It Is Not Death If the Paramattha is Not Forgotten



The Venerable Pakoku Sayadaw

Translated by Jenny Ko Gyi

Dhammanupassana consists of a variety (of teachings/truth/dhamma). It is also easier to attain the (deliverance from suffering).
Where do pannyatti (names/concept) and paramattha (the absolute truth) begin? 'Sasaddhammaganuttamam' - not knowing the dhamma(teachings/truth) of noble persons, the samsara (cycle of death and rebirth) is long.
When it is said to be the dhamma of noble persons, the paramattha (the absolute truth) is there. The dhamma that distinctly exists is the paramattha which consists of citta (mind/consciousness), cetasika (mental formations/mental states/mental concomitants), rupa (matter/forms/material/physical component), nibbana (cessation of suffering). 'Nibbattita paramatthavasena' - strictly the absolute truth which does not contain pannyatti (names/ concepts).

About Pannyatti and Paramattha

Pannyatti pertains to names, forms, shapes. 'Be rightfully mindful so that (you do not end up) seeing pannyatti'. Names are namapannyatti - name concepts. Shapes/forms are santhanapannatti names given upon shapes/forms. Santhana comes from samuha, samuha comes from paramattha (the absolute truth). Repeated combination of the four major elements (earth, fire, water, air elements) gives rise to samuha which is matter consisting of eight elements (atthakalapa). Characteristic of pathavi (earth element) is coarseness, subtlety. Hardness pathavi (earth element) is the underlying foundation. (The others arise) dependent on it. It (arises) dependent on the others. Three are dependent on one. Three major elements (mahabhuta) arise dependent on one major element (mahabhuta). Two mahabhuta arise dependent on the other two mahabhuta. In rupa (matter), there are bhuta rupa (element matter) and upadarupa (matter that arises dependent upon the great elements).
Upadarupa (matter that arises dependent upon major elements) are four, namely, vanna, gandha, rasa, oja (visible object, scent, taste, nutriment). Vanna is visible object. Gandha is scent. Smell anything; there is scent. Earth pathavi is also scent. Smell snacks, rice gruel, smell anything; there is scent. Scent that is distinct, scent that is subtle. Scent is gandha. Gandha is upadarupa (dependent matter).

What the nose smells is gandharammana (object of the nose which is scent). If this is taken as names, as man, it is pannyatti (name concept); gandharammana (scent) is paramattha (absolute truth/the ultimate reality). If pannyatti (name concept), and paramattha (the absolute truth) are differentiated, if attention is not turned toward names/concepts - pannyatti, there will be no raga or dosa (lust, anger/hatred/aversion). If there is lust, anger (raga, dosa), names/concepts - (pannyatti) are involved.
When raga, dosa arise, there has to be name concepts - pannyatti.

What the nose smells is gandharammana - scent object; gandharammana scent object is paramattha - the ultimate reality/absolute truth. What does this scent object gandharammana depend on? It has to depend on mahabhuta (major elements). Mahabhuta (major elements) are pathavi, tejo, apo, vayo (earth, fire, water, air elements). Mahatambhuta - mahatam it is great, bhuta - it is. Because it is great it is (perceived as ) the universe, forests, mountains, the earth, and all things. (Things that are perceived as) oceans, the earth, forests, mountains are all mahabhuta (major elements). This mahabhuta begins with a small thing.
Lakkhana is its characteristic.

Coarseness, subtlety are characteristics of pathavi (earth element). Function of coarseness and subtlety is to be underlying foundation. Without underlying pathavi earth element, the others cannot arise. This pathavi earth element has to depend on tejo, apo, vayo (fire, water, air elements). Whatever scent it may be, it is (object of nose) gandharammana. Smell anything. Smell a piece of teak wood, there is scent. Smell a flower, there is scent. You say a flower has a sweet smell. It is not the flower that has a sweet smell. It is gandharammana that has a sweet smell. What is this gandharammana dependent on? It is dependent upon mahabhuta (major elements). Stigmas and pollen are pathavi, tejo, apo, vayo (earth, fire, water, air elements).
It can be known if someone is the master of pannyatti and paramattha (names/concepts, the ultimate realities/absolute truth). It is not a man, or a woman that gets the sweet smell. Only when it is said that scent gives sweet smell is the paramattha understood. When it is said men, women get/or give sweet smell, there will arise raga, dosa (lust, anger/aversion). That is why pannyatti, paramattha are to be differentiated.

Be rightfully mindful so that attention is not turned toward names and forms. (See) a flower and there comes view of shapes and forms. Hair is vanna, gandha, rasa, oja (visible object, scent, taste, nutriment). Smell hair, and there will be scent. Because of pathavi, tejo (earth, fire), there is scent. Pathavi, tejo, etc., are mahabhuta (major elements). Scent is upadarupa (dependent matter ). Upada is the arising that takes place dependent upon clinging.

A combination of eight elements give rise to hair. If the eight are separated, there is no hair. This is analysing of elements. There will be no hair, etc.
If the eight are separated, name known as hair is no more.
If hair is no more, head is no more, man, woman, are no more. When men, women, are no more, there can be no raga, dosa (lust, aversion).

What the nose smells is only the object of the nose gandharammana. It is not to be taken as that called by man.
When the nose smells, comparisons are not to be made; only then will the dhamma be realized.

Mute mutamattam - on smelling, it is merely this. It is not someone smelling. There clinging to pannyatti (names and forms), after smelling, it passes away. After arising, it passes away, it is no more. (Knowing that) if after arising, it is no more, no verbal or physical deed that depends on clinging will be committed. There will be no arising of physical and verbal deeds. This non-arising itself also is nibbana (cessation of suffering). .....


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