post on Vipallāsa (Diṭṭhi, Saññā, Citta) Affect Saṅkhāra

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    • #45117
      Tobias G

      Vipallāsa (Diṭṭhi, Saññā, Citta) Affect Saṅkhāra

      #14 contains this table:

      How is the second line to be understood? … vipallasa abandonment by kaya vedana citta dhamma

      The sotapanna has removed all vipallasa about anicca/nicca and anatta/atta. Thus, he/she does not make mistakes regarding the anicca and anatta nature, but only about the dukkha/asubha nature, thus perceiving objects with kamaguna as sukha and subha and thinking/acting accordingly. Is that correct?

    • #45121

      Yes. I was thinking about removing this part of the table. 

      P.S. Seng Kiat agreed that removing that part of the table is better. I just removed it. Thanks to both Seng Kiat and Tobias for your efforts in improving the website.

    • #45156
      Tobias G

      The dictionary says:

      subha [adj.] lucky; auspicious; pleasant. (Lal says: useful or beneficial) 

      sukha [nt.] happiness; comfort. 

      The meanings are pretty similar. Why the additional term (a)subha instead of just “tilakkhana” (anicca,  dukkha, anatta)?


      The Sotapanna has no vipallasa about anicca and anatta. Does it mean, the Sotapanna has full knowledge or panna about anicca/anatta?

    • #45158

      Those dictionary terms are not far off.

      • subha:  auspicious is better. That means it can mostly bring benefits. 
      • sukha : the opposite of dukha or suffering.

      Tilakkhana (anicca, dukkha, anatta) are characteristics of nature. One could say asubha could/should be included there too. Of course, the word Tilakkhana is not in the Tipitaka; at least, I have not seen it in the Tipitaka. 

      • However, many suttas discuss only anicca, dukkha, anatta, and mutual relationships among them.

      Asubha is always mentioned (together with anicca, dukkha, and anatta) under vipallasa (mental confusion.)

    • #45159
      Tobias G

      Please reply also to this:

      The Sotapanna has no vipallasa about anicca and anatta. Does it mean, the Sotapanna has full knowledge or panna about anicca/anatta?

    • #45163

      Sorry. I missed that part of your previous comment.

      Good point. I have been thinking about that.

      • The chart at the end of the post you linked to in your first post is based solely on Nettipakarana, a Commentary in the Tipitaka. It is a reliable Commentary, but we must look for other evidence in the Tipitaka.
      • If anyone finds any related information, please post it here. 
    • #45170
      Tobias G

      The main content is also in Ps 1.8 (Vipallāsakathā). 

      ... Ime cattāro vipallāsā diṭṭhisampannassa puggalassa pahīnā, appahīnāti. 8.2Keci pahīnā, keci appahīnā? 8.3Anicce niccanti saññāvipallāso cittavipallāso diṭṭhivipallāso pahīno. 8.4Dukkhe sukhanti saññā uppajjati, cittaṁ uppajjati, diṭṭhivipallāso pahīno. 8.5Anattani attāti saññāvipallāso cittavipallāso diṭṭhivipallāso pahīno. 8.6Asubhe subhanti saññā uppajjati, cittaṁ uppajjati, diṭṭhivipallāso pahīno. 8.7Dvīsu vatthūsu cha vipallāsā pahīnā. 8.8Dvīsu vatthūsu dve vipallāsā pahīnā, cattāro vipallāsā appahīnā. 8.9Catūsu vatthūsu aṭṭha vipallāsā pahīnā, cattāro vipallāsā appahīnāti.


      There are 10 sanyogas. the Sotapanna has removed 3 of them.  Remaining are:  kāma rāga, patigha, rūpa rāga, arūpa rāgamāna, uddacca, avijjā. 

      What is not fully developed, is panna cetasika. Together with sanna vipallasa and citta vipallasa about dukkha and asubha the sekkha still perceives objects as desireable (kama, rupa, arupa/dhamma). Thus patigha and uddacca will be there (also based on māna). Avijja is there until panna is optimized. 


    • #45171

      Thank you, Tobias.

      • It seems to be consistent with Nettipakarana and Seng Kiat’s chart.

      I will look at both references and may need to revise the post as necessary. Please feel free to comment in the meantime.

    • #45176

      – “The sotapanna has removed all vipallasa about anicca/nicca and anatta/atta. Thus, he/she does not make mistakes regarding the anicca and anatta nature”

      I believe the interpretation of “Thus, he/she does not make mistakes regarding the anicca and anatta nature” could be of importance.

      My interpretation of what was quoted would be sotapanna’s would know / have understood enough to be not induced / converted / conditioned to the wrong views / understanding of anicca/anatta. They would know / understand the general direction / idea / meaning of anicca/anatta. But to me, it doesn’t necessary mean what Sotapanna’s know or have understood about anicca/anatta “couldn’t be improved upon”.

      – “Does it mean, the Sotapanna has full knowledge or panna about anicca/anatta?”

      The key words are “has full knowledge”. Based on my current understanding and experience, I don’t believe Sotapanna’s have full knowledge or panna about anicca / anatta”. For me it’s hard to imagine that sotapanna’s understanding of the Tilakkhana and other teachings couldn’t be improved upon. It’s almost like saying, “once one is a Sotapanna, their understanding of anicca/anatta couldn’t be improved upon and that they would have complete knowing and understanding of it”. 

      I don’t think I could agree to such a statement.

    • #45184
      Tobias G

      As you say: “couldn’t be improved upon”. This is philosophical and inaccurate. The question is, what exactly is missing in terms of understanding? If all vipallasa about anicca/anatta are removed, what is left to do?

      Is there a lack of panna in general? Or is there only a lack of panna regarding dukkha and asubha? That would have to be found out by means of tipitaka and commentaries. 

    • #45185

      Unfortunately, there is not that much information on vipallasa in the Tipitaka.

      There is only one sutta that I quoted in the post.

      I just did a search: “results for diṭṭhivipallāso.” We can explore these and see whether there is anything new.

    • #45193

      Perhaps, Sottapana are supposed to have realised the Aniccā/Anattā completely YET, they haven’t applied it to their life completely?

      Maybe they haven’t realised how Aniccā/Anattā nature of all objects in world ALWAYS leads to dukkhā?

      It would be like knowing basic algebra but being not able to use it to solve complex polynomials.

    • #45214

      There is more information here from the Petakopadesa: “Suttavebhaṅgiya



    • #45227
      Tobias G

      Can you please translate some pieces?

      Paṭhamo āhāro paṭhamo vipallāso, dutiyo āhāro dutiyo vipallāso, tatiyo āhāro tatiyo vipallāso, catuttho āhāro catuttho vipallāso. 8.2Ime cattāro vipallāsā apañcamā achaṭṭhā. 8.3Idañca pamāṇā cattāro āhārā.

      9.1Tattha paṭhame vipallāse ṭhito kāme upādiyati, idaṁ kāmupādānaṁ. 9.2Dutiye vipallāse ṭhito anāgataṁ bhavaṁ upādiyati, idaṁ sīlabbatupādānaṁ. 9.3Tatiye vipallāse ṭhito viparīto diṭṭhiṁ upādiyati, idaṁ diṭṭhupādānaṁ. 9.4Catutthe vipallāse ṭhito khandhe attato upādiyati, idaṁ attavādupādānaṁ.

      10.1Tattha kāmupādāne ṭhito kāme abhijjhāyati ganthati, ayaṁ abhijjhākāyagantho. 10.2Sīlabbatupādāne ṭhito byāpādaṁ ganthati, ayaṁ byāpādakāyagantho. 10.3Diṭṭhupādāne ṭhito parāmāsaṁ ganthati, ayaṁ parāmāsakāyagantho. 10.4Attavādupādāne ṭhito papañcanto ganthati, ayaṁ idaṁsaccābhiniveso kāyagantho.

    • #45229

      Four āhāra: kabaḷīkāra āhāra, phassa, manosañcetanā, viññāṇāhāra.

      Four vvipallāsa: asubhe subha, dukkhe sukha, anatte atta, anicce nicca.

      First verse: 

      The four vipallāsa are connected with the four āhāra, respectively. There is no more of either type.

      Second verse: 

      The first vipallāsa leads to kāma raga. That is  kāma upādāna.

      The second vipallāsa leads to expectations of future existence (anāgataṁ bhava.) That is  silabbata upādāna.

      The third vipallāsa leads to distorted views (viparīto diṭṭhi.) That is diṭṭhi upādāna.

      The fourth vipallāsa leads to upādāna with the idea that pancupadanakkhandha is fruitful  (khandhe attato upādiyati.) That is attavāda upādāna.

      Third verse: 

      With kāma upādāna one craves kāma assāda. That is called abhijjhākāyagantho. 

      With silabbata upādāna leads to vyāpāda (byāpāda.) That is called byāpādakāyagantho.

      With diṭṭhi upādāna leads to the idea of fruitfulness ( parāmāsaṁ ganthati.) That is parāmāsakāyagantho.

      With attavāda upādāna, one will engage in immoral deeds (papañcanto ganthati.) That is idaṁsaccābhiniveso kāyagantho.


      I have not discussed words like parāmāsa, gantha, etc. But I have tried to provide the general ideas. 

    • #45236
      Tobias G

      Thank you, Lal!

      You say:

      Second verse: 

      The first vipallāsa (asubhe subha) leads to kāma raga. That is  kāma upādāna.

      The second vipallāsa (dukkhe sukha) leads to expectations of future existence (anāgataṁ bhava.That is  silabbata upādāna.

      The third vipallāsa (anatte atta) leads to distorted views (viparīto diṭṭhi.That is diṭṭhi upādāna.

      The fourth vipallāsa (anicce nicca) leads to upādāna with the idea that pancupadanakkhandha is fruitful  (khandhe attato upādiyati.That is attavāda upādāna.


      The first two vipallasa are not removed for a Sotapanna. Thus he/she still “enjoys” kama assada and bhava in general. 

      Third vipallasa is removed for a Sotapanna –> micca ditthi.

      Fourth vipallasa is also removed for a Sotapanna –> sakkāya diṭṭhi or the wrong view that pancupadanakkhandha is fruitful.

    • #45237
      Tobias G

      Lal, you said: 

      Four vipallāsa: asubhe subha, dukkhe sukha, anatte atta, anicce nicca.

      Is it better to say: “Four characteristics…”? The term is also used in the table above.

      About those characteristics/lakkhana one has three types of vipallasa: ditthi, sanna, citta.


    • #45239

      I only translated the verses that you quoted, Tobias.

      • Usually, suttas or Commentaries discuss the four of them together as four vipallasa.
      • Also, other suttas discuss anicca, dukkha, and anatta (without asubha) when NOT discussing vipallasa. There, the discussion is NOT directly about vipallasa.
    • #45241
      Tobias G

      That does not really make sense: 4 vipallasa + 3 vipallasa? 

      Everywhere on this website it is stated that anicca, dukkha, anatta are lakkhana. The opposites are vipallasa?

      The 3 types are ditthi, sanna, citta vipallasa. The 4 types are nicca, sukha, atta, subha. But only Pe 9 states those 4 types. Can you mention this in the post?

    • #45243

      Four vipallasa (nicca, sukha, atta, subha) and three characteristics (anicca, dukkha, anatta.) There should be no confusion.

      • I will take a look at the post. I have a few other ideas and might rewrite the post or write another one.
      • What I am thinking is that asubha is associated only with the kama loka. Asubha vipallasa is removed at the Anagami stage. 
      • That means nicca and atta vipallasa may not be removed entirely at the Sotapanna stage. 
      • But I need some time to cross-check and make sure.
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    • #45247
      Tobias G

      With the understanding of this vipallasa, it also becomes clear why a sotapanna has few impurities left. He is attracted only by kama, but has (largely) grasped the anicca and anatta nature. Of course, the attraction of kama is quite strong, but it is no longer enough for strong apunnabhisankhara.

    • #45300
      – “Four vipallasa (nicca, sukha, atta, subha) and three characteristics (anicca, dukkha, anatta.) There should be no confusion”.
      Thank you for the clarification, that was helpful for me. 
       If all vipallasa about anicca/anatta are removed, what is left to do?”
      That’s the thing, it’s my belief that only the Buddha and Arahants understanding of the Noble 8 Fold Path, Tilakkhana, and other teachings are truly said to be “complete and have nothing left to do”, especially relating to the Tilakkhana.
      I should mention that I’m not disagreeing with the teaching on Sotapanna’s having all anicca/anatta vipallasa removed. 
      But does this mean that Sotapanna’s understanding of anicca/anatta is completed and that they have understood / know everything about anicca / anatta? 
      Maybe it’s like some of the comments mentioned?

      “Sottapana are supposed to have realised the Aniccā/Anattā completely YET, they haven’t applied it to their life completely?”

      “Maybe they haven’t realised how Aniccā/Anattā nature of all objects in world ALWAYS leads to dukkhā?”

      It’s probably my problem that I can’t truly believe in Sotapanna’s understanding of anicca / anatta “couldn’t be improved upon”.
      It’s also possible that I might not have been clear on what I meant by “couldn’t be improved upon”.  
      One of the ways I thought of to explain what “couldn’t be improved upon” means. Is that from the first time the sotapanna believed in that they are sotapanna’s and as time goes on, their practice, understanding of the dhamma deepens or is progressing on the path. Their understanding / seeing of anicca/anatta would remain the same? There would be no improvements? No differences?
      Since I’m not disagreeing with the teaching, yet not able to fully accept that Sotapanna’s understanding of Anicca / Anatta wouldn’t improve as they’re progressing on the Noble 8 Fold Path.
      I also have this question:
      “The question is, what exactly is missing in terms of understanding?”
      – (A)”Is there a lack of panna in general Or (B) is there only a lack of panna regarding dukkha and asubha”?
      I believe it would be both A&B. If one is lacking in panna in general, wouldn’t that also affect one’s lack of panna regarding dukkha and asubha? 
      What about anicca / anatta? Would lacking in panna also affect one’s understanding of anicca / anatta?
      It’s my belief that a Sotapanna understanding / seeing of anicca / anatta would improve as their progressing on the Noble 8 Fold Path.  
      If Venerable Waharaka Thero was alive, I would’ve liked to ask him if he’s understanding of anicca / anatta have gotten better or improved from the time he first started believing he was a Sotapanna to where he is today (at a later time). Unfortunately for us, fortunately he is no longer here, but hopefully I can ask this question to Lal and to others on here.
      One doesn’t need to comment or answer to this question if one choose not to. What I would like to ask Lal and others that are at least Sotapanna’s is that from the first time they started to believe in that they are Sotapanna’s to where they are today. Have their been any differences / improvements / or has remained the same with their understanding and practice of anicca / anatta? 
    • #45304

      Note that the chart in the post is only about the removal of vipallasa. As I emphasized, vipallasa about Tilakkhana are different from deeper level of understanding of Tilakkhana.

      • While the chart (in its current form) is probably OK, Tilakkhana (anicca, dukkha, and anatta) can be discussed at deeper levels.
      • I am thinking about how to write this up. This is probably going to take a series of posts. 
    • #45306

      I doubt that I am at or even near the sotapanna stage, but I’ve always thought that the understanding of anicca, dukkha, anatta gets deeper with each magga phala and culminates at the arahant stage.

      So, when you say:

      “… I can’t truly believe in Sotapanna’s understanding of anicca / anatta “couldn’t be improved upon”.

      … you are right.

      A sotapanna‘s understanding of anicca, dukkha, anatta is improved with each magga phala and complete at the arahant stage.

      I thought I have seen this in a number of places here at PD, but I did a quick search and saw only one post that alludes to this:

      Sankhāra, Kamma, Kamma Bīja, Kamma Vipāka

      Under #5, it says:

      … Here wisdom means comprehension of the true nature; it starts with getting rid of 10 micchā diṭṭhi and then grows as one understands anicca, dukkha, and anatta to higher levels. Wisdom culminates at the Arahant stage.

      <br />
      How does the understanding of anicca, dukkha, anatta improve with each stage of magga phala?

      I remember reading something like this; you can do a search to verify (I’m not getting hits right now):

      A sotapanna understands anicca, dukkha, anatta to the extent that he will not do apayagami kamma to enjoy the pleasures of kama, and he still likes to own things that brings such pleasure.

      A sakadagami enjoys pleasures but no longer wishes to own things that bring them.

      An anagami is no longer attached to kama (freed from the kama loka).

      An arahant is not attached to any realm (complete understanding of anicca, dukkha, anatta)




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    • #45310

      Lal, I understand that you must be very busy. So, I will wait until you explain this in more posts, but, until then, I hope that you can answer this question even if very briefly;

      When you said that,

      Tilakkhana (anicca, dukkha, and anatta) can be discussed at deeper levels.

      What are some example of this? i.e. understanding these three characteristics at deeper level then what is explained on the website so far?

      Can you give one example of application of each characteristic at deeper level?

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    • #45311

      What is discussed so far on the website is enough to attain the Sotapanna stage.

      • What I realized recently is that to progress beyond that, especially to attain the Anagami stage, a deeper understanding may be needed. Furthermore, a more dedicated, formal meditation can speed up that process.
      • We see in many suttas that the Buddha instructed many Bhikkhus the following (after he realizes that they have attained the Sotapanna stage): Go to a forest, a monastery, etc., and practice diligently. This is a dedicated, all-out practice primarily suitable for bhikkhus. That phrase is not there when the Buddha instructs “householders.”

      That phrase is :Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu araññagato vā rukkhamūlagato vā suññāgāragato vā nisīdati pallaṅkaṁ ābhujitvā ujuṁ kāyaṁ paṇidhāya parimukhaṁ satiṁ upaṭṭhapetvā.”

      Translated:Bhikkhus—go to the wilderness, or the root of a tree, or an empty building and cultivate Anapansati/Satipatthana.”

      • That translation has other meanings that I have discussed many of the terms in that verse in “Mahā Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta.” Those meanings should be used in “everyday practice” by everyone. That is basically to be mindful.
      • Both versions apply in the “accelerated practice.” But mostly bhikkhus can do the above, i.e., go to the wilderness, or the root of a tree, or an empty building and cultivate Anapansati/Satipatthana.” But it is necessary to first get to the Sotapanna stage and understand what needs to be contemplated in formal sessions.

      Therefore, there is no urgency to discuss the “deeper level.” Most of the readers of this website are lay people. What is critical is to make sure that one has understood the futility/dangers in the rebirth process and to get to the Sotapanna stage. 

      • Thus, I will start by rewriting some old posts to explain/expand on the fundamental ideas. This Dhamma is profound. I am surprised by how deeper we can go. But, of course, with a deeper understanding, one can explain fundamental concepts in better ways too. 
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    • #47878

      While looking for a Tipitaka reference to citta vipallāsa, I found a short sentence in Peṭakopadesa that seems to give a good insight into vipallāsa to all.

      Pe 6

      Tattha manāpike vatthumhi indriyavatthe vaṇṇāyatane vā yo nimittassa uggāho, ayaṁ saññāvipallāso.

      Tattha viparītacittassa vatthumhi sati viññatti, ayaṁ cittavipallāso.

      Tattha viparītacittassa tamhi rūpe “asubhe subhan”ti yā khanti ruci upekkhanā nicchayo diṭṭhi nidassanaṁ santīraṇā, ayaṁ diṭṭhivipallāso.

      Ps 1.8 quoted in #14 clearly explains that sotapanna(diṭṭhisampanna) removed nicca and atta vipallasa in all levels (ditthi, sanna, citta).

      I think Ne 20 could also elaborate on the reason why nicca and atta vipallasa are removed in the sotapanna stage but subha and sukha vipallasa are still remaining. Those are needed to remove by Anapanasati/Satipatthana bhavana meditation.

      Taṇhānivutaṁ cittaṁ dvīhi vipallāsehi vipallāsīyati “asubhe subhan”ti “dukkhe sukhan”ti.

      Diṭṭhinivutaṁ cittaṁ dvīhi vipallāsehi vipallāsīyati “anicce niccan”ti “anattani attā”ti.

      Q. In recent posts, they said that saññā vipallāsa is completely removed only when one becomes Arahant, so is it wrong that saññā vipallāsa is removed in the Anagami stage?

      The remaining akusala of  Anagami is only manokamma. This level of akusala is closer to instability caused by rupa’s aññathā characteristics than to evil or immorality in a general meaning. So I guess citta vipallāsa is connected with mana samyojana, uddacca samyojana, and avijja samyojana. Therefore, it seems reasonable for me to explain that Anagami removed saññā vipallāsa and Arahant removed citta vipallāsa(so all vipallāsa is completely gone).

      Pe 8 gives some comments worth considering about this topic.

      Yaṁ manassa pasādanaṁ, idamassa cittavipallāsappahānanti akusalavipallāsānaṁ vikkhambhanaṁ pahānaṁ paccayo.

    • #47885

      1. Sometimes, analyzing things in too much detail can lead to more questions than answers.

      • I prefer to resolve critical issues as much as with the Sutta Pitaka and the critical concepts of the Abhidhamma Pitaka.
      • The Vinaya Pitaka is mainly on issues with Vinaya (disciplinary) rules and incidents that led to specific Vinaya rules. Many of those accounts can provide additional information, but they are not critical.
      • I never look at Commentaries outside the Tipitaka. I resort to even the Tipitaka Commentaries only if necessary. 
      • However, I am not saying to avoid consulting Tipitaka Commentaries.

      2. I think we can get a good understanding of various types of “vipallasa” mostly with the aid of the Sutta Pitaka.

      • Understanding “sanna vipallasa” (arising due to “distorted sanna“) can resolve many issues. It helps with the other types of vipallasa too.
      • I prefer to discuss the posts that have been published rather than trying to analyze passages from the Commentaries. 
      • If there are issues that are contradictory or unclear or need further clarification, please ask specific questions by pointing to a post and specific bullet numbers.
      • However, if you feel strongly about a specific passage in a Commentary, I can take a look.
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    • #47915

      Thank you for your consideration. I learned a lot from your kind and wise attitude inside words. After reflecting on your words, I realized that the recent questions I asked were overly detailed and non-essential. I was too arrogant to look at what I was doing. I’ve been too obstinate and have defamed other people superfluously. I repent my fault for being arrogant deeply. From now on, I will do what I have to do with modesty. May all the blessings be to Ven. lal and everyone!

    • #47917

      No worries. It is good to have an inquisitive/curious mind. However, we need to be careful not to tackle more than we can handle. Some issues take a lot of effort only to gain a little knowledge.

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