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Kammasakata-Nana


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#1 RobertK

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 04:24 PM

http://www.dhammastu...ammasakata.html
Kammasakata-Nana
Sujin Boriharnwanaket
(Excerpt from dhamma discussion at Utayan Lan Na,
February 22, 2000)
Translated by Amara-Varee
Revised by Robert Kirkpatrick


This talk was given on February 22, 2000 (B. E. 2543) near Chiang Mai. This section of the talk was in response to a question about the meaning of
kammasakata-nana.

Nana is panna. Kammasakata-nana (the knowledge that one has one's own kamma) is the understanding of kamma and its results. At its most basic level it is reflecting on cause and effect in daily life. People are dissimilar since birth because of conditions: it is obvious that everyone is unique, there must be paccaya (conditions) for that to happen, even in other bhumi (planes). Animals and humans differ because of kamma. Most importantly, in using the term 'kammasakata-nana' one must not forget that 'nana' is panna, right view. This doesn’t mean that kamma or vipaka (result of kamma) are not realities. But when do the realities that are kamma, or vipaka, the result of kamma, exist?

Theoretically we learn that kamma, consisting of kusala (wholesome) and akusala (unwholesome), arise during the javana cittas , and vipaka as the patisandhi-citta (rebirth consciousness) then the bhavanga (life continuum). Thereafter vipaka, as janakopathambhaka-kamma, still yields results, causing cakkhu-vinnana (seeing consciousness), sota-vinnana (hearing consciousness) etc. to arise. Janakopathambhaka-kamma means that not only does it cause rebirth but also supports life by causing seeing, hearing, etc. There are also other kamma that bring results after that, since during our lifetimes we were not born with such a name, in such a family, in these lifestyles, or in these surroundings, permanently. Neither are we always healthy. Therefore there are other kamma that are different from the kamma that cause patisandhi (rebirth). Understanding all this is panna (wisdom) of the listening and contemplative level.

When panna of a higher level arises, it will clearly realize, and deepen the understanding of the characteristics of realities as kamma or vipaka. For example being mindful of the characteristics of the citta that is seeing (cakkhu-vinnana). It would be obvious then that no one creates or controls the characteristics of seeing or the dhatu (element) that sees. One need not think about any gati-sampati or gati-vipati (birth in a good or a bad plane), all are reduced to one instant of citta to arise. Any citta that is vipaka (result), must arise because of kamma as one of the paccaya (conditions). Therefore while seeing or hearing, if there is panna, one would know the differences among the dhatu (elements). The instants of seeing and hearing arise because there are paccaya (conditions) for them to arise, and after the seeing and hearing one knows whether the following cittas are kusala (wholesome) or akusala (unwholesome).

This is to know realities at the instant they arise. It is not merely pondering about it, or thinking that one knows kamma, vipaka, kammasakata-nana or kammasakata-panna, when one sees a beggar or something. Here we arrive at realities: what we perceive as the great wide world with lots of people, is in reality one instant of citta that arises only for the briefest moment.

If we consider the moment of birth, of which I have spoken many times but would like to again for the benefit of those who haven't heard it before, then the citta at the instant of birth is vipaka, the result of kamma. At that moment it is dark. Can the world appear since there are neither eyes nor ears? Neither sound nor colors appear, nor does any smell. It is kamma that causes vipaka-citta to perform the function of creating the patisandhi-citta (rebirth consciousness), which does not know any aramana (object) of this world: it only performs the function of patisandhi (rebirth) and then falls away.

After that, kamma causes bhavanga-citta (life continuum consciousness) to arise in continuation. Still one does not know anything of this world at that instant, just as when one is deep asleep. It is darker than dark. When one has eyes with cakkhu-pasada (eyesense) and one closes them, one thinks it is dark, but that darkness is not as dark as the bhavanga-citta. Even the bhavanga-citta differs from the mano-dvara-vithi-citta , to compare the respective levels. Bhavanga-citta do not know any aramana, not even thoughts. However, the Buddha was enlightened about the characteristics of all citta from the patisandhi to the bhavanga to the very first vara (process) of thinking, in each world, each rebirth. It must be the mano-dvara-vithi that is conscious, then immediately clings to birth, to being. Consider how great the lobha (attachment) is. Before going to sleep we can't help thinking about what we would do tomorrow: already there is lobha. And the moment we wake up, we can't help thinking about what we want to do, to get.

So there is always lobha, right up to the next world, the next rebirth. The first vara (process of citta), after the mano-dvara-vajjana-citta arises, is attachment to birth, to being, no matter in which bhumi (plane). Still eyeless, without ears, nose or tongue, though already with body sense, but at that instant the mano-dvara arises in sequence just as when it knows aramana (objects) through the panca-dvara (five sense doors). In the same way after the seeing falls away the bhavanga interposes and then the mano-dvara-vithi knows the same aramana in continuation. From this world to the next the aramana before cuti (death) of that life continues, and then the first vara citta would think of it, consciousness would arise, and the attachments to that rebirth arise. This intricate nature of realities pervades from delivery to death. We don't take into consideration the order in which the dvara (sense doors) appear, but when there is hearing, the world does not have light, since at that instant there is no consciousness of anything in contact with the eyes, but knowledge of sound. Still there is sound, something familiar, to be attached to, to grasp, and to be pleased with, even if it is only sound.

Then, the mano-dvara-vithi that knows sound in sequence, though not through the sota-dvara-vithi (ear door process), it knows the exact same sound as through the panca-dvara. None can distinguish between the two right now: the moment we hear sound is the sota-dvara-vithi-citta arisising and falling away, bhavanga interposing and then mano-dvara knows it in its turn. The sota-dvara of the panca dvara arises and falls away, bhavanga interpose and the mano-dvara knows what appears, very swiftly, in the exact manner that the Buddha described: that the mano-dvara-vithi knows all aramana, in continuation from the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and body sense.

This is real life, which is all dhamma. Finally we can know the truth through realization, first through the clear experiencing of the characteristics of namma-dhamma and rupa-dhamma, then there will be real knowledge of kammasakata-nana and this will keep developing. Because as panna increases, what can there be except vipaka-, kusala- and akusala-citta? Therefore the panna that knows reality as it truly is would differentiate the kusala (wholesome) from the akusala (unwholesome), and that they are not vipaka-citta. This is the meaning of kammasakata-nana, the ability to know things as they truly are, because the realities would arise to be experienced, to be understood. It is not just theorizing, such as when one sees a leprous beggar to say that this is kamma, without really knowing the characteristics of the citta.

Therefore we are not now sitting among many people at all: in reality only citta, instant by instant. Just think, only citta, instant by instant, no people, no animals: not without thinking and memories. This is because through the eyes things appear for an extremely short instant and then fall away. Consider how very briefly light appears and then falls away, followed sequentially by the mind. And through the eyes things arise often, continuing as though there were always light. But when other objects arise in their turn one can immediately know that there is not always color appearing. When sound appears there is no color. What does it appear to? Just one instant of citta that arises, memorizes and remembers. So it is like the nama-dhatu that is without shape or form but which, when there is something in contact with the eyes, is like a spot that is the dvara or way. In other words when there is kamma for a rupa (material phenomenon) to arise, that rupa would be the path for citta that sees, the cakkhu-pasada, to arise. When there is kamma for the sota-pasada to arise, it would. The sota-pasada is the path for the citta to hear. But all fall away: when it appears, it instantly falls away. Therefore nothing is permanent, whether the sota-pasada, the sound appearing, the cakkhu-pasada, or the color appearing. When the sota-pasada and the appearing sound has fallen away, they are gone forever, with no remnants at all.

We can know the characteristic of the reality that knows or the dhatu (element) that knows, which is conscious in sequence to the eyes a short instant, and collects it as thoughts and connotations through the mind, in continuation from the ears for another and collects that too. Thus the swiftness of the succession of the senses, from the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body sense and mind causes attachments as atta-sanna: that there is a self, that experiences through the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body sense and mind, that collects and memorizes all this. In fact all are only one instant of citta, instant by instant, that arise in continuation from one path to another.

Then, if it is the panna that realizes the characters of realities as they really are, before it can reach the level of experiencing the arising and falling away of realities, the udhayabbaya-nana, all the dhamma that panna knows must be equal: no kusala or akusala, no self that would like to have kusala arise through such and such a method. There must be knowledge according to the truth that kusala is only momentary, akusala likewise. All which appear through the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body sense and mind are momentary, impermanent.

Consider the relinquishment of the self from the realities that arise and appear for so short a time. This is only at the listening stage, not yet that of the realization of the ariyasacca-dhamma, because panna really must be complete according to the respective levels. Beginning with the nama-rupa-paricheda-nana first, after which we still cannot realize the arising and falling away, but there would be no more uncertainty as to the characteristics of nama-dhatu (mental elements) and rupa-dhatu (physical elements) since there is real knowledge that these realities are nama-dhatu and rupa-dhatu. But then there is such a great quantity of nama- and rupa-dhatu..

In real life the nata-parinna arises after the nama-rupa-paricheda-nana. If the nama-rupa-pariccheda-nana (the first stage of vipassana that distinguishes nama and rupa) does not arise there can be no nata-parinna. Nata-parinna is the panna that knows the characteristics of realities as they truly are, respectively. Therefore one knows the characteristics of realities as they truly are when there is nama-rupa-pariccheda-nana. So what kind of vipassana-nana is the nata-parinna? It is not as if the moment we hear of it there can be nama-rupa-pariccheda-nana, not at all. It is clearly manifested in the Tipitaka that it is a vipassana-nana. Therefore it is obvious that it is about abandoning. If anyone does not have enough panna to have the strength to relinquish the attachment to either kusala or akusala, as long as there is still desire for something, he would know that other nana (levels of wisdom) cannot arise because there is still attachment and desire. Once the study of the characteristics of realities increases the knowledge of the arising of realities as being caused by paccaya there will no longer be the “self” to try to practice anything any more. This is because realities arise and fall away much too rapidly for anyone to do anything, except to be able to develop panna to know the truth about the realities that have already arisen from paccaya, without there being a self to think of practicing anything.

This is to gradually relinquish lobha or the desire to know, until there is thorough knowledge [of namma-dhamma and rupa-dhamma] as maha-vipassana, as balava (powerful) vipassana to arrive at the realization of the arising and falling away of realities. However, that person would be conscious, according to the truth, that there is no relinquishment, no abandonment yet, and no possibility of realizing the arising and falling away of realities. He would understand that this is because there is still yearning, still the self. Just imagine it, only dhatu (elements) that knows. We continue to live in this world because we have relatives, friends and all the rest. To be apart for a while, not even through the vipassana-nana, just to be separated, isn't it lonely? No more relations and friends. But at the stage of the realization that realities appear and fall away, so shortly, there is nothing left at all, how lonely that would be. Even if it is really the panna that realizes, is there any relinquishment? If not the next level of panna cannot arise yet..

Therefore it is all a matter of developing panna throughout, from the beginning to the eradication of kilesa. The vipassana-nana would arise level by level up to the realization of the ariyasacca-dhamma (noble truths). Even then it must occur level by level. But one should see the power of the accumulation of panna that starts with sati-patthana and continues through other bodhipakkhiya-dhamma (requisites of enlightenment). It would know the differences even among the realities that are indriya (leader) and bala (power). Saddha (faith), viriya (effort), sati, samadhi and panna would arise together, simultaneously, the instant that sati is mindful of realities, but not yet with the strength to be bala, since there is still desire for something, or expecting that one thing or another would arise. The person would know through the panna of his own development, paccatam, according to the truth. If one is not brave, strong, steadfast and ready to relinquish, there can be no relinquishment. Even though the reality is only hardness or heat, or whatever, it is still “us”, because it does not appear elsewhere, and the atta-sanna (perception of “self”) still remembers that right here, our arm is hot. Although hardness does not appear, only the characteristic of heat does, the memory through the atta-sanna still exists. Only when there is no more atta-sanna could one understand the meaning of atta-sanna and its relinquishment through panna.

Then one understands the meaning of 'seeing without attachment to nimita-anubyanjana (shape or form - details)'. It is not to samvara (have restraint) by not looking or seeing, but through the knowledge of the characteristics of realities that enables us to know that that instant is not us.

#2 Yuttadhammo

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 12:51 AM

Dear Robert,

Do you know if it is possible to get some of Ajaan Suchin's talks in audio? It is so much nicer to listen to a Thai speaker speaking in Thai than to read an English translation (however good) of the same talk. I used to have some of her material, I think... maybe I still do on a CD somewhere. Any Internet links would be appreciated.

Best wishes,

Yuttadhammo

#3 RobertK

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 03:56 AM

Dear Venerable Yuttadhammo,
There are about 2000 recorded talks of Khun Sujin that are used for the radio programs in Thai. Sukinder (a member here) can arrange to have cds or mp3s sent to you I think - hopefully he will see this message.

Also there is a site, but I forget the url, that has ome of her talks in Thai.
This site has Thai and English articles'
www.buddhadhamma.org
with respect
Robert

#4 sukin

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 11:51 AM

QUOTE(Yuttadhammo @ May 2 2006, 07:51 AM) View Post

Dear Robert,

Do you know if it is possible to get some of Ajaan Suchin's talks in audio? It is so much nicer to listen to a Thai speaker speaking in Thai than to read an English translation (however good) of the same talk. I used to have some of her material, I think... maybe I still do on a CD somewhere. Any Internet links would be appreciated.

Best wishes,

Yuttadhammo



Dear Venerable Yuttadhammo,

You can get much of what you may be looking for here:

http://www.dhammahome.com/


Dhamma Home is actually the name of the Chiang Mai branch of the Dhamma Study and Support Foundation in Bangkok.

I am not sure, but I think that you may obtain books and MP3s there, the address is given at the bottom of the homepage. However, if it is not convenient for you to travel, I will be very happy to send you anything that you may need from Bangkok, which is where I am.

Respectfully,

Sukinder.

#5 Yuttadhammo

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 02:30 PM

QUOTE(sukin @ May 2 2006, 06:51 PM) View Post

Dear Venerable Yuttadhammo,

You can get much of what you may be looking for here:

http://www.dhammahome.com/
Dhamma Home is actually the name of the Chiang Mai branch of the Dhamma Study and Support Foundation in Bangkok.

I am not sure, but I think that you may obtain books and MP3s there, the address is given at the bottom of the homepage. However, if it is not convenient for you to travel, I will be very happy to send you anything that you may need from Bangkok, which is where I am.

Respectfully,

Sukinder.

Dear Sukinder,

Thank you very much - that is one website I did not know about. I will spend some time looking through it; I think I can download all from the website itself. I will be travelling to Bangkok on the 6th for the International Buddhism Conference. Will you be attending as well?

Best wishes,

Yuttadhammo

#6 sukin

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 12:41 AM

Dear Venerable Yuttadhammo,

Glad to be of help.

Regarding the International Buddhism Conference, I don't normally attend any such conference. I would have gone this time though just so as to be able to meet you. However it seems to fall on a Saturday, and Saturdays is the day I go to the Dhamma Study and Support Foundation for discussions with Ajaan Sujin and other friends.

In fact I would have liked to take you to meet her. What time does the conference start and what time does it finish?

With respect,

Sukinder

#7 Yuttadhammo

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 01:14 AM

Dear Sukinder,

Actually, I'll be attending the conference from Sunday (May 7th) until Thursday (May 11th), provided all goes as expected. This Saturday I will be leaving Chiang Mai, only to arrive early Sunday morning. On Thursday I will try to return to Chiang Mai. The daily schedule seems to be 08:00 - 17:00. I would be happy to meet you, and of course happy to meet Ajaan Sujin, if such were possible during that time.

I'm interested in the conference more because of the people attending than the events of the conference themselves - I think it is important to meet to encourage and support each other in our practice in this way.

Best wishes,

Yuttadhammo



QUOTE(sukin @ May 3 2006, 07:41 AM) View Post

Dear Venerable Yuttadhammo,

Glad to be of help.

Regarding the International Buddhism Conference, I don't normally attend any such conference. I would have gone this time though just so as to be able to meet you. However it seems to fall on a Saturday, and Saturdays is the day I go to the Dhamma Study and Support Foundation for discussions with Ajaan Sujin and other friends.

In fact I would have liked to take you to meet her. What time does the conference start and what time does it finish?

With respect,

Sukinder



#8 sukin

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 01:33 AM

Dear Ven. Yuttadhammo,

It would be difficult to arrange a meeting with Ajaan Sujin as she comes to the Foundation only on the weekend. However, if you can let me know where this International Buddhism Conference is being held, I might pop in and perhaps also bring along another Dhamma friend with me?

With respect,

Sukinder