A Letter on Sankhāra
by Sāmanera Bodhesako
What there is to say about sankhāra can be conveniently divided into two parts, namely (i) discussion of my approach and (ii) discussion of yours. What there is to say about my approach is brief, and constitutes this letter as such. Your approach cannot be discussed as briefly as you might wish (though I have kept it much briefer than it might have become) but is worth discussing in order to indicate difficulties you may not have considered. Those comments are kept separate as a sort of appendix to this letter. You may find it challenging enough to justify its length.
The thrust of your argument is that I have failed to “make the necessary distinctions”, have “confounded doctrinal categories”, and “have neglected to distinguish contexts and meanings” in regard to “classificatory schemations”. However, the understanding I espouse was not arrived at by way of categorical considerations, and therefore the question as to which of us has made the correct classifactory distinctions misses the point. Rather than seeking meaning in (or from) categories I have proceeded by way of first principles. In doing so, I have become convinced that the essence of Dhamma lies in seeing a particular relationship.
“Yo paticcasamuppādam passati so dhammam passati“ etc. leaves no doubt where this principle is to be found, and “Imasmim sati idam hoti imass’uppādā idam uppajjati“ etc. leaves no doubt what it is. Here we have a clear and unambiguous statement that certain things depend on other things, i.e. they have conditions. And this principle is stated repeatedly, in countless variations, expansions, and exemplifications. Three that come to mind: “Sabbe sattā āhāratthitikā“; “Ye dhammā hetuppabhavā“; and “Dve paccayā sammāditthiyā uppādāya: parato ca ghoso yoniso ca manasikāro“. This principle of dependency is manifestly the central point of Dhamma, the hub around which all else revolves (“paticca vinītā kho me tumhe bhikkhave tatra tatra tesu tesu dhammesu“ — M. 109 (iii,19). See also A. IV,94 (ii,94).)
This principle has a general applicability — e.g. the door is dependent upon (among other things) its hinges, for if there were no hinges there would be no door but only a slab of wood — which is evident and not profound; but it also has a particular application which (as the Suttas insist) is not evident (to the puthujjana) and is extraordinarily profound, namely with regard to attavāda. For essential to the notion of selfhood is independence: a “self” that is in thrall to the world’s vicissitudes is no “self” at all. For the puthujjana, then, “self” is not conceived as being on the same level as things of the world, and therefore to merely assert that “all things of the world are impermanent” is insufficient (though the assertion is made often enough, by sinners as well as by saints), since for the puthujjana this will not include his “immortal soul”. More is needed. Somehow or other one must see that the notion of self is with condition, not without condition. And this is the point the Suttas drive at repeatedly. Appropriation depends on what is appropriated. If something permanent could be seized, then appropriation too could be permanent. But since what is seized is necessarily impermanent, therefore appropriation too is impermanent.
At M. 44 sankhāra is defined in exactly the sense of “imasmim sati idam hoti“, and the description of sankhāra as that which defines rūpa … viññāna as rūpa … viññāna has the same essential import. And where sankhārā are spoken of in terms of cetanā it is at once apparent that here too conditionality is the point, for it is the human condition to be forever choosing, and this condition is pañc’upādānakkhandhā. Hence, although sankhāra is defined and used in many ways, all these definitions and usages have the same underlying principle: the conditionality of conditioned things (sankhatā dhammā). (Note also the definition of sankhāra at M. 20 (i,120), where the word is used in an everyday non-technical sense. Here too “condition” — kin nu kho — is obviously meant.)
Once it is recognized that the word “sankhāra” is an expression of the fundamental Dhamma point (paticcasamuppāda) it is natural that this meaning will be sought wherever the word occurs. Thus, the very long description of the wealth of King M. will be taken not as a prelude to the mere assertion that things of the world are impermanent (not that this statement is false but that it is insufficient) but more to the point that his identity as King M. was dependent upon his possessions, without which he would not have been King M.; no matter how magnificent an appropriation might be made, the identity dependent upon those conditions is undermined not by the impermanency of the identity itself but by the impermanence of the conditions for that identity. (See M. 22 (i,137) and on p. 138 note how “self” and “what belongs to self” are interrelated. And on kingly possessions see also A. X,29 (v,57 ff).) To take sankhārā as “things of the world” is precisely to miss this crucial point. (It is also to neglect the negative in experience, by making sankhāra into an ersatz positive. Note that it is only the negative which signifies.) To take sankhāra as “condition” is to recognize this point, and to seek it out. Therefore, even if you now find this explanation of D. 17 strained, it should be taken as a sweet strain (see M. i,411, end of paragraph 1) leading to insight, whereupon it will no longer seem strained.
It is not the case, either in the peroration to D. 17 or elsewhere, that “dhammā could not be used because dhammā includes nibbāna“. There is no Sutta support for this view. On the contrary, M. 72 makes it clear that nibbāna means extinction, and though we may say that a flame is a thing, we cannot in English call its extinction a thing; nor can we do so in either German or French, according to N and S, and there is no justification for supposing that we might do so in Pali. Nibbāna is not a thing but the absence of a thing, but a total absence, like an amputated limb, not an absent-as-present; and therefore nibbāna is neither positive (i.e. dhamma) nor negative (i.e. sankhāra). At M. 107 (iii,6) the word “titthati“ (rather than “atthi“) is used with nibbāna (which elsewhere is called a dhātu, not a dhamma). And at M. 24 note how nibbāna cannot be identified with anything that has positive content, i.e. a dhamma. Is there any place in the Suttas where either “atthi” or “dhamma” are used with nibbāna? If not, then their very absence is strong evidence in favor of what has been put forth here. Besides, if we suppose that sabbe dhammā includes nibbāna then what are we to do with the M. 109 quote above or with “sabbe dhammā nālam abhinivesāya“ (M. i,251) or with “chandamūlakā āvuso sabbe dhammā“ (A. X,53 (v,107))? If we would not include nibbāna there then why should we propose to do so in sabbe dhammā anattā? But if we rather recognize that in the anicca/dukkha-anattā formula, the Suttas are describing a dependent relationship between the (anicca/dukkha) sankhārā and the (sankhatā) dhammā we shall not need to seek for other explanations.
A man who sees that “all circles are round” will understand that what is described is a relationship, not a category. A man who does not see this principle will come to see it only if he seeks relationships, not categories. When sankhāra is viewed from the perspective of relationship rather than category the thrust of its significance can become clear.
Your views on sankhāra, if I understand them, involve two grammatical assumptions: (1) that it is necessary to carefully distinguish sankhāra and sankhāra, for they differ greatly from each other, and (2) that it is a mistake to distinguish between sankhāra and sankhata, for they differ only in nuance. On the face of it this appears to be a peculiar thesis, and investigation does not render it more plausible.
1A. You argue that sankhāra has a passive root as well as an active one. As evidence you offer the Comy view and also the usage of the Sanskrit cognate, samskāra, in certain non-Buddhist contexts. Although the Comy views need not be rejected out of hand they can be accepted only when supported by Sutta usage and/or direct reflexion, and cannot in themselves constitute evidence. And if the Comy views do not constitute evidence, how much less do points of usage in non-Buddhist Sanskrit texts! You also offer certain English constructions that you think establish parallels. Rather than seek evidence in such remote provinces, I suggest it is better to turn to the Suttas and see whether textual usage requires us to accept a sankhāra1 and a sankhāra2. For if it does not then we are better off rejecting superfluous assumptions (and superfluous sankhāras). Herein I would have expected you to cite a number of Sutta passages to support your thesis. Unfortunately you offer only one (though I must admit you offer it twice). But let us look at this single example: M. 44.
1B. You maintain that kāya-sankhāra (as well as citta-) should be understood in a passive sense, inasmuch as breath depends upon there being a body to do the breathing. This is true, of course, but it is equally true that the body depends upon breath, from which point of view sankhāra would be regarded as active. Which view is to be preferred? We can maintain that breathing depends upon body only to the extent that we can maintain that eating depends upon body. That is to say, we can do so, but in the analogous case of āhāra the purpose of the Suttas (M. 38, etc.) is clear: to insist that the body (which, of all rūpa, is most liable to be taken up as attā) is dependent upon conditions. In the same way, body depends upon breath. But air does not depend upon body, and breath is distinct from other air not because it appropriates the body for its support but only because it is appropriated by the body for the body’s support, as is food (which otherwise would not be called food). Compare A. X,20 (v,31), where it is vedanā, not kāya, that breath is said to depend upon. If the passive view were correct we would expect there to find breath called vedanā-sankhāra. (Note also that you are too restrictive in limiting the M. 44 triad to nirodha-samāpatti. The description is relevant also in particular to 2nd and 4th jhānas, in general to meditation, and sometimes even to non-meditative contexts — e.g. M. 117 (iii,73), and also M. 103 (ii,242), where we find vacī-sankhāra, quite evidently meaning vitakkavicārā, and where what is sankhata, namely vacī, is called a dhamma in opposition to the sankhāra. And in M. 43 (i,296) we find the same 3 sankhāras used in a strictly non-meditative sense (i.e. with regard to a corpse). If they can be used in as general a sense as this then there is no justification for asserting that the 3 paticcasamuppāda sankhārā are “a different set with the same name”. Also note that in M. 43 (āyu-) sankhārā are distinguished from (vedaniyā) dhammā, and that the distinction made — specifically with reference to nirodha-samāpatti — supports precisely the view of sankhārā as “conditions”.) And see also S. XII,37, where body is to be seen as “purānam kammam abhisankhatam abhisañcetayitam vedaniyam”, in a paticcasamuppāda context. Since citta-sankhāra is defined in the same way as kāya-sankhāra, if we must prefer the active sense for kāya-sankhāra we must also do so with citta-sankhāra (a reading which you allow). Further, there can be no doubt at all that (as you admit) vacī-sankhāra must be understood in the active voice and cannot be taken as passsive voice (although this is not to deny that speech patterns can intensify patterns of thought as at M. 105 (ii,253) as well as vice versa). Therefore to press for a passive reading of kāya- and/or citta-sankhāra raises the question of consistency. How is it that the one word sankhāra should be defined in one single context in two opposite senses? If we allow only the active voice this question does not arise. Here too we find strong reason for rejecting the passive voice. In both function and form, then, the active voice is to be preferred. And this is quite reasonable for as it happens we already have a distinct and separate word for the passive sense (what gets sankhāra-ed), and that word is sankhata.
2. Although you frequently charge me with “failure to make the necessary distinctions”, etc., you here assert that sankhāra and sankhata are only “slightly different in grammatical form” and therefore refer “to the same thing with slight difference in nuance”. But “killer” and “killed” are no more different in grammatical form than are sankhāra and sankhata. Would you say that they too differ only in nuance? Sankhata is, quite straightforwardly, the passive perfect participle of sankharoti. Like all participles it functions as a verbal adjective and does so, as its name states, in the passive sense. It is often found as a modifier of dhamma (e.g. Sn 1038, ref. S. ii,47). It is sometimes set in direct (though passive) counterpart to sankhāra: “Tayidam sanhkatam olārikam, atthi kho pana sankhārānam nirodho, atth’etan ti” — M. 102 (ii,230-1). “Sankhatā sankhārā ti yathābhūtam na pajānāti” — S. XXII,85 (iii,114). Not only do we find sankhāra used in parallel with paticcasamuppāda (e.g. S. VI,1 (i,136); M. 26 (i,167), etc.) but also we find sankhata used in parallel with paticcasamuppanna, what arises dependently (e.g. D. iii,275; S. XII,20; S. XXII,81; A. V,188, etc.). Never are these parallels crossed. Would you say that paticcasamuppāda and paticcasamuppanna differ only in nuance?
By way of contrast your own example (D. 16) of the supposed equivalency of the two terms is spurious. All that is said there (ii,156-8) is that both sankhāra and what is sankhata are impermanent. If this were enough to make them equivalent (in your usage is “equivalent” identical to “identical”? Or are the two words merely equivalent?) then we would be close to asserting “sabbam ekattan ti” (S. XII,48), for what in the world isn’t impermanent? If I told you that both horses and ducks were animals would you say they were equivalent? Maybe so, insofar as they are both animals; but I’d bet you a banana you’ve never seen Roy Rogers saddle his duck and ride off into the sunset. If you will set aside non-Sutta notions you will not need to invent a passive voice for sankhāra. For it is clear from your letter that it is in support of these non-Sutta notions that sankhāra is twisted and fragmented, both in grammar and in meaning. You force grammar to dance to your philosophy’s tune. As a philosophy graduate you might find this unobjectionable (though I doubt your professors would have), but as an English graduate I must protest. If, instead, you will read the Suttas with the working notion that sankhāra is active and sankhata is passive you will find that this usage is perfectly straightforward and sensible.
3A. Before you can understand sankhāra your confusion about cetanā must be cleared up. That you are confused is established by your need to interpret “cetanāham kammam vadāmi” rather than to accept it in the straightforward way it is offered. (Like Horton the Elephant, the Suttas say what they mean, and what’s more they say that they say what they mean — e.g. M. i,395 — and where interpretation is needed — as at e.g. M. 23, the Anthill — it is generally offered then and there.) Here is strong evidence that you are working with presuppositions incompatible with the Suttas. In such cases it is more profitable to examine those suppositions than to beat the Suttas into an interpretive shape more to one’s liking.
3B. What is said is: intention is action. And this can be reflexively observed[*] by all who will take the trouble to do so. In everydayness it is supposed that first we “make up our minds” and then we act upon our intention — a notion adequate for everyday purposes only. Reflexion reveals that each act is accompanied, immediately and at once, by its intention. At the moment of the intention there is the action — bodily, verbal, or mental. If I intend to scratch I do so simultaneously with the intention. If I do not do so it is because I have not intended to scratch; rather, I have intended, perhaps, to think about, to consider scratching, and it is the thought rather than the scratch that becomes manifest. (If, after having thought about it, I should then scratch, everydayness would call the first intention — actually, in relation to the scratch, intentional intention — volition, and would not even notice the second intention, the one inseparable from the scratch. But reflexion is perfectly able to notice this.) This point should not surprise you, for it has been observed, described, and commented upon by philosophers who have no connection with Dhamma. Unfortunately I don’t have your amazing talent for recall and cannot readily refer you to specific passages; but here are two quotes from one expositor (Mary Warnock). On Nietzsche: “The will is not a cause of action, for one cannot consider the will and the act as sufficiently separated for a causal relation between them to be intelligible …” And on Husserl: “Intentionality … (is) that feature of our looking at the world which brings it about that there is a world of objects for us to look at.” (Phenomenologists and existentialists are, among philosophers, well placed to make this sort of observation, and many of them report on it.) More fundamentally, identity (sakkāya, pañc’upādānakkhandhā) is chosen (within the limits the world allows) and that choice is part of the identity, and thus co-existent with it, and therefore, for Sutta purposes, cetanā is the sankhāra of choice (pun intended) in terms of pañc’upādānakkhandhā (form) and of paticcasamuppāda (how the pañc’upādānakkhandhā function) — see its usage at M. 57 (i,391) — just as in terms of meditation it is breath, vitakkavicārā, and saññā/vedanā that are the examples of choice. (But this is not to say that they are the only sankhārā within their categories.) This, together with proper reflexive attention, should make clear how it is that, quite literally, intention is action.
3C. Your supposition that there are cetanā outside of the paticcasamuppāda is mistaken.
(a) If your phrase “cetanā on the occasions of vipāka” means that intention is the result of action then it is unintelligible, insupportable, and contrary to both reflexion and the Suttas. Quite simply, what is vipāka is not chosen (else who would choose dukkhavedanā as vipāka of pāpakamma?); whereas, cetanā is, precisely, choice. A choice which is not chosen is plainly nonsense. But if your phrase means something else, what? Is it reflexively observable? Do the Suttas discuss it? On what grounds is it to be considered as other than acinteyya?
(b) It is not the case, as you seem to believe, that the arahat is free of paticcasamuppāda. See M. 111 (iii,25) and M. 121 (iii,108): “tam santam idam atthīti pajānāti.” The patiloma sacca applies, and includes cetanā.
(c) As long as there is nāmarūpa saha viññānena there is cetanā, which is part of the nāmakāya.
(Incidentally, there is an amazing amount of iteration in the expansions of the paticcasamuppāda: avijjā appears also as part of āsavā; cetanā as both sankhārā and nāma; vedanā and phassa also as part of nāma; dukkha also as part of vedanā and therefore also part of nāma; bhava as part of tanhā, etc., etc…. Apparently not all Sutta descriptions fit in with your doctrine of non-iteration.)
3D. You will see, then, that it is not a “fundamentalistic and literalistic approach to the Suttas” that results in rigidity. Rather, when one comes to the Suttas with a set of notions partly incompatible with them (as everyone does) then one can either (a) take the Suttas literally and try to force them to fit one’s notions, in which case rigidity is apparent, or (b) try to “interpret” the Suttas — i.e. to deny them — so that they will fit one’s notions, in which case flaccidity is apparent, or (c) relinquish one’s own notions (see M. 74) and instead accept the Suttas as meaning neither more nor less than what they say, in which case there is neither rigidity nor flaccidity but — majjhimā patipadā — acceptance.
4A. You speak of the “literal meaning” of sankhāra in terms of its etymology, as if these two notions were identical. If the Suttas do not define a word, and if the word occurs in too small a variety of contexts to establish its meaning, then we must turn to secondary evidence, which will include etymology, Comy glosses, etc. But in the case of sankhāra we are offered several mutually compatible definitions and also a great variety of contexts, and therefore we must reject an imbalanced approach which places etymological considerations on a par with primary evidence. Rather, we must seek the meaning of sankhāra from within the Suttas only.
4B. You list a number of “principal contextual usages of sankhāra” and without further ado assume the word to have a different meaning in each case. This is a mistake. The differences in definition need not denote a difference in essence. They might denote a difference in application. If so, then you distinguish between these contexts too strictly. (One useful distinction is to distinguish between distinctions that are useful and those that are not.) For example, we might describe a bicycle in terms of form (wheels/frame/handlebars, etc.) or in terms of function (pedal –> sprockets –> chain –> wheels –> …) or in terms of manifestation (motion, either circular — the wheels — or linear — the whole machine — or both). Each description will be quite different from the others, but they will all be describing one thing: a bicycle. Experience too can be described in terms of form (pañc’upādānakkhandhā), function (paticcasamuppāda), or manifestation (dukkha, etc.). And for certain purposes these descriptions might be mixed. (Thus the heterogeneous items — sticks and clubs, etc. — that are met with in certain paticcasamuppāda exemplifications.) The wheels too, though describable in all three aspects (once as “having spokes” etc., again as “chain-driven”, and further as “revolving around a central axis”) are the same wheels. So too with sankhāra. In the paticcasamuppāda context the primary definition is as kāya/vacī/citta (S. XII,2; M. 9). Nothing further is specified. The dialectic is left open. To close this dialectic to everything other than cetanā is to endorse certain assumptions not justified by any Sutta passage. Certainly cetanā are one way — and an important way — in which sankhārā can be described. After all, being involved in puñña, apuñña, and āneñja — i.e. with kamma –, cetanā are avijjāpaccayā. But so are vedanā, as at S. XII,37 (where body is to be seen as “purānam kammam abhisankhatam abhisañcetayitam vedaniyam“, in a paticcasamuppāda context), so feeling is another direction in which the paticcasamuppāda sankhāra dialectic can be pursued. Remember A. X,20 (where it is vedanā, not kāya, that breath is said to depend upon), where vedanā is directly related to kāyasankhāra. (At M. i,500 the three vedanā are specifically called sankhatā paticcasamuppannā.) And we can hardly need a Sutta passage to accept that for the jhānalābhī who is yet puthujjana the sankhārā of M. 44 (at least kāya and vacī) are avijjāpaccayā. (Cittasankhāra, of course, would also be avijjāpaccaya in such a case, and the question of nirodha-samāpatti would not arise.)
4C. You argue against including the M. 44 trio in paticcasamuppāda on the grounds that it is never specified as such in the Suttas. But neither is it specifically denied. Do you propose to exclude everything that is not specifically allowed by the Suttas? If you intend to be consistent in this you will have to give up a great many Abhidhamma concepts which — correctness and utility aside — are also not specified as such in the Suttas; and this may be more than you wish to do.
4D. In the pañc’upādānakkhandhā context you do not insist upon limiting sankhārā to cetanā (rather, you express the fear that I might do so: fat chance). Rather, you use the fourth khandha as a sort of dialectical garbage dump for everything you cannot conveniently pigeonhole elsewhere in your schemata. (Your list includes some true negatives such as phassa and manasikāra, which properly belong in the sankhārakkhandha; but other items such as moha and saddhā are more properly part of upādāna, while some, such as pīti and mettā, would seem to count, as dhammā, as aspects of saññā. But not everything has to have a pigeonhole in the pañc’upādānakkhandhā, as is clear from M. i,191, lines 1-6, and from the fact that the pañc’upādānakkhandhā are paticcasamuppannā. What do the pañc’upādānakkhandhā depend on? Obviously, the pañc’upādānakkhandhā, or some aspect of them.) But I do not agree that the pañc’upādānakkhandhā are in any way a “comprehensive scheme”. Primarily, they describe what is experience(d) as an ultimate reflexive reduction, and as such the question of what goes where in their “unreduced” everyday state is beside the point. And when, as on occasion, the approach is expansive rather than reductive, as at M. 28, the purpose is still not to provide a “comprehensive scheme”. M. 28 makes no attempt to do so, even within the rūpakkhandha. That it specifies mucus but omits mountains indicates a different purpose (but this does not mean that mountains should not be included, when purpose calls for it.) That purpose becomes apparent when M. 28 relates form to function: “paticcasamuppannā kho pan’ime yadidam pañc’upādānakkhandhā.” (And see also M. 38: “aññatra paccayā natthi viññānassa sambhavo.”) Clearly, then, there cannot be anything within the pañc’upādānakkhandhā which is outside the paticcasamuppāda, and this will include whatever is part of the fourth khandha, i.e. more than cetanā. Whatever is negative — i.e. signifies or points to something else — is, in its negative aspect, part of the sankhārakkhandha. And in terms of Dhamma concern, what is pointed to is “me” and, in the puthujjana‘s experience, everything without exception (see S. iii,96) is taken up as pointing to that mythical and never-to-be-found “self”.
[*] You will note that I appeal — not only here — to two authorities: (1) the Suttas, and (2) reflexive observation except insofar as the latter points to an apparent “self”. In this case I try to accept (with little success so far) the Suttas’ assertion that herein lies reflexion’s error. In all other cases reflexion reveals — sometimes only with practice — what the Suttas describe. It is as a guide for reflexion that Sutta categories and classifications are useful. Inasmuch as experience, though coherent, is both open-ended and endlessly varied, Sutta descriptions too will be, though coherent, … [Back to text]
 Who sees dependent arising sees the Dhamma. [Back to text]
 When there is this, that is; with the arising of this, that arises. [Back to text]
 All beings are sustained by nutriment. [Back to text]
 Whatever things originate with conditions. [Back to text]
 There are two conditions for the arising of right view: another’s utterance and proper attention. [Back to text]
 Monks, you have been trained by me in dependent [conditionality] in various instances. [Back to text]
 belief in self [Back to text]
 When there is this, that is. [Back to text]
 intention [Back to text]
 five holding aggregates [Back to text]
 What? [Back to text]
 things [Back to text]
 stands [Back to text]
 is, exists [Back to text]
 element [Back to text]
 all things [Back to text]
 No thing should be attached to. [Back to text]
 All things, friend, are rooted in desire. [Back to text]
 All things are not-self. [Back to text]
 impermanent/suffering — not-self [Back to text]
 (conditioned) things [Back to text]
 body-determination [Back to text]
 food [Back to text]
 matter [Back to text]
 self [Back to text]
 feeling, not body [Back to text]
 feeling-determination [Back to text]
 attainment of cessation (of perception and feeling) [Back to text]
 speech-determination [Back to text]
 thinking and pondering [Back to text]
 speech [Back to text]
 (life-) determinations [Back to text]
 things (to-be-experienced) [Back to text]
 old action that has been determined, intended, and is to be experienced [Back to text]
 mind-determination [Back to text]
 to determine, to form, to fashion, to construct [Back to text]
 That is determined and coarse; but there is such a thing as cessation of determinations — that there is. [Back to text]
 He understands, as they really are, determined determinations. [Back to text]
 All is one. [Back to text]
 It is intention that I call action. [Back to text]
 personality [Back to text]
 thinking and pondering [Back to text]
 perception/feeling [Back to text]
 result, ripening (of action) [Back to text]
 painful feeling as the result of evil action [Back to text]
 unthinkable, not to be speculated about [Back to text]
 “He understands that which is present thus: ‘This is present.'” [Back to text]
 truth in its reverse (against the grain) aspect [Back to text]
 name-&-matter together with consciousness [Back to text]
 the name-body [Back to text]
 ignorance [Back to text]
 (mental) cankers, intoxications [Back to text]
 name [Back to text]
 feeling and contact [Back to text]
 suffering [Back to text]
 being [Back to text]
 craving [Back to text]
 the middle way [Back to text]
 body/speech/mind [Back to text]
 merit, demerit, and imperturbability [Back to text]
 conditioned by ignorance [Back to text]
 Old action that has been determined, intended, and is to be experienced. [Back to text]
 body-determination [Back to text]
 determined, dependently arisen [Back to text]
 one who has attained meditative absorption [Back to text]
 mind-determination [Back to text]
 attainment of cessation (of perception and feeling) [Back to text]
 aggregate [Back to text]
 contact and attention [Back to text]
 aggregate of determinations [Back to text]
 delusion and faith [Back to text]
 holding [Back to text]
 rapture and friendliness [Back to text]
 perception [Back to text]
 aggregate of matter [Back to text]
 These five holding aggregates are dependently arisen. [Back to text]
 Apart from a condition there is no origination of consciousness. [Back to text]
Back to Bodhesako