The <i>Pāḷi</i> Line

The Third Lesson

Tini Nāma Kim? What is Three?

What three concepts, when used to see things to their root with penetrating knowledge, and to understand them in their broadest limits, such that their disgusting nature is seen as it really is and one has released them in their entirety, can bring one to the uttermost freedom of detachment?


The 3 Vedanas — The 3 Sensations


Pleasant Sensation — Sukha-Vedana,
Painful Sensation — Dukkha-Vedana
Not-Painful-but-Not-Pleasant Sensation — Adukkha-m-Asukha-Vedana.

The sensations are also numbered in other ways and the scheme of three sensations should not be rigidly held onto. See below.

Sensation occurs to an already formed, conscious, individual being with intact sense organs.

Sensation is the manner in which a sense experience (also known as vedana) is felt. It is not 'sense experience' itself, which is in this system known as 'sense-re-knowing knowledge'.[1]

The sort of sensation experienced is a consequence of the intent with which an identified-with predecessor act (sankhārā = own-making, identification with the results of acts of mind, speech or body) was performed.

Identifying with an act of mind, speech or body
one intends to create pleasure for the self
or pain for another
or one intends to end kamma.

The individual inherits the consequences of his actions
in the form of identified-with sense experiences producing
pleasant sensations ['I see pleasant sights'],
painful sensations
or sensations which are neither pleasant nor painful.

The sense object comes into the range
of a viable organ of sense
together with consciousness.

This is what is called 'touch' or 'contact'.

Upon contact, kamma gets opportunity to mold the character of the sensation arising as a result.

Stated another way, the identification with the intent that originated the arising experience injects self-identification in a result that mirrors that intent — the intent to produce pain, results in the experience of pain; the intent to produce pleasure results in the experience of pleasure; the intent to end kamma has no result in sensation.

It is the reaction to sensation (via liking and disliking) that is what is called Taṇhā, hunger/thirst: desire to re-create (re-experience), desire to get away from.

The point between the arising of sensation and the formation of desire is the beginning of a new cycle and it is also here that the new cycle can be averted.

The origin of sensation is touch, contact;
the sustenance of sensation is liking or disliking, desire, hunger/thirst, taṇha;
the satisfaction in sensation is the degree to which it can bring pleasure,
the unpleasant aspect of sensation is that it ends in pain;
the way to the ending of sensation is the Aristocratic Multi-dimensional Way: Consummate View, Consummate Principles, Consummate Talk, Consummate Works, Consummate Lifestyle, Consummate Self Control, Consummate Mind, Consummate Serenity.

Fully understanding (having penetrating knowledge of) the arising, sustenance, satisfaction, ending and way to the ending of sensation with regard to each of the six senses is the equivalent of knowing and seeing Nibbāna, the goal. It is not yet having attained the goal.

The jhāna or mental state, or 'trance' or 'knowing' called 'the perception of the ending of sensation' was first discovered by Gotama and is considered higher and more sublime than the state called 'neither-perceiving-nor-non-perceiving' previous to Gotama considered the highest mental state achievable — It is, by Buddhists, considered the highest mental state achievable by the individual, but this too is not yet the goal.

Having reached the state where one is able to see the arising and passing away of sensations, to attain the goal it is necessary to note that this mental state has been 'own-made' constructed by one's self, carries with it self-identification and is therefore subject to ending. Letting it go and perceiving that having let it go is a state of ultimate freedom and is the goal one has been seeking is Nibbāna.



Miscellaneous Odd Bit of Information: The Origin of 108 as a holy number, and the number of beads in the Buddhist Mala (Not a practice of the original followers of Gotama, some schools of Buddhism use these necklaces made of Sandalwood or Rosewood or Crystal or other materials [including human bones carved into miniature skulls] in counting the breaths and mantra repetition, and divination.)

The Three Sensations × The Six Senses = 18

Downbound to the world and Connected to Giving Up = 18 × 2 = 36

Past, Future, and Present (always end up in the present) = 36 × 3 = 108

Practicing Divination via devices is looked down upon in the Pāḷi. This practice, which takes a long time to perfect, is done by developing a "story" for each bead, beginning with its root meaning (e.g., Past Pleasant Sight Downbound to the World = bead # 1). At such a time as a question is asked of one, one is able to enter the realm of the answer by becoming absorbed in the bead-story that relates most closely to the question.


[1] Viññāṇa. 'Consciousness' will be used here when it refers to individualized consciousness; when it refers to the state of awareness of the Arahant it will be called 're-knowing-knowledge.' In the Pāḷi Viññāṇa is used for both.




SN 4.36.22

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