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Re: [dsg] The White Radiant Mind

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  • Sarah
    Dear Mike, Ken O (and others folowing the luminous thread ), Just got back to Hong Kong...haven t unpacked or done any home chores, so I shouldn t be
    Message 1 of 88 , Jan 1, 2002
      Dear Mike, Ken O (and others folowing the 'luminous' thread'),

      Just got back to Hong Kong...haven't unpacked or done any home chores, so
      I shouldn't be posting, but can't resist adding a note;-)
      As usual, Ken O, I'm impressed by your keen and pertinent questions. Mike,
      all the discussions together over the weekend were really great .

      Just to add a note to Mike's post and useful comments as we discussed this
      topic with K.Sujin, K.Supee, Jaran and others at the weekend:

      1) Pabhassara.m (luminous) seems to refer to bhavanga cittas only in some
      contexts such as the sutta under discussion (AN 1,9 com):

      "Luminous is clear, pure (pabhassara.m). Citta is the life-continuum

      2) In other contexts it refers to all kusala cittas as well as bhavanga
      cittas as you suggest :

      (AN 5,23com - Upakilesa Sutta (PTS trans: The Debasements):

      "Cittas that are defiled are not luminous (pabhassara.m). (Here) the
      cittas free from upakilesa refers to the kusala cittas in the 4 planes.."

      It doesn’t seem to refer to other vipaka cittas besides bhavanga cittas in
      any contexts so far (but you or Num may do a search on this)

      3) Pandaram (purity) usually refers to all cittas and is another synonym
      for citta. We also looked at references in which it also refers to akusala
      cittas, but I can’t find my note or the Thai com notes (which Jon and
      Jaran translated for me on this). I understand the reason that all cittas
      are considered ‘pandaram’ is because they ‘spring’ from the bhavanga
      cittas....(It’s a little confusing because in both English and Thai
      ‘luminous’, ‘pure’ and the other translations sound very similar. In Pali,
      (I’m told) the meaning is quite different.)

      4) Pandaram sometimes refers to bhavanga cittas and kusala citta only:
      In the Atthasalini reference given several times (Atth, 140,)where it says
      “cittas are pandara meaning pure. pandara refers to bhavanga cittas.....”,
      we found there was an extra line in the Thai translation not included in
      the PTS translation and this follows the Pali:

      “ ‘O Monks, cittas are pure, but they become tainted with upakilesa that
      come in, thus.’ Kusala cittas are pandara since they come from cittas
      (i.e. bhavanga cittas) like the Ganges river flows from the (source of)
      the Ganges river and the Godhaavarii river flows from the Godhaavarii
      river.” (Jaran’s transl.)

      This is a brief summary of what I understand. I may come across other
      notes in my bag or Jaran may add more.

      We raised the qustion of ‘why bother to find out anything about bhavanga
      cittas when they are not being experienced anyway, unlike attachment,
      aversion and so on. K.Sujin’s response was to the effect that if we don’t
      study the details or find out what kind of cittas arise in between the
      sense and mind processes, it will be taken for ‘self’. If there weren’t
      bhavanga cittas in between, there couldn’t be switching from eye-door to
      ear-door, for example. It may be (i.e. it is!) that bhavanga cittas are
      not as apparent or as easily observable as some other realities, but they
      can be known if there is right intellectual understanding first. It just
      depend on conditions and accumulations.

      One last point, Ken O, we are accepting what the commentary says about
      bhavanga cittas bcause a) we accept all the ancient commentaries and b) it
      makes sense to us. Also the reference to javana cittas makes sense because
      there cannot be ‘mind development’ of the bhavanga cittas, but there is
      ‘mind development’ when kusala cittas arise in the javana process as

      Finally, Suan, many thanks for your very helpful translations and notes
      which I look forward to studying when I have a chance. I don’t have your
      post in front of me now which is why I haven’t referred to your
      translations. This is a really good and enjoyable team-work exercise I
      think. We even had the Pali experts at the Foundation pulling out
      Texts.and commentaries;-) If you have any comments on my notes above or
      anything to add, that’ll also be most helpful. We’re very fortunate to
      have some Pali expertise on list.

      Must start on some of those ‘return home chores’ <sigh>

      We really had a super weekend seeing old friends (several from dsg) and
      meeting new ones like Mike and Christine (a real treat to spend ‘live’
      time with them) and we had action-packed discussions with K.Sujin.
      Hopefully, we’ll add to other threads in due course.


      ....and yes, Erik and his delightful and very sweet new bride joined us
      for the last discussion and the Satipatthana Sutta (“not the Samadhi
      Sutta”) was discussed at length.

      --- Kenneth Ong <ashkenn@...> wrote: > Hi Mike and (Suan),
      > > My guess is, no. This gets complicated--the words we've been using
      > for
      > > both 'luminous' and 'pure' (sorry--I don't have the Pali handy) have
      > > different meanings in different contexts. For example, in some
      > contexts
      > > all cittas are considered pure, and are only defiled by the cetasikas
      > > arising with them (as I understand it). This makes the most sense to
      > me, as a general rule. 'Luminous' seems much more specific but, if I
      > recall rightly, is always referred to thus because of its having come
      > from bhavanga (the simile is that of a river and its tributaries).
      > Don't
      > know enough about all this to give you a really informed answer,
      > though--sorry.
      > k: that is interesting all cittas are considered pure in some contexts.
      > More evidence please.
      > >
      > > > k: Is that any commentaries that says that the nature of kusala
      > > cittas > are also luminous.
      > >
      > > If I remember rightly from what we've read, no--pure, yes-- luminous,
      > > no. Corrections welcomed...
      > k: If then, kusala cittas should be luminious since Bhavanga cittas are
      > vipaka kusala cittas in the context of humans. We could not at one hand
      > said that it is luminous for vipaka kusala citta (bhavanga cittas) and
      > than not for kusala citta. It sound contridictory. But I would like more
      > commentary evidence on luminious portion of kusala cittas be it vipaka
      > or
      > not (for anyone in the list). Then another point, why shouldn't
      > luminious
      > mind be kusala cittas rather than bhavanga cittas and it still sounds
      > correct in the sutta.

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    • Robert Epstein
      ... Anders, I don t know if you re still around here, but that is a good distinction. Thanks. Robert Ep. __________________________________________________ Do
      Message 88 of 88 , Feb 14, 2002
        --- anders_honore <anders.honore@...> wrote:
        > --- In dhammastudygroup@y..., Robert Epstein <epsteinrob@Y...> wrote:
        > >
        > > --- anders_honore <anders.honore@g...> wrote:
        > >
        > > > I am not saying to avoid it. Indeed, I will say that such a
        > > > perception is extremely skilful. But it is perception
        > nonetheless,
        > > > and thus only 'partial emptiness'.
        > >
        > > Well, Anders, we're pretty close on this. But still have a
        > familiar problem with
        > > eliminating samsara in order to have a pure experience of
        > emptiness, nibbana, or
        > > other enlightened qualities. If you say that emptiness is 'full'
        > or 'partial'
        > > depending on whether phenomena arise or not,
        > I am not talking about the seeing of emptiness in dependence on the
        > absence of phenomena or not, but in dependence on the absence of
        > ignorance.

        I don't know if you're still around here, but that is a good distinction. Thanks.

        Robert Ep.

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