Has Bhikkhu Bodhi (quote, source)stated his opinion on sutta support for consciousness outside the five aggregates?

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zan
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Has Bhikkhu Bodhi (quote, source)stated his opinion on sutta support for consciousness outside the five aggregates?

Post by zan » Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:03 pm

Has Bhikkhu Bodhi ever stated, clearly, his opinion on whether or not the suttas support consciousness outside the five aggregates?

If so, could someone provide the quote and source?

I posted this in Theravada for Beginners because any discussion on consciousness outside the five aggregates quickly devolves into debate and wild conjecture. However all I'm looking for is either:

1. Confirmation that no, he has never clearly stated one way or the other.

or

2. An actual quote, with a source, where he did clearly state one way or the other.
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. First, look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Unless you can confirm their accuracy from a reliable source, treat my writings like word games, nothing more.

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Re: Has Bhikkhu Bodhi (quote, source)stated his opinion on sutta support for consciousness outside the five aggregates?

Post by cappuccino » Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:53 pm

some type of survival beyond the present life is required, for kamma can bring its due retribution only if our individual stream of consciousness does not terminate with death.

Bhikkhu Bodhi
we can uproot the binding defilements and win the peace of deliverance, the freedom beyond the cycle of karma and its fruit.

Bhikkhu Bodhi
beyond the cycle of karma and its fruit . . .

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Re: Has Bhikkhu Bodhi (quote, source)stated his opinion on sutta support for consciousness outside the five aggregates?

Post by cappuccino » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:01 pm

Does Rebirth Make Sense?
by
Bhikkhu Bodhi
Last edited by cappuccino on Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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SDC
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Re: Has Bhikkhu Bodhi (quote, source)stated his opinion on sutta support for consciousness outside the five aggregates?

Post by SDC » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:03 pm

Two things:

- Consciousness is one of the aggregates, so any designation would unwaveringly imply nothing other than consciousness assumed to be something other than what it is, i.e. the Self.

- Many of Ven. Bodhi's translations do not support such an opinion.

This is pretty definitive:
SN 22.54 wrote:Consciousness, bhikkhus, while standing, might stand engaged with form; based upon form, established upon form, with a sprinkling of delight, it might come to growth, increase, and expansion. Or consciousness, while standing, might stand engaged with feeling … engaged with perception … engaged with volitional formations; based upon volitional formations, established upon volitional formations, with a sprinkling of delight, it might come to growth, increase, and expansion.

"Bhikkhus, though someone might say: ‘Apart from form, apart from feeling, apart from perception, apart from volitional formations, I will make known the coming and going of consciousness, its passing away and rebirth, its growth, increase, and expansion’—that is impossible.
This one states that whatever is regarded as Self, it is all five-holding-aggregates or one among them that is being regarded as such.
SN 22.47 wrote:At Savatthi. “Bhikkhus, those ascetics and brahmins who regard anything as self in various ways all regard as self the five-clinging-aggregates, or a certain one among them. What five?
Here, that the engaging and clinging in regard to the aggregates is taking the stand as Self:
SN 22.85 wrote:He becomes engaged with form, clings to it, and takes a stand upon it as ‘my self.’ He becomes engaged with feeling … with perception … with volitional formations … with consciousness, clings to it, and takes a stand upon it as ‘my self.’ These same five aggregates of clinging, to which he becomes engaged and to which he clings, lead to his harm and suffering for a long time.
Then there is MN 44 which states that not even the clinging/holding is apart from the aggregates (Ven. Nanamoli trans.):
MN 44 wrote:The five holding aggregates, friend Visākha, are not just holding; but neither is there holding apart from the five holding aggregates. That, friend Visākha, in the five holding aggregates which is desire-&-lust, that holding is therein.
Just out of curiosity, is there some interpretation by Ven. Bodhi that brought about this question?

(Added emphasis mine)

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Re: Has Bhikkhu Bodhi (quote, source)stated his opinion on sutta support for consciousness outside the five aggregates?

Post by cappuccino » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:19 pm

Bhikkhus, though someone might say: ‘Apart from form, apart from feeling, apart from perception, apart from volitional formations, I will make known the coming and going of consciousness, its passing away and rebirth, its growth, increase, and expansion’—that is impossible.
the coming and going of consciousness, its passing away and rebirth

(indeed)

is different than

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Re: Has Bhikkhu Bodhi (quote, source)stated his opinion on sutta support for consciousness outside the five aggregates?

Post by SDC » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:25 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:19 pm
Bhikkhus, though someone might say: ‘Apart from form, apart from feeling, apart from perception, apart from volitional formations, I will make known the coming and going of consciousness, its passing away and rebirth, its growth, increase, and expansion’—that is impossible.
the coming and going of consciousness, its passing away and rebirth

(indeed)

is different than
As interpreted by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, which is not the topic.

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Re: Has Bhikkhu Bodhi (quote, source)stated his opinion on sutta support for consciousness outside the five aggregates?

Post by zan » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:41 pm

SDC wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:03 pm
Two things:

- Consciousness is one of the aggregates, so any designation would unwaveringly imply nothing other than consciousness assumed to be something other than what it is, i.e. the Self.

- Many of Ven. Bodhi's translations do not support such an opinion.

This is pretty definitive:
SN 22.54 wrote:Consciousness, bhikkhus, while standing, might stand engaged with form; based upon form, established upon form, with a sprinkling of delight, it might come to growth, increase, and expansion. Or consciousness, while standing, might stand engaged with feeling … engaged with perception … engaged with volitional formations; based upon volitional formations, established upon volitional formations, with a sprinkling of delight, it might come to growth, increase, and expansion.

"Bhikkhus, though someone might say: ‘Apart from form, apart from feeling, apart from perception, apart from volitional formations, I will make known the coming and going of consciousness, its passing away and rebirth, its growth, increase, and expansion’—that is impossible.
This one states that whatever is regarded as Self, it is all five-holding-aggregates or one among them that is being regarded as such.
SN 22.47 wrote:At Savatthi. “Bhikkhus, those ascetics and brahmins who regard anything as self in various ways all regard as self the five-clinging-aggregates, or a certain one among them. What five?
Here, that the engaging and clinging in regard to the aggregates is taking the stand as Self:
SN 22.85 wrote:He becomes engaged with form, clings to it, and takes a stand upon it as ‘my self.’ He becomes engaged with feeling … with perception … with volitional formations … with consciousness, clings to it, and takes a stand upon it as ‘my self.’ These same five aggregates of clinging, to which he becomes engaged and to which he clings, lead to his harm and suffering for a long time.
Then there is MN 44 which states that not even the clinging/holding is apart from the aggregates (Ven. Nanamoli trans.):
MN 44 wrote:The five holding aggregates, friend Visākha, are not just holding; but neither is there holding apart from the five holding aggregates. That, friend Visākha, in the five holding aggregates which is desire-&-lust, that holding is therein.
Just out of curiosity, is there some interpretation by Ven. Bodhi that brought about this question?

(Added emphasis mine)
Thanks!
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. First, look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Unless you can confirm their accuracy from a reliable source, treat my writings like word games, nothing more.

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Re: Has Bhikkhu Bodhi (quote, source)stated his opinion on sutta support for consciousness outside the five aggregates?

Post by santa100 » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:56 pm

zan wrote:Has Bhikkhu Bodhi ever stated, clearly, his opinion on whether or not the suttas support consciousness outside the five aggregates?
He offered his take on it. See the old thread about the topic here

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Re: Has Bhikkhu Bodhi (quote, source)stated his opinion on sutta support for consciousness outside the five aggregates?

Post by zan » Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:17 pm

santa100 wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:56 pm
zan wrote:Has Bhikkhu Bodhi ever stated, clearly, his opinion on whether or not the suttas support consciousness outside the five aggregates?
He offered his take on it. See the old thread about the topic here
Thanks. I've seen this before. He seems to answer the question: Is nibbana consciousness?

But not: Is there such a thing as consciousness outside of the five aggregates?
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. First, look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Unless you can confirm their accuracy from a reliable source, treat my writings like word games, nothing more.

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Re: Has Bhikkhu Bodhi (quote, source)stated his opinion on sutta support for consciousness outside the five aggregates?

Post by santa100 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:08 am

zan wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:17 pm
Thanks. I've seen this before. He seems to answer the question: Is nibbana consciousness?

But not: Is there such a thing as consciousness outside of the five aggregates?
Please re-read the post again. He specifically referred to the "consciousness without feature"/Vinnanam Anidassanam. Basically some scholars equated this type of consciousness to be the same as Nibbana, but neither Ven. Thanissaro nor Ven. Bodhi saw it that way.

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Re: Has Bhikkhu Bodhi (quote, source)stated his opinion on sutta support for consciousness outside the five aggregates?

Post by anthbrown84 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:14 am

This is a Bikkhu Bodhi interpretation also, this Sutta is worth a good read, it should only take 10 minutes

https://suttacentral.net/sn44.1/en/bodhi

Basically, no matter what we take to be a being, these things do not have hold in Nibanna. The Buddha doesn't then say "but there is this other consciousness that I actually have become since being liberated"

Why? Probably because it's not true and even if it was, pondering it would be a distraction:)

Just my two cents, The Sutta is brilliant

With a smile

Anthony
"Your job in practise is to know the difference between the heart and the activity of the heart, that is it, it is that simple" Ajahn Tate

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Re: Has Bhikkhu Bodhi (quote, source)stated his opinion on sutta support for consciousness outside the five aggregates?

Post by cappuccino » Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:04 pm

anthbrown84 wrote: The Buddha doesn't then say "but there is this other consciousness that I actually have become since being liberated"
his consciousness is unconditioned, he says this many times

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Re: Has Bhikkhu Bodhi (quote, source)stated his opinion on sutta support for consciousness outside the five aggregates?

Post by anthbrown84 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:20 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:04 pm
anthbrown84 wrote: The Buddha doesn't then say "but there is this other consciousness that I actually have become since being liberated"
his consciousness is unconditioned, he says this many times
Ok.... so it sounds like wrong view to me when looking at this Sutta :)
"Your job in practise is to know the difference between the heart and the activity of the heart, that is it, it is that simple" Ajahn Tate

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Re: Has Bhikkhu Bodhi (quote, source)stated his opinion on sutta support for consciousness outside the five aggregates?

Post by cappuccino » Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:25 pm

anthbrown84 wrote: when looking at this Sutta :)
“Then, revered lady, does the Tathagata not exist after death?”

“Great king, the Blessed One has not declared this either: ‘The Tathagata does not exist after death.’”
:shrug:

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Re: Has Bhikkhu Bodhi (quote, source)stated his opinion on sutta support for consciousness outside the five aggregates?

Post by zan » Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:27 pm

santa100 wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:08 am
zan wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:17 pm
Thanks. I've seen this before. He seems to answer the question: Is nibbana consciousness?

But not: Is there such a thing as consciousness outside of the five aggregates?
Please re-read the post again. He specifically referred to the "consciousness without feature"/Vinnanam Anidassanam. Basically some scholars equated this type of consciousness to be the same as Nibbana, but neither Ven. Thanissaro nor Ven. Bodhi saw it that way.
Indeed, I've read it many times over the years and recently. I am also very familiar with that issue. However he didn't say there is absolutely no such thing as consciousness outside the five aggregates. Probably because he wasn't asked this question directly but was commenting on a related, but not identical matter.

I am looking for a direct statement like when Ajahn Chah was asked:
Q: Is this mind you are talking about called the 'Original Mind'?

A: What do you mean?

Q: It seems as if you are saying there is something else outside of the conventional body-mind (the five khandhas). Is there something else? What do you call it?

A: There isn't anything and we don't call it anything - that's all there is to it! Be finished with all of it. Even the knowing doesn't belong to anybody, so be finished with that, too! Consciousness is not an individual, not a being, not a self, not an other, so finish with that - finish with everything! There is nothing worth wanting! It's all just a load of trouble. When you see clearly like this then everything is finished.

-Ajahn Chah, What is Contemplation
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. First, look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Unless you can confirm their accuracy from a reliable source, treat my writings like word games, nothing more.

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