Aggregate?

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Re: Aggregate?

Postby daverupa » Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:33 pm

A few comments below.

reflection wrote:There is permanent and temporary cessation of the aggregates. The permanent is the parinibbana, the impermanent is seeing nibbana.


So, where do we find that nibbana is cessation of the aggregates? As I understand things, nibbana means a shift from upadanakkhandha to khandha; here, the khandha terminate with life, not with nibbana. It is their final breakup that nibbana precipitates, but nibbana is not that.

reflection wrote:This is the 'rise and fall' of the aggregates.


Seeing this for oneself is doing quite a lot. But, seeing this and the cessation of the aggregates are opposed to one another. Seeing rise and fall, internally and externally? Good. Not seeing any of it due to some manner of cessation? Well...

reflection wrote:And yes, clinging is the fetter, but the aggregates are the dukkha. So to understand what is not dukkha is to see beyond the aggregates.


The aggregates aren't dukkha; always it is the clinging-aggregates which are so described.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Aggregate?

Postby reflection » Sat Aug 18, 2012 11:49 am

Hi daverupa,

We find that nibbana is a word that points to several things. One is indeed the way you interpret it, nibbana as a living experience. That's indeed one aspect of nibbana. But certainly nibbana as total remainderless cessation is also referred to as nibbana. So that's what 'falling' or 'vanishing' refers to. So more specifically it refers to dependent cessation.

One nice quote to show it's not really that much about the cessation of craving, but the cessation of the aggregates:
At Savatthi. Then the Venerable Ananda approached the Blessed One,
paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said to him: "Venerable sir,
it is said, 'cessation, cessation.' Through the cessation of what things is
cessation spoken of?" "Form, etc, consciousness, Ananda, is impermanent,
conditioned, dependently arisen, subject to destruction, to vanishing, to
fading away, to cessation. Through its cessation, cessation is spoken of.


The prefix upādāna (lit. fuel) just emphasizes that the khandas can be subject to clinging. At many occasions there is no division between the clinging aggregates and the aggregates. They are often treated in general. I advise you to read the khandasamyutta (SN 22), where this is done numerous times.

But also elsewhere, for example dhammapada 202:
There is no fire like passion.
There is no evil like hatred.
There is no su ffering like the aggregates.
There is no happiness higher than peace.

So to say it's always the 'clinging-aggregates' that are described as suffering, is incorrect.


But I'm sure this debate can easily be found elsewhere and we are just repeating it. So I'll leave it at this. As I've said time and time again, I'm not the biggest fan of basing everything on just suttas, anyway.

I hope this can help you or others.

With metta,
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Re: Aggregate?

Postby equilibrium » Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:25 pm

All experiences through our perception are empty, they are not real, when one "KNOWs" this, one would not use it or depend on it.
The key here is to understand WHY they are not real......remember you are a human being thinking as a human being which is a wrong view!
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Re: Aggregate?

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:46 pm

equilibrium wrote:All experiences through our perception are empty, they are not real, when one "KNOWs" this, one would not use it or depend on it.
The key here is to understand WHY they are not real......remember you are a human being thinking as a human being which is a wrong view!


The perceptions indeed are not real in that they do not represent an accurate representation of that which our senses come into contact. They are but a biological symbol, which recognizes and describes the exterior event. This is not to say that the exterior event, or condition does not exist, oherwise there would be no event which can be seen by all he others with whom we share this planet. For example we all can observe a meteor shower. And, we can hunt, find, pick up, handle, feel, and pass around and discuss what rocks we find which have fallen from the sky. In that sense the objects we perceive are in fact real, as they have weight, volume, density, color, taste, smell, and make sounds when you bang two of them together or throw them to he ground.
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Re: Aggregate?

Postby equilibrium » Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:15 pm

There is a saying: One cannot SEE beyond what one cannot understand.
The word SEE does not mean seeing by using the eyes, it uses the mind.

It is the mind that one needs to set free, to do so, one would need to empty it first.

Words are just words, don't be bounded by the words alone.....hence when one is reading, it is not the meaning of the words themselves, it is the real message and the meaning behind the words that are more important.
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Re: Aggregate?

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:00 pm

equilibrium wrote:There is a saying: One cannot SEE beyond what one cannot understand.
The word SEE does not mean seeing by using the eyes, it uses the mind.

It is the mind that one needs to set free, to do so, one would need to empty it first.

Words are just words, don't be bounded by the words alone.....hence when one is reading, it is not the meaning of the words themselves, it is the real message and the meaning behind the words that are more important.


Set the mind free for what purpose? The mind is simply a result of mental factors, luminous or not. Once the aggregates are no longer objects for attachment, the mind has no purpose. It simply dissipates, according to my understanding. Ask your(mundane)self, "What is the purpose of a bottle, once the contents are emptied?" Perhaps you could use it as a flower holder. "What would you stick in a mind once it had been emptied? And, to what effect?" Mind does not move on from one form to another, only karmic effect: "kamma vippaha" moves on from the abandoned form to the next. And, if one is attained, unbound, released, kharmic effect does not exist, "nibbana is free of khamma and khamma vippakha..:anjali:
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: Aggregate?

Postby Sylvester » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:05 am

daverupa wrote:The aggregates aren't dukkha; always it is the clinging-aggregates which are so described.


To a certain extent, this is true, especially in light of the First Noble Truth formula.

Yet, there is also the proposition that can claim equal importance, ie yaṁ kiñci vedayitaṁ taṁ dukkhasmin ti (whatever is felt is included in suffering).
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Re: Aggregate?

Postby ground » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:27 am

He knows without doubt or hesitation that whatever arises is merely dukkha[8] that what passes away is merely dukkha and such knowledge is his own, not depending on anyone else. This, Kaccaayana, is what constitutes right view.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html
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Re: Aggregate?

Postby daverupa » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:27 am

Sylvester wrote:
daverupa wrote:The aggregates aren't dukkha; always it is the clinging-aggregates which are so described.


To a certain extent, this is true, especially in light of the First Noble Truth formula.

Yet, there is also the proposition that can claim equal importance, ie yaṁ kiñci vedayitaṁ taṁ dukkhasmin ti (whatever is felt is included in suffering).


Hmm. Now, despite the presence of the Rahogata Sutta, from which we might infer that the Buddha changed his pedagogical method in this respect sometime during his ministry (the move would be from "whatever is felt" to the "three types") we can further observe the following materials to get a sense of how feeling was addressed when the Sangha was early:

Sn 4.11 wrote:"What is the source of thinking things as pleasant or unpleasant? When what is absent are these states not present? What is the meaning of appearing and disappearing? Explain the source of it to me."


This is from possibly, as you once put it, an early schedule of paticcasamuppada. The noteworthy lines are

Now what is the source of desire in the world? What is the cause of judgments that arise; of anger, untruth, doubts and whatever other (similar) states that have been spoken of by the Recluse (i.e., the Buddha)?"

"It is pleasant, it is unpleasant," so people speak in the world; and based upon that arises desire.


Thinking in terms of pleasant and unpleasant is shown as part of the problem. No distinction is made between mental and physical, either. Now, later in the Suttanipata, but also in the Samyutta Nikaya, we can find these lines:

SN 36.2 wrote:Be it a pleasant feeling, be it a painful feeling, be it neutral, one's own or others', feelings of all kinds — he knows them all as ill, deceitful, evanescent. Seeing how they impinge again, again, and disappear, he wins detachment from the feelings, passion-free.


(I think the relevant lines from the Sutta Nipata are as follows:)

Knowing that
whatever is felt —
pleasure, pain,
neither pleasure nor pain,
within or without —
is stressful,
deceptive,
dissolving,
seeing its passing away
at each contact,
each contact,
he knows it right there:
with just the ending of feeling,
there is no stress
coming into play.


Now, translating this poetry is obviously difficult stuff, but the gist is that feeling was taught in the context of an early formulation of paticcasamuppada, which means that the connection between feeling and desire was made explicit. Additionally, arahants were thereby described as released in the face of feelings of all kinds, due to the lack of clinging.

I note the absence of five aggregate talk altogether. This tells me that stressing upadana during talk of the five aggregates, a potentially later pedagogical structure (made more likely, perhaps, given that the commentaries love to define various phrases in the Snp as referring to them), is appropriate and accurate.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Aggregate?

Postby Sylvester » Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:13 pm

daverupa wrote: .....



Thank you for a very sensitively thought through essay. It is something for me to ruminate over.

What is exceptionally intriguing about Sn 4.11 is the absence of mention of neutral feelings. It is somewhat reminiscent of the quibble between Ven Udayi and Pancakanga in SN 36.19. I get the feeling that on occassion, the Buddha employed either schema of classifying feelings.
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Re: Aggregate?

Postby santa100 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:45 pm

“Ānanda, it was actually a true presentation that the carpenter Pañcakanga would not accept from Udāyin, and it was actually a true presentation that Udāyin would not accept from the carpenter Pañcakanga. I have stated two kinds of feeling in one presentation; I have stated three kinds of feeling in another presentation; I have stated five kinds of feeling in another presentation; I have stated six kinds of feeling in another presentation; I have stated eighteen kinds of feeling in another presentation; I have stated thirty-six kinds of feeling in another presentation; I have stated one hundred and eight kinds of feeling in another presentation. That is how the Dhamma has been shown by me in [different] presentations"

~~ MN 59 - http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nypo.html ~~
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