Re: The five khandas
- Hi Thomas, Nina, and Lennart:
maybe it's not about whether there is 'something/anything' 'outside' or 'apart' from the All (sabba.m), which is to think in terms of the All (identity/difference, which, as you know, the Buddha remained silent about (na upeti)) but whether it is meaningful and practicable to say that the All can be 'transcended', which is a very different matter. Is there any doubt that the Buddha's teaching and path is for the purpose of transcending the All (not of getting 'somewhere else other than the All'). I very much agree with Lennart's 'co-extensiveness of the six sense spheres and the five aggregates'; it's pretty clear.
Anyway, below I've indicated just one possible tip of what I believe is like a deep and vast iceberg floating just beneath the surface of an 'immeasurable ocean' within the Nikaayaa. It would take too long to go into this in detail here (but that's what I'm working on at the moment).
For the first quotation from MN 49, keep in mind here Sabba Sutta (PTS S iv.15) to which Nina and Lennart aptly referred, and which clearly says that the All is the All and no one could ever point to, speak of, or conceive of any All outside of this All, for it would not be within the field of our senses and concepts, it could have no attributes, it would be indefinable and unknowable through attributes (avisaya). Here, the Buddha says, in short, that it is meaningless and unjustifiable to posit a phenomenon 'outside' of phenomenality, or any `thing' outside of `all things'. But this does not mean that `ultimate truth/reality' does not `transcend' the All. To the contrary, surely `transcending' the All is precisely what the Buddhadhamma is all about: cessation, peace, cetovimutti. Without 'transcendence' there is 'no way out', i.e., no way of bringing it to a stop (nirodha). (Cf. e.g. the very-well-known Ud 8.3.)
Personally, I deeply believe that the most important thing of all is that this is all about practice: and the most essential and fundamental practice is meditation. Without living the message of the suttaani through actual meditation practice, we would merely be mincing words. The true 'meaning' of the 'Buddha's words' has to be found in meditation, not in our concepts and dictionaries; but that 'meaning' is no 'word' nor accessible to 'words' (I'm sure you guys know the sutta refs.). I'd guess that the following are also very familiar to you, too.
I. From MN 49 Brahmanimantanika Sutta (PTS M i.326):
"Sabbaṃ kho ahaṃ, brahme, sabbato abhiññāya yāvatā sabbassa sabbattena ananubhūtaṃ tadabhiññāya sabbaṃ nāpahosiṃ sabbasmiṃ nāpahosiṃ sabbato nāpahosiṃ sabbaṃ meti nāpahosiṃ, sabbaṃ nābhivadiṃ. evampi kho ahaṃ, brahme, neva te samasamo abhiññāya, kuto nīceyyaṃ? atha kho ahameva tayā bhiyyo"ti.
"sace kho, mārisa, sabbassa sabbattena ananubhūtaṃ, tadabhiññāya mā heva te rittakameva ahosi, tucchakameva ahosī"ti.
"viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ anantaṃ sabbato pabhaṃ, taṃ pathaviyā pathavattena ananubhūtaṃ, āpassa āpattena ananubhūtaṃ, tejassa tejattena ananubhūtaṃ, vāyassa vāyattena ananubhūtaṃ, bhūtānaṃ bhūtattena ananubhūtaṃ, devānaṃ devattena ananubhūtaṃ, pajāpatissa pajāpatittena ananubhūtaṃ, brahmānaṃ brahmattena ananubhūtaṃ, ābhassarānaṃ ābhassarattena ananubhūtaṃ, subhakiṇhānaṃ subhakiṇhattena ananubhūtaṃ, vehapphalānaṃ vehapphalatte ananubhūtaṃ, abhibhussa abhibhuttena ananubhūtaṃ, sabbassa sabbattena ananubhūtaṃ (PTS M i.329-330)
[Buddha:] "`Brahmā, having directly known the all as all, and having directly known that which is not partaken of [ananubhūtaṃ] the allness of all, I did not claim to be all, I did not claim to be in all, I did not claim to be apart from all, I did not claim all to be `mine', I did not affirm all. Thus, Brahmā, in regard to direct knowledge, I do not stand merely at the same level as you, how then could I know less? Rather, I know more than you."
[Brahmā :] "`Good sir, if that is not partaken of by the allness of the all, may it not turn out to be vacuous [rittaka] and empty [tucchaka] for you!'
[Buddha:] "`Consciousness non-manifesting, boundless, luminous all-round
[viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ anantaṃ sabbato pabhaṃ]:
that is not partaken of by the earthness of earth, that is not partaken of by the waterness of water . . . [the fireness of fire . . .airness of air . . . beingness of beings . . . godness of gods . . . etc.] . . . that is not partaken of by the allness of all [sabbassa sabbattena ananubhūtaṃ]." (Ven. Nyanamoli's and Ven. Bodhi's translation.)
The terms `ananubhūtaṃ ` and `anidassana' deserve a fuller explication (sorry, no time for this now). Bodhi's rendering `non-manifesting' is certainly very close to the mark, only that it has a more `active' sense. The more `passive' sense would suggest `not to be pointed out', i.e., `having no phenomenal attributes or qualities'. The expression "viññāṇaṃ anidassanaṃ anantaṃ sabbato pabhaṃ " occurs also in DN 11 Keva.d.dha Sutta (PTS D i.223).
III. Cf. also SN III.220.127.116.11 Yamaka Sutta (21.85; PTS S iii.110):
"Ettha ca te, āvuso yamaka, diṭṭheva dhamme saccato thetato tathāgate anupalabbhiyamāne, kallaṃ nu te taṃ veyyākaraṇaṃ `tathāhaṃ bhagavatā dhammaṃ desitaṃ ājānāmi, yathā khīṇāsavo bhikkhu kāyassa bhedā ucchijjativinassati, na hoti paraṃ maraṇā"'ti?
"Herein, friend Yamaka, not being able truly and reliably to grasp hold of the Tathāgata even in this present existence, is this exposition proper for you: `Thus do I understand the Dhamma taught by the Tathāgata: that the bhikkhu who has destroyed the aasavaa, after the death and dissolution of the body, is annihilated, is destroyed, does not exist'?" (PTS S iii.112) (My trans.)
IV. Cf. also MN 72 Aggivacchagotta Sutta (PTS M i.483)
evameva kho, vaccha, yena rūpena [et alia] tathāgataṃ paññāpayamāno paññāpeyya taṃ rūpaṃ [et alia] tathāgatassa pahīnaṃ ucchinnamūlaṃ tālāvatthukataṃ anabhāvaṃkataṃ āyatiṃ anuppādadhammaṃ. rūpa [et alia] saṅkhayavimutto kho, vaccha, tathāgato gambhīro appameyyo duppariyogāḷho seyyathāpi mahāsamuddo. upapajjatīti na upeti, na upapajjatīti na upeti, upapajjati ca na ca upapajjatīti na upeti, neva upapajjati na na upapajjatīti na upeti. (PTS M i.487-488)
"So too, Vaccha, the Tathāgata has abandoned that material form [feeling, perception, mental formations, consciousness] by which one describing the Tathāgata might describe him, he has cut it off at the root, made it like a palm stump, done away with it so that it is no longer subject to future arising. The Tathāgata is liberated from reckoning in terms of material form [feeling, perception, mental formations, consciousness], Vaccha, he is profound, immeasurable, hard to fathom like the ocean. `He reappears' does not apply; `he does not reappear' does not apply; `he both reappears and does not reappear' does not apply; `he neither reappears nor does not reappear' does not apply." (Ven. Nyanamoli's and Ven. Bodhi's translation.)
I hope this gives food for meditation.
Respectfully, with metta,
--- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Lennart Lopin <novalis78@...> wrote:
> Hi Thomas,
> You are basically looking for this reference (as Nina mentioned)
> Samyutta Nikaya, Salayatana Samyutta, Sabbasuttaá¹:
> 23. SÄvatthinidÄnaá¹. ââSabbaá¹ vo, bhikkhave, desessÄmi. Taá¹ suá¹Ätha. KiÃ±ca,
> bhikkhave, sabbaá¹? CakkhuÃ±ceva rÅ«pÄ ca, sotaÃ±ca saddÄ ca, ghÄnaÃ±ca gandhÄ
> ca, jivhÄ ca rasÄ ca, kÄyo ca phoá¹á¹habbÄ ca, mano ca dhammÄ ca â" idaá¹
> vuccati, bhikkhave, sabbaá¹. Yo, bhikkhave, evaá¹ vadeyya â" âahametaá¹ sabbaá¹
> paccakkhÄya aÃ±Ã±aá¹ sabbaá¹ paÃ±Ã±ÄpessÄmÄ«âti, tassa vÄcÄvatthukamevassa puá¹á¹ho
> ca na sampÄyeyya, uttariÃ±ca vighÄtaá¹ Äpajjeyya. Taá¹ kissa hetu? YathÄ taá¹,
> bhikkhave, avisayasmiâânti. Paá¹hamaá¹.
> Interesting is the part, where the Buddha says "Yo, bhikkhave, evaá¹ vadeyya
> â" âahametaá¹ sabbaá¹ paccakkhÄya aÃ±Ã±aá¹ sabbaá¹ paÃ±Ã±ÄpessÄmÄ«âti, tassa
> vÄcÄvatthukamevassa puá¹á¹ho ca na sampÄyeyya, uttariÃ±ca vighÄtaá¹ Äpajjeyya."
> - (i.e. who says that he will refuse this definition of all and replace it
> by something else, and then asked what that other all could be, will get
> into a lot of trouble finding an answer)
> If you think this trough, it is a very simple but profound statement. To
> think or conceive of something outside the six senses is not possible - not
> because of some dogma, but just logically. The moment you start "thinking"
> what else there could be, you are already falling back of one of the six
> sense spheres.
> To answer your original question then, one would finally have to see if the
> five khandhas are the same as the six senses spheres. I think that is pretty
> easy to prove - it is just another description of the same process: our
> moment to moment experience.
> For instance SN 35. 204 comes to my mind: Kiá¹sukopamasuttaá¹ where these
> various descriptions of that experiential process we call "life" are
> described (from the viewpoint of insight meditation)
> PS: I would be curious to hear from anyone who ever found something outside
> that "all" :-)
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Dear Lennart,
I think you expressed this very well.
Op 30-jun-2010, om 17:06 heeft Lennart Lopin het volgende geschreven:
> If you think this trough, it is a very simple but profound[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> statement. To
> think or conceive of something outside the six senses is not
> possible - not
> because of some dogma, but just logically. The moment you start
> what else there could be, you are already falling back of one of
> the six
> sense spheres.
> To answer your original question then, one would finally have to
> see if the
> five khandhas are the same as the six senses spheres. I think that
> is pretty
> easy to prove - it is just another description of the same process:
> moment to moment experience.
- Dear Khristos,
I agree with you that the ultimate goal is to go beyond, that is, to
be liberated from the cycle, and that the teachings are all about
But first of all conditioned dhammas included in the All must be
investigated and understood, so that they can be seen as impermanent,
dukkha and anattaa. That is why I find this sutta (S. IV, 14) very
helpful: where it is said that the all is: eye and object, ear and
There is visible object and seeing, sound and hearing all the time.
All objects appearing through the six doors.
Op 1-jul-2010, om 7:24 heeft k_nizamis het volgende geschreven:
> Here, the Buddha says, in short, that it is meaningless and[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> unjustifiable to posit a phenomenon 'outside' of phenomenality, or
> any `thing' outside of `all things'. But this does not mean that
> `ultimate truth/reality' does not `transcend' the All. To the
> contrary, surely `transcending' the All is precisely what the
> Buddhadhamma is all about: cessation, peace, cetovimutti. Without
> 'transcendence' there is 'no way out', i.e., no way of bringing it
> to a stop (nirodha). (Cf. e.g. the very-well-known Ud 8.3.)
> Personally, I deeply believe that the most important thing of all
> is that this is all about practice: and the most essential and
> fundamental practice is meditation.