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


OK. Let us take Jorg’s A) part:

You quoted:That makes sense since the six internal and five external āyatana takes into account the rupakkhandha.

I did not say, “That makes sense since the six internal and five external āyatana ARE the rupakkhandha.

  • Ayatanas” are not the same as “six sensory faculties” in the sense that Arahants have sense faculties but not “āyatanas.” In the same way, five external āyatana are not the same as rupa, sadda, gandha, rasa, and photthabba. Arahants can experience rupa, sadda, gandha, rasa, and photthabba too, but they are not external āyatana for them.

Let me see whether I can explain the difference between rupa and rupakkhandha first. 

  • Suppose there was a huge Oak tree in front of your house that you have seen all your life. Last week you got a contractor to come in and remove it. He cut it down and hauled it away. No trace of that tree is there today. But you can recall that tree today because it is in the rupakkhandha. However, a record of that tree would not be in the rupakkhandha unless that tree was physically there before last week.
  • Therefore, rupakkhandha is not the same as a physical rupa. But that part of the rupakkhandha would not exist without that physical rupa being in existence at some time. The existence of a CONNECTION does not mean they are the same. That is why there is nothing wrong with my statement, “That makes sense since the six internal and five external āyatana takes into account the rupakkhandha.“  I could state the same with the following sentence: “That makes sense since the six internal and five external āyatana are based on physical rupa.“ 

The situation is similar in the case of internal āyatana: An internal āyatana is not the same as a “sense faculty.” An Arahant has sense faculties, but they are not āyatana for the Arahant.

  • That is why your statement, “I’m not sure how to tally these two statements since “six internal” includes manāyatana, doesn’t it?” does not make sense either.
  • An Arahant does not have manāyatana but has a mind. That mind is BASED ON a physical rupa, the hadaya vatthu. An average human also has a hadaya vatthu, but they use it as manāyatana.
  • I think the same issue arises in the B) part of your comment.

These are somewhat complicated issues that require contemplation. I cannot write everything in a post. So, I give links, and not many people read them. Some people just read a post in 10 minutes and are done with it (I am not referring to anyone in particular.) 

  • In most cases, when someone posts a comment, I can see that I can make some changes to my writing to make it clear.
  • But in a few cases, I can see that it is unfruitful to engage any further. I may be able to explain it better if I have the time to write another post, but I don’t have all the time in the world.
  • I appreciate your comments and questions. They help make the website better and are beneficial to all. But in a few cases, I will say: this is all I can do for now.
  • If an issue is critically important and I have not responded satisfactorily, please email me.
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