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The Framing of the Khandas in the Bahana Sutta AN 10.81

sutta
upadana
khanda
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#1

I’m wondering about the context of the khandas in the Bahuna Sutta, and their relation to the doctrine of Enlightenment as a whole.

The sutta describes Enlightenment as the Buddha “Freed, dissociated, & released from feeling… Freed, dissociated, & released from perception… Freed, dissociated, & released from fabrications… Freed, dissociated, & released from consciousness…”

My question is to whether the khandas in this context are meant in an absolute sense (the Buddha is freed from form as a whole) or only within the context of suffering (the Buddha is freed from clinging to form). The latter interpretation seems to follow from the Upadanakkhanda Sutta (SN 22.48), where the aggregates are referred to as clinging-aggregates, but the Bahuna Sutta never uses the prefix of upadana.

Thanks for the help!


#2

Welcome to the forum @ztm150 :slight_smile:

It might help if you put the sutta reference number in the post, so that people can look it up easily when they respond to your question.

Enjoy the forum!

Metta :dharmawheel: :sunflower:


#3

Thank you! :grinning:

I edited the title of the post to include that, thanks for the advice!!


#4

I believe these are the suttas referenced, not certain:

https://suttacentral.net/sn22.48/en/sujato
https://suttacentral.net/an10.81/en/sujato

It’s a good question, I don’t know. Reading sn22.48 I get the impression that when the “form aggregate subject to clinging” is referenced (for example), it’s specifically referencing the clinging that occurs to form, rather than form itself.

And what, bhikkhus, are the five aggregates subject to clinging? Whatever kind of form there is, whether past, future, or present … far or near, that is tainted, that can be clung to: this is called the form aggregate subject to clinging.

Then in an10.81 it says:

“Bāhuna, the Realized One has escaped from ten things, so that he lives unattached, liberated, his mind free of limits. What ten? Form…

So it’s simply saying the Buddha is unattached to form… the Buddha doesn’t cling to form… It would be odd to say, at least in English, the Buddha is unattached to the ‘clinging to form’. It would be like a double negative.


#5

Right, this is my interpretation as well. It certainly makes more intuitive sense than saying that form or perception itself dissipates upon Enlightenment, since those things obviously still exist within the body. I think the double-negative you pointed out may have something to do with the slight ambiguity in the translation. Thanks for the input!:grinning:


#6

Not much to add here, only that I see another way this could be understood.

You could also explain “has escaped” (…rebirth, aging, death) as stating a fait accompli: when the Buddha passes away, he will no longer be subject to the aggregates, rebirth, aging, death, etc. His work is done. Now he’s merely awaiting the paycheck