Reply To: Posts Related to “Distorted Saññā”


That is a good suggestion, Lang.

  • The “distorted saññā (sañjānāti)” certainly plays a role in the “avijjā paccayā saṅkhāra” step. But the initial application of that is subtle and not direct. 
  • I plan to discuss this in detail in a future post. But let me give the basic idea.

1. As we have discussed, the “distorted saññā” comes into play at the very beginning or the initiation of the sensory input. 

  • Let us consider eating a cake. The initial step is “ jivhāñca paṭicca rase ca uppajjāti jivhā viññāṇaṃ.“ Here, jivhā viññāṇa is what we call a “vipaka vinnana.” No strong kamma with “avijjā paccayā saṅkhāra” takes place here.
  • However, the initial attachment to the taste (with “distorted saññā”) happens there. That step includes several steps, even though it happens in a single citta: (i) the mind automatically makes a “rasa rupa” based on the “distorted saññā,” (ii) it also attaches to that rasa rupa (unless one is an Arahant or Anāgāmi.) But, here avijjā is not directly involved (this “subtle attachment” happens automatically as long as the mind has kāma rāga samyojana/anusaya, i.e., if one is NOT an Anāgāmi/Arahant.) 

2. In subsequent steps in a citta vithi, the mind gets increasingly attached to that taste. The complete sequence is “Cakkhuñca paṭicca rūpe ca uppajjati cakkhuviññāṇaṁ, tiṇṇaṁ saṅgati phasso, phassapaccayā vedanā, vedanāpaccayā taṇhā.” See “Chachakka Sutta (MN 148).” That sequence is for a visual input; the same sequence holds for taste, as indicated @ marker 9.6.

  • If a mind gets to the next critical step of “taṇhā paccayā upādāna,” strong kamma accumulation starts with “avijjā paccayā saṅkhāra.This is where “avijjā” directly comes into play with “avijjā paccayā saṅkhāra.” See #12, #13 of “Taṇhā Paccayā Upādāna – Critical Step in Paṭicca Samuppāda.” That is where the “Akusala-mūla uppatti Paṭicca Samuppāda” process (that can lead to rebirths) starts.

3. By being mindful (with insight/wisdom), one can stop the progression at two places: (i) At the latter stage of “taṇhā paccayā upādāna.” This is the “nava kamma” stage where “strong kamma accumulation” with javana citta occurs. (ii) But the whole process could be stopped earlier where the “distorted saññā” leads to the “initial attachment” (in #1 above) with the cultivation of the deeper version of Satipaṭṭhāna. This earlier stage is called the “purāna kamma” stage.

4. I briefly discussed the “purāna kamma” and “nava kamma” stages in #10 of “Mūlapariyāya Sutta – The Root of All Things.” 

  • I plan to discuss this in detail in a future post but feel free to ask questions.


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