Could someone please help me out here? This sutta has thrown me into confusion.

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Caodemarte
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Re: Could someone please help me out here? This sutta has thrown me into confusion.

Post by Caodemarte » Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:13 am

zan wrote:So when the sutta says:

"They construct conditioned form as form"

Perhaps it could be read as:

"They construct the conditioned aggregate of form (body, nose, eyes, ears, etc.) as form because these parts and sense organs are the result of kamma (volition) born matter"

and when it says:

"They construct conditioned perception as perception"

it could be read as:

"They construct the conditioned aggregate of perception as perception because the ability to perceive depends on kamma born form and sense organs."

So volitional formations construct all five aggregates ...
In English the word "construct" can be used in the sentence "Bob constructed a snake out a rope." to mean "Bob put together pieces of rope to make a (living) snake." or to mean "Bob (or Bob's mind) created the (false) image of a snake in his mind, sparked by the resemblance of a rope to a snake (or its misperception)." You can construct an argument, a sentence, a thought, or a building. "They construct... form as form." could mean also mean "understand .. form as form" which is how I would read it. How is "construct" used in the Pali of the commentary? Is the Pali word used exclusively for physical, material objects or is it used as it in English?

Sorry if I sound particularly dense, but I am trying to understand the comments here.

zan
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Re: Could someone please help me out here? This sutta has thrown me into confusion.

Post by zan » Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:26 am

Caodemarte wrote:
zan wrote:So when the sutta says:

"They construct conditioned form as form"

Perhaps it could be read as:

"They construct the conditioned aggregate of form (body, nose, eyes, ears, etc.) as form because these parts and sense organs are the result of kamma (volition) born matter"

and when it says:

"They construct conditioned perception as perception"

it could be read as:

"They construct the conditioned aggregate of perception as perception because the ability to perceive depends on kamma born form and sense organs."

So volitional formations construct all five aggregates ...
In English the word "construct" can be used in the sentence "Bob constructed a snake out a rope." to mean "Bob put together pieces of rope to make a (living) snake." or to mean "Bob (or Bob's mind) created the (false) image of a snake in his mind, sparked by the resemblance of a rope to a snake (or its misperception)." You can construct an argument, a sentence, a thought, or a building. "They construct... form as form." could mean also mean "understand .. form as form" which is how I would read it. How is "construct" used in the Pali of the commentary? Is the Pali word used exclusively for physical, material objects or is it used as it in English?

Sorry if I sound particularly dense, but I am trying to understand the comments here.

Thank you, interesting point! I don't know. I am sure one of the commentary/Abhidhamma scholars will be along at some point and can help us out :smile:
I don't have much knowledge of the Dhamma, I'm just a beginner. Keep that in mind before you take anything I say too seriously :tongue:

zan
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Re: Could someone please help me out here? This sutta has thrown me into confusion.

Post by zan » Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:37 am

santa100 wrote:
zan wrote:Thank you santa. So would you agree that the sutta is saying that the past causes (active sankharas) have cunstructed the present aggregates (passive sankharas)?
Yes. Perhaps an example might clarify it a bit. A person in a previous life who implemented unwholesome "active" sankhara (ie. active evil volitional formation of killing, stealing, sexually abusive, etc.) will construct future unwholesome "passive" sankharas (ie. future constructed unwholesome Five Aggregates like frail sickly body, experiences mostly painful unpleasant feelings, perceptions, etc.). While another person in a previous life who implemented wholesome sankhara will "construct" a future wholesome Five Aggregates, ie. healthy and beautiful body, experiences mostly pleasant feelings, etc.). See MN 135 for further details.
So it is an issue of only the present tense being used when past and present is being spoken of?

I will try to break it down as I understand it, could you please let me know if this is correct?:

"They construct conditioned perception as perception"

"They" = past volitional formations

"construct conditioned" = are the cause of

"perception" = the current aggregates that are able to perceive

"as perception" = ???
I don't have much knowledge of the Dhamma, I'm just a beginner. Keep that in mind before you take anything I say too seriously :tongue:

santa100
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Re: Could someone please help me out here? This sutta has thrown me into confusion.

Post by santa100 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:52 am

zan wrote:"as perception" = ???
I don't think analyzing the individual English phrases after they've been translated into English will make it clearer. Ven. Bodhi himself said:
Unfortunately English is a poor medium for capturing the interconnections of this sentence in the Pali, with the object (sankhatam), the verb (abhisankharonti), and the subject (sankhara) all derived from the same stem. See my discussion of sankhara in the General Introduction, pp. 44-47. To replicate the Pali we might have rendered it, “They construct the constructed, therefore they are called volitional constructions,” though this would bear certain connotations quite alien to the original. It is also an unfortunate coincidence that “volitional formations,” my rendering for sankhara, is related to “form,” my rendering for rupa. In Pali there is no etymological tie between rupa and sankhara. To capture the several nuances of the verb abhisankharoti we might have taken the liberty of rendering it, in this passage, by two verbs: “to generate,” which conveys the idea that the volitional formations actually produce the other aggregates
So the bottom line is, you have to keep in mind the 2 different contexts and hence 2 different meanings of the word "sankhara": 1. The "active" sense, usually translated as "volitional formation"; versus. 2. The "passive" sense, meaning "constructed phenomena", which in this immediate sutta, meaning the Five Aggregates. So back to the example I gave you: the past active sankhara (the past active volitional formation) conditions/constructs the future passive sankhara (the future passive Five Aggregates).

zan
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Re: Could someone please help me out here? This sutta has thrown me into confusion.

Post by zan » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:55 pm

santa100 wrote:
zan wrote:"as perception" = ???
I don't think analyzing the individual English phrases after they've been translated into English will make it clearer. Ven. Bodhi himself said:
Unfortunately English is a poor medium for capturing the interconnections of this sentence in the Pali, with the object (sankhatam), the verb (abhisankharonti), and the subject (sankhara) all derived from the same stem. See my discussion of sankhara in the General Introduction, pp. 44-47. To replicate the Pali we might have rendered it, “They construct the constructed, therefore they are called volitional constructions,” though this would bear certain connotations quite alien to the original. It is also an unfortunate coincidence that “volitional formations,” my rendering for sankhara, is related to “form,” my rendering for rupa. In Pali there is no etymological tie between rupa and sankhara. To capture the several nuances of the verb abhisankharoti we might have taken the liberty of rendering it, in this passage, by two verbs: “to generate,” which conveys the idea that the volitional formations actually produce the other aggregates
So the bottom line is, you have to keep in mind the 2 different contexts and hence 2 different meanings of the word "sankhara": 1. The "active" sense, usually translated as "volitional formation"; versus. 2. The "passive" sense, meaning "constructed phenomena", which in this immediate sutta, meaning the Five Aggregates. So back to the example I gave you: the past active sankhara (the past active volitional formation) conditions/constructs the future passive sankhara (the future passive Five Aggregates).
Thank you.

Perhaps we could use the actual Pali in question?

Sankhatam abhisankharonti ti bhikkhave tasma sankhara.

Sankhatam (past voilitional formations?) abhisankharonti (generate) ti bhikkhave tasma sankhara (the present things, using sense three in Bhikkhu Bodhis explanation SN p 44-47) ti vucanti.

Then we would have

"Past volitional formations generate the present things (aggregates), bhikkhus."

So how would the following sentence look then? Particularly confusing is that the word "sanna" is spelled two different ways. How could it be translated that would make more sense?

"saññaṃ (perception?) saññattāya (Perception?) saṅ­kha­ta­mabhi­saṅ­kha­ronti (past volitional formations generate)"

"past volitional formations generate the current aggregate of perceptions ability to perceive (the ability to perceive, not the things perceived nor perceptions themselves)" ?
I don't have much knowledge of the Dhamma, I'm just a beginner. Keep that in mind before you take anything I say too seriously :tongue:

vinasp
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Re: Could someone please help me out here? This sutta has thrown me into confusion.

Post by vinasp » Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:11 pm

Hi zan,

Quote: "... However in this sutta it is listed as constructing and conditioning all of the other aggregates and itself as well, so all aggregates are listed separately and singly and then volitional formations contains all aggregates at once...."

Volitional formations, in the present, construct all five aggregates in the future.

The 'future' here, can be the next life in a literal sense, or the next moment.

On another point: remember that the form aggregate is defined as ' whatever form, past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle ...'

So the form aggregate is not just one's own body, but also includes all 'external' forms.

The aggregates should be understood as 'self-and-world', both of which are constructed.

This is why the world ceases at the time of awakening.

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: Could someone please help me out here? This sutta has thrown me into confusion.

Post by Dinsdale » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:27 am

santa100 wrote:So the bottom line is, you have to keep in mind the 2 different contexts and hence 2 different meanings of the word "sankhara": 1. The "active" sense, usually translated as "volitional formation"; versus. 2. The "passive" sense, meaning "constructed phenomena", which in this immediate sutta, meaning the Five Aggregates. So back to the example I gave you: the past active sankhara (the past active volitional formation) conditions/constructs the future passive sankhara (the future passive Five Aggregates).
I'm struggling to understand this, could we use a practical example?

Say I am out walking in town, I need to cross a busy road. I look both ways and see a bus approaching, so I decide not to cross the road. Here the decision not to cross is a volitional formation, and it arises from my perception of "bus" or "bus approaching".

How do my past decisions about crossing busy roads shape my perceptions of "bus" in this instance, bearing in mind that in the suttas perception is just the basic function of recognising shape and colour?
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santa100
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Re: Could someone please help me out here? This sutta has thrown me into confusion.

Post by santa100 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:18 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:I'm struggling to understand this, could we use a practical example?

Say I am out walking in town, I need to cross a busy road. I look both ways and see a bus approaching, so I decide not to cross the road. Here the decision not to cross is a volitional formation, and it arises from my perception of "bus" or "bus approaching".

How do my past decisions about crossing busy roads shape my perceptions of "bus" in this instance, bearing in mind that in the suttas perception is just the basic function of recognising shape and colour?
Notice the sankhara was mentioned in the context of kammic potential. If you're hungry and you intend to go the the fridge to get a bagel, that's volition with little kammic weight. Now if you're hungry but don't have money, so you intend to rob or kill someone to get his money to buy food, now that's the kind of volition that sure will affect your future perception. You might not come back as a human in your next rebirth and your whole perception will change. To a human, excrement is excrement. But to a maggot, food!

zan
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Re: Could someone please help me out here? This sutta has thrown me into confusion.

Post by zan » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:14 pm

vinasp wrote:Hi zan,

Quote: "... However in this sutta it is listed as constructing and conditioning all of the other aggregates and itself as well, so all aggregates are listed separately and singly and then volitional formations contains all aggregates at once...."

Volitional formations, in the present, construct all five aggregates in the future.

The 'future' here, can be the next life in a literal sense, or the next moment.

On another point: remember that the form aggregate is defined as ' whatever form, past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle ...'

So the form aggregate is not just one's own body, but also includes all 'external' forms.

The aggregates should be understood as 'self-and-world', both of which are constructed.

This is why the world ceases at the time of awakening.

Regards, Vincent.
To be clear I am NOT saying any of the following is true, or even my opinion! I am just presenting an argument for the sake of discussion. Also please forgive me if any of this comes off as rude in any way. That is not my intent.

If the world ceases at the time of awakening that means that The Buddha never reached awakening, nor did any of his followers or anyone else, ever, because the world is still here. In such a scenario there would be no reason to practice Buddhism as it shows itself to be invalid.

If anyone reaches awakening, the world ends. The world exists, no one has reached awakening.

Buddhism must be false as there are claims of many people reaching awakening, yet there is still the world and so there is no logical reason to assume that I or anyone else could reach awakening.

Unless you mean the world ceases for the being who reached awakening specifically but goes on for each other individual being who is their own "world"? Other than that, if we are to use one strict definition of "world" as denoting one being only, then Buddhism is flatly proven as ineffective and all faith in The Buddha and others awakening is completely illogical and invalid since, using that definition only, it is impossible that they reached awakening.

For example if "world" means only you, Vincent, and that is the strict definition, there is no other "world", and you have not ceased, then the "world" has not ceased. So that means no one has ever reached awakening in which the world ceases, ever, and practicing Buddhism makes no sense as it has never worked for anyone else, why would it work for you?

For example imagine you know a real wizard. He, on one occasion, says to you "When I say 'the world' I mean 'you, Vincent'."

On another occasion he tells you "All is one is not something I teach."

On another occasion he says to you "Vincent, I am going to cast a spell on the world that will allow the world to immediately fly away." He casts a spell on himself and he flies away. You remain standing.

You now have three options:

1. Assume that all is one and so by him flying you flew.

2. Assume his magic does not work.

3. Assume "world" in that case did not mean "You, Vincent" and so the word "world" does not always mean "You, Vincent".

Likewise when The Buddha said that "the world" ends with awakening (having also said that he does not teach oneness) and then it ended for him, since you are still here you have the same three options:

1. Assume that all is one so by the world ending for the Buddha it ended for you too.

2. Assume Buddhism does not work.

3. Assume that "the world" does not always denote "you, Vincent"

My opinion is that it is option 3 and this is the position of the orthodox Theravada school as well: "world" does not alway denote strictly "a being" or strictly "the six senses" but rather has several meanings related through the fact that they are all disintegrating (sharing a Pali word root meaning disintegrating).

If one were to take it completely literally and in all cases that "world" only means oneself, ones own six senses, or one's own being, then Buddhism proves itself ineffective.

However if one takes "world" to mean one's own oneself, one's six senses or one's own being in some cases and others six senses or other beings in other cases and just the "world" in the usual sense (a planet, realm, etc.) in still other cases then Buddhism is not proven to be ineffective.

And so I do not think the aggregates are literally and always denoting everything in existence in every instance that they are used.

Sometimes they are, other times they must denote one being and other times what is meant is one being's body included within the larger category of the aggregates yet still ultimately delineated from the beings because all is not one and "world" cannot always denote one singular being's six senses or one singular being.

Because if they strictly denote literally everything in existence always, in all usages, then that would mean that no Arahant or Buddha has ever entered Parinibbana and had the five aggregates cease since the aggregates clearly have not ceased in totality. That would mean that every time the suttas say that the aggregates have ceased for someone they have really not.

So instead there must be a personal definition and and a broader definiton.

So sometimes they mean a being, like when an Arahant enters skhandhaparinibbana (cessation of the skhandhas) sometimes they mean everything in existence (like in SN 22.79).

Otherwise, we have the same thing as the wizard example above: a self falsifying statement.

1. The aggregates always denote literally everything in existence.

2.The aggregates are said to have ceased at the death of the Buddha.

3.The aggregates (everything in existence) clearly have not ceased.

4.The aggregates then, did not cease at the death of the Buddha. And so there is no reason to assume that they (everything in existence) would cease with the parinibbana of me or anyone else at parinibbana.

Clearly this is incorrect.

So we must assume that the aggregates include a personal, singular definition where they can denote one being and cease only for that being at Parinibbana as they certainly did at the time of the Buddhas death and that they can denote everything all at once as used in SN 22.79 and other suttas.

If they always are personal and singular, yet still all encompassing, like the world could be defined as, then there would be absolutely zero reason to believe any suttas or people who speak about them ceasing since their experience proves that the practice does not work because your singular, personal experience that is all encompassing, which would include them has not ceased, unless there is some kind of "oneness" invoked which is flatly denied by the Buddha.
Last edited by zan on Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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robertk
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Re: Could someone please help me out here? This sutta has thrown me into confusion.

Post by robertk » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:36 pm

If the world ceases at the time of awakening
at the moment of arahatship citta experiences nibbana. and after that cittas keeps arising and ceasing continually, maybe for decades, until at khandha parinibbanna they no longer rearise.

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Re: Could someone please help me out here? This sutta has thrown me into confusion.

Post by vinasp » Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:48 pm

Hi zan,

The 'world' (loka) sometimes seems to mean external things, but more often seems to mean the unawakened state of mind.

Consider this passage from AN 4.23

“Bhikkhus, the Tathāgata has fully awakened to the world; the Tathāgata is detached from the world. The Tathāgata has fully awakened to the origin of the world; the Tathāgata has abandoned the origin of the world. The Tathāgata has fully awakened to the cessation of the world; the Tathāgata has realized the cessation of the world. The Tathāgata has fully awakened to the way leading to the cessation of the world; the Tathāgata has developed the way leading to the cessation of the world."

Or this passage from AN 4.45

[When this was said, the Blessed One responded:] “I tell you, friend, that it is not possible by traveling to know or see or reach a far end of the cosmos where one does not take birth, age, die, pass away, or reappear. But at the same time, I tell you that there is no making an end of suffering & stress without reaching the end of the cosmos. Yet it is just within this fathom-long body, with its perception & intellect, that I declare that there is the cosmos, the origination of the cosmos, the cessation of the cosmos, and the path of practice leading to the cessation of the cosmos.”

[loka can be translated as 'world' or 'cosmos'.]

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: Could someone please help me out here? This sutta has thrown me into confusion.

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:15 am

vinasp wrote:Hi zan,

The 'world' (loka) sometimes seems to mean external things, but more often seems to mean the unawakened state of mind.

Consider this passage from AN 4.23

“Bhikkhus, the Tathāgata has fully awakened to the world; the Tathāgata is detached from the world. The Tathāgata has fully awakened to the origin of the world; the Tathāgata has abandoned the origin of the world. The Tathāgata has fully awakened to the cessation of the world; the Tathāgata has realized the cessation of the world. The Tathāgata has fully awakened to the way leading to the cessation of the world; the Tathāgata has developed the way leading to the cessation of the world."
I don't think it's about cessation of the world, it's more about detachment - this verse appears later in AN 4.23:

"Having directly known all the world—
all in the world just as it is—
he is detached from all the world,
disengaged from all the world."
https://suttacentral.net/en/an4.23

Detachment is a common theme in the suttas, consider for example the Arrow Sutta:

“If he feels a pleasant feeling, he feels it detached. If he feels a painful feeling, he feels it detached. If he feels a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he feels it detached. This, bhikkhus, is called a noble disciple who is detached from birth, aging, and death; who is detached from sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair; who is detached from suffering, I say."
https://suttacentral.net/en/sn36.6

It is craving and aversion which cease, not the aggregates themselves. So it is really about equanimity.
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vinasp
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Re: Could someone please help me out here? This sutta has thrown me into confusion.

Post by vinasp » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:00 pm

Hi Spiny,

Quote: - "I don't think it's about cessation of the world, it's more about detachment ..."

Of course the actual world does not cease. The question is why they call the non awakened state of mind 'the world'?

I think that it is because the world is everything that we are clinging to, all the objects of clinging.

The ordinary man thinks that he is clinging to actual things out there in the world. But those who have more insight see that this cannot be correct.

The truth is that clinging is a phenomena within the mind, it cannot leave the mind and attach itself to some actual thing out there in the real world.

So what really happens is that the mind creates a representation of the real external thing, and the clinging is to this internal representation, but the ordinary man does not see this. It is hard to see because the representation is automatically taken to be the actual external thing.

Now, the representation is the 'true' object of the clinging, in fact it arises first, and clinging depends on it. So, in order for all clinging to cease, all objects of clinging must also cease.

Quote: - "It is craving and aversion which cease, not the aggregates themselves. So it is really about equanimity."

But what the aggregate teaching really means is all the objects of craving and clinging. And as we have seen, these can be understood in two different ways.

If the aggregates are understood as all the representations which are clung to, then they can, and do indeed, cease.

Regards, Vincent.

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Re: Could someone please help me out here? This sutta has thrown me into confusion.

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:29 am

vinasp wrote: If the aggregates are understood as all the representations which are clung to, then they can, and do indeed, cease.
I'm still not seeing this, Vincent, to me the aggregates are just a model of the way we experience things. I can see that the aggregates include a process of representation, this is related to the activities of sanna ( perception ) and sankhara ( conceiving ).

Referring to the Khandha Sutta, you could say that the clinging aggregates cease, just leaving the non-clinging aggregates.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: Could someone please help me out here? This sutta has thrown me into confusion.

Post by DooDoot » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:13 am

zan wrote:
Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:18 pm
Clearly I must be reading it wrong. Could someone please clarify?

SN 22.79:
Hi Zan

Firstly, the word "volition" ("cetana") is not found in the translation therefore I personally would ignore this translation of "volitional". Secondly, I would change the translation from "formations" to "constructions" to make for easier comprehension.
And why, bhikkhus, do you call them constructions? ‘They construct the constructed,’ bhikkhus, therefore they are called constructions. And what is the constructed that they construct? They construct constructed form as form; they construct constructed feeling as feeling; they construct constructed perception as perception; they construct constructed constructions as constructions; they construct constructed consciousness as consciousness. ‘They construct the constructed,’ bhikkhus, therefore they are called constructions.
Kiñca, bhikkhave, saṅkhāre vadetha? Saṅ­kha­ta­mabhi­saṅ­kha­ron­tīti kho, bhikkhave, tasmā ‘saṅkhārā’ti vuccati. Kiñca saṅ­kha­ta­mabhi­saṅ­kha­ronti? Rūpaṃ rūpattāya saṅ­kha­ta­mabhi­saṅ­kha­ronti, vedanaṃ vedanattāya saṅ­kha­ta­mabhi­saṅ­kha­ronti, saññaṃ saññattāya saṅ­kha­ta­mabhi­saṅ­kha­ronti, saṅkhāre saṅkhārattāya saṅ­kha­ta­mabhi­saṅ­kha­ronti, viññāṇaṃ viññāṇattāya saṅ­kha­ta­mabhi­saṅ­kha­ronti. Saṅ­kha­ta­mabhi­saṅ­kha­ron­tīti kho, bhikkhave, tasmā ‘saṅkhārā’ti vuccati
More importantly, I would guess the key term that distinguishes the above teaching from other teachings is the suffix highlighted in red. Bhikkhu Bodhi appears to make an unintelligible footnote about how unintelligible the variants of the Pali scriptures are here. Given these terms in red are not exactly the same as the five aggregates, I would foresake the translation (by Bhikkhu Bodhi) for the time being & look for an alternative translation. Note: Thanissaro's translation is not clear to me and Piya Tan's is the same as VBB. Sujato's translation I personally would not bother with . Imo, the key here is determining what the suffix "attāya" means :shrug: . I found these alternate translations:
Form is a conditioned phenomenon; choices are what make it into form. Feeling is a conditioned phenomenon; choices are what make it into feeling. Perception is a conditioned phenomenon; choices are what make it into perception. Choices are conditioned phenomena; choices are what make them into choices. Consciousness is a conditioned phenomenon; choices are what make it into consciousness.

Sujato
And why do you call them 'fabrications'? Because they fabricate fabricated things, thus they are called 'fabrications.' What do they fabricate as a fabricated thing? For the sake of form-ness, they fabricate form as a fabricated thing. For the sake of feeling-ness, they fabricate feeling as a fabricated thing. For the sake of perception-hood... For the sake of fabrication-hood... For the sake of consciousness-hood, they fabricate consciousness as a fabricated thing. Because they fabricate fabricated things, they are called fabrications

Thanissaro
And what, monks, would you say are ‘preparations’? They prepare the prepared - that, monks, is why they are called preparations.
And what is the prepared that they prepare? They prepare, as a prepared, form into the state of form, they prepare, as a prepared, feeling
into the state of feeling, they prepare, as a prepared, perception into the state of perception, they prepare, as a prepared, preparations into
the state of preparations, they prepare, as a prepared, consciousness into the state of consciousness. They prepare the prepared, so, that is
why, monks, they are called preparations."

Rūpaṁ rūpattāya saṁkhataṁ abhisaṁkharontī ti. Form is prepared into form by a process of specially prepared preparation. In a similar manner, vedanā feeling is prepared into feeling by a process of specially prepared preparation. “Vedanaṁ vedanattāya saṁkhataṁ abhisaṁkharontī.” The third one saññā has to be understood in a similar manner. The most wonderful interpretation is given to saṁkhāra. Saṁkhāre saṁkhārattāya
saṁkhataṁ abhisaṁkharontīti saṁkhārā. Saṁkhārā or preparations are so called because preparations are prepared into prepared form by a process of special preparation. Then comes consciousness, “viññāṇaṁ viññāṇattāya saṁkhataṁ abhisaṁkharonti”. “Consciousness is formed into
consciousness by a process of specially prepared preparation.”

Nanananda
Bhikkhus, why do they speak of sankhara? Bhikkhus, this nature naturally concocts concocted things (abhisankharonti), for this reason it is called "sankhara." What does it concoct? It concocts rupa as something concocted with "formness," it concocts vedana as something concocted with "feelingness," it concocts sanya as something concocted with "recognition-ness," it concocts sankhara as something concocted with "concoctingness," it concocts vinyana as something concocted with "cognition-ness." Bhikkhus, this nature naturally concocts concocted things, for this reason it is called "sankhara."

Buddhadasa
Imo, the verse merely means sankhara constructs the illusion of something real or solid about the aggregates, when, in reality, the aggregates are as described in the Phena Sutta, namely, a lump of foam, a bubble, a mirage, a hollow tree and a magicians trick.

:smile:

Rūpaṃ rūpattāya saṅ­kha­ta­mabhi­saṅ­kha­ronti - constructs (abhi­saṅ­kha­ronti) a constructed solid thing (saṅ­kha­ta­m) into form-self-hood :D (rūpattāya) from mere form (rūpaṃ), like in this video:


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

SN 5.10

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