[Buddha-l] Kathavatthu 19.5

Ngawang Dorje rahula_80 at yahoo.com
Thu Jan 17 08:46:18 MST 2008

   Kathavatthu 19.5
  Of 'Thusness'

Controverted Point - That the fundamental characteristic of all things (sabba-dhamma) are unconditioned.

>From the Commentary - Some, like the Uttarapathakas, hold that there is an immutable something called thusness (or suchness) in the very nature of all things, material or otherwise [taken as a whole]. And because this 'thusness' is not included in the [particular] conditioned matter, etc., itself, therefore it is unconditiones.

[1] Th - Do you then identify those fundamental characteristic or 'thusness' with Nibbana, the Shelter.....the Goal, the Past-deceased, the Ambrosial? Or are there two 'unconditioned's'? You deny both alternatives [but you must assent to one or the other]. If to the latter, I ask, are there two kinds of Shelter and so on? And is there a boundary or.....interstice between them? 

[2] Again, assuming a materiality (rupata) of matter or body, is not materiality unconditioned? You assent. Then I raise the same difficulties as before.

[3] I raise them, too, if you admit a 'hedonality' of feeling, a 'perceivability' of perception, a sankharata or co-efficiency of mental co-efficients, a consciousness of being conscious. If all these be unconditioned, are there then six categories of 'unconditioned's'?

[4] U. - But if I am wrong, is the 'thusness' of all things the five aggregates taken together]?
Th - Yes.
U. - Then that 'thusness' of all things is unconditioned. 
  I don't think I understand what is being said.
Specifically, what is the view of Theravadin? And what is the view of Uttarapathakas?

What does the passage trying to tell us?


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