Post on Pancakkhandha or Five Aggregates – A Misinterpreted Concept

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    • #27290

      I like to begin a coversation on the two Posts:

      Pancakkhandha or Five Aggregates – A Misinterpreted Concept


      Pancupādānakkhandha – It is All Mental

      I just read these two posts. I’ve been read them a while back, almost 6 months ago. The first time I read I couldn’t understand anything, absolutely nothing. But I decided to take a break. I think the more we’re going to purify the mind, the more capable we are to understand difficult concepts like this.
      What motivated me to read all over again was that I had a conversation with my son (since his mother died, I moved into this house that was in her name and now it’s his and we’ve lived together alone. He’s a psychologist and we talked about the memory the other day. Logically he is not Buddhist, however, he has a good notion of memory. However, it is a more materialistic notion that Buddhist (the brain stores memory, etc.)
      For this reason, I read these three posts from Lal, quoted above and surprisingly to me I managed to understand more than 80 %!
      I’m continuing to read and I go now to all the posts mentioned in these first two…
      Another interesting post that I have not achieved right to this day and by intuition I believe it is very important is: Namarupa Pariceda Nana too!
      May the blessings of the Triple Jewel always be with you!

      Kamma Viññāna and Nāmarūpa Paricceda Ñana

    • #27295

      I am glad to hear that, Lvalio!

      It is a good idea for all to understand those posts, at least the first two.

      For example, the moment after we see something, it goes to our memory. Same with a sound that we hear. We hear it and it is gone (except that it is registered in the memory.) Same for smells, tastes, and bodily touches.
      – Thus, rupakkhandha is almost all memories.

      Of course, there are rupa out there in the external world.
      – But rupakkhandha is what each person has seen, heard, smelled, tasted, or touched.
      – So, there is a difference between rupa (which are sankata) and rupakkhandha (which is what each person has experienced.)

      Think about that!

      The other four (vedanakkhandha, sannakkhandha, sankharakkhandha, vinnanakkhandha) are easier to see.
      – Thus the five aggregates are all mental.

    • #27307

      Reading this makes me smile since I remember reading this section a while back. I remember well the strong impression I got in learning that rupakkhandha was mental. That was the first such interpretation of rupakkhandha I came across.

      This reminds me of another instance when I read for the first time a new (to me) interpretation of something I thought I was already familiar with. It was also related to the subject at hand.

      I’ll have to look up the Pali verse, but I remember Lal’s explanation (I’ll look up the post too) as follows: Seeing is just a trace of seeing, hearing is just a trace of hearing, etc.

      Those who have gone to vipassana retreats elsewhere may remember this verse well, where it was translated something like this: in seeing there is only seeing, in hearing there is only hearing, etc. It was then further explained in terms of “no self”, such as: seeing is only seeing, there is no “I” behind it who “sees”, etc., and realizing this means realizing “anatta”.

      I carried these notions with me for a LONG time until coming to


    • #27313

      Cubibobi: The post that you read could be one of the following two posts:
      What is a Thought?” or “Chachakka Sutta – No “Self” in Initial Sensory Experience.”

    • #27461

      Under “What is a Khandha?”, point #2.2…

      “We experience a rupa (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, dhamma) with a citta AND based on that generate mental qualities of vedana, saññā, saṅkhāra, and viññāna. In each citta, the mind analyzes all these, and that citta is gone in a fraction of a second.”

      Understand sōmanassa vēdanā and dōmanassa vēdanā are mental feelings. So, are they part of Vedanakkhandha?

    • #27462

      Yes, Johnny.
      All types of vedana (sukha, dukkha, somanassa, domanassa, upekkha or neutral) are parts of Vedanakkhandha.

    • #27463

      Johnny apparently ran into posting the following comment, and he emailed me.

      Sāmisa vēdanā is also included, right?

      Glad that I re-read your post on Kāma guṇa and realise there is this thing called Sāmisa vēdanā. Made me realise that an Arahant cannot become a piece of log and not find faeces smelly or rotten food distasteful to consume!

    • #27464

      Yes. The post, “Kāma Guṇa – Origin of Attachment (Tanhā)” is good to read.

      All vedana, including Sāmisa vēdanā, “samphassa-jā-vēdanā,” and nirāmisa vēdanā are included in the five types of vedana (sukha, dukkha, somanassa, domanassa, upekkha or neutral.)

      It is good to understand how each of those different categories can arise.

      Another important thing is the following:
      – All vipaka vedana are sukha, dukkha, or upekkha.
      – Somanassa and domanassa vedana are “mind-made” due to our gati. They are “samphassa-jā-vēdanā.” They do not arise in an Arahant.

    • #27470

      I’d like to think of the five khandhas as a Windows registry. Anyone out there apart from an Arahant has a corrupt registry – Pancaupadanakkhandha, that needs fixing.

    • #27471

      Yes. The five khandhas (aggregates) can be thought of like a registry or a record.

      Until the Arahant stage is reached, we all make wrong decisions and thus generate “wrong” sankhara, vinnana, etc.
      – Those go to the five aggregates as records. So, you are right. We have corrupt registries.

      Even an Arahant has a corrupt registry in the sense of the records generated before attaining the Arahanthood.
      – Only the NEW records (after Ararahnthood) will not be corrupt for an Arahant.

    • #27558

      Does sannakkhandha perform the function of valuation apart from memory retrieval, labelling and identification? For instance, a man spotted what appears to be an attractive lady walking towards his direction. Does his sannakkhandha cause him to assign a value to this attractive sense object so that he might take subsequent glances at the lady when she is nearing him?

    • #27559

      Johnny asked: “Does sannakkhandha perform the function of valuation apart from memory retrieval, labeling, and identification?”

      It is the mansikara cetasika that does memory retrieval.
      – Defiled vedana and sanna can arise automatically IF one has kama raga (in the case of the attractive lady.) That means the same as saying one has “kama gati.”
      – If it is an Arahant or an Anagami, such defiled vedana and sanna cannot arise. No “kama gati” left in them.

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