sutta reference for sankhara as mental states

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sutta reference for sankhara as mental states

Postby Abandon » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:33 pm

Hi, I am trying to write my thesis.

I have come to the definitions of sankhara, one of which is 'mental states' (and other translations) specifically in the 5 khandha.

Is there any sutta reference defining sankhara specifically in the 5 khandha? I can't find one.

Note I'm not looking for definitions of sankhara in other contexts such as the 3 characteristics or 3 kinds of sankhara.

It appears to me, not finding a definition of sankhara in the context of the 5 khandhas, that the idea of the meaning 'mental states' is here purely based on the Visuddhimagga.

Thanks.
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Re: sutta reference for sankhara as mental states

Postby daverupa » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:49 pm

The five aggregates function together across each of the six senses, so saying that any aggregate must be either mental or physical misunderstands it. No matter which sense is operating, the five aggregates are operating, whether the mind or the nose (consider that rupa, the 'physical' aggregate, arises in cases of intellect-idea-consciousness, the sixth sense sphere).

As I understand it, sankhara is, in this sense, a compilation of intent with respect to any given input. One cite for this is SN 22.57.
    "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: sutta reference for sankhara as mental states

Postby Abandon » Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:17 am

Excellent thanks. An interesting, if unusual take on khandhas.

Specifically though, is there any sutta that defines sankhara khandha as being mental states? That would seem to be the standard definition used, yet I can't seem to find a single sutta (not commentary) that supports it.
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Re: sutta reference for sankhara as mental states

Postby Sylvester » Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:34 am

Abandon wrote:Excellent thanks. An interesting, if unusual take on khandhas.


Not really that unusual. I think the more "usual" take on the Aggregates stems from the more popular and better-known Abhidhammic model. That model is not quite complete, and it seems to be missing the suttanta model of the Aggregates arising with contact, which daverupa points out. You might want to check out MN 28 for an exposition of this.


Specifically though, is there any sutta that defines sankhara khandha as being mental states? That would seem to be the standard definition used, yet I can't seem to find a single sutta (not commentary) that supports it.


It's unlikely to be found, as this classification also appears to be Abhidhammic in origin. That's presuming you are referring to "emotions" when you say "mental states"?

Nevertheless, there may be some value to the Abhidhammic classification, if only because it draws from the sutta method of explaining emotions as arising from the latent tendencies (anusaya). In SN 12.38, we find the anusaya listed as one of the 3 kinds of sankhāra which cause rebecoming. As the suttas generally put it, when the emotions run, the anusaya is said to anuseti (underlie) the feeling of pain, pleasure or neutrality. Perhaps the Abhidhammic method decided to abridge the distinction between emotions and anusaya, and therefore lump emotions into the sankhārakkhandha. Technically speaking, however, emotions belong to the vedanākkhandha in the sutta scheme.
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Re: sutta reference for sankhara as mental states

Postby theY » Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:16 am

Easiest way:

228. Tattha katamaṃ viññāṇapaccayā nāmarūpaṃ? Atthi nāmaṃ, atthi rūpaṃ. Tattha katamaṃ nāmaṃ? Vedanākkhandho, saññākkhandho, saṅkhārakkhandho – idaṃ vuccati ‘‘nāmaṃ’’ . Tattha katamaṃ rūpaṃ? Cattāro mahābhūtā, catunnañca mahābhūtānaṃ upādāya rūpaṃ – idaṃ vuccati ‘‘rūpaṃ’’. Iti idañca nāmaṃ, idañca rūpaṃ. Idaṃ vuccati ‘‘viññāṇapaccayā nāmarūpaṃ’’.


number 228: http://tipitaka.org/romn/cscd/abh02m.mul5.xml

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

below is hardcore:

Variance sources to answer this question. It had taught by buddha and categorize by sariputta in his school and subjects has knowing name paṭisambhidāmagga, niddesa, abhidhamma.

nāma ∈(j) cetanā =(x) kamma =(y) kusala+akusala+abyākata =(l) saṅkhāra
or
nāma have at all type but rūpa only abyākata.

Use above formula and read in 4 nikaya, if you need to analysis saṅkhāra state without reading sāriputta's subjects.


Main sources of formula.-

(x)"cetanāhaṃ bhikkhave kammaṃ vadāmi."

(search yourself)

(y)‘‘Tayo saṅkhārā – puññābhisaṅkhāro, apuññābhisaṅkhāro , āneñjābhisaṅkhāro.

number 305: http://www.tipitaka.org/romn/cscd/s0103 ... ml#para305

1. Paṭiccasamuppādasuttaṃ

1. Evaṃ me sutaṃ – ekaṃ samayaṃ bhagavā sāvatthiyaṃ viharati jetavane anāthapiṇḍikassa ārāme. Tatra kho bhagavā bhikkhū āmantesi – ‘‘bhikkhavo’’ti. ‘‘Bhadante’’ti te bhikkhū bhagavato paccassosuṃ. Bhagavā etadavoca – ‘‘paṭiccasamuppādaṃ vo, bhikkhave, desessāmi; taṃ suṇātha, sādhukaṃ manasi karotha; bhāsissāmī’’ti. ‘‘Evaṃ, bhante’’ti kho te bhikkhū bhagavato paccassosuṃ. Bhagavā etadavoca –

‘‘Katamo ca, bhikkhave, paṭiccasamuppādo? Avijjāpaccayā, bhikkhave, saṅkhārā; saṅkhārapaccayā viññāṇaṃ; viññāṇapaccayā nāmarūpaṃ; nāmarūpapaccayā saḷāyatanaṃ; saḷāyatanapaccayā phasso; phassapaccayā vedanā; vedanāpaccayā taṇhā; taṇhāpaccayā upādānaṃ; upādānapaccayā bhavo; bhavapaccayā jāti ; jātipaccayā jarāmaraṇaṃ sokaparidevadukkhadomanassupāyāsā sambhavanti. Evametassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa samudayo hoti. Ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, paṭiccasamuppādo.

‘‘Avijjāya tveva asesavirāganirodhā saṅkhāranirodho; saṅkhāranirodhā viññāṇanirodho; viññāṇanirodhā nāmarūpanirodho; nāmarūpanirodhā saḷāyatananirodho; saḷāyatananirodhā phassanirodho; phassanirodhā vedanānirodho; vedanānirodhā taṇhānirodho; taṇhānirodhā upādānanirodho; upādānanirodhā bhavanirodho; bhavanirodhā jātinirodho; jātinirodhā jarāmaraṇaṃ sokaparidevadukkhadomanassupāyāsā nirujjhanti. Evametassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa nirodho hotī’’ti. Idamavoca bhagavā. Attamanā te bhikkhū bhagavato bhāsitaṃ abhinandunti. Paṭhamaṃ.

2. Vibhaṅgasuttaṃ

2. Sāvatthiyaṃ viharati…pe… ‘‘paṭiccasamuppādaṃ vo, bhikkhave, desessāmi vibhajissāmi. Taṃ suṇātha, sādhukaṃ manasi karotha; bhāsissāmī’’ti. ‘‘Evaṃ, bhante’’ti kho te bhikkhū bhagavato paccassosuṃ. Bhagavā etadavoca –

(a) ‘‘Katamo ca, bhikkhave, paṭiccasamuppādo? Avijjāpaccayā, bhikkhave, saṅkhārā; saṅkhārapaccayā viññāṇaṃ; viññāṇapaccayā nāmarūpaṃ; nāmarūpapaccayā saḷāyatanaṃ; saḷāyatanapaccayā phasso; phassapaccayā vedanā; vedanāpaccayā taṇhā; taṇhāpaccayā upādānaṃ; upādānapaccayā bhavo; bhavapaccayā jāti ; jātipaccayā jarāmaraṇaṃ sokaparidevadukkhadomanassupāyāsā sambhavanti. Evametassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa samudayo hoti.

(b) ‘‘Katamañca, bhikkhave, jarāmaraṇaṃ? Yā tesaṃ tesaṃ sattānaṃ tamhi tamhi sattanikāye jarā jīraṇatā khaṇḍiccaṃ pāliccaṃ valittacatā āyuno saṃhāni indriyānaṃ paripāko; ayaṃ vuccati jarā. Yā tesaṃ tesaṃ sattānaṃ tamhā tamhā sattanikāyā cuti cavanatā bhedo antaradhānaṃ maccu maraṇaṃ kālakiriyā khandhānaṃ bhedo kaḷevarassa nikkhepo ( ) [(jīvitindriyassa upacchedo) (syā. kaṃ.) evamuparipi, aṭṭhakathāyaṃ pana na dissati], idaṃ vuccati maraṇaṃ. Iti ayañca jarā, idañca maraṇaṃ. Idaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, jarāmaraṇaṃ.

(c) ‘‘Katamā ca, bhikkhave, jāti? Yā tesaṃ tesaṃ sattānaṃ tamhi tamhi sattanikāye jāti sañjāti okkanti nibbatti abhinibbatti khandhānaṃ pātubhāvo āyatanānaṃ paṭilābho. Ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, jāti.

(d) ‘‘Katamo ca, bhikkhave, bhavo? Tayo me, bhikkhave, bhavā – kāmabhavo, rūpabhavo, arūpabhavo. Ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, bhavo.

(e) ‘‘Katamañca, bhikkhave, upādānaṃ? Cattārimāni, bhikkhave, upādānāni – kāmupādānaṃ, diṭṭhupādānaṃ, sīlabbatupādānaṃ, attavādupādānaṃ. Idaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, upādānaṃ.

(f) ‘‘Katamā ca, bhikkhave, taṇhā? Chayime, bhikkhave, taṇhākāyā – rūpataṇhā, saddataṇhā, gandhataṇhā, rasataṇhā, phoṭṭhabbataṇhā, dhammataṇhā. Ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, taṇhā.

(g) ‘‘Katamā ca, bhikkhave, vedanā? Chayime, bhikkhave, vedanākāyā – cakkhusamphassajā vedanā, sotasamphassajā vedanā, ghānasamphassajā vedanā, jivhāsamphassajā vedanā, kāyasamphassajā vedanā, manosamphassajā vedanā. Ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, vedanā.

(h) ‘‘Katamo ca, bhikkhave, phasso? Chayime, bhikkhave, phassakāyā – cakkhusamphasso, sotasamphasso, ghānasamphasso, jivhāsamphasso, kāyasamphasso, manosamphasso. Ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, phasso.

(i) ‘‘Katamañca, bhikkhave, saḷāyatanaṃ? Cakkhāyatanaṃ, sotāyatanaṃ, ghānāyatanaṃ, jivhāyatanaṃ, kāyāyatanaṃ, manāyatanaṃ – idaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, saḷāyatanaṃ.

(j) ‘‘Katamañca , bhikkhave, nāmarūpaṃ? Vedanā, saññā, cetanā, phasso, manasikāro – idaṃ vuccati nāmaṃ. Cattāro ca mahābhūtā, catunnañca mahābhūtānaṃ upādāyarūpaṃ. Idaṃ vuccati rūpaṃ. Iti idañca nāmaṃ, idañca rūpaṃ. Idaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, nāmarūpaṃ.

(k) ‘‘Katamañca, bhikkhave, viññāṇaṃ? Chayime, bhikkhave, viññāṇakāyā – cakkhuviññāṇaṃ, sotaviññāṇaṃ, ghānaviññāṇaṃ, jivhāviññāṇaṃ, kāyaviññāṇaṃ, manoviññāṇaṃ. Idaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, viññāṇaṃ.

(l) ‘‘Katame ca, bhikkhave, saṅkhārā? Tayome, bhikkhave, saṅkhārā – kāyasaṅkhāro, vacīsaṅkhāro, cittasaṅkhāro. Ime vuccanti, bhikkhave, saṅkhārā.

(m) ‘‘Katamā ca, bhikkhave, avijjā? Yaṃ kho, bhikkhave, dukkhe aññāṇaṃ, dukkhasamudaye aññāṇaṃ, dukkhanirodhe aññāṇaṃ, dukkhanirodhagāminiyā paṭipadāya aññāṇaṃ. Ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, avijjā.

‘‘Iti kho, bhikkhave, avijjāpaccayā saṅkhārā; saṅkhārapaccayā viññāṇaṃ…pe… evametassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa samudayo hoti. Avijjāya tveva asesavirāganirodhā saṅkhāranirodho; saṅkhāranirodhā viññāṇanirodho…pe… evametassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa nirodho hotī’’ti. Dutiyaṃ.

http://tipitaka.org/romn/cscd/s0302m.mul0.xml#para2
Lesson Relationship of Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha (10/31/2012)
http://tipitakanews.org/en/node/61
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Re: sutta reference for sankhara as mental states

Postby daverupa » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:17 am

Re: sutta reference for sankhara as mental states

theY wrote:Easiest way:

...aka.org/romn/cscd/abh02m.mul5.xml


I'm not so sure...
    "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: sutta reference for sankhara as mental states

Postby theY » Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:34 pm

^

See hardcore way-- item (j), (x), (y), (l).

I cut another leave only 4 nikayas.

But best method is memorize 4 nikayas and analysis them follow to sariputta school's subjects.

They disperse in many suttas.
Lesson Relationship of Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha (10/31/2012)
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Re: sutta reference for sankhara as mental states

Postby Dmytro » Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:52 pm

Hi Abandon.

Fifth khandha is 'volition' - see viewtopic.php?f=23&t=5909
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Re: sutta reference for sankhara as mental states

Postby daverupa » Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:15 am

Sylvester wrote:Technically speaking, however, emotions belong to the vedanākkhandha in the sutta scheme.


At the risk of moving off-topic, I wonder about this. I understood emotions to be a function of citta, as opposed to somehow being housed in each sense-gate sankhara. There isn't nose-anger, right?
    "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: sutta reference for sankhara as mental states

Postby Dmytro » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:57 am

daverupa wrote:At the risk of moving off-topic, I wonder about this. I understood emotions to be a function of citta, as opposed to somehow being housed in each sense-gate sankhara. There isn't nose-anger, right?


Right.
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Re: sutta reference for sankhara as mental states

Postby Sylvester » Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:26 am

daverupa wrote:
Sylvester wrote:Technically speaking, however, emotions belong to the vedanākkhandha in the sutta scheme.


At the risk of moving off-topic, I wonder about this. I understood emotions to be a function of citta, as opposed to somehow being housed in each sense-gate sankhara. There isn't nose-anger, right?



Yup, emotions are cetasika/manosamphassaja vedanā, as opposed to being kāyika vedanā. There was a discussion on these terms here - viewtopic.php?f=23&t=13998&start=0

I'm following SN 36.6 and SN 36.22 in lumping emotions into the vedanākkhandha.

The problem we have with the sutta versus Abhidhammic distinctions of vedanā lies in the fact that the suttas appear to lump feelings of pleasure, pain and neutral feelings arisen at the Mind-sphere under kāyika vedanā, while the optional emotions of somanassa and domanassa fall into the cetasika vedanā. The kāyika vedanā appears to me to be the simple hedonic tone experienced at any of the 6 bases, while the emotional tone of cetasika vedanā is experienceable only at the Mind base. In contrast, the Abhidhamma views the kāya in kāyika to refer to the physical body with its 5 bases lumped under the rūpakkhandha.

I think another way of distinguishing the 2 is to look at their source. Cetasika vedanā are always the product of anusaya (current sankhāra) (excepting those 3 special cases mentioned in MN 44, and a few others), while kāyika vedanā is dependant on the karajakāya/body born of action (AN 10.5.1.9) (ie past sankhāra) .
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Re: sutta reference for sankhara as mental states

Postby santa100 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:09 pm

Sylvester wrote:
I'm following SN 36.6 and SN 36.22 in lumping emotions into the vedanākkhandha


Emotions are actually part of sankhara-kkhandha. We could investigate a particular paragraph from SN 36.6 ( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html )to see why:
"When touched with a feeling of pain, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught. So he feels two pains, physical & mental."

Breaking this down part by part, notice that "sorrows, grieves,...distraught" are the emotions that one can decide to let them arise or not. So if not being controlled, they will become the "reactive" agents in response to the input painful feeling, thus they cannot be be part of the input feeling/vedana. Only until these emotions(mental formations/sankhara) have taken place do they give rise to the second painful mental feeling. But they are not the mental feeling ifself, which would imply those emotions were there right at the beginnging along with the initial painful physical feeling. If that was the case, the instructed noble disciple would have no control over them. This is confirmed by Ven. Nyanaponika from his essay on Feeling ( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el303.html ):
"Feeling by itself (if one could so separate it) is, as it was already said, the bare sensation noted as pleasant, painful or neutral. The subsequent emotional, practical, moral or spiritual values attached to that basic feeling are determined by other mental factors that subsequently arise in relation to that feeling, but, by way of classification, belong to the Aggregate of Mental Formations (sankhara-kkhandha). It is the quality of those other mental functions that makes the co-nascent feeling, too, to be either good or bad, noble or low, kammic or non-kammic, mundane or supramundane."
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Re: sutta reference for sankhara as mental states

Postby Abandon » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:44 am

all interesting views for sure.

But I want to ask, specifically, in regards to common definitions like "the mental-formation group (sankhāra-kkhandha)"

The only reference I can find to such is the Visuddhimagga. I want to know if there are any suttas you know of that define sa.nkhaara as mental states.
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Re: sutta reference for sankhara as mental states

Postby Dmytro » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:47 am

Abandon wrote:But I want to ask, specifically, in regards to common definitions like "the mental-formation group (sankhāra-kkhandha)"

The only reference I can find to such is the Visuddhimagga. I want to know if there are any suttas you know of that define sa.nkhaara as mental states.


Suttas define sankhāra-kkhandha as volition.
Later on, sankhāra-kkhandha was expanded to include many other things, that don't fit in other four aggregates.
I guess this was done to present a comprehensive worldview, something that Buddha never intended to do.
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Re: sutta reference for sankhara as mental states

Postby theY » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:33 am

Don't have direct declaration that you want, because commentary didn't quote that anywhere.

Read commentary to find out what you want. Then hard consider it's quoted suttas to find difference between saṅkhāra words from each sutta. That only the way you can get what you want, because commentary will categorize word meaning by each sutta's context.

Guide:

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: sutta reference for sankhara as mental states

Postby santa100 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:25 pm

Abandon wrote:
The only reference I can find to such is the Visuddhimagga. I want to know if there are any suttas you know of that define sa.nkhaara as mental states.


Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation of SN 22.56 ( you could also use Ven. Thanissaro's version at http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html )
“And what, bhikkhus, are volitional formations? There are these six classes of volition: volition regarding forms, volition regarding sounds, volition regarding odours, volition regarding tastes, volition regarding tactile objects, volition regarding mental phenomena. This is called volitional formations. With the arising of contact there is the arising of volitional formations. With the cessation of contact there is the cessation of volitional formations. This Noble Eightfold Path is the way leading to the cessation of volitional formations; that is, right view … right concentration."


And Bodhi's important note #85:
"The fact that there is a difference between the name of the aggregate (saṅkhārakkhandha) and the term of definition (sañcetanā) suggests that this aggregate has a wider compass than the others. In the Abhidhamma Piṭaka and the commentaries, the saṅkhārakkhandha is treated as an “umbrella category” for classifying all mental factors other than feeling and perception. Volition is mentioned only as the most important factor in this aggregate, not as its exclusive constituent"
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