The Five Khandas

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Sam Vara
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The Five Khandas

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:56 pm

An interesting and original article by Bhikkhu Cintita about the five khanda in Buddhist teaching.

https://bhikkhucintita.wordpress.com/20 ... B9%85dhas/

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Re: The Five Khandas

Post by rightviewftw » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:26 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:56 pm
An interesting and original article by Bhikkhu Cintita about the five khanda in Buddhist teaching.

https://bhikkhucintita.wordpress.com/20 ... B9%85dhas/
I am finishing it,
what do u think?
i suspect annihilation view

Also i am not sure what he is refuting at the end there but i think if he was attacking my position in this way his statement would not be legitimate,
This passage has been use to justify a biological interpretation of a large segment of the twelve links for centuries, whereby name-and-form is equated with the person, or psychophysical organism, that acquires or sustains consciousness, much like the five khaṅdhas have generally been assumed to define the person dur­ing the same period.[15] However, there are several reasons why the biological interpretation cannot be right: First, the biological in­terpretation is speculative and rather uninteresting in itself, and provides no material for practice or insight. Second, the biologi­cal interpretation displaces a much more viable interpretation that lays bare the role of cognition in creating the subject-object dual­ity upon which craving depends, and that does provide material for practice and insight.[16] Finally, the role in biological concep­tion of consciousness makes consciousness into something sub­stantial that can move through space and enter the mother’s womb in order to run and wander through the round of rebirths, which seems suspiciously similar to Sāti’s pernicious view discussed earlier.[17]
Again idk if what he is refuting not familiar actually but if it was me;

In this context he can not say "x is not true because y is possible" he can but that deserves a refutation. Because has not established Y as true. So it is meaningless really. If he can not establish "Y as true, everything else is false" he would win if" X is not true if Y is true, Y is true" can be established beyond reasonable doubt, he would have disproven the Opposition but stil would not have established his interpretation as true.

I do not think author makes a convincing case, also he ignores a ton of Sutta and by cherry picking translations to make his point it actually breaks the map of the teaching which is needed to explain away Nama&Rupa for An Annihilist. This liberal of interpretation will be useless if applied to formulas in the Sutta consistently. For this reason i do not translate those Pali terms, i do not speak pali but i know the formulas and how to translate them it in various ways, those terms should not be messed with it just opens him up for a ton of refutation and he will not be able to explain it without proclaiming Sutta corruption. This is how it seems to me but i havent slept for a while.
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Re: The Five Khandas

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:51 pm

rightviewftw wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:26 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:56 pm
An interesting and original article by Bhikkhu Cintita about the five khanda in Buddhist teaching.

https://bhikkhucintita.wordpress.com/20 ... B9%85dhas/
I am finishing it,
what do u think?
i suspect annihilation view
I have duties to attend to at the moment, but will get back to you later.

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Re: The Five Khandas

Post by DooDoot » Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:41 pm

rightviewftw wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:26 pm
i suspect annihilation view
Why? Where do the suttas say annihilation view is the view of impermanence? In SN 56.11, when the stream-enterer realised: "All subject to arising is subject to cessation", was that annihilation view? In SN 22.59, when the Buddha taught in his 2nd sermon: "Every aggregate is impermanent", was that annihilation view? In DN 16, when the last words of the Buddha said: "All conditioned things are subject to vanish", was that annihilation view? Is it possible your personal ideas about annihilation view do not conform to the Pali suttas & are possibly wrong view? :shrug:

Some quotes below from the Pali suttas about annihilation view for discussion:
84. "There are, bhikkhus, some recluses and brahmins who are annihilationists and who on seven grounds proclaim the annihilation, destruction, and extermination of an existent being. And owing to what, with reference to what, do these honorable recluses and brahmins proclaim their views?

85. "Herein, bhikkhus, a certain recluse or a brahmin asserts the following doctrine and view: 'The self, good sir, has material form; it is composed of the four primary elements and originates from father and mother. Since this self, good sir, is annihilated and destroyed with the breakup of the body and does not exist after death, at this point the self is completely annihilated.' In this way some proclaim the annihilation, destruction, and extermination of an existent being.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .bodh.html
How, bhikkhus, do some overreach? Now some are troubled, ashamed, and disgusted by this very same being and they rejoice in (the idea of) non-being, asserting: 'In as much as this self, good sirs, when the body perishes at death, is annihilated and destroyed and does not exist after death — this is peaceful, this is excellent, this is reality!' Thus, bhikkhus, do some overreach.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .irel.html
How is it, Master Gotama: is suffering created by oneself (sayaṅkataṃ)? Then, Master Gotama, is suffering created by another (self)?

Kassapa, if one thinks, ‘The one (self) who acts is one, the one (self) who experiences the result is another,’ then one asserts with reference to one stricken by feeling: ‘Suffering is created by another.’ When one asserts thus, this amounts to annihilationism (vadaṃ ucchedaṃ).

https://suttacentral.net/en/sn12.17

sayaṃ
indeclinable
self; by oneself.

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Sam Vara
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Re: The Five Khandas

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:55 pm

rightviewftw wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:26 pm

I am finishing it,
what do u think?
i suspect annihilation view

Also i am not sure what he is refuting at the end there but i think if he was attacking my position in this way his statement would not be legitimate,
I thought it was an extremely interesting article, and a lot of it seemed to be a very reasonable interpretation of what the Buddha apparently said. In particular, it was arguing for a conception of the Khandas that could be of use in actual practice, and this resonated with me because it's something that my teacher used to talk about a lot.

I liked the fact that he steered well clear of claiming khandas are components of human beings ("psychophysical organisms") and also avoided any kind of essentialism. His ideas are obviously very influenced by Sue Hamilton, although it would have been good to see some more detailed argument as to where her conception as khandas as processes actually came from; and also some of Richard Gombrich's points about the whole concept of khandas being part (along with nibbana) of an extended analogy with the appetitive nature of fire. I think the avoidance of "components" and essences answers your point about what he is refuting at the end: it is, I think, the idea of dependent origination being used to depict rebirth over successive lives.

So, he is using the term to mean something like "components of experience", or more precisely, abstractions from it. That's fine by me. I'm not exactly sure why he thinks that the chariot analogy in the sutta and later in the Milindapanha has been subsequently misconstrued (that's the weakness of his link to Hamilton, I think). I'll need to re-read it, because it is suggestive of something I can't put my finger on now. His re-naming of the khandas is bold and entirely consistent with his overall project, but seems to falter on "consciousness". How he comes up with "configurations" is beyond me. I'll stick to Sue Hamilton on that one.

I'm not quite sure why you think there is annihilationism involved in his position; could you explain a bit more, and say where you find it?

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Re: The Five Khandas

Post by SarathW » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:28 pm

This metaphor is directly en­acted by Tibetan monks who painstakingly construct a mandala of colored sand over many days, then sweep it away upon com­pletion. The scattering begins with the contemplation of the dan­ger of the aggregates:
This is the first time I had some appreciation of mandala exercise by Tibetan monks.
By the way in relation to OP, using chariot as an example is quite week as the chariot does not have consciousness.
What chariot example does not convey is the dependent origination.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: The Five Khandas

Post by DooDoot » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:50 am

SarathW wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:28 pm
By the way in relation to OP, using chariot as an example is quite weak as the chariot does not have consciousness.
The "chariot" example is from the suttas.
Why now do you assume 'a being'?
Mara, have you grasped a view?
This is a heap of sheer constructions:
Here no being is found.

Just as, with an assemblage of parts,
The word 'chariot' is used,
So, when the aggregates are present,
There's the convention 'a being.'

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .bodh.html
:alien:
SarathW wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:28 pm
What chariot example does not convey is the dependent origination.
Bhikkhu Thanissaro's translation of SN 44.10 includes the additional idea that annihilationism is "the view that death is the annihilation of consciousness". Are there any suttas about the specific subject of "annihilationism" that support this point of view of Bhikkhu Thanissaro?
If I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is no self — were to answer that there is no self, that would be conforming with those brahmans & contemplatives who are exponents of annihilationism [the view that death is the annihilation of consciousness]

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

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Re: The Five Khandas

Post by SarathW » Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:06 am

It sounds like you believe consciousness is The Self (Atman).
Say hypothetically the chariot had the consciousness.
Then chariot is not there but still the consciousness is there just like the wheels etc.
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Re: The Five Khandas

Post by DooDoot » Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:17 am

SarathW wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:28 pm
What chariot example does not convey is the dependent origination.
But is does. Why don't you consider trying harder to use yoniso manasikara to read the suttas clearly?
Why now do you assume 'a being'?
Mara, have you grasped a view?
This is a heap of sheer constructions:
Here no being is found.

Just as, with an assemblage of parts,
The word 'chariot' is used,
So, when the aggregates are present,
There's the convention 'a being.'

It's only suffering that comes to be,
Suffering that stands and falls away.
Nothing but suffering comes to be,
Nothing but suffering ceases.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .bodh.html

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Re: The Five Khandas

Post by SarathW » Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:00 am

But is does. Why don't you consider trying harder to use yoniso manasikara to read the suttas clearly?
My question is how the chariot simile fitting with Nibbana.
ie: What happened to the consciousness when you attain Nibbna?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: The Five Khandas

Post by Saengnapha » Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:13 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:56 pm
An interesting and original article by Bhikkhu Cintita about the five khanda in Buddhist teaching.

https://bhikkhucintita.wordpress.com/20 ... B9%85dhas/
I thought it was a very well presented article and seems very well in-line with suttas and is undoubtedly a useful analysis of how we experience. I came away however, with the feeling that the conclusion was just an intellectual conception, a good one at that, and really didn't touch the impermanence of the person that 'seemingly' tries to analyze and understand the 'how' of experience. To borrow a Mahayana phrase, the 'emptiness' of the person needs to be established even though we might think of it as illusory because this is the link of continuity that keeps attachment, craving, etc., going around in a continuum of time and space. The emptiness of the person is the experiential realization of dispassion. It is what disrupts the attachment to the khandas. It helps put an end to the concept of continuity. Emptiness of the person and of phenomenon are both crucial. This is suchness, seeing things the way they are. Completely inexpressible through words, ineffable.

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Re: The Five Khandas

Post by Dinsdale » Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:47 am

Interesting, and I agree with the idea that the khandas are a model of experience.


However I wasn't convinced by the rather weak arguments put forward in this section:

“If consciousness were not to descend into the mother’s womb, would name-and-form take shape in the womb?” “No, Lord.”
“If the consciousness of a young boy or girl were to be cut off, would name-and-form grow up, develop and reach maturity?” “No, Lord.” (DN 15)

This passage has been use to justify a biological interpretation of a large segment of the twelve links for centuries, whereby name-and-form is equated with the person, or psychophysical organism, that acquires or sustains consciousness, much like the five khaṅdhas have generally been assumed to define the person dur­ing the same period.[15] However, there are several reasons why the biological interpretation cannot be right: First, the biological in­terpretation is speculative and rather uninteresting in itself, and provides no material for practice or insight. Second, the biologi­cal interpretation displaces a much more viable interpretation that lays bare the role of cognition in creating the subject-object dual­ity upon which craving depends, and that does provide material for practice and insight.[16] Finally, the role in biological concep­tion of consciousness makes consciousness into something sub­stantial that can move through space and enter the mother’s womb in order to run and wander through the round of rebirths, which seems suspiciously similar to Sāti’s pernicious view discussed earlier.[17]
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Re: The Five Khandas

Post by pegembara » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:41 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:50 am

Bhikkhu Thanissaro's translation of SN 44.10 includes the additional idea that annihilationism is "the view that death is the annihilation of consciousness". Are there any suttas about the specific subject of "annihilationism" that support this point of view of Bhikkhu Thanissaro?
If I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is no self — were to answer that there is no self, that would be conforming with those brahmans & contemplatives who are exponents of annihilationism [the view that death is the annihilation of consciousness]

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
There is this sutta where the Buddha said that it would be better to assume that the body as self that is annihilated at death than to assume a consciousness as a self that persists ie. consciousness is much more impermanent than the body and is "annihilated" by day and by night.
"It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey, swinging through a forest wilderness, grabs a branch. Letting go of it, it grabs another branch. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. In the same way, what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
"But as for what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness,' the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is unable to grow disenchanted with it, unable to grow dispassionate toward it, unable to gain release from it. Why is that? For a long time this has been relished, appropriated, and grasped by the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person as, 'This is me, this is my self, this is what I am.' Thus the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is unable to grow disenchanted with it, unable to grow dispassionate toward it, unable to gain release from it.
Last edited by pegembara on Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Five Khandas

Post by rightviewftw » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:46 am

That makes perfect sense in a way the Annihilationist just does not belive in the 3rd Noble Truth. Yet he belives the 1st, 2nd and the 4th but rejects the 3rd as impossible, when it is actually possible. He will have inaccurate conception of the whole thing ofc and argue vs Sutta to fit his understanding. :stirthepot:
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Re: The Five Khandas

Post by DooDoot » Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:02 pm

pegembara wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:41 am
There is this sutta where the Buddha said that it would be better to assume that the body as self that is annihilated at death than to assume a consciousness as a self that persists ie. consciousness is much more impermanent than the body and is "annihilated" by day and by night.
"It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another (Yañca kho etaṃ, bhikkhave, vuccati cittaṃc itipi, mano itipi, viññāṇaṃ itipi, taṃ rattiyā ca divasassa ca aññadeva uppajjati aññaṃ nirujjhati. Just as a monkey, swinging through a forest wilderness, grabs a branch. Letting go of it, it grabs another branch. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. In the same way, what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

nirujjhati
ni + rudh + ya
ceases; dissolves; vanishes.
"But as for what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness,' the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is unable to grow disenchanted with it, unable to grow dispassionate toward it, unable to gain release from it. Why is that? For a long time this has been relished, appropriated, and grasped by the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person as, 'This is me, this is my self, this is what I am.' Thus the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is unable to grow disenchanted with it, unable to grow dispassionate toward it, unable to gain release from it.
Sorry but I cannot correlate this sutta (SN 12.61) with annihilationism (uccheda). What exactly are you asserting in your post? Where in SN 12.61 does the Buddha say that it would be better to assume that the body as self that is annihilated at death? :shrug: Thanks. The Pali word 'uccheda' or 'ucchijjati' (annihilation) is obviously not found in SN 12.61. The word in SN 12.61 is 'nirujjhati'.
Ekaṃ samayaṃ āyasmā sāriputto sāvatthiyaṃ viharati jetavane anātha­piṇḍi­kassa ārāme. Tena kho pana samayena yamakassa nāma bhikkhuno evarūpaṃ pāpakaṃ diṭṭhigataṃ uppannaṃ hoti: “tathāhaṃ bhagavatā dhammaṃ desitaṃ ājānāmi, yathā khīṇāsavo bhikkhu kāyassa bhedā ucchijjati vinassati, na hoti paraṃ maraṇā”ti.

On one occasion the Venerable Sāriputta was dwelling at Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapiṇḍika’s Park. Now on that occasion the following pernicious view had arisen in a bhikkhu named Yamaka: “As I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, a bhikkhu whose taints are destroyed is annihilated and perishes with the breakup of the body and does not exist after death.”

https://suttacentral.net/en/sn22.85
Last edited by DooDoot on Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:18 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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