A.3.137 saṅkhārā - dhammā

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A.3.137 saṅkhārā - dhammā

Postby acinteyyo » Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:02 pm

Hello all,
I read this Sutta and noticed something I didn't ever before.
4. Uppādāsuttaṃ

137. ‘‘Uppādā vā, bhikkhave, tathāgatānaṃ anuppādā vā tathāgatānaṃ, ṭhitāva sā dhātu dhammaṭṭhitatā dhammaniyāmatā. Sabbe saṅkhārā aniccā. Taṃ tathāgato abhisambujjhati abhisameti. Abhisambujjhitvā abhisametvā ācikkhati deseti paññāpeti paṭṭhapeti vivarati vibhajati uttānīkaroti – ‘sabbe saṅkhārā aniccā’ti. Uppādā vā, bhikkhave, tathāgatānaṃ anuppādā vā tathāgatānaṃ ṭhitāva sā dhātu dhammaṭṭhitatā dhammaniyāmatā. Sabbe saṅkhārā dukkhā. Taṃ tathāgato abhisambujjhati abhisameti. Abhisambujjhitvā abhisametvā ācikkhati deseti paññāpeti paṭṭhapeti vivarati vibhajati uttānīkaroti – ‘sabbe saṅkhārā dukkhā’ti. Uppādā vā, bhikkhave, tathāgatānaṃ anuppādā vā tathāgatānaṃ ṭhitāva sā dhātu dhammaṭṭhitatā dhammaniyāmatā. Sabbe dhammā anattā. Taṃ tathāgato abhisambujjhati abhisameti. Abhisambujjhitvā abhisametvā ācikkhati deseti paññāpeti paṭṭhapeti vivarati vibhajati uttānīkaroti – ‘sabbe dhammā anattā’’’ti. Catutthaṃ. (A.3.137)


Why is it "Sabbe saṅkhārā aniccā" and "Sabbe saṅkhārā dukkhā" but "Sabbe dhammā anattā"?
Okay all saṅkhārā (formations) are aniccā, dukkhā and anattā. Why not all dhammā? I thought all dhammā (everything*) would be aniccā, dukkhā and anattā. Does it imply that all dhamma (which includes saṅkhārā) are anattā but not all dhammā (things) are aniccā and dukkhā?

:roll: Maybe everything* is just a saṅkhāra. So it would be a dhamma too but are there maybe dhammā which aren't saṅkhārā? Oh...! Guess I have it now! nibbāna is a dhamma, right? but not a saṅkhāra, right? This would clarify it...
Did I understand that correctly? Questions upon questions...my apologies. I'm a little bit confused now... :? But I think I understood it while I was writing this thread. :lol:

best wishes
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)

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Re: A.3.137 saṅkhārā - dhammā

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:31 pm

Greetings acinteyya,

The problem is that the terms you are dealing with have several meanings, depending on context.
In this context saṅkhārā means "conditioned phenomena" and dhamma means "all things". The latter include Nibbana, which is not anicca or dukkha, but is anatta.

See http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... kh%C4%81ra
Meaning #4, which directly addresses this question:
4. It occurs further in the sense of anything formed sankhata and conditioned, and includes all things whatever in the world, all phenomena of existence. This meaning applies, e.g. to the well-known passage,;All constructions are impermanent... subject to suffering; sabbe sankhāra aniccā dukkhā In that context, however, s. is subordinate to the still wider and all-embracing term dhamma thing; for dhamma includes also the Unformed or Unconditioned Element asankhata-dhātu i.e. Nibbāna e.g. in sabbe, dhammā all things are without a self;.

Mike
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Re: A.3.137 saṅkhārā - dhammā

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:30 pm

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Re: A.3.137 saṅkhārā - dhammā

Postby kc2dpt » Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:22 pm

acinteyya wrote:Oh...! Guess I have it now! nibbāna is a dhamma, right? but not a saṅkhāra, right? This would clarify it...
Did I understand that correctly?

Yes.
- Peter

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Re: A.3.137 saṅkhārā - dhammā

Postby Rhino » Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:12 pm

I think Nanavira Thera explained it quite well in 'Notes on Dhamma', Chapter 'Dhamma':
To see impermanence in what is regarded as attā, one must emerge from the confines of the individual dhamma itself and see that it depends on what is impermanent. Thus sabbe sankhārā (not dhammā) aniccā is said, meaning 'All things that things (dhammā) depend on are impermanent'. A given dhamma, as a dhamma regarded as attā, is, on account of being so regarded, considered to be pleasant; but when it is seen to be dependent upon some other dhamma that, not being regarded as attā, is manifestly unpleasurable (owing to the invariable false perception of permanence, of super-stability, in one not free from asmimāna), then its own unpleasurableness becomes manifest. Thus sabbe sankhārā (not dhammā) dukkhā is said. When this is seen—i.e. when perception of permanence and pleasure is understood to be false --, the notion 'This dhamma is my attā' comes to an end, and is replaced by sabbe dhammā anattā.


From: http://nanavira.xtreemhost.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=43&Itemid=71

With best wishes
With best wishes

Only in a vertical view, straight down into the abyss of his own personal existence, is a man capable of apprehending the perilous insecurity of his situation; and only a man who does apprehend this is prepared to listen to the Buddha's Teaching.
Nanavira Thera - Notes on Dhamma
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Re: A.3.137 saṅkhārā - dhammā

Postby acinteyyo » Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:03 pm

thank you all! :thanks: :D
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)

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