Reply To: Posts Related to “Distorted Saññā”


1. A newborn (just born) has not seen anything yet and, thus, has no idea about her milk bottle. She gets used to seeing it with time, and neural connections are made in her brain to identify it. She understands that it has her food. In the same way, neural networks will be established in her brain (which keeps growing) to identify Mom, Dad, and others in the family, her toys, etc.

  • Unless the brain fully grows and most neural connections are established, the baby’s understanding (or perception or saññā)
    about the external world will not be complete.
  • Until the ability to identify (saññā) a specific item in the world is established, the baby cannot form a like or dislike for it.

2. First, the baby will identify the Mom and start bonding with her. That is the first type of “rāga” or attachment in this world. Thus, with time, the baby will start attaching to more things. In the same way, if she does not like a specific food, she may form a dislike (patigha) for it.

  • That is why the Buddha said a newborn has no idea about ditthi, defilements, etc.
  • Of course, the gandhabba inside the physical body of the baby has all ditthi, samyojana, and anusaya intact (unless it is a jāti Sotapanna.)

3. For such ditthi, samyojana, anusaya, etc., to be triggered, the baby must first recognize things (saññā) and form a like or dislike for them.

  • Even when the brain is fully formed around seven years of age, strong kāma rāga (of sexual nature) will not arise in a child. That saññā will grow over time. In other words, a strong kama raga of sexual nature is not likely to be triggered in a seven-year-old, even though they will have the kāma rāga anusaya/samyojana intact.

That is what I wanted to explain. I hope the explanation is clear enough. Feel free to ask questions if I missed something. There could be other issues that I did not think about.


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