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


I appreciate your comments greatly. Please allow me to reformulate and let me know if I’m making any errors, especially regarding the appropriate use of terminology.

Let me use a practical example and start from the basics:

It’s evening time, 8:40 pm, and I check the time by briefly looking at the clock on the wall. There is no upādāna involved. The rupa rupa, or vanna rupa, is perceived by the eye, then processed by the visual cortex in the brain. The visual cortex processes it to an image that the cakkhu pasāda rupa can receive and transmits the corresponding imprint to the hadaya vatthu resulting in the arising of vedana, sañña, saṅkhāra, and viññāṇa. Numerous citta vithi arise and a record (or records) gets transmitted to the viññāṇa dhatu/nama loka/mental plane (however you wish to call it) via the mana indriya.

There’s no actual “rupa” now in the viññāṇa dhatu. It’s a record of vedana, sañña, saṅkhāra, viññāṇa without energy.

A day later, friend X calls me and asks if I remember what time we spoke on the phone the day before. As I recall our conversation, I remember just before we talked I briefly looked at the clock. I’m trying to recall what time it was exactly. What happens then is that a signal (technically signals) gets sent to the viññāṇa dhatu. The record itself has no energy. It is the mind that acts as “flashlight” to create the necessary energy to pull the memory back to the mind. Now that mental impression gets energized to some extent and becomes dhammā. These dhammā are what the mind can receive (via mana indriya). when it receives it, vedana, sañña, sankhara, and viññana will automatically arise. Without this rupa, no vedana, sañña, saṅkhāra, viññāṇa can arise. It’s a mechanical process we can’t control. Any rupa that is received WILL result in the arising of vedana, sañña, saṅkhāra, and viññāṇa. Anyway, many citta vithi arise and an image forms in my mind that it was 8:40 pm. The rupa that came back to the mind must now be part of the rupakkhanda.

Now, something else also happens.
During our conversation the day prior, friend X complained to me about friend Y. I didn’t like that and generated some aversion in my mind. In other words, there was upādāna involved. In other words, a record was also sent to the viññāṇa dhatu, but this time around it was energized due to the apuñña abhisaṅkhāra that I generated because of pathiga.
That memory also comes to the mind during the talk but involuntarily. Simply talking to my friend is a cause/condition for that memory to come to the mind which by itself manifests as an effect. That effect manifests as follows: I don’t actively recall it. It comes to the mind by itself as dhammā. It was already energized enough (lit up enough just like the candle analogy given). The mind is receptive since one of the the other necessary causes/conditions for the dhammā to come, patigha, is present in the hadaya vatthu. So the dhammā are the rupa that allow for the corresponding vedana, sañña, saṅkhāra, viññāṇa to arise. In this case, these dhammā must be part of the rupūpādānakkhandhā.;
If I have gotten the terminology wrong somewhere, please tell me.

Regarding energy-less records (namagotta) and dhammā (kamma bīja) and the analogy provided by Lal of the flashlight and candle respectively, the following came to mind:;
Let’s say you have a phone with various apps. Some apps give you a notification. You don’t know when these notifications come in. You can’t control them in any way. Although they don’t come in randomly, they seem to do so, nevertheless. Of course, when we look at the causes, the app is programmed to send out certain notifications at certain times, it’s not random. In case of an email, it depends on the person who sends you.;
These notifications are comparable to dhammā (kamma bīja). They come in whenever the causes are present and the conditions are right, whether you like it or not.

On the other hand, there are the namagotta that have to be recalled by sending out a signal first. We could perhaps compare this by an app of which notifications are switched off. Now, we’ll never really know what’s going on, unless we proactively look inside the app to find the information we’re looking for. We have to “put in energy” to retrieve that information which is comparable to “sending out a signal.”

Does this analogy make sense? (Assuming you only apply it to the retrieval part and not to the time that the memory was “created”).

Theruwan Saranayi.