Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby vinasp » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:13 am

Hi Mike,

Mike said: "I believe that wrong view occurs in several places ..." [ MN 22.15]

Also very interesting! Thanks Mike.

Regards, Vincent.
vinasp
 
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Bristol. United Kingdom.

Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:01 am

Greetings,

Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero in The Supreme Bliss Of Nibbana (p48) wrote:Those who fail to understand the real significance of this all important doctrine mistake it to be thus; there are five aggregates - form (rupa), feeling (vedana), perception (sanna), fabrications (sankhara) and consciousness (vinnana), and out of these, form as materiality whilst other four aggregates as mentality. Also some describe materiality as physical body and mentality as mind.

The Enlightened One discovered this eternal truth, unraveled the mystery of being by comprehending, in all its fullness. We should learn the meaning of nama-rupa from the teaching of the Buddha.

SN 12.2: Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta wrote:"And what is name-&-form? Feeling, perception, intention, contact, & attention: This is called name. The four great elements, and the form dependent on the four great elements: This is called form. This name & this form are called name-&-form."

i.e. namarupa upādānakkhandha mind&body

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14613
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby vinasp » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:46 am

Hi everyone,

The Five Aggregates of Clinging. Here is one way of understanding them.

1. The five aggregates of clinging are also called "identity" - see MN 44.2

"Lady, 'identity, identity' is said. What is called identity by the Blessed
One?"
"Friend Visakha, these five aggregates affected by clinging are called
identity by the Blessed One; ....."

[The word in Pali is "sakkaya" translated as: identity or self-identification.]

2. How does "identity" come to be, arise, originate? The answer is in SN 22.44:

At Savatthi. "Bhikkhus, I will teach you the way leading to the origination of identity and the way leading to the cessation of identity. Listen to that ...
"And what, bhikkhus , is the way leading to the origination of identity ?
Here, bhikkhus, the uninstructed worldling ... regards form as self ...feeling as self ...perception as self ...volitional formations as self ... consciousness as self ... or self as in consciousness. This, bhikkhus, is called the way leading to the origination of identity. When it is said, "The way leading to the origination of identity", the meaning here is this : a way of regarding things that leads to the origination of suffering.

3. So, it is through regarding things as self that identity arises, and it is
by not regarding things in this way that identity ceases.

So it is through regarding things as self that the five aggregates of clinging
arise, and it is by not regarding things in this way that they cease.

The five aggregates of clinging may be just views of self.

Regards, Vincent.
vinasp
 
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Bristol. United Kingdom.

Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby kirk5a » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:41 am

vinasp wrote:The five aggregates of clinging may be just views of self.

No, because self-identity views are abandoned at stream entry, yet further clinging remains.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
User avatar
kirk5a
 
Posts: 1745
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby ground » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:17 am

vinasp wrote: The five aggregates of clinging may be just views of self.

Yes, in that there is the view "This am I", "this is mine" there is the view of self. The view itself is the aggregates, it is self-view. It does not necessarily have to be as conceptual as "This am I", "This is mine" may imply but it ia a spontaneous occuring sense of identification and/or approrpriation of the manifesting aggregates of and/or with themselves.

Kind regards
User avatar
ground
 
Posts: 2592
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:01 am

Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby vinasp » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:33 am

Hi kirk5a,

Quote: "No, because self-identity views are abandoned at stream entry, yet
further clinging remains."

Do you know what Pali word is being translated as "abandoned"?

If identity-view is said to be "abandoned", what is meant by this?

Are the views no longer regarded as true? Have they completely ceased?

Does it mean that one has started to remove these views?

Regards, Vincent.
vinasp
 
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Bristol. United Kingdom.

Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby kirk5a » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:50 am

vinasp wrote:Hi kirk5a,

Quote: "No, because self-identity views are abandoned at stream entry, yet
further clinging remains."

Do you know what Pali word is being translated as "abandoned"?

No, sorry. But I see words used of "abandoned" - "with the wasting away" - "destroyed" ...

So it seems a final sort of thing with regard to what is being referred to in particular by "self-identity views." Which does not describe the totality of the fetters.

If identity-view is said to be "abandoned", what is meant by this?

Are the views no longer regarded as true? Have they completely ceased?

Does it mean that one has started to remove these views?

I guess it means whatever stream-entry means. :smile: But we can get a clue about the extent to which that goes beyond intellectual assent to right view from the following:

Then the thought occurred to Ven. Channa, "I, too, think that form is inconstant, feeling is inconstant, perception is inconstant, fabrications are inconstant, consciousness is inconstant; form is not-self, feeling is not-self, perception is not-self, fabrications are not-self, consciousness is not-self; all fabrications are inconstant; all phenomena are not-self. But still my mind does not leap up, grow confident, steadfast, & released[1] in the resolution of all fabrications, the relinquishing of all acquisitions, the ending of craving, dispassion, cessation, Unbinding. Instead, agitation & clinging arise, and my intellect pulls back, thinking, 'But who, then, is my self?' But this thought doesn't occur to one who sees the Dhamma. So who might teach me the Dhamma so that I might see the Dhamma?"

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
User avatar
kirk5a
 
Posts: 1745
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby vinasp » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:13 am

Hi everyone,

Regarding form, feeling, perception, volitional formations and consciousness as self, or related to self, is said to be the origin of identity.

These passages have the following structure;

"Here, bhikkhus, the uninstructed worldling ..... regards form as self,
or self as possessing form, or form as in self, or self as in form."
[The same is repeated for feeling, perception, volitional-formations
and consciousness.]

This gives twenty ways of regarding something as self or related to self.
For brevity, I will refer to such passages as: "The twenty ways of regarding
self."

Of course, no one regards self in all twenty ways. Someone who holds the
Annihilationist view will regard form, feeling, perception, volitional
formations and consciousness - as self. This is identification, form is self.

Someone who holds the Eternalist view will regard self as possessing form,
feeling, perception, volitional formations and consciousness. This is
appropriation, form belongs to self.

The set of "twenty ways of regarding self" is intended to cover all
possible situations.

So, these ways of regarding which are the origin of identity represent both
identification and appropriation, and both of these lead to/involve clinging.

Regards, Vincent.
vinasp
 
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Bristol. United Kingdom.

Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby ground » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:13 am

kirk5a wrote:
... "I, too, think that ...

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


This is the point of not-knowing but conceiving, the function of the clinging aggregates.

Kind regards
User avatar
ground
 
Posts: 2592
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:01 am

Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby piotr » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:30 am

Hi all,

Just recently audiodharma.org published new dhamma-talk by bhante Ṭhānissaro, where he explains why the Buddha choose this five categories to describe ordinary experience, i.e. what activity underlies them. It was illuminating for me, so I thought I'd share it with you: http://audiodharma.org/talks/audio_player/3011.html
Bhagavaṃmūlakā no, bhante, dhammā...
User avatar
piotr
 
Posts: 369
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:33 pm
Location: Khettadesa

Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby vinasp » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:37 am

Hi everyone,

Different Ways of Understanding the Aggregates.

Starting with the simplest one:

1. Form (rupa) means ones actual body, and this is the form aggregate.
Feeling means ones actual feelings, and this is the feelings aggregate.
Perception means ones actual perception, and this is the perception
aggregate. Volitional formations means ones actual conditioning and
volition, and these are the volitional formations aggregate.
Consciousness means ones actual consciousness, and this is the
consciousness aggregate.

So, form, feeling, perception, volitional formations and consciousness
taken together, are the five aggregates [ panca-kkhandha.]

A "worldling" is said to cling to these five aggregates, and this clinging
is what is meant by the "five aggregates subject to clinging."
[ panc'upadana-kkhandha.]

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What do you think, is this a correct description of the simplest view of
the aggregates?

Regards, Vincent.
vinasp
 
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Bristol. United Kingdom.

Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby Sarva » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:45 am

:) Interesting thread! Thanks.
Last edited by Sarva on Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
“Both formerly & now, it is only stress that I describe, and the cessation of stress.” — SN 22:86
Sarva
 
Posts: 209
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:49 pm

Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby vinasp » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:10 am

Hi everyone,

Some Notes on Pali Terms For the Aggregates.

The Pali term "panca-kkhandha" is usually translated as "five aggregates,"
but also sometimes as "five groups."

The other key term - panc'upadana-kkhandha - is difficult to
translate, some examples are:

a) Five aggregates of grasping - Walshe 1987
b) Five groups of clinging - Nyanatiloka 1988
c) Five aggregates affected by clinging - Bodhi 1995
d) Five aggregates subject to clinging - Bodhi 2000

Expressions such as "the five aggregates of clinging" can lead to an
interpretation that there are two separate sets of aggregates.

While the expression "five aggregates subject to clinging" tends to the
interpretation that there is only one set of aggregates, which are either
with, or without, clinging.

Regards, Vincent.
vinasp
 
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Bristol. United Kingdom.

Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby vinasp » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:59 am

Hi everyone,

The five aggregates and the five aggregates of clinging are described in
SN 22.48 - link to ATI version:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... 2.048.than.

If they wanted people to understand the form aggregate as "ones own body"
then why did they describe it in this way:

The Blessed One said, "Now what, monks, are the five aggregates?

"Whatever form is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: That is called the form aggregate."

[ similar descriptions follow for the other items, feeling, and so on.]

This is a description which includes all the form in the entire cosmos.

It seems, to me, to be intended to cover every form that one can think of,
rather than simply ones own body.

Regards, Vincent.
vinasp
 
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Bristol. United Kingdom.

Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby Sarva » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:07 am

vinasp wrote:Hi everyone,

The five aggregates and the five aggregates of clinging are described in
SN 22.48 - link to ATI version:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... 2.048.than.

If they wanted people to understand the form aggregate as "ones own body"
then why did they describe it in this way:

The Blessed One said, "Now what, monks, are the five aggregates?

"Whatever form is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: That is called the form aggregate."

[ similar descriptions follow for the other items, feeling, and so on.]

This is a description which includes all the form in the entire cosmos.

It seems, to me, to be intended to cover every form that one can think of,
rather than simply ones own body.

Regards, Vincent.

Hi Vincent
I agree, form isn't limited to body, the concept of internal and external needs to be challenged.
Acinteyyo makes an interesting enquiry here also, which you might find of intererst :)
: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=11765&hilit=namarupa

metta
“Both formerly & now, it is only stress that I describe, and the cessation of stress.” — SN 22:86
Sarva
 
Posts: 209
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:49 pm

Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:22 am

As a basis for some investigation/discussion, could I wonder aloud whether it is, perhaps, a futile effort to analyse the Suttas as if they were constructed as a logical exposition with exact, constant, definitions?

That could be argued to be extremely unlikely, since they were oral Dhamma talks, designed to liberate, not scholarly essays.

Regarding the current topic, a "common-sense" way of regarding the fact that sometimes the suttas speak of "upādānakkhandha" and sometimes just "khandha" would be that that's just how it came out in various circumstances. Similarly, sometimes (e.g. in the Satipatthana Sutta) listeners are urged to regard both internal and external khandas (or elements, etc), so perhaps the interpretation that these classifications (and the "loka") are only supposed to ever apply to our own personal experience is oversimplified. [Considering both internal and external phenomena makes one aware of the interconnectedness of our world, and is a powerful way of breaking down the concept of self.]
And I could also argue that whether or not one considers various things the Buddha speaks about as being "real" (or not) is not actually particularly important or interesting. [Perhaps sometimes they are, sometimes not?]

I would tend to argue that the really important thing about all these analyses (aggregates, elements, sense bases) is that they are ways of drilling down into our experience in order to see through our conceptual trappings of self. If we take them as primarily a means to that liberation, delivered in various suttas to various audiences, at various times, worrying too much about consistency may well be a futile and pointless exercise. And certainly trying to construct a philosophical position out of the suttas seems to be a recipe for overcomplication and distraction.

I can't necessarily properly defend (or want to completely defend) the questions raised above, but I think they are questions worth asking.

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10112
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:34 am

Greetings Mike,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts... as for what you say, I suppose the value of subjects like this and the precision in terminology depends on what you elect to do with it all.

Setting aside the technical specs of khandha for a moment, I find the term upādāna, defined as "appropriation" (as opposed to "clinging") to be immensely valuable in practical terms.

For a while to me, the term upādāna seemed pretty much undifferentiated from tanha (craving) - maybe an attenuated or stronger version perhaps? Perhaps it's clinging to what you craved? etc. That perspective was not very useful.

Regarding it as "appropriation" however, I came to see the true meaning behind it - i.e. the etymological "taking up". To build samsaric experience in one of the planes of existence (bhava), we need to take up things as "self" or "mine". Seeing what we take up (including the paticcasamuppada dependencies behind it), and understanding more about the nature of what is taken up, and what it actually is, helps guide on just what should be put down and let go of, and also importantly why (i.e. if you don't see how "letting go" leads to benefit, there will be increased resistance - it's a hard enough habit to break as it is).

It's often said that the instruction of "let go" is an over-simplification, and in many ways it is... "let go of what?", "how?", "do I have to give up all my possessions?", "do I have to let go of my desire to follow the path?" and other circuitous nonsense. On the other hand, I think upādānakkhandha explains precisely what it is we're meant to let go of and how. Without that, it would be all too easy to fall into the trap many modern Zen-noobs fall into... such that the pinnacle of Buddhism is understood as "blanking out", that thinking is bad, and other such things that find no support in the Buddha's doctrine etc.

Consider this standard satipatthana refrain, in light of the above...

His mindfulness that 'There is [x]' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by not appropriating anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on [x] in & of itself.

The much lauded observation of "rising" and "falling" that precedes this refrain helps me become disenchanted with that which could be appropriated and gives rise to the observation of "rising-falling-dhammas" (as per that cool topic you started recently) and that in turn serves as an entry point for me into this specified mode of awareness, rather than the observation of the characteristics of arising and falling serving as a full and complete approach in itself. I think this "refrain", despite its regular appearance in the Satipatthana Sutta, tends to get blotted over and ignored in contemporary discourse on vipassana as if it were not relevant, or just bonus waffle.

(It's probably worth at this point highlighting that this approach differs from the "cut it into more pieces" approach, as it is actually disenchantment with the very act of cutting and with what was formerly cut. As such, it simplifies things back up to the mere "there is [x]". This probably deserves a topic in itself but I don't feel like creating one just at the moment. Maybe soon.).

That is how I understand and apply the sutta in this regard.

Alternatively, it could be used as a "recipe for overcomplication and distraction"... it all depends on what you do with it. For me it's a means of simplification and non-diffusion.

Breathe deep and let go of things. :D

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14613
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby Dan74 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:20 am

excuse the interruption...
Last edited by Dan74 on Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
_/|\_
User avatar
Dan74
 
Posts: 2617
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby vinasp » Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:40 pm

Hi everyone,

SN 22.122 wrote: "An arahant should attend in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease ..."

This passage is examined by Mathieu Boisvert in his "The Five Aggregates
- Understanding Theravada Psychology and Soteriology." He says:

" ... an arahant can still be characterized by the pancupadanakkhandha."

He quotes Buddhaghosa:

"Although the aggregates of the arahant who has destroyed the cankers
become conditions for clinging in others, when they say, for example,
"Our senior uncle the Thera! Our junior uncle the Thera!," the noble
paths, fruits, and nibbana are not grasped, misapprehended, or clung
to." [ I have simplified this, so it's not an exact quote.]

Boisvert continues;

"This implies that, although those who do not generate any more clinging
(the arahant) have totally eradicated the biases, they still possess
the five clinging-aggregates in the sense that their five aggregates
still constitute a ground for clinging in others." [ page 27.]

Regards, Vincent.
vinasp
 
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Bristol. United Kingdom.

Re: Five aggregates of appropriation (upādānakkhandha)

Postby vinasp » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:02 pm

Hi everyone,

Ven. Nanavira's Understanding Of the Aggregates.

Quote: "An arahat while alive, continues to be individual in the sense
that 'he' is a sequence of states distinguishable from other individuals.
Every set of pancakkhandha - not panc'upadanakkhandha in the arahats case
- is unique, and individuality in this sense ceases only with the final
cessation of the pancakkhandha at the breaking up of the arahat's body."

[ I have simplified this, so it's not an exact quote.]

[ Clearing The Path - Shorter Notes - Sakkaya, page 106 ]

From this passage I infer the following points:

1. He thought that the panc'upadanakkhandha have ceased for an arahant.

2. He understood that the arahant still has the pancakkhandha.

3. He thought that the arahants pancakkhandha only cease when literal
death occurs. Note 1.

4. It seems that he may have understood the form-aggregate as being
identical with the physical body.

Note 1. I can't be certain about this, it depends on how he understood
the expression: "breaking up of the arahants body."

Regards, Vincent.
vinasp
 
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Bristol. United Kingdom.

PreviousNext

Return to General Theravāda discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot], lyndon taylor, Yahoo [Bot] and 14 guests