Reply To: Post On Kāma Guṇa – Origin of Attachment (Tanhā)

Initially seeing here the topic of kāmasaññā being discussed on the forums. Due to not having knowledge of or have put in the time or effort to gain knowledge about topic; wasn’t planning on putting too much time or focus on the topic until at a later time. In the end felt there were some uncertainty in the answers to the questions regarding kāmasaññā. Thought of siding tracking and taking a quick look into kāmasaññā, not knowing what to expect from just “taking a quick look” turned out to be beyond expectations. It’s my belief what transpired could potentially be of benefit to others that are interested in the topic. I can’t say I know or understand everything about kāmasaññā, but just hope to share what I have come across for other’s discernment and feedback.
It was mentioned:
  • “Actually, I am still not on board with Arahant even having “kama sanna.” If there is not even “kama sanna” then An Arahant would not experience any taste! I am still trying to verify it.”
  • This is a tricky issue because we don’t have any Arahants to verify this for us.”
From what I have come to learn, it’s my belief that kāmasaññā doesn’t arise in an Arahant. If that’s the case, then how does Arahant’s taste? Would that be the tricky issue involved? 
I hope sufficient materials and evidence will be provided by the end of this post, hoping the information can be of use and help for  others knowledge and on the path. 
I would like to mention that I haven’t put in the effort or focus into learning Pali besides some important Pali Buddha dhamma words. I can’t say I have the qualifications based on academic standards interpreting sutta’s or even being able to currently understand Pali or the sutta’s without English translations and interpretations.
What’s shared is just based on what I can piece together and understand on my own. I’m aware sometimes I might not have thought of or see where there might be errors or inconsistencies in what I believe in. I hope what is shared can be scrutinize and reviewed by others for feedback.
At a later time it’s mentioned:

  • In a comment above, I stated: “Actually, I am still not on board with Arahant even having “kama sanna.” If there is not even “kama sanna” then An Arahant would not experience any taste! I am still trying to verify it. “
  • Even an Arahant would have the “kama sanna,” i.e., experience the sweetness of sugar, bitterness of lemon, etc. 
From Saññāsutta, in the parallel, “Antidotes for harmful perceptions”. 
“Mendicants, there are these three things.“Tayome, bhikkhave, dhammā.”<br />
“Sensual, malicious, and cruel perceptions. Kāmasaññā, byāpādasaññā, vihiṁsāsaññā.”<br />
From what I can discern and see is kāmasaññā being mentioned along with the other unwholesome states of mind. So far, this leads me to believe that kāmasaññā isn’t just simply related to the possibility of tasting sweetness or other taste, but the main relationship is with defilements or akusala. 
In the same sutta, it gives me the idea of kāmasaññā is something that should be given up or renounced. 
“You should develop perceptions of renunciation to give up sensual perceptions, perceptions of good will to give up malicious perceptions, and perceptions of harmlessness to give up cruel perceptions.”
“Kāmasaññāya pahānāya nekkhammasaññā bhāvetabbā, byāpādasaññāya pahānāya abyāpādasaññā bhāvetabbā, vihiṁsāsaññāya pahānāya avihiṁsāsaññā bhāvetabbā.”
From Anupubbanirodhasutta:
“For someone who has attained the first absorption, sensual perceptions have ceased.”
“Paṭhamaṁ jhānaṁ samāpannassa kāmasaññā niruddhā hoti;” 
Just when I was about to complete and post this writing. Unexpectedly came across this PD post. 
  • 2. When one gets to the first jhāna, one “transcends” (or go beyond) the kāma lōka or “sense sphere”. Our human realm is one of 11 realms in the kāma lōka as we discussed before.
  • In the Anupubbanirodha Sutta (AN 9.31): “Paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ samāpannassa   kāmasaññā niruddhā hoti” OR ““When one has attained the first jhāna, perceptions of sensuality (kāma saññā) stop from arising“.
For us it’s evident what the answer is, but my question is when the perception of kāmasaññā stop from arising, does this mean when one attains the first absorption, perceptions of taste or the other sense organs have ceased?
Reading the English translation of this sutta gives me the idea that the sutta is teaching the progression of unwholesome / akusala thoughts, speech and actions and kāmasaññā is involved. 
“The element of sensuality gives rise to sensual perceptions. Sensual perceptions give rise to sensual thoughts. Sensual thoughts give rise to sensual desires. Sensual desires give rise to sensual passions. Sensual passions give rise to searches for sensual pleasures.”
“Kāmadhātuṁ, bhikkhave, paṭicca uppajjati kāmasaññā, kāmasaññaṁ paṭicca uppajjati kāmasaṅkappo, kāmasaṅkappaṁ paṭicca uppajjati kāmacchando, kāmacchandaṁ paṭicca uppajjati kāmapariḷāho, kāmapariḷāhaṁ paṭicca uppajjati kāmapariyesanā.”
The possible tricky issue that was mentioned, how does Arahant’s taste if kāmasaññā doesn’t arise in an Arahant. I believe the answer could be in the sutta below, “rasasaññā” but I’m not 100% certain since this is only my belief so far without other’s feedback or help.  
Saññaṁ pariññā vitareyya oghanti. Saññāti kāmasaññā byāpādasaññā vihiṁsāsaññā nekkhammasaññā abyāpādasaññā avihiṁsāsaññā rūpasaññā saddasaññā gandhasaññā rasasaññā phoṭṭhabbasaññā dhammasaññā—yā evarūpā saññā sañjananā sañjānitattaṁ—ayaṁ vuccati saññā. Saññaṁ pariññāti saññaṁ tīhi pariññāhi parijānitvā—ñātapariññāya, tīraṇapariññāya, pahānapariññāya.
Katamā ñātapariññā? Saññaṁ jānāti—ayaṁ kāmasaññā, ayaṁ byāpādasaññā, ayaṁ vihiṁsāsaññā, ayaṁ nekkhammasaññā, ayaṁ abyāpādasaññā, ayaṁ avihiṁsāsaññā, ayaṁ rūpasaññā, ayaṁ saddasaññā, ayaṁ gandhasaññā, ayaṁ rasasaññā, ayaṁ phoṭṭhabbasaññā, ayaṁ dhammasaññāti jānāti passati—ayaṁ ñātapariññā.
From what I can understand and see so far, it’s my believe and understanding that kāmasaññā arises when defilement comes into play, like kamaguna, kama, sankappa raga, and so forth. I would agree that kāmasaññā doesn’t arise in Arahants. Unless there’s another kāmasaññā or it means something else that I’m not aware of. When Arahants taste, smell and the other senses, I believe it would just be the 6 sanna’s mentioned. But I’m not 100% sure since I don’t know exactly what’s being said in the sutta.
In the end, came across in the Nibbedhikasutta and other several sutta’s that aren’t linked (mentioned) below where the 6 sanna’s, “rūpasaññā, saddasaññā, gandhasaññā, rasasaññā, phoṭṭhabbasaññā, dhammasaññā,” are addressed.
“There are these six perceptions: perceptions of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touches, and thoughts.”
“Chayimā, bhikkhave, saññā— rūpasaññā, saddasaññā, gandhasaññā, rasasaññā, phoṭṭhabbasaññā, dhammasaññā.”
“Six classes of perception: perceptions of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touches, and thoughts.”
“Cha saññākāyā— rūpasaññā, saddasaññā, gandhasaññā, rasasaññā, phoṭṭhabbasaññā, dhammasaññā.”
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