Reply To: Sachi Samidu – Excellent Dhamma Explanations by a Four-Year Old


Explanation of Sakkāya Diṭṭhi by Sachi Samidu

Following are my notes on the above video, which is #13 of the series of videos mentioned in my previous post.

1. She starts by saying that Sakkāya Diṭṭhi arises via 20 ways. She will explain that deeper explanation in a future video.

2. For now, the following is a simpler analysis.

Sakkāya = six senses (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, mind) My comment: This is a bit simplified version. Sakkāya is defined as “pañca upādānakkhandhā” in the “Sakkāyapañhā Sutta (SN 38.15).” Of course, the six senses are included in pañca upādānakkhandhā.

Diṭṭhi = the way one looks at an issue (or the way one “sees”)

– Thus Sakkāya Diṭṭhi is to”see” (or “take”) those six senses as “mine”.

3. She reminds her Dad how he describes his experiences.

It is common for us to say, “I see person X”, “I hear a sound”, “I taste a food”, “I smell an odor”, “I touched X”, and ‘I thought about X”.

She tells her father that is not the right way to look at those situations at a deeper level. (Of course, we all make such statements in our daily lives).

@ 6 minutes: The father says, “But isn’t it “I” who can see you now?”

– She explains with the following example: “When I put my finger on this cushion (on the sofa) you see the shadow of my finger on the cushion. Does that shadow belong to the finger?”

– Dad says, “yes. It belongs to the finger”. She says that is not really correct.

– She asks, “Would you be able to see the shadow if we turn off the light (it is nighttime)?” Dad says, “No”

– Then she asks: “What if I am still holding the finger in the place, but there is no cushion or something for the shadow to fall on? Would you be able to see a shadow?” He says “No”.

– Finally, she says, “If I remove the finger, again you will not see a shadow” and Dad agrees.

She points out that a shadow can be seen ONLY IF all three conditions are there: finger, light, and the cushion.” That is why it is not correct to say that the shadow belongs to the finger.

– So, the father agrees that it is really not correct to say that the shadow belongs to the finger.

4. @9 minutes: The father again brings up the question: “But isn’t it “I” who can see you now?”

She asks:” OK. If this light is turned off, will you still see me?” No.

– “If the light is on, but if I go out of the room, will you still see me?” No.

– “If the I am here and the light is on, but if you close your eyes would you see me?’ No.

– “Furthermore, if you are sitting down here with eyes open, but thinking deeply about something, would you notice me if I come into the room?” The father admits that if he is deep thought, he may not see her, i.e., cakkhu viññāṇa would not arise (Note: I have added this part from the 12:20 minute-segment; see #6)

– Therefore, several conditions must be satisfied for the father to see her. Any sensory experience arises when ALL necessary conditions are present: an object (rupa), enough light, a sentient being with faculty of vision, AND attention of that sentient being to that object (i.e., cakkhu viññāṇa would not arise without attention).

– If all those conditions are satisfied, vision results. But it is not correct to say that, “I saw it”. It is just “seeing”. The mistake is to add “I” and say, “I saw it.”

5. @ 11:30 minutes: To provide further evidence, she recites and explains the meaning of the verse, “Nayidaṃ attakataṃ bimbaṃ,nayidaṃ parakataṃ aghaṃ; Hetuṃ paṭicca sambhūtaṃ,hetubhaṅgā nirujjhati.” (This verse is from the Selā Sutta (SN 5.9)).

– This is related to the fact that those six sense faculties arise with the birth (jāti) with a human body. That birth did not arise “due to something (kamma) that oneself did”. They also did not arise due to someone else’s actions. They did not arise spontaneously either. They arose (i.e., one was born) due to causes and conditions per Paṭicca Samuppāda.

(My comment: the kamma that gave rise to the father’s body was not done by the father. It was done in a previous life. That previous life is NOT the same as the current life. However, the two lives are not completely separate either. These are deeper points that may not be obvious at first).

6. @ 12:20 minutes: Now she goes back to close the explanation. I have included this part in #4 above (regarding cakkhu viññāṇa.)

The following are my comments.

In a deeper sense, it is not “I” seeing any object. It is just “a seeing event” that takes place if those conditions are met. This is what the Buddha explained to Bāhiya in the “Bāhiya Sutta (Udāna 1.10)” with the verse, “Tasmātiha te, bāhiya, evaṃ sikkhitabbaṃ: ‘diṭṭhe diṭṭhamattaṃ bhavissati, sute sutamattaṃ bhavissati..”

diṭṭhe diṭṭhamattaṃ bhavissati” needs a lot of explanation by itself. But it is translated as just one sentence in English: “In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen.” There is no need to add an “I”. Her above explanation has this very basic idea.

– Of course, only an Arahant would see the world that way (without adding “I” or “me” or “mine”)
– But a Sotapanna can “see” the truth of that verse. She apparently can, because she explains with nice analogies. That is amazing considering that she is only three-and-a-half-years old!

I stopped “translating” 15 minutes into the video. This should be enough to get an idea.

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