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Aggregates v. clinging aggregates - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

Aggregates v. clinging aggregates

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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reflection
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Re: Aggregates v. clinging aggregates

Postby reflection » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:26 am


vinasp
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Re: Aggregates v. clinging aggregates

Postby vinasp » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:11 pm

Hi reflection,

Thank you for your interesting reply. I respond to the first part here.

Quote: "Well, that's an interesting way to interpret it, but I've thought of that already. I can agree the sutta of the clinging-aggregates of the arahant I gave before is a bit of an odd duck. But considering the context in the sutta itself, it makes sense to me to interpret it literally. Why would we have another interpretation for the passage of the arahant while all other persons are treated in the exactly same way?"

I think that most people find that passage about the arahant to be puzzling for the
following reasons:

1. Suffering ceases with awakening, this is the whole point of the teachings.
2. The suffering that ceases may be mental suffering, not bodily suffering.
3. The origin of suffering is craving, craving ceases with awakening, so suffering
ceases at that stage.
4. The five clinging aggregates are said to be suffering.
5. Therefore: The five clinging aggregates cease at awakening.

If you think that the arahant still has the five clinging aggregates then:

1. Suffering has not ceased for the arahant.
2. Craving has not ceased for the arahant.
3. How then does an arahant differ from an ordinary person?

I need to think a bit about your other points, but I will respond to them.

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: Aggregates v. clinging aggregates

Postby reflection » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:35 pm


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Re: Aggregates v. clinging aggregates

Postby equilibrium » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:53 pm

The awakened one does not die because the awakened one "knows".....also known as "deathlessness".

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Re: Aggregates v. clinging aggregates

Postby vinasp » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:08 pm

Hi porpoise,

Quote:""clingable, offers sustenance, and is accompanied with mental fermentation".
Maybe looking at this would help. What does "sustenance" mean here - is it a reference to the 4 nutriments? And does "mental fermentation" refer to mental proliferation?
It seems clear that dukkha is synonymous with "clinging aggregates" but I'm still not clear whether dukkha is synonymous with the aggregates." [End Quote.]

The Pali:

"... sāsavaṃ upādāniyaṃ, ayaṃ vuccati rūpupādānakkhandho. ..."[DPR, SN 22.48]

" ... that are with the cankers, subject to clinging, these are called the
form-clinging-aggregate. ..."

I cant read Pali, but I gather that 'sasava' means - 'with the asava's'.

The prefix 'sa' means 'with', and 'asava' refers to the three, or four, asava's
which are eliminated at awakening. These have been translated in many ways, for
example: Cankers; Corruptions; Taints; Fermentations.

So it seems that the clinging aggregates are only found in those who have not yet
eliminated the asava's.

The term 'upadaniya' is, I am told, a bit of a problem.

The Pali 'upadana' may mean 'clinging' or 'fuel', the literal meaning is 'uptake'.
The word is used to refer to the way that a fire or a flame consumes its fuel.

Bhikkhu Bodhi translates 'upadana' as 'clinging', in most cases.
Thanissaro Bhikkhu translates with both meanings: clinging/sustenance.

The inflection 'upadaniya' means 'subject to clinging', or 'offers sustenance'.

If one understands 'upadana' as sustenance, then it could refer to the four
nutriments.

The expression 'mental proliferation' is usually a translation of the Pali term
'papanca', the meaning of this term is not clear.

Pali experts - please correct any errors in these opinions.

Regards, Vincent.
Last edited by vinasp on Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Aggregates v. clinging aggregates

Postby vinasp » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:01 pm

Hi reflection,

Have you considered MN 44? - link:

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

In this sutta the five clinging aggregates are called 'sakaya', which Thanissaro
translates as 'self-identification'.

"These five clinging-aggregates are the self-identification described by the Blessed One."

It goes on to say that craving is the origination of self-identification,
that is, the origination of the five clinging-aggregates.

It then says that the cessation of craving is the cessation of self-identification, which is therefore, the cessation of the five clinging-aggregates.

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: Aggregates v. clinging aggregates

Postby Gaoxing » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:14 am

Just some terms and ideas;

Non-conceptual awareness happens when Not-self is realised in the ever present fact of Impermanence and Suffering has ceased. It is wrong view to think Impermanence and Not-self are characteristics stuck to suffering. Awareness requires the aggregates to function.

Seeking refuge in something permanent will lead to endless suffering. Nothing is permanent. Clinging or attachment yearns permanence and sees change as suffering.

In the presence of Ignorance, Attachment and Ill-will, Impermanence is perceived as Suffering. Impermanence is not a cause of suffering but only an occasion to suffering. With Ignorance, Attachment and Ill-will removed Impermanence works cessation (Nirodha) which then continues to work happiness eternally.

To utterly destroy the aggregates would require decapitation!

It is however possible to utterly destroy clinging which changes awareness to a Not-self, Impermanent and Happy state or characteristic of the aggregates. Therefore Impermanence gives rise to evolving happiness-aggregates where a previous state again becomes suffering- or clinging-aggregates if it were to be clung to. :bow:

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Re: Aggregates v. clinging aggregates

Postby reflection » Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:48 am


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Re: Aggregates v. clinging aggregates

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:06 pm

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Re: Aggregates v. clinging aggregates

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:16 pm

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Re: Aggregates v. clinging aggregates

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:19 pm

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
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Re: Aggregates v. clinging aggregates

Postby daverupa » Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:49 pm


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Re: Aggregates v. clinging aggregates

Postby vinasp » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:00 pm

Hi everyone,

Perhaps it would help if we could sort out what kinds of suffering cease at the
time of awakening. Refection has already quoted this sutta:

"Bhikkhus, there are these three kinds of suffering. What three?
suffering due to pain, suffering due to formations, suffering due
to change. These are the three kinds of suffering.
The Noble Eightfold Path is to be developed for direct knowledge
of these three kinds of suffering, for the full understanding of
them, for their utter destruction, for their abandoning."

[Bhikkhu Bodhi, Connected Discourses, page 1561, SN 45.165]

My interpretation of this, is that all three kinds of suffering cease with
completion of the noble eightfold path.

1. Suffering due to pain, is the mental suffering which is generated by the
'worldling' in response to bodily pain. [see: Arrow Sutta.]

2. Suffering due to formations, is the suffering which results from mental
formations, all of which will have ceased with full awakening.

3. Suffering due to change, is the suffering which the 'worldling' experiences
due to things changing - because he is clinging to things. If he was not
clinging there would be no suffering due to change. Change, in itself, is
not suffering.

4. Bodily pain is not included because it can still be present after awakening.
These are just 'three kinds of suffering' and are not meant to include all
suffering.

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: Aggregates v. clinging aggregates

Postby vinasp » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:38 pm

Hi reflection,

There is something that puzzles me about your interpretation. You speak of the
aggregates not ceasing until death. Let us consider just the form aggregate.

"And what, bhikkhus, are the five aggregates?
Whatever kind of form there is, whether past, future, or present, internal or
external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near,
this is called the form aggregate. ..." - [BB, CD, page 886, part of SN 22.48]

This seems, to me, to be saying that all the form in the cosmos is the form
aggregate.

Q1. Why would anyone think that the form aggregate is just ones own body?

Q2. Does all the form in the cosmos end when one person dies?

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: Aggregates v. clinging aggregates

Postby reflection » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:51 pm

Last edited by reflection on Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Aggregates v. clinging aggregates

Postby reflection » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:54 pm


vinasp
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Re: Aggregates v. clinging aggregates

Postby vinasp » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:59 pm

Hi reflection,

If I understand you correctly, then for you, the form aggregate is not actual
physical form but the experience of form. It is this experience of form that
ends with death. Please correct me if I have misunderstood you.

Could you please give your interpretation of these two passages?

"If, through revulsion towards form, through its fading away and cessation, one
is liberated by nonclinging, one can be called a bhikkhu who has attained nibbana
in this very life."
[Repeat for: feeling, perception, volitional-formations and consciousness.]

[Bhikkhu Bodhi, Connected Discourses, page 967, part of SN 22.115]


" ... And what is it that he extinguishes and does not kindle? He extinguishes
form and does not kindle it. He extinguishes feeling ... perception ...
volitional-formations ... consciousness and does not kindle it. ..."

[Bhikkhu Bodhi, Connected Discourses, page 917, part of SN 22.79]

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: Aggregates v. clinging aggregates

Postby vinasp » Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:46 pm

Hi reflection,

Quote:"But also considering the broader context of the canon; the many times the aggregates are treated in general without making any distinction whatsoever. Take for example the many occasions where form, feeling, etc are mentioned to be impermanent and suffering, yet don't mention clinging. ..."

Yes,this is a problem. My interpretation would be that the explicit distinction is
a later development. The teachings spoke about these five things and said that they
should be seen as:'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'

If one succeeds in seeing them as 'not my self' then form 'seen as self' ceases.
But form seen as 'this I am' still remains, but this too can be eliminated.

One can eliminate both together, or one can do it in two stages. The later
teachings are based on removing self-view first, then the conceit 'I am'.

So the distinction, which was previously implicit, was made explicit by the use
of the term 'five clinging aggregates'.

These clinging aggregates arise from regarding things as self, or related to self.
They are associated with craving, which is why only the clinging aggregates are
mentioned in all versions of the four noble truths.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote:"Should the Buddha have intended a difference between aggregates and clinging-aggregates, it's not in suffering since they are both still suffering."

You are correct in that they are both still suffering. But the suffering which is
the clinging aggregates is much greater than the suffering which is the aggregates.

In the four noble truths, the clinging aggregates are the first truth - suffering.
What is meant is the suffering which originates from craving - second truth.
The suffering which ceases when craving ceases - third truth.
The suffering which is eliminated at the stage of the non-returner, which is when
craving ceases. All four truths have to be understood together.

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: Aggregates v. clinging aggregates

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:24 am

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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Re: Aggregates v. clinging aggregates

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:27 am

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
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