Hi thanks for all the input.
"Also if they thought there was something outside they 5 aggregates, within our experience
, there would no attainment of sammasana nana (one of the nanas on the path to stream entry)."
--Indeed the unconditioned is not "within our experience". Let's not call the unconditioned as the 'pabhassara citta' (the unestablished "consciousness" or pure "mind" devoid of defilements and five aggregates), but just as the unconditioned to avoid confusions. To my understanding, the suttas used the word viññāṇa for different designations, including the sense-consciousness (or the aggregate of consciousness) and the unestablished consciousness (appatiṭṭha viññāṇa) which is unconditioned. Concerning the unestablished consciousness (appatiṭṭha viññāṇa), let's read the relevant suttas:
SN 22.53 Upaya Sutta:
"If a monk abandons passion for the property of form... feeling... perception... fabrications... [aggregate-]consciousness, then owing to the abandonment of passion, the support is cut off, and there is no base for consciousness. Consciousness, thus unestablished, not proliferating, not performing any function, is released.
Owing to its release, it is steady. Owing to its steadiness, it is contented. Owing to its contentment, it is not agitated. Not agitated, he (the monk) is totally unbound right within. He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'"
"Just as if there were a roofed house or a roofed hall having windows on the north, the south, or the east. When the sun rises, and a ray has entered by way of the window, where does it land?"
"On the western wall, lord."
"And if there is no western wall, where does it land?"
"On the ground, lord."
"And if there is no ground, where does it land?"
"On the water, lord."
"And if there is no water, where does it land?"
"It does not land, lord."
"In the same way, where there is no passion for the nutriment of physical food ... contact ... intellectual intention ... consciousness, where there is no delight, no craving, then consciousness does not land there or grow. Where consciousness does not land or grow, name-&-form does not alight. Where name-&-form does not alight, there is no growth of fabrications. Where there is no growth of fabrications, there is no production of renewed becoming in the future. Where there is no production of renewed becoming in the future
, there is no future birth, aging, & death. That, I tell you, has no sorrow, affliction, or despair."
MN 49 Brahma-nimantanika Sutta:
"'Having directly known the all as the all, and having directly known the extent of what has not been experienced through the allness of the all [nibbana], I wasn't the all, I wasn't in the all, I wasn't apart from the all, I wasn't "The all is mine."
"Consciousness without surface [viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ], without end, luminous all around, does not partake of the solidity of earth, the liquidity of water, the radiance of fire, the windiness of wind, the divinity of devas [and so on through a list of the various levels of godhood to] the allness of the All."
"Consciousness without surface, without end, luminous all around:
Here water, earth, fire, & wind have no footing. Here long & short coarse & fine fair & foul name & form are all brought to an end. With the cessation of [fabrications of] consciousness each is here brought to an end
SN 22.87: [http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/nirvanaverb.html]
"That is Mara, the Evil One. He is searching for the consciousness of Vakkali the clansman: "Where is the consciousness of Vakkali the clansman established?" But, monks, it is through unestablished consciousness that Vakkali the clansman has become totally unbound."
Ven. Ñāṇananda, Nibbāna Sermon 07:
"Now viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ is a reference to the nature of the released consciousness of an arahant
. It does not reflect anything. To be more precise, it does not reflect a nāma-rūpa, or name-and-form. An ordinary individual sees a nāma-rūpa, when he reflects, which he calls 'I' and 'mine'. It is like the reflection of that dog, which sees its own delusive reflection in the water. A non-arahant, upon reflection, sees name-and-form, which however he mistakes to be his self. With the notion of 'I' and 'mine' he falls into delusion with regard to it. But the arahant's consciousness is an unestablished consciousness.
We have already mentioned in previous sermons about the established consciousness and the unestablished consciousness. A non-arahant's consciousness is established on name-and-form. The unestablished consciousness is that which is free from name-and-form and is unestablished on name-and-form.
The established consciousness, upon reflection, reflects name-and-form, on which it is established, whereas the unestablished consciousness does not find a name-and-form as a reality. The arahant has no attachments or entanglements in regard to name-and-form.
In short, it is a sort of penetration of name-and-form, without getting entangled in it. This is how we have to unravel the meaning of the expression anidassana viññāṇa."
"But, Master Gotama, the monk whose mind is thus released
: Where does he reappear? ... when Master Gotama is asked if the monk reappears... does not reappear... both does & does not reappear... neither does nor does not reappear, he says, '... doesn't apply' in each case." ... "Deep, Vaccha, is this phenomenon [Nibbana], hard to see, hard to realize, tranquil, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. For those with other views, other practices, other satisfactions, other aims, other teachers, it is difficult to know." ...
"And suppose someone were to ask you, 'This fire that has gone out in front of you, in which direction from here has it gone? East? West? North? Or south?' Thus asked, how would you reply?"
"That doesn't apply, Master Gotama. Any fire burning dependent on a sustenance of grass & timber, being unnourished — from having consumed that sustenance and not being offered any other — is classified simply as 'out' (unbound)."
"Even so, Vaccha, any physical form
by which one describing the Tathagata would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of form, Vaccha, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea. 'Reappears' doesn't apply. 'Does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Both does & does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Neither reappears nor does not reappear' doesn't apply."Any feeling... Any perception... Any mental fabrication... "Any consciousness by which one describing the Tathagata
[the aggregate of consciousness] would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of consciousness, Vaccha, the Tathagata [the unestablished consciousness] is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea.
'Reappears' doesn't apply. 'Does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Both does & does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Neither reappears nor does not reappear' doesn't apply."
[please note: the "fire" burned out here refers to the release from the five aggregates
This sutta actually conveys the same meaning as the other cited suttas: "... then owing to the abandonment of passion, the support is cut off, and there is no base for consciousness. Consciousness, thus unestablished, not proliferating, not performing any function, is released." "where there is no delight, no craving, then consciousness does not land there or grow. Where consciousness does not land or grow, name-&-form does not alight. Where name-&-form does not alight, there is no growth of fabrications. Where there is no growth of fabrications, there is no production of renewed becoming in the future..."]. [Unestablished consciousness = viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ" = consciousness (is) non-indicative [of fabrications] = consciousness [is] ceased [no fabrications, no defilements] = living arahant’s consciousness = nibbana].It's probably better for us to have a more complete understanding of such different designations of important words in their respective contexts in the suttas to avoid biased views
, misunderstandings and confusions.
In addition to Matheesha's comments: if one thinks there's no dhamma outside of the 5 aggregates, one would not enter the stream.If one regards nibbana as the complete cessation of sankharas (including awareness) during this very life, and practice such complete cessations as the path to nibbana instead of the cessation of the kamma producing volitional formations (desires/cravings) which will end the future rebirth, and consequently, the complete stilling/cessation of all conditioned phenomena (sankharas) at the death
of an arahant, one would not enter the stream either, because of the wrong path to nibbana.
Your kind concern and effort to help is most appreciated. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Metta to all,