According to the Sangiti Sutta in the Long Discourses of the Buddha, there are five aggregates—Five Skandhas—The aggregates which make up a human being. The five skandhas are the roots of all ignorance. They keep sentient beings from realizing their always-existing Buddha-Nature. The five aggregates are considered as maras or demons fighting against the Buddha-nature of men. In accordance with the Dharma, life is comprised of five aggregates (form, feeling, perception, mental formation, consciousness).
Matter plus the four mental factors classified below as feeling, perception, mental formation and consciousness combined together from life. The real nature of these five aggregates is explained in the Teaching of the Buddha as follows:
“Matter is equated to a heap of foam, feeling is like a bubble, perception is described as a mirage, mental formations are like a banana tree and consciousness is just an illusion. To be physical or form:
Sắc uẩn: Rupa (p)—Form—Aggregate of matter (four elements of our own body and other material objects such as solidity, fluidity, heat and motion comprise matter)—Material or physical factors—The aggregate of form includes the five physical sense organs and the corresponding physical objects of the sense organs (the eyes and visible objects, the ears and sound, the nose and smell, the tongue and taste, the skin and tangible objects).
Thọ uẩn—Aggregate of feeling or sensation of three kinds pleasant, unpleasant and indifferent. When an object is experienced, that experience takes on one of these emotional tones, either of pleasure, of displeasure or of indifference.
Tưởng uẩn: Samjna (skt)—Sanna (p)—Thought, cognition or perception——Thinking—Aggregate of perception—Activity of recognition or identification or attaching of a name to an object of experience. Perceptions include form, sound, smell, taste, bodily impression or touch, and mental objects.
Hành uẩn: Samskara (skt)—Sankhara (p)—Formation, impression, or mental formation. Aggregate of mental formation—A conditioned response to the object of experience including volition, attention, discrimination, resolve, etc. —Be associated with the faculty or nature of the mind (manas):
Thức uẩn: Vijnana (skt)—Vinnana (p)—Consciousness——Aggregate of consciousness includes the six types of consciousness (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and mental consciousness)—Awareness or sensitivity to an object, i.e. the consciousness associates with the physical factors when the eye and a visible object come into contact, an awareness of a visible object occurs in our mind. Consciousness or a turning of a mere awareness into personal experience is a combined function of feeling, perception and mental formation.
According to the Surangama Sutra, book Two, the Buddha reminded Ananda about the five skandhas as folows:
“Ananda! You have not yet understood that all the defiling objects that appear, all the illusory, ephemeral characteristics, spring up in the very spot where they also come to an end. They are what is called ‘illusory falseness.’ But their nature is in truth the bright substance of wonderful enlightenment. Thus it is throughout, up to the five skandhas and the six entrances, to the twelve places and the eighteen realms; the union and mixture of various causes and conditions account for their illusory and false existence, and the separation and dispersion of the causes and conditions result in their illusory and false extinction. Who would have thought that production, extinction, coming, and going are fundamentally the everlasting, wonderful light of the treasury of the Thus Come One, the unmoving , all-pervading perfection, the wonderful nature of true suchness! If within the true and permanent nature one seeks coming and going, confusion and enlightenment, or birth and death, there is nothing that can be obtained.
"Ananda! Why do I say that the five skandhas are basically the wonderful nature of true suchness, the treasury of the Thus Come One?” Ananda! Consider this example: when a person who has pure clear eyes look at clear, bright emptiness, he sees nothing but clear emptiness, and he is quite certain that nothing exists within it. If for no apparent reason, the peson does not move his eyes, the staring will cause fatigue, and then of his own accord, he will see strange flowers in space and other unreal appearances that are wild and disordered. You should know that it is the same with the skandha of form."
"Ananda! The strange flowers come neither from emptiness nor from the eyes. The reason for this, Ananda, is that if the flowers were to come from emptiness, they would return to emptiness. If there is a coming out and going in, the space would not be empty. If emptiness were not empty, then it could not contain the appearance of the arisal and extinction of the flowers, just as Ananda’s body cannot contain another Ananda. —If the flowers were to come from the eyes, they would return to the eyes. If the nature of the flowers were to come from the eyes, it would be endowed with the faculty of seeing. If it could see, then when it left the eyes it would become flowers in space, and when it returned it should see the eyes. If it did not see, then when it left the eyes it would obscure emptiness, and when it returned, it would obscure the eyes. Moreover, when you see the flowers, your eyes should not be obscured. So why it is that the eyes are said to be 'pure and bright' when they see clear emptiness? Therefore, you should know that the skandha of form is empty and false, because it neither depends on causes and conditions for existence nor is spontaneous in nature.
The feeling skandha: Ananda! Consider the example of a person whose hands and feet are relaxed and at ease and whose entire body is in balance and harmony. He is unaware of his life-processes, because there is nothing agreeable or disagreeable in his nature. However, for some unknown reason, the person rubs his two hands together in emptiness, and sensations of roughness, smoothness, cold, and warmth seem to arise from nowhere between his palms. You should know that it is the same with the skandha of feeling. Ananda! All this illusory contact does not come from emptiness, nor does it come from the hand.
"The reason for this, Ananda, is that if it came from emptiness, then since it could make contact with the palms, why wouldn’t it make contact with the body? It should not be that emptiness chooses what it comes in contact with. —If it came from the palms, it could be readily felt without waiting for the two palms to be joined. What is more, it it were to come from the palms, then the palms would know when they were joined. When they separated, the contact would return into the arms, the wrists, the bones, and the marrow, and you also should be aware of the course of its entry. It should also be perceived by the mind because it would behave like something coming in and going out of the body. In that case, what need would there be to put the two palms together to experience what is called ‘contact?’ Therefore, you should know hat the skandha of feeling is empty and false, because it neither depends on causes and conditions for existence nor is spontaneous in nature."
"Ananda! Consider the example of a person whose mouth waters at the mention of sour plums, or the soles of whose feet tingle when he thinks about walking along a precipice. You should know that it is the same with the skandha of thinking. Ananda! You should know that the watering of the mouth caused by the mention of the plums does not come from the plums, nor does it come from the mouth. The reason for this, Ananda, is that if it were produced from the plums, the plums should speak for themselves, why wait for someone to mention them? —If it came from the mouth, the mouth itself should hear, and what need would there be to wait for the ear? —If the ear alone heard, then why doesn’t the water come out of the ear? Thinking about walking along a precipice is explained in the same way. Therefore, you should know that the skandha of thinking is empty and false, since it neither depends upon causes and conditions for existence, nor is spontaneous in nature. "
"Ananda! Consider, for example, a swift rapids whose waves follow upon one another in orderly succession, the ones behind never overtaking the ones in front. You should know that it is the same with the skandha of mental formation. Ananda! Thus the nature of the flow does not arise because of emptiness, nor does it come into existence because of the water. It is not the nature of water, and yet it is not separate from either emptiness or water. The reason for this, Ananda, is that if it arose because of emptiness, then the inexhaustible emptiness throughout the ten directions wold become an inexhaustible flow, and all the worlds would inevitably be drown. If the swift rapids existed because of water, then their nature would differ from that of water and the location and characteristics of its existence would be apparent. If their nature were simply that of water, then when they became still and clear they would no longer be made up of water. Suppose it were to separate from emptiness and water, there isn’t anything outside of emptiness, and outside of water there isn’t any flow. Therefore, you should know that the skandha of mental formation is empty and false, since it neither depends upon causes and conditions for existence nor is spontaneous in nature."
"The skandha of consciousness: Ananda! Consider, for example, a man who picks up a kalavinka pitcher and stops up its two holes. He lift up the pitcher filled with emptiness and, walking some thousand-mile way, presents it to another country. You should know that the skandha of consciousness is the same way. Thus, Ananda, the space does not come from one place, nor does it go to another. Thật vậy, ông A Nan, nếu từ phương kia lại thì trong bình đó đã đựng hư không mà đi, ở chỗ cũ lẽ ra phải thiếu một phần hư không: The reason for this, Ananda, is that if it were to come from another place, then when the stored-up emptiness in the pitcher went elsewhere, there would be less emptiness in the place where the pitcher was originally. If it were to enter this region, when the holes were unplugged and the pitcher was turned over, one would see emptiness come out. Therefore, you should know that the skandha of consciousness is empty and false, since it neither depends upon causes and conditions for existence nor is spontaneous in nature."
"We do not see the five aggregates as phenomena but as an entity because of our deluded minds, and our innate desire to treat these as a self in oder to pander to our self-importance. —The Buddha taught in the Sati Patthana Sutra: “If you have patience and the will to see things as they truly are. If you would turn inwards to the recesses of your own minds and note with just bare attention (sati), not objectively without projecting an ego into the process, then cultivate this practice for a sufficient length of time, then you will see these five aggregates not as an entity but as a series of physical and mental processes. Then you wil not mistake the superficial for the real. You will then see that these aggregates arise and disappear in rapid succession, never being the same for two consecutive moments, never static but always in a state of flux, never being but always becoming.”
And the Buddha continued to teach in the Lankavatara Sutra: “The Tathatagata is neither different nor not-different from the Skandhas.” (Skandhebhyo-nanyo-nanayas-tathagata).
Ngũ Uẩn Ma: The five maras associated with the five skandhas—
See Ngũ Uẩn. Ngũ Uẩn Thủ: The five aggregates of grasping—
Theo Kinh Phúng Tụng trong Trường Bộ Kinh, có năm uẩn thủ—
According to the Sangiti Sutta in the Long Discourses of the Buddha, there are five aggregates of grasping:
Sắc Thủ Uẩn: Chấp thủ sắc—Aggregate of grasping of body (form)—The form agregate subject to clinging.
Thọ Thủ Uẩn: Chấp thủ thọ—Aggregate of grasping of feelings—The feeling aggregate subject to clinging.
Tưởng Thủ Uẩn: Chấp thủ tưởng—Aggregate of grasping of perceptions—The perception aggregate subject to clinging.
Hành Thủ Uẩn: Chấp thủ hành—Aggregate of grasping of mental formations—The volition aggregate subject to clinging.
Thức Thủ Uẩn: Chấp thủ thức—Aggregate of grasping of consciousness—The consciousness aggregate subject to clinging.