Questions on the selected Subject, selected Topic:

Are there more perspectives?

Other Topics Under selected SUBJECT:

1. Unsub-divided General Information
2. Merit and Goodness in Society
3. Kamma (and Merit)
4. Developing along Path, Details & Elaborations
5. Meditation
7. Stages on the Path to Enlightenment
8. Requisites of Enlightenment & Concepts Overview

SUBJECT: II. Comprehensive Intro. to Buddhism (from the Buddha and B. Bodhi)


Topic: 6. More perspective and perspectives

The currently selected QUESTION:

Are there more perspectives?


More Perspective and Perspectives on Buddhism

* Secluded from sensual pleasures which is accompanied by thought and examination
with rapture and happiness born of seclusion, is the first jhana. I-making,
mine-making, and the underlying tendency to conceit is gone.

* With subsiding of thought and examination comes the second jhana: internal
confidence and unification of the mind (without thought and examination) and
yielding rapture and happiness born of concentration.

* With the fading away of rapture comes equanimous and mindful and clear
comprehending. This is the third jhana.

* With abandoning pleasure and pain and with the previous passing away of joy and
displeasure comes the fourth jhana -- with purification of mindfulness by

* Beyond the 4 jhanas are 5 levels, beginning with the complete transcending of
perception of forms: The 5 (often just the top 4 are defined):
infinity of space
consciousness is infinite
base of nothingness (there is nothing)
neither perception or non-perception
completely transcending issues of perception and cessation of perception
and feeling

All these states of absorption concentration (the four jhanas and the 5 levels beyond)
are considered helpful BUT not necessary to reach stream-enterer or once-returner.
Moreover (and importantly), the achievement of these states, themselves, does not
necessarily mean real progress on the PATH.

(Source: 2013 or 2014 Abhidhamma Retreat, B. Bodhi . ALSO (last sentence), according to
the Buddha, in the Numerical Discourses, Book of Threes, #116)


* The still mind, calm and collected, is the foundation for insight. This mind observes
phenomenon and, from sustained observation and exploring exploration, arises
the higher wisdom of insight into phenomenon -- culminating in the full and
comprehensive understanding called enlightenment.


Wisdom is “panna”, knowing or understanding not as a possession but as an action
(act of knowing, act of understanding, act of discovery). Panna is non-conceptual,
non-discursive, and defies all laws of logical thought.

Panna (wisdom) is emphatically conditioned, arisen from an underlying matrix of
causes and conditions. Panna is not bare intuition, but careful discriminative
understanding, that at some stages involves precise conceptual operations.
The investigated, mastered, and conceptual understanding comes before direct,
non-conceptual insight. One must abstract from the mass of facts, basic
fundamental patterns and uses these for contemplating one's own experience.

The conditioned basis of Wisdom (three tier):
moral discipline is the basis for
concentrating, which is the basis for

Wisdom is the right view of the 8-fold Noble path, conceptual right view --
clear, intellectual grasp of Dhamma -- and an experiential right view that directly
penetrates the Dhamma. Experiential right view evolves and becomes a critical
step in the growth of wisdom.

Experiential right view is the realization of the truth of the Dhamma (including the
4 Noble Truths) in one's own immediate experience.

Correct conceptual understanding (of teaching and practice) transforms this
understanding into direct perception. Principle of conditionality is to be the
scaffolding for the entire Teaching.
(Above section from a B. Bodhi Intro., ... Anthology ..., 2005 pp. 302-304.)

Phenomenon has individual nature, its arising, its cessation, and the way to its
cessation. This is the 4-truth pattern and underlies the 4 Noble Truths.
Yet, no entity is isolated, but inherently linked to other things in a complex
web of dependent origination.

Liberation lies in understanding the causes that sustain this web and bringing them
to an end within oneself (extinguishing those causes).


5 aggregates are the ultimate referent of the first Noble Truth and are the objective
domain of clinging and, as such, contribute to the cause, to the causal origination
of future suffering. Clinging to the 5 aggregates must be removed. The kind of
wisdom needed to remove clinging is the precise, clear insight into the true
nature of the aggregates. Understanding brings destruction of greed, hatred, and

The 4-Truth pattern applies to the 5 aggregates, which make up ordinary experience and
are the bases of clinging. Clinging occurs in 2 modes:
appropriation and
identification (used for one's views about one's self or for conceit)

Ignorance lies at the base of suffering. A net of 3 delusions surround the aggregates:
[they are] permanent,
source of true happiness, and
a self
You break this spell with insight into the aggregates as impermanent, suffering, and

Another perspective via 6 sense bases (internal and external sense bases): sense
faculties and their corresponding objects (sense bases mediate between
consciousness and its objects). First 5 are the sense organs and the body and
tactile object. Sixth, is sort of consciousness: mind base and mind
consciousness: passive flow of consciousness from which active conceptual
consciousness emerges AND “phenomenon” as purely mental objects
(apprehended by introspection, imagination, and reflection).
Liberation requires direct knowledge and full understanding of the internal and
external sense bases and all the phenomenon that arise from them.

Aggregates are primarily the “soil” for views of self; sense bases primarily the “soil”
for craving.

To dispel ignorance and generate true knowledge, one must contemplate the sense
bases and the feelings that arise through them as: impermanent, suffering,
and non-self.

One who sees the dependent origination, sees the Dhamma and one who sees the
Dhamma sees dependent origination. Unravel the causal pattern, beginning
with understanding the pattern itself (it is dependent origination that defines
this pattern). Chain of conditions: the Buddha finds sequence of conditions
to be fixed principle, stable law, the nature of things. Ignorance, lack of direct
knowledge, leads one to engage in activities and these are volitional formations
(i.e. kamma).

Along with consciousness, comes name-and-form, the sentient organism with its
physical and its sensitive and cognitive capacities. Sentient organism has 6
sense bases (5 physical and mind as organ of cognition); contact is between
consciousness and object and contact condition; and there is feeling, which calls into
play craving and, eventually, clinging. Impelled by our attachments, we
again engage in volitional actions, pregnant with new existence (begins with
birth, ends in death).

Dependent origination should be directly known by personal experience; still,
dependent origination is true for all and has a timeless and universal significance.
Dependent origination show individual existence is constituted by a current
of conditioned phenomenon. When ignorance and craving are destroyed, the
inner mechanism of karmic causation is deactivated, one reaches the end of
suffering in samsura.

Once one sees the 4 Noble Truths, still each imposes a task that must be fulfilled.
Truth of suffering (in 5 aggregates) must be fully understood
Truth of its origin (craving) must be abandoned
Truth of cessation (Nibbana) must be realized
and the Truth of the Way (path), the 8-fold Noble path, must be developed

Nibbana is unconditioned, attained as a state of freedom and happiness, attained by
realizing with profound wisdom the unconditioned and transcendent element
(tranquil, beyond suffering, irreversible release).


8 Conditions for Wisdom (for getting it and increasing and developing it):
dependence on teacher (1st cause and condition) (with affection and respect)
having learned the Dhamma, withdrawal of mind and body
restraint and seeing danger in the slightest faults
consolidates what he has learned (teachings, much memorized, recited,
investigated, and penetrated)
being energetic -- set upon by abandoning everything unwholesome and
acquiring of everything wholesome
while in the midst of the Sangha, he does not engage in pointless talk (and,
not shunning noble silence)
contemplating the rise and fall of 5 aggregates :
Such is form ... such its arising ... such its passing away
Such is feeling ... such its arising ... such its passing away
Such is perception ... such its arising ... such its passing away
Such is volitional formation ... such its arising ... such its passing away
Such is consciousness ... such its arising ... such its passing away

Having these 8 conditions, one truly knows and sees, and these qualities lead to
affection, esteem, concord, and unity.
Noble disciple, who understands the wholesome and the root of the unwholesome -- in
that way he is of right view and has confirmed confidence in the Dhamma

destruction of life
taking what is not given
sexual misconduct
false speech
malicious speech
harsh speech
idle chatter
ill will
wrong view

Opposite (or abstention of) is what is wholesome. Root of wholesome: opposites
(“nons-”) of the three roots of unwholesome:
He abandons tendency to lust, abolishes underlying tendency to aversion, and
extinguishes underlying tendency to view and conceit: “I am”
Abandoning ignorance, arousing true knowledge, he here and now makes an end to

Realizing the 4 Noble Truths (suffering, origin of suffering, cessation of suffering,
and the way to do this) involves understanding the 5 aggregates which are
subject to clinging as the basis of suffering.
Goal: cessation of craving and non-attachment
Way (once again): the 8-fold Noble Path

Several “other” ways of right view and arrival at the Dhamma are briefly described --
basically: understanding fully any one of the 12 phenomenon arising as one the 12 steps of
the dependent origination of suffering (see below and see pp 326 - 335 in the Bodhi
Anthology text for more detail)(4 Noble Truths and the 8-fold path always involved).

Noteworthy description of things (within the descriptions of the “other ways” to come
to right view and arriving at the Dhamma) include:
Understanding clinging (4 kinds):
clinging to sensual pleasures
clinging to views
clinging to rules and observances
clinging to doctrine of self

Understanding craving for forms, senses, mental phenomenon.

Understanding feeling, feeling born of :
sense feeling via contact
body contact

Understanding consciousness : 6 classes: 4 sense, body consciousness, and
mind consciousness. With the arising of volitional formations, there
is consciousness. With ignorance, there is arising of volitional formations

Also, with the arising of taints there is ignorance. Three [types of] taints: sexual
desire, taint of existence, taint of ignorance. With the cessation of
ignorance, there is cessation of taints.


Domain of Wisdom, by way of 5 aggregates:
form aggregate subject to clinging
feeling aggregate subject to clinging
perception aggregate subject to clinging
volitional formation aggregate subject to clinging
consciousness aggregate subject to clinging
Directly knowing all as they really are, then one can claim to be awakened to
unsurpassed enlightenment in this world. Knowing them involves 4 phases,
corresponding to the 4-truth pattern (of the 4 Noble Truths):

Directly knowing form leads to disenchantment with form. Through its fading
away and cessation, etc. one is liberated by non-clinging (gaining a
foothold on Dhamma and Discipline).
Similarly, knowing feeling (types, arising, cessation, and way) yields
disenchantment with feeling.
Similarly, know perception (know types ...)
Similarly, volitional formations (know types, all arising with contact ... ) --
the 8-fold path is involved
Similarly, know consciousness (types; comes with the arising of
name-and form). Disenchantment and the 8-fold path is involved.

The 5 aggregates, subject to clinging, are rooted in desire, desire and lust for them:
that is the clinging.

Page 340 of the Bodhi Anthology text informs us that there
are personal aspects to the Dhamma, because several times, in
reference to people, the translation, “their Dhamma” is used.
The Buddha himself, in several discourses, in other books, uses this phrase several times.

Those unskilled and undisciplined in their Dhamma regard :
form as self
feeling as self
perception as self
volitional formations as self
consciousness as self

Those skilled and disciplined in their Dhamma do not regard form as self OR
possessing form as self OR form in self or self in form. Similarly for
feeling, perception, volitional formations, and consciousness.

Pleasure and joy which arises in dependence on form is the gratification in forms.
Form is impermanent, subject to change -- this is the danger of form.
Removal of desire for form is the escape (similarly for the other 4 aggregates) .

Form (and other aggregates) are non-self. The disenchanted become dispassionate
with forms, ... . Through that the mind is liberated.


Dependent Origination:
With ignorance as the condition, volitional formations come to be.
With volitional formations as condition, comes consciousness.
With consciousness as condition, comes name-and-form.
With name-and-form as condition, come the 6 sense bases and with sense bases
comes contact.
With contact comes feelings.
With feelings comes craving.
With craving comes clinging.
With clinging comes existence.
With existence as condition comes birth, and with that: aging, death, sorrow,
pain, dejection, despair. This is the origin of the whole mass of suffering.
This is Dependent Origination.

With the remainderless fading away of ignorance, comes cessation of: volitional
formations, consciousness, name-and-form, 6 sense bases, contact, feeling, craving,
clinging, and birth.

Stableness of Dhamma, fixed course of Dhamma, specific conditionality (the
specific conditionality is called dependent origination). Buddha awakens to this
and breaks through this : he discloses, analyzed it, and elucidates it.
Noble disciple has clearly seen with correct wisdom, as it really is : this dependent
origination and the dependently arisen phenomenon.
A trainee's true knowledge is of one who has entered the stream of Dhamma.

For one who has seen the origin of the world as it really is, there is no idea of
non-existence in regard to this world, as well as no idea of existence ... .

What one intends, plans, or has a tendency toward: this becomes a basis for
continuation of consciousness and when this is established and comes to growth,
there is a production of future renewed existence ... the origin of the mass of suffering.
AND: vice versa . Delight in volitional formations lead to birth, aging, etc.

[In nearing ultimate knowledge,] if one still experiences agreeable and disagreeable
(pleasure, pain), it is still lust, hatred, and delusion in him that is called the
Nibbana element with residue remaining.
The Nibbana element without residue remaining, is where one is completely
liberated through final knowledge. For him, in this very life, all that is felt,
not being delighted in, will become “cool right here”.
These are the 2 Nibbana elements.

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Added by Brad on Sun 25th January 2015 6.20PM

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Comments about this question/Answer
Some NON-invariant aspects of Dependent Origination by BradThe order of phenomenon in dependent origination is NOT invariant!!
In the usual statement of 12 "steps" in Dependent Origination:

With ignorance as the condition, volitional formations come to be.
With volitional formations as condition, comes consciousness.
With consciousness as condition, comes name-and-form.
With name-and-form as condition, come the 6 sense bases
With sense bases comes contact.
With contact comes feelings.
With feelings comes craving.
With craving comes clinging.
With clinging comes existence.
With existence as condition comes birth ...
With birth ... aging and suffering

Now, quoting the Buddha (Book Two of the Samyutta Nikaya):
"Then, bhikkhsu, it occurred to me: 'When what exists does consciousness come to be?
By what is consciousness conditioned?' Then, bhikkhsu, through careful attention,
there took place in me a breakthrough by wisdom: 'When there is name-and-form,
consciousness comes to be; consciousness has name-and-form as its condition. '
[Note, above, name-and-form has consciousness as its condition.]

"Then, bhikkhsu, it occurred to me: consciousnness turns back; it does not go further
than name-and-form. It is to this extent that one may be born and age and die,
pass away and be reborn, that is, when there is consciousness with name-and-form as
its condition, and name-and-form with consciousness as its condition. With name-and-form
as condition ... [regular order of dependent origination, at the top of this Comment] ... "

" ... a breakthrough by wisdom: 'When there is no consciousness, name-and-form does not
come to be; with the cessation of consciousness comes cessation of name-and form' ...
'When there is no name-and-form, consciousness does not come to be; with the cessation of
name-and-form comes the cessation of consciousness' ..."



P.S. Several "steps" are NOT bi-directional: I should note that several of the 12 "steps" of Dependent Origination are expressly NOT bi-directional. In these cases, causation (that is: what "is the condition for" what) is only ONE WAY. I think it is fair to say (to put it in modern terms) that this is "by definition". (All this is based on statements expressly made by the Buddha himself.)
Consciousness --> name-and-form AND Name-and-form --> consciousness seem to be the unique bi-directional conditions.

Moreover: terms like 'perception', 'attention', and 'intention', also used by the Buddha (at least as translated), must be understood to be
somewhere(s) amidst the RANGE from initial volitional formations _to_ (and perhaps including) craving in dependent origination.

Speaking using the words (terms), 'perception' and 'intention', the Buddha said:
"What are unwholesome intentions? They are the intention of sensual desire, the
intention of ill will, and the intention of cruelty ... they should be said to
originate from perception. What perception? Though perception is multiple, and
varied, and of different aspects, there is perception of sensual desire,
perception of ill will, and perception of cruelty. Unwholesome intentions
originate from this. [Similarly, wholesome intentions originate from perception of
renunciation, perception of non-ill will, and perception of non-cruelty.]"

Interestingly: Unwholesome intentions do not cease without remainder until the first
jhana (jhanas are progressive states of 'deep' concentration shown by arahants -- see
Topic 7). Wholesome intentions are fully 'dealt with' only by the second jhana (where
THEY can be said to have 'ceased without remainder') (Source for last 2 paragraphs:
Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, Samanamandikaputta Sutta).

Also, regarding feeling, perception, volition, contact, and attention: Quoting the Buddha:
"... Feeling, perception, volition, contact, and attention -- these are called name [(in name-and-form)].
The four great elements and the form derived from the four great elements -- these are called form.
So this name and this form are what is called name-and-form. ..." (end quote)
Given the statements from the Buddha, quoted in this top Comment, it seems likely that the junction
of consciousness and name-and-form is especially important for changes in feeling, perception,
volition, contact, and attention

Adding Perspective to the top Comment by BradImportant things related to conditions:
While 3 of THE 5 aggregates subject to clinging (ETC.!) have CONTACT as their condition, form and consciousness do not.
Form simply has nutriment as its condition. But consciousness has a non-aggregate as its condition : name-and-form.
[ The 5 aggregates subject to clinging are: form, feeling, perception, volitional formations, and consciousness. ]

Since understanding things in terms of the sense bases is an important understanding, according to the Buddha:
In terms of sense bases: Form is related to the 6 organ bases (eye base, [the 4 other physical sense bases] _and_ mind base) AND
the form base. Feeling, perception, and volitional formations are related to the sense base called "mental phenomenon base"
(these are the same three with Contact as there condition).
Consciousness has the sense base called "mind base" (as is one of the 6 initial bases of [sensing] form).
[ Some schemes in the teaching have SOME volitional formations occur directly after consciousness (in particular, the consciousness, at
least some of which, occurs right after sensing form). This does seem to help make things make sense, so to speak. The sense base of
this round of volitional formations, as is true of later volitional formations and 2 other aggregate things, is the 'mental phenomenon base'.
ACTUALLY: This is indicated in the words of the Buddha, himself -- the quote below on contact, feeling, AND intention.
Also: Sariputta, a main disciple of the Buddha, says something that supports this fore-mentioned point of view on
volitional formations. He states that feeling, perception, and consciousness are conjoined and impossible to
separate from each other. In particular he says, "what one feels, that one perceives; and what one
perceives, one cognizes" (Middle Length Discourses, Mahavedall Sutta). ] Another fact that is noteworthy is that
when describing the origination of suffering the Buddha and his disciples often describe it, not
in terms of 12 steps of dependent origination, but basically beginning with the way one 'handles'
feeling, and whether he delights in things (or finds aversion) and how that leads to clinging, ETC.
(Example: Middle Length Discourses, Shorter Discourse on the Destruction of Craving).
Nothing I have seen in the words of the Buddha indicate consciousness, feeling, perception, or volitional formations occur successively
or in any particular order (as indicated here and there). I have seen it claimed that some Buddhist traditions say such things,
but again, I have not seen it myself in the many, many tens of thousands of words of the Buddha I have read yet.
There is this sequence of causal ("dependent") relationships:

IN DEPENDENCE ON form and sense organ(s) comes consciousness* of one or
more types (including mind-consciousness). Buddha: "The meeting, the encounter,
the concurrence of these three things is called ['sense-organ'-] contact. ...
Contacted, bhikkhus, one feels, contacted one intends, contacted one perceives.
Thus, these things too are moving and tottering, impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise."
[* Obviously consciousness appears also in another order -- other than where it is
said to emerge in dependent origination. Later analyses describe states of consciousness
succeeding one another in quick succession. See the Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma ,
the Abhidhammattha Sangaha. Consciousness can come after any of the other 4 aggregates,
according to the venerable Walpola Rahula.]


To talk in terms of 'internal' and 'external' sense bases:
The six sense organs or bases of contact are named internal sense bases (these are: eye, ear, nose, tongue, body [(touch)] and mind);
the six corresponding sense objects, are known as external sense bases (visible form, sound, odor, taste, tangible things and mind-objects);
consciousness arises in relation to each pair of these internal and external sense bases.

TO ABANDON ALL ("the all"), there is the Dhamma for abandoning all through direct knowledge
and full understanding: forms** or mental phenomenon (as the case may be) related to the eye,
ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind, are to be so abandoned; 'sense organ'-related consciousness
is (are) to be so abandoned; 'sense organ' contacts are to be so abandoned; and feelings that arise
with contact ('sense organ' contacts) as their condition are to be so abandoned.
The Buddha said: "without directly knowing and fully understanding the all, without developing dispassion towards it and abandoning it, one is
incapable of destroying suffering. ..." [AND, vice versa:] " ... By directly knowing and fully understanding the eye [similarly for each of the
other 'physical' organs] and ... the mind ... and whatever feeling arises with mind-contact [(or other 'sense organ' contacts}] as condition ...
by developing dispassion towards it and abandoning it, one is capable of destroying suffering."

On another occasion: In a statement similar to that above, after form (or mental phenomenon) and 'sense organ'-consciousness [(in both cases, each type
mentioned individually)], and before 'sense organ' contacts, he inserts: "things to be cognized by" the 'sense organ'- consciousness.

Footnote and other notes:
[ ** "Forms" and "form", as used in this Comment, refer to: visible form, sound, odor, taste, tangible things (touch). ]

Obviously, in several statements in this comment and the one above, feelings are a very important nexus
for making things change. That is even more clear when the Buddha says: "It is in dependence on the diversity
of elements that there arises the diversity of contacts; in dependence on the diversity of contacts that
there arises the diversity of feelings." The Buddha also said:

" ... in this very body here
Various kinds of feelings arise.
Pleasant ones and painful ones,
And those that are neither painful nor pleasant.

"But when a bhikkhu who is ardent
Does not neglect clear comprehension,
Then the wise man fully understands
Feelings in their entirety.

"Having fully understood feelings,
He is taintless in this very life.
Standing in Dhamma, with the body's breakup,
The knowledge-master cannot be reckoned. "

Regarding the internal and external sense bases, the Great Disciple, Sariputta, said (in Book IV of the Samyutta Nikaya):
and, in the same source, on another occasion the Great Disciple, Ananda, made the exact same statements:
"... the eye is not the fetter of forms ([visual forms)] nor are forms the fetter of the eye, but rather
the desire and lust that arise there dependent on both: that is the fetter there. [Similarly for
the ear and sounds (and with the other 3 'physical' senses, internal and external) AND with the mind
and mental phenomenon -- it is the desire and lust that arises dependent on both that is the fetter.]"


The Buddha:
"Whatever, bhikkhus, is the extent of the aggregates, the elements, and the sense bases,
he does not conceive that, does not conceive in that, does not conceive from that,
does not conceive, 'That is mine'.
Since he does not conceive anything thus, he does not cling to anything in this world."

A bit more perspective on Buddhist Concepts

One must be fully with/on the 'object' one is contemplating or attending to wisely
(closely) or concentrating on -- THAT is the NOW ('the present') of Buddhism.

For unenlightened persons: a bit of the 'emptiness' Buddhism speaks of is found when
you transcend the unnecessary or incorrect parts of a view(s) (insight); experiencing
a bit of 'emptiness' of an old incorrect view, one also gets a sense of the conditionality
and impermanence, and of non-self.

(based on Excursions in the Thought World of the Pali Discourses, by Analayo, 2012 and
based on his finding that, except at Enlightenment, emptiness is used as
an adjective, qualifying 'objects' of concentration and contemplation.)

AND: "... even the peak of emptiness, the realization of full awakening
and unsurpassable mental freedom, is "empty of." Empty of what? Empty of
lust, anger, and delusion (MN I 298)." (Analayo)


Since the majority of Buddhists are Mahayana, here is a link to what may be their most basic,
notable contributions
. All the rest of the site is the core Buddhism of the Pali Canon
(Theravada), recognized by all Buddhists to be the core of all Buddhism.


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