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Abhidhamma Series, no 2. Paramattha dhamma and pa~n~natti.

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  • Nina van Gorkom
    Dear friends, Paramattha dhamma and pa~n~natti. Through the Buddhist teachings we learn that what we take for “self”, for “our mind” and for “our
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 15, 2010
      Dear friends,
      Paramattha dhamma and pa~n~natti.

      Through the Buddhist teachings we learn that what we take for �self�,
      for �our mind� and for �our body�, consists of changing phenomena.
      That part of the Buddhist teachings which is the �Abhidhamma�
      enumerates and classifies all phenomena of our life: mental phenomena
      or n�ma and physical phenomena or r�pa. Seeing is n�ma, it
      experiences visible object through the eye-door. Visible object or
      colour is r�pa, it does not experience anything. The eyesense, that
      functions as the eye-door through which visible object is
      experienced, is also r�pa. The r�pas that are sense objects, namely,
      visible object, sound, smell, flavour and tangible object, and also
      the r�pas that are the sense organs of eyes, ears, nose, tongue and
      bodysense, are conditions for the n�mas to experience objects. N�ma
      and r�pa are interrelated.

      N�ma and r�pa are ultimate realities. We should know the difference
      between ultimate truth ultimate truth, paramattha sacca, and
      conventional truth, sammuttisacca.
      Ultimate truth is not abstract. Ultimate realities, in P�li:
      paramattha dhammas, have each their own characteristic which cannot
      be changed. We may change the name, but the characteristic remains
      the same. Seeing is an ultimate reality, it experiences visible
      object which appears through the eyes; it is real for everyone, it
      has its own unalterable characteristic. Anger has its own
      characteristic, it is real for everyone, no matter how we name it.
      Ultimate realities can be directly experienced when they appear
      through eyes, ears, nose, tongue, bodysense or mind. They arise
      because of their appropriate conditions.
      Conventional truth is the world of concepts such as person, tree or
      animal. Before we learnt about Buddhism, conventional truth, the
      world of concepts, was the only truth we knew. It is useful to
      examine the meaning of concept, in P�li: pa��atti. The word concept
      can stand for the name or term that conveys an idea and it can also
      stand for the idea itself conveyed by a term. Thus, the name �tree�
      is a concept, and also the idea we form up of �tree� is a concept. We
      can think of concepts, but they are not realities that can be
      directly experienced, without having to name them.


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