Reply To: Paññatti


1. No. Paññatti refers to the conventional “naming of things” so that people understand what a certain word means.

  • Namarupa is a deep concept in Buddha Dhamma. It does not appear anywhere else.

2. A basic idea can be gleaned by looking at Paticca Samuppada.

  • When X becomes interested in an arammana (say about a beautiful woman, Y) he starts generating sankharas: “avijja paccaya sankhara,” which are initially vaci sankhara (talking to himself). That starts a new expectation (kamma vinnana) to start a friendship with her: “sankhara paccaya vinnana.” 
  • Based on that expectation, sankhara generation intensifies, and X imagines various scenarios. The figure of Y comes to his mind often, and that is the beginning of “namarupa formation.” These thoughts involve strong javana citta that generates “namarupa” in his mind:vinnana paccaya namarupa.” There is kammic energy generated in this process.
  • That “namarupa formation” leads to “namarupa paccaya salayatana.” Now, X utilizes all his sensory faculties to pursue Y. This process goes back and forth intensifying all those factors.

3. Reading the post “Kamma Viññāṇa – Link Between Mind and Matter” could be helpful.

  • namarupa” is where “nama” (thoughts about Y) generates kammic energy (rupa) regarding his expectations of Y. That is one way to explain “namarupa” for the above scenario.
  • There are different ways to look at it. Also see “Viññāna Paccayā Nāmarūpa.”
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