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Are the six sense faculties just the sense organs, sense objects, and sense consciousnesses, considered all together, that (conventionally) makes up a (conventional) person?

Does it make any difference if we think about "ourselves" in terms of them, rather than any other scheme? What canonical literature talks about nirvana in terms of the six sense Indriyas?

  • it may be that here it just means "sense organ"... – user2512 Jun 22 '18 at 1:50
  • why was this downvoted, weird? – user2512 Jun 28 '18 at 7:07
  • can i pls have some explanation of the downvotes? question seems perfectly legit – user2512 Jun 30 '18 at 23:07
  • I can't tell what caused the downvote. It might possibly be that people thought that "how to think of 'ourselfves'" didn't sound like a good question I think it's likely though that it's a bit unpopular/unwelcome to ask a question in order to answer it yourself -- see for example May I share my research, by posting questions on this site and self-answering them? (or Asking fundamental “beginner” questions). – ChrisW Jul 1 '18 at 8:53
  • oh i had no idea of the answer until i researched it cos i realised no-one wuld upvote. thanks @ChrisW – user2512 Jul 1 '18 at 19:44
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Are the six sense faculties the sense organs, sense objects, and sense consciousnesses, considered all together?

There seems to be, in Theravada Buddhism, differences between

  1. sense faculties (control of the eye)
  2. internal sense bases (the material of the eye necessary for vision)
  3. sense doors (how consciousness gains access to visible objects)

See the The Abhidhammattha Sangaha, By Bhikkhu Bodhi, p144


Is there anything else that (conventionally) makes up a (conventional) person?

The internal sense bases, along with the external sense bases, make up all that there is. But this isn't, it seems, the case for the sense faculties and their objects.

See The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A New Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya, p1122


What canonical literature talks about nirvana in terms of the six sense Indriyas?

Enlightenment seems to involve understanding

as they really are the gratification, the danger, and the escape of these six faculties

Connected discourse 48 III.

Furthermore, an arhat understands they are beyond training by knowing that

the six faculties will cease completely and totally without remainder

ibid p1697


what difference does it make if we think about "ourselves" in terms of them

Aside from stressing the active nature of the senses, as opposed to the more passive internal bases, the Buddha in the Pali tradition said different things in different terms. Concerning the six sense faculties

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ibid p1241


I believe that e.g. ch'an Buddhism treats the faculties no differently to the internal sense bases.

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