Is Arahant a five aggregate?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Is Arahant a five aggregate?

Postby SarathW » Wed May 21, 2014 11:11 pm

Is Arahant a five aggregate?
The question is, whether five aggregate is applicable to Arahants body before Parinibbana.
:thinking:
SarathW
 
Posts: 2211
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Is Arahant a five aggregate?

Postby Mkoll » Wed May 21, 2014 11:28 pm

Probably. But they're not "clinging-aggregates" because there is no clinging for an arahant.
Peace,
James
User avatar
Mkoll
 
Posts: 3257
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: California, USA

Re: Is Arahant a five aggregate?

Postby culaavuso » Wed May 21, 2014 11:35 pm

SarathW wrote:Is Arahant a five aggregate?
The question is, whether five aggregate is applicable to Arahants body before Parinibbana.


Itivuttaka 44 (Ven. Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation and footnote) wrote:And what is the Unbinding property with fuel remaining? There is the case where a monk is an arahant whose fermentations have ended, who has reached fulfillment, finished the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, ended the fetter of becoming, and is released through right gnosis. His five sense faculties still remain and, owing to their being intact, he is cognizant of the agreeable & the disagreeable, and is sensitive to pleasure & pain. His ending of passion, aversion, & delusion is termed the Unbinding property with fuel remaining.[1]

And what is the Unbinding property with no fuel remaining? There is the case where a monk is an arahant whose fermentations have ended, who has reached fulfillment, finished the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, ended the fetter of becoming, and is released through right gnosis. For him, all that is sensed, being unrelished, will grow cold right here. This is termed the Unbinding property with no fuel remaining.[2]

Notes
1, 2.
With fuel remaining (sa-upadisesa) and with no fuel remaining (anupadisesa): The analogy here is to a fire. In the first case, the flames are out, but the embers are still glowing. In the second, the fire is so thoroughly out that the embers have grown cold. The "fuel" here is the five aggregates (see the Glossary). While the arahant is still alive, he/she still experiences the five aggregates, but they do not burn with the fires of passion, aversion, or delusion. When the arahant passes away, there is no longer any experience of aggregates here or anywhere else. For a discussion of this point, see The Mind Like Fire Unbound, pp. 21-37.
culaavuso
 
Posts: 1030
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:27 pm

Re: Is Arahant a five aggregate?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 22, 2014 12:29 am

Greetings,

His five sense faculties still remain and, owing to their being intact, he is cognizant of the agreeable & the disagreeable, and is sensitive to pleasure & pain

:clap:

Note what the sutta doesn't say.

The question is, whether five aggregate is applicable to Arahants body before Parinibbana

I say no, because the arahant does not aggregate by delineating aggregates... nor do they experience phassa (contact), as per Nanavira's explanation of phassa and its inherent bifurcation between perceived self and other.

(I've argued this elsewhere on the forum and don't intend to do so again, so if this view offends you, please just leave it be... I don't want to bicker.)

MN 109 wrote:"Lord, what is the cause, what the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of form? What is the cause, what the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness?"

"Monk, the four great existents (earth, water, fire, & wind) are the cause, the four great existents the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of form. Contact is the cause, contact the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of feeling. Contact is the cause, contact the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of perception. Contact is the cause, contact the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of fabrications. Name-&-form is the cause, name-&-form the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of consciousness."

Saying, "Very good, lord," the monk... asked him a further question: "Lord, how does self-identity view come about?"

"There is the case, monk, where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form.

"He assumes feeling to be the self, or the self as possessing feeling, or feeling as in the self, or the self as in feeling. He assumes perception to be the self, or the self as possessing perception, or perception as in the self, or the self as in perception. He assumes fabrications to be the self, or the self as possessing fabrications, or fabrications as in the self, or the self as in fabrications. He assumes consciousness to be the self, or the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in the self, or the self as in consciousness.

"This, monk, is how self-identity view comes about."

Saying, "Very good, lord," the monk... asked him a further question: "Lord, how does self-identity view no longer come about?"

"There is the case, monk, where a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — who has regard for nobles ones, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma; who has regard for men of integrity, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma — does not assume form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form. He does not assume feeling to be the self... does not assume perception to be the self... does not assume fabrications to be the self... He does not assume consciousness to be the self, or the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in the self, or the self as in consciousness.

"This, monk, is how self-identity view no longer comes about."

Saying, "Very good, lord," the monk... asked him a further question: "What, lord, is the allure of form? What is its drawback? What is the escape from it? What is the allure of feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness? What is its drawback? What is the escape from it?"

"Monk, whatever pleasure & joy arises dependent on form: that is the allure of form. The fact that form is inconstant, stressful, subject to change: that is the drawback of form. The subduing of desire & passion, the abandoning of desire & passion for form: that is the escape from form.

"Whatever pleasure & joy arises dependent on feeling: that is the allure of feeling...

"Whatever pleasure & joy arises dependent on perception: that is the allure of perception...

"Whatever pleasure & joy arises dependent on fabrications: that is the allure of fabrications...

"Whatever pleasure & joy arises dependent on consciousness: that is the allure of consciousness. The fact that consciousness is inconstant, stressful, subject to change: that is the drawback of consciousness. The subduing of desire & passion, the abandoning of desire & passion for consciousness: that is the escape from consciousness."

Saying, "Very good, lord," the monk... asked him a further question: "Knowing in what way, seeing in what way, is there — with regard to this body endowed with consciousness, and with regard to all external signs — no longer any I-making, or my-making, or obsession with conceit?"

"Monk, one sees any form whatsoever — past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near — every form, as it actually is with right discernment: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'

"One sees any feeling whatsoever... any perception whatsoever... any fabrications whatsoever...

"One sees any consciousness whatsoever — past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near — every consciousness — as it actually is with right discernment: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'"

"Monk, knowing in this way, seeing in this way, there is — with regard to this body endowed with consciousness, and with regard to all external signs — no longer any I-making, or my-making, or obsession with conceit."

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: 14674
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Is Arahant a five aggregate?

Postby Mkoll » Thu May 22, 2014 6:19 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

His five sense faculties still remain and, owing to their being intact, he is cognizant of the agreeable & the disagreeable, and is sensitive to pleasure & pain

:clap:

Note what the sutta doesn't say.

The question is, whether five aggregate is applicable to Arahants body before Parinibbana

I say no, because the arahant does not aggregate by delineating aggregates... nor do they experience phassa (contact), as per Nanavira's explanation of phassa and its inherent bifurcation between perceived self and other.


Saying that he is cognizant of the aggreable and the disagreeable and sensitive to pleasure and pain means he is aware of different kinds of feeling, correct?

If that is so, how can there be feeling without contact, as per dependent origination? The feeling must be conditioned by something because it is a conditioned thing, and that condition is contact, as per MN 109.

Also, the first noble truth says that the clinging aggregates are to be fully understood. The second noble truth says that craving is to be abandoned (SN 56.11). So the arahant understands the clinging aggregates and abandons craving. The aggregates are understood, but they are not abandoned until parinibbana.

I'm don't want to bicker and I'm not offended. But I'm curious as to how Ven. Nanavira explains this. Maybe you could point me to the relevant thread? Thanks.
Peace,
James
User avatar
Mkoll
 
Posts: 3257
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: California, USA

Re: Is Arahant a five aggregate?

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu May 22, 2014 8:35 am

Mkoll wrote:If that is so, how can there be feeling without contact, as per dependent origination?


That's something I struggle with. The suttas describe contact as the meeting of the three ( sense organ, sense object and sense-consciousness ), dependent on which arises feeling.

For example here in the Loka Sutta: "Dependent on the eye & forms there arises eye-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving."
Mrs. Bun: Have you got anything without spam in it?
Waitress: Well, there's spam, egg, sausage and spam. That's not got MUCH spam in it.
User avatar
Spiny Norman
 
Posts: 2706
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Spam, wonderful spam

Re: Is Arahant a five aggregate?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 22, 2014 8:56 am

Greetings Mkoll,

Mkoll wrote:If that is so, how can there be feeling without contact, as per dependent origination? The feeling must be conditioned by something because it is a conditioned thing, and that condition is contact, as per MN 109.

Paticcasamuppada details the arising of conditioned (samsaric) experience... and in doing so details the sequential arising of various formed-dhammas (sankhata-dhamma), arising in dependence upon avijja. I contend that as avijja has ceased, there are no longer sankhata-dhammas experienced. What is experienced is as depicted in the sutta above, and that is not dependent upon avijja... thus paticcasamuppada in its forward direction becomes irrelevant. Consider here however paticcasamuppada in its reverse order which sees the cessation of feeling... would you contend that the cessation mode of paticcasamuppada applies only to dead people? If not, what does the cessation of feeling in the reverse order mean? Something to think about anyway, regardless of the conclusions drawn...

Mkoll wrote:But I'm curious as to how Ven. Nanavira explains this. Maybe you could point me to the relevant thread? Thanks.

http://www.nanavira.org/notes-on-dhamma ... tes/phassa

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: 14674
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Is Arahant a five aggregate?

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu May 22, 2014 9:02 am

retrofuturist wrote:Consider here however paticcasamuppada in its reverse order which sees the cessation of feeling... would you contend that the cessation mode of paticcasamuppada applies only to dead people?


It's a tricky question because the reverse mode describes cessation of all the nidanas, including birth and death.
Mrs. Bun: Have you got anything without spam in it?
Waitress: Well, there's spam, egg, sausage and spam. That's not got MUCH spam in it.
User avatar
Spiny Norman
 
Posts: 2706
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Spam, wonderful spam

Re: Is Arahant a five aggregate?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 22, 2014 9:06 am

Greetings Spiny,

Indeed... and by extension, if one accepts the "3 lifetime" interpretation of paticcasamuppada in its forward direction, would that not commit one to a 3 lifetime model in the other direction too? Again, something to think about, regardless of the conclusions drawn...

(Apologies if I've deviated from Sarath's aggregates question... :oops: )

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: 14674
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Is Arahant a five aggregate?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 22, 2014 9:09 am

Nanavira wrote:It must, of course, be remembered that phassanirodha in the arahat does not mean that experience as such (pañcakkhandhā) is at an end. But, also, there is no experience without phassa. In other words, to the extent that we can still speak of an eye, of forms, and of eye-consciousness (seeing)—e.g. Samvijjati kho āvuso Bhagavato cakkhu, passati Bhagavā cakkhunā rūpam, chandarāgo Bhagavato n'atthi, suvimuttacitto Bhagavā ('The Auspicious One, friend, possesses an eye; the Auspicious One sees visible forms with the eye; desire-&-lust for the Auspicious One there is not; the Auspicious One is wholly freed in heart (citta)' (Cf. ATTĀ [c].)) (Salāyatana Samy. xviii,5 <S.iv,164>)—to that extent we can still speak of phassa. But it must no longer be regarded as contact with me (or with him, or with somebody). There is, and there is not, contact in the case of the arahat, just as there is, and there is not, consciousness. [emphasis added] http://www.nanavira.org/notes-on-dhamma ... tes/phassa
This more or less makes sense, but the essay in which this footnote, a moment of clarity, is found is a tortured effort.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19560
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Is Arahant a five aggregate?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu May 22, 2014 9:26 am

Returning to the original question:
SarathW wrote:The question is, whether five aggregate is applicable to Arahants body before Parinibbana.

From suttas such as this one, apparently yes:
Yamaka Sutta wrote:What do you think, friend Yamaka, do you regard form as the Tathagata?” - “No, friend.” - “Do you regard feeling … perception … volitional formations … consciousness as the Tathagata?” - “No, friend.”

“What do you think, friend Yamaka, do you regard the Tathagata as in form?” - “No, friend.” - “Do you regard the Tathagata as apart from form?” - “No, friend.” - “Do you regard the Tathagata as in feeling? As apart from feeling? As in perception? As apart from perception? As in volitional formations? As apart from volitional formations? As in consciousness? As apart from consciousness?” - “No, friend.”

“What do you think, friend Yamaka, do you regard form, feeling, perception, volitional formations, and consciousness taken together as the Tathagata?” - “No, friend.”

What do you think, friend Yamaka, do you regard the Tathagata as one who is without form, without feeling, without perception, without volitional formations, without consciousness?” - “No, friend.”
http://suttacentral.net/en/sn22.85

Bhikkhu Bodhi comments:
The first three alternatives—conceiving the aggregates individually as the Tathāgata, the Tathāgata as within the aggregates, and the Tathāgata as apart from the aggregates—correspond to the first three modes of conceiving in the Mūlapariyāya Sutta (MN I 1 (MN 1)), which are set in relation to the sense bases at 35:30, SN 35:31. The fourth position conceives the aggregates collectively as the Tathāgata (perhaps a view of supervenience); the fifth conceives the Tathāgata as entirely transcendent, without any essential relation to the aggregates. These modes of conceiving can also be correlated with the twenty types of identity view.


:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10384
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Is Arahant a five aggregate?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 22, 2014 9:35 am

Greetings Mike,

How did you come to the conclusion that the sutta says "yes", when the sutta extract provided only says "no" to a lot of wrong views?

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: 14674
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Is Arahant a five aggregate?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu May 22, 2014 9:39 am

Seems rather clear to me:
What do you think, friend Yamaka, do you regard the Tathagata as one who is without form, without feeling, without perception, without volitional formations, without consciousness?” - “No, friend.”

Denying that the Thanagata has form, feelings, sounds, as you say, like wrong view, doesn't it?

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10384
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Is Arahant a five aggregate?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 22, 2014 9:50 am

Greetings Mike,

I can see how you see it that way. I interpreted them as a series of propositions, covering all possible combinations of how one might perceive the Tathagata (as a being) in relation to aggregates... all of which were wrong, none of which provide a "yes" to how the Tathagata should be regarded in relation to aggregates.

SN 22.85 also wrote:But, friend, the instructed noble disciple, who is a seer of the noble ones … does not regard form as self, or self as possessing form, or form as in self, or self as in form.

Dhp 93 wrote: He whose cankers are destroyed and who is not attached to food, whose object is the Void, the Unconditioned Freedom — his path cannot be traced, like that of birds in the air.

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: 14674
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Is Arahant a five aggregate?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 22, 2014 9:57 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Mike,

I can see how you see it that way. I interpreted them as a series of propositions, covering all possible combinations of how one might perceive the Tathagata (as a being) in relation to aggregates... all of which were wrong, none of which provide a "yes" to how the Tathagata should be regarded in relation to aggregates.

SN 22.85 wrote:But, friend, the instructed noble disciple, who is a seer of the noble ones … does not regard form as self, or self as possessing form, or form as in self, or self as in form.

Dhp 93 wrote: He whose cankers are destroyed and who is not attached to food, whose object is the Void, the Unconditioned Freedom — his path cannot be traced, like that of birds in the air.

Metta,
Retro. :)
As Nanavira states: It must, of course, be remembered that phassanirodha in the arahat does not mean that experience as such (pañcakkhandhā) is at an end. But, also, there is no experience without phassa.With the arahant/tathagata there is simply no further relating to these processes in terms of the fuel of identification conditioned by greed, hatred, and delusion.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19560
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Is Arahant a five aggregate?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu May 22, 2014 9:58 am

Hi Retro, I fail to follow your logic. Sorry.

As Bhikkhu Bodhi observes: The fifth [wrong view that Tathagata as one who is without form...] conceives the Tathāgata as entirely transcendent, without any essential relation to the aggregates.



:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10384
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Is Arahant a five aggregate?

Postby vinasp » Thu May 22, 2014 10:02 am

Hi everyone,

On feelings: There is, of course, pleasant feeling, but there is also pleasure which is not a feeling.

A difficult point for English speakers? See MN 59.16

Regards, Vincent.
vinasp
 
Posts: 1254
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Bristol. United Kingdom.

Re: Is Arahant a five aggregate?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 22, 2014 10:16 am

Greetings,

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Retro, I fail to follow your logic. Sorry.

Maybe Ven. Nanananda's explanation might be more to your liking...

http://www.seeingthroughthenet.net/file ... dstilled33

The other day we happened to mention the conclusive answer given by the Buddha to the question raised by the wandering ascetic Vacchagotta in the Aggivacchagottasutta of the Majjhima Nikāya, concerning the after death state of the Tathāgata. But we had no time to discuss it at length. Therefore let us take it up again.

When the wandering ascetic Vacchagotta had granted the incongruity of any statement to the effect that the extinguished fire has gone in such and such a direction, and the fact that the term Nibbāna is only a reckoning or a turn of speech, the Buddha follows it up with the conclusion:

Evameva kho, Vaccha, yena rūpena tathāgataṃ paññāpayamāno paññāpeyya, taṃ rūpaṃ tathāgatassa pahīnaṃ ucchinnamūlaṃ tālāvatthukataṃ anabhāvakataṃ āyatiṃ anuppādadhammaṃ. Rūpasaṅkhāvimutto kho, Vaccha, tathāgato, gambhīro appameyyo duppariyogāho, seyyathāpi mahāsamuddo. Uppajjatī'ti na upeti, na uppajjatī'ti na upeti, uppajjati ca na ca uppajjatī'ti na upeti, neva uppajjati na na uppajjatī'ti na upeti.[702]

"Even so, Vaccha, that form by which one designating the Tathāgata might designate him, that has been abandoned by him, cut off at the root, made like an uprooted palm tree, made non-existent and incapable of arising again. The Tathāgata is free from reckoning in terms of form, Vaccha, he is deep, immeasurable and hard to fathom, like the great ocean. To say that he is reborn falls short of a reply, to say that he is not reborn falls short of a reply, to say that he is both reborn and is not reborn falls short of a reply, to say that he is neither reborn nor is not reborn falls short of a reply."

As in the case of the aggregate of form, so also with regard to the aggregates of feeling, perception, preparations and consciousness, that is to say, in regard to all the five aggregates of grasping, the Buddha made this particular declaration. From this it is clear, that in this dispensation the Tathāgata cannot be reckoned in terms of any one of the five aggregates.

The similes reveal to us the state of the Tathāgata - the simile of the uprooted tree, for instance. On seeing a palm tree uprooted, but somehow left standing, one would mistake it for a growing palm tree. The worldling has a similar notion of the Tathāgata. This simile of the tree reminds us of the Isidattatheragāthā, which has an allusion to it.

Pañcakkhandhā pariññātā,
tiṭṭhanti chinnamūlakā,
dukkhakkhayo anuppatto,
patto me āsavakkhayo.[703]
"Five aggregates, now fully understood,
Just stand, cut off at their root,
Reached is suffering's end,
Extinct for me are influxes."

On reaching arahant-hood, one finds oneself in this strange situation. The occurrence of the word saṅkhā in this connection is particularly significant. This word came up in our discussion of the term papañca in the contexts papañcasaṅkhā and papañcasaññāsaṅkhā.[704] There we had much to say about the word. It is synonymous with samaññā, "appellation", and paññatti, "designation". Reckoning, appellation and designation are synonymous to a great extent. So the concluding statement of the Buddha, already quoted, makes it clear that the Tathāgata cannot be reckoned or designated in terms of form, though he has form, he cannot be reckoned by feeling, though he experiences feeling, nor can he be reckoned by, or identified with, the aggregates of perceptions, preparations or consciousness.

Now in order to make a reckoning, or a designation, there has to be a duality, a dichotomy. We had occasion to touch upon this normative tendency to dichotomize. By way of illustration we may refer to the fact that even the price of an article can be reckoned, so long as there is a vortex between supply and demand. There has to be some kind of vortex between two things, for there to be a designation. A vortex, or vaṭṭa, is an alternation between two things, a cyclic interrelation. A designation can come in only so long as there is such a cyclic process. Now the Tathāgata is free from this duality.

We have pointed out that the dichotomy between consciousness and name-and-form is the saṃsāric vortex. Let us refresh our memory of this vortex by alluding to a quotation from the Udāna which we brought up on an earlier occasion.

Chinnaṃ vaṭṭaṃ na vattati,
es' ev' anto dukkhassa.[705]
The whirlpool cut off whirls no more.
This, even this, is suffering's end."

This, in fact, is a reference to the arahant. The vortex is between consciousness and name-and-form. By letting go of name-and-form, and realizing the state of a non-manifestative consciousness, the arahant has, in this very life, realized the cessation of existence, which amounts to a cessation of suffering as well. Though he continues to live on, he does not grasp any of those aggregates tenaciously. His consciousness does not get attached to name-and-form. That is why it is said that the vortex turns no more.

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: 14674
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Is Arahant a five aggregate?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu May 22, 2014 10:39 am

Hi Retro,

Thank you for reminding us of that sutta. On the face of it. MN 72, Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta, appears to contradict SN 22.85, Yamaka sutta.

Let's look at some other translations of the Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta.

Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation and comments:
20. “So too, Vaccha, the Tathāgata has abandoned that material form by which one describing the Tathāgata might describe him; [722] he has cut it off at the root, made it like a palm stump, done away with it so that it is no longer subject to future arising. The Tathāgata is liberated from reckoning in terms of material form, Vaccha, he is profound, immeasurable, hard to fathom like the ocean. ‘He reappears’ does not apply; ‘he does not reappear’ does not apply; ‘he both reappears and does not reappear’ does not apply; ‘he neither reappears nor does not reappear’ does not apply. [723]

[722] MA says this is the material form by which one would describe the Tathāgata as a being (or self) possessing material form. MṬ adds that the material form has been abandoned by the abandonment of the fetters connected with it, and it has thus become incapable of arising again in the future.

[723] This passage should be connected with the simile of the extinguished fire. Just as the extinguished fire cannot be described as having gone to any direction, so the Tathāgata who has attained to final Nibbāna cannot be described in terms of the four alternatives. The simile concerns solely the legitimacy of conceptual and linguistic usage and is not intended to suggest, as some scholars have held, that the Tathāgata attains to some mystical absorption in the Absolute. The words “profound, immeasurable, hard to fathom” point to the transcendental dimension of the liberation attained by the Accomplished One, its inaccessibility to discursive thought.

It seems that at this point in the dialogue, the Buddha resorts to imagery to suggest what concepts cannot convey. The two images—of the extinguished fire and the deep ocean—establish between themselves a dialectical tension, and thus both must be taken into account to avoid falling into one-sided views. The image of the extinguished fire, taken alone, veers in the direction of total extinction, and thus must be balanced by the image of the ocean; the image of the ocean, taken alone, suggests some eternal mode of being, and thus must be balanced by the image of the extinguished fire. Again, the truth lies in the middle that transcends untenable extremes.


Thanissaro Bhikkhu's translation:
"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.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


These translations appear to have the straightforward reading that the form, etc, is not going to rearise, since "it's root [is] destroyed".

Of course, Ven Nananda's translation and analysis is thought provoking, and worthy of careful consideration. It would be interesting to see how he would translate the Yamaka Sutta.

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10384
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Is Arahant a five aggregate?

Postby Peter » Thu May 22, 2014 11:06 am

An Arahant posesses the 5 aggregates. For sure.

An Arahant sees, but there is no seer. That means there is no response to the object which comes into the eye (as the door of sense)
He/she is a hears, without someone who hears.
and so on.

The aggregates are functioning, indeed, but it does not arise in the mental consciousness of vedana and clinging
and pointing on it by meanings.
I guess it will be just pure awareness without any kind of identification towards any kind of object or phassa towards objects.

Blue is just blue, just a colour between other colours. So why care for it ?
A sound is just a sound, nothing else.

so my point of view :hello:
Last edited by Peter on Thu May 22, 2014 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Peter
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 9:13 am

Next

Return to General Theravāda discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests