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Why are the Five Aggregates "paramatha"? - Dhamma Wheel

Why are the Five Aggregates "paramatha"?

Discussion of Abhidhamma and related Commentaries

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Individual
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Why are the Five Aggregates "paramatha"?

Postby Individual » Sat Jul 11, 2009 2:28 pm

For proponents of Abhidhamma, why are the Five Aggregates regarded as "paramatha" (ultimate) instead of sunnatta? If the Five Aggregates are considered ultimate realities, there is no basis for the Buddha's words in the Phena sutta, of the world being like an illusion. So, the Five Aggregates seem to be reducible to sunnatta. Being reducible, should they not be considered mental constructions derived from sunnatta?
The best things in life aren't things.


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tiltbillings
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Re: Why are the Five Aggregates "paramatha"?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Jul 11, 2009 2:34 pm


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Re: Why are the Five Aggregates "paramatha"?

Postby Individual » Sat Jul 11, 2009 2:36 pm

The best things in life aren't things.


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Ben
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Re: Why are the Five Aggregates "paramatha"?

Postby Ben » Sat Jul 11, 2009 7:31 pm

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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mikenz66
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Re: Why are the Five Aggregates "paramatha"?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:25 pm


Individual
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Re: Why are the Five Aggregates "paramatha"?

Postby Individual » Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:38 pm

The best things in life aren't things.


Individual
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Re: Why are the Five Aggregates "paramatha"?

Postby Individual » Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:59 pm

The best things in life aren't things.


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mikenz66
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Re: Why are the Five Aggregates "paramatha"?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:16 pm

I think you are confusing terminology. Sunnatta is a description of phenomena, not a building block of phenomena. The paramattha dhammas are building blocks (at least in the sense of being what you can break phenomena down into - the question of whether or not they are "real" is a different question).

Mike

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mikenz66
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Re: Why are the Five Aggregates "paramatha"?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:23 pm


Individual
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Re: Why are the Five Aggregates "paramatha"?

Postby Individual » Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:12 pm

The best things in life aren't things.


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mikenz66
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Re: Why are the Five Aggregates "paramatha"?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jul 12, 2009 5:20 am


Sylvester
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Re: Why are the Five Aggregates "paramatha"?

Postby Sylvester » Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:50 pm

Hello Individual

I'm quite curious as to your source that the Theravadin Abhidhamma posits its dhammas to have "own existence".

Are you using this term "own existence" in the sense understood by the Sarvastivadins with their "Svabhava" and Sarvam Asti theories, or are you using it in the strict Theravadin sense as how that school understands "Sabhava" in the Patisambhidamagga and Atthasalini?

Perhaps Ven Nyanaponika's short passage bears re-reading -

"By arranging the mental factors in relational groups a subordinate synthetical element has been introduced into the mainly analytical Dhammasangani. By so doing, the danger inherent in purely analytical methods is avoided. This danger consists in erroneously taking for genuine separate entities the “parts” resulting from analysis, instead of restricting their use to sound practical method with the purpose of classifying and dissolving composite events wrongly conceived as unities. Up to the present time it has been a regular occurrence in the history of physics, metaphysics, and psychology that when the “whole” has been successfully dissolved by analysis, the resultant “parts” themselves come in turn to be regarded as little “wholes.”

The Venerable was in fact saying that the Abhidhamma's Dhammasangani analytic method was tempered by some recourse to the synthetic method (of the Patthana?). In so doing, the Dhammasangani avoided the metaphysical trap of atomism, ie simplistic reductionism leading to essences that are self-existent.

You might also find helpful Dr Karunadasa's expanded discussion of the Atthasalini commentary on "Sabhava" being a functionalist and agency definition, rather than an ontological one.

Samantha Noelle Golt
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Re: Why are the Five Aggregates "paramatha"?

Postby Samantha Noelle Golt » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:17 pm

Hello Brothers and Sisters,

This is my thoughtfeel:
In ultimate truth, there is no such concept as spacetime, neither is there in conventional truth. So a whole and a part thereby become irrelevant. There is no distinction between illusion and what is real they are both One. An aggregate can be One or infinity or a part or even emptiness because all these concepts are One and yet only apply if there is a spacetime dimension. One paradox is that conventional and real truth are One. This means that there is no paradox just a multiplicity of consciousness like veils through which we can see or choose to be blind and close our eyes. We can decide to accept that there is a spacetime dimension as well as that there is not. The understanding of those concepts at once in One and through One really widens consciousness. We can also observe and be observed at once, play and be real at once, be atman and anatman. But please know the difference between good and evil and choose rightly. Becuase while the paradox is that they are both One the conventional reality is that there are two. Gaia knows this in her form and so does human.

The essence of the teachings is in how these are applied of course not what they can do for you but what they can do for One. We must make choices which can be applied to conventional reality, the samsaric wheel and maya, as well as to the ultimate truth. Harmonisation a consciousness that can be understood. If this is/to be in perfect pitch, in purity, or in a cacophony of sound this is your choice.

Do not just save yourselves, let us save the entire Planet. Gaia needs us. We are in the physical as well as outside it. We are working from form in form with form and through form or is it energy.

I wish you all good meditations, trances and analysis.

Peace in ONE.

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retrofuturist
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Re: Why are the Five Aggregates "paramatha"?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:20 pm

Greetings Samantha,

Unfortunately, the nature of your comments here is off-topic in relation to the Abhidhamma, which is the subject of this particular forum. Please note the following...

Guidelines for the Abhidhamma forum
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=374

The Abhidhamma and Classical Theravada sub-forums are specialized venues for the discussion of the Abhidhamma and the classical Mahavihara understanding of the Dhamma. Within these forums the Pali Tipitaka and its commentaries are for discussion purposes treated as authoritative. These forums are for the benefit of those members who wish to develop a deeper understanding of these texts and are not for the challenging of the Abhidhamma and/or Theravada commentarial literature.

Posts should also include support from a reference, a citation (Tipitaka, commentarial, or from a later work from an author representative of the Classical point-of-view).

Posts that contain personal opinions and conjecture, points of view arrived at from meditative experiences, conversations with devas, blind faith in the supreme veracity of one's own teacher's point of view etc. are all regarded as off-topic, and as such, will be subject to moderator review and/or removal.

Thank you for your assistance.

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

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kc2dpt
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Re: Why are the Five Aggregates "paramatha"?

Postby kc2dpt » Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:58 am

- Peter


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Jechbi
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Re: Why are the Five Aggregates "paramatha"?

Postby Jechbi » Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:35 am

I wonder if Samantha would like to have her post moved to a more suitable forum on this board? Such as personal experiences, perhaps?

(btw, welcome Samantha. :hello: )

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Ben
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Re: Why are the Five Aggregates "paramatha"?

Postby Ben » Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:46 am

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I think its time we all got back on topic before the big ugly moderator (me) goes into 'dissassemble aggregates' mode.
Anyone who's played the video game 'Star Wars Lego' knows exactly what I'm talking about.
Any further off-topic posts will be deleted without warning.
Now, back to topic! :jedi:
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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legolas
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Re: Why are the Five Aggregates "paramatha"?

Postby legolas » Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:52 pm


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tiltbillings
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Re: Why are the Five Aggregates "paramatha"?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:30 pm


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legolas
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Re: Why are the Five Aggregates "paramatha"?

Postby legolas » Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:52 pm



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