Vipaka Sapa from Dhamma Loka

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    • #24621
      Lukas
      Participant

      Dear Lal,

      as I was talking with students of Venerable Abhaya Thero and they mentioned to me about a “vipaka sapa” that comes from Dhamma Loka that he speaks about. A vipaka sapa(sukha) vedana that even an Arahant experiences.

      Here Venerable Abhaya explains it (it is in Sinhala which I cannot understand):

      “Thus, “seeing” event is a neutral vēdanā, as are all vipāka that come through all senses except the body: Only kāya viññāna — coming through the physical body — can directly generate sukha or dukha vēdanā due to kamma vipāka (as in getting hit by something or getting a massage).”

      I have some questions related to this:

      1) Is there such a vipaka sukha (sapa) vedana for even an arahant that he experiences?
      I was of the impression that pleasant vedana from the other senses except body can only come when specific Gathi meets with a sense input (thus it does not come from the sense as stated above). But how could an arahant then experience such vipaka sapa or dukha? If so what is the cause for this vedana? Good/bad past kamma? Generating raga/dosa in the past?

      2) The pleasure that “comes our way”. Is it still bound to our gathi?
      “You may be surprised, but most of our “sense pleasures” or “kāma assāda” are created by our minds. A sense contact comes and goes away relatively quickly; but we keep thinking about it, sometimes for hours. This “kāma assāda” is the one that we CREATE IN OUR MINDS, via sankhāra.
      For example, we may just see an attractive item in a store display which provides a sense pleasure while we are looking at it for a few seconds.”

      Again in this example when we see this attractive item in the store window – it is only attractive because of our gathi. But this process of our defilements coming up as manosankhara does not create kamma. Only once we start with sankalpita rāga (which happens from the time it turns to vaci sankhara which happens pretty much immediately after the Avyakata PS has run – IF there is gathi). So again I am confused how this concept of sukha/dukha vedana that comes from dhamma loka and even an arahant experiences fits in.

      I am most grateful for any explanations!

      Theruwan Saranai,
      Lukas

    • #24625
      Lal
      Keymaster

      I will repeat just the topic of each question.

      Question: 1) Is there such a vipaka sukha (sapa) vedana for even an arahant that he experiences?

      Pleasant and unpleasant vedana that come through the body (kaya vinnana) are kamma vipaka (due to good/bad kamma done in the past). Those are called sukha and dukkha vedana. Even Arahants (and the Buddha) experienced those.

      Vedana coming through the other four physical sense inputs are neutral. Any pleasant or unpleasant vedana that we may experience are ALL mind-made, and NOT due to kamma vipaka. They are called “samphassa ja vedana”. They are also called “somanassa/domanassa vedana”. Arahant DO NOT experience those.
      – See, “Vēdanā (Feelings) Arise in Two Ways
      – Also see, “Difference between Phassa and Samphassa
      By the way, I highly recommend the series of posts on “Paticca Samuppada in Plain English

      Question: 2) The pleasure that “comes our way”. Is it still bound to our gathi?

      Whatever somanassa/domanassa vedana that we make on our own are due to our gathi (or gati). An Arahant has removed all gati and does not experience those ‘samphassa ja vedana” per the above explanation.
      Your comment, “it is only attractive because of our gathi. But this process of our defilements coming up as manosankhara does not create kamma.” It is not fully correct. There are some kamma vipaka due to mano sankhara that arise even with vipaka vinnana. But they cannot bring rebirth. So, I may not have specified that.
      – When we start doing vaci sankhara and kaya sankhara (those are done CONSCIOUSLY), that is when we generate strong kamma that can lead to rebirths.
      You wrote, “Only once we start with sankalpita rāga (which happens from the time it turns to vaci sankhara which happens pretty much immediately after the Avyakata PS has run – IF there is gathi).”
      – That is correct.
      – By the way, “sankalpita raga” are vaci sankhara (talking to oneself). That will become clear if you read the posts mentioned under question #1.

      I am not sure what you mean by, “So again I am confused how this concept of sukha/dukha vedana that comes from dhamma loka and even an arahant experiences fits in.”
      – Please feel free to re-phrase that part, if it is not resolved from the above explanation.

    • #24662
      Johnny_Lim
      Participant

      Lal mentioned: “Vedana coming through the other four physical sense inputs are neutral. Any pleasant or unpleasant vedana that we may experience are ALL mind-made, and NOT due to kamma vipaka. They are called “samphassa ja vedana”. They are also called “somanassa/domanassa vedana”. Arahant DO NOT experience those.”

      Say an arahant is served some tasty food. Would the arahant think that the food that he is consuming is delicious? On the other hand, if some wicked person wants to test the arahant by serving him rotten food, would the arahant think the food that he just tasted is terrible or even unfit for consumption? Can there be no such thing as a delicious and terrible taste for an arahant? I would be amazed if this were the case because it seems like vipaka (good or bad) is being denied here. Surely, an arahant cannot be a dead log as long as he is still alive and kicking.

      I came across a sutta AN 6.41 – A Tree Trunk, where Ven.Sariputta mentioned there is an element of ugliness in ugly things. I would think there is an element of beauty in beautiful things too.

      Knowing that ugliness/beauty arises out of causality, likewise delicious and foul-tasting must also arise out of causality. Delicious cannot come from the tasty food alone. Neither can it arise unilaterally from the arahant, nor from both the tasty food and the arahant. Also, delicious cannot arise for no reason. Hence, can I safely deduce that an arahant can definitely find a tasty food delicious and foul-tasting food, foul-tasting?

    • #24668
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Johnny wrote: “Say an arahant is served some tasty food. Would the arahant think that the food that he is consuming is delicious?”

      Yes. I have emphasized this many times. See, for example, “Kāma Guna, Kāma, Kāma Rāga, Kāmaccanda“.
      – I recommend reading the above post carefully.
      But an Arahant would not get attached to that taste, and crave for more. That is not by will power. That is through understanding. This is a hard point for many to understand.

      “On the other hand, if some wicked person wants to test the arahant by serving him rotten food, would the arahant think the food that he just tasted is terrible or even unfit for consumption?”
      – Yes. An Arahant would taste bad food as such.

      I think your questions will have answers in the above post. Please ask questions if something is not clear.
      – Saltiness, sweetness, bitter, etc are applicable to all with human bodies. They are called kama guna.

      • #24670
        Johnny_Lim
        Participant

        Thanks, Lal. You have clarified my doubt.

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