A confusion related to attaining the fourth path in a pure abode:

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    • #32467
      Sharma27
      Participant

      hi there everyone
      so glad to be finally posting here. I have been following this site for a while now, and really really love the work Lal Sir is doing. Once again, sir, thank you!
      I have been reading “A Discourse on Paticcasamuppada” by Venerable. Mahasi Sayadaw
      https://www.wisdomlib.org/buddhism/book/a-discourse-on-paticcasamuppada/d/doc1995.html
      In this chapter it says that Venerable Ugga obtained Arhatship in the pure abodes and came to Buddha to tell about it and pay his respects. But I remember reading that anyone who attains the fruit of Arhatship in any Brahma world immediately passes away. How is this inconsistency to be resolved?
      May the blessing of the Tripple Gem with you always!
      with Meta

    • #32470
      Lal
      Keymaster

      “In this chapter it says that Venerable Ugga obtained Arhatship in the pure abodes..”

      First, we need to verify that.
      – Please find and post the relevant sutta which states that.

    • #32490
      TripleGemStudent
      Participant

      I can’t say I have read many sutta’s, but I did a quick search and couldn’t find any material states “that Venerable Ugga obtained Arhatship in the pure abodes and came to Buddha to tell about it and pay his respects” I thought if any sutta’s stated this, it would be here https://suttacentral.net/vb6/pli/ms (paticca samuppada vibhanga) but didn’t see anything in there.

      It’s like Lal says, “need to verify that”.

      Sharma, instead of reading other commentaries that’s not included in the Tipitaka. I suggest you go straight to the sutta’s in the Tipitaka, even though the English translations might not be the best.

      I started to do this, sometimes comparing the English words to the Pali words in the Sutta’s and with my own understanding/know/seeing of the Buddha Dhamma, I try to make sense for myself what the Sutta is saying. I’m actually having some ah-ha moments when doing this, although I’m not always right about things, but this process really makes me reflect and contemplate on the Buddha Dhamma that I have learned. It’s been a beneficial process, but one will need a kalana mitta to help confirm what you have contemplated on and set you straight if you got the wrong ideas/concepts.

      With Metta,

    • #32495
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Thanks, Triplegemstudent! But the correct reference is not that.

      Seng Kiat sent me the following comment.

      Here is the sutta on the householder Ugga of Vesālī:
      Manāpadāyī Sutta (AN 5.44)
      English translation at Sutta Central

      Below are the verses concerning the householder Ugga after he passed away:

      11.1 Then after some time Ugga passed away,
      Atha kho uggo gahapati vesāliko aparena samayena kālamakāsi.

      11.2 and was reborn in a host of mind-made gods.
      Kālaṅkato ca uggo gahapati vesāliko aññataraṃ manomayaṃ kāyaṃ upapajji.

      11.3 At that time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery.
      Tena kho pana samayena bhagavā sāvatthiyaṃ viharati jetavane anāthapiṇḍikassa ārāme.

      11.4 Then, late at night, the glorious god Ugga, lighting up the entire Jeta’s Grove, went up to the Buddha, bowed, and stood to one side. The Buddha said to him,
      Atha kho uggo devaputto abhikkantāya rattiyā abhikkantavaṇṇo kevalakappaṃ jetavanaṃ obhāsetvā yena bhagavā tenupasaṅkami; upasaṅkamitvā bhagavantaṃ abhivādetvā ekamantaṃ aṭṭhāsi. Ekamantaṃ ṭhitaṃ kho uggaṃ devaputtaṃ bhagavā etadavoca:

      11.5 “Ugga, I trust it is all you wished?”
      kacci te, ugga, yathādhippāyo”ti?

      11.6 “Sir, it is indeed just as I wished.”
      Taggha me, bhagavā, yathādhippāyo”ti.

      Thanks and much merits to Seng Kiat!

      I have highlighted the relevant verse regarding Ugga’s rebirth: “aññataraṃ manomayaṃ kāyaṃ upapajji
      – That means “born with a certain manomaya kāya.”
      – That usually refers to a rupavacara Brahma. Even though an arupavacara Brahma also has only a manomayaṃ kāya, he would not be able to communicate with others (in this case, the Buddha).

      Therefore, all we can say is that Ugga was reborn in a rupavacara Brahma realm. The sutta does not say anything about that Brahma‘s magga phala.

    • #32507
      TripleGemStudent
      Participant

      Much thanks and merits to Seng Kiat and Lal.

      I thought of a good question to ask that I believe can bring a beneficial conclusion to this topic.

      For rupa Brahma’s since they are missing the faculties of “touch” and “taste”. Without taste, that means they don’t have a mouth. How do they communicate with Lord Buddha?

    • #32509
      Sharma27
      Participant

      TripleGemStudentT wrote:
      Sharma, instead of reading other commentaries that’s not included in the Tipitaka. I suggest you go straight to the sutta’s in the Tipitaka, even though the English translations might not be the best.

      I started to do this, sometimes comparing the English words to the Pali words in the Sutta’s and with my own understanding/know/seeing of the Buddha Dhamma, I try to make sense for myself what the Sutta is saying. I’m actually having some ah-ha moments when doing this, although I’m not always right about things, but this process really makes me reflect and contemplate on the Buddha Dhamma that I have learned. It’s been a beneficial process, but one will need a kalana mitta to help confirm what you have contemplated on and set you straight if you got the wrong ideas/concepts.
      Thanks, TripleGemStudent for your ideas. :)
      TripleGemStudent wrote:
      For rupa Brahma’s since they are missing the faculties of “touch” and “taste”. Without taste, that means they don’t have a mouth. How do they communicate with Lord Buddha?
      Sounds like they use telepathy(direct thought transfer). Because their mental faculty(or mano indriya) is still there. Would be happy to be corrected, though. :)
      With Meta,

    • #32510
      y not
      Participant

      It will be worth it to give more thought to this.

      When brahmas, devas, and even yakkhas (‘nature spirits’, we may say) communicate with humans, they assume a human or other form, TOGETHER WITH THE FACULTIES OF THAT FORM.

      Taking first the case of Brahma Sahampati, he could ‘listen’ to, he was able to sense what the Buddha was thinking, His doubt about whether to proclaim the Dhamma or not. If it were just a matter of a telepathic exchange, he would just have responded in like fashion FROM that brahma realm to made his noble entreaty to the Buddha to go ahead and preach the Dhamma. But no; brahma Sahampati disappears from that brahma realm and reappears in front of the Buddha. He assumes a human form: he ‘arranged his robe over one shoulder, knelt with his right knee on the ground, raised his joined palms toward the Buddha, and SAID…”

      So it is not that communication with, in our case, the Buddha takes place with the manomayakaya alone. That would have been the obvious response.

      The same can be said in the case of Ugga here. As long as there is a manomayakaya, I see no reason why all orders* of brahmas should be unable to assume any form they wish. Yakkhas can do it.

      But we find many accounts of humans with magga phala who ‘saw through’ the assumed human forms yakkhas and devas put on. Any other would have been easily taken in by those assumed forms.

      * afterthought: except those in the asanna realm, as far as I can make out.

    • #32513
      Lal
      Keymaster

      TripleGemStudent wrote:
      “For rupa Brahma’s since they are missing the faculties of “touch” and “taste”. Without taste, that means they don’t have a mouth. How do they communicate with Lord Buddha?”

      Yes. The answers by y not and Sharma27 are close.

      The succinct way to say that is the following.

      It is the sota pasada rupa that makes it possible to communicate with others.
      Rupavcara Brahmas (as well as human gandhabbas) communicate directly (without words) via that sota pasada rupa.
      – It is only when the gandhabba is trapped in a physical body that mouths and ears (and air vibrations for sound propagation) are needed to communicate.
      Arupavacara Brahmas (and those in the asanna realm) do not have the sota pasada rupa. That is why they cannot communicate with others.

      I have discussed some of this in the section, “Origin of Life“. See, for example, “Mystical Phenomena in Buddhism?“.
      – Also, see, “Brain and the Gandhabba

    • #32524
      TripleGemStudent
      Participant

      Glad to see a few of us discussing the Buddha Dhamma :)

      Lal said:

      “It is the sota pasada rupa that makes it possible to communicate with others.
      – Rupavcara Brahmas (as well as human gandhabbas) communicate directly (without words) via that sota pasada rupa.
      – Arupavacara Brahmas (and those in the asanna realm) do not have the sota pasada rupa. That is why they cannot communicate with others.”

      That’s exactly what I thought, I wasn’t sure of my own answer though because I thought one might need a mouth as well to communicate through sound. I was thinking, if Rupavcara Brahmas can communicate with Lord Buddha, but Arupavacara Brahmas aren’t able to, what’s the difference between them? I thought of the sota pasada rupa.

      Thanks to you Lal, Seng Kiat, Y not and Sharma for participating on this discussion. I don’t have anything else to add, as my questions are answered in regards to this topic.

      Nibbana parama sukhaya sukithatara wethwa to you all !

    • #32525
      y not
      Participant

      “It is the sota pasada rupa that makes it possible to communicate with others.”

      Communicate, yes, but is it not only one-way? For otherwise, the Buddha Himself would not have needed to visit the Tavatimsa, the Tusita, the brahma realm to dispel Baka brahmas’s views….and so on.

      By ‘sota’ is generally understood hearing (to clarify: detecting the emission of sound) but really is it not the sanna of the other that is received or, better, perceived (sanna by sanna)? But one cannot, apparently, respond in like manner, deliberately and effectively ‘transmitting’ (as it were) one’s own reply or communication through sanna. One can only ‘hear’ (sota), receive, be aware of the other’s sanna.

      Just why should this be so? What is it that I am overlooking?

    • #32526
      Lal
      Keymaster

      y not asked: “Communicate, yes, but is it not only one-way? ”

      What does that mean?

      Speaking with a mouth and hearing with an ear is not possible, for example, for rupavacara Brahmas.
      In the same way, for them, seeing does not require physical eyes.
      – It is a totally different mechanism.

    • #32527
      y not
      Participant

      It means.. well .. that is what I tried to get through in all that followed. Overlooked. I better go back to my silence. I am weary trying to make myself understood. Weary. And worn.

      I feel like I asked a question about number theory and was told to go back to multiplication tables.
      Physical mouth, physical ears? ! Nothing personal, please. I am tired.

    • #32528
      Lal
      Keymaster

      There are many things people do not understand.
      – I am not sure how much of the following can be understood by each person. But this a good “teachable moment.”

      Does anyone know how we HEAR a sound with ears?

      1. Think about what happens when you hear someone say your name from a few feet away.
      – When that person speaks, a “sound wave” propagates through the air. It is similar to a “wave” that you see when a stone is dropped in a lake, propagating out.
      – As that wave propagates, the wave dies down and beyond a certain distance, that sound cannot be heard.
      – When that “pressure wave” reaches your ears, your eardrums vibrate and those vibrations are picked up by nerves and transmitted to the brain. The brain processes that “information” and passes it over to the sota pasada rupa.

      2. Now, we can record that speech and re-broadcast even over long distances. That is how we hear radio stations broadcasting from miles away.
      – That “sound wave” was n NOT propagated through the air. It propagates as an electromagnetic wave. It could be even sent over space where there is no air (broadcasts from the Moon).

      3. In both those cases, what really matters is how our BRAINS process those sound waves received by the ears, and then the hadaya vatthu (seat of the mind) HEARS IT with the help of the sota pasada rupa.
      – That is where the MAGIC takes place! How does the brain convert the vibrations of the eardrum (caused by a pressure wave) to a signal that can be HEARD by the MIND?
      – That is a 100% kammic phenomenon (meaning it is totally under Nature’s control). We have NO IDEA what happens there. We just KNOW that it happens. The Buddha DID NOT explain that MECHANISM!

      4. The “sensing of the sound” happens AT THE hadaya vatthu (with the help of the sota pasada rupa).
      – The original sound can get from point A to point B as a pressure wave (in the air in ordinary situations), as an electromagnetic wave (even through empty space in the case of a broadcast).
      – A mechanism somewhat related to the latter case may be in effect for “direct communication” between two Brahmas (or from a Brahma to the Buddha or someone with iddhi powers).

      This is really a fascinating subject. In particular, think about how we “see”. There is no “light” in the brain or anywhere else inside the body. Yet, we PERCEIVE light and SEE a tree, house, person, etc.
      – That “magic” happens at the hadaya vatthu, in this case with the help of the cakkhu pasada rupa.

      However, I don’t what to spend too much time on this subject.
      – I just wanted to convey that there are many things in the world that we DO NOT fully understand.
      – As the Buddha said, it is enough to understand how future suffering arises.
      – On the other hand, it is reasonable to spend some time to illustrate the soundness of Buddha Dhamma. When we combine what he had taught with modern science, we can get a much better idea about our world than even scientists specialized in their fields.
      – That is why I write posts like “Brain – Interface between Mind and Body
      – My hope is that it will help cultivate real sadda (faith) in Buddha Dhamma.
      – But such details are not necessary to comprehend the Noble Truths. Still, they may be helpful for some people.

    • #32531
      Lal
      Keymaster

      There is an important point that we need to take from the above discussion.

      “Seeing”, “hearing”, etc happen in the MIND when the corresponding pasada rupa makes contact with the hadaya vatthu (seat of the mind).

      – Those things DO NOT happen at the eyes, ears, etc. OR in the brain.

      Therefore, six types of vipāka viññāna arise via “Cakkhuñca paṭicca rūpe ca uppajjāti cakkhuviññāṇaṃ, sōtañca paṭicca sadde ca uppajjāti sotaviññāṇaṃ,…” in the mind.

      The physical body (with eyes, ears,…and the brain) arises because of our craving for sensual pleasures (i.e., to eat tasty food, smell the nice aroma, and to touch/have sex).
      – But those come with causes for suffering (injuries, diseases, etc.)

      People who see these problems with sensual pleasures cultivate jhana and start valuing such jhanic pleasures. Those are the ones that are reborn as Brahmas.
      – However, the suffering does not end. Those Brahmas also have finite lifetimes.
      – When they die they come back to the kama loka and start over.
      – Then, of course, rebirth in the apayas is hard to avoid.

      Thus, to attain Nibbana one MUST see the drawbacks of all those births.
      – There is no existence in ANY of the 31 realms where DEATH is absent.
      – Any “jati” (birth) has suffering built-in.

      December 23, 2020 See the relevant post published yesterday: “How Do We See? – Role of the Gandhabba

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