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  • sarah abbott
    Dear Plamen & all, Space (aakaasa rupa).is a very difficult topic. As I mentioned, there s plenty in Useful Posts in the files. For me, this is probably a
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 19, 2006
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      Dear Plamen & all,

      Space (aakaasa rupa).is a very difficult topic. As I mentioned, there's
      plenty in 'Useful Posts' in the files. For me, this is probably a
      controversial 'work-in-progress' to consider whether in fact there are 3
      asankhata dhammas - a) pannatti (concepts), b) akasa (space) and c)
      nibbana.

      The main texts I'm using here for reference are:
      The Visuddhimagga, Nanamoli transl
      The Atthasalini, PTS transl
      The Abhidammattha Sangaha, CMA, edited by B.Bodhi
      The Dhammasangani, Khine transl
      The comy to Abhidammattha Sangani, PTS transl by Wijeratne & Gethin
      Milinda Pa~nha, transl by I.B.Horner as 'Milinda's Questions'
      Survey of Paramattha Dhammas by Sujin Boriharnwanaket
      *****
      > --- Plamen Gradinarov <pgradinarov@...> wrote:
      > > S: If you are referring to an-antaakaasa (endless space) as in the
      > > object of
      > > > the first arupa jhana, then this is a concept.
      > >
      > >P: Got it. This gap cannot be possibly bridged. In Hinayana and
      > > Mahayana Abhidharma, there are three (or more) asankhata-dhammas,
      > > and these are akasa and the two nirodhas, representing the two
      > > aspects of nibbana - as cessation and as nonproliferation.
      ....
      S: Everyone agrees that nibbana is the unconditioned dhamma, so let's
      leave that aside (I assume you are referring to the two aspects of
      kilesa-parinibbana/sa-upadisesa nibbana (on the attainment of
      arahatship)and khandha parinibbana/an-upadisesa nibbana (at the death of
      the arahant)/

      Simply put, my understanding is that there is the concept of space which
      we use all the time as in 'flying through space' or the 'space in our
      houses' and there is also the concept of boundless or infinite space as
      jhana object, the first of the four arupa jhanas (aakaasaana~ncaayatana).

      There is also the reality, akasa rupa. Often the concepts are actually
      pointing to the reality and used in suttas, for example, like the
      Rahulavada Sutta, to help explain the reality. In CMA, guide to #30, Ch
      VIII, Compendium of Conditionality, where the various kinds of concepts
      are enumerated, we read:

      "Well, cave, etc, are called aakaasapa~n~natti, spatial concepts, since
      they correspond to spatial regions void of perceptible matter." They are
      concepts pointing to the reality of akasa.

      When we refer to the reality of akasa rupa, there are two kinds or
      manifestations (as I understand, of course);

      a) Pariccheda akasa rupa which is the element of space between the kalapas
      of rupas conditioned by one of the 4 causes of rupas [kamma, citta, utu
      (temperature) or ahara(nutriment)]. In this connection, space is not the
      greater space of cavities, holes, the sky or outer space, but the
      infinitesimal space surrounding kalapas of rupas, pariccheda rupa, where
      pariccheda means 'limit' or 'boundary'. (See more on this in 'Survey of
      Paramattha Dhammas by A.Sujin, ch. 4).

      As we read in the texts, "The space element has the characteristic of
      delimiting matter. Its function is to display the boundaries of
      matter.....Its proximate cause is the matter delimited." (CMA, Guide to
      #4, Ch V1, Compendium of Matter).

      In the commentary itself to Abhidammattha Sangaha, ch. 6, 'Materiality'
      (PTS, transl by Wijeratne and Gethin), we read:

      "That which cannot be ploughed (na kassati) is a-kaasa; the space-element
      is that which is itself akaasa, namely space (aakaasa), and an element in
      the sense that it is lifeless. As the materiality that is delimiting by
      way of assuring that the materialities that constitute individual clusters
      such as the eye decad, etc., are not mixed with other clusters, or that is
      delimited by those [clusters], or merely the limit of them, this
      materiality is the materiality of limitation. Indeed, it is as if it
      delimited the various clusters. Moreover, in the context of contact
      between the elements of one cluster with those of another, as the state of
      separation of various things, space is also bounded by materiality. And
      the things of which it is the limit, it itself does not come into contact
      with, otherwise there would be no delimitation, since the condition of
      materialities would be one of spreading out; for the condition of not
      spreading out is the condition of not coming into contact. So the Blessed
      One has said 'it is not in contact with the four great elements'. (Dhs
      144, #638)."
      *****
      S:This akasa rupa is 'not directly produced' (appa.nihita) - it depends on
      the rupas in the kalapas for its arising. It is asabhava for the same
      reason (i.e. it doesn't have its own arising and falling away like sabhava
      rupas) and it is therefore 'not easily known'. (See Vism, XVIII, 16 where
      it indicates that the 10 apa.nihita or asabhava rupas are 'not suitable
      for comprehension since they are merely the mode-alteration and the
      limitation-of-interval').

      It does however have "the characteristic (lakkhana) of delimiting material
      objects, the function (rasa) of showing the boundaries, the manifestation
      of showing their limits, state of being untouched by the four great
      essentials and of being their holes and openings as manifestation, the
      separated objects as proximate cause (padatthana)" (Atthasalini, 'Derived
      Material Qualities).

      It lasts for the same time as the other rupas it delimits and arises and
      falls away with them. Like the inseperable rupas, the akasa rupa is said
      to be produced from the same causes as those rupas (citta, kamma,
      temperature (utu) and nutriment (ahara).
      .....
      b) The second kind or manifestation of akasa rupa is the bigger space as
      evident in cavities, the sky, in vacuums, in the mouth or ear and so on.
      Here the akasa rupa does not delimit kalapas and it doesn't depend on such
      kalapas. So in this case, the definition and characteristic is different.
      Perhaps we can say in this context that it is 'limited or bounded by
      materiality'.

      Just looking at the Dhammasangani (Dhs) itself (Khine transl), it says for
      'Element of Space' (Ruupa Ka.nda):

      "There is open space, that which has the nature of being open space, the
      sky, that which has the nature of sky, opening, that which has the nature
      of an opening, the fact of being untouched by the four Primary Elements.
      This is the Corporeality which is the Element of Space."

      The Vism, Ch XIV mentions that space element "is manifested as the
      confines of matter; OR it is manifested as untouchedness, as the state of
      gaps and apertures. .....And it is on account of it that one can say of
      material things delimited that 'this is above, below, around, that'."

      The Atthasalini (PTS transl, under 'Derived Material Qualities' as
      referred to above, under the definition of space-element) ,also mentions
      the manifestation of a)'showing their limits', and b)'state of being
      untouched by the four great essentials and of being their holes and
      openings as manifestation,'. It says that by 'untouched by the four great
      essentials' what is meant is 'the unentangled space-element untouched by
      these is stated', such as in a vacuum (vivara) or hole or the sky. " 'sky'
      is that which is not struck (a-gha.m); not strikable is the meaning.
      Aphagata'm is the same." It defines space as that 'which is not
      'scratched,' not scratched off, which is not possible to scratch, cut, or
      break."
      *****
      Where there are no mahabuta rupas, space has to be there and this is how
      we can walk in and out of spaces, swallow food and so on. In this case the
      akasa rupa is not conditioned by kamma, citta, utu or ahara. It is the
      unconditioned akasa. Even when the kalapas don't arise and fall away,
      there is still this akasa.

      So, actually, I understand there are 3 asankhata dhammas - a) pannatti
      (concepts), b) akasa (space) and c) nibbana.

      In the Milinda Panha (Dilemmas V11, 'What is in the world that is not Born
      of Cause), it is said that there are 'two things not born of kamma, hetu
      (cause) nor of physical change'- akasa and nibbana. I believe it is this
      2nd definition being referred to. Also when references are to boundless
      and infinite or ajatakasa they are to this larger space.

      Again in Milinda Panha in the same chapter (I.B. Horner transl), but under
      'Born of Kamma and so on', we read that Nagasena says:

      "Whatever beings are cognisant, sire, all these are born of kamma. Fire
      and everything born of seeds are born of cause. The earth and the
      mountains and water and wind are all born of physical change. Aakaasa and
      nibbaana -these two- are not born of kamma, not born of cause, not born of
      physical change."

      Another interesting quote is in Dilemmas VIII, "Nibbana is without a
      Counterpart":

      "Reverend Naagasena, when you say that eleven special qualities of aakaasa
      are present in nibbaana, what are the eleven qualities of aakaasa that are
      present in nibbaana?"

      "As, sire, aakaasa is not born, does not age, does not die, does not
      decease (here), does not arise (elsewhere), is hard to master, cannot be
      carried off by thieves, depends on nothing (anissata), is the sphere of
      birds (vihagamana - lit. goes through the air), without obstruction,
      unending, even so, sire, is nibbaana, not born, does not age, does not
      die, does not decease, does not arise, is hard to master, cannot be
      carried off by thieves, depends on nothing, is the sphere of ariyans,
      without obstruction, unending. These, sire, are the eleven special
      qualities of aakaasa that are present in nibbaana."

      Other refs in Milinda Panha are to 'air established on space' and the five
      qualities of space to be adopted ('Questions on Talk of Similes, #26,
      'Space'). The fourth one refers to how space is unending, boundless and
      immeasurable and this is how our moral habits and knowledge should be!
      ......
      Plamen, I don't usually go into so much detail, but I think you will find
      interest in some of my reflections and musings here.

      I'll look forward to any feedback on this or other parts or our discussion
      to date from anyone.

      Metta,

      Sarah
      =======
    • Plamen Gradinarov
      Dear Sarah, Thank you very much for your detailed post. I will add some more quotes for the upcoming discussion, from The Manual of Light by Mahathera Ledi
      Message 2 of 5 , Oct 19, 2006
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        Dear Sarah,

        Thank you very much for your detailed post. I will add some more
        quotes for the upcoming discussion, from The Manual of Light by
        Mahathera Ledi Sayadaw
        http://www.ubakhin.com/ledi/MANUAL08.html

        Analysis of Space (Akasa dhatu)

        The above-mentioned Four Great Elements, Pathavi, Apo, Tejo and
        Vayo, popularly known as Earth, Water, Fire and Wind respectively,
        arise either due to (kamma), or mind (citta), or temperature (utu),
        or nutriment (ahdra). On these four accounts the Four Elements arise
        together as groups or units of matter. Each group consists of the
        four elements. The element that separates these groups is called
        space (akasa), 'that by which an object is delimited'
        (parichedarupam). Although the Four Great Elements come up together
        and perish together, only the elements constituting the same unit do
        so. The neighbouring units being separated by akasa are not
        affected. To the ordinary eye, mass or form is seen as preconceived
        shapes of living things or external physical objects. The fact of
        space in between (ultra-microscopic) material units, that take the
        form of such living things or objects, is not perceived. In all
        physical phenomena beginning with Mount Meru, Mount Cakkavala and
        the Great Earth, being constituted by the Four Great Elements, there
        are the element of space interstices between every unit of matter.
        Thus in between all masses of materiality there are voids or space,
        comparable in principle to the open sky above the Earth. It is very
        important to gain a clear comprehension of this Element of Space
        because it is essential for the understanding of material units,
        which again is essential for the understanding of the (three)
        characteristics of all phenomena. To gain insight into the three
        characteristics of all phenomena, you need to contemplate space in
        all physical objects, animate or inanimate, and perceive its
        presence. The Element of Space (unlike the Four Great Elements) does
        not actually arise from some origin. (It has no objective reality.)
        It is only a delimiting element that makes its appearance whenever
        material units come into being due to the four causes stated above.
        Since it does not arise and vanish, one does not need to contemplate
        it for gaining insight into its impermanence, ill or not-self.
        Knowledge of the three characteristics of phenomena does not come
        from contemplating akasa as an object in itself. Rather it needs to
        be properly perceived as a necessary condition for the understanding
        of the three characteristics of the Four Great Elements of Earth,
        Water, Wind and Fire.
        (End of analysis of Akasa dhatu.)

        ...

        As for Space (akasa dhatu) since it is not caused, i.e., 'not born'
        (jati) it does not have any arising (uppada). It merely happens to
        exist to delimit those conditioned material units (rupa kalapa).
        Hence one should not look for the origin or cause of space. (In
        other words), we exclude space from our study of the Law of
        Causality.*
        ________
        * Akasa (space) is a permanent concept (nicca pannatti), a
        subjective element which has no objective reality.

        ...

        When one understands the three characteristics* inherent in the six
        basic elements (dhatu) described above, namely: pathavidhatu, apo
        dhatu, tejo dhatu, vayo dhatu, akasa dhatu and vinnana dhatu, one is
        said to have gained the Knowledge of the Three Characteristics.
        _________
        * The first characteristic being anicca (impermanent)

        End of quotations

        We have here two logical predicaments to overcome:

        1. Ajata akasa taken as nicca pannati is still said to possess the
        first lakkhana (impermanence).

        2. The predicament of avijjamana nicca pannati.

        Kindest regards,
        Plamen
      • sarah abbott
        Hi Plamen, So you didn t like my spaced out subject heading:-). As for yourse, the unreal eternal element is an oxymoron as I understand the terms.... ...
        Message 3 of 5 , Oct 20, 2006
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          Hi Plamen,

          So you didn't like my 'spaced out' subject heading:-). As for yourse, 'the
          unreal eternal element' is an oxymoron as I understand the terms....

          --- Plamen Gradinarov <pgradinarov@...> wrote:

          > Dear Sarah,
          >
          > Thank you very much for your detailed post. I will add some more
          > quotes for the upcoming discussion, from The Manual of Light by
          > Mahathera Ledi Sayadaw
          > http://www.ubakhin.com/ledi/MANUAL08.html
          ....
          S: Thank you for adding the quote. My first reaction is to just thank you
          and skip to your predicaments at the end, but I'm curious to spend a
          little more time on Ledi Sayadaw's comments. My inserted comments will
          seem disrespectful to some, but are merely my reflections based on what I
          read in the ancient commentaries and Tipitaka to date:

          >
          > Analysis of Space (Akasa dhatu)
          >
          > The above-mentioned Four Great Elements, Pathavi, Apo, Tejo and
          > Vayo, popularly known as Earth, Water, Fire and Wind respectively,
          > arise either due to (kamma), or mind (citta), or temperature (utu),
          > or nutriment (ahdra). On these four accounts the Four Elements arise
          > together as groups or units of matter. Each group consists of the
          > four elements. The element that separates these groups is called
          > space (akasa), 'that by which an object is delimited'
          > (parichedarupam).
          ....
          S: Yes
          ...
          >Although the Four Great Elements come up together
          > and perish together, only the elements constituting the same unit do
          > so. The neighbouring units being separated by akasa are not
          > affected.
          ....
          S: This doesn't make sense to me (am I being dense?). All the kalapas and
          the space (pariccheda akasa) dependent on these kalapas arise and fall
          together. Oh, perhaps he means that the different kalapas arise and fall
          according to their own conditions. OK....
          ....
          >To the ordinary eye, mass or form is seen as preconceived
          > shapes of living things or external physical objects. The fact of
          > space in between (ultra-microscopic) material units, that take the
          > form of such living things or objects, is not perceived.
          ....
          S: Ooh...whether or not there is any awareness, all that is seen is
          visible object. Ideas of seeing living beings etc come way down the track.
          But OK, yes, the space between the 'ultra-microscipic material units'...
          ...
          >In all
          > physical phenomena beginning with Mount Meru, Mount Cakkavala and
          > the Great Earth, being constituted by the Four Great Elements, there
          > are the element of space interstices between every unit of matter.
          ...
          S: Yes
          ...
          > Thus in between all masses of materiality there are voids or space,
          > comparable in principle to the open sky above the Earth.
          ....
          S: This is the 2nd kind of akasa I referred to in open spaces. Not the
          pariccheda rupa dependent on the arising of the kalapas.
          ....
          >It is very
          > important to gain a clear comprehension of this Element of Space
          > because it is essential for the understanding of material units,
          > which again is essential for the understanding of the (three)
          > characteristics of all phenomena.
          ....
          S: Yes, this element of pariccheda akasa dhatu which is also anicca,
          dukkha and anatta.
          ....
          >To gain insight into the three
          > characteristics of all phenomena, you need to contemplate space in
          > all physical objects, animate or inanimate, and perceive its
          > presence. The Element of Space (unlike the Four Great Elements) does
          > not actually arise from some origin. (It has no objective reality.)
          ....
          S: It is said in the texts I quoted to arise from the same origin as the
          kalapas it separates and yes, it is a paramattha dhamma, a reality. So we
          disagree here. See quotes in my post or ask me for them again if needed.
          ...
          > It is only a delimiting element that makes its appearance whenever
          > material units come into being due to the four causes stated above.
          ...
          S: Yes. Still, it is a dhatu, an element and all elements are realities,
          subject to rise and fall along with 'the material units'.
          ....
          > Since it does not arise and vanish, one does not need to contemplate
          > it for gaining insight into its impermanence, ill or not-self.
          .....
          S: Commentary to Ab.Sangaha, ch 6, Materiality gives details of the rupas
          conditioned by kamma, citta, utu and ahara. Akasa rupa is included under
          each - 'born of kamma...etc'. It arises and vanishes.

          As for what is contemplated and understood in the development of insight,
          that will depend on what appears right now (as Nina is discussing with
          you). It's not a question of selection and self.

          However, I agree that it's true that akasa dhatu is an asabhava dhatu,
          'not easily understood'. If anyone thinks there has to be direct
          understanding of such dhatus, it's wrong.
          ....
          > Knowledge of the three characteristics of phenomena does not come
          > from contemplating akasa as an object in itself. Rather it needs to
          > be properly perceived as a necessary condition for the understanding
          > of the three characteristics of the Four Great Elements of Earth,
          > Water, Wind and Fire.
          > (End of analysis of Akasa dhatu.)
          ....
          S: OK, I think he means that at least understanding theoretically that
          rupas arise in kalapas separated by pariccheda akasa rupa is important.
          ....
          > As for Space (akasa dhatu) since it is not caused, i.e., 'not born'
          > (jati) it does not have any arising (uppada).
          ....
          S: This doesn't apply to pariccheda akasa rupa which he has been
          discussing above.
          ...
          >It merely happens to
          > exist to delimit those conditioned material units (rupa kalapa).
          ...
          S: It exists, therefore it is a dhatu (element). As the texts show, it
          delmits the material units and is 'born'. It has an arising. Here, he is
          contradicting the ancient commentaries.
          ....
          > Hence one should not look for the origin or cause of space. (In
          > other words), we exclude space from our study of the Law of
          > Causality.*
          > ________
          > * Akasa (space) is a permanent concept (nicca pannatti), a
          > subjective element which has no objective reality.
          ....
          S: Disagree. I have no reason to disregard what the ancient texts clearly
          indicate in this regard. I don't know what a 'subjective element' is
          either, unless it's another word for 'pannatti'.

          As I mentioned yesterday, it is a very controversial area. Karunadasa also
          refers to akasa as a concept only if I recall.

          [When it comes to the larger space and the quotes I gave from Milinda
          Pa~nha, even I.B.Horner (whose translation I was using) added a footnote
          to suggest she didn't agree with the quote. She also refers to the
          Sarvastivadins who recognise akasa and 2 kinds of nibbana (as you were
          mentioning) and refers to Lamotte's 'Hist. du Bouddhisme Indien, vol 1,
          p675 for your interest). Also, see Kathavatthu, VI,6 'Of Space'. (The full
          quote is in U.P.).]
          ....
          > When one understands the three characteristics* inherent in the six
          > basic elements (dhatu) described above, namely: pathavidhatu, apo
          > dhatu, tejo dhatu, vayo dhatu, akasa dhatu and vinnana dhatu, one is
          > said to have gained the Knowledge of the Three Characteristics.
          ...
          S: Exactly, the 3 characteristics inherent in any of the elements (not
          just selected elements). If the 3 characteristics are inherent in it and
          it's an element, then it's most certainly a reality, not a concept.
          Another oxymoron!
          ...
          > _________
          > * The first characteristic being anicca (impermanent)
          >
          > End of quotations
          >
          > We have here two logical predicaments to overcome:
          >
          > 1. Ajata akasa taken as nicca pannati is still said to possess the
          > first lakkhana (impermanence).
          ...
          S: This is only a predicament if you believe what you quoted. It is not a
          predicament if one doesn't suggest any pannatti have lakkhana!
          ....
          >
          > 2. The predicament of avijjamana nicca pannati.
          ...
          S: Again, this makes no sense to me....Pannatti are pannatti, no question
          of ignorance, permanence or impermanence or any other charactistics being
          involved. They don't exist!

          How are we doing?

          I wonder if Kel, Han or anyone else has anything futher to add on Ledi
          Sayadaw's comments (or mine from yesterday)?

          Metta,

          Sarah
          =======
        • Plamen Gradinarov
          Dear Sarah, ... P: It is not a matter of liking; I don t understand the meaning of All Spaced Out . ... terms.... P: You understood them correctly. The
          Message 4 of 5 , Oct 21, 2006
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            Dear Sarah,

            > So you didn't like my 'spaced out' subject heading:-).

            P: It is not a matter of liking; I don't understand the meaning
            of "All Spaced Out".

            > As for yourse, 'the
            > unreal eternal element' is an oxymoron as I understand the
            terms....

            P: You understood them correctly. The "Unreal Eternal Element" is as
            much an oxymoron as is the "non-existing eternal concept". The
            subject of the post reflected the second predicament.

            > > L.S. Although the Four Great Elements come up together
            > > and perish together, only the elements constituting the same
            unit do
            > > so. The neighbouring units being separated by akasa are not
            > > affected.
            > ....
            > S: This doesn't make sense to me (am I being dense?). All the
            kalapas and
            > the space (pariccheda akasa) dependent on these kalapas arise and
            fall
            > together. Oh, perhaps he means that the different kalapas arise
            and fall
            > according to their own conditions. OK....

            P: He evidently meant only this. Rupa-kalapas are separate units.
            Breaking one pot in the potter's house does not mean that all
            neighbouring pots should also disappear.

            > > L.S. Thus in between all masses of materiality there are voids
            or space,
            > > comparable in principle to the open sky above the Earth.
            > ....
            > S: This is the 2nd kind of akasa I referred to in open spaces. Not
            the
            > pariccheda rupa dependent on the arising of the kalapas.

            P: I got the impression that LS wants to account for akasa only as a
            dhatu possessing two main functions: (1) to formally delimit
            (paricchindati) the material objects from each other (pariccheda-
            rupa) - it may appear that this is the geometrical space, but it is
            not, and (2) to serve as a particular locus, i.e., as paricchinna
            akasa-dhatu, i.e., as a space that is delimited, paricchijjati.

            Karunadasa in his famous article on Space and Time in Abhidhamma
            thinks that the all-Indian meaning of akasa as all-pervading
            mahabhuta is not present in Theravada), of akasa as providing room
            for the rise and development of material aggregates without
            obstructing them and without being obstructed by anything (what
            probably is the meaning of "not ploughed"). And although Milinda-
            pannha describes akasa as agahya, santasaniya, ananta, appamana,
            appameyya, alagga, asatta, appatittha, and apalibuddha, this
            concession to the Sarvastivada Abhidharma does not produce the
            definition of akasa as asankhata dhamma. Kathavatthu also describes
            akasa as what provides room, but it is not infinite and eternal,
            neither is it conditioned or unconditioned. Hence, akasa is
            avijjamana pannati, a "conceptual construct with no objective
            counterpart."

            Here is the conclusion of Karunadasa:

            "It is this latter kind of space that came to be elevated in the
            Milindapanha almost to the level of an unconditioned dhamma. And it
            is also this same space that the Kathavatthu describes as neither
            conditioned nor unconditioned, and this, as the commentary says,
            means that it is a conceptual construct. In the commentaries it is
            sometimes introduced as infinite space (anantakasa) and boundless
            space (ajatakasa).66 Both terms highlight its difference from the
            space-element in the sense of bounded space. The use of these two
            terms does not mean that space is regarded as something real and
            absolute. The use of another term, empty space (tucchakasa) does, in
            fact, highlight its true nature.67 For as noted earlier, for the
            Pali commentaries space in the sense of "bare geometric extension"
            is a mere conceptual construct. (pannatti-matta).

            The reference to two kinds of space could be considered as looking
            at the same phenomenon from two different angles. The first, which
            is always introduced by the compound word, akasa-dhatu (space-
            element) means space as void region or as that which delimits
            material phenomena. The second which is introduced by the simple
            term, akasa (space) means space as providing room for the existence
            and movement of matter. It may then be asked why the former is
            described as conditioned (sankhata) and the latter as neither
            conditioned nor unconditioned (= pannatti or conceptual construct).
            The reason for this is that although the former is presented as one
            of the secondary material phenomena (upada-rupa), it is not
            considered as an entity distinct from the other material phenomena.
            It is the method followed in the Dhammasangani that in recognizing
            certain characteristics and modalities connected with real rupa-
            dhammas (elements of matter), those characteristics and modalities
            themselves are presented as separate and co-ordinate rupa-dhammas.
            It is only a pedagogic device adopted to avoid the distinction
            between substance and quality entering into the list of rupa-
            dhammas. The Pali commentators were fully aware of this situation.
            This should explain why in the commentaries the space-element of the
            Dhammasangani came to be included in a category called anipphanna-
            rupa. What is included in this category is, strictly speaking, not a
            dhamma, because it has no own-nature (sabhava). Nor is it of the
            nature of rupa in the sense of matter, because it does not answer to
            its definition.68 If the items included in the category of
            anipphanna-rupa continue to be presented as rupa-dhammas, this, as
            the commentators say, is done only as a matter of convention
            (rulhiya).69

            What all this amounts to is that in the ultimate sense
            (nippariyayena), the space-element (akasa-dhatu) is not different
            from space akasa). Both are conceptual constructs with no
            corresponding objective reality."

            http://www.orientalia.org/article594.html

            Kindest regards,
            Plamen
          • sarah abbott
            Dear Plamen, (Suan & all), ... ... S: It was just a joke to reflect my state of mind when I wrote the post on Space;-). ... ... S: I think I find the first,
            Message 5 of 5 , Oct 24, 2006
            • 0 Attachment
              Dear Plamen, (Suan & all),

              --- Plamen Gradinarov <pgradinarov@...> wrote:
              > > So you didn't like my 'spaced out' subject heading:-).
              >
              > P: It is not a matter of liking; I don't understand the meaning
              > of "All Spaced Out".
              ...
              S: It was just a joke to reflect my state of mind when I wrote the post on
              Space;-).
              ...
              >
              > > As for yourse, 'the
              > > unreal eternal element' is an oxymoron as I understand the
              > terms....
              >
              > P: You understood them correctly. The "Unreal Eternal Element" is as
              > much an oxymoron as is the "non-existing eternal concept". The
              > subject of the post reflected the second predicament.
              ...
              S: I think I find the first, i.e 'The "Unreal Eternal Element" the more
              oxymoronic of the two, lol.
              ....
              > P: He evidently meant only this. Rupa-kalapas are separate units.
              > Breaking one pot in the potter's house does not mean that all
              > neighbouring pots should also disappear.
              ....
              S: As long as we understand that all the kalapas in all the pots are
              breaking up all the time, then we'll be on the right track I think.
              ...
              > > > L.S. Thus in between all masses of materiality there are voids
              > or space,
              > > > comparable in principle to the open sky above the Earth.
              > > ....
              > > S: This is the 2nd kind of akasa I referred to in open spaces. Not
              > the
              > > pariccheda rupa dependent on the arising of the kalapas.
              >
              > P: I got the impression that LS wants to account for akasa only as a
              > dhatu possessing two main functions: (1) to formally delimit
              > (paricchindati) the material objects from each other (pariccheda-
              > rupa) - it may appear that this is the geometrical space, but it is
              > not, and (2) to serve as a particular locus, i.e., as paricchinna
              > akasa-dhatu, i.e., as a space that is delimited, paricchijjati.
              ...
              S: It may amount to the same. Isn't the open space delimited,
              parichijjati? I'm not sure.
              ....
              S: I read Karunadasa's details again which you quoted.

              Whenever I read his articles, there's always a lot I agree with, including
              his good research, but there are always conclusions I disagree with, even
              though I appreciate how he reaches them.

              Karunadasa:
              > What all this amounts to is that in the ultimate sense
              > (nippariyayena), the space-element (akasa-dhatu) is not different
              > from space akasa). Both are conceptual constructs with no
              > corresponding objective reality."
              ...
              S: I don't believe this is the right conclusion and to suggest that the
              commentators only included akasa rupa dhatu in the grouping of 28 rupas
              (paramattha dhammas) as a matter of convention, but not because they are
              anything other than 'conceptual constructs' is wrong as I see it. So too
              for the other anipphanna rupas, though I agree that they are a special
              category of 'not easily known' rupas (as the Vism puts it).

              Thanks again for the interesting discussion on various topics.

              Btw, I was curious about the discussion you were having with Suan on
              bhavanga cittas. The quote you gave is included in Soma's translation of
              the Satipatthana Sutta and commentaries as well as in the Sammanaphala
              sutta and commentaries as Suan pointed out. Perhaps it depends on the Pali
              version whether it is also included in the Satipatthana Sutta tiika?

              Also, I took it and the other passages in the section to refer to rebirth
              too (as you suggested) and also read the passage as referring to
              rebirth-linking as a function of bhavanga. After all, the patisandhi,
              bhavangas and cuti cittas are all the results of the same kamma and are
              identical in
              kind, taking the same object throughout life.

              Anyway, interesting points....thank you both for raising them and to Suan
              for his additional comments and translation.

              Metta,

              Sarah
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