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Re: [dsg] Re: The Problem Of The Greater Mind

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  • upasaka@aol.com
    Hi, Sarah (and all) - A bit more about nibbana. I found a (possibly) interesting item at the web site http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/panadi10.htm, where
    Message 1 of 17 , Sep 2, 2002
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      Hi, Sarah (and all) -

      A bit more about nibbana. I found a (possibly) interesting item at the
      web site http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/panadi10.htm, where nibbana is
      described as an unmanifestive consciousness:

      **************************************************
      In the Theravada Canon there are references to assert that Nibbana is the
      consciousness liberated from all worldly objects and thoughts, as is stated
      in the Dighanikaya. "Nibbanam-Vinnanam anidassanam anantam sabbato pabbam" -
      Nibbana is the consciousness that has no sign perceptible to the senses and
      it is immeasurable, purest and a state wherein all the connection with
      elements cease, leaving no trace (assesam uparujjhati). (D.i. 223).
      ***************************************************

      Now, I have discovered that this is actually a (probably unfaithful)
      translation of what appears near the very end of the Kevatta Sutta of the D.
      Nikaya. The formulation given on ATI as well as in the Maurice Walshe "The
      Long Discourses of the Buddha" is the following:

      ****************************************************
      "'Your question should not be phrased in this way: Where do these four great
      elements -- the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, and
      the wind property -- cease without remainder? Instead, it should be phrased
      like this:
      > Where do water, earth, fire, & wind
      > have no footing?
      > Where are long & short,
      > coarse & fine,
      > fair & foul,
      > name & form
      > brought to an end?
      "'And the answer to that is:
      > Consciousness without feature,
      > without end,
      > luminous all around:
      > Here water, earth, fire, & wind
      > have no footing.
      > Here long & short
      > coarse & fine
      > fair & foul
      > name & form
      > are all brought to an end.
      > With the cessation of [the activity of] consciousness
      > each is here brought to an end.'"
      ***************************************************
      Note that, contrary to what the monk wrote (in my first reference),
      there is no mention here of nibbana. I *do* believe that it pertains to
      nibbana, as does, for example, Peter Harvey, who also does not indicate the
      word 'nibbana' as actually occurring. If the word 'nibbana' doesn't actually
      occur - and it seems that it does not - the monk could have asserted that he
      *understands* this to refer to nibbana, but he should *not* have just
      inserted the word. To just insert it is, well - you know! ;-)

      With metta,
      Howard

      /Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a bubble
      in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a
      phantom, and a dream./ (From the Diamond Sutra)




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Kom Tukovinit
      Dear Howard (and Larry), Thanks for the detailed posts. ... From: upasaka@aol.com Note that, contrary to what the monk wrote (in my first reference), there is
      Message 2 of 17 , Sep 2, 2002
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        Dear Howard (and Larry),

        Thanks for the detailed posts.

        -----Original Message-----
        From: upasaka@...
        Note that, contrary to what the monk wrote (in my first reference),
        there is no mention here of nibbana. I *do* believe that it pertains to
        nibbana, as does, for example, Peter Harvey, who also does not indicate the
        word 'nibbana' as actually occurring. If the word 'nibbana' doesn't actually
        occur - and it seems that it does not - the monk could have asserted that he
        *understands* this to refer to nibbana, but he should *not* have just
        inserted the word. To just insert it is, well - you know! ;-)

        I think this is a good reason to check references and commentaries. The commentaries sometimes have discussions of words in the sutta, often shedding light (or obfuscating, depending on how it is translated). I am not suggesting you believe everything the commentaries say, of course. But again, who does?

        kom
      • Sarah
        Hi Howard, ... .... Just reading from the latest extract from Perfections: “The term by rúpas (rúpesu) means: by the four great Elements and the derived
        Message 3 of 17 , Sep 3, 2002
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          Hi Howard,

          --- upasaka@... wrote: > Hi, Sarah -
          >> ------------------------------------------------------------
          > Howard:
          >...... Nyanatiloka writes "náma: (lit.
          > 'name'): 'mind', mentality."
          > If there is no cognitive aspect to nibbana, if it is not the
          > nondual
          > awareness of absence of objects and conditions, if it can be taken as
          > object
          > but is, itself, unknowing in addition to being unconditioned, then it
          > sounds
          > more like an "unconditioned rupa" than a nama.
          ....

          Just reading from the latest extract from Perfections:
          “The term by rúpas (rúpesu) means: by the four great Elements and the
          derived rúpas that are dependent on these”.

          Or from Atthasalini, “one having material qualities (ruupii) refers to the
          possession of material quality (ruupa.m)”.

          Maybe it’s easiest to just consider nibbana as nama by default or to say
          realities consist of cittas, cetasikas, rupas and nibbana if that helps.
          .....

          >Moreover, in this case,
          > *entry* to final nibbana sounds more like annihilation to me than
          > liberation
          > - it sounds like a final turning off of the light. Instead of being the
          > freeing of consciousness, the dropping off of all conditions, entry to
          > nibbana inaugurates the ultimate avijja (non-seeing). Let me ask you -
          > what
          > is it you would find lovely in that?
          > ------------------------------------------------------

          I don’t find this phrase very lovely and somewhat confusing. Anpupadi-sesa
          nibbana or parinibbana is nibbana with the cessation of the khandhas.

          “They who, by knowing this state uncompounded
          have heart’s release, by cutting off the stream,
          they who have reached the core of dhamma, glad
          To end, such have abandoned all becomings.” (Itivuttaka, ch 11).

          Of course it is not appealing to those of us with so much lobha
          accumulated. Only the arahats have eradicated all lobha for all becoming
          (bhava).

          > > -------------------------------------------------------
          > Howard:
          > But what is distinctive about namas?
          > -------------------------------------------------------
          I don’t think I can add much more to the quote from Atthasalini (discussed
          in more detail, PTS trans p500) without more research. There is also this
          one other short quote if it helps:

          “In the mind and matter group, the term ‘mind’ (naama) is applied to
          mental properties because ‘names’ once given to them are fixed, or because
          they bend (namanti) objects, or because as objects they bend the mind unto
          themselves. ‘Matter’ is that which changes its state or condition
          (according to heat or cold, etc).” (p.69)

          >> ---------------------------------------------------------
          > Howard:
          > The "levels of consiousness" are variations among the cittas,
          > particularly as regards their intensity and the kinds of cetasikas
          > associated, nothing more mysterious. Bhavanga cittas, for example, have
          > low
          > intensity, and are subliminal.
          > ----------------------------------------------------------
          I think ‘subliminal’ ‘subconscious’ are confusing terms to refer to
          bhavanga cittas as discussed before. I agree we could talk about the
          intensity of cetasikas - degrees of dosa, for example. I don’t think we
          could talk about seeing or bhavanga citta as being less intense because
          they are not accompanied by lobha or dosa though.

          One other point I’d like to pick up (read: butt in) from your post to
          Nina. She said “I better understand sound now, pleasant or unpleasant,
          hearing, aversion on account of it.” You replied that “this is theoretical
          understanding, understanding via the intellect. It is not the
          understanding that is freeing (though it *is* supportive of that
          understanding).”
          .....
          Of course, if we talk about these realities now, it is most probably just
          theoretical understanding. However, at the moments hearing or aversion or
          sound arise, there can be direct understanding of their characteristics
          without any thinking or theorizing. Panna that directly knows realities
          can arise anytime if there is clear comprehension. This understanding is
          ‘freeing’ for just that moment, but of course no kilesa (defilements) will
          be eradicated or 'freed' until panna is of the degree to realize nibbana
          with the sotapatti magga (at stage of sotapanna). It just depends on
          conditions at this moment what kind of understanding may arise.

          Hope I haven’t confused further;-)

          Sarah
          =====.

          _______________________________________________________________________
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        • Sarah
          Hi Howard, ...
          Message 4 of 17 , Sep 3, 2002
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            Hi Howard,

            --- upasaka@... wrote: > Hi, Sarah (and all) -
            >
            > A bit more about nibbana. I found a (possibly) interesting item
            > at the
            > web site http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/panadi10.htm, where nibbana
            > is
            > described as an unmanifestive consciousness:
            >
            > **************************************************
            > In the Theravada Canon there are references to assert that Nibbana is
            > the
            > consciousness liberated from all worldly objects and thoughts, as is
            > stated
            > in the Dighanikaya. "Nibbanam-Vinnanam anidassanam anantam sabbato
            > pabbam" -
            > Nibbana is the consciousness that has no sign perceptible to the senses
            > and
            > it is immeasurable, purest and a state wherein all the connection with
            > elements cease, leaving no trace (assesam uparujjhati). (D.i. 223).

            > ***************************************************
            <snip

            You may also find it useful to revisit the detailed discussions I had
            quite a long time back with Ken O and Rob Ep on the Udana passages and
            commentary passages - some saved under “Udana” in U.P.
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastudygroup/files/Useful_Posts

            I’ll quote from one here, where although nibbana is not mentioned
            specifically in the text, it is in the commentary notes and title:

            QUOTE from my earlier post
            =======================
            Udana VIII.1
            > "There is that dimension where there is neither earth, nor water, nor
            > fire, nor wind; neither dimension of the infinitude of space, nor
            > dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, nor dimension of
            > nothingness,
            ....................

            S: I may not have made it clear, that in the Masefield translation and Com
            notes which I’m using, base is used instead of dimension (as here) in

            ‘There is, monks,that base’ (tadayatanam)

            ********************

            (p.1012 Udana com):

            “...The Lord, having thus indicated, face to face, the existence, in its
            highest sense, of the unconditioned element, next says ‘Wherein there is
            neither earth, nor water’ and so on so as to indicate its own nature via
            an
            elimination of things that are the antithesis thereof.

            Just as nibbana is nowhere (to be found) amidst conditioned (sankhata)
            things,
            since it has as its own nature that which is antithetical to all
            formations
            (sankhara), so are all cvonditioned things (not to be found) therein
            either,
            for the collection of things conditioned and unconditioned is (a thing)
            not
            witnessed......there is neither the earth element whose characteristic is
            that
            of hardness, nor the water element whose characteristic is that of oozing,
            nor
            the fire element whose characteristic is that of heat, nor the wind
            element
            whose characteristic is that of distending......absence therein of the
            four
            great elements, the absence of all derived materiality....absence..of any
            becoming associated with (the world of) sense desires and (the world of)
            form.....Even though its own nature is one in which there is an absence of
            forms, there is next said, so as to indicate the absence within nibbana of
            any
            of the states belonging to becoming in the formless (sphere), ‘Nor that
            base
            consisting of endless space......nor that base consisting of neither
            perception
            nor non-perception’.”

            ********************

            In other words, as I understand ‘endless space.....non-perception’, these
            lines
            are referring to the arupa planes where there are already an absence of
            the
            elements and all rupas. They are referred to here to indicate that even
            so, all
            ‘states belonging’ to these planes (i.e. all conditioned realities) are
            also
            absent.
            END EARLIER POST (1)
            *****

            Howard, I also had some discussion with Anders this time last year on the
            use of vi~n~naana.m and thanks to Escribe’s search function, I just found
            this very easily:
            *****
            QUOTE earlier post (Both S and Sarah are me I think;-))

            > 'The intellect of Arahatship, the invisible, the endless,
            > accessible from every side[23]
            > 'Where is it that earth, water, fire, and wind,...’
            >
            <snip>>

            ************************************************
            S: With regard to the MN 49 (24-26) passage you quoted:

            Sarah: >> B.Bodhi translates the passage as:
            > > 'the consciousness that makes no showing,
            > > And in becoming about to disbecome,
            > > Not claiming being with respect to all:
            > > that is not partaken of by the earthness of earth etc
            Maj NIk, 49, The Invitation of a Brahma,24-26
            --------------------------------
            S: The word 'consciousness' is translated from 'vi~n~naa.na.m' to be
            understood
            as
            'cognizable' (vijaanitabba.m) and not consciousness according to the Pali
            com.
            as explained to me. As I mentioned, BB also added in his notes (513). ,

            Sarah: >>"MA takes
            > >the subject of the sentence to be Nibbana, called 'consciousness' in
            the
            > >sense that "it can be cognized" '.
            -----------------------------------
            S: Perhaps another translation of the first line could be:
            'Cognizable (vi~n~naa.na.m), invisible (anidassana.m), shinining in all
            directions (ananta.m sabbatopabha)'
            END EARLIER POST (2)
            *****

            The translation work here was Jim’s. Suan also wrote a useful post and
            translation along these lines but with far more detail (Suan, perhaps you
            can repost it or a link if you can find it easily....it didn’t show up on
            my search just now).

            Sarah
            ======


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          • upasaka@aol.com
            Hi, Sarah - Thanks for your kind reply. Most of it calls for no further comment from me. I ll just make a couple points. One of these is that I certainly do
            Message 5 of 17 , Sep 3, 2002
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              Hi, Sarah -

              Thanks for your kind reply. Most of it calls for no further comment
              from me. I'll just make a couple points.
              One of these is that I certainly do not claim that nibbana is a kind
              of rupa, but only that should it have no cognitive aspect whatsoever, then it
              would seem to have more in common with rupas than with cittas and cetasikas.
              Another comment is with respect to your statement "Maybe it’s easiest
              to just consider nibbana as nama by default or to say realities consist of
              cittas, cetasikas, rupas and nibbana if that helps." Making nibbana a
              category unto itself, with only cittas and cetasikas being nama has some
              virtue, but that's not the standard. The standard, evidentally, is to include
              nibbana in the category of nama. Now, given the detailed precision of
              Abhidhamma, talking nibbana as nama by *default* seems quite anomalous. All
              the other namas have cognitive aspect, and that cognitive aspect is what
              distinguishes them from rupa. It seems straightforward to me that it is for
              the same reason that nibbana is nama.

              With metta,
              Howard

              In a message dated 9/3/02 5:08:58 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
              sarahdhhk@... writes:


              > Hi Howard,
              >
              > --- upasaka@... wrote: > Hi, Sarah -
              > >> ------------------------------------------------------------
              > > Howard:
              > >...... Nyanatiloka writes "náma: (lit.
              > > 'name'): 'mind', mentality."
              > > If there is no cognitive aspect to nibbana, if it is not the
              > > nondual
              > > awareness of absence of objects and conditions, if it can be taken as
              > > object
              > > but is, itself, unknowing in addition to being unconditioned, then it
              > > sounds
              > > more like an "unconditioned rupa" than a nama.
              > ....
              >
              > Just reading from the latest extract from Perfections:
              > “The term by rúpas (rúpesu) means: by the four great Elements and the
              > derived rúpas that are dependent on these”.
              >
              > Or from Atthasalini, “one having material qualities (ruupii) refers to the
              > possession of material quality (ruupa.m)”.
              >
              > Maybe it’s easiest to just consider nibbana as nama by default or to say
              > realities consist of cittas, cetasikas, rupas and nibbana if that helps.
              > .....
              >
              > >Moreover, in this case,
              > > *entry* to final nibbana sounds more like annihilation to me than
              > > liberation
              > > - it sounds like a final turning off of the light. Instead of being the
              > > freeing of consciousness, the dropping off of all conditions, entry to
              > > nibbana inaugurates the ultimate avijja (non-seeing). Let me ask you -
              > > what
              > > is it you would find lovely in that?
              > > ------------------------------------------------------
              >
              > I don’t find this phrase very lovely and somewhat confusing. Anpupadi-sesa
              > nibbana or parinibbana is nibbana with the cessation of the khandhas.
              >
              > “They who, by knowing this state uncompounded
              > have heart’s release, by cutting off the stream,
              > they who have reached the core of dhamma, glad
              > To end, such have abandoned all becomings.” (Itivuttaka, ch 11).
              >
              > Of course it is not appealing to those of us with so much lobha
              > accumulated. Only the arahats have eradicated all lobha for all becoming
              > (bhava).
              >
              > > > -------------------------------------------------------
              > > Howard:
              > > But what is distinctive about namas?
              > > -------------------------------------------------------
              > I don’t think I can add much more to the quote from Atthasalini (discussed
              > in more detail, PTS trans p500) without more research. There is also this
              > one other short quote if it helps:
              >
              > “In the mind and matter group, the term ‘mind’ (naama) is applied to
              > mental properties because ‘names’ once given to them are fixed, or because
              > they bend (namanti) objects, or because as objects they bend the mind unto
              > themselves. ‘Matter’ is that which changes its state or condition
              > (according to heat or cold, etc).” (p.69)
              >
              > >> ---------------------------------------------------------
              > > Howard:
              > > The "levels of consiousness" are variations among the cittas,
              > > particularly as regards their intensity and the kinds of cetasikas
              > > associated, nothing more mysterious. Bhavanga cittas, for example, have
              > > low
              > > intensity, and are subliminal.
              > > ----------------------------------------------------------
              > I think ‘subliminal’ ‘subconscious’ are confusing terms to refer to
              > bhavanga cittas as discussed before. I agree we could talk about the
              > intensity of cetasikas - degrees of dosa, for example. I don’t think we
              > could talk about seeing or bhavanga citta as being less intense because
              > they are not accompanied by lobha or dosa though.
              >
              >
              > One other point I’d like to pick up (read: butt in) from your post to
              > Nina. She said “I better understand sound now, pleasant or unpleasant,
              > hearing, aversion on account of it.” You replied that “this is theoretical
              > understanding, understanding via the intellect. It is not the
              > understanding that is freeing (though it *is* supportive of that
              > understanding).”
              > .....
              > Of course, if we talk about these realities now, it is most probably just
              > theoretical understanding. However, at the moments hearing or aversion or
              > sound arise, there can be direct understanding of their characteristics
              > without any thinking or theorizing. Panna that directly knows realities
              > can arise anytime if there is clear comprehension. This understanding is
              > ‘freeing’ for just that moment, but of course no kilesa (defilements) will
              > be eradicated or 'freed' until panna is of the degree to realize nibbana
              > with the sotapatti magga (at stage of sotapanna). It just depends on
              > conditions at this moment what kind of understanding may arise.
              >
              > Hope I haven’t confused further;-)
              >
              > Sarah
              >


              /Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a bubble
              in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a
              phantom, and a dream./ (From the Diamond Sutra)




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • upasaka@aol.com
              Hi, Sarah - Thanks! With metta, Howard In a message dated 9/3/02 6:28:15 AM Eastern Daylight Time, ... /Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A
              Message 6 of 17 , Sep 3, 2002
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                Hi, Sarah -

                Thanks!

                With metta,
                Howard

                In a message dated 9/3/02 6:28:15 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
                sarahdhhk@... writes:


                >
                > Hi Howard,
                >
                > --- upasaka@... wrote: > Hi, Sarah (and all) -
                > >
                > > A bit more about nibbana. I found a (possibly) interesting item
                > > at the
                > > web site http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/panadi10.htm, where nibbana
                > > is
                > > described as an unmanifestive consciousness:
                > >
                > > **************************************************
                > > In the Theravada Canon there are references to assert that Nibbana is
                > > the
                > > consciousness liberated from all worldly objects and thoughts, as is
                > > stated
                > > in the Dighanikaya. "Nibbanam-Vinnanam anidassanam anantam sabbato
                > > pabbam" -
                > > Nibbana is the consciousness that has no sign perceptible to the senses
                > > and
                > > it is immeasurable, purest and a state wherein all the connection with
                > > elements cease, leaving no trace (assesam uparujjhati). (D.i. 223).
                >
                > > ***************************************************
                > <snip
                >
                > You may also find it useful to revisit the detailed discussions I had
                > quite a long time back with Ken O and Rob Ep on the Udana passages and
                > commentary passages - some saved under “Udana” in U.P.
                > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastudygroup/files/Useful_Posts
                >
                > I’ll quote from one here, where although nibbana is not mentioned
                > specifically in the text, it is in the commentary notes and title:
                >
                > QUOTE from my earlier post
                > =======================
                > Udana VIII.1
                > > "There is that dimension where there is neither earth, nor water, nor
                > > fire, nor wind; neither dimension of the infinitude of space, nor
                > > dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, nor dimension of
                > > nothingness,
                > ....................
                >
                > S: I may not have made it clear, that in the Masefield translation and Com
                > notes which I’m using, base is used instead of dimension (as here) in
                >
                > ‘There is, monks,that base’ (tadayatanam)
                >
                > ********************
                >
                > (p.1012 Udana com):
                >
                > “...The Lord, having thus indicated, face to face, the existence, in its
                > highest sense, of the unconditioned element, next says ‘Wherein there is
                > neither earth, nor water’ and so on so as to indicate its own nature via
                > an
                > elimination of things that are the antithesis thereof.
                >
                > Just as nibbana is nowhere (to be found) amidst conditioned (sankhata)
                > things,
                > since it has as its own nature that which is antithetical to all
                > formations
                > (sankhara), so are all cvonditioned things (not to be found) therein
                > either,
                > for the collection of things conditioned and unconditioned is (a thing)
                > not
                > witnessed......there is neither the earth element whose characteristic is
                > that
                > of hardness, nor the water element whose characteristic is that of oozing,
                > nor
                > the fire element whose characteristic is that of heat, nor the wind
                > element
                > whose characteristic is that of distending......absence therein of the
                > four
                > great elements, the absence of all derived materiality....absence..of any
                > becoming associated with (the world of) sense desires and (the world of)
                > form.....Even though its own nature is one in which there is an absence of
                > forms, there is next said, so as to indicate the absence within nibbana of
                > any
                > of the states belonging to becoming in the formless (sphere), ‘Nor that
                > base
                > consisting of endless space......nor that base consisting of neither
                > perception
                > nor non-perception’.”
                >
                > ********************
                >
                > In other words, as I understand ‘endless space.....non-perception’, these
                > lines
                > are referring to the arupa planes where there are already an absence of
                > the
                > elements and all rupas. They are referred to here to indicate that even
                > so, all
                > ‘states belonging’ to these planes (i.e. all conditioned realities) are
                > also
                > absent.
                > END EARLIER POST (1)
                > *****
                >
                > Howard, I also had some discussion with Anders this time last year on the
                > use of vi~n~naana.m and thanks to Escribe’s search function, I just found
                > this very easily:
                > *****
                > QUOTE earlier post (Both S and Sarah are me I think;-))
                >
                > > 'The intellect of Arahatship, the invisible, the endless,
                > > accessible from every side[23]
                > > 'Where is it that earth, water, fire, and wind,...’
                > >
                > <snip>>
                >
                > ************************************************
                > S: With regard to the MN 49 (24-26) passage you quoted:
                >
                > Sarah: >> B.Bodhi translates the passage as:
                > > > 'the consciousness that makes no showing,
                > > > And in becoming about to disbecome,
                > > > Not claiming being with respect to all:
                > > > that is not partaken of by the earthness of earth etc
                > Maj NIk, 49, The Invitation of a Brahma,24-26
                > --------------------------------
                > S: The word 'consciousness' is translated from 'vi~n~naa.na.m' to be
                > understood
                > as
                > 'cognizable' (vijaanitabba.m) and not consciousness according to the Pali
                > com.
                > as explained to me. As I mentioned, BB also added in his notes (513). ,
                >
                > Sarah: >>"MA takes
                > > >the subject of the sentence to be Nibbana, called 'consciousness' in
                > the
                > > >sense that "it can be cognized" '.
                > -----------------------------------
                > S: Perhaps another translation of the first line could be:
                > 'Cognizable (vi~n~naa.na.m), invisible (anidassana.m), shinining in all
                > directions (ananta.m sabbatopabha)'
                > END EARLIER POST (2)
                > *****
                >
                > The translation work here was Jim’s. Suan also wrote a useful post and
                > translation along these lines but with far more detail (Suan, perhaps you
                > can repost it or a link if you can find it easily....it didn’t show up on
                > my search just now).
                >
                > Sarah
                > ======
                >


                /Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a bubble
                in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a
                phantom, and a dream./ (From the Diamond Sutra)




                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Sarah
                Hi Howard, ... ..... I think that different classifications are standard. Different ways of considering the same realities are helpful for different people and
                Message 7 of 17 , Sep 5, 2002
                • 0 Attachment
                  Hi Howard,

                  --- upasaka@... wrote:

                  > Another comment is with respect to your statement "Maybe it's
                  > easiest
                  > to just consider nibbana as nama by default or to say realities consist
                  > of
                  > cittas, cetasikas, rupas and nibbana if that helps." Making nibbana a
                  > category unto itself, with only cittas and cetasikas being nama has some
                  >
                  > virtue, but that's not the standard.
                  .....
                  I think that different classifications are standard. Different ways of
                  considering the same realities are helpful for different people and for
                  all of us at different times.

                  For example, the following extract is taken from the latest chapter from
                  ADL. Here Nina is discussing different classifications of defilements”
                  *****
                  “Learning about the different ways of classifying defilements helps us to
                  see their different aspects. For instance, ditthi is classified under
                  the group of defilements known as the latent tendencies or proclivities
                  (anusayas) and it is also classified as one of the åsavas,
                  ``cankers´´ or ``influxes´´, which is another group of
                  defilements. Furthermore, defilements are classified as ways of clinging
                  (upådånas); as we have seen, three classes of ditthi are classified
                  under this group of defilements.
                  Defilements are also classified as ``bonds´´ (ganthas), as
                  ``hindrances´´ (nívaranas), and in several other ways. Each way of
                  classifying shows us a different aspect of defilements and thus we
                  understand better how deeply accumulated defilements are and how
                  difficult it is to eradicate them.” <end quote>
                  *****
                  Back to the ‘standard’ for paramattha dhammas I mentioned, let me quote an
                  extract from the end of the first chapter in ADL:
                  *****
                  “Summarizing the four paramattha dhammas, they are:

                  citta
                  cetasika  }     conditioned dhammas (sankhara dhamma)
                  rupa

                  nibbana        unconditioned dhamma (visankhara dhamma)

                  When we study Dhamma it is essential to know which paramattha dhamma such
                  or such reality is. If we do not know this we may be misled by
                  conventional terms. We should, for example know that what we call 'body'
                  are actually different rupa-paramattha dhammas, not citta or cetasika. We
                  should know that nibbana is not citta or cetasika, but the fourth
                  paramattha dhamma. Nibbana is the end of all conditioned realities. When
                  an arahat, passes away, there is no more rebirth for him.

                  All conditioned dhammas: citta, cetasika and rupa, are impermanent
                  (anicca). All conditioned dhammas are 'dukkha' since they are impermanent.


                  All dhammas are anatta, not-self (in Pali: sabbe dhamma anatta). Thus, the
                  conditioned dhammas are impermanent and dukkha. But all dhammas, that is,
                  the four paramattha dhammas, nibbana included, have the characteristic of
                  anatta, not-self.” <end quote>
                  *****

                  >The standard, evidentally, is to
                  > include
                  > nibbana in the category of nama.
                  .....
                  This ‘standard’ or classification doesn’t say nibbana is not nama.
                  .....
                  >Now, given the detailed precision of
                  > Abhidhamma, talking nibbana as nama by *default* seems quite anomalous.
                  .....
                  I understand what you're saying. For myself, if one classification is not
                  helpful or seems anomalous in any way, I just leave it and consider other
                  aspects or categories. The aim is to have less confusion and more
                  understanding rather than the reverse. My experience is that often what
                  seems anomalous or confusing one day is often clarified later. Just like
                  learning a new movement in Tai Chi or yoga, one can only take it so far at
                  one time. Later it ‘works’ easily and one wonders how it could have seemed
                  so complication or confusing before.

                  The following paragraph is also from the latest chapter in ADL and
                  precedes the one I just quoted on defilements:
                  *****
                  “The purpose of the study of the Abhidhamma is
                  right understanding of realities. If one does not study at all one will
                  not be able to judge what is the right Path and what the wrong Path. We
                  do not live in the Buddha's time; since we cannot hear the teachings
                  directly from him, we are dependent on the teachings as they come to us
                  through the scriptures. Therefore, it is beneficial to study the
                  scriptures and also the Abhidhamma. It depends on one's personal
                  inclination to what extent one will study the details about
                  realities.”<end quote>
                  *****

                  Perhaps Dan, Lisa, Kom and Jim will come back from their discussions with
                  Khun Sujin at Niagara Falls this weekend full of good reminders and
                  explanations for us all;-)

                  Sarah
                  =====


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