Pali Terms: Saṅkhāra and Saṅkhāta

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Pali Terms: Saṅkhāra and Saṅkhāta

Postby Dmytro » Sat Oct 09, 2010 8:22 pm

Hello Pali friends,

The good point to start exploring the meanings of this word is the
article by Bhikkhu Bodhi:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ay_43.html

There's also a useful article by Peter Harvey:
http://jbe.gold.ac.uk/3/harvey2.html
http://board.buddhist.ru/showthread.php?t=2404

by Damien Keown:
http://www.buddhistethics.org/4/keow1.html

by Ven. Hsing-kong:
http://www.chibs.edu.tw/publication/bcc/an19_115.htm

and the appropriate article in the Pali-English dictionary

Another prerequisite for understanding of the fine points is the
diagram of dependent co-arising:

http://dhamma.ru/lib/paticcas.htm

My understanding is as follows:

1. Firstly, 'sa"nkhara' is one of the 'khandha' which is sometimes
also called 'cetanaa' or 'kamma', - "volition".

"And what are fabrications? These six classes of intention — intention with regard to form, intention with regard to sound, intention with regard to smell, intention with regard to taste, intention with regard to tactile sensation, intention with regard to ideas: these are called fabrications. From the origination of contact comes the origination of fabrications. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of fabrications. And just this noble eightfold path is the path of practice leading to the cessation of fabrications...

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/su ... 2-056.html

The definition in Khajjaniya sutta:

“Ki~nca, bhikkhave, sa"nkhaare vadetha? Sa"nkhatamabhisa"nkharontiiti kho, bhikkhave, tasmaa ‘sa"nkhaaraa’ti vuccati. Ki~nca sa"nkhatamabhisa"nkharonti? Ruupa.m ruupattaaya sa"nkhatamabhisa"nkharonti, vedana.m vedanattaaya sa"nkhatamabhisa"nkharonti, sa~n~na.m sa~n~nattaaya sa"nkhatamabhisa"nkharonti, sa"nkhaare sa"nkhaarattaaya sa"nkhatamabhisa"nkharonti, vi~n~naa.na.m vi~n~naa.nattaaya sa"nkhatamabhisa"nkharonti. Sa"nkhatamabhisa"nkharontiiti kho, bhikkhave, tasmaa ‘sa"nkhaaraa’ti vuccati.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/su ... 2-079.html

supports the understanding of saṅkhāra-khandha as volitional constructing process.

2. 'Saṅkhāra' is a second nidana (link) in the twelve-link formulation
of conditioned arising, - intention, as described in Cetana sutta:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/su ... 2-038.html

Bhumija sutta throws an additional light:

"When there is a body, pleasure & pain arise internally with bodily intention as the cause; or when there is speech, pleasure & pain arise internally with verbal intention as the cause; or when there is intellect, pleasure & pain arise internally with intellectual intention as the cause.

"From ignorance as a requisite condition, then either of one's own accord one fabricates bodily fabrication on account of which that pleasure & pain arise internally, or because of others one fabricates bodily fabrication on account of which that pleasure & pain arise internally. Either alert one fabricates bodily fabrication on account of which that pleasure & pain arise internally, or unalert one fabricates bodily fabrication on account of which that pleasure & pain arise internally. (Similarly with verbal & intellectual fabrications.)

"Now, ignorance is bound up in these things. From the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance, there no longer exists [the sense of] the body on account of which that pleasure & pain internally arise. There no longer exists the speech... the intellect on account of which that pleasure & pain internally arise. There no longer exists the field, the site, the dimension, or the issue on account of which that pleasure & pain internally arise."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/su ... 2-025.html

"And what is bright kamma with bright ripening? Here someone produces a (kammic) bodily process not (bound up) with affliction, he produces a (kammic) verbal process not (bound up) with affliction, he produces a (kammic) mental process not (bound up) with affliction.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/su ... 7-nt0.html

Parileyyaka sutta explains how avijja conditions saṅkhara:

"Well then — knowing in what way, seeing in what way, does one without delay put an end to the effluents? There is the case 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. That assumption is a fabrication."

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

As stated clearly in Vibhanga .135 :

Kaayasa~ncetanaa kaayasa"nkhaaro, vaciisa~ncetanaa vaciisa"nkhaaro, manosa~ncetanaa cittasa"nkhaaro. Ime vuccanti “avijjaapaccayaa sa"nkhaaraa”.

The Vibhanga passage covers as well a 'meritorious, demeritorious, imperturbable' classification:

Tattha katamo pu~n~naabhisa"nkhaaro? Kusalaa cetanaa kaamaavacaraa ruupaavacaraa daanamayaa siilamayaa bhaavanaamayaa– aya.m vuccati “pu~n~naabhisa"nkhaaro”.

Tattha katamo apu~n~naabhisa"nkhaaro? Akusalaa cetanaa kaamaavacaraa– aya.m vuccati “apu~n~naabhisa"nkhaaro”.

Tattha katamo aane~njaabhisa"nkhaaro? Kusalaa cetanaa aruupaavacaraa– aya.m vuccati “aane~njaabhisa"nkhaaro”.

where again 'saṅkhāra' is explained as 'cetanaa', "volition".

3. Third, it is the three types of constructing processes,
'kaaya-saṅkhāra', 'citta-saṅkhāra" and "vaci-saṅkhāra", as described in Culavedalla sutta:

“Katamo panaayye, kaayasa"nkhaaro, katamo vaciisa"nkhaaro, katamo cittasa"nkhaaro”ti?

“Assaasapassaasaa kho, aavuso visaakha, kaayasa"nkhaaro, vitakkavicaaraa vaciisa"nkhaaro, sa~n~naa ca vedanaa ca cittasa"nkhaaro”ti.

“Kasmaa panaayye, assaasapassaasaa kaayasa"nkhaaro, kasmaa vitakkavicaaraa vaciisa"nkhaaro, kasmaa sa~n~naa ca vedanaa ca cittasa"nkhaaro”ti?

“Assaasapassaasaa kho, aavuso visaakha, kaayikaa ete dhammaa kaayappa.tibaddhaa, tasmaa assaasapassaasaa kaayasa"nkhaaro. pubbe kho, aavuso visaakha, vitakketvaa vicaaretvaa pacchaa vaaca.m bhindati, tasmaa vitakkavicaaraa vaciisa"nkhaaro. sa~n~naa ca vedanaa ca cetasikaa ete dhammaa cittappa.tibaddhaa, tasmaa sa~n~naa ca vedanaa ca cittasa"nkhaaro”ti.

"Now, lady, what are fabrications?"

"These three fabrications, friend Visakha: bodily fabrications, verbal fabrications, & mental fabrications."

"But what are bodily fabrications? What are verbal fabrications? What are mental fabrications?"

"In-&-out breaths are bodily fabrications. Directed thought & evaluation are verbal fabrications. Perceptions & feelings are mental fabrications."

"But why are in-&-out breaths bodily fabrications? Why are directed thought & evaluation verbal fabrications? Why are perceptions & feelings mental fabrications?"

"In-&-out breaths are bodily; these are things tied up with the body. That's why in-&-out breaths are bodily fabrications. Having first directed one's thoughts and made an evaluation, one then breaks out into speech. That's why directed thought & evaluation are verbal fabrications. Perceptions & feelings are mental; these are things tied up with the mind. That's why perceptions & feelings are mental fabrications."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/su ... 4-tb0.html

'San'khaara' here means a process which constructs. For example, vitakka
and vicaara, reasoning and examination, are the processes which
construct or 'prepare' speech - 'vaci-saṅkhāra'.

4. Fourth, "saṅkhārā" can generally mean "saṅkhāta", i.e. all
constructed phenomena.

‘‘Sabbe saṅkhārā aniccā’’ti saṅkhātadhammā ñātadhammā tulitadhammā tīritadhammā vibhūtadhammā vibhāvitadhammā.

Culaniddesa, Mya: 34

'Saṅkhāta' is the past participle ('constructed') of the verb 'saṅkharoti'.

Metta, Dmytro
Last edited by Dmytro on Sun Oct 10, 2010 5:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Pali Terms: Saṅkhāra and Saṅkhāta

Postby Aloka » Sat Oct 09, 2010 10:07 pm

Hi Dmytro,

MN 44 says : "Having first directed one's thoughts and made an evaluation, one then breaks out into speech."

If that is so, how can directed thought & evaluation be verbal fabrications?

Is not speech the verbal fabrication, that is, the effect?

Is not thought & evaluation the cause, that is, the fabricator?


Kind regards,

Aloka


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Re: Pali Terms: Saṅkhāra and Saṅkhāta

Postby Kenshou » Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:21 am

Sankhara can refer to both the process of fabrication (which are also fabricated) as well as what is fabricated as a result, I believe.

Sankharas sankharaing sankharas!
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Re: Pali Terms: Saṅkhāra and Saṅkhāta

Postby lojong1 » Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:07 am

Every sankhara is sankhata and every sankhata is sankhara?
That smells so bad. Is there a Pali-sutta example where different meanings make a practical difference?
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Re: Pali Terms: Saṅkhāra and Saṅkhāta

Postby Dmytro » Sun Oct 10, 2010 5:55 am

Hi Aloka,

Aloka wrote:MN 44 says : "Having first directed one's thoughts and made an evaluation, one then breaks out into speech."

If that is so, how can directed thought & evaluation be verbal fabrications?

Is not speech the verbal fabrication, that is, the effect?

Is not thought & evaluation the cause, that is, the fabricator?


The ambiguity of the word "fabrication" can indeed cause misunderstanding:

fab·ri·ca·tion

1. the act or process of fabricating; manufacture.
2. something fabricated, esp. an untruthful statement: His account of the robbery is a complete fabrication.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fabrication

I translate "saṅkhāra" as "constructing process". The fourth meaning of this term, something constructed (saṅkhāta), occurs quite rarely.

Kind regards,
Dmytro
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Re: Pali Terms: Saṅkhāra and Saṅkhāta

Postby piotr » Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:18 am

Hi Dmytro,

Dmytro wrote:The good point to start exploring the meanings of this word is…


There is also very detailed encyclopedia entry written by Anālayo: http://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamburg. ... nkhara.pdf
Last edited by piotr on Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
Bhagavaṃmūlakā no, bhante, dhammā...
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Re: Pali Terms: Saṅkhāra and Saṅkhāta

Postby Aloka » Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:28 am

Thank you very much for the responses.

:anjali:
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Re: Pali Terms: Saṅkhāra and Saṅkhāta

Postby Dmytro » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:58 pm

From the post by TheY:

2 types of saṅkhāra found in tipitaka.
(Saṅkhatamabhisaṅkharontīti saṅkhārā, avijjāpaccayā saṅkhārā, saṅkhārasaddena āgatasaṅkhārā)

Or we can categorize it to 5 types by meaning of each suttas, or comment of commentory, too.
(Saṅkhatasaṅkhāro, abhisaṅkhatasaṅkhāro, abhisaṅkharaṇasaṅkhāro, payogābhisaṅkhāro, anekasaṅkhārā )

1.‘‘aniccā vata saṅkhārā’’tiādīsu (dī. ni. 2.221, 272; saṃ. ni. 1.186; 2.143) vuttā sabbepi sappaccayā dhammā ‘saṅkhatasaṅkhārā’ nāma.

2.Kammanibbattā tebhūmakā rūpārūpadhammā ‘abhisaṅkhatasaṅkhārā’ti aṭṭhakathāsu vuttā. Tepi ‘‘aniccā vata saṅkhārā’’ti ettheva saṅgahaṃ gacchanti. Visuṃ pana nesaṃ āgataṭṭhānaṃ na paññāyati.

3.Tebhūmakakusalākusalacetanā pana ‘abhisaṅkharaṇakasaṅkhāro’ti vuccati. Tassa ‘‘avijjāgatoyaṃ, bhikkhave, purisapuggalo puññañce abhisaṅkharotī’’tiādīsu (saṃ. ni. 2.51) āgataṭṭhānaṃ paññāyati.

4.Kāyikacetasikaṃ pana vīriyaṃ ‘payogābhisaṅkhāro’ti vuccati. So ‘‘yāvatikā abhisaṅkhārassa gati, tāvatikaṃ gantvā akkhāhataṃ maññe aṭṭhāsī’’tiādīsu (a. ni. 3.15) āgato.

5.Na kevalañca eteyeva, aññepi ‘‘saññāvedayitanirodhaṃ samāpajjantassa kho, āvuso visākha, bhikkhuno paṭhamaṃ nirujjhati vacīsaṅkhāro, tato kāyasaṅkhāro, tato cittasaṅkhāro’’tiādinā (ma. ni. 1.464) nayena saṅkhārasaddena āgatā anekasaṅkhārā.

Tesu natthi so saṅkhāro, yo saṅkhatasaṅkhāre saṅgahaṃ na gaccheyya.

http://www.tipitaka.org/romn/cscd/abh02 ... ml#para225
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Re: Pali Terms: Saṅkhāra and Saṅkhāta

Postby theY » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:51 pm

^

If somebody can't translate/understand at some word(s), let's see:

Sub-commentary:
Saṅkhāra-saddaggahaṇena āgatā saṅkhārā saṅkhāra-saddena āgatasaṅkhārā. Yadipi avijjāpaccayā saṅkhārāpi saṅkhāra-saddena āgatā, te pana imissā desanāya padhānāti visuṃ vuttā. Tasmā ‘‘duvidhā’’ti ettha abhisaṅkharaṇakasaṅkhāraṃ saṅkhāra-saddenāgataṃ sandhāya tattha vuttampi vajjetvā saṅkhārasaddena āgatasaṅkhārā yojetabbā. ‘‘Saṅkhāra-saddenāgatasaṅkhārā’’ti vā samudāyo vutto, tadekadeso ca idha vaṇṇitabbabhāvena ‘‘avijjāpaccayā saṅkhārā’’ti, tasmā vaṇṇitabbasabbasaṅgahaṇavasena duvidhatā vuttāti veditabbā. Paṭhamaṃ nirujjhati vacīsaṅkhārotiādinā vitakkavicāraassāsapassāsasaññāvedanāvacīsaṅkhārādayo vuttā, na avijjāsaṅkhāresu vuttā kāyasañcetanādayo.

http://www.tipitaka.org/romn/cscd/abh02t.tik5.xml

Comment of sub-commentary:
Gahaṇanti gahetabbataṃ. Tasmāti yasmā sati saṅkhārasaddena āgatasaṅkhārattepi avijjāpaccayā saṅkhārā padhānatāya visuṃ vuttā gobalībaddañāyena, tasmā. Tattha vuttampīti saṅkhārasaddena āgatasaṅkhāresu vuttampi abhisaṅkharaṇakasaṅkhāraṃ vajjetvā aggahetvā itare saṅkhārā yojetabbā. Evañhi atthassa uddharaṇuddharitabbatādvayaṃ asaṅkarato dassitaṃ hoti. ‘‘Idha vaṇṇetabbabhāvenā’’ti iminā avijjāpaccayā saṅkhārānaṃ satipi saṅkhārasaddena āgatasaṅkhārabhāve yathāvuttameva padhānabhāvaṃ ulliṅgeti. ‘‘Avijjāpaccayā saṅkhārā’’ti tadekadeso vuttoti sambandho. Imasmiṃ atthavikappe saṅgaṇhanavasena saṅkhārasaddena āgatasaṅkhārehi saṅgahitāpi avijjāpaccayā saṅkhārā idha vaṇṇetabbabhāvena padhānāti visuṃ gahitā, purimasmiṃ te vajjetvāti ayaṃ viseso. Tenāha ‘‘vaṇṇetabbasabbasaṅgahaṇavasena duvidhatā vuttā’’ti. Sāmaññato saṅgayhamānampi padhānabhāvajotanatthaṃ visuṃ gayhati yathā taṃ ‘‘puññañāṇasambhārā’’ti.

http://www.tipitaka.org/romn/cscd/abh02t.tik23.xml

Read in link for clearly format, bold at topic of each comment.
Lesson Relationship of Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha (10/31/2012)
http://tipitakanews.org/en/node/61
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