Reply To: Music and Distorted Saññā


I have revised the following sentence quoted by TGS at the end:

An Arahant, who has removed all āsāvās/anusaya/saṁyojana/gati by comprehending the true nature (“yathābhūta ñāna”), is free of “distorted saññā” and therefore of any attachments.”

  • I can see how that could give a wrong impression. 

That quoted part is in #10 of “Vedanā (Feelings) Arise in Two Ways.” The revision reads as follows:

“An Arahant will still experience “distorted saññā” while living everyday life (i.e., unless they are in a samāpatti.) But since they have removed all āsāvās/anusaya/saṁyojana/gati by comprehending the true nature (“yathābhūta ñāna”), they are free of attaching to “distorted saññā.

  • That means an Arahant fully comprehends how that “distorted saññā” arises. That means not merely understanding the mechanism but also meditating/contemplating it to convince the mind that it is a “trick.” 
  • Let me give an analogy for that latter point. An alcoholic may learn that drinking leads to health issues and even causes death. However, some alcoholics, even after comprehending that fact, still cannot get rid of their “drinking habit.”  They must continually contemplate the harmful consequences of drinking to get rid of that habitual drinking. 
  • There is a definite “turning point” in regards to “attaching to the distorted saññā.” As one contemplates the concept of “distorted saññā”, “kāma rāga” (one of the ten samyojana that bind one to the rebirth process) wears out gradually and eventually disappears. That is when one gets to the Anāgāmi stage and is free of rebirths in kāma loka. An Arahant has progressed even beyond that and removed “rupa rāga” (cravings for rupāvacara jhāna) and “arupa rāga” (cravings for arupāvacara samāpatti) as well. They are free of rebirths in rupa loka and arupa loka as well.
  • It is essential to get this right. Let me know if there are any further questions.

P.S. Comprehending this “nature’s trick” of “distorted saññā” also helps one reach the Sotapanna stage. It makes it easier to see the “anicca nature,” i.e., the futility/dangers of attaching to worldly things.

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