Reply To: Post on “Salāyatana Are Not Sense Faculties”


Yes. The question by Jorg gets to the heart of the issue of recalling a memory.

  • That is emphasized by LDM: “The mystery is in mechanism of recalling memory.”

I am happy to hear those comments. I tried to give the clues in #6 of the recent post “Salāyatana Are Not Sense Faculties.”

  • The sixth external āyatana (dhammā) incorporates the four mental aggregates. Nāmagotta contains all records of the four mental aggregates. Even though nāmagotta are not dhammā, they come to mind as dhammā when we recall them. I have explained that in the forum (but I should write a post to explain it fully.) See comment #40356 (on September 14, 2022, at 2:42 pm) in the thread “Post on ‘Nāmagotta, Bhava, Kamma Bīja, and Mano Loka (Mind Plane)’

The following is the content in that comment #40356:

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 simply because it is crucial 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.

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.

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)


Is that clear? Please feel to ask questions. Understanding this will help immensely.

1 user thanked author for this post.