Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

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Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby piotr » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:50 am

Hi,

vinasp wrote: They construct the aggregates?


Take a look at bhante Ṭhānissaro's footnotes.
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Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby vinasp » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:13 pm

Hi everyone,

Here is another interesting passage, from MN 28

But when internally the eye is intact and externally forms come into range, and there is a corresponding engagement, then there is the appearing of the corresponding type of consciousness.

"The form of what has thus come into being is gathered under the form clinging-aggregate. The feeling of what has thus come into being is gathered under the feeling clinging-aggregate. The perception of what has thus come into being is gathered under the perception clinging-aggregate. The fabrications of what has thus come into being are gathered under the fabrication clinging-aggregate. The consciousness of what has thus come into being is gathered under the consciousness clinging-aggregate. One discerns, 'This, it seems, is how there is the gathering, meeting, & convergence of these five clinging-aggregates. Now, the Blessed One has said, "Whoever sees dependent co-arising sees the Dhamma; whoever sees the Dhamma sees dependent co-arising."[4] And these things — the five clinging-aggregates — are dependently co-arisen.[5] Any desire, embracing, grasping, & holding-on to these five clinging-aggregates is the origination of stress. Any subduing of desire & passion, any abandoning of desire & passion for these five clinging-aggregates is the cessation of stress.' [6] And even to this extent, friends, the monk has accomplished a great deal."

Link: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Does anyone actually understand this?

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby Sarva » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:07 pm

vinasp wrote:Hi everyone,

Here is another interesting passage, from MN 28

But when internally the eye is intact and externally forms come into range, and there is a corresponding engagement, then there is the appearing of the corresponding type of consciousness.

"The form of what has thus come into being is gathered under the form clinging-aggregate. The feeling of what has thus come into being is gathered under the feeling clinging-aggregate. The perception of what has thus come into being is gathered under the perception clinging-aggregate. The fabrications of what has thus come into being are gathered under the fabrication clinging-aggregate. The consciousness of what has thus come into being is gathered under the consciousness clinging-aggregate. One discerns, 'This, it seems, is how there is the gathering, meeting, & convergence of these five clinging-aggregates. Now, the Blessed One has said, "Whoever sees dependent co-arising sees the Dhamma; whoever sees the Dhamma sees dependent co-arising."[4] And these things — the five clinging-aggregates — are dependently co-arisen.[5] Any desire, embracing, grasping, & holding-on to these five clinging-aggregates is the origination of stress. Any subduing of desire & passion, any abandoning of desire & passion for these five clinging-aggregates is the cessation of stress.' [6] And even to this extent, friends, the monk has accomplished a great deal."

Link: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Does anyone actually understand this?

Regards, Vincent.

Hi Vincent
It is confusing, I agree. I think the problem is the wording of 'gathered under...' as this to me seems to imply an action whereas we don't feel we gather these aggregates. I suggest we don't consider it to be a literal action but rather a way to imagine that these things are accumulated, stored, gathered like food. The reason being is that I compared this with SN 22.48:

SN 22.48 wrote:"And what are the five clinging-aggregates?

"Whatever form — past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near — is clingable, offers sustenance, and is accompanied with mental fermentation: That is called the form clinging-aggregate."

(And this repeats for feeling, mental fabrications, perception and consciousness)


So it offers "sustenance", similar to food, with can be 'gathered'. So in the way we gather food to fuel the body, we also gather sense food (feeling food, mental fabrications, consciousness etc)

The reason I say this also is that the Buddha refers to 4 types of food (not just common edible food) Here is an article on this topic and I think this metaphor is being carried across in the way the Buddha uses words : http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el105.html

metta



SN 22.48 Link: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
“Both formerly & now, it is only stress that I describe, and the cessation of stress.” — SN 22:86
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Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby vinasp » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:27 pm

Hi Sarva,

I agree that "gathered under" does not seem right. Bhikkhu Bodhi translates:

"The material form in what has thus come to be is included in the material
form aggregate affected by clinging."

"This, indeed, is how there comes to be the inclusion, gathering, and
amassing of things into these five aggregates affected by clinging."

I think that "included in" is much better, and that this is a habit, so it
happens automatically.

If so, then the form aggregate of clinging could be all the "form" that we
are clinging to. Past forms, future forms, present forms.

But none of this is actual form, so it must be some sort of representation.

Food, sustenance, is what sustains the body, enables it to continue.

Do the things we cling to sustain our sense of self?

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby Dmytro » Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:29 pm

Hi Sarva,

SN 22.48 wrote:"And what are the five clinging-aggregates?

"Whatever form — past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near — is clingable, offers sustenance, and is accompanied with mental fermentation: That is called the form clinging-aggregate."

(And this repeats for feeling, mental fabrications, perception and consciousness)


The translations can be confusing - that 'sustenance' is not food, it's the same 'upādāna' (appropriation).

"yaṃ kiñci bhikkhave, rūpaṃ atītānāgatapaccuppannaṃ ajjhattaṃ vā bahiddhā vā, oḷārikaṃ vā sukhumaṃ vā, hīnaṃ vā paṇītaṃ vā, yaṃ dūre santike vā, sāsavaṃ upādānīyaṃ, ayaṃ vuccati rūpūpādānakkhandho."

Metta,
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Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby Sarva » Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:05 pm

Dmytro wrote:Hi Sarva,

SN 22.48 wrote:"And what are the five clinging-aggregates?

"Whatever form — past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near — is clingable, offers sustenance, and is accompanied with mental fermentation: That is called the form clinging-aggregate."

(And this repeats for feeling, mental fabrications, perception and consciousness)


The translations can be confusing - that 'sustenance' is not food, it's the same 'upādāna' (appropriation).

"yaṃ kiñci bhikkhave, rūpaṃ atītānāgatapaccuppannaṃ ajjhattaṃ vā bahiddhā vā, oḷārikaṃ vā sukhumaṃ vā, hīnaṃ vā paṇītaṃ vā, yaṃ dūre santike vā, sāsavaṃ upādānīyaṃ, ayaṃ vuccati rūpūpādānakkhandho."

Metta,

Hi Dmytro
I appreciate the guidance.
So the word "sustenance" here means that the upādāna is reinforced (or sustained) but it does not have the beneficial connotation in the sense that "food sustenance" holds elsewhere? I am trying to grasp the point you make above. :smile:

Metta.
“Both formerly & now, it is only stress that I describe, and the cessation of stress.” — SN 22:86
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Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby Sarva » Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:19 pm

vinasp wrote:Hi Sarva,
(cut for space)

Do the things we cling to sustain our sense of self?

Regards, Vincent.

Hi Vincent
Yes, I believe it does. I believe through the act of clinging we propel ourselves forward towards more ignorance (and suffering) because we objectify the thing to which we cling. By objectify I mean we give it a property or a type of 'self', which it does not have in reality. So if I consider my sports car to be a representation of myself and how others see me, then I cling to the car as an object which has a quality of its own. If that car was damaged I would experience dukkha. This dukkha is a result of my feelings, clinging and the inevitable change to the car (anicca), all of which force a change to my self.

The reason this increases ignorance is that I am reinforcing Self through the process of clinging and in Dependent Origination dukkha is followed by sorrow etc, which are said to create further ignorance.

So in context to the five aggregates of appropriation, my perspective is that the run-of-the-mill person would build a self or self concept based on appropriating each of these 5 aggregates over time (past forms, future forms, present forms, and the same for the other 4 aggregates) and in different degrees or intensity. This is perhaps what contributes to personality differences (my assumption). I mention this too, because I think this is what the Buddha is referring to in the quote we were discussion last and the point you draw below:

vinasp wrote:If so, then the form aggregate of clinging could be all the "form" that we
are clinging to. Past forms, future forms, present forms.

But none of this is actual form, so it must be some sort of representation.


I would take this fairly literally, "form" here could be the sports car example above, or it could be a person who is no longer alive (past) or even a women's long brown hair (present), all of which due to anicca are subject to change i.e. death, decay and our dukkha if clung to. The same would apply to the other aggregates of clinging. For example the consciousness-aggregate, could be the clinging to listening to certain types of music, I may find that I fancy that music, cling to it and feel dissatisfaction when I must leave it. Maybe I even base my self image on that music... seeing myself as the "disco king".

This is at least how I presently understand it.

Metta
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Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby Dmytro » Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:04 am

Hi Sarva,

Sarva wrote:So the word "sustenance" here means that the upādāna is reinforced (or sustained) but it does not have the beneficial connotation in the sense that "food sustenance" holds elsewhere? I am trying to grasp the point you make above. :smile:


Well, I have to tell a whole story here.

The first decent Pali-English dictionary appeared in 1924. It was thought that soon a better dictionary will be published.
But the Pali studied have stalled. The inaccuracies of this dictionary entered into the flesh and bones of Western Buddhism.
One of these inaccuracies is the translation of 'upādāna' as 'clinging' (which is only a peripheral meaning of this term).

Due to these inaccuracies, some translators (including Thanissaro Bhikkhu), invented their own English terms, - for example, 'sustenance'.
However such translators are prone to use their newly coined terms in inappropriate context.

'Upādāna' can have a meaning of '(supporting) condition', akin to 'sustenance', but in other contexts than this.

Recently published Margaret Cone's dictionary gives such meanings of the word in question:

upādānīya, [from upādāna] likely to be taken as one's own, tending to produce grasping; serving as a support or fuel;...

In this sutta, this word has the first meaning, 'likely to be taken as one's own', and not the last.

Metta.
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Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby vinasp » Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:41 am

Hi everyone,

Here is another passage from SN 22.79 that may help us to understand the
aggregates:

"This, monks, is called a disciple of the noble ones who tears down and does not build up; who abandons and does not cling; who discards and does not pull in; who scatters and does not pile up.

"And what does he tear down and not build up? He tears down form and does not build it up. He tears down feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness and does not build it up.

"And what does he abandon and not cling to? He abandons form and does not cling to it. He abandons feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness and does not cling to it.

"And what does he discard and not pull in? He discards form and does not pull it in. He discards feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness and does not pull it in.

"And what does he scatter and not pile up? He scatters form and does not pile it up. He scatters feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness and does not pile it up." [Thanissaro.] Link:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

So an ordinary person has piled up "form", "feeling", "perception" and so
forth.The word "form" here, does not mean actual form, but form appropriated
as belonging to self, form which is mine.

But the "form that is mine" is only the belief that some form belongs to
self, so it is only a belief about self.

The belief that self will exist in the future is the belief that self
will possess form, feeling, perception and so forth, in the future.

This is how we construct an imaginary future self - in the present.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:54 am

Greetings Vincent,

Nice find.

:thumbsup:

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby Sarva » Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:30 am

vinasp wrote:Hi everyone,

Here is another passage from SN 22.79 that may help us to understand the
aggregates:
(cut for space)

So an ordinary person has piled up "form", "feeling", "perception" and so
forth.The word "form" here, does not mean actual form, but form appropriated
as belonging to self, form which is mine.

But the "form that is mine" is only the belief that some form belongs to
self, so it is only a belief about self.

The belief that self will exist in the future is the belief that self
will possess form, feeling, perception and so forth, in the future.

This is how we construct an imaginary future self - in the present.

Regards, Vincent.

I agree with Retro, this is a useful post here and I like the explanation which follows by you.
In another thread, Retro used the analogy of lots of dots, representing our past habits or patterns in thinking and acting which were similar each time. We then draw a line from dot to dot, mentally through the ideas of self, in such a way that it feels that we continue with these aggregates as if they were 'mine' and if they had some type of control or permanence in themselves over us.

I mention this as I see this as a practical way to visualise the break in the appropriation of these aggregates. We only give them force by thinking "I was like that before", "I am like it now" so "I will be like that again". Really, as we know, they are empty unless clung to.

Perhaps others have techniques to offer? :)

metta
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Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby Sarva » Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:18 pm

Dmytro wrote:Hi Sarva,
-cut for space-

Recently published Margaret Cone's dictionary gives such meanings of the word in question:

upādānīya, [from upādāna] likely to be taken as one's own, tending to produce grasping; serving as a support or fuel;...

In this sutta, this word has the first meaning, 'likely to be taken as one's own', and not the last.

Metta.

Hi Dmytro
That is clear, thanks for the whole story :) I am starting to feel the need to become more alert to Pali translations and will have to do some searches for threads recommending how we should all cope with these translation nuances.

:reading:
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