Do plants possess five aggregate?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Do plants possess five aggregate?

Postby SarathW » Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:35 pm

The way I understand is that plants possess Rupa and Some form of Vedana and Jivithandriya (life) not conditioned by Kamma. The five aggregate has a dependent origination. Does it mean Citta is dormant in plants?
I have the same question in regards to bacteria as well. Do bacteria possess five aggregare?
Last edited by SarathW on Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
SarathW
 
Posts: 2322
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Do plants possess five aggregate?

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:59 pm

Greetings Sarath,

This recent exploration will provide some thoughts that may assist you in your inquiry...

Aggregate?
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=13485

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: 14718
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Do plants possess five aggregate?

Postby reflection » Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:04 pm

I don't know.
User avatar
reflection
 
Posts: 1115
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:27 pm

Re: Do plants possess five aggregate?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:13 pm

Hi Sarah,

This is an interesting question. Perhaps it would be useful to look at some Suttas that mention internal and external aggregates and elements.

SN 22.48 Khandha Sutta: Aggregates
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"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.
...
"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.
...


MN 62 Maha-Rahulovada Sutta: The Greater Exhortation to Rahula
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"And what is the earth property [commonly translated as "element"]? The earth property can be either internal or external. What is the internal earth property?[3] Anything internal, within oneself, that's hard, solid, & sustained [by craving]: head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, tendons, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, membranes, spleen, lungs, large intestines, small intestines, contents of the stomach, feces, or anything else internal, within oneself, that's hard, solid, and sustained: This is called the internal earth property. Now both the internal earth property & the external earth property are simply earth property. And that should be seen as it actually is present with right discernment: 'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.' When one sees it thus as it actually is present with right discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the earth property and makes the earth property fade from the mind.


:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10533
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Do plants possess five aggregate?

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:34 pm

As I understand it, plants are mentioned as "one factored" life forms. In the monastic code it says:


"People criticized and complained and spread it about, 'How can these Sakyan-son monks cut down trees and have them cut down? They are mistreating one-facultied life.'"

Object. The Pali term for living plant — bhūtagāma — literally means the home of a being. This the Sub-commentary explains by saying that devatās may take up residence in plants standing in place by means of a longing on which their consciousness fastens (at the end of their previous lives) as in a dream. This rule is justified, it says, in that the etiquette of a contemplative precludes doing harm to the abodes of living beings. As the origin story shows, though, the reason this rule was laid down in the first place was to prevent bhikkhus from offending people who held to the animist belief that regarded plants as one-facultied life having the sense of touch.


BB
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?
User avatar
BubbaBuddhist
 
Posts: 640
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:55 am
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Re: Do plants possess five aggregate?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:44 pm

BubbaBuddhist wrote:As I understand it, plants are mentioned as "one factored" life forms. In the monastic code it says:


"People criticized and complained and spread it about, 'How can these Sakyan-son monks cut down trees and have them cut down? They are mistreating one-facultied life.'"

Object. The Pali term for living plant — bhūtagāma — literally means the home of a being. This the Sub-commentary explains by saying that devatās may take up residence in plants standing in place by means of a longing on which their consciousness fastens (at the end of their previous lives) as in a dream. This rule is justified, it says, in that the etiquette of a contemplative precludes doing harm to the abodes of living beings. As the origin story shows, though, the reason this rule was laid down in the first place was to prevent bhikkhus from offending people who held to the animist belief that regarded plants as one-facultied life having the sense of touch.


BB

I don't believe that is the same as the agregates, I may be wrong, but ....
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5826
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Do plants possess five aggregate?

Postby appicchato » Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:06 am

While agreeing that plants do have (physical) form, I find it a bit of a stretch (actually a large one) to think that they possess feelings, perception, (certainly) mental formations, nor consciousness...this being a purely personal perspective though...an aggregate, yes...five, nay...
User avatar
appicchato
 
Posts: 1603
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:47 am
Location: Bridge on the River Kwae

Re: Do plants possess five aggregate?

Postby cooran » Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:39 am

Hello all,

An assortment of information for your delectation:

Plants ~ Borderline Beings?
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1204
Plant Life
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=6822

From the Patimokkha, suddhapaacittiyaa, The Section about plant beings, 11:

"In causing damage to plant beings there is an offence entailing
expiation."

From SuttaVibhanga (Horner transl), the account leading up to this rule is
given:

"....at Alavi in the chief shrine at Alavi. Now at that time the monks of
Alavi, making repairs, were cutting down trees and having them cut down;
and a certain monk of Alavi cut down a tree, and the devata living in that
tree said to this monk:

"Do not, honoured sir, desiring to make an abode for yourself, cut down my
abode."

This monk, taking no notice, cut it down, and in doing so, struck the arm
of that devata's son. Then it occurred to that devata:

"What now if I, just here, should deprive this monk of life?" Then it
occurred to that devata:

"But this would not be suiting in me, that I were, just here, to deprive
this monk of life. What now if I were to tell this matter to the lord?"

Then this devata approached the lord, and having approached she told this
matter to the lord.

"Very good, devata, it is good that you, devata, did not deprive this monk
of life. If today you, devata, had deprived this monk of life, you,
devata, would also have produced much demerit. You go, devata; in a
certain place there is a solitary tree, go you into it."

People looked down upon, criticised, spread it about, saying:

"How can these recluses, sons of the Sakyans, cut down trees and have them
cut down? These recluses, sons of the Sakyans, are harming life that is
one-facultied." Monks heard these people who looked down upon, criticised,
spread it about. Those who were modest monks looked down upon, criticised,
spread it about, saying:

"How can these monks of Alavi cut down trees and have them cut down?"....

"Is it true, as is said, that you, monks, cut down trees and had them cut
down?"

"It is true, lord," they said.

The enlightened one, the lord, rebuked them, saying:

"How can you, foolish men, cut down trees and have them cut down? Is it
not, foolish men, for pleasing those who are not (yet) pleased.....And
thus, monks, this rule of training should be set forth:

For destruction of vegetable growth there is an offence of expiation."
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... sage/66737
.....................
From Ajahn Dhammanando:

Hi all,

This is a re-post as the formatting of the last one was a mess.

> Connie: "For people believe, O Bhikkhus, that life dwells in a tree."

This is the key point. The belief that plants and the earth possess one
faculty (either kaayindriya or jiivitindriya) was held by the
Niga.n.thas (Jains) and acelakas (non-affiliated naked ascetics); since
these were the largest and oldest sama.na groups at that time, their
beliefs had passed into common lore and so any sama.na worth his salt
was expected to conform to them (by keeping the rains retreat so as not
to tread on growing crops, by not digging the earth or damaging plants,
and by taking various precautions when building a hut). But nowhere
does the Buddha actually concede that these beliefs were correct and in
the Vinaya commentaries they are dismissed as "mere imagining".

Best wishes,
Dhammanando
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... sage/69259

Plants in Early Buddhism and the Far Eastern idea of the Buddha Nature of Grasses and Trees
http://www.scribd.com/doc/47341101/Plan ... -and-Trees

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7697
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Do plants possess five aggregate?

Postby DAWN » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:00 am

Plats have consciosness.
Why?

Because for eating some insects but not others you have to get information obout them, to know them, to be conscioss about them, to adoptate yourself.
Image

Actualy scientist know too, that plants can even comunicate with oher plants by some chimical process, trasmeting information, and get information.
Image

Also, for exemple, sun flower have a conscious of sun to folow it.
Image

Every living form have a consciossness and self consciosness. Of corse it's anatta, like us.

PS For exemple i dont eat any fresh fruit, or other not cooked food, i cant do it.
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...
I'am sorry for my english
User avatar
DAWN
 
Posts: 801
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:22 pm

Re: Do plants possess five aggregate?

Postby DAWN » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:11 am

Just for fun :)
Image
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...
I'am sorry for my english
User avatar
DAWN
 
Posts: 801
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:22 pm

Re: Do plants possess five aggregate?

Postby robertk » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:08 am

plants are purely rupa.
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1288
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Do plants possess five aggregate?

Postby DAWN » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:25 am

robertk wrote:plants are purely rupa.


Rupa which eat, sharing information, and want to survive by procreation.

Like us :smile: It's true
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...
I'am sorry for my english
User avatar
DAWN
 
Posts: 801
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:22 pm

Re: Do plants possess five aggregate?

Postby acinteyyo » Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:56 pm

SarathW wrote:The way I understand is that plants possess Rupa and Some form of Vedana and Jivithandriya (life) not conditioned by Kamma. The five aggregate has a dependent origination. Does it mean Citta is dormant in plants?
I have the same question in regards to bacteria as well. Do bacteria possess five aggregare?

I don't want to be a nitpicker but I think this is not a proper question. The aggregates are not possessed by anything. Neither plants nor human beings "possess" aggregates.
mikenz66 wrote:Hi Sarah,

This is an interesting question. Perhaps it would be useful to look at some Suttas that mention internal and external aggregates and elements.

SN 22.48 Khandha Sutta: Aggregates
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"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.
...
"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.
...


MN 62 Maha-Rahulovada Sutta: The Greater Exhortation to Rahula
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"And what is the earth property [commonly translated as "element"]? The earth property can be either internal or external. What is the internal earth property?[3] Anything internal, within oneself, that's hard, solid, & sustained [by craving]: head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, tendons, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, membranes, spleen, lungs, large intestines, small intestines, contents of the stomach, feces, or anything else internal, within oneself, that's hard, solid, and sustained: This is called the internal earth property. Now both the internal earth property & the external earth property are simply earth property. And that should be seen as it actually is present with right discernment: 'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.' When one sees it thus as it actually is present with right discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the earth property and makes the earth property fade from the mind.


:anjali:
Mike

:goodpost:
What can be experienced can be grouped as the different aggregates but it would be a misunderstanding to say this or that group belongs to the experienced phenomena, it's the other way round!
I wouldn't say plants or human beings have rupa but of plants and human beings anything that's hard, solid & sustained, internal or external is simply the earth property and that should be seen as it actually is present with right discernment: "This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self."

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

:anjali:
User avatar
acinteyyo
 
Posts: 1045
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:48 am
Location: Neuburg/Donau, Germany

Re: Do plants possess five aggregate?

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:11 pm

As I recall (often in my nightmares) this very conversation went on for about a million pages on e-Sangha. The thread was replete with all kinds of Newage trying to make an argument that plant life was a form of sentient-being realm wherein rebirth was possible. Oiy. :reading: <---in over 2.5 decades of perusing the Nikayas and supplementary materials I've never come across a single reference of the Buddha saying anything about the plant realm or anyone rebirthing as a tomato. Lots of references to tree devas though.

If so, may I be reborn as a mold spore so I won't have to pay taxes.

BB.
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?
User avatar
BubbaBuddhist
 
Posts: 640
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:55 am
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Re: Do plants possess five aggregate?

Postby beeblebrox » Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:13 pm

appicchato wrote:While agreeing that plants do have (physical) form, I find it a bit of a stretch (actually a large one) to think that they possess feelings, perception, (certainly) mental formations, nor consciousness...this being a purely personal perspective though...an aggregate, yes...five, nay...


I think it can be said that the sunflowers are conscious of the sun passing overhead (heliotropic).

I think that a human being maybe tends to be biased about what the consciousness entails (which of course, makes sense... because it's a word from their language, after all): at the very least attributing some kind of human trait to it... because that is the only thing they're familiar with; or at the very worst, attributing to it something like spirit, or some kind of atman... which I think is how many would try to interpret and then explain how a plant might have consciousness (new age stuff), which wasn't what I'm trying for with the sunflower example above, at all (really).

If we looked at what the Buddha said, a consciousness is what arises when there is a contact (e.g., eye + object = eye consciousness, and so on). Obviously, there is a contact in between the sunflower and the sun... or else the sunflower wouldn't have moved its head. It's basically a sunflower-consciousness... though, it's still very different from the human consciousness.

Also, if we view feelings as only positive, neutral or negative sensations (as described by the Buddha)... then I don't think that the feelings necessarily have to be nerve-based. I think it's already been shown that the plants have actions of their own which is based on their sensations of the positive or the negative (from their perception of what's good or bad... not ours)...

Those are just some (vegan) foods for thought. :twisted:

:anjali:
User avatar
beeblebrox
 
Posts: 939
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:41 pm

Re: Do plants possess five aggregate?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:31 pm

acinteyyo wrote:What can be experienced can be grouped as the different aggregates but it would be a misunderstanding to say this or that group belongs to the experienced phenomena, it's the other way round!

That's the way I see it. Aggregates, elements, etc, are not things, especially not little "building blocks".
http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... tm#khandha

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10533
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Do plants possess five aggregate?

Postby SarathW » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:11 pm

Aciteyyo – You are correct. The question should be re phrased to “Do plants arise with five aggregate?” Sorry for my bad English.

BB: I agree with you. I think consciousness is a spectrum like light. It can arise in various form.

Thanks everyone : I agree with you and understand that, this knowledge is not important in attaining Nirvana. But will help us to understand Anatta. Having said that plants are very important part of our life and should be protected.
SarathW
 
Posts: 2322
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am


Return to General Theravāda discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests