What sankhāra is not?

A forum for members who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the Pali Canon and associated Commentaries, which for discussion purposes are both treated as authoritative.

Moderator: Mahavihara moderator

What sankhāra is not?

Postby MidGe » Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:09 pm

Trying to come to term with the meaning of sankhāra and not being very comfortable in many cases with the stock answer of it being dependent on context, I have been trying to find some negative definitions of sankhāra in the canon. By negative definition I mean a statement that explicitly state something as NOT being sankhāra. By reasoning, and based on the many positive definitions in the canon I know of, I can only think of Nibbana and perhaps some of the other paramattha's as not sankhāra and pretty much everything else (from elephants, villages, thoughts, feelings, consciousness of in-breathing, speech, intention, beliefs, even kamma, etc... etc...) being sankhāra. But I am not certain about any of the paramatha's except for Nibbana, as I can't recall any such statements from my reading. That got me thinking and I thought that knowing what was not considered sankhāra would be useful in helping my understanding, hence my question.

Does anyone knows of any such statement in the canon?

Thanks for any help.
MidGe
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 6:15 am

Re: What sankhāra is not?

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:58 pm

Greetings,

MidGe wrote:Trying to come to term with the meaning of sankhāra and not being very comfortable in many cases with the stock answer of it being dependent on context

In that case, I'd suggest to look up what Nanavira Thera has to say about it... but I won't post any resources/links here, because it's not "Classical Theravada".

The problem is essentially, that what you're looking for here is not the "stock answer" that "Classical Theravada" provides... so it's going to be hard to further this topic within the constraints of this sub-forum.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14672
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: What sankhāra is not?

Postby MidGe » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:39 am

Hello retrofuturist,

Thanks for your prompt attention to this.

I think there has been a misunderstanding as I have currently no interest in interpretation or discussion about the meaning of sankhāra, I am hoping that someone knows of one or more passages in the Theravada canon which states that something is NOT sankhāra. What I am really looking for are quotations that specify what sankhāra is not. I feel that would help me crystalizing my understanding of what is a fundamental term in the Dhamma. I thought carefully about where to post this. At first I was going to post it in the Pali forum but realized that this would generate a discussion about the meaning of the term which is not what I am after. I am open to suggestion as to which forum would be the most appropriate to find a relevant quote in the Pali canon if this forum is not the one.

I am very sorry and apologize unreservedly if I messed things up by posting in this forum.
MidGe
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 6:15 am

Re: What sankhāra is not?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:44 am

Greetings,

Gotcha ~ and no worries.

In that sense, you could contrast it to asankhata (unconditioned), which has a bucket-load of synonyms including nibbana.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14672
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: What sankhāra is not?

Postby SarathW » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:21 am

All Citta (thoughts) not Kiriya Citta are Sankhara.

See attached:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el322.html
SarathW
 
Posts: 2196
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: What sankhāra is not?

Postby MidGe » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:09 am

All Citta (thoughts) not Kiriya Citta are Sankhara.


Thank you SarathW. Yes and many, many more things are sankhāra too according to the Pali canon.

What I am searching for and interested in are exact quotes from the Theravada Pali canon that states that something is NOT sankhāra, if such quotes exist.

Thank you
MidGe
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 6:15 am


Return to Classical Theravāda

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests