Why ‘thoughts’ are not part of the things we consider as self?

For example the salayatana - in normal circumstances (if not on drugs etc) phenomena are either sight, sound, smell… So we have a direct allocation of the phenomenon to one of the six sense-ayatanas.

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That is why it is important to understand the five aggregate in terms of Salayatana.
When we say five aggregate there are 30 combinations. (5X6=30)
Can we use the term cluster and the factor interchangeably?
For instance can I say Kahandhas are like cluster analysis?

Hm, I wouldn’t think so. Do you mean a vedana-sound, sankhara-smell etc?
I take it more in the sense that also @mikenz66 quoted Nyanatiloka with the “redness, softness, sweetness” of an apple. The khandhas would be more of general check-list for my appropriation/identification.

“Am I still identified with perception and consciousness?” So that I don’t neglect a possible source for asavas. Whereas when for example I practice sense-restraint with the nimittas the salayatana are more of a practical detailed check-list.

We are living in this era , certainly looking at things differently from our background . Five aggregates classifications and definitions was quite different at Buddha times in which He himself re-defined many Terms with new meaning . Example : the word brahmana and notion of four satipatthana which already existed before
Buddha came . He gave these notions a different meaning with comparison to other ascetics and sects .

Example of today situation is , Perception and consciousness were interchangeably used , and so could be synonymous .
This is in English , what about in Mandarin language and other languages ? If we were to say , some of five aggregates meaning is quite vague to many people even though there were many translations . The application
of the word " thought " were
no where to be found in the suttas .

Another example is :
the namarupa , different people
has different interpretation
and even in the suttas ,
two or three definitions were
found if not mistaken .
Were we sometimes take the
Words etc for granted ?
Without clear understanding
of the dhamma , could one
have a valid realisation in
the practice ? We could be thinking ourself being enlightened !?

Sorry, but you’re making some claims about the original Buddha’s message - could you back this up please?

Are you sure? look up parivitakka in the suttas for example.
In other cases (e.g. nama-rupa, paticcasumuppada) you are right of course, some terms had later commentators puzzled about the meaning.

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Well what I meant is , for example , the rupa in the context of 5 aggregates was referring to 6 sense organ and not 4 elements . Although the meaning of rupa also can be defined as 4 elements .
So , the whole picture was changed .

If you refer to sutta SN46.54/SA743, the other ascetics also practice the 4 satipatthana and 4 immeasurable . But , Buddha version is different .

Sorry , the translations into English may differ , mind or thought. Mind is in general sense , thought is more specific .

I wish it was that easy, but the references for rupa = mahabhuta are a bit too many and can be found in all nikayas: DN 1, DN 2, DN 9, DN 10, MN 9, MN 28, MN 33, MN 74, MN 77, MN 106, MN 109, SN 22.56, SN 22.57, SN 22.82, SN 55.21, AN 11.17

SN 46.54 just mentions that other samanas practice abandoning the hindrances and the 4 immeasurables. Does SA743 mention the satipatthanas as well? That would be interesting.

It is already an interesting information that others were practicing abandoning the hindrances. It makes total sense since there were accomplished meditators ‘outside’ as well. But it simply isn’t mentioned often in the EBT. The practice of metta by others is even more rare. I think I remember somewhere mentioning that Nataputta’s metta had a limited radiance in contrast to the Buddha, but of course again it makes total sense that a sect like the Niganthas who have no-harm at the core of their practice would have an equivalent to metta.

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SA 46.54

“We too, friends, teach the Dhamma to our disciples thus: ‘Come, friends, abandon the five hindrances … all as above … dwell pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with lovingkindness … compassion … altruistic joy … equanimity … without ill will.’ So, friends, what here is the distinction, the disparity, the difference between the ascetic Gotama and us, that is, regarding the one Dhamma teaching and the other, regarding the one manner of instruction and the other?”

SA 46.54
notice it has 5 hindrances
not 4 satipatthana.



Please note :
The bold is 5 hindrances
and 4 satipatthana .

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Is there any easy way for you to see if this (others practicing satipatthanas) is repeated in the agamas?

The way I see , Perhaps 4 satipatthana
other ascetics practice , just like
the 4 immeasurable which
already existed , Buddha only
added some other factors into it.
It’s not just Toyota ,
it’s a brand new
Toyota Advance model .

Excellent, thank you Mat, I had forgotten about this definition.
Thoughts are here clearly defined as verbal formations so part of the 4th aggregate.
This helps a lot.

Thank you SarthW1, but I will not start reading the Abhidhamma until I have a veeeery good grasp of the suttas… I believe I can have an understanding of citta from the suttas only. Maybe the Abhidhamma might help me at a later stage, or maybe not, will see.

Many thanks Gabriel, I’ll have to think about these concepts, they are very relevant to many Dhamma lists I suppose.


parivitakka :

Concise Pali-English Dictionary
by A.P. Buddhadatta Mahathera

parivitakka:[m.] reflection; consideration.

Vitakka :

“vitakka is the directing of concomitant properties towards the object;

Vicara :

vicāra is the continued exercise of the mind on that object. ”

P/s. There is no clear definition of thought .

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In this dictionary entry the initial definition is contradicted by the explanation that followed afterwards.

With metta

Yes, that’s why I suggested to look it up in the suttas. There parivitakka is often followed by “…”, i.e. an actual quote of what the person literally thought. That’s a ‘thought’ I would say…

@ Gabriel

I am familiar with Mandarin ,
Pali and other languages
I have to raise flag .

Here’s excerpt from
bhante Sujato
blog on vitakka ,
ie vitakka does not
mean thinking in jhāna .

" If vitakka does not mean thinking, then why did the Buddha use such a misleading word? The answer is simple: it was the best he had. Why this is so, and how such situations can arise, is a fascinating question that takes us into areas of linguistic philosophy, specifically, how we develop words for speaking of refined topics. "

Below is the link :

Thank you .

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I think you didn’t saw the below sentences from Ajhan Sujato’s article.

We normally think of jhana as a profound state of higher consciousness; yet the standard formula for first jhana says it is a state with ‘vitakka and vicara’. Normally these words mean ‘thinking’ and ‘exploring’

  • Why vitakka doesn’t mean ‘thinking’ in jhana -Ajhan Sujato

Vitakka and vicara exist outside of jhana and daily life as well. In such situations they mean that thinking.

With metta

In another post there have been long discussions and disagreements on vittaka, vicara in the 1st Jhana.
The conclusion, as I see it, is that people agree that they disagree.
There is the camp of the “hard-Jhana” where the body is gone (no more signals from the five senses processed by the mind) already at the 1st Jhana and also there is no possibilities for thinking and pondering.
There is the camp of the “sutta-Jhana” where the body experiences piti and sukha as physical and mental pleasure and joy and where the mind can think and ponder.

Alright i see , thanks .

Right , agree . Thank you .

On top of ‘agreeing to disagree’ there is just not enough material in the EBT. It’s the same formula repeated endlessly. That in itself probably speaks for antiquity, but at the same time there seems to be a time gap (or an editorial gap) between the formula (and others of this caliber) and the narratives around it.

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