On “Mūlapariyāya Sutta”.

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    • #45298

      Reference: Link to SuttāCentral; MN1: Mūlapariyāya Sutta (English/Pali Side-by-Side Version)

      According to this suttā, AnAriya don’t understand the [patavi, apo, tejo, vayo] + [Creatures, Deva, Rūpa Brahma, Arūpa Brahma] + [seen, heard, smelled, touched, tasted, known] + [Diversity, Unity] + [ALL] + [Nibbāna].

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      First question: What “Mūlapariyāya” means?

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      3.2 They perceive earth as earth.

      pathaviṁ pathavito sañjānāti; 

      3.3 But then they identify with earth, they identify regarding earth, they identify as earth, they identify that ‘earth is mine’, they take pleasure in earth.

      pathaviṁ pathavito saññatvā pathaviṁ maññati, pathaviyā maññati, pathavito maññati, pathaviṁ meti maññati, pathaviṁ abhinandati.

      3.4 Why is that?

      Taṁ kissa hetu?

      3.5 Because they haven’t completely understood it, I say.

      ‘Apariññātaṁ tassā’ti vadāmi.

      This is repeated for different elements and range of beings in different realms.

      My main questions for that part;

      1. What Buddha says when he says that “because they haven’t completely understood it yet”? How do they don’t understand it completely? In what sense?,

      2. Is perceiving “patavi as patavi” problematic in some way?

      3. What is explanation for para 3.3?

      4. As I understand from one teacher this sutta is very important for understanding “mana saṃyojana” as well.


      5. “Ekattaṁ ekattato sañjānāti

      6. “Nānattaṁ nānattato sañjānāti”

      7. “Sabbaṁ sabbato sañjānāti”

      What does 5/6/7 means?

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      “But then they identify with X, they identify regarding X, they identify as X, they identify that ‘X is mine’, they take pleasure in X.”

      8. How shall meaning of this should be understood?

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    • #45303
      Tobias G

      As soon as the mind immerses in rupa (made of maha bhuta), names rupa, identification with rupa develops. It is then only a small step to identification as “my rupa”. So the Dhamma follower has to realize the true nature of rupa, which is ghost-like (bhuta). 
      If the mind does not immerse in rupa, joy of non-immersion or niramisa sukkha arises.

      If one perceived “patavi as patavi”, one has not understood the ghost-like nature, also immediately grasps such objects as “value” and the akusala mula PS can run.

      You can often see people immersed in objects (rupa), thinking it is valuable, but not realizing the futility of all their efforts.

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    • #45305

      Yes. Tobias’s clarification is good but can be explained in more detail.

      1. Mūlapariyāyameans something like “genesis” or the “origins.” Here “mūla” means “origin/roots” and “pariyāya” is related to “dhammatā” or the “nature of this world.”

      • This is an important sutta that needs to be discussed with MANY posts. A direct translation is useless and misleading.

      2. For example, the verse LDF quoted first, “pathaviṁ pathavito sañjānāti” itself requires a lot of explanation, especially for someone not familiar with a bit deeper fundamentals. 

      • sañjānāti” (knowing with “sañ” or “defilements”) is how an average person (anariya/puthujjano) sees/understands a concept.
      • pajānāti” is how an Ariya or a Noble Person (at lower stages) sees/understands a concept.
      • sampajānāti” (higher level of comprehending “sañ” ).
      • sati sampajānna” is another related term, and it is optimum for a Buddha.

      3. In the above verse, “pathavi” must be understood in a different context than “earth,” which is the most “dense state” of pathavi.

      • As mentioned above, the “Mūlapariyāya Sutta” is about the “origins.” 
      • The verse, “pathaviṁ pathavito sañjānāti” says an average person would interpret pathavi as solid (earth.) They perceive their physical bodies made of pathavi (and apo, tejo, vayo) as their own. 
      • However, pathavi, apo, tejo, vayo in their bodies are the same as that on Earth. 

      4. What is different is that their manomaya kaya (made of hadaya vatthu/pasāda rupa) have much finer levels of pathavi, apo, tejo, vayo. Not only that, but those are “energized” by kammic energy, i.e., those suddhātthakas are NOT inert. They are a form of “nāmarupa,” i.e., they are more than “inert rupa.” That is why cittas can arise in hadaya vatthu (with the help of pasāda rupa.)

      P.S. Added to #2 and #4 above.

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    • #45308

      Thank you to @Tobias G for taking time for explanation.

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      Question for @Tobias G,

      What do you mean by “mind immersing in Rūpa”, do you mean “mind generating kamma viññāṇa for given Rūpa due to inability to understand true nature of Rūpa”?

    • #45309

      Thank you @Lal for taking time to post a reply.


      I understand #1 of your reply.

      I suspect that, “true origin of things in this world” is about understanding how the bhuta are originated from mind dependent upon gati, as you explain in “bhuta and Yathābhūta” post on website.

      = =

      Thank you for explaining important terms in names of the section of Mūlapariyāya Suttā in your reply, point #2.

      Point #3 and #4 are also clear.

      = = =

      Lal, If it is not trouble, Can you please adress questions 5, 6, 7, 8 in #post-45298?

      Even if very briefly?

      Also, this suttā is about physical world isn’t it?

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    • #45312

      LDF questions #5 through #8:

      They are all related to the same concept I described. 

      • An average person has many wrong views. Their view of the world is wrong and such wrong views can manifest in different ways. Sañjānāti means such wrong understandings. Vipallasas (confusions) arise regarding “what is to be taken as mine.” That “vipallasa level” is removed at the Sotapanna stage. One will never be confused about whether to pursue worldly things or to pursue Nibbana! One will never be confused about that distinction.
      • Once one understands how rebirths in different realms originate due to one’s own actions, things become clear. There is no need to analyze word by word.
      • Then one can see that this dense physical body is secondary. Its purpose is to provide “dense sense doors” (for tasting, smelling, and touching). The “primary body” is the manomaya kaya (with hadaya vatthu/pasada rupa) created by kammic energy.
      • By understanding Paticca Samuppada, one can see how manomaya kaya for different realms (including Deva and Brahma) arise according to the level of avijja involved in creating that kammic energy.  
      • P.S. However, since one has not yet fully comprehended the anicca, dukkha, anatta nature, one may still crave sensory pleasures. One needs to cultivate Satipatthana/Anapanasati diligently to make further progress.
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    • #45314
      Tobias G

       “Mind immersing in rūpa” means to perceive “value” in rupa, which is based on avijja. Thus “avijja paccaya sankhara…(kamma)vinnana” happens.

      People tend to take the face value of things to be real (because of avijja). Therefore they are trapped in samsara.

      As Lal translates from Brahmanimantanika Sutta (MN 49):

      Viññāna is unseen, infinite, and leads to the rebirth process for all. With viññāna, one cannot comprehend the real nature of pathaviāpo, tējo, vāyo, bhūtā, deva, pajapti brahma, abhassara brahma, subhakinha brahma, vehapphala brahma, etc. (in any realm) in this world (sabba)”.

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    • #46202

      Thank you for bringing up this topic and for all the explanations.

      Upon going through the sutta, I noticed that there are some asterisks (*) inserted in some places in the translated parts to elaborate further on specific translations. I didn’t see that before, so perhaps it’s a recent thing. I don’t know whether or not others know this, but for the sake of raising awareness, I’d like to point out that sometimes references are made to Vedic scriptures like Upanishad. This is very unfortunate.

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