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The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me - Dhamma Wheel

The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
danieLion
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The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Postby danieLion » Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:32 am

Hi,
The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me.
My understanding of the five aggregates are:
1. form, body
2. feelings: pleasant, unpleasant, neither-nor
3. perception: labeling, noting, categorizing
4. mind
a. thoughts
b. emotions
5. Consciousness
a. eye
b. ear
c. nose
d. tongue
e. tactile
f. intellect

1. What is the difference between 5f and 4a?
2. What is the difference between 1 and 5a-5e?
3. What is the difference between 5f and 3-4a?
4. What is the difference between 2 and 4b?

Thanks.
Dan

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mikenz66
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:52 am

Hi Daniel,

The aggregates and the sense bases simply give different ways of slicing up experience and seeing that it is inconstant, unsatisfactory, and not-self. One or the other or both can be used, depending on the circumstances.

:anjali:
Mike

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retrofuturist
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:54 am

Greetings,

Yes, there is certainly some overlap in there, but I don't see how that makes the whole schema redundant.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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daverupa
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Postby daverupa » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:17 am

{eye-ear-nose-tongue-tactile}-[intellect]

v

{rupa}-[vedana-sanna-sankhara-vinnana]

Either way you slice it, anicca-dukkha-anatta. Questions 1-3 cross the boundary set by v which is to "mix metaphors", as it were.

"4. What is the difference between 2 and 4b?"

"Emotions" don't fit into these categories as such; they are complex sankhara, not the feeling aggregate. I expect an abhidhammika could address this aspect in some detail.

:heart:
Last edited by daverupa on Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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mikenz66
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:23 am


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daverupa
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Postby daverupa » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:27 am

There's a Sutta where an inquirer asks various monks to explain how they understand their awakening, and some respond that the five aggregates are dukkha, others that the six sense bases are dukkha, and when asked about this 'discrepancy' the Buddha says that they explain according to their realization, implying either set may be used according to individual facility. Integrating both together is missing the point.

Looking for that Sutta...

danieLion
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Postby danieLion » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:51 am


danieLion
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Postby danieLion » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:53 am


danieLion
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Postby danieLion » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:00 pm


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daverupa
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Postby daverupa » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:54 pm


chownah
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Postby chownah » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:00 pm

I went to Nayataniloka's Dictionary and there the khandas are listed as:
1 the materiality group khandha rūpa-khandha,
2 the feeling group vedanā-khandha,
3 the perception group saññā-khandha,
4 the mental-construction group sankhāra-khandha,
5 the consciousness-group viññāna-khandha

And the descriptions of the groups is:
What, o Bhikkhus, is the materiality-group? The 4 primary elements mahā-bhūta or dhātu and materiality depending thereon, this is called the materiality-group.

What, o Bhikkhus, is the feeling-group? There are 6 classes of feeling: due to visual contact, to sound contact, to odour contact, to taste contact, to bodily contact, and to mind contact.

What, o Bhikkhus, is the perception-group? There are 6 classes of perception: perception of visual objects, of sounds, of odours, of tastes, of bodily contacts, and of mental contacts.

What, o Bhikkhus, is the group of mental constructions? There are 6 classes of intentional states cetanā with regard to visual objects, to sounds, to odours, to tastes, to bodily contacts and to mind objects.

What, o Bhikkhus, is the consciousness-group? There are 6 classes of consciousness: visual-consciousness, ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness, and mind-consciousness.

Doesn't really seem like there is overlap here...but maybe I just don't see it.
chownah
P.S. Here's the link:
http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... tm#khandha
chownah

whynotme
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Postby whynotme » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:03 pm

Please stop following me

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reflection
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Postby reflection » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:36 pm

The 5 aggregates are not that clear cut into separate pieces. They are like a soup that make up a person. But that's the important thing and the reason why the Buddha gave this teaching: This is all that makes up a person. There may be some overlap in some aggragates, but there is noting besides the aggregates. They are just natural processes, there is no self involved. That's the important part to get from this teaching, it's not that important to have a theoretical knowledge of exactly what is what.

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bodom
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Postby bodom » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:59 pm

In Analayo's The Direct Path to Realization pg. 212 he cites the Mahasakuludayi Sutta as support for not necessarily having to break all five aggregates down into separate components and that some disciples reached realization through taking a less detailed approach to insight and only analyzing body and consciousness ("consciousness" taken in this passage to represent the mind in its entirety).

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

chownah
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Postby chownah » Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:05 pm

I found this great sutta:
MN 109 PTS: M iii 15
Maha-punnama Sutta: The Great Full-moon Night Discourse
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 2001–2011
From: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... html#fnt-2
It is a brief discussion of the clinging aggregates and the Buddha giving answers to the questions:
"But in what, lord, are these five clinging-aggregates rooted?"
"Is clinging the same thing as the five clinging-aggregates, or is clinging separate from the five clinging-aggregates?"
"Might there be diversity in the desire & passion for the five clinging-aggregates?"
"To what extent does the designation 'aggregate' apply to the aggregates?"
"Lord, what is the cause, what the condition, for the delineation[2] of the aggregate of form? What is the cause, what the condition, for the delineation of the aggregate of feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness?"
"Lord, how does self-identity view come about?"
"Lord, how does self-identity view no longer come about?"
"What, lord, is the allure of form? What is its drawback? What is the escape from it? What is the allure of feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness? What is its drawback? What is the escape from it?"
"Knowing in what way, seeing in what way, is there — with regard to this body endowed with consciousness, and with regard to all external signs — no longer any I-making, or my-making, or obsession with conceit?"
"So — form is not-self, feeling is not-self, perception is not-self, fabrications are not-self, consciousness is not-self. Then what self will be touched by the actions done by what is not-self?"
---------------------
so it pretty much covers it from various angles and then extends the discussion to the "self". It also seems to show the connection between the list presented in the original post and the one I presented.

Also, the way its presented seem to indicate that there is no redundancy intended...but maybe I just don't see it.
chownah

Kenshou
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Postby Kenshou » Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:20 pm

I think the 5 aggregates put more emphasis on the affective quality of experience, whereas the 6 sense bases are a more bare bones analysis of experience in general. Both have their uses.

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retrofuturist
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:57 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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kirk5a
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Postby kirk5a » Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:14 am

I understand the 5 aggregates like this - in relation to the eye, as an example

Form: the physical eyeball.
Feeling: pleasant, unpleasant or neutral feelings that occur in relation to seeing
Perception: labels for what is seen
Volitional formations: intentions regarding what is seen
Consciousness: the seen

What do you (anyone) think? I've always been confused by the presentation that puts what is seen as form, because then what is eye-consciousness? As in whynotme's post above - consciousness then is said to be "knowing" or "recognition" of what is seen. I don't understand that.

"When you hear a sound, the sound is the form, while knowing that there is a sound is consciousness."

I can't actually find that distinction in experience. Experientially, if sound appears, that IS the knowing. There isn't something else going on, in relation to a sound, which is identifiable as "knowing of the sound" not that I can pick out... The sound itself IS the ear-consciousness.
"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

santa100
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Postby santa100 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:43 am

The link below provides kind of a "flow chart" of the Five Aggregates and their sequence of operation. Notice that Feeling, Perception, and Volitional Formation are grouped into the Mental Factors Group. And Contact serves as a bridge between Form and Consciousness..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:PancaKhandha

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ground
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Postby ground » Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:09 am

One has to differentiate between the words applied and what they are meant to mean.

Sometimes different words are caused by different persons due to preferring different words for one and the same phenomenon due to individual habituation. The one who then listens to these different persons may erroneously conclude that they are talking about different phenomena although they do not but they just apply different words according to their preference.
So it is mandatory to be aware that words heard and read are dependent on the speaker or author.

Sometimes different words are applied by one an the same speaker or author for one and the same phenomenon depending on the context and they are applied with the intention to stress specific and different aspects of one and the same phenomenon. In that case the different words are said to refer to different "conceptual isolates" of one and the same phenomenon.

Kind regards


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