5 Aggregates of Clinging


Buddha Quotes // Khandasaṃyutta, Saṃyutta Nikāya, Pali Canon

(5) Concentration, (6) Seclusion

(5) Wise ones, develop concentration. One who is concentrated understands things as they really are. (6) Wise
ones, make an exertion in seclusion. One who makes an exertion in seclusion understands things as they really are. What what does one understand as it really is? The origin and passing away of [the 5 aggregates: ] 1. form, 2. contact/consciousness, 3. perception, 4. feeling/sensations and 5. sankhara/volitional formations. And what, wise ones, is the origin of the 5 aggregates? One seeks delight in form, contact/consciousness with form, perception of form, feelings/sensations resulting from form, and sankharas/volitional formations reacting to form. One welcomes it, and remains holding to it. As a consequence of this, delight arises. Delight in form is clinging. With one’s clinging as condition, existence comes to be; with existence as condition, birth; with birth as condition, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering. This is the origin of the 5 aggregates : 1. form, 2. contact/consciousness, 3. perception, 4. feeling/sensations, and 5. sankhara/volitional formations. What what is the passing away of the 5 aggregates? One does not seek delight in form, does not welcome it, does not remain holding to it. As a consequence of this, delight in form ceases. With the cessation of delight comes cessation of clinging, with cessation of clinging, cessation of existence… Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.

(7) Agitation through Clinging

How, wise ones, is there agitation through clinging? Here, the uninstructed worldling, who is not a seer of the noble ones and is unskilled and undisciplined in their Dharma, regards form as self, or self as possessing form, or form as in self, or self as in form. That form of one’s changes or alters. With the change and alteration of form, one’s consciousness becomes preoccupied with the change of form. Agitation and a constellation of mental states born of preoccupation with the change in form remain obsessing one’s mind. Because one’s mind is obsessed, one becomes frightened, distressed and anxious, and through clinging one becomes agitated. One regards [ the 5 aggregates: ] 1. form, 2. contact/consciousness, 3. perception, 4. feeling/sensations, and 5. sankhara/volitional formations, as self or self as possessing them, or them as in self or self as in them… Through clinging to the aggregates one becomes agitated. In such a way, there is agitation through clinging. And how, wise ones, is there non-agitation through non-clinging? Here, the instructed noble disciple, who is a seer of the noble ones, and is skilled and disciplined in their Dharma, does not regard form as self, or self as possessing form, or form as in self, or self as in form. That form changes and alters. Despite the change and alteration of form, one’s consciousness does not become preoccupied with the change in form. No agitation and constellation of mental states is born out of preoccupation with the change in form that remains obsessing one’s mind. Because one’s mind is not obsessed, one is not frightened, distressed of anxious, and through non-clinging one does not become agitated. Such a wise one does not regard the 5 aggregates as self, or self as possessing them, of them as in self or self as in them… and through non-clinging one
does not become agitated. It is in this way that there is non-agitation through non-clinging.

Where does the Tathāgata reappear after death?

BUDDHA QUOTES // Aggivacchagotta Sutta 72, Majjhima Nikāya

Vaccha :
When a Tathāgata’s mind is fully liberated, Master Gotama, where does it reappear after death? …

Buddha :
The term ‘reappear’ does not apply.
The term ‘does not reappear’ does not apply.
There term ‘both reappears and does not reappear’ does not apply.
The term ‘neither reappears nor does not reappear’ does not apply.

Vaccha :
Here I have fallen into bewilderment, here I have fallen into confusion, the measure of confidence I had gained through previous conversation with Master Gotama has now disappeared.

Buddha :
It is enough to cause you bewilderment, Vaccha, enough to cause you confusion. For this Dhamma is profound, hard to see and hard to understand, peaceful and sublime, unattainable by mere reasoning, subtle, to be experienced by the wise.

It is hard for you to understand it when you hold another view, accept another teaching, approve of another teaching, pursue a different training, and follow a different teacher. So I shall question you in return. Answer as you choose.

What do you think? Suppose a fire were burning before you. Would you know “this fire is burning before me?”

Vaccha :
Yes I would.

Buddha :
What does this fire before you burn in dependence on?

Vaccha :
This fire burns in dependence on fuel of grass and sticks.

Buddha :
If that fire before you were extinguished, would you know “this fire before me has been extinguished?”

Vaccha :
Yes I would.

Buddha :
When that fire before you was extinguished, to which direction did it go? To the east, the west, the north or the south?

Vaccha :
That does not apply, Master Gotama. The fire burned in dependence on it’s fuel of grass and sticks. When that is used up, if it does not get more fuel, being without fuel, it is seen to be extinguished.

Buddha :
So too Vaccha, the Tathāgata has abandoned the material form by which the Tathāgata might be described; this form has been cut it off at the root, made as a palm stump, done away with, so that the Tathāgata is no longer subject to future arising. The Tathāgata is liberated from reckoning in terms of material form; having become profound, immeasurable, hard to fathom like the ocean. Thus, the term ‘reappear’ does not apply;  ‘does not reappear’ does not apply…

The Origination of Identity

Ashes & Snow

Chachakka Sutta, The Six Sets of Six, Pali
Canon

“Now, wise ones, this is the way leading to the origination of identity.

(i) One regards the eye thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self.’ One regards forms thus… One regards eye-consciousness thus… One regards eye-contact thus… One regards feeling thus…One regards craving thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self.’ “One regards the ear thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self.’…One regards the nose thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self.’… One regards the tongue thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self.’…One regards the body thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self.’… One regards the mind thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self.’ One regards mind-objects thus…One regards mind-consciousness thus…One regards mind-contact thus…One regards feeling thus…One regards craving thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self.’

(THE CESSATION OF IDENTITY)
“Now, wise ones, this is the way leading to the cessation of identity.

(i) One regards the eye thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ One regards forms thus…One regards eye-consciousness thus… One regards eye-contact thus…One regards feeling thus… One regards craving thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ “One regards the ear thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’… One regards the nose thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’…One regards the tongue thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’… One regards the body thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’…One regards the mind thus: ‘This is
not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ One regards mind-objects thus…One regards mind-consciousness thus…One regards mind-contact thus…One regards feeling thus…One regards craving thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’

Māra the Hawk

THE HAWK //
Satipaṭṭhānasaṃyutta, Saṃyutta Nikāya
BUDDHA QUOTES —

Wise ones, once in the past a hawk suddenly swooped down and seized a quail. Then, while the quail was being carried off by the hawk, he lamented: ‘We were so unlucky, of so little merit! We strayed out of our own resort into the domain of others. If we had stayed in our own resort today, in our own ancestral domain, this hawk wouldn’t have stood a chance against me in a fight.’ — ‘But what is your own resort, quail, what is your own ancestral domain?’ — ‘The freshly ploughed field covered with clods of soil.’ Then the hawk, confident of her own strength, not boasting of her own strength, released the quail saying: ‘Go now, quail, but even there you won’t escape.’ Then the quail went to a freshly ploughed field covered with clods of soil. Having climbed up on a large clod, he stood there and addressed the hawk: ‘Come get me now, hawk! Come get me now!’ Then the hawk, confident of her strength, not boasting of her own strength, folded up both her wings and suddenly swooped down on the quail. But then the quail knew, ‘That hawk has come close,’ he slipped inside that clod, and the hawk shattered her breast right on the spot. So it is too, wise ones, when one strays outside one’s own resort into the domain of others.

Therefore, wise ones, do not stray outside of your own resort into the domain of others. Māra will gain access to those who stray outside their own resort into the domain of others; Māra will get a hold on them. And what is not a wise one’s own resort but the domain of others? It is the five cords of sensual pleasure (kāmguṇa). What five? Forms cognizable by the eye that are desirable, lovely, agreeable, pleasing, sensually enticing, tantalizing. Sounds cognizable by the ear… Odours cognizable by the nose… Tastes cognizable by the tongue… Tactile objects cognizable by the body which are desirable, lovely, agreeable, pleasing, sensually enticing, tantalizing. These are the five cords of sensual pleasure (kāmguṇa). This is what is not a wise one’s own resort but the domain of others. Move in your own resort, wise ones, in your own ancestral domain. Māra will not gain access to those who move in their own resort, in their own ancestral domain; Māra will not get a hold on them.

And what is a wise one’s resort, one’s own ancestral domain? It is the four foundations of mindfulness. What four? Here, one dwells contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. One dwells contemplating feelings in feelings… mind in mind… phenomenon in phenomenon, ardent, clearly comprehending,
mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure with regards to the world. This is a wise one’s resort, one’s own ancestral domain.

Underlying Tendencies of Lust and Aversion

href="http://journal.phong.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/2011.01.01.08.jpg"> class="alignright size-medium wp-image-1774" title="Buddha Foot"
src="http://journal.phong.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/2011.01.01.08-199x300.jpg"
alt="" width="199" height="300" />Chachakka Sutta,
Majjhima Nikāya // Pali Canon
BUDDHA
QUOTES
— Wise ones, dependent on the mind and
forms, mind-consciousness arises; the meeting of the three is
contact; with contact as a condition there arises [a feeling] felt
as pleasant, painful or neutral. When one is touched by a pleasant
feeling, if one delights in it, welcomes it, and remains holding to
it, then the underlying tendency to lust lies within one. When one
is touched by a painful feeling, if one sorrows, grieves and
laments, weeps beating one’s breast and becomes distraught, then
the underlying tendency to aversion lies within one. When one is
touched by a neutral feeling, if one does not understand as it
actually is the origination, the disappearance, the gratification,
the danger, and the escape in regards to feeling, then the
underlying tendency to ignorance lies within one. That one shall
here and now make the end of suffering without abandoning the
underlying tendency to lust for pleasant feeling, without
abolishing the underlying tendency to aversion towards painful
feeling, without extirpating the underlying tendency to ignorance
in regard to neutral feeling, without abandoning ignorance and
arousing true knowledge — this is impossible.

Should one fail to enlighten themselves, one should seek the guidance of learned teachers…

Huineng

The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch : Chapter II : Prajna

Without enlightenment, there would be no difference between a Buddha and other living beings, while a gleam of enlightenment is enough to make any living being equal to a Buddha. Since all Dharmas are immanent in our mind, there is no reason why we should not realize intuitively the real nature of Tathata (Suchness). The Bodhisattva Sila Sutra says, ‘Our true nature is intrinsically pure, and if we know our mind and realized what our nature is, all of us would attain Buddhahood.’ As the Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra says, ‘in an instant, anyone can return to the original mind’.

When the Fifth Patriarch taught me, I became enlightened and spontaneously realized the True Nature of Tathata immediately after he had spoken. For this reason it is my job to propagate the teaching of the Sudden School so that students may find Bodhi at once and realize their True Nature by perceiving their own minds.

Should one fail to enlighten themselves, one should seek the guidance of learned teachers who understand the teaching of the highest realization to show them the correct way. The position of a pious and leaned master who guides others to realize their True Nature is an exalted position. Through their assistance one may be initiated into all meritorious Dharmas. The wisdom of the past, the present and the future Buddhas as well as the teachings of the twelve sections of the Canon are all immanent in our mind, but should we fail to enlighten ourselves, we must seek the guidance of the pious and learned ones.

On the other hand, those who enlighten themselves need no outside help. It is wrong to insist upon the ideas that without the advice of the pious and learned we cannot obtain liberation. Why? Because it is by our innate wisdom that we enlighten ourselves, and even the outside help and instructions of a pious and leaned friend would be of no use if we were deluded by false doctrines and erroneous views. If we perceive our mind with the True Wisdom (Prajna), then in an instant, all delusions will disappear. Once we attain out True Nature, we immediately enter the Buddha ground.

A Shipwreck of Fetters

SHIPWRECK

The Buddha // Maggasaṃyutta, Pali Canon

BUDDHA QUOTE — Suppose there were a seafaring ship bound with rigging that had been worn out in the water for six months. It would be hauled up on the dry land during the cold season, and its rigging would be further attacked by wind and sun. Inundated by rain from a rain cloud, the rigging would easily collapse and rot away. So too, when a wise one developes and cultivates the Noble Eightfold Path, one’s fetters easily collapse and rot away.

And how is this so? Here, a wise one develops right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. It is in this way, that one develops and cultivates the Noble Eightfold Path so that one’s fetters easily collapse and rot away.

Seven Factors of Enlightenment

DHARMA-WHEEL

href="http://journal.phong.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/DHARMA-WHEEL.jpg"> class="wp-image-1741 alignleft" title="DHARMA-WHEEL"
src="http://journal.phong.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/DHARMA-WHEEL.jpg"
alt="" width="55" height="54" />The Buddha //
Bojjhaṅgasaṃyutta, Pali Canon
(Connected Discourses on The Factors of Enlightenment)
Based upon the Himalayas, the kind of the
mountains, the nāgas nurture their bodies and acquire strength.
When they have nurtured their bodies and acquired strength, they
then enter the pools. From the pools they enter the lakes, then the
streams, then the rivers, and finally they enter the ocean. There
they achieve greatness and expansiveness of body. So too, wise
ones, based upon virtue, established upon virtue, a wise one
develops and cultivates the seven factors of enlightenment, and
thereby achieves greatness and expansiveness. And how does a wise
one, based and established upon virtue, develop the seven factors
of enlightenment? Here, based upon seclusion, dispassion, and
cessation, and maturing in release, a wise one develops the
enlightenment factors : 1. mindfulness
(mindfulness of 1. body, 2.
sensations/feelings, 3. mind, 4. mental
phenomenon/thoughts
) 2.
discrimination (between
wholesome/unwholesome states,
blameable/blameless states,
inferior/superior states,
dark/bright states and their counterparts) 3.
energy (the elements of
arousal, endeavor, and
exertion) 4.
rapture
(arises with the arousal of
energy) 5.
tranquility (tranquility of
body, tranquility of
mind) 6.
concentration (the signs of
serenity, and
non-dispersal)
7. equanimity (arises with the
development of concentration)
In this way, a wise one, based upon virtue,
established upon virtue, develops the seven factors of
enlightenment, and thereby achieves greatness and
expansiveness.

Jamgön Kongtrül on the view of Mahāmudrā

Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye

(Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Thaye)

Since in the view of mahāmudrā
Analysis does not apply,
Cast mind-made knowledge far away.
Since in the meditation of mahāmudrā
There is no way of fixating upon a thought,
Abandon deliberate meditation.
Since in the action of mahāmudrā
There is no reference point for any action,
Be free from the intension to act or not.
Since in the fruition of mahāmudrā
There is no attainment to newly aquire,
Cast hopes, fears, and desires far away.

Buddha on Feelings (Vedanāsamyutta)

Buddha

( The Buddha // Vedanāsamyutta, Samyutta Nikāya, Pali Canon )

One who cannot endure
the arisen painful feelings [sensations],
Bodily feelings that sap one’s life,
Who trembled when they touch him,
A weakling of little strength
Who weeps out loud and wails:
This one has not risen up in the bottomless abyss,
Nor has this one even gained a foothold.

But one who is able to endure them —
The arisen painful feelings,
Bodily feelings that sap one’s life —
Who trembles not when they touch:
This one has risen up in the bottomless abyss,
And this one has also gained a foothold.

One who has seen the pleasant as painful
And the painful as a dart,
Seen as impermanent the peaceful feeling
Neither painful nor pleasant:
This is a wise one who sees rightly,
One who fully understands feelings.

Having fully understood feelings,
One is taintless in this very life.
Standing in the Dharma, with the body’s breakup
The knowledge master cannot be reckoned.

The wise one, learned, does not feel
The pleasant and painful mental feelings
[Only the pleasant and painful bodily feelings]
This is the great different between
The wise one and the worldling.

For the learned one who has comprehended Dharma,
Who clearly sees this world and the next,
Desirable things do not provoke one’s mind,
Towards the undesired one has no aversion.

For this one, attraction and repulsion no more exist;
Both have been extinguished, brought to an end.
Having known the dust-free, sorrowless state,
The transcender of existence rightly understands.