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Nov 10

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Nibbana Sermon 111 – Ven Katukurunde Ñāṇananda Thero

nibbana_the_mind_stilled_IIThis is the eleventh sermon in the series of sermons on Nibbana. In our last sermon, we tried to explain that contact arises dependent on name-and-form, because form gets a verbal impression by the naming quality in name, and name gets a resistance-impression by the striking quality in form. In the context of this Dhamma, contact,properly so-called, is a combination of these two, namely verbal impression and resistance-impression.

We also happened to mention the other day a new etymological explanation given by the Buddha to the word rupa, quoting the relevant passage from the Khajjaniyasutta of the Khandhasayutta in the Sayutta Nikaya. He has defined the form group with reference to ‘affectation’: Ruppatiti kho, bhikkhave, tasma rupan’ti vuccati.2 “It is affected, monks, that is why it is called form. By what is it affected? By cold, heat, hunger, thirst, and the sting of gadflies, mosquitoes and the like.

” While analysing the implications of this ‘being affected’, we mentioned that the form group could be compared to a wound. According to the commentarial exegesis, too, ruppati means to be adversely affected, to be afflicted, to come into conflict with, to be diseased and displeased. These are reminiscent of the responses usually associated with the person who has an easy lacerable wound. To say that a paighasamphassa arises because of this lacerable quality is therefore very apt.

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