Sankhara as volition or extended wider meaning ?

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sunnat
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Re: Sankhara as volition or extended wider meaning ?

Post by sunnat »

The Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw wrote : (about anattalakkhana sutta)

"The Khandhavagga Saṃyutta Pāḷi text gives the following definition: “That which brings about physical, verbal, and mental activities is saṅkhārā.”

Of the five aggregates, the aggregate of materiality has the quality of being transformed by opposing circumstances. It cannot by itself bring about any action or change, but as it has mass, the actions of the mental formations are manifested in the material body, which then appears to be performing the action. The aggregate of feeling experiences the sensations, pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. It cannot effect any action productive of results. Neither can the aggregate of perception, which merely recognises or remembers things, just like a clerk in an office records notes for future reference. The aggregate of consciousness also just knows that a sight is seen, a sound is heard, etc. It is not capable of causing any action. It is the aggregate of mental formations that is responsible for physical, verbal, or mental actions such as going, standing, sitting, laying down, bending, stretching, moving, smiling, talking, thinking, seeing, hearing, etc. The wish to go, stand, sit or lie down is expressed by this aggregate of mental formations, and all physical, verbal, and mental activities are instigated and organised by it."

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Re: Sankhara as volition or extended wider meaning ?

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,
sentinel wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 7:39 am
If that is so , why all the unnecessary categories ?
If you want to use that logic, even one "bundle" by which to construct a false self is one too many, isn't it?

However, we can construct a false sense of self from any or all of these bundles.

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

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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Ceisiwr
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Re: Sankhara as volition or extended wider meaning ?

Post by Ceisiwr »

retrofuturist wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 7:09 am
Greetings,
Ceisiwr wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 7:02 am
The aggregates seem more like different aspects of one experience.
I would say different non-mutually-exclusive ways of looking at it, just as how the Satipatthana Sutta gives different frames of reference by which to view the same present moment, but arrive at a different construct (i.e. fabrication) of it depending on how one fabricates it.

Do you believe the aggregates are mutually exclusive?

Metta,
Paul. :)
No, just different ways of looking at the experience of the present moment. Ultimately however it all comes back to saṅkhāra and the taints. For example, experience can be reflected upon as rūpa, vedanā, saññā, viññāṇa, saṅkhāra (and so nimitta) or as a combination of all 5. To contemplate them properly we must make use of yoniso manasikāra and idappaccayatā:

To contemplate the origin of rūpa is to contemplate vedanā, saññā, viññāṇa and saṅkhāra. There being saṅkhāra there is nimitta in relation to rūpa and resistance contact. There being nimitta in relation to rūpa and resistance contact there is designation contact via vedanā experiencing the nimittas constructed by saṅkhāra and saññā acknowledging/naming them which is cognised by viññāṇa. There being saṅkhāra and its nimittas, designation contact, resistance contact and viññāṇa there is rūpa.

To contemplate the origin of viññāṇa is to contemplate rūpa, vedanā, saññā and saṅkhāra. There being saṅkhāra there is nimitta in relation to rūpa and resistance contact. There being nimitta in relation to rūpa and resistance contact there is designation contact via vedanā experiencing the nimittas constructed by saṅkhāra and saññā acknowledging/naming them. There being saṅkhāra and its nimittas, resistance contact and designation contact there is viññāṇa.

To contemplate the origin of vedanā is to contemplate rūpa, saññā, viññāṇa and saṅkhāra. There being saṅkhāra there is nimitta in relation to rūpa and resistance contact. There being nimitta in relation to rūpa and resistance contact there is designation contact via vedanā experiencing the nimittas constructed by saṅkhāra and saññā acknowledging/naming them. There being saṅkhāra and its nimittas, designation contact and resistance contact there is viññāṇa.

To contemplate the origin of saññā is to contemplate rūpa, vedanā, viññāṇa and saṅkhāra. There being saṅkhāra there is nimitta in relation to rūpa and resistance contact. There being nimitta in relation to rūpa and resistance contact there is designation contact via vedanā experiencing the nimittas constructed by saṅkhāra and saññā acknowledging/naming them. There being saṅkhāra and its nimittas, designation contact and resistance contact there is viññāṇa.

To contemplate the origin of saṅkhāra is to contemplate the taints. To contemplate the taints is to abolish the taints. Without the taints as condition the unwholesome nimittas constructed by saṅkhāra cease. Saṅkhāra being held in check, resistance contact (rūpa) and designation contact (vedanā and saññā) are held in check. Designation contact and resistance contact being held in check means nāmarūpa is held in check, or ceased. With nāmarūpa and saṅkhāra held in check/ceasing then viññāṇa is held in check/ceased/stilled and no longer "lands" on nāmarūpa.

‘This is peace, this is exquisite—the stilling of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.’
Last edited by Ceisiwr on Fri May 22, 2020 8:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
“For that is false, bhikkhu, which has a deceptive nature, and that is true which has an undeceptive nature—Nibbāna. Therefore a bhikkhu possessing this truth possesses the supreme foundation of truth. For this, bhikkhu, is the supreme noble truth, namely, Nibbāna, which has an undeceptive nature.” MN 140

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DooDoot
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Re: Sankhara as volition or extended wider meaning ?

Post by DooDoot »

sunnat wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 8:32 am
The Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw wrote : (about anattalakkhana sutta)

"The Khandhavagga Saṃyutta Pāḷi text gives the following definition: “That which brings about physical, verbal, and mental activities is saṅkhārā.”
The above sounds like it accords with the suttas.
sunnat wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 8:32 am
Of the five aggregates, the aggregate of materiality has the quality of being transformed by opposing circumstances. It cannot by itself bring about any action or change, but as it has mass, the actions of the mental formations are manifested in the material body, which then appears to be performing the action.
While the above sounds true, the term kayasankhara (brings about physical activities) is only ever literally defined in the suttas as the in & out breathing (SN 41.6; MN 44). In other words, it is the in & out breathing that also brings about physical activities. If the body cannot breath, the mind cannot do anything with the body.
sunnat wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 8:32 am
The aggregate of feeling experiences the sensations, pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. It cannot effect any action productive of results. Neither can the aggregate of perception, which merely recognises or remembers things, just like a clerk in an office records notes for future reference.
The above sounds very wrong. The suttas say perception & feeling effect the production of greed, hatred & delusion in the citta (MN 148); which then generates actions (SN 14.12). This appears why the term "citta sankhara" is only defined in the suttas as perception & feeling.
sunnat wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 8:32 am
It is the aggregate of mental formations that is responsible for physical, verbal, or mental actions such as going, standing, sitting, laying down, bending, stretching, moving, smiling, talking, thinking, seeing, hearing, etc. The wish to go, stand, sit or lie down is expressed by this aggregate of mental formations, and all physical, verbal, and mental activities are instigated and organised by it."
The suttas do not appear to say the above. The above appears to be say there is one type of sankhara that instigates and organises all physical, verbal and mental activities. The suttas (SN 12.2; MN 9) say there are three different types of sankhara.
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Re: Sankhara as volition or extended wider meaning ?

Post by DooDoot »

Ceisiwr wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 8:43 am
To contemplate the origin of rūpa ... of viññāṇa ... vedanā .... saññā ... saṅkhāra ....
Are the above ideas supported by sutta?
And what is the origin of the body?
Ko ca, bhikkhave, kāyassa samudayo?

The body originates from food.
Āhārasamudayā kāyassa samudayo;

Feelings originate from contact.
Phassasamudayā vedanānaṃ samudayo;


The mind originates from nama and rupa.
Nāmarūpasamudayā cittassa samudayo;

SN 47.42
The four great elements, bhikkhu, are the cause and condition for the manifestation of the form aggregate. Contact is the cause and condition for the manifestation of the feeling aggregate. Contact is the cause and condition for the manifestation of the perception aggregate. Contact is the cause and condition for the manifestation of the volitional formations aggregate. Name-and-form is the cause and condition for the manifestation of the consciousness aggregate.

SN 22.82
:candle:
Ceisiwr wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 8:43 am
‘This is peace, this is exquisite—the stilling of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.’
Is there evidence to support the above translation of "samatha" as "stilling"? :shrug:
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sunnat
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Re: Sankhara as volition or extended wider meaning ?

Post by sunnat »

Thank you for your comments, Doodoot. In this pdf are various qualifications. (The Venerable one writes/speaks there about the anattalakkhana sutta, qualifying sankhara in that context)
www.saraniya.com/books/mahasi-sayadaw/p ... _sutta.pdf

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Re: Sankhara as volition or extended wider meaning ?

Post by sentinel »

I manage to find what bhikkhu Bodhi says about sankhara aggregates .
The Aggregate of Volitional Activities

A second major sphere to which the word sankharas applies is among the five aggregates. The fourth aggregate is the sankhara-khandha, the aggregate of volitional activities. The texts explicitly define the sankhara-khandha as the six classes of volition (cha cetanakaya): volition regarding forms, sounds, smells, tastes, tactile objects, and ideas. Though these sankharas correspond closely to those in the formula of dependent origination, the two are not exactly the same. The sankhara-khandha, the aggregate of volitional activities, has a wider range. It comprises all kinds of volition, not merely those volitions that are karmically potent but also those that are karmically passive and karmically inoperative.
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Re: Sankhara as volition or extended wider meaning ?

Post by mikenz66 »

Here's Bhikkhu Bodhi's Introduction to the SN:
viewtopic.php?p=335218#p335218

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Mike

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DooDoot
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Re: Sankhara as volition or extended wider meaning ?

Post by DooDoot »

sentinel wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 10:37 am
I manage to find what bhikkhu Bodhi says about sankhara aggregates .
The fourth aggregate is the sankhara-khandha, the aggregate of volitional activities. The texts explicitly define the sankhara-khandha as the six classes of volition (cha cetanakaya): volition regarding forms, sounds, smells, tastes, tactile objects, and ideas.
I think the above is incorrect, as SN 22.79 & 81 demonstrate (which are about how sankhara fabricates the idea of "self" & other wrong views). I have only read one sutta (SN 22.56) that explicitly defines the sankhara-khandha as the six classes of volition. For example, DN 22 lists many types of sankharas (volition, craving, initial thought, sustained thought, etc) as sankharas arising from the six sense contacts.
sentinel wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 10:37 am
Though these sankharas correspond closely to those in the formula of dependent origination...
There appears no compelling evidence for the above. How can sankhara as volition regarding forms, sounds, smells, tastes, tactile objects and ideas correspond closely to those in the formula of dependent origination when those in the formula of dependent origination occur before sense contact? :shrug:
sentinel wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 10:37 am
The sankhara-khandha, the aggregate of volitional activities, has a wider range. It comprises [includes] all kinds of volition, not merely those volitions that are karmically potent but also those that are karmically passive and karmically inoperative.
Sounds reasonable. A Buddha has karmically passive and karmically inoperative (whatever) volition.
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