Unit 2 - Pali Workbook

Unit 2


5 aggregates / aspects of sentient existence

Excerpt from S.N. Goenka's Discourse

anattā — no “I,” no “mine.” It appears to be so, that there is an “I” in me. It appears to be so: this is “mine.” But as you proceed further — at the experiential level, not at the intellectual level — it becomes so clear: what is “I”?

viññāṇa — the cognizing part of the mind

saññā — the recognizing part (of the mind). The nearest English translation is “perception.” Its job is to recognize.

vedanā — the feeling part (of the mind) — sensations: experiencing sensations on the body

saṅkhāra — the reacting part (of the mind). Its job is to react. ... It is actually the motivation of the mind, the reaction of the mind. It is something which is a heap of action. The first cognizing is not an action; it will not give any fruit. Recognizing is not an action; it won’t give any fruit. Feeling is not an action; it won’t give any fruit. But the saṅkhāra, the reaction, this is an action; this gives fruit. Because you keep repeating, repeating. Words of praise, pleasant sensation, and this part of the mind keeps repeating: “I want it! I want more! I want more!” Repeatedly craving, craving, craving, clinging; continuously craving, clinging, craving, clinging. ... The saṅkhāra is the volition of the mind, which results in the mental action, and this gives fruit.

Vocabulary List

5 aggregates / aspects of sentient existence

  • pañca - five
  • khandha - aggregate; bulk; mass, substance

  • nāmarūpa - mind and matter, the mental-physical continuum

  • 1. rūpa - corporeality, matter

  • nāma - mind
    • 2. viññāṇa - consciousness
    • 3. saññā - perception
    • 4. vedanā - sensation
    • 5. saṅkhāra - volitional activity

Pañcakkhandhāṃ ti-lakkhaṇaṃ
3 characteristics of the aggregates

  • ti - three
  • lakkhaṇa - characteristic

  • anicca - impermanence
  • anattā - non-self, insubstantiality
  • dukkha - unsatisfactoriness

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Last modified: Monday, 14 December 2015, 8:31 AM