You wrote: “Okay. So everything I wrote above(except rūpakkhanda) belongs to one of these two categories(“dhammā below the suddhāṭṭhaka” and “namagotta”). Right? Did I miss anything?”
Yes. Everything you wrote was correct. Very good. You have a good understanding.
You wrote: “I know that vedanakkhandha, saññākkhandha, saṅkhārakkhandha, and viññāṇakkhandha are preserved permanently in nāmalōka, but rūpakkhanda are not. And I don’t know why rūpakkhanda can not be preserved even though it is mental. (I wonder why this is.).”
That is an excellent question.
1. Rūpakkhanda is preserved in nāmalōka as namagotta. It is just a record, without any energy.
2. So, there are two types of entities in the nāmalōka: (i) dhammā with kammic energy and (ii) namagotta without energy.
– dhammā can “come back” to our minds on their own. That is how kamma vipaka takes place. When the conditions are right, they bring vipaka.
– namagotta CAN NOT come back on their own. If we want to recall something, we must try to recall that particular memory. That requires a bit more explanation. I will try to explain it as simply as possible because it is important to understand.
3. How do we recall memories?
– When we try to recall a past event, the mind SENDS OUT a request to nāmalōka or viññāṇa dhātu.
– Depending on the strength of that “signal” sent out, it MAY reflect that particular memory back to the mind. If the strength is enough, it is captured by the mind via “mananca paticca dhammeca uppajjati mano vinnanam.” Thus, it comes back as a dhammā because it gained energy from the signal that the mind sent out.
– Let me give an analogy.
4. Suppose we enter a dark room in a dark house with a chair sitting in a corner. We cannot see the chair or anything else in that room. That is the analogy of a namagotta that we are trying to recall.
– Now, if we had a flashlight, we could turn it on and direct it to the chair. Now, that light will bounce back from the chair, and we will be able to see it.
– That light beam from the flashlight is analogous to the “mind signal” sent out to nāmalōka in #3 above.
5. Suppose we enter the same dark room where a small lighted candle is sitting in a corner.
– We can see that lighted candle without the aid of a flashlight.
– Light from the candle itself is enough for us to see it.
– That lighted candle is like dhammā can “come back” to our minds on their own (see #2)
I hope that analogy can explain the difference between namagotta and dhammā.
– Let me know if anyone has questions.
– I am glad that Dosakkhayo asked this question. It is good to understand that detail.