March 23, 2018 at 12:13 am #14735
Since the nibbatti lakkhana defines the operating mechanism of the 5 aggregates, does it also explain why we tend to get sick and tired of doing certain things like eating certain food, repeatedly listening to certain songs etc? I would think if no ahara is consumed, nibbatti lakkhana cannot take place. Meaning to say, if there is no sense object, there won’t be sense pleasure (result) for us to experience sensual gratification (5 aggregates). Which in my understanding, implies that nibbatti lakkhana defines the domain in which sense object, sense pleasures, and sensual gratification operate and form a casual relationship. Another way I look at nibbatti lakkhana is that it serves as a platform for our gathi to exercise its defiled nature. But of course, it cuts both ways. Good gathi can be cultivated via taming our cittaja kaya and when we do that, nibbatti lakkhana kicks in to detoxify our mental body.
March 23, 2018 at 7:54 pm #14757
Yes. That is true.
Nibbatti lakkhana is basically the blueprint for the building up of any sankata. One is born with a blueprint, but IT CAN BE CHANGED.
As Johnny said, it can be changed by changing one’s gati. This works not only for one’s own body (part of the rupakkhandha or the matter aggregate), but also for one’s thoughts (which have the other four mental kandhas). This is a good meditation topic and one can get deeper into the subject.
Just take one’s body. Even though one will not be able to change the basic features like skin color, height, etc, one will be definitely able to change one’s health, including the brain function (and avoid diseases like Alzeimer’s). I know this by experience. Even though it is hard to get rid of my back problems (I always think about the fact that the Buddha himself had back problems; so such bad vipaka are definitely hard for us to avoid), I am in better condition than I was even 15 20 years ago. I used to take sleeping pills (not strong ones, just mild ones) when I was working. I have not taken one for many years now. I hardly get a headache or flu even though I have never taken a “flu shot”. These are small things, but they make a big difference in one’s state of mind and well being.
Even mental aggregates, one should be able to see the difference after starting on the Path for a few months. You don’t react to things the same way. Your life becomes much more simple, and less burdened.
Each thought is a sankata. A thought arises due to an external stimulus, and those initial thoughts (mano sankhara) depend TOTALLY on one’s gati. And the way to change one’s gati is to change one’s vaci sankhara (especially the part of talking to oneself) just after realizing what those initial and automatic mano sankhara are. I have discussed this in several recent posts. This is the basis of Anapana and Satipatthana meditation.
May 29, 2018 at 5:04 am #16087
You mentioned: “Nibbatti lakkhana is basically the blueprint for the building up of any sankata.”
I contemplated on this topic of Nibbatti Lakkhana again and would like to pen down some thoughts. Since Nibbatti Lakkhana defines the blueprint for any sankata, it would appear that it also defines what we are capable of doing and achieving. For example, a cat, no matter how hard it tries and imagines itself to be an eagle flying in the sky, can never become an eagle in this lifetime. An eskimo no matter how aspirated he is to become a NBA basketballer is never going to realise his dreams. In simple words, Nibbatti Lakkhana is in a way, genes, genetics. Heredity passed on from our past kamma, not only in the form of DNA, but also our blessings and mishaps (vipaka). It defines (and determines to a certain extent), what we are capable of achieving and the potentiality of the type of vipaka that can be unleashed onto us when certain conditions are fulfilled. A person born poor can only associate with the poor like sticking around with his/her own family members whereas the rich and powerful can network with the rich and powerful. Not only because they can, but also because they are having the right genes to perform to a certain level of competency (or lack thereof). Now comes the crucial part. A person with some background on Tilakkhana will know the futility of pursuing worldly stuffs. So naturally, he/she sees the worthlessness of worldly things and will ease off the throttle instead of trying too hard in life. Whereas for the case of a worldly person who has yet to give some serious thought on Tilakkhana, might fall into serious depression when things do not go their way.
March 23, 2018 at 8:50 pm #14758
What about the kammic relationship among sentient beings? Say for example, a couple going through courtship, get married, and eventually divorced; An employee who aspires to work in a company, got hired, stay employed for several years and decided to resign; A dog owner had to deal with the demise of his pet dog when life came to an end etc. These events appear to model like a sankata too. We can see that the experiential aspect of these things involve our 5 aggregates. Which means it will definitely involve nibbatti lakkhana too.
March 23, 2018 at 9:26 pm #14759
That is true. But all these can also be thought of as how one responds to a given situation based on one’s gati. However, the situation can change one’s gati, if one does not have a “solid set of morals”.
This is true even outside the practice.
For example, when two people get married, they will both HAVE TO change their gati to some extent to accommodate the other person. At least, in successful marriages it happens.
But if one develops “moral gati” that will help in any of those cases you mentioned. For example, in the first example of the couple, if they learn Dhamma and have that common and good focus that will be an added benefit, because not only will they common gati, but they will be ‘moral gati“.
In other words, two people with bad moral getting together and starting dealing drugs, they will both end up in a bad situation eventually.
So, there are many ways to think about this. You are right. These are the “real meditation topics”. But one thing is certain: A person with a “solid, unshakable, set of morals” can change gati of those around him/her, and thus change their nibbatti lakkhana!
March 23, 2018 at 9:30 pm #14760
April 3, 2018 at 7:33 am #14939
SN 10.1 Indaka Vagga is about a conversation between a yakkha and the Buddha. The yakkha asked the Buddha how does one obtain the body.
I read a dhamma book that mentions this sutta in Pali:
Paṭhamaṃ kalalaṃ hoti, kalalā hoti abbudaṃ.
Abbudājāyate pesi, pesi nibbattatī ghano.
Ghanā pasākhājāyanti, kesā lomā nakhāpi ca.
The author translated the Pali text into English:
First there is the kalala; from the kalala comes the abbuda; From the abbuda the pesī is produced; from the pesī the ghana arises; From the ghana emerge the limbs, the head hair, body-hair, and nails.
Any learned friends here could shed some insight into what these bold Pali words mean? The author of the dhamma book did not elaborate on them but he did compare them with things like embryo, egg, water of washed meat…etc. They appear to be one manifestation of Nibbatti Lakkhana.
April 3, 2018 at 3:00 pm #14942
Kalala – first cell (zygote) with gadhabba; see, “What does Buddha Dhamma (Buddhism) say about Birth Control?“.
Abbuda – fetus in the second week after conception
Pesi – fetus in the third stage
Ghana – fourth and final stage
Of course, the Buddha knew all these well-before modern science.
Scientists still do not know how “life” comes to the zygote that is formed by the fertilization of an egg by a sperm. Until a gandhabba takes hold of the zygote, there is no life there.
There is a nice Pali-English dictionary that has many of those words above:
“Concise Pali-English Dictionary by A.P. Buddhadatta Mahathera”
This is a better dictionary than most I have come across.
April 4, 2018 at 7:38 am #14962
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