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    • #29031
      y not
      Participant

      The question concerns gati.

      #4. ….at any given time, there is a “person” with a set of gati (habits/character) responsible for the actions done at that time.

      #5…..(the second condition for the arising of consciousness is)…one of our six senses must be stimulated…the sixth are the thoughts that come to our mind directly.

      Let us say the sense of sight is stimulated….perhaps giving an instance from the suttas would make the idea clearer: There is a sutta in the Jataka (#68 Saketa Jataka) where a brahmin and his wife RECOGNIZE the Buddha as having been their son. Now if it were the Buddha who was seeing that with abhinna powers, that would raise no questions. In fact He said later to the Bhikkhus: “in ages past this brahmin was my father in 500 successive births, my uncle in a like number, and in 500 more my grandfather. And in 1500 successive births his wife was respectively my mother, my aunt, and my grandmother. So I was brought up in 1500 births by this brahmin, and in 1500 by his wife.”

      But the fact that the Brahmin and his wife RECOGNIZED the Buddha as their son…just WHERE did they see that? I can only deduce that the gatis of the three were, so to speak, intertwined in that respect, at least for the duration of those 1500 births, and the couple somehow SAW IT in the Buddha. Which brings up the questions:

      1) Is gati ‘lodged’ in the sanna of the perceiver? In the vedana?; ‘concealed ‘ in the rupa of the perceived, there to be ‘retrieved’ by those who were formerly connected. In vinnana as the aggregate of the other four?

      2) If in none of the 5 khandhas, and still it influences rebirth (one other meaning of gati I have come across is destination, which makes sense – our habits/character influence rebirth), where does it figure, where is it ‘concealed’, in P S ?

      3) Will the memory of the connection last for only 91 mahakappa ( for all memory records are gone after that time)? And will therefore that sequence of gati as well last for only 91 mahakappas?

      4) For that reason, had the connection also been there in mahakappas previous to those 91, would that be irrelevant to the point that the Buddha would not bother to mention it?

    • #29035
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Y not: I don’t think your question is directly related to the intent of this post.

      I was trying to explain how a basic sensory event takes place.
      – For example, to see a person who comes to your line of view, you must be awake and the image of that person must land on your retina and the mind needs to register that “seeing-event.”
      – Then based on one’s gati (and also based on who was seen), one will respond to that “seeing event” in the above example.

      So, this post was an introduction to more material that is coming. Of course, I have discussed this material in different ways. But here I will be discussing things with a focus on the five aggregates.

      But there is nothing wrong with the question per se. I can think about your question and others can answer it too.

    • #29037
      Johnny_Lim
      Participant

      Hi Lal,

      Under point #8,

      “In this analysis, the whole world is divided into just five categories. One is the rupa aggregate, the “collection of all rupa” or the rūpakkhandha. That includes all “material objects,” including our physical bodies and all external objects.”

      I think you have mentioned before rūpakkhandha is different from rūpa, as in the former is sense impressions. But it seems like rūpakkhandha is now somewhat the same as rūpa. Did I understand the concepts wrongly?

    • #29042
      Lal
      Keymaster

      You are right, Johnny.

      Rupakkhandha is all mental, as I have discussed before. But I will be revising that post too, next week.
      – I also revised #4 of today’s post too in that regard.

      Furthermore, the other four khandhas are all mental too. I will write on them in upcoming posts. I do not want to refer to the old posts since many of them need some revisions.

      Rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara, vinnana all last only momentarily (as experienced). We experience them and they become memories right away.
      – Now, that does NOT mean a given rupa last only momentarily. Only our experience of a rupa is only momentary.
      – That is the distinction between a given rupa and one’s rupakkhandha.
      – For example, a tree that one saw the previous day has been registered in the rupakkhandha forever. But that tree may have been cut down right after one saw it. Thus that tree (rupa) is not there today. But the rupakkhandha still has the memory of it as it was seen yesterday.
      – Rupakkhandha is personal. Mine is different from yours, for example. That is because, for one thing, what I have seen is different from what you have seen. There are many other differences that we will discuss.

      Ask questions if not clear. It is important to understand these key concepts.

    • #29045
      y not
      Participant

      Thanks Lal,

      1.”Five aggregates (pañcakkhandha) represent ANY given living-being”.

      4 “…. at any given time, there is a “person” with a set of gati (habits/character) responsible for the actions done at that time.

      And: “– Then based on one’s gati (and also based on who was seen), one will respond to that “seeing event” in the above example.” Now, “a living-being together with his/her all experiences can be described ENTIRELY in terms of those five aggregates.” Precisely THERE is the connection between the 5 khandhas and gati that I saw.

      I see you already have made an addition or alteration to # 4 (the third-listed point).

      Thank you. I will wait. This topic promises to draw quite some interest.

    • #29049
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Yes, y not. We are just getting started on this topic from a new perspective.

      In fact, answers to your original question will become clear as we proceed.
      – The five aggregates are key to understanding how our memories are recalled.
      – As you can probably see, one’s memories (in a beginningless rebirth process) is in the five aggregates. That is how the Buddha was able to “see” how he received “niyata vivarana to become a Buddha” from a Buddha who lived 100,000 eons ago!
      – Some of these things may sound “exotic” but once one understands the principles, they are no longer myths. See, “Pāramitā and Niyata Vivarana – Myths or Realities?

      By the way, my understanding becomes more clear with time too. Thus the need to revise these posts on the Five Aggregates (Pancakkhandha). Many of them were written several years ago.

    • #29328
      y not
      Participant

      Bhikkhu Samahita addresses the question ‘Where is the knowledge of past lives stored in the being’ (starting 1′.04″ – 20′) in YouTube video Dhamma on Air #5 =NuPMZKGT3yM and the site: what-buddha-said.net/questions-and-answers ,27 Dec 2015: Q1: Where is the past life remembrance stored?”

      He makes mention of the hadaya vatthu, the brain that is different from life to life, vinnana and nonlocality in QM.

      Now, in the time of the Buddha one bhikkhu was admonished by both his fellow bhikkhus and by the Buddha for ‘having the harmful misconception’ that vinnana travels from life to life. From that it would appear that those memories would be in the ‘outer consciousness’ (vide nonlocality), i.e, in the ‘akashic records’ in New Age terminology (just to get the idea across). And here is where the question of gati comes in:

      Since those connected to one another in recent lives would have affected, to one degree or another, one another’s gati, those ‘interactions-come-affinities’ would figure in the memories of those past lives. But “– As you can probably see, one’s memories (in a beginningless rebirth process) is in the five aggregates” – and vinnana is one of the five aggregates. The whole point being that the Buddha says that vinnana does not travel from life to life.

      By the way, Bhikkhu Samahita passed away in 2019. I found his discourse interesting, to say the very least. His other discourses on ‘what-buddha-said.net/questions-and-answers’ are equally so.
      I would be pleased to have links to other discourses on the subject by different bhikkhus.

      Thank you all in advance.

    • #29329
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Thanks, y not.
      The link is, “Dhamma on Air #5.”

      P.S.
      I watched a few minutes of the video.

      It seems that he is trying to explain memory in terms of stored in the brain. That is not correct. Here is a brief summary of what happens.
      – The brain has a “mana indriya” with a transmitter and a receiver. One’s experiences are transmitted to the “nama loka” that it out there in space.
      – When we need to recall the memory, the transmitter again sends a signal to the “nama loka” and receives a “blueprint of that memory.”
      – That is the dhammā that the brain then transmits to the hadaya vatthu (that is in the gandhabba and overlaps the physical heart.)
      – Then “mananca paticca dhammeca uppajjati mano vinnanam” re-creates the previous experience as if one is experiencing it at that moment.

      I will get to it in the upcoming posts. But I mentioned the mechanism with a bit more details in, “The Amazing Mind – Critical Role of Nāmagotta (Memories).”

      • #32640
        Jay
        Participant

        It seems that he is trying to explain memory in terms of stored in the brain.

        Here are some relevant time-stamps, and their corresponding quotes, from the late, Venerable Bhikkhu Samāhita’s talk, Dhamma on Air #5:

        Question 1: 1:04:

        Where is the knowledge of past lives stored in a being? How to see these past lives? And these past life memories, does it first come when the “fruit of the tree” ripens?

        1:26:

        There’s not much in the text—in the Tipitaka texts—about this issue. The only thing it says actually is that it’s stored in something called hadaya vatthu, but there’s scholastic disagreement what hadaya vatthu actually means. Vatthu means element and… or base, or source …and hadaya means heart… so it’s a heart element… but doesn’t say where it sits, whether it sits in the brain or in the heart or somewhere else in the body… doesn’t say… the text doesn’t say.

        2:29:

        So first we’ll try to… …cover the subject of the so-called {indecipherable}. In modern neurology—contemporary brain science—what does it say? Where is the information stored? Is there some material, molecular basis that we can find for the phenomenon of remembrance? And the short answer is actually, no.

        5:00:

        So it seems… from this point of view (Emphasis added.)… that the memory is localized to certain places in the brain. Then there’s another issue that goes against this.

        6:09:

        So it means that information that was somehow localized in a certain part of the brain is regenerated from somewhere else apparently.

        9:16:

        So this means that consciousness is not only inside the brain. It is basically everywhere.

        10:41:

        Information could, in principle, be stored everywhere in space, so this redefines brain as more like an antenna or, I would say, a transceiver. A transceiver is something that can receive—in this case electromagnetic radiation, radio waves—and send out radio waves, so it receives and sends out… and this is a transceiver… so the brain may work in similar… in a similar way, to process information that is coming or is everywhere present. You could say holographically stored in the entire universe, actually.

        16:19:

        It means that the brain could be a transceiver that sends out information and receives information from everywhere and that we are going around in a field of information—and that’s why you can remember prior lives.

        17:56

        So, again, there’s three places where the information is stored: in the short-term memory—the RAM-like memory—in the brain, that’s local; in the hard-disc areas in the brain, that’s also local; and then it’s stored everywhere, in space, that’s non-local. And the non-local information is the basis of remembering past lives.

        The answer to Question 1 ends by 20:49.

        Ajahn Samāhita’s response to the question is worth listening to in its entirety. In addition to the detail, there’s helpful context and apt analogies that could aid someone in better understanding the topic of mind and memory, at least from this perspective.

        More importantly, all of the above, from Ajahn Samāhita’s talk, seems to align—remarkably closely!—with the concepts of gati, gandhabba, hadaya vatthu, and nāma-lōka presented in the various, related posts on those subjects here on this site, of which the following seem particularly germane:

        Autobiographical Memory – Preserved in Nāma Loka

        Memory Recall for Gandhabba in a Human Body

        Memory, Brain, Mind, Nama Loka, Kamma Bhava, Kamma Vipāka

        Nāma Loka and Rupa Loka – Two Parts of Our World

        Our Two Worlds: Material and Immaterial

    • #29333
      y not
      Participant

      Thank you Lal,

      “When we need to recall the memory…” But exactly WHAT triggers the memory, what prompts that need, what it is ABOUT the other person (in the example I gave) that triggers the recall, that causes the transmitter to sense the need to send a signal to the nama loka – since the body is different. A case in point: the reference I made elsewhere of that brahmin and his wife who recognized the Buddha as their ‘son’.

      Or – it is ‘in the nature of things’ (Dhammata) that in such instances the initial trigger happens. Connection ever registered in nama loka, condition arising, signal to the brain, transfer to hadaya vatthu, onto vinnana (and awareness of the fact). In this way, neither the senses, nor the faculties give rise to the ‘recognition’.

      As to the rest of it, all is clear.

      I look forward to the upcoming posts. Please do not bother answering here. It is not meant as a question, just sharing my thought sequence as it arose, especially the second para.

      May you attain eternal Bliss soon.

    • #29334
      Lal
      Keymaster

      y not asked: “When we need to recall the memory…” But exactly WHAT triggers the memory, what prompts that need,.”

      Memory recall happens only when one TRIES to remember something.

      What you alluded to in “Now, in the time of the Buddha one bhikkhu was admonished by both his fellow bhikkhus and by the Buddha for ‘having the harmful misconception’ that vinnana travels from life to life..” is a different thing.
      – That is patisandhi vinnana which happens at death (or more precisely at the cuti-patisandhi moment) is a kamma vipaka. That is not memory recall.

    • #29339
      y not
      Participant

      Never mind Lal.

      I could go on .. so in the case of the brahmin and his wife, are you saying that they TRIED TO RECALL the Buddha having been their son ? !! The sutta suggests the recognition ‘hit them’ on seeing the Buddha. “…met him in the gateway. Falling at the Buddha’s feet, and clasping him by the ankles.. Then came the brahmin’s wife, and she too fell at the feet of the Blessed One, crying, “My son..

      Let us wait for those posts.

      Infinitely Grateful

    • #29340
      Lal
      Keymaster

      y not: Why ask questions if an answer is not needed? That will confuse other people at the forum.

    • #29352
      Lal
      Keymaster

      I thought it would be a good idea to explain y not’s following question:
      “so in the case of the brahmin and his wife, are you saying that they TRIED TO RECALL the Buddha having been their son ? !!”

      The answer is those are sanna (initial recognition), comes from the INSIDE. The sight of someone can bring back “familiarity” from the deep past. Only after that initial “feeling” or “sanna”, that they would have tried to recall that memory.

      It would be better to look at an analogy. Sometimes when we meet someone new, we get a “feeling” that we may have seen or associated with that person in the past. And THEN we TRY TO RECALL if such an encounter happened in the past. It could be a friend that one has not seen for many years.
      – What happened to the brahmin and his wife when they saw the Buddha was like that. They had a “feeling of familiarity” or sanna arising in the mind first. THEN, when they TRY TO RECALL, they may have “seen” a glimpse of memories from the past.
      – As I remember, the Buddha explained that he was their son in many births (and possibly not in the too distant past.)
      – However, such “recalling memories from past lives” does not happen often for older people. It does happen for children: “Evidence for Rebirth

      What I said was that it will take more posts to explain how those memories are recalled (the actual mechanism that takes place), when one tries to recall them.

    • #29356
      cubibobi
      Participant

      In the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, we read: “pañcupādānakkhandhā dukkhā”

      If the statement had been just “pañcakkhandhā dukkhā”, it would still have been correct, right? It may even be more comprehensive.

      Thank you.

    • #29357
      y not
      Participant

      I do not see how that can be so.

      An Arahant still experiences the khandhas – indeed, he needs contact with them in order to survive in the body – yet he generates no attachment. Therefore no dukkha.

      But for all the rest, for you and me, it is precisely that ‘..upadana’ part that is the cause of the ‘..dukkha’.

    • #29360
      cubibobi
      Participant

      Isn’t pañcakkhandhā just another way of saying “this world of 31 realms” and is therefore anicca, dukkha, anatta?

    • #29361
      y not
      Participant

      Yes, Lang, the way you put that, it cannot be disputed. Yet, there is always and everywhere attachment. “this world of 31 realms” is the field where the 4 Noble Truths and Tilakkhana operate, that is, everywhere in existence. And what is the first Noble truth?

      Starting with anicca: we pursue that which we like, thinking it will bring happiness. Then we attach. That is where the suffering comes, when we discover it does not. Unless we see this we are helpless to prevent the sequence, and even then, it will not be easy to eliminate.

      There are may posts on this. I am here only drawing on my own experience, but the substance underlying all that is in the posts.

      May you attain eternal Bliss.

    • #29363
      y not
      Participant

      In ‘Pancupādānakkhandha – It is All Mental” 3: “We can translate the term, pancupādānakkhandha, as “five clinging aggregates”.

      This may be taken to mean (relying on grammar alone) that it is the aggregates themselves that are responsible for the clinging, that ‘do’ the clinging Which of course is not the case. It is the being who is responsible for clinging to the five aggregates, so why is it not called instead : pancakkhandhaupadana?

    • #29364
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Comments by cubibobi and y not could be both be right if we look at it the following way.

      The Buddha said that everything in this world is associated with suffering (dukkha.)
      – However, one will not be subjected to that suffering UNLESS one willingly embraces (or attaches) to those things.

      It is best to take an analogy. If a bottle of poison is on the table, that will not bring death or suffering to anyone.
      – However, if someone takes that bottle and drinks the poison, then THAT PERSON will be subjected to suffering.

      Therefore, pancakkhandha is full of suffering. But one will be subjected to that suffering ONLY IF one willingly embraces pancakkhandha.
      – That “willingly embracing” or “pulling it close” is the “upadana part” in “panca upadana khandha” or pancupadanakkhandha.

      An Arahant has pancakkhandha but not pancupadanakkhandha.

      An Anagami has given up those cravings for things in the kama loka, for example. So, his/her pancupadanakkhandha is much “much smaller” than that of an average human. He/she will not be subjected to suffering in the apayas, human world, or in Deva loka.
      – We can see levels of suffering eliminated at each level of magga phala that way.

    • #29365
      Lal
      Keymaster

      I must add that as long as an Arahant lives, he/she will be subjected to kamma vipaka. The physical body of the Arahant arose due to previous kamma and will continue with its “good and bad” vipaka until its death.
      – That is why the death of an Arahant is called “Parinibbana” or “anupadisesa Nibbaba” or “complete Nibbana.”
      – Until then it is “saupadisesa Nibbana” or “Nibbana with residue.” Only “samphassa-ja-vedana” part of the suffering is eliminated during that remaining time.

    • #29367
      cubibobi
      Participant

      Thank you,

      So for an average being, pañcupādānakkhandhā is “huge” (and so is pañcakkhandhā), and dukkhā is enormous.

      For an arahant, pañcupādānakkhandhā is no more, and any dukkhā is residual kamma vipaka until parinibbana, and then at parinibbana, pañcakkhandhā collapse, never to rise again.

      Is this correct?

    • #29368
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Yes. That is correct.

      Of course, the “record of the pañcakkhandhā” (up to the moment of death) of an Arahant remains.

      Therefore, one with high iddhi powers can look at that record and see the record up to the moment of Parinibbana.

    • #32664
      Lal
      Keymaster

      I did not see Jay’s comment since he had replied to my post on April 28, 2020, above.

      Jay wrote on December 3, 2020, above: “More importantly, all of the above, from Ajahn Samāhita’s talk, seems to align—remarkably closely!—with the concepts of gati, gandhabba, hadaya vatthu, and nāma-lōka presented in the various, related posts on those subjects here on this site..”

      That is right. Venerable Bhikkhu Samāhita’s ideas, as I remember, are close to what I have discussed.

      However, the only problem that I saw was the following. He seems to suggest that it all happens in the brain.
      – Even though he mentions that the Tipitaka refers to concepts like gati, gandhabba, hadaya vatthu, he had not connected those with the manomaya kaya. He mostly talks about brain processes.
      – If my impression is not correct, please let me know. I can re-listen to that discourse to refresh my memory.

      • #32678
        Jay
        Participant

        Taken in its entirety, at least the ~20 minutes of the video during which he addressed the question, he doesn’t arrive at a conclusion that would align with it all happening in the brain. In fact, he succinctly dismisses that fairly early, at 2:44 precisely:

        Is there some material, molecular basis that we can find for the phenomenon of remembrance? And the short answer is actually, no.

        It’s important to note that the structure of the talk is roughly: 1) question, 2) preface, 3) perspectives in contemporary science, 4) counter-factual evidence to contemporary science, then 4) non-local consciousness as informed by Buddhism and his own contemplations.

        Thus, when he presents perspectives in contemporary science, he’s not actually advocating them but rather presenting them as context to his later discussion. That discussion doesn’t raise the concept of manomaya kaya, granted; however, there doesn’t seem to be any discordance between the concepts presented and that. Bear in mind that the genesis of the answer was a question as to where memory is stored; he essentially arrived at an answer of nāma-lōka, with limited discussion of the interface between the brain and that realm as a necessary component of a coherent response.

        In summary, although the talk is rather Pali-lite—no doubt for the sake of a YouTube audience—the term non-local consciousness is employed, which does align with nāma-lōka (viññāṇa dhatu), especially as described in the “No Spatial Boundaries In Nāma Loka (Viññāṇa Dhātu)” section of Nāma Loka and Rupa Loka – Two Parts of Our World.

    • #32680
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Thank you for clarifying that, Jay.

      Yes. It is possible that I missed that part you quoted above. I will try to listen to it again and will post if I see anything otherwise.

      It is commendable that Venerable Bhikkhu Samāhita provided those insights.

      It must be noted that these details about the manomaya kaya (gandhabba) are not available in detail in the Tipitaka.
      – Those details were in the Sinhala Atthakatha (early commentaries) that have been lost.
      – So, it is only when a Jati Sotapanna like Waharaka Thero (who had learned these details in a previous life) is born and is able to provide details, that we get to see the details. Not all Jati Sotapannas can provide such details either.
      – Those details can be backed by recent findings in science. Furthermore, many accounts of rebirth stories, Near-Death Experiences, Out-of-Body Experiences, etc. are now available thanks to the internet. Both provide invaluable supporting material to this complex subject.

      The role of the manomaya kaya is very important since the physical body is just a shell. It dies in about 100 years, but the manomaya kaya (gandhabba) may live for thousands of years in the human bhava.
      – A fly lives only a week or so, but that “fly bhava” (or the existence as a fly) may last many thousands or even millions of years.) So that fly lives in the gandhabba state too.
      – As we have discussed, the gandhabba state is not there in Brahma and Deva realms. Their bhava and jati are literally the same. They are born once in those bhava.

      • #32688
        Jay
        Participant

        Thank you for mentioning this:

        It must be noted that these details about the manomaya kaya (gandhabba) are not available in detail in the Tipitaka. – So, it is only when a Jati Sotapanna like Waharaka Thero (who had learned these details in a previous life) is born and is able to provide details, that we get to see the details. Not all Jati Sotapannas can provide such details either.
        – Those details were in the Sinhala Atthakatha (early commentaries) that have been lost.

        Despite previously looking for sutta support and additional information on gandhabba, that was to little avail thus I wondered how this could have been more extensively detailed here on this site. Knowing the origin of this lost yet reintroduction dhamma concept is edifying and makes kamma and rebirth a more convincing explanation.

        Thank you, Lal.

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