Five skandhas

This article is about a term in Buddhist phenomenology. For the bodhisattva by a similar name, see Skanda (Buddhism).

Template:Buddhist term

In Buddhist phenomenology and soteriology, the skandhas (Sanskrit) or khandhas (Pāḷi), aggregates in English, are the five functions or aspects that constitute the sentient being.[lower-alpha 1][lower-alpha 2] The Buddha teaches that nothing among them is really "I" or "mine".

In the Theravada tradition, suffering arises when one identifies with or clings to an aggregate. Suffering is extinguished by relinquishing attachments to aggregates.

The Mahayana tradition further puts forth that ultimate freedom is realized by deeply penetrating the nature of all aggregates as intrinsically empty of independent existence.

Etymology

Outside of Buddhist didactic contexts, "skandha" can mean mass, heap, pile, gathering, bundle or tree trunk.[3][lower-alpha 3]

According to Thanissaro, the buddha gave a new meaning to the term "khanda":

Prior to the Buddha, the Pali word khandha had very ordinary meanings: A khandha could be a pile, a bundle, a heap, a mass. It could also be the trunk of a tree. In his first sermon, though, the Buddha gave it a new, psychological meaning, introducing the term clinging-khandhas to summarize his analysis of the truth of stress and suffering. Throughout the remainder of his teaching career, he referred to these psychological khandhas time and again.[4]

Description in the Sutta Pitaka

The Sutta Pitaka of the Pali Canon contains the teachings of the Buddha, as preserved by the Theravada tradition.

The five skandhas

The sutras describe five aggregates:[lower-alpha 4]

  1. "form" or "matter"[lower-alpha 5] (Skt., Pāli rūpa; Tib. gzugs): external and internal matter. Externally, rupa is the physical world. Internally, rupa includes the material body and the physical sense organs.[lower-alpha 6]
  2. "sensation" or "feeling" (Skt., Pāli vedanā; Tib. tshor-ba): sensing an object[lower-alpha 7] as either pleasant or unpleasant or neutral.[lower-alpha 8][lower-alpha 9]
  3. "perception", "conception", "apperception", "cognition", or "discrimination" (Skt. samjñā, Pāli saññā, Tib. 'du-shes): registers whether an object is recognized or not (for instance, the sound of a bell or the shape of a tree).
  4. "mental formations", "impulses", "volition", or "compositional factors" (Skt. samskāra, Pāli saṅkhāra, Tib. 'du-byed): all types of mental habits, thoughts, ideas, opinions, prejudices, compulsions, and decisions triggered by an object.[lower-alpha 10]
  5. "consciousness" or "discernment"[lower-alpha 11] (Skt. vijñāna, Pāli viññāṇa,[lower-alpha 12] Tib. rnam-par-shes-pa):
    1. In the Nikayas/Āgamas: cognizance,[5][lower-alpha 13] that which discerns[6][lower-alpha 14]
    2. In the Abhidhamma: a series of rapidly changing interconnected discrete acts of cognizance.[lower-alpha 15]
    3. In some Mahayana sources: the base that supports all experience.[lower-alpha 16]

The Buddhist literature describes the aggregates as arising in a linear or progressive fashion, from form to feeling to perception to mental formations to consciousness.[lower-alpha 17] In the early texts, the scheme of the five aggregates is not meant to be an exhaustive classification of the sentient being. Rather it describes various aspects of the way an individual manifests.[7]

Suffering and release

Bhikkhu Bodhi (2000b, p. 840) states that an examination of the aggregates has a "critical role" in the Buddha's teaching for several reasons, including:[lower-alpha 18]

  1. Understanding suffering: the five aggregates are the "ultimate referent" in the Buddha's elaboration on dukkha (suffering) in his First Noble Truth: "Since all four truths revolve around suffering, understanding the aggregates is essential for understanding the Four Noble Truths as a whole."
  2. Clinging causes future suffering: the five aggregates are the substrata for clinging and thus "contribute to the causal origination of future suffering".
  3. Release from samsara: clinging to the five aggregates must be removed in order to achieve release from samsara.

Understanding dukkha

In the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta the Buddha provides the classic elaboration on the first of his Four Noble Truths, "The Truth of Suffering" (Dukkhasacca):

The Noble Truth of Suffering [dukkha], monks, is this: Birth is suffering, aging is suffering, sickness is suffering, death is suffering, association with the unpleasant is suffering, dissociation from the pleasant is suffering, not to receive what one desires is suffering—in brief the five aggregates subject to grasping are suffering.[9]

Clinging causes future suffering

The Samyutta Nikaya contains the Khandhavagga ("The Book of Aggregates"), a book compiling over a hundred suttas related to the five aggregates. The Upadaparitassana Sutta ("Agitation through Clinging Discourse," SN 22:7) describes how non-clinging to form prevents agitation:

...[T]he instructed noble disciple ... does not regard form [or other aggregates] as self, or self as possessing form, or form as in self, or self as in form. That form of his changes and alters. Despite the change and alteration of form, his consciousness does not become preoccupied with the change of form.... [T]hrough non-clinging he does not become agitated." (Trans. by Bodhi, 2000b, pp. 865-866.)

The most explicit denial of substantiality in the early texts is one that was quoted by later prominent Mahayana thinkers:

All form is comparable to foam; all feelings to bubbles; all sensations are mirage-like; dispositions are like the plantain trunk; consciousness is but an illusion: so did the Buddha illustrate [the nature of the aggregates].[10]

Release from samsara

In the Pāli Canon and the Āgamas, the majority of discourses focusing on the five aggregates discusses them as a basis for understanding and achieving liberation from suffering.[11]

Liberation is possible by insight into the workings of the mind. Traditional mindfulness practices can awaken this by understanding, release and wisdom.

In the classic Theravada meditation reference, the "Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta" ("The Foundations of Mindfulness Discourse," MN 10), the Buddha provides four bases for establishing mindfulness: body (kaya), sensations (vedana), mind (citta) and mental objects (dhamma).[lower-alpha 19] When discussing mental objects as a basis for meditation, the Buddha identifies five objects, including the aggregates.

Through mindfulness contemplation, one sees an "aggregate as an aggregate" — sees it arising and dissipating. Such clear seeing creates a space between the aggregate and clinging, a space that will prevent or enervate the arising and propagation of clinging, thereby diminishing future suffering.[lower-alpha 20] As clinging disappears, so too notions of a separate "self."

No essence

See Sunyata

The aggregates don't constitute any 'essence'. In the Samyutta Nikaya, the Buddha explains this by using the simile of a chariot:

A 'chariot' exists on the basis of the aggregation of parts, even so the concept of 'being' exists when the five aggregates are available.[12][lower-alpha 21]

Just as the concept of "chariot" is a reification, so too is the concept of "being". The constituents of being too are unsubstantial in that they are causally produced, just like the chariot as a whole.[13]

The chariot metaphor is not an exercise in ontology, but rather a caution against ontological theorizing and conceptual realism.[14] Part of the Buddha's general approach to language was to point towards its conventional nature, and to undermine the misleading character of nouns as substance-words.[15]

Arahants

Main articles: Arhat (Buddhism) and Tathagata

The skandha analysis of the early texts is not applicable to arahants. A tathāgata has abandoned that clinging to the personality factors that render the mind a bounded, measurable entity, and is instead "freed from being reckoned by" all or any of them, even in life. The skandhas have been seen to be a burden, and an enlightened individual is one with "burden dropped".[16]

Understanding in Theravada Abhidhamma

 The Five Aggregates (pañca khandha)
according to the Pali Canon.
 
 
form (rūpa)
  4 elements
(mahābhūta)
 
 
   
    contact
(phassa)
    
 
consciousness
(viññāna)

 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
  mental factors (cetasika)  
 
feeling
(vedanā)

 
 
 
perception
(sañña)

 
 
 
formation
(saṅkhāra)

 
 
 
 
 diagram details


While early Buddhism reflects the teachings as found in the Pali Sutta Pitaka and the Chinese Agama, the Early Buddhist schools developed detailed analyses and overviews of the teachings found in those sutras, called Abhidharma. Each school developed its own Abhidharma. the best known is the Theravāda Abhidhamma. The Sarvāstivāda Abhidharma has been preserved partly in the Chinese Agama.

Six consciousnesses

Main articles: Ayatana and Ṣaḍāyatana

The teaching of the six sense bases provides an alternative to the five aggregates as a description of the workings of the mind.[17] In this teaching, the coming together of an object and a sense-organ results in the arising of the corresponding consciousness. The suttas themselves don't describe this alternative. It is in the Abhidhamma, striving to "a single all-inclusive system"[18] that the five aggregates and the six sense bases are explicitly connected.[18]

This might be described as follows (illustrated in the figure to the right):[19]

  • Form (rūpa) arises from experientially irreducible physical/physiological phenomena.[lower-alpha 22]
  • The coming together of an external object (such as a sound) and its associated internal sense organ (such as the ear) — gives rise to consciousness (viññāṇavijñāṇa).[lower-alpha 23]
  • The concurrence of an object, its sense organ and the related consciousness (viññāṇa • vijñāṇa) is called "contact" (phassasparśa).[lower-alpha 24][lower-alpha 25][lower-alpha 26]
  • From the contact of form and consciousness arise the three mental (nāma) aggregates of feeling (vedanā), perception (saññāsaṃjñā) and mental formation (saṅkhāra • saṃskāra).[lower-alpha 27][lower-alpha 28]
  • The mental aggregates can then in turn give rise to additional consciousness that leads to the arising of additional mental aggregates.[lower-alpha 29]

In this scheme, form, the mental aggregates,[lower-alpha 30] and consciousness are mutually dependent.[lower-alpha 31]

Twelve Sense Bases

There are Twelve Sense Bases:

  • The first five external sense bases (visible form, sound, smell, taste and touch) are part of the form aggregate.
  • The mental sense object (that is, mental objects) overlap the first four aggregates (form, feeling, perception and formation).
  • The first five internal sense bases (eye, ear, nose, tongue and body) are also part of the form aggregate.
  • The mental sense organ (mind) is comparable to the aggregate of consciousness.

While the benefit of meditating on the aggregates is overcoming wrong views of the self (since the self is typically identified with one or more of the aggregates), the benefit of meditation on the six sense bases is to overcome craving (through restraint and insight into sense objects that lead to contact, feeling and subsequent craving).[20][21][22][lower-alpha 32]

Eighteen Dhātus

The eighteen dhātus[lower-alpha 33] – the Six External Bases, the Six Internal Bases, and the Six Consciousnesses – function through the five aggregates. The eighteen dhātus can be arranged into six triads, where each triad is composed of a sense object, a sense organ, and sense consciousness. In regards to the aggregates:[23]

  • The first five sense organs (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body) are derivates of form.
    • The sixth sense organ (mind) is part of consciousness.
  • The first five sense objects (visible forms, sound, smell, taste, touch) are also derivatives of form.
    • The sixth sense object (mental object) includes form, feeling, perception and mental formations.
  • The six sense consciousness are the basis for consciousness.
The Eighteen Dhātus
Six External Bases (bāhya-āyatana) Six Internal Bases (adhyātma-āyatana) Six Consciousnesses (vijñāna)
(1) Visual Objects (rūpa-āyatana) (2) Eye Faculty (cakṣur-indriya-āyatana) (3) Visual Consciousness (cakṣur-vijñāna
(4) Auditory Objects (śabda-āyatana) (5) Ear Faculty (śrota-indriya-āyatana) (6) Aural Consciousness (śrota-vijñāna)
(7) Olfactory Objects (gandha-āyatana) (8) Nose Faculty (ghrāṇa-indriya-āyatana) (9) Olfactory Consciousness (ghrāṇa-vijñāna)
(10) Gustatory Objects (rasa-āyatana) (11) Tongue Faculty (jihvā-indriya-āyatana) (12) Gustatory Consciousness (jihvā-vijñāna)
(13) Tactile Objects (spraṣṭavya-āyatana) (14) Body Faculty (kaya-indriya-āyatana) (15) Touch Consciousness (kaya-vijñāna)
(16) Mental Objects (dharma-āyatana) (17) Mental Faculty (mano-indriya-āyatana) (18) Mental Consciousness (mano-vijñāna)

Four Paramatthas

The Abhidhamma and post-canonical Pali texts create a meta-scheme for the Sutta Pitaka's conceptions of aggregates, sense bases and dhattus (elements).[24] This meta-scheme is known as the four paramatthas or four ultimate realities.

Ultimate realities

There are four paramatthas; three conditioned, one unconditioned:

  • Material phenomena (rūpa, form)
  • Mental factors (the nama-factors sensation, perception and formation)
  • Consciousness
  • Nibbāna

Mapping of the paramatthas

The mapping between the aggregates, the twelve sense bases, and the ultimate realities is represented in this chart:[lower-alpha 34]

aggregateexternal
sense base
internal
sense base
ultimate
reality
formvisible form,
sound, smell,
taste, touch
eye,
ear, nose,
tongue, body
28
material
phenomena
mental
objects
(dhamma)
sensation 52
mental
factors
perception
formation
conscious-
ness
(vinnana)
 mind
(mana)
conscious-
ness
(citta)
   Nibbāna

Twelve Nidanas

The Twelve Nidanas describe twelve phenomenal links by which suffering is perpetuated between and within lives.

Inclusion of the five aggregates

Embedded within this model, four of the five aggregates are explicitly mentioned in the following sequence:

  • mental formations (saṅkhāra • saṃskāra) condition consciousness (viññāṇa • vijñāna)
  • which conditions name-and-form (nāma-rūpa)
  • which conditions the precursors (saḷāyatana, phassa • sparśa) to sensations (vedanā)
  • which in turn condition craving (taṇhā • tṛṣṇā) and clinging (upādāna)
  • which ultimately lead to the "entire mass of suffering" (kevalassa dukkhakkhandha).[lower-alpha 35]

The interplay between the five-aggregates model of immediate causation and the twelve-nidana model of requisite conditioning is evident, for instance underlining the seminal role that mental formations have in both the origination and cessation of suffering.[lower-alpha 36][lower-alpha 37]

Three lives

According to Schumann, the nidānas are a later synthesis of Buddhist teachings meant to make them more comprehensible. Comparison with the five skandhas shows that the chain contains logical inconsistencies, which can be explained when the chain is considered to be a later elaboration.[25] This way it is explainable that nāma-rūpa in consciousness in the nine-fold are the beginning or start, while in the twelve-fold chain they are preceded by ignorance and formations. Those can only exist when nāma-rūpa in consciousness are present. Schumann also proposes that the twelve-fold is extended over three existences, and illustrates the succession of rebirths. While Buddhaghosa in Vasubandhu maintains a 2-8-2 schema, Schumann maintains a 3-6-3 scheme, putting the five skandhas alongside the twelve nidānas.[25]

Schumann
The 12-fold chain the 5 skandhas
First existence
1. Body
2. Sensation
3. Perception
1. Ignorance
2. Formations 4. Formations
3. Consciousness 5. Consciousness
Second existence
4. Nāma-rūpa 1. Body
5. The six senses
6. Touch
7. Sensation 2. Sensation
3. Perception
4. Formations
5. Consciousness
8. Craving
9. Clinging
Third existence
10. Becoming
1. Body
11. Birth
2. Sensation
3. Perception
4. Formations
5. Consciousness
12. Old age and death

Understanding in the Mahayana-tradition

The Mahayana developed out of the traditional schools, introducing new texts and putting other emphasises in the teachings, especially sunyata and the Bodhisattva-ideal.

India

Prajnaparamita

The Prajnaparamita-teachings developed from the first century BCE onward. It emphasises the "emptiness" of everything that exists. This means that there are no eternally existing "essences", since everything is dependently originated. The skandhas too are dependently originated, and lack any substantial existence .[lower-alpha 38]

This is famously stated in the Heart Sutra. The Sanskrit version[lower-alpha 39] of the classic "Prajnaparamita Hridaya Sutra" ("Heart Sutra") states:

The noble Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva,

while practicing the deep practice of Prajnaparamita
looked upon the Five Skandhas,
seeing they were empty of svabhava (self-existence)[26][lower-alpha 40][lower-alpha 41] when "emptiness of self" is mentioned, the English word "self" is a translation of the Pali word "atta" (Sanskrit, "atman"); in the Sanskrit-version of the Heart Sutra,[lower-alpha 42][lower-alpha 43]

In the second verse, after rising from his aggregate meditation, Avalokiteshvara declares:

Form is emptiness, emptiness is form,

form does not differ from emptiness, emptiness does not differ from form.
The same is true with feelings, perceptions, mental formations and consciousness.[27]

Madhyamaka

Main article: Madhyamaka

The Madhyaka-school elaborates on the notion of the middle way. Its basic text is the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā, written by Nagarjuna. Nagarjuna refuted the Sarvastivada conception of reality, which reifies dhammas.[13] The simultaneous non-reification of the self and reification of the skandhas has been viewed by some Buddhist thinkers as highly problematic.[28]

Yogacara

Main article: Yogacara

The Yogacara-school further analysed the workings of the mind, and developed the notion of the Eight consciousnesses. These are an elaboration of the concept of nama-rupa and the five skandhas, adding detailed analyses of the workings of the mind.

China

When Buddhism was introduced in China it was understood in terms of its own culture. Various sects struggled to attain an understanding of the Indian texts. The Tathāgatagarbha Sutras and the idea of the Buddha-nature were endorsed, because of the perceived similarities with the Tao, which was understood as a transcendental reality underlying the world of appearances. Sunyata at first was understood as pointing to the Taoist "wu", nothingness.[29][30]

Absolute and relative

In China, the relation between absolute and relative was a central topic in understanding the Buddhist teachings. The aggregates convey the relative (or conventional) experience of the world by an individual, although Absolute truth is realized through them.

Commenting on the Heart Sutra, D.T. Suzuki notes:

When the sutra says that the five Skandhas have the character of emptiness [...], the sense is: no limiting qualities are to be attributed to the Absolute; while it is immanent in all concrete and particular objects, it is not in itself definable.[31]

Tathagatagarbha

Main article: Tathagatagarbha

The Tathāgatagarbha Sutras, which developed in India, played a prominent role in China. The tathagatagarbha-sutras, on occasion, speak of the ineffable skandhas of the Buddha (beyond the nature of worldly skandhas and beyond worldly understanding). In the Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra the Buddha tells of how the Buddha's skandhas are in fact eternal and unchanging. The Buddha's skandhas are said to be incomprehensible to unawakened vision.

Tibet

The Vajrayana tradition further develops the aggregates in terms of mahamudra epistemology and tantric reifications.

Insubstantiality

Referring to mahamudra teachings, Chogyam Trungpa [32] identifies the form aggregate as the "solidification" of ignorance (Pali, avijja; Skt., avidya), allowing one to have the illusion of "possessing" ever dynamic and spacious wisdom (Pali, vijja; Skt. vidya), and thus being the basis for the creation of a dualistic relationship between "self" and "other."[lower-alpha 44]

According to Trungpa Rinpoche,[33] the five skandhas are "a set of Buddhist concepts which describe experience as a five-step process" and that "the whole development of the five skandhas...is an attempt on our part to shield ourselves from the truth of our insubstantiality," while "the practice of meditation is to see the transparency of this shield." [34]

Deity yoga

Trungpa Rinpoche writes (2001, p. 38):

[S]ome of the details of tantric iconography are developed from abhidharma [that is, in this context, detailed analysis of the aggregates]. Different colors and feelings of this particular consciousness, that particular emotion, are manifested in a particular deity wearing such-and-such a costume, of certain particular colors, holding certain particular sceptres in his hand. Those details are very closely connected with the individualities of particular psychological processes.

Bardo deity manifestations

The Tibetan Book of the Dead (Fremantle & Trungpa, 2003) makes the following associations between the aggregates and tantric deities during the bardo after death:

The blue light of the skandha of consciousness in its basic purity, the wisdom of the dharmadhātu, luminous, clear, sharp and brilliant, will come towards you from the heart of Vairocana and his consort, and pierce you so that your eyes cannot bear it. [p. 63]
The white light of the skandha of form in its basic purity, the mirror-like wisdom, dazzling white, luminous and clear, will come towards you from the heart of Vajrasattva and his consort and pierce you so that your eyes cannot bear to look at it. [p. 66]
The yellow light of the skandha of feeling in its basic purity, the wisdom of equality, brilliant yellow, adorned with discs of light, luminous and clear, unbearable to the eyes, will come towards you from the heart of Ratnasambhava and his consort and pierce your heart so that your eyes cannot bear to look at it. [p. 68]
The red light of the skandha of perception in its basic purity, the wisdom of discrimination, brilliant red, adorned with discs of light, luminous and clear, sharp and bright, will come from the heart of Amitābha and his consort and pierce your heart so that your eyes cannot bear to look at it. Do not be afraid of it. [p. 70]
The green light of the skandha of concept [samskara] in its basic purity, the action-accomplishing wisdom, brilliant green, luminous and clear, sharp and terrifying, adorned with discs of light, will come from the heart of Amoghasiddhi and his consort and pierce your heart so that your eyes cannot bear to look at it. Do not be afraid of it. It is the spontaneous play of your own mind, so rest in the supreme state free from activity and care, in which there is no near or far, love or hate. [p. 73]

See also

Notes

References

Sources

Sutta-pitaka

  • Ñāṇamoli, Bhikkhu (trans.) & Bodhi, Bhikkhu (ed.) (2001). The Middle-Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikāya. Boston: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-072-X.

Anthologies of suttas

  • Bodhi, Bhikkhu (ed.) (2005a). In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pāli Canon. Boston: Wisdom Pubs. ISBN 0-86171-491-1.

Single sutras

  • [5].
  • Nyanasatta Thera (trans.) (1994). Satipatthana Sutta: The Foundations of Mindfulness. [6].
  • [7].
  • [8].
  • Thanissaro Bhikkhu (trans.) (1997b). Nagara Sutta: The City. [9].
  • Thanissaro Bhikkhu (trans.) (1997c). Parivatta Sutta: The (Fourfold) Round [SN 22.56]. [10].
  • Thanissaro Bhikkhu (trans.) (1997d). Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta: Analysis of Dependent Co-arising ([11].
  • Thanissaro Bhikkhu (trans.) (1997e). Sallatha Sutta: The Arrow [SN 36.6]. [12].
  • Thanissaro Bhikkhu (trans.) (1998). Culavedalla Sutta: The Shorter Set of Questions-and-Answers [MN 44].[13].
  • Thanissaro Bhikkhu (trans.) (2001a). Khajjaniya Sutta: Chewed Up [SN 22.79]. [14].
  • Thanissaro Bhikkhu (trans.) (2001b). Maha-punnama Sutta: The Great Full-moon Night Discourse [MN 109]. [15].
  • Thanissaro Bhikkhu (trans.) (2005). Maha-dukkhakkhandha Sutta: The Great Mass of Stress [MN 13]. [16].
  • Thanissaro Bhikkhu (trans.) (2006). Anapanasati Sutta: Mindfulness of Breathing [MN 118]. [17].

Abhidhamma, Pali commentaries, modern Theravada

  • Bodhi, Bhikkhu (ed.) (2000a). A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma: The Abhidhammattha Sangaha of Ācariya Anuruddha. Seattle, WA: BPS Pariyatti Editions. ISBN 1-928706-02-9.
  • Bodhi, Bhikkhu (18 Jan 2005b). MN 10: Satipatthana Sutta (continued) [Ninth dharma talk on the Satipatthana Sutta (MP3 audio file)]. [18].
  • Buddhaghosa, Bhadantācariya (trans. from Pāli by Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli) (1999). The Path of Purification: Visuddhimagga. Seattle, WA: BPS Pariyatti Editions. ISBN 1-928706-00-2.
  • Ñāṇamoli, Bhikkhu (trans.) (1998). Mindfulness of Breathing (Ānāpānasati): Buddhist texts from the Pāli Canon and Extracts from the Pāli Commentaries. Kandy, Sri Lanka: Buddhist Publication Society. ISBN 955-24-0167-4.
  • Soma Thera (trans.) (2003). The Way of Mindfulness. Kandy, Sri Lanka: Buddhist Publication Society. ISBN 955-24-0256-5.
  • Thanissaro Bhikkhu (2002). Five Piles of Bricks: The Khandhas as Burden & Path. [19].

Mahayana

Secondary literature

  • Gal, Noa (July 2003). The Rise of the Concept of ‘Own-Nature’: (Sabhāva) in the Paisambhidāmagga [excerpt from Ph.D. thesis]. Oxford: Wolfson College. Retrieved 2008-01-22 from "Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies" at [20].
  • Sue Hamilton. "From the Buddha to Buddhaghosa: Changing Attitudes Toward the Human Body in Theravāda Buddhism." In Religious Reflections on the Human Body, edited by Jane Marie Law. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1995, pp. 46–63.
  • Sue Hamilton. Identity and Experience: the Constitution of the Human Being According to Early Buddhism. London: Luzac Oriental, 1996.
  • Jinpa, Thupten (2002). Self, Reality and Reason in Tibetan Philosophy: Tsongkhapa's Quest for the Middle Way. Routledge.
  • Kalupahana, David (1975). Causality: The Central Philosophy of Buddhism. The University Press of Hawaii.
  • Nattier, Jan (1992). "The Heart Sutra: A Chinese Apocryphal Text?" Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 153–223.
  • Rawson, Philip (1991). Sacred Tibet. NY: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0-500-81032-X.

External links

Theravada

  • Khandavagga suttas (a selection), translated primarily by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Mahayana

  • The Five Skandhas, table showing the five skandhas, prepared by Alan Fox (Dept. of Philosophy, U. of Delaware).

Vajrayana

  • A View on Buddhism: Mind and Mental Factors, web page including description of the Five Aggregates.
ko:온 (불교)
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