no (khandhas)aggregates?

A forum for members who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the Pali Canon and associated Commentaries, which for discussion purposes are both treated as authoritative.

Moderator: Mahavihara moderator

no (khandhas)aggregates?

Postby robertk » Sat Nov 23, 2013 3:20 am

there were never any aggregates either.


i saw this written on another thread.

while that may be a belief among some sects of Buddhism, it is not the case in Theravada.
nama(mentality)and rupa(matter) , also classified as the khandhas or elements or ayatanas are entirely real, although impermanet, dukkha and anatta
from the visiddhimagga:



"The mental and material (nama rupa) are really here

But here is no human being to be found, for it is void and merely fashioned like a doll"
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1239
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: no (khandhas)aggregates?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:34 am

robertk wrote:
there were never any aggregates either.


i saw this written on another thread.

while that may be a belief among some sects of Buddhism, it is not the case in Theravada.
nama(mentality)and rupa(matter) , also classified as the khandhas or elements or ayatanas are entirely real, although impermanet, dukkha and anatta
from the visiddhimagga:



"The mental and material (nama rupa) are really here

But here is no human being to be found, for it is void and merely fashioned like a doll"
Do give us the citation for this so it can be read in context. TOS: 7. When quoting authors or texts please cite a source.
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: 19384
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: no (khandhas)aggregates?

Postby robertk » Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:54 am

Visuddhimagga XVII31
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1239
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: no (khandhas)aggregates?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:11 am

robertk wrote:Visuddhimagga XVII31
VM XVIII 31.


31. Therefore, just as a marionette is void, soulless and without curiosity, and
while it walks and stands merely through the combination of strings and wood,
[595] yet it seems as if it had curiosity and interestedness, so too, this mentalitymateriality
is void, soulless and without curiosity, and while it walks and stands
merely through the combination of the two together, yet it seems as if it had
curiosity and interestedness. This is how it should be regarded. Hence the
Ancients said:
The mental and material are really here,
But here there is no human being to be found,
For it is void and merely fashioned like a doll—
Just suffering piled up like grass and sticks.
So, what does "really here" mean?
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: 19384
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: no (khandhas)aggregates?

Postby robertk » Sat Nov 23, 2013 7:26 am

The khandhas , nama and rupa , are also called dhammas

The Dhamma Theory Philosophical Cornerstone of the ABHIDHAMMA
Y. Karunadasa
The Wheel Publication No. 412/413 (Buddhist Publication society)

Karunadasa:
QUOTE
"Because pannattis are without corresponding objective reality, the commentaries call them asabhava-dhammas -- things without a real nature -- to distinguish them from the real elements of existence.Since sabhava, the intrinsic nature of a dhamma, is itself the dhamma, from the point of view of this definition what is qualified as asabhava amounts to an abhava, a non-existent in the final sense. It is in recognition of this fact that the three salient characteristics of empirical reality -- origination (uppada), subsistence (thiti), and dissolution (bhanga) -- are not applied to them. For these three characteristics can be predicated only of those things which answer to the Abhidhammic definition of empirical reality.

Again, unlike the real existents, pannattis are not brought about by conditions (paccayatthitika). For this same reason, they are also defined as "not positively produced" (aparinipphanna). Positive production (parinipphannata) is true only of those things which have their own individual nature (avenika-sabhava). Only a dhamma that has an own- nature, with a beginning and an end in time, produced by conditions, and marked by the three salient characteristics of conditioned existence, is positively produced.

Further, pannattis differ from dhammas in that only the latter are delimited by rise and fall; only of the dhammas and not of the pannattis can it be said, "They come into being having not been (ahutva sambhonti); and, after having been, they cease (hutva pativenti)." Pannattis have no own-nature to be manifested in the three instants of arising, presence, and dissolution. Since they have no existence marked by these three phases, such temporal distinctions as past, present, and future do not apply to them. Consequently they have no reference to time (kalavimutta). For this self-same reason, they have no place in the traditional analysis of empirical existence into the five khandhas, for what is included in the khandhas should have the characteristics of empirical reality and be subject to temporal divisions.121 Another noteworthy characteristic of pannattis is that they cannot be described either as conditioned (sankhata) or as unconditioned (asankhata), for they do not possess their own-nature (sabhava) to be so described. Since the two categories of the conditioned and the unconditioned comprise all realities, the description of pannattis as exempt from these two categories is another way of underscoring their unreality."
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1239
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: no (khandhas)aggregates?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Nov 23, 2013 7:32 am

    For when material and immaterial states have arisen mutually steadying each other, [mentality and materiality, for example,] then, owing to misinterpreting that as a unity, compactness of mass is assumed through failure to subject formations to pressure. And likewise compactness of function is assumed when, although definite differences exist in such and such states’ functions, they are taken as one. And likewise compactness of object is assumed when, although differences exist in the ways in which states that take objects make them their objects, those objects are taken as one. But when they are seen after resolving them by means of knowledge into these elements, they disintegrate like froth subjected to compression by the hand. They are mere states (dhamma) occurring due to conditions and void. In this way the characteristic of not-self becomes more evident” (Vism-mhþ 824). From footnote to VM XXI 4 (Ven Nyanamoli’s translation).

It is important to understand that the Theravada) is not doing science. It is not commenting on the nature of the “external” world. It is dealing with what is experienced. A “fundamental particle” of experience – a dhamma -- is hardly an unchanging, unconditioned thing. It is a way of talking about the flow of experience that our senses can give us which we can call this or that.

Ven Nyanamoli in a footnote 69 VM VIII 246 in his PATH OF PURIFICATION states: "In the Pitakas the word sabhaava seems to appear only once...," it appears several times in Milindapanha, and it is used quite a bit in the PoP and it commentaries. He states it often roughly corresponds to dhaatu, element and to lakkhana, characteristic. An interesting passage from the PoP reads:

    "On the contrary, before their rise [the bases, aayatana] they had no individual essence [sabhaava], and after their fall their individual essence are completely dissolved. And they occur without mastery [being exercisable over them] since they exist in dependence on conditions and in between the past and the future." VM XV 15.

    Prof. Dr. Y. Karunadasa, THE DHAMMA THEORY, page 6 http://www.zeh-verlag.de/download/dhammatheory.pdf wrote:In the Pali tradition it is only for the sake of definition and description that each dhamma is postulated as if it were a separate entity; but in reality it is by no means a solitary phenomenon having an existence of its own. . . . If this Abhidhammic view of existence, as seen from its doctrine of dhammas, cannot be interpreted as a radical pluralism, neither can it be interpreted as an out-and-out monism. For what are called dhammas -- the component factors of the universe, both within us and outside us -- are not fractions of an absolute unity but a multiplicity of co-ordinate factors. They are not reducible to, nor do they emerge from, a single reality, the fundamental postulate of monistic metaphysics. If they are to be interpreted as phenomena, this should be done with the proviso that they are phenomena with no corresponding noumena, no hidden underlying ground. For they are not manifestations of some mysterious metaphysical substratum, but processes taking place due to the interplay of a multitude of conditions.

In light of the above it is an interesting question of what “really here” means.
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: 19384
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: no (khandhas)aggregates?

Postby robertk » Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:05 am

yes the khandhas are conditioned, the arise amd instantly ceaee. they are uncontrollable, anatta.
they are , unlike person, self, horns on a rabbit, real
more from karunadasa
http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebdha227.htm
QUOTE
“As recorded in the Kathavatthu, the "Points of Controversy," the main contention of the Puggalavadins or "Personalists" is that the person is known in a real and ultimate sense (saccikatthaparamatthena upalabbhati).20 Against this proposition a number of counter-arguments are adduced, which need not concern us here. What interests us, however, is that in denying that the person is known in a real and ultimate sense, the Theravadins admit that the khandhas or dhammas are known in a real and ultimate sense. Thus in their view what is real and ultimate is not the person but the khandhas or dhammas that enter into its composition.21”
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1239
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: no (khandhas)aggregates?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:23 am

robertk wrote:yes the khandhas are conditioned, the arise amd instantly ceaee. they are uncontrollable, anatta.
they are , unlike person, self, horns on a rabbit, real
They are real what? Their nature is no different from that of any other compounded "thing."
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: 19384
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: no (khandhas)aggregates?

Postby robertk » Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:28 am

what are these other things you refer to ?
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1239
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: no (khandhas)aggregates?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:34 am

robertk wrote:what are these other things you refer to ?
You answer my question, I'll answer yours.



I wrote:
you wrote:yes the khandhas are conditioned, the arise amd instantly ceaee. they are uncontrollable, anatta.
they are , unlike person, self, horns on a rabbit, real

They are real what?
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: 19384
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: no (khandhas)aggregates?

Postby robertk » Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:39 am

I really dont know what you mean by other things,
perhaps it would help me understand your posts if you quoted some material about other things or about your original claim that "there were never any aggregates either."

but for your question
the quote I gave above is clear I think
t he Theravadins admit that the khandhas or dhammas are known in a real and ultimate sense. Thus in their view what is real and ultimate is not the person but the khandhas or dhammas that enter
into its composition
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1239
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: no (khandhas)aggregates?

Postby robertk » Sat Nov 23, 2013 9:02 am

i found another great quote from prof. karunadasa that hopefully explains how dhammas are real
QUOTE
“The term paramattha is sometimes paraphased as bhutattha (the actual).67 This is explained to mean that the dhammas are not non-existent like an illusion or mirage or like the soul (purisa) and primordial nature (pakati) of the non-Buddhist schools of thought.68 The evidence for their existence is not based either on conventions (sammuti) or on mere scriptural authority (anussava).69 On the contrary, their very existence is vouchsafed by their own intrinsic nature.70 The very fact of their existence is the very mark of their reality. As the Visuddhimagga observes: "It (= dhamma) is that which, for those who examine it with the eye of understanding, is not misleading like an illusion, deceptive like a mirage, or undiscoverable like the self of the sectarians, but is rather the domain of noble knowledge as the real unmisleading actual state." 71 The kind of existence implied here is not past or future existence, but present actual and verifiable existence (satvijjamanata).72 This emphasis on their actuality in the present phase of time rules out any association with the Sarvastivadins' theory of tri-temporal existence. Thus, for th Theravadin, the use of the term paramattha does not carry any substantialist implications. It only means that the mental and material dhammas represent the utmost limits to which the analysis of empirical existence can be pushed.”
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1239
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: no (khandhas)aggregates?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Nov 23, 2013 9:51 am

robertk wrote:i found another great quote from prof. karunadasa that hopefully explains how dhammas are real
. . .
This Dr Karunadasa, to me, being directly to the point: In the Pali tradition it is only for the sake of definition and description that each dhamma is postulated as if it were a separate entity; but in reality it is by no means a solitary phenomenon having an existence of its own. . . . (http://www.zeh-verlag.de/download/dhammatheory.pdf page 5) The monograph in question is a survey of the development of the "dhamma theory."
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: 19384
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: no (khandhas)aggregates?

Postby robertk » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:02 am

yes of course khandhas, dhammas are conditioned, they arise and cease,
there are always a multitude of conditions and the dhammas that arise are conditions themselves for other elements


could you now explain about the "other things" you mentioned.
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1239
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: no (khandhas)aggregates?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:17 am

robertk wrote:I really dont know what you mean by other things,
perhaps it would help me understand your posts if you quoted some material about other things or about your original claim that "there were never any aggregates either."
First of all the context of my statement is important, and I would refer you back to that.

As for “other things,” we could simply, easily take this as a starting point:

The mental and material are really here,
But here there is no human being to be found,
For it is void and merely fashioned like a doll—
Just suffering piled up like grass and sticks.


Just as "person" is a caused and conditioned construct and a way of talking about experience, so the khandhas, fashioned from causes and conditions, empty of any thingness, are conceptual constructs used for understanding experience. So, the question is: What is meant by “really here?”

But we must keep in mind: Just as "person" is a caused and conditioned construct and a way of talking about experience, [b]ut when they are seen after resolving them by means of knowledge into these elements, they disintegrate like froth subjected to compression by the hand. They are mere states (dhamma) occurring due to conditions and void.

And what are dhammas? Ways of talking about experience.

but for your question
the quote I gave above is clear I think
the Theravadins admit that the khandhas or dhammas are known in a real and ultimate sense. Thus in their view what is real and ultimate is not the person but the khandhas or dhammas that enter into its composition
In other words, what is “real” is experience empty of thingness, arising and falling dependent upon causes and conditioned. “Really here?” What does it mean?
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: 19384
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: no (khandhas)aggregates?

Postby robertk » Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:31 am

tilt:
But we must keep in mind: Just as "person" is a caused and conditioned construct and a way of talking about experience, [b]ut when they are seen after resolving them by means of knowledge into these elements, they disintegrate like froth subjected to compression by the hand. They are mere states (dhamma) occurring due to conditions and void.


sorry could you clarify, is this a quote from the texts. if it is do you have the reference .
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1239
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: no (khandhas)aggregates?

Postby robertk » Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:37 am


As for “other things,” we could simply, easily take this as a starting point:
The mental and material are really here,
But here there is no human being to be found,
For it is void and merely fashioned like a doll—
Just suffering piled up like grass and sticks
.

Just as "person" is a caused and conditioned construct and a way of talking about experience, so the khandhas, fashioned from causes and conditions, empty of any thingness, are conceptual constructs used for understanding experience. So, the question is: What is meant by “really here?”


the point of that quote from the visuddhimagga is to state that ideas like people or human being are only concepts with no reality at all, whereas nama and rupa ( the khandhas) are real (albeit evanescent , conditioned and uncontrollable).
so to equate person with the khandhas is a misunderstanding of what the teaching on khandhas and anatta is about.
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1239
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: no (khandhas)aggregates?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:58 am

robertk wrote:
tilt:
But we must keep in mind: Just as "person" is a caused and conditioned construct and a way of talking about experience, [b]ut when they are seen after resolving them by means of knowledge into these elements, they disintegrate like froth subjected to compression by the hand. They are mere states (dhamma) occurring due to conditions and void.


sorry could you clarify, is this a quote from the texts. if it is do you have the reference .
The text was quoted above: (Vism-mhþ 824). From footnote to VM XXI 4 (Ven Nyanamoli’s translation).

When the mind/body is seen with vipassana the misapprehensions of solidity, etc that makes up what we imagine is the person to be “disintegrate like froth subjected to compression by the hand,” leaving us with clear comprehension of our experiences as conditionality and emptiness.
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: 19384
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: no (khandhas)aggregates?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:00 pm

robertk wrote:
the point of that quote from the visuddhimagga is to state that ideas like people or human being are only concepts with no reality at all, whereas nama and rupa ( the khandhas) are real (albeit evanescent , conditioned and uncontrollable).
so to equate person with the khandhas is a misunderstanding of what the teaching on khandhas and anatta is about.
A mirage does not have a reality?

The khandhas are "real" how? What does it mean to be real?
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: 19384
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: no (khandhas)aggregates?

Postby robertk » Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:28 pm

a mirage is not real, nor is a person, a human being or a unicorn. But due to delusion we may believe any of these to be real.

what is absolutely real are khandhas like feeling. Painful feeling is real but because of misapprehending it is taken as MY feeling, MY pain.
the teaching of the khandhas and anatta and conditionality let the follower of The Buddha see that it is NOT MY pain, it is simply insignificant, conditioned khandhas, that arise as they must, amd instantly cease.


You ask what it means to be real? this is something to be seen directly. Even now feeling -pleasant or neutral or painful -is arising and can be understood.
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1239
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Next

Return to Classical Theravāda

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: mirzalemon and 3 guests