Ultimate Realities – Table

1. This Table lists the three kinds of ultimate realities (paramatta dhamma) in this world of 31 realms; they are conditioned, i.e., they arise due to causes and perish subsequently on their own; nothing in this world is permanent. They do not arise if there are no causes, and when that happens Nibbana is the result.

  • Nibbana is the unconditioned reality. It is attained when the six causes (lobha, dosa, moha, alobha, adosa, amoha) are not there. Then the mind cannot get a “foothold” anywhere in the material world.
  • Cultivating the three causes of alobha, adosa, amoha (together with removing lobha, dosa, moha) is needed in following the Noble Eightfold Path, and when wisdom grows, all causes will be rejected by the mind automatically at the end.

2. Ultimate realities can be compared to the fundamental particles in physics. Even though it was believed in the early stages that atoms were the fundamental particles, now there are about 32 of such particles; but now the “particle nature” is dissolving into “energy packets” in elementary particle physics. In Buddha Dhamma, the 28 types of rupa are very fine, and cannot be “seen” even with abhinna powers; they are “energy packets”.

3. The table also shows how “this world of 31 realms” can be described via the five aggregates, the twelve sense bases, or 6 dhatus and how they incorporate the ultimate realities. There are other ways too. They are all compatible and consistent with each other.

  • For example, 89 citta and 52 cetasika are included in the four “mental” aggregates, or in the mind base and mind objects, or just in the vinnana dhatu.
  • Also note that the correct word is kandha and NOT skandha for the five “aggregates”. The Pali (and Sinhala) word kandha means a “pile” (as in a pile of sand) and is still used to denote a hill in Sinhala. I just look up the meaning of “skandha” in Sanskrit and it says  “Hindu god of war”. This is how the true meanings of the original words have been lost due to incorporation of “sophisticated sounding” Sanskrit words with no relevance.

Table: Analysis of the “world” and Nibbana in terms of ultimate realities.

Lokaya (World of 31 Realms)Nibbana
Ultimate Realities
Vedana kandha
Sanna kandha
Sankhara kandha
Vinnana kandha
Rupa kandha
Sense Bases
Mind baseMind Objects (also includes fine matter or sukuma rupa)5 internal (pasada) rupa
5 external rupa (vanna, sadda, gandha, rasa, pottabba)
patavi, apo, tejo, vayo, akasa
sankata include everything in this world
(sentient beings have all six dhatu; everything else in the world, like inert objects and plants, do not have vinnana)
1. Number of citta can be 121 in the alternate scheme; see,The 89 (121) Types of Citta
2. Vedana, sanna are two cetasika; sankhara has the rest of 50 cetasika; for a list of cetasika, see Cetasika (Mental Factors)
3. For fine (sukuma) rupa, see Rupa (Material Form) – Table.
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