- This topic has 31 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 4 years, 3 months ago by y not.
February 2, 2019 at 11:07 am #21720upekkha100Participant
From the post Our Two Worlds: Material and Mental:
“Everything in this world is made of 6 dhātu: patavi, āpo, thejo, vāyo, akāsa, and viññāna. Five of them constitute the “material world”
and the viññāna dhātu represents the “mental world”.”
1) If akasa dhatu constitute the material world, then does that mean it is at/above the sudastaka stage?
2) Vinnana dhatu is below the sudastaka stage?
3) Are all the following made up of vinnana dhatu:
d) All the cetasikas
e) Kamma beeja
d) Nama Gotta
February 2, 2019 at 1:23 pm #21724
May I also add that in the same post, Lal mentioned that
akasa is not merely ’empty space’. I am not sure what else it could mean then?
Hope this is not a premature question, as Lal did mention that it would be discussed later.
February 2, 2019 at 4:13 pm #21730
There are 6 dhatu in all: patavi, apo, tejo, vayo, akasa, vinnana.
patavi, apo, tejo, vayo are in akasa. Therefore, akasa can be thought of as “where patavi, apo, tejo, vayo exist”.
Both akasa and vinnana are infinite. One can experience that (I have not) when one gets into the first two arupavacara jahna of Ākāsānancāyatana and Viññāṇañcāyatana.
Ākāsānancāyatana comes from Ākāsā + ananta + ayatana, which means it is “infinite spatial plane”. Plane does not mean a two-dimensional surface. I cannot think about a suitable English word; it just means “it is out there”.
Same for Viññāṇañcāyatana: “infinite Viññāṇa plane”.
What is Viññāṇa dhatu are Viññāṇa (kammic energies below the suddhashtaka stage) and nama gotta (just records without energy).
Sanna, Vedana, Sankhara just arise in one’s mind; as soon as they arise, they are gone. After that records of them remain as nama gotta in the Viññāṇa plane.
– For example, one can recall what happened yesterday while eating lunch: one recognized the food, tatsed, and generated sankhara about it. Those things one can recall.
– But if one got really attached to that food, and wants to eat the same next week, that “expectation” remains as an energy as a Viññāṇa.
February 2, 2019 at 6:43 pm #21735
“Both akasa and vinnana are infinite. One can experience that (I have not) when one gets into the first two arupavacara jahna of Ākāsānancāyatana and Viññāṇañcāyatana.
Ākāsānancāyatana comes from Ākāsā + ananta + ayatana, which means it is “infinite spatial plane”. Plane does not mean a two-dimensional surface. I cannot think about a suitable English word; it just means “it is out there”
I’m surprised that you explain it very well without experience. I happen to experience it for a couple days and it’s as you say. It’s out there, explaining it in normal mundane words is not possible, when I experienced it as a thought of it as Nibbana as suffering there is so subtle that you have a hard time to recognize it.
February 3, 2019 at 6:39 am #21744
Apparently it is not space that is inflating and deflating when space is infinite? Has space always existed? I always thought science explains space-time has arisen with the big bang.
February 3, 2019 at 6:53 am #21747
Yes, Siebe. According to Buddha Dhamma space always existed, and “planetary syatems” like our Solar system are formed and destroyed in a cyclic process. There is no need for a “Big Bang”: “Buddhism and Evolution – Aggañña Sutta (DN 27)“.
February 3, 2019 at 10:32 am #21753
Please allow me to state my view:
Science comes up with theories. Sometimes those theories are confirmed as fact, at other times they are refuted by science itself. But in the long run. Scientists can be as dogmatic as medieval Christianity in defending views that have become accepted by the orthodox scientific community – the Big Bang is one of them.
You do not need Buddhadhamma to see that space cannot be created. Nor can time.Bot are eternal and infinite. But the Big Bang theorists, supported by their own equations,insist that both were effects of the Big Bang. As I once asked an ‘expert’ online: ‘Well then, where did the Big Bang take place if not in space? ‘ And as an aside: ‘ Into what is the Universe expanding if not into Space?’ But this ‘expert’ could make no distinction between the space within the universe (where the forces generated by the supposed Big Bang give rise, among other things, to the ‘curvature of space’ and, wait for it, the ‘expansion (!!) of space’, both of which may possibly be effects only on the space contained WITHIN the big-bang universe) and the infinite Space beyond. To his mind space was created by the Big Bang. Full stop. Any opposing view is treated with ridicule, ‘unscientific’.
What deserves ridicule is in fact the idea that, when space is already infinite, where will the expansion take place? How can Infinite Space expand? Into what? Where? Or are we to imagine space with different grades of tenuousness, layer upon layer, different ‘densities of space’, space folding onto itself (in the absence of expansion without). Or how absurd can it get?
Common sense, Buddhadhamma and science itself will in time deal a big bang to the Big Bang.
February 3, 2019 at 11:28 am #21757
Thanks ynot for your view,
If space always existed, that probably also means it has no cause, it has never arisen, it was always there and it will never cease too. Seeing space this way it looks like it is an unconditioned element. I do not think this can be true.
Another point, I do not know how anyone could ever experience infinite space or infinite vinnana. I think this can only be someone impression while in jhana. How can one experience infiniteness? I think one cannot. Infinit is a concept and i do not see how one can ever experience it.
February 3, 2019 at 12:53 pm #21761
Unconditioned. But not an element.
By space I mean the Infinite Container in contrast with the infinite number of the contained, the elements, within it, from superclusters of galaxies and all the stars, planets and dust clouds and all else they contain to single suddhastakas diffused in space to the order of one in a cubic light year, if that were the case; any ‘element’whatsoever, however big or small.
“..it has no cause, it has never arisen, it was always there and it will never cease too. ”
I always ask myself: can it be otherwise?
If the first three were otherwise, out of what could space possibly arise in time? And what of the time before that? What would have occupied that ‘space’ before that space arose. Only space. With the fourth, if space could cease to be, what would there be left? Only space. So it cannot be destroyed either.
“I do not know how anyone could ever experience infinite space or infinite vinnana.”
Here I take refuge in the Buddha. He said both can be experienced, along with the other two experiences of Infinite Nothingness and Infinite Neither-perception-Nor-Non perception. From the ‘common sense’ or experiential aspect, the only analogy for Infinite that now comes to mind is the feeling of unbounded love we have when we love some one immensely. We are unable to set a limit to it if we are asked to. But that unbounded-ness is in the sense of depth, of an ‘inner’ infinity not in the spatial sense of an outer unbounded-ness.
The replies of others may well be more helpful here especially if they have actually experienced such.
February 3, 2019 at 3:21 pm #21764
Is it not possible to say that when space-time did not yet exist there was emptiness? This emptiness (voidness) was always there and will always be there.
I look upon space as something subtle (a kind of rupa). I imagine space-time is like a very subtle field which expands and deflates in emptiness. I think space-time has a kind of very subtle structure, even when no visible formations have yet arisen.
Does the Buddha not say in DN1 that there are four grounds in which people can be called Finitists and Infinitists, and proclaim the finitude and infinitude of the world. There is no other way, he says. And all are wrong.
The case is described where someone claims that the world is infinite based on his own experience. This is a wrong view number 10 in the translation of Walshe:
2.18. [Wrong view 10] ‘And what is the second way? Here a certain ascetic or Brahmin has  attained to such a state of concentration that he dwells perceiving the world as infinite. He thinks: “This world is infinite and unbounded. Those ascetics and Brahmins who say it is finite and bounded are wrong. How so? Because I have attained to such a state of
concentration that I dwell perceiving the world as infinite.
Therefore I know that this world is infinite and unbounded.”
This is the second case.
§3.34. [Wrong views 9-12] ‘When those who are Finitists
& Infinitists proclaim the finitude and infinitude of the
world on four grounds, that is merely the feeling of those who
do not know and see, the worry and vacillation of those immersed in craving”.
February 3, 2019 at 4:16 pm #21765
In the Brahmajala Sutta, the Buddha was referring to brahmins with wrong views on whether the WORLD is finite or infinite (which is different from Ākāsa dhatu).
Akasa dhatu and vinnana dhatu are both infinite and one needs a good knowledge of Abhidhamma or the ability to experience it to verify for himself/herself.
In any case, I think this discussion is not very fruitful. One can believe whatever one wants to and it would not make much of a difference for progressing on the Path. If and when one can get to arupavacara jhana, one will be able to experience Ākāsānancāyatana and Viññāṇañcāyatana.
Please do not post any more on this issue of whether akasa dhatu or vinnana dhatu is infinte or not. That would be a philosophical and speculative discussion.
If Christian would like to, he can share his experience.
February 4, 2019 at 4:33 am #21772
Oke Lal, i am curious how one can experience infiniteness?
February 4, 2019 at 5:34 am #21773
Is there a difference between a certain vinnana (for example sota-vinnana) and vinnana-dhatu? Is there a relationship?
I understood vinnana is something that conditionally arises and ceases, dependend for example on sense-contact. Is vinnana-dhatu not something that arises and ceases?
February 4, 2019 at 6:12 am #21774
I would like to share the experience but this is beyond the possibility of this world. A mind can be adapted to the higher realms like that only when exposed to it directly but for me, the experience bypassed the mind or the mundane mind which we use to work with in relation to six senses. What Lal is saying is right with the experience in the limitations of rational understanding of such phenomena which is the best you can get without proper experience. I’m already shared some of my meditative experiences but I doubt anybody believes them (for me would be hard to believe that without being subject to those experiences). This type of experiences of beyond rupa jhanas and their aspects like infinite space etc. if I start speaking about them nobody would take it seriously as the mind will negate those experiences being to used to limitations of six senses. That’s why I always mention that most of the things people ask, are curious about or want to fill up themselves with the ideas which are nonsense and got nothing to do with Buddha Dhamma, we can come to some understanding without experience as Lal presented but it does not lead anywhere besides having some idea – even to really grasp right idea of such experiences and not distorted imagination itself person need to be cultivated to some extent or have some insight into Nibbana to deduce those things of how they are (they already need to have some Panna to penetrate into that stuff). I would rather believe that dragons exist and things that happen with fantasy books or Indian mythology is more real then what happens beyond out limitations of our six senses if I would be not subject to those experiences – there would be no way I could possibly believe such things even when explained exactly how it is (which is not possible to be exact with it to bridge and transport any sense to regular person).
February 4, 2019 at 6:29 am #21775
Christian: Do you experience clearly the transition from Ākāsānancāyatana to Viññāṇañcāyatana? Is it possible to describe that?
February 6, 2019 at 9:28 am #21823
The transition is so subtle that is not possible to even realize the movement from one to another till the new knowledge arises. For me it was for first 2 days or 3 days I was so entertained by it beyond words but later on, it’s matured on its own and kind of “switches” when this state matures on its own.
February 4, 2019 at 6:44 am #21776
” i am curious how one can experience infiniteness?”
If and when I experience it, I will try to explain it.
“Is there a difference between a certain vinnana (for example sota-vinnana) and vinnana-dhatu? Is there a relationship?
Of course there is. It is like asking whether there is a relationship between patavi dhatu and a tree or house.
“I understood vinnana is something that conditionally arises and ceases, dependend for example on sense-contact. Is vinnana-dhatu not something that arises and ceases?”
The problem here is that you (and many others I have seen at the Dhamma Wheel forum), just use terms without trying to understand the real meaning.
For example, when you say, “vinnana is something that conditionally arises and ceases, dependend for example on sense-contact.”, that is a lot of words without much essence.
Try to understand (and express in your own terms) what happens in the case of such an event.
– Say, you see something or someone, say X. How does that “seeing event” happen? What are the steps? What falls on the retina (at the back of your eye) is an upside-down image of X. How does the mind “see X”?
– If you really want to understand that, you need to read the subsection: “Citta and Cetasika“.
You can ask questions from those posts, if you really want to understand the details. But those details are not needed to make progress on the Path.
– What is critical is to avoid dasa akusala or immoral deeds (miccha ditthi being the most important), and to cultivate kusala (moral deeds).
February 4, 2019 at 8:32 am #21778
I have many problems, kilesa’s, greed, hate, delusion, fear. Nothing i do not have. But that i am not trying to understand dhamma concepts, that is not true, but oke, maybe it looks this way. By the way, I am not at the Dhamma Wheel forum.
I have read a lot post on citta and cetasika. And many times the same.
Now i am reading about space-element which is said to be unconditioned, always existed. For me this is new. I thought Nibbana is the only unconditioned element.
Now i read about vinnana dhatu and this is said to be infinite too. Is this some kind of field? Is this an always present vinnana? I think this cannot be meant but what is an infinite always existing vinnana dhatu?
February 6, 2019 at 9:33 am #21824
You need to know that trying to understand Dhamma with hate, greed, and lust make no sense and it’s not possible. Understanding grows on its own when one is cutting them off.
February 6, 2019 at 3:10 pm #21825
I know from experience mind can be like a calm lake, so calm and relaxed, even inhaling and exhaling can end. One can experience a big relief and openess, like any stress or burden is gone. And some time later (anariya) stress and burden come back. Mind can show all this. From pure fear and terror to an enourmous feeling of safety and trust. From heat to cooling down. From greed to any lack of greed. From tanha to any lack of tanha.
Herewith conditions are very important is my own experience. Isolate people, and we all have to fight to stay mentally healthy. Loose your job and you will feel less appreciated and self-assured. Loose your nice relationship or friendships and maybe you will feel stress levels (thapa) automatically increase. Etc.
Our natural and inborn longings and needs for attention, appreciation, love, they cause so much thapa when they are not satisfied.
I know it is for a human being very hard to cool down when those basic needs are not satisfied.
February 6, 2019 at 5:49 pm #21833
I do not know what you are talking about. If you see the difference between regular life and Nibbana then your are really clueless about Buddha Dhamma.
Buddha Dhamma got nothing to do with focusing or calming the mind by the means of concentration. Once you understand Dhamma concepts mind transform permanently. It got nothing to do with numbing relaxation or calmness of the mind. We develop wisdom which finds also reflection in regular life so trying to divide that way to attain Nibbana is somewhat opposite to regular life is super wrong and you will only struggle which will lead to depression and giving up Dhamma because of own misunderstandings.
February 4, 2019 at 9:04 am #21780
Siebe wrote: “Now i am reading about space-element which is said to be unconditioned, always existed. For me this is new.
Now i am reading about space-element which is said to be unconditioned, always existed. For me this is new”.
This is the key problem. Getting stuck in a set of words like ‘unconditioned”. One needs to have a basic understanding of what causes suffering.
– Buddha Dhamma is all about removing the causes for future suffering.
What causes suffering is attachment to “things” in this world. But not all “things” make us attach to them.
– Those “things” that we attach to have a finite time of existence, and even during that time of existence they change unexpectedly (viparinama nature). Those are also called sankata.
Instead of trying to analyze concepts that cannot be grasped, one should start at a level that one can understand.
– Akasa dhatu and vinnana dhatu are at the very fundamental level; vinnana dhatu is different from vinnana. Everything in the world is condensed into just 6 “entities”: patavi, apo, tejo, vayo, akasa dhatu, vinnana dhatu.
– Trying to understand those is like trying to understand quantum mechanics without understanding basic mechanics, say Newton’s laws.
All those 6 elements will always be there. That does not mean they do not undergo change.
Those 6 elements, by themselves, do not make us suffer. When we attach to “things” that arise in the world starting with those 6 elements, that is when we create future suffering for ourselves.
Understanding of more complex things comes only after understanding more basic things. I really hope everyone will carefully read all the posts at the new “Essential Buddhism” section. If one cannot understand those posts, then talking about more complex subjects is just a waste of time.
Siebe wrote: “I have many problems, kilesa’s, greed, hate, delusion, fear. Nothing i do not have..”
That is where you should start. My recommendation to you or anyone else is to read carefully the posts in the above section AND follow them: “Essential Buddhism“. How to get rid of kilesa’s, greed, hate, delusion, fear, etc is described there.
Anyway, I have spent enough time on this topic. Unless I see a comment that is worthwhile responding to, no point in spending more time answering “philosophical questions”.
February 4, 2019 at 9:30 am #21781
If you would allow a word of advice from one participant to another,
Getting to understand all about vinnana dhatu, even getting to experience it, would not help in the least in tackling, let alone eliminating, your,on your own admission, ‘many problems, kilesa’s, greed, hate, delusion, fear. Nothing i do not have.’
I share your eagerness to know about these things. Before coming across Buddhadhamma, this delving into concepts like Infinity and Eternity was for decades my ‘favourite private domain’ so to speak. Up to about a year ago I had to pull myself forcibly away from this almost natural tendency of mine. Now it is much easier to do so. Why? Getting into that jhana, even being reborn in a corresponding arupavacara realm, would do nothing in the way of attaining or progressing in magga phala (you may still end up in an apaya)- what to say of merely philosophizing about it and trying to figure out the experience of it?
Your priority is to deal with the many problems you mention. Concentrate on that. Time is ticking. “– What is critical is to avoid dasa akusala or immoral deeds (miccha ditthi being the most important), and to cultivate kusala (moral deeds).” There, Sybe, simply stated, the way to deal with your problems. Getting around it will not be that easy though.
February 4, 2019 at 2:17 pm #21796
I read one of your earlier posts about how you can understand intellectually about Buddhadhamma, but you experience emotional difficulties such as having a fear of losing control. Unfortunately I can no longer locate that post for further reference, so do correct me if I am wrong.
In my opinion, you can start by thinking about the bad consequences of continually harbouring such emotions (such as how you will be badly stressed and may commit dasa akusala just so as to regain control, or in order to curb that fear), and the good consequences of just letting them go (such as how much relieved you may feel, and how it may become easier and easier over time with repeated practise to just simply let go).
You can start step by step. For example, if you fear losing control of your money and possessions, you can donate some money to a charity, or give a dollar or two to a homeless man in the streets. Start small. Just think of it as investing in your future happiness if that helps. See how that makes you feel. Do you feel happier already for doing a moral act? Slightly less anxious about losing control?
What if you fear losing control of your relationships? The next time someone says something angry to you, can you give in just a bit more if you believe that doing so would only benefit the situation and not make it worse? Notice how that makes you feel?
Start little by little and slowly build up to more, if you feel like it. On days you can’t do it, don’t reprimand yourself but make a mental note to do it again the next day, so as to build up good habits. It may take time, perhaps even lots of time, but do persevere. In doing so, you would be cultivating sati and improving your gati bit by bit. All that is really worthwhile.
I hope this helps you, Siebe.
February 4, 2019 at 2:32 pm #21797
I am doing all those ‘small’ things for a long time. But thanks for your concern firewns.
I want to share the following :
Buddha-Dhamma is very easy to understand. It is not complicated at all.
This is shown in a very nice way to Sakka in MN37:
“Here, ruler of gods, a bhikkhu has heard that nothing is worth adhering to. When a bhikkhu has heard that nothing is worth adhering to, he directly knows everything; having directly known everything, he fully understands everything; having fully understood everything, whatever feeling he feels, whether pleasant or painful or neither-painfui-nor-pleasant, he abides contemplating impermanence in those feelings, contemplating fading away, contemplating cessation, contemplating relinquishment. Contemplating thus, he does not cling to anything in the world. When he does not cling, he is not agitated. When he is not agitated, he personally attains Nibbana” (MN37, translation Bodhi)
Anyone can see this is the Path, anyone can know this is true. Buddha-Dhamma is not complicated and very easy to understand. Nothing is worth adhering to. What does one need to learn more?
It is not difficult to see but also experience that craving is the cause of suffering. Craving makes us helpless. Craving does not help. Craving does not end the emotional hunger. Craving is no solution to health problems, to decay, to death, to suffering. People who suffer bodily and also have strong craving, suffer very much. Craving only makes things worse.
Anyone can see that craving is not helpfull. Craving for the wellbeing of others, craving for perfection, craving for a better world, craving for results, it is not helpfull at all. It is not difficult to see.
But…there is understanding and understanding. That i know for sure.
While the core of buddha-dhamma is so easy to understand , so difficult it is to really realise.
There have been many lives in which craving was our only solution, our only refuge, our only lifebelt, our only way to deal with suffering.
So while we mentally understand the core of buddha-dhamma, in our hearts are views, tendencies, asava’s, anusaya still in conflict with buddha-dhamma. Please accept this as a fact and not as a negative view or attitude.
Our heart still beats on the rhythm of greed, hate and delusion even when we see this rhythm is not productive. That our heart beats on the rhythm of greed, hate and delusion is not a sign that we are doing something wrong. This is just honesty. Our heritage of the past. We can only accept this heritage openly and in honesty and do our best to make progression.
February 4, 2019 at 3:27 pm #21799
In one of the suttas, I think Rev Ananda remarked to The Buddha that paticca samuppada seemed hard to understand, but really it was actually quite clear to see and understand. The Buddha then corrected Ananda, saying that just as paticca samuppada seemed hard to understand, it was in actuality hard to see and understand too.
The Buddha had also remarked that ‘one who sees paticca samuppada sees the Dhamma, and one who sees the Dhamma sees paticca samuppada’.
If that is so, then the Dhamma is not easy to see and understand at all.
Maybe what you have seen is actually just the surface layer of it. You could have failed to penetrate to its deeper meanings, thus you have come to something of an impasse in your practice. You may just have a mistaken perception of having understood the core of Buddhadhamma. I do not wish to dampen your spirits, but this could very well be a possibility. This is why sometimes it can take many lifetimes of concentrated study and practice before one is ready to see the ultimate truth.
Perhaps you have some miccha ditthi that you have been subconsciously clinging onto, as you fear losing control of your own worldview should you let them go. You do not have to believe everything The Buddha says for a start. You can simply just be openly neutral to these ideas, and not reject them outright. Promise me that you would do that. I hope it would do you a world of good.
I sincerely wish you peace and progress in your search for happiness.
February 4, 2019 at 4:17 pm #21800
In addressing Sybe you say: ‘Unfortunately I can no longer locate that post for further reference, so do correct me if I am wrong.’
Click under Sybe’s profile- sybe07 -then select ‘replies created’. Chances are the post you are looking for is there (one of 223 !) but then it is only a question of time – if not it will under ‘topics started’, an easier search (38) but less likely.
February 5, 2019 at 11:43 am #21808
firewns, i am sure i do not understand buddha-dhamma deeply. That’s what i tell all the time. I belief that deeply understanding buddha-dhamma means ones asava’s and tanha have weakened to a certain degree or ended.
I cannot say this is true for me. But i will not say there is no progress at all. Progress is slow and difficult, as it is with persons with much greed, hate and delusion.
I know from experience there is a big difference in understanding buddha-dhamma with intellect and really with ones heart. The first does not lead to release. Somehow it has to become an understanding of the heart.
It is like understanding rationally there is no reason to fear a spider while any time one sees a spider one is overwhelmed with fear automatically. It is like the heart has it’s own understanding. It decides for fear. Unless the heart really understands the spider is really not fearfull it can decide for not-fear.
February 5, 2019 at 12:16 pm #21811upekkha100Participant
1) Everything in this entire world is essentially energy (whether it is mano rupa or rupa rupa)?
2) Everything is either mano rupa(below sudastaka) or rupa rupa(at/above sudastaka)?
3) Mano rupa is precursor. All rupa rupa started out as mano rupa before condensing to rupa rupa?
February 5, 2019 at 4:11 pm #21814
Questions by upekkha100:
1) Everything in this entire world is essentially energy (whether it is mano rupa or rupa rupa)?
2) Everything is either mano rupa(below sudastaka) or rupa rupa(at/above sudastaka)?
3) Mano rupa is precursor. All rupa rupa started out as mano rupa before condensing to rupa rupa?
Yes to all.
– It is significant to note that Einstein proved that matter and energy are the same. They are related by his famous equation: E = mc^2.
It is also important to realize that mano rupa are created by vinnana.
Vinnana is different from other nama: vedana, sanna, sankhara:
“Introduction to Citta, Vēdanā, Saññā, Sankhāra, and Viññāna”
More detailed analyses at:
This is why, “Nibbana is attained via stopping the arising of vinnana (vinnana nirodha)”.
– That is explained in that subsection given in the last link.
– It is also discussed in the post: “Viññāna (Defiled Consciousness)“
March 5, 2019 at 12:18 pm #22271
I realized that I had overlooked thanking you for your help when you suggested that I could click under Sybe’s profile to locate his post in the past that I had been referring to.
I had tried doing that before your suggestion, but it seemed to no avail. Nevertheless, your helpful gesture is still much appreciated. Thank you very much for your kind help. You have also been helpful in other instances.
May you attain Nibbana speedily!
March 5, 2019 at 1:17 pm #22273
I know you FELT thankful on reading my suggestion. The doubt was whether you had read it. I use the tack whenever I need to review my own posts (for reference). Never a problem.
“….speedily!” may be a bit too fast in my case!
May you attain Nibbana speedily.
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