The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

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danieLion
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The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Post by 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

Post by 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

Post by 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)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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daverupa
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Post by 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.
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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mikenz66
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:23 am

Hi Retro,
retrofuturist wrote: Yes, there is certainly some overlap in there, but I don't see how that makes the whole schema redundant.
Yes, there is 100% overlap/redundancy! Redundancy in the "good" sense of backup...

But the two classification schemes are useful in different circumstances. In some suttas experience is analysed by one, in others by the other.

Aggregates: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Sense bases: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas.
:anjali:
Mike

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daverupa
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Post by 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...
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

danieLion
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Post by danieLion » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:51 am

Hi Retro,
retrofuturist wrote:Yes, there is certainly some overlap in there, but I don't see how that makes the whole schema redundant.
Right. Perhaps overlap is better way to put it. Regardless of what it is called, it does not seem systemic to me, and I should have made it clear that I do not necessarily think of the overlap as negative--which I think is what Mike is saying.
Kindly,
Dan

danieLion
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Post by danieLion » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:53 am

daverupa wrote:Looking for that Sutta...
Thank you daverupa. :anjali:

danieLion
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Post by danieLion » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:00 pm

daverupa wrote:
"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:
Thanks Dave.
Do you mean "emotions" are not a khanda, or just not vedana?
Dan

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daverupa
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Post by daverupa » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:54 pm

danieLion wrote:Do you mean "emotions" are not a khanda, or just not vedana?
Well, vedana is pleasant|unpleasant|neutral, which covers a wider spectrum of experience. I haven't got a real handy way of classifying an emotion other than as a dhamma, but going into that may not clarify anything.

I'm still looking for that Sutta; it's in the Samyutta, just a matter of precisely where...
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

chownah
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Post by 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" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
chownah

whynotme
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Post by whynotme » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:03 pm

danieLion wrote: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
Dear danielLion,

In my understanding, form is the things you can see it by any of six senses, also call it matter or body, while the 4 others is belong to mind category.

Here is some definition
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

IMHO,

1. What is the difference between 5f and 4a?
Consciousness is knowing, while 4a is an action. When you think about, example, a girl, then you do an action. While you do it, you could know what you are doing or you don't know what you are doing. Knowing is consciousness

2. What is the difference between 1 and 5a-5e?
Form is the object of mind, while consciousness is knowing. When you hear a sound, the sound is the form, while knowing that there is a sound is consciousness. When you see a red color, the red color is the form, while knowing there is a red color is consciousness.
They always come together as the Buddha said, without form, no one could point out the consciousness. Consciousness is the ability to know or recognize in six senses, while form or body means things arise in the six senses or the six senses themselves. A form without cognizing or cognizing without a form is meaningless.

3. What is the difference between 5f and 3-4a?
The difference between consciousness and others is that consciousness is knowing, to recognize there is something. Why do you know there is green color in a picture? Because you just know it, that is, know, recognize, whatever you call it, you just know there is green color in a picture. It is consciousness. Meanwhile 4a is fabrication because it is the ability to create, it is the action.
Think like this, when you imagine an image, the mind create the image, which the image is create by an action. While knowing about that image is consciousness
By the Buddha definition, fabrication creates everything, that why it is called fabrication, fabricate form, fabricate feeling, fabricate perception, fabricate consciousness. The consciousness which know about everything around is created by a fabrication.
And perception is a narrow and special meaning of fabrication which fabricate objects for the consciousness. Perception creates blue, red, sound, hot/cold feeling,.. things that could be known. Meanwhile fabrication creates mind, oral and body actions.

4. What is the difference between 2 and 4b?
A feeling is a different way to recognize things. A red color, while seen as a feeling is neither pleasant or unpleasant feeling. A thought is a normal feeling, an action is a normal feeling, everything could be recognize are feeling because without their feeling, why can someone know they exist? The feeling way is the way to see the dukkha property.
Emotions are actions which are motions of the mind, examples, hate, love,.. Yes they are feelings because if you don't feel them, how do you know they exist? And they are also action which fabricate things and fabricate the next state of the the mind and following feelings. Emotions are not pleasant or unpleasant. If you get the thing you love, you feel pleasant feeling, vice versa. Those are following feelings go after the emotions, but not the emotions

Just my opinion,
Regards.
Please stop following me

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reflection
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Post by 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

Post by 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 no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

chownah
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Re: The Five Aggregates Seem Redundant To Me

Post by 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" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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

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