskrit, the following describes some ways to find the roots.

As I explained with evidence from the Tipitaka, the Buddha prohibited the use of Sanskrit words, or even to translate the Tipitaka to Sanskrit. That is because despite some similarities, Sanskrit many words were composed to sound more “impressive”, without paying attention to embedded meanings. For example, Pratītyasamutpāda is the Sanskrit term for Paticca Samuppāda. Pratītyasamutpāda sounds impressive but the meaning is not clear at all; on the other hand, it is clear in pati + icca leading to sama + uppāda, as I have explained earlier.

Combination of Words (Sandhi) in Pali with Key Roots

Pali verses are composed for ease of oral transmission. So, in many cases, root words are hidden in verses.

For example, we already discussed the verse: “Yampiccam nalabhati tampi dukkham” and that "yampicchaṃ" = yam pi iccham or "whatever is craved".

Pali words are combined in ways to rhyme better. By finding key root-words embedded in such “combined words”, one can easily figure out the meaning.

“yadaniccam tam dukkham, yam dukkham tadanattā” ("yad aniccam tam dukkham, yam dukkham tad anattā"), meaning “anicca nature leads to dukkha, dukkha nature leads to anatta nature”.

Naidham = na idham or “not the case”
ayamantimā jāti = ayam +antima + jāti, my last birth
nūppajjati = na + uppajjati; will not arise
Cittappasāda = citta + pasāda; note the two p’s in the combined word that allow it to rhyme better.
Similarly in: Rupa khandha = rupakkhandha
aveccappasāda = ava icca pasāda or faith that leads to overcoming tanha (attachment)
Buddha = bhava + uddha; one who figured out how to stop existences (bhava) from arising.
Bhavanga = bhava + anga; intrinsic aspect of bhava
Sakkāya = sath + kaya; good collections usually referring to the five aggregates. Sakkaya ditthi is the view that the five aggregates are worthy to be craved for.
Anāpāna = āna + āpāna; “taking in” and “putting out”.
Note the pronunciation of the following words sort of backwards to rhyme better:
Anāgāmi = na āgāmi; not coming back (in reference to not to come back to kama loka for a person who has attained the Anāgāmi stage of Nibbana
Anatimāna = na + atimāna; atimāna is “high-mindedness” and anatimāna is opposite or “humble”

The key word “san” is embedded in numerous Pali words. Sometimes it is hard to see, because of the “Pali sandhi rules” that combine words to rhyme better (easier in a natural way).

Examples of Pali words where “m” sound comes with joining “san” with other words:

Sammā = san + mā, where ma means removal: “mā mē bāla samāgamō” means , “May I be free of association with foolish people”.
Samphassa = san +phassa; contact with “san” or one’s defilements, which we discussed in the previous post.
Sambhava = san + bhava: existence due to “san” or defilements.
Samsāra: san + sāra, where sāra means “good”: thus one trapped in the samsara because one perceives “san” to be good.
Sampajāna: san + pajāna: to be able to sort out “san” or defilements.
Sampaññō = san + paññō : one who has attained wisdom (pañña) to see ‘san”.
Samuccēda = san + ucceda, where ucceda means to “remove with the roots”. Thus to get rid of defilements permanently in “samuccēda pahāna”.
Samyutta = san +yutta or explantions of “san” in Samyutta Nikaya.
Patisambhidā comes from pati + san + bidhā. Pati is to bind, bidhā means to separate out. One needs to have Patisambhidā Ñāna in order to really explain Tipitaka suttas.

Examples of Pali words which naturally keep the “n” sound with "san"

Sankhāra = san + khāra; defiled actions
Sancetana = san +cetana; defiled intentions
Sangha – san + gha; those who have removed defilements
Sangati = san + gati; both are key Pali words. Sangati means “defiled character”.
Sanditthika + san + ditthi: Dhamma is Sanditthika because it allows one to see “san” or defilements.
Samvara = san + vara; behavior that leads getting rid of defilements
Sankata = san + kata; produced via defiled actions or sankhāra

These are only a few examples.

Lal
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:36 pm

I will start on a different topic today, and will come back to the concept of "san" in future posts. It is important to discuss pāpa kamma or "highly immoral deeds" first. Without getting a clear understanding of pāpa kamma, it is not possible to see the importance of "san", and the related key words like "samasāra", "sankhāra", and "sammā".

Lōbha, Dōsa, Mōha versus Rāga, Patigha, Avijjā

There are various names for greed in Pāli. Each has a different meaning and the differences are significant.

1. Let us look at the two terms “lōbha” and “rāga” first.

- lōbha is the more stronger term of the two. In a deep sense, lōbha (“lo” + “bha” where “lo” is for the lōka or world and “bha” is for “bihiveema” (arise or establish) is the main reason how the material world is created and sustained with greed.

- lōbha is the extreme form of greed, what is called a “pāpa kamma” (see, “Kusala and Akusala Kamma, Punna and Pāpa Kamma“), that makes one destined to the apāyas. When someone has lōbha, it is exhibited in two ways:

- one wishes that all the “riches” should come to oneself and not to others (one may be already “rich”, but wants more for oneself).
one is not willingly to share some of the “excess” one has with others, and does not share with even the family.
- It is hard to quantify these, but the idea is that “lōbha” is manifestation of the overbearing attachment one has to worldly things.

2. It must be noted that lōbha is one of 52 cētasika (mental factors). It is reduced in stages: kāmaccanda or “blinded by craving for sense pleasures” (“kāma” or sense pleasures + “icca” or liking + “anda” or blinded) removed at the Sōtapanna stage, kāma rāga removed at the Anāgami stage, and rūpa rāga and arūpa rāga removed only at the Arahant stage.

- Kāmaccanda is pronounced “kāmachchanda”.

3. Rāga (“rā” means cravings, “ga” means to touch or bind) means one believes there is pleasures to be had in staying in sansāra (rebirth process), and thus one likes to stay around and enjoy the worldly pleasures.

- When one is born rich (or acquires wealth), and enjoys life with sense pleasures, that is not lōbha, that is just rāga. Such a person is not doing harm to the others; but such a person COULD have lōbha too. It is said that no matter how much one has, one wants more.
- When one has lōbha, one could do things highly immoral acts (even if one is rich). If one is willing to kill, steal, lie, etc. to gain something one desires, then that is when one could acquire “apāyagami” kamma. One does not necessarily has to carry out these acts or speech; just thinking about it and making abhisankhāra (planning or even enjoying such thoughts) itself is lōbha. Thus even the poorest person can have lōbha.
- Even the dēvas in dēva loka have rāga; they like to enjoy sense pleasures, but they don’t crave for what others have; they do not have lōbha.

4. Then there is kāmaccanda and kāma rāga, another set of decreasing levels (in that order) of attachment to kāma loka. Kāma means attachment to the sense pleasure available in the kāma loka, i.e., those available for the gratification of the five senses.

- kāmaccanda is the highest level of that attachment. Here one is willing to do abhorrent acts (killing, raping, etc) to satisfy one’s desires.
When one has developed kāma to the kāmaccanda level, one becomes unaware of the bad consequences of one’s actions. kāmaccanda comes from kāma + icca + andha, or “being blinded by sense attractions”.
- It is said that “one loses one’s mind” when blinded by attachment to sense pleasures, i.e., one cannot think rationally when one has kāmaccanda.
Thus, one needs to be mindful not to let one’s kāma rāga develop into kāmaccanda, which is one of the five hindrances that “cover the mind”.

5. When one has kāma rāga, one likes to enjoy sense pleasures, but not at the expense of others. Thus when husband and wife engage in sexual activity, that is due to kāma rāga.

- Inappropriate sexual activity (affairs outside marriage and rape) are done with kāmaccanda, i.e., when one becomes blind with kāma.

6. Dosa (or dvesha) is the hate that arises due to lōbha (dvesha comes from “devana” + “vesha” — දෙවන වේශය — or second manifestation of lōbha), especially when someone else is in the way of getting what one wants.

7. And acts with lōbha and dōsa are done with mōha. Mōha comes from “muva” + “hā” which symbolizes a vessel with it mouth closed; thus one cannot see what is inside. In the same way, one acts with mōha because one is totally unaware that such immoral acts will have very bad consequences; one’s mind is totally dark.

- In the panca nivarana (five hindrances), lōbha and dōsa are listed as abhijjā and vyāpāda; those are synonymous terms for lōbha and dōsa; see, “Key to Calming the Mind – The Five Hindrances“.

8. Acts done with lōbha, dōsa, and mōha are called pāpa kamma, strong versions of akusala kamma. Such pāpa kamma make one eligible to be born in the lower four worlds.

- Specifically, acts done with dōsa are the worst with niraya (hell) as the possible destination, and lōbha is cause for rebirth in the preta (peta) lōka of hungry ghosts. Acts done with both lōbha and dōsa have all three “san” (since mōha is always there), and thus lead to rebirth in the animal or “thirisan” (“thiri”+”san” or all three “san”) realm.
- As one engages in moral actions and gets rid of one’s tendency (“gati”) to do immoral actions, one starts “cooling down” and one’s likelihood of being born in the lower four realms diminish.

Trekmentor
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Trekmentor » Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:42 pm

Lal wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:36 pm
I will start on a different topic today, and will come back to the concept of "san" in future posts.
Concept of "san"? Is that Buddhism?
"Micchādiṭṭhiṃ micchādiṭṭhīti pajānāti. Sammādiṭṭhiṃ sammādiṭṭhīti pajānāti. Sāssa hoti sammādiṭṭhi."

imPure Dhamma - A Lunatic's Quest to Ruin Buddha's True Teachings

Lal
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Lal » Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:45 pm

Concept of "san"? Is that Buddhism?
Of course. It helps clarify many concepts as well as many key words like sankhara, samsara, etc that I discussed above. People have been discussing these key words for many years at this forum and elsewhere without making much progress.

Each person can decide for oneself if these concepts -- that have been hidden for many centuries -- are correct or not.

I have given explanations above. If anyone can point to any inconsistencies with the Tipitaka we can discuss.

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Coëmgenu
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Re: The teachings of Ven. Waharaka Abhayaratanalankara Thero

Post by Coëmgenu » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:28 pm

Trekmentor wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:42 pm
Lal wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:36 pm
I will start on a different topic today, and will come back to the concept of "san" in future posts.
Concept of "san"? Is that Buddhism?
On the subject of "san" in the dispensation of the website PureDhamma, Ven Dhammanando has already dealt with this serious misconception:
Dhammanando wrote:
Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:18 pm
I propose to take a close look at just one randomly selected page from the Pure Dhamma website. (Actually I started out by randomly selecting *three* pages, intending to comment on all of them, but there were so many mistakes on just the first one that I've decided to call it a day).

The page in question purports to be about the meaning of the saṃ part of the word saṃsāra and is found in a section of the website ominously entitled “Key Dhamma Concepts that have Been Hidden”. :spy:

The article opens with the exciting revelation of a Pali term whose meaning has allegedly been "hidden for thousands of years" but has now been rediscovered.
:woohoo:
Pure Dhamma wrote:1. A key word, the meaning of which has been hidden for thousands of years, is “san” (pronounced like son).
Sad to say, saṃ is actually one of the most common prefixes in Pali and Sanskrit, as well as in many modern Indian languages. There is no mystery to the word at all. Functionally it’s simply the Indic equivalent of the Latin “com-”. Its range of meanings in both Pali and Sanskrit is well-known and well-documented and at no time has its meaning been “hidden”.

However, by asserting that the meaning of some key Pali term has been hidden or lost or misunderstood by lesser mortals, messianic revisionist Theravadins grant themselves the luxury of assigning whatever new meaning they like to it...
Pure Dhamma wrote:“San’ is basically the term for “good and bad things we acquire” while we exist anywhere in the 31 realms; see, “The Grand Unified Theory of Dhamma“.
Not according to the texts, which consistently explain saṃ in the noun saṃsāra and in the verb saṃsarati as being a term used in the sense of abbocchinnaṃ, an adverb meaning ‘continuously’ or ‘without interruption’. For example:
  • Khandhānañ’ ca paṭipāṭi, dhātu-āyatanāna ca,
    Abbocchinnaṃ vattamānā, saṃsāro’ ti pavuccatī ti.


    The process of the aggregates, elements and bases,
    Proceeding without interruption is called ‘saṃsāra’.
    (DA. ii. 496)
Pure Dhamma wrote:2. There is also a reason for calling what we “pile up” as “san“. In Pali and Sinhala, the word for numbers is “sankhyä“, and sankhyä = “san” + “khyä“, meaning (add &multiply) + (subtract & divide), i.e., sankhya is what is used for addition, multiplication, subtraction, and division. From this, “san” gives the idea of “piling up” (addition and multiplication); “khyä” gives the idea of “removal” (subtraction and division).

Therefore “san” is used to indicate things we do in the sansaric journey; see below for examples.
It’s correct that the saṃ- in saṃsāra and the saṅ- in saṅkhyā are one and the same verbal prefix. But from their sharing of the same prefix it doesn’t follow that the meaning of saṃsāra can be derived from the meaning of saṅkhyā.

We wouldn’t say, for example, that the meaning of ‘transport’ can be inferred from the meaning of ‘transgender’, or that the meaning of ‘confetti’ can shed light on the meaning of ‘community’ just because the two items in each pair happen to share the same Latin prefixes.

Pure Dhamma wrote:“Khyä” or “Khaya” is used to indicate removal. Nibbana is attained via removal of defilements (raga, dosa, moha), and thus Nibbana is “ragakkhaya“, “dosakkhaya“, and “mohakkhaya“.
Etymologically there is no connection between the -khyā in saṅkhyā and the khaya in rāgakkhaya. One is derived from the verb saṅkhāyati (to count or calculate) and the other from the verb khayati (to wither). The disparateness of the two can be seen even more starkly in Sanskrit, where their respective cognates are saṅkhāyati and kṣinoti.

Like ‘dick’ and ‘dyke’ or ‘blob’ and ‘bulb’, khaya and khyā are unrelated words that just happen to share two consonants.
Pure Dhamma wrote:Just by knowing this, it is possible to understand the roots of many common words, such as sankhara, sansara, sanna, samma, etc. Let us analyze some of these words.
The writer seems to be confusing roots (dhātu) and prefixes (upasagga). Saṅkhāra, saṃsāra, and saññā all share the prefix saṃ. But their roots — and it is these, not the prefixes that are the primary source of a Pali word’s meaning — are √khar (= Skt. kṛ), √sar (= sṛ), and √ñā (= jñā) respectively.

As for sammā, this is an indeclinable particle (nipāta) and as such has no verbal root and no relationship whatever with the three nouns.
Pure Dhamma wrote:4. Another important term “samma” which comes from “san” + “mä“, which means “to become free of san“. For example:

“Mä hoti jati, jati“, means “may I be free of repeated birth”.
The word is a prohibitive particle (“Don’t!” Let it not!”). It’s also an indeclinable, which means it’s neither reducible nor modifiable nor combinable with other words. Indeclinables are to Pali philology what inert gases are to chemistry. As such it has no more to do with the sound in sammā than it does with the sound in Māra or marble or marzipan or Margate or Marlene Dietrich. It just happens to sound the same.
Pure Dhamma wrote:5. Knowing the correct meaning of such terms, leads to clear understanding of many terms:
Indeed. And like so many things in this world, the correct meaning is not arrived at merely by wishing it were so.
Pure Dhamma wrote:Sansära (or samsara) = san + sära (meaning fruitful) = perception that “san” are good, fruitful. Thus one continues in the long rebirth process with the wrong perception that it is fruitful.
The sāra in saṃsāra doesn’t mean fruitful. In the Suttas the Buddha connects the noun saṃsāra with the verb saṃsarati. This verb’s primary meaning is to repeatedly come (or go) somewhere or to wander or move about continuously. From this we get the secondary meaning, to transmigrate.
Pure Dhamma wrote:Sammä = san + mä (meaning eliminate) = eliminate or route out “san”. Thus Samma Ditthi is routing out the wrong views that keeps one bound to sansara.
No, this is both etymologically wrong and factually wrong as to what sammādiṭṭhi is. What the writer is describing is diṭṭhujukamma, the action of straightening of one’s views. If one is successful at this then sammādiṭṭhi is the result.
Pure Dhamma wrote:Sandittiko = san + ditthi (meaning vision) = ability to see “san”; one becomes sanditthiko at the Sotapanna stage. Most texts define sandittiko with inconsistent words like, self-evident, immediately apparent, visible here and now, etc.
There are two traditional etymologies for sandiṭṭhiko, one of which gives rise to the translation “to be seen by oneself” and the other to translations like “self-evident”. But regardless of which of these one prefers, the term is one of the special qualities of the Dhamma, not of any person. And so to speak of somebody “becoming” sandiṭṭhiko at the sotāpanna stage is nonsensical.
Pure Dhamma wrote:6. A nice example to illustrate the significance of “san”, is to examine the verse that Ven. Assaji delivered to Upatissa (the lay name of Ven. Sariputta, who was a chief disciple of the Buddha):

“Ye dhamma hetu pabbava, te san hetun Thathagatho aha, Te san ca yo nirodho, evan vadi maha Samano”

Te = three, hetu = cause, nirodha = nir+uda = stop from arising

The translation is now crystal clear:

“All dhamma (in this world) arise due to causes arising from the three “san”s: raga, dosa, moha. The Buddha has shown how to eliminate those “san”s and thus stop dhamma from arising”
This part is the clearest evidence so far that the author is attempting to explain points of Pali without having learned anything of the language at all. The word tesaṃ is simply the demonstrative pronoun te (‘this’, ‘that’) in the genitive plural case. It means “of these”, “of those”. The saṃ part is an inflectional ending (vibhatti). It has absolutely nothing to do with the prefix saṃ in saṃsāra.
Pure Dhamma wrote:7. [...]

Each Pali word is packed with lot of information, and thus commentaries were written to expound the meaning of important Pali words.

A good example is the key Pali word “anicca“. In Sanskrit it is “anitya“, and this is what normally translated to English as “impermanence”. But the actual meaning of anicca is very clear in Sinhala: The Pali word “icca” (pronounced “ichcha”) is the same in Sinhala, with the idea of “this is what I like”. Thus anicca has the meaning “cannot keep it the way I like”.
The nicca in anicca has nothing to do with the adjective iccha (wishing) or the noun icchā (a wish) or the verb icchati (to wish).

The colloquial Sinhala pronunciation of it is actually a mispronunciation when judged by the phonetic descriptions in the ancient Pali grammars. When Sri Lankans pronounce Pali words their commonest mistake is to make aspirated consonants into non-aspirates and non-aspirated consonants into aspirates. This can be seen in the unorthodox romanization system used at the Pure Dhamma site:

gathi instead of gati
hethu-pala instead of hetu-phala.
micca-ditthi instead of micchā-diṭṭhi
satipattana instead of satipaṭṭhāna
Etc., etc.

By contrast, this is the international standard used by indologists for over a century:
  • ක ඛ ග ඝ ඞ
    ka, kha, ga, gha, ṅa

    ච ඡ ජ ඣ ඤ
    ca, cha, ja, jha, ña

    ට ඨ ඩ ඪ ණ
    ṭa, ṭha, ḍa, ḍha, ṇa

    ත ථ ද ධ න
    ta, tha, da, dha, na

    ප ඵ බ භ ම
    pa, pha, ba, bha, ma

    ය ර ල ව ස හ ළ ං
    ya, ra, la, va, sa, ha, ḷa, ṃ

Conclusion

The Pure Dhamma website offers a variety of revisionist readings of the Pali Suttas based upon the site-owner’s (or his guru’s) claimed re-discovery of supposed hidden meanings of key Pali terms.
These proposed hidden meanings, when not presented merely as bald assertions, are defended by resort to Pali philological analysis.
But since the site-owner is demonstrably incompetent in both Indic philology in general and Pali in particular his arguments are undeserving of credence. Rather than leading to the true understanding of the Dhamma via the revelation of higher (but long-concealed) meanings, they lead only to baloney.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः

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