The 5 Aggregates and the 5 Clinging Aggregates

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The 5 Aggregates and the 5 Clinging Aggregates

Postby Sacha G » Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:14 pm

Hi there!
I got a (apparently) very simple question: The 5 aggregates and the 5 Clinging-Aggregates: What's the difference?
:coffee:
Pali and Theravada texts:
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Re: The 5 Aggregates and the 5 Clinging Aggregates

Postby IanAnd » Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:55 am

They are the same.

The adjective "clinging" is only illustrative of one's unwholesome demeanor toward them. Learn not to cling to them by removing ignorance of them.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV
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Re: The 5 Aggregates and the 5 Clinging Aggregates

Postby Paññāsikhara » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:48 am

Sacha G wrote:Hi there!
I got a (apparently) very simple question: The 5 aggregates and the 5 Clinging-Aggregates: What's the difference?
:coffee:


At times it may be more helpful to read "upadana-khandha" as fuel-aggregates, rather than "clinging aggregates", specifically if one wishes to take in the whole metaphor that the four ariyan truths is painting. The aggregates are the fuel for the flames of afflictions (kilesa), the extinguishing (nibbana) of the flames is the end of pain, and whilst in living form this is extinguishing with fuel (sopadhisesa-nibbana), while after physical death, extinguishing without fuel (nirupadhisesa-nibbana).

The difference is therefore that for common people, their five aggregates are fuel for the fires of lust, aversion and ignorance, once one has extinguished the fires, is liberated, then the firewood remains but the fires are already put out.
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Re: The 5 Aggregates and the 5 Clinging Aggregates

Postby kirk5a » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:55 am

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: The 5 Aggregates and the 5 Clinging Aggregates

Postby pt1 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:53 am

Hi, this might be a bit more in line with the classical Theravada explanation:

Here are a few notes by Bhikkhu Bodhi on the "Aggregates Sutta"

"The key terms to distinguishing the panca upadanakkhandha(five
clinging aggregates) from the pancakkhandhaa(5 aggregates) are sasava
upadaniya,"with taints and subject to clinging." The 5 clinging
aggregates are included within the 5 aggregates, for all members of
the former set must also be members of the latter set. However, the
fact that a distinction is drawn between them implies that there are
khandha which are anasava anupadaniya,"untainted and not subject to
clinging" On first consideration it would seem that the "bare
aggregates" are those of the Arahant,who has eliminated the asava and
upadana. However in the Abhidhamma all rupa is classified as sasava
and upadaniya, and so to the resultant(vipaka) and functional(kiriya)
mental aggregates of the Arahant....The only aggregates classed as
anasava and anupadaniya (untainted and not subject to clinging) are
the four mental aggregates occurring on the cognitive occasions of
the four supramundane paths and fruits...

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... sage/23957

B.Bodhi:
>My paper on "Aggregates and Clinging Aggregates" was published in a
defunct journal, The Pali Buddhist Review, in c. 1976. I don't have a copy
of the paper. My basic argument there was: (1) the only sutta that
explicitly distinguishes between khandhas and upadaanakkhandhas is SN 22:
48. There the latter are defined in the same way as the former *except*
that they are each said to be 'saasava upaadaaniya' ("with taints, subject
to clinging"). It would follow that there must then be aggregates that are
anaasava anupaadaaniya (without taints, not subject to clinging).
Intuitively, these would seem to be the aggregates of the arahant.
However, no such statement can be found in the Nikayas. I then turned to
the Dhammasangani enumeration of 'saasava dhammas' and 'anaasava dhammas',
and 'upaadaaniya dhammas' and 'na upaadaaniya dhammas'. I found that Dhs
classifies the arahant's ordinary cittas and cetasikas under 'saasava' and
'upaadaaniya'. The only khandhas considered 'anaasava' and 'na
upaadaaniya' are the mental khandhas (cittas and cetasikas) of the four
maggas and phalas. All rupas are tainted and subject to clinging. I then
went on to explore the significance of this for an understanding of the
Dhamma; but without the paper I can't recapitulate what I wrote over 25
years ago. The old "Pali Buddhist Review" subsequently merged with another
scholarly journal to become the "Buddhist Studies Review". If you can
track this down on the web, perhaps they have back issues available and
you can find that article. Or perhaps the paper itself is on the web. Just
look for the above title.<

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... sage/26007

There are another 10 or so posts on this topic in the Useful Posts file on dsg under the heading:
Khandhas9 & Upadana-khandhas (clinging aggregates)- See also 'Upadana'

Best wishes
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Re: The 5 Aggregates and the 5 Clinging Aggregates

Postby Dmytro » Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:42 pm

Hi Sacha,

Sacha G wrote:Hi there!
I got a (apparently) very simple question: The 5 aggregates and the 5 Clinging-Aggregates: What's the difference?
:coffee:


Evidently, the difference is the English word 'Clinging'.

The explanation in Culavedalla sutta, in the English translation:

"There are these five clinging-aggregates, friend Visakha: form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling as a clinging-aggregate, perception as a clinging-aggregate, fabrications as a clinging-aggregate, consciousness as a clinging-aggregate. These five clinging-aggregates are the self-identification described by the Blessed One."

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

leaves the question on how 'clinging' relates to 'self-identification'.

This discrepancy in this and other suttas gets clarified when we return to the meaning of Pali word 'upadana' in this case as 'appropriation':

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=5560

"upādānakkhandhā" are "aggregates that are appropriated".

Appropriation (upadana) here is inseparable from the five aggregates, as Culavedalla sutta explains:

Taññeva nu kho, ayye, upādānaṃ te pañcupādānakkhandhā udāhu aññatra pañcahupādānakkhandhehi upādāna’’nti? ‘‘Na kho, āvuso visākha, taññeva upādānaṃ te pañcupādānakkhandhā, nāpi aññatra pañcahupādānakkhandhehi upādānaṃ. Yo kho, āvuso visākha, pañcasu upādānakkhandhesu chandarāgo taṃ tattha upādāna’’nti

"Is it the case, lady, that clinging (upadana) is the same thing as the five clinging-aggregates or is it something separate?"

"Friend Visakha, neither is clinging the same thing as the five clinging-aggregates, nor is it something separate. Whatever desire & passion there is with regard to the five clinging-aggregates, that is the clinging there."

"But, lady, how does self-identification come about?"

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

Note here again the discrepancy between "that is the clinging there" and "how does self-identification come about".

Metta, Dmytro
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Re: The 5 Aggregates and the 5 Clinging Aggregates

Postby Hanzze » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:39 pm

Ven. Buddhadasa's explaining by pictures may be form interest:

4. THE WAY TO ESCAPE FROM THE FIVE AGGREGATES

Image

There is a story here which one should know before studying the picture. A man who is fleeing from five thieves reaches a river where he discovers a floating corpse; he jumpes onto if and crosses the river. Here instead of thieves, five birds have been drawn in the right hand corner and these also represent the five heaps (khandha) or aggregates: material quality (rupa), feeling (vedana), memory (sanna), volition (sankhara) and consciousness (vinnanna). All of these are characterized by grasping (upadana) and are complete analysis of one’s self.

The rotting corpse, used to cross the river, is none other than one’s loathsome and disagreeable body. (One should not suppose that the body in Buddhist Teaching is to be despised, nor are the consequences of doing so (self-torture) ever found in Buddhist Teachings. However, the true nature of the body has to be seen with insight - as it really is and not as one wishes it might be since everyone knows, when they think about it, that it is naturally subject to old age, disease and death.) The corpse however, is still useful in reaching the further shore of Nibbana. The monks, and the laypeople holding lotus blossoms are those who have realized the truth and recognized the danger of the five heaps which constitute a “person” and are no longer attached to them.

subsidiary: Khandha Sutta

Teaching Dhamma by Pictures
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: The 5 Aggregates and the 5 Clinging Aggregates

Postby Sylvester » Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:20 am

Paññāsikhara wrote:
Sacha G wrote:Hi there!
I got a (apparently) very simple question: The 5 aggregates and the 5 Clinging-Aggregates: What's the difference?
:coffee:


At times it may be more helpful to read "upadana-khandha" as fuel-aggregates, rather than "clinging aggregates", specifically if one wishes to take in the whole metaphor that the four ariyan truths is painting. The aggregates are the fuel for the flames of afflictions (kilesa), the extinguishing (nibbana) of the flames is the end of pain, and whilst in living form this is extinguishing with fuel (sopadhisesa-nibbana), while after physical death, extinguishing without fuel (nirupadhisesa-nibbana).

The difference is therefore that for common people, their five aggregates are fuel for the fires of lust, aversion and ignorance, once one has extinguished the fires, is liberated, then the firewood remains but the fires are already put out.



Ahh, Bhante. Now that you've raised the "fuel" reading, may I trouble you, yet again, to let us know how the Chinese parallels to the Pali suttas that discuss the upadanakhandha (eg MN 44 = 法樂比丘尼 MA 210?) translate the term. Prythee please?
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Re: The 5 Aggregates and the 5 Clinging Aggregates

Postby acinteyyo » Sat Jan 15, 2011 3:58 pm

Sacha G wrote:Hi there!
I got a (apparently) very simple question: The 5 aggregates and the 5 Clinging-Aggregates: What's the difference?
:coffee:
Hi Sacha G,

there is an important difference. The 5 aggregates (pañcakkhandhā) are form (rūpa), feeling (vedanā), perception (saññā), determinations or formations (sankhārā), and consciousness (viññāna). There is no clinging (upādāna). Oversimplyfied in case of an arahant we can talk about the 5 aggregates only. But the 5 clinging-aggregates (pañc'upādānakkhandhā - the five groups mentioned above involved with clinging) are "somebody", a "person" or abstractly "personality" (sakkāya). In case of a run-of-the-mill person (puthujjana) we have to talk about the 5 clinging-aggregates (pañc'upādānakkhandhā) NOT just 5 aggregates (pañcakkhandhā). See MN44 Culavedalla Sutta
MN44 Culavedalla Sutta wrote:`sakkāyo sakkāyo'ti, ayye, vuccati. katamo nu kho, ayye, sakkāyo vutto bhagavatā"ti?

pañca kho ime, āvuso visākha, upādānakkhandhā sakkāyo vutto bhagavatā, seyyathidaṃ rūpupādānakkhandho, vedanupādānakkhandho, saññupādānakkhandho, saṅkhārupādānakkhandho, viññāṇupādānakkhandho

Personality, personality it is said, lady. What is described to be personality by the Blessed One?"

Five clinging aggregates are the personality described by the Blessed One: form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling as a clinging-aggregate, perception as a clinging-aggregate, fabrications as a clinging-aggregate, consciousness as a clinging-aggregate.


Only the puthujjana has personality-view, the view to be in essence somebody (sakkāyaditthi) not a noble one, therefore in case of the puthujjana it is not just form, feeling, perception, fabrications and consciousness, which would be 5 aggregates (pañcakkhandhā) but form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling as a clinging-aggregate, perception as a clinging-aggregate, fabrications as a clinging-aggregate, consciousness as a clinging-aggregate, that is to say the 5 clinging-aggregates (pañc'upādānakkhandhā). In case of an arahant, when clinging has ceased it is also the cessation of personality, so we can also say the 5 aggregates (pañcakkhandhā) is cessation of personality (sakkāyanirodha), which is true for the arahant but not for the puthujjana and the 5 clinging-aggregates (pañc'upādānakkhandhā) of the run-of-the-mill person is personality (sakkāya, shown in MN44).

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

:anjali:
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Re: The 5 Aggregates and the 5 Clinging Aggregates

Postby Sacha G » Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:47 pm

Hi Acinteyyo
Thank for the answer.
That the clinging aggregates are the aggregates when clinging has disappeared (such as in the case of the arhat) doesn't seem completely satisfying.
For 2 reasons:
1°) First the arhat still feels pain (at least physically). You cannot say that pain is not suffering. Therefore pain is a clinging aggregate ( though the arhat doesn't cling to anything anymore).
2°)The commentaries declare that form is necessarely a clinging aggregate. So the body of the arhat is a clinging aggregate (though the arhat doesn't cling to it).
:anjali:
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http://dhamma.webnode.com
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Re: The 5 Aggregates and the 5 Clinging Aggregates

Postby Sacha G » Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:49 pm

Reading my post again I see one sentence is not very clear.
I meant the aggregates of clinging do not become simply aggregate by the fact of the disappearance of clinging within the arhat.
:anjali:
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Re: The 5 Aggregates and the 5 Clinging Aggregates

Postby acinteyyo » Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:47 pm

Sacha G wrote:Hi Acinteyyo
Thank for the answer.
That the clinging aggregates are the aggregates when clinging has disappeared (such as in the case of the arhat) doesn't seem completely satisfying.
For 2 reasons:
1°) First the arhat still feels pain (at least physically). You cannot say that pain is not suffering. Therefore pain is a clinging aggregate ( though the arhat doesn't cling to anything anymore).
2°)The commentaries declare that form is necessarely a clinging aggregate. So the body of the arhat is a clinging aggregate (though the arhat doesn't cling to it).
:anjali:

Sacha G wrote:I meant the aggregates of clinging do not become simply aggregate by the fact of the disappearance of clinging within the arhat.
Hi Sacha G,

I don't really understand what you're trying to point out.
With the cessation of clinging the aggregates of clinging simply become aggregates.
Sacha G wrote:First the arhat still feels pain (at least physically). You cannot say that pain is not suffering. Therefore pain is a clinging aggregate ( though the arhat doesn't cling to anything anymore).
Why not? Pain is just pain, when you cling to it it becomes suffering. It is not the nature of pain to be suffering in the first place. When there is clinging, pain is part of clinging-aggregates, when there isn't clinging pain is a part of aggregates. On one side there is pain and suffering because of clinging which originates from ignorance, on the other hand there is just pain. When there is no ignorance, there is no clinging and no suffering. Even the Buddha felt pain but he didn't suffer.
Sacha G wrote:The commentaries declare that form is necessarely a clinging aggregate. So the body of the arhat is a clinging aggregate (though the arhat doesn't cling to it).
The commentaries may declare this. The Buddha declares that there is clinging to form and there is form without clinging. From the point of view of the arahant "his or her" body isn't part of the clinging aggregates because the arahant doesn't cling to it, the arahant doesn't think this body is my body, my self, I am this body. For the arahant it is just form, feeling, formation, perception, consciousness.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

:anjali:
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Re: The 5 Aggregates and the 5 Clinging Aggregates

Postby Sacha G » Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:34 pm

Thanks Acinteyyo for your clear answers.
I would only say that things are not as obvious as you seem to say.
For example, it's not obvious that physical pain is not suffering when clinging to it (or its opposite) has disappeared: why would some arhats commit suicide if it was not suffering?
What's more, though liberation means the end of the production of kamma, it doesn't mean the end of the result of kamma, so that would mean that Suffering is still possible after liberation.
Thanks anyway, I don't try to convince anyone, just trying to understand. :anjali:
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Re: The 5 Aggregates and the 5 Clinging Aggregates

Postby acinteyyo » Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:16 pm

You're welcome Sacha G! :thumbsup:

Edit: Rereading my post I realized that it's not completely right. Pain is still dukkha, wheather it belongs to clinging-aggregates or aggregates, doesn't matter. It's dukkha because it's impermanent and not-self.
Sacha G wrote:1°) First the arhat still feels pain (at least physically). You cannot say that pain is not suffering. Therefore pain is a clinging aggregate ( though the arhat doesn't cling to anything anymore).
2°)The commentaries declare that form is necessarely a clinging aggregate. So the body of the arhat is a clinging aggregate (though the arhat doesn't cling to it).

The term nibbana-dhatu is also used in describing two categories of Arahats:
(1) the Arahat who attains the element of Nibbana with the results of past clinging remaining (//sa-upadi-sesa-nibbana-dhatu//) and
(2) the Arahat who attains the element of Nibbana without the results of past clinging remaining (//an-upadi-sesa-nibbana-dhatu//).
As long as an Arahat lives, the results of past clinging will continue to give results, but when an Arahat reaches the end of his life, all cause and effect leading to new births will end.

So in case of the arahat who attained the element of Nibbana with the results of past clinging remaining, we're talking about the "living arahat". Although there is no clinging, only aggregates there may be unsatisfactory results of past clinging (e.g. bodily pain). The difficulty here is that with the cessation of clinging actually and in truth there is no arahat to be found anymore. We cannot say that the arahat is "his body". So bodily pain is not the pain of the arahat. Thus there may be unsatisfactory results remaining (pain, the aggregates) because of past clinging but there is no suffering for the arahat.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

:anjali:
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Re: The 5 Aggregates and the 5 Clinging Aggregates

Postby Vepacitta » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:01 am

Upadana broken down into its constituent parts:

dana = giving

adding the "a" to make adana = taking

Up = towards self

updana - taking upon onself - taking towards oneself - holding to oneself - taking up

These are my class notes on the Culavedalla Sutta (No. 44 MN)

Clearer-ish? Breaking down the pali into its roots helps in understanding this stuff ... at least, I think so

Best,

V.
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Re: The 5 Aggregates and the 5 Clinging Aggregates

Postby kirk5a » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:02 pm

Vepacitta wrote:
updana - taking upon onself - taking towards oneself - holding to oneself - taking up


:twothumbsup: excellent thanks
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: The 5 Aggregates and the 5 Clinging Aggregates

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:24 pm

acinteyyo wrote: Pain is still dukkha, wheather it belongs to clinging-aggregates or aggregates, doesn't matter. It's dukkha because it's impermanent and not-self.


Is physical pain dukkha because it's impermanent and not-self, or is it because we are averse to unpleasant feeling ( vedana )? In other words is physical pain is a source of dukkha because of our clinging / attachment to pleasant feeling ( vedana )?
So if clinging to ( pleasant ) vedana ceases, does the dukkha arising from physical pain also cease?

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Re: The 5 Aggregates and the 5 Clinging Aggregates

Postby PeterB » Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:34 pm

Dmytro wrote:Hi Sacha,

Sacha G wrote:Hi there!
I got a (apparently) very simple question: The 5 aggregates and the 5 Clinging-Aggregates: What's the difference?
:coffee:


Evidently, the difference is the English word 'Clinging'.

The explanation in Culavedalla sutta, in the English translation:

"There are these five clinging-aggregates, friend Visakha: form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling as a clinging-aggregate, perception as a clinging-aggregate, fabrications as a clinging-aggregate, consciousness as a clinging-aggregate. These five clinging-aggregates are the self-identification described by the Blessed One."

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

leaves the question on how 'clinging' relates to 'self-identification'.

This discrepancy in this and other suttas gets clarified when we return to the meaning of Pali word 'upadana' in this case as 'appropriation':

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=5560

"upādānakkhandhā" are "aggregates that are appropriated".

Appropriation (upadana) here is inseparable from the five aggregates, as Culavedalla sutta explains:

Taññeva nu kho, ayye, upādānaṃ te pañcupādānakkhandhā udāhu aññatra pañcahupādānakkhandhehi upādāna’’nti? ‘‘Na kho, āvuso visākha, taññeva upādānaṃ te pañcupādānakkhandhā, nāpi aññatra pañcahupādānakkhandhehi upādānaṃ. Yo kho, āvuso visākha, pañcasu upādānakkhandhesu chandarāgo taṃ tattha upādāna’’nti

"Is it the case, lady, that clinging (upadana) is the same thing as the five clinging-aggregates or is it something separate?"

"Friend Visakha, neither is clinging the same thing as the five clinging-aggregates, nor is it something separate. Whatever desire & passion there is with regard to the five clinging-aggregates, that is the clinging there."

"But, lady, how does self-identification come about?"

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

Note here again the discrepancy between "that is the clinging there" and "how does self-identification come about".

Metta, Dmytro

An important point...I am always grateful for your input Dymtro. We tend to drift into assuming that terms like "clinging" are self explanatory..forgetting that actually they have often been pressed into service by default.
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Re: The 5 Aggregates and the 5 Clinging Aggregates

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:58 pm

PeterB wrote:An important point...I am always grateful for your input Dymtro. We tend to drift into assuming that terms like "clinging" are self explanatory..forgetting that actually they have often been pressed into service by default.


What's your point?

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Re: The 5 Aggregates and the 5 Clinging Aggregates

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:05 pm

Dmytro wrote:"Is it the case, lady, that clinging (upadana) is the same thing as the five clinging-aggregates or is it something separate?"
"Friend Visakha, neither is clinging the same thing as the five clinging-aggregates, nor is it something separate. Whatever desire & passion there is with regard to the five clinging-aggregates, that is the clinging there."


Thanks for the quote. Does anyone know what this section actually means?

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